Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

September 25th, 2010:

Saturday video break: They live inside of my head

The MOB performed an arrangement of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” during last week’s show. Not too surprisingly, none of the current students in the sax section had ever heard of the song before, though they did like it. So I went off to YouTube to find a decent video of it. This is what I dug up, the original 1979 promo video for “Dream Police”:

The 70s really were something, weren’t they?

By the way, the MOB arrangement of “Dream Police” was used as a partial soundtrack for the following video, which was the focal point of last week’s halftime show.

“Dream Police” accompanied the silent segment that begins after the line “Come with me if you want to live”. This was one of the more fun shows to perform, and it got a nice reaction.

Endorsement watch: Chron for Weems

Score two for Jeff Weems.

There is one race for a Railroad commissioner’s seat on this fall’s statewide ballot to fill the seat currently held by Victor Carrillo, who lost to a challenger in the Republican Party primary.

We commend Houstonian Jeff Weems, the Democratic candidate, to fill this seat.

Weems, the son of a petroleum engineer, would bring both legal and petroleum engineering experience to the position. He would also bring dynamism and enthusiasm that does not appear to be matched by his Republican opponent.

As before, it’s clear there’s no comparison between Weems and his no-name opponent. If you want someone who’s well qualified for the job, he’s your candidate.

The Chron on the District Clerk race

You really should read the Chron story on the District Clerk race, since it sums up pretty nicely why Loren Jackson has done such a great job. It starts with an anecdote you’d have read on Mark Bennett’s blog and goes from there.

In the 22 months since [November 2008], Jackson has vastly increased the numbers and kinds of court documents available online. He has made public an online criminal background check tool that previously only government employees could use. He is testing an electronic filing system aimed at giving local lawyers an alternative to the state’s more expensive system. His team set up a docketing notification system that informs attorneys when their cases are scheduled.

Jackson, a Democrat, has been a darling of local lawyers because he has saved them trips to the courthouse as well as saved taxpayers’ money in staff time at windows and scanning machines. Texas Lawyer called him a “technology geek” and mentioned his claim that no county in the country provides as much online access to court records.

In fact, Jackson has received little criticism in his 22 months on the job, even from Republicans.

Do a good enough job and the people you do it for will want you to keep doing it. Jackson’s opponent then makes a ridiculous claim about – I kid you not – terrorists that isn’t worth quoting because life is too short for stuff like that. So go read the Chron story, and when you’re done with that go read Murray Newman and Bennett again for more. And then tell your friends to vote for Loren Jackson.

Pity poor John Bradley

It’s a truly beautiful thing to see the guy who was brought in to the Texas Forensic Science Commission for the express purpose of protecting Governor Perry’s political interests wail and moan about the Commission becoming a “political football” now that it’s clear he cannot control the other commissioners. The strategy, hatched back when Perry was in a competitive primary, was to delay the potentially explosive stuff until after the elections were over, when no one would be paying attention any more. You have to wonder at this point if Perry had just let nature run its course if the worst of this would be all behind him by now. Instead, things are still coming to a head, and his designated fixer has lost the handle. Somewhere, Machiavelli is shaking his head and muttering about “amateurs” under his breath. The DMN editorial board has more.

Rick Perry loves the stimulus

He just hates to admit it.

When 47 state and territorial governors sent a letter on Feb. 22 asking for more federal matching dollars for Medicaid, Perry refused to sign. He likes to talk about how he thinks the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a waste of money.

Yet on Aug. 25 Perry wrote an unpublicized letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary formally requesting that Texas receive the increased federal match for Medicaid. The extension is part of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, and gives states a 3.2 percent increase in the matching funds from January to March 2011, and a 1.2 percentage point increase from April to June 2011. Additional increases are available for each quarter during this period for states with high unemployment rates. This higher matching rate was originally slated to expire at the end of 2010.

Perry’s office released the letter only after the Observer inquired about Perry’s position on the matching funds. It appears the Obama administration has also grown weary of governors like Perry rejecting the stimulus program publicly, and then accepting the funds privately.

Sebelius wrote a you-better-check-yo-self letter on Aug. 16 letting governors know that although President Obama had signed off on the additional funds that 47 of them had requested, those funds would only be made available to states whose governors formally requested them. Apparently Perry blinked in this game of chicken and wrote his letter like a good governor should.

I believe the proper expression here is “Thank you, sir, may I please have another”. While Perry prefers money he can spend unaccountably, he’ll still take whatever he can get. Those $21 billion shortfalls aren’t going to fix themselves, you know. As long as he can still bite the hand that’s feeding him, it’s all good with Perry.