I’ve been called out, so I’ll take the bait.
A reader of this blog said he “gets it,” and that Rush Limbaugh’s commentary makes me “want to puke.” Well, that’s a little over the top. Limbaugh doesn’t make me sick to my stomach. It does, however, sadden me when his fellow Republicans genuflect before a guy who’s only credential is that he is an entertainer with a bucketload of opinions.
The reader says I’ve never been “specific” about my criticism of Limbaugh. He’s right. That’s because Limbaugh doesn’t articulate policy. He is critical of the “other side” on purely partisan grounds. If Democrats are for something, he’s against it. He calls himself a “conservative,” but I don’t know how he defines his conservatism. Is he a “social conservative” in the mold of, say, James Dobson? Is he a “fiscal conservative” like Newt Gingrich? Is he a less-government conservative who follows the doctrine of Barry Goldwater?
He’s a jokester.
The reader wonders if I am afflicted by “professional envy.” Ummm, no. I’m not glib enough. I’m glad for his success. Limbaugh has developed a following of Dittoheads — a term which, if you think about it, is an insult. But those who hang on his every word are happy with the description. More power to ’em.
My real concern lies with the dismal state of the conservative movement. William Buckley, an absolute genius, is now gone, but the world has other first-class conservative thinkers. George Will comes to mind. Gingrich has a wealth of ideas — and he can be a forceful advocate for them. William Kristol is an articulate advocate for the conservative cause. Those are just three. They argue their cause with civility. I don’t believe thoughtful conservatives wish “failure” on the president of the United States.
Limbaugh’s talent? He’s excellent at finding straw men and then beating the stuffing out of them.
But he’s now the voice of the conservative movement in this country. Sen. Goldwater — God bless his soul — is spinning in his grave.
The word today has been that members of Congress were “Twittering” during President Obama’s speech to the nation. It’s like the teenager who “texts” his or her friends during class. It’s disrespectful.
The reports of lawmakers playing with their wireless devices reminds me of an incident that occurred in Amarillo during the 2008 campaign. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson came to the Panhandle for an interview with the Editorial Board. A young staffer sat with us at the conference table. She was sending and receiving text messages on her BlackBerry while Jefferson was expounding on why he should return to the Supreme Court. He asked the aide to stop texting. She said something about having to deal with an important matter. He told her politely, but firmly, to take it outside the room. The aide put the device away.
Seriously, I wanted to high-five the chief justice.
The multi-taskers sitting in the House chamber need some lessons in good manners and decorum.
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller is facing a possible impeachment. A legislator has filed a resolution of impeachment in the House.
Why? Well, it turns out that she had a schedule to keep in 2007 and didn’t want to stay on the job to hear a last-minute appeal of a Death Row inmate, who subsequently was executed for his crime. It was 5 p.m., and the office was closed for the day. Tough luck to the convict, Miachael Wayne Richard.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has announced plans to launch proceedings against Judge Keller.
She is in trouble — and justifiably so.
What’s more, she actually admitted during her most recent campaign to being a “pro-prosecution” judge. What in the world? How does a judge consider the law without bias when he or she declares a pro-prosecution or pro-defense bias? That, by itself, is reason enough to get Keller tossed out on her ear.
Steve Jones had a rare gift.
He came to Amarillo in 2003 to take over as president of Amarillo College. He wasn’t here all that long — but it seemed as if he’d been here for decades.
That is a testament to the way he became part of the community fabric. He became an eloquent spokesman for AC. In his private moments, he could be, um, a pithy critic of those who had done the school wrong. He didn’t much care for Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of community college-related legislation in 2007 and spoke, well, quite candidly about what he thought of the governor at that moment.
Steve Jones’ impact on Amarillo was immediate, and significant. He died during the weekend of cancer. He’ll be missed in ways the college staff, faculty and students don’t yet know.
The New York Stock Exchange closed today — more than 250 points lower than when it started. I lost even more money out of my retirement account.
And when the bell sounded to end trading, some Wall Street execs — and maybe a celebrity or two — stood there on the podium and applauded. My question is this: What on Earth were they cheering?
OK, it’s a pro forma event. They aren’t really happy with the way the day’s trading goes when it takes a dive like it did today. They do it for the cameras. Well, the cameras captured the moment, all right. And this viewer is getting angrier with each day’s loss of money — chiefly mine.
I see nothing worth applauding, folks.