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Archive for June, 2013

Next week the H-Town City Council will vote to adopt the budget and they may have to vote on property tax relief amendments.  Check this out from yesterday’s Chron:

The council is expected to begin hashing out the budget next week.

The big-ticket proposals related to property tax relief for seniors, with council members Andrew Burks, C.O. Bradford and Helena Brown each offering at least one idea on the topic. Most of their amendments sought to raise Houston’s $70,862 residential property tax exemption to match Harris County’s $160,000. Affected homeowners would save $569 annually under Bradford’s most aggressive proposal, and up to $58 under his most modest.

Brown’s proposal, which would hike the city exemption in steps to match the county’s by 2019, would cost $5.7 million next year and $102 million cumulatively by 2019, City Finance Department director Kelly Dowe estimated. Those numbers likely are understated, he said, because they are based on 2012 tax data and assume no growth in appraised values.

Everybody likes tax relief. If you take revenue out of the budget what do you cut?  It always sounds nice to support tax relief but it isn’t revenue relief. I would hope that it has nothing to do with the upcoming election.  Stay tuned!

The White Sox are in town.  Name the last White Sox player to win the AL MVP Award?

The Big Jolly fella has an interesting take on the mayor’s race.  He went and checked out a Ben Hall talk to a pachyderm group.  You may not agree with Big Jolly because he is a GOPer but it is a take nonetheless in a time when not many folks are putting out takes on the race.  Here is a part:

After meeting him (Ben Hall) and hearing what he has to say, I think he might have a real shot at ousting Mayor Parker.

First off, he has vision. Mayor Parker may be a lot of things, and most of them good, but a visionary she ain’t. Hold the fort? Yes. Toe the line? Yes. Minor improvements here and there? Yes. But visionary? No. The one thing that she did that was somewhat visionary was to try and “fix” drainage issues. Unfortunately, she did it with a huge tax and a deceptive ad campaign, both of which were targets of Mr. Hall during his comments today. Rather than using the money for shovel ready drainage projects, the money is paying the salaries of Public Works employees.

Hall’s vision is to grow Houston. In fact, he claims his campaign and the election aren’t even about Mayor Parker but about the future of the city.

Here is the entire Big Jolly take.

It’s the vision thing, stupid! 

I don’t know if the vision thing will work.

Last night the lights went out in our ‘hood for over an hour and it wasn’t a transformer popping out.  It felt more like a mini rolling blackout.  Oh, well!

Frank Thomas of course of the White Sox won the AL MVP Award in 1994.

The White Sox are in for four and Orbit bobblebellys will be handed out tomorrow.

 

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Burkablog put out his Best and Worst Legislators.  Where’s The Dean?  Check it out:

BEST:


Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen)

Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth)

Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock)

Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen)

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D- San Antonio)

Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie)

Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio)

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio)

Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands)

WORST:

 

Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth)

Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas)

Comptroller Susan Combs (R-Austin)

Rep. Naomi Gonzalez (D-El Paso)

Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville)

Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston)

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston)

Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City)

Rep. Van Taylor (R-Plano)

BULL OF THE BRAZOS:


Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston)

Why not the Lite Guv on the Worst List?

Aside from Floyd Bannister (1976) and Phil Nevin (1992), name the three other number one draft choices that have played for the ‘Stros?

It looks like Wayne Dolcefino put on a wire and got the Fort Bend Mechanical fella to spill his guts sorta on the HISD mess. The fella says he’s been spreading some cash to three Board Trustees – yikes!  Dolcefino is working for the folks that are suing HISD.  If the fella claims he forked over $150,000 in cash, expect the FBI to be all over this one.  This is getting uglier. Here is Ericka Mellon’s piece in its entirety: 

A local construction company owner claimed in a newly recorded conversation that he has paid HISD board member Larry Marshall up to $150,000 – some of it in cash – to buy influence in the school district, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

David "Pete" Medford, who runs Fort Bend Mechanical, alleged that over the last five years he has given Marshall envelopes of money and recently accompanied some cash with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, the court filing said. Medford said the payments were separate from the tens of thousands he has donated to Marshall’s campaigns.

Excerpts of a transcript of Medford’s comments, which appear to contradict his earlier sworn deposition statements, accompanied a court filing opposing Marshall’s effort to halt an ongoing civil lawsuit that accuses him, Medford, the Houston Independent School District and others of a bribery and kickback scheme. Marshall’s attorneys have asked that the civil case be deferred pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

The Houston Chronicle has reported previously that Medford paid for Marshall’s trip to the Super Bowl in Florida in 2009 and that Marshall failed to disclose a $25,000 campaign donation from Medford that year. In addition, court records indicate Medford and other HISD vendors have hired Marshall’s longtime business associate, Joyce Moss-Clay, as a consultant, and she then paid Marshall a cut of her earnings.

Better deal?

The latest court filing alleges a more lucrative deal for Marshall – as well as a deeper pay-to-play culture in the nation’s seventh-largest school district.

"I have no comments on any comments that Mr. Medford has made," Marshall said Wednesday.

Medford also says in the transcript excerpts that he has paid HISD trustees Greg Meyers and Paula Harris, giving them campaign donations that they didn’t reveal on their disclosure reports. Both denied the claim.

Medford said Marshall did not request specific amounts of money, but Medford would tell the trustee, for instance, that he had a birthday gift for him, and the exchange would take place.

"You know, he comes in my office, we shut the door, and I give him an envelope," Medford said, according to a transcript filed in court Wednesday. "He never never says how much of anything, but if you don’t … if you don’t know where that line is, Wayne, you never … nothing ever gets done."

The conversation, the filing indicates, was between Medford and Wayne Dolcefino, who works as a consultant after leaving his job as a Houston television reporter. Dolcefino has been assisting Gil Ramirez Sr., whose son, Gil Ramirez Jr., filed the civil lawsuit against Marshall, HISD, Medford, Moss-Clay and another company, RHJ-JOC.

Dolcefino confirmed Wednesday that he recorded Medford at the company office. He said he took notes but wasn’t sure if Medford saw his audio recorder.

‘Not telling the truth’

Medford, in emails to the Chronicle on Wednesday night, did not deny it was his voice on the recording. But he suggested, without explaining how, that Dolcefino’s representation of their conversation was incorrect.

"He is not telling the truth about our conversations," Medford said. "I can say from what I have read so far that it is more fiction than truth." He did not respond to an email asking specifically if he stood by the statements in the recording. The audio recording was transcribed by a court reporter at the request of attorneys for Ramirez Jr. Excerpts of the transcript were filed in court late Wednesday.

Medford’s comments in the transcript excerpts appear to contradict statements he made under oath during a deposition last year when asked whether he had ever "made a transfer of money, goods, or anything of value to an HISD trustee?"

"Just through campaign contributions," Medford responded.

In his more recent conversation with Dolcefino, Medford said the attorney who deposed him "didn’t get to the truth the first time. … He just couldn’t get any straight answers out of me. They’re so stupid. They don’t even know what questions to ask," according to the transcript.

Marshall, who turns 81 next week, also has denied in his sworn deposition that he received any "payment, emolument, or other thing of value" from Medford besides the Super Bowl trip and consulting fees from Moss-Clay.

Medford and HISD construction officials have been at odds over several of his company’s school renovation projects, and in late May he filed a lawsuit against the district. The suit alleges that HISD owes Fort Bend Mechanical $9.8 million. HISD has denied the claim.

Don’t be surprised if some heavy local criminal defense attorneys arrive on the scene.  Stay tuned!

I’m thinking the folks at Battleground Texas aren’t too pleased to see FEMA shut the door on West, Texas and in the process make The President look real bad and untrue to his word. I hope The President’s folks get FEMA to do a 180.  The President is getting a ton of bad press in the Lone Star State today. The headline in today’s hard copy of the Chron reads “We stand with you and we will not forget”….The President.  This doesn’t look good.

I think I’ll get one of these T-shirts.  Here is from the Chron:

Former Texans Connor Barwin and Eric Winston are among the 10 players who have lent their names and jersey numbers to a new line of clothing which is being sold by the NFL Players Association in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

Barwin, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in March, has long voiced his support for gay rights. Winston, who spent six seasons with the Texans, is a free agent after playing for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.

The numbered shirts, which are also available with the names of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe and free-agent linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, are being sold for $24.99, with proceeds going to Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization that fights homophobia in sports.

Mike Ivie (1970 by Padres), Dave Roberts (1972 by Padres), and Darin Erstad (1995 by Angels) of course spent part of their careers in a ‘Stro uniform.

I stayed up last night thinking that we were going to lose another close one by the score of one zip then we scored six runs in the top of the ninth.  Now we have us a one game winning streak.  How about that! 

 

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More and more newspaper organizations are asking folks to pay-up or subscribe if you want to get some of their local stories online.  The Chron, the SA Express news, the Statesman, and the Star Telegram to name a few are now charging to get a lot of their local news online.

If you want to get the news from CNN, MSNBC, or Fox from the flat screen, you have to pay cable, U-Verse, or satellite subscriptions and that goes for the internet.

In the old days before the internet if you wanted to get the local news you had to go buy the local fish wrap or pick up a discarded one. 

I guess you can still go solo and get today’s equivalent of the rabbit ears and get the local news from the local TV stations or you can listen to the radio on NPR or stations like 92 FM but for the most part you are still going to have fork over some dough for the local news.

Since the MLB Amateur Player Draft started in 1965, how many MLB franchises have never had the first pick?

According the local news reports, the jury that is deliberating the fate of the former HPD officer in the Chad Holley case is at an impasse.  I’m thinking that if we have a hung jury or outright acquittal there won’t be much of an outcry if you know what I mean.

There were 19 Dome ideas submitted.  That’s probably 19 too many. 

I am not going to say that this fella knows how to play hardball but I will say he loves to play hardball.  I’m talking about Guv Dude.  He certainly doesn’t have a problem wielding his veto threat or calling a special or adding red meat to the special call.  That’s who he is.

Since the opening of The Yard, season ticket holders have been charged for a couple of exhibition games at The Yard right before the regular season starts.  The two games have always been against teams from the other league.  We get charged for the two games but fewer and fewer fans have been attending.  The new President of the ‘Stros is exploring the idea of playing those two games next year at the Alamodome against the Rangers.  I’m OK with that as long as we’re not charged for the two and have to make the trip out I-10.

Check out Tag’s Lines on the 2014 SA games here.

The Dodgers, Giants, Jays, Reds, Red Sox, Rockies, San Luis, and Tribe of course have never had the number one pick in the MLB Draft.

Now we have lost six in a row.  It was pretty painful to watch last night.  Maybe it is time to bring up some of the prospects.

 

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Commentary worked on the winning stadium referendum back in 1996 that led to the construction of Minute Maid Park and Reliant Stadium.  The campaign assembled a coalition of a number of interests that included the Rodeo.  At the time folks knew that Downtown was the proposed site of the baseball stadium. 

In 1995 the Oilers had already announced that they were packing their bags and heading for Tennessee.   Since the Rodeo was a major tenant of the Dome they had to be brought on board and ballot language had to stipulate that their interests would be included.  Here is the 1996 referendum ballot language:

PROPOSITION NO. 1:  AUTHORIZING HARRIS COUNTY TO ESTABLISH AND OPERATE NEW OR RENOVATED STADIUMS, ARENAS, AND OTHER FACILITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL TEAMS PROVIDED THAT NO COUNTY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES ARE SPENT TO ACQUIRE, CONSTRUCT, OR EQUIP THESE FACILITIES.

Passage of the referendum would be a key factor in acquiring an NFL franchise.  The Rodeo uses the football stadium so they knew that if we were to get awarded a NFL franchise a new state-of-the-art football stadium would get built.   Politically it also helped that the Rodeo has an incredible reach with thousands of volunteers and supporters, and numerous partners and sponsors whose backing would be critical to passage of the 1996 referendum.

775,525 votes were cast in the Proposition 1 ballot measure and it prevailed by 16,421 – 51% to 49%.

In 1999 H-Town was awarded an NFL franchise after new owner Bob McNair put up a few hundred million to bring a franchise to the city.  The rest is history.

Commentary mentioned the ‘Stros’ number one pick of the 1976 draft Floyd Bannister.  Three players drafted in 1976 are now in the MLB Hall of Fame – name them?

Back to the Dome, in today’s hard copy of the Chron we are reminded of the influence, err veto power of the Texans and Rodeo on any major changes at Reliant Park.  Here are parts of the Chron reminder:

While the primary tenants of Reliant Park do not have veto power over development plans, they do have other extensive rights to the site under lease and legal agreements with the county. Even though Harris County Commissioners Court will make the ultimate decision about what to do with the iconic stadium, those rights "must be taken into consideration," said Edgardo Colón, chairman of the governing board of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., which oversees Reliant Park.

And:

Under a 2001 agreement, which officials say was designed in anticipation of Astrodome redevelopment, the Texans and the Rodeo are granted protection from any venture that would eat into their revenue streams, as well as exclusive access to all 25,000 parking spaces on game days, for the Texans, and to the entire complex for nearly three weeks during the rodeo.

Let’s not forget that a couple of months or so ago the Rodeo and Texans released a report on how much it would cost to put a wrecking ball to the Dome.  That kind of tells me where they stand.

The public proposals were due last night and the Texans and the Rodeo are on the informal review committee, the informal selection committee, and are sole members of the official veto committee.  That’s not a bad place to be.   They have both earned the power they yield on this matter. 

Hall of Fame greats Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, and Ozzie Smith of course were drafted in 1976.  (FYI:  Smith didn’t sign.  He was drafted again in 1977.) 

I don’t know what to say about winning six in a row and now losing five in a row.  It is not as if we are being blown out. 

 

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Today is the deadline for members of the public to turn in their Astrodome proposals.  In yesterday’s Chron, Kuffer and former County Judge Jon Lindsay penned Op-Eds and gave us their thoughts.  The Chron also published an Op-Ed on the Dome that appeared in the NY Times a week or so ago.  None of the three advocated Commentary’s well known position on the Dome’s future but Kuffer had what I thought were words that ring loud and true.  Check this:

The fact is that in this country, when a stadium stops functioning as a stadium, it gets torn down. Several of the teams that the Astros played against in 1965, the Dome’s opening year, are in their third stadium since then. Ebbetts Field, where Jackie Robinson made his groundbreaking debut in 1947, was demolished in 1960, two years after the Dodgers headed to California. Apartments were built in its place. The only historic venues that still stand are those that are still used as sports arenas, such as Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field and Madison Square Garden.

There is no precedent for turning an unused stadium into some other functional structure, which may be why we have struggled so much to come up with a new use for the Dome.

Hear, hear!

Here is all of Kuffer.

Here is Judge Lindsay.

Here is the NY Times.

Show me the courage!

How many times have the ‘Stros had the number one pick in the MLB Amateur Player Draft?

Speaking of Numbers Ones and dumbarse stuff falling out of your piehole, Chipper Jones tweeted the following:

Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk

Then he tweeted this:

I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!

Here is from the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz:

Chipper Jones, who built a solid reputation during his long career with the Atlanta Braves, has atoned a bit for an ugly tweet about illegal immigrants.

“Y’all think if they took all them gators they trap in Fla and La and put them in the Rio Grande, it wud stop the illegals from crossing? Jk,” Jones tweeted from @RealCJ10 Saturday. Jones got a relative pass from the baseball media, but his tweet was beyond offensive.

Many people die each year trying to cross the border in a desperate attempt to improve their lots in life, and I simply don’t find it funny when athletes attempt to dehumanize immigrants by joking about them as though they’re some sort of prey.

Whether you agree or disagree with the U.S. immigration policies, I would assume we all agree that we must treat each other with respect and common decency. Chipper Jones is no John Rocker, and I’m glad Jones decided to apologize in another tweet tonight.

“I realize that my tweet yest was offensive and distasteful. An attempt at humor was a terrible mistake. Please accept my heartfelt apology!” he tweeted.

Chipper Jones has always been a class act when I’ve dealt with him, and I hope this was just one silly mistake. We all say stupid comments that we ultimately regret from time to time. Jones recognized his mistake, and hopefully he learned from it.

I’m putting Chipper Jones on my list of dumbarses and he’ll stay on it until I think he’s seen the light if you know what I mean.

This past Saturday With the 557th pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Player Draft the ‘Stros selected Jake Rodriguez.  Jake!

Of course I’m not talking about our Jake but rather Jake who catches for the Oregon State Beavers of the PAC 12.

Talk about letting folks down or misleading them or playing the hidden ball trick, I ‘m talking about the Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees.   HCDE Trustee Jim Henley announced he was resigning.  The HCDE Board then invited folks to apply for the vacancy and send in their resumes.  The list was whittled down to six finalists that included public education activist Sue Deigaard, Latino activist Rey Guerra, and former State Board of Education candidate Traci Jensen (Commentary’s former client). The six finalists were then interviewed.

After a few special called HCDE Board meetings to deliberate on the vacancy the board went for none of the above.  This past Thursday the board met and selected former NAACP honcho Howard Jefferson.  I like Howard and consider him a pal but I don’t think he even applied.

If you ask me why ask folks to apply and have them interviewed then say no thanks. Some of the applicants would have been outstanding trustees.  What a bum deal if you ask me. I hope they have a good ‘splanation.

If the City of H-Town really wants to get serious about recycling then why don’t they have the Westpark Recycling Center open on Sundays.  It is open Monday thru Saturday.  A lot of folks can’t or won’t drive out there during the week.  Having it open on Saturday and Sunday would be a convenience.

The ‘Stros have had the number one draft pick four times of course:  Pitcher Floyd Bannister in 1976, infielder Phil Nevin in 1992, shortstop Carlos Correa in 2012, and pitcher Mark Appel last Thursday.

The ‘Stros have now lost four in a row as the bats have gone on silent mode.  We’re playing like a team that is 22-42.

 

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Commentary doesn’t have a problem with Mrs. Mumford being cast in the lead role in the upcoming bio epic “Rodham.”  I do find it puzzling that a movie will be made about her life during the seventies.  One would think that her life in the nineties and beyond would be more eventful.  I guess Hollywood knows better.  I wonder who will play Rodham’s beau.  Why not Mr. Mumford?

The outcry from Dems on the feds checking our phone records is deafening.  Not really!  It is of like “in President Obama we trust.”  If the feds are going to have access to my records they at least ought to help out with paying the internet and phone bill.

I really don’t know what to say about the story in today’s Chron about the HISD criminal investigation other than to say anytime the term “criminal” is used it isn’t a good thing.

Here is the article.

Here is one that you have a fifty percent change of getting right or wrong.  The MLB Amateur Player Draft began in 1965.  Are any Number One Draft Picks in the MLB Hall of Fame?

I received this yesterday from the folks over at the Houston Press:

The 3rd annual Houston Web Awards presented by Houston Press returns. The event will honor the best of the web at House of Dereon Media Center (2204 Crawford St) on Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 7pm – 10pm. Local individuals, organizations and businesses will receive a Web Award for outstanding online and social efforts. Local celebrity presenters will be handing out the awards in categories like best Pinterest, Best Instagram Feed, Tweet of the Year, Best Food Blog and Best use of Facebook by a Business – just to name a few. Followers, fans and Social Media enthusiasts are invited to attend the award ceremony celebration to watch the gurus of the web accept a trophy. Nominate your favorites now!

I checked out the categories and noticed that there wasn’t a Best Politics Blog category this year.  Either they forgot about it, or they are no longer interested, or no one is worthy, or they want me to just hang on to it for another year. 

Commentary and My Best Friend were over at The Yard yesterday evening for the Draft Watch get together.  We got a little swag, hot dogs, ice cream, and a St. Arnold.  The Mark Appel pick was a hit with those in attendance.  The kid was born in H-Town and played little league here.  The team did right by picking him.  It sent a much needed reassuring message to the fan base. 

To date not a single Number One Draft Pick has made it into the Hall of Fame of course but Ken Griffey, Jr. and Chipper Jones will get there in a few years.

The team is in KC this evening for a weekend series.

 

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Commentary was visiting with a couple of national political Latino players last week and in passing one mentioned that the current draft of the immigration reform bill that is being circulated is a bad piece of legislation. 

Here is from today’s MSNBC:

Sen. Marco Rubio suggested Republicans–including himself–might not support the sweeping immigration reform bill unless further revisions are made.

“I can tell you that the bill as currently structured is not going to pass in the House. And I think it’s going to struggle to pass in the Senate,” the Florida senator told reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with fellow GOP leaders in the Senate and the House. He warned the bill–which he helped draft–has little hope of survival as currently written.

“Let’s remember: the goal here is not to pass a bill out of the Senate. The goal here is to reform our immigration laws,” he said.  “And that requires something that can pass the House, the Senate, and be signed by the president.”

The heart of the issue is border security. Rubio, a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” argued that provisions need to be tightened before GOP lawmakers will fully get on board with any deal. He also wants some of the power shifted away from the Department of Homeland Security.

Here is what Latino Vote 2013 says:

Rather than ‘bring immigrants out of the shadows’ this bill will hold millions in an underclass, vulnerable to exploitation and relegated to the ranks of the working poor, with no access to basic services. Millions will have no hope of receiving permanent legal status, let alone citizenship.

Let’s not forget that the only reason GOP types like Sen. Rubio are at the table is because Latinos voted big time for Dems last November.  Latinos are not going to settle for a bad bill.  Dems in Congress would be advised not to be a part of passing a bad bill because it could create a backlash within the Dem Party coalition.  If a bill fails to pass this session Latinos are not going away and will come out and vote against 2014 GOP candidates and heading into 2016 maybe they will get it.  Stay tuned!

Name the last player from B’More to win the AL MVP Award?

D-Day happened 69 years ago today. 

One of Commentary’s favorites is Natalie Morales from “Today.”  Natalie is celebrating her 41st BD today.  Natalie don’t need touching up.

Whew!  Commentary doesn’t use Verizon.

The big story at The Yard today is this evening’s MLB Amateur Player Draft.  We have pick numero uno.  I’m thinking the team will probably go for a college player.  

Cal Ripken, Jr. of course won the AL MVP Award in 1991.

The team hit six dingers last night and still only 15,000 and change made it to The Yard.  It is an afternoon game today followed by the draft watch get together.

 

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Now this does not surprise Commentary.   This is from a Peggy Fikac article in today’s Chron and SA Express news.  Here is how it starts:

If Texans abide by the "if you don’t vote, don’t complain" mantra, they should be the least-complaining bunch in the nation.

Texas ranked 51st in voter turnout in 2010 – behind the other states and Washington, D.C. – and 49th in the number of citizens who even bother to contact public officials, according to a study released by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Conference on Citizenship.

I’m betting Harris County is right up there or right down there in voter apathy.  I blame everybody.

Here is the Fikac article.

Another proud Lone Star State moment!

Name the three teams B’More beat in 1966, 1970, and 1983 to win World Serious titles?

Commentary doesn’t care what MLBers put in their bodies but they have to be pretty much dumbarses to hustle up the illegal stuff.  The illegal stuff is always handled by the low life types of the world – the guys that will turn on you in a second to save their own arses.  ESPN broke a story last night about MLB conducting an investigation that may result in 100 game suspensions for 20 MLBers including the likes of A-Roid, Ryan Broid, Melky Cabrera of the Jays, Nelson Cruz of the Rangers, and Bartolo Colon of the A’s.  Just over a week ago the 40-year old Colon tossed a complete game against the ‘Stros – interesting.

If MLB has the goods on these MLBers then they deserve the punishment just for being dumbarses.  Of course A-Roid has already lied about this before. Don’t they remember the Mitchell Report?  Don’t they remember the Barry Bonds and Rocket trials?

Here is the entire ESPN piece.

This past Sunday GOP Cong. Darrell Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.”   President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe then tweeted about Issa’s past.  Politico today has a piece about Plouffe and whether it is wise for him to go off on Issa.  Here is what Plouffe said in the piece:

“If he (Issa) behaves himself I am happy to never think about him again,” Plouffe told POLITICO. “I do think it’s highly relevant for the media to examine Congress’s top cop both in terms of how he is handling the current situation but also his background. He is a man in the spotlight — the American people should and will be eager for more info on who the inquisitor is. … My tweet was aggressive, but sometimes that is what it takes to break through. … Is he a liability to the GOP and their scandal playbook?”
I say let him go Plouffe-Daddy on Issa.  Maybe he will goad Issa and the GOP to overreach and get a public backlash.

Here is the Politico piece.

My pal Nick Anderson put out a powerful cartoon on the four firefighters we just lost.

Check it out here.

B’More swept the Dodgers (1966), beat the Reds in 5 (1970), and beat the Phillies in 5 (1983) en route to their three World Serious titles.

15,000 and change showed up at The Yard last night and we lost.  We can do better than 15,000 and change.

 

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Forty-five years ago today Sen. Robert F. Kennedy won the California Democratic Party Presidential primary.  We all know what happened at the Ambassador Hotel after RFK gave his victory speech.

Commentary has had the same black garbage bin since we went the bin route a long time ago.  It gets fed a couple of plastic bags of trash every week – the stuff that can’t be recycled.  It kind of needs new wheels.  A couple of months ago some entrepreneur slapped a flyer on it advertising a garbage bin cleaning service.  In today’s hard copy of the Chron there is a story on the service.  It is called Mr. Clean-a-Can.  From the Chron:

For $10 a month it “cleans, deodorizes and sanitizes garbage bins, mostly for residential customers.”

The oddly shaped, brightly painted truck lifts the empty bin into a wash bay for cleaning. Afterward, the driver dries the inside and outside of the bin by hand.”

Then the bins are "like brand new – they smell like roses."

My bin doesn’t attract flies and I probably run a water hose on it once a year.

How many World Serious titles does B’More own?

Here is what my pal Jose de Jesus Ortiz from the Chron put out:

The Astros sought and received permission from Major League Baseball to wear a special patch in honor of the four Houston firefighters who died Friday.

“Our prayers go out to the families and friends of the firefighters who lost their lives or were injured in last week’s tragedy,” Astros president Reid Ryan said. “We all owe a debt of gratitude to all of our firefighters, who risk their lives to keep others safe.”

The Astros will wear the patch during the upcoming three-game series from Tuesday to Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park.

The team will also hold a special moment of silence Tuesday night in honor of the four Houston firefighters who died fighting a fire in Southwest Houston Friday.

The team is also offering local and national firefighters and their families free tickets to the upcoming home stand with a firefighter identification.

“People look to us in times like this,” Ryan said.

That is really nice of the team to do this.

Oklahoma State pitching prospect Jonathan Gray tested positive for drugs.  The ‘Stros have him as a possible top pick in the draft.  I don’t know about that.

From MLB.com:

Set aside the preseason predictions, set aside the minuscule payroll and simply focus on the games played between the white lines. The result is something very few expected.

Following Monday’s 2-1 victory over the Angels at Angel Stadium, the Astros have won six straight games — the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.

B’More won World Serious titles in 1966, 1970, and 1983 of course.

B’More and their hot hitting first baseman Chris Davis (.357 average and 20 dingers) visit The Yard for three starting this evening.

 

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The U.S. House’s lead investigator, GOP Cong. Darrell Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar” yesterday.  Somebody needs to reel in Issa.  That’s not going to score him any points.  He is just opening himself up to attacks.

Kuffer today has the Equality Texas legislative scorecard.  Rep. Sylvester Turner scored a D – huh!  Rep. Mary Ann Perez from H-Town scored a C – as Gomer would say “surprise, surprise, surprise.”

Here is all of Kuffer and the scorecard.

B’More visits The Yard tomorrow.  Before they move to B’More in 1954, where did they play?

On “Today” this morning there was a segment on the latest Cheerios ad that features a biracial married couple and their kid.  The ad generated a lot of negative online comments.  Willie Geist called comments sections  the “darkest places online.”  He’s got that right.

The Lite Guv got another Chron spanking yesterday.  This time the E-Board weighed in.  Here are parts:

The state’s second-ranking leader is widely viewed as being vulnerable to a challenge from the right in his expected bid for a fourth term as lieutenant governor.

The strongest evidence that Dewhurst is running scared is his disappointing decision to revert to a simple-majority vote in the Texas Senate to take up bills during the special session, moving away from the traditional two-thirds majority required to consider legislation. That means Senate Democrats might as well stay home.

Dewhurst’s decision has raised the ire of Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, the dean of the Texas Senate, who broke ranks with fellow Democrats and returned to Austin from New Mexico during a memorable redistricting fight in 2003. Whitmire returned based on Dewhurst’s assurances that he would commit to the two-thirds vote. At this point, breaking that promise in the name of political expediency would have fallout for sessions to come.

The usually statesmanlike Dewhurst is letting his fears about the 2014 GOP primary trample both good judgment and his duty to the citizens of Texas. We hope he will reconsider.

Here is the entire E-Board take.

I have said it before.  The Lite Guv deserves it.

B’More used to be the St. Louis Browns of course.

Root, root, root, root, root – five roots in a row!

From Chron.com:

The rebuilding Astros are the hottest team in baseball.

Via a sharp 5-4 victory against the struggling Los Angeles Angels on Sunday during an American League West matchup at Angel Stadium, the Astros improved to 10-7 in their last 17 games and have won an MLB-best five consecutive contests.

The Astros (20-37) took the series from the Angels (25-32) and are 6-3 against Los Angeles this season. The Astros have won three of their last four overall series and six of seven games.

You have to give some credit to my friend Drayton and his crew.  

Jose Altuve signed during Drayton’s watch.

Jason Castro drafted during Drayton’s watch.

J.D. Martinez drafted during Drayton’s watch.

Bud Norris drafted during Drayton’s watch.

Jordan Lyles drafted during Drayton’s watch.

Lucas Harrell signed during Drayton’s watch.

And the prospects that are coming up:

George Springer drafted during Drayton’s watch.

Jarred Cosart acquired by Drayton’s guys from Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade.

Jonathan Singleton acquired by Drayton’s guys from Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade.

They have been fun to watch lately. 

 

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