Monthly Archives: October 2013


(Community Matters)  Alan Greenspan’s new book and an interview.

Interesting Perspective on Biden

(Community Matters) I hadn’t thought of this – Biden gives the house away? Opening of article on Pres Obama & Harry Reid suggests Biden had undermined Senate negotiations, lowering the yield on D’s previous negotiations. Don’t know about this – though, Ds certainly earned better results this go around.

I like VP Biden a lot – have been around him many times. He speaks his mind, remembers folks, seems closer to the ground than most politicos – but does he negotiate well? question.

Turning the House

(Community Matters) Way too early to predict a return of Congress’ House of Representatives to Democrats but not at all too early to recruit & fund incumbent challengers – HuffPost on GOP vulnerability. See The Center of American Politics for the type of candidates it will take to win over districts in play. If Ds could take back the House and win a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, they could make serious progress on climate change, tax code revisions and health care reform enhancements.  D reps from swing districts would likely temper calls for swings too far left. I wish we’d prioritize a rewrite of business regulations, deleting and consolidating a lot of them, preserving what’s needed to ensure (boost) public safety and to recapture costs currently being externalized. I’m not sure even a D majority in both houses will be powerful enough to scale back the finance industry. Banking/finance is out of control – its influence is too overwhelming for meaningful oversight and restructure, the extraordinary profits being generated are an insidious tax on the middle class at every turn of a transaction – not to mention unfair practices such as high frequency trading. Even the reported settlement for $13 billion against JP Morgan while a substantial dollar amount, represents only half of last year’s profits and would be charged against a $28 billion reserve. Preserving states’ rights to pursue criminal charges is critical.

Kara & Garett’s Wedding

(Community Matters) We’ve come to love these two young people, sharing meals semi-regularly and watching (sometimes offering advice) as they pursue new paths. Kara Dockery & Garrett Weber-Gale were married last night at a beautiful setting in the country. They are remarkable; we can’t wait to see their next impact on the world.

We wish them the world and much fun on their secret, mini-honeymoon (the location of which I’ve been sworn to secrecy – they don’t even yet know). 

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Alamo Battleground Cries

(Community Matters) gail collins notes the craziness of elected Texas Republicans – Heck, we’re seeing the light gov candidates out crazy each other. I call it their Alamo battle cries. While they might go down proud (?) and fighting (though, really, I don’t ascribe them much courage), I don’t anticipate any survivors as the purple, then blue tides sweep Texas. Every metropolitan area in our state voted for Obama (including beaumont and except Midland). It’s just a matter of time – of course those who oppose this political shift are fighting as if it’s do or die. It’s unavoidable and will be irreversible. Posted from my blackberry -tiny little keys, please excuse typos

$11 Minimum Wage for Austin Eco Incentives

austin(Community Matters) I think a $11 min wage for recipients of Austin economic development incentives is a terrific idea. I might not please some friends for saying so but I am also tired (& know most Austinites are) of taxes going up as our population grows (ie, the need for social services on top of infrastructure). Of course we need to continue prioritizing economic development and playing hard ball to get the best employers to create more jobs in Central Texas. And, I can’t think of a company I would want to attract to Austin who would balk at paying at least $11 per hour.

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Quick Dallas Trip

(Community Matter) Popped up to Dallas for an engagement party and to see Charles & Rickie. After the lovely event at a show stopper home, Charles, Ken Lambrecht and I to a blow-me-away event, the Aurora Festival at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

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Ted Cruz Back Home

(Community Matters) While you are judging him, you gotta take perspective of his base supporters to understand his fuel. 

CRUZ-articleLarge-v2(read the message in the fence)


Playbook: Anatomy of a Shutdown

ted cruz(Community Matters) Playbook: Obama, weak politically, “gets up every day and reads the newspaper and thanks God that Ted Cruz is in the United States Senate,’ a Republican senator pointedly told Cruz at a closed-door meeting. …”

TICK-TOCK — “Anatomy of a shutdown,” by John Bresnahan, Manu Raju, Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown: “Speaker John Boehner just wanted to sneak out of the White House for a smoke. But President Obama pulled him aside for a grilling. Obama wanted to know why they were in the second day of a government shutdown that the speaker had repeatedly and publicly pledged to avoid. ‘John, what happened?’ Obama asked … ‘I got overrun, that’s what happened,’ Boehner said. It may be the most concise explanation of a chaotic, 16-day standoff that prompted the first government shutdown in nearly two decades … The House Republican conference ran roughshod over Boehner … He was overtaken by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who swept in near the end to forge a bipartisan agreement, part of an attempt to shield Republicans from further damage and salvage his party’s chances of winning back the Senate … Republicans never believed Obama would hold firm on his refusal to negotiate and Democrats would maintain an unusual level of cohesion – united by a visceral desire to put the tea party in its place and an almost mama grizzly instinct to protect Obamacare. ‘It was not a smart play,’ McConnell said Thursday of the GOP’s Obamacare strategy. ‘It had no chance of success.’

“Obama and Reid stuck together, emerging as the political victors .

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Romneyizing the GOP

romneyizing gop(Community Matters) WSJ, Daniel Henninger on how the GOP missing the messaging train. 

Awesome Day

eugene arianna 1013(Community Matters) Much of the day with Arianna, some time at the office, a great pilates work out with Ann, then the Andy Roddick Foundation, Chandler joined me and we had a blast watching/listening to Sir Elton John. Super table as guests of Jeff Lau and Richard Tagle and with Michael Barnes. A special treat seeing Lisa Harris and lots of SiLab friends including Bill & Cindi, Tyson, Isabel & Dave, Nav & Whitney, JonAmy & Josh Baer too.

elton john 1013 b

China & Hong Kong Restaurant Recommendations

china dining pic(Community Matters) a must read for travelers to China & Hong Kong – Frank Bruni China restaurant reviews (only 2010+ restaurants). My notes: Shanghai : 1) Xi Na, for the spicy cooking of the Hunan region, 2) Yong Yi Ting in Mandarin Oriental hotel in Pudong, Shanghainese cooking., 3) Lost Heaven (see Beijing), 4) Ultraviolet is luxury lunacy, costing about $400 a person, including all beverage pairings and tip. It books up many, many months in advance. But the pinch and the headache are redeemed by its singularity,

Beijing: 1) Lost Heaven, is more than great eating: it’s a learning experience. A teachable meal. It specializes in the Yunnan region’s cuisine, 2) Jing Yaa Tang, which fired up its specially made wood-burning oven and began serving a rendition of Peking Duck as superb as any I’ve tasted.

HongKong: 1) Yardbird, 2)  Ronin, (a yardbird sequel), 3)  RyuGin, a relatively new, astronomically expensive place that takes its name and cues from its sire in Tokyo, is on the 101st floor of a skyscraper, off to itself.  4) Brickhouse, a popular new Mexican cantina, 5) Duddell’s, is an epic and faithful tour of Cantonese cooking

Ultraviolet sounds even silly – and I’m gonna try it! 🙂