Screw the White House: Let's Focus on Keeping Texas from Becoming Teabagistan

Categories: Schutze

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There's a danger in getting too invested in presidential debates and the whole national political saga, gripping as it may be. By turning our faces to bright lights far away, we risk forgetting just how dark things could get here at home in November.

The Tea Party is poised to make its ultimate assault on the Texas Legislature, determined to take seats from Republicans suspected of being moderate, and equally determined to take over the speaker's job in the House.

That could wind up turning Texas into a true outlier realm, a kind of national Teabagistan cut off from national commerce and culture by its own cheer peculiarity. Oh, wait. That's what we are already, right? Well, I mean a lot more so.

Bryan Hughes, a Tea Party hero from Mineola in East Texas, apparently is a serious contender to unseat Speaker Joe Straus, with an avowed agenda of way more conservatism and way less reasonableness.

You might look at Austin and wonder how that's even possible. Please, don't say that out loud. There's a difference between forcing invasive examinations on women who want abortions, for example, and stoning them. Never say it can't get worse.

Maybe you are tempted to concentrate on the national scene because that's the only place you see a glimmer of hope. But that's a mistake, too, because there's a glimmer here, as well. The fact is that redistricting and the Latino-liberalization of urban areas gives the Democratic Party a shot right now at breaking the Republican super-majority in the House.

In fact fear of a stronger liberal trend in the near future may even be keeping some Republicans in the moderate camp. They're probably worried about putting their names to the kind of Tea Party stuff that could get them shipped off to political re-education farms after the counter-Revolution (and I want to be a driver on those buses).

If the current speaker, Straus, can find no other way to survive, he may be forced to turn to some of the newly more numerous Democratic members after November for support. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Meanwhile the Dems are getting sharper about their own message. After a decade wasted harping on the harm budget cuts are doing to teachers -- a topic about which no one gives a shit -- the Democrats finally have hit on a theme that might light some fires. They're talking about the harm budget cuts are doing to coaches.

Brad Watson on WFAA Channel 8 had a great piece last night about a movement for school vouchers in the next Legislature and how Democrats say it could spell the end to Friday Night Lights in Texas.

The end of football? Texans would have to sign all new medical directives: "Should high school football come to an end in Texas, I direct my physician to shoot me."

The story included an interview with a wonky-looking Republican in Houston talking about how unfair it is for families to be "held hostage" to underperforming public schools in their neighborhoods. To most Texans, he probably sounded like some limp law professor speaking ancient Greek.

What's that boy talking about, underperforming? Does he mean rushing yardage or pass completion?

Now, that's what I mean. Put together a meaner eye for message with more Latinos and some court-ordered redistricting, we've got a shot at not becoming Teabagistan after all. Well, you know what I mean: becoming less Teabagistan.

So it's not all presidential debates. There's a lot at stake here at home, too. Can you even imagine where Texans would go if they ended high school football here? Do they have it in Mexico maybe?


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81 comments
jeneheffer
jeneheffer

Jim, I wish you would get off the gas, election day will be over in November and hopefully Texans will survive without unpopular liberal trends. Giving students access to better education of their choice i thought as the point of the goal. Sorry I see it is really about political power and Football. 

sophee
sophee

Being a teabrain requires no thought process, that's why it attracts some people.

Joni Espinoza
Joni Espinoza

No that's a good thing! Anything ending "-istan" gets handed Free Money..billions..by Feds...

pizzer
pizzer

tea party says keep more of your own money AND YOU DECIDE how much to give to charity etc

 

occupiers/leftist/socialists say the government can do a better job

 

but they wont turn over their paychecks to that government and let the government decide what to do with "their" money

 

leftists are self hating racists who hide it behind welfare checks as "help"

 

black people are catching on to your game lefty

 

 

they know that that "help" is actually keeping them trapped, low self esteem etc

 

 

ShomerShabbas
ShomerShabbas

Let the train cars roll and fire up the ovens. F the slave cattle.

roo_ster
roo_ster

Read an interesting study that concluded, absent legacy media leftward bias(1), the median political view would be that of Texas (currently the "median" state, politically, is Iowa).  Quite an interesting study on the effects of slanting news.  Has application beyond left/right USA politics or even politics in general into the realm of marketing.

 

It was a bit of empiricism that bolsters the CNN executive's claim that leftward legacy media bias manages to have roughly a 15% leftward impact on political views.

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Conscious Journolister bias, unconscious echo-chamber bias, whatever the cause doesn't matter.

Joanie Hammond
Joanie Hammond

Great article and funny too! Teabagistan is my new word.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Now we are about the hear from the The Extracurricular Entitlement Crowd  This might just change the face of the Austin politics in a few years ...

Nobody
Nobody

Brian is a very nice fellow, but in no way a serious challenger to Straus.  The Speaker only needs 76 votes and has a guarantee of upwards of a hundred.  It is conceivable, should his candidacy actually survive until the opening of the session, that Hughes could garner a larger number of votes than did the last kamikaze challenger, due to the large number of zealous and clueless freshman coming in, but he will still fall short.  As a two-time offender his career in the House will be effectively over.  And there's no escape to the Senate, ala Senator-to-be Paxton (who, rumor has it, is the driving force behind this sour grapes shot at Straus.)

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

These right wing zealots have a very poor understanding of history, which of course is ironic as hell in that they see themselves as somehow tied to our nation's founders. you know, our historical birth...

 

they are focused on dismantling the "safety net" of our society, namely social security and medicare/medicaid. not to mention chips, and wic, but I disgress...

 

what their shortsided perspective is void of is an understanding of what social security was created for. it wasn't created as a personal safety device, it was created to protect society from splitting between the haves and the have nots. when the greatest depression occured it wiped out most people's savings, leaving those who were in their later years pretty much broke. and hungry. and bitter.

 

so what do a large mass of poor, hungry citizens do who don't have any hope? they get disillusioned, they become easy fodder for populist demogauges. just look at germany, italy, argentina after the greatest depression.....and it could have happened here, too.

 

social security sustains a lot of our population when they can't support themselves. without these types of programs many people can't support themselves. without these types of programs dispair and disillusionment become entrenched.

 

survival of the fittest and shooting the finger at those who aren't isn't a positive mantra for any nation to embrace and remain united over the long hall.

Kyle McDaniel
Kyle McDaniel

Just curious why are you guys so against the Tea Party? What is it in particular that you don't like about them?

Daniel
Daniel

My Dad always said, "Well, if you've gotta be peculiar, it may as well be in a cheery way." Then he'd kick my balls to kingdom come. 

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Wah Wah Wah - we can't stop the evil Republicans; all this whining is tiresome.

 

Face the fact Texas Democrats have basically given up the fight, just look at their state candidates.  Maybe if you get the mayor of Houston to run for a Governor or Lieutenant Governor the Democrats can shake things up enough to get more than 35% of voters to show up at the polls.

Carl Fant
Carl Fant

Texas is so far behind the times. It's a shame Perry is still in office.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Jim, the revolution won't be about left and right.  It will be old and young, about how your generation robbed my generation and put us in debt.  You won't be driving the bus, you'll be lined up against it.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @roo_ster the media seldom skews left of the democrat establishment, which is NOT liberal at all.  Therefore, you study is flawed in thinking that middle of the road is between the two parties.  I've argued repeatedly that higher tax rates would actually spur GDP growth.  But, the media doesn't cover that, cause the democrat establishment won't advocate for it.    "Nice try, NO GOOD"

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog "they are focused on dismantling the "safety net" of our society, namely social security and medicare/medicaid. not to mention chips, and wic, but I disgress..."

 

Right, that's why Romney is the one who stole $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his pet project.  Oh, wait, that was Obama.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps The phelps booger conveniently forgets that we Boomers paid into a system that helped the Greatest Generation live comfortably in old age; The Greatest Generation, you know, the ones that fought WW2 and struggled through the Great Depression; the ones that are our parents and your grandparents.

roo_ster
roo_ster

 @scottindallas Dude, just because even the legacy media outlets don't buy your carnival barker crazy-talk, doesn't mean there is no bias. 

 

Study after study demonstrates it, to include self-administered surveys.  Some try to explain motive, but that is not necessary. 

 

For my own part, I think sloth, group-think, and peer influence are greater factors than any conspiracy (IOW, JournoListers are the exception, not the rule).  You'll rarely go wrong if you bet on liberal arts majors & J-schoolers to sit on their fat asses and regurgitate what their buddies and supervisors told them the week before.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @mavdog Phelps, don't be a fucking idiot.  Ryan makes the very same cuts.  Romney's plan apparently is to protect Medicare by not doing anything to save or fix it.  Or, to kick the can down the road for 15 years.  Obama's plan ends the subsidy for Medicare Advantage, and projects other savings that may be more mercurial.  But, reducing the pool of those on Medicare won't save it.  The opposite is true. 

 

If the GOP believes in choice, then lets' open Medicare/Medicaid to all who might like it.  As I've proposed before, open it to everyone, and negotiate a premium (to be used to refund the system) of 15%, so private insurers can compete.  Want competition, well, then let's introduce it.  The "competition" that Romney Ryan want is non-existent.  There IS no insurer providing health insurance to those over 65. 

 

So, again, you've fallen for sophistry, a false dichotomy and allusions to a market that doesn't exist. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

you sure are quick to regurgitate the republican talking points.

 

why don't you explain to us in a factual manner just what you claim obamacare "stole"?

 

I don't expect that you can....frankly beacuse the claim isn't valid. it's rhetoric, a made up, conjured accusation.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  @everlastingphelps Your generation also voted for tax cuts that took $2.2 trillion from payroll taxes to fund the tax cuts.  Your generation allowed execs to fail to fund the pensions adequately. 

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  @everlastingphelps You didn't help the GG live comfortably.  You shoved them into nursing homes, sold their houses, squandered their legacy, and then when you ran out of cash from them, you mortgaged your kids.

 

You didn't pay into the system.  You looted the system (and continue to loot it.)

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  @everlastingphelps You didn't help the GG live comfortably.  You shoved them into nursing homes, sold their houses, squandered their legacy, and then when you ran out of cash from them, you mortgaged your kids.

 

You didn't pay into the system.  You looted the system (and continue to loot it.)

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @roo_ster these are the words of David Stockman today.  "The lesson is that LBOs are just another legal (and risky) way for speculators to make money, but they are dangerous because when they fail, they leave needless economic disruption and job losses in their wake. That’s why LBOs would be rare in an honest free market—it’s only cheap debt, interest deductions, and ludicrously low capital-gains taxes that artifically fuel them."

 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/14/david-stockman-mitt-romney-and-the-bain-drain.html

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @roo_ster come on Rooster, do you cede my point?  If not, why no rebuttal?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @roo_ster As to the economics, I have the post war generation to back me up.  Further, I am the only one really considering motive.  Higher tax rates encourages flight to deductible avenues.  Higher tax rates suppress executive salaries.  You understand in football that once a guy gets paid, it might destroy his motive; why do you never extend this same logic to corporate execs?   If they're so smart, they can go and start their own firm and make more money--good, that's good for the economy.  Otherwise, they'll simply take less money (for instance, I suggest a 50% tax rate on income exceeding $1m/yr and 66% on income exceeding $5m/yr.  I hardly think those are oppressive categories.   I do think the last category gets to be what some term confiscatory rates. But, if we have national policies then the execs won't have anywhere else to go.  And, our consumer base ensures the firms will be here. 

 

Despite the rhetoric, the ones least affected by higher tax rates are small businesses and entrepreneurs.  In fact, if they achieve the higher tax rates, they get to enjoy deductions at that higher rate too.  But, the effective tax rates, as we know from history are seldom much above 20%.  So, the greater the spread, the greater the incentive and the reward for diverting net profits back into the firms into deductible avenues, like hiring, employee training, benefits, (pensions were created under 70% top marginal rates)  R&D is deductible as are capital expenditures, capital maintenance, innovation and even advertising.  All of those are more productive, grow GDP more than taking profits.  The gov't doesn't collect more money, they don't allocate anything, the firms themselves are motivated to do so. 

 

So please, reconsider this, as I've made this point with CFPs, MBAs, stock brokers, and they all have to admit my argument is sound.  Some agree, some don't saying "higher taxes are immoral"  whatever that means, as the effective rates aren't substantially higher.  So, their objection is unfounded. 

 

While I don't see vast sums of new gov't revenues being generated by these policies, they would generate lots of knock-on revenue that GAO types could never consider.   Finally, the parties most effected by these policies would be very high end employees, which are corporate execs, financiers and professionals.  But, the guys pulling down that bounty, would be better with suppressed incomes, as these people enact their own tax on the economy, and don't add a dime to GDP--we hope they make the markets more efficient, but they produce nothing.  So, if they add their efficiencies for less money, then the economy is more efficient. 

anon
anon

 @everlastingphelps  @Sotiredofitall  @scottindallas  @mavdog then propose that hospital emergency rooms no longer be forced to provide charity care. because your definition of freedom should also include not providing services to those who can't pay. that's the only real way to make this into a market. markets where you can't exclude people who can't pay do not function like real markets.

 

frankly, absent the frictional costs of people dying, this is my ideal solution. not because it's my desired outcome. but because it will end the idiotic talking point that there is a market for health insurance that works for our population. because if you cut poor people out of the emergency room, I give it about a week before you've got full scale riots in every major American city.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

You've hit on the basic problem - we already have inefficient expensive public health because we DON'T refuse to pay the emergency room bill.    Who is going to be the first to stand in the public square and proclaim "let 'em die"?  IF you going to provide health care it only seems to make sense to do it in the most fiscally responsible way.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@sidewalkastro @everlastingphelps @scottindallas @Sotiredofitall @mavdog Agreed.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @mavdog He at one time said it should serve as a model for the country, as did the Heritage foundation--right until Obama proposed it.  They do it in the name of "competition"  so why not introduce the competition of a Medicare plus 15% for all interested parties?  You dodged that point earlier.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @Sotiredofitall  @mavdog You cannot legally live in your house without water service.  You're mistaken, further, you're not a customer of utilities, you're a consumer.   You're arguing with Adam Smith, and hundreds of years of Common Law.   You've been supported by well paid sophists, who want us to forget basic economics. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps

 

"Romneycare works for MA (in that people are apparently satisfied with it).  It does not work for the country and Romney does not think it will work for the country."

 

I laugh everytime I hear or read this nonsensical nuance from Romney and his minions.

 

really? the insurance program works in mass. but it doesn't work elsewhere???

 

yeah, because the citizens of mass. are different than the rest of the country....they get different illnesses....and get different treatments for their illnesses....they have different doctors, different medications. 

 

why, citizens of mass. must have different bodies than the rest of the country!

 

what total, complete BS.

 

If it works in mass., it works in the rest of the country.

 

period.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @mavdog Romneycare works for MA (in that people are apparently satisfied with it).  It does not work for the country and Romney does not think it will work for the country.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps

 

you "believe it"? what is "it"?

 

btw Romney DOES like "Romneycare" and continues to speak to its success, not quite sure what you are saying, or in this case failing to say.....

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps "Retarded"?  What a demeaning, dehumanizing word for a fanatical pro-lifer to use; the booger phelps, who accuses everyone else of being dehumanizing.  Tsk, tsk, booger...

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  @Sotiredofitall  @mavdog that "freedom" doesn't apply to utilities.  Major healthcare is a utility, where you're routed to a major hospital regardless of "choice"   Every medical school in this country is publicly subsidized--there are no "private" medical schools. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 The phelps booger forgets that Obama did not turn GM and Chrysler into state-run corporations.  The phelps booger needs to take an anti-psychotic, then go research what socialism is.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps  

 

so Obama "wants a socialist country"?

 

that is really funny. well, not so much funny as ridiculous, incorrect, even surreal to a point. what's funny is that apparently you actual believe it.

 

enlighten us, show ONE policy or program of the Obama administration that is truly "socialist".

 

much like the bogus claim that Obama "stole $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his pet project", you will fail in supporting this republican talking point that has no basis in reality.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Sotiredofitall  @scottindallas  @mavdog I'm always surprised at how many don't grasp a basic premise of freedom; you have to have the right to your own property, which means not buying things if you don't want them.  Obama is a coward; if he really wants a socialist country, then he should be embracing it.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

 @scottindallas  @everlastingphelps  @mavdog 

I'm always surprised at how many don't grasp a basic premise of insurance; you must have as many as possible in the "pool" to spread the cost and risk to not go broke.  .  Romney is a coward;

he had a decent idea with Romneycare and should be embracing it as "at least I was the first to try and almost make it work".   

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I did, it wasn't there.  LiveFyre does this sometimes.  I could have deleted Phelps from the list (2) of names, and will try to do this in the future.  It's frustrating for sure. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz another Livefyre gift, I posted the previous comment, checked the comments the next day, and my comment was missing.  So, I deliberately re-issued the same sentiment.  LIVEFYRE SUX

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I was addressing the argument to Baby Boomers specifically.  You took it upon yourself Myrna, to defend that position.   Livefyre includes the user name. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz The reply fills the names automatically, I don't like Livefyre,  But, the comments were directed to Baby Boomers and, that would be the position you were defending Myrna.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @scottindallas  Wait.  To whom is your comment directed?  The phelps booger and I have diametrically opposed world views.  When responding, you need to keep only the user name you intend to reply to.  Thanks, Scotty.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @everlastingphelps

 

okey dokey, then all your ranting and raving wasn't about you it was about...whom?

 

apparently it wasn't about anyone in reality, but was a mythical place, mythical events and mythical people that exist in your own mind.

 

seems the most credible explanation. yep, that must be it.

 

there are people who can help you with this issue btw. you should seek their help.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @mavdog My parents live in their own home.  Their parents died in that home.  I intend to own that home one day.  I currently pay a significant part of my parents' bills.

 

Try again, Sigmund Fraud.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @mavdog An estate tax might ameliorate much of these sins.  Hmmm, will Phelps be voting for the party who willing to maintain the estate tax?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

wow, SOMEONE sure carries a ton of guilt for apparently putting their parents into a nursing home, selling their parent's house and pocketing the proceeds, and is now somehow putting their own children into a massive amount of debt.

 

anything you would like to get off your chest? come on, we won't judge you or anything....promise!

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz So exactly what did you mean by "conveniently forgets that we Boomers paid into a system that helped the Greatest Generation live comfortably in old age;"

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @Sotiredofitall  I don't recall saying anything of the kind, but obviously that retort is your interpretation of what I said.

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