Texas

The Perry-Newt Nexus
January 19, 2012

I don't have much in the way of a grand valedictory for Rick Perry as he returns to Austin to prepare for Texas' coming war with Turkey. I already penned (Romney word!) my Perry farewell out in Iowa, when the aura of defeat was all over him. But I will offer a thought on Perry's decision to throw his parting endorsement Newt Gingrich's way.

What Will Rick Perry's Homecoming Mean?
January 19, 2012

It’s all over, folks. Rick Perry, who so confidently muscled his way into the GOP frontrunners’ pack this summer, is bowing out. But while Perry’s overhyped, underperforming presidential campaign may be over, his third term as Texas governor doesn’t end until 2014. What can we expect when Perry returns to Austin? A study of Perry’s past budget maneuvers provides some insight. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Texas is in the midst of a $9 billion shortfall for its current two-year budget period—only slightly less than the state’s projected shortfall in 2004/2005.

Reports of the Religious Right's Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
January 19, 2012

The political fumbling by Christian conservatives has been even worse this presidential cycle than it was in 2008, when their blood-enemy, John McCain, won the top spot on the Republican ticket. The Christian Right’s fatal failure this time was its inability to form a consensus behind a single candidate. Last weekend’s Texas conclave of religious conservatives, engineered by Family Research Center president and Christian Right warhorse Tony Perkins, initially appeared to have generated a united front behind Rick Santorum.

What Makes a GOP Debate Audience Cheer? Or Jeer?
January 18, 2012

What do Republican voters think of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? What about income inequality? There are certainly more scientific ways to take the temperature of a political party, but we have found the audience reactions at recent GOP debates somewhat instructive. The following clips, all taken from the past few months of debates, show the statements that caused audiences to cheer or boo. So what gets the Republican Party riled up these days? Likes include: waterboarding, executions, and Andrew Jackson’s belligerence.

TNR Exclusive: More Selections From Ron Paul’s Newsletters
January 17, 2012

Ron Paul has recently suggested there was only a “total of about eight or ten sentences” of “bad stuff” in the newsletters that he regularly used to publish under his name. This assertion was patently false: As TNR has shown, the newsletters contained dozens of statements marked by bigotry and conspiratorial thinking.

The Real N.H. Showdown Comes In November
January 10, 2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Barack Obama needs to get himself to New Hampshire, pronto. There are some awfully discombobulated voters up here, and if he has any hope of holding onto the state next fall, he’s going to need to have a serious talk with them. That’s my main takeaway from Mitt Romney’s successful wearing down of a skeptical electorate to the point where, after six years of having him showing up at their tiniest parades and showering cash on their lowliest of elected officials, it finally said: Uncle.

Rick Perry, Texas Governor And Iowa Goat
January 01, 2012

SIOUX CITY, IOWA -- The big question coming out of the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night is whether social conservatives who were leaning towards Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich will move in large numbers to Rick Santorum, whom the poll showed to be rising fast. I went yesterday to the town Boone -- hometown of Mamie Eisenhower! -- to see Perry and see what he's offering to voters to keep that sort of desertion from happening. I came away fairly flabbergasted. What in the world had happened to Rick Perry, the campaigner extraordinaire of Texas legend?

Really, Rick Perry?
December 29, 2011

There hasn't been much reason these past few weeks to dig back into the vast landscape of unsavory dealings in Rick Perry's Texas, given the governor's increasing irrelevance in the GOP primary.

How Hard Will Education Cuts Hit Texas?
December 22, 2011

Texas, like many states, is facing difficult budget cuts—but even in this cash-strapped environment, the Lone Star State stands out. As NPR reports today, “School funding in Texas is in turmoil.” The state has cut $4.3 billion from education over the last school year, leading to over 12,000 layoffs and sharp reductions in everything from school security to special education. Can Texas stomach these cuts? Data from the National Education Association illustrates a few of the reasons why Texas will be particularly hard-hit by education cuts.

Why Don’t Libertarians Care About Ron Paul’s Bigoted Newsletters?
December 22, 2011

Nearly four years ago, on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, The New Republic published my expose of newsletters published by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The contents of these newsletters can best be described as appalling.

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