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It’s no longer Our Little Lone Star Secret, if it ever was.

State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial begins today in the Texas Senate, putting our shame, ignorance, apathy and abdication on global display. Our state’s top-ranking law enforcement official is himself the most hardened white (always emphasize “white”) collar criminal in Texas.

Texans generally know that. But most really don’t care. They have twice re-elected Kenny Boy knowing full well that he’s a crooked shake-down artist. He has been under federal indictment for securities fraud since 2015, one year after he was first elected. Voters not only are willing to overlook these little flaws, many find them downright charming, as long as he’s “sticking it” to somebody that want it stuck to.

As is the case with Trump, the facts are widely documented. Paxton has abused his office by accepting bribes, peddling influence, illegally retaliating against former aides, improperly intervening on behalf of a rich donor and demanding that the state pay for his official fuckups.

Understand, he’ll slide on all of that. The Christian Soldiers in the Senate are fine with corruption. They care only that he is alleged to have had an extra-marital affair. There—and only there—is where they draw the line. See, it’s OK if Kenny Boy is screwing you, but…

Oh, Paxton’s wife will witness these proceedings as a member of the Texas Senate, although trial rules prohibit her from voting. Because, you know, that would be wrong.

So the circus comes to Austin today, conducted by Lieutenant Governor/Ringmaster/Carnival Barker/Paxton Crony Dan Patrick.

Conviction and removal from office requires the votes of 21 of the 30 eligible state senators. All twelve Dems will vote against Paxton. That means that the votes of nine of the 18 Republicans are required to convict.

Ain’t gonna happen. Convicting Kenny Boy would be a political liability for Republican senators among their fire-breathing constituents. They like Kenny Boy. Not in spite of his despicable conduct, but precisely because of it.

Step right up, Texas.

All hail the mighty state.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.