There was scratching of heads here at Chronic Towers yesterday when we got that rarest of beasts: a press release from our ever-loving local Republican US Rep. Lamar Smith
. He wrote to say he'd managed to put away $150,000 in the Commerce, Justice and Science Bill
, for the Austin Police Department
to buy themselves a driving simulator. Well, kinda. Actually, it's only got through committee, and still has to pass a House vote.
Why this sudden largesse? And why put out a press release about pork that could still get cut? Could it be he's trying to curry some local favor after his performance Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee
? While they were supposed to be discussing Harriet Miers
and executive privilege, Smith railed on that this was biting into presidential power, a waste of time, and wholly partisan. He was then on the losing end of the seven-to-five vote that said Miers had been bad for not showing up.
This came after Tuesday's meeting about pardons, when Smith hammered on about presidential power and calling Bill Clinton
the Prince of Pardons. (Somebody should make sure he's working off the right talking points. After all, the president told us yesterday Scooter Libby
is officially old news.)
Smith threw up all the old canards – terrorism, immigrants, Internet predators – and said the committee should get back to "the people's business." However, if he's hoping to get on the people's good side, someone should tell him big piles of cash for APD may not be the way to do it. Read More | Comment »