Just in:

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Bennett, the eminent and timeless stylist whose devotion to classic American songs and knack for creating new standards such as “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” graced a decades long career that brought him admirers from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, died Friday. He was 96, just two weeks short of his birthday.

He was one of the greatest crooners of all time for sure.


Commentary will say it again. They are not messing around at HISD. See this from the Chron:

Superintendent Mike Miles announced Thursday that he is reducing staff at HISD headquarters by nearly 25 percent, slashing 1,675 vacant positions and 672 filled jobs. 

The restructuring drops the number of central administration jobs to 7,857 positions, compared to the 10,204 positions budgeted for central office when he took the helm in June. The reductions in some departments are much higher than the original projections, which placed their losses in the hundreds. 



Commentary grew up in a Barbie household. My little sister had a Barbie or three. 

The past few months, I have been a bit curious how a Barbie movie could be made. I have the utmost of respect for actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.  They are both Oscar nominees. Robbie was great in The Legend of Tarzan, I, Tonya, and Bombshell.  I loved Gosling in The Notebook, The Ides of March, and La La Land.

The Chron’s Joey Guerra in his review today gives Barbie five out five stars.  Here are a few lines from Guerra’s review:

“Barbie,” the big-budget movie about the iconic doll with a pink convertible and multi-level Dreamhouse, has everything you’d expect. 

And this:

Everything about “Barbie” is meticulous and measured. The use of music is brilliant: an obnoxious Matchbox 20 hit, an earnest Indigo Girls tune. A new song by Lizzo, “Pink,” accompanies and narrates the first several scenes.

And this:

The casting is inspired, too. Issa Raye is radiant as President Barbie. Michael Cera is appropriately beleaguered as Allan, a low-rent Ken of sorts. (Just wait for the NSYNC joke.) Will Ferrell is in cartoon villain mode as the CEO of Mattel.

But for all its manufactured sparkle and star power, “Barbie” never feels uptight or cynical. This is sensational, spirited filmmaking, that rare assemblage of exactly the right people working on exactly the right project.

Robbie is so, so good. She was born to play Barbie, as physically close to the doll as anyone will ever get. But what makes her performance magic is the way she’s able to translate Barbie’s most startling discovery — that she has feelings. And they’re not all good. To her shock, Barbie can be sad. Or mad. Or lonely.

Gosling, initially criticized as too old to play Ken, goes all in here. He plays up the empty-headed male stereotype, equal parts bro, know-it-all and unlucky-in-love bachelor. He has a formidable frenemy in the endlessly charismatic Simu Liu’s Ken, who represents everything Gosling’s Ken aspires to be. 

And finally, this:

“Barbie” is indeed plastic and fantastic and fun. But in the end, it’s really about being human.

Oppenheimer got four and a half stars in the Chron review today.

Interesting, don’t you think?

The featured photo is the front page of the Preview section of today’s Chron.


Commentary knows of a political campaign who reported accepting three contributions from corporations, which is against the law. The Chron thinks it is more important to let their readers know which campaigns are spending campaign dough at Buc-ee’s. See the headline followed by the start of a Chron article that was posted yesterday:

These Texas politicians were the top campaign spenders at Buc-ee’s, H-E-B, Whataburger

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s wife bought him a pair of Buc-ee’s-branded underwear, but he said in an interview that he doesn’t wear them. 

His campaign has, however, spent $5,646 at the iconic Texas gas station chain in 30 trips since the beginning of 2021, campaign finance records show — the most of any Texas politician. Second place is Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign, at just over $2,000.

Elected officials and candidates are required to report all their political fundraising and campaign spending. Hearst Newspapers pulled campaign expenditure data from the Texas Ethics Commission from Jan. 1, 2021, through the end of this June, reflecting the last election cycle. 

Miller was the Buc-ee’s champion for Texas politicians, while House Speaker Dade Phelan spent more at H-E-B grocery stores than anyone else — more than $33,000. Phelan’s spending at H-E-B was mostly buying snacks for meetings. He also spent more than $5,000 on office supplies. 

A few years ago, the Chron did a big piece on pay-to-play and mentioned the biggest pay-to-play players. The Chron’s biggest pay-to-play players showed up on a recent campaign contribution and expenditure report. How did the Chron respond? Nada. Zilch. Nope.

Come on!


The Astros won last night in Oakland. Good

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