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Archive for September, 2012

Of course we don’t really do that these days.  I’m talking about “pulling” the straight-ticket or as it is written on the sample ballot – straight party.  (Maybe it is time we change the terminology.)  You either mark it if you are voting by mail ballot or dial it if you are voting early in person or on E-Day.

In today’s hard copy of the Chron, in a front page column Patricia Kilday Hart warns Harris County Dems that if we dial or mark the single Dem button for all Dems, we’re including a vote for a t_rd – DA candidate Lloyd Oliver.  Hart also warns Harris County GOPers that a dial or mark of the single GOP button for all GOPers includes a vote for a tu_d – sheriff candidate Louis Guthrie.  What are we to do?

Hart makes an excellent case for a Dem not to vote for Oliver.  She also makes an excellent case for a GOPer not to vote for Guthrie.

Harris County Dems are distributing a piece that says “Vote the Straight Democratic Ticket” so that includes Oliver, even though our Dem Party leaders tried to get him kicked off of the ballot.  I haven’t seen what the local GOP is handing out.

Can we ask folks to vote the straight party ticket and turn around and not do it ourselves?

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t hit the Dem button. 

Here is how Hart ends her column:

“In our hyper-partisan world, it’s easy to award our votes to candidates strictly based on party affiliation.  This year in Harris County, that would amount to voter malpractice.”

Ouch!  What is one to do?  I’ll say this, I don’t think you can get sued, fined or hauled off to jail if you commit voter malpractice.  You may have to take a shower afterwards though.  Stay tuned!

Soon to be ‘Stro skipper Bo Porter wears the numero 16 for the Nats.  Who wears the numero 16 for the ‘Stros these days?

In 2008 in Harris County, 76,187 requested mail ballots and 67,612 (88.7%) were returned and counted.  In 2010 in Harris County, 69,991 requested mail ballots and 55,560 (79.4%) were returned and counted.

As of yesterday in Harris County, 55,152 have requested mail ballots with 23,082 generated by the GOP and 17,755 by Dems.

Don’t forget that the Texas Freedom Network will have a special screening of “The Revisionaries” on Friday, October 12 at the Sundance Theater in Downtown H-Town.  This is the documentary about our State Board of Education.

Get your tickets here.

The Leader has a piece about another development that will set up next to the Walmart down the street.  Welcome to the ‘hood Yale Street Market!  I don’t know about that!

“The Jim Rome Show” will be back in H-Town early next year.  On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, clones will be able to return to the jungle at 650 AM.   I look forward to hearing what Jim has been up to lately.

‘Stros infielder Matt Downs of course currently wears the numero 16.  The ‘Stros get the opportunity to derail the Brewers’ playoff chances this weekend up in the battleground state of Wisconsin.

 

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The Chron E-Board endorsed in a couple of civil court races today.

Check them out here.

Bittersweet is probably a good word to describe last night.  After going to a meeting of the Spring Branch Dems with Traci Jensen I zipped over to The Yard to catch the last few innings of the game against San Luis.  It was the last home game of the season.  It was the last home game as an NL team.  It was Milo’s last game.  It got a little teary eyed and emotional when Milo took the mike during the seventh inning stretch and said his “Holy Toledo” farewell to the fans on El Grande.

Most of the 18,000 and change stayed at The Yard as the ‘Stros headed to the top of the ninth with a two run lead.  In the last inning every pitch was cheered.  It was probably fitting that our only All Star Jose Altuve fielded the final ground out and then we won and there were hugs, tears, high fives, and fist bumps for all.  Everyone had forgotten that we were still sitting on 105 losses.  It was a good night and one that I’ll remember for a long time.

Here is the Channel 11 story about our last NL home game that includes Commentary.

How many no-nos thrown by the ‘Stros did Milo call?

As of yesterday in Harris County, 53,042 had requested mail ballots with 22,185 generated by the GOP and 17,331 by Dems.

Commentary might have to go get a check-up on my eyes to see if I need new eyeglasses because I can’t see the hand writing on the wall that my pal Gary Polland apparently sees.  Gary’s latest review blames the media (that’s fresh) for Romney’s problemos, he gives a big mention to Vince Ryan getting hammered by Wayne Dolcefino, rants about The President’s logo on the red, white, and blue, and posts a piece from a right winger who says that if The President wins, he is going to “replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.” 

Boy that’s scaring folks!  What about baseball, hot dogs and apple pie?

You can check out Gary’s take here.

The Golden Bear endorsed Romney yesterday in Ohio.

My old pal Yolanda Black Navarro put this out yesterday:

Friends, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and where we have been, where we are, and how much more we have to do, I want to inform you of the following:

Tomorrow (Today) at the Metro Board Meeting, at 1900 Main, Sylvia Gonzales and myself will address the Board and President with regard to dismal amount of Latinos employed by Metro overall, and in particular in Senior Level positions and see how our Latino community can begin to work outside the box to recruit as Metro has not had success.  Please join if you would like as supporters at 9 am. at 1900 Main. Metro Headquarters

Friday at 10 a.m. at Holy Name Catholic Church, we will hold a press conference, Latinas Enhancing Advocacy and Development (LEAD), LULAC, NHPO and others to unite and address the change of early voting location of Moody Park to Holy Name Catholic Church.

In addition we are asking everyone to do their part and reach out to churches, congregations, organizations and set up voter registration tables and register Latinos to vote.  Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 9th.

On the Moody Park Early Voting location change, I asked the folks in charge of the election about the change last week and they told me that Moody Park wasn’t available.  It is a City of H-Town facility so maybe the City needs to ‘splain why it isn’t available.

My pal Bill King has a piece about the METRO referendum.  Here is part:

The conventional political wisdom is that with all the heavyweight political support for the "For" proposition, that is to continue the rebates, it will be easily approved by the voters. However, I am not certain.

Steven Klineberg’s regional surveys show widespread support for transit and for rail playing a significant role. Even though Metro’s light-rail plan covers only a tiny fraction of its service area, it has been able to persuade many that the light rail is precursor to a large commuter system. Notwithstanding that the proposition is total nonsense, suburban voters who believe it might be inclined to say the money should stay at Metro to advance such a mythical regional system.

Predicting a result is further complicated because there seems to be a great deal of confusion among voters as to what the "For" and "Against" propositions actually mean.

Either way, Metro will likely never be the same. If the "For" proposition prevails, Metro will be forced to spend much more of its time and resources on the bus system – a good thing in my opinion – and light rail will effectively be shelved indefinitely – also a good thing in my opinion.

If the "Against" proposition prevails, you will see an all-out, knock-down-drag-out fight in the Legislature next session over Metro and its governance. In such a fight, the city of Houston would likely lose its control over Metro, another reason why the city is anxious to see the referendum pass.

Here is all Bill’s column.

I still haven’t run in to anyone that is voting for the METRO deal.

Milo called four no-nos thrown by ‘Stros pitcher of course:  Don Wilson’s against The ATL when Milo was with The ATL (1967), Mike Scott’s against the Giants (1986), DK’s against the Mets (1993), and the six pitcher no-no in Old Yankee Stadium (2003).

We ended up 35-46 at The yard this season.

 

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As of yesterday in Harris County, 51,697 had requested mail ballots with 21,771 GOP generated and 16,910 Dem generated.  Not bad at all!

A foodie war of sorts is brewing over at H-Town City Hall.  The food truck association wants restrictions eased so they can invade the streets of Downtown H-Town.  A few of them addressed City Council yesterday.  They are getting a lesson in City Hall politics.  This one is going to get interesting so you better stay tuned!

Who will be the first NL team we face next season?

The Chron E-Board rolled out their first set of criminal court endorsements today so check them out here.

It turns out my old pal Jay Root of the Texas Tribune is a comedy writer.  He’s penned an e-book about Guv Dude’s run for Prez.  You can check out excerpts at the Texas Tribune.

Remember when Dems were less enthused about voting than the GOP earlier this year.  Remember when the Tea Party dominated in 2010.  The latest polls in battleground states like Florida and Ohio have The President leading.  What happened?  We ought to know in about four weeks if that enthusiasm has caught on here locally.

Traci Jensen once again did A-Okay yesterday at an educator event.  Over 100 folks attended.  She won over more supporters.

One of my favorite crooners is no longer with us.  Andy Williams left us yesterday.  His signature tune of course was the Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer “Moon River” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which won the Best Song Oscar.  Andy Williams also used to have a TV show that introduced us to the Osmonds.    Commentary has a couple of Andy Williams Christmas CDs that I’ll be listening to later on this year. 

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way
Two drifters, off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waiting round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river and me.

I guess H-Town still reads Commentary as more folks attended last night’s game at The Yard – 16,000 and change.  Maybe they wanted to see H-Town CM James Rodriguez present Jose Altuve with his “Jose Altuve Day Proclamation.”

The Pirates of course will be the first NL team the ‘Stros face in 2013 – Friday, May 17.

Commentary will be doing a Channel 11 interview today about the last NL day at The Yard.

Tonight is the last night to see the ‘Stros at The Yard in NL gear and the last time you can go by and say adios to Milo and maybe Brownie.  They will hand out team posters and J.R. Richard Bobbleheads this evening. 

 

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At our meeting with the ‘Stros front office Sunday, I kind of called out the GM for “misrespecting” the fans by trading away the veteran players this year and leaving us with a bunch of nobodies.  I told him that pro sports franchises think they are smarter than the fans when in fact often they are not.  I told him that fans were responding by not showing up at The Yard.  I also told him that some of us would appreciate it if they were just honest and just tell us that in order for the team to get better, we’re going to have to get lousy first.  He responded in baseball jargon and sound bites and with a kind of “trust us, we know what we’re doing” attitude.  Oh yeah, well you have 104 losses to date.

Here is another pro sports fella that thinks he’s smarter than us.  The NFL Commissioner probably thought it was OK to use replacement refs and that nobody would notice.  One of the lead stories this morning is the blown call on the last play of last night’s Packers-Seahawks game.  You got folks that aren’t fans talking about the blown call.  This story got more time this morning on “Today” than the race for Prez.  The NFL Commissioner is looking like a complete dumbarse today.   Hey, he’s smarter than us though.

As of yesterday in Harris County, 50,038 had requested mail ballots with 21,465 GOP generated and 16,278 Dem generated.

Name the two former ‘Stros pitchers that each started six post season games for the ‘Stros?  (One of the two will probably surprise you.)

I try not to get into things I don’t know much about like the shooting of the fella in a wheelchair by an HPD officer.  I’m just glad that we have a police chief that isn’t afraid to request the FBI to come in and investigate.

Traci Jensen will participate in another educator event this evening.

Speaking of, The Texas Freedom Network will have a special screening of “The Revisionaries” on Friday, October 12 at the Sundance Theater in Downtown H-Town.  This the documentary about our State Board of Education.

Get info here.

In case you are wondering, if the World Serious goes seven, it will end on Thursday, November 1.

Nolan Ryan and Brandon Backe of course each started six post season games for the ‘Stros.

Commentary forgot to mention snagging foul ball numero cinco this past Saturday.  I gave it to a kid.

Oh yeah, did I mention 104 losses, San Luis fans probably outnumbered ‘Stros fans, the lowest turnout in the history of The Yard last night, and that they are smarter than us?    

 

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Voters will start getting their mail ballots today.  The voting will then begin.

As of Friday, 47,728 have requested mail ballots in Harris County.  20,699 have been generated by the GOP and 15,581 by the Dems.  That’s not bad at all if you ask me.

Early Voting in Person starts in four weeks.

The first debate is nine days away.

The Chron had a story this past weekend on the METRO ballot initiative.  It was about the ballot language for the measure.  Not counting the consultants that work for the METRO proposal, I haven’t talked to anyone that says they are voting for the measure.  They don’t like the deal and think the City and METRO caved in to the County.

“Meet the Press” was interesting yesterday morning. GOP talking heads were arguing with each other over Romney’s bad week. 

Name the ‘Stro pitcher that has started the most post season games?

I think Commentary mentioned a while back that “Game Change” and Julianne Moore as Governor Palin would get some serious Emmy Award mention.  They did!

The last thing Commentary wants to do is lecture Austin voters as they consider going to an all single member district city council or a combination single member district/at-large system or none of the above.  Commentary was here in H-Town back in 1979 when we went from an at-large to a combination single member district/at-large system.  One of the most dramatic changes was the empowerment of neighbor organizations and associations.  District council members certainly pay attention and cater to them.  That is definitely a good thing.

The Rocket and Roy O. of course have each started seven post season games as a ‘Stro.

After the game yesterday at The Yard, Commentary and others participated in a meeting with the front office and found out that a lot of season ticket holders are not happy with the ugly signs in left field.  

We took two of three from the Pirates this past weekend.    San Luis is in for the final three NL games at The Yard!

 

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The Chron put out more endorsements today in the civil district courts department.

Check them out here.

Early Voting in Person starts in about a month and you can’t vote early at Moody Park.  You have to vote at Holy Name Church on Marion Street about a dozen or so blocks from Moody. 

Tomorrow the first batch of mail ballots will be dropped off at the post office and folks will get them on Monday.  Are you ready?

Here is an easy one.  Name the ‘Stros starting pitcher for Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS?

Traci Jensen had another quality event with educators yesterday in the Cy-Fair area.  They are all supporting her.  We’ll be having another event with educators on Tuesday.

This is from Gallup.com:

Voters in the 12 states USA Today and Gallup consider the key swing states that could decide the 2012 presidential election are now significantly more enthusiastic about voting this fall than they were in June. Six in 10 (59%) are either "extremely" or "very" enthusiastic, up from 46%.

Voter enthusiasm in these states has grown among members of both political parties; however, Democrats’ level has increased more. Thus, whereas equal percentages of Democrats and Republicans were enthusiastic in June, Democrats are now significantly more enthusiastic than Republicans, 73% vs. 64%.

Independents’ enthusiasm also jumped substantially over this period — up 18 points, similar to the 20-point gain among Democrats; however, independents’ enthusiasm still lags behind that of both partisan groups.

This is obviously good news for The President’s campaign. 

We’re not a swing state so we don’t get to see or hear any of the campaign ads so our enthusiasm factor is not as high.  We only get to see or hear the news coverage of the campaigns.  We’re kind of sitting in the cheap seats.

Ken Forsch of course was the starting pitcher for the ‘Stros in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS.  BTW:  We lost 3-1.

The ‘Stros start their final homie of the season this weekend.  This will be the last time to see the team at home as an NL team. 

 

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At The Yard last weekend a ‘Stro hit a dinger off of the Chick-fil-A pole but this time for obvious reasons I didn’t cash in my ticket.  Yesterday a report surfaced that said Chick-fil-A was through giving money to groups that go after the GLBT community.   I want to hear it from the cow’s mouth, err Chick-fil-A folks first.  Lisa Falkenberg devotes her column today on Chick-fil-A maybe singing a different tune.  For now you can only read it in the hard copy.

Traci Jensen had a nice turnout last night at her reception.  H-Town CMs James Rodriguez and Jerry Davis, Dem Party Chair Lane Lewis, former HISD Trustee Paula Arnold, Charles Kuffner, some business execs, educators, and precinct chairs made up the crowd.  Traci will be meeting with more educators this afternoon.

1980 was the first year ever the ‘Stros made the playoffs.  Who was the leadoff batter for the ‘Stros in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS?

I went out and checked the shuttle do a flyover of Downtown yesterday.  I guess that’s the best we could do.  It did a flyover of the Lone Star State Capitol this morning.  Most of the local TV shows interrupted their programming this morning to show the shuttle takeoff from Ellington.  I kind of think that was rubbing it in of sorts.

Romney is now for the 100% and tomorrow he will be for the 110%.

The Chron E-Board is still a regular reader of Commentary as they came out with their first candidate endorsements today.   They endorsed civil court judges.

Check it out here.

They didn’t endorse a couple of my pals – drats!

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association has an Op-Ed on food trucks today.

Check it out here.

As of yesterday in Harris County, 37,589 had requested mail ballots with 17,052 GOP generated and 11,889 by Dems/Gene Green.

Rep. Sylvester Turner endorsed the HISD bonds yesterday.

‘Stros second baseman Rafael Landestoy of course was the leadoff batter in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS.

We’re at numero 101 losses and poised to surpass last season’s miserable 106.

 

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Don’t forget Traci Jensen’s reception this evening at the Cadillac Bar.  More and more educators are taking an interest in this race.  They are finding out there is a campaign and are learning about Traci’s expertise in curriculum and instruction.  One of the questions we get frequently asked:  Why does an individual (Traci’s opponent) who home schooled her children want to serve on the State Board of Education? 

At City Hall yesterday a proposal was discussed to lift food truck restrictions in the Downtown area.

Check out the Chron story here.

I think the last time I ate grub from a truck was when I was a kid and I flagged down the ice cream fella. 

I don’t support this if it hurts Downtown restaurants.  I wonder how the ‘Stros and Rockets would feel if the food trucks set up across the street from The Yard or Toyota before a game or event.   We need to let Downtown flourish a bit more before we allow an invasion of food trucks.

Hall of Fame great Joe Morgan won’t be among the former ‘Stros at the Legends Luncheon this weekend at The Yard.  Of course everyone knows that we traded away Joe to the Reds where he won the NL MVP Awards in 1975 and 1976.  Name the runner-ups to Joe in ’75 and ’76?

As of yesterday in Harris County, 31,817 had requested mail ballots with 14,366 GOP generated and 9.494 Dem Party/Gene Green generated.

Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote this yesterday:

It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It’s always been too small for the moment. All the activists, party supporters and big donors should be pushing for change. People want to focus on who at the top is least constructive and most responsible. Fine, but Mitt Romney is no puppet: He chooses who to listen to. An intervention is in order. “Mitt, this isn’t working.”

Here is the Noonan piece.

Rather than apologize and move on, the Romney campaign isn’t backing down.  I don’t know what they are thinking but it ain’t working.

The Chron’s Patti hart has a piece out today that you can only read in the hard copy about GOP Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack wanting the county to have authority to stick us with a penny sales tax for road construction.  He needs to go bang on his fellow GOP elected officials for support first if you ask me. 

Former Phillies Greg Luzinski was the NL MVP runner-up in 1975 and Reds George Foster in 1976 of course.

Joe Morgan is celebrating his 69th BD today.

One of TV’s best interviewers, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, is celebrating her 46th BD today.

Numero 100 is in the books and that’s all I’m going to say about that! 

 

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Unless I’m told otherwise, I’m part of Romney’s 53% that he cares about even though I’m voting against his sorry arse.   He certainly doesn’t think much of a lot of folks.  The most pathetic thing is watching the GOP folks that have been handed the campaign talking points to try to defend his no good sorry arse.

I’m not going to say he’s toast but he sure is getting buttered up pretty good. 

As of yesterday here in Harris County, 26,475 voters had requested mail ballots.  11,000 and change had been generated by the GOP and 6,000 and change by Dems.  In 2008, a little over 67,000 voted by mail with McCain getting 62.7% and The President 36.6% In 2010, over 55,000 voted by mail with Guv Dude getting 57% and Bill White getting 42%.  Stay tuned!

Some reports say former ‘Stro Tim Bogar may be interviewed for the ‘Stros managerial position.  In his playing career, how many teams did he play with?

It turns out yesterday’s Romney video release was sort of payback.  Former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson had a hand in getting the video to the press.  That’s what they get for messing with President Carter.

From the Say it Ain’t So Department:  The ‘Stros were promoting on facebook this weekend’s ‘Stros Legends Weekend Luncheon at The Yard and posted this:

Both Jose Cruz and Joe Niekro will be at next weekend’s LEGENDS WEEKEND! It’s not too late to purchase your tickets to eat lunch with the legends.

Of course Joe Niekro hasn’t been around since 2006 when he left us at the young age of 61.

Here was a comment on the goof:

"Sorry I have to miss that, but I’ll be working in the garage." —- Don Wilson

From 1993-2001, Tim Bogar played with the Mets, ‘Stros, and Dodgers of course.

It’s back to the countdown to numero 100 in San Luis tonight – yikes!

 

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Commentary read a few articles over the weekend about turmoil within the Mitt Romney campaign.  You know, stuff like not mentioning Afghanistan in his convention speech, Dirty Harry’s convention appearance, botched criticism of the Libya attack, and being OK with parts of Obamacare.  Most of the articles included pointed criticism of the Romney campaign from GOP leaders.   This morning on the “Today Show” a talking head referred to these articles as “prebituaries.”   Better them than us I guess.

This year was the 16th season of interleague in the MLB.  How many times has the AL won the most interleague games and how many times has the NL won the most games?

This past Saturday morning Traci Jensen candidate for State Board of Education, District 6 was the guest at a supporter’s home in Katy where a number of Katy area educators dropped by to meet with Traci.  The event was well attended and they all said they would be supporting Traci and asked for yard signs – cool!

Mail ballots will start arriving in mailboxes next Monday.  Are you ready!

The Chron E-Board has a take on teaching abstinence-plus in our schools.  Here is how it ends up:

We applaud the fast-growing number of Texas schools that teach abstinence-plus. Our kids need that program’s extra protection.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

I wonder when the Chron E-Board is going to start rolling out their candidate endorsements. 

I was at The Yard Friday evening and when the team first took the field to start the game a Mariachi tune blared.  I just kind of thought it was in recognition of Latino Heritage Weekend.  Then they played the same tune when ‘Stros pitcher Edgar Gonzalez came to bat.  Apparently that’s his batting and pitching tune.  That’s pretty cool since most players have classic or heavy metal rock, hip hop, country, or salsa and meringue tunes.  This is the first I have ever heard of Mariachi.  BTW:  The tune was “Son de la Negra” that is on the playlist of every Mariachi group ever put together.  You know it when you hear it.

I’m giving the ‘Stros owner some equal time.  Here is a bit of his Op-Ed from yesterday’s Chron ‘splaining the ugly new signage at The Yard.  The sponsors on the signage are part of the team’s effort to donate money back to H-Town parks.  Of course, the ‘Stros will also keep some of the dough.  Here you go:

And yes, as part of our agreement with these generous sponsors, we created new signage at the park recognizing their contributions to the city. As is fitting and in keeping with sponsorship agreements, the names of these businesses are displayed prominently at Minute Maid Park. It’s my conviction that Astros fans need to know the names of the corporate citizens who are giving so generously to help develop opportunities for Houston’s youth.

I don’t have a problem with the ‘Stros keeping some of the dough and some going to parks.  I still think the signs are ugly. 

Here is the entire Op-Ed.

The AL has won the most interleague games 12 seasons and the NL 4 seasons of course.

We took three out of four from the Phillies and are now 8-7 in September and we didn’t have to watch numero 100 at The Yard!  The team has today off then heads for San Luis for three then returns this weekend for the final homie of the season. 

 

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