Archive | February, 2010

Headline of the week so far

This also explains why the baseball team doesn’t seem very focused on the game of baseball most of the time.

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Clueless radio talk show caller of the day, Part 2

Remember “John from Dallas,” who called into Scott Braddock’s radio show in Dallas yesterday? His goofball-ed-ness from yesterday is enshrined in the post directly below this one.

Well guess what? He called back today and got himself another dose of Braddock.


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Remember “John from Dallas,” who called Scott Braddock’s “Beyond the Headlines” radio show in Dallas yesterday and was promptly slapped down by Braddock? Well he called back again today.

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Clueless radio talk show caller of the day

Meet “John from Dallas,” who called to argue with Scott Braddock on KRLD in Dallas about whether or not deliberately ramming an airplane into a building is terrorism. Braddock quickly dismissed him like a bad waiter.


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This is what would happen if you brought the winter Olympics to East Texas

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The Empire Smokes Crack

Top Secret Intergalactic Communication

From: Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas

To: Supreme Chancellor Rick Perry, AKA Darth Sidious

My Lord, I fear that our plot to create a clone army has failed. Obi-Wan Kenobi has discovered our plan. I’m pretty sure he read it in the Texas Tribune.

The future of The Empire is at risk. Please advise.

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Exclusive – Farouk Shami hires new celebrity press secretary

Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters can exclusively report that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami has hired yet another new press secretary – none other than Dr. Seuss!

Here’s a sneak preview of the first press release the campaign reportedly intends to distribute later today:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Febrary 18, 2010

CONTACT: Dr. Seuss

Farouk Shami: he has a brain and he will reign!

Shami Shami that’s his name,
He’ll make new jobs or quit in shame.

He’s rich because your hair needs care,
your hair care made a millionaire.

He’ll beat that wonky guy Bill White,
and it will truly be a sight.
The voters Shami will excite,
and then the future will be bright.

Rick Perry. he is just a ham
about our folks he gives no damn.
up his ass Farouk will cram,
Because we love him, Sham he am!

     -30-

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Headline of the week

Yes, I know it’s only Wednesday, but I’m pretty confident nobody’s going to top this.

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Clueless radio talk show caller of the day

Several times, I have awarded this dubious distinction to folks who call into Scott Braddock’s radio show in Dallas.

But here’s a guy who called into the show on the same station which airs earlier in the day, and instead, the caller was talking about Scott Braddock, and got himself a little worked up.


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Letters From Texas Democratic Primary Recommendations

We here at Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters are well aware that you, the members of the crap-reading public, are anxiously awaiting our recommendations for which Democrats to cast your vote for in the Democratic Primary. In fact, a crowd of people well into the single digits has already asked for our insightful opinions on the contested races at hand.

So since early voting starts today, without further delay here are our choices, oriented toward the Travis County area. If I don’t list a contested Travis County race, it’s because I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion worth sharing. Please note that half of the candidates below either have been or currently are clients of mine. No, I’m not telling you which ones, because you don’t really care. In fact, in some cases I’m recommending them despite that fact.

Governor
Bill White. If I have to explain this, you haven’t been paying attention – please leave this website immediately, or security will be summoned. The short story is that Bill White is the only candidate in this race who can beat Rick Perry this November, plus he’d make a great governor.

Lt. Governor
Linda Chavez-Thompson. She’s different. Different is good. She’s got a compelling story, and knows how to use it. She’s a delightful human being who gets it. And by “it” I mean “the needs of people who don’t work in the state Capitol, or sell deli sandwiches.”

Agriculture Commissioner
Hank Gilbert. This is actually a closer call for me than it should be. On one hand, you have a guy who has run a goofy campaign. On the other hand, you have Kinky Friedman. It occurs to me that Kinky was probably not fully aware that tobacco was once a plant until he checked with his buddy Jim Hightower. Both candidates parked themselves in the race for Governor for a while, and Gilbert was running for Ag Commish, before switching to Governor, before switching back to Ag Commish. While Gilbert seems to have commitment issues with what he wants to be, at least he doesn’t have commitment issues with which political party he wants to go to the dance with. Coupled with the fact that in between Gilbert’s occasional mis-steps, he has also proposed some serious policy proposals, while Kinky frequently blathers on incoherently about stray dog stuff having nothing to do with the agriculture industry, and I have to go with Gilbert. Note to Kinky: in the event you win the Democratic primary anyway, your first stop needs to be Hank’s house, where you should apologize profusely, then very politely ask if you can steal Hank’s policy ideas from him for the general election. Hank is probably man enough to agree.

Land Commissioner
Jerry Patterson. Just kidding, Hector Uribe. I’ve known Hector for years, he cares deeply about increasing state revenue from public lands to help fund neighborhood schools, while at the same time protecting the environment and helping move Texas into a 21st Century renewable energy era. Also, his news releases are freakin’ brilliant.

SBOE
Rebecca Bell-Metereau. She’s the best candidate to beat the whack-job Republican incumbent in November. What a concept – a State Board of Education candidate who actually gives a damn about public education? Let’s give it a shot.

Judge, 201st District
Amy Clark Meachum. Amy is a solid person, a solid Democrat, and will make a solid judge. Her opponent has made some very questionable decisions for herself which call her judgment and her Democratic cred into serious question.

County Commissioner, Pct. 4
Margaret Gomez. What’s the big deal? What has she screwed up? Nothing I can detect. I’m guessing the details are just a bunch of intramural sports. Gomez is worth returning to Commissioners Court.

County Court-at-Law #3
Olga Seelig. I genuinely like both candidates, and with either outcome, the earth would continue to revolve around the sun just fine. But until you conclude that there are just too many women and Hispanics representing folks in elected office…well, you get the picture – I’m voting for Olga. A diverse courthouse is a happy healthy courthouse. Olga has a compelling life story and has beat some long odds personally, with a lot of hard work and gumption. Seems to me that we need more people like that on the bench.

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It’s a real Shami that I don’t White more about the Governor’s race

I’ve lost count of the people who have asked me why I haven’t written about the Democratic primary race for Governor. It’s understandable that they’d ask – it seems like there’s been at least one potential Farouk Shami punch line per day lately. After all, we mostly do punch lines here at Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters.

One week he played the race card four times, by my count. Last week during a TV interview, the fact that he expressed doubt about the Warren Commission’s investigation of the assassination of JFK barely ranked the third most wacky thing he said during that one interview alone.

I’ve been quoted in the mainstream media about the race repeatedly, but the reason I haven’t written about it here is because, frankly, it doesn’t matter, and will all just be a semi-interesting footnote soon. I’ve never called a reporter about this race – they’ve only called me. I guess they have to fill up the space in between the ads with something, and you can’t have a horse race unless you have more than one horse.

Farouk Shami, by all accounts a very intelligent, successful, and earnest person, is a man who started out with no electoral viability, and who will possibly end up with little political credibility. To the former, the preconceived notions and electoral preferences of Texas voters are to blame. To the latter, the guy to see about that problem is the candidate himself. Neither is a very good outcome for a guy who seems to want to help and cares about the world beyond his factory gates. We should get such a good deal from all business people.

I got a call from a reporter the other day, basically asking me why nobody cares. The short answer is that nobody cares because it just doesn’t matter – Bill White will be the nominee, and Bill White will go forward and present the first Democratic serious threat to Republicans in a Texas Governor’s race in 20 years. And that is what people are, correctly, focused on. The rest of this is background noise.

Still, the race does bring up some interesting questions, which if voters, and the reporters covering politics, had time and opportunity to be a bit introspective, would be well-served asking themselves.

When asked, I’ve said from the start that Farouk Shami started out a non-viable statewide candidate. I’ve always added that it’s too bad we don’t live in a place, and a time, where somebody of his background could be viable. I think most would agree with me, although one hapless Democratic County Chair in East Texas got called “racist” for saying it out loud. It’s not racist if you merely point out what you think voters perceive, especially when most would agree with the perception. But it is frankly a shame that Shami started out as a non-viable candidate by virtue of Texans’ issues with race, ethnicity, and culture. It would be one good outcome if as a result of this, Texans at least spent a few moments wondering how many talented people they may be slamming doors on – in business, in personal lives, and in public lives, based on those issues.

But now, Shami is additionally non-viable based on things he has said since becoming a candidate, as opposed to his original challenges not of his making. But reporters are still covering him – they always cover the guys with the big money. But it’s interesting how they’ve covering him now. Now they’re asking him questions just to see if they can get him to say something else wacky, in addition to the other questions they’d ask any candidate they’re writing a story about. If it’s because news organizations have discovered that the side-show creates more interest than the main act, fair enough. After all, the National Enquirer has been making a healthy living for a long time.

Texas voters can’t really be blamed for their preconceived notions – this is a democracy, and as such, the voters are the bosses, and voters generally end up with the government, good or bad, they deserve and asked for. And those voters are also the news consumers reading the stories that reporters are writing, so the reporters can’t really be blamed for giving the customers what they want.

I can wish Texas voters weren’t so conservative, and Shami can wish voters were more open to diversity, but the fact remains that voters can cast judgment based on any criteria they choose, and as believers in democracy, it’s our responsibility, admittedly at times challenging, to be at peace with that. Our failure to do so would make us no better than those who want to secede, just because the National election didn’t go their way.

But still, as much as Shami has obscured the situation with many recent odd public utterances, at the heart of this are a few troubling truths, which we would all be well-served thinking about.

– why is a foreign-born guy with an accent automatically non-viable to Texas voters? Is that really fair, before that candidate has ever had a conversation with those voters about what he wants to do for them? Isn’t this consideration going to seem utterly absurd to our great-grandchildren 100 years from now as they make their own electoral choices based on entirely different criteria?

– why, once it’s obvious that a candidate isn’t viable, do reporters continue to cover such a candidate, just because he’s spending a lot of money in the race?

–there are several other candidates also running for Governor. They’re probably somewhere right now, saying fewer wacky things than the guy with the money is saying. We don’t know that though, because they’re not being covered. Why are they less newsworthy than the guy who is equally non-viable, but who has lots of money?

and finally, one more question worth asking:

–are newspaper editorial writers going to remember this situation, with even a slight twinge of doubt, the next time they write the big editorial about how there’s too much money in politics, when they themselves played into the system which makes that money so decidedly crucial?

Things to ponder indeed. And now that I’ve written about the Democratic race for Governor, thanks in advance for getting off my back.

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Attention dog people

Ok, damn it, I very clearly said “dog people.” Yet I can tell that some of you cat lovers are snooping in on this private conversation. I want you out of here. Yes, you. You too. You can all come back in a minute, but for now, hit the road, and take your “cute” little fuzzy frisbies with you.

Alright, I think the coast is clear. Now that it’s just we dog lovers, here’s the ammo we’ve all been looking for to win this little war. I hope this helps.

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Warning: there is serious political unrest in Ukraine

…and it’s AWESOME.

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Clueless radio talk show caller of the day

Meet “Steve” from Wills Point, who called into Scott Braddock’s radio show on KRLD in Dallas last week, and was very promptly smacked down by the aforementioned Scott Braddock.


Attention Texas radio talk show hosts who aren’t Scott Braddock: if you weren’t so damn lazy, you could email me an MP3 of your latest idiot caller, and get free mention here.

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