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 wealthtransfer. 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.
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%.
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.
From the Annals of the Halls of Congress – In 1913, Sam Rayburn of Windom took the oath of office as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Mr. Sam, as he was known, was to serve in Congress from the presidency of Woodrow Wilson until that of John F. Kennedy. Rayburn rose to majority leader in 1937 and was elected Speaker of the House in 1940. He remained Speaker until his death in 1961. Rayburn was a master politician who helped negotiate the Roosevelt-Garner ticket in 1932 backing his friend John Nance Garner for Vice-President. He worked tirelessly to pass New Deal legislation and as chairman of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee in the 1930s he oversaw legislation that established the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. He worked closely with Senate majority leader Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1950s and Texas benefitted greatly from have the two pillars of power working in D.C. Rayburn was married only briefly and said that his greatest regret was not have a tow-haired son to take fishing. The Sam Rayburn Reservoir and several schools in East Texas are name after Mr. Sam. He was the longest serving Speaker in U.S. history.
From the Annals of Voting Rights – In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Smith v. Allwright. The Court held that the Democratic Party’s “white primary” system was unconstitutional. The case started when African-American dentist Lonnie E. Smith attempted to vote in the Democratic primary in his Harris County precinct. Under the “white primary” system, Smith was denied a ballot. In the 1940’s, winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election in all but rate cases. If you could not vote in the primary, essentially you could not vote at all. Smith fought back with the assistance of attorneys supplied by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (including future U.S. Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall). Smith filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in 1942 arguing that he had been wrongfully denied his right to vote under the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth amendments by the precinct election judge, S. E. Allwright. He lost at the district court, but appealed all the way to the Supreme Court which in an 8-1 decision ruled in his favor. Discrimination continued in the form of “poll taxes” and other tactics employed to suppress minority voting, but tThe Smith decision did end the white primary in Texas. The number of African Americans registered to vote in Texas increased from 30,000 in 1940 to 100,000 in 1947.
From the Annals of Lying Ted – In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for President. Cruz who had held elective office for less than 2 years and was widely reported to be the most hated man in the U.S. Senate seemed a long shot at the time but stunned observers by winning the Iowa Caucuses. That win kept him in the race for the long haul. Cruz racked up several more primary and caucus wins including Texas. Cruz’s campaign, however, was dogged by accusations and proof of various “dirty tricks” including a misinformation campaign about Ben Carson before the Iowa Caucus and a smear campaign against Marco Rubio. These problems resulted in Donald Trump (amazingly now it seems) tagging his as “Lying Ted.” In the end, Cruz was unable to match the bombastic firepower of Donald Trump and was forced to suspend his campaign after losing in Indiana. There was talk of Cruz attempting to engineer a brokered convention but that fell apart with Trump’s closing rush. It is hard to say how the losing run will affect Cruz’s political future. He seems certain to draw an opponent in the Republican primary in 2018.
On a personal note, Red can state that within in 10 minutes of meeting Ted Cruz (well before he became a major public figure), he was convinced that he was about the most obnoxious person he had ever met.
From the Annals of the Secessionists – In 1850, Carlos Esparza and others first attempted to establish a territorial government and separate the Territory of the Rio Grande from the rest of Texas. The secession movement was intended to protect the interests of Hispanics who were widely discriminated against despite their role in securing Texas independence. The movement never went anywhere and was eventually dropped. Esparza was a Mexican-born follower of Juan Cortina and wealthy rancher. He seemed an unlikely proponent of the Hispanic cause, but Esparza worked mostly behind the scenes in advance of Cortina’s goals.
During the Civil War he worked with both Union and Confederate forces while promoting the Cortinista cause. In 1873 Esparza was appointed as an inspector of hides and animals for Cameron County and apparently used that position to aid Cortina in avoiding capture. After Cortina was arrested in 1875, however, Esparza retreated to his ranch, avoided further political causes and was seldom seen thereafter.