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Archive for November, 2010

In a sort of reversal, the City of H-Town has decided that they better listen to 53% of the voters and shut off the red light cameras immediately.  No grace periods.  No 120-day notification.  Once the November 2 vote is canvassed today, the red light cameras get unplugged.  It is an unconditional surrender if you ask me.

Speaking of turning out the lights, I wonder if the Chron’s Columnist is starting to get in the business of predicting the fates of Harris County Commissioners.  He had a take on the front page of yesterday’s Chron on Commissioner Eversole – yikes!  Check it out.

Who holds the career World Serious record for base hits?

You know it is getting ridiculous out there when Judith Cruz’s opposition are handing out flyers  saying Judith wants kids to go hungry – huh!  I figured they would start throwing stuff like that at us.

Commentary was at the computer yesterday and had the Texans game on fully expecting to see the game go into OT when all of a sudden I was stunned by a miraculous catch.  It took me a couple of minutes to regain my composure.

Yogi Berra of course holds the World Serious career base hit record with 71 base hits and he also holds the World Serious career singles record with 49 and he also is number 3 with 12 career World Serious dingers. 

The Former H-Town Mayor says in today’s Chron that he’s not running for U.S. Senator in 2012.  Well that ends the speculation. 

From The Yard:

The Houston Astros Play Green® In Education program has been named one of the winners of the 2010 Mayor’s Outstanding Proud Partner Award, which is presented by Keep Houston Beautiful.

Pam Gardner, Astros President of Business Operations, will accept the award at the 26th Annual Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Proud Partners Luncheon on Monday, November 15 (TODAY).

Way to go Pam-In-Charge!

 

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Regarding the Port Commission stuff that is going on at the H-Town City Hall, there is a lot of back and forth going on.  Of course, Commentary has a choice and other folks have choices.  I hope folks can all be friends after next Wednesday’s City Council vote and I hope we can all be civil with each other leading up to the vote.  That being said, I need to remind folks that under the law, this is a City Council appointment and not a Mayoral appointment.  On the CEWDEM party line yesterday, my pal The Working Man Hero referred to his preferred candidate as the “Mayor’s nominee.”  That’s not how it works.

This isn’t like the METRO appointments where they are nominated by the Mayor. The Port appointments by the City were set up to be City Council appointments.  Granted, the Mayor has most of the influence over at City Hall, but during this process, my pal CM Costello nominated one candidate and Mayor Pro Tem Clutterbuck nominated the other candidate because they are Council appointments.  The Mayor obviously has taken a side, but she doesn’t get to make the appointment – get it?  So in the coming days, when the back and forth continues, at least lay it out correctly.

Which MLB team has lost the second most World Seriouses?

Kuffer did a good take on the dreary state of the Latino vote.   Check it out.

Commentary has driven the debate on the Latino vote from the beginning.  Hey, maybe folks will start bringing me in to a few meetings on how to change things since I called it from the start.  Stay tuned!

The Dodgers of course have lost 12 World Seriouses but they have also won 6.

On the “Stros website there is a piece about who’s at first and who’s in left. 
Check it out.  That’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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GOP members of the Texas House of Representatives are going after each other over the House Speaker’s race.  The far right guys are trying to stage a coup and have one of their own replace the more moderate Joe Straus. There are threats and counter threats.  The anti Straus forces recruited a bunch of the GOP activist groups into the fray.  It looks like the anti Straus forces are going after payback.  They haven’t forgotten that Straus had to cut a deal with Dems to get elected Speaker.

It is kind of fun to watch the carnage within their caucus, but I know if the anti Straus forces prevail, the State GOP Platform will sail through the Texas House – ouch!

If you are a Dem and want a depressing read, go to the Texas Monthly website and check out Paul Burka’s take on the state of politics in the Lone Star State.

Which MLB team has lost the most World Seriouses?

Gene Shalit won’t be doing his Critic’s Corner on “The Today Show.”  He’s hanging up the popcorn.   I always liked his witty comments.

The Yankees of course have lost 13 World Seriouses.  They have also won 27 World Seriouses.

Here’s what ‘Stros GM Ed Wade says about Michael Bourn:

"You see the ball leave the bat, and you say, ‘No way that one gets caught,’ and then Michael runs it down. Some guys make plays look tougher than they are. Michael makes the impossible catch look routine."

I agree and congrats go to ‘Stros center fielder Michael Bourn on his second straight Gold Glove Award and finally some good news from The Yard! 

 

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On November 2, HISD District VIII Trustee candidate Judith Cruz led a six candidate field with an impressive 35% of the vote.  She won just about every precinct in the district.  The opposition clearly noticed a few weeks ago that Judith Cruz had widespread support.  That’s why they went after a lot of our signs.  It didn’t work.  It is hard to discourage a lot of parents, civic leaders, and taxpayers that have clearly embraced Judith’s candidacy.

The opposition is very frustrated and has now resorted to throwing out ridiculous accusations and charges.  The latest was a flyer that was distributed with a bizarre claim about school cafeteria food.  You gotta be kidding me!

Judith is a mom, taxpayer, teacher, homeowner and neighbor who has stepped forward to run for a non-paying elected position and wants to put the interests of our school children first and I guess that scares some of our opposition because it is resonating with the voters in District VIII.

The run-off election is Tuesday, November 30 and early voting starts next week on Thursday, November 18.

On July 15, 1973, Nolan Ryan was one out away from pitching his second career no-no.  Who came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs with a wooden table leg instead of a bat (it was kind of a gag)?

In today’s Chron there is a story about the face-off at City Hall yesterday on the Port Commission appointment.  I can’t find the story online but it is in the hard copy.  I watched it on TV and it was pretty interesting.

Tigers’ first baseman Norm Cash of course ended up popping out.  Norm Cash is no longer with us and ended up with 377 career dingers.  Norm Cash was born 76 years ago today.

I wonder if Guv Dude tried a Saint Arnold when he was at The Yard last night signing his “Fed Up” book and I wonder how many folks showed up and that’s all I have from The Yard. 

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At first glance it looks like the City of H-Town’s Latino voters did their part and supported Prop 1.  Now the City will be able to get much needed funds to deal with drainage and streets.   Prop 1 didn’t win by much so the Latino vote helped out.

There are some at the City that are showing their gratitude by trying to knock the only Latina/Latino off of the Houston Port Commission.  I think it is a bad idea.  The Latino community makes up close to half of the City’s population.  The Latino business community is one of the fastest growing segments of the local economy.  Our biggest trading partners are Mexico and Latin America and knocking off the only Latina basically says we don’t take pride in our diversity and we don’t value showcasing our diversity.

Right now the Port Commission has four white males, an African American male, and two women including a Latina.  If the City knocks off the Latina, we will have five white dudes, an African American male, one white woman, and zero Latinos – NADA!   That doesn’t look good in my book.   I can’t believe they are even considering this. 

In 1981, the Baseball Writers Association of America elected only one MLBer to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Who am I talking about?

Riddle My This filed Arizona-style anti-paperless folks legislation yesterday.  I’m hoping Guv Dude sticks to his word and lets his fellow GOPers know that we don’t need it.  Let’s also hope that the courts strike it down.

Bob Gibson of course was the only MLBer elected to the Hall of Fame by the baseball writers in 1981.  Bob Gibson is celebrating his 75th BD today.

They are going to be “Fed Up” at The Yard tonight for sure as Guv Dude will be there at 5:30 this evening to sign his new book.   Maybe someone will tell Dude that the precinct that The Yard sits in was carried by the Former Mayor with 388 votes to Dude’s 261.  HISD District VIII Trustee leading candidate Judith Cruz also carried the precinct.

 

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Of course I’m going to say more and more and more!  Here’s a headline in today’s front page of the Chron:  Hispanic gave GOP a boost in Texas
Check out the story.

Here is from the piece:

Houston Democratic political consultant Marc Campos said Texas Republicans have a history of seeking Hispanic voters while Democrats take them for granted. "They make the effort, and I cannot say that in good conscience about the Democratic Party," he said.

Campos said Hispanic Democratic voter turnout was down in some areas and in other areas was anemic compared to the surge of Republican turnout. He said Reid, Boxer and Brown reached out to Hispanics on issues such as immigration reform and the federal Dream Act to help immigrant youth attend college.

While White tried to reach out to Hispanics by speaking Spanish and airing ads that focused on his family, the former Houston mayor also matched Perry with commercials proclaiming he will crack down on the border.

"Who’s tougher on the border isn’t exactly going to excite a lot of Latino voters," Campos said.

In yesterday’s FW Star Telegram there was a piece on GOP gains in the Lone Star State’s Latino community.  It is an interesting piece.  Check it out.

I don’t know what else I can say about this other than to say the Lone Star State Dem Party’s approach as well as the Harris County Dem Party’s approach to the Latino vote has been an absolute failure.  The proof is in the numbers from November 2.

Meanwhile, CEWDEM’s call for new leadership for the Harris County Democratic Party has brought a bunch of responses and some recommendations.  I’m not going to comment on the recommendations other than to say that I want someone that will proclaim:  THE PRIORITY OF THE HARRIS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TO FULLY ENGAGE THE LATINO VOTER AND THE LATINO COMMUNITY!

Of the top five pitchers on the all-time career strikeout list, three are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Who am I talking about?

At about this time this year, Balls of Holly was probably a little miffed because she was stuck in a city council election run-off and if she won (which she did) it would probably be difficult for her to turn around and run for a county wide office.   I’m thinking she probably isn’t too miffed these days.  She saved herself a lot of money and effort.

# 1 Nolan Ryan is in.  #2 Randy Johnson will soon be in.  #3 Roger Clemens may never get in.  #4 Steve Carlton is in.  #5 Bert Blyleven is not in.

#17 Jim Bunning is in but will soon be out of the U.S. Senate.

The ‘Stros hired a batting coach and his name is Mike Barnett and I’ve never heard of him.  They call him “Barney” who will report to “Millsie” and who will replace “Baggy” and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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For the last few election cycles, I’ve asked around to find out who’s pulling the strings and calling the shots on how we go about developing a strategy and allocating resources for the local Democratic Party effort during the general elections.   Is it the Chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party?  Is there some sort of shadow Democratic Party leadership team that meets in some conference room?  Is there a gathering in a nondescript coffee shop?  Who’s in charge?

I say this because CEWDEM put out a call a couple of days ago for the heads of the leadership team of the Harris County Democratic Party?   A lot of other local Dem activists have jumped on CEWDEM’s bandwagon.  In today’s front page of the Chron, Chair Gerry Birnberg responded – sort of.  Here is from the piece:  Birnberg said he will thoroughly assess the county operation over the next 45 days “and thereafter make a decision as to whether I should be involved or not be involved.”   Check out the piece.

If the Chair in fact has been making the decisions, then maybe a change is in store.  I suspect others are also involved.

If the Chair does decide to move on, the first thing I want his replacement to say is this:   THE PRIORITY OF THE HARRIS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS TO FULLY ENGAGE THE LATINO  VOTER AND THE LATINO COMMUNITY.

I also want her/him to start listening to folks like Houston CM James Rodriguez, Wendy Montoya Rodriguez and Commentary on how to get the local Latino vote engaged.  The local Democratic Party needs a fresh perspective in approaching the Latino community because those that have been in charge and giving advice haven’t been doing their job.   Just look at turnout results if you need proof.

Former Tigers/Reds skipper Sparky Anderson is no longer with us.  In 2000, the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee selected Sparky to go into the Hall of Fame.  Who were the two MLBers that the Baseball Writers elected to the Hall in 2000?

There are other folks around the state that are echoing what Commentary said yesterday about not embracing immigration reform and  The DREAM Act and how it dampened Latino voter turnout in parts of the Lone Star State.  One of the SA Express news columnists has a piece on the issue today. 
Check it out.

Here is what The Roundtable sent out yesterday proclaiming my pal Jim Grace as the 2010 Pundit of the Year. Way to go Jim!

It was a Republican night not only at the polls, but also in The Pool. 

 

The Roundtable extends its congratulations to Jim Grace, the frighteningly well-connected Baker Botts lobbyist, upon the occasion of his coronation as Houston’s 2010 Pundit of the Year.  His stunning political prognostication skills overwhelmed the crowd gathered for last night’s counting of the ballots.  And he survived a baseless last-minute challenge by former champion Marc Campos, who emerged as first runner-up to the crown.  

 

If for any reason Mr. Grace cannot discharge his duties as Pundit of the Year, Mr. Campos will assume the duties of the office.

Good luck, Jim.  Don’t forget to check your car for explosives.

Commentary didn’t really challenge, I just asked for Jim’s voter ID!

There was a story in yesterday’s Chron about the City of H-Town’s red light cameras and when are they coming down.  The Kubosh brothers who funded the effort to kill the cameras want them down now.  Some folks at the city probably want to demonize the Kubosh brothers.  I’d be careful about doing that.  53% of the voters knew what they were doing on this issue.   Maybe the city ought to give my old pal George Hittner and Chris Begala and all the other folks that ran the campaign to save the red lights a ladder so they can start taking the cameras down.

Carlton Fisk and Tony Perez of course were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Sparky Anderson in 2000.

What do I know?  It turns out that the ‘Stros are going to be active in the free agent market after all but not in a big way and that’s all there is from The Yard.

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Mega lobbyist/lawyer Jim Grace last night picked up The Roundtable’s 2010 Pundit of Year, barely edging out Commentary by less than a handful of points.  I’ll have to settle for runner-up.  Jim has a good eye for what is going on.  Congrats to Jim but too bad his red light camera clients went down the tubes. 

An AP sponsored poll of voters found that 39% of Latinos voted for Guv Dude.  I should be shocked and surprised but I’m not.  I mentioned a long while back that Dude brought in Latino pros that have experience working in the Latino community.  I guess Dude’s investment paid off.

Cin sent me a piece about the Latino vote in California being energized and being the key to victory for the Dems running for Governor and U.S. Senator.

My Best Friend told me yesterday that embracing the Latino voter and getting out front on immigration reform and The DREAM Act helped save Harry Reid’s job in Nevada.

We could have done a lot better of engaging the Latino vote here in the Lone Star State and in Harris County.  Heck, it only cost us a Harris County Commissioner.

In State House District 129 (GOP Davis), there was a 48.1% turnout.  In HD 136 (GOP Woolley), there was a 53.1% TO.  In HD 140 (Dem Walle), there was a 25.6% TO.  In HD 143 (Dem Hernandez), there was a 26.5% TO.  In HD 145 (Dem Alvarado), there was a 29.4% TO. 

Somebody from Austin sent me a note yesterday saying that I was kicking the Dem Party when they were down.  The fella said that I must be fun at funerals.  He also said nobody was going to call me.

Heck!   What I said yesterday is what I have saying for about a decade and a half about the Dem Party here in the Lone Star State and Harris County.  I didn’t break new ground yesterday.  By the way, I got a few calls and emails yesterday and they were all positive except from the fella from Austin.

Who was the first MLBer to make a cool mil in a season?

Here is what gets me.  Some Dem folks are already talking about mounting a charge for the U.S. Senate seat here in the Lone Star State in 2012.  Don’t forget that The President will also be on the ballot.  The Dem candidate for Senator can’t act like The President isn’t on the ballot and expect to win.  The Dem candidate for Senator can’t run against The President’s policies and expect to win.  Hey, why don’t we try something novel and run with and embrace The President.

This is what Cong. Ciro Rodriguez said yesterday about his future:  “No one is going to retire me. I’ll do that on my own.”  Somebody needs to show Ciro the final results.

The worst thing that Dems here in Harris County and Lone Star State can do is to totally blame Tuesday’s arse whipping on the lack of jobs and a repudiation of The President’s policies.  We need to start today on figuring out how to fully engage (and I’ll say it again) the Latino vote – PERIOD!

Nolan Ryan of course was the first to get paid a million when he signed with the ‘Stros in 1980.

Speaking of free agents, don’t expect the ‘Stros to go after high dollar help this off season and that’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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We got clobbered pure and simple last night.

I’m sure folks will blame it on The President’s policies, Speaker Pelosi and the Red Tide that struck the old U.S. of A. but we still are fundamentally flawed here in the Lone Star State as far as Dem Party is concerned.  The folks that have been running the Dem Party here in the Lone Star State are old school for sure.  They aren’t thinking creatively and aren’t thinking outside of the box.  If anybody has confidence in them, then they are full of sh___!

Ditto for the Dem Party here in Harris County – I don’t know who’s in charge, but whoever is making decisions needs to take a hike.  If you don’t agree with me, then you are full of sh__!

The local elected official that has put the old bull’s eye on Commentary’s back for the past eight years is toast now, so Dems don’t have to fear if they call me at 713-861-2244.

Oh, by the way, Prop 1 passed last night and I want to thank my teammates including Grant Martin, Kathryn McNeil, Kim Jessup, Keith Wade, Carolyn Campbell, and Maggie Nelson for their outstanding effort.

Commentary’s client, HISD Trustee District VIII candidate Judith Cruz also had an outstanding evening, leading by 15 points and over 2000 votes heading into a runoff.  She has a great team behind her!

Prop 3 bit the dust.   The red light camera folks let the other side give them the old Kubosh.  The Prop 3 campaign folks should have hired the Prop 1 folks if you ask me but NOBODY EVER ASKS ME!

Which MLB Hall of Famer and member of the 500 dinger club had a dinger in his last career at-bat?

What can I say about Guv Dude?

Ted Williams of course in his last at-bat hit diner numero 521 back in 1960.

Fox Sports sucks if you ask me.  They have a full page ad in the Chron today proclaiming the Rangers as Texas’ Team.  I think they are just knocking the ‘Stros for starting up their own TV network.  I wish Pam-In-Charge could start up the new network sooner and that’s all there is from The Yard.

 

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There isn’t much to say on a day like today.

I just came in from the field and it’s all local.

Some of the Tejano Dems are pushing for Jessica Farrar.

A lot of other Dems are involved in the HISD District VIII Special.

A whole lot are out there for Commissioner Garcia.

Gene Green has his folks out there.

I didn’t see any statewide activity.

It is all local.

This Hall of Fame MLBer got only 1 hit in 19 at-bats during the 1969 World Serious but came back in 1970 and hit .429 with 2 dingers to win the Serious MVP in 1970.  Who am I talking about?

Just from the feel of stuff out in the field this morning.  I don’t think we are going to  hit the County Clerk’s 39% turnout here in Harris County.

Brooks Robinson of course was the Serious MVP as B-More took the Reds in five in the 1970 World Serious.

Congrats to the Giants as I can now officially look forward to Opening Day against the Phillies!

 

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