What Willie Wouldn't Do

I’m not really a Willie fanatic – another case of taking for granted what I grew up seeing driving down the highway Texas, up there with squished armadillos and peach stands – but I think I know enough about the red-headed stranger to know that, of all the streets in Austin he wouldn’t be caught dead puffing on his peace pipe, 2nd Street would be it.

The 2nd Street renovations were, at first blush, a pleasant surprise, proving that if you put enough twinkling lights on evergreen trees rooted in chic, metal planters, anything can look charming. But after a few years of condo-dweller assimilation and the openings and closings of overpriced boutiques selling gilded sparrows and breezy, patterned frocks, the 2nd Street District has become the sorority house of Austin, a pay-to-play zone that will soon be home to the W Hotel where people will shell out to have their Starbucks brought to them every morning and their Beagles walked in the evenings. Personally, I’ve avoided 2nd Street since La Taverna stopped offering $1 bottomless mimosas on Sundays. I mean, what else am I going to do down there? Buy a snowboard? For all that snow we’ve had lately?

While we’re on the subject, can we pause and reflect on the absurdity of Austin, Texas having a store that sells primarily ski and snowboarding supplies?

…okay. Thanks.

Anyway, you could have pulled off my pig tails today when I heard that the Austin City Council voted to commemorate Willie Nelson by re-naming part of 2nd Street the “Willie Nelson Boulevard.” The new Austin City Limits studio will reside on the boulevard and have out front a statue of everyone’s favorite Austinite (who actually lives in Spicewood, last time I checked). To me, this seems like a ploy on behalf of Austin City Limits to Willie-fy their new swanky digs, a mile away and a world apart from their old home off of Guadalupe. Who wouldn’t want to have Willie’s blessing on their valet-studded street corner?

Ultimately, what would Willie do? Not much, aside from light another one up. He can't very well reject the honor. But I think the notion that the old Willie and the new 2nd Street are at all synonymous can be summed up in one word that Willie himself once used in a song:


Really!?! Rick Perry

What started as an angered blog post about Rick Perry's housing hypocrisy, as reported by the AP's Jay Root in "Gov. Perry's temporary digs costs Texas big bucks," has turned into the video below titled "Really!?! Rick Perry."

Governor Rick Perry was recently quoted in the San Antonio Express News by reporter Peggy Fikac talking about the $18 million budget shortfall saying, "Every penny we save now in the 2010-11 biennium is one penny closer to balancing the budget in the next legislative session." It's awfully telling about how many cattle Rick Perry has under that big cowboy hat of his when he's spent 60 million pennies of taxpayer money on his five bedroom rental mansion in West Austin.

Thanks to my friend Chris Trew for appearing in this with me, who offers comedy improv classes in Austin at The New Movement Theater.


Bill White's New TV Ad

Well, he doesn't shoot a coyote but I think that's pretty much implied.
What do you think?


Hey, Bill White: Don't Listen to Jason Stanford

Eyes upon Texas rolled today when political consultant Jason Stanford, fresh off his firing from the Farouk Shami campaign, and most recently employed by Kinky Friedman (I-TX) (D-TX) (Raising Money for Republican Lamar Smith-TX) attempted to offer his two cents on the Bill White campaign over at the Texas Tribune.

While I loved the "Farouk is on fi-yah" meme back in March, I'd say those two cents would be better spent on a bottle of BioSilk or, say, paying back Farouk some of his hard-earned, stupidly-spent CHI cache which, admittedly, I contributed to (hey, a girl's gotta give for stick-straight hair).

Now Stanford, playing the role of the annoying friend who drank too much of The Woodlands jungle juice, seems to believe that Bill White needs to stand out against the desperate campaign that Rick Perry is running, simply because the wire-rimmed candidate who last made a run against Perry in 2006--Chris Bell--was unable to gain much momentum.

In other words, Stanford wants White to go Maverick-ey.

On the Rick Perry coyote debacle, Stanford suggested that Bill White should have seized the opportunity to hand out hunting vests with his campaign logo on them. To steal a line from Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers: Really?! Are you proposing Bill White give those vests to the one in four Texans who is currently without health care as a consolation prize for their failing kidney? Really?!

Alternatively, just days after Coyote Gate, instead of ordering up a thousand union-made hunting vests, Bill White garnered a front-page Dallas Morning News story with a PR person's dream headline: Winning over GOP is Bill White's grand old plan to beat Rick Perry in Texas governor's race. And while Rick Perry was spouting off "act of God" drivel, White skewered our current Governor on Scott Braddock's KLRD-AM's Beyond the Headlines radio show. Calling Perry's statement, "just irresponsible," a measured Bill White cited Reagan's (yes, that Reagan) reaction to the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster--looking at ways to improve upon a flawed system without entirely shutting down a prosperous, popular program--as a better way to react rather than chalking it up to God having a bad day.

I just have one question for Jason Stanford, whose byline on the Tribune ends with a pandering mention of Stanford having a sign in his yard for Bill White:

Why bother with the yard sign?

"Jack Be Nimble" comes from the mid-nineteenth century nursery rhyme when jumping candlesticks was a sport and form of fortune-telling. Those who made it over the candlestick without extinguishing the flame were considered to have good luck. In the case of Bill White, he doesn't need an act of God, nor does he need luck. In the polls, he's within four points--he's already cleared the candlestick. Between now and November, Bill White only has six more to go.