Archive for November, 2018

National Joke

GOP U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has been giving some farewell interviews the last couple of days. He says history will be kind to this Congress. Nope, buddy! Ryan will go down in history as one of Donald Trump’s punks – period. He is a national joke in my book today.

The latest has Trump calling his former personal lawyer a liar. We all agree that Trump is a huge liar. This will continue until GOP leaders in Congress stop letting Trump get away with telling lies. Maybe a Dem controlled House will come up with a strategy that backs GOP House members into a corner where they have to respond. Just maybe.

I was emailed this a few days ago:

During the Nov, 6th, 2018 election in City of Houston, Prop B won by an overwhelming margin. Below are the percentages and total votes cast in District H, I, and E.

District H —–  Total Votes FOR Prop B  —–   20,949 YES Votes  —- Won District by 64%

District I —–  Total Votes FOR Prop B ——- 18,983  YES VOTES  —- Won District by 70%

District E —– Total Votes FOR Prop B —— 36,975  YES Votes —— Won District by 61%

Pretty strong numbers if you ask Commentary and thanks for asking.

Votes of color were certainly behind Prop B.

Go vote early in the #TXSD6Special!

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She is an All Star for sure and I am glad she is a good friend. Check this:

November 26, 2018 – (HOUSTON, TX) – The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will participate in the inauguration ceremony of the newly-elected Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Saturday, December 1, 2018 in Mexico City. As an invitee of President-elect Obrador, the Chamber’s President & CEO, Dr. Laura G. Murillo, will attend the inauguration and the Chamber will continue its work of strengthening the relationship between the Greater Houston region and Mexico.  

“The relationship between the Greater Houston region, State of Texas, United States, and Mexico is essential to the economic success of our region, organization, and membership,” said Dr. Murillo. “The Chamber is grateful to President-elect Obrador for his invitation to the inauguration ceremony, and we look forward to working with the new administration to strengthening the bonds that tie our two nations – and their economies – together.”  

The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will join less than 100 other United States officials, organizations, and leaders for the inauguration. Other attendees include Vice President Mike Pence; Governor-elect of California Gavin Newsom; Mayors Eric Gracetti, Ron Niremberg, and Steve Adler; and representatives from the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Regional Chamber, among many others. 

Commentary didn’t have time to watch yesterday’s H-Town City Council meeting on hiring a law firm to advise the City of H-Town on Prop B. I wonder if they will advise the City on scoreboard. Firefighters got scoreboard on November 6 and in the minds of folks, that matters in elections. It is impossible to erase scoreboard. Just saying.

When I heard about the raid at the archdiocese yesterday, I didn’t have to google to find out why. That’s sad.

Nothing to report from The Yard this morning.

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Commentary attended an event last night for State Rep. Carol Alvarado.  It was hosted by retired and active H-Town Firefighters.  I saw a lot of my old friends from HFD including Foster, Fong, Rick, Ralph and Joe who was on the command staff back in the 1990s. It was interesting to hear their takes on current H-Town politics.  I respect their takes.

The event was held at Johnny’s who lives in SD 6.  It was a very good event.

It is a good thing Dems control the U.S. House. Check out this very bad tweet:

Chuck Schumer‏ @SenSchumer 13h13 hours ago

Our position has been clear from the beginning: Ds & Rs have a months-old agreement in the Senate. $1.6B for border security, NOT a concrete wall or increases in detention beds or ICE agents. We should stick to this agreement. If POTUS interferes, he is responsible for a shutdown

Not too smart if you ask me. A lot of new young Dem voters showed up a couple of weeks ago who are dead set against the wall. Somebody needs to have a talk with tone deaf Chuckie.

I don’t think I have ever heard a soon to be top GOPer say this:

Bill Kelly liked

Dennis Bonnen‏@RepDennisBonnen 7h7 hours ago

This morning I welcomed newly elected House members at the 86th #txlege freshmen orientation. We had the chance to discuss our top priorities for next session, including accomplishing meaningful school finance reform for TX kids. Looking forward to a productive session!

Commentary has said it before. School finance reform is the mother of all public policy issues in Texas. Since like the late 1960s. We will see.

Nothing new to report from The Yard.


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On this day in 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk were murdered inside San Francisco City Hall.

I remember that day.

Count me in. Commentary is talking about #BetoForAmerica. Why not?

He can certainly inspire folks. He can raise money. He gets folks enthused. He draws big crowds. He can boost voter turnout. He certainly made it close in Texas.

He would probably emerge as the frontrunner once he got in.

Why not?

Commentary has said it before. I want the Dem nominee to be younger than Commentary.

Commentary doesn’t have anything to say about making GM great again.

Commentary will admit when I am wrong. It looks like the folks who run the Texans are smarter than Commentary.

Nothing to report from The Yard.

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Early Voting in Person in the #TXSD6Special starts today.

State Rep. Carol Alvarado picked up the Chron E-Board endorsement today.

From today’s Chron E-Board:

We endorse Alvarado.

It isn’t a question of policy — the two Democrats seem to agree on practically everything. Both are pro-choice. Both oppose school vouchers. Neither wants to expand the sales tax or implement an income tax to help pay for public schools. The difference is one of strategy.

And this:

Notably, in 2015 she authored the grand jury reform bill that was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. Those talents will be key to a successful tenure in the Texas Senate, which is dominated by Republicans.

And this:

But for the sake of constituents’ immediate needs, we believe that Alvarado can do a better job of shaping and passing legislation.

Here is the entire E-Board endorsement: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/For-State-Senator-District-6-Carol-Alvarado-13420739.php.

We will take it.  She deserved the endorsement.

Tear gassing infants. GOP elected officials stay silent. It sure make voting the straight Dem ticket a cinch.

My 95 year-old Dad spent last Tuesday through Saturday afternoon in the hospital.  He’s OK and back home.  I was in and out of the hospital for parts of last week.  I stayed with him on Thanksgiving Day.  My Thanksgiving Day dinner consisted of turkey and mash potatoes from the hospital cafeteria.  A first for sure.

Vote Early, please.

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Alex Bregman played in the most games for the Astros this past season, playing in 157 games. Who came in at number 2 in games played for the Astros this past season?

Kuffer has a take today on Mary Flood’s Op-Ed on how we pick out judges. Here is from Kuffer:

Author Mary Flood is a friend and a person of wisdom, but I do not agree with her proposal. I’ve addressed this a bunch of times, and my position hasn’t changed. Making judicial elections non-partisan removes information from voters, while incentivizing groups with a direct stake in the outcome of these elections, from plaintiffs’ lawyers to bail bondspeople to evildoers like Empower Texans to influence the vote, by which I mean “spend a lot more money than they do now to get judges they like elected”. You may say that it would be all right if the less-informed voters choose not to vote in these elections. I will say that encouraging people to not vote doesn’t sound like democracy to me.

If we must get rid of partisan elections, the only option that makes sense to me is an appointment system. If we’re going to go down that road, we’d damn well better engineer it in a way that doesn’t grant an excessive amount of power to any individuals or groups, does promote merit and diversity, and still allows for a way to oust someone who becomes a problem. I get that there are problems with the system we have. I’m sorry that some good judges will leave the bench, even as I voted against them. But until those who have been airing their complaints about this system come forward with a better one, I will continue to oppose any changes.

The big law firms would weigh in huge on appointments.

Commentary is for the voters making the picks through the current system. If someone wants to run for judge, they can file to run in a political party that celebrates diversity or file in a political party that doesn’t. That makes the choice easy for a ton of voters.

Commentary had the game on yesterday when “The Lion King” chant started playing and they showed a lion cub and I thought WTF, they are making a movie from the cartoon and it also stars Beyoncé!  America exploded on twitter. I hope they don’t mess  up the remake.

I also had the Macy’s Parade on while I was doing laundry and I must have missed the same sex couple kiss during the performance from the new Broadway musical “The Prom.” Same sex marriage is the law of the land and I guess some folks still can’t handle it. I saw on twitter that some wanted NBC to give a warning, so they could take their five-year old kids out of the room. Excuse me while I scratch my head.

I also watched last night an hour long special on the “Mary Poppins” sequel. That was pretty cool.

Marwin Gonzalez came in at number 2 with 145 games played of course.

Marwin won’t be coming back.



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On this day, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. It is a day and weekend I will never forget. We heard about it on an early Friday afternoon at DeZavala Elementary School by our teacher, Mr. Hawkins. The weekend was spent in front of the old black and white TV watching the coverage. I remember being blown out of my wits when we watched Jack Ruby take out Lee Harvey Oswald.   I remember John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting his father. I remember schools not being open that Monday because it was declared a national day of mourning. It was certainly a weekend that changed America forever.

It took me a long time to forgive Dallas. I don’t think I am the only one who felt that way.

To other matters.

State Rep. Carol Alvarado was endorsed yesterday by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes in the #TXSD6Special. Good!

Early Voting in Person begins in four days.

Harris County Judge-Elect Lina Hidalgo put out a good take yesterday and here it is:

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind, but also an inspiration.

Running for office is hard. You work a lot of long days and late nights. By my tally, I’ve eaten more meals in my car than at home the past few months. But everywhere I went during the campaign, and everywhere I’ve been over the past few weeks as we’ve prepared to govern, you’ve been there with support, encouragement, and so much passion for the betterment of our community.  

I’m grateful that we have the opportunity to reflect and be thankful for all that we have. From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

For those interested in college baseball, next year’s (March 1-3) College Classic at The Yard features UH, Rice, A&M, Baylor, TCU, and Texas State. Nice, if you like it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and be safe!

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55 Years Ago, Today

On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy and Frist Lady Jackie Kennedy visited Houston and stayed for about six hours. They dropped in on a LULAC event at the Rice Hotel and attended a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Sam Houston Coliseum honoring Cong. Albert Thomas. Then they flew off to Fort Worth that night.

My Dad was there and saw President Kennedy that evening. I will see my Dad later today and remind him. I remember thinking it was pretty cool that my Dad wasn’t at home that Thursday evening because he was at an event with President Kennedy.

I wonder how many folks are still around who attended any of the events that evening and are still living in Houston.

From Kuffer on the #TXSD6Special:

Candidate Forum for Senate District 6

The special election is set for SD06, for December 11. Four candidates have filed for the seat, and early voting begins this Monday, November 26. That’s not a lot of time to hear from the hopefuls, so those of you in SD06 should take advantage of every opportunity to hear them out. One such opportunity is next Wednesday, November 28, one week from today, at non-profit MECA Houston, 1900 Kane Street just northwest of downtown. Here’s the Facebook event for the forum, which will be from 6:30 to 8 PM on the 28th, and here’s a Google map link to the location. Go hear what the candidates have to say, then make sure you go vote.

I will be there.

At our family Thanksgiving dinners, romaine lettuce isn’t a player. We do salads, but they never include romaine, so we are okay heading into tomorrow.

Pack your patience if you plan to visit Central Market, Spec’s Downtown, Whole Foods, or any of the more popular Kroger or HEB stores today.   You can always wait for tomorrow morning when the traffic is a bit lighter.

Nothing from The Yard today.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day dinner preparation day!


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Name the 4 former Astros on this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot?

State Rep. Carol Alvarado’s campaign for State Senate, District 6 was endorsed last night by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and the Area 5 Democrats. Nice.

Early Voting in Person in the #TXSD6Special begins in 6 days and Election Day is in 3 weeks.

Former Chron reporter and attorney Mary Flood has an Op-Ed in today’s Chron on making judicial elections non-partisan. Here is how she ends her take:

It’s time to at least consider nonpartisan elections. And how to vote without the party crutch? Read the candidates’ websites, look at the Houston Bar Association poll (which often has a GOP and big law firm bias but still has value), look at the candidate interviews and check out their endorsements. And if you don’t want to do that, maybe skip voting in those races. We would all benefit from a nonpartisan judiciary, not just the unlucky folks who wind up in court.

Here is her entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Depoliticize-our-judiciary-and-here-s-why-13407207.php.

Commentary has said it before. You make these elections non-partisan, you put the system into the hands of the big law firms. I’d rather Labor, GLBT, Tejano Dems, and others have the say on this. Got it?

Former Astros Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, and Miguel Tejada of course are on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.

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It looks like Marwin Gonzalez will not be on the team roster on Opening Day. How many seasons was he in an Astros uniform?

Here is what Kuffer said about the #TXSD6Special:

See here for the background. Mostly what this means is that there will probably be a runoff. I will note that in the last special election for SD06, held in January of 2013 following the death of Sen. Mario Gallegos, the two Republicans in the seven-candidate field combined for nine percent of the vote. Assuming the other Dem gets a point or two, a similar performance here would mean that one of Carol Alvarado or Ana Hernandez would have to beat the other by at least ten points to get to fifty percent, and I don’t expect that to happen. You never know, and this is a very short turnaround – early voting begins November 26, the Monday after Thanksgiving – so look for things to proceed at a breakneck pace. I don’t think I’ll have time for interviews, but if it does go to a runoff I’ll aim for that. And once we have a winner, we will almost certainly need to have a special election in either HD143 or HD145 to succeed her. It’s the circle of life. Good luck to the candidates. The Chron has more.

There are four candidates in the race and all are women.

Early Voting in Person starts next Monday and there are nine Early Voting locations.

My 95-year old Dad dropped by the HQ on Friday and assembled yard signs. So far, he’s the oldest volunteer in the #TXSD6Special – or is he?

Let’s see what happens today.

Marwin Gonzalez of course wore the Astros uniform for seven seasons. That’s 2012-2018.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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