Picture perfect

President, Senator, Governor, GeneralWhat a lineage

Sixty-seven years ago today, Sam Houston‘s only surviving son–Andrew Jackson Houston–was sworn in to the U.S. Senate at the ripe old age of 87 to fill the vacancy left by the death of U.S. Senator Morris Sheppard.

Andrew’s father was sworn in as one of Texas’s first two senators almost one hundred years earlier.

Incidentally, General Houston’s colleague in the Senate was none other than the Republic’s first Chief Justice to actually preside over a session of the Texas Supreme Court: Thomas Jefferson Rusk. While Chief Rusk was, technically, Texas’s third Chief Justice, the first two Chiefs never actually convened a Court session during their eventful tenures (Texas’s first Chief Justice, James Collinsworth, committed suicide by jumping from a ship in Galveston Bay while on the ballot as a Republic presidential candidate). See James W. Paulsen, A Short History of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, 65 TEX. L. REV. 237, 248-53 (1986).

While the father served in the Senate for some thirteen years from February 21, 1846, until March 4, 1859; the son’e tenure was fated to be much shorter, lasting only twenty-four days until he died on June 26, 1941.

Thx to Texas on the Potomac

Good night and good luck

You hear Keith Olbermann go off on one of his unhinged tirades, keep in mind that the insanely-mustachioed Geraldo impersonator pictured above is the man you’re listening to.

Have to admit though, he and Dan Patrick were probably the best sportscasting team ever to hit the airwaves.

Thx to Deadspin and Flash Sports Tonight

I just came across a website that shares my sense of appreciation for at least one castmember of the distaff-tastic HBO show, Sex and the City. Putting taste and decency aside, I couldn’t resist bringing you some of its content.

From www.sarahjessicaparkerlookslikeahorse.com:




Thx to Jossip


It is rare that any happening in Lubbock makes the headlines over at How Appealing, but alas, Lubbock recently found itself featured therein thanks to something that could only happen in West Texas.

The Lubbock Avanlanche-Journal reported that a wild turkey (the real thing, not the libation) unsuccessfully attempted to enter the courthouse through an upper-floor window.

If there was any doubt as to the identity of the culprit, one had to look no further than the outline in the broken window pane for the authorities to make a positive identification. That, and the stunned turkey lurking in the bushes below.

Thx to How Appealing and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


The National Portrait Gallery is our nation’s repository for its most famous portraits of its most revered citizens … and Stephen Colbert.

As the Capitol Crowd recounts, Colbert’s portrait arrived at its place of honor after:

Colbert trie[d] to convince the Smithsonian that he should be considered a national treasure. He attempt[ed] to donate his portrait to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, but the museum’s director suggest[ed] that perhaps Colbert should speak to the National Portrait Gallery.

By the way, the hallowed location at which Colbert’s portrait sits is between the public restrooms. However, his painted likeness has apparently doubled visitation at the National Portrait Gallery.

Et tu Colbert?

The only thing that could have possibly made his portrait even better is if he was painted while wearing his American armor, courtesy of an Austin artisan.

Thx to Capitol Crowd

What a lineage

The Green Bag (to which Texas’ own Bryan Garner is an adviser) is set to publish a fascinating article by St. John’s professor John Q. Barrett that reveals some endlessly interesting tidbits from the late Chief Justice Rehnquist‘s time as a law clerk to Justice Robert Jackson–who was almost universally acclaimed by the current SCOTUS Justices as the best SCOTUS writer to ever put pen to paper.


Most interesting to me however, are the above photographs that the article reprints for the first time, which reveal a much more mischevious and humorous Rehnquist than his image belied in later years.

Also, it is intriguing to note, as Bryan Garner did, that the current Chief Justice traces a direct juristic lineage to Justice Jackson by virture of Chief Roberts having clerked for Chief Rehnquist, who in turn clerked for Justice Jackson.

Thx to Slate’s Convictions and Professor Barrett

I wouldn't want to stand in front of either of these men

The two best running backs in UT history, and two of the best that ever took a handoff for that matter, played together at a golf tournament earlier this week.

Ricky reflected on his uneven professional career and revealed that Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Bill Parcells went out of his way to retain Ricky, much to the UT legend’s surprise.

Meanwhile, Earl had some sage advice for another great UT running back, Cedric Benson, and his recent boating adventures on Lake Travis (of note, Ricky revealed Cedric had invited him to join the merry mariners that Saturday, but Ricky declined):

I think at some point you have to stand up and take responsibility and realize that you not only represent Cedric Benson and the Chicago Bears and your family. It’s bigger than that …. You represent the university family. You as a man should have some pride in what you do …. Right now, everybody remembers Cedric Benson by what happened up on the lake. Nobody remembers what a great football player he is …. You’ve kind of got to start thinking, and you’ve kind of got to do it before you get 52 years old, you know?

Pretty sage advice from Earl. He more than anyone knows that when it’s all over with, former UT players are often more embraced and honored here in Texas for their contributions to the Longhorns than by the NFL fans of the teams for which they later played.

This reunion of UT greats reminded me of an interview the two did together about a decade ago, when UT was still routinely getting shellacked by nationally prominent opponents.

Now’s a good time to remember two of my favorite Earl runs, the first is from his UT days, and the second comes at about 1:13 from his legendary Oiler career. I don’t know if I’ve seen another running back who, from a standstill, could take one stutter-step and then knock an NFL defensive lineman on his backside.

Thx to Earl, Ricky, and the Statesman

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