Archive for April, 2019


This former Astros Skipper is 70 today and he played on one AL All Star team and two NL All Star teams. Who am I talking about?

The H-Town Mayor tweeted this last night:

While Councilmember (Dwight) Boykins continues to play political games, the fire chief and other councilmembers are hard at work finding a solution. Layoffs can be avoided entirely if the fire union agrees to a five-year phase-in of the pay raises.

Here is the Chron story related to CM Boykins’ Council Ethics Committee meeting yesterday who the Mayor was referencing: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Pe-a-colleagues-rebuff-Boykins-claim-council-13805417.php.

Here is from the story:

From Councilwoman Brenda Stardig:

“I think it’s unfortunate that we’re having a meeting today about ethics when (Boykins) admitted that it’s not about ethics. It is truly about grandstanding and bringing forward the opinions of others trying to steer the public’s opinion on how this should play out.”

From Mayor Pro-Tem Ellen Cohen on the meeting:

“irregular” and “has nothing to do with ethics” before abruptly leaving in protest.

From Councilman Greg Travis:

Who told the Chronicle that Boykins had shown up late to one briefing on the demotions and then spent the remaining time asking “stupid questions” and “pontificating.”

“Everything that he’s claiming wasn’t told to people was told to all of us,” Travis said. “We all knew there were going to be demotions.”

“I’m not a fan of the mayor and we hit heads quite a bit,” Travis said. “But when he’s right, he’s right, and when he’s wrong, he’s wrong. This is Boykins trying to trash the mayor.”

Commentary has been watching and observing the H-Town City Hall since the late 1980s – the Whitmire, Lanier, Brown, White, and Parker administrations. I can’t recall where it has been this acrimonious, ridiculous or bad or whatever term you choose. A mess and madness for sure.

My buddy Jay Aiyer put out this real good tweet on Joe Biden this past Saturday:

Biden is the equivalent of a backup QB. Popular with the fans, and can take a few snaps in a game—maybe even spot start. Every time he is named a starter he fails. He isn’t taking anyone to the Super bowl. He’s basically the Brian Hoyer of politicians.

I wish Democratic Party leaders felt this way.

The Dean wants to take away the Frist Amendment Right of persons who are executed by the State of Texas. Commentary is against the death penalty. So, I have to be against The Dean on this.

Phil “Scrap Iron” Garner of course is 70 today. Happy Birthday Scrap Iron!

The bats were cold last night. Very cold.

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My Bench?

The Astros play two in Mexico next weekend? Do they have any players on the active roster who were born in Mexico?

Here are parts of a story in today’s Chron:

The Harris County Civil Court At Law judge who inadvertently resigned his post in March, and unsuccessfully lobbied Commissioners Court to allow him to remain on the bench, said he plans to run for his former seat in 2020.

Judge Bill McLeod also blasted the three Democratic members who decided to replace him, whom he says had already made their decision before McLeod pleaded for a reprieve at the April 9 Commissioners Court meeting.

“The manner in which commissioners handled it was really a disservice to Harris County voters,” McLeod said Sunday. “I want to take my bench back.”

County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said they vetted several potential replacements ahead of the meeting, but decided to replace McLeod after hearing his testimony.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Harris-County-judge-who-resigned-by-accident-13802271.php.

When I saw the story last night through Twitter, I retweeted with this:

That’s smart! Attack a Latina Harris County Judge, an African American County Commissioner and Latino County Commissioner- all Democrats and run in a Harris County Democratic Primary, in a competitive Democratic Presidential primary season.

I will tell you what is a disservice to the voters. Being a county court-at-law judge for less than three months and announcing a run for another position. A couple of months ago, the fella was running for Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. He really didn’t seem to have a problem leaving “my bench” behind. That is what I call a major league smug job. Sounds a little like white privilege to Commentary.

Democrats just took over the Harris County Commissioners Court with three folks – all people of color. It is not wise to start attacking them.

Judge Lesley Briones, who is now the judge, has a great story to tell. I am thinking the Latino Democratic political community will line up behind her candidacy.

FYI: Former Judge McLeod, did not have an opponent in the 2018 Democratic Party Primary.

During the Senator Carol Alvarado Campaign a few months ago, some of us involved in the campaign who don’t live in SD 6 were added to the list of voters who would be receiving our mail pieces. We do this so we can have an idea when the campaign mailers hit mailboxes. This past Saturday, I opened my mailbox and voila, a Carol Alvarado mailer – four and a half months after the Special Election.

From the you can’t be serious department. This is laughable. From the Chron this past weekend:

Councilman Dwight Boykins said Friday that the ethics committee he chairs will investigate this week’s vote to send 60-day layoff notices to 220 Houston firefighters, saying some council members who voted for the measure were not aware that it also allowed hundreds of firefighters to be demoted.

And this:

Councilman Jack Christie said Friday that he was aware his vote in favor of the layoffs also approved some demotions, but that he did not know the number would be in the hundreds.

He said he voted for “a few demotions, but not hundreds. And it may not be (the city’s) intent, but the ability to have hundreds of demotions is not helping the firefighters.”

“It just shocked me because (the demotions) could be used to punish or leverage the firefighters,” he said before reiterating his desire for a deal to be struck in negotiation.

Here is the entire article:

I don’t even know where to start on this and neither do you. Where does this end? How does it end? This is a mess and madness pure and simple.

I didn’t know this. Check this twitter handle:

Luis F. Carrasco, @lfcarrasco
Opinion writer for the Houston Chronicle.
Film buff and pop culture connoisseur.

Lisa Falkenberg retweeted this:

@lfcarrasco, who recently joined @ChronFalkenberg ‘s editorial team at the @HoustonChron, wins 1st place in statewide editorial writing in the @AZPressClub awards!

A Latino is writing editorials for the Chron. That is good news. Is he on the editorial board? He is not listed.

Commentary bought a couple of pair of new Levis a few weeks ago. Yesterday, I put on a pair for the first time. Last night, before I took them off, I was emptying my pockets and I notice there were a couple of receipts from a restaurant in Kemah that I have never patronized. How in the heck did those receipts get in my pocket?

New at The Yard this year, the “stare cam.” Cool.

Closer Roberto Osuna was born in Mexico of course.

We are in Minnesota for four and back in first.

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Changing Looks

We lost last night to Cleveland. We are 15-10, they are 14-10. We have a team batting average of .277, the best in MLB. Care to guess Cleveland’s team batting average?

Let me say this. If Joe Biden ends up being our nominee, I hope he wins. I just don’t want him to be our nominee. Got it?

What does change look like? Commentary is talking about what the Houston Federation of Teachers put out yesterday. Here it is:

“…we need change at City Hall.”

Well, what does change look like?

The Firefighters are no longer onboard.

It is looking like organized labor won’t be there either.

Remember municipal ID cards? Who was pushing municipal ID cards? Are they still onboard? Just saying.

Cleveland is batting .210 of course and they beat us last night.

The Bregman “Stare” bobble head is the giveaway this evening.

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Fired Firefighters

Justin Verlander picked up his 208th career win last night. CC Sabathia with 247 career wins is the only other active pitcher with more than 200 career wins. Care to guess who is third on the list among active pitchers with 190 career wins?

Yesterday evening, the State of Texas executed the murderer of James Byrd, Jr.

Here is what was said afterwards by a member of Byrd’s family:

“Today we witnessed the peaceful and dignified execution of John King for the savage, brutal and inhumane murder of James on June 7, 1998 — really a modern-day lynching.”

There is no such thing as a dignified execution – period.

The murderer was a no-good piece of you know what. Commentary doesn’t support the death penalty.

On the mess or madness over at H-Town City Hall and here is from the Chron:

Councilman Dwight Boykins, a onetime (Mayor Sylvester) Turner ally who in recent months has increasingly advocated on behalf of the firefighters, voiced similar concerns.

Boykins earlier this year floated the idea of a monthly garbage collection fee on homeowners that he said would raise revenue to finance the raises for firefighters. Council overwhelmingly rejected it.

Boykins has been increasingly critical of the mayor since, accusing Turner of using the layoffs to get revenge on his critics in HFD.

“(Turner’s) ultimate goal,” he told reporters after the Wednesday vote, “was to pay back the firefighters for beating him on Prop B. … It’s not right. So, now you have communities that will be suffering due to this layoff.”

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Council-approves-layoff-notices-for-220-13793377.php?src=hp_totn.

Commentary is not going to challenge what Council Member Boykins says. He has his point of view. I will say it again. Mayor Turner does not become Mayor unless he has firefighter support. So how did it get to 220 firefighters getting pink slips? Something is terribly wrong. It is not your fault or my fault. It is a very serious breakdown.

Joe Biden is in. Sigh. Is it just me? Joe Biden sure looks younger. Has he had work done if you know what I mean?

Zack Greinke of course is third on the active list with 190 career wins and he plays with the D-Backs.

Cleveland is in town for four.

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Jose Altuve has 9 dingers this season. How many times has Altuve hit more than 20 dingers in a season?

The H-Town City Hall mess or madness, pick your poison. This time it is the lead story in today’s hard copy of the Chron. The hiring freeze that wasn’t the hiring freeze.

Here it is: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Wary-of-Prop-B-layoffs-Turner-announced-a-hiring-13789763.php.

I don’t know what to say. Do you? Baffling. Puzzling.

Meanwhile, this is on today’s Houston City Council Agenda:

ORDINANCE amending Exhibit “A” of the City of Houston Ordinance No. 2017-290 and Exhibit “E” of the City of Houston Ordinance No. 2017-462 to abolish, vacate, and/or add positions, and substituting the Amended Exhibit as part of the current Houston Fire Department Classified Personnel Ordinance; providing a repealer; providing for severability.

It is going to be an interesting day for sure.

Remember the days here in the Lone Star State when GOP statewide candidates ignored their Dem competition.  Not anymore.  The Sen. John Cornyn campaign yesterday went after MJ Hegar big time yesterday.  They have to knowing they will be called a Trump toadie.

No wonder the intel folks didn’t want to give Donald Trump’s son-in-law security clearance. His arse is owned by Putin too. A couple of Facebook ads?

In 2016 and 2017, Jose Altuve hit 24 dingers of course. He had 13 dingers last season.

29,000 and change showed up at The Yard last night.

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We are 13-9. What was our record last season after 22 games?

MJ Hegar is running for the U.S. Senate and she announced it this morning with a cool video. Whoever gets in next better have a cool video.

Here is what Dems need to do.  It is obvious.  Let’s let the House Judiciary Committee take the lead, bring in the witnesses, hold hearings and go from there.

I wonder what the over/under is on the mediation over the mess at H-Town City Hall?

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the proposed advertising on Houston Metro buses and trains. Here is how they end their take today:

Let the public be heard. No public hearings are required, other than the always-available public comment sessions at regular Metro board meetings. But the board should hold them anyway, choosing two or more times when riders and non-riders alike can show up to speak for or against the proposal. It’s that important.

Quantify the upside with as much precision as possible. So far, putting a finger on how much revenue can be expected has been difficult, but without a reliable figure any decision made will be made blind.

If the ads are allowed, dedicate the revenue to specific improvements that everyday riders can feel. For example, ads on the buses could be linked to specific increases to frequency or ads on shelters could be linked to building new ones. Dropping the new funds into general revenue to be spent willy-nilly shouldn’t be an option.

Metro should take its time to get this right on the first try. It’s a decision whose consequences will be felt across the region. Full public hearings, precise forecasts and a fully transparent handling of any revenues is the least the agency should commit to.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Metro-should-go-slow-in-considering-13786621.php.

Last season, after 22 games, we were 15-7 of course.

Marwin got a video tribute last night. Thanks, but no thanks, said the team.

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The Rangers scored 11 runs against us yesterday. What were the most runs we gave up in a game last season?

It looks like Houston Metro is finally going to allow advertising on their buses and trains. I guess that is Ok. I am sure there will be some stuff that won’t be allowed to advertise. Stay tuned on this.

Growing up in our culture, we used to hear about La Llorona. Our house in Baytown was next to Goose Creek. Our version of La Llorona was a woman who lost her child would walk up and down the creek wailing late at night about her lost child. A movie has been released called “The Curse of La Llorona” and at a showing the PR folks thought it would be a good idea to invite some curanderos. Check this from AP:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A promotion around the movie “The Curse of La Llorona” using traditional Mexican healers for “spiritual cleansings” before screenings of the horror film is drawing strong criticism from healers and scholars who say the stunts are offensive and demeaning.

Leading up to the Friday release of the movie based on a Mexican folktale, Warner Bros. invited healers known as curanderos to give audiences cleanings called “limpias.” The studio also dispatched Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based healer Salvador Gata to “bless” an audience before the March 15 premiere at SXSW at The Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

In addition, photos posted on social media show images of supposed healers providing ceremonial cleansings in front of posters of “The Curse of La Llorona,” then celebrating as if attending a party.

“I’m working on the movie La Llorona and am looking for a curandero to do limpias before my movie screenings,” publicist Nahir Wold wrote San Diego-based curandera Grace Sesma in an email. “Let me know if this is something you would be interested in doing!”

Sesma said she ignored the invite until she started seeing photos of purported limpias at screenings online. That angered her and she posted the email on her Facebook page.

“I found it quite shameful,” Sesma said. “It heightens the fear factor around a traditional practice and commodifies and exploits our culture just to get people to see their movie.”
But Miguel Franco, a curandero based in Los Angeles, said Warner Bros. wasn’t looking for stereotypes when the studio invited him several times at various events for the movie.

“Working at press junkets, offering my services to people from all walks of life, including several well-known people, influencers, and media has allowed me to share my gift with people who normally would not have sought me out,” Franco said. He called the experience “overwhelmingly positive.”

Wold did not immediately return emails and phone messages left by The Associated Press.

Tonita Gonzales, an internationally known curandera based in Albuquerque, called the promotion an “outrage and an appropriation” of Mexican American culture.

“The limpia is a cleansing that helps people see the holy that’s within them,” Gonzales said. “To us this to promote a movie, especially during (Easter Weekend), is disturbing.”

The production hired curanderos as consultants to make sure the curandero in the film was portrayed accurately and with sensitivity, Warner Bros. officials said. The studio declined further comment.

Here is the entire article: https://apnews.com/27b7997d7b0e4baabe4f024c93da8f32?utm_medium=APWestRegion&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter.

Commentary has not seen the flick and maybe you have or I should. Rotten Tomatoes only gives it a 35% so that says something.

Let me make a confession. In my youth, Commentary has had to use curanderas to help me out a couple of times when conventional medical services could not. Worked both times.

Last July, the Angels scored 14 runs against us in a game of course.

Marwin and the Twins visit The Yard for three starting this evening.

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Friday is Good

The Royals lead MLB with 8 triples. The Astros only have 1 triple. Care to guess the Astro who hit the only triple?

I attended last night’s meeting of the Harris County Tejano Democrats and soon-to-be Harris County Court-At-Law Judge Lesley Briones was the featured speaker and she was outstanding. She has a great story to tell. She received a standing ovation after her remarks. I can’t remember the last time anyone received a standing ovation by Tejano Dems at their monthly meeting.

Tejano Dems also passed a resolution last night opposing a potential TEA takeover of HISD. There was a presentation on the resolution but no debate. I don’t know about that, just saying.

My take on the collusion thing. They wanted to collude but were just too dumb to collude. Got it?

Another thing, did we really need the Mueller Report to tell us Sarah Sanders was a liar? Nope!

The mess at H-Town City Hall, or madness as the Mayor calls it took an interesting turn yesterday in a Houston courtroom. Here is from Channel 2 News:

HOUSTON – A judge has ordered the city of Houston and firefighters to mediation in order to solve the puzzle of implementing the Proposition B pay parity.

The ruling handed down by District Court Judge Tanya Garrison ordered the two sides to work out their differences with an impartial mediator.

The judge gave the two sides until Monday to agree on a mediator.
There have been a lot of sticking points in terms of how to implement Prop B, from which members of the Houston Fire Department would be eligible for raises to incentive pay categories.

It is not yet clear if each and every one of those controversies would be addressed in mediation.

If the two sides can’t mutually agree on a mediator, the court will choose one. And it’s important to point out the mediation is not binding.

“If a judge thinks (mediation) is something the parties must do, obviously we will respect her opinion,” city attorney Ron Lewis said.

“We’ve been saying for months, we welcome a third party to look at this,” Marty Lancton, head of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, said.

And this:

City attorneys spent more than an hour arguing that because Prop B’s language focuses on public police officers, salaries and conditions and makes no mention, basis or comparison to private sector elements as mentioned in Chapter 174, Prop B contradicts state law, which makes Prop B invalid. Government lawyers took it a step further, stating that Prop B is unconstitutional.

Here is the entire story: https://www.click2houston.com/news/hearing-over-wording-of-prop-b-underway.

Did the City tell us is was unconstitutional during the campaign last fall?

And from the Chron on the matter:

“Though it is non-binding, the city will comply,” Turner said in a statement issued by his office late Thursday. “What is important is that the mediation occur as soon as possible, preferably Monday or Tuesday.”

Yuli Gurriel of course has the teams’ only triple of course.

Just so you know, the Angels, Brewers, Cleveland, Cubbies, Marlins, White sox and Yankees have yet to have a player hit a triple this season.

Justin Verlander gets the start this evening in Arlington.

Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter!

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Mueller Thursday

Not much to say today.

How many MLB clubs are undefeated at home this season?

It is Mueller Thursday. That’s what will dominate today.

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin said “if this isn’t obstruction of justice, then what is obstruction of justice?”

The GOPers of the Texas State Senate along with the two GOP U.S. Senators from Texas held a press conference yesterday to double down on the Donald Trump immigration policies. Yes sir! Keep doubling down! You are the political party of family separations. This will only help Dems in 2020.

On the mess over at H-Town City Hall, or as the Mayor calls it, “madness.” It has been 162 days since the voters decisively voted for Prop B. I repeat, decisively. Where is the decisiveness these days? Just saying.

The Astros are the only team that has not lost at home this season of course, they are 6-0 at The Yard.

We lost last night, are still in first, have today off, and are in Arlington for a weekend series tomorrow.

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The Astros have now won 10 in row. How many times in club history have we ‘ve had 10 game win streaks?

Everyone knows that Commentary calls the stuff around Prop B a mess. Yesterday, at the H-Town City Council meeting, the Mayor referred to it as “madness.”

The E-Board has a take on the “madness” today.

Here is how it ends:

But for his part, the mayor must accept that after the voters spoke in November, it became his job to make it work. That includes being open and transparent about any implementation costs and how parity is determined.

Just so you know, it has been nearly 5 ½ months since H-Town voters approved Prop B.

I learned something last night. Ed Emmett paid for his hurricane billboards during election years. I didn’t know that.

John C. McKeon, Mark Medici, Jack Sweeney, Steve Riley, Tony Freemantle, Lisa Falkenberg and Michael Lindenberger are listed on page A16 in today’s Chron as running the newspaper. Everyone in these parts likes to talk about H-Town’s diversity. The Chron needs to get on the ball and start looking at its own diversity. It is kind of a shame, just saying.

The Astros have had winning streaks of 10 or more games a dozen times now of course.

Alex Bregman had a grand salami last night and we are back in first place. Let’s stay there.

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