Friday, October 21, 2011


In this week's GOP debate, Rick Perry attacked Mitt Romney for using a company a few years ago that hired illegal immigrants; Politico is writes of this attack:

It's hard to dispute that Rick Perry's he-hired-an-illegal-immigrant attack on Mitt Romney was a cheap shot.

It's even harder to dispute that it worked beautifully.

Perry brought up the issue in response to an unrelated question, he failed to stumble through the attack, and (according to Politico) this "a moment his staff carefully studied and then choreographed in advance." So he and his people are learning. (And he no longer looks like the worst squish in the race on the issue of immigration, the guy who gives tuition assistance to young brown people.)

And there's another story today, in The New York Times, that suggests Team Perry is working hard to make him seem meaner:

Texas prison officials last month ended the decades-old practice of serving last meals to inmates about to be executed after one man ordered an elaborate feast of hamburgers, pizza and chicken-fried steaks that he did not eat.

But the 300 inmates on death row are not the only ones coping with food restrictions.

Thousands of other inmates in the Texas prison system have been eating fewer meals since April after officials stopped serving lunch on the weekends in some prisons as a way to cut food-service costs. About 23,000 inmates in 36 prisons are eating two meals a day on Saturdays and Sundays instead of three....

Well planted, Team Perry. OK, maybe this story wasn't planted -- but I'm going to guess that it was. This has been going on since April and we're just finding out about it now? Yeah, I think Perry's people want it to be fresh news that his state doesn't even give prisoners three squares on weekends
-- and also that powdered milk has replaced carton milk in the meals the state does serve.

Really, it would have been ideal if Perry could have personally announced these meal changes -- a GOP electorate that cheers denying health care to the dying and makes a front-runner of the guy who blames the unemployed for their own fate in this recession would love this. But getting this story in the Times today is potentially very good for Perry in any case. Maybe he'll be asked about the meal denial. Maybe he'll make a sanctimonious, Arpaio-esque statement about how evil the people in his prisons are and how they're damn lucky they get fed at all. And maybe the voters will swoon.


It's not relevant to Perry, but I do like this touch in Texas: the second meal on weekends, served between 4:00 and 6:30 P.M., is called "dinner." Know what the first meal, served between 5:00 and 7:00 A.M., is called?