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  • The Impeach Thing
    August 16, 2018

    Name the Astros players who lead the team in dingers and RBIs?

    These are two headlines for stories on Politico this morning:

    ‘If they take the House, he wins big’: Trump loyalists see upside in impeachment

    And this:

    Bannon mounts last-ditch effort to save the House for Trump

    A new pro-Trump operation will frame the midterms as an up-or-down vote on the president’s impeachment.

    Commentary clearly understands why folks are talking impeachment. When you have a racist and a liar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, impeachment has to be on the table. I don’t have a problem with it being an issue in the mid-terms.   Why avoid it?

    This is from Politico today:

    It’s one of his favorite catchphrases, but newsrooms across the U.S. are teaming up to fight back against Donald Trump’s repeated assertion that the media is the “enemy of the people.” More than 100 newsrooms launched a coordinated effort against the president’s attacks on the press with a series of newspaper editorials to be published Thursday.

    The Chron E-Board participated and here is how they start their take today:

    The president would have you believe that we — the reporters, editors, opinion writers, photographers, designers of the newspaper you are reading now — are your enemy.

    He is only right if your friend is unchecked government power.

    If your allies are corruption and misuse of taxpayer dollars. Biased grand juries and wrongful convictions. A state policy illegally denying special education services to thousands of Texas children. Short-sighted policies that worsened Harvey’s epic destruction. Unpoliced stockpiles of deadly chemicals across Houston that leave residents and first responders vulnerable.

    These are the true enemies of everyday Americans. They are among the problems that journalists at the Houston Chronicle have worked to expose, to critique, to change.

    Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/real-enemy-of-the-people-not-the-press-Trump-13159543.php.

    Read it. Also, do your duty and subscribe.

    From the Trib today on the SD 6 Special Election:

    It has been about three weeks since state Sen. Sylvia Garcia submitted a letter declaring her “intent to resign,” but whether it qualifies as an actual resignation has fallen into dispute — and has threatened to upend the timeline for Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special election for the Houston Democrat’s seat.

    The state senator is widely expected to be headed to Congress next year. She won the March primary to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, and while there’s also a Republican on the ballot in November, she is expected to cruise to victory in the bright-blue district.

    In a letter Garcia shared July 23 on Twitter, she told Abbott she intended to resign effective Jan. 2, 2019, and asked him to schedule the special election to coincide with the Nov. 6 general election.

    The race to fill Garcia’s seat in Senate District 6 has already taken shape, with state Reps. Carol Alvarado and Ana Hernandez, both Houston Democrats, having launched campaigns months ago.

    Still, Abbott has held off on calling a special election as his office and Garcia’s remain at odds over the validity of her letter. Abbott’s office does not believe Garcia’s use of the phrase “intent to resign” is good enough to trigger the process by which the governor can call a special election, while Garcia’s staff believes there is nothing wrong with the letter.

    The clock is ticking on when Abbott can call the special election so that it coincides with the November general election. If he does not do it before Aug. 24, the next uniform election date on which he could call it is in May of next year.

    Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/15/sylvia-garcia-resignation-letter-greg-abbott/.

    So, now you know!

    Kingwood retook the lead over West Gray in Early Voting in Person on the flood bonds election, 1,654 to 1,606.

    Evan Gattis leads the team with 23 dingers, Alex Bregman has 22. Bregman leads the team with 74 RBIs, followed by Gattis with 70, of course. Got it?

    We won last night and tomorrow we begin a key nine game West Coast roadie.

  • Not Your Mama’s GOP
    August 15, 2018

    We have now lost nine in a row at The Yard. When was the last time we won a game at The Yard?

    This isn’t your Mama’s GOP. Commentary knew Ninfa Laurenzo. We all knew she supported some GOPers and a lot of them were her friends. The GOP had not been taken over by the haters back then. Heck, the Simpson-Mazzoli Act passed under President Ronald Reagan. Simpson-Mazzoli wasn’t about ripping families apart.

    Not these days. Here is from the front page of today’s Chron on El Tiempo:

    That afternoon, (Domenic) Laurenzo spoke on air with Michael Berry, a conservative radio host and personal friend. Berry’s wife grew up in India and they adopted two sons from Ethiopia, but who himself has offended any number of racial groups. The radio host introduced Laurenzo as from “as famous a Houston family as the Joneses,” referring to the

    Once choking back tears, Laurenzo, who supported Trump’s campaign, presented himself as someone apolitical, supported by his employees, who wants only to please his customers and was now struggling to explain to his daughter the embattled world she will inherit.

    “I’m proud of my heritage,” Laurenzo, who did not respond to requests for comment, told Berry. “We just feel that this has all been really unfair, and that we don’t deserve it.”

    Berry, seeing no excuse for the hate-filled remarks directed at the family, addressed his listeners: “This is an opportunity for Houston, if not the entire country, to say, ‘Enough.’”

    An hour after Laurenzo’s interview, protesters were gathering on the wide grassy median outside the restaurant Sessions visited. “Es un honor ser inmigrante,” read one sign. “Kids not queso,” said another.

    Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Uproar-over-Sessions-visit-to-Tex-Mex-restaurant-13156362.php.

    From Royko on my El Tiempo take from yesterday:

    Many have the perspective that the owner did the right thing, he did act like a rabid activist, and served the public.

    My lovely and gracious wife went to El Tiempo (Montrose) on Sunday, and it was delightful. We were not accosted by whining bigots, so I say keep the boycott going.

    We plan to go to the El Tiempo (Washington) for dinner before we attend a Dan Crenshaw event in the vicinity.

    And just a reminder to all those who promised to flee to Canada when Trump was elected, the Canadians are still waiting.

    Sigh! Commentary gets along with Michael Berry, but if you are going set things straight, I don’t know if going on Michael’s show is the best venue if you know what I mean. Maybe El Tiempo ought to reach out to the folks who have been organizing the marches, protests, and rallies, and invite them over for nachos and a few Modelos and lay out a mea culpa for posting the Jeff Session photo. Of course, ‘splaining supporting Trump is going to be a tall order.

    Commentary enjoys dropping by El Tiempo. I sure would hate for it to be a place we can’t be seen at. I sure would hate for it to be adopted by the Trump folks and become a Trump fortress of sorts.  In my book, El Tiempo has some fence mending to do and I hope they do it.  Come on!  Who wants this kind of coverage on the front page of the Chron?

    West Gray retook the lead over Kingwood in Early Voting in Person on the flood bonds elections, 1,344 to 1,325.

    The last time we won a game at The Yard was on Saturday, July 15 over the Tigers, 9-1 of course.

    We now have a one game lead in the AL West.

  • El Tiempo
    August 14, 2018

    The Rockies are in town for two. Albuquerque is their Triple A minor league club in the Pacific Coast League. What is the Albuquerque team name?  Hats off if you know this without going to google.

    It was an honor yesterday to go Vote Early with my good friend Marisol Valero. As a new citizen, it was her first vote to cast. I am betting she will never miss an election.

    And with 12 weeks to go before Election Day, or 84 days to go before Election Day, Donald Trump just called Omarosa a dog.  Got it?

    From the Chron, yuk, yuk:

    On Monday the debate remained: had El Tiempo erred in serving Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then posting to Facebook about it?

    The decision over the weekend had drawn ire from both sides. Some called for a boycott of the restaurant, a favorite Tex-Mex spot of many. Others said El Tiempo should not apologize but stand strong.

    And then, amid the noise, a rival Tex-Mex restaurant threw itself into the fray, perhaps seizing an opportunity to poke fun at — and perhaps drum up some business from — the establishment down the road.

    Along busy Westheimer Road in Montrose on Monday evening, the marquee on El Real Tex Mex Cafe blazed in bright red letters: “BRUNCH SESSIONS AT EL REAL ARE ALWAYS CAGE FREE AND FULL OF RAINBOWS.”

    El Tiempo stepped in it, pure and simple.   I saw one of the Laurenzo brothers on TV the other night and he said they didn’t pay much attention to politics and that maybe they should. Yeah, maybe they should. The proposed baby jail is just a few blocks from their Navigation location.

    Jeff Sessions is not good people. If they didn’t know that with the business they are in, then they kind of deserved the shellacking they got on social media.

    This is probably one of the better reasons why the Democratic National Committee ought to scale back the role of Super Delegates. Here is from Politico:

    Intensifying a dispute over superdelegates ahead of a Democratic National Committee meeting next week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Monday urged committee members to oppose a plan to weaken superdelegates’ influence in the presidential nominating process.

    In a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez, Richmond (D-La.) said the proposal would “disenfranchise elected officials” who serve as superdelegates.

    Here is the entire read: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/14/dnc-super-delegates-cedric-richmond-776345.

    Somebody needs to ‘splain to Commentary how in the heck do you disenfranchise an elected official? My goodness!   Scratching my head on this one for sure. Like I said, this is as good as reason as any to scale back the role of Super Delegates.

    This is kind of a worthless headline in today’s Chron on Early Voting for the flood bonds. Here is the headline:

    Officials expect early voting on flood bond to pick up as election day nears

    Duh! The reason we are having an election in August is because they didn’t want many folks to go vote. Everybody knows that including the Chron. Duh!

    Kingwood retook the lead over West Gray in Early Voting in Person on the flood bonds election, 1,091 to 1,084.

    They are called the Albuquerque Isotopes of course and get this, the name of their mascot is, drum roll, please, Orbit.

    After tonight’s and tomorrow’s games with the Rockies, we will only have two homestands remaining.

    Our lead over the A’s is down to two games.

  • Guilty Pleasure
    August 13, 2018

    After 119 games, a 73-46 record, our AL West lead is 2 ½ games. Care to guess what our record and lead was last season after 119 games?

    It was kind of like eating a huge slice of rich chocolate cake, with a couple of scoops of chocolate ice cream, a bag of Cheetos, paired with some fine red wine. Commentary is talking about the last couple of days, watching Omarosa and the racists and liars from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue go after each other. 12 weeks before Election Day. A guilty pleasure for sure.

    Let’s remember this. Omarosa has known Donald Trump a whole lot longer than those that are attacking her. Just saying.

    Kellyanne Conway tried to mock Dems yesterday by calling out Dem Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Dem Party Chair Tom Perez, and Dem Congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Not going to work as long as the GOP leader is Donald Trump. It is pretty obvious that Kellyanne has no idea about the growing Dem grassroots movement throughout the country.

    It was also hilarious to watch Kellyanne try to name a ranking African American who works for Trump.  Duh, duh, duh!

    There sure were a whole lot of folks at the Last Concert Saturday night to see #BetoForTexas.

    And how about that huge spread in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) hard copy of the Chron on #BetoForTexas. I am talking about half of the front page and the entirety of pages A18 and A19, including 4 photos. I can’t remember the last time a Dem running for office got that much run in a single edition.

    Commentary saw a GOP Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2 Jack Morman campaign ad this morning on KPRC-TV on the flat screen. First flat screen ad I have seen for this November election season. He’s got the campaign dough. I guess he’s running them for the next 12 weeks. He’s not taking any chances.

    West Gray has narrowly taken the lead over Kingwood in Early Voting in Person turnout for the flood bonds, 925 to 909.

    Golf is interesting again. Tiger is back.

    After 119 games last season, we were 73-46, but with a 12 ½ game AL West lead of course.

    Brain McCann is out. Jake Marisnick is out. Jose Altuve is out. Lance McCullers is out. Devo is out. #SpingerDinger is out. We lost all four at home to the Mariners.

     

  • Keep the Pressure On
    August 10, 2018

    At 73-43, do we still lead MLB in run differential?

    I made a mistake the other day. I said the Bingo Hall wouldn’t be open this weekend for Early Voting in Person. I didn’t read the fine print. They are using the Love Community Center instead of the Bingo Hall. Got it?

    Kingwood continues to lead after two days of Early Voting.

    When it comes to the baby jails and keeping families together, you just have to keep fighting and keep putting the pressure on folks. Here is from the Dallas Morning News today:

    AUSTIN — State officials have opened an investigation into the death of a toddler who died after leaving a South Texas immigration detention center.

    Reports surfaced of the death connected to the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley last week, but lawyers had not released the child’s name, cause of death or the time when the death happened. Lawyers contacted the state Thursday and released the child’s name after Hank Whitman, the commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services, pleaded in a public hearing on Thursday that they do so.

    “I hope he’s listening to this: Please give us the name of the child,” Whitman told state lawmakers during a joint hearing of the House Human Services and Public Health committees. “We have no way of knowing otherwise. … I need to know the name of that child so we can investigate thoroughly.”

    And this:

    “One of the things that concerns me is that when somebody throws something like that out there but then they don’t give the name. It’s just irresponsible in my opinion,” said Rep. Richard Raymond, a Democrat from Laredo who heads the House Human Services Committee. 

    Raymond added the discussion on detention centers to the joint meeting after a request from fellow Democrat Carol Alvarado of Houston. Alvarado said on Friday she was concerned about reports of a toddler who died after leaving the Dilley center and allegations of sexual abuse at similar centers in Arizona, operated by Southwest Key, a nonprofit that also has centers in Texas and has a pending application for another in Houston.

    She asked the state to halt all licenses for such facilities until an investigation into the reported death could be completed. 

    And finally, this:

    Alvarado said she thought the committee had spurred the lawyers into releasing the child’s name. She added that she was taken aback when state regulators said they could not delay an application for a license even if allegations of abuse arose from another state. 

    “There needs to be some flexibility when you have situations like this come up,” Alvarado told The Dallas Morning News after the hearing. “I just don’t know how you can let the same company have another license. We shouldn’t be hiding behind the fact that was in Arizona. It’s still the same company; it’s still the same leadership.”

    Alvarado, who is running for the Houston state Senate seat vacated by Sylvia Garcia, said she plans to propose a bill to address that during the legislative session that starts in January.

    She said that doctors who lose their licenses in another state are not allowed to practice in Texas by the state’s medical board, and that same approach should be taken for companies who apply for licenses to run detention centers for children. 

    She likened the situation to the “pass the trash” bill that was signed into law last year, which aims to prevent teachers who have inappropriate relationships with students from teaching in other districts.

    Here is the entire article: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2018/08/09/state-officials-open-investigation-child-died-after-leaving-south-texas-immigrant-detention-center.

    You just have to fight the fight on all fronts.

    The Astros of course lead MLB in run differential with plus 200, followed by the Red Sox with plus 196.

    Justin Verlander lasted two innings last night. It happens.