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Archive for September, 2009

At last night’s SB Dems meeting, The Dean was the featured speaker. The Dean, who is the smartest fella in Lone Star State government, talked about how Guv Dude and the GOP had run state government into the ditch. Public education, higher tuition, lack of enough mental health facilities, highways, and long lines to get your drivers licenses and Lone Star cards were mentioned. The Dean went on to say that he often asks the groups that he addresses to come up with something that the Lone Star State government is doing right.

Hey Dean! Longhorn and Cougar football are doing A-OK these days.

If study after study shows that using wireless devices while driving is dangerous, why can’t we get them banned? Aside from the wireless phone companies, who thinks they are a good idea these days?

It looks like Controller Annise Parker still reads Commentary these days. She has a new ad out that doesn’t crack on stadiums and museums. Commentary saw the new ad and I don’t think they will have to issue a statement defending this one.

GOP County Clerk Beverly Kaufman is robo calling voters and asking them to support Gene Locke for H-Town mayor. If Gene Locke wins, will he robo call in 2010 and ask voters to support Kaufman?

Here is what Irving’s (former home of the Dallas Cowboys) Sharon Barbosa-Crain said about yesterday’s mention of public monies for the Dynamo Stadium: “Money from TIFs, Tax Increment Financing Zones, is indeed money coming from city hall.  However, it is not money coming out of an already established general fund.  When a TIF zone is created a base tax year is established and all “incremental” money from future ad valorem taxes in that zone is dedicated to the TIF zone.  Incremental is the difference between the base tax year AV and that of subsequent years.  But that money can only be spent on whatever projects are laid out in the TIF plan, approved at the time of the zone.  Of course, that plan can be amended by whatever methodology is necessary given what taxing entities subscribe to the TIF.  Also, a set percentage per year of the increment is usually taken off the top to pay for city services in the hopefully economically-expanding TIF area and for the operation of the TIF, which requires a lot of bookkeeping etc.  A TIF zone can be very helpful, especially in depressed areas, for which such was originally intended, but, TIF zones are increasingly being proposed for economic development type projects in non-depressed areas.  I don’t know any of the details of the proposal discussed below, or whether a TIF zone already exists for this project, but it is all very interesting, part of that wonkish government area which fascinates some of us and bores others.”

You got that! It is still money coming from somebody’s pockets and I don’t have a problem with that. I just don’t like it when candidates try to game voters on this.

Speaking of, The Yard got some run in this year’s Houston Press’ Best of H-Town.

Best Cheap Seats -Houston Astros: “There’s a certain kind of shock that comes when you luck into a friend’s great Astros ticket and you look at the price. Fifty bucks? For a single night at the ballpark? But the truth is, you can have yourself a great night at Minute Maid Park and not put much of a dent in your pocket at all. (We do advise filling up before the game, though; some tickets are cheap, but hot dogs and drinks are another story.) There’s always a slew of great offers on the team’s Web site: Maybe it’s buy an adult ticket for seven bucks, and two kids under 14 can get in free with you. Or maybe it’s a ticket, hot dog, soda and chips all for $10. The point is, bargains are there to be had. "Sure," you scoff — you old scoffer, you — "But the seats are probably in the last row near the roof and in fair territory." To a degree, true, but not completely. And the fact remains that Minute Maid is about as easy as it gets when it comes to the time-honored tradition of "improving" your seat. There’s the Home Run Alley standing room, of course; there’s also typically a wide selection of field-level seats sitting empty. Wait a couple of innings and then look like you belong.” You don’t have to tell that to McLovin.

Best Place to Meet Single Men – Minute Maid Park: "’But I hate sports!’ is what you are saying right about now. You may scoff at going to Minute Park looking for single men because you don’t exactly dig on baseball. But there really is nothing to being an Astros fan. Games can be as good as movies, with moments of tears, laughter, utter infatuation, crazy wardrobe changes and hilarious misunderstandings — like when Cecil Cooper doesn’t pull a pitcher out of an inning even though he’s given up seven runs. There are men galore walking around the Juice Box, and if there’s anything that cheers dudes up after Albert Pujols uses the Crawford Boxes as a target, it’s female company. Well, that and an open tab at Larry’s Big Bamboo. And maybe one of those little baseball helmets filled with ice cream.” Hmmm, so there is more going on at The Yard than what we see on the KissKam.

Lima Time is 37 today. He hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2006. Happy Birthday Jose Lima wherever you are!

On Monday night, Michael Bourn became the fourth ‘Stro to steal 60 bases or more in a season joining Geral Young, Eric Yellding, and Cesar Cedeno – cool.

The Phillies finally got to the ‘Stros last night and Miggy is inching toward 200 hits for the season – stay tuned!

 

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H-Town’s Mayor will kick-off the Houston Oral History Project (HOHP) at a press conference today. It is about some of H-Town’s notables telling their stories and experiences.  The Chron has a story on it so check it out. 

Controller Annise Parker says the following in her TV ad: "I won’t raise taxes or cut police to fund more stadiums or museums we can’t afford.”

Chron.com says this: “As for the Dynamo stadium, I don’t know that any candidate actually opposes it, since the $10 million the city has pledged would come through a tax increment reinvestment zone, or in other words, would not come out of the general fund or from money used for infrastructure projects.” It may not be money from the general fund but I would still call it money coming from city hall. The city isn’t into the business of printing money, so where is that $10 mil coming from?  Theroretically, that $10 mil could be freed up for some other city need – right?  

The local political community now shifts its eyes toward the Gene Locke campaign. Earlier this year they were boasting that they had raised the most bucks. Oh yeah, then how come they are still not SHOWING ME THE TV!

I know one thing, if H-Town were among the four finalists for the 2016 Olympics, Guv Dude, Hutch, and the H-Town Mayor would want The President to go to Copenhagen to help seal the deal.

The ‘Stros are now into the public school financing business – sort of. The team bought ad space on eight Humble ISD school buses. The ads feature the Big Puma.  Check it out. 

Also from Alyson’s Footnotes: “Most starts this year allowing one or zero runs? Not Kansas City’s Zack Greinke, but rather, Wandy Rodriguez with 19. That’s the highest total since Greg Maddux logged 19 in 2002.”

You know it is that kind of season when we are ten games under .500 but 5-0 against last season’s World Serious Champs.

 

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Commentary ran into someone very close to the CM Peter Brown mayoral campaign this past weekend and they feel pretty good about where things stand. I’d be feeling good too. They’ve been on TV for a few weeks now. They are putting out some mail. Controller Annise Parker just got on the air last Thursday. We don’t know when Gene Locke is going up although he does have a radio ad running on one radio station. If Peter keeps up this pace he could very well secure a spot in a runoff.

Meanwhile, the Annise Parker campaign had to put out a statement Friday defending their ad and their support for the arts. This happens when you crack museums and stadiums in your ad. I bet when they first put out their ad they didn’t think they would have to defend it the next day.

There is a piece today in the SA Express news about the likelihood of a Dem getting on the Lone Star State’s Legislative Redistricting Board.  Check it out.   A couple of years from now when the GOP does a punk job on Dems on the issue of redistricting, instead of crying foul and blaming the GOP, why not put a smack dab blame on the folks that are running the Lone Star State Dem Party for sitting on their arses and not FULLY engaging the state’s growing Latino community.

The Spanish language radio station that goofed on the Rojos/Medias Rojas ad last week put out a statement apollyizing. Of course, the Chron didn’t mention the statement.

Speaking of, last week, the Sports 610 Radio afternoon hosts questioned why the team handed out Pudge bobbleheads this past Saturday. You know those knuckleheads probably don’t understand that this was announced at the beginning of the season and some folks that take their kids to maybe one or two games a year look for opportunities where the kids can get something and they plan this way in advance. Plus, the team already had the stuff so what were they supposed to do – throw them away?

Well, another season at The Yard is over. It was fitting that the team sent some mariachis over to Commentary’s pre game hangout this past Saturday – thanks. Let’s hope the team can at least make it hard for the Phillies to clinch today though Thursday.

 

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Commentary was checking out the Controller Annise Parker TV ad and it looks like she is giving up on the Dynamo vote. She says she is not going to cut police and public safety to fund stadiums. It looks like she is also making a direct pitch to the GOP voters that have always voted against using tax monies to build The Yard, Toyota, and Reliant. Of course, in all three elections on this issue over the past 13 years, Latino and African American voters have voted to support using tax monies to build the venues. Well, the current H-Town Mayor better get the deal done now.

Annise is also saying no the Latino museum that Gene Locke is proposing that will house stuff like Commentary’s foul ball collection. I don’t know about that.

Commentary needs to correct what I put out yesterday so here it is: “MariGirl and Commentary listened to some ‘Stros produced Spanish language ads the other day promoting Latino activities at The Yard this weekend in conjunction with the ‘Stros playing los Rojos de Cincinnati. One of the radio stations did their own ads and called them las Medias Rojas de Cincinnati. Medias Rojas is what they call the Red Sox. Someone complained and thought the ‘Stros were pulling a fast one even though the ‘Stros didn’t know that the stations produced their own spots until they checked on Tuesday. The station just made an honest mistake. Of course, if you know your baseball history, you would know that the Reds were originally called the Red Stockings or Medias Rojas – huh!”.

Another correction: “The ‘Stros must have read yesterday’s Commentary and avoided a ten game losing streak and more importantly avoided watching the Cards celebrate clinching the division in our Yard as the team takes a day off and then take on las Medias Rojas, err los Rojos de Cincinnati.”

This weekend is the last chance to see the ‘Stros this season as they take on los Rojos. Get on out there and pick up your collectable cap, Pudge Bobblehead, and team poster!

 

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My takes on the local census in Tuesday’s Chron got the following response:

“Sr. Campos:

“I have a few questions for you about your comments in Lisa Falkenberg’s story (“Census snapshot: We’re all minorities”) from yesterday’s Houston Chronicle:”

Here’s what I said in the Chron: “They [whites] are still the ones that are in charge of the economic engines in town, from the major corporations, Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in Houston, the port, a lot of industry … there’s no parity there.”

“So, Sr. Campos, just because Hispanics make up the majority of the Houston population now, they should simply be given political power without deserving or earning it? Would you rather have Hispanics dominating Houston’s political and corporate “power structure” instead of whites? Would that be fair to you? White Houstonians have worked hard for the political and corporate power that they’ve come to possess. They’ve earned it. There aren’t any tricks up their sleeves. They’ve received educations and worked their way up the ladder of life. If Houston Hispanics want these things, they can do the same, and should stop complaining that they should have these positions of power just because they are the majority now (that is, if you speak for all Hispanics in Houston and they are indeed complaining about the “inequality” and “unfairness” of our democratic capitalist system). Capitalism is not about fairness. There’s no time for whining. It’s about competition, and whites are winning the race so far.”

Here’s what I said in the Chron: “You look at who sits in the lower deck of the Astros game and it’s still mostly white. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

“’A long way to go’ to what? To the time when those sitting in the lower deck are mostly Hispanic? I don’t understand. Are you proposing that Hispanics dominate business and politics in Houston instead of whites? Is that fair? What do you want? Do you want “reverse inequality” and “reverse discrimination”? Maybe you just want white business and political leaders and sports team owners to simply hand over their companies and legislative seats and teams to Hispanics, in order to be “fair” and accurately reflect the 2008 census data. Or else it’s plain old American apartheid, right?

Shame on the whites for being white. And !Viva la Raza! Sinceramente…..Z.Richardson”

Who asked for his opinion?

Everyone Knew Her As Nancy also put out a take on CM Peter Brown SHOWING ME THE TV. Controller Annise Parker is finally SHOWING ME THE TV. I was corrected yesterday. It turns out Gene Locke started running radio ad this past Monday, of course, how was I supposed to know since they didn’t put out a press release on the ad and the ad isn’t running on Sports 610.

MariGirl and Commentary listened to some ‘Stros produced Spanish language ads the other day promoting Latino activities at The Yard this weekend in conjunction with the ‘Stros playing los Rojos de Cincinnati. One of the radio stations did their own ads and called them las Medias Rojas de Cincinnati. Medias Rojas is what they call the Red Sox. Someone complained and thought the ‘Stros were pulling a fast one even though the ‘Stros didn’t know that the stations produced their own spots until they checked on Tuesday. The station just made an honest mistake. Of course, if you know your baseball history, you would know that the Reds were originally called the Red Stockings or Medias Rojas – huh!

Did you know that this season Numero 45 and Big Puma became the 10th and 11th players in MLB history to hit 20 plus dingers in every year of a decade? They joined the likes of Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Gil Hodges, Hank Aaron, Reggie, Reggie, Barry, Barry, Matt Williams, and A-Roid.

The ‘Stros must have read yesterday’s Commentary and avoided a ten game losing streak and more importantly avoided watching the Cards celebrate clinching the division in our Yard as the team takes a day off and then take on las Medias Rojas, err los Rojos de Cincinnati.

 

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A few months ago a lot of political folks were dismissing the candidacy of CM Peter Brown. So far he’s the only candidate that is SHOWING ME THE TV, RADIO, AND MAIL! You have to figure that he’s the only candidate that is gaining round in the race for H-Town mayor. All the other fellas are stuck in neutral. I’m betting there is a whole lot of nervousness and nail biting going on in the Controller Annise Parker and Gene Locke camps. They better get off of their arses soon or they may be fighting to get in the run-off with Peter.

Heck, it would not surprise me if Peter was the only one invited to screen with the Chron’s E-Board since he’s the only one doing serious campaigning.

Commentary’s third best flick of all time, “The Wizard of Oz,” is celebrating its 70th BD this year. The movie will be beamed to select theaters in Hi-Def tonight – cool. The movie actually debuted on August 12, 1939 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

Commentary has been at The Yard the last couple of nights but the team hasn’t. We now have to win at least 3 out of the remaining 11 to avoid a 90 loss season – ouch! It is Latin Night at The Yard tonight so Commentary will have to switch to San Arnoldo.

 

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Commentary got some run last night on the local Fox News channel on how folks should have reacted to the stupid stinking fake political campaign emails.  Check it out. 

I read where someone tried to call out H-Town mayoral candidate Peter Brown for not issuing a statement expressing outrage on the fake email. Commentary thinks that everyone should have ignored the email because we all knew it was a fake. All they did was give the perp the run he/she wanted.

Commentary also got some run in today’s Chron in a column on the census.  Check it out. 

Guv Dude was up in D.C. last week bragging to his fellow right wingers by saying things would be a lot better if the rest of the country handled business like he handles business here in the Lone Star State. Yeah, sure like leading the country in having the most uninsured folks.

I got the feeling the Cecil No Se Puede wanted to get run and shown the door. I got the feeling that he just wasn’t in to it these days.

One of the co-hosts of the afternoon show on Sports 610 and the Chron Sports Columnist who is the smartest guy in baseball both yearn for the days of former ‘Stros GM Jerry Hunsicker. I wonder if they know Mike Rosamond, Robert Stiehl, Chris Burke, and Derick Grigsby. They were Hunsicker’s number one draft choices from 1999 to 2002.

We didn’t do so hot last night and now have to win at least 3 out of the remaining 12 to avoid a 90 loss season – ouch!

 

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