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Archive for May, 2011

Leadership is foreign to Guv Dude.  Getting even is more his style these days.  Check out this from today’s Chron on the Special Session:

"This is a gift for the governor," said (GOP State Sen. Steve) Ogden of the special session. He predicted Perry would play "hardball" and put numerous items on the agenda to take advantage of needing only a majority for Senate passage.

This from today’s Star Telegram:

"We come here to work," Gov. Rick Perry said early Monday as Republicans were scrambling to find a way around (Dem State Sen. Wendy) Davis’ filibuster before the session ended that evening. "We don’t come here to be show horses."

Dude certainly knows the show horse role if you ask me.

For the next few days or weeks or so, Dude will continue to strut around and crow on occasion and smirk when asked about running for Prez. He will use the Special Session as an excuse for not deciding to get into the bigs.  In the end though, he won’t make the big show.  He’d face a much higher caliber of pitching that I don’t think he wants to go up against.  He wouldn’t like having to go up to the plate and whiff and trudge back to the dugout with just his bat in his hand.  Stay tuned!

20-year old Jordan Lyles will take the mound this evening for the ‘Stros at Wrigley.  Lyles will be wearing the numero 41.  Who wore the numero 41 for the ‘Stros during the 2005 World Serious?

Back to the Special Session:  If the Dems in the Texas Legislature think it is a good idea to force a Special Session, have at it.  Of course, as each day goes by, there is more of a chance that bad things will happen than good things. 

Two months of the 2011 MLB season have gone by now and Hunter Pence is having an impressive season.  He’s batting .312.  He’s tied for third in the MLB in doubles – 17.  He’s fifth in hits with 69.  He’s tied for sixth in RBIs – 40.  He’s tied for seventh in total bases – 109.  Way to go!

Well the summer is here so the H-Town City Council races will start to heat up.  Commentary lives in the reconfigured District C so we ought to start seeing the signs go up.  Commentary, My Brown Eyed Girl, My Best Friend, and HISD Trustee Anna Eastman all live in District C – cool!

Brandon Backe of course wore the number 41 during the 2005 World Serious.

We had a very miserable series at The Yard against the D-Backs this past weekend.  Then we had a very nice win at Wrigley yesterday afternoon.  I’ve gotten three foul balls but haven’t kept a one this season.  Dante has two.  We’re 20-34 and 11 ½ out of first and have the second lousiest record in the bigs.  I ain’t giving up though!

 

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Guv Dude on cue said Friday that he’s thinking about running for Prez.  What else is new?  What else can he do?

Shortly after Dude’s response the Lone Star State Dem Party put out a press release that I didn’t even bother to read because Dude owns the State Dem Party.

Dude also owns the Texas Legislature.  He’s getting pretty much what he wants including getting to decide who he deals with on the Windstorm Insurance stuff.  Dude owns.

He also owns the media in the Lone Star State.  Last year he told the fish wrap E-Boards to kiss his arse and he still owns.  Just about every E-Board came out against the current state budget but Dude still owns.

In the end though, Commentary doesn’t think that Dude will run in 2012.   Dude can easily roll over the Lone Star State media and he owns the Lone Star State Dem Party but he knows the national media and the folks that run The President’s campaign are the big leagues so he will find an excuse not to run.  So he’ll just keep on owning certain folks in the Lone Star State for a while.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of, who owns the MLB record for career All-Star Game dingers?

An accidental foul ball l(my third of the season) landed at Commentary’s feet yesterday so I just scooped it up and gave it to a kid yesterday. 

Stan “The Man” Musial of course has the record with six career All-Star Game dingers.

Our record is 19-34 and we can’t hold a lead and can’t take a lead and are having to call up a 20-year old kid named Jordan Lyles to replace Wandy who just went on the DL – yikes! 

 

 

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You have to think it is downright scary when folks like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are considered “mainstream” GOPers.  As the 2012 GOP field for Prez takes shape, the so called “mainstream” wing of the party is really not happy with the current crop of candidates.  They’re looking for, err begging for a “mainstream” GOPer to jump in.  Of course, who out there can be considered a “mainstream” GOPer these days.  I guess Jeb Bush is the only one to come to mind, heck, after all he did share a stage with The President a couple of month ago so that gives him “mainstream” cred.

It is really downright scary that the Guv of the Lone Star State isn’t even considered acceptable to “mainstream” GOPers – yikes!  Guv Dude is now considered the darling of the Evangelicals, Tea Baggers, and the Far Right.  R.G. of the Chron, err Burkablog, today says Dude is on top these days and he’s out punking anybody that gets in his way:

There is no doubt now that the man you love to hate – Governor Rick Perry – will be the biggest winner of the 82nd Legislature.  Perry has gotten his way on almost every item on is legislative agenda and squeezed the state budget turnip until it bled. Perry is the flavor of the week nationally for the politicos and pundits looking for a candidate of principled policy and pizzazz to join the Republican presidential contest.

Guv Dude certainly loves getting the national run these days.  There is a downside though.  The more Dude gets put on the national stage, the bigger joke the Lone Star State becomes.  We’ll be come a caricature of sorts and it is going to be bad for business. 

These two MLB greats were both born 43 years ago today and combined for 970 career dingers and 3,233 career RBIs.  Who am I talking about?

In the end, I don’t think Dude will run for President.   Remember back in 1999 when a steady stream of GOP stalwarts made their way to the Governor’s Mansion to ask W to make the 2000 race?  I don’t think we’re going to see that with Dude.  There won’t be a bunch of GOP biggies trekking to Austin.  Instead, Dude will keep a close eye on Governor Palin’s tour that starts next week.  Palin will be a hit with her followers but won’t expand her base so later on this summer she will come up with an excuse for not to make the race.  Dude will also come down to Earth and realize that he’d get his arse handed to him by The President and will stick to making us miserable here in the Lone Star State.  Stay tuned!

I kind of messed up yesterday.  Commentary put out  Alyson Footnotes’ tunes for ‘Stros batters when they step up to the plate.  I said this:

Heck, I’ve never heard of most of the tunes or artists though that “Pledge Allegiance” tune is kind of cool.

The “Pledge’ is Brad Wallace’s tune and when he bats they just play a line or two.  I listened to the entire cut yesterday and it was laced with about a kazillion “N” words and a kazillion “B” bombs – yikes.  That “Pledge” tune definitely isn’t for me and it shouldn’t be for you.

MLB greats Jeff Bagwell (449 dingers, 1,529 RBIs) and Frank Thomas (512 dingers, 1,704 RBIs) of course combined for 970 dingers and 3,233 RBIs in their career.  Happy Birthday Baggy and The Big Hurt!

The D-Backs are in for three so it will be a nice way to spend the Memorial Day weekend.  Who knows?  We might win our third straight series!

 

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The headline story in today’s Chron is about the Port of Houston fixing to go under Sunset Commission Review.  The Dean led the charge on this move.   All the stuff that has been in the Chron and on the Channel 13 news led to getting the Port a Sunset Review invitation.   I hope that all folks involved remember that Port is a huge economic engine in these parts.  As the process moves forward let’s keep this in mind.  The last thing we need is for international shippers to start looking at other port alternatives and we lose business and jobs so let’s keep the future press releases and press conferences civil.  Stay tuned!   Check out the Chron story on the Port here.

I wonder what the over-under line in Vegas is for the Port CEO?

My pal Bill King has another take, err Op-Ed in today’s Chron on the City of H-Town finances.   Check it out.

‘Stros infielder Jeff Keppinger returns from the DL and will be suited up tomorrow at The Yard.  Keppinger led the team in batting average last season.  He hit .288.   What has been the lowest season batting average for a ‘Stros hitter that led the team in batting average?

Commentary just got this in from our SD 15 Chair:

Houston, Texas – Senate District 15 Chair Lane Lewis today announced his intention to run for Harris County Democratic Party Chair.  
"I am happy to announce today that I will be a candidate for Harris County Democratic Party Chair," said Lewis. 
"Our county party needs a renewed sense of purpose, a clear vision for 2012 and beyond, and a plan to win on Election Day. My experience and passion make me ready to take our party to the next level starting on day one. My desire for all of our candidates to be successful will guide my work each and every day."   
"Now is the time to be planning for 2012.  Now is the time to recruit great candidates.  Now is the time to organize and inspire our precincts.  Now is the time for Democrats to build an organization that is strong, capable, and worthy of Harris County.  I am the candidate that can make this vision a reality and take our party to the next level." 

I wonder what Lane has in mind in terms of engaging the Latino vote?

I wonder if the current Dem Chair is going to run again?

The opposition research folks didn’t waste any time getting to CEWDEM the one time GOP voting history of one of the City of H-Town At-Large 2 candidates.  I guess the games have begun.

According to ABC News and other news outlets, the bottom half of the 2004 Dem ticket is fixing to get indicted by the Feds – ouch!   He probably thought that song was about him.

Former ‘Stros center fielder Cesar Cedeno of course, hit .264 in 1971 to lead the team in batting average.    It is interesting in that Cedeno hit .320 in each of the next two seasons to lead the team. 

From the I know you are dying to find out about it department.  I borrowed Alyson Footnote’s piece on tunes that are played when ‘Stros batters come to the plate:

I’ve never paid much attention to what’s playing when Astros hitters approach the plate, but clearly, I’m in the minority.

Walkup music has always been a constant source of intrigue to the fan base, judging from the number of questions I receive weekly asking for a rundown of players’ preferred tunes.

Thanks to my friend Nunee Oakes, scoreboard assistant extraordinaire, we have that walkup music compiled in a nice, tidy list. Without further ado, here you go…

Clint Barmes:  In The Air Tonight by Nonpoint

Jason Bourgeois:  Say I Won’t by Propane; Trillionaire by Bun B and T-Pain; Lay Me Down by T.I.

Michael Bourn:    Get Your Shine On by Bridman & Lil Wayne

Matt Downs:           Wanna Be A Baller by Lil Troy

Bill Hall:                   All of The Lights by Rihanna and Kanye West; Grove St. Party by Waka Flocka Flame; Pressin’ Them Buttons by Paul Wall

Chris Johnson:      Blowin’ Money Fast by Rick Ross

Carlos Lee:              Stereo Love by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina; Que Buena Tu Ta by Fuego

Jason Michaels:   Here Me Now by Hollywood Undead; The Bleeding by Five Finger Death Punch

Hunter Pence:    Before I Forget by Slipknot; Coming Undone by Korn

J.R. Towles:         Down in Flames by Stoney LaRue

Brett Wallace:     Pledge Allegiance by T.I.

Pitchers:

J.A. Happ:        Written in The Stars by Tinie Tempah

Bud Norris:      You’re Going Down by Sick Puppies

Brett Myers:     Miracle by Nonpoint; Forever by Kid Rock

Brandon Lyon: Dragula by Rob Zombie

Wandy Rodriguez:  TNT by AC/DC

Aneury Rodriguez:  Danza Kuduro by Don Omar

A few key, indisputable facts:
* If you don’t find a player/pitcher on this list, it likely means he doesn’t have a song preference.
* Some players change their walkup music semi-regularly, for variety or superstitious reasons.
* I’ve never heard of half of the songs, and have heard of even fewer of the artists who sing them.

Heck, I’ve never heard of most of the tunes or artists though that “Pledge Allegiance” tune is kind of cool.

It was a nice walk off win yesterday and pretty good pitching by the other Rodriguez.  We have the day off then host the D-Backs this weekend.

 

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If you are old school like Commentary, you got to read the hard copy of the Chron this morning.  The Chron’s Columnist is declaring the race for H-Town Mayor in 2011 (this November) is over.   His advice to wannabees is to don’t even bother to plunk down the filing fee.  Of course, The Mayor and her handlers probably aren’t thinking that yet.  Layoffs are happening and city services are being cut.  The Rebuild Houston bills are starting to land in mailboxes so you never know. 

In the race for H-Town City Council, At-Large 2, there are number of candidates in the race.  One candidate to keep an eye out on is the David Robinson fella.  His campaign sent out a press release yesterday.  His campaign contacts listed are my good pals Kathryn McNeil and Carolyn Campbell – both top flight campaign strategists.    They were both involved in last year’s Prop 1 campaign so the relationships they developed with the Prop 1 funders could come in handy.  Stay tuned!

From Ty Wiggontonner’s Brother up in Austin:

Led by the Dean of the Senate, the Senate voted to put the Port of Houston under review by the Sunset Commission.  Kudos to the Dean!

Speaking of, Rusty Hardin was named Acting CEO of the Port yesterday – sort of.

The Best Line of the Day goes to GOP Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman when asked to comment on the stuff that is going on at the Port:

“I’m almost afraid to comment because it might cause them to hire another lawyer.”

What happened in the MLB at old Forbes Field 76 years ago today?

You can go to Commentary’s Political Page  to get a list of the latest candidates for H-Town Mayor, City Council, and Controller.  I was at City Hall yesterday getting the latest list.  There are a handful that I haven’t listed because they just say that they are running for City Council and don’t write down the specific office….like Phillip Bryant, Hoc Nguyen, Laurie Robinson, and Scott Boates.

A judge threw out Paul Bettencourt’s lawsuit to void last year’s Prop 1 election.  It is back to the drawing board for Bettencourt as he tries to figure out his next move to mess with the H-Town Mayor.  Maybe he will help out this Dick fella who is running for At-Large 2 who put out this statement in a fundraising invite:

Though Houston needs dedicated monies for drainage, it was portrayed that the cost would be around a cup of coffee ($5) a month.  Residents of Houston are outraged at the cost for drainage.  In some areas Houstonians are taxed as high as $60 a month.  Where can you get a cup of coffee for $60?  At a fundraiser for Eric Dick for Houston City Council – At Large #2.  Eric Dick is demanding that Houston elected officials take a lesson from Dallas when assessing such drainage fee.

Of course, I don’t recall Dick being out on the stump campaigning against Prop 1 last fall.  It looks like he’s grabbing an issue to run on.

George Herman Ruth, Jr., better known as ‘Babe” or the “Bambino” or the “Sultan of Swat” hit dingers numero 712, 713 and 714 (his final career dingers) of course, 76 years ago today as a member of the Boston Braves in an 11-7 loss to the Pirates.

I don’t know about Bill Hall, the ‘Stros second baseman.  He flubbed what was supposed to be an inning ending grounder yesterday and the next batter up hit a grand salami and just like that we were down 5-0.  We tried to come back but just came up short by a run.  It will be a nine inning lunch break today at The Yard as we hope to win the series finale against the Dodgers.

 

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From today’s SA Express News:

“I think it’s just going to be harder for poor kids to go to college,” (State Sen. Steve) Ogden said, “because there’s just not as much financial aid, and if money’s tight at the universities, it’s going to be hard for them to basically provide big discounts for their students to attend.”

We’re better than this.  We’re now a “No Mas” state.  We’re now a state that throws in the towel.  Way to go!

Things ought to get interesting at the Port Commission meeting today.  The Port Chair and the Port CEO are kind of under the gun.  Leading the charge to get things cleared up are Port Commissioners Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier. 
Check out the Chron story.

The Chron E-Board also weighed in on the Port stuff today.  Here is a part of what they said:

(Port Commission Chair Jim) Edmonds has come under fire for taking a tour of Libya with his wife two years ago paid for by AECOM, a port vender that has since hired Edmonds as a consultant. The chairman told the Chronicle’s Jenalia Moreno that his contract with AECOM began last fall and ended this spring. He declined to provide details of the pact, calling it a private business matter. That’s an unacceptable position for the chairman of an agency board that spends taxpayer dollars.

And:

Whatever the findings of the district attorney concerning these allegations, it’s clear the port governors need a stronger code of ethics and increased transparency in their official dealings and on-the-side employment. We urge the commissioners to make instituting those reforms their top priority.
Here is the entire E-Board piece.

You have to give some credit to Commissioners Longoria and Lanier.  The City of H-Town and City Council should be glad that Commissioner Longoria was reappointed last fall if you ask me.

Oh, I almost forgot!  The GOP Tax Assessor-Collector for Harris County also weighed in today on the Port stuff with an Op-Ed in today’s Chron.  He certainly didn’t mince any words like:

While the port generates tremendous economic benefits for this area, its promotion fund generates tremendous benefits for those bold enough to reach into the cookie jar. So much so that(Channel 13’s Wayne) Dolcefino is calling the Port of Houston the "Port-o-Plenty."

Maybe it is. Certainly Harris County no longer is the land of plenty in which mismanagement of the port’s resources can be overlooked or swept under the rug.

The port should immediately increase its accountability by publishing online the promotion fund’s check register and the tour boat’s log of trips and related expenses.     Check out the entire Op-Ed here.

Things ought to get interesting over at the Port so we all better stay tuned!

Four years ago today, this pitcher beat the Mets to become the first pitcher in MLB history to win 200 games and collect 150 saves.  Who am I talking about?

Speaking of “when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”  Zimmerman is celebrating his 70th BD Today – wow!

Last night in Arlington at the Rangers-White Sox game, a high pop foul landed right in front of 43.    Check out the replay here.  I don’t blame him for kind of just freezing up.  I’ve been there before.  Those are the toughest to snag.  I am not a physics expert but it is probably safe to say that the ball comes down faster than it goes up. 

The ATL’s John Smoltz of course pitched seven innings in a 2-1 win over his ex-teammate Tom Glavine of the Mets.

Speaking of, I snagged Pam-In-Charge’s seats at the last minute yesterday so I took McLovin and his steady with me.  I momentarily lost faith in the team and left in the eighth inning when we were behind 3-1.  I got home and watched us make a bottom of the ninth comeback 4-3 win – wow!  What do I know!   It is OK with me as we take on the Dodgers again this evening.

 

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The soon-to-be owner of the ‘Stros met a few days ago with the NAACP to clear up some stuff from his past.  Check out the Chron story on the meeting.  I wonder if the soon-to-be owner of the ‘Stros knows that Latinos make up 43.8% of H-Town and Latinos would probably also like a meeting to clear up some stuff.  Stay tuned!

CEWDEM put out a couple of takes this past weekend on the City of H-Town Latino redistricting effort led by CM James Rodriguez and others. The takes sounded like it came from folks that always fight Latinos on redistricting when in fact they were from Dems.  Here is what they said:

I live in an ethically diverse neighborhood, friends with Latinos, Blacks, Asians, Mid-Eastern, and Anglos.  I am active with my neighbors.  We don’t need someone going to search for someone to be a council member for our district.

And:

So Rodriguez and Gonzlaez, this rhetoric is divisive and insulting to Democrats in our neighborhood. It should be insulting to the folks you represent. Perhaps they should find a good Democratc to run who will represent all of the folks in District H and I.    We should elect a totally Democratic City Council regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation. and dial back rehetoric about race and advocate that Democrats are about good government.

And:

Thanks for taking the time to post and to dare to go out there and say that an ethnic group can be effectively represented by someone other than ‘their own’. Doesn’t the election of our President prove that possible?

Sadly, these folks appear a little threatened and/or miss the point.   Let me remind them what The Mayor said in the Chron a little over a week ago:

"This is an opportunity. It’s not an answer.  If the Latino community gets together behind the right candidate, funds that candidate, assists that candidate in mobilizing voters, there’s no question in my mind that this district can elect a strong Latino leader to City Council to join those that we already have, but it’s not going to happen automatically."  

This is about Latino empowerment that all Dems should support so get over it!  Latino political empowerment is good for the Dem Party here in Harris County – period!  If we start electing Latinos to City Council representing parts of town where the Latino community is growing and if we have a Latino political infrastructure in place then maybe our Latino turnout numbers in even numbered November election years will start increasing.  Get on the program!

The LA Dodgers come to The Yard for a three game series that starts this evening.  Tonight’s game will be our 694th regular season meeting with the Dodgers in our franchise history.  We’re 314-379 against LA.  We’ve only had a winning record against them in one of the six past decades.  Name the decade?

Here is what my pal Robert Miller is saying about congressional redistricting:

Gov. Perry’s aides are telling legislators that a special session on congressional redistricting alone will not be called. Instead the federal courts will be allowed to draw the map. In the summer of 2003, Gov. Perry called three special sessions so that the legislature could draw congressional maps and replace a court drawn plan. The difference between the summer of 2003 and 2011? The Presidency. Team Perry wants everything wrapped up and the legislature gone by May 30; thereby eliminating legislative distractions this summer as Gov. Perry continues to blossom into a very viable possibility for the Republican presidential nomination.

Here is all of what Robert says.

My Best Friend’s kid, Matt Luna, is the star first baseman of HISD’s Lamar High.  This past Saturday night they reached the Regional Semifinals and will play Brazoswood later on this week.  Matt had a key two run double in a 3-0 win and according to his Mom Julie the win was a pretty cool BD present – Julie’s BD was Saturday.

Commentary’s Mom also celebrated her BD this past Saturday!

He is one smart Hoosier for sure!  Give Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels credit (or maybe give his family credit) for joining the ranks of those GOPers that don’t want to get their arses handed to them by The President next year.  RUN, DUDE, RUN!

Commentary checked out “Eat Pray Love” last night and I sure got hungry during her first destination.

In the 1990s of course the ‘Stros were 65-57 against the LA Dodgers.

We should have swept the Blue Jays but Clint Barmes let a groundball go through his legs Saturday afternoon and then the roof fell in.  At least we’re 5-1 all time against the Jays and 2-1 in interleague play.  Let’s hope for a winning home stand that begins tonight!

 

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