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Archive for July, 2010

Cong. SJL, of the Eighteenth District, in a recent speech on the House Floor says there are still two Vietnams – huh!  Check out Chron.com.

You know, the Harris County election ballot is now printed in Vietnamese because there aren’t two Vietnams.  I guess Cong. SJL didn’t watch the evening news that day back in 1975 when the last helicopter took off from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

Commentary is real disappointed in our Houston Police Department for sending out misleading letters to folks that haven’t paid their fines after they were caught running red lights by the red light cameras.  Check out the Chron story.  The City of H-Town wanted Harris County to help collect the fines by not renewing the vehicle registration for those folks that owed unless they paid off the fines.  The County said they wouldn’t participate because they were afraid folks just wouldn’t renew their registration and the County would lose money.  HPD sent out letters anyway saying that unless you paid your fine, you couldn’t renew your registration…tsk, tsk, tsk.

Numero 45 didn’t make it to last night’s club workout in Pittsburgh and so the team is a little miffed.  I’m disappointed in Numero 45 for not getting his arse in gear.  He’s not doing so hot at the plate this season.   His not showing up on time sends a bad message if you ask me.  When was the last time Numero 45 played in the post season?

Brains and Eggs and Pitchforks and Torches unmercifully skewered Renew Houston yesterday.  They hit the message, the messenger, the presentation, the facts, and the lack of facts.  I’m thinking that The Mayor is going to have to do some heavy lifting on behalf of Renew Houston which probably means that the term limits recommendation will not make it on the ballot.

In 2000, of course, Numero 45 was a member of the White Sox when they won the AL Central.  In the ALDS they got swept by the Mariners in three and Numero 45 went 1 for 11. 

It looks like Skipper Mills might bench Numero 45 tonight for missing last night’s workout.  That’s OK with me as the club plays three in Pittsburgh this weekend.

 

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An H-Town City Council Committee officially received the recommendation from the Term Limits Review Commission yesterday.  Aside from Commentary, not many folks showed up.   Prior to the meeting, here’s what the Chron said the H-Town Mayor had to say about the recommendation:  “not something I’m going to get excited about.”

The recommendation includes two four year terms replacing the current three two year terms.  The Mayor, Controller, and other council member first termers could run for two four year terms for a total of ten years of service.  Second termers could run for a four year term for a total of eight years of service.  Third termers couldn’t run anymore, so they end up with just six years.  Frankly, I don’t think that is fair.

Of course, City Council has to vote to put it on the November ballot and the voters have to approve.  If this happens, they would probably have to make changes to the city’s campaign fundraising ordinance.

To date, a political action committee to change term limits has not been formed.  Let’s see now.  If the Mayor is not enthused, if a lot of activists are going to be worried about the partisan races, and if some city folks are going to be Renewing H-Town, I don’t see how you can mount a campaign to change term limits.  Stay tuned!

Jeff Bagwell returns to the ‘Stros dugout tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.  When he made his MLB debut on Opening Day in 1991, where was he in the batting order?

Yesterday, the H-Town City Council also started talking about the upcoming redistricting process.  Some very pointed questions were asked.  It is going to be an interesting process.

HISD Trustee Diana Davila will announce her resignation from the school board this afternoon.  Diana caught everyone off guard yesterday when word got out she was leaving.  We’re not sure on the process to replace – appoint or election.  This is going to be very interesting.

Bagwell batted sixth of course on Opening Day of 1991.

I guess during the next 16 days folks will be talking about Roy O. and The Big Puma as trade material and the ’Stros return to The Yard next Friday.   

 

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Cong. Ciro Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) claimed he got set-up and ambushed and that’s why he lost his cool.  Well, as of yesterday afternoon over 281,000 folks had viewed the meltdown on youtube.  It looks like Ciro gave his opponent all the ammo they need to perpetuate the stereotype of the hot tempered Latino. 

White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said this past weekend that Dems could very well lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives this November – yikes!  He’s not backing off of those words.  I’m thinking this is part of a message strategy to get Dems more enthused – I hope!

This past weekend the Chron carried a story about a memo the H-Town Chief of Police put out that says officers can’t talk to criminal defense lawyers on cases unless they got an OK from the DA’s office.    A handful of the best criminal defense lawyers in H-Town showed up yesterday at the H-Town City Council meeting and skewered the Police Chief and City Attorney and accused them of witness tampering and violating the constitution.  The City Attorney didn’t look to sharp if you ask me.  I was checking it out on the municipal channel. 
Check out the story.  Not a single council member defended the Chief or City Attorney.  Two council members (Jones and Bradford) even piled on.   The H-Town Mayor’s body language and measured response indicated that the Chief’s memo was probably headed to the shredder.  Stay tuned!

The ATL catcher Brian McCann was named MVP of last night’s MLB All Star Game after knocking in three runs with a base loaded double in the top of the seventh inning.  FYI: McCann was taken by the Braves in round two of the 2002 MLB Amateur Player Draft.   There were three others in uniform last night that were also drafted in round two in 2002.  Who are they?

Let’s get back to the recommendation by the H-Town Term Limits Review Commission.  A political player told me last night that it was kind of unfair for the more senior members of the current council to not be able to get the opportunity to rack up as many years of service as the newer members – if you know what I mean.  I get this.  It does kind of seem unfair. 

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Dodgers pitcher Jonathan Broxton, and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester of course were also taken in round two of the 2002 draft.

Michael Bourn struck out on three pitches last night in his only at-bat.    At least he was on the field when the final out was made.  Now the ‘Stros have something to play for.  After last night’s 3-1 NL victory, if we get to the World Serious, we get home field advantage.

 

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Let’s go to the important things first.  Commentary was asked by perryvstheworld to answer 20 questions.  What the heck!   Somebody finally asked me for my takes.  Check them out.

The City of H-Town Term Limits Review Commission came up with a recommendation.  Check it out in today’s Chron.

I don’t know about that.   Here’s the first thing that comes to my mind.  Let’s say The H-Town Mayor and City Council puts this on the ballot this November.   What if the issue is framed around giving the H-Town Mayor 10 years instead of six?  What if the proposal is rejected by the voters?   What would it say about The Mayor?

To cover her arse, The Mayor would have to expend political capital to make sure this passes.  Then it looks like she’s doing this for personal political gain. 

City Council does not have an obligation to put this on the ballot.  In fact they need to be real careful.   Thousands and thousands of voters signed petitions back in 1991 to put the term limits initiative on the ballot.  I’m betting no more than 250 voters attended the Commission hearing this past year and not all of them were in support of changing the current system.   Think about that.

The H-Town Mayor and City Council have to make sure that there is a fully funded professional campaign team in place that is going to get this thing passed before they sign-off.  If they put it out there and they get beat, they are all going to look bad and look like they are out of touch.  You don’t want to be an elected official that is perceived to be out of touch with your constituents.

I’m sure the Renew Houston folks would rather have the members of City Council spending their evenings campaigning for Renew Houston and not on changing term limits.  Stay tuned!

George Steinbrenner is no longer with us.  When was the first time one of his Yankee teams won the World Serious?

Speaking of Renew Houston, CEWDEM put out a piece where a local Dem Party officer from SD 13 is cracking on Renew Houston. I wonder how many other Dem leaders will oppose Renew Houston and join forces with Norman Adams and his crew.

Commentary will be going to The Yard this evening to catch the MLB All Star Game on the jumbotron.  It is a reward of sorts for some of us that follow the team.  Hope they have some good grub.

In 1977 of course, the Yankees beat the Dodgers in six games.

I’ll be rooting for the NL tonight so the ‘Stros can have home field advantage during the World Serious.

 

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Commentary is occasionally asked about H-Town’s Mayors of the past three decades or so.   I like to point out that Mayors Bob Lanier and Lee Brown got it when it came to MWBE contract participation. I bring this up because it looks like the design and construction of the new Downtown Soccer Stadium will not have minority owned firms participation.  That’s too bad.

Mayor Lanier, Mayor Brown, and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority made sure that minority owned architectural, engineering, and construction firms were part of the design team for Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium.   It doesn’t look like that is going to be the case for the Downtown Soccer Stadium.

Commentary fully understands that the financing structure is a bit different in this instance but there is still a considerable amount of public funds involved.  

Former Dynamo President Oliver Luck led the effort on the part of the Dynamo to get the deal done.  Latino leaders and organizations were the most vocal supporters.  It looks like Luck used a few folks on this deal.

Commentary has never been impressed with Luck.  In a recent farewell article on Luck, the Chron gave him way too much credit for his role in the construction of the three sports venues when he served as Executive Director of the Sports Authority.  The fact of the matter is when he arrived at the Sports Authority, Minute Maid Park was already open for business, Reliant’s construction was well underway, and construction at Toyota had just started.  Luck wasn’t involved in any of the financing negotiations for either. 

Commentary thought that the precedent set in the construction of the first three venues that MWBE participation was a given.  I thought it was kind of like accepted public policy.  It looks like that isn’t going to be the case on this deal.  It looks like the MWBE community, particularly Latinos, is out of Luck.  That’s a shame and shouldn’t be accepted.   We can’t go back to the old days.

Jeff Bagwell is now the hitting coach or the ‘Stros.  When was the last time Baggy swung a bat in a real game for the ‘Stros?

The New York Times reports today that Dem Governors met with The President this weekend and some of them advised The President to cool it when it comes to taking on Arizona and talking about immigration reform.  Check out the piece.
Some of the Dem governors think that the immigration issue is a losing one for Dems in the November general election.  Commentary has said it before.  The President is probably one of the smartest Dems around.  He knows that he has to talk up immigration reform to get Latinos to the polls.  Commentary is hoping that he won’t take the advice of those Dem governors. 

PolticfactTexas is A-OK by me.  Apparently, the Lone Star State Lite Guv doen’t like what it does.  Check out a story.  My old pal Gardner Selby and others just check out the facts and let the rest of us know the truth.  Apparently some Dem and GOP consultants aren’t impressed with PolitifactTexas.  Well, then just check out your facts before you send them out.  PolitifactTexas is letting you know that the free ride is over.

In Game 4 of the World Serious on October 26, 2005 of course Baggy came up as a pinch hitter for Brandon Backe in the bottom of the seventh and grounded out to second base.  That was the last time Baggy batted in a real game.

Commentary likes the move to get Baggy back into the game.   Baggy says he knows baseball and he knows hitting.  I’d rather have him in the dugout than on the golf course.  The ‘Stros now take four days off for the All Star Game break before they hit the road on Friday.  

 

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The burkablog likes to remind us that when looking at the current national polling data, keep an eye on the stat that says GOP voters are more enthused than Dem voters.  Can Lone Star State Dems offset this by having a competitive race for governor?

It looks like H-Town voters will vote on a drainage and infrastructure initiative that will call for some sort of fee increase to combat flooding.  The Chron called it a “tax” today.  Check out the story.   The folks that want to call for an election are called Renew Houston.  H-Town business leader Norman Adams calls it an increase in the property tax and has signaled that he will lead the charge to oppose.  Does the Renew Houston election bring out more anti tax voters to the polls?

The Kubosh folks say they have the signatures to put the anti red light camera initiative on the H-Town ballot.  If they do have the signatures, does this bring out more anti government voters?   Of course, if they come in with just over the bare minimum of signatures, the folks at the city will check them out closely.

Then there is the H-Town Term Limits Commission that might forward to the H-Town City Council next week, a recommendation to make a few changes to the current term limits provision.  Even if the recommendation is considered slight or modest, does this also bring out the more conservative voter?   If so, does this hurt the Renew Houston effort?

Heck, does the anti red light camera effort hurt the Renew Houston effort?

Then there are also the old standbys like the immigration reform issue and Latino voters and without The President on the ballot, do African American and first time voters turn out.   Does the fact that the Former H-Town Mayor is a homie impact local turnout?

This is the kind of stuff that political folks will be talking about leading up to early voting so stay tuned!

Who has the MLB record for most 200-hit season?

H-Town CM James Rodriguez got some run in today’s Chron editorial.  Check it out. 

Commentary’s still glad to know that the folks over at The Yard still read Commentary.  Roy O. let his pitching do his talking as he racked up the second one hitter of his career.  The Big Puma took care of business with a couple of solo dingers.  They sure are determined to get off of the road to 100.

Pete Rose of course had ten 200-hit seasons.

Tony LaRussa, Albert Pujols, and the rest of the San Luis crew make their first season visit to The Yard this weekend as blue caps are given out today and Mike Scott bobble heads tomorrow. 

 

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The young fella that allegedly got beat up by a few HPD officers hired a very good lawyer and has filed a civil lawsuit against six officers.  My old pal Ben Hall, who also happens to be a former city attorney, has been signed up.  Check out today’s Chron.  The officers allegedly beat up the young fella and were caught on tape by a security camera.

Here’s what Ben had to say about the tape that the public hasn’t seen yet:  "I understand some people might say we might not splatter this kind of indignity on the front pages of newspapers or in broadcasts, but, quite honestly, an open press has a proper function in a open society, and I’m against dictators who try and close off information from the public."

Those are strong words.  Who is the so called dictator? 

Eventually the whole wide world will see the tapes.   The so called dictators probably don’t want to release the tapes because it will be bad for tourism – I guess!

For now, I’m putting my money on Ben.

Who was the first ‘Stro to hit a dinger from each side of the plate in the same game?

Commentary is not going to get all worked up and watch the LeBron James sweepstakes tonight.  I wonder if the ‘Stros will do a TV Special to let us know if Roy O. gets shipped out though.

Alan Ashby of course hit a dinger from each side of the plate in San Diego on September 27, 1982.  Ashby is celebrating BD number 59 today.

It looks like the ‘Stros are determined to get off of the road to 100 losses.  Keppinger, Numero 45, The Pig Puma, and Pence each had a dinger last night to get us a 6-3 victory.  Who knows!. 

 

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The President is doing the best he can to let Latino voters know that he’s not abandoning us on immigration reform.   Yesterday the administration filed suit and challenged Arizona’s show me your papers law.   This action for the time being keeps Latinos engaged in this year’s election.  Did I say for the time being?

Meanwhile, today’s SA Express News has a piece about the candidates for governor of the Lone Star State not mentioning the immigration reform issue.  Check out the piece .

I’ve said it before.  The immigration reform issue strikes a raw nerve in the Latino community.  We’ve seen it time and time again over the past few years.  Yeah, I know.  Polling probably shows that Latinos are concerned about jobs and education, but I don’t think that is going to get us to the polls. 

As of today, I don’t see local Dems engaging Latino voters on this issue.  That’s a big mistake.  Hopefully next month’s Houston Area Latino Summit on Immigration Reform will be a catalyst of sorts.  Stay tuned!

Michael Bourn is the ‘Stros representative to this year’s MLB All Star Game.  When was the last time we sent just one player to the All Star Game?

H-Town CM James Rodriguez got a dangerous building bulldozed in his district yesterday.  Check it out in today’s Chron.  The H-Town Mayor also gets some credit.  Way to go!

Have you ever wanted to know the names of the tunes they play when a ‘Stros pitcher enters the game or when a batter steps up to the plate?  Well thanks to Alyson’s Footnotes, here’ the answer:

Pitcher Intros:
Matt Lindstrom: "Dangerous Waters" by Non-Point.
Brett Myers: "Miracle" by Non-Point.
Roy Oswalt: "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack.
Brian Moehler: "Big Gun" by AC DC.
Bud Norris: "Hero" by N.A.S.
Felipe Paulino: "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarten.
Wandy Rodriguez: "TNT" by AC DC.
Chris Sampson: "Dukes of Hazzard" by Waylon Jennings.

Batter Intros:
Hunter Pence: "California Gurls" by Katy Perry.
Chris Johnson: "Milkshake" by Kellis.
Geoff Blum: "Bulletproof" by La Roux.
Lance Berkman: "Seventeen" by Tim McGraw.
Michael Bourn: "Showtime" by Young Jeezy.
Carlos Lee: "Noche De Entierro" by Daddy Yankee.
Tommy Manzella: "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent.
Jason Michaels: "The Big Show" by WWF: The Music.
Roy Oswalt: "Whistling Dixie" by Randy Houser.

Heck, I’ve never heard of most of these artists and their tunes.

In 2002 of course, Lance Berkman was the only ‘Stro selected to play in the All Star Game in Milwaukee.

Last night the ‘Stros played like they wanted to get off of the road to 100 losses.  Wandy looked like Wandy of 2009.  The Big Puma and Numero 45 did what they are paid to do – hit dingers.  I guess Numero 45 also noticed that there weren’t any Caballitos at the game last night – yikes! 

 

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Newspapers across the state are reporting about the candidate forum that Guv Dude skipped yesterday.  If his internal polling says that it is OK to skip, well, he’ll continue to skip them.

AP has a story today about folks in the Lone Star State not taking a liking to the red light cameras.  The article says that the Kubosh petition drive has enough signatures to give us a red light camera election here in H-Town this November.  Now that is interesting. 

You have to figure that the H-Town Mayor would have to come out in support of keeping the red light cameras because of public safety and budget concerns.  You have to wonder that aside from the company that sells the city the red light cameras, who would give money to a save the red light camera campaign committee.  Stay tuned on this one for sure!

The lowly Pittsburgh Pirates come to The Yard this weekend.  Of course, one of the best ever in the game was Numero 21, Roberto Clemente of the Pirates.  He was taken from us on December31, 1972 at the age of 38.   He ended up with 3,000 hits.  Who was pitching against him when he got Number 3,000?

Well, a number of local news organizations are reporting that BP tar balls are hitting Texas beaches.  I wonder how the political campaigns will play this.

A few seasons ago the Chron’s Sports Section had a tombstone on its cover signifying that the ‘Stros were dead that year and we ended up going to the World Serious.  Today’s Sport Section cover is about the possibility of the ‘Stros losing 100 games this season. 

Jon Matlack of course of the Mets served up a double to Roberto Clemente on September, 30, 1972 at Three Rivers.

Maybe today’s Chron Sports Section will serve as a wake-up call and get the ‘Stros on track.  They need to start putting it together tonight against a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 41 was president.

 

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In a recent article on the House Speaker of the Lone Star State, Dem legislators had different opinions:

"He’s bending over backwards for people who are never, ever going to support him," said Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston. "Those of us who would like to work with him in running the state, he’s taking for granted."

"The speaker’s always been fair and accessible and open," said Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said she and Straus don’t always agree on policy, but he allows her to do her work.

"I would definitely say I’ve been treated fairly," Howard said. "The mood in the House is much different than before Speaker Straus came on board. There’s an environment where we as legislators are allowed to do our jobs and work the system without obstruction."

"The speaker has had four chances to appoint members to the Sunset commission and only one of those appointments has been a Democrat," said Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston.  "Anyone who doesn’t believe he is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican isn’t paying attention to the appointments."

Oh, well!

Meanwhile, it looks like the most irrelevant GOPer in the GOP is the Chair of the RNC – huh!  He’ll be lucky to survive the week.

Michael Bourn is the only ‘Stro on the NL All-Star squad.  I’m OK with that.  Roy O. didn’t get on.  I’m OK with that, too.

The last time the NL won an All-Star Game was in 1996. Who represented the ‘Stros that year?

I’m sorry but it ain’t a true Hot Dog Eating Contest unless you have Kobayashi in the mix.  There was no drama at all yesterday.

B-G-O and Bagwell of course were on the NL All-Star team in 1996 that won 6-0.

There is a reason why only one Caballito now shows up at The Yard these days.  Numero 45 continues to look helpless at the plate, particularly in clutch situations.  His .232 batting average is a big reason we’re at 32-51. 

 

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