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Archive for January, 2012

I don’t know if this settlement on the maps is going to happen before next Monday.  It is kind of tough to get all or some to agree and work off of the same page and playbook.  Here is from the SA Express News:

Luis Vera, representing the League of United Latin American Citizens, said talks “broke down” between the Texas attorney general’s office and plaintiffs groups Sunday.

He said that if he had to bet, he wouldn’t put money on an agreement being hammered out by Monday, the deadline set by the San Antonio panel of judges for all sides to agree on maps if they want an April 3 primary.

And:

Gary Bledsoe, an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which has worked closely with LULAC on the case, said it’s important that the groups stand together as they seek maps that reflect Texas’ minority growth.

“We want to see a package that is good for Latinos and the African American community,” he said Monday afternoon.

Here is the entire SA Express News piece.

Here is where it might get problematic and this is from the Statesman:

Representatives for other plaintiff groups also didn’t want to speak publicly because of the delicate nature of the ongoing negotiations. But there has been some chatter among the groups that lawyers for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, two of the main plaintiffs driving the litigation, have been talking to the state without other groups.

Though he didn’t name any groups in particular, Vera said some of the state’s lawyers were offering some plaintiffs’ lawyers deals that would benefit Latino groups but might be seen as detrimental to African American plaintiffs.

Vera said a major obstacle is that the state isn’t involving all parties in the negotiations. Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, which is among the plaintiffs, said the state was mainly negotiating with MALDEF and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Bledsoe said unanimous agreement among the nine isn’t required for the court to accept a deal. He said he believes that there is a "reasonable chance" the state could work out a deal with two or three of the groups but that the odds of getting total consensus are longer.

Here is the entire Statesman piece.

This could still get a little dicey and the trust factor among plaintiffs will certainly be tested.  Like I said yesterday, who will draw the short straw?  You better stay tuned!

This MLB Hall of Fame great is no longer with and was born 93 years ago today.  He won NL Rookie of the Year in 1947 and NL MVP in 1949.  This MLB Hall of Fame great is still with us and was born 81 years ago today.  He won the NL MVP in 1958 and 1959.  This MLB Hall of Fame great is also still with us and was born 65 years ago today.  He was a pitcher and won 324 career games.  Name the three?

Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune put out a piece yesterday on Lone Star State Dems and when Dems might win statewide again.
Check it out.  I like this line of his:

If this were high school football, we’d move the Texas Democrats into a lower league with smaller schools where they might be more competitive.

Like maybe 3A Division ball is more to our liking!

A local African American couple is claiming that HPD officers roughed them up this past weekend and even stole their memory card from their cell phone to destroy the video of them getting filmed.   Check out the Chron piece.
I’ll say this.  If CM Jolanda Jones was still around she’d probably have a lot to say about this at City Council this afternoon.  Oh, well!

Hall of Fame great Jackie Robinson was born 93 years ago today, Ernie “Let’s Play Two” Banks was born 81 years ago today, and Nolan Ryan of course was born 65 years ago today.  How about that! 

It didn’t take long for the new ‘Stros owner to take the name change off of the table. 

 

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The federal judges are saying a deal has to be cut by next Monday (Feb. 6) if we want to hold the primaries on April 3.  Commentary can’t remember the last time the Dems and GOPers cut a deal on anything here in the Lone Star State.  It would mean that both sides would have to give up something very political.  Now that is interesting.  It is kind of like giving up one of their own.  Who draws the short straw?

All the different plaintiffs on the Dem side would have to agree on who or what to give up – nice!  There would have to be some winners and maybe some that didn’t win.

Of course, folks don’t have to cut a deal.  They can roll the dice so to speak and have the election delayed until June.  Some of the party activists and leaders from both sides are getting a little nervous because a June primary would mess up the scheduled June state party conventions.

If both sides agree to cut a deal, don’t do it to save the state conventions.  If a deal is going to be cut to save an April 3 election, then I hope they can at least show some substantive political gains for the folks that sued and for the communities that were discriminated against.  Stay tuned!

Lefty Zach Duke signed on with the ‘Stros last week.  In his rookie year as a Pirate in 2005, Duke ended up in fifth place for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.  Who won the award that year and who was the runner-up?

Commentary and my pal Joe Householder got some run in the Washington Post this past Saturday.  The subject matter of the piece was Guv Dude’s return to the Lone Star State.   Joe had the best line if you ask me:

“You’ve got a situation where the 800-pound gorilla just did a season on ‘Biggest Loser,’ said Democratic strategist Joe Householder of Houston-based Purple Strategies. “But now he’s a 300-pound gorilla,” and that’s still not a house pet.

CEWDEM put out the piece this past Saturday.   BTW:  There haven’t been many Dude sightings to speak of since he got home. 

In 2005, Ryan Howard of course of the Phillies won the NL Rookie of the Year Award.  Willie Taveras of the ‘Stros was runner-up.   Taveras hasn’t played in the bigs since 2010.

Zach Duke’s career won-loss record is 48-74 and he has a 4.56 career ERA.  I don’t know about that.

 

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Burkablog gives his take on Guv Dude’s lousy numbers in the latest poll of Lone Star State voters.  Check it out here.

Here is a taste of what Burkablog says in his piece:

In a recent post, I raised the question of whether Perry could be reelected. I didn’t think so then, and I don’t think so now.

And:

The problem for Perry is that the American people have made up their minds about him–and so have most Texans. His brand is ruined.

Kuffer also gives us his take and here is what he says: 

Perry can be beaten in the (2014) general if he’s the nominee. Whether he can be taken in another GOP primary I couldn’t say. Until there’s a race between two people, who knows who can beat whom?

Here is Kuffer’s entire take.

2014 is a long ways from the first month of 2012.  Right now I would think that Dude’s toughest challenge in 2014 would be to win the GOP Primary. 

I like Burkablog and Kuffer and think they are pretty smart fellas, but I wish they would explain to me how Dems could take Dude down in a 2014 general election.   There isn’t anything in the Dem arsenal these days that would pose a threat to Dude in 2014 – nada.  Lone Star State Dems don’t have a coherent message, a GOTV infrastructure, and most importantly a serious program to engage the growing Latino vote.   We’re not going to do it with emails, yard signs, and bumper stickers that say “Vote Oops Out!”

The Rocket has won 7 Cy Young Awards – 1986, 1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, and 2004.  How many times has he won the Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote? Bonus:  Go on ahead and name the year(s).

It is kind of scary to think that GOP Prez contenders are checking out Commentary.  Here is what I said yesterday:

Look for Latinos and immigration and The DREAM Act to get some major play tonight.

The first 20 minutes of the debate last night was spent on immigration.  They didn’t touch on The DREAM Act but they did talk a whole lot about potential Latinos in the cabinet, Latin America, English only, and Spanish language ads.   I was disappointed in Newt in that he missed some opportunities to hit Mitt and ended up getting slapped around.  He should have jumped into Mitt on not owning his radio ad.

A huge way to go goes to my good friend and pal and one of the sharpest folks I know, Melaney Linton at Planned Parenthood.  Check out their press release:

The Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast have appointed Melaney Linton as the next President and CEO. Linton, who currently serves as COO, will assume the role currently held by Peter J. Durkin on March 1, 2012.

Melaney has had a long, successful career with PPGC. Just two weeks ago, Melaney celebrated her 24th anniversary of employment with PPGC.  She has provided leadership in a variety of roles. Melaney has a knack for getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats so the individual and the organization can excel.

A 1985 graduate of Texas A&M University, Melaney began her career with us in January 1988 as a Clinic Assistant.  She was promoted to Quality Assurance/Risk Management Coordinator later that year.  In 1992, Melaney had a leadership role on our Security Task Force and trained hundreds of volunteers for clinic defense in preparation for the Republican National Convention.  Over the years Melaney has played a pivotal role in the expansion of our service area and of the range of services provided to our clients.

In 1993, Melaney was promoted to Director of Clinic Operations and Risk Management, after completing the renovation of the Greenspoint health center while managing the construction and expansion of our former Fannin headquarters. She helped open the new Stafford health center and reorganized the Rosenberg and Dickinson health centers. 

In 1997, Melaney assumed the role of Vice President of Medical Services and a year later was appointed Senior Vice President of Medical Services.  In that role, she oversaw the expansion of abortion services to our Bryan health center.

In 2007, Melaney was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and provided guidance for the management and ultimate merger with Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta (PPLAMD). 

Most recently she has played a key role in the expansion of medical services through two new proposed health centers: Northwest health center slated to open later this month in Houston and a new flagship health center for New Orleans to open next year. 

On the national level, Melaney served as consultant to the Consortium of Abortion Providing Affiliates (CAPS) from 1996-2000.  She chaired the PPFA National Patient Services Council Steering Committee from 2001-2005. She served on the PPFA National Medical Committee from 1998-2005. 

Melaney truly understands the Planned Parenthood mission and is prepared for her upcoming challenging role. This is evident from her statements made at yesterday’s PPGC Roe v. Wade luncheon.

"I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with such a sacred duty."

“I pledge to do everything in my power to fight back against the ideological attacks on Planned Parenthood and women, so that no teen will ever say she didn’t know how she got pregnant, no one will ever be denied basic reproductive health care, and no woman will ever be forced to bear children she cannot adequately support.”

Like I said, Melaney is one of the smartest people in town.  She could be a CEO of any corporate entity in town if you ask me.  Way to go Mel!

The Rocket was the unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner in 1986 and 1998 of course.

“Lights Out” Lidge is now a National and I don’t have anything from The Yard!

 

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Major newspapers across the state are running a story today on the latest Lone Star State poll on how folks here feel about Guv Dude now that he’s home after a thorough national arse kicking.  Check out the poll story here.

Nothing in the poll surprises me and I can probably explain a number that may have some baffled.   One of the questions asks:  How has Gov. Perry’s run for the presidency affected your view of him?  Less favorable is 41%.  Unchanged is 47%.  More favorable is at 9%.

You see those 9% “more favorable” thought he was a complete dumbarse before he got into the race but at least he had the good sense to get out and endorse Newt, so they have a “more favorable” view of him.  You have a better explanation?

Newt has to score some points tonight at the debate or he will lose Florida next week.  Look for Latinos and immigration and The DREAM Act to get some major play tonight.  Also look for Newt to be a lot more aggressive.  I’ll be watching.

Yesterday, Comerica handed over to the H-Town Mayor $100,000 for the Julia Ideson Library renovations.  In 2000, Comerica took over the naming rights for whose MLB crib?  Bonus:  How many World Serious titles does that MLB team own?

Commentary was watching the H-Town City Council meeting on the tube yesterday and lost track of how many times CM Helena Brown was the only “no” vote on a bunch of agenda items.

Yesterday I mentioned the Vice President not sitting still during The President’s State of the union address and I got this from someone:

Undeserved – "V.P at least did not pick nose" The man’s, what, right at 70 and can get uncomfortable! To ascribe "potential" bad manners to him is an undermining tactic of the right.

Otherwise,  good Commentary.

Oh, well!

I don’t have a problem with the GOP anti paperless folk Governor of Arizona trying to get in The President’s face yesterday.  All it does is remind Latino voters of the anti Latino GOP rhetoric.

Comerica acquired the naming rights to the Detroit Tigers’ new crib of course before it opened in 2000.   The Tigers have won four World Serious titles of course, in 1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984.

At yesterday’s H-Town City Council meeting, CM James Rodriguez asked the new ‘Stros owner to take the name change issue off of the table.

On the proposed team name change, The Mayor said her first reaction was “negative.”

I hope they heard about this at The Yard!

 

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The First Lady’s guest included former astronaut Mark Kelley (Cong. Gifford’s hubby), Debbie Bosanek (Warren Buffet’s secretary), SA Mayor Julian Castro, and a woman that lost her job and then went back to school, got retrained and got a better job.  House Speaker John Boehner’s guest included the Keystone Pipeline supporters.

Somebody should have provided the Vice President with throat lozenges.  A few of his coughs were very noticeable.  He also couldn’t sit still.  The only thing he didn’t do was pick his nose.

The silliest thing said was at the start of the GOP response when Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels referenced that he was speaking from the site (Indianapolis) of next month’s Super Bowl 46.  Who cares? 

The President got a so-so response when he mentioned ending the practice of insider trading by members of Congress.

I thought he did a nice job stressing the need to pass The DREAM Act even though he didn’t mention The DREAM Act by name.

Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee, who probably has the State of the Union world record for getting her mug with Presidents, once again got face time with The President as he departed and apparently invited him to H-Town and of course he is going to say OK, so SJL immediately announced that The President was coming to H-Town.  

Of course he is coming to H-Town.  He has to come here at least once or twice this year to pick up some dough for his campaign.

Commentary has to admit that I got misty eyed when The President and Gabby Giffords hugged.

Former Brewer Prince Fielder is now a Detroit Tiger.  The slugging great got him a nice contract.  Name the last Tiger that had his jersey number retired by the team?

The Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg has a column on my pal Massey Villarreal, a GOPer, and his consideration of supporting Newt because of his support for The DREAM Act.  Check what he has to say:

Villarreal says the former House speaker told him he wanted his ideas, about immigration reform, about international trade. And then he assured Villarreal that he too believed in El Sueno Americano, the American dream, and the name of an influential book by San Antonio-based political consultant Lionel Sosa. (Unbeknownst to Villarreal at the time, Sosa has become a consultant on Gingrich’s campaign.)

Here is Lisa’s column.

I wonder if Massey was watching the debate Monday night and saw Newt retreat some from The DREAM Act.   Massey and Sosa better start getting Newt back on full support of The DREAM Act or they are going to look like chumps.

Former skipper Sparky Anderson of course had his numero 11 retired by the team in 2011.  Sparky managed the Tigers from 1979-1995 and is no longer with us.

The Chron asked ‘Stros fans to weigh in on the name change issue and 80% said leave the name alone.  I would hope that the new owner would announce today that he is taking the name change proposal off the table and focus on making the team better.

 

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According to Texas Watchdog, Terry O’Rourke, top assistant to Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, sent a letter to the federal judge requesting leniency for Evergoner.  I don’t know about that.  Here is from Texas Watchdog:

“Jerry Eversole is not a crook," O’Rourke said. “He didn’t take bribes or kickbacks. That’s just not who the guy is.”

Evergoner pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI so I guess that doesn’t make him a crook.  Also from Watchdog:

“Based on what I saw, I would not have removed him from office,” said O’Rourke, who attended as much of the case as he could. He also reviewed the voluminous trail of paper that such a case emits.

Here is the entire Watchdog piece.

Here is Hunker Down’s take on O’Rourke from Texas Watchdog:

It was ill-advised, (Harris County Judge Ed) Emmett said in an interview last week, “particularly since that office is supposed to be the ethics watchdog for the county.”

“I think we’re going to have a lot of conversations about the role of the county attorney’s office and the role of ethics,” Emmett said. “We passed an ethics policy over two years ago, and the way it’s being implemented leaves a lot to be desired. It will have to be discussed, and this letter is another piece of it. It relates to the ethics committee and whether the county attorney has told them what they can and can’t do.”

The Chron also has a take on the matter here.

Instead of being a watchdog for the County, O’Rourke was a lapdog for Evergoner.  That’s too bad.

The new owner of the ‘Stros is studying a team name change.  What a dumbarse thing to contemplate!  We’re the ‘Stros!  We wear the brick red!  We have the open star!  Leave it alone!  If you want to change anything, get rid of that Junction Jack fella!

Speaking of the team, name the pitcher that holds the franchise record for pitching losses in a season?

Alan Rosen is a nice fella.  His campaign for Harris County Constable, Pct. 1, put out a press release yesterday with the following headline:

DIVERSE GROUP OF LOCAL DIGNITARIES ENDORSE ALAN ROSEN, CANDIDATE FOR CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 1

Here is how it started:

Houston — Alan Rosen today welcomed the support and endorsement of local Black and Hispanic leaders.  Joining the list of high-profile community leaders supporting the Alan Rosen for Constable  Campaign include the Hon. Lee P. Brown, former Mayor of Houston; Hon. C.O. “Brad” Bradford, ! ! Member of Houston City Council, Rev. William A. Lawson, Pastor Emeritus and the founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Gilbert Garcia, Managing Partner Garcia Hamilton & Associates, L.P., Howard Jefferson, Member of the National Board of the NAACP, Dr. Benjamin Hall, III, Attorney and Founder of The Hall Law Firm, Roland Garcia, Attorney/Partner, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, and Rev. Dr. Edwin Allen Davis, inspirational community leader, Pastor of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.

And:

“Needless to say, I’m honored to have the endorsement of community leaders I have admired  and respected through the years,” said Alan Rosen. “I have had the honor and privilege to have worked with many of these men over the course of my 21 year career in law enforcement. There are none better.”

It was a nice try at “diversity” but it would have been nicer to see some females in the press release.

Notes from last night’s debate:

The candidates are running Spanish language ads in Florida but favor English-only.

Newt backed off a bit on The DREAM Act.

Romney sounds like a whiner.

Notes from the gathering at The Yard last night:

About 200 season ticket holders showed up.

Some fans want to know how come ticket prices aren’t reduced yet team payroll is significantly reduced.

Some domestic beers will be cheaper.  I’m betting St. Arnold isn’t domestic.

The team has been losing money.

They are going to review discount pricing.

A number of folks spoke out against a name change.

Now you can bring in water and grub to the games.

The grub they served last night was nice.

The new GM touted the signing of former UH star Chris Snyder who plays catcher. 

Turk Farrell of course was 10-20 back in 1962 when we were called the Colt ‘45s.  The 20 losses are the most in franchise history. 

You can read about the changes at The Yard here.

 

 

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When it comes to Supreme Court decisions, Commentary wants straight talk and not spin.  Here is the first line from statements and articles that came out last Friday after the Supremes ruled on the maps.  You decide:

From The Texas Democratic Party:  “The Supreme Court did not strike down the interim maps.”

Tim Eaton from the Austin American Statesman:  The U.S. Supreme Court this morning rejected the redistricting maps drawn by a panel of federal judges in San Antonio.

From AP: The Supreme Court has thrown out electoral maps drawn by federal judges in Texas that favored minorities.

Gary Martin and Nolan Hicks of the SA Express News:  The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a Texas panel of federal judges on Friday to redraw its interim redistricting maps, a decision that will probably postpone Texas’s already-delayed primary elections.

Aman Batheja, Star Telegram:  The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday to toss out court-drawn maps that had been intended to be used for the 2012 elections.

Lone Star Project:  Earlier today, the US Supreme Court overturned the interim Texas redistricting plans ordered by a San Antonio District Court in November.

From GOP AG Greg Abbott:  The Supreme Court confirmed that the San Antonio court drew illegal maps, without regard for the policy decisions of elected leaders.

My pal Robert Miller put out a take Friday to let everyone know he got it “right.”  Here is part of his take:

In closing, I will note that I received pushback when I wrote the following after attending the Supreme Court January 9 hearing:

My read of the oral argument is that the Supreme Court is likely to issue an opinion before the end of January.  I believe that ruling will overturn the San Antonio court plan, and instruct that greater deference be given to the legislative plan.

I was right.

Robert was right alright.  Maybe I’ll just tune everyone else out and just listen to Robert when it comes to the maps as long as he doesn’t take me down spin lane or it is revealed he has a secret agenda.

I’m betting the folks that have been running HCC are wishing that new Trustee Carroll Robinson would go away. Here is a 10 minute YouTube titled “Don’t Treat HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson as a ‘Stupid Ass’”
Check it out here. 
I’ll go out on a limb and say that Carroll is going to shake things up over there at HCC and let us know what is going on.  I don’t have a problem with that.

Some members of the 1986 ‘Stros got together this past weekend at a Tristar sponsored reunion of sorts. In the 1986 NLCS between the ‘Stros and the Mets, both teams combined for 8 dingers during the 6 games series.  Name the players that hit the dingers?

This past Saturday the Chron E-Board weighed in on the stern lecture H-Town CM Rodriguez gave to CM Brown a couple of weeks ago at a council meeting.
Check it out here. 

Also this past Saturday, Bill White penned an op-ed that ran in the Chron giving advice to Guv Dude now that he’s back home.   I’m betting that Dude doesn’t give a rat’s arse what White has to say and I’m also betting that he won’t read the op-ed.   If you want to read it you can check it out here.

It looks like the City of H-Town is going to finally settle this red light camera mess.  Check out the Chron story here.   The Kuboshes of course led the effort to kill the cameras.  They were also big donors to CM Helena Brown and in fact one of the Kubosh brothers was her escort at the inaugural.  I wonder if CM Brown will support the settlement and vote to cough up 2 mil or so.

I’m not going to say anything but watching the Newt and Mitt show is kind of fun.  What a nice way to spend last Saturday night.  The two latest polls taken last night now show Newt leading in Florida.  Well what do you know!

During the 1986 NLCS Glenn Davis, Bill Doran, Alan Ashby, Dickie Thon, and Billy Hatcher of course had dingers for the ‘Stros, Darryl Strawberry had 2 dingers and Lenny Dykstra one for the Mets of course. 

I’ll be going to The Yard this evening to hear from the new leadership.

 

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