Archive | March, 2009

Take Your Daughter Gun To Work Day

Many of my fellow liberal commie pinko friends, who somehow avoid hating most people at least until after we get to know them, are against the legislation allowing concealed weapons permit holders to take their guns to work. Supporters say that the failure to allow this completely negates the value of the permit, because, after all, if your employer prohibits weapons in their workplace parking lot, you can’t very well drive to work with a weapon. And that, as we all know, would be bad.

Clearly, if you can’t take your gun to work, that also means that at the end of the day, you can’t take your gun home from work. Also, you can’t take your gun with you to the bar on your way home from work. And that lonely haggard old bar fly who after four rounds didn’t look so bad in the dim light of the bar? You can’t take your gun over to her place either. Even if it turns out she’s married, and hubby comes home and interrupts you, probably because he had to stop by the house to pick up his gun. See? Nothing but problems until this legislation passes.

But opponents of the bill (a.k.a., my fellow liberal commie pinko friends, who somehow avoid hating most people at least until after they get to know them), fear the worst if this bill becomes law. I think their worries are completely misplaced.

I, for one, trust my fellow citizens to have the good sense to know the right thing to do. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

PS: I bet that guy was originally from East Texas. He was just wearing a Polynesian guy disguise. It’s much more common to see that kind of thing at Halloween. Also, in Polynesia.

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Desperate Cries for Help Your Faithful Correspondent in the News

As is often the case, I was among the panelists on KXAN’s “Session ’09” on Sunday morning in Austin. And, while I didn’t notice it until reviewing the tape later in the day, I actually misspoke, and referred to Senator Dan Patrick’s ultrasound legislation as his stem cell bill. Oh well, I suppose I can’t be faulted for confusing two red herring abortion-related wedge issue Republican bills.

And, while we’re at it, caption this photo in the comments section: what are Session ’09 host Jenny Hoff and Republican consultant Ted Delisi thinking while listening to me drone on?

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We have long suspected this

At long last, after exhaustive research across the State of Texas, Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters has located the heart of the Republican base.

Key quote: “Scientists found the vast and sticky empire stretching 40 feet across, consisting of billions of genetically identical single-celled individuals, oozing along in the muck of a cow pasture outside Houston.”

This explains a lot.

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The reader-generated blog title poll is up

Vote on it by Friday afternoon, on top of the right hand sidebar!
UPDATE: too late, bucko. The Apil Fool’s blog name is chosen, tune in on April 1 for the winner.

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Too much democracy can get dicey, so we’re having a contest

Sometimes, when the powers-that-be ask for public input, they get answers they don’t expect.

Take, for example, the sewage treatment plant in San Francisco, which was almost named for George W. Bush last year.

Or perhaps this recent example, in which NASA asked for public input on what to name a new module of the international space station. The trouble started when NASA allowed write-in votes. Beating out “Serenity,” the top NASA suggestion, was “Colbert,” which collected over 230,000 write-in votes after The Colbert Report show host Stephen Colbert asked viewers to write in his name.

In that vein, we’re having a Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters contest!

This blog’s name will change for one day only: April Fools Day, April 1st. I don’t know what the new name of the blog will be, but you do.

Post your suggestion in the comments section today, for the April Fools Day name for this blog. I’ll take the funniest, most irreverent, or at least most interesting proposed name, and it will become the name of the blog for April Fools. If there are several great ideas, I’ll probably post a poll in a couple of days and let readers decide. UPDATE: I am definitely going to post a poll with several of the best ideas, and readers will decide.

What do you win? Well, nothing except bragging rights, but what the hell, post an entry anyway.

Get to it – this blog ain’t gonna name itself!

Update #2: you can keep commenting if you want, but the finalists are already being polled on top of the right hand sidebar. So scroll up there and vote for your favorite!

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You know how elected officials are fond of saying that they think “outside the box?” Well it’s not every day you see one using a crayon to color outside the box.

But hey, who the hell do I think I am? YOU decide what he’s up to:

What is Elliott Naishtat drawing?
A blue unicorn
His shopping list
Directions to the nearest buffet line
A draft of a new stimulus package
An early draft of his nifty new website design free polls

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Santa Fe – The Town With No Attention Span

I have spent more time in New Mexico than any other state other than Texas, even before 2003.

Of all the places in New Mexico I love, Santa Fe is my favorite. The attitude there is laid back, comfortable, and relaxed.

That may be one factor why the city never can quite keep it together. They’re coming up on their 400th anniversary, which is a follow up to the big celebration 50 years ago of their 350th anniversary. Except the town was founded before they thought it was, back when they had the 350th anniversary, so they think this 400th will actually be its 403rd anniversary, maybe. They don’t really know, and if I know Santa Fe residents, they won’t be picky about letting the truth get in the way of a good party.

And that time capsule they’ve been looking everywhere for, left over from the celebration 50 years ago? Oops.

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Craigs List: Seeking Taxpayers; Must Have Big Tits

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has been a little upset about the AIG bonus situation. That part isn’t unusual; lots of people are upset about that. Grassley just took his frustration a bit farther.

First, he was quoted recently suggesting that company executives commit suicide:

“I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they’d follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say ‘I’m sorry,’ and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.”

Mental health experts may be relieved to know that he backed off those comments. Now he just wants the company to stop sucking on our tits. For a guy from Iowa, he has a way with words.

The AIG bonuses are, frankly, understandable. If the company agreed contractually with its employees on a certain set of criteria resulting in certain level of bonus compensation, AIG really has little choice other than to pay the bonuses. That the world has changed since those agreements were made matters little to the legality of those employment contracts. Somebody told me Rush Limbaugh is in agreement on that, which is enough to make me want to completely shift course and change my views, but it is what it is.

The fundamental truth about businesses is that they don’t do a single thing for their employees that the marketplace or the law doesn’t demand that they do, so if AIG set up a generous bonus system for their employees, it’s only because failing to do so would have caused their employees to take a walk.

What the situation really symbolizes is the tone deafness Wall Street has for Main Street. That’s what the politicians tell us, so it must be true. Right?

Of course there is deep passionate frustration with the AIG bonuses – there is frustration with everything about this bailout. It is truly one of those situations in which the bailout is the absolute worst policy choice imaginable…except for all the other available policy choices. Things like this happen only when situations get so out-of-whack that mere mortals cannot possibly fathom the depth of a problem not of their making.

But it’s not just Wall Street which is tone deaf. It’s Washington too. It all goes toward the general notion that people don’t really know what government stands for these days, but they’re pretty sure government doesn’t stand for them. Or, if it does, it’s more as an after-thought than being central to the core business model.

A prime example of this contrast came up in conversation recently with a friend of mine. Our far-reaching discussion took us all the way back to the Clinton-era legislative fight over health care reform in the early 1990’s. We all know that the Clinton White House failed in their efforts to reform health care at the time, which is why 17 years later, we’re still crying out for the need for health care reform.

Universal health care is, at its core, about taking full advantage of economies of scale, using the largest scales imaginable. When you spread the costs of each individual’s particular health risks across the entire population, the average cost per person goes way down. And, oh yeah, people live instead of die.

So why is it, my friend and I wondered, that when it comes to taking on the risks associated with our health, Our Government is so far unwilling to pull it together long enough to serve our interests and ensure that every single one of us is okay?

On the other hand, when it comes to taking on the risks associated with the bad business decisions of Wall Street executives, Our Government stepped right up to the plate, and spread the consequences of those decisions across the pocketbooks of every man, woman, and child in America, thus making sure every single one of them is okay?

That the American public is frustrated is obvious – the AIG bonuses just happened to be where the frustration landed, because it’s one of those very clear “that is what is wrong with this picture” moments.

But there have been big pictures, with big wrongs, for a very long time. The only real surprise, is that any of us are surprised.

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This is not an empty threat

Click on this link and vote for Rachel Farris of as “best blogger in Austin” right now, or this kitten will die. I mean it. Voting ends Tuesday evening.

Negative campaigning works.
UPDATE: the contest is now closed, and we’ll see on Thursday what happened, and whether the kitten lives or dies.

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Irony of the Day so far

Does anybody else find it interesting that the legislation deemed so crucially important, which would require more paperwork of voters, was held up today because of…wait for it…wait for it…paperwork?

Maybe this “paperwork” business isn’t quite the simple thing some legislators would lead us to believe it is.

This has been your Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters Irony of the Day.

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And the winner…

…of the “Most Endearing Expletive Uttered By A Vice President of the United States In The Last Eight Years” award goes to: Joe Biden.

Congratulations, Mr. Vice President, you win a break. What you and your wife choose to do with it is none of our business.

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Q. How do you even begin to discuss what’s wrong with this?

A. Beats me.

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When sex with animals is outlawed, only outlaws will have…

…oh wait, I guess that’s kind of the point.

Anyway, are you listening, College Station? You’re next. This is a situation begging for a local bill in the Texas Legislature.

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Yet another state Texas is behind

I can’t count the times I’ve heard somebody in the Texas Capitol say “I sure wish we were more like West Virginia!”

Actually, yes I can. I’ve never heard that. It was all a big lie.

But not for long, because it is clear that the West Virginia state legislature has solved all the state’s problems, because now, it’s just down to this one last thing.

The irony of that is, I bet there are a lot of things that the West Virginia state legislature could be considering that would be more important to their constituents than outlawing barbie dolls.

Which makes what the Texas Senate is doing today just as dumb.

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Desperate Cries for Help Your Faithful Correspondent in the News

Here’s Sunday morning’s political roundtable discussion, which airs in Austin on KXAN as part of their “Session ’09” program.

This week the segment featured Ted Delisi on behalf of the Republicans, Jason Embry of the Austin American-Statesman, and me on behalf of the Democrats. Subjects ranged from the 2010 race for Governor, the upcoming voter ID debate, and TxDOT’s recent fun and games.

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