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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

Friday Roundup: Thompson Eventually Declares At Some Later Date

The day has come, and lo his supporters did rejoice mightily as they would. It is unfortunate for Fred Thompson that there's only about seven supporters left to hear the official announcement of his candidacy.

I'm serious when I say that at one time, riding high on the heady rush of public buzz, Fred Thompson was a serious contender to cause trouble among the Republican ranks. I suppose he might still be, but enough time has passed between that day and this for pundits to start saying that he missed his window. That's bad news, Bubba, and no amount of webcasting will fix it.

If you're in the market for some information on other candidates' policies, Phillip Martin at BOR has you covered with a detailed accounting of Democrats and their positions on some environmental issues. Gravel wins the "N/A" award.

Governor Perry commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster to life in prison a short time before he was to be executed. Any death sentence commutation from Perry would be big news, but this one was incredibly high profile, due in large part to the fact that the man sentenced to die didn't kill anyone, and everyone knew he didn't kill anyone. Under Texas' law of parties, Foster was eligible for the death sentence despite being 80 feet away from the crime when it happened. I would do a poor job of explaining how it works and what happened when the Chron has already done a suitable job, so check that out.

In other news about close calls, a plane with US legislators on board came under rocket attack as it took off from Baghdad and headed for Jordan. Thankfully everyone is alright, but this is the kind of story you don't hear very often. On board were Senators Mel Martinez, Richard Shelby, and James Inhoffe, along with Congressman Bud Cramer.

The Austin American-Statesman reminds you that if you are a dog owner, a motorist, an elderly Texan, or a family with low income, the laws that go live on Saturday may affect you. They have some of the notables ready for consumption.

In real news which comes from the don't-you-guys-have-anything-better-to-do department: the FBI had Coretta Scott King under surveillance. The Fear Of Communism drove them to it, Justice will say, and they obviously thought she might try to connect "the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement" and so they watched her for years and told Nixon about it. Everyone always jokes about how the FBI "has a file" on them, and then I hear stories like this, and I think it might be true in many cases.

Maybe you're a Friday morning thrill-seeker. Maybe you need a little more news that will scare the bejeezus out of you. If that is the case, I have something for you: the Energy Department went on an auditing spree only to discover that — surprise! — many secret nuclear bomb components, classified for national security reasons, had been misplaced! Listen, I know how it is when you work on a computer, and you lose a screw or maybe even misplace a latch or something critical, like a heatsink. But I would think you wouldn't lose the nuclear bomb parts, no matter how distracted you became.

Lastly, President Bush will apparently take to the Rose Garden today to do a little straight-shootin' on this whole mortgage thing. I'm glad someone is addressing it, but seriously, if this disaster is handled anything like previous ones were, you can expect us to A) invade Mississippi and then B) defer all other action until someone else takes over in 2009.

Bush On The Mortgage Meltdown

After watching President Bush's statement on the mortgage meltdown, I'm more convinced than ever that he explains things to the public the way that they are explained to him.

The particular bit of the President's statement that made me remember Graydon Carter's (Vanity Fair editor) observation that the President talks down to his audience when he's trying to explain Iraq or alternative energy because that's how it's explained to him was when he said:

See, it's easy for me to stand up here and talk about refinancing -- some people don't even know what I'm talking about. And we need to have a focused effort to help people understand the mortgage financing options available to them, or to identify homeowners before they face hardships and help them understand what's possible.

If people understood what so many of these wacky mortgage options meant, no one would use them.

Counting Thompson out already?

You don't have to be a very big fish when you're in a pond that small.

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