Our friends at the Dallas Business Journal report that Parkland Hospital is getting ticked off that FEMA hasn't paid the bill on the $1.4 million in free treatment the facility gave to Hurrican Katrina evacuees. The feds have paid about $200,000.
I suggest a bill collections agency. Maybe not the one the City of Dallas uses for parking tickets, though.
The Austin political newsletter Quorum Report is reporting that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has said that the Perry/Sharp tax plan as written will provide too little revenue to cut property taxes to the desired $1 rate. He believes that it will more likely take the property tax rate down by 35-cents.
Texans for Taxpayer Relief has announced that it is running radio ads promoting the governor's tax plan. It is running on radio stations throughout the state, including KSEV, the Houston talk radio station that is home to plan opponent and Sen.-elect Dan Patrick. The group also released the list of its contributors, which include the Texas Apartment Association, the Texas Beer Alliance, the Texas Association of Builders, Texas Credit Union League, Maxxam, the Texas Motor Transportation Association, and the Texas Restaurant Association. The script for both ads are posted below in pdf form. One of them argues that the Perry-Sharp plan is based on conservative principles and another bashes the "spend the surplus plan" stating that it "will create a large budget deficit and higher taxes in the future."
Charles Barkley is laughing at how Mavs fans applauded Erick Dampier for his 12/12 effort in Game 1. We thought we'd check back into Sponge Chuck Fat Pants' career for some laughs of our own. ... In the 'School of Fish':
Increasing concern is being expressed in Mexico that the leading candidate for President in Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, may turn out to be another Hugo Chavez, the radical leader of Venezuela who has assumed dictatorial powers since gaining power in that oil-rich nation. Mr. Lopez Obrador is the former Mayor of Mexico City and is the candidate of the Leftist party in Mexico. At the moment, he is the frontrunner in the race to succeed Vicente Fox as President of Mexico. The election is scheduled for July 2nd. That have been reports that Chavez has been providing financial backing to Mr. Lopez Obrador's campaign.
In Tuesday's Financial Times, a top aide to the center-right candidate for President, Felipe Calderon, accused Lopez Obrador of being another "Chavez", a reference to the radical leader of Venezuela. Ernesto Cordero was quoted in the article as saying that "Andres Manuel has no respect for democratic institutions. He has no respect fo the Supreme Court, he has no respect for Congress,...and everything else that he does not agree with."
The race has tightened in recent weeks as Mexican voters have started moving away from their support of Lopez Abrador in light of his ties with Hugo Chavez; but the former leftwing Mayor of Mexico City still maintains a slight lead in the latest polls. His election could have a major impact on U.S.-Mexico relations which already are strained over the immigration issue.
The Emeritt Distinguished Professor of English at UCLA has some rather novel notions about Satan whom he believes "is the most maligned figure in history," according to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald. Dr. Henry Ansgar Kelly believes that the devil is the victim of "unjustified character assassination."
Dr. Kelly has even written a book called Satan: A Biography which attempts to rebut the traditional Christian view of Satan as the fallen angel Lucifer who rebelled against God, caused Adam and Eve to sin, rules over Hell, and seeks to damn people to Hell with him. Those traditional Christian views are all wrong, according to Professor Kelly, "For 1700 years (the claim has been that) Satan has been the enemy of God, whereas in the Bible he works for God, he's his prime minister or attorney-general, in charge of policiing the world. He is one of God's angels, and his job is to test people."
Lately, we have heard a lot in the news about attempts to make Judas into a more sympathetic figure. Now, we have a college professor at one of the leading universities in California engaged in a campaign to "rehabilitate" Satan's reputation.
According to the New York based Conference Board consumer confidence is at its highest point in four years. The survey was taken in early April when the upswing in gas prices was already well under so consumers can fairly be said to be shrugging off energy for the present.
The House passed HB 3, which contains the revised franchise tax component of the Perry-Sharp tax plan 80-69 Monday (April 24). The House took up more than 60 amendments, but when all was said and done, the final bill remained true to the original proposal. Most amendments to carve out special exemptions from taxation were soundly defeated. In the end, 10 Democrats voted for HB 3, and their voted turned out to be necessary to pass the bill. Reps. Vilma Luna (D-Corpus Christi) and Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) spoke in favor of the bill. The two brother's Keffer -- Jim and Bill -- debated HB 3, with Bill urging a no vote and Jim calling for a yes vote.
The Catholic Diocese still hasn't returned calls to DallasBlog seeking comment on our story from sources alleging that Father Ramon Alvarez's abrupt departure last week from the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe was because of inappropriate sexual conduct with an adult male, or that his departure was delayed until after the April immigration rights protest the church supported and Easter weekend services.