Monday, December 31, 2007

And DOWN the backstretch they come

I enjoyed this after spending a few days last week at Delta Downs:

The horses are in the starting gate for the Iowa Caucuses.


Southern Man takes the lead with First Lady on the inside. Chicago Kid is close up in third. Senor Ambassador stumbled a bit coming out of the gate and runs several lengths back in fourth with Talk Show Joe close behind. Further back to Little Big Man and Connecticut Yankee.

Oh Oh! Baked Alaskan has veered off the track and appears to be racing the outrider's pony.

As they round the clubhouse turn, First Lady pulls away from Southern Man opening up a three-length lead. The time in the first quarter is a blistering :22.2 seconds.

Down the backstretch, First Lady still in front, Southern Man a close second and Chicago Kid begins to make up ground. Further back, Senor Ambassador and Talk Show Joe are moving up, vying for fourth place with Little Big Man close behind. Connecticut Yankee is in sixth. The outrider has straightened out Baked Alaskan and he is now rounding the clubhouse turn -- don't worry folks, he's alright, just a little confused.

As they round the turn and head for home...





Now isn't this exciting!

And starring Chuck Rosenthal as Larry Craig

"GOP Implosions for $500, Alex":

-- Which Republican official refuses to resign at the behest of party leadership due to yet another embarrassing sex scandal?

That would be both of 'em, of course. Only the orifices have been changed, and not to protect the innocent.

Behold the man who believes he has the powah to do something about this sordid mess, HCRP chairman Jared Woodfill:

Note the Pat Riley 'do, the diamond-encrusted Rolex and cufflinks, the solid wood hammer he threatens to bring down hard upon the wild willy of one Chuck Rosenthal, soon-to-be-former incumbent district attorney of Harris County.

(Note the geographical instructions for confused Republicans in the background behind him.)

This a true man of the people. A man who rules with impartiality, fairness, and sober jurisprudence. A man of respect, authority, and unquestioned influence.

"What part of 'no' don't you understand?" Rosenthal asked party chairman Jared Woodfill, according to County Judge Ed Emmett, who attended the emergency meeting.

After the four-hour, closed-door meeting that included questioning of Rosenthal, 15 members of the party's Advisory Committee voted unanimously to urge him to withdraw from the March 4 Republican primary for district attorney.

"The consensus was this is a position of high trust, and when this position is questioned, when this position is breached, we feel like it's important that we make a change," Woodfill said.

But Rosenthal, exiting the Greenway Plaza meeting about a half-hour before the it ended, said, "I'm going to run for district attorney and I am going to win."

He said he did not know if he will have an opponent in the Republican primary.

"I certainly hope not. I don't think they've got anybody with the qualifications to run against me," Rosenthal added.

Oh. Well, sorry about that, Jared. Maybe you could call for backup? Reinforcements? A higher power (and no, we ain't talkin' 'bout God)?

(Judge Ed) Emmett, the chief county government official, could be seen discussing the situation with Rosenthal in a side room while the party leaders continued their meeting. Rosenthal frequently raised his arms and gestured during his discussions with the county judge and the party chairman.

Emmett said the GOP activists made the right decision in calling for Rosenthal to step down.

"At this point he is damaged goods, and the party is reflecting that," Emmett said.

But you couldn't talk sense into him either, could you Judge?

The important thing to keep in mind is that this really isn't about Rosenthal's moral failings, it's about his competence as a manager. Any corporate position of this grade would have policies in place preventing not just the undue fraternization of supervisors and subordinates, but also the ethical violation of having one's former girlfriend on the county payroll at twice the salary of comparable positions, along with a company car and expenses.

Moral turpitude, I believe it's called.

And some people would have the dignity to step aside when their lapses in judgment were publicly revealed. But hey, it's still a free country (allegedly), so Chuck can do what he wants and damn the torpedos.

I'm starting to feel bad for the Republicans. No really, I am. If I were still a Republican at this point (and for the record, I quit the Kool-Aid a long time ago -- after Iran-contra), I would run away to the beach and spend the rest of the next eleven months sipping a paper umbrella cocktail, slowly passing my metal detector from side to side, scooting a few dominoes and maybe some shuffleboard, trying hard to keep ignoring the signs of the impending tsunami.

Live out my remaining time dreaming of the good ol' days, when Tom DeLay's collapse was the worst thing that could have ever been.

Not so much resolutions ...

... as they are dream wishes:

  1. That Anton Scalia be impeached and removed from the U.S. Supreme Court for willfully interfering with the 2000 presidential election through the fraudulent temporary restraining order he issued to stop the Florida recount that the Florida Supreme Court ordered under Florida law;

  2. That Dick Cheney and George W. Bush as co-defendants be impeached and removed from office in a dual proceeding on the grounds of multiple occasions of willful defiance of the Constitution, including but not limited to willful disregard of the Bill of Rights, and willful disregard of the Constitutional limitations on powers of the executive branch, and multiple criminal offenses including but not limited to willfully lying to Congress and the public on multiple occasions in order to induce the passage of legislation to authorize the Iraq war and occupation;

  3. That the new President appoint Congressman and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Doggett to fill the Supreme Court vacancy resulting from Scalia's removal from office;

  4. That Clarence Thomas resign from the Supreme Court in protest and the new President appoint attorney and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. to the resulting vacancy;

  5. That Congress repeal all legislation authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq and require the Joint Chiefs of Staff to withdraw all American military forces from Iraq, with the withdrawal to commence within no later than 24 hours after the enactment of the legislation and to be completed within no more than 90 days;

  6. That all authorization, permission, and/or contracts for American citizens and companies to conduct military, paramilitary, or security operations in Iraq be canceled;

  7. That Congress repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and all similar post-9/11 legislation authorizing greater governmental authority over the liberty and freedom of human beings; 7A. That the FISA Act be repealed and the authority to issue or disapprove search warrants in all cases including electronic eavesdropping be returned to the regular judiciary under the strict standards of the Fourth Amendment;

  8. That the new President renounce all "signing statements" written during the presidency of George W. Bush;

  9. That all detainees at Guantanamo Bay and all other facilities of the United States be either charged with criminal offenses within 24 hours or released from detention;

  10. That new antitrust and anti-monopoly statutes be enacted to outlaw the huge new combinations and conglomerations of capital;

  11. That the National Labor Relations Act be repealed and replaced with a new and more meaningful charter for the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively pursuant to the First and Thirteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution;

  12. That the U.S. Supreme Court overrule its 19th century County of Santa Clara decision that erroneously pronounced corporations to be persons within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment;

  13. That the Texas courts restore full meaning to Article 3 Section 51 of the Texas Constitution as to prohibit all usages of public authority for private gain;

  14. That the people of Texas amend the Texas Constitution so as to repeal the 2003 amendment of the Open Courts provision, Article 1 Section 13, and restore the fundamental rights of the people to open courts with full remedies for all legal wrongs;

  15. That the people of Texas repeal Article 1 Section 32 of the Texas Constitution that was added in 2005 to interfere with fundamental personal liberty and privacy by prohibiting legal recognition for certain domestic partnerships between consenting adults;

  16. That the people of Texas amend the Texas Constitution so as to prohibit all usage of forcible eminent domain for economic development or other private economic gain, with no exceptions;

  17. That the people of Texas amend the Texas Constitution so as to require approval by referendum of the voters residing in a county for the construction of any toll road or part thereof in the county and for the continued maintenance of any existing toll road or part thereof in the county;

  18. That the people of Texas amend the Texas Constitution so as to require democratic elections by the voters of every governing member of every governmental body at every level of government that possesses the authority to make final decisions to spend public money or wield public authority;

  19. That all public officials conduct themselves with the knowledge that in a democracy every citizen is a 100 percent equal co-owner of the government and that public officials hold office only for the benefit of the public and with the permission of the public as stewards for the public trust; and

  20. That all politicians renounce the philosophy of spin and adopt the philosophy of say what you mean and mean what you say.