Monday, January 10, 2011

82nd Lege Reference Guide (Part I)

A handy, dandy, pocket-sized (if you have a smart phone) guide to all you need to know about the 82nd Legislative Session.



Abortion: An issue federally decided by the courts but which takes up much of the Lege's time. A sure-fire way for State Sen. Dan Patrick to get his name in the paper.

Aide, Legislative: The people in politics who REALLY write your laws and make the decisions. Not to be confused with bureaucrats, whose job it is to ensure nothing gets done. Typically fresh out of College, naive, partisan, and hoping to not be the subject of the next big sex scandal to come out of Austin.

Ardmore, OK: Texas Democrats home away from home when they're playing the Government in Exile role-playing game.

Austin: Technically, the physical home of the State Capitol of Texas. In reality: One giant hot-tub party thrown by lobbyists. Also home of angry journalists and bloggers who aren't invited to said hot tub party.


Bar-B-Que: Law: Every politician MUST have at least one (preferably more) photo-op showing him/her eating a pork rib and pretending to enjoy it. Bonus points if you can be shown next to an elderly man wearing a John Deere hat, plaid shirt and suspenders.

Bell, Chris: Perennial candidate.

Bell, Chris: Perennial candidate.

Bell, Chris: Perennial candidate.

Beer: There's plenty of beer in Austin during the Lege session, but the important thing is to count how many parties the beer distributors throw for the elected officials in an attempt to sustain their oligarchy over the distribution process.

Boondoggle: No one really uses this word any longer and, as such, it has no real meaning in non-political conversation. In politics however it can mean any program that the user chooses not to like at the present time.

Budget: Hard facts shrouded in the rhetoric of morality and statistics. It's typically pretty clear how much money the State is projected to have over the next biennium. What's not clear is how many political agenda groups are going to try and convince you otherwise. Because of this what you see as a process in budgeting is really just a one act play focusing on Enron's accounting during the last days.)

Burka, Paul: Proof of the theory that longevity in reporting is often mistaken for expertise.

California: In Texas politics, only used with the following: "Thank God we're not.....", "Texas doesn't run like.....", "....is the land of fruits & nuts."

Caucus: A polite way to say "creative way to legally bypass the Texas open meetings act." Used by political parties when they want to impart a false sense of drama onto a pre-ordained event. (See: Speaker of the House, Paxton, Straus & Dan Patrick for more.)

ChronBlog: What happens when a major city goes without a newspaper for an extended period of time.

Comptroller, Texas State: The Texas political equivalent of the Groundhog. Appears once per year to announce either financial Winter or Summer, then disappears until election season to tout abilities as a taxpayer fiscal watchdog.

Constituents: You, unless you have an issue to address with your elected representative, in which case you become a "crazed partisan whose sole agenda is making a mess of the process." Can also be used in the abstract to describe those the politician in question feels a God-like responsibility for. (See Mouth-breathers. for more)

Courtier: The one relic of the European monarchies that survived the American democratic experiment. Also known as staffers, advisers & lobbyists. Main job is to tell politicians how to think and to snag as many free Hors d'oeuvre's as possible from lobbyist funded events.


Cyan: Obscure word for blue. Not as obscure as Democratic political power in Texas, but you get the idea.

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