Best Political Ad Ever? WTFU2012

I think this one literally just took the cake!! It ties our frustration with elections to the approaching Holiday season. And, like every movie ever filmed, it stars Samuel L Jackson!! It was done by the Jewish Council on Education and Research, a Pro-Obama Super-PAC.

And yes, the curse words are bleeped.

Houston’s newest Interstate

Houston has always had something of an “optics” problem, at least when it comes to maps. People read statistics about the city, and they read things like “4th largest city in the US” or “largest city in Texas”. But if they pull up a Google Map of the region, it doesn’t appear to be a big city, especially when compared to it’s northern neighbor Dallas-Ft. Worth. Much of this is because Houston has fewer interstates than D/FW, San Antonio, or even Little Rock, Arkansas.

NO, not fewer freeways… fewer interstates.

The D/FW metroplex has seven interstates. 35-East, 35- West, 30, 20, 45, 635 and 820. Up until recently Houston only had three official insterstates… 10, 45 and 610. The other main roads in the city are freeways like State Highway 288 and US Highway 59.

But that optic has now changed forever on our maps. US-59 north of 610 has now been co-designated as Interstate 69. This is only the second step in building the I-69 corridor, which will run all the way from Canada to Mexico, and is expected to be a very important trade route for North America. Unfortunately due to slow action in Congress (even by many Republicans in Congress how have LONG supported the project) and a tough economic climate, the build-out of I-69 is still years to come, but some important work on the corridor has began to pick up pace.

Within the city of Houston, I-69’s impact will be “minimal”… new road signs, and probably more traffic. Many also expect there to be an increased economic impact with the added visibility of having another interstate run through the city. But the long-term effect of this will be huge. Even once US-59 from Mexico to Houston is upgraded, it will allow for easier travel and increased capacity between Mexico and the Gulf Coast. Both the Houston energy sector and the Port will see benefits from the project. I-69 will also provide Houstonians faster car travel to cities like Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit and the East Coast.

For today, I-69 isn’t much more than some road signs, and more prominence on the road atlas. But for Houston, it is plowing the way to a more prosperous future for all. Look out!!

Paul Ryan now “supports” repeal of DADT

In an interview with Alex Saenz of WPTV Miami, GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was asked directly about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and whether or not he thinks it should be reinstated. Back in 2010, Ryan voted against the repeal of DADT.

When asked if this action should be reversed, here was Ryan’s answer…

Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves. So I think this issue is past us, it’s done, and I think we need to move on.”

Very interesting take on the matter. Does this mean that he now agrees with President Obama that the repeal of DADT is a good thing? Good to know that Mr. Ryan does support of of the President’s policies, even if he didn’t have the courage to vote for them in the first place.

But how will the base of his party take this open endorsement of LGBT equality in our nation’s military? We’ll find out soon.

Mitt Romney’s “Hand Up”

From some of his recent comments, it would seem that Mr. Romney isn’t too fond of what he calls “the 47 percent”… the portion of the country that doesn’t pay income taxes. This is a much, much broader group than the GOP candidate makes them out to be, including veterans, Medicare and Social Security recipients. But yes, part of that presumed 47 percent would be families on welfare.

You know… families like the Romneys.

In a fascinating interview from 1962, Mitt Romney’s mother Lenore Romney discusses why her husband George would make a great Governor for the state of Michigan. She lists several reasons, one of which is the fact that George was on “welfare relief” as a young child. After his family fled from Mexico to the United States, our government actually helped the Mormon refugees by establishing a special welfare program for them.

But of course George Romney wasn’t on welfare forever. Like many Americans who fall on hard times, he and his family did not stay complacent. He worked in various fields from carpentry to farming. He also had the advantage of falling in love with LeNore Lafount, whom came from a family of considerable means and political connection. George even followed her to Washington DC after he had tried his hand at college in the West. These are the factors that turned the Romney story from that of welfare to a prominent executive by the time Mitt Romney was born. At its heart, the Romney story is a great American success. But somewhere along the way, Mitt Romney seems to have forgotten that. Hopefully a clip of his mother could remind him…

GOP Congressman Peter King’s “Fact-Free Zone”

On CNN’s Starting Point, GOP Congressman Peter King once again proved that he operates in a “Fact-Free Zone” when it comes to President Obama’s Foriegn Policy record. When pressed by anchor Soledad O’Brien to explain why thought Obama was apologizing for America, he continued to deny his actual speech content. O’Brien stated that and other independent fact-checkers were all in agreement that Obama has never apologized abroad.

O’Brien: Everyone keeps talking about this ‘Apology Tour’ and apologies from the President…

King: It is

O’Brien: And I’m trying to find the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” in any of those speeches. I have the text of all those speeches in front of me. [It’s in] none of those speeches at all…

King: But Soledad…

O’Brien: And if you go to, they’ll say the same thing…

King: Right…

O’Brien: They’ve fact-check the whole thing and they say this whole theory of apologies is…

King: I don’t care what fact-check says. I don’t care!

O’Brien Well ok you may not care, but they [are] a fact-checker.

King: But no, what I’m saying is [this]… Any common-sense interpretation of speeches shows the President is apologizing for the American position.

Umm, ok Congressman. But he never acutally said it. To most people, you have to use the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” or else it’s not an apology. Your facts come up as completely FALSE. Yet another Republican talking point… dismantled.

As entertaining as Peter King can be on the political talk show circuit, this interview reveals a systemic problem. If he’s perfectly ok saying that he doesn’t care about facts, then why is he in Congress? American taxpayers pay him a handsome 6-figure salary of over $160,000 per year. He has a top-of-the-line health plan and likely will retire with a pension. And beyond all of that, we pay him to make critical decisions that affect virtually every aspect of American life. What we don’t pay him to do is simply ignore facts and fact-checkers like they don’t exist.

Pennsylvania Voter ID law: big developments

The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court has vacated the controversial Voter ID law, and is now sending it back to the lower courts for further review. This law would have taken aggressive steps to alienate any voter who could not produce a valid, current state ID with an expiration date. Even a stay of this law through November is a huge “win” for those against Voter Suppression.

More info coming soon.

The ABCs of the GOP: N is for…


There is no doubt that Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their campaign staff are working very hard to achieve their goal. The amount of intense dedication it takes to run for President is indescribable… tireless days and nights on the trail, meeting literally tens of thousands of people.

But clearly, some things are NOT working in the Romney campaign, or in the 2012 version of the Republican Party. The discipline and unity of their messaging has been tested during the current campaign cycle, and so far, they’ve failed almost every test. Of course considering how many lies the GOP has had to contrive this year, it shouldn’t be a surprise that staying on message is a challenge.

Romney has had a fair share of gaffes along the way… “I’m not concerned about the very poor”, Corporations are people, my friend” and of course when he said the perhaps ill-fated phrase “there are a lot of reasons NOT to elect me“. Umm, ok… if you say so.

But of course everyone makes gaffes. We all say things we didn’t quite mean to say, and especially having to be in the public eye 24/7, it’s bound to happen. But the Romney campaign is about more than gaffes. There is a serious issue with negligence of the work that they are doing. Many of the critical decisions that they have made have turned out to be very damaging. Some think that they’ve caused more harm than the Obama campaign ever could.

Take the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This convention was supposed to be all about Mitt Romney. Each speaker selected had a primary objective of showing their party faithful (and the American people) why Mr. Romney should be elected President. Yet, they had a barrage of speakers like Chris Christie and Rick Santorum that barely even mentioned Romney, if at all. Plenty of reasons not to like Barack Obama, but very little positives to say for the ACTUAL party nominee. It should be no surprise that Romney received no convention bounce at all after the RNC, given the negligence shown by his leaders to let such under-whelming surrogates take the lead. And of course… this doesn’t even begin to mention the Clint Eastwood “empty chair” fiasco.

And then of course the recent foriegn policy blunder made by the GOP nominee virtually speaks for itself. Political pundits from both left and right have come out to criticize the Romney campaign’s swift and judgemental response to a situation they were not informed of. The sad part of it is, without that huge misstep, the GOP may have been able to capitalize on the a difficult time for the Obama doctrine by simply remaining silent until the facts were known. But clearly, they blew it.

This continued pattern of negligence has left the top of the GOP ticket very weak… perhaps too weak to be able to withstand another big misstep. Which is why the timing of a very revealing leak from Mother Jones couldn’t be worse if you’re a Romney surrogate or supporter. In the video, Mitt Romney is caught on tape describing all Obama voters as “dependent upon government for food, housing and health care.” He literally depicts all supporters of the President as lower-class voters who are lazy and can’t fend for (or think for) themselves. It’s a shocking comment that is sure to garner the attention of voters through November…

But in this particular case, none of the negligent opinions expressed here can be blamed on campaign staff or fixed by “re-tooling”. These comments all come from Romney himself… so convincing that it’s hard to believe they could ever be a gaffe. Negligence, indeed.