Some light reading for your Wednesday …

A Talking Points Memo

About 15,000 Iowans voted in a straw poll on Saturday. Michelle Bachman "won" and Texan Ron Paul came in a close second, but you'd never know he even ran, based on media reports. That's mostly because another Texan stole everyone's thunder.

I get a newsletter each week from Texas Democratic Party officials. After an eventful week like last week, the newsletter is chock full of all sorts of interesting reading. Combined with Monday’s link-laden post, this should get you all caught up on the current state of politics with a Democratic spin.

Enjoy!

WHY RICK PERRY IS HEADED TO THE WHITE HOUSE

CNN – August 11, 2011

As a resident of Texas for 36 years, I keep wondering why the rest of the nation pays any attention to our political and cultural absurdities and yet still chooses Texans as presidents. Our most revered historical moment, the Alamo, was arguably a mass suicide. The slaughter in San Antonio was followed by a massacre at Goliad, the fall of the Confederacy to Union forces, and later by the Houston Astros. Texas has a legacy of losing. None of this apparently matters, though, because America is beginning the process of electing another Texan to be president. Gigantic tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, a trumped up war and a ruined economy from the last Texan seem incapable of dissuading supporters of Rick Perry.

COLBERT URGES IOWANS TO WRITE-IN “RICK PARRY” AT STRAW POLL

Austin American-Statesman – August 11, 2011

Comedian Stephen Colbert’s super PAC has produced a television ad encouraging Iowans at this weekend’s Republican straw poll to write-in “Rick Parry” instead of “Rick Perry,” the proper spelling of the Texas governor’s name. Perry won’t be on the straw-poll ballot, but some of his supporters have been working to build a write-in campaign.

TROUBLE AHEAD: DEBT DEAL LIKE 3-D CHESS

Politico – August 11, 2011

The House and Senate members of the new bipartisan deficit reduction super committee have now been named and they may soon start hearing from some unexpected voices. Let’s call them the nine-per centers. If the committee should deadlock, or if Congress rejects its recommendations, a wide range of federal beneficiaries would confront a 9 percent across-the-board, line-by-line cut on their appropriations come Jan. 1, 2013. That’s the default position on how you get to the $1.2 trillion over 10 years in the second round of budget cuts specified by Congress when it passed the debt ceiling increase on Aug. 2.

‘CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE,’ ROMNEY TELLS IOWA HECKLERS ANGRY OVER HIS TAX POLICY

The New York Times – August 12, 2011

Emerging on the campaign trail in Iowa after largely shunning the state, Mitt Romney was confronted on Thursday by hecklers on corporate tax policy and told one of them, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Mr. Romney was speaking at the Iowa State Fair’s soapbox on Thursday morning, but when it was time for the question-and-answer session, the mood turned heated, with a small group of angry hecklers calling on Mr. Romney to support raising taxes on the wealthy to help finance social entitlement programs.

NEXT UP FOR MITT ROMNEY IS RICK PERRY

Politico – August 12, 2011

Mitt Romney celebrated the final night of an extended summer vacation Thursday, emerging as the uncontested and still unscathed front-runner from an eight-way scrap. That won’t last long. The two-hour debate here, the third of the GOP presidential campaign, lacked the candidate who could ultimately present him with his stiffest competition: Rick Perry.

CONGRESSMAN DECLINES TO CLARIFY IMPEACHMENT REMARKS

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – August 12, 2011

The national profile of U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess rose this week after his comment at a Tea Party meeting regarding possible efforts to impeach President Barack Obama, though his remarks after the event are drawing more questions. Burgess, R-Lewisville, spoke at an NE Tarrant Tea Party event Monday evening in Keller.

GREG ABBOTT AND THE QUIET SPOT AT THE TOP

The Texas Tribune – August 12, 2011

Sometimes, political inactivity is what catches your attention. The prospect of an open lieutenant governor’s seat in 2014 is attracting candidates and, in the energy-sapping heat of a Texas summer, a surprising amount of conversation. Almost no one is talking about the possibility of an open seat for governor.

DELAY FILES WIDE APPEAL ON MONEY LAUNDERING CONVICTION

Austin American-Statesman – August 13, 2011

Tom DeLay’s appellate lawyer tapped a movie musical and Shakespeare in a wide-ranging appeal that argues the former U.S. House majority leader was wrongly convicted of conspiring to launder corporate dollars into campaign donations. In 2002, DeLay’s political committee sent a $190,000 corporate check to the Republican National Committee that, in turn, agreed to donate the same amount from its noncorporate account to Texas candidates. State law prohibits corporate donations to candidates.

IOWA POLL GOES TO BACHMANN; PAUL IS SECOND

The New York Times – August 13, 2011

The race for the Republican presidential nomination came into sharper focus on Saturday as Gov. Rick Perry of Texas declared his candidacy in South Carolina and Michele Bachmann won a closely watched poll of voters in Iowa. With Republican enthusiasm swelling over the prospect of defeating President Obama next year, thousands of party activists converged here for the Iowa straw poll. The outcome, combined with the entrance of Mr. Perry, could help reorder the top tier of contenders, with Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry positioned to challenge the perceived front runner, Mitt Romney, and each other.

TEXAS GOV. PERRY JUMPS INTO 2012 REPUBLICAN RACE

Houston Chronicle – August 13, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry officially joined the Republican presidential race Saturday with a full-throated promise to reduce the role of the federal government, saying his goal as president would be to make Washington “as inconsequential in your lives as I can.” Speaking to voters here and later in New Hampshire, the Texan cast himself as a Washington outsider who would restore fiscal responsibility at home and U.S. “exceptionalism” in the world.

PAWLENTY DROPS OUT OF PRESIDENTIAL RACE AFTER DISAPPOINTING STRAW POLL FINISH

ABC News – August 14, 2011

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the Republican presidential contest, after a disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll Saturday. “We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty said this morning in an exclusive interview on “This Week.” “That didn’t happen, so I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president.

THE TEXAS UNMIRACLE

The New York Times – August 14, 2011

As expected, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, has announced that he is running for president. And we already know what his campaign will be about: faith in miracles. Some of these miracles will involve things that you’re liable to read in the Bible. But if he wins the Republican nomination, his campaign will probably center on a more secular theme: the alleged economic miracle in Texas, which, it’s often asserted, sailed through the Great Recession almost unscathed thanks to conservative economic policies. And Mr. Perry will claim that he can restore prosperity to America by applying the same policies at a national level.

CHRIS CHRISTIE’S CUE

The New York Times – August 14, 2011

Rick Perry has many of the qualities that Romney seems to lack: backbone, core convictions, a killer instinct and a primal understanding of the right-wing electorate… What Perry doesn’t have, though, is the kind of moderate facade that Americans look for in their presidents. Imagine if the Democratic Party nominated a combination of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi for the presidency, and you have a sense of the kind of gamble Republicans would be taking with Perry.

BACHMANN-PERRY OVERDRIVE

Wall Street Journal – August 15, 2011

The fight for the Republican Presidential nomination is finally getting underway in earnest, with Texas Governor Rick Perry bull-riding his way into the race and Michele Bachmann winning Saturday’s straw poll in Iowa. Both events show how unsettled the GOP contest still is, as voters search for a candidate who can beat a vulnerable President Obama.

WHAT IF PERRY AND DEWHURST LOSE? THEN WHAT?

The Texas Tribune – August 15, 2011

What if everybody loses? Gov. Rick Perry is running for president. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running for U.S. Senate. And it seems like everyone else in Texas politics is making plans based on one or both of those offices opening in 2012. Then there’s the 2014 election, when most of the statewide spots in Texas government open, and the assumption that neither Perry nor Dewhurst will be on the ballot that year. What if this has a different ending? What if Perry loses the Republican primary for president and comes home to finish his term? What if he wins the nomination and loses the general election? And what about Dewhurst? What if he loses and comes back to run the State Senate through the Legislature’s 2013 regular session?

THE GREAT CAMPAIGNER

Texas Monthly – August 15, 2011

Forget about death and taxes. Today, there are only two sure things in life: Every few years Rick Perry will run for office, and every few years Rick Perry will grind his opponents into dust. Since 1984, the man once derided as “Governor Good Hair” has participated in ten contested elections and won all of them. A few were against relatively weak opposition, but many were against prominent figures who were expected to give Perry a run for his money. Jim Hightower, John Sharp, Tony Sanchez, Chris Bell, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Bill White—you could competently govern a medium-sized republic with political talent like that. But all of them fell to Perry’s deep coffers, disciplined campaign style, occasional refusal to debate, and (semi-) popularity among Texans.

PERRY WARNS OF FED TREASON, CHALLENGES OBAMA

The Washington Post – August 16, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry turned his rhetorical fire on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke here Monday night, saying that the chairman would be committing a “treasonous” act if he tried to boost the economy with a decision to “print more money.” Perry was responding to a question about “quantitative easing,” a monetary policy by which the government purchases Treasury bonds to inject more money into the economy, which he said would amount to a political attempt to help President Obama win reelection in 2012.

MEETRICKPERRY.COM

Texas Democratic Party – August 16, 2011

Last Saturday while Rick Perry was busy spinning his hyped record for his Tea Party friends in South Carolina, we launched MeetRickPerry.com to shine a spotlight on the Governor’s real record. We would like to thank the thousands of you who shared the info-site with your family, friends, and colleagues. With your help, MeetRickPerry.com made national news, was viewed on six continents, in 67 countries, and in all 50 states.

RON PAUL SUPPORTERS DECRY MEDIA NEGLECT

Politico – August 16, 2011

Ron Paul finished just 152 votes behind Michele Bachmann in the Ames Straw Poll, but from the headlines and TV news coverage, it’s hard to tell he even showed up. With the exception of The New York Times and The Des Moines Register, most major newspaper headlines didn’t even mention his name in their reports of Saturday’s contest. Nor was he anywhere to be found on the Sunday morning talk shows.

DEMOCRATS LEAD REPUBLICANS ON GENERIC BALLOT

The Washington Post – August 16, 2011

A new Gallup poll shows Democrats with a seven-point edge over Republicans on the generic congressional ballot. Fifty-one percent of the poll’s respondents said they would vote for an unnamed Democratic candidate in their district if the 2012 election were held today. Forty-four percent of respondents said they would vote for the GOP candidate, and 6 percent were undecided.

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About Richard Stone

... is a husband, a father, a writer, a journalist, an activist, an avid reader of trash science fiction and an occasional folk/bluegrass guitar player. He loves to travel, UT sports, community theater and sharing a good bottle of wine with good friends.
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