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John Eby: How Perry answered the question, that’s our litmus test

Published 5:08pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

Texas Gov. James Richard “Rick” Perry, who looks like Josh Brolin playing compassionate conservative George W. Bush, is a former Democrat who supported Al Gore in 1988.
To prove his point that “Americans are tired of political correctness,” Perry “still believes” the Obama administration is socialist because “all the answers emanate from Washington” and that Social Security amounts to a “Ponzi scheme.”
On forever war, Perry thinks we “need to try to move our men and women home as soon as we can. Not just in Afghanistan, but in Iraq as well. We have ways to continue to put the pressure on the bad guys, and I don’t think keeping a large force of U.S. uniform military in Afghanistan for a long period of time is particularly in the interest of the U.S., or for that matter, in Afghan interest.” (Time cover, Sept. 26)
Perry, who exploded onto the presidential scene in August, supports a policy of letting children of illegal immigrants who live in America’s second most populous state attend college at in-state tuition rates so they would be “contributing members of society, not a drag on society.” Gun control? “Use both hands.” The former Texas A&M (the Aggies produced more World War II officers than West Point) yell leader met his wife, Anita, in elementary school.
They married 16 years after their first high school date.
At a debate in California, the audience heartily applauded his execution of 234 prisoners.
In Florida, someone called out, “Yeah!” to a question about letting patients die if they don’t buy health insurance.
Like Mitt Romney, he brings executive experience.
Like Michele Bachmann, he talks tough.
Like Ron Paul, he can be iconoclastic enough for the Tea Party, although this anti-Washington maverick has relied plenty on federal programs, including the 2009 stimulus.
And the Eagle Scout from Paint Creek, north of Abilene on the plains of west-central Texas, knows how to win, judging from his 6-0 mark in statewide races.
Perry, born in 1950, graduated from high school in 1968.
Asked in Miami what his favorite Beatles song is, the candidate named “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison.
Most people, he said, like McCartney’s “Yesterday” best.
Especially now that Sir Paul is writing ballet (Ocean’s Kingdom debuted in New York Sept. 22).
“There’s an excitement when you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, which is a hallmark of my career. Like, the Beatles never knew how to make records, and me and John never knew how to write songs,” McCartney offers in the Sept. 29 Rolling Stone.
“That’s a nice enough song,” the governor said, but his pick does double duty as “a great way to start every day, figuratively and Beatlemania-wise.”
693,827: Number of people following Yoko Ono on Twitter.
No. 2? President Obama.
Quips, quotes and qulunkers: “You build a 10-foot wall and someone’s going to make a lot of money selling 12-foot ladders.”
— Laredo, Texas, Republican Henry Hereford on building an 1,800-mile border wall
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“A desperate and grateful nation turns to Jon Stewart because he does the job the media abdicated: combing the public record to hold politicians and journalists accountable for their own words.”
— Rolling Stone
Executive Editor Eric Bates
•••
“The 24-hour news networks are now the absolutely most powerful force driving the political narrative. The picture the 24-hour networks create is one of conflict … They have to create a compelling reason for you to watch. Otherwise, they’re just … newzak … Oddly enough, Fox News and our show have a tremendous amount in common, in that we are both reactions to the news and to government. We’re both expressions of dissatisfaction … I’m surprised at how much (President Obama) deferred to the legislative process. … I would have preferred to see something a little bit more transformative. They haven’t made the case that government can be effective, accountable or agile.”
— Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” since taking over from Craig Kilborn 12 years ago in 1999.
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133,000: Number of jobs the U.S. auto industry has added since 2009.
Go figure: The highest-paid man in showbiz? According to Forbes, Tyler Perry, actor-producer-filmmaker.
Oh! no! they didn’t: Ben and Jerry’s latest ice cream flavor, “Schweddy Balls,” takes its name from a 1998 Saturday Night Live skit featuring Alec Baldwin as holiday ball baker Pete Schweddy. Vanilla ice cream and fudge-covered malt balls.
17: Number of Rolling Stones Ed Sullivan Show performances, from “Time Is on My Side” in 1964 to “Gimme Shelter” and “Honky Tonk Women” in 1969, coming to DVD Oct. 4. Next year marks their 50th anniversary.

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