There will be two events this week where Saralee and I will be talking about How Things Really Work. The first is Thursday, October 14th at the University of Houston. The Hobby Center for Public Policy and the Briscoe Center for American History will host a reception and book signing at the Hilton on the University of Houston campus starting at 7:00pm. You can find out more details here.

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How Things Really Work is now available at and other online retailers. Click the buy the book link on this site to see all of your online options. 
Saralee and I appreciate The Baker Institute, the Rice University School of Social Sciences and the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas hosting our first book event in Houston this week.
You can also join us October 14th for a conversation, reception and a book signing at the University of Houston hosted by the Hobby Center for Public Policy and the Briscoe Center for American History. More details about this event are available at the Hobby Center for Public Policy website.

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We officially launched our book last evening in Austin. Many friends joined us, and we enjoyed talking about the book and singing copies. Thanks to all who came and especially to our hosts, the LBJ Library and Museum and our publisher, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Saralee, Diana, and I have been friends for more than forty years, going back to the time when I was managing editor of the Houston Post and Saralee was covering NASA for the Houston Chronicle.

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Advance Buzz

Newspapers, magazines, and websites have recently run write ups and reviews of How Things Really Work. So far, so good. Links to those articles are posted on the news page of this website. Last week we had a small gathering with friends and reporters who cover Texas politics. Saralee and I had a chance to talk about the book and sign copies. I also read the chapter, “Just Vote No,” which contains my advice for legislators. It was a nice evening and good preparation for the book events that begin on Wednesday with the book launch at the LBJ Library and Museum. More details about this and other upcoming events are available on the news page of this site.

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Set to Launch

We are a little more than two weeks away from the opening event in Austin for How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics. It will be a nice event at the LBJ Library and Museum. Saralee and I appreciate the work by everyone at the Briscoe Center for American History in getting the book edited, published and available for everyone to read. A big thanks also to them for organizing and co-hosting the launch event with our friends at the LBJ Library. We look forward to seeing many old friends and making new ones too on September 29th. You can read more about the event in the news section of the website or by calling 512-495-4692 for more information or to R.S.V.P.

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Texas’ Greatest Need

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the information on this website and that you are looking forward to reading our book when it arrives in bookstores in October. We are planning book-related events starting next month. Please check back for more information on the news page of the website.

With the start of the new school year, everyone’s focus briefly turns to an issue that is one of my passions – education.

Texas’ greatest need now is better education. This was Texas’ greatest need 100 years ago, 50 years ago, and 10 years ago, and it will likely be the greatest need 10, 20, 100 years from now. Unfortunately, education hasn’t been an historical priority in Texas and it isn’t one today.

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Getting Started

Many may ask why a blog? My answer is short and shameless: I’m trying to sell a book, How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics. It will be available in October. 

Before beginning my life in politics, however, I had a life in journalism. Media and how content is delivered has certainly changed, but the value of writing and expressing opinions is still important. That is what I intend to do in this space – express my opinions on topics that are interesting to me – Texas, politics, education, apportionment, elections, history, etc.   

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In just a few weeks, on April 1, we will all be counted by the twenty-third U. S. census. Then the fun starts.

Congress will reapportion. Texas will gain three or four seats in Congress and electoral votes in the next three presidential elections. Texas will also be eligible for billions of more dollars of federal aid. Whether Governor Perry lets us collect it is, of course, another matter! If at first you don’t secede don’t try again.

Then the legislature will redraw 232 districts: thirty-six congressional, thirty-one state senatorial, 150 state house, and fifteen State Board of Education. Counties, cities, and school boards will redraw thousands more.

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Texas, once the Lone Star State, first became the Let’s Secede State (Rick Perry), and is now the Laughing Stock State (State Board of Education), Once a two-party state, Texas has become a tea-party state.

What does it tell you that Libertarian Debra Medina was showing close to 30% in the Republican Primary polls and dropped to 18% when she said she wasn’t sure that President “Dubya” Bush bombed New York on 9/11? And Bush was a Republican President!

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Robocalls—A Public Nuisance

Enough, already!

During the last political season we have all been harassed in our homes by countless robocalls from rude people who want us to vote for them because they invaded our privacy.

Let’s put a stop to it! We can protect ourselves from computer spam by blocking the sender. Let’s do the same for our telephones.

Here’s how it could work:

Telephone companies have “star codes” that mostly don’t work. “*67” is supposed to block the calling number from calling in the future. It doesn’t.

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