Monday, November 30, 2009

Gordon Quan may take on Emmett

Miya Shay breaks ...

Former City Council Member Gordon Quan is THISCLOSE to throwing his hat in the ring for Harris County Judge. I heard the rumors a few days ago, but confirmed with Quan this morning...

When we spoke earlier today, I asked him what prompted him to consider challenging Ed Emmett. He replied, "Well, I'm thinking it's now, or never." However, Quan was quick to point out that this is not a "done deal." He's getting legal opinions on what relationship he can maintain with his firm. He's also looking at the quality of campaign consultants that would be available. In addition, he's got to convince his family members, who are often tough cookies.

Quan says he will make a decision in the next two weeks on whether or not to jump in the race. If he does, he says he will make a call to Judge Ed Emmett first, as it is the proper thing to do. Quan estimates he'll need at least a million bucks to run for County Judge. Considering his vast connections within the legal, political, and Asian-American communities, it should be a reasonable goal. In addition, the fact that Mayor Bill White is expected to jump into the Governor's race only makes more sense for Quan. He thinks it will be a well coordinated campaign county wide.

In 2004, after he was term-limited off city council, there was a big Democratic rally at which several people (a group I was part of) publicly begged Quan to run against John Culberson in CD-07. He passed on that; he also passed on a challenge to Tom Delay in 2006 -- ceding a certain win-and-then-out to Nick Lampson. He wasn't rumored for much in 2008 despite the clarion call of the presidential election (and likely could have had whatever he wanted and been elected to it). He also skipped the mayoral race this go-around. Quan would present an enormous challenge to "Hunker Down" Ed, who continues to accomplish nothing of distinction in the county's most powerful slot.

This announcement, frankly, would be more greatly anticipated this week than that of another Houstonian "considering" a run for higher office.

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance welcomes everyone back from the Thanksgiving holiday with these highlights from the blogs.

TXsharon has arranged by area 60 TCEQ fugitive emission videos obtained via the Texas Public Information Act. The videos were taken throughout the Barnett Shale area using a GasFindIR (Infrared) camera. Find the videos for your area at Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS to see what you're breathing.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why some destroyed Galveston beach houses were paid out at prices nearly double their county appraised value.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is fed up with road rage and wants it taken a more seriously by the authorities. Road rage is indeed vehicular terrorism! Vehicular terrorism is dismissed by the court system as misdemeanors with token consequences ... unless of course someone gets killed. Even then is not identified for what it really is. Vehicular terrorism! Is road rage is a way of life for Texans?

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on Gov. Perry's "jet-set" ways. A Watchdog group wants to know about Gov. Perry's travel expenses.

Bay Area Houston lists who the local bloggers are endorsing in the Houston mayor's race (it's one-sided).

Off the Kuff rounds up reactions to Bill White's announcement that he is considering a jump into the governor's race.

Libby Shaw, in her post Texas Republican Lawmakers Lose Huge Federal Contract, examines the whys and whos of the huge government contract Rick Perry and the Boyz just lost and what it means for Texas. Check it out at TexasKaos.

Neil at Texas Liberal ran a post about a great white whale: We Are All Shipmates --Moby Dick. This post offers up a picture of the excellent ship pulpit featured in the book and its movie adaptations. Neil reminds you that we are all shipmates.

WhosPlayin is still watching Lewisville ISD and wishing they would just answer a simple question.

Maybe the BAE Systems plant in Sealy, which lost its $2.6 billion Pentagon contract due to the economic incompetence of Rick Perry and other Republican elected officials, can now manufacture "Republic of Texas" trucks, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Xanthippas at Three Wise Men takes a look at the results of a study that demonstrate how conservative anti-tax rhetoric has resulted in a substantial shift of the nation's burden from the wealthy to the lower and middle-class, and wonders what that means in an age when irresponsible investors crash the economy, are bailed out by the federal government and reward themselves with billions of dollars in bonuses.

Vote today in Houston

You can actually vote any day all week at the usual early voting locations. Why not get it done and get back to your Black Monday shopping?

After failing to appear at the televised mayoral debate, Gene Locke went there over the holiday weekend --"there" being Hotze-ville. This mailing follows hot on the heels of high-profile homophobe Dave Wilson's ad last week. Rick Casey reminded us of Houston's illustrious past mayoral contests featuring gay-baiting -- the lesson being that they always fail. As shitty a campaign as Locke has run, there's no way he gets elected IMO ... but we still have to turn out and beat him. Vote for Annise for Mayor, so that Gene can hurry up and get back to the rackets.

In the controller's race, Ronald Green needs to survive his tax problems and defeat MJ Khan, who is -- like Locke -- desperate to consolidate conservative support. The difference between Locke and Khan is that Khan doesn't have to try to pretend to be a Republican; he actually is one.

The city council races have been lively; great story here about the progressive Lane Lewis and the TeaBagger Brenda Stardig having a spirited debate as they street-raced down Long Point, after Lewis photographed Stardig's car in a nearby bar's parking lot (apparently she preferred a couple of pops to showing up at a neighborhood association meet-up). Lewis is, again, the only choice.

And Karen Derr should get past "confused independent" Stephen Costello.

Sue Lovell over perennial candidate Andrew Burks and Jolanda Jones over neoconservative Jack Christie. Please.

What are you still doing here? Go vote.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Press names 39% Turkey of the Year

Tough call.

Last year Rick Perry won the Turkey Politician of the Year award for his prissy response to Mayor Bill White's cursing incident during Ike; this year he takes the whole turkey enchilada for a stunningly entertaining and embarrassing string of events that brought applause from the tea-bag minority of the country and derision from the rest.

Perry is the longest-serving governor in the state's history; the strange thing is that people don't seem to like him much. He won his last re-election with 39 percent of the vote, which is about what George McGovern managed to scare up against Richard Nixon in 1972. ...

Sure, Perry entertained us with episodes such as firing a state board of forensics experts who dared to question whether he had wrongly executed a man, or suddenly setting aside, the moment he had a ­viable primary opponent, his long-standing, quixotic attempt to build a massive superhighway wanted by absolutely no one who wasn't directly getting a big paycheck from it, but it was his Tea-Bag Tango that set him apart from the other Turkeys of 2009.

Their summary of his winning efforts ...

He boldly rejected federal stimulus money, then later quietly took it. "It's nothing out of the ordinary," he said after making his money grab. Perry also — while ranting loudly about federal interference with the states — found no trouble asking for funds to battle swine flu or "protect the borders."

He told a Midland crowd that the Obama administration was taking illegal immigrants arrested in Arizona and dumping them off in Presidio. "This is a city that does not have the social services, does not have the law enforcement, does not have the ability in any form or fashion to handle that type of influx of people," Perry said. "Do the math on that. In a year period of time, we're talking 28,000 people that are going to be turned loose on our border." ... In the same speech, he said Obama was "hell-bent toward taking America towards a socialist country," which is somewhat close to being in English, but which also got him a nice big red headline on the Drudge Report and lots of face time on Fox, which Perry gleefully Twittered about.

He jumped on the bandwagon about Obama's speech to schoolkids. Remember that run of idiocy? Obama, like presidents before him, was going to give a televised speech to students. ... Here's the lead from an Associated Press story: "Austin — Gov. Rick Perry called President Barack Obama's plan to speak to the nation's school children about the importance of education 'disturbing,' but he said he would not advise parents to keep their children home from school that day despite calls to do so from angry critics."

Anytime you can call a "plan to speak to the nation's school children about the importance of education" disturbing, you've accomplished something.

Go read all the snarky goodness.

Sunday Funnies

Friday, November 27, 2009

Maybe they can manufacture Republic of Texas trucks

That's harsh, and it's from a commenter on this news item:

The Pentagon's decision to shift the production of Army trucks from Texas to Wisconsin after 17 years caught Texas' elected officials by surprise, raising questions about overconfidence, a loss of political clout and the impact of economic incentives provided to the winning company by Wisconsin's Democratic governor.

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry and the 34-member Senate-House delegation are rallying to salvage a deal for BAE Systems that could be worth $2.6 billion and sustain 10,000 direct and indirect jobs around the sprawling truck manufacturing plant in Sealy.

But as one Democratic operative puts it: “That's like having a party in the corral after all the horses have run out.”

The more you read, the worse it gets -- for the people in the Sealy region, for the state's economy, for Rick Perry and Michael McCaul and Texas Republicans.

Elected officials in Texas assumed the contract would remain in their state, relied on networks of support built up during Republican control of the White House and Congress and did not provide BAE Systems any state assistance.

Katherine Cesinger, Perry's deputy press secretary, said BAE Systems “did not ask our office for any assistance prior to the recent decision.”

“It sounds to me like complacency may be the biggest factor in Texas losing this contract,” says political scientist Paul Light of New York University. “The Army made a decision to give the contract to the lowest bidder. If I were an elected official from Texas, I'd stop whining and start asking questions about why Texas didn't put up the dollars to help the company keep that contract.” ...

The setback for Texas illustrates just how far the state's political leverage has plummeted since Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Houston, helped BAE's predecessor win the initial contract in 1991 under President George H.W. Bush, and Sens. Phil Gramm, R-College Station, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas, helped the company retain the contract in 2001 under President George W. Bush.

“We never saw this coming — we were completely blindsided,” says a top aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, a former member of the Senate Armed Services Committee panel with jurisdiction over military vehicles.

Lawmakers and BAE officials alike felt “sucker punched,” added David Davis, a top Hutchison aide. “ ‘Shocked' doesn't begin to describe it.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, whose Austin-to-Houston district includes the plant, learned of the Army's decision while driving to an appearance in his district in late August. He and press secretary Mike Rosen immediately diverted to visit BAE officials in Sealy.

“In a time of war, terminating a relationship with a proven manufacturer does not seem to be a prudent choice,” McCaul subsequently wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a letter signed by 25 members of Texas' 32-member House delegation.

One congressional aide said Texas lawmakers should have been more alert to the possibility of losing a contract that Oshkosh had tried to win in 2001. “It just wasn't on anybody's radar,” the aide said.

And here come the recriminations.

Some Texas Democrats have seized upon the lost contract to criticize GOP officials. “Job protection is really job No. 1 for a member of Congress,” says former Democratic Rep. Chris Bell, a former Houston City Council member who served one term in the House before losing in 2004.

McCaul failed to enlist Democrats in Texas' congressional delegation such as Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, to help protect the contract in a Democratic administration, says Matt Angle, a longtime Democratic operative who heads the political action committee known as the Lone Star Project.

There is also, naturally, some whining about the influence of Wisconsin's D.C. Democratic delegation -- including David Obey, Herb Kohl, and Russ Feingold -- which may or may not have been brought to bear. But I think it's really about the Badger State's savvy governor, who used heavy financial incentives to sharpen the Oshkosh bid.

The 92-year-old Oshkosh Corp. undercut BAE Systems' bid by roughly 10 percent. The Wisconsin company had support by a predominantly Democratic congressional delegation that helped Barack Obama carry the state last November. And the truck builder reaped the benefits of state assistance crafted by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. ...

The $35 million in tax breaks and the economic assistance provided Oshkosh over 12 years signal that “Wisconsin is open for business,” Doyle said. But the truck manufacturer says the assistance “did not make the difference” in the outcome of the bidding.

But Light, the political scientist, noted: “It doesn't sound like Texas has much maneuvering room in the bid protest — a 10 percent difference in price is huge on a multibillion-dollar contract.”

From the comments ...

If I were making decisions for the Army, I too would be nervous about entrusting vital military manufacturing contracts to a State whose Governor has expressed sympathy for the possibility of Texas' succession from the Union. Yeah, I know he was kowtowing to the Tea Party Astroturf movement when he made his remarks, but as Rush reminds us, words have meaning. But on a more serious note, as this article so clearly shows, Governor Perry needs to get his head out of the ideological fog, and do his job, which includes ensuring that Texas retains and develops more government connected jobs by effectively working with Democrats who now control the Presidency, Senate and House. Texas jobs should not be a casualty in Perry's ideological war against the Obama Administration.

You hit the nail right on the head. 10,000 jobs are big lose for Sealy, Texas. Governor Perry and the republican senators need to understand, their colleagues (Tea Party wackos) do not employ 10,000 people in Texas. How in the world they did not know this?

The Army probably has a mandate to make trucks in the US and not in a foreign country.

Where are the free enterprise advocates when someone else offers a better deal to save taxpayers money? Thanks to Tom DeLay gutting Texas' seniority in Congress (by redistricting out senior Democrats) and a 10% higher price, what did you expect the Pentagon to do - pay MORE? Beside, BAe is a UK company; Oshkosh is a US Company. Texas voted for the GOP: Wisconsin voted for the winner - and people are surprised?

Now he can build his "Republic of Texas" Trucks.

Hard to imagine conservatives complaining about the loss of federal dollars. Didn't Republicans also oppose the fiscal stimulus package? Can you say "Illogical"?

The people on talk radio dont want government contracts anyway. To them thats a form a socialism. See talk radio, your tea party is working! Congrats to Dan Patrick radio and his idiot followers.

I agree with all of you who want to "succeed". Under this administration, we will.
To the extent those of you who want to "succeed" by seceding... wouldn't it be easier if the three of you just moved? I mean, it doesn't make much sense for an entire state to leave the union to satisfy three whackjobs who cannot spell. I would suggest Alaska, but Alaska actually is a socialist state and you three seem not to like that. Perhaps Iran? That may be just conservative enough for you.

That beatdown the Longhorns put on the Aggies last night can't feel any worse to Governor 39% than this. It's suddenly not a very happy Thanksgiving for Texans, and even less so if they're standing on the right. But the truth is that all Texans will suffer to a degree for what appears to be our state leadership asleep on the economic job.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Be safe today

No matter whether you're driving, flying, eating, drinking, cooking, cleaning, relaxing, working, shopping, or just trying to stay alive.

Sesame Street's "Pox News" debuts Spill O'Reilly

Republished in full.

Earlier this month we reported on a minor controversy that arose after PBS re-aired a two-year-old episode of “Sesame Street” that parodied Fox News. Last night, in an effort to make light of that episode, a Sesame Workshop executive went on Fox News’ “The O'Reilly Factor” to introduce a brand-new muppet: Spill O'Reilly.

The sketch that began the controversy featured Oscar the Grouch reporting for the Grouch News Network, or GNN. After hugging and kissing his interview subjects, Oscar is lambasted by an angry caller for not providing news she deems sufficiently grouchy, prompting her to exclaim, "From now on, I am watching Pox News," adding, "Now there's a trashy news show!"

The skit caused some like the anonymous writer "Stage Right" at the prominent conservative website Big Hollywood to complain of a liberal bias in “Sesame Street's" content:

If Mom and Dad watch cable news, it’s better than 50/50 they watch "POX News." So what gives? PBS — a network partially funded with my tax dollars — has the right to tell my kids that their parents watch "trashy" news? The message is clear, I can’t even sit my kids in front of "Sesame Street" without having to worry about the Left attempting to undermine my authority...

Last night Sherri Westin, the executive vice-president of Sesame Workshop, appeared on O'Reilly's show to discuss the controversy. After encouraging the notoriously bombastic host to forgive Oscar the Grouch and call off any plans to launch an attack on Oscar's character and professionalism, Westin introduced a new Grouch News Network character to follow in the footsteps of Walter Cranky and Dan Rather-Not: Spill O'Reilly. The new muppet promptly took over the camera, welcomed viewers to the "No-Spew Zone" and encouraged them to run out to purchase his new book, "A Stinky Rotten Pile Of Grouchiness," an obvious parody of O'Reilly's recent book, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity."


When contacted this morning by Yahoo! News about the possibility of more muppets inspired by Fox hosts like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for the show, Ellen Lewis, vice-president of corporate communications for Sesame Workshop, issued a stern "no comment" and wished us a happy Thanksgiving.

*standing and applauding, even for O'Reilly's self-deprecation*

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dueling styles

The incomparable Nick Anderson at the Houston Chronicle.

Another funny found on Facebook: Farouk Shami for Hair Care Commissioner.

Happy Day Before T-Bird Day

-- If you are considering putting something besides the swollen, roasted carcass of a domesticated animal in the middle of your table tomorrow, Grist has some options. One of them -- not the Tofurkey but the Quorn -- sounds like it might even taste good. (We'll be hitting the scrumptious buffet at the Elegante' in Beaumont ourselves.) I also drooled over this recipe for turning your leftovers into turkey gumbo. I'm going to do this the next time I buy a rotisserie chicken that I can't seem to finish before it goes bad in the fridge.

-- The incessant "Black Friday" bargains on teevee -- and I'm not talking about the commercials, I'm talking about the CNN and the network breakfast talking heads -- drive me nuts. The 'get out there and buy something in order to save the economy' message is so out of touch with what's happening for so many families across the country that it makes me nauseous. We're going to maintain our new tradition of spending the day at the Texas Renaissance Festival on Friday. If I'm going to put myself in a throng with thousands of freaky people it might as well be with a turkey leg in my hand.

-- Not as sad a story as you might initially think. This part is best ...

He thought about the "Five Remembrances" that some Buddhist monks chant each day: I will lose my youth, my health, my loved ones, everything I hold dear and, finally, life itself by the very nature of being human. Smith said those remembrances told him that the transient nature of life does not mean people should love others less but more.

Read it and don't weep. (Or go ahead if you'd rather.)

-- Barack Obama is about to be a war president. He's taking ownership of Afghanistan, which to my thinking is the greatest mistake of his presidency yet. Only time and circumstances somewhat outside of his control will tell if he pays a political price for it. With everything on his plate, he has no room left for error anywhere. And if something unforeseen happens -- another Ft. Hood, another economic belch, some international incident, an earthquake, a hurricane, anything -- he, and us, are going to teeter a little farther over the abyss.

-- I find the idea of a war surtax entirely appropriate at this time.

Dubbed the “Share the Sacrifice Act,” the six-page bill exempts anyone who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan since the 2001 terrorist attacks as well as families who have lost an immediate relative in the fighting. But middle-class households earning between $30,000 and $150,000 would be asked to pay 1% on top of their tax liability today ...

Read the details. I'm convinced it will never pass, but the discussion compels the conservatives in both parties to go on the record "supporting the troops" with money they say we don't have for health care. Let's have that debate and have that vote, Speaker Pelosi.

The fact that there will be fewer than 75000 soldiers and reservists as an immediately-available national defense force after this surge in Afghanistan also disturbs me greatly.

If President Obama orders an additional 30,000 to 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, he will be deploying practically every available U.S. Army brigade to war, leaving few units in reserve in case of an unforeseen emergency and further stressing a force that has seen repeated combat deployments since 2002.

According to information compiled by the U.S. Army for The Washington Independent about the deployment status of active-duty and National Guard Army brigades, as of December 2009, there will be about 50,600 active-duty soldiers, serving in 14 combat brigades, and as many as 24,000 National Guard soldiers available for deployment. All other soldiers and National Guardsmen will either be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan already or ineligible to deploy while they rest from a previous deployment.

Do you remember how loudly Republicans were whining in the mid-'90's about our "broken military" because of the Clinton administration's missions in Bosnia and Kosovo? Neither do they.

Jim Hightower reminds us that Stanley McChrystal is being duplicitous and dishonest about Afghanistan. A historical parallel exists between McArthur and Truman; I wonder when Obama will fire him and bring our army home. 2011? 2012?

-- And just so I don't leave this post with you feeling a little grim ...

Spurred by an administration he believes to be guilty of numerous transgressions, self-described American patriot Kyle Mortensen, 47, is a vehement defender of ideas he seems to think are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and principles that brave men have fought and died for solely in his head.

Kyle Mortensen would gladly give his life to protect what he says is the Constitution's very clear stance against birth control.

"Our very way of life is under siege," said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. "It's time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are."

According to Mortensen—an otherwise mild-mannered husband, father, and small-business owner—the most serious threat to his fanciful version of the 222-year-old Constitution is the attempt by far-left "traitors" to strip it of its religious foundation.

"Right there in the preamble, the authors make their priorities clear: 'one nation under God,'" said Mortensen, attributing to the Constitution a line from the Pledge of Allegiance, which itself did not include any reference to a deity until 1954. "Well, there's a reason they put that right at the top."

Read the whole thing; it's another Onion classic.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The sum of conservative logic on healthcare

More on White and the battle for governor

Still digesting yesterday's news and reading the tea leaves and (insert your own favorite cliche'). For now I'll excerpt what I find and emphasize the most interesting. First, this HouChron story doesn't tell us much new beyond sandwiches served at Sunday afternoon's meeting between Tom Schieffer and Bill White.

Several sources close to White said the decision to switch races was made at the Sunday meeting with Schieffer and his adviser, Lyndon Olson, who was a Clinton administration ambassador to Sweden. Houston lawyer Scott Atlas also was at the meeting. White insisted he still is in the listening stage.

“Right now, people want folks who are competent and shoot straight, don't engage in cronyism and get things done,” he said. “I've had a lot of people bending my ear about what I ought to do next, and I ought to listen to them.”

More on Scott Atlas if you need to know it. Harvey Kronberg has more of the juicy grist (is that an oxymoron?) in this from QR:

In the words of Democratic advisor Harold Cook, “You better get your popcorn and go to the bathroom 'cuz you don’t want to miss a minute of this.” ...

In a first sort-through, the big damage may well be to Kay Bailey Hutchison. While we never expected big Democratic crossover vote into the Republican March primary, an effort to stop Farouk Shami and Kinky Friedman with an “A” team candidate becomes more important. (No disrespect to Hank Gilbert who has run a very active, issue oriented campaign)

An exciting Democratic primary cannot be good for the Republican gubernatorial challenger.

Harvey's spot on here. I'll go further, however: there's not a lot of difference between Hutchison and White once you take the party label off. Establishment, conservative, calm, even bland. The rumors you heard months ago about her funneling clues to him about her plans suggests that the two have something more than just shared Houston governmental policy interests. Before I digress ...

On the other hand, Governor Perry’s life just got a little more complicated. Even Hutchison supporters acknowledge that he has driven the narrative of the campaign and out-maneuvered his challenger at every turn. Hutchison went from twenty points (up) at the end of last year to 12 down in recent polls. Although the primary is still a hundred days away, the betting line has been consistently swinging toward the incumbent.

More on that from this anonymous blogging GOP consultant (via Kuffner)...

White seems to be the best shot at the governor’s mansion, and that’s trouble for Rick Perry’s campaign. Slipping by with 39% of the vote in 2006, Perry will fare poorly in a head-to-head with White. Moderates in Houston will mostly back White, who is widely popular there. The trick for White will be spreading the Houston support throughout the rest of the state.

On the R’s side, primary voters will be faced with a pretty clear choice: nominate a candidate (Perry) who will struggle to beat a widely popular Houston mayor, or a candidate (Hutchison) whose statewide popularity is unmatched in recent Texas political history. No matter what happens, Perry will have to shift to the center. He’s been driving hard right for a long time, though… it’s possible that he may never be able to win over moderates at this point.

Back to Harvey:

Bill White in the primary and the general undercuts one of the anchors upon which Team Perry has been counting. Private polling indicates that in a two-way with Hutchison, Perry will dominate in the greater Houston area, no doubt because of his high visibility and impressive performance during two hurricanes.

Only White can trump Perry’s long shadow in voter-rich Houston. More importantly, White is transitioning directly from mayor to gubernatorial candidate which means his name ID is still high and his fundraising should not be impaired.

Houston/Harris County/Houston-Galveston metro or whatever other title you want to give "Greater Houston" represents something on the order of 20% of the entire statewide Democratic vote tally; maybe a bit less for the GOP (they're stronger in suburban and rural Texas, naturally). A swing of millions of votes from the Republican to the Democrat at the top of the ticket lifts the other down-ballot boats. More on that from HK just down from here.

Now let's not be naïve. Perry already has the opposition research on White. Expect to hear about under-funded public pensions and who knows what else in Houston. But that is pretty far down the road. White has plenty of time to put the book together on Perry and Hutchison … and now he can go back to his contributor list and hit them up for five-figure donations rather than the paltry $2,300 limit for a federal race.

Probably more like six figures in White's case.

Perry still holds the statewide name ID and charisma advantage over White should he win the primary. Consultant Dave Carney, pollster Mike Baselice and media maestro David Weeks have plenty of practice at this statewide election stuff and they start with a candidate the camera loves. However, Perry is considered a more polarizing figure (whose) strengths work best in a primary rather than a general election.

It’s no secret that some Republican House members worry that (Perry leading a) November ticket against a strong Democrat could well cost the GOP more seats going into a redistricting year. ...

And there's the most valuable bit: with all of this media attention on White, postponing a decision for the next two weeks spreads the fire wider. Everybody (D & R) who has thought about running for something in 2010 has to assess what it means for their prospects. In state Senate and House districts, in the courthouses (especially in Harris County) and at the statewide level, thousands of aspiring politicos woke up early this morning and are Twittering and texting even as I type this.

With White in the race, it may also become easier to flesh out the rest of the ticket. Eliott Shapleigh had been rumored to consider a statewide race, but perhaps Lt. Governor might be more enticing. Although we are only teasing a long shot, a spot on the Legislative Redistricting Board in 2011 would give him some serious leverage with his former colleagues should he somehow find himself as the presiding officer.

Kirk Watson may be reconsidering a statewide run, but his public reaction gave no clue. Barbara Radnofsky has been toiling the field in a quest for AG for over a year.

Sure, Kinky Friedman is running for Guv and Marc Katz says he is running for Lite Guv. But frankly, that is just another way of saying one is selling baloney and the other is selling pastrami.

Top-shelf New York Deli stuff, Harvey.

Republicans still have the incumbency advantage and are more battle-tested. And although Texas is still a center-right state, demographics are changing and Texas could turn purple sooner than anyone expects.

Meanwhile, the entire field in the greater Harris County area just got shook up. Republican-targeted Democrat Kristi Thibaut is in a little more secure position today than she was yesterday. Similarly, Democrat-targeted Republicans Dwayne Bohac and Ken Legler are on shakier ground than they were just a few hours ago.

Thibaut, Valinda Bolton, Joe Heflin, Diana Maldonado, and those other Texas House Democrats elected two years and four years ago that closed in on the majority are likely feeling very encouraged. Bohac, Legler, turncoat Chuck Hobson and half a dozen other Republicans across the state ought to be very concerned. TeaBagger mania just can't stay stoked all the way to next November; the fury is already waning and the Republicans will fragment into a back-biting morass by this time next year.

Finally, this from Bradley Olson about White and how he speaks to the evangelicals:

Accepting a plaque from the U.S. Pastor Council, a group of largely conservative Houston-area ministers whose executive director recently discussed plans to persuade voters not to choose City Controller Annise Parker because of her sexual orientation, White repeatedly emphasized tolerance and love and the separation of church and state.

Although the mayor has publicly stated that he hopes the race will not devolve into attacks dealing with race or sexual orientation, he did not mention the mayor's race at all in his remarks, although the subtext was there in almost every sentence.

White, who has proudly touted his Sunday-School-teacher bona fides even in the most unusual situations (a fact not lost on the pastor group, members of which heaped praise upon him), cited numerous references of scripture in urging those present not "to judge" as they jump into the political sphere.

Just as Jesus urged followers in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 6) not to "pray in public to be seen," so too should faithful Christians avoid judging others and expressing their own "public righteousness," White said.

How many Republican votes all across Texas do you think that's worth?

Monday, November 23, 2009

White "considering"

Fresh from KHOU at White's press conference about two hours ago.

Houston Mayor Bill White says he is considering dropping out of the race for U.S. Senate and instead making a bid for the Governor's office, he said in a news conference Monday.

"Since Friday a week ago, Texans from all backgrounds have asked me to consider running for Governor of Texas," White said. "I agree to consider running for that office and will make a decision by Friday, December 4."

Now in the next paragraph it seems to be clear that this is more than a mere consideration.

White said he believes he could beat Perry in a head-to-head match up next fall, reminding reporters that the Governor won re-election with 39 percent of the vote in 2006. "I'm disappointed in Governor Perry's failure to make tangible progress in addressing the dropout race, fighting polluters, and I could go on and on," he said. "If I don't step up and do this, Texas faces several more years of highly-charged wedge politics and a lack of leadership, and Texas cannot afford that."

And about that meeting in Dallas with Boyd Richie and the other candidates ...

Texas Democratic Party leaders have been hastily arranging a new slate of candidates for the November, 2010 election, assuming White makes a run for the top of the ticket. Other Democratic candidates for Governor are reportedly meeting with party leadership at a meeting in Dallas this afternoon. According to 11News partner WFAA-TV in Dallas, TDP leadership said it will not back any specific candidate for governor in the primary, and other candidates remain in the race.

Jason Embry is a little more conspiratorial ...

A source inside one of the Democratic gubernatorial campaigns says that state party chairman Boyd Richie called a summit of the Democratic governor candidates (and candidates only) for 2:30 p.m. today at a Dallas law firm. The stated purpose early this month was to talk out guidelines for how the party would be involved and to make sure everyone was going to be aboard to endorse the eventual nominee. But this source speculates that this is some kind of gambit for Richie to blow everyone’s minds with Bill White as the candidate in favor. Same source says every candidate is committed to coming.

Tom Schieffer, in withdrawing today, not only endorsed White but called for the other candidates to clear the field for him. Hank Gilbert and Farouk Shami quickly -- and Kinky Friedman a bit more slowly -- responded that they would all remain in the race. First, Gilbert's spokesperson Vince Liebowitz:

"The departure of Tom Schieffer and the possible entry of Bill White into the governor’s race doesn’t change anything for Hank’s campaign. We're going to continue to stay the course, and we welcome all comers into the governor's race. Hank remains the only candidate in the race who has proposed bold common sense policy initiatives, and has actually proven that he has new innovative ideas to move Texas forward into the 21st Century. It's not going to change our base of grassroots support, and I'm sure that the departure of Ambassador Schieffer from the race will likely bring some more people over to our side. We welcome Mayor White if he wants to get into the race, but it’s not going to change anything for us."

And Shami:

"I came to America with $71 in my pocket and founded a multi-billion dollar company that has created thousands of jobs for Texans. Even Rick Perry says I embody the American Dream. I got into this race to create jobs for Texans, and that's why I'm sticking in this race. Let's have a positive Democratic Primary dedicated to discussing how to create the most jobs for Texans, and no matter who's part of that discussion, Texas will be better off."

Lastly, Kinky's spokeswoman Rania Batrice in responding to Schieffer's departure ...

"Our campaign plan was never dictated by who was or wasn't in the race. Our strategy has been and will continue to be one of common sense and honesty. Returning power to the people is Kinky's top priority, and that includes education reform, justice reform, and insurance reform."

That's the wrap for today on the topic of the day.

Schieffer leaves Democratic field *update* And White joins

"He just couldn't put it together".

Word is that Democrat Tom Schieffer is quitting his bid for governor of Texas. Some Texas Democrats have never warmed to Schieffer because of his long-time ties to George W. Bush. Schieffer was a partner with Bush with the Texas Rangers. And as president, Bush appointed him ambassador of Australia and Japan. Schieffer's campaign has struggled winning money and support. It has scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference today. Ross Ramsey at Texas Tribune is reporting this morning that Schieffer will announce he's out and sources are confirming that's true. There's talk that Schieffer might consider switching to the lieutuenant governor's race, but no confirmation of that.

When our little Houston blogger confab had lunch with Tom back in August, I was impressed with him to a degree but skeptical, like many, of his close personal relationship with 43. Schieffer had collected many endorsements from Texas legislators, so those cards are back on the table.

Could Schieffer's exit herald another entry into the governor's race from the likes of Bill White or Ronnie Earle or Elliot Shapleigh? Time will tell.

Update: "Time", in this case, was something less than an hour ...

Fort Worth businessman Tom Schieffer is expected to drop out of the Texas governor's race later today, and Houston Mayor Bill White then will join the fray, according to a reliable source.

We now have a second reliable source telling us that White's switch to the governor's race will occur.

I was -- like White himself -- on record as saying this wasn't likely, so now we'll watch the speculation fly this afternoon, and in the days and weeks ahead.

Update II: From the TexTrib's updated story ...

Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie called a meeting of the gubernatorial candidates — no staff allowed — for this afternoon in Dallas. Speculation in the campaigns is that he's trying to clear the path for White, and perhaps to talk the candidates into other statewide races where no Democrats have declared. They've been told only that he wants to outline what the Democratic Party can do for them, to ask them not to cut each other up too badly in a primary, and to ask them to support the nominee, whomever that turns out to be.

Update III: Shapleigh endorses White.

The Weekly Wrangle

The turkeys and hogs might be a little nervous, but the blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance stride fearlessly toward the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend with this round-up of the best postings from last week.

The Texas Cloverleaf clues you in on why you can't breathe in Denton County -- gas drillers!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has some thoughts on Texas House Speaker Joe Straus' interim charges -- including topics like feral hogs, blogging, and transportation.

On Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS, TXsharon summarizes the Barnett Shale emissions meeting in Fort Worth.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme would like the sun to shine on city doings even if city officials don't.

Justin at Asian American Action Fund Blog is delighted that Hank Gilbert has enlisted Geeyung Li as APIA Outreach Director and thus has the first Asian American senior staffer of the campaign.

With Farouk Shami's entrance into the race, McBlogger thinks it's now down to two real candidates. Find out who they are.

WhosPlayin discusses how two cities within the Lewisville ISD have vastly different expectations when it comes to construction.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered information about when you should thaw your turkey. He also offered information about having a vegetarian Thanksgiving if that's your thing.

The Kay Bailey-Rick Perry cage match is a front in the war for control of the Republican Party going on throughout the country. Battles like the one in NY-23 last month are gearing up in a D-FW-area state Senate district in Texas, and a US Senate race in Florida, and likely all points in-between. Find out more at Brains and Eggs.

Over at Texas Vox, Public Citizen energy policy director Tyson Slocum urges the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to fight global warming.

nytexan at BlueBloggin is worn out with political buzz words, especially Socialism, The New Buzz Word. Americans are amazingly ignorant about civics, types of governments and the world around them. Knowing what's going on around us, and researching facts is after all boring and unnecessary when we have news soundbites. And I am not only speaking about the talking heads on Fox. Yes, here in America, we even outsource our thought process to main stream media and whatever tickles their fancy at any given moment.

Libby Shaw over at Texas Kaos reports on the circular firing squad that is today's Texas Republican Party in her posting, Tea Party Candidates to Challenge Texas Republicans . Give it a read.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Sorta Funnies

KBH versus Perry spotlights GOP in a tug-a-war

Sam Merten in the Houston Press:

At stake is more than just the governor's mansion. It's a pitched battle for the soul of the Republican Party not only statewide but nationally as the GOP tries to figure out how to keep itself relevant in the age of Obama. Must it go to the hard right and maintain ideological purity by purging itself of moderates, as Perry suggests; must it cast its lot with newly elected Republican Party of Texas chair Cathie Adams, the former president of the socially conservative Texas Eagle Forum and a Perry supporter who feels there's a high moral cost to tempering ideology with moderation?

Or is there room underneath the tent for pro-choice Republicans, Log Cabin Republicans and "environmental wackos," as Adams describes them, who believe in limited government, lower taxes and a strong national defense? ...

The battle lines of the civil war are drawn: Hutchison vs. Perry, Longhorn vs. Aggie, party diversity vs. party purity, right of center vs. extreme right, a race that could energize the party or one that may tear it apart.

We already know which way the RPofT wants to go. Paul Burka posted the letter from George Strake imploring Kay Bailey to abandon the governor's race, and another post brutalizing her first television advertisement:

What can I say? This is what we have been waiting for? Everything about this spot is dreadful. I can’t even give it a positive grade. It is going to lose votes. She has no energy. Her body language radiates defeat. The fighting words have no defiance in them. The subject matter is wrong. The message is wrong. And where was an editor when somebody wrote a script that raised the red herring of a state takeover of health care? That’s from outer space. Anyone who is backing her and sees this spot is going to be not just disappointed, but dismayed. Even horrified.

Perhaps Hutchison is trying to follow the old rule of “hang a lantern on your problem.” But the problem that she is hanging a lantern on is not that she had a difficult time making a decision about leaving the Senate. The real problem is that she has never given a rationale for her candidacy. If she had spent half the energy she devoted to worrying about her resignation on developing a message, she would be in much better shape today. Are we supposed to vote for her for governor because she’s against Obama’s health care program? We already have a governor who is against it. Who is going to be persuaded to vote for Hutchison because she vows to do the job she was elected to do?

Why in the world would Hutchison choose to make her first spot one that focuses on a process issue? Nobody cares about process. People care about what she is going to do for the state. Why is she still talking about a decision that has been made? She can’t undo the past and all the dilly dallying and undisciplined talk about whether and when she would resign, September, October, November, December, January, never, whenever. It just highlights the lack of self-confidence that comes out in her body language.

...(She has become) is a creature of Washington — not in the way Perry means it, that her values have been infected by the cooties of the Capitol, but in the sense that she stayed too long. She originally said she would serve two terms, and that is what she should have done: quit in 06 and run for governor, and there is a good chance she would be running for reelection today. She has no feel for Texas politics any more, or what the Texas Republican party has become — otherwise she would never have undertaken the suicide mission of attacking Perry for refusing the unemployment insurance stimulus funds, when 70+% of Republican primary voters agreed with him. But she is determined to prove that she is as much of a conservative as he is, which is futile. She had months to do her homework on Texas issues, and that time is now gone, and she hasn’t done it. If she gets in a TV debate with Perry on Texas issues, she’d better have EMS on hand because she is going to get slaughtered.

And Burka is -- by my estimation -- the voice of Texas Republican moderation. (Mostly.)

Anyway, the purge in Deep-In-The-Hearta on the undercard of the Kay-Rick death match is well under way. Here is one of my occasionally unhinged right-wing-blog brethren attacking state Sen. Kip Averitt -- he represents ten southern D-FW metro suburban and rural counties -- suggesting he might switch parties. Believe me, Kip Averitt is no Chuck Hobson.

That New York Congressional race won by the Democrat when the Republican withdrew and endorsed him because of the insane TeaBagger Party challenge? Look for a lot more of that all over the country, and especially here in Texas. The extreme right will win a few more of these (primary challenges) than they will lose, and what the moderates do in November 2010 is anybody's guess. None of the internecine fighting strengthens the GOP brand, no matter what they think. Harvey Kronberg, from the Press article also linked at the top:

"We now have two reasonably popular Republicans in a bloodbath with each other. Everybody who is an active Republican understands the loser's supporters are going to be put into exile; they won't be able to play in politics anymore. So it's going to divide the fund-raising base, it's going to divide the supporter base and it's going to damage the party for years to come."


Tea partiers turn on each other

Beck stakes out activist role

Republicans eye the tiger of populism

Lou Dobbs: The Anti-Palin

Update: And more ... Beck unveils plan to save America

And starring Blanche Lincoln as Olympia Snowe

The gentlewoman from Arkansas Walmart Big Pharma takes center stage in advance of Joe Lieberman's second act ...

Her clear warning that she would oppose the Democratic plan in its current form is certain to keep her squarely at the center of the increasingly contentious health care fight and intensify a campaign in Washington and back home to put her on the spot in advance of a re-election bid next November.

For once I would just like to hear a modern-day diva say :"I vant to be alone."

(T)he political implications are inescapable. Of the swing-state Democrats struggling with the health care issue, Mrs. Lincoln, a 49-year-old mother of twins who is married to a physician, is one of the few set to be on the ballot next year. Republicans are lining up to oppose her in a state where President Obama performed badly in the 2008 election.

Mrs. Lincoln is likely to join a motley crew of Senate Democrats quietly conspiring to euthanize the public option in favor of triggers. Go read this now, because it's what the talking heads on teevee will be chattering about next week.

Update: A Streetcar named Opportunism.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Funnies (Rogue to the White House edition)

The latest on the mayor's race, and more statewide

-- Annise Parker and Gene Locke have made plenty of headlines as the Houston mayoral contest moves closer to the December runoff date. In the wake of an internal poll showing Parker at the cusp of victory, Locke continues to try to distance himself from the gay-baiting and is assembling a last-minute smear against Parker as soft on crime. The TeaBagger wing of the Harris County Republican party is going full-throttle as well, with master of disaster Allen Blakemore arranging meetings between Locke and Roy Morales as well as advising Locke informally. Miya Shay:

While Locke may not have spoken with Hotze or Blakemore much, it’s clear that Blakemore’s had semi-consistent contact with parts of Locke’s campaign. Blakemore’s told me that on several occasions. Blakemore says he’s Republican, and he won’t work for Democrats, even though Locke’s campaign staffers have asked him several times if he’s interested in working with Locke. Blakemore, though, is offering up free advice here and there. It’s clear that Blakemore is relishing his role as an uncommitted, unpaid player.

Update: Of course match-making and power-playing doesn't work well if one of the player-matches is demonstrably insolent.

-- Dick came to town, after a little dithering Kay made it in with him, they got on all the news channels locally, she asked him if he was running for president in 2012, he said 'no chance', she's running some radio ads now. She's had a good week pushing back with media. Rick Perry let another man die by the needle last night despite the Parole Board's recommendations that he halt the execution. So he is certainly maintaining his, ah, 'credibility'.

-- Farouk Shami declared for governor and Kinky Friedman had to issue denials that he was getting out of the race because of it.

-- Barbara Radnofsky was Keith Obermann's "Best Person in the World" on last night's 'Countdown'.

-- Hank Gilbert and Tom Schieffer and Felix Alvarado discussed the issues at the TCU Democratic gubernatorial candidate forum in Fort Worth on Wednesday. Haley Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, thinks that the hair-pulling contest between the two cheerleaders makes it more difficult for the GOP to hold Austin in 2010.

-- And Bill White got the Texas Monthly spotlight treatment, but continues to be dogged by rumors that he will file for governor. I don't think he will (and I don't think he should).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Texas Democratic candidate updates

-- Farouk Shami is a candidate to dye for, according to the Texas Tribune. His recent political contributions are what stand out to me, however ...

Shami's (hair care products) business, founded in 1986, took off when he signed a distribution deal with Austin-based Armstrong McCall. John McCall is a part owner of Farouk Systems now, and the two men — particularly McCall — were the biggest contributors four years ago to Kinky Friedman's campaign for governor. Shami gave Friedman $24,400 for that run; McCall was in for $1.3 million and was listed, until last February, as Friedman's campaign treasurer.

Shami also contributed to former Rep. Martha Wong, R-Houston, who lost a 2006 race to Democrat Ellen Cohen. And in May of this year, he gave $5,000 to Republican Ted Cruz, who had his sights set on a run for attorney general. In federal races, he's contributed to candidates of all political stripes this decade, including Democrat Hillary Clinton, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Houston, Houston Mayor Bill White (for the U.S. Senate race), Ralph Nader (in 2004 and 2008), Tennessee Democrat Graham Leonard, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the same month he gave to Cruz), and the Republican National Committee (most recently in 2007).

My, it's just like Peter Brown all over again.

-- Elliot Shapleigh is still hem-hawing about a run for Austin ...

State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, asked recently to respond to those who say Democrats can't win statewide, today poured forth a torrent of reasons Rick Perry can be beaten.

Is Shapleigh thinking of running for governor in the March Democratic primary? It sounds like it.

"The key is turnout," Shapleigh said in an email this morning. "If turnout matches March 2008, Rick Perry gets retired. When he leaves Austin, people not predators, polluters and paid lobbyists run the state. We believe that most Texans thirst for that message and that day."

LIEUTENANT Governor. Please. Kuffner has more on Shami and Shapleigh.

-- Hank Gilbert's campaign is really hustling:

How does an 8-cents-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax to fund transportation sound? What about state recognition of same-sex civil unions with the same rights as traditional marriage, a $5,000 teacher pay raise, and bigger penalties for polluters?

They're certainly not all politically canny positions (who campaigns on new taxes?), but give Democratic candidate for governor Hank Gilbert this much: He's already offered detailed proposals in some half-dozen areas affecting Texans. That gives Gilbert something other gubernatorial candidates largely don't yet have less than four months before the primary.

“Serious candidates issue serious, comprehensive policy statements,” said Gilbert spokesman Vince Leibowitz. Gilbert hasn't yet proposed how he would pay for his education initiatives but plans to do so Nov. 24. There's little detail yet from most others hoping to oust GOP Gov. Rick Perry.

Gilbert's team has also appointed an Asian-American senior staffer. Be sure and note Kinky Friedman's response.

-- Speaking of gay marriage, that constitutional amendment banning it in Texas that was passed in 2005 may have a little problem in the wording ...

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.

The amendment, approved by the Texas Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by Texas voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships.

But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively "eliminates marriage in Texas," including common-law marriages.

She calls it a "massive mistake" and blames the current attorney general, Republican Greg Abbott, for allowing the language to become part of the Texas Constitution. Radnofsky called on Abbott to acknowledge the wording as an error and consider an apology. She also said that another constitutional amendment may be necessary to reverse the problem.

Abbott and his Army of God respond with the usual sniffing disdain but in the wake of a Dallas civil court's decision last month that the state's ban of gay marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause, the issue of codifying discrimination in Texas should warm up nicely as a 2010 election talking point.

-- We have a candidate for the Texas Court of Appeals, and his name is Keith Hampton. More on Hampton and the CCA from the Austin Chronicle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome back to Houston, Dick

No Kay tonight with you, it looks like ...

Few events have been more important to (Hutchison's gubernatorial) campaign than Cheney's endorsement. And while there were indications Monday that a Senate vote that would cause her to miss the Houston event would be delayed, her campaign won't risk that she would miss a major health care vote just days after making it such a big priority.

"If there's even a 10 percent chance" of a procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday, "she won't get on the airplane" and fly to Texas to join Cheney, said campaign manager Terry Sullivan.

Here's hoping all the attendees have government-run health care from having served in the previous administration, or lots and lots of money, just in case you get crazy with the shotgun again.

Come to think of it, that ought to cover everybody at tonight's event.

Update: Look at that, she made it back.

The contest may yet shape up as a classic Republican vs. TeaBagger, Washington D.C. versus crazy-talk conservative donnybrook.

Update II: Wayne Slater at the DMN's Trail Blazers blog has video from the Hobby airport rally portion of the event. And don't miss Big Jolly's glowing, fawning account.

Radnofsky for Attorney General announcement tour

BAR gets ready to crank up her campaign ...

Barbara Radnofsky will formally announce her candidacy for Texas Attorney General and her December 3 filing for the March 2010 primary election in a five-city tour.

The kick-off event will be a meet and greet for Republicans, independents and Democrats at the home of Ed and Marie Malouf in Dallas on Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m. On Wednesday, November 18, Barbara Ann will attend and make a short announcement prior to the Democratic Gubernatorial Forum at Texas Christian University. To conclude her week-long trip and meetings in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Barbara Ann will announce at the Mid-Cities Democrats Birthday Bash on Friday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m.

The announcement tour continues in Austin on December 1, 2009 and will conclude in her home city of Houston (December 4, 2009). She will file for election the first day on December 3, 2009. Details regarding the Houston and Austin announcements will follow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
6:00 p.m.
Home of Ed and Marie Malouf
Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
6:30 p.m.
Tarrant County Young Democrats Gubernatorial Forum
Texas Christian University, Student Center
The Horned Frog Ballroom, 3rd Floor
2901 Stadium Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76129

Friday, November 20, 2009
6:30 p.m.
Mid-Cities Democrats Birthday Bash
Sheet Metal Workers Union Hall
1020 South Industrial Blvd
Euless, Texas 76040

Radnofsky -- assuming the Democratic primary for AG remains uncontested -- will square off against incumbent Greg Abbott, one of the lousiest Republicans ever to hold office in this state. Radnofsky has detailed his positions against women, as well the legal cover he provided to Tom Delay's mid-'90's redistricting escapade. The Lone Star Project has archived the dozens and dozens of abuses of power foisted on Texans by his hyper-partisan, fundamentalist, demagogic interpretations.

Abbott wants to be lieutenant governor but is stalled from seeking higher office -- just like incumbent LtG David Dewhurst and several other aspiring Texas Republican politicos -- by Kay Bailey Hutchison's dithering. Radnofsky, like the rest of us, has observed the kabuki dance and notes: "Texas Republicans in disarray show they are more concerned about their political ambitions than the people of Texas."

Radnofsky previously took on the Kay Bailey monolith in 2006 and understands the uphill battle she has, facing off against a well-funded and entrenched Republican incumbent where a statewide Democrat hasn't been elected in the past 16 years. She also understands that the Texas GOP is at a tipping point, fearing intra-party assaults from their right flank and losing Texas voters who self-identify as Republicans.

Radnofsky will have to be a warrior, and a lot of things outside her control have to break her way in order to win. One thing I know about Barbara from personal experience: she has the intestinal fortitude for the fight.

Monday, November 16, 2009

She said it

"She is not here. She is campaigning all over Texas. But she is taking her pay from the taxpayers ... I don’t consider that integrity, and I don’t consider it leadership."

-- Kay Bailey Hutchison, about her opponent, Harris County treasurer Nikki Van Hightower, in their 1990 run for state treasurer


In her book "Going Rogue", Sara Palin says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers".

Fact-check: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City's Central Park for a five-hour women's leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children's travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.


"I went to sleep, and when I woke up people were mad at Obama. And I thought, 'Did I miss something? Did Obama start an illegal war? Did he fly over a flood zone and just wave? Did he torture detainees in a secret prison? Did he start illegally tapping phones? Did he alienate the world and squander a surplus? Because if he did any of that, we need to impeach that jackass.' ...

Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California, made a triple-X movie of herself. So now we know why she was stripped of her title --not for being anti-gay, but for being pro-stupid. She actually thought it wouldn’t get out? C'mon! It always gets out. That's the first 'Law of Pornodynamics': A pair of fake boobs in motion stays in motion."

"I hereby appoint myself the president's Tell-People-Where-to-Go-and-What-to-Kiss Czar. Fox News, if you want an exclusive: pucker up!"

-- Wanda Sykes

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is starting to feel an odd craving for can-shaped servings of cranberry sauce as it brings you this week's highlights from the blogs.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story. It's all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is really p*ssed that some South Texas Democrats voted against women's health care.

WhosPlayin posted an interview with Neil Durrance, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Michael Burgess in Congressional District 26.

A guest post from the ReEnergize Texas blog is the pick of the week over at Texas Vox, where we were quite disappointed that the Georgetown city council snubbed students over nuclear power.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on some of the talk this past week about raising the statewide gas tax. All that being said there are only two options to pay for transportation in Texas. Which will we choose: taxes or tolls?.

McBlogger takes a look at Sen. Hutchison's decision not to resign from her Senate seat.

Off the Kuff looks at a threatened outbreak of homophobic behavior in the Houston mayor's race.

The War on Christmas starts early at The Texas Cloverleaf, complete with a beach landing at Walmart.

Sue Schechter announced for Harris County Clerk last week and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs caught the press release.

With Thanksgiving almost here, Neil at Texas Liberal ran a picture of a sultry pilgrim holding a turkey, and included in this post information about the status of women in colonial New England.