Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Big Rich's last rodeo?

Vanity Fair correspondent Bryan Burrough just published a book called The Big Rich that dissects the sordid-yet-unmistakably colorful influence of Texas oilmen like H.L. Hunt, Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison on American politics. I wanted to go Burrough's in-store at Bookpeople a few weeks back, but happy hour ran long that day. Here's a juicy little excerpt involving J. Edgar Hoover, Joan Crawford and lots of alcohol.

In a related Washington Post editorial published last Sunday, Burrough suggests the end of the second Bush era marks the end of Texas' political dominance, at least for the time being.

Even though I live in a city that would not be a real city without LBJ's oil-fueled rise to power and subsequent pork barrel Colorado River dam projects, I'm sorta glad to see Texas get some comeuppance in Washington for promoting a culture of bend-over-for-business politics that left America looking a lot like Jett Rink drunkenly babbling at the hotel ballroom podium in Giant.

Photo from Everett Collection

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