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Tom Schieffer Asks If There Is A Better Texas In A Parallel Universe—Maybe A Universe Where Democrats Did Not Fail Texas For Many Years

Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas Tom Schieffer recently released the statement at the bottom of this post about where Texas ranks in the nation in a number of important quality of life indicators.  

( A number of Houston-area bloggers had lunch with Mr. Schieffer earlier this week. I was at that lunch. I’ll have more to say in the week ahead about what I thought of Mr. Schieffer.)

Mr. Schieffer gets it right that Texas is in many respects a child-hating mess of a place. Though he is wrong to blame it all on incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry. Governor Perry is a hard-hearted man who easily turns his back on the suffering of others. But it is Democrats who have run Texas since statehood. Democrats ran this state until not so long ago. 

It is not as if Governor Perry entered a Garden of Eden and paved it over. Texas has long had serious issues that have gone unaddressed or have been made intentionally worse to help make the already powerful even more powerful.

Democrats should not get a free pass on the harm they have done to Texas. The Democratic Party in Texas has yet to earn the trust of liberals and progressives, and has yet to earn the trust of hard-working Texans who need some help in life. (Which is not to suggest that many hard-working Texans are not to blame for helping to elect folks like George W. Bush and Rick Perry.)

One thing I enjoy about Mr. Schieffer’s statement below is his reference to a “parallel universe.” I wonder if bloggers get paid big money in the parallel universe. Dr. Max Tegmark at M.I.T is a leading proponent of the theory of multiple universes. Here is his web page on that subject.

Here is Mr. Schieffer’s campaign web home.   

Here is Mr. Schieffer’s statement—     

If Governor Perry, as he told reporters yesterday, thinks we’re doing well in comparison to other states, he’s living in a parallel universe. Just take a look at his scorecard as governor. 

Texas is: 

51st (counting the District of Columbia) in the percentage of people older than 25 who have a high school diploma. 

50th in the percentage of unemployed people receiving benefits. 

49th in teacher pay.

 49thin benefits paid to women, infants and children under the WIC program.

 46th in SAT scores. Continue reading

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Case For Kinky Friedman For Governor Of Texas In 2010

File:Kinky friedman 2006.jpg

The 2010 race for Governor of Texas is, regretfully, already under way. Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is a primary candidate for 2010 against incumbent Governor Rick Perry. Neither of these two candidates of the far-right offer much hope for Texans looking for a change from years of misrule by George W. Bush, Tom Craddick and….Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry.  

The two announced Democratic candidates for 2010 are Tom Schieffer and Kinky Friedman.

(Oops! I left out former Railroad Commission candidate Mark Thompson as a primary candidate.)  

Mr. Schieffer was Ambassador to Australia and then Japan under George W. Bush. He has supported Mr. Bush in his campaigns. Despite this connection to Mr. Bush, Mr. Schieffer is running as a Democrat.    

I can’t say I’m enthused by Mr. Schieffer.

Kinky Friedman, a performer and author, sets me on edge just looking at him. Some sort of hip singing cowboy walking around with a cigar all the time. What the hell is that?  What does any of that have to do with my majority-minority home city of Houston?

I can hardly stand to look at that picture I’ve put at the top of this post.  

Here is Mr. Friedman’s campaign web home.

Mr. Friedman ran for Governor of Texas in 2006 as an Independent. I talked to him for a few minutes during that campaign and found him to be a jerk.

But you know…..I want Texas to have a Democratic governor. I’ve lived in Texas since 1998 and as far as I can recall I have yet to see a Democrat win a statewide race for any office. How long can this go on? 

At this point, I’m at least willing to give Mr. Friedman a hearing. The candidates our Democratic Party of Texas has offered have been a string of clunkers. 

One of the best political boggers in Texas is Ted McLaughlin of Amarillo who writes the blog Jobsanger. Ted is a good liberal and a loyal Texan. His views merit consideration. 

Ted supported Mr. Friedman in 2006 and is supporting him for 2010. I asked Ted to tell me why he backs Mr. Friedman.

Here is what he wrote— 

The other day I got an interesting question from a friend of mine. Neil,… (who) wanted to know “Why do you support Kinky Friedman for governor in 2010?” Let me see if I can collect my thoughts and coherently answer that question. First, Kinky’s talent and his belief in social justice are not new to me.

I first heard of Kinky Friedman in 1973, when he put out an album named Sold American. You don’t have to listen to very many cuts off the album to know this talented Texan is a fighter for civil rights and women’s rights. And he didn’t just do that in his music. When he ran for governor in 2006 as an independent, there were some young bloggers who, in their zeal to support their own candidate, accused Kinky of being a racist. They should be ashamed of themselves for that. Kinky was on the streets in Austin protesting for civil rights before these bloggers were even a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

I’m talking about the sixties, when it took some courage to stand up for civil rights anywhere in Texas. And in all those years since that time, Kinky has not really changed. He is still an independent thinker who wants to make the lives of ordinary Texans a little better. In his own words, Kinky says, “It’s time to end corporate handouts, get rid of the death penalty, get rid of the TAKS Test, and get rid of the Republican stranglehold on this state.”

Continue reading

June 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments