Thursday, March 15, 2007


When you have a funny feeling about something, best bet is to stick with your gut.

Billy Clyde contemplated taking himself a Spring Break this week. Maybe a quick jaunt over to Dubia or Qatar – hell, maybe even South Padre Island or Lake Fork – and return fresh for the upcoming grueling part of the legislative session.

But fool me once, shame on someone. Fool me twice, shame on either that same someone or maybe someone else or maybe even me. So BC hung around campus all week to listen to the dirty, vile, sex debate taking place in our Capitol, and hindsight shows that was a wise choice.

BC would betcha dollar to a glazed doughnut hole that he’s told the Honorable Rick Perry, the current Governor (really!; he is!; look it up) about the time he took a long weekend exploring Galveston’s deep blue seas at the swim-up bar at the San Luis Hotel while he SHOULDA been bird-dogging the General Services Commission sunset bill. Senate sponsor Bobby Joe Glasgow swore up and done that BC’s two sentences were fine and, because Glasgow could be flaky, BC got the same commitment from Senators Barrientos and Ike “O.H.” Harris. And yet the Monday morning packet showed that the two sentences were removed on Friday afternoon by an amendment offered by Gonzalo and accepted by Glasgow and voted for by O.H.

Lesson learned.

Fortunately, Senator E.B. Johnson found a provision tucked in the bill that granted Bubba Steen enhanced law enforcement retirement benefits and she filibustered it to death on the closing weekend and I got what is referred to in parliamentary parlance as a “do-over.” Don’t remember what Eddie Bernice’s problem was with Bubba, who did have a highly dangerous job as GSC executive director, but it saved Billy Clyde’s butt.

(Full disclosure: This post is totally true.)

Even more fortunately, Representative Wolens read the entire bill the next morning as we started the special session and found TONS of stuff way more offensive than Bubba’s stuff or Billy Clyde’s language (which I told everyone was actually John Sharp’s language, a claim that had a healthy grain of non-lie in it). So by the time Wolens exposed all the goodies for legislators’ half-wit cousins buried in the conference report and a fresh bill was produced, the Billy Clyde (excuse me, I mean Sharp) provision was looking like it came straight from Common Cause.

The point is: Governor Perry went half the way around the globe at precisely the time that the Legislature had decided to re-assert legislative supremacy in what, in our little community, can be loosely considered a major constitutional separation of powers debate on a number of fronts. Although, to the Governor’s credit, if you read the crayon coloring on the stall and realize the envelope is being pushed back your direction, maybe eight days on Infidel Island beats the snot out of slogging through losing battles in your very own Capitol.

But just as the Legislature should try to stake its ground, the Chief Executive should try to stake his. Preferably from a Western Hemispheric base.

People who brush off Rick Perry as just being lucky forget the old truism: you make your own luck. But Governor – and I say this as someone who honestly wants you to succeed – please call Cliff and get him back on the payroll. Now.

UPDATE: Some good points received, some good points granted. And yes, I do have examples:

1) If the pre-teen anti-cancer slut drug was so important, why not tell Albert to put it on the list in August or September? Same outcome.

2) If you believe that innovative private investment is the only sound way to play catch-up on transportation (and that could very well be correct), why let Chairman Williamson become such a lightening rod that the policy discussion gets lost in the personality disputes? And make Krusse catch so much crap? Name another guy, then appoint Williamson your chief of staff this summer. Is there no irony or cleverness left in this building?

3) If the agency in charge of housing delinquent youths turns out to being sexually assaultive on a regular basis with those students/inmates (studmates?), why not take really drastic action at once? Can’t hurt nothing. I am fairly certain, without even reviewing polling data, that state-sanctioned youth rape and assault is not a winning political issue.

4) If there’s an impending crisis about electric availability, why not be an advocate for massive new transmission capacity and punt the generation stuff to the PUC? Win-win situations are good.

5) Two words: Courthouse Restoration. Billy Clyde has no idea if any more need restoring, but people love that shit. In the alternative, three words: Main Street Restoration.

6) Texas is a long way from running out of water. But get out there and act like you care. Conservation (i.e.: don’t run sprinklers during a gully washer) and minimal water development bond authority (say, enough that President Bush gives Texas a 200-fold-match before he leaves office) will make you look like the water sage.

Just some thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Hey BC,

Just finished a hukka in Tangier (or was it a hooker in Tahoka?). Anyway, you're latest missive raised some concerns. Mygawd BC, did the word "conservation" appear on my screen, or was it just some flashback? Am I gonna have to come over there and drive you back to right like before?

Tryin' one,


Anonymous said...

"If the agency in charge of housing delinquent youths turns out to being sexually assaultive on a regular basis with those students/inmates (studmates?), why not take really drastic action at once? Can’t hurt nothing. I am fairly certain, without even reviewing polling data, that state-sanctioned youth rape and assault is not a winning political issue."

Awesome writing, dude.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about #5 - John Nau got his $63 mill in the supplemental...

Anonymous said...

Hope the Aggie Campus in Quatar fares better than the Japan campus. Perry is doing a great job allowing Armbrister to get beat up every day ....but he's here for awhile.

PS maybe Bubba needed the peace officer status, his cousin was Buster Brown (hunny let me show you how to play golf) and he started out living with Gib Lewis and Dean Cobb, and he ran the boxing commision. Then Bubba went to work for A&M so this story comes full circle.

Billy Clyde said...

Dear Shake:

For your clients' sake, I hope your direct mail makes more sense than your posts.

Dear Anon 1:

Why thank you. Would you mind calling Mary at Martin Press and telling her how good a writer I am. We seem to be at an impasse.

Dear Anon 2:

Good for Mr. Nau. If I am ever homeless, I plan to sneak into his house and squat in one of his remote bedrooms.

Dear Anon 3:

If BC had to make a list of his 20 favorite people, it would include Kenneth D. "Twister" Armbrister, Lias A. "Bubba" Steen, James E. "Buster" Brown, Gibson D. "Gib" Lewis, and L. Dean "Ding-Dong Daddy From Dumas" Cobb. So don't jack with any of them.

CapitolAnnex said...

Since you mention Lake Fork, I read in a local weekly that they are having some kind of big fishing tournament out ther on the Wood County side. It'll be the first one with (legalized) sale and distribution of beer.

Anonymous said...

If Armbrister, Bubba, Gib, Dig Dog daddy etc are in your top twenty, no wonder you have time for a blog...Hell you probably miss Cordell Hull. (Me too by the way)