Roger Gray

January 1, 2002 by  
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In Your Face

by Roger Gray

A 19th Century Idea Whose Time has Come?

As I write this in November, I have no idea who the mayor is, how many firefighters will be riding on trucks or whom Orlando Sanchez is dating. I do know that we will be riding a train of some sort before long thanks to the common sense of Houston voters. While wanting a say in future lines, they wisely ignored the various “grassroots” groups of Luddite buttinskis with names that are actually a sentence (“Let the People Vote On Light Rail”), who want us to remain the country’s fourth largest traffic jam masquerading as a city.

“And do You Take This Man to be Your-Your-Uh?”

Meanwhile, see the preacher or you aren’t getting city benefits for your partner. The voters decided that, all things considered, a marriage license is the entry-level requirement for a family plan. This is one of those issues that leave thoughtful people in a quandary. While I agree with the moral philosophy in play here, it also forces me to agree with Dave Wilson on something. That may require deep reflection and a stiff scotch.

Lance Lalor, Come Home- All is Forgiven-

Elsewhere, Houston voters proved they were pretty satisfied with their council representation, which should be considered a collective plea for, well, counseling. Mark Goldberg withstood a tough fight with his ex-wife, which is no doubt the result of years of practice. And Bert “What 3-foot rule?” Keller was inexplicably re-elected even after drunken car wrecks, drunken marriage wrecks and knowing the Men’s Club dancers’ roster like some of us know the ?61 Yankees. No doubt, the victory party observed all applicable city ordinances.

No Wonder the Astros Performed Below Estimates-

Enron only thought the worst it had to deal with was an SEC investigation into inflated profits (to the tune of $600 million in five years), resulting in inflated stock prices resulting in inflated stock bonuses for executives, plus the humiliating prospect of being bought by a smaller company. But now – as Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and tacks on a $10 bllion lawsuit against Dynegy for scrapping their proposed merger – the party’s over. Through it all, Ken Lay stood tall as the man who turned down $60 million in severance he was due if Dynegy had bought his company. This profile in courage was marred only somewhat by the fact that Enron worker unrest was apparently the reason. As their stock values dropped like a Roger Clemens slider, Ken cashed in big during the false profits boom, and before the torches and pitchforks were raised, chose the statesmanlike path of turning down a golden parachute big enough to support Dom DeLuise. Will someone please introduce Ken to a conscience?

Nurse, I Know We’ve Lost Brain Function, but it’s OK-
They’re in Congress-

Last month, I attributed the opposition to federal airport security screeners by our two domestic Mullahs, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay, as some sort of Pavlovian resistance to “big government.” As the compromise was hammered out, it was revealed they really worried about the new federal hires becoming union members. “This vote is ideological,” DeLay said to airline lobbyists while encouraging them to sit this one out. While marveling at the word “idea” being associated with Tom, I can’t help but be fascinated with the blindness of partisanship. The voters in DeLay’s district must be satisfied with party politics taking precedence over principle. It’s frankly getting beyond jokes for me. DeLay is not only dim but malevolent.

Our Own Political Warren Beatty?

Meanwhile, the Prez is going from strength to strength in the personal relationships department. He apparently turned the normally earnest but slightly smug Tony Blair into a Fuller Brush salesman for the war, and now has traded frat pins with Vladimir Putin. One visit to the White House and the ranch, and the taciturn former USSR spook left here mumbling absolutely incomprehensible profundities about cowboy boots. Which leaves only one question: is GW drugging these guys? If so, could he work on Sharon, Arafat and Bill Mahr?

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