Saturday, June 15, 2013

Today it’s a Rick Perry “double whammy.”

When you live in Texas it’s easy to find candidates for Putz of the Week because you never have to look beyond Rick “Einstein” Perry’s office in Austin. Even though the Howdygram blasted Governor Hairdo yesterday for his veto of equal pay legislation for women, we have an opportunity today to elevate him to full Putz of the Week status ... his fourth award in less than six months. Because today we have a double whammy.
First, this morning the aforementioned Governor Hairdo vetoed two bipartisan ethics bills that would — get ready for this — eliminate all state funding for the prosecutor’s unit that is investigating his prized cancer research fund. One of the hundreds of cases being investigated by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg includes the potential misuse of $56 million in grants by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), especially grants to companies who supported Perry’s reelection and (what a shock) somehow didn’t have to pass through the normal review process. And Perry personally appoints all of the well-compensated CPRIT board members.

According to Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, “Perry’s office is an ethical black hole. Ethics reform goes in. Nothing comes out.” McDonald’s group had filed a criminal complaint earlier Friday over the governor’s acknowledgment that he would veto funding if Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign. Lehmberg refused, and Perry cut the funding. Once again, he continues to eliminate every possible way the public can get to the bottom of his bullshit.

Second (you remembered there’s a second item coming, right?), Governor Hairdo signed another bill this morning that requires laid-off workers in Texas to submit to mandatory drug testing in order to receive unemployment benefits ... even though employers already hold insurance policies that provide this compensation. Perry said, “Texas is a state where personal responsibility is very important, and recipients of unemployment benefits have a responsibility to be prepared to work when an opportunity presents itself.”

Seriously? According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “The testing mandated by this bill should thus require probable cause that a crime has been committed. It does not. Being unemployed is not a crime.” (Unless you live in Texas.)

This kind of crap has been tried — without success — in other states. Out of 87,000 drug tests in Arizona, one applicant tested positive for drugs; in Florida, 51,000 drug tests yielded 21 positives. At a cost of $42 per test, Arizona and Florida spent $5.8 million to stop 22 people from collecting benefits. It’s pretty clear (to me, anyway) that Rick Perry is just setting up a nice windall for a hunting buddy who owns a drug-testing company.

On a personal note, I particularly take offense to Perry’s comment about “personal responsibility.” Hey Einstein, how about allowing women a little personal responsibility to decide whether or not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy?

Holy crap. I really HATE this guy.

In other news, we had some crazy-ass thunderstorms roll through here during the night. I remember hearing them around 4 a.m. (they have to be awfully loud to wake ME up) and we must have had a brief power failure because this morning all the digital clocks in the house were blinking and my computer was off. More storms are forecast this afternoon and tonight, which is fine with me. I always enjoy free entertainment.

Thank you for reading this.

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