Leading Off (8/12/09)

1. Rick Perry has claimed the state has a $9 billion surplus — without properly thanking the federal government for making that possible. Now he’s getting ready to take some more money from the feds, this time a $1.5 billion loan to cover unemployment claims. The fun part: “[I]t’s unclear when Texas employers will have to pay a much higher tax to repay the loan and rebuild a required $863 million cushion in the unemployment compensation trust fund. A second Texas Workforce Commission official and an outside expert said the brunt of expected higher taxes might not sock employers until 2011, after the worst of the recession passes and well past the March primary for Gov. Rick Perry.” Genius.

2. From now on, I’m borrowing a page out of plan commissioner D’Angelo Lee’s playbook (according to what Bill Fisher testified yesterday in the City Hall corruption trial). Let’s say I’m interviewing a subject for a story, and let’s say the subject happens to be wearing some really nice pants. I’ll say, “Your pants are tight. I’m a 34 waist.” (Do people still use “tight” to mean “sweet”? Follow-up question: am I deluding myself into thinking I’m a 34 waist?)

3. Fifty-year-old Harvey Ray Moss is the new worst person on the planet. Because he locked his 21-year-old mentally disabled girlfriend in the back of a hot truck, where she was nearly overcome by heat exhaustion. Unbelievable.

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