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Archive for February, 2010

Debra Medina officially became a kook candidate yesterday.   Either she is a dumbarse or didn’t want to say bad things about her base.  She don’t need to ‘splain nothing to me.  Hutch’s team got a boost.  Now at least Hutch won’t get totally embarrassed on E-Day, just somewhat embarrassed.

Here’s the lead paragraph from today’s Chron story on yesterday’s HISD Board meeting: “At a contentious meeting pitting parents against teachers, the Houston school board gave final approval on Thursday to a policy allowing the firing of instructors whose students fall short on standardized tests.”

Hmmm – parents against teachers! 

Here’s what HISD Trustee Anna Eastman said last night:  “I agree our system has room to grow.  Our data has room to grow, but our kids deserve to have an effective teacher in every single classroom.”

Back to the 1979 World Serious, who had the highest Serious batting average among starters from both teams?

The place to be last night was the CM James Rodriguez fundraiser at Three Forks in Downtown Houston.  A lot of folks showed up including The Dean who was given a very warm welcome because of his statement yesterday on the tuition increases at UH.  One of Guv Dude’s former supporters who now backs Hutch was there and said he would be supporting Dude after the Primary.

Folks were already talking last night about a Dude/Former Mayor match-up.  Everybody agreed it won’t be a Orlando Sanchez vs Bill White affair.

Someone that I respect last night said that he didn’t know what the fuss was about the H-BAD voter slate program.  He said that stuff has been happening for years.  I replied he was right but reminded him that this is the first time it went out on the internet

Second Baseman Phil Garner of course with the Pirates batted .500, going 12 for 24 with four doubles and five RBIs.

The ‘Stros offered a deal to former ‘Stro Willie Taveras yesterday – interesting.

 

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Commentary is against term limits for H-Town City elected officials.  We got term limits back in 1991 when Clymer Wright and his group went out and got 20,000 plus signatures on petitions to put a referendum on the ballot and the voters approved in an election.  I strongly believe that if folks want to amend or do away with term limits, they ought to go out and organize a campaign and get 20,000 plus signatures to put it on the ballot.  

I mention this because last night I attended the City of H-Town’s Term Limits Commission’s second public meeting.  (I missed the first because I didn’t know about it.)

The Commission’s membership includes a number of key political players including Toni Lawrence, Diana Davila Martinez, Thomas Jones, Bob Stein, Frumencio Reyes, Carroll Robinson, Cristina Cabral, Claudia Williamson, and Kathryn McNeil.  It is chaired by Ambassador Arthur Schechter.

Not a whole lot of folks attended last night’s meeting.  Maybe it was a lack of interest on the part of the public.  Maybe the City didn’t do a good job of letting folks know.  Maybe it was both.

Among those that presented were former City Attorney Jonathan Day, Chris Bell, Clymer Wright and Bob Lemur.  All but Lemur had interesting things to say.   Here is a little of what was said last night.

Of course, Wright likes things the way they are.

Lemur spent his time cracking on the former and current H-Town Mayors on city finances.

Day wants going to two four year terms then sitting out two years before you can run again.  He wants to make the City Controller position an appointed one – by the Mayor and confirmed by council.  He doesn’t want sitting council members to run for Mayor.  He wants resign to run.  He also wants to curtail fundraising.

Bell also wants two four year terms and read from a column he wrote after the 2007 election where he blames term limits for the voters lack of participation in city elections.

Commentary cautioned the Commission to beware of the public mood.  Putting a proposal forward and bypassing the signature collecting route to extend terms may be perceived by the voter as trying to extend the political lives of politicians in a time when the voter wants other priorities addressed like jobs and the economy.

Personally, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between two four year terms and the current three two year terms.

I have a problem with curtailing fundraising because all that does is give rich folks an advantage should they decide to run.

It is interesting in that the Commission was created as the former Mayor was leaving office.  The Commission will have to recommend a plan of action to the current Mayor and Council sometime this summer.  The Mayor and Council will then have to decide if they want to put it on the ballot this November.  If they do, the Mayor will have to use her political capital to get it passed.  If they put it on the ballot and she steps away from it and it goes down, she’ll get blamed.   Stay tuned!

You ought to be able to answer this one in your sleep.  Who hit all three dingers for the winners of the 1979 World Serious?

Here’s a question that was asked of Tag on the ‘Stros website””

“There are a few stories about the Rangers and Astros swapping locations of their Triple-A affiliates come next season — Astros to Oklahoma City and Rangers to Round Rock. My question is, would the Astros consider moving their Double-A or Triple-A team to San Antonio? Neither of the two clubs have had a presence in San Antonio in the past, so why not now for the Astros?”
— Joshua D., Houston

Tag:  “The Astros’ player development contract with Triple-A Round Rock expires at the end of this year, general manager Ed Wade said. Houston management has expressed a desire to the Nolan Ryan family to keep the affiliate in Round Rock, but with Ryan having an ownership stake in the Texas Rangers, don’t be surprised to see the Express become a Rangers affiliate eventually. Houston’s contract with Double-A Corpus Christi, which is also owned by Ryan Sanders, expires following the 2012 season. The Double-A San Antonio Missions are currently affiliated with the San Diego Padres. If the Astros do lose Round Rock to the Rangers, Oklahoma City might be their best option. “

Willie Stargell of course for the ‘We Are Family” Pirates against the Orioles.

Tag also has a mention of Jason Castro battling to be the starting catcher on Opening Day.

 

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A statewide poll was released yesterday that has Guv Dude with 39%, Hutch with 28% and Medina at 24%.   Meanwhile, Dude keeps hitting Hutch hard with ads including the latest one that throws in a mention and image of Barney Frank.  If I was Dude, I’d start to take it easy on Hutch.  She’s done.  Dude risks pummeling Hutch down to third place and then Medina makes the runoff and gets all this media attention and Medina then spends a month of runoff time cracking on Dude’s record.  If Hutch comes in a dismal second, I’m betting she’ll do a “No Mas” act and throw in the towel and spare the GOP a runoff.

My Best Friend jokingly told me yesterday that when Farouk Shami said at the debate that “without Mexicans is like a day without sunshine” that was the best thing any candidate had ever said about Latinos on the campaign trail in the Lone Star State.

Here’s the lead-in from an AP story about the 18th Congressional District race that is running today in some newspapers: “HOUSTON (AP) — Sheila Jackson Lee’s appearance at Michael Jackson’s funeral in Los Angeles last summer helped convince a three-term Houston city councilman to give the ubiquitous congresswoman her first credible re-election challenge since she won her seat 16 years ago.

“’To say the least, the question ‘Why?’ came to mind,’ says Jarvis Johnson, who hopes to end Jackson Lee’s tenure in Texas’ 18th Congressional District by winning the March 2 Democratic primary. ‘Why are you there?’”

That’s a fair question.  Check out the piece. 

Which MLB batter holds the dubious distinction for most strikeouts in a season?

Commentary always thought that taking on health care reform was going to be a tough one for The President.  Not to be out done, The First Lady is taking on childhood obesity.  That is going to take lot of effort on her part to get it done and change the way a whole lot of folks deal with grub – conveniently.  Last year, on our way to The Yard, I asked Dante if he knew what “obesity” was and he replied that he did not know.  After I explained it to him and told him that obesity was the number one problem facing kids, he said he wasn’t going to have that problem because his mom makes sure they get plenty of fresh veggies and fruits.  Not all moms are like Dante’s mom.  Good First Lady.

Ryan Howard of course with the Phillies in 2007 struck out 199 times.

The Big Puma is 34 today.  Happy Birthday Lance  Berkman!

Meanwhile, the ‘Stros are thinking about signing Willie Taveras who we traded away after the 2006 season. 

 

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Without Commentary, it would be like a day without sunshine.

I have to hand it to the Former H-Town Mayor for not throwing up his hands last night and blurting out “you gotta be kidding” during his televised debate with Farouk Shami.   Saying Shami is out of his league is being too kind.  I wondered what the paid help was doing for Shami these days since winning the race is out of the question.  Heck, they are trying to make sure the campaign stays on the road at least until March 2.  Can you imagine what their debate prep is like?

Ok, I’ll give Shami points for coming out against the border wall and for a moratorium on the death penalty.  He’s probably right on coming out for an increase in the gas tax.  The Former Mayor, Hutch, and Guv Dude oppose right now but don’t be surprised if it gets handed to us next year.   Shami’s paid help also need to hand him a half page memo on the duties of a governor.

As for the Former H-Town Mayor last night, his shot at Dude on playing politics with forensic panel just invites Dude to slap the Former Mayor on the problems H-Town PD has had with forensic issues.

Speaking of, there is a story today about the price of an ambulance ride going up in H-Town.  Check it out.  The City has some financial challenges to deal with during the next budget cycle.   The article hints at raising fees and rates, make cuts, or employee furloughs.  Don’t be surprised if Guv Dude tries to wrap the City’s financial issues around the Former Mayor’s neck.  Stay tuned!

Who set the World Serious record by striking out 17 batters in a game?

CEWDEM made today’s Chron.  Check it out.   The column sure makes local Dems look bad.  Way to go!  It looks like H-BAD’s E-Day program got a little spanking from one of the Chron’s columnists.  The newest special interest group, the Coalition of Harris County Democratic Elected Officials (CHCDEO) also took a hit.  One judicial candidate described the group as “this is a smoke-filled, backroom, old-boy type thing.”  Another said that the “fix was in” in describing how the CHCDEO went about endorsing judicial candidates.  Another said the interview process lasted only a minute – huh!  The local Dem Party Chair says he has nothing to do with the CHCDEO but The Dean – a member of the CHCDEO – says they borrowed judicial candidate questionnaires from the local Dem Party.

The column is bad PR for the local Dem Party.  Nobody ever asks Commentary about this stuff, but I could have told the CHCDEO folks that this type of column was coming.  Those that don’t get support put out stuff along the lines that elected officials are getting together and picking a judicial slate – that makes for good pub, or in this case bad pub for the local Dem Party. 

Bob Gibson of course of San Luis in Game 1 against the Tigers in 1968.

On the ‘Stros  website, here’s what B-G-O says about new third baseman Pedro Feliz:  “I really like the signing of Feliz.  Pedro’s a good guy with a quiet demeanor, and if you hit the ball his way, you’re out. He’s good with the bat and I think it’s a really good signing.”

 

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Unless you live in Indiana, are related to a Colts player, or had a bet on Indianapolis, you were probably rooting for the Saints last night like Commentary.  You were not disappointed.  Of course, after the Jay Z – Rhianna opening CBS’s intro was one big glitch as the audio was missing when the players were shown.

Commentary goes to bathroom breaks or grub trips during the game so I don’t miss the commercials.  

The Tim Tebow and his momma ad didn’t live up to the hype.   Of course, they probably got their point across in the pre game debate.

I like the Betty White – Abe Vigoda Snickers ad.

I can’t get into the GoDaddy Danica ads.

I loved the VW ad where folks were poking each other that ended up with Stevie Wonder – cute.

LOL!  You got to hand it to Letterman, Oprah, and Leno.

The Audi Green Police ad was good.

The Coke sleepwalker with the Dingo dog was good.

The Brett Favre Hyundai ad was good.

The Doritos keep your hand off my momma ad was cute.

The Who are old.  Worse, Brad and Anna Eastman’s daughter said last night that Commentary looked like Pete Townsend – ouch!

I checked out Sarah Palin’s speech to the Tea Baggers the other night and I think she hit a home run with that bunch.  The next morning she said she wouldn’t rule out running for president in 2012.  She’s throwing down the gauntlet and letting the GOP establishment leaders know that they have to contend with her.  She is definitely going to set her own agenda and course for now.   That “hopey changey” line was pretty original.

Heck she got 6,500 folks to get out of their house on Super Sunday to go see her and Guv Dude. That has to be the biggest crowd ever for a campaign rally in either political party primary.

Who said “I’m probably the only guy who worked for Casey Stengel before and after he was a genius.”

The H-Town Mayor is weighing her METRO options.   Check it out in today’s Chron.  She may consider eliminating bus fares to boost ridership.  Hey, that’s what my pal Bill King has been saying.

Here is what is in the Austin American Statesman editorial endorsement of the former H-Town Mayor: “Can the next state budget, with a projected shortfall of up to $17 billion, be balanced without dipping further into some taxpayers’ pockets?  ‘I don’t know,’ said (Bill) White, offering an honest answer most politicians are afraid of uttering.”

Well, that will dog him for sure in the coming months.

Casey Stengel was considered a genius when he managed the Yankees from 1949 – 1960, when they won ten pennants and seven World Seriouses.  Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn played for Stengel with the 1942 Boston Braves and the 1965 New York Mets.

The ‘Stros begin to report to Spring Training next week.

 

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Farouk Shamii says the ad that is being run by the former H-Town Mayor is racist.  What has Shami upset is the line by the former Mayor that says he was born in San Antonio.  I don’t know about that. I wonder if the 16% of the Lone Star State’s population that is foreign born think the ads are racist.  I wonder if the 22% of the Lone Star State’s population that were born in another state feel the ad is offensive.

I don’t make this stuff up.  Let me set it up.  This past Saturday on the campus of Texas Southern University, they were holding the Sprite Step Off which is some sort of dance competition involving sororities and fraternities.  The crowd in attendance was predominantly African American.  The following is on the Houston Press website.

Headline:  Aftermath: Hour After Hour at the Sprite Step Off With Lupe Fiasco, Brooke Valentine, Letoya Luckett, Trae and Sheila Jackson Lee (By Shea Serrano).

“8:24: Yipes. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee just walked out onto the stage between performances, and is absolutely being hammered with boos. She tries to appeal to the crowd through homerism ("Go Tigers!") but it’s for naught. The boos reign down from the heavens. She tries to unite through exploitative pity (something about people in Haiti). That doesn’t work either. When she walks offstage she is somehow not crying.”  Check it out.

The following are all Hall of Famers:  Mel Ott, Willie Mays, Al Kaline, Mickey Mantle, and Bob Feller.  Who was the youngest to make his MLB debut?

Speaking of, Hank Aaron is 76 today.

Former Governor Palin comes to the H-Town area on Super Bowl Sunday to campaign for Guv Dude.  I’m thinking that the duo will stick the fork in Hutch to see if she’s done and then start to take shots at the former H-Town Mayor.  It could very well be a preview of what we can expect the next few months if you ask me.  Of course, nobody ever asks me.

Mel Ott of course was 17 years and one month when he made his debut with the New York Giants where he played for 22 years and ended up with 511 dingers.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951.

From Tag’s Line, ‘Stros likely starting shortstop Tommy Manzella is from Who Dat Nation.  Manzella was born and raised in NOLA and even has season tickets to Saints games as Opening Day is two months from today.

 

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Stewart Powell of the Chron has a piece on Hutch today that sounds more like an obituary. Check it out.  

Here’s what she says in the piece:  “People are so angry and scared for our country’s future that they’re just saying Washington is bad and everybody there is bad.  People are not saying, ‘She’s gone to Washington to fight for us.’”

Here’s what Cal Jillson from SMU had to say in the piece:  “If you’re explaining your record, you’re losing — and she’s explaining.”

She’s kind of a victim of her own political party.  The GOP has made it their mission to create angst amongst the folks back home by saying that the federal government is way out of control and is the cause of all of our economic problems.  The folks back home have gotten all riled up at Washington.  Guv Dude has taken full advantage and it looks like Hutch’s days are numbered.

Who holds the MLB record for most dingers by a rookie?

There was a local political false alarm of sorts yesterday.  There was a news report that H-Town had made the 2012 GOP National Convention Final Four.  It turns out H-Town wasn’t on the list – whew!

With early voting in person in the primaries 12 days away, has anyone seen any of the Dem statewide candidates here in the H-Town area lately?  Of course, I don’t expect to see the former H-Town Mayor, but what about the others. If looks like another dismal Dem Primary turnout if you ask me, but nobody ever asks me.

Yikes!  Mark McGwire of course in 1987 with 49 dingers.

From Alyson’s Footnotes:

“Friday is National Wear (Brick) Red Day, and the Astros are staging a photo shoot at Minute Maid Park to show their support.

“The American Heart Association and the Astros are seeking at least 1,500 Houstonians (representing the number of women who die daily in America from heart disease) to pose for a photo, showing solidarity in fighting this very preventable ailment.

“The instructions are simple: show up to the right field gate at Minute Maid Park on Friday (Feb. 5) at 9:30 a.m. and you’ll be escorted into the ballpark. One requirement: you must wear (brick) red. The photo will be taken from the outfield seats.

“See you there!”

 

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In today’s Chron, R.G. Ratcliffe writes that “a new poll indicates U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is in danger of having the bottom fall out of her campaign.”  R.G. is referring to the Rasmussen poll that came out yesterday that has Guv Dude at 44%, Hutch at 29% and Debra Medina at 16%.

You have to hand it to Dude.  He’s running a killer ad against Hutch on her vote on the bailout and it is obviously working.   If Medina holds on to her 16% and force a run-off with Dude scoring in the upper 40s, and Hutch in the 30s, Hutch will throw in the towel.   It would be pointless for her to stay in a run-off.

Has Hutch run a lousy campaign – nope!   She’s just not rabid like Dude.   Should Hutch have taken the rabid approach earlier in this campaign?  Nah – she doesn’t have the look.

Folks from H-Town’s East End went before City Council yesterday to voice their support for a Downtown soccer stadium and oppose any type of jail facility.  The Mayor and Council got the message.  If the stadium deal falls through, I’m betting a jail won’t land there.

About yesterday’s mention of the 1971 World Serious – who was the Serious MVP?

The “N” word is bad.  Latinos find the “W” word offensive.  Somebody forgot to tell The President’s Chief of Staff that using the “R” word isn’t cool. 

Roberto Clemente of course when he batted .414 and had a couple of dingers.

Clemente wore #21.  The ‘Stros Michael Bourn wears #21 as Opening Day is a little over two months away.

 

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According to news reports, today it looks like the beginning to the end of don’t’ ask don’t tell (DADT).  Stay tuned!

It could be an interesting day at the Houston City Council meeting today as East End folks will line up to speak against any hint of a city-county jail on the site of a proposed soccer stadium.  Also stay tuned!

UH’s Dr. Murrray on his blog is predicting that the former H-Town Mayor will win the Dem Primary without a run-off with about 60% of the vote.  Meanwhile, the former H-Town Mayor rolled out his TV ads yesterday which look like the commercials he put on the air when he ran for mayor in 2003.   They worked then.  Maybe they will work this year.

Whew – I’m glad Commentary doesn’t have to help make this decision.  A number of judicial candidates are consulting with their consultants today to decide if they want to cough up the dough to participate in the H-BAD Election Program.   Here is from a notice HBAD sent out yesterday:

“As we discussed during your interview before the H-BAD Screening Committee, following are the details of the Program, including your participation in the program. 

“The theme of the H-BAD Early Vote and Election Day effort is ‘Bring the BOTTOM to the TOP’, indicating our determination to highlight, in an unprecedented way, down ballot races, while maintaining attention on the marquee races of Congressional District 18, Governor, County Clerk, Tax Assessor Collector and the Legislative race in District 146.

“The Program targets, 121 precincts and will employ approximately 200 card pushers for the Early Vote and Election Day efforts.

“Community walks, the total number and locations to be determined by the final count of candidate participants.

“Focused Press and Media events and coverage targeted to embellish and highlight the theme ‘Bring the BOTTOM to the TOP’ with sustained coverage of top of the ballot races and enhanced coverage of down ballot races.

“Costs for participation, by category of race, are as follows: Statewide Races – $3,500, County-wide Races – $2,500, State Representative Race -$500, and Justice of the Peace – $500.”

HBAD endorsed close to 40 candidates last week.  Around 35 are running countywide.  Here’s what I want to know.  If an endorsed candidate can’t come up with the $2,500, do they get left off of any literature or slate cards that are handed out?

If all the endorsed candidates participate, that’s about $87,000. Commentary expects the consultants to ask to see HBAD’s detailed budget for this program.  What precincts are being covered?  How many card pushers on E-Day and how many at the Early Vote locations.  How much are they getting paid?  How much is going for food and drinks?  How many coordinators are being used and how much are they being paid. What’s the print budget?  What’s the event budget?  Also, also stay tuned!

In what year did we see our first World Serious game at night and who were the two teams that played?

The Oscar nominees were announced today with ten Best Picture hopefuls. I don’t know why they did that.

Game Four of course of the 1971 World Serious at Three Rivers Stadium as the Pirates hosted the Orioles.

Well Pam-In-Charge is still in charge – whew!

 

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Uh Oh!  Now we know for sure what will be asked at next Monday’s debate between the former H-Town Mayor and Farouk Shami.  What do you think about J. Larry Davis, the Anderson County Dem Party Chair saying folks aren’t going to vote for anyone named Farouk in today’s political climate?  Check out what Davis said in this weekend’s Star Telegram. 

Here is from the article:  “An East Texas Democratic Party county chairman told gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami in an e-mail that he is wasting his time running for governor because ‘nobody is going to vote for anyone named Farouk’ in today’s post-9-11 political climate.”

Here’s what Shami’s campaign manager had to say: "We find it hurtful that our party — the party of inclusion — would find its own leadership making statements like this. It makes me wonder how much of the party establishment shares these racist views."

Here’s what Davis, who says he’s a liberal Dem, said:  "I don’t think anybody should stereotype an individual. Everybody has a right to run.  That was just the benefit of my expertise as a political observer out here in East Texas.  It’s pretty redneck out here.  That’s just one of the realities you face."

This is the first time I’ve seen this issue written up in the media.  This isn’t the first time I’ve heard it discussed though. 

Who has the most career At-Bats in MLB and who is runner up?

Commentary watched the GOP gubernatorial debate Friday night and the best part was the Lone Star State Trivial Pursuit portion where the candidates were asked questions like who was the first Texas governor and how much do teachers make.

Speaking of, Nolan Ryan has gone from fixing cracked foundations to fixing Hutch’s campaign.  He’s featured in an ad hanging up a Hutch sign on his fence.

Pete Rose of course with 14,053 ABs followed by Hank Aaron with 12,364.

Yesterday was the deadline for submitting an offer to buy the ‘Stros.  No news is good news in this case. 

 

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