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Archive for the ‘Illegal Immigration’ Category

I’m thinking that Fort Bend Mechanical isn’t going to be doing any business at HISD for a while.  Channel 13 ran a piece Friday night that says according to court records the Fort Bend Mechanical honcho handed off cash to three HISD Board members.  The fella also says that he was asked to pay-to-play at HISD.

Here is the Channel 13 story.

You have to figure that the FBI is going to be all over this.

Why would any governmental entity want to hire Fort Bend Mechanical these days? 

Robin Ventura is the White Sox skipper.  How many career grand salamis does he have?

The Chron E-Board is kind of calling out U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for playing games on immigration reform.  Here are parts:

"This is classic Cornyn. We know the pattern all too well," said immigration advocate Frank Sharry. "He pretends to be sincere about the need for reform. He asks for changes that are a bridge too far. He destabilizes the bipartisan agreement already in place. He helps to thwart reform. He votes no in the end anyway."

Cornyn, the Senate’s minority whip, insists that his amendment would improve the bill. "I think it will also dramatically improve the chances of immigration reform passing," he said.

What the senator is not saying is that he’s up for reelection next year and is worried about a Ted Cruz clone tearing into his vulnerable right flank. A stealth sabotage of immigration reform might inoculate him against a challenger jabbing at him for being soft on the illegals.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

What else is news!

Robin Ventura has 18 careers grand salamis of course.

I don’t know what to say about the up and down ‘Stros who now have won four in row after losing six in a row.

 

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Today is the deadline for members of the public to turn in their Astrodome proposals.  In yesterday’s Chron, Kuffer and former County Judge Jon Lindsay penned Op-Eds and gave us their thoughts.  The Chron also published an Op-Ed on the Dome that appeared in the NY Times a week or so ago.  None of the three advocated Commentary’s well known position on the Dome’s future but Kuffer had what I thought were words that ring loud and true.  Check this:

The fact is that in this country, when a stadium stops functioning as a stadium, it gets torn down. Several of the teams that the Astros played against in 1965, the Dome’s opening year, are in their third stadium since then. Ebbetts Field, where Jackie Robinson made his groundbreaking debut in 1947, was demolished in 1960, two years after the Dodgers headed to California. Apartments were built in its place. The only historic venues that still stand are those that are still used as sports arenas, such as Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field and Madison Square Garden.

There is no precedent for turning an unused stadium into some other functional structure, which may be why we have struggled so much to come up with a new use for the Dome.

Hear, hear!

Here is all of Kuffer.

Here is Judge Lindsay.

Here is the NY Times.

Show me the courage!

How many times have the ‘Stros had the number one pick in the MLB Amateur Player Draft?

Speaking of Numbers Ones and dumbarse stuff falling out of your piehole, Chipper Jones tweeted the following:

Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk

Then he tweeted this:

I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!

Here is from the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz:

Chipper Jones, who built a solid reputation during his long career with the Atlanta Braves, has atoned a bit for an ugly tweet about illegal immigrants.

“Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk,” Jones tweeted from @RealCJ10 Saturday. Jones got a relative pass from the baseball media, but his tweet was beyond offensive.

Many people die each year trying to cross the border in a desperate attempt to improve their lots in life, and I simply don’t find it funny when athletes attempt to dehumanize immigrants by joking about them as though they’re some sort of prey.

Whether you agree or disagree with the U.S. immigration policies, I would assume we all agree that we must treat each other with respect and common decency. Chipper Jones is no John Rocker, and I’m glad Jones decided to apologize in another tweet tonight.

“I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!” he tweeted.

Chipper Jones has always been a class act when I’ve dealt with him, and I hope this was just one silly mistake. We all say stupid comments that we ultimately regret from time to time. Jones recognized his mistake, and hopefully he learned from it.

I’m putting Chipper Jones on my list of dumbarses and he’ll stay on it until I think he’s seen the light if you know what I mean.

This past Saturday With the 557th pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Player Draft the ‘Stros selected Jake Rodriguez.  Jake!

Of course I’m not talking about our Jake but rather Jake who catches for the Oregon State Beavers of the PAC 12.

Talk about letting folks down or misleading them or playing the hidden ball trick, I ‘m talking about the Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees.   HCDE Trustee Jim Henley announced he was resigning.  The HCDE Board then invited folks to apply for the vacancy and send in their resumes.  The list was whittled down to six finalists that included public education activist Sue Deigaard, Latino activist Rey Guerra, and former State Board of Education candidate Traci Jensen (Commentary’s former client). The six finalists were then interviewed.

After a few special called HCDE Board meetings to deliberate on the vacancy the board went for none of the above.  This past Thursday the board met and selected former NAACP honcho Howard Jefferson.  I like Howard and consider him a pal but I don’t think he even applied.

If you ask me why ask folks to apply and have them interviewed then say no thanks. Some of the applicants would have been outstanding trustees.  What a bum deal if you ask me. I hope they have a good ‘splanation.

If the City of H-Town really wants to get serious about recycling then why don’t they have the Westpark Recycling Center open on Sundays.  It is open Monday thru Saturday.  A lot of folks can’t or won’t drive out there during the week.  Having it open on Saturday and Sunday would be a convenience.

The ‘Stros have had the number one draft pick four times of course:  Pitcher Floyd Bannister in 1976, infielder Phil Nevin in 1992, shortstop Carlos Correa in 2012, and pitcher Mark Appel last Thursday.

The ‘Stros have now lost four in a row as the bats have gone on silent mode.  We’re playing like a team that is 22-42.

 

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Commentary was visiting with a couple of national political Latino players last week and in passing one mentioned that the current draft of the immigration reform bill that is being circulated is a bad piece of legislation. 

Here is from today’s MSNBC:

Sen. Marco Rubio suggested Republicans–including himself–might not support the sweeping immigration reform bill unless further revisions are made.

“I can tell you that the bill as currently structured is not going to pass in the House. And I think it’s going to struggle to pass in the Senate,” the Florida senator told reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with fellow GOP leaders in the Senate and the House. He warned the bill–which he helped draft–has little hope of survival as currently written.

“Let’s remember: the goal here is not to pass a bill out of the Senate. The goal here is to reform our immigration laws,” he said.  “And that requires something that can pass the House, the Senate, and be signed by the president.”

The heart of the issue is border security. Rubio, a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” argued that provisions need to be tightened before GOP lawmakers will fully get on board with any deal. He also wants some of the power shifted away from the Department of Homeland Security.

Here is what Latino Vote 2013 says:

Rather than ‘bring immigrants out of the shadows’ this bill will hold millions in an underclass, vulnerable to exploitation and relegated to the ranks of the working poor, with no access to basic services. Millions will have no hope of receiving permanent legal status, let alone citizenship.

Let’s not forget that the only reason GOP types like Sen. Rubio are at the table is because Latinos voted big time for Dems last November.  Latinos are not going to settle for a bad bill.  Dems in Congress would be advised not to be a part of passing a bad bill because it could create a backlash within the Dem Party coalition.  If a bill fails to pass this session Latinos are not going away and will come out and vote against 2014 GOP candidates and heading into 2016 maybe they will get it.  Stay tuned!

Name the last player from B’More to win the AL MVP Award?

D-Day happened 69 years ago today. 

One of Commentary’s favorites is Natalie Morales from “Today.”  Natalie is celebrating her 41st BD today.  Natalie don’t need touching up.

Whew!  Commentary doesn’t use Verizon.

The big story at The Yard today is this evening’s MLB Amateur Player Draft.  We have pick numero uno.  I’m thinking the team will probably go for a college player.  

Cal Ripken, Jr. of course won the AL MVP Award in 1991.

The team hit six dingers last night and still only 15,000 and change made it to The Yard.  It is an afternoon game today followed by the draft watch get together.

 

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FYI:  Graci Garces, candidate for H-Town City Council District I, is Commentary’s client.

It isn’t even May and the Ben Mendez for Houston City Council District I Campaign is already on the defensive.  This past weekend they sent out an email trying to tout his Democratic Party street cred.  Mendez was a contributor to the John McCain for President Campaign against President Obama and Mendez has also given to the Republican National Committee.  Folks learned about the Mendez GOP donations last week via the twitterverse.

Mendez said this in his email:

City of Houston Mayoral and City Council elections are nonpartisan.

I agree, you don’t get to have a D or R next to your name on the ballot but partisanship is a major factor in City of Houston races.  District I voted for The President by over 70% this past November.   District I voters are not going to take kindly to a candidate giving money to Republicans.

In the Mendez email, Mendez claims to be a former “union member.”   When a lot of Democrats in 2008 were working for hope and change, Mendez was giving his personal dough to a RNC whose platform references organized labor officials as “union bosses.”

In his email Mendez says:

Mendez wears many hats.  As an advocate, this allows him to open the doors of communication and encourage bipartisan dialogue to address local, state, and national issues, such as immigration reform.

Mendez gave his personal dough to John McCain who at the time was running for the presidency on an immigrant bashing platform.  Stay tuned!

Everybody knows that Mickey Mantle hit the first dinger at the Astrodome when it opened on April 9, 1965 but do folks know who was the leadoff batter for the Yankees that evening? 

This is what resulted when GOP leaders relentlessly attacked The President for four years during his first term:

America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.

They asked for it! 

Here is the entire piece.

I’m thinking NBC News’ Justice Department correspondent Pete Williams is feeling pretty good these days after getting a shout out from The President the other night at the White House Correspondents Dinner.  Check out what The President said:

“If anyone wonders, for example, whether newspapers are a thing of the past, all you needed to do was to pick up or log on to papers like the Boston Globe.  When their communities and the wider world needed them most, they were there making sense of events that might at first blush seem beyond our comprehension. And that’s what great journalism is, and that’s what great journalists do. And that’s why, for example, Pete Williams’ new nickname around the NBC newsroom is ‘Big Papi.’”

Commentary likes Tom Brokaw even when he gets on his high horse.  Brokaw once again took a shot at the White House Correspondents Dinner.  He thinks the dinner is more of a celebrity-fest of sorts.  Here is what he told Politico:

Brokaw touched off the debate over the dinner when he told POLITICO’s Patrick Gavin in an interview that he won’t be attending this year’s gathering and that the last straw for him was when Lindsay Lohan was invited in 2012. The veteran newsman bemoaned the number of celebs at the dinner and worried how it all looks.

“What kind of image do we present to the rest of the country?” Brokaw asked. “Are we doing their business, or are we just a group of narcissists who are mostly interested in elevating our own profiles? And what comes through the screen on C-SPAN that night is the latter, and not the former.”

Here is how one of Brokaw’s colleagues responded:

New Yorker editor David Remnick, whose magazine threw a Friday night soirée on the roof of the W Hotel, told POLITICO he doesn’t think the White House Correspondents’ Dinner undermines the press.

“Look at what we publish,” he said. “Does it seem like it corrupts us?”

Over the years, Remnick noted that the New Yorker has published groundbreaking stories on torture, drone strikes and other sensitive topics in D.C.

“If one party can corrupt you,” he said. “You probably shouldn’t be in the game.”

Celebs are part of the political culture these days.  They raise and give money to political candidates and political and public causes.  They help create awareness for certain issues.  They are invited to state dinners.  Many are part of the entertainment industry economy that creates jobs across the country.   They get their good and bad covered by the media.

I wonder if Brokaw was watching the “Today Show” this past Friday when NBC News Department’s highest paid employee Matt Lauer was interviewing Martha Stewart and asked Martha if she was dating anyone and Martha responded that she nearly went on Match.com.  I wonder if he watched this morning when Lauer had Martha in studio and they talked more about Martha wanting to go out with a fella.

Stop the presses!  Martha Stewart is going on Match.com!

Here is the entire Politico piece on Brokaw.

Commentary likes George Jones and I think “The Grand Tour” is probably his best tune in my opinion.  NPR did a feature on it a couple of weeks ago.  Commentary only went to one of his concerts sort of over 30 years ago in San Antonio.  Here is from a SA Express News article the other day:

In 1981, George Jones cancelled a concert at Randy’s because he was “ill” (and yes, the story used the word with quotes).

The next year, he performed at Freeman Coliseum. Well, the term “performed” may have been generous because he told the 2,500 fans, “I’m drunk, but I love y’all.” The feeling was not mutual; they responded with boos. Only 450 fans made it to the end of a concert where he forgot lyrics and sang some songs twice. The promoters refused to give refunds because he did appear on stage.

According to the story (above)  in the News on Aug. 16, 1982, Jones left town the next morning “on a motorcycle, his girlfriend and a bottle of tequila in the sidecar and his road crew trailing in a bus…”

The fans forgave him, as he appeared in other concerts in the following years.

I was at the Freeman Coliseum gig.  I think was there because the concert had a political event tie-in.  I couldn’t understand much of what he was singing.  It was hilarious.  I felt a little bad for the promoters and sponsors of the gig.

Express News story here.

Mickey Mantle of course batted leadoff at the first game ever at the Astrodome.

In the Chron today there is another – YAWN – story on what to do with the Dome.  For now the story is only available to subscribers.

When you are 7-18 there is nothing good you can say as they head into Yankee Stadium for three. 

 

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FYI:  Commentary’s client is Graci Garces, candidate for H-Town City Council District I.

Graci will have her “Campaign Takeoff” at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport this evening at 6:30 pm.  The Museum is located in District I.   It is a neat and real cool place to have a political campaign “takeoff” announcement.  If you are a Houston history buff, the Air Museum is a place to visit.  They have a lot of interesting stuff on exhibit from the early days of commercial aviation in Houston.  You can spend a lot of time walking around checking out the display cases.  Here is from their website:

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is housed in the original art-deco Houston Municipal Airport building at present-day William P. Hobby Airport. The Museum showcases the rich heritage of civil aviation, including the airlines, general aviation and business aviation. Exhibits include Houston’s fascinating aviation history.

We gave it a 6:30 pm start to give folks time to head over after work.  They also have some gear for sale there.

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is located on the west side of William P. Hobby Airport, near Telephone Road.

Check out their website here.

This former MLBer was drafted out of West High School (West, Texas) in the third round of the 1994 MLB Amateur Player Draft and during his career smacked a dinger against the ‘Stros in the 2005 World Serious.  Name the player?

Yesterday CNN, AP, and Fox were reporting that an arrest had been made in Boston. It turns out the report wasn’t true.  Here is what the Chron E-Board said about this:

Speaking of journalists, CNN on Wednesday afternoon carelessly leaped before looking when it announced that a suspect had been identified. Fox News and the Associated Press followed.

CNN retracted its report soon afterward, but still took a credibility hit, as well as a spanking from the FBI: "Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

I wonder if the Chron posted the CNN or AP story yesterday.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the Dome.  Here is from Chron.com:

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. will spend the next two months collecting and analyzing ideas for what to do with the vacant Reliant Astrodome in hopes of taking recommendations for repurposing the aging stadium to Commissioners Court in late June.

Under a resolution approved Wednesday by the Sports Corp. board, which oversees Reliant Park, private parties will have until June 10 to submit proposals on how to renovate the nearly half-century old stadium.

Agency staff will analyze any proposals received and deliver recommendations to Commissioners Court on June 25, the day the court is scheduled to consider the county’s capital projects plan.

GOP Cong. Goober from Tyler says that radical Muslims are being trained to act like Latinos so they can get into the U.S. of A. to create havoc or something like that.  Here is from the Chron:

“We know al Qaeda has camps over with the drug cartels on the other side of the Mexican border,” the Republican from Tyler said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning. “We know that people that are now being trained to come in and act like Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.

I don’t know about that.  You got to practice real hard to get the Latino thing down. 

You have to be able to sit through hours and hours of novellas.  

You have to learn the right way to climb on a burro.

You have to become knowledgeable of futbol or beisbol or both.

You are going to have to get by on rice, beans, and corn tortillas.

You are going to have to live with another dozen fellas in a one room apartment.

You don’t keep your dog on a leash and just let the pooch roam the ‘hood.

You also don’t fix your dog.

If you are a male, you better not control your temper.

If you are female, you need to strive to look like Sofia Vergara.

You have to drive in a car with sound systems no lower than a kazillion decibels.

You need to know how to handle a switchblade and steal tires while the car is still moving.

Get rid of the AK-47 and learn how to handle a leaf blower – our weapon of choice.

It is not that easy learning how to be Latino, Cong. Goober.

Check out the story here.

Former MLBer Scott Podsednik of course went to West High School in West, Texas and he smacked a dinger against the ‘Stros in Game 2 of the 2005 World Serious.

Our ace lasted 2/3 of an inning yesterday and we’re 4-11 and on pace to lose 118 games this season.

 

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In what inning do they play “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway?

You learn something every day.  I didn’t know bombs could be made using pressure cookers.

Lisa Falkenberg has a must read column today that you can only check out if you subscribe.  It is about marathoners.  Great job Lisa Falkenberg!

Meanwhile the immigration bill was unveiled yesterday and here are some reactions in the SA Express News:

Democrats and immigrant-rights groups have endorsed the Senate bipartisan bill, while voicing concern that border security goals not be used to block progress on citizenship plans for people in the country illegally.

“I’m hopeful that the trigger mechanisms are created in good faith and that they are not an attempt to further move the goal post,” said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine.

Still, Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, and other Democrats said the bill “makes clear Congress is willing to deal with immigration reform with a reasonable plan.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin said: “Finally, there is hope that families can stay together and ‘Dreamers’ can succeed.”

Alicia Torres, however, could not bring herself to match his enthusiasm. The 27-year-old from San Antonio immigrated to the country illegally with her parents and nine siblings two decades ago. And while she is likely to qualify for the bill’s five-year fast-track to citizenship for immigrants whose families brought them into the country as minors, she worried its 13-year path for all others and emphasis on labor-based rather than family-based visas showed a shifting priority for the country.

“It just reinforces the same ‘good immigrant’—’bad immigrant’ stereotypes,” she said. “They’re OK with immigrants coming here to leave their sweat and hard work, but they’re not interested in families fully integrating together into the citizen community.”

Here is the entire piece.

I want to wait and see what Latino groups say.

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the Dome.  Here is the main part:

The University of Southern California knows something, but they’re not sharing. According to the Sports and Convention Corporation Executive Director Willie Loston, the corporation will vote whether to approve a non-disclosure agreement so that USC will share its super-secret plan for the Dome. A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a climate-controlled stadium.

Whatever happens today, Loston says the Sports and Convention Corporation will also vote on setting a timeline to have Dome proposals ready for the Harris County Commissioners Court’s capital improvement plans meeting in June.

We’ve seen too many Dome dreamers high on ideas but short on cash. With a recovering economy, Houston now has the opportunity to do something worthy of the Eighth Wonder of the World. County Judge Ed Emmett is talking optimistically about a bond vote in the November elections, and we may finally see a future for the Dome beyond a reminder of past grandeur.

This whole process feels a bit like diligent students ramping up before finals, with a slow and steady studying turning into cram sessions. But are voters being left out of the discussion? As county-created agencies consider secret dealings, a commissioners court that was all too willing to kick the can down the road now could be all too quick to make a decision without proper public input. While a bond election likely will be necessary to fund any Dome plan, an up or down vote on the county’s decision is hardly a choice at all. Given that each commissioner represents around a million people while lacking the public spotlight afforded a legislator or city council member, it is questionable how well the county can translate the will of the people into a ballot choice.

Here is all of it.

Here is from Chron.com:

A team of scientists, including Texas A&M researchers, believe 2-million-year-old skeletal remains may be a new type of species that played a role in human evolution.

I wonder if Guv Dude will now go to war with his alma mater.

Let’s be thankful that A&M doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of the Texas State Board of Education.  Whew!

Here is the entire story.

Commentary likes the Big Puma but sometimes I don’t agree with his takes.  He doesn’t like Wrigley Field and this is what he said yesterday:

If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it,” Berkman said Monday to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything,” he said.

I don’t think anyone ought to be talking about blowing up anything these days. I’m glad he wasn’t asked about Fenway.

“Sweet Caroline” is played in the middle of the eighth inning of course at Fenway.

“Sweet Caroline” was played last night at Yankee Stadium.

It was also played in Oakland.

The ‘Stros lost again to the A’s last night and we’re 4-10.

 

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Grover Norquist is heading up an effort to support immigration reform.  Check this from Politico:

High-profile conservative groups are taking on an unexpected cause: passing immigration reform.

A diverse mix of the Washington consultant class is cutting TV ads, revving up the grassroots and advising lawmakers on messaging and strategy in hopes of getting a bill across the finish line this year.

The surprising effort is a new element to the immigration debate — and one that could influence Republican lawmakers reluctant to support the cause.

Here is the entire piece.

The article really doesn’t address pathway to citizenship.  Some Latinos are working to make sure pathway to citizenship doesn’t require impossible conditions.  Stay tuned!

The A’s are in town for three.  Name the top two all time career dinger hitters as A’s?

My pal H-Town CM Steve Costello has an Op-Ed in today’s Chron on pensions.

Check it out here.

My pal local activist/video photographer Carlos Calbillo is calling out a H-Town District I candidate because of her ties to the GOP.  Carlos is sending out copies of the emails.  It could be an issue because the last time I checked District I voted over 70% for The President last November.

One of the greatest local sports injustices was finally resolved yesterday when word got out that Guy V. Lewis will finally be going to the Hall of Fame.  It is about freaking time!

All I’m going to say about “Two and a Half Men” last night is that network TV isn’t what it used to be.  Oh, Lucy!

Mark McGwire with 363 dingers and Hall of Fame great Jimmie Foxx with 303 lead the A’s of course in the all time dinger department as A’s.

They are giving away t-shirts tonight and baseballs tomorrow.  I wonder how many fans will attend.

 

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