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Archive for June, 2016

Check this tweet from yesterday:

Kris Banks ‏@KrisBanks 16h16 hours ago

Latino Council Member condemns Gene Locke for working against Hispanics on redistricting case

Kris is referring to the Pasadena redistricting issue where Latinos got the shaft. Pasadena Council Member Cody Wheeler sent out a letter blasting Gene.   I don’t have a problem with that but I hope Kris and others have gotten a commitment from Sen. Rodney Ellis that he will stand with Latinos in the upcoming 2021 redistricting effort involving Commissioners Court. Latinos sure didn’t get any help from Commissioners in the 2011 fight involving Precinct 2.

Meanwhile, Gene responded to Rodney claiming victory yesterday by saying “My private conversations with Precinct Chairs tell a different story.”

I ain’t over ‘til it’s over!

Name the ‘Stro pitcher who has given up the most dingers this season?

In 2012 general election, in Harris County, 1,204,167 voters out of 1,942,566 registered voters turned out to vote. That is a 61.99% turnout.   The President won 587,044 votes or 49.39% and Mitt Romney got 586,073 or 49.31%.

As of last month, there were 2,115,482 registered voters in Harris County. That’s 172,916 more registered voters than four years ago.   If we have the same percentage of turnout this November as we had four years ago, 1,311,387 voters will cast votes or 107,220 more than in 2012. Just thinking. Just thinking of the possibilities.

H-Town At-Large Council Member Mike Knox fired staffer Trebor Gordon.   I guess CM Knox was tired of folks showing up at public session and letting him have it. I also guess the sensitivity training wasn’t working. Oh, well.

Check this from a Politico story:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told POLITICO on Tuesday, “I’m not going to be commenting on the presidential candidates today” — a statement that comes after recent condemnations of Trump’s attack on an American judge over his Mexican heritage and his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. 

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn on Tuesday went a step further than McConnell, telling POLITICO he will no longer talk about Trump until after Nov. 8. 

Instead, they will spend their time cracking on Secretary Hillary Clinton. These fellas are what I call political cowards and spineless weenies.

Trump is coming to The Woodlands for a rally tomorrow evening. So I tweeted this yesterday:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 4m4 minutes ago

Montgomery County in 2012. Romney 137,969 79.7%, @POTUS 32,920 19.02%. #Battleground #Election2016 #RunningUpTheScore

I guess he is doing this knowing that CNN and Fox News will probably cover him live.

Mike Fiers of course has given up 13 dingers to lead the team.

It looks like Jose Altuve will be voted to start for the AL in the MLB All Star Classic. The ‘Stros Skipper is talking up three other players: reliever Will Harris, starting pitcher Doug Fister, and George Springer. With a .59 ERA, I can see Harris making the team. Fister is 7-3 with a 3.26 ERA. Today, I can’t see it happening for Fister, but he has another four starts before the Classic so who knows. Springer is batting .266 with 15 dingers and 40 RBIs, if he keeps making fielding plays like the one last night, he could make the team.

We had a 4-5 roadie but still 9 ½ down. We host Cincy this weekend.

 

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Epic Takedown

BREAKING NEWS!!

Check these latest tweets:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 1h1 hour ago

With endorsement of > 50% of precinct chairs, looks like @RodneyEllis is likely the next Precinct 1 commissioner.

 

Kris Banks ‏@KrisBanks 17m17 minutes ago Houston, TX

Game over. @RodneyEllis has the votes to win outright next week #hounews http://ellisforcommissioner.com/2016/06/sixty-five-precinct-one-precinct-chairs-endorse-rodney-ellis-for-commissioner/ …

 

I don’t know if the game is over. The problem I have with this is that the names are now public and it gives the incumbent Commissioner Gene Locke the opportunity to win them over via the incumbency.   Plus, folks can always change their minds so I don’t know if victory laps are in order.

OK, who leads the ‘Stros in RBIs this morning?

Some in the GOP criticize the President for refusing to use the term “radical Islam” when talking about ISIL. Like it is some sort of abracadabra phrase that is going to make ISIL go away.   Donald Trump is making this issue a big part of his campaign against Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday, the President decided enough is enough and on live national TV with a four-star Marine general standing beside him tore a new one into Trump. It was absolutely epic. You need to check it out on CNN or wherever you can find it.  Here are parts:

And let me make a final point.  For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase “radical Islam.”  That’s the key, they tell us — we can’t beat ISIL unless we call them “radical Islamists.”  What exactly would using this label accomplish?  What exactly would it change?  Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans?  Would it bring in more allies?  Is there a military strategy that is served by this?  The answer is none of the above.  Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.  This is a political distraction.  Since before I was President, I’ve been clear about how extremist groups have perverted Islam to justify terrorism.  As President, I have repeatedly called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of one of the world’s great religions.

There has not been a moment in my seven and a half years as President where we have not been able to pursue a strategy because we didn’t use the label “radical Islam.”  Not once has an advisor of mine said, man, if we really use that phrase, we’re going to turn this whole thing around.  Not once.  So if someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we’re fighting, if there’s anyone out there who thinks we’re confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists who we’ve taken off the battlefield.

If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people around the country and around the world who are working to defeat ISIL aren’t taking the fight seriously, that would come as a surprise to those who have spent these last seven and a half years dismantling al Qaeda in the FATA, for example — including the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk and the Special Forces that I ordered to get bin Laden and are now on the ground in Iraq and in Syria.  They know full well who the enemy is.  So do the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spend countless hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans, including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows.  They know who the nature of the enemy is.

So there’s no magic to the phrase “radical Islam.”  It’s a political talking point; it’s not a strategy.  And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism.  Groups like ISIL and al Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America, or between Islam and the West.  They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions.  They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billion-plus people; that they speak for Islam.  That’s their propaganda.  That’s how they recruit.  And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion — then we’re doing the terrorists’ work for them.

Now, up until this point, this argument about labels has mostly just been partisan rhetoric.  And, sadly, we’ve all become accustomed to that kind of partisanship, even when it involves the fight against these extremist groups.  And that kind of yapping has not prevented folks across government from doing their jobs, from sacrificing and working really hard to protect the American people. 

But we are now seeing how dangerous this kind of mindset and this kind of thinking can be.  We’re starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we’re fighting, where this can lead us.  We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States to bar all Muslims from emigrating to America.  We hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests that entire religious communities are complicit in violence.  Where does this stop?  The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer — they were all U.S. citizens. 

Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently?  Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance?  Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith?  We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign.  Do Republican officials actually agree with this?

Here is the entire statement from the President: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/14/remarks-president-after-counter-isil-meeting.

A lot of GOP officials actually don’t agree with Trump. The U.S. House Speaker and the GOP Senate Majority Leader both ran for cover when asked about Trump’s latest remarks. Same for a number of leading GOP U.S. Senators.

Who is advising Trump? Or is he just ignoring his advisors and going rogue? The latest Bloomberg poll has him behind Hillary by 12 points – 49 to 37. Is that going to serve as a wake-up call or is he just going to double down on the President and Hillary?

By his own doing, he is starting to make the GOP Convention in Cleveland a lot more interesting. Here is a front page story from today’s Chron on a possible revolt by delegates. Here is how it starts:

Growing conservative unease with Donald Trump’s outspoken pronouncements on race and a host of other hot-button issues is giving life to a fledgling movement to throw open the Republican convention to rein in the presumptive nominee or find an alternative general election candidate.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/us/article/Cruz-backers-among-GOP-activists-looking-for-8146033.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Bill King was the only candidate to talk about this last year. Here is from a Mike Morris article also on the front page of the Chron:

Years of Houston’s cracked, clogged or flooded sewer pipes belching raw waste into residents’ yards and city streets have City Hall facing a federal decree that sources say could force the city to invest $5 billion in upgrades.

Here is the entire Morris article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Massive-city-sewer-struggles-will-mean-higher-8137024.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Oh, well.

It looks like the HCC Trustees are going to censure one of their own – Dave Wilson. Here is from the Chron:

HCC Board Chair Adriana Tamez, who is leading the effort to censure Wilson, said the move “has been a long time coming.”

Wilson asked for it if you ask me.

It looks like UH and the Judge Roy Hofheinz family worked everything out. Again, go check out your Chron for the details.

Jose Altuve and George Springer each have 38 RBIs to lead the team of course.

This is a good read on the A’s Pride Night in Oakland last night: http://m.athletics.mlb.com/news/article/184035318/as-pride-night-takes-on-greater-significance.

It was a good win last night in San Luis. We are 7-6 in June and 31-35 overall and still 9 ½ out.

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The Days After

Commentary will just say this. On the day after Orlando we did not hear about Dem leaders across the country going into pause mode or doing the cringe upon hearing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s response. We certainly can’t say that about GOP leaders across the country after Donald Trump’s response. That says a ton if you ask me.

Remember when Commentary said this yesterday about Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Sunday tweet:

Here is the deal. A ton of folks think he falls squarely in the hater category. So when yesterday’s tweet went out right after the shooting, folks just thought Dan Patrick was being Dan Patrick and just hating again so they jumped to a normal conclusion.

Here is what the Trib’s Ross Ramsey said on Patrick’s tweet:

Patrick is a prominent and easy target, and he can only blame himself. His problem isn’t his intent; his problem is that his other actions of late made his critics’ worst suspicions plausible.

Here is all of Ramsey’s article: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/13/analysis-reaction-patricks-tweet-based-history-hos/.

I told you.

If every Latino family who are U.S. citizens and who have purchased a Donald Trump piñata goes to vote this fall, then we will probably have a record Latino voter turnout. Just thinking.

Nationally syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. is not too happy that credible Latino talking heads were not invited to participate on TV networks’ coverage of Donald Trump and Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Here is from Navarrette’s latest column:

As you can see, I have strong opinions about this story. Not that the television networks are interested in hearing them. Despite having done television commentary for more than 20 years on a dozen shows on a half-dozen networks, and having been tapped to go on a cable show to discuss a different topic just recently, I have not been invited to go on television and comment on the Curiel story.

And as far as I can tell, neither were any of my fellow Latino commentators who work for a variety of networks.

I might have shrugged this off as a harmless oversight had I not read an op-ed by Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in Washington.

“While all the major Sunday talk shows – ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos; CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’; CNN’s ‘Inside Politics,’ ‘State of the Union’ and ‘Reliable Sources’; ‘Fox News Sunday’; and NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ – all tracked the Trump/Curiel controversy, not one Sunday news show [on June 5] included a Latino journalist or political analyst,” wrote Sanchez for the Hill newspaper. “Frankly, I don’t know who is more irresponsible – Trump for the horrendous and unjust damage he has inflicted on the Latino community, or the news media, who have failed to accurately report on these events or provide Latino analysts to interpret them to the nation and the world.”

I saw this failure with my own eyes on the night of the California primary. As the votes were counted in a state where Latinos make up 39 percent of the population and where whites are a statistical minority, CNN convened what turned into a 45-minute discussion on the case of the “Mexican” judge without a single Latino on the panel. Led by anchor Anderson Cooper, the segment featured CNN contributors Jeffrey Lord, S.E. Cupp, Van Jones, Paul Begala and David Axelrod along with CNN host Michael Smerconish, CNN political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson and CNN senior reporter Gloria Borger. That’s nine people – two African-Americans, and seven white people.

That’s inexcusable. By not reflecting reality, the media compounded the harm that Trump has done, and perhaps – ironically – for much the same reason. So what if the New York liberals who run the networks think they’re more enlightened than Trump. Both parties seem to be drawing conclusions about which perspectives are valuable and which aren’t. And in both cases, the views of Latinos are tossed into the “aren’t” file.

Trump obviously believes that Latinos – excuse me, I mean “Mexicans” – are too culturally biased to offer objective analysis and reach fair conclusions. Do the television networks believe the same thing?

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Navarrette-Latinos-are-afterthought-for-8001216.php.

Navarrette has a point. Where were Latinos and why weren’t Latinos invited?

The ‘Stros are in San Luis tonight. Here is an easy one. What is our record against San Luis in the playoffs?

Can you believe this? I am talking about some Baylor leaders still want Art Briles to coach the team. No respect for women.   Here is from Texas Monthly:

Apparently not all of the decision makers at Baylor University want disgraced football coach Art Briles to be fired. According to USA Today, Briles still has the support of “a faction of voices within the school’s Board of Regents” who are pushing to bring him back. High school sports recruiting news service Scout.com even reported that some powerful donors threatened to pull their money from the university if he wasn’t reinstated. Briles was suspended “with intent to terminate” late last month after an independent report by law firm Pepper Hamilton found Baylor completely failed to respond to allegations of sexual assault, particularly against football players. There are conflicting reports regarding whether any action or vote is planned to decide whether to bring Briles back on board after his year suspension is over. But Bob Simpson, a co-owner of the Texas Rangers and a major Baylor donor, told the Dallas Morning News that he’d “like to see” Briles’s return. Two former Baylor board of regents chairs told the Waco Tribune-Herald that Briles “certainly deserves to be reinstated,” one noting, “It’d be a dream for me personally if Coach Briles could still be Coach Briles.” While the full Pepper Hamilton report has not been released to the public, a summary of its findings showed that football coaches and staff attempted to derail proper investigation processes and did not discipline players accused of sexual assault. It’s extremely unlikely Briles will be back, but just the idea alone that there are high-level Baylor folks who want to see his face on campus again shows how deep-seated Baylor’s incompetence is when it comes to understanding and handling sexual assault.

Somebody in Waco needs to shut this talk down like NOW!

When we pass Chicago and become the third largest city in the U.S., does that mean we also get a second MLB club like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago?

I don’t know if I believe this. Here is from a story that was on the internet this past weekend.

Jeff Van Gundy, during ABC’s telecast of the NBA Finals on Friday night, revealed a wild anecdote alleging a reason the white Bronco carrying O.J. Simpson was riding so slowly on that epic night of June 17, 1994.

The slow-speed chase in Los Angeles that culminated in Simpson’s arrest on murder charges occurred simultaneously with Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Knicks and Rockets at the Garden. Van Gundy was a Knicks assistant coach to Pat Riley.

Van Gundy told the tale Friday after a promo for the new Simpson documentary, “O.J. Made in America,’’ that will air Saturday on ABC.

According to Van Gundy, Riley had traveled that summer to Los Angeles and bumped into Al Cowlings, Simpson’s old friend and the owner and driver of the Bronco, at a car wash. Cowlings, a Riley acquaintance, motioned to the Knicks coach.

“He waved him over and proceeded to tell him the story of why he was driving so slow was O.J. wanted to hear the end of the game on the radio before he pulled in,’’ Van Gundy said. “When Coach Riley told us that story, I was mesmerized by what really goes on. Like I could just see him having a gun to his head and saying: ‘Turn up the radio so I can hear the last few minutes.’ ’’

The Knicks-Rockets telecast that night is best remembered for its split screen showing the game and the slow-speed chase.

I wonder if O.J. had money on the game?

The ‘Stros are 7-6 against San Luis in the playoffs of course.

We play today and tomorrow in San Luis then come home. On this Flag Day we are 30-35 and 9 ½ out.

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Expected the Hate

This is what I prepared yesterday for today after the Orlando massacre:

The Texas Lieutenant Governor put out a hate twitter message yesterday after the nightclub shooting and America kicked his arse big time. Hate took an arse kicking for sure. You gotta love it when this fella gets his arse handed to him. I don’t believe his explanation that his hate tweet was scheduled days ago. He stepped in it and is now trying to wipe off the smell.

According to his spokesperson, he is out of the country. I am figuring he is in no hurry to get back seeing that his hate message didn’t work out so well yesterday.

The Lieutenant Governor put out a lengthy statement yesterday afternoon explaining what really happened. Here is the deal. A ton of folks think he falls squarely in the hater category. So when yesterday’s tweet went out right after the shooting, folks just thought Dan Patrick was being Dan Patrick and just hating again so they jumped to a normal conclusion.   In this case it went viral and national. He took a major hit yesterday because a ton of folks expected hate out of this fella. It caught up to him I guess. It probably was not intended but he deserved it.

I was at a popular retail establishment on Saturday and you know what I caught myself doing? I was checking to see where all the exits were just in case. It has come to that. I mention this because my Mom called me yesterday right after noon and she had not yet turned on her flat screen and didn’t know about Orlando.   She shrieked when I told her 50 were no longer with us. She then commented that no place is safe.

The NRA and their pitiful minions keep telling us that we don’t need to change the gun laws and that everything is OK. Then how come we keep having days like yesterday?

Speaking of dumbarse tweets, check this one from yesterday:

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 1h1 hour ago

Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

Really? Congrats?

How about this tweet from yesterday:

Richard LawsonVerified account ‏@rilaws 1h1 hour ago

Let’s name a gay bar Thoughts & Prayers just to f__k with ’em

There will be no MLB question today.

From an ABC News story this past Saturday on Mitt Romney’s gathering in Utah this past weekend:

According to Jim and Joanne, a couple from Southern California who declined to provide their last names, (Hewlett Packard CEPO Meg) Whitman isn’t the only donor here considering Clinton. The summit attendees took an informal poll at lunch, with the room splitting evenly among Trump and Clinton supporters, they said.

From a Theodore Schleifer piece on CNN:

Trump will win “with or without your help,” (RNC Chair Reince) Priebus told attendees on Saturday morning, according to a person in the room.

Pretty bold talk if you ask me.

Also from Teddy:

The anti-Trump antipathy was at times intense. Meg Whitman, questioning House Speaker Paul Ryan at a Friday afternoon session, compared Trump to historical demagogues such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, according to two sources in the room.

Heil Donald?

More from Teddy:

Mitt Romney on Saturday torched Donald Trump and the Republicans who failed to stop his climb to the party’s presidential nomination, saying the current fortunes of the GOP are “breaking my heart.”

From the Trib on IBC’s Dennis the Menace:

A group of Democratic state lawmakers from along the Texas-Mexico border is applying pressure to a bank whose CEO is helping raise money for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.  

In a letter dated Saturday, Rep. César Blanco, an El Paso Democrat who chairs the House Border Caucus, told the IBC Bank board of directors that it is “unfathomable” that president Dennis Nixon is supporting Trump, whom Blanco called the “first racist presidential candidate since Reconstruction.” Trump has angered many Latinos with his incendiary comments on illegal immigration and more recently, remarks suggesting a federal judge cannot be fair due to his Mexican heritage. 

“We will not stand quietly as Mr. Nixon allows this un-American hatred to permeate into the lives of Texans and damage the positive image of IBC Bank,” Blanco wrote. “We leave it in the hands of the IBC Board of Directors to take action and correct this unacceptable representation of your institution. Our state and our nation have come too far and I trust IBC will represent its constituency and be on the right side of history.”

Nixon has not responded to multiple requests for comment on his involvement in Trump’s campaign in Texas. Nixon’s fundraising role had already drawn attention because he is a longtime proponent of the kinds of immigration and trade policies Trump has spent much of his campaign criticizing. 

From a Chron obit this past Friday.

Elene Meyer Davis was born in Yoakum, Texas on the 7th of October 1924, and died on the 7th of June 2016, of complications due to congestive heart failure and the 2016 Presidential campaign. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=elene-davis&pid=180283989&fhid=6290#sthash.6VLkugRK.dpuf.

Check this from the Oakland A’s website:

Come celebrate the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community at A’s Pride Night, presented by Wells Fargo, on Tuesday, June 14. Join LGBTQ friends, family, and allies to watch the A’s take on the Texas Rangers. This dynamically priced special ticket includes a Pride rainbow headband. A second seating area at an even more affordable price has been added. Partial proceeds will benefit AIDS Project of the East Bay, Our Space, and Rainbow Community Center.

Please note, you must purchase a special ticket for this event to participate in the festivities and to receive the headband.

The ‘Stros need to get in the game and do one of these. That’s a cool headband if you ask me.

I didn’t pay attention to the game yesterday and boy did we need the Tony Awards last night.

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The Straights

Commentary has said it before. Straight ticket voting in Texas is an option so leave it alone. You can vote the straight ticket or you can hop all over the ballot.  Let us decide!

Ross Ramsey of the Trib has an article today on straight ticket voting in Texas. For your information, in 2012 in Harris County, 406,991 voted straight ticket Dem and 404,165 went straight GOP. Here is from the Ross Ramsey article:

Texas is one of only nine states that still allow general election voters to cast their ballots for everyone running under a particular party’s banner in one fell swoop. Pull a lever, fill in a bubble or push a button for the party of your choice and you’re done.

That is usually an advantage for the majority party, which is one reason why a Republican Texas Legislature has left the straight-ticket voting law in place in spite of steady attempts to change it.

But what if the person at the top of the ballot is unpopular? Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have higher “unfavorable” numbers than the Zika virus, and candidates below them on the ballot — particularly in the state’s scattered swing districts — are already reacting.

They’ve turned to an old page in the campaign playbooks: Disown unpopular candidates on your own ticket and try to marry the bad ones on the other ticket to your opponent.

And:

In big counties, like Dallas and Harris, the straight-ticket ballot poses a problem for the GOP. State Rep. Ken Sheets, among others, has tried unsuccessfully to exempt judges from straight-party voters. He’s a Dallas Republican, and while his district is (slightly) red, his county has swung to the Democrats. Because of straight-ticket voting, that means the courthouse, once dominated by his party, is now controlled by Democrats.

People who’d like to dump straight-ticket voting contend that some of those Republicans were actually better judges than the Democrats who replaced them. Democrats, it should be said here, made the same point when the winds of change flipped the county courthouse to the GOP in the 1980s.

Six states have rid themselves of straight-ticket voting since 2010, placing Texas in an ever-shrinking club.

Here is the entire article: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/10/analysis-straight-ticket-voting-could-hobble-swing/.

Leave it alone, please!

Yesterday, Commentary was talking about the 1965 MLB Amateur Player Draft – the first ever. Here is an easy one. In the 1965 draft, Cincy picked a player in the second round who is now in the Hall of Fame and the Mets picked a player in the twelfth round who is also in the Hall of Fame. Who am I talking about?

I have to say that the Chron’s Evan Mintz is pretty clever. Now his twitter handle is “Delete Evans Account.” Cool!

Let’s see. Yesterday, Secretary Hillary Clinton was endorsed by the President, Vice-President and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Meanwhile,  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Donald Trump didn’t know jack about the issues. Here is from a NY Times piece:

But he condemned Mr. Trump’s lack of preparedness, and said that he will need to factor that into his choice of running mate.

“He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues,” Mr. McConnell said. “You see that in the debates in which he’s participated. It’s why I have argued to him publicly and privately that he ought to use a script more often — there is nothing wrong with having prepared texts.”

What else is new?   I will tell you what is new. Some GOPers are still trying to figure out a way to deny Trump the nomination.

Hall of Fame great Johnny Bench was selected by Cincy in the second round in the 1965 draft and Hall of Fame great Nolan Ryan was selected by the Mets in round twelve of course.

We are in Tampa Bay this weekend and don’t have to face the Rangers again until August.

 

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Hate in H-Town

The MLB will hold their Amateur Player Draft this evening. The first draft was held in 1965. Who was the first ‘Stro drafted in 1965? (You will never guess.)

H-Town leaders like to brag about H-Town being the most diverse city in the universe. I wonder what these folks will have to say when Donald Trump brings his hate and racist campaign to H-Town next Friday. Check this Miya tweet:

Miya Shay ‏@miyashay 13m13 minutes ago

FYI, Tony Buzbee told me he’s expecting 250-400 at his house next week for @RealDonaldTrump Houston event. #abc13

I wonder if someone will let Trump know that H-Town is around 44% Latino and most of them are of Mexican heritage.

I wonder of Gov. Greg Abbott will show up and bring his Madrina.   If the governor does show up, I wonder if he will tell Trump that his Madrina is of Mexican heritage.

I wonder if Hunker Down is going to attend?

Roll call!

Commentary is talking about the 250-400 H-Town folks who will show up to fuel Trump’s hate and racist campaign.

Mark it down. Next Friday will surely be one of the most memorable political days in H-Town for sure.

This is from MSN.com:

The debate over whether Finding Dory features Disney/Pixar’s first same-sex couple will not end.

After the release of Finding Dory‘s latest trailer last month, there was rampant speculation that one scene featured a lesbian couple, which would be a Disney/Pixar first. The internet went nuts.

USA TODAY asked Finding Dory director Andrew Stanton at Wednesday’s world premiere if the couple depicted onscreen is indeed a lesbian couple. He neither confirm nor denied.

They can be whatever you want them to be,” said Stanton. “There’s no right or wrong answer.”

“We never asked them,” added producer Lindsey Collins.

“We have not asked that of any of the couples in any of our shots in any of our movies,” Stanton said.

Watching the full Finding Dory movie will not fully answer the question, either. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene flies past during a key action moment and is only slightly longer than the snippet used in the trailer. There’s no conclusive evidence one way or another.

Ok.

In 1965, the ‘Stros drafted Alex Barrett from Atwater High School in Atwater, CA, in the first round of the first ever MLB Amateur Player Draft of course. Barrett never made it to the big leagues.

Finally!   I am talking about our win last night over the Rangers. Now we are 1-8 against them this season

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“The textbook definition of a racist comment,” is what U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan had to say about Donald Trump’s comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel. So the House Speaker would rather have a racist running the country instead of Secretary Hillary Clinton. Has it gotten to the point where GOP leaders would rather have a racist as the leader of the free world? Really? Is that where the GOP is these days?

Let me just drop in some Thomas Friedman lines from his column today:

Really? Mr. Speaker, your agenda is a mess, Trump will pay even less attention to you if he is president and, as Senator Lindsey Graham rightly put it, there has to be a time “when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”

Will it ever be that time with this version of the G.O.P.?

Et tu, John McCain? You didn’t break under torture from the North Vietnamese, but your hunger for re-election is so great that you don’t dare raise your voice against Trump? I hope you lose. You deserve to. Marco Rubio? You called Trump “a con man,” he insults your very being and you still endorse him? Good riddance.

Chris Christie, have you not an ounce of self-respect? You’re serving as the valet to a man who claimed, falsely, that on 9/11, in Jersey City, home to many Arab-Americans, “thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.” Christie is backing a man who made up a bald faced lie about residents of his own state so that maybe he can be his vice president. Contemptible.

And this tweet:

JORGE RAMOS ‏@jorgeramosnews 28m28 minutes ago

Question for Republicans: How do you vote for someone whose comments, according to @SpeakerRyan, are a “textbook definition of racism”?

So long to the high ground, GOP.

Philadelphia, PA will host the soon to be historic Democratic National Convention.   When was the last time a city who hosted a Democratic National Convention also had a MLB team who won the World Serious the same year they hosted the Dem gathering?

Last night was historic for sure but too bad we didn’t get an acknowledgement from Sen. Bernie Sanders. He made a big deal going into yesterday that California was going to be a key to staying in the race and by the time he spoke last night he was a few hundred thousand votes behind in California and had already lost New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Here is from a New York Times story on last night and Bernie:

Revolutions rarely give way to gracious expressions of defeat.

And so, despite the crushing California results for him that rolled in on Tuesday night, despite the insurmountable delegate math and the growing pleas that he end his quest for the White House, Senator Bernie Sanders took the stage in Santa Monica and basked, bragged, and vowed to fight on.

In a speech of striking stubbornness, he ignored the history-making achievement of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, who became the first woman in American history to clinch the nomination of major political party.

Mr. Sanders waited until 15 minutes into his speech to utter Mrs. Clinton’s name. He referred, almost in passing, to a telephone conversation in which he had congratulated her on her victories. At that, the crowd of more than 3,000 inside an aging airport hanger booed loudly. Mr. Sanders did little to discourage them.

Tuesday was, undeniably, Mrs. Clinton’s night, a milestone for women in politics and civic life 95 years after the 19th Amendment guaranteed their right to vote.

But by Wednesday morning, all eyes were on Mr. Sanders. Would he be generous or petulant? Would he let go or keep battling?

At almost every turn, he was grudging toward Mrs. Clinton, passing up a chance to issue the kind of lengthy salute that many, in and out of the Democratic Party, had expected and craved.

“It’s a blown opportunity to build bridges that are going to be extremely important in the fall,” said David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents, both Democratic and Republican. He worried that Mr. Sanders was becoming “a grumpy old man.”

Let’s hope by the end of this week, Sen. Sanders will make the gracious exit. It is the right thing to do. It is the only thing to do.

The election  is 5 months from today.

In 2004, Boston hosted the Democratic National Convention and the Red Sox swept San Luis in the World Serious.

I don’t know what to say about losing to the Rangers again last night by one run.

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Rules Are Rules

Commentary respects Sen. Bernie Sanders and his campaign team. They have run a great campaign. Commentary has also said that the super delegate rule needs to be tossed in future primaries.

When the campaign started the Sanders folks knew the rules. They knew that they had to deal with super delegates. The super delegates are overwhelmingly siding with Secretary Hillary Clinton. That is the way it goes.   The Sanders campaign doesn’t get any sympathy from me when they start complaining about super delegates. Here is from the Washington Post that I found in the Chron:

Hillary Clinton has secured enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination, according to the Associated Press, emerging from a long and bruising primary to become the first woman to lead a major party in the race for the White House.

A bitter presidential contest that Clinton once was expected to win in a walk ended abruptly late Monday, as she claimed exactly the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination in her contest against Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according the AP’s latest tally.

It is over. Hillary will add more delegates to her total tonight even if she loses California. She will also have won 3 million more votes than Bernie. The Dem rules don’t say that the Dem nominee must win California.   The rules say that the Dem nominee must win a majority of the delegates including pledges and super delegates. She has the majority and he doesn’t.  Rules are rules and the Sanders campaign must accept the rules.

The Cubbies are 40-16 and are on a pace to win 116 games. How many times since 1900 have the Cubbies won 100 or more games in a season and when was the last time they won 100 or more?

I don’t know about this. I am talking about the HISD Auditor who is spending his time at home. Here is from Ericka Mellon of the Chron:

In his complaint filed Monday, (Auditor Richard) Patton cited his communication with the HISD police chief and the FBI as evidence that he was a whistleblower. In addition, Patton revealed in the complaint that he or his staff had reported to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office an allegation concerning board member Diana Davila’s residency in the east-side district she represents.

Records obtained by the Chronicle show that the concerns centered on whether Davila inaccurately reported on campaign paperwork the length of time she had lived in District 8 when she filed to run for the board seat in August.

Davila said in an interview that she did not know the auditor’s office was investigating her residency until a Chronicle reporter called her in May. Davila said she accurately reported that she had been living in District 8 for two years and eight months, first in a property owned by her husband’s parents and then in a new townhouse.

Questions about Davila’s residency were brought to the audit department’s attention through a call to its tip line, according to Patton’s complaint.

“Apparently some people don’t like the way I’m voting so they decided they want to create a story for me,” Davila said. “I have nothing to hide.”

Davila, who took office in January, added that she was not at the board’s closed-door meeting with Patton on March 10, the day he was suspended.

Commentary didn’t know it was the auditor’s responsibility to monitor who is qualified to run for HISD Trustee. He needs to stick to contracts and stuff like that.

Here is the entire Mellon article:   http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/HISD-auditor-says-he-was-suspended-for-being-7966989.php.

Here is the beginning of the Chron’s E-Board take today on Muhammad Ali:

Houstonians of a certain age will remember that Muhammad Ali was in and out of Houston several times in the early years of his boxing career and once considered living here. He fought three times in the Bayou City, in the Astrodome, and won all three (against Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams in 1966, Ernie Terrell in 1967 and Jimmy Ellis in 1971).

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Muhammad-Ali-exuded-courage-7966849.php.

I always thought it was four fights in H-Town including the one with Buster Mathis. Oh, well.

The new support. I am talking about text support instead of tech support. Last week, a lighting strike fried a transformer near my parents’ home and in the process my parents’ phones, flat screen, TV channel box, and Wi-Fi were fried.   Yesterday, I went over to help set-up their new gizmos and was having problems with the flat screen hook-up. I called their provider and ended up being guided through text communications. Come on! Needless to say the hook-up effort was not successful. An older box from another room is being used for now and a real techie will drop by tomorrow.

The Cubbies have won 100 or more games in a season 5 times and the last time they did it was in 1935 when they went 100-54.

The Cubbies will be here in September.

We are now 0-7 versus the Rangers.   We should have won last night.

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The Greatest

Remember D-Day 72 years ago today.

Muhammad Ali had 61 fights in his professional career and 4 of them were held in H-Town. His 27th and 28th were held before he was suspended and his 33rd and 34th were held after his suspension.

I attended his 27th and 28th against Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams and Ernie Terrell at the Astrodome. He TKO-ed Williams in 3 rounds and won a unanimous decision over Terrell.   I remember both evenings were electric. Heck, they were title fights with The Greatest.

After he lost to Joe Frazier after his suspension, he fought at the Astrodome against Jimmy Ellis (won on a TKO) and Buster Mathis (won on a unanimous decision).

His other fight in H-Town was held outside of the ring over at the federal courthouse. He was charged for refusing induction into the military. He had changed his legal residence to H-Town for the draft issue.

Before Ali came on the scene in my lifetime, the sports figures I admired included Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Yogi Berra – all baseball players. When then Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title in 1964 and proclaimed himself as “The Greatest” he had me. As far as I was concerned, he stood out among professional athletes. This guy backed up his talk – wow!

Ali took his game outside of the ring and immediately starting addressing issues like race, discrimination and religion just as I was starting to pay attention to current events. He certainly was an influence on me.

When he announced that he had changed his name to Muhammad Ali and ridding Cassius Clay, I was startled at first but it didn’t diminish my admiration for him. In fact, it kind of got me to learn some things about his religion.

I wasn’t one of those – and there were tons including the Chron – who refused to say or print his new name. He was Ali to me.

When he refused serve in the military in 1967 it got me to start thinking more about my position on the Vietnam War. By 1968, I was steadfastly opposed to the war.

I was saddened when they stripped Ali of his title during his prime but admired him for his courage.

The rest is history so to speak. The rumbles and thrillers. The rope-a-dopes. The retirements. The illness.

In the summer of 1996, I nearly fell out of my chair and jumped for joy when he was the one chosen to light the flame at the Atlanta Olympics. Tears flowed as I watched his shaking arms hold the torch.

In July of 2004, I was there when he made it to The Yard to throw out the first pitch at the MLB All Star Game.   Tears again.

This is my favorite Ali quote that I have seen this past weekend:

“But I’ll tell you how I’d like to be remembered: as a black man who won the heavyweight title and who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him and who helped as many of his people as he could– financially and also in their fight for freedom, justice and equality. As a man who wouldn’t hurt his people’s dignity by doing anything that would embarrass them. As a man who tried to unite his people through the faith of Islam that he found when he listened to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And if all that’s asking too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxing champion who became a preacher and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.

The Greatest. That’s all you can say. I am glad I saw him three times in my lifetime.

Let me give equal time for the folks who want to keep part of the Heights dry. Check this from next door:

This post appeared in Heights Kids this morning. If I had the time to sit and write something this is what I would have written! Please forgive me if original poster has already cross posted. Read and share! Implore your neighbors not to sign too. We have to get the word out and stop them from railroading this issue. If you’ve not yet been approached, canvassers have been knocking on doors asking for signatures to force a ballot initiative in November to repeal the prohibition of beer and wine sales for off premise consumption. They introduce themselves as part of an effort backed by HEB, but Please do not mistake these canvassers as your neighbors. They have been hired by Texas Petition Strategies of Austin, a company that has been hired to oversee collecting signatures and, if the issue makes it onto the ballot, stumping for a passing vote. The canvassers going door to door are not our neighbors. They are not part of this community. The money funding this petition drive is not coming from within the community. This is not an organic impetus for change but rather a well funded effort from outsiders seeking greater profits at the expense of our community. If we can prevent them from collecting 1500 signatures by July 6th, we can avoid the November election. Here is my argument in opposition. The prohibition of alcohol sales is one of the hallmark characteristics that make this neighborhood such a special and desirable place to live and especially to raise a family. It innoculates us against the bars and adult-themed entertainment venues that litter Montrose and Washington Avenue and provides a refuge where more family friendly businesses can thrive… funky coffee shops, flower nurseries, vinyl record shops, juice bars and yoga shops, independent book stores and bike shops, ice cream parlors and antique stores. Of course HEB can make more money selling beer and wine, but is there really no profit to be made without beer and wine sales? Why is this issue being framed as an ultimatum from HEB; change the law or we’ll go elsewhere? I would argue that the former Fiesta on Shepherd (the presumed location) did not close because of a lack of beer and wine sales but rather because the demographics of this community are changing rapidly. this is no longer a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. The target market for Fiesta dwindled and so did their profits. The former Fiesta at 13th and Studemont was outside the dry zone and did permit beer and wine sales, but was not spared either from this changing demographic tide. HEB would not suffer the same problem. They will print money from that location. The question is just how much. Their ultimatum is an insulting ploy to undo one of the few protections we have (as a community without an HOA in a city with no zoning laws) to line their pockets. If HEB is successful, I believe it is myopic to think that other profit-hungry developers won’t push similar campaigns to repeal the dry law entirely and develop more of the Heights in the style of Washington Avenue. We have something very special here in the Heights. That’s why the property in this neighborhood is so valuable to develop in the first place. We need to defend it. Repealing any portion of the dry law will irrevocably disrupt that intangible quality that makes this neighborhood so special. So please, spread the word against this petition. Thanks.

There is no MLB question today.

Let’s see, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg held Ken Starr’s feet to the fire yesterday and some Baylor alums bought a full page ad in the Statesman yesterday supporting Starr. Oh, well.

We have won 11 of our last 13 but are 0-6 against the Rangers this season as we start a four game series against them this evening in Arlington.

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Saw It Coming

Commentary said this on Wednesday:

I fully expect a Chron E-Board take on this in the very near future.

I was talking about the Mayor’s response to the Chron’s front page story on the same day on the police chief selection process. Well the Chron E-Board came out with the expected take today. Everybody saw it coming.

Here is how the E-Board take ends:

Governments have a duty to keep their citizens safe. At a time when crime rates are ticking upwards, police brutality concerns linger and budget questions remain, all of Houston should have a deep interest in our next chief of police. Any good reporter will have a hard eye for the facts about this selection process and point out where government officials stonewall.

But where a newspaper sees a lack of transparency, the mayor sees a conspiracy.

“Everyone and every organization sometimes has agendas, and I think the public deserves to know what the agenda is for the people who are covering us,” the mayor said, seemingly taking his cue from the paranoid presumptive presidential candidate of the Republican Party.

Sorry, but the press isn’t the mayor’s personal PR firm. Turner and his communications staff need to accept the fact that critical and antagonistic reporting isn’t about personal slights. It is about keeping the people of this city informed. Our role is to serve as a healthy check on government power, and the mayor of the fourth-largest city in the United States is a very powerful man. Everything he does in office should be able to withstand open discussion and publicity. Having to deal with an inquisitive press may be inconvenient, but Mayor Turner has to understand what his predecessors at City Hall knew: It comes with the job.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Focusing-light-on-City-Hall-7960571.php.

Commentary saw a number of tweets by folks disagreeing with the Mayor. I posted a few. I have not seen any tweets from folks agreeing with the Mayor. Not even from his most loyal supporters. That ought to tell you something.

Commentary is still trying to figure out the agenda the Mayor is talking about.

As a Brewer in 2012, 2013, and 2014, current ‘Stro center fielder Carlos Gomez had 19, 24 and 23 dingers respectively. How many does he have this season with the ‘Stros?

I think some Dem folks are tired of feeling the Bern. This is from Politico today quoting anonymous Dem leaders in battleground states. Heck, go on ahead and attribute the quotes to me because that is how I feel. Check this:

“This race has been over for a long time. It’s time for Bernie to prove that he is really a Democrat by getting out of the race and enthusiastically endorsing Hillary Clinton,” said a Florida Democrat, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “The stakes are too high for Bernie to continue to pretend he has a chance.” 

“If Bernie Sanders stays in the race after losing California, he will be remembered not as a successful champion of progressive ideals,” added a Colorado Democrat, “but instead as just another narcissistic politician.” 

“If he doesn’t end his campaign on Wednesday morning,” a New Hampshire Democrat added, “he becomes the most unpopular person in the Democratic Party.”

Here is the entire Politico piece: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/democratic-insiders-to-bernie-win-california-or-get-out-223850.

I read in the Chron this morning that when Greg Abbott was our state AG, he gave in to Donald Trump in the Trump University investigation. Now U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan is also rolling over.

Here is how the Washington Post E-Board reacted:

AS DONALD Trump was building a campaign on lies, bigotry, insults, fearmongering and unreason, a few Republican leaders of apparent principle offered some resistance. Foremost among them was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). In March, Mr. Ryan insisted that “all of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency” and that “we shouldn’t accept ugliness as the norm.”

What standards?  Oh, well.

Carlos Gomez of course has zero dingers this season.

The A’s are in for three this weekend and they are giving out those cool Colby Rasmus bobble heads on Saturday and Orbit lunch bags on Sunday. Hope to see you out there!

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