Leading Off (4/18/11)

John Wiley Price Is Dallas’ Most Interesting Politician: No argument here, though if I wrote this Dallas Morning News headline, I might have put “interesting” in quotes.

Texas Burning! Wildfires ravage the state, turning it into the hell New Yorkers have always claimed it to be. The good news: the flames have slowed their spread near Possum Kingdom Lake. The bad news: The inferno is now in East Texas, where more than 3,000 acres are burning in Tyler and Hardin counties. In fact, all but two of the state’s 254 counties have been struck or threatened by the wildfires, prompting Gov. Perry to request President Barack Obama declare the state a major disaster area (I thought the budget shortfall already classified the state as such). But don’t worry: the wildfires are not linked to climate change (as far as we can tell). And in related news, all local bands are hereby required to add this to their live set lists, only replace “London” with “Texas.”

Welcome to Average-Ville, USA: Hurst, TX: While Dallas wrestles with anxiety about being “world-class,” the good people living in Hurst are perfectly happy with their completely average American city. According to the latest census data, the Northeast Tarrant County town’s demographics match many of the country’s averages. Hurst’s household size is 2.6 people, and the ratio of women to men is the same as the nation. Its per capita income is only $21 off the national average ($27,020), and, like the rest of the U.S.A., 27.4 percent of residents hold college degrees. When all is said and done, Ron Bachman is the most average guy in the most average city: “I’m a middle-of-the-road kind of guy, and it’s always fit me,” he tells the Star-Telegram. A true American hero.


  • Wm. B. Travis

    Time to short Belo again; if that (obviously PR-put-to-paid) headline is indicative of their cash flow (or lack thereof).

  • Lee

    Rick Perry’s asking for the disaster declaration is the RIGHT thing to do. However, I wonder where his independent, we-can-go-it-alone-without-Washington philosophy fits into the request. He “speaks with a forked tongue” and is two-faced.

  • Hein

    Re: John Wiley Price,

    Where does it say “interesting” in the headline?

  • @Hein: It looks like they changed it. It’s still in the URL (for now).

  • Hein

    Oh, you’re right.

  • TominDallas

    JWP is interesting. I read the same article and came to the same conclusion. He is obviously a ruthless politician who has represented his constituency well in his tenure on the Commissioner’s Court. The contradictions of his personal persona and public one are the stuff of legend it seems. What will be interesting is how he shares power with the other groups of Democratic Party supporters that gave him a Democratic Majority on the Court. The first time Garcia, or Jenkins oppose him will be the best time to watch. He turned on Foster when he opposed him.

  • Darren

    @Lee I was thinking the same thing this morning when I heard the story on the radio.

  • amanda

    AWE.SOME.COM Leading Off. You’ve out dided yourself. I was linking all over the place, even before the last giggle subsided.

  • Dubious Brother

    @Lee – Having the area declared a “Federal Disaster Area” helps people and businesses that do not have insurance to get loans to help them recover – probably more helpful with floods than fires but not federal welfare if that is what you are implying.
    It is hard to imagine an article written about the annual fires in Texas in the past 15 or 20 years without the author blaming them on global warming. Now because of the scam exposure, they have lost the “courage of their convictions” of times past and just slip in the reference through a misleading headline. Next year’s heavy rains and floods will also need a back door global warming/climate change reference.

  • Glenn Hunter

    @Dubious Brother: Right you are, as usual. DMN bias was on display big-time with Sunday’s lead story, which asked: Is global warming responsible for the Texas wildfires? Short answer in the story: The question itself is “unanswerable” and misguided or misdirected. Yet this was considered the most important article of the day.

  • Lee

    @dubious brother: My point is that Perry has such disdain for ANYTHING from Washington that it is surprisiing that he would make the request. It is still tax dollars that underwrite the loans. If he were true to his convictions, he would make that a State of Texas loan program and keep the “feds” outof Texas.

    You bring up a different question of why people do not buy insurance like most people who have a home or business would do. Should they be bailed out for making a bad decision?

  • Dubious Brother

    @Lee – My point about the insurance is that in some locations, the only flood insurance that is available is from the feds and I would imagine is expensive. I am not sure if the same is true in fire zones about fire insurance – I doubt that many if any people that had homes destroyed did not have them insured.
    I don’t think we should involve the Federal Government in very much but I don’t believe that declaring an area a Federal Disaster Area is a give away either. Texas should be allowed to take care of Texas!

  • Grumpy Demo

    Nice reward from the Perots for him blocking the South Dallas transit hub.