Archive for January 8th, 2018

Wrong Messages

Name the MLB pitcher with the most wins during this past 2017 postseason?

On last night, Oprah knocked it out of the park.

Check this tweet:

Carol Alvarado‏Verified account @RepAlvarado145

Wow @Oprah stole the #GoldenGlobes2018 show. Powerful remarks. Women, are you listening? Talk about inspiration! @harrisdemocrats @texasdemocrats

Oprah set the marker for the top speech of 2018. It is going to tough to top.

Kirk Douglas brought a tear to my eye.

Natalie Portman got in a well-deserved shot.

Seth Meyers handled business.

The Chron E-Board in their lead editorial yesterday said the H-Town Mayor needs to reconsider the punishment handed out to his press secretary. Here is the start of yesterday’s take:

How a boss reacts to bad behavior in the workplace sends a powerful message.

If an employee deliberately breaks some of the most important rules governing her job duties, the offense merits more than a slap on the wrist. If that employee literally speaks for the boss, the disciplinary action carries special resonance. That’s why Mayor Sylvester Turner needs to seriously reexamine the brief suspension recently meted out to one of his highest profile aides.

Darian Ward serves as the mayor’s press secretary, but she also has a business on the side. Her biography on the city’s website says she’s the president of a multi-media production company. What the website doesn’t mention is that she has apparently been doing a lot of private work while on city time.

Trent Seibert, a reporter for the Texas Monitor, decided it might be a story, so he filed a Texas Public Information Act request asking for relevant emails on her city account. State law requires government employees to turn over those documents because they’re public records. Ward gave the reporter 30 emails, only one of which had anything to do with her moonlight business. That apparently raised her supervisor’s suspicion. A subsequent investigation discovered about 5,000 relevant messages, indicating Ward tried to conceal that she’s been using her city email account while working to launch a reality TV show. She’s also accused of using her time in the mayor’s office to carry out an “intense and sustained” fundraising campaign for an unidentified non-profit, implying she may have used her position in the mayor’s office to help solicit money or in-kind donations.

So the mayor’s press secretary allegedly fell afoul of not only a state law requiring her to release her emails to a reporter, but also city administrative procedures and the local code of ordinances. These are not minor transgressions. Violating the Texas Public Information Act is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg should investigate whether any of this behavior merits prosecution.

Ward’s immediate supervisor wrote a disciplinary document last month that reads like a termination letter – all the way until the end. The mayor decided to suspend her without pay for ten days.

The mayor might as well have said, “Go to the beach for Christmas and learn your lesson.” The suspension stunned people at City Hall and left many of them shaking their heads in dismay, worrying that it reflected a lax attitude from the mayor toward wrongdoing by his staff. Just as troublesome was the mayor’s angry reaction to questions about Ward, striking a defensive posture about a management decision he needs to dispassionately revisit.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Mayor-s-light-punishment-for-top-aide-sends-wrong-12478925.php.

Here are letters-to-the-editor on this subject: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/letters/article/Sunday-letters-Reactions-to-a-staffer-scandal-12478921.php.

It looks like the Mayor and a few others don’t want her gone. Of course, how can you be an effective press secretary when your credibility is being questioned by a whole lot of folks in town? Just asking.

Everyone knows Commentary doesn’t say much about college sports because the players don’t get paid. Every now and then I may mention the coaches because in some cases they get paid way too much. So, it was definitely an eye opener when I read this past weekend who the Coogs hired as their football team offensive coordinator. Offensive it was, and it also showed a complete disrespect of women. I totally agree with what Chron sports columnist Jenny Dial Creech had to say yesterday and here is how it starts:

When UH pulled the trigger and hired Kendal Briles as its new offensive coordinator, the football program sent out a clear message.

It’s willing to take a massive risk if it means winning.

Briles – a former assistant under and son of Art Briles – steps into his new role with a lot of baggage and an extremely questionable reputation.

And while he brings a top offensive mind and system to the Cougars, he also brings a lot of questions about the morals and ethics of the coaching staff.

And it isn’t because his last name is Briles.

This isn’t about his bloodline. It’s about a coach who is named in a pending lawsuit, has broken NCAA recruiting rules and has been questionable through his actions and social media practices in the past.

Kendal Briles is a controversial choice for the UH coaching staff and one they could have done without.

Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/dialcreech/article/UH-sends-wrong-message-in-hiring-Kendal-Briles-12478485.php.

I used to think that the Coog head coach was a pretty good guy. Disappointing. Sigh.   That’s about all you can say about this.

If I was putting together a Martin Luther King, Jr. parade, Gov. Greg Abbott would be nowhere near my list of folks I would want to be Grand Marshal. He is a divider.  The following leads off the year as a contender for dumbest move of 2018. From the Star Telegram:

By Anna M. Tinsley


January 05, 2018 04:21 PM

The announcement that Gov. Greg Abbott will serve as the honorary grand marshal of a Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Arlington on Jan. 15 quickly sparked criticism from some locals.

A number of Democrats took to Facebook to register their protest to Abbott’s inclusion in the upcoming Toyota North Texas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration.

“Do we boycott or do we show up to protest? The choice of Greg Abbott mocks the heritage of Martin Luther King Jr and of the struggle for human rights,” posted Nancy Bean, a Democrat running for Texas House District 93.

Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Deborah Peoples also weighed in. “What was the thought behind inviting these people who don’t care about us!” she posted on Facebook. “The organizers of the parade should uninvite Greg Abbott! The parade taints the whole weekend.”

The Arlington National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put out a statement noting that they do not support the parade.

“It is the firm opinion of the Arlington NAACP that the selection of Governor Greg Abbott as Honorary Grand Marshal of any event honoring Dr. King stings with hypocrisy. As we review his career and public service, it is fair to say that Greg Abbott has done more to damage and undermine African-American and Latino civil and voter rights, educational opportunities and economic empowerment than any other modern-day Texas Governor,” the statement read.

Arlington officials plan to hold a town hall meeting at the Greater Missionary Baptist Church in Arlington at 7 p.m. Thursday to “discuss the question of what shall be done in response to Gov. Abbott riding in the Tarrant County MLK parade as Honorary Grand Marshal.” The church is at 126 E. Park Row Drive in Arlington.

Winsor Barbee, the media contact for the Toyota parade, said he’s aware of the criticism about the governor’s participation.

“We have heard,” he said. “It’s from a lot of the minority community activists.”

But he empahsized that this parade, which represents six counties — Tarrant, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman and Collin — is a regional celebration and geared to be inclusive. It kicks off at 10 a.m. and will start at AT&T Way and Cowboys Way.

But it isn’t meant to overshadow other MLK Jr. celebrations.

Barbee noted that other local parades will continue, such as the Fort Worth parade scheduled downtown at 11 a.m. Jan. 15.

“We wouldn’t expect otherwise,” Barbee said. “We want as much exposure in North Texas for MLK Jr. as we can get. This is to engage, give something for all the people.”

Dumb, dumber, and dumbest.

Justin Verlander of course won 4 games during this past postseason to lead all pitchers.

For Christmas, Carol gave me a Hall of Fame orange t-shirt with the list of all former ‘Stros who are in the Hall of Fame. The list includes former ‘Stros skipper Leo Durocher. Yogi Berra isn’t on the list though. I guess they didn’t include coaches. Oh, well.

She also gave me a HOF lid and a Jeff Bagwell HOF plaque – cool.


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