State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

Who’s afraid of Howard Dean?

They are shrill. They say things no one else says. They live as far away from power as you can get without being someplace else, which might be considered running away.

They say kooky things, and possibly we only turn to them in kooky times: Howard Dean and Sarah Palin. Now, as The Hill reports, ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare. And Howard Dean is speaking up. I hope to see him soon on "Dancing with the Stars."

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Texas voting rights abuses challenged by Justice Department: National battle escalates

In my latest column, I applaud the growing clout of women and the great collaboration of diverse groups, in Texas and nationally, in support of issues important to women.

The voting rights abuses by Republicans in Texas and nationally will now be the cause of a similar coalition. I fully support the bold move by the Department of Justice to initiate a frontal legal challenge, which I expect to prevail, against continuing voting rights abuses in Texas.

More cases in other states are undoubtedly coming. While Texas Republicans in Washington, led by Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and the state's GOP House delegation, alienate Hispanics by opposing fair immigration reform, Republicans in Texas, led by Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott, repeatedly attack the voting rights of Hispanics, blacks, seniors and countless other Texans.

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Eliot Spitzer will win (great), Carlos Danger will lose (great)

Eliot Spitzer is a serious man who will be elected controller of New York City and will be a nationally respected voice against financial greed and corruption.

Anthony Weiner, a.k.a. Carlos Danger in his formally secret sexual existence, is a vanity player seeking power who has a serious psychological problem and a habit — which continues — of lying about his problem while seeking public office.

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Rick Perry and Shelby County v. Holder

“To understand the depth of the damage that the Supreme Court’s June 25 decision, Shelby County v. Holder, has inflicted on the voting rights of African-Americans,” Thomas B. Edsall writes today in The New York Times, “ you have to measure it against the backdrop of the takeover of state legislatures, primarily in the South, by the Republican Party.”

The title of Edsall’s essay is “The Decline of Black Power in the South.” But we are a nation of states, not of tribes: North Carolina, New Hampshire, California, Texas, not generic and made-up tribes; white, black, Newyorican, gay.

When the Voting Rights Act came to the South, it came after a century of breathtaking poverty while New York rose to world economic dominance and before that the most horrific war the world had seen since the Second Punic War.

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Sarah Palin should start a 'Freedom Party'

Sarah Palin lives on the edge of the forest. She brings them troubled sleep. Reports this weekend at the Daily Caller that Alaska’s former governor responded to a Twitter question on Fox “about the possibility of her and conservative talker Mark Levin abandoning the Republican Party and creating something called the 'Freedom Party.' "

Palin is open to the idea and said that if the GOP continues to abandon its conservative principles, others would follow suit.

“I love the name of that party: the 'Freedom Party,' " Palin said.

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Wendy 14, Oops 0 in Texas governor race round one

The groundswell of support for Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) to run for governor has begun, as I wrote in my column this week.

With the panicked and insulting reaction of Gov. Rick Perry (R) to Wendy's iconic filibuster, and Wendy's cool and classy rebuttal, we have learned something new in the hours since her filibuster.

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The Texas Century: Who is Wendy Davis?

"Who is Wendy Davis?" I asked.

And that is the blog headline this morning in The Washington Post as well: Who is Wendy Davis?

The issue — a daylong filibuster to hold back a late-night vote on a restrictive abortion law in the Texas Legislature’s special session — may be forgotten in time, but Davis will not be forgotten. The cameras were ready this time and the photos will be historic: It is Jimmy Stewart the sequel, following Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) historic filibuster on drones on March 6.

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Texas GOP, Boehner GOP face demographic Armageddon with women and Hispanics

Shortly after Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) vetoed legislation supporting pay equity for women, House Republicans in Washington passed an extreme bill to restrict abortion. And now Texas Republicans in Austin are trying to pass what could be the most extreme anti-choice measure in the nation.

While state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) fights valiantly against the anti-choice bill in the Texas Senate, the leading sponsor of the bill in the Texas House, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), while opposing even an exception for rape, appeared to not even know what a rape kit is.

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California, America’s Tibet, needs nullification

California, whose capital is farther from Washington, D.C., than Tibet’s is from its Chinese masters in Beijing, steps up this week. 

As The Tenth Amendment Center reports, state Rep. Tim Donnelly’s (R) AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping “indefinite detention” under the National Defense Authorization Act has passed the state Assembly and is up for an important state Senate committee hearing and vote on June 25. 

But California comes reluctantly to state sovereignty. Striving toward liberation of the inner-life sort since Sonny Barger’s bikers and Jack Kerouac’s dharma bums first found rude awakenings there, California now needs nullification. Possibly it needs nullification more than others as it seeks greater freedoms and more original awakenings.

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