Time to clear out the blog cache and post some lunchtime links:
- Mayor to Mayor: Parker Indicates Brown’s East Downtown Green Card Hotel Project Would Qualify for Tax Breaks (Swamplot)
A boondoggle THIS convoluted would just HAVE to involve Lee P. Brown.
- $55 million 'green' plan to beautify Buffalo Bayou (Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle)
- Metro Wuvs Us, This We Know / For This Cookie Tells Us So (Hair Balls)
METRO’s bloated PR department clearly does not have enough work to occupy its time. Downsize it radically and distribute the resources to actual service improvements (and we’re not talking about METRO’s favorite euphemism for cutting bus routes).
- Obama Puts Money on METRO (Laurie Johnson, KUHF-88.7 News)
- METRO rail plans could get boost from federal government (Christine Dobbyn, KTRK-13 News)
- Houston Metro wins additional support in budget; Jackson Lee thanks Obama for 'diligent effort' (Texas on the Potomac)
What do the last three stories have in common? An ineffectual grandstanding Dem Representative assuring METRO that all will be well on the funding front, despite the fact that the opposition party controls the House budget process and appears serious about cutting at least some fat. Did it not occur to any journalist in Houston to talk to a Republican legislator about the matter?
- Annise Parker Talks About Her First Love (Hair Balls)
It’s good to know our mayor has time to reminisce about stalking a former love while she works tirelessly on the city’s important issues (like the budget shortfall).
- Chris Baker Comes to KSEV (Hair Balls)
Baker, a superficial blowhard who in many ways — none of them good — epitimozes [sic] right-wing talk radio, will have a show on State Senator Dan Patrick’s KSEV, which apparently does still exist.
The Village Voice Houston amateur hour certainly can claim to be authoritative on the topics of superficial and blowhard. Case in point: Baker actually started yesterday on KSEV.
- Toyota: The Media Owe You an Apology (Ed Wallace, Businessweek)
It was 11 months ago when CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric opened her broadcast with the story of Jim Sikes. Just that afternoon the California real estate agent claimed to have lost control of his Toyota Prius, shooting up to 94 miles an hour during a harrowing ride while telling the 911 operator he was standing on the brake pedal.
Over all the more important things in the world available to cover that night, an alleged runaway Prius made the top of Couric’s list. One would assume she and her producers chose that story because they saw it as only the latest example of what seemed to be a growing threat to millions of American drivers. (Toyota, then as now, is the world’s No. 1 automaker.)
In reality, thanks to Katie Couric, it was proof positive that the whole Toyota unintended acceleration story had become a media farce. Within days Mr. Sike’s contentions were discovered to be fraudulent. In fact, Jalopnik later reported that Sikes was facing serious financial difficulties and speculation was that he had told his story in order to obtain a large settlement.
Well, that’s an interesting development. We’ve never seen a followup to Village Voice Houston’s ethically dubious Toyota expose that let us know how an unidentified editor’s wife fared in her arbitration with Toyota.
- Panel shaping UH future excludes liberal arts input (Robert Zaretsky, Houston Chronicle)
Somewhere here, amidst the woe-is-me academic utterances, was a case to be made in favor of promoting a Western core of knowledge as opposed to simply turning institutions of higher learning into vocational/technical institutes (which we also need, by the way).
- Loaning campaign cash: Friends of Chris Daniel (Bay Area Houston)
- Harris County's Dysfunctional Republicans (Big Jolly Politics)