Archive for June, 2017

GOP Roll Call

Tonight, we play our 81st game, meaning we are at the halfway point of the season. Jose Altuve has played in the most games – 78? Who is right behind him in games played?

Ken Paxton wants to end DACA. Which GOP leaders are with him? Hunker Down? Texas Monthly’s Best Sarah Davis? Texas House Speaker Joe Straus? Step forward you cold-hearted GOPers. Say something for or against! Silence is cowardly!

Here is from the Trib:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from nine other states on Thursday urged the Trump administration to end an Obama-era program that’s allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of being deported.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Paxton urged the White House to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. DACA applies to undocumented immigrants that came to the country before they were 16 years old and were 30 or younger as of June 2012. It awards recipients a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings.

Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/29/texas-leads-10-states-urging-trump-end-daca/.

Come on! Stand up for what is right and decent!

Ditto on the Donald Trump tweets about the “Morning Joe” crew. This is the most gutless and cowardly GOP I have seen in my lifetime. Absolutely lacking in balls! Shame, shame, shame!

Back to Paxton. The fella is going to go on trial in the county which has the third largest immigration population in the USA. You think he might be trying to taint the jury pool?   He wants to make sure he doesn’t have any Latinos on the jury. Just saying.

It’s politic, baby! Commentary is talking about the Houston Firefighters. Here is from Kuffer today:

It’s been a busy couple of months for the firefighters, and not in a good way. They lost the fight over the pension reform bill in the Lege, and subsequently filed a lawsuit over it. This fight was over their collective bargaining agreement with the city, which expired three years ago. I’m not exactly sure what they were hoping to accomplish with their negotiating tactics, but it appears they didn’t get what they wanted. I don’t know what will happen with these lawsuits or the contract talks, but I get the sense that the firefighters have lost some goodwill. It’s more than a little incredible that no one on Council voted against the less-favorable employment terms for them. They’re big players in city elections, so either they now have a lot of former friends or they have a problem of image or communications or something that they might want to consider addressing. I don’t know how to advise them other than to say they ought to give this all some thought. The Press has more.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=81329.

How come Commentary is the only one who mentions the Firefighters’ early support for the H-Mayor didn’t turn out so good? Oh, well.

Third baseman Alex Bregman of course is number two with 75 games played.

We should have great crowds at The Yard this weekend as the Yankees visit and we have a 13 ½ game lead.

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What is our lead for AL home field advantage in the playoffs?

For 45 years now, Commentary has been fighting the good fight in Latino politics. No ifs, ands, or buts, or for that matter butts, on this issue. If I am going to be in a no-holds barred Latino politics fight, I want former H-Town City Council Member James Rodriguez to watch my back. That is how strongly I feel about his ability, commitment, and loyalty.

Commentary and James began working together in 1999 and James has not disappointed since. In 2000, he travelled the country to battleground states and help coordinate the W Truth Squads. He managed Carol Alvarado’s first run for H-Town City Council in 2001. He won his own race against two opponents in 2007 without a runoff. When the administration and their allies tried to knock off the only Latina on the Port Commission in a high profile battle in 2010, James led the effort to hold on to that position and kicked arse in the process. He also led the effort at H-Town City Hall to get Southwest Air international flights out of Hobby Airport.

James is now headed to his next gig, err adventure. See this from Mike Snyder of the Chron:

Pasadena mayor-elect Jeff Wagner confirmed Wednesday that he has chosen former Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez as his chief of staff.

Wagner, a city councilman who defeated community college trustee John Moon Jr. in a June 10 runoff in the mayor’s race, will be sworn in on Saturday. He will replace longtime Mayor Johnny Isbell, who could not seek re-election because of term-limits.

The City Council voted last week to create the chief of staff position, with a salary range of $136,000 to $204,000 a year, said outgoing Councilman Ornaldo Ybarra. Wagner has been introducing Rodriguez to council members as his choice for the position, Ybarra said.

Wagner, a retired Houston police officer, told me he became acquainted with Rodriguez through his work with the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

Rodriguez served three terms, ending in 2013, representing council District I on Houston’s east side. He previously worked as an aide to Democratic state Rep. Carol Alvarado, a former Houston councilwoman.

Wagner’s choice of a Latino for a high-profile job in his administration might be seen as a sign of outreach to Pasadena’s Latinos, who now account for about two-thirds of the population in the city of roughly 150,000. A federal judge found in January that a new council district system, initiated by Isbell, and supported by Wagner and Isbell’s other allies on the council, unlawfully diluted Latino voting strength.

If you want Pasadena to continue to be a racially divided city, then James ain’t your guy for Chief of Staff to the new Mayor. For those that think James may be selling out, you don’t know anything about James and his upbringing so just zip up your pie hole.

Commentary doesn’t know the new mayor of Pasadena. It certainly doesn’t sound like it is going to be business as usual in Pasadena. Not when you hire someone with James’ ability and skills. A smart move if you ask me and guess what? Nobody asked Commentary.

So, here is what the Chron’s Mike Snyder tweeted when he put out the article on James:

Mike Snyder‏Verified account@chronsnyder 10h10 hours ago


Unusual career move: Ex-Houston councilman Rodriguez tapped as aide to new Pasadena mayor: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/pasadena/article/Ex-Houston-councilman-tapped-as-aide-to-new-11253033.php?t=590b6aa57c … @kristi_nix @mmorris011

Snyder and the Chron have written extensively on Pasadena’s racial divide and politics over the past year. What has happened in Pasadena has been closely read about and watched by the area’s Latino community. It is the biggest current Latino political story in this part of the state. So, the move by James isn’t “unusual.” It is more about a seasoned veteran Latino player stepping up and accepting a challenge that will be appreciated by many and count Commentary amongst the many.

Embrace this move.

Commentary got this response yesterday from Steve Houston on the “ugly ballot” take:

With so many expensive items on the ballot at once, HISD has a bond too, this might backfire on Mayor Turner. Who wins the most if the individual components are voted down? For the pension bonds, the city’s municipal workers and police win big since all the concessions they made will be tossed out the window.

This would infuriate the firemen whose cuts remain in place no matter what but taxpayers will still be responsible for the growing pension debt so two years later the legislature will get to waste time all over again for another try. With the CIP bond, how many outdated facilities will simply be closed if that measure doesn’t pass, the Mayor likely to have to close additional facilities down to contain the costs. The revenue cap failing would have a similar impact, any standing offers to firemen for pay raises would be pulled from the table, many of the programs already initiated would have to be trimmed back and frankly, that might be a good thing so that taxpayers can see what they lost.

HISD needs money for facilities too but by voting the bonds down, voters would signal to the school district that they just aren’t interested, those with the means to send their kids to private schools already upset at the failure of vouchers in Austin will not care since it won’t directly impact them or their kids. If the Mayor can pull this off though, he’ll certainly increase spending on frills, all announced potential cuts designed to pander to those who want “more” from city hall.

I didn’t know about HISD.

The ’Stros have a 9 ½ lead over the Red Sox and Yankees for the AL homefield advantage in the playoffs – PLAYOFFS!

That was a high scoring affair last night at The Yard.

Ten years ago yesterday, Craig Biggio got his 3,000th career base hit and the next day the new phone gizmos went on sale.

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What’s Ugly?

It looks like Carlos Correa will be the starting shortstop for the AL All Star team. Who started at shortstop for the AL squad last year?

Is there such thing as a pretty ballot, a handsome ballot, a gorgeous ballot, or a beautiful ballot?

I saw these tweets yesterday evening:

Rebecca Elliott‏Verified account@rfelliott 3h3 hours ago

November’s ballot is looking ugly, folks. Pension bonds, revenue cap repeal and now general bonds, too http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Turner-to-ask-voters-for-capital-bond-referendum-11251413.php … @mmorris011

Turner to ask voters for capital bond referendum this November


Keir Murray‏@houtopia 3h3 hours ago


Replying to @rfelliott @mmorris011

Interesting. Big difference with 2012, of course, was presidential election driving turnout.

Here is from the Chron story:

Mayor Sylvester Turner is poised ask voters to approve bonds this fall to fund improvements to city parks, community centers, fire stations and health clinics, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to a crowded November ballot.

City officials say the size of the bond request has yet to be determined, but a political action committee formed to support the bonds, Lift Up Houston, lists the amount as $490 million on its website.

And this:

The mayor has pledged to ask Houstonians to repeal a voter-imposed cap that limits what the city can collect in property taxes. That rule is a lightning rod for conservatives, who spearheaded its passage 13 years ago.

Turner’s landmark pension reform bill, which takes effect Saturday, also requires voters to approve the $1 billion in bonds Turner plans to inject into the under-funded police and municipal pensions. Should voters reject it, those groups’ substantial benefit cuts could be rescinded, hiking the city’s costs overnight.

Adding a general bond issue to the ballot alongside the pension bonds and what amounts to a tax hike is risky, said Jay Aiyer, a Texas Southern University political scientist professor.

“The more measures you put on the ballot, the more confusing it becomes for voters and I think the more attention is taken away from selling the one item that absolutely must pass, and that’s the pension obligation bonds,” Aiyer said. “It would make a whole lot more sense to make the pension obligation bonds a standalone and push some of these other items off.”

Here is the entire Chron read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Turner-to-ask-voters-for-capital-bond-referendum-11251413.php.

Is the H-Town Mayor rolling the dice? You have to assume there has been polling on this. Someone pointed out a couple or so weeks ago that they had seen polling on the revenue cap and the anti-cap folks needs to do a lot of selling. General bonds are usually a good thing but when you put it alongside the billion dollar pension bonds, well, that’s a ton of debt. If the pro-rev cap folks are going to mount a challenge, that could be problematic and would certainly complicate matters.

Still, how ugly is ugly?

Congrats to my pal Alan Bernstein and his new gig at City Hall.

Donald Trump doesn’t know health care and what else is news. Here is from The Hill:

A Republican senator who supports the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill reportedly does not think President Trump has a clear understanding of the plan.

The New York Times reported that a senator left a White House meeting Tuesday with the feeling that the president didn’t fully understand some basic parts of the plan, citing an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange.

The senator felt Trump “seemed especially confused” after a moderate Republican said those who were against the bill would say it appeared to be a “massive tax break for the wealthy,” according to The Times.


On Wednesday, Trump pushed back against claims he is not fully involved in the Senate GOP’s push to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

“Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare,” Trump tweeted. “Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.”

Yep. Sure. You got it.

Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox of course started at shortstop for the AL All Stars last year.

I watched the game with my Dad yesterday and I wish Evan Gattis had laid off of that 3-0 pitch with the bases loaded and no outs. Oh, well, we still have a 12 ½ game lead and still have the best record in MLB, barely though.

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Texas Boys Nation

Name the three ‘Stros with 30 or more extra base hits this season?

Commentary has to wonder what they teach in civics classes in Texas these days. I am also thinking the American Legion ought to dissolve their Texas Boys State program. Boys State isn’t interested in being part of America. Here is from the Chron:

AUSTIN — Second time’s the charm. 

Texas Boys State, the famed American Legion program that started in 1935 to allow high school-aged boys to participate in a mock government, voted to have Texas leave the union in the first vote of its kind in the organization’s history. A similar proposition narrowly failed last year.

The student legislators, who met at the Capitol in Austin this month, also created a new constitution and declaration of independence, according to a news release from the group. 

“This is the first time in Texas Boys State history that the government body decided to secede from the United States,” it read. “The gallery of each chamber were cheering and celebrating because they have now made history by becoming a nation.”

One attendant tweeted a video from the Senate floor after the secession bill passed.

Not unlike the real Texas House and Senate, the mock state legislators disagreed on the issue during their gathering last summer. Last June, the Boys State Senate approved a secession bill in a 33-10 vote, with two abstentions. The Boys State House, however, defeated the measure by four votes, 64-60, with eight abstentions. 

They are not the only ones who have considered the idea.

Some delegates to the Republican Party of Texas convention last year tried unsuccessfully to add a provision to the state party’s platform to allow for a statewide vote on secession. The move made national headlines and sparked fierce debate among attendees, particularly veterans who said they served the United States, not any single state.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-Boys-State-votes-to-secede-for-Union-11247209.php.

Where do these punks come from anyway? Who provides them with guidance? Is the American Legion even paying attention to what is going on? Why do we let these punks meet at the State Capitol anyway? Never mind on what I just said. It is just a continuation of the clown show in Austin.

How about this tweet:

Brian McTaggart Retweeted

Richard Justice‏Verified account @richardjustice 12h12 hours ago


Jose Altuve has 733 hits since start of 2014. No other @MLB player is even close. Robinson Cano next at 636, Charlie Blackmon 634. @astros

SpringerDinger has 35 extra base hits, Jose Altuve has 34, and Carlos Correa 30, and they are all All Star Game bound – hopefully.

Our 6 game homie starts this evening against the A’s.

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Name the MLB club who is on a current 10 game winning streak and it ain’t us.

This was in the San Luis newspaper nearly a couple of weeks ago:

Some baseball fans are boiling over former Redbird slugger Lance Berkman speaking at the upcoming Christian Day at Busch Stadium, set for July 30.

Pride Center of St. Louis has released a statement lambasting the move:

“Pride St. Louis is disappointed by the decision of the St. Louis Cardinals to provide a public platform for Berkman, an individual whose words and actions towards the LGBTQ+ are divisive and demeaning.”

The statement was released by Landon Brownfield, the group’s secretary and co-chair.

Brownfield first released the statement to OutSports, a website that bills itself as “a voice for LGBT athletes.”

On its own, OutSports has called Berkman a “bigot” and “an outspoken opponent of the LGBT community” who was “one of the faces of the campaign against Houston’s equal-rights ordinance” in 2015.

In a statement, the Cardinals organization said: 

“The Cardinals have hosted a Christian Day at the ballpark for nearly three decades. Lance Berkman participated in Christian Day when he was a Cardinals player, and we welcome him back this year to discuss his faith.”

The team statement continued to say the Cardinals “will be hosting our first Pride Night later this season (details to follow shortly) which will bring members of the LGBT community together to enjoy Cardinals baseball.”

Now the Big Puma and San Luis got deservedly scorched in BeyondtheBoxscore.com. This piece by Mary Craig was making the rounds yesterday. Here it is:

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that in partnership with Pride St. Louis, the team would hold its first-ever Pride Night on August 25th. The promo reads: “With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a Cardinals cap with a rainbow STL logo. A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the PrideSTL Scholarship, which is awarded annually to St. Louis area students.” With roughly half of MLB teams holding annual Pride nights, any addition to the list should usually be celebrated. But this time it’s different. The announcement comes just weeks after the team received flack for announcing former player and anti-LGBT protester Lance Berkman would speak at the team’s July 30th Christian Day game.

To recap Berkman’s views: In 2015, he spoke out against Houston’s equal rights ordinance, condemning Proposition 1 for allowing “troubled men” into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms under the guise of being transgender. He later doubled-down on these remarks, adding that he was being persecuted online for them, and that tolerance is the thing “killing America.” Though he admitted that using the phrase “troubled men” was problematic, he has yet to lament his opposition to the ordinance or prove he is in any way accepting of the LGBT community.

There are many LGBT individuals who struggle with how to reconcile who they are with their faith, because many Christians preach that homosexuality is against Christianity. These people often assume the position that in America, Christians are persecuted by a creeping secularism that doesn’t exist, going so far as to argue the very presence of LGBT individuals is an attack on their straightness and religion. To endorse these views is to reject the Christianity of acceptance, kindness, and love that many others preach and instead endorse one that projects itself through antagonism and bigotry and the false notion that it is under attack. Too often this religion is usurped by people in power to dehumanize groups that supposedly present some sort of threat to this power. If some believe that Christianity truly is in decline, they should want those in powerful positions, like the Cardinals, should preach openness and acceptance, rather than driving from its ranks all those who somehow don’t conform to the singular idea of a Christian that now exists.

America is far too slowly progressing toward LGBT equality, and each day spent debating the validity of LGBT people is a day spent murdering them. Suicide rates among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times higher than among straight youth, and 40 percent of trans youth attempt suicide by the age of 25. When the Cardinals support Berkman’s remarks about the LGBT community, they are telling all of their LGBT fans that they are unwelcome in the Cardinals community, that what so many view as an escape or as a way to cope with the hatred they face is now yet another place telling them they shouldn’t exist. When so few accepting places exist, particularly in “Christian”-heavy areas, removing just one tolerant space can have dire consequences.

Indeed, in 2015, the Cardinals system had a then-closeted gay pitcher Tyler Dunnington, whom they drafted the previous year. Dunnington quit baseball at the end of the 2015 season, remarking that he heard on multiple occasions coaches and fellow players joking about killing gay people. It likely never occurred to these people there could be an LGBT player listening to them, because LGBT players are forced to hide their sexuality/gender identity or drop out of baseball at earlier ages after realizing how intolerant it is. For many, sports as a whole is seen as a straight man’s endeavor, as gay men are too feminine to play or watch them. There is no telling how many closeted players like Tyler Dunnington exist, and how many of them wake up every day feeling ostracized from the thing they love and being unable to ask for or receive support from their organizations.

The Cardinals hosting a pride night while continuing to support Berkman is the ultimate “sorry if you were offended” non-apology. It’s a slap to the face of Dunnington, whose bravery should—and must—result in something more positive, more groundbreaking, more compassionate. It places the burden on the LGBT community to accept this bogus olive branch or appear to fit every stereotype of them as selfish, unsatisfied people who want to disrupt the daily lives of straight Americans. Regarding Pride Night, team president William DeWitt III stated he hopes it will “remind fans that everyone is welcome at Busch Stadium,” again placing the burden on LGBT people to attend or seem ungrateful and difficult. Using “remind” crafts a narrative that LGBT people have always been welcome at the park, which is not the case, and presumably “everyone” means that both Berkman-esque people and LGBT people are welcome, as if these groups could ever exist in the same place peacefully.

Anything short of a full condemnation of Berkman’s stance on LGBT issues is an open endorsement of them and a message to the LGBT community that the Cardinals do not care about them except as PR devices. Donating a portion of ticket prices to the PrideSTL scholarship fund is not enough, as according to the PrideSTL website, the funds may not go directly to LGBT individuals: “Pride St. Louis annually awards the scholarship to St. Louis area LGBTQIA+ student(s), students/children of an LGBTQIA+ parent, or student allies of the LGBTQIA+ community to provide financial assistance to attend a post-secondary undergraduate institution.” While it is admirable and good of PrideSTL to support all members of the LGBT community, the Cardinals’ participation is not nearly enough to combat the anti-LGBT sentiment the club has assumed.

As long as Berkman is allowed to speak at Busch Stadium one month before Pride Night, the rainbow logo on the giveaway hats acts as a contradiction that could very well mean life or death for a number of LGBT Cardinals fans. There is no such thing as toleration when it forces you to shake hands with a bigot. It should not be up to LGBT youth to constantly reach across the aisle to make peace with people who view their existence as a perceived threat while actually threatening LGBT people. It should never be up to the persecuted to be the bigger people. And yet the Cardinals have made it so.

It is unclear what benefit the club will receive from having Berkman as a spokesman (who only played with the Cardinals for parts of two seasons), and so it can only be assumed that representatives of the team agree with Berkman’s position of bigotry. Which means it falls to us, the fans, to speak out against the team’s actions and create a community LGBT people have been denied for centuries. Though the Cardinals are surely not the only team to hold anti-LGBT views, they are the team who has made them most prominent, and it is up to us to hold them accountable and let it be known to all teams that bigotry’s time ruling baseball has run out.

Interesting.   The Big Puma was a ‘Stros for 12 seasons and he has a lot of fans here. I wonder how H-Town would react if he was invited by the ‘Stros for a prominent speaking gig at The Yard. Would his anti-LGBT stance get folks riled up? Would folks cut him some slack because of his 12 years of playing for the ‘Stros? Oh, well. We would probably be better off if the ‘Stros didn’t feature The Bib Puma. We have too much good karma brewing at The Yard these days, so why invite controversy.

A tweet went out over the weekend inviting folks to the swearing-in of the new City of Pasadena Mayor and City Council. All nine are fellas. Commentary retweeted with this:

They don’t have any women on the @PasadenaTX City Council?

Come on Pasadena! You got a lot of catching up to do.

Here is the headline to a Chron story yesterday: Who’s better: The 1998 Astros or the current Astros?

Let’s see, the 1998 team won 102 games, the current ‘Stros are on pace to win 109 games. The 1998 team batted .280, the current ‘Stros are batting .279. The 1998 team had a 3.50 ERA, the current ‘Stros have a 3.77 ERA. The 1998 team had 166 dingers, the current ‘Stros have 124 dingers. Craig Biggio was a starter for the 1998 NL All Star team and Moisés Alou was named an NL All Star Team reserve. The current ‘Stros are on pace to have three AL All Star team starters.   Nah, too early to say.

Here is the Chron story: http://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Who-better-The-1998-Astros-or-the-current-Astros-11242977.php?ipid=hpsportsctp.

Stephanie and Brad Peacock – he’s a ‘Stro starting pitcher – welcomed a baby boy this past weekend. They posted a photo of the little fella in the hospital nursery. In the photo is a baseball with the kid’s footprint – cute.

The Dodgers of course are on a 10 game winning streak and are sitting at 51-26.

We started the roadie with an 11 game lead and after going 6-1, we now have a 13 game lead. Pretty darn good if you ask me. 52-25, say what!

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Lies on Page 7

It has been kind of a busy and hectic week for me.  I didn’t remember until late yesterday evening that I forgot about Marisol’s birthday.  So here goes.   Happy belated Birthday, Marisol Valero!

You know we have ALL accepted the fact that Donald Trump is a pathological liar when his lie about the Jim Comey tapes are on page 7 of today’s Chron.   Liar-in-chief so to speak.   If anyone tries to defend him, shut the f— up.

Just saying from today’s The Hill:

Boeing Co. said Thursday it will lay off fewer than 200 workers at its 787 Dreamliner campus in North Charleston, S.C., a plant that President Trump visited earlier this year where he promoted his “Buy America” pledge.

Oh, well.

The ‘Stros are 50-24. In 1998, the ‘Stros had their best season ever by going 102-60. In 1998, what was our record after 74 games?

It all adds up. Remember when a lawyer group cancelled their annual convention in Texas a few weeks ago in protest of SB 4. Now check this out from the Trib:

Saying that a new Texas law allowing child welfare providers to deny adoptions to parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs” is discriminatory, California’s attorney general on Thursday banned state-funded travel to Texas. 

The attorney general’s office said in a news release that Texas’ House Bill 3859 “allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state’s foster and adoption system.” Therefore, California agencies, public universities and boards won’t be able to pay for their employees or board members to travel to Texas for work-related trips, the state’s attorney general declared. 

“While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back,” said Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”

The decision drew a mocking response from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who signed the bill into law this month. 

“California may be able to stop their state employees,” said Abbott spokesman John Wittman, “but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation, and relocating to Texas.”

Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/22/citing-religious-refusal-adoption-rule-california-bans-state-travel-te/.

I don’t think so.  Abbott doesn’t have to rely on tourism to make a living like others do.  What a tool.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said this yesterday:

“I think I’m worth the trouble, quite frankly.”

She probably thought the song was about her.

It reminded me of “Ya Got Trouble” from “The Music Man” here:

Trouble, oh we got trouble,

Right here in River City!

With a capital “T”

That rhymes with “P”

Last night on CNN, Bakari Sellers and Van Jones came out in support of P, err Pelosi.   Commentary was disappointed but I guess they are part of the DC Dem cabal that wants to stay in power, so that’s why I won’t be spending a lot of energy on this but here is a CNN story from yesterday:

CNN)Around the same time House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was declaring she had broad support to remain the top Democratic leader and jabbing back at her critics, a group of her colleagues met privately to brainstorm on whether there was a way to force her out.

New York Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice, one of a small group who has gone public with the message that Pelosi should go, hosted a dozen Democrats in her office Thursday for an hour-long strategy session.

Rep. Cedric Richmond, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, who many have touted as a rising star in the party, attended the session, according to three Democrats who also attended. The CBC includes roughly 40 House Democrats, many in senior leadership and committee positions, including Pelosi allies.

In an interview on CNN before the meeting, Rice admitted that the problem facing the party now is that no one has emerged as an alternative.

When pressed to give a name of who might fill that void, Rice said, “I look to a lot of my colleagues now. We have a lot of talent in the Democratic Party,” but she pointed out that “we don’t have an infrastructure in our caucus allowing more voices to be heard, and that’s the problem.”

“Obviously people are very concerned about where we are and they want to have a conversation about where we need to be,” Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio told reporters about why the group got together. Ryan made it clear after his failed bid to oust Pelosi in the fall that he wasn’t planning to challenge her again and was just supporting the effort.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, another outspoken critic, also attended, according to sources — and some in the group continue to point to the Iraq war veteran as a young member who could be cultivated to run.

Another Democrat who has been pushing for leadership changes, Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas, told CNN the group didn’t make any decisions at Thursday’s meeting, but those who participated believe there is growing unrest among House Democrats about the direction of the current leadership team.

“I think there was consensus within the room that there are other members within the caucus who feel just like we do,” Vela told CNN. He emphasized that the group “was a diverse group from an ideological, geographic and ethnic standpoint.”

Pelosi insisted that the current leadership structure already gives opportunities to younger members, telling reporters, “I have always featured the young 30-somethings … and they are so impressive. So, we are paving a way for a new generation of leadership.”

But she made it clear that while she heard the pushback from the small group, she was looking to the broader caucus to back her up.

“I respect any opinion that my members have but my decision about how long I stay is not up to them.”

Pelosi didn’t give names when she referred to those who want her to step aside, but she called out those chose to go on television to criticize her, saying “have your fun.”

Ryan, who has appeared on multiple networks to complain about the current direction, shot back, “this isn’t fun for any of us.”

Vela said he believes if the party sticks with the Pelosi in the top slot, it will hurt the efforts in the kinds of districts they need to flip to win back control of the House in 2018.

“As long as Leader Pelosi is perceived as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus Republicans are going to continue to spend millions and millions of dollars in those swing districts to convince those swing voters, those independent voters, those Republican voters who might go our way, not to vote for our Democratic candidate because of Leader Pelosi,” Vela said.

The group who met Thursday decided to get together again soon, according to attendees.

In 1998, the ‘Stros were 46-28 after 74 games and 4 games up.

We are still 12 ½ games up.

We are at Safeco for the weekend.

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Here they come. They are here.

Well this is good news for us and bad news for the GOP.

Here is from Alexa Ura and the Tribune:

The state’s population is still booming, and Hispanic Texans are driving a large portion of that growth. 

New population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that just over half of Texas’ population increase since 2010 can be attributed to a rapidly growing Hispanic community and its expanding presence in nearly every corner of the state.

As of July 2016, the Texas population nearly reached 27.9 million — up from 25.1 million in 2010. More than 1.4 million of that 2.7 million increase was among Hispanic Texans. Meanwhile, the white population only increased by about 444,000 people.

Put another way: Since 2010, Texas has gained more than three times as many Hispanic residents than whites.

Here is all of the article: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/22/texas-hispanics-behind-half-states-growth-2010/.

In the GOP’s anti-Latino diabolical lab, I am sure they are trying to cook-up more SB 4s, voter ID, and gerrymandering s__t to deal with Latino growth.  They will go to great lengths to keep us from participating.

Mi amigos, be patient, be patient and keep educating out folks. Our day is coming and sooner than folks think.

The ‘Stros have a plus 117 run differential. That is only good enough for second among MLB clubs. Name the team ahead of the ‘Stros in run differential?

As expected, the City of H-Town joined the anti-SB 4 lawsuit. The vote was along partisan lines. Here are two good quotes from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott’s story:

Council Member Mike Laster:

“I could say it’s mean or mean-spirited, but it’s not just mean or mean-spirited. I believe it’s a vicious bill. I believe it’s instilled in far too many of our citizens a profound and deep fear.”

Council Member Karla Cisneros:

“Where do you draw the line when it comes to stepping up and taking a stand and owning some responsibility?” Is it responsible to say, let’s let San Antonio or Austin or some other city fight our fight?”

Nice job, guys!

I won’t provide quotes from GOPers because they were meek and had this feel that they didn’t want to offend the growing Latino community in H-Town.

After the Dem loss in Georgia a couple of days ago, some want House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to step down. In a number of news stories yesterday and today, some Dem leaders think she hurts more than helps Dems running for congress. I come down on the side of hurts more than helps. Dems could use some fresh faces at the top but I am not going to spend a whole lot of energy on this.

Commentary doesn’t know which is goofier. Orbit tossing T-shirts at the H-Town City Council meeting or Council Member Jack Christie challenging Chron Editorial page Editor Jeff Cohen to a duel? Oh, well!

The Dodger of course have a plus 120 run differential to lead MLB.

49-24 with a 12 ½ game lead is darn good if you ask me.

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Out of Touch?

This MLB club leads in team batting average and team dingers – name the club?

Commentary watched a little of the H-Town City Council public session meeting yesterday on the SB 4 lawsuit. Here is from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott on the meeting:

Those who spoke in favor of a lawsuit Tuesday argued SB4 is an unconstitutional, unnecessary and immoral law that would harm public safety, adding that Houston ought to demonstrate leadership on the issue.

“Houston has always prided itself in being a welcoming city, known for our diversity and our rich culture, and our immigrant population is a critical part of our vibrant identity,” said Jane Meyer, a nun with the Dominican Sisters of Houston.

Those against suing spoke to the need to enforce federal immigration law, said Houston should not spend money on joining a legal fight already underway and worried the city could lose state and federal funding by following through with a lawsuit.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Tempers-flare-at-City-Council-during-public-11234740.php.

The GOP members of city council had a pretty weak argument. They wanted H-Town to sit on the sidelines. When you have the largest immigrant population in the state, you don’t sit on the sidelines – period!

The Chron E-Board doesn’t want H-Town to sit on the sidelines on the SB 4 lawsuit. Here is how they ended their yesterday’s take:

Here in Houston, we’re already seeing an ominous sign of how this legislation might make our city a more dangerous place to live. As the federal government has ratcheted up deportations of undocumented immigrants, rape reports filed by Hispanic victims dropped a stunning 43 percent during the first quarter of this year, and reports of other violent crimes against Hispanics dropped 13 percent. Getting rapists off our streets is way more important than getting otherwise law-abiding, undocumented immigrants out of our country.

When Gov. Greg Abbott was Texas attorney general, he bragged about how often he sued the federal government for encroaching on the powers of the state. Now that the state government is trying to tell local governments how to do their jobs, it’s time for Texas cities to follow Abbott’s example and take the “sanctuary cities” bill to court.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Fight-back-11231379.php.

I wonder if Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick consulted with GOP members of the SBOE on the bathroom bill. Here is from the Chron:

AUSTIN – The Texas State Board of Education is known for its conservative ideals, but a majority of its Republican members said Tuesday they oppose GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s demand that lawmakers pass a school voucher program and a bathroom law in next month’s special session.

Most of the education issues Abbott wants lawmakers to consider during their 30-day special session should be left to local school districts rather than dictated by the state, six Republican members of the board told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. The six board members all said vouchers were a bad idea. Two members said they supported the Legislature taking up the issues and two others were unavailable for comment.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Most-Texas-education-board-members-split-with-11234577.php.

Take it to the bank. Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick are out of touch for sure on this one. Wow!

I’ve said it before. It’s politics, baby! I wonder what the firefighters union is thinking these days about their 2015 early endorsement in the H-Town mayoral race.

Here is from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott:

The city of Houston is gearing up to play hardball with its firefighters union in advance of contract mediation by passing less favorable employment terms that would take effect if the firefighters’ current agreement lapses next week.

The changes subject to City Council approval Wednesday would come a month after the fire union declared an impasse in negotiations with the city.

Firefighters’ last contract expired three years ago, and they have been operating under “evergreen” terms since, which has meant forgoing raises in exchange for fewer restrictions on time off.

That arrangement expires June 30, at which point firefighters’ employment terms would revert to those detailed in city ordinance unless mediation talks set to begin Thursday produce a deal first.

The modifications before City Council would implement less favorable overtime and holiday pay rules, cease city payments into a union medical fund and end a program that effectively allows employees to transition into retirement while retaining some employment benefits.

They also would subject several policies to management discretion, potentially putting at risk such employment benefits as minimum staffing requirements, the guaranteed ability to use accrued holidays and the assurance that the fire union president’s position will remain paid.

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Marty Lancton said the city had not consulted with or advised the union about the proposed ordinance changes.

“We have been prepared. We have asked the city for arbitration and mediation,” Lancton said. “The question really becomes: How punitive does the city want to make it?”

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/City-plans-to-play-hardball-with-firefighters-11232769.php?cmpid=btfpm.

It’s politics, baby!  It’s hardball, baby!

The ‘Stros of course lead all MLB clubs with a .279 team batting average and 114 team dingers.

We still have our 12 game lead.

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Moving On

Sorry for the delay today in putting out Commentary. I had a family emergency of sorts this morning.

On my Mom. A little gallows humor here. Right after the November election when my Mom was well aware of her deteriorating health condition, she told me it looked like Trump would be president when she would die. In a deadpan response, I told her that she could always check out before January 20 or try to hang on for four more years and she gave me that look.

It was mentioned that my Mom encouraged her family and friends to participate in the political process. My Mom voted in every election. Her last mail ballot she cast was for the Lee College and Goose Creek Consolidated ISD trustee elections last month.   On voting, I will put our family’s voter turnout history up against any other family in the country.

I also now get why in some obituaries, folks thank the staff of hospice care. I get it now. The hospice staff were wonderful to my Mom and help guide us through the final weeks of my Mom’s life.

I will also say that having a strong, loving and caring family certainly gets you through the ordeal we just endured.

Having great friends means a lot in times like these. I won’t name them but they know who they are. I am glad they are in my life.

Here is what my nephew Dave had to say about my Mom at the end of her funeral mass yesterday:

Hello my name is David Lafuente.  On Behalf of my Family I want to say thank you to everyone for being here today to celebrate the life of Alicia Campos. I am the oldest grandson and I’m honored to share a few words and some of my memories about our beloved grandma.

What a wonderful woman she was. Over Her lifetime, her roles were many. She was the daughter of Guadalupe and Ladislao Torres(Cha Cha and TaTa) and was born right here in Baytown, TX on May 21st 1926.

She was a sister to Nina Walmsley and Rachel Lara. She was a Spanish and History middle school teacher, a wife to grandpa….Antonio Campos, a mother to 2 daughters Sylvia and Aida and 2 sons Michael and Marc , A grandmother to 9(Rachel, me, Cristina, Linda, Enrique, Roberto, Veronica, Becky and Miguel) and a great grandmother to 13 beautiful grandchildren. She was a cousin, an aunt, a godmother, but above all else She was a friend to so many different types of people, whether you knew her for a few minutes or for decades she touched so many lives and was adored by all.

She attended Robert E. Lee High School and married her high school sweetheart.

But it wasn’t that simple. Like many brave men, my grandpa was enlisted in the US Army and fought bravely during World War II. He entered the Army as part of the 460th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion and His first jump was across enemy lines in Southern Part of France in August of 1944. Unlike half his battalion, he survived that jump and eventually would fight in 5 major battles, defending our great country. What kept him going throughout it all was his love for grandma. They would send each other love letters and pictures….and if you’ve seen some of the pictures of my grandma when she was younger…well she was so beautiful…no wonder grandpa was trying to get back home.

In August of 1945 he returned home to grandma.

and eventually they were married and stayed married for 70 years and were literally never apart.

They moved to Waco while my Grandpa attended Baylor University and had their first child, my Mom, Sylvia! My Grandma ultimately would graduate from The University of Houston – Go Coogs!.. and both my grandparents both became school teachers. They enjoyed traveling with many visits to see family in Mexico, I was lucky to get to go on some of those trips…I was around 10 or 11 years old…we would leave Houston and drive to Laredo and spend the night at my Aunt Aida’s house. We’d wake up early the next morning and head into Mexico…it was me, my cousin Rachel, Grandpa and Grandma and of course Aunt Rachel. There were no Smart phones, No GPS, no electronics. Just a map and the road. But we felt so safe because Grandma and grandpa had done the trip so many times with so many family members throughout their lifetimes and they were there to take care of us along the way.

Like my sister said yesterday, my grandma was so smart and had a wonderful memory. She told us so many stories from her growing up about her and grandpa, about her parents and about our mom. But she was also very opinionated. She Had an opinion on everything and if she didn’t know about it, all you had to do is tell her and she would tell you how she felt, right then.

She would say…I don’t like it.

Me: Grandma do you want to go to our house for Christmas? Im staying right here. I don’t go anywhere but my house. What about grandpa can he go? He can go…I don’t care…

For probably the last 20 years my grandma would tell us not to buy her anything for Christmas. Me: Grandma what do you want for Christmas? Don’t buy me anything.

But what about, don’t you like….I said nothing……and don’t buy your grandpa anything either….Sorry grandpa.

We of course all bought her something. I always got her some chocolates. She had a sweet tooth.

So many Christmas’s spent at my grandmas house, so many holidays from easter egg hunts, thanksgivings, mothers day, birthday parties, the famous New Years Eve parties. And also Wedding Receptions and even fundraisers in her backyard. No way all of us went to every event there, but the one constant at all these events were Grandma and Grandpa and my Grandmas Cooking.  

Can I get a round of applause for grandmas cooking……

Hands down the best cook there ever was. Her food is legendary… And im not just saying that because she’s my grandma. Everything she cooked up was so good.

Her beans, her breakfast with eggs and bacon with fresh made tortillas and her famous cheese sauce. The roast she would make, or she would make stew or how she marinated and cooked fajitas. The enchiladas she cooked especially the ones she made for me without onions. The cakes she made and my favorite the powdered cookies she made..Her secret was a lot of TLC Tender loving care and I think a lot of butter also.

But nothing compares to her tamales she made over the holidays. When I told my friends that my grandma passed away, the first thing they said was I sure loved her food.

But you never saw my grandma eat first. She cooked for everyone else and sometimes didn’t eat at all.

My dad passed away when I was 21 years old and my grandparents came and lived with me, my mom and brother and sister for about a year. One night some of my friends and I had gone out to have a few cocktails and normally we would end up going through the Whataburger drive through to grab some food. But I knew that my grandma had just put a big pot of beans on and we had plenty of food at my house. So we open the backed door slowly and tried not to wake anyone. As soon as we turned the light on my grandma appeared. David? Is that you? Yes, its me. Do you want me to warm you up something? Uh Yeah!! She served us up some fresh beans and tortillas and rice and tamales.,,she sat and talked to us and we all went to bed with a full belly that night. Her food and her company was the best.

Like my cousin Rachel Said… Her house was always the place I felt the most at home. So much time we spent there watching tv, playing games, listening to grandpas stories and eating grandmas food.  

How I would describe the perfect setting, is us at grandmas, grandpa playing cards or telling stories, Music being played in the background. Grandma making us all some food in the kitchen. We all start eating and like clock work walks in Aunt Rachel to eat.. somehow she knew when my grandma was cooking which was pretty much always.

But now she’s gone and in a better place in Heaven. I believe that when you die, you go to an eternal place. MY Scenario is this. Cha Cha and TaTa are there with Aunt Nina and Aunt Rachel. And off to the side BeeBee is playing guitar. And Uncle Mike is playing bongos saying attaboy…and my dad’s there…probably with the remote in his hand watching the Astros game or playing records. And there are other family and friends there too. And then Grandma arrives in heaven…And she’s walking without her walker or rolling chair. And shes breathing on her own and is in awe of this beautiful place….and then Aunt Rachel is the first to notice her and starts whistling. Everyone turns and sees her and she is reunited with her family and everything is better.

So, Grandma…for your wisdom, your humor, tenderness and compassion, your understanding, your patience, your food, your friendship, your generosity, and your love; thank you, Grandma. Thank you so much. We love you and We miss you.

Nice job, Dave!

I can’t add to what Dave, Linda, Cristina, and Sabrina have said about my Mom except for, I will never run into another flour tortilla that will match my Mom’s – never. Her flour tortillas filled with her refried beans and bacon were the best.

I will be back with the MLB question tomorrow.

‘Stros are up by 12 as they continue to play better on the road.

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Burying My Mom

We will be burying my Mom today. I posted the info this past Friday afternoon. Yesterday evening, after the rosary, my nieces, Linda Garza Martinez and Cristina Lafuente, both gave loving moving tributes to their grandmother. Here are Cristina’s remarks (Linda’s were more extemporaneous and she also serenaded her grandmother – very nice):

Hello. My name is Cristina Lafuente and I am one of Alicia’s granddaughters. On behalf of my family, I want to Thank you all very much for being here this evening. Your presence here means so much to us and is a testament to how much my grandmother impacted and touched so many lives.

Alicia Campos was the most wonderful grandmother. She was extremely caring, kind, loving; she had a huge heart and was dedicated to her family, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, and her nieces and nephews. She opened up her home and was so welcoming to family, relatives, friends and neighbors. We always knew that she and my grandfather would do anything in the world for us – and they did. She taught us by example what it means to have unconditional love for family and to live a life with strong Catholic faith.

Like many of you, I have so many fond memories of my grandmother. My family spent so much time with her, we celebrated nearly every holiday with her, she was present at every important event of our lives, we enjoyed vacationing and traveling with her, but more importantly we loved just spending time with her at her house. She was never too busy to have us over. Anytime I called and told her I was coming over for a visit, she would put on a fresh pot of beans and would roll out some fresh flour tortillas for me. She would always send me home with a container full of beans, a package of freshly made flour tortillas and lots of extra food.

We all loved her cooking and growing up we all spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen. She catered to all her grandchildren and great grandchildren in the kitchen. For example, whenever we stayed over at her house, she would get up in the morning and make a huge breakfast, and she would usually make several batches of scrambled eggs, because we all liked them prepared differently, some with tomatos, onions and peppers, some liked them plain and some with cheese sauce all while rolling out fresh flour tortillas.. She always made sure we were all very happy and well fed. When we were younger, we would spend weeks at her house during the summer because we loved being around her. One summer she took all her grandchildren on a road trip to Disney World in her big van. I remember she loaded up an ice chest full of breakfast tacos, each wrapped in foil and as soon as we turned the corner down the street and got on the freeway, we could not wait any longer to begin eating those delicious tacos. That road trip was memorable for all of us, two of us would be seated in the front passenger seat, navigating with maps, talking to truckers on my grandpa’s CB radio and having a blast.

During Christmas, she took pride in making around 15 dozen tamales for her family and friends every year. Hers tamales were the Best, made with lots of love. She was very particular about the way she prepared the meat and the masa. I know many of us spent time spreading the masa with her, especially my grandfather, it amazed me how my grandma would stay up all night and cook tamales right before Christmas and New Years Eve to ensure she had an abundance of tamales for everyone to eat and plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home.   

Holidays were very important to my grandmother. She loved hosting Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and New Years Eve gatherings at house ever year. Her largest party was always New Years Eve. For the past 40 years, I have celebrated almost every New Years Eve and Christmas at her house with my family, friends, cousins, and relatives. I know we will all greatly miss seeing her during the holidays.

As an adult, one of my fondest memories of my grandmother was when we took big family trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and rented a house during the summer of 2000. That year, my brother, my grandparents, my mother and my aunt Rachel drove from Houston to Mexico City, and visited the Basilica of the Virgen de Guadalupe. My grandmother was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We traveled to Queretaro, Guanajuato, and visited family in Morelia and Zacapu. We explored the unique towns of Tzintuzan, Paracho, Urapan, Santa Clara de Cobre and stayed a full month in San Miguel de Allende. I loved exploring Mexico with my grandma and listening to all the stories she had told me come alive. This vacation was one of the most culturally, eye-opening experiences of my life and I have so many precious memories.

My grandmother was an excellent seamstress. She devoted a great deal of time to sewing for others. She told me stories about how she made my mom’s wedding dress, and would make bridesmaid dresses for her and many of her relatives. Throughout my life she sewed many dresses for me, birthday dresses, my flower girl dress, my graduation and confirmation dresses, my Christmas formals and even two prom dresses. I am so thankful for all the time she took to care for me and very blessed that she lived nearby. She always encouraged me to learn and constantly asked my cousin Rachel and I when we were going to learn how to sew. We enrolled in a leisure learning class a few years ago, but we both ended up dropping the class because we didn’t like the teacher. My grandmother was a little disappointed in us because throughout her life she had collected hundreds of materials and she had a huge craft room at her house with a ton of supplies. I promised her that I would take a sewing class someday soon.

My grandmother had one of the sharpest minds and an amazing memory. She always remembered to call us on our birthdays and remembered the year that each of us were born because she had a story about something that happened that year. She was so thoughtful.

My grandmother also strongly encouraged her family to be actively involved in the political process. She never missed an opportunity to vote in an election and during the past three years when it became difficult for her to travel away from home, she would cast an absentee ballot. Then she would call us and make sure we went to the polls early to vote. We traveled with her to political conventions, and she and my grandfather worked behind the scenes to support my Uncle Marc with campaigning for many candidates. She and my grandpa worked the polls every election in November. My grandpa was a precinct chair. My grandma invited me to take the day off work to help them at the polls for the presidential and gubernatorial elections and I enjoyed working the polls with her and my grandpa seeing how passionate and dedicated they were to making sure everyone voted.

My grandmother loved her great grandchildren. She enjoyed having them over to her house and was thrilled anytime she had an opportunity to take care of them. She especially enjoyed supporting her eldest great grandson Dante at his baseball games. She attended everyone of his baseball games in little league and middle school. She was so supportive of all of us.

Her favorite sports team was the Houston Astros. Even during these last few months, even though she had stopped watching television, she wanted to know the score, who won the game.

Last Sunday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday at my grandmother’s house. That afternoon, my grandma hugged my mom, wished her a happy birthday and said she loved her so much. She also told me she loved me so much and emphasized how much she loved all her grandchildren and great grandchildren so much. Before I left that evening, my mom, Alex and I prayed the rosary with my grandmother.. My Grandma was truly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she had strong faith in the power of praying the rosary. She prayed the rosary very often and she kept her rosaries close to her.. A few weeks ago, she said that when she is gone, if she is able to, she will be watching over all of us. I believe she is now an angel in heaven and will be watching over all of us.

I’m so thankful that I was fortunate to have spent so much time with her and that I was there to hold her hand at the end. I believe that she will be reunited in heaven with her sisters, her parents, her son Michael, my father Gilbert, her nephew Carlos, her great niece Claire and so many more relatives and friends. And, Hopefully one day, all of us will be reunited with her and all our family and friends in Heaven too. My grandmother provided us with a strong foundation of love and her legacy will live on in the lives of all of us. For now, we are comforted knowing her eternal love is never ending and she will be our angel watching over us from above.

Thank you grandma for We love you so much grandma, we will miss you immensely and we will always remember you!

Sabrina Midkiff posted this yesterday:

As I sit here reflecting on the beautiful life of Alicia Campos (my first mother-in-law) and mourn her passing, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how important our matriarchs are to the young women in our families. As her family members have reflected in their various posts, Alicia was a great cook and she made the best homemade tortillas, cheese sauce and tamales I ever had. I would sit at the bar in her kitchen while she made these goodies and marvel at how easy it was for her and how delicious she could make it taste, my mouth watering for the next round. I asked her once to show me how to make the tortillas, and she did the usual — add “this much” flour and water to the tub, add the grease and mix until its “just right.” 

Then, she would look at me and say: “Don’t learn to make the tortillas. If you learn, you will always be the one in the kitchen making the tortillas.” Of course, she knew my desire to be active in government and I took her words as encouragement to pursue my dreams. She reminded me of my grandmother Jean Foster who, on a drive to her house in New Jersey, once told me to “do whatever YOU want to do.” 

I have been lucky to have a career in politics and government that I have enjoyed and have had the pleasure and honor of working on many great projects (like Minute Maid Park or the MOD Perinatal Safety Center!!). I remember today how if it wasn’t for matriarchs like Alicia Campos and my grandmother, I would not have had a strong foundation from which to pursue a career nor the will and confidence to lead great projects. 

Alicia’s legacy lives on in the beautiful lives of her children and grandchildren. She gave them a strong foundation of love and support and as they have reported in their own Facebook posts, she was critical to any success they encounter. Indeed, her grandchildren are beautiful young women and men who are already doing great things in our state and will rule our world one day soon. 

I am grateful to have been in her orbit and I have confidence in our future knowing that matriarchs like Alicia have inspired a generation of very cool women. 

I hope and pray that Alicia’s influence lives on in me and that my children and grandchildren (hopefully I have some one day!) will benefit from her legacy as well. 

Rest in peace dear Alicia. Blessings be with your family as they mourn your passing.

Thanks, Sab!

I will be back tomorrow. Thanks, everyone.

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