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Burying My Mom

We will be burying my Mom today. I posted the info this past Friday afternoon. Yesterday evening, after the rosary, my nieces, Linda Garza Martinez and Cristina Lafuente, both gave loving moving tributes to their grandmother. Here are Cristina’s remarks (Linda’s were more extemporaneous and she also serenaded her grandmother – very nice):

Hello. My name is Cristina Lafuente and I am one of Alicia’s granddaughters. On behalf of my family, I want to Thank you all very much for being here this evening. Your presence here means so much to us and is a testament to how much my grandmother impacted and touched so many lives.

Alicia Campos was the most wonderful grandmother. She was extremely caring, kind, loving; she had a huge heart and was dedicated to her family, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, and her nieces and nephews. She opened up her home and was so welcoming to family, relatives, friends and neighbors. We always knew that she and my grandfather would do anything in the world for us – and they did. She taught us by example what it means to have unconditional love for family and to live a life with strong Catholic faith.

Like many of you, I have so many fond memories of my grandmother. My family spent so much time with her, we celebrated nearly every holiday with her, she was present at every important event of our lives, we enjoyed vacationing and traveling with her, but more importantly we loved just spending time with her at her house. She was never too busy to have us over. Anytime I called and told her I was coming over for a visit, she would put on a fresh pot of beans and would roll out some fresh flour tortillas for me. She would always send me home with a container full of beans, a package of freshly made flour tortillas and lots of extra food.

We all loved her cooking and growing up we all spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen. She catered to all her grandchildren and great grandchildren in the kitchen. For example, whenever we stayed over at her house, she would get up in the morning and make a huge breakfast, and she would usually make several batches of scrambled eggs, because we all liked them prepared differently, some with tomatos, onions and peppers, some liked them plain and some with cheese sauce all while rolling out fresh flour tortillas.. She always made sure we were all very happy and well fed. When we were younger, we would spend weeks at her house during the summer because we loved being around her. One summer she took all her grandchildren on a road trip to Disney World in her big van. I remember she loaded up an ice chest full of breakfast tacos, each wrapped in foil and as soon as we turned the corner down the street and got on the freeway, we could not wait any longer to begin eating those delicious tacos. That road trip was memorable for all of us, two of us would be seated in the front passenger seat, navigating with maps, talking to truckers on my grandpa’s CB radio and having a blast.

During Christmas, she took pride in making around 15 dozen tamales for her family and friends every year. Hers tamales were the Best, made with lots of love. She was very particular about the way she prepared the meat and the masa. I know many of us spent time spreading the masa with her, especially my grandfather, it amazed me how my grandma would stay up all night and cook tamales right before Christmas and New Years Eve to ensure she had an abundance of tamales for everyone to eat and plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home.   

Holidays were very important to my grandmother. She loved hosting Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas and New Years Eve gatherings at house ever year. Her largest party was always New Years Eve. For the past 40 years, I have celebrated almost every New Years Eve and Christmas at her house with my family, friends, cousins, and relatives. I know we will all greatly miss seeing her during the holidays.

As an adult, one of my fondest memories of my grandmother was when we took big family trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and rented a house during the summer of 2000. That year, my brother, my grandparents, my mother and my aunt Rachel drove from Houston to Mexico City, and visited the Basilica of the Virgen de Guadalupe. My grandmother was very devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We traveled to Queretaro, Guanajuato, and visited family in Morelia and Zacapu. We explored the unique towns of Tzintuzan, Paracho, Urapan, Santa Clara de Cobre and stayed a full month in San Miguel de Allende. I loved exploring Mexico with my grandma and listening to all the stories she had told me come alive. This vacation was one of the most culturally, eye-opening experiences of my life and I have so many precious memories.

My grandmother was an excellent seamstress. She devoted a great deal of time to sewing for others. She told me stories about how she made my mom’s wedding dress, and would make bridesmaid dresses for her and many of her relatives. Throughout my life she sewed many dresses for me, birthday dresses, my flower girl dress, my graduation and confirmation dresses, my Christmas formals and even two prom dresses. I am so thankful for all the time she took to care for me and very blessed that she lived nearby. She always encouraged me to learn and constantly asked my cousin Rachel and I when we were going to learn how to sew. We enrolled in a leisure learning class a few years ago, but we both ended up dropping the class because we didn’t like the teacher. My grandmother was a little disappointed in us because throughout her life she had collected hundreds of materials and she had a huge craft room at her house with a ton of supplies. I promised her that I would take a sewing class someday soon.

My grandmother had one of the sharpest minds and an amazing memory. She always remembered to call us on our birthdays and remembered the year that each of us were born because she had a story about something that happened that year. She was so thoughtful.

My grandmother also strongly encouraged her family to be actively involved in the political process. She never missed an opportunity to vote in an election and during the past three years when it became difficult for her to travel away from home, she would cast an absentee ballot. Then she would call us and make sure we went to the polls early to vote. We traveled with her to political conventions, and she and my grandfather worked behind the scenes to support my Uncle Marc with campaigning for many candidates. She and my grandpa worked the polls every election in November. My grandpa was a precinct chair. My grandma invited me to take the day off work to help them at the polls for the presidential and gubernatorial elections and I enjoyed working the polls with her and my grandpa seeing how passionate and dedicated they were to making sure everyone voted.

My grandmother loved her great grandchildren. She enjoyed having them over to her house and was thrilled anytime she had an opportunity to take care of them. She especially enjoyed supporting her eldest great grandson Dante at his baseball games. She attended everyone of his baseball games in little league and middle school. She was so supportive of all of us.

Her favorite sports team was the Houston Astros. Even during these last few months, even though she had stopped watching television, she wanted to know the score, who won the game.

Last Sunday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday at my grandmother’s house. That afternoon, my grandma hugged my mom, wished her a happy birthday and said she loved her so much. She also told me she loved me so much and emphasized how much she loved all her grandchildren and great grandchildren so much. Before I left that evening, my mom, Alex and I prayed the rosary with my grandmother.. My Grandma was truly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she had strong faith in the power of praying the rosary. She prayed the rosary very often and she kept her rosaries close to her.. A few weeks ago, she said that when she is gone, if she is able to, she will be watching over all of us. I believe she is now an angel in heaven and will be watching over all of us.

I’m so thankful that I was fortunate to have spent so much time with her and that I was there to hold her hand at the end. I believe that she will be reunited in heaven with her sisters, her parents, her son Michael, my father Gilbert, her nephew Carlos, her great niece Claire and so many more relatives and friends. And, Hopefully one day, all of us will be reunited with her and all our family and friends in Heaven too. My grandmother provided us with a strong foundation of love and her legacy will live on in the lives of all of us. For now, we are comforted knowing her eternal love is never ending and she will be our angel watching over us from above.

Thank you grandma for We love you so much grandma, we will miss you immensely and we will always remember you!

Sabrina Midkiff posted this yesterday:

As I sit here reflecting on the beautiful life of Alicia Campos (my first mother-in-law) and mourn her passing, I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how important our matriarchs are to the young women in our families. As her family members have reflected in their various posts, Alicia was a great cook and she made the best homemade tortillas, cheese sauce and tamales I ever had. I would sit at the bar in her kitchen while she made these goodies and marvel at how easy it was for her and how delicious she could make it taste, my mouth watering for the next round. I asked her once to show me how to make the tortillas, and she did the usual — add “this much” flour and water to the tub, add the grease and mix until its “just right.” 

Then, she would look at me and say: “Don’t learn to make the tortillas. If you learn, you will always be the one in the kitchen making the tortillas.” Of course, she knew my desire to be active in government and I took her words as encouragement to pursue my dreams. She reminded me of my grandmother Jean Foster who, on a drive to her house in New Jersey, once told me to “do whatever YOU want to do.” 

I have been lucky to have a career in politics and government that I have enjoyed and have had the pleasure and honor of working on many great projects (like Minute Maid Park or the MOD Perinatal Safety Center!!). I remember today how if it wasn’t for matriarchs like Alicia Campos and my grandmother, I would not have had a strong foundation from which to pursue a career nor the will and confidence to lead great projects. 

Alicia’s legacy lives on in the beautiful lives of her children and grandchildren. She gave them a strong foundation of love and support and as they have reported in their own Facebook posts, she was critical to any success they encounter. Indeed, her grandchildren are beautiful young women and men who are already doing great things in our state and will rule our world one day soon. 

I am grateful to have been in her orbit and I have confidence in our future knowing that matriarchs like Alicia have inspired a generation of very cool women. 

I hope and pray that Alicia’s influence lives on in me and that my children and grandchildren (hopefully I have some one day!) will benefit from her legacy as well. 

Rest in peace dear Alicia. Blessings be with your family as they mourn your passing.

Thanks, Sab!

I will be back tomorrow. Thanks, everyone.

My Mom (Services)

Alicia Campos, a beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on Thursday, June 15, 2017 surrounded by her family at home. She was 91.

Alicia Campos was born May 21, 1926, in Baytown to Guadalupe Torres and Ladislao Torres. She attended Robert E. Lee High School and married her high school sweetheart Antonio Campos.

In their 70 years of marriage, the couple found common interest in teaching, traveling to visit family in Mexico, hosting numerous family gatherings, campaigning and encouraging their family to be actively involved in the political process.

After graduating from the University of Houston, she went to work as a Spanish and History teacher in the La Porte Independent School District. She was an excellent seamstress and cook. After retiring from teaching, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, her great grandchildren and cheering them on at their sporting events. Her favorite sports team was the Houston Astros and she followed the team closely each season.

She is preceded in death by her son Michael Campos, son-in-law Gilbert Lafuente, nephew Carlos Lara and sisters Rachel Lara and Angelina Walmsley.

She is survived by her husband Antonio Campos, her children Aida Garza (husband Roberto Garza), Marc Campos and Sylvia Lafuente and grandchildren Rachel Campos Estes, David Lafuente, Cristina Lafuente, Enrique Lafuente, Linda Garza-Martinez, Roberto Garza, Veronica Garza, Rebecca Cuellar and Miguel Garza, 13 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation for family and friends will be held on Sunday, June 18, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a rosary to be recited at 5:00 p.m. at Navarre Funeral Home. Funeral services begin at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, June 19, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1907 Carolina Avenue Baytown, TX 77520. Interment will be at Forest Park Lawndale, 6900 Lawndale Street Houston, TX 77023.

Pallbearers will be Dante DeBerardino, Enrique Lafuente, David Lafuente, Roberto Garza, David Walmsley and John T. Walmsley. Honorary pallbearers will be Miguel Garza, Richard Walmsley, Victor Lara and Louis Rodriguez.

To view her online obituary, or post a tribute to her family, go to http://www.navarrefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of Navarre Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2444 Rollingbrook Drive, Baytown, Texas 77521, (281) 422-8111.

My Mom

I lost my Mom last night at 7:38 pm. Alicia Torres Campos had just turned 91 last month.

I will post funeral service information later on today. I will have more about my Mom on Monday.

Thanks.

Donald’s BD Gift

This is in the Chron today about 41 years ago today:

The game between the Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates on June 15, 1976 was postponed after fans, umpires and other stadium personnel couldn’t enter the stadium due to flooding around the Astrodome’s entrances.

I remember that day. We were preparing for the 1976 Texas Democratic State Convention that was held in H-Town that weekend.

More importantly, DACA was announced by President Obama five years ago today. Si se puede!

More of the same. Commentary is talking about yesterday’s shootings. That’s what our culture breeds these days.

More on that dumbarse move by NBC news and Megyn Kelly:

The decision of NBC to offer conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook troll Alex Jones a prime time interview with Megyn Kelly this coming Sunday has been met with disgust and disbelief across social and mainstream media.

Now insiders within the network are voicing their discontent with the decision to offer a platform to the full-time conspiracy theorist, who presents the web show Infowars, and professes to believe a whole range of outrageous propositions.

And:

The decision of NBC to offer conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook troll Alex Jones a prime time interview with Megyn Kelly this coming Sunday has been met with disgust and disbelief across social and mainstream media.

Now insiders within the network are voicing their discontent with the decision to offer a platform to the full-time conspiracy theorist, who presents the web show Infowars, and professes to believe a whole range of outrageous propositions.

And finally:

Kelly defended the interview yesterday, saying: “What I think we’re doing is journalism. The bottom line is that while it’s not always popular, it’s important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He’s been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”

Here is all of the story: http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/nbc-reportedly-holding-crisis-meetings-over-megyn-kelly-interview/ar-BBCEGYa?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=UE01DHP.

What dumbarses for sure.

Just what he asked for. A Special Counsel investigation into his sorry arse on obstruction of justice. Well deserved, may I add. Happy Belated Birthday Investigation, Donald! Yuk, yuk, yuk!

When do you think he will order the firing of the Special Counsel? Is there an over/under on this?

We needed last night’s win. Here is from the Chron’s Jake Kaplan:

Derek Fisher will forever remember the sixth inning of his major league debut. Not only did he record his first major league hit, he had his first two.

As part of a nine-run inning in the Astros‘ 13-2 win against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park, Fisher lined a leadoff home run and a two-out single. The left-handed hitting outfielder drove in two runs and scored twice in the decisive frame, which incredibly was only the Astros’ second-biggest of the season.

In avoiding a three-game sweep by their intrastate rivals, the Astros out-hit the Rangers, 19-7. They tallied seven hits in their nine-run sixth, which came against three different Texas relievers. Seven of the nine batters in their lineup had multi-hit performances in the game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fisher became the first player to compile his first two major league hits in the same inning since Adam LaRoche on April 7, 2004. Promoted earlier in the day from Class AAA, Fisher was one half of a top prospect showcase Wednesday. Francis Martes showed glimpses of why the industry is so high on him over five innings of one-run ball in his first major league start.

Lance McCuller got in a good one yesterday. This tweet came out yesterday about what the Rangers skipper said on the radio yesterday:

Jeff Cavanaugh      ✔ @JC1053

“All I know is they get to put Houston on their chest, we get to put Texas on ours” – My favorite guy Jeff Banister just now on @1053thefan

And here is what McCullers tweeted in response:

“It’s because nobody knows what Arlington is. #Htownproud”

I am thinking the following is more than just a cut above dollar dogs:

Julia Morales‏Verified account@JuliaMorales 11m11 minutes ago

 

Lobster Tail Corn Dog is going to be sold this weekend at the Budweiser Brew House at MMP.

We still own an 11 game lead and have the best record in MLB. We have the day off then host the Red Sox this weekend.

Shots, Again

Add baseball practice to the list of targets.   What else is new?

Everytime we have an event like this morning’s, it kind of dampens what Commentary wants to say.

On Megyn Kelly and NBC News from the L.A. Times:

“As an advertiser, I’m repulsed that @megynkelly would give a second of airtime to someone who says Sandy Hook and Aurora are hoaxes. Why?,” asked Kristin Lemkau, JP Morgan Chase chief marketing officer on Twitter. The company has pulled its advertising from the upcoming episode of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.”

They don’t get it.

Just so you know, Commentary doesn’t give a rat’s arse what Alex Jones says about the events of this morning and neither should you.

Greg Abbott is more worried about getting revenge over his pecan tree than serving the folks. See this from today’s Chron:

The Texas Department of Public Safety has reversed a controversial cutback in staffing hours at 11 of the state’s largest driver’s license offices including those in Houston, Dallas, and El Paso, according to a veteran Houston lawmaker who protested the reductions.

St. Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, said he spoke early Tuesday with the chief of staff for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and at the end of the conversation he was told the schedule reductions were reversed.

Whitmire added that he received an e-mail from Col. Steven McCraw, the DPS director, who confirmed the office hour reductions which were instituted June 5 would be restored.

DPS reduced hours at the 11 centers and planned to layoff over 100 full-time workers to contend with a $14 million spending shortfall during the remainder of this fiscal year, as well as a $7 million cut during the next budget cycle.

The offices business times had been changed to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, but offices previously were open from 7:30 a.m to 6 p.m.

Thanks to the Chron and to The Dean for pointing this out and then helping fix this potential mess while Greg Abbott was worried about getting even over a pecan tree. We know what is important to Abbott. I don’t know about that fella.

Yesterday’s good news from The Yard was about the All Star Game balloting. We have three players who could be selected as starters – Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. Pretty good if you ask me.  We have not had three starters since 2004.

The bad news is we have now lost three in a row.   Our lead is now 11 games.

 

No Balls

From today’s Chron 50 years ago today:

1967: President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are a few stories out today about Donald Trump considering getting the Justice Department to fire the special prosecutor. A leading congressional Dem said not to worry. The Dem said that Congress would just turn around and name the special prosecutor as an independent prosecutor. Not so fast. The Dem is assuming that GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan would go along with the independent prosecutor idea.

Commentary doesn’t think these two would stand up to Trump. They have not so far. They don’t have the balls to go up against Trump’s base. As long as Trump has his base with him, GOP leaders are not going to go up against him. Trump getting rid of the special prosecutor is not a far-fetched idea as far as Commentary is concerned. It could very well happen and happen soon.

Here is from People:

Megyn Kelly is facing repercussions following her interview with Sandy Hook hoaxer Alex Jones.

Sandy Hook Promise, a leading gun violence prevention organization, released a statement on Monday that the NBC host will no longer emcee the organization’s annual Promise Champions Gala on June 14 in Washington D.C.

“This decision was spurred by NBC’s planned broadcast of Kelly’s interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who believes the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, was a hoax,” the statement read.

“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host. It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview,” said Nicole Hockley, co-Founder and Managing Director.

Dumbarse decision by NBC News without a doubt.

Then this tweet came out:

Evan liked

Mediaite‏Verified account @Mediaite 14h14 hours ago

 

JP Morgan Chase Wants Ads Taken Off NBC News Over Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview http://bit.ly/2rp3Sw6

Sooner or later the newly elected mayor of Pasadena has to talk to the Chron. There is a Chron story today on the aftermath of Saturday’s election and the newly elected mayor could not be reached for comment. Come on fella, grow a set! Help put your town back together. Show folks you are not on Mayor Johnny Isbell’s leash or are you?  Talk to the Chron.

Lance McCullers, Jr. went on the DL yesterday. Josh Reddick suffered a concussion. What, me worry? Just play ball!

Bullshitter

Ok. I wrote it. Commentary normally doesn’t spell it out completely, but since the Chron printed it yesterday in Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg’s column, I decided to print it today. She used the word to describe Donald Trump.

Here is from her column:

If you win an election fairly, as Trump did through the electoral college, why concoct a story about “illegal” voters depriving you of the popular vote? Why claim thousands in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks when they didn’t? Why say there’s no system to vet refugees when there is? Why repeat that America is the highest taxed nation in the world when anybody with a smartphone can just Google it?

And why call an intelligent, well-respected man with lots of intel on you and your associates a “nut job?”

Then, after he testifies under oath that you tried to thwart a criminal investigation, where do you get off tweeting that you’ve been “vindicated?”

We may never know the answer. The emerging theory, based on the earlier work of philosopher Harry Frankfurt, now a professor emeritus at Princeton, is that Trump is not so much a classic liar as a bullshitter. Frankfurt wrote that BS was a greater enemy of truth than lies are.

It was a darn good column and here is all of it: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Comey-s-testimony-reminds-us-about-the-importance-11211009.php.

Commentary then tweeted this:

Marc Campos‏@MarcCommentary 1h1 hour ago

 

First time I have ever seen “bullshitter” in print in the @HoustonChron. Honest take from @ChronFalkenberg

With a link to her column and I sure did get a lot of retweets and likes – cool.

When I was reading Falkenberg’s column yesterday I kind of did a second take when I ran across the word. I can’t recall ever seeing it in print in the Chron. Maybe this was a first – maybe.

Nice job, Lisa!

Classic liar or BSer, he still never tells the truth. Those GOPers who stand by him blindly are in for a disappointment. They stand by Trump but Trump will never stand by them. Chumps if you ask me.

It looks like NBC News is in for a bad week and deservedly so. I was at my parents yesterday evening and the flat screen was on in the background. Megyn Kelly was on and I saw her promoting that Alex Jones fella from InfoWars for her show next Sunday evening. I kind of thought that Kelly left Fox news so she wouldn’t have to put up with that trash but it turns out she brought the trash with her to 30 Rock.

Here is from HuffPo:

NBC News and Megyn Kelly are under fire for giving airtime to far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

In the past, Jones has claimed that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job.” He also said the parents of the 20 students murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 were actors and the deaths of the children as well as six school employees were all faked.

Kelly was criticized on social media for what some saw as an attempt to normalize Jones and his outlandish and untrue claims. She defended herself by saying President Donald Trump had praised Jones and appeared on his show. She also noted that Jones’ InfoWars was given credibility when the site received White House press credentials.

Many don’t know him; our job is 2 shine a light,” she wrote.

But that didn’t slow the outrage. Some viewers even called for a boycott of the network over the upcoming interview. Here’s a sampling: 

@mattmfm @megynkelly @NBCNews My nephew survived Sandy Hook. I am not tolerating this. Will never watch @megynkelly or @NBCNews again if they choose to air this.

And:

20 children dead at Sandy Hook and @megynkelly is giving voice to the man who suggested it was a hoax.

This is beyond shameful, @NBCNews. https://twitter.com/megynkelly/status/874053387389513728 …

NBC News deserves all the bad PR in the world this week. A very dumb move indeed. This fella gives scum a good reputation.  NBC News should pull the show.

I wonder what Tom Brokaw has to say about this?

Let me give a big thank you to @evan7257 for providing us pics of the open carry folks out at Hermann Park this past Saturday. They sure did make the folks who supported open carry look real stupid.

Commentary received this on Friday:

A few points to address Bill King’s lengthy op-ed:

1) HFD’s pension board agreed to most of the cuts that were made, their biggest point of contention is that cuts went deeper than originally agreed to, both sides issuing ample press releases of questionable credibility as to the specifics. As various people have been pointing out, all the while HFD employees were denying the truth throughout the legislative session, their fund was not in as good shape as they claimed. As a result, without changes the city would have to contribute around 50% more this coming fiscal year and likely similar amounts to maintain their superior benefits, their pension board finally admitting they needed to reduce their discount rate to 7.25%. Despite the suggestion to the contrary, the “cuts” merely slowed down the growth of benefits for retirees, experts claiming nobody would get a lower check moving forward than what they were already getting.

2) As I stated yesterday, had the legislature intended that the city could not issue pension bonds moving forward, they would not have had a start date of July 1 in the lengthy bill.

3) The corridor requires three years of the pensions not making their target returns in a row, that being done to smooth out the ups and downs of the markets. While experimental, it is my understanding that the specifics were worked out by business sector experts trying to protect taxpayers, the Arnold Foundation and Kinder Institute suggested as the primary drivers of the idea. It should be noted that if the pensions do not make their needed returns, there is no specific requirement forcing employees to contribute more so much as allowing that and additional benefit cuts such as lower COLAs. I think that’s a very fair provision for employees to share the risk when their investments do not perform, not too unlike Mr. King’s desire for defined contributions where all risk is foisted upon employees. And once again, it should be noted that finance experts point out only making changes to new employees will not work given the amount of built up liabilities to date. King’s mock surprise does no one any favors but most employees working for the city right now, other than HFD of course, are under already cut benefits, this second round made as a necessity, HFD’s larger cuts only reflecting the lack of previous cuts like the others took.

4) In 2004, Houston voters passed an opt out election that specifically allowed the city to cut benefits. The suggestion some legal experts are pushing is that this trumps the actuarial assumption aspect of previous provisions. Further, since the HFD pension board is suing only regarding their own portion of the bill, a bill passed by the state and not the city mind you, the bond election shouldn’t matter since they receive no benefit from the proceeds and their cuts remain no matter the outcome while the other two pensions are no longer cut is voters turn down the bonds.

5) Mayor White’s pension reforms cut the benefits of police and municipal employees while leaving the superior benefits of HFD alone. The reason why liabilities increased is because he started paying both pensions far, far less than was needed to sustain even the lowered benefits and of course the market crash we’re all familiar with. Had he been a responsible leader, he would have set city payments to the yearly needed amount from the beginning but he was eyeing the Governor’s seat so he had to make city finances look artificially good for a short period of time. We all know how that played out. The type of benefits had little to do with the liabilities, just like any ongoing expense, when you put off paying it, the amount snowballs over time. – Steve Houston

Got it?

44-20 is not bad. The Rangers are in town for three. Get well soon, Dallas Keuchel!