Archive for June, 2016


The Chron E-Board today didn’t take too kindly to the changing of the campaign contributions ordinance over at H-Town City Hall yesterday. I was watching the Mayor yesterday when a reporter asked him about the changes. Here is from the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott:

The revisions, which go into effect Friday, are meant to clarify rules left unclear after the court struck down the city’s fundraising blackout last year and voters extended terms to four years from two years.

Rather than collecting a maximum of $5,000 from individuals and $10,000 from political action committees per two-year election cycle, candidates will be allowed to raise that much during the first two years of their term, and then do so again during the second two years. The contribution cycle would reset if the candidate were forced into a runoff.

The new rules also permit council and controller candidates to repay themselves tens of thousands of dollars more for personal loans they make to their campaigns.

Mayor Sylvester Turner reiterated during a news conference Wednesday that the changes are intended to reconcile the old two-year fundraising cycle with the current four-year cycle, though some viewed the modifications as a boon to incumbents and wealthy candidates.

“That was just an attempt to try to just mirror what has been the case and simply just adapt it to a four-year term,” Turner said.

Here is all of Rebecca’s article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Council-approves-changes-to-campaign-finance-law-8332740.php.

Here is what the Mayor couldn’t sell though. There are now two fundraising cycles during a four-year term. However, there is still only one election to pay for – got it. I don’t know who had input on the changes. Maybe they should have gotten more political campaign folks involved.

Here is from the E-Board:

Anytime politicians start changing the rules about campaign contributions, voters need to pay attention.

That’s why we got suspicious when we heard Houston’s mayor and City Council planned to amend the ordinance regulating campaign funds in local elections. If you thought the longer term limits adopted by Houston voters last year would reduce the influence of money in municipal politics, think again.

Under some common-sense rules adopted more than 20 years ago, candidates for city office could collect no more than $5,000 from any individual campaign contributor during each election cycle. Political action committees could contribute a maximum of $10,000.


In a cynical act of self-preservation, Houston’s mayor and City Council Wednesday adopted new campaign finance rules that essentially double the maximum contributions they can collect from each individual donor and political action committee before any election. Even though voters decided to let them stay in office four years between elections, our city’s elected leadership bestowed upon themselves the right to squeeze donors for campaign checks every two years.

They also boosted the amount of contributors’ money some candidates can funnel to themselves to repay loans to their own campaigns, raising the district councilmember limit to $50,000, a tenfold increase from the current $5,000. Candidates for city controller and at-large council seats will be able to repay $75,000, five times the current $15,000.


If Congress had pulled a stunt like this, it could’ve been called “The Incumbent Protection Act of 2016.”

Two councilmembers – Jack Christie and Amanda Edwards – did the right thing by voting against these changes. But it’s surprising and discouraging this matter sailed through a City Council vote without a peep of discussion.

What Houston’s mayor and City Council have done sends the wrong signal at a time when voters are already deeply scornful about the amount of money flushing through our political system. And it can only worsen the corrosive perception that our elected officials are up for sale.

Here is the  entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Campaign-finances-8333028.php.

Ouch!   Oh, well!

This is my last question about the August of 1999 Chron Sports Section’s All Time ‘Stros Team. Name their five All Time Starting Pitchers?

Commentary thinks Secretary Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified folks ever to run for president. Commentary also thinks President Bill Clinton is one of the most brilliant political figures of the last 30 years or so. But sometimes even the most brilliant make bonehead moves. Check this headline and bits from a Politico story today:

Democrats groan after Bill Clinton meets Loretta Lynch Attorney General Loretta Lynch described her Monday meeting with Bill Clinton aboard a private plane as “primarily social,” but even Democrats are struggling to stomach the optics of the attorney general’s meeting with the former president while his wife is under federal investigation.

Lynch said she and Clinton talked only of grandchildren, golf, and their respective travels, but the fact that the two spoke privately at all was enough to rekindle concerns about a possible conflict of interest.


Lynch had just arrived in Phoenix for a community policing event when Bill Clinton, who was on his way out of the airport, found out the two were in the same place and asked to visit with her. Lynch told reporters Wednesday in Los Angeles that she and the former president did not discuss the ongoing investigation into his wife.

David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, tweeted that he took Lynch and the former president “at their word” that the Justice Department’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server did not come up, “but foolish to create such optics.”

Here is the entire story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bill-clinton-loretta-lynch-224972.

Ouch! Isn’t there someone traveling with the President who should have stepped forward to say, “Mr. President, that’s not a good move.” They just handed the GOP and conspiracy theorists from Fox News a bit more ammo if you ask me.

Do you think the following knocks Sen. Tim Kaine off of Hillary’s Veep list? It certainly does not help. Here is from a Politico story:

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine took advantage of the state’s lax gift laws to receive an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor, according to disclosures he filed. 

Now a leading contender to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Kaine reported more than $160,000 in gifts from 2001 to 2009, mostly for travel to and from political events and conferences, according to disclosures compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. The givers included political supporters, a drug company that soon after bought a facility in Virginia, and Dominion, the state’s biggest provider of electricity.

While legal under Virginia’s unusually permissive ethics rules, the gifts could become attack-ad fodder after similar presents led to corruption charges for Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction the Supreme Court overturned Monday. Republicans could also use the records to portray Kaine as part of the self-dealing establishment in a cycle animated by hostility toward the political class.

Kaine’s staff and other defenders are quick to note that his gifts did not contain any suggestion of a quid pro quo trade for official favors — a major difference from the McDonnell case, and the key difference between an act of friendship and an act of corruption. And Kaine’s long career in Virginia politics, capped by a stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, contained no allegations of corruption.

Here is the entire story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/tim-kaine-virginia-veep-mcdonnell-clinton-224888.

Ouch! That’s a lot of freebies if you ask me. Like I said, not going to help.

The Mayor announced yesterday that more drop-off locations for glass recycling are on the way. Here is the deal. Folks have to get off of their arses, save their glass, load up the vehicle, drive a mile or two or three to a location, and then unload. That takes effort and a lot of folks don’t have the time to make the effort. We will see, though.

The ‘Stros All Time Starting Pitchers named by the Chron Sports Section in 1999 were Larry Dierker, Joe Niekro, J.R. Richard, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott of course.

18-8 was our record in June. Check this tweet:

Brian McTaggart ‏@brianmctaggart 14h14 hours ago

Astros’ 18 win this month are their most in June since 1989

42-37. 9 games out. In the Wild Card hunt. A 10 game homie that starts tomorrow. What else can you ask for?

How about baseball at The Yard on the Fourth of July? You got it!

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SD 13 is Next

First this tweet from yesterday:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 24h24 hours ago

C.O. Bradford tells me he has opted not to run for @RodneyEllis#SD13 seat. That leaves Coleman still deciding. Thompson, Miles & Green in.

Now that Sen. Rodney Ellis isn’t running for the State Senate District 13 position, here are the SD 13 candidates: State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, State Rep. Borris Miles, and former City Controller Ron Green. We have not heard from State Rep. Garnet Coleman.

I have no idea who should be considered the frontrunner. I have not talked to anyone about this contest. I don’t know who has hired consultants. I have not heard of anyone getting any endorsements. I wonder if the Chron E-Board will weigh in and make an endorsement like they did on the County Commissioner vacancy.

I need to do some homework on this race.

In August of 1999, the Chron Sports Section came out with the All Time ‘Stros Team. Who did they name as the three All Time Outfielders?

This tweet came out this morning and the rest is history:

TODAY ‏@TODAYshow 2h2 hours ago

9 years ago today: The iPhone went on sale for the very first time! @MeredithVieira and @NMoralesNBC got a preview

From the NY Times:

Scotty Moore, a guitarist whose terse, bluesy licks on Elvis Presley’s early hits virtually created the rockabilly guitar style and established the guitar as a lead instrument in rock ’n’ roll, died on Tuesday at his home outside Nashville. He was 84.

He was the guitarist on “Hound Dog”, the first ever rock and roll 45 we owned. “Don’t Be Cruel” was on the B-Side of that RCA disc.

Cesar Cedeno, Jose Cruuuuz and Jimmy Wynn of course were named to the ‘Stros All Star Team as the three outfielders in 1999.

We are 17-8 in June and still 10 games out. We wrap up the month this afternoon in Anaheim then come home for a 10 game homie and don’t hit the road until after the All Star break.   I hope that diving catch by George Springer robbing Mike Trout of a base hit in the eighth inning got noticed by the AL All Star Team selectors.

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Governor Greg Abbott, AG Ken Paxton, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick got their arses handed to them yesterday by the Supremes.

The Governor tweeted this:

My statement #SCOTUS decision. We will redouble our efforts to protect innocent life & mothers’ health.

Shut up. The Supremes saw this as a sham.

Here is from the Chron E-Board today:

Wendy Davis may have lost the filibuster battle, but she won the legal war.

The Supreme Court held in a 5-3 decision Monday that key provisions in Texas’ House Bill 2 were unconstitutional restrictions on a woman’s right to an abortion. That 2013 bill was the subject of Davis’ famous 13-hour filibuster and thrust the North Texas state senator into the national limelight – and an ill-fated campaign for governor.

Davis has left the political arena, but she can rest in private life knowing that she was ultimately vindicated in her opposition to the bill’s mandates that doctors providing abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and that abortion facilities meet surgical center requirements.

The bill’s supporters claimed that those two restrictions were necessary to protect women’s health. Unlike in the Texas Legislature, however, the Supreme Court requires advocates to prove that point. As Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court, Texas couldn’t identify a “single instance” when the admitting privileges requirement “would have helped even one woman obtain better treatment.” 

Or as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her concurring opinion, “it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women.”

You can say that again.

The MLB All Star Game voting is ongoing. Here are some tweets from yesterday:

Brian McTaggart ‏@brianmctaggart 18h18 hours ago

Altuve with huge lead over Cano at 2B


Brian McTaggart ‏@brianmctaggart 18h18 hours ago

The only other Astros player receiving votes is Correa, who is fifth among shortstop


Brian McTaggart Retweeted

Ernest Moreno ‏@astromo1977 18h18 hours ago

Ernest Moreno Retweeted Brian McTaggart

An absolute travesty for Springer


Some fans are wondering why George Springer isn’t among the vote leaders for starting outfielder. Commentary could talk about how the ‘Stros could turn out more votes for Springer but I don’t one of my fans to suggest all I want is a gig from the ‘Stros if you know what I mean.

In August of 1999, the Chron Sports Section came out with the All Time ‘Stros Team. Who did they name as the All Time Third Baseman?

I had to make a run to Baytown yesterday because my Dad was getting a new recliner. While waiting for the delivery, my parents and I watched Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaign with Secretary Hillary Clinton. Sen. Warren was on fire.

After the rally, the talking heads were discussing the possibility of Sen. Warren being Hillary’s running mate. I asked my parents what they thought of an all female Dem ticket. My Dad said “we’ve had two men.” My Mom said she liked Sen. Warren.

Over the last couple of days, the talking heads have been focusing on Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Sen. Warren as the leading contenders for the Veep slot. Let me say that I am going to be cool with whomever Hillary picks. That being said, Sen. Kaine said Sunday that he is boring. Boring can be turned into an asset plus the guy has strengths

I definitely see the upside with a Sen. Clinton and Secretary Julian Castro or Secretary Tom Perez ticket.

What is more exciting? A Clinton and Latino ticket or an all female ticket? Let me think about this one. I will say that of the four: Warren, Kaine, Perez and Castro, Warren is the most exciting so far on the campaign trail. Plus, she is the best at getting under Donald Trump’s thin skin if that means anything.

Doug Rader of course was named by the Chron’s Sports Section back in 1999 as the All Time Third Baseman.

Simone Biles will throw out the first pitch at The Yard on the Fourth of July.

Here is from Tags on last night’s game:

Jose Altuve extended his Major League-best on-base streak to a career-high 30 games and Carlos Correa drove home the winning run as the Astros beat the Angels, 4-2, in a comeback victory on Monday night.

Correa, who had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth inning against reliever Fernando Salas, knocked a sacrifice fly to right to bring in the go-ahead run, and steady Astros reliever Will Harris pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the bottom of the frame to seal the win. Houston has now won seven of its last eight games.

A 1-2-3 DP to end the game. Cool!

We are 40-37.

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Abandon GOP Ship?


The Associated Press ‏@AP 3m3 minutes ago

BREAKING: Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion clinic regulation.

Looking forward to hear sore losers Governor Greg Abbott, AG Ken Paxton, and Dan Patrick moan.

Looking forward to hear from Wendy Davis.

Well, we got this:

Houston Chronicle Retweeted

Brian M. Rosenthal ‏@brianmrosenthal 13m13 minutes ago Austin, TX

From Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Ruling is “devastating blow to the protection of the health and safety of women in Texas”

Thanks for looking after women, pal!

Nice way to start the week.

Today is about GOPer across the country either running from Donald Trump or coming out in opposition to Trump. To date, Commentary has not seen a single prominent Democrat oppose or abandon Secretary Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I wonder if the GOP ship has enough lifeboats?

Trump has a 70% unfavorable rating and a poll released yesterday says 64% think he is unqualified to be president. That’s why Trump will be doing nothing but 100% attacks on Hillary.

Check this tweet:

NYT Politics ‏@nytpolitics 2h2 hours ago

Trump says Cruz and Kasich should not expect to address the G.O.P. convention if they continue to withhold support

This headline from Politico today:

Hardly anybody wants to speak at Trump’s convention

POLITICO reached out to more than 50 prominent Republicans. Few said they plan to attend the convention in Cleveland, let alone speak.

And parts of the story:

“I am not attending,” said South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is overseeing the high-profile congressional Republican investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of the attacks on Benghazi. Gowdy, who said he was taking his family to the beach instead, hasn’t gone to conventions in the past and didn’t plan to now. “I’m not,” said South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, a former two-term governor. “But hope you have a good Thursday!” “Don’t know,” said Sean Duffy, a reality TV star-turned-Wisconsin congressman, “I haven’t thought about it.” Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo: “I won’t be there.”


New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte “is not attending the convention,” said a spokeswoman. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner “is not attending the convention,” his office said. A spokesman for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham: “He announced back in May he’s not attending.” For South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: “The governor has not been asked to speak at the convention and has no plans to.” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn: “There are no plans for him to speak.”

Here is the entire article:  http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/hardly-anybody-wants-to-speak-at-trumps-convention-224815.

Commentary is figuring former Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will probably speak in Cleveland. Unless Sen. Ted Cruz is ready to bow before Trump, he won’t.

In August of 1999, the Chron Sports Section came out with the All Time ‘Stros Team. Who did they name as the All Time Team Skipper?

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George Will is leaving the GOP because of Trump. This is what George Will told fellow GOPers recently: “Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House.”

And the beat goes on. From Reuters:

Henry Paulson, a Republican who was U.S. Treasury secretary during the 2008 financial meltdown, on Friday called a Donald Trump presidency “unthinkable” and said he will vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.


Brent Scowcroft, a national security adviser to two Republican presidents, endorsed Clinton on Wednesday, and Richard Armitage, a deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush, said last week he would support her.

Also from Politico:

The lonely lives of Latinos for Trump 

Lifelong friends unfriend them on Facebook. Siblings and parents refuse to talk politics. Their kids are home from college stoked about the socialist Bernie Sanders. 

Sure, their candidate may love them and be three weeks away from becoming the GOP presidential nominee. But it still isn’t easy being a Latino for Donald Trump.

Here is the entire Poltico story on the Lonely Boys, err Latinos: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-hispanic-voters-224789.

Trump is also having a hard time attracting good help. Top GOP talent don’t want to have anything to do with the fella. Here is from an AP story:

Donald Trump has finally acknowledged that to best compete against Hillary Clinton he needs more than the bare-bones campaign team that led him to primary success. But many of the most experienced Republican political advisers aren’t willing to work for him.

From Texas to New Hampshire, well-respected members of the Republican Party’s professional class say they cannot look past their deep personal and professional reservations about the presumptive presidential nominee.

While there are exceptions, many strategists who best understand the mechanics of presidential politics fear that taking a Trump paycheck might stain their resumes, spook other clients and even cause problems at home. They also are reluctant to devote months to a divisive candidate whose campaign has been plagued by infighting and disorganization.

“Right now I feel no obligation to lift a finger to help Donald Trump,” said Brent Swander, an Ohio-based operative who has coordinated nationwide logistics for Republican presidential campaigns dating to George W. Bush.

“Everything that we’re taught as children — not to bully, not to demean, to treat others with respect — everything we’re taught as children is the exact opposite of what the Republican nominee is doing. How do you work for somebody like that? What would I tell my family?” Swander said.

Here is the entire AP story: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f873962acf334563a1ec585cab0766c4/need-help-trump-finds-few-willing-work-him.

Bill Virdon of course was named All Time ‘Stros Skipper by the Chron Sports Section in 1999 of course.

Hey, we took the series in KC and are two games above .500. We play three in Anaheim to close out the month and right now we are in the thick of the AL Wild Card hunt. Not bad at all.

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Just Vote

Well, just vote!   If Democratic Latino leaders can’t get Latinos to the polls this year with Donald Trump and the rejection of DAPA stewing in the Latino community, you have to wonder if we will ever vote. This is the best ammo Latino Dems have had ever to get Latinos to the polls.

Locally, this should be the year Latinos show up to vote and be the difference in November. Check the following:

JORGE RAMOS ‏@jorgeramosnews 46m46 minutes ago

I’m sensing a lot of sadness and frustration in the Hispanic community. This will become a major issue for the 2016 election.


Activist Cristina Jimenez, director of United We Dream: “Attacks on our community are nothing new. We need to rise up not only to protect DAPA [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents] and DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], but to end deportations. We are outraged that conservative Justices on the Supreme Court would allow a continued delay initiated by hateful Republican politicians and judges who have played with the lives of 5 million undocumented people who qualify for relief….We’re calling on registered voters to take to the polls in November and vote for candidates who will support DAPA and DACA while this case is ongoing, because a new president could either protect and build on these programs, or take them away completely.”


Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino: “Time and time again, Latinos and immigrants have showed resilience as a community, and now more than ever, it is important that we continue to show our resilience and power at the ballot box. These executive actions were deeply rooted in the same values that all Americans hold true – family and unity. Though today’s outcome does not mirror these values, we know that the future of immigration reform will no longer be decided by politics or by the courts. Instead, it will be decided by the more than 1.6 million Latino voters directly impacted by today’s decision.”

Let’s see if the Dems can take full advantage in an environment that clearly works in their favor.

Jose Altuve is sitting at 12 dingers for the year. How many did he have last season?

Over at the City of H-Town, the city campaign contribution rules may be changed a bit. Yesterday, a City Council committee looked at proposed changes being offered up by the administration.

Here is how the Chron’s Rebecca Elliott is characterizing the proposed changes:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 23m23 minutes ago

Incumbents and wealthy candidates would get boost under proposed changes to Houston’s campaign finance law: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/City-may-double-contribution-limits-to-go-with-8322130.php?t=4627f5d4f1438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium …

Here is from the Rebecca’s article:

The looser regulations would allow candidates to raise twice as much from individuals and political action committees ahead of the general election, by splitting the four-year term into two two-year contribution cycles. That means that rather than collecting a maximum of $5,000 from individuals and $10,000 from political action committees per election, office seekers would be able to raise that amount during the first two years of their term, and then do so again during the second two years. The cycle would reset again if a candidate were forced into a runoff.

Mayor Sylvester Turner framed the proposed changes as an effort to maintain continuity with the city’s old two-year election cycle, though some viewed them as a way for incumbents to boost their financial advantage.

With the changes, Turner said, “any person can’t give any more in four years than they would have been able to give under two two-year terms.”

The proposed new rules – which would go into effect July 1 if approved by the council next week – also would permit council and controller candidates to reimburse themselves tens of thousands of dollars more for personal loans.

District council members like Greg Travis, who loaned his campaign $75,000 last year and advocated for the change, would be able to recoup $50,000 under the new rules, instead of $5,000. Controller and at-large council candidates would be able to recover $75,000, up from $15,000. The $75,000 personal reimbursement ceiling for mayoral candidates would remain the same.

Several conservative council members Thursday urged the city to abandon contribution limits altogether, as is done in statewide races.

“It seems to me it would be a lot simpler if we just went and we followed the state code,” Councilman Mike Knox said. “This is a very convoluted and complicated process we’re talking about here, and at the end of the day it is limiting free speech basically.”

Tracy Calabrese, senior assistant city attorney, said Houston’s contribution limits are intended to reduce corruption.

Councilman Dave Martin defended the contribution limits.

“The biggest criticism that I think people give us as a body is when they draw a correlation between a vote that we place to a contribution that we receive,” Martin said, adding that the limits help to “negate that a little bit.”

We have had limits on contributions since the 1990s and things have worked out A-OK. Commentary has been doing campaigns since the limits first went into effect and I have never really heard any complaints about them. In my opinion, we have a pretty good system and like all systems, they have to be altered on occasion. Limits are good.


Local fundraiser James Cardona criticized the changes as “incumbent protection”.

“It’s not a win for the city in elections,” Cardona said. “Now, you have incumbents getting double (maximum contributions) going into an election. … How’s the little guy going to fight that off?”

Oh, well. Of course, fundraisers who have current incumbents as clients probably would disagree.

Here is all of Rebecca’s article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/City-may-double-contribution-limits-to-go-with-8322130.php.

Jose Altuve had 15 dingers last season of course.

We are in second place in the AL West and ten behind the Rangers. That’s OK for now. At least we are in the Wild Card hunt.

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Occupy Congress


This will help Dems with Latino voters this year. Check this tweet:

The Associated Press ‏@AP 2m2 minutes ago

Supreme Court blocks President Obama’s immigration plan that sought to shield millions living in US illegally.

The GOP State AGs think they won today. Wait until November.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Dems’ sit-in yesterday a “publicity stunt.” It was and it worked. House Dems got worldwide publicity yesterday.   Dems will probably not get a vote but they are making the GOP look terribly bad on the gun issue.

Dems are winning this argument with the public.   Yesterday’s sit-in was a great shift in tactics. They need to keep this up. The public is demanding more than sixty seconds of silence after a mass shooting. Keep it up Dems! Occupy Congress!

Commentary is not going shed any crocodile tears over GOP Latino ad man Lionel Sosa’s Op-Ed lamenting the fact that his GOP party has let him. Here is how his piece ends:

That’s all gone.

Instead, of “Tear down this wall,” the party promotes a new and bigger wall. A thousand points of light has been replaced by a thousand points of anger. In place of compassionate conservatism, our nominee promotes callousness, extremism and racism. And instead of a unifier, the party now cheers the ultimate “us against them” proponent: Divisiveness Incarnate.

So, if my party winds up electing Donald Trump, I’ll have to bid farewell, hoping that one day soon, it comes to its senses. Here’s my thinking. This madness could be temporary because our nominee is not really a Republican. Nor a real conservative. He’s just a shark, a self-promoter out to see how far his out-of-control ego can take him.

Here’s my quandary: If my party’s left me, where do I go? What should I do when there isn’t a horse in the race that stands for the core values of the party that I loved? I may just go for the devil we know, instead of the lunatic we don’t know. In the words of Paul Ryan, “I can’t defend the indefensible.”

Here is all of Sosa’s piece that is in today’s Chron: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Sosa-My-quandary-If-my-party-s-left-me-where-8319482.php.

Sosa first got his taste of GOP politics back in 1978 when his firm handled U.S. Sen. John Tower’s reelection campaign against Cong. Bob Krueger. Commentary worked for Bob’s campaign.

Tower’s Latino slogan that year was “con nosotros” – with us. I don’t think “con nosotros” with Latinos works with the GOP these days if you ask me.

The ‘Stros are 37-36. What is our record since May 1?

The Chron E-Board takes on the city pension issue today – again. Here is a good line are on where we are:

An official with the police pension fund testified that officers worried about their retirement benefits feel like they have bulls eyes on their backs. Following that same ballistic rhetoric, so do Houston taxpayers.

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Pension-tension-8319564.php.

So now H-Town has a University of Houston Law Center and a Houston College of Law. Thanks for clearing things up.

This fella is so full of himself. Here is from the internet:

“I never said I hated the Senate,” (Sen. Marco) Rubio said when returning to work in April. “I enjoy being a senator, but I really believed the best place for me to contribute was as a president.”

How about this tweet:

Jake Kaplan ‏@jakemkaplan 58m58 minutes ago

The Astros (37-36) are in 2nd place for the first time since April 7, the third day of their season. The Mariners’ loss drops them to 36-36.

The ‘Stros are 30-19 since May 1 of course.

The team has won five in a row. We are ten games behind. We have the day off then head to KC for three. Not bad at all!

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Remember when Commentary put out yesterday that there might be three candidates on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s short list for VP. Now there may be six. Check this from an online story:

Clinton has not yet conducted formal interviews, but has devoted hours studying the records and backgrounds of several Democrats on a list that includes Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas. 

But those three should not be seen as absolute finalists, several Democrats said, only as active contenders. The roster also may include Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Xavier Beccera of California.

Now check this from the front page of today’s Chron:

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is on the short list of potential running mates for Hillary Clinton and has been asked by her campaign to provide personal information.

Citing Democratic sources, the Associated Press reported that in addition to Castro, a pared-down list the Clinton campaign is considering includes Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and that others also may yet be in the running.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Former-San-Antonio-mayor-said-to-be-on-Clinton-s-8316621.php.

A Castro selection would no doubt be huge for Harris County Democrats.   He is a fellow Texas Democrat and he has a number of friends and political relationships in H-Town.   Local Dems would get excited about his candidacy.

Local Latinos also would very well get excited having Castro on the ticket. That combined with 89% of Latinos having a negative view of Donald Trump, well you get the picture. The Latino voter turnout potential – WOW! You know what, though. I am just going to wait until Hillary announces her selection. I certainly don’t want to get ahead of myself.  Imagine, though.

Care to guess how the ‘Stros were sitting after 72 games last season?

I was hoping this fella would just go away. Check this tweet:

Fox News ‏@FoxNews 32m32 minutes ago

Breaking News: Marco Rubio will run for re-election in the Senate, Fox News confirms.

I really just don’t see the following happening. It is wishful thinking.  I am talking about a delegate revolt at the GOP convention. Here is from Politico:

They’re leaderless, cash-poor and facing an impossibly tight deadline. But Republican activists clamoring to block Donald Trump from the GOP nomination say they’re suddenly in the midst of a Dump-Trump bump. 

News of the mogul’s dismal fundraising and skeletal campaign staff has energized the ragtag band of delegates looking to unseat Trump as the party’s nominee at next month’s national convention. A handful of Republican Party insiders, long dismissive of attempts to block Trump, are now more convinced that there will be a substantive effort to stop him. 

“It’s implausible but not impossible given the unrest,” said Randy Evans, a Republican National Committeeman from Georgia. 

Here is the entire story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-delegate-revolt-224634.

Nope.  The movement needs some grown-ups involved.

And this tweet:

Fox News ‏@FoxNews 3m3 minutes ago

.@realDonaldTrump on his campaign funds: “We want to keep it lean. I’m not looking to spend all this money.”

Now Trump knows he can’t raise it.

Happy Birthday today to Marisol Valero!

How about this:

Brian McTaggart Retweeted

ESPN Stats & Info ‏@ESPNStatsInfo 1h1 hour ago

Carlos Correa is 21 and he has 4 career walk-off hits…Derek Jeter had 7 career walk-off hits.

Last season, the ‘Stros were 41-31 after 72 games. This season we are 36-36.

We are back to .500 – finally.

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Your Uptown Mess

Commentary tries to avoid the Uptown area. Traffic is a mess. So what they do over there is not a priority of mine. Here is a blurb from the Chron:

A group of uptown business and property owners called on the city to stop a planned bus project and halt permitting of new high-rise construction at a news conference in the Galleria area Monday morning. 

The group objects to a 40-story high-rise at the corner of San Felipe and Post Oak and a bus project that would create two bus-only lanes on Post Oak. It says the projects would hurt business in the Galleria area. 

Preliminary construction on the bus project is scheduled to begin within days, the group said. 

Wayne Dolcefino, a consultant hired by the local property owners, said that the bus project is not a true effort to solve Galleria congestion. District G Councilman Greg Travis also joined group members at the press conference Monday. 

Before more high-rise construction permits are allocated, the uptown group wants the city to complete a new, independent study of traffic congestion in the area.

I don’t even know why you need a study when folks already know it is congested out there.

Then I got this email:



We need your help to SAVE UPTOWN.  Unelected bureaucrats want to destroy the neighborhood that we all love.  We all know what three years of construction will do to our business. We all know what that will do to traffic. Our customers will avoid the Galleria area.  

For what?  

Tearing up Post Oak boulevard for two lanes that only Metro buses will be able to use.  

To make room for these buses, turn lanes on Post Oak at Westheimer and San Felipe will be eliminated.  

The Uptown management district broke its promise to be transparent. Secret Meetings. Conflicts of Interests.  

There is something wrong when Uptown officials pushing the project will make millions on the real estate deals.  

In just a few weeks, Uptown will start removing trees and destroying medians, even though Uptown doesn’t even own all the property they need for the project. The City of Houston will have to take property because a lot of people refuse to sell right of way.  

The Harris County District Attorney is investigating possible criminal violations of transparency laws, but that doesn’t seem to faze Uptown. Mayor Turner should stop the project, but he’s been silent too.  

So if we want to stop this colossal waste of money and a devastating blow to the neighborhood we love we may have to do it ourselves.  

It is true that a lawsuit against Metro failed, but we are finalizing a new legal challenge to Uptown. We don’t want to give them too many clues, but we believe these real estate deals can be voided by a judge. A lawsuit will allow us to uncover the secret deals. Who is getting rich while our business disappears?   

If you live in Uptown, work in Uptown, or own a business in Uptown this is your fight.  

Donate to www.saveuptown.com. Your contributions will be used in the battle ahead.  

Russell Masraff

Well, I don’t live or work there or own a business there so it is not my fight. What a mess.



Who leads the MLB in pitching losses this season?

Donald Trump was on the “Today” show this morning and he called out the GOP for not ponying up the dough to his campaign. He didn’t go after Secretary Hillary Clinton which tells me his mind is on raising money for his campaign. Here is from a Politico story:

“We have a party that, I mean I’m having more difficulty frankly with some of the people in the party than I am with the Democrats. Because they just don’t want to come on. They will probably eventually come on. Honestly, if they don’t it’s just fine. I can win it either way,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” in another Tuesday telephone interview. “I’ve raised a lot of money, but you also have to have some help from the party.”

Meanwhile, there is no internal strife with Dems.  Here is from an AP story on potential running mates for Hillary:

Hillary Clinton’s search for a running mate is moving into a more intense phase, according to several Democrats, as aides contact a pared-down pool of candidates to ask for reams of personal information and set up interviews with the presumptive Democratic nominee’s vetting team.

Those on the shortlist include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of progressives who has emerged as a blistering critic of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a well-liked lawmaker from an important general election battleground state; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, a rising star in the Democratic Party.

I am having a hard time believing that it is down to three candidates. We will see, I guess.

Dallas Keuchel and Chris Archer of the Rays each have nine losses to lead MLB.

The best part of last night at The Yard other than winning and great conversation with My Best Friend was watching Jose Altuve crush one off the wall just a shade off deep, deep center. Wow!

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The Chron E-Board endorsed Sen. Rodney Ellis for Commissioners Court yesterday over Interim Commissioner Gene Locke. I don’t have a problem with that. The E-Board in their pro Rodney take called Gene an insider and kind of held that against him.   I got news for the E-Board. Both Gene and Rodney are what I would call the ultimate insiders and I don’t even need to ‘splain that and I don’t think anyone would argue with me on this.

A couple or so weeks ago an individual I respect told me that a Rodney supporter was trying to make the case for Rodney by labeling Gene as an insider – DUH! Really? Oh, well.

By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an insider.

Here is part of the Chron’s take:

The only other challenger who comes close is Locke, a former Houston city attorney who was appointed to the position by County Judge Ed Emmett. Locke has worked as an attorney for the county and already has a deep knowledge of how county government functions and all the personalities at play. However, this insider perspective means that he’d be unlikely to shake up the status quo of the board’s under-the-radar activities. For example, when he met with the Chronicle editorial board, Locke rejected claims that responsibility for recent flooding rests with the Harris County Flood Control District. Does this show that Locke is too close to county government to see the big picture?

By going with Ellis, the chairs would appoint someone willing to harness the budget, authority and bully pulpit of the position to aggressively push an agenda for criminal justice reform and all-around responsiveness in county government. A state senator since 1990 and a former city councilman, Ellis has demonstrated himself capable of leveraging political prowess, outsider expertise and media attention to successfully push a Democratic agenda in a state controlled by Republicans. Unlike many other longtime politicos, his years in elected office have done more to sharpen his skills than dull his dedication. Ellis has already drawn the ire of longtime Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack in a fight over incarceration rates – a healthy disagreement on a board that often seems all too willing to keep its activities out of public light.

Choosing Ellis may lose Democrats some power in the state Senate, but it will finally give them some real strength on Commissioners Court, even if the process itself isn’t particularly democratic.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/For-Commissioners-Court-8311101.php.

I think I was the only fella on twitter who didn’t tweet something after the Cavs won last night. I was too busy watching the celebrating on the flat screen and checking out all the  tweets on twitter.

Who leads MLB in stolen bases this morning?

The Trib has a piece on the Laredo banker making the case for NAFTA to Donald Trump at a fundraiser in San Antonio this past Friday. Hey, if U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan can’t change Trump’s evil ways, you think a border banker can? Here is from the Trib:

At a private fundraiser in San Antonio, one of the hosts — Laredo banker Dennis Nixon — prodded Trump on immigration and trade while introducing the real estate mogul, who wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and dismantle some trade agreements.

“Mr. Trump, we must support trade, but I agree we need fair trade,” Nixon said, according to an audio recording of the event obtained by the Texas Tribune. “And here in South Texas, NAFTA meets the definition,” Nixon added, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump has railed against throughout his campaign. 

In the lead-up to the fundraiser, much attention centered on Nixon, the CEO of IBC Bank and a longtime proponent of policies that seem to put him at odds with Trump. Hours before the event, a letter surfaced in which an IBC bank executive argued that Nixon has always stood up to fellow Republicans when he disagrees with them and that he would not treat Trump any differently. 

At the fundraiser, Nixon agreed with Trump that the U.S. immigration is “broken” and that it needs to be fixed to “spur America’s need for workers.” But he seemed to differ with Trump on where the federal government’s priorities should be in fixing it. 

“Mr. Trump, it might surprise you to learn that the federal government already spends more on border security than all of the federal law enforcement combined,” Nixon said. “I’ll repeat that: more than all of the federal law enforcement combined.”

Nixon added: “I think that number alone should cause someone to rethink our strategy. As it’s often said, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.”

As he took the stage, Trump seemed to acknowledge Nixon’s remarks while thanking Nixon and another host of the fundraiser, San Antonio developer Gene Powell.

“He worked on that,” Trump said of Nixon and his speech. “It wasn’t like a little quickie. He worked on that. That’s why he’s such a success.”

Attendees confirmed that Nixon — and perhaps others — sought to use the event to get Trump to see their side of some of the issues he has talked about on the campaign trail. 

“These were pro-NAFTA people that were putting on the event for him,” said George Rodriguez, a local Tea Party activist. “There was definitely an effort to try to get him to change his strong stance on NAFTA and immigration.” 

If Nixon’s remarks had any impact on Trump, he was not showing it hours later at a rally in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb. He attacked Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, for signing NAFTA into law, calling it “maybe the worst economic development transaction ever signed in the history of our country.”

Here is the entire Trib piece:


Trump got this far trashing NAFTA.  I don’t think he is going to shift his position.

I don’t think anyone is going to miss the Donald Trump campaign manager who just got fired.

Jonathan Villar who played for the ‘Stros last season and is now with the Brewers leads MLB with 25 stolen bases of course.  Villar is also batting .297.  If he were still a ‘Stro, his .297 batting average would be the second highest on the team.

We won another series and are two games under .500 but are now eleven out. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the Angels are in for three.

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It is official! The Chron E-Board will not be endorsing Donald Trump. I repeat!   The Chron E-Board will not be endorsing Donald Trump. Not after what they said in their “Dear Mr. Trump” take this morning. Here are parts:

It’s unfortunate that on your quick cash-and-carry campaign swing today you won’t get to see much of that city, soon to be the nation’s third-largest – unfortunate because, with due respect to you, Houston represents values and principles that are strikingly antithetical to the divisive, intolerant positions you have loudly and proudly espoused since announcing your candidacy a year ago. This great city could not function if we allowed the hateful attitudes the world is coming to identify as Trumpism to prevail. Neither can this country. Nativist fear, anger, bellicosity – Trumpism, in other words – is not America.



Houston today is America tomorrow, and the richness, the roiling energy and, yes, the prosperity of an immigrant-welcoming city are what this nation can anticipate if it follows Houston’s lead, not yours. Why in the world would Houston – or any other American city – choose to rely on the rancor and divisiveness that your campaign promotes?



Our concern about you – again, with due respect – is that you don’t share those values of openness, tolerance and good will.


Here is the entire “Dear Mr. Trump” letter: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Dear-Mr-Trump-8266615.php.

There is no way the E-Board can walk this back when it comes time to make their endorsement later on this year. It would not surprise me if Trump rips the Chron today. It also would not surprise me if Trump puts the Chron on their media blacklist.

Check this line from Texas Monthly’s Erica Grieder yesterday: “Trump has, after all, commandeered national politics for an entire year.”


We host Cincy this weekend. Here is an easy one. Our first game ever against Cincy was on May 23, 1962 when we were the Colt 45s and hosted them at Colt Stadium and won 2-0. Name the future Hall of Fame great who was in the lineup for Cincy that evening?

So this tweet came out yesterday:

Delete Evans Account Retweeted

Jay Kumar Aiyer ‏@profJKAiyer 15m15 minutes ago Houston, TX

Why paraphrase Trump in ur profile @BillKingForHou? “Make Houston Great Again.” really? @evan7257 @NmHorwitz @KrisBanks

So from now on we can never make anything great again? Awwww! All because of Donald Trump? Awwww!

We can’t make the ‘Stros great again!

We can’t make NBC Thursday Night TV great again!

Awwww! All because of Donald Trump?

Of course, Bill responded with this tweet:

In reply to Jay Kumar Aiyer

Bill King ‏@BillKingForHou 60m60 minutes ago

@profJKAiyer @evan7257 @NmHorwitz @KrisBanks Actually I used it first.

Pay attention. Bill was talking about making H-Town great again before Trump got into the race.

My pal Jacob Monty had an Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron hitting Secretary Hillary Clinton on immigration issues. Jacob says Hillary basically can’t be trusted by Latinos on immigration. Jacob says Donald Trump is the better candidate to get some sort of immigration reforms adopted by congress. I don’t know about that. In 2011, Jacob also penned an Op-Ed that appeared in the Chron that hit the President for letting Latinos down on immigration policies. Oh, well.

Dave Wilson received a public reprimand by the HCC Board of Trustees on a 6 to 1 vote with 2 abstentions. Trustees Neeta Sane and Dr. John Hansen were the abstentions.

Hall of Fame great Frank Robinson of course was in right field for Cincy in our first ever game against the Reds.

It is going to be a challenge this afternoon. I am going to the game with Dante and I usually have to drive through River Oaks to pick him up. I have to find another route with all the security that will be in the area because of the Trump fundraiser.

It is Star Wars Night tonight at The Yard. 10,000 ‘Stros gym bags will be distributed. 10,000 ‘Stros pairs of socks will be handed out on Sunday. May the force be with the ‘Stros this weekend.


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