Sep 042011

Rice University (in Houston, Texas for those who may not know) traveled to Austin yesterday to take on the University of Texas in football. The Rice Owls lost to the Texas Longhorns by a score of 34-9… not an unexpected outcome.

The highlight of the game came at halftime. The Rice University marching band was on the field. They had formed themselves into an outline of the state of Texas. The announcer came on the public address system… “Simon says touch your ear. Simon says jump up and down. Now run for president. The next time you go to the polls, ask yourself, ‘Is your candidate smarter than an Aggie?'”

You see, Rice University and Texas A&M (from whence Rick Perry graduated in 1972 with a grade point average of 2.4 and a degree in animal science) have never been particularly fond of one another. The more academic-minded students at Rice typically look down their noses at A&M’s “Aggies.”

Here’s the video…

When asked recently what differentiated him from George W. Bush, Mr. Perry replied “President Bush went to Yale and I went to A&M.” Both were C students at best.

Sep 042011

Your reading assignment for today comes from Rolling Stone magazine. It is an article entitled “The GOP War on Voting.” I’ll get you started, but you’ll need to click on the article’s title to continue reading. Seriously, if you are at all interested in preserving our democratic form of government, you need to read this article. You should also pass it along to your relatives and friends. It is that important.

The GOP War on Voting

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. “As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP’s effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.

Please click on the article’s title to continue reading.