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…wants to be a Senator from Texas. First, he needs the Republican nomination for the seat to be vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison. Help him out, willya?

Williams is a person with as solid a set of conservative values as can be expected in any practicing politician, and more so than most. He’s been an able Railroad Commissioner who has always backed a reasonable balance between the needs for energy and environmental protection, which has put him at odds with the Feds more often than not. He’s a Texas politician, but isn’t part of the “my turn” line of Texas Republicans; that would be his most formidable opponent, David Dewhurst, the current Lieutenant Governor — think “John McCain” with smaller balls.

Williams’s proposals and policies have made him attractive to a number of people, but let’s tell the truth and shame the Devil, eh? His most attractive feature is that he isn’t attractive — he’s a big, bald, bullet-headed black guy who looks like something out of the old Warner Brothers cartoons we can’t see on teevee any more. He’s a graduate of USC, nobody’s cow college even if it isn’t an Ivy, and isn’t bashful about releasing his transcripts; he can get further into the nitty-gritty of the “awl bidness” and other forms of energy production than anybody not actually in the field and a lot who are; he’s got a stage presence that will remind you of Chris Christie, albeit with a different accent; his wife, who he’s kept out of his political career to the point of not having her picture on his Web site, is an honest-to-God engineer employed by a company that was no doubt overjoyed to have EEOC-repellent on staff but is famous for not suffering fools at all, much less lightly; but put him in a hoodie and low-slung pants, and three-quarters of the lily-white “liberals” would be cringing on the other side of the room. That’s not how he dresses, though. Imagine George Will with *ahem* color. And roughly twice the mass…

Look, it’s too damn bad that race is such an important part of American politics, but it is, and it needs to be allowed for. I would support Williams if he was green and had tentacles, simply on his record in the Railroad Commission and his previous offices, especially against Dewhurst, a Kennedyesque lightweight whose qualifications for office are that he’s paid his dues and now it’s his turn. But as a person with zero status to defend, I’m prepared to say what more-careful people carefully did not and do not say about Marco Rubio, Herman Cain, and others: it’s just fucking delightful to contemplate the prospect of shoving Williams up the Democrats’ noses. He’s everything Barack Obama pretends to be but is not — a genuine black American with the birth certificate, the psychic scars, and the high-school football jersey to prove it; a genuinely educated (rather than credentialed) person with no need to obfuscate the past; and a person who’s run a complicated enterprise for a long time, and done it quite well, thank you. And he’s a Republican. Send the man some money.

Vat-grown meat has been a staple (!) of the science-fiction diet for as long as I’ve been reading it, which is quite a long time. H. Beam Piper coined the neologism in the headline, so far as I know, back in the Sixties or earlier.

Now it looks as though it might become reality. At the moment no one seems to be funding the research as such, but I wonder if Dr. Mironov has used enough imagination in his search for backers. He seems to have concentrated on Government sources. Perhaps a fast-food chain might be interested? Some of them are quite dedicated to uniformity, and making meat to order would certainly achieve that.

Walter Russell Mead muses on the implications for climate change of factory-made meat. As a sometime provider of the on-the-hoof version, I’m a bit torn on the subject. Read the comments at Mead’s post.

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