Tag Archives: Dan Patrick

Let Lieutenant Dan be the First in Line

Red admits he was conflicted by the rolling shutdown of businesses in Texas and throughout the country.   First it was AustinDallas and then San Antonio issuing shelter-in-place orders.  But when Waco  and McClennan County officials announced a closure of all non-essential businesses, Red began to realize that we are in some seriously deep doo doo with this COVID-19 crisis in Texas.   When the heart of Texas and the heart of Texas conservatism (sorry Tarrant County – you’re getting kind of squishy) is taking this matter seriously, then something is really up.  Red doesn’t not pretend to be privy to the expert medical advice given to such officials, but if Waco is shutting down then the reports must be ominous.

Our Poor Idiot Governor Greg Abbott (and don’t take particular offense at this characterization as, in Red’s humble opinion, Abbott is just one in an almost continuous line of OPIG’s dating back to at least whoever came after Alan Shivers) has refused to do much of anything other than close schools and mumble something about gatherings of more than 10 people.  Even worse, Abbott has laughably claimed that he likes to defer to local authorities in such times of crisis.  Curious, how he and the GOP controlled legislature have repeatedly railed against local authorities when they have addressed relatively minor issues like plastic bag bans, tree protection ordinances and some more important ones like fracking bans.  His message has consistently been “I love local government – except when it goes against my right-wing Trumpian dogma.” But now it’s- “Hey, local guys you do what you think is right so that I can have my political cover come next election and say I didn’t destroy the Texas economy – it was all those local Democrats who overreacted.”  It must be tough to maintain a straight face . . .

And speaking of overreaction, here is Red’s take on the issue.  We will never know if the current measures being adopted were needed or effective.  Or at least there will never be an admission from the opponents of such measures that the a general shut down prevented thousands or perhaps millions of deaths.  If such shut-downs stop the spread of the virus, it would seem there is no real way to actually measure the effectiveness of such measures – other than maybe compare us to Italy or Spain.  Red did not do well in probability and statistics and will leave that to others.

However, if the naysayers get their way – maybe we will be able to tell if they were right or wrong.  If we all just go back to normal shoulder-to-shoulder daily life and work and play and COVID-19 kills off no more of us than might bite it in a typical bad flu season, then one could rightfully argue that a shut-down was not needed.  But here’s the kicker – if the let’s’-just-keep-rolling-along-as-if-this-is-no-big-deal crowd is wrong, really wrong, then the consequences could be catastrophic.  This is life and death folks – who wants to gamble?

Okay, so back to the real point of this little diatribe.  This morning Red awoke to the pronouncement of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that our senior citizens should be willing to go down taking one in the gut (or the lungs as the case may be) in order for their grandchildren to have a fully functioning economy.  Red will let Lt. Dan speak for himself here.

No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that.

I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me … that what we all care about and what we all love more than anything are those children.  And I want to, you know, live smart and see through this, but I don’t want to see the whole country to be sacrificed, and that’s what I see.

The message here seems to be pretty clear – Screw the old folks, we’ve got shit to sell.  And as an old man himself, Lt. Dan is taking the supposed high road.  In effect, “I’ll roll the dice because otherwise my political party and career are probably headed for the crapper.”

So while Red was conflicted (remember that’s how this all began), once he heard Lt. Dan’s noble gesture, Red knew that this was a serious problem and that any measures we take should not be half-hearted.  Stay at home as much as possible, wash your hands, maintain “social distance” (we really need a new name for that), enjoy your family, exercise, pull some weeds, have a nice drink, watch some Have Gun Will Travel reruns (highly recommended).  Do the right thing.

And while we are at, Red has some Kool-Aid ready for  Lt. Dan just in case he wants to be the first in line.  Take one for the team buddy!  One potential infection vector down!

P.S. –  On the way in, Red heard right-wing radio bloviator Michael Berry going on about what a crock these shut-downs are – effectively a Commie plot to destroy his beloved Republican Party and force everyone into government servitude.  If Red had any lingering doubts about whether a shut down was the right course of action, hearing Berry’s lying, fear-mongering rant removed any doubt.  A rule that is without exception:  When an utter POS like Berry is against something, it must be the right course of action.

Lieutenant Dan Slams P. Bush

Image result for alamo plaza redevelopment

“It is evident to me that both the design, planning and execution of the project is badly off track.  . . . Nothing defines the independent and the courageous spirit of Texas more than our iconic Alamo and, like most Texans, I treasure it. The history of the Alamo is a personal passion of mine. I do not intend to sit quietly and see this project fail.

I have seen two architectural renderings so far, including the latest one a few weeks ago, and neither are anything close to what the people of Texas are expecting.  The latest looks like a massive urban park with hundreds of trees – more like Central Park in New York City than Alamo Plaza.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick slamming Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush yet again on the ongoing renovation of the Alamo area in downtown San Antonio.

How can Red lose in a fight between these two fearless defenders of our Texas heritage.  Patrick’s surrogates have been promoting the idea that George P. is going to try to honor the Mexican soldiers as well because of his Mexican heritage on his mother’s side.   George P. pushes back that these attacks are tinged with racism.

Red wants to point out a couple of things.  Any battlefield historic site almost anywhere in the world talks about both sides.  How can you tell the story of the Alamo without talking about the Mexican soldiers and their incompetent leadership in Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna?  Second, Patrick clearly sees George P. as a potential rival for the Governorship when and if OPIG Abbott steps down.  Patrick views this as a weak point for Bush and will press and press the issue regardless of the facts.  Third, who can be surprised that any project a Bush takes on has a decent chance of being completely bungled.  Finally, the current plan is infinitely better than the hodgepodge of shameful tourist attractions that now dominate a large part of the historic site.

Dan Patrick Would Blow up the Texas Senate Just Because he Can

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.

Quote for the Day

“I have a recommendation for Ms. Sylvester and her lips and my backend.”

State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo).

The relatively moderate Seliger was responding to comments made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s senior advisor Sherry Sylvester.  Seliger, who had been the longtime chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, was upset after Patrick  removed him from that committee and the Senate Finance Committee instead installing him as Chair of the Agriculture Committee.  Sylvester remarked that if Seliger “believes serving as Chair of the Agriculture Committee . . . is beneath him, he should let us know and the lieutenant governor will appoint someone else.”  Seliger’s remarks got him removed from that position and barred from a Republican caucus.  Patrick may not be very smart, but he sure plays hardball.  This is a warning to all Texas Republicans who are not willing to tow the ultra right-wing Tea Party line of Patrick and his ilk.

Texas’ Most Endangered Species – Thoughtful Republicans

The Republicans who represent a good chunk of the Texas Panhandle in the Texas House and Senate are facing ultra-right wing challengers in the upcoming GOP primary.  Merely being a somewhat thoughtful conservative or even considering a Democratic proposal is a dangerous game to play in the Tea Party dominated Texas GOP.  If you are unwilling to lick the boots of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, you might just find yourself back home wondering how you aren’t quite conservative enough.  Senator Kel Selinger and Representatives Ken King (Lubbock) and Four Price (Amarillo) may be unseated in March.  The Texas Observer has more on the far right movement to take down any such “Establishment Republicans.”

The challengers are generally following a playbook developed by Empower Texans, a right-wing enforcement group that targets what it considers establishment Republicans: claim that you are unequivocally conservative and that the other guy is basically a Democrat, all the while vilifying bipartisanship and accusing your opponent of being a big-government patsy who’s soft on abortion.

Far-right groups, including Texans for Vaccine Choice, Texas Right to Life and Grassroots America — We The People are working to knock off the incumbents. And while the Panhandle is one of the reddest parts of the whole country (Trump took 90 percent of the vote in some of the counties here), the area continues to elect Republicans with a pragmatic streak. For instance, King has sought to secure funding for struggling rural schools; Price has been a champion for mental health care; and Seliger refused to divert money from public schools for private school vouchers. Wielding accusations of perceived liberalism, challengers have made the region a battleground in the civil war raging within the Texas GOP.

 

Stupid Quote of the Day

“College football is grateful to Iowa State for knocking off TCU.”

Accidentally overheard by Red from Dan Patrick – sports radio and TV giant ego and empty suit.  The absolute worst of the worst in the sports broadcasting world.  Why anyone listens to this moron is beyond Red.  TCU was one of the best stories of the year and just fell short against this season’s giant killers – Iowa State.

Charlie Pallilo is Back

KGOW – AM 1560 announced that Radio Sports God Charlie Pallilo will be returning to the airwaves just in time for football season.  Pallilo’s new show will debut on Monday August 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  While that is not a coveted time spot, it will be good to have the knowledgeable and largely congenial host back.  Sweet justice would have had him facing off with fathead Josh Innes in morning drive time, but Red guesses Charlie doesn’t want to get up that early.

CP had been on Houston radio more or less continually since 1989 until his abrupt firing in October when he was replaced by the bumbling know-nothing Innes – a move which initially sank KBME AM 790’s ratings.  The station has been boosted of late by the success of the Astros.

Gow Media reports that Pallilo will contribute to its CultureMap website and its SportsMap site scheduled to launch this year and will at some point contribute in some fashion to the company’s SB Nation Radio Network.

KGOW has been off Red’s radio listening radar since it ditched The Steve Czaban Show.  That show had some issues, but was worth listening to if only for the occasional appearance of Evil Jack.  Red simply cannot stomach smarmy radio fascist Dan Patrick.

But Red digresses.  Congratulation are in order to Charlie for finding another radio home in Houston and to fans who will once again be treated to the finest sports talk radio show host this city has ever know.