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Archive for July, 2020

Pandemic Politics

It is pretty obvious that Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic hinges around his reelection.  He wants a full-blown economy with low unemployment.  He never implemented a strategy on testing and contract tracing.  He encouraged the economy to open back up before we were ready. He encouraged liberation.  He has treated the pandemic as an annoyance.  He will pay the price this November.

Gov. Greg Abbott put himself between a rock and a hard place.  Rather than stay a course and focus, he immediately let Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unnerve him.  He opened up way too soon.  Instead of listening to the mayors and county judges of the larger cities and counties, he opted to please Patrick and the loonies because he doesn’t want them to go after his arse in 2022.  Commentary thinks it is too late on that front.  Patrick is in.  He has got enough on Abbott.  A dithering Abbott.  It is happening in plain sight.  It is out of control.  At this point, Gov. Abbott just needs to act on saving lives and shut it back down again.  He won’t though.

Commentary is certainly not going on a limb by saying Gov. Abbott will not be reelected. He has handled the pandemic response poorly.  Either he will choose not to run for reelection, Patrick will take him out in the GOP primary, or the November 2022 general election voters will say no mas.

Nobody can say that Gov. Abbott has been on top of this.  Don’t argue, please.

Astros baseball for real starts in a week.  I wonder if we should all wear Astros gear next Friday?

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Badass Challenger

Here is a headline on an online story on the U.S. Senate race:

Cornyn-Hegar Senate race pits money vs. a ‘badass’ challenger

Commentary knows very little about MJ Hegar.  I know she rides a motorcycle.  I know she is a combat veteran.   I also know she is not a useless arsehole like the GOP incumbent.

Donald Trump has a new campaign manager.  As if that will change things.

V Colorado sent me this on my take yesterday:

I’m disappointed as well. Feel like I did after Beto lost his senatorial race.

Here is some data from HD 148:

In the March 3 Dem Primary in HD 148, 660 voted by mail.  That was a low number and let me explain.

In 2019, for the November municipal and HD 148 Special Elections, a number of campaigns sent out to 65 and older voters mail ballot applications.  On November 3, 1,306 cast mail ballots in HD 148.   As you recall, the HD 148 Special Election runoff was held on January 28 of this year.  Mail ballots were sent out in late December for the Special Election Runoff, at around the same time the Democratic Party sent out their mail ballot applications.  Commentary got his and filled out and returned.

Since HD 148 mail ballots were hitting at the same time applications were hitting, I suspect a lot of voters didn’t fill out their applications, maybe thinking they didn’t have to since a mail ballot was sitting on their kitchen table.

1,335 cast mail ballots on January 28 with 863 going to Democrat State Rep. Anna Eastman.

Heading into this past weekend in the HD 148 Democratic Primary Runoff, 2,137 mail ballots were in.  The Rep. Eastman campaign sent out applications to 65 and older March 3 voters who had voted in person.  1,219 of the 2,137 voted in person on March 3.

We also sent out to those under 65 who voted in March.  400 voters under the age of 65 ended up voting by mail as of this weekend.

More mail ballots came in this weekend so these numbers should increase.

MLB starts in eight days.

 

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Disappointment

Commentary is disappointed in the results of last night’s election returns in State House District 148.  Congratulations to our opponent.

Tim Bacon sent me this yesterday about our take on State Rep. Anna Eastman:

To be able to accomplish anything regarding public education, one must be appointed by the Speaker to that committee. Since it is one of the big 3 or 4 committees, it is rare for a freshman to be appointed. I hope she is lucky and is so appointed.

Not going to happen.

I don’t have much else to say.

The team sent me this yesterday:

We can’t invite you back to Minute Maid Park just yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t attend a game virtually with an Astros Fan Cutout.

For a $100 donation, upload a smiling photo of yourself in your official Astros fan gear and the Astros Foundation will find a seat for you in one of our outfield sections. Net proceeds from your purchase will go to the Astros Foundation to support our ongoing efforts in the Houston community.

As an Astros Season Ticket Holder, use the coupon code  ****** to receive 25% off your entire Astros Fan Cutout purchase.

Quantities are limited and the earlier you upload your photo, the higher the likelihood we can install them at the beginning of the regular season. 

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Vote Eastman

Commentary usually doesn’t say much on Election Day other than to tell folks to go vote.  Here is what the Chron E-board says about State Rep. Anna Eastman today:

Anna Eastman in primary for Texas House District 148. Her record as an eight-year member of the HISD school board, plus the work she’s done since voters chose to send her to Austin in the January special election, shows she has a firm handle on how to get results for constituents. She has promised to make education one of her top priorities.

They threw a lot at her in the runoff.

Our opponent’s printer called last week telling us he got stiffed by our opponent on getting paid for yard signs.  It is funny.  Every printer I know doesn’t let campaign product out the door without full payment.  He called again yesterday saying he was still owed money.  Commentary is not surprised.

Commentary is always learning stuff.  I have mentioned before growing up four blocks from the second largest refinery in the country, seventh in the world.  I am talking about the Exxon facility in Baytown.  I drive by it when I go hang with my Dad.  I did not know until yesterday that Donald Trump had created the oil industry.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is a piece of you know what.  He got caught not wearing a mask on a flight.  The fella is a joke.

They are still on track to play MLB next week.

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Those guys at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are the most dangerous morons on the planet.  Now they are doing their best to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci.  I have watched all of the public health top folks do interviews, Dr. Birx, the HHS Secretary, the FDA fella, the Surgeon General and a few others and they are not candid and not telling us the truth.  They don’t want to be seen in public as contradicting the racist, lying, arsehole, dumbs_it Donald Trump.  They are contributing to folks getting sick and losing their lives.  Dr. Fauci is the only one of them who I find fully credible.

Bringing in refrigerated trucks for bodies should be a trigger for automatic shutdowns.

The Chron E-Board laid into Gov. Greg Abbott yesterday.  Here is how it started:

One moment in Texas’ battle against this ravenous pandemic signaled whether Gov. Greg Abbott would lead as the state’s top executive or a top political boss. Back in May, Abbott made the fateful decision to side with Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther instead of local leaders in major cities across the state such as Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

That choice, to embrace partisan politics and a fringe populist backlash over common sense and sound medical advice from his own advisers, condemned the Lone Star State to the circumstances we face today: Hospitals near the breaking point. Nearly 3,000 Texans dead — and counting.

An epic failure for sure.

Commentary is a CNN person.  During the pandemic, it’s Channel 2 news in the morning with Owen, Lisa, Britta and crew.  Then it is the “Today” show for a couple of hours or so, then CNN the rest of the day and evening.  We have gotten to know some of the Governors.  From Washington, California, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota and the one from Minnesota on the protests.  Have not heard from the rest of the Governors.

I guess I can talk a little MLB.  This stat just jumped into my head yesterday.  The Astros have played in the last three ALCSs.  Only three teams have played in the last three ALCSs: the Astros, Red Sox and Yankees.  The Yankees have won the most ALCS titles with 11.  Next are the A’s and Red Sox with 6 each.  Every AL team has played in the ALCS with the Mariners being the only team without an ALCS title after three appearances.  On the listing of ALCS recurring matchups in Wikipedia, they got an * by our name noting that we cheated.

The season starts in 11 days.

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Last Day

Today is the last day to vote early in person in the primary runoffs in Texas.

Texas continues to be a hot spot for COVID-19.  This is a Donald Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP caused problem.  Abbott is at a 44% approval rating in Texas and it is probably going to get worse.  This is insane.

Meanwhile, the Texas GOP is suing the City of H-Town.  Let’s do this.  Set it up for them.  The chairs, the podium, the microphones and the lights.  Give them the keys to the GRB but don’t provide staff.  They can bring in their coolers.  Hire food trucks.  If they want to infect each other, let them. After they are done, we can bring in a cleaning crew in hazmat gear and hose the place down.

The Goya Food CEO stepped into it big time by praising Trump.  Commentary is not a big Goya fella.  What a dumbarse.

Commentary doesn’t have much else to say heading into the weekend.

Oh yeah, MLB released the 2021 schedules yesterday.

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Our City

H-Town is our city.  My city.  Commentary doesn’t like the shape we are in right now.  When we are keeping a close eye on hospital bed counts, that means we have a major problem.

We are all wearing masks.  Bars and other establishments are closed.

We asked the GOP to go virtual on their state convention.  They refused.  We didn’t have a choice.

Royko sent me this on my take on the GOP, the GOP State Convention and COVID-19:

No thank you.

We don’t need the Progressives, who want to destroy the liberty of the citizens to be telling us what to do.

Nor do we need the duplicitous Mayor, who was arm-in-arm with the 60k+ protestors who eventually rioted. The Democrats can never get enough of the Burning, Looting Maoists destroying our Democrat-controlled “Sanctuary Cities and counties.”

One suspects the Mayor, who wants the sales tax revenue, has been overruled by the pequeña Comandante.

I don’t think I would have ever called former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett “little commander.”  I used to call him Hunker Down.

The Chron E-Board headline in the hard copy today:

The right decision

9,979 infections were reported in Texas yesterday.

The Astros are still working out.

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3 Million

Commentary forgot to mention that yesterday was Sir Ringo’s 80th birthday.  Happy Birthday, yesterday, Ringo!

Way to go, USA!  We are at 3 million COVID-19 infections.   Thank you, GOP for your outstanding leadership on this.  You should be proud.

Help Commentary out with this one.  The Texas GOP still wants to hold their state convention next week here in H-Town.  H-Town is one of the world’s leading COVID-19 hot spots.  The H-Town Mayor is asking them to go virtual.  The GOP elected officials who will speak at the convention will be sending in their remarks via video.  What’s the point in gathering then?

The Chron E-Board’s take today is not yet posted, but here is the headlines in the hard copy of their take:

Gathering too risky

Mayor must cancel Texas GOP’s convention despite optics as virus cases rise unabated

The Chron’s Erica Grieder has a column today saying the GOP convention should be virtual.

The Texas State Fair was cancelled.

Commentary just laughs when Donald Trump and his arse kissing governor from Florida say schools will open in August. Got it?

I forgot. Texas says schools will reopen in late August.  That’s also funny.

COVID-19 will decide when schools will open.  Parents will decide when schools will open.   Not politicians.

The Astros continue to workout at The Yard.

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My Aunt Elvira Delgado turned 101.  She is my Dad’s older sister.  How about that!  Happy Birthday, Aunt Vera!

Check the latest poll numbers:

Governor Greg Abbott’s job approval rating dropped just below 50% approval – though at 49%, just below – for the first time in two years, an 7-point decline since the April UT/Texas Tribune Poll, while disapproval of his job performance increased from 32% in both February and April polling to 39% in June.

Approval of Abbott’s handling of the coronavirus/COVID-19 was approximate to his overall job approval rating: 49% approved and 41% disapproved. 

Asked about the direction of Texas, 41% said the state was heading in the right direction, but 47% said the state was on the wrong track – the first net-negative assessment of Texas’ direction since 2012. 

We all know Gov. Abbott has blown the handling of the pandemic.  That is why his approval numbers are dropping.  In a total classless act, he is now blaming local officials.  You gotta be kidding. Here is from the Chron:

In another Monday evening interview on Beaumont’s KFDM, Abbott blasted local government leaders who have called on him to give them the authority to issue new stay-at-home orders to contain the virus. He said going back into “lockdown mode” would “really force Texans into poverty.” He said many of the local leaders calling for more authority have refused to enforce current executive orders already in place.

“What they need to show is action, not absenteeism,” Abbott said, pointing to enforcement of mask ordinances, and to his own order last Thursday requiring them in most Texas counties.

Here is the entire Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/Gov-Abbott-warns-of-greater-fatalities-15390029.php.

The fella just can’t lead.  What a joke.

Speaking of leading.  The H-Town Mayor just ought to cancel the Texas GOP Convention.  Enough of this.  Here is from the Chron:

The city of Houston will deploy health inspectors to enforce COVID-19 restrictions at the Texas Republican Convention, and potentially shut down the event if guidelines aren’t followed, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday.

In a letter to Texas GOP executive director Kyle Whatley, Turner on Monday laid out a series of conditions the party would have to follow if it proceeds with an in-person convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center from July 16 to 18. The guidelines are aimed at limiting the transmission of COVID when an anticipated 6,000 people descend on the convention center.

Those conditions, according to Turner’s office, include denying entry to anyone who has tested positive for COVID or come in contact with a COVID patient between July 2 and July 15, requiring attendees to wear masks, and providing touchless hand sanitizing stations throughout the convention center.

Party officials also must limit attendance and seating capacity “or host smaller events in larger rooms,” and modify room layouts to “promote social distance of at least 6 feet.” The mayor’s letter did not include a specific cap on how many people can attend the convention.

Turner also said he is “strongly encouraging” the Texas GOP to call off the in-person convention, which he said is the only conference or convention in Houston that has not been canceled or rescheduled for next year.

Here is the article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-to-have-health-inspectors-enforce-15389940.php.

Just cancel it, please.

I continue to be amazed at folks gathering and partying.  I just don’t understand.

The MLB schedules were released yesterday.

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Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone is no longer with us.  He is one of my favorite movie score composers.  “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “The Mission”, “The Untouchables” and the funeral scene at the end of “American Sniper”, to name a few.  He won the Oscar for “The Hateful Eight”  a few years ago.

The cemetery gunfight at the end of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is a classic for sure.

It has to be tough being a top medical official in the federal government these days.  Yesterday, it was FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn’s turn having to comment on dumbsh_t stuff coming from Donald Trump.  This past Friday, the Surgeon General was on the hot seat.

I think it is a pretty clear that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has botched the handling of the pandemic.  Texas is spiraling out of control.  I just hope I survive.  Here is the latest about the Texas Workforce Commission from the Chron:

The state is trying to claw back tens of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits that it mistakenly paid to thousands of Texans, many of whom have already spent the money and face difficulties paying it back.

The Texas Workforce Commission has sent 46,000 notices to jobless workers seeking repayment of unemployment benefits that the state says were too high or for which the workers were not eligible. But people who received the notices say they applied for the benefits and spent them in good faith, approved by the state after navigating a difficult and confusing application process.

Cathy Rohde, a substitute teacher in Conroe, applied and was approved for unemployment benefits after the school district shut down in March and she stopped getting paid. But the first week of June, Rohde got a notice that she owes the state more than $1,800 because, under provisions preventing teachers from collecting unemployment during annual summer breaks, she was not eligible.

“It made me feel like I’ve been tricked,” Rohde said.

Here is the entire story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/economy/article/Texas-seeks-millions-from-unemployed-workers-15386352.php.

Sigh.

Only 7 counties in Texas are COVID-19 free.

MLB is going to release the 60 game schedule today.

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