Good morning Austin:
Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 63, which is very old, or at least the oldest I’ve ever been.
Busy day. Very busy.
Gov. Greg Abbott called what promises to be an extra-special special session for the last half of July and the first half of August.
And Megyn Kelly came to Austin for her own special session with Alex Jones.
These are both big events in my world.
This is a photo I took at the January 2016 Republican presidential debate in Iowa.
Here is the glimpse we got of Kelly on yesterday’s Infowars.
Here’s a transcript from Media Matters for America, which keeps a close eye on Jones because they think he is up to no good.
ALEX JONES (HOST): She’s standing where Matt Drudge was about a year-and-a-half ago in the last big interview he gave. But you can’t see her. You can see her white blouse. Princess Leia with blond hair. Megyn Kelly is here. Go ahead and kick the florescent lights on, we’ll see if we can see her there. So there you go, the conspiracy theory is true. Megyn, you know some people are saying that you’re not really here actually to interview me.
MEGYN KELLY: I’m here.
JONES: She’s there. So you just interviewed Putin, that was a big, big news maker and next it’s what — really? What’s airing this next Sunday?
KELLY: You’re in good company. This Sunday, Erin Andrews.
JONES: OK. Erin Andrews. And then when’s Trump?
KELLY: As soon as he says yes.
JONES: OK, well I heard–
KELLY: I’m going to use you as a lure to get him.
JONES: Are you going to be sweet to him?
KELLY: What do you mean? I am very sweet. He and I are all good.
JONES: Would you sit in his lap?
KELLY: Move on.
JONES: I know, I’m just having some fun. OK, Megyn Kelly. That’s actually a look-alike. That’s actually not Megyn Kelly. Thank you, Megyn. I got to say, she’s prettier in person.
KELLY: I never know whether that’s a compliment or not in my line of work.
JONES: No, no, no. I mean it, I mean it. You’re prettier in person. OK, well thank you, Megyn.
Jones’ flirtation with Kelly, and vice versa, began weeks ago.
And, plainly, each step of the way Jones has been trying to ramp up the sexual tension.
From Media Matters:
On his show, Jones has repeatedly discussed the possibility of participating in an interview with Kelly.
He first raised the possibility during his May 15 broadcast. Jones said that Kelly called him and promised him he would “like” the outcome of the interview, but he also expressed skepticism that the interview was a setup:
ALEX JONES: She’s a really smart lady, a good-looking lady. And she’s sitting there going, “You’re number one on my list. Alex, I’m kind of obsessed with you.” Oh I’m sorry — this is off record. “Alex, I’ve got to have this interview, Alex.” And, “We’re going to do this interview, Alex, and it’s going to happen, and it’s going to be good, and you’re going to like it, and I pledge to you it’s going to be real, and I’m going to let you talk and this isn’t a hit piece, Alex.” And I’m going to stop right there because the rest is off record. But I was just like even though I knew I was being sold by the greatest used car salesman on earth, I thought P.T. Barnum had been reincarnated right in front of me. I wanted just the experience of her coming to Austin.
Moments later in the broadcast, Jones made sexual comments about Kelly. He first said, Kelly “thinks I’m a Texas hillbilly and that a hot woman telling me how much she wants to interview me and how she’s obsessed with me will get me to talk to her. And even though I know it was BS, it still worked, so I’m going to be doing the interview.”
He then repeatedly asked Stone whether he should “put her over my knee,” later adding he was talking about “putting her over my knee politically,” and said, “Can we put [the late model] Betty Page on screen please, putting a girl over her knee?” He said that those comments were “trolling” because “I can’t help it. I can say anything I want and it’s all over the news the next day.”
Here from the June 1 show.
Then more on June 4.
Here’s the Infowars’ take on Kelly’s interview last Sunday with Vladimir Putin, the premier of the new NBC show that she came to Austin to interview Jones for.
Jones has had a bone to pick with Kelly for a while for allegedly editing him to make him sound crazy.
In any case, by showtime yesterday, Jones was clearly excited, even by his own amped-up standards.
(Carusone is president of Media Matters for America.)
Jones did a pretty good riff in which he acted out being a distraught leftist whose world President Trump is destroying.
We have turned the tide. Their global government TPP is destroyed. Their global carbon tax, the Paris Accord, is on fire. This is irrevocable damage to the New World Order, the above-the-law corporatocracy, that they denied existed. Bildeberg and all the rest of it. It’s out in the open.
And then Hollywood all the low-information voters on Facebook are all , “He’s stomping the Earth. He hates the Earth. Now America and Europe won’t be the only ones with carbon taxes to shut off our economies.”
“Now those dirty plants in China won’t get built there. They’ll be built here where it’s totally clean.”
“No-o-o, it’s not true. No Trump. Don’t kill the Earth. We’re saviors of the Earth.”
“We’ve been cast as the saviors. We’re just a bunch of idiots that don’t have jobs and have two or three college degrees that are worthless, but we listen to Stephen Colbert and we want to feel important, but you’re the bad guy hurting us, and trying to keep the jihadis out.”
I mean think of how crazy he is. In total failed states where the imams issue the passports, like Somalia. He says they can’t come in. From Somalia.
Expect to see a little clip of that on Kelly’s show.
Meanwhile, the night before – on Monday night – I saw another expert troll at work.
“As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight, I got to tell you, it’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin,” Abbott told the Bell County Republican Party Dinner at the Bell County Expo Center, just under 60 miles up the road from Austin in Belton.
“As you leave Austin and start heading north, you start feeling different,” Abbott told the appreciative audience. “Once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different. And you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas.”
But that smell is not freedom.
It is fear burning hot in pockets.
It is the sweat-drenched uniforms
of people trying to just pass.
It is a fire that you set
as you burn your name across the state.
I had to stop watching Infowars yesterday to head over to the governor’s press conference.
I was a few feet from Abbott but didn’t actually see him yesterday. I didn’t even know that Chief of Staff Daniel Hodge was there until I saw the photo today.
Nonetheless, it was an Abbott tour de force.
You want a special session?
I’ll give you a special session.
So is this some kind of record?
Not even close.
What else from Hobby’s record-setting special session.
- Amending the Constitution to provide for State-wide prohibition. [Mon Jul 7, 1919]
From, Texas, a Modern History, by David G. McComb/
Also, some justice for remarried Confederate widows.
– Amending Section 2 of House Bill No. 25, passed by the Thirty-third Legislature at the Regular Session, 1913, and approved April 7, 1913, as amended by Chapter 86 of the General Laws of the Regular Session of the Thirty-sixth Legislature, approved March 20, 1919, relating to the prorating of the appropriations providing that women now widows, who were the wives of Confederate soldiers and sailors and who after the death of such soldiers or sailors have remarried, may be eligible to the grant of the pension… [Tue Jul 1, 1919]
And a bunch of gummint interference.
- Amending Chapter 160 General Laws of the Thirty-sixth Legislature, Acts of 1919, establishing an Industrial Welfare Commission, and regulating the employment of women and minors, so as to remove from the Industrial Welfare Commission the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and to provide for the appointment of a person as a member of said Commission in lieu thereof. [Tue Jul 8, 1919]
- Requiring owners and operators of oil and gas wells to report to the Railroad Commission of Texas the amount of oil and gas produced and disposed of… [Fri Jun 27, 1919]
- Requiring those engaged in the business of a wholesale or retail dealer of pistols or in the business of leasing or renting pistols to make quarterly reports to the Comptroller… [Fri Jun 27, 1919]
- Placing all employment in the service of the State upon a basis of competency and individual merit [Sat Jun 28, 1919]
I left the Capitol a little before 8. It was still my birthday. But I had some unfinished business rattling around in my head.
Somewhere in Austin, Alex Jones and Megyn Kelly were getting dinner, “a nice big steak.”
I wanted to find them.
I don’t know.
The thrill of the hunt.
And I felt a little bit responsible for Megan Kelly coming to interview Alex Jones.
The story I had written in April advancing Jones’ child custody trial had raised the question of whether Jones was for real or a performance artist or a bit of both, and I figured that made him a more intriguing figure for Kelly, who probably thought she could come to Austin and unmask the real Alex Jones, just the way she didn’t unmake the real Vladimir Putin.
I felt somehow obligated to try to record, first-hand, her visit here, which after all, would, however it turned out, only vault Jones into a higher orbit.
I left the Capitol garage and drove to Austin Land and Cattle at 12th and Lamar.
Nope. Nothing happening there.
I drove back downtown, into the heart of Austin’s steak district, parked, and set out on foot.
Bob’s Steak and Chop House.
Seemed like a good prospect. Private rooms. Nice rooftop.
Checked it out top to bottom.
The Capital Grille?
I had gone here a few weeks ago with Roger Stone when he was in town doing Infowars.
I thought this might be a little too see-and-be-seen public for Alex and Megan, but it’s the class of the field.
Where every other joint was dead on a Tuesday, the scene at Perry’s was lively.
And I did hit pay dirt, of sorts, here.
As I was exploring the nooks and crannies of the seating at Perry’s out from a private room in back came the Austin bureau of the Dallas Morning News, looking all happy and well fed.
I was disoriented.
Lauren McGaughy wanted to know what I was doing there.
I wanted to know what they were all doing there.
“Is it Christmas already?” I asked.
“End of session dinner,” said Robert Garrett.
End of session dinner? At Perry’s?
I was feeling all kinds of hurt and deprived and then I remembered that only a couple of hours before I had had my end of session repast – a Payday bar, a bag of peanut M&M’s with all of eight or nine M&M’s in it, and a dregs-of-the-day cup of coffee at the Capitol Cafeteria just before closing. But it was the only thing I had had to eat all day, which, as you may recall, was my birthday.
Lauren wanted to know what I was up to.
Oh no, can’t say, I told her. Very hush-hush.
After all, if I told them what I was up to, they would think I was insane.
And, anyway, let them wonder what I was onto as they digested their Perry’s steaks and whatnot.
I wasn’t done.
I had to keep going.
I checked out the Roaring Fork. Unlikely, unless she was staying at the Stephen F. Austin, and I had her pegged more for the W or the Four Seasons.
I walked down to the Corner at the JW Marriott at 2nd and Congress.
When Alex Jones pal Mike Cernovich came to town, he had a meetup here, and Jones did a segment with Stone from right out in front of the Corner, so I thought maybe it was in his comfort zone.
There were other possibilities, but I was tired and hungry and it was well past 9. They were probably done with dinner, wherever they were.
I decided to go back to the rooftop bar at Bob’s for a martini before heading home.
I had my laptop and I decided to check on-line if anyone had spotted Kelly and Jones out and about in Austin, as I had before I embarked on my steakhouse odyssey.
And there, on Twitter, it was, It had been there even before I had set out on my hunt, but I guess I hadn’t scrolled far enough back on my Twitter feed to see it.
I was stunned.
I had wasted my night, my birthday night, for no reason.
But I was also disappointed. And, frankly, disgusted.
Rudy’s. Rudy’s? At 6 p.m. Early birds?
Well, maybe Kelly was flying back to New York last night.
Maybe there was not time for Bob’s or Sullivan’s or Perry’s.
Maybe she said, “You know Alex, I can get a fancy schmancy steak anytime in New York. Take me someplace simple, down-home, and really Texas.”
But, I don’t know, Alex. Rudy’s? That’s your play?
We’ll have to wait to see how the interview comes out and whether Jones acquits himself as well as Putin did, but, as of last night, my expectations for the whole Kelly-Jones affair are considerably diminished.