Archive | April, 2010

To a friend on her 40th birthday

The Princess Looks At 40

By whiskeydent

(With Deepest Apologies to Jimmy Buffett, who gave us The Pirate Looks At 40)

Mother, mother Prada, I have heard your call
Wanted to wear your spiked heel shoes since I was three feet tall
You made’ em all, you made ‘em all

Watched the stores that sold you switch from slings to pumps
And in their boxes they held the treasures few have ever seen
Most of ‘em dreams, most of ‘em dreams

Yes I am a princess, two hundred years too late
My crown doesn’t glisten, my friends won’t listen
I’m a nearly forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late

I’ve done a bit of shoppin’, I’ve never let a shoe sale pass
I spent enough money to buy Armani, but I threw ‘em away so fast
Never meant to last, never meant to last

And I have worn flats now for over two weeks
I scraped ‘em and I bumped ‘em and they sprung a few leaks
But I got to stop slummin’, I gotta buy somethin’
Down to empty boxes again
Just a few shoes, just a few shoes

(instrumental)

I go for fancy footwear, only in the latest style
Though I wear ‘em one day and then I put ‘em away
Paul can manage to smile
Just takes a while, just takes a while

Mother, mother Prada, after all the years I’ve found
My habit is an obsession that’ll never be unbound
Don’t you like my crown? Don’t you let me down.
Don’t you like my crown? Don’t you let me down.

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In which Rick Perry shoots stuff

Damn it, governors always get all the cool toys.

As was reported yesterday, Rick Perry shot a coyote while jogging back in February. As any rancher in my little piece of heaven will tell you, one shot coyote is barely a good start. Texans shoot coyotes every day, so the only thing that makes this news is that a governor bagged one.

The main reason I don’t have a concealed weapon permit is that even if I went to the time and trouble to get the permit, I’d still be too lazy to carry. Handguns, even the ultra-compacts, tend to be heavy and bulky. But still, once you get where you’re going, it’s fun to plink at some cans sometimes.

But when I got to looking at the small print of the “Perry shoots a varmint” stories, I saw where he was carrying a Ruger .380 with laser sights. Not knowing much about Ruger .380′s I googled it, and it turns out to be a pretty cool deal. Weighing in at just 9.4 ounces, it’s much lighter than the lightest gun I ever owned.

The gun is so compact that you’d pretty much need laser sights to hit the broad side of a barn. Plus, laser sights are just cool anyway, as anyone who has ever watched any action-adventure movie will attest.

Why do I bother to bring any of this up? Several reasons…

1. A Texas governor shooting a coyote is just fundamentally interesting.

2. I like disappointing Republicans who assume that Democrats are anti-gun, or pro-coyote.

3. I like pissing off PETA, which as you know, stands for “People Eating Tasty Animals.”

4. I’m secretly hoping somebody will buy me a Ruger .380 with laser sights. There are only 237 more shopping days ’til Christmas.

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Interoffice Memorandum to Governor Perry

To:          Governor Perry

From:     Your Strategic Team

Subject:  Debate Prep

Governor, you have asked that we forward our recommendations regarding how best to prepare you for debates against Bill White. On reflection, we feel we owe you a big apology.

You see, when we advised you to stick with the attack messages “liberal trial lawyer” and “bad Houston mayor,” we were all feeling very clever, since White has never practiced any appreciable liberal trial law, and the Houstonians he served are happy as clams with his service as mayor. And the sheep capitol press corps covering the race keep repeating the charges, since it’s what we continuously hand-feed them.

However, now that the subject of debates has come up, we realize that we made a big mistake. Nowhere in the “liberal trial lawyer – bad Houston mayor” message did we think to include any actual verbs. Clearly there cannot be a debate without a complete sentence, and one cannot have a complete sentence without a verb. Since it would take us months to teach you a few verbs (none of which are “secede”) we now must recommend that we weasel out of debating Mayor White at all.

This is kind of where we were heading anyway, based on our strongly-held opinion that in a head-to-head debate, Bill White would beat you like an ugly red-headed stepchild anyway.

Lucky for you, we have contingency plans. All we have to do is predicate our debate participation on Mayor White doing something first.

Since we’ve been bludgeoning him half to death over his failure to release his tax returns in the exact same way we haven’t released ours, we believe we should tell the sheep reporters that we won’t debate White until after he releases his tax returns.

However, hiding behind Bill White’s tax returns isn’t likely to last forever. Therefore, here is a top ten list of other excuses we can use in our continuing efforts to avoid losing a debate to White:

10. we will not debate Bill White until after he either gets a toupee or grows his hair long enough to have a Donald Trump comb-over.

9. we will not debate Bill White until after he agrees to provide us with Barack Obama’s actual birth certificate from Kenya.

8. we will not debate Bill White until after he wins the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes

7. we will not debate Bill White until after he makes an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars”

6. we will not debate Bill White until after he tells a state trooper “adios, mo-fo” after being caught breaking traffic laws

5. we will not debate Bill White until after he marries Carole Strayhorn like everybody else

4. we will not debate Bill White until after he agrees to help us pretend he was ever a real trial lawyer

3. we will not debate Bill White until after he agrees to pretend he was stuck in traffic and not show up to the debate we agreed to

2. we will not debate Bill White until after he gets the endorsement of that hot babe on the Progressive insurance commercials…if he can’t even get the “Progressive” endorsement, he’s not a serious candidate

1. we will not debate Bill White until after he helps us pretend that his campaign manager, whose name is Michael Moore, is that Michael Moore.

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Ground-shaking news

An Iranian fundamentalist cleric proclaimed last week that earthquakes are caused by women who dress inappropriately, thus inciting extramarital sex.

In a related story, over the weekend there was apparently a severe outbreak of sluts near Alice, Texas.

Immediately following the earthquake, the local chamber of commerce reported an immediate increase in tourism, and Corpus Christi traffic reporters noticed the “Girls Gone Wild” bus heading South on highway 281 at a high rate of speed.

UPDATE: now you, members of the crap-reading public, can do something about this. Participate in Boobquake.

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City employees hard at work

It’s nice to know that city employees are hard at work, fixing the pothole in front of the neighbor’s drivewa…OH MY GOD RUN FOR YOUR LIFE IT’S THE GIANT SAWBLADE OF DEATH!

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Political TV ad of the week so far

This candidate for a school board in Florida leaves little doubt about who’s going after the dork vote.

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Public servants soon to be creatively updating their resumes

Q. What’s more ironic than the anti-kidnapping chief in Mexico City going missing?

A. Beats me, but New Hampshire’s Liquor Commissioner being charged with a DWI has got to be right up there.

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The terrible 2′s

Happy 2nd birthday to Letters From Texas – serving you, the crap-reading public, since April 2008.

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The curious case of Norma Chavez

I haven’t always agreed with State Representative Norma Chavez, and in fact over the years I’ve disagreed with her a lot. But she’s a longtime friend, so I never publicly weighed in on her barn-burner of a Democratic primary runoff election in El Paso.

I guess I would have voted for Norma if I lived in El Paso. But I would have done so only with great reluctance, and only because I seldom side with the candidate in a race who stands with Texans for Lawsuit Reform in making sure that people who get injured have little or no access to a courthouse where they can hold accountable those who injured them. Ironically, that candidate has in times past been Chavez herself, but not this time. This time it was her opponent, Naomi Gonzalez, who won yesterday.

But for all the special interests who had hoped that Chavez’ loss would stand as a referendum on the pro-business wisdom of their policy priorities, Chavez herself robbed them of that. She also robbed those who stood with her in executing what was, actually, a very solid campaign. I know it was solid because in a situation in which the candidate herself makes so many vivid mistakes, and still loses by only 360 votes, the campaign fundamentals are there.

While I worry what Naomi Gonzalez’ legislative priorities will be, I’m also hopeful that Gonzalez will rise above the campaign rubble and become a solid representative of people, not corporations.

But the notable take-away from this race has little to do with either candidate, and everything to do with civility. And on that front, the outcome was nothing short of very hopeful.

When you win or lose by so few votes, one can point to many things in the race and accurately call each a decisive factor. After Chavez got so much ink for gay-baiting Gonzalez, I feared a subsequent win for Chavez would “teach” other candidates in other races across Texas that it is not only ok to gay-bait your opponent, but that if you do, it might actually get you votes.

If you squint your eyes just right, the math makes sense. Homosexuality isn’t popular among conservative Texans. Hispanic voters do, indeed, tend to be conservative Texans, especially on social issues. So despite all the negative media over what Chavez said, I wondered if it would ultimately hurt her at the polls. I’m delighted, bluntly, that it did.

In the end, it wasn’t a referendum on lawsuit reform, and it wasn’t even a referendum on gay Texans. I believe it was a referendum on civility and basic fair play.

Chavez always depended on her voters’ support, because, as she often says, she’s a fighter. But when she started gay-baiting her opponent, she crossed the line from “fighter” to “bully.” And while it’s usually great to be a fighter, it’s never good to be a bully.

Since I support gay rights, it’s easy for me to be offended by Chavez’ remarks. But it’s clear that Chavez lost votes even among those who don’t support gay rights. And widespread voter recognition that you don’t demean people, even those you don’t agree with, can’t be a bad thing.

Representative-Elect Gonzalez, congratulations on your victory, and welcome to the Texas Legislature. The campaign is behind you, and you now have the opportunity to forge alliances with those whose support you haven’t yet enjoyed. This would be a great time to remember the political wisdom that if you’re making enemies faster than you’re making friends, you’re doing it wrong, so please make some new friends today. And Representative Chavez, thank you for your service to Texas.

And for other candidates in future races tempted to conclude, even for a minute, that basic respect for others is little more than some optional nicety you can choose to ignore when it doesn’t suit you, remember this moment.

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Tea Party, Oklahoma style

Oh how cute.

The little darlings in the Oklahoma Tea Party have decided to form an armed militia to protect Oklahoma from the Feds.

Memo to Oklahoma: you don’t have anything the rest of the country wants, except football players, and you stole most of those from Texas anyway.

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The Republicans are ahead in the (stripper) poles

Some folks just can’t stand it when the guy in charge is Black.

When the administration changes and the guy behind the big desk is, for the first time, African-American, suddenly people start screaming bloody murder about some of the same things that didn’t used to phase ‘em even a little. But oh no, it’s not that he’s Black - they point to other things, anything, to imply that everything else except the guy’s race bugs them.

Wait - were you assuming I’m talking about conservative reaction to Barack Obama’s presidency? Well come to think of it, that’s another example. But no, that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about Michael Steele’s “strippergate” situation, a charming little scandal in which one head has already rolled, and isn’t likely to come with a happy ending for Steele (and if you didn’t detect at least three double entendres in this sentence, just get off this website now - we’re wasting our time on you).

Here’s the background, if you don’t already know it: Michael Steele is the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, despite having a name that sounds more like a dime store novel detective. Steele also happens to be an African-American.

It seems that the Republican Party left about $2,000 of its donors’ bucks in a Los Angeles strip club one recent night. So far I don’t see the problem, since it fits right in with what the Republican Party generally does anyway – pay people to pretend like they want ‘em.

But since Steele is the RNC Chairman, there are a bunch of “family values” Republican heavy-hitters who want every one of those bucks to stop at Steele’s desk, and they want him out. They’ve been very vocal and focused about it, explaining to all who will listen that it’s Steele’s fault that an event Steele didn’t attend, or sanction, is Steele’s fault, since the event ended up wasting $2,000 of the RNC’s money. The RNC has already dismissed an employee who was there, but the Republicans aren’t happy yet – they want Steele’s head on a platter.

How do I know this has anything to do with race? I don’t, but I know there’s certainly something really weird going on, because of the parallel case of Pete Sessions.

Sessions is a member of Congress from Texas who, like Steele, is also in the National Republican leadership – he is the chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Also like Steele, the organization he heads dropped a bunch of money in strip clubs, except that Sessions’ RCCC dropped more money in Las Vegas strip clubs than Steele’s RNC dropped in a Los Angeles strip club. The Washington Post said that one of the Vegas clubs “features come-hither looking women scantily clad in lingerie slithering all over each other.” WaPo, however, didn’t explain whether they were talking about the club’s dancers, or the Republican event’s attendees.

There are, however, a few notable differences:

– Sessions, unlike Steele, was actually in attendance at the Republican events in the strip clubs
–Sessions, unlike Steele, sanctioned his Republican events in the strip clubs
–Sessions, unlike Steele, isn’t Black.

So far, the sum total of all those in Republican leadership positions all across America calling for Sessions to resign stands at….wait, I need to do the math…carry the 3…add these numbers over there….oh yes, here it is: NOBODY.

Why is RCCC Chairman Sessions getting a pass on the RCCC-sanctioned events in adult-themed establishments, while RNC Chairman Steele’s job is on the line for the RNC’s non-sanctioned events in adult-themed establishments?

There’s only one rational explanation: the people calling for Steele’s job are using the occasion as an excuse, because they really don’t want to talk about the real reason they don’t want Steele in charge.

Aside from the obvious hypocrisy, I personally think they should all hang out in strip clubs every night. Where else is a Republican leader going to find himself in a crowd of people who all act like they want him?

Meanwhile, for those who prefer the visuals (and really, who doesn’t?), here’s a great video by the Lone Star Project on the issue:

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FUBAR-Cam Update

Associated Press reporter Jay Root covering a Jimmy Hendrix tune at Joe’s Bar in Austin, moments ago. Jay is sitting in with the band “Casino,” which features his son Ben (playing guitar at left). Casino rocks da house!

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Pop Quiz: Where on earth has it been considered ok to deprive people of their livelihood because of their political views?

a) Germany, 1944

b) Soviet Union, 1955

c) South Africa, 1993

d) Texas, 2010

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China: trying to figure out how modern government really works since 1949

…and it appears they’ve finally nailed it.

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Wisconsin: stepping up to compete with Texas and Florida for the crazy.

I seriously thought about writing about Ricky Bobby Perry and his NASCAR thing, but frankly I just don’t think it’s that funny. Weird, but not that funny.

Instead, here’s a dumbass from Wisconsin of all places, making Texans look a little more sane less crazy.

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