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Archive for November, 2012

Kuffer has a real good take on straight ticket voting and the local judiciary.  Here is how it ends up:

Again, I agree that our system of making judges is problematic, but straight-ticket voting is not the problem, and eliminating it is not a solution. It’s a feel-good measure cloaking a partisan intention, and it should be seen as such.

You need to check out Kuffer’s entire take here.

I wonder what the Chron E-Board thinks about Kuffer’s take. 

If anybody has a better take, let us know!

Name the last pitcher to win back-to-back AL Cy Young Awards?

From 1980 to 1989, name the MLB club that produced the most MVP Award winners?

For about a day, the Texas Ethics Commission thought about taking over criminal enforcement duties from the Travis County DA’s office.  Not a good idea and a lot of folks are glad the thought only lasted a day. 

Here is a story on it.

Burkablog had this to say about the one day thought:

This is a terrible idea. The ethics commission has a long and undistinguished history of being toothless. The system is set up to fail.

Here is the rest of Burkablog.

And even Kuffer weighed in:

At this point, the best argument for letting the Travis County DA continue in this role is that they are not connected to state government, which gives them an independence no other option would have. I didn’t expect anything to come of this, and it turns out that the TEC has since had second thoughts.

Here is all of Kuffer on the one day thought.

I’ve said it before.  The Ethics Commission needs help but not this kind of help.

Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox of course won the AL Cy Young Award in 1999 and 2000.

The Phillies and the Brewers each produced three MVP Award winners in the ‘80s of course: For the Phillies – Mike Schmidt in 1980, 1981 and 1986, for the Brewers – Rollie Fingers in 1981 and Robin Yount in 1982 and 1989.

The President served Romney chili yesterday.  On Election Day Latinos gave Romney the chile…awwww!

Wilton Lopez is still a ‘Stro.

 

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I missed The Roundtable yesterday so I didn’t get to visit with Wayne Dolcefino.  I wonder if he will make a comeback. 

Mitt Romney is having lunch at The White House today with The President.  He will be served by folks from the 47% Club.  I wonder if the meal he is getting today is considered a gift.

Did you know that there are six precincts up in the Cy-Fair area in HD 135 that voted the Dem way?  Now you do!

The MLB Hall of Fame ballots were announced yesterday so naturally B-G-O and Baggy got a lot of run.  Here is this on B-G-O:

His 20 seasons with Houston are a franchise record, and he also made a club-best 19 consecutive Opening Day starts. Biggio is also the only player in Major League history to reach all of the following milestones: 600 doubles, 250 home runs, 2,700 hits and 400 stolen bases (414). Biggio and Cal Ripken, Jr. are the only middle infielders (only 13 players all-time) to collect 3,000 hits and 1,000 extra-base hits.

Biggio was named to a franchise-record seven National League All-Star teams, received five Silver Slugger Awards, four Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and was a member of six Astros playoff teams. Biggio holds NL records for leadoff home runs with 53 (ranks 2nd all-time) and for hits in Interleague Play with 201. He also led all players during the 2005 postseason with 18 hits.

Here is the entire B-G-O take.

Here is on Baggy:

He had blossomed into one of the most feared sluggers in the league by 1994, hitting .368 with 39 homers and 116 RBIs in only 110 games, and winning his only Gold Glove Award en route to unanimously being named MVP in a strike-shortened season. Not that the work stoppage mattered to Bagwell, because his season ended Aug. 10 when he was hit by a pitch and broke his hand two days before the players went on strike.

Bagwell — who also missed the final 20 games of the 1993 season after being hit by a pitch on the hand and was on the disabled list for a month in ’95 with his third such hand break — averaged 34 homers and 115 RBIs in his career, and hit .297. He stole 202 bases.

Bagwell drove in at least 100 runs in all but one season from 1996-2003, and slipped to 27 homers and 89 RBIs in ’04, though he hit .286 with two homers and eight RBIs in the playoffs. Led by Bagwell, Biggio, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, the Astros made it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history in 2005.

Here is the entire Baggy take.

The Chron also got into the act:

Who’s a legend? Who’s a fraud?

Does 20-year Astro Craig Biggio deserve first-ballot Hall of Fame honors, instantly enshrined among hallowed greats such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax?

Whose legend should slowly dissolve and fade away? Barry Bonds? Roger Clemens? Mike Piazza? Sammy Sosa? Jeff Bagwell? Mark McGwire? All of them?

Who judges? Who rules? Who decides?

Check out the rest of the Chron here.

The Astros are working on a deal that would send relief pitcher Wilton Lopez to the Phillies in exchange for Minor League prospects, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com.

Lopez has been a workhorse member of the Astros’ bullpen the past three years, going 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 64 games in 2012. He also had a career-high 10 saves after assuming the club’s closer role following the trade of Brett Myers and ineffectiveness of Francisco Cordero.

Lopez posted the lowest walks-per-nine-innings ratio among all National League relievers (1.09) last season after setting the franchise record in 2010 by issuing only five walks in 67 innings pitched. He began last season by facing 78 batters without issuing a walk.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow did not confirm the discussions.

The departure of Lopez would leave the Astros with a glaring hole at closer, something the team will likely address in the near future.

Check the rest here.

I thought the team wanted to get better this year, not cheaper!  Oh, well!

 

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I’m thinking HoustonChronicle.com won’t last very long.  Heck, it is a hassle for a subscriber like me to navigate through.  I don’t understand the point of having both Chron.com and the new HoustonChronicle.com.  Why do I have to visit both sides to look for one article or E-Board take? Are they even running E-Board takes on Chron.com anyway?  If the Chron isn’t careful, I just might stick to reading the hard copy and avoiding their sites. 

Who was the last closer to win the Cy Young Award?

The Chron E-Board did a take on the deregulation of food trucks here in H-Town.  Here is a taste (no pun intended):

But the regulations do not stop downtown, with mandatory 60-foot spacing between food trucks and a ban on trucks providing their own tables and chairs putting the kibosh on the sort of food truck festivals that have become popular in other cities.

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association has supported these stifling regulations, arguing that loosening them would give food trucks an unfair advantage. So where were downtown restaurants when it came time to serve festival goers? Well, a lot of them were closed. Downtown shuts down on weekends. There were a few vendors to feed the festival, including Good Dog Hot Dogs, which moved operations from its truck to a table for the day.

You can check out the entire take on HoustonChronicle.com if they will let you or if you know the secret password here.

I smell a food fight!

The E-Board also had a take on the Port.

I like “Two and a Half Men” and I actually thought the kid was a good actor for playing a good dumbarse.  It turns out he’s not a good actor but just playing himself – a dumbarse.

Eric Gagne of course of the LA Dodger snagged the NL Cy Young Award in 2003 – hey, he had 55 saves!

Nothing from The Yard except the exec responsible for “Root, Root, Root” has left.

 

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From what I understand, you have to pay to play on the new HoustonChronicle.com.  Commentary gets to play because I get my hard copy on my front yard very morning.  Some stories are in HoustonChronicle.com and not in Chron.com like the ones about electing local judges today and payday lenders.  Same goes for recent E-Board takes and letters-to-the-editor.

I don’t know if I am allowed to cut and paste off of HoustonChronicle.com since it is a subscription deal.  I did it anyway this morning because it involved a client.  It is just going to take up a little more of my time every morning in order to get Commentary out of the way. 

They need to figure out what they want to do, work out some kinks, and clarify some things.

Name the first relief pitcher to ever win the Cy Young Award?

My Brown Eye Girl formerly known as Pam-In-Charge is celebrating a BD today.  Happy Birthday Pam Gardner!

The Lions defensive tackled Ndamukong Suh who kicked Matt Schaub’s package on Thanksgiving Day is now being called Suh-egge.  I don’t have a problem with that.

A headline from Chron.com:  Scientists have sequenced Bigfoot DNA !!!!!!

What else is news?  Here wears numero 99 for the Texans.

In 1974, Mike Marshall of the Dodger of course was the first relief pitcher to ever win the Cy Young Award. Get this, he appeared in 106 games that season, went 15-12, and had 21 saves.  He rocked!

From Chron.com:

Ballots for the 2013 Hall of Fame class will be issued this week to media members; candidates will officially be announced Wednesday. Results will be disclosed Jan. 9 for a controversial list of names that will include first-timers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa.

B-G-O is also on the ballot!

 

 

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I’m betting most members of the H-Town City Council aren’t too happy about Council being named Turkey of the Year by the Houston Press.  The Press gave them the dishonor because of issues related to CM Helena Brown, food trucks, and the revised noise and feeding the homeless ordinances.   I don’t know about giving the entire Council the bad rap.

Check out the dishonor here.

The Chron E-Board wants to do away with straight ticket voting for judges.  Good luck! 

Here is their take that ran yesterday.

I wonder how they want it to work.  Do they leave the R and D next to the candidates’ name and just take judicial races off of the straight ticket grid and force people to go down the list and mark off what they wanted to do in the first place.  Do you let the party primaries nominate and don’t put an R or D next to their name so the partisans will just have to study up or take a party slate card with them to go vote? 

We don’t have a great system but I’d rather leave it up to the political parties to select their best judicial candidates and hopes it all works out on Election Day. 

AP’s Russell Contreras put out a piece this past weekend about JFK’s last night in H-Town at the Rice and what it meant to Latinos back then.

Check it out here.

Name the MLB club that produced the most Cy Young Award winners for 1980 through 1989?

Salon.com has a piece today on how it won’t be that easy for the GOP to start winning more Latino votes.

Check it out here.

I couldn’t agree more with the piece.  When you demonize a part of our community like they’ve been doing for the last four years or so ala Gov. Jan Brewer, you get payback at the polls.

Living rooms across H-Town erupted mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving Day when the Texans won in OT.  There were knuckle bumps galore in Baytown at my parents’ house.  We caught a good break for sure when the red challenge flag came out at the wrong time.   Once again I thought we were goners. 

From the gift that keeps giving department from The President’s Annual Turkey Pardon ceremony:

“They say that life is all about second chances,” Obama said to laughter, his daughters, Sasha and Malia at his side. “And this November, I could not agree more. So in the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give, and it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler.”

Yuk, yuk, yuk!  More from the ceremony:

“For the first time in our history, the winners of the White House turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote. And once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it,” Obama said. “The guy’s amazing. He predicted these guys would win.”

I saw a photo this past week showing Romney putting gas in his ride just like those of the 47% that have rides. 

Phillies pitchers snagged four NL Cy Young Awards in the eighties of course:  Steve Carlton (1980 and 1982), John Denny (remember him? 1983), and closer Steve Bedrosian (1987).

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.

 

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Forty-nine years ago tomorrow I’ll always remember.  Younger folks these days don’t understand Friday, November 22, 1963.  Just after noon that day we got word. The night before he was in H-Town and my Dad got to see him.  We had a black and white TV back then and we were glued to it all weekend and saw Lee Harvey Oswald go down.  We were a nation stunned that weekend.  Nothing like it had ever happened in our lifetime. I stopped wondering a while back how a JFK full term or two term administration would have turned out.  Those of us that remember will probably bring it up at the table tomorrow.  It will probably be a good history lesson for the younger ones.  I’m sure it probably doesn’t get mentioned in classrooms these days.

Who won the MLB MVP and Cy Young Awards in 1963?  (You’re good if you get this one right.)

There is lot to be thankful for these days like the 332 electoral college votes for The President and 55 Dem U.S. Senators.  Let me also thank the 47% and the other 4% for begin thankful for your “gifts” and overcoming the GOP voter suppression efforts by showing up at the polls.

Personally I am thankful that I met Traci Jensen and Joe Martinez – two exceptional candidates.  We came up short but it wasn’t because we didn’t work hard.   Let me thank Paul Morgan who ran up in HD 135 and actually won five or so precincts up in the Cy-Fair area.

Let me also be thankful for having the opportunity to work with MariGirl for all these years and her big accomplishments this year.

Let me also be thankful for being part of a voting bloc – that sounds cool – that voted 71% for The President.  Si se puede!

Check out the Chron story on the power struggle story on the Port.

Chron.com has not been joined by HoustonChronicle.com.  You have to pay for it though unless you are like Commentary and go fetch your newspaper off of the driveway in the morning.  I am not ready to offer a review at this point.

Catcher Elston Howard of the Yankees of course won the AL MVP Award and Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax of course won both the NL MVP Award and the Cy Young Award (combined) in 1963.

The ‘Stros are getting into the Black Friday hoopla so go to The Yard this Friday and check out their offers,

Commentary will be off until next Monday so have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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You can probably knock Tea Party Sen. Marco Rubio off of any Prez wannabe list.  The U.S. of A. wants a Prez that has a better understanding of where we’ve been and where we’re going.  When asked about the age of planet Earth here is how he responded:

“I’m not a scientist, man.  I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that.  At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.  Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

Yabba dabba doo!

The Big Puma says he has four offers including one from the ‘Stros.  Last year he was dinged up and only played in 32 games and only had 2 dingers.  How many times has The Big Puma ever had 40 or more dingers in a season?

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby wrote a letter to incoming freshman Lone Star State legislators.

Check it out here.

More on The Big Puma from the Chron:

Asked what it would take for a return to the Astros, Berkman said: “It would have to be a pretty decent offer.

“If I’m going to hit third for a major league team, then obviously there’s a compensation level that accompanies that,” Berkman added. “It’s just a matter whether the Astros would be willing to pay that or not. If they are not, no hard feelings. I just feel like if you are going to do a job, you deserve to be paid somewhere in the ballpark where the job description entails.”

Berkman said he has a “ballpark number” that it would take for him to sign with the Astros but is not ready to discuss it publicly. He played on a one-year, $12 million deal with St. Louis last season.

Big Puma!  You are being asked to bat third for the ‘Stros, not the Yankees!

The Big Puma had 42 dingers in 2002 and 45 dingers in 2006 of course.

JD is still around.

 

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The Big Jolly fella has an interesting take about a so-called civil war brewing within the Harris County GOP.  It’s Sen. Dan Patrick, Paul Bettencourt, and my pal Gary Polland attacking Hunker Down.   Apparently they are mad at Hunker Down because he called out a GOP PAC that he works with for putting out one of those false and misleading mailers during the past election and it got covered on Fox 26 News.  Big Jolly also takes issue with how Sen. Patrick and Uncle Paul or “Tio Pablo” as Big Jolly calls him run the local GOP.  Here is a taste:

The idea that Republicans should not try to compete in minority areas will be the death of the party. But more important, by ignoring these areas and leaving them to the ideas of liberalism, we are abandoning the future of the country. In his speech at the Robert Beren Academy this past Thursday on the issue of school choice, Sen. Dan Patrick stated that it was immoral to force children to attend failing schools. Isn’t it just as immoral to not give children in minority areas the opportunity to learn the concepts of liberty, freedom, and opportunity? Instead of abandoning the Asian, Latino, Black, and GLBT communities, we need to expand our efforts to reach them!

Yes, it appears that a civil war is brewing in the Harris County Republican Party. Fortunately, Judge Emmett is well funded and is a proven fund-raiser. Perhaps it is time for an all out war about the future of the party. If this happens, the Democrats will win sooner than expected but so what? Without structural changes in the Harris County Republican Party, they are going to win sooner or later anyway.

Here’s Big Jolly’s entire take.

I am the last guy that is going to give the local GOP advice but I wonder if Hunker Down’s attackers know that he has the best crossover appeal of all GOP elected officials.

This is an easy one and I’m kind of disappointed in myself for even offering it up.  From 1990 through 1999, name the MLB team that produced the most Cy Young Award winners?

It was nearly one of those any given Sundays yesterday as the Texans escaped with a W.  I actually thought we were going to lose.  I’m thinking most Thanksgiving dinners in H-Town this Thursday will start after 3 pm or so.

I was going to say something about the Port and the Sunset Commission recommendations and Anna Eastman’s and two of her fellow trustees’ letter to the Chron but the story and letter are not on Chron.com yet.  What is up with that?

KHOU TV weather person Gene Norman is no longer with KHOU.  What is up with that?

The Trib has a piece on George P.   I understand the fascination but will he have to run hard right to satisfy the GOP base – Tea Baggers?

Check out the piece here.

Former H-Town CM Jolanda Jones wants to run for City Council in District D but the City Attorney says she can’t.  It is pretty clear if you read the City Charter she can’t.  Oh, well! 

Check out the little story here.

I don’t have anything to say about Twinkies or Sno Balls or Ding Dongs.

The ATL of course produced six Cy Young Awards winners in the ‘90s of  with Tom Glavine (1991 and 1998), Greg Maddux (1993, 1994, and 1995), and John Smoltz (1996).

From Taggs at MLB.com:  Jim Deshaies, a popular member of the Astros’ television broadcast team for more than a decade, has interviewed for a similar position with the Cubs.

Now that would be STUPID if the team let JD leave. 

 

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There isn’t a whole lot to talk about this Friday the 16th other than to say the Port of Houston Authority is back in the cruise business down at Bayport.  That’s a good thing.  Here is this from the Chron:

"Securing this cruise business helps fulfill our commitment by building the cruise terminal to spur job creation and economic development for the entire greater Houston and Pasadena region," Jim Edmonds, chairman of the authority’s commission, said in a statement.

The Port critics have one less issue to go after.  Now if we can just settle on a new Port Chair.

Check out the entire article here.

The Cy Young Award was first handed out in 1956.  From 1956 through 1966 (11 seasons), the award was a combined leagues award.  Name the league that won it the most during the 11 seasons?

Romney keeps getting deservedly pounded by his fellow GOPers and now the late night talk show hosts for his “gifts” remarks.    GOPers just want him to go far, far away and stay away.  I wonder how it is going to feel in the Romney living room on Christmas Day when Tagg and the rest are exchanging “gifts?”

“Lincoln” leads this weekend’s movie buzz and folks are now predicting another Oscar for Daniel Day-Lewis.  I’m actually looking forward to “Hitchcock” next week.  Of course, most young folks don’t know about Alfred Hitchcock and his great films.  They also don’t know that he was nominated five times for Best Director at the Oscars but never won. 

From 1956 through 1966, the National League snagged the Cy Young Award seven times of course and the American League snagged it four times.

I don’t have anything from The Yard – sorry.

 

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A couple of months ago when Romney went 47% on us he said at the time that he needed to be more eloquent on what he was trying to say or something like that.  Well, he’s getting there.   Here is from a story about Romney talking to his finance committee yesterday:

In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Romney said the president followed the “old playbook” of wooing specific interest groups — “especially the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Romney explained — with targeted gifts and initiatives.

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Romney said.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” he said.

“Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women.”

Here is the entire article. 

Rather than Commentary responding, I’ll just leave it up to Louisiana GOP Governor Bobby Jindal to answer.  Here is from a story:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) rebuffed Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama won reelection because of "gifts" to minorities and young voters, calling the statement "wrong."

"That is absolutely wrong," Jindal said at Wednesday’s session of the annual Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas, according to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. "I absolutely reject that notion."

“I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party," Jindal continued. “That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election: If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly: One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream. Period. No exceptions."

1967 was the first year the Cy Young Award was handed out to a pitcher from each league.  Prior to 1967 only one pitcher in MLB was given the award.  Name the last pitcher to win the combined league award in 1966?

My pal Chron City Hall beat writer Chris Moran is leaving the Chron and H-Town tomorrow and heading to Gainesville, Florida home of the Gators.  That’s too bad.  Chris is a first class guy and excellent reporter that covered City Hall issues as good as anyone ever has.  He’s covered Rebuild, red lights, bonds, feeding the homeless, and he even let us know who at City Hall is sitting in the real good seats, err suites at Toyota.  He works hard.  He’s thorough.  He’s fair.   I’ll miss him and I wish him nothing but the best.

The President said yesterday that he would meet with Romney before the end of the year.  I don’t think he should meet with a sore loser.

Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax of course won the Cy Young Award in 1966 with a 27-9 record, 1.73 ERA, and 317 Ks – not bad at all.

Sir Paul was at The Yard last night and he didn’t hit any foul balls.

 

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