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November 17th, 2012:

Saturday video break: Blue Suede Shoes

Song #43 on the Popdose Top 100 Covers list is “Blue Suede Shoes”, originally by Carl Perkins and covered by Elvis Presley. Here’s the original:

And here’s Elvis:

I’m just going to quote the Popdose writer here, because I can’t add anything to this:

“Blue Suede Shoes”” is such an early rock song that it seems definitive. It was the first big hit for the first big rocker, Elvis Presley. It was also a cover, written by rockabilly star Carl Perkins. Perkins was always bitter that Presley got the stardom that he wanted, although he was no slouch; the rights were controlled by Sam Perkins, so neither singer made much money off of it. This was my number one pick because it’s fascinating that the earliest rock song was a cover, involved a feud, and had rights that belonged to someone other than the writer. Is there anything more rock and roll?


It’s all about 2014

This is very easy to understand.

So sad about the things the state needs

Signaling austerity despite improving state revenues and a push by some to undo cuts to key programs, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and leading GOP senators said they plan to write a budget for the next two years that is smaller than allowed under a spending cap adopted Thursday.

The announcement was met with caution from House GOP leaders, who said the budget-writing process has yet to take its course.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, voiced concern that even the adopted cap could constrain efforts to restore money to programs such as public education even as Texas faces a school funding lawsuit.

Under the Texas Constitution, state leaders are required to limit certain state spending to economic growth; the cap applies to state tax revenues that are not constitutionally dedicated to other purposes, about $70.4 billion of the state’s current two-year budget of $173.5 billion.

The 10.7 percent cap adopted by the Legislative Budget Board is based on personal income, which would allow $7.5 billion in spending above the current budget. The existing budget is $14 billion less than the previous two-year state budget due to a revenue shortfall.


Dewhurst and the GOP senators’ position raised eyebrows among leading House members who serve on the budget board.

“We’ve written very conservative budgets, and we’ll continue to do that, but right now, we don’t know what we’ll have to pay for and how much revenue we’ll be getting from the comptroller,” said House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, said his chamber will follow its usual budget process, noting dozens of incoming members have not yet had a chance to weigh in.

Pretty much everything David Dewhurst will do in the coming months has to do with the fact that he has at least three potential primary opponents, and he will not be outflanked on the right again as he was with Ted Cruz this year. He’ll do the full Mitt Romney on any inconveniently moderate or sane thing he ever did or believed before, and hope it’s enough to hold back the pitchfork mob. Doesn’t matter if it makes sense, it just has to make the robber barons at TPPF twirl their mustaches with glee. This may or may not be enough to stave off a second humiliating defeat at the polls, but it’s his only chance.

Sumners for Controller?

Yeah, I don’t know about that.

County tax assessor-collector Don Sumners, who lost his bid for re-election in the May GOP primary, said Wednesday he is considering running for city controller next year.

“The part that has to be decided is whether I can actually win. I’m not a spring chicken,” said Sumners, 73.

Controller Ronald Green did not draw an opponent for re-election in 2011. He is eligible to run for a third and final two-year term in 2013.

For whatever the reason, incumbent City Controllers have been unopposed for re-election in recent cycles. The last sitting Controller to have an opponent was Lloyd Kelley, who was ousted by Sylvia Garcia in 1997. Since then – Garcia in 1999 and 2001; Annise Parker in 2005 and 2007; Green in 2011 – Controllers have gotten free rides after their initial elections. Sumners ran for Controller once before, in 1993, drawing less than 10% of the vote as one of three unsuccessful challengers to George Greanias. Green had some bad press earlier this year, but he can’t hold a candle to Sumners on that score. Plus, not to put too fine a point on it, this is a heavily Democratic city. I’ll have more on this on Monday, but as was the case in 2008 the city of Houston voted over 60% for President Obama. Obviously, the electorate is very different in an odd-numbered year, but the point is that someone like Sumners has a much lower ceiling than Ronald Green has. So let’s just say I don’t think Green will lose any sleep over this.

Amazon comes to Schertz

Hello, Schertz!

After about six months of negotiations, this city, the Schertz Economic Development Corp. and Guadalupe County have approved about $7.6 million in direct tax incentives to land a $166 million distribution warehouse for

The 1.26 million-square-foot warehouse, called a fulfillment center, will become the largest facility in Schertz and Guadalupe County, Schertz EDC executive director David Gwin said. It’s expected that the project will create 350 new jobs that will generate about $11 million in annual payroll.

What jobs would pay was not disclosed, but Gwin said that the wage would exceed the minimum standards set by law.


According to the Amazon Fulfillment website, jobs at Amazon’s fulfillment centers pay about 30 percent more than traditional retail jobs.

As part of a deal with the state comptroller’s office to resolve the e-commerce giant’s past tax liabilities with the state, Amazon pledged to create 2,500 jobs and make $200 million in capital investment in the state. Amazon has been rapidly opening more fulfillment centers around the nation and Canada to increase its same-day delivery capabilities.

Schertz is just north of San Antonio, and used to pair with Selma as two of the biggest speed traps in the state. This is clearly a better way to generate revenue for the town. Hope it works out well for them.