Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Brainy Texans of the Year

I chose to carry on the tradition this year due to declining interest from the TPA.  Before I bestow the inglorious award, however, let's run up a few of the 'honorable mentions'.

-- Progress Texas released their Worst list earlier in the week, and Ted Cruz won the gold medal.  The Cuban Canuck Schmuck certainly made my top five, but really, how do you miss with any of Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, and Sid Miller?  And that's just the statewide electeds.

-- The Texas House could have been its own list, with state Rep. Cecil Bell atop Texas Monthly's Worst from the last Lege, followed closely by Sen. Donna Campbell, Rep. Harold Dutton, Sen. Joan Huffman, and Sen. Jane NelsonFormer fetus Jonathan Stickland has surged in the standings like the price of an Uber ride home on New Year's Eve, and not just because he wears an AR-15 as a lapel pin, but that he's been recently exposed as a stoner and an advocate for marital rape.

-- The Texas Congressional delegation and its chief idiot Louie Gohmert could have won this award based on lifetime achievement, but Lamar Smith, the House's leading climate denier, wouldn't be far behind, and those two made former All Star Assholes like Joe Barton, Blake Farenthold, and Pete Sessions, along with retiring Randy NoogieBoogie and Rookie of the Year Brian Babin look like amateurs.

-- Then there are the Texas Democrats, and they're no slouches when it comes to competition for the worst.  Just look again at the state House of Representatives, and the Dirty Thirty Democrats who voted to let Denton's fracking ban be overturned.  Or Senfronia Thompson, who was miffed that the Texas Automobile Dealers Association didn't get a meeting with Mr. Tesla, or my own state rep, Borris Miles, who earned a dishonorable mention from TM for drunk and disorderly conduct.

-- Or look back at Congress, with Blue Dogshits Henry Cuellar, Marc Veazey, up-and-comer Filemon Vela, and the petro-whore Gene Green, being challenged by Adrian Garcia, whose inability to clean up the Harris County jail during his time as sheriff is now a national disgrace and not just a local one.  Even Sheila Jackson-Lee kept doing what she does.  From TM's Bum Steers ...

(SJL) called Republican threats to sue the president over Obamacare a “veiled attempt at impeachment,” moralizing that the Democrats who controlled the House of Representatives during George W. Bush’s presidency had never stooped so low. Soon after, an online news source cited a 2008 resolution that Jackson had co-sponsored calling for Bush’s impeachment.

-- There was Chris Bell going rogue, lining up behind Bill King for H-Town mayor, and there was Nile Copeland turning red in hopes for a state district judgeship after running for the Court of Appeals as a Democrat four years ago and getting 46%.  This was the wrong year to change parties, fellows.

-- I could have easily selected Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith, whose defiant attitude in the wake of the death of Sandra Bland in his jail has added to the many fatal failures of law enforcement and criminal justice in 2015.  Smith also sat in a restaurant having lunch for two hours, oblivious to the stealing of an arsenal of weapons in broad daylight from his county vehicle.  That puts him easily in the top three for Texan of the Year.

-- Abel Reyna, the McLennan County district attorney overseeing the prosecutions of whatever crimes the various biker club members who assembled in Waco may have committed that resulted in their summary execution by law enforcement, may win next year's TOY.

-- But there were also a few bright lights that I shouldn't overlook: Sylvester Turner holding on to the mayor's office for Team Blue, Cecile Richards keeping up the fight against the hordes of anti-choice extremists in Texas.  Texan of the Year in years past hasn't been about who was the biggest jerk, after all.

-- And the winner has not always been relegated to an elected official: Wallace Hall, the odious UT regent who is still dug in like an Alabama tick (thanks for that, Jesse) and who was immortalized in cartoons by the Chron's Nick Anderson two years ago, gets points for longevity.  The loons who made sure the Operation Jade Helm 15 conspiracy made a laughing stock of the state have to be in my top five.  Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant County, an even more radical offshoot of Open Carry Texas, issued death threats to legislators if the law allowing Texans to pretend it is 1885 all over again did not pass.  (It did, unsurprisingly.)

-- The ongoing saga of Rick Perry's felony indictments -- which now include the judge in the case's assassination attempt -- are worthy of some special recognition.

-- In the category of Extreme Irony, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson joined a NIMBY lawsuit to stop the construction of a water tower meant to fill trucks for fracking well sites.  His company was also found to have hidden the truth they knew about the dangers of climate change for almost forty years.

-- But I've buried the lede deep enough.  The come-from-behind winner of this year's Texan(s) of the Year are Ethan Couch and his mother Tonya, who made the holidays merry and bright for the victims of his affluenza.

Just imagine how privileged you have to feel to think that disguising yourself as Mexican in order to avoid arrest is a good idea.

Carrot Top Mom's going to jail, Sonny Boy is going to avoid it for some while longer.

Authorities in Texas said an arrest warrant was being issued for Tonya Couch on charges of hindering an apprehension, a third-degree felony that carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison.


The ruling (to delay extradition) earlier Wednesday by the Mexican court gives a judge three days to decide whether the younger Couch has grounds to challenge his deportation based on arguments that kicking him out of the country would violate his rights.

Hunter said the legal maneuver basically takes the decision out of an immigration agent's hands and asks a higher authority to make the deportation decision. He said such cases can often take anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the priorities of the local courts.

"It also depends on the fact the Couches have legal counsel. And it seems to me, if they wanted to, they could pay them as much money as they want to drag this thing out," Hunter said. "We're hopeful that's not the case."

Couch and his attorneys apparently believe he's better off in a Mexican jail than an American one.  I sure hope they're wrong about that, too.

"Couch continues to make a mockery of the system," said Fort Worth attorney Bill Berenson, who represented Sergio Molina, who was paralyzed and suffered severe brain damage in the crash.

A very Unhappy New Year to Ethan and Tonya Couch.

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