Tuesday, January 30, 2007


In Billy Clyde's little hometown Municipal Utility District, junior high school students would show their rebellious side by wrapping someone's yard.

This involved throwing rolls of toilet paper into hardwood trees (it's hard to wrap pine trees) and laughing uncontrollably all the way home, knowing that Johnny Law or the owner of the home could be hot on your trail. Dangerous, exhilarating, but, ultimately, rather harmless.

Kinda like this morning's vote in the House to suspend Article 3, Section 5, of the Texas Constitution so this Legislature can start getting a little traction.

Speaker Tom Craddick announced last week that the House had successfully approved this normally routine, perfunctory motion "every session except for one." Not sure if that meant in the history of the state or just since he got here (basically the same period of time) but he stated it with great authority, so it must be true. BC can't remember the House tying its own arms behind it own backs before by knocking down this motion. But then again, Billy Clyde doesn't pay real close attention sometimes.

Folks around the Capitol refer to this as the "60-day rule." The Texas Constitution has checks and balances on its checks and balances, and this is a prime example. Since Northern Reconstructionists are no longer a major threat to state government, the House simply ignores this provision and suspends the Constitutional rule. The invention of the automobile also played a role in making this rule unnecessary.

Anyway, the aginners in the House have sensed that the Speaker cares about this vote and believe it will promote efficiency and progress. So, naturally, they are opposed. The permanent opposition (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jim Dunnam, JohnCornyn'sBoxTurtle, et al) has decided to Make A Point. Stand Up And Be Counted. Take Me Down To Funky Town.

If you look at past House Daily Calendars for the month of February (something that BC hasn't done; this is a Research-Free Zone) it's all a big pile of nothing. Some Sunset bills, a few non-controversial measures, an emergency item here or there. Frankly, I wouldn't want a bill I cared about on a February calendar. You're just asking for ill-informed show-boating.

So if this motion -- which requires a hard 120 votes -- fails today, there are two main options. One, suspend on a bill-by-bill basis. The problem with this strategy is that it promotes future ill-informed show-boating.

Billy Clyde prefers Option 2, which is a little bit wacky on the surface but makes great sense.

BC suggests that the Speaker should phone up Governor Perry and ask, in a nice and polite sorta way, to please designate House Bill 1 through House Bill 3000 as Emergency Items, thereby making the 60-day rule meaningless. Not only would this achieve the leadership's objective, it would have the added benefit of being funny. And Lord knows the Texas House needs more funny.

For whatever reasons (my slight mental retardation?), our high elected officials rarely take my advice anymore. That's fine. Just when the term "thinking outside the box" made its way into our nation's nomenclature, Billy "Thinking Outside The Box" Clyde fell out of favor. That's fine.

If the House leadership thinks my strategy is full of shit as a Christmas turkey, then so be it. But I have Anita Perry's cell number. And I'm NOT afraid of using it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


James Huffines and wife Patty celebrate the Longhorns' victory Saturday night with former Cameron County Judge Tony Garza, the pride of Brownsville.

Texas beat Baylor in a hard-fought battle before a near sell-out crowd at the Frank Erwin Center. Erwin, you may recall, was the longtime Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, a position now held by Huffines, who you may recall was the Governor's appointments secretary in the late 1980s.

Garza, you may recall, is the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and a former Secretary of State and Railroad Commissioner. He married the wealthiest woman in the Republic of Mexico, so things are going his way.

Huffines is an Austin banker and the product of the Collin County Huffines family, which owns a regional car dealing cartel. Garza's family also sorta comes from the automotive industry; his dad ran a gas station.

Before brunch (more on that later) this morning, I perused our local daily and came across this interesting one-step-removed-from-first-person quote allegedly uttered by former Dallasite Dick Cheney's former main man Scooter Libby about the former Sage of Shoal Creek Boulevard, Karl Rove. For some reason, I found it intriguing.

"They're trying to set me up. They want to be the sacrificial lamb. I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."

Good golly Miss Molly! Them's some tough words.

Now, Billy Clyde has gotten on Karl's bad side a few times. And it's not a pleasant experience. But after you apologize and swear to go forth and do good, he usually lets it slide. Though I acknowledge that Rove's response is generally totally out of proportion to the alleged transgression. To each their own.

Anyway, let's hope that this Libby trial doesn't reflect poorly on us Texans. We gotta stick together, cuz the rest of the country is out to get us.

On a somewhat related note, Tarrant County's Bob Schieffer said this morning on his little gab show that Midland County's George W. Bush is doing poorly in the public opinion surveys. If this is true, it's probably because a lot of Americans have buyers' remorse over the war in Iraq. Don't know that for a fact, but that's BC's guess.

P.S. Does anyone know if newsman Schieffer's brother, former Texas House member Tom, is still the U.S. Ambassador to Japan? Just wondering.

Alright, now back to brunch.

If you've spent much time in Tuscon, then you've probably eaten at the TerraCotta Grille, a casual restauarant conveniently located in a shopping center. I'm partial to the TerraCotta's egg enchiladas, which are simply unparalleled.

Anyway, Trudy's now has a very-similar menu item called miga enchiladas. Ordered it this morning and found it great. If you like eggs, corn tortillas, chipolte sauce and black beans, you will dig this dish.

Meant to put this in the original post, but my Alzheimers kicked in and I plum forgot.

The Weather Channel (channel 350 for those on the Austin Time Warner system) is debuting its feature about last year's Panhandle fires tonight at 8:30 pm. Should be some pretty good watching. The Weather Channel will replay it a few times later in the week, but I can't remember exactly when.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Quiet, please.
Billy Clyde hears you. Loud. And. Clear.
Kindly remember that the Hot Tub Party franchise entails so much more than just writing this blog. There's the television series and its inevitable spin-offs, the music label, the independent film production company, product placement, overseas speaking engagements, tell-all books, NASCAR sponsorships, infomercials, etc.
Just today I had FOUR -- count 'em FOUR -- meetings at the Capitol after lunch. On a Friday afternoon. After I had the Acapulco Dinner at Neuvo Leon ($8.95, plus iced tea; always get the chicken taco and the cheese enchilada to maximize your dining pleasure).
Now before you get all excited, I know many of you are thinking: Billy Clyde! Your doctors told you that eating stuff like that will kill you. I refer you to my paternal grandfather, who lived into his nineties. Back when he was in his spritely mid-70s, we used to sit at his kitchen table and consume massive bowls of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. And he would tell me, "The doctors say this will kill me," as he shoved a heaping spoonful in his mouth. And, after waiting a few seconds, would say, "Guess they're lying. I'm still here." Man that was funny.
Anyway, after suffering through those grueling meetings, BC needed him a Friday evening nap. Which you people so rudely denied me.
Would it absolutely KILL you if I wait until morning to comment on the House committee assignments? Have you no patience? Whatever, here's the short version.
First, remember that the attractiveness of committee assignments -- much like the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex -- is a matter of individual taste. Amongst myriad reasons Billy Clyde would never run for the Legislature is the nightmare scenario that the electorate would totally fall asleep, elect him, and the Speaker would, in a cruel display of outright sadism, appoint him to the House Committee on Appropriations. Yet believe it or not, some non-freshmen members (Lois Kolkhorst, Dan Gattis) actually seek this appointment. Go figure.
For the record, my wish list would, in order, be: Local and Consent Calendars, Licensing and Administrative Procedures, Natural Resources, Big Calendars, Regulated Industries and Higher Education. Don't really give an ape's ass about the rest of those committees -- but others do, and I respect their (wrong-headed) positions.
(editors note: Several courteous readers pointed out that perhaps I should include the list. Okay.)

So here is my first-blush look at winners and losers:

Corbin Van Arsdale -- State Affairs (CBO), Appropriations, Calendars
Sounds better than it really is, but DAMN!

Ryan Guillen -- Appropriations (Vice Chair aka conference seat); Natural Resources; Calendars
This guy gets it. If you are a twenty-something that wakes up elected to the Texas House, go get freshman lessons from the Ryanater.

Aaron Pena -- Criminal Jurisprudence (Chairman); Ways and Means
This former aspiring Democratic Party Chairman shifted sites, got elected to the House, and now chairs a committee he actually cares about. And he is widely recognized as the world's leading blogger.

Patrick Rose -- Human Services (Chairman); Higher Education
Have no earthly idea what goes on in Human Services, but he and the lovely and talented Donna Howard (freshman on Higher Ed; you rock Donna!) of Travis County may team up and finally give the University of Texas a fighting chance in the Legislature. About time.

Fred Brown -- Higher Education (CBO); Appropriations; Local and Consent
Governor Rose and Representative Howard of Travis, please don't let this Aggie snooker you. It's two against one. Take. Him. Out.

John Otto -- Ways and Means (CBO); Appropriations
This tax consultant gets to oversee the Comptroller and her budget. Sweet.

Dianne Patrick -- Public Education; Higher Education; Local and Consent
She apparently is big on education. She also seems nice, which is a big bonus on Local and Consent. You go girl.

Eddie Lucio IV -- Environmental Regulation (CBO); Appropriations; Local and Consent
Have known him since he was in high school. So proud of this former Texas Tech golfer for embracing Billy Clyde's motto: Change Is Bad.

Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton -- Natural Resources; Licensing and Administrative Procedures; Calendars
TOLD YOU!! HA HA! Guess the joke's on you people, huh? The guy is good.

Joe Deshotel -- Economic Development (Chair); Transportation
Something told Billy Clyde that Joe would come out smelling much better than his district. Transportation spot an added bonus, as TXDOT attempts to maintain tricky balance when high-quality Texas roads meet 100-year-old Louisiana caliche.

House Committee on Civil Practices -- If you'd been listening to the frequently-wrong-but-never-in-doubt fundraiser circuit chatter the past eight months or so, no doubt you would have thought that the future of the Lone Star State rested in the hands of this committee:

Byron Cook (WTF!), Chair
Mark Strama, (TLR cousin or something or another) Vice Chair
Sid Miller (WTF!)
Beverely Woolley (on it last session, but don't know why)
Robert Talton (on it last session, and is feeling his oats)
Richard Raymond (on it last session, but still, WTF!)
Phil King (is he with the trials of the tort reformer dudes?)
Jerry Madden (WTF!)

What happened? Are these typos? This, my brothers and sisters, is something I cannot explain.

Norma Chavez (gavel didn't feel right in her hand)

Dan Gattis (desired more 18-hour days in Appropriations for his constituents who don't WANT any state money)

Dwayne Bohac (Elections and Redistricting were more important to you!!!)

Richard Raymond (please explain again why you took all that political risk over the long haul just to abandon it at the finish line)

Honorable Mention: Allan Ritter, Robert Talton, Jim Pitts, Brian McCall, Craig Eiland.

Buddy "George" West -- see above comments re: Richard Raymond

Mike Villarreal -- why do you hate prosperity??

The Honorable Todd Smith of Tarrant

There are certain people who are talented, smart, understand the system, get elected over and over -- yet never get their chance.
As sure as the sun rises in the east (or is it west; no, it's east) there is always a member or two like this. I should know, since they usually tend to be friends whom I must feed, comfort and nurture for the several hours after committee assignments are announced. Billy Clyde ain't gonna name names, but he is/was pretty good friends with Mike Jackson, Frank Madla, Harold Dutton (yeah, I know, he's got his little family law committee FINALLY), Rick Perry, Cliff Johnson, et al. For some reason, these talented people never get to be called Mr. Chairman.
BC has casually suggested Representative Smith's name to two different Speakers, and both acted like a light bulb went off in their noggins and, by God, why didn't I think of that. But then nothing happened.
So while Billy Clyde extends his sincerest (I'm actually serious in this one, and only one, sentence) best wishes to Byron Cook and Leo Berman and Joe Deshotel and Vicki Truitt ...
You could do much much worse than just saying, "I wanna be like Paul Hilbert." Who was happy 253 days out of the year. Except the one day when committee assignments came out

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


You gotta give the people what they want.
I had reserved this bandwidth Internet blog space for an in-depth analysis of President Bush's State of the Union Speech. But all my readers care about are House committee assignments.
So, despite Billy Clyde's better judgment, he will preemptively announce the new House committee assignments, which I can tell you, with 100-percent absolute certitude, will come out tomorrow (or maybe next Thursday).

Dudley Harrison
The rural and recently departed members have been under-represented for years
Winners: Sheep
Losers: People who need a new tractor or Chevy in the greater Sanderson area

Foster Whaley
It's about time someone from Pampa ran the spending panel
Winners: Stock knives
Losers: Gonads

The Honorable Tony Parra
El Paso deserves this fine committee
Winners: Cross-toting convicted AIDS victims
Losers: Gilbert Serna fans

Helen Giddings
She ain't done nothing wrong
Winners: CVS hair product section
Losers: Bill Hammond

Nancy Fisher
No need to go through the motions, let's roll!
Winners: Allan Ritter
Losers: Most everyone, including Allan Ritter

Patrick Rose
It's about time, dammit!
Winners: People of of the great state of Texas
Losers: Not a damn soul

Jerry Madden
Someone slipped this guy a statesman pill
Winners: Nerds
Losers: Cool people

Aaron Pena
He'll be sorry he asked for this chairmanship
Winners: Bloggers
Losers: His more-tenured unsophisticated colleagues who still don't get it

H. Ray Hildebran
He wants it, and you don't care
WINNERS: Oshman's
LOSERS: Tipton Ross (still)

Donald Rumsfield
Corte is a mere colonel
Winners: Freedom
Losers: Cut-and-run weenies

Lois Kolkhorst
Former Chamber exec just oozes new jobs
Winners: Blue Bell
Losers: Dumbass Grimes County water district opponents

Jim Dunnam (just kidding)
Dwayne Bohac
Will keep him from interfering with important stuff
Winners: Hair gel lobby
Losers: Mary Denny (she forgot to file)

Fred Brown
No real reason; a "why not?" deal
Winners: Renewable resources for tanning booths
Losers: Steve Ogden (take THAT!)

Dennis "The Menace" Bonnen
Somehow he hasn't messed this thing up
Winners: Dow
Losers: Hair plug lobby

Kenny Marchant
Realized he had good deal in '90s
Winners: Credit unions
Losers: Burt Solomons (new touchy-feely Craddick has to bust one of his own)

Joe Deshotel
Beaumont and ethics go together like mustard and peanut butter
Winners: Kevin Bailey (free at last!)
Losers: Mark Stiles

Tracy King
Chairman's per diem without the pesky meetings
Winners: Tracy King
Losers: Out-of-state hearing aid interlopers

Wilhelmina Delco
Geanie Morrison decided to play bridge w/Anna Mowery, et al (see below)
Winners: Huston-Tilston
Losers: Higher ed lobby

Dawnna Dukes
Will institute strict, yet very stylish, new dress code (sorry, Tuffy)
Winners: Neiman Marcus; tasteful furniture retailers
Losers: Central Austin hippie crybabies

John Davis
Understands fundamental truth that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile
Winners: Humanity
Losers: Welfare queens

John Smithee
Unless John Gavin comes back, it's his for life
Winners: Really nobody
Losers: Really nobody

Will "The Man of Steel" Hartnett
Could have Civil Practices, but he likes judges
Winners: Probate lawyers
Losers: People who have to pay $6,000 in junk fees to file a civil claim worth 80 bucks

Harold V. Dutton, Jr.
Would rather just bitch than chair this committee again
Winners: A lobbyist who can figure out how to get a bill referred to his committee
Losers: Poor clerk who has to write the bill analyses

Pat Haggerty
Anna Mowery chairmanship cut into bridge/wine time; still can't find Carolyn Park's office
Winner: People who need a bill reported from LRM
Losers: People who declared victory and gave up on this committee in 2003

Joe Driver
He actually wants it, and is pretty good at it
Winners: Concealed handgun permit owners
Losers: Folks shot by concealed handguns

Kino Flores
Here's a chairman with real power who is feeling his oats
Winners: Tom Spillman, natch
Losers: A day-to-day thing

Myra Crownover
Genuinely nice person gets year's biggest plum
Winners: Polite people
Losers: Folks who yearn for Yvonne Davis

Dan Patrick
Traded his Senate assignments for House position
Winners: The REAL Ways and Means Committee, which gets appraisal bills
Losers: Fred Hill, who has no desk on Senate floor

Robert Puente
Willing-buyer/willing-seller concept confusing, but Bobby Bridge pulls through
Winners: Lobbyists with multi-year contact for interbasin transfers
Losers: Environmentalist who like to yack

Dan Gattis/Dan Flynn (to be determined by arm-wrestling competition)
Gattis loses on purpose, sets sites on taking that Patrick Rose guy OUT
Winners: Outside investment consultants
Losers: People who like actuarially sound pension systems

Rob Eissler
Drew the black bean; soon to find out black beans suck
Winners: Fans of comedy
Losers: Fans of good comedy

Tom Craddick
He's chaired it before and wants another crack; has the time to spare
Winners: Doctors
Losers: Garnet Coleman

Joe Crabb
This committee will not meet this biennium
Winners: n/a
Losers: n/a

Roger Williams
Traded fully loaded 2006 extended cab with mag wheels for Phil King's chairmanship
Winners: People who like to "Save Save Save!"
Losers: Dumbasses who go to other dealerships

Tony Goolsby
Has gavel, will travel
Winners: House members with a resolutions they'd like adopted
Losers: People who don't like resolutions "read in full"

Pete Laney
He and Marchant are serving on each other's committees again; BFF
Winners: People who like staying up to four in the morning for mundane stuff
Losers: People who don't grow cotton

Mike Krusee
Loves getting bitched at by armed psycho toll road opponents
Winners: H.B. Zachary and Ric Williamson
Losers: People who want to go from Point A to point B

Kevin Bailey
"After only 16 years I get a real chairmanship! Thanks!"
Winners: Poor people who need low-cost housing
Losers: City officials who don't think cops and firefighters should make $450,000 a year

Ron Wilson
Wilson swapped Keffer his stretch Hummer for chairmanship
Winners: Musicians
Losers: Ron's longtime loyal friends

Monday, January 22, 2007


Got me a note the other day from blog pioneer and occasional State Representative Aaron Pena. He informed me that I was on his "blogroll." Since I was not familiar with that word, Billy Clyde assumed it was synonymous with "shit list."

After performing a Google search (if you don't know this little computer trick, I'd be happy to teach you; just give me a call), it turns out that getting on someone's blogroll is a good thing. So thanks. You da man, Aaron!

I decided to check out The Rep's site http://acapitolblog2.blogspot.com/ this evening to see what wisdom he was sharing with the masses. And to see if he REALLY put me on his blogroll. Visiting his page was kind of a bummer.

Now, Aaron probably has a dozen or so highly skilled backroom technical Internet guys doing the real work. But his site rocks. It looks nice, and he's got tons of photos. In contrast to Billy Clyde's site, which has an rather amateurish look and zero photos.

Being a man of action, I went to work. Goal: to learn how to post a photograph in an effort to play catch-up (and, natch, eventually surpass) Representative Pena's fancy-pants blog with all its bells and whistles. Not having any photos of my own to post, I stole one from his site. You can respect international copyright law yet still hide behind the Fair Use Doctrine.

His most recent pics were taken during Valley Weekend, which my sources tell me was a smashing success. Senator Dan Patrick spent two full hours on its greatness on his talk show today. He is very impressed that there are so many nice Mexican-American persons down there and apparently tried to learn something, proving that despite his lengthy service in the Senate, he has yet to master the concept of a junket. (I changed tenses three times in that sentence, tying my previous record.)

Senator Patrick singled out Representative Juan Escobar as a Valley delegation member who was particularly enlightening. Though he kept referring to him as a new member, even though Juan has been in the Legislature for more than four years, while Dan's tenure is about two weeks. Go figure.

Anyway, here's the picture I stole.

The above photo depicts Escobar showing Patrick the EXACT best spot on the Rio Grande River from which to shoot Mexicans.

While listening to Senator Patrick's broadcast and learning to steal and post pics (call me Mr. Multitasker), BC damn near fell out of his chair. Dan told his audience that he now thinks a guest worker program is a nifty idea, leaving his approximately 100,000 listeners as the only people in Texas (est. population 23 million) who didn't already know this intuitively at birth. The man learns and is flexible; he's no John Leedom.

Billy Clyde has been following Dan Patrick since he was the wacky sportscaster on KHOU Channel 11 and thinks he's great. It gets lonely being a right winger at the Capitol (Toomey doesn't count; he's nuts) and I'm glad to have some company. But I worry about Dan losing his base by grasping reality so well and so quickly.

According to my scorecard, the Senator from the 7th District now likes lobbyists, insider politics, Austin special-interest fundraisers, Mexican guest workers, compromise, creating new fees that interfere with private enterprise (see tomorrow's bill filings), and, get this ... he's THIS CLOSE to supporting busting the constitutional spending cap -- pending the outcome of the on-line poll he launched today.


Billy Clyde's nimble mind has a tendency to wonder from time to time. So let's recall that this post is about Representative Pena's splendid blog and the photos I stole from him, plus some Senator Patrick stuff. Time to wrap it up.

The bonus photo below was burgled from Aaron, and it shows the Reverend Joel Olsteen and professional House member impersonator and Olsteen body double Kelly Hancock taken on Inauguration Day. If my memory is correct, Dan Patrick ran the teevee operations for the Rev. Olsteen for a while. So it's mighty relevant. Focused and concise. That's our goal.


If Billy Clyde had an older male sibling, he would hate him.
No me gusta Big Brother.
I bring this up because BC didn't go through the last House Daily Report until this morning, when he was treated to HB 652, which deals with "inattentive driving." It was brought to us by Representative Chente Quintanilla, normally a level-headed public servant with good ideas and plenty of common sense. Guess the Busy-Body Lobby caught him in a weak moment.
BC is gonna cover the highlights, but if you're a huge nerd and for some reason think you need to read it yourself, have at it.
In a nutshell, the bill doubles traffic fines for folks who are drinking Big Gulps while speeding or changing talk radio stations while gently rolling through a stop sign. Were this measure to become law, here are the things that you would do in the truck at your own legal peril:
"(1) reading; (2) writing; (3) performing personal grooming; (4) consuming food or a beverage; (5) interacting with a pet; (6) interacting with a vehicle passenger; (7) using a personal communications device; or (8) engaging in another activity that prevents the operator from safely operating the motor vehicle."
Let's do an informal BA on this baby. Number 6 seems to mean that you couldn't talk to the person riding in the front seat with you. That seems harsh, but conceivably could be a good thing -- depending on the passenger. "Be quiet. It's against the law for me to talk to you."
But the last provision, Number 8, is just wrong wrong wrong. I ask you, cowboys and cowgirls, to think of ALL the things that this could apply to. Now narrow your thoughts down. No down further. Just go down. Come on, go down. (editors note: This is a family blog, so we cannot be inappropriately graphic. But if you haven't figured out what BC is talking about, imagine yourself driving a Hummer.)
This is Texas, by golly, and the thing referred to in the preceding paragraph is as much a part of our culture as high school football, barbecue and trashing Yankees.
In a blatant attempt to appeal to my legions of female readers, BC also points to page 1, line 24 and page 2, lines 1-2, which specifically makes applying makeup, combing your hair or "attending to another personal hygiene or appearance task" a Class C misdemeanor.
In a blatant attempt to appeal to my legions of directionally challenged readers, BC alerts you to page 2, line 19, which specifically includes using "a geographic positioning system receiver" to the list of prohibited activities. When I read that, BC thought to himself: So THAT'S what GPS stands for. You learn something new everyday.
Not even gonna start on the potential legal quagmires that the prohibition on "interacting with a pet" present, but suffice to say that I feel safer on the wide open road when my fellow driver swats Fido out of the driver's seat so the motorist can actually see the highway. Call me old fashioned; that's just the way I feel.
If you hate pets, good grooming, Big Gulps, listening to the radio and, most importantly, Hummers, then by all means support House Bill 652. But count me out.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


What we need is more good news.

A few suggestions, if I may:

(1) a crawler on the bottom of the teevee news that shows the number of consecutive days WITHOUT a deadly commercial airline crash at the local airport;

(2) more stories about how an incumbent House Texas House Speaker has NOT faced a head-to-head opening day challenge in nearly a century;

(3) profiles of our fine public school teachers who DON'T have steamy illicit sexual affairs with their students (real newshounds could find these people);

(4) in-depth medical coverage that reminds readers, viewers and listeners that NO ONE in real life gets Lyme Disease (except Chris Harris) or Avian Flu; and

(5) touching features about pets that are adopted into loving homes and AREN'T euthanized. Which brings Billy Clyde to his point of the day.

The media jackals are so consumed by sensational negativity that they are willing to ruin what should be a pleasant, relaxing morning here at Casa BC. Et tu, Peggy Fikac?!

Read it and weep.

Seems like some ne'er-do-well (Don Evans? David Dewhurst? Dan Patrick? Chris Bell, or whatever that guy from Houston's name is?) has launched a preemptive political strike on Texas' Favorite Son and Animal Rescuer, Mr. Kinky Friedman. I pray to Elvis, Jesus and Coca-Cola that he doesn't fall prey to this manipulative trickery -- which unfortunately often works quite well.
It works like this: Candidate A (let's call her Carol Keeton Bill White Rylander Roger Williams Strayhorn) wants to start laying the groundwork to run for a Very Important Office. Candidate A is just delusional enough to think she can pull it off, but for one giant obstacle that simply cannot be overcome: Candidate Kinkster.
So Candidate A has her dirty tricks team spread a rumor that Candidate Kinkster, who everyone just assumes will be moving into the Governor's Mansion in slightly less than four years, has his eyes set on some other office. One that on paper might seem attractive, but actually ain't worth a warm pitcher of urine. In fact, it's totally made up.
And then the forces of evil sit back and hope he takes the bait, because otherwise Candidate A's got as much chance of becoming governor as a grackle has of surviving 40-degree weather on Congress Avenue.
Not gonna work, if you ask me. Kinky is very, very smart (Plan II) and regularly solves these sorts of intricate mysteries in the morning before the so-called professionals (like Rockford and Ramban) have finished their banana and blueberry pancakes.
Billy Clyde recovered (remarkably swiftly) from the well-documented yet damn-near-impossible-to-prove massive vote fraud that almost certainly cheated Kinky out of the governorship. If you LYST as much as BCLHSKFFG, you simply won't permit a re-run of November's tragedy. So I'm positive that this, too, shall pass.
The Kinkster has unshackled his political soul from those out-of-state advisers and assembled a savvy team (Laura) that knows there is no such position as "U.S" Senator. There are just 31 regular Senators, plus the Lieutenant Governor can pretend to be a Senator when that chamber meets as the Committee of the Whole.
Here's the way the scam works in the real world:
A fellow with a perfectly bright political future gets talked into running for this U.S. Senator thing that he has heard is so great. The other 99 "Senators," who have been fooled by this exact same practical joke by crafty gubernatorial candidates in their home states, go to the airport and hide behind Baggage Carousal 3. When you retrieve your luggage and look around for your new "chief of staff," the other 99 jump out and yell, "You've Been Pranked By Senators Behaving Badly!"
Everyone has a big belly laugh and goes to the movies. After about a week, you've seen all the movies, so you start having lots of fundraisers. Breakfast, lunch, golf tournaments, cocktail receptions, dinners, all-night raves -- you'll be at all of them. On Fridays, you fly home and travel around the state and give Serious Speeches and listen to Voter Concerns at Town Hall Meetings.
Then you head back to Washington on Monday for another grueling week of eating, playing golf and attending raves. After doing this for about five years, you have developed a bulging waistline, a very low handicap and a little black book full of cell phone numbers of slutty Washington-area 23-year-old punk rock chicks. You also have $7.3 million in the bank.
So it's back to Texas for a few months to purchase some clever TV ads, in which you will appear with your gut sucked in as well as with your wife, as opposed to the slut punk chicks you usually hang with.
You win, natch, and it's back to Washington to get sworn in, which is code for hiding at Reagan National or BWI and yelling, "You've Been Pranked" to the new crop of would-be-governors who got talked into running for this fake U.S. Senate job.
Hold on a second. Let me think about this. Since I want a Kinky Jewish Cowboy Governor, maybe we shouldn't tell him what the real deal is. The Kinkster probably would ENJOY getting pranked. Particularly by those rave babes.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Billy Clyde hasta go to a two-day conference starting today, so the normal biting social commentary here may be scarce. But there's time to get a few things off my chest.
I was thinking of all the stuff that's been closed in Austin since this blog launched one month and one day ago. Totally coincidental, but eerie nonetheless.
Christmas (as well as Christmas Eve and the Day After Christmas) are predictable down-times. Same with New Years Eve and New Years Day. The Dead Bird Crisis That Shut Down The Central Business District, however, is unprecedented the best BC can tell. Creating a brand new holiday to reflect on the loss of President Gerald Ford also seems to be a first.
Not gonna beat the Austin-ran-out-food deal anymore after yesterday's exhaustive post on the subject. But the airport thing deserves a sentence or two. Turns out the runways were fine. But the guy in charge of securing the de-icing stuff at Austin Bergstrom-International Airport was seriously asleep at the wheel. So the airport higher-ups had to call someone in Houston (Edward) and ask him to send someone (Roger) to Travis County in the de-icing agent truck. News8Austin did an Emmy-worthy job of tracking said truck. The wall-to-wall (or is it floor-to-ceiling?) coverage actually counts as being newsworthy and entertaining by this week's odd standards. Go figure.
The Legislature has also been moving along at a rather deliberate pace. The only real pieces of legislation that have passed are those "permission to adjourn for three days or more" resolutions that our pesky Constitution requires. They have been quite the rage this session. If you support the notion of very limited state government, then you, my friend, are in high cotton.
Both the House and Senate are slated to be back in business on Monday. Presuming, of course, that it doesn't rain.
The Big News today is flying ice. Apparently the only thing more dangerous than driving on wet, cold roads is driving on dry roads that were previously wet. It produces a phenomenon called flying ice, which in layman's terms means ice flies off your vehicle. Sammy and Bob broke this story on KVET (98.1 FM) this morning and generated thousands of calls sharing personal first-hand flying ice reports.
Dead Birds. Flying Ice. What's next? Dogs sleeping with cats? Armageddon?!
(Since I brought up the subject of animals, I owe it to you people to direct your attention to the Associated Press story in yesterday's Houston Chronicle about the toilet-cleaning monkey who doesn't respond to sedative-laced yogurt. Good read, if you ask me.)
It seems like there's been a lot of other closings/peculiar events in the last month (which the MSM is calling The Billy Clyde Era). If this blog is responsible, then I certainly promise to keep up the good work.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


While my selfish ass worries about things like food, I was unaware of some of the secondary and tertiary results of this mildly cool weather.
Check out this gem, from our AP friends:
"In the Rio Grande Valley, the weather was dangerous for illegal immigrants trying to cross the border, where the temperature has dropped 40 degrees since Sunday. The U.S. Border Patrol reported rescuing 15 illegal immigrants, including a woman who was airlifted Monday from a Falfurrias-area ranch to a Corpus Christi hospital."
Friends of Billy Clyde know I heart Mexicans. And that I hate Canadians and the Irish. But with this anti-Mexican sentiment in the air, perhaps we should not advertise the fact that the weather is bothering our southern brothers and sisters. Just gives an opening for the Tom Cancredos and similar know-nothings.
Peace out.


Your man on the scene -- me, Billy Clyde -- erred in his thinking yesterday. It looks like Austin-area restaurants will be closed for another day.

Those of you who know me personally understand that I'm kinda a Mountain Man, a rugged individualist who's one with nature. But dammit, I like going to lunch! It's the high point of my day (hush: no more "loser" jokes) and not only permits me to converse with good friends and neighbors but also offers food-eating opportunities, which have been rare lately. Best I can tell, there currently is zero food in Austin. That's not good.

BC did some serious grazing last night at the Frozen Inaugural of 2007. Not because he's a big fan of Sterno-heated reception food, but because he was becoming very hungry. In hindsight, BC should have eaten even more. The people in charge of obtaining and serving food should get to work at once; this deal is reaching critical mass.

The room service people at the Four Seasons were providing food -- I am NOT making this up -- last night on a "need-to-eat basis." Did I somehow move to Ethiopia on accident? We're big fat Texans. We need sustenance!

On a slightly related note, do you remember when the Bush Inaugural Committee had a Young Professional gala over at the Austin Music Hall? Robert Earl Keen played. All us young professionals danced and sang real loudly and generally had a heckuva good time proving that we had memorized Robert Earl Keen lyrics and were competent in the Two-Step form of dance. Well, last night was NOTHING like that.

Have you ever been to a Century 21 Convention? No? Well, me neither. But I figure it's pretty similar to last night's Inaugural Ball. If you're into middle-aged overweight white people in poorly-fitting rental clothes, the Austin Convention Center was your nirvana. If not, you were better off staying at home and worrying about food.

Let me put it this way: the honoree, Governor James Richard "Rick" Perry, was the coolest guy there. By a long way. BC bets you get the point.

Texans climbed out of our caves and joined the modern world and became all sophisticated and worldly in 1991, when wealthy white women finally achieved governmental parity with wealthy white men and Ann Richards got sworn in. She had Lilly Tomlin and Dolly Parton warm up the crowd, and that was entertaining. Perry had some guy named Ed from Corsicana do the honors. Folks, we are regressing as a civilization.

When Briscoe and Clements and White and Clements and Richards and Bush got inaugurated, it was fairly pricey. But they served food, which I didn't appreciate at the time but on reflection seems like a very humanitarian thing to do. I wish Perry would have charged more.

In closing: If you are a person, and you know of a restaurant that is open, or in the alternative if you own food ... please call me. I'll buy or reimburse you or whatever.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


We are in Day Two of the Great Winter Killer Storm of 2007, and somehow I am still alive.
Billy Clyde rarely watches local news programming, but lately he's been hooked. Hasn't been a bigger teevee story than this since Tom Craddick had dinner with Warren Chisum and Dawnna Dukes last Sunday.
A confidential source (Kenneth Armbrister) deep within Camp Perry informs me that the Swearing-In Ceremony will be inside. Not that I was planning on attending anyway. The local news anchor person keeps telling me how dangerous it is outside (31 degrees Fahrenheit with drizzle!) and that -- not a joke -- I should not attempt to retrieve my morning newspaper lest I perish.
BC don't want to die, but he knows it's gonna happen sooner or later (can it please be later?). But a valiant fight with a rhino in the African outback seems more my style for demise. I want to leave this Earth in style.
I made several gallons of sun tea yesterday (you gotta stock up when the storm of the century hits) and plan on drinking it and relaxing to News8Austin for the rest of the day. I have a rented a limo for tonight, and I got a rented tux (which fits me smartly) as well. For the Inaugural. To which I received an official invite, and which I am attending.
Man, I live on Easy Street.
This weather deal has me bamboozled. I remember spending a clear, open-sky sort of night in Hale Center. It somehow snowed and the powers-that-be forgot to close all businesses, schools, libraries, and strip clubs. They pretended it was a normal day.
The next morning was worse. The local politician's wife (Nelda Laney) put me and my anonymous buddy (Jay Propes) into a car and drove a steady 90 miles per hour from their house to Lubbock. There was snow and ice everywhere, but it wasn't a big deal. To them. They don't get News8Austin. News about The Danger.
Anyway, I look forward to this evening. Granted, I am not a skilled dancer. But I try. And I will look quite handsome in my rented tux, which fits me well. Folks, this will be a social function that I will actually enjoy.
Stay warm and don't attempt to retrieve your newspaper. See ya on Wednesday, when we return to Real-People-World.

Monday, January 15, 2007


It takes a while for certain new phrases to catch on.
Back in the early days, "Ways and Means" was a sorta useless conglomeration of words that didn't really have much of a meaning. And that's still true. But making up new terms like that takes guts, and by golly, our Lieutenant Governor has proved that he has guts.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's with great pleasure that I introduce to you our newest Senate Standing Subcommittee: Flooding and Evacuations.
Yeah, really.
If you are anything like Billy Clyde, your first thought is about the meeting you have back home with your Main Man. He's the guy who's the president of the First National Bank and a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church and heads the Boy Scouts and the Farm Bureau and is half-owner (with his retarded brother-in-law) of the local newspaper. You know the guy.
Anyway, you are Mister Senator and you drive home and the Main Man is at your house having coffee with your wife. Both are kinda sweaty and glowing and trying to catch their breath, but that is lost on Mister Senator cuz his mind is on Serious Senate Stuff (SSS). So the Main Man sez: What did my million dollars worth of fundraising get you? And Mister Senator has to look at his shoes and say, "Flooding and Evacuations."
There's probably not enough work to justify a Senate Committee on Flooding. Or a Senate Committee on Evacuations. But put them together, and, my friends, you gotta party.
Mario Gallegos is the chairman. But he's staying in Houston this session. The other two members are Robert Nichols (I swear he's a real senator; he's the bald bearded guy who used to work for Ric Williamson over at TXDOT; he was Todd Staples' Main Man, if that helps) and Dan Patrick, the new guy who thinks he can beat Don Evans and Roger Williams and Kay Bailey Hutchison and David Dewhurst and be Governor. You know him; he's on the radio.
Anyway, let's say you get hired by the Texas Association For Quality in Deluge and Irrigation Retention Technology (DIRT) to work on their important stormwater legislation. Karina refers the main urban street sewage bill, SB 683, to the Committee on Flooding and Evacuations, natch.
Now you have to build a bridge of consensus between Dan Patrick and Robert Nichols. And those guys don't get along. Dan thinks Robert is a liberal career politician (mayor of Jacksonville) who is up here to feather his own nest just the way all free-spending out-of-touch politicos do. Robert, on the other hand, has yet to meet Dan.
Now the unseasoned rookie would try to bring these two men together, forge a coalition, and move the street gutter agenda on down the road. But you don't do this. Instead, you get Karina to remove the bill from Flooding and Evacuations and sent to the real committee, which hears and reports the measure and recommends it for placement on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.
And all is well.
The good news: you gotcha a Senate Bill in a House committee early in the session. The bad news: that Senate bill got referred to Anna Mowery's committee, which is a fine committee, except that Anna has never figured out the nuances of being a Chairperson. Stuff like "posting" confuses her.
There's no end to this story. Or beginning or middle. BC just couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk about the Senate Standing Subcommittee on Flooding and Evacuations.
Before the next session, I'm gonna suggest to the Lieutenant Governor that the Senate needs a Senate Standing Committee on Refunds and Return Policies. If he names THAT one, he has my money and vote.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


After more than two decades in public office, Governor Rick Perry somehow goofed up and got himself a fairly favorable story written about himself in the MSM.
Billy Clyde has always thought that Perry had talent. My biggest beef against him as a House member was that he was too politically partisan (he was a Democrat). His second biggest beef against him as a statewide elected official was that he was too politically partisan (he was a Republican.)
Very few people will believe me, but I've seen it up close and all personal-like: Take the partisan handcuffs off the man, and he becomes a damn good negotiator/honest broker on issues that many previous governors would simply ignore or avoid.
-- Ann Richards was great when the cameras were on. But in the backroom, no one was scared of her.
-- Bill Clements sucked when the cameras were on, and very few people were scared of him in the back room. (Particularly when, during delicate deliberations over school finance, he would repeatedly yell, "YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN! I'M CALLING THE COPS!)
-- Mark White (who I understand underwent successful cancer surgery last week) was a total fake in front of the cameras and a pansy in the backroom. (editors note: Godspeed, Governor White. BC thinks you're cool, even if no one else does. I actually mean that. The part about you being cool. And getting well.)
It took him 20 years in elected statewide office, but Rick Perry finally seems comfortable in his own skin. He's free from the chain of electoral warfare. He's his own man. His hair (to borrow a quote from the great Warren Zevon in his classic hit "Werewolves of London") is "perfect." He seems to be at peace with himself ... great marriage, great kids (who are out of the house; always a giant-ass relief), spiritually sound --though I wonder about that West Coast Rapper look he dons in his off time. He seems balanced and tranquil and actually willing to lead. For what that's worth.
BC thought he could live to be several thousand years old without prefacing a sentencing with the words, "people who underestimate Rick Perry should do so at their own peril," but it's true. No, he ain't Ma Richards or Dubya on the hug-ya scale. But when Perry puts his arm around you, saddles in close and asks about something, he's sincere. And his sincere routine plays really well.
Quiet! Quiet, people! Hush down!
BC knows it's politically incorrect to post something that paints Rick Perry (longtime political hack -- for both parties -- and opportunistic rung climber turned rich-guy panderer) as a decent human being. But I'm going out on a a limb (because I don't know the true story of the Great Poinsettia Scandal of 1992; I've heard both sides) and cuz for the sole time in my life I think I'm correct: Rick Perry is gonna turn out to be one of our best Governors ever.
To the people who said Rick Perry would never be a Coke Stevenson or Sam Houston or Price Daniel or John Connally ... well, they also said it would snow on Inauguration Day before Perry ever became Governor.
Have you checked the forecast?
UPDATE: Full disclosure: Billy Clyde voted for Kinky Friedman in 2006. So back off.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


We've all heard the predictions from demographers, economists and other Ivory Tower pinheads. And it looks like the futurists in the Texas House of Representatives are finally gonna take action before it's too late.
A little background.
As anyone with half a brain and even Billy Clyde knows, Texas is shedding its urban/suburban/exurban ways (I KNEW it was just a fad!). The Lone Star State of tomorrow will be largely agrarian. Our good jobs will come from the production of food and fiber -- not fly-by-night pipe dream "industries" like nanotechnology (whatever the hell that is) or information services.
The next Michael Dell will create his fortune not in computers, but in goats or grain sorghum.
This, of course, is a good thing. BC ain't scared of progress.
The worker bees over at TLS have posted a copy of HR 3, the proposed permanent rules that the House will take up tomorrow. This document is a blueprint for the future. Specifically, the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee's membership will increase from seven members to nine. And not a moment too soon.
Many of the less-important committees, liked Regulated Industries and Civil Practices, will -- properly -- continue to have just seven members. Ag is the only committee slated to grow. That should send a powerful message to the world markets that Texas is serious about this global economy deal.
There are a few other minor changes in the new rules. The one that is likely to draw the most attention is a patently ridiculous idea to require record votes on final passage of all legislation. And on concurrence motions and actions on conference committee reports.
That smacking sound you hear is House members kissing the rear ends of editorial writers and good government types, aka weasels. These self-styled do-gooders made up a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. They should not be rewarded.
But if House members just can't resist pandering, BC would like to offer this compromise: require a record vote on all bills on first reading, not third. I mean, the number one comes before the number three anyway. Common sense, is what it is.
It would also be more efficient. Remember when they yanked out the voting machine to replace the carpet in the chamber? Seemed like a good idea at the time. Everyone appreciates nice floor coverings. But House members unexpectedly found themselves in a special session on some issue or another (workers' comp? general appropriations bill?). Every time some showboat wanted to raise Cain, he could seek a record vote and paralyze the People's Body. Let's not return to the bad ol' days.
To recap: more goats, fewer votes.
UPDATE: Friday was a bad day for goats. And smokers. Smoking goats took a real screwing.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Even the savviest prognosticator strikes out every now and then.

When Billy Clyde makes a mistake, he acknowledges it the way a manly Texan should. I was wrong. Roger Williams did not give a Fidel Castro-length speech as I predicted. But he did mention Henry Ford. So I was right about it being car dealing-related; it was just a brief sales pitch.

Another lame prediction: Rutgers would be National Champions. As anyone who watched last night's game knows, Boise State is the new King of College Football. I'm on a Prarie View-style losing streak.

I further erred by sitting on the House floor. That was the most uncomfortable chair my butt has ever sat in. (I only stayed there about an hour, but I enjoy bitching.) It was also very crowded. Where's the Fire Marshall when you need him?

In hindsight, I should have gone to the Senate. But then again, no member of the Texas Senate extended me the courtesy of an invite. Bastards. I already miss Armbrister, and he's only been out of the Senate for about six hours. Not that Armbrister ever gave me an opening day pass, either.
That Texas Monthly blogger, Gary Cartwright, actually got mentioned on the House floor today during heated debate. The Pink Lady did not get mentioned, because she frightens House Members. And me. During a period of excrutiating boredness this afternoon, I walked across the street to fetch my laptop. Logged on and found something like 48,914 readers had left her comments. Looks like she's getting really wealthy.
On a slightly related note, why did people think there was going to be a Speaker's race? Oh well. If anyone is interested in inside baseball stuff, Craddick won big.

Monday, January 8, 2007


When Warren Chisum becomes a media star, you know this Speaker's Race nonsense has gotten out of hand.
Here's the latest:
Charlie Geren wants to give every member 1.37 votes, to be cast using the modified College of Cardinals smoke system.
Will Hartnett proposes that all Craddick backers assemble in the House chamber tomorrow, while the other people (losers) gather on Congress Avenue for a black-capped vireo cookout. Sounds scrumptious.
(For those who take their dead-birds-on-Congress news really seriously, this blog has some outstanding reporting on the issue.) http://www.texaslegislature.beloblog.com/
Patrick Rose seeks a grand compromise. Being an Ivy Leaguer, he suggests that members forgo voting altogether and instead have a big Naked Party (see link). This proposal seemed to have legs until Vicki Truitt showed entirely too much enthusiasm for it and for some reason wanted Gene Seaman to be invited. In a completely inexplicable turn of events, she also proclaimed herself "the Firecrotch of the House." I'm pretty sure this whole idea is dead.
Richard Raymond made news this weekend by publicly declaring that he would do "whatever it takes" to remain on the losing side of every political issue he has ever encountered. He's still a Bob Krueger guy at heart. Believe it or not, Bob Krueger was actually a U.S. Senator from Texas for a brief -- very brief -- period of time. How'd that happen?
Billy Clyde often finds irony and humor where it probably doesn't belong. But he can't help but think that his friend Billy Wayne Clayton, who died over the weekend, would be getting a chuckle out of this whole deal. Clayton, you may recall, is the fellow who gave Ralph Wayne and Tom Craddick permission to recruit a young Pete Laney to run for the House against Delwin Jones, who records show is still a House member even though Laney beat him. How'd that happen?
BC always appreciated Clayton's liberal use of the terms "Socialist" and "Communist." They are underused words these days, but the Man From Earth (his actual hometown, or maybe it's Springlake)) did his part to keep them alive. Former U.S. Attorney Tony Canales, after prosecuting Speaker Clayton and getting his ass handed to him on a silver platter, announced to the press that he would support a Clayton candidacy for Governor. Dude, do you want him in the pen or the Governor's Mansion? Make up your mind.
There will be two huge winners tomorrow. The guy who receives the most votes (Tom Craddick) and Roger Williams, who has vowed to limit his speech to three hours and forty-five minutes. During which time he will highlight all the features of GM's new line of full-sized luxury vehicles. Including custom window tinting.
I'll be there.

Friday, January 5, 2007


Billy Clyde faces harsh vitriolic attacks on his personal and professional life every day. But I can take it. As the old saying goes, if you can't stand the cold, get out of the walk-in freezer.
The criticism usually runs something like this: BC uses skulduggery, obscure rules, personal relationships and trickery to wind his way through the legislative maze and knows as much about policy and substance as a hog knows about Sunday. To those armchair quarterbacks, I say: you are just plain right.
But I do know me some prison stuff. The nearest one to my house when growing up was nearly two miles away. But about 10 units were in my home county, including The Walls Unit, where Texas kills people. Plus I also used to go fishing a lot with the former chairman of the House Corrections Committee, Representative Allen Ross Hightower. ARH shared his encyclopedic knowledge of all-things-prisons with BC, and BC is a matter man because of it.
Which brings me to today's topic, highlighted with great insight by that Emily chick from the Dallas Morning News.
You can read the article for yourself. But the summary is that there's a controversy between Tough-On-Crime Politicians and the Actual People Who Get Tough-On-Crime For A Living. The debate goes something like this:
POLITICIAN: "I hate child sex predators and want to punish them and kill them and punish them some more."
PROSECUTOR: "I hate them, too. But your bill will make it easier for them to go free."
POLITICIAN: "But I ran on this issue, and the voters gave me a HUGE victory because I boldly came out against perverts who prey on innocent little kids."
PROSECUTOR: "We voted for you, too. But please don't turn your direct mail piece into legislation. You will be hurting your own cause. Trust me."
POLITICIAN: "Are you sure?"
BC would be pleased as punch if he could go the rest of his life without using the term "unintended consequences." But it's really at the heart of this debate. Let me give you a couple of examples, if I may.
1) 20-year-old dude has a 16-year-old girlfriend. They go parking in what they believe to be a remote area that in fact is occasionally patrolled by Johnny Law, who spots the car and checks it out. He knocks on the steamed-up windows and ask for ID (and for them to get dressed). They comply on both counts. The boyfriend pleads guilty to statutory rape and is sentenced to one weekend in jail and 100 hours of community service. He is now a Registered Sex Offender.
He is also now 35, his wife (the chick in the car with him) is now 31, and they have two lovely children and a dog named Buster, who wears a bandanna. They're doing pretty well and have their eyes on this house in the exurbs, which is in an excellent school system that would be just perfect for their children (Wynn, age 4, and Dixie, age 2). But as a Registered Sex Offender (for life), he can't buy that house, because Johnson County's Third United Methodist Church and Gymnasium is 900 feet away. Registered Sex Offenders can't live within 1000 feet of a gymnasium.
This dude is very different from the 55-year-old greasy-haired pedophile who drives by day care centers seeking children to kidnap and sexually terrorize. At least in my book.
2) A fellow in the Texas Reserve is going through Officer Training School classes at Camp Mabry over off MoPac Boulevard, which gives new meaning to the word "boulevard." His bladder is full, so he takes a leak. (editor's note: this is loosely based on a true story)
Some busy-bodied woman who lives nearby sees this (through her telescope) and alerts authorities. This is her 394th time to report criminal activity to the police this year. She wants to be the head of her neighborhood Crime Stoppers, but her neighbors won't let her.
The police arrest this aspiring officer on public lewdness charges. His attorney, Terry Keel, knows the judge. And the judge knows that Terry would love to take this to a jury trial and spend three weeks showboating in court. So His Honor dismisses the charges.
But if the judge had been from Williamson County, the charges would have stuck. And the young patriot who needed to pee would be doing 15 years of hard time in the State Motel. And he'd be a Registered Sex Offender.
I feel like I'm repeating myself, but ...
This dude is very different from the 55-year-old greasy-haired pedophile who drives by day care centers seeking children to kidnap and sexually terrorize. At least in my book.
I guess the point of this post, other to show off my policy prowess and wonkishness, is this: If you are a member of the Legislature, and you want to help someone, and that person says "thanks but no thanks, your bill will make things even worse," drop your bill.
Legislators should be graded on quality, not quantity.
UPDATE: Prompted by an irate reader, Billy Clyde pledges not to write about policy-oriented stuff for a good long while.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Turns out that soon-to-be-former-and-future Representative Al Edwards (he's already announced his 2008 comeback) is right and all you wiseacres are dead wrong.

Sexy cheerleading is a GIANT problem that has ripped apart the moral fabric of McKinney and caused massive controversy in the the secondary education and adult toy communities in this Collin County hamlet.

The normally virtuous students, parents and faculty at North McKinney High School have been terrorized by a small group of cheerleaders dubbed The Fab Five (cuz there are five of them). These young leaders of tomorrow make the Girls Gone Wild chicks who spend their spring breaks on South Padre Island seem like Amish spinsters.

Besides demonstrating an utter lack of respect for elders in positions of authority, they like to videotape themselves engaging in lewd acts with candle dildos (never thought I would get to use THAT term), drink themselves silly, and send X-rated text messages to their coaches and coaches' spouses.

So the Head Principle (also the mother of one of these cheerleaders) did what any no-nonsense disciplinarian would do these days. She had the school district spend $40,000 on a local attorney -- no, it wasn't Representative Ken Paxton -- to conduct an exhaustive investigation and compile the sordid findings in a bound report. The report is currently ranked 74th on Amazon.com but made its debut at Number 1 -- yes, Representative Fred Hill pre-ordered several copies -- at the Richardson Barnes & Noble.

You'll have to hit the Newsweek Magazine link above for more details, but one allegation involved a "chocolate tampon." If you happen to know what that is, please do NOT share it with Billy Clyde.

One enraged teacher, recounting the Fab Five's litany of unpunished transgressions, complained: "They believe they cannot be touched."

Something tells me they get touched plenty.

UPDATE: Before the Fab Five, there reportedly was a Terrible Two. These McLean, Virginia cheerleaders (Class of '90) apparently did stuff WAY worse than the McKinney chicks. Guess there's a reason they call them the Hustlin' Highlanders.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Some obscure New York newspaper got its hands on former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's campaign plan for his maybe-sorta White House bid. You can read the article here, http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/485008p-408347c.html, or just leave the driving to me.

The super-secret document, apparently left by an absent-minded aide at an Iowa Motel Six, drives home two points. Point 1, the campaign should raise huge piles of money. Not a bad idea.
Number 2, the campaign should figure out a way to deal with Rudy's zipper problems and sleazy business dealings. How to do this? Rudy's brain trust doesn't hasn't a clue -- except they DO have just enough sense to realize that it requires a Texan in charge.
Once again proving that when a Yankee finds his chestnuts in the fireplace, he always turns to a Texan to pull 'em out.
The campaign suggests that Houstonian and Mighty Strike Force General Patrick Oxford is the man for the job. The plan appears to be short on details; it just says to tell the UT Regent all about Rudy's strange business stuff and even stranger personal life and let him figure it out.
I swear, if we Texans hadn't generously agreed to join the Union, the United States of America would be a giant Bangladesh.
Let's wish Pat all the best in his new endeavor. This is gonna make the battle at The Alamo look like a lazy day on the Riverwalk.

Monday, January 1, 2007


Billy Clyde has a giant warm place in his giant heart for the man who served as the Congressman for Walker County's Municipal Utility District Number 2, where I spent my formative years.

Some thoughts about The Liberal From Lufkin:

1) Charlie Wilson is the most important person of our lifetime. 2) Communism sucks so CW stopped it. 3) Tom Hanks will never portray Charlie Wilson properly, but damn I can't wait for the movie. 4) People from East Texas (like me and CW) are just better than the idiots from New York or Dallas or Tehran. 5) The Pine Blogger (the jewel of Angelina County) grants us -- free of charge -- the absolute best Christmas/Kwanzaa/New Year's gift we could ever ask for.

It's here at http://www.thepineblog.net/.

My further comments would serve no real purpose. Just read and enjoy.

UPDATE: If Charlie Wilson watched tonight's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, he would probably agree with me that the Boise State-Oklahoma contest was the best college football game since last year's Rose Bowl, which gave a certain Travis County land grant university a National Championship.