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Archive for December, 2011

This will be the final uneventful Commentary of 2011.  I’ll be back on Monday.

We will start off the New Year next week still not knowing the final legislative and congressional lines here in the Lone Star State.

We will have a 17 person H-Town City Council with the addition of J and K.

We will also have 7 new members of City Council.  (Maybe one of them will ask the Mayor or City Attorney if the much ballyhooed bandit sign patrol that was announced before the election netted any culprits or fines since Little Dick still has some signs out there.)

We can expect City Council meetings to last a little longer since two more members will want to have their say during pop-off and will want to ask questions on agenda items and to speakers.

Born with name of Sanford Braun, this Hall of Fame great changed his last name and had a remarkable 12-year career in the MLB.  Who am I talking about?

We will know Sunday evening who the Texans will face next weekend in the playoffs.

We still don’t know who will be our Opening Day starter when we face the Rockies at The Yard on April 6.

We will get to see if H-Town CMs Mike Sullivan and Wanda Adams fill out their terms.

We will see by the end of next year a name or two or three pop up as possible challengers to The H-Town Mayor in 2013.

We will know by next Tuesday night who will be the first casualties of the Iowa GOP Caucuses.

We will get to decide who is the fairest of them all when two different Snow White flicks are released – one starring Julia Roberts and one with Charlize Theron, both as the Evil Queen.

We will find out if former Commissioner Evergoner will serve time.

We will find out if Jeff Bagwell makes it to the Hall of Fame.

Sandy Koufax of course used to be Sanford Braun.  Sandy Koufax is celebrating his 76th BD today!

We will find out who The President will face.

We will find out if George Clooney gets to take home the Oscar for his great performance in “The Descendants”.

We will get one more year of National League play.

We will get to see if we make it to 12/13/12.

We will get to see if Iraq can make it without U.S. troops.

We will get to see if U.S. House Speaker Boehner can get his Tea Baggers under control.

We will get to see the new ‘Stros owners in action and that’s all I have from The Yard!

Happy New Year and be safe out there tomorrow evening!

 

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I found this Latino vote article in the SA Express News today.  Check it out.

Here is a piece:

Although Latinos strongly disapprove of President Barack Obama‘s immigration policies, which have brought high numbers of deportations, they would favor him by wide margins over a Republican candidate in the presidential race, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.

Yet if the election were held now, the poll suggests, Obama would win a matchup with Mitt Romney: 68 percent of Latino voters said they favor Obama; only 23 percent favored the former Massachusetts governor.

And:

But it finds that Latinos overwhelmingly, by 91 percent, support legislation known as the DREAM Act that would give legal status to illegal immigrants who are in college. And 84 percent of Latinos said those students should be allowed to pay state resident tuition rates at public colleges.

Romney has opposed both policies.

And:

“As the election draws near and Latino voters become more informed about the devastating effect the president’s policies are having on their community, they will increasingly look more seriously at the Republican candidate,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, a Republican group.

Dream on Aguilar.  As long as your GOP embraces hateful Tea Bagger policies, we’re voting the Dem ticket.   Of course, the Dem Party gets it in places like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and California.  Here in the Lone Star State and in the Houston area, Dem Party leaders haven’t figured out that engaging the Latino vote is the way to build a winning Dem Party.

Name the MLB team that was the first to draw over 2 million fans in a season?

Yesterday I gave a mention to Rick Santorum.  Later in the day a new Iowa poll was released showing Santorum surging into third place.  What do I know?

Here is the Chron piece on longtime Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia deciding not to run for reelection.

Sports 610 is taking Jim Rome off of the air – bummer!  No more Brad in Corona, Steve Carbone, Iafrate, NoCal, SoCal, epic takes, Jeff in Richmond, Jay Mohr,  Trapper, H-Town, The ATL, Bugaha, the basement, Chowderheads, Crapchester, fishwrap, Mike in Wichita, J-Stew, Silk in Huntington Beach, C-Town, huge call of the day, and smack-offs.  Check out the Chron piece on Romie here.

So long clones!  Good night now!

The Yankees of course were the first to hit the 2 million mark with 2,265,512 going to old Yankee Stadium in 1946, the year after the end of WWII.

It turns out that Cheetah the Chimp story was a hoax.  Experts are saying there is no way Cheetah lasted 80 years.  Oh well.

Once again nothing from The Yard.

 

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In case local Dems haven’t noticed, longtime Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia is no longer on the Dem primary ballot.  Oh well!

During the Academy Awards they have a segment where they show the folks from movies that have died the past year.  Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Falk, and director Sidney Lumet will be among those that will be featured next February.  Cheetah the Chimp of the 1930s Tarzan movies passed this past Christmas Eve at age 80.  If you ask me, I think Cheetah ought to get a mention during the memorial segment of the upcoming Academy Awards.

Name the MLBer who hit the most doubles this past season?

Comedian Bill Maher had some fun at Tim Tebow’s expense after the Bills manhandled Tebow and the Broncos on Christmas Eve.  Commentary has said before that I don’t have a problem with Tebow, or Tebowing, or GB2, or praising the man up above after every touchdown.  I also don’t have a problem with Maher and his First Amendment right.

Speaking of the Academy Awards, some North Korean watchers are now saying that all that hysterical crying over the loss of their leader is a fake job.  I sure hope so or else that country needs a whole lot of therapy.

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers of course hit 48 doubles this past season to lead the MLB.

You have to hand it Rick Santorum and his low expectation strategy.  He told CNN yesterday that he will consider it a victory if he finishes ahead of Guv Dude and Congresswoman Bachman next week in Iowa – huh!

Nothing from The Yard today – sorry!

 

 

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From the Who Gives a Rat’s Arse Department:  Guv Dude missed getting on the ballot of the March 6 GOP primary in Virginia.  Does it really matter?  Dude will probably be out of the race by the end of the South Carolina primary on January 21. 

You know Dude’s days are numbered on the campaign trail when folks are already asking:   Will he run for reelection in 2014?  What would he do if he’s not Governor?  Will he be a weaker Governor when he returns?  Will he be much of a factor during the 2013 legislative session?

Who led the MLB in hitting the most triples this past season?

14 is the number of nativity scenes that we counted at my Mom’s on Christmas Day including one in the front yard and one in a snow globe.  That’s 42 wise men if you’re counting.

The streak was kept alive on Christmas Day as My Best Friend and Julie gave me a set of The Beatles glasses.  MariGirl also gave me a Constitution tie – cool.

I checked out “The Descendants” with George Clooney yesterday.  Clooney nailed it.  There is no justice if Clooney doesn’t take home the Oscar this year.  It is a very good movie so go check it out!

Speaking of Hawaii, new Fish Jose Reyes and Shane “The Flying Hawaiian” Victorino of course each had 16 triples to lead the MLB this past season.  Reyes played in only 126 games and The Flying Hawaiian in only 132 games.

We got an email from The Yard this past weekend inviting us to a meeting with the new owner next month. 

 

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Commentary is a big fan of CNN’s Congressional correspondent Dana Bash.  She’s back from maternity leave.  Yesterday she was the first to report that GOP House Speaker John Boehner reversed course on the payroll tax issue.  Bash used words like “caved” and “relented” to describe the GOP setback in D.C.  Bash definitely set the tone for just about every other national media outlet to claim that Boehner and his team flamed out big time.  It is so bad for the GOP that they couldn’t even try to spin this defeat.

Here is what Boehner said about his position before he “caved”:  “may have not been politically the smartest thing in the world.”

Here is what GOP Woodlands Rep. Kevin Brady said:  In the end House Republicans felt like they were reenacting the Alamo, with no reinforcements and our friends shooting at us."

They left the Tea Baggers out on the limb with this one, tsk, tsk, tsk.

This Tea Bagger policy and position was deservedly rejected and tossed in the trash bin.

They gave The President and the rest of us Dems a nice little stocking stuffer.

They handed themselves a nice lump of coal for their stockings.

They blinked big time.

They put a big time hurt on Speaker Boehner’s ability to lead.

The GOP “caved” and “relented” and looked just plain old stupid and out of touch.

They got outsmarted by The President and Dem Senate leaders.

They were humiliated.

They made our Christmas a bit merrier.

Keep hope alive!

If you get this one – well what can I say?  This MLBer led this past season in number of times striking out at the plate – 205.  He only batted .243 this past season and had a measly 15 dingers.  Hint:  He plays in the NL Central and he was born in Texarkana, Texas and played at UT.

To all the local Texans fans that have an upset hangover this morning – try some greasy breakfast tacos at La Mexicana because I don’t think Spanish Flower sells menudo on Fridays.  That sure was painful last night – drats!

Drew Stubbs of the Reds course has the dubious honor of leading the bigs in whiffs with 205 in 2011.

Former ‘Stro Carlos Beltran signed with San Luis yesterday and all I can tell you about The Yard is that they have a nice tree ornament for sale at the Team Store.

Commentary is going to take a few days off for Christmas, a flick or two, family, friends, last minute shopping, good grub, and spreading good cheer.  I’ll see you next Tuesday.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

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It is always good to know that Commentary is read at the H-Town City Hall.  City Council decided yesterday to postpone the vote on strapping on more fees and regulations on auto repair businesses. Check out the Chron story here.

City Council decided it wasn’t worth it to p__s off more folks. 

Here is from yesterday’s Chron before the vote on adopting the ordinance:

"We think the votes are there and so we’re moving forward," said Janice Evans, (Mayor Annise) Parker’s spokeswoman.

They didn’t have the votes.  If they had eight or more votes the measure would have been adopted. 

They also didn’t have community support.  They got a classic push-back from auto repair business owners.  It appears that this measure was driven by a few at City Hall and there wasn’t any buy-in from the community.  The only folks that spoke in favor were insurance representatives.   The majority of City Council recognized that this wasn’t good public policy and refused to support the measure.

This was grass roots politics at work that did actually work.  This wasn’t a powerful interest group that bought its way at City Hall.  These were small business owners from throughout the city that saw their efforts pay off.  I don’t have a problem with that.

Everybody knows that The Rocket has the most Cy Young Awards – 7 – and Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson has 5.  Name the two former pitching greats that are tied at #3 with four Cy Young Awards each?

Congrats go to new Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis.! Good luck!

It was that kind of year at City Hall.  It didn’t exactly end on the best technical note.  Council Members got to say their final goodbyes at the end of the year end Council meeting and then the audio and visual bugs took over.  You got to hear their speeches on the tube but the camera shots were from a distance then they had to sit in the Mayor’s chair because hers was the only live microphone – oh well!

Hall of Fame great Steve Carlton of and soon to be Hall of Fame great Greg Maddux of course have each won the Cy Young Award four times.  Lefty is celebrating 67th BD today.

Alyson Footnote has some nice holiday greeting photos of ‘Stros from today and yesterday wishing us Happy Holidays.  Check some of your favorite ‘Stros here.

 

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Commentary was watching the City Council meeting yesterday and auto repair business owner after auto repair business owner let Council know that they didn’t think it was a good idea to approve a new ordinance that straps some more fees and regulations on them.    The auto repair business owners made a pretty good case that the ordinance needed more review and input and shouldn’t be voted on today.  They talked about businesses shutting down and jobs being lost.  Check out the Chron story here.

The defenders of the ordinance are calling this a consumer protection measure.  So how come they had an insurance industry lawyer from GEICO come and testify on behalf of the ordinance?  I feel better already that the insurance industry is looking after consumers – yikes!

Here is from the Chron:

One of the ordinances, supplementing automotive business regulations, sparked four hours of public comments Tuesday, mainly from business owners who said the rules would be costly and complicate operations. The proposal would require repair and body shops to obtain permission before doing work that would add more than $100 to customers’ initial estimates.

Business owners complained that the delays and added record-keeping requirements would hurt high-volume operations that rely on speed. They said they have heard no complaints from customers about unexpected costs.

I tell you what, if this ordinance had been brought up before the election last month, some city incumbents might have had tighter races and some might have been thrown into a runoff. 

Here is more from the Chron:

(Mayor Annise) Parker and some other council members have argued that each proposal has been crafted over more than a year and has been before the council for about a month as community members have offered additional feedback on them.

And:

Parker has said that she wanted to pass the new regulations before the end of the year. A delay would open the door for newly elected council members to potentially delay the legislation further.

So what!   There is absolutely nothing wrong in letting the new Council members take a look at the measure.  The folks that showed up at City Hall yesterday have serious concerns that need to be taken into consideration.  Running roughshod over them is a very bad move.

I’m thinking the city ought to slow down a little on this and take it back to the drawing board.  They’re fixing to p__s off a whole lot of folks.

It gets messier as CM Jolanda Jones calls out the police sergeant that is one of the brains behind the ordinance.  Check out the Chron story.
Like I said, is this really necessary?

Name the three MLB Hall of Fame greats that were born on Christmas Day? Hint:  One once wore a ‘Stros uniform,  one had 81 career lead-off dingers, and one won 361 games as a pitcher.

It looks like the courthouse drama will continue and will probably be an issue in the GOP DA’s race as the Harris County Assistant DA wasn’t compelled to testify yesterday.

Here is from the Chron:

"For the life of me, I can’t even see why this is being investigated," said First Assistant District Attorney Jim Leitner. "I can see no criminal action that can even be looked at as far as what I know about the BAT vans."

Then why don’t you let your colleague testify?  The DA’s Office is looking pretty bad on this.

MLB Hall of Fame great and career lead-off dinger leader Rickey Henderson (1958), Nellie Fox (1927) who made his bones with the White Sox but played in H-Town in 1965 and 1965, and Pud Galvin (1856) of course were all born on Christmas Day.  Ok, Pud Galvin pitched in the 19th century with teams like the St. Louis Brown Stockings, the Buffalo Bisons, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, the Pittsburgh Burghers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Browns and was also MLB’s first 300 game winner and ended up with 361 games won – got it!

I guess I’ll swing by The Yard today or tomorrow to do a little gift shopping!

 

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The Harris County DA has a bit of a problem these days and one of her assistants isn’t helping out by taking the Fifth over at the courthouse.  
Check out the Chron story here.

The Assistant DA Rachel Palmer is now crying that “the fix is in.”  Oh, no!

Commentary thinks she comes from a family of cry babies.  According to the Chron, her hubby is GOP political activist Don Hooper. (If this is the same Don Hooper,)Hooper who was helping out anti Rebuild Houston candidates tried to get into H-Town CM James Rodriguez’s face at the HCC Early Vote location this past November and CM Rodriguez ripped him a good one and Hooper went crying to the authorities claiming intimidation or something like that.   He just got a taste of our politics if you ask me and it didn’t taste too good.   Hooper used his connections to get County Attorney investigators to come out to HCC during the latter part of early voting and waste their time sitting on their arses in county vehicles.

If politics is Palmer’s excuse, then it looks like a case where she just got outmaneuvered.   Of course, I don’t know how taking the Fifth helps your politics.  It looks like the truth does hurt.

Lisa Falkenberg’s column today has more on the courthouse mess that you can only read if you pick up a hard copy of the Chron.

MLB Baseball executive Branch Rickey was born 130 years ago today and he left us way back in 1965.  Rickey was the executive who made the move to get Jackie Robinson into MLB back in 1947 breaking the color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Rickey also served as a MLB skipper.  Who did he manage?

You know we have a long way to go when we celebrate the fact that a “name” filed for U.S. Senate as a Dem.  Former State Rep. Paul Sadler filed for the U.S. Senate.  H-Town lawyer Jason Gibson also filed for U.S. Senate.  I’ve never heard of him.

Somebody did one of those genealogy searches on Guv Dude and turns out he’s related to Sam Houston.  I bet if they do a little more searching they will find a Soupy Sales kinfolk connection.

Branch Rickey managed the St. Louis Browns (now B’More) from 1913-1915 and San Luis from 1919-1925 of course.

There is still nothing good to report from The Yard!

 

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My pal Robert Miller put out a real good take on CM-Elect Andrew Burks’ fundraiser that was attended by a number of H-Town’s key players.  Since the election nine days ago some of have said that Andrew is a one term council member.  Now that is kind of silly since I don’t consider Andrew’s win a fluke.  He had folks behind him.  They may not have been folks that I agree with but they were still players.   Liberals/progressives weren’t for Andrew but guess what?  They sat on their arses and didn’t turn out to vote.  What makes folks thing they can take Andrew out in two years.   He will have a year and a half of or so of working with The Mayor and City Council on running this city.  He’ll be making appearances across the city as a sitting Council member.   Heck, he will be Council Member Andrew Burks.

Like I said, it is kind of silly to start labeling Andrew as a one termer.  You have to have somebody willing to run against him.   Next time he will have more money and he will have more endorsing groups behind him.   I for one am willing to see how he serves the public.  Check out Robert’s take here.

Name the Hall of Fame great that led the NL in ERA five years in a row and then retired?

Speaking of being silly, I kind of think it is silly and not helpful to the process when the so-called leaders try to tell folks who the candidates should be.  Like here in HD 134.  There are a number of folks not satisfied about being told that a certain Ann Johnson should be the only candidate.  Nobody has ever heard of her.   How and why are Dems supposed to be enthused about her candidacy in the general election?

Same goes for HD 144, instead of reaching out and building Dem support in the Pasadena area by embracing Pasadena CM Ornaldo Ybarra, folks are pulling a Ben Reyes style move and supporting HCC Trustee Mary Ann Perez.  That is old style politics that does absolutely nothing to build the Dem Latino base.  That has a bad smell and taste and shame on those leaders.

Commentary is glad that Gen Wu jumped into the HD 137 race and is standing up to the BS of silly folks telling us who should be our candidates. Run Gene, run!

Commentary went to the game yesterday with My Best Friend and we lost – bummer.  

Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax of course led the NL in ERA from 1962-1966 then retired after the 1966 season.

Speaking of more silliness, the H-Town City Council is fixing to do a little more regulating that has some folks upset. 
Check out this Op-Ed from this weekend’s Chron.
Do we really need this?  Are we paying attention to what the H-Town voters just said this past week and last month?   Why do we want to keep p__ing off folks?

I don’t have anything to report from The Yard. 

 

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H-Town CM Mike Sullivan is running for Tax Assessor Collector in the GOP primary. CM Sullivan is challenging the incumbent Don Sumners.  That ought to be a lively contest.

H-Town CM Wanda Adams is running for State Rep in District 131 in the Dem Primary challenging incumbent Alma Allen.  This one also ought to be lively.  CM Adams is a good campaigner and has some money in her campaign account.   She could very well pull this off.

H-Town CM Jarvis Johnson is running for Harris County School Board Trustee, Position 6 Pct 1.

HCC Trustee Mary Ann Perez is running for State Rep in District 144 in the Dem Primary.

I don’t have a problem with this but sometimes these moves don’t always work out and in some cases backfire.  One in particular will probably get an unexpected result so you had better stay tuned!

Commentary got a cool Christmas gift yesterday.  It is a box of chocolates from an outfit called Olive & Cocoa.   I tried some last night….delicious.

This former MVPer and Rookie of the Year winner has 1,043 career base hits and has also struck out 1,207 times.  He also has 286 career dingers after eight seasons in the big leagues.  Who am I talking about? 

You have to figure there is a mess over at the Harris County DA’s office when one of the top prosecutors is taking the fifth.  

Commentary didn’t watch the debate last night so I didn’t get to see Guv Dude try to do a Tebow. 

Of course, the rap on Tebow is that he brings out the best in his players.  You definitely can’t say that about Dude. 

Phillies great Ryan Howard of course has 1,043 career hits and has whiffed at the plate 1,207 times.  Watch out Reggie Jackson!

There is nothing from The Yard to report today.

 

 

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