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Archive for February 20th, 2017

Support Your Local Sheriff

It’s coming, folks. The roundups. The raids. Mass deportations. The Chron E-Board had a take yesterday and in the hard copy the headline reads “ICE raids and more.”   Here is the end:

So far, (Greg) Abbott has tried to make an example of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, who announced in January that her office would not honor ICE detainer requests if the person in detention has not been accused of a serious crime. Abbott retaliated by terminating more than $1 million in state criminal-justice grants to Travis County. He also threatened to look for ways to remove Hernandez from office.

So far, the spotlight has been on Travis County, but soon the focus will shift to Harris County, where Sheriff Ed Gonzalez campaigned on the issue of terminating his office’s involvement with 287(g). What’s happened in Washington and in Austin has made it more difficult for the newly elected sheriff to honor that campaign promise, as his rambling response a few days ago to questions from KUHF-FM listeners underscored. He, in essence, said he wanted to end it, he had to consider all the stakeholders – the answer went on and on but reached no clear conclusion.

We encourage and fully expect Gonzalez to honor his campaign commitment. To do so may be costly, but to surrender to anti-immigrant hysteria is even costlier. Arresting people due to their immigration status would discourage victims or witnesses of crimes from cooperating with investigations. As Houston’s new police chief, Art Acevedo, pointed out recently to the New York Times, “I would rather have my officers focused on going after violent criminals and people breaking into homes than going after nannies and cooks.”

What’s infuriating is that Trump’s war against the immigrant, aided and abetted by the likes of the Texas governor, is unnecessary. Comprehensive immigration reform, including well-run guest-worker programs and a pathway to legal status for long-term, law-abiding residents, would solve the problems that so anger those who decry undocumented immigrants. Obviously, sensible immigration reform is not going to happen as long as Donald Trump occupies the White House.

Meanwhile, Houston and Harris County residents need to support local law enforcement, particularly Sheriff Gonzalez, who’ll face tremendous pressure when and if he rejects 287(g). This city of immigrants is bigger and braver than that. We must not surrender to bullying and fear.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/ICE-raids-and-more-10941967.php.

We will support our local sheriff. We are in a fight for sure folks.

Who gets to play?

Let me repeat.

If some folks think H-Town pension reform is going to happen if only the Mayor, city council, and the employee groups make a deal and that is all – go for it.  If some folks think Bill King and Sen. Paul Bettencourt are going to just sit on the sidelines during this debate – also go for it.

The Chron E-Board goes for the first line where only the Mayor, city council, and the employee groups have a say. Here is the beginning of yesterday’s E-Board take:

Consider it the political equivalent of the infamous 1954 Cotton Bowl Classic, when Alabama’s Tommy Lewis leaped from the bench to tackle Rice University running back Dicky Moegle in one of the most preposterous events in college football history.

State Sen. Joan Huffman is trying to pull off the legislative version of that 12th man tackle.

For years, the message out of Austin on pension reform has been that the city of Houston and our three public unions bear the burden of striking a deal. Apparently the rules of the game have changed.

Now Huffman, alongside state. Sen. Paul Bettencourt and former mayoral candidate Bill King, is trying to weigh in from the sidelines to make some deals of her own.

Huffman, a Republican, has inserted a requirement that there be a public referendum on $1 billion in pension obligation bonds, or POBs. That cash infusion is intended to make up for a decade of City Hall underfunding the municipal and police pensions. The city already owes the pension programs that $1 billion. Using the POBs gives the pensions a lump sum up front.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Pension-teamwork-10941963.php.

Let me repeat:

I guess it is too much to ask if all the parties got into a room and tried to work something out on this very important piece of public policy.  We don’t need a stand-off so to speak.  As far as “if they kill it, they own it”, I really don’t think that is how it works. 

I got news for folks.  Like I said before and earlier, Bill King is not going to sit on the sidelines on this.   He knows too much. 

This is too big of an issue for folks who know something about this to stay out of the debate. Sorry, that’s not the way it works or is supposed to work.

We all know what Donald Trump tweeted on Friday:

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

Nope!

Commentary takes this as an assault on our freedom.

I have been dealing with the media for over 40 years now. They are not perfect but neither are elected officials.   Neither are our local, state, and federal governments. Neither are our local, state, and federal judiciary.

Our elected officials, government, judiciary, and media are not my enemies.

We need to push back hard every time this fella says something that is considered an assault on our freedom.

Just see what he said this past Saturday. Here is from Yahoo News:

“You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible,” he (Trump) said, provoking mockery on social media.

His speech was aimed at defending his order last month that blocked refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

The order has been suspended by a federal appeals court, and Trump vowed to introduce a new order this week as a means of protecting Americans at home.

He went on to name Brussels, Nice and Paris — European cities that have been struck by deadly terror attacks.

Sweden’s embassy in Washington has asked for an explanation, the foreign ministry in Stockholm said Sunday.

“We have now contacted the American (State Department) to understand and receive clarity,” ministry press officer Catarina Axelsson told AFP.

Users on Twitter, Trump’s favorite communication platform, cracked jokes about the apparent miscue using the hashtags #lastnightinSweden and #SwedenIncident.

Former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt asked: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”

Gunnar Hokmark, a Swedish member of the European Parliament, retweeted a post that said “#lastnightinSweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!”

Push back and push back hard! We can’t let this guy make up his own facts, err lies and get away with it.

You will never get this one in honor of President’s Day. Baseball fans should know that President William Howard Taft was the first president to ever throw out the first pitch at a MLB game. It was on April 14, 1910 and at the crib of the Washington Senators. Who were the Senators hosting that day?

So, this past week, Greg Abbott has taken some shots at the NFL on their stance on the bathroom bill.

Abbott tweeted this:

NFL decision makers also benched Tom Brady last season. It ended with NFL handing the Super Bowl trophy to Brady.

And this from a story on the internet:

He (Abbott) said that the NFL has its own share of problems, such as players committing acts of violence against women and not standing for the national anthem.

“The last thing the NFL needs to do is to get into the business of telling states how to operate their own political operations,” Abbott said.

He added that if the NFL tries to dictate policies to the state of Texas, then he might pass a bill mandating that players have to stand and place their hand over their hearts when the national anthem is played.

“The NFL has no business whatsoever trying to get into the politics of various states. The NFL has its own problems that it must fix.”

Now he is weaseling his way out of some of what he said and backing off:

“It was intentional hyperbole to make a point: demonstrating the NFL’s own shortcoming of how they are disconnecting with their fan base by allowing players to disrespect the U.S. flag.”

We know what is going to happen if the bill becomes law. Adios future Super Bowls and NBA All Star Games.   Even if the bill doesn’t get enacted, Abbott is not doing the state any good if it wants to host a future Super Bowl or All Star Game. What do you think competing cities are going to say about Abbott when future bids are requested? Heck, we may be off the list right now for all we know because of Abbott’s trash talking behavior.   Maybe GOP mega-donor Bob McNair ought to call Abbott and tell him to shut his piehole. Same for Jerry Jones, Peter Holt, Mark Cuban and Les Alexander. Commentary is thinking Abbott’s words are going to come back and haunt cities like Arlington, Dallas, H-Town and San Antonio in their efforts to snag the huge events. Just saying.

By the way Charlotte, how did you like hosting the NBA All Star Game festivities this past weekend? Oh, I forgot, you didn’t!

The Washington Senators hosted the Philadelphia Athletics on April 14, 1910 of course and the Athletics now play in Oakland.

Opening Day is six weeks from today.

 

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