An execution in Texas

The prominence of the name Cameron Todd Willingham will grow in proportion to how Rick Perry does in the GOP presidential nominating process.

Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for the deaths of his three children in what was described as an arson fire. But there is evidence that showed that there was never a case of arson, and that Rick Perry intentionally derailed Willingham’s appeals process so the execution could take place.

This link has the New Yorker story that detailed the case and the subsequent execution. And the Huffington Post, in this link, does a long examination of Perry’s role in making sure the execution of a possibly innocent man was carried out.

Rick Perry holds the death record for governors, signing off on 254 executions.

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Rick Perry: the dumbed-down George W. Bush?

Port Arthur, TX, September 27, 2005 -- Preside...

Evil twins?

I’ve been thinking that maybe I was being unfair in asking whether Rick Perry was a dumb version of George W. Bush based on his college transcript. One flaw in the post was noting that Bush went to Harvard, while Perry went to Texas A&M. Bush got his MBA from Harvard (Perry didn’t do graduate school) so the comparison is unfair. I should have compared Bush’s undergraduate school to Perry’s. So Bush went to Yale.

Not much of a difference for Bush, right? But how did Bush do at Yale? Here’s his transcript:

So Bush was a solid C student at an Ivy League university. Meanwhile Perry’s transcript shows a C-minus student at a school described as “this cute remedial school we have in Texas.”

But there’s a huge difference in background. Perry didn’t come from a rich family; he grew up on a cotton farm with no running water. Bush never knew (and still can’t relate to) hard economic times. Perry wanted to be a veterinarian, but look at his transcript. You can’t be a vet if you get a D in veterinary anatomy.

The two share some common traits: college cheerleader, Air Force pilot far away from war zones, governor of Texas. But word is that Bush doesn’t particularly like Perry, although he took on the Perry persona as president: Bush, the eastern elitist with an Ivy League education, was a Perry wannabe.

So saying Perry is a dumb George Bush is extremely unfair.

George W. Bush was a pseudo-sophisticated version of Rick Perry.

James Richard “Rick” Perry, on the other hand, is a dumb version of Rick Perry.

And he’s got a really good shot at taking the GOP presidential nomination, because he doesn’t have to appeal to the party’s base. He is the base.

The best and the brightest: GOP edition

According to yesterday’s events in the unfolding presidential contest, the frontrunners for the Republican nomination for president are:

1) A crazy woman, who has no concept of American history. (The upside, though is that Iowa has now officially confirmed its irrelevance as an indicator of who should run the country.)

2) A wealthy former Massachusetts governor who says “corporations are people,” and has flip-flopped so many times, he can launch a career as a human pretzel when his presidential bid fails.

3) A conservative Bible-thumping governor from Texas. And we all know how well that can work out.

And this just in: The former governor of Minnesota has dropped out, because he couldn’t even beat the crazy woman in a straw poll.

Meantime, the Democrat in the White House has done everything he can to show that if the GOP would just give him a chance, he would fit in as one of the guys. But they won’t because he has a deeper tan than the current speaker of the House.

Playhouse of horror

Here’s another reason why we need to cut taxes on the rich:

Apart from the open bar by the swimming pool, the main attraction at parties held at the Houston home of John Schiller, an oil company executive, and his wife, Kristi, a Playboy model turned blogger, is the $50,000 playhouse the couple had custom-built two years ago for their daughter, Sinclair, now 4.

Cocktails in hand, guests duck to enter through the 4½-foot door. Once inside, they could be forgiven for feeling as if they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.

Built in the same Cape Cod style as the Schillers’ expansive main house, the two-story 170-square-foot playhouse has vaulted ceilings that rise from five to eight feet tall, furnishings scaled down to two-thirds of normal size, hardwood floors and a faux fireplace with a fanciful mosaic mantel.

The little stainless-steel sink in the kitchen has running water, and the matching stainless-steel mini fridge and freezer are stocked with juice boxes and Popsicles. Upstairs is a sitting area with a child-size sofa and chairs for watching DVDs on the 32-inch flat-screen TV. The windows, which all open, have screens to keep out mosquitoes, and there are begonias in the window boxes. And, of course, the playhouse is air-conditioned. This is Texas, after all.

“I think of it as bling for the yard,” said Ms. Schiller, 40.

So this means they spend $50,000 on a playhouse when their daughter was 2.

A playhouse.

For a child.

$50,000.

I guess the GOP will say that this is a great example of why we shouldn’t tax our job creators (someone had to build that playhouse), but that probably won’t fly for people who
can’t even afford to buy a real house for $50,000.