Archive for November, 2021

Correa Time 

Former H-Town City Council Member and HISD Trustee Jolanda Jones announced yesterday that she is running for State Rep. District 147, the seat currently held by Rep. Garnet Coleman who is retiring. Jones also put out an impressive list of Democrats who are supporting her. 

“The Beatles: Get Back” is reviewed in today’s Chron.  Here is the cute last line of the review:  

But if your primary interest is the interaction among the four musicians, “Get Back” sets the bar at a new height. It won’t let you down. 

Don’t let me down. 

On Sunday, the Chron’s Sport Section front page had Carlos Correa wearing lids of teams he might end up wearing on Opening Day. One was the Rangers lid.  He can scratch Texas off his list.  The Rangers signed former Dodger shortstop Corey Seager to a megadeal contract.   

Maybe the Astros are still in the hunt. I hope so. 

The Astros are the best sports franchise in H-Town.  Carlos Correa is a big reason why.  It would be a shame if he signed elsewhere. 

It’s Correa time. 

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Early Voting Today

Early Voting for HCC and HISD Trustee runoff races start today. 

Here is from the Chron E-Board this morning on the HISD Trustee District 1 runoff race:  

Garza Lindner in District I 

Trustee Elizabeth Santos is asking voters in the Dec. 11 runoff election to keep her on the board representing Houston ISD District I. They shouldn’t. 

Santos’ connection to the district is deep. She grew up attending its schools and taught English there. Her dedication to students shines through when she speaks. Those things speak in her favor, but they do not overcome her weaknesses as a board member. 

On the other hand, Janette Garza Lindner is a strong candidate. The mother of two HISD students, she grew up in Brownsville, bilingual in Spanish and English, as an adopted daughter of a widow who left school in the second grade and never learned to read. She graduated from the University of Texas and is an energy industry consultant and project manager. In 2019, she received training as a board fellow of Latinos for Education and serves on the leadership committee of Arts Connect Houston. 

Her story lends itself well to representing District I, which stretches from the Near Northside to the northwest across much of the Heights. We continue to recommend Garza Lindner as the best choice. 


Early Voting locations around District 1 are Moody Park, Northline HCC, SPJST Lodge and West Gray.  The voters in the northwest part of District 1 are going to have to drive a bit to vote early. 

I was watching “What’s Your Point” yesterday and someone mentioned that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo would have a Democratic Primary challenger. That is news to Commentary. I checked yesterday and I have not run across a treasurer designation for a Democrat for County Judge.  We will see. 

Nothing on Carlos Correa. 

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COVID Commission  

I didn’t know about this.  See this from the Chron E-Board today: 

Four U.S. senators – two Republicans and two Democrats – have proposed a 9/11-style national pandemic commission that would take an exhaustive look at the pandemic’s origins, our early response and messaging, and our preparedness for another pandemic nearly everyone expects will come sooner or later 

The bill’s sponsors are Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Republican Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Roger Marshall of Kansas. The panel would have 10 members, five from each party, that would have broad investigative authority, including subpoena power. It would report its findings to Congress and the executive branch. 

This bill deserves the support from both chambers in Congress and from both parties. Such bipartisanship in these fiercely divided times is by itself worth cheering, but the bill is badly needed, regardless of politics. 

“You know, if a plane crashes, we want to understand why,” Marshall told NPR earlier this week. “As a physician, if a patient dies, that’s why we do an autopsy. We want to find out, what can we learn to help future people as well?” 

It will never happen. Donald Trump will tell GOP members of Congress to kill it.  He and others want to move on. 

Here is the entire Chron editorial: Editorial: National pandemic commission will provide answers, save lives (houstonchronicle.com). 

Yesterday was my scheduled green bin pick-up date.  Since yesterday was a holiday, it is scheduled for pick-up today.  The past few months, the green bin sits out there for a couple of days and gets picked up on Saturdays.  I wonder if I will have to wait for a Sunday pick-up. 

Nothing to report on Carlos Correa. 

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I had this nice message sent to me by G. Shaw yesterday: 

Happy Thanksgiving to Commentary. I’m thankful to have it to look forward to every weekday morning (don’t tell my boss or clients). 

I just try to say what is on my mind. Unvarnished and factual. 

Thank you, kindly. 

I just heard on the “Today” newscast that there have been 48 million COVID-19 infections and over 775,000 deaths in the USA since the beginning of the pandemic.  It didn’t have to be this way. Thanks to the irresponsible leadership of folks like Donald Trump and the racist arsehole Greg Abbott we still have a major problem. 

Folks who refused to be vaccinated are still dying. I really don’t care about them anymore.  You listened to folks like Trump, Abbott and Fox News and this is where we are right now.  

Commentary is still masking up and using the hand sanitizer.  I don’t want to catch it and give it to my 98-year-old Dad who is dealing with a few health issues. 

What am I thankful for this morning?  I am thankful that no one in my immediate family lost their life over this virus. It isn’t over though. 

Despite everything that our President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are dealing with – supply chain issues, not getting everything in Build Back Better, inflation, gasoline prices and erosion of our voting rights – I am thankful that we didn’t have to deal with another 10 months of Donald Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Think about that. 

We have a GOP that is bent in destroying our democracy so be thankful that President Biden and Vice President Harris are leading the charge to protect our precious freedom. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day and be safe out there. 

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The Chron E-Board is putting out their HISD trustee runoff endorsements this week.  Here is the one for Trustee District 1 from today: 

Trustee Elizabeth Santos, 39, is asking voters in the Dec. 11 runoff election to keep her on the board representing Houston ISD District I. They shouldn’t. 

Santos’ connection to the district is deep. She grew up attending its schools and taught English there. Her dedication to students shines through when she speaks. Those things speak in her favor, but they do not overcome her weaknesses as a board member. 

An early strike against Santos came in late 2018, when she joined four other trustees to oust Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan in a surprise vote that came after the five had met with a former superintendent whom they then named to replace Lathan. The Texas Education Agency cited that apparent violation of the state’s open meetings law as partial grounds for replacing the whole board. 

Santos defends her actions, and claimed in our meeting with her she hadn’t known in advance that Lathan would be fired. But the episode was deeply disruptive and showed poor judgment. 

That was an early mistake, but unfortunately Santos has not provided the steady influence and smooth leadership that the school board, with all its recent acrimony, so badly needs. In interviews with us and other outlets recently, she has also struggled to share a cogent vision for how she’ll use a second term to steer the district to further success. 

On the other hand, Janette Garza Lindner, 45, is a strong candidate. The mother of two HISD students, she grew up in Brownsville, bilingual in Spanish and English, as an adopted daughter of a widow who left school in the second grade and never learned to read. She graduated from the University of Texas and is an energy industry consultant and project manager. In 2019, she received training as a board fellow of Latinos for Education and serves on the leadership committee of Arts Connect Houston. 

Her story lends itself well to representing District I, which stretches from the Near Northside to the northwest across much of the Heights. 

“I know firsthand how much schools matter,” Garza Lindner told the editorial board. 

Neither candidate secured enough votes in the Nov. 2 election to win the seat outright, and now they face each other in a two-way runoff. We continue to recommend Garza Lindner as the best choice. 

Here is a part of a funny Royko take sent to me yesterday: 

I have agreed that the audit is a waste of money. We don’t have a problem counting ballots. 

The problem is the organized vote fraud. We have Democrats who routinely employ convicted forgers to work on submitting voter registrations. 

We have RINO’s working with the Dems in the Legislature to roll back the felony penalties to misdemeanors, knowing it gives the Soros-backed Democrat DA’s the ability to ignore the Republican vote fraud complaints. 

No one knows how many fraudulent registrations are entered each year, but the cheaters have plenty of “walk around” money to maintain massive boiler room operations where everyone is paid in cash. 

Not a shred of evidence. Here is the real deal on Royko and a bunch of other GOPers.  They want to do everything possible to keep us from voting. Period. 

They want to make baseless and senseless accusations just for the purpose of casting doubts on our democratic processes. 

They don’t believe in fair and square elections. That is who they are these days. 

Disney’s latest animation flick is called “Encanto.” One of the stars is Stephanie Beatriz who was mostly raised in Webster just down I-45 South from H-Town.  She credits the H-Down arts scene for a lot of her success.  Here is from the Chron: 

Beatriz’s performance as Rosa Diaz throughout eight seasons of the hugely popular sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” firmly established her as one of the funniest performers on television — but there’s much more to her acting skills than just comedy. Originally born in Neuquen, Argentina, to a Colombian father and Bolivian mother, Beatriz honed and perfected her acting skills in Webster, just outside of Houston, where she moved when she was just 2 years old. 

Houston’s arts community is the first thing Beatriz mentions when asked for her thoughts on the city. 

“One of the greatest gifts that my family gave me, my mother in particular, was she would seek out different exhibits and things related to the arts for my sister and I to engage in,” Beatriz recalls. “Places like the Museum of Fine Arts and the great theater in the city. When we were kids, that sparked my curiosity. It definitely sparked the idea of following and pursuing a career in the arts. I don’t know that I would have known that it was an avenue I could have gone down, otherwise.” 

When discussing her youth in Webster and Houston, Beatriz also highlights the support that she received not just from the artistic community, but from the entire city and the surrounding area. She calls Houston one of the friendliest places in the world.  

“Texans are known for their warmth. I grew up that way. I grew up saying hi to people that I didn’t know and trying to try to be warm, open and compassionate to everyone that I’ve come across. You only realize once you move away from places like Houston and Webster that not every place is as warm and welcoming.” 

Now a resident of Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband Brad Hoss and their 3-month-old daughter Rosaline, Beatriz’s career is going strong. Rather than sticking to television or film roles, Beatriz is currently preparing to make her first theatrical performance in about 10 years in “2:22 – A Ghost Story on London’s West End.” The show marks another full circle moment for Beatriz. 

“Some of the first theater I ever saw was in Houston. Whether it was at my high school or the touring shows that would come through. I also studied theater in college. I performed it at the very start of my career. So it’s crazy to think that in a few days I’ll be in rehearsals for a play that’s going to open on the West End. I’m so thrilled and excited.” 

Here is the entire read: Disney’s new ‘Encanto’ stars Stephanie Beatriz, a Texas and Latina icon (chron.com). 

Bill Virdon, a former Astros manager, is no longer with us. He was 90.  He led us to our first playoff appearance in 1980.  The first World Series I paid attention to was the 1960 Fall Classic between the Pirates and Yankees that the Pirates won with a walk-off dinger in Game 7.  Virdon played with the Pirates and that is when I first knew of him.  He was a good guy. 

It will be six of us tomorrow for Thanksgiving Day Dinner. My Dad, my sister Sylvia, my nephew David and his son Jackson, my nephew Enrique and me.  We are all fully vaccinated and not messing around. 

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Disloyal Astros

Commentary has been an Astros season ticket holder since 1994.  I stayed with them during the three consecutive 100 loss seasons from 2011 – 2013.  I guess you could call me a loyal fan.  

Due to the pandemic, the last game I was at was Game 7 of the 2019 World Series against the Nationals.  

When the team cheating scandal came out in early 2020, the team sent all season ticket holders a $200 gift card to use at The Yard for grub, Saint Arnold or stuff from the Team Store.  They put the card on our Ballpark app. They called it a loyalty gift card. It was a kind of gesture to keep us happy after we became a national embarrassment. Then the pandemic hit, and nobody went to ballgames in 2020.  In 2021, they let us opt out of our seats up until July.  I chose not to attend games this year because of the pandemic.

This past Saturday, I went to The Yard for a seat relocation event. I was thinking about moving to the Club Level next season because the netting installed in the summer of 2019 impedes my vision at my current seats in Section 132.  After the event I went to the Team Store to buy some gear.  When I pulled up my Ballpark app to fetch my gift card, it was missing.   

Yesterday, I emailed my Astros account executive and told her my $200 gift card was missing. She said the loyalty gift card expired after the 2021 regular season. Huh? 

How do you put an expiration date on a gift certificate?  Loyalty is a two-way street in Commentary’s book.  It got me to thinking.  I haven’t been to an Astros game in over two years.  Do I really need this if that is the way they are going to treat their “loyal” fans? 

In 2020, when we couldn’t attend games, the team said the money we had plunked down for 2020 would be applied to 2021. A number of fans demanded their money back immediately and got it.  I told the team to go on ahead and apply to the 2021 season.  

I have already paid for about 60% of next season’s tickets.  I am seriously thinking of outright cancelling because of their little chicken sh_t ways they treat some of us. I am a loyal fan for sure.  The Astros are coming across right now as a disloyal organization. Stay tuned. 

Royko sent me this on my take on the Chron and the Big Lie: 

When is it dumb for the local newspaper to print, under free speech and freedom of the Press, an Op-Ed submitted by a Government Official who may have a view different from some of the knucklehead readers? 

Donald Trump lost and no longer lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Only knuckleheads think Trump won.  

Nothing new on Carlos Correa. 

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58 Years 

58 years-ago today. The first major news event that impacted me.  I will never forget where I was and how I spent the weekend in front of our old black and white TV.  Sitting in our classroom at GCCISD’s De Zavala Elementary School on a Friday around noon. Sitting in front of the TV with my grandmother as she wept. Thinking that it was surreal that my Dad had seen him the night before at the Democratic Party dinner in honor Cong. Albert Thomas. 

The plane carrying the President landing in DC Friday evening.  Watching LBJ deliver remarks.  The world leaders gathering for the funeral.  The casket lying in state.   

The Lee Harvey Oswald killing by Jack Ruby on live TV.   

Jacqueline Kennedy holding it together. The John Jr. salute. Not going to school on Monday because it was a National Day of Mourning. 

That it happened in Texas.  That was a very mixed emotion. An assassination of an American president. 58 years-ago today. 

A bunch of Americans don’t believe the 2020 election results are legitimate. Thanks to Donald Trump and his loser followers who continue to push the big lie.  Trump ordered an audit of the Texas 2020 election results and Texas GOPers led by the racist arsehole Gov. Greg Abbott complied.  A few days ago, Abbott and fellow idiots Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan transferred $4 million from the prison system to conduct the election audit. Dumbsh_ts for sure. 

You know what is just as dumb.  Lisa Falkenberg, the VP and Editor of Opinions for the Chron, giving the Texas Secretary of State a lead Op-Ed in yesterday’s Outlook section justifying the audits. I was dumbfounded when I saw it and read it.  Dumb, dumb, dumb. 

Q, U, X and Z.  There are 333 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and none of them have a last name that starts with a Q, U, X or Z. Now you know. 

Nothing new on Carlos Correa. 

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State Rep. Garnet Coleman will not be running again.  He certainly has earned all the tributes and accolades he has received the past 24 hours from both sides of the aisle.  His knowledge and dissection of policy is at a place where very few have been.  He is certainly one of the better legislators of this era.  He put in the time and hard work to become one of the best. He will be missed on the Texas House floor for sure. 

I was honored that Garnet called on me to consult on his campaign when he first ran in a special election 30 years ago. I was there at the beginning of his extraordinary public service career.

One of Commentary’s all-time favorite TV journalists is saying farewell to “Today.” Natalie Morales is leaving and will now be a co-host of “The Talk.”  Everyone knows I have been a fan of Natalie’s from Day 1. She is smart, sharp, energetic, witty, and nice.  She is first class in my book. 

She is trilingual – English, Spanish and Portuguese. She is a Latina who proudly celebrates her heritage. She also celebrates her athleticism.  

Of course, my favorite story of hers is the one on Siete Family Foods a couple or so years ago. She has covered the sad stories like the Boston Marathon bombing and Sandy Hook.  The exciting stories like the trapped Chilean miners. She has covered the royals, the Olympics, presidential inaugurals and red-carpet events. 

Her Halloween costumes like Princess Leia, Eddie Munster and Shirley Feeney were the coolest. Her and her kid’s reshoot of Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp is a classic. 

Her and Jenna Bush getting on that thrill ride over a canyon was one of a kind live TV with Natalie belting out laughs while Jenna cried out for her mom. 

I will miss Natalie on “Today.” She helped make the mornings better in my book. 

Janette Garza Lindner put this out on FB this morning: 

I’ve received some questions from voters about where my campaign finances come from. Campaigns are financed in two ways: straight donations to the campaign and PAC contributions

I have no issue with a candidate receiving PAC contributions as most campaigns, including mine, receive them. It’s part of the political universe. However, I do take issue with the complete misrepresentation of how my opponent is framing her campaign funding. 

To set the record straight, my opponent has received more than $95k in services from one PAC based in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, she has not publicly acknowledged these funds during this campaign. My opponent is misleading voters in this race and is giving us another example of why we need to bring trust and integrity back to HISD by electing a new District 1 Trustee. 

Got it? 

Nothing to report on a Carlos Correa signing this morning. 

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Commentary was at my Dad’s yesterday. I missed The Dean’s annual fundraiser. It turns out it was The Dean’s kickoff for H-Town mayoral campaign in 2023.  

Here is what The Dean said according to a tweet from Jose de Jesus Ortiz:  

“We’re running for (Houston) Mayor, and we intend to win.” 

It is on.  I support The Dean in his race for Mayor. 

Here is the headline for a Trib story today: 

Texas Democrats rely on voters of color to be competitive. So why are their top statewide candidates mostly white? 

Here is the sub-headline:  

The GOP slate for statewide office includes two high-profile Latinos and two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office. Republicans are making a play to be more competitive with voters of color as the state’s electorate grows more diverse. 

Here is from the article: 

For decades, Texas Democrats have banked on the growth of voters of color, particularly Black and Latino voters, as the key to their eventual success in a state long dominated by Republicans. 

But with less than a month left for candidates to file for statewide office in the 2022 elections, some in the party worry Democrats could see their appeal with those constituencies threatened by a Republican Party that is rapidly diversifying its own candidate pool. 

The GOP slate for statewide office includes two high-profile Latinos: Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, who are both running for attorney general. It also includes two Black candidates who have previously held state or federal office: former Florida congressman Allen West and state Rep. James White, who are running for governor and agriculture commissioner, respectively. 

By contrast, the Democrats’ most formidable candidates are white — Beto O’Rourke, who is running for governor, and Mike CollierMatthew Dowd and Michelle Beckley, who are running for lieutenant governor. 

Lee Merritt, a Black civil rights attorney from McKinney, and Rochelle Garza, a Latina former ACLU attorney from Brownsville, have jumped into the Democratic primary for attorney general; and Jinny Suh, an Asian American Austin lawyer, is running for land commissioner. But none of those Democrats have the political experience or fundraising prowess of their Republican counterparts. 

The issue has caused consternation among some Democrats, particularly as they see South Texas and border communities, with large majorities of Latino voters, become a battleground for Republicans. Democrats lost a special election in San Antonio to Republican Frank Lujan earlier this month. Two weeks later, Rio Grande City Rep. Ryan Guillen, who’d served in the Texas House as a Democrat since 2003, switched his party affiliation to Republican. Both Lujan and Guillen are Latino. 

“We need to look at that and need to do an introspection as to why there’s a lack of diversity at the top of the ticket,” said Odus Evbagharu, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party. “We need to do better. We’ve gotta cultivate our bench.” 

And this: 

Jeronimo Cortina, a political scientist at the University of Houston, said Republicans are making a play to be more competitive with voters of color as the state’s electorate grows more diverse. He pointed to Republicans opening up offices in heavily Latino areas like San Antonio. 

“The Republican Party in Texas sees the writing on the wall and that is that demographic change is here,” he said. “Latinos are going to be the biggest chunk of the electorate in the next couple of decades, so either [Republicans] get on board or they’re going to lose them.” 

I have addressed this before.  Folks of color can’t complain if they haven’t put forward viable Democratic statewide candidates.  They have plenty of qualified potential candidates. They just need to step up and file.  

The team signed Justin Verlander for $25 million next season. I hope we have money left for Carlos Correa. 

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From the Chron today: 

Harris County will not launch an independent investigation into the Astroworld festival disaster after commissioners declined to support a plan by County Judge Lina Hidalgo to do so. 

A mistake. I am not going to dwell on this. 

Here is from Stace: 

We knew it would get busy in the newly redrawn Harris County Precinct 4 and we have another candidate with Ben Chou announcing his candidacy for Commish. Chou is an attorney with government experience. If elected, he would be the first Asian-American and openly gay person on the Commissioner’s Court. 

Here is all of Stace on this: Ben Chou Files for Harris Commish Pct 4 | (doscentavos.net). 

Worthless arseholes like former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are a joke.  The dipsh_t had his nose fully up Donald Trump’s arse and now that he wants to run for president and wants to sell books turns on Trump. All these guys are a joke in Commentary’s book. 

Nothing to report on a Carlos Correa contract with the Astros. 

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