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Hutchison Responds to my "Scooter" Tyrade

Miscellaneous
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/31 9:52:03 (1192 reads)

Dear Mr. Southwell:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Scooter Libby trial. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

On March 6, 2007, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was found guilty by a jury on four of the five felony counts with which he was charged. These four counts included two counts of perjury, one of obstruction of justice, and one of making false statements to federal investigators. The charges were brought by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald after a nearly two-year investigation into the leaking of an undercover CIA officer’s identity. No other individuals were charged with wrongdoing in the matter.

On July 2, 2007, President Bush commuted the prison sentence of Mr. Libby, while leaving intact his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice. Mr. Libby will still be required to pay a $250,000 fine and serve probation for two years.

It is vitally important that those serving in government maintain the highest level of integrity. Public officials who break or attempt to circumvent the law must be prosecuted to the full extent our justice system allows. I assure you, as long as I remain in the U.S. Senate serving the citizens of Texas, I will work to preserve our Constitution and insist on the highest ethical standards for the office with which I have been entrusted.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.


Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison

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Weekly Texas Roundup - Week of 7/23 - 7/28

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/30 0:09:41 (1177 reads)

It's Monday, and that means it is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Texas Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is brought to you by Capitol Annex.

Diarist Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos has had enough, and she shares the letter she wrote Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn in Tell Me That Our Elected U.S. Lawmakers Do Not Embrace a W.
Monarchy
.

Could Be True ponders the often asked question (by the Right), "Why Post Election Information in Spanish" at South Texas Chisme.

Vince at Capitol Annex reveals a letter House Speaker Tom Craddick sent to former Parliamentarian Denise Davis telling her to keep her mouth shut about her time as Parliamentarian.

Texas Education just took another hit thanks to Governor Perry, according to a post by TXSharon at Bluedaze. Rick Perry appointed Dr. Don McLeroy as the Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education. McLeroy is known for his radical fundamentalist views. This is especially bad because textbooks are up for review this year.

Hal at Half Empty ponders early endorsements in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate in An Endorsement Is Worth Watt Price?

Matt at Stop Cornyn lets us know that John Kerry has announced a contest to Remove Republican Roadblocks (like John Cornyn).

Karl-Thomas at Burnt Orange Report tells us about Town Lake being named after Lady Bird Johnson.

Muse at Musings has the invite to LTC Rick Noriega's change of command ceremony at the Alamo on August 4th. Noriega will take command of the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, which can trace its history back to the Republic of Texas. The event is open to the public.

Thought we were done with Accenture and HHSC privatization? Charles at Off the Kuff says think again.

Stace at Dos Centavos tells us about a Pew study which finds Latino political participation is not matching up to Latino
population growth
. Will demographic changes be enough to put Democrats over the top?

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News points to a peer reviewed study that shows illegal immigrants are not criminals--they go to jail at an amazing low one-fifth rate of current citizens. Perhaps we should promote immigration to reduce the crime rate in the United States?

Dembones at Eye On Williamson County posts on the similarities between the new "right-wing" talking points on Iraq and the change in rhetoric by Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock) on bringing troops home from Iraq in John Carter Heeds Grover Norquist Talking Points.

John C. at Bay Area Houston, in Raising Campaign Cash 2007 from Bob Perry tells us that, during the first part of 2007, Bob Perry didn't get close to his record contributions of 2006 of $4.5 Million. In 2007 he only donated $471,000 with $250,000 doing to Texans for Lawsuit Reform. HillCo PAC, another fine anti-consumer organization received $50,000 and Lt. Governor Dewhurst received $25,000.

Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal tells us that Carrollton attorney Karen Guerra is set to run as a Democrat for the 16th District Court in 2008.

Mayor McSleazeMcBlogger takes on recent changes in the dress code for visitors at the White House.

And, don't forget about these other Texas Progressive Alliance Members: Three Wise Men, In The Pink Texas, Marc's Miscellany, Common Sense, The Agonist, People's Republic of Seabrook, McBlogger, B and B, Brains and Eggs, and Feet To The Fire.

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Hey Burgess - Your favorite general is not welcomed anymore in Iraq

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/29 16:11:05 (1157 reads)

Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX 26) and I recently talked about the occupation of Iraq and the way forward. I'm still not quite ready to publish that whole interview, but Burgess seemed to have a lot of hopes pinned on General David Petraeus, who has given the Congressman a good dog-and-pony show in Iraq.

According to the Telegraph, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has had enough of General David Petraeus' signature strategy in Iraq, fearing that Petraeus will arm militias. He has told Petraeus he would ask for someone else. The one who occupies the office of U.S. President is quoted as telling al-Maliki to "calm down". (Great diplomacy style, there, cowboy.)

Look, regardless of who is "right" in this - and I'm not saying that al-Maliki is without fault - our presence is simply NOT WORKING. The reconstruction is not working, and it's been reported that Iraq refuses to take up the reconstruction projects.

Iraq's lazy-ass parliament, much like our Congress, will be taking off the month of August because "it's hot outside".

This is not a reflection of the failure of our troops in any way. It is a reflection of the fact that this war was undertaken without thinking it through. Petraeus went into this situation with the best possible outcome being that maybe he could prevent things from getting worse, and somehow set things back on track for an Iraqi government to gain control. The fact that the region is MORE unstable, and that there are NOW MORE al-Qaeda fighters indicates quite plainly that this is just not going to work out.

We MUST set a timetable, and begin redeployment immediately to send the strongest message to al-Maliki and his government that they had better stand up.

Support our troops. Bring them home. The writing is on the wall, like it was for Nixon. Let us not waste more American lives to try to salvage the egos of he who occupies the office of the President, and his sycophants.

Hat tip to Bluebloggin.

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Parable of the Two Wolves

Zen by Jen
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/28 0:12:20 (1874 reads)

One of my wife's clients related this old Cherokee parable to her, which she shared with me. I share it tonight with my friends who may occasionally feel despondent or overcome with anger and fear.

An elder Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "It is as if a great fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for love, joy, peace, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside each of you, and inside every other person, too."

The children thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Grandfather, which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied,"It is the one that you feed."

Feed your love, my friends. Turn off that talk radio and that Fox News, and go do something nice for someone. Email this story to someone you know who is too negative. Peace!

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Sucker...

The Nimrods Never Cease to Amaze Me
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/27 8:50:00 (1244 reads)

If you were linked here from a blog posting about supposed Syrian Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing for Iran, you've been suckered.

On the brighter side, aren't you glad this isn't true?

These pictures are actually taken at a water treatment plant in North Texas, as explained by one of our readers who emailed us the pictures:

This is my hello you stupid ass people joke; I could do this all day long on any false flag pretext to start a war of aggression to get the good shit someone else has. These jokes are easy perpetuating because I live in the stupidest state in the union and my country is number 35 in the top 50 intellectually advanced nations. I just noticed I put in a picture of a couple of cylinders at the now defunct Denton Bio Diesel plant used to filter chicken and steak bones.

These are pictures, some are underground, of a small water treatment plant serving 27 Texas towns; I sent it to several people explaining it was a Syrian nuke plant, all but one believed me; he recognized some one he went to school with. We used Saudi Arabia as a staging area to attack Iraq in G W 1 based on aerial photos of the entire Iraq army on their border ready to attack. One thing of many missing in the Syrian photos is shadows that some objects, the building, cast while others have shadows. I have a bridge to sell.


It is truly unfortunate that Americans have become so accustomed to believing everything they watch on TV or read on the internet. Somehow, as our elected officials were busy debating on whether or not to teach "Creation science" or that condoms prevent pregnancy and STDs, they neglected to teach critical thinking.

What I did here was to take our reader's joke, and throw in some scientific-sounding bullshit. I edited the photos of the Americans touring a water treatment plant in North Texas, to remove the non-burqa-wearing woman showing cleavage, and crop out the Levi's jeans they were wearing, which should have been a dead giveaway to anyone paying attention.

Hopefully you didn't go and email this tall tale to all of your friends. Then again, if you clicked the link from the article to this post, then you're 90% smarter than most folks.

Think.

P.S. "Al-Bandini in the Shi'anola' district?" If you believe that, you don't know shit from Shinola™.


Keywords:
- Satire

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Karen Guerra Announces Run for 16th District Court

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/26 17:52:43 (2135 reads)

We're a little behind on processing press releases, but I thought I'd share this one. Karen Guerra's announcement makes her the second candidate in Denton County to declare intent to run for office as a Democrat.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Karen Guerra, prominent local attorney, announced this week that she is seeking election as Judge of the 16th District Court in Denton County. Mrs. Guerra has been an attorney for almost 18 years and currently operates a private law practice in Carrollton, Texas. She is board certified as a specialist in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. In her announcement, she pledged to work hard for the citizens of Denton County as the 16th District Court Judge.



“The district courts are vitally important to our citizens, since they are the primary trial courts in Texas. District courts handle felony criminal cases, family law cases, suits for title to land, and large civil cases. I have extensive experience in the types of cases that come before the District Court,” Guerra stated. “We need judges with experience in all areas of the law. The citizens of Denton County want judges who will be fair and impartial and who will make rulings based on the evidence and the applicable laws. I will be such a judge. I am committed to making a positive improvement in the administration of justice in that Court.”

The formal announcement was made at the local Democratic Party fundraiser for Precinct 120 in Denton. Although Denton County has primarily voted with the Republican Party in recent years, Guerra explained that thirty years ago Democrats were the dominant party in Denton County. She believes that many Democrats in the area have merely voted for Republican candidates because they did not have a choice. She stated that government in Denton County will be improved by giving the voters a choice in a two-party system.

Guerra said, “I have been a conservative Democrat all my life. I support most of the platform of the Democratic Party including the belief that our legal system should serve as the bedrock that protects and guarantees our rights and freedoms. All people must have full access to the courts and equal treatment under the law, with confidence that their grievances will be fairly adjudicated. The guilty must be justly punished for crimes they commit, the innocent must be protected, the rights of victims must be ensured, and the accused provided due process.”

She went on to say, “It is time for a change. I recognize that in Denton County, I may be considered an outsider of the current political establishment. But I believe this is an advantage, since a judge is to be fair and impartial. More importantly, most informed voters in Denton County vote for the individual who is best qualified for the job, regardless of party affiliation.”

In her announcement, Guerra discussed her qualifications. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas - Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. She attended Baylor Law School, where she graduated with honors. She has been practicing law since 1989, and has been certified as a specialist in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1995. Guerra formerly served as a Staff attorney for the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas and an Assistant Attorney General of Texas, managing a child support enforcement office in Corpus Christi, Texas. Guerra and her husband moved to Denton County in 2001, when she accepted a position with the Hammerle Finley Law Firm. She opened her private practice in Carrollton in June 2004.

Karen Guerra has been married to John Guerra for 33 years. John Guerra is also an attorney who is certified as a specialist in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, he has limited his practice to mediation of disputes. John and Karen Guerra are members of Holy Cross Church in The Colony. Their son, John, is a Solutions Engineer for Sprint and attends Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law during the evenings. Karen Guerra and her husband have one granddaughter, and they expect to be blessed with a grandson any day.

Karen Guerra will be running against the Republican incumbent Carmen Rivera-Worley during the November 2008 general election. Judge Rivera-Worley was appointed to the Court in June 2003 to fill the vacancy in the 16th District Court and ran unopposed in the 2004 election. Prior to Rivera-Worley’s appointment, Judge John Narsutis served as Judge of the 16th District Court for nearly 20 years. According to the 2007 annual poll of defense attorneys conducted by the Denton County Bar Association, Judge Rivera-Worley was the lowest ranked of all District Judges in Denton County. Out of 68 respondents to the poll, Worley was rated as poor or unacceptable by 17 respondents and was rated as fair by 22 respondents.

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Three Men on a Bridge (or "The Devil Made me Do It")

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/25 23:11:49 (4463 reads)

A couple of weeks ago, I was deeply angered by what I felt was an egregious abuse of power. The one who occupies the office of the President had abused his constitutional authority for pardons and reprieves for not only political purposes, but a new precedent-setting reason. He did it because he operates his office with disregard for the law of the land, and the constitution. He did it because his minion was acting under his own orders when he broke the law. He rewarded this perverse and dangerous act of loyalty with a hapless slap on the wrist.

Anger, being what it is – is not the healthy and optimal state of mankind. Anger is a natural and transitory emotion, which like the unstable nucleus of radioactive elements, cannot remain untransformed. The transformation and dissipation of anger can take many paths. It can be self-destructive. It can bring violence and rioting. It can be transferred to others. It can serve as a catalyst for change when channeled properly. Anger can not sit still. Anger requires motion. Suppressing this radioactive emotion only helps it reach critical mass.

So that Wednesday morning when I went to work, I knew that in order for me to feel better, I must do something. I had written emails, and called both of my Senators and my Representative, as well as posted an angry blog. It had failed to fully dissipate my wrath. I called up my good friend Stephen Webster to see if perhaps he would like to join me in a public protest. The Gonzomucker is always – ALWAYS up for a good protest. Later in the day, my good friend and former Congressional candidate Tim Barnwell, called me, and I asked if he would join us in our impromptu demonstration. Also willing to fight the good fight, he agreed to join us.

During my lunch hour, I drove to the craft store in the sweltering sticky humid heat of that July day. I picked up yards of white fabric, foot-high stencils, and spray paint. I drove home and quickly went to work in my garage. My sign would only say one word: “Impeach” – in foot-tall hot pink lettering. I covered the still-wet paint with another layer of cloth and rolled it back up, taking it back to work with me. The rest of the afternoon went quickly as it approached H-Hour: 5 PM.

The location we agreed on was the Fox Avenue bridge over I-35E through Lewisville, TX. The North-bound traffic backs up naturally at that point as folks rush home from work in Dallas and other points South, to their homes in Lewisville, Denton, and in-between.

The Fox Avenue bridge, for those not familiar with Lewisville, is the ONLY bridge over I-35E where it safe for a pedestrian to even walk, much less stand and hold a banner. On the South side of the bridge, there is a pedestrian / bicycle lane completely arched over with chain-link fencing. It has been that way since my wife was a child growing up in Lewisville.

As 5 PM had neared, the weather started to turn ominous. The sky darkened, and thunder could be heard and lightening seen in the distance. I momentarily doubted whether my accomplices would show. As it turned out, there was a few minutes of delay due to the traffic getting there, but it gave me time to set up. The breeze on top of the bridge felt cool and there was only the occasional rain drop. The plan was for us to stay there on the bridge holding our IMPEACH banner from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. Just an hour and a half. Just at the right time to share our message with a captive audience.

Webster arrived with his own banner, which itself was a veteran of another demonstration in another place, but with the same word: IMPEACH. Until Barnwell arrived, we held that one banner.

We waved at cars. We looked in the eyes of drivers. Most of them looked at us too. The reaction was surprisingly positive for an area that seems so firmly rooted in dogmatic conservatism.

We were not there very long before a Lewisville Police car rolled up on the West side of the bridge. Webster and I saw him coming, and we were both prepared for whatever might happen, but we would not be moved until 6:30 PM. As the officer got out of his car and began to walk the 20 yard or so to where we stood, people in the cars below honked and pointed, as if to warn us. We waved at them reassuringly.

The officer asked us what we were doing, though he could plainly see what we were doing. We tipped our sign back so that he could read it. He told us that someone had called in complaining that we were backing up traffic. All three of us smiled as we looked North and saw traffic backed up for as far as the eye could see. Traffic is ALWAYS backed up at this location at this hour. We were simply the entertainment.

He asked us who the sign referred to. I think that we were asked that question several times that day. The true answer is “everybody”. But specifically, the man who occupies the office of the Vice President, and the man who occupies the office of the President. That was the answer. The officer told us he didn’t see anything wrong with what we were doing, and that it was our “first amendment thing”. He said that his supervisor would be along shortly and that they would be on their way.

We continued to get honks and waves, and thumbs-up, and woops from the traffic down below.

When the supervisor showed up, he and the other officer had a quick conversation rehashing what we had told him. They told us they had no problem with us being up there as long as we were not throwing things off, or attaching signs to the bridge. We told them that our action was non-violent, and that the sign would be the only attraction. They left. As they drove off, an officer flashed us a bona-fide peace sign with a smile on his face.

Tim showed up, and we unfurled the other IMPEACH banner, with Tim holding one end of each banner, and Stephen and I on the ends. With our free hands, we waved. When trucks would blast their horns, or someone would give us a thumbs-up or peace sign, we would return the salute.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there were a few detractors. Yes, there are grown adults here in North Texas who think that sticking up their middle finger is an appropriate means of civil discourse. I expected it. Some of the more mature dissenting motorists gave a thumbs-down, or a disapproving wag of the index finger. But we were not there to transfer our anger, but rather to turn that anger into action. We did not repay unkind gestures with more unkind gestures. Just peace signs and waves. And an ever-broadening smile.

It became surreal up there, on the bridge in our chain-link faraday cage, as dark clouds moved around us and we could see and hear storms. But our bridge was dry. The cars below us were wet. We could look down the road and see where the rain was falling on either side. But we stood in the cool breeze dry. At one point, it started to sprinkle on us, as if to test our resolve. Stephen and I didn’t care whether we stood there in a torrential downpour or not. We were not going to leave that spot until 6:30 PM.

My wife called me to see if I was going to make myself a lightening rod. I reassured her that we were protected, and that I really didn’t give a rat’s ass anyway. I asked if she would mind driving under and taking a photo while we had the banners out. Being the patient saint that she is, she agreed.

It did not start raining on us again until 6:28 PM. By 6:30, when we packed up, it was raining. I was slightly frustrated that someone might get the impression that we were leaving because of the rain. I had a dinner date at 7 PM, and I needed to leave by 6:30. So I did.

I hope that you saw us. You’ll probably see us again, but maybe with a few more people next time. Hopefully, it caused you to think, and discuss with your family and friends, whether or not it had occurred to you before.

If you believe that America is a nation of laws and not of men. If you believe that our rights are granted to us not by the government, but by our creator. If you believe that the system of checks and balances that has preserved our Republic for over 200 years should be protected, then I believe there is no other conclusion to make other than that our top priority at this point should be to stop tyranny before it can take root.

If you have anger, then do something. Call or write your representative and senators today.

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Mr. Way-too-proud-of-Texas-guy

Miscellaneous
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/25 19:04:10 (1547 reads)

I love the Bud Light real men of Genius ads. I was driving to work the other day when I heard the one entitled "Mr. Way-too-proud-of-Texas-guy." I laughed my head off because I knew I was so busted. (Regular readers may have seen a picture of my house I posted recently)

At any rate, I knew I had to find it so you could listen, and I couldn't wait to blog it. Turns out that fellow Texas blogger Travis Fell at Voice in the Wilderness beat me to it.

Listen to it by clicking here

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Updated: Flower Mound Police Officer Seriously Injured in Motorcycle Crash

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/25 18:10:02 (2914 reads)

Flower Mound police officer Kevin Schmidt, was seriously injured this morning in a collision with a 1999 silver 4-door Toyota Camry at the intersection of Cross Timbers Road and Timber Valley. The accident was reported at approximately 10:04 AM.

CareFlite took officer Schmidt to John Peter Smith Hospital, where his condition is now listed as stable.


The driver of Toyota was not injured.

Officer Schmidt has been with the Flower Mound Police Department for nine years, five of those as a motor officer. Officer Schmidt is a decorated FMPD officer and a 2002 recipient of the Officer of the Year Award.

According to a news statement issued by the Town of Flower Mound, the incident is still under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety with the assistance of the Lewisville Police Department.

He was attempting to stop a traffic violator at the time of the accident. A 1999 Toyota Camry turned in front of him as he headed east-bound.

A fund has been established at Denton Area Teachers Credit Union (DATCU) to accept donations to help his family defray any costs. You can donate to the Kevin Schmidt fund at any area DATCU location.

Please join us in keeping Officer Schmidt in your thoughts and prayers. We wish him a speedy and full recovery, and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

UPDATE - 7/29/07
A "get well" page has been set up for Officer Schmidt here:
http://kevinschmidt.getwellpages.com/

The site lets users send virtual flowers, and posts some daily updates on his status:

Saturday, July 28th 2007
Kevin is having a great day today! He has started breathing on his own a little bit, and appears to be more alert and aware of those around him!
Friday, July 27th 2007
Kevin continues to show great signs of improvement. While his condition is still considered by doctors to be serious, but stable, Kevin has demonstrated signs of being alert. When the doctors visited him this afternoon, he was able to open his eyes as well as move his legs and feet. The swelling in his brain has dropped to normal levels. (4:10 c.s.t)

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YouTube / CNN Debates - Perfect Format

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2007/7/23 20:33:12 (1980 reads)

MamaSk8z and I are just wrapping up watching the Democratic Presidential Candidates debate, based on questions from John Q. Public submitted via YouTube.

For those who have been living in a cave for the last few years, YouTube is an online service that allows viewers to upload home-made videos.

Up to this point, presidential debates have been based on questions by professional journalists, who have a stake in couching their questions very carefully.

The YouTube questions were downright BLUNT, and to the point. Many kudos to ALL of the candidates for their courage in taking on these questions, and to CNN for choosing this format.

MamaSk8z and I think this format is perfect, and it has to be this way from now on. You hear that, CNN? You did it right. When we finally whittle the field down to our Democratic and Republican nominees, it should ONLY be this way. No negotiations, no boundaries - just YouTube questions from regular citizens. If you can't take the heat, just bow out.

In fact, all candidates for federal election should have to go through this.

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