Today, outside D HQ, it’s 79 degrees, and, according to Weather.com, it feels like 80. It’s March 1. With it already so warm, what does this mean for summer?
Fracking has been a pretty hot topic around these parts over the last year. One of the companies going door to door locally, snatching up as many leases as possible, was Chesapeake Energy. Now Rolling Stone‘s Jeff Goodell has taken aim at billionaire Aubrey McClendon, the man behind Chesapeake. A primer on McClendon, from early in the story:
“McClendon is an influential right-wing power broker — he helped fund the Swift Boat attacks against John Kerry in 2004, donated $250,000 to the presidential campaign of Rick Perry, and contributed more than $500,000 to stop gay marriage. But unlike his fellow energy czars, McClendon knows how to tone down his politics and present a friendlier, less ideological face to the public. He secretly gave $26 million to the Sierra Club to fight Big Coal, and built a Google-like campus for Chesapeake’s 4,600 employees in Oklahoma City, complete with a 63,000-square-foot day care center, a luxurious gym and four cafes manned by cook-to-order chefs. He even voted for Barack Obama because he thought the country needed ‘an inspirational figure.’”
It’s fascinating tale for anyone interested in the subject. Read the rest here.
Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, gave a speech at the Mexican stock exchange yesterday. According to this report from Investor’s Business Daily, he sounded an alarm about the the concentration of power held by the country’s five biggest banks: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Farco, and Goldman Sachs. Â The government felt compelled to bail out banks during the financial crisis of 2008 because they were “too big to fail,” and Fisher says the top banks are now even larger, “too bigger to fail.”
But what to do about it?
Downsizing the behemoths over time into institutions that can be prudently managed and regulated across borders is the appropriate policy response,” he said. “Then, creative destruction can work its wonders in the financial sector, just as it does elsewhere in our economy.”
But the analogy Fisher used to bring that downsizing about suggested starving the banks vs. smashing them into pieces.
“Perhaps the financial equivalent of irreversible lap-band or gastric bypass surgery is the only way to treat the pathology of financial obesity, contain the relentless expansion of these banks, and downsize them to manageable proportions.”
The March issue of PaperCity isn’t online yet, so I can’t point you to the full Q&A therein with the DMA’s new director, Max Anderson. But here are some choice excerpts:
Q: Where do you purchase your suits?
A: When next I do, Neiman Marcus, of course.
Q: Favorite vacation spot?
A: The Bay of Naples, ideally from a cutter-rigged sloop.
Q: What would surprise most people about you?
A: How much I love splitting a face cord of firewood.
I call B.S. on this thing. I’ve met Anderson. I can’t say I peered into his soul and took the full measure of the man, but I did get the impression that he has a sense of humor. I’m guessing these questions were submitted to him in writing (because that’s the way Jill Bernstein, the DMA’s chief PR gatekeeper, prefers to operate). And I’m guessing that Anderson took his time to come up with answers that amused him. Well-played, sir. Well-played.
On Sunday, the ABC television network will broadcast the first episode of a new Dallas-set program called GCB. That title was settled upon after the name of the book on which the show is based,Â Good Christian Bitches, was deemed unacceptable, and after the replacement title, Good Christian Belles, was deemed stupid.
None of this is news to you, of course. You were among the first to buy Kim Gatlin’s novel when it was published in 2008, and you tried to figure out which characters in the book’s “Hillside Park” were thinly veiled facsimiles of which real people in Highland Park. D Magazine made its best guesses in the December 2008 issue. While some of the characters have been altered and others added for the television adaptation, the protagonist remains a woman named Amanda Vaughn (thought by many to be Gatlin’s representation of herself, and played by actress Leslie Bibb.)
In our January print edition, we brought you the story of the battle that ensued between Gatlin and the book’s original publisher, Brown Books. (It’s now a title for Hyperion.)
Will the TV show be any good? Visit FrontRow on Monday, where Laura Kostelny will have a full recap of the premiere.
Ah, well. The show must go on, and there are just too many things I want to do this evening. And speaking of shows, I’m seeing “One-Man Lord of the Rings,” this weekend’s main stage attraction at the WaterTower’s annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival. As I described it to Bradford Pearson yesterday, it’s just a dork with a ring and dream. The weirdest part, really, is that I hadn’t heard of this novelty act sooner (why yes, I do own an Aragorn action figure and it’s still in its original packaging, thanks for asking). Charlie Ross, who puts my LOTR superfan-ness to shame, created a one-man show based on Peter Jackson’s movies in which he condenses nearly 12 hours of film into 65 minutes. He plays 42 characters, and even sings his own little interpretation of the score. You can still get tickets via the WaterTower website. If I don’t make it back from Addison tonight, please check New Zealand. The country code is +64.
A note on the Fringe Fest–it starts tonight, and last through next weekend. The line up is strangely devoid of locals this year, but Lance Lusk and I will be checking out a few things this weekend. Look for those reviews on FrontRow (or you know, don’t). If you’re not interested in nerding out this evening, perhaps living vicariously through foul-mouthed, morally questionable people sounds more appealing. Consider Autobahn, a cycle of five short plays by Neil LaBute happening in the Studio Theater. LaBute’s excellent at using words like a knife, and his best work is a subtle twist of the blade. UPDATE: we’re giving away a free festival pass. Enter to win on FrontRow.
I’m sure the demographers and politicians who drewÂ the new boundaries of Texas’ Congressional districts were thinking more about race than races, more about gains than games, but it occurs to me that the incumbent-free House District 33 – which former City Councilman Steve Salazar has said he wants to represent – is an entertaining area. From east to west, it includes:
Should make for a fun campaign.
Mark Cuban’s South Dallas Wonderview Development Still Not Really Developing. Cuban wouldn’t comment to Channel 8, but Mayor Mike Rawlings had this to say: “You know, I think all projects from whence they start change 30, 40, 50 percent. They’re never exactly the way they are, and I suspect that’s the sort of process that’ll go through this.”Â As someone who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, I can confirm that most projects do change at least that much, yes. For instance, did you know that the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was originally going to be an escalator? And the original conception for Cowboys Stadium? A petting zoo. In other words, expect a renaissance fair in the Wonderview location by 2017.
George Rivas Executed. The leader of the Texas 7 fugitive gang was put to death by lethal injection last night in Huntsville. Dallas DA Craig Watkins was in attendance. So I guess I have now set up the comments for Craig Watkins and/or death penalty talk. I think I’ll let Tim and Glenn approve comments today.
Irving Man’s “No Tag” Vanity Plate On His Harley Proves To Be a Stupid Joke. He’s getting tickets from all over from drivers who actually don’t have tags on their vehicles. Oh, and his name is Kirk Thor. Dr. Kirk Thor. That is a pretty swell name, I must say. Well, Kirk, eh, I’m not crazy about. How about: Dr. Grizzlybear Thor? You’re welcome. Speaking of names…
Timothy Box Gets 99 Years For Burglary In Case Presided Over By Judge Michael Chitty. Dying to know the names of the jurors. A few hopeful guesses: Lance Doily, Marty Fant, Amanda Glasscock, Willis Willis, Gen. Larry “Panda” Baird (ret.), Butch Trickle, T-Boz, Left Eye, Mike Mooney.
Jimmy’s Food Store Opens a Drive-Thru Lane. In case you missed this late yesterday. My dad did a similar thing a year or so ago, hitting the gas instead of the brake and backing off the driveway, his SUV’s back axle coming to rest on a retaining wall. Then he came and got me and thought that if I pushed the back of the car while he hit the gas, it would somehow remove itself. Turns out, my father is not Zeus, and I am not a demi-god, capable of feats of impossible strength. Don’t let the shoulders fool you; I’m just a man.