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Archive for December, 2010

There is a farewell story in today’s Chron about Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman who is retiring today.   Check it out.   I always liked her and got along well with her.  Her office always cooperated with me when I had a question.  One of her best moves was bringing on Hector DeLeon who helped her communicate with a lot of us.  Good luck Beverly Kaufman.

Speaking of, whatever happened to the idea of creating a Harris County Elections Administrator?  Is that off the table?  Maybe we will find out in 2011.

CEWDEM sent out a piece yesterday on forward strategies for Lone Star State Dems.  I laud most folks that put forward ideas for Dems moving forward.  I just don’t want the folks that have been running the Lone Star State Dem Party to be in charge of implementing the new strategies.

The local Dem Party has a gathering next Saturday to talk about 2012.   I’m sure all the folks that got elected in 2008 will be there.  Before they plunk down some dough, I hope they ask if engaging the Latino vote is the priority numero uno for 2012. 

My only prediction for 2011 is that burkablog will be the place to go for the first five months to get the latest scoop on what the GOP is doing to the Lone Star State.  Burkablog will probably be the busiest person in Austin.

2010 in the MLB will be known as “The Year of the Pitcher” and why not.  There were six no-nos tosses including one in the post season and two perfect games.  Who tossed the 2010 no-nos?

The Chron’s Sports section is proclaiming today that the Texans’ head coach will return and Bum Phillips’ son will be the new defensive coordinator.  The Chron is not going to look too good if that ends up not being the case.

GOPer Jack Mormon will be sworn in tomorrow as the new Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 2.  I wonder if any Dem elected officials will show up.  I don’t have a problem with that since they are going to have to work with him over the next four years.

Roy Halladay of the Phillies of course pitched a no-no in the NLDS against the Reds and a perfect game against the Fish.  Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies of course pitched a no-no against The ATL.  Dallas Braden of the A’s of course tossed a perfect game against the Rays.  Edwin Jackson of the D-Backs of course pitched a no-no against the Rays and Matt Jackson of the Rays of course pitched a no-no against the Tigers. 

About the only news from The Yard is the new scoreboard is starting to go up.

Have a Happy 2011!

 

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My pal Bill King has a piece in today’s Chron advising the GOP to move toward the middle.  Here is what Bill says:

“Many pundits over the years have likened politics to driving a car. The farther you steer to the right or the left, the more likely you are to end up in the ditch.”

Here is Bill’s piece.

Bill says this to GOPers:

Here is my two-point, year-end memo to Republicans. First, independents did not give you this landslide victory because they like you. They just happened to have disliked Democrats more this time around. Second, electoral success is about the politics of addition, not subtraction. If Republicans continue to pander to their base by pursuing policies opposed by a large majority of the American voters, they will drive the vast middle of the country back, albeit reluctantly, into the arms of the Democratic Party. That is, assuming they continue to have no other alternative.”

I know that my pal Bill gets under the skin of a lot of Dems but he does make a whole lot of sense on this one today.  That’s why the GOP is going to blow him off and say no thanks.  They have to pander to their base because their base made the most noise in 2010.

Sanford Braun was born was born 75 years ago today and had a superb MLB career and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.  Of course his baseball card had a different name on it so who am I talking about?

The most notable local sports story these days is who is going to coach the Texans next season.  Luv Ya Blue’s Bum Phillips and Dan Pastorini made it to Reliant yesterday to lobby for the current head coach.  Bum also wants his son to coach the defense.  I like the current coach.  I like that he doesn’t duck responsibility.  I say give him another one-year-or-else season. 

As we near the end of 2010, folks are coming out with their 2010 lists like best flicks, best tunes, top news stories, top sports stories, best political ads and even best words used like “austerity”, “refudiate”, “spillcam”, and “shellacking” – huh!  My 2010 favorite words are DREAMERS and vuvuzela.

Sanford Braun became Sandy Koufax of course and the rest is baseball history.  Happy Birthday Sandy Koufax!

Speaking of, “The Today Show” co-hosts Matt Lauer (53) and Meredith Viera (57) are celebrating BDs today.  Tiger is 35 today.  LeBron is 26 today.

My Brown Eyed Girl also gave me a cool ‘Stros shirt from the Dome Days that I plan on wearing on Opening Day – weather permitting.

 

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Chron.com handed out their 2010 U.S. of A.’s Top Ten Political Ads and Guv Dude’s campaign snagged one of the top spots for an ad they trotted out during the GOP primary.   Check out the ads here.

The Dallas Morning News also named Dude the 2010 Texan of the Year for the electoral arse whupping he put on folks this past year, for mooning the E-Boards across the state, and for going back on his word and not debating the Former H-Town Mayor. 

I wonder what kind of rating the DMN will give Dude after the upcoming legislative session.

Speaking of secession, 165 years ago today, Texas became the 28th state.  I wonder if Dude has any special plans to commemorate the date.

Are we a nation of wusses?  That’s what Dem Governor Ed Rendell of PA thinks after the NFL decided to postpone Sunday night’s Vikings-Eagle game in Philly because of blizzard conditions.  That’s bold talk from a fella that is leaving office in the next few days. 

A week from today we will know if Jeff Bagwell makes it into the Hall of Fame.  How many times did Bagwell make the NL All-Star Team and when was the last time he was an All-Star?

The baseball guru Bill James wrote back in 2001 that Jeff Bagwell was the fourth best first baseman of all time behind Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Fox, and Mark McGwire.  I wonder how the rankings would look today if you threw in Albert Pujols? 

Bagwell made the NL All-Star team four times during his career of course and the 1999 game at Fenway was the last time he made it. 

Bagwell was in the starting line-up in 1999 as the DH and he went one for three and that is about all I have from The Yard.

 

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Soon to be GOP Harris County Commissioner Jack Mormon has named my old pal Dave Walden as his Chief-of-Staff.  That’s a very smart move.   Dave has one of the best political minds around.  He knows how local governments work.  He is well connected to both GOPers and Dems.  He will be a valuable asset to Mormon.  Check out the Chron.com story here.

I’ve mentioned this before.  Dave Walden is one of the few folks around these parts that recognizes the value and potential of the local Latino vote.  Dave and I worked closely on Bob Lanier’s mayoral campaign back in 1991.  Dave was a huge advocate of investing heavily in Latino voter outreach during that campaign.  We produced Spanish language TV and radio ads and purchased a lot of air time.   We ended up with a good turnout and big vote margins in Latino precincts that contributed to Lanier’s run-off victory.

So now Dave will be Chief-of-Staff in a Commissioner’s precinct that has a whole lot of Latino voters – interesting.

What pitcher has won and lost more games than any other pitcher in World Serious history?

In today’s Chron, the Chron’s E-Board also thanked the Lone Star State’s Latinos for giving the state four more congressional districts.  Check it out.

I forgot to mention that My Brown Eyed Girl also gave me a cool framed limited edition photo of B-G-O commemorating his 3,000 hit.

Hall of Famer and Yankee great Whitey Ford of course won 10 and lost 8 during 11 World Seriouses he played in from 1950 through 1964.

About the only good thing about facing Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cliff Lee in the first three games of the season is the national exposure the ‘Stros will receive. 

 

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The Chron’s Columnist had a piece yesterday on the Harris County GOP Commissioner that was indicted last week.  Check it out.  All I’m going to say is would the friend$hip be valuable if the fella was not a Commissioner? I don’t think so.

Who led the NL with 61 stolen bases in 2009 and 52 stolen bases in 2010?

Commentary and My Brown Eyed Girl went to see “The Fighter” yesterday.  It is definitely a must see flick.  Christian Bale is outstanding and Oscar worthy.  You gotta check it out!

“You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night.  Step into the sun, step into the light.”  Optimistic Voices if you ask me as My Brown Eyed Girl gave me a very cool “Wizard of Oz” Emerald City box.  She also came through with a John Lennon book and a “Yellow Submarine” mug to make sure I got Beatles gear again for Christmas.

She also gave me cool Christmas tree ornaments – a peanut, hot dog, and beer-in-a-mug – baseball of course.

I also got a cool U.S. Capitol shot glass from MariGirl.

I’m not going to say anything about the Texans.

If you get a gift card, use it ASAP.  I waited a while to use one and it didn’t work. 

Michael Bourn of the ‘Stros of course is a threat every time he gets on base and he is celebrating his 28th BD today! 

Check out why MLB.com’s Peter Gammons thinks Jeff Bagwell should be voted in to the MLB Hall of Fame next week.

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The Chron has been running daily articles on their Goodfellows program where they take donations so they can get gifts for folks in need.   I wonder if they will do a story tomorrow on the local Democrats not having very many gifts under their tree.

Somebody finally slapped down Guv Dude.  Way to go to the The President’s Administration for having the EPA snatch from TCEQ some air quality permitting responsibilities.  Hey, it’s the Feds against Dude and that’s the way Dude wants it so I hope our local Dem members of Congress don’t step in and try to broker a deal.  Stay tuned!

On Sunday, September 28, 2008, the Florida Marlins played the New York Mets in the last game ever at Shea Stadium.  Who threw the final pitch of the game?

Meanwhile, GOP congressional leaders are saying that border security trumps The DREAMERS.  I think somebody needs to ask the GOPers how they define “border security” because The Administration has poured in a lot of resources the last couple of years. 

Matt Lindstrom (a Marlin at the time) of course pitched the final out on September 28, 2008 at Shea Stadium as the Fish knocked off the Mets 4-2.  Yesterday the ‘’Stros traded away Lindstrom so I hope closer Brandon Lyon has a good year.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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Think of what you’re saying.
You can get it wrong and
still you think that it’s all right.

John and Paul

That’s from Commentary’s 2010 Christmas card.   It is kind of like my take on the dreaded talking points. Folks just start spewing venom out of their pieholes even though it is dead wrong and completely baseless.  Both sides do it.  I wish folks would just back off and stick to the facts.

Speaking of, Commentary got three cute cards from folks that include their family highlights from the past year.   They came from Janie and Frumencio Reyes, the Adrogue-Gustafson clan, and The Schnieders from Milwaukee – cool.

Not everyone is welcoming the 2010 Census numbers for the Lone Star State.  The SA Express News columnist figures that there are just more Latinos in the state that are going to get the shaft from the GOP controlled state legislature.  Here is a part of what she said:

But Texas’ smoking-hot economy, never mind the nation’s, won’t fare well if that young, Hispanic population is relegated to a permanent underclass. That’s where the state GOP’s platform ultimately could place it.
Check out her column here.

She makes excellent points.  It would probably help if we started voting in bigger numbers though.

The President held a brief press conference yesterday before he headed to Hawaii for a few days off.   He talked about a few of his accomplishments during the past couple of weeks.  He also had some kind and moving words about The DREAMERS even though they got a big old lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.

This MLBer won NL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and won the NL Batting Average Title in 2009 hitting .342.  Who am I talking about?

H-Town CM James Rodriguez takes his furlough day today.  That’s the way it goes.

The Chron’s E-Board gives us their take today on the pension issues over at City Hall.  Check it out.

Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez of course was the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year, won the Batting Average Title in 2009, and is celebrating his 27th BD today.

Commentary will be heading to The Yard today to take advantage of the discount on team gear – be there!

 

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Just when things were slowing down in these parts, GOP Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole got himself indicted by the feds.  Here’s what Rusty Hardin (his attorney) had to say:

"It is not against the law to be friends."
Check here to see what the feds say this friendship was worth.

Here was from a story on the indictment yesterday:

First Assistant County Attorney Terry O’Rourke said Eversole is in federal custody awaiting his hearing. “He’s in the hands of the United States government,” O’Rourke said. He also said he asked federal authorities to spare Eversole a “perp walk” through the front door of the courtroom to preserve “the dignity of the office” and that the federal government was honoring the request.

I think it is kind of an odd thing to say if you ask me.

Channel 13’s Wayne Dolcefino must have been feeling pretty good yesterday since he’s been dogging Eversole for the past few years.

At the H-Town City Council meeting this morning, the Mayor will be laying out what she has in store for Rebuild Houston which is the product of Prop 1 which was created by Renew Houston. 

This MLB Hall of Fame pitcher picked off 144 base runners in his career and holds the record for most pick offs.  Who am I talking about?

I wonder if the GOP leaders up in Austin will let Latinos lend a hand in the drawing of congressional seats next year.  After all, we are a big reason why the Lone Star State is getting 4 new congressional seats.

Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton of course also set a number of career pitching milestones and is celebrating his 66th BD today.

You can still get you a lot of great discounts in the gift giving department out at The Team Store at The Yard – check it out!

 

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Census 2010 will be released today and of course the Latino numbers will be a leading story here in the Lone Star State and the Greater H-Town area.  I remember back in the ‘80s when Coors Beer decided to label the ‘80s the decade of the Hispanics (that was before folks were using the term Latino).  It will be interesting to see who gets contacted today by the state and local media and how Latinos spin the numbers relative to political power.  I’m sure all the national Latino organizations will bombard my inbox with all sorts of takes.  Stay tuned!

This former MLBer had 442 career dingers and ranks 35th on the all time career dinger list.  He struck out 1,816 times and ranks 10th on the all time strikeout list.  His career batting average was a measly .236 and he’s not in the MLB Hall of Fame.  Who am I talking about?

There is an AP story on Chron.com today on redistricting.  Here’s from the piece:

A heavy influx of new residents, many of whom are Hispanics, has Texas poised to gain more congressional seats than any other state, and Tuesday’s announcement of the exact number begins what figures to be a politically divisive process on how to divvy them up.

There is also this:

Republicans can be expected to target the only two districts still represented by white Democrats for those new minority seats — Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin and Rep. Gene Green of Houston, said Nathaniel Persily, a political science professor and redistricting expert at Columbia Law School.

Check out the AP story here.

It will be interesting to see how the GOP proceeds to carve up the Lone Star State.

Dave “Sky King” Kingman of course also won the NL dinger titles in 1979 and 1982 and is celebrating his 62nd BD today.

Go check out Alyson’s Footnotes to read why the ‘Stros signed this Bill Hall fella.  Alyson also gives us her takes on Jeff Bagwell and the Hall of Fame vote which will be announced in a couple of weeks.     Check it out.

 

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The Chron’s Bradley Olson penned a front page story yesterday on a looming fiscal crisis over at H-Town City Hall.  It is about the three pension systems. 
Check out the story.

Of course, my pal Bill King has been talking about this for a couple of years now and folks have treated him like the boy crying wolf. 

Here is how Bradley opens the piece:

Instability in its three pension systems is the greatest threat to Houston’s financial solvency, city officials and financial analysts say.

Here is what a financial observer had to say:

“The bottom line is the whole system is completely unsustainable with current benefit levels and the city’s financial position.”

Here is what the H-Town Mayor says:

“Voters elected me to make tough choices, and voters elected me to get the city’s budget in order. We are hemorrhaging right now … in some of our pension costs. … There’s a difference between a fair pension and a gold-plated pension, and the citizens of Houston have to know that we can find a fair balance in there.”

Here is what the pension representative said:

“The urgency the city has is all politically driven.”

Huh!  They need better talking points than that.

This MLB Hall of Famer had 3,007 career base hits, 399 career dingers, 1,583 career RBIs, and in his only World Serious he hit .379, with 2 dingers, and 8 RBIs but still wasn’t named World Serious MVP.    Who am I talking about?  Bonus:  Who beat him out for World Serious MVP?

Speaking of, last night’s “60 Minutes” included a segment on the country’s next fiscal crisis.  You guessed it – funding public employee pensions.

“60 Minutes” also had a segment called “Endless Memories.”  It is about a very few folks including actress Marilu Henner that can recall every day of their past.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t think I want to recall a whole lot of heart breaking ‘Stros losses or Luv Ya Blue losses.

Speaking of, it’s official.  No NFL playoffs for H-Town this year.

Commentary dropped by McLovin’s graduation party yesterday.  Congrats go to Brad Wray!

All I can say about The DREAM Act is maybe this will get Latinos here in the Lone Star State stirred up.  Maybe this will get us to go vote in 2012 and contribute to knocking off some GOPers and make a statement.  That has to be our mission.

The 2010 Census will be announced tomorrow and it looks like red states got redder.

Hall of Famer and Tiger great Al Kaline of course made his only World Serious appearance in 1968 as the Tigers beat San Luis in seven games.  Tiger pitcher Mickey Lolich was named World Serious MVP for pitching and winning three complete games over San Luis.  Al Kaline celebrated his 76th BD yesterday and an Al Kaline autographed baseball sits in Commentary’s office.

Things just got a little bit more difficult in the NL Central as the Brewers picked up via trade 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke – yikes! 

 

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