What to make of the well-covered story that Ted Nugent joined Greg Abbott on the campaign trail for the first day of early voting? I don't need to detail all of the terrible things that Nugent has said; they don't deserve the time or the space it takes to repeat them. But here's my message for Greg Abbott: This is totally repugnant, and it is astonishing to me that Abbott has not separated himself from Nugent. It should have been the first thing he did after Nugent's rants. But no, Abbott is a hard man. He doesn't give an inch.
During a Twitter town hall last July, Attorney General Greg Abbott allowed that he disagrees with outgoing governor Rick Perry on several things, one of which is that he would prefer a different approach to economic development.
It's worth spending some time perusing the Texas Tribune's revealing graph tracking candidates' ad buys in the major markets of the state. Of the various graphs reflecting candidates' network TV expenditures leading up to the March 4 primary elections, the most significant one was the comparison between Hegar and Hilderbran in the race for comptroller.
In a front-page story below the fold in yesterday's New York Times (though today I doubt people care whether or not a story is on the front page, much less what "below the fold" means), Adam Nagourney writes about the complicated legacy of Lyndon Johnson, a president at once scorned for his decisions on Vietnam (what was then politely called "the credibilty gap") and revered for his ability to pass historic domestic legislation (towering, for example, over Georgia senator Richard Russell, as they clashed over civil rights). The occasion of the article is that the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is announcing a 50th Anniversary Civil Rights Summit to be held in April that will feature presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (with invitations extended to George W. Bush and Barack Obama). As Larry Temple told Nagourney, “The next five years will be the 50th anniversary of everything [LBJ] did.”
Wendy Davis, as we all know, came to national recognition as the result of a 13-hour-filibuster against a sweeping new abortion bill. In other words, she supports reproductive rights. Since June, however, she's infuriated the pro-life right several times, over and above the general degree of fury they feel towards her, by distancing herself from that stance, or trying to do so. When she mentioned her filibuster during her announcement that she would run for governor this year, she meant the 2011 mini-filibuster, which was about education funding. In November, she said that she herself is "pro-life," because she cares about the lives of children and women.
And yesterday she told the Dallas Morning News's editorial board that she's generally opposed to abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, and might support a ban on them, although a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation was a key part of the bill she filibustered:
“I would line up with most people in Texas who would prefer that that’s not something that happens outside of those two arenas,” Davis said.
But the Democrat said the state’s new abortion law didn’t give priority to women in those circumstances. The law allows for exceptions for fetal abnormalities and a threat to the woman’s life, but Davis said those didn’t go far enough.
“My concern, even in the way the 20-week ban was written in this particular bill, was that it didn’t give enough deference between a woman and her doctor making this difficult decision, and instead tried to legislatively define what it was,” Davis said.
Davis's critics see this as transparent political posturing. I would argue that although there are plenty of examples of political posturing from Davis (as from most politicians), these comments are consistent enough. Three reasons that Davis deserves the benefit of the doubt, after the jump.
The point of the January 13 town hall meeting was to organize the locals. And since the locale was a smallish town in Texas—Azle, population roughly 11,000, just far enough from Fort Worth that it doesn’t quite feel like a suburb—that meant the first task, for the handful of fracking critics who led the meeting, was to gently address any reservations attendees may have had about the purpose of the gathering.
Our February issue included an account from Congressman Joaquin Castro on his freshman year in office. The mention of a certain expletive—uttered on the House floor by Speaker John Boehner in the days after Representative Steve King’s contentious comments on undocumented immigrants—quickly reverberated back to D.C.
The final shot of the last battle of the Great Texas Textbook War has been fired. The clash did not end in a blaze of glory, exactly, more like a flurry of memos. Still, the occasion deserves to be marked. What happened was this: three experts, selected by the State Board of Education, struck down an attempt to insert doubt about evolution into a high school biology textbook, thereby preventing creationists from having any voice in how the origin of life is presented in its pages.
As stacks and stacks of money pile up in the Republican primary, and GOP candidates face an excrutiating election on March 4, the question of the moment is: Who's in charge of the Republican party? The answer could not be worse: it's Michael Quinn Sullivan.