Monday, January 27, 2014

Republican Lite Gov Debate Snap Judgement

After watching the freak show that took place, I feel guilty for not having paid for a ticket.

For those able to keep your dinner down and managing to avoid a trip to the great white porcelain bowl, kudos.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

She's Gotten Under Their Skin

Wendy Davis must really have gotten under the skin of the Republicans.  They've attacked her bio, now riding in on his hobby horse is conservative porn pusher James O'Keefe.  I say conservative porn pusher, because his heavily edited videos send Republicans into fits of orgasmic ecstasy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Defense's Opening Statement: Race for Bexar County DA

Bexar County District Attorney

Primary Outlook: Lean LaHood

General Election Outlook: Republican Favored

Bexar County DA.  Democrats have been trying to knock incumbent DA Susan Reed (R) out of this job for several elections.  Reed has held this post since her election in 1998 when she beat District Judge Mary Roman (D).  Reed won that year 57% - 43%.

4 years later Reed went unchallenged by Democrats.  In hindsight you have to scratch your head and wonder why?  Democrats won an open Republican district court bench and nearly swept the County Courts-at-Law benches winning 10 out of 12.  In addition, Democrats beat the incumbent District Clerk, who was the head of the Republican's 2002 campaign.

Fast forward another 4 years and Democrats did challenge, although not wholeheartedly.  Reed beat back a local attorney 61% - 39%.  This was the same year Democrats captured 4 district court benches.  Go figure.

Arriving at the year that shall not be named, Democrats gave Reed her toughest race to date.  Attorney Nico LaHood held Reed to her lowest margin yet 54% - 46%.

Who's Running?

Returning for a second try is attorney Nico LaHood.  Many Democrats remember him from his race in 2010 and his better than expected showing.  He has a background story that is a double-edged sword.  He was arrested for selling drugs back in 1994 and 2 years later his brother was murdered in his parent's driveway.  He's been a defendant and a victim.

Challenging LaHood in the primary is attorney Therese Huntzinger.  This is Huntzinger's second run for office, having previously challenged Judge Carmen Kelsey in 1998 as a Republican.  Huntzinger is openly gay and if she won would likely be thrust into the spotlight.  Her previous run-in with the law was a DWI in 1982.

Financial as of latest filing:
Huntzinger: Contributions: $27,110; Expenditures: $6,300.55; CoH: $17,777.94
LaHood: Contributions: $111,170; Expenditures: $11,467.39; CoH: $99,702.61

Huntzinger: Website, Facebook
LaHood: Facebook

Overall we give this primary race 3 peppers:

1) Race.  Unlike the primary for County Judge, this race hasn't produced any fireworks.  Still it is a countywide race for the top lawyer in the county which means it will make news.

2) Money.  LaHood clearly has the edge in money and if he wins the primary will definitely need it for the fall.

3) Endorsements.  How often do Spurs players get involved in politics?

Lahood's name ID combined with his money should be enough to carry him through the primary.  He also brings backing from some of the Spurs players including Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.  In addition he seems to have consolidated establishment support from people like State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Congressman Joaquin Castro.

Huntzinger did however score the endorsement of the Express-News.  If she can turn that endorsement into some campaign cash, she might have a chance to beat LaHood.  The other factor that is in her favor is newness.  She's the new face might be able to make the argument of not having lost to Susan Reed.  She might also get some cash infusion if the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund endorses her.

All things considered, if I had to choose, I'd say right now LaHood wins the primary.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

44 HD Films a Second

One of our local monopolies, Time Warner Cable, advertises about the internet speeds it offers on its website.

Time Warner's Ultimate (i.e., highest level) package allows a download speed up to 50 Mbps.  The Everyday Low Price package (i.e., lowest level) allows a download speed of up to 2 Mbps.

Ignoring the fact that this speed can graciously be called Stone Age, it will get worse.

A little background...

Going from smallest to largest: byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte, petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte, and yottabyte.

For this discussion we only need the first 5.  From the BBC:
The "fastest ever" broadband speeds have been achieved in a test in London, raising hopes of more efficient data transfer via existing infrastructure. 

Alcatel-Lucent and BT said speeds of 1.4 terabits per second were achieved during their joint test - enough to send 44 uncompressed HD films a second.
Like any good monopoly, Time Warner and all the other internet providers will throw up some smoke screen and make sure that consumers in the U.S. pay outrageous prices for slow internet speed.

According to Ookla, the United States has the 31st fastest internet speed.  We come right after Russia (30) and ahead of Israel (32).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

When will the Adkisson tape surface?

There is an advantage to having been around one place long enough, especially in politics.  Hanging around long enough you know where the bodies are buried.  In addition, you also build a long memory and can recall certain items that others have since forgotten.

In this instance, we're waiting for damaging video of Tommy Adkisson to surface and come back to haunt him.  Either on YouTube or in a campaign advertisement.

There exists a video out there that if used could very seriously damage his campaign as well as any ambition he has to run for something else.

The tape is a number of years old, but is probably still a potent weapon.

I guess the questions is which local news station will be the first to search their archives and strike gold?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

March Primary Prediction: Tommy will get his Adkisson kicked by Nelson Wolff

Today incumbent Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff kicked off his campaign.

Today I'd like to make a prediction: Tommy will get his Adkisson kicked by Nelson Wolff

For reasons beyond anyone's comprehension, Precinct 4 County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson (D) is challenging incumbent County Judge Nelson Wolff (D).  (Personally, having met Tommy on numerous occasions, I like the guy, but really fail to see how he thinks challenging Nelson is a good idea)

Word is that among Adkisson's reasons for the primary challenge is he doesn't like the way he's treated at the courthouse, he thinks has been there too long, and he thinks Nelson is setting it up so that the job of county judge gets handed over to Precinct 3 County Commissioner Kevin Wolff (R).  No doubt Adkisson will have some legitimate reasons for wanting the top job, but just to go through these 3...

1) If you don't like the way you're treated, do something to change it.  If he's referring to the way the other commissioners treat him, does he really think that if he became county judge that would suddenly all change?

2) This is probably the stupidest reason.  Nelson has been there too long?  Nelson was appointed County Judge in 2001.  Tommy was elected to Pct. 4 Commissioner in 1998 and has been serving since 1999.

3) Nelson preparing the way for Kevin.  I'll confess that I don't know all the rules regarding vacancies on the Commissioners Court, but Nelson was appointed to County Judge after Cyndi Taylor Krier (R) resigned.  If is re-elected and resigns mid-term, the Commissioners (I'm assuming) would get to appoint his replacement.  I understand the Commissioners might show deference to Nelson's pick, but I can't imagine 3 Democrats appointing a Republican.  Especially given that fact, that if Susan Reed is re-elected to another term, that would mean the DA, Sheriff, and County Judge positions would all be held by Republicans.  Democrats would still have a majority on the Commissioners Court (if they hold Precinct 4), but think about the fundraising advantage for Republicans and the fact that those 3 Democrats (assuming Pct 4 is a hold) would have to go to the primary voters and defend appointing a Republican.

4) A fourth reason that Adkisson has been hitting Wolff on has been party loyalty. At first glance this is a pretty good line of attack for Adkisson.  At first glance.  However, Adkisson had, as a political consultant for a number of years, JoAnn Ramon working for him and running his campaigns.  She has worked for Democrats and Republicans.  And now Adkisson's campaign manager is Christian Anderson.  Like Ramon, Anderson has worked for Democrats and Republicans.  So yes, that loyalty attack is pretty good at first glance.  But when looking at who Adkisson has employed to help run his campaigns, suddenly party loyalty gets a little fuzzy.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jerry Jones: My Management Sucks, So Expand the Playoffs

Dallas Cowboys Owner, President, and General Manager Jerry Jones has come up with a new idea for the playoffs: expand the number of teams.  (Side question, how many titles is enough to satisfy his ego?)

As the CBS article points out:
And before you jump all over Jones for simply looking for a playoff loophole for the Cowboys, it's worth pointing out that even if the NFC had two more wild-card teams the last three seasons, Dallas still would have been on the outside looking in because of its middle-of-the-road record.
That being said, I can't help but think this is still Jones looking for a way to make up for his sucky management of the Cowboys.  Like Standard Oil, Jones has spread his tentacles into nearly every aspect of the team and to the detriment of the team.  To put it in a more modern context, he came in like a wrecking ball.

In 2012, PPP did a poll that included some tidbits on Jones:
Texas voters have a very negative opinion of Jerry Jones, with only 14% rating him favorably to 48% who hold a negative opinion. I'm pretty sure that -34 spread represents the worst poll numbers we've ever found for someone in Texas.
Prediction: If it was Jerry Jones versus Wendy Davis in 2014...Davis in a landslide.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ted Cruz' Brokeback Mountain Moment

Apparently Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Crazyville) is having troubling quitting Canada.

From the CBC (emphasis mine):
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz vowed months ago to renounce his Canadian citizenship by the end of 2013. It's now 2014, and the Calgary-born Republican lawmaker is still a dual citizen.

"I have retained counsel that is preparing the paperwork to renounce the citizenship," the junior Texas senator, who's eyeing a run for president in 2016, said in a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News.

He didn't dispute holding dual citizenship: "Not at this point," Cruz told the paper.

That's confounding Canadian immigration lawyers. Renouncing Canadian citizenship, they say, is a simple, quick and straightforward process — there's even an online, four-page PDF form on the Government of Canada website to get the ball rolling without the help of lawyers.

"Unless there's a security issue that hasn't been disclosed, unless there's a mental health issue that hasn't been disclosed, there's no reason for anything other than a lickety-split process to occur," Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration attorney, said in an interview Friday.

"If he's attempting to bring our system into disrepute by suggesting it's lengthy and complex, it's just not true. Revocation is one of the fastest processes in our system."
In case you're curious, a link to the actual form is here.