Saturday, August 30, 2008

More anti-Palin absurdity

Wow, some people are really gnashing their teeth over Sarah Palin. You don't have to go far on the net to find someone frothing at the mouth about how bad a choice they think this was. Of course, these people were never going to vote for McCain anyway, but they'll sound off on his choice anyway. My personal favorites are the ones who say they always voted Republican until now, but after Palin was picked, they are instantly going to switch to Obama. Yeah, sure you were.

Today's entry comes from "overgold", commenting at the unwanted daily:
What a joke,senator Magoo just picked THE least qualified person available.Do you Rush clones really honestly believe that the twenty month governor of the 17th most populous state is qualified to be one frail heartbeat away from being president?What about Kay Bailey,Condi Rice,or Elizabeth Dole?
I smell flop sweat.

Actually, I believe the least qualified person in this race is running on the other ticket. And by continuing to point the finger at Ms. Palin, you're pointing three more back at your own guy. And as for the other choices mentioned: no, no, and no thanks. Ms. Palin energizes the base in a way none of the other options mentioned do.

And if you're smelling flop sweat, it must be coming from your own party, given the nastiness directed toward Ms. Palin in the comments I've seen.

Friday, August 29, 2008

By far the dumbest anti-Palin comment I've seen

First of all, congrats to Governor Palin. I think she'll be an excellent VP.

Now then...

They say there aren't any stupid questions, but good grief, are there ever stupid blog comments.

(Like yours, Snowed? No, my comments are always extremely well thought-out. So there. :P)

Anyway, are they ever in abundance today with regards to Sarah Palin. The worst offender so far has to be Jean, comment #106 in this thread:

When John McCain dies before he finishes a term…

Great, we’ve got Miss Almost Alaska and she’s Assembly of God. She’ll probably round up Mitt and the rest of the Mormons for a little stay at Gitmo until they admit they belong to a cult.
Theocracy Accomplished.

Wow. Yeah, Jean, you found us out. We're out to round up all those pesky Mormons. That's the main plank in our platform, you know. You'll be able to hear all about it during the convention next week, but only if you're wearing your tin foil hat whenever Ms. Palin mentions "fighting corruption". That's really a code, of course. Don't want to tip our hand too much.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

KEYE Lays Off Talent

KEYE, in a continual attempt to improve its news ratings, probably isn't going to help itself by unceremoniously letting several people go, including Byron Webre and Elizabeth Dannheim. I don't believe Mr. Webre is still on the air this week (yeah, I wasn't watching KEYE either), but I felt bad for Ms. Dannheim, as she had to go on the air this morning knowing that she was being forced out. And she remained chipper as ever.

KEYE, with this cost-cutting move, is showing itself to be not much better than pretty much every station in Dallas. Sure, they have the right, but they also need to consider their viewers.

Update: Mrs. Snowed reports that Byron Webre did appear on KEYE Thursday evening. He, however, did not look very chipper.

Capital Metro's Continuing Letdowns

This story (courtesy Keath Milligan) should come as a surprise to no one: Capital Metro's much-ballyhooed commuter rail line is behind schedule. It seems that two of the nine stations along the route are not finished yet. One hasn't even been started yet.

Here's a thought: let's delay the approved/scheduled fare hikes for just as long as the commuter rail opening is delayed!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

HD-47: Candidate Q&A

Once again, the best election information for my local area has been found in the Community Impact Newspaper (SW Austin edition), which offers what appeared to me to be a non-partisan Q&A with the two candidates for HD-47, Donna Keel and Valinda Bolton. (It's this kind of thing that could possibly help right the sinking ship known as the Statesman...) I will fault the paper for promising extended interviews at their website; the interviews appeared to be exactly the same as the print edition.

I was impressed with Ms. Keel's answers; she clearly expressed the concepts she would address as representative (specifically, introducing a foreign concept known as "efficiency" into the state's budget and voter rolls, making health care costs more transparent, reducing state insurance mandates, etc.).

Ms. Bolton seemed to dance her way around several of the questions (particularly the toll road one, for which she spent ten sentences saying absolutely nothing), and I don't know what she was thinking when she said, regarding CHIP, "we have the highest percentage of uninsured children in the country in Texas because we have such a large population of children" [emphasis mine]. The logical leap in that sentence astounds me...we have more children; therefore, a higher percentage are uninsured? A higher number, probably, but in saying a higher percentage, Ms. Bolton is demonstrating a misunderstanding of 6th grade math. Yikes.

And, of course, she had to mention that she was named Freshman of the Year by the Legislative Study Group. Per the Travis Monitor, this is an overwhelmingly Democratic group of legislators, and this is basically an award for wasting taxpayers' money. The Travis Monitor was not aware of any accomplishments of Ms. Bolton other than that, but I seem to recall that she did manage to help bring a lot of inefficiency to the 80th Legislature.

So there you have it: apparently the race boils down to inefficiency versus efficiency. Ms. Bolton said in 2006, "we can do better". At this point, we can't do much worse.

Update: As promised in the comments, the extended interviews are now on the Community Impact website.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Statesman Owners Give Up

Cox Enterprises, owners of the American-Statesman and a bunch of other media outlets, has apparently given up on the failing daily.

I personally like this gem of a quote, from their article about themselves:
"The decision was made as part of an ongoing strategic review of our portfolio and enables us to maintain our strong and stable financial performance by further paying down debt," Cox chairman and chief executive Jim Kennedy said.
Roughly translated, this appears to mean: the papers we're unloading are hemorrhaging money like there's no tomorrow, and we're going to squeeze what little value is left out of them by dumping them ASAP.

Well, gee, I don't see why the Statesman hasn't been more successful in recent years. Let's see, just this year they've tried reducing the amount of features (to the annoyance of many), and when that didn't help revenues enough, they went ahead and raised the daily price 50%. And, surprisingly, that seemingly didn't help them to get more subscribers either.

Here's hoping the new owner figures out how to produce a quality newspaper that people still want to read. Cox apparently has forgotten this.

Update: Hello! Really, I bear you no ill will, but you gotta admit, you're right up there in the bad-PR department with Capital Metro these days...

Update 2: Story's been pulled from This is a hunch, but it may have been due to the not-so-civil discussion that erupted in the comments.

And comments I've seen in two places now have expressed the hope that McClatchy will buy the paper. Is McClatchy better than Cox? Or are newspapers a dying breed regardless of who owns them at this point?

Update 3: Story has reappeared.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Overly Mandated Green Building

Let's see, we have a heavy-handed decision by the city council to mandate solar panels not just for new homes but on any home getting a roof repair, renovation, or new heating system, and we have an equally heavy-handed fine to enforce it. Sounds like something Austin would do, doesn't it?

Well, it's not...this time. But give Austin a couple of years...

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, there were two major parties in the US government. The government had a crisis to address, and the leaders of those two parties had different ideas of how to address it. The House of Representatives was controlled by one party, while the President belonged to the other.

Because the two parties had different ideas, they were not able to agree, and therefore not able to accomplish anything to address the crisis at hand. And so the House session ended. "[One party] seemed eager to use the [other party's] leadership's effort to let lawmakers leave town to characterize [the other party] as indifferent", one newspaper stated. And so that party did; its members stayed in the House chamber and continued to give speeches, with the cameras off, demanding that the majority party do right by the American people.

The White House Chief of Staff chastised the majority party for its antics. "
This is not a time to leave...this is not a time to cut out of this town when we are trying to resolve a very real crisis in
this country. There are a lot of people being impacted..."
the Chief of Staff remarked.

Eventually, of course, the crisis was solved. The American people, however, had a long memory, and remembered the majority party's part in needlessly prolonging a crisis that could have, and should have, been averted much more quickly.

The year...was 1995. The current majority party apparently hopes you don't remember.

(Hat tip: Tulsa World and its free archives...maybe the increasingly expensive Statesman could learn from them)