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September 1st, 2008:


What Ann Friedman says. That’s all I have to say on this topic.

Gustav arrives

This is definitely good news.

Army Corps of Engineers chiefs say they anticipate no storm surge flooding due to Hurricane Gustav, which is turning out to be far less than what was previously forecast by the National Weather Service.

But they do anticipate localized flooding due to heavy rainfall. That water will have to be handled by local drainage and pumping systems in each parish, they say.

“The dewatering of the internal city due to rainfall will be up to these non-federal pumping stations,” said Brigadier Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, the corps’ chief of engineers.

Via SciGuy, of course, who has more hopeful news for New Orleans. Stay safe, y’all.

When Jack attacks

I pass the following along with amusement but no comment. In that email exchange between Jack Rains and Joan Huffman that I highlighted yesterday, among the things that Rains flung against the wall was this:

A great deal of pressure is being applied to this race behind the scenes. I am advised by several sources that State Senator John Whitmire, Democrat Houston, is soliciting support for Joan Huffman, who is running as a Republican. Senator Whitmire has reportedly received a large donation, some say $10,000, from Joan Huffman’s husband Keith lawyer, Mr. Lawyer who is heavily funding his wife’s campaign, some say to the tune of half million dollars, has an extensive number of bars , which presumably serve alcoholic beverages. John Nau is the Budweiser distributor for Harris and several other surrounding counties. Incidentally the event was organized by Joan Huffman’s consultants, Sue and Dave Walden, who were consultant to Lee P. Brown, a democrat partisan and clearly Houston’s all time worst mayor.

You already know that I think he’s making up that allegation about Sen. Whitmire, who I’m told is not happy about being dragged into this little spat. Turns out some other feathers were ruffled as well. Here’s an email exchange that resulted from this, which was passed along to me:

From: David Walden
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:02 AM
To: [email protected]
Cc: Sue Walden
Subject: Joan Huffman Campaign

Jack, once again you must not have been sober when sending out your email claiming that I am a consultant to Joan’s campaign. I am not involved in her campaign. My wife is. Just her. Not me. I don’t work at Walden and Associates. I expect you to send a correction asap to the poor souls on your email list or I truly will deal with you like the dog you are. Understood fat boy.

Dave Walden

[here’s the reply:]

From: Jack Rains
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 3:43 PM
To: Jack Rains
Subject: Dave Walden attack and request for clarification
Importance: High

Dear Dave,

In response to your message below, I of course apologize for and deeply regret any angst I caused you, or Sue, by mistakenly assuming you guys were a team. I assure you both I intended no offense.

Pursuant to your request I will make everyone aware of the facts by attaching your email below. Since I have received no clarification from Sue, are we to assume you speak for her in this matter?

On the subject of your personal remarks and threats; first I assume you speak, as usual, only for yourself. To properly address the matter may I suggest the two of us schedule a time when we may enjoy a quiet stroll together in Memorial Park so that you may personally express your feelings. If you were serious, and not merely popping off and exhibiting your famous humor and keen political skills, I must warn you, as an attorney, that physical attacks against poor old elderly, physically infirmed folks constitute a felony under Texas law. You should also consider that if attacked such actions in turn permit us to defend ourselves…… even from apparently deranged Chihuahuas.

Chill and stay out of the rain, I look forward to seeing you soon and personally resolving this unfortunate matter.


I believe it was Molly Ivins who said that politics was the finest form of free entertainment ever devised. I think we can all see why she thought that.

Could we just write one big story and be done with it?

Kinky Friedman. Again.

Kinky Friedman, who helped make the 2006 Texas governor’s race an entertaining “must-see,” is on the road again — as a performer. In Washington Thursday on a four-city East Coast swing, Friedman and his two long-time sidekicks, Little Jewford and Ratso, filled the Birchmere in nearby Alexandria, Va. Friedman got to use “my two favorite words in the English language ‘sold out.'”

Friedman performed the night that Barack Obama was giving his boffo speech in Denver, which wasn’t a problem for the Texan, even though the singer-songwriter-humorist -novelist-candidate now declares himself to be a Democrat. “I’m not supporting Barack Obama,” he said before the show. He likes McCain but stops short of saying he’ll back him. Mainly, he’s weighing his own options for governor in 2010. “I ran as an independent. I don’t think Texans vote for independents. I’ll go back to my roots as an old-style Democrat like Ann Richards and JFK. If we can get the rednecks back into the Democratic Party, we can win.” He’s not committed to running, but he sure sounds close.

*takes deep breath* I have two things to say about this.

1. I’ll say it once again: Kinky Friedman will not be the Democratic nominee for Governor in Texas in 2010 unless every other possible candidate, including Gene Kelly and Rhett Smith, decline to run. Having said that, he could perhaps incrementally improve his odds of winning – from “snowball’s chance in hell” to “snowball’s chance in Death Valley” – by doing something that might identify him as a Democrat to Democratic primary voters. You know, like maybe supporting the Democratic nominee for President. I’m not asking him to phone bank or donate money or sign up to receive text messages on his cellphone, assuming he has one. A simple, declarative “I support and will vote for Barack Obama for President” would do nicely.

2. This is becoming as tedious as the neverending flow of “Kay Bailey Hutchison says she’s going to run for Governor in 2010, and this time she means it” stories. For crying out loud, the fact that Friedman is talking about running for Governor again and has been talking about it for a year now doesn’t mean it’s worthy of mention in a newspaper, or even in a newspaper’s blog, every time he farts in the general direction of a political beat reporter. We get it. He wants to run. He’ll tell anyone in earshot that he wants to run. Oh, and as long as you’re listening, he’s also got a CD/a new book/some cigars/some amazing soap and laundry products to sell you. Please, for the love of God, give it a rest already.

The “John Sharp Newspaper Speculation Mentioning Act of 2003”

R.G. Ratcliffe takes a cue from me.

One politician whose name is floated for almost every statewide office is former Comptroller John Sharp, who lost runs for lieutenant governor in 1998 and 2002. Former Party chairs Bob Slagle and Molly Beth Malcolm said Sharp is an unlikely path for the Democrats’ future.

“I doubt that he can raise the money for a major statewide race. You lose too many times and it makes it hard to raise statewide money,” Slagle said.

“John Sharp had his time,” said Malcolm, 53. “It’s time for new blood. That’s not to say you won’t see people my age running, but this is really a generational change.”

Whatever will we do when we don’t have John Sharp’s name to float any more? I can’t even begin to imagine.