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  • Space Farce
    January 15, 2021

    Commentary is not going to get into a debate on whether or not the HISD Board of Education is dysfunctional.  They had ten votes last night to elect a Board President and they couldn’t.  Here is from the Chron: 

    Houston ISD trustees remained deadlocked Thursday evening on who to select as their 2021 board president, an unusual standoff that illustrated the lack of clear governing majority on the closely watched body.

    After 10 rounds of voting on board president candidates yielded no resolution, trustees agreed to end a six-hour meeting and delay choosing a board president until Jan. 21.

    Some trustees argued the impasse reflected a slate of strong candidates, while others expressed unease about the stalemate.

    Here is the Chron article: HISD trustees deadlocked on selection of board president – HoustonChronicle.com.

    Aww.  Texas didn’t get the Space Farce Command HQ.  Here is from the SA Express News:

    After the months of deliberating between a short list of finalists, the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday that Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. will host U.S. Space Command headquarters, not San Antonio.

    Five more days and then we empty the trash can.  Check this out from the SA Express News:

    Many U.S. Secret Service agents have stood guard in Washington’s elite Kalorama neighborhood, home over the years to Cabinet secretaries and former presidents. Those agents have had to worry about death threats, secure perimeters and suspicious strangers. But with the arrival of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, they had a new worry: finding a toilet.

    Instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house, the Secret Service detail assigned to President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law spent months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbors and law enforcement officials. After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own.

    Here is the story in the SA Express News: The $3,000-a-month toilet for the Ivanka Trump/Jared Kushner Secret Service detail (mysanantonio.com).

    What a stain for sure. Trump Trash.

    On Page C3 of the Chron’s Sports Section in the hard copy, here is a headline:

    Brooklyn GM says Harden ‘all about winning’.

    Got it.

    Nothing from The Yard today.

  • The Magnetometer Thing
    January 14, 2021

    For a few decades now, we have had to do the magnetometer security thing.  You know, walking through those metal detector gizmos at some schools, airports, H-Town City Hall, the courthouse and even The Yard. 

    After last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, the Capitol Police has installed them to get onto the U.S. House Floor.  As expected, some Republican members of Congress are not happy about having to get checked for carrying a piece onto the House Floor. Grow up. Just for the record, Commentary doesn’t think members of Congress should be carrying on the House Floor.

    The magnetometers were installed a couple of days ago and some Republican members of Congress are going around them and avoiding being checked.  U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is cracking down and imposing a fine of $5,000 for violating the new security policy and $10,000 for violation number two.  And get this, the fine comes out of the member’s salary.  They can’t pay it out of their campaign accounts.  Good.

    Commentary thinks it is going to be difficult to get 17 Republican U.S. Senators to convict Donald Trump.

    This is what it is.  Once a pillar in the H-Town community.  From the Chron:

    Kirbyjon Caldwell, Houston megachurch pastor and former spiritual adviser to two U.S. presidents, was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in federal prison for his role in a scheme that defrauded more than two dozen people out of millions of dollars through the sale of worthless Chinese bonds.

    Commentary is not going to say much about James Harden.

    We signed reliever Pedro Baez who was with the Dodger for seven seasons.  It is a good signing.

  • Impeachment II
    January 13, 2021

    This time Republican members of Congress will vote to impeach Donald Trump.  Cong. Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking Republican in Congress, will vote to impeach.  NBC News is reporting that up to 30 Republican members of Congress will vote to impeach today.

    This isn’t the same as the “perfect” phone call to Ukraine’s head of state.  This was an attack on the U.S. Capitol on live TV with five fatalities.  This was a full-fledged ransacking and destruction of government property, while the whole world was watching.

    Trump said yesterday that some folks told him that what he said prior to the riot was “totally appropriate.”  Nobody with credibility has said such a thing.  Trump’s defenders are only saying impeachment will further divide the country and he only has a week left in his term.

    We are having to militarize the U.S. Capitol in preparation of next week’s inauguration because of the mayhem created by Trump.

    The Chron E-Board today is calling for impeachment.  Here is a part:

    Members of his Cabinet, loyal supporters in Congress and longtime business partners have criticized or cut ties with him over his actions leading up to the Capitol riot. Only the members of the sycophant caucus and those cynically hoping to co-opt his voter base in 2024 are still willing to publicly defend him.

    An impeachment vote and trial will give Republicans a chance to show how much they really care about the rule of law, the Constitution and democracy beyond their campaign-trail rhetoric and political ads.

    Here is all of the E-Board take: Editorial: Impeach Trump. His crimes against America cannot stand. – HoustonChronicle.com.

    Impeachment and removal from office is the only proper course of action and we all know it.

    Royko sent me this after I put out what Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said about Antifa not being in the Capitol riot crowd a week ago:

    That was “Lt. Dan” bowing to the Thought Police, and repeating 2+2=5.

    It sounds like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has had enough. 

    According to a story in today’s New York Times, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has also had enough.

    On a kind of related note, this is what Daniel P. de Gracia II, a 2016 Ted Cruz alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention, said about Cruz in a letter-to-the-editor of the Chron:

    “Cruz became a court jester for the Trump administration.”

    Can’t argue with that.

    A tweet today from Jose de Jesus Ortiz @OrtizKicks:

    A year ago today, #MLB announced suspensions & issued finding on the #Astros’ cheating scandal, prompting Jim Crane to fire Jeff Luhnow & AJ Hinch. Nonetheless, the Astros have had a better year than the #Rockets & #Texans on & off the field since then. It’s not even close

    Agree.

    One week, baby.

  • This is CNN
    January 12, 2021

    On Impeachment 2, there is no he didn’t do anything wrong defense.  It is just there are only a few days left or let’s unite the country.  They all know he incited the MAGA mob. All of our states’ capitols are targets.  Impeachment must move forward.

    From today’s Chron:

    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is telling his supporters to stop blaming left-wing activists for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    Patrick, one of President Donald Trump’s most important allies in Texas, told supporters in a lengthy message over the weekend that the people involved in storming the Capitol were Trump supporters. Some in the conservative world have tried to claim it was left-wing activists who were parading as Trump supporters.

    “There are no excuses for those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday,” Patrick said. “Five people died. And, sadly, it appears that most of the protesters inside the Capitol were Trump supporters.”

    Patrick said one reason he knows that is that antifa protesters — a decentralized anti-fascism movement — typically cover their faces.

    I wonder what got into Lt. Gov. Patrick?

    The Chron E-Board is not too happy with Trump coming to Texas today. Here is a taste of what they are saying today:

    Don’t be distracted by President Trump’s Tuesday visit to Texas.

    Don’t be fooled into believing a White House spokesman who claimed this hurried trip to Hidalgo County is to mark “a promise made, promise kept — and his Administration’s efforts to reform our broken immigration system.”

    Trump didn’t keep the promise. After four years, the “big, beautiful” wall he promised from sea to shining sea includes a grand total of 30 new miles. And news flash: Mexico didn’t pay for it.

    More importantly, though, Trump’s scurry to the Lone Star State is a blatant attempt to distract from the violent insurrection his dishonest and hate-filled rhetoric helped incite. It’s a stunt to draw attention away from an impeachment effort on Capitol Hill, the very place a horde of his fanatical supporters stormed last week. Five people died, including a Capitol police officer.

    Here is the E-Board take: Editorial: Don’t bring your mess to Texas, President Trump – HoustonChronicle.com,

    Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick will not join Trump when he visits today.  I wonder if Sen. Ted Cruz, AG Ken Paxton or Ag Commish Sid Miller will greet him?

    Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said no thanks to a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump.  Another repudiation of sorts. He also probably didn’t want to risk catching COVID-19 at a super spreader hub.  A couple of days ago, the PGA took away playing the PGA Championship next year from one of Trump’s golf courses.  Of course, why was it scheduled there in the first place.

    My good friend, State Rep. Christina Morales, is at the State Capitol.  Yesterday, she texted me a photo of a portion of one of the Texas House legislative photo composites that hang throughout the Capitol hallways.  The part that she texted me was centered on my best friend, former State Rep. Al Luna.  There are 8 other members in the photo including former State Rep. Ralph Wallace who used to represent House District 145, now represented by Rep. Morales.  I texted her back that tidbit.  Three in the photo are no longer with us including Wallace, former State Rep. Al Edwards and Cong. Frank Tejeda.

    CNN announced promotions and changes yesterday.  Jim Acosta will leave the White House beat and become a weekend anchor and senior correspondent.  Kaitlin Collins will be chief White House Correspondent.  Arlette Saenz, who has been covering the Joe Biden campaign will now cover the White House. 

    Jake Tapper will be the lead anchor for breaking news.  Dana Bash will co-anchor Sunday’s “State of the Union.” Abby Phillip will anchor Sunday’s “Inside Politics.” Pamela Brown will anchor the weekend evenings. 

    Commentary likes anchors Brooke Baldwin, Kate Bolduan, Fredericka Whitfield and Ana Cabrera.  They have been true soldiers for CNN. I hope their roles are not diminished.

    This is CNN. Stay tuned.

    52 years ago, today, the Jets led by Joe Namath beat the Colts in Super Bowl III and the rest is history.

    Former Astro Casey Candaele is 60 today.  Happy Birthday, Casey!

  • Tommy Lasorda
    January 11, 2021

    The Chron E-Board yesterday called on U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to resign.  Here is how they ended their take:

    Serving as a U.S. senator requires working constructively with colleagues to get things done. Not angering them by voting against Hurricane Sandy relief, which jeopardized congressional support for Texas’ relief after Harvey. Not staging a costly government shutdown to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2013 that cost the economy billions. Not collecting more enemies than friends in your own party, including the affable former House Speaker John Boehner who famously remarked: “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

    We’re done with the drama. Done with the opportunism. Done with the cynical scheming that has now cost American lives.

    Resign, Mr. Cruz, and deliver Texas from the shame of calling you our senator.

    Here is the E-Board take: Editorial: Resign, Senator Cruz. Your lies cost lives. – HoustonChronicle.com.

    Cruz is a zero in the book of a lot of folks, including Commentary’s.  In his mind, he thinks he can become president in 2024 or 2028.  He is a zero and a joke.

    Today, the E-Board laid into the Seditious Sixteen.  Here is how it starts:

    Now and then through the years we Texans have sent our share of buffoons, grifters, lightweights, crooks, ignoramuses and ego-obsessed asses to Washington as representatives of the people. W. Lee “Pass the Biscuits, Pappy” O’Daniel comes to mind. So does Martin Dies, Jr., chairman of the witch-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee. So does Louie Gohmert.

    In the wake of last week’s Capitol insurrection, add to this ignominious list the state’s junior senator, Ted Cruz and the 16 Republican House members who voted in favor of discredited objections to certifying the presidential election results in one or more swing states. The Seditious Sixteen voted to short-circuit democracy even after a Trump mob rampaged through the Capitol, even after blood was shed in the halls of that august building.

    Also add to this list Ken Paxton.

    Here is today’s take: Editorial: The shame of Texas — Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton and the Seditious 16 – HoustonChronicle.com.

    Well deserved.

    The Presidential Inaugural Committee is raising funds.  Huh!  For what?  I visited their website to see what they were spending money on and all I found was this:

    Will I be able to attend?

    PIC is strongly encouraging all Americans to follow public health best practices and refrain from traveling to Washington, D.C. and instead join from home in new and innovative ways. Additional announcements will be made in the coming days and weeks about how Americans will be able to participate. 

    Will there still be parades, balls, performances, and other celebrations?

    This year’s ceremonies and events will reflect President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ commitment to protecting the health and safety of Americans while demonstrating the strength and resilience of our country. We know that inaugural balls and public parades are part of the inaugural tradition.  However, given the current public health situation across the country, inaugural activities will have a limited footprint and events like the parade will be reimagined. While the inauguration will look different amid the pandemic, all activities will honor and resemble American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country while keeping everybody healthy and safe.

    Go figure.

    We lost Baseball Hall of Fame great Tommy Lasorda this past Friday.  He won a couple of World Series titles managing the Dodgers.  He was colorful and entertaining.  I always liked the Dodger skipper.  Twice he riled Astros fans in his managerial career and was up there in getting booed by fans when he visited the Astrodome with his Dodgers.

    In 1979, Astros pitcher Joe Niekro was having his best season of his career.  Niekro along with Astros reliever Joe Sambito made the 1979 NL All Star team.  At the All Star break, Niekro was arguably one of the best pitchers in MLB that season. Lasorda managed the NL All Stars that year.  Eight pitchers were on the NL All Star team roster.  Seven NL All Star pitchers, including Sambito, played in the summer classic.  Niekro was the only NL pitcher who didn’t get into the game.  Astros fans were livid that Niekro never got to play, and the booing began.  That was the only season Niekro made an All Star team.

    Niekro led MLB pitchers in wins that season with 21.  He was the NL Cy Young Award runner-up and sixth in the NL MVP Award voting.

    In 1986, the year the Astros won the NL West, the Astros moved into first place in the first half of the season and Lasorda said that we “were renting first place.”  That quote didn’t sit well with Astros fans.  We won the West by 10 games and Lasorda’s Dodgers finished fifth in the West, 23 games behind the Astros.  The boos pretty much continued at the Dome for Lasorda for the rest of his managerial career.

    In June of 1996, at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers beat the Astros 4-3.  The next day, Lasorda was feeing abdominal pain and drove himself to the hospital where he was told he was having a heart attack.  He never managed a game again and retired shortly after.

    In 2004, I, along with then H-Town City Council Member Carol Alvarado, went to the MLB All Star Futures Game at Minute Maid Park, which was held as part of the MLB All Star Game festivities.  We were getting autographs of baseball greats.  We saw Lasorda sitting by himself.  I approached him and politely asked for an autograph and he gave me a get lost look.  Carol, who is of the female persuasion and a tad prettier than Commentary, approached Lasorda and politely asked for an autograph and he perked up and said sure sweetie.  That was funny.

    I did get the autograph.

    I agree with this take from, Randall Lane of Forbes where he says he is chief content officer and editor of Forbes, and post on business, philanthropy–and food! Here is his take from last Thursday:

    Yesterday’s insurrection was rooted in lies. That a fair election was stolen. That a significant defeat was actually a landslide victory. That the world’s oldest democracy, ingeniously insulated via autonomous state voting regimens, is a rigged system. Such lies-upon-lies, repeated frequently and fervently, provided the kindling, the spark, the gasoline.

    That Donald Trump devolved from commander-in-chief to liar-in-chief didn’t surprise Forbes: As we’ve chronicled early and often, for all his billions and Barnum-like abilities, he’s been shamelessly exaggerating and prevaricating to our faces for almost four decades. More astonishing: the number of people willing to lend credence to that obvious mendacity on his behalf.

    In this time of transition – and pain – reinvigorating democracy requires a reckoning. A truth reckoning. Starting with the people paid by the People to inform the People.

    As someone in the business of facts, it’s been especially painful to watch President Trump’s press secretaries debase themselves. Yes, as with their political bosses, spins and omissions and exaggerations are part of the game. But ultimately in PR, core credibility is the coin of the realm.

    From Day One at the Trump White House, up has been down, yes has been no, failure has been success. Sean Spicer set the tone with the inauguration crowd size – the worst kind of whopper, as it demanded that people disbelieve their own eyes. The next day, Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer’s lie with a new term, “alternative facts.” Spicer’s successor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied at scale, from smearing those who accused Trump of sexual harassment to conjuring jobs statistics. Her successor, Stephanie Grisham, over the course of a year, never even held a press conference, though the BS continued unabated across friendly outlets. And finally, Kayleigh McEnany, Harvard Law graduate, a propaganda prodigy at 32 who makes smiling falsehood an art form. All of this magnified by journalists too often following an old playbook ill-prepared for an Orwellian communication era.

    As American democracy rebounds, we need to return to a standard of truth when it comes to how the government communicates with the governed. The easiest way to do that, from where I sit, is to create repercussions for those who don’t follow the civic norms. Trump’s lawyers lie gleefully to the press and public, but those lies, magically, almost never made it into briefs and arguments – contempt, perjury and disbarment keep the professional standards high.

    So what’s the parallel in the dark arts of communication? Simple: Don’t let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty. Press secretaries like Joe Lockhart, Ari Fleischer and Jay Carney, who left the White House with their reputations in various stages of intact, made millions taking their skills — and credibility — to corporate America. Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.

    So what’s the parallel in the dark arts of communication? Simple: Don’t let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty. Press secretaries like Joe Lockhart, Ari Fleischer and Jay Carney, who left the White House with their reputations in various stages of intact, made millions taking their skills — and credibility — to corporate America. Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.

    That is Ok by me.

    The MLB Network tweeted this out yesterday.

    Did you know @TeamCJCorrea & George Springer hold the Postseason record for teammates homering in the same game?

    They did it 8 times for the @astros.

    I did not know that.

    9 days, baby. Impeach Now!