Archive for May 25th, 2017

Fiscally Responsible

Name the 4 MLB division leaders who have better roadie records than homie records?

You have to give the H-Town Mayor and his team credit for getting the pension reform bill passed yesterday. You certainly have to be impressed.   Congrats to them.

Here is the front page Chron story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Cornerstone-of-Turner-s-agenda-heads-to-11171875.php.

Here is from the Trib on the pension bill:

The Houston bill passed Wednesday without two amendments the House had previously added in an apparent attempt to appease firefighters. One amendment would have prevented the bill from impacting current firefighter retirees. The other could have allowed the firefighter pension system to bear a smaller burden in paying down unfunded liabilities shoring up billions in shortfalls in three city employee retirement funds.

That drew the anger of firefighter pension members, dozens of whom sat in the House gallery Wednesday. Some shouted down to representatives as they walked out after the vote. One woman could be heard yelling, “Shameful!”

After the vote, Houston firefighter pension board chairman David Keller said he was disappointed in the vote. During the session, pension officials had suggested such legislation could be unconstitutional because it determines the financial boundaries the fund should stay within. Keller said the Constitution says that power is left solely to the pension board.

Keller said it was too soon to determine if the pension board will file a lawsuit.

“We will explore every option available to us,” he said.

But state Rep. Dan Flynn, who carried the bill in the House, said that killing the bill because firefighters remained unhappy would have exasperated the dire financial situation the city and the retirement funds are experiencing. The bill addresses pensions for firefighters, police and municipal employees. 

“If we don’t pass it, there won’t be any pensions,” the Canton Republican told The Texas Tribune earlier this year. 

Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, authored the amendment that could have helped the firefighter pension fund bear less of the burden shoring up the city’s shortfalls. The amendment would have given pension officials more time to provide data showing that financial forecasts estimate the fund will be in better shape than Houston officials estimated.

But on Wednesday, he urged his colleagues to vote for the bill without the amendment.

“We’ve done everything we can to work hard in good faith,” Huberty said.

Keller, the pension chairman, said the pension board offered to provide the data under licensing agreements that included confidentiality provisions. He said the city never responded.

When asked if firefighters would campaign against any Houston-area state officials who backed the bill, Keller said “it’s hard to say.”

“But I know the firefighters are having a lot of emotions right now: loss, anger,” he said. “And they’ve been shown to be politically active.”

Well, you can’t go back in time.

Here is Kuffer’s take:

See here for the background. The firefighters are gonna do what the firefighters are gonna do. I get they’re unhappy and to an extent I don’t blame them, but this is where we are, and it took a lot of effort to get here. At this point, the main thing I’ll be looking for is who will be campaigning against the pension obligation bonds. It’s one thing to say we need to vote on those things (even if we hadn’t voted on them before), it’s another to say we should vote against them. Until then, kudos to all for getting this done, and congratulations to Mayor Turner for doing what once seemed to be impossible. The Mayor’s press release is here, and the Chron has more.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=80775.

On “firefighters are gonna do what the firefighters gonna do.” “A History of being Fiscally Responsible” was a sub-headline praising the Mayor in a mailer sent to H-Town voters by the Houston Fire Fighters PAC in their endorsement mailer back in 2015. They said it back then.

On “I get they’re unhappy and to an extent I don’t blame them.” The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Local 341 worked as hard as any organization to help get the Mayor elected. They were certainly out there and vocal. So, I don’t blame them either.

Like I said, it’s politics.  Like I also said, you can’t go back in time.

Sean Spicer was left off the list of folks from the White House who got to see the Pope.   Let’s see. Spicer knowingly defends and shills for a fella that lies and he perpetuates lies and he wants to visit with His Holiness. Naw! Something is wrong with this picture. Here is from New Republic:

Trump didn’t let Sean Spicer meet the Pope out of sheer meanness. According to CNN, Spicer, a passionate Catholic, was “eagerly anticipating” meeting Pope Francis as part of Donald Trump’s entourage during the president’s visit to the Vatican. But Spicer was not a part of the group, which included Trump’s daughter, son-in-law, and lower-ranking cronies like his longtime personal bodyguard Keith Schiller. When told about Spicer’s exclusion, one source close to the White House told CNN, “Wow. That’s all he wanted.” The same source added that this was “very much” a slight.

The gratutitious coldness of this move is all the more striking because of the sacrifices Spicer has made on behalf of Trump. Previously a well-liked Washington fixture, Spicer has turned himself into an international joke by loudly and aggressively defending Trump’s every outrage and nonsensical outburst. But Trump is angry at the bad press he continues to receive, which he blames on Spicer. So, the president sees fit to squash Spicer’s dream of meeting the Pope.

Don’t feel sorry for Spicer. He is getting what he deserves.

The ‘Stros have a 16-10 homie record and 15-6 roadie record, the Twins 11-13 and 14-5, the Rockies 13-10 and18-7, and the Brewers 12-13 and 13-8 of course are all in first place and have better roadie records that homie records.

Albert Pujols hit his 6th dinger of the season last night and now he has 597 career dingers. I sure hope he’s not flirting with numero 600 when he visits The Yard on June 9.

We still have a 7 game lead and still have the best record in MLB.

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