Ups, downs

An­other politi­cian lands at Rice.

Houston Chronicle - - FROM THE COVER -

We lost one of the best with the pass­ing of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush. Here’s to the Great­est Gen­er­a­tion.

Old politi­cians don’t fade away, they just end up at Rice Univer­sity. Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of for­mer mayor An­nise Parker and Lee Brown, out­go­ing County Judge Ed Em­mett will be teach­ing a class at his alma mater. We al­ways ad­mired Em­mett for his no-non­sense at­ti­tude, so here’s a word of warn­ing to any stu­dents hop­ing for an easy A from the new­bie prof: Hun­ker Down.

Em­mett may be on the outs of the Texas Repub­li­can Party, so who is left on the in­side? How about a self-de­scribed white na­tion­al­ist? Check out the Texas Observer’s ex­posé on Ray My­ers, a GOP ac­tivist who helped write the party’s plat­form and said on Face­book last Tues­day, “Damn Right, I’m a WHITE NA­TION­AL­IST and very Proud of it.”

You’ll need a caddy to han­dle all the golf puns af­ter Gov. Greg Ab­bott an­nounced that the PGA is mov­ing its head­quar­ters to Texas. “That’s par for the course for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,” he said on Twit­ter. A real hole-in-one for the guv, but a lit­tle birdie told us not ev­ery­one is ex­cited. The $1.5 mil­lion in fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives in­volved could drive a wedge within the Repub­li­can Party. Did Ab­bott tee him­self up for a fight? Any way you slice it, he still has brag­ging rights.

Are you ready for some foot­ball? No, not the Univer­sity of Hous­ton (play­ing in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 23), nor the Tex­ans (play­ing the Colts on Sun­day). We’re talk­ing XFL! The “ex­treme” league is back, and Hous­ton has been picked as an ex­hi­bi­tion city. Games, which start in 2020, will be played at UH’s TDECU Sta­dium. Now all they need is a name and a mas­cot. Thumbs’ vote goes to The Grack­les, with the mas­cot Screechy.

We did it! Af­ter much spec­u­la­tion and pre­dic­tion, the United States of­fi­cially be­came a net ex­porter of crude oil for the first time in 70 years. That’s great for the frack­ing fields, but given all the risks of cli­mate change, maybe we should make ex­port­ing green en­ergy tech­nol­ogy the next item on our na­tional to-do list.

Rock and roll can never die — so sang Neil Young — but those old rock venues can’t last for­ever. Af­ter 40-plus years of host­ing con­certs, Fitzger­ald’s is closing down. The rick­ety old home is go­ing out with a New Year’s Eve bash if you want to get in one last thrasher.

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