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Archive for June, 2012

Don’t forget to join us to celebrate the life of a great journalist and our dear friend — Lori Rodriguez.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday (Saturday), June 30, 2012 at the Downtown Club at the Met. 

You enter through the 6th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Allen Center, 340 West Dallas Street.

I am honored that I have been asked to say a few words tomorrow.  We hope to see you there.

Last night Commentary accepted the Best Politics Blog Award at the 2012 Second Annual Houston Web Awards presented by the Houston Press.  MariGirl couldn’t make it so 20/10 went with me.  There were a lot of folks in attendance.

One of the highlights of the evening was spending a little time with fellow recipient Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin who took home the Best Local Sports Star Twitter Award.  (Later on today you can go to my website and check out our photo together).   Barwin is all muscle for sure.  He was definitely enjoying the evening and having fun.  He was very appreciative when I told him it was great to see him come out in support of marriage equality.  A couple or so months ago Barwin was interviewed by Outsports Magazine where he said he was for marriage equality – cool. 

If they ever give an award for Best Class Act Ever on Television, my vote goes to no longer “Today Show” Co-Host Ann Curry.  She said a tearful adios yesterday with this memorable line:

"For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line but, man, I did try.”

For the past week or so while the lawyers worked out her departure details she could have just packed it in and slept late.  Instead she showed up to work and yesterday she handled her farewell with class and dignity.  Good luck Ann!

Obamacare!  From the 1931 classic: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

Befuddled outrage is the best way to describe the reaction of GOP right wingers to yesterday’s decision by the Supremes.  They thought they had the votes.  Heck, I thought they had the votes.   That’s why yesterday’s decision was highly anticipated because most folks thought the individual mandate was going into the trash can.  A 43 appointee saved The President’s most prized accomplishment of his first term – go figure.  The Chief Justice now gets on the cover of today’s Time Magazine, a couple of weeks after The DREAMERS.   There is a lot of teeth gnashing and hair pulling going on in halls of the right wing.   It’s been fun watching the GOP’s supreme reaction the last couple of days.  Heck, I even listened to that Rush fella just to hear him bawl.  Scoreboard POTUS!

Who was the last ‘Stro to bat in a post season game?

My fellow Dems will probably get mad at Commentary for giving advice to the GOP on the Latino vote.  I’ll give it anyway because they won’t listen to me.  It is about talking immigration smack.   You won’t listen to your own GOP consultant Ana Navarro who says the GOP needs to come up with an immigration plan that Latinos can embrace.  They won’t listen to her.  If you are not going to listen to her then keep quiet.

Immigration and The DREAM Act have become one of those hot button issues in our community.  Sure we also want jobs and a more stable economy but immigration and The DREAMERS stir things up because you are talking about me – you talking to me?  Then when the media and talking heads provides a backdrop like Latinos can make the difference in places like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, that really gets the sangre flowing.  

Following Navarro’s advice with a gimmick free DREAM Act and pathway to citizenship immigration reform would score huge points in the Latino community.   Of course, the GOP is not going to follow Navarro’s advice because the Tea Baggers won’t let them.   Then the GOP allows Arizona GOP Governor Jan Brewer to be one of the faces of their immigrant bashing rhetoric.  That’s like riding into the barrio waving the Jolly Roger.  Every time her mug is shown on Univision it is met with a chorus of boos throughout the Latino community.

The H-Town City Council Committee on Ethics, Elections and Council Governance chaired by CM C.O. “Brad” Bradford will meet on July 9 to discuss the term limits proposal.  They will hear presentations from Dr. Michael Adams from Texas Southern University, Dr. Robert Stein from Rice University, and Robert Lemer with Citizens for Public Accountability.  I may drop by since the ‘Stros are on All Star break that day.

Former ‘Stro Orlando Palmeiro pinch hit of course in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in Game 4 of the 2005 World Serious and grounded out to shortstop for the final out in our 1-0 loss to the White Sox.

I don’t even want to talk about coming home last night and watching Brett Myers’ meltdown and turning a 3-1 lead into a 7-3 loss in the ninth inning – ouch!

 

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Best Politics Blog: Marc Campos‘s Daily Commentary!

camposcommunications.wordpress.com

“There are plenty of good political blogs that cover the issues of the day, but nothing puts you inside the machinations of Houston politics like this literally daily blog from longtime political consultant Marc Campos. His insights into the grind of local and state politics are as fascinating as they are entertaining.”……Houston Press, June 27, 2012.

Check out my fellow recipients here.

Let me introduce you to the Award Winning Commentary!

Tonight Commentary will be the recipient of the Best Politics Blog at the 2012 Second Annual Houston Web Awards presented by the Houston Press.  Let me thank the members of the Academy, oops, wrong group!

Other recipients include Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin (Best Local Sports Bar Twitter) and Lance Zierlein (Best Sports Fan/News Twitter). 

I’m going to practice my acceptance remarks with you if you don’t mind:

Let me thank the 2012 Houston Web Awards for this outstanding honor.  Like Sally Fields once said “I can’t deny the fact that you like me!  You like me!”  Or as George M. Cohan used to say “my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you.”

Actually it is a pretty cool deal because awards and Commentary don’t have much of a history together.  Now I can call myself the Award Winning Commentary, at least until next year – very cool.

Of course I couldn’t get this honor without a lot of help.  I really want to thank all the wonderful material out there I have to work with including the GOP bashing of paperless folks, Tea Baggers, POTUS, The H-Town Mayor for not ducking the tough issues, Guv Dude, and the Lone Star State Dem Party for failing to engage the Latino vote.

I also want to thank some of my outstanding clients like CM James Rodriguez, HISD Trustee Anna Eastman, SBOE candidate Traci Jensen, and former constable candidate Joe Martinez who all give politics around these parts a richer flavor.    

Let me thank the Municipal Channel for bringing the H-Town City Council meetings into my office every week where I pick up ideas from CMs like Costello, Bradford, Gonzalez, and Boss Ma-am.  Oh and I forgot CM Sullivan.  Let me thank other key folks and entities like the H-Town GLBT PAC, The Dean, The DREAMERS, Kuffer, Robert Miller, CNN, Burkablog, Serge, Hector, Chris Moran and Chron.com, who fight the good fight or let me know about the good fight.

Let me thank all the folks – whether I agree with you or not on issues – for stepping into the public square and trying to make a difference.  Often times you interest me, sometimes you p__s me off, sometimes you do great things, sometimes you make me sad, sometimes you puzzle me, sometimes I feel sorry for you, and sometimes you come off looking like total dumbarses.  Let me thank CEWDEM for snatching me up every day and sending it out.

Let me say this.  All I do is a Commentary sometimes tongue-in-check about stuff that is happening with our politics.  As I’ve said before, I don’t do talking points, I don’t exaggerate the facts, and I don’t play games (except for my MLB question of the day).  I try to be candid and direct.

Some folks like Ty Wiggintonner’s Brother and Edgar will send me a friendly comment or two on something I said.  Some folks will send me a critical comment or two and it hurts my feelings for around 15 seconds.  Some folks will send me stuff wanting me to do a political hit on someone that I just ignore. 

I’m not into scorch-the-earth political takes because I believe it contributes to global warming.  I don’t think it is healthy to have political enemies because you never know if you’ll be standing by them at The Yard in the St. Arnold line. 

I forgot to mention the ‘Stros, the ‘Stro media guide, MLB, and the greatest game ever invented.  Sometimes I’m able to segue from the politics into baseball, most times I can’t though.  There are always interesting baseball facts to be found in my desk drawer.

So there you have it!

Finally let me thank MariGirl for being herself and making sure stuff like being named Best Politics Blog doesn’t go to my head.  She is not the same MariGirl that walked into my shop five years ago this summer ago, but that’s a good thing.  She makes sure our product is as advertised.

Name the ‘Stros with twitter accounts?

Hope the Supremes don’t mess up my high with a lousy health care ruling today – that’s all I have to say about that!

It looks like we will have us a new Chair of the Houston Port Authority.  Current Chair Jim Edmonds won’t seek reappointment.

Here is the Chron story.

Meanwhile, Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Jr. was reappointed by the County on a 3-2 vote.

Congratulations to CM Ellen Cohen for getting the $5 fee passed yesterday.  I don’t know why they call those places “gentlemen” clubs.   My idea of being a “gentleman” doesn’t include sticking a ten into – well you know what I’m talking about. 

Speaking of Edgar, I wonder if he saw my pal Nick Anderson’s cartoon today in the Chron.  It depicts the Dome as a big trash can for all those Dome studies.   I don’t think the Texans or Rodeo would want the Dome to be the first indoor landfill.

Check out the cartoon here.

The following ‘Stros have twitter accounts of course:

Chris Snyder (@hyphen18), Chris Johnson (@cjastros23), @BudNorris20, @brianbogusevic, @JordanSchafer,   Jason Castro (@J_Castro15), @lucasharrell34, @Carlos45Lee, Wesley Wright (@realweswright), Brett Myers (@theoutlaw39, @jordanlyles41 , and @JDMartinez14.

It looks like the new ‘Stro owner is thinking about doing away with the choo choo train and Tal’s Hill.  I wonder what they will do with the choo choo train and Tal’s Hill.  Maybe they ought to let folks bid on them at an auction.

Well what do you know!  A ‘Stro pitcher threw another complete game.  That’s two in less than a week –wow!  It’s too bad only 15,012 showed up last night.

 

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Everybody knows that Commentary thinks they ought to go on ahead and tear down the Astrodome but my feelings won’t be hurt if they figure out a way to save it.  Hunker Down wants the Domekeepers to look at the possibility of sticking a new Reliant Arena under the Dome.  If they figure this out, then they could knock down the current Reliant Arena and turn it into a lucrative parking lot.  Here is from the Chron today:

The chairman of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. said Tuesday that his group will return to the drawing board on a half-billion-dollar proposal to renovate the Astrodome and replace Reliant Arena, with an eye to combining the two projects.

That suggestion came from County Judge Ed Emmett, who asked Sports Corp. Chairman Edgardo Colon why the amenities proposed for the new arena could not be included in a renovated Dome. Many constituents have asked him the same question, Emmett said.

“It would be trying to incorporate the ideas we already have and put them all under the same roof,” Colon said. “That’s what makes this so challenging, how to incorporate a $380 million project into the inside of the Astrodome.”

Here is the entire piece.

I guess you can continue to stay tuned to this story because I don’t think any decision on the Dome is on the horizon.   Until someone more prominent than Commentary steps forward and calls for the Dome’s demise, folks are going to stay at the drawing board.

Many of the Lone Star State’s charter schools now got into the lawsuit business.  Check this from the Chron:

A group representing most of the charter schools in Texas sued the state Tuesday, arguing that the nontraditional campuses face unfair restrictions and are shortchanged on funding.

And:

"The courts have never looked at school funding through the lens of a charter school, and our parents and our schools think it’s time that they do," said David Dunn, executive director of the state charter association.

Charter schools cannot levy taxes to fund bonds for school construction, so to pay for facilities they generally spend money designated for instruction, raise private dollars or have property donated. Dunn said one study found that charter schools on average spent $830 per student from their operating budgets on facilities.

"They have to have lower teacher salaries. They have to have larger class sizes," he said. "Many charter schools don’t have gyms, don’t have science labs."

Here is the entire story.

Here is what I don’t understand.  Before you get into the charter school business don’t you have to read the instructions and go over the ground rules?  Aren’t you supposed to learn the “dos” and “don’ts” about the state money that is available for charter schools?  Public schools have a set of rules and guidelines and charter schools have a set of rules and guidelines.  That’s why they are called charter schools and not public schools – got it?

In ‘Stro history, name the pitcher that has given up the most career dingers?

The President learned a valuable baseball lesson the other day:  Red Sox Nation is the most serious of all baseball fans.  Everybody knows that The President loves his Chicago White Sox.  This past Sunday the Red Sox traded veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox.  Youk played on the 2004 and 2007 World Serious champs Red Sox and he has a huge following in Red Sox Nation.  The President was addressing a campaign event in Massachusetts and jokingly thanked Boston for handing over Youk to his White Sox and then came the boos and chants of “Youk, Youk, Youk” and more boos and boos.  I don’t think The President expected that kind of reaction.  The President needs to be careful or he might turn solidly blue Massachusetts into a battleground state.

Talk about a get-out-the vote program, 20/10 ended up turning in 18,000 MLB All Star ballots for sixth place at The Yard.  His prize is getting to meet the ‘Stro or ‘Stros selected to play for the NL All Star team and also getting an autographed baseball from them or him.  20/10 thinks he’ll get to meet second baseman Jose Altuve.  I say thanks for picking somebody your own size.  Nice job 20/10!

BTW:  If 20/10 just took the time to only vote for the eight ‘Stros on the ballot, it adds up to 144,000 hanging chads.  

Larry Dierker of course gave up 177 career dingers as a ‘Stro from 1964-1976.

The recent impressive pitching performances by rookie Dallas Keuchel now have the ‘Stros going with a six-man starting pitching rotation, at least until the All Star Break.

Jose Altuve has a solid hold on third place among second baseman in NL All Star voting.  Altuve leads all MLB second basemen in batting average (.309).

‘Stro outfielder Justin Maxwell who has hit some massive dingers this season will be out 4-6 weeks because of a dinged up ankle.

The team is fun to watch and I think we’re doing better than last year but the crowds at The Yard have been small this season.  Only 15,000 and change showed up last night.

The ‘Stros hold the distinction of being the only MLB club with road wins in single digits – 9.

Well at least we won at The Yard last night.

 

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First of all, let me apologize for yesterday’s delay.  We had a major email problem with our server – sorry.

It has been fun to watch the GOP squirm like a worm the last eleven days after The President provided relief to The DREAMERS.  A debate on immigration is a loser for the GOP when you are talking about the Latino vote – period!  You could sum it up yesterday on CNN watching Mitt Romney’s press secretary do a Porky Pig "Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks" on the press plane.  Romney can’t figure out what wave to catch when it comes to immigration.

Latino voters are not dumb.  They’re paying attention and that’s why The President holds a 40 point plus lead in the polls among Latino voters.  They can see through Romney’s BS when he says he’ll have an immigration reform plan when he takes office but won’t be specific on the details.

Romney was even called out last night on CNN by a GOP Latina political consultant.

Then Guv Dude said yesterday’s Supremes’ ruling was a victory and "is one step forward and two steps back — simply not good enough” – huh! 

My math says one step forward and two steps back equals one step back, Dude!

In battleground states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico where the Latino vote will be the decider, the immigration issue is a tone setter.  Arizona GOP Governor Jan Brewer said yesterday’s ruling that upheld for now the “show me your papers” provision was a winner for her administration.  The “show me your papers” provision will also help motivate Latino voters in battleground states to show up this November and assist in the getting The President reelected.

Even though the Lone Star State Dem Party has failed to engage the Latino voter, here in the Lone Star State Dems could see a bump or two in certain communities like H-Town.

Check out today’s Chron column by Patricia Kilday Hart here.

Here is how it ends:

Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, called the ruling "a blow to the states’ righters. They lost. As simple as that." Still, he predicted that someone would "file a bill" to get the issue back before the Supreme Court.

The statement proved prescient: Shortly after my interview with Coleman, Perry, claiming the court’s decision blessed state anti-immigrant enforcement, pledged to pass a "sanctuary city" ban when the Legislature convenes in January.

While Dude continues to play up to the Tea Baggers, Latino voters just get motivated to turnout.  Stay tuned!

Name the pitcher that holds the ‘Stros record for throwing the most career shutouts?

It looks like there may be another ballot initiative for H-Town voters.  The Kubosh fellas are behind an effort to get a measure on the ballot that does away with the recently enacted ordinance on how you go about feeding the homeless in parts of H-Town.

Check out the Chron article on the effort here.

Now that Alyson Footnotes is gone I’ll be checking out “Everybody Reads Raymond.”  Dave Raymond is one of the ‘Stros radio announcers and he has takes on the ‘Stros website.  Today he talks about interleague play:

Did you know that in 16 years of interleague play, the Padres have never been to Toronto?  That’s ridiculous.  The Rangers haven’t gone to St. Louis (during the regular season, anyway).  The Dodgers never visited old Yankee Stadium.  Worse, they haven’t even been to new Yankee Stadium.

The Braves have never been to Kansas City.

In 16 years, we couldn’t figure out how to get the Twins to Atlanta?  Come on.

Here is all of “Everybody Reads Raymond”.

Larry Dierker of course leads the ‘Stros with 25 career shutouts.

We should have won last night.  I hate to see losses like last night.

 

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Now it’s METRO’s turn to let voters know what is in store for November.  Here is from an Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron:

On Thursday, the Metro Board of Directors will decide what to put on the ballot for the November election. Should the money continue to be drained away or not?

We believe it is time to end the drain on the transit revenues and invest now in transit, as originally intended by the voters so long ago – for our heartland, for our tax base, for our future.

Here are the organizations that authored the Op-Ed so it is probably a little safe to say that they intend to get involved in the campaign:

Texas Coastal Watershed Program, Houston Tomorrow, richmondrail.org, Houston Access to Urban Sustainability, Avenue CDC, LISC, Washington on Westcott (WOW) Roundabout Initiative, LANDology, Project Row Houses, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Better Houston, HBL Architects, Community Artists Collective, Houston Sierra Club, Bayou Preservation Association, HIVE, Air Alliance Houston, White Oak Studio Landscape Architecture, American Society of Landscape Architects – Texas, Davidson Landscape Architecture, LLC, Bayou Preservation Association, SWA Group, HOK, Bike Houston,  Coastal Prairie Partnership, USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, Emerging Professionals, Citizens’ Transportation Coalition, and Environmental Educators’ Exchange.

Here is the Op-Ed.

A reminder that Commentary will be at the following this Saturday and you are welcome to attend:

Join us to celebrate the life of a great journalist and our dear friend — Lori Rodriguez, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, June 30, 2012 at the Downtown Club at the Met.  6th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Allen Center, 340 West Dallas Street (Between Clay Street and the Pierce Elevated).

This is from a Channel 2 story that ran this past weekend: 

Houston’s city hall has been lit up like a rainbow in honor of Pride Week, but not everyone in the city is proud of the display.

The Houston Area Pastor Council is raising questions about the city’s decisions to illuminate the building.

“City hall belongs to the people of the city of Houston," said Dave Welch with the HAPC. "Mayor Annise Parker does not have the latitude to use it as a shrine to worship the GLBT lifestyle. It’s not something that represents the people.  It’s something that is highly controversial.”

Here is the entire story.

There is really nothing you can say other than I guess they’re entitled to their opinion.

The Chron E-Board weighed in on behalf of The Rocket Saturday and here is how they ended up their take:

Nevertheless, in our view Roger Clemens still belongs in baseball’s Hall of Fame. More importantly, we should be willing to at least consider the possibility that he was telling the truth all along. That he really is the Rocket.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

Of course, the last I heard, the Chron E-Board isn’t a member of the BBWAA so they don’t have a vote.

Commentary watched ‘Stros pitcher Dallas Keuchel pitch a complete game Saturday afternoon in a 8-1 win over the Tribe.  June 17, 2011 was the last time a ‘Stro pitcher threw a complete game – wow!   Who hold the ‘Stros record for pitching the most complete games in a season? 

Roy O. pitched for the Rangers Friday night so we’re now up to five 2005 World Serious ‘Stros still in the bigs.

Alyson’s Footnotes is leaving the ‘Stros and going back to MLB.com.  Here is what she posted last week:

I will leave my post with the Astros to go back to MLB.com for an exciting new opportunity. I’ll be a national correspondent, working with all 30 teams on a variety of levels. My first assignment will be All-Star week.

What a bummer since her takes always provides me with ideas for takes.  THE WHOLE YARD EXPEREINCE IS CHANGING THESE DAYS!

Here are some of her farewell thoughts:

I hated the hot sauce packet mascot race. Mascots who run in races, by definition, need eyes. When you put faces on inanimate objects, it’s funny. And what’s up with Mild Sauce losing every day? I know Texans like their spicy toppings, but come on. Totally fixed.

I agree and I don’t miss the races one bit!

Best moment: Covering the clubhouse scene when the Astros won the pennant. What I remember most about the World Series was not that the Astros were swept, but that Craig Biggio said to me at least three times, “You know, this was totally worth the wait.”

Worst moment: Covering the clubhouse scene the day Darryl Kile died, 10 years ago today. The grief was overwhelming. I’ve never witnessed such complete devastation and I sensed that some of Kile’s friends would never be able to get past the loss.

Most challenging moment: Covering Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. Reporters have to turn in game stories five minutes after the last out is made, and with two outs in the ninth, no one on base and Lidge on the mound, I had 700 words written about the Astros’ pennant-clinching win over the Cardinals. Ten minutes later, Albert Pujols launched his moon shot to left field, and I had no choice but to highlight the story, push delete, and start over. (Honorable mention: the 18-inning win over the Braves in the NLDS. When games go that long, paragraphs that were important three innings ago eventually become irrelevant. So for three hours, it was type, delete. Type, delete. Rinse, repeat.)

Favorite memory that I couldn’t write about: I finished my game coverage around 3 a.m. after the Astros clinched the pennant in St. Louis and walked back to the media dining room to pour a Budweiser beer from the single tap located near the eating area. I propped my feet up, savored the moment and realized I was probably drinking the very last Bud beer ever to be poured in old Busch Stadium. The ballpark was razed the next morning.

Here is Footnote’s farewell take.

Good luck Alyson Footer!  I’ll miss your Footnotes!

Larry Dierker of course hold the ‘Stros record with 20 complete games in 1969.

Speaking of hot in Cleveland, Valerie Bertinelli was at The Yard yesterday taking it one day at a time.

The ‘Stros bats came alive Saturday and Sunday and we took the series from the Tribe.  The Padres are in for four starting this evening.

 

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MariGirl is celebrating her 27th BD at home today.  She had a freak accident a couple of nights ago and dinged up her right leg and is now on crutches.  That’s way too bad considering the great news she received last week.  Oh, well!  Happy Birthday Marisol Valero!!!

Commentary will be at the following next Saturday and you are welcome to attend:

Join us to celebrate the life of a great journalist and our dear friend — Lori Rodriguez.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Downtown Club at the Met.
6th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Allen Center
340 West Dallas Street (Between Clay Street and the Pierce Elevated)

Well here it is.  I’m talking about the first details of the proposed $1.9 bil HISD bond program.  It is a whopper for sure.  Ericka Mellon of the Chron kind of echoes what Commentary has been saying the last couple of weeks.  Check this:

Early polling says more voters would support than resist an HISD bond, though organized opposition and other referendums on the ballot could be threats to passage.

I’m sure the proposed package will be amended before it gets to a ballot near you so stay tuned.

Check out the Chron story here for details.

What happened at The Yard six years ago this evening (6/22/06)?

Mitt Romney spoke to NALEO yesterday and said he would move forward on an immigration plan.  This is the same fella that a few months ago said he would veto The DREAM Act and wanted folks to self deport.  I can’t wait for Romney and The President to debate this issue later this fall.  Commentary considers State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer one of the Lone Star State Dems better spokespersons on the key issues.  He’s as good as they get.  Here is from the Chron:

"I’m glad I heard this speech at Disney World, because it shows he is living in a fantasy land," said Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, a Texas House member and president of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

The President speaks to NALEO today.

I kind of have knowledge on things like the “Today Show”.  Every morning since the ‘70s I’ve been sharing my mornings with Barbara Walters, Jane Pauley, Deborah Norville, Katie Couric, Meredith Viera, and now Ann Curry.  As I said yesterday there are stories out there that say NBC is going to replace Curry because the ratings are down.  Some folks say she is not suited to co-host a morning news show because she’s too stiff and not too chipper.  As we all know, morning news shows are not all hard news.  They do a lot of entertainment news.  They do consumer product segments and they do a lot of live cooking.  Some folks are saying she’s not good at the give and take banter and one liners that these shows require.  I don’t know about that.

I do know that she is the only “Today Show” female co-anchor that has color in her blood.  Curry is half Japanese.  Of course I don’t want to go there because Bryant Gumbel is African American and they were number one in the ratings when he left.  According to reports, Savannah Guthrie would replace Curry if Curry is shown the door.  I also don’t know about that.  Why pass over Natalie Morales who just happens to be half Brazilian and the other half Puerto Rican? 

Beginning next year H-Town will have five sports talk radio stations.  Right now we have Sports 610 that Commentary listens to and CBS owns.    We also have Clear Channel’s 790 AM, 97.5 FM, an ESPN Radio affiliate, and 1560 AM, the flagship of Yahoo! Sport Radio.  Now we are going to add CBS’s 650 AM.  It doesn’t matter to Commentary because I just listen to Sports 610 unless one of the other stations is carrying a game I want to hear.

On June 22, 2006, The Rocket had one of his un-retirement debuts of course as the ‘Stros lost to the Twins 4-1.  The Rockets pitched 5 innings, gave up two runs, and took the loss.  The Rockets was also wearing his numero 22 on June 22.

Commentary has not heard back from the ‘Stros on what The Rocket will be doing but the Houston Press lists the following “dimensions” The Rocket would add so check it out.

The Tribe is in town for 3 as they hand out B-G-O bobbleheads this evening.  I’ll be there of course!

 

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I’m kind of old school in that I want my members of the H-Town City Council to make sure things are working right like Rebuild Houston, Free Hobby, the new Hochberg led CSI, and safe streets.  The H-Town City Council adopted a budget yesterday and here’s how the Chron led off their story on the budget:

Andrew Burks made at least 12 unsuccessful runs for public office before he finally won a seat on Houston City Council in December. Now that he’s here, he apparently wants to stay longer than current law allows.

He proposes doubling the number of years a council member, mayor and city controller can serve to 12. Council adopted his budget amendment Wednesday that sends his idea to committee where it can be turned into language for a fall ballot measure.

Check out the entire Chron piece here.

My advice to Council is to leave it alone.  We have too many other important things on the ballot this November.   The City bond campaign, the HISD and HCC bond campaigns, and the METRO GMPs campaign are all going to require campaign funds.  Who is going to give money to the extend term limits campaign?  Who is going to lead the term limit extension campaign?  It could be easier to organize against extending terms and then if it gets beat it will be a rejection of a City Council initiative that could have 2013 implications for those running for reelection.  It is not worth the risk if you ask me but once again they didn’t ask me.

The Royals were in town and did some damage at The Yard.  Everyone knows that Hall of Fame great George Brett has had his Numero 5 retired out at Kauffman and it hangs by Jackie Robinson’s 42.   George Brett is one of four players in MLB history to have over 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average.  Name the other three?

Stories hit the internet last night that NBC was going to dump “Today Show” host Ann Curry.  That’s a dumb move.  Give her some time.  I like her style.  Let’s see how things go during the Olympics.

This is what one of The President’s campaign advisors said about Romney and immigration reform:

"hopelessly twisted up on this issue."

Ain’t it the truth! 

Here is more on immigration and Prez politics.

Commentary every now and then will provide updates from BBWAA members on how they will vote at the end of the year on The Rocket getting into the Hall of Fame.  Here is the latest:

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated this week:

"The two (The Rocket and his trainer) of them were inseparable, typically with Andy Pettitte close by. We know that Pettitte, Clemens’ close friend and workout partner, used HGH and used McNamee as his supplier and facilitator. We know that Debbie Clemens, Roger’s wife, used McNamee as her supplier and facilitator. Other Yankees obtained their drugs and the how-tos of using them from McNamee.

"But we are left to believe that Clemens, while forging a closer bond with McNamee than anyone else, found a second stage of his career only on the magic of hard work and a split-finger fastball, as if he were the only baseball player to ‘work hard.’"

Randy Galloway of the Star Telegram

Sorry, Roger, but you won’t have my HOF vote. Not now, and I’d guess, not ever. Neither will Bonds. Unlike those two, Sammy Sosa’s name was never mentioned in the Mitchell Report.

Right or wrong, and with some doubt, I will still vote for Sammy.

The ‘Stros sent some of us this morning a one question survey and I’ll share my response:

‘Stros:  How would you like to see Roger Clemens work with the Astros moving forward?

Commentary:  I would not like to see him working with the Astros.  He’s an egotistical distraction.  If he doesn’t make it into the Hall of Fame next January, the whole steroid issue will once again be front and center at The Yard.  Let’s move forward without him and thanks for asking.

Hall of Fame greats Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial all had careers with over 300 dingers, 3,000 base hits, and a .300 batting average.

Instead of the team worrying about how to bring on The Rocket, let’s worry about winning some games.  I’m glad we have the day off as the AL Central first place Tribe come in for three this weekend.

 

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Commentary plans to watch as much of the H-Town City Council budget debate as I can this morning.  I don’t think CM Ellen Cohen will have much of a problem getting her local pole tax passed.  I wonder who the lucky stiff is that is going to get handed the assignment to go collect the tax.

Yesterday’s Council meeting had kind of a preview on the debate on banning plastic bags.  The bag manufacturers were making the case that they would be losing a few hundred local jobs.  I suspect most of those jobs are currently held by Latinos and Latinas.  It ought to be an interesting next 12 months as H-Town is fixing to get an education on plastic bags.

Florida GOP Senator Marci Rubio announced that he is no longer working on his version of The DREAM Act because of The President’s announcement on Friday stole his thunder.  In other words, Rubio can no longer score brownie points with the GOP and the Latino community on his bogus DREAM Act version.  NO SE PUEDE!

Speaking of, there were reports yesterday that Rubio was not being considered for the VP slot.  Then Romney came out to say that the reports were not true and Rubio was being considered which means that Rubio isn’t being considered – got it!

Everybody knows that A-Roid is now tied with Hall of Fame great Lou Gehrig for career grand salamis with 23.  There is only one other active MLBer in the top 10 in career salamis – name him?

Speaking of taking back the courthouse, the “no piñata” signs are coming down. 

Check out the story here.

I ran into 20/10 at The Yard last night and he was turning in a couple of boxes of MLB All Star ballots.  I checked with MLB election officials they told me that 20/10 has already racked up 17,000 plus ballots.  Sign him up for November and today is the last day to cast a ballot!

Speaking of, ‘Stros second baseman Jose Altuve has now made it to third in the vote count but I don’t know if he can make it into a run-off.  I wonder if Kuffer will provide us with a precinct-by-precinct analysis after the vote is canvassed after all, Altuve is having a better year than Dan Uggla or Brandon Phillips.

I don’t have a problem if the new owner wants to have The Rocket hanging around The Yard as long as they don’t have a problem with some fans thinking or saying that they still believe he is a ‘roider.

Numero 45 of course is the only active MLBer other than A-Roid in the top 10 in career grand salamis.  He’s tied for ninth place alongside Henry Aaron, Dave Kingman, and some fella named Babe Ruth at 16 apiece.  Numero 45 is celebrating his 36th BD today and is batting .300 this season but his overall offensive production is down and that’s why only one Caballito remains on the concourse these days.

By the way, The Yard makeover in left field that I mentioned yesterday is just new signage that is going to block part of the choo choo train view.  I wonder if the choo choo train is also going to be sent packing like Junction Jack.

Our hitters choked in clutch situations last night.  We had opportunities to win but failed to come through.

 

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My pal Rusty Hardin said this yesterday right after the verdict:

"I hope those in the public who made up their minds before there was a trial will now back up and entertain the possibility of what he has always said – using steroids and HGH is cheating and it was totally contrary to his entire career.”

Rusty wasn’t talking to me and he wasn’t talking to you.  He was addressing the voting members of the Baseball Writers of America (BBWA), The Rocket’s next jury.  This December the members of the BBWA will decide if The Rocket, Barry, Barry, Sammy Sosa, B-G-O, and others make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  If The Rocket doesn’t get the minimum 75% of the BBWA vote it will be because enough BBWA voters think he was on ‘roids.

Here is a sampling of sorts of BBWA voters from stories today from my pal Jose de Jesus Ortiz and the AP:

“Roger Clemens is one of the greatest right-handers in baseball history,” said USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, who is credited with being the first writer to address the steroid problem in baseball. “He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. And I believe today’s verdict will get him to Cooperstown on the first ballot.”  “I will vote him to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot; the same with Barry Bonds; the same with Sammy Sosa,” Nightengale said. “The trouble is that it was almost a level playing field during the steroid era. If Clemens was pitching on steroids, he was facing hitters on steroids.

“Both Clemens and Bonds perplex me,” said former New York Times baseball columnist Claire Smith, who has voted for the Hall of Fame since 1993. “Have always considered them HOFers prior to the madness. But HOFers have asked, ‘How do I know which numbers are clean and which are tainted?’ “Truth be told, I don’t. No one but those two know. Such a dilemma. Don’t know yet what I will do.”

“I’m not so sure this makes him a shoo-in on my ballot, but I haven’t ruled him out,” said Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. “But a guilty verdict would have sealed his fate for me. I still have time to digest this.”

Former BBWAA president Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer didn’t need a jury to help him with his decision.  “I wasn’t going to vote for him anyway, so this won’t affect it,” said Hoynes, who is in his 30th year covering the majors. “I just think he’s guilty. I don’t care what the court said. I think he did it. I think he knew he was cheating, and I’m not voting for him.”

"I think everybody believes he was guilty in some form or fashion," said John Harper of the New York Daily News, who doesn’t plan to vote for Clemens. "I think that’s the real issue as far as voters go. I know that’s an issue for me."

ESPN reporter/analyst Tim Kurkjian, a Hall voter for more than two decades, said: "It doesn’t change how I view him. I think he did something and they just couldn’t prove it. I think most rational people look at it that way. I was going to vote for him anyway."

"To me, Roger Clemens was a Hall of Famer from the moment he retired, just like Barry Bonds," San Francisco Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins said. "I don’t much care for them as people, but that’s irrelevant, and I’ve never believed in the Hall of Fame’s ‘character’ clause. It never seemed to apply to a number of shady characters who made the Hall of Fame over the years, so I simply ignore it. I base my vote on the best players during their time. Cheating has been part of the game since its inception, whether it was gambling, doctored balls or pre-steroid drugs. It’s as essential to the game’s fabric as the sacrifice fly."

That’s 3 for, 2 against, and 2 undecided.  So that gives him 43% – not enough.

Yesterday’s jury kept him out of jail and tomorrow’s jury will decide his Hall of Fame status.

The BBWA for the most part doesn’t give a rat’s arse about yesterday’s jury verdict or what Rusty has to say.  The will talk to each other and/or their sources like players, managers, coaches, former players, and front office folks before they make up their minds if they haven’t already.

Here is the other matter they will probably consider.  How does it look if they vote The Rocket in and don’t give Barry, Barry a hall pass?  Now that would certainly spark a lively discussion about race in baseball that the Commissioner and BBWA don’t want on their plates.

How many times did The Rocket win 20 or more games in a season?

This is why some folks are turned off by politics.  Check this from the Chron:

An advocacy group formed by Houston-area real estate developers threatened Monday to seek help from the Legislature if the transit agency asks voters to cap the payments that help Harris County and area cities improve roads and bridges.

And:

If voters approve a referendum that caps general mobility payments, Houstonians for Responsible Growth will lobby state lawmakers to get the city of Houston’s money back, (Joshua) Sander said.

Here is the entire story.

So if we have a campaign and Joshua’s side loses fair and square, his group is going to the legislature to ask the legislature to overturn the results – right?  I wonder if Joshua understands how silly he sounds.  And so goes the GMPs debate.

My good buddy Kyle’s mug was seen throughout the game last night on the tube thanks to his third row seats behind the plate.

The Rocket won 20 games or more six different seasons during his career: 1986 (24), 1987 (20), 1990 (21), 1997 (21), 1998 (20), and 2001 (20).

It looks like The Yard is receiving a makeover of sorts in left center field. 

I don’t care how ugly the win was last night.  A win is a win. 

 

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Pardon me but cut me some slack for having a Tiger and ‘Stros hangover this morning – sadly pitiful, but I’ll still hang with them!

Sir Paul is 70 today!

Wah, wah, wah!  That’s all I heard this weekend from right wing GOPers after they got caught off guard by The President on providing the DREAMERS some relief.  Some far righties called The President “craven”.  (Commentary never uses the word “craven” but I do use “crave” as in have an urge for something so I had to look up “craven” and it means cowardly.) 

What I kept hearing this weekend was that The President went around Congress and “usurped” his authority.  The “usurp” stuff is totally ridiculous and bogus.  The going around Congress is probably true because the GOP is not interested in immigration reform or helping out the DREAMERS period.  They’re not, they’re not, they’re not!

Mitt Romney and others banged up Guv Dude last year on the so called Texas DREAM Act.  They scored DREAMER points at Dude’s expense.  At some point you have to say YA BASTA and that is exactly what The President did.

It was interesting to see that Romney didn’t rant and rave like Ted Cruz and the Lite Guv. 

Here is from an article this past weekend:

Romney’s mild response reflects the political tightrope he is walking on the issue of immigration. During the Republican primary contest, he positioned himself as the most conservative candidate in the field on illegal immigration, slamming Texas Gov. Rick Perry for allowing in-state college tuition for illegal immigrant students and recommending “self-deportation” for millions of people living illegally in the U.S.

The President and Romney will address NALEO later on this week.  I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that The President will get a better response from NALEO members.  SI SE PUEDE!

I kind of thought this kind of stuff didn’t happen in these parts these days. This is what the Chron E-Board had to say (with photos) this past Saturday:

In various Harris County Precinct 4 parks, official signs on official sign posts declare "No piñatas allowed on park grounds" and "No confetti eggs in park."

Well actually the confetti eggs are called “cascarones”.  Maybe the new County Commissioner will put up some better worded signs.

Check out the entire E-Board piece here. 

The Chron had a story Saturday on former ‘Stro Jason Lane who now plays down the road at Skeeter Stadium.

Check it out here.

The Nationals designated Lights Out for assignment yesterday meaning he’s not in the bigs today.  How many 2005 World Serious ‘Stros are currently on a MLB roster?

Commentary has been talking about possible bond campaigns this fall here in H-Town.  The Chron today has a piece today on what could be HISD’s whopping $1.8 billion in bonds campaign.

Check it out here.

Stay tuned for more on this one!

The Chron E-Board had a take on pensions yesterday. 

Check it out here.

There was also a front page story on pensions yesterday and check it out here.

Now I know that the pension groups have their constituencies to fight off attempts to mess with them.  What is the constituency of those that want “reform” and are they getting engaged?

Four of the 2005 World Serious ‘Stros of course are currently on a MLB roster: Wandy, The Big Puma (on the DL in San Luis), Andy Pettitte (Yankees), and Chad Qualls (Phillies). 

Former 2005 World Serious ‘Stro reliever Dan Wheeler was designated for assignment by the Tribe last month.

While watching the ‘Stros, I was thinking about the new uniforms that the team plans to unveil after this season.   I wondered if I would buy the new lid or lids.  I looked over to my active lid wear and here’s what I have:  the orange, gold star blue, gold star blue batting practice mesh, blue with orange star, brick red, brick red World Serious logo, black/brick red batting practice mesh, Colt 45s, white/brick red mesh, black open star, black open star Old Yankee Stadium All Star Game logo, black open star 2000 Opening Day, patriotic red open star, and patriotic blue open star.  I think I’m plenty lid up.

The ‘Stros are at The Yard for a ten game homie against the Royals, Tribe, and Padres.  I don’t expect much of a crowd for the Royals this week.   The Tribe might bring in some folks this weekend since they are in second in the AL Central and B-G-O bobbleheads will be handed out Friday.  The Padres have the second worst record in the MLB so figure on a light to sparse crowd next week.  Hope we can make up some ground because being 11 ½ games out stinks.

 

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