Archive for February, 2021

Got It

I went to the Northside Health Center yesterday morning around 9:30 am. They told me that they were only administering the first dose at that location.  They then made a call and sent me to the Acres Homes site where the second dose was being administered.  I went there and they gave me my shot.

I was back at my place by 11:15 am.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Houston Health wanting to set up an appointment for me for my second dose. Sigh.

I now have a sense of relief that my Dad, my older sister and I have our second doses. My younger sister will get her second on Monday.  We still have to mask up and take precautions, but still, it feels a whole lot better.  As of this morning, I am not experiencing any side effects, just a slightly sore arm.

The Chron has a front-page story on Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo getting it right on warning us about the freeze and comparing it to a Cat 5 hurricane.  Her haters are never going to get used to her running county government and we know why. She is doing a real good job and some folks just can’t muster up the courage to say so.

State legislators held hearings on the freeze yesterday.  Most of them sounded real upset.  Do you really think they are going to address last week’s issues?  In order to do that, they have to hold Gov. Greg Abbott accountable.  Commentary is not betting the public will be served.  As it gets warmer – well, you get the picture.

First Lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden will visit H-Town today. 

I mentioned last year when Baseball Hall of Fame great Al Kaline left us. He played for the Tigers.  Did you know that he was the youngest starting player in the history of the MLB All Star Game?  He was 20.  Now you know.

In 1980, Jose Cruuuuuz finished third in the NL MVP Award voting after batting .302 with 91 RBIs and 36 stolen bases.  Hall of Fame great Mike Schmidt won the award and Hall of Fame great Gary Carter was runner-up.  Now you know, again.

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Siete Potato Chips

Luis Salinas sent me this on my quest to get my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by Houston Health:

Hi Marc: I went to Methodist with FIL and wife to get first shot. We had to wait to two week for our appointment. It was very well organized. It took about 5 minutes to get it and the 15 min. wait to make sure we were OK. It was very smooth. They gave us the appointment for three weeks to come back and I got a text confirming that in the afternoon. What happened to the COH? Sorry about your treatment there.

After a couple of calls I finally got through yesterday, and Houston Health told me to just show up today where I got my first dose.  That’s not too organized if you ask me, but that is where I am headed this morning. I am disappointed in my City of H-Town government.  I expect them to do better and not make this half arsed effort to save lives during the pandemic.

I watched Gov. Greg Abbott’s address to the state yesterday evening and it was disappointing.  He didn’t fess up and came across as the weak leader that he is.  It was a nothing address.  What a worm.

Do you have Siete Potato Chips?  I do. You can get yours at a Sprouts near you and coming soon to Whole Foods.  They are delish.

Did you know that Hall of Fame great Craig Biggio started 19 consecutive Opening Day games, an Astros record? Now you know.

I don’t have much to say today because I have to go the Northside Health Center and see if they will give me my second dose.  Good luck to me.

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Seconds, Please

Commentary still has not heard from the Houston Health Department on my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine which is scheduled for tomorrow.  I will spend a frustrating day dealing with this today.  It doesn’t have to work this way.

The hard copy Chron story headline on Tiger this morning reads like this:

Rollover crash badly injures golfer Woods

It should read:

Rollover crash badly injures Tiger Woods

Hang in there, Tiger.

Gov. Greg Abbott will give a statewide address at 6:02 pm this evening about Texas’ response to last week’s winter storm and the power outages it caused. I didn’t know Texas had a response. According to the Trib, the address is not expected to be a long speech – just five minutes or so.   It would be nice to hear Gov. Abbott say he let us down and take full responsibility.  Most likely, he will worm his way out and point the blame at others.  That is who he is.

President Joe Biden and The First Lady will visit H-Town this Friday.  I am sure they will visit with the Harris County Judge and the H-Town Mayor.  I wonder if Gov. Abbott will also be part of the visit?

AG Ken Paxton finally returned to Austin yesterday.  He was in Utah during the Texas deep freeze.  The media was waiting for him and he didn’t respond to questions.  I wonder if top Republican Texas leaders at least privately acknowledge he is a POS?

Paxton and U.S. Sen Cancun Cruz are a national embarrassment.  Abbott’s handling of the pandemic and the freeze is also up there.

Commentary would like to think Texas is the greatest state in the USA.  These three make it difficult to make our case.  What a joke.

The Astros sent season ticket holders this yesterday:

I know you all have been anxiously waiting for updates regarding this baseball season. We will be sending an email in the near future outlining what the year will look like and what your options are regarding your tickets.

We will see.

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1/6 Commission

Read this from Politico:

Senior House lawmakers are battling over the contours of a panel inspired by the 9/11 Commission to investigate the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, with Republicans demanding equal representation.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Republican counterparts have already traded one offer each but still remain at odds over several issues including membership on the proposed commission, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. Pelosi, who’s vowed to quickly take up legislation creating the commission, proposed tilting the panel in favor of Democrats, with her party getting to pick seven of the members while Republican leaders choose four additional appointees.

But Republicans are insisting on an equal split — each party gets to appoint five members — in their counteroffer, sources told POLITICO. Republicans also are pressing Democrats to avoid specifically prescribing avenues of inquiry that might steer the panel in certain directions, as opposed to allowing panelists to determine their own course.

In fact, members of the former 9/11 Commission — several of whom have consulted with Pelosi — cited that even partisan split as the reason for their success as they advised Pelosi on this year’s insurrection commission. Their willingness to take bipartisan ownership of the direction of the investigation, without an edge for either party, helped ensure the commission’s credibility in the eyes of the public, they said. For a review of the Jan. 6 riot to be credible, the former commissioners said, it must similarly be seen as independent and unbiased, rather than a tool of either party.

“There is really strong support in the country for us to seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest,” Pelosi told reporters late last week.

Pelosi said the investigative panel would closely mirror the 9/11 Commission, but it’s clear from Democrats’ opening offer that they would have preferred a sharply different balance of power.

A senior Democratic aide cautioned that the two parties are still exchanging offers and nothing is final. In the Democratic discussion draft, each of the so-called “Big Four” congressional leaders would get to appoint two members to the commission. President Joe Biden would get to pick three additional members, including the chair, who would have subpoena power.

Under the Pelosi proposal, the commission would have to issue a report by the end of this year with the panel set to dissolve 60 days after the report is finished.

The 9/11 Commission was a 10-member body that included five Democrats and five Republicans. The chair, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, was appointed by then-President George W. Bush. The vice chair, former Congressman Lee Hamilton, was appointed by congressional Democratic leaders. Both told POLITICO last week that they viewed their mandate as excising any extreme partisanship from within the commission’s ranks, particularly on the staff that ultimately carried out the investigation.

The 9/11 Commission investigated an attack from foreign terrorists.  Having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats made sense. The 1/6 Commission will investigate an insurrection by MAGA terrorists who are a key base of the Republican Party.  They were part of the false Stop the Steal effort.  As of this past weekend, Republican Congressional leaders on the Sunday news talk shows still would not acknowledge that President Joe Biden was elected in a fair election.  That is why there was an insurrection.  They continue to promote the Big Lie. They do not deserve equal representation on the proposed 1/6 Commission that will investigate their own base.  To give them equal representation would only further damage our democracy. Nope!

Here is the entire 1/6 Commission Politico story: Republicans demand equal representation on 1/6 Commission (msn.com).

AG Ken Paxton and State Senator Angela Paxton fled the ice storm for Utah last week and somehow a lot of us are not surprised by this. What a shame.

When I got my first COVID-19 vaccine dose, the Houston Health Department said they would contact me to schedule a second dose for February 25. They also said if I didn’t hear from them as the 25th approached, call them.

I had not heard back from them as of yesterday and I looked at my first dose card and there was a handwritten note on the card that said to call one week prior to second dose due date.  I called yesterday and after being on hold for around 45 minutes, I was told that I would hear from them no earlier than 48 hours before my scheduled dose date.  The person I talked to was pretty rude and I let the person know that I didn’t appreciate the rude attitude.

This will be Albert Pujols last season in MLB.  He’s retiring. A great ballplayer. 662 career dingers, 2,100 RBIs, 3,236 base hits, 10 time All Star, 2 World Series rings, 3 NL MVPs.  Enough said. A first ballot Hall of Famer. All of the Astros fans know the mark he left in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS at The Yard.  60 of his regular season career dingers are against Astros pitching – the most among MLB opponents.  31 at The Yard, also the most at any visiting ballpark.  He did some damage to us for sure. Commentary witnessed way too many Pujols dingers against us.

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Wicked Week

That was certainly a wicked week we just endured.  I ended up with three different power outages – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I have some pipe and valve leaking issues that I am dealing with. I had to buy a new water heater because in the process of dealing with a leak we found that it was rusted.  I now have a clogged pipe that keeps me from using my kitchen sink.  I am dealing with it. I can now shower, do have hot water and don’t have to boil water.  Let’s hope I can get it all repaired this week.

@AOC used her national influence to raise a few million in funds for H-Town and Texas.  Cancun Cruz got skewered on “SNL.”

You can pretty much say that both Gov. Greg Abbott and Cruz just saw their aspirations for national office disappear this past wicked week. Texas was in the news this past week for all the wrong reasons.

When the pandemic started a year ago, I never thought COVID-19 would kill half a million in the USA.  After a few months, when Donald Trump gave up and governors like Abbott started kowtowing to the morons, I thought reaching half a million dead was a possibility.  It looks like we will pass 600,000.  It didn’t have to be this way.

I don’t think I could film out the window of an airliner an engine that was on fire. I would be too busy saying “Hail Mary” and “Act of Contrition.”

CNN’s “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” is a great and delicious watch.  They have shown two episodes the past two Sunday nights.  It focuses on food in Italy’s restaurants by region. It is very informative, and the presentation is exquisite.  Did I say delicious? 

The full squad reports today for the Astros Spring Training.

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Cancun Cruz

Commentary got him two leaks.  One dealing with the bathroom sink.  The other dealing with the water heater that is up in the attic.  I scheduled an appointment with the plumber.  Sigh.

On Ted Cruz, I think the latest hurts him more for reelection in 2024 than for a possible bid for president.  There are a lot of Texans across the board politically, geographically and economically who have taken a big hit.  They are not going to forget Cruz hightailing it to Mexico.

Here is from today’s Chron E-Board:

This editorial board called for Cruz’s resignation last month for his role in the Capitol riot, saying he wouldn’t be dearly missed by constituents anyway because he has never prioritized the unsexy tedium of governing and advocacy over the goal nearest and dearest to his heart: winning the presidency.

And this:

Take our advice, senator, and resign. Seems like you could use a break and we could, too, from an ineffective politician who, even in crisis, puts his personal itinerary before the needs of Texans.

And I love this reference to The Beatles “Ticket to Ride”:

But a senator elected to represent nearly 30 million people? He got a ticket to ride and he don’t care.

Here is the entire E-Board take:  Editorial: As Texans froze, Ted Cruz got a ticket to paradise. Paradise can have him. (houstonchronicle.com).

Here is from Politico:

The brutal winter storm that turned Texas roads to ice, burst pipes across the state and left millions of residents shivering and without power has also damaged the reputations of three of the state’s leading Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz was discovered to have slipped off to Mexico on Wednesday night, only to announce his return when he was caught in the act. Gov. Greg Abbott came under fire over his leadership and misleading claims about the causes of the power outages. And former Gov. Rick Perry suggested Texans preferred power failures to federal regulation, a callous note in a moment of widespread suffering.

It’s more than just a public relations crisis for the three politicians. The storm has also battered the swaggering, Texas brand of free-market governance that’s central to the state’s political identity on the national stage.

“Texans are angry and they have every right to be. Failed power, water and communications surely took some lives,” JoAnn Fleming, a Texas conservative activist and executive director of a group called Grassroots America, said in a text message exchange with POLITICO.

“The Texas electric grid is not secure,” said Fleming, pointing out that lawmakers “have been talking about shoring up/protecting the Texas electric grid for THREE legislative sessions (6 yrs),” but “every session special energy interests kill the bills with Republicans in charge … Our politicians spend too much time listening to monied lobbyists & political consultants. Not enough time actually listening to real people.”

Here is all of the Politico story: Top Texas Republicans on the ropes after tone-deaf storm response – POLITICO.

Our state government has been run into the ditch. 

I was in Pasadena yesterday and folks were lined up for blocks for a hot meal, snacks and bottled water.  This was at the Pasadena City Hall. 

Folks are hurting this morning.

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Lone Star Laughingstock

I have now gone through three power outages. Hopefully, we are done.

Thanks to top Republican leaders, Texas has become a worldwide and national joke.

We claim to be the energy capitol of the world.  We just suffered a monumental failure in providing heat to millions of Texas households this week.  We made worldwide headlines and our leaders are being mocked.

Gov. Greg Abbott falsely blamed the Green New Deal that is only an idea and his arse was immediately owned by the likes of @AOC.

Former Gov. Rick Perry, who used to run the federal Energy Department – you know, the oops department he wanted to eliminate – said Texans should suffer for three days or more, to stop the feds from moving in.  Everybody in the world is laughing at that.

Someone got a photo of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his family boarding a plane to Cancun while millions of Texans can’t take a shower.  Again, the laughs are piling on.

Personally, who cares if Cruz is going with his family to Cancun during the freeze? The guy is worthless and doesn’t make a contribution to the common good.  He just takes up space. He can stay there for all I care.

Abbott, Perry and Cruz aren’t helping with the state’s image.  These guys are jokes for sure.  They have made Texas a laughingstock.

I did the boil water thing for the first time ever.  It was tedious.  I broke two glasses in the process. Sigh.

Commentary never has to chase down bottled water during a crisis.  I have those 5-gallon dispenser gizmos. 

Rush Limbaugh is no longer with us. I never listened to the fella. Commentary is not into hate and racism. 

Stay safe and not all of us from Texas are jokes.

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Catastrophic Failure

We have just been issued a boil water alert for H-Town.  The misery continues.

Commentary lost power Monday morning at 7:45 am and then regained it about 3:30 pm that afternoon.  Then I lost it at 6 pm that evening.  I got it back last night around 11:20 pm and still have it this morning.  I have very little water pressure.  Probably pipes that froze.  There was a small leak under my bathroom sink that I kind of have under control for now.  I will probably wait a day or two to call the plumber.

It got very cold inside of my house without power – like in the 30s. I could see my breath.  I had to wear long John undies, turtleneck, sweater, hoodie and jacket with winter boots. I had to wear gloves inside.

I emptied my refrigerator of perishables and set them in an ice chest with the lid open in my house.  They were colder sitting in a back room than in the fridge. My eyeglass cleaner nearly froze up.

Last night, I went over to my sister’s house to shower and recharge my laptop. She stays with my Dad in Baytown, but they lost power yesterday and they went to her house in H-Town.  We are in the same pod. I took my toiletries and noticed my shampoo was cold.

I haven’t had cable TV since Monday morning.  I have been able to watch CNN on my phone when I can.  The last Chron hard copy to be delivered was the Sunday morning edition.  It has been miserable to say the least.

What we experienced in Texas since Sunday night can best be described as a catastrophic failure in leadership and planning.  This is Gov. Greg Abbott’s failure – 100%.  I noticed yesterday that he took a shot a ERCOT and placed them on his emergency legislative item list.  What a gas.

Here is from the website of the Texas Division of Emergency Management:

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) serves the State of Texas by managing the all-hazards emergency management plan for the state. TDEM works closely with local jurisdictions, state agencies, and federal partners in ensuring Texas becomes more resilient for future disasters. TDEM staff are stationed statewide and serve six different regions. Whether natural or man-made, TDEM is prepared and ready to respond to all future disasters.

And this:

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.

TDEM implements programs to increase public awareness about threats and hazards, coordinates emergency planning, provides an extensive array of specialized training for emergency responders and local officials, and administers disaster recovery and hazard mitigation programs in the State of Texas.

They failed to plan and prepare.  I don’t care what they spin.  It is the responsibility of the Governor and he blew it.

He has demonstrated that he can’t lead in a major emergency.  Look at the pandemic and look at today.

He’s trying to place blame on anyone and anything except himself and his office.

He likes to get cute and go after the City of Austin. President Joe Biden’s overreach thing and other stuff most Texans don’t care about.

We were asked this past weekend to stay home.  We did and froze.

Commentary has been paying attention to Texas Governors since Gov. John Connally.  Gov. Greg Abbott is the worst by far.  In a league of his own.

Abbott’s legacy is his failure to provide an iota of leadership during this ice storm.

An epic failure in preparedness.  That’s his legacy. 

Here is from Eric Berger of Space City Weather

This obviously is a monumental screw-up by the state of Texas, ERCOT, and the companies responsible for power generation in Texas. Why was demand not better anticipated? How are generating plants rated for cold weather production? The list of questions goes on and on. There is plenty of blame to go around, as it seems likely that people will lose their lives due to cold, or medical needs for electricity.

Be wary of those quick to scapegoat wind turbines or any single government official or political sides for this failure. This is a failure of the whole government and a lack of sensible regulation of electricity generators. We need to learn from this mistake so that it is not repeated. After our teeth stop chattering, of course.

Here is all of Eric’s piece: The power situation is disastrous, and it likely won’t be fixed tonight – Space City Weather.

Commentary is sure looking forward to getting to the other side of this. Stay safe.

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Abbott’s Compromised Grid

Sorry for the delay. I was off the grid so to speak.

I lost power at 7:45 am this morning and it finally returned this afternoon at 3:20 pm.  It got down to the 40s inside my house.  That’s f_cked up! I am wearing my gloves in my frigging house.  Let’s see.  Gov. Greg Abbott has screwed up the handling of the pandemic.  Then he wants to prepare for the President Joe Biden federal overreach. And because he can’t handle ERCOT and the Texas Power Grid, 1.2 million CenterPoint customers in the H-Town region are freezing their arses off.  Abbott is a clown pure and simple.  An absolute idiot.  You know the bozo will never fess up and accept responsibility.  Four-star classless jerk.

This past Saturday, I took my Dad to get his second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  It went smoothly at Memorial Hermann League City.  In and out in 25 minutes including the 15-minute wait afterwards.  We even got there 25 minutes ahead of his appointment.  Sometimes I wear two masks with the surgical mask on the outside.  When we got there, they gave us new surgical masks and asked us to put them on and discard the ones we were wearing.  We complied.

Nothing like hearing from the nation’s top Republican that Donald Trump was guilty of insurrection. Sen. Mitch McConnell is the ranking Republican in the country and this is what he said about Trump Saturday:

He  didn’t get away with anything.” 

And “a disgraceful dereliction of duty.”

And “there’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

And finally, this:

“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”

I don’t care what Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan has to say. 

Their leader said the House Managers had it right. He has spoken. So that is that.

Commentary was watching a couple or so weeks ago when President Joe Biden was swearing in his staff via zoom.  I remember him saying that if anyone disrespected anyone, they would be fired on the spot.  When I read the story last week that the President’s Deputy Press Secretary had threatened a reporter and had been given a one-week unpaid suspension, I thought, that’s not what the President said.  The White House Press Office got some criticism, so the Deputy Press Secretary resigned.  He should have been fired.

Royko said this about my mention Friday on Nikki Haley slamming Trump:

It is interesting that when former Trump officials dump on him, so they can continue to be professional political RINO’s, and not be intimidated by the new Democrat KKK – Antifa and the Burning, Looting Maoists, and be able to not have the big banks interfere with processing contributions, and not be cancelled by Google, Fakebook, and the Twits, they will gladly say what they believe the Marxist-controlled media wants them to say; and, Democrat operatives will happily point to so as discredit any achievement that benefited the nation.

I don’t recall your posting her gushing comments about all the good Trump did while she was following him.

I can’t recall either.

It is way too cold to be talking baseball today.

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Nikki Slams Trump

Speaking of insurrections, happy birthday today to President Abe Lincoln, who had to deal with the biggest insurrection in our country’s history.

On this Valentine’s Day Weekend, J.J. Watt is breaking up with H-Town.  Commentary is at a loss for words.  Woah is me. Crushed for sure.

Royko sent me this on my yesterday’s “Have to Convict” impeachment take:

It is insane to continue the “Impeachment” lunacy!
This is not an impeachment, as the President left office at noon on January 20th. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said so, and is not presiding.
I can’t wait until Republicans take the House, and Senate, and in 2025 Impeach Clinton, Obama, and Pelosi and Schumer, even if they are dead. They likely all will still will be voting a Democrat ballot, even if dead.

Clinton, Obama, and Pelosi and Schumer didn’t start an insurrection.  Sec. Clinton went to Trump’s inauguration.  Trump was a loser coward and didn’t attend President Joe Biden’s. 

From Nikki Haley today on Trump in Politico:

“He’s not going to run for federal office again.  I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture.  I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far. We need to acknowledge he let us down. He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

Sorry Royko.

Don’t even get me started on the latest on AG Ken Paxton.

Astros pitcher Don Wilson was 29 when he left us back in 1975.  He played for us for nine seasons and tossed two no-nos.  If he had lived, he would be celebrating his 76th birthday today.

Have a safe and warm Valentine’s Day.

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