Archive for November 2nd, 2016

Politics, Politics

The KKK endorsed Donald Trump yesterday. Hey, that is who he attracts. You can’t argue that.

Here is another you can’t argue. Ag Commissioner Sid Miller is one big arsehole – period.

The Roundtable came out with the 2016 Presidential Election Pool. It looks like they are giving Harris County Dems the odds to win next Tuesday.

The latest Leader (that’s our neighborhood weekly community newspaper) has a four page insert from the group supporting the Heights should go wet campaign. They have a bullet that says:

Heights in Danger of Being a “Food Desert.”

Not. Sorry. We have a Kroger on 11th and Shepherd. A Kroger on Studewood and I-10. A Kroger on 20th and Yale. An HEB Pantry on W. 18th. A Foodorama off of Ella and 18th. Or a Fiesta just across I-45 on Patton. We are nowhere near food desert status.

Quickly, which 2016 World Serious team has scored the most runs after six games?

From an AP story:

George P. Bush says he’s the only member of his powerful political family who will be voting straight-ticket Republican and says his grandfather and uncle, both former presidents, could “potentially” cast ballots for Hillary Clinton.

Bush was addressing a small Republican rally in San Marcos, Texas, Tuesday night.

He was pressed later by The Associated Press to clarify his remarks. He said then of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush: “I don’t know how they voted. I’m speculating, to be honest.”

Asked if either could vote for Clinton, Bush answered: “Potentially. But hard to speculate.”

Bush is Texas’ land commissioner. His father, Jeb, is the former Florida governor who was defeated by Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

Commentary said this yesterday about the Chron.

How about doing a story on the HISD proposition?

Gulp! I just ate my words. In the Chron’s Monday business section on the front page – yes, front page – there was a column by Michael Taylor on the HISD measure. Here is how it starts:

Voters living within the Houston Independent School District on Nov. 8 face a “Scylla and Charybdis” vote – or a choice of two evils – and it’s not Clinton vs. Trump.

But it’s an equally terrible decision on public school funding.

What’s happening in Houston gives Texans everywhere an insight into a complex problem with no easy solutions, as Glen Read, the general manager of budgeting and financial planning for the Houston ISD, explained to me in a conversation recently.

A “yes” vote on the ballot question in Houston will authorize the board of trustees to use tax revenues to purchase so-called attendance credits from the state. The term attendance credits is misleading. It basically means the Houston ISD will have to send $162 million to a state education fund, known as the Foundation School Program – for the 2016-2017 school year. The annual payment would increase each year thereafter, totaling about $1 billion over the next four years.

A “no” vote triggers something that has only been approved once in Texas – by Galveston voters who later reversed the decision. It would divert property tax payments from commercial buildings within the Houston ISD to poorer school districts. What’s more, the property taxes assessed against those buildings would be determined by their new school district, which would likely be higher.

This is the killer for Commentary. Have local commercial property owners pay more taxes.

Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Houston-voters-face-two-bad-choices-on-school-10421674.php.

And today, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg urges a reluctant yes vote on the HISD proposition. Check this:

Touring the Houston science museum’s hall of paleontology at my daughter’s birthday over the weekend, some of the parents asked for my thoughts on Proposition 1. A few days later, a friend texted with the same question.

I’m ashamed to say my answers were 90 percent gut and 10 percent head.

I hadn’t written about the issue, or researched it deeply, but as a Houston Independent School District parent, I’d received the mailers. I knew the district was not-so-subtly urging a “no” vote on a measure to approve sending $162 million to the state, and more in future years, as part of a Robin Hood-style “recapture” rule that requires property-wealthy districts to share with poor ones.

The rule, intended to equalize education funding, was clearly never meant for the state’s biggest school district – with nearly 80 percent of students economically disadvantaged and one-third learning English. The fact that rising property values technically qualified HISD for recapture made me frustrated. The law needs an overhaul. And I was encouraged months ago when Texas House Speaker Joe Straus ordered an interim legislative committee to study the issue, specifically referencing HISD.

So, I reasoned, I’ll just vote “no” and give the Legislature responsible for this warped system a little more time to fix it. Others echoed this idea, including the Chronicle’s editorial board and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a longtime state representative who filmed a TV ad urging voters to turn down the measure, suggesting the move would force lawmakers to act.

But the questions at the birthday party provoked my curiosity. I started Googling and re-reading coverage more closely.

Then I called HISD trustee Anna Eastman. I had heard her position had evolved, and I wanted to know why.

“My gut originally was: ‘No way. Come and take it,’ ” she told me, explaining that she’d planned to vote “no.” But studying the consequences made her see another side – voting the measure down is a risky move that could lead to an even bigger financial loss for HISD and saddle taxpayers with a small tax hike.

Like I said, that’s the killer. Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-voters-Hold-your-nose-and-vote-yes-on-10462345.php?cmpid=btfpm.

This was from a post from my Next Door yesterday:

. . . There’s FOUR political parties on the ballot; don’t be lazy and vote “straight ticket” (which only eight states allow), but review each candidate separately and fairly (League of Women Voters is a good non-partisan source; download your voting guide at http://lwvhouston.org to get candidates’ statements)!

Sorry. I don’t think it is lazy to vote straight ticket.

Cleveland has scored 20 runs and the Cubbies 19 of course.

Game 7 is tonight.

Check this tweet from the ‘Stros yesterday.

Congratulations to @JoseAltuve27 and his wife Nina on the birth of their daughter, Melanie Andrea!

I wonder how many little Altuves….well, you get the picture.

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