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Backroom Politics

Backroom Politics

By Bill and Nancy Boyarsky

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Tag: Texas

Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over Obama’s plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE

original image from Wikimedia Commons

Is Texas a Closeted Blue State?

Hold on to your 10-gallon: Gallup’s polling data from the last election show that more Texans identify as Democrats than Republicans. That hasn’t translated into a political earthquake just yet, but it may only be a matter of time. Changing demographics make the Lone Star State and its 34 electoral votes a tempting target for Democrats.

Posted on Feb 2, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Saul Loeb, pool

Good Riddance

Say it with us: former President Bush. After eight crazy years, George W. Bush is escaping to Texas, where he plans to work on his memoirs and, one imagines, clear some brush. He leaves a nation in despair. Perhaps his greatest achievement was scaring America into the arms of Barack Obama. Heckuva job, Bushie.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE

What Can Obama Learn From Bush?

The Bush administration’s specific failures—in foreign and domestic policy and on matters related to civil liberties—are clear enough. Yet the deeper cause of the public’s disaffection goes beyond these specifics.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE

Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE

Allen Barra on ‘Frost/Nixon’

Frank Langella as Nixon in the new Ron Howard movie does his best, but no one did Nixon like Nixon.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE

Truthdig / Peter Scheer

Redrawing the Political Map

A little-noticed California proposition could limit the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Republicans and Democrats have used to influence elections around America for decades. But is that a good thing?

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE

Is Bush Dallas Bound?

The Smoking Gun has the scuttlebutt on the president’s new $2 million home in Dallas. Should he need to borrow a cup of sugar, Bush can call on billionaire neighbor Tom Hicks, who succeeded him as owner of the Texas Rangers.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE

Knowing When to Walk Away

Bush reportedly suggested to Obama he might support an economic stimulus package and aid to struggling automakers if Democrats drop their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia. Strange behavior? Yes and no.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 READ MORE

This Is What He’s Sorry About?

It was nothing Bush did—no decision he made, no policy he pursued, no faith that he placed in ideological dogma—that he finds regrettable. Bush told a cable network, “I regret saying some things I shouldn’t have said” over the course of eight tumultuous years.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE

Catholics Can’t Vote for Obama?

In a last-ditch attempt to derail Latino support for Obama, an anti-abortion crusader and an activist against illegal immigration have teamed up to send a retired Texas bishop’s message to nearly 3 million Latino voters by e-mail and to even more by radio.

Posted on Nov 2, 2008 READ MORE

A Slave’s Daughter Votes for Obama

Amanda Jone’s father encouraged her to vote. That wasn’t always an easy feat in Texas, but she did her best, paying poll taxes to vote for FDR and others. Now the 109-year-old daughter of a former slave has voted for the man who could become the first black president and she says, “I feel good about [it].”

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE

Election Protection

Election Day approaches, and with it a test of our election system’s integrity. Who will be allowed to vote; who will be barred?

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 READ MORE

Evangelical Leader Goes All In For McCain

And to think that anyone thought James Dobson would sit out this presidential race. The Christian right leader and his advocacy group, Focus on the Family Action, are planning a multistate strategy to help elect McCain, and to prevent Democratic gains in Congress while they’re at it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE

Dick Cheney
White House / David Bohrer

Book: Cheney Deceived GOP Leader on Iraq

How far was Dick Cheney (above) willing to go to get his war in Iraq? Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, quoted in Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman’s new book, says the vice president hoodwinked him during a one-on-one meeting in the Capitol.

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Bush Will Skip Convention

Hurricane Gustav has given the Republicans the excuse they needed to keep the unpopular president out of his party’s big party. John McCain will be spared another awkward embrace while George W. Bush is off in Texas pestering survivors.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008 READ MORE


‘W’ Teaser: Dubya Went A-Courtin’

Maybe this isn’t precisely how George W. Bush played his cards the first time he met his wife, Laura, or maybe it is, but it’s how director Oliver Stone has recreated the mating dance of the would-be president and his future bride in this scene from Stone’s upcoming film, “W.”

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE

Threats, Lies and Audiotape

With no end in sight in Afghanistan and Iraq, military recruiters must be prevented from using desperate and aggressive measures to lure our nation’s young people—the poorest and most vulnerable—into the line of fire.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE

Gramm and McCain

Gramm Quits McCain Campaign

The backlash following Phil Gramm’s comments about the “mental recession” he believed Americans were bringing upon themselves through negative thinking has evidently caused the former Texas senator to leave his position as a top adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / zoliblog

10 Troubled Banks

While depositors at IndyMac banks in California do battle for a chance to get their cash out, financial analysts have been crunching the numbers to identify other troubled lenders. ABC News snuck a peek to come up with this handy guide to banks with an unfortunate “Texas ratio.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE

Obama button

Pinpointing Racism at the Texas Republican Convention

Some challenges to Sen. Barack Obama’s potential presidential authority might be considered covertly racist, but here’s one that baldly revels in its ignorance: At last weekend’s Republican state convention in Texas, a vendor booth hosted by Republicanmarket pushed a pin that brought racial politics to the fore in the most blatant and unproductive possible way.

Posted on Jun 17, 2008 READ MORE

Court Sides With Polygamists

Government agents had no legal right to seize hundreds of children from a Mormon fundamentalist compound in Texas, an appeals court has ruled. The government argued that the children were suffering abuse, but the court decided the children had been in no immediate danger.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE

Destroying a Village of Pedophilia

As the dust settles from the recent roundup of allegedly abused children from a fundamentalist retreat, some are asking whether saving these kids is worth the human cost.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE

GodTube Cashes In

A European hedge fund just invested $30 million in a Christian-oriented video sharing site. The vast majority of Americans identify as Christian, and while the economy may be taking a nose dive, there’s still money to be made on Jesus.

Posted on May 12, 2008 READ MORE

Culture of Misogyny

There is a link between the horrific violence committed against the women of the captive Austrian family and the apparent abuse of teenage girls in Texas, and it is the same unbroken chord that connects them tangentially—but significantly—to Hannah Montana’s fall from grace.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan Makes Bid for Pelosi’s House Seat

It’s not going to be an easy campaign, but anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has made good on her pledge to try to take over Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat this fall. Sheehan filed Friday to run for the House in Pelosi’s San Francisco district—but she has to collect over 10,000 signatures before she can make her bid official.

Posted on Apr 25, 2008 READ MORE

Rampant Sex Abuse Alleged at Polygamist Compound

A grim picture is emerging from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compound in West Texas, where 416 children have been removed to state custody and 139 women have left. Court documents allege widespread sexual abuse of teenage girls who were married at puberty to much older men by the polygamist sect.

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE

DoD / Dan Heaton

Border Barrier Evades Green Laws

The Department of Homeland Security has received approval from Congress to ignore dozens of environmental laws in order to construct a 670-mile border fence. Environmentalists are worried about the impact the project could have on endangered species, and several property owners have attempted to obstruct the construction process.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE

Tracy Morgan

Saturday Night Surrogates

Shortly before the Ohio and Texas primaries, Tina Fey offered a raucous endorsement of Hillary Clinton that ended with the slogan, “Bitch is the new black.” Her friend and colleague Tracy Morgan has a few things to say about that.

Posted on Mar 17, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / BohPhoto

Add Mississippi to Obama’s List—Texas Caucuses Too

Barack Obama won the Mississippi primary by 24 points on Tuesday. CNN is also projecting Obama as the winner of last week’s Texas caucuses. Now it’s a question of momentum and the tone of the campaign as the candidates head toward Pennsylvania, where Hillary Clinton is heavily favored in the polls. Updated

Posted on Mar 11, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and Clinton

Clinton Holds the Line

Hillary Clinton scored major victories Tuesday with three projected wins, including Ohio and Texas, which had been described by her campaign as must-win states. Barack Obama won the Vermont primary and kept it close in Texas.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE

Obama in Texas
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

Obama Gets Grilled

Perhaps responding to accusations made by pundits and politicians that Barack Obama has been given kid-glove treatment by the media, reporters at a San Antonio, Texas, press conference made sure they didn’t invite similar criticism Monday night.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE

McCain Talks Tough in Texas

As Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battled it out in several states Tuesday, Republican front-runner John McCain sent out a word of warning about the “dangerous” state of the world in trying to win supporters in San Antonio, Texas.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton’s ‘Pretty Pathetic’ Time With Stewart

Hillary Clinton showed she could dish it and take it from Jon Stewart with her opening zinger in her Monday night appearance (via a not-so-very-synced-up satellite connection) on “The Daily Show,” pronouncing her decision to spend precious minutes with Stewart “pretty pathetic.”

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE

Clinton Camp Defines Victory

After parsing the Clinton campaign media call, The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports that “if Clinton wins the popular vote in Ohio and Texas, she’s staying in the race.” Texas has a somewhat bizarre primary/caucus hybrid that is thought to favor Barack Obama. Which is to say Clinton could find herself even less likely to win the nomination, but still feeling like a winner.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE

Super Tuesday All Over Again

Once again the candidates are headed toward what has been billed as a climactic showdown, but which is likely to turn out like the others before it: one more bump in the road.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE

Clinton ad

Clinton’s ‘Red Phone’ Ad

In the waning days before the crucial electoral contests in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has released targeted advertising emphasizing her readiness to handle the most dangerous security threats to the nation and suggesting that she would be better prepared than Barack Obama to pick up the dreaded “red phone.”

Posted on Feb 29, 2008 READ MORE

A Fair Question

Humor me while we conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that Barack Obama lost 10 states in a row.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


Zogby: Clinton Isn’t Done Yet

Pollster John Zogby has crunched the numbers and he’s impressed by Barack Obama’s string of election victories, but he says “this deal is not closed” because Hillary “is after all a Clinton—she and her husband are popular, dogged, able campaigners.”

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 READ MORE

Lessons of the Chesapeake Sweep

The “Democracy Now!” host explains why Virginia is the new Massachusetts and Texas is the new Florida, and why Barack Obama is benefiting from more than a boost in demographics.

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 READ MORE

Obama’s Demographic Breakthrough

Exit polls, those surveys of voters as they leave their polling places, should be taken with a grain of salt. Having said that, CNN’s exit poll data from the so-called Potomac Primary shows Barack Obama crossing the demographic divide that has hampered him throughout the race. Seniors, white people, working-class voters and women—all traditional supporters of the Clinton campaign—came out for Obama in big numbers.

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton’s Worried Supporters

Clinton insiders talk a lot on the record about Hillary’s viability against John McCain, her confidence in Ohio and Texas and her determination to seat delegates from the uncontested Michigan and Florida primaries. But off the record, at least a few wonder if all that long-term thinking isn’t a bit premature for a campaign that is losing contests left and right.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 READ MORE

A Conflict of Conscience

As they prepare to vote, thousands of Virginia Democrats are struggling to decide between two able candidates. Many of those will not make that decision until they have ballots in their hands.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE

The Democrats’ Three Choices

The Democrats’ hopes of regaining the White House hinge on how the party proceeds in the coming weeks and months. If momentum or civility reigns, they’ve got a shot. But if back-room dealing and cheating prevail, don’t hold your breath.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE

Hillary in Seattle

Clinton Looks Ahead

Sen. Hillary Clinton is focusing on the high points of the last week—her Super Tuesday successes in weighty states like New York and California, for example—and looking to potential wins in Texas and other elections to hold her position in the race for the Democratic nomination in coming weeks.

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE

Momentum vs. Toughing It Out

With a win in the Maine caucuses, Barack Obama has scored four lopsided victories in a row and the map favors him for weeks to come. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, responded to her troubles by replacing her campaign manager. Clinton now has to hold back Obama’s momentum long enough to win the big states weeks from now, a strategy that did not help Rudy Guiliani.

Posted on Feb 10, 2008 READ MORE

ron paul

Ron Paul Doesn’t Accept Evolution

The one and only anti-war Republican presidential candidate didn’t raise his hand when asked who doesn’t believe in evolution, but it turns out he may have wanted to. In this clip, Paul responds to a question about the incident by saying that it was an “inappropriate question,” but that “I think it’s a theory—theory of evolution—and I don’t accept it.”

Posted on Dec 22, 2007 READ MORE

dobbs and poe

Rep. Poe:  Halliburton/KBR Gang Rape Not ‘Isolated Case’

Texas Rep. Ted Poe, pushing for a probe into the case of former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones, who says she was gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq and then intimidated into keeping silent, urged other possible victims of crimes against U.S. contract employees working abroad to come forward, saying he believes Jones’ case is not unique.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE

U.S. soldiers

Ron Paul:  Iraq War Will Cost $3.5 Trillion

It’s difficult to fully comprehend the total price tag of the Iraq war, but Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has made some staggering calculations, coming up with a whopping $3.5 trillion—including “hidden costs” such as interest on the money we’re borrowing, and long-term health care for vets. 

Posted on Nov 20, 2007 READ MORE

Kinky Friedman
AP photo / Rick Vasquez

Kinky Friedman’s Ten Commandments

The always entertaining Kinky Friedman, author most recently of “You Can Lead a Politician to Water, but You Can’t Make Him Think: Ten Commandments for Texas Politics,” tells Truthdig why the Internet is the work of Satan, why politicians are “stuck on stupid” and why even God couldn’t beat the Republicans in Texas.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 READ MORE

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