Archive for March 31st, 2017


That says a lot. Donald Trump still hasn’t reached the 90-day mark and already immunity is being offered up by his former national security advisor. If I am a GOP member of congress, I would be thinking twice about going before the cameras and defending Trump and #Russiagate these days. This is only going to get worse.

Nancy Pelosi put a good one on Cong. Devin Nunez this morning on “Today.” Check this tweet:

TODAY‏Verified account @TODAYshow 3h3 hours ago

“He was duped. That’s the most innocent, most benign characterization… but he should have known better.” –@NancyPelosi on Nunes

She is talking about the dupe sneaking over to The White House last week to get some intel that turns out wasn’t worth much.

To my fellow Dems, just keep putting the pressure on the Trump folks and don’t let up.

Just to remind you, on this day 22-years ago, Selena was murdered.

Hello, Beto. Cong. O’Rourke has a website for his race for U.S. Senate. There isn’t much on it right now. Here is a bit:

Beto O’Rourke is a fourth generation Texan. He and his wife Amy are raising their family in El Paso the community he has always called home. Now, Beto is running for U.S. Senate to bring a new generation of leadership to Washington and ensure all Texas families have a chance to succeed.

With a friend, Beto started a technology start-up that for nearly two decades has created good-paying jobs in downtown El Paso. Following success in the private sector, Beto was inspired to serve his community on the City Council, where he focused on creating jobs, improving transportation, and retaining and attracting talent in El Paso.

After successfully taking on a 16-year incumbent, Beto brought his fight for the people of Texas to the halls of Congress where he distinguished himself as a bipartisan problem solver. Now, he’s taking that fight to the U.S. Senate. As our next Senator, Beto will always put Texas families and our values ahead of partisan politics.

Here is his website: http://www.betofortexas.com/.

Politico has a story today on the race here: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/texas-dems-orourke-236722.

Like I said, doable. Beto is making it official today.

Here is another Bill King take on pension reform:

Bettencourt Bill to Require Vote on Pension Bonds Passes Senate

SB 151 passed the Texas Senate yesterday.  This is the bill Sen. Paul Bettencourt filed which requires voter approval on future pension bonds.  The bill passed 21-10.  The bill passed on party lines with the sole exception of Sen. John Whitmire, who also voted for the bill.  This is huge win for Texas taxpayers.

Pension bonds were first authorized by the Legislature in 2003 in what is now Local Government Code §1.07.  There was very little discussion or debate on the bill and it does not specifically state that voter approval is not required, but that is the way the law has been interpreted. 

Since then, three cities, Houston, Dallas and El Paso have issued about $1.3 billion in bonds without voters having any say in the matter.  By the way, Houston and El Paso are now insolvent and Dallas almost certainly will be when they issue their annual audit later this year.  And notwithstanding dumping $1.3 billion in borrowed money into their pension plans, all three still face massive pension debt.

There is nothing inherently wrong with using bonds to help solve the pension crisis.  But only if they are a bridge to a permanent solution, i.e., phasing out the defined benefit pension plans.  If this were the proposition placed before voters, I would support the issuing bonds.  However, to use them a crutch to double down on the defined benefit model is a terrible idea.  Voter approval provides a check to make sure bonds are used in a responsible manner

It is not clear whether Bettencourt’s bill actually become law.  The bill would almost certainly pass on the House floor, but it will first have to get out of the Pension Committee.  The chairman of that Committee, Dan Flynn, has, so far, been unenthusiastic about voter approval of pension bonds or phasing out defined benefit plans. 

There are two Houstonians on the Pension Committee, Dennis Paul from Clear Lake and Dan Huberty from Kingwood.  I would encourage everyone to contact their State Representative and encourage them to support SB151 in the House.

The clock is running on this.

My Best Friend and I went to The Yard last night to check out the Cubbies. We also checked out the changes in center field.   There are a lot more concession choices. It is a lot roomier. There are great views of the playing field.  There were not many St. Arnold options in this area.  That’s OK.  The St. Arnold hangout by Union Station was expanded, so all you have to do is just take a short walk for your beverage.

There is no more FiveSeven Grille. It is more of a FiveSeven min-mart. We never got up to the Torcy’s area. All and all, it is a good place to hang before a game. I have to hand it to the folks at The Yard for doing a nice job on the renovations. It is definitely an improvement and will add to a positive experience and atmosphere.

I am skipping the MLB question today.

Opening Day is Monday

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