Archive for February, 2012

One of Commentary’s most favorite and special persons is a Leap Year Baby and is turning 10, err 40 today!  She is a great Mom and makes sure Dante, Lucas, and ACE eat the right grub, do their chores (ACE is too young), and do their homework (ACE is too young) before they get to play their video games, watch the tube, ride their bikes, or go to little league practice.  She is sharp, smart, opinionated, and just like many in her family votes in every election.   It is hard to believe that it has already been 40 years! 

If you happen to be by Shade today and see Commentary having lunch with a very attractive woman, stop by the table and wish my niece and goddaughter a very Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday Rachel Campos Estes!  Have a great and wonderful day!

Alex Rocco better known as Moe Greene of “The Godfather” is also a Leap Year Baby (76 today).

Dennis Farina of “Get Shorty”, “Crime Story”, and now HBO’s “Luck” is also a Leap Year Baby (68 today).

The day Rachel was born on February 29, 1972, what significant event occurred in MLB?

Leap Year Bonus:  Name the former ‘Stros GM who is also a Leap Year Baby.

We got maps but they could be way better maps.  HD 134 looks very, very difficult if you ask me.

My pal Robert Miller put out his take of sorts on the maps.  Then he dropped this line at the end.

Lastly, expect some filing surprises in the next 6 days.  I am hearing that a few incumbents who expected an easy race may find themselves having to burn rubber in the next 89 days!

Let the phones start ringing and rumors start swirling!   Like I said, Robert has been on the money lately!
If you don’t believe me, you can check out Robert for yourself here.

New H-Town CM Helena Brown must read the Chron.  At yesterday’s and today’s Council meeting, she’s wore a white cowboy hat.  I guess she is letting us know that she is one of the good guys.

Speaking of, the H-Town City Council just voted 13-1 to override CM Brown’s tag of an agenda item dealing with increasing taxi cab rates.  Take that!

OOPS!  They just voted to override another of her tags.  I wonder if two tag overrides at one council meeting is a record?

There was a study that was released a few years ago that ranked the Top 100 public addresses/speeches of the 20th century.  “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr. ranked numero uno.  John F. Kennedy’s speech before the Houston Ministerial Association in 1960 ranked ninth.  That is the speech that Rick Santorum said made him barf.   There is really not much to day about last night’s results from Arizona and Michigan other than to say that Rick Santorum needs to can the remarks about barfing and The President’s theology.

Henry Aaron of course was the first MLBer in history to sign a contract for $200,000 on February 29, 1972.   That’s not even half of today’s minimum salary – yikes!

Former Cleveland Indian great Al Rosen of course (he’s 88 today) served as the ‘Stros GM from 1980-1985.

The ‘Stros announced yesterday that Brett Myers is now the team’s closer.



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Kuffer spends a little time on new H-Town CM Helena Brown here.

Here’s some of what Kuffer says:

I realize I’m contributing to the problem as much as anyone, but I confess I’m a little perplexed by the amount of attention being paid to a freshman Council member who isn’t trying to get anything done. I understand the novelty factor here, but really, are our memories that short? She’s Addie Wiseman, the tag-happy no-voting former District E Council member, all over again. (Stace saw that before everyone else did.) The fact that nobody else, not even her current Council colleagues, thought to make that comparison is suggestive of what Wiseman’s legacy was, and what Brown’s is likely to be. I’m sure her anti-spending zeal will have its share of fans, but until she or they advocate for spending less on police, fire, and emergency services, it’s all just meaningless posturing. And sooner or later the next shiny object will come along to distract us.

I’m going to have to disagree a bit with my pal Kuffer.  Unlike former CM Addie Wiseman, CM Brown isn’t operating on her own.  Wiseman was a genuine gadfly.  Brown has her advisors.  Remember, somebody was sending Brown talking points last month as she read them from her Blackberry during a Council meeting.  She is listening to the Kuboshes who by the way do have scoreboard over the City on the red light cameras.  I’m sure she is also talking to her key supporter Paul Bettencourt who is on a mission to “save the City” from The Mayor.  Wiseman didn’t have any support or political infrastructure to work with so it is probably a good idea to keep an eye on CM Brown.

Here is a headline in today’s Chron.com: Illegal immigrant runs for student body president at Texas A&M. 


Here is from the piece:

“I’m not running because I’m undocumented. I’m running because I’m an Aggie,” he said. “It’s just like, what if I was gay? Would they have asked me if being gay was going to play a role? If I was atheist, would they ask me those things? What does it take to be seen as a regular Aggie, not as an undocumented Aggie?”


After Zelaya was asked the question about his immigration status at the debate, Brody Smith, a 20-year-old political science and history major who is running against Zelaya, raised his hand to speak. The senior said he thought the question was unfair and a political stunt, adding that he would trust Zelaya if he was elected president.  “He has an Aggie ring on his finger,” he said. “And we all bleed maroon.”

Here is the Chron piece.

Now that it is in the paper, I wouldn’t be surprised if the hate mongers descended upon College Station to stick their noses in a student body election.    It doesn’t say when the election is being held but I sure hope it’s held before the GOP Prez primary comes to the Lone Star State.

The ‘Stros open Spring Training against Nationals this Saturday.  The Nationals used to be the Expos.  How many times have the Nationals/Expos been to the playoffs?

The Tribune’s Ross Ramsey says this today about the redistricting mess:

Redistricting remains stuck in a sort of judicial black box in San Antonio — only the judges know what might happen and when — but an important deadline comes this Saturday. Election administrators told the judges earlier this month that they need congressional and legislative maps by March 3 if they’re going to hold primary elections on May 29.

Here is the entire Trib piece.

My pal Robert Miller put this out yesterday:

The San Antonio court has requested that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party submit an advisory to the court by 2 p.m. Wednesday detailing proposed procedural deadlines for a May 29 election, and what Texas Election Code provisions will need to be waived to accomplish this primary date and delegate selection process.  With the March 3 deadline looming, it looks like we may be seeing maps Thursday or Friday.

I guess even churches participate in the February ratings sweeps.  I hate to say it but hate does sell.  Here is from today’s Chron:

The pastor of one of Houston’s megachurches is asking Mayor Annise Parker to resign if she will not cease promoting the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“Respectfully, if you cannot uphold the Texas constitution, then you should do the honorable thing and step down,” Pastor Steve Riggle of Grace Community Church wrote in an email to Parker on Friday.


When asked about Riggle’s message, Parker said Monday, ”I do my duty to uphold the state Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. I swore an oath to that. I take that oath very seriously, but I have my First Amendment rights to free speech.

“We all have the right to do that and I’m sorry that they (Riggle and his supporters) don’t understand the Constitution,” Parker said.

Here is the Chron piece.

Way to go Mayor!  Of course, Commentary would have been more satisfied if you had just told them to kiss your arse!

In 1981, in the strike shortened split season, the Expos of course prevailed over the Phillies in five games in the NLDS and then lost in five to the Dodgers in the NLCS and that’s the only time they have been in the MLB playoffs.

From the Beisbol has beeeen beri beri goot to Numero 45, here is from the ‘Stros website:

With more than two dozen players on the Astros’ Spring Training roster hailing from Latin America, veterans Livan Hernandez and Carlos Lee led a meeting on Monday with all the Latin players to stress the importance of learning the English language.


Lee, a native of Panama who has had success in the ranching business in the U.S., stressed to the young players the importance of learning the language.

“I speak pretty good English, and I know how to read and write,” he said. “I think it’s very important to do it. There’s a lot of things going on besides baseball. You never know when baseball comes to an end, and if you can speak or read or write [in English], it might open up another opportunity. You’ve got to take advantage. The team is trying to help them out and is providing a teacher, and I told the guys to take advantage of the situation. I didn’t have that when I was younger.”

They have to be able to say on road trips:  I’ll have the New York strip, medium well, with  grilled asparagus, and arugula salad, with the dressing on the side. 


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H-Town CM Helena Brown has been in office less than two months now but she sure is getting a lot of media run. The Chron ran a piece on her this weekend on her record setting pace on voting “no” on agenda items.  Here is a taste:

"It’s District A she should save first. We’ll worry about saving the rest of the city from the mayor tomorrow," former county tax assessor-collector Paul Bettencourt said. "She has to watch overplaying her hand."

Here is the entire article.

I wonder what Mr. Bettencourt means when he says “we’ll worry about saving the rest of the city from the mayor tomorrow".  Save it from what?  When is tomorrow?  Is tomorrow February 28 or November of 2013?  I wish he would ‘splain it better.  Does he have a plan?  Does he have a candidate?  Does he have a slate?

Burkablog had this headline this past weekend:  When did Texas politics go completely nuts?

Here is part of the piece:

Our politics has gone off-the-spectrum nuts. The entire 2011 session was all about pandering to the far right. That is all our politicians know how to do–or want to do. Serious legislating has left the building.

I supposed I should answer my own question: When did Texas politics go completely nuts? I would say it was when Perry defeated Hutchison in the 2010 Republican primary, eliminating the constituency of moderate Republicans, particularly soccer moms, from the playing field.

Check out Burkablog here.

About the only good thing about having a primary election in late June is maybe we get to hear more stuff falling out of Mitt’s piehole like his wife drives two caddies, putting down $10,000 bets, not knowing the NASCAR drivers but knowing the NASCAR owners, and of course not caring about poor folks.  Please keep connecting with folks, Mitt!

Some folks know that the Minnesota Twins used to be the old Washington Senators and the Twins won World Serious championships in 1987 and 1991.  How many times did they win World Serious championships while in D.C.?

They should have given a special Oscar last night to Angelina’s right leg.  Another special Oscar should have gone to J-Lo’s left, err, well you know.  I wonder where Nick Nolte was partying BEFORE the Oscars.  I wonder how Kodak felt about Billy Crystal’s jabs.  I wonder if J-Lo and Cameron Diaz were trying to get us to vote for their arses.  I didn’t have a problem with Octavia Spencer going home with the “hottest guy in the room”.   I thought “The Wizard of Oz” focus group bit was dumb.

Alyson Footnotes had a very moving farewell to Hall of Fame great Gary Carter. 

Check it out here.    

On being Josh Innes:  When sports talk show host Josh Innes got on drive time on Sports 610 over a year ago, he was very hard to like.  Now I like the fella and his style.  He makes the show more entertaining.  David Barron of the Chron did a little feature about him last Friday.  Here is a taste:

….the most polarizing sports talk guy in Houston in the 15 years I have been writing about radio and TV here.


He is calculating in the same way Howard Stern and Don Imus are calculating, and his ciphering is dedicated to keeping you from changing the dial because you don’t know what he may do next.
Here is the entire Chron feature.

Way to go, Josh Innes!

From the equal time department:  I said this last Friday:

Talk show host Michael Berry sent over $2,000 to cover the cost of the car he bumped a while back.   Here is how the car owner responded in the Chron today:

"If that’s (letter and check from Berry) an admission of guilt, that’s fine," (Tuderia) Bennett said. "I just want the apology that comes with it."

If somebody runs into my ride, I’m Ok if their insurance company pays to get it fixed.  I’m not looking for an apology.  This Bennett fella just needs to take the check and put it in the bank.  Your fifteen minutes are up, pal!

Someone sent this over:

What’s the first thing you say to someone when you get out of your car, after you hit theirs?  "I’m so sorry!"  I think this is a pretty standard practice….from JML.

OK, you have a point if someone wants to be polite.  Of course, I don’t think politeness is in Berry’s DNA though.  It is also not a big deal to me.

The old Washington Senators won a World Serious championship in 1924 in seven games of course over the old New York Giants. 

From yesterday’s Chron.com:

The Astros are “leaning heavily” toward new uniforms to accompany the club’s move to the American League in 2013, owner Jim Crane said Sunday.

I wish they wouldn’t.  You can check out the piece here.


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Talk show host Michael Berry sent over $2,000 to cover the cost of the car he bumped a while back.   Here is how the car owner responded in the Chron today:

"If that’s (letter and check from Berry) an admission of guilt, that’s fine," (Tuderia) Bennett said. "I just want the apology that comes with it."

Here is the Chron story.

If somebody runs into my ride, I’m Ok if their insurance company pays to get it fixed.  I’m not looking for an apology.  This Bennett fella just needs to take the check and put it in the bank.  Your fifteen minutes are up, pal!

Commentary mentioned this week that the Colt 45s held spring training in Arizona (1962 and 1963) and Kissimmee, Florida from 1985 through the present.  Where did they hold spring training from 1964 through 1984?

My pal Robert Miller has pretty much been on target on redistricting.  He doesn’t try to spin it like the partisans and to the best of my knowledge he’s not pushing an agenda.  While a lot of folks are patiently and impatiently waiting on Godot, err an election date, Robert lays out the possibilities and why so check it out here:

All of the hearings and briefings have concluded, and we are simply waiting on the  courts to rule.  A three judge D.C. court is considering whether the legislature’s maps comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).  A three judge San Antonio court is determining whether the legislature’s maps comply with Section 2 of the VRA and are otherwise constitutional.

D.C. Court
The D.C. court has previously indicated that it would not issue a ruling before March at the earliest.  It is clear that the D.C. court will find that the maps do not comply with Section 5.  It is unknown how many VRA violations the court will find and whether the court will specify how the affected districts are to be redrawn.  The plaintiffs, comprised of minority and Democratic groups, are anxious for the D.C. court to rule before the San Antonio court issues maps, because they believe the D.C. court will be more favorable to their position than the San Antonio court.

San Antonio Court
The San Antonio court has strongly encouraged and prodded the parties to settle their differences so that the court could issue agreed maps.  The parties did agree on the State Senate map, but it is clear they are unable to reach a settlement regarding the Texas House or Congressional seats.

Accordingly, the San Antonio court is drawing interim maps.  The court previously indicated that the primary election would be May 29 at the earliest.  Testimony from election officials indicated they need maps by March 3 in order to have a May 29 election.  The Supreme Court has instructed the court to give deference to the legislature’s district lines except where 1) legal challenges under the Constitution or VRA Section 2 are shown to have a “likelihood of success”; or 2) there is a “not insubstantial” chance that aspects of the legislature’s map will fail under VRA Section 5 review.

Two Possible Scenarios
(1)  The San Antonio court does not wait on the D.C. court to rule, but rather issues interim maps by March 3 (Saturday week) and schedules the primary election for May 29 with the runoff July 31.  The court has indicated that it will also reopen candidate filing for some period of time.  This appears to me to be the most likely scenario based on what I am seeing and hearing.  The problem with this scenario is that we will subsequently get a ruling from the D.C. court regarding Section 5 pre-clearance, and that ruling may not comport with how the San Antonio court drew the lines.

(2)  The San Antonio court waits on the D.C. court to rule, and then incorporates that ruling when it issues an interim map.  However, given the D.C. court has previously indicated it would not issuing a ruling until March at the earliest, it means we would not have a May 29 primary.  The next likely date would June 26, with the runoff late August or early September.

Scenario (1) appears to me to be the most likely based on what I am seeing and hearing.  I am hopeful that we will see interim maps either this week or next, resulting in a May 29 election.  If that doesn’t happen, no telling when the Texas primary will be.

Nice job Robert!

Hunker Down’s chief legal counsel was arrested the other day at a towing lot and some folks are wondering why Hunker Down didn’t can him.

Channel 13’s Miya Shay has the story here.

I think we need more facts and details before we start calling out Hunker Down.  Stay tuned!

Rodeomania started last night with the Barbecue Cook Off over at Reliant and the trail riders will occupy Memorial Park today.  Commentary doesn’t have any rodeo plans but I do like the atmosphere that is created for the next couple of weeks or so and I do like to hear about the over the top grub they serve over at the Midway.

From 1964-1984, the ‘Stros had their spring training in Cocoa Beach, Florida of course.

Roy O. still hasn’t signed with a team and here is what his agent put out yesterday:

"He is in great health and will continue to stay in shape, while throwing regularly off the mound. Roy has every intention of pitching for a contending club at some point this season."

That means he’s not coming here and there is nothing to report from The Yard.


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Dem Appeals Court Justice Jim Sharp deservedly got hammered by the Chron E-Board today.  Here is a taste:

His noisy, arrogant, profane, bullying efforts to intervene on behalf of a friend’s 15-year-old daughter on a shoplifting charge in Brazoria County were completely out of line for a mature adult, let alone an appellate court judge ("Texts, calls get judge in trouble," Page A1, Wednesday).

Here is how it ended:

His intemperate actions are those of a common rascal. They deserve censure.

Here is the editorial.

Nobody I know is surprised about this.

When CEWDEM distributed Commentary yesterday, he included the following:

Here’s a question for my friend Marc.  Back when his good pal, the subhuman Michael Berry slithered onto the scene and first ran for City Council making all sorts of promises to all sorts of folk to garner support, who did you support, Michael Berry or Claudia Williamson? And Why?…..Just asking….

Let me ‘splain:

Claudia Williamson was a consultant to Campos Communications from 1994 to 2002.  She ran in 2001 and I helped her although I wasn’t her paid consultant.  We didn’t think it was proper for me to consult on her campaign while she was my consultant – get it!  I’ve always gotten along with Michael Berry since he’s been on council. He’s never gone after me personally or against any of my clients.  That’s just the way it goes.  I don’t agree with a lot of what he says on the air, but that doesn’t mean I have to dislike or hate the fella.

I also have to confess that I don’t listen to Berry’s show.  When I’m at the office, I keep it on “The Today Show” or CNN and when I’m in the car, I usually keep it on Sports 610. 

When was the first year the ‘Stros opened Spring Training Camp in Kissimmee?

The Roundtable invite yesterday got me laughing.   Let me share it with you:

Your gay bar pass has been revoked!

We’re pleased to announce that Michael Berry will accompany Felicia Moon to The Roundtable tonight.  And he’ll drive in reverse all the way from Montrose.

Farrago.  7:00.

Tim Fleck is bringing his files and notes.

I wonder if Felicia Moon has ever seen “Field of Dreams” or “Splendor in the Grass”.

H-Town CM Helena Brown is certainly giving the Chron fresh material at Council meetings.  Here is from today’s Chron:

"I’ve been attempting to schedule a meeting with you for about two and a half weeks now," (Mayor Annise) Parker told (District A Council Member Helena) Brown. "I’ve made multiple requests and I have resorted to communicating with you by email in order to discuss a range of items. You have consistently refused to meet with me, and had you had the opportunity to meet with me we may have been able to deal with this privately."

Brown responded, "Mayor, I will not be bullied. You have made a request via one of your assistants for a meeting two weeks ago for which I specifically asked for specifics so I can decide whether the meeting is to be merited. And I don’t appreciate you announcing what is supposed to be our business before the whole city of Houston." Brown said Parker mentioned "possible legal issues" in her request. "I’m a duly elected council member, and I will not be bullied," she said.

Here is the Chron article.

Huh!   It’s only February. 

1985 of course is the first year the ‘Stros opened Spring Training Camp in Kissimmee, Florida.

Once again I don’t have anything from The Yard.


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My pal talk show host Michael Berry is going to war with Click2Houston, the Chron, and Sports 610 Radio.  I don’t know about that.  Here is from the Chron:

Berry opened his KTRH radio show about the topic this morning and said the allegations against him were overblown and inaccurate. He said  KPRC Local 2 reported the story last Wednesday to help boost its ratings during sweeps week.

“Was it a cover up?” Berry questioned. “No, it was a smear campaign. Channel 2, I’ve got my sights on you… You can smear my name without me but I’m not going down without a fight.”

Here is one article.

And here.

And also here.

Berry also went after the Chron and said some unflattering stuff about the state of the Chron newsroom these days.  The Chron posted the remarks earlier yesterday but now pulled them off.  I guess they didn’t like that Berry said that “interns” now write stories for the Chron.

Yesterday afternoon, listening to Sports 610, I found out that Berry also started in on host Josh Innis.  Innis poked fun of Berry last week.  Innis returned the fire and went after KTRH Radio.

Berry needs to impose a cease fire.  He can’t sustain a war on three fronts if you ask me.

I wonder what the new ‘Stros ownership thinks about their flagship station getting into all these wars.

Where did the old Colt 45s hold their first two Spring Training Camps (1962 & 1963)?

Here is from the Texas Tribune today on their poll on Guv Dude:

"It’s not that Perry is dead," said Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll. "But the notion that he’s invulnerable is dead." 

Here is the Tribune article.

2014 is a long ways off.   I don’t want to handicap 2014 today, but if the same folks that run the Lone Star State Dem Party these days are still running the Party in 2014, then Dude has a real good chance of getting reelected.

Dude also gave interviews to some members of the Capitol Press Corps yesterday and says he’s keeping his options open – yikes!

Somehow this story about Dem Appeals Court Justice Jim Sharp isn’t surprising.  He made the front page of the Chron today and this is how it starts:

Jim Sharp, a judge on one of Houston’s two courts of appeals, has been barred from working on any criminal cases from Brazoria County because of allegations that he tried to use his position to skirt the law for a friend’s 15-year-old daughter who was arrested for shoplifting.

Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne accused the judge of attempting to use his influence to improperly demand the juvenile’s release in January, according to court records. The documents allege that Sharp sent inappropriate texts and profane voice messages to county employees, a state district judge and a Brazoria County commissioner.

"You guys are a bunch of backwoods hillbillies that use screwed-up methods in dealing with children, and I can promise you this: Things are about to change in Brazoria County," Sharp said to a juvenile detention center director over the phone, court records show. "I am a judge in the Court of Appeals. I have authority over your judges along with every other judge in 10 counties in this area."

Here is the piece.

Well at least he made the front page.

The Colt 45s held their first two Spring Training Camps in 1962 and 1963 in Apache Junction, Arizona of course.

There is nothing to report from Spring Training today.


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A few days ago 84% of the Texas Tribune’s Insiders picked the Lite Guv to win the GOP Primary U.S. Senate race.  14% picked Ted Cruz.   Commentary was one of the Insiders that picked the Lite Guv. 

The Tribune’s Ross Ramsey has a story today on the latest Tribune Lone Star State survey that has the Lite Guv with 38% and Cruz with 27%.   Here is a piece of the story:

"David Dewhurst is roughly splitting the extremely conservative primary voters with Ted Cruz," said poll co-director Jim Henson, who teaches government at the University of Texas at Austin and runs the Texas Politics Project. "That’s not a sign of failure or defeat, but it is a yellow flag."

Henson attributes that more to style than to substance, but he said it could help the challenger.

"Cruz is in the advantageous position right now of, for the most part, defending his ideas against Dewhurst’s record," Henson said. "In the last few cycles, that’s been a good place to be, and not to be the person who’s having to defend your actions in government."

Here is the entire Tribune story.

Should Dems give a rat’s arse who wins the GOP U.S. Senate Primary race?  I wonder how having a Spanish surname fella at the top of the GOP ticket plays with Latino voters in the Lone Star State this November?  I’m thinking it doesn’t help Dems.  Stay tuned for sure!

Oh, I forgot, Dems also got a mention in Ross’ story:

Unsettled might be the best description of the race for the Democratic nomination for Senate, where 55 percent said they would prefer another Democratic candidate to those who are running.

The named candidates were clustered in a statistical tie: Sean Hubbard, 12 percent; Addie Dainell Allen, Daniel Boone and Paul Sadler, each at 10 percent; and John Morton with 3 percent.

Are you in the 55%?

Now that MLB Spring Training is underway, how many teams are in the Cactus League and how many are in the Grapefruit League?

My pal Chris Moran has a piece today in the Chron on city finances.  Here is how the piece starts:

The city of Houston has been papering over multimillion-dollar budget deficits for nine years by borrowing money, tapping its rainy day fund, selling buildings and just plain putting off bills to the future, according to city finance officials.


"We have a local government problem in that those administrations made decisions not to fulfill their obligations and to punt it down the road," said Councilman C.O. Bradford, who voted in favor of the last two budgets in which spending exceeded revenues by at least $98 million a year. "There’s no institutional accountability for having done that, and it continues today."


Meanwhile, Parker’s predecessor, Bill White, insisted there was no deficit during his six-year administration.

"We collected more revenues while I was mayor than we spent," White said.

Not according to the city’s finance department, which reports more spending than income for each of the six fiscal years White presided over the city.

Check out the entire piece here.

Look!  The headline says it all: “Houston grappling with decade of deficit spending”.

Here is the headline in the hard copy of today’s Chron: “Task force: No more maneuvers on deficit”.

15 teams (A’s, Angels, Brewers, Cubbies, D-Backs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Reds, Rockies, Royals, and White Sox) play in the Cactus League and 15 teams (‘Stros, Blue Jays, The ATL, San Luis, Fish, Mets, Nationals, B’More, Phillies, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers, Twins, and Yankees) of course play in the Grapefruit League.

The new owner showed up at the first day of Spring Training.


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Check this out from today’s Chron:

In the first 16 days since abandoning his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, (Gov. Rick) Perry has been to his office just three times and stayed no longer than three hours each time, The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday’s edition.

Here is the entire article.

Frankly, I don’t think we ought to be jumping on Guv Dude for being a no show.  All he would be doing is further making a mess of things if he was at the State Capitol.  He was gone for most of the latter half of last year and we didn’t miss him.  As far as I’m concerned he can continue to sleep in.

If my pal and talk show host Michael Berry had allegedly hit and run a car in front of Warren’s or Sherlock’s or Hearsay would folks have given a rat’s arse?

If Will White’s dad wasn’t the former Mayor, would the Chron have gone with the story last week about his reprimand for taking one of his students off campus to get a burger?

Speaking of President’s Day, what is higher, the minimum MLB salary or the President’s salary? 

The MLB Gods have decreed that when the ‘Stros take the field this year with one of their throwback jerseys – the Colt 45s one – it can’t have the gun on it.  One thing about the MLB, they aren’t like Congress.  They’re not going to knuckle under to the NRA.  I’m OK with that.

Of course, I wonder if they are going to make the folks at The Yard get rid of the scoreboard cowboy that fires off a couple of six shooters after a ‘Stro hits a dinger.

Of course, MLB is now going to have to change the name from “radar guns” to “radar baseball speed detecting gizmos”.

Teams are no longer going to be allowed to refer to their young best players as “young guns”.  They may have to settle for “young firepower”.

I just hope they don’t make the Toy Cannon change his nickname.

Go on ahead and add ESPN to the list of those that just can’t handle the Jeremy Linsation without dropping a slur or two.  After the Knicks lost this past Friday night, ESPN on one of its websites posted the “C” word.  At least the dumbarses came out and apologized the next day for being dumbarses and then fired and suspended other dumbarses.

The minimum MLB salary for 2012 is $480,000.  The President makes $400,000. 

Pitchers and catchers report today for the first day of ‘Stros Spring Training.


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This is from today’s SA Express news on the latest on the redistricting mess:

A Texas House district in Houston and Lloyd Doggett‘s congressional district have emerged as the two main sticking points in negotiations to create a set of compromise redistricting maps for the 2012 election.


Negotiations for a compromise Texas House map seem to have gotten stuck on one district east of Houston, currently represented by Rep. Ken Legler, R-Pasadena.

A proposed deal, worked out by the Latino Redistricting Task Force and (Texas AG Greg) Abbott, would make the seat a toss-up that becomes more Democratic as the area’s Latino population grows.

Other minority groups have complained that the deal is not enough, and Harris County Republicans have campaigned against additional compromise.

“They were more willing to relax on (changes to a San Antonio district) than (Legler’s district),” (LULAC attorney Luis) Vera said. “They’re not budging on (Legler) at all.”   Here is the entire article.

Meanwhile, Txredistricting.org put this out yesterday:

Both (political) parties have said they would keep their state conventions on the second weekend of June, which means that a number of internal party rules- as well as parts of the Texas Election Code- would have to change to accommodate a primary that does not occur until shortly before the state convention.


Chad Dunn, general counsel for the Texas Democratic Party, said his party likely would choose to forgo precinct conventions and move directly to senate district and county conventions. After the hearing, Steve Munisteri, chair of the Republican Party of Texas, told reporters that he would be discussing a similar arrangement with the State Republican Executive Committee.

Under the possible proposal outlined by Munisteri, district conventions would be held in April as scheduled but would be open to all comers who swear an oath that they are a Republican. At the district convention, attendees would break into precinct caucuses and elect delegates to the state convention in June, where, in turn, national delegates would be selected.

That means that Commentary’s longtime streak of attending consecutive precinct conventions will come to a screeching halt.  I wonder if the Lone Star State Dem Party or the local Dem Party will let me petition them to see if we can have quickie precinct convention on May 29 just so I can keep my streak alive. 

If we skip the precinct conventions and go straight to the county/senatorial conventions, don’t expect a lot of folks to show up.  How are folks going to be notified?  What a mess.

MLB Hall of Fame great Gary Carter left us yesterday at the age of 57.  Back in 2002, I had the opportunity to go to a ‘Stros game in Montreal.  It was a Sunday afternoon and they were honoring former Expo Carter and handing out Gary Carter Bobbleheads.  I got there too late to snag one.  During the 1986 NLCS between the ‘Stros and the Mets that the Mets won in six, Carter started all six games for the Mets behind the plate.  What was Carter’s key contribution to the 1986 NLCS? 

Now the Texas Rangers are asking for a Special Prosecutor to help investigate the Harris County DA’s office.  This is definitely going to hurt her in the GOP Primary.    Check out the Chron article here.

Yesterday’s Chron Op-Ed by my pal Bill King started out like this:

Memo to Republicans: There are not enough old, angry white people to win a national election.

Apparently Republicans are unaware of a new science called demographics that has been developed over the last several decades.
It is a good piece by Bill so check it out here.

Gary Carter hit a game winning RBI single of course off of Charley Kerfeld in the bottom of the 12th in Shea Stadium to give the Mets a 2-1 win and a 3-2 game lead in the NLCS.

A few years ago, My Best Friend, his son Matt, and I went to San Luis’ new crib to check out the ‘Stros play there.  We both commented about the sea of red in the stands.  We will never see a sea of anything at The Yard.   A handful of fans wear the old Colt 45 gear.  Some wear the rainbow stuff.  Some wear the orange.  Some wear the blue and orange.  Some wear the blue and gold of the 90s and some wear the brick red.   The new owner is thinking about getting new uniforms.  I don’t know about that.  I don’t have any more room on my ‘Stros gear rack.


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Something isn’t right with this picture.  According to today’s Chron, after giving his “State of the County” speech that touched on ethics issues yesterday, Hunker Down called out County Attorney Vince Ryan for not living up to his watchdog role.   

Here is from the Chron:

Emmett, speaking after his fifth State of the County address hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership, also called on County Attorney Vince Ryan, as the county’s highest ethics officer, to do more to strengthen Harris County’s ethics practices.


"People have got to feel comfortable in Harris County exposing ethical violations," Emmett said, "and the county attorney needs to tell us how we do that and quit telling us why it won’t work."

Here is the Chron piece.

You don’t really have to read between the lines to figure out what is going on here.   The latest three ethical flaps going on at the county involve three former or current constables – all Democrats.  Hunker Down is gigging Vince and his office for being silent on these flaps.  They are setting up Vince and Dems so they can use the corruption/ethics issue against Dems in November.  Good move on Hunker Down’s part, I guess.  Oh, well!

Among current active MLB pitchers, list the top 4 with the best ERA?

Talk about a headache in the making.  May 29, the day the Lone Star State may finally get a primary, is the day after Memorial Day – yikes.  I wonder what that will do for turnout.   Here is the latest Chron article.

The Lone Star State Dem Convention is scheduled for 10 days later – June 8-9.  That doesn’t give us much time select our county and senatorial district delegates and then our state delegates.  What a mess!

My pal talk show host Michael Berry has some ‘splaining to do so I’ll just wait and let him ‘splain.  Check out the latest from Channel 2 here.

What is the “significant event form”?  How do get on it?  Is it for talk show hosts?  Is it for professional athletes?  Is it for elected officials?  I’d like for HPD to ‘splain that one for us.

At yesterday’s H-Town City Council meeting, the proposed substitute ordinance “relating to the regulation of automotive businesses” was referred back to The Mayor’s office.  I guess they didn’t have the votes and will work on it to see if they can eventually get at least nine Council members to say uncle, err yes.

The active MLBers with the best ERA are Mariano Rivera (2.21), Tim Lincecum (2.98), Johan Santana (3.10), and Roy Oswalt (3.21), of course.  Roy O. is still looking for a team to sign him up.

From the Chron:

Astros will open a Walk of Fame outside Minute Maid Park this year as a means to spread visible honors beyond the nine former Astros with retired numbers.

The Walk of Fame will begin with those nine players — Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Larry Dierker, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson and Jimmy Wynn.

Four more members will be added this year — one each representing the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, as voted on by a panel. After this year, one player a year will be added.

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