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.