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Headline of the day so far…

No, it’s not about Justin Bieber.

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Obituary of the week so far

Don’t you wish you’d known this guy?


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Headline of the day so far, part 2

The fact that the Austin American-Statesman has undoubtedly broken wind new ground in headline-writing cannot be ignored.

h/t: WhiskeyDent

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Headline of the day so far

…is, without a doubt, this one.

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Congressional candidates: you’re slackers

This guy’s running for Congress in four different states this election.

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Some people say we no longer need labor unions…

…but I beg to differ. For one thing, they can prevent employers from doing something like this.


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Headline of the day so far

Today’s Headline Of The Day is deserving of the award in at least two ways I can see right off the bat.

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Wendy Davis’ loot

As it always to be expected when the news is good, the fundraising previews for both Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott were out last night, which is a day early. The news on both sides was, indeed, good.

Abbott’s no slouch in the fundraising department. No doubt he has a lot of cash – significantly more in the bank than Davis does, in fact.

But the real news is on Wendy Davis’ side: Not only did she slightly out-fundraise Abbott during the reporting period ($12.2 million for Davis vs. $11.5 for Abbott), but she raised it from almost 72,000 individual donors. That donor number is at a level I cannot even comprehend, and is very good news for the Davis effort. She’ll be able to return time after time to those small dollar donors and they’ll keep giving – which is something one cannot often say about the mega-donors.

But the proverbial ink hadn’t dried on the announcement tweets about all this, before the Republicans began howling about Davis’ “fuzzy math.” Their claim is that since $3.5 million of Davis’ fundraising went into something called the “Texas Victory Committee, Inc.,” that she shouldn’t have counted it toward her fundraising.

The Texas Victory Committee is an account set up by the Davis Campaign to raise money into, the expenditures of which will eventually be shared between the Davis campaign itself, and a coordinated effort for Democrats, presumably led by Battleground Texas. (Battleground Texas, incidentally, reported raising an additional $1.8 million in contributions on their own, which the Davis Campaign did not count toward their own fundraising totals)

Here’s why the Republican claims of “fuzzy math” are dead wrong:

Wendy Davis’ campaign raised the entirety of the money going into the Victory Committee. That’s a financial structure they chose from the start, in part to track the funding of coordinated efforts. She was the draw at the events raising the money – people put money in the till to see Davis. To get an idea of how this works, and to demonstrate the extent to which Davis’ efforts are absolutely central to Victory Committee fundraising, take a look at a typical invitation — from Wendy Davis — to a Victory Fund event:

11.19 Beaumont Invite

The typical way campaigns have historically funded coordinated efforts is to raise the money into their own campaign, then write a check out of their campaign down the road to the coordinated campaign.  The Davis campaign is instead raising money for these and other purposes into a separate entity from the start.

Republicans would have you believe that it’s disingenuous for Wendy Davis to count money from a coordinated campaign as her own fundraising. But they’re the ones being disingenuous, because Victory Fund money isn’t going from a coordinated campaign to Wendy Davis – rather it’s money from Wendy Davis to a coordinated campaign.

So to review the Republicans’ claim: it’s dishonest for Wendy Davis to claim money Wendy Davis raised, and which will ultimately go toward electing Wendy Davis, as part of Wendy Davis’ fundraising totals. Tell me again who’s using the fuzzy math? It makes me dizzy.

If Greg Abbott’s team doesn’t want Wendy Davis to claim as part of her fundraising totals that money which she is contributing to a coordinated effort, then Greg Abbott should subtract from his totals whatever amount he anticipates he will eventually contribute to the Republican coordinated effort. If, in the alternative, he is raising money directly into his coordinated effort, as Davis has done, he should have counted it as part of his total – assuming he hasn’t co-mingled that money with that of other Republican candidates who are also contributing to the Republican effort.

The punchline to all this is that the Republicans didn’t need to obscure reality on this – the fact remains that Abbott still has a hefty financial advantage on Davis – the man has more than $20 million in the bank. They should have been crowing about that, instead of confusing people, based solely on the financial structure the Davis’ campaign chose to raise money into.

And no matter what the Republicans complain about, Davis’ fundraising totals erase the one remaining doubt that the race for Governor will, indeed, be a real one.

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It’s that time again!

Every January 15th, I make a special toast: happy birthday, Edward Blumingfield, wherever you are!

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So, you think Fox News Network is bad?

Yeah, me too. But at least they’re not this bad.

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Headline of the day so far

This woman would do well in Texas politics.

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Further signs that wacky Texas politicos are falling behind

Honestly, one of the few things Texas politics has had going for it in recent years is the laughs.

Which is why it totally disturbs me when there are clear signs that we are falling behind. Our home-grown wackjobs are increasingly not up to par these days.

Which is why I want you to meet Mark “Coonrippy” Brown. He’s running for governor of Tennessee (as a Republican, of course). He, like so many other Republicans, is concerned about our God-given Constitutional right to keep Rebekah, his pet raccoon. Apparently the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency took Rebekah away after she…um…did what raccoons do – attacked the chickens at the neighborhood high school. So he’s running for governor to right this wrong. They will pry his pet raccoon from his cold dead fingers.

No word yet on how ol’ Coonrippy plans to blame this on Obama, but I’m totally looking forward to it. There are even signs that Coonrippy’s catching on, since the morning The Daily Caller endorsed him.

If you’re not entertained yet, you’re almost dead to me, but I’ll give you one more chance: Coonrippy also makes videos. Here’s one of him during one of his favorite activities – showering with Rebekah The Chicken-killing Raccoon:

Texas politicos: tighten up your act, before it’s too late!

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Meanwhile, in baseball news…

this happened. And it’s also our headline of the day so far.

[h/t: WhiskeyDent]

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Texas news briefs

Republican primary for Lt. Governor heating up

The four Republican candidates for Lt. Governor have recently been raising the stakes, each in his own bid to attract an increasingly-conservative base of Republican primary voters.

After State Senator Dan Patrick last week accused his three opponents of being soft on not wanting to throw Latinos out of Texas fast enough to suit him, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, tastefully dressed entirely in Confederate flags, responded by explaining that the U.S. should expel several other states from the union for having the nerve to not tend to vote for candidates like Jerry Patterson.

Unwilling to be left behind, yesterday at a Fort Worth-area Tea Party meeting, incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst called for the impeachment of President Obama, explaining that Obama had disregarded Federal law, apparently referring to a little-known provision making it illegal to be elected President if you’re not a white guy.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples quickly countered, however, when he accused his opponents of being soft on family values and traditional marriage, after pulling a mayonnaise jar out of his brief case containing what he claimed was an actual severed penis of a gay guy.

To the delight of the crowd, all four candidates then went into the parking lot to kill people who vaguely reminded them of terrorists and/or can spell the word “terrorist.”

The next meeting of the four candidates is scheduled for this Thursday at a Houston Tea Party meeting, where attendance is expected to be high because of the raffle drawing for used Ted Cruz sniffable boxer shorts, followed by a highly-anticipated scientist torturing contest.

Austin’s premiere music festival drowns

After a foot of rain fell on Central Texas Saturday night forced the cancelation of the last day of the Austin City Limits music fest, local curmudgeons were left scrambling Sunday for something to complain about.

“This has created scheduling difficulties,” one Zilker Park neighborhood resident said. “I had set aside time on my schedule Sunday morning to complain on Facebook about complete strangers parking in front of my house, and I’d planned to devote my entire evening to repeatedly calling 9-11 to complain about the noise. As it turned out, I was reduced to watching reruns of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ with my wife, who I detest” he added.

Local cranks are, however, finding a silver lining in the news. Weather forecasts calling for more rain this week have many optimistic that they’ll be able to complain about the rain, which they previously complained Austin wasn’t getting enough of.

Central Texans signing up for affordable health care, while opposing Obamacare

Demand is high in Central Texas to sign up for affordable health care, after new exchanges went live this month.

“Man, this Affordable Health Care Act is bad-ass,” said one man shopping for health insurance. “It’s a damn sight better than that horrible Obamacare I keep hearing about!”

One woman explained that she has previously been unable to get health insurance at any cost, due to a pre-existing condition. “Now that the health care law is in effect, I can stay healthy without going broke, which is important because if I’m not healthy, I can’t continue to actively support Ted Cruz’ efforts to defund Obamacare,” she explained.

Recent polling indicates that Republicans in particular support the Affordable Health Care Act in much higher percentages than they do Obamacare.

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Wendy Davis needs your cash

In my almost-25 years in politics and government, I’ve never seen anything in Texas like the excitement for Wendy Davis.

If this were shaping up to be a typical election, and Wendy Davis was shaping up to be typical Democratic nominee for Governor, I’d be ready to throw in the towel – Democrats would suffer the same typical result.

But this isn’t the typical election. And Wendy Davis damn sure isn’t the typical candidate; she’s extraordinary. I worked with the Ann Richards campaign back in the day. Governor Richards finished with a ton of enthusiasm, but she didn’t have it from the starting gate like Wendy does. Indeed, she started out her race for Governor 27 percentage points down in the polls.

Let me throw cold water on things: Wendy can’t do this. If you stand still and wait for her to win this election, you’ll be disappointed.

The good news: we – together – can do this. Not just Wendy alone, but all of us.

Texas Democrats have had candidates for Governor who were solid on policy. We’ve had candidates who were flush with campaign money. And we’ve had candidates who were charismatic.

Wendy Davis is the first candidate since Ann Richards who has all three. That’s why she can win.

But we all have to help her with that pesky middle thing – raising the funds necessary for her to tell voters what she stands for. Texas has more expensive media markets than any other state, so it’s impossible to compete without a ton of money.

Today, the leading progressive blogs in Texas have teamed up to help raise money for Wendy. I have no idea how I got on the “leading” list, but I’m happy to play along. There have been Democratic statewide candidates who couldn’t raise money if you gave ‘em a gun, a ski mask, and a list of convenience stores, but Wendy Davis will put in the hard work. Meanwhile, we – you and I – have to put in some cash.

I’ll do my share. Thousands of Texans already have. Will you do yours? Please click on the below gizmo to pitch in right now.

Goal Thermometer


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