Archive for March, 2016

On HISD Again

It finally happened. I am talking about Donald Trump taking in water. He outraged both sides of an emotional issue. Now this one is going to hurt him for sure. I think.

The Brewers are in town for two at The Yard. Name the two Hall of Fame greats who wear the Brewers lid on their Hall plaque?

The Chron E-Board has another take today on State Rep. Alma Allen “lobbying” for the HISD Superintendent position. Here are the first two lines of their take:

Politics should play no role in the selection of a school superintendent. The school board’s priority – and everyone else’s – should be what’s best for the kids, and what’s best for Houston’s future.

Well, when you have nine elected trustees who will make the final selection, politics will be part of the equation. So get over that.

And this from the E-Board:

It’s not clear whether public officials are promoting Allen as the next superintendent or if they simply want her to be considered for the position. Either way, they should back off and let the school board do its job.

That is never going to happen. It is in the nature of elected officials to get involved. They are not going to just sit there and “back off”. It is just a matter on how they are involved, their motivation, and tactics they use.

And also this from the E-Board:

The launch of a public campaign by a superintendent candidate and her supporters sends a pernicious signal to other candidates that lobbying efforts may be more important than qualifications. Such a misperception could discourage qualified candidates who are not locally connected even though they might be the best candidates for the job.

Qualified candidates will now want assurances that the process is not rigged. Both they and the parents and students in HISD also will need confirmation that prospective candidates will be judged on their career performance rather than on their political endorsements.

Now I can agree with this. Like I said the other day. I want a thorough national search.

On the other hand, I don’t know if the Rep. Allen campaign has any steam. I was with some Dem players the other day and I brought up the Allen for superintendent issue and I was met with a collective groan. They didn’t seem to think it was a good idea. I still have not seen a copy of the Mayor’s letter of support for Allen.

I also have not figured out who is really behind this. Or is it just Rep. Allen’s idea.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/I-for-inappropriate-7218733.php.

This was discussed on “Today” this morning.

TODAY Retweeted

NBC Sports Soccer ‏@NBCSportsSoccer 1h1 hour ago

.@USSoccer_WNT on the @TODAYshow: It’s our ‘responsibility’ ‘to push for equal pay’ http://tw.nbcsports.com/RFI 

I agree. Heck, they are champions.

I am thinking that the City of H-Town will survive the ballot language fight in the courts this time around. I am thinking that the courts in the past had a problem with the former mayor. I don’t think they have a problem with our current mayor. Of course, I could be dead wrong.

Paul Molitor and Robin Yount of course are in the Hall of Fame wearing Brewers lids.

This season, our interleague games are with our former foes in the NL Central. Tonight’s and tomorrow’s games with the Brewers are preseason games but we play three regular season games next weekend in Milwaukee. How about that!

I wonder how many folks will show up tonight.

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Let’s see. There is ISIS and terrorism. We have the Zika virus. We have a Supreme Court vacancy. Wages are stagnant for most Americans.

Meanwhile, the GOP presidential contenders have all backed off their pledge to support the eventual nominee and they are debating the behavior of a campaign manager. Now that is what I call being on the road to the White House.

You have to figure the new GOP establishment is just going batty.

How many MLB clubs will have new skippers this season?

Sen. Ted Cruz said last night that he can get 85% of the remaining delegates to get to 1,237.  Sure.

I guess you can say Rick Perry is now an ordinary non-voting citizen. He didn’t vote in the recent GOP primary. My 92 years old Dad did. So did my 89 years old Mom. Here is from the Trib:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have stumped for Ted Cruz for president, but there’s no record he voted in this year’s Republican primary in Texas. A spokesman for Perry suggested his ballot may have been lost in the mail.

Perry is registered to vote in Fayette County, about 75 miles east of Austin, where he and his wife Anita moved after he stepped down as governor in 2015.

Fayette County Elections Administrator Dina Bell confirmed by email on Tuesday that Perry requested a mail-in ballot for the March 1 Republican primary and one was given to him on Feb. 1. Bell recalled that Perry showed up in person to get it but that her office never received the completed ballot. 

“A voted ballot was never received from James Richard Perry,” Bell wrote. 

Jeff Miller, Perry’s former campaign manager, insists that Perry filled out the ballot and mailed it in.

Sure! That is what they all say.

Here is the entire Trib story on Perry skipping the primary election: http://www.texastribune.org/2016/03/29/no-record-rick-perry-voted-Texas-primary/.

I was watching the GOP Town Hall last night on CNN and Gov. John Kasich said he had more experience than Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz combined. I agree. Then what he said next prompted this tweet from me:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 12h12 hours ago

@JohnKasich says @HillaryClinton has more experience. He is right. #Election2016

You have to give Gov. Kasich credit for being honest.

The Dodgers, Mariners, Marlins, Nationals, and Padres of course will have new skippers this season.

How about these tweets:

Brian McTaggart ‏@brianmctaggart 35s36 seconds ago

Hinch says Fiers, Feldman and Fister will throw in that order following Keuchel and McHugh.


Julia Morales ‏@JuliaMorales 3m3 minutes ago Houston, TX

One more in Florida and then the Astros are headed to Houston.

I am ready for sure.

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No Return Policy

The GOP establishment is stuck with Donald Trump. They now have a no return policy. Just check this from NBC News:

With just three candidates left in the Republican primary race, Donald Trump now holds 48 percent support of registered Republicans and Republican-leaners, according to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll.

This is more than 20 points higher than his second-place competitor, Ted Cruz — who now enjoys 27 percent support. John Kasich got a boost of 2 points this week and holds third place with 18 percent support.

The question in the Republican race, however, is no longer whether Trump is the clear front-runner, but whether he will reach the magic delegate number of 1,237 — and, if not, whether Republicans will support him as their party’s nominee going forward. These are big questions that have implications for the direction of the Republican Party and, ultimately, the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

Here is the entire story: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-trump-nearly-50-percent-support-among-republicans-nationally-n546951.

If you ask me, the GOP is probably better off with Trump as their nominee. At this point, if they dump him at the convention, his supporters across the country are going to go crazy and the backlash will be painful. Instead of plotting his demise, embrace him and start making adjustments.

Next time you hear the phrase “money talks”, think Georgia.

Who was our last Opening Day starter at first base who on Opening Day was also playing in his first regular season MLB game?

Carlos Correa will soon be featured in HEB ads. Hey he led all MLB shortstops in dingers last season.

Brock Osweiler will also be in the HEB ads. Brock who? He hasn’t even thrown a pass and he already gets to be in HEB ads?

Jon Singleton won’t be on the Opening Day roster. That is what happens when you are batting .151 in the Grapefruit League.

It looks like Tyler White could be our first baseman to start the season. He’s batting .348. We picked him in the 2013 MLB Amateur Player Draft in the 33rd Round. He was the 977th player taken overall. Now it looks like he’ll make his MLB debut in Yankee Stadium next Monday. They don’t write them any better than this. Cool.

On Singleton, he signed one of those multi-year contracts a couple of seasons ago that is frowned upon by the players’ union. So even if he is in the minors, he will make 2 mil this year, and 2 mil next year, and 2 mil in 2018.

In 1991, Jeff Bagwell made his major league debut as our Opening Day starting first baseman of course.

The team has the day off today.

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Good morning national GOP. How are your Lying Ted, Sniveling Coward, and Sleazy Donald doing? What do you think of Trump’s take on foreign policy? What about some of your talking heads already conceding this election?

Dem primary voters in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington sure sent Secretary Clinton a message this past Saturday.  They said:  Don’t you dare tack to the center!  I get that.

Name the former ‘Stro pitcher who has a 4-0 record on Opening Days?

In Saturday’s Chron, Ericka Mellon had an article about State Rep. Alma Allen wanting to be the new HISD Superintendent.   The E-Board doesn’t agree. Here is what the E-Board said on Saturday:

[Twiddled] If kids are our future then the HISD superintendent search is as important to Houston as Trump v. Cruz. It’s also as politically charged. What we don’t need at HISD is a politician. We’re still waiting for a list of characteristics the trustees want in a new boss. Here’s hoping a field of candidates includes people who’ve been there, done that when it comes to leading large public school districts. So students, let’s hit the pause button, and let an objective process unfold before handing out endorsements.

Go here if you don’t believe me: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Ups-and-downs-7101121.php.

Here is from Mellon’s article:

Allen, who worked four decades in HISD as a teacher, principal and central-office administrator, said she has the support of several elected officials, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a former colleague in the state House. Turner’s spokeswoman did not return messages seeking comment Friday.

Allen said one of Turner’s staff members gave the school board’s search firm a letter of support for her at a meeting Wednesday night. State Rep. Gene Wu, who was at the meeting, said he did not read the letter but recalled the mayor’s staffer saying the mayor was sending a letter of support. Wu said he and state Rep. Hubert Vo, another Houston Democrat, both support Allen.


Joe Greenberg, spokesman for a local group of business leaders, parents and community leaders called the Coalition for Great Houston Schools, urged the board to pursue a national search.

“The board’s highest priority should be to search for a candidate with a track record of tangible academic achievement in a large, diverse urban district,” he said.

Here is all of Mellon’s article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/State-Rep-Allen-says-she-has-mayor-s-support-in-7110716.php.

I would hope that for the sake of ALL the stakeholders, the HISD Board truly conducts a thorough search.

Of course, I sure would like to see a copy of the Mayor’s letter supporting Rep. Allen. Oh, well.

Larry Dierker of course is 4-0 as an Opening Day starter.

MLB returns to The Yard this Thursday evening.

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GOP Friday

For the past couple of years, the GOP has gone after The President time and time again on the ISIS issue in Iraq, Syria and everywhere. They blame the President for everything ISIS related. Forgot how we got into this mess to begin with back in 2003. Now it appears our special forces have taken down the number two fella at ISIS. The GOP will certainly not give The President any credit for giving the special forces the go ahead on this mission.

Commentary has to admit it is fun watching the GOP implode live and on national TV these days.  I have said it before. It is their own doing, err undoing. They can’t blame this on The President.

And as we head into this holy weekend, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz are having a most riveting discussion on public policy. Don’t you think? This is certainly getting them closer to the White House. Both camps are to blame. When that PAC came out with the ad featuring Trump’s wife, Cruz should have slammed it, but he didn’t so it was game on with Trump.   They both deserve it.

This Hall of Fame pitching great is celebrating his 50th birthday today. In his first full year in MLB he went 7-17. He had five seasons of 20 or more wins and 305 career wins. He won 2 Cy Young Awards and has a World Serious ring. Name the player.

Now I have a little problem with this story in politico today. It is about GOP insiders preparing to deny Trump the nomination if he goes to the convention just short of 1,237 delegates. Here is why I have the problem. Check these:

“Rules is rules. You have to get a majority,” said a Virginia Republican who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “That’s the problem with our country: No one ever wins anymore.”


“I’m firmly in the ‘Never Trump’ camp,” said a New Hampshire Republican. “The GOP gets killed if he’s the nominee. We probably get killed if he doesn’t support a different nominee anyway. So if it makes no difference to the eventual outcome, my conscience will be clear going down with a responsible nominee instead.”


“The GOP would be crazy to aid in the hostile takeover of our party by a candidate who has never been able to espouse a single consistently conservative view,” the Iowa Republican said. “Donald Trump admires Putin while attacking the last Republican president. He doesn’t deserve the nomination even if he were to win more than 1,237 delegates. Hillary would slaughter him in the general election. #NeverTrump”

This would be a way better story if the insiders were not anonymous. Come on! In order to take back your party, you have to have guts.  Quit hiding!

Here is the story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/insiders-to-trump-no-majority-no-nomination-221219.

So now insiders of the new GOP establishment have to go anonymous when discussing their party’s future. That’s the state of the national GOP on this Good Friday. I am good with this.

Tom Glavine of course is 50 today.

The team plays two against the Padres in Mexico City tomorrow and Sunday.


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New GOP Establishment

Remember when I tweeted this the other day:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 19h19 hours ago

#TedCruz wants to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods in the US. Going after the #DonaldTrump vote. #Election2016

So I guess Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, and other GOP establishment types behind Cruz are on board with this. I guess this is what we call the new GOP establishment – the messenger of divisiveness.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget what another GOP establishment type, Rudy Giuliani said today: “She had her chance to do it. She helped create ISIS. I mean, Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS.”

Way to go!

I remember when the GOP establishment used to be run by grown-ups.

HISD is going to change a few school names. Reagan High and Davis High will get new names. How about Heights High and North Side High?

Care to guess what Jon Singleton’s batting average is this Spring Training?

We lost Joe Garagiola yesterday. He was 90. He was a former MLBer. He played catcher. In his first season in 1946 he won a World Serious ring with San Luis. He went on to be an announcer and co-hosted “Today” for a while. He was witty and used a lot of humor and had a lot of class. I liked him.

My pal Jeff Balke of the Houston Press has a piece out today on the most congested intersections in H-Town.   An intersection just down the street made the list. Check this:

North Main/Studewood/Cavalcade

Sometimes, streets merge and intersect in complicated ways thanks to mother nature. What, years ago, may have been a dead end, could become a throughway thanks to a bridge over a bayou, for example. However, this five-way (you heard me!) intersection has no excuse. Studewood crosses North Main and an oddly narrow angle and very few actually stay on Studewood going north, instead migrating to North Main at what amounts to forks in the road in both directions. To make matters much worse, 20th, after crossing this insane merger, turns into Cavalcade, which is divided by a median. Unless you are familiar, better just to steer clear.

Here is all of the Balke list: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/the-most-congested-confusing-and-hated-intersections-in-houston-8266928.

Jon Singleton is batting .136.   I would be surprised if he makes the club.

Featured on this season’s ‘Stros tickets: Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Lance McCullers, and Orbit.

MLB returns to The Yard a week from today. I am ready!

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Commentary tweeted this yesterday:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 19h19 hours ago

#TedCruz wants to “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods in the US. Going after the #DonaldTrump vote. #Election2016

Sen. Ted Cruz was responding to yesterday’s bombings in Belgium.   This morning on “Today”, Savannah Guthrie pretty much made Cruz look goofy when asked about “patrol and secure.” He couldn’t even provide a half arse response. Pitiful if you ask me. He had the look of knowing he said something stupid yesterday but would not walk it back.

Cruz also blamed the bombings on the fact that The President and Secretary Hillary Clinton won’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorists.” As if when The President finally utters the words, poof, the terrorists will disappear.

This morning on CNN, Sen. Ted Cruz said that Donald Trump had a bad day yesterday. Let’s see. Trump got 58 delegates and Cruz picked up 40. I am thinking Trump is feeling Ok about his bad day.

Meanwhile, one of Cruz’s top campaign officials has started going after Gov. John Kasich on twitter. Yeah, that will certainly get Kasich out of the race.

Cruz also lamely tried to call out The President yesterday for watching a baseball game with Raul Castro in Cuba. Cruz wanted him to come home or go to Belgium. Now what in the world is The President going to do in Belgium?

On the Dem side, if the race is all but over, how come Sen. Bernie Sanders racked up close to 80% of the vote in Idaho and Utah last night? What are Idaho and Utah Dems telling us?

Who did Sports Illustrated pick to win the World Serious last year?

Did you see the story yesterday in the Chron Business Section about a partnership that purchased a church on Main Street? My niece Rachel is part of that group. Her hubby Andy was quoted in the story yesterday. Here is a part of the story:

A midcentury church on the southern end of downtown has changed hands and its new owners say they plan to preserve it, potentially turning it into an entertainment or special events venue.

The 1961 building at 1720 Main was until recently the home of the downtown congregation of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, a Christian denomination with other sanctuaries in the Houston area. The congregation had dwindled over the years, and the property was put on the market in January.

“We fell in love with the building and the architecture, and we want to protect that and leave it in place,” said Andrew Estes, a partner in the group that recently purchased the 11,000-square-foot building, which sits on about a third of an acre.

Estes said he and his partners have been working on a concept for the space but have not finalized a plan.

Good luck!

BTW: Rachel is Dante’s Mom and that means Andy is the step-dad.

Here is the article that sits behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Preservation-in-store-for-architecturally-6932203.php.

Sports Illustrated picked Cleveland to win the World Serious last season.

Sports Illustrated picked the ‘Stros to win the World Serious this season. Jinx?

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I woke up this morning and turned on the flat screen and watched coverage of another terrorist attack. I was kind of surprised because I kind of thought once they caught one of the suspected terrorists last week in Belgium that the rest of the potential terrorists would run for cover and hide for a while. Boy, I was wrong.

In watching the coverage this morning on NBC, there has been talk about the Belgian authorities being unprepared and caught off guard. I don’t know about that? How does one prepare for a suicide bomber?

I’ll skip today’s MLB question and ‘Stros mention.

Bobby Cervantes of the Chron’s Austin Bureau has an article today in the hard copy and here is the headline:

Texas Take

Achieving battleground status

Dems think Clinton-Castro ticket could turn Texas blue; Republicans say that’s ‘beyond absurd’

I come down on the absurdity side.

1976 was the last time Dems carried Texas in a presidential election. That was Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. That was 40 years ago.

Dems have not won statewide in over 20 years.  What has changed? What am I missing here?

In my opinion, we haven’t been doing much to prepare to win statewide. We didn’t do so hot in 2014, actually took steps backward,  and I haven’t seen much of a rebuilding of the State Dem infrastructure.

Even if Donald Trump is leading the GOP ticket, I don’t see it happening in Texas for Dems.

In Cervantes’ article he quotes Manny Garcia of the Texas Democratic Party here:

“We believe Julián Castro is incredibly well-prepared, wildly beloved and can be the inspirational kind of candidate necessary to get you that handful of points in specific areas of Texas.”

Maybe, maybe not, but that’s not the point.

There would have to be a ton of resources expended by Dems in Texas and I don’t see that happening.

Here is how Cervantes ends his article:

At this point, a handful of state Democrats have told me over the last few months that for Texas become a true toss-up in 2016, Republicans will have to nominate someone who totally changes the standard political calculus. Normally, Democrats can’t win statewide offices in Texas, so the first thing they need to do is suspend normality. Enter Trump. Who else can claim to be as disruptive to the process as Trump?

Here is the article behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas-take/article/A-blue-Texas-with-Clinton-Castro-6926509.php.

Ok, ok, so maybe Trump blows up his own party this November, if Texas goes blue so do another 47 states and we will be red again in 2018 – got it!

I will say this. Trump does have the potential to be disciplined. Did you check out his speech yesterday to AIPAC using the teleprompter?

I’ll be watching Arizona, Idaho, and Utah this evening.

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Not ‘68

The last week or so, some cable news talking heads have compared the protests and scuffles at Donald Trump rallies to 1968.   I guess they are talking about the riot that occurred in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. I don’t think so.

At the 1968 convention, thousands went to Chicago to mostly protest the Vietnam War. They were led by groups like the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the Youth International Party, and Students for a Democratic Society.

They were met in downtown Chicago by thousands of police officers and National Guardsmen and under the direction of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.   Mayor Daley was not in the mood to host protesters. Things got out of hand and the police put it to the protesters live on national TV.

At the Trump rallies, folks are upset at what has come out of Trump’s pie hole.

Big difference if you ask me.

The Brewers visit The Yard next week for two preseason games. Name the three players for the Brewers who were wearing ‘Stros uniforms last season?

Fox news went after Trump this weekend for having an “obsession” with Megyn Kelley. I will say it again. The groups that help create the environment that Trump hijacked – they were aided and abetted by Fox News. They help channel the hate and vitriol that Trump is now spewing. I certainly don’t want anything bad to happen to Megyn Kelley, but Fox News also needs to be pointing their finger at themselves.

Commentary has been watching the CNN series on presidential races. Last night they featured the 1988 Bush versus Dukakis race. Last night we got an explanation on the Dukakis tank ride. I have to hand it to the advance guy for providing the details.

On H-Town recycling, former Council Member Peter Brown wrote a letter to the Chron and here is a part:

The mayor has the opportunity to appoint a tech-savvy committee to recommend a pre-sorting approach, proven successful in many cities, like Denver, which processes more than 60 percent of its waste stream. Houston’s rate is 20 percent at best.

It is an interesting letter that is behind the paywall so go check it out.

I need to find out if I can put bottles in the green bin this Thursday.

Brewers players Chris Carter, Jonathan Villar, and Alex Presley of course wore ‘Stros uniforms last year.

We still have not settled the first base starter issue.

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Just Smells Bad

Last night KTRK-TV aired another Ted Oberg and Trent Seibert piece on the key players involved with the H-Town airport contracts that the Mayor ordered to be re-bid. Here is the piece: http://abc13.com/news/airport-chief-teed-up-with-execs-who-won-piece-of-$15b-deal/1250671/.

In watching the piece, I could not find a smoking gun. It did smell very bad though.

It looks like Ted Oberg has the airport honcho playing a lot of defense and that is never a good sign.  it kind of puzzles me that no one over at the city is stepping up to give the airport honcho some PR guidance.

The Chron has a front page story today on the latest shenanigans from Texas’ Ag Commissioner Sid Miller. How come none of the state’s GOP leaders step up and call him out?

These two ‘Stros each have 70 career dingers. Name the two?

Some are saying it is sexist for Donald Trump to call Megyn Kelley “Crazy Megyn”. I wonder what Crazy Horse would think about this if he were still around?

The following gave me a huge (like Bernie says) chuckle yesterday. From CNN:

Prominent conservatives led by Erick Erickson on Thursday called for a unity ticket and a convention fight to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump, a sign of the growing desperation in the party establishment to find an alternative to the billionaire businessman.

“If that unity ticket is unable to get 1,237 delegates prior to the convention, we recognize that it took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party’s nominee and if it is good enough for Lincoln, that process should be good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots,” Erickson wrote in a statement after conservatives gathered in Washington to discuss ways to thwart Trump’s march to the nomination.

The reason I chuckle is because all these groups have help create the environment that Trump hijacked. He stole their hate and vitriol and took it to another level. Good luck getting it back.

I know it is a little early but last night on CNN, John King detailed on the Magic Wall how Trump could beat Secretary Hillary Clinton. Like I said, it is a little early, but yikes!

Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena each have 70 career dingers of course.

In 13 days, the Brewers visit The Yard to wrap up Spring Training. I am ready.

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