Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Billy Wayne Clayton, Gibson D. Lewis and James E. Laney are all wonderful people. At this time of the year, it's proper to reflect that these wise men have given me so much, and Billy Clyde is grateful. I have rarely asked for stuff from these titans except for maybe the placement of a favored piece of legislation on the front page of the General State Calendar.
I also conversed with several of the Speaker "candidates," and they all were singing from the same songbook. They called me Tom Craddick's "butt boy." Not sure what that means, but my sister tells me that East Texas homophobic rednecks like me should not wear it as a badge of honor. Whatever.
BC likes our former Speakers because they have real common-sense wisdom. Just intuitive stuff, if you ask me.
So I guess the question boils down to this: Should I go to Bandera tomorrow for the New Year's holiday? Or do I really have a choice? And do any of you want to join us?
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
UPDATE: The Dick Tribulsi Fan Club has chastised BC for his alleged transgressions. Although the DTFC won't say what those transgressions are. I didn't attend the speech, but everyone I know who was there says that Dick did the talking. Maybe they meant Dick Weekly. Who knows?
If Dick Tribulsi didn't alert the ladies in red that Talton, Hughes, Jones and Smith were open minded and susceptible to voting their conscience, BC will offer a giant-ass apology. I would note that Talton, Hughes, Jones and Smith are four GOPers who are not supporting Speaker Craddick, so maybe there's something there. You think?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Perhaps my English is rusty. Let me be clear and type ... really ... slowly.
First, Billy Clyde is a fan of Brian McCall's. The guy is smart as a whip and has a great dry sense of humor. You don't find funny policy wonks just lying around in the gutter. He's a real state treasure, if you ask me.
Nevertheless, not a single human person has shown me one pledge of support Brian has from another human person who also serves as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Even Tommy Merritt won't commit publicly, and what the hell has he got to lose!
Billy Clyde's mind drifts back to the fall of 1992, when he was tasked with the duty of providing copious amounts of sandwiches to Pete Laney's key lieutenants, who were busy making calls and seeking faxed pledges from House members and House members-to-be across our fine state. To the untrained eye, it looked like the filming of a sequel to "Mama's House." In reality, it was a well-oiled political machine cobbled together with spare parts and bailing wire.
Laney and then-Representative Jim Rudd were in a neck-and-neck battle, proving once again that the "experts" who predicted the end of the Rural Speaker know as much about a Speaker's Race as a hog knows about Sunday. Laney was from Hale Center, located in the center of Hale County. Rudd hailed from Brownfield (not the big city of Brownwood) located in Terry County. To drive from Laney's front door to Rudd's front door took 38 minutes. But that's a little misleading. In that part of the South Plains, you are allowed to drive 107 miles per hour without drawing the ire of traffic enforcement officials.
For some reason, my mind replays the scene of Dr. Bob Hunter attempting to persuade incoming freshman House Member-to-be Kip Averitt to pledge Laney. Everyone hearts Dr. Bob, but the man has the closing skills of a Remax reject. It was painful yet funny. And sad.
Another fond memory is of former Representative David Counts' attempt to contact former Representative Charles "Goose" Finnell. Counts was in an automobile. The Goose was in an airplane. Counts drove all over the Big Country chasing The Goose's airplane. He never quite caught it, but it gave Representative Counts something to do besides bothering the fine folks at Laney Central.
Anyway, my stubborn ass remains in the "highly skeptical" camp in regards to whether there is or will be a Speaker's Race. McCall has exposed his fanny. But so far, none of his "supporters" have. If Billy Clyde saw Patrick Haggerty, Edmund Kuempel, Craig Eiland and Ken Paxton being quoted by name saying Brian is their man, my mind would change faster than Smarty Jones sprinting down the homestretch.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I am shocked.
(editors note: Lon Burham is NOT the same member of the House of Representatives as Leo Berman. Although they both serve on the prestigious House Committee on Defense Affairs and State-Federal Relations -- a sorta make-believe committee -- they are not the same person. Lon rants about Ralph Nader being a sell-out; Leo shoots perfectly legally Mexican-Americans and eats them.)
Representative Burnam, who replaced former Representative (and Senator) Doyle Willis, has, to the best of my knowledge, never passed a bill in his decade in the People's Chamber. He is a self-described peace activist. Also a Unitarian. So he fits right in with his colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives.
Anyway, he wants to limit the use of Tasers. Because police use them on suspected criminals and the electric shock is painful. For the record, I DO NOT want to be Tasered. Billy Clyde bets you don't either. But it seems better than the old tried-and-true alternative: Getting your butt shot.
Stop this tomfoolery (or Lonfoolerly)! We are making progress.
It used to be you were beat to death. Or shot. Or hung by a tree. Or shot. Or thrown in a river to drown. Or shot. Now we're down to Tasering, and even that is controversial these days. Maybe our children's children will only get a strong talking-to.
I'm opposed to cracking down on Tasers. This bill should be reported with an unfavorable recommendation, placed on Major State, and defeated 149-1. If Representative Burnam has his feelings hurt, fine. It's better than having someone pop a cap in your ass.
*** My friend Suzi, my neighbor Matt (who has lived there for about 18 months but to whom I've never really talked but now he thinks my crib is teevee-watching central) and I are arguing about whether the guest star on Law and Order on right now this very minute is Jane Krakowski. I say yes, they say no. Billy Clyde loved her on Ally McBeal.
*** Has anyone seen The Good Shepherd?
*** Was I in a daze, or did the Houston Texans look really good last weekend. They blocked and tackled some. Progress.
*** Free media mavens are looking forward to a potential Speaker's Race. If I were in the Capitol Press Corps, I'd call Allan Ritter, Ken Paxton, Edmund Kuempel, Kevin Bailey, Warren Chisum and Craig Eiland. If they are still hitched, there won't be a Speaker's Race.
*** I'm gonna buy two pairs of tasseled loafers (one black, the other burgundy) tomorrow. If this is a mistake, please let me know.
*** I really want a dog. But in fairness to the dog, I need to wait until this summer. Something to look forward to.
The best part of this tradition is that you can go into the kitchen, by yourself, and piddle for a REALLY long period of time. If someone tries to talk to you, you can give that rude sub-human an exasperated look and say, "I'm trying to cook!" The person on the receiving end will assume that chili preparation is similar to a surgeon separating co-joined twins in an elaborate 30-hour procedure and, if that person has any sense, will exit the room at once, never to enter again.
My favorite part is the chopping. I found myself engaging in totally unnecessary chopping because, let's face it, chopping stuff up is not only fun but good for you. For example, there is no good reason your chili needs a red bell pepper. It don't hurt nothing. It's just superfluous. Habernero peppers are essential; Anaheim peppers are just something you add because it's a decent excuse to chop some stuff.
Anyway, 5:00 p.m. Central Time arrived and the chili came to a boil. I covered the pot, lowered the heat to simmer, and realized that I had no further excuse for not entering the living room. So I joined my guest and turned on the teevee for the news -- Special Report with Brit Hume. Some libs don't like anything on Fox News, but this show is really good. It steals the best ideas from the traditional network news, the McNeil-Lehrer Hour and Comedy Central. Informative yet funny. Just what I, as a news consumer, want.
Anyway, this being December 26 (the day the Three Wise Men cooked chili for the Virgin Mary; aka Boxing Day in the UK) it was a slow news day. So SRw/BH (not to be confused with DMw/P) ran yet another piece on the next presidential election. Put me in the camp that believes that this stuff starts WAY too early. Just six months ago, the frontrunners were Kinky Friedman and George Allen -- and you see how the MSM built them up just to tear them to shreds.
But the high-quality and well-mannered persons who frequent this site long for Billy Clyde's unique perspective on the 2008 presidential race. Remember, the Constitution prohibits George W. Bush from running and winning again (which he would) because Franklin D. Roosevelt screwed it up for his successors. Something about being crippled and trying to pack the court or something. You can look it up if you give a rat's ass.
Anyway, I should refrain from stating a preference. But I know the pet-loving kind souls who use Billy Clyde's site as their opening page would simply not tolerate it. So, without further ado ...
Billy Clyde, at least for now, endorses New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and outgoing Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. I've met Richardson, and he seems pretty damn hip. I haven't met Huckabee, but I watched him on Imus in the Morning and was impressed.
Of course, the real reason these are my guys is because one is from New Mexico and the other is from Arkansas. Both states touch Texas. So if we can't have a Texan leading the ticket, the next best thing is a neighbor of Texas on the ticket. It's really a no-brainer.
In case you're wondering if there were other factors in play as I pondered this crucial decision, the answer is a resounding "NO." But now that I have narrowed my choices to my two near-Texan homeboys, I feel compelled to trash the shit out of the others in the field. It's the American Way.
Hillary Clinton is NOT former President Bill Clinton (another neighbor of Texas). Don't be confused by the similar names. Bill made being a poon hound a perfectly acceptable -- even laudable -- character trait in the Leader of the Free World. Much like John F. Kennedy made Catholicism okay, and Ronald Reagan made divorce cool, Clinton opened the doors for serious skirt chasers from sea to shining sea. Hillary, on the other hand, is a bitch.
Rudolph Giuliana. He used to be the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He tarnished that office by misusing the Racketeer and Corrupt Influence Organizations Act (RICO) and that is NOT the kind of guy we're looking for in a leader.
(editors note: Three things REALLY set Billy Clyde off, and not in a good way: 1) RICO, which was written by Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Idi Amin; (2) non-consensual municipal annexations; and (3) government takings. The rest of the shit he doesn't care about.)
Barak Hussein Obama. He will be forced out early. The Constitution requires you to be natural born and at least 35 years of age. Obama fails on both counts.
Mitt Romney. Besides the fact that "Mitt" is only barely more acceptable as a first name than "Barak," the dude lives in Massachusetts -- by choice. Automatic disqualification. Being a Mormon is cool by me, and I agree with him on most of the issues. But the fact remains: he's from Massachusetts.
John Edwards. This former North Carolina Senator wants to wage a Second Civil War and create Two Americas. That seems like a non-starter to me.
John McCain. I actually was the only guy in Austin who had a John McCain bumper sticker on my truck in 2000. I was ticked off at Governor Bush for vetoing six (SIX!!!) bills I had worked on really hard. But I was never really for McCain then, and nothing has changed. Plus he's crazy.
While I would prefer to support a candidate (Condi Rice, Fred Dalton Thompson, Sam Nunn, where are you folks??) for whom I had true admiration, someone who inspires the best of Billy Clyde and makes me sing "America The Beautiful" for no good reason ... this is it. I'm supporting the candidate who lives closest to me, because I am a flaming regionalist. So sue me. But not under RICO.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Billy Clyde: First, I want to thank you dawgs for joining me today. Let's talk about what Christmas means to each of you honest-to-God members of the Senate. Dean, would you care to go first?
Senator John Whitmire: No
BC: Okay then. Going down the seniority pecking order ... Senator Ellis.
Senator Rodney Ellis: Now I'm going to tell you a story. Not about me. I don't like to talk about myself.
Ellis: (shakes head and fake smiles) Like I was about to share with you, my people are like everyone else. My people want the toys. For the children. They want the Nike shoes and the PlayStation 3 and the souped-up bicycle. They want the go-cart and the health insurance and the chance -- just the chance -- to receive the kind of education that my people want and deserve. They want the casinos and the access to adequate legal counsel and the ...
Whitmire: Are you bonkers?
BC: Let's move on. Senator Lindsay?
Senator Jon Lindsay: (cough cough) Uh, this is a fabulous idea to bring us together ...
Dan Patrick: Why is Johnny Appleseed the gentleman tree farmer here? Is this his last-minute attempt to raise property appraisals on the homes of hard-working angry white American patriots? Has he ever written a book about the Bible, whose central figure is Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate? Senate District 7 wants ME, not a career liberal Austin political insider ...
BC: Actually, Senator-elect. I invited you but couldn't get past your call screener. So for now let's hear from Mario.
Senator Mario Gallegos: Christmas is a special time in our family.
Whitmire: (snicker) Which family? (snicker)
Gallegos: (sigh) My mother, who was on the school board and has a campus named after her, made tamales for the whole neighborhood. She didn't sell the tamales at Christmastime, she gave ...
BC: It's the Christmas season. Let's try to keep it civil. Mike?
Senator Mike Jackson: What was the question? I thought we were just grabbing lunch before our tee time.
Whitmire: My clubs are in the trunk. I'm in.
BC: It's 38 degrees outside. Do y'all really want to play golf?
Whitmire: I got 50 Rocket tickets for tonight. I could get more and give them to you ass clowns, but that ain't gonna happen. (snicker)
Gallegos: Ten of those are mine.
Whitmire: Bullshit. Get your own.
Jackson: I'll go to the game. Or play golf. I'm hungry.
Whitmire: I'm horny. I got a few extra girls at the house ... but you can't have them! (snicker)
BC: Uh, let's talk about what Christmas means to the Janek family.
Senator Kyle Janek: Christmas has changed a lot for me since I've become a father. Children are not permitted -- if you can believe this -- in the tanning salon or the day spa. So I bought a toy store and a doll store and a sporting goods warehouse for the kids so ...
Whitmire: Unfucking believable. I have a warehouse, too. Full of women waiting for me, and you want to play this family man routine on ...
Patrick: Family is the most sacred institution we have other than the Second Baptist Church. You people are consumed by earthly material selfish secular ....
Ellis: Dude, you're richer than I am. Cut out the crap so we can cut a deal and move on down the ...
Jackson: So who do I call to get tickets?
Senator Tommy Williams: You have Rockets tickets?
Whitmire: Who invited the Woodlands weenie. This is Harris County business.
Williams: I'm not a weenie. And I represent several MUDS in Harris County as well as ...
Jackson: So is everyone out on the golf deal?
Gallegos: This place is lame. Billy Clyde needs to take us to Rick's.
Ellis: I'll go.
Whitmire: Finally a decent-assed idea.
Janek: I have some patients who work there. Sure.
Lindsay: I'm married to Toni, so I'm definitely in.
Patrick: You Austin-centric self-centered narcissistic heathen ...
Williams: What's Rick's?
BC: This didn't work out exactly as I planned, but I appreciate your time. Think we can all fit in the Suburban?
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gCCjFbFXn8 is BC's first PSA.
The Governor on Wednesday outright pardoned -- just set free and erased the whole darn conviction -- of Billy Wayne Miller, found guilty of a brutal rape and murder in 1984. By the way, that is Billy Wayne Miller -- not former Speaker Billy Wayne Clayton, a fine man who was cleared in his federal bribery case.
I can't explain what the Governor was thinking, so I'll relay to you a quote provided by the really decent men and women over at the Associated Press:
"I believe that a full pardon for innocence must be supported by strong evidence, such as forensic DNA tests," says our ACLU-loving leader. "In this case, Mr. Miller is innocent. The recommendation of the district attorney, district judge, sheriff, police chief, and the Board of Pardons and Paroles also were important factors in my decision."
Gag. He set a convicted rapist/murderer loose on the street because a few two-bit politicians and bureaucrats say the dude didn't do the crime. Well, let me ask you this, Mr. Governor: If he's so damn innocent, why was he arrested, indicted, tried and convicted? Huh?
Billy Clyde don't got a dog in this specific fight, but it moves us ever closer to what is quickly becoming a political reality: Texas will not have a favorite son or daughter on the national ticket two years hence, and that shit just ain't right. As we approach God's son and our savior's birthday, let's all mention to Him that Kay Bailey Hutchison deserves her day in the sun, despite the fact that she married Ray Hutchison.
This whole deal is just so damn sad.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Representative Robert Puente waged a last-minute challenge but finished well short. Puente is chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, so no need to shed any of those Argentinian tears for him. Little-known fact: Natural Resources is almost always the most-requested committee assignment.
Bill Clyde considers both good friends. But BC has been worrying about Pete lately. I was telling a mutal friend on Election Day that I was concerned that Gallego had gone off the deep end. His newfound love of extreme partisanship and his open hostility toward Speaker Tom Craddick seemed out of character. Then the next day he jacked with Representative Tracy King at a Caucus meeting and Tracy opened a Number 9 can of whup ass on him. Interestingly enough, Puente is credited with breaking it up before it escalated into a NBA game.
Now maybe Pete figures he's past the point of no return and might as well go whole hog. But how did he find himself in Back-Bencher Land in the first place? He coulda sat in the penalty box for a session or two and found himself back in Chairmanville (he previously headed the House Committee on General Investigating). Instead he decided to become the Democratic equivalent of Representative Gerald Gieswiedt: smart and effective 99 percent of the time, but when he loses it, he does so with zealous gusto.
BC thinks outgoing Representative Terry Keel may be going overboard when he predicts that Gallego will be Governor one day. But the guy is a real talent. He beat an incumbent, then-Agriculture Chairman Dudley Harrison (a true state treasure who succumbed to lung cancer last month) in a sprawling far West Texas district that has been home to giants, including Representative Hilary B. Doran. (Most of you remember HBD as Governor Bill Clements' chief of staff and the first Chairman of the Texas Racing Commission; his real claim to fame may be his fight against Daylight Savings Time, going so far as refusing to change his watch in what counts as a radical protest in Del Rio. I never understood why the sheep and goat raisers hated DST so much. Those critters can't even tell time.)
Anyway, Pete Gallego is smarter than Billy Clyde. So presumably he has a long-range plan and ain't crazy -- just crazy like a fox. I hope so.
The Austin American-Statesman's sports page today ran a great article on the renewal of the UT-Arkansas basketball rivalry. The crowds have been pretty sucky lately, so ease over to the Erwin Center this evening to catch the rebirth of this old Southwest Conference match-up and make some damn noise.
Although I hate the Razorbacks, I will admit that "Arkansan" is a damn fine word. Just rolls off the tongue. So they got that going for them.
UPDATE: The Horns beat the Razorbacks like a bad piece of pork. Folks, this team is the real deal.
Two thoughts (my daily limit) popped into my noggin after reading the article: (1) didn't I propose to write this piece to TM about six months ago?; and (2) why do people feel the need to put the man on a couch and give him the Bob Newhart treatment?
The article could have been titled "What Makes Him Tick And Is It All Schtick."
I can't recall anyone wondering if Kevin Eltife had mommy issues, or if Eddie Lucio faces inner demons that affect his putting. Why don't we let the fellow get sworn in and see what happens. And lay off the head-shrinking stuff. Enough already.