Mr. Pawlenty, who had been weighing a presidential campaign for years, had developed a robust plan to win the Republican nomination. But his strategy did not take into account the rising popularity of a fellow Minnesotan, Representative Michele Bachmann, whose candidacy had overshadowed Mr. Pawlenty’s. He had staked his entire campaign around a strong finish at the Iowa straw poll, which he did not achieve.
In my last post about the Iowa debates I was going to hazard a prediction that Pawlenty would stay in the race through at least a couple of primaries as a way to set himself up for the VP slot on the Republican ticket in 2012. Who knows he might still lobby for VP especially if it looks as though Romney would lead the ticket. T’Paw is pretty far to the Right, but he is the natural fire-breathing fanatic that is the flavor of the season among the tea smokers. Huntsman will also likely be gone soon or also try to make a deal with Romney.
By now everyone has heard Texas Governor Rick Perry is running. He and Bachmann are cut from the same crazy mold. Conservatives are as interesting as a box of crayons that only has few shades of beige to choose from. They’re only interesting in a four car pile up kind of way. In that sense Perry versus Bachmann has some dark entertainment value. One the Right’s eye rolling qualities is their ability to believe their own hype. Bachmann on Pawlenty dropping out and why she won the straw poll,
“I’m talking about what people really care about,” she told Jake Tapper, the host of the ABC program. “You saw a big message sent to Washington. They really want someone they can trust and can believe in.”
Bachmann was one of the reasons for the S&P downgrade. So other conservatives who have a deep emotional investment in further wrecking the economy feel Bachmann is a kindred spirit. Makes perfect sense.
The great thing about Gov. Rick Perry is he is to deranged what gravity is to falling objects. He cultivates, believes in, attracts and magnifies the worse of right-wing nationalism, bigotry, misogyny, injustice, wage-slave economics, dog-eat-dog culture, the perversion of religious values and butt sniffing pandering to special interests:
Despite his mediocre approval ratings , national conservatives credit Perry with governing Texas as a right-wing mecca: low taxes, few regulations to protect the environment, no mass transit, a bare bones social safety net, with guns and executions aplenty. (They also wrongly believe, a misconception Perry actively encourages, that Texas has experienced unusually strong economic growth and that this is attributable to Perry’s policies. As Brad Plumer demonstrated  in The New Republic, neither claim withstands scrutiny.)
[ ]…As Governor you’ve presided  over 230 executions. Of the thirty death row inmates whose sentences you commuted, twenty-seven were juveniles after the Supreme Court outlawed executing juveniles in 2005, and two were developmentally disabled adults after the Supreme Court outlawed executing that group. Do you think executing juveniles and the developmentally disabled should be legal? Is there anyone who you think should not be executed? Do you think it’s possible Texas has executed anyone who was innocent? 
Perry has also said Texas has the right to succeed. Here again right-wing originalists such as Perry claim they have the last word on the Constitution. The question of Texas or any state succeeding from the Union was decided in the Civil War and even in a legal suit involving Texas. In a case called Texas v. White the SCOTUS ruled that under the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the states during the American Revolution, was the law of the land – “the Union was solemnly declared to ‘be perpetual.’ The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (a Republican appointed by Lincoln). This is not a matter of opinion but of the law of the land. We are not a free country in the sense that anything goes. We as citizens are bound by a legal and social contract. I can’t find the link, but in commenting on who were the best U.S. presidents I read a conservative write that one of the reasons he admired Lincoln is because Abe saved the Union. Perry and most of the rabid Right no longer feels that way, if they ever did.
Want to pray for rain. That is well within America’s social and cultural norms. Stuck on a rooftop during hurricane Katrina, afraid you and your family may die, and praying to be rescued. Even many atheists might pray just in case. A member of the government use the weather as a dog whistle to gather the religious extremists to your cult of personality. Not acceptable or even respectful to Christianity, Five Scriptures You Won’t Hear at Rick Perry’s Prayer Event
God doesn’t withhold rain because we’ve done something wrong
“God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45)
Perry recently called Texans to pray for rain, which implies that God steers clouds toward the worthy. According to Right Wing Watch, one of the events co-sponsors has said the earthquake in Japan happened because the emperor had sex with the Sun Goddess. It may be a part of our lower nature to blame disasters on people we don’t like or understand, but Jesus taught that God sends rain on the just and unjust. Furthermore, he said our love should be equally nonselective.
I have chosen Christianity as my life’s religion, but when nonjudgmental love is taken out of its center, it becomes poisonous and predatory.
If one buys into the framing of the drought created by Perry and his exploitative co-believers than maybe Texas is in one of its worse droughts in decades because Perry is acting like an arrogant and false prophet. If anyone thought Bush 43 injected too much of his peculiar brand of right-wing religion marinated politics into government just wait for the Perry presidency – New Exposé Reveals Rick Perry’s Close Ties to Radical Evangelicals and Self-Proclaimed Prophets
The Texas Observer has just published an explosive new article titled “Rick Perry’s Army of God.” It exposes how a group of radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets from a little-known movement known as New Apostolic Reformation have been quietly pushing for Perry to run for president. The author of the article, Forrest Wilder, is a staff reporter at theTexas Observer. He’s joining us from Austin.
[ ]..FORREST WILDER: Well, as I write about in the article, the organizers and the endorsers of the event largely come out of what’s called the New Apostolic Reformation movement. And the founder of this movement, the sort of intellectual godfather, is a guy named Peter Wagner, and he’s termed it “the most radical change in the way of doing Christianity since the Protestant Reformation.” Little bit of a grandiose statement, but it is really this movement that’s happening at the bleeding edge of evangelical Christianity in this country. And it wasn’t—it’s not really widely known, although it does have growing influence.
And I think one of the defining characteristics of it is this idea that there are modern-day prophets and apostles, that the prophets and apostles didn’t end in the Bible, and we have them now walking amongst us. And so, the leadership of the movement are self-proclaimed prophets and apostles. They hold themselves out as such, and they’re recognized as such by their followers. So this was, by and large, the set of individuals and organizations that were running The Response.
Perry also has close ties to the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council. The Koch brothers in turn are one of the powers behind ALEC. Rick Perry Pushes ALEC-Backed Education Policies To Turn Texas Universities Into Businesses
The perils of running higher education like a business, meanwhile, are well-known. The nation’s for-profit college system — which targets efficiency and profits the way Perry hopes Texas’ universities will — is rife with fraud and abuse of students, promising quick degrees and quality job opportunities at low prices. In reality, they more often leave students with “crushing debt and bleak job prospects,” hardly the situation one finds in the current Texas university system, which is regarded as one of the nation’s top statewide university systems.
One of the things I wish more of the general public understood about education is that the tax dollars spent are the nation’s way of training workers. Business gets someone who has a good basic skill set and in the case of professional undergraduate/graduate degrees, some specialized skills. Asking business to pay back the expense of providing that training (taxes) is a reasonable arrangement for a modern enlightened civilization. Universities already have a close relationship with business. Which is fine, but universities already provide services off which businesses and workers make a profit. In a report by the very conservative Texas Comptroller’s office the Texas economy receives $5.50 for every dollar spent on education. What Perry and his sycophants want to do is turn the university system into one of those commercial paper-mill type schools where the standards are so low the degrees are sometimes meaningless. Basic economics – when you remove the value from something( a degree in this case) no one will want it anymore.
Remember K-Street, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and the Conservative Culture of Corruption. They have nothing on Rick Perry – Rick Perry’s Crony Capitalism Problem
The Emerging Technology Fund was created at Mr. Perry’s behest in 2005 to act as a kind of public-sector venture capital firm, largely to provide funding for tech start-ups in Texas. Since then, the fund has committed nearly $200 million of taxpayer money to fund 133 companies. Mr. Perry told a group of CEOs in May that the fund’s “strategic investments are what’s helping us keep groundbreaking innovations in the state.” The governor, together with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House, enjoys ultimate decision-making power over the fund’s investments.
Among the companies that the Emerging Technology Fund has invested in is Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. It received a $4.5 million grant last year—the second largest grant in the history of the fund. The founder and executive chairman of Convergen is David G. Nance.
In 2009, when Mr. Nance submitted his application for a $4.5 million Emerging Technology Fund grant for Convergen, he and his partners had invested only $1,000 of their own money into their new company, according to documentation prepared by the governor’s office in February 2010. But over the years, Mr. Nance managed to invest a lot more than $1,000 in Mr. Perry. Texas Ethics Commission records show that Mr. Nance donated $75,000 to Mr. Perry’s campaigns between 2001 and 2006.
So a conservative politician sets up what seems on the surface to be a kind of Keynesian fund to stimulate business and job creation. Conservatives always swear government does not create jobs. So hypocrisy one. Said fund is milked of funds by friends of Rick’s ( one went completely sour and tax payers left with the losses). Why would a conservative even take money from the government for a private business. That is not simply hypocrisy but an action fundamentally opposite what conservatives say they believe in. There is more about the uses and abuses of Ricky’s little scheme at the link. Let me reiterate that this fund is only Keynesian on the surface. It has turned out to be largely a fund for Ricky’s conservative Texas cronies or welfare queens in ten gallon hats.