Archive | June, 2010

Linda Harper-Screwed, Part 2

So Republican State Representative Linda Harper-Brown is giving the car back, eh?  Well, that’s just fine and dandy. But there are a couple of teeny-weenie little problems.

Harper-Brown: looks hot in Mercedes

First, she can’t un-drive the car she’s been driving for a while. All that benefit she already received from driving a free car? She can’t just pop the transmission into reverse and un-drive all those miles.

Second, who’s she giving the car back to? The corporation that owns it? The one that got millions in state contracts from the state agency her legislative committee oversees? Well that’s fine I guess, except she said it was a gift from her husband. Why does her husband get to give her a “gift” he doesn’t own?

Wait. On second thought, I take it back. I want to adopt that logic for my own life, so I’ve decided to give your car to a friend of mine. Yes you, you freeloading blog reader…your car. Don’t complain – I know you’ve been entertaining yourself for years reading my crap for free – your car is a small price to pay. Please deliver your car keys to me at your earliest convenience, and don’t forget to top it off with gas beforehand. Thanks in advance.

Oh, wait – you’re saying that mere mortals such as I can’t do that sort of thing? Well damn – I guess being a entitled Republican state representative really is a pretty swanky deal then, huh?

If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, here’s part 1.

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Two biguns fall

There are a lot of things that make Texas politics the greatest spectator sport in the world. Most of the things that make our politics interesting are ridiculous, outlandish, off-the-wall, or just plain cajones-inspired.

Dolph Briscoe

“Sputnik,” well-liked and universally-respected around the big pink building, was proudly all of the above. And Governor Dolph Briscoe could well be assigned with some of the above himself, if only because he would get himself elected as the Governor of Texas, then go home and not be heard from again for a while.

In office, Briscoe often had better things to do, and seemed to believe that there’s only so much seriousness that can be associated with state government – and if all one knows about Texas government is what they read from Molly Ivins, Dolph probably had a hell of a point. Once out of office, he became a fierce Democrat, always weighing in when he thought it was important. He was conservative and traditional, as most South Texas ranchers were, and are.

Sputnik

Meanwhile, Sputnik was the lobbyist for the motorcycle rights folks. He wore leather, had a mohawk, was inked everywhere (including his forehead), and had more appendages missing than remaining. And, oh yeah, he was one of the most effective advocates in a building cram packed full of high-priced advocates.

Sputnik played hardball in Democratic politics, and he would bring a large and disciplined caucus to Democratic state conventions, and they all voted as a bloc. That made them very influential. I recall one state convention in which a major candidate for state Democratic Party chairman dropped out of the race when Sputnik’s caucus announced they’d all vote the other way. I heard he passed away at his desk early Thursday morning, after he shot off an email and just before he was to leave to travel to this year’s Democratic convention.

I first found out about Sputnik’s passing in a tweet from Republican Senator John Carona Thursday night, which is is a perfect combination describing what makes Texas politics unique and endearing in so many ways: a leather-clad inked-up mohawk-sporting motorcycle rights guy’s passing is sadly and respectfully announced by a conservative Republican Senator, who in turn holds absolute respect and credibility from a Democratic flack who agrees with him hardly ever – and all three are friends anyway.

You just can’t help but love Texas politics. And while I’m very sad for Sputnik’s passing, I absolutely can’t wait for his memorial service. I would bet good money it will be one which, if he could attend, Sputnik would love.

Meanwhile, Governor Briscoe’s passing signals the end of an era of old-style South Texas giants.

The only thing that could make either memorial service any more epic, is if both families got together and decided to hold a joint funeral.

Both of you – rest in peace. You each played a big role.

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FUBAR-Cam update

They’re fired up for Bill White. Meanwhile, Senator Leticia Van de Putte is among those bustin’ a move backstage to the music.

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FUBAR-Cam update

Democrats are partying their asses off at the Democratic state convention in Corpus Christi!

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Joe Barton is a sorry individual

You know that Joe Barton guy, the big oil company PAC contribution king, who by sheer coincidence completely unrelated to having received millions in oil company contributions, saw fit to apologize to the multinational oil company currently destroying the Gulf of Mexico?

Joe “Goofball” Barton

Barton subsequently apologized for his apology. This was by sheer coincidence, and had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the House Republican leadership was considering yanking his leadership position over the flap.

Yesterday, Barton, through his twitter account, pushed news stories that said Barton was right in the first place. I assure you that this had nothing to do with Barton surviving the threat to his leadership position.

In summary: Barton apologized for the apology he apologized for. But his Congressional staff has since taken responsibility and apologized. This will all be on the quiz later.

Note to Texas State Legislators: redistricting is coming up, and Texas’ state-controlled submerged lands extend far into the Gulf of Mexico. I think Joe Barton’s new district should consist of them.

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Baseball really IS America’s past-time

I’m awfully glad to see that the Washington Nationals’ wang is on the mend. There’s nothing worse than an injured wang. Especially in Washington, where wangs are in short supply.

Key quote: The Nationals got a hold of Wang in February…”

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She’s Linda Harper-Screwed

Yesterday’s News: Dallas media has reported the story that ultra-conservative Republican State Representative Linda Harper-Brown, who sits on the House Transportation Committee, is driving a Mercedes, with “State Official” license plates, owned by a company which gets money from TX-DoT.  TX-DoT is overseen by the House committee on which Linda Harper-Brown sits. She has championed amendments directly benefitting this company.  Harper-Brown, who has ducked reporters ever since the scandal hit, instead put out a YouTube video in which she claims she’s under attack by the mainstream media and liberals from Washington.

Today’s News: now she’s also under attack by conservative talk radio in her own district. This guy on KLIF radio sure doesn’t sound like an “Obama-Pelosi Washington liberal” to me….

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Sarah Palin’s plan to clean up the Gulf: pray

Professional Quitter Sarah Palin, on her twitter feed, has rolled out her plan to clean up the Gulf oil spill:

[The] Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man’s efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle

Glad to know she has a solid plan: pray. Too bad Palin didn’t think of that earlier. That way she could have merely prayed that B.P. wouldn’t screw things up in the first place.

It seems that Palin and her ilk use prayer as a method for avoiding responsibility for things, instead of as a means to seek inspiration on how best to tackle challenges, and it all reminds me of a story Ann Richards used to tell.

Ann used to talk about a farmer who went to a religious leader to seek inspiration and answers. The farmer asked the man of God why his prayers for good crops had been ignored.

The religious leader replied, “prayer is good, but if you’re praying for good crops, it helps if you pray with a hoe in your hand.”

Meanwhile, for his part, Governor Rick Perry says that the oil spill might be an act of God.

Note to God: you might want to think about getting a higher class of P.R. people working for you – some of the ones you’ve got now blame you for stuff you didn’t do, in efforts to avoid any responsibility for it themselves. Then they call on you to fix it, so they don’t have to. Next they’ll be insisting that you pay for it, so B.P. doesn’t have to.

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The debate over Governors race debates

Where we are: Rick Perry insisted that he would talk about debates only after Bill White released tax returns which Bill White has now released. Now Perry has issued a new set of hoops which he wants Bill White to jump through before Perry will agree to debate.

How many days ago this blog precisely predicted this would happen: 49

You thought I was kidding?

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Clueless radio talk show caller of the day

Winning today’s radio talk show Darwin Award is “Barbie,” a woman calling into Scott Braddock’s radio show in Dallas on KRLD yesterday. Barbie called in during a lively discussion on immigration. Barbie would rather scapegoat immigrants instead of taking responsibility for her own life by getting off her fat ass* and getting a job.

Barbie, thankfully, was followed by “Anthony,” who seems, shockingly and somewhat disappointingly, like a normal human being. Don’t be fooled by the pre-recorded intro before Barbie – that’s a whole different racist.

Pro tip for racist fat-asses*: at least while in public, you might consider pretending that you have legitimate concerns regarding illegal immigration in America, which Congress should address out of a deep concern for continued economic growth, public safety, and border security. That way, you don’t have to admit that you just flat-out hate Mexicans, and that you blame them for your total inability to live a normal life and get a regular job.


*I herein apologize to all non-racist fat-asses. It’s just that the term “fat-ass” seems to follow the word “racist” so well.  Plus, if Barbie can assume that people she’s never met and doesn’t know are all a certain way, then I can certainly assume that racist idiots like Barbie all have fat asses, right? So sorry, Barbie, you have a fat ass. You also have bad breath, and both of your remaining teeth are crooked. Maybe that’s another reason why Jack In The Box won’t give you an employment application.

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A once-proud USA falls farther behind our European allies

We here at Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters often discuss with you, the crap-reading public, the concept of news as a revenue-generating business. This creates both problems and solutions from time to time, as journalists run all over the place looking for something people are more likely to read or watch than whatever the competition offers.

Particularly susceptible to the trend are those in broadcast media, who are in a constant battle for ever-increasing flash, glitter, and glitz.

Where does this trend lead? I’m glad you asked. Elise Hu and Matt Stiles, both very ironically with the non-profit news organization Texas Tribune, were recently on their honeymoon in Greece (congratulations, you two crazy kids!), and shot this video of the weather report of the nightly news program there.

The video originally appeared on Elise’s personal blog, Hey Elise.

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You have to laugh to keep from crying

…because ridiculing BP will just never get old.

Big H/T: Mean Rachel

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BP names responsible party in spill

In the background of the daily headlines regarding the Gulf oil spill, debate is raging among legal circles regarding who is ultimately responsible for the spill.

Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters, Midland/Odessa Field Office, has obtained an official BP report at an undisclosed BP facility, definitively assigning responsibility for the spill.

Gosh, nobody’s more surprised about this than I am, but heaven knows BP wouldn’t lie. If I were you I’d get on down to the beach and start helping with the clean-up, ’cause it turns out you’re on the hook.

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Political dirty tricks may bite ‘em on the butt

Kudos to the Dallas Morning News’ Wayne Slater for staying on top of the mystery money Republicans used to attempt to put Green Party candidates on the Texas ballot. It’s amazing that Rick Perry’s camp thought nobody would notice this obvious attempt to syphon votes from White – using the votes of the very people who most disagree with Rick Perry’s environmental record, and who would most benefit from Bill White’s environmental policies.

What isn’t amazing, however, is this solid evidence that Perry must indeed be worried about the race being that close.

It would probably surprise and dismay casual observers that there are people around the country who specialize in getting seemingly-unrelated stuff on the ballot they don’t care anything about, or even things they oppose, to artificially manipulate voters and turn-out patterns to benefit that which they really do care about. In this Texas example, they hope to skim about two percentage points off of Bill White’s totals, to help Rick Perry squeak by in a close race.

Nobody faults the Green Party for wanting ballot access, although it’s hard to see how they sleep at night these days, given who’s in bed with ‘em on this particular effort.

But when the end result is that some of the voters who care most about the environment will get duped into voting for a candidate who won’t get more than 5% of the total vote, helping the guy who calls the BP oil spill disaster an “act of God” win? That just plain dirty pool, played at voters’ expense.

Most troubling is the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to accomplish this is secret, and quite possibly illegal, money, which nobody will admit to contributing. Since the obvious beneficiary is Rick Perry, well, you figure it out.

Meanwhile, back to the folks who do this sort of thing for a living in various states.

Apparently, the Republican operative who organized the Green Party petition effort intends to list “Take Initiative America” as the donor of the in-kind contribution to the Green Party. That entity was organized in Missouri by a guy named Charles Hurth.

Who’s Charles Hurth? I’m glad you asked. Meet Charles Hurth:

Despite numerous attempts, the victim’s butt was unavailable for comment.

That news story appeared in the Weekly World News, and the butt-biting incident was also covered in the San Francisco Chronicle, which also takes an in-depth look at the shady business of manipulating election outcomes without changing a single heart or mind - which is exactly what’s going on here in Texas right now.

And with this bit of butt-biting news, I once again renew my request to Comedy Central: in the interest of saving money on Daily Show and Colbert Report segment budgets, please open up a permanent Austin bureau. You will never run out of material. I’ll even offer my services at your Austin correspondent, and I’ll work for tips. Just sayin’.

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Finally! A President who speaks my lingo!

Why should V.P.’s like Cheney and Biden have all the fun?

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