Tag: Rick Perry

The Field Closes

The first Republican presidential debate is set for Thursday. I will probably not be able to watch or will watch on a delay (my wife is working late that night, so I have the Betas). But the most significant thing is that Fox has narrowed the 17 — I shit you not — 17 candidates down to 10 so that they will all fit on stage. Those 10 are Donald Trump (currently leading the field), Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

That means that seven candidates are out. And I have to say that it’s like those seven are finished. Not because they aren’t in the debate but because they are currently polling so low, it’s unlikely they can bring themselves back into the picture barring an amazing debate performance, which they won’t get a chance at. Those seven are Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

And that’s a pity. Trump isn’t going away any time soon, but his negatives are sky high (which you would expect, given that his campaign has zero policy proposals. In mock polling, he loses to Bernie Sanders by twenty points. In taking over the stage, he’s bumping Perry — who is likely doomed from his 2012 gaffe but actually strikes me as a reasonable candidate. He’s also bumping Santorum, who is intensely disliked in some quarters but is one of the few candidates to grasp the pinch many middle class people are feeling. The rest are mainly vanity candidates although Fiorina has some charisma.

Looking at the ten remaining, I’m not terribly high on anyone in the current field. I’ve warmed up to Rubio lately but I think this race is going to quickly narrow to Walker vs. Bush. And if Trumpism spooks enough of the GOP establishment, they will go to Bush, barring some catastrophic gaffe.

So, right now, I’m thinking we’re seeing a 2016 showdown of Bush v. Clinton. Didn’t we already do this?

Perry Under the Gun

So this happened:

A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday on two felony counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. The charges are linked to his push for Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, to resign after she was arrested for drunk driving last year.

The case focused on Perry’s threat to veto funding to Lehmberg’s office unless she resigned. Perry eventually made good on that threat, vetoing $7.5 million that would have gone to the Public Integrity Unit in Lehmberg’s office, the Dallas Morning News’ Christy Hoppe explains. He justified the veto by pointing to Lehmberg’s April 2013 arrest for drunk driving, for which she pled guilty and received a 45-day sentence. As a result of the veto, several employees in Lehmberg’s office were either reassigned or lost their jobs, the Austin American Statesman reports.

The DWI incident was not one where Lehmberg had an extra wine cooler and was busted on a technicality. Rosemary Lehmberg was completely hammered when she got behind the wheel of a car and drove the wrong way down an Austin street. She had an open bottle of vodka on her and blew a staggering 0.23. Video shows her as stumbling, belligerent and fighting with the cops. More disturbingly, she keeps telling them to call the Travis County Sheriff as though expecting him to spring her. That’s called abuse of power. Perry was right to demand her resignation.

It does seem a bit capricious for Perry to withhold funds because from an office because of the behavior of its lead. I can see why people might not like his decision to veto the funding for her office. The problem is … it’s not illegal.

the Texas Constitution expressly reserves the veto power to the governor. The governor is entitled to decide which laws he “approv[es]” and which he disapproves — without constraint from the legislature, or from county-level district attorneys. The legislature certainly can’t make it a crime for the governor to veto its appropriation bills; that would deny the governor the power that the Texas Constitution gives him.

Nor can the legislature make it a crime, I think, for the governor to veto its appropriation bills as an attempt to influence some government official’s behavior — behavior that is commonplace in the political process, and that is likewise within the governor’s exclusive power to decide which bills to give his “approval.” To be sure, the legislature can make it a crime for the governor to accept bribes in exchange for a veto; but there the crime is the acceptance of the bribe, not the veto itself.

Lest you think I’m being selective, here’s Patterico, Chait and Rubin. I have yet to see a legal blogger — even on the lefty blogs gleefully celebrating the indictment — who thinks this indictment isn’t a giant flaming piece of crap (and most likely retaliation from Travis County).

I’d just write this off as standard political crap except that we’ve seen this before. Earlier this year, prosecutors gleefully announced that Scott Walker was the center of a giant criminal scheme only to admit days later that he was not a target of their investigation (said investigation having been rejected twice by judges before a sympathetic one allowed it to proceed). And then there is the “Bridgegate” scandal with Chris Christie which has yet to produce anything implicating the governor.

What these three men have in common is that they are all leading candidates for the 2016 Presidential nomination. All three governors are (or were) popular and all three will have long terms at their backs in 2016. Perry was, in fact, a favored candidate in 2012 until he imploded during a debate.

Is it an accident that the Democrats are engaging in “lawfare” against these guys? Should we expect some charges to be brought against Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio?

Stay tuned. I don’t think this is over yet.

Perry Out, Marianne In

Things got interesting for Camp Newt today. He is apparently surging in the South Carolina polls. Rick Perry dropped out and endorsed him. And, as Rich noted below, wife Number 2 is set to give a TV interview dishing on all his personal scumbaggery. I’ll let Rich’s post address the Marianne Ginrich thing, but I thought I’d post a quick thought on Perry.

This is not unexpected and I think his withdrawal speech was actually one of his better campaign moments. Looking back, I’m not sure Perry really wanted to be President. He liked the attention, but he always seemed to be fine with the idea of just going back to Texas. In this environment, I’d frankly rather be Governor of Texas, too. At least I’d have access to Austin barbecue.

The Leader of the Pack

It seems like overnight the Republican also-rans have figured out that attacking Mitt Romney might be more profitable than attacking each other. Huntsman opened with a great defense of being Obama’s ambassador to China. Rick Perry, Mr. Oops himself, had a great line about Romney’s fear of pink slip being a fear of running out of them. And Romney, bless him, handed them a great line all on his own:

Now to be clear, this is taken out of context. Romney was talking about health insurance and defending the private market over a socialized market. He was saying he likes being able to fire your health insurance company if they aren’t providing you with good insurance. But given his dubious attacks on his fellows, he’s opened himself up for this.

Romney’s Bain Capital days are the epicenter of this and I can understand why. The public has a huge distaste for people who make millions downsizing and blowing up companies. Maybe they shouldn’t: there’s plenty of evidence that downsizing, in the end, moves capital and people from inefficient dying businesses to more robust ones. But it’s a fact that people don’t like it. And if you think Perry and Huntsman are being unfair about it now, you just wait until Team Obama gets their teeth into this. Five years ago, this wouldn’t have been a liability. But with the perception that our economy has been crippled by rich guys who do nothing but play with money all day, Romney’s Bain Capital background is a big liability. And how he responds now will be a big indication of whether he can absorb the punches Obama is going to deliver later this year.

Unless the Republicans suddenly discover John Huntsman, the race has narrowed down to Paul, Santorum and Romney. I still think Romney is the most likely nominee since both Santorum and Paul have a lot of baggage. But don’t be surprised if this goes a long time and ends up with a brokered convention.


I skipped the debate last night for the sake of my sanity and apparently missed something fun. Perry and Romney got into it something fierce:

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There were other exchanges as well. Santorum hit Romney pretty hard on Romneycare (and also provoked Romney to ask for the rules to be enforced.

Curious what our readership thinks of the above exchange. Who got the best of that?

What Are They Talking About?

It’s more than just a disconnect, lately it’s almost like they are speaking a different language. Are they just going through the motions and playing us for fools? Here, you be the judge. It seems like every time Rick Perry opens his yap, all I hear is nonsense, is it just me?

Ice cream, pretzels, gas jets? Are they even trying?

And this isn’t party specific, even our president is making less and less sense, what makes this even more sinister is the coupling of a down beat, like some Vulcan mind meld.

Whatever happened to ,”Don’t ask what you country can do for you, yada, yada, yada”? We deserve better.

The HPV Question

The big fireworks in Monday’s debate were about Rick Perry mandating the HPV vaccine for girls in Texas. Bachmann basically accused him of taking a bribe, Perry admitted the policy was mistaken, lots of applause lines were had.

Did Perry make a mistake? There’s a lot to untangle on the HPV question, so I’ll break it down.

On a personal level, I’m very much in favor of the HPV vaccine. I intend to have Sal 11000 Beta inoculated when she gets to the right age as well as any other Betas that come along. This includes any boys, since I don’t want them catching or spreading the illness. The things mows down 4,000 women a year and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is growing evidence that HPV can be spread through saliva and cause throat cancer.

It’s critical to remember that: abstinence and being right with Jesus does not insulate you from HPV. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact and possibly by saliva. Half of Americans have it. Both partners could be virgins on their wedding night and still be exposed. This is not a disease that is confined to slutty women (as if that would matter anyway).

The vaccine itself is very effective and very safe, despite Bachmann’s claim that it left a girl “retarded”. With millions of doses given, it is showing few, if any, side effects. I’m unwilling to declare the vaccine perfectly safe until the first generation of girls start having children and show no ill effects. But … so far, so good.

Nothing I’ve said above is particularly controversial. One of the refreshing things about this issues is how quickly the entire Right Wing blogosphere sided against Bachmann, at least on the retardation issue. For the party that is supposed to hate science, I have seen very few entertaining the idea that this vaccine is unnecessary, unsafe or ineffective. A surprising fraction are familiar with Andrew Wakefield and his fraudulent research on the vaccine-autism link. It actually made me smile.

(One of the points debated — not in the actual debate, but on the blogs — is whether the HPV vaccine will make girls sleep around more. Count me in the “maybe a little, but not much” category. Try this thought experiment: what if all venereal diseases were eliminated? Would women suddenly sleep with everyone? I don’t think so. But I do think the lack of VD threat would make people in general less cautious. I’ll take that tradeoff — assuming it is a tradeoff.)

Where the debate really breaks down in on the mandate. And here — and I can’t believe I’m going to say this — I’m with Bachmann and … Richard … John … Santorum. No, really. Here’s what Santorum said in the debate.

Why — ladies and gentlemen, why do we inoculate people with vaccines in public schools? Because we’re afraid of those diseases being communicable between people at school. And therefore, to protect the rest of the people at school, we have vaccinations to protect those children.

Exactly. Measles, mumps, rubella, polio — these can be spread by casual contact. HPV requires more intimate contact. Not necessarily sex, but skin-to-skin contact or kissing. To me, that’s enough to take a pass on the mandate. I might be willing to mandate it for sports that involve skin-to-skin contact — wrestling or football, for example. And I would be fine with the state strongly recommending it, giving information to parents and paying for poor people to get it if they are on Medicaid. The possibility of dramatically cutting the incidence of HPV and saving thousands of women’s lives is simply too beautiful to ignore.

But on the mandate, I’m with … those guys.

Now, did Rick Perry mandate this because of a $5,000 donation to his campaign and the job it later gave to his Chief of Staff? While I thought as much at the time, I’m beginning to side more with Perry. That’s way too low a price for this kind of bribe. Merck has much better reasons to support Perry, such as the tort reform that limited Vioxx judgements and made Texas one of the least dangerous tort states.

So, in the end, I find myself agreeing with both sides. The vaccine should be used by everyone, should not be mandated, but Perry wasn’t bribed. That’s kind of rare for me to not be bashing someone over the head.

Michelle Malkin – Plumbing Perry’s Objective Record

Couple of things before I start citing the article to which the title refers:

1) I have no problem with taking a candidate’s religious views and practices into account. In fact, I always do try to discern the veracity of the stated views that their actual practices expose. But I tend to do that privately, as my personal religious views and/or biases will always win out in reaching conclusions about a candidate over what others’ takes mean to them based on their own views/biases. So this post is not going to be about Perry’s religious or morality views, but rather his objective record of governance as Governor of Texas for the last decade or so.

2) I have one problem with Malkin’s repeated use of the words “Tea Party” in this article. As I read it, every time it was used it should have been substituted with the word “conservative” or some synonymous derivative thereof. She is describing what any conservative should expect/demand from someone running on a conservative platform, and I personally see the Tea Party as nothing more than the collective memory of what the Republican Party’s platform always was up until GHW Bush, on through to W Bush and many, if not most, of today’s Republican candidates/office-holders. Perry, as well as all the rest, should be evaluated on their adherence (or lack thereof) to traditional, constitutional conservative values, not just on what the Tea Party espouses.

So, with those caveats, here we go:

Yesterday, the Washington Post asked me to comment on conservative concerns about Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s records.

Here is what I told them in full:

“The Gardasil debacle is just one of many concerns a wide range of grass-roots conservative activists have about Perry’s record as governor. He’s soft on illegal immigration despite a few recent nods to border enforcement. He’s prone to crony capitalism. And as the vaccine mandate scandal shows, he demonstrated Nanny State tendencies that are anathema to Tea Party core principles.

A clearer, more forthright apology about the Gardasil executive order would have helped. But in the end, I don’t think there’s anything he can do to ‘fix’ his political/ideological instincts. They are what they are.

The reaction to my criticism of Perry’s Gardasil mandate is mixed. Yeah, I’ve gotten heat for not falling in line with the latest GOP bandwagon. Many Perry backers will accuse detractors of being single-issue purists making mountains out of molehills. Some Texan readers will defend him to the death out of parochial loyalty. The majority of responses have been positive, though. If we demand that Obama answer for the glaring discrepancies between his rhetoric and his record, we must do the same for our candidates.

The important thing is that we’re having the debate. It’s healthy. It’s necessary. It’s why we have primary battles for the GOP nomination and not coronations.”

Michelle and I are simpatico here. I am not a registered Republican, so I guess it stands to reason that I would refuse to get on board with any GOP “bandwagon,” but Michelle Malkin is indeed a Republican, and I appreciate the standard to which she is attempting to hold all voters who will likely vote Republican in primaries and the General, regardless of party affiliation. As previously mentioned, “Tea Party” should have been substituted with “conservative,” but the message should be the same for anyone trying to scrutinize Perry’s record, even if they don’t consider themselves part of the Tea Party.

Here is the article in the Post, which concludes:

“Perry’s campaign is brushing off the criticism, saying there’s nothing in his record that a conservative wouldn’t love.

“The governor has a conservative track record on fiscal issues, on social issues and on the border,” said spokesman Mark Miner. On the HPV vaccine, Miner, said, “this is a life issue and he erred on the side of life.”

But on this issue — and others — Perry is only likely to get more scrutiny, not less.”

Once again, the Perry campaign proves my point about the non-walkback-walkback. If Perry “erred on the side of life,” what his campaign continues to suggest is that those who opposed his Gardasil mandate from the beginning chose death. Instead of renouncing the human shield demagoguery he engaged it after the repeal, the Perry campaign has doubled-down.

There is nothing — nothing — Tea Party about this.

Nothing conservative about it either, and that’s the point. If you don’t know about the Gardasil controversy, please follow the link above or Google it and read up on it. Forced vaccinations by the state, whether federal or state-level, should scare the crap out of all of us. I realize Perry isn’t the first to implement such things, nor will he likely be the last, but I can’t see any argument that supports the contention that forcing a given medical treatment on kids against what their parents believe is in their best interest is in any way an “error” that any “conservative wouldn’t love.”

It is no surprise — given the Merck ties — that Perry is a consummate practitioner of corporate welfare “public-private partnerships.” Tim Carney, who wrote the book on Obama’s crony capitalism, dissects Perry’s big government-big business collusion in the Examiner today. As with the Gardasil mandate, Perry exercised his habit of overriding the deliberative process, exercising unilateral executive authority, and benefiting donors and cronies.

She cites quotes in the article supporting the above contention, which you can check those or follow the links above to, and which I will leave out here for brevity’s sake, but which, again, Michelle and I are simpatico on.

The Wall Street Journal earlier scrutinized Perry’s crony capitalism here.

Then there’s Perry’s troubling erosion of private property rights via the Trans Texas Corridor.

Michelle goes on from there to link to articles of hers decrying “big government public-private partnerships” by Obama and GW Bush, claiming what I agree is the consistency high-ground in her cross-party government analysis over the years.

Jennifer Rubin explains to knee-jerk Perry supporters why all of this matters — and why the vetting of Perry and every other announced candidate is imperative:

“The downfall of the Republican majority in Congress in 2006 was the perception that conservatives had gone to Washington and become ensnared by lobbyists, donors and special interests who used the federal government and taxpayers’ money as a piggy bank. Republicans should examine candidates’ records and see not only if they have successfully created jobs but how they have done so, what the appropriate model is for the relationship between government and the private sector and whether that model is one we should adopt in Washington.”

Has anyone noticed that, in the journalistic realm anyway, most of the steely-spined conservatives are women these days? I mean, yeah, there are exceptions, but many of the Tea Party notables are women and many of the most committed and deeply-convicted conservative bloggers are women. I’m not sure whether it’s refreshing or embarrassing considering I’m a man, but it sure does seem rather undeniable in any case.

Anyway, back to Malkin:

How are Perry defenders responding to criticism?

This is typical:

Richard Rekieta
Richard.Rekieta@cityofhouston.net to malkinblog

10:54 AM


I am a fan of yours, but your hack job on Governor Perry was not necessary. Why are we dumping on our own? If you cannot say anything good about a Republican, shut the hell up. There are plenty of Dems around to trash our side. Overall, Governor Perry is the best we got.


Ugh. Maybe those reports on the death of the Tea Party movement aren’t so premature after all.

Someone give me hope out there, please.

And no, I will not shut the hell up.

I wish she would have couched it as the “death of the conservative movement” rather than the Tea Party, but other than that I say, you go girl.

She concludes with:

More on Perry and our favorite Latino supremacists at La Raza.

From the American Thinker, Perry’s problematic jihadi-friendly pals.

On the plus side, he’s saying the right things about global warming junk science. That’s an improvement over the climate change Republicans and GOP enviro-nitwits from the last presidential campaign season.

For my own self, I am not posting this to pick on Rick Perry. I have major problems with all of the so-called conservative candidates. I do have a particular problem with Perry filing to run one day after avoiding a major debate, and the next day being the front-runner by double-digit poll points though. That fact alone seems to expose a rather disturbing dearth of thoughtful analysis of the candidates by voters. Of course, that dearth may or may not be manipulated by the polling agency in the way they conduct or weight their polls, but even if that is so, are “our” voters so easily manipulated, and if so, does that say anything more positive about them than what an almost complete lack of investigation of Perry’s record would say if the polls are accurate?

Always question them, always scrutinize their records. Anything less makes us, as voters, the problem, not them as the entitled power-hungry overlords that they all see themselves as in the deepest, darkest recesses of their psyche.


Lock Those Elbows

One thing we learned in 2008, the Obama machine, that accumulation of believers that craft the image then put that image out to the folks through various media venues, is formidable. And given what an empty suit he has turned out to be (turned out? OK, always has been) the presentation deserves even more accolades. The 2012 machine will have more cogs dedicated towards destroying the opposition. Hope and Change won’t work this time around, nor will running on results or a record of achievement, the primary effort will focus on making their guy look good by means of comparison, and Rick Perry has gotten their attention big time.

I have cautioned in the past about falling in love with candidates, all have warts, a crazy uncle or two, and several frat stories involving alcohol, loose women and maybe a barn yard animal (hopefully no video) and I’m certainly not 100% satisfied with the current GOP crop, but I’m liking some things I’m hearing about Perry, like this:

For some reason my buddy Melissa never told me she had this video of Gov. Rick Perry teaching me to shoot his Ruger last year (the one he shot the coyote with!). This is just too cool. I’ll say this about Gov. Perry. He is a down to earth guy. It wasn’t just me that he taught to shoot his gun that day. It was about 6 or 7 other Texas bloggers. I’ve had quite a few opportunities like this with the Governor because he is so willing to be with us regular folks.

Yes, she jerked the trigger, gotta work on that, but since Perry was instructing her under the guise of personal protection, not target shooting, the idea is to put the bad guy down and not put 3 in the “ten” ring. The Ruger is a nice little weapon for a girl, easily carried in a purse, but with the guy (I assume her husband) give him a man’s gun, a Glock 19 at least, or my preference, the Glock 20.

A Second Amendment guy, proficient at the shooting range, a nice foundation for any conservative platform. Perry is not there yet, some tweaking wrt his fundamentalism is needed, but there’s time to work on that.

I’m trying to picture in my mind Obama at the shooting range, hilarity would reign. If he shoots like he throws a baseball, maybe a squirt gun would be better.

Rick Perry pisses off the collectivists

I am not a huge fan of Rick Perry, but I love the drama his warning to Obama and Bernanke, whom he basically warned not to straddle hard working and worried Americans with even more economic damage from the inflation that is sure to be caused by the feds simply printing dollars and spending them – in the hopes of temporarily fooling enough people about the economic disaster they have left us with and squeaking by the 2012 elections – have caused in the the LSM.

On Tuesday, talking about the Fed’s policy of keeping the economy afloat by injecting money (given the anodyne name of “quantitative easing”), Perry commenced with the down-home Texas rhetoric:

“If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas,” he said.

“Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous — or treasonous — in my opinion.”

Pure gold. It sure as hell looks like Perry read these idiots perfectly, and they are now pissed that he pointed out their strategy to try and save the 2012 elections for the Obamanauts to the voters. The Obamanauts, the big establishment republicans, and the LSM are in full CYA mode right now.

Amercians take note. These crooks do not care about how much pain they are causing you or how much more pain they are straddling us and future generations with. To them it is all about keeping power right now at all costs.