Archive for March 13th, 2017

On Progressives

Kellyanne Conway was on “Today” this morning and again was a total embarrassment. I certainly don’t feel sorry for her.

About the only CNN GOP talking head Commentary respects is Alice Stewart, aka @alicetweet. They asked her yesterday about the “SNL” take on Ivanka and she came across talking point free if you know what I mean. That’s why I follow her. Nice job.

This headline was on the front page below the fold in Saturday’s Chron:

Progressives fret over Turner’s focus

This was the sub-headline:

Chief of staff’s departure worries allies advocating for social justice

The story was written by Chron City Hall beat reporters Rebecca Elliott and Mike Morris.   Here is how it starts and parts:

The resignation of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s top deputy – a social justice advocate and one of the mayor’s few confidants in a sea of senior staff appointed by the previous mayor – is fueling worry among aides and allies about the administration’s commitment to the progressive policy goals on which he campaigned.

Turner for months has downplayed his unusual decision to entrust much of the implementation and communication of his policies to his predecessor’s staff, urging focus on big-ticket accomplishments, such as bringing a pension reform deal to the state legislature, soothing tempers on City Council and closing last year’s $160 million budget gap.

However, chief of staff Alison Brock’s departure just 15 months into Turner’s term has stoked renewed angst among supporters who think Turner has not championed the progressive platform for which they worked to get him elected.

“We’re a little concerned, because she was that voice at the table, so we were confident our concerns were being heard,” said Tarsha Jackson of the Texas Organizing Project. “Now, we’re just hopeful the mayor gets someone that shares his vision, the vision that he had when he ran for office. We don’t have an ally in the mayor’s office right now.”

Jackson, who met and befriended Brock in 2004 when she was Turner’s legislative aide, said TOP’s attempts to reform city economic development policies have stalled, despite Brock’s support.

Labor leader Linda Morales said the same of her efforts to push an ordinance asking city contractors to provide better wages, community engagement and job training.

“Labor wants to be a partner with the mayor,” she said. “We want him to speak to his staff and get on the program with us because it’s his agenda we’re trying to push.”


…… Frances Valdez, state director of the immigration group United We Dream and a member of Turner’s criminal justice transition committee, questioned the mayor’s reluctance to weigh in on the national immigration debate.

“I had hoped that the mayor would have developed or implemented actual policies, especially to protect the immigrant community, and it seems like all he’s willing to do is make broad statements, which doesn’t actually provide protection,” Valdez said. “Saying Houston is a welcoming city doesn’t actually provide protection.”

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Progressives-fret-over-Turner-s-focus-10993920.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Commentary doesn’t spend his time defending the Mayor. He pays folks a whole lot of dough to do that. Commentary also respects Elliott and Morris and I think they do a very good job covering City Hall.

Let me say this. TOP, Labor, and DREAMERs are just part of the local progressive coalition or movement. What about Latino Dems, African American Dems, LGBTers, white libs, and so on? They may have different takes on this. The article would have been more convincing if others from the coalition had been included. Just saying.

I will say this. Whatever happened to the City ID cards for folks without papers that the Mayor committed to during the campaign? Commentary always thought that was a lousy idea. I sure would hate to put all those names and addresses in a database and then let Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick or ICE swoop in and snatch the data. Talk about handing them a raid on a silver platter.   I am ok with that commitment not being fulfilled. Are you with me on that yet?

Meanwhile, the Mayor put this statement out after the article came out:

I hear the concerns of those quoted in “Progressives fret over Turner’s focus” in today’s Houston Chronicle. I, too, will miss the advice and counsel of my Chief of Staff Alison Brock – we’ve fought many tough battles together over the last 18 years and I have great respect for her.

Alison’s departure notwithstanding, we need everyone in the boat right now. There are a lot of important issues in play that have the potential to greatly impact all Houstonians, including those of us who identify as progressives.  Make no mistake, these issues are all interconnected.

Take pension reform – we’re making history by moving controversial legislation through the Texas Legislature. For the first time ever, everyone is united and moving forward together.  Yet, if we fail, Houston will face drastic layoffs and severe service cuts. I’m working every day to prevent such a disaster – because the people who will be hurt the worst are those who rely on government the most: working families, homeless Houstonians, people living at the margins in our society, people who have been left behind as the income gap continues to widen.

Last year, we closed a $160 million shortfall without cutting services or laying off employees. This year, because of ballooning pension payments and the revenue cap that’s slowly strangling our ability to operate, we’re staring down another huge budget gap. Repealing the revenue cap should be a priority that unites every Houstonian, progressive or otherwise.

The fear that is gripping our immigrant communities is real. We’ve taken a stand that Houston is a welcoming city and taken steps to ensure our police officers do their jobs instead of the jobs of federal immigration agents. Is that enough? Of course not, and we will continue to move forward to protect vulnerable Houstonians.

We’re working to provide more flood relief, more affordable housing, thousands of summer jobs for our youth,  new skills and new jobs for the chronically unemployed, and a new holistic approach to homelessness – despite the threat of massive cuts in federal funding being debated right now in Washington.

These fights are about the soul of our city. They are much more important than who is, or is not, on my staff in city government. Winning them will take all of us working together.

Only 6 players have 10 or more career World Serious dingers. 5 are no longer with us. 5 were Yankee greats. 1 wore the Dodger blue. They are all in the Hall of Fame.   Name them, please?

Donald Trump is a known liar, no ifs, ands, or buts.

During the transition, he met with the NY Southern District U.S. Attorney who was appointed by President Obama.

After the meeting, the U.S. Attorney announced before the cameras that Trump and Jeff Sessions wanted him to stick around.

On Friday, U.S. attorneys across the country were told by the Justice Department to resign immediately and clear out their desks by midnight.

On Saturday, the NY SD U.S. Attorney said he was not leaving unless Trump fired him.

Trump fired him.

From the very beginning the U.S. Attorney should have just said at the transition meeting that he was moving on. But noooooo, he actually thought Trump the liar was being honest with him.

I don’t know what his weekend exercise proved. Once he was told to resign, he should have plain and simple. What was the point? Pitiful.

I guess it is time to start paying attention to college basketball.

Mickey Mantle had 18 career World Serious dingers, Babe Ruth 15, Yogi Berra 12, Duke Snider 11, and Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson 10 apiece of course.

In case you are wondering, Chase Utley leads all active MLBers with 7 career World Serious dingers. He got them as a Phillie.

Opening Day is three weeks from tonight!

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