Weekend brunch for 12 January 2020

News and views from around the web

Image Credit: BenJones88/wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

[WB1] Disgraced HPD officer Gerald Goines, the ringleader at the center of HPD’s Harding Street Massacre of nearly one year ago, thought he would ignore a subpoena in yet another case involving alleged wrongdoing. The presiding judge made clear that he needed to get himself to court, and he made a brief, dramtic appearance to plead the fifth. Slowly (but surely?) the wheels of justice turn in Harris County.

[WB2] It’s one year in to the tenure of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, so it’s time for one of those glowing puff piece profiles of institutional sources that is a hallmark of Houston Chronicle journalism – rah RAH! If there were a Pulitzer for such writing, the newspaper would have to build another wing at their headquarters to hold all the awards.

[WB3] Also in Harris County this week, the Harris County jail released a DWI suspect who was ordered deported by a federal immigration judge in 2019; the county was forced to halt construction on the ship channel bridge to correct a potential design flaw; the man who was shot after pulling out a shotgun in a Walmart turned out to be a violent repeat offender who received a slap on the wrist from a Harris County judge and had been on quite the crime spree; and the disgraced former head of the Harris County Housing Authority is once again, inexplicably, drawing a paycheck from Harris County.

[WB4] An Austin judge has temporarily blocked any state takeover of HISD’s school board, although the Texas Education Agency will appeal the ruling.

[WB5] Bill King offers his preliminary analysis of Houston’s 2018-19 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

[WB6] Urban Reform reports that blogger Tory Gattis’s notion that METRO should make its fares free “to reduce traffic congestion, increase air quality, and speed up travel times” is getting serious consideration. Unfortunately, there’s scant evidence it will do any of those three things listed.

[WB7] At the recent Pachyderm candidate forum, Congressional District 7 GOP candidate Wesley Hunt admitted he last voted in 2008 – in the Democratic primary. His aides scrambled to concoct a rationale for their candidate’s disinterest in American/GOP politics for over a decade, but it’s becoming more understandable why those aides don’t allow the candidate to engage constituents on social media and usually schedule competing events over grassroots candidate forums.

[WB8] A member of the underwhelming Chron editorial board took a vacation in Israel once, and apparently now fancies himself an expert on international politics and international security:

Who will have the courage to stop the cycle before we’re at war?

It’s already proven to be such silliness. We would advise the board to stick with things they know, but… what would that be exactly?

[WB9] In a column that reads more like a blog post from Houston Tomorrow or a PR hit piece from the renewable energy industry, Chris Tomlinson criticises what he call the oil and gas industry’s dishonest rebranding. He neglects to mention that his wife is a renewable energy executive/evangelist, which is a curious omission in a column calling out others for dishonesty.

[WB10] A Chron story this week noted a report claiming inequities for Hispanic faculty at UT-Austin. Here is one fun quote:

Gloria González-López, a sociology professor at UT, said race and gender are also factors.

“I use the concept of ‘academic doméstica’ (domestic servant) to describe this, where Latina professors do a lot of services for which they are not paid or paid worse than anybody else” in academia, she said.

As friend and occasional media critic Matt Bramanti noted to us, “Dr. González-López – who teaches one class of three hours a week – brings home more than double the median Texas household. She may well have a domestic servant, but she isn’t one.”

[WB11] Fresh off his smackdown in the mayoral election, eccentric attorney Tony Buzbee’s latest endeavor will be a food-themed show.

[WB12] Brian T. Smith rightly notes that Bill O’Brien coached the Texans to the biggest meltdown in team history earlier today. And yet rabid Texans fans will sell out the stadium to see more of the mediocre coach’s mediocrity next season.

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About Kevin Whited 4215 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX