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Archive for November, 2011

First of all let me get to the important things.

Bethany Arnold is celebrating another BD today!  Happy Birthday Beth! 

Every now and then Commentary participates in the Texas Tribune Insider Poll.  One of the questions this week involves college football.  The question:  Should the legislature pass a law mandating an annual UT/A&M football game?  Absolutely not!   I’d like to see the game continue but big time college athletics is way above my pay grade so I’ll leave it up to the college presidents, ADs, and ESPN gods.  Besides, the legislature would probably screw it up.  During the debate there would for sure be amendments to include Baylor, Tech, and UH into some sort of scheduling rotation.  UH supporters would want to be included into the same conference as UT…blah, blah, blah.  If you ask me, the legislature has better things to screw up.

The front page of the Chron has a story about local police and sheriff deputy organizations issuing a no confidence vote on the Harris County DA.  Here is how the piece starts:

Leaders of six Harris County police organizations Tuesday announced a vote of no confidence in District Attorney Pat Lykos saying she has "shirked her duty" and has turned down viable cases for prosecution.

Here is what the DA said:

"It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra said. The unions never have supported me," Lykos said, laughing. ".

She laughed at them!  She laughed at them!
Here is the entire Chron piece.

All that means is that the two Dem candidates for DA are going to put on their hard-line-on-crime gear to go after the support of these groups.  Let’s see if they also try to out death penalty the current DA and in the process p__s off some of the Dem base.  Stay tuned!

In today’s Statesman, Amarillo GOP State Sen. Kel Seliger, who chaired the Senate Redistricting Committee, says we ought to have 37 state senators.  Good luck with that!   Here is the Statesman piece.

First of all the legislature would have to put it on the ballot.  You think Dems would want a GOP controlled senate to draw up six more state senate seats?   Do you also think that if a constitutional amendment were put on the ballot that the Lone Star State voters are in the mood to create six more state senators?  Dream on!

Hall of Fame greats Carl Yastremski and Brooks Robinson hold the MLB record for most seasons played on the same team.  Yaz played for Boston from 1961 to 1983.  Brooks played for B’More from 1955 to 1977.  Of the two, who played in the most games?

Don’t worry about Dude.  He thinks you can get a license to drive at age 18 and buy a six pack at age 16. 

I got a Kristi Thibaut mailer yesterday and she didn’t mention or slam her opponent. 

On the second day of filing, it looks like longtime Harris County Constable Victor Trevino has an opponent.  Some fella named Gilbert Rey is running in Precinct 6.

Chron columnist Patti Hart has a great column today on the new state house redistricting lines and Pasadena.  Of course, the piece isn’t online yet so you have to be old school like Commentary to check it out.

Yaz of course played in 3,308 games and Brooks played in 2,896 games. 

DON’T FORGET TO GO VOTE EARLY TODAY!

At The Yard yesterday they announced the signing of catcher Carlos Corporan.  Corporan batted .183 this past season and now he has a minor league contract and an invitation to Spring Training.   Heck, Ed Wade could have pulled that move!

 

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Here in Harris County it was kind of the usual suspects filing for reelection in the Dem Party Primary yesterday.  It looks like we’re going to have a choice in the race for Harris County DA next March.  That’s probably a good thing.  Of course, I’m wondering how both candidates are going to deal with the death penalty issue.  That could be interesting in a Dem Primary in a county that loves to award the death penalty.   I guess I might as well ask them both:  What do you think about the death penalty?

I ruffled a feather yesterday when I said this:

Let’s see who steps up in the reconfigured HD 134.  Let’s hope it isn’t a Dem retread.

Some fella took it personally.  Sorry!  Here is how I responded to him:

I hope you and others don’t take it personally.  I will now be voting in the reconfigured HD 134.  Winning the district in November isn’t going to be easy.  I’m hoping we can produce a nominee that can excite the base as well as appeal to independent voters.

During the 1960s, the SF Giants averaged 91 wins per season.  What five Hall of Fame greats played with them then?

You know Herman Cain is just about done when a late night talk show host said last night that Herman Cain’s belt buckle was made out of mistletoe – yikes!

Commentary made a mistake yesterday.  I said the San Diego Chargers kicker was doing the #2 on the sidelines Sunday afternoon when it really was just the #1.

Meanwhile, Lone Star State politicos are nervously eyeing the U.S. Supreme Court to see what they decide to do on the state’s redistricting maps.  Any bets? 

Hall of Fame greats Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, and Juan Marichal of course all played for the Giants in the 1960s.

It turns out the best Holiday Party of the season is moving to Chicago this year. Now that’s a bummer!   How can they do that?  They don’t even have a Hotel ZaZa in Chicago!

Commentary thinks new ‘Stros CEO George Postolos is a nice fella.  I worked with him when we passed the arena vote ten years or so ago when he was COO of the Rockets.   I hope George does a good job because I’ll still be going to The Yard.  Remember though, George doesn’t have a ring either.  He came to the Rockets after they won a couple of NBA titles.  Heck, he hasn’t even been to the NBA finals.   We should all have high expectations but we should also have patience.  

 

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Candidate filing for office starts today at your local or state party headquarters so let the campaigns begin!  With the federal judges ordering new state house, senate, and congressional lines, it will be an interesting next couple of weeks or so.  Commentary hears there may be surprises in the works so you better stay tuned!

Let’s see who steps up in the reconfigured HD 134.  Let’s hope it isn’t a Dem retread.

Here is a response to the CM James Rodriguez Chron Op-Ed thanking Drayton:

Let’s all thank billionaires (Drayton is largest Walmart stockholder) for allowing taxpayers to build and maintain ballparks so they can get even richer than before. Meanwhile we can lay off teachers, municipal employees and reduce school services.

May joy and peace follow you forever. 

Here is how Commentary responded:

You know, we actually had an election in November of 1996 and the Harris County voters decided how a portion of the stadium would be funded.  I won’t even bother to try to explain the funding source the voters approved.

Then he responded with this:

There were also elections in the early 1900s that gave us Jim Crow Laws. Whats your point? Wrong is wrong    

May joy and peace follow you forever.

Oh brother!   Jim Crow laws and sports stadiums in the same debate, I’m not even going to respond to that. 

What two cities did the A’s call home before 1968, when they moved to Oakland?

Let’s see now, the Texans are on a five game winning streak and a lot of the fans are bummed out because it looks like the third string QB is running the offense from here on out.  I say give the fella a chance because that’s all we have.    The Texans are 8-3 and of course they wouldn’t even exist today if the Drayton led referendum hadn’t passed here in Harris County in November of 1996. 

After a CBS camera crew caught the Chargers’ kicker doing the #2 next to the Gatorade cooler, I wonder if the NFL Commissioner will order port-a-potties next to each bench. 

The GOP Texas AG is crying all the way to the courthouse because the redistricting maps are looking a bit different these days.   Hey, you guys tried a blatant and disgusting power play and it backfired.  You guys forgot about something called the Voting Rights Act that applies here in the Lone Star State.   You have to wonder if there were any rational GOP voices behind closed doors that were urging a more cautious approach.  Now you have the Williams twins up in North Texas looking for a place to run.  You have nobody to blame but yourselves. 

This past Saturday I got a mailer from City of H-Town At-Large 5 run-off candidate jack Christie. 75% of the mailer slams his opponent CM Jolanda Jones.  What else is new?

Philadelphia (1901-1954) and Kansas City (1955-1967) of course once hosted the A’s. 

You had to figure it was going to happen.  I’m talking about ‘Stros President of Baseball Operation Tal Smith and GM Ed Wade getting the old heave ho.    I wonder if Tal get to take his hill with him.

 

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Newt is way smarter than Guv Dude and that’s for sure.  Al last night’s debate, Newt was able to articulate his position on immigration and he held his ground.  He made his point with sound reasons that focused on keeping law abiding, taxpaying families together.  It looked like he even made Mitt squirm a bit.

Dude just can’t seem to explain his position on immigration.  He gets on the defensive rather than take a proactive stance like Newt did last night.  I just don’t think that Dude can think on his own two feet.

What can I say about Herman Cain?  I can say that he lacks depth and is shallow.

Brewer left fielder Ryan Braun won the NL MVP Award yesterday.  Braun is one of most exciting players to watch so I don’t have a problem with him winning.  Who was the last Brewer to win an MVP Award?

If you are of the Spanish-Speaking persuasion and watch Univision, you have probably checked out the third party ads being run locally by the American Chemistry Council saying good things about Cong. Gene Green and his efforts to create jobs in the H-Town area.  The ads will run for a couple of more weeks.

The Houston Association of REALTORS put out their run-off endorsements and Andrew Burks in At-Large 2 was on the list.  HBAD put out their list yesterday and Kristi Thibaut was on their list in At-Large 2.  Huh!

Hall of Fame great Robin Yount of course won the AL MVP Award in 1989 as a Brewer.

Yesterday my pal Drayton turned over the team.  Here is what State Rep. Carol Alvarado put out:

“Drayton McLane, Jr. will forever have a place in the heart of Houston; over the last nineteen years, Mr. McLane’s gregarious leadership has made our Astros a champion on and off the field.  Anyone who has visited Minute Maid Park will miss seeing Mr. McLane walking through the concourse, interacting with fans in a way no one else could.  It is a bittersweet day as we thank Mr. McLane and his family for nearly two decades of dedication to the greater Houston community.  My family and I are honored to call Drayton McLane our friend.”

Here is today’s Chron Op-Ed by CM James Rodriguez:

Drayton McLane turned over ownership of the Houston Astros last week, ending an 18-year run that has earned him a place among the city’s most accomplished men. He is at the forefront of those whose contributions to our city over the past 20 years have made Houston a better place to live.

I represent Houston City Council District I, which includes Minute Maid Park. McLane was at my swearing-in ceremony on a frigid January morning in 2008 at the soon-to-be completed Discovery Green. As I sat there and looked out across the city, I couldn’t help but think that it was McLane’s vision that sparked the development in the eastern part of downtown.

Prior to the opening of Minute Maid Park in 2000, there weren’t a lot of destinations to complement the George R. Brown Convention Center in that part of downtown. In 1996, McLane spearheaded a countywide election to let the voters decide on funding the construction of a baseball stadium at the old Union Station. He assembled business, civic and political leaders to get behind the referendum. He put in some of his own money and raised the rest necessary to finance a winning campaign. He organized a group of corporate leaders to raise the cash to acquire the land for the ball park.

Once construction started in 1997, developers, entrepreneurs and planners started looking at east downtown for viable projects. The construction of Toyota Center followed, along with a number of first-class hotels and fine restaurants. There’s been a growth in residential units in the area, including lofts, a luxury high-rise, apartments and townhomes. Construction of the new Dynamo Stadium, which is located a few blocks from Minute Maid Park, will be completed next year.

A community is steadily growing around this development. We still have obstacles to overcome, but the area looks a lot different than it did 15 years ago. McLane accurately predicted that a new baseball park would greatly affect the quality of life in the area. Today in its 12th year of operation, Minute Maid Park continues to be a first-rate destination for baseball fans. Despite the team’s recent failings on the field, families continue to attend and enjoy the stadium’s amenities.

McLane’s commitment to make a positive difference in the community has touched us all, from chairing a key initiative for the Greater Houston Partnership, to his involvement with United Way, and even having the Astros in Action Foundation participate in endeavors that included raising $1 million for Hurricane Ike victims. The Astros Urban Youth Academy that opened last year has served hundreds of inner city kids as well.

A champion of diversity, McLane made sure women and minorities played a major role in the design and construction of the ballpark. In fact, 30 percent of the current food service operation at Minute Maid Park is owned by local women and minority investors. He named Pam Gardner as president of business operations in 2001 and she has earned the distinction of being the longest-tenured female chief executive in Major League Baseball.

I first met McLane when I was a batboy for the Astros, which was also McLane’s first year as the owner. He was the real deal. It didn’t matter who you were; from future Hall of Famer to batboy, he treated everyone with kindness and respect. He led the team by example, asking every employee he encountered what they were doing that day to make the club a champion. The positive culture, can-do spirit and drive to make the team the best was embodied from the front office to the clubhouse and on the field.

When McLane took over the Astros, the team had been in playoffs only three times in its 31-year history. Under McLane’s stewardship, the team has been to the playoffs six times, including the World Series in 2005. Media critics have taken McLane to task for the team’s poor performance over the past couple of years. How quickly they forget that McLane signed players like Randy Johnson, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to help the team.

Houston is a better place because of McLane’s tenure as owner of the Astros. We owe him our thanks.

Nice job James!

We’ll miss you Drayton!

Commentary will be taking a few days off and I’ll see you Monday so go have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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Chris Moran of the Chron had a piece yesterday on City Council District A run-off candidate Helena Brown’s take on history.   Here is what Brown said in some sort of chat room:

“… giving the need for the United Nations, whose leaders all have been communists.”

Woah!  U.N. Secretary Generals have come from the U.K., Norway, Sweden, Burma, Austria, Peru, Egypt, Ghana, and South Korea.  That’s not exactly red square material.

Here is another taste of what Helena Brown says:

Contrary to current popular opinion, General Francisco Franco of Spain was a pretty good leader, yes he was a “dictator.” He was not part of the powers that be, he fought against them and was not a friend of Hitler, in spite of the smart video footage we have of their meeting.

Oh yeah!  If he was such a good leader, how come most of the stuff that General Franco had named for himself was renamed in the years after he croaked?  The same thing goes for the statues he had erected for himself.  Only one remains.   I’m not even going to mention the tens of thousands of Spaniards General Franco had eliminated just for disagreeing with him.  Whoever heard of a dictator being a “pretty good leader” anyway?
Check out the Helena Brown takes from chron.com here.

No telling what would fall out of her piehole if she was at the City Council table.  I don’t think she could find mainstream if you spotted her the m-a-i-n-s-t-r-e-a….  I’m thinking that Brown would probably even make her fellow Tea Baggers blush.

Former Tax Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt, and former District A CMs Helen Huey and Toni Lawrence all support Helena Brown.  I wonder if they share her views on weird world history. 

Name the MLB team that once produced 5 consecutive Rookie of the Year winners?

Commentary got this yesterday from the Say It Ain’t So Dept:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce I will be leaving Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on January 13th to pursue a new position with our national office.

Mini Timmaraju

Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations

Planned Parenthood

We hate to see Mini leave but this looks like a great opportunity, plus she is still in the game!

48 YEARS AGO TODAY – WOW!  I STILL REMEMBER!

At-Large 5 run-off candidate Jack Christie got one of CM Jolanda Jones’ former employees to rat on her yesterday.  What else is new?  Yawn! 
Check out the Chron story here.   This is stale stuff!

Meanwhile, a Kubosh fella endorsed CM Jones.  Check it out here.

I guess I’ll watch the debate tonight to see who stumbles this time.

The Dodgers of course produced 5 consecutive NL Rookie of the Year winners:  Eric Karros (1992), Mike Piazza (1993), Raul Mondesi (1994), Hideo Nomo (1995), and Todd Hollandsworth (1996).

My pal Drayton officially turns over the team today.

 

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CEWDEM is airing a mini debate of sorts about the State Democratic Executive Committee putting some stuff on the ballot for the March Democratic Primary and leaving some stuff off.  The DREAM Act, gambling, and college tuition made the cut.  The death penalty, marriage equality, and legalizing marijuana were left behind.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t know about you, but I’d be more proud to be a member of a political party that stood for same sex marriage than for casino gambling.  The word cowardly comes to mind if you ask me.  This is 2011, fixing to be 2012, or way past the Ice Age, or as they say – missed opportunity. 

Meanwhile, my pal Jacob Monty had this Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron cracking on the President on immigration issues.   Check it out.

I can’t find it in today’s Chron.com even though it is in the hard copy, but Federal Judge Vanessa Gilmore drew a new Harris County Commissioners map and here is what lead plaintiff CM James Rodriguez said:  “The court is taking into account that the vast majority of growth in our city is made up of Latino and African American communities.  This new map is fair representation of that growth.”

Name the former MLB great with the most career dingers without ever playing in a World Serious?

Bonus:  This MLB Hall of Fame great is 3rd in career doubles with 725, 4th in career base hits with 3,630, and 5th in career RBIs with 1,951.  Who am I talking about?

H-Town is starting to ratchet up the football fever with the Texans holding a two game lead in the AFC South with six games to go and the Coogs needing to win the next two to finally make a BCS appearance.  Of course, the Texans are without their starting QB and the Coogs are only favored by 3 this Friday at Tulsa. 

Commentary has never been one of those that show up at the stores the day after Thanksgiving to buy stuff.  I usually wait until mid December.  I think it is kind of ridiculous to open the stores at 8 pm Thanksgiving evening.  The employees aren’t even given a day to give thanks.

Speaking of, even the Christmas tunes started early on the radio this year.  They usually wait until Thanksgiving Day but I was twirling the dial and voila – there they were. 

New Radio 92.1 FM is now on the air so check it out.  Who knows?  Maybe they will start giving some air time to local campaign races and local politics.  Maybe they will do remotes from The Roundtable!

The great Ken Griffey, Jr. of course has 630 career dingers and never played in World Serious.

Hall of Fame great Stan “The Man” Musial of course had 725 career doubles, 3,630 career base hits, and 1,951 career RBIs.

“Stan the Man” is celebrating his 91st BD today and has been under the weather lately.  Junior is celebrating his 42nd BD today.

My pal Drayton officially turns over the keys to The Yard tomorrow.

 

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What goes around comes around!  I don’t think the GOP is too happy with the new maps that were issued yesterday by federal judges.  I’m guessing that they won’t be happy when the new Congressional maps are issued any day now.  Greed is not good, fellas!

It looks like things will be a bit more interesting in certain State House Dem primaries.  Stay tuned!

Folks need to start paying attention to the City Council, District A run-off.  I’m hearing some scary things about CM Brenda Stardig’s opponent.   There will be more on her later.

Commentary dropped by The Dean’s annual reception last night.  The Dean was introduced by his Chief of Staff Lara Wendler.  Lara is one of the best at the State Capitol.  The Dean is lucky to have her running his ship.  The Dean announced that his daughter Whitney is now engaged to John Jenkins.  (John used to work for Commentary before he decided to get better educated and get a real job.)  Congrats to Whitney and John!

Commentary got meet Lara’s hubby, Austin CM Mike Martinez.  He’s a real nice fella.

The Hand Doctor showed up last night at the reception.  What’s up with that?  That was kind of weird.

Who holds the MLB record for career dingers as a Designated Hitter (DH)?

Would somebody please yank Herman Cain off of the stage?  The joke is no longer on him, it’s him!  Cubans don’t speak Cuban.  Mexicans don’t speak Mexican.  And the Irish don’t speak Irish.

Guv Dude is still hanging around and now wants to do away with Congress, sort of.  Poor Dude!  Somebody needs to show him the Constitution.

David Ortiz of course holds the DH record for career dingers with 331.  The Big Papi is celebrating his 36th BD today!

The ‘Stros sale will be made official Tuesday.  The new owner says he wants input from the fans on all sorts of stuff like uniforms and logos.  We don’t need a new logo or uniforms if you ask me, but they don’t ask me. 

 

 

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