Category Archives: Thoughts on Viernes

Thoughts on Viernes…11302012


In case you don’t follow me on Facebook, you may have missed the news that my sis, Sylvia, underwent major brain surgery on Tuesday for a meningioma. Thankfully, and as they usually are, it was benign, and after a couple of post-op days of hospital food, she is back at home. I just want to thank all of our friends, family, and my readers for their good thoughts, prayers, and everything! Some give Facebook and social media a bad rap, but it was a huge help that kept us all sane during this period.

Of course, my sis being on the mend from something so major and so quick can be credited to health insurance and the good doctors at Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann. Those without health insurance would have a much tougher time, no doubt.

Republicans Still Don’t Get It on Immigration Reform

Today, the Republican-heavy House voted to expand a foreign student visa program. Great! They have avoided the immigration issue completely! In other words, nothing new, but some call it “testing the waters.” I call it being a bunch of chickenshits–as usual–trying to fool people into thinking they are softening. Republicans need to get on board with sensible immigration reform with a path to full citizenship. Anything less, or any piecemeal approach, is just plain chicken-shitted avoidance. Get it done in 2013!

Michael Guerra Releases CD

Hector Saldana at the SA E-N has a good article on accordion ace, Michael Guerra. Guerra is a member of the recently reunited Mavericks and has been playing for a couple of years with Raul Malo. Well, he’s produced an eclectic CD with a mix of conjunto, latin rhythms, country, and other stuff. I’ll be writing up a review for Monday. Stay connected!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…Turkey Sabado Edition 12242012

RIP ~ JR and Macho

I don’t know what it was about Dallas, but us poor Chicanos in South Texas enjoyed taking a glimpse into the lives of rich white folk. Perhaps because the only time Chicanos stepped into huge houses was to clean them, or if we visited huges farms and ranches was to pick the crops and tend to the animals, but there was something intriguing about watching other peoples problems. Still, Dallas (then and now) was an amazing show because of JR Ewing, played by Larry Hagman. Sure, it was quite an ensemble, but Hagman’s JR was just plain evil. Back in the early days, it was easy to hate JR. And in the latest edition of Dallas, I found myself rooting for the old man. Beyond JR, we cannot forget Hagman as Major Tony Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie. And one of my favorite roles was watching him as Governor Fred Picker in Primary Colors. Rest in Peace Mr. Hagman.

Hector “Macho” Camacho was the same kind of character. You could either love him or hate him. From his attention-getting outfits in the ring or his general attitude, I think I rooted for him and rooted for his demise in the ring at different times. His early championship fights in the 80s bring back a lot of good memories of me watching the fights with my dad. Those were the days in so many ways. RIP Macho!

A Congressional Newbie has a story on Joaquin Castro’s first week of orientation in Washington, DC.

It felt, oddly, like a cross between his freshman year at the state Capitol, where he served five terms in the Legislature, and his freshman year at Stanford University.

Give it a read.

And The Story About Bexar Dems Ground Game also has a story about the Bexar County Democrats’ campaign, which resulted in a lot of good victories.

It’s all about investment and a good field plan. Emphasis on investment, though.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…11162012

Joe Posada Wins Latin Grammy

One of my favorite Tejano music artists to review here on DosCentavos has been Joe Posada. With his band, El Quinto Sol, they have provided some of the best music in the industry for a few decades. The Academy (at least the Latin one) finally gave him some recognition for his 2012 release, Algo Esta Pasando. Of course, Algo Esta Pasando was reviewed here and was one of four of the five nominees reviewed by DC in the Tejano category. Congrats to the Saxmaster!

What’s Coming Up at the Lege?

Well, the Republicans are bringing out their hatchet to cut from Education and Health Care, again. Dumbing down of the future electorate could be the only thing that can keep the Republicans in power, seeing how the Latino electorate is expected to double by 2030. And that’s at current naturalization rates.

San Antonio right-winger Lyle Larson has submitted a bill to do away with the Texas DREAM Act, which allows in-state tuition for undocumented students. Rick Perry is rattling about “sanctuary cities” on top of the piss test for poor people, which he supports.

Unfortunately, folks, this will be another attack session by the Republicans. Jason Stanford had a great piece in the HuffPost about the upcoming session, as well as a challenge to support a Democratic Speaker, instead of backing one of the Republicans. Bottom line:  Republicans keep cutting Dems off, so, simply supporting one to get a nice committee seat no longer applies in 2013. Fight back!

Eagle Ford Shale on the Mind has an article on the various changes to South Texas with the economic growth with which the Eagle Ford is credited.

Companies, community colleges and local politicians remain in a mode of figuring out what’s needed in terms of employment, training, road repairs, medical facilities and the like as thousands of oil field workers pour into the rural area.

Some of the companies have poured severance tax money into the State, but there has been little return to those counties. And what were once considered poor school districts are now on the verge of being considered wealthy, thus, throwing school financing into a loop. And they fail to mention all of the deaths due to vehicle accidents. And, on top of any environmental damage that is being created. Let’s hope the Lege does something.

Thoughts on Viernes…11092012

Sylvia Garcia Declares Candidacy for SD-6

Well, as I posted earlier this morning, Sylvia Garcia has declared her candidacy for Texas Senate District 6, the seat left vacant with the untimely passing of Senator Mario Gallegos. Obviously, Gov. Perry has not yet declared a special election, but as the Chron reports, there is obvious jockeying going on.

Backed by a nice chunk of Houston’s Democratic Texas House delegation, which some also represent parts of SD-6, Garcia will definitely be a contender with a seasoned campaign team.

I had the privilege of doing a few radio shows with Sylvia during her time at UCTC Radio and she even gave me the opportunity to “solo” when she had to go to court and fight against Harris County’s anti-Latino redistricting plan. That definitely left me hungry to get on radio! Plus, I’ve truly respected her community activism during her “post-commish” time.

2012 was just the beginning of this whole Latino “explosion” folks are talking about, and this race provides an excellent opportunity for frank discussions and debate about the future. Definitely keeping an eye on this one.


P-Bush’s PAC, Hispanic Republicans of Texas, gave a few bucks to some of their LaTeaNo candidates, but the big shocker was a $5,000 check as the end came to Mark Shelton, who ended up losing to State Senator Wendy Davis  in SD-10. Did that go to Latino outreach, or was it just to buy influence? And don’t get me started with that $1K check to that anti-choice group, or the $2K given to Mary Ann Perez’s teaper opponent in HD-144.

Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres, Bushy.

Forget 2016! 2013 is right around the corner.

Will he or won’t he? Local attorney Ben Hall is thinking he might announce sooner than later that he may or may not make a run at Mayor Parker. District I continues to fill-up, and on election night I heard of at least one other candidate that hasn’t been reported by the local media. At-Large 3 will surely fill up, too. Of course, we also wonder about challenges to incumbents. This last election seems to have kept me interested in the upcoming elections. So much for burn-out.

Have a good weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…11022012

Last Day to Vote Early!

By the time I click “publish,” you will have around 4 hours to vote on this last day of Early Voting. As of Thursday, 678K had voted early. I won’t analyze anything, but the compadres Kuff and Greg have their takes after one week. One thing is for sure:  Harris County is going to be close, and not just at the top of the ballot. That’s why it’s important for Dems to vote the entire ballot.

$3.1 Million for 17 Years

I’m of the opinion that if George Rodriguez was awarded a $5 million verdict for serving 17 years after being wrongly convicted with bad DNA evidence, then the City should have wasted no time in cutting him a check. Instead, the City appealed and wasted another three years and finally settled on $3.1 million.

“On behalf of the citizens of Houston, I want to apologize to you,” said Mayor Annise Parker to Mr. Rodriguez.  “You were an innocent victim of a faulty system and I am sincerely sorry for the injustice you suffered.  There is no amount of money that can make up for the years of your life that have been lost to this ordeal.  But, hopefully, this settlement will somehow help in moving forward with the rest of your life.”

No amount of money, but you cut a couple million off the verdict? But I will agree with the Mayor on the apology and the sentiment. Anyway, given that he’s struggled the last few years, he could have used the money then, too. That said, I hope Rodriguez can move on, invest well, and have a life beyond the walls–the state’s and those of his rental.

A Concert Review Coming Soon

I’ve escaped the City to check out one of my favorite musical groups. I don’t know if I’ll get to visit the “cement ditch” this time around, though. I’ll be writing a review, and hopefully, providing some pics of the event. It should be pretty special.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Thoughts on Viernes…10262012

Numbers y Mas Numbers

My bud and neighbor, Greg’s Opinion, does a little analysis on the early voting numbers, thus far, and Kuff adds his perspective. I don’t know, I wanted folks to vote early so they could avoid long lines on election day, but there are long lines now, too. So, vote early, anyway!

#FearFail From Greg Abbott

Yeah, Greg Abbott is warning international election observers to stay out of Texas. The U.S. sends observers all the time to “left-leaning” countries having elections, so what’s up with international observers checking out Texas? Considering the right-wing voter photo ID law was struck down, and there are Republican groups like the Tea Party and “True The Vote” and King Street vowing to stop minorities from voting, it’s a good idea to have observers at the polls.

Speaking of the suppressionists, the True people have created something for Latinos to stop Latinos from voting calling it “voto honesto.”

But the fact remains that the suspicions of voter fraud activists tend to focus on two groups: residents of “urban areas” and “illegal aliens.”

Critics say those are euphemisms for blacks and Latinos generally, and suspect that poll-watchers from groups like True the Vote will be sent not to white, suburban precincts, but to predominately black and Latino ones, in an effort to intimidate Democratic-leaning voters.

Indeed, in Harris County, Texas, the birthplace of True the Vote and its parent group the King Street Patriots, anecdotal evidence  suggests that the group’s modus operandi in 2010 was basically to send white poll-watchers to black precincts.

So, there you have it. Leave it to the Republicans to vilify the right to vote.

Polls Are Undercounting Latinos?

That’s what Latino Decisions is saying. I mean, c’mon, remember Harry Reid in 2010? He was supposed to lose, according to polls. I posted about Latino Decisions back in 2010 and their ability to create some pretty good polling of Latinos. Of course, undercounted or not in the polls, the closer polling gives us incentive to work harder–not just for President Obama, but for the rest of the ballot, too.

Immigration Never Covered by Latinos?

Yes, it’s true. Whether it is some right-wing nut railing on Latinos or an apologist from “the left,” it seems the Latino perspective is always missing on immigration stories. In fact, that’s the way it is in most stories on issues. A lot of my activist friends look for every mainstream media opportunity, but a few seconds of coverage simply is not enough. So, I tell them, we need to write our own stories, and we need to create and grow our own markets for these stories.

Heck, that’s what I attempt to do in some small way with this blog. Of course, that doesn’t let mainstream media off the hook–or even mainstream Spanish-language media. Spanish-language media misses the point of most issues beyond immigration, if I say so myself. Someone needs to take responsibility, rather than saving their dwindling media jobs for kids of TV talking heads.

It’s probably because we refuse to say “illegul.”


GO Vote. You have 37 locations; Saturday and next week’s hours are expanded to 7am to 7pm. Really, voting is a no-brainer. It’s your duty. No excuses!

Thoughts on Viernes…10192012


Wow! It’s here already! Early Voting for the November election begins on Monday. There are 37 early voting locations around Harris County, and one is in your neighborhood. Need to look at a sample ballot? Well, you can click here and find your specific sample ballot.

The important thing is to get it done early. I will be at a polling location at 8AM (or sometime after) on Monday, for sure. That way, all I need to worry about is the arrival of the big e-mail about the victory party.

Los Lonely Boys Cancel Rest of Tour

My favorite Texican Rock band, Los Lonely Boys, announced yesterday the cancellation of some shows and the rest of their tour due to a medical condition afflicting drummer and brother, Ringo.

Ringo is dealing with complications in his hip, knee and both ankles. What you all don’t know is he has been performing with this condition for nearly three weeks not to mention prior tours and shows. At this point it has taken its toll on our brother and we are very sad to inform you that we are canceling the rest of this tour and possibly future dates. Sincere apologies to the venues and the promoters involved…we always strive to get the job done with the best performance possible and we thank those who give us the opportunity to do so and in saying that we are very sorry. And of course we apologize to our very loving and understanding fans, we know some of y’all have driven from miles away, we know times are tough for lots of people, and we know y’all can always be somewhere else instead of an LLB concert.

I caught these guys live in North Texas a few years ago and they can wail. Let’s hope Ringo gets back in it soon and that LLB resume their tour. For now, though, it’s all about Ringo getting better.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia – The Ad


Yes, my no-brainer endorsements will be up on Sunday/Monday.

From the Famous Last Words Department

The Texas Tribune’s Texas Weekly features quotes of the week, and this week’s is probably the best one…ever!


“Fuck vouchers.”

The late Sen. Mario Gallegos, on his deathbed, to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

Thoughts on Viernes…10122012

This Just In From Quorum Report

October 12, 2012      1:55 PM


Sources confirm that Senators were informed of the seriousness of his condition this morning

 Copyright October 12, 2012, Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved

ABC13 has more. Our prayers are with the Senator and his family.

Joe Wins, Hands Down

Well, if you want to believe Ryan’s lies, then it might be a tie. But since VP Joe Biden smacked down just about every one of Ryan’s positions last night, I’ll go with Biden on this one. No doubt, it was a shot in the arm for Dem activists.

On to the weekend!

Thoughts on Viernes…10052012

What A Week!

I just want to thank family and friends who sent messages and prayers during this last week after my mother and my sis, Sylvia, fell ill. Mom is doing much better and regaining her strength, while Sylvia got some good news, although will still require surgery. It has been a rough and stressful week, but we all must press forward! And we shall…


The Chicano Festival got off to a great start last night at Miller Outdoor Theater. Avizo put on a great performance, while Jaime de Anda y Los Chamacos blew the roof off of the MOT. Finally, the legendary Ruben Ramos and The Mexican Revolution was just awesome.

Tonight, it’s Little Joe y La Familia, Gary Hobbs, and Los Bandoleros. I expect to be there. My only complaint, thus far, is the rude “usher” staff who were attacking folks with camera phones and real cameras last night. Tejano music needs all the help and marketing it can earn and stopping people from doing their part to promote La Onda Chicana/Tejana is just plain pendejismo. Take a chill pill!


Thoughts on Viernes…09282012

Northside Early Voting Location Change – Moody Park to Holy Name CC

A press conference was held this morning to announce a big change in polling locations up in the northside of Houston. Because of construction in and around the Moody Park early voting location, the polling location for that general area will now be at Holy Name Catholic Church (1917 Cochran).

Numerous nonprofits and Latino civil rights groups united today to make the announcement and committed to continue announcing the location change from now and on through Early Voting. Early Voting begins on October 22 and lasts through November 2. Election Day is on November 6.

(Photo courtesy of Office of State Rep. Jessica Farrar)

Successful Event for Julia Maldonado for Justice, 14th COA, Pl. 8

Simone at Sunset was the site of a great and successful fundraiser for my friend, Julia Maldonado. Maldonado is running for the 14th Court of Appeals and has been busy taking her campaign to the ten (10) counties that make up the 14th Court.

Julia would like to thank all of the hosts and supporters in attendance and who have always been there for her.

The $10K Degree

Rick Perry’s been floating the lofty idea of a $10,000 degree and the Trib has a piece on it. Four-year degrees are fine and dandy, but in Texas, 1/3 of students are entering universities not college-ready, and 1/2 are entering community colleges not college-ready. In other words, it is taking a little longer for a good chunk of college students to finish, on top of working and the decreasing value of student financial aid. Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature have failed to address this, if anything, they have been hell-bent on cutting K-12 funding, while continuing to promote teaching to high stakes tests. Unless all-involved get to the root of these issues, instead of just floating piecemeal approaches, the State of Texas will continue to lag behind.

Enjoy the Weekend!