…this happened. And it’s also our headline of the day so far.
…this happened. And it’s also our headline of the day so far.
The four Republican candidates for Lt. Governor have recently been raising the stakes, each in his own bid to attract an increasingly-conservative base of Republican primary voters.
After State Senator Dan Patrick last week accused his three opponents of being soft on not wanting to throw Latinos out of Texas fast enough to suit him, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, tastefully dressed entirely in Confederate flags, responded by explaining that the U.S. should expel several other states from the union for having the nerve to not tend to vote for candidates like Jerry Patterson.
Unwilling to be left behind, yesterday at a Fort Worth-area Tea Party meeting, incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst called for the impeachment of President Obama, explaining that Obama had disregarded Federal law, apparently referring to a little-known provision making it illegal to be elected President if you’re not a white guy.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples quickly countered, however, when he accused his opponents of being soft on family values and traditional marriage, after pulling a mayonnaise jar out of his brief case containing what he claimed was an actual severed penis of a gay guy.
To the delight of the crowd, all four candidates then went into the parking lot to kill people who vaguely reminded them of terrorists and/or can spell the word “terrorist.”
The next meeting of the four candidates is scheduled for this Thursday at a Houston Tea Party meeting, where attendance is expected to be high because of the raffle drawing for used Ted Cruz sniffable boxer shorts, followed by a highly-anticipated scientist torturing contest.
After a foot of rain fell on Central Texas Saturday night forced the cancelation of the last day of the Austin City Limits music fest, local curmudgeons were left scrambling Sunday for something to complain about.
“This has created scheduling difficulties,” one Zilker Park neighborhood resident said. “I had set aside time on my schedule Sunday morning to complain on Facebook about complete strangers parking in front of my house, and I’d planned to devote my entire evening to repeatedly calling 9-11 to complain about the noise. As it turned out, I was reduced to watching reruns of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ with my wife, who I detest” he added.
Local cranks are, however, finding a silver lining in the news. Weather forecasts calling for more rain this week have many optimistic that they’ll be able to complain about the rain, which they previously complained Austin wasn’t getting enough of.
Demand is high in Central Texas to sign up for affordable health care, after new exchanges went live this month.
“Man, this Affordable Health Care Act is bad-ass,” said one man shopping for health insurance. “It’s a damn sight better than that horrible Obamacare I keep hearing about!”
One woman explained that she has previously been unable to get health insurance at any cost, due to a pre-existing condition. “Now that the health care law is in effect, I can stay healthy without going broke, which is important because if I’m not healthy, I can’t continue to actively support Ted Cruz’ efforts to defund Obamacare,” she explained.
Recent polling indicates that Republicans in particular support the Affordable Health Care Act in much higher percentages than they do Obamacare.
In my almost-25 years in politics and government, I’ve never seen anything in Texas like the excitement for Wendy Davis.
If this were shaping up to be a typical election, and Wendy Davis was shaping up to be typical Democratic nominee for Governor, I’d be ready to throw in the towel – Democrats would suffer the same typical result.
But this isn’t the typical election. And Wendy Davis damn sure isn’t the typical candidate; she’s extraordinary. I worked with the Ann Richards campaign back in the day. Governor Richards finished with a ton of enthusiasm, but she didn’t have it from the starting gate like Wendy does. Indeed, she started out her race for Governor 27 percentage points down in the polls.
Let me throw cold water on things: Wendy can’t do this. If you stand still and wait for her to win this election, you’ll be disappointed.
The good news: we – together – can do this. Not just Wendy alone, but all of us.
Texas Democrats have had candidates for Governor who were solid on policy. We’ve had candidates who were flush with campaign money. And we’ve had candidates who were charismatic.
Wendy Davis is the first candidate since Ann Richards who has all three. That’s why she can win.
But we all have to help her with that pesky middle thing – raising the funds necessary for her to tell voters what she stands for. Texas has more expensive media markets than any other state, so it’s impossible to compete without a ton of money.
Today, the leading progressive blogs in Texas have teamed up to help raise money for Wendy. I have no idea how I got on the “leading” list, but I’m happy to play along. There have been Democratic statewide candidates who couldn’t raise money if you gave ‘em a gun, a ski mask, and a list of convenience stores, but Wendy Davis will put in the hard work. Meanwhile, we – you and I – have to put in some cash.
I’ll do my share. Thousands of Texans already have. Will you do yours? Please click on the below gizmo to pitch in right now.
Dear Texas politicians:
You’re falling way behind in your efforts to be the world’s wackiest officeholders.
If you’re pressed for time, skip to 4:25.
If you’re really pressed for time, skip to 8:05.
If you’re really really pressed for time, skip to 8:40.
(Thanks to Sarah for the tip!)
…it must be a very strange question.
If the birthers’ old, tired narrative had been accurate – that Obama was born in Kenya to a mother from Kansas – that would have put Obama’s eligibility to be President exactly where it currently stands with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a mother from the U.S.
Because of the birther narrative, Tea Party members howled during the Presidential election that Obama wasn’t eligible to be President, but there’s no evidence that the Cruz situation is so much as raising their eyebrows.
But never fear: a Tea Party member has an explanation for why they’re not upset about the Cruz situation:
Canada is not really foreign soil.”
The Tea Party member was unavailable for further comment, as she quickly mounted her dinosaur and rushed off to a meeting of the “Global Warming Is A Lie” lecture, which she was just briefing stopping by, to avoid being late to that night’s book burning.
As if Texans needed further evidence that these are strange political times, State Representative Harvey Hilderbran, who is running in the Republican primary for state Comptroller, has released his first campaign video, and it features…of all people…me.
Hilderbran’s message in his intro video is that if Texans elect him as Comptroller, he’ll stop the IRS from picking on Texans.
Setting aside the fact that it’s utterly laughable that a state Comptroller of any state could alter whatever the IRS’ course happens to be, it’s even more laughable to use video of a Democrat out of context to show Republican primary voters that he’s the best Republican, especially when the video of me they used had nothing whatsoever to do with Mr. Hilderbran. Mr. Hilderbran’s name never came up in the interview. Honestly, Mr. Hilderbran never comes up in my mind at all.
Sorry Harvey, I’m just not that into you. And, just to be clear, in the event you become the Republican nominee for Comptroller, the guy in your own campaign video – me – won’t be voting for you.
Here’s the video his campaign used, which includes a small snippet of what I said in an extended interview.
You be the judge: did the Hilderbran campaign take my words out of context, or did the campaign fairly convey what I said?
Leave your comment…ready, set, GO!
The David Dewhurst phone call heard ’round the world is mostly, bluntly, hysterically funny. Blazingly stunning in the level of his awkwardness, he was stumbling over his own words in an obvious attempt to convey that he would say nothing to step over the line, with the clear subtext being, “but you know what I’m sayin’, right pal? It’d be a shame if anything happened to your nice little police department….”
Step over the line he did, simply by being, as he repeated over and over, “The Lieutenant Governor Of The State Of Texas” who was willing to make such a phone call, the sole purpose of which was to get a relative sprung from the hoosegow.
Voters need no further evidence that Dewhurst was using his public office for the personal benefit of his family than when he said he would have the guy in charge of the entire Department of Public Safety – the state police – call behind him “in ten minutes.” Unless you somehow believe that you – a rank-and-file citizen – could also get the commander in charge of your state’s police to call a local police department on behalf of your jailed relative, you have to conclude that the Lt. Governor stepped over the line.
Let’s be honest – a lot of people, elected or not, would have done exactly what Dewhurst did. When you have a family member or close friend in jail, you’ll use everything at your disposal to spring ‘em. I’m confident that legendary Democratic Lt. Governor Bob Bullock would have done everything he could to get a family member out of jail. It’s just that if Bullock had tried it:
1. It would have worked.
2. He wouldn’t have gotten caught.
3. He probably would have gotten somebody else to do it for him.
4. He might well have himself been the family member in jail.
Dewhurst apologists are on social media trying to convince us that this is nothing more than a distraction, and they’re probably right. It’s just that they underestimate the extent to which we Texans absolutely love being distracted. The story has gone national, and it has legs which his opponents will be all-too-happy to exploit. There’s simply no way that this can somehow be considered great news for the campaign of a Lt. Governor already in political peril.
Situations such as these are why Texas politics is the greatest contact sport on earth.
Update: From the Dallas Morning News, Tod Robberson’s take on this is priceless.
Those clever rocket surgeons down at the Department of Transportation are proceeding with their plans to turn what used to be perfectly serviceable paved state highways into gravel roads, and reduce the speed limits down accordingly.
The problem is the oilpatch trucks. They’re heavy, and there’s a bunch of ‘em. In areas where the oil bidness is booming, the trucks have ruined the roads, the roads are dangerous, and they need repair immediately. I can think of worse problems to have, given that the energy boom is also great for the Texas economy and creates jobs and all.
But TxDoT - the transporation folks – are dead broke, and claim they don’t have the money to repave the roads. That’s because the Republicans in charge around here have starved all of state gu’mint so they can go to their Tea Party meetings, smile real big, and tell ‘em how they starved gu’mint. That’s after they bash Obama for a while.
But here’s one teeny weenie little problem: what happens after they un-pave a road and gravel it? They’ll reduce the speed limit, from the current 70-75 down to 30 or 35 mph. Do you think for a minute that a trucker having to drive a hundred miles or more down that road isn’t going to look for an alternate route – which is still paved and at the higher speed limit – to make up all that lost time? For commercial truck traffic, time is literally money.
Of course they will. And in many cases, they’ll figure out an alternate route. It may take them far out of their way, but when the speed limit differential – 40 miles per hour difference – is that high, they can go far out of their way and still save a little time.
So now, what used to be one ruined road TxDoT won’t fix will become two ruined roads TxDoT won’t fix — both for the exact same traffic.
Now how the hell is that “conservative”? Just asking.
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