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Archive for February, 2010

It probably won’t amount to much, but our local METRO is now embroiled in a document shredding scandal.  Come on!   You are a freaking bus company not the CIA!  Check out today’s Chron.   The sub headline says “restore public confidence.”  In the article, METRO is called an “embattled’ agency.”   It looks like the folks that have been running METRO have stunk up the place.  How did it get that way?  How come nobody was paying attention? 

Here is what the Board Chair says in the piece:  “It is very important to maintain public confidence in METRO.” Huh!

Here’s what the New Mayor said:  “METRO is a dysfunctional organization.”

I don’t think that is confidence if you ask me fella.

You have to hand it to my pal Bill King for being one of the first to call out METRO and its leadership a while back.   Now it looks like the New Mayor has her hands full as she goes about the task of selecting a new Chair and four board members.

Which MLB Hall of Famer said:  “A baseball player’s got to be kept hungry to become a big leaguer.  That’s why no boy from a rich family ever made the big leagues.”

A bonus – who holds the World Serious record for most pinch-hit At Bats?

Back to METRO, if the New Mayor is calling it a “dysfunctional organization”, you have to figure that since the Former Mayor put in the current METRO team, Guv Dude and the GOP is going to use it this summer and fall.  We’re going o find out.

H-Town’s Term Limits Commission meets tomorrow so Commentary has to get off of his arse on a Saturday morning and go see what they plan on doing.

In yesterday’s Harris County Dem Primary Early Voting, six locations had in-person turnout ranging from 298 to 394.  Five of them are in locations frequented by mostly African American voters.  The other was West Gray of course.  UH’s Dr. Murray points to the CD 18 and HD 146 races as factors in African American voter turnout.

Joe DiMaggio said it.

Johnny Blanchard of the Yankees hold the record with 10 pinch-hit At Bats.  In the 1961 World Serious, Blanchard batted .400 with 2 dingers and 3 RBIs as the Yankees beat the Reds in five.  He was also behind the plate in the 1960 World Serious when Bill Mazeroski of the Pirates hit that dinger in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7.  Johnny Blanchard if he was still around would be 77 today.  He left us last year.

My pal Drayton knows burgers!  If you read today’s Chron’s sports column, you will find that he likes to drop in at Lankford Grocery for a cheeseburger and listen to everybody tell him how to run the team. 

 

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From the They Didn’t Ask Commentary Dept.:  One of the Chron’s Columnists slapped around the (you guessed it – her quote) Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials today – again for the third time.  I told you this was going to happen.  Check it out. 

She wasn’t as brutal as she was a couple of days ago, but she still laid it on.  She probably wasn’t as brutal because she knows one of the candidates that she wrote about.  She goes after the coalition because the “handpicked” candidates don’t have any experience trying criminal cases but have been endorsed by the Dem elected officials to run for criminal district court benches.

Here are a few quotes from experienced defense attorneys:

“This is criminal court, and people have serious liberty issues at stake, and it’s not a place for amateurs.”

“We’ve got enough inept judges. We don’t need anymore, thank you very much.”

Ouch!   Don’t you think the local GOP is going to use this against our judges this fall?

Well at least the columnist didn’t use the “bosses” word today.

I’m sure those that didn’t get the nod by the Dem elected officials are giving the columnist more ammo.  Stay tuned!

Who’s dumb idea was this anyway? 

Well according to the Chron today, the good news is the New Mayor is not ready to move ahead with that 287(g) stuff.  The bad news is she won’t implement it now because the City of H-Town is low on funds.

Who played the most years in the old Yankee Stadium – Gehrig, Ruth, Mantle, Berra, or Nettles?

One of the most immature acts of a political campaign is stealing your opponent’s signs.  The SJL Campaign folks have been pulling up Jarvis Johnson’s signs.  Heck they even took them from Jarvis’ home.  How do we know this?  Hers are still up in the neighborhoods where Jarvis’ once were. 

Here’s what Jarvis was quoted saying on Insite: "They can steal my signs but not my spirit. SJL camp took every sign from MY hood including my house leaving SJL signs only. Damn that’s gangsta!!"

Yogi Berra of course played 19 years in old Yankee Stadium..

From a ‘Stros press release a couple of days ago:

“The Houston Astros are pleased to announce that the Astros Ballpark Entertainment department has received two Golden Matrix Awards for the 2009 season, including the highest honor in professional baseball, the Best Overall Video Display Award (Best Show in Baseball). The awards are handed out by IDEA (Information Display Entertainment Association) at their annual Golden Matrix Awards Ceremony.

“This year’s ceremony was held on Wednesday, February 17 in Tampa, Florida, and capped off a three-day conference where participating teams attended group breakout sessions, received field related training and voted for the Golden Matrix Awards.

“By winning the Best Overall Display Award in baseball for 2009, the Astros ballpark entertainment department has now won the award for a historic five consecutive seasons (2005-09). No other team in professional sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL) has won such an award in three straight seasons, making the Astros run unprecedented. In addition to their Best Show in Baseball Award they also won the Best Interactive In-game Feature for their Guess the Flick! segments. “

Of course, the in between inning entertainment goes better with a St. Arnold.   Way to go Pam-In-Charge and VP Jen Germer!

 

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Houston has a flooding problem.  We really haven’t had a mayor that has taken this issue head on.  There is an interesting piece in the Chron today about a preliminary strategy that is being formulated on finding the funds to take on flooding.  Check it out. 

My pal, new CM Stephen “Who’s On First” Costello – who by the way when he talks doesn’t sound like he’s from H-Town – looks to be a leader in this effort says we are going to need about $10 bil – yikes!

The best part of the piece is how The New Mayor sums it up:  “I’m a big believer in democracy, and these are serious dollars that we’re talking about for flooding and drainage needs in the Greater Houston area.  But I have said clearly and consistently that we would never go to voters … without a clear plan with identifiable projects, without having all the other stakeholders engaged in this. Drainage is not something the city of Houston can do by itself.”

Now that’s what we need to hear.  Way to go Mayor!

It is all a matter of record that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has the highest staff turnover rate in the history of Congress.  Now that she finally has a campaign, I wonder what her campaign staff turnover rate looks like.

I ran across this yesterday.  Who was the number one draft pick of MLB’s Annual Amateur Draft held on June 3, 1993?

A bonus – who did the ‘Stros pick in Round One of that year?

Early Voting in Harris County is looking the same.  The locations frequented by African American are doing better than other Dem areas except for West Gray.  The Latino voter looks like it doesn’t give a rat’s arse.

According to a new poll, Guv Dude has a 21 point lead over Hutch and among those that have voted early, he leads her by 25 points.  Even if Dude can’t win it outright, there won’t be a run-off. 

Alex Rodriguez now known as A-Roid of course was selected by Seattle with pick Numero Uno.

From Ferrum College located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Billy Wagner of course was picked by the ‘Stros.

Other notable first round picks were Derrek Lee who was picked by San Diego, Jason Varitek who was picked by Minnesota, and Torii Hunter who taken with Minnesota’s other first round pick.  Former ‘Stro Jay Powell was also taken in the first round by B’More.

The Chron also has a column on the ‘Stros new Skipper and says he is doing all of the right things.  Of course, it really doesn’t matter unless we’re having a good season when the All Star break rolls around.

 

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Whoever thought up the idea of the Coalition of Harris County Elected Democratic Officials didn’t do the elected Democratic officials, the local Dem Party, and the Dem judicial candidates any favors.  One of the Chron’s columnists has decided to put a bull’s eye on this new group as she has now penned her second critical piece.  Check it out. 

Here’s the part of the piece that I find troubling:  “the Coalition of Harris County Elected Democratic Officials, the group of local Democratic bosses.”  Ouch!   When a columnist starts throwing words likes “bosses” around in stories about politics, it is definitely not a good thing.  When the general election rolls around, we can probably count on the local GOP to put out TV/radio ads and mailers saying that according to the Houston Chronicle, our judicial candidates were handpicked by “Democratic bosses.”  Was there really a need for this?  

Columnists are always looking for something to kick around and it looks like she found something.  I get a feeling she’s not going to let this go.  Way to go whoever thought this up!  They didn’t ask me about this because they didn’t want to ask me.

Who won the AL’s MVP Award in 1963?

A bonus – who was the first African-American to play for the NY Yankees?

I was checking out the ice dancers last night and the Italian pair was dancing to the tune of “The Godfather” music.

Hutch has a new TV ad touting her newspaper E-Board endorsements and quotes from newspaper articles that attack Guv Dude.  Of course, Dude’s base despise newspapers, err liberal media, so the ads are getting Dude’s voters worked up, so I figure Hutch is making a pitch to get independents to join the GOP Primary.

In looking over the Harris County Dem Primary Early Vote totals to date, the locations that African Americans frequent are giving West Gray a run for their money.  No se puede con el voto Latino.

Elston Howard of course who took the field for the Yankees on April 14, 1955 and in 1963 batted .287, was third in slugging percentage (.528), and fifth (28) in dingers.  An interesting note, he batted .462 with a dinger and 4 RBIs in the 1960 World Serious against the Pirates.  His hand got dinged by a pitch in Game 6 and he didn’t play in Game 7 – who knows.  Elston Howard, if still around, would be 81 today.  He left us way too soon in 1980.

In a Tag article today on new ‘Stro Brett Myers, here’s what Myers has to say:  "I’ll do anything it takes to win. I think losing [stinks]. I’ve always felt that way. The one thing I’ve tried to do is to tell the four- and five-year olds that ‘It’s not OK to lose, guys.’ You don’t have fun when you lose."   I think I’m going to like this fella.

 

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Folks like CM James Rodriguez, immigrant activists, and Commentary said that if you let the City of H-Town start dabbling in immigration enforcement, paperless folks would probably not cooperate with HPD on reporting crimes.  Sure enough, the Chron had a piece on this issue yesterday.  Check it out.   Here’s a part of the piece:  “Cesar Espinosa, a Houston immigrant advocate, said HPD’s relationship with local immigrant communities has suffered since then-Mayor Bill White proposed participating in ICE’s controversial 287(g) immigrant screening program in the local jails last spring. That idea eventually was abandoned in favor of another ICE partnership, dubbed Secure Communities, which conducts automated immigration history checks on all suspects booked into the city’s jails. “

Tsk, tsk, tsk.  When are folks going to learn?

By request, which ‘Stros former skipper has the highest career winning percentage?

Another one – what Hall of Fame pitcher holds the record for striking out ten consecutive batters?

Have you ever wondered what the curling folks do to stay in shape?

You have to hand it to Tiger.  At least he didn’t come up with some lame excuse.  He owned it.  

Commentary attended the State of the Schools address that was given by the HISD Superintendent on Friday.  He wants to take HISD to the top.  Hey, that’s why he gets the big bucks.  Go for it!

Salty Parker had a 1.000 winning percentage when he went 1-0 in 1972.  Well actually, Dierk of course went .556.

Tom Terrific, err Tom Seaver as a Met of course back in 1970 against the Padres.

Commentary watched the Ice Dancing Competition last night.  Some folks don’t think it should be an Olympic Sport.  I don’t know about that.  Well, what about curling?  What about in the Summer Games the shooting at targets.  What about archery?  Hey, the handful of times I’ve ever been ice skating, I’m either landing on my arse or hanging on to the rail, so it’s a sport in my book.

Did you know that when the first pitch is thrown at The Yard on April 5 against the Giants, it will be Pam-In-Charge’s tenth season as President of Business Operations?  Now you know!

 

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I have to hand it to H-Town’s New Mayor.  She’s not pulling any punches when it comes to METRO.   Here’s a bit from today’s Chron:  “(METRO Board Chair David) Wolff, she said, has presided over an agency ‘that in my opinion, has been stuck in neutral for six years.’”  Ouch! 

Way to go Mayor!

Yesterday, she slapped around the former police chief that had been around the last six years and now the METRO Chair that has been around for the last six years.  Who appointed these fellas anyway?

Tiger is not an elected official or an appointed official or in some position that will impact my life.  He don’t have to apollyize to me.  I will watch him make his statement though.  I’m kind of amused with some press folks and talking heads getting upset over the structure of Tiger’s presentation.  He’s not taking questions and he’s only inviting a few folks.  I guess the upset folks want to know how many times he strayed, with how many others, and with what club did his wife whack him with – an iron, wedge, putter, or a Big Bertha?  I just want to know when he’s going to tee it up.

When I mentioned that Roy O., The Big Puma, and Wandy are the only ones left from the ‘Stros 2005 World Serious Team, who is wearing the Brick Red that also played in that World Serious?

Numero Uno ‘Stros Fan, Sister Damian Kuhn is no longer with.  She’s now in the Big Yard in the Sky.   Check out today’s Chron.   I used to see her a lot at The Yard.

Early Voting, Day 3 was pretty much like 1 and 2, respectable African American turnout, disrespectable Latino turnout.

Geoff Blum of course who hit a dinger as a White Sox in Game 3 in his only At-Bat.

Wandy lost his arbitration hearing against the ‘Stros and will only make $5 mil this season.

 

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I have to hand it to H-Town’s New Mayor.  She’s not pulling any punches when it comes to last year’s firehouse graffiti incident. Check out the Chron story.  She definitely calls out the former police chief on how he handled the investigation.   Commentary always thought that the folks over at City Hall dropped the ball on this matter.  Way to go Mayor!

Speaking of, the Austin American Statesman has a political fact check for this year’s campaigns.  They put a “false” on a jobs claim that is being made by the Former H-Town Mayor’s campaign.

Also from the Chron:  “Shami campaign aides call it quits!  Houston businessman Farouk Shami has lost his professional campaign staff in a dispute over who is running the show.”

Some of his staff quit him.

Here’s what fellow consultant NP had to say about the quitters.

“F***ing QUITTERS!!! Professional consultants stick it out even when the ship is sinking; especially a week before election day.

“Tell me what’s wrong:

1. They took his money.

2. They knew he didn’t have a chance in hell.

3. Ship is sinking and they are now bailing out.

4. Did I mention they took his money fully knowing he wasn’t going to win…

“Don’t ever get stuck in a fox-hole with these guys. They’ll shoot you before the enemy does.”

Tell me how you really feel NP?

Socks Seybold of the old Philadelphia A’s hit 16 dingers in 1902 to set the then MLB record.  How long did the record last and who broke it?

Early Voting, Day 2, looks pretty much like Early Voting, Day 1.  Latinos are staying home.

Babe Ruth of course in 1919 hit 29 dingers as a Red Sox.

Tag’s Lines predicts Jason Castro will be our starting catcher and Kaz Matsui will bat in the Number 2 spot – interesting.

 

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In looking over the first day of Harris County Early Voting results, of the eight locations that had turnouts in triple digits, five are the ones that are frequented by mostly African American voters.  Two of course are the West Gray location and Downtown.  If this continues, you have to figure that the races in CD 18 and HD 146 have created interest in the African American community.  As usual, the Latino turnout is embarrassingly low. What else is new?  Latino/Latina judicial candidates in contested races probably ought to be concerned.

The Chron started rolling out their judicial picks today.  According to my sources at the Chron, the candidate interviews lasted more than a minute and the fixes were out, not in. 

Chris Burke, Jason Lane, and Morgan Ensberg all had key roles with the ‘Stros during our 2005 World Serious run.  Where are these fellas now?  Of the 2005 World Serious ‘Stros, how many are still on the team?

One of Commentary’s God Daughters, Lisette Luna Schnieders is 30 today.   She is also expecting her first kid next month.  Happy Birthday Lisette!

Burke is with the Reds but not on their 40 man roster.  Lane is with the Marlins but not on their 40 man roster.  Ensberg is out of the game.  Roy O., Wandy, and The Big Puma of course.

Speaking of, Wandy and the team have an arbitration hearing today on Wandy’s salary – yuk!

 

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“I don’t love Congress,” said U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) yesterday when he announced he wasn’t running for reelection.  Since Democrats are in charge of Congress, Bayh’s statement is pretty much an indictment on how Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have led.  It looks like the Republican strategy is to keep fueling the public’s anger and hope that it will last through the fall.

Two years ago a lot of us were all worked up as we started to two-step our way through a pretty good 2008.  Two years later Democrats have problems that probably only The President and his team can fix.  I can’t fix them.  Local Democrats can’t fix them.  Congressional Democrats don’t appear to be able to fix them.   What a difference two years make.

Who was the MVP of the 1972 World Serious between the A’s and Reds?

Meanwhile as Early Voting begins today here in the Lone Star State, we can only wonder how the nation’s dislike of what is going on in Washington will play out here in November.  I’m not feeling too good about our politics.

Gene Tenace of course of the A’s batted .348 with 4 dingers and 9 RBIs.

Now that Ken Starr will be living in Waco, I wonder if my pal Drayton will have him over to The Yard this season – yikes!

 

 

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Here’s from this weekend’s Chron:  “Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, whose congressional district includes Sealy, said the Army decision was ‘the wrong decision’ for the workforce, troops in the field and U.S. taxpayers. There ‘appears to be a trend in this administration to move jobs out of Texas, whether it be cutting NASA’s human space flight program or BAE’s (truck) production,’ he said.”

Here’s from today’s Chron: “As a conservative Republican (Pete Olson) who has opposed almost every Obama administration initiative, the 47-year-old Rice University graduate has zero clout at the White House.”

Here’s what Nick Lampson had to say in the piece: “Without that redistricting, I would have been chairman of the space subcommittee representing JSC and in direct contact with the president and House leadership. That would have made a difference.”

These guys vote against The President on most stuff and are now crying.   It looks like they put their party above their districts.

In case you didn’t notice, the Chron endorsed Hutch yesterday even though she is circling the drain.

The good news is the Former H-Town Mayor looks good in a match-up against Guv Dude.  The bad news is a whole lot folks still don’t know him and Dude hasn’t had time to unleash negative ads against the Former Mayor.

On this President’s Day, who was the first President to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in MLB history?

The Greater Harris County Democrats PAC came out with their endorsements this weekend.  I wonder when they had their screenings.   I wonder what their questionnaire looked like.  I wonder when they meet.  Who are their officers?

Former Governor Palin and Danica Patrick made it to NASCAR this weekend.  Both handled it OK if you ask me.

I always thought that the 1985 “We Are The World” was one of the coolest recordings so I was kind of wondering how the 2010 Haiti version would look.  A-OK if you ask me.  The 2010 version made its debut Friday night.  Here are some of the 1985 performers with their 2010 subs from the best I can tell.  Commentary has to confess that some of the 2010 folks are folks I don’t know.  Lionel Ritchie (Justin Bieber), Stevie Wonder (Jennifer Hudson), Kenny Rogers (Josh Grobain), James Ingram (Tony Bennett), Michael Jackson (Janet Jackson), Diana Ross (Barbara Streisand), Dionne Warwick (Miley Cyrus), Willie Nelson (Enrique Iglesias), Bruce Springsteen (Wyclef Jean), Steve Perry (Pink), Huey Lewis (Usher), Cyndi Lauper (Celine Dion), Kim Carnes (Fergie), Bob Dylan (Lil Wayne), and Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx – who else).  The tune is modernized by bringing in the hip hop sound with artists like LL Cool J, Snoop Dog, and Will.i.am.  Kanye closes it out.  Santana provides some lead guitar and Al Jardine from the Beach Boys is in the chorus.  Check it out.

Close your eyes and click your heels, and repeat after me – “not everything in cyperspace is true, not everything in cyperspace is true, not everything in cyberspace is true.”

There was a press release sent out Friday that said a historic  church building a few blocks away from my crib had been saved.  Not so said the Chron:  “Bakenhus labeled as untrue a Friday press statement from City Council members Edward Gonzalez, whose district includes the church, and Sue Lovell, head of the city’s historic preservation committee, that claimed the sanctuary would be preserved as a Lutheran museum.  Lovell spokesman Tim Brookover said the councilwoman’s office received a report from a preservationist attending the meeting that there had ‘been a lot of talk about a Lutheran museum’ and presumed the church group approved the plan.”

President William Howard Taft of course in 1910 at a Senators game.

Pitchers, catchers, and coaches report to ‘Stros Spring Training this Saturday – cool!

 

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