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Finally Getting Theirs

These guys are used to having it their way.

They shakedown cities that want to host the Super Bowl.

They take you to court if you use the phrase “Super Bowl” to promote your watch party for the big game.

They make you buy up all the tickets to the home game if you want to watch the game on local TV.

Nobody is better than they are in squeezing out every last fricking penny out of the consumer.

Some call them smart. Some call them greedy. Some call them bullies.

They think they are smarter than the rest of us and up until a week or so ago they didn’t think they needed us to help tell them the difference between right and wrong.

Last month they issued a two game suspension to a player who knocked unconscious his soon to be spouse. Then they came back and said they got it wrong.

Last week the two game suspension became indefinite when a tape ran online showing the vicious knockout punch.

Then they got asked the old what did they know and when did they know it and then their credibility started to resemble a chunk of Swiss cheese.

The NFL Commissioner then gave an interview and that’s when folks started to use the term – National Football Liars.

Sports and non-sports columnists, on air sports and non-sports figures, elected officials, other media, organizations, and fans started calling for the NFL Commissioner to resign.

Then we had the situation with the Panthers – yes he will play – no he didn’t.

Then there was the Viking who admittedly whooped his kid, was indicted, was deactivated, then activated – a move that was criticized and opposed by Minnesota’s governor – this morning he is deactivated.

The Raven had his images removed from his alma mater – Rutgers.

Nike won’t sell the Viking player’s jersey.

Radisson pulled out as being a sponsor of the Vikings.

NFL sponsor Budweiser issued a statement that was somewhat critical of the NFL’s handling of business. Visa and Bridgestone followed suit. Money talks!

The NFL has an image problem and they deserve it. Maybe they will finally start listening to other folks. At least for now let’s try to get them to change some of their ways because you know eventually they will get back to their arrogant selves.

There is now a heightened awareness of domestic violence and child discipline these days. The Chron E-Board and Lisa Falkenberg both take on the child discipline issue this morning. Falkenberg gets personal. Go check them out.

B’More clinched the AL East title last night. When was the last time they won the AL East?

The Chron has a piece today on the Team Davis negative ad strategy versus AG Abbott strategy of not running negative ads. I am thinking sooner than later AG Abbott will go negative. Stay tuned!

Last night was pretty special at The Yard. Jose Altuve got a standing ovation when he tied B-G-O’s club record of 210 base hits and another standing ovation when the record was broken. B-G-O, Nolan Ryan, along with 18,000 plus were in attendance.

B’More last won the AL East in 1997 of course.

I guess the only thing left is Altuve’s chase for the batting title as he holds a healthy ten point lead.

17,000 plus at The Yard last night saw Jose Altuve get three base hits last night to put him at 209, just one behind B-G-O. We also put a damper on Cleveland’s faint hopes of making the playoffs. Commentary also snagged foul ball numero six of the season.

When B-G-O got his 210 base hits in 1998, he was only third in the MLB in base hits. Name the players ahead of him that season?

This past Saturday the Chron E-Board kind of put it on HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson, HCC, and a procurement deal investigation – if you want to call it an investigation. Of course, rumor is Trustee Robinson wants to run for another office – maybe City Controller – so this is certainly a distraction. Here is the entire E-Board take:

A Houston Community College trustee may have been cleared of ethical violations to a recently publicized summary report, but something still stinks. The exculpatory conclusion reached by the Gardere law firm, which HCC hired to investigate a contracting scandal last year, doesn’t do a good enough job connecting the dots. This report looks more like a cleanup operation than an investigation.

Taxpayer dollars and bond initiatives don’t exist to reward friends or pay back community supporters. HCC’s public dollars must be spent efficiently and effectively to educate students. That’s not what is happening at HCC. Instead, subcontractors are being selected based on connections over skill and politics over policy. Meanwhile, trustees are promoting agendas that would discourage whistleblowers from coming forward.

This all began at the end of last year, when allegations arose that Trustee Carroll G. Robinson helped a personal friend land a $1.4 million subcontract with Jacobs Project Management, a major HCC contractor. The million-dollar subcontract was for public relations work. The friend’s firm, Five Woods, specialized in landscaping and janitorial work. Whether or not Robinson violated board ethics rules and suggested a subcontractor to a vendor, this mismatch of skills smacked of poor public policy. In fact, the odd arrangement was so striking that it caught the attention of Michelle Morris, an attorney HCC retained to monitor procurement.

As she wrote in a lengthy internal e-mail at the time, “No one had ever heard of the company […] and Jacobs has not ever used this firm before.”

When Morris asked Jacobs representatives to explain the deal with Five Woods, they revealed that “the Five Woods representative was ‘sent’ to them by Trustee [Carroll] Robinson,” she wrote.

In her letter, Morris also described the response to her questions as “a nervous one,” and added, “they outright told me that they are in a ‘precarious position’ (their words not mine).”

Apparently the situation was so precarious that, upon Gardere’s investigation, the Jacobs representative denied making any such statement. According to Gardere’s report, there was simply no reliable evidence that trustee Robinson improperly tried to help Five Woods land the contract.

What the study fails to address, however, is that Robinson proposed the automatic suspension of any HCC contract upon allegations of impropriety. The proposal also called for the automatic termination of a contract if the board of trustees determined that allegations of impropriety were proven to be true. This policy would have punished Jacobs for its whistleblowers, cutting its contract for employees admitting that they were pressured to take part in HCC’s improper practices. After Robinson put forth this policy, the Jacobs employees changed their story.

How convenient.

So while HCC may have received an official clean bill of health, the whole thing still looks sick to us. After all, the report does confirm many of the concerns raised last year:

Five Woods lacked relevant experience.

The “price and scope” of Five Woods’ proposed services were “inconsistent” with HCC’s needs.

Jacobs selected Five Woods because of “relevant relationships” at HCC.

Relevant relationships? That just sounds like code for cronyism.

According to the report, Robinson was responsible for connecting Jacobs with Five Woods during HCC’s 2012 bond campaign. Jacobs selected Five Woods based on its relationship with HCC trustees. Despite this selection, Five Woods was not qualified for its subcontract. If Jacobs employees admitted that they were pressured to hire Five Woods, Jacobs could have lost its entire contract. Yet somehow, all of this does not violate HCC’s ethics code.

Whether or not there was an official policy violation, the whole thing is far too reminiscent of the ethical improprieties that tarnished past HCC board members. The fact that Robinson himself declined to be interviewed by HCC’s law firm should also make the end report all the more suspect. When news first broke, we wrote that any investigations should include statements taken under oath. Apparently neither HCC nor Robinson seemed to think that was necessary.

When interviewed last year by education writer Ericka Mellon, Robinson said that he didn’t “appreciate anybody dragging my good name through the mud.”

This isn’t about Robinson’s reputation. This is about HCC. Our community college helps train the important middle-skill laborers who make our energy economy hum and fill Houston’s middle class. These scandals leave a mark on the institution and distract from its true educational mission. These scandals also cost money: Gardere has charged HCC $271,500 for its investigation, and two more invoices are expected.

Taxpayer dollars should be spent educating students, not cleaning mud off trustee members. But until elected officials stop trying to play fast and loose with public funds, HCC will remain an institution in need of a deep cleaning.

Trustee Robinson tried to hit back yesterday with his own email, of course, he doesn’t have the reach of the E-Board. Here is his email:

The flawed logic and ignorance of the facts expressed in the Houston Chronicle editorial “HCC problems” (September 12, 2014) are stunning and amazing but not surprising. They reflect the continuing decline in the quality and objectivity of the Chronicle. Our city deserves and truly needs a quality flagship daily newspaper right now, that’s not the Houston Chronicle.

The Chronicle’s editorial complains that the $400,000 HCC investigation that determined that I did nothing wrong in regards to the allegation that I tried to help a friend get a contract at HCC “doesn’t do a good enough job connecting the dots.”

Essentially, the Chronicle editorial was written to continue its ongoing attack against me and to undermine my efforts to improve local small business participation at HCC by asserting that my efforts are intended to only “reward friends or pay back community supporters.”

When did local elected officials supporting local businesses and community organizations become a bad thing?

Taxpayer funding is used to support the Greater Houston Partnership, the biggest local business advocacy organization in our area. Does the Chronicle consider that improper? Should the member businesses of the Partnership be disqualified from doing business with local governmental entities?

Let’s connect the dots on the HCC Jacobs issue.

First, the procurement staff of HCC (including Michelle Morris who the Chronicle portrays as the star of their editorial) recommended Jacobs along with its subcontractor Five Woods to the Board of Trustees in June of 2013 as qualified to be the Program Manager team for the HCC Bond Program. This was months before Michelle Morris would write her memo saying that a representative of Jacobs told her I “sent” Five Woods to them. If that was the case, why didn’t the Jacobs representative say so before they and Five Woods were recommended to the HCC Board of Trustees in June of 2013 to be awarded the contract to serve as Program Manager? (This was also months before I made my policy proposal that the contract of businesses accused of wrongdoing be suspended.)

It wasn’t until after the Board of Trustees voted to select Jacobs in June of 2013 and their contract was signed that anyone (including Michelle Morris) started complaining that Five Woods was unqualified and that I allegedly “sent” them to Jacobs.

If Five Woods was unqualified, then it was the HCC procurement process and Michelle Morris that failed. They were the ones who recommended Jacobs and Five Woods to the Board of Trustees in June of 2013 and said nothing about Five Woods being unqualified at that time.

Second, the Chronicle is now asserting that it is improper for anyone who knows an elected official to do business with the governmental entity represented by that elected official.

If that is the Chronicle’s new standard, then I look forward to all their forthcoming editorials on all the friends of elected officials in our area – not just the minority ones – doing business with governmental entities.

Third, the Chronicle now says that suspending the contract of a business that is accused of possibly engaging in improper conduct is an attempt to prohibit whistleblowing.

Why should taxpayers continue paying a company that might have agreed to violate the law?

The Chronicle’s logic amounts to advocating that taxpayers should pay a business who may have broken the law to confess that they did break the law. What kind of logic is that?

Finally, I agree with the Chronicle that HCC wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars. It wasn’t however because HCC was trying to clean mud off my name. It’s because no one had the courage to connect the dots and point out the simple fact that Michelle Morris’ allegations did not add up.

Instead of speculating and making things up, the Chronicle should deal with the facts and get out of the business of writing fiction.

Its time for the Chronicle to deal with the reality that the problem at HCC is not the Board of Trustees but rather, a broken procurement system and a lack of commitment to local small business contracting. (Maybe this will change now that HCC has a new Chancellor. I hope so.)

Fighting to improve the contracting process at HCC and strengthening the System’s small business program is not unethical or illegal.

It’s time for the Chronicle to move on and stop attacking HCC.

What I want to know is why didn’t Trustee Robinson just allow himself to be interviewed by the law firm? Also, I don’t know about waging war against the Chron. Oh well!

The Vikings are letting Adrian Peterson play this weekend. Here is what the owner said: “To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child.”

Here is what the owner was thinking: “To be clear, we take very seriously winning.”

Just an FYI: To those of us that have been using the Holy Name near north side Early Voting location the last few cycles, we are back at Moody next month.

In 1998, B-G-O had 210 base hits and trailed Dante Bichette with 219 and A-Roid with 213 of course.

All eyes will be on Altuve tonight for sure as he now holds an eleven point lead in the batting title chase.

Hello Empower

A conservative PAC will be setting up shop in H-Town this week. Welcome to H-Town Empower Texans! I guess they will focus on City of H-Town stuff. Are they going to organize, endorse candidates, and get out their voters? Are they going to put out position papers and studies? Are they going to lobby at City Hall and engage members of City Council? Or are they just going to make noise? We will see! Here is the Chron story by Theodore Schleifer:

Empower Texans said Sunday it will open a political outpost in Houston, a signal that the conservative political action committee may emerge as a player in upcoming municipal elections.

Charles Blain, currently a field organizer for Greg Abbott’s campaign in Montgomery County, will lead Empower’s second permanent operation, the organization told supporters Sunday. A public announcement is expected Monday.

Empower opens its Houston office more than a year after starting its Dallas-area office that focuses on local issues and elections. While the Austin-based umbrella organization focuses on statewide lobbying and elections, the Metroplex office has endorsed area candidates in school board and municipal elections.

On Friday, Empower’s fiscal policy analyst Christopher Paxton criticized Houston’s elected officials for complaining about having to rein in government spending.

“Too many Houston politicians have decided the real problem is the limit on government growth, not endlessly growing government,” Paxton said in a blog post. “It is high time that Houstonians held their elected officials accountable and demand that the council address major fiscal challenges without raising taxes or complaints.”

That “high time” may come next year, when Houston voters will elect a new mayor and 16 city council members. Several Republicans are expected to run for the city’s top job – meaning Empower’s endorsement could help a candidate advance to the runoff in a crowded field.

Jose Altuve now has 206 base hits. Name the player that trails him?

Team Davis put out a new attack ad this morning. Here is from the Chron:

State Sen. Wendy Davis’ campaign for governor released a TV ad Monday accusing opponent Greg Abbott of looking the other way as attorney general when his office learned of sexual assault allegations at a state-run school nearly a decade ago.

Titled “Time Went By,” the 30-second commercial draws attention to an investigation into claims of rape and sexual abuse starting in 2005 at West Texas State School in Pyote. A Texas Ranger asked Abbott to get involved, raising concerns about whether local authorities could handle the growing scandal involving the Texas Youth Commission, which operated the juvenile detention facility.

“Abbott does nothing,” a narrator says over somber music as shadowy cutouts of newspaper headlines appear on the screen. In the 11 months following the ranger’s request for Abbott’s help, 16 more cases of “abuse, neglect or violations” were confirmed at the school, according to the Davis campaign, which cites state records.

“But Abbott didn’t pursue the case,” the narrator repeats, reviving an attack from the Davis’ first two TV ads: “What insider was Greg Abbott covering up for this time?”

Abbott eventually stepped in, helping with the prosecution of two top officials at the facility. More allegations surfaced in the following years, and the school closed in 2010.

The commercial is Davis’ fourth for the general election. Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuna said the ad is running in “targeted markets throughout the state.” Davis’ campaign did not immediately say when the spot went on the air.

Abbott’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ad.

Here is a link to the ad: http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2014/09/davis-commercial-abbott-ignored-rape-claims-at-state-run-school/

I am trying think – has AG Abbott’s campaign gone negative with ads yet?

Cleveland’s Michael Brantley trails Altuve with 180 base hits.

For those who care and not many do, the ‘Stros’ last homie begins tonight with four against Cleveland who have faint hopes of making the playoffs and then a three game weekend series with the Mariners who have a very good chance of advancing. You can also watch Jose Altuve who is leading the MLB in batting by eight points. The ‘Stros won yesterday and took the roadie 5-4.

It’s a War

Secretary of State John Kerry says we are not at war with ISIL. Here is what he told CNN yesterday:

“What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation. It’s going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation that will have many different moving parts.”

We are going to end up spending billions. We are going bombs away. We are going to knock off a bunch of bad guys. It is going to last for a while. It is a war.

Jose Altuve is the only MLB player with 200 base hits this season. Nobody had 200 last season. Two players had 200 plus base hits in 2012 – name them?

I am going to have to give credit to the Chron these days for putting out more campaign stories. On today’s front page there is a story on AG Abbott filing an ethics complaint against Team Davis for mixing the book tour with the campaign. Oh brother!

There is also a story about where is Sen. Dan Patrick. Apparently he is not doing a lot of campaigning. Here is a line from the Patrick story that will probably get a smirk or two:

The down-low strategy is new for Patrick, a 64-year-old who has served in the state Senate since 2007.

Oops!

There is also a story in the City/State section on the polls. Way to go Chron! You are doing your part to inform voters.

On “What is Trending on ‘Today’” over 60% of folks that tweeted in wanted the NFL Commissioner to resign. Remember when former Secretary of State Condi Rice said she wanted to be NFL Commissioner. Now some folks are talking her up.

After September 11, MLB went dark for a week. The season resumed for the ‘Stros a week later with a three games series in San Francisco beginning on Tuesday, September 18. We swept the Giants. Then we came home to The Yard for a three game weekend series with the Cubbies. All three games were standing-room-only crowds. Just thought you might want to know.

In 2012, Derek Jeter had 216 base hits and Miguel Cabrera had 205 of course.

Altuve is now chasing B-G-O’s 210 and he still holds the MLB lead in batting average as the team is in Anaheim this weekend to take on the best in MLB.

Wars, Wars, Wars!

I remember. I will never forget.

It looks like the entire Obama Presidency will be consumed by war. Who would have thought? I don’t think it was supposed to be that way.

Sometimes I think it has been longer that thirteen years ago.

From the it ain’t over ‘til it’s over department, here is from Chron.com:

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis is trailing Republican opponent Greg Abbott by single digits for the first time this year in her campaign’s internal polling, according to a copy of it obtained by the Chronicle.

The Davis campaign’s latest survey, which was conducted last week, shows her taking 38 percent of the vote to Abbott’s 46 percent. A Rasmussen poll released last month also found Davis down by 8 percentage points.

I wonder how the Chron obtained the poll. Keep hope alive!

From the it’s over department, here is from Burkablog:

Why is Greg Abbott still raising money for his race for governor when he already has enough stashed away to win two or three races? Abbott is on his way to assembling the largest campaign war chest in Texas history, but it’s not because he’s worried about Wendy Davis.

It’s because Abbott knows he is likely to face a future race against the real threat to his political career in 2018: Dan Patrick (we might as well call him “lieutenant governor-elect”). He and Patrick are on a collision course for the Governor’s Mansion that year, when Abbott will be running for reelection and Patrick could mount a serious primary challenge.

Keep hope alive!

If this keeps up it may fall into the it ain’t over ‘til it’s over department:

Some of state Sen. Wendy Davis’ detractors are questioning her motives after she disclosed terminating two pregnancies due to serious medical issues, with one conservative writer even asking whether she really had an abortion.

“Maybe she had the abortion, maybe she didn’t. Maybe her reasons were as compelling as she claims. But the reasons Davis gives for having had her abortions are unproven and statistically unlikely,” wrote Dustin Siggins in the conservative National Review Online. Its headline: “Wendy Davis’s Convenient Abortion Stories – Struggling Texas candidate tugs heartstrings with unverifiable personal tales.”

Some political observers have warned about the potential for a backlash if Republicans unleash harsh criticism of the decisions detailed by Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, in her new memoir.

Except for that Stephen A. idiot from ESPN’s “First Take”, I can’t find anyone that wants the NFL Commissioner to stick around. The NFL just hired a high profile figure to conduct an investigation to clear them of any wrong doing. Stay tuned!

I am skipping the MLB quiz today.

Last night Jose Altuve became the second ‘Stro to reach the 200 base hit mark. B-G-O had 210 in 1998. Altuve still leads for the MLB batting title. We played spoiler again last night and we are now 11 ahead of the last place Rangers.

He has 1.2 mil twitter followers. He has staked out a good pro-Latino position on immigration reform. He doesn’t have a problem calling out the President. He has his own Sunday morning talk show on Univision and an English-speaking show on Fusion TV. I am talking about Jorge Ramos. Here is from a recent voxxi piece on Ramos:

President Barack Obama’s disappointing decision to push back his decision on immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency.

It is also a tell-tale sign of the trouble the Democratic Party finds itself in politically, and an incredible opening for the GOP, if it can ever decide to take the courageous steps needed to broaden its base and not fumble the opportunity.

Sadly, for Latinos, it is also another broken promise from a president in whom much hope was placed, and not surprisingly it has been Univision broadcaster Jorge Ramos who has been at the forefront of the criticism.

“A promise is a promise,” Ramos tweeted Saturday, further stamping himself as the leading non-partisan Hispanic critic of President Obama. “Una promesa es una promesa.”

Obama had promised on June 30 to finally take action on immigration and his administration’s oft-criticized deportation policies. Now, facing the prospect of a ruinous midterm election, he has said he will delay such action until after the November voting.

It is especially galling for Ramos because he knows that Obama promised to introduce immigration reform in 2009 and never followed through. Obama then vowed to act before this summer, and he has again disappointed.

Now Jorge Ramos’s criticism has taken on a life of its own, not only because he’s perhaps the best nationally known Latino advocating progressive immigration reform, but also by the fact that Univision and its new Fusion network offer him the biggest platform in Spanish and English enjoyed by any Hispanic leader.

It’s not that some Latino Democratic leaders haven’t also been critical of Obama’s broken promises, but their criticism has been understandably muted by comparison – their own party’s fate is at stake, after all.

Latino Democrats and partisans also are not about to call the president and their party’s leader a bald-faced liar, which is what Ramos effectively has called Obama. He can get away with it — perhaps because he’s not beholden to the Democratic Party, but possibly because of that charming accented English of his that allows him to be harsher than he actually sounds.

Any other journalist might be accused of being rude, but not Jorge Ramos, who perhaps should be called the linguistic Barack Obama. Like Obama at the height of his popularity in 2008, Ramos is a man of color whose presence and style don’t immediately alienate a white audience.

But Ramos does have some of those Latino Democratic leaders pulling at their hair, because they fear that his criticism only adds more fuel to the fire potentially burning their party’s hopes this fall as they try to hold control of at least one chamber of Congress for President Obama’s final two years in office.

Here is the entire piece: http://voxxi.com/2014/09/09/jorge-ramos-criticizes-obama-immigration/.

I will say this. Ramos does have the audience and folks certainly pay attention to him. A case could be made that today he is the most interesting man in the Latino community. Stay political thirsty my friend!

The ‘Stros are looking for a new Skipper. Name the former ‘Stros Skipper with the most games as a ‘Stros Skipper?

I have to hand it to Norah O’Donnell of CBS News for her handling of her interview yesterday with the NFL Commissioner. Here is what I tweeted yesterday:

Nice job by @NorahODonnell this evening to make @nflcommish look totally clueless. #NFL #DomesticViolenceAwareness

Here is what MLB.com’s Alyson Footer tweeted:

This Goodell interview is absolutely comical. He is a terrible liar.

And:

He could have sent an intern over w/2 autographed footballs and gotten a copy of the tape.

I will say this. If Goodell’s investigators couldn’t get the tape, then maybe he ought to fire his current investigators.

Bill Virdon of course has 1,066 games as a ‘Stros Skipper.

Well we continued to play the spoiler role last night as we edged the Mariners 2-1 and Altuve still holds a slim lead in the race for the batting title.

Commentary said this yesterday about The President delaying action on immigration and Latinos:

Now one of the story lines of the upcoming election will be “do Latinos turnout to vote after being told to wait on immigration.”

The more that this is talked about, the more likely Latinos will stay home. Sorry Dem folks!

Here is part of an Op-Ed in Politico today written by Carmen Velasquez, founder and retired executive director of Alivio Medical Center in Chicago:

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois Reps. Brad Schneider and Bill Foster — all Democrats who have kept their promises to the Latino community and consistently supported reform — will face reelection and risk losing if disaffected Latinos refuse to show up at the polls.

Between now and the midterms, more than 60,000 Latinos and immigrants will very likely be separated from their loved ones and thousands of U.S. citizen children will be left without a mother or a father before the president acts. Most of these human beings have lived in the United States for more than a decade and do backbreaking work that Americans do not want to do, contributing to and growing industries that Americans cannot do without. All they ask is for a chance to get right with the law, legally enter the workforce and stay together with their families. Obama’s broken promise and delayed action will mean many of them will be deported.

Their suffering and that of their families, friends and children should weigh on the consciences of the president and the Democrats who encouraged Obama to put off — again and again and again and again and again — the push for immigration reform.

As for our own plan of action? It’s hard for me to imagine many of us voting for Republicans, who have at times been downright hostile to immigrant communities. But maybe Latinos in places like Colorado, Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina — states with closely contested Senate or governor’s races — should sit this election out. Maybe only by paying a price at the polls will Democrats finally stop throwing us under the bus.

This MLB Hall of Fame great had his numero 9 and 44 retired by two different teams – who am I talking about?

I said also this on Thursday about the Team Davis Book Tour:

In this current political climate of ethics complaints being filed on a regular basis, don’t be surprised if a GOP affiliated group files an ethics complaint against Team Davis for not having a political disclaimer printed on the book. Oh well!

Sure Enough! As expected! This came out yesterday in the Trib:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign manager is requesting a ruling from the Texas Ethics Commission on whether Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ book deal and tour are illegal corporate campaign contributions.

In the three page letter sent Monday morning, Abbott campaign manager Wayne Hamilton argues the book is tied to her campaign. Corporate campaign contributions are illegal in Texas elections.

“The book will be serving as a promotion of the issues the candidate has been highlighting over the course of the campaign,” Hamilton wrote in his letter. “Because of the proximity of the book’s publishing and the election, the candidate will be using political funds on voter contact at the same time the publisher is using corporate funds to promote the book.”

Some things are just predictable.

Don’t give kudos to the Ravens or the NFL for giving Ray Rice the boot. Save your kudos for TMZ.

Reggie Jackson of course had his numero 9 retired by the A’s and his numero 44 by the Yankees.

The ‘Stros’ 2015 schedule was released yesterday and once again we will be spending the three holidays on the road. Memorial Day in B’More, Fourth of July at Fenway, and Labor Day at O.co. All of our interleague games are against NL West clubs. We play two in San Fran, and they visit us for two. We play two at Coors, and they visit us for two. We go to San Diego for three and the Dodgers visit us for three. The D-Backs visit us for three and we close the season in their crib for three. The Yankees visit us in June and Red Sox are here in July.

We lost last night as Jose Altuve holds a slim lead in the batting title chase.

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