Archive | May, 2008

Attention Texas Legislators: Sheesh!

People. Seriously. How many times do I have to tell you, you really need to lay off the toad venom aphrodisiacs.

Could we please have a volunteer from the Texas Legislature to make sure this stuff is declared extra-super-duper-illegal, before yet another of my toads is stolen? Back in the good old days we could have depended on somebody like Warren Chisum to outlaw this and anything else that might be considered even remotely fun to somebody somewhere. But these days he’s busy with boring and trivial stuff like cobbling together the budget and keeping the state running.

Who at PETA can we call about this? No, not that PETA, this PETA.

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Attention Border Region of Texas:

Tired of attempting to get those pro-border wall Yankee ya-hoos in Washington, D.C. to listen to reason? Have you already used up all the valid reasons you can think of to dissuade the D.C. bureaucrats from building their stupid border wall, and they’re still not listening?

Here’s another idea they might swallow on why the wall won’t work: the dreaded Trojan Piñata.

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Great Band Name Update

Being ever-vigilant, your humble servants at Letters From Texas’ Worldwide Headquarters have found yet another great band name for your consideration. Don’t miss out on the name of their record label, along with the associated artwork.

This has been your Great Band Name Update.

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It’s not me, it’s you.

My friend and former boss, the late John Hannah, Jr., was Ann Richards’ first Secretary of State. From there he became a Federal Judge, where he was serving when he suddenly passed away, much too young.

John used to tell people to be very careful about what they say and do, especially with their good friends, because, “when they convene the grand jury, your enemies won’t know enough to hurt you, and your friends won’t love you enough to lie.”

That wisdom goes double for the court of public opinion, especially when it comes to book deals for former White House officials.

Former White House Spokesdrone Scott McClellan is the latest in the parade of former Bushies to jump ship. Scott’s got a great little business plan going – be among the first White house insiders to tell Americans what they already thought they knew — that George W. Bush is an idiot President presiding over a stupid unnecessary war — and get your book on the New York Times bestseller list. If you’re the first friend who spills his guts to the grand jury, they grant you limited immunity.

Ken Herman, who previews McClellan’s book, writes:

The volume makes McClellan, a Texan picked by the President and paid by the people to help sell the war to the world, the first longtime Bush aide to put such harsh criticism between hard covers. It is an extraordinarily critical book that questions Bush’s intellectual curiosity, his candor in leading the nation to war, his pattern of self-deception and the quality of his advisers.

When another friend, Molly Ivins, passed away, the cards and emails flowed like water from all corners of the country. Scores of them, especially from rural and conservative areas of the country, had exactly the same message, regardless of the words used. They all went something like this: I would have thought I was the only one who believed what I do, if I hadn’t been able to read the things Molly wrote about. She was a island of sanity in a sea of the insane.

That is exactly why Scott McClellan, no matter the quality of his book, is about to be a very rich man. People need to know that they’re not the crazy ones – Bush is.

Meanwhile, the White House is dismissing McClellan as “disgruntled.” But so many Americans are so angry about George Bush and his war, I’m guessing enough will be willing to shell out $27.95 to prove that we’re all disgruntled — enough to put McClellan on top of the best seller list.

Mr. Bush, apparently even your friends don’t love you enough to lie.

(Update: apparently, we didn’t have to wait long for the prediction to be proven out, since the book has already climbed to the top of the bestseller list)

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We have a winner…

The results from yesterday’s t-shirt poll and contest are in. Doug Zabel of had agreed to let readers decide on whether he would print and sell this t-shirt at the state Democratic convention in Austin and online. An overwhelming 78 percent said “hell yes,” so Doug’s doing it. After he finishes doing it, he’s ordering the shirts.

Doug also determined that the winner of the t-shirt, based on reader comments on the post, is Jeff Crosby. Doug’s decision-making process was as follows:

The “I like turtles” response is clearly from a hard-shell Baptist, which is why he/she signed him/herself “Anonymous”. (As we all know, the main trouble with Baptists is: They don’t hold them underwater long enough)

I liked “Big Tex’s” Rick Perry analogy, but I’m a tad disturbed about how he would know about Rick Perry’s sexual performance. (As for Perry’s official performance, well, has a t-shirt that says “If ignorance is bliss, Rick Perry must be ecstatic!”)

I enjoyed “Don’t Mess w/ Pink’s” response the most, but she was disqualified because she simply recycled Meg Ryan’s seminal fireworks display from “When Harry Met Sally.” (You know why women fake orgasms? They think we care.)

Which brings us to Jeff Crosby, who wins by default with his observation about reporters liking to watch and his terse reminder to Dick Nixon, which is of course the exception that proves the t-shirt, since even people who like sex know that Nixon’s politics were dirty.

The shirts have been ordered and will be available on within days.

And that t-shirt and many others will also be available at the booth at the state Democratic convention as well. Congratulations Jeff. I think.

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We report…you decide. And, win a free t-shirt

Most blogs just moan and groan and do boring stuff like educate and report news one couldn’t read anywhere else. Not this one.

Never content with the sharing of mere facts and opinion, we (yes, you and I) decide on the fate of the universe. And what better place to start than in deciding which t-shirts will be sold at the Texas state Democratic Convention?

Doug Zabel runs, and he is the t-shirt vendor of choice for the state Democratic Convention. He is undecided on one of the shirts, needs to go to print, and has decided that YOU will make the decision.

So here’s the deal: on top of the righthand sidebar, there is a special poll, and it’ll only be up for 24 hours. Vote yes or no on whether will sell this t-shirt at the state convention. [update: sorry, the poll is closed]

And oh yeah: you should also leave a funny, helpful, snarky, or completely ridiculous comment below, because the best comment posted today will win a free t-shirt from

Here’s the shirt…vote yes or no in the poll to your right, and comment below. (also, if you’re commenting anonymously, you’ll need to leave your name in the comment so we’ll know who you are in case you win the t-shirt – DUH)

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Dear Senator Clinton:

We, the undersigned former Presidents of the United States, write to you today to cordially ask you to leave us the hell out of it.


Andrew Jackson, assassination attempted January 30, 1835

Abraham Lincoln, assassinated April 14, 1845

James Garfield, assassinated July 2, 1881

William McKinley, assassinated September 6, 1901

Theodore Roosevelt, assassination attempted October 13, 1912

Franklin D. Roosevelt, assassination attempted February 15, 1933

Harry S. Truman, assassination attempted November 1, 1950

John F. Kennedy, assassination attempted December 11, 1960, and assassinated November 22, 1963

Richard Nixon, assassination attempted April 14, 1972, and February 22, 1974

Gerald R. Ford, assassination attempted September 5, 1975, and September 22, 1975

Jimmy Carter, assassination attempted May 5, 1979

Ronald Reagan, assassination attempted March 30, 1981

George H.W. Bush
: assassination attempted April 13, 1993

Your Loving Husband, assassination attempted October 29, 1994

George W. Bush, assassination attempted May 10, 2005

P.S. – George Wallace wanted in on this too, but we wouldn’t let him.

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Weekly Poll Wrap-up

The poll question last week was “if you were going to Boy’s Town in Nuevo Laredo, who would you take with you?”

Ace Dallas Morning News reporter, accomplished musician, and frequent wasp victim Karen Brooks ran away with it, with 48% of the vote. The reason is obvious: Karen is fun to hang out with.

Also garnering significant support was State Representative Elliott Naishtat – 21% of voters wanted to take him. Not only is he fun to hang with, but voters also sensed that while there, he would ensure that all the employees had affordable health care, retirement benefits, and collective bargaining, and that he would also completely demolish the free buffet table.

Other voters took a different tact. 13% wanted to take Eliot Spitzer with them to Boy’s Town. Clearly those voters believed former Governor Spitzer could negotiate a great deal, what with all that experience and all.

Meanwhile, 11% decided they wanted to take Ann Coulter. This is a coalition of voters, some of whom just wanted to drop her off in a different country and leave her there, and others of whom thought she’d make a great headliner for the live donkey show. Personally, I think she’d bore the donkey.

Bringing up the rear was Bill O’Reilly’s producer, which is only fair because the job description itself entails being good at bringing up a rear. Voters clearly considered him a sympathy vote, since it’s obvious that he doesn’t get much lovin’ on the job.

This week’s poll is on the top of the right-hand sidebar. Please vote there, and comment on it here. You can also leave write-in votes for choices not included on the poll in the comments here.

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Great band name update

The blog, which is your humble servant, is always on the lookout for great band names. We found one.

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History repeats itself

Earlier this week, a turkey flew through the (closed) window of the Lubbock Courthouse and disrupted the proceedings. Court officials promptly removed the turkey from the building.

Strangely enough, this is not the first time the exact same thing has happened in a Texas courtroom.

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Bill, Party Re-mix Version

Everybody on planet earth has seen the Bill O’Reilly clip from Inside Edition, leaked last week, in which his head explodes.

In reaction to that, I added O’Reilly’s hapless producer to the weekly poll on the top of the right-hand sidebar. I figured anybody subjected to that kind of abuse could use a little R&R.

But alas, the producer ain’t gettin’ no lurve in the poll from you heartless people.

Perhaps you will feel differently when you see this.

(please note that those already voting can always change their vote, until the time the poll closes Friday)

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Attention: Democratic National Convention delegate candidates and superdelegates

It’s good to know that people in Colorado are already in training to ensure that the Texas delegation feels right at home while in Denver this summer.

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The first cut is the deepest…

Apparently, the Obama and Clinton campaigns have begun private talks to merge – join forces for the general election, and the eventual common good of defeating John McCain. Oh, sure, the Washington Post got that much of the story, big effin’deal.

But, in yet another stunning world exclusive, we’re able to bring you the actual transcript of the initial conversation in these delicate negotiations:

Joe (Obama campaign representative): Hey man, thanks for coming over. I thought it’d be good to start talking about putting our heads together as things progress. I know both campaigns have been hitting each other pretty hard, but ultimately we all want the same thing, right?

Craig (Clinton campaign representative): I hate you. I hate your boss. You have stolen the election from us, and if you expect me to like it, you’re out of your mind, you hamster chewing groin poker.

Obama Joe: Um, yeah, well I know things are pretty raw for you guys right now, but really – can’t we start mapping out how best to merge the two campaign operations, set up a general election fundraising mechanism at the DNC, that sort of thing?

Clinton Craig: Did you not hear me, you ass taming zombie pile? I said I hate your guts. Thanks to you, I’ll be unemployable soon, you dung hugging thighbone herder. You’ll lose my phone number after you squeeze out of us whatever you need, you grandpa humping fart sucker. You’re such a horse squeezing toilet lover, your campaign is a beaver sipping bum basket, and your boss is a wood hunting anal humper.

Obama Joe: Now wait a damn minute, you incompetent duck sucking poop farmer! I tried to bring us together in a constructive setting, for the common good, and all you can do is insult me? Now I understand why your beaver tossing melon vendor-of-a-boss is losing this election, you stupid goblin cooking pimple strangler!

Clinton Craig: That’s it, I’m out of here. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit around and listen to this idiot mushroom sipping boner inhaler! You can tell your boss, that scum climbing seal basket, that it’ll be a cold day in hell before we sit down and talk again, you fat little wart chewing ass basket!

Obama Joe: Security, escort this nut eating dung rider out of here. If this granny hugging snot flab tries to get back in here have him arrested. And that goes double for his boss, who, by the way, is a earwax burping doodle face!

Clearly, things are going swimmingly. Perhaps for the next meeting, neither should be logged onto the random insult generator.

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Weekly Poll Wrap-up

The weekly poll question was “which writer would you most want to be trapped in an elevator with for 8 hours?” The lead changed at least 8 times during the week, but now we have a winner.

The lovely and talented birthday girl Eileen Smith of “In The Pink Texas” and “Poll Dancing” fame was the big winner, finishing at 43%. She will reportedly be celebrating her win by consuming massive quantities of pinot noir, right out of the box.

However, Eileen got heavy competition from the also-lovely and also-talented Elise Hu from “Political Junkie,” who only trailed by 4 votes, and finished the race with 37%. Interestingly, Jennifer Kim received 27% in her race for Austin City Council. I have no idea what that means, but it’s interesting. Also, former U.S. Senator John Edwards is scheduled to endorse Elise soon, which will encourage everybody to immediately forget that Eileen ever won anything.

The men, however, suck. Apparently, nobody wants to be stuck in an elevator with Paul “I’m not a kid blogger” Burka (of BurkaBlog), Phil “We’re going to Denver, and You’re Not” Martin (of Burnt Orange), or Harvey “You can read my stuff, but only if you can afford it” Kronberg (of Quorum Report). Leading the guys was Kronberg with a whopping 7%. Bringing up the rear was Burka with 5%. Phil was in the middle of the guy sandwich with 6%. Eight Bells’ veterinarian immediately came out on the back stretch and dealt with all three of them appropriately.

This week’s poll is on the top of the right hand sidebar, so please vote there, and comment on it here.

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George Bush says he’s bi, but only because he thinks it makes him seem more hip

Former Austin American-Statesman columnist Dave McNeely retired from the Austin fishwrapper several years ago, but he still writes a weekly column carried in various publications. He also recently co-wrote a biography on the late Bob Bullock. Knowing how utterly lazy I am in figuring out which newspapers carry the column from week to week, Dave just emails them to me upon publication. It’s not spam, per se.

This week, the column is about bipartisanship in Washington. Readers unfamiliar with the term “bipartisanship” should be forgiven, since it’s a condition which hasn’t been observed outside a laboratory setting since Ronald Reagan was a puppy.

In the column, McNeely fires up the way-back machine (which is kind of how he sometimes covered breaking news at the Statesman, come to think of it), and quotes George W. Bush near the beginning of his Presidency, either speaking at the Bullock Museum dedication, or overheard in the restroom at Oilcan Harry’s:

…Republican George W. Bush, who said in 1999 that he was “a uniter, not a divider,” said three months
after his inauguration while dedicating the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum that “I’ve done my best to take the (bipartisan) values I learned here in Texas to the debates in Washington.

“And there’s a way to go yet, but I think we’re making some progress. The tone is more civil. The respect is more widespread. I think Bob Bullock would be pleased.”

Well, two thoughts about that:

1. The temporary restraining order demanded by Bob Bullock’s family and friends prohibiting McNeely from typing the words “Bob” and “Bullock” must have expired; and

2. Did I miss something? At what point during the Bush presidency was progress made on bipartisanship? During which period of Bush’s tenure was the tone more civil, or respect more widespread?

And that last sentence. “I think Bob Bullock would be pleased.”

I’m not going to pretend to know what Bob Bullock would feel about it. I’m just still hung up on the fact that Bush said “I think.”

(Thanks for reminder, Dave. Sometimes things get ugly so slowly that we have to look at a picture from several years ago to see how ugly it really got.)

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