Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sonogram Law Gets a Stay

Federal District Judge Sam Sparks, who first appeared on my radar when he famously told former Congressman Tom DeLay to “run like a rabbit” in his bid to exit his 2006 election after having won in his party’s primary, has ruled that the recently passed sonogram law is unconstitutional.

It violates the 1st Amendment.

It seems that not only is it unconstitutional for someone’s speech be regulated by what a government entity thinks is inappropriate or wrong, it is also unconstitutional for a government entity to force an individual to say something, particularly if they are in opposition to what they are saying.

Cuts both ways.

The irony is that the sonogram law, a law that is invasive and intrusive on so many levels, was ruled unconstitutional not because it invaded a woman’s personal privacy as well as her corporeal body, but because it invaded a doctor’s right not to say what the state of Texas demanded them to say, or face a fine and loss of license.

And a woman’s right not to have to listen to what the doctor was saying.

Oh, and by the way, Presidential candidate Rick Perry, who ordered that the sonogram law be expedited by the legislature as an emergency issue, and State Senator Dan Patrick, who wrote this heinous, invasive, intrusive law that is guilty, guilty, guilty of Republican/Tea Party overreach, serenely predicted that the decision will be overturned when Attorney General Greg Abbott appeals the ruling.

Showmanship. All showmanship.

This law is as dead as Marley’s ghost.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ron Paul Claims Survivors of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane “survived without FEMA”

Take a look at this short video of Congressman Ron Paul, ever the FEMA basher, having a senior moment in his recollection of the aftermath of the hurricane that struck Galveston in 1900, killing thousands.

Get that? Galvestonians “survived without FEMA.”

Now you have to understand that Congressman Paul is a Libertarian so he lets his political views (acquired as an adolescent, no doubt) get in the way of things like, well, like facts.

Like it is an absolute fact that in the aftermath of the 1900 hurricane, 85 Galvestonians lost their lives trying to evacuate the city on a train when the storm surge covered it, killing all on board.

Like it is an absolute fact that because all contact was cut off to the mainland after the hurricane passed, help was delayed because no one knew that the entire city of Galveston was destroyed.

Like it is an absolute fact that thousands of people died buried under debris, even as rescuers were working to free them.

Like it is an absolute fact that the dead were weighted down and buried at sea, only to have the waves wash human corpses back onto the beaches.

Like it is an absolute fact that in the aftermath of the hurricane, 30,000 Galvestonians had nowhere to live.

Like it is an absolute fact that, in the end, relief finally did come to Galveston. Federal relief. Yes, the US Army arrived and put up white tents for the homeless. It was called the “White City on the Beach.”

Like it is an absolute fact that before the hurricane, Galveston outshone Houston as the premier city in the region, the “Ellis Island of the West” and the “Wall Street of the Southwest.” After the storm, Galveston never recovered to its once former greatness.

So nice job, Dr. Paul. You got it absolutely wrong. 100%.

Lesson? If you want a pregnancy test, go see Dr. Paul, but never take a history lesson from a Libertarian Ob/Gyn.

Rick Perry On War

For the first time since he made his announcement that he was running for President, Rick Perry has gone on record vis-à-vis his thoughts on going to war. He had to, I think, because the speech where his thoughts were revealed was delivered to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Conveniently, they are meeting in San Antonio this year.

So I had to read his prepared remarks, which can be found here at his official governor’s website, and find out where he stands on going to war. And I got the surprise of my life. The surprise was that every one of his points were made by a previous candidate for President of the United States: Barack Obama.

  • We should only risk shedding American blood and spending American treasure when our vital interests are threatened.
  • And we should always look to build coalitions among the nations to protect the mutual interests of freedom-loving people.
  • It is not in our interests to go it alone. We respect our allies, and must always seek to engage them in military missions.
  • At the same time, we must be willing to act when it is time to act.
  • We cannot concede the moral authority of our nation to multi-lateral debating societies.
  • And when our interests are threatened, American soldiers should be led by American commanders.
Every one of these statements was uttered, in different words, by candidate Obama.

Making me wonder just who Rick Perry is going to run against should he get the nomination next summer. All of his points are direct shots against his gubernatorial predecessor, George W. Bush. Every one of them. Making me wonder if because he is a neophyte when it comes to foreign policy he has conceded all foreign policy points to Democrats.

If he has, then that’s just fine with me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight Irene

After watching Hurricane Irene jink and jive up the east coast for a couple of days now we now see that it has officially passed into Canada as a tropical storm. Now when Hurricane Ike hit my area 3 years ago it was bad, but I cannot imagine a storm taking out an entire coast as it stayed over water practically the whole way.

Millions are without power.

Some people died.

Others are now homeless.

And . . . and . . .to top it all off, the theater industry just had a miserable weekend with box office sales down a full 20% over the same weekend last year, and down 26% from last weekend.

What a catastrophe.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rick Perry: Pissing Off Iowa One Farmer at a Time

You have to wonder whether Rick Perry has a lot of gall or, more likely, hasn’t an ounce of gray matter between his ears. Rick Perry, “son of a tenant farmer” just pissed off the entire corn-growing population in Iowa.

Iowa” and “corn” are two words that you often find in the same sentence.

So when Rick Perry addressed, get this, a meeting of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, he completely avoided answering not one but two questions on whether he supported continuing the federal subsidy that Iowa farmers enjoy when they raise corn to be converted into ethanol.

Here is what he said after asked the question:
“The federal government doesn’t need to pick winners and losers. Rather, the federal government needs to get rid of all of these onerous regulations that are costing you substantial amounts of money. They need to level the playing field for everyone.”
Right. Message received. Rick Perry is totally against continuing the ethanol subsidy.

Like I said, it takes a lot of gall to address the Iowa Corn Growers and side-step this question, this is, after all, their one big issue. Either that or he simply wasn’t prepared to answer the question because he had no knowledge of the issue.

What just kills me is that this is such an issue with these farmers that one offered that if given the choice of voting for Perry or Obama (and this is an Iowa conservative) that he would have to “swallow hard” – implying that he would vote for the President.

But that’s OK. There’s still time for Rick Perry to change his position completely and come out for the ethanol subsidy. It’s not like he would actually support it, but as I have written before, Rick Perry actually has no political views.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Charlie Howard Gets a 3-Way

Republican state representative Charlie “Furniture” Howard has drawn not one but two primary opponents in next year’s elections. Jacquie Chaumette, a member of the Sugar Land city council announced at the beginning of the month. And now Fort Bend ISD Trustee Sonal Bhuchar has declared her candidacy.

Now while I like the idea that two women are ganging up on Charlie Howard, a man who rues the day (actually, today is the anniversary of the day) that women were given their long-denied right to vote, I hate it that they will inevitably split the anti-Howard vote.

Charlie Howard, when he isn’t acting like furniture in the state house, is casting votes that hurts Texans. Hurts Texas schoolchildren.

News that he has two opponents must be making Howard jump for joy. He really wants to stay in office and nearly shot himself in the foot by drawing his own new district boundary in such a way as to put Chaumette’s house in the newly redrawn HD 85 by about 2 or 3 blocks. Chaumette, I was told, moved her residence to deny Howard the satisfaction of knowing that he had pulled yet another fast one.

Had Chaumette not been able to relocate, Howard would have only one opponent, Bhuchar, and she has lots of friends.

So, yes, I am not pleased that Howard has 2 opponents. Republican primary voters are arch-conservatives and like the idea of having a state rep with Neanderthal family values in office. Kicking Charlie Howard out of the state capitol building is hard enough, but this next Republican primary is bound to attract all sorts of TEA Partiers to vote for their darlings, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and who knows, maybe Sarah Palin.

Like my blog title proclaims, I am not overly optimistic.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Perry Pulls a 10th Amendment Flip Flop

Finally in the news is a story that exposes Texas governor Rick Perry as a hypocritical opportunist with absolutely no political views whatsoever. It was here in the LA Times.

Apparently, yesterday Rick Perry signed a petition sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Fund, an anti-choice PAC that funds early primary campaigns. Signers of the petition pledge to support federal intervention to curtail abortion in America. Now this is curious because Rick Perry is on record as saying that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution gives this power to the individual states. It is up to the states, said Rick Perry, to decide whether or not to allow abortion operations within their borders.

No, really, he said that. It’s here.

Days later, speaking to reporters in Houston, Perry took a similar stance on abortion, saying that if Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, were overturned, it would be up to states to set their laws regarding the procedure.
He said a similar thing with regard to New York’s passage of a law to permit same sex marriages.

But now having signed the SBA petition promising to bring the federal government’s powers directly to states, it seems that Rick Perry has just done an about face with such speed that, according to Albert Einstein, he aged by a couple of microseconds.

Which is it Governor? States’ Rights or Federal Intervention?

But this surprises me not in the least. Rick Perry has absolutely no political convictions at all. What Rick Perry is about is pandering to whatever group that will advance him, either with campaign cash or in polling. Rick Perry switches his political convictions just as he switches political parties.

The biggest mistake you can make about Rick Perry is to call him the most conservative Republican candidate in the current field. He is neither conservative nor is he liberal (although you could make that argument that he was when he was Al Gore’s Texas campaign chairman). He is just simply a shape shifter and will morph to whatever political position he thinks will advance his own personal cause the best.

But it seems the Republicans are comfortable with that kind of pol as he is now the front runner in the Republican race for the nomination.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Barack Obama: Warrior

I didn’t vote for my President, Barack Obama, because I thought he would be a great “War President.” I actually voted for him because I thought he would make a spectacular “Peace President.”

A Peace President to bring two wars to an end.

A Peace President to bring our troops home alive and safe.

A Peace President who will bring an end to all the death and maiming.

Not so. Not so at all. It turns out that my President, Barack Obama, has demonstrated his skills in conducting war that is far superior, in terms of results, than the guy he succeeded.

After all, he brought an end to the life of America’s biggest enemy, Osama bin Laden. His skills in statesmanship helped to bring about the end of two oppressive dictatorships in the Middle East.

Which is ironic considering Republicans have always tagged Democrats as peaceniks.

True in my case.

But not true with Barack Obama. Obama makes George W. Bush look like a liberal sob sister. Obama has overseen a record number of bomb runs by remote control drones in Pakistan (which we are not at war with).

So, yeah, if I sound disillusioned at my President, you have it right. I though he was made of softer stuff. But what I absolutely disdain is the Republican take on my President’s warrior status.

Even when he acts like them, Republicans simply will not give him his due.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yes, Virginia, There Is an Earthquake

Funny, on the day Moammar Gaddafi took a powder and left his compound as rebels breached the compound’s walls, an earthquake registering a 5.8 on the Richter Scale hit the east coast of the United States Richmond, Virginia, to be exact. A temblor that reached right across the state line and shook Washington D.C.

What have those two events to do with each other? Nothing really. Nothing except for the fact that it is reported that people in the Pentagon thought another jet plane had been crashed into the building.

That was their first thought, I am told.

Now in California, where I hail from, when you heard a low rumble and then the ground shakes, you say to yourself “that’s an earthquake.” But on the east coast, now after 9/11, when that happens the first thing you think is that there is a terrorist attack.

In other words, the terrorists have won.

OK, you say, they don’t get that many earthquakes in Virginia, on the east coast.

Beg to differ. Here is a seismicity map of Virginia showing the epicenters of recent earthquakes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Poll: Obama and Rick Perry are All Tied Up

I just had to read this ABC News article that reports on a poll conducted by Gallup this past week shows that if the election were held today, Barack Obama and Rick Perry would be in a tie at 47% each.

Obviously then, the Presidency would be thrown to the House of Representatives where insanity prevails.

Unless, of course, there is a question on the legality of some of the votes in some of the swing states. Then, of course, the Presidency would be thrown to the Supreme Court which these days makes the House look like a paragon of judicial sobriety.

These are two scenarios, but the chances of them coming to pass are highly unlikely.

As the article further explains, a poll taken this far away from the General Election is about as likely to be a predictive tool of who will actually win the election as a wet thumb being able to predict the path of a hurricane.

A year away from the 1980 election, polls had Jimmy Carter handily beating Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton was in real trouble running against Bob Dole a year out, another dead heat, until he pulled out an 8 point difference.

And George W. handily beat Al Gore a year before the elections, and that is just a little different than the actual result: Legalized Coronation in the Supreme Court.

No, polls this far out in front of the General Election are pretty pointless. Don’t believe me? The same poll has Barack Obama beating Ron Paul by a paltry 2 points.

Ron Paul? Are you kidding me?

What is completely obvious to me is that the American people still have no idea who Rick Perry is. So let me edumacate you: Rick Perry is the guy who wants to turn Medicare into a private business. He is the guy who says that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. Rick Perry is the guy who believes that Earth is 6000 years old and global climate change is a hoax. Rick Perry is the guy who questions some aspects of the Voting Rights Act and also forgot that The South actually lost that little argument about being able to secede from the Union whenever they want to.

 A hundred and forty six years ago.

And that’s just the tip of the (melting) iceberg.

Believe me, I am the first to doubt the competence of the average American voter, but a 47-47 tie?

No way.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

No More Moammar?

It was becoming increasingly clear as the weekend progressed that the rebels in Libya were finally making significant progress. Now, as I write this, CNN is reporting that two of Moammar Gaddaff’s sons have been captured by the rebels. It seems to signal the beginning of the end for the 42 year reign of the Libyan dictator.

While no final battle is forming up yet - the rebels are reported to be waiting for reinforcements - people are already asking themselves what is to come next. And that’s a pretty good question.

Things didn’t work out all that well in Egypt. From what I see, it looks like they have just traded out a civilian dictatorship with a military dictatorship. But circumstances are no where near the same in Libya, are they? Egypt’s civilians practically invited their military to take over. In Libya, they are inviting their military into the fires of perdition.

Indeed, with the exception of the fact that the US military was there, this situation seems to be shaping up to look like the fall of Baghdad in 2003, with lawlessness, looting, and killing being the order of the day. And to make matters worse, the rebels are armed to the teeth now, having emptied armory after armory in their advance on Tripoli.

So from where I sit, this isn’t looking all that good. My suggestion is that NATO shift gears and become policemen.

And then there are UN peacekeepers.

All I know is, time is of the essence. This thing could end tonight. That means people need to be in place tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How We Take it Back

Face it, 2010 was a horrible year for the Democratic Party. Not just in Texas. Everywhere. A whole bunch of those people who came out to vote in 2008, giving Democrats a near majority in the Texas State House, and majorities in both houses of Congress in DC as well as the Presidency, stayed home last year.

But not the TEA Party. The TEA Party came out in droves in the Republican Primary and then in the General Election. The TEA Party then set the rules of discussion and frightened center right Republicans into making a right turn in their voting.

The TEA Party then went one step further in Texas. They led the charge against public education and refused to fund it fully as they are directed to do in the Texas Constitution.

TEA Partiers like to talk about the trickle-down effect when they vote to slash spending but not one single vote to increase revenue. Well there is a new type of trickle-down effect that we can consider now, one that does not bode well for Republicans getting a repeat performance in the 2012 elections.

When the TEA Party embarked on its mission to ruin public education they may just have set out on a path for their own demise. A demise that started when the legislature voted to under fund public education, but will come true when the shocks and aftershocks radiate out away from the capitol building and reach every school district, every school within them and every classroom in every school.

And from there to individual homes in Texas. To families. To children and their parents. Parents who vote.

Parents are not going to appreciate being nickel and dimed for every extra service that their children participate in. They’re not going to like it when they see their children printing out their homework assignments at home because there is no money for copying services on campuses anymore. They’re going to go absolutely crazy when  their children are asked to bring in  a ream of printer paper or throw a few bucks into the kitty so a printer cartridge can be purchased.

And they are going to hate it when they see their children have to sit in overcrowded classrooms, or rather, stand up along the walls.

And they are going to know who is to blame for all of this, all of this that started in Austin but came home to roost in their own homes and affected their own families.

How do we take it back? We take it back by relying on a sure thing: people here in Texas love public education. They love it. And they will rise with righteous wrath next year and make their displeasure known at the polls.

It has to happen, it just has to.

Because if it doesn’t, if it doesn’t, then we are in for it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

On Teaching Creationism in Texas

Take a look at this AP video shot in Portsmouth, New Hampshire of Rick Perry speaking to a boy and at the same time answering his mother’s questions.

You get that? Rick Perry actually told the boy that both Creationism and Evolution were taught in public schools.

Politifact rates this claim as false, but I take exception to that.

Now it is true that the state’s school board just went through that exercise as its young Earth Creationist members struggled to add Creationist notions to the state curriculum. As close as they could come to doing that is the recommendation that students look at all theories “from all sides.”

Assuming that one such side is the Intelligent Design side, this opens the door, at least, to teaching Creationism in Texas public schools.

So that seems to justify what Perry claimed, in a small way at least.

But here is the thing. I know for a fact that, here in Texas, if a high school biology teacher is deeply religious, and believes in the Biblical story in Genesis, that teacher will devote instructional time to the Creationist point of view.

Even if it isn’t in the curriculum.

So getting back to Perry’s claim that both Creationism and Evolution are taught in Texas public schools, I’d have to agree. Perry made a simple affirmative statement, not qualifying as to whether this was sanctioned by state standards.

The trouble is, and Perry is extremely good at doing this, the way he said it makes it sound like Texas’s curriculum standards call for doing just this.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Chicken in Every Pot…

Former Governor Huey Long got himself elected to high office by making unsupported promises like "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Most people these days wouldn't swallow that kind of rhetoric any more. But according to what we see in the video below, if we send Michele Bachmann to the White House we will pay less than $2 for a gallon of gas once again.

Now first, I am having trouble with her statistic. On January 20th, 2009, according to Bachmann, I paid $1.79 for a gallon of gas.  Actually, having checked, I paid less than that but then I live in Texas where the sales tax for gasoline is scandalously low, as is the pavement quality of our roads, something that gasoline tax is supposed to pay for maintenance.

The statistic I really wanted to look up was how much I paid for gasoline the summer of 2008, as we were heading into the finishing stretch of George W. Bush’s presidency, and I found that statistic in the same spreadsheet. I just had to scroll down a little more. On July 21, 2008 I paid $3.92 for a gallon of gas. That number dropped to under $2 after Barack Obama became president.

It’s back up now, largely due to the unrest and rioting in the Middle East. And obscene profits enjoyed by oil speculators.

So I guess my next question is precisely how Michele Bachmann proposes to come through on her pledge, one that her audience seemed to swallow hook, line, and sinker.

Will she privatize the oil industry? Oh, wait, they are already privatized. Will she send the Marines to the Middle East and reinstall all the dictatorships that have toppled or are toppling? Or maybe she’ll invade Venezuela and get rid of that Hugo Chavez. Then take over their oil production.

It has to be something like that. God knows she won’t want to put the oil speculators in prison. Bachmann calls these people "donors."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rig Count is Up

I have several hobby shops on this blog. One is Education for my present  money-making endeavor, another is Progressivism for my resurgent political activism in response to George W. Bush and Tom DeLay, and yet another is for Geology and Oil and Gas Exploration, for my previous career.

Today it’s Oil and Gas.

Why? Why not?

And besides, today I note a piece in the Houston Chronicle that exposes the lie that the Obama Administration has put the skids on Oil and Gas exploration in the United States.

Big Lie.

Since April, it appears that the Baker Hughes rig count, a kind of pulse of the vitality of the Oil and Gas industry, has been showing that oil wells drilled in the United States have actually exceeded gas wells.

Natural gas wells have been very de rigueur for about 10 years now, ever since some bright boy took horizontal drilling technology and married it to formation fracturing technology, launching a rebirth in natural gas exploration in very gaseous shale formations. Gaseous, but as we said once, tight as a tick and uneconomic.

But now, since oil prices and refined product prices have steadily climbed, especially since the Arab Spring, the Baker Hughes rig count reflects resurgence in oil exploration.

During the Obama Administration.

Republicans, and John McCain and Sarah Palin may have coined the term “Drill, baby drill,” in a thinly disguised knock against African-Americans who originated the motto in the late ‘60’s with “Burn, baby, burn,” but the Obama Administration has enabled oil exploration resurgence that rivals anything except the unbelievable spike of the 70’s to early 80’s.

The Baker Hughes graphic tells it all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Threat to America

The governor of my state, Rick Perry, has just put my President, Barack Obama, on the same footing as the great enemy of my country, Osama bin Laden.

Rick Perry has denounced President Barack Obama as ‘the greatest threat to our country’ and called for him to be replaced by a new commander-in-chief ‘who is passionate about America.’
Excuse me?

Is it because President Obama ordered the execution of “the greatest threat to America,” Osama bin Laden, and it happened, so that leaves. . . The President as the second-greatest, and now because bin Laden is dead, “the greatest?”

Is that what is on the governor’s mind?

The governor then went on to say that veterans and servicemen would rather have their commander-in-chief be someone who once wore a military uniform. You know, like George W. Bush did when he served in the Texas Air National Guard. You know, that guy who had a swiftboating group defame a Vietnam War veteran. You know, John Kerry?

Perry stopped short of calling himself a war hero, I guess, so that counts for something. From what I recall, being an Air Force C-130 transport pilot was about as dangerous, and life-threatening as knitting. Being a C-130 transport pilot was not as exciting, perhaps, as getting your F-4 Phantom shot out from under you over Hanoi, as the previous GOP candidate got to do, but it does get you on the road to being a Southwest Airlines pilot, something Perry nearly found himself doing but abandoned through a trick of fate and a rain storm.

And now, because that never happened, we have Rick Perry shooting coyotes inside Austin city limits, and shooting his mouth off to please mindless bat guano crazy ultra-conservatives.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rick Perry Makes Mistakes?

Have I just seen Rick Perry make his first mistake of his very new Presidential campaign? Here is a brief news item that appeared today in the Austin American-Statesman (in its entirety):
“Gov. Rick Perry today said he made a mistake when he ordered that school girls get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus.”

“In a radio interview at the Iowa State Fair, a caller asked Perry about his 2007 executive order, which infuriated Republican legislators. It never took effect.”

“Perry said he was trying to combat cancer but should have gone through the Legislature. ‘I readily stand up and say I made a mistake on that,’ Perry said.”
Yeah, I’ll say he made a mistake, and now he made another. He admitted to making a mistake.

Making mistakes, through errors in judgment that are meant to enrich your cronies is not very presidential, this is true. Admitting that you made a mistake on a radio show is really not very presidential.

Perry painted himself into a corner on this, and that, as well, is not very presidential.

Everyone in Texas knows that Rick Perry, through his executive order was trying to funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to Merck, the producer of the HPV vaccine, actually a course of 3 shots, a company represented by his former Chief of Staff.

He wasn’t trying to combat cancer. This vaccine was effective against only 4 of the several strains of HPV known to exist. This was totally transparent to us.

And it went against the sensibilities of conservatives as well as Democrats, but the conservatives opposed it because it was government intrusion, Democrats because it was that (as are sonograms for women seeking an abortion) and blatant, unabashed corruption.

So now Perry has to walk this one back. And I hope that he has to do this over and over again, especially in nationally broadcast debates.

But I know what the result will be. Because when a Democrat admits to a mistake you get skewered. Do the same thing as a Republican and the press ignores you. Besides, this tale of corruption and corporate charity is so blatant in its scope and intention that it will be seen as unbelievable. People will simply not believe what they hear with their own ears. It is too fantastic a story to be true.

The trouble is, it is, all of it, true. And this is the guy who is currently most likely to garner the Republican nomination.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The DeChristification of Mitt Romney

I personally don’t have a dog in the hunt, but I have officially become curious to know why the heck people don’t think that Mitt Romney, because he is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints – a Mormon if you will - is not really a Christian.

It came to a head this afternoon when I saw this LA Times piece that reported that one of the Fox and Friends anchors, Ainsley Earhardt, just threw it out there as established fact that because Rick Perry was an evangelical Christian, and Mitt Romney was not a Christian, that Rick Perry stood to garner more funds from The Christian Coalition

I mean the point wasn’t even argued, and the belief that Romney is an unbeliever was merely used in an argument over how much money Rick Perry could gather over Mitt Romney.

So, OK, as I said I finally got curious and as I do every day, I Googled it.

I was amazed at the information that is out there.

And I was amazed at the lengths these Christians will go to nitpick another one’s religion.

Here is what I found out. To be a Christian you have to believe that there is only one god. You know, God. This, by the way, would qualify any Muslim or Jew to be a Christian. But actually, Christians believe that God has 3 different aspects all with their own names, you know, the Holy Trinity. Three aspects, but only one God.

But not Mormons. Mormons, they say, believe that there are multiple gods, hundreds of them. Jesus, they say, was conceived by God and some other goddess.

Now I don’t know if any of that is true, and again, I don’t really care one way or the other, but it does seem to be a little nitpicky considering all of the other things that you have to swallow to qualify you as a true believer. But I guess if you want Rick Perry to become the nominee, you have to be a little nitpicky, and to start by saying that Mitt Romney is “obviously not a Christian.”

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rick Perry Will Have to Debate (At Last)

Now in thinking about the ramifications associated with Rick Perry’s belated entry into the race for the Republican nomination for President of the United States (yes, you are correct, that is my verbal way of pinching myself), I suddenly realized that because of this, and finally, and at last, we get to see Rick Perry in a debate.

Matthew Dowd wrote last week in an Op/Ed piece that the Rick Perry he knows, and he knows Rick Perry better than most, “will go in one of two opposing directions: He will march consistently and strongly and become the nominee, or he will crash in a spectacular manner.”

I can’t think of a better venue than a presidential debate where Rick Perry will fulfill Dowd’s latter prediction. The man gives a great stump speech, there is no doubt of that, he just doesn’t have what it takes to punch and parry in a debate.

No one here in Texas has any doubt that the main reason Rick Perry failed to show up at a single debate in the 2010 gubernatorial election was because he would give up all of the advantages that he enjoyed over his superior opponent, the bland and lackluster Bill White (sorry Bill, it’s just true) by showing that his recently revealed less than marvelous college grades were well-earned.

He’s just not all that intelligent.

And yes, this suits most Texans just fine. Texans pride themselves in electing the lessers of us to high office.

But nationally, Rick Perry will very probably crash and burn.

Or as he, as a former C-130 pilot would say, “auger in.”

I personally saw Rick Perry in a debate only once. It was in 2006 and he had 3 opponents in that election, an election that awarded the governorship to someone who failed to attract a majority vote. I particularly remember his response to the moderator’s question when he came up with a whole new word: “gollect.” Yes, he said that word on a state-wide television broadcast and he still won the election.

What was he trying to say? The context gave us our only clue that evening. He was trying to say “neglect.”

So Rick Perry will be a formidable opponent as long as he sticks to a script. But once he departs from a script he will be revealing an Achilles’ Tendon as big as the distance between El Paso and Beaumont.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who Let the Doggett Out?

I think the Austin American-Statesman is making an attempt at wry humor in its headline “Doggett emerges as critic of Perry as president.” An emergent person, one could argue, is someone who might be unexpected. That’s the way I see it anyway.

For Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett to “emerge” as a critic of Rick Perry as president, one could also expect that Barack Obama might emerge as a critic of the Republican majority in congress.

But the article goes on to say that Congressman Doggett will go on Dylan Ratigan’s show today on MSNBC and call out the mythical madness of “The Texas Miracle,” and just as I read that, the TV, which is on and tuned to MSNBC in the other room, segued into that very appearance by Doggett.

And I was all ears.

Ratigan fed Congressman Doggett the lines he needed, and he scored big points with graphics that, quite frankly, upset me because I know the truth of them. The only downside to the interview was when one Ratigan panelist, the inaptly named Crystal Ball, cited the employment “facts” that Rick Perry puts out there like it is Gospel, and Doggett, perhaps not wanting to fling the poor vacuous woman to the wolves, went a little soft on his reply.

This is something we cannot do. Most of Americans don’t know Rick Perry at all. So really, he can make up any old fact he wants, repeat it over and over, and Americans will accept it simply because they don’t know this guy. They don’t know that truth and lies are all in the same category with this guy.

They. Don’t. Know.

So next time you hear someone quote something about The Texas Miracle be fierce in your reply. Don’t let this myth become Perry’s ticket to the White House.

Texans need to speak up.

And really, as an aside, there is no one I’d rather have running against Barack Obama next year than Rick Perry. The man is a disaster waiting to happen. The trouble is, and I’ve heard this from more than one source, people keep underestimating Rick Perry.

And Rick Perry keeps winning elections.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Perry is In – To No One’s Surprise

Someone in the Perry camp just spilled the beans that the Texas governor will announce on Saturday that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for President.

Whatever happened to just announcing?

This brings the candidate field to 9, or is it 10? 16?

Here's what they are saying at CNN:

Now I’ve been traveling this summer and all I can say is that the rhetoric you hear about The Texas Miracle is out there and being repeated.

I had to debunk this over and over again with things like facts.

Like the fact that Texas is in 44th place in terms of how much it spends on education.
Like the fact that Texas is in first place in terms of the number of people who have no health insurance at all.
Like the fact that most of the jobs created lately in Texas are minimum wage jobs.
Like the fact that Texas is expected to bring in $27 billion fewer dollars than it needs to operate for the next two years.
Like the fact that the unemployment rate in Texas stands at 8%, above 23 other states including New York.

But then we’re talking Republicans and Teabaggers here. Facts have nothing to do with conservative politics.

Still, it should be fun to see who is first to remind Republicans that Rick Perry was state chairman of Al Gore’s Texas campaign.