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Archive for April, 2020

Empty Yards

Dr. Anthony Fauci said yesterday that sports could be played without fans. Interesting.  You know MLB is going to pounce on this.  They are probably going over protocols for playing in empty yards.  Their only main revenue source would be TV, radio and some online.  They could sell a few tickets and have a handful of fans per section.  Distribute the sale of tickets through a lottery with season ticket holders guaranteed a percentage of the spots.   They could have a limited number of primitive concession options like peanuts, hots dogs, nachos and popcorn and you would order your grub and Saint Arnold through an app and pick up at a designated time to avoid running into other fans.  They would only have a tiny fraction of normal concession employees.  It is still a bad idea.  Commentary would not attend.  I would watch them on the flat screen or listen on the radio.

I can only speak for MLB because they have been getting a lot of my dough since 1994.  I love going to the games in part because of all the fans that attend.  I love feeling the energy, the cheering, the booing, groaning, dancing, singing, the homemade signs fans bring and the heartbreaks.  Even when we had those 100-plus loss seasons where 10,000 and change would show up on weeknights, we still had fun.  It is an experience that I have enjoyed.  You are not going to enjoy it when only a focus group shows up.

We may not have a season.  Yesterday, the Mayors of Los Angeles and New York said not to count on events with big crowds this year.  That means the Angels, Chargers, Clippers, Dodgers, Lakers and Rams in LA of the big three sports and the Giants, Jets, Knicks, Mets, Nets, and Yankees in the Big Apple.

I am certain the owners didn’t like hearing what the Mayors said yesterday.  The owners are used to having their way.  The owners are used to getting their way. It is going to be interesting to hear what the Harris County Judge, the H-Town Mayor, the Dallas County Judge, the Dallas Mayor, the Arlington Mayor, and the Tarrant County Judge have to say about large crowds.

If the Mayors of LA and New York are staking out this position, it is only a matter of time before the other big city mayors make similar statements.

We are all practicing social distancing.  Many of us are on a higher alert status when it comes to our surroundings when we venture out.  If COVID-19 is still active, do you want to go to Minute Maid, NRG and Toyota along with thousands of other folks?  It wouldn’t make sense.

When they study the pandemic years from now, hopefully folks will be talking about the resiliency of the people across the globe – except for Texas conservatives.   Check this headline from HoustonChronicle.com:

Texas conservatives call stay-at-home orders ‘tyranny.’

Texas Conservatives:  We surrender!

They were the folks on the Titanic who were running over children to get on the lifeboats.  Panic has definitely set in.

Royko sent me this yesterday:

Why would Trump accept any endorsement from Jeb!’s brother, former Globalist President 43? Bush never tried to confront the Washington “swamp dwellers.” Time will tell if any endorsement from Obama will help “sleepy Joe.”

I wonder if Royko knows that 5.2 million folks filed for unemployment this week here in the USA.

I am sure some folks saw the 91-year old woman who had her photo taken at her window with a handwritten sign asking for beer as she held a can of Coors Light.  Coors sent her 150 cans.  That’s 6 24-packs and a six pack.

My 96-year old Dad keeps Coors Light in the fridge, also Michelob Ultra, Miller Light, Bud Light, Modelo, Tecate and Tecate Light on a rotating basis.

Selena would be 49 today.  I miss her.

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I’m Fletcher Christian

F_cking morons!  Putting Donald Trump’s name on the now delayed stimulus checks just reminds folks who’s to blame.  Morons!

Texas Freedom Caucus: We Surrender!

Let it be known that the Texas Freedom Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives are the first to wave the white flag in our fight against COVID-19 here in the Lone Star State.  They sent a letter yesterday to Gov. Greg Abbott, asking him to lift some of the restrictions.

They also said that COVID-19 was “commonly known as the Wuhan virus.”  No, it is not.  Maybe to the racist haters.  They called the virus that four times in their letter.  That is not going to win them any support in Commentary’s book.

The letter had nine gutless, cowardly signatures.

Two takeaways from yesterday’s Daily Briefing.  The Trump Campaign is going to trot out blaming the World Health Organization for the pandemic and if it gets traction, will be a huge part of the campaign.  Folks around him explained to him the 10th Amendment so he reversed course from the Monday Daily Briefing. I guess Monday was a fake briefing.  The incompetence level is staggering at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Commentary doesn’t have a lot of faith in MLB.  They have kind of tossed out two atrocious ideas for playing this season.  Plus, they are holding my dough that I have paid upfront for my season tickets.  Now this from the Chron:

While it waits to determine when its season could possibly start, Major League Baseball will engage in proactive measures to understand the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Twenty-seven of the 30 major league teams are participating in a nationwide study that will test up to 10,000 people for COVID-19 antibodies.

Astros employees are participating in the study, a person with knowledge of the team’s plans told the Chronicle on Tuesday night. The participation is not limited to players. People from across the organization are participating, the source said, and their inclusion was on a completely voluntary basis.

According to ESPN, the study’s goal is to acquire a nationwide sample to better understand COVID-19’s infection rate. The test will determine the prevalence of two antibodies — one produced early in those infected with COVID-19 and a second that lingers post-infection.

“MLB did not partner with us for any selfish reason to get their sport back sooner,” Dr. Daniel Eichner told ESPN. “They jumped in for public health policy. That was their intention and their only intention.”

Eichner is the president of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, which is spearheading the study along with Stanford and the University of Southern California. His comments echoed commissioner Rob Manfred’s sentiment that participation in this study is no indication that baseball is any closer to a return.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/astros/article/Astros-among-teams-participating-in-COVID-19-study-15201334.php.

Sure MLB.  I don’t believe you one bit.

Release the Red Sox investigation!

Royko sent Commentary this yesterday:

I seem to recall Obama ignored the 10th Amendment, along with other aspects of the US Constitution.

Now the Fake News Propagandists cite the 10th Amendment.

Speaking of, I wonder if Royko got around to watching President Obama endorse former Vice President Joe Biden yesterday.

I wonder if Royko knows when W, err 43, will be endorsing Trump.

Yesterday morning, Trump tweeted about the movies “Mutiny on the Bounty” when referencing the Governors and who has the authority when it comes to opening the economy.  Captain William Bligh, who commanded the HMS Bounty, was portrayed in the two movies, is depicted as a complete arsehole and played by Charles Laughton in one flick and Trevor Howard in another.  Fletcher Christian, who led the mutiny, was romanticized in the flicks and portrayed by Clark Gable and Marlon Brando.  Now you know.

On April 15, 1947, at Ebbets Field against the Boston Braves, Jackie Robinson started at first base, batted second and grounded out in his first MLB at-bat.  Now you also know.

MLB was supposed to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks today.

All the players would have been wearing the number 42 at The Trop today.

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The 10th Thing

Commandment:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife …

U.S. Constitution Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Yesterday, I had on the Daily Briefing and Donald Trump was obviously crazy mad with the NY Times story on how he did nothing as COVID-19 prepared to overrun us.  He lost it and then they started playing a Breitbart-like produced video that was completely making up stuff on Trump and the virus.  I was aghast that CNN was airing it and then CNN must have regained their senses and cut away.

The case was made yesterday to carry the Daily Briefing live.  America got to see buffoonery on full display.  What an epic meltdown.

Here is what I think is going on.  In some parts of the East Coast and on the West Coast, infections are starting to level off and so the East Coast Governors and the West Coast Governors are starting to talk about what needs to be happening before they start opening up the economy.  The East Coast Governors want to open up as a region and so do the West Coast Governors.  Trump has absolutely botched and mishandled this pandemic.  He wants to take credit whenever some sort of normalcy returns, so he wants to say that he will have the final say when things get going again.  Reference the 10th Amendment, please. Incompetence on full display.

The USA leads the universe in COVID-19 cases.  Enough said.

South Dakota’s GOP Governor was one of the few who didn’t order stay-at-home and here is a story about the outcome: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/south-dakota-s-governor-resisted-ordering-people-to-stay-home-now-it-has-one-of-the-nation-s-largest-coronavirus-hot-spots/ar-BB12zTcc?ocid=msedgdhp.

Sigh.

The Wisconsin GOP made Democratic voters walk barefoot on hot burning coals, directed water cannons at them, and then made them walk the COVID-19 gauntlet and they still got their arses handed to them.  That voter suppression is a thing.  Start sweating November.

Here is a story in Politico about Texas 2020 politics.  Check it out: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/13/economic-meltdown-democrats-hope-texas-184613.

Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden yesterday.

President Obama will endorse today.

On my online grocery order a few days ago. I ordered a couple of tomatoes.  When I buy them at the store, I try not to get those that are ripe.  I want them to sit a few days.  When you order online, you are going to get the ones that are most ripe because they want to get rid of them.   Tomatoes have been a part of most meals the past few day.

In the pre-COVID-19 days, I would go to the grocery store every other day of so.  Now I have had to order a lot and kind of plan my meals – meals for one.

On the Top 100 Movie and TV Soundtracks I mentioned yesterday, add “The Mission.”

Two former Astros have birthdays today.  Happy Birthday to Brad Ausmus and Gregg Zaun.  Both played catcher and were teammates in 2002 and 2003.  Now you know.

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We’re Number 2

Happy Birthday today to my “cuz” and good friend, State Rep. Christina Morales!

What a time to celebrate a birthday.

It says a ton when the folks who work for Donald Trump won’t push back against the New York Times story where they dropped the ball on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed the story yesterday on CNN.

The USA leads the universe in COVID-19 cases.  I’m tired of winning.

I am sure Gov. Greg Abbott is a little disappointed this morning.  He is probably a bit perturbed why we aren’t leading the nation for being the lousiest state on COVID-19 testing.  We are runner-up.  Sigh.

We’re number 2!  We’re number 2.

I guess that is acceptable to the Governor.  Double sigh.

Here is from Saturday’s Chron:

Gov. Greg Abbott will unveil plans next week to restart the shuttered Texas economy, insisting that measures can be taken to “protect lives while restoring livelihoods.”

“We can do both,” he said in a briefing, without providing details.

Here is from an Op-Ed in Saturday’s Chron:

The Texas Tech University medical system, with four hospitals, is bracing for a peak that is only now building, according to Dr. Steven Berk, an infectious disease specialist and dean of the medical school. Their model calls for 450 people to be hospitalized by late May in Lubbock alone, with 130 needing ventilators. Right now only a dozen are on ventilators here, he told me. So far, the hospital system seems like it will cope, if only barely.

Open for business?  Let’s see.  We have the second worse testing rate in the country.  What a joke!  We can’t do both!

Meanwhile, the experts are saying we are a couple of weeks from the spike here in Texas.

The Chron on their website had their 100 best movie or TV soundtracks to listen do while you are at home.  I have a few on vinyl or CDs like “The Graduate”, “Doctor Zhivago”, “The Sting”, “Help”, “Hard Day’s Night”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Let It Be”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “Shaft”, “Love Story” and “Woodstock”.  They listed “Mama Mia” and I don’t have the soundtrack, but I put it on every time it airs.  Omissions that I would have included are “The Wind and the Lion”, “Papillon”, “Serpico”, “The Godfather”, “Somewhere in Time”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Notting Hill”  to name a few.  They had the 1998 “Godzilla” on the list – huh? The top pick was “Sound of Music” and you can’t argue with that.  I don’t have the soundtrack, but I was in the musical in my senior year in high school and I know most of the words to the tunes.

Here is an easy one, what movie mentioned above has a tune with this line?

“Who’s the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about?”

Answer: Shaft, can you dig it.

My car insurance company said they were going to give us a rebate because not a whole lot of folks are driving around.  I did a quick calculation.  My rebate comes to about $38.

Anavid Reyes is now handling traffic duty for Channel 2 morning news.

MLB went back to the drawing board and says they are going to come back with a plan to move forward where all players, umpires, coaches, concessionaires, ushers, and fans would wear HAZMAT gear.  Orbit, who is from the Foul Territory of the Grand Slam Galaxy, is immune to COVID-19, so he don’t have to wear HAZMAT gear.

We have missed 15 regular season games.  Right now we would be 12-3.

 

 

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The Last Handshake

Commentary will be honest with folks.  I have teared up and cried in private over the past couple of weeks.  Over watching a story on CNN or on the “Today” show.  Running across a touching tweet.  When I absolutely have to venture out, seeing how folks are reacting.  Just thinking about stuff.  Reading an email, a text or talking by phone with folks and hearing their stories.  Doing my job. What we are going through is unprecedented and hard.  Sometimes it is difficult to keep our emotions in check. That is what it is. It’s Ok.

These days, sometimes I think this quote from Bill Paxton – who is no longer with us – from “Aliens” is appropriate:

“Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!”

We are getting our asses kicked, pal.

Everybody’s favorite doc these days, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the days of handshakes may be over.  It got me to thinking.  Who was the last person I shook hands with?  Who was the last female I greeted with a cheek to cheek peck?  Who got my last hug.  Who was yours? That behavior is adios, don’t you think?

The H-Town Mayor made the right call and closed the parks through this Easter Weekend.

It was a good decision by the Harris County Judge.

I will be making an online grocery pick-up today.  Let’s see how it works out.

I think they got cabin fever at MLB headquarters.  Check this from USA Today:

PHOENIX — How about the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies being divisional rivals for the season?

Or the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves?

And the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians?

Major League Baseball, assessing a myriad of proposals, has discussed a radical plan that would eliminate the traditional American and National Leagues for 2020, a high-ranking official told USA TODAY Sports, and realign all six divisions for an abbreviated season.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is one of several being discussed. 

The plan would have all 30 teams returning to their spring-training sites in Florida and Arizona, playing regular-season games only in those two states and without fans in an effort to reduce travel and minimize risks in the midst of the COVD-19 pandemic.

The divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring-training homes.

What another stupid idea from MLB.  Don’t they have anything better to do?  Go make a mask.

There was a sports poll released yesterday where 71% of respondents said they weren’t going to a major sports event until they found a vaccine for COVID-19.

I guess you can still have a Happy Easter, I guess.

Have a Happy Easter.  Stay safe and consider others.

Have a Good Friday.

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The pandemic is certainly exposing the ineptness of GOP leadership and policy making.  The Texas Workforce Commission is overwhelmed by unemployment claim filers.  It turns out they are still operating with 1980s era mainframe computers.  How does your $400 million a year for border security priority look like these days?

Add to this, it was an epic failure by our federal government not let our African American community know that they could be hit hardest by the coronavirus.  Epic failure for sure.

Years and years ago, I used to get annoyed at those pre-New Year’s Eve Celebration press conferences by local elected officials and law enforcement leaders on their issuing of warnings to the community on firing their firearms into the air to bang in the New Year.  I thought they were singling out the Latino community.  It turns out they were right.  It is something stupid about our culture that we have a disproportionate share of knuckleheads who think this type of deadly activity is acceptable. In fact, a few years ago, a Latino Texas State Legislator from the Rio Grande Valley took a round to the top of his head as he rang in the New Year.

I think I know my community.  They are itching to venture out to the park this Easter weekend.

Commentary isn’t going to spend a whole lot of time second guessing the locals in charge during this pandemic.  It was a good move by Harris County to close the County parks this Easter Weekend.  You know there were a bunch of pandejos getting ready to head out to parks to do their celebrating and violating the social distancing commandments.

The H-Town Mayor is keeping the City parks open. Now that is what we call a mixed message.  Sigh.  Some may see this as a weekend respite of social distancing declaration from our local officials.  You know, let’s head to the park for a weekend of celebration and then we will go back to the six feet apart thing.

We are supposedly heading into our peak of the spread.  Didn’t we just hear lately that social distancing is working?  Commentary really doesn’t think that shutting down the City parks this weekend is going to inconvenience folks who are already inconvenienced.  The very last place I plan on visiting this weekend are any parks that are open.

Maybe my community will pay attention to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and stay away from parks altogether this weekend.

I watch when I can on CNN the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo daily briefings.  I watch not because I want to know what is going on in New York, even though New York is at the epicenter of the pandemic in the country.  I watch because he is able to explain candidly what we are dealing with.  We are never going to get that with the daily briefing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Commentary never says anything bad about folks leaving us, except when we got Bin Laden.  Commentary wasn’t a fan of Linda Tripp.  If you going to leave us and you don’t want a lot of folks to talking stuff about you, you might as well leave us during a pandemic. RIP and that’s all I will say.

55 years-ago today, the Yankees played the Astros to open the Astrodome.

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Commentary said this on Monday:

Dallas County posts how many COVID-19 positives by a zip code color-coded map.  Montgomery County list all their positives without names but includes gender, age group, and city and zip code.  Fort Bend County has them broken down by County Commissioner Precinct where they report the County’s total percentage by Commissioner Precinct.  Chambers County divides the County into three regions and reports age group and gender.  Galveston County provides positives by city (League City and Texas City are getting the brunt).

Harris County has a breakdown by 4 geographic regions NW, NE, SW and SE, plus, age group and gender.  Harris County provides info for the City of Houston and the remainder of Harris County, but not for other cities like Baytown, Bellaire, Pasadena and so on.  Is that info even relevant.  Harris County has roughly 140 geographic zip codes.   That averages out to about 9 positives per zip code.

James tweeted out Pasadena info yesterday and they are reporting over 30 positives.

How about racial breakdown?  Necessary?

Then Commentary said this yesterday:

A grim stat I just saw on CNN.  41% of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan are African Americans.  They are 14% of the population.

I saw a stat about Louisiana yesterday.  70% of their COVID-19 deaths are African Americans.  They are 32% of the population.

Sarah Smith of the Chron tweeted this yesterday:

We can learn about disproportionate impacts of #COVID19 on communities of color and poor communities with zip code data.

Mike Morris of the Chron tweeted this yesterday:

Sigh. Jurisdictions all over the country (and state) are using zip codes.

**Assuming that people will get the wrong impression from the data is not a reason to hide the data.** It’s a reason to better explain the data.

Provide zip codes, please.  Provide other key data, please.

Today, two of the Chron E-Board members have rival Op-Eds on airing the daily briefings.  You know where I stand

My State Representative, good friend and client Anna Eastman has a touching and heartfelt essay in today’s hard copy of the Chron.  Here it is:

Last week the list of things being canceled or postponed started piling up. Two graduations, one high school and one college, that were steeped with unique rituals and traditions — canceled. The runoff election for the state representative seat I’d recently won — postponed. The last two operas in Houston Grand Opera’s season — canceled. As I was running through our personal list of things big and small, I realized we probably wouldn’t be able to host our Seder.

Seder is the Passover supper celebrated by Jews every spring very close to Easter. Passover is a time for family and friends to gather and read the story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Participants read the story aloud passage by passage from a Haggadah — the ritual-rich text that guides the Seder meal.

I attended my first Seder in the spring of 1993. My now husband, Brad, had invited me to his family’s table, replete with Maxwell House Haggadahs, Manischewitz, the gefilte fish I had long eyed warily on grocery store shelves and his mother’s beloved matzo ball soup and brisket. When we got up to serve ourselves from the main course buffet. I overheard Brad’s Grandma whisper, “Aren’t you going to miss this?”

I grew up in a religious Catholic family. Brad grew up Jewish. My family married Catholics or at least other Christians and, until I came along, his family married other Jews. We weren’t in our families’ or even our own plans for our future, but that’s a story for another day. A year later we were living in New York. Determined to prove his Grandma wrong, I signed up for a class on Jewish cooking at The New School and we had our first little Seder with a handful of other displaced young professionals.

Fast forward to 2000. We hosted our first Houston Seder in our home on 11½ Street. The New School’s recipes had been incorporated into our tradition, as had my Catholic parents and Brad’s family — including Grandma Frieda. That smallish group has grown to include over 40 people over the years. We’re a rag-tag bunch including many interfaith families like ours and lots of folks who aren’t Jewish but have become family over the years. We have all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, gender identities and sexual orientations present. People have contributed to the massive effort over the years by boiling and peeling several dozen eggs, making a salad or bringing toys that represent the plagues to occupy the kids who are now mostly at college.

The core group is always joined by some number of last-minute invites. As last year’s Seder was approaching, I got several calls from folks I’d casually invited in the past but who had never been able to make it — did we have room for a couple more? Of course! Brad came home and told me he had also added a few more people. I went into a full-on panic about having enough space to seat everyone. As we were laying down to go to sleep and reviewing what had to be done over the next couple of days, Brad, in typical fashion, busted out with the perfect quote from Isaiah 54:2:

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; don’t spare: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.”

Ugh, he was right, only the porch where we host the dinner doesn’t have curtains for walls and we’d just have to squeeze in, hoping that no one ended up with hot chicken soup down their back while we sidled amongst the tables to serve it. Everyone came — including our two far-flung college kids. It was a glorious, cozy evening, maybe the best yet.

Brad relishes leading the service. Each year he finds a relevant political or social justice issue to weave into the readings. He’s a funny and thoughtful host who loves surrounding himself with little kids, rare at this season in our family’s life, at the head table. I love cooking the food and watching my own children and those of our “Seder family” help serve the endless courses of specialties reserved for this night every year. We’re still pondering how to recreate something over Zoom and if we should leave some matzo ball soup and other ritual foods on our friends’ porches. This time of the coronavirus is full of opportunities to find new meaning in our spring rites. Little did any of us know all those years ago what the future held for us or our Seders. But this year, Grandma Frieda, we are all going to miss it.

Eastman represents District 148 in the Texas House of Representatives.

Well written.

The idea of MLB starting play next month in Arizona was not received well.

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A grim stat I just saw on CNN.  41% of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan are African Americans.  They are 14% of the population.

I saw a stat about Louisiana yesterday.  70% of their COVID-19 deaths are African Americans.  They are 32% of the population.

The Texas GOP State Comptroller told Ross Ramsey of the Trib that we were in a recession.  He also said that a Special Legislative Session dealing with budget issues probably wasn’t necessary and reminded us that January 2021 will be upon us soon enough.

I fully understand why some folks don’t want CNN and others to air live the daily briefings.  We all know the drill.  Mike Pence says Donald Trump’s leadership is making a difference.  Donald Trump takes credit for anything good that happens.  They absolutely do not take any responsibility for anything that has gone wrong.  They assign blame on governors, mayors, the media, China, ungrateful corporations and the President Barack Obama administration.  They lie.

PPE shortages, ventilator shortages, the lack of preparedness, that’s not their fault.  In fact, they think we have everything that we need.  When we do run out, they will assign blame elsewhere.

When reporters ask the tough questions, Trump resorts to bullying the reporters.  If they are female and of color, he will use the nasty word.

Trump likes the briefing because a lot of folks are watching.  A lot of folks are at home and some are closely following this event.

To those that want CNN and others to stop airing them, chill.  What is important right now is that we get through this pandemic – doing our part.

In Commentary’s book, the damage has been done.  Donald Trump and his folks were ill-prepared for what happened.  There is video and documentation to support this.  Plus, there is a growing body count.

He was at the helm when this happened.  He ignored the warning signs.  He mocked the warning signs.

Our lives have changed dramatically.  Folks know this.

Now he is grasping for the miracle cure.  We all know that is not how it works.

As far as Commentary is concerned, he just keeps looking like the biggest buffoon on the planet.

On a similar note, it is mind boggling, baffling and downright dangerous that the Wisconsin GOP is shoving an election down the throats of their voters during this pandemic.  Who in their right mind does this?

Trump said yesterday that the program to help out businesses was going great.  He said all the banks are taking care of folks.  Here is what my bank sent me yesterday:

We want to provide a quick update to you as we approach the launch of our online Paycheck Protection Program site.

First, we’ve been working diligently around the clock to develop and launch our application site and are working to have it available as soon as possible this week. When the site becomes available, we will send you an email with a link to apply.

For details about program eligibility, loan forgiveness and more, view our PPP overview. You may also wish to visit the SBA website for additional information.

We recommend that you begin collecting the information you’ll need to apply. View a SAMPLE PPP borrowers form and review this Documents Needed to Apply list to identify the information you’ll need to enter online when you apply. The sample form is to be used as a guide only. You do not need to complete that form. You will enter your information online when you apply.

Thank you again for your patience. We want to assure you we understand the difficult times you are facing and are committed to helping you and your business. 

Got it?

Gasoline prices are low.  Too bad I can’t take advantage.

MLB is in discussions with the Players Association to start the season as early as next month in Arizona at the empty spring training ball parks and Chase Field.  What a stupid idea.

Hall of Fame great Al Kaline left us yesterday.  Mr. Tiger.  He played for Detroit his entire career.  Growing up, he was one of my favorite players.  Perennial All Star.  He won a World Series ring and numerous Gold Gloves.  In 1999, I attended the Astros Wives Gala and I saw an Al Kaline autographed baseball at the silent auction.  I bid on it and got it.  He was recognized as one of the classiest guys in all of MLB.  He was 85 years old.

 

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This is so goddamn insane.

Friday, the CDC said we should be wearing masks, but you can’t find them.  They are as scarce as hand sanitizers.

Dallas County posts how many COVID-19 positives by a zip code color-coded map.  Montgomery County list all their positives without names but includes gender, age group, and city and zip code.  Fort Bend County has them broken down by County Commissioner Precinct where they report the County’s total percentage by Commissioner Precinct.  Chambers County divides the County into three regions and reports age group and gender.  Galveston County provides positives by city (League City and Texas City are getting the brunt).

Harris County has a breakdown by 4 geographic regions NW, NE, SW and SE, plus, age group and gender.  Harris County provides info for the City of Houston and the remainder of Harris County, but not for other cities like Baytown, Bellaire, Pasadena and so on.  Is that info even relevant.  Harris County has roughly 140 geographic zip codes.   That averages out to about 9 positives per zip code.

James tweeted out Pasadena info yesterday and they are reporting over 30 positives.

How about racial breakdown?  Necessary?

Corona Beer is halting production because of the coronavirus, sort of.  Mexico says breweries are not an essential service during the pandemic.  Corona is shutting down.  Yeah, just wait until the cerveza on the shelves runs out.  It will then become essential.

I went to find out why they called it coronavirus.

Here is from Women’s Health:

Although the name coronavirus caused a bit of confusion at the start of the current health crisis, this virus is in no way related to the beer. Rather, the pathogen got its name due to the spiky crown (or corona in Latin) that you can see on its surface when you take a look at it underneath a microscope, explains Rishi Desai, MD, a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And there isn’t one sole coronavirus. Coronaviruses are actually a family of viruses that cause respiratory infections, according to the WHO.

Why didn’t they call it the crownvirus?  Then they would have pissed off the Crown Royal crowd and maybe the Royal Crown Cola folks.

RG is getting some pushback on a Texas Monthly story he put out a few days ago on the Governor having that press conference in front of PPE gear and the Governor letting folks know that we were prepared.  It turns out a lot of health care folks in Texas need PPE gear.  If you don’t believe me, then why are we having an H-Town PPE Drive at The Yard Wednesday afternoon?

Here is RG’s Story:  https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/ppe-shortage-abbott-strike-force-doctors-masks/.

I had to order masks for me that I should get maybe by the end of the week.  Until then, a scarf or bandana is going to have to suffice if I have to venture out.

All the Fox News talking heads who put the pooh pooh on COVID-19 a month or so ago are now being referred to as the well-deserved pandumbarses. Add the Wisconsin GOP to the pandumbarses list.   You call yourself the Pro-Life party.  Sure.

Also add that Hotze fella and former local GOP Chair Jared Woodfill to the pandumbarses list for being part of a church service yesterday in the H-Town area.  They are literally dying to be pandumbarses.

Here is Chron story today on pandumbarses who went to church yesterday:  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Crowd-gathers-at-Houston-church-for-Palm-Sunday-15180827.php.

I sure am glad some of the folks Greg Groogan had on “What’s the Point” yesterday isn’t in charge of anything but themselves during this pandemic.  Whatever happened to Wayne Dolcefino?

Former Vice President Joe Biden said we might have to have a virtual Democratic National Convention.  If that’s the case, I may apply to be a National Delegate.  That way, I can sleep in my own bed during the convention instead staying in Chicago.

I started online grocery shopping and making my first pick-up later on this morning.  They say they may have to substitute some items.  No problem on batteries as long as they are AA. It won’t work if they don’t give me the right size air filters.  I am very picky on my store-bought salsa.

We have missed 10 regular season games.  The Mets were supposed to be in town tomorrow for 2.  Dollar Dog was supposed to be tomorrow night.  When you go on the team website and look up the schedule, the 10 games we didn’t play are listed as postponed.  Heck, we could very well not have a season.

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Prosecute, Please

The incompetence of Donald Trump, those around him, and a whole lot of GOP leaders is staggering.  It is on full display and it is everywhere we go.

The government could recommend we wear masks if we are going to interact with the public.  Great.  Where can I get a mask?

The family did a zoom last night and we just zoomed around.  One of the topics of discussion was what was good TV these days.  I forgot to mention the dangerously hilarious daily briefings now that the son-in-law is participating.  It is literally going to be killer TV.

Who thought bringing on Jared Kushner was a good idea?  I can’t even find GOPers who think this is smart.

It looks like the Democratic National Convention will be moved from July to August.  I have a suggestion to Dems.  Let’s dispense with the Platform Committee and just have one plank, plain and simple.  Here it is:

On January 20, 2021, we will prosecute everyone of those mother f_ckers, starting with Trump, Pence, Kushner, I. Trump, Pompeo, Mnuchin, Conway, Barr, Mulvaney and the list goes on and on …..

That’s all we need to say.

Commentary said this a couple of weeks ago:

Under the authority the Texas Governor now has because of this current disaster emergency declaration, he has given local government entities the power to move their May 2 elections to November 3.  I would move them.  Of course, some local burgs, ISDs and water districts prefer holding May elections because of the certainty of low voter turnout.  November elections turn out more voters who aren’t as attentive to local stuff if you know what I mean.   Move your election for the sake of the safety of your election workers.

Nobody reads Commentary.  Here is from the Trib:

First the headline:

Texas tells locals they must delay their upcoming May elections

Here is the story:

Gov. Greg Abbott had previously paved the way for municipalities to push their May elections to November. But a handful of small towns and special districts had Citing the state’s stay-at-home order, the Texas Secretary of State is instructing municipalities to delay their May 2 elections.

In an email to local election officials sent Thursday afternoon, the state’s director of elections Keith Ingram said cities, towns and school boards that hadn’t pushed their upcoming elections to November “must take action to do so immediately” or risk facing a challenge in court.

“If you don’t move your May 2nd election, you are subjecting voters to health risks and potential criminal violations,” Ingram wrote. “Failure to postpone your election will put your election at severe risk for an election contest.”

In response to the new coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Greg Abbott paved the way for postponements two weeks ago with an emergency proclamation suspending parts of the state’s election code. Since then, municipalities and other local entities across most of Texas had voted to cancel their traditional early May elections.

But a handful of towns and special districts were still planning to go ahead with their May votes even as many county election officials told locals they wouldn’t run their elections. Some city councils cited a state constitutional requirement to fill some vacancies within 120 days. Others feared the measures on the May ballot would get lost at the bottom of a robust November general election ballot.

Here is the entire Trib article: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/04/02/texas-secretary-state-delay-local-may-elections-coronavirus/.

Why did they even give the locals the option of keeping the May 2 date?  Lack of leadership.

The Governor and Secretary of State have to decide pretty soon how the primaries are going to be conducted.  Here is an online headline from the Chron:

First Word: All Texans can vote by mail… maybe? We need clarity.

Luis Carrasco from the E-Board writes this:

You do you.

That seems to be the answer by Secretary of State Ruth Hughs to calls that Texas expand vote-by-mail in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, including one by this editorial board. This is about as useful as her previous silence and continues to represent zero official guidance to county elections officials.

Right now, not just anyone can vote-by-mail in Texas. The state requires an excuse from voters younger than 65 who want to submit an absentee ballot.

The law allows those who are disabled to vote by mail only if in-person voting would pose a threat to their health. Responding to a petition by Progress Texas, Hughs seemed to support the argument that the risk posed by the pandemic allows anyone to claim a condition that justifies casting a ballot by mail — but she leaves it up to voters to decide.

“If a voter believes they meet this definition, they can submit an application for ballot by mail,” the response read. “As the situation changes, we will be updating our guidance. We hope this information has been helpful.”

No, it hasn’t, actually. As the chief elections officer in Texas, the secretary needs to be clear, not only on what voters can do to protect their health but also on what county officials can expect in upcoming elections. This is not something that can be done on a wait-and-see basis.

Here is all of Carrasco’s take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/First-Word-All-Texans-can-vote-by-mail-maybe-15175389.php.

The Secretary of State and the Governor really don’t have a choice on this one.  They can make this as easy as all get out for the primaries and if the pandemic is gone by the end of the summer, they can go back to the current system.   They are probably thinking if we make it easy in the primaries, all voters will want this system in November and they don’t want any part of that, because they are from the party that makes it harder for folks to vote. Got it?

Sigh. R.G. has a story in Texas Monthly today and the headline tells you all you need to know here:

Greg Abbott Promised to Get Masks for Texas. But Doctors Were Told They Were on Their Own.

Here is the R.G. story: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/ppe-shortage-abbott-strike-force-doctors-masks/.

Hey GOP.  Your GOP Governor from Georgia just learned yesterday that COVID-19 carriers could be asymptomatic.  Where do you find your leaders?

I wonder who will show up this Sunday for Greg Abbott’s Deadly Church Services Day?

Florida is a sh_t sandwich, from Politico.

TALLAHASSEE — The staggering unemployment exploding on President Donald Trump’s watch would worry any incumbent running for reelection, but troubles in Florida are injecting an added dose of fear into a jittery GOP.

Already anxious about Trump’s chances in the nation’s biggest swing state, Republicans now are dealing with thousands of unemployed workers unable to navigate the Florida system to apply for help. And the blowback is directed straight at Trump’s top allies in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott.

Privately, Republicans admit that the $77.9 million system that is now failing Florida workers is doing exactly what Scott designed it to do — lower the state’s reported number of jobless claims after the great recession.

“It’s a sh– sandwich, and it was designed that way by Scott,” said one DeSantis advisor. “It wasn’t about saving money. It was about making it harder for people to get benefits or keep benefits so that the unemployment numbers were low to give the governor something to brag about.”

Republican Party of Florida chairman Joe Gruters was more succinct: “$77 million? Someone should go to jail over that.”

Here is the entire Politico story: https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2020/04/03/its-a-sh-sandwich-republicans-rage-as-florida-becomes-a-nightmare-for-trump-1271172.

My April Beatles calendar with lyrics just has “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.”  The other Beatles calendar has a group photo from October, 1963.

Stay safe as we head into Holy Week.

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