Rick Perry Agrees to ‘Conversation’ on Fracking in Texas

Its a pretty safe bet from a Texan’s point of view that fracking has a promising future in our state. The practice has, as Governor Perry states, “been used for years” in Texas. Its also clear judging by recent news stories and a controversial study by the EPA that the federal government has every intention of regulating the practice.  Texas and its current governor in particular have had a rocky relationship with federal regulators. Earlier this year the EPA threatened to take away the TCEQ’s ability to grant ‘flexible’ permits to refineries citing non-compliance with the Clean Air Act. The TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), is Texas’ own environmental regulating body.

When it comes to the fracking method of natural gas extraction most of the national attention has been focused in more heavily populated areas where average citizens are more likely to come into direct contact with the industry.  In this shrinking window, Texas has an opportunity to show the EPA and other federal regulators that we can set the standard for appropriate state regulation and avoid expensive off-sets that could derive from a different set of federal standards.

When the head of our State makes comments like, “this is a fear tactic that the left is using and the environmental community is using” and refers to coverage of the EPA’s study as “stories that do not scientifically hold up”, it actually hurts our case that we are prepared to take on the challenge and address the tough issues that effect or energy security and the public trust. On the bright side his first line was, “We can have this conversation”, and I think that’s a good place to start.

Rick Perry on Fracking and Groundwater

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Is Rick Perry Gay? New Book by Gay Former Colleague Seeks Answer

Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry is a book released today by Glen Maxey a former openly gay Texas Legislator from Austin who served with Rick Perry in the Texas House. I first met Glen when he was a state Rep. and my father’s desk mate (also a state Rep.).  According to Glen he was contacted about the topic by a national reporter last summer. He then decided to take up the search for answers. What he found can now be instantly downloaded onto your Kindle while you await the hard copy.

Rumors abound about the Governor’s sexuality. There were rumors that many believe led to Texas Secretary of State stepping down. This was the one Texas Democrats, capitol insiders and other close observers thought might grow legs but nothing above ground or ‘out’ in the open ever surfaced. There was however a “support rally” in front of the Governor’s mansion with supporters wielding signs that read “Its Ok to be Gay!”. Most people in Austin probably remember earlier this year when a known political gadfly published the now infamous full page “Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?” ad in the Austin Chronicle.

Earlier this year the presidential hopeful reassured evangelicals there is ‘nothing in my life that will embarrass you’. Coming straight (no pun intended) off his ‘Strong’ ad where he makes an appeal to evangelicals. The outrage that ‘gays can serve openly in the military’ certainly begs the question, can a gay serve openly as Texas Governor?

via Amazon.com: Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry eBook: Glen Maxey: Kindle Store.

Clearly the world (wide web) wants to know.

Herman Cain: Teflon Pizza Don or Mr. Magoo of GOP

I have been wanting to move past “politics of the day” to discuss what I think are more relevant issues in the bigger picture but I continue to be fascinated by Herman Cain and what his story means to the 2012 race.

The more media declares his candidacy over the better he does with the Republican base. Fox News and other establishment conservatives have come to his defense in light of sexual harassment allegations and joined his refrain of a “high-tech” lynching. They are comparing his case to Clarence Thomas and contrasting him with Bill Clinton but there is no evidence yet that this was leaked by Democratic opposition  research.

I would think the media would be tired of ‘misunderestimating’ Herman Cain and give him a little credit even his fortunes seemed to be guided by some strange Mr. Magoo-like quality. The same day headlines were supposed to derail his campaign he posted the best fundraising day so far. In addition Gallup published this poll that shows Cain as the only candidate to increase his favorability rating. Will the media learn its lesson or can Cain continue to defy the odds?

There have been major developments this week since I published this. Rick Perry has been accused by the Cain campaign of leaking sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain.

And this video masterpiece..well maybe not masterpiece but I made it before Cain actually accused Perry:

 

Is Herman Cain’s loss Rick Perry’s gain?

UPDATE 11/3/2011 4pm:

A new Rasmussen poll taken after the leak of sexual allegations shows Herman Cain actually taking the lead over Romney. Rick Perry doubles his numbers to 8% while Bachmann, Huntsman and Santorum bottom out. It appears Perry drew his support from the later candidates and Cain seems to be holding his own. Its also not clear if voters believe Rick Perry had any part in the leak as the Cain campaign contends.

Troubling headlines of sexual harassment allegations about Herman Cain beg the question -What happens if the Cain bubble does burst?

If Romney continues to waffle around 25% whoever is the beneficiary of a thinning field will have a real chance to tip the scale as we get closer to the early primaries. Could this be Perry’s window to reemerge? Time has yet to tell what effect Perry’s flat tax proposal will have on the race but it has received praise and ridicule from the usual suspects as this is not a new idea. Just recently it was given the thumbs up by Grover Norquist, a conservative thought leader with Club for Growth who pledges to hold inadequately conservative politicians accountable. In an election year that seems to be anything but typical and has bread strong anti-establishment sentiment, it is difficult to know what “leaders” will truly be the bellwether for 2012.

Taken from TexasTribune.org

On the same day of reckoning for Cain the Texas Tribune published a poll that shows Herman Cain edging out Governor Rick Perry in the Texas primary. Jim Henson, UT professor and co-director of the poll, stated in the article that Cain’s most significant lead was among “conservative voters”. Interestingly though while Perry led Cain in most urban areas, Cain lead Perry in Austin where voters know him well. This does not bode well (at least in Texas) for the theory that Perry would be the obvious beneficiary of a Cain collapse. Nationally though, this could be where money’s role becomes more important. If Bachmann and the like heed growing calls to exit the race this opens the door for Perry or another (Newt?) to gain a fresh head of steam. Even with his mass of cash reserves Perry will have to make stronger and more convincing public appearances. His resent consideration of nixing future debates, which may have worked from the outset, probably comes far too late after a series of disappointing outings.

Also, headlining on Gawker is not the way you want your campaign to go viral. Governor Perry delivered a “passionate” speech over the weekend also included a complete dismissal of Herman Cain as a real candidate. “I love Herman, is he the best? I have fun with him, he is a great and interesting guy. And, thank you Herman for helping to pay for the event tonight.” If this Rick Perry had come out first and he avoided the debates altogether who knows if this would be a different race. But, perhaps at this point he should bother to take Cain a little more seriously. The media can make this mistake, but Rick Perry can’t afford too.

There have been major developments this week since I published this. Rick Perry has been accused by the Cain campaign of leaking sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain.

And this video masterpiece..well maybe not masterpiece but it was made before Cain actually accused Perry:

Interesting note: Ron Paul doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of a 3rd party run even before the first primary ballot has been cast. Could he be setting the right up to get Nadered?

Stars and Bars and Battle-scars

It has already been widely reported, but Rick Perry has come out against the Confederate battle flag being placed on Texas license plates stating, “We don’t need to be opening up old wounds.” This is a departure from an earlier statement released by his staff that indicated, “The governor believes this is a decision for the board,” -referring to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Progress Texas has been pushing this issue for months and just last week 19 state Reps. (all Democrat, mostly minority) in Texas signed a petition urging the DMV not to approve the issuance of the specialty plates.

According to Sons of Confederate Veterans the DMV would raise money from the sale of the vanity plates to “educate the public” and create monuments to rebel soldiers. In most cases and in terms of freedom of speech I prefer to know where people stand. If you are willing to proudly display a “battle flag” buy a bumper sticker or where a ball cap. But, our state government which recognizes the legitimacy of the federal government should not be used to support a movement that sought to dismantle it. With immigration issues taking front stage this election its hard to imagine a worse idea, but that whole states rights thing is still as popular as ever right now.

I just had to throw this picture in to the left. This is my friend who posted this on facebook and I thought it was perfect.

Rush Limbaugh said it first.

I could not help but comment on the above headline. It was displayed prominently by Drudge post-debate. What’s interesting is earlier in the day on his radio program Rush Limbaugh  said, “So their objective at CNN is going to be to make every one of these people look like an absolute wacko nutcase fruitcake.”

So Anderson Cooper will be blamed for the “catty” behavior between the candidates. Romney and Santorum got into a shouting match early in the debate and Romney again with Perry on immigration that actually led to him putting his hand on Perry’s shoulder.

Recap of the debate performance:

Mitt Romney –This is still Romney’s to lose and he will probably not see much of a bump from this debate. Republican primary voters know Mitt Romney and right they are “still in the market”. It will be interesting to see what happens when the field starts to thin out. Only then will be know how weak he really is. From the left-leaning room I watch the debate in, it didn’t seem like the wanted Romney to make it to the general election.

Rick Perry – Oh Brother First. he needs to stop referring to Herman Cain as “Brother” which he did twice during the debate. He also attempted to make Romney his target but Mitt was prepared and shot back every time with specific policy results of Perry as Governor. The debate was tough on Perry he needs to go after Obama directly so he can draw that “bright contrast” he mentioned. He must also expand his plan for jobs beyond the energy and oil industry. Even if this is ok in  a Republican primary it doesn’t help his perception as an oil and gas man from Texas.

Herman Cain-Apples and Oranges He is a branding machine, everything that comes out of his mouth sounds like a slogan and so “matter of fact”. Its great to keep it simple but if he wants to be taken seriously Cain needs to be more receptive to criticism. Everyone he disagrees with is not “wrong”. It may work as a CEO but being President will require working well with others.

Newt Gingrich – “Adult in the room”- At least thats what I think his message is. He is trying to play the role of the uniter. I haven’t heard him attack anyone else on stage and that makes me believe he may ne vying for the VP slot.

Michele Bachmann – She has failed to define her role in these debates. She gets a good oneliner per show but its not what she needs to turn her campaign around. She hasn’t raised the money she needs to remain competitive but she may still be banking on Iowa even while her numbers have slipped there since she won the Ames straw poll.

Ron Paul- Same as he ever was Ron Paul is without a doubt the most consistant candidate and regularly draws the most applause. He gets the most donations from service men and woman but dropped a bomb when he said our aid to Israel hurts them and makes them “dependent”.

Rick Santorum-  In the Bachmann camp, he is basically irrelevant at this point. The field is split too many ways for him to get the support he needs unless there were fewer candidates but I don’t think his funds will last that long.

I look forward to the next debate and hope it includes less familiar faces.

GOP candidates on Occupy Wall Street

The GOP field on Occupy Wall Street:

Mitt Romney -“I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,”

Rick Perry – 1.) “We understand the frustration with the Obama economy, but the protests don’t make sense or help create jobs.”

2.) “You know Liberals are now pointing the finger of blame at successful employers under the guise of fairness, but when they utter phrases like “fair share” you just know, heh, they’re once again playing fast and furious with the truth. And the truth is you can’t reve up the engine of economic growth by heaping higher taxes on job creators, you can’t spread success by punishing it, you can’t unite our country by dividing it.”

Herman Cain– “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.”

Newt Gingrich– “I think the people who are protesting in Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people who frankly are very close to the Tea Party people who care. And actually…you can tell which are which. The people who are decent, responsible citizens pick up after themselves. The people who are just out there as activists trash the place and walk off and are proud of having trashed it, so let’s draw that distinction.”

Ron Paul- “I think that civil disobedience, if everybody knows exactly what they are doing, is a legitimate effort. It’s been done in this country for many grievances. Some people end up going to jail for this. But to speak for a special group and say, ‘Yeah, I like what they are doing or they are not doing,’ but what I want to do is try to sort it out and tell people why they are struggling and that this was a predictable event.”

Michele Bachmann- “I don’t think that they’re similar to the Tea Party at all,” Bachmann said. “I ran across two of the protests in Washington, DC and one in Boston and they are nothing in common at all with” Tea Party agitators.

She added, “I think that if the Occupy Wall Street wants to be upset about something they should go in front of the White House.”

Jon Huntsman- Now, you can’t gather on street corners in China. You can’t create organized demonstrations in China. You can in this country, and may it always be that way,” said Huntsman. “And I have to say that some of what they’re talking about, a lot of Americans, I think, are sympathetic with. Trillions and trillions of dollars spent, with nothing to show for it in terms of any uplift in our economy.”

Rick Santorum- “I certainly understand the frustration,” he told reporters after his speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. “I think the answers they have with respect to solve that problem, I would go in a different direction.”

Donald Trump– “I was in New York recently where you had—I wouldn’t call it a riot, but it got—you had thousands of people marching down Wall Street,” Trump said. “This is a group of in many cases very well-dressed, and I look at it and I say something has got to be done to break it up.”

Anita Perry: Window to Camp Perry?

Anita Perry could give strong insight into the unpreparedness of Rick Perry’s Presidential campaign.  Recently she spoke in South Carolina in an emotional monologue about the relationship with her husband, their life in small town Texas and answering God’s call to run for President.

She expressed her dismay of the attacks by the media and his GOP rivals on her husband. Her honesty revealed the degree to which it was unexpected. This could be endemic to the Perry campaign. It follows the narrative that Rick Perry was not fully primed for the national stage.

It’s been a rough month. We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today. We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think, they look at him because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.

More than 70% of Americans identify as Christian and that includes his rivals for President but there is serious risk as the nominee if he is viewed as basing his tough decisions on messages from God.  She insisted that he would have never written “FED Up” if he planned on running for President but that, “he truly felt like he was called to do this”.

Typically spouses are left to their privacy until they start speaking out in public. In most cases its better that they don’t given the emotional and personal nature of politics. Just ask Carl Lewis.

Video of Anita Perry’s entire monologue.

Herman Cain: Cracking the Black Walnut

The takeaway:  Voters are expressing what they want in a candidate more than their actual support for Herman Cain or his 9-9-9 plan.

Talk to a political hack and he is likely to tell you Herman Cain is not a ‘serious’ candidate. Poll Republican primary voters and you get a different answer. Pundits and even the other candidates have overlooked and possibly “mis-underestimated” Herman Cain. His own campaign manager admitted he had a very small window to win the nomination. So how does any of this make since? I have a theory, and if it turns out correct it’ll be dubbed “The Cain Effect”.

Republican primary voters have gotten to know Mitt Romney since he first announced his candidacy back in February of 2007. He’s the guy the parents like because he has all the qualifications but the lady just isn’t in love. He is in a since the back up plan, and just can’t quite get voters to “put a ring on it”. This is where flirts with Christie and flings with Perry, Bachmann, and now Cain come in.

How Herman Cain is Different and Why He is Surging and What could Stop Him

He is not a politician. Herman Cain, unlike the aforementioned has never held public office. Rick Perry’s bonafides come from his tenure as Texas’ longest serving Governor and all other “major” candidates are also current or past office holders.

The “not a real candidate” factor. If Republican primary voters are going to dump Mitt Romney it will be for “the one”. A ‘1st tier’ candidate that will at least narrow the field to two.  After Rick Perry failed to meet that expectation voters chose the only real outsider. Its also impossible to over estimate the benefit Cain receives from being attacked by the mainstream media. This is key to his surging. Voters are expressing what they want in a candidate more than their actual support for Herman Cain or his 9-9-9 plan.  Halley Barbour used this anecdote:

One of my sons, I have grown children, you know, from the first day said ‘Dad, do you know Herman Cain?’ I said sure, I’ve known him since I was Chairman. He said ‘Man, I like him, I like what he says,’ and that is one of his great strengths Laura…He’s a straight talker and I think that makes him very, very attractive to people.

Yes, Ron Paul muttered, “Spoken like a true insider” referring to Cain’s time as Federal Reserve Chairman in Kansas City but for his best efforts Ron Paul still carries far too much political baggage himself. Whether its Godfather’s Pizza or the 9-9-9 plan Herman Cain is about building a brand. In his 2000 presidential bid Cain said,

George W. Bush was the chosen one. He had the campaign DNA that followers look for…I believe that I had a better message and I believe that I was the better messenger.

Precisely. People bought Barack Obama in 2008, not the Democratic Party and right now people are buying “Black Walnut” not and not necessarily Herman Cain.

Straight talk. People like a straight talking guy. Thats why they liked Reagan, George W. Bush, and why they were supposed to like Rick Perry but Herman Cain takes his straight to the edge. It can be amusing like when he told Ron Paul, “You’ve gotta be careful of the stuff you get off the Internet.” or questionable when in the same debate he said, “The problem with your analysis is that it is incorrect,” referring to Bloomberg’s assessment of his 9-9-9 tax plan. His ability to be dismissive of criticism and stand with his ideas brings a certain charm but the longer this process wears the more groups of supporters he will be in the cross hairs of his defense mechanism. Now that he is beginning to be taken seriously he should be prepared to answer tough questions about his past statements. There will be many since he has had his own radio program, syndicated column and written multiple books and with phrases like, “I don’t have the facts to back this up” he better be more careful in what he says, less someone take him serious.

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