Weekend brunch for 26 June 2022

Image credit: Stan Mouser/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Apologies for missing this roundup last week without any notice. Sometimes life intrudes. In any case, we’ll clear out the important links and get caught up.

[WB1] Local officials celebrated the news 10 days ago that Houston will be a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the first time Houston will host World Cup action. The city won’t be able to host the finals, however, because NRG isn’t big enough.

Local talk radio host Michael Berry reminded us that some years ago, local “leaders” and media berated Houston voters for rejecting then-Mayor Annise Parker’s “HERO” ordinance, arguing that it would surely cost Houston major sports events, business relocations, and the like.

None of that happened, of course. Houston has secured and hosted many major sports events since that vote, and many major companies have continued to relocate here (whether that will continue amidst the rising cost of living, declining quality of services, and runaway crime is a different story). Still, it’s worth remembering how wrong so many of these local media nags and scolds often are.

[WB2] The Chronicle reported 10 days ago that Harris County officials have made a “$48 million investment in child care programs.”

Straight news reporting would characterize this as a $48 million expenditure on child care programs, of course, since it’s a disputed matter whether this represents an “investment” with returns or just a wealth transfer to select, Dem-favored patronage groups.

The area newspaper of record favors this wealth transfer (supported by American Rescue Plan Act funds, which are supposed to aid in pandemic recovery, but in many cases seem more like  inflationary slush funds for state and local governments), hence its framing.

[WB3] It’s never enough, of course. Harris County Democratic leaders reportedly want to spend even more of your money, despite modest progress on the projects funded in the 2018 bond.

[WB4] Even as the financial and political “high speed rail” boondoggle known as Texas Central appears to be on the verge of collapse, the Texas Supreme Court threw the collapsing entity an eminent domain lifeline this week.

[WB5] Professor Doctor Peter Hotez tries to revise his record on COVID and schools and gets called out.

[WB6] The New York Times recently ran a long piece on Houston’s track record on dealing with homelessness – which is pretty good, compared to many other Democratic-run cities that have allowed a complete homeless/addict takeover of all public spaces.

[WB7] Tunnels are becoming a legitimate part of the area’s flood control conversation. Now, we just need a visionary such as Elon Musk or the like to get that cost down.

[WB8] Senator John Cornyn was lustily booed by delegates at the recent state GOP convention that took place in Houston, for his recent work with Democrats on new gun control legislation. Undeterred, he went right back to D.C. and finished brokering the new gun control package (arguing that he drew the line at more restrictive measures).

[WB9] The billionaire behind Arnold Ventures (the local policy advocacy shop) thinks gun control is “good policy” of course, as do the advocate-analysts at his shop.

[WB10] Crime Stoppers of Houston announced this week that the organization will begin compiling and publishing regular reports on criminal and court activity in the area. That sounds very evidence-oriented; maybe they can apply for a grant from Arnold Ventures!

[WB11] How about the irony of a journalist (with no advanced training in any other vocational or academic field) who writes about all sorts of topics contesting a Congressman’s qualifications to opine about the topic of military readiness? (For what it’s worth, the Congressman in question does sit on the Veterans’ Affairs committee, so he might have some familiarity with the topic). This is the same journalist responsible for the Chronicle’s hit piece on Crime Stoppers of Houston, incidentally.

[WB12] Another Chronicle journalist has the strong “feels” that there should be more journalists devoted to “extremism & white nationalism.” Of course, of course.

[WB13] A Chronicle columnist thinks this week’s overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court “has put a death wish on women of color.” The columnist writes:

People of color make up 60 percent of the state but account for nearly 73 percent of abortion procedures.

That’s a lot of babies that, arguably, will have more of a chance than they did before.

[WB14] A man made a very bad life choice this week, when he attempted to rob an area Suit Mart, then went to the Carter’s County Gun & Ammo store next door and tried to steal from the cash register. A Carter’s Country employee took out the threat permanently with two shots, saying that he feared for his life.

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About Kevin Whited 4306 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX