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Bill King Rules out Independent Run for U.S. Senate

The former Houston mayoral candidate says voters are eager for a middle ground.

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Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP

In 2015, Republican-leaning tax consultant Bill King came within a few thousand votes of defeating Sylvester Turner in a runoff election for Houston mayor. This year, he explored a possible independent run for U.S. Senate, challenging the re-election of incumbent Ted Cruz. King believes voters are fed up with both political parties, thus his decision to run outside of them, but ultimately decided against running. I talked to King about why he thought of running as an independent, and why he thinks that candidates outside of either party might soon have a shot in Texas.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Bill King: You know the polling is similar in Texas as it is to every place else in the country. There’s a growing plurality—maybe a majority of people—that don’t identify with either political party, and a pretty significant majority think it would be nice to have an alternative. And I think that the middle part of the electorate doesn’t feel like they are represented by either party these days. That’s true in Texas, probably more true in some other states than Texas.

R.G. Ratcliffe: Well, where do we go from here? I mean obviously for some reason you ruled out an independent run. Is there any real reason to believe that the state will change in either of the upcoming primaries?

BK: I think there are a couple of things going on. For one, in 2020 we will not have straight party voting anymore. We, of course, are one of the last states to actually have it. And I think that’s one of those institutional advantages the two-party system had that is not going to exist after 2018. I just think that as these parties continue to careen to the edge, more and more people are going to find themselves not feeling like they’re being represented. I think that happened with [House Speaker Joe] Straus stepping down. I didn’t always agree with Straus, but obviously he decided he can’t live with the Republican party anymore.

I was surprised because I think he felt like he represented a big chunk of the Republican electorate that was more moderate in nature. Unfortunately, those people tend to not go vote in the primaries. So, you have a point of view on the primaries that he didn’t really represent.

RGR: And what made you decide against running as an independent for Senate?

BK: The straight-party ticket voting in 2018, and I also just decided I’d gotten started too late. I’m pretty well known in Houston, and my numbers are pretty good there. But, basically, I’ve got zero name ID outside of Houston, and I don’t think that between now and 2018 you have enough time to build a statewide network and get your name out there. It’s a big state. There’s so many media markets. So, I just didn’t feel like I had enough time to put together a credible campaign.

RGR: Do you think if someone like Straus doesn’t run for governor that the state going to get just that much more conservative?

BK: I think it’s going to go pretty far that direction. And then there’s going to be a snapback at some point in time where people say, ‘This doesn’t represent me.’ You’re already seeing it a little bit right now, I mean in Houston. All of a sudden the Republicans aren’t talking about bathrooms or sanctuary cities, they’re talking about, ‘How do we solve this flooding problem?’ Which is something that’s actually a good thing for government to be talking about, because you know the people are sitting here with flooded houses. They’re really not that concerned about who goes in whose bathroom, they’d really like to know that their house is not going to be flooded again.

RGR: Has the hurricane helped Governor Greg Abbott or his image in Houston?

BK: You know, I think any time you have a disaster whoever is in charge gets a bump in the polls. I think historically that’s been pretty true, and we did some polling and his numbers were pretty good really across the board.

RGR: How about Cruz?

BK: Cruz has a very loyal following of about something in the high 20s low 30s. He’s got about that same number of people that desperately dislike him. But you’ve got a lot of other people in the middle. People keep saying that there are really no independents, there are really no moderates. These people say they are, but they end up voting for one side or the other. It’s kind of like if you go into a restaurant and they have chicken and steak, but you would like to have lobster—and they don’t serve lobster. Well, you’ve got to either order chicken or steak.

And I think the 2006 race for governor was a very interesting case study. You know in 2006, if you recall, that’s the year that Perry and Bell ran as the Republican and Democrat. Carol Rylander and Kinky Friedman both qualify for the ballot as independents which, by the way, is not easy to do in Texas. And they combined got more votes than Chris [Bell, the Democrat] got. So, you think about how the world has changed since 2006. If you have somebody who’s got some name ID in the state already, I think that they could be very competitive as an independent and especially in an environment that we’re living in today.

Most people are locked into this dynamic that there’s really only two sides out there. And I think that’s what I’m really calling into question: Are there really only two sides? I think what the polling shows you is that a bunch of Americans are not satisfied with their being a duopoly anymore.

RGR: So where does it go from here? Part of the problem here in Texas is it’s almost impossible for a new party to get on the ballot. As hard as it is for an independent to get on, it’s even harder for a new party.

BK: It will get worse before it gets better. And I think at some point in time the rubber band snaps and either one of the two parties will come back to the middle or they’ll be some kind of a third alternative. You cannot leave the majority of American people feeling like they’re unrepresented for very long. Sooner or later they are not going to put up with that. The American people are slow to get fed up with something, but once they get fed up they get fed up in a hurry. I think they’re getting very close to that right now.

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  • dave in texas

    The problem I have with this is framing it as “both parties are going to their respective left and right extremes.” The Democratic Party has absolutely shifted to the left over the last 8-10 years, but it’s gone nowhere near as far to the left as the Republican Party has gone to the right. Most of the rest of the world considers the Democratic Party to be a centrist or even a center-right party, while the Republicans are usually considered one of the furthest-right major political parties in the world.

    Another difference is that the Democrats haven’t made appealing to, for example, groups like Code Pink or Earth First! as a litmus test to office. As we’ve seen here in Texas, if a candidate can’t appeal to the furthest right fringes of the Republican coalition, he or she doesn’t stand a chance of even getting out of the primary and onto the general election ballot. Hell, the current leader of the Republican Party, President Trump, can’t even be bothered to denounce white supremacists and N*zis; it doesn’t get any further right than that.

    • St. Anger

      The Democratic Party that nominated a Clinton in 2016 has moved left compared to the Democratic Party that nominated a Clinton in 1992?

      Hokay, mr. Overton.

      If anything, Hillary is to the right of her husband.

      • dave in texas

        I’m not saying we’re moving toward some liberal Utopia here, and I never said a word about Barack Obama being some kind of liberal lion, because he’s not, but have some perspective here. I’m just saying that some, definitely not all, positions have moved to the left. Gay marriage, overturning DADT, Obamacare, fer cryin’ out loud. These things were unthinkable 15 years ago.

        • anonyfool

          The gay marriage/DADT are/gained accepted by a majority of Americans (by a pretty wide margin in urban areas/with young people), a huge criticism of Clinton and Obama on this issue in particular is that they were led by the polls and only changed their policy/mind on the issue when it was popular and their prior statements against LGwhatever rights became a liability and neither showing particular leadership.

          • dave in texas

            Jesus. Fine. The lot of them are corrupt, feckless bastards who had absolutely nothing to do with steering that public opinion. They never spoke out in favor of those policies and never put people in place to carry out those policies once enacted.

            Being an absolutist and a purist is not a good stance at times like these. Go ahead and take the last word. I’m done here.

          • dave in texas

            I’m sorry, that was kind of harsh. I thought I was replying to a pile-on from the earlier poster.

        • St. Anger

          *that’s* perspective?

          obamacare is not as far left as the healthcare plan pushed by both clintons in the early 90’s.

          obamacare was unthinkable to *republicans* 15 year ago (and not even all of them – remember where it came from?). to democrats it would have been seen as a move to the right.

          thanks for the example. qed.

          • dave in texas

            see my post in reply to anonyfool above/below. That was intended for you. I’m done here.

          • Jed

            so i gathered.

            aristotle and madison were big fans of moderation and afraid of the popular will, too. so you’re in good company. of course, they both also thought aristocracy was the best form of government.

        • SpiritofPearl

          I agree.

  • anonyfool

    This guy is out of touch. The mainstream GOP has gone off the deep end, anyone who put a fight the last year or so against the tea party extreme is retiring – Strauss here in Texas, Flake, and Corker in the Senate. Every single one of the other folks save the GOP women in the Senate fell in line. The mainstream Democrats have triangulated their way to the right of Reagan, the healthcare plan they adopted was from a conservative think tank.

    • St. Anger

      Yup. Everytime someone suggests meeting in the middle, it amounts to another Overton window shift.

      The republicans go right, some “moderate” tries to meet in the middle, which means moving further right. Then the right goes further right and some democrat suggests meeting in the middle, which means … lather, rinse, repeat.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Corker ran against Harold Ford, a not-very-Black Democrat. Notable for using a racist ad implying Ford was a womanizer. Look what we have now in the WH.

    • Jed

      further evidence of the rightward shift: flake was elected as a tea partier in the first place (corker too? i don’t know much about him). now he is a squishy RINO. did he change or did they?

  • Kozmo

    I’m still waiting for the investigative reporter who will uncover how the Republicans/Perry sponsored Carole “Four Names” Rylander in 2006, taking advantage of her name recognition and fundraising acumen to deliberately split the Democratic vote and ensure Perry’s win with a mere 38% of the vote.

    • WUSRPH

      There is some evidence of GOP attempts to do just that—such as when Rick Perry’s good friend in the lobby financed the petition drive to get the Green Party on the ballot–and “rumors” of bags of money being delivered back in the early 1970s when La Raza Unida was running candidates and hurting the Democratic vote.

      But I doubt that Carole of the many names was one of their efforts. She was just to hated by the GOP establishment for not being “a go along to get along” Comptroller for me to believe they wanted to do anything but see her politically destroyed. You have to remember this was the woman who, among other things:

      * Did a study of the economic impact of illegal aliens on Texas which destroyed all their claims that they were costing us billions each year (which, byw, no one has been able to dispute yet.)

      *Pointed out all the fees they were raising in order to claim that there was “no tax increase”.

      *Did an “emperor has no clothes” analysis of the Perry-Sharp business tax plan that demonstrated that it would raise billions less then Sharp claimed (which proved to be true).

      *Announced one year that she could not certify the budget because of all the smoke, mirrors and accounting tricks…which they had to scramble to get her to take back (a story in itself);

      You also may have forgotten how viciously they responded and how much they hated her…..and how they stripped the Comptroller’s office of as much power as they could in retaliation for her not playing the game. So, I doubt they would have done anything that gave her another chance to talk about them….as she did during that campaign.

      • St. Anger

        I think this was the case for medina, though.

  • WUSRPH

    cut

  • BCinBCS

    Bill King said:
    “I just think that as these parties continue to careen to the edge, more and more people are going to find themselves not feeling like they’re being represented.
    […]
    And I think at some point in time the rubber band snaps and either one of the two parties will come back to the middle…

    This is certainly not the case for Texas Democrats. As a liberal, I find Texas Democrats useless and impotant. I might agree that a leftward shift has occurred with national Democrats but that doesn’t help us in our swift radical right Republican run to hell in a hand basket here in Texas.

  • John Bernard Books

    In case you’re naive and stupid and do not know what is wrong with the dem party……
    “Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile called Hillary Clinton’s fundraising practices “the cancer” of the Democratic Party”
    http://time.com/5008051/dnc-donna-brazile-clinton-campaign/

    WASSUP thinks they’re winning….

  • John Bernard Books
  • John Bernard Books

    I had a great two days at our county EC meeting and our Senate District meeting today….instead of being subjected to the raw sewage being pumped here daily.

  • SpiritofPearl

    The right to vote is never safe. We must always be vigilant. Here’s a brief history of voting in America:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/opinion/sunday/voting-rights-never-safe.html

    • SeeItMyWay

      BOOM! Another off thread post.

      • Jed

        when you figure out what the the thread is “really” about, you be sure to let us know.

        • SeeItMyWay

          Hell…you are the professed college professor here. You should be able to figure it out for yourself. Maybe u didn’t take time to actually click on and read her link.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Where are you angry intellectual? Passed out? Gone to bed? You are the worst here. You go out of your way to lambast literally everyone. Respond. Aussie’s have weapons. They were never taken away. You previous posts were bullshit.

          • SpiritofPearl

            They had a buy back, then closely restricted sales after that. Bam! Did you read the Wiki link you posted?

          • WUSRPH

            I though a long time about whether to make this post…….both because I knew it would do not good and because of the way you are sure to react with insults and personal attacks….but I finally decided that it has to be said.

            The sad reality is that, day after day, post after post, you reveal little more than the fact that you are a truly disagreeable person who, as the post above, demonstrates, cannot engage in any discussion without winding up with personal attacks and insults aimed at the other party…..especially in cases like this one where your own post shows that your view is both simple and simplistic. (Yes, it is literarily true that “aussies have guns” but, as the source you personally cited clearly demonstrates they have much stricter gun laws than the US as well as lower armed robbery, murder and suicide rates—all of which you deliberately ignored in attacking others for pointing out those facts.)

            Back when you stopped posting as John Johnson you explained that you were doing so because you found yourself becoming angrier and angrier and using more insults and personal attacks, which you said you regretted and wanted to stop. (All such remarks since having been somehow conveniently deleted from the BB data base).

            Later when you reemerged as your current identity you made similar remarks about your intentions……but, sadly, you have clearly failed to live up to your expressed desire. As such, I suggest you might want to again consider whether you should withdraw from these exchanges until you can live up to your own self-proclaimed standards.

            I long ago learned that the only way to deal with someone like the Troll was to ignore him by blocking his posts. I have refrained from doing that to you because, on occasion, you have said something worth reading…..But I tire of having to wade through your personal attacks and insults to me and many others…The few nuggets of interest are just not worth dealing with such a disagreeable person as you.

      • BCinBCS

        Get off my lawn!

      • SpiritofPearl

        Who cares?

  • SpiritofPearl

    Texas and Saudi Arabia are both affected by falling oil prices. Here’s a rational description of what’s happening in SA:

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2017/11/saudi-arabia-crown-prince-remove-opponents-national-guard.html

  • SpiritofPearl

    Here’s our boy, Ted, first in class:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DN5jf21WsAAoEzI?format=jpg

    Blood money . . .

  • WUSRPH

    A white male, 26, from a small Texas town…….those Muslim terrorists strike again.

    • donuthin2

      I would be for much more gun control, but am under no illusion that will help solve the problem. We must get to the root cause. I wonder if we can ever accurately determine that someone is not mentally stable enough to own a gun without infringing on their rights?

      • WUSRPH

        There is a report that the shooter was dishonorably discharged from the military….If so, the reason might have given some hint of a problem…..but there is no way to share that information….

        • Jed

          spousal abuse. you know, just another thing that is highly correlated with gun violence.

          no big. go about your business and look for a “reasonable” independent to win an election and solve the problem.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Good point. Angry spouse. Wife goes to church. Man tries to kill all in church.

            Here’s my take, if true. Lost wife, for what ever reason…total loser and abuser…watched several weeks of national, non-stop coverage of another deranged or totally insignificant guy getting his name broadcast worldwide, and decides to get his name up in lights, too.

            Gun laws change that? Get real.

          • Too Sweet

            I can tell you what gun laws would change. Imagine if this lunatic had a revolver or a knife. How many would have died? I bet someone would have done something after the sixth shot of the revolver. You know, when he was trying to reload. Reloading is not a problem when your gun holds 50 or 100 shots. How bout if we just reinstate the assault rifle ban?

          • WUSRPH

            I have no hope for any change as long as people don’t laugh the kind of response just below off the page for its total inability to draw a logical conclusion…..that maybe 26 people might not be dead today if we made it harder for people to get guns…..

          • SpiritofPearl

            Here’s something to ponder: Indian women suffer great domestic violence, yet almost no mass murders occur in the country. It’s not hard to conclude the reason why.

      • SpiritofPearl

        It works in every other developed country in the world. Why wouldn’t it work here? Because our political class, especially the GOP, are bought and sold by the NRA.

        Expect more human sacrifices to the gun industry in the name of “gun rights.”

        • SeeItMyWay

          What other country, or state, is gun control working in?

          • Jed

            all of them. see australia.

            ps – you can stop typing. you are an idiot.

          • SeeItMyWay

            I can’t help it. Wasn’t even going to respond until I read just this morning how STD’s were out of control in Australia. What should they outlaw? The Aussie’s have neither religious conflicts, open borders, nor totally biased media that promotes unrest. Apples to apples, please.
            Aussie’s do own weapons, but the British Crown was certainly not going to allow them the Constitution we got after winning our independence from same. I thought you were an intellectual.

          • Jed

            man, learn something please. before we all die.

            australia used to have lots of gun violence. then they instituted basic gun control of the sort that we can’t get passed here. now they have virtually no gun deaths. this is called empirical evidence. numerous other countries are also sources for this crazy thing called evidence.

            ps – the plural of a word does not require an apostrophe. ignoramus.
            pps – std’s? wtf? man you are stupid.

          • SeeItMyWay

            Sorry, not going to happen. Empirical evidence? Aussies own guns.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Australia

          • SpiritofPearl

            An excerpt from your Wiki link:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Agreement

            Note that the NFA restricts gun ownership significantly. Here in Wisconsin, toddlers can now go hunting with a gun. Natural selection at work . . .

          • donuthin2

            Your local authorities should check your mental state as you seem really unstable.

          • SpiritofPearl

            What do STDs have to do with their reduction in mass shootings?

          • SpiritofPearl

            Europeans think we’re crazy as guns are not widely available in any country there.

            India outlawed hunting in 1972 and has extremely strict gun control laws.

            Mexico also has strict laws, so drug cartels buy their guns elsewhere. Guess where they buy them? Yup, good old Texas gun sellers along the border are providing ordnance to gang bangers in Mexico. It’s all about the money.

            Americans have so much fear. What do gun nuts fear? Black people? Brown people? Foreigners? They are fed a steady diet of fear in right-wing media. America has gone mad.

        • donuthin2

          Because whatever else is wrong here that causes people to go off the deep end is not so much a problem in other places. Our total fascination with guns, bloodthirsty movies and gore are other symptoms of the problem. Fixing our mental issues will be much more difficult than merely passing gun laws. And btw, I am not a gun owner or do I believe the correct interpretation of the 2nd amendment allows for unlimited ownership of guns.

          • José

            I’m with you on this, I think. It’s a large, complex problem with no simple, easy solutions. While we should enact a number of changes to laws that regulate the availability of firearms that will have just a marginal benefit because the most damaging factor is cultural. It’s obscene how so many Americans indulge themselves in this fetish of owning and brandishing implements that are specifically designed for killing humans. It’s unconscionable how this is encouraged and fed by the actions of the GOP and the NRA.

            Lord, help us all.

          • SpiritofPearl

            It IS complex, but doing nothing is not an option.

          • donuthin2

            Thank you. You said it much better than I.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Violence in the media is not uniquely American, nor is domestic abuse. The single unique element is the easy access to military grade weapons.

          • SpiritofPearl

            I agree that the founders never intended for the second amendment to be interpreted as it is today.

            We can start by reimposing the assault weapons ban.

        • WUSRPH

          This appears to be a case where the limited gun control we have proved to be too little…..According to Abbott the shooter was rejected when he applied for a handgun license in Texas……but somehow, maybe by the gun show loophole, he was able to get a semi-automatic rifle anyway….

          • BCinBCS

            The shooter purchased his rifle from Academy Sports and Outdoors.

          • WUSRPH

            PROSECUTE TO THE LIMIT OF THE LAW.

          • BCinBCS

            According to NPR, the Air Force did not enter his assault conviction into the federal database that is checked before firearms are purchased.

            I do not know how or why he may have been rejected for a Texas concealed carry permit, per Abbott.

      • Jed

        the root cause is guns, dumbass.

    • BCinBCS

      I have some questions for TMers, especially those that are conservative:

      Should any adult with no criminal record be allowed, without restrictions, to freely own as much C4, semtex and TNT as they want?
      Should any adult with no criminal record be allowed, without restrictions, to freely own as many hand grenades as they want?
      Should any adult with no criminal record be allowed, without restrictions, to freely own as many mortar tubes and mortars as they want?

      • SpiritofPearl

        No.

        • BCinBCS

          O.K., Pearl. You say no to possessing those items. Why?

          • WUSRPH

            First of all because none of them fits the definition of “arms” as envisioned by the founders and, being good “originalists” and “strict interpretionists” as all conservatives are (when it is to their benefit), we would not want to change their meaning by “judicial activism” or “federal overreach”. The founders—as even Justice Scalia suggested in his decision–meant muskets, rifles and hand guns…the standard “citizen militia” weapons of the day. (Scalia even suggested that we could outlaw assault weapons.)

            Second, because the state has a right to regulate for safety (fire and explosion) and other such risks so it can regulate the ownership, storage and use of explosives which, as noted above, were not considered “arms” under the Second Amendment.

            Third, because other than a few posters, the rest of us are relatively sane individuals.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Why does any private citizen need such devices which are basically weapons of war? There are instances in which TNT is used for mining or other commercial purposes.

            More importantly we should be discussing what many consider an erroneous SC interpretation of “well-armed militia.”

            Finally, here’s a great piece by Nick Kristof with all the data outlining gun sales, gun deaths, and other info by state and solutions. We are killing ourselves at an accelerating rate. It has to stop:

            https://mobile.twitter.com/AbbyDobby/status/927657983206572032/photo/1

            P.S. I’m not conservative.

          • BCinBCS

            Thank-you WUSRPH and Pearl for your replies. My questions were “thought experiments” and I wanted to get others opinions about the matter.

            On the one hand, it is argued that the Bill of Rights gives Americans the right to bear arms because of the Second Amendment. This right was part of the need for citizens to be armed so that they could fulfill their functions as part of a militia. In my thought experiment, I logically extended the need for an armed citizenry to include the high tech weaponry used today by a militia, i.e. national guard (because you never know when the population might have to fight the U.S. military when the federal government becomes tyrannical).

            On the other hand, it also seems logical that if explosives, grenades and mortars are too dangerous to be kept because of their potential for loss of life, it follows that the weaponry that is available today at the local gun store are demonstrably just as lethal and, consequentially, should also be banned.

            The answer to this experiment is the quote in the Heller decision that W so conveniently supplied: “But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit
            between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our
            interpretation of the right.
            “. This ruling essentially says that possession of fire arms has been a right since 1789 and, despite their getting more and more lethal, it is too late to change our legal attitude toward them.

            This does not bode well for future mass killings.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Let’s interpret “well-regulated militia.” That’s the crux of the issue.

          • José

            I might agree with Heller on this point. The problem isn’t so much that the Second Amendment is being misinterpreted, it’s just a terrible piece of law. Why did they state the purpose (“a well regulated militia”) but then define the law to be unlimited? Furthermore it’s obsolete. The US of 1787 disappeared long ago along with informal militias made up of farmhands walking out of the fields. We have standing armies. The militias are now the National Guard, with professional equipment and training.

          • SpiritofPearl

            No private citizen, no matter how well armed, can outgun the U.S. military. The original purpose for the second amendment is no longer relevant.

          • SpiritofPearl

            It’s all about the surfeit of guns in the U.S.

            See Nick Kristof:

            https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/07/world/americas/mass-shootings-us-international.html

  • WUSRPH

    It might have been nice to have a reasonable independent in the US Senate race to give us a choice between O’Rourke and Cruz (assuming he is the GOP nominee). I might even have tempted to cast a protest vote for him, especially if it was more than clear that O’Rourke had no chance……but that is about all it would have been as there is no chance that he could win……The sad reality is, if there are going to be true independents elected or even “reform” “moderate” Republicans it is going to have to start at the bottom of the ballot and work its way upward for a few election cycles at the minimum….

    I know it is much easier (and less physically and intellectually demanding) to dream that someone is going to swoop down and over night solve all our problems…..as one poster keeps dreaming that “big business” will do with Joe Straus as their vehicle. But that is not going to happen—at least until after hardworking, dedicated individuals have paved the way by running AND winning as independents or as candidates of either a new third party created when independent coalesce into a party or, as is most unlikely, “moderate Republicans”. That takes work…..not naïve dreams by people like our poster who believes he can reform the GOP while at the same time praising and actively supporting one of the farthest right radicals in the Texas House…

    • SeeItMyWay

      It is all about money, Professor Pedant…waking up the angry, calling them in, getting them involved, and getting them to local precinct meetings. How do you think Dunn’s group got started?

      It is fairly obvious to me that big business money in Texas no longer supports business as usual. Straus made a couple of subtle public comments on this right before he announced he would not run again. You think Straus is a quitter? I don’t.

      I think he has been one of the most measured thinkers we have ever had in Texas politics. I don’t think that he is leaving office without a gameplan, backed by big move’ers and shake’ers in big business, capable of contributing much more than what Dunn and the Wilke’s have funneled into their radical PAC’s.

      I am making a prognostication here. You can emphatically state that I am wrong. We shall see.

      Hillary did not win; our state did not go broke after oil/gas prices dropped. I am several up on you when it comes to prognostication. If I lose this one, I’m still up on you one.

    • Jed

      you want to “protest” beto by voting for king?

      man, you need to figure out where you stand and then stand there.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Beto uses the F-bomb a bit too much for Mr. W.

        • WUSRPH

          I believe I said I would vote for O’Rourke unless it was clear that he could not win….

          • Jed

            it is clear he cannot win.

            who will you be voting for instead?

  • BCinBCS

    This is totally off-topic but I’d like to get opinions about Comrade Trump supporters.

    In the Washington Post – ABC News poll that was taken after his first one-hundred days in office, 42 percent of people surveyed opined that Comrade Trump had accomplished a great deal or a good amount while in office. The same poll taken nine months later had Comrade Trump accomplishing a great deal or a good amount by only 35 percent of people.

    How can this be? Do some people who thought that he accomplished a great deal at one-hundred days think that those accomplishments did not occur after all? What does this say about the quality of the opinions that people have for this man?

    Maybe I’m not looking at this in the correct way. Thoughts?

    • José

      One way that it can be consistent. If folks thought he did four months worth of work in the first 100 days but only improved that to five months worth of work by now.

      My guess, though, is that the people aren’t anywhere near that exacting in how they grade the guy. They’re just working on impressions. Early on he was issuing EOs and his cabinet nominees were in confirmation hearings. That looks like activity, like accomplishments. Now, not so much.

    • donuthin2

      I have no idea what could be running through the minds of his base, but I hope the decline is real. I assume that after 100 days, his supporters were still optimistic about his stated goals and after 9 months they are weighing some of his negatives against anything they thought was positive. I still have a hard time believing that more of the Texas delegation have not expressed their concern about his demeanor as well as his goals. They are much more interested in re election than serving their constituents.

    • donuthin2

      I have no idea what could be running through the minds of his base, but I hope the decline is real. I assume that after 100 days, his supporters were still optimistic about his stated goals and after 9 months they are weighing some of his negatives against anything they thought was positive. I still have a hard time believing that more of the Texas delegation have not expressed their concern about his demeanor as well as his goals. They are much more interested in re election than serving their constituents.

    • SpiritofPearl

      Smoke and mirrors – lots of “signing ceremonies” initially which were essentially rolling back Obama’s EOs, not real legislation.

      Since the election, I’ve been reading the twitter feeds of a lot of journalists I respect. I’ve observed what appear to be hard-core Trump supporters who are middle-aged women. Are they aging groupies?

      • BCinBCS

        “Are they aging groupies?”

        For Comrade Trump? Eew, gross.

        • SpiritofPearl

          They’re much too old for Donald . . . probably over 40.

          • WUSRPH

            As one of the authors at the Texas Book Festival pointed out on Sunday, based on his past record it is about time for Trump to “trade in” his current wife for a new one…..He’s been moving eastward across Europe….maybe the next one will be an authentic Russian.

          • BCinBCS

            Other than his money, I do not understand what women see in him.

          • SpiritofPearl

            Me neither – and I’m female. When I was young, guys like him were turn offs.

          • SpiritofPearl

            There MUST be rich men who are not so grotesque. For me intelligence is the primary criterion.

          • BCinBCS

            There are five major factors that attract me to a woman. Intelligence is number one. I hadn’t realized this until now but financial assets have never been a factor (but that is probably a male vs. female thing).

          • SpiritofPearl

            Character is coequivalent with intelligence. Will he be there for me and mine in “sickness and in health”? Is he a good man?

  • John Bernard Books

    I need more popcorn please….
    “Brazile’s book sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party last week after the allegation first surfaced that the DNC had struck a special deal with the Clinton campaign, giving it partial control over party resources while the campaign helped with the DNC’s troubled finances. ”
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/07/donna-brazile-rips-schultz-over-perks-that-kept-chair-fat-and-happy-amid-dnc-cash-crunch.html
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d729713e4f937c15402ddf8f96597084505a6a72a7f967af1c6ba8fc8093894e.jpg

  • WUSRPH
  • WUSRPH

    100 years ago today a few thousand people changed the history of the world forever—-for the worse—in the pursuit of building a better world.

    Lest we forget the power of ideologues.

    A year ago a few thousand voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania may have done the same.

    • SpiritofPearl

      With help from the Russians . . .

  • WUSRPH

    A clean sweep for the Democratic candidates in Virginia….plus the Democratic candidate won the governorship in New Jersey…….Is this the beginning of a wave?

    • SpiritofPearl

      Light a candle to the Blessed Virgin.

      • WUSRPH

        In my family it is St. Joseph. My soon-to-be 103-year-old Aunt, an Ursuline Nun, has been putting a penny under his foot whenever she wants something and a dime when he comes through, for more than 75 years. It seems to have worked virtually every time.

        • BCinBCS

          Martin Luther would be proud.
          /s

        • SpiritofPearl

          Probably more fire-safe than my technique . . .

    • BCinBCS

      These Democratic political victories are going to make Comrade Trump apoplectic. I hope that he doesn’t get us into a war over his pique.

    • WUSRPH

      More on Virginia from The National Review:

      “last night was the worst night for Republicans in Virginia in a long time. Gillespie lost
      by the worst margin for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in the state since
      1985. No GOP statewide candidate hit 48 percent. Perhaps more significantly,
      Republicans entered Election Day with a 17-seat margin in the state assembly
      and lost at least 13, with seven seats too close to call this morning.”

  • WUSRPH

    Could someone take a moment to define a “moderate” Republican for me?

    For example Is a “moderate” Republican someone who supported:

    *repeated laws to make it harder for women to exercise their constitutional right to obtain an abortion?

    *repeated laws to make it harder for minorities to vote?

    * repeated state budgets that finance the state by way of fiscal and accounting tricks that deliberately underfund health programs by more than a billion dollars?

    *cutting the general revenue funds available to fund the 17% of the budget actually under the legislature’s control by more than $9 billion, producing an immediate shortfall this session?

    *repeated cuts in the state franchise tax, the states only general business tax , reducing the role in supporting state government by business and putting more of a burden on the consumers?

    *a sanctuary cities law (in a harsher version than even the Senate passed)?

    *a $5 billion cut in state for public education which has never been made up?

    *two separate times (the Senate only did it once) to have a group of STATE LEGISLATORS picked by the legislature rewrite the US Constitution without ever consulting the PEOPLE to determine if they favor it?

    *several bills to make it illegal for local government officials in Texas to enforce federal laws in Texas?

    *a decrease in the state share of the cost of public education in every budget passed over the past 10 years which would have continued to decrease despite a never-to-be passed “attempt” at a $1 billion increase this session?

    *every proposal offered for “tort reform” (i.e.–making it harder for consumers to recover) offered up by the Texans for Lawsuit Reform?

    Funny all that does not seem that “moderate” to me?

    • SpiritofPearl

      There are no moderate Republicans now, only alt-right nutjobs.

    • BCinBCS

      W, I have to argue with your hypothesis. I don’t hear anyone who supports those policies claiming to be moderate nor do any members of the Texas legislature (except Strauss – who isn’t, as you have pointed out – and a couple of others – who, nonetheless, vote with the extremists) claim to be moderate. As a matter of fact, most point to their ulta-conservative ratings when challenged.

  • SpiritofPearl
  • WUSRPH

    That semi-mythical coalition of “moderates”, “big business” and “November Republicans” some people dream d about had better get to work pretty soon…..

    From the Quorum Report:

    “With Straus retiring, anti-Straus PAC takes aim at other Republicans

    Instead of their original plan to offer $5,000 to candidates, the New Leadership PAC will make “campaign commitments starting at $100,000 to qualified challengers of Straus’ remaining core acolytes”

    Now that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is stepping aside at the end of this term, the leadership of a PAC launched earlier this year to oppose him and his lieutenants says they’re directing their resources at other Republicans they view as “corrupt.”

    “We are intent on removing the old leaders responsible for scuttling half of Governor Greg Abbott’s commonsense agenda for the special session of the 85th Legislature,” the New Leadership PAC said in a press release.”

  • WUSRPH

    Speaking of mass murders by shooters…..The US is Number One in the world in mass shootings….Only Yemen has a rate close to us……And guess what, The US is Number One in the number of guns (total and per capita) and Yemen is second. That may tell us something.

    http://tinyurl.com/ybfg3899

  • WUSRPH

    It wasn’t just a clean sweep in Virginia….It was NATIONWIDE.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/359310-dems-win-from-coast-to-coast

    • BCinBCS

      I find it interesting that Comrade Trump and his allies are blaming the loss on the fact that the candidates did not embrace the president closely enough. It reminds me of all of the times that trickle-down economics has failed and that failure being blamed on not embracing it strongly enough.

      • donuthin2

        I think Texas will be much slower to accept the horrible situation that we now have. Most still worship Reagan and his trickle down theory, even when most were the victim rather than the benefactor. Interestingly enough, most hate deficit spending but never make the connection to trickle down.

    • BCinBCS

      It wasn’t just a clean sweep in Virginia….It was NATIONWIDE.

      .
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e90f1f977b7eddda4e01b8aaa305376723d5bd62770948c1a2593e2dadbd90a.jpg