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Glenn W. Smith
Glenn W. Smith has spent the past 30 years in journalism and politics, where he’s made a name for himself as a writer, campaign manager, activist, think tank analyst and, as Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas says, a “legendary political consultant and all-around good guy.” “There’s no one like him,” says author George Lakoff. CNN commentator Paul Begala says, “He has unmatched experience, a graceful pen (or pixel nowadays) and deep insight into the best and worst of us.” Novelist Sarah Bird speaks of his “lucid and lyrical” prose. And, she says, he’s fun. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington says Glenn writes with “grace and abundant humor” and “uses his colorful experiences in Texas to enlighten us all.”

Smith led Ann Richards’ successful 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas. He worked for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Earlier, Smith was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post. He’s coordinated national campaigns for groups such as In 2004, he authored the highly acclaimed book, The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction. He also wrote Unfit Commander, a book that detailed George W. Bush’s mysterious disappearance from military service.

As a senior fellow at George Lakoff’s prestigious Rockridge Institute in Berkeley he studied, wrote and taught on the power of metaphor and narrative in political communications. He also lectured on religion and politics at the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley. As a sponsor and organizer, he has pulled together numerous national events with progressive religious leaders. He also organized a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church in New York City as well as “Freedom and Faith” bus tours, which was a nationwide campaign for social justice and progressive values.

Most recently, Smith is the creator of DogCanyon, a political and cultural web site covering state, national and global issues from a Texas perspective. DogCanyon is an exhilarating and unique site that gets the connections between politics and culture and explores both the personal side of politics and the ups, down, craziness and beauty of “life its ownself,” as humorist Dan Jenkins would say. DogCanyon offers heartfelt personal essays, hard-hitting political analysis, and, most importantly, laughs.

As Paul Begala said, Smith writes in “the finest, firmest, fearless tradition of Texas essayists like Molly Ivins.”

Entries by Glenn W. Smith

'Truth,' the Movie: When Truth and Power Collide

(26) Comments | Posted October 4, 2015 | 7:50 PM

They say truth is the first casualty of war. And a variety of interests, from Viacom and CBS to Bush family loyalists and right-wing zealots, hope the same fate awaits the provocative new film, Truth.

Directed by James Vanderbilt, Truth tells the story of 2004's controversial 60 Minutes...

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The Lynchings of Empty Chairs

(78) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 2:20 PM

Depraved haters in Texas and Virgina are lynching empty chairs -- Clint Eastwood's symbolic President Obama. In Texas, the story was broken by BurntOrangeReport. In Virginia, it was BlueVirginia. The question is, are these hateful protests from isolated crackpots? Or do they exemplify a larger fringe...

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A Legitimate President or a New American Apartheid?

(339) Comments | Posted September 3, 2012 | 9:56 AM

Both sides don't do it.

And when journalists shrug their shoulders and say the democratic process is little more than the two main parties throwing around distortions and untruths, they are failing to do their jobs and helping to take our country to a dangerous place. Candidates must be confronted...

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Romney, Ryan and the Devil's Budget: Will America Keep Its Soul?

(993) Comments | Posted August 22, 2012 | 8:22 AM

America was born with a great soul, a moral view of Democracy in which citizens care about their fellow citizens and join together to take responsibility not just for themselves but for each other, for America as a union, a joint enterprise. The government's job was to carry out...

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When the Tea Party Rules America

(770) Comments | Posted August 6, 2012 | 12:40 PM

A portrait of America under Tea Party rule runs the risk of reading like dystopian science fiction. So be it. We should take the risk because a future Tea Party America would likely be such a dystopia, a place even tea partiers might fear to tread if they were given...

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Rick Perry's Deadly Medicaid Dunking Booth

(110) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 12:26 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is turning the state's health care system into the equivalent of a deadly carnival dunking booth. Taxpayers will be forced to buy mandatory tickets to guarantee that some of their neighbors drown.

How did he do it? It's simple, really. By refusing to participate...

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Where the Boys Aren't

(440) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 8:34 AM

Writers aren't supposed to start their stories with statistics. But sometimes it's inevitable. So here's one that seems pretty relevant to the current discussion regarding contraceptives and women's health care: Men are involved in 100 percent of all pregnancies.

But our voices are mostly missing from the debate.

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We're No Angels: Americans, Church Doctrine, and the Pill

(1267) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 10:52 AM

What's all the fuss about Americans not following religious doctrine? Seriously, we all know that none of us dance and drink as passionately as Baptists. Few are as happy with the invention of the Pill as Catholics. Many seem grateful that Jesus' plea to help the poor is...

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Rick Perry, Racism and America's Soul

(106) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 12:15 PM

If you plan to run for president, it's probably a good strategy to avoid leasing a hunting camp called "Niggerhead." Actually, anyone wanting to live a decent and moral life should consider following the same rule. Texas Gov. Rick Perry seems to be testing that proposition, however, as his campaign,...

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How Obama Got It Right

(553) Comments | Posted September 9, 2011 | 12:37 PM

Morality drives policy. Too often, progressives have tried it the other way around, then looked on in dismay as conservatives led with their moral view and won one policy fight after another, even when polling showed most Americans disagreed with conservative policies!

On Thursday night, President Obama didn't make...

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Why Democracy Is Public: The American Dream Beats the Nightmare

(465) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 8:33 AM

Democracy, in the American tradition, has been defined by a simple morality: We Americans care about our fellow citizens, we act on that care and build trust, and we do our best not just for ourselves, our families, and our friends and neighbors, but for our country, for each other,...

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The Struggle for Voting Rights in 2010

(50) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 6:11 PM

It seems extraordinary that Americans must still struggle for their right to vote. A new group in Texas -- the Diversity League of Houston -- is leading the struggle there. More about this group in a moment. But it's staggering that after all these years there are still...

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Right-Wing Voter Suppression Effort Caught Using Doctored Photo (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

(945) Comments | Posted September 6, 2010 | 11:43 AM

A right-wing group in Houston engaged in a systematic voter suppression and intimidation effort used a doctored photo in its showcase video. Tellingly, a hand-lettered sign carried by an African-American woman at a 2000 Florida, Gore-Lieberman recount rally was changed from, "Don't Mess With Our Vote," to read, "I Only...

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Possible Arson and the Right's Texas Voter Suppression Effort

(322) Comments | Posted August 29, 2010 | 12:09 PM

A mysterious fire last Friday destroys all of the voting machines in Harris County (Houston), Texas. Arson investigators have not yet issued an opinion. Meanwhile, a well-funded right-wing group emerges in Houston and begins raising unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud. A video on their website...

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Conservatives Re-Write Declaration of Independence

(505) Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 12:55 PM

The Civil Rights Movement created "unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes" among minorities, according to Texas conservatives trying to rewrite American history textbooks. They want students to learn that bit of undemocratic, phony history.

Imagine Thomas Jefferson opening the Declaration of Independence with, "We hold these truths to be self-evident,...

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The Airplane Attack Next Door

(539) Comments | Posted February 18, 2010 | 5:52 PM

It was right down the street from my home. An unhinged man in a single-engine airplane crashed into an Austin office building. The Internal Revenue Service had offices in that building. I was in those offices not long ago for a compliance check on a non-profit I run. I got...

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Prairie Humanism and The Empathic Civilization

(102) Comments | Posted February 7, 2010 | 12:07 PM

To date, there is no authentic, 21st Century progressive movement. Those may be fightin' words to some, but I think they're true. The contemporary progressive resistance arose in response to a consolidation of neo-liberal, authoritarian power, maybe just in the nick of time. The resistance knows what it resists; it's...

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We Hanged Him Because There Was a Tree There

(6) Comments | Posted September 17, 2009 | 3:14 PM

Republicans outraged at criticism of some of their racist loyalists are acting like a lynch mob explaining away the rope. “We didn’t hang him because of race. We hanged him because there was a tree there.”

The party’s faithful, which sadly includes many angry racists, continue to engage in...

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The Executioner's Song

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 8:16 PM

Great gods, now they are turning to Texas for advice on health care reform. This is about as useful as asking the executioner for advice on memorable last words. You can hear the deep voice of the killer from under his black-hood as he tests the sharpness of the blade...

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Health Care Reform: Some Basic Principles

(327) Comments | Posted May 8, 2009 | 1:07 PM

Co-authored by Glenn W. Smith and Eric Haas

Real health care reform is within our grasp. President Obama and Congress can create an American plan that can provide health care to all Americans. However, Democrats are not yet doing very well at describing what they are proposing in the area...

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