“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Okay, let’s talk about the Presidential campaign. Let’s see, John McCain (campaign slogan: “Just like Bush, only more!”) strolls through the al-Potemkin marketplace in Baghdad, accompanied only by a bullet-proof vest, 100 troops, and five combat helicopters. See? Just like shopping at Wal-Mart back home! The Religious Right is gravitating to Rudy Giuliani, even though he still supports publicly-funded abortions, instead of Mitt Romney, who opposes them (at least this week), solely due to their pathological paranoia and hatred of Mormons. Barack Obama raises enormous wads of cash, solidifying his position as the Not-Hillary. Hmm, on second thought, let’s not go there; it’s a silly place. We’ll check back in a couple of months, when it’ll be even sillier. Instead, let’s look at the Texas Legislature. Warning: the Texas Legislature may contain scenes of graphic stupidity; parental discretion is advised. Hold your breath, watch where you step, and be sure to not wear open-toed shoes. The session is not over yet (unfortunately), but already Rep. Robert Talton is the early front-runner for the coveted Arlene Wohlgemuth Prize (aka, the “Arly”) as the legislator who best exemplifies Wohlgemuth’s legacy of arrogance, ignorance and viciousness. So far, this self-important supercillious twit has made a Quixotic run for Speaker, used parliamentary trickery to kill an effort to provide discounted electricity to the poor (after all, those lazy children sweltering in July heat should get off their diapered behinds and get to work!), and continued his jihad to prevent homosexuals from serving as foster parents (because people will be beating down the doors to serve as foster parents once they know state bureacrats will be questioning them about their sex lives). There are, of course, other contestants still in the running. Rep. Warren Chisum distributed a flyer blaming evolution and Copernican Theory on a secret Jewish conspiracy, and now seeks to force schools to teach Bible classes, whether anyone wants them or not. Rep. Debbie Riddle, previously famous for describing public education as both communist and satanic, has decided the pledge to the Texas flag needs to be rewritten to include the phrase “under God,” since, you know, the Legislature that approved the original pledge in 1933 was clearly dominated by communists and devil-worshippers. Senator and talk-radio bloviator Dan Patrick proposed paying women $500 not to have abortions, providing this session’s round of national humiliation for Texas. You don’t get a dime if you decide to keep the baby, incidentally, once again proving that the Right Wing only carries about babies from conception to birth. In a similar vein, Rep. Dan Gattis used Rep. Linda Harper Brown to try to kick 16,000 legal immigrant children off the CHIPs rolls. Actually, Gattis should probably be disqualified due to all the childish whining and simpering he did when he got caught; if there’s one thing we can say about Arlene Wohlgemuth, she didn’t whine. Senator John Carona is fighting hard to pave over pretty much the entire State of Texas and turn it into a toll road, which just goes to prove that there is one other person besides alleged Governor Rick Perry who still supports the Pave Texas Corridor. Ona lighter note, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg completely lost it in the debate over restoring CHIP funding and started screaming at Rep. Rafael Anchia, which is always fun to watch in a slow-motion-train-wreck sort of way. Remember, folks, these are the grown-ups who supposedly run our State. Again, this may be a disqualifier; while Rep. Laubenberg’s intent (tossing children out into the snow) was certainly Wohlgemuthian, Ms. Wohlgemuth herself never indulged in such puerile public displays of anger, instead maintaining a steely resolve regardless of any pressure she might have felt when, for example, casting the only vote against providing death benefits to the widows and orphans of police officers killed in the line of duty. I actually considered nominating Cong. Joe Barton for his brilliant self-parody in making himself look like an even bigger nitwit than usual while attempting unsucessfully to attack Al Gore at the hearings on global warming. In fact, Barton has gone so far over-the-top that he’s well on his way to becoming the William Shatner of Congress; but sadly we must limit entrants to those who have only inflicted themselves upon the Texas Legislature. Stay tuned to this space for more on the “Arly” Awards (recognizing the famous, infamous and the just plain dumb), as the clown car that is the Texas Legislature eventually screeches to a halt.