December 24, 2010



Let's fight the tragedy of A.S.S.
by Jim Hightower

Good grief, it's spreading!

Another Texas legislator has come down with the tragic disease known as "Amazing Stupidity Syndrome." A.S.S. attacks the lobe of the brain that controls one's ethical behavior, apparently causing the moral synapses in that region to go on the fritz thus allowing the stupidity hormone to seep in and take charge. The main symptom is that afflicted legislators develop sticky fingers, causing then to double-bill for airline tickets, rooms at luxury resorts, lavish meals, etc.

Last October, Rep. Joe Driver was diagnosed with A.S.S. after a news report revealed that for years he'd been billing both the taxpayers and his political fund for the same travel expenses. Joe, a Republican Texas lawmaker for 20 years, defended himself by asserting that he didn't know it was wrong to be reimbursed twice. That's when we knew that poor Joe was eaten up with A.S.S.

And now Rep. Dan Flynn has been stricken. Another Republican, he's a former bank examiner who claims to be an expert in — get this — financial management. But Dan claims that he's been too busy traveling to account for a rash of double billing since 2006 for stays at swank hotels from Boston to San Francisco.

You'll be glad to know however that Texas legislative leaders are now at work on a cure for A.S.S. Jail time, you ask? No, no — they intend "to design a form [to] make it more transparent" to members that double billing is an ethical boo-boo that should be avoided. Both Joe and Dan say that they will be fully supportive of the form reform.

Let's hope that it's ready soon so we can make it available to other states experiencing outbreaks of Amazing Stupidity Syndrome among their lawmakers. Perhaps we need an A.S.S. telethon to prevent a pandemic of this tragic disease.

(kcactive Editor’s Note: Kansas Governor-elect Sam Brownback reportedly wants Kansas to be less like California, in terms of regulation, and more like Texas. If so, how long before A.S.S. infects Kansas’ legislators?)

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