By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Mayor Tom Leppert's mad at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Minority council members are mad at Leppert. Oak Cliff's mad at homeless people. Cowboys fans are mad at Wade Phillips. Dallas County commissioners are mad at Craig Watkins. Democrats are mad at Republicans (and vice versa). The cops are mad at Erykah Badu's naked behind. The Tea Party's mad at just about everybody.
That pretty much sums up 2010, The Year of Being Really, Really Pissed Off.
Want more details? Then read on at your own risk. All that anger can't be healthy. Seriously, Dallas, y'all need to calm down or you're going to blow an artery. Listen, do yourself a favor: Forget about 2010, find the nearest bartender and order yourself a wee li'l drinkee.
Or eight, cause the truth is, we don't see 2011 being much more serene. Hey, if you're going to feel pissed, we always say, you might as well get pissed.
At least, we think we always say that. Frankly, our memory wasn't what it once was, say, six drinks or so ago. Prolly was a bad idea to rely on it when we came up with all these quotes. Oh, well...
Cheesey: Irving City Council names Kraft Foods Inc. as sponsor of this spring's explosive demolition of Texas Stadium. As part of the company's promotion of a new macaroni and cheese product, Kraft will provide $175,000 in cash and food donations to local anti-hunger groups. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine protests the sponsorship with a campaign featuring the slogan "cheese blows you up." Kraft, the maker of Cheez Whiz and Velveeta, dismisses the committee's complaint, noting there "is precious little relationship between what's in our products and what any reasonable person might consider 'cheese.'"
Art imitates life: The Global No Pants Subway Ride, an international event created by the group Improv Everywhere, makes a cheeky appearance on Dallas Area Rapid Transit as dozens of riders wearing nothing but underwear below their waists board local trains. The stunt raises little stir among DART's regular riders, however, as it is obscured by the transit system's regularly scheduled improv troupers: "Smelly Homeless Guy Muttering About the VA," "Spooky God Guy Talking to Strangers About Jesus," "Woman Loudly Cussing at Boyfriend on Cellphone" and "Commuter Desperately Trying Not to Make Eye Contact." Says one unimpressed Red Line rider: "Big whoop. So someone got on the train flashing his underpants. You see that every...Oh, you mean white people. Well, yeah, that's different."
A Santería priest walks into a bar: The city of Euless agrees to pay attorneys' fee on behalf of Jose Merced, a Euless resident and high priest in the Afro-Cuban religion Santería. Euless officials attempted to stop Merced from conducting religious sacrifices of animals at his home, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that the sacrifices were protected under the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The ruling prompted a protracted fight over the payment of legal fees that ended in January with the city agreeing to pay $175,000 to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented Merced. In exchange, Merced promised to turn Mayor Mary Lib Saleh back from her form as a chicken. "But not too soon," a lawyer representing Euless says, "we need the eggs."
The horror: The Cowboys defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Pokes' first post-season victory in 13 years, but fall 34-3 to the Minnesota Vikings in the following week's NFC divisional playoff in a shellacking historians describe as "the greatest example of Viking looting and pillaging since the horrific raid on Lindisfarne abbey in Northumbria in A.D. 793."
The correct answer was "no": Debra Medina's Republican gubernatorial campaign tumbles in the polls after the Tea Party darling refuses to dismiss claims that the U.S. government had a hand in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard," she tells conservative radio host Glenn Beck, who asked Medina to respond to rumors she was a 9/11 "truther." Medina, who up until that point had been considered a possible contender for a GOP primary runoff with Governor Rick Perry, blames the ensuing kerfuffle on anti-idiot bias infesting the mainstream media. "Look," Medina says, "if you're going to record what I say, broadcast it accurately and take it seriously, well, that's hardly fair to idiots."
No, seriously: State Representative Terri Hodge pleads guilty to tax fraud for failing to report $74,000 in income from bribes, much of it in the form of reduced rent from low-income housing developers Brian and Cheryl Potashnik. As part of a plea agreement in a federal investigation into local government corruption surrounding the awarding of tax credits to the developers, Hodge resigns from the Legislature and agrees not to hold public office again. In reward for owning up to betraying the public trust, prosecutors dismiss numerous bribery charges against Hodge, and she is awarded a full year of 100 percent tax-supported rent, utilities, food and clothing at a federal home for wayward legislators. Asked for his reaction to Hodge's deal, former Dallas City Council member Don Hill, soon to be sentenced to 18 years in prison for his part in the bribery scheme, tells reporters: "Do what now? A year? Seriously, what'd she get? No, really, stop kiddin' and tell me. A year? Y'all are cold."