Archive for December, 2020

Bum Steer

Texas Monthly’s Bum Steer of the Year Award goes to the Texas Democratic Party.  Oh, well.

Here is the article: 2021 Bum Steer of the Year: The Texas Democratic Party – Texas Monthly.

You could have made a good case for Gov. Greg Abbott’s epic mishandling of the pandemic.  Republican AG Ken Paxton made a last-minute play for the award.

This is the lead headline on today’s hard copy of the Chron:

Vaccine priority push grows for teachers

All those that wanted schools to reopen ASAP should support this.  If schools are going to be open, teachers should be near the of the head of the vaccine line.

Everyone knows Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is a cowardly punkarse.  He has taken a shot at soon to be President-Elect Joe Biden’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon for dropping F-bombs on Congressional Republicans during a Vogue interview. Rubio instead ought to be asking a bunch of Republican members of Congress why they support overturning the results of a legally certified election.  What a punkarse.

Speaking of Vogue, two of Commentary’s favorites, “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie and Kristin Welker, are featured in the January edition. Welker also covers the White House for NBC News. Both were outstanding during the 2020 Presidential election coverage. Nice job.

The State Senate District 30 Runoff Special Election is this Saturday. Both candidates, COVID-19 guideline violator Shelley Luther and Republican State Rep. Drew Springer, are being funded heavily by the special interests. Rep. Springer says this in a Star Telegram story on contributions: “When we talk about lobby money as being evil, there was no taxpayer-funded lobby money that I have ever taken in there.”

I don’t know about that. I am sure he is getting lobby contributions from those lobbyists who represent local governments or school districts. Just saying.

Statistics contribute mightily to baseball being the best game ever invented. Batting average, ERA, no-nos, complete games, dingers, you get the picture.  The MLB Commissioner announced yesterday that the Negro League stats will be included in MLB’s stats.  That’s delicious.  I can’t wait to pour over them once they are included and released.

34 days, baby.

One week until Christmas Eve.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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The COVID Maverick

Folks are talking about the blistering arse chewing Tom Cruise laid on the “Mission Impossible” film crew for violating COVID safety protocols.  I am good with that.  Dude is trying to keep folks working.  He’s making a movie that is costing tens of millions of dollars to make.  A few hundred jobs are on the line.   He has to make sure there is discipline down the line.  I wish more folks would do some arse chewing out on COVID safety guidelines.

I hope that’s the kind of attitude we get with the Biden-Harris administration COVID-19 Czar.

Those who don’t agree with Maverick, or Ethan, or Jerry, aren’t living in my reality in mid-December 2020.  Look where we are.

The Chron’s hard copy main headline today reads:

This holiday season, vaccine is ‘the best gift of the year’

Commentary is on Santa’s naughty list, I guess.  I am not getting mine until next spring or so.

The Chron E-Board’s take today is about getting folks of color to get the vaccine. Good.

A former HPD cop was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon after he went after an AC repair fella.  The former cop was working on one of these crazy GOP inspired fraudulent vote programs.  He thought the AC repair person was part of a local effort to harvest 700,000 mail ballots.  Too bad they can’t charge him for being an ignorant arsehole. 700,000 mail ballots?  Dumbarse.

Mayor Pete will be in the Biden-Harris Cabinet.  Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will also be in the Cabinet.  They keep checking the right boxes.

When January 21, 2021 rolls around, my hope is that the broadcast and cable TV networks, the online news outlets and the print media stop covering Donald Trump’s tweets.  He will just be another former.  Treat him like we treated President Obama, Bush, Clinton and Bush. If Fox and those other crazies want to cover him, let them do it. 

He will only have a handful of Secret Service agents.  He will ride in a regular Suburban.  He won’t have Air Force One.  Don’t give him a megaphone.

Five weeks, baby!

The Chron Sports Section has a story about Jose Altuve and what his agent is saying about him having a down year. 

Commentary doesn’t put a whole lot of stock in the 2020 season.  It shut down for four months.  Got going again with strict protocols. No fans in the stands.  The extra inning rule.  You get the picture.

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The Loser

It’s official and in the history books.  Donald Trump is a loser and he’s out in 36 days.  I guess he can still screw things up over the next few weeks.  The drama now is does he show up to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.  Commentary hopes he takes a pass and leaves early for Florida.  He is just a loser Trump in my book.

Some folks are saying GOP AG Ken Paxton embarrassed Texas.  Nope! He and those that supported him made themselves look like a bunch of fools and history will judge them as such.

I am tired of hearing folks like former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum compare Trump and his followers’ current behavior to Democrats after the 2016 election. That is so stupid. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded the day after Election Day and we didn’t claim massive voter fraud. We also didn’t file a kazillion lawsuits to overturn the results. Santorum on CNN yesterday said Democrats caused the Robert Mueller Russia investigation. Nope. The Special Counsel was created under the Department of Justice in 2017 after President Obama left office. Santorum also added that Democrats impeached Trump to overturn the 2016 results. U.S. House Democrats didn’t have any choice after some in Trump’s National Security Council and State Department came forward and said Trump was pressuring Ukraine. Santorum is a weenie and whiny jerk.

Now let’s focus on the Biden-Harris administration and the January 5 Georgia runoffs.

Commentary learned yesterday I wasn’t cookie smart.  I know chocolate chips, oatmeal raisin, sugar, vanilla wafers, animal crackers, butter, sandies, macaroon, sandwich and Oreo.  Yesterday, “Today” did their holiday cookie bracket deal.  I did not know what a Linzer and Jam Thumbprint were.  I had seen them and even scarfed some before, but I did not know what they were called.

Speaking of grub, Commentary got sent some Siete grain free mini Buñuelos.  Warning:  They can be addictive. If you are not careful, you can go through a bag just like that.

Our closer Ryan Pressly is celebrating birthday number 32 today.  Happy Birthday Ryan.

Former Astro player and skipper Art Howe is celebrating birthday number 74 today.  Art fought off COVID-19 this past spring.  Happy Birthday Skipper!

Our current Skipper Dusty Baker chatted with the media yesterday and he urged Black Americans to get the vaccine when it is available.

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Electoral College Day

This is for sure the most anticipated Electoral College Day in Commentary’s lifetime.  We all know how it is going down, but we still want to see it happen.  CNN will be reporting and covering the Electoral College voting throughout the day and once again President-Elect Joe Biden will be declared the official winner. 

The President-Elect will then deliver another victory speech after it is again officially declared. Got it?

After the vote today, the gutless traitors will have run out of options. Though some of the traitors are going to cause a losers’ ruckus when Congress accepts the Electoral College vote in early January.

Let’s see.  300,000 COVID-19 deaths in the USA.  Over 16 million infections. The folks at 1600 Pennsylvania said COVID-19 was a hoax.  Would miraculously disappear.  Was under control.  They regularly, consistently and purposely violated CDC guidelines.  They held supper spreader events at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and on the campaign trail.  They mocked those of us who wore masks.  They never put forward a national strategy to fight COVID-19. Now they want to cut in front of the rest of the country to get the vaccine.  37 days baby!

I will have to wait in line for the vaccine.  I did that New York Times deal where you put in your info and here is what I was told:

Based on your risk profile, we believe you’re in line behind 118.5 million people across the United States.

When it comes to Texas, we think you’re behind 10.4 million others who are at higher risk in your state.

And in Harris County, you’re behind 1.7 million others.

Well, it looks like I won’t be in President-Elect Joe Biden’s first 100 million.  Drats.

I put in my Dad’s info and here is what he was told:

Based on your risk profile, we believe you’re in line behind 23.0 million people across the United States.

When it comes to Texas, we think you’re behind 1.9 million others who are at higher risk in your state.

And in Harris County, you’re behind 314,200 others.

A couple of dumbarse idiots got charged with faking the candidate in the HD 142 Democratic Party Primary and another arsehole got charged with text threatening State Rep. Gina Calanni.  It is good to see our Harris County DA pursue this type of criminal behavior in our elections.  People will think twice about pulling a stunt like this in the future. 

I saw the following comment on the Chron story about the charges:

From BEDx2

How poor a candidate is Harold Dutton that a literal non-candidate with only a Mexican last name could force him into a run-off?

Mexican last name? The Chron should be removing ignorance like this, even from comments.

In MLB news, Cleveland is ditching their mascot name. Good.  I can’t remember the last time I wrote that name in Commentary.  I also don’t write their T nickname word.  I have just called them Cleveland.

Astros Hall of Fame great Craig Biggio is celebrating birthday number 55 today.  Happy Birthday Biggio!

Commentary and my niece Cristina were there at The Yard on June 28, 2007 to see Biggio get career base hit number 3,000 against the Rockies.  Biggio went 5 for 6 that Friday evening.

I also snagged a Kaz Matsui foul ball during that game.  Now you know.

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Time Persons of the Year

Two years-ago today, State Senator Carol Alvarado won the Special Election to become State Senator.  I was there.

Congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris for being named Time Persons of the Year 2020.  Well deserved.

Here’s the deal.  Even if the Supreme Court kicked out the states Biden-Harris needed to get to 270 electoral college votes, Americans, backed by our military, would say fu_k you and the inauguration of Biden-Harris would proceed on January 20, 2021.  That is how ridiculous Republicans supporting this effort are acting.

Every time I read or hear where another Republican adds their name to the latest filing, I chuckle.  Why do I chuckle?  Because for the next couple of decades or so, I will never lose a moral argument to a Republican who sided with this filing.  They gave that up when they sat back and were ok with trying to win an election by throwing out millions of votes.  These Republican have lost morality, decency and everything else that makes them good human beings.  You are dog sh_t in my eyes.  You have earned it.

Commentary is not going to get worked up about the Biden-Harris administration picks. Some observers are saying there are too many folks from President Obama’s administration.  I look at it this way.  The Obama folks were treated like sh_t by some Republicans.  Now they have the experience to deal with these Republican cult members.

These eight teams have the best chance of signing #SpingerDinger according to MLB.com: Astros, Blue Jays, Giants, Mets, Nationals, Phillies, Red Sox and White Sox.  Here is the MLB.com story: Who needs Springer the most? We rank ’em (mlb.com).

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Here are the Time Person of the Year 2020 four finalists:

President-Elect Joe Biden.

Donald Trump.

Racial Justice Movement.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Frontline Healthcare Workers.

The Person of the Year will be announced tonight on NBC.

I have to go with Dr. Fauci and the healthcare workers.

Commentary said this eight days ago:

I sure hope the Biden-Harris Transition plan includes sending a fumigating crew to douse the place from top to bottom at noon on January 20, 2021.

Here is from a Politico story today:

Because the coronavirus can linger on surfaces for multiple days, a team deployed by the General Services Administration will go over every part of the White House’s East and West Wings touched by human hands in the hours after Trump departs and Biden moves in, a spokesperson from the agency confirmed to POLITICO. That includes plans to “thoroughly clean and disinfect” all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide “disinfectant misting services” to clear the air of lingering droplets.

Here is the entire story: How Biden aims to Covid-proof his administration – POLITICO.

Commentary is not going to spend a lot of time criticizing President-Elect Joe Biden’s picks for his administration.  There wasn’t anyone else available to head Agriculture?

Kuffer has been doing an excellent post-election analysis.  This caught my eye today:

First things first, the Justice of the Peace and Constable precincts are the same. There are eight of them, and for reasons I have never understood they are different sizes – as you can see, JPs 4 and 5 are roughly the size of Commissioners Court precincts, at least as far as voting turnout goes, JP1 is smaller but still clearly larger than the rest, and JP6 is tiny. When I get to have a conversation with someone at the county about their plans for redistricting, I plan to ask if there’s any consideration for redrawing these precincts.

Here is all of Kuffer today: Precinct analysis: Commissioners Court and JP/Constable precincts – Off the Kuff.

Let me take a crack at this. JP/Constable precincts are not considered legislative seats like city council, school district, state legislative, congressional districts, or for that matter, commissioner precincts. They don’t have to be equal size.  When the additional Harris County JP/Constable precincts were created in the 1970s as a result of litigation, they were basically what they look like today.

When we had a Republican controlled Harris County Commissioners Court, there was never a desire to draw them up of equal size.  Now that the Democrats are in charge, maybe they could do it.  I don’t know if the law or the case settlement allows for it. It would be a major disruption so to speak.  Budgets and personnel would have to be dramatically altered.  There would certainly be some upset folks, err constables. I don’t think it would matter much to the JPs, since they don’t have to patrol and stuff.

Nothing to report from The Yard unless you care about their minor leagues system which includes Sugar Land, Corpus Christi, Fayetteville (N.C.) and Asheville (N.C.).  Got it?

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The Rodeo announced yesterday that they are pushing back next year’s Rodeo to May 4. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said we will see.  The medical experts say that we will probably not be out of the woods by then.  Judge Hidalgo will be listening to the medical experts.  Not the Rodeo experts.  Not the GOP experts.

Let’s not forget.  The Rodeo operates in a Harris County owned facility.  Commentary won’t be surprised if the Rodeo folks try to pull and end around and go to clowns like Gov. Greg Abbott to issue orders to supersede Judge Hidalgo. Abbott has made it clear that our health isn’t his concern.  Selling fried Twinkies is.

Here are the folks who will take a “deep dive” into what went wrong for the Texas Democratic Party’s efforts this past November:

  • Chris Hollins, state party vice chair for finance and former Harris County clerk (co-chair)
  • Jen Ramos, SDEC member (co-chair)
  • Kolby Duhon, SDEC member
  • Sharon Berry, SDEC member, Black Caucus, and Houston County party chair
  • Kenneth Bell, SDEC member
  • M. Emad Salem, SDEC member
  • Libby Willis, SDEC member
  • Rosemarie DeHoyos, SDEC member
  • Allan Jamail, SDEC member
  • Cynthia Gutierrez, SDEC member and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District trustee
  • Shay Wyrick-Cathey, SDEC member
  • State Sen. Carol Alvarado of Houston, SDEC member and chair of Senate Democratic Caucus
  • State Rep. Celia Israel of Austin, chair of House Democratic Campaign Committee
  • State Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, chair of House Democratic Caucus
  • State Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston, SDEC member and Democratic National Committee member
  • Sri Preston Kulkarni, 2018 and 2020 nominee for Texas’ 22nd Congressional District
  • Shirley Layton, SDEC member
  • Alana Pollard, Dickens County party chair
  • Carla Brailey, state party vice chair
  • Brandy Chambers, 2018 and 2020 nominee for Texas House District 112
  • Chrysta Castañeda, 2020 nominee for railroad commissioner
  • A congressional member voted on by the Texas delegation
  • A second congressional member voted on by the Texas delegation

#BetoForTexas is not on the list.

Commentary is inclined to side with those who say AG Ken Paxton’s move yesterday was actually an audition for a pardon.

Nothing to report from The Yard.

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It was forty years ago today.

Commentary is talking about John Lennon getting murdered.  I was watching Monday Night Football.  The Dolphins and the Patriots. Howard Cosell let us know.

I am wearing a John Lennon t-shirt today.  Imagine.

Wow! Five weeks after Election Day, we finally got the RNC Platform. Ignore the rule of law and overturn the will of the voters in key battleground states. According to the just released RNC Platform, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that President-Elect Joe Biden won by close to 280,000 votes should not be awarded to Donald Trump because they are sore losers.  For the next couple of decades at the minimum, the GOP has lost the moral high ground on election contests.  Fuc_ing morons!

Everyone knows that Commentary’s top two flicks of all time are “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II”, interchangeably.  The first one received eleven Oscar nominations and won three Oscars for Best Picture, Actor and Adapted Screenplay. “Part II” also received eleven Oscar nominations and won six Oscars for Best Picture, Direction, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction and Dramatic Original Score.

“The Godfather Part III” didn’t fare as well.  It received seven Oscar nominations including for Best Picture and Director but didn’t win in any category..

Yesterday, on “Today”, there was a story about a new version of “Part III” that is coming out soon.  Harry Smith interviewed Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and Andy Garcia yesterday.  Coppola said they rushed “Part III” and that’s why it didn’t meet expectations.  Coppola also said that 160 changes have been made including the ending. It also has a new title called “The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.”

I have said it before.  Not signing up Robert Duvall for the third installment was a mistake.

I guess I don’t have a choice.  I will have to see the revised version.

President Obama told Jimmy Fallon the other night that “Die Hard” wasn’t a Christmas movie.  President Obama is wrong.  There are a few Christmas tunes played in the flick, including the ending, and the movie takes place during Christmas. 

The Chron E-Board went after the Houston Police Department today.  Here is how their take starts:

In Houston, more killers are getting away with murder. In normal times, that’s a problem. In a global pandemic that has delivered a grim spike in homicides, it’s a crisis.

Police Chief Art Acevedo and everybody else at the Houston Police Department need to treat it like one.

The number of unsolved murders in Houston increased over the past decade, with the homicide clearance rates tumbling from a high of 89 percent in 2011 to a low of 57 percent in 2019. As of May, when the Houston Police Department conducted an internal review, the rate was 48 percent.

Here is the entire take: Editorial: In Houston, more people are getting away with murder. HPD needs to act. – HoustonChronicle.com.

Commentary doesn’t expect any changes at HPD.  Just saying.

Democrats made gains in Texas in 2018 because of #BetoForTexas.  It wasn’t because of the Texas House Democratic Caucus.  It wasn’t because of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus.  It wasn’t because of the Texas Democratic Party.  It was Beto.  Gains we made up and down the ballot should be credited to Beto.  Check this from the Trib today:

The head of the Texas Democratic Party has appointed a committee to take a “deep dive” on what went wrong in the November election after a group of executive committee members wrote to him demanding answers, reforms and a shakeup in senior staff.

The chair of the party, Gilberto Hinojosa, said he always intended to convene a formal effort to review the election results, but the news of the panel comes after 38 executive committee members sent him a letter urging sweeping changes at the party after what they described as an “electoral failure” in November.

“Even though we very much disagree with the allegations that are made in the letter, we think it is important to find out exactly what happened in this election because we were just as shocked as everyone else,” Hinojosa said in an interview Monday.

Texas Democrats severely underperformed expectations in the November election after looking to it as their best shot in decades at making inroads. President Donald Trump carried the state by 6 percentage points, U.S. Sen John Cornyn won reelection by 10 points, Democrats picked up zero U.S. House seats despite targeting 10, and their push to flip the state House fizzled as they gained one seat and lost another.

Democrats have since said they were misled by bad polling and lamented their decision to hold off on in-person campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic. Hinojosa cited both those factors in a letter responding to the executive committee members, while saying he agrees that a “complete analysis needs to be done on this to determine what really happened.”

“The Party is committed to conducting a ‘deep dive’ analysis of the election, using outside persons or entities, and partnering with other allied groups to fund it if necessary,” Hinojosa wrote.

The Tribune obtained a copy of the letter that was dated Friday. In it, the State Democratic Executive Committee members raise a host of issues related to the governing body’s relationship with party staff — which appear to predate this election cycle — as well as the party’s role in the November election.

“From messaging to organizing, political data to simple administration, the Texas Democratic Party has dropped the ball and it is becoming more and more apparent every day that our senior leadership is refusing to take responsibility or, more importantly, the actions necessary to resolve the many shortfalls of our party this election cycle,” the letter said.

The letter makes a dozen requests, including a change in senior staff, a “full accounting” of party finances, a “full roster” of party employees and consultants, a “10-year strategic plan,” an “overhaul” of the party’s approved vendors list, outreach to state parties in places like Georgia and Virginia, and a task force on the party’s headquarters.

Here is the entire Trib article: Texas Democratic Party investigating poor performance in November 2020 | The Texas Tribune.

Commentary is betting there won’t be any changes at the Texas Democratic Party. It really hasn’t changed over the last 25 years or so.  It will just be another cheap paint job. Same losing mindset.

The way to fix things is to let Beto lead the team to do the so-called deep dive.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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79 years-ago today, on a Sunday morning, right before 8 am, Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor.  We lost close to 2,400 Americans.  We formally entered World War II the next day.

The Chron has a story today on the dwindling number of Pearl Harbor surviving service members throughout the country.

The attack on Pearl Harbor has been dramatically depicted in films over the past decades.  Two stand out to me.

“Tora! Tora! Tora!” that came out in 1970.  It focuses on the lead up to the attack from both the USA and Japanese military aspect. It won an Oscar for Best Special Effects.  It was also nominated for Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing and Sound Academy Awards.  It had an all star American and Japanese cast.  The American cast included Martin Balsam, E.G. Marshall and Jason Robards.

“Pearl Harbor” came out in 2001.  It is about love interests involving service members stationed at Pearl Harbor.  It stars Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Jennifer Garner.  It won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing.  It was also nominated for Sound, Visual Effects, and Original Song Academy Awards.

Both flicks spend a good amount of time on the attack.  I have seen both flicks and I didn’t feel like I wasted my time.

“Pearl Harbor” was on Cinemax last night and a few days ago and will be on later this week.  I can’t remember the last time “Tora! Tora! Tora!” was on the flat screen.

The only thing surprising about hearing Rudy Giuliani has tested positive and in the hospital for COVID-19 is what took so long. 

Even if we get the COVID-19 vaccination, we can still catch the virus and possibly transmit it.  We just won’t get sick.  I guess that means we will be wearing masks for a while.

Commentary thinks the Washington Post should poll all GOP members of Congress on January 21, 2021 and ask them to name the President of the United States.  Cowardly arseholes.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he is going to have state troopers be in charge of protecting part of downtown Austin.  That’s funny.  Abbott can’t even protect Texas from COVID-19. Dude’s delusional.

Now to more competent grown-up matters.  President-Elect Joe Biden is set to announce California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Sí, se puede.

It started this weekend. Commentary is talking about watching the cable Christmas flicks on Hallmark and Lifetime. It is good that they are getting a tad more diverse.

Happy Birthday today to Baseball Hall of Fame great Johnny Bench. He had 389 career dingers.  34 off of Astros pitching and 17 of those at the Astrodome.

Alex Bregman and Reagan Howard just got married.  Congrats!

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Last night, CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.  It was a great interview.  Jake Tapper is good.  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are ready.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is being deservedly skewered for being a hypocrite.  Democrats expect better leadership during the pandemic.  Don’t let him off the hook.

Texas state government does a lousy job in a lot of areas.  Right up there or down there is the very low salary we provide state legislators.  It is good to see the Chron put this on the frontpage today.  Here is how it starts:

Alicia Caballero called in to the Sept. 15 meeting of the Texas Ethics Commission to ostensibly comment on a routine per diem adjustment for state legislators. But the 28-year-old mother of three really wanted to discuss something bigger.

“Our founders had a simple belief at the core of their ideology about governance: a government of the people, by the people, for the people,” she began. “These are words that the majority of us can recite by heart from a very young age. And yet, I would argue that our current legislative representation is a gross perversion of that ideal.”

“As it stands today, someone like me, an essential worker, even making more than double the minimum wage would most likely never have the opportunity to serve my fellow citizens through policymaking,” Caballero said. “No matter how much I may desire to, simple economics and archaic policies prevent it.”

She was talking about legislative pay.

For nearly five decades, elected officials in Texas have made the same paltry salary, $600 a month — hardly enough to sublet a room in Austin during the legislative session, let alone liveon. Few states pay their representatives less, and in Texas, where lawmakers meet for five months every other year, it has become both a prized symbol of small government and a roadblock for many would-be candidates.

“It’s impossible for a public school teacher to serve, or a firefighter, a nurse, a police officer — really anybody with a normal job,” said Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, a former teacher who now consults part time.

Caballero has been trying to change that. In September, she asked the Ethics Commission to raise legislative salaries to $36,000 a year, or a little less than what an average adult with a working partner and no children would need to survive financially, according to research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“By not providing a living wage for that position, we are irrefutably limiting the type and class of persons who can serve,” she told the commission. “It is the dreaded dot dot dot that has become so common in so many aspects of American life: serving fellow citizens in the halls of the Capitol is a noble pursuit … if you can afford it.”

The proposal has reignited an old debate about the merits of a pay increase and raised new questions about who would even have the authority to change it.

Legislative salaries are ultimately decided by voters, but the last time a constitutional amendment was put forth was 1975, more than a decade before the Ethics Commission was created. At the time, legislators made the recommendation themselves. That authority has since legally shifted to the commission.

“I’m pretty sure this has never happened,” Commissioner Steven Wolens said at the September meeting, referring to a salary proposal coming directly before the board. “So the way I see it is that you don’t even go to the Legislature. We would make a recommendation and somehow it shows up on a ballot.”

“That would be certainly something that I would be very interested in studying and considering,” Commissioner Pat Mizell said. “I don’t think we should do it today, but Ms. Caballero, it may be that you’ve set the impetus to get something done.”

Here is the entire article: She wanted to talk about how much Texas legislators make. It has reignited an old debate about inclusion – HoustonChronicle.com

Legislators are not going to get out front on this and we know why.  We pay a clown like the Ag Commissioner six figures for the year and Mrs. T $600 a month.  That’s stupid, dumb and backward.

We need to all get on board and provide our legislators with a decent salary.  By “We”, I mean the business community, both major political parties, special interests, local elected officials, editorial boards – everybody.  Other than the usual arseholes, who would be against this?

Commentary said this on Monday:

I was watching “What’s Your Point” yesterday and the 2022 election was brought up.  Rice University political scientist Mark Jones said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo would face an opponent in the Democratic Primary.  My friend Bill King went a bit further and said that Judge Hidalgo would face an African American or former H-Town Mayor Annise Parker in the primary.  Huh? 

Anyone can plop down the $1,250 filing fee to run.  I am not hearing among Democrats that Judge Hidalgo is doing a lousy job.  I think she is doing a pretty good job.  She’s promoting issues that Democrats like.  What is wrong with rental assistance and supporting small businesses during a pandemic. She would be tough to beat in the Democratic Party Primary if you ask me.

I wonder where Bill and Mark are getting their local Democratic Party intel.

Kuffer said this today:

I have no idea where Mark Jones may get his intel, but let me state for the record that I am extremely skeptical of the idea that Bill King is in any way plugged into the local Democratic scene. I strongly suspect that neither of them have heard real chatter from reliable sources, but instead are speculating based on three factors:

1. The 2018 “That could have been me” hangover. I noted this before. As we know, there was a lot of talk about who might have run for County Judge in 2018, with Judge Hidalgo ultimately being the only person to file. Lots of people didn’t want to run against then-Judge Emmett for a variety of reasons, with Annise Parker being the best known of them. It is possible that someone who now regrets not throwing their hat into the ring in 2018 is considering a 2022 run, now that the main challenge is in March and not in November. For what it’s worth, I’ve not heard anything to this effect, but I don’t claim to be especially plugged in at this time, either.

2. The business interests. I am very much in the “Judge Hidalgo has done a fine job” camp, and I agree that she has acted very much in ways that Democratic primary voters would approve. But there are groups that don’t like bail reform, and there are groups that don’t like putting extra regulations on development, and there are groups that likely feel like their influence has waned under Judge Hidalgo and the Democratic majority on Commissioners Court. If these folks now believe that Republicans are at a disadvantage running countywide, then one way to do something about that is to recruit and support a candidate for County Judge for the Democratic primary that will be more amenable to them and their concerns. It’s not the only thing they could do – I’m sure Commissioner Garcia will be targeted in November of 2022, though the Commissioners Court redistricting process may make that a less attractive option for them – but it’s on the menu. And let’s just say that I do believe Bill King is a reliable source of information for what the big capital crowd is thinking.

3. The real question is, can I win? Elections are funny things, and as we well know, the “best” candidate doesn’t always win. One question anyone who runs for office has to answer is who are my voters? Are there enough of them to get me past the finish line? I’m sure Bill King’s suggestion of a Black candidate running against Judge Hidalgo is based on the observation that there are a lot of Black voters in the Harris County Democratic primary, and that candidates often attempt to appeal to voters on affinity more than issues. Doesn’t mean such a person would be successful, or even a credible threat, but it’s a possibility.

All of this is my speculation about their speculation. We’re at the time in the calendar when people like to take early looks ahead to the next election, and no one ever keeps track of this sort of nattering, so why not put out a hot take or two. I’ve certainly indulged in this sort of thing before. It’s all fun and games until someone files a designation of Treasurer report. If there’s anything to any of this besides filling up some air time, we’ll know soon enough.

Nice take by Kuffer.

The other key factor is who shows up to vote in a Democratic Primary these days.  Latino candidates have been improving in their primary vote totals.

We will see.

Nothing to report from The Yard today.

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