Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Another Texas Politician Calls for Secession

texas our texas

texas our texas (Photo credit: jmtimages)

Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, who is running to be the next state Attorney General, is preparing his state to secede and become an “independent nation.”

In an interview with WND, a right-wing hub, Smitherman argued that Texas can survive without the rest of the country and is taking steps to prepare for that day. “Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation,” he declared. “I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity.”

From the interview:

We are uniquely situated because we have energy resources, fossil and otherwise, and our own independent electrical grid. Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”

Smitherman said he feels Texas officials must do what they can to prepare the state.

“This was one of my goals at the Utility Commission and it is one my goals currently as chairman of the Railroad Commission. That’s why I stress so vehemently oil and gas production, permitting turnaround times, and everything that enables the industry to produce as much as it can, as quickly as it can,” he said.

As Railroad Commissioner, Smitherman is charge of regulating the state’s energy industry, including oil, gas, and coal. (The Railroad Commission no longer regulates Texas’ railroads.)

In 2009, Gov. Rick Perry (R), told reporters that Texas may have to secede “if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people.”

Texas and a handful of other states tried secession once before. It didn’t end well.

Via TP.

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Davis Thinking of Running for Texas Governor

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis (Photo credit: runneralan2004)

Texas state senator Wendy Davis, who earned national attention with an eleven-hour filibuster against restricting abortion rights, announced on Monday that she was considering a run for governor.

“I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: either my State Senate seat or the governor,”  Davis said after a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The trip was Davis’s second to Washington in two weeks. During that time, she has met with the Democratic Governors Association, attended fundraisers, and met with EMILY’s List.

She spoke like a polished candidate, taking swipes at long-serving Republican Governor Rick Perry for trying to lure businesses to Texas while ignoring the needs of the people in the state.

During the last two weeks of June, Davis raised nearly a million dollars, much of it in small contributions after her filibuster.

Via NYT.

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Pop Five: Comments Left by Women on Rick Perry’s Facebook Wall

During the birth control debate, many non-uterus-having, non-medical-doctorate-having politicians have shown that they have intimate knowledge of the female body. In response, dozens of women have gone to menstruation expert and Texas Governor Rick Perry (via Facebook) asking for medical advice.

The questions have been deleted from Gov. Perry’s Facebook page, and Gov. Perry’s people have barred anyone from posting to the wall, but many websites captured the comments before they were deleted.

Here are some of the best/most pressing questions women pitched to Gov. Perry.

5. “Hi there, Rick. I was wondering if you had any advice about what to do about mid-cycle cramping. Since my healthcare decisions are OBVIOUSLY better understood by politicians, I thought maybe I could get your advice. Thanks bunches!”

Mirena IntraUterine System Deutsch: Mirena Hor...

Mirena IntraUterine System Deutsch: Mirena Hormonspirale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. “I need help quickly and I heard you are a better expert on women’s health than an OB/GYN. Since I don’t have medical insurance I can’t afford a doctor so I’m really grateful that you’ve taken on this additional task, even though I am sure you are busy running the state of Texas. Please get back to me immediately; I had an IUD inserted and now I have an ugly bloody discharge with mucous and I’m running a fever and am shaky. I have no insurance. What should I do and where should I go?”

3. “Hey rick – I was wondering if you could recommend a tampon brand for me since you seem to know so much about female necessities?”

2. “Rick, since you seem so concerned about my nether regions, I kindly request that you remove your head from my uterus. I don’t think your wife would approve!!”

1. “I had a tubal ligation when my husband was in the military at a military hospital. I’m not realizing that tax payers shouldn’t have paid for my birth control. Should I have the procedure reversed or find a way to pay back the tax-payers? Please advise.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/women-ask-rick-perry-about-sexual-health-2012-3#hi-there-rick-i-was-wondering-if-you-had-any-advice-about-what-to-do-about-mid-cycle-cramping-1#ixzz1pmQQpRQr

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BREAKING: Perry Dropping Out

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...

Rick Perry is telling supporters that he will drop his bid Thursday for the Republican Presidential nomination.

The Texas governor will make the announcement before the CNN debate in South Carolina.

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Republicans Attack Romney in South Carolina

Mitt Romney

Image by Dave Delay via Flickr

A day after Mitt Romney’s victory in New Hampshire, he was greeted in South Carolina by attacks on his business record, his past support for abortion rights, and his character.

Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Perry, and their allies sought to portray Mr. Romney as insufficiently steadfast in his conservatism, threatening a scorched-earth approach to the primary to be held here on January 21.

Mr. Gingrich said he would not back off. Mr. Perry kept up his critique of what he has called Mr. Romney’s “vulture capitalism.”

It was Day One of what a ten-day test of whether conservatives can marshal the arguments, tactics, and unity to slow Mr. Romney and rally around a single alternative.

Mr. Romney used his campaign to create a backlash against the attacks on his record at Bain. His Boston headquarters held conference calls with his endorsers, sent talking points to supporters, and enlisted go-betweens to tell leaders of the pro-Gingrich group Winning Our Future that they were harming the party with the attacks.

Mr. Romney’s team made headway in casting his opponents as abandoning their own party’s support for the free market. It received backing Wednesday from two political voices that have had the respect of the Tea Party movement: Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Senator Jim DeMint.

In the morning, Mr. Romney had declared the attacks against his business background a failure.

Via The New York Times.

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Romney Leads the Pack in New Poll

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is extending his lead over the rest of the GOP field vying for their party’s presidential nomination.

Mr. Romney, who won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday and the Iowa caucuses last week, garnered 34% support in a recent national poll, up from 28% in December.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was second, with 18%. Representative Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum were tied at 15%, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in at 9% and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had 4% support.

The sampling error for the poll, conducted January 11-12, was +/- 4.5%.

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Romney’s Rivals Attack Him in South Carolina

Mitt Romney

Image by Dave Delay via Flickr

A day after Mr. Romney’s victory in New Hampshire left his rivals running out of time to block his path to the nomination, he was greeted by a wave of attacks on his business record, his past support for abortion rights, and his character.

With little left to lose, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, and their allies sought to portray Mr. Romney as insufficiently conservative, threatening a scorched-earth approach to the primary to be held here on January 21.

A growing chorus of Republicans criticized the attacks on Mr. Romney’s earlier career buying and selling companies as Democratic talking points.

Mr. Gingrich said he would not back off Mr. Romney’s work at Bain.

Mr. Perry kept up his critique of what he has called Mr. Romney’s “vulture capitalism.”

It was Day One of a ten-day test of whether conservatives can slow Mr. Romney and rally around an alternative — and of whether Mr. Romney can stamp out the opposition.

Mr. Romney used his campaign machinery to create a backlash against the attacks on his record at Bain. His Boston headquarters held conference calls with his endorsers, sent talking points to supporters, and enlisted go-betweens to tell leaders of the pro-Gingrich group Winning Our Future that they were harming the party with the attacks.

Mr. Romney’s team made headway in casting his opponents as abandoning their party’s support for the free market. It received backing Wednesday from two political voices that have the respect of the Tea Party: Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina and Senator Jim DeMint.

Mr. Romney’s past positions in favor of abortion, and his Mormon religion, could tilt South Carolina evangelical voters against him. Mr. Romney seemed to try to get out ahead of the possibility that evangelical voters might spurn him based on his Mormonism, saying that he was not running for “pastor in chief” and emphasizing the economy and national security. Those comments came as national evangelical leaders prepared to meet in Texas this weekend to consider backing one of Mr. Romney’s rivals.

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Perry: Re-Invade Iraq to Prevent Iran from Literally Moving at the Speed of Light

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...

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Governor Rick Perry outdid a field of candidates running on promises to invade or bomb other countries. Gov. Perry is the only guy not only eager to start another war but willing to restart a prior war.

Gov. Perry proclaimed that he would not “allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country.” He added that our premature departure is due to President Obama’s “kowtow[ing] to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women.”

The statement is shocking for many Americans who oppose the war and its costs to our nation. It is the very embodiment of the American unilateralism criticized here and abroad, where the wishes and rights of other countries seem immaterial to the creation and implementation of policy.

For those who found Pres. Bush too intellectual, Gov. Perry appears your man. He added his view of the new-found ability of Iranians to act outside of the limitations of physics, noting “We’re going to see Iran in my opinion, move back in at literally the speed of light.”

Via Jonathan Turley.

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Roger Ebert on the Death Penalty

English: Harris County, Texas Jury Assembly

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At his blog, Roger Ebert has given a fascinating account of his view on the death penalty (and why he decided to write about the topic). I strongly urge you to click over here to check it out, but I will reproduce bits of it (with significant editing) below.

The following appeared in an article in The Guardian:

Twelve of the last 13 people condemned to death in Harris County, Texas were black. After Texas itself, Harris County is the national leader in its number of executions.

Over one third of Texas’s 305 death row inmates – and half of the state’s 121 black death row prisoners – are from Harris County.

One of those African Americans, Duane Buck, was sentenced based on the testimony of an expert psychologist who maintained that blacks are prone to violence. In 2008, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal resigned after sending an email message titled ‘fatal overdose,’ featuring a photo of a black man lying on the ground surrounded by watermelons and a bucket of chicken.

White people are also executed at an efficient pace in Texas. The odds of being given the death penalty in that state are fearsome, and the chances of having your sentence overturned on appeal are dismaying. So far, Governor Rick Perry has declined to commute the sentences of 235 condemned prisoners. During Gov. George W. Bush’s time in office, Texas executed 152 prisoners, more than any other governor in modern American history, until Gov. Perry.

In 2000, Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republican, declared a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois, commuting 160 death sentences to life sentences. Gov. Ryan believed execution was right in the case of “heinous crimes” but noted that during his first year in office, “thirteen people were released from jail after appealing their convictions based on new evidence.” He said, “The possibility that we would be executing an innocent man made it impossible for me to sleep at night.”

Gov. Ryan’s reason for declining to enforce the death penalty is enough. Traditionally, executions have been viewed as punishment: If an eye for an eye, then why not a life for a life? In recent America, history the argument is used that they will act as a deterrent, although few murders are prevented as a result. In some cases, more people die, because if one victim is unintentionally killed in the process of a crime, more are likely to be killed to eliminate possible witnesses. The death penalty acts as a reason to kill.

Do you, do I, feel better when a killer is executed? Why should we? What good does the execution do for the killer’s victim? Do family members feel vindicated? Some do, some do not, and in any event their feelings are not a justification for public policy. If the taking of life is wrong, then it is wrong in all cases.

If an execution takes place in an atmosphere of great care and caution, there is some reason for Society to feel confident a guilty man is dying. In a state like Texas and a county like Harris, there is little reason to be sure of that. It is impossible that the judicial system functions with 100% accuracy.

Werner Herzog‘s recent documentary “Into the Abyss” concerns two young men who were in prison. Michael Perry was on Death Row in Huntsville, and on the day Mr. Herzog spoke with him, had eight days to live. Jason Burkett, his accomplice in the murders of three people, was serving a forty-year sentence. They killed because they wanted to drive a friend’s red Camaro. Why did Mr. Perry have to die but not Mr. Burkett, when both were convicted of the same crimes? In the film, Mr. Herzog speaks with Mr. Burkett’s father, Delbert, who is also in prison serving a life sentence. At his son’s trial, he blamed himself for the boy’s worthless upbringing. His regret influenced two jurors to pity the son. It was Michael Perry’s bad luck to lack an equally compelling witness. That is how death and life were meted out in Huntsville.

The most spellbinding passage in the film involves Captain Fred Allen, who was in charge of the guard detail on Huntsville’s Death Row. Cap. Allen and his detail were responsible for guarding the convicted prisoners, enforcing Death Row rules, arranging visits, serving last meals, walking with them down the Last Mile, and supervising the machinery of execution. In a few cases, the guards grew close to some prisoners.

Even though he interviewed each of his subjects on camera only once, Mr. Herzog has success in drawing them out and getting them to trust him as someone they could confide in. The director remains almost entirely off-screen, with his subjects looking directly at the camera. Cap. Allen explains that after sixteen years as a prison guard, he resigned, forfeiting all his vested interest in the state pension system. Cap. Allen’s monologue is an impassioned prose. This transcript is not directly from the movie but is very close:

I was just working in the shop and all of a sudden something just triggered in me and I started shaking. And then I walked back into the house and my wife asked ‘What’s the matter?’ and I said ‘I don’t feel good.’ And tears — uncontrollable tears — was coming out of my eyes. And she said ‘What’s the matter?’ And I said ‘I just thought about that execution that I did two days ago, and everybody else’s that I was involved with.’ And what it was something triggered within and it just – everybody — all of these executions all of a sudden all sprung forward.

It’s just like taking slides in a film projector and having a button and just pushing a button and just watching, over and over: him, him, him. I don’t know if it’s mental breakdown, I don’t know if . . . probably would be classified more as a traumatic stress, similar to what individuals in war had. You know, they’d come back from war, it might be three months, it might be two years, it might be five years, all of a sudden they relive it again, and all that has to come out. You see I can barely even talk because I’m thinking more and more of it. You know, there was just so many of ‘em.

My main concern is right now is these other individuals [guards]. I hope that this doesn’t happen to them — the ones that participate, the ones that go through this procedure now. And I will say honestly — and I believe very sincerely — somewhere down the line something is going to trigger. Everybody has a stopping point. Everybody has a certain level. That’s all there is to it.”

Then Captain Fred Allen, who walked into the death chamber with more than 100 prisoners, concludes by giving voice to the strongest argument against the death penalty: “Nobody has the right to take another life.”

Via Roger Ebert’s Journal.

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Perry Camp Prepares to Explain Candidate’s Downfall

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...

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With a revamped message and a significant TV presence here, Rick Perryis hoping to revive his disappointing presidential campaign with a surprise finish Tuesday.

As they hold out hope that Gov. Perry can find a way back into contention, his advisers have begun laying groundwork to explain how the Texas governor bombed so dramatically.

Their explanations come against the backdrop of a campaign riven by a behind-the-scenes power struggle that took place between the governor’s longtime advisers and a cadre of consultants brought on this fall. In the end, the outsiders won out and, ever since, have marginalized Mr. Perry’s chief strategist while crafting a new strategy in which the Texan has portrayed himself as a political outsider and culture warrior.

In interviews with POLITICO, campaign sources depict a dysfunctional operation beyond saving because of the political equivalent of malpractice by the previous regime.

Mr. Perry’s plunge was the result of his verbal stumbles, notably his “oops” when he couldn’t recall the name of the cabinet department he wants to cut.

Yet the view of the outsiders who took over Perry’s campaign is that the candidate was set up for failure by a group led by Dave Carney, the governor’s longtime political guru, which thought they could run a Presidential campaign like a larger version of a gubernatorial race.

Because Mr. Perry had never been defeated in his career in state politics, his Texas operation projected an air of supreme self-assurance and indifference to outside advice.

Sources close to the operation describe a team that was stunned to arrive in October and find a campaign that wasn’t executing the elements of a Presidential campaign: no polling or focus groups, no opposition research book on their own candidate to prepare for attacks, and debate prep sessions that were barely worth the name.

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