SHARE
Cover by Ryan Burger

This time of year, we like to have a little fun with all of the bad decisions made by our local leaders and some not-so-local ones. Go ahead. Paint us as the “liberal media” or “fake news.” Whatever you say pales against stone-cold reality, a.k.a. the truth, which is firmly on our side. Our hope is that when we all gather around our respective dinner tables to celebrate the birth of our land this Thanksgiving, we will be a lot more patient with the people we disagree with than we may normally be. Now we can see the progressives frothing at the mouth: “You can’t tolerate hate!” To which we would respond, “Unless your right-wing uncle is wearing a white hood and a sheet, you can’t really accuse him of anything other than voting for what he believes in, and that’s what our nation is about.” And that’s the bottom line. – Anthony Mariani

Gobbling Up Cash

Who can deliver on inflated promises to use federal pork to fund an insanely expensive – $1.2 billion and counting – economic development plan disguised as a flood control project? Not the Candy Man, and, apparently, not U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, either. Her promises to nab a Brinks truck’s worth of federal taxpayer dollars and siphon them down Texas-way go back decades. She’s come up short by several hundreds of millions of dollars. Now with Panther Island, Fort Worth is the proud owner of unfinished bridges over dry land. Eminent domain has been used to wrest people’s property away from them for what amounts to a private economic development plan with a little bit of public flooding thrown in as bait. Nearby businesses are suffering from closed or detoured streets. Driving into downtown from the northwest feels like traversing a motocross track in Fallujah. Give Granger credit, however, for creating at least one local financial windfall. Her son, J.D. Granger, collected six-figure salaries for a dozen years as executive director of the project even as it soared over budget and many years behind schedule. Who can take a politician’s promise and sprinkle it with irony? The Weekly can. Blatant nepotism might be one reason federal dollars have been slow to come.

Bad-Azz-Burritos-300x2509

Hot Potato

Almost three years have passed since a white Fort Worth police officer exacerbated a tense situation and wrestled down a black mom, Jacqueline Craig, who had called police after a man was allegedly rough with her son. The officer arrested Craig and her two teenage daughters, prompting a public outcry and social media firestorm. City officials responded by holding meetings and addressing race relations. In 2017, they created the Task Force on Race and Culture, where two-dozen handpicked and carefully selected members spent a year and a half developing recommendations to make the city more welcoming to people of color. The group’s primary conclusion: The police department needed an independent citizen review board. Almost another year has passed, and city leaders have budgeted money to hire an independent police monitor, who will then supposedly investigate the feasibility of possibly creating a citizen review board at some potential time in the near-to-distant future. There. Everyone feel better now?

Basting with a Broad Brush

Tarrant Co. Sheriff Bill E. Waybourn speaking at the White House on Oct. 10, 2019. Screenshot via the White House

Sheriff Bill Waybourn made national news this year for visiting the gaffe capital of the universe, the White House. Our county sheriff was there to support the acting director of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), Matthew Albence. Albence’s tighty whities were twisted after U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. ruled ICE couldn’t issue detainment orders based solely on database searches from law enforcement. Birotte presented findings that, during a specified period, more than 16 percent of those detainers were eventually withdrawn and deemed the database system alone an unreliable method of policing. Enter: Waybourn, who graced the White House podium in all-blacks and donning a matching cowboy hat, to make his human appeal to the voters. Waybourn proceeded to shove his oversized square-toed cowboy boot straight down his own throat. He asserted that if these detainees were released –– which wasn’t what the judge was calling for –– they would repeat their drinking and driving ways and run over you and your children. The sheriff’s comments have been exploited and de-contextualized repeatedly to make him look worse, but he implodes well enough on his own. Even in context, Waybourn’s comments don’t fit Albence’s motive for calling a presser to whine about a liberal California judge blocking him from violating due process. Sheriff Bill needs to police his own lane and resist becoming a patsy for ICE, especially considering 26.7 percent of the county that elected him is Hispanic or Latino. Have the self-awareness that if you speak to the national media looking like an extra from Walker, Texas Ranger, you should tread carefully enough that no news outlet can easily make it seem like you’re calling anyone with brown skin a malicious drunk driver. You should be especially careful if your own son, Sergei Waybourn, was arrested earlier this year for public intoxication and indecent exposure.

If It Walks like a Turkey … 

OMFG! As regular visitors to TCU’s campus, we have just about run out of patience for the kids’ apparent lack thereof. It has long been a knock on the student body that they are a bunch of entitled, boyfriend tee-with-short shorts and khakis-and-purple-polo-wearing insider trading felonies waiting to happen. But at least they used to be able to somewhat effectively cross the street. Those heady days are gone. Lost in the rapture of each and every cell phone blink and beep, the scholarly swarm now buzzes about University Drive to an effect so deleterious to the regular progression of traffic that the cops have been called. Traffic police are on hand mostly to stop da kidz from blithely wandering out into traffic in the belief that, as America’s future leaders are consumed by the latest internationally significant text message, they will be protected by their force field of privilege and self-involvement from two tons of rolling steel. And don’t get us started on the four-way stop signs at the junction of Stadium Drive and Bellaire Drive North. We frequently use the parking lot opposite the west entrance to the rec center. Fair enough, pedestrians on a crosswalk have the right of way. However, that does not permit students to form a constant snake of slowness as they slip out across one walkway to slide somewhat diagonally to the next all the while holding up traffic in four directions. Drivers have taken to forcing the issue and asserting their own rights of way. This shit might could end in tears.

Breaking the Wishbone 

Nothing says Thanksgiving like Dallas Cowboys football. Unfortunately, the team’s performance on the field is often bad enough to turn your stomach. Again. This year was supposed to be different, but the offense is still predictable, the defense is porous, and neither kicker is worth his salary. And the penalties. So how can a team with (allegedly) so much talent consistently underachieve? That’s easy: Head Coach Jason Garrett is a spineless joke. Under the tenure of Coach Clap-a-Lot, America’s Team has languished in a never-ending cycle of mediocrity. How does a Princeton grad not understand clock management? How does a coach with a decade of experience remain stubbornly devoted to running on every first down? How does a man who played on the greatest team in the history of football refuse to ever go for it on fourth and half an inch? Until he’s replaced, the Cowboy faithful will have to be content with distant memories of glory. 

Fake Turkey

Can you believe the nerve of some kids? What kind of a world is this when teenagers think they can play in a publicly owned park while being Hispanic? Even worse, when a heroic woman like Samantha Silvers Eley poses as a police officer to threateningly kick them out in a profanity-laden tirade, those little scamps videoed the exchange and made her out to be the law-breaking thug. How dare they use Eley’s words and actions to portray her as the villain! This woman is not only a champion of our freedom to be dumb, racist bullies, but she also nailed the tone police use to interact with people of color. She’s a Method actress of the highest pedigree. We’re just thankful that a woman with an arrest record stemming from assault charges is using her vast experience dealing with police to impersonate one while keeping us safe from children at play. We hope she gains an even deeper understanding of our legal system after her day in court.

White Meat Only

Georgia Clark

The students at Carter-Riverside High School received a great lesson in prejudice from Georgia Clark, the ESL teacher who used her Twitter account to complain about the “illegals” in her class and urge the government to get rid of them. Last June, the school board terminated the contract of the self-described “earth angel” and conducted a hearing last month that stood firm on the issue. There the matter stands for now while Clark appeals the ruling, so as she enjoys the fifth month of her vacation, we give her a slice of turkey breast because she probably prefers white meat.

Bird in Black

“This one goes out to the guy or girl who stole me from Lola’s Saloon.” Courtesy of Facebook

We don’t know your name, person who stole the Johnny Cash painting from Lola’s Saloon last May. We don’t know your gender, age, address, or alcoholic drink of choice. We don’t know what your motivations were — whether you were hoping to fence the artwork for a quick buck, harboring a grudge against someone at Lola’s, or just a massive fan of the Man in Black. We do know that the 6th Street hangout spot and live music venue has been a poorer and less characterful place because you took the Jesse Sierra Hernandez canvas off the wall without concern for whether the regular customers might enjoy looking at it. The painting is now back with its rightful owners, so it’s no longer giving the thief the middle finger, but we’re still happy to give this person a stolen drumstick in our pages.

Purging

Republican state lawmakers apparently blew a right-wing gasket this year over the idea that a bloc of traditionally liberal voters – college students – are gaining traction. According to critics, a new law that clamps down on temporary early-voting sites is a thinly veiled attempt to keep the young ones from casting ballots. The law will make it virtually impossible for many colleges, retirement homes, hospitals, government offices, and other locations to offer so-called mobile polling sites. That’s because they must now remain open for the entire early-voting period instead of just a couple of days or so. The end result is that it’s simply not cost-effective and logistically possible to stay open like that, so why was the change rolled out? Republicans have argued that school districts, for example, can abuse temporary early-voting sites by setting them up on campuses during bond elections. Supporters also say the new law can help cut down on voter fraud (which barely exists).

Other things are at stake, however. In 2018, the pop-up voting sites were a major hit at many college campuses across the state. In all, Texas saw a 500 percent increase in youth voter turnout when compared to 2014. Fears that the law will hinder access to voting –– especially during the 2020 presidential election –– have led to a sad but not surprising outcome. The Texas Democratic Party, along with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have launched a civil lawsuit that maintains House Bill 1888 is unconstitutional. Specifically, the lawsuit states, the bill violates the First, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

“Republicans know Texas is changing,” said Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa in a prepared statement. “That’s why [Republicans] are trying to change the rules to make it harder for college students, seniors, the disability community, rural Texans, and survivors of natural disasters to cast their ballots. Texas Democrats know we should be making it easier to vote, not harder.”

A Leg Up on the Big 12

TCU fans have been roasting in the oven all year, so this award branches out to include our friends throughout the conference. Fort Worthians were filled with optimism, but a roster full of purple freshmen has yielded always exciting but mostly disappointing results. Our fellow conference teams as a whole are the real losers this season. Entering Week 11, there aren’t any undefeated squads, and there is little to any hope of “one true champion” appearing in this year’s college football playoff. The most recent marquee matchup of the Sooners visiting the Bears clearly displayed two inconsistent teams capable of playing two quarters of good football only. When ESPN’s College Gameday comes to town, you’d better play. Baylor defied the haters for 30 minutes as the Sooner Schooner flipped over once more, only to be righted in the second half, when the Bears forgot how to play offense. Let’s be clear: Waco’s finest had no shot of getting into the playoffs even with an undefeated season thanks to their laughable non-conference schedule. The Sooners fumbled away their chances against Kansas State and nearly fell to a late-charging Cyclone squad. Baylor has a loss and two overtime squeakers against TCU and Tech vilifying an already dubious resume. The round-robin conference that shouldn’t have a championship game is now in horror mode as it’s still a possibility every team could finish with two losses. The Sooners are probably guaranteed a New Year’s Six game because of their brand, but there are no playoff contenders in this field of 10. It’s time for this conference to invite at minimum two additional teams to sit at the adult table so it can break back into divisions and spare the body blows of a conference with too much parity.

Swimming in Gravy

We shouldn’t envy turkeys around this season. President Trump pardons only one whose neck is spared without the necessity of actually working in his administration. This group of gobblers is a notable exception. Earlier this year, Rockwall County’s commissioners voted 4-1 to increase their own leftover stuffing by 23 percent annually. Selfish seizing of taxpayer money surprisingly brought an onslaught of condemnation from a landscape dotted with literal lakefront mansions and non-farm homesteads. Rockwall is the smallest county in the state and shouldn’t be grabbing extra gravy to rival adjacent counties that manage larger and more complex collections of North Texas residents with real challenges. Local outcry and a petition at Change.org that collected more than 1,000 supporters inspired part of this flock to warble back from their position. Judge Sweet recanted while opting for a more reasonable 5-percent raise, and commissioner Cliff Sevier – who voted against the measure from the outset – flexed his fiscal conservatism by opting for a measly 3-percent raise. The other three members kept their generously self-served portion. Texas law allows elected officials to return part of or the entirety of their pay, if desired. Though it’s somewhat hypocritical for residents of well-to-do exurbia to criticize anyone stuffing their own pockets, voting yourself a huge raise is going to send even your privileged golfcourse buddies running for carving knives. Cliff Sevier, you separate yourself as the cock among these overstuffed turkeys.

Fowl Logic

Setting aside the irony of Rep. Tony Tinderholt’s “pro-life” bill that would have made it possible to put women to death for having abortions, his reasoning behind the measure was an even bigger contradiction. The Arlington Republican told The Texas Observer that the proposed legislation would “force” women to be “more personally responsible” with their bodies. How’s that for logic? His bill made no exception for rape or incest, and anyone involved in an abortion would have been open to homicide charges, which can carry the death penalty in Texas. It goes without saying that a law proposed by a man conveniently left out the part a man plays in pregnancy. Tinderholt’s failed legislation is just the latest and most reckless ploy by increasingly radical far-right lawmakers who are rushing to be first in line with a Supreme Court challenge to Roe v. Wade. The fact that this bill was even considered in a committee hearing tells you just how far the right will stoop to pander to their base –– while sacrificing women. 

Over-Stuffed Coffers

It’s bad enough that homeowners have been asked to endure near-record property tax hikes this year, but the Tarrant Appraisal District’s ham-fisted and often cold-hearted response to complaints have exacerbated the issue. After years of Republican-led mismanagement of our state’s budget, specifically school funding, the tax burden has shifted to the counties. The good news, many thought, is that you can protest your property tax increase. That news was only good for those who received their notices on time or at all. According to a Star-Telegram column, a number of homeowners all over the county complained they never even had the chance to protest. And for those who did but didn’t win their appeal, TAD extended an icy-cold middle finger when homeowners dared question the logic of taxing some people out of their homes, so if you were planning to come home this Thanksgiving, you’d better make sure you still have one. The county might have just priced Mom and Dad out of the neighborhood. 

Fraud Hunting

Nationwide, Republicans are taking their cue from our senile president and his fevered fantasies of hordes of black and brown people swarming the ballot boxes from overseas (when actually, said ballot boxes are being swarmed by his buddies from Russia and the Ukraine). You wouldn’t expect Texas to be any different, which is why David Whitley roared into his appointment as Acting Secretary of State waving a list of perfectly legal voters whom he claimed to be them damn furriners. This was so egregious that even the State Senate wasn’t buying his claim, which prompted his resignation last May and almost half a million taxpayer dollars being paid to voters who were tarred in this fashion. We don’t begrudge those voters the cash settlement. We’re even feeling generous enough to give Whitley and his colleagues turkey that has been vomited up by Thanksgiving gluttons. There’s your purge for you.

Red Meat Is Served

Until recently, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds hasn’t made many waves in his 10 or so years on the job. This year, however, the Republican lawman came unhinged. In September, he called for Hood County to become a sanctuary county for guns, and he said he would not enforce any federal gun law. He vowed to protect not children or any other life but gun owners from, well, no one except failed Democratic presidential nominee Beto O’Rourke, who was threatening to take away gun nuts’ precious deadly toys. This was clearly political theater –– dangling overcooked red meat for the base to devour on the verge of an election. A month later, Sheriff Trigger-Finger publicly endorsed Nathan Criswell, a candidate for commissioner who was under a family violence protective order. When Hood County News reached out to the sheriff for comment, he first pulled his endorsement and then later recanted, claiming that the newspaper had threatened to write “a political hit piece” if he backed Criswell. Deeds and Criswell issued a joint press release that accused the newspaper of editorial abuse, among other allegations. In a bizarre twist, the release also pegged the Hood County News as Criswell’s “opponent” in the upcoming election. Newspapers not only aren’t dying. They’re apparently running for local government.

What the Cluck

Sometimes a Turkey Award goes to not a person but a sad, totally avoidable situation. On October 12, Atatiana Jefferson was killed by Aaron Dean, a now-former Fort Worth police officer who answered a wellness-check call and then shot her through her bedroom window. 

This is the home where Atatiana Jefferson was killed by police. Courtesy of Devon Wright

A neighbor had called the police in the early morning on a non-emergency line to report that it was strange that Jefferson’s doors were open (screen doors shut) and lights were on at such a late hour. He wanted the police to check on her.

Dean and another officer arrived and for some inexplicable reason did not announce themselves at the open door but went to the backyard. Dean had a flashlight in one hand and his pistol in the other. 

Jefferson responded to the noise in her backyard, according to her 8-year-old nephew, with whom she was playing video games. She appeared in shadow at her rear window as Dean, without identifying himself, shouted, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” and fired the lethal round.

Dean retired from the force almost immediately and was charged with murder.

The tragedy was compounded when Jefferson’s father, Marquis Jefferson, who was extremely distraught and angry over his only daughter’s killing, died of a massive heart attack less than one month later, on November 9. He was 58.

Dunkin’ Duncanville Police

In March, the Duncanville police department raided two stores, in Duncanville and Lancaster, looking for … sex traffickers? Cocaine dealers? A meth lab? Nope. Not even close. The target: CBD oil. You know, the legal stuff you rub on Grandma’s shoulders to help with her bursitis. No, we’re not joking.

This shop in Lancaster was one of two GM Tobacco stores to be raided by Duncanville police for — wait for it — CBD oil. Courtesy of Facebook

One of the stores was GM Tobacco, which bills itself as a full-service tobacco shop, selling cigarettes, cigars, pipes and pipe tobacco, electronic cigarettes, and, yes, CBD oil. That oil is used for a variety of reasons, from sleep disorders to the treatment of anxiety and PTSD. The Duncanville police had sent undercover agents into the stores several times to purchase the oil. 

CBD oil has been legal in Texas for particular ailments for some time. Though it comes from the cannabis plant, it is made from the hemp variety and has very little of the THC that creates a high. On the day of the raids, Texas had just legalized all hemp products in the state. The Duncanville police got away with the raids mostly because the hemp-legalization law would not go into effect until three weeks later.

But the bust was crummy. Police seized more than 10,000 vials of CBD oil and other CBD products, 37 pounds of hemp they called “cannabis,” employees’ cell phones, the stores’ surveillance cameras, and $11,841 from the registers and a safe. The police also claimed to have seized weapons but, after we asked, did not identify what they were and whether they were legal or illegal.

Fast forward to today: The Duncanville police have not returned any of the items seized, nor have they made any arrests. They evidently have not found anything illegal but are continuing to hold up the return of the funds and CBD products — which would be worthless now as they could have been tampered with by someone in the police department. 

Amy Wazwaz, who owns the stores with her husband Houd Wazwaz, told us that there is no timeframe at the moment for when the merchandise and money will be returned. “It’s crazy,” she said, “because they have found nothing illegal in what we were doing at all, but with the end of the year approaching, we’ll be taking a $100,000 loss from our businesses when we file our taxes. You would think someone would be paying attention, wouldn’t you?”

Yes, we would, Amy. But then again, the Duncanville police department appears not to have paid any attention to anything with relation to this ridiculous raid.

Twin Turkeys

A two-headed, blind rubber turkey in yoga pants goes out to Sen. John Cornyn and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for their blind allegiance to — and ability to bend over backward for — President Trump. Their worst display was a twin-top affair when they appeared at Dallas’ October 17 Trump rally.

The event, which did not fill the 20,000-seat American Airlines Center, was loud and angry. And full of fear. “If they take Texas,” Cornyn boomed, referring, no doubt, to Dems and their pagan-worshipping ways, “they will take the U.S. Senate. If they take Texas, they will take the White House. But we can’t let that happen. Not on our watch. … We know the liberals who are running against President Trump want open borders, socialized medicine. They want to bankrupt Texas with the Green New Deal.”

And Patrick kept it classy when he called the progressive left “our enemy” and urged the crowd to repeatedly boo then-presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke — who was holding a counter rally in Grand Prairie that night — and said that Trump would draw more people to the portable toilets in the arena than O’Rourke would draw to his rally. (O’Rourke filled the 5,500-seat arena that night.)

“Since you elected him,” Patrick said, “he has done nothing but win and win and win and win and win. Name a topic! The economy. The stock market. The strongest military. Oil and gas industry. Moving our embassy to Jerusalem. Every issue. The Supreme Court.”

Boy, that’s a lot of winning. But the truth is that while people are working (often two jobs), wages have not gone up; the stock market is up, but no one we know, and we know hundreds of people, is directly affected by it, only their rich bosses; and the Supreme Court is a sham because someone with deep pockets bought and paid for the most recent justice’s chair. We also know that as part of all that “winning” Trump allowed Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan to invade Syria and slaughter some of our Kurdish allies and let ISIS fighters go free, which disgusted even many Republican members of Congress. And that this week Trump backed down to Kim Jong-un when the “little rocket man” threatened the president over military drills with South Korea. If that’s winning, we’d hate to see losing.

Ukrainian Holiday

Former Congressman Pete Sessions is up to his neck and in over his head in giblet gravy for his 2018 role in the Ukraine caper that’s become the centerpiece of the presidential impeachment hearings. All we can do is ask, “What on Earth were you thinking, Pete? How the hell did you prance yourself right into the middle of the muddle, in an area that was far, far from your natural terrain?”

In April 2018, Sessions, preparing for a tough fight for re-election in North Dallas, was surprisingly invited to a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, a.k.a. the White House South. The only Congressperson invited to the high roller event that starred the president, Sessions said yes.

Among the people he met there were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born United States citizens looking to break into the natural gas business in Ukraine –– and clients of the disgraced former mayor Rudy Giuliani. Both have since been indicted on campaign fraud charges but have pleaded not guilty.

But long before their recent arrests, Parnas and Fruman were trying to inveigle their way into Ukraine gas policy. Standing in their way was United States Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who recently testified at the impeachment hearings. Yovanovitch was a straight shooter with 33 years in the State Department, someone who would not go along with Parnas and Fruman’s dirty deal to oust the head of Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national gas and oil company.

So she had to go.

Well, Parnas and Fruman had met on a number of occasions with Sessions subsequent to the Mar-a-Lago event, and during a May 9, 2018, meeting, they told Sessions that Yovanovitch had been talking trash about Trump in the Ukraine. Two days later, for who the hell knows why, Sessions wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that he had “concrete evidence from close companions that Ambassador Yovanovitch has spoken privately and repeatedly about her disdain for the current administration.”

Sessions has since claimed that those “close companions” are other members of Congress, but forgive us for being a little skeptical.

Pete Sessions’ name has already come up in impeachment testimony, and he’s already spoken to a grand jury about Parnas and Fruman. Unfortunately, his letter was part of the justification for recalling Ambassador Yovanovitch from her post.

Other than that, it’s going well: Sessions was voted out of Congress, Parnas and Fruman have been indicted, and Giuliani is in a tight spot. Way to go, Pete.

Saying Grace

Amber Guyger was a fully trained police officer in whom we had entrusted our safety. Botham Jean was, by all accounts, a thoroughly nice guy. While minding his own business in his own apartment, wearing his own underpants while sitting on his own couch, watching his own TV, and eating his own ice cream that he had bought with his own money that he had earned, Jean succumbed to the sin of being black and breathing in the United States of America: shot in the chest by the intruding police officer, off duty, in uniform, with her service weapon. Surprisingly, a full murder trial ensued. According to a contact inside the courtroom, everyone was astonished that Guyger seemed destined to be found guilty, but, surely, she would receive the cops’ benefit and endure only a rap on the knuckles. Guilty of murder in the first degree was the verdict handed down by 12 good and true men and women of the jury. During the sentencing hearing that followed, it was laid out that the sentencing guidelines were as few as five years and as many as 90. Guyger got 10. Botham Jean remains dead, forever. Local folks freaked out and protested, the district attorney’s office declared that they would respect the judge’s sentence, the Jean family spoke of forgiveness, better training for police, and for Guyger to spend her next 10 years reflecting, and Jean’s brother even hugged Guyger in the courtroom. Talk about grace.

Smacking Lips

It was late July, and the mercury was bubbling. As Texans toiled, vacationed, or lightly complained in and about the annual heat-a-palooza, politics was about to top triple digits. Dennis Bonnen, House Speaker Bonnen down in that there Austin, is a career politician’s career politician. A political science graduate from Austin’s private St. Edwards University, he won his seat in House District 25 at the age of 25. He ascended to the speakership in November 2018. In between times, he did what Texas Republicans do: voted against mandatory HPV vaccinations for sixth-grade girls, tried to block a smoking ban, forced sonograms on women seeking abortions, supported corporal punishment in schools, you know, the uzhe. In late July, audio was released of Bonnen in a June 12 meeting with a high-profile Republican support group CEO. Bonnen was heard –– let’s call it “riffing,” to be kind –– on the flaws of a couple of Texas Democrats and plotting against 10 moderate Republican colleagues. One wonders what differentiates moderate Republicans from the rest? Death by ongoing moral opprobrium rather than the regular excruciation of the long, slow descent to Hades caused by lethal injection, perhaps? Long story short, Bonnen is not seeking reelection in 2020. He asked God about it, and the big guy in the sky, curiously absent when Dennis was doing the dirty, said that it was time to go. Well, time to go at the end of next year, after another 12 months of Capitol comforts.

Low-Wattage Stove

Where to start with this guy? First off, Rick Perry deserves some sort of award, and a Turkey will do, for perceptibly morphing into the Thunderbird puppet of his own self. Second off, quit embarrassing Texas on the daily. You are putting our state-level politicians out of a job. Third and foremost, the whole Ukraine thing. It is alleged that Perry is one of the Three Amigos of the Ukraine scandal, which makes him, I guess, a massively unfunny and talentless Steve Martin-like figure. One of the other two glue factory-bound nags being dragged to Shitsville is ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund for the privilege of the ambassadorship, no doubt. He is likely Chevy Chase, and Kurt Volker is Martin Short. Volker until recently performed in the unpaid and marginally unspecific role of “special envoy” after a career split between public service and private wealth accumulation.

Perry is quitting his Secretary of Energy gig, a move announced at the outset of the impeachment inquiry. Naturally, these two things are entirely unrelated as Perry wishes to, in the best traditions of a pol about to get caught, spend more time with his family. There’s that and the crushing realization that even a Texan blowhard (a tautology?) will run out of hot air in the end.

Wag the Turkey

Max, a 7-month-old German Shepherd, was one of three dogs known to have been killed by Arlington police officer Jesse Davis while on service calls. Courtesy of Robert Crockett

Dogs in Arlington should be more skittish than a plump turkey on Thanksgiving when police officer Jesse Davis responds to a call. Davis has displayed a tendency to un-holster his weapon and gun down people’s pets. Does Davis carry a repressed hatred of man’s best friend? Did a toy poodle bite his ankle on the way to kindergarten? We don’t know, but we suggest ol’ Dead-Eye see a freaking shrink. In May 2018, Davis shot Max, a German Shepherd pup, while on duty. Max is the third dog killed by Davis that we know of. A witness said the shooting was uncalled for and the dog was acting friendly and wagging its tail before being struck by at least four bullets from Davis’ weapon. An internal investigation into the shooting took nine months, and investigators cleared Davis in February. In 2011, Davis shot a family pet five times –– missing once –– in front of the dog’s owner and children. Bucky, a 2-year-old Dachshund/beagle mix, had stubby legs and floppy ears. Bucky’s owner said his autistic son relied on the dog as a therapy pet. Bucky’s owner said the dog was being playful rather than aggressive when it ran out the door toward Davis. The police officer shot another dog in 2009. Internal investigations have exonerated Davis in every instance with little public discussion, so they can share in Davis’ Turkey Award.

LEAVE A REPLY