Archive for January 15th, 2018

Who would have ever thought that we would be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day while a racist was living at the White House.

Local labor sent me a note yesterday about a Texas CD 7 Dem Primary candidate and I guess they want me to give it a mention, so I will give it a mention. Here is what they sent me:

January 14, 2018

Subject: Labor request to not back Milasincic for HD 138 / Pannill Fletcher for CD 7

Dear Precinct Chair:

Lizzie Pannill Fletcher is currently running in the Democratic Primary for Congressional District 7. She is a partner in the AZA law firm in Houston, Texas. Adam Milasincic is currently running in the Democratic Primary for Texas House District 138. He is an Associate in that firm.

We believe that progressive voters and organizations should be aware of the work of this firm and these lawyers in undermining the rights and efforts of predominantly immigrant janitorial workers in the city of Houston to unionize, and how their work has contributed substantially to the right wing legislative effort to undermine the ability of workers to come together statewide.

The Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, and the Texas AFL-CIO are asking organizations and voters that care about the rights of workers, immigrants, or women to not endorse or support these two individuals.

The attached letter explains why, after researching the record of these two candidates and screening both of them, we are taking this position and asking progressive voters and organizations to do the same.


Ginny Stogner McDavid

President, Harris County AFL-CIO Labor Assembly

(Former Democratic Party National Delegate in 1996 and 2004; former SDEC Committeewoman from SD 17 2002-2004)

I don’t think I have met Lizzie Fletcher, but she does have the endorsement of EMILY’s List and Houston Mayor Pro Tem and City Coucilmember Ellen Cohen both of whom I respect. She has some other great Dems supporting her, some that I know.  Well this one will get more interesting for sure.

Joe Musgrove is no longer a ‘Stro pitcher. How many games did he get into during the 2017 World Series?

It was widely reported on this past Thursday afternoon that Donald Trump dropped the “shithole” bomb.   His folks didn’t deny it late that afternoon. The talking heads on cable news that evening feasted on the bomb. Trump called his buddies that night to get their take on his racial slur.

The next day, two GOP U.S. Senators who were in the room when Trump dropped the slur said they didn’t recall hearing the slur. Trump then denied using it. Now some of Trump’s backers are saying the slur wasn’t dropped.

Sorry, pals. He used it. I wish the credible news organizations would just have on their programs the talking heads that acknowledge the “shithole” slur was used.

The Chron’s front page yesterday had a story on the Latino vote in Texas and here is how it starts:

DALLAS — Josie Zamora, 44, born in Mexico and a legal resident of Texas for nearly 15 years, says she can feel the building pressure.

“You can feel it in the community,” she says in describing her Oak Cliff neighborhood, where many of the families are from the same small towns in Mexico.

First was Donald Trump’s border wall, and the push from politicians to deport all illegal immigrants. Then came the passage in Austin of a Texas ban on sanctuary cities and the calls to deport Dreamers, the young immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally by their undocumented parents.

Last week, when President Trump announced he was ending a protective amnesty program for about 200,000 Salvadorans nationwide, Zamora said she just shook her head.

“We’re Trump’s punching bag,” said the office manager at a Dallas bookkeeping firm. “I try to ignore what he and a lot of his Republicans say. It makes me angry.”

As Democrats look to make gains in Congress and mount a challenge to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this year, they shouldn’t count on a big Latino vote, despite the backlash to hardline policies and rhetoric of Trump and the GOP on immigrants. It’s more complicated than that.

To succeed, they would have to translate that anger into a surge in Latino voter turnout — something Democrats have predicted for years, but has not materialized. Democrats would also need their predictions to come true that more Latino voters means more votes for them.

How likely is that?

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Backlash-builds-over-immigration-but-it-s-12495046.php.

Let me remind you what Commentary said 10 days ago after the Chron E-Board had a take on the Latino vote:

Everyone knows what Commentary has been saying over the last couple of decades about the biggest failure of the Texas Democratic Party – its lack of commitment on engaging the Latino voting community. I have been talking about this ad nauseum.   Nothing has happened. Nada. Zilch.   Folks don’t like Commentary because of this.  I have hurt some feelings – I think.

In 2016, we had an increase in Latino voting here in Harris County, but it wasn’t because of anything the local Dem Party was doing. Heck, Dem Judge Kyle Carter was the only candidate to run ads on Telemundo.   DREAMers, news coverage on Telemundo and Univision, and Donald Trump spurred Latino turnout.

And this:

Commentary stopped being frustrated about the lack of a Dem Party effort in the Latino community a while back.   I just lost confidence in the folks who have been running the Texas Democratic Party.  Nothing personal.

Imagine the potential if the Texas Democratic Party were to fully engage the Latino voter with a serious GOTV effort.

Commentary believes that the Latino vote will be a major factor here in Harris County and Texas this November despite the lack of effort and commitment of the Democratic Party. The Latino voter is very concerned with what is happening in regards to the DREAMers, immigration reform and the hate we feel. That may be enough for key Dem victories in some quarters.

Commentary is not going to spend a whole lot of time on this for this simple reason. This time we have a racist in the White House directing much of his racial hatred toward Latinos – pure and simple. That’s a motivator folks.   We have never seen this in my lifetime. That’s a motivator folks.

When yesterday’s Chron E-Board take was first posted Friday evening, I retweeted that I still prefer #HoustonStrong. Oh, well, here is how the take starts:

With apologies in advance to our readers offended by crude language – our president’s language – we hereby raise a Sunday morning toast to “shithole city.” To our city. To Houston, the most diverse city in America.

This thriving, energetic, successful metropolis is comprised of all those black, brown, beige and copper-toned people from those “shithole countries” that so mightily offend Donald Trump’s delicate sensibilities.

Those Haitians, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, Middle Easterners, Nigerians – whoever happens to be on Trump’s most recent sh–list – are Houston. They are us.

More than a quarter of the 4 million people who proudly call this sprawling coastal metropolis home were born in some foreign nation. Many originally hailed from places that Trump disdains.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Trump-s-sh-list-12494996.php.

Just don’t do a “shithole” logo, please.

Commentary asked this last week:

I know why Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed State Rep. Sarah Davis’ GOP opponent. What’s up with Abbott endorsing State Rep. Wayne Faircloth’s GOP opponent? Party purity, baby!

Kuffer found out why here from Ross Ramsey at the Trib:

Abbott started the week by endorsing Mayes Middleton, a conservative who until last year served on the board of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, over state Rep. Wayne Faircloth, R-Galveston, who irked the governor’s circle by supporting a ban on “pay for play” gubernatorial appointments of big political donors.

On Briles again and this time from the Chron E-Board:

(Thumbs down) There are literally hundreds of football coaches qualified to draw Xs and Os at the University of Houston. Who did the Cougs choose? A man from Baylor University’s disgraced athletic program who is alleged in a Title IX lawsuit to have told his recruits, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at BAYLOR and they LOVE football players.” UH signed off on a $400,000 annual salary for Kendal Briles, exactly the wrong message to female student here and in Waco.

They asked for it.

Steve Houston sent this in:

Marc, given those 550 billionaires pay a large percentage of income taxes while about half the 325 million population pay none, any cut in percentages is going to favor those who actually managed to pay into the system. But Oprah as a president is just as crazy as electing a certain real estate developer, neither familiar with the byzantine political structure of running a government body where they can’t just do what they want without regard for checks and balances.

And this:

WRT Darian Ward and her actions, a two week suspension amounts to a $4k financial hit and she still has to deal with the potential criminal aspects of the case that are not controlled by the Mayor. Given the highly partisan nature of politics these days, her credibility as a press secretary really doesn’t matter since supporters of the mayor won’t care and his detractors will consider any of his subordinates the modern equivalent of Baghdad Bob unless they are told what they want to hear.

As the bulk of her double dipping took place during the Parker administration, that administration setting the tone for what was allowed (this matter was from 2016 and the emails from as far back as 10+ years ago), and is outside the statute of limitations for the misdemeanor criminal charge, I find it entirely plausible that Ward had permission to work on her production projects as some insiders have suggested, those projects considered “pro-Houston” and in the city’s interests, the same with her charity work. Applying a strict look at the law, an employee could be found guilty of promoting a charity when asking for co-workers to buy girl scout cookies or “stealing time” when taking calls from home, their bail bond business staff, or any of a myriad of other outside interests. So some of those raising the alarm like this was the smoking gun to ending Turner’s reign in office might want to reconsider the door they are opening.

More troublesome to me is the way the public information request was handled but frankly, anyone that makes such requests on a regular basis from a government agency is VERY likely to have a slew of horror stories how their request was semantically dissected to stymie the true intent of the request or how the “reasonable” cost of the request was greatly exaggerated to stave off inquiries or even how the agency would respond by unleashing a mountain of data to hide what they didn’t want made public. Ask any reporter worth his salt, even the Chronicle staff has been sharing many anecdotes of late on these practices. and you will understand the context of Ward’s transgressions. Yet how many public officials have EVER been held accountable, and this includes GOP appointed folks as well as their counterparts, so this sudden rush to make an example of Ward flies in the face of historical example. Moving forward, I’d love to see the law revisited and improved but neither political party is interested since they enjoy the benefits of all this.

Got it?

Commentary is not going to say much about what is going on with the Texans other than to say if the ‘Stros operated that way, A.J. Hinch would be signed for infinity and beyond.

Joe Musgrove pitched in 4 games during the 2017 World Series and was credited with the win in the epic Game 5 of course.

With the addition this weekend of Gerrit Cole to our starting pitching staff, the baseball experts are now saying we have the best starting rotation in MLB. I am glad the team wants to get better even though I know it is going to cost me more at The Yard for a Saint Arnold.



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