From the Annals of the Supreme Court – In 2000, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Bush v. Gore, holding that the use of different standards of counting in different counties violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and that no alternative method could be established within the time limit under federal law to determine controversies as to appointment of electors – which was the same day. The Court voted 7-2 on the violation of the Equal Protection Clause with a proviso that it was more or less a one-time only decision. However, the Court was split 5–4 as to whether an alternate recount method was feasible. The widely-criticized decision had the effect of awarding all of Florida’s electoral college votes to Texas Gov. George W. Bush which gave him a total of 271 or one more than needed. U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election the next day.
Bush’s presidency proved disastrous on several counts with Bush leading the U.S. into the war in Iraq on spurious grounds, the inability to conclude the war in Afghanistan, and the near complete financial collapse of 2008.
“We’re here to let you know that the Texas speaker’s race is over. The House is ready to go.”
Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)
Bonnen appears primed to become the next Texas Speaker of the House. Bonnen was something of a dark horse having repeatedly denied that he was interested in the job. But support rather quickly coalesced around the feisty conservative and he claimed he had over 100 votes for Speaker – well above the 76 needed. Bonnen has been a member of the house since 1997 and is a predictable “red meat” conservative vote on restricting abortion rights, promoting guns in the public arena, imposing onerous requirements on welfare recipients, and reducing public school funding. He was also one of outgoing Speaker Joe Strauss’ lieutenants serving as Speaker Pro Tempore. Bonnen, however, does look to be something of a thorn in the side of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as he has clashed with the bombastic blowhard before. The House will look different as Democrats picked up 12 seats and now may able to form coalitions with the few remaining moderate Republicans to advance some issues or block some of the more rabidly right-wing measures Bonnen has supported in the past. Maybe Bonnen is smart enough to realize that there is a new game in Austin. Or maybe not.
Red can hardly wait to see all the great things that Rafael “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP- Tex.) is going to do for our fair state over the next six years. When Red considers all of LT’s fantastic legislative achievements he is reminded of – well, Red’s not really sure what he is reminded of – maybe a freshly erased chalkboard, a losing lottery ticket, a fallow field, an empty pistol, erectile disfunction, the Rice Owls football team . . .
Anyhow, Beto O’Rourke gave it a good shot and maybe Texas just isn’t ready for someone who actually wants to represent Texas interests in Congress. Texans apparently want someone who is there for the greater glorification of their own ego and naked ambition. Someone who is willing to sell their soul to the devil on the cheap. Someone who kowtows to the man who insulted their wife and father. Someone proven to be a spineless weasel when his political life was on the line. Someone who only spoke the truth once when he called Trump a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.” Someone who is so disliked in the Senate that he cannot form a coalition to get anything passed. Well friends, that is exactly what you got in Lyin’ Ted. At least it seems that the servile Canadian immigrant will not challenge the Alpha Dog Trump in 2020. He cannot bite the hand that feeds. So LT will set his sights on 2024 but by then will anyone be paying attention?
And that is the sound of the six seconds of awkward silence from Cruz when he was asked at his second debate with Congressman Beto O’Rourke, “Tell us something you’ve done in the last year that has nothing to do with politics that would give Texans insight to who you are as a person.”
Cruz had no real answer after the prolonged silence because there is no possible insight into who Lyin’ Ted is as a normal human being. He is entirely a political creature consumed by narcissism and completely dedicated to the greater advancement of all things Ted Cruz. Nothing else matters to him but his quest to become President.
“I think he’s got a good shot. If he wins, it will be part of Texas political history, standing beside Lyndon Johnson’s 1937 congressional race in terms of personal effort, and perhaps besides John Tower’s 1960 election to the U.S. Senate, in terms of consequence.”
Lawrence Wright on Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Red wants to believe, yet cannot. Rafael “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP-Texas) will probably win by at least 5 points.
Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex) responding to the complete inability of Sen Rafael “Lying Ted” Cruz (TP-Tex) to extend a compliment to O’Rourke when asked to at close of their debate on Friday night. O’Rourke expressed his admiration for Cruz’s sacrifice to do public service. Cruz could not resist using the opportunity to take a swipe at O’Rourke (along the lines of “Say what you want, but Hitler was truly committed to the tenets of National Socialism”) and then make it about himself.
While Red is still encouraging everyone to show up and vote, it is looking more and more like Texans (and probably the nation as well) will have to put up with Sen. Rafael Edward “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP – Texas) for another six years. In the most recent Quinnipiac University Poll, LT has a nine-point lead over El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke. LT leads Beto with a 54% to 45% gap among likely voters. That means that there are very few undecided voters out there and unless there is an October surprise, Red will still have LT to kick around for six more years – which is admittedly fun. Red credits Beto with having run an enthusiastic campaign – but if in the age of Trumpism, the charismatic Beto cannot get more than 45% of the vote after having raised over $23 million, there is little hope that any Democrat will win statewide office in Texas for another decade at least.
Sen. Rafael Edward “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP-Texas) has been sending out letters soliciting campaign funds which are disguised as an “Official [Insert County Here] Summons” and as shown above state in big bold letters “SUMMONS ENCLOSED – OPEN IMMEDIATELY”. This is an attempt to use a deceptive but apparently legal tactic to increase the rate at which recipients open the letter instead of immediately tossing into the trash can (or recycling – something that would no doubt piss off the Senator). As deceptive as the envelope is – the tactic is legal as long as the contents are clear that it is coming from a campaign. But you have to wonder at this desperate of a tactic. Well you might have to wonder if this wasn’t coming from Lyin’ Ted. As much as Trumph The Insult Comic President™ has gotten wrong – he seems to have been spot on with his characterization of Cruz’s true nature. Red is only surprised that Cruz is not telling Red that he “May Already be a Winner!” or that he is the favored nephew and only heir of the late former minister of oil development of Cote d’Ivoire and needs some help transferring $26,000,000 to a U.S. account.
Still embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has reached another low point in his quest to dismantle the very low ethical standards Texas imposes on its political class. Paxton is refusing to defend the Texas Ethics Commission in a lawsuit filed against it by one of Paxton’s major campaign contributors. Empower Texas an Astroturf organization funded and chaired Tim Dunn, a Midland based oil and gas developer, is seeking to strip the TEC of its powers to regulate and monitor campaign spending and financing in Texas. The TEC requires candidates to report their campaign contributions, loans and expenditures on a regular basis in order for the public to know who is greasing the political wheels in Texas. The AG’s office is typically required to defend state agencies when they are sued but has some discretion to decline to do so. Why would Paxton not defend the TEC? Other than his own well-reported ethical problems, it turns out that Dunn and Empower Texas are Paxton’s biggest source of campaign cash. According to the Houston Chronicle:
Since 2014, Paxton’s campaign has received $377,000 from the Empower Texans PAC, according to campaign finance disclosures filed with the commission. Empower Texans also secured a $1 million loan for Paxton’s campaign in 2014, and Dunn is Paxton’s largest donor, shelling out $405,000 since 2014, records show.
Well, perhaps it is a good thing that an attorney as apparently ethically challenged as Paxton is not defending the case as he might just botch the effort by accident. The result, however, is that the taxpayers will be out about $600,000 for outside counsel hired by the TEC which is a huge hit for the agency and detracts from their mission. The Houston Chronicle has the full story here.
An undisclosed client hired Burkett Outdoor Advertising to put up a billboard in the Panhandle advising “liberals” to leave Texas. According to the latest polling in statewide races, that would require as much as 40% of the state to “get the Hell out of [insert city name here]” as the liberal Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke is currently polling around that number. If you look at Trump’s disapproval rating, then maybe as many as 47% of Texans would have to make like horseshit and hit the trail as that is the percentage that strongly (40%) or somewhat (7%) disapprove of Trumpf – the Insult Comic President. Red is just guessing, that might hurt the Texas economy just a bit – but it would leave a lot of room for immigrants (or worse Californians) to move in. That is called “unintended consequences.”