Monday, September 20, 2010

The Noise Machine (09/20/10)

It's a day.....

They keep getting it wrong. As Kevin Whited of BlogHouston has repeatedly noted, this bit is 100% wrong:
Two days before the commission was scheduled to take up the Willingham case last October, Perry abruptly replaced its chairman, Sam Bassett, an Austin criminal defense attorney, along with two other commissioners.
What Morgan Smith of the Bill White Texas Tribune (and other reporters) are neglecting to point out is that Sam Bassett's term was up when he was replaced. It's not as if Perry fired him mid-term. The question of why Perry did what he did is an open one, but to frame the situation as a governor overstepping his authority (insert new descriptor here)* to cover something up is neither factual or unbiased.

Perhaps part of the reason down ballot Democrats are struggling for attention is because they're not really competitive?

How far has the Obama star fallen? One time VP wonder-child is now pushing him away as he fights for his political life.

After two years of pretty much ignoring them, Dems are finding Latino religion ahead of the mid-terms. Hey, it's politics.

In case you missed it(and you probably did) there was a County Judge debate this weekend. Emmett stressed mobility, Quan stressed "livable centers" which limit mobility. Go figure.

ChronBlog's Eric Berger on creating a blog network...Step 1: Find some Climate Change religious types, let them angrily post on their blogs.....then just stop. It's an odd model I know. (H/T: McGuff)

As mentioned yesterday, here's the on-line version of ChronBlog's no longer print exclusive great under the bus throwing of former Metro President Frank Wilson. (Amazingly, there was no mention of the unquestioning support thrown Wilson's way by the Apple Dumpling Gang prior to his dismissal. Funny how that works.)

ObamaCare is finally coming to Houston. Hold onto your pocketbooks as health care providers will start scrambling to cover the increased costs associated with the plan.

And finally.....

Meet the new boss. An unelected boss at that. (Houston's establishment has a history of creating these "behind the scenes" power players. Everyone who pays attention knows about them, but the average citizen typically does not. True to their form, ChronBlog (the house organ for the establishment) is not unkind to the new power broker. Nor should you expect them to be.)

*As commenter Jim B points out: "over-stepped his authority" is a poor descriptor for what the media meme is on this issue. Once I think of a better one I'll replace it. Until then it remains to be determined and I'll open it up to reader comments. What's the phrase I'm looking for?


  1. Regarding Perry's actions with the TFSC:

    No one has suggested he acted without authority. He clearly was within his executive privilege to replace, rather than delay or re-appoint the existing members, at the crucial moment they were to hear public testimony about the "science" used to convict CTW.

    The Lt. Governors appointees have served since 2006 (Adams, Hamilton, Hampton) and the AG's appointees have also served extended terms (Eisenberg 2006, Kerrigan 2007).

    Why didn't Dewhurst and/or Abbott feel the need to replace their picks?

    I repeat: no one has said he wasn't acting within his authority. The same authority which also allowed him to extend these members terms, just as the LTG and AG had done.

    Bassett was told the Guv "wants to go in a different direction". Yeah, like dead stop.

  2. "Why didn't Dewhurst and/or Abbott feel the need to replace their picks?"

    I don't know. Perhaps some enterprising reporter should ask them.

    As far as the perceived media meme? It's all opinion after all.

    What I *think* Perry did was use a fortuitous deadline to cut off a potentially damaging investigation.

    That said, for all I know he just didn't like the job Bassett was doing.

    To me, the implication of the 'abruptly' is that what Perry did was somehow beyond the pale. I just don't see it that way.

    Fortuitous? Certainly.

    I'll concede (and note, in the body of the post) that "overstepped his authority" is a poor phrase. I'll leave it there however until I can think of something better to describe the media meme that's been in place on this.

  3. I happen to agree with the conventional wisdom that Gov. Perry's decision to replace the chair was most likely political.

    However, media accounts frequently omit the important information that the term had expired, and that the governor had full constitutional authority to make a new appointment (or to extend the term). The omission, and frequent use of the terms "replace" and "abruptly" leave a casual reader -- someone who doesn't follow politics as closely as most readers of this blog -- the impression something untoward took place, that somehow the governor abused the power of his office. It's editorial framing by omission, and better reporting would aim to include the facts previously discussed, give readers the full picture, and let them decide.


Comment Policy:Any comment containing profanity or presonal attacks will be disallowed. Repeated violations will get you marked as SPAM. Real name is preferred, fake names will be carefully considered before being allowed. If your on-line moniker is so widely known as to be a clear identifier, that's OK too. If your comment doesn't appear, give it some time. I do have a day job.

Sports Section