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Archive for February, 2012

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.

And:

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.

And:

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.

And:

"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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The H-Town City Council meeting yesterday lasted past 5 p.m. because a bunch of small business owners showed up to speak against the proposed ordinance “relating to the regulation of automotive businesses”.  Unless I missed something during a bathroom break, not a single person showed up to speak for the proposed ordinance.  That speaks volumes if you ask me.

Prior to the start of the Council meeting, the H-Town Mayor’s Office sent Council members a substitute ordinance.  That tells me that the votes weren’t there yesterday to get the measure passed.

When one of the first small business owners got up to speak against the proposal, the Mayor tried to explain that the ordinance was a consumer protection measure.  CM Helena Brown called it consumer oppression.

In listening to some to the leaders of the small business owners, it didn’t sound like they were going to be appeased by the substitute proposal.   For many of the speakers, this was obviously the first time they had ever attended a City Council meeting.  I don’t know if this how City Hall should go about engaging folks into the political process.   This is one that has the potential to come and bite folks on the arse.

‘Stros announcer Milo Hamilton will retire after this season.  How many no-nos has Milo called from the ‘Stros’ radio booth?

It is getting harder to believe the Harris County DA these days.  Now she is saying that she invited the Texas Rangers to investigate her office.  Here is from the Chron:

“I asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation,” (Pat) Lykos said in prepared statement Tuesday.

 

And:

“There are interests that are slandering and libeling this office (relative to the activities of the Grand Jury), which are impeding the administration of justice disrupting the work of the District Attorney’s Office,” Lykos wrote to the DPS.

Well who invited the FBI?     Here is the entire Chron piece.

I kind of like the Harris County DA but she is starting to get a credibility problem.  I’m thinking that this Texas Rangers/FBI investigation hurts her big time in the GOP primary.

Speaking of, unless they cut a redistricting deal real soon, like today, we’re looking at a May primary.  Heck, we haven’t had a May primary since 1986 – yikes!

Milo has called four no-nos of course from the ‘Stros radio booth. (1986, Mike Scott vs Giants, 1993, Darryl Kile vs Mets, 1997, Pirates’ Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon against the ‘Stros, and 2003, our six pitchers vs the Yankees).  Milo didn’t call the Cubbies’ Zambrano no-no against us in the 2008 Ike Games because he didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee. 

That’s all I have from The Yard!

 

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Last week, The President’s campaign team let Dem donors know that it was A-Okay to fund Super PACs.  It would be absolutely stupid and politically suicidal to do otherwise since Karl Rove and other GOP operatives are getting their Super PACs ready.   You have to fight fire with fire.

Meanwhile, the Texas Tribune has a piece today about a Super PAC that wants to knock off congressional incumbents of both political parties including Dems Reyes and Johnson of the Lone Star State.  Here is a part of the piece:

Houston construction mogul Leo Linbeck III, the self-described "conservative communitarian" who has led a national effort to shift control of the nation’s health from the federal government to the states, is now trying to shake up the country’s political primaries.

He has poured more than $775,000 into a new Super PAC — the now $1.8 million Campaign for Primary Accountability — designed to fund primary challengers to longtime incumbents on both sides of the political spectrum.

Here is the Tribune article.

Yikes!

Speaking of February 14, seven MLB tams have retired the numero 14.  Of the seven, four are in the Hall of Fame.  Try naming the four.

FYI:  Joe Martinez, candidate for Harris County Constable, Precinct 2 in the Democratic Party Primary is Commentary’s client.  Harry Zamora is one of Joe’s opponents.  CEWDEM sent out something about Harry Zamora and got this response from a Zamora relative (in bold).

This is in response your remarks sent out on Feb.  2012, regarding the Constable race for Precinct 2.  It is a good thing that you are not able to vote in that Precinct.  You seem to be utterly biased.   However, to endorse someone who may not be best qualified for any position is nothing more than a disservice to that community.

Even Presidents appoint qualified leaders from different Political Affiliates to help govern our Country.  For example, President Obama appointed Bill Gates, A Republican, Secretary of Defense and he did a very good job.  I could mention many others, but I do not have the time to do so now.  The mentality some have shown by their remarks just indicates how uniformed, immature and capricious they are.  Harry has helped many candidates from different political parties with TV commercials at his own expense.

The fact remains that Harry Zamora, Houston Police Lieutenant Emeritus, and retired after 32 years, is the best qualified for the  position of Constable, Precinct 2, Harris County, Texas, PERIOD!!!  His experince, knowledge, training, honesty, reliability and integrity is simply unmatched by any other candiate.  He had seen it all and done it all in serving and protecting our citizens.

Lets elect someone who can really do the job and that can only be Harry Zamora. 

Manuel D. Zamora Jr.

  1. The President didn’t appoint Gates – 43 did – he just allowed him to continue serving.
  2. His name is actually Robert Gates and not the Microsoft fella.
  3. I think it would be nice to know how many other Republicans Harry Zamora has helped at his own expense.

Jeremy Lin is the NBA basketball player sensation that is getting a lot of run these days.  Here is from an AP story today:

Unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has posted a swipe at the New York Knicks’ point guard sensation Jeremy Lin on Twitter.

Mayweather posted Monday: "Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise."

Lin has led the Knicks to five straight victories, including a 38-point game against the Lakers.

Mayweather rarely hesitates to air racially charged opinions, either in person or in social media.

I don’t know what you can say about this dumbarse Mayweather other than to say he’s a dumbarse.

One of Commentary’s favorite sports columnists, Jason Whitlock, also pulled a dumbarse move when he tweeted a racially insensitive barb about Lin.  Whitlock at least apologized for being a dumbarse.

Commentary will be watching the H-Town City Council meeting this afternoon and it looks like it will be interesting as an ordinance “relating to the regulation of automotive businesses” is on the agenda.  Small business owners will show up at City Council this afternoon to speak against this proposed ordinance and they aren’t going to be handing Council members Valentine’s Day candy.   The ordinance is bad public policy.  I don’t know why or where they think up stuff to regulate.   This is exactly what gets folks mad at City Hall.

Hall of Fame greats Ernie Banks (Cubbies), Larry Doby (Indians), Jim Bunning (Phillies), and Jim Rice (Red Sox) of course had their numero 14s retired.  The other three numero 14s belong to Kent Hrbek (Twins), Ken Boyer (San Luis), and Gil Hodges (Mets).

I don’t have anything from The Yard so have a nice St. Valentine’s Day!

 

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This is from today’s Chron:

Activists are preparing a petition to put a referendum on Houston’s November ballot, calling for a ban on discrimination against gays and permission for the city to grant health insurance benefits to the unmarried partners of city employees.   Here is the entire piece.

The H-Town voters sank this in 1985 and again in 2001.  Let’s hope that the changing demographics and changing in thinking and attitudes helps out this November.  The supporters and organizers of this referendum better raise a whole lot of money for the campaign.

The Statesman today has a good take on why it is taking so long to get a redistricting settlement.  Here is a taste:

The parties in Texas’ redistricting lawsuit have been trying for two weeks to agree on election maps, but as a Valentine’s Day court date approaches, the chance of a compromise still seemed remote, according to interviews with some of the parties.

And:

The reason? There are about a dozen parties to the lawsuit representing vastly different organizations and individuals with divergent, sometimes diametrically opposed views on the best way to fairly reconfigure Texas’ legislative and congressional districts to reflect population changes since 2000.

Some plaintiffs represent specific parts of the state. Others are looking out for elected officials and the communities they represent. Some plaintiffs’ top priority is Hispanic voters, while others are most interested in African Americans.   Here is the entire piece.

Most ‘Stros fans know that Larry Dierker has the best all time record in wins/losses as a ‘Stros skipper going 448-362 (.553).  Name the skipper with the second best all time record?

My pal Jason Stanford had a guest column in the Statesman this weekend on the Lone Star State Latino vote.  Here is a little of Jason’s take:

The stakes for Republicans will only get higher as the Hispanic population grows. The big threat isn’t that Texas Hispanics might stop voting Republican as often as they do. The thing that keeps smart Republicans up at night is worrying that Hispanics will actually start voting. The Hispanic giant has been sleeping in Texas for so long that it’s forgotten it’s a giant.

And:

Texas Republicans reject the Bush-Perry model at their own peril. Texas Hispanics aren’t uniformly pro-immigration, but if Texas Republicans undo the in-state tuition break for children of illegal immigrants and embrace an Alabama-style jihad on undocumented workers, all Republicans are likely to accomplish is turning this red state purple.   Here is Jason’s piece.
Nice job, Jason!

Jason also has a new website on politics that I would recommend here.

I was watching Mitt Romney talk to CPAC this past Friday afternoon and he said:

“I was a severely conservative Republican governor.”

Huh!   I guess he thinks some far righters and Tea Baggers think he was a gently conservative Republican governor.

Well, I guess I might start calling myself a relentlessly liberal Democrat.

How about a ruthlessly liberal Democrat?

How about a rigorously liberal Democrat?

How about a brutally liberal Democrat?

I watched the Grammy’s last night and it was a nice, respectful, and touching opening by LL Cool J.

The Beach Boys tribute was nice.

Sir Paul’s “My Valentine” was A-OK.

Somebody should have done something about that big microphone that blocked most of Taylor Swift’s mug.

Adele is super!

The Glen Campbell tribute was special.

Jennifer Hudson had a tough job but she came through.

The "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"/"The End," guitar fest with The Boss, the Foo Fighter, Joe Walsh, and Sir Paul rocked.

Terry Collins of course has the second best ‘Stros record as a skipper going 224-197 (.532).

Nothing much to report from The Yard!

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FYI:  Commentary will say it again.  HISD District I Trustee Anna Eastman is my client and also a very good friend.

Last night at the HISD Board meeting, the Trustees voted to extend the Superintendent’s contract through June of 2014.  The vote was 5 votes for extending, 1 vote against, and three abstentions.   The one vote against was cast by Trustee Eastman.   Check out the Chron story here.

The last thing I’m going to do is question why the three abstainers just didn’t cast a “no” vote.

The last thing I’m going to do is question why Trustee Eastman just didn’t join the other three abstainers instead of voting “no”.

I will say this, as a constituent and voter in District I, I prefer my Trustee vote either “yes” or “no” and don’t abstain on key agenda items.

I think it is easier to explain a “yes” or a “no” vote than an “abstention”. 

Meanwhile, the Superintendent woke up this morning with an extension, but by only one vote.   I don’t know if I’d be feeling that great.  

The HISD Board President (Mike Lunceford), First Vice President (Eastman), and Second Vice-President (Juliet Stipeche) didn’t support the extension.  Oh, well!

Commentary attended the endorsement meeting of the Harris County Tejano Democrats last night and my client, Joe Martinez, candidate for Harris County Constable, Precinct 2, got endorsed.

Who received the 2011 Houston Area Player of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association?

I guess they are a little short handed over at the City of H-Town.  We were doing some post election changes to CM James Rodriguez’s campaign website and we decided to link the District I map to the City’s District I map.   Oops, they still had the District I map with the old pre redistricting lines.  It looks like Districts B and D also need changing.  Districts A, C, E, G, H, J and K are current but they are using the precinct maps from the redistricting plan.  District F is the only with that is updated that doesn’t use precinct maps.

Lance Berkman of course received the 2011 Houston Area Player of the Year Award from the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association.  The Big Puma is celebrating his 36th BD today!

From the ‘Stros website today:

An impressive list of former Astros and Colt .45 players will join members of the current Astros club on Friday (tonight), Feb. 10, at the 2012 Houston Baseball Dinner Benefiting Grand Slam For Youth Baseball’s Scholarship Program.  The dinner is being held at the Hilton Americas hotel in downtown Houston.

This year’s annual dinner will include a celebration of the Astros 50th Anniversary. The event is sponsored by the Astros In Action Foundation and Minute Maid, with proceeds benefiting the Grand Slam For Youth Baseball Scholarship Program.

 

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