Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jebby Bush, latest victim of Katrina racism

John "Jebby" Bush, son of Governor Jeb Bush, was arrested Friday in Austin for public intoxication.

Jebby had been living in a Red Cross shelter since he evacuated Florida when Katrina hit. Henry Silva, head of LULAC, decried the arrest. "This is just the latest example of the Bush administration's blatant racism in dealing with this tragedy."

Noting that Jebby's mother is a native of Mexico, Silva denounced the president. "George Bush doesn't care about his half-Mexican nephews and nieces."

Bart Whitaker, fugitive and scumbag

In December 2003, Bart's mother and brother were killed by a masked gunman in their home. Bart and his father were wounded.

I did a little googling on Bart and found this: Several days after the attack, he left this post at a gaming site where his brother was apparently well known, letting the gamers know that he (Bart) had pulled through, that he was "still pretty shocked by the whole thing," and that his brother was a "damn fine player, and a damn fine man."

Turns out Bart orchestrated the attack and that his brother was the original target.

The triggerman and getaway driver were arrested this week. Bart skipped town in July 2004 and hasn't been heard from since.

Update 9/26/05: Bart has been captured in Mexico.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Russ Smith is right: W could learn from Clinton

From this week's New York Press:

"Bill Clinton—who largely ignored the '93 World Trade Center terrorist strike, and was MIA during a '95 heat wave that killed almost 1000 people in the Chicago region—would've given a televised address to the nation within 24 hours of the storm's impact, probably from New Orleans, and he'd have worked the crowd there on the ground instead of viewing the floods from a helicopter. And while the media wasn't entirely in the tank for Clinton, he would've been hailed as an empathetic, hands-on president."

And I don't mean biting his lip or wiping a tear away...just being there.

Will W really hold to this...not raising taxes?

AP and Austin American Statesman report that Bush pledges not to raise taxes in light of all the spending required for Katrina [not to mention Iraq and the recent pork-laden transportation bill].

We'll see if he has the mettle of his dad or his dad's predecessor. (Thanks, Mike.)

Evacuees are taking what they can in the best Big Easy style

I guess it's no surprise that some of our new neighbors are making a grab for more than their fair share of the free money that's being handed out. Eleven were arrested yesterday for doing so. There are reports of evacuees making as many as six trips through the lines to receive financial aid. Houston police have even set up a Katrina Debit Card Fraud Task Force to combat the situation. They're not tasked, however, with monitoring the spending of the cash. "If you want to go buy a plasma TV or Nike tennis shoes, that's your business."

At least one Houstonian (last letter at the bottom) is pissed that his donations to the Red Cross are reportedly being used to purchase perfume and designer handbags, and vows he will not never donate again.

K-Lo was all over the potential for debit card fraud and abuse over a week ago, but she was looking in the wrong direction. She thought the problem would be that non-evacuees, i.e., Houstonians, would take advantage of the give-away. Nope (at least that hasn't been reported yet).

Corruption and fraud have a long and storied history in New Orleans, from the top pols on down. We're going to be hearing a lot more in the coming days, for instance, about the levee boards and their malfeasance.

Grab what you can, get away with whatever you can. It's the Big Easy way.

Update: Rich Lowry has a piece today that looks at the Orleans Levee Board and corruption.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

UT to partner with Community New Start in St. Johns in Austin

CNS and the St. John Community in Austin were selected as the focus of the University of Texas day of service next February. CNS will coordinate and host between 1300 and 2000 students for this event.

UT's proposal for W's Library...

From today's Daily Texan: "The three sites were presented Wednesday in the System's final proposal. One potential site would be part of UT-Dallas, and a second Dallas site would be downtown near Southwestern Medical Center. The Austin location would be on Town Lake."

I'd love to see it on Town Lake near the Lions Municipal Golf Course. The City of Austin would probably secede.

Nice read from Turley on Roberts...

A pretty fair read from Jonathan Turley on Roberts at Jewish World Review.

My favorite quote, "He is proof that politics remains primarily visual. Roberts is a handsome, perfectly groomed man who looks like he was raised hydroponically by Karl Rove in the White House basement."

Spike in drug and alcohol abuse among evacuee addicts expected

This is part of the Big Easy "culture" that I was concerned about earlier. That, and this: If the crime rate is substantially higher in New Orleans than in other metropolitan areas (I think I've read something like ten times), it stands to reason that a fair percentage of our new neighbors are criminals. Some were awaiting trials (that won't take place), or were out on bond awaiting sentencing (never to happen), or were on parole or probation (never to report in again). They are now out of reach of the Louisiana criminal justice system. Can we really expect that this element will suddenly stop committing crimes now that they are here?

And what percentage of these criminals are drug addicts or abusers? I'm guessing it's pretty high.

Unemployed drug-addicted criminals, welcome to Houston.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Did Biden actually say that?

I couldn't find it in the NYT transcript but I'm sure I heard a clip of Biden today say something like, "This is something I've actually written about...well, with the help of my staff...."

If I'm wrong, my apologies to the Senator...but if I heard correctly...this from a guy who failed a class in law school and had to bow out of a presidential campaign because of plagiarism.

If anyone has a link to the quote, I'd be grateful.

Ok, Michael found the link for me at the Washington Post. Thanks.

Here's the quote:

BIDEN: And I know people say they wrote things. I mean, I actually did write that my little old self, with my staff. And no one liked it, I might add, at first; women's groups or anybody else.

When will these bloated airlines ever learn?

LA Times reports that Delta and Northwest have both filed for bankruptcy.


Students scalping free Dalai Lama tickets per the Daily Texan. I'm glad they didn't do it before the Ohio State Game.

Altercation at Houston high school

Five students, three from Houston and two from Louisiana, were arrested yesterday after a fight involving 20 to 25 students at Jones High School. Looks like a Jones kid started it by throwing a can of Sprite at one of the evacuees. Also appears there had been trouble earlier when some students from New Orleans started threatening to take over the campus and the city. "I'm scared to go back to my own school, and I'm a grown man," said one Jones senior.

This isn't good: "They [the New Orleans students] started it, but we finished it. And it's not over yet."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Superdome is cursed

Scroll down to Sept 12

Evacuees finding jobs in Austin

The Austin American-Statesman reports some good news about evacuees finding jobs...more still needed. More than 100 have found jobs and another 400 are being considered. Good news from Dan Zehr.

Texans to pick up some costs of educating evacuees

Feds may not reimburse all the education costs for Louisiana evacuees: this from the Austin American Statesman. I’m no expert but isn’t much of the federal assistance based upon the number of students enrolled? Hopefully, the natural course of funding will pick up some of these additional costs. Otherwise, my fellow Texans will find a way even in light of our school finance system.

Do they play baseball in Delaware?

Read what Senator Biden had to say at

Recycling is silly

Houston spent $1.3 million last year on it's recycling program and took in only $885,000. Curbside recycling is offered to only one half of Houston neighborhoods and participation is down 13% from 2001 to 2005.

Perhaps the problem is the way we do it. There are two bins, one for paper and one for everything else (but no glass). I remember reading years ago that the only resource that made economic sense to recycle is aluminum.

Other cities may have problems with space for landfills; Houston doesn't. We should stop wasting money and put the trash where it belongs: in a big hole in the ground.

AstroWorld is closing

This is a bit of a shock. I had no idea there were problems. Apparently the owner, Six Flags, is millions of dollars in debt, attendance is down, land prices on the South Loop are up, and there is a dispute with the owner of the adjacent Reliant complex about parking.

I remember watching AstroWorld being built. Heck, I remember watching the South Loop being built.

Judge Roy Hofheinz is spinning in his grave. Or in his apartment high over right field in the Astrodome, where I have always suspected he was secretly entombed.

By the way, do recent events not now prove conclusively that the Astrodome was and is superior to the Superdome?

Hurtt sees no spurt In crime

Despite 105 arrests of Katrina evacuees in the last 11 days, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt foresees no significant increase in serious crime from our new neighbors.

I'm still wondering.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Nagin moves to Dallas

I guess when the going gets tough, the tough buy a house in Dallas, so reports (by subscription only or I'd post a link) the Dallas Morning News (quoting the Times Picayune).

Not really questioning His Honor, but seems he could have found something a little closer.


"GUsh is like GUlf, and KATif is like KATrina. If you take 'KAT' from KATif and KATrina, you are left with 'IF' and 'RAIN.' If you support Gush Katif evacuation, it will rain."

A call for a new Islam...from Rushdie

Found this link at REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM. Wonder if anyone will heed his call? Nice to read, even if nobody listens.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fox News Sunday

Brit and Juan are about to go to blows.

Katrina Relief in Austin

From Chris Plummer, Executive Director of Community New Start in Austin, Texas ( :

Dear Redeemer Family,

As we all are aware, Austin has become the new home to some 7,000 former Louisiana and surrounding area residents. In the wake of the confusion surrounding who was going where for assistance, we very quickly found ourselves as a city coping with the undertaking of absorbing folks into the various communities that are a part of Austin. As the churches, non-profits and city/state organizations continued to prepare and seek guidance for the next steps, Community New Start (CNS) and Redeemer Presbetyrian Church (RPC) have found ourselves with some 100 families who have moved into the St. John’s community.

On Wednesday, CNS was informed that the Hearthside Extended Stay hotel at the corner of St. John’s Avenue and IH-35, threw open their doors to families coming out of the Convention Center. Foundation Communities, a CNS partner non-profit housing organization, owns the building and was in the process of renovating the building for low-income housing; they have welcomed CNS in to help them provide assistance to these families. Currently, there are 95 families housed in the 138 rooms of the hotel (with another 5 families expected before the end of the weekend), representing approximately 250 people from New Orleans. We are approximating numbers because the intake information is still being gathered. There are well over 100 children in this mix, ranging from birth to 17. CNS is actively assessing our role, and the role of those churches with whom we are partnered. Several of the children will be absorbed into Pickle Elementary, Webb Middle School, and Reagan High School.

However because of overcrowding in these schools, many of the kids are having to be transported to other schools. To date, AISD is still not completely sure where all of the children will attend. The CNS after-school program, Smart Start, will also be available to the children at Hearthside. We aren’t sure how this will work out or where it will happen, but we are continuing to learn more each hour and hope to have an additional Smart Start entity up and running very quickly.

... [list of particular needs]

The list gets as long as our imaginations, though these are the needs as we see them at the present time. We will coordinate with you as you assess your unique abilities to help so that we are responsive to you as well as the community here in St. John’s.

Karen Parchman, the CNS Renewal Team Director, had the opportunity to spend some time yesterday with “Jeremy,” a 17 year-old who was sitting outside eating fried chicken. "I sat on the pavement next to him as he told me about his desire to get a work permit and find a job. He’s ready to put down roots in Austin, and says he really likes it here. I asked him about school. 'Yes ma’am, I want to go to Reagan,' he said. Allen Weeks, the CNS Community Coordinator, is the cross-country coach, and he asked if Jeremy would want to run. 'No, sir, I want to play in the band. That’s what I did back home. I want to play in the band. My grandma would want that. She’s deceased. I want to honor her by staying in the band.' His eyes filled with tears; the opportunity to grieve hasn’t happened for most of these new Austinites. The time is coming when they will need a compassionate shoulder, and a few words of Christ’s grace, mercy and kindness. Thanks to you for all your willingness to share the love of Christ in this particular manner to give these folks a new start."

Please contact me, and/or Bill Peacock, if you have any questions or need further clarity.

In Christ,

Chris Plummer
RPC Deacon & CNS Executive Director

For more information, please visit:


Ohio State University

Great Game! Your team gave UT a real shootout. Ohioans should be proud. For a win for my beloved Horns, that was three and half hours of great difficulty.

"Too many rules, too much police presence"

James Campbell reports in today's Houston Chronicle about an apparent growing backlash among some Katrina evacuees. One woman, currently living at the Astrodome, "feels there are too many rules, too much police presence." Another man, annoyed that his dreadlocks, gold teeth and tattoos might be cause some Houstonians to fear him, said "That's our culture down in New Orleans."

I'm concerned about importing some aspects of the "Big Easy" culture (and no I don't care what the guy looks like). I'm concerned about the woman who complains that there are too many cops.

The major shelters in Houston are closing and the evacuees are being placed in long-term housing. New job demands are estimated at 100,000, far too many for Houston to handle.

I wonder if we're facing some real trouble as our new neighbors begin to assimilate.

25 -22

(Homer voice) In your face, Hewitt!

Update: Just checked Hewitt's site and he is congratulating the Horns. Now I feel bad.

In your face, Hewitt!