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Archive for December, 2011

The Harris County DA has a bit of a problem these days and one of her assistants isn’t helping out by taking the Fifth over at the courthouse.  
Check out the Chron story here.

The Assistant DA Rachel Palmer is now crying that “the fix is in.”  Oh, no!

Commentary thinks she comes from a family of cry babies.  According to the Chron, her hubby is GOP political activist Don Hooper. (If this is the same Don Hooper,)Hooper who was helping out anti Rebuild Houston candidates tried to get into H-Town CM James Rodriguez’s face at the HCC Early Vote location this past November and CM Rodriguez ripped him a good one and Hooper went crying to the authorities claiming intimidation or something like that.   He just got a taste of our politics if you ask me and it didn’t taste too good.   Hooper used his connections to get County Attorney investigators to come out to HCC during the latter part of early voting and waste their time sitting on their arses in county vehicles.

If politics is Palmer’s excuse, then it looks like a case where she just got outmaneuvered.   Of course, I don’t know how taking the Fifth helps your politics.  It looks like the truth does hurt.

Lisa Falkenberg’s column today has more on the courthouse mess that you can only read if you pick up a hard copy of the Chron.

MLB Baseball executive Branch Rickey was born 130 years ago today and he left us way back in 1965.  Rickey was the executive who made the move to get Jackie Robinson into MLB back in 1947 breaking the color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Rickey also served as a MLB skipper.  Who did he manage?

You know we have a long way to go when we celebrate the fact that a “name” filed for U.S. Senate as a Dem.  Former State Rep. Paul Sadler filed for the U.S. Senate.  H-Town lawyer Jason Gibson also filed for U.S. Senate.  I’ve never heard of him.

Somebody did one of those genealogy searches on Guv Dude and turns out he’s related to Sam Houston.  I bet if they do a little more searching they will find a Soupy Sales kinfolk connection.

Branch Rickey managed the St. Louis Browns (now B’More) from 1913-1915 and San Luis from 1919-1925 of course.

There is still nothing good to report from The Yard!

 

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My pal Robert Miller put out a real good take on CM-Elect Andrew Burks’ fundraiser that was attended by a number of H-Town’s key players.  Since the election nine days ago some of have said that Andrew is a one term council member.  Now that is kind of silly since I don’t consider Andrew’s win a fluke.  He had folks behind him.  They may not have been folks that I agree with but they were still players.   Liberals/progressives weren’t for Andrew but guess what?  They sat on their arses and didn’t turn out to vote.  What makes folks thing they can take Andrew out in two years.   He will have a year and a half of or so of working with The Mayor and City Council on running this city.  He’ll be making appearances across the city as a sitting Council member.   Heck, he will be Council Member Andrew Burks.

Like I said, it is kind of silly to start labeling Andrew as a one termer.  You have to have somebody willing to run against him.   Next time he will have more money and he will have more endorsing groups behind him.   I for one am willing to see how he serves the public.  Check out Robert’s take here.

Name the Hall of Fame great that led the NL in ERA five years in a row and then retired?

Speaking of being silly, I kind of think it is silly and not helpful to the process when the so-called leaders try to tell folks who the candidates should be.  Like here in HD 134.  There are a number of folks not satisfied about being told that a certain Ann Johnson should be the only candidate.  Nobody has ever heard of her.   How and why are Dems supposed to be enthused about her candidacy in the general election?

Same goes for HD 144, instead of reaching out and building Dem support in the Pasadena area by embracing Pasadena CM Ornaldo Ybarra, folks are pulling a Ben Reyes style move and supporting HCC Trustee Mary Ann Perez.  That is old style politics that does absolutely nothing to build the Dem Latino base.  That has a bad smell and taste and shame on those leaders.

Commentary is glad that Gen Wu jumped into the HD 137 race and is standing up to the BS of silly folks telling us who should be our candidates. Run Gene, run!

Commentary went to the game yesterday with My Best Friend and we lost – bummer.  

Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax of course led the NL in ERA from 1962-1966 then retired after the 1966 season.

Speaking of more silliness, the H-Town City Council is fixing to do a little more regulating that has some folks upset. 
Check out this Op-Ed from this weekend’s Chron.
Do we really need this?  Are we paying attention to what the H-Town voters just said this past week and last month?   Why do we want to keep p__ing off folks?

I don’t have anything to report from The Yard. 

 

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H-Town CM Mike Sullivan is running for Tax Assessor Collector in the GOP primary. CM Sullivan is challenging the incumbent Don Sumners.  That ought to be a lively contest.

H-Town CM Wanda Adams is running for State Rep in District 131 in the Dem Primary challenging incumbent Alma Allen.  This one also ought to be lively.  CM Adams is a good campaigner and has some money in her campaign account.   She could very well pull this off.

H-Town CM Jarvis Johnson is running for Harris County School Board Trustee, Position 6 Pct 1.

HCC Trustee Mary Ann Perez is running for State Rep in District 144 in the Dem Primary.

I don’t have a problem with this but sometimes these moves don’t always work out and in some cases backfire.  One in particular will probably get an unexpected result so you had better stay tuned!

Commentary got a cool Christmas gift yesterday.  It is a box of chocolates from an outfit called Olive & Cocoa.   I tried some last night….delicious.

This former MVPer and Rookie of the Year winner has 1,043 career base hits and has also struck out 1,207 times.  He also has 286 career dingers after eight seasons in the big leagues.  Who am I talking about? 

You have to figure there is a mess over at the Harris County DA’s office when one of the top prosecutors is taking the fifth.  

Commentary didn’t watch the debate last night so I didn’t get to see Guv Dude try to do a Tebow. 

Of course, the rap on Tebow is that he brings out the best in his players.  You definitely can’t say that about Dude. 

Phillies great Ryan Howard of course has 1,043 career hits and has whiffed at the plate 1,207 times.  Watch out Reggie Jackson!

There is nothing from The Yard to report today.

 

 

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From the Oh No! Department:  Newly elected Tea Bagger H-Town District A Council Member Helena Brown has hired as a key aide fellow Tea Bagger and former District I candidate Leticia Ablaza.  Ablaza just ran against current CM James Rodriguez.  Tea Baggers Brown and Ablaza will office down the hall from CM Rodriguez.  Just when I thought I could cruise for the holidays, my client CM Rodriguez, had me scouring the internet yesterday trying to locate Tea Bagger repellent or a vaccine or netting or something like that – drats!  

Name the fella that followed Tony La Russa as manager of the A’s.  Hint:  He led the A’s to the playoffs three times and won two AL West Division titles.

It is my understanding that newly elected CM Andrew Burks made a pretty good hire yesterday.  Apparently it is a woman with GHP experience. 

From Tags at MLB.com:

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow made his first significant player move Wednesday, acquiring switch-hitting shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Mark Melancon.

Lowrie, 27, will be the Astros’ starting shortstop next year, Luhnow said. The Astros’ No. 1 priority this winter was finding a shortstop to replace Clint Barmes, who signed with the Pirates after one year with the Astros.

"For me, it’s the classic win-win trade," Luhnow said. "Boston had the need for a bullpen arm. We’re going to suffer a loss in our bullpen by not having Melancon there for us, but what we’re able to get back is a guy who can play a premium position and who has had success with the bat and who has done a lot of good things. To add on top of that a young pitcher capable of being a starting pitcher in the big leagues, we felt this is an opportunity to take advantage of."

I hope Brandon Lyon is ready to return as our closer!

Art Howe of course followed Tony La Russa as skipper of the A’s.  Howe led the A’s from 1996-2002 and I’m sure he’s not too thrilled that “Moneyball” got a few Golden Globe nominations this morning and by the way, Howe is celebrating his 65th BD today!

Finally got some news from The Yard!

 

 

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HISD Trustee Anna Eastman is trying to become the next Board President and Texas Watchdog has a piece on Anna’s bid.  Check it out here.

One would hope that Anna would get the nod to serve as Board President.  FYI:  Anna is Commentary’s client.  Stay tuned!

The Feds are recommending banning cell phones, hands free, and other electronic devices while driving.  That suits me fine!  Check out the story here.

Of course, as usual, Lone Star State policy makers aren’t willing to embrace this.

This is from State Rep.  Gary Elkins, R-Houston

"There’s just no will in Texas to do that.  I just don’t see it happening.  As far as a statewide ban, I don’t see the Legislature doing it.  The public clearly wants to be able to talk on the phone and drive, and I don’t think we should take that right away from them.”

What else can you say!

Commentary and other prominent MLB observers generally believe that that the First Round of the 1987 MLB Amateur Player Draft produced two future MLB Hall of Fame members.   Who am I talking about?  Hint:  They were picked 1st and 22nd.

From the There Is No Crying at the Port Department, it seems like the Port crybaby, err outgoing CEO didn’t like the rough-and-tumble of politics….awww!  Here is what he said in the Chron today: 

"The frustrating part of it is – and maybe I was a little naive on this, I don’t know – I can see what needs to be done, but I can’t get those things done because of the politics.  I wanted to apply some business techniques, some things I’ve done in the past and been successful at. We’ve done a lot of that, but fighting the constant battle of politics … is just not something I want to do."

Throw this fella a box of Kleenex, please!

Commentary has known Port Commissioner Elyse Lanier for over 20 years and being politically correct isn’t in her DNA.  Here is what she said:

"When you’re in the private sector, you do things differently," (Here) it’s not just politics. You have seven commissioners that want to be involved. We’re here to set policy and I think our opinions have to be considered. There was a point at which that didn’t happen."

On the crybaby’s, errr CEO departure she added: "It’s probably good for him.  It’s probably good for us."

Nice play by Commissioner Lanier.

Of course, Commentary’s good friend, Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria, who is for sure one of the smartest and savviest players in these parts, also gets a way to go!  Here is the Chron piece.

Former State Rep. Al Edwards filed for his old seat again. 

The Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg has a nice column about the principal from Bellaire High trying to ban a Latino food cart vendor from selling his goodies to student during lunch.  We don’t want your stinking chicharrones!

Here is a piece of the column:

Just after 11:30, a smallish street vendor in a ball cap wheels his bicycle to the corner of Maple and South Rice, and opens for business. Minutes later, when lunch begins, students stream from Bellaire’s doors and head in every direction.

Dozens of them cross Maple and head for the food cart, where they order up items outlawed on campus such as Coca-Cola. Other options among the eclectic fare range from rainbow popsicles to chicharrones with lime juice and salsa, to fresh mango.

In the eyes of Principal Tim Salem, this scene around the cart isn’t at all befitting of Bellaire. Last month, he asked the city manager for an ordinance banning such street cart vendors. In seeking the change, Salem argued in a letter that the vendor poses a threat to the "character and quality of the community" of Bellaire.

"Many of the neighbors who live here selected this community because it represents the values, ideals and standard of living that they want for their families," stated Salem’s letter, first reported last week by the Bellaire Examiner. "Allowing street vendors to roam the streets of Bellaire will diminish the reputation of this community and damage the vision that most have of this being a safe and secure environment."
Here is the entire column.

It looks like the City of Bellaire doesn’t think this is a problem.

Here is what the Bellaire City Manager says:

"We got a lot of problems in the world today.  I just can’t see where this is one of them."

It also looks like the Bellaire principal looks kind of stupid.

Future Hall of Fame great Ken Griffey, Jr., was picked #1 in the 1987 MLB Draft and future Hall of Fame great Craig Biggio was picked #22 of course in the same draft.  B-G-O is celebrating his 46th BD today!  Happy Birthday B-G-O!

There is nothing else to report from The Yard.

 

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The Chron has another take on Saturday’s election and what it means at the City Council table.  Check it out here.

One thing is for certain.  Commentary is still being read.  Here is what I said yesterday:

C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N ought to be the theme at City Hall over the next two years if you ask me but they don’t ask me but they better start asking me – got it!

I guess they are sort of asking me because here is what the Chron said:

Councilwoman Sue Lovell, who will not return to office because of term limits, said that competition for finite city resources could limit productivity, but a larger issue will be whether the new council can collaborate.

Kuffer has a more expanded take on the election here.

We have to do a better job of getting folks to the polls period.  A 6% voter turnout is embarrassing.   We can’t allow ourselves to let this become the norm. 

Liberal/progressives were the losers this past Saturday.  We let the GOPers and Tea Baggers out work us.  We can’t say that we were outspent because we weren’t.  We just didn’t effectively communicate with our base. 

We have to do more and better than just trotting out the list of all those leaders and groups that endorse.  We have to get their folks to the polls.  I haven’t seen the precinct returns yet but I’ll bet you $10,000 that White Dems and Latinos stayed home on E-Day.  Complacency took over if you ask me.   I don’t know why we would have reason to be complacent.  Oh well!

I will say this, City Hall just needs to focus on providing services and not start getting fancy with us with a bunch of regulations and stuff and new parking rules and stuff.  Stop pi__ing folks off!

On June 30, 2011, this AL MLBer hit his 300th career dinger.  The next day (July 1, 2011), this NL MLBer hit his 300th career dinger.  Who am I talking about?

The Harris County DA cleared the Port CEO of any wrong doing this past Friday.  The Port CEO says he’s leaving.  Here is from Chron.com:

“I came to the Port of Houston to apply my business experience in public service. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Dreyer said, noting the port’s preparations for growth with the widening of the Panama Canal. “This experience, however, has shown me that the political arena is not where I want to be.”

Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out, fella!  Oh no, the dreaded political arena!

I guess you can score one for Port Commissioners Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier!

Maybe by the end of the day, we will have some sort of clarification on when the primaries will be held.

On June 30, 2011, Yankee great Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career dinger and the next day (July 1, 2011) Cubbie great Aramis Ramirez hit his 300th career dinger of course.  Aramis will stay in the NL Central and play with the Brewers next season.

Well what do you know!  Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak is capable of smiling. 

‘Stros catcher Jason Castro got hurt again and will get a late start at Spring Training – drats!

 

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Congratulations to our 6% runoff voter turnout this past Saturday. 

The Harris County Clerk predicted a 50,000 voter turnout.  56,000 voters in Harris County turned out.

Commentary predicted a 65,000 voter turnout.  What do I know?

We got our first Tea Bagger on the H-Town City Council.

Here is what one of her fellow Tea Baggers put out yesterday:

“Would like to add my two cents to the victory of Ms. (Helena) Brown——-Next stop in two years–THE MAYOR’S OFFICE.”

Of course, she is going to find out real quick that H-Town City Council meetings aren’t Tea Bagger gatherings and if she starts spewing her Tea Bagger hate venom at folks of the Latino persuasion, I’m sure she will be sternly reminded that 57% of District A is Latino.

The Chron E-Board went 0 for 4 in their picks.

The Harris County AFL-CIO went 0 for 3.

The SmartCity PAC went 1 for 4.

Gary Polland went 2 ½ for 3.

Across the Track went 0 for 3.

Harris County Republican Party Advisory Board went 3 for 3.

HBAD went 0 for 3.

Houston GLBT PAC went 1 for 3.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund went 0 for 2.

Robert Miller went ½ for 4.

District B winner Jerry Davis beat an opponent that was supported by a bunch of heavy hitters including The Dean, Rev. James Dixon, Reps. Senfronia Thompson , Sylvester Turner,  Harold Dutton,  and Ron Reynolds, HISD Trustee Carol Galloway, CM Jarvis Johnson, HCC Trustee Elect Carroll Robinson, and heavyweight lawyer Ben Hall.

Commentary is hearing that H-Town Council Members are already looking forward to the meeting where Jerry Davis gets to provide the breakfast grub.

After nearly 20 years of running for something, Andrew Burks finally won a race. 

CM Jolanda Jones who always has something to say at council meetings didn’t have anything to say to the media Saturday night.   I guess you can call it stunned silence.

We finally got this from her in the Chron last night:

"The people have spoken.  It has been a privilege to be a public servant and to have the opportunity to speak for those often without a voice at the table.  I’m certain that my contributions have not ceased with the end of this elected term."

That was a pretty severe arse whipping if you ask me.  Over the past four years, CM Jones has been unapologetic about her way of serving.  I don’t have a problem with that but you better know that you’ll accumulate enemies along the way.  If you don’t offset that by accumulating friends, then don’t be surprised when the voters run your arse out of office.

Here is a number that stands out.  In the Thibaut/Burks race, in Harris County the under vote was 8.64%.  In Stardig/Brown it was 1.85%.  In Davis/Byrd it was 3.45%.  In Jones/Christie it was 1.02%. 

Don’t be surprised if CM Jones files for something this week or so over in the Dem Party Primary.

It definitely wasn’t a good night for liberals/progressives but we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves. 

The Chron has a good piece on the election today. Check it out.

In the piece here is what Bob Stein says about Saturday’s results:

"It’s a strong repudiation of this administration – not just the mayor, but the council.”

Maybe council as a whole but not individually after all some won reelection pretty convincingly.

C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N ought to be the theme at City Hall over the next two years if you ask me but they don’t ask me but they better start asking me – got it!

MLB NL MVP Ryan Braun is in trouble because he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs – yikes!  Braun was the 5th picked in the 2005 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  He also was the starting leftfielder for the NL All Star Team this past July.  Name the three other 2005 first round picks that made the MLB All Star Game this past July?

I don’t think anybody knows what is going to happen with the upcoming 2012 Primary elections or which maps will be used – drats! 

At least until the weekend of January 7-8, 2012 all of us in H-Town will be united in our anticipation of our first NFL playoff experience since 1993 – wow!  We even get to host at least one play-off game – yippee!  I’m sure there will be a lot of Texans gear under Christmas trees this year.

Justin Upton (#1), Troy Tulowitzski (#7), and Jacoby Ellsbury (#23) of course were 2005 First Round draft picks that made the 2011 All Star Team along with Ryan Broid – oh, no!

Broid and the Brewers visit The Yard for two May 16-17, 2012.

 

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