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Archive for March 18th, 2013

This past Saturday the Chron E-Board continued to call out local state legislators for not filing legislation on changing up how we deal with the Houston Firefighters’ pension.  Here is a part:

Here’s a fact that should make city of Houston voters and taxpayers do a not-so-slow burn: Out of all those thousands of bills deemed by at least one lawmaker as worthy of consideration by our state Legislature, not a single one was filed to address a stubbornly serious problem facing the city of Houston and its taxpayers: the lack of local control over the city of Houston firefighters’ pension fund.

As it has for too many years, the business of negotiating with representatives of the firefighters’ pension fund apparently will continue to reside with state lawmakers rather than with the mayor and City Council of Houston, where it properly belongs.

This marks the third straight legislative session in which no member of the Houston delegation has seen fit to look out for taxpayers by carrying a bill to bring this responsibility back home.

Mayor Annise Parker has characterized this change in procedure as key to getting a handle on long-term city finances.

We’ve tried public shaming. But not even calling out the names of the 37 legislators who represent at least a piece of Houston in a Chronicle editorial was sufficient to stir a single one from his or her lethargy. Or is it fear?

In the past, we’ve hinted about the history of influential local lawmakers using their powers to keep pension fund business cloaked in secrecy and out of the hands of mayor and council. No doubt, that remains a factor in continuing the stalemate.

Evidently, another factor is the lack of concern expressed by constituents. When directly queried on the pension issue awhile back, Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, told us that he hasn’t revisited his position on the issue because he hasn’t heard any complaints from taxpayers.

It is interesting that they singled out The Dean.  I guess they singled him out because he is The Dean.

Of course if The Mayor and others want to get legislation filed, then they ought to do what The Dean is kind of recommending.  Start organizing taxpayers and get them to start complaining – duh!

Of course right now The Mayor’s chief political project is to get reelected.

Here is the entire Chron E-Board take.

Former ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper starts his new show on CNN this afternoon.  In promos that have been running, Tapper says he knows everything about the 1980 Phillies.  Oh yeah!  I wonder if Jake can tell us the name of the pitcher that was credited with the win in Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS versus the ‘Stros!

Everyone knows that “The Wizard of Oz” is Commentary’s third best film of all time so I had to go see “Oz:  The Great and Powerful.”  I went yesterday to check it out with My Brown Eye Girl and we both thought it was excellent. I particularly liked the film paying homage to the 1939 classic.  The 1905 scenes in the new film are shot in small screen black and white like the Kansas scenes in the classic.  When the Wizard lands in the Land of Oz the screens widens and turns into color – when Dorothy in the classic lands in Oz it turns into color.

In the classic, there are five characters (Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch, Hunk/Scarecrow, Zeke/Cowardly Lion, Hickory/Tin Man, and Professor Marvel/Wizard) that have roles in the black and white and color scenes.   In the latest there are three – I won’t reveal.

In the latest there is a lion that gets scared away, there is a reference to making a scarecrow, there is an explanation and key scene involving the poppy fields, and there are handouts for service at the end of the flick by The Wizard to key heroes.

There is also a mention in the beginning of a John Gale – in the classic the heroine was named Dorothy Gale of course.  In both there is a twister and a hot air balloon.

We learn the technology involved in projecting The Wizard for folks to see.

Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz are perfect as the witches.  I won’t mention their roles.

James Franco nails it as The Wizard.

I don’t think Mila Kunis will ever have Margaret Hamilton’s problem regarding typecasting!

It is a good prequel for sure and it would not surprise me if a sequel prequel is already in the works because we still don’t know about how the ruby slippers, the horses of a different color, and the election of the Mayor of Munchkin City come to play.  If you are a “Wizard” aficionado, seeing “Oz: The Great and Powerful” is a must.

I also checked it out in 3D and am now an instant 3D fan.  It is a beautiful flick and it costs a little more but worth it.  The beginning and ending credits in 3D are a trip for sure!

BTW:  In the trailers yesterday they are bringing back the 20-year old “Jurassic Park” in 3D.  I will be there in 3D for sure!

The RNC is issuing an autopsy of sorts on themselves.  One thing is for sure is that they can’t agree on how to move forward or backward. Here is from an article I saw today:

Some Republicans, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio among them, are working toward bipartisan immigration reform that is likely to include a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants — sometimes called "amnesty." Conservative commentator Ann Coulter ripped the idea in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend.

"If amnesty goes through, America becomes California and no Republican will ever win another national election," Coulter said, later adding, "I can see why Democrats would want amnesty, but why on earth are Marco Rubio and these endless Bushes supporting it?"

Somebody in the GOP just needs to step up and tell Ann Coulter to shut up.  Her rants are just designed to give her rating points.  The Latino vote is growing and we’ve already made up our minds on immigration reform.  The GOP can either kiss our vote goodbye for a while or deal with our concerns.

Here is the rest of the RNC article.

Phillies pitcher Dick Ruthven of course picked up the win in the 10 inning series clinching Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS.  I wonder if Jake knows this. 

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.

 

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