Oh snap. So now our Washington D.C. hating Governor wants to move tout de suite to the place that he loves to loathe?
Apparently Rick Perry hates Washington so much that he cannot wait to get there.
Apparently Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera believes Rick Perry's comments about secession are so unbelievably treasonous that the Governor of the once great state of Texas should be impeached.
Of course Rick Perry has not been impeached. This is Texas, after all. The esteemed Governor won yet another term in office.
Texas Republicans obviously have a very high threshold for third world statehood in which low taxes, small government and a budget based on smoke and mirrors prevails. The Texas GOP also demonstrates a high tolerance for narcissistic and integrity-free lawmakers who bring more than a tad of hurt and suffering to them, their families and their pocket books. But to be fair Texas has more than its fair share of right wing extremists and crackpots that include white supremacists, secessionists, xenophobes and racists, most of whom voted for Rick Perry. The Governor relied heavily on this base in order to get re-elected.
There is a reason why Rick the Rooster and his Texas GOP want to keep Texas schools at the bottom of the national pile. And there is a rationale for why the Governor supports the anti-intellectual and anti-science Christian Taliban zealots that run the State Board of Education.
Is Rick Perry pandering? Pandering is precisely what crowing roosters like slick Rick do. As Texas progressive writer and friend of the revered late Molly Ivins Harold Cook duly noted, voters outside of the state may recoil from a sinking sense of deja vu when they see the swaggering rooster Rick on the campaign trail.
The problem for Perry, in the blinding light of the national stage, is that he may ultimately be seen as the swaggering rooster who believes the sun came up because of all that crowing.
However, if one were to fan away the smoke and remove the distorted carnival mirrors it becomes glaringly clear that Texas has a huge revenue problem that Rick Perry failed to acknowledge when he ran for reelection.
What about the budget? The truth is that the Texas state government has relied for years on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of sound finances in the face of a serious "structural" budget deficit - that is, a deficit that persists even when the economy is doing well. When the recession struck, hitting revenue in Texas just as it did everywhere else, that illusion was bound to collapse.
For 140 days, Texas' budget writers leaned on the glue and duct tape of gimmickry and denial, trying to patch up the state's rickety budget and school finance system.
Those in control of the Legislature waited until the last minute to finish their project. And as some of our state's seventh-grade teachers could have warned them, they didn't get it done in time. So now they're back in a special legislative session, trying to keep schools across Texas from shutting down next fall.
But let's be clear: The proposals now before the Legislature don't adequately fund our schools. Any theoretical good was undone by a stubborn refusal to put the priorities of Texas first - or keep the state's promise to fund Texas schools and our children's future.
The legislation attempts to hide a failure that dates back to 2006, when those in control cynically promised Texans a tax cut but refused to do the harder work of cutting spending or replacing the lost revenue. It opened a multibillion-dollar hole in the state's finances - one that we'd all have fallen into two years ago without billions of dollars in federal stimulus money.
But that bailout is long gone, and the state's about $4 billion short of what schools need to cope with more students and escalating costs. It's the first time in known state history that Texas hasn't paid for enrollment growth.
Giving a wink and nod to benefits free, slave wages jobs to an illegal work force, all of whose employers most likely contribute liberally to Rooster Perry's campaign coffers, do not count as sustainable jobs in Texas.
Does one remember the heyday of the W. years when the culture of corruption pervaded the U.S. Congress thanks to the revolving door between lobbyists and lawmakers? Well, folks, that culture of corruption is the accepted practice du jour right here in Rooster Perry's Texas.
But Perry will come under scrutiny for the massive, largely unsupervised funds that he has used to lure businesses to Texas. Various investigations have shown that these funds have moved millions of dollars to Perry donors and to companies associated with individuals nominated by Perry to run the funds. At the same time, the companies subsidized by the funds have shown only modest success in creating jobs.
Pay to play politics.
You see, folks, Rick Perry appoints his cronies into choice top state positions and then rewards them for doing his bidding. The self-serving and willing hostages will in turn, have to make personal generous donations to Rick Perry's campaign coffers in order to keep their jobs as willing self-serving hostages. If one should fail to obey dictator Rick and/or learns that one possesses some form of a conscience, the poor crony will be tarred, feathered and banished from his/her job.
How is that for the best government that a dictator can buy in order to promote himself and his agenda?
Rick Perry's cronyism is so cripplingly pervasive that U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has called for an investigation.
But Kay Bailey Hutchison called for an investigation at the time in which she ran as an opponent to Rooster Perry in the TX gubernatorial 2010 campaign. Now that she has lost the election and has plans to retire, I suspect the Senator no longer cares about the pervasive cronyism and corruption that continues to cripple the state.
The largest fund, the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), was created in 2003 and has awarded some $412 million in subsidies to companies nominally to create jobs. A Dec. 2010 analysis by the Texas Comptroller found that $119 million of that money went to companies that didn't deliver on the jobs they promised. The governor's office only took back $21 million, often choosing instead to define down the job-creation requirements.
Fellow Republicans have been critical. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a GOP Senator from Texas, called for an independent audit of the TEF and said of the investigations into its performance, "Texans have been offered a disturbing glance into the activities of the Texas Enterprise Fund. For the first time, we have learned of taxpayer-funded contracts being canceled, changed to redefine 'success' and actually sending our money overseas to create jobs. This is unacceptable."
The companies did not deliver the jobs they promised. Rick Perry redefined (i.e. lowered) the jobs requirements.
Rick Perry has set an inhumane scenario that makes it easy for corporations to run rough shod over the environment and ruin the health and financial well being of the people in areas like Wise County in North Texas and the Houston area with its pollution and poorly regulated oil refineries. His low tax mania has yielded among the lousiest schools in the U.S., the highest number of dropouts, over crowded prisons and the highest number of uninsured residents in the U.S. With his Marie-Antoinette budget cuts school children in Texas public schools will be unable to compete in a global market place. His policies have done little to help the unfortunate and yet the Governor likes to promote himself as a Christian. He has poked his government hating nose into a woman's right to choose. Rick Perry is a like a cruel dictator who is quickly fast tracking this once great state to third world squalor.
We see this nightmare of a movie every day in Texas. Do we really want to watch its rerun on a national level?