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Archive for May, 2015

Getting Ready

#GoRockets will be trending all weekend here in H-Town.

Come on! This fella’s dad was the president. His brother was the president. He was governor of one of the largest states in the country. He’s been around public policy discussions all of his life. Iraq has been one of the biggest issues over the last 25 years or so. And it takes him four days to figure out what he should be saying? I’m sorry! He’s not ready for the big show!

Channel 13 did a story yesterday on the new Sheriff and we learned that he’s changing the senior staff. He didn’t take any shots at his predecessor.

CEWDEM’s take of a couple of days ago got some feedback – mostly in support of CEWDEM’s take. That does not surprise me. He definitely got his point across.

Commentary is really looking forward to the first time all the mayoral candidates are on the same stage at a forum or debate and get down to discussing the issues and policies. I am really looking forward to hearing from the non-spinners afterwards. We will find out who belongs on the stage. Stay tuned!

Name the ‘Stro with the most RBIs this season?

Let’s see. I guess maybe the state’s image dodged a big one last night up in Austin – maybe. I know, I know – what image?

Somebody needs to tell me which Dems are having a good session.

I have said it before. Texas school finance is the mother of all public policy issues here in the Lone Star State. Some things never change.

I am thinking this is the big news in H-Town today:

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ retweeted
KPRC 2 Houston ‏@KPRC2 1h1 hour ago
.@McConaughey will be in #Houston to deliver the commencement address for @UHouston. http://bit.ly/1bUfdMJ #KPRC2

Hey, more power to the Coogs!

Jose Altuve leads the team with 21 RBIs of course – really!

Only 15,000 plus showed up at The Yard last night to see a pretty good win. I know. We were up against the Rockets.

We have a 4½ game lead and they are giving away 10,000 Keuchel gnomes tomorrow and Keuchel pitches tonight.

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H-Town Mayoral Takes

CEWDEM, UH’s Dr. Richard Murray, and the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott all have something to say about the H-Town Mayoral contest. CEWDEM, like other Dem activists, is not too happy that the former Sheriff handed off the Sheriff’s Office to the GOP. And CEWDEM has got a pretty big list of folks that he can talk to. Here is what CEWDEM put out last night:

You would be amazed at the number of folks who have contacted me in agreement with all of this, just don’t want to speak out for fear of retribution. I personally will not stand by and not call someone out for party disloyalty. I have worked too long and too hard for people and policies that bring about a better life for All and I will not just sit by and allow someone to give up what we all worked for – and give it to the enemy – without running my chops – whether anyone likes it or not – and as aside, I personally think Adrian Garcia is a nice guy and have always considered him a friend, I am just so sorry he used such poor judgment on this matter and was talked into something by folks who do not have his best interest – and certainly not the Democratic Party’s best interest at stake.

Let’s be clear – Adrian Garcia was elected Sheriff because he was running against a crook and benefitted from the massive turnout of Barack Obama supporters in 2008. He was reelected in 2012 without much of an opponent plus over $200,000 in contributions from the Harris County Democratic Party along with a turnout brought about by President Obama. This is a bad move, it makes it harder for a D to recapture, but Loyalists will turn out and they will vote for a qualified D nominee.

So the point of all this is to say that Adrian Garcia benefitted from several things, not the least of which was being a Democrat, but he did not carry others on the ticket into office – either time. And this is his repayment for the time, effort and money of Loyal Democrats. Think about that. Self above all.

I wonder how many Dem activists disagree with CEWDEM.

Dr. Murray was on Houston Matters a few days ago and had this to say about Bill King:

“he’s viewed as well-informed, attractive candidate personally…”

And:

“Bill is an articulate person. He has studied city issues.”

Dr. Murray’s take is fresh and unbiased. It is not spin. He’s not supporting anyone.

Take the time to listen to his take here: http://www.houstonmatters.org/show/2015/05/12/houston-mayors-race-tuesdays-show-may-12-2015.

The Jays are in town for four. A player for the Jays won the AL MVP Award in 1987 – the only time the Jays have ever won it. Name the player?

Hey, you roll out the first TV ad and plunk down the dough, you get a bit of coverage. Here is Rebecca Elliott on Bill King’s TV ad and buy:

In this year’s race to become Houston’s next mayor, the television wars have started early.

Businessman and former Kemah mayor Bill King brought his campaign to television in earnest on Monday, when his 30-second introductory spot hit cable networks.

Ads like King’s, which Comcast records show will run for three weeks and cost about $84,000, typically do not run until mid-summer in Houston, when the field of credible contenders has winnowed and November’s election is on the horizon. Voters’ memories are short, the logic goes, and an early launch onto the airwaves could deplete a candidate’s campaign coffers.

In a crowded field of some half dozen candidates seeking to replace term-limited Mayor Annise Parker, a candidate like King, who has never held elected office in Houston, stands to benefit from the boost in name recognition a television debut may provide, political analysts said.

It is not that the television time necessarily will translate into votes, said Rice University political analyst Mark Jones, but it could help King establish himself as a viable contender and gain favor among Houston’s center and center-right political elites. That bloc is seen as crucial for King and City Councilman Stephen Costello, the two center-right candidates in the race, as they vie for fundraising dollars and a spot in the runoff. The top two vote-getters in November’s nonpartisan election will move on to this face-off, with state Rep. Sylvester Turner and former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia considered the early frontrunners.

“If both of them remain strong, viable candidates, they may doom each other to a third or fourth place finish,” Jones said of Costello and King.

According to Comcast, King’s ad will air in Clear Lake, Kingwood, Westchase, Memorial and North Houston, most of which are reliably Republican. These zones are set by the cable company and do not necessarily follow the city boundaries.

Although unusual, King’s move to television is not unprecedented. In 2003, Bill White – then a relatively unknown lawyer and businessman – used early TV ads to build his name recognition and ultimately catapulted himself into the mayor’s office with record-setting fundraising.

“It’s the same logic,” Jones said.

And just as White invested in his own campaign, King intends to put half a million dollars into his bid, spokesman Jim McGrath said.

According to Federal Communications Commission records, none of the more than half dozen mayoral candidates have purchased air time on Houston’s major broadcast networks this year, though 2013 mayoral runner-up Ben Hall’s campaign said he ran about $1,000 worth of ads on Comcast in March. Most of the other campaigns said they expect to stay off television until later in the cycle.

Political analyst Nancy Sims, who is not affiliated with any of the candidates, said she expects television to be key in the race.

“This, in my opinion, is going to separate the wheat from the chaff,” she said. “You’ll never reach enough of the eligible voters to make a difference without television ads.”

For that, the candidates will need ample financial resources, which they are scrambling to amass ahead of the close of the reporting period on June 30.

Other mayoral candidates include former congressman and city councilmember Chris Bell and businessman Marty McVey.

The Mayor rolled out her proposed budget the other day. I wonder if there is an item in the budget to study H-Town’s productivity the morning after a 9:30 pm start of a Rockets playoff game.

A number of GOPers now think it wasn’t a good idea to invade Iraq. Not Jeb Bush. I am thinking he probably misremembered why we invaded Iraq.

The Chron has a story today on an intersection in Midtown whose crosswalks were painted. It is right next to my gym and you can see it from the sit-up benches. The Midtown Management District footed the bill at $20,000.

The 1987 AL MVP Award winner was George Bell of course from the Jays. That season he hit 47 dingers and had 134 RBIs to go with his .308 batting average.

Ken Rosenthal agrees with Commentary on Carlos Correa.

A SpringerDinger help get us a 4-3 much needed win last night over the Giants. We are 9-9 at home and still have a four game lead.

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Well we know how CEWDEM feels about certain stuff. Here is what he email blasted yesterday:

We Got Ourselves a New REPUBLICAN SHERIFF in HARRIS County Thanks to ADRIAN GARCIA!

And:

The NEW High Sheriff of Harris County, Ron Hickman, Republican compliments of Adrian Garcia

According to Hunker Down and the folks that run Harris County, the new Sheriff has “gravitas.” Does that mean that Dems have to put forward a candidate who has “gravitas?”

Does that mean that the Sheriff who just resigned lacked “gravitas?”

I am thinking that the new Sheriff might borrow from Mike Huckabee and use as his campaign slogan “guns, grits, and gravitas.”

According to Channel 13, it looks like the folks that have that $1,000 a day consulting contract over at the Sheriff’s Office are going to lose their gig. That’s politics!

How many times did Yogi Berra make the AL All Star Team?

Well, it didn’t take long for Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg to call out someone on the grand jury reform screw-up up in Austin. House Bill author Harold Dutton got the Falkenberg treatment today. Here are bits:

Instead of taking the baton from (State Sen. John) Whitmire as soon as the Senate bill hit the House, Dutton started fresh with his own bill. He wouldn’t explain to me why, except to say “I like my version better.” I have to wonder if he also liked the look of his own name and bill number.

Dutton’s version included a giant concession to a few judges he said voiced “concerns.” Although the bill would have made random grand jury selection the default in Texas, it would have allowed judges to use pick-a-pal if they could express a good reason. That’s very close to the current system we’re trying to get rid of.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Dutton seemed unaware of the smaller concession Whitmire had made that addressed the same concerns from judges. He also didn’t take kindly to Whitmire’s suggestion of finding other surrogate sponsors in the House.

“He’s free to do whatever the hell he likes,” Dutton said. “This is the House over here. He runs the Senate, maybe, but he doesn’t run the House.”

Whitmire, meanwhile, has vowed to press on and to enlist other veteran Houston House members, such as Reps. Senfronia Thompson and Sylvester Turner, to help.

And Dutton does need help. It was obvious that he hadn’t done his homework on the legislation. He hadn’t worked the floor. He hadn’t educated members on his bill. Even some members who tried to aid him in the debate struggled with basic facts of the bill and missed crucial talking points.

“He had not worked the delegation. He did not recruit people to help. It was horrible,” Whitmire says.

Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Lawmakers-it-s-about-grand-jury-reform-not-you-6259544.php?cmpid=btfpm.

And here is how Rep. Dutton responded: “Whitmire’s got his panties in a wad.”

Somebody needs to ask The Dean: “Boxers, briefs, or panties?”

I think it is safe to assume that Jeb Bush is not ready for prime time. Same goes for Ana Navarro.

One thing about Boston, they stick with their guy and I have to admire that.

Yogi Berra was selected to 15 AL All Star Teams of course.

Yeah, I know. We got smacked by last year’s World Serious Champs last night. We need to be playing better.

The team needs go on ahead and bring up Carlos Correa because we are not getting it done at shortstop. The fans have been patient long enough so do the right thing, please!

Dollar Dogs tonight at The Yard!

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Happy Birthday, Yogi!

Hall of Fame great and all-around great guy Yogi Berra is 90 today.

As he once said: “Thank you for making this day necessary.”

How many World Serious rings does Yogi have as a player?

Commentary has a signed photo of Yogi on my wall. Do you?

The Sheriff resignation now has us a front page story about who should run the county jail. If the Sheriff had decided to stay as Sheriff, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Oh, well!

The Harris County Judge and Commissioners will be naming a replacement for sure soon. One thing is certain. The next Sheriff will be a GOPer. They could make history by naming a Latino GOPer, a female GOPer, an African American GOPer, or an Asian American GOPer. Stay tuned!

The grand jury reform legislation might be in trouble this session. How can that be? Didn’t it pass 31 zip in the senate? Check this tweet:

Vernon Loeb ‏@LoebVernon 4m4 minutes ago
Grand jury reform falters in Austin. This is how bills get killed @chroniclemike @brianmrosenthal http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Grand-jury-reform-suffers-setback-in-Austin-6256995.php?t=c0e19d30f4b2e7d3f0&cmpid=twitter-premium … via @HoustonChron

The bad news is that we get stuck with a lousy system. The good news is Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg can now set her sights on those who derailed reform and provide us with some juicy columns.

Does she or doesn’t she. How much power is left in her gas tank? He’s talking about the Mayor. Check this from the Chron’s Mike Morris:

City Council has voted down or delayed several items put forward by Mayor Annise Parker in recent weeks, events that some City Hall observers interpret as a sign of the term-limited mayor being afflicted with lame-duck syndrome as the race to succeed her heats up.

Parker and her allies dismiss these suggestions, saying they see no trend in a series of tiffs stemming from unrelated proposals to tweak the makeup of two city-appointed boards, make it easier to work with public easements, or administer longstanding programs. Parker has even declared her intent to remain politically relevant by scheduling a fundraiser for May 17.

Here is the entire Morris piece behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Council-pushing-back-against-lame-duck-mayor-6256070.php.

I don’t know. She is still the Mayor and does set the agenda. We will see I guess. It depends on what else she wants to accomplish.

I am not going to say much about Tom Brady other than to say he still gets to keep his latest Super Bowl ring.

Yogi Berra of course has ten World Serious rings as a player.

“Slump? I ain’t in no slump…I just ain’t hitting.”

Our top prospect, Carlos Correa, was promoted to Triple A. He should have been promoted to The Yard.

We fell to sixth in the Bleacherreport.com MLB power rankings. We have to do better at The Yard.

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Bill King is on TV. There is really not much else to say other than watch it. Here is a tweet from yesterday:

Katherine Driessen retweeted
Rebecca Elliott @rfelliott • 13h 13 hours ago
.@BillKingForHou moving to TV early with his first mayoral ad to run Monday morning http://www.chron.com/news/politics/houston/article/King-to-air-TV-ad-Monday-6254495.php … #hounews

Here is from a Chron story:

Houston mayoral candidate and former Chronicle columnist Bill King is hitting the TV airwaves early with a 30-second spot expected to show early Monday morning, according to spokesman Jim McGrath.

The advertisement, which McGrath said will air throughout the Houston market, introduces viewers to King and his “Back to Basics” campaign.

“I’ve spent my life building businesses, speaking out on our biggest issues, and working on Houston’s toughest challenges,” King says in the ad. “I’m ready to bring that experience to City Hall.”

McGrath declined to comment on the cost of the ad, which he said will likely run for at least two weeks.

“This is definitely an aggressive, early buy,” said University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus, noting that mayoral TV ads usually go up mid-summer.

“There’s one worry that early money spent sometimes can have very little effect if people aren’t paying attention,” Rottinghaus said, though he added that early air time could also help set the agenda for the race.

Go check out the ad here: http://billkingforhouston.com/.

Everybody knows that Hunter Pence made his MLB debut with the ‘Stros back in 2007. Hunter ended up in third place in the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Name the two players who were one and two in the voting?

I didn’t know that this had not happened yet. Yogi is very deserving and check this tweet:

Alyson Footer ‏@alysonfooter 34m34 minutes ago
Sign to petition @BarackObama to give #Yankees American icon Yogi Berra the Pres Medal of Freedom #YogiMedal: http://bit.ly/yogiBerra

Commentary has been saying for a while now that locally we do a lousy job of educating folks on how to recycle. There was a story in the Chron this past weekend on local recycling and it talks about folks not knowing how to recycle. For the life of me I cannot understand why we have not put out a better effort to get folks to recycle the right way. Here is from the Chron Story:

To help make the enterprise more economically sound, companies are working harder to educate consumers on what they can and can’t recycle – and renegotiating contracts as they expire.

Waste Management has a campaign called “Recycle Often, Recycle Right” targeting consumers. The company is incorporating education programs into more municipal contracts as they renegotiate them, working with cities to go into schools and distribute materials on what can go in the recycling bin.

In Houston, four staff members do community education on waste and recycling.

Something as simple as putting recycling in a garbage bag throws off the process because the bag can’t be recycled. Depending on the volume workers are dealing with on the conveyer belt, they may rip it open, or just throw out the whole bag and its contents.

In March, Houston’s contamination rate was 17.4 percent.

“A fifth or a sixth of the material that’s going in there is really of no value, and not only is it of no value in terms of the end product, it tremendously increases the processing cost,” said Puneet Bhasin, who now runs Waste Management’s recycling business.

Contamination is why most in the industry see one-bin policies, like that Houston is pursuing, as a step in the wrong direction. Once paper gets wet or gets food on it, it has pretty much lost all value for recyclers.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Some-enviro-friendly-items-hurt-recyclers-bottom-6251822.php.

If you ask me, they are not being too creative over there.

Yesterday, one of the local news programs devoted the entire show to prominent working moms and how they juggle their jobs with being a mom. I am thinking that on Father’s Day next month, they probably won’t do a program on how prominent dads juggle their work with being a dad.

In 2007, Hunter Pence got the third most votes for NL Rookie of the Year of course behind winner Ryan Braun and runner-up Troy Tulowitzki.

Hunter is now with the Giants and the Giants are at The Yard for two starting tomorrow evening but Hunter is a little dinged up and probably won’t play.
We still have a five game lead. We split the four game roadie in Anaheim. We’re home for nine.

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Parking Meters

KHOU-TV Channel 11 did a story on our lousy parking gizmos. Sometimes they are not working and you have to walk down the block or two to find one that is working. Sometimes they won’t take your currency. Sometimes they don’t spit out a receipt. They are annoying and frustrating. I sometimes have to stick a note on my windshield ‘splaining the problem. Here is from the Channel 11 story:

Houston’s “smart” parking meters first hit the streets back in 2006, back in the days of flip phones. They are old school, and the I-Team discovered citizens are the ones who wind up feeling their age.

“These meters ain’t smart at all, they’re dumb,” said Denice Ryan.

Since 2014, more than 6,600 citizens complained about parking meters to the city of Houston’s 311 helpline. More than two-thirds of those complaints were for gobbling up money and not printing a receipt.

Here is the entire story: http://www.khou.com/story/news/investigations/2015/05/08/houstons-smart-parking-meters-have-dumb-receipt-problems/70985766/.

I hope there is a fix in store.

Name the only MLB division leader without a winning home record this season?

The Chron E-Board today lays out a criteria of sorts on who should be appointed as the next Sheriff. I am not going to link it because it doesn’t matter. Conventional wisdom is saying that a Dem will win in 2016. Conventional wisdom also says that the Tea Party wing of the GOP will determine the GOP nominee next spring. Most likely they will produce a nominee who will establish his cred by saying he will put together a squad to round up all the paperless folks or something like that.

GOP State Rep. Allen Fletcher from Cypress wants to be our next Sheriff. Here is what he said: “It’s time we had a Republican sheriff in Harris County.”

You gotta do better than that pal. Plus the last GOP Sheriff was kind of chased out of office if you know what I mean.

Way to go Mr. President:

Houston Chronicle retweeted
Laura Goldberg ‏@LauraGoldbergHC 34m34 minutes ago
US employers add 223K jobs; rate 5.4 pct., 7-year low http://www.chron.com/news/article/US-employers-add-223-000-jobs-rate-falls-to-5-4-6250747.php?cmpid=twitter-mobile … via @houstonchron

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk 1h1 hour ago
U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April; unemployment ticked down to 5.4%, government reports. Live coverage: http://cnn.it/1Im1OeK

And this:

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk 2h2 hours ago
UK’s Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, wins outright majority in Parliament, taking 326 of 650 seats. http://cnn.it/1zJ6Q1I

Kris Banks ‏@KrisBanks 43m43 minutes ago Houston, TX
Does anyone know if Jeremy Bird was advising the Labour Party? Because that would make so much sense #GE15

Now that’s funny!

I am thinking that there won’t be any Blue Bell this summer.

What is the over/under on when Blue Bell will return and can you place a bet on never?

Well, that’s not good. Check this tweet:

CNN Breaking News ‏@cnnbrk 3h3 hours ago
Jeb Bush says his brother, former President George W. Bush, is his top foreign policy adviser. http://cnn.it/1KnO6Fx .

And this:

The Associated Press ‏@AP 3h3 hours ago
BREAKING: Alex Rodriguez hits 661st home run, passes Willie Mays for 4th place on career list.

Are congrats in order?

The ‘Stros of course are the only division leader without a winning home record. They are 8-8 at The Yard.

We came back last night to win it in the ninth. I stayed up late and it was worth the wait.

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I am talking about the shots the Sheriff has taken since word got out he was in the race. Here is a taste from twitter:

Kris Banks ‏@KrisBanks 6m6 minutes ago Houston, TX
Can potholes be deported? Ex-Sheriff Garcia has proven pretty skilled at that. #houmayor

Kris Banks @KrisBanks • 21h 21 hours ago
Today’s big winner: Steve Radack #houmayor

Here is part of the Chron story:

In a letter Wednesday informing the court of his decision, Garcia, a Democrat, offered the court his “counsel and input.” He urged the commissioners and judge to appoint an independent or another Democrat and to avoid choosing any law enforcement official who has aspirations of further elected office.

In all likelihood, however, the appointee will be a Republican, since four of the five voting members of Commissioners Court are Republicans. A spokesman for County Judge Ed Emmett said his boss would prefer an appointee who is inclined to run for election in 2016, to retain the office. Spokesman Joe Stinebaker said Garcia’s replacement will be the subject of an executive session at the end of Tuesday’s regular Commissioners Court meeting.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack said he had gotten a few unsolicited calls from individuals expressing interest in the job, and he would not be surprised if 20 or 30 names were in the hat by Friday.

“I’m looking forward to seeing who all is interested,” Radack said. He added, “I’m glad (Garcia) finally quit. We’re faced with a sheriff’s department with terrible morale, that’s had problems in the jail lately.”

Hunker Down and Commissioner Radack are going to take the lead and come up with a Sheriff who will have the best chance of winning in 2016. Of course, you never know if the Tea Party wing of the GOP will run a candidate in the GOP Primary and mess with the Court’s pick.

Meanwhile, on the Dem side, the Sheriff is the one who resigned and handed this position over to the GOP. Dems have every right to tweet out the Sheriff. It is fair game – no ifs, ands, or buts.

The field is now set. That’s it. No more stories on speculation on who is running and when they are running.

Fresno outfielder Preston Tucker will make his MLB debut tonight with the ‘Stros. When did we select Tucker?

Commentary snagged a foul ball last night – the first of the season. I handed it over to a young couple from Beaumont.

George Springer is banged up and will be out a week or so.

Preston Tucker was drafted by the ‘Stros in the 7th round of the 2012 MLB Draft of course.

The bad news is the three game losing streak we are on and getting swept by the Rangers. The good news is we are still up by five and start a short four game series in Anaheim with a 10-2 road record.

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Hillary Clinton drew a line in the sand yesterday and dared her GOP opponents to cross it if they want the 2016 Latino vote. I am talking about her position on immigration reform. Here is from Poltico:

It might be the early days of the Democratic primary, but Hillary Clinton on Tuesday appeared to move straight to the general election, challenging the Republicans to attack her on immigration by moving beyond President Barack Obama on the issue.

“This is where I differ from everyone on the Republican side,” Clinton said, speaking at a roundtable at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, surrounded by a group of Dreamers. “Make no mistake, today not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have said they support “earned legal status,” which leaves the door open to a status that does not offer full citizenship rights.

Clinton said she would go even further than the president has through executive action, by allowing more immigrants to get legal protection and work permits.

“I would do everything possible under the law to go even further — there are more people, like many parents of Dreamers, and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities who deserve a chance to stay, and I would fight for them,” Clinton said.

She said she would put in place a “simple, straightforward, accessible way” for parents of Dreamers and others active in their communities to make their case and be eligible for the same deferred action as their children.

“You know where I stand, and there can be no question about it,” Clinton said forcefully.

That’s about as strong and clear as you can get on this issue. It puts her in a very strong position to kick arse in the Latino community next year. Way to go!

How many of the ‘Stros infielders were born in Venezuela?

And they are off! I was planning to attend a District H candidates forum today but I just found out it was postponed.

I guess this is his last day on the job.

A Teddy tweet from this morning:

Teddy Schleifer ‏@teddyschleifer 1m1 minute ago
Aaaaand there you go, at the bottom of a media advisory out this AM: @SheriffGarcia is running for mayor.

From the Chron:

Calling an end to months of speculation, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia will declare his candidacy for mayor of Houston Wednesday, according to sources with direct knowledge of his plans.

And:

In doing so, he must resign as sheriff, leaving open one of the two county-wide offices currently held by a Democrat. Harris County Commissioners Court will appoint his successor.

And this tweet:

Teddy Schleifer retweeted
Doug Miller ‏@DougMillerKHOU · 13m13 minutes ago
As @SheriffGarcia readies announcement on mayor’s race, some Dems not happy. GOP co. commissioners almost certain to appoint GOP successor

Well, the GOP just scored a key position in local law enforcement. Not me!

They must have all gotten the same memo over at the Chron yesterday:

Houston Chronicle retweeted
St. John B. Smith @stjbs • 6h 6 hours ago
.@SheriffGarcia blames chain of command for inmate’s mistreatment, defends tenure as sheriff of @HCSOTexas http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Garcia-blames-chain-of-command-for-inmate-s-6241945.php?t=90f2a906b1&cmpid=twitter-premium

Katherine Driessen @KatDriessen • 6h 6 hours ago
.@SheriffGarcia, widely expected to run for mayor, blames chain of command for inmate’s mistreatment (by @rfelliott) http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Garcia-blames-chain-of-command-for-inmate-s-6241945.php?t=90f2a906b1c0059fa0&cmpid=twitter-premium

Mike Morris @mmorris011 • 7h 7 hours ago
Garcia blames chain of command for inmate’s mistreatment http://buff.ly/1zKfiOF #hounews by @rfelliott

Karen Chen @ckaren15 • 6h 6 hours ago
Garcia blames chain of command for inmate’s mistreatment @rfelliott http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Garcia-blames-chain-of-command-for-inmate-s-6241945.php?t=90f2a906b1ec4584b7&cmpid=twitter-premium … via @HoustonChron

Second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Luis Valbuena, and utility infielder Marwin Gonzalez were all born in Venezuela of course.

Today is Altuve’s 25th birthday!

It is Dollar Dog Night and we need to get back to our winning ways.

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It is not about celebrating jalapenos, Corona, and margaritas.

It is to commemorate the Battle of Puebla. Here is from the web:

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

And:

Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a smaller, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men were able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country. The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date’s celebration.

Somebody pointed out to me the other day that if the Sheriff resigns to run for H-Town Mayor, it will be the second powerful Harris County government office that the Latino community will relinquish over the past five years. Food for thought anyone?

The ‘Stros lead MLB with 40 team dingers. Name the team with the least number of team dingers?

The Sheriff met with the Chron E-Board and the Chron wrote about it. Good news or bad news or same old news? Here are parts so you decide:

Acknowledging his jailers were aware of a mentally ill inmate’s squalid living conditions, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia on Monday blamed breakdowns in his jail’s chain of command for the incident that led to criminal charges for two jail supervisors and disciplinary actions for 33 others.

“The front-line employees did what they needed to do,” Garcia said, explaining that his staff alerted their superiors that Terry Goodwin’s cell was dirty and that he was refusing to leave it. “They got bad direction from their supervisors.”

And:

Garcia, who widely is expected to run for mayor of Houston and would have to step down as the county’s top lawman to do so, defended his record as sheriff, one that has been colored in recent weeks by Goodwin’s case and another inmate’s death from meningitis in April.

“I’m proud of where we’re at,” Garcia said, citing a reduction in the jail’s population and operating costs, as well as technological innovations at the agency. “I’m proud of the successes that we’ve had.”

Garcia’s staff questioned Department of Public Safety figures showing a decline in the department’s clearance rates between 2008, when Garcia’s predecessor left office, and 2013.

In those five years, the sheriff’s office’s murder clearance rate dropped from 65 percent to 37 percent and the clearance rate for reported rapes dropped from 42 percent to 15 percent, DPS records show. Robbery and assault clearance rates also fell by 8 percent.
Garcia attributed the lower clearance rates to delays in the agency’s crime reporting and a hiring freeze that reduced manpower in the sheriff’s office.

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Garcia-blames-chain-of-command-for-inmate-s-6241945.php.

It kind of reminds me of the “not me!” from the “Family Circus” cartoon strip.

Hunker Down is in Germany on a fact finding mission of sorts on how to save the Astrodome. No comment!

The White Sox are dead last of course in the team dinger category with a measly 12.

Last night was a not so good night for the home teams.

Well at least we still have our seven game lead.

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I really don’t have much to say about what happened in Garland last night other than to say I agree with the fella who was on CNN last night and said he wasn’t surprised.

The Chron E-Board today visits the effort to get a statue of LBJ for H-Town. The E-Board reminds us that LBJ once taught in H-Town. Here is from the E-Board:

Last year, numerous celebrations marked the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Historians consider President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s contribution to the passage of that legislation to be one of the greatest acts of legislative leadership in our country’s history. LBJ’s career as a debate teacher at Sam Houston High School in Houston from 1930-1931 is less well-known.

Local immigration attorney Charles Foster recently announced his commitment to create and install a statue of LBJ in Houston to celebrate the former president’s ties to our city. It’s a worthy idea.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Honor-LBJ-6236978.php.

Well the statue has to be Downtown. Hopefully, not across the street from the post office. Stay tuned!

It has been a long time. I am talking about ‘Stros baseball being this good.

We have the biggest division lead – 7 games – in MLB. We have the second best record in MLB.

What is the team’s run differential?

Bleacherreport.com has us at number one in this week’s MLB power rankings. Check this:

Let the screenshots commence folks, the Houston Astros are officially the No. 1 team in this week’s MLB power rankings thanks to a 10-game winning streak.

If the season ended today, Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.73 WHIP) would likely be your American League Cy Young winner, and if nothing else he’s put any questions about the legitimacy of last year’s breakout in the rearview.

Meanwhile, slugger Evan Gattis entered last week hitting .156/.194/.250 with one home run and five RBI, but exploded for five home runs and 12 RBI to spark an offense that is now averaging 5.00 runs per game on the year.

“It’s been the most fun personally I’ve ever had on a team, and I think we might have something special,” Gattis told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com after the team ran their win streak to 10 on Sunday.

The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels are up next as they look to push that streak even further and maintain the No. 1 spot.

That’s nice!

Check these tweets from yesterday:

#VoteAstros @astros • 5h 5 hours ago
The #Astros lead MLB with 40 home runs. #Power

#VoteAstros @astros • 6h 6 hours ago
Confirmed: #Astros 18-7 record after first 25 games is the best start to a season in franchise history. #Represent

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ @brianmctaggart • 4h 4 hours ago
Astros are 13-0 when scoring first and 16-0 when scoring four or more runs.

Saturday night was downright fun! It was a dinger fest. We were down three zip on three Mariner dingers in the second inning and came back with five dingers of our own for an 11-4 win. How awesome is that?

Some folks are saying not so fast. It is only 25 games. I get that.

19,000 plus on Friday, 24,000 plus on Saturday, and 25,000 plus yesterday – folks are starting to get interested. The crowds could be better but I understand how folks might still not be ready to buy in. The last four years the team has been lousy.

I think they are the real deal. We are definitely ready for ESPN Sunday night baseball. ESPN has already scheduled this month. If we keep up playing at this current level, the game with the Yankees at The Yard on the last Sunday of June could very well be on ESPN.

And this tweet last night from Tags:

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ ‏@brianmctaggart 12m12 minutes ago
The last team to lead its division by as many seven games on May 3 are the 2001 Mariners, who won 116 games

OK, OK!

The best weekend words came from Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg on Governor Abbott’s decision to monitor the Department of Defense: “This. Is. Madness.”

Any bets on who will be the first GOPer to blame last night’s shooting in Garland on the President?

It looks like the FBI has joined the investigation of the shooting in Garland. Governor Abbott is expected to direct the Texas Ranger to monitor the FBI’s activities.

The ‘Stros have a plus 37 run differential of course.

The Rangers are in for three and they rank dead last in this morning’s Bleacherreport.com MLB power rankings.

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