Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Even the Idiots

RADDATZ: Governor, do you really believe there’s some sort of conspiracy to get people into the United States by the federal government, by the Obama administration?

PERRY: When I have — when I have written a letter that is dated May of 2012, and I have yet to have a response from this administration, I will tell you they either are inept or don’t care, and that is my position.

We have been bringing to the attention of President Obama and his administration since 2010, he received a letter from me on the tarmac. He sends — I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from….

Transcription courtesy the Stranger‘s Paul Constant, who has the video, in a post titled “Rick Perry Accuses President Obama of Conspiring with Hurricanes and Undocumented Immigrants, or Something”. Your 2016 repeat presidential candidate, America!

And yet, Guv Goodhair isn’t even the least coherent idiot in the Texas Republican Party, per Hendrick Hertzberg’s New Yorker report, “In Fever Dreams Begin Irresponsibilities“:

[T]he Republican Party of Texas has a dream. Lots of dreams: its platform, unveiled last week, has sixteen thousand words’ worth. The road it maps is anything but royal; these good people, after all, are republicans, albeit with a capital “R.” But the document does lead to the G.O.P.’s unconscious, or part of it: its fearsome, rampaging id…

…[T]he platform demands, among other things,

• That the Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—federal laws it doesn’t like. (Unmentioned is the fact that, beginning in 1809, the Supreme Court has steadfastedly rejected state nullification of federal laws.)

• That when it comes to “unelected bureaucrats”—i.e., pretty much the entire federal work force above the janitorial level—Congress should “defund and abolish these positions.”

• That the Seventeenth Amendment, which was adopted in 1913, be repealed, so that “the appointment of United States Senators” can again be made by state legislators, not by voters. (Admittedly, the Texas Legislature could hardly do worse.)

• That all federal “enforcement activities” within the borders of Texas—including, presumably, the activities of F.B.I. agents, Justice Department prosecutors, air marshals, immigration officers, agricultural inspectors, and tax auditors—“must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.”

This section of the platform, “Preserving American Freedom,” also features a syllogism:

Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism in all of its forms.

As Mr. Pierce points out, “… The Republican party of the state of Texas, a state which has 38 electoral votes and which will send 153 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention, has endorsed the exact theory of government that was promulgated by the gun-toting yahoos at the Bundy Ranch.”

More base-exciting craziness, per Mr. Hertzberg:

Things that the Texas Republicans support:

• Withdrawal from the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank

• “Traditional methods of discipline, including corporal punishment”

• “Reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.”

• Returning to “the time-tested precious metal standard for the United States dollar.”…

This does not seem a slate calculated to favorably impress anyone outside the Crazification Factor. Perhaps we should be sharing this trove more widely… once we’ve thoroughly parsed the knotty theological question of whether the WSJ would have any reason to attempt preemptive ratfvcking of a possible Clinton campaign, of course.

156 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Fascinating:

    Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

    In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

  2. 2
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Perhaps Austin and the Rio Grand Valley as well as El paso should nullify Texas and form ther own state. (Dallas and Houston should declare themselves Open Cities)

  3. 3
    Cervantes says:

    Return Texas to Mexico. Now.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    The Republican party of the state of Texas, a state which has 38 electoral votes and which will send 153 delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention, has endorsed the exact theory of government that was promulgated by the gun-toting yahoos at the Bundy Ranch.” John C. Calhoun

    Fixed.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    Perhaps we should be sharing this trove more widely… once we’ve thoroughly parsed the nuances of Ed Klein’s fanfic and the knotty theological question of whether the WSJ would have any reason to attempt preemptive ratfvcking of a possible Clinton campaign, of course.

    Man, that is just harsh. Why would we ever discard a really hard ratfucking from the WSJ if it fit our preconceived hate-ons?

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Austin has been infested by assholes from CA and Dallas.
    It really isn’t the hippie utopia all you ignorant assholes keep saying it is.

  7. 7
    Suffern ACE says:

    I haven’t met a republican who doesn’t support those things. The churches have been preaching that since I became politically aware. I don’t know why this shocks anyone.

  8. 8
    Corner Stone says:

    “D’oh, I hates me some Texas but I loves me some Austin! And Kthug is teh stupid on teh politics but teh awesome on teh economicses!”

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: How about France, instead?

  10. 10
    Suffern ACE says:

    So what are these public spankings supposed to accomplish?

    I’m assuming that their definition is broader.

  11. 11
    Linnaeus says:

    A specter is haunting Texas.

  12. 12
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You may as well give up. Haters gotta hate.

  13. 13
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Return Louisiana to France.

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    @Josie: Turn on the lights.

  15. 15
    Karen in GA says:

    That when it comes to “unelected bureaucrats”—i.e., pretty much the entire federal work force above the janitorial level—Congress should “defund and abolish these positions.”

    What, like border patrol officers?

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    I’m so old that when I lived in Texas, that the Governor was only concerned about whether or not SMU could continue paying players. The Athletic director had no choice but pay up and then clean up the program.
    In other news my neighbors dad provided Texas A & M players with apartments and cars. True story, After moving to GA, I read about the problems at A&M and said to my husband, that couldn’t be the same the same family….cuz it said they were slum land lords.. My ex said that he had no idea they supported football but knew where their money was coming from.
    Back in the eighties the Governor of Texas had little control except for football.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: I’d take France. I still want the option to drone strike any dirty brown messicans.

  18. 18
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: You’re killin’ me here.

  19. 19
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Corner Stone: Then fucking keep Austin I am actually more concerned about El Paso and the Rio Grand Valley. Pinche Cabron!

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Chinga tu madre, pinche hote!

  21. 21
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Karen in GA: or we can just hold elections for them. It might take us 50 years to finisih voting. But I have time.

  22. 22
    Josie says:

    @JPL: He still doesn’t. Governor Goodhair just likes to pretend that he is relevant.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Josie: Then keep your distance from the brownies!

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Corner Stone: You want to give France to Mexico? That’s a new one.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: The Gov of TX has next to no power or authority. He gets to nominate people to the Railroad Commission and sign off on killing inmates on death row.

  26. 26
    Josie says:

    @Corner Stone: Not possible. I live in the Rio Grande Valley.

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Josie: Do they bake a lot there?

  28. 28
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @Cervantes:

    Return Texas to Mexico. Now.

    That would be unfair to Mexico. Saw Texas loose on both ends and float it down to Antartica. Let Texans be ruled by their intellectual and aesthetic superiors, the penguins.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus: Why do you hate penguins?

  31. 31
    StringOnAStick says:

    What a fine idea, putting all federal law enforcement activities in Texas under the direct supervision of the local sheriff. Why, I see no potential at all for local corruption under such a system, after all, these are republicans so no such thing could ever, ever happen!

  32. 32
    Cervantes says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus: You’re not suggesting that Mexicans aren’t equally their intellectual and aesthetic superiors, are you?

  33. 33
    El Caganer says:

    @Corner Stone: My siblings in TX tell me that the Lieutenant Governor’s position actually has more power than the Governor’s. Goodhair has lots of stroke because a lot of his buddies hold significant jobs in the state government, not because of the clout of his office.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Caganer: Yes, the LtG is the power in TX state govt.
    That and committees/commission positions.

  35. 35
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m staying in California, you can have Asstin for all I care

  36. 36
    srv says:

    I can’t wait for Rick Perry to move to San Diego in 2015.

    He’ll be the laughingstock if he runs in 2016.

    Remember, Texas gave you people Anne Richards and Molly Ivins, which is more than your state has probably ever accomplished.

    I still love going back home to Austin, if just to piss on Bob Bullock’s grave.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus: How about a border fence instead? And maybe a moat. With sharks with laser beams on their heads.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic: Good. Stay in CA and stop fucking ruining Austin. Asshole.

  40. 40
    SatanicPanic says:

    @srv: Fucking great. We already took Romney, who else is the rest of the country gonna foist on us?

  41. 41
    Anoniminous says:

    @srv:

    My birth state generously gave this great nation President Eisenhower and the Civil War.

    So there. :-p pfffffffttttttthhhhhhhhhh

  42. 42
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Corner Stone: I’ve never been to Texas. I imagine it’s not our best representatives that up and move there. I’d apologize for Exene Cervenka, but she spent her formative years in Florida, so it’s almost like she’s going back to her roots by moving to Austin.

  43. 43
    srv says:

    @Anoniminous: Uh, you do know Ike was born in Denison Texas?

    Of course, there’s a great quote from him somewhere about that… if you can find it.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SatanicPanic: It makes me sad that she has gone off the deep end.

  45. 45
    The Republic of Stupdity says:

    And henceforth, the official state currency of the Proud State of Texas shall be the Amigo*

    *compliments of G Trudeua…

  46. 46
    The Obvious One says:

    But we did this. It was cool, right…

    THe

  47. 47
    Cervantes says:

    @srv: Point taken, of course — but Molly Ivins was born in California, went to college at Smith (in Massachusetts), and attended graduate school at Columbia (in New York). She did spend the odd year or two in Texas, I’ll grant you that, but, as she herself averred, worked mightily to overcome this disadvantage.

  48. 48
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Yeah, all joking aside, that is pretty sad. I refuse to believe that California did that to her though. Musta been Florida.

  49. 49
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @srv:

    Remember, Texas gave you people Anne Richards and Molly Ivins, which is more than your state has probably ever accomplished.

    That sounds pretty defensive to me. And dumb.

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: The odd year or two? Care to delineate further?

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    PERRY: [A]nd that is my position.

    And it is mine, and what it is too.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    On the same show Martha Raddatz gushed about Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, in which he aparently argues that Saul Alinsky, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been conspiring since the 1970s to bring down America, or something.

  53. 53
    Anoniminous says:

    @srv:

    I do. I also know he considered Abilene his hometown.

    So :- p (pfffffffftttttttttthhhhhhhhhh x 2)

  54. 54
    srv says:

    @Cervantes: Raised in Houston, Westheimer Road girl, came home after her time in snooty ivy tower, latte drinking college-villes.

  55. 55
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: Hypobole.

  56. 56
    Culture of Truth says:

    The Gov of TX has next to no power or authority. He gets to nominate people to the Railroad Commission and sign off on killing inmates on death row.

    It’s pretty embarrassing when Rick Perry gets those confused.

  57. 57
    kc says:

    I think when you can’t name all of the federal agencies you want to eliminate, you’re either inept or don’t care, and that is my position.

  58. 58
    Howard Beale IV says:

    I would love to see Texas try to successfully become their own country and secede from the US. What will they face?

    A brand new currency, their own state flag carrier, and with that, their own new treaties with the rest of the world; the withdrawal of the US military assets (unless they paid to keep ’em there-but since they need to land on their own currency first, good luck with that-no fucking way do you let them use, let alone keep, the US Dollar.)

    And they get to deal with Mexico themselves, with no US help.

    Beautiful. They might as well rename themselves Neo-Israel, because once they start shooting at the border, that’s what will happen.

    Not to mention the grief that Texas-based corporations would have to deal with, now that they have been seized by a new government-Texas will have no choice but to impose their own new federal taxes, not counting what the corporations would have to pay to the US federal government. Sure’ they’ll try to get into a bidding war with Ireland to see how many business will be willing to move to Texas, but the Celtic Tiger paid dearly during the Great Recession.

    Hell, Ron Paul could become finally become President. Of Texas, that is. Then when he tries to implement his gold-backed, sound money with no central bank trying to flag a Texas dollar and no other country will take it, the chaos will be fun to watch.

    These neo-Birchers have no clue what they’re asking for.

  59. 59
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And Kthug is teh stupid on teh politics but teh awesome on teh economicses!”

    That part is absolutely true. He’s never been elected to anything, never even worked on a campaign, never written a bill, never lobbied for a bill, never had to fight against his own party to pass a bill. He did get a Nobel is economics.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @kc:

    you’re either inept or don’t care,

    Why must we choose?

  61. 61
    srv says:

    @Anoniminous: Are you just fucking with us, or is there an Abilene Kansas?

    Holy Fuck, there is!

    I’ll look down, the next time I Fly Over.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    It’s pretty embarrassing when Rick Perry gets those confused.

    He Who Rules The Railroad Commission Rules Texas.

    Ultimately. Pays off big-time after your term. Ricky won’t have a problem making those mortgage payments.

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: You’re an idiot. I’ll take his input on poli-sci over yours every day.
    Thanks for playing, though, codemonkey.

  64. 64
    cmorenc says:

    How are these asshats going to react as Texas slowly begins to tangibly transition over from a red to a purple to a blue state over the next two decades due to demographic changes (and it might go purple by 2020). OK, so voter suppression is one preemptive effort they’ve already mounted, but…what will their reaction be once the demographic water overwhelms that dike they’re trying to erect?

  65. 65
    Mike G says:

    Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism in all of its forms.

    It’s rare to find so much stupid in one paragraph.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Howard Beale IV: I wish we would fucking secede.
    Fuck all you assholes who keep talking this shit. Fuck Georgia and its stupid fucking gun laws, fuck Florida and it’s Stand Your Ground bullshit, fuck Idaho, Utah, etc.
    I’d love to see you build a fucking oil refinery. And no, Cole. That facility is not fungible like the product is.
    Come on. Build an oil refinery. Then try talking shit.

  67. 67
    Suffern ACE says:

    @cmorenc: @cmorenc: they will change the rules.

  68. 68
    cmorenc says:

    @srv:

    He Who Rules The Railroad Commission Rule Texas.

    What powers does the railroad commission have that makes it (particularly its head) so powerful in the scheme of Texas government? Does it have the power to award free blowjobs from a stable of Texas beauties?

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @cmorenc: It will start to go purple in 2020 but more likely purplish/blue in 2024 and after.
    The demographics do not promise anything. The D party has to absolutely earn the vote of “Hispanics” and people of color moving forward.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @cmorenc: The Railroad Commission doesn’t just run “railroads”. It decides rights of way, water access/rights, property decisions and so many other things it’s hard to describe.
    The RC is the most powerful single authoritative body in TX.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @cmorenc:

    Does it have the power to award free blowjobs from a stable of Texas beauties?

    Heck no, there is a mayor in downstate Illinois who, I heard tell, has that power.

  72. 72
    srv says:

    @cmorenc: They regulate all the oil, gas, RofW, and esploding pipelines in Tejas.

    Literally, they were OPEC before there was OPEC (as in, they set whatever West Texas Intermediate was before it was called that).

    They have nothing to do with railroads (now).

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Heck, is that a surprisingly blue area? Where people are happy to pay taxes?

  74. 74
    skerry says:

    @Cervantes: Molly was born in Monterey, CA while her father was stationed there as a naval officer. He became a lawyer in the oil industry and moved the family to Houston when she was quite young. She grew up in Texas. She was a 3rd generation Smith College graduate, who returned to Texas after graduate school.

    Molly was a Texan. Not a Californian or a New Englander.

    (It’s like calling me a Nebraska native because I was born there during my father’s AF service. I left as an infant.)

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am aware of that. Although one should note that Maximillian was Austrian. In any case, it appeared that the situation was being reversed this time, with Mexico getting France not France getting Mexico.

    @Corner Stone: Heck, yeah.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s great on policy. He sucks on politics.

    You’ll note that the guy who won the White House, twice, ignored Krugman’s input and got the most important reform of the American health care system in history passed.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: That doesn’t seem like the point was actually taken.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: No, but who’s counting?

  81. 81
    Anoniminous says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Every biography of Maximilian makes a point to mention he had a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy. Which, for me, is a major hoot. The Austrian Empire was many things. A great sea power it was not.

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: I will note lots of things Kthug has been absolutely correct on, as well.
    His political ideals are informed by his policies so bash the man if you like. But don’t bullshit anyone by praising his policy acumen and then dashing his politics.
    If you want to say Obama had the stellar judgement on things like HAMP and the stimulus then please, proceed.

  83. 83
    Len says:

    There are a few good people in Texas. Did you catch Rachel tonight?

    (Disclaimer: I live in Dallas.)

  84. 84
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ:

    got the most important reform of the American health care system in history passed.

    An ACA, if ya can keep it.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous: It’s possible you’re going by Austria’s current borders. Doing so is a mistake.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cervantes: Someone, I’m sure.
    I don’t care for hypobole.

  87. 87
    Cervantes says:

    @Corner Stone: No one does.

  88. 88
    MikeJ says:

    @Corner Stone: He got what could be passed passed.

    Krugman’s political ideals have nothing to do with what is possible, and since he’s unelected and doesn’t have to actually deliver on anything more than 800 words a week, his feel for politics isn’t going to be anything like that of somebody who does it for a living, and by all indications, has done it very, very well.

    And yeah, Krugman is usually right on policy. Which is completely irrelevant to what can get passed.

  89. 89
    cokane says:

    The crazier Texas Republicans get, the quicker that state turns from red to purple and eventually to blue. Soon that legislature and an R governor will enact some truly embarrassing shit.

    I’d clock it at about 2020, prez. election term, Hillary will probably do surprisingly well there in 2016 if she’s the nominee. They’ll follow that up with a strong campaign effort in the reelection.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ: Sure and begorrah. That’s fine and all.
    But contra someone in office talking nonstop about deficit reduction policies for two fucking years, and someone not in office talking about actual real policies that could help people.
    I mean, I guess that’s all well and fine.

  91. 91
    Keith G says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    I would love to see Texas try to successfully become their own country and secede from the US. What will they face?
    […]
    These neo-Birchers have no clue what they’re asking for.

    I work with a lot of folks in and around Houston and meet with others from throughout the state and I have never met a person who thinks that secession is anything but a truly weird talking point used by a microscopically small part of our population – and by several politicians who know that such talk meshes with anti central government screeching from throughout the land.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anoniminous: The HRE and then Austro-Hungarian Empire had significant coastlines on the Adriatic. It wasn’t a major naval power, but it wasn’t a joke either. A distinguished career in in a small navy doesn’t indicate incompetence. One should also remember that, for a Royal, simple competent service is distinguished compared to their relatives who simply sat around with their thumbs up their asses.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Maximilian was installed by the French, though not himself French. And if anyone hates Cinco de Mayo, you have the French to blame for it.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, I acknowledged that in the first sentence of my reply. Then I became pedantic.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    Not to tout my own links, but that Cinco de Mayo one is unexpectedly fascinating. I didn’t realize that the French were trying to intervene in the US’s Civil War when they went on their grand Mexican adventure.

    ETA: Intervene on the side of the Confederacy, that is, so thanks again, Republic of Mexico! You guys are swell! :-)

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike G:
    Not in TX GOP paragraphs.

  97. 97
    Bonnie says:

    I used to work in a Federal agency that had quite a few employees from Texas and Oklahoma. We had a joke that while it would be nice if Texas would just slide into the Gulf of Mexico, it probably wouldn’t because Oklahoma sucks. Hahaha. If only . . .

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Bonnie: I once spent five months in southern OK: sucks is too kind.

  99. 99
    Punchy says:

    I just cant figgy out their obsession w/ the 17th Amendy. So they want LESS freedom and liberty in giving up their right to vote in their own Senators? Anyone undystand this better?

  100. 100
    lol says:

    @Punchy:

    Plutocrats love the plan because it means they just have to buy a few seats in the State Legislature in order to get a Senator.

    Tea Party types love the plan because it means fewer Democrats in office.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Punchy: It was Progressive legislation that put more power in the hands of the people.

  102. 102

    @Punchy:

    I just cant figgy out their obsession w/ the 17th Amendy.

    People are moving to cities, so statewide elections (like Senators) will increasingly move against the GOP. But state legislatures can be gerrymandered and picked off by a minority of voters, and they would get to pick the Senators.

    Repealing the 17th amendment is effectively an admission that the electorate doesn’t support you, but you want to rule them anyway.

  103. 103
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @Cervantes: We’re on a roll… and return Mississippi to, um.. (anyone?)

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @PhilbertDesanex: It would be part of the Louisiana Territory.

  105. 105
    JGabriel says:

    Lots of dreams: [the Texas GOP] platform, unveiled last week, has sixteen thousand words’ worth.

    So … is it longer than the Affordable Care Act?

    ‘Cause that would be ironic.

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @PhilbertDesanex: Mississippi will just have to find itself another country to be part of.

  107. 107
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Not if the Louisiana Territory has anything to say about it.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:

    @JGabriel: The Affordable Care Act is about 400,000 words.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cervantes: My bad. I was conflating the cultural and historical ties between the Gulf regions of MS and LA with the actual area of the Louisiana Purchase.

  110. 110
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    Austrians had the naval port of Trieste on, and some minor stuff along, the west coast of the Adriatic. But that’s it. I’m saying they weren’t a major naval power.

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anoniminous: Which countries have been major naval powers?* The British? For a while, the Dutch? The US? Everyone else has been a challenger, but that’s it.

    *Since 1600.

  112. 112
    Mandalay says:

    @Baud: From the article you linked to:

    Tucker Carlson, editor in chief of the Daily Caller, said in a phone interview that it would be a major shock to him if the Cuban government spooled out a story that his reporters ran with…

    Despite all the clueless, worthless, stupid fucks who infest the Republican dung heap, Tucker Carlson pretty much remains the gold standard.

  113. 113
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    In 1820s to 1860 the Brits (natch,) France, and Russia were the main naval powers. Russia had a very large navy but it was scattered between the Baltic Fleet, the Black Seas Fleet, and the Pacific Fleet.

    The Dutch, by that time, were content to make butt loads of money with their merchant ships carrying everything to everywhere for cash on the dock.

  114. 114
    KG says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): didn’t the soviets have a fairly large navy during the Cold War?

  115. 115
    KG says:

    @Mandalay: I like to think of it as the guano standard

  116. 116
    mai naem says:

    I know Rick Perry has those nerd glasses on because he thinks they make him look sm-ah-t but all i can think of when i see those glasses are the “sexy librarian” look in a certain movie genre. Just sayin’
    Not saying that I think Lil Ricky is sexy or anything resembling that.

  117. 117
    John Revolta says:

    some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from….

    Gentlemen, Gov. Perry may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anoniminous: After 1805, the French were not able to challenge the Brits. Okay, Russia and France were second tier naval powers during the 19th century, but true naval power was basically a baton handed from the UK to the US.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @KG: They did not have one that threatened the US.

  120. 120
    Glocksman says:

    Naval history isn’t my specialty, but wasn’t it TR who built up the Navy to world power status?

  121. 121
    Anoniminous says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    First rank “Control the Sea Lanes” navies are hellaciously expensive and few countries had or have the money, the will, and the need to have one. Over the last 150 years there’s been two countries who managed it: the British Empire and the US. A friend maintains, in jest, the British Empire needed the Navy to keep the wealth of India and needed the wealth of India to afford their Navy.

  122. 122
    gian says:

    @Corner Stone:

    California has oil refineries. my brother in law used to work at one in So Cal.
    If there was any state that could make a real go on it’s own, it’s California – oil, tech, entertainment and agriculture – and bigotry (prop 187 passed ya know – and see Murrieta) the state has all of those. the mascot of a high school in Huntington Beach is the “oilers”
    just like the old Houston football team

  123. 123

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Spain if you’ll start at 1600, though it didn’t last long past that point.

    ‘Major naval power’ (as opposed to ‘dominant naval power’) would have to include the Soviet Navy. Though they were unbearably late to the carrier game, on submarines alone they owned everyone but the US, and we would have been only marginally effective at stopping them (dad was a submariner and chased the Soviets around during Vietnam.)

  124. 124
    gian says:

    @Anoniminous:

    IIRC the Russian fleet was of some help in the US war of southern treason in that it helped with the blockade of the treasonous slavery supporters.

  125. 125
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Austrians had the naval port of Trieste on, and some minor stuff along, the west coast of the Adriatic. But that’s it. I’m saying they weren’t a major naval power.

    But where did you find the claim that Austria was “a major naval power”? What exactly are you disputing?

    As for the naval port at Trieste, I think you’ll find that it was the Austrians, and in particular Maximilian, who built it.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Anoniminous: So you don’t disagree with anything I said. Cool.

  127. 127
    Anoniminous says:

    @Glocksman:

    All I know about it was Asst. Naval Secretary Teddy was part of the Alfred Thayer Mahan “Influence of Sea Power” remake of the US Navy. At the time all the Kool Kidz had colonies and a colonizing country, it was thought, needed a big gun, big ship, navy to have colonies.

  128. 128
    maeve says:

    @Bonnie:

    I used to live in Norman Oklahoma – our joke was “You know why Oklahoma is so windy? Because Texas sucks”

  129. 129
    Anoniminous says:

    @gian:

    I didn’t know that.

    I know the Americans and Russkies were buddy-buddy during the 1800s which is one of the reasons we ended up with Alaska. I have no idea why we were buddy-buddy or why Steward thought buying Alaska in the 1860s was a good idea.

  130. 130

    @gian: Yeah, we refine almost all of our own gasoline. Produce some of our own oil, but most comes from Alaska.

    Yes California is one of the few states that can feed itself, but import/export of food isn’t a big deal. Hardly a requirement of independence.

    California is sufficiently large to have an independent economy, enough natural resources to not be overly dependent on anyone else for too much, and a large enough foundation to be independent. We have one of the worlds best educational systems, world leading industries, large ports, and so on.

    That said, Texas has almost everything California has. The one thing both lack is water, and that’s fucking massive. California also has a shortage of power – we buy a LOT from Oregon and Arizona/Nevada (Hoover Dam). We can fix both, but at an expense we’ve been unwilling to pay.

    I really don’t want to see Texas secede. It’ll be a Democratic powerhouse before they have time to get a constitution together.

  131. 131
    Steeplejack says:

    Redacted.

  132. 132
    scav says:

    Why exactly does the size and power of a nations fleet necessarily correlate with the quality of an individual officer? (I’d imagine the influence of being royal would be stronger, but that could warp thing either direction — that is one of the few ‘occupations’ open to, expected even, of them so they do tend to practice sometimes from childhood for it). To leap sideways, there are some damn small nations fielding good futbal teams, and even if the team isn’t always good, there may still be one or more decent players. Or has poor old Maximilian been left in the conversational dust long since?

    Anyhoo, My personal late-night wander started with the NYT thing on Harding and his pre-tweet efforts at GoogleForget and lead me to the Fortesque branch sinister of the Roosevelts and their line gets into some really, um, lively behavior, some of which involve the Navy. (Pdf link). Must just be a nautical night.

  133. 133
    Anoniminous says:

    @Cervantes:

    I’m not “disputing” anything. I’m having a conversation. Yah Know. Where people talk about stuff and exchange information without yelling at each other?

  134. 134
    gian says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I – a long time ago took a course in US foreign policy history.
    the gist of it was the Russian went on a “tour” with the fleet and that just happened to free up northern resources to reinforce the blockade (the Brits were waffling on fully supporting the rebellion – in part over getting supplies of cotton) but in the end chose not to (though I expect some confederate ships were built in the UK)

    the facts are somewhat more complicated if you read here: http://www.voltairenet.org/article169488.html

    but I can’t vet that source like the prof I had some long time ago when I was smarter

  135. 135

    @Anoniminous: Russia had just fought with Britain in the Crimean War. British Columbia wasn’t part of Canada yet and was still part of Britain at the time, and Russia was afraid that a prolonged war with Britain might be coming and they’d be unable to defend Alaska against a ground war originating from British Columbia.

    We weren’t exactly best buds with Britain who had considered recognizing the Confederacy during the Civil War, and Russia was a stronger ally with the Union at the time. So the purchase was seen by Russia as helping to reduce a British threat, got them some money they needed, and we had our sights on British Columbia which we hoped to buy or annex. The purchase of Alaska helped speed BC into Canada.

  136. 136
    maeve says:

    @Anoniminous:

    We ended up with Alaska not because Americans and Russians were buddy-buddy but because the Russians considered the British rivals and didn’t consider the Americans to be players – the fur trade was played out and if they’d just abandoned Alaska it would have gone to the British – so they sold it to US for a nominal amount to avoid that – otherwise Alaska would be part of Canada today.

    The payment was 7.2 million – and allegedly 200,000 of it was for Swan Lake here in Sitka because it was a major producer of ice which was shipped to San Francisco (not sure this is true but it’s folk-lore here in Sitka)

  137. 137
    Cervantes says:

    @Anoniminous: That’s all very nice but here’s what you said earlier:

    Every biography of Maximilian makes a point to mention he had a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy. Which, for me, is a major hoot. The Austrian Empire was many things. A great sea power it was not.

    You’re sure you’re not disputing anything?

    And by the way, is it your impression that disputing something and yelling are identical?

  138. 138

    @maeve:

    didn’t consider the Americans to be players

    I’m not sure this is entirely right. My understanding is that Russia thought we were a strong enough regional player to keep Britain in check in North America, just not a global power. Our role here was to help contain Britain, because they were struggling with that.

  139. 139
    Anoniminous says:

    @gian:

    Interesting link. Thanks

    Tho’ I have to say the Nevins quote:

    Anglo-French intervention in the American [Civil War] would probably have confirmed the splitting and consequent weakening of the United States; might have given French power in Mexico a long lease, with the ruin of the Monroe Doctrine; and would perhaps have led to the Northern conquest of Canada.

    Cause some eye-glaze and brain fry. “Northern conquest of Canada?” With what Army? Supported and supplied how? With a Franco-British-Confederate Army of, say, 150,000 parked in Virginia Lincoln, etc., would have had more pressing problems than invading Quebec.

  140. 140
    Anoniminous says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    Thanks. But this:

    they’d be unable to defend Alaska against a ground war originating from British Columbia.

    is crazy. I’ve been up the BC coast to Alaska several times. Once in winter and once, believe me, was enough. Supplying and resupplying even a minor invasion force would have been a nightmare and then an impossibility. The logistics tail would have had to stretch tens of thousands of miles. BC, at the time, didn’t have the population or food production to keep a navy and land force fed. And it certainly didn’t have an armaments industry.

  141. 141
    Anoniminous says:

    @maeve:

    I can understand Russia wanting to off-load it. I don’t know why Steward was all hot to buy it.

    Shipping ice from Sitka seems reasonable, even likely. There was a global trade in ice and I have vague memories of references to “Alaskan ice boats” in some long almost forgotten history book. Possibly Hawaii???

  142. 142
    maeve says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    Yes – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    If you ever come to Sitka (Alaska) you should go on some of the tours – the 1804 “battle” tour in Sitka National Historical Park by Harvey Bradnt is particularly good – the first battle of Sitka in 1802 the Tlinget drove off the Russians but in 1804 they came back – the Tlinget retreated to a “fort of green logs” in the current location of the park (locally known as Totem Park) – Harvey is particularly good at evoking the scene – the Russian ships were there but in the area were not only Russian ships, but Americans, Spanish and British ( there is a reason that the Island Ketchikan is located on is Revillagigedo )

    The Russian ships were not able to approach closely but bombarded the Tlinget fort – until the Tlinget ran out of ammunition and retreated to the other side of the island (in their own trail of tears because it is an extremely rough mountain trek).

    Just now they are removing gravel from the flat roof of a local building and finding mini or canister shot which might have come from the 1804 battle and been dredged up when they scooped gravel from the river.

  143. 143
    maeve says:

    @Anoniminous:

    I doubt they shipped ice from Hawaii (joke) – but supposedly during the gold rush they shipped laundry to Hawaii because everyone in San Francisco was so busy looking for gold they couldn’t find any one to do it there! So shipping ice at premium prices from Alaska is quite likely!

    @⚽️ Martin:

    I put to many links in so my comment is in moderation, but here it is without as many links (no disputin’ going on – just local take on history)

    Yes – the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    If you ever come to Sitka (Alaska) you should go on some of the tours – the 1804 “battle” tour in Sitka National Historical Park by Harvey Bradnt is particularly good – the first battle of Sitka in 1802 the Tlinget drove off the Russians but in 1804 they came back – the Tlinget retreated to a “fort of green logs” in the current location of the park (locally known as Totem Park) – Harvey is particularly good at evoking the scene – the Russian ships were there but in the area were not only Russian ships, but Americans, Spanish and British ( there is a reason that the Island Ketchikan is located on is Revillagigedo – today we forget that the Spanish were “players” in the area then)

    The Russian ships were not able to approach closely but bombarded the Tlinget fort – until the Tlinget ran out of ammunition and retreated to the other side of the island (in their own trail of tears because it is an extremely rough mountain trek).

    Just now they are removing gravel from the flat roof of a local building and finding grapeshot or canister shot which might have come from the 1804 battle and been dredged up when they scooped gravel from the river.

  144. 144
    Cervantes says:

    @maeve:

    So shipping ice at premium prices from Alaska is quite likely!

    Shipping ice from Alaska was, in fact, cheaper than obtaining it from the previous source — New England.

    Even cheaper, however, was obtaining it from neighboring Nevada.

  145. 145
    maeve says:

    @Cervantes:

    Interesting – distance is less but transportation? – shipping longer distance by sea versus going over land and mountains might have been better then.

    Sitka is too warm to be a major ice producer now – during a cold snap (mid-1800s) it might have been adequate but now our average winter temp is actually above freezing.

  146. 146

    @Anoniminous: Defending Alaska wouldn’t have been any easier. BC at least had a reasonably open port and Britain had the rest of Canada. It was a transformative period – rail was expanding rapidly, and Britain was leading the way. How many years before Canada could get a railroad out to Vancouver? We’d just moved into metal hulled ships. Things were changing fast. Everyone knew that. And both Britain and Russia were expanding and trying to build global empires. Russia was very interested in limiting Britain’s expansion.

    Everyone was marking territory. France opened the Suez Canal in the 1860s. We had just before completed the Gadsden purchase, so we were interested in expanding as well, and in limiting Britain’s dominance. Alaska was a cheap step in that direction, and like I said, we wanted BC as well. Had we purchased BC, the Alaska purchase makes a lot more sense.

  147. 147

    @maeve: Little ice age ended in the 1850s or 1860s. So its use for ice may have just been ending.

  148. 148
    Chris says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Being French, I say no. The Front National rising tide is going to be hard enough to ride out without thousands of screaming Dixiecrats getting injected into the national vote.

    I might reconsider if you were interested in trading Texas for Corsica, though.

  149. 149
    Chris says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    As with the idea of the former Confederacy seceding, I can’t see how this happens without the newly independent nation going on a military rampage at some point within its first decade, between the general attitude of the ruling conservative elites and the way their economy will perform without subsidies (the kind of thing you’d want a war to distract people from).

    We probably wouldn’t pay for it, but either Mexico or some small country in the Caribbean or Central America would.

    ETA: dual citizen. Hence the “we” referring to the U.S. in this post, and the “I’m French” (why do you think I have this OUTRAGEOUS accent, you silly king) in the last one. I just realized how strange that could look without context.

  150. 150
    maeve says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    Makes sense – the Russians dredged out Swan Lake specifically to make ice, but it wouldn;t pay now (it freezes enough to ice skate but only part of the winter )

    Sitka is in fact the best “open port’ in Alaska (didn’t freeze even then) which is why the Russians made it the capital of Alaska – then known as the Paris of the Pacific – but it backs up to mountains and glaciers – the capital moved to Juneau after the Alaska/Yukon gold rush when the mines near Juneau moved rhw economic dominance there. Sitka was a major port for the gold rush but only as a stepping off place. Juneau was literally named after “Joe Juneau” who discovered gold there.

  151. 151
    Denali says:

    You all really know your history! Especially re Mexico (Maxmilian) and Alaska. We should have taken the tour while in Sitka.
    It was hard to miss all the Russian remnants there. I knew about the port connection of Austria since I have Hungarian connections, and have found that and are very sensitive about the loss of their territories after World War I.

    Texas, however, is on a whole different planet.

  152. 152
    Denali says:

    @Denali

    edit strike and and add they.

  153. 153
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county

    I know that the whole “constitutional sheriff” stuff is black-helicopter Admiralty-flag nonsense, but does anyone know what it stems from? There must be one kook source that came up with the idea that Sheriff Cletus was the only rightful law ‘forcer in Bumfuck County.

  154. 154
    Bulworth says:

    That the Texas Legislature should nullify—indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”—federal laws it doesn’t like. (Unmentioned is the fact that, beginning in 1809, the Supreme Court has steadfastedly rejected state nullification of federal laws.)

    OK, but it’s worth giving the Scalia-Thomas-Alito court a try, isn’t it?

    sarc/

  155. 155
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Chris:

    As with the idea of the former Confederacy seceding, I can’t see how this happens without the newly independent nation going on a military rampage at some point within its first decade

    The portion of Texans that want to secede are exceedingly loud, but they are in no way a majority. Plenty of Texans are out-of-state transplants. Plenty more are employees of businesses that span states and countries. The secessionist south is a myth perpetuated by easily angered idiots who haven’t given a thought to what secession would actually entail.

    If you’re waiting for the state that sent two Bushes and an LBJ to the White House to secede, you’ll be waiting a long damn time.

  156. 156
    Chris says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Oh, I’m not waiting. It’s all a complete hypothetical, just like the notion of the entire South seceding. I’m just pointing out, since many like to dream about it in a “wouldn’t it be nice” kind of way, that even if it did ever happen, it’s not like the secession would put an end to the problems.

Comments are closed.