Posts Tagged ‘Houston Chronicle’

MD Anderson Announces Layoffs

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Well, this is a bad economic indicator for the Houston area:

Financially ailing MD Anderson Cancer Center will announce today it will cut its workforce by 5 percent through layoffs and retirements.

Dan Fontaine, Anderson’s chief financial officer, confirmed Thursday morning a little less than 1,000 of the staff of 2o,000 [sic] will be leaving the world-renowned cancer hospital. Some of those people are expected to volunteer to retire, he said.

Dr. Ronald DePinho, president of the cancer center, Fontaine and other officials set a press conference today to announce the workforce reduction.

Anderson officials said before Christmas they were considering staff cutbacks as the Houston cancer hospital tries to shore up its finances. During the September-through-November quarter, Anderson posted $110 million in operating losses.

Officials said in the advisory MD Anderson’s long-term financial health remains strong. Last month, officials said the operating budget is an important indicator of the cancer hospital’s ability to be self-sufficient, but it doesn’t take into account other revenue streams like state funding, charitable gifts and investement [sic] income. At that time, officials said Anderson has $2.8 billion in cash on reserve.


Other factors also are at play, Fontaine said, including patients’ higher insurance deductibles and a shrinking number of insurers willing to pay for MD Anderson’s expensive cancer treatments.

Belt-tightening measures already are paying off, he said, noting that the $9 million operating loss in November was far smaller than the $102 million in losses recorded in September and October. Those losses followed seven months of operating losses to end fiscal 2016.

MD Anderson is one of the premier cancer centers in the world, and my father received treatment there during his terminal illness. I wonder if the relentless cost-cutting required by ObamaCare was a contributing factor, as MD Anderson has been dropped by all ObamaCare plans.

Also, the folks at the Houston Chronicle should have their proofreaders do a better once-over for breaking stories. Those two typos I’ve noted [sic] for should have been caught…

Texas Senate Race Update for May 25, 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Last day of early voting before a long weekend, and only four days till the primary, so here’s another batch of Texas Senate race news:

  • Good profile of Ted Cruz by Robert T. Garrett of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Garrett also interviews Rice professor Mark Jones about David Dewhurst’s amnesty slime of Cruz, who calls it “a desperation ploy.”
  • George P. Bush also slams the Dewhurst amnesty slime. Enough to bring Grandpa41 and Uncle43 into the Cruz camp? Probably not, but you never know.
  • Man, the Houston Chronicle editorial board must really hate David Dewhurst: he skipped their meeting, but they went ahead and endorsed him anyway. Ouch!
  • The left-leaning PPP poll has Dewhurst at 46% and Cruz at 29%. Don’t see any reason to trust this more than the UT/TT poll, though both show Dewhurst shy of 50%.
  • Charting the polls in the race. But wait, didn’t they lop three points off Cruz’s total compared to the most recent UT/TT poll? At least they left out those fake Dewhurst leaked polls…
  • Ross Ramsey looks at what happens if Dewhurst doesn’t win. Also, what’s the deal with liberals like Ramsey and Paul Burka prattling on about how Texas is some sort of uninhabited wasteland during the summers? Yeah, it’s hot. Those of us who were born here just deal with it. I believe we might even be able to make it to our local polling stations for a runoff without melting.
  • Rick Perry vs. The World is not impressed with Tom Leppert’s empty suits ad.
  • AP piece on the state of the race.
  • Democrat Sean Hubbard gets some love from the Houston Chronicle. But it’s ruthlessly realistic love: “Hubbard’s chance of taking the oath of office in Washington next January is even less likely than the Astros sweeping this fall’s World Series.”
  • Since it’s possible people who haven’t been following the race until now are tuning into this blog, you might want to take a look at:

  • My endorsement of Ted Cruz.
  • Previous senate race posts.
  • Websites of the 2012 Texas Senate Candidates, which is a pretty comprehensive list.
  • Texas Senate Race Update for April 26. 2012

    Thursday, April 26th, 2012

    We’re a little more than a month out from the elections, and the rhetorical blows are already raining down among the candidates:

  • The Dewhurst campaign doubles down on the Communist Chinese attack:

    The Dewhurst campaign also says the longer piece will be available to watch on Hulu “in exchange for viewing an entire program on Hulu without commercials.” I must admit that the idea of using hulu in this way for a political campaign never occurred to me. We’ll see if it’s cost effective…

  • The Cruz campaign hit Dewhurst for working with liberals to kill conservative legislation in the Texas Senate, the wage tax/income tax, his moderate tendencies, and for raising money from PACs that have supported liberal causes like ObamaCare and Cap-and-Trade.
  • Cruz gets profiled by the liberal Texas Observer. Though it covers everything you would expect it to cover, it’s actually a lot less of a hit piece than I expected it to be. And I didn’t know that Cruz was a pallbearer at William Rehnquist’s funeral. However, I think there’s one factual error (albeit one I’m sure the Cruz campaign won’t go out of their way top correct): As far as I know, Cruz has not been endorsed by Sen. Marco Rubio.
  • Tom Leppert calls his opponents “empty suits”:

    Craig James has to feel pleased that Leppert feels he’s worth of being attacked.

  • The Dewhurst campaign took time out of their busy Cruz-attack schedule to swat Leppert over the ad: “‘Tom Leppert is probably just using the same kind of creative math that got him into trouble when he raised property taxes and ran up Dallas debt,’ said Dewhurst spokesman Enrique Marquez.” Ouch!
  • Leppert picked up a passel of religious conservative endorsements.
  • Leppert appeared on KFYO in Lubbock.
  • Leppert will be visiting San Angelo on Friday.
  • Some behind the scenes tidbits on the Houston Chronicle‘s editorial board interviews with Cruz and Leppert. While it’s not the huge negative an endorsement by the Austin American-Statesman is, I’m not sure the Chron‘s endorsement is a net plus for a Republican candidate these days. (20 years ago it was.)
  • Craig James raised just over $1 million, but three-quarters of that was his own money.
  • The ground war has already started, as I got my first Cruz direct mail flyer yesterday.
  • A look at the air war. Interesting how Peggy Fikac calls Jim DeMint an “arch-conservative.” I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that she’s never labeled anyone an “arch-liberal” in print.
  • Trial lawyer and withdrawn democratic candidate Jason Gibson raised $25,980 between December 19 and when he dropped out February 2. I say “raised,” but every single donation he received was from himself…
  • Lela Pittenger raised $10,976 in Q1.
  • No Q1 FEC report up yet for Sean Hubbard or Addie D. Allen.
  • An Example Of What’s Wrong With Journalism These Days

    Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

    This Houston Chronicle piece by Joe Holley is an example of why so many people are dissatisfied with the job the legacy media is doing of reporting events.

    In covering the American Jewish Committee/World Affairs Council of Houston senate candidate forum on foreign policy I mentioned previously, we have a news story that is demonstrably deficient in several areas:

  • You get told who wasn’t there (Craig James, Paul Sadler, and Lt. Governor Chupacabra), and even how many of each flavor were there (“six Republicans, three Democrats and one Libertarian”), but the article itself only lists five of those ten. That would be the very first “W” of the “Five Ws and an H,” assuming they still teach that at journalism school. (Maybe they’re replaced it with another class on “Reporting Social Justice.”)
  • However, because I’m so Old School, I actually went out and got a list of who attended the forum from the AJC: Republicans Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert, Glenn Addison, Lela Pittinger, Charles Holcomb, and Ben Gambini (yes, an actual Ben Gambini sighting!), Democrats Daniel Boone and Jason Gibson, Libertarian Jon Roland, and independent candidate Mike Champion. So it turns out that even the summary of candidate affiliations was wrong.
  • In an article on a foreign policy forum that runs just shy of 500 words, a grand total of 96 of them actually dealt with the candidate’s foreign policy views, and even those are essentially free of concrete information. Let’s repost those parts in their entirety:

    Cruz also said that “President Obama has been the most anti-Israel president this nation has ever seen.”


    Leppert emphasized his experience as an international businessman familiar with issues of currency and international trade.


    Cruz and Leppert were the only two candidates who were able to respond with practiced ease to a series of sophisticated questions dealing with world affairs, ranging from Israel’s response to the Iranian nuclear threat to whether the United States should help bail out faltering European economies. Most of the others on the stage seemed unfamiliar with even the most basic foreign-policy issues.

    That’s it. That’s the extent of coverage of the candidates’ foreign policy views in a forum dedicated to that very subject. We are no wiser as to what any candidate thinks of our troops levels in Afghanistan, what our relations with Pakistan should be, whether we should help topple the Assad regime in Syria, how to counter an increasingly bold China, or whether we should use military force to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Were those topics covered? We don’t know, as Holley and the Chronicle do not deign to tell us.

  • Instead of giving the candidates’ actual views, Holley merely gives us his dismissive analysis of eight of the ten candidates, telling us they are “unfamiliar with even the most basic foreign-policy issues” without bothering to provide a single example of this ignorance.
  • The rest of the piece consists of horse race analysis, noting Dewhurst’s absence, audience attendance figures, and an interview with a random forum attendee. All of which would have been fine in a longer piece.
  • Joe Holley and/or his editor have missed a chance to actually inform their readers. I have a hard time thinking of a blogger who couldn’t have done a better job.

    Election Results: Three Propositions Go Down In Defeat

    Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

    The results of yesterday’s election are up, and three of the ten propositions on the ballot went down in defeat. Since all statewide propositions usually pass, that’s an interesting (and welcome) result.

  • Proposition 4, which Texans for Fiscal Responsibility said “gives counties new authority for “Kelo”-style redevelopment takings” went down by the heftiest margin, 59.7% to 40.3%.
  • Proposition 7, which would have allowed El Paso County to use property taxes to build parks, went down 51.7% to 48.3%.
  • Proposition 8, a technical amendment which allow agricultural/ranching/ etc. land to be developed for water conservation without changing its tax status, lost 53% to 47%.
  • Propositions 2 and 6 each passed narrowly with less than 52% of the vote. Proposition 1, the only one I voted for and which provided homestead exemptions for the spouses of disabled veterans, passed by the largest margin, 82.9% to 17.1%.

    Taken together, the results seem to show that Texans are actually becoming more conservative, and more willing to oppose government spending and Kelo-style eminent domain abuses.

    About 675,000 voter participated in yesterdays election.

    As a side not, notice how information on the statewide election appears nowhere on the Houston Chronicle‘s main page, though it does provide a link to how Nancy Grace did on Dancing With the Stars. Just another sign of that once great (and conservative) newspaper’s decline into being just another irrelevant liberal MSM mouthpiece.