Archive for January, 2014

Good Buzz for Dems

Check out what Peggy Fikac has in her column today.  It is in the hard copy of the Chron but here is a bit:

A source close to (Attorney General Greg) Abbott’s campaign said he has raised more than $10 million since July 1 – and that he has more than $20 million in cash on hand. A Democratic source close to the (State Sen. Wendy) Davis campaign said she has raised more than $10 million.

Wow!  I don’t think the GOP expected Davis’ campaign haul.  Here is more from Fikac:

Count on the Davis campaign to have rounded up numerous Texas donations, even if they’re smaller, to show strong grassroots support in the state. Her campaign said she has received donations from every Texas county.

Now that is impressive.  Getting contributions from 254 counties is a major accomplishment – even from Loving County – population 71.   I guess some will rightfully refer to her as the $10 Million Dollar Woman.

I missed the A-ROID story on “60 Minutes” last night.  I will have to check out the DVR. 

A-ROID has 654 career dingers.  How many has he smacked at The Yard?

Nothing has been decided on David Wilson serving over at HCC.  Here is this from this weekend’s Chron:

Wilson, who has maintained that he lives in a 1,140-square-foot warehouse apartment at 5600 W. 34th St., said Friday he was legally elected by voters and will take his seat at the board’s next meeting.

County officials, however, said Wilson does not have any right to sit on the board.

First Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard said the restraining order prohibits Wilson from taking the oath of office, so he is not a legal office holder.

“In my view, it would be like any citizen walking up there and sitting down,” Soard said. “It would be up to the HCC board to decide what they would do in that situation.”

The HCC Board of Trustees didn’t ask for this.  Why do they have to decide?  Thanks, Vince!

A-ROID has three dingers at The Yard of course.

It looks like A-ROID won’t be in Yankee gear at The Yard on Opening Day.


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On GOP Stuff

I took my Dad to an appointment yesterday just as Governor Chris Christie was ‘splaining stuff then we got back and I turned on the tube and Gov. Christie was still ‘splaining. I thought I was watching the replay but it turns out the press conference was still going on and lasted 108 minutes.

It was definitely a different Governor Christie. He wasn’t his usual overpowering sometimes bullying self. It looks like he is done in terms of anything beyond New Jersey. Stuff happens.

Name the MLB pitcher who walked the most batters this past season?

Now this is interesting from Chron.com:

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has endorsed Paul Simpson, who is challenging six-term incumbent Jared Woodfill for chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, according to the Austin political website, the Quorum Report.

Reporter Scott Braddock quotes Emmett as saying that he believes the party should be making a greater effort to reach out to young people.

“Ronald Reagan would probably not be welcome in today’s Republican Party,” Braddock quotes Emmett as saying. “I would like to see the base in Harris County to be 400,000, not 150,000.”


So the County’s top GOP elected official wants to replace the GOP Chair. Hunker Down even gave $10,000 to Simpson. I hope this gets messy.

I sure would like to attend today’s hearing on David Wilson versus Vince Ryan but I can’t. I got a few C and E reports that have to be handled between now and Wednesday.

I am not going to spend a whole lot of time talking about the pompous Baseball Writers and their critics. They deserve the beating they are getting.

Lucas Harrell of the ‘Stros of course walked 88 batters to lead the bigs last season.

Here is from the team’s website:

The Hall of Fame election results weren’t just a disappointment for Craig Biggio and his fans. The Astros were planning promotions around the second baseman’s induction.

Those have to be scrapped now, at least until 2015.

“We have to change plans because we thought Craig was going in the Hall of Fame,” Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said. “So we had had a whole kind of year planned around celebrating that.”

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The polls were not off. It was that d__n freaking margin of error deal. Two lousy arse votes. Let’s just say for the 25.2% of the BBWAA voters that dissed B-G-O, the “W” in BBWAA stands for worms. Come on! What the heck is wrong with you? Commentary is so bummed about yesterday that in protest I will not put out an MLB question this morning. This blows big time.

It is January 9 and I have not seen a yard sign in my ‘hood for the upcoming Dem Party primary – nada.

All I am going to say about the New Jersey lane closures on the bridge is bush league. That’s dumbarse payback if you ask me. You gotta do better than that and for this you are not worthy of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

For those that are interested, HISD Trustee Anna Eastman will be sworn in for a second term next Thursday, January 16 at 12:30 pm over at HISD. I plan to attend for sure!

Former Secretary of State – CIA Director Bill Gates has a book coming out where he kind of takes shots at The President, Secretary Clinton, and Vice President Biden. He’s entitled to his opinion. He also says that he didn’t like going to testify before Congress and sit there and take the abuse. In his mind he would think about telling Congress to kiss his arse and walk off. Well why didn’t you?

I guess the ‘Stros are going to have to wait another year before they hand out the B-G-O Hall of Fame bobbleheads.

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Today is the Day

A lot of folks in H-Town are eagerly awaiting the announcement today that B-G-O will make it into the MLB Hall of Fame. A number of local news outlets were reporting live from The Yard early this morning. I will be here watching the MLB Network at 1 pm today. The local twitterverse is going to explode for sure.

B-G-O made his major league debut behind the plate on June 26, 1988 against the Giants at the Dome. Who was the ‘Stros starting pitcher that day?

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan is sure putting a lot of effort and resources into getting David Wilson disqualified from serving on the HCC Board. Vince handed some stuff off to Lisa Falkenberg for her column today. Here is the column:

No bathtub. No refrigerator. No TV.

If 67-year-old small businessman Dave Wilson really lives in a warehouse apartment on West 34th Street, and not with his wife, as he claims, it’s a pretty Spartan existence. And not a particularly clean, well-fed or entertaining one.

An inspection this week by City of Houston code enforcement didn’t help the Houston Community College trustee-elect in his quest to prove he meets district residency requirements for the job. The city ended up slapping a bright orange sticker to the glass door of the warehouse, indicating he doesn’t have permission to use it as a residence.

“Change of occupancy to reflecting living quarters on 2nd floor. Plans required,” it reads, warning that failure to comply may result in citations with minimum fines of $500-$2,000 per incident.

Photos from the city inspection, provided to me by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s office, depict sparsely furnished rooms with mostly bare walls, tabletops and counters.

“If you look at these photographs, it does not look like he’s been living there for two years,” said Ryan, who sued Wilson to try and prove the trustee-elect didn’t live in the district he ran to represent.

Ryan, whose office had requested its own tour of the residence but never got one, said he wasn’t surprised by the city’s findings.

“We believe it’s very clear cut,” Ryan said. “Every piece of evidence we see indicates he does not have his address at West 34th Street.”

Perennial candidate

Wilson is the perennial candidate who gained nationwide attention in November when he won a predominately black district after leading voters to believe he was black. He’s actually white. His shenanigans, which never seem to cease, include past residency disputes. But Wilson may have set stage for his biggest showdown yet, in a court hearing scheduled for Friday.

Ryan’s office has detailed several inconsistencies with Wilson’s residency claims: dates that don’t match up, documents that contradict each other, and improbable scenarios. Case in point: Wilson’s two adult children recently switched their official residences to the warehouse apartment, too.

Asked about that last week, Wilson admitted to me that his grown kids – one in college, one in the Army – don’t live with him at the warehouse. So why were their voting records changed to indicate that they do?

“So they could vote for their dad,” Wilson told me matter-of-factly.

Swore himself in?

Another wrinkle in the case came when state district Judge Elaine Palmer granted a temporary restraining order intended to prevent Wilson from taking the oath of office until the residency issue was cleared up.

But Wilson claimed he’d never been formally served notice in the lawsuit and wasn’t aware of the hearing or the judge’s order until after he’d already taken it upon himself to complete the paperwork that allowed him to, basically, swear himself into office.

Answers the door

County attorney officials say that if Wilson wasn’t served, it wasn’t for lack of trying. They describe a kind of catch-me-if-you-can situation where Wilson evaded attempts to serve him with court documents. But Ryan says the restraining order is valid because Wilson’s attorney was aware of the hearing.

Finally Tuesday, Ryan says Wilson answered the door at the warehouse and was served with a notice of the restraining order, a subpoena to appear Friday and a letter requesting that the county attorney inspectors be allowed in the second-story warehouse apartment.

‘Nitpicking everything’

“We haven’t heard from him and it’s hurting my feelings,” Ryan said late Tuesday, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Wilson seemed frustrated when I called Tuesday to ask him about the city’s claims and why, for instance, he doesn’t have a shower in the place where he claims to live. He noted there is a shower elsewhere in the premises but said that’s irrelevant.

“What is this all about? They’re just looking for stuff everywhere. Nitpicking everything,” he told me. “You know, I don’t have a four-slice toaster, either. I’ve only got a two-slice toaster. Good grief.”

He said it’s outrageous that the county attorney is spending public resources, after an election, on a “selective prosecution” alleging residency offenses other candidates have pulled off with impunity. Asked for specifics on other candidates, Wilson couldn’t provide them Tuesday.

‘Politically motivated’

Ryan says he’s simply investigating a complaint brought to his office, and he’d do the same thing with complaints against any other candidates, regardless of party affiliation. Ryan is a Democrat; Wilson ran as a Republican.

“This is a witch hunt and this is politically motivated and it’s nothing but cheap partisan politics and they’re scared to death for me to get on the board,” Wilson said, promising Ryan will “get spanked” in court Friday.

He’s probably right that some people are scared to death to get him on that board. Wilson has vowed to bring transparency to the often opaque operations of the HCC board and to request independent audits of finances. Heads could roll.

It would be a welcome change. But candidates promising open, honest leadership should walk the walk. Playing fast and loose with election laws and ignoring a temporary restraining order aren’t good ways to start out. Districts exist for a reason: to give citizens a better chance at electing someone who represents them and their interests.

This latest episode, added to the list of Wilson’s other antics, makes me wonder if he’d be a breath of fresh air on that board, or a disaster.

I don’t know where this is going but Vince is making sure it keeps going. This one is probably going to get more interesting so don’t switch that dial.

In his MLB debut B-G-O of course was behind the plate for JD – Jim Deshaies.

B-G-O, B-G-O!

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A Big Deal

We may be experiencing a H-Town first tomorrow around 12 noon when the 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Class is announced and B-G-O makes it. A number of Hall of Fame voters have been releasing their picks and B-G-O is running at around 80%. You need 75% or better of the ballots cast to get in. Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine are also being projected to make it to Cooperstown.

Baggy, Barry Bonds, The Rocket, and Mike Piazza won’t be getting their ticket punched.

B-G-O making it will be a big deal for H-Town. It will be the first time a Hall of Fame great will be inducted wearing ‘Stros gear.

B-G-O has a restaurant named after him – the 5 and 7 Grille over at The Yard. He has a statue in front of The Yard. We will have to also throw in a park, maybe a street, or a school to name after him. Like I said, it is a big deal.

I wonder what lid he’ll wear – the brick red, the blue and gold, or the orange and blue. I am thinking the brick red since that’s the lid he wore when he cracked the 3,000 base hit mark and wore in the 2005 World Serious.

B-G-O’s 3,060th career base hit on September 30, 2007 against The ATL was a single, double, triple, or dinger?

Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 9 on CBS.

The Eurythmics will reunite to pay tribute to the Beatles.

The Recording Academy announced Monday that Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart will perform as a duo for “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles.” The event will be taped at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Jan. 27, a day after the Grammy Awards.

Longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, who is also producing the Beatles special, thought the Eurythmics would be ideal to honor the iconic group.

“When it came around to booking this show, what I felt was important was to try and find those artists who not only would be able to interpret Beatles songs, but would also have an … understanding of what they meant,” he said in an interview.

The Eurythmics sold millions of albums and had hit songs with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” and “Here Comes the Rain Again.” Ehrlich said Lennox and Stewart, who have launched successful solo careers, are thrilled to perform in tribute to the Beatles. Lennox has released several solo album, most recently a Christmas collection, while one of Stewart’s projects features collaborations with Martina McBride and Karen Elson.

Ehrlich wouldn’t say which Beatles tune the British duo would perform, but John Mayer and Keith Urban will pair up to perform “Don’t Let Me Down,” while Alicia Keys and John Legend will duet on “Let It Be.” Maroon 5 also will hit the stage.

The special will air on CBS on Feb. 9 — exactly 50 years after the Beatles made their U.S. debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” An estimated 73 million viewers tuned in to watch the event, which has become one of the world’s top cultural moments.

Commentary is working on my first questionnaire of the 2014 campaign season. If all goes well I should be done with it this afternoon.

I couldn’t make up my mind last night. On the one hand I was rooting for the underdog Auburn last night and on the other hand I was rooting for a team to bust up the SEC stranglehold on the national championship. It was a great game for sure.

B-G-O of course slapped a first inning double on September 30, 2007.

I wonder if they are planning anything special at The Yard for tomorrow.

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Elections 2014

Let the campaigns begin!

A couple of weeks or so ago I was checking out the list of candidates running in the Dem Primary and saw that a Ray Madrigal had filed to run for Governor. Today the Chron and SA Express news have a piece on Madrigal’s campaign. That’s probably the last we will read about Madrigal.

You have to wonder what kind of Dem Primary turnout is in store for Harris County this March. During the big one in 2008, 410,908 went to the polls to vote in the presidential primary – a 22.7% turnout. Two years later with Bill White running for governor, 101,263 or a 5.4% turnout showed up. Two years ago during the delayed primary held the day after Memorial Day, 76,476 showed up – a measly 4% turnout.

Let’s see if any of the statewide or local campaigns can get folks interested and to the polls. Show me the mail. Stay tuned!

B-G-O has gotten a couple of feature stories in the Chron the last couple of days in anticipation of Wednesday’s announcement of the 2014 MLB Hall of Fame Class. B-G-O played his last game on September 30, 2007 against what team?

Commentary has been around to see the births of our major pro sports franchises – Oilers, Astros, Rockets, Texans, and Dynamo. I have seen coaches and skippers hired and fired. The Texans formally introduced our new head coach this past Friday and expectations are at an all-time high for a new H-Town head coach, coach, or manager. He has gotten a ton of coverage. The Chron even sent a reporter to his hometown to talk to his childhood buddies.

On his first day on the job he fired eight assistant coaches.

The David Wilson saga continues today. I wonder if he picked up his parking pass over at HCC.

Liz Cheney gave up her race for the U.S. Senate. I guess the media elite won’t have her to kick around.

B-G-O played his last game against The ATL, went one for four and the ‘Stros won 3 zip of course.

That’s all there is from The Yard.

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What Did You Expect?

David Wilson said a big F-You to Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, a state district judge, and a TRO yesterday by submitting his oath of office papers. I am not surprised, are you? I wonder if he will be dropping by HCC today to snag his parking space. Here is what he told the Chron:

“They really don’t want me on that board because there’s so much corruption over there and I’m going to uncover it.”

I guess if Vince is successful we will never know if there is corruption over at HCC so stay tuned!

How many games at The Yard this past season were played with the roof open?

Commentary really doesn’t talk a lot about Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency because that is really not my thing. I was watching “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago and a NSA higher up mentioned making a deal with Snowden. Yesterday the New York Times E-Board called for clemency for Snowden. I will say this. The TV talking heads that support clemency come off better than those that oppose. That’s just my opinion.

Speaking of the F word, check this from MSN:

“The Wolf of Wall Street” has broken a record.

Martin Scorsese’s latest film now sets the “all-time record” for the use of the F-word, Variety reports. According to the film’s Wikipedia page, “The Wolf of Wall Street” uses the word 506 times in 180 minutes. Spike Lee’s 1999 “Summer of Sam” previously held the record with 435 F-bombs.

Scorsese’s excessive film isn’t the only movie in his portfolio to make the list of flicks with the most F-words. “Casino” has 422 instances, while “Goodfellas” has 300.

The roof was open for 14 out of 81 games at The Yard this past season of course.

That is all I have.

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