Tuesday, January 4, 2022

He Won't Win Webb Co


Gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke visited Jett Bowl North on November 18, 2021 to inspire the locals to vote in the upcoming primary/midterm elections.  It was a decent turnout, considering the visit was announced days before, when O'Rourke announced his bid for governor.  The signs that decorated the backdrop were a valiant effort.  

Beto O'Rourke is a dedicated public servant.  He has been quite active since his failed 2018 bid for senator.  He tried to unseat surly Ted Cruz, a man who has done gawd-knows-what during his time in office.  What worries me is that the electorate doesn't know a worthy politician when it's staring it in the face.  Part of it is ignorance (Dems) and part of it is cult dynamics (Reps).  

There are six Democratic candidates running for governor this year.  Webb County voters who take part in the Democratic primary will choose Inocencio Barrientez, because he's got a nickname to go on the ballot, and his name is of the Hispanic/Latino persuasion.  That last point plays a major part in how Laredoans vote.  They don't have all the information they need so they go with their gut instinct, or rather, their fondness for the familiar.   

In the 2018 Dem primary, Webb County chose Sema Hernandez (10,459 votes) over O'Rourke (8,803 votes), despite Beto having national media coverage and raising millions of dollars for his campaign. 

In the 2014 Dem primary for governor, Webb County chose Reynaldo Madrigal (13,199 votes) over Wendy Davis (10,446).  

The Texas Tribune (Alexa Ura & Emma Platoff) noted the phenomenon that is particular to border communities when it comes to voting:

It’s an outcome that’s not uncommon in statewide Democratic primaries in which, experts say, Hispanic-sounding surnames go a long way with Hispanic voters when name recognition among primary candidates is low. 

A lot has been said of border communities in the Rio Grande Valley trending red in the last general election, but our votes don't seem to come with any hint of sense.  Apparently, Republicans have played a good voter outreach game in our neck of the woods; But what does it amount to when they side  with a candidate who has paid off hookers and swindled people through a now-defunct university?  What does it say about Laredo voters when they go for the candidate that has the familiar surname?  

It's bad enough that voter turnout has been dismal, and getting worse, but we can't be screaming that the Democratic party is ignoring us when we make boneheaded choices like this.  I predict Beto O'Rourke will lose Webb County. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Por Eso Estamos Como Estamos: Omicron Variant


It was sort of a holiday miracle yesterday when city officials teleconferenced with Ruben Villarreal of KGNS for another installment of MEDIA BRIEFING!!!  This kind of Facebook face timing had not happened since October.  The pressing matter up for discussion was the rise in Covid-19 cases and the urgent need for testing.

The first to present was code-switching extraordinaire Guillermo Heard, Chief of the Laredo Fire Department.  He said we should be concerned with the Omicron strain of Covid-19, which is transmitted more easily.  Chief Heard, however, stressed that now is not the time to panic.  Local emergency rooms are seeing more people with flu-like/Covid-like symptoms but the majority of enfermos are not serious enough to be admitted to the hospital.  We can thank the great number of Laredoans who are vaccinated against Coronavirus, apparently.  

Chief Heard said that Laredo currently has 8 testing sites in operation.  3 will be added next week to meet the demand.  

Director of the Laredo Health Department who wore a chin strap to the online meeting Dr. Chamberlain (pictured above) reported there being 529 active cases of Covid-19 in Laredo.  85 of those were classified as breakthrough cases.  

Taking on a more serious tone was Dr. Victor Trevino.  (He's an actual medical doctor and better at speaking bilingually.)  He started by reporting 3 new deaths in the community attributed to Covid-19.  Resources to combat the current crisis are limited, he said, one being hospital personnel.  Dr. Trevino recommended that we wear masks when indoors at public places.  He also pushed for people to get vaccinated if they hadn't done so already.  

I just got my booster shot (Moderna) last week, days before the Christmas holiday.  On the 24th I visited my in-laws for a short while.  I felt like a schmuck, being the only one at the gathering who was wearing a face mask.  (My wife & son kept theirs on at times.)  I felt so awkward, wondering if my extended family was silently dissing my PPE move.  Well, wouldn't you know it, yesterday I learned that four people who visited my suegra over the Xmas weekend tested POSITIVE for Covid-19.  

And suddenly I was vindicated.  My anxiety towards a house full of family paid off.  I was right to keep my mask on during my Christmas Eve drop-in.  

Thankfully my in-laws are all vaccinated and those who came down with Covid have had mild symptoms.  Needless to say, a New Year's Eve gathering has been canceled.  I still want to see my suegra this weekend, but the visit will be brief and every necessary precaution will be taken.  What I'm waiting to see are the photos that my cuniados will post on social media.  I'm counting on them posting pics with a ton of unmasked people at their own houses.  

There's a reason things ARE like they are right now.  And there is blame to go all around.  The CDC recently updated their guidelines for Covid-positive persons who are asymptomatic: quarantine for 5 days instead of ten.  Local officials, however, want to keep the ten-day recommendation in place.  Reason for that, according to Dr. Victor Trevino, is our lack of resources to fight Covid-19.  I would add to that that we've let our guard down.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been a Godsend.  But they can't be our sole source of protection, not yet.      

I left out the mayor's rambling input during the media briefing.  You're welcome. 


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Manchin Manchando Y Cuellar LLorando

Senator Joe Manchin, of no-chingues-Juan-Dominguez fame, told a Fox News bobblehead today that he was not supporting the Democrats' Build Back Better bill.  The bill included money for universal preschool, care for the elderly, and taco stands on every corner.  The whole Build Back Better saga has been in a sort of limbo because of the likes of Sen. Manchin.  Apparently the bill was monetarily bloated and would severely add to the deficit.  Moot points since the bill was supposedly paid for and because no one bats an eye when they approve of the generous defense budget every year.  

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have been thorns in the side of Democrats recently.  These two knuckleheads have been impediments for such things as BBB and voting rights legislation.  Henry Cuellar, however, doesn't mind calling Manchin a friend and posing too close for pics with Sinema.

    (courtesy photo that I could've done without)

The House of Reps passed Build Back Better with a vote along party lines, of course.  And Enrique (Henry) Cuellar was counting on the federal money reaching his district.  It would've given his campaign more animo until March 1, 2022, the date of the primaries, where he is being challenged by two females. 

Hank had already posted campaign fliers for Build Back Better.  That's unfortunate. 


With BBB being kaput, kway-ARE will have to go back to pontificating about supplying bulletproof vests for county law enforcement officials and speechifying against immigrants from Central America.  There is no time to think about what could've been, with only 72 days till the finish line. 

The game plan will have to keep its course: go negative against your opponent. 

Cuellar has been running an aggressive campaign.  He senses that his political future is in jeopardy.  The electorate has probably caught on to his cynical ways and outdated thinking.  Personally, I think he's overstayed his welcome.  The baggy pant punieta needs to be shown the door.  

His gall at calling his opponent, Jessica Cisneros, a socialist is priceless.  Cuellar's whole M.O. is propping up his so-called record of awarding grant money to local agencies.  Cuellar is an anti-abortion, pro-law enforcement, pro-NRA jerk.  That his BBB claim to fame is being squashed by another corporate shill makes for sweet justice.  One lives and dies by their own conservative mamadas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

It And The Theater


The Movies 12 Theater along Santa Maria Ave., next to Kohl's, has been shuttered.  There is no word on it reopening. 

The Alamo Drafthouse Theater re-opened on Friday, December 10.  It and the theater at Mall del Norte are the only movie houses left in town. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Evelyn Motel's Days Are Numbered


Rooms of the Evelyn Motor Inn, as seen from San Agustin Ave.  Fencing has been placed around the motel in preparation for demolition.  

I took these photos yesterday. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Securing Both Their Jobs


Front page story in yesterday's paper: $4.3M given to Sheriff's Office for border security. 

Naturally Henry Cuellar has to drive the narrative.

Every year, the resources provided by the Stonegarden Program assist our local law enforcement in their efforts to protect our border community, Cuellar said.  The funds provide new, updated equipment that is essential to improve operations, pay for operating expenses, and with money to pay for overtime hours, we can provide the necessary manpower to keep our community safe at all times. 

Since 2008, I have secured more than $45 million in Operation Stonegarden funds for Webb County and delivered over $123 million in total OPSG funding.  With my seat in Appropriations, I will continue to provide our local law enforcement with more federal funds to keep our South Texas communities safe and secure.  I want to thank Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, as well as the local, state and federal officers for their commitment to helping to secure our southern border. 

End quote.

Every year since 2008 Henry Cuellar has repeated the same script and held the same photo ops, all while giving himself credit.  The huge banner in the photo above (via LMT) is new.  He's not leaving anything to chance when there are only 79 days left until early voting starts [Feb. 14].  This time around Cuellar has two female challengers. 

Clipping from January 2016: fact of the day.

Both Henry and Sheriff Martin Cuellar have shared in their self-congratulatory maneuvering come election time.  They give themselves total credit for supposedly securing grant money every year.  It's the same game plan every year, with Henry and Martin feeding off of each other. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Shovels And Bows

 Photo via Webb County Twitter

County officials gathered yesterday at the former downtown HEB to signal the start of their latest multi-million dollar project.  The facility will be turned into office space for the sheriff's department.  

Two years ago, the Laredo Times (Wallace) reported that the county bought the building for $4,125,000 and paid $395,000 for design and oversight work. 

Commissioner Liendo, second from left, will be on the ballot for the March 1 primary.