Archive for the ‘Holy Crap’

Texas is a “Free Market” State, Right? No, Not Really.

June 09, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap

All of our glorified politicians and Chamber of Commerce representatives continually crow about Texas being a “free market” state with a “light touch” when it comes to regulations.  But is that really true?  Actually, no.  It’s only free market for those who pay for it.  To wit:

  • You can’t buy a Tesla directly from the company in Texas.  You have to buy it online and have it delivered from California.  Bills to allow direct sales have died 3 times since 2013, killed by big money from the powerful auto dealers lobby to protect their own dealer franchises.
  • Under the same Byzantine laws promoted by Texas auto dealers, Warren Buffett was prevented from keeping his chain of auto dealers in Texas because his company happens to also own an RV manufacturing company in Indiana. Buffett tried to fix the problem, but Teabaggers shut him down and the bill never made it to the floor.  In Texas, manufacturers cannot sell cars.  I know, weird, right?
  • You can’t buy wine online in Texas like you can in most other states.  The powerful liquor lobby controls the governor’s mansion and both houses in the legislature, and has had enacted more Byzantine laws that are inconsistently applied.  These laws treat beer, distilled spirits, and wine differently, with complicated permitting requirements.  A national online distributor, Wines Til Sold Out, recently received a cease and desist letter from the State of Texas and has shut down sales to the state.  Texas consumers lose again.
  • This year, the powerful beer distributor lobby, which has doled out over $11 million to Texas elected officials (Greg Abbott got $1.4 million, and Dan Patrick got $688,000), got a roll back of the beer law passed in 2013 which encouraged small craft brewers to invest in Texas by lifting insanely low limits on how much beer can be made by small brewers and allowing in-brewery sales directly to customers.  That law was so successful that small brewers increased by 3 fold since 2011 drawing the ire of the beer distributors who don’t like competition.  They hate it so much that they got a new law passed this year that limits the size of brewers who can sell directly in their own taprooms.  The limit is a production size of 225,000 barrels in all of their facilities regardless of whether those facilities are actually in Texas.  This shuts down craft beer company Oskar Blues of Colorado, who just spent millions opening a new brewery and tap room in Austin, and also affects Deep Ellum Brewing which is near the 225,000 barrel limit and has already announced that, because of this law, it will now seek to invest in other more friendly states.  Oh, and BTW, mega brewers like Anheuser Busch, Heineken, and Miller-Coors were all given carve outs to the size requirement.  I’m shocked, just shocked, I tell you.  Well, not really.  Oh, and for reference, Anheuser Busch produces about 125 million barrels a year.
  • But it gets worse…In this same law, small craft brewers must pay a per barrel fee to local beer distributors for beer they sell in their own facilities and that is never actually touched by the distributor.  That’s right, folks, the Great State of Texas is so “free market” that it has made a law that allows huge multi-billion dollar distributing companies to freely extort money from small brewers for the privilege for selling their own beer in their own taprooms.  You’re welcome.  This bill is on Abbott’s desk, and if he doesn’t veto it, will become law on June 18th.  With $1.4 million of beer lobby money in his pocket, what do you predict he’ll do?

By now, most of those paying attention know that Texas is not a “free market” state, not in the slightest.  It has been turned into a corrupt banana republic that benefits the wealthy and powerful while trampling on the small businesses all over the state it claims to promote.  But the really weird thing?  Those same business people and consumers who are hurt by this corruption are the very people who support and vote for those who participate in it on a daily basis.

You can only draw one conclusion from these clear facts – voters in Texas are stupid.

 

Just in Case You Missed It…

May 31, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap, Trump

This from the NY Times – Trump’s coat of arms that is plastered all over his golf courses, hotels, and other sleazy properties that carry his name is actually stolen from the family that built Mar-a-Lago in Florida.  The symbol was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, who built the estate now owned by His Orangeness.  One minor change, though – in place of the banner that says “Integritas” (Latin for integrity), it now says “Trump”.  Now, that is the definition of irony, and marks Trump yet again as the King of Cheesy Fake Crap.

One bit of good news is that the stolen symbol is only used in the US.  Both Scotland and England denied his right to use it in their countries since they regard stealing other families’ heraldry as cheesy, too.

LOL.

Updated: GOP Candidate Body Slams Reporter, but THAT’S Not the News

May 25, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap

UPDATE: Fox News has released the audio of the assault.

File in the You Just Can’t Make This Up Department

On the eve of a special election in Montana to fill the congressional seat vacated by newly installed secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, GOP candidate and wannabe WWF champion Greg Gianforte body slammed a Guardian reporter.  That’s not really news, of course, since many Republicans are known the be knuckledragging, ignorant thugs.  The NEWS here is that there was a Fox News crew present, and they actually corroborated the story resulting in assault charges against Gianforte.

The whole scene occurred at Gianforte’s Bozeman campaign office and Fox was there to interview him for a segment on Bret Baier’s show scheduled for Thursday. While setting up, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, walked in and started asking Gianforte about his view on the GOP bill that strips health insurance from 23 million Americans.  Gianforte refused to answer, and when Jacobs persisted, he grabbed the reporter by the neck and body slammed him, got on top of him and started pummeling him yelling “I’m sick and tired of this!”

Apparently, the incident was so egregious that the local sheriff, who is a Gianforte supporter, had to enforce the law and charged him with assault.  Now, I have no illusions that this criminal won’t still be supported by GOP voters.  Being immune to facts, they’ll vote for Gianforte, anyway, and he’ll likely be sworn in from a jail cell.

US Debt – The Difference Between Manure and Filet Mignon

March 18, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap, Sumbitches, Trump, Uncategorized

Yesterday morning on CBS, James Baker was interviewed about a number of issues including the escalation of war threats between the idiot in the White House and the idiot running North Korea. The issue he focused on, though?  The “ticking debt bomb”.  He warned of the unsustainable level of debt that is almost 100% of GDP (a measure used by economists), asserting that we must cut “entitlements” to get it under control.  I asked myself, “Is that really true?”  I’ve taken a simpleton’s approach to this question, just using math, not political spin.  For the purpose of this discussion, I’m going to ignore defense and other discretionary spending – that’s a whole other kettle of fish and a subject for a future post, probably after I’ve been drinking.

So I looked at a couple of things:  First, I assume entitlements to Baker mean Social Security (more…)

While We’re All Talking About Those Tweets…

March 14, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap, Trump

Almost every day there is some new incendiary tweet from Cheeto Jesus or idiotic declaration by his sidekicks Kellyanne and/or Spicey.  As entertaining as all this nonsense is, there are serious decisions being made to undo years of government policy and practices, dismantle or cripple federal agencies, and create a shadow government that everyday Americans can’t see.  Case in point: a major change to drone warfare policy CJ made on January 21st, ONE DAY after his, er, uh…(urp) inauguration.

The WSJ is reporting that unnamed US officials have disclosed that during his first visit to the CIA, CJ reversed the Obama administration policy on drone strikes.  For disclosure and transparency, Obama had put in place a policy that the CIA use drones for intelligence gathering only.  If they determined a target to be taken out, the military then conducted the actual strike.  The Pentagon would then announce the results of that strike.  Well, no more.  Now, the CIA can pick out and kill targets of choice with no transparency, no accountability.  More alarming, though is the pace that they’re doing it – the Council on Foreign Relations reported earlier this month that drone attacks are up over 400% since CJ took office.  And that’s just the strikes they could find out about.  No telling how many have been done covertly.

So, while the press is chasing the next shiny thing, radical changes to our government are being made behind our backs.  It’s time to be ever vigilant and resist.

 

Cornyn Suffers Abuse – From Constituents Giving Their Opinion

February 10, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Holy Crap, Steeple People

Apparently, Hang-’em-High Cornyn is not happy that his phone and email system crashed this week from thousands of concerned Texans who were terrified that he was supporting the most ill-prepared and ignorant candidate for Secretary of Edumucation in the History of Edumucation.  You see, he publicly came out in support of Betsy DeVos, Super Special Deluxe High Grade Christian and Private Church School Crusader after she gave the most disastrous testimony in the History of Senate Hearings during her Senate hearing.  She lacks even the most basic grasp of education policy, and has no clue about the behemoth that she has just inherited which is a more than full time job for even the most experienced education experts (Arnie Duncan), much less for a dumbass like her (sorry Momma).  Lil’ Betsy believes you should just “pray on it” and all will be good.  She’s going to be drinking from a firehose just right quick, like her boss, Cheeto Jesus, who just got his ass handed to him by the 9th Circuit over his wonderfully planned and articulated unconstitutional Muslim ban which is going so well.

Cornyn was most offended that constituents from Texas voiced their loud and vehement opposition to DeVos, calling it “sour grapes” and that they were angry that CJ won.  Well, he’s right on that one.  We are angry that the worst presidential candidate in US history is now polluting the White House.  But, no, the reason we were all calling Cornyn the Deaf was that we were waving our arms and screaming at him as he gleefully jumped on the crazy train over the cliff that destroys public education.

The US government is unrecognizable to me, and my elected officials are simply the worst I have ever witnessed in my 6th decade life.

Jesus.  No.  Literally, Jesus.