Spontaneous Star Spangled Banner

My little point-and-click camera is not the best in low light, but here’s a view from inside the crowd of revelers at on Pennsylvania Ave., after the big Osama news.

Team America

Outside the White House with a fresh sign

Unless you’ve been in a cave, you know the news. Special forces killed public enemy number one, Osama/Usama bin Laden this morning and recovered his body. A spontaneous crowd flooded to the front gate of the White House and just after President Obama’s address to the nation, we started seeing some shots of the revelry on the T-V. So, being the news junkies that we are, Mr. Hu-Stiles and I drove the three miles to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., illegally parked and literally ran to check out the action. The air was thick with the smell of winning and weed. The crowd was dominated by drunk, fratty types and what appeared to be foreign journalists. We heard lots of “U-S-A, U-S-A” chants and an occasional rendition of the national anthem.

Revelry. I don’t know how they had a flag handy.

Proof I was there.

This is So Washington

The email I just got from a friend:


If you’re receiving this message, you have been designated “essential personnel” in the event of massive drinking. Pursuant to federal statute, your attendance is therefore required at our housewarming party tomorrow evening.

Personnel Office
Department of Inebriation

Your Texas Budget Haikus

The Texas House worked Friday into Saturday to debate a state budget, also known as the General Appropriations Act or for reporters, The Long Slog That Will Keep Me From Going Home To Let My Dog Out. This biennium (Texas’ budget is a two-year beast), there’s more money going out than there is coming in, to the tune of somewhere around $27 billion dollars. That means staggering cuts — teachers will be laid off and nursing homes closed and the disabled will lose reimbursements for health care.

As I landed at DCA on Friday, the floor debate was going strong, and so were your tweets about it. So I flippantly messaged, “Someone send me an update on the Texas budget floor debate in the form of a haiku.” And you ACTUALLY DID. I was so warmed and entertained by these:

Jay-Z had it right
For us, it’s a “hard knocks life”
Rain today? Just might

Motion to table
Drink a beer and let it go

Budget bill gotchas
Don’t spend it all in one place
Where for art statesmen?

The children get crushed
Under the mighty budget
Republicans smile

TX budget woes
Progressive voters on toes
Marching in Austin
@jeanniedee, who added, “can’t believe I’m sending such crap.”

The budget debate
Though foreordained in outsome
Drags on like the Somme

Tough choices abound
Freshmen clueless as ever
Wish you were still here
-sent to me by text, from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous

Late night in the Lege
More rumors than I can tweet
Total staffer move

Texas Spring budget
Republicans cut dead wood
Why does it bleed so?

As those of you in Texas know, the House returns this afternoon for more budgeting. So feel free to keep your poetry coming. After all, the Texas Legislature has always been a delight to cover because of its epically comi-tragic qualities. And that can make for great art.