SS,DD.......The vote last week on the
Texas Speaker’s race is a microcosm on everything that’s
wrong with the Texas legislature. Tom Craddick of Midland
was elected as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
when the Republicans took over in the 2002 election, and he
was elected again last week, now the longest serving
When Craddick was first sworn in, Tom
DeLay stood behind him and together they both were involved
in ARMPAC which sought to have Texas redistricted. They were
successful and Craddick has gone from there to become the
same type of “hammer” that DeLay was notorious for: “my way
or the highway.”
A move to unseat him this year was
brought because many representatives complained of
Craddick’s autocratic leadership style and his strong-arming
members to vote against their districts for fear of
FYI: this is a different Tom Craddick
than the one who was a member of the “Dirty 30” during the
70’s. That group pushed for ethics reform. Tom Craddick as
we know him now never met an ethics he liked. He spent over
$1 million of lobbyists’ and special interest group’s money
redoing the 2,000 square foot speaker’s quarters in the
The vote this past week boiled down to
whether the Lege would have a secret vote for the speaker or
a roll call (open) vote. The general belief was that a
secret vote meant that Craddick was toast, but an open vote,
which would supposedly ultimately subject the could-be
losers to the wrath of the Speaker, would insure Craddick’s
The open vote carried the day with most
Republicans voting for an open vote and most Democrats
voting for a secret vote. Our legislative representatives in
Fort Bend followed the party line.
One can make a case for and against an
open vote. We elect our representatives. We have a right to
know how they voted. They should have the courage to stand
up and be counted. If the speaker is bad for the state, they
should vote him out, no matter whether a secret vote or an
open vote. And if he’s bad enough, as many of the
representatives say privately, then a majority will vote him
On the other hand, we get to go to the
ballot box and secretly vote for whom we want. Why can’t our
legislators be afforded the same privilege?
Can’t use my teeth anymore.....Either
I am getting feeble or packages are becoming much harder to
open. I have to have a pair of scissors or a knife readily
at hand when I want to open anything from a package of
crackers to a child’s Christmas toy.
I noticed this past Christmas as I helped
my grandsons open their Christmas presents that some toys
took me several minutes to open, and I remember one
particular package that required a screwdriver, of all
What do the manufacturers think a three
year old is going to shoplift a toy if it doesn’t have 10
twist ties holding it in the box?
By the time I got one present opened, my
grandsons had lost interest and moved on to another package
that required just as much effort.
I should have listened when I was advised
by Katie Couric to have all the presents open and assembled
before Christmas morning.
But it’s not just children toys. I can
understand medicines requiring muscles, scissors and a math
degree to open them, but what about such mundane items as
rubber spatulas, cake mixes, and a package of cookies. About
the only thing still easy to open is milk and bread. Thank
goodness I won’t ever starve.
Is it just my imagination or has make-up
become very expensive? I believe it has steadily increased
in price over the years. Oh, yeah, just my luck. Just about
the time I get old and NEED more make up, it gets expensive.
Everybody talks about the weather....I
maintain that all weather forecasters exaggerate the weather
because they are jealous of their peers who get to talk
about blood, murder, corruption, wrecks, and various other
exciting things, including sports which really excites some
people. Weather people have to try to make their reports
more interesting to compete so they have a tendency to get
excited about any weather that is the least out of the
My parents used to call me from West
Texas to see if we were washing away. “No, Mom, that was 50
miles from here and it always floods there,” I would say
after she heard a compelling flood story on the television
news, sports, and weather.
Case in point is that we’ve been warned
about oncoming bad weather for days. Admittedly, it has been
cold enough to drag out the full length coat that hasn’t
seen the light of day in three years.
But an ice storm? Not yet. It stopped in
San Antonio for a margarita and hasn’t got back on I-10 yet.
Additionally, most ice and snow catches
us by surprise.
But the absolute excitement of television
weather persons when bad weather MIGHT be in the offing is
fun. Now that’s entertainment!
No, wait......Stafford has been
exposed (?) to some entertainment on its municipal channel
that one usually has to pay to see. It seems some
sub-contractor of the television at Houston Community
College, which operates Stafford’s Municipal Channel,
decided to use the equipment to surreptitiously copy a
pornographic tape to a DVD. This person evidently didn’t
know as much about the equipment as he/she thought, because
the porn ended up being shown on Stafford’s municipal
channel. According to my source, at least one person called
to complain. Well, at least that means the municipal channel
is being watched.