The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Metro columnist James Ragland, 50, has been re-assigned to general assignment duties covering Collin County pending the outcome ofÂ “a misdemeanor family violence assault charge him involving his wife.”
DMN editor Robert Mong says, “He will be reporting outside of Dallas County to avoid inevitable conflicts that might arise. James agrees with this decision.”
In the meantime, Ragland’s wife, Shannon Morley-Ragland, 42, has filed for divorce because of “discord or conflict of personalities.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney recently dismissed a Republican payroll tax cut proposal as “window dressing or gorilla dust.” Since no one in the press room understood exactly what Carney had meant by that second metaphor, The Washington Post investigated. Turns out it was a phrase Carney learned in the early 1990s from his old boss in the Washington bureau of Time magazine, a guy named Dan Goodgame:
And where did Goodgame pick it up?
“Ross Perot used to use it,” Goodgame said. “It was Ross. I wish I could claim it. I love to do Ross Perot impressions. I can’t remember if we ever used it other than quoting Perot. It became bureau slang.”
The Post confirmed, thanks to a William Safire column in the New York Times, that Dallas’ own Ross Perot used it in a debate about NAFTA televised on an episode of Larry King Live.
And this is where I either count or curse the blessing that we live during a time when seemingly any scrap of video a person might want has been uploaded online by some crank somewhere. I went through half an hour of footage of then-Vice President Al Gore and Perot having a testy discussion about the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Many times Perot looks like he can barely restrain himself from slugging Gore, who keeps asking repeatedly where the funding for Perot’s anti-NAFTA organization comes from. Perot says Gore’s only raising the issue as “propaganda,” a distraction from the central debate on NAFTA. Finally he arrives at the quote I’d been searching for. The 2:35 mark on this video. Â (Sorry, embedding was disabled):
“See, again, he throws up propaganda. He throws up gorilla dust. It makes no sense.”
So, is this a phrase peculiar to Perot himself? Or can anyone claim it as a Dallas-ism?
I just got word that Dallas Animal Services is kicking off an adoption special for the month of December. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this month, you’ll be able to adopt any dog or any cat for just $30. It’s a good deal. (I paid about $200 to adopt my dog a few years ago.) If you want to add a pet to the family, you should most certainly do it through a shelter and not a breeder. Because, as I talk about in a column in this month’s print product, Dallas has enough dogs and cats already. They just need homes.
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher had some scary things to say while addressing the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council today. Fisher Â ”has been among the most vocal critics of the central bank’s policy, dissenting this year against moves to push down long-term rates and to keep the benchmark U.S. interest rate near zero until at least mid-2013. He voted five times in 2008 in favor of tighter policy,” according to Bloomberg.
Today he spoke of a recent conversation with a European Central Bank official, who pointed out that the U.S. debt burden is even bigger than Europe’s:
“We don’t want to be in a situation like Greece. We are headed that way, if we are not careful,” Fisher said.Â ”We are headed in the wrong direction, and if we don’t bring it under control, we are going to have social unrest.”
Translation? Despite those slightly-maybe improving unemployment numbers today, hold on to your effin’ hat?
A readingpants FrontBurnervian shot this into my inbox today – a story about Fort Worth ISD kicking Santa out of the classrooms. And not only that, gift exchanges are verboten. Santa can visit the cafeteria, but nowhere else.
And why? For that you’d have to cue up the district’s lawyers, according to the story.
“One of the district’s lawyers is reportedly concerned that if they allow students to exchange presents, they would also be be required to let them distribute a religious message with the gift.”
Anyone think that the worry is related to the Plano candy cane kerfuffle that is still winding its way through the courts?
God bless you if you plan to be among the thousands running the Dallas White Rock Marathon on Sunday morning. Whether you’re participating in memory of a family member or a mentor, or your church, or just for some strange sense that you’ve accomplished something in your life, the weather forecast promises temperatures in the 40s with rain and wind.
The Dallas Morning News running blog has a number of tips for the challenging day. Basically, don’t wear cotton. Have layers, some of which you might be able to dispose of along the way. Don’t overdress. But the best tip comes from Spareribs Lamothe (he of quite possibly the greatest name ever):
And no matter what you do, do NOT bring a jacket, then get hot and tie it around your waist! You will look like an idiot for one, and for another, the jacket will act as a giant sail and slow you down. If I see you out there with a jacket (or worse, a sweat shirt) around your waist I’m going to fine you five dollars.
If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed by the cold, WFAA assures us that doctors will be standing by to help. There will be a relay team of doctors from Baylor running the route so that they’ll be nearby should any emergency needs arise. They’ve also got a fancy piece of equipment, which WFAA calls a “bear hug” in case anyone suffers hypothermia.
This weekend will automatically take a turn for the terrible if you try to get on I-3o after 9 p.m. on Saturday. Just don’t bother.
There’s some kerfuffle in the Arts District this morning, and of course it’s in aid of spreading holiday cheer. The AT&T Performing Arts Center will light up their Christmas tree as planned, despite the little bit of inclement weather. The evening’s entertainment includes craft booths for kids, horse-drawn carriages, food trucks, and a performance by a Jersey Boys cast member (the AT&T PAC’s Lexus Broadway series will bring the much-loved musical to town in the spring). Plus, kids can get their photo taken with Santa.
Otherwise, Peter reminded us on FrontRow this morning that filmmaker Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) is in town. The Texas Theatre will screen Highway Patrolman and Straight to Hell Returns before Cox takes the stage for a Q&A.
Gov. Rick Perry made his much-anticipated appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night. He continued to poke fun at his own mental lapses, including the speech he gave in New Hampshire earlier this week in which he told young people to come vote for him once they’re 21 years old. “I was thinking of the drinking age, maybe,” Perry told Leno. It is perhaps fair to conclude from this statement that he likes his chances if voters show up to the polls drunk.
Here’s the first part of the interview:
Company Charges Widow $13,400 for Matchmaking Services. The Dallas Morning News’ Katie Fairbank got Dallas Singles to reduce Frisco widow Jean Green’s commitment down to just more than $5,500 eventually, but still, that’s substantially more than eHarmony or other services. Oy.
Rolling, Rolling, Rolling. ERCOT says that power generation is something something not enough so next summer we could have rolling black outs. The takeaway from this story? In Fort Worth, if you work for the city you get to wear shorts in the summer. Â And next summer will be a clustercuss. I read the news so you don’t have to.
Grapevine Traffic Causes Road Rage Incident. Rush hour traffic on Highway 121 from Lewisville to Grapevine is just the kind of thing that would give Dante the hives. But shooting at someone’s car? Wrong. Also wrong? This.
Pay It Forward. Someone stuck this in my ear earlier, and I can’t get it out. So now it’s yours. You’re welcome.