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Watch What He Does and Not What He Says
Why the Drought in Texas *Is* an Issue for Rick Perry.2 Reasons: State Prayer and Federal Aid Handout
 


salon

11:34 on 21 July 2011

I saw an article in the Texas Tribune about the drought in Texas and why, according to State Senator Kel Seilger (Republican) of Amarillo, the drought would not be a political problem for Perry.

Partly because of the relative powerlessness of the state, the consensus of political observers is that the drought is unlikely to cause a political problem for Perry, even if he campaigns around the country while Texas continues to dry out. "This drought would be going on whether he was in Texas or Hong Kong," Seliger says. "That's not the point."

I can agree that the drought would be a problem regardless of who is in office. But there are two reasons why the drought poses a problem for Perry. One is his Weekend of Prayer and the other is his Asking for Federal Disaster Aid. As the Tribune article points out, in a time of previous drought in Texas, what did then-governor Alan Shivers do?

.....during the worst drought in recorded Texas history — the 1950s — the governor, Allan Shivers, did take a prominent role in working to get more aid flowing to stricken areas. 

"I think you can be assured that we are going to do everything we can on the state level," Shivers said, speaking about the drought to county judges in 1954. A few weeks later, Shivers joined governors of four other Southwestern states in journeying to Washington to ask President Eisenhower (who had convened the conference) for drought aid, including more loans for farmers and small businesses, and firmer price supports for struggling farmers. (Interestingly, Shivers also sought to build more roads and bridges at the time in drought-stricken areas, to create more jobs.)

What was Rick Perry's effort? Not that. He issued a Texas proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas.

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

Really. Here's a guy who governs a state whose action to resolve the drought problem is to tell people to pray. It's as if he looked into his bag of actions he could take and said, as Colbert said the other day "I got Nuthin'".

Did god listen to his prayer? Nope. And this brings us to Perry's SECOND problem. He issued a disaster proclamation asking for (gasp) federal aid, FINALLY, on July 5 2011. Mr Secessionist who likes to pretend to people that he's not taking federal government help, is actually happy to do it. (In fact, don't forget that Texas is high on the hog by taking federal money, Perry just hopes his gullible audience doesn't know it. What about those stimulus monies, Perry? Oh, right Texas was *the state that depended the most on federal stimulus funds") and of course Perry was happy to laud Obama when part of yet another handsout for disaster was met on July 1st (shortly before he did another beg to Washington). Let's repeat. Perry begged for money, Obama delivered.

So Perry is all happy to ask for federal aid and for Washington to *meddle* in Texas affairs as long as he act like he's not really doing it. But he is.

That brings us to The Response. Perry said in the video on the front page of the website of HIS event, that HE initiated, that he's going to call for yet another day of Prayer. Like the one in April worked. Perry said.

I think it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, "God, You’re going to have to fix this." ...

I think it's time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in God's hands. That's what I'm going to do, and I hope you'll join me.

Was his first foray into asking God to fix things a joke? Not time yet but now it's REALLY time? What was it before in April? Not serious? In the meantime Perry asked Obama for help so he's not solely relying on god who didn't listen to him the first time.

So, Perry is a failure. He can't figure out how to fix the problems. He asks the federal government for help while denying (I could use a harsher word but won't) that he's doing so, so that the gullible are fooled.

Those are 2 BIG Drought-related political problems, to me.They don't call him Governor 39 Percent for nothing.

P.S. Don't misunderstand. I absolutely think it is the right thing for Perry to finally ask Obama's government for help. The drought in this state is serious business. It's what, as we noted, a previous governor did. Not prayer that says "Well, I'm throwing my hands up, let's see if God will do something" but action that we ELECT people to take.

P.P.S Here's a laugh from the Onion.

P.P.P.S. 8/17/2011-Texas ag losses projected to be 5.2 billion dollars.

Texas' economy will take direct hit from the losses. Agriculture accounted for $99.1 billion of the state's $1.1 trillion economy, or 8.6 percent, in 2007, the most recent year such data was available. Losses in that sector have a ripple effect that's about twice the amount of the actual agricultural loss.

Consumers will eventually see the cost of the drought passed on to them, although Anderson has said it's hard to say by how much since processing, marketing, transportation and other costs also play a big role in retail prices


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