I hadn’t done one of these in ages. In fact, I haven’t done much blogging as I’ve sorta been out of sorts when it comes to local, state, and national politics. No, not because my side lost, but because if one loses his/her head in the aftermath of November, one will lose focus on more important things. Besides, there will be plenty of fighting against the GOP to do during the Texas Lege, considering the GOP is going so far to the right, they’ll end up falling off the edge of their idea of a flat Earth. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I need to end the year strong, so, here goes.
Valero’s Xmas Present
Houston City Council voted to give away some corporate welfare to Valero as they expand in the East End. This occurred despite opposition from East End Councilman Robert Gallegos. This also occurred despite East End concerns about air pollution caused by the refinery. This also occurred despite East End folks not hearing anything from Valero about their plans.
Valero, their lawyer, and eleven members of Council didn’t seem to care about all that, either. The revenue cap allows it to happen, they say. De-annexation has nothing to do with emissions, they say. But rewarding a company despite this is quite concerning. The lack of transparency and community input, though, runs this whole deal off the charts. It would seem to me Valero was fine with this, and as well as those who voted for it.
Thanks to my own CM Mike Laster for voting against the welfare giveaway. Something besides the refineries and chemical companies really stinks.
IRS Refund Delays Are Coming; Thanks For Not Voting
Hidden in the online Chron was this story about the coming delays in IRS refunds in 2015 due to budget cuts from the Republican Congress. $350+ million less money means less staff and resources to answer phone calls and check on folks’ 1040s. Basically, Republicans are trying to hurt the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, but really, it will help tax cheats who will enjoy less enforcement. Anyway, when you don’t vote, Republicans in Congress will tell you that you really don’t matter.
Music Break: Siggno ~ Y A El Si (from Zodiacal/Freddie Records)