Archive for December 8th, 2017

Thirty-seven years ago today, John Lennon was murdered. Imagine!

Commentary said this yesterday:

Commentary is thinking last night’s Daily Beast story is not going away – just saying.

I was right.

Kuffer has more than his two cents worth here: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=83724

Kuffer is calling for both to resign. Annie’s List called for both to resign yesterday.

This isn’t going away. You just know it isn’t.

Don’t forget to vote in the HISD and HCC runoff races tomorrow and don’t forget what the Chron E-Board said last week:

At a time when the future of the entire (HIS)district has been brought into question, voters should pick someone with the skills to analyze and articulate the policies that can save HISD – and the ability to implement them as solutions. That candidate is Gretchen Himsl. 

Just like his dad. Andrew White is using the same logo/font that his dad used back in the old days. That is cool. This is the most interesting part of the Trib story on White’s announcement:

More than 100 people attended White’s announcement, which was originally set to be held at the elementary school bearing his father’s name but moved to an office building lobby due to rain. The crowd included state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, who helped introduce White.

Afterward, Coleman told The Texas Tribune that he was supporting White’s candidacy because he has “has the right interests and right policies” — including on public education — and because Coleman believes White can win in November. Coleman, who is black, also explained his endorsement of White by noting, “We don’t want people to believe that the Democratic Party is against the white males — and we’re not.”

Here is the entire story: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/12/07/andrew-white-son-late-gov-mark-white-announces-gubernatorial-bid/.

I respect Garnet on this.

Here is from Bill King:

City’s Sales Taxes Boom to End the Year

The Texas Comptroller reported yesterday that the City’s sales tax receipts for December (which reflect October sales) skyrocketed by 17.6%  over last December.  This is the third largest monthly year-over-year increase since I started keeping track in 2008.

It is always dangerous to attribute stark changes in economic data like this to any particular cause, but it seems likely that this increase was driven by Harvey repair purchases.  Anecdotally, my local Home Depot was packed every time I went in for weeks after the storm.  There was also probably some boost from three of the World Series games being played here at the end of October.

The December receipts helped the City finish in positive territory for the calendar year, up 1.4% or about $8 million.  However, sales tax collections are still well off their 2015 all-time high ($659 million vs. $638 million).

This year saw many extraordinary events that affected sales taxes.  We had a Super Bowl, a Final Four, a World Series, a 500-year flood and its aftermath and a tepid oil recovery.  All these make it difficult to draw too many conclusions from this year’s sales tax data.  But the overarching theme seems to be that we are mostly trading sideways, which is, of course, similar to oil market.  Notwithstanding our local chamber of commerce boosters’ boast about we have diversified our economy, I suspect that, for better or worse, our fortunes are still inextricably tied to the energy industry.

Of course, there are other factors.  The City continues to bleed off growth to its suburban neighbors (more on that soon) and on-line sales are relentlessly chipping away at sales tax collections.   But if there is any conclusion to be drawn from the recent sales tax data, mine would be that we had better hope the OPEC deal holds and that the oil markets remain steady.

There is no MLB question today.


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