Looking for a simple chicken dish that will rock as the centerpiece to an informal family gathering during the week or a polished gathering of friends on the weekend? Sandra Lewis recommends you try Chicken Breasts Alfredo, a chicken dish for all occasions.
American Airlines will have no choice but to initiate flights from Love Field to Missouri to remain competitive with Southwest Airlines, once President Bush signs the bill authorizing such flights. Southwest will start flights to St. Louis and Kansas City as soon as possible, both to demonstrate to senators how their states can benefit by repealing the Wright Amendment and to keep Sen. Kit Bond happy after he pressed for the Missouri exemption.
American executives met with Love Field officials Friday in what was called a "contingency planning" meeting. While Southwest has said it makes no sense for American to move its flights to St. Louis and Kansas City from DFW to Love because it would split their operation, rest assured that's what will happen. American will put its Love Field gates -- it has three -- in service as soon as Southwest inaugurates Missouri flights because 85 percent of its Dallas-to-St. Louis passengers live closer to Love Field than DFW. AA's customer base could erode if it doesn't fly from Love. And while it's there, AA might fire a shot across SWA's bow by offering service to Houston or Austin or both. American hasn't flown from Love Field since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The bigger question at the moment is: What's to happen to Delta?
There's a serious possibility that Delta is going to have to liquidate. Delta's pilots have announced that they will strike if the courts set aside their contracts. If they do, it'll be the equivalent of a murder-suicide -- Delta will be shot down and the pilots will lose their jobs. If Delta folds, a huge hole will be created in air traffic to the Southeast. The two airlines in a position to fill that gap are American and Southwest, raising the question that either American or Southwest would consider relocating to Atlanta. It's at least a passing fear of DFW and City Hall observers.
Two Dallas area Republican legislators drew opponents this week; one in the GOP primary, the other in the General Election. Seven term incumbent Tony Goolsby defeated his Democratic opponent Harriett Miller by only a six percentage points two years ago, so Miller has decided to give the race another shot. Given the relative closeness of the election at a time when President Bush was leading the ticket by nearly 20-points, the race would appear to offer a serious contest.
GO Rep. Mary Denny of Flower Mound will face a primary challenge from former Lewisville ISD President Anne Lakusta. Lakusta’s challenge is one of several GOP incumbents are facing within their own primaries from school board officials or former officials angry over the GOP’s handling of education funding reform.
UTD Grandmaster Magesh Chandran PanchanathanAt UT Austin football is king. At UT Dallas chess is king. And in two weeks UT Dallas will host the UTD Grandmaster Invitational tournament. Such events are rare and this event will offer some very strong competition. UT Dallas has hosted such a tournament in three of the past four years but this year will be different. In order for the event to be more inclusive of the broader community the event will be held at the Richardson Civic Center starting December 6 th and continuing through December 14th.
There will be four Gransmaster participating: Igor Novikov, 43, of Ukraine, Alexander Goldin, 40, a native Russian living in the US, Varuzhan Akobian, 22, formerly of Armenia but now living in the US, and Magesh Chandran Panchanathan, 22, of India but currently attending UTD. He is the only Grand Master to earn that designation while a student at UTD. All of the other players are students at UTD.
Round One will begin Tuesday December 6th at the Richardson Civic Center at 5:30 following a brief opening ceremony. A new round will be held Wednesday thru Friday from 3 to 8:15 pm. Two rounds will be held on Saturday with the first starting at 1 pm and the second at 6:15 pm. Sunday the 11th will feature Round 7 at 1 pm and Round 8 at 6:45 pm (through Midnight). Rounds 9 - 11 will be held each day starting at 3 pm Monday the 12th through Wednesday the 14th.
Gov. Rick PerryGov. Rick Perry sent a letter today to Acting FEMA Director David Paulison requesting the agency to delay its Dec. 1 deadline to move Hurricane Katrina evacuees out of hotels and into apartments.
"I recognize and fully support FEMA’s efforts to make personal responsibility a part of the hurricane recovery process, and I also recognize the need to control the financial costs of disaster response," Perry said. "However, with 18,000 Katrina families (an estimated 54,000 individuals) still housed in hotels and motels across the state, the December 1 date is an unrealistic target. Therefore, I strongly urge you to direct FEMA to set a more realistic timeline of March 1, 2006, for cessation of hotel reimbursements, and June 1, 2006, for cessation of all housing reimbursements."
In a similar measure, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison sent a letter to Paulison.
"Several cities are dealing with such large numbers of evacuees that it may not be feasible for them to comply with the current deadline," Hutchison wrote. "Also, as the holiday season approaches, we do not want to see those who have already lost so much be left homeless or returned to shelters. We ask that you grant an extension to the December 1st deadline for communities with particularly large concentrations of evacuees to allow for their transition into safe and stable long-term housing."
Nonetheless, another unresolved Texas-FEMA issue looms perhaps even larger: namely, how much the state will receive in reimbursements from the federal government. FEMA’s plan is to move all 51,000 people who are still living in hotel rooms into apartments, or in some cases, into homes. To do that, they’ve set a date – Dec. 1 – for the transition. Residents were notified of the decision through a letter slipped underneath their doors two weeks ago.
During a statewide conference call with reporters, FEMA defended the hurried nature of the change. “We need to help them develop long-term recovery plans,” said Sandy Coachman, the federal coordinating officer heading up the recovery effort in Texas . “We all knew the time would come when everybody needs to move out of shelters and hotels and into more permanent housing.”
The change will not end benefits for the evacuees. FEMA will still pay the costs of housing the evacuees in apartments. Those payments will end March 1.
The difference to the taxpayers is substantial. Apartment and hotel rates vary, but the latter are almost always higher. Currently, FEMA is paying for 20,414 rooms at an average cost of $70 a night, or $2,100 a month. The average apartment cost would be $777. At those costs, moving the evacuees into apartments would save taxpayers $27 million a month.
Don Jacks , FEMA’s Texas external affairs director, said FEMA wants to “put ourselves out of the hotel/motel business.” Jacks said FEMA would move aggressively to meet the deadline. Although the goal was to move all evacuees out by that time, he reiterated that those who don’t leave won’t be evicted. FEMA and local entities will provide assistance and meet with the evacuees to encourage them to comply. These “strike teams” will go from motel to motel to meet with residents and assess their needs. “We’re not kicking people out of hotels and motels,” Jacks said. “This is a transition.”
Evacuees who participate will move into apartments, with FEMA paying their rent and utilities until March. Since that period is shorter than most apartments’ minimum leases, evacuees can sign longer leases, and the state will pay the cost to break the lease when the term runs up.
FEMA will also provide some furniture to residents who are being lodged in apartments.
Perry said he didn’t like the agreement, because it doesn’t do anything to address needs beyond March. “We recognize and agree with FEMA’s decision to make personal responsibility a part of the hurricane recovery process,” he said. “However, my great concern is that there is still no long-term housing plan for the hundreds of thousands of Katrina victims who lost everything – including their homes – as a result of the storm, and come March 1, many of them may find themselves with no long-term housing options.”
Houston Mayor Bill White estimates that the number of hurricane evacuees housed in Houston hotels has dropped from 60,000 in September to 19,000 this week. White has issued a statement requesting an extension from FEMA on the deadlines. “We are dedicated to working closely with FEMA to let evacuees make choices about their lives, find jobs, and be treated with dignity and respect,” White said. “We have moved more evacuees out of hotels than any other city has ever had in hotels. So we encourage those new to it to ask us, not tell us, how to do it.
“We appreciate the payment this week by FEMA, and the attention of Senior Department and FEMA officials to Houston’s unique situation. We may be asking for extensions of these deadlines based on market conditions and commitments previously made by FEMA, and we feel confident that FEMA will review those requests on the merits.”
The Senate Finance Committee met in Beaumont Nov. 17 to discuss the hurricanes and their impact on the state budget. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst toured the Lamar University campus Nov. 16 to survey hurricane- inflicted damage .
The Beaumont Enterprise quotes Dewhurst as estimating state costs from the Hurricane at $1.4 billion. The Associated Press quotes state homeland security director Steve McCraw as estimating the cost to state and local governments combined at $2.7 billion. Much of these costs are likely to be reimbursed by the federal government.
Eminent domain remains an unfinished issue, speakers at a forum said Nov. 2. Despite passing a bill in the second special session to address the fallout of the Supreme Court’s Kelo vs. New London decision, the Legislature will likely take up the issue again the next time it meets. The forum, sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, weighed the consequences of the Kelo case, in which the court ruled that governments had a right to use eminent domain laws to condemn private land not only for a public use, but for economic development. The case provoked nationwide outrage, as well as an effort in Texas for a quick fix. Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio) was among those who led the charge, filing a bill and constitutional amendment in the first called session last June. As debate began, however, questions arose about whether the proposed legislation could limit supposedly legitimate uses of eminent domain. In the end, the Legislature responded to Kelo by passing Sen. Kyle Janek’s (R-Houston) SB 7. Corte said the legislation was a first step. Interim studies have also been proposed. Corte agrees with the extra focus, but said he hopes the issue doesn’t get pushed aside. “We can study it all day until the cows come home, but the truth is, it’s wrong to take personal property for economic development,” he said. Corte said that the ultimate goal of eminent domain reform should be enshrining property rights in the Constitution through an HJR. “A lot of people would say, ‘Well, why do you need it in the Constitution?’” Corte said. “I feel that since the Constitution pretty much gave the state the power to take property for eminent domain purposes, then we need to amend the Constitution to [say] that this would not be an appropriate taking.” A sense of urgency Clark Neily, with the Institute for Justice, which unsuccessfully fought the Kelo ruling, said Americans can’t simply sit back and leisurely study eminent domain in perpetuity. Kelo, he said, “opened a floodgate.” Most disturbing, he said, was that some governmental entities are arguing that eminent domain for economic development should promote the “highest public use” of the land. Judged by tax revenue, he said, it’s not likely that the average homeowner would ever be found using land at the “highest use” level. As Ted Cruz, the state’s solicitor general, said, such use of eminent domain amounted to reverse Robin Hood. “This will always be used to take property from the poor and give it to the rich,” he said. “It will never be used the other way around.” Cruz said even more surprising than the court ruling was the response of some colleagues nationwide, who thought that any increase in government power was good. Cruz said just because government “can wear a jackboot” doesn’t mean it should. “There are few rights more important to human liberty, more important to the fundamental freedom of people than the right of property,” he said. Noting the reaction to the ruling nationwide, Cruz said this could be a case where the court decision ultimately aids property rights. “We in Texas – home of the Alamo – know something about losing a battle and winning the war,” he said. Donald Lee, representing the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, said it was not necessarily true that cities and counties wanted the expanded authority for eminent domain. While cautioning against legislation that would inadvertently shut off eminent domain for legitimate uses, Lee endorsed action that would address Kelo. “[Eminent domain] is a necessary evil,” he said. “And it is evil. After all, politicians like to make friends, and eminent domain does not make friends.” Much of the state’s transportation infrastructure, he noted, however, was created through eminent domain. Many services provided by common carriers, such as piplelines and electric lines, were also aided by eminent domain. Lee also cautioned that a cottage industry of developers and others abuse the compensation provisions of eminent domain law to squeeze more money out of the taxpayers. He said that any solution to eminent domain based only on increasing the reimbursement would play into the hands of those people, in the end only increasing costs to taxpayers. “We don’t have a problem with a constitutional change being made,” he said. “We just haven’t seen language yet” that protects legitimate uses. Freeport case The most famous battlefront in the war over eminent domain is Freeport, where the city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is trying through eminent domain to secure land for a private developer’s marina project. Target of the condemnation proceedings is the headquarters of Western Seafood, Inc., a shrimping business. Owner Wright Gore, III, whose family has run the business for 50 years, said he refused the EDC’s request to sell a portion of his property on grounds the sale would block his company’s access to the waterfront and effectively run him out of business. The EDC’s decision to pursue eminent domain condemnation began a legal battle Gore and his company are still fighting. A cause celebre for supporters of tougher new legislation, the Western Seafood case has divided Freeporters, who this week defeated by only 21 votes a proposal to abolish the EDC. The ad hoc group that sponsored the measure – Citizens for Freeport – decided against calling for a recount despite the narrow margin of defeat. Other laws Texas is one of three states – the others are Delaware and Alabama – that have passed eminent domain legislation since the Kelo decision. Arizona already had a law covering the issue. But Neily said all these laws include loopholes that allow cities to liberally interpret the eminent domain powers to alleviate blighted areas.
A sticking point with these statutes, including Texas’, is the definition of public use. Even those supporting eminent domain reforms last session found it difficult to agree. Neily suggested Texas start with what a public use is not – specifically taking land from one private interest to give to another private interest.
Two months ago, I wrote an opinion piece for the Dallas Morning News
asking why conservatives were defending Lewis Libby and Karl Rove in
their “outing” of CIA operative Valerie Plame. I received a flurry of
email responses with some readers agreeing while others accused me of
being a RINO (Republican in name only), anti-Bush, and disloyal to the
Republican Party. My Republican friend Sandy McDonough gave me a hard
time as well for my views; but Sandy (always the gentleman) made his
case for the war in Iraq and the reasons why he believed that
Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, had an ax to
grind against the President.
In light of Lewis Libby’s
indictment for lying to the federal investigators and obstructing
justice in the CIA leak investigation, Sandy and I agreed to continue
our debate here at DallasBlog. A lot of people don’t realize that
conservatives are divided over the War in Iraq and have been since
before the war. For example, a recent poll in the Wall St. Journal
reported that “43% of Republicans say that there should be a public
investigation and hearings into exposure of operative Valerie Plame’s
identity ….. Among conservatives, 60% say other administration
officials aside from Libby may have acted illegally.”
the polls suggest, Sandy and I are two conservatives who strongly
disagree about these issues. We thought it might be interesting to our
readers to lay out our cases and get the debate going here at
DallasBlog. Our fellow bloggers of the left, middle, and right should
feel free to jump in with their own take on the ongoing investigation
being conducted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Sandy begins and Tom follows ….. The Dead Horse Caper by Sandy McDonough:
devoid of meaningful ideas and desperate for power, keep flailing away
at the old dead horse “Bush Lied”. Many of these same guys who had the
same intelligence as the president , such as Senators Schumer, Kerry,
Rockefeller, Reid, Clinton, and ex-president Clinton, just to name a
few were all for going to war and ousting Saddam Hussein (“an evil
dictator who has long sought WMDs” – Harry Reid) from Iraq just a few
years ago after the 9/11 attack. Notwithstanding their previous
proclamations, these then pro-war democrats have undergone a convenient
political conversion and today are anti-war resurrecting the old dead
The 180 degree flip-flop is attributed to the now famous
16 words in President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address: “The
British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought
significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Importantly, it was
British intelligence not Bush who made the claim and that Hussein was
“seeking” uranium. The bi-partisan report of the US Senate Committee on
Intelligence as well as a collateral British investigation on pre-war
intelligence both validate and confirm that the Bush statement was
“well-founded” then and is now “credible”. The senate report states
that British and French intelligence reported to the CIA about Iraqi
procurement efforts to acquire yellow cake uranium in Niger citing at
least 3 separate intelligence reports from foreign intelligence
services. Robin Butler head of the British investigation says in the
report “..it is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited
Niger in 1999 …this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium.”
The Butler report concludes that President Bush’s 16 word statement was
Now here comes Joe Wilson the latest poster boy
for the left who was the bizarre choice of his CIA wife Valerie (not
the Vice –President) to go to Niger and verify the above matters. His
subsequent “report” and editorial in the NYT was disputed by the US
Senate Committee on Intelligence as well as the CIA. As it turns out
Wilson blew his wife’s so-called covert cover on several occasions and
the 2 year Fitzgerald investigation into the “outing” of her name was a
not even applicable to the law. Valerie Plame Wilson worked a desk job
at the CIA in Langley for the past 7 years, was not a covert agent and
therefore there was no crime here regarding a name leak - a fact that
Special Counsel Fitzgerald should have realized at the beginning of his
Response to McDonough by Tom Pauken:
is correct in pointing out that most of the Senate Democrats, who are
attacking George W. Bush now over the war, originally supported the
President’s decision to go to war in Iraq. What he failed to mention,
however, is that there were many Americans opposed to that war from the
very beginning – and, not just liberals. A number of conservatives
(myself included), retired military leaders, along with current and
ex-CIA questioned both the rationale for sending American forces to
Iraq and the dubious intelligence used as a justification for going to
war. We did not believe that it was in our vital national interest to
send American troops to topple the Iraqi dictatorship. Moreover, we
were concerned that such a campaign could do more harm than good in the
long run when it came to dealing with the serious, strategic threat of
militant Islam. I should add that this latter group of conservatives,
retired military, and ex-agency types generally supported the
President’s decision to intervene militarily in Afghanistan in order to
capture Osama bin Laden and eliminate his training camps for militants
in that country.
Among those who warned of “the law of
unintended consequences” if we went to war in Iraq were men like James
Webb, Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration; Gen. Brent
Scowcroft, National Security Council (NSC) Advisor to George Herbert
Walker Bush; General William Odom, Director of the National Security
Agency in the Reagan Administration; General Anthony Zinni, U.S. Peace
Envoy in the Middle East; Michael Scheuer, a CIA officer and head of
the agency’s Bin Laden unit; conservative columnist Robert Novak;
Chronicles Editor Thomas Fleming, and many Goldwater-Reagan
What we have done in Iraq is topple a
bloody, secular dictator only to replace him with a Shiite
fundamentalist regime closely tied to the Mullahs in Iran. Are we
better off or worse off in combating the threat of our military
intervention in Iraq. I would suggest we are worse off today than we
would have been had we kept our focus on capturing Osama Bin Laden and
reducing the influence of his militant allies and sympathizers.
can like or dislike Ambassador Joseph Wilson; but the real question is
whether he was right or wrong in debunking administration claims that
Saddam Hussein was attempting to acquire a form of uranium from Niger
to make WMDs. He said that wasn’t the case; and the Niger documents in
question, (which were the basis of the original investigation into this
matter) turned out to be forgeries. Smart, experienced officials like
Stephen Hadley at the NSC, Lewis Libby in the VP’s office, and Paul
Wolfowitz at the Defense Department should have been saavy enough to
question this “dubious intelligence” of the “Niger documents” before
allowing those 16 words to be inserted in the President’s 2003 state of
the union address, i.e., unless some people inside and outside the
administration were so determined to go to war in Iraq that they were
willing to do or say whatever was necessary to make that happen.
How would you like to have lunch at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and talk sports with Norm Hitzges? Well, here is how you get an invitation to "have lunch with Norm" .
All you have to do is post a comment or comments for Norm on his DallasBlog.com column, and you have a chance of being selected as the best blogger on the Norm Hitzges site for November and December. The Editors of Dallas Blog will choose from among all the posts on Norm’s site between now and the end of the year. The best blogger will be awarded lunch with Norm in January at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.
Of course, we need your email address for you to win. So, be sure to fill that in when you post on Norm Hitzges’ Sports Blog here at Dallas Blog.
We appreciate your support of our advertisers. Dickey’s has a great special running for Thanksgiving. Please be sure to take them up on their offer.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced Thursday that he will seek re-election as lieutenant governor. "It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as Lt. Governor, and I look forward to continuing to work to make this great state even better," Dewhurst said. "My goals have always been to provide more opportunity for our children, prosperity for hardworking families and a better quality of life for all Texans. I am proud of the accomplishments we have made and look forward to addressing the challenges ahead." Prior to his service as lieutenant governor, Dewhurst served as commissioner of the General Land Office.