Tag Archives: Texas

That’s a bowl full of pigs blood. Imagine a river full.


You know, when a Texas meat-packing company gets indicted for sending a torrent of pigs blood down the Trinity River — and I do mean a torrent, i.e. enough for it to be documented by an amateur’s281323986 drone aircraft — what are you going to do? You’re going to go with it.

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Joe Ely and hard livin’


OK, just because it’s Thursday, here’s some great Joe Ely. But don’t expect this every Thursday.

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Texas crony capitalism, Perry style


For more evidence that Texas governance is a banana republic in minimal disguise, take a look at this piece from Sunday’s NY Times about Rick Perry’s nonchalant/extravagant habit of doling out government money to major campaign contributors. Add it to the excellent piece I’ve already mentioned in the LA Times. Shake, stir, imbibe — and vomit.

It’s heartening that the national media are picking up this early on the absolute whorehouse that is Texas politics and on the Chief Pimp role Rick Perry has played over the last decade. I would say, “Now, it’s up to the people to decide.” But it’s not, really. It’s up to the press to continue to look at the Texas pay for play two-step.

Extending  Lone Star crony capitalism into national governance via the George W. Bush administration has literally brought the country to its financial knees.  It’d be nice if the national press eschewed its habitual avoidance of nasty facts about Republican candidates (driven by fear of being called the “liberal news media”) and reported the truth about corruption in Texas government repeatedly. It could help the country avert outright economic decapitation.

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Filed under 2012 election, politics, presidents

Texas on Perry


I wanted to let the dust settle a bit after Texas Gov. Rick Perry jumped into the presidential race before giving myself a victory lap for having said he would run way back when. And when. And when.

Now, rather than blurt out my estimation of Mr. Perry and his campaign, I thought I’d give a little space to some smart friends who live in Texas and actually know something about him, as opposed to the “reporters” writing about him in much of the national press. I’m going to delete names here, because I didn’t explicitly say I would identify these folks (though I did say I might use the answers on my blog).  But I’ll try to give you a bit of background, so you can put what these people say in some context.

The following viewpoint comes from a longtime, expert politics-watcher and journalist whose judgement I greatly respect and who I don’t think has an ideological bone to pick:

He’s the most disingenuous fuck in American politics outside of Palin. Like her, he’s an actor, a thespian spouting lines, unexamined. There are plenty of Texas Republicans that absolutely detest the guy but are afraid of him or warily tolerate him because … he’s boss. He has a bristley, arrogant side that is pronounced and probably will be off-putting when they start in peeling his rind away. Not like Bush, at all, in the projection-of-personality department. I suppose his last big victory was due to the insane anti-Obama fevers, the economic jitters and the ineptitude of the Texas Democrats and their candidate, but his previous 39 percent showing seems more indicative of how people actually view him. I guess. I keep hearing about how much $$ he can raise, what a crack debater he is b/c he wiped up Hutchison etc., but my uneducated guess is he’s peaking now because of general boredom with the field … and he’s about to be peeled like an overripe banana. The piety thing — he closes his eyes real tight when he prays – won’t play on the wide screen, and the $$-raising corruption is a string of endless 30-second TV IEDs. So I guess that means he’s our next president.

The yang to the preceding yin as regards Mr. Perry comes from someone who’s probably been less directly involved in journalistic politics watching over the years, but he’s a smart guy, he’s been around the state a long time and his thoughts deserve, well, thought:

Although I’ve been back in Texas for some 10 years, I really have not paid that much attention to Rick Perry and his leadership in the state. As you no doubt recall, the state is very conservative and pretty much has the attitude: If you want to advance in life, get off your ass and do something. Perry is God, Country and don’t mess with Texas (or its businesses or way of life). And that’s a pretty good reflection of how a majority of people feel in the state. We have a good business climate because that’s what the people want. We don’t mess with God, because that’s what the people want. Texas is tough on crime because that’s what people want. Most of us want government to take care of the basics and stay the hell out of our lives. Do I think he’s an empty suit? No, and I think I reflect people in the state. Do I think he’s all hat and no cattle. No. He’s just a poor ranch kid who served his country as a USAF pilot and then went on to try to live the American dream. And he’s done a pretty good job, I think. For some reason, progressives believe if you graduated from a Land Grant university, served in the military and worked your way up the political ladder, you are inferior and dangerous to the Republic — You are still a dumb hick. … Here’s what I think at this date and time: Perry doesn’t want to be president. He wants to be vice president …

And this last set of comments, from a true-blue, left Texas Democrat (yes, there is a liberal Texas, even if it’s a bit attenuated nowadays), might seem surprising in its estimation of Perry’s strength. But this comes from a real political pro:

My insight on Perry comes from experiencing his advance team and travel squad. This year Gov. Perry came [to Houston] for a joint press conference on an anti-human trafficking bill sponsored by two Democratic women legislators. Perry’s advance and travel team is Presidential class. They have traveled together in a very large state for more than a decade.

More, as they say in my profession, TK.

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Perry interesting


I horrified my coastal friends a few days ago with suggestions that when Texas Gov. Rick Perry “invited the country’s other 49 governors and evangelical leaders for a ‘non-political’ event to pray for the nation,” he was really, by the analysis of the Houston Chronicle‘s Austin bureau, taking a step toward a Perry campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Now let me horrify again, first with an example of lame journalism, courtesy of some guy named Alex Alvarez over at Mediaite.com, who basically just copied my Perry prayer event post and misidentified me as the editor of Miller-McCune, a job I left more than a month ago, to national publicity. Then I will horrify with the real stuff: a Wall Street Journal piece by Neil King Jr. that confirms Perry is at least considering a presidential run, which marks a 180 degree flip from his position just a few months ago. Here’s the takeaway from King’s piece:

For months, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has told potential donors and Republican higher-ups he has no interest in running for the White House in 2012. But over the past two weeks, political advisers and friends say, Mr. Perry has changed his tune on a possible presidential campaign. In privateconversations, they say, the three-term governor said he worries that the current GOP contenders have yet to stir real excitement within the party and may struggle when facing President Barack Obama.”He thinks there is a void [in the current field of candidates], and that he might be uniquely positioned to fill that void,” said one Perry confidant who talked to the governor last week.

Yes, the WSJ piece uses some unidentified sources, but it’s pretty clear they’re people who actually are familiar with Perry’s thinking. And at least they’re not misidentified sources.

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Filed under 2012 election, Texas

Praying for the GOP nomination


I just thought I’d horrify my friends on the East and West coasts with this inspiring little report from the “Third Coast,” in which Texas Gov. Rick “Good Hair” Perry has, as the Houston Chronicle‘s Austin bureau puts it, “invited the country’s other 49 governors and evangelical leaders for a ‘non-political’ event to pray for the nation.” Of course, the non-political event actually appears to be another step in Perry’s nascent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Or, as the Chron puts it:

Such an event would allow Perry to build his profile with Christian conservatives, a group that play a key role in Republican primary politics, especially in the South and the Midwest. The playbill for the call to prayer hits all of the notes that a candidate seeking the GOP nomination would be expected to hit (see: debasement of society). And the venue selection— Reliant Stadium (a football stadium) —  indicates that organizers are aiming to make a splash with the event.

Beyond horrifying with words, this post hopes to cause widespread cursing at coastal computer screens via the  picture, provided courtesy of the Texas Tribune, of Gov. Perry, praying to the heavens. Good afternoon, elite thought leaders. And you’re welcome.

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