State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

Wendy Davis's second best asset: Ted Cruz

Davis's No. 1 asset in her campaign is the enthusiasm, excitement, commitment and passion of her supporters in what they — and I — believe will be a historic campaign in the Lone Star State.


Elizabeth Warren, Jim Webb, Brian Schweitzer for 2016. Or how about two presidents?

Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) says he is considering running for president in 2016. I certainly hope he does. He is just what America needs, and I said so here several years ago. Since the Clintons moved to New York, the Democrats have been dangerously dominated by mainstream media and a 45 million-strong post-war generation, now rapidly advancing into old age. 

Schweitzer asks correctly: Is America falling into a state of monarchy? Can there be no other options but Bushes and Clintons? Well, there are still Kennedys. Even the move to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is certain to bring in Jeb Bush as VP. And President Obama is a Kennedy family agent as well. Recall, Obama had lost New York when The New York Times endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Clinton for president in 2008. The next day, Caroline Kennedy, appointed the prestigious post of ambassador to Japan today, endorsed Obama in the Times and, with Uncle Teddy’s backing, carried the day for Obama.


The CIA’s forecast: 'Nonstates' and 'devolution.' Did Bush/Cheney destroy America?

The United States National Intelligence Council, which advises the CIA, publishes occasional reports forecasting the long-term implications of global trends. As Parag Khanna writes this Sunday in The New York Times, it see ahead a “Nonstate World,” a landscape where governments have "given up on real reforms and ... subcontracted many responsibilities to outside parties, which then set up enclaves operating under their own laws." And their “second great political trend of the age”: devolution.


On Jefferson and Miley Cyrus: Scott Walker cautiously enters the river

Kid singer Miley Cyrus speaks her mind now where presidents did before her and John Belushi once charmed America. It tells us more about New York City and what has come of it than it tells about Cyrus. Possibly we know all we need to know already. But it informs about President Obama as well. I see him at this stage and with friends like this as a contemporary version of Franklin Pierce, considered by some to be the worst president ever. He was so weak and uncommanding that the country actually fell apart under his watch. That time is like this time.

Then, over here we have The Hammer.


Wendy Davis rises, Texas Republicans are headed for a fall, and the Battle of Texas begins

As Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) announced her historic campaign for governor, the list of arrogant and anachronistic Texas Republicans embarrassing the Lone Star State grew with the ludicrous scene of Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer berating a park ranger outside the World War II Memorial, falsely blaming her for the Republican government shutdown. 

The ranger stood her ground; other workers and vets came to her defense; and Neugebauer staged a humiliating retreat as bystanders cheered the ranger. As Davis announced her campaign to continue her leadership to provide better education to every young Texan, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offered his latest apology to veterans offended by his comments regarding World War II and was embarrassed during a widely discussed meeting with Senate Republicans, who mostly detest him and told him his fanatic self-promotion was hurting the GOP and raising the risk of a default and new financial crash. 


America in creative transition to a new ‘center’: Govs. Rick Perry, Mike Pence, Sam Brownback lead the way

“The apocalypse is upon us,” says Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The loyal governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin, slips into old school agit-prop: The Tea Party “pirates” and the Republicans are “recklessly holding our economy hostage.” 

Pirates and hostage-takers, terrorists too, says White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer. And Drudge cites, plaintively, fatalistically, headlines from abroad outlining the end of America. But perhaps the crisis and decline we are seeing today is the beginning, not the end, a crisis of creative transition of historic proportions: America is dying on the edges and awakening in the middle. Power is seeking a new center. In a free state, this will occur naturally. When politics blocks it, trouble inevitably follows. And it will get worse next week in the debt-ceiling crisis.


Is Appalachia seceding from Baltimore? Is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula seceding from Detroit? What about Virginia?

I have yet to see "The Wire," but see if I can guess what it is about. I hear it’s great. It is a law and disorder contrast in one of those Eastern cities in which the tai chi balance of yin and yang has descended to 90 percent unfixable and terminal disorder and 10 percent compensating aggressiveness well on the road to local fascism. Like Philadelphia in the mid-1970s, when so many Pulitzer Prizes were won at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where if a visiting European innocently happened to walk from Temple University downtown to Independence Hall, she could very well be killed or brutally beaten. And the cops would beat and torture suspects and perps even to the death. One time they even bombed a neighborhood, killing 11 and destroying 65 homes. So many American places are like that now.


‘30 Republican governors’: Mike Pence’s manifesto

Mike Pence absolutely gets it right. As reported in The Hill in August, Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) used a weekly Republican address to tout Indiana's state healthcare program as a conservative alternative to President Obama's signature healthcare law. 

"The Obama administration is creating confusion in the marketplace," Pence said. "It’s costing jobs, discouraging investment and making the future bleak for too many families.

“But there is an alternative to waiting on Washington, D.C., to come to its senses, and more Americans are realizing every day that the cure for what ails this country is starting to emerge ... not in our nation’s capital but in our nation’s state capitals.”

President Reagan reminded us that the states created the federal government, the federal government did not create the states, he said, and “All across this country 30 Republican governors are working hard to push back and preserve freedom.”