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Archive for July, 2013

Internet sensation and SD 15 constituent Sarah Slamen got some nice run today in the Chron from columnist Kyrie O’Connor.  The column is only available for subscribers or if you have a hard copy for now.  Here are parts:

From O’Connor:  I’ve known Sarah for five minutes, and I’ve already been Slamened.

On Slamen’s testimony before last week’s committee testimony:

She pointed out that Sen. Donna Campbell was an ophthalmologist, not an expert on reproduction, and was starting to call out other members as well. Just then the committee chair, Sen. Jane Nelson, told Sarah she was being disrespectful. That was not going to work on Sarah. "Excuse me, this is my government, ma’am. I will judge you," she said. And that’s when she was dragged out.

Sarah knew what she was doing, though she admits she was scared when she was hauled out. She was trying to break through Sen. Nelson’s polite exterior. "I wanted her to reveal herself," she says. "That’s how you organize – you agitate ’em."

Way to go!

Slamen on the Texas Democratic Party:

Remember that Sarah Slamen calls herself neither a Republican nor a Democrat. Her evaluation of Democrats drips with contempt. "All they’ve done is lose," she says. "If the minority party in Austin wants to change things sooner rather than later, they need to get out of Austin and find out that the rest of Texas looks more like Houston," she says. "They need to reach out to the working poor, the oil workers." She pauses. "It’s a long game."

Ditto way to go!

Finally:

Sarah understands that her moment is just that: a moment. "Civilization will forget about Texas in a week," she says. "It’s going to be us fighting for Texas ultimately."

She’s right.

Slamen says she’s moving to New York.  That’s too bad.  She’s needed here.

Go get you a hard copy of the Chron and read the column!

MLB says it will probably expand instant replay next season.  Oh brother!  In what year did MLB first use instant replay?

I’m thinking At-Large 3 candidate Michael Kubosh’s real name is Felix M. Kubosh.  Felix M. Kubosh gave the Michael Kubosh campaign donations of $4,000, $10,000, $10,000, and $72,000 in the latest report.  Everyone knows that the most you can give in a City of H-Town election cycle is $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per PAC.  You can give as much as you can to yourself.  I think this is the case if you ask me.

The Chron E-Board wants a mayoral fight right now!  They want both candidates to start debating the issues like pensions, water, street repair and food trucks.

They are calling the Mayor a chicken for toning down her pension  reform rhetoric.  They want Ben Hall to start getting specific.  Here are parts of the E-Board take:

Precisely what those issues will be, however, remains a bit of a mystery. Mayor Parker can point to her list of B-heavy accomplishments and promise more of the same: budget, business development, bikes and bayous. Hall, as the challenger, has yet to exactly establish where he differs from Parker beyond who he’d prefer as mayor. With millions of dollars flowing through our political system, there is no excuse for avoiding a full-throated debate of the issues facing our city.

And:

All too often, the mayor’s answer to Houston’s problems is "patience." That very well may be the right answer, unless we want higher taxes and less accountability to grease the way for quicker results. Can Hall do better, or is that merely betting on empty promises and platitudes? We have until November to find out.

Here is the take.

Let’s get it on!

MLB introduced instant replay on August 28, 2008 of course.  More instant replay will only make the games longer.  MLB needs to work on speeding up the games.

Jason Castro didn’t get to see any action last night.  Commentary and My Best Friend went to an All Star Game viewing party sponsored by the team and it was packed with folks. 

 

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The DPS says they didn’t save or confiscate the feces from Friday at the Capitol.  There ain’t any doodoo or poop on the evidence shelves.  That’s bulls__t if you ask me.  That’s what you call flushing the evidence down the toilet.

My pal Robert Miller said this last week:

(State Sen. Wendy) Davis and (AG Greg) Abbott are both rocketing into orbit.  One is integral to the renaissance of the Texas Democratic party, but the other is the next Governor of Texas.

This is what Robert said yesterday:

Governor General Abbott appears unbeatable by Democrat or Republican. 

Robert “appears” to leave a glimmer of hope for a Dem on the table.  Robert also has given Abbott a new title.

Here is Robert’s take.

Commentary wasn’t able to catch much of last night’s Dinger Derby.  Some folks know that the Dinger Derby began in 1985.  How many MLBers have won the Dinger Derby more than once?

Kuffer takes a look at the campaign reports from The Mayor and Ben Hall here.

You have to be impressed with the $2.2 mil that the Mayor hauled in and her team has every right to be high fiving and beating their chests.   Nice job!

Of course don’t get too cocky since Ben Hall plunked down $1.5 mil of his own dough into the race and it looks like he could plunk down another $1.5.   Show me the TV ads!

BEN HALL STATEMENT ON ZIMMERMAN VERDICT (released Sunday).
Houston, TX – Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall released the following statement on the Trayvon Martin verdict:
"I am disappointed with the Trayvon Martin verdict. There can be no satisfaction or celebration in that case. A 17 year old life has been taken. How could an innocent trip to buy candy turn into death? Parents and communities are left with questions on all sides. We have a verdict indeed, but there remain nagging uncertainties about the story upon which that verdict is based. Death has robbed us of Trayvon’s account of events — silenced by a lone bullet to his heart.

"I am also disappointed that the fatal events on that rainy night in Florida began simply by the way Trayvon looked. In a diverse world, we must insist that people be judged by what they do rather than how they look.

"This case renews my commitment to the principles of acceptance, tolerance and diversity in our world. If elected Houston’s next mayor, I will remain steadfast in ensuring that our law enforcement and forensic personnel continue to receive the necessary training, equipment and resources to protect the rights not only of the living but also the dead who can speak no more.

"My prayers are with the families, communities, and this great country."

Commentary has groused lately about the buildup in congestion around I-10 and Studemont/Heights/Yale because of all the development with no relief in sight.  It is like the City doesn’t even want to acknowledge a problem.  My pal Jeff Balke of the H-Town Press says there is a new apartment development going up in our ‘hood and the City appears helpless when it comes to helping out the residents.  Here is what he says The Leader wrote about CM Ellen Cohen:

She said her goal is "to ensure that the quality of life of my constituents remains high, and the best approach is to bring the developers and the residents to the table to address their concerns and attempt to find ways to compromise for the betterment of the community."

From Balke: In this case, "compromise" would appear to mean "bend over and take it" for residents.

Ouch!

Here is all of Balke.

Ken Griffey, Jr. won the Dinger Derby in 1994, 1998, and 1999 and Prince Fielder won it in 2009 and 2012 of course.

Commentary likes the current MLB All Star Game set-up where the winning league gets World Serious hosting honors.  Some folks don’t like it.  From a ‘Stros fan standpoint for tonight’s game we can only hope that Jason Castro gets in the game and maybe catch Mariano Rivera’s last All Star Game appearance.

 

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Commentary thinks the San Francisco TV station that fell for the hoax on the names of the Asiana Air crew ought to be made to go dark for 24 hours for being plain stupid.  Everyone that was working in the newsroom that afternoon ought to be docked a week’s pay.

Speaking of they did what, what’s up with the DPS confiscating tampons at the State Capitol Friday.

Name the nine current MLB stadiums that have never hosted a MLB All Star Games?

I watched some news coverage of AG Greg Abbott’s announcement yesterday.  On the station I was watching he didn’t come across as a candidate with a lot of substance.   He sounded more like a cheerleader.  He didn’t come across like a candidate that is ready to lead the Lone Star State.  Of course, he’s got over $20 mil in the bank so what Commentary thinks on this really doesn’t matter.

“Newsroom” was A-Okay last night as the first episode is setting up Season 2.

When you have 10,000 plus show up in upper ninety degrees heat to welcome Dwight Howard, I’m thinking that the providers are going to get CSNH on the air sooner rather than later.

Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, Great American Ball Park, Marlins Park, Nationals Park, Petco, Target Field, Tropicana, and Yankee Stadium have yet to host a MLB All Star Game.  Citi gets theirs tomorrow and Target gets theirs next year.

Commentary was blown away Friday night by Jarred Cosart’s MLB debut.  The kid had a no-no going into the seventh frame.  He was eight outs away then Ben Zobrist lined a single just beyond the reach of Jose Altuve.  Wow!

Of course we are still on track for another 100 plus loss season – drats – as we’re off until Friday evening.

 

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Commentary doesn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about the abortion issue.  I try to leave it to the folks that can better articulate their position even though I did spend a few years on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Board a while back.   The best printed take on the issue this season has to go to the Chron’s Lisa Falkenberg in today’s edition.  Of course it is only available for now in the hard copy or behind the pay wall for subscribers.  Here is how Falkenberg’s outstanding column ends:

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve read so many emails, fielded so many questions about how I can believe the way I do on this issue. They see the issue in black and white. Life and death. And they can’t see the gray.

Here’s the gray. As a mother of two beautiful daughters, I have marveled at those sonogram images with tears in my eyes. I have strained to count the fingers and make out the grainy faces. I was so blessed that my girls were both born healthy, blessed that they were planned, blessed that I have a loving, supportive husband to help me raise them, blessed that we have jobs that enable us to care for, feed and clothe them.

Not everyone is so blessed. And for those women, there should be a choice. And it should be hers, her family’s, and her God’s – not her government’s.

The pro-life goal of "ending abortion" is noble, but also naive and dangerous. It won’t save babies; it will endanger the health of mothers who will be forced into the shadows to access their right to choose.

Nice job Falkenberg!

AG Greg Abbott will be announcing his campaign for Governor this Sunday in San Antonio.  What is it about San Antonio that attracts major announcements from GOPers?

The first MLB All Star Game was played in old Comiskey Park in Chicago in 1933.  Who hit the first dinger?

Season Two of “Newsroom” will debut Sunday night.  I’m wondering if they can top Season One episodes like “We Just Decided To”, “Amen”, “I’ll Try To Fix You”, and “The Greater Fool”.  I’ll be watching!

My pal Jay Root of the Tribune takes his turn on 2014.  Here are some quotes from his article today:

From Rice’s Mark Jones:

“Democrats were going to lose every statewide race in 2014 with Rick Perry running, and they are going to lose in 2014 without him running.  If a Democrat does poorly, this sends a signal to the national Democratic Party that the blue food in Texas isn’t ready to pick.”

I wonder if he’s willing to lay odds on his prediction. 

From Sen. Wendy Davis:

“I don’t know whether it’s me, but I do think it’s terribly important that we have a general election dialogue and debate.  I really do, particularly because this is an open seat now, and it just brings a new opportunity for those sorts of conversations.”

Of course, in order to have a general election dialogue and debate the entry fee is pretty steep.

From Dem consultant Glenn Smith:

“If Democrats sit and wait for a safe bet at some date in the future, that date will never come.  They’ve got to make it happen.”

If you build it, he will come!

Here is Jay’s article.

Babe Ruth of course hit the first All Star dinger in 1933 in the bottom of the third inning.

I’ll be watching the flat screen this evening as Jarred Cosart makes his MLB debut at Tropicana. I’ll also keep my fingers crossed because he is supposed to be a part of the team’s future hopes. 

 

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What is the NL and AL won-lost record for the MLB All Star Game?

Commentary dropped by the City Secretary Office a couple of days ago to check out the latest campaign treasurer designations.

Here is who I will add to my political page later on today:

For Mayor:  Keryl Douglas, Eric Dick, Michael Fitzsimmons, and Victoria Lane.

For At-Large 2:  David Robinson, Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, and Brent Gordon.

For At-Large 3:  As reported yesterday, Al Edwards.

For District B:  Joe Joseph.

For District C:  Pete Sosa.

For District D:  Lana Edwards, Larry McKenzie, and Anthony Robinson.

For District G:  Ben Taef.

Of course, these folks still have to plunk down the filing fee when the time comes.

The NL All Star Team has won 43 games, the AL All Star Team has won 38 games, and there have been two ties of course.

Here is the deal.  A bunch of GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives don’t have very many Latinos in their districts so they don’t feel they have to support immigration reform.  Some far right wing GOPers even go on to say that pathway to citizenship means more Dem voters in the future.  I’m betting we won’t get immigration reform legislation.  We’ll just have to go another election cycle where Latino voters come out and heavily support Dem candidates and further cement the Latino community and Dem Party bond.   Hey, they asked for it!

Jarred Cosart has been called up and will make his MLB starting pitcher debut at Tampa Bay tomorrow night.  They needed to make the move for a club with a 32-59 record.   

 

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Name the first ‘Stro pitcher to ever start for the NL All Star team?

The only thing I know about AG Greg Abbott is that he likes to go after President Obama and sue the federal government.   I don’t know anything about his position on education, tuition, taxes, water – nada.  So far he doesn’t sound like a leader.

The H-Town City Council is fixing to give Costco a $1 million tax rebate for a store that is going to be built outside of the city limits.  The Chron E-Board came out in opposition this morning.   Who is smarter:  the City or E-Board?   We will have to wait until next week since the item was tagged this morning.

Once we get past the current special session will Guv Dude still be relevant?

If you subscribe to Chron then you get to read Lisa Falkenberg’s very well written column this morning on the state regulating the Johnson.

It the season of the dreaded candidate questionnaire!  They are starting to roll in – oh no!

It turns out Dwight Howard showed up to the Breakfast Klub yesterday and paid everyone’s tab.  What a nice fella!

Commentary went by the City Secretary’s office to check the latest list of candidates and saw that former State Rep. Al Edwards is running in At-Large 3.  Hey, it is a free country.

J.R. Richard of course started for the NL All Stars in 1980 of course.

The GM says George Springer isn’t coming to the bigs anytime soon.  You will have to ask the GM for an explanation.  Oh well, one would think he might help out a team that is 32-58.

 

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Are the next sixteen months in statewide politics going to be a coronation rather than a campaign?  I’m talking about AG Greg Abbott’s expected bid for Governor.

“We now know that Greg Abbott will be the next Governor of the state of Texas,” says Rice University’s Mark Jones.

This is from Robert Miller:

“(State Sen. Wendy) Davis and (AG Greg) Abbott are both rocketing into orbit.  One is integral to the renaissance of the Texas Democratic party, but the other is the next Governor of Texas.”

Maybe not!  Here is from a Chron.com piece:

Democrats say Abbott has done little more than use his office to promote himself and advance his political career, a rap Abbott’s campaign calls “spurious partisan charges.” Matt Angle, a Democratic strategist, describes Abbott as a fierce partisan who panders to his base and still has not proven he can take a punch.

“He’s never had a competitive race,” Angle said.

Stay tuned!

By the way Robert, where have you been?

Maybe now here in H-Town we can focus our energy on H-Town City, HISD, HCC, and Dome campaigns. 

Name the first ‘Stro to ever start for a NL All Star Team?

The Chron E-Board said this today:

As politically astute as anyone in modern Texas history, Rick Perry has never lost an election and deserves credit for transforming the office of governor.

What would you call Iowa and South Carolina in January of 2012?

Guv Dude said this yesterday:

"Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately."

So do you win if you bet this?

Chooses not to run for re-election as governor, says he’s contemplating a presidential run (3:2 odds, 40 percent probability).

Or do you win if you bet this?

Chooses not to run for re-election, doesn’t comment on a presidential run (7:1 odds, 12 percent probability).

So I’ve got 18 months or so to decide if I’m going to retire Guv Dude’s name here at Commentary. 

I wonder if the Chron will put out a betting line on when the Lite Guv will throw in the towel.  He has to be able to read the hand writing on the wall. 

Former ‘Stros first baseman Lee May of course started at first for the NL All Star in 1972 and played the entire game and went one for four.

The ‘Stros are 20 ½ behind and start a twofer in San Luis this evening.  I think it is time for us to bring up George Springer, Jarred Cosart, and Jonathan Villar.  Why not?

 

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I was going through some old newspapers and ran across the front page of the Chron sports section the day after we got beat by the Patriots in the regular season last December.  The headline reads “NIGHTMARE” and the subject in the center of the photo is # 81 Aaron Hernandez after he caught a TD pass against us – eerie (Twilight Zone theme music).  Shoot me an email if you want to check it out.

The ‘Stros, Rockets, and NBC are owners of the new cable sports channel CSNH.  Only Comcast and a few small providers carry the new channel.  It only reaches 40% of the H-Town area viewers.  The big fellas like U-Verse, DirecTV and Dish feel there isn’t a demand so they aren’t giving CSNH the big bucks to carry them.  I’m thinking that now that the Rockets have Dwight Howard things might change.  Pardon the pun but please stay tuned!

‘Stros catcher Jason Castro is on the AL All Star team.  How many former ‘Stros catchers have been selected to the MLB All Star game?

Commentary has kind of been griping about the lack of local media coverage of our H-Town city elections.  Well the Chron ran a piece this past weekend on some candidates complaining that they were being persecuted by the Mayor for putting their campaign signs on right-of-way.   I don’t know if they are being persecuted.  Of course a campaign can avoid this problem by not putting their signs on right-of-way.

The whole world is watching – not really – but a lot of us are.

I am really surprised Team Dude has kept it a secret as of this morning.  Heck, maybe he just wanted to stay away from the Capitol this morning and avoid the throng of Democrats. 

The Chron’s handicapper put out these odds this morning:

Chooses not to run for re-election as governor, says he’s contemplating a presidential run (3:2 odds, 40 percent probability).

Announces he will run for a fourth full term as governor (4:1 odds, 20 percent probability).

Says he won’t run for governor or president (5:1 odds, 16 percent probability).

Chooses not to run for re-election, doesn’t comment on a presidential run (7:1 odds, 12 percent probability).

Makes an announcement completely unrelated to seeking political office (9:1 odds, 10 percent probability).

Chooses not to run for re-election, announces his presidential candidacy (50:1 odds, 2 percent probability).

Announces his resignation (1000:1 odds, infinitesimal probability).

Stay tuned!

Yesterday the Chron E-Board said it hopes Sen. Wendy Davis runs for Governor next year.

Check it out here.

Yesterday the Chron E-Board also came out for three four-year terms for members of the H-Town City Council instead of the current three two-year terms.  The E-Board thinks this would allow members of council to think long term and deal with issues like pension reform and infrastructure.

I’ll say it again.  You want to change terms limits?   Get out there and get the signatures!

Check out the E-Board piece here.

B-G-O of course made the NL All Star team as a catcher in 1991.

I confess.  I watched Joey Chestnut break the hot dog eating record on the Fourth.

Unlucky base running yesterday cost us the game yesterday.  The ‘Stros lead MLB in the number of base runners caught stealing – 30. 

 

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A lot of folks took the day off according to this morning’s traffic reports from the freeway.  That is what happens when the fifth of July falls on a Friday.

A lot of folks are also waiting to hear where Dwight Howard will be playing this season.  Rocket fans have their fingers crossed.

Even Dr. Sheldon Cooper got into the act by posting this video asking Howard to become a Rocket.

Knock, knock!  “Dwight!”  Knock, knock!  “Dwight!”  Knock, knock!  “Dwight!”

There still not much on the Guv Dude front on his future plans – nada. 

Name the ‘Stro player with the most MLB All Star Game selections?

Commentary made the Washington Post’s “She the People” by Melinda Henneberger today.  She even used my Wednesday headline as part of their headline.  Here is a part:

Longtime Democratic consultant Marc Campos, of Houston, who calls Perry “Governor Dude,” is less sure than some others in the state about how the governor will come down on the question of “to dude or not to dude” for a fourth term. “Oops means oops,” Campos jokes, referring not only to Perry’s inability to remember the name of the third federal agency he’d vowed to cut, but also to Perry’s presidential chances if he does run again in ’16.

Yet Campos assesses his own party’s chances of taking the governorship next year no less realistically, quoting Rocco Lampone’s line in “The Godfather Part II” that shooting Hyman Roth would bedifficult, not impossible. It would have to be a hardly-any-room-for-error type of campaign,” he says, and darn well funded.

Here is the entire piece.

Kuffer has a good take on the Dude announcement.

In the hard copy of today’s Chron the E-Board calls Dude’s refusal to accept more Medicaid dollars “Perrycare.”

Check it out here.

B-G-O leads the ‘Stros in MLB All Star Game selections with seven of course. 

We should have won yesterday but you can’t when you throw two wild pitches.  Well at least Brett Wallace is starting to play like a first round draft pick.  We will have to wait a couple of weeks to see the team back at The Yard.

 

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It is hard to keep a secret in politics.  I figured by now we would know Guv Dude’s future plans that he is revealing this Monday in San Antonio.

Check out CNN and Dude here.

Name the former ‘Stros skipper born on the Fourth of July?  HINT:  His record managing the ‘Stros was 254-232 including a NL Manager of the Year Award. 

A Happy Birthday to Malia Obama today!

Seventy-four years ago today Lou Gehrig called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.”

Commentary will check out the Hot Dog Eating Contest later on today on ESPN2.

Commentary also suggests you go to the Chron editorial page and check out the Declaration of Independence in its entirety.  It is still a good read.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said yesterday that they had not endorsed the Senate passed immigration reform bill.  That’s probably a good thing since I’m hearing more Latino groups have a problem with the measure in its current form.  It is more walls and more of the militarization of the border.

Former ‘Stros skipper Hal Lanier is celebrating his 71st BD today of course!

Chris Carter and his solo dinger and his three-run dinger was all we needed last night.

Some folks will be heading to the  Freedom Festival this afternoon and some will be heading to The Yard just after noon and some will do both.

Oh yeah, we declared our independence 237 years ago today.

 

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