DALLAS — The Preston Hollow neighborhood has been home to many of Texas’ rich and powerful — George and Laura Bush, Mark Cuban, T. Boone Pickens, Ross Perot. So it is hardly surprising that a recent political fund-raiser was held there on the back terrace of a 20,000-square-foot home overlooking lush gardens with life-size bronze statues of the host’s daughters. The guest of honor was Gov. Rick Perry, but the man behind the event was not one of the enclave’s boldface names. He was a tax consultant named G. Brint Ryan.
Comments: Ask Texans if we consider "lines blurred" or if we believe aggressive marketing of our state´s opportunities is a very good thing.
FTA - Texas is 11th in poverty with a large number of workers collecting hourly wages. May be hard to see from the Times Building, but Texas shares a rather long and porous border with Mexico. Note how many students from Manor, as cited in the article, have English as a second language. But ask San Bernardino or Detroit if they would like to have the employment "problems" of Texas.
Just a little reminder, TX has no income tax. So the only taxes that can be "toyed with" are sales tax and property tax. Chemicals sold to industry aren´t taxed, so that limits the field further in the case of Dow Chemical which is specifically named. Dow´s big facilities are built within the existing fence and usually on sites of dismantled plants. Dow has big expansion plans because the price of natural gas is lower in TX than anywhere in the world and they generate their own power with direct fired co-generation gas plants. Natural gas liquids will be cracked in a new cracker and fed to world class polymer plants that would have been built in the Middle East 4 years ago.
These tax subsidy deals have become a necessary evil. It would be nice if states didn´t do this, but they do. It smacks of corporate welfare. I am not singling out Texas because almost all states do it, but Texas seems to be the most successful.
Many cities in Texas have given tax relief to entice Corporate Offices to move back and forth relating to the oil industry. Usually could depend on Corp. Offices moving about every 5 years between Houston and Midland because of the tax incentives given to them. This was back in the 70´s--nothing new.
Like yesterday’s fashions, old policies never die, they simply return with new accessories. So it is with Rand Paul’s proposal to create Economic Freedom Zones for Detroit and other depressed cities—a recycled version of the Enterprise Zones of 1980s. But if past is prelude, this idea won’t work not because it doesn’t make sense—but because Washington won’t allow a sensible version to pass its august chambers. Freedom Zones is Paul’s answer to Obama’s bailout—oops, aid—package for Detroit and a way to show minorities that the GOP cares. Unlike Obama’s plan, Paul won’t offer federal handouts for housing, brownfield cleanup, highways and
Of the seven deadly sins, envy may not be the wickedest, but it is the most embarrassing. To be possessed by envy is to admit a humiliating personal inadequacy: We do not envy others those attainments that we think we too might achieve, but those we despair of ever possessing. Wrath, greed, pride, lust — all assume a certain self-possession. Sloth and gluttony are practically standard issue in times of plenty such as these. Wrath and pride are the sins of great (but not good) men. Envy is the affliction of the insignificant. It is the small man’s sin. Which brings
Stealing elections is an old game politicians play. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president, got to the U.S. Senate in 1948 by “winning” the closest race in Texas history by a margin of 87 votes out of more than a million cast. An election judge in tiny Alice, Texas, said he counted more than 200 names on the voting roll for Box 13 that were written in alphabetic succession in the same hand, same color of ink. When a federal court subpoenaed Box 13, it was discovered to be “lost.” LBJ took his seat in the Senate. Voting machines were
Steve Stockman’s surprise Senate campaign almost seems like a “Colbert Report” send-up of the Tea Party. The unconventionally two-term Republican congressman from Texas—he was elected once in 1994 and again in 2012—is challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the GOP primary. “If liberal John Cornyn loves being a senator he can move to Massachusetts,” Stockman said in a statement using the phrase “liberal John Cornyn”—lifetime American Conservative Union rating 93—27 times. “I’m sick and tired of being bayoneted in the back by someone in my own foxhole,” Stockman wrote in his declaration of candidacy. “When freedom is threatened Texans have always mounted up
Scientology members allegedly set up high-tech surveillance cameras to spy on the family of a disillusioned former leader, a bombshell harassment lawsuit against the church claims. Monique Rathbun, wife of former church bigwig turned critic Marty Rathbun, filed a suit in Comal County, Texas, saying she has been “harassed, insulted, surveilled, photographed, videotaped, defamed and humiliated” by church members, including a group called the “squirrel busters” who allegedly rented a home near the couple to spy on them. Marty was inspector general of Scientology’s Religious Technology Center but left the church in 2004, while Monique was never a member. Marty says his
The actor who became a star overnight with ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ was unforgettable, even if you only met him once—ten years before his death Sunday at 81. I met Peter O’Toole just once. We spent the better part of a day together in London about 10 years ago, when he had just learned Hollywood was going to give him an honorary Oscar. He’d been nominated seven times without winning, so it seemed like the least they could do. Hearing Sunday that he had died made me more bereft than I might have imagined—after all, I only met him the one time. But
N OTHING GOOD IS on TV between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., and for good reason. Nobody´s trying. It´s the time period known euphemistically in the media business as the "Post Late Fringe," and less euphemistically as the "Graveyard Slot." It´s when networks and local TV affiliates sign off. They give up. They stop pretending that anyone important is watching and sell off their airtime — not just 30-second commercial spots, but entire 30-minute programming blocks — to sponsors. Those sponsors fill the left-for-dead airwaves with direct-response television (DRTV), better known as infomercials. For certain companies — the kinds of companies that
In the old postwar, pre-Obama world, the United States accepted a 65-year burden of defeating Soviet communism. It led the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. The American fleet and overseas bases ensured that global commerce, communications, and travel were largely free and uninterrupted. Globalization was a sort of synonym for Americanization. It was neither a particularly pleasant nor popular task. To keep the Soviets out of the Persian Gulf, we made unpopular deals of convenience with odious dictators and monarchs to keep the oil freely flowing to global consumers. In return, the billionaire and authoritarian sheikdoms often used cartels and monopolies
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers paid $5.4 million for shoddy trash incinerators that were delivered years behind schedule and never used, leaving soldiers at an Afghanistan base with no other option than to keep burning waste in open-air pits, according to an internal probe. The report from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko was released Monday. It found the failure to complete the trash incinerators left soldiers exposed to potential health hazards from the burn pits, and taxpayers, once again, with nothing to show for a multimillion-dollar investment. “This project appears to have been a complete
House Speaker John Boehner checked off the final items on his list of year-end legislation Thursday, dismissing lawmakers for a 25-day holiday recess. The House came together in rare bipartisan fashion to pass the budget deal, approve the National Defense Authorization Act, extend farm law through the end of next month and temporarily delay cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments. But left undone was one major piece of legislation: an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. Although the benefits could be extended retroactively, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged this week, 1.3 million Americans are set to lose them Dec. 28.
JERUSALEM -- More than 100 Israeli leaders gathered with Jewish-American counterparts in Jerusalem last month with a daunting mission: to save Jewish life in North America. Jewish American leaders have known for years that assimilation and intermarriage were slowly shrinking their communities, but the early November gathering took on an extra sense of urgency. Just weeks earlier, a landmark study had found that young American Jews are growing increasingly estranged from Judaism. As these efforts press ahead, they are being complicated by a new issue: What role can Israel play in Jewish American life at a time when many American Jews, who
Looks like the government may have found a way to pay down all that debt: Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said. The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday. But don’t worry, the government is in full compliance with its requirement to give them advance notice of the early seizure: Washington Healthplanfinder
AS his popularity plummets to historic lows and his presidential legacy is in tatters, BARACK OBAMA has suffered a shocking secret meltdown. White House insiders say the deeply depressed Commander-in-Chief is hardly eating or sleeping, hasn’t talked to First Lady Michelle, 49, in weeks and is convinced everyone hates him! “Barack is shattered that his presidency and his life are in free-fall,” says a source. “He can’t believe the American public has turned on him so viciously, mainly because of the Obamacare disaster. No one has been able to help him. “Michelle has tried everything she can to comfort him, but he just snaps,
Caroline Kennedy is a long way from Syracuse.The soft-spoken presidential scion, who four years ago this month toured upstate New York in a short and ill-fated bid for the U.S. Senate, has swept with force into her newest public role as President Barack Obama’s ambassador in Japan. And if the iconic daughter of American political royalty showed herself to be deeply uncomfortable as a glad-handing pol, she’s on her way to becoming something of a rock star in the more dignified world of diplomacy.
Early news reports have identified the Arapahoe High School gunman as Karl Halverson Pierson, an 18-year-old student. Pierson is believed to be responsible for wounding one other student before shooting and killing himself with a shotgun. The Denver Post reports that Pierson had "very strong political beliefs" and that one Facebook post he authored tore into Republicans as political party that wanted to let people die: "[Y]ou republicans are so cute" and posting an image that reads: "The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ´em Die, Climate Change: Let ´em Die, Gun Violence: Let ´em Die, Women´s Rights: Let ´em Die,
Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee weighed in on the escalating feud between establishment Republican politicians and conservative activist groups on Saturday. Asked for his thoughts on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) admonition of the idealized purism advocated by some outside groups, Huckabee sympathized with Boehner saying that governing is more difficult than activism and “politics is not theology.” Huckabee began by saying that Boehner was not scolding the tea party movement but conservative groups that capitalize on that movement. He added that some of those groups appear to have an “all or nothing mindset” and that
The Republican establishment is fed up with the “outside groups” — the conservative lobbying shops and super PACs that have pulled the party Rightward in recent years — and this time, it’s the establishment that is uninterested in compromise. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are playing to win. But here´s the problem: Directly fighting the insurgent groups only makes them stronger. In a span of 48 hours, the party leadership took two direct shots at the conservative insurgents. Boehner attacked the outside groups on camera, singling out Heritage Action. Also, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., fired Republican Study
Business trade associations applauded the rant by Speaker John Boehner against outside conserative groups like Heritage Action and FreedomWorks, saying it was long overdue. The Hill: Business groups, whose frustration with the Tea Party boiled over during the government shutdown, said Boehner´s broadside was long overdue. "I think we have all said it. The business community has been uniformly frustrated at how strident the ideological groups have been in defiance of reason," said David French, senior vice president of government relations of the National Retail Federation. Lobbyists said they are encouraged by the fact that the budget accord easily passed the lower chamber despite
In a game-changer for the legal fight over same-sex marriage that gives credence to opponents’ “slippery slope” arguments, a federal judge has now ruled that the legal reasoning for same-sex marriage means that laws against polygamy are likewise unconstitutional. In his 91-page opinion in Brown v. Buhman, on Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups struck down Utah’s law making polygamy a crime. In so doing, he may have opened Pandora’s Box. As a condition for becoming a state in 1896, Congress required Utah to outlaw polygamy, which is marriage between three or more persons. This case involved a family of
MINNEAPOLIS--Black students at the University of Minnesota say racial descriptions in crime alerts does not help catch suspects. Instead, it´s hurting black male students. There have been more than two dozen crimes on or near the U this year. Crime alert after crime alert describes many of the suspects as young black males. "There are a plethora of young black men on campus who fit that description," Abdel-Kader Toovi, a college senior and vice president of the Black Men´s Forum on campus, said. Ian Taylor, a junior and president of the Black Men´s Forum, said many of their members have expressed concern over how
After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating. Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond. But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been
The film industry is in mourning after legendary film actor Peter O´Toole died at the age of 81. The critically acclaimed performer, who was born in County Galway, Ireland, died after being taken to hospital with a long-suffering illness on Friday. He is survived by two daughters - Kate and Patricia - and a son, Lorcan Patrick O´Toole. In a statement released earlier, Kate O’Toole said: ´His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of
WASHINGTON — CIA officers revealed a clash over how quickly they should go help the besieged U.S. ambassador during the 2012 attack on an outpost in Libya, and a standing order for them to avoid violent encounters, according to a congressman and others who heard their private congressional testimony or were briefed on it. The Obama administration has been dogged by complaints that the White House, Pentagon and State Department may not have done enough before and during the attack to save U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, and by accusations that it later engaged in a cover-up. One allegation was
What we know: Racism has left a vast legacy of violence. Bigotry in America has marginalized a diverse range of minority culture. It dashes the hopes of children. What we didn´t know: Bias based on race costs the United States a shade under $2 trillion a year. (Snip) Addressing factors such as health care inequities, unjustified incarceration disparities, and lesser employment and education opportunities would generate 12 percent more annual U.S. earnings, the study found. Among the more striking findings cited are a U.S. Department of Commerce study estimating that minority purchasing power would increase from $4.3 trillion to $6.1