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Perry piddles while Texas burns

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 5:11 AM
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“For the first time in history, the next generation of Texans is projected to have less education, less wealth, and fewer years of life than the one before.”

– Texans Care for Children

Republican Gov. Rick Perry’s “State of the State” address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature  Feb. 8 sounded like more of his 2010 re-election campaign against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Houston Mayor Bill White.

And, his 2011 and 2012 campaign for something.

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While school superintendents and hospital administrators around the state are turning ashen over an anticipated $27 billion shortfall in the state budget, Perry is a real Tea-sipping Aggie.

Feds: bad. Texas: good.

President Obama: terrible. Texas under Perry: great.

Washington: broken. Texas problems: Big Brother Washington’s fault.

“(B)y any meaningful measure, the state of our state is strong. . . .  (T)he core elements of our economy are strong, Texas is still the envy of our nation,” Perry insisted.

“Now, the mainstream media and big government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we’re facing a budget Armageddon,” Perry warned. “Texans don’t believe it and they shouldn’t because it’s not true.”

Perry’s speech was pretty long, and there are many stories about it. Find excerpts and full text on the governor’s official website at We’ll give a little ink to other views.

As part of the response of several Democratic legislators to Perry’s speech, Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, said Texas Republican leaders — “those in control” — are using “debt, deceit and diversions to once again mask our bleak reality.”

She and other legislators recently “confirmed what millions of hard-working Texans already knew — that our great state did not escape the deepest recession since the Great Depression,” Davis said.

“Governor Perry has been waking up in a very different reality than most citizens of Texas. Their reality is becoming starker by the day.  In the reality of Texas families, schools are closing, teachers are losing their jobs and state support for public education, already among the lowest in the entire nation, is facing dramatic cuts. 

“In the reality of Texas' elderly, nursing homes face closure, making some of our state's most vulnerable fear the worst.  In the reality of Veterans returning to Texas from Iraq and Afghanistan, one in five cannot find jobs.” 

Meanwhile, “those in control — who spent months spinning tall tales on campaign trails, assuring us that all was well in Texas — remain out of touch with the uncertainties, financial struggles and hardships facing so many Texas families.

“Even today, that same failed leadership would rather climb a tree to tell us a lie than to stand on the ground and tell us the truth,” Davis charged.    •••

The next day, the non-profit Texans Care for Children’s Four Seasons Hotel fundraiser honored former Democratic Gov. Mark White and wife Linda Gale with its “Phil Strickland Founder’s Award” for efforts on behalf of children.

Linda Gale White helped found Communities in Schools, which provides volunteer and other resources to schools.

Former Gov. White, in a 1984 special legislative session, presided over the biggest percentage pay hike for teachers in modern Texas history.

The former governor campaigned in 1982 pledging “No New Taxes” and a teacher pay increase. After oil and gas taxes plummeted, he finally realized he couldn’t keep one pledge without breaking the other.

So he agreed to a tax hike, telling legislators, “Blame me.” Voters did, and turned him out in 1986.   


Governor Forever . . . . Maybe it’s vice-president or president that Perry’s running for. But there’s also the fallback of staying in what he and predecessor George W. Bush have called the best job in the world.

A Perry friend produced bumper stickers that say “Fo’ Mo’ in ’14” — inspired by Perry’s infamous “Adios, mo-fo” sign-off from a TV interview when he thought the camera was off.

It could be a joke. But remember many people — including probably Hutchison — thought it was a joke a few years ago when Perry’s friends printed bumper stickers that said “Perry Again in 2010.”

Former Gov. White couldn’t resist linking Perry to recent events.

“Right now in our state, I think only Mubarak has been in office longer,” White said. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped aside after massive citizen demonstrations ended his reign at 29 years.

by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 5:11 AM
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by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM


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