Archive for August, 2010

James on MSNBC and HISD District VIII Candidate List and Growing

Commentary was just informed that H-Town CM James Rodriguez will make an appearance on MSNBC this afternoon at 1:20 pm to talk about anti-gang zones.  Check it out!

Now there are nine folks interested in being the Trustee from HISD, District VIII.  Here are the names according to Chron.comJudith A. Cruz, Dionicio Vidal "D.V. Sonny" Flores, Dorothy M. Olmos, Adolfo Santos, Peter Schwethelm, Juliet K. Stipeche, Nelly E. Garza-White, Stephanie White, and Ann Ziker.

Now here’s the deal.  If the HISD Trustees call for an election and most of these folks plunk down the filing fee and get in the race, the election would be held this November in conjunction with the general election.  The gubernatorial race would drive voter turnout of course.   With this many HISD trustee candidates running, you are guaranteed a run-off election that would be held in early December right before Christmas.  That race would be the only one on the ballot so you would have single digit voter turnout. 

You should be able to catch all the candidates at an HISD forum this morning at 11 am at Furr High School.  Stay tuned!

Former ‘Stro and current Met Carlos Beltran was taken by the Royals in the Second Round of the 1995 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Who was the first player drafted in 1995?

Commentary doesn’t have any reliable sources in the H-Town City Secretary’s office, so I don’t know how the signature verification process is going regarding the anti red light camera campaign initiative.

The H-Town City Council will take action on the Term Limits Review Commission’s recommendation tomorrow morning.   One of the Commission members is challenging the recommendation and is asking Council to reject.  It is going to be interesting to see who shows up to speak this afternoon at the public session.

Former ‘Stro Darin Erstad of course was drafted by the Angels as the first overall pick.  Current notables also taken in the first round included Roy Halladay, Kerry Wood, and Todd Helton.

‘Stros Ace Brett Myers is 30 today!

‘Stros closer Matt Lindstrom blew one last night – again.  It also didn’t help that we stranded 10 base runners.  You need to go check out Chris Johnson, our new third baseman.  He has one of the hottest bats in baseball right now and is batting .365.  Commentary sat in Pam-In-Charge’s seats last night that are right by the ‘Stros on-deck circle.  When CJ was getting his bat ready, I thought I saw a little smoke coming off of the barrel.   We still have three at home with the Mets.


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About 125 folks showed up at Saturday’s Houston Area Latino Summit on Immigration Reform.  It was a most informative morning.  The presentations by the panelists were insightful and right on the mark.  Special thanks are in order for Gordon J. Quan, Co-Chairman, FosterQuan, LLP, State Representative Ana Hernández,  District 143, Michael Espinoza, Texas Director, Mi Familia Vota, Sylvia Mintz, Partner, Plake & Mintz, PLLC, Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, Adriana Fernandez, Political Affairs Coordinator, Association For Residency and Citizenship of America, Cesar Espinosa, Director, Center for Community Integration, and Francisco Arguelles, Founding Member, Colectivo Flatlander.

Key community leaders were on hand including State Rep. Carol Alvarado, Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria, Richard Shaw, Secretary-Treasurer of the Harris County AFL-CIO, LULAC’s Mary Almendarez, Wendy Rodriguez, Sergio Davila, Houston City Council Member Steve Costello, and Maria Jimenez.

Those that attended certainly came away with a better understanding of where we are on immigration reform and why.  Again, the event was first rate!

Of course, H-Town CM James Rodriguez kept the forum on pace as the moderator.  Check out the Chron story on the Summit.

Those that are interested in being the next HISD Trustee for District VIII have been summoned for a forum of sorts at Furr High School tomorrow morning.  Some folks wonder why they are being made to go through a question and answer period at HISD. Hey, why not?  Candidates get screened all the time by a lot of folks and organizations.  I don’t have a problem with this.

Checkout the Chron mention of the forum.

Not all Latinos are on the same page when it comes to filling the District VIII vacancy.  The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has let the HISD Board know that an appointment ASAP would be A-Okay.  Commentary was quoted last week as preferring an election.  Stay tuned!

Former ‘Stro Carlos Beltran and the Mets visit The Yard for four games this week.   When he was with us in 2004, how many post season dingers did he have?

Commentary and Dante were hanging out at Lefty’s before the game yesterday when Dante was approached and asked to do the “Let’s Play Ball” shout-out right before the first pitch. We were escorted down to the field and Dante had his lid on backwards like a lot of folks wear.  Former ‘Stro Jimmy Wynn walked up to Dante and told him to wear his lid correctly if he was going out on the field.  Dante complied.  I guess Jimmy is old school.  Dante also got to lead off the dance segment during the game by doing the twist up on the jumbotron. Of course, Commentary had to show Dante how to do the twist.

Carlos Beltran hit eight post season dingers of course in 2004 with the ‘Stros – four against The ATL in the NLDS and four against San Luis in the NLCS.

What can I say about sweeping the Pirates this weekend?   Let’s see how we do against the Mets.


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Don’t forget to attend tomorrow’s Houston Area Latino Summit on Immigration Reform at 9 a.m., at PlazAmericas (old Sharpstown Mall).  For more information you can go to  http://houstonlatinosummit.com.  See you there!

The HISD Board of Trustees held off on making a decision last night on how to go about filling the vacancy.  They’ll meet again next week but they do want candidates to come forward this week and show their battle flags.  It is going to be a very interesting week.

The ATL’s Chipper Jones got hurt Tuesday night trying to field a Hunter Pence ground ball.  He’s out for the season and he could hang up his spikes.  He was the first overall draft pick in 1990 when he was drafted by The ATL.  He’s had a Hall of Fame type career with a .306 career batting average, 436 dingers, 1,491 RBIs, an MVP award, and 6 All Star Game selections.  Who else from that 1990 first round draft class also merits Hall of Fame discussion?

Happy Birthday to The Dean!

Fidel Castro also has a BD today.

Pitcher Mike Mussina of course (who is no longer playing) was 270-153, 2,813 strikeouts, a 3.68 career ERA, 5 Gold Gloves, and with 5 All Star Game selections is worthy of Hall of Fame debate.

The Pirates come in for three this weekend as 10,000 umbrellas are handed out this evening.    You need to come check out our third baseman Chris Johnson who has one of the hottest bats in baseball these days. 


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We have decided that we will leave the plantation, no longer be your servants, and fully intend to cast our votes for the Former H-Town Mayor. 

Yours Truly,

Kunta Kinte, Toby, Chicken George, Fiddler, and Kizzy

Yesterday, the H-Town City Council delayed making a decision on the Term Limits Review Commission recommendation.  I wonder if something is up.  I wonder if some backroom horse trading is going on.  I hope it is not a horse of a different color.

I wonder if the fella that said I didn’t have any credibility catch my quote in today’s Chron editorial.  The editorial is about how to go about filling the HISD Trustee vacancy. Check it out.

Here are bits from the editorial:

Veteran Houston political consultant Marc Campos, a longtime observer of HISD politics, says an election campaign, even on such short notice, would allow voters the opportunity to judge who really wants the position and have a full discussion of issues. "I’m uncomfortable with eight people making a decision when none of them live in the district," says Campos.

In the Chronicle’s School Zone blog, education reporter Ericka Mellon reported that trustee Larry Marshall favored calling an election, but trustee Manuel Rodriguez Jr. wanted more discussion in closed session, outside the view of the public. Board president Greg Meyers told Mellon he could support appointing a stellar candidate, but "there’s something about letting the people decide."

That something is called democracy.

The curious tale of the disappearing Dávilas continues to play itself out. Diana’s husband Abel Dávila was expected to file for re-election last year to his Houston Community College board seat. He was a no-show on filing day, but an unusual stand-in, Arturo Aguilar, Diana’s brother, did show up and file for the seat, only to mysteriously withdraw days later. Then Diana unexpectedly resigned her HISD post in late July, saying she wanted to devote herself to family life. She and Abel recently signed a $417,000 mortgage on a home in the Woodlands.

Given the unanswered questions surrounding the multiple resignations, it would be best to put HISD’s District VIII seat on the November ballot.

The Chronicle editorialized in 1993 that "a vote of the people is almost always preferable to an appointment. An election is a great leveler in that it avoids a situation of a few people anointing one unelected candidate with the advantages of incumbency when the four-year term ends."

That sentiment remains equally valid today.

Commentary has been talking about how to reach the Latino vote. 
Check out what is in the Star Telegram.

Here is from the piece.

The nationwide poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, found U.S. Latinos spent at least some time each day – in many cases, several hours – consuming Spanish-language media. They included almost 90 percent of Hispanics who mostly speak Spanish who watched TV and roughly 75 percent who listened to Spanish radio.

Among Latinos who spoke mostly English, about 4 in 10 said they turned to either Spanish TV or Spanish radio for news, entertainment or sports, which recently included the World Cup soccer championships – won this year by Spain.

"In the political world, there is this angst," said Jose Cancela, author of "The Power of Business en Espanol" and a 30-year veteran of Spanish-language radio and television. "But the business and multinational world understand: To be engaged with the consumer you want to use every opportunity to create a touch point."
OK now!  The proof is in the poll.  A lot of Latinos are tuned in to Spanish language TV and radio.  I wonder if the Dem decision makers – heck any political campaign decision makers – are tuned into Commentary or this poll.  Stay tuned!

Former ‘Stro and ATL closer Billy Wagner pitched his last game at The Yard yesterday afternoon.   Wagner was drafted by the ‘Stros in the first round of thee 1993 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Name five other players drafted in the first round of the 1993 draft that are still playing today and have also played in All Star Games?

The Former H-Town Mayor rolled out his ethics plans yesterday which included calling out Guv Dude on paying off contributors by handing out appointments.  When I first read this I kind of wondered how many of the Former Mayor’s appointees had given him campaign dough.  I guess my pal Matt Stiles of the Texas Tribune was waiting for the Former Mayor on this one and already had the answer.  His donors coughed up a measly $2 mil – yikes! Check it out.

Here is from the piece:

"Always, always, there’s influence peddling, and there are highly sought-after positions," says Houston attorney David Berg, a White donor who served on the Houston Area Water Corp. "I know Bill White very well. And you could not show me a stack of evidence high enough to prove to me that he’d ever do anything dishonest or that he would somehow profit from office."

"However, that is not to say that you don’t reward your friends in politics," Berg says. "You reward your friends and punish your enemies. That’s the oldest rule in the book."

Berg believes many appointees seek appointments purely out of a sense of civic responsibility. “Does it make you want to contribute to the guy who appointed you? Probably, yes. Such is life."

I don’t think Berg got yesterday’s campaign talking points.

Speaking of, Guv Dude is skipping E-Board interviews across the state this fall.  He’s shooting the bird at the newspaper elites I guess.

A-Roid, Derrick Lee, Torii Hunter, Jason Varitek, and Chris Carpenter of course were drafted in the first round of the 1993 MLB draft.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m OK with having that Riddle lady as the face of the anti paperless folks crowd here in the Lone Star State.  “Sleeper babies” my arse!  Riddle my this!

In the last week, we’ve lost three games because our bullpen collapsed.  Yesterday’s loss was fueled by Pedro Feliz’s failure to catch a pick-off throw in the 10th inning.  Oh well!  We have today off then maybe we can get back on track against the Pirates this weekend.


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Today the H-Town City Council will consider acting on the Term Limits Review Commission’s recommendation.  Today’s lead editorial in the Chron is certainly not a ringing endorsement of the recommendation.  Check it out.  I think Council just ought to thank the Term Limits Review Commission members for giving their time to this effort and then vote this sucker down.

We all know that a huge part of Guv Dude’s strategy is running against Washington and the federal government.  So why are we playing into his hands?   Here’s the Chron piece on the federal education dollars with a special amendment aimed at Dude.  Check it out.

Here’s from the piece:

You can be sure that Texas is singled out by this legislation — it was singled out by the governor who grabbed $3.2 billion of federal aid to education to bail out a mismanaged state government," (Cong. Lloyd) Doggett told House colleagues.

Come on!  That’s just what Dude wants!

What happened in the MLB 16 years ago today?

Bonus:  Former ‘Stro and current ATL closer Billy Wagner got the save last night against us.  When the ‘Stros traded him away to the Phillies after the 2003 season, who did we get in return?

On August 11, 1994, after the Mariners defeated the A’s in Oakland, the MLB players went on strike of course and there wasn’t a World Serious that year.

The ‘Stros received Ezequiel Astacio,  Taylor Buchholz, and Brandon Duckworth of course for Billy Wagner back in 2003.  We wuz robbed!

What can I say about last night other than our closer couldn’t close as we close out with the ATL and Bobby Cox this afternoon. 


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In today’s Chron, here’s what the H-Town Mayor had to say about the petitions that were turned in yesterday by the anti red light camera folks:

"Citizens Against Red Light Cameras have turned these petitions in very late in the process and the Renew Houston petitions took three weeks to be certified. … If it takes just as long, it will not meet the deadline to be on the ballot this fall."     Check out the story.

In other words, the H-Town Mayor has instructed the City Secretary to just assign one person to handle the verification process. 

I don’t know if I would have included the Renew Houston mention in the statement.   If the anti red light camera folks don’t get on the ballot, they just might take their anger out on Renew Houston.  If I’m the Mayor, I also would not come off as being too heavy handed.  After all, there may be 30,000 folks that took the time to sign the petitions and they just may get a little upset. 

Meanwhile, the anti Renew Houston folks are starting to get organized.  It may be an interesting coalition if they hook up with others that are opposed.   Stay tuned!

The ATL skipper Bobby Cox is making his final visit to The Yard this week.  What is his playoff record against the ‘Stros?

This would never happen to Commentary.  Last night at The Yard, some fella got out of the way of a foul ball and it whacked his girlfriend. 
Check out the replay.

I have to hand it to Guv Dude.  He was on his best behavior yesterday when he greeted The President.  He didn’t pull any shenanigans or try to embarrass The President.

I don’t know about the political climate around my ‘hood these days.  I see a lot of the Blue Signs which means that they aren’t too happy with the historical preservation stuff at City Hall. Some folks around here feel that City Hall let them down by not stopping the Wal-Mart invasion.  Stay tuned!

Bobby Cox had a 12-7 playoff record against the ‘Stros and all the games were played in the NLDS.  The ATL beat us in ’97 (3-0), ’99 (3-1), and ’01 (3-0).  We beat them in ’04 (3-2) and ’05 (3-1).

There were certainly a lot of ATL fans at The Yard last night but we prevailed.    Since The ATL is still in the hunt, they’ll be there tonight.


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The Blue Signs say “Yes for preservation, no to protected districts” and “keep homeowner rights, continue growth of neighborhoods, no to city bureaucracy” and  http://www.responsiblehistoricpreservation.org.  The Yellow Signs say “Say yes to protecting our historic districts” and “preserve homeowner rights, support responsible growth, get the facts.”  I couldn’t make out their web address.

The signs are popping up throughout Commentary’s ‘hood.  They obviously are a reaction to the City of H-Town’s proposed historic preservation ordinance that is making its way through City Hall.  There are definitely more Blue Signs out there.    On some streets one house will have a Blue Sign and the neighbor across the street will have a Yellow Sign.  Stay tuned.

There’s some interesting stuff on the H-Town City Council agenda this week.  The Council will put the Renew Houston deal on the ballot.  It is getting seriously banged around by Dem progressives.  The Council will also vote on a pre-redistricting item.  It’s a proposed city charter change that will go to the voters to reduce the residency requirement so wannabe city council district candidates will have time to shop around for a district.   The Council will also decide if they want to put the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission recommendation on the ballot.  Now here’s where it gets a bit dicey.   For the three in their final term (CMs Clutterbuck, Johnson and Lovell), they aren’t impacted by the recommendation.  For the remaining 12, they are and a vote to put it on the ballot will certainly look to some like they are out trying to extend their service on council.   Also stay tuned!

It looks like the anti red light camera folks will turn in their signatures this afternoon at the H-Town City Hall.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the H-Town Mayor instructs the City Secretary to scrutinize every single signature.

Bobby Cox, skipper of The ATL, makes his last visit as a skipper to The Yard tonight thru Wednesday.  Go check him out.  Where does Bobby Cox rank on the all time managerial career win list?

The President is coming to the Lone Star State today and it looks like Guv Dude will get a couple of minutes with The President.  In today’s Chron there is the same old story about the National Dems coming into the Lone Star State and raising money and not leaving a red cent behind.  Check it out.

Here’s from the story:  "If they’d invest this money in Texas, we’d be a blue (Democratic) state," said long-time party consultant Glenn Smith. "They (national party leaders) come down here and drag the sack and spend the money on themselves."

Commentary thinks that maybe if we had a better plan to turn the state blue, they might leave more money behind.  Like maybe if we really had a Latino voter engagement plan, don’t you think?

In today’s SA Express news, there is a piece about the Former H-Town Mayor “skipping” The President’s visit.  Check it out.

Here is the start of the piece:

It’s a headline that might play into Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White’s campaign strategy. Or not.

“Bill White Snubs President Obama” is atop an opinion piece by Akwasi Evans in Austin’s NOKOA weekly newspaper, part of the African-American Texas Publishers Association. The next line can’t hearten White supporters: “Takes Black Voters for Granted.”

“This is a huge concern,” Evans, NOKOA’s publisher and editor, said of White’s decision to stick with a campaign schedule apart from Obama’s events in Austin and Dallas today. “It says that in Texas, Democrats like to run to the right.”

Here is how the Former Mayor’s campaign responded:

Sen. Rodney Ellis, who spoke for the campaign on the issue, said White’s camp will motivate his base. But Ellis, D-Houston, added that Democrats “have been on the outside of the corridors of power in the Capitol for so long, we don’t need to spend our time talking to each other. We need to spend our time finding converts and bringing them into the tent” — specifically Republicans and independents.

It looks like the old change their mind strategy.  I don’t know about that.

Bobby Cox with 2,475 and counting wins ranks fourth of course on the all time list behind Connie Mack (3,731), John McGraw (2,767), and Tony LaRussa (2,613).

The ‘Stros road trip started out A-Okay but then we lost four in a row.  Of course, our weekend wasn’t as bad as Tiger’s.  Now we have us a ten game homestand against The ATL, Pirates and Mets so maybe we can make up some ground.


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Commentary is changing his mind about wanting The President to meet with Guv Dude on Monday here in the Lone Star State.  If the meeting was just on border security, I would be okay with a meeting.  Now I’m afraid Dude will for sure bring up this business about the soon to be $835 mil for Texas schools that have restrictions.   Texas Dems in Congress led by Cong. Lloyd Doggett don’t want the Lone Star State to use the money to fill expected budget gaps.   Dude and the Lite Guv think that the federal government is meddling again in state government.  I don’t know who wins that argument in this state so I just as soon not let The President get dragged into the debate by Dude.  Stay tuned!

It didn’t take Dude’s campaign long to get an ad up on the Former H-Town Mayor and BTEC.  They got one up on the internet with a not so flattering photo of the Former Mayor.

Hall of Famer Joe Morgan had two stints with the ‘Stros.  What number did he wear?

The First Lady, one of her daughters, and some friends are on a vacation in Spain and are catching a bit of flack for staying at a fancy hotel.   I’m thinking if Laura Bush and one of her daughters and some friends went to Spain and stayed at the same fancy hotel, nobody would give a rat’s arse if you know what I mean.

18 and 8 of course were the numbers Joe Morgan wore as a ‘Stro.  Jeff Keppinger now wears the number 8.  Nobody is wearing the number 18 right now.

The ‘Stros take on the Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend and have a chance to move into third place in the NL Central.  Who says the games are meaningless?


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Commentary is going to go out on a limb and predict that The Former H-Town Mayor and his BTEC dealings will be featured in a negative GOP ad coming to a TV or radio near you.  The Chron’s Bradley Olson and AP’s Jay Root put out similar stories yesterday on more BTEC stuff and The Former Mayor. Check out the Chron’s story.

Guv Dude’s campaign pounced all over The Former Mayor.  Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dude and the Lone Star State’s GOP AG charged The Former Mayor and BTEC of profiteering during a crisis, kind of like they go after gas stations that increase their fuel and bag of ice prices during a hurricane.

The only thing The Former Mayor and Dems can do in response is to keep hammering Dude on his rental mansion.  Stay tuned!

The Houston Area Latino Summit on Immigration Reform will be held next Saturday, August 14 at 9:30 am at PlazAmericas (the old Sharpstown Mall).  For information on speakers or agenda items, go to Houston Area Latino Summit.

A-Roid got his 600th career dinger yesterday afternoon – so what!

In the ‘Stros’ 18-4 win over San Luis Tuesday night, Tony LaRussa had to bring in infielder Aaron Miles to pitch in the ninth inning so he wouldn’t have to use up another pitching arm.  In the ‘Stros 18-1 win over San Luis in 2007, LaRussa pulled a similar move.  Who was the non-pitcher that LaRussa used to pitch in 2007?

Speaking of, some in the GOP now want to abolish the citizenship section of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to get at paperless folks that have babies here.  Good luck!

Aaron Miles of course pitched in the ninth inning in San Luis’ 18-1 loss to the ‘Stros in 2007.

Our seven game win streak came to an end last night in an 8-4 loss to San Luis. ‘Stros pitcher J.A. Happ who was taken out of the game in the second inning said he didn’t pitch with “conviction.”  The ‘Stros have today off and play Friday in Milwaukee.  Maybe J.A. can spend the off day shopping around for “conviction.”


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A couple of weeks ago, Commentary attended and spoke at a meeting of the H-Town City Council’s Special Ethics and Council Governance Committee on Redistricting and Term Limits chaired by my pal Mike Sullivan.  At the meeting, they received the recommendation from the Term Limits Review Commission.  The Committee took no action and they said there would be a follow-up meeting where action would be considered. 

Guess what?  It looks like the Committee will not be meeting after all.  Instead, it also looks like the H-Town Mayor will put the Commission’s recommendation on the City Council Agenda for a Council vote next week.

I don’t know if this is the year that we ought to be messing with term limits.  I think if Council votes to put it on the November ballot the only folks that will get riled up are conservative voters and that won’t help local Dem candidates this November.  We already know that GOP voters are going to be more enthused than Dem voters.  Why stir them up here locally?

If I’m a member of the H-Town City Council, before I vote to put this on the ballot, I want to know who is going to be in charge of mounting a campaign to get it passed this November. Is there a PAC?

If I’m Renew Houston, I don’t know if I want to be on the same ballot page with term limits.

City Council is also going to consider putting a residency requirement charter amendment on the ballot.  It has to do with next year’s redistricting process.  They really don’t have to do anything but they want to change the requirement for candidates running for district positions from one year to six months.  I guess this is to accommodate those wannabe candidates that will be shopping for a position.

Where are the anti red light camera petitions?  Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros scored 18 runs last night against San Luis in San Luis – yikes!  The last time we scored 18 runs was on September 20, 2007 – also in San Luis.  We scored 18 runs last night without a dinger.  In 2007, we only had one dinger.  Who got the 2007 dinger?

Happy 49th BD Mr. President!

Former AG Al Gonzalez is 55 today.

The Rocket is 48 today.

J.R. Towles of course had the only ‘Stros dinger back in 2007.  He also had 8 RBIs.

What do you want me to say about the ‘Stros? They’re on fire!  They’ve won seven in a row!   They’re fun to watch!

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