Archive for December 31st, 2014

The Texas Observer looks at the bad year for Battleground Texas. Here it is: http://www.texasobserver.org/losing-ground-battleground-texas-democratic-party/.

Nick Anderson’s Battleground Texas cartoon sums it up best. Check it here: http://blog.chron.com/nickanderson/2014/11/bloodbath-2/.

Like I said yesterday, scoreboard matters. Before the election, some in the GOP were worried about Dems making progress in the Lone Star State. Since the election I have yet to hear a concern from key GOPer that Dems are a threat anytime soon. That ought to tell you something.

I guess heading into 2015, local politics will be dominated by the H-Town mayoral contest and national politics by the race for Prez. Here is what Burkablog has to say about Jeb Bush:

That didn’t take long. Jeb Bush is the “clear Republican frontrunner for president,” according to a new CNN/ORC poll. Bush received 23% of Republicans surveyed in the nationwide poll, ten points ahead of his nearest competitor, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who tallied 13%. Physician Ben Carson ran third, with 7%, and Rand Paul and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee tied for fourth with 6%.

As I’ve written before, Jeb is going to be hard to beat. He is backed by the prodigious clout of the Bush family and their nationwide fundraising ability. No one else on the GOP wannabe list is very attractive, especially since Christie’s popularity has waned in recent months. It’s hard to envision anyone else matching Jeb’s positives as a candidate.

Nothing about Guv Dude or Sen. Ted Cruz.

Speaking of local politics, John Arnold got some run in Politico today on pensions. H-Town’s pensions are not part of the story though. Check it here: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/enron-billionaire-frets-about-public-pensions-solvency-113842.html?hp=r3_3.

Don’t worry, pensions will get some major run in the mayoral race.

A 2014 shout out goes to the Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg for her columns on our messed up grand jury system. I am thinking Falkenberg will some major accolades for her great work.

A 2014 shout out goes to the President for acting on immigration. Si se puede!

H-Town City Hall gave us Uber in 2014 and tonight folks using the service will get Uberized. Here is from Chron.com:

Right off the bat, it’s important to note that Keith Livingston is a fan of Uber, although he wasn’t thrilled after recently taking a 13-mile trip with the service that cost $247.50.

“I knew I was going to be paying more because it asks you to confirm, but it’s just crazy,” Livingston said Tuesday. ” You’re almost at their mercy because you don’t want to wait longer for a cab.”

It’s also a timely warning. One of Uber’s busiest nights is coming up as folks head out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and “surge pricing” — raising fares when demand increases – probably will be in effect in Houston.

The trip went down like this: Livingston took an $18 Uber ride from Oak Forest to Rice Village and met some friends. From there, he went to the Texas Bowl to see Texas play Arkansas at NRG Stadium. His group left before the game ended, around 11 p.m., and he and his friends planned to split a fare back to Oak Forest. It would normally be about a $45 ride, with the various fees and taxes.

“We walked to the Fiesta parking lot and found our Uber driver,” Livingston explained in an email. “He told us it would be at a higher rate because of the surge pricing … but we were tired of walking and looking for a ride so we accepted.”

Tuesday morning, Livingston posted his details on Twitter, chiding Uber for the big up-charge and wishing he’d just waited for a cab.

“I love Uber, don’t get me wrong, but the price gouging needs to be brought to people’s attention,” he said.

The increase is part of a practice called surge pricing.

What a racket! Hey, if you don’t like it, call your Mayor or City Council member.

I am skipping the MLB question today.

According to the Chron, Baggy would be interested in doing something meaningful for the team this season.

In 2015, we may have our first MLB Hall of Famer wearing ‘Stros gear.

That’s all I have so be careful tonight, stay warm, and have a Happy New Year and I will be back on Friday.

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