Who says TV shows on political analysis are boring and not fun? I mean, besides everybody?
Here’s what happened during yesterday’s “Capital Tonight” show, when YNN-Austin anchor Paul Brown asked me about the TSA groping bill Governor Perry added to the legislative agenda:
You can watch the show in its entirety on YNN-Austin this Sunday morning at 11, or watch it any time online.
Legislators, about 20-30 of you will either be honored or disgraced today, when Texas Monthly releases their “10 Worst – 10 Best” legislators list. Counting honorable mentions and furniture, there will be more than a few people unhappy with their choices. Others of you will suddenly know the extent to which you never realized that the folks at Texas Monthly were freakin’ geniuses.
But lets face it – your staff is really tired. They really don’t want to write the statement from you, in which you react to your inclusion in this fine piece of journalism. So, as a service to you and your exhausted staff from Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters, Political Affairs Division, feel free to choose the appropriate choices on this suggested press release, and save yourself some time and trouble. Merely write in your name and your district number, circle the appropriate choices, and sent it out.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2011
[Senator/Representative _________ ] Responds to Texas Monthly
(Austin) [your name here] said the following today, after Texas Monthly magazine announced [his/her] inclusion in their list of ten [best or worst] legislators:
“[I am disappointed in or I applaud] Texas Monthly for their [hack job or fine journalistic effort] in naming the ten best and ten worst legislators today.
“Fortunately, constituents in my district [already knew this worthless rag was full of crap or have long known of my legislative prowess]. I can think of no higher compliment than [for this liberal commie pinko travel magazine to disagree with my high-minded legislative priorities or for this fine magazine to recognize all that we have been able to accomplish this session].
“The good people of District ____ have long known [not to take their political advice from a travel rag, any more than they would take travel advice from a political magazine or that I have worked very hard on their behalf, and the positive results are apparent].
“It is truly a great reflection on my district that [this out-of-touch liberal Austin insider gossip rag trashed me or this fine conservative news publication has finally recognized my achievements].
“I would just add [my compliments to Texas Monthly for a job well done or that Paul Burka can suck a nut].”
In efforts to continue to honor his pledge to keep his focus on the Texas Legislature while they remain in session, Texas Governor Rick Perry focused his full attention to that legislative session while in New York today, where he was the keynote speaker at a Republican fundraiser, and was interviewed on Fox News.
He demonstrated his razor-focus on the legislative session back in Texas by speaking about the Presidential race and answering questions about his possible candidacy for the office. At the fundraiser, he replaced Donald Trump on the program, who reportedly canceled his appearance at the event because of Trump’s reluctance to put much thought into the legislative session in Texas.
Prior to Perry’s arrival in New York, the Texas Governor was busy focusing on the legislative session from Los Angeles, where he bashed President Obama in a speech there, while totally focusing on legislative deliberations back in Texas.
When Perry finishes focusing on the legislative session in New York, he will continue working really hard on the legislative session in North Carolina, at a meeting of the Republican Governor’s Association. He is then scheduled to fly to New Orleans for another Republican event sure to attract most Republican candidates for President, who Perry hopes will all gather with him and help him continue to totally focus on the Texas legislature’s deliberations.
Meanwhile, state legislators in Texas, some of whom were still in the state Capitol late Tuesday night passing Perry’s “sanctuary cities” legislation, which has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Perry running for President, were reportedly inspired and strengthened in their efforts to pass Perry’s legislative agenda at the mere thought that Perry is completely focused on their important efforts.
Last week at the Texas Observer’s Molly Awards event, the great Marcia Ball performed for the crowd. I noticed her shadow on the wall behind her.
On YNN’s “Capital Tonight” last Thursday, I was asked about the effects in this special legislative session of Wendy Davis’ filibuster. Her effort killed one of the “must pass” bills that died in the final hours of the regular legislative session. Incidentally, two other “must pass” bills died in the House the same night of the regular session, a fact that the Republican Partys seems to have left out of their talking points. Aside from their selective amnesia, here’s my view on Senator Davis’ filibuster:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section. Meanwhile, you can watch the entire show online here, and you can catch “Capital Tonight” on Austin TV on Thursday nights at 6 or 10, and Sunday mornings at 11.
The Texas Progressive Alliance is wishing — not praying — for rain as it brings you the week’s roundup of the best blog posts from last week.
At McBlogger, Cap’n Kroc discussed the ridiculous plan for Formula 1 racing in Austin and the possibility that it could help us extract better redistricting terms from the Lege. He also points out that that Rick Perry needs to come out of the closet and be himself. It’s a blockbuster post that you have to read to believe.
With all the talk last week about how Sarah Palin misinterpreted Paul Revere’s ride, Neil at Texas Liberal offered up a post about the actual event. You need to learn history for yourself. If you let others define your past, they will use that power to screw up your future.
Letters From Texas presented the case against Rick Perry for President.
The Republican Party of Texas can’t figure out whether to sh*t or go blind over “sanctuary cities”. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs collects the evidence.
I bet he tried to slip ’em a Mickey. And that’s why they got Goofy.
Letters From Texas presented the case against Rick Perry for President.
Like other Texans, I can get in the mood for a Texan to be in charge. After all, if God hadn’t intended for Texas to be the center of the universe, he wouldn’t have put us there. But with the (arguable) exception of Dwight Eisenhower, presidents with Texas roots haven’t exactly been nominated for sainthood after it’s all said and done.
The most recent example of the species,George W. Bush, even prompted my friend Molly Ivins to declare, “The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be President of the United States, please pay attention.”
It’s time to pay attention. Here comes Rick Perry.
If Perry hadn’t thought about running for president before, he’d be a fool not to think about it now, as the stable of Republican alternatives is full of lame horses. But the case against him doesn’t lie in comparing him to the rest of the Republican field; it’s in examining the flip side of his own coin.
Most Perry fans can be categorized in one of two camps. The first are ultra-conservatives of some ilk — either traditional evangelical, Christian-right voters or voters loosely associated with Tea Party values. They love their anti-Obama red meat, and they don’t like Washington. They’re attracted to Perry because nobody’s better than him at kicking Washington in the collective butt, and nobody does anti-Obama red meat better than gun-totin’, coyote-shootin’, states’ rights-toutin’ Rick Perry.
But where’s the net gain? If those voters aren’t united next November, we’re having this friendly little conversation for nothing anyway, because Obama will be re-elected in a landslide no matter who runs against him. “Not Obama” will be their candidate of choice, whether the alternative is Perry or somebody else.
The second pro-Perry camp consists of those voting their economic interests, and at first blush Perry might seem attractive. Texas, as the story goes, has led the nation in job creation, and as the story continues, it’s because Texas government is limited, pro-business and fosters economic development. While it’s true that Texas has, indeed, created new jobs, it’s equally true that they’re relatively low-wage and that the state’s recent unemployment rates are also higher than they’ve been since the early 1990s.
The problem for Perry, in the blinding light of the national stage, is that he may ultimately be seen as the swaggering rooster who believes the sun came up because of all that crowing. Texas was a conservative, small government, pro-business state long before he was in charge, and Texas will remain so long after he’s gone. Americans may conclude that Texas jobs would have materialized whether Perry was governor or not, and it might just be to Texas business’ credit, not Perry’s, that they did.
While Perry’s supporters will explain what he’s done for Texans, detractors will cite what Perry hasn’t done. Those celebrating him as the architect of our low-tax state would be forced to acknowledge that this is nothing new, and that Texas is also an extreme low-services state, with serious consequences for Texas families.
Education? We’re 50th in the nation in kids with a high school diploma by age 25, and 43rd in high school graduation rates. We’re 42nd in the nation in high school graduates going to college, and of those, only half earn a degree within six years.
Health care? We’re first in the nation in folks without health insurance and 49th in our low-income population covered by Medicaid.
Relative wealth? We’re fourth in the nation on the percentage of our residents living below the poverty line.
The environment? We’re first in the nation in cancer-causing carcinogens released into the air, first on toxic chemicals released into the water and first in the amount of hazardous waste generated.
I could go on, but the Legislative Study Group already has, and Perry and other Republicans in charge in Texas are currently wrapping up legislative work in which their policy priorities will assure that those measures worsen.
Bush already took Americans down a near-identical “Texas success story” yellow brick road. Would voters like Perry’s America any better, after Bush left on such unpopular terms?
Electoral performance might lead others to believe that Perry would be the best standard-bearer to oppose Obama. Unlike Bush, Perry’s never lost an election, and he recently won a primary election in which he turned a 20-plus-percentage-point deficit into a 20-point win. But does what sells here sell everywhere? Since Texas has voted for the prevailing candidate in only two of the last five presidential elections, that is a dicey position at best.
But back to Molly Ivins. Three months before she died, writing on Perry’s performance at a political debate, she reported that he had really good hair, and that the Democrat in the race had everything else. She concluded that “Perry won on the politics of it by not actually saying anything totally idiotic.”
That, my friends, is usually how a Republican wins an election in Texas — by not being the Democrat. It’s a mighty thin resume for a fat presidential race.
[this column originally appeared in the Texas Tribune]
“Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”
On this week’s episode of Capital Tonight on YNN, the conversation turned to Congressional redistricting, and specifically to the effects of the new Republican map to Central Texas and Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
It’s your turn: let me know what you think in the comments section. Meanwhile, the entire episode, which also features an extended interview with Senator Wendy Davis, will air in Austin this Sunday morning at 11 am on YNN, or you can go here to watch it online.
Update: Even if you have no comment, I encourage you to visit the comments section, if for no other reason than to not miss Whiskeydent’s song lyrics.