Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Noise Machine (05/13/10)

Please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in the upright position....

Non-certified teachers in charter schools? That mess is a system right? (The instructor should be criminally charged FWIW.)

The new UH budget is out. And it's a tough one as far as their dreams for Tier One status goes. (And this is before the Lege gets done with their expected higher education cuts.)

One thing about the Perry campaign, just when you think you've seen it all, there's something else.

As for the Democrats, elect us and we'll raise your taxes hasn't worked to well in the past but, to their credit (or fault), they keep trying. My thought is their fundamental problem is a sustained effort to keep politically rigging flawed tax systems across the country and refusing to have discussions about real reform and change*. (As opposed to false reform that does nothing but continue to increase the percentage of Americans who don't have any stake in the system in an effort to get more votes.)

No surprise here: Rick Perry is not a gambling man. Socially conservative Republicans and Democrats (despite their unwillingness to be categorized as such) don't do well with the concept of "personal freedom". (It's too icky. What if people are free to do something we don't like.) It's far better to call for the banning of speech with which we disagree under the false flag of hate. (Are the thought police any less daunting than "show me your papers"?)

The new battle for the Alamo will be fought in the courts. Good news: Gone are deaths and senseless slaughter. Bad news: Gone are acts of personal courage and lines in the sand. (Which says a lot about modern society methinks.)

Texas Watchdog, following up on their Woodlands Road District story, note that the losers are taking this to court. My hope would be that the Texas Supreme Court would eventually get this and take down the entire "taxation without representation" system that districts such as these represent. (Won't happen I know, but one can dream right?)

David Jennings of BigJolly Politics takes KHOU's "no bill" story by Mark Greenblatt to the woodshed. As everyone knows I'm a Greenblatt fan. I've found him to be a good reporter who's methodologies are typically proven to be sound and his reports to be right on. That being said there were legitimate questions surrounding his recent Metro story surrounding monetary forecasts (and specifically how he framed it) and David Jennings makes the case that there are some legitimate questions here as well. I'm anxious to see what Greenblatt's response is to this, especially since he's been more than willing to justify his reports in the past. (He's also been proven right more often than not. And while past performance is not a reliable indicator of future success, when reporting the news track record means something, but not everything.)

Does your blog have a virus? eTee2k suggests you get a checkup post haste. (I'm running a word search right now, early returns are this blog is safe. *phew*)

And finally....

Bob Dunn opens up on Eric Cantor and military spending. I'm a fan of National defense, but not of the increased International deployment of our military. Some places we need to be, some we do not. Read into that what you will. (It's unfair to blame Republicans alone however. Afghanistan is the Democrats war almost in it's entirety. If you're mad at W for Iraq then you should be mad at Obama for Afghanistan as well. Unless your outrage thermometer has a partisan dividing line that is.)

*I guess it makes sense however, Texas Democrats especially seem to have no clue how to close structural deficits except to sit back and "hope" things turn around naturally. There's very little difference between the strategy behind "changing demographics" and "the economy is going to turn around eventually". To be fair though neither of those are any better than the Republicans "hey, at least we don't suck as bad as they do" political game-plan


  1. ** David Jennings of BigJolly Politics takes KHOU's "no bill" story by Mark Greenblatt to the woodshed. **

    Eh, we'll see.

    I haven't had the time to follow this or any other news closely of late (BH is about to go on vacation for the rest of May, I think), but I do think it worth recalling Jennings' defense of Roy Morales' charging his campaign exorbitant interest last year -- something legit campaigns don't do, but something that apparently can be more palatable the more one is invested personally/emotionally in the success of any given pol.

    That said, I expect most GOP and Dem bloggers to defend their favorite personalities and blast on "the enemy" (something I don't expect from professional journalists, although quite a few do it subtly, and sometimes not subtly). Often, their editorializing even gets some things right by adding context and arguments that haven't necessarily been covered by a professional journalist. In that sense, no journalists' story is ever "done" these days, and for the most part that is a GOOD THING. But, sorting it all out can be tedious business.

    Maybe we can get Greenblatt and Jennings out to the next Saturday roundtable for a spirited discussion of that topic and METRO, although I suspect by the time we get around to the next one, this topic will be long forgotten.

  2. And one more thing....

    I *love* sweeps reporting!

    In this town, we have an establishment newspaper that do not do watchdog reporting, and largely exists to boost the city/status quo/establishment, although you can also throw in a few pet causes for good measure (death penalty, light rail).

    Unlike most towns, however, we have a fairly good, aggressive investigative TV news community. It's easy to crack on the Dolcefinos and Arnolds and Greenblatts and the other good ones who can sometimes be guilty of sensationalizing stories for ratings purposes during sweeps, but at least those stories are getting done. It's definitely a GOOD THING for blogs and others to decide if they've perhaps gone overboard, but I honestly wish there were MORE sweeps periods! Important stories have been broken by TV news in this town over the years during sweeps. It's not a dirty word to me.

  3. LOL, Kevin, Morales' interest charges to his campaign were hardly exorbitant - as I explained, it was a pass through of credit card company rates. Whether his campaign was legit or not is hard to determine but he did end up with a substantial number of votes.

    And I have no investment personally or emotionally in Pat Lykos - but what Greenblatt did with those stats wasn't reasonable. I knew that something was wrong with his story as I watched it live.

    I could take the same stats that Greenblatt used and say that the Lykos administration cares more about women than the previous administration because they had fewer No-Bills for Agg Sex Assault. In fact, the decrease in No-Bills for that crime from 2008 to 2009 was 250%! Wow, DA Lykos rocks! But you simply can't do that type of comparison with any merit.

    And we all like Sweeps reporting - that is why the ratings are so high. But that shouldn't be an excuse to allow sloppy reporting.


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