Archive for May, 2018

This is another easy one. Former ‘Stros pitcher Kirk Saarloos is now the pitching coach for the TCU baseball team. He will be interviewed by Rice for coach of the Owls baseball team. Saarloos pitched for the ‘Stros in 2002-2003.   What is he best known for as a ‘Stro?

A Quinnipiac Poll came out yesterday on the Texas U.S. Senate race. Here is bit from the Trib on the poll:

In the banner statewide race in the state, the new survey showed Cruz had an 11-point lead over O’Rourke. Fifty percent of Texans backed Cruz, while 39 percent supported O’Rourke in the coming U.S. Senate race in the fall. 

Here is all of the Trib story: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/30/ted-cruz-beto-orourke-poll/.

And here is from the Chron:

Incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz also extended his lead over Democrat Beto O’Rourke to 50-39 percent, picking up a big boost from men. Last month’s poll implied a closer 47-44 percent race.

Here is all of the Chron story: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/New-poll-Abbott-doubles-lead-over-Valdez-Trump-12954426.php?ipid=happening.


Here is from the Quinnipiac Poll press release:

Cruz gets 46 percent of Hispanic voters, with 44 percent for O’Rourke.

Now we all know that is not going to happen.   We kind of talked about it yesterday.

If this race ends up with anything close to those Latino numbers, we just ought to disband the Texas Democratic Party.

Just a small minor detail that was left out of the Trib and Chron stories.

Commentary watched on the flat screen yesterday the City of H-Town City Council Meeting on the budget. The opposers need to do a better job of doing their homework. They did not appear to be prepared. They didn’t have an alternative plan. They lacked a message. They didn’t look too good.

Someone mentioned to me yesterday that the opposers were given talking points. Nope! If they were given talking points, they certainly didn’t use them.

Kirk Saarloos of course was part of the ‘Stros six pitcher no-no that was tossed against the Yankees in the Bronx in June of 2003.  I was there.

We went 3-4 on the roadie and now host the Red Sox for four beginning this evening.

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This is an easy one. What is our record in extra inning games this season?

Commentary didn’t watch “Roseanne” much when the show aired years ago. I thought she made a buffoon of herself when she screeched through the National Anthem at Jack Murphy Stadium back in 1990. I haven’t watched any of the so called rebooted “Roseanne” shows of the last few months.

It was good to see her arse get cancelled by ABC yesterday. Honestly, yesterday morning, I thought ABC was going to give her a light slap on the wrist. I was surprised she got dumped big time, after all, a chunk of her viewers are racists and racists watch the flat screen and racists buy products that advertisers air. ABC probably avoided a boycott of sorts so, in the long run, it wasn’t worth it to them to keep her show.

The bottom line for Commentary is another Trumper bites the dust and that is always a good thing these days.

Commentary knows a little bit about campaigning for the Latino vote in Texas. The Trib has one of the better pieces I have read lately on campaigning for our state’s Latino vote, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Cong. Beto O’Rourke.

Here is how it starts:

Hispanic identity is already shaping the race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke

In the high-profile Senate race between incumbent Ted Cruz and challenger Beto O’Rourke, there are numerous ways in which their unique relationships with the Hispanic community have already intersected.

EDINBURG — Flanked by a nine-piece mariachi band, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez leaned on Beto O’Rourke’s roots while introducing his congressional colleague to a crowd of Rio Grande Valley residents at a recent campaign event.

“Beto is one of us,” Gonzalez told the nearly 400 people who crowded into a local football stadium concourse on a humid May afternoon. “He’s from the border. … He understands our culture. El nos conoce.” (“He knows us,” the McAllen congressman said.) 

It was one of just a few nods O’Rourke, his supporters and the Hispanic campaign surrogates joining him on a four-day swing through the border would make to the Democratic candidate’s ties to the border and to the state’s Hispanic community. The next morning, O’Rourke opened a town hall at a McAllen park by speaking almost completely in Spanish. And later that day in Laredo, a band warming up the standing-room only crowd played Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” before the lead singer remarked, “We finally got a candidate from the border.”

Around the same time this month, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was huddling with a group of Hispanic business owners at a Mexican restaurant in downtown Houston. One of the organizers, longtime Cruz supporter Jacob Monty, admitted some of his friends were skeptical he could get Latinos to turn out for the senator, but he sought to prove them wrong. About 30 business owners ended up attending, and Monty estimated he could’ve gotten 100 if they had a bigger venue.

“The issue I always start with is we need more Latino senators, not fewer Latino senators, and you can say whatever you want about a particular vote, but Ted is Hispanic,” Monty said. “He is Latino.”

The split-screen campaigning by Cruz and O’Rourke illustrated their unique — even peculiar — connections to a Hispanic community that many see as the future of Texas politics. O’Rourke is white but has spent most his life on the Texas-Mexico border and has imbued himself with Hispanic culture, while Cruz is a Cuban-American from Houston whose political career is not as often closely associated with his Hispanic identity. 

And this:

The candidates also have somewhat different attitudes toward Hispanic outreach.

In his current campaign, Cruz said he is focused on continuing to make “the case that the values of Hispanic voters, like the values of Texans throughout the state, are conservative values.” He is also seeking to persuade Hispanic voters that the modern Democratic Party has become too liberal for them, and that the party overlooks that “one of the communities that is harmed the most by unchecked illegal immigration is the Hispanic community.”

And this:

In a state where Hispanics tend to favor Democratic candidates, few are predicting that the support of Hispanic voters in Texas — both those living along the border and those residing in massive numbers in the state’s biggest cities —  is truly up for grabs in this race this fall. But the O’Rourke-Cruz matchup nonetheless provides an unusual case study on the ability of two candidates with unique ties to the state’s Hispanic community to appeal to voters who many prognosticate hold the political future of state in their hands.

Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/30/beto-orourke-ted-cruz-us-senate-race-hispanic/.

A few takes on this article.

Let’s start with there are a ton of folks in the state, Latinos included, who don’t like Cruz – period.

Let’s revisit this from the article:

Cruz said he is focused on continuing to make “the case that the values of Hispanic voters, like the values of Texans throughout the state, are conservative values.”

What does this even mean? “Values of Hispanic voters?”

DACA, DREAMers, and pathway to citizenship are our values.

Standing up against separating parents from their children are our values.

Expanding Medicaid in Texas are our values.

Building walls are not our values.

Kissing Trump’s arse after he insults our family are not Latino values.

Let me also revisit this from the article:

But the O’Rourke-Cruz matchup nonetheless provides an unusual case study on the ability of two candidates with unique ties to the state’s Hispanic community….

Beto represents a Congressional district that is 80% Latino. He gets it. It is part of him. He lives it.   He is it. You definitely can’t say that about Rafael, err, Cruz.

It is pretty obvious that Sen. Cruz and the GOP are going to try and demonize Beto among Latino voters. It will not work especially when Latino voters see more and more Latino elected officials and leaders step up and stand with Beto. They won’t see very many stand with Sen. Cruz. Why would they?  When has Cruz ever stood up to the Latino hating that spews out of Trump’s piehole?  What has Cruz ever done to help advance the Latino community?  Nada!

Commentary hopes that the GOP and Cruz try to engage the Latino voter. This will just make Latino voters aware of the choice that we have. The more campaign activity in our community, the better. It will be great for Latino voter turnout and that means more votes for Dems.

The ‘Stros are 1-4 in extra inning games of course this season.

Let me repeat sort of what someone tweeted yesterday. We have a one game lead over the Mariners. Our run differential is plus 125. The Mariners have a run differential of plus 9. Just saying.

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My Good Deed

Commentary was down a little last night because we had the best record in the NBA and are now eliminated. We brought in CP3 to help us win it all and he didn’t get to play our last two games. I looked at the bright side last night. The ‘Stros are playing pretty good baseball.

We are done with about a third of the season. Name the MLB pitcher with the most strikeouts?

I guess they didn’t show this on TV because we had the game on and I didn’t see it. Commentary is talking about that vile bag of sh_t who was once the Mayor of New York City. Check this tweet:

Adrian Carrasquillo‏Verified account @Carrasquillo

At Yankee stadium: “The Yankees wish a happy birthday to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.” Thunderous boos rained across the stadium.

And this from SB Nation:

Is this the definitive point when Rudy Giuliani realized he can’t enjoy the pleasures of New York City the way he used to? The former mayor and NYC golden boy took himself out to the ballgame on Monday afternoon, settling in to watch the Yankees lose to the Astros with a few thousand other people who stayed in town for Memorial Day Weekend.

When the Yankee Stadium PA announced it was Giuliani’s birthday, instead of a round of applause Giuliani got roundly booed. Vehemently booed. Embarrassingly booed.

All I can say is that bag of you know what must have lost it. Why would he give up all that goodwill for someone like Donald Trump? Yankee fans gave him what he deserved.

I don’t have anything to say about Trump and his Memorial Day tweet about himself.

Justin Verlander also got booed at Yankee Stadium, but it was a way kinder, gentler, respectful booing.

Yesterday, I dropped by a grocery store in Baytown and as I got out of my ride, I noticed in the middle of the parking lot a black wallet. I looked around, picked it up and stuck it in my back pocket. I didn’t really check it out other than to notice there was a wad of bills in it. I went into the store and did my business and went back to my ride.

I scanned the parking lot and noticed a fella of the Latino persuasion looking around the parking lot and even looking under a few cars as if he were looking for something. I opened the wallet and pulled out the Texas drivers license and saw that it belonged to a fella of the African American persuasion at a Baytown street address. A credit card name matched the name on the license.

I decided I would take the wallet to my Dad’s and maybe google the individual or maybe drive to the address. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I saw an African American walking through the lot entering the store. I really couldn’t catch a facial glimpse of the fella. I decided to wait for a few minutes by the exit in my ride. A couple of minutes later the fella walked out and he resembled the photo on the license. I pulled up to him, rolled down the window and asked for his name. He responded correctly to the name on the license and I followed up by asking for his address and again he answered correctly. I then handed him his wallet, he thanked me and looked very relieved.

That’s it. That’s my good deed. Next wallet I find I will probably count the bills.

‘Stros pitcher Gerrit Cole leads MLB pitchers with 109 strikeouts of course.

The AL West is much better this season. That explains why we only lead the Mariners by one game.

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On Memorial Day

I am sure most of you heard the big local media news from this past weekend. Pulitzer Prize winning Chron columnist Lisa Falkenberg will now be the Chron’s editor of opinion, running the E-Board and will also be a VP.

This is a huge deal in Commentary’s book.

Here is from the Chron:

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg has been appointed vice president and editor of opinion for the Houston Chronicle, Publisher John McKeon and Executive Editor Nancy Barnes announced Friday.

Falkenberg, who will take over opinion for online and print on June 4, succeeds Jeff Cohen, who retired earlier this year.

“Falkenberg is a master of her craft, blending deep reporting with a strong, original voice as she calls out injustice in our community and in our state, and thoughtfully outlines her views for change,” McKeon and Barnes wrote in the statement.

“The best editorial leadership in the country often begins with deep original reporting, which informs powerful opinion,” they wrote. “Falkenberg is supremely qualified to lead that charge at the Houston Chronicle.”

Falkenberg will no longer write a metro column but will write a periodic column for the opinion section.

Evan Mintz, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in editorial writing along with Joe Holley last year, will serve  as deputy opinion editor. Mintz stepped in to run the editorial pages after Cohen’s retirement earlier this year.

Here is from the Chron’s statement:

We are delighted to announce that Lisa Falkenberg, our Pulitzer Prize-winning metro columnist, has been promoted to Vice President and Editor of Opinion, effective June 4. Lisa succeeds Jeff Cohen, who retired earlier this year.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/article/Pulitzer-Prize-winning-columnist-Lisa-Falkenberg-12944275.php.

She will be in charge of their opinions and will have a big say if not the final say on who gets endorsed in political campaigns.

Commentary is certainly going to miss her metro columns and I hope the Chron has someone to fill her shoes on the newsroom front to go after those who need to be exposed. I wonder if Chron columnist Erica Grieder is now the metro columnist?

On Friday I tweeted out a congratulation to Lisa and my friend Sergio replied with this:

No Latinos on Editorial Board. What a shame!

And then Lisa replied via tweet with this:

I’m working on that.


Congratulations Lisa Falkenberg!

It is Memorial Day, so this weekend has been loaded with war flicks including “Green Berets”, “Midway”, “The Longest Day”, “The Great Escape”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “Hacksaw Ridge”, “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Patton” among others.

I have seen them all. I could also sit through “The Dirty Dozen”, “Battle of the Bulge”, “Platoon”, “Pork Chop Hill”, “Guns of Navarone”, “Apocalypse Now” and “Kelly’s Heroes.” I am sure I left out one of your favorites.

Some of these have also produced some memorable movie soundtracks. Elmer Bernstein’s “The Great Escape”, Jerry Goldsmith’s “Patton”, Georges Delerue’s “Platoon”, and Malcolm Arnold’s “The Bridge on the River Kwai” come to mind.

Commentary will be spending time with my Dad today and you can bet he will be watching war flicks.

This past weekend the SiriusXM Beatles Channel had their second annual Top 100 Beatles Tunes by subscribers and “A Day in the Life” was the top tune again. It got me to thinking if they included tunes from their post-Beatles days, would any of those tunes crack the Top 10. Certainly, John Lennon’s “Imagine” would. What bout Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” or “Live and Let Die?” How about George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord?” This year’s Top 10 had “Let it Be” at number eight, “Strawberry Fields Forever” at number nine and “Yesterday” at number ten. Just thinking.

In yesterday’s Chron, there was a story on the ‘Stros and dynamic ticket pricing. You know, the prices will be going through the roof when Red Sox visit The Yard this week and they will go way cheaper when the Rays visit next month.  Whatever the market can handle I guess.

Here is the article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-Astros-ticket-buyers-notice-dynamic-12938782.php.

This only really works if the team is winning and fun to watch.

That was an ugly game yesterday. The bullpen could not hold an 8-3 lead in the ninth. A dynamic disappointment for sure.

No MLB question on this Memorial Day.

Go Rockets! Go Rockets!

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Today is my little sister Aida’s birthday. She is busy these days with Siete Foods. I always thought my parents did A-Okay by giving her the “Aida” first name. The only other Aida I have ever encountered was the opera. By the way, Aida is pronounced in three syllables. You know what Aida’s middle name is? Antonietta. Top that! If you run into her in Austin today, wish her a Happy Birthday!

You can check out Siete Family Foods here: https://sietefoods.com/.

Since MLB began using the Wild Card teams in the playoffs in 1994, which MLB club has the most playoff appearances via the Wild Card?

Whenever I meet up with a potential candidate for public office, I always get around to asking she or he some questions like have you ever murdered anyone, hijacked an airliner, recruit for ISIS, kidnapped a member of the royal family, been a member of the Klan or reach over the rail at The Yard and snag a foul ball that was actually a fair ball. You get the picture, the vetting process.   That is why I am a bit surprised that this came out in the Chron yesterday. See here:

AUSTIN — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez owes more than $12,000 in overdue taxes on seven properties in two counties, taxes that were due just days before she loaned her campaign $20,000 to get it started, official records showed Thursday.

Valdez’s campaign officials acknowledged that she owes taxes on several properties but said she is paying them in monthly installments because she cannot afford to pay the total amounts, which were due at the end of January.

In a statement, she blamed Republican incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott for the fact that Texas property taxes are so high.

“As we’ve been saying all along, under Greg Abbott’s failed leadership, property taxes are unpredictable and burdensome for Texans everywhere, including Sheriff Lupe Valdez,” said campaign spokesman Juan Bautista Dominguez. “Sheriff Valdez has an agreement with the counties to payoff 2017 property taxes and plans to do so entirely in the coming months.”

Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff who won a runoff election Tuesday, has campaigned to close loopholes in the state’s broken property-tax system. Valdez’s campaign said she paid her property taxes late in the past, as well.

“In previous years, she had made similar arrangements,” Dominguez said. “In 2015, for example, Sheriff Valdez had similar arrangements and she fulfilled her agreement with the proper tax authorities.”

The current Dallas County sheriff earns about $175,000 annually. Valdez retired at the end of December 2017.

Dallas tax officials said while they could not confirm an agreement on file, Valdez could be paying the taxes late along with penalties and interest — which records show are included in the amounts she owes.

Online property tax records show Valdez personally owns or has an interest in 15 properties — including her two-story Oak Cliff homestead and several other houses along with several vacant lots — and has not fully paid taxes on six in Dallas County and one in Ellis County.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Records-Valdez-owes-property-taxes-in-two-12942260.php.

My goodness! It is called Campaign Vetting 101.  Didn’t someone say, “by the way, January 31, 2018 is approaching, do you know what is due?” There is no other way to explain this, but somebody dropped the ball in the Valdez camp. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

It is only the lead story in today’s Chron hard copy. I wonder if the Chron found this on their own or was it an oppo effort gift to them?

I wonder why the Andrew White Campaign never looked into this? Maybe they did, and they didn’t want to use it.

My goodness! She hadn’t even been the nominee for two days and this happens.

I am disappointed with this. Commentary is talking about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo getting the endorsement of DNC Chair Tom Perez for his primary reelection. Why does Gov. Cuomo even need this? Here is from Politico:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has said repeatedly that the national party shouldn’t, and won’t, endorse in primaries. But on Thursday, he stood on a Long Island stage and endorsed Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor who is facing a challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon.

The decision to pick favorites in a primary pits the DNC chair against the DNC deputy chair, Keith Ellison. And it has re-opened an ongoing internal fight within the party, while giving critics ammunition to question Perez’s leadership.

The New York race isn’t just any two Democrats fighting for the nomination: Nixon is making her race explicitly about a challenge from the left and the new progressive energy of the party that she says Cuomo is out of sync with. And she’s doing it with the support of many progressives in the state who identified with Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

Here is the entire read: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/24/tom-perez-andrew-cuomo-primary-endorsements-607799.

This was a dumb move for sure by Chair Perez. Why p_ss off a whole bunch of Dem activists? That’s not what we do after our debacle in 2016. Dumb move.

I will put it this way, so folks clearly understand. I respect and like Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. I don’t think much of NFL owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Got it?

The Red Sox of course have been a Wild Card team seven times to lead MLB.

The ‘Stros started off the roadie last night with a win. It was good to see Jake Marisnick put one over the centerfield wall. Nice!

Go Rockets!

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!

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E-Board Matters

Who is the only hitter to ever hit a walk-off dinger off of Nolan Ryan? Hint: He was in a MLB uniform yesterday at The Yard.

It is no surprise that the Chron E-Board isn’t impressed with our Dem nominee for Governor. Here is what they said about her this morning:

Unfortunately, Democrats don’t have a similarly impressive candidate for governor. Lupe Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County, won her party’s nomination despite a stumbling performance on the campaign trail and a strikingly shallow grasp of state government issues. Valdez’s limp responses to some of the issues posed to her during the campaign raise serious questions about whether she’s up to the task. Democrats — and all of Texas — should reflect on the historic moment of a major party for the first time nominating a Latina to our state’s highest office. But that probably won’t be enough to win in November. In a state starved for new ideas and new political leadership, the Texas Democratic Party pretty much just re-elected Gov. Greg Abbott.


Does it matter what the E-Board thinks? Absolutely! Let me explain.

It may not matter throughout the state, but it does matter in Harris County.   Here in Harris County we are poised to build on our successes of 2016. We can put a serious hurt on GOP candidates throughout the ballot. We just need to make sure our candidates up and down the ballot can stand the scrutiny. Like it or not, some voters pay attention to what the E-Board says.

Let’s not forget, Valdez only received 27% in Harris County on Tuesday. 32% in Fort Bend County. The issues are on our side. Guns, Harvey relief, DREAMers, education funding – you get the picture. The GOP is still the GOP of Donald Trump. We have to have our nominees up and down the ballot be able to communicate the issues effectively to the voters and in the process get the E-Board off of our backs. Believe me, every little bit helps. Just saying.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/At-long-last-Texans-have-real-contests-in-real-12939034.php.

Commentary saw this tweet yesterday:

Fox News‏Verified account @FoxNews 12m12 minutes ago

OPINION: Finally, we get our @NFL back

My immediate reaction: plantation mentality.

Giants Skipper Bruce Bochy of course then with the Padres hit a walk-off dinger in the bottom of the tenth off of ‘Stro Nolan Ryan on July 1, 1985 at Jack Murphy Stadium for a 6-5 win.

We all know that Bochy played for the ‘Stros from 1978-1980.

This kind of tells the story of the ‘Stros through 50 games.

Julia Morales Retweeted

Todd Kalas‏ @RealToddKalas 3h3 hours ago

Through 50 games, the @Astros pitching staff has set a new @MLB mark in the live-ball era (since 1920). HOU’s 126 runs allowed betters the 1968 Indians previous record of 128 runs in first 50 games.

Our next 13 games will be telling. Four at Cleveland, three at Yankee Stadium, four at The Yard with the Red Sox, followed by two with the Mariners also at The Yard.


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The Giants are in town. Hunter Pence won’t be playing because he is dinged up. How many times was Hunter selected to the NL All Star team as a ‘Stros and as a Giant?

This is from Pulitzer Prize winning Chron columnist Lisa Falkenberg today:

I have to, and I dearly want to, believe (Gov. Greg) Abbott when he talks about taking meaningful action. I want to believe he can rise above his record and the power of special interests. I want to believe that when Abbott looks at the crying, grieving children forever traumatized by the deadly shooting in Santa Fe, he views them not through the lens of a politician up for re-election, but the lens of a father.

“It’s clear that the status quo is unacceptable,” Abbott told reporters in February, in response to a question on the need for gun safety measures.

At the time, shortly after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead, Abbott said he supported closing loopholes in federal gun background checks. But what about common sense reforms needed in Texas?

Here is the entire Falkenberg column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Opinion-Santa-Fe-shooting-should-be-the-tipping-12935782.php.

Commentary would like to think change is coming from Abbott. He would have to say a f-you to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the NRA. We will see.

Gov. Abbott got his preferred opponent last night in former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. He wants to run against her. What that means is hard to say the morning after.

Sheriff Valdez has the issues on her side.   She needs to up her game though.

I don’t think anyone in these parts expected a crushing victory last night by Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in CD 7. Congrats!

Congrats to my pal Richard Cantu on his 261 vote margin win for County School Trustee!

Commentary is hoping Andrew White will stay involved.

The following story just steams me up – period. Here is from the Chron:

Campus administrators broke state law by changing student grades and engaged in other forms of records manipulation at Houston ISD’s Furr High School, where revered principal Bertie Simmons has been in charge for nearly two decades, district officials said Tuesday.

Although HISD officials did not implicate Simmons on Tuesday, the findings appear to spell an ignominious end to her five-decade career in HISD. Simmons’ lawyer said Tuesday that his client has been notified her employment in HISD will soon end. Simmons has been on administrative leave since last October.

In a 189-word statement, HISD officials outlined broad strokes of the eight-month investigation conducted by outside attorneys employed by the district. HISD leaders said Furr High School administrators changed grades to ensure students passed classes, instructed teachers not to assign grades below 50 percent, improperly altered attendance records, and awarded credit to students who did not meet attendance requirements.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/bertie-simmons-houston-hisd-principal-furr-high-12934326.php.

Why does this happen? Why do they do this to our students?

This is just what we need. A grade changing scandal. It is like HISD is saying, “come on TEA, take us over please!” Just plain crazy!

I saw this yesterday:

Clint Walker, who starred as a gentle giant cowboy on the ABC Western “Cheyenne,” died Monday, TMZ reports. He was 90.

Honestly, I didn’t even know he was still around.

He was “Posey” in “The Dirty Dozen.”

That means the only “Dozen” still with us are Jefferson, Jimenez, Lever, Pinkley and Sawyer.

Hunter Pence of course was a NL All Star from the ‘Stros in 2009 and 2011 and from the Giants in 2014.

We are 31-18 with a +107 run differential. Not bad if you ask Commentary.

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The Giants are at The Yard this evening and tomorrow afternoon. How many World Series titles did they win in New York versus how many in San Francisco?

EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY bought a full-page ad that is an open letter to Gov. Greg Abbott in today’s Chron.

On a related note, go vote today and help fill out the lineups for the big game this election season.

All I can say is the work continues. Commentary is talking about the post-Harvey effort because it has to be done. Almost nine months later. Here is this notice from State Rep. Carol Alvarado:

On Tuesday (TODAY), I will convene the Urban Affairs Committee to hear invited testimony as well as public testimony regarding long-term housing needs and related issues resulting from Hurricane Harvey and associated flooding in the Sheldon community. 

You can watch the hearing live HERE

The Urban Affairs Committee will meet at the Sheldon ISD Daniel Ney Administration Building, 11411 C.E. King Parkway, Houston, TX on Tuesday (TODAY), May 22, 2018 at 1:00 P.M.

As they say, just doing her job.

This is a nice gesture. This tweet from yesterday:

TR Sullivan Retweeted

John Blake‏Verified account @RangerBlake 37m37 minutes ago

Rangers will donate the net proceeds of Monday’s and Tuesday’s Texas 2 Split 50/50 Raffle to the Santa Fe Education Foundation in memory of the victims of Friday’s tragedy at Santa Fe High School.

In 2011, after 48 games, the ‘Stros were 10 ½ game behind the first-place team in the NL Central and headed for 106 season losses. In 2013, when we ended up losing 111 games, after 48 games we were 17 games out of first.

I kind of know what Ranger fans are experiencing after 48 games and 12 games back and seeing this written up on MLB.com. Already? See this:

ARLINGTON — The success of the Rangers’ season will not be measured by their won-loss record. General manager Jon Daniels made it clear on Monday that the team’s No. 1 priority will be the continued development of its young players.

So far that has been a mixed bag, and Daniels wants it to be better as the Rangers move forward.

“Obviously, the record is not where we want it to be,” Daniels said. “Some positive signs with our young players, some scuffling a little bit. We said from Day 1, it was critical — the development of these young guys. That has been accelerated by the injuries, but that’s the biggest thing we are going to be looking for.”

The Rangers went into their three-game series against the Yankees with a record of 18-30 and in last place in the American League West, 12 games behind the Astros.

Daniels is not looking to blame the field staff for the Rangers’ poor start, but much of the coaching staff’s evaluation going forward will be based on how the young players develop and improve.

“When we take the approach we took this offseason, and on top of that, you get the number of injuries that we’ve got, I’m not sitting here looking to blame the coaching staff for personnel issues like that,” Daniels said. “I think from a coaching-staff perspective, we constantly talk about the development of our young players, some of [whom] are going well, some of [whom] are not, and that’s got to be our focus.”

The Rangers’ poor start makes it seem obvious that they will be “sellers” as the summer progresses and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer. Daniels isn’t ready to go there yet, but he understands the mindset.

Here is the entire article : https://www.mlb.com/rangers/news/jon-daniels-focusing-on-young-rangers-growth/c-277698830.

It is going to be a long season up in Arlington.  Or, folks could be wrong, and they could turn things around.

From the Chron:

The Astros released Jon Singleton on Monday night, disseminating a 20-word statement to complete a cataclysmic fall for the power-hitting left handed first baseman once considered the organization’s best prospect.

“The Astros have released minor league first baseman Jon Singleton, effective today,” it read. “The club has no further comment on this.”

Singleton is currently serving a 100-game suspension for his third positive drug test. He is in the final year of a five-year, $10 million extension he signed in 2014.

One of four players acquired by the Astros when they traded Hunter Pence to Philadelphia in 2011, Singleton had just 420 plate appearances in parts of two seasons with the club, hitting 14 home runs and striking out 151 times.

There probably is more to this because they are saying they have no further comment.

The Giants won five World Series Championships in New York and have won three in San Francisco of course.

We are two games behind last season’s pace after 48 games. Now you know it!


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It Hit Home

I knew it was just a matter of time before a mass shooting hit the H-Town area. I have thought about it many times. That is why I am always checking where the exits are in buildings I am not familiar with. My reaction Friday morning was it was our turn.

As I was fixing to head to Baytown to spend some time with my Dad on that tragic Friday afternoon, I noticed on the flat screen Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in front of a bank of microphones in Santa Fe. I had to watch what these three NRA lackeys were going to spout.

The three must have been briefed beforehand on what the Santa Fe student said about she expected a mass shooting to “eventually” drop into their high school and it did.

They just couldn’t bring themselves to spew the NRA talking points while standing just a few hundred yards from fresh body bags.

Gov. Abbott is apparently hearing the voices of Parkland because he acknowledged “we have to do more than just pray for the victims and their families.” Abbott says he is going get folks together for “swift solutions.” It won’t work if the NRA has veto power over who Abbott has at the table working on the “swift solutions.” Abbott recognizes the electorate is a bit volatile these days and to come out and spew the standard NRA talking points would have been just plain foolish and dumb.

Sen. Cruz on the other hand, facing a possible arse kicking from #BetoForTexas, was preening in front of the cameras, and saying we need to stop this from ever happening again, blah, blah, blah, and make it harder for criminals to purchase blah, blah, blah. It came across as very disingenuous. Cruz has already bought his campaign template and it includes kowtowing to the NRA. He just couldn’t do it standing a few hundred yards from where the victims were still lying because, well you know.

Lt. Gov. Patrick had that moronic and pathetic response on the number of doors, exits, and entrances at schools and my immediate reaction was, fella, you just ran out of excuses. Holding onto the status quo isn’t working. Patrick ended up being the nation’s laughingstock and embarrassment Friday afternoon and evening. Deservedly so and well earned.

Yesterday morning, Patrick outdid himself and said this on ABC This Week: Our teachers are part of our well run militia.” Commentary is wondering if our teachers know this.

Here is from the Chron E-Board yesterday:

These are children, our children. Tears of anguish, frustration and anger are the appropriate response. And once the tears dry, the response must continue to be grim determination — determination to call out craven elected officials who mouth ritualistic murmurings about thoughts and prayers and then do nothing. They’re as clanging gongs and clashing symbols.

Send them home. When their shameful obeisance to the National Rifle Association trumps good sense, voting them out of office is the least we can do to memorialize those youngsters who have lost their lives to senseless gun violence.

The people’s response has to take the lead. Theirs must be a relentless push for measures the whole nation knows will make a difference: requiring background checks for every gun purchase, including those at gun shows and those between private parties; reinstating a nationwide ban on firearms that are nothing less than weapons of war; limiting the capacity of magazine clips; banning “bump stock” devices that convert semi-automatic rifles into weapons that fire with machine-gun lethality.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Now-it-s-happened-here-Editorial-12926802.php.

On the other end of the class spectrum, J.J. Watt’s response was so J.J. Watt.

On the same end of the class spectrum, ‘Stros Skipper  A.J. Hinch really stood tall Friday evening when he said he wanted “answers” and not “condolences.”

This tweet from NBC about Check Todd kind of confirms what I just said:

TODAY‏Verified account @TODAYshow

1h1 hour ago@chucktodd weighs in on what the Santa Fe school shooting means for the gun debate: “Governor Abbott’s rhetoric was different this time than its been in previous shootings.”

Say what you want, but the Parkland kids have moved the needle quite a bit.

Today’s my Mom’s birthday. I always used to call her and wish her the best.

Today is also my dear friend Julie’s birthday.

No MLB question today.


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What was the big news in MLB 14 years ago today?

Over the past three decades, Commentary has been involved in passing a few HISD school bond elections. I kind of know what it takes to get bonds approved by the voters. That is why I was kind of somewhat taken aback with what I read on the front page of the Chron this morning. Here is how the article by Jacob Carpenter starts:

Administrators on Thursday recommended Houston ISD seek voter approval for a $1.7 billion capital projects bond in May 2019, charging forward with long-term spending plans even as the district faces uncertainty about its leadership and ability to maintain local control over decision-making.

District leaders said the $1.7 billion bond would finance much-needed rebuilding of 18 existing elementary and middle schools, construction of three new campuses, security upgrades at all 280-plus schools and the purchase of new buses, among other costs. HISD administrators said it was unclear whether the proposed bond package would result in a tax increase, saying they will have a better idea when the Harris County Appraisal District finalizes property values in August.

HISD trustees would have to approve a measure to send the bond referendum to voters, with board members likely making a decision in late 2018 or early 2019. If approved, the bond would be HISD’s first since 2012, when 67 percent of voters backed a $1.89 billion package.

The 2019 proposal, however, could meet more resistance than usual amid ongoing upheaval in the district.

No s_it!

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Amid-tumult-Houston-ISD-leadership-pitches-1-7B-12924023.php.

To get an HISD bond election passed, you basically have to have your house in order. You have to demonstrate sound leadership over at HISD. You have to have a strong superintendent who can effectively communicate the need for school bonds. The Board of Education pretty much needs to be unified. You have to demonstrate that you have been prioritizing spending.   You have to show that you properly spent the bonds from the last bond election. Most importantly, you have to have buy-in from the business community, parents, teachers and taxpayers.

Let’s see where HISD is today.

We are under a threat of a TEA takeover of our school district where the HISD trustees could be replaced by a board of managers.

We don’t have a permanent superintendent, just an acting one.  Can you even name her?

A number of high ranking administrators are jumping ship.

The district is fixing to fire a number of employees because of budget cuts.

We had to add money to the last bond program.

A number of community activists are calling for the resignation of the current Board President.

An HISD trustee has called for the resignation of the current Board President.

We really don’t have a plan to satisfy TEA requirements on fixing the failing schools. Asking for a waiver or an extension isn’t a plan.

You get the picture. Enough said. It is a long way to Tipperary!

Commentary was checking out the HGLBTPC PAC card of endorsed Dem Primary run-off candidates and they have Mike Collier listed for Lieutenant Governor. He won the Dem Primary this past March with 52% of the vote.

I saw this tweet yesterday:

Everytown‏Verified account @Everytown 1d1 day ago

June 1 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Participate in #WearOrange Weekend to show the strength of the gun violence prevention movement and honor the lives of those affected by gun violence.

There certainly will be a ton of folks wearing orange at The Yard that first weekend in June when we host the Red Sox.

On May 18, 2004, D-Backs pitcher Randy Johnson tossed a perfecto against The ATL in The ATL’s crib of course. The Big Unit was 40 years old at the time.

This weekend we have a Sunday night game at The Yard against Cleveland that will air on ESPN. The June 3 Sunday night game against the Red Sox at The Yard will also air on ESPN.  Cool!

Vote Early in Person today, please!

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