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Archive for February, 2011

Let’s see what the GOP is up to these days.  Their CPAC just gave Cong. Ron Paul their straw poll while Newt, Governor Palin, Barbour, Daniels, and Huckabee all scored in single digits – huh!  I watched some of the speeches of the contenders and I just don’t see any of them matching up with The President.

The GOP congressional leadership gave The President good marks on how he handled Egypt while the GOP wannabees said The President mishandled Egypt.

The GOP congressional leadership has not gotten a handle on their new members.

In this weekend’s SA Express News, their columnist spanked Hutch.  This is how the column started:

Given U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s role as a female trailblazer, it’s disappointing that when it comes to the DREAM Act, Hutchinson is on the wrong side of history.  

Here is the column.   I’m telling you, Hutch still hasn’t gotten over the political whupping from Guv Dude. 

Meanwhile, respected GOP U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham is going to San Antonio to speak to the SA Hispanic Chamber on the subject of kick starting immigration reform.

My pal Jay Root has an AP piece on the state’s budget problems.  Here is a part of the article:

Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, said voters in his district are beginning to hear about the cuts and are calling his office flummoxed. Taking a swipe at Perry, Keffer said many of them had been listening to the governor’s lofty campaign rhetoric and now see a different reality.

"I’m getting a lot of emails and phone calls from people who are surprised that we even have a budget problem at all based on what his campaign looked like," Keffer said. "There’s a lot of people waking up to the fact that we have, not just a little deficit, but a big bear."

Here is the AP article.  If you ask me, Rep. Keffer is being a bit disingenuous.  He claims to be a leader but just sat on his hands while Dude went around the state and painted a rosy picture last year.

It is Day 35 of the legislative session and Dude still won’t show me the sanctuary cities.

The ‘Stros will open Spring Training without Geoff Blum wearing the brick red.  Blum will be wearing the Sedona red instead.  Blum played for the ‘Stros in 2002-2003 and in 2008-2010.  After the 2003 season, the “Stros traded him to Tampa Bay. Who did we get in return?

I guess some of us had the wrong take on Rep. Boris Miles and his committee assignment.  Here’s what Robert Miller updated on Friday:

UPDATE: I previously listed Rep. Boris Miles in the penalty box. That was incorrect: Rep. Miles requested appointment to Agriculture & Livestock.

According to Robert, Rep. Miles requested to be on Agriculture & Livestock.  He is working on an urban farming initiative.

OK – we got it.

The detailed census numbers will be released this week so let the redistricting games begin!

Tampa Bay sent over Brandon Backe of course for Geoff Blum.  Backe is no longer in the game.

Commentary watched the Grammys last night just so I could see how much I don’t know about today’s music world.    They ought to make it a broadcasting law that whenever Zimmerman sings, they ought to close caption it. 

Speaking of the Kiss Kam, can you imagine how it is going to come across on the huge new HD video board at The Yard this season? 

 

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In today’s Chron.com, there is a piece on GOP State Rep. Ken Legler filing a bill to limit who can file complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission.   In order to file a complaint, Legler wants you to be a Texas resident or own property in the Lone Star State.   Check out the piece here.

According to the piece, Legler filed the bill because some fella from California filed a complaint against him on how he spends his campaign funds.  I don’t know about that.  I’ve said it before.  The Texas Ethics Commission isn’t set up to monitor cheaters or those that accidentally mess-up or those that don’t know the campaign spending and reporting laws.  It is up to citizens, political opponents, opposition researchers, and guys like the one from California or the folks up in Montgomery County to check things out.   That’s the way it is.

I’m afraid that if you limit who can file a complaint to only Texas residents or property owners, some folks are going to get away with cheating.   Regardless of the intentions, motivations, or political agendas of the complainants, they are still needed.

I’m sure Guv Dude wasn’t thrilled to hear what GOP State Sen. Kevin Eltife from Tyler said at the Senate Finance Committee meeting yesterday:

"We have to find more revenue.  It’s insane not use the Rainy Day Fund. We also have to find additional revenue.  We have an investment in public education, higher education and health and human services.  We have got to find the revenue to make these cuts less of a burden on Texans.  There’s no other way to do this. We can dance around it all we want and talk about – oh, is it revenue, is it a tax, is it this, is it that? We have to find additional revenue.  We have to share the pain with cuts and revenue and the Rainy Day Fun. And any other idea in this building is crazy to me."

They are hearing it from the folks back home.  Keep it up!

Who holds the MLB record for tossing the most career one-hitters?

Quanell X made good on his promise and released another video tape yesterday of an HPD officer putting a hurt on a handcuffed fella. 
Here’s the Chron story.

Here’s an excellent quote from Quanell:

"So many brothers for decades have alleged police misconduct and brutality, but there was never a tape.  But God has blessed us with technological advances where tapes are rolling out now one after another."

My pal Robert Miller put out a take this morning and here is part of what he said:

House Agriculture & Livestock is a very important committee for rural Texas. Speakers also use it as a rural penalty box for urban members who they want to put in "time out." I first observed this in 2003 when Rep. Lon Burnam was the only member to vote against Speaker Tom Craddick, and on to Agriculture & Livestock he went. In the penalty box this year: Rep. Charlie Howard (R – Sugar Land) and Rep. Borris Miles (D – Houston).

Well, what was the penalty on Borris?  Don’t tell me I have to throw out one of my red flag challenges to get an instant replay review. 
Check out Robert’s take here.

The late great Hall of Famer Bob Feller of course tossed a record 12 one-hitters.

The equipment truck left The Yard yesterday and headed for Kissimmee!

 

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The Texas House Speaker announced committee appointments yesterday and the only things I noticed were Rep. Borris Miles getting picked to serve on the Agriculture and Livestock Committee and Rep. Wayne Smith getting to Chair the Environmental Regulation Committee.   Rep. Smith represents Deer Park, and most of Baytown and La Porte.  I wonder how many chicken coops are in Borris’ district.  More importantly, I wonder how he earned this appointment. 

My old pal Mike Barajas is no longer at Fox 26.  From Chron.com:

Longtime anchor Mike Barajas is no longer with KRIV-Channel 26.

“KRIV and Barajas mutually agreed to part ways,” a representative for the Fox-owned station said on Wednesday when asked about Barajas’ status with the company.

Since METRO is now in the business of hiring former anchors, Mike is as good as they get and he sure could connect with the growing Latino community here in H-Town.  They should be giving him a call if you ask me.

The Big Puma will always be known for wearing the Numero 17 as a ‘Stro from 2000 to 2010.  The Big Puma made his ‘Stro debut in 1999 and played in 34 games.  What number did he wear in 1999?

From the I Didn’t Say It Dept:  This is part of an AP story today:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — An African-American lawmaker in South Carolina said Tuesday that stricter illegal immigration laws would hurt the state because blacks and whites don’t work as hard as Hispanics.

State Sen. Robert Ford made his remarks during a Senate committee debate over an Arizona-style immigration law, eliciting a smattering of nervous laughter in the chamber after he said "brothers" don’t work as hard as Mexicans. He continued that his "blue-eyed brothers" don’t either.
Check out the AP story.

The Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg can also forget about having lunch with The Lite Guv.  Check out Lisa’s take in today’s Chron.   Way to go again Lisa! 

The Big Puma wore the Numero 22 of course for 34 games back in 1999.  Lance Berkman is celebrating his 35th BD today.  Happy Birthday Big Puma!

Go to Alyson’s Footnote for the latest in The Yard renovations.
http://houston.astros.mlb.com/hou/news/alysons_footnotes.jsp   Cool.

 

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“Now, the mainstream media and big government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we’re facing a budget Armageddon. Texans don’t believe it and they shouldn’t because it’s not true.”

I have to hand it to Guv Dude for delivering his entire state of the state speech with his head in the sand.  How does he do it? 

I guess “big government interest groups” include public education, higher education, health care services, transportation, prisons, and others. 

Once again Dude let us know that he doesn’t think much of the Capitol News Corps and the state’s newspapers.

After Dude’s address, Commentary’s inbox starting filling up with press release from Dem legislators criticizing Dude’s rosy characterization of the budget mess.

Now let’s see who makes the next move.

From the There’s Something About A-Roid Dept:  A-Roid is pi__ed-off at Fox Sports and at Commentary.  He didn’t approve of 111 million of us watching Princess Fiona feed him popcorn.  He’s also pi__ed-off at Commentary for putting out takes on the incident.  I’ve said it before.  When you go to a televised sporting event you may get your mug put on TV.  Your chances get better if you go out with Shrek’s squeeze. 

In 1954, a sportswriter said, "It would have been a home run in any other park, including Yellowstone."  What was the sportswriter referencing?

The video of the kid getting kicked around by some HPD officers continues to get some run in the local media.   Check out today’s Chron story.  The video still isn’t getting much national exposure though.

MLBer Vic Wertz’ (Indians)  450 foot fly out to Giants center fielder Willie Mays of course, known as “The Catch” because the “Say Hey Kid” snagged it with his back toward home plate at the Polo Grounds during the 1954 World Serious.  Vic Wertz is no longer with us and was born 85 years ago today.

From the Gotcha Moment Department:  The Chron’s columnist has a piece today on CM Jolanda Jones and her visit to District Fire Station 8.  Check it out.   It is interesting to find out that a staffer had a video of a part of the fire station visit that CM Jones didn’t let the public know about.  She says: "I wanted to see if the firefighters would tell the truth under oath without knowing about them."

Well they told the truth but you have to wonder if CM Jones wanted to put a “gotcha” on the fire fighters.

Pitchers and catchers report to Kissimmee a week from today!

 

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I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, with the exception of Commentary and a few others in the U.S. of A., we ought not to be having a national conversation on flubbing the lines of “the Star Spangled Banner” or the manner in which it is sung because most folks don’t sing it.   If you sing it at The Yard or other venues where it is played, go on ahead and throw in your takes.  If you don’t then shut-up.  Of course, I’m not talking about folks in uniform like those in the military, law enforcement, or public safety that salute the flag or put their hands over their heart.  I’m talking about the 99% of folks at the events or in front of their flat screen that never to bother to even finish up with an old O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” shout out.

With the exception of Roseanne’s version, you have to give it to folks for putting themselves out there and giving it their all from Carl Lewis (arrrgh) to Whitney Houston (wow) to Jose Feliciano (way to go) to Christina Aguilera (oops).  I remember back at the 1980 Dem National Convention in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Willie Nelson sang the tune and left out an entire verse.  What was he smoking?

Way to go to the Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg for her column today on Guv Dude’s emergency call on sonograms.   Check it out.   I’m betting Dude never invites Lisa over for lunch.

More local elected officials continue to put out their takes on the video of the kid getting kicked around by HPD officers but it is still not getting much national run. 

Who holds the MLB record for hitting the most sacrifice flies?

Dude gives his state of the state address today so maybe we will get some more emergency calls, a whole lot of swagger for sure, a ton of smirk, a full mooning of D.C., but other than that, not a whole lot of specifics or substance.  I could be wrong though.

Eddie Murray of course holds the all time sacrifice fly record with 128.

We’re in the record books!  111 million of us saw Cameron Diaz feeding A-Roid popcorn – cool!

Spring Training starts in eight days. 

 

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As we enter the fifth week of the legislative session, more and more leaders and organizations representing a number of interests are making their case not to cut funding for their programs.  Yesterday, former First Lady Barbara Bush made a plea in an op-ed in the Chron for public schools.  The jail supervisors’ caucus of the Harris County Sheriff’s department sent out an email over the weekend outlining their concerns if mental health funding is slashed.  The folks concerned over funding for highways, health services, prisons, colleges, universities, community colleges, public schools, and others are all sending out their emails and telling their stories.

I think by the end of this month, we will start hearing calls for raising revenues.

It is Day 28 of the legislative session and Guv Dude still won’t show us the sanctuary cities!

I’m not going to say anything about the ground breaking for the new Dynamo Stadium this past Saturday other than to say it was reported to me that only one elected official got booed by the Dynamo fans.   Hmmm, let me guess!

The best off field camera shot of last night’s Super Bowl telecast was Cameron Diaz feeding A-Roid some popcorn. 

A-Roid was the first player taken by the Seattle Mariners n the 1993 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Who did the ‘Stros take with the 12th pick in the first round that year?

Ok, since you asked I really wasn’t blown away by any of the Super Bowl ads last night.  The best one had to go to Chrysler with Eminem promoting the Motor City.

The sickest one had to go to Doritos for having the fella with the Doritos crumbs fetish.

The letdown ad went to Snickers with Richard Lewis and Roseanne after last year’s Betty White and Abe Vigoda.

Coke won hands down the border security ad.

The coolest effects ad went to KIA Optima for utilizing aliens, Aztecs, and Neptune – cool.

The sickest ad runner-up went to godaddy.com for photo shopping Joan Rivers’ latest mug on a hot bod – yikes!

One of the cutest ads went to Budweiser for the “Tiny Dancer” in a saloon.

One of the dumbest was the Bud Light product placement ad.

One of the funniest ads was the Pepsi and the girl jogger getting canned so to speak.

Sooner or later you knew it was going to happen and this time the National Anthem line flubber was Christina Aguilera.  Of course, only Commentary and a handful of others that actually sing it caught the mistake when it happened live.  The other 100 million or so that watched the game didn’t catch it until this morning when they saw it on the news or read about it online or in the paper.

Billy Wagner of course was drafted by the ‘’Stros and was the 12th pick overall in 1993.

I wonder who is going to sing the National Anthem at The Yard on Opening Day, Friday, April 8 and Spring Training starts in 9 days.

 

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H-Town’s Quanell X handed over to the rest of the local media that video of HPD’s finest kicking a kid around for evading arrest.  The video aired last night on some of the stations.  The incident took place last year and a judge had ordered the media not to air it – huh!  You can go to various local TV station websites to check it out.   Here’s today’s Chron story.

Once again, I don’t know if more outlets showing the video last night had the impact desired by Quanell X and his crew.    Like I said yesterday, a lot of us were more worried about not freezing our arses off last night.  Most of the local news coverage yesterday continued to be focused on rolling blackouts, school closings, event cancellations, icing of our roadways, and possible snow in the forecast.  Under normal conditions, the national news networks would have been running the video non-stop and the talking heads on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC would be having a field day.  Because of the events in Egypt and the ice and snow storms pounding on most of the nation, the video is not getting any run.

Callous as it may sound, there is just too much on our local and national news table.  Maybe it will get some run next week.

Well at least some members of the Chron E-Board saw the video and
here’s their take.

A-R-R-O-G-A-N-C-E!   Guv Dude is in SoCal while we have rolling blackouts, road closures, school closures, emergency systems in place, businesses are shutting down, and wall-to-wall local news coverage.  Plus the state is also hosting a Super Bowl this weekend.  Come on Dude, you could have cancelled and stuck around.

Who holds the MLB record for most multi-dinger games?

Last night Commentary dropped by the local neighborhood grocery store and you would have thought that folks were preparing for the big one.  Parking spots were scarce and the checkout lines were long.   A lot of folks were loading up on milk, cookies, and ice cream – huh!

Andy Pettitte will announce he’s hanging up his cleats today.

We didn’t get any snow but a whole lot of folks got a “snow day.”

George Herman Ruth, Jr., err “The Sultan of Swat”, err “The Bambino”, err Babe, of course holds the MLB multi-dinger game record with 73. 

Pam-In-Charge ordered a “snow day” for The Yard employees, so there is nothing from The Yard today! 

 

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H-Town’s Quanell X handed over to KTRK-TV’s Wayne Dolcefino that video of HPD’s finest kicking a kid around for evading arrest.  The video aired last night.  The incident took place last year and a judge had ordered the media not to air it – huh!  You can go to Channel 13’s website to check it out. 
Here’s the Chron story.

Of course, I don’t know if showing the video last night had the impact desired by Quanell X.  A lot of us were more worried about not freezing our arses off last night.  Most of the local news coverage yesterday focused on rolling blackouts, school closings, event cancellations, icing of our roadways, and possible snow in the forecast.   Callous as it may sound, I don’t think folks paid a whole lot of attention to the video.  If someone tuned in late, they probably thought the Dynamo changed the color of their uniforms from orange to blue.

The H-Town Mayor wants somebody prosecuted for releasing the video.  Stay tuned!

Who was the first MLBer ever to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season?

Speaking of, it looks like the Dynamo will finally get to have a groundbreaking for their new crib this Saturday.

They should have called it The Cardtable last night because not many folks showed up for The Roundtable.

Commentary dodged the rolling blackouts yesterday – sort of.  My ‘hood got spared.  We went to a Second Ward eatery for lunch and folks were eating in the dark.  We didn’t stick around.

Fred Lynn of course in 1975 as a Red Sox was named the AL MVP and AL Rookie of the Year.  Fred Lynn is celebrating his 59th BD today. 

Commentary and MariGirl watched the installation of the final segment of the new high definition scoreboard at The Yard yesterday – cool.   

 

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My old pal Jay Root has an AP piece out today on the newly organized Hispanic Republican Conference up in the Texas House of Representatives.  Check it out.

According to the piece, part of what they want to do is get their GOP House colleagues to kind of tone down their anti-immigrant rhetoric and Latino bashing.   Like I said last week, I don’t have a problem with that. 

Here are bits from Jay’s piece:

The Hispanic Republicans don’t all share the same opinion on every bill. But with generally more moderate views on everything from English-only proposals to legislation that would deny birth certificates to illegal immigrants’ children, the lawmakers are challenging the GOP to think in news ways about issues that stir Hispanic passions.

(State Rep. Aaron) Pena, for example, thinks it’s an awful idea to deny illegal immigrants the right to sue in state court. He said the measure, sponsored by GOP Rep. Leo Berman of Tyler, would invite unwarranted abuse against people, even if they are here illegally.

"It allows people to treat other people like animals, and it invites chaos," Pena said.

He opposes legislation that seeks to deny the rights of citizenship to people born in the U.S., and takes a dim view of "English only" bills, depending on how they’re written.

"I wouldn’t see the need for that in El Paso," Republican GOP Rep. Dee Margo said, referring to bills that might restrict the use of Spanish. Margo, whose grandfather was Hispanic, represents an El Paso County border district that is almost 60 percent Latino.

Berman, the Tyler Republican who has filed several bills aimed at illegal immigrants, said his ideas are popular among most of his fellow Republican legislators. He said the U.S. Constitution never should have been interpreted to allow the children of foreigners to be granted automatic citizenship and that states should be able to protect citizens from lawsuits filed by people here illegally.

But Rep. John Garza of San Antonio, worries that the heated rhetoric surrounding the immigration issue could hurt Republicans like him in 2012. Garza squeaked out a narrow, upset victory in November against a Democrat in a district that is 64 percent Hispanic.

"I have to be careful. My constituency is not all Republican," Garza said, adding that he wants the federal government – not the Texas Legislature – to enact immigration reforms.

"In my district, immigration was down on the bottom of the totem pole in terms of issues," he said. "We need to be inclusive if we want to gain the Hispanic vote."

Toward the end of the piece, a spokesperson from the Democratic Party takes his shot at the Latino GOP House members:

Democrats aren’t buying that argument.

"Pena and his friends are not only politically opportunistic, they’re outright hostile to the Hispanic Texans they purport to represent," said Anthony Gutierrez, the state party’s deputy executive director. "We need leaders with the courage to fight for us, not a Republican club pandering to us while its members stand right alongside the very people attacking our community."

I guess the job of the Texas Democratic Party is to take shots at GOPers.  I’m not going to take any shots at those Latino GOPers right now because I think we need all the help we can get on stopping the anti-immigrant and Latino bashing bills.  Last I checked GOPers outnumbered Dems by 2 to 1 in the Texas House.  If they can convince some of their colleagues to cool it, I’m all for it.

His Numero 2 was retired by San Luis in 1996.  He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1989.  He was selected to the 10 MLB All-Star games and had a career batting average of .289.  He was the skipper for one of San Luis’ World Serious Championships.  Who am I talking about?

According to the City Hall investigation, it was much ado about nothing at Fire Station #8 and CM Jolanda Jones.  I wonder if CM Sullivan and Michael Berry are going to apologize on the radio station today.  I doubt it.

Wal-Mart is looking to set up a shop in Houston’s East End right off of Wayside and the Gulf Freeway.  They better do something about that intersection in terms of traffic congestion.  Let the talks begin!

San Luis great Red Schoendienst of course had his Numero 2 retired in 1996.  Schoendienst was the Skipper for San Luis when they took the Red Sox in seven in the 1967 World Serious.  Red Schoendienst is celebrating his 88th BD today!

Commentary snagged an invite to The Yard today to watch the placement of the final segment of the new scoreboard – cool!

 

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Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby said it was “idiotic” for the Lone Star State not to accept federal funds for public education in light of the revenue challenges the state faces.   I don’t have a problem with the former Lieutenant Governor calling Guv Dude “idiotic.” 

In an article in today’s Chron, the former Lieutenant Governor thinks the state ought to dip into the rainy day fund, raise taxes on sugar loaded drinks, do away with some sales tax exemptions, and increase taxes on tobacco and alcohol.  I’m OK with everything except raising taxes on St. Arnold.

In the same Chron article, the Texas Association of Business says we should dip into the rainy day fund and put slot machines at racetracks.  Why didn’t they just come out for the full blown casinos?

In the same Chron article, the head of the Greater Houston Partnership says they are taking a “vigorous and active approach” to the budget mess by sitting on the sidelines for now – huh!

Of course, the CEO of the Partnership is an old pal of Dude’s, so don’t expect the Partnership to rattle any cages so to speak on this budget mess.  That’s too bad since the Greater Houston area will probably take the biggest budget hits if Dude gets his way.

Commentary told folks yesterday that Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks was the first Cubbie to have his number retired.  Five others Cubbies have had their numbers retired since then.  Who are they?

The Yankees are still waiting to see if Andy Pettitte is going to put on the pin stripes this season.

Ron Santo (10), Ryne Sandberg (23), Billy Williams (26), Ferguson Jenkins (31), and Greg Maddux (31) of course are the other five Cubbies that have had their numbers retired.  Jenkins and Maddux both wore the Numero 31.

Go to Alyson’s Footnotes to see how the new scoreboard is looking – cool!

 

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