One of the biggest strikes against Mitt Romney during the general election was that since he had to skew so far to the right during the Republican primary race it was nearly impossible to brand himself otherwise during the general election. Nowhere was this more evident than immigration. Okay, maybe taxes, health care, and lots of other things, too, but still: immigration.
Romney campaign manager [Matt] Rhoades said he regretted that Romney had moved so far to the right on immigration during the primaries in order to out-flank Texas Gov. Rick Perry.Â “In retrospect,” Rhoades said, “I believe we probably could have just beaten Perry with the Social Security hit.”
It wasn’t clear exactly what Rhoades regretted. It might have been simply that he wishes he’d anticipated Perry’s quick implosion. Why have Romney risk doing anything that might hurt him later if the target of the attack was going to collapse so spectacularly anyway? It didn’t seem that Rhoades regretted Romney’s policy positions per se.
This kind of post-coital tristesse is always fun because it reminds us people thought Rick Perry could become the president.
Tonight, Lamar Odom squares off against the team he (kind of, sort of) played for last season, when the Mavericks face Odom’s Los Angeles Clippers. Which means it’s time for: reaction quotes. Here’s the money:
“It was a blur, man,” Odom replied. “I wasn’t there either, like mentally.”
“The people are nice,” Odom said of Dallas. “Great fans.
“Sometimes we make pit stops in some places. I remember the people and the city. Basketball just wasn’t there for me at that time.”
(via the always great Ball Don’t Lie)
State Rep. Eric Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, is attempting to create a bipartisan Young Texans Legislative Caucus, the first legislative group in the state focused on policy matters that affect Texans under 40, including education and natural resource management. Of the 150 members of the House, 94 members will be eligible to join the caucus, the 37-year-old told the Texas Tribune. Thirty-five reps are under 40, and 59 more represent districts where 59 percent or more of the population is under 40.
“We hope to focus the broader Lege’s attention on Texas’s future, and planning for that future, by focusing on the needs of the younger Texans who represent that future,” he wrote in an email to the Tribune.
An Athens Republican and El Paso Democrat are also helping form the group. Johnson’s district covers areas of Dallas’ southern and southeastern sectors, and stretches into parts of West Dallas and Oak Lawn.
Do you have an “authentic Texan face”? If so, you might want to mosey that face over to an open casting call forÂ Parkland, which will dramatize the day of JFK’s assassination. (Parkland refers to the Dallas hospital where President Kennedy died.) The film is set to shoot in and around Austin in January and February of 2013.
Casting call is Sunday, Dec. 16, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Clarion Inn & Suites at 2200 South I-35, Austin. They are looking for “real people” for both speaking and nonspeaking roles, so no actors with agents, or aliens probably. They’re also looking for an LBJ look-alike, if that’s something you break out at parties after a few. Speaking roles pay Â $872 a day, and shooting will take place in Austin in January and February.
Which brings up my last point: Austin, really? Dallas is only three hours away, Tom.
On Monday afternoon, Mother Jones broke the story that former Dallas congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Armey was leaving his post as chairman of Tea Party funhouse Freedomworks. Subsequent media reportsÂ indicated he would be paid $8 million over the next 20 years for his services, which seems like a nice severance package.
Every news outlet with a political pulse had a different angle. Politico’s:
The tensions at FreedomWorks, brewing for months, boiled over this summer when Armey balked at a deal that [Freedomworks CEO] Kibbe struck with HarperCollins to write a book called “Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America,” which wasÂ released inÂ June.
Armey was concerned that Kibbe structured the deal to personally profit from the book despite relying on FreedomWorks staff and resources to research, help write and promote it – an arrangement he and others at the group believed could jeopardize its tax-exempt status. (In 2010, Kibbe and Armey co-authored a book through HarperCollins, “GiveÂ UsÂ Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto,” that was written with significant help from FreedomWorks staff and all proceeds had gone to the organization.)
So Armey declined to sign a memorandum presented to him in his capacity as a member of the board of trustees stating that the book was written without significant FreedomWorks resources and clearing the way for Kibbe to personally own the rights to the book and any royalties from it, multiple sources familiar with the arrangement told POLITICO.
Next week, Dallas City Council members will – likely – approve a letter of intent for city manager Mary Suhm to continue negotiations with SMU and AT&T to build a golf course on city property in southern Dallas.Â During this morning’s City Council briefing, the proposed Southern Dallas golf course came up, of course. A lot of details were fleshed out, including the dealbreakers. The entire presentation is after the jump, but here are some points:
1. Lease approximately 400 acres from City for 40 years beginning with a base lease of $1,000 and increasing to $10,000 per year upon opening of the course
2. Develop, program, and operate the golf complex, consisting of an 18-hole championship golf course, practice range, short course, clubhouse, tournament facilities, The First Tee youth golf program teaching facility, and training academy for the SMU golf team, at an initial development cost of not less than $20 million for the first phase and any additional cost overruns as a result of construction
3. Fund and/or make an additional $2.5 million in improvements to the City’s Trinity Trails Phase 3 with funds from AT&T
4. Secure relocation of the Byron Nelson Championship to the completed golf course and pursue similar tournaments
Breaking. Raya just informed me that according to Thesaurus.com, “Mickey Mouse” is an acceptable synonym for “ridiculous.” Obviously, it’s time to start using it. Like, “I’ve had a very specific song stuck in my head for more than a week, but I can’t come up with the melody, the lyrics, the artist, or the title. This is getting really Mickey Mouse.”
And speaking of things that are, in fact, ridiculous but in an awesome way, try the blended voices of the 250 men of the Turtle Creek Chorale. They’re kicking off their multitude of holiday concerts with tonight’s evening of classic music and carols, Comfort and Joy, at the Meyerson Symphony Center. They’re a seasonal favorite around here for a season. I know of at least one other person in our office who can’t resist a TCC concert, with their trademark mix of humor, tradition, and serious talent. You can still get tickets online. Nearby, there’s CafÃ© des Artistes, for drinks and dinner.
Everyone’s seen Spring Awakening, right? Has heard of it? Likes to listen to this song after a bad day? Or maybe this song after you screw up in a big way? Let’s all take a moment and thank Duncan Sheik, who is here this evening performing, with help from a couple other folks, at The Kessler over in Oak Cliff. His most recent album is a bunch of ’80s covers. So we’ll probably get stuff like “Hold Me Now” and “What Is Love.” However, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a cut off the Great Expectations soundtrack, or even “Barely Breathing,” if it comes to that. Courrier andÂ Laura Warshauer are the opening acts. Nova’s my spot of choice for a bite (I like the grilled beet salad and the four meat and cheese pizza) and a drink, before or after. A word of warning if you order a Moscow mule (and why wouldn’t you?)–they sometimes tend to go too heavy on the lime.
For more to do tonight, go here.
Public Policy PollingÂ just released its annual NFL poll, and it determined what most people already know: a lot of people love the Cowboys, and just as many people hate them.
There’s still no contest when it comes to the country’s most hated NFL team. 18% pick the Cowboys to 11% for the Bears, 10% for the Patriots, 8% for the Broncos, 7% for the Steelers, 5% for the Redskins, and 4% each for the Packers, Giants, and Saints. Hating the Cowboys is one of the rare things that can bring Americans together across party lines- Democrats, Republicans, and independents all say that they’re their less favorite franchise.
The Cowboys and Packers tied for the title of America’s favorite team, with 12 percent ofÂ respondentsÂ picking each franchise. The difference is the amount of folks who hate the Cowboys:
32% of voters have a favorable opinion of the Cowboys to 37% with a negative opinion, numbers that pale in comparison to the Packers’ 55/15 favorability spread. When asked who they would root for in a head to head between the Cowboys and Packers, 50% say the Packers to 27% for the Cowboys. Whether the Cowboys still really deserve the ‘America’s Team’ label is an open question.
The New York Jets are nowhere to be found on the survey, because they are a franchise full of quitters, complainers, and people who can’t do their jobs. Our two “top” quarterbacks include one man who is very good at being handsome and another man who is very good at praying. Neither are very good at being a quarterback. Rant: over.
The full, surprisingly thorough, 28-page report can be found here.
The last time we saw Sid, he was dropping out of Navy flight school, getting his marriage proposal rejected, and killing himself in a motel room. If that’s a spoiler for you, sorry; the movie’s 30 years old.
Since then, Sid (actor David Keith) has spent his time in more than 100 titles, but his latest role is “actor/activist who came to Dallas today to talk about dog DNA, specifically Poo Prints, which, yes, is a real thing.”
Krista wrote about Poo Prints Dallas back in our October issue, but the basic gist is this, in her words:
“When a resident with a pet signs a lease, the dog’s cheek is swabbed. This sample is sent to the BioPet Vet Lab in Tennessee, which extracts the dog’s DNA and keeps it on file. When a waste sample is found [ed: in a public place, lawn, etc.], Welch puts it in a container with enzymes, shakes until it’s the consistency of a “milkshake slurry,” and sends it to the lab. Within five days, the DNA is analyzed, and, with 99.9 percent certainty, the culprit is identified.”
Dog DNA has become Keith’s pet project, travelling the country to extoll its virtues, which include genetic disease research, veterinary medicine advances, and the closure of puppy mills. It’s a leap from using DNA to identify jackasses who don’t pick up their dog’s crap, but Keith seems comfortable with it.
“DNAÂ is the silver bullet that protects humans – and the animals that protect us – from the impurities in life,” he said to council members, not at all sounding like late-night television huckster.
Councilwoman Delia Jasso urged Keith and Poo Prints Dallas head Cedric Moses to speak with Dallas-based animal rights groups, effectively saying “Please leave and talk about dog poop to someone else.”
Last night, I read this blog post by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tod Robberson. My head exploded everywhere. After I was done scooping up my brains off the kitchen floor and pouring them back into my noggin, I began planning this blog post, the one I’m writing right now. Robberson, without naming us directly, addressed me and Observer editor Joe Tone. We’ve both raised questions about this golf course in southern Dallas. Robberson wrote:
Naysayers are great at explaining why things won’t work, but rarely do they offer realistic alternative solutions. I’ve learned not to take them too seriously.
So you can’t raise questions about the golf course without proposing an alternative development in southern Dallas? “I wonder how much development a golf course will generate, given that golfers will drop in, spend their money at the course, and leave. I propose we instead build a space port in southern Dallas.” Like that? Robberson went on to explain why he thinks the golf course will generate economic development:
Stadiums and sports arenas attract the masses for a single visit. Fans rush to get a good parking spot. They spend their money on concessions inside the venue. When the event is over, they hurry to escape the crowds and get home.
The scene couldn’t be any more different from the atmosphere at a golf course. Everything in golf moves slowly. It is designed to be a peaceful, relaxing, leisurely experience amid beautiful, serene surroundings. These are times when the mind is most open to opportunities and possibilities.
The naysayers comment is what made the pressure in my head begin to build. That last bit about serene surroundings is what made my brains hit the linoleum. Like I said, I began planning this post. I was going to come in here this morning and savage Robberson; remind you that the guy thinks cars need to be defended against bicycles; let you know that I’ve talked to people who’ve worked with him and absolutely detest the fellow; make the observation that he shares his Pulitzer with two people, so the committee that decides the thing had no idea which writing samples were his, meaning the other two people probably won the award for him; and then, just for fun, point out that there’s probably not another Pulitzer winner who has fewer followers on Twitter (he has 123). I was going to go ad hominem and strong mayor all over Tod Robberson.
Then I read Joe Tone’s post about Robberson. So measured. So succinct. So elegant in the way it lays out Robberson’s lazy, flawed thinking. And that’s when I decided that instead of letting my anger get the best of me, I should instead just point you to Tone’s post.
Geez, gas prices amirite? $3.29 by my house. Seems there’s gotta be a way to drive those prices down, help the consumer:
The chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, will take home a higher salary next year and his bonus increases 5 percent.
The Irving, Texas, company’s board of directors awarded Rex Tillerson, the company’s chairman and CEO, a bonus of $4.59 million, up from $4.37 million last year, a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.
A $4.59 million bonus? Like, that’s not his salary? Or the salary of an entire company? Wait, maybe it will get better:
Tillerson’s salary will rise 5 percent to $2.71 million effective January 1.
The CEO will receive about half the bonus in cash by the end of this year, while the payout of the balance is linked to the company’sÂ earnings, the filing said.
Tillerson was also granted 225,000 shares of restricted stock, the same amount as last year.
Get out. Kindly leave.
DISD Board President Recommends Pay Cut, Merit Plan. You know what school board meeting sounds like an interesting one? December 13’s. That’s when the board will discuss DISD board president Lew Blackburn’s idea of top executives taking a 25 percent pay cut and then earning the money back like the principals who will be part of Superintendent Mike Miles’ merit plan.
DA’s Office Discusses Creating Animal Abuse Unit. There have been 2,841 reports to the city about animal cruelty in Dallas. It’s believed that animal abuse is a gateway to abuse and crimes against humans. So some want to create a two-person unit that would investigate animal abuse. The unit would cost $200,000. Safer Dallas, Better Dallas is raising money to get such a group started. (I’m a fan of Ranch Hand Rescue, an animal rescue/sanctuary in Argyle. If you happen to be their Facebook friend, you know why such a unit is in need. I’ve never seen more disturbing images. The work these rescue groups do is truly outstanding.)
Couple, Both Burned in Separate Fires, Receives Dog To See. Stay with me for a minute. This story has a few layers. First, you’ve got the couple: Dallas Wiens and Jamie Nash. Wiens was burned in 2008, and in 2010, was the first person to receive a face transplant. Unfortunately, his eyesight could not be repaired. Remember that. I’ll be back to it in a minute. Then you’ve got Jamie Nash, who was burned in a car accident after texting while driving. The two met at a support group for burn victims. They’re getting married in March. Then you’ve got Charlie. Remember that Wiens can’t see? Well, the Southlake Lions Club raised money to get Wiens Charlie, a seeing-eye dog. Overall, amazing couple with an amazing dog.
850 Days After Being Born, Toddler Goes Home. Adalynn Willett was born with her intestines and liver outside her body, a death sentence for most babies. However, two years and three months later (or, if you prefer to measure in surgeries–28 surgeries later), Adalynn finally got to go home.