Category Archives: Texas Politics

Beto O’Rourke for Senate

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) is the Democratic frontrunner to take on “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018.  The Texas Observer has an long article on O’Rourke unorthodox campaign and background.  O’Rourke stands in stark contrast to the narcissistic, unlikeable and prickly Cruz who seems afraid to be in Texas right now as he has refused to hold a town hall meeting anywhere in the state for months.  O’Rourke on the other hand is rolling through Texas shaking hands and making friends.  Beto is still unlikely to unseat “Lying Ted”, but he just might make the smug and self-righteous Cruz sweat.  That would be worth the price of admission.

If you’re a Democrat and you find yourself running for statewide office in Texas, somewhere along the way you’ve made a wrong decision. A campaign is a two-year hell, and you have a very low chance of winning. If you lose badly, like Wendy Davis, your political life is probably over. Stay on the sidelines, like the Castro brothers, and your time may never come. Either way, you and your party lose. To run, and to commit to it seriously, requires either a sort of blindness to reality or a willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.O’Rourke has a bit of both. On the one hand, he has very little experience with state politics, having skipped from a seat on the El Paso City Council to Congress. He’s unfamiliar with the bitterness and cynicism that pervades party politics in the rest of the state.

But he also feels a certain urgency. Many people believe the whole system of American politics is breaking down, he says. “I know so many people who voted for Trump, and I say, ‘How could you do that? You live in El Paso. You don’t want a wall.’ They’re like, ‘No, I could give a shit about the wall. I just want somebody to blow that place up. That place is so fucked up and corrupted, and it is a swamp, and that’s the first guy who I know could care less about the system.’” In his own way, O’Rourke is trying to blow up the system, too. When he describes his reasons for doing so, it becomes clear that the campaign is a sort of personal crusade.

“I think that your successor 500 years from now is going to be writing about us the way that we write about the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages,” he tells me. “It’s just so corrupt, in the same way that they were selling bishoprics and indulgences to shorten your time in purgatory. We’re selling votes. We’re selling amendments. We’re selling democracy, and it’s absolutely disgusting. But what makes it even more fucked up is that everybody knows that it’s happening, but it’s just what has always happened for so long now that it’s all-encompassing in the system. No one seems really willing to do anything that will compromise their ability to be successful in that system by stepping out of it.”

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Democrats Floundering in Trump Era

democrats are now 0-3 in Trump Era special elections.  Democratic candidate John Ossof wasn’t really close to winning Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.  He was handily defeated by Karen Handel after the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history – a contest marred by vicious ads attacking Ossof.  Shadowy right wing PAC money painted Ossof as a stooge of the “mouthpiece of  terrorists” and attempted to tie him up in the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise.

Ossof could not even match the showing of little-known Archie Parnell in the almost completely under the radar South Carolina special election also held on Tuesday.  Ossof lost by 6 points, Parnell only lost by 4 in a much more heavily Republican district.

All this shows that the GOP is holding serve where it needs to and that the Dems are lost in the woods right now.   Running basic unknowns against established politicians isn’t going to cut it no matter how much money is thrown at a race.  The message of “At least we’re not crazy” doesn’t seem to be resonating in the heartland.   Sitting around waiting for the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot (something they are wont to do) is not working.  There is no coherent message as an alternative to a party that has been the party of War and Recession for nearly 40 years.  If you can’t beat these guys, maybe just maybe you should think about folding up shop.  Red has some ideas for a new party – but that is for another time.

Right now 2018 is looking better and better for Trump.  Red thinks Trump has a real shot at securing an even larger working majority in the House and Senate while the GOP retains control at the statehouse level across the country.  The U.S. is not headed towards strict one-party rule (like Texas), but it is approaching de facto status in that regard.

Message to Greg Abbott: If you don’t like Austin, why don’t you get the f#(k out

Our Poor Idiot Governor Greg Abbott has made Red long for the days of our previous PIG Rick Perry who seems to have disappeared in DC.  Abbott was recently spotted unleashing a tirade against the city where he has been sucking on the state teat for the last 20 some years while continuing to collect money from the massive personal injury settlement that he has spent the rest of his life ensuring that no one else would ever get.   Speaking to a Tea Party crowd in Bell County, Abbott disparaged the Capital City.

“As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight, I got to tell you, it’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin. As you leave Austin and start heading north, you start feeling different Once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different. And you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas. That said, with your senators and legislators, I can tell you that today, Austin is more free than it was before the legislative session began because the state of Texas passed laws that overrode the liberal agenda of Austin, Texas, that is trying to send Texas down the pathway of California.”

First of all, OPIG Abbott is all about local control until it doesn’t fit within his grand scheme.  After all, this is the guy who wants to blow up the union as it has stood for more than 200 years, so that individual states have more control.  But if a city in his state doesn’t tow OPIG Abbott’s hard Tea Party line – well that’s just undemocratic and must be squashed.  What a complete and total hypocrite.

OPIG Abbott needs to clean up his own house before complaining about Austin.  The state he supposedly leads has the second highest percentage of uninsured children,  ranks number 4 for women living in poverty, number 44 for high school graduation rates, is dead last in percentage of people with at least a high school diploma (that explains a lot right there), dead last in spending on mental health (again explaining a lot), and near the bottom in people with retirement plans and financial net worth of households.  And that’s just a few things.  Texas ranks near the bottom in almost every category involving education, the environment, social welfare and standard of living.

So what can OPIG Abbott brag about?  Where does Texas rank No. 1 among the states? Here’s where.

Highest number of uninsured people

No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide

No. 1 generator of hazardous waste

No. 1 in executions

No. 1 in percentage of voting age population that doesn’t vote (why bother in Tea Party Republic of Texas)

But you know what, OPIG Abbott is right –  the air is different when you leave Austin.  It’s often filled with the smell of ignorance, bigotry, poverty, pollution, intolerance and untimely death.  Not everywhere – but in way too many places.  So OPIG Abbott, how about this? Why don’t you work on  cleaning up the mess that you and your party have made of Texas over the last 25 years before you start talking trash about one of the most successful, prosperous, vibrant, fun and attractive communities in the entire country.  Red knows you would tackle those issues if you weren’t so busy worrying about who gets to pee where and attempting to upset the constitutional order that has served our country fairly well for about 225 years. So once you have legally cemented LGBT bigotry and have torn apart the basic contract of the union, you might consider getting to work on making things better for the people you supposedly represent.

And one last thing, if you don’t like breathing the air in Austin, please resign and go get a real job.  You won’t be missed.

Doesn’t Mike McCaul have enough to do – what with being a Congressman and all?

Politico reports that Texas Republican Congressman Mike McCaul (more or less of Austin – although with his heavily gerrymandered district it’s hard to pinpoint an epicenter) has reported approximately 7,300 stock transactions in an array of industries over a two-year period.   McCaul is reportedly the first or second wealthiest member of Congress with an estimated net worth of almost $300,000,000.  Yet, that aint enough apparently.  McCaul and his family are voracious stock traders bent on acquiring even more money and creating a potential ethical quagmire as McCaul surely must be voting on matters that affect his personal wealth.  Red foolishly thinks that a Congressman should actually pay attention to the business of the nation more than his own pocketbook.

Now don’t get Red wrong here. Red admires McCaul as someone who got rich the old-fashioned way.  He married well.  Most of McCaul’s wealth is held by his wife, Linda McCaul, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications CEO and founder Lowry Mays.  His skyrocketing overall net worth appears to be the product of generational wealth transfer.  If only Red had been so smart he too could have been busy carrying water for his corporate masters in D.C. in his spare time after he finished his day-trading.

What do Texas and France have in common?

It’s actually less than Red might have guessed.  Apparently, only about 25-30% of the French (right at 35% of the 75% or so who voted) were actually willing to vote to return to the good old days of racist xenophobia, closing of borders, insularity and withdrawal from the larger economic world.  Well, that’s France’s loss.  But could it turn into a gain for Texas?

Red estimates that in Texas, Marine Le Pen would have gotten well over 50% of the vote based on her platform designed to appeal to the far right.   A weenified and elitist proto-liberal banker and economic policy wonk who is married to a much older woman would have a tough time cracking 35% in deep Red Texas.  She would have stomped Macron in Texas.  He wouldn’t know what hit him – only that it hurt.

So MLP, here’s the deal.  You want to actually get elected to something?  Red has it all worked out for you.  As Red sees it, yYou’re still relatively young and pretty good-looking and have a view that the majority of Texans just might take a cotton to (you would need to learn what that means – but Red is ready to help you).   Give up on France, move to Fort Worth, work on your drawl, get some blue jeans and cowboy boots,  get naturalized and in 5 years run for Governor on a secure the borders (by that Red means those with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana) and secessionist platform.  You might just pull it off.  Red guaran-damn-ties you that you will pull in more than 35%.

YES! la Texas

Castro topping Cruz in Early Poll

 Texas Lyceum has released a poll showing that Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) is vulnerable at an early stage of the 2018 Senate race.  The poll shows Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) slightly ahead in a potential matchup with the Senator referred to as “Lying Ted” by our President (Note:  Red prefers “Chicken Ted”).  The poll shows Castro with 35 percent support of Texas adults and Cruz lagging behind with 31 percent. Even less well known State Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) is tied with Cruz at 30 percent.

Although good news for Democrats, keep in mind that a Democrat hasn’t won a Senate race in Texas in 29 years and there is not a single state-wide Democratic office-holder thanks primarily to the Bush family.  But the fact that there might be two viable Democratic candidates for any state-wide office is remarkable given the current state of Texas politics. 

Red has endorsed O’Rourke, but would support the emaciated walking dead ghost of former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis against Cruz if he could get his name on the ballot.   

That Ted Cruz Town Hall Was Great!

Red really enjoyed the Town Hall meeting hosted by Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) the other day.  He especially liked the part where the Junior senator – that our President formerly referred to as “Lying” Ted –  never showed up.  That’s because everyone wins when Ted doesn’t post.  Cruz gets to avoid angry constituents who have come to realize that Ted is all about the greater glorification of all things Ted Cruz and that he really couldn’t give a crap about the state he supposedly represents.  For Cruz, being a senator is not about doing your job, it’s all about have a platform for his overweening ambition.  The constituents themselves are winners too, because they get to avoid actually having to be in the presence of the odious Cruz – who just might be the most obnoxious human being Red has ever met.  So it’s really a win-win situation when Ted fails to interact with the good folks he is supposed to represent.

Meanwhile, Cruz has had plenty of time this month to visit the Peterbilt factory in Denton and the Daikin plant in Waller where he gets to bloviate before a captive audience that is unlikely to pose any challenge.  So Cruz is capable of getting out and meeting people in Texas – he just wants to be able to control the narrative and not have to face people who might challenge him.  This brilliant guy who was able to take on the toughest questions from some of the brightest legal minds on the Supreme Court and other Courts of Appeals is somehow incapable of dealing with us average folks who just might not agree with his Tea Party nonsense.  Trump was wrong – he’s not “Lying” Ted he is “Chicken” Ted.