Tuesday, December 18, 2007


If you believe this Internet blog website cookie-tracking date-stamped posting log, it's been a month since you've experienced joy, goodwill, and peace on Earth from your main man Billy Clyde.

That sounds about right. Been out of town a whole bunch. Starting to think that blogging is yesterday's news. Had a low give-a-shit factor. And people just aren't sending in the large, unsolicited donations I had fully anticipated. Uncle Ben was right: I should have been a televangelist.

Well, too late now. BC doesn't even own a single megachurch venue.

But I can share a few thoughts. You know, if it interests you.

++Get this! The chick who plays the belly dancer in Charlie Wilson's War is the daughter of the head football coach of the Houston AND Dallas NFL teams.

No. Wade Phillips and Gary Kubiak didn't have a secret belly-dancing love child. Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Wade Phillips' daughter -- Shannon Phillips -- and the granddaughter of legendary Houston Oiler Head Coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips (the pride of Nederland, and Lord knows they could use some pride) plays that role in the sure-fire Academy Award winner set for wide release this Friday.

Maybe BC has strange tastes. But you give me a big-budget movie with Charlie Wilson, then kill Soviet Communists, throw in Bum Phillips' granddaughter as the featured belly dancer, and let the dude who directed The Graduate put it all together ... well, we got us a party.

Feel free to be my guest and check out the official website, available only on the Internets, at www.charliewilsonswar.net.

++I've never been a Dallas resident. And much like e.e. cummings felt about that purple cow, I'd rather see than be one.

Yet I thoroughly enjoyed the extensive, Sunday front-page piece that the solid folks over at the Dallas Morning News ran on Mr. Ray Hunt. The man has probably done more for Big D than anyone else in the past half century. And unlike his (cough) somewhat eccentric (cough) extended (cough) family, Mr. Hunt goes about his business quietly and with great dignity.

The business, civic, charitable, and education contributions he's made to the city are remarkable. But from a political standpoint, Billy Clyde was amazed at the photo gallery that the newspaper ran showing his inner circle.

There's Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose attempted re-entry to elective politics was thwarted by Congressman-turned-Mayor Steve Bartlett. Then there's, again, Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose move up the elective ladder was unsuccessfully challenged by Richard Fisher, the Democrats' nominee for U.S. Senate when Kay sought her first full term.

I always wondered how the last and best hope the Democrats had for creating a firewall against the Republican takeover ended up in a high-ranking position in the Bush Administration. Could the mild-mannered Mr. Ray Hunt made a call and told the President of the United States how the cow ate the cabbage? Since Richard Fisher is now the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, that seems like a reasonable explanation. Although the extended Hunt clan's ties go even deeper.

By all means, check it out in the DMN's December 9th edition (www.dallasnews.com).

++Unfortunately for Mr. Hunt, his story was the second-most-prominently featured story on that very same front page in that very same Sunday edition. He lost out to a story headlined "Finding love on death row."

Now I've always heard about these desperate women who make (non conjugal) connections with inmates slated to be fried. But this story wasn't about those women. These days, it seems, it's young wealthy European babes who are devoted to the convicted murderers awaiting their last supper. Let me just share the lede with you:

"Romina Deeken is a classic beauty -- long and lithe, cascading blond hair, green eyes set in alabaster -- not the type of woman who needs to solicit attention from men."

The reporter got the staid DMN to use the words "long," lithe," "cascading," "alabaster," and "solicit" in the opening graph. Well done, dude.

Ms. Deekend regularly flies from Germany to Livingston, TX, to visit her bad boy. Best I can guess, young men in Germany must act HORRIBLE on dates. Billy Clyde, always on the prowl for groundbreaking entrepreneurial opportunities, thinks he may open a "Russian Mail Order Husband" operation catering to lithe German chicks.

++Everyone has been clamoring away seeking my personal views on the Attorney General's Opinion regarding the House Speaker's right of recognition. Most of you won't like this, but think about it and you'll agree.

First, the Opinion Request was weak. It asked three Constitutional questions, and General Abbott answered them correctly. That was never the debate.

The real debate was two pronged.

1) The House rules don't mention a "motion to vacate the chair" or some equivalent under the the list of privileged motions. The rules do, however, state that in the absence of a matter of privilege, the Speaker has discretion whether or not to entertain any other motion not specifically otherwise spelled out (such as Calendar order or the requirement to read and refer). In Billy Clyde's most humble opinion, the lack of a specific provision dealing with Members removing the presiding officer doesn't suggest that Members didn't believe they reserved that option; they just didn't think about it.

So as undemocratic and high-handed the ruling may have been, it was technically correct.

2) General Abbott took a pass on being a "Super Speaker" in interpreting House rules. In time, we will all be glad he took that position. That last thing we need is for the Executive Branch to have the authority to, in effect, dictate how the Legislative Branch runs its internal affairs -- assuming those affairs are run by internal rules. Constitutional and statutory provisions are another side of beef altogether.

With you kind permission, I'd like to repeat something that I said at the time. What the Speaker did was bad government, went against the traditional responsibilities of a Speaker, and frankly was just wrong wrong wrong.

But it was legal, and it complied with House rules. Rules, it should be noted, that can be always be changed with the consent of about 75 citizen legislators.