Friday, March 30, 2007


As much as I enjoyed this week, it seems as though my friends at MI5 want Billy Clyde to break his stride and go over to Iran and rescue those captured British soldiers, whom I didn’t even know had been captured until this afternoon.

How come they don’t add a little WORLD news to the meeting posting boards down in the Extension? TLS runs press releases about the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude and the World Viagra Appreciation Day/Astroglide Awareness Week Breakfast, but if you want to know about the Iranian Hostage Crises II (in theaters now!) you have to go to the Drudge Report.

But in all seriousness, y’all got to be quiet about my MI5 mission. Don’t want to lose the element of surprise.

Speaking of surprises, how many of you really, super-duper attentive Capitol cats and dogs knew that the Texas Enterprise Fund is statutorily funded by unemployment taxes? Billy Clyde nods off now and then, but this was a shocker to me. I had always figured that Governor Perry threw a kegger one afternoon on the Mansion lawn and the House and Senate decided to just appropriate him a bunch of money to hold even more keggers on the Mansion lawn. But BC was incorrect.

That’s how yesterday’s House debate begin, in a way. The House had adopted a Calendars Rule, like it always does, that says: If you wanna spend a buck, you gotta cut a buck. And not just any buck – a non-dedicated buck, apparently. Although something like 90 percent of the General Appropriations Act, if you want to be a smart-aleck, is basically dedicated to some degree.

Everyone always fairly well assumed that Fund 6 money and the PUF were off limits. Though stealing a typewriter from the Court Reporters Inspectors Council and giving it to your local barber was fine and dandy.

How are supposed to know something is dedicated? Just because you VOTED for it last session? That seems harsh.

If BC were a House Member – not an International Man of Mystery out to save some brown-toothed Brits whose poor sailing skills could lead to another 20 years of the next Ted Koppel (oh, the horror!) – he would have funded his budget amendment out of the Enterprise Fund. The only fruit lower hanging than THAT is the carrot, which actually may be a vegetable.

Turns out you can’t do it. So a startling number of amendments – maybe 20 – out of about 300 couldn’t even be offered. Democracy was lost. But just for a moment. The pragmatic side of the Members heads’ woke up and thought: Damn, with 280 amendments left, SOMETHING is still germane.

So they had some debate about public policy stuff and issues and causes, etc. With this big mission to the Persian Gulf on his mind, Billy Clyde had zero time to begin learning new wonkish acronyms that he would never use – or even remember. Instead, I became my usual Big (Motion) Picture Man.

So without getting into other the substantive (a.k.a. boring) stuff, Billy Clyde would like to roll out the red carpet for my Scattery Awards.

BEST DIRECTORS: Warren Chisum and Ryan Guillen
In a way it makes sense. If I kidnapped, drugged you and left you in a vacant pasture in either Roberts or Duval counties (and as a skilled MI5 Secret Agent, I could do it in my sleep), Billy would swear you couldn’t tell which was which. Except in winter.

You two turned what could have been Broke Back Mountain into The Sound of Music (without the Nazis).

Some people could argue that she had one poor take, which I suspect she considers kinda her gratuitous nude scene. She possesses a calm, deep understanding of her character and just oozes empathy. Though she can be a bit hyperactive in real life.

Most of the critics pick Carl Isett, who gave a soothing performance. But Gattis – who unlike Critic Billy Clyde is real bright, real prepared and real tall – did his during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For Gattis, it was a “the show must go on” moment.

First, how does anyone look that good at 3:00 a.m. in the morning? There’s not a wrinkle in her face, a hair out of place, and her $1,000 suit looks freshly pressed. Plus, when she gets to the front mic, without a single note, and tells the House: “If we take $86.3 million out of non-discretionary URGL funds and re-dedicate it an already fully funded Section 9 PELAP strategy that’s inconsistent with the federal GMR Act” ... well, it’s just beautiful cinematic prose.

Passionate performance, but occasionally too long winded. You have to acknowledge that he is so smart and sincere he can use his honest, but clever, spin to take audiences places they normally wouldn’t want to go. Critics sided with John Davis, which means he’ll win it next time (and justly so).

BEST CAMEO: Rick Noriega
Bet the critics are sorry now that they didn’t award him the top prize last year for the DocuDrama: “Afghan Freedom Fighter; Houston Electric Lobbyist.”

WORST ACTRESS: Linda Harper-Brown
She nominated herself for Best Actress, then voted against herself. Does she slap herself in the face and say, “Does that hurt?” Representative Harper-Brown may have a promising career as an investment banker or toll booth attendant. Though she’ll never Dance With The Stars.

Been trained by the best thespians, lesbians and equestriennes, and the verdict is in: He’s made for TV, not the silver screen.

Of course, the real awards come when meaningful stuff – the kind of film you can’t cut on the editing room floor – comes down. Look for Puente, Turner of Harris, Keffer and Rose to be fan favorites.

Before I go to Iran in a few minutes, it’s also worth noting that insiders looking for the next new breakthrough artist at The Mouse (industry lingo for Walt Disney Columbia ABC Viacom AOL Dreamworks Miramax) is Joe Straus.


texxasredd said...

You're the best! Sid Miller and a troupe of gamboling thespians, lesbians and equestriennes is now playing in my mind - with appropriate music, of course.....

dreamer said...

Good behind the scenes work getting those Brits out. Are you going to be on the insertion team to rescue Dan Patrick from himself?

Anonymous said...

If you're back from Iran and rested up, please share with us some Easter thoughts -- even if you've converted to Islam while overseas.