I'm proud to be Red. I have lived most of my life in Texas and I love this place. Here are a few things you should know about me.
1. I am happily married and intend to stay so.
2. I live in a house that is older than you, unless you are really old.
3. I own 2 rifles and a shotgun. I think handguns are just trouble.
4. I have never killed a man, but have taken out some deer and hogs.
5. I was a good student, but never close to being valedictorian.
6. In no particular order I like the Houston Texans, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Astros, FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Texas Longhorns and Houston Dynamo.
7. I hate Dallas but always have a good time when I go there.
8. I was a Dallas Cowboys fan for 26 years but declared that I was no longer a fan during the 1987 strike.
9. I don't own any pets. I like cats, and a good dog and I have met at least 3 of them in my lifetime.
10. I think the best part of Texas is west of I-35.
11. I own two pairs of cowboy boots, but don't wear them very often.
12. I don't have a pronounced Texas accent, but can affect one when needed.
13. My last meal would be fried shrimp with tartar sauce, a baked potato with all the fixins', a dinner salad with 1000 Island dressing, yeast rolls and chocolate fudge pie for dessert.
14. I'm an old Dad, but my children are none of your business.
15. I have two degrees from UT-Austin and somehow managed to fall in love with and marry an Aggie.
16. Most of my family are right-wing nut jobs but I love them anyway.
17. When I get to play golf on a regular basis, I shoot in the low 80's.
18. I don't get to play golf on a regular basis.
19. I think Fort Worth is the best town in Texas by a long shot.
20. I have a mean herb garden.
P.S. Remember it's not a color, it's a state of mind.
Red is a bit behind the times, but he was saddened by the passing of Tim Conway. Red’s first exposure to the comedian was in his role as Ensign Charles “Chuck” Parker on McHale’s Navy. He was the perfect comedic foil for the great Ernest Borgnine and never failed to make Red laugh. It was especially funny to watch his awkwardness around love interest Yvette Gerard (played by Claudine Longet) a French woman from a nearby island. Conway won 6 Emmys (four for his work on the Carol Burnett Show) including one for writing. Most of all, he seemed like a nice guy. Red is sometimes slow on the uptake and never really though about the fact that Conway and Borgnine were reunited in a nautical way in their roles as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy on the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.
“[T]here is virtually nothing, no matter how crazy, that you can’t get about 18 percent of Americans to support if they’re in a bad enough mood. In the spring of 2011, 17 percent of likely Republican primary voters said that thought it would be a good idea to nominate Donald Trump for president.”
Gail Collins, from As Texas Goes . . . published in 2012.
Collins was discussing the fact that about 18 percent of Texans expressed support for secession in 2009. The craziest example she could come up with to demonstrate how a segment of the American population will support just about anything was the idea of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. Sorry Gail, you totally and completely underestimated the craziness of the American public.
Big-time Plaintiffs’ attorney and political wannabe Tony Buzbee is running for mayor of Houston and already he is doing what he does best to win – suing people. Buzbee claims that billboards with a public safety announcement for AlertHouston (which issues emergency alerts) featuring a photo of incumbent mayor Sylvester Turner are really an illegal campaign contribution allegedly paid for by Clear Channel in violation of Texas election law. Although Buzbee claims he is not accepting campaign contributions, the lawsuit may be his way of funding the campaign as he is seeking damages of $5 million as well as attorney’s fees and injunctive relief. Buzbee claims the billboards are campaign contributions disguised as “non-reported corporate ‘donations.’” Buzbee’s petition states:
“These billboards are directly meant to influence the outcome of this upcoming mayoral election by means of public advertising. . . . The billboards are obviously aimed at gaining support for current mayor Sylvester Turner regarding the health and safety of the city.”
From the Annals of Tejana Musica – In 1971, Tejana superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez was born in Lake Jackson. She was a Tejano superstar and attracted the then largest crowd in Astrodome history during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 1994. Her 1992 album Entre a Mi Mundo made her the first Tejana to sell more than 300,000 albums. Her 1995 album Dreaming of You hit number one on the national Billboard Top 100 the week it was released. Tragically, her career was cut short when she was shot by the founder of her first fan club on March 31, 1995 just as Selena was on the verge of becoming a huge crossover star.
“Notre-Dame de Paris is, in particular, a curious specimen of this variety. Each face, each stone of the venerable monument, is a page not only of the history of the country, but of the history of science and art as well.”
A very desperate Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (not his real name) threatened to use the so-called “Nuclear Option” to cram through a deeply flawed property tax bill that will shift the tax burden even more on to lower income Texans. Here’s the deal, under long-standing Senate rules to take up debate on legislation, three-fifths of the Senate, or nineteen senators, must vote to move forward. Patrick has warned that he will throw out the three-fifths rule. This is called the “Nuclear Option” because it will destroy decades of tradition in the Senate, a body that has served as bulwark against bad legislation because the three-fifths rule requires consensus-building and reaching across the aisle. Feckless Republican leadership was ready to go along with Patrick.
But on Monday, hold out Sen. Kel Selinger (R-Amarillo) relented and allowed the bill to come to the floor for debate despite his strong opposition to the substance. It seems that Selinger (one of the only Texas Republicans with any backbone) was willing to allow bad legislation to proceed in order to preserve Senate tradition. Selinger likely recognized that Patrick’s petulant behavior was the bigger danger in the long run than debating a very flawed tax bill. Patrick could have won a pyric victory by exploding Senate consensus – a move that would have long term consequences should the Democrats ever regain power.
And the legislation itself? Patrick’s bill would have capped property tax revenue growth for local governments, special taxing districts and school districts at 2.5 percent a year, a threshold that many local government officials have said is way too low and will negatively impact their ability to provide critical government services like police and fire protection. As a compromise to get Selinger on board, the proposed legislation now sports a 3.5% annual cap. In any event, local governments could exceed the cap with voter approval. The real kicker, however, is the likely tie into a yet to be filed bill that will increase the state sales tax by 1%. That is the most regressive form of taxation and will likely pass.
From the Annals of the Supreme Court – In1869, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Texas v. White which essentially eviscerated the argument of individual state sovereignty apart from the Union. The SCt ruled that Texas still had the right to sue in the federal courts despite having seceded in 1861. Texas has sued for an injunction prohibiting George W. White and others from transferring U.S. issued bonds they purchased from the secession-era Texas State Military Board during the Civil War. The bonds had been issued to Texas as part of the Compromise of 1850, but at the time of the Civil War not all such bonds had been issued. Texas sold the bonds to raise funds durng the war. After the war, the US Treasury refused to redeem the war-issued bonds. Texas sued to reclaim the bonds from the purchasers. Under Article III, section 2 of the US Constitution, which provides original jurisdiction in the Supreme Court in cases where the State is a party, Texas sued directly in the U.S. Supreme Court At the SCt, the issue turned on whether Texas, having seceded and not having completed Reconstruction, had status in the Union and therefore the right to sue as a federal court. Texas argued that the Union was indestructible and Texas’ status as a state remained unchanged by the war. White argued that Texas, by seceding from the Union and waging war against the United States, had lost the status of a state in the Union and therefore had no right to sue in the SCt. In a five-to-three decision authored by Chief Justice S. P. Chase, the court held the Union to be indestructible and thus not dissoluble by any act of a state, the government, or the people.