Had a meeting earlier this week with former Harris County Judge Bob Eckels, who is now the president of Texas Central Railway, the private outfit looking to build a Japanese-styled high speed rail line between H-Town and Big D... and eventually the I-35 and I-10 corridor, completing the Texas triangle. Here's my report.
Today there's a presser with Annise Parker, Mike Rawlings, and Betsy Price -- the mayors of Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth -- on high speed rail. There'll be lots more reported on this in the next few days.
DU isn't the right place to concentrate GOTV efforts. Since most of us already are doing so, that is.
In Texas -- everything is bigger there, they say -- between 2.5 and 3 million people who are in the CVAP (citizen voting age population) are NOT registered to vote. But do you know what's worse than that?
There were eight million registered voters who did not cast a ballot in 2012 (a presidential year, you will note). Eight million Texans is roughly the equivalent of two Houston MSAs. (Houston is the nation''s 4th largest city and is almost as blue as Austin FWIW. We elected a lesbian mayor three times; you may have heard of her).
The next time you are tempted to complain about how awful Texas is, just remember that some very good DUers live here and have been working most of our adult lives to turn this awful place around. Without much to show for it, sadly.
It would be easy to cut and run, but there's this place in San Antonio -- you may have heard of it also -- that is a shrine to a small number of people who did not flee, did not retreat, in the face of long odds. That's our legacy as Texans; stand and fight, no matter what.
To the present day, and as President Obama once said: grab a mop.
When I watched Oliver Stone's "Untold History" and saw how Henry Wallace got hosed out of the vice presidency in 1944, I remember thinking that was the moment the regular working people lost this nation to the corporations. I didn't realize what a stooge and a tool Truman had been before that, either.
Jesse Jones, FDR's Secretary of Commerce who feuded with Wallace during WWII and worked behind the scenes with other businessmen at that convention to undermine his re-election for vice president, got his payback in '45 when FDR named Wallace commerce secretary... shoving the conservative, pro-business Jones right out the door. By 1948, Jones had become a Republican. At a time (even in Texas) when that was not a popular thing at all to do.
So yeah, fuck Truman... and fuck all conservative Democrats for the last 70 years.
(Note that they will be relocating from that URL after march 15)
Update as of March 6, 2014:
There are signs the 2014 Texas Bluebonnet season might be getting off to an early start. Let’s cross our fingers it doesn’t happen!
Corpus Christi has already reported various bluebonnet patches along I-37 north of downtown already in full bloom. They are on the smaller side but a welcome sight nonetheless.
There were, however, no additional blooms north of Corpus Christi to San Antonio along I-37 as of February 28, 2014.
There are reports there are blooms along I-10 in the median between Luling and Columbus — not any large fields but periodic blooming plants. This is typical for this area. It’s always one of the first to begin blooming in the state.
Saw a few blooms in the Texas Hill Country in Marble Falls and along FM 1431 just outside Marble Falls. No fields or large patches, mostly Mavericks here and there. Moisture is definitely needed in the Hill Country for the plants already on the ground to get plump and juicy. Everyone pray for precipitation!
Brenham has a nice bluebonnet patch blooming downtown. These bluebonnets are Townies and it’s typical for them to bloom first as they’re protected from temperature extremes unlike they’re Free-Rangers brethren out in the fields. Fields around Brenham have not begun to bloom as of March 4, 2014.
Ennis reports lots of bluebonnet plants on the ground waiting for temperatures to warm up and the sun to shine but no substantial blooming as of March 4, 2014.
As you’re making your plans for Bluebonnet Roadtrips this season, don’t forget the Bluebonnet Festivals that happen in the month of April. Unfortunately due to Easter falling on the third weekend of April, all Bluebonnet Festivals — Chappell Hill, Burnet, and Ennis — will be happening on the same weekend, April 12-13.
All the rain we got means it's going to be a great season.
We take off from Houston, up 290 through Brenham to to Chappell Hill, and then across the back roads to Washington on the Brazos (a great pit stop) and then circle back for home from Navasota on Hwy 6. That's most of a day (usually a Saturday).
Cruz, who spoke at a Politico Playbook Breakfast, was pressed by moderator Mike Allen on whether he planned to run for the presidency.
"It's premature," the Texas Republican said.
But Cruz said Republicans would stand a better chance of capturing the White House if they put forward a conservative, rather than moderate, candidate.
"Let's look at the last 40 years," Cruz said. "Every single time Republicans have nominated a presidential candidate who ran as a strong conservative, we won. And every time we have nominated a candidate who ran as an establishment moderate, we lost."
"What I find to be astonishing is that the D.C. political consultants look at that record and say, 'In 2016, we need another establishment moderate," Cruz said.
This is the deepest, most disturbed, most profound cognitive dissonance on public display I can say I have ever witnessed. You couldn't craft a villain with these characteristics in a novel or a script and sell it to a publishing house or a studio. They'd say it was not believable.
Greg Abbott is so unspeakably hideous that people with a functioning conscience can't really comprehend him. Which naturally excludes the vast majority of Texas Republican primary voters. But that's not even the worst part.
You want to know what the worst part is? It's hard to predict how truly hideous a governor Greg Abbott is capable of being in the wake of fourteen years of Rick Perry... but Texans are very likely to find out.