in Houston, Texas
Texas Watchdog celebrates its fourth birthday -- thanks to you!
Thursday, Aug 30, 2012, 10:26AM CST
By Trent Seibert
hat

In a moment of collective inspiration, many newspaper websites this year began throwing up paywalls to charge readers for the stories their reporters produce.

We here at Texas Watchdog aren’t surprised. When we published our first story in August of 2008, we knew full well the civic value of deeply reported, powerfully written watchdog journalism.

And because our values are enthusiastically shared by you who read us and have so generously supported us we have been able to keep close watch on your governments and elected officials without having to figure out how to restrict you from following us.

Indeed, we are able to keep going by generous donations from you and many other Texas Watchdog readers, in the way of the model of PBS and other nonprofit news organizations.

We know you have come to us looking for the kinds of stories that news outlets do too few of any more. Like the powerful reporting by Texas Watchdog’’s Steve Miller on the mess and conflicts-of--interest at the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association honored this year by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ top investigative award.

Or nearly three years tracking the federal stimulus, work by Mark Lisheron cited in a Harvard University study of public access to information about how their money was spent.

After we took on state Rep. Vicki Truitt and her personal business dealing with a state-supported hospital district, Truitt in May couldn’t make it out of her own Republican primary.

Mike Cronin, Jennifer Peebles and Lynn Walsh’s dogged reporting of the Houston Independent School district was honored by the Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists this year.

In these four years our reputation has grown so that we are regularly called on to share our work with national publications, on radio and television stations and other websites across Texas.

We’re just getting started. And as we continue delivering first-rate enterprise reporting we’d like to say thank you for being able to do it the way it ought to be done -- and without a paywall.

Please consider making a donation to Texas Watchdog today. Go to our homepage (top right) and click "Donate." Please give what you can so we can continue solid and important accountability journalism.

If you can’t give money, we ask that you tell a friend about Texas Watchdog. And here’s something else that’s free and easy to do: ‘like’ us on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Again, thank you. Look for an announcement in September for a party we’re putting together as a special way to thank to the supporters of Texas Watchdog.

***
Contact Trent Seibert at trent@texaswatchdog.org or 832-316-4994 or on Twitter at @trentseibert  or@texaswatchdog.

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Photo of 'happy birthday hat' by Flickr user architekt2, used under the Creative Commons license.

Bar owner blames Odessa police for no-show off-duty cop on night of shooting
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012, 05:10PM CST
By Steve Miller
police

Cops are known to miss a court appearance or two. But it seems to have taken an Odessa bar by surprise when an off-duty Odessa Police Department officer failed to show up for a security shift on Aug. 18 –- and a guy shot three people in the bar parking lot, killing one.

THEN the cops showed up.

The practice of hiring cops to work side jobs is a common practice in most cities. In Houston, it’s been abused by the city’s police officers. (Click here to view applications for outside work to the Houston Police Department.)

As this story in the Odessa American points out, having local cops moonlight can sometimes drag the city into a thorny mess; the cop didn’t show, and people are casting a bit of blame.

“The bar owner, one of the victims and a family member of [the shooter] Richardson who said he was there that night have all said police are somewhat responsible for not providing security.”

While the Odessa police department sounds like it takes this no-show pretty seriously, the fallout is possible legal action against the city.

In Houston, the legislatively-created improvement districts use officers from the different law enforcement agencies for extra patrol, a potentially lucrative endeavor. What happens, though, when an officer fails to show up and something happens in his absence? Chances are some of the burden will be placed on that no-show.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpaceDiggFriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of 'police car lights' by flickr user davidsonscott15, used via a Creative Commons license.

El Paso ISD trustees delay decision on putting more information online
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012, 04:38PM CST
By Curt Olson
delay

El Paso Independent School District trustees seem stuck in the mud on how to improve transparency in an atmosphere of scandal that screams for immediate action.

In a split 4-3 decision, El Paso ISD trustees opposed putting more financial information online under the premise that doing so prevents the district from getting best prices on contracts, the El Paso Times reports. Trustees tabled the matter until the board’s next meeting.

The move comes amid increasing impatience from El Pasoans that trustees do something to re-establish public trust. The group Kids First! Reform EPSID!, which is a political action committee seeking district reforms following the guilty plea of former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia in a cheating scandal, pushed trustees for more online access to back-up information of issues trustees discuss at their meetings.

The group has a petition effort underway on its website calling for the resignation of trustees “who openly failed to perform your duties even after being advised of irregularities.”

While a majority of trustees delayed a decision, one trustee said it’s time to restore the board’s shattered credibility.

“It’s about public trust. At this point we’re not trusted very much and if this means, if somebody has to look at our checkbook because they aren’t sure what we’re doing with it, I can’t say no to that,” Trustee Rocio Benedicto said, according to the Times.

Board President Isela Castanon-Williams last fall supported a loophole that allowed the district to withhold from online posting agenda documents involving any “situation where the board president and/or superintendent concludes that the best interest of the district would not be served.” But in this week’s discussion, Castanon-Williams said the district should err on the side of disclosure.

The trustees’s decision does nothing to burnish an already lackluster transparency record.

A state monitor was asked by the district’s lawyer to step out of a closed-door meeting one week ago because, he said, her presence violated attorney-client privilege. El Paso ISD trustees have allowed a community advisory group, which is charged with helping trustees improve governance, to close its meetings. And trustees blamed state open meetings law for their failure to supervise an internal audit.

For now, taxpayers must accept the baby steps of progress at EPISD.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitterand Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Illustration of 'delayed' by flickr user WaveBreaker, used via a Creative Commons license.

Texas Highway Patrol Museum settles lawsuit after using donations for fallen officers’ families on staff perks, travel
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012, 12:46PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
hp

The next time your phone rings and you see the letters THBFA on the screen, pick it up, and, please, give generously.

The voice on the other end will be speaking for the Texas Hero Bereavement Fraud Association. The association has been set up exclusively to give aid to those selfless individuals like former state legislator Kenneth Lane Denton, who have devoted much of their lives to deceiving people like yourself into donating money to the families of fallen state law enforcement officers and keeping the money instead.

This non-profit is patterned after Denton’s Texas Highway Patrol Association in Austin, which was extinguished through the settlement of a state Attorney General’s lawsuit, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

During just one five-year period of its hallowed existence, telemarketers for the Highway Patrol Association raised almost $12 million on promises that included a $10,000 benefit payment to the families of dead state troopers, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The association made good on $65,300 of those promises, according to IRS records examined by the Express-News.

The many millions were instead spent building a telemarketing empire with offices in El Paso, Austin and Houston, work that is pitiless and expensive, Ruben Villalva, director of marketing for the association and its museum in San Antonio, told the paper.

There was enough money left over, the lawsuit said, to provide "excessive compensation" to association staff, including annual salaries of more than $200,000 to two of the directors, the American-Statesman reported earlier.

Contributions from cold-called citizens bought travel to Hawaii and Napa Valley, fitness center memberships, veterinary care for pets, dental care, dinners, movie and amusement park tickets for staff.

And for all of this toil, Travis County Probate Judge Guy Herman responded by fining Denton and nine others up to $2 million. He ordered the museum and its contents sold and the proceeds given to families who never received their $10,000 death benefit. Unsold assets will be distributed among other, presumably law-abiding, law enforcement non-profits, the judge ruled.

Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a statement today saying his agency took action on behalf of people promised over the phone all of their donation would go to families of officers, some of them mentioned by name.

“With the settlement, donations that were supposed to benefit the families of fallen police officers will finally be used to fulfill their intended purpose. Generous Texans opened their wallets to aid those whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice for our state – and the defendants took advantage of that generosity, spending donated funds as they deemed fit. The State took action to secure these funds and ensure they will actually benefit the families of Texas’ fallen police officers.”

To be sure, the state might have seen this coming. Denton, 71, followed serving three terms in the Legislature (1971-1977) by taking over as director of the Department of Public Safety Officers Association, founded along the same lines as the Highway Patrol Association.

By 1995, his reputation was such that a court found Denton guilty of theft and misapplication of funds, sentencing him to six years of probation and ordering him to pay more than $67,000 in restitution.

Herman’s ruling this week, prohibiting Denton from involvement in any nonprofit or for-profit law enforcement organization, ends more than 40 years of engendering the public trust.

The least we can do is reach deep into our pockets and give Denton and the others what they so generously gave to devastated families. And remember, absolutely 100 percent of your donation to the Texas Hero Bereavement Fraud Association will go where it is supposed to go.

Honest.

***
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of Texas Highway Patrol badge by flickr user conner395, used via a Creative Commons license.

CPS Energy awards CEO Doyle Beneby a $410k bonus equal to his annual salary
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 04:07PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

CPS Energy board members must have forgotten about the bar tabs, expensive parties, lavish hotel rooms and first-class flights when they effectively doubled the compensation of public utility chief Doyle Beneby this week.

CPS trustees in San Antonio gave their chief executive officer a $410,000 bonus Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reports. He will receive $205,000 now, with the other half payable at the end of his contract a year from now.

Board Chairman Derrick Howard said Beneby improved CPS Energy’s standing with customers and brought in new energy partners, with nearly $1 billion that will be added to the economy, the Express-News reports.

However, WOAI TV reporter Brian Collister earlier this year uncovered shocking spending subsidized by CPS ratepayers. Digging into public records, Collister found a gold mine of public-employee excess.

His first report in February blew the lid off a $43,000 party for 25-year veterans of CPS Energy and a $7,000 going-away party for a CPS board member. That report forced Beneby to apologize and dip into his pocket to refund $5,000 to CPS.

Two years ago, Beneby pledged that CPS would be more transparent.

For the purpose of transparency, here’s a list of some of what Collister uncovered at CPS Energy for trustee Steve Hennigan’s going away party at Bohanan’s restaurant in February 2011:

  • $ 991 for snapper
  • $ 743 for ribeye steaks
  • $ 2,000 bar tab 
  • $ 160 for valet parking

A retirement party for a CPS Energy vice president that included five other CPS executives and their wives at Bistro Vatel in Olmos Park included steak and duck and $540 for four bottles of wine — and a final tab of $1,659.

An affair in June 2011, held annually for those who have worked at CPS 25 years, generated a tab for food, beer and wine of $43,593. The total tab over four years was $162,000.

The extravagance didn’t stop in San Antonio. Beneby takes it on the road, too. Collister reported in April that Beneby had one-night stays in hotels in Austin, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. that ranged between $454 to $558.

Collister also found first-class flights, many for more than $1,000.

Collister’s investigation discovered the hiring of a Fleming’s steak house waitress — yes, she served at several of the parties — for $60,000 a year to prepare Beneby for meetings and schedule speaking engagements. With multiple emails from sources, Collister learned CPS never posted the new position.

The spending on meals and the assistant makes the $5,000 CPS Energy gave to the Texas Republican Party seem downright cheap. After WOAI reported on the donation, the party refunded it.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Illustration of money by flickr user Tax Credits, used via a Creative Commons license.

Dismissed Dallas judges sue mayor and city council, claim they were dropped based on amount of revenue their courts generated
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 01:32PM CST
By Steve Miller
gavel

Following an unflattering assessment of the court system in Dallas by the city manager’s office, four municipal court judges have filed a lawsuit against the mayor and the city council over their dismissal.

Plaintiffs Timoteo Gonzalez, David Indorf, Ruth Logan and Cheryl Williams lost their jobs when the council approved an ordinance to hire new judges. The law allowed the council’s judiciary committee to recommend judges, and the plaintiffs did not make the cut.

The suit contends the judges have “consistently received positive reviews” and that the city council has historically violated the rights of judges.

It asserts that the new ordinance was passed in violation of city code and cited the judicial review by the city manager’s office as influential in the shake up of judges.

The study, presented to the council Aug. 1, found that most defendants either ignore their court appearance or chance a court appearance rather than pay the fine outright for a number of reasons including the “likelihood is the violation will be dismissed or result in less penalty than paying the fine upfront.”

The ousted judges contend that they were being punished based on the amount of revenue they generated. They ask for an injunction against the recently passed ordinance, which would effectively hand them their jobs back.

***
Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpaceDiggFriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of judge and gavel by flickr user s_falkow, used via a Creative Commons license.

Texas third in total state debt, low by per-capita measure; across all the states, underfunded liability shoots to $3.5 trillion
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012, 11:54AM CST
By Curt Olson
debt

A new study by State Budget Solutions places Texas third nationwide in total state debt with $287 billion, behind California and New York.

New Jersey and Illinois joined the top three, rounding out the same five states with the highest total debt from a year ago, the study states. The states with the lowest total state debt are Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Texas’ third-place rank shouldn’t surprise taxpayers, given the state’s rapid growth in the past decade. The state had more than 25.1 million residents in 2010 compared to 20.9 million in 2000, according to Census data. Those extra 4 million people and change triggered the construction of roads, water and wastewater treatment plants, among other infrastructure.

When population is factored in, the picture in Texas improves.

The Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation reported that Texas has a debt per capita of $1,679, ranking 45th in the nation, according to figures for 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. That compares to New York’s nearly $6,700 per resident and California’s more than $4,000 per resident.

Texas’ rank for total debt did not surprise Chuck DeVore, vice president for communications at the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation. He said fiscal policy analysts at the free market think tank have greater concern about local government debt.

“We would like to see limits on debt, especially at the local level,” DeVore said, noting local government debt boosts property taxes, with multiple public entities having power to raise property taxes.

State Comptroller Susan Combs reported last week that between 1992 and 2010 Texas had an additional 500 special purpose districts created, accounting for more than 87 percent of the growth in public entities levying property taxes.

State Budget Solutions reports total state debt nationwide dropped from $4.24 trillion to $4.19 trillion, which study author Cory Eucalitto attributes to reductions in unemployment trust fund loans and fiscal year budget gap totals. He estimated Texas’s fiscal year 2013 budget gap at $9 billion. Texas had no unemployment trust fund loans.

“Fiscal year budget gaps alone fell by more than half. The lack of a subsequent, sizable drop in total state debt, however, shows that the cause of state debt is a systemic one requiring far more than annual budget balancing to eliminate,” the State Budget Solution report states.

The State Budget Solutions study that Eucalitto released early Tuesday identifies the growing problem with pension debt and the way states account for it.

The study shows many consider the aggregate pension debt for the 50 states to be about $760 billion. The study says this understates underfunded pension costs by $2.1 trillion, a number accepted by the credit-rating firm Moody’s. New rules expected this fall from Moody’s and the Governmental Account Standards Board will almost certainly paint a bleaker financial picture for pensions across the country.

Across the states, the underfunded liability increases to about $3.5 trillion when health care benefits for public employee retirees are added to the $2.2 trillion amount by which pensions are underfunded.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us onTwitterandScribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feed in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, NewsVine and tumblr.

Photo of debt by flickr user Images_of_Money, used via a Creative Commons license.

An Ott-of-this world pay package: Austin City Manager Marc Ott in line for a $7,000 raise -- and a cool $400k if he’s fired
Monday, Aug 27, 2012, 02:08PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

Austin City Manager Marc Ott will receive his second raise in as many years if rank-and-file city employees receive a raise proposed in the 2012-13 city budget that will be up for approval next month.

Austin’s non-civil service employees would see an increase of 3 percent, which would simultaneously boost Ott’s salary to $256,746, up $7,478 from his current salary of $249,268. It would be the second raise for Ott since he became Austin city manager in January 2008, the Austin Bulldog reports.

The amount of more than $256,000 reflects Ott’s base pay. His compensation catapults higher with contract perks that include $50,620 in deferred compensation, executive allowance, automobile allowance, cell phone allowance, and retirement or health-care related benefits, the Bulldog reported.

Ott’s recommendation for a raise surfaced following a lengthy Austin City Council closed session earlier this month. After council members emerged from the executive session discussion of personnel, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole said, “I just wanted to say that we did in executive session (take up the issue of) compensation and benefits of the city manager, and we look forward to his continued service.”

Ott’s raise comes in a package of 3 percent raises forthcoming for the city auditor and city clerk. The municipal court clerk would receive a 5 percent raise to bring her up to the market rate, said Mayor Lee Leffingwell, the Bulldog reported.

In advance of Ott’s personnel evaluation, the Austin American-Statesman reported there were grumblings about the city manager. Those who complain about Ott focused on his handling of the Austin Energy rate hike, which will be in place in October and took two years to resolve, and his grasp of environmental battles that still exist in Austin. One council member expressed concern about how city government responds to the needs of a growing population.

Ott ranks third in base pay among city managers in Texas, according to data compiled by the Texas Tribune.

If Austin City Council terminates Ott, he would be entitled to severance pay of more than $431,000, according to the Austin Bulldog.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us onTwitterandScribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feed in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, NewsVine and tumblr.

Photo of the money by flickr user Unhindered by Talent, used via a Creative Commons license.

Investment officers, medical positions highest paid in state agencies, but executive pay disparities emerge in Texas state audit
Friday, Aug 24, 2012, 04:15PM CST
By Curt Olson
money

A new report from State Auditor John Keel confirms that investment officers and medical positions remain the best paid in state government.

The audit on executive pay at state agencies also shows some deputy administrators and other employees earn as much or more than the executive who manages the agency where they work.

One chart in the audit shows the 25 highest-paid investment officers in state government earn salaries between $180,000 and $480,000. The top three, two investors with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and one with the Employees Retirement System of Texas, make more than the highest paid state agency executive. ERS Executive Director Ann Bishop earns $312,000 and is eligible for a bonus from the ERS board.

Some of the investment officers in this list may be paid incentive compensation if investment returns surpass goals. Keel outlined incentive compensation in this report about three months ago for certain investment officers in TRS, ERS and the Permanent School Fund.

Meanwhile, the top 25 medical positions identified by Keel, all physicians or psychiatrists, earn between $208,260 and $216,652.

Some of the trends in Texas state agency executive pay disparities Keel found include:

  • A total of 181 employees at 12 state agencies had salaries that exceeded the annual salaries of the executive officer at their agencies.
  • A total of 107 employees at 37 state agencies had salaries that were the same as or within 10 percent less than the annual salaries of the executive officer at their agencies.
  • The Health and Human Services commissioner, who oversees five agencies and budget of about $32 billion, has a lower salary than the annual salaries for eight other management positions at state agencies.

These trends occur in a time of budget reductions at state government, with state agency leaders instructed to brace for more in the budget for 2014-15.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us onTwitterandScribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feed in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, NewsVine and tumblr.

Photo of the money by flickr user Steve Rhodes, used via a Creative Commons license.

Another transparency blunder from El Paso ISD: Trustees exclude state monitor from closed meeting on litigation from cheating scandal
Friday, Aug 24, 2012, 02:39PM CST
By Curt Olson
door

Despite a cheating scandal that has crushed the credibility of the El Paso Independent School District, trustees or their lawyers continue to find ways to obstruct full transparency.

The newest excuse reared its head this week when EPISD’s attorney Anthony Safi asked newly-appointed state monitor Judy Castleberry to leave a closed-door meeting, the El Paso Times reports. In that closed meeting, trustees received legal advice regarding potential litigation related to the cheating scandal - at the heart of the problems that Castleberry is supposed to help the district fix.

The district’s lawyer argued since Castleberry wasn’t his client her presence infringed on the attorney-client privilege. Ron Rowell, senior director of governance and waivers for the Texas Education Agency , said the issue would be clarified so Castleberry can do her job.

Bill Aleshire, an open-government attorney with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, disputes Safi’s move and told the Times:

“Attorney-client privilege extends beyond communication between the school’s attorney and the school board members themselves. It includes anyone considered to be within the core-client circle. Considering the role the monitor has, the monitor certainly is not adverse to the intentions of the district and could be included as part of the core-client group.”

TEA has placed EPISD’s accreditation on probation, among other sanctions.

That kind of crackdown might prompt a wave of openness, an effort to regain community trust. Instead, the district has allowed a task force on governance to close its meetings. Arguably one of the biggest openness blunders in this drama occurred when trustees blamed the open meetings law for preventing them from supervising internal audits.

Many would argue trustees should have learned their transparency lessons long ago, but apparently they remain slow learners.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us onTwitterand Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feed in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, NewsVine and tumblr.

Photo of the 'keep this door closed' by flickr user roujo, used via a Creative Commons license.

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Update:2 years 3 months
Grits for Breakfast
MAY 22, 2917 / Theodore Dalrymple on secularization and transcendence THE SECULARIZATION of Europe is hardly any secret. Religion's long, melancholy, withdrawing roar, as Matthew Arnold put it, is a roar no...
Update:2 years 4 months
Unca Darrell
MAY 10 / James B. Comey . . . . . . needed firing. Everything he did during the 2016 election was wrong. He was wrong . . . . . . back in July to release information...
Update:2 years 4 months
Unca Darrell
Droppin' F bombs, Beto O'Rourke style It's not often that a politician decides to start cursing repeatedly during speeches and interviews. But that hasn't stopped...
Update:2 years 5 months
Rick Perry vs The World
APRIL 5, 2017 / Weeding out the audience at the Alley is . . . . . . a feature, not a bug. Houston's Alley Theatre is running "An Act of God," a loosely dramatized collection of irreverent one-liners...
Update:2 years 5 months
Unca Darrell
Statewide primary rumors It's that stage of the election cycle where politicians are trying to figure out if they should run for something else or stay put. ...
Update:2 years 6 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Is Ted Cruz vulnerable? Not really. Sure, he's not liked, Texans think Ted puts Ted first, his approval rating is upside down, etc...
Update:2 years 6 months
Rick Perry vs The World
MARCH 16, 2017 / Jim Webb on what it means to be a redneck, and . . . . . . why redneck culture matters. In 2004 Jim Webb wrote Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Though the 2016 presidential...
Update:2 years 6 months
Unca Darrell
MARCH 3, 2017 -- Goodbye, and thanks, to Thomas Sowell THOMAS SOWELL, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of America's most important public intellectuals, retired from...
Update:2 years 6 months
Unca Darrell
March 2, 2017 / The poem our teachers got wrong TWO ROADS diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Generations of commencement...
Update:2 years 6 months
Unca Darrell
FEBRUARY 27 / Eric Hoffer on . . . . . . baby boomers and alienated intellectuals. "SCRATCH AN INTELLECTUAL, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the...
Update:2 years 7 months
Unca Darrell
2017 Project: January “Progress” There are two different ways to interpret my 2017 project: that it's a way more complicated New Years Resolution, or that it is essentially...
Update:2 years 7 months
Greg's Opinion
Ted Cruz's first senate term in a nutshell The National Review's Tim Alberta switched to Politico, and one of his opening pieces put Ted Cruz's first term in a nutshell It...
Update:2 years 8 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Andrea Parquet-Taylor named KTVT CBS 11 news director Former KHOU 11 assistant news director Andrea Parquet-Taylor named Vice President, News Director for KTVT CBS 11 Andrea...
Update:2 years 8 months
Mike McGuff
VIDEO: KPRC 2 10pm newscast (1-24-99) ...
Update:2 years 8 months
Mike McGuff
Democrats actually thought Wendy Davis was a serious candidate? Hat tip to Willisms: VIDEO- Wendy Davis being Wendy Davis: https://t.co/SHq3ACGVDJ #txlege— Will Franklin (@WILLisms) January 24,...
Update:2 years 8 months
Rick Perry vs The World
Luke Bryan to sing National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI on FOX ​ Country music superstar LUKE BRYAN will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston...
Update:2 years 8 months
Mike McGuff
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 7 years 4 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 7 years 4 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 7 years 4 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 7 years 4 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 7 years 4 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 7 years 4 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 7 years 4 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 7 years 4 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 7 years 4 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 7 years 4 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 7 years 4 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 7 years 4 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 7 years 4 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 7 years 4 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 7 years 4 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 7 years 4 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 7 years 4 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 7 years 4 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 7 years 4 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 7 years 4 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
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