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Archive for July, 2011

I’m thinking to bet the under on the over-under Vegas line on the Houston METRO CEO surviving through the August 8 return-to-work-date.   Here are a few tastes from today’s Chron:

Some observers said (METRO CEO George) Greanias, who has led Metro since last September, has been so good for the agency that the embarrassing bombshell should not prevent his continued leadership. Others said the damage to his reputation and Metro’s will be too great for him to continue effectively.

And:

(METRO Board Chair Gilbert) Garcia said he had met with about 30 of Metro’s senior managers, all of whom "support George and feel for him as a human being." Garcia said he also had begun making calls to community members and had received feedback in support of Greanias, who is to return to work Aug. 8.

And:

"I hate to say this because I like George, but he’s got to go, " said Bill King, a Houston businessman who writes frequently on transit issues. "There’s just no way he can continue under these circumstances. It’s a shame for George and a shame for Metro. "Any other person in the organization would be fired on the spot for this. You can’t make an exception for the CEO."

I would be surprised if he survives.  That’s the way it goes.  It is unfortunate but the H-Town Mayor herself is probably going to have to pull the trigger on this.  It is just a matter of when.  Greanias will have a whole lot more folks calling for his ouster than folks publicly supporting him.  I don’t think folks at METRO and the H-Town City Hall want this distraction right now it being the campaign season and stuff like that.  Plus don’t forget that Harris County and the smaller cities also make METRO Board appointments so we may also be hearing from other constituencies as well.  That’s how these deals work so stay tuned!  Check out the Chron piece here.

Nine former MLB players whose last name begins with the letter “C” have hit 300 or more career dingers.  How many do you know?

Commentary stayed glued to CNN last night waiting to see if Speaker Boehner could get in front of the mob.  He couldn’t. 

Commentary will not be a happy camper if the team trades Hunter Pence.  How can they trade away the face of the franchise?  We will regret the trade if it is made – count on it!

“Out there it’s summertime, milk and honey days.  Oh, San Francisco girls, with San Francisco ways!”

For those that are old school like Commentary, the late ‘60s band Fever Tree will be releasing an album next week based on some old tapes – cool!

Check out the Chron piece here on Fever Tree.

Jose Canseco (462), Joe Carter (396), Orlando Cepeda (379), Norm Cash (377), Rocky Colavito (374), Jack Clark (340), Gary Carter (324), Vinnie Castilla (320), and Ron Cey (316) of course are the nine players whose last name starts with the letter “C” who had 300 plus career dingers.

Did I mention that I won’t be happy with the team if they trade Hunter Pence?  Why do they want to get rid of the most favorite ‘Stro?  Oh yeah, we won last night and did a little spoiling in the process as we head into Milwaukee for three.

 

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Guv Dude can’t figure out the role he should play at next week’s Prayer Caucus at Reliant according to today’s Chron.  Check it out.  In other words Dude’s folks are still polling and conducting focus groups on what works best for Dude.

The options for Dude include passing the collection plate, walking down from the upper deck under the spotlight holding up a couple of stone tablets, leading the participants in reciting the “Lord’s Prayer”, passing out fishes and loaves at the concession stand, leading the procession of participants by wearing a crown of thorns and carrying a big wooden cross, reschedule the  event  to a Friday through Sunday Prayer Caucus and making an appearance on the third day, or just hosting a supper the night before for the twelve largest sponsors of the event.   Stay tuned!

Thirty or so federales crossed into the U.S. the other day in the Hidalgo County area.  They safely returned to Mexico.  There is no word yet on whether or not they had just attended a screening of “Viva Max” the night before. 

In MLB All Star Game history, there have been four pitchers that have started games for both the NL and the Al.  Three of them are The Rocket, Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson, and Roy Halladay.  Name the fourth?

At my Uncle Jesse’s funeral yesterday, Rick Noriega gave a very moving and touching eulogy.  Nice job Rick!

The last couple of days the debt limit talks have focused on what is going on within the House GOP Caucus, specifically the Tea Baggers.  The GOP House Speakers called them out and told them to get their arses in line.  The 2008 GOP Prez nominee called the House Tea Baggers “hobbits” – ouch!  I think they are on shaky ground.

Pitching great Vida Blue of course was a starting pitcher for both the AL and the NL All Star teams.  Vida Blue is celebrating his 62nd BD today.

As the MLB trading deadline approaches, the Giants-Mets trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants reminded me of 2004 when we got Beltran in a  trade.  

Last night I thought we were going to be the victim of Corporan Punishment after he botched an easy out at the plate.  Jose Altuve continues to hit in every game he has played.  With the ‘Stros leading 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, with San Luis runners on second and third and two outs, the Skipper decided to pitch to Albert Pujols instead of intentionally walking him.  We struck him out so maybe that says something about a turnaround – maybe? 

 

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The Chron’s Columnist today focuses on Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and campaign contributions.  Of course, once again, if you are not old school like Commentary and go fetch your fish wrap from the front yard every morning, you are going to have to wait a day or so to check it out.

The Columnist says that maybe Vince shouldn’t be taking thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big law firms that do bond business with the County.  Vince’s office now selects the law firm that to do business with the County – got it!   What Vince’s office is doing is not illegal and whether it is ethical or not depends on one’s own ethics.

Of course, Harris County Commissioners routinely select engineers, architects, and contractors to do business within their precincts.   The same engineers, architects, and contractors donate generously to the Commissioners’ campaign accounts.

In Vince’s case it may be different though.  Back in the 1990s as a member of the H-Town City Council, Vince proclaimed himself as a champion of campaign finance reform.   That was nearly twenty years ago so maybe things change.

A way to go goes to Port Commissioners Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier for continuing to get things cleaned up over at the Port.  They took away some benefits that a couple of their colleagues should not be getting.   They also stopped the funding of another study.  Maybe they ought to fund a study to figure out how many PR consultants are working over there.

After 103 games this season, the ‘Stros are a miserable 33-70.  What is out best record ever at the 103 game mark?

The Postal Service announced the list of local post offices that are on the endangered list.  It is now up to members of Congress to save the worthy ones.  Of course, I don’t know why they didn’t put the one on Yale and 11th on the list.  If you ever have to go there take a book to read.

A number of elected officials paid their respects last night to my Uncle Jesse including the H-Town Mayor, CMs James Rodriguez and Melissa Noriega, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, JP Richard Vara, Constable Victor Trevino, Judge Steve Kirkland, and Judge Jim Sharp.

Form the ‘Stros Website:

The Astros will celebrate Houston’s Hispanic community and culture on Saturday, August 20 when the team hosts Los Astros Night at Minute Maid Park. Festivities begin with Hispanic Street Fest from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at KBR Plaza, adjacent to Union Station on Crawford Street. The celebration is presented by Goya Foods, Budweiser and Univision.

And:

For the first time in franchise history, players will wear uniforms that feature the team name in Spanish, Los Astros, across the front of the jersey. The first 10,000 fans at the game will receive a Los Astros T-shirt courtesy of Goya Foods.

 

Way to go to Pam-In-Charge and her crew!

By the way, we play Los Gigantes that weekend.

In 1999, after 103 games, the ‘Stros were 62-41 of course.

You know it is that kind of season when last night we got beat by an Albert Pujols phantom dinger.  Well at least Hunter Pence isn’t trade bait if you believe the trade rumors!

 

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The Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg, the columnist local Dems love, put it on Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee today.  Of course, you only get to read the column this morning if you are old school like Commentary and have to go to your front yard to pick up the fish wrap.  Cong. Jackson Lee is portrayed in the column as being mean spirited toward a staffer with a disability.  Here is a taste:

(Chron columnist Rick) Casey once interviewed an aide who said Jackson Lee told him he was so stupid his son should be embarrassed to have him as a father.

And:

Before the congresswoman takes to the podium again, perhaps she should spend some time with a smaller audience:  the mirror.

 

Yikes!

Kuffer has a bit to say on SD 6.  Here is a taste:

Sen. (Mario) Gallegos has done a lot of good representing this district; he’s certainly voted as I would want him to most of the time. I have no doubt that (former County Commissioner Syliva) Garcia would also do an excellent job if she were to be elected. Having said that, let me say this: Whether by his choice or not, if it is time for new blood in SD06, what I would prefer to see is some actual new blood.

Check out all of Kuffer here.

Commentary will continue to say that this one isn’t over until the filing deadline sings and beyond.

Numero 45 hit his seventh grand salami as a ‘Stro last night.  That is the most ever as a ‘Stro.  Jeff Bagwell and Bob Aspromonte have six.  Two others had five each.  Name the two?

The DREAMERS put the pressure on The President yesterday at NCLR.  Here is from an AP piece today:

But Obama faced a roomful of activists eager for him to do more. Speaking about the high number of deportations that are troubling the Latino community, Obama said he had to enforce the laws that exist and couldn’t change them on his own.

The crowd disagreed and shouted, “Yes you can, Yes you can!”

In face of that reaction – and with an election year approaching and the Hispanic vote ever more important – Obama emphasized that inaction on immigration is not his fault.

“Feel free to keep the heat on me and keep the heat on Democrats, but here’s the only thing you should know – the Democrats and your president are with you, are with you. Don’t get confused about that. Remember who it is we need to move in order to actually change the laws,” he said.

Well actually there were some U.S. Senate Dems that turned their backs on The DREAMERS last fall. 

The Big Puma and Bob Watson of course had five grand salamis apiece as ‘Stros.

We got U2ed last night – sort of.  After a U2 concert at Busch Stadium this past weekend, the team laid out some new turf that tripped up Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, and Jose Altuve.   Excuses, excuses!

 

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From today’s Houston Chronicle Obituaries:

Jesus Thomas Campos, Husband, Father, Brother, Veteran and Community Leader, Jesus Thomas Campos of Houston died peacefully at home Friday, July 22, 2011. He was two weeks shy of his 90th birthday. He was born on August 6, 1921 in Goose Creek (now known as Baytown) to Maria Ramos and Jose Campos. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1941 and enlisted in the Army and served from 1941 – ’46.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Maria Esther Estrada Campos. He is preceded in death by his parents and several siblings, as well as by his daughter, Leah Aguirre of Houston. Jesus is survived by his son, Adrian, and daughters Olga (Kevin Benz of Austin), Edna (Eldon Thomas of Houston and Asheville, NC), as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jesus was proud of his involvement in Houston’s Hispanic community especially his work on behalf of various political candidates, Get-Out-the Vote efforts and improving educational opportunities for Hispanic students. He was also proud of his distinguished military record. During World War II, he was assigned to the 672ND Amphibious Tank Battalion Attached to the 15th Division. He made numerous first assault landings in the Pacific, was wounded twice and was awarded the Purple Heart, 3 Bronze Stars, an Arrowhead in the Asiatic- Pacific and World War II Campaigns and a Good Conduct Medal.

Jesus retired from Exxon after 20 years and was an active member of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans. His recent awards and honors include the Distinguished Hispanic Volunteer from Houston Mayor Bill White in 2007; Eagles Award in 2005 from the San Jacinto Chapter of DAV; Participant in Honor Flight #2 to visit the WWII Memorial in 2009; Fiestas Patrias Distinguished Hispanic Award 2006, recognition by numerous members of the US Congress, the Texas Senate and House; the Houston City Council, the American GI Forum, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. He will be respected, loved and missed by everyone who knew him.
The family will be receiving visitors Tuesday, July 26 from 5- 9 pm with a Rosary at 7p.m.at Forest Park Lawndale, 6900 Lawndale Ave, Houston TX 77023. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 27 at 11 a.m. at Forest Park Lawndale.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American GI Forum of Texas, 2626 South Loop West #320, 77054-2649, Houston, TX 77086; (713) 666-4796; http://www.agiftx.org. Donations will go to the Community in Housing Development which assists with housing for American Veterans.

They failed to mention that Uncle Jesse was the lead plaintiff back in the 1990s in a single member district lawsuit against the City of Houston.  You could always count on Uncle Jesse to lend his support to political efforts within the local Latino community.  A couple of years ago I was setting up an Early Vote press conference at the HCC Southeast Campus.  Uncle Jesse happened to be driving off after early voting and he asked me what I was up to.  I explained. He then pulled his car back into the parking lot and said he was going to stand with us at the press conference.  In May of 2010, after the Arizona legislature enacted SB 1070, local immigrant rights activists staged a pre-game protest across the street from The Yard as the D-Backs visited.  I decided to go check out the protesters and there in 90 degree plus weather was my Uncle Jesse holding up a protest sign.  That’s part of who he was.  He was always there showing his support.

This how the Chron’s lead editorial started out yesterday:

After decades of academic and financial problems at North Forest Independent School District, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott recently ordered an end to the drama: He ordered that the school district be dissolved entirely after the 2011-2012 school year, then absorbed into Houston ISD. It was a decision that needed to be made.

This is how it ends:

North Forest kids have already waited too long for better educations.

Check out the entire editorial here.

Way to go E-Board!

The ‘Stros visit San Luis for four starting this evening.  Name the San Luis players that are on the current active roster that played in the 2005 NLCS versus the ‘Stros?

The Chron has a piece today on the H-Town Mayor’s reelection. 
Check it out here.   The only thing missing from the piece is a serious opponent.

Commentary is hearing that while Guv Dude’s camp continues to analyze a potential run for prez, Dude is sneaking into movie theaters looking for inspiration.  This past weekend it was “Captain America: The First Avenger.”  A couple of weeks ago it was “Transformers:  Dark of the Moon.”  This weekend it will be “Cowboys and Aliens.”

Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Chris Carpenter of course played for San Luis in the 2005 NLCS against the ‘Stros and are currently on the current active roster.

I’m not even going to talk about yesterday’s game that we should have won.  We had bases loaded with one out in the top of the ninth and the scored tied and then Hunter Pence struck out on three pitches and Numero 45 popped out.  We’re spoilers now as we have seven left with San Luis, six left with the Pirates, and nine left with Milwaukee.

 

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Tickets will be issued beginning this Sunday.  In today’s Chron here is what red light camera foe and leader Paul Kubosh says:

"I hope between now and election day they issue 300,000 tickets.  What our political masters have failed to understand is this will never go away, this will never be over. We will never stop fighting this until the cameras are off."

You have to figure Kubosh has something up his sleeve so I guess we have to stay tuned!

Here is what the HPD Chief says:

"The camera can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The camera does not complain about it being cold or hot. The camera can work in the rain, and the camera does not submit an overtime slip."

The camera also doesn’t hang out at Shipley Donuts every morning.

The Joaquin Castro for Congress Campaign picked up a key player to help out.  Democratic fundraiser Jose Villarreal has signed on as treasurer.  Jose – a San Antonio resident – has raised money for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.  Jose is well connected throughout the country.  Nice move by the campaign.

‘Stros pitcher Bud Norris takes the mound this afternoon at Wrigley.  Norris wears the numero 20.  Name the Hall of Fame great that once wore the numero 20 as a ‘Stro for a couple of seasons? 

H-Town CM Jolanda Jones got her another opponent.  Laurie Robinson is a principal at MFR which used to be known as Mir, Fox, Rodriguez – a major H-Town consulting firm.  MFR is well connected in town.  They know a lot of the players.  It will be interesting to see if Robinson can cash in on those connections.

The Lite Guv spoke to the Greater Houston Partnership yesterday.  The Chron says he was “rambling” for thirty minutes. He listed the “sonogram bill” among the accomplishments of the past legislative session.  I’m sure that is what the Partnership wanted to hear about – a good old economic development, job creating, sonogram bill. 

Here is how the Chron.com piece ends:

Dewhurst said he was still in the process of putting together his campaign apparatus and won’t start campaigning all out for some time to come.

I don’t think the fella is in a hurry to start campaigning.  He better watch out.  He might just get out worked.

Hall of Fame pitching great Don Sutton of course wore the numero 20 for the ‘Stros from 1981-1982.

Guv Dude isn’t in yet but word is he’s ordered a focus group put together to see if folks would think he’d look cool and presidential if he campaigned with Captain America’s shield strapped on to his wrist.  Wear it Dude and put on the helmet too!

The ‘Stros start a three game series at Wrigley today and no trades have been made!

 

 

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There is nothing to report this morning on the Senate District 6 race drama.  This is sure to play out until the filing deadline.

Commentary thought that Guv Dude wouldn’t run but he went and met with money folks in California yesterday.  Money folks met in Austin a couple of days ago.  His wife wants him to get out of his “comfort zone.” 
Check out today’s Chron story on Texas fatigue here.

I’m thinking The Mayor got an earful yesterday from some members of the H-Town City Council for calling them out in the Chron prior to the vote on the cell phone contract.  I was watching her press availability after the Council meeting and she was asked about her quote and she kind of sidestepped the issue.  The Mayor won the vote by the way.

City Council takes a break next week and won’t be meeting.

The Chron also reports that Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole paid Rusty Hardin $1.1 mil over the past two years.  With an October trial coming, Eversole only has about $50,000 in his campaign account.  It looks like a fundraiser is coming.  That’s what friends, err vendors and contractors are for! 
Check out the Chron piece here.

Rookie ‘Stro Jose Altuve got into his first game yesterday and got a base hit in his fifth at-bat.  How did Hunter Pence fare at the plate in his first ever MLB ballgame?

According to the ‘Stros GM, everything and everyone is on the table when it comes to trades.  I don’t think fans would react kindly if we traded away Hunter Pence.  I don’t think Numero 45 will be traded because we would probably have to keep paying his salary.  What would be the point in trading Altuve, Jordan Lyles, or Bud Norris?  When the team returns on August 1 against the Reds we could be without Wandy, Brett Myers, Michael Bourn, or Brett Wallace.  Stay tuned!

Hunter Pence went 1 for 3 at the plate of course on April 28, 2007 against the Brewers at The Yard.

We have the day off then head to Wrigley but we won yesterday and are on a two game winning streak!

 

 

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