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Archive for September, 2016

Drivers Ed

I don’t know about this. I am talking about the Dean’s proposal on teaching kids how to act when stopped by a police officer.

Commentary tweeted this when I saw it yesterday:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 17h17 hours ago

Marc Campos Retweeted Ericka Mellon

Just make it part of Drivers Ed.

Ericka MellonVerified account ‏@e_mellon 20h20 hours ago

Texas lawmaker wants schools to teach kids proper actions in police stops: http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Law-eyed-to-educate-kinds-on-proper-actions-in-9443466.php?cmpid=twitter-desktop … via @houstonchron

Here is from the Chron:

Texas ninth-graders would be taught how to properly interact with police when they are stopped for traffic violations or if they are detained under a proposal announced Thursday by an influential state senator.

The announcement is the first of what is expected to be numerous bills be filed for the legislative session that begins in January to address citizen-police interactions as a way to de-escalate friction between law enforcement and various minority communities.

Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, D-Houston, said his proposed legislation would require the Texas Education Agency to develop curriculum “in law enforcement duties and interaction.”

If eventually approved by the Legislature, the law would be the first of its kind in Texas. 

And:

School advocates and education groups had mixed reactions to the proposal. They noted that state-required driver training programs already instruct teenagers how to act when they are stopped by police for a traffic violation.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Whitmire-wants-schools-to-teach-kids-how-to-act-9455091.php

I give the Dean high marks for having a discussion on this but I prefer the Drivers Ed route.  Kids have enough to do in school.

So with 39 days before Election Day, Donald Trump is still tweeting about Alicia Machado and definitely taking the bait.

The USA Today E-Board said this about Trump today:

He is erratic. 

He is ill-equipped to be commander in chief.

He traffics in prejudice.

His business career is checkered.

He isn’t leveling with the American people.

He speaks recklessly. 

He has coarsened the national dialogue. 

He’s a serial liar.

Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.

Here is the entire USA Today E-Board take: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/29/dont-vote-for-donald-trump-editorial-board-editorials-debates/91295020/

They should have endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton.

The ‘Stros were officially eliminated from the playoffs last night so I am skipping the MLB question.   Well, at least we made it interesting for 159 games.

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1.4 Million

Newt Gingrich said this about Alicia Machado yesterday. I wonder if he said it while standing in his undies only and in front of a full length mirror:

“You are not supposed to gain 60 pounds the year you’re Miss Universe.”

The County Clerk said this yesterday:

One million, four hundred thousand (1,400,000) voters are anticipated to vote in the November 8 Election.  Sixty percent (60%) of these voters are expected to vote early at an early voting location.  The communication and the logistics are significant to ensure that voting goes smoothly for every Harris County Voter.

That is a ton of voters. I hope the county is prepared. I am glad they are going to continue with the Heights EV location over at the SPJST Lodge #88, the bingo hall over on Beall Street close to 15th and Durham.

1.4 mil is like 200,000 more than 2012. We will see.

Commentary has to say this. If you are thinking about voting for the Libertarian guy, you are full of it. He didn’t know about Aleppo. Now it turns out, he can’t even name a good foreign leader. He could have said Trudeau up in Canada or Merkel over in Germany. I even would have given him a pass if he would have mentioned the Queen of England or even former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Come on! You can’t be voting for this fella.

I was at The Yard yesterday and we got our arses handed to us so I am skipping the question today.

It looks like three legitimate polls have Secretary Hillary Clinton winning Monday night’s debate.

From TPM:

Donald Trump’s aides reportedly told surrogates Wednesday that the GOP nominee is upset his supporters went to the press and painted his performance in the first presidential debate as anything but a resounding success.

In a Wednesday afternoon conference call, Trump’s team told allies that he was upset by negative evaluations of his debate performance, according to a CNN report.

Trump’s aides were “not subtle” in expressing his displeasure with reports that his advisors—while publicly praising his performance in the debate—are wringing their hands in private, one unnamed source told CNN.

The GOP presidential nominee wants his surrogates to stop telling reporters that they want him to change his strategy before the second debate, CNN reported. Instead, aides told Trump’s surrogates to cast the debate as a success in which the candidate cemented his status as a political outsider.

And this from TPM:

The Donald Trump campaign has circulated a memo telling surrogates to bring up Bill Clinton’s sex scandals while defending Trump’s comments about women like former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, CNN reported late Wednesday.

“Mr. Trump has never treated women the way Hillary Clinton and her husband did when they actively worked to destroy Bill Clinton’s accusers,” one campaign talking point reads, according to CNN.

Another line tells surrogates to say, “Hillary Clinton bullied and smeared women like Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky.”

No wonder respected GOP consultants passed on working for Trump.

There is a story out today about a Trump enterprise illegally doing business in Cuba. Unfortunately, nobody cares.

The ‘Stros could be officially out of contention this evening. Last season, folks were heaping praise on the GM. We still have the same GM. Just saying.

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Hello, Alicia Machado

I remember this. I am talking about Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe back in the 1990s being forced to do a workout in front of TV cameras and reporters because Donald Trump said she was overweight. I thought it was cruel. She was from Venezuela and 19 years old at the time.

Well, now she is back and telling her story. Here is from USA Today:

In an interview with Inside Edition earlier this year, Machado described how he called her “Miss Piggy” and an “eating machine,” resulting in her ongoing struggles with depression and eating disorders.

“After that episode, I was sick, anorexia and bulimia for five years,” she said. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this.”

Machado spoke more about Trump on the TODAY show Wednesday morning, telling Natalie Morales that his name-calling was “really normal for him, in that moment.” “You know, with 18-year-olds, when you are growing up, that was horrible for me,” the Venezuelan native said. “My self-esteem (was) on the floor.

She also echoed Clinton’s debate comments about how Trump is cruel to women in an interview with ThinkProgress in June. “He made me feel small,” she said. “He threatened me, treated me rudely. He called me ‘Ms. Housekeeping’ in front of his friends.”

“He hates girls,” she continued. “He considers girls to be less. We have another status, to him.”

Last night she was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Commentary tries to give the campaign surrogate talking heads some slack because they are after all surrogates. Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany went too far though by calling out Machado. You could tell CNN’s Gloria Borger and Dana Bash were uncomfortable with McEnany’s take. I mean, shaming a 19 year old? Shame on McEnany.

Keep telling your story, Alicia! You are one courageous woman!

Only five ‘Stros players have more than 100 base hits this season. Name them?

The Arizona Republic is endorsing Secretary Hillary Clinton. This is the first time they have ever endorsed a Dem for President. Here it is: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/09/27/hillary-clinton-endorsement/91198668/.

This tweet is so true:

Fox News ‏@FoxNews 12h12 hours ago

.@Austan_Goolsbee on last night’s debate: “They set a low bar for @realDonaldTrump & he banged his head on it.” #Hannity

Another GOPer for Hillary. See this from Politico:

Hillary Clinton has gained the support of yet another high-profile Republican political figure: former Virginia Sen. John Warner.

The now-retired five-term senator is opting to back Clinton over his own party’s nominee, Donald Trump, as a signal to voters in the swing state of Virginia of who he believes would be best suited to be commander-in-chief. It’s the second straight cycle that Warner has bucked his party: In 2014 he endorsed Democratic Sen. Mark Warner over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie.

Jose Altuve has 212 base hits, SpringerDinger has 165, Carlos Correa 156, Marwin Gonzalez 119, and Evan Gattis 108.

Today is the last regular season home game. And unless we make the playoffs, the last of Tal’s Hill.

We are hanging on by a thread.

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Rudy Knows

Only the hard core Donald Trump supporters think he won last night’s debate.

His top advisor, Rudy Giuliani, knows he lost. So there is no debating who won the debate. It was a genuine arse kicking for sure.

Check out Giuliani’s tweets:

Rudolph Giuliani ‏@rudygiulianiGOP 11h11 hours ago

This debate was not @realDonaldTrump‘s best, but there are still two more. #debatenight

 

Rudolph Giuliani ‏@rudygiulianiGOP 10h10 hours ago

.@realDonaldTrump needs to think long and hard about the moderator before participating in another debate. #Debates2016

This line from Politico:

“He was rattled that he had trouble competing in the arena,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. “He became unhinged.”

From Vox:

A poll of debate watchers by CNN/ORC, which found that 62 percent thought Clinton won and 27 percent thought Trump did. CNN’s David Chalian emphasized on air that the sample was 10 points more Democratic than in a typical poll, but that’s still a strong win for Clinton.

A poll of debate watchers by Public Policy Polling, which found that 51 percent thought Clinton won and 40 percent thought Trump won.

A focus group of 20 undecided Florida voters by CNN found that 18 of them thought Clinton won.

And a focus group of Pennsylvania voters by GOP pollster Frank Luntz overwhelmingly thought Clinton had won. Libby Nelson has more details about that here.

And this:

As Dana Milbank writes, “Trump ostentatiously avoided preparation — playing the proverbial high school slacker drinking beer behind the bleachers while the teacher’s pet was in the library. But Monday night was the revenge of the nerd.”

It ought to be embarrassing for the Trump team, but it is not. They will just blame Lester Holt, the media, Alicia Machado, and the bad microphone.   His hard core supporters will stick with him. Let’s just hope those in the middle take stock in what they saw last night.

Before the debate, his handlers wanted him to come across as “presidential.” Instead he came across as a joke. The proof is in last night’s 97 minutes.   Hillary owned him and that has to hurt him personally.

I am skipping the MLB question today.

We lost last night and we are a game or three away from being eliminated from the playoffs.

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Expectations

This is so true:

The Associated Press ‏@AP 13h13 hours ago

Arnold Palmer, who made golf popular for the masses dies at 87,

I got interested in golf because of Arnie. He was a great one for sure.

Let me say that Commentary said that Donald Trump would not debate. I was wrong.

Don’t buy the BS. Don’t fall for the con. There are no such thing as lowered expectations when we are picking the next president. Here is from a GOP memo that was distributed last Thursday:

For Clinton, high expectations stem from ample experience. Clinton is a career politician who has spent years sharpening her debate reflexes and beefing up on public policy. Donald Trump is new to the format. Aside from the primary debates (which have lower levels of attention focused on them and many more participants), Trump’s lack of formal, political, one-on-one debate experience gives Clinton a significant advantage.

And:

 Trump hasn’t been running for president for 24 years, he’s spent his career as a successful businessman. Few are expecting the same level of polish from a verbal gunslinger whose rhetorical strength is speaking to the heart – and the gut – of the American people.   Aside from the Super Bowl, the first debate has very high potential to be the most watched television event of the year. With so much riding on this moment and a wealth of experience working in her favor, Hillary Clinton has no excuse not to turn in a near-flawless performance.

Here is the entire memo: https://net.gop.com/will-clinton-meet-expectations-in-the-first-debate/

Either you are ready to be president or you are not. This evening, the country gets to see who is prepared, who is knowledgeable, who is presidential, who is in command, and who is ready to lead.

This talk about lowering the bar is downright insulting.

Both candidates will be side by side and debating the issues. It is even-steven. That Hillary Clinton has to do twice or three times as well because Trump is new to this is BS, even though the guy has had considerable TV exposure himself the past decade. Nope.

The spinners will spin afterwards, but to paraphrase the famous line, Americans tonight will know it when they see it.

Yesterday, the Trump campaign was complaining that they didn’t want moderator Lester Holt to do fact checking. Knowing that Trump is a liar, they didn’t want him to be called a liar when he lies. OK. I get it.

The ‘Stros are 82-74 with six games left. How were we doing last season with six games left?

Sen. Ted Cruz let us all know Friday that he doesn’t have much of a conscience and he is more than ready to be a servile puppy dog. I am not surprised.

A year ago, Cruz and Donald Trump were into that bromance thing. Then he became “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” Then he called Trump a “pathological liar.” Then Cruz went and did that “vote your conscience” thing and mooned the GOP Convention on prime time national TV.

Trump said he didn’t want or would accept a Cruz endorsement.

Cruz said his wife was “attacked” and he wasn’t going to be a “servile puppy dog.”

Then folks started talking about finding a Cruz opponent for the 2018 GOP primary. Then Cong. Mike McCaul’s name was mentioned. Then Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called out Cruz last week.

Feeling isolated and left out, Cruz surrendered his principles and tough talk and endorsed the liar who attacked his wife.

All that is left is a formal endorsement that should probably be held on the grassy knoll.

And in a first, I think, this past Saturday, the Chron E-Board called the GOP’s nominee for president a “punk.” Check this:

(Thumbs down) How does a proud Texas man respond to a punk insulting his wife and spreading rumors about his daddy? If you’re Ted Cruz, you endorse that punk for president. Politico is reporting that the Texas junior senator plans on finally supporting Donald Trump, who spent the Republican primary being anything but kind to Cruz and his family while betraying all the political ideals that Cruz holds dear. Just a few months ago Cruz compared joining Team Trump to acting like a “servile puppy dog.” We imagine Cruz will be fitted for his collar and leash later next week.

And then this from yesterday’s Chron:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a day after endorsing his former political nemesis Donald Trump for president, on Saturday repeatedly refused to say whether he thinks the flamboyant and controversial New York real estate tycoon is fit to serve in the nation’s highest office.

And this:

Pressed whether he stands by earlier criticisms of Trump as “utterly immoral,” “a sniveling coward,” “a pathological liar,” “a serial philanderer” and “a bully,” Cruz wouldn’t say.

Weak! Went along. Got squeezed. Nothing special about that.

Last season, with six games left, the ‘Stros were 82-74 of course.

Taking one out of four from the Angels at The Yard was devastating. That is all I can say.

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The Local Kaepernick

It is pretty much a given that Donald Trump absolutely knows nothing about the African American experience. Neither does his family. I hope Trump does not take the advice of the President. He might learn something. See this from an AP story:

President Barack Obama scolded Donald Trump for his bleak description of the African-American community as recent police shootings of black men — and the violent protests that followed them — inject sensitive questions about race into the presidential contest.

America’s first black president took issue with the Republican nominee’s suggestion this week that “African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape than they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever.”

“I think even most 8-year-olds would tell you that whole slavery thing wasn’t very good for black people. Jim Crow wasn’t very good for black people,” Obama said in an interview that aired Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The Democratic president encouraged Trump to visit Washington’s new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, where the ABC interview was conducted.

“What we have to do is use our history to propel us to make even more progress in the future,” Obama said.

Like, I said. I hope Trump stays clueless.

Kaepernick keeps winning.

A Texan protested last night. Here is from the Chron:

In a symbol of protest about the series of deadly shootings of black men at the hands of police that has triggered unrest throughout the nation, Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown raised his fist during the national anthem Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

It was reminiscent of the legendary protest from Olympic track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith during the 1968 Olympics when they raised black, gloved fists during the national anthem.

Brown has been outspoken on social media in his outrage about the rash of killings.

“Just a symbol of my support and raising awareness for the recent killings of unarmed black men, I think it’s something that needs to be changed,” Brown said. “I was just showing my support. It’s frustrating. I’ve showed my position. It keeps happening, so it’s very frustrating.”

Brown is injured and didn’t play last night. Folks in these parts worship the Texans. I wonder if the haters are going to call him out.

Kaepernick is now on the cover of Time Magazine so he keeps winning.

I guess H-Town and Harris County are in play. Last week, Donald Trump was in town and today Senator Tim Kaine visits. Anything helps for turnout. Of course, I really do not see a whole lot of local grass roots campaigning going on. I think I have only seen one or two Secretary Hillary Clinton signs in my neighborhood and not very many local candidate signs. My neighborhood has a bunch of Democrats but we have not been door knocked. Oh, well.

How many RBIs does Carlos Correa have against the Angels this season?

I am sure folks have seen the UH poll for Harris County that has Clinton leading Trump by 10 points with 15% undecided. Here is from the Chron story on the poll:

“Neither party can depend on presidential coattails or incumbency, frequent mainstays of politics,” said Renée Cross, associate director and researcher at the Hobby School. “With only six weeks to go, the county candidates have a lot of work to do in this highly unpredictable election.”

Now these are grown-ups. Check this from the Washington Post:

A group of 75 retired career Foreign Service officers, including ambassadors and senior State Department officials under Republican and Democratic presidents over nearly a half-century, has signed an open letter calling Donald Trump “entirely unqualified to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief.”

The diplomats said “none of us” will vote for Trump. While they said not all of them agreed with every decision made by Hillary Clinton, they said they all supported her candidacy.

“Because the stakes in this election are so high,” the letter said, “this is the first time many of us have publicly endorsed a candidate for President.”

Here is the letter and names of the endorsers: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/former-ambassadors-sign-a-letter-refusing-to-vote-for-donald-trump/2155/ .

Here is the entire article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/75-retired-senior-diplomats-sign-letter-opposing-trump-for-president/2016/09/21/5c5dff10-8046-11e6-b002-307601806392_story.html?tid=ss_tw .

Brownie is leaving the booth. Check this from MLB.com:

It’s the end of an era. Longtime Astros play-by-play announcer Bill Brown will retire at the end of the season, he announced Thursday afternoon, ending a legendary career with Houston that spanned 30 years and earned Brown a spot on the Astros’ Media Wall of Honor.

Brown’s final scheduled broadcast will be during the Astros’ final regular-season home game on Wednesday, when Houston plays Seattle.

And:

“Brownie” has been around baseball since 1976, when he joined the Cincinnati Reds’ television crew, staying until 1982. He then came to Houston in ’87, making him the Astros’ longest-tenured current television broadcaster.

Here is the Brownie story: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/202763346/astros-play-by-play-man-bill-brown-to-retire/

Interested in Wild Card tiebreaker scenarios? Check this: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/199753224/2016-mlb-tiebreaker-scenarios/

So remember when the ‘Stros decided they didn’t need Tal’s Hill. So look what the team sent me yesterday:

Come bid a final farewell to Tal’s Hill and be a part of Astros history! After the games on Sunday, September 25th and Wednesday, September 28th, fans will have the opportunity to have a commemorative photo taken in front of Tal’s Hill. Season Ticket Holders can purchase a voucher for a discounted rate of only $25. All proceeds will benefit the Astros Foundation.

Correa has 20 RBIs against the Angels.

We are contenders with 9 to go and we only had half the seats filled last night. I get it. Folks were at home watching the Texans. We could have used some more fans though to build some energy. We lost and are 1 ½ out of the Wild Card.

Well at least we weren’t called “PERFECT PATSIES” like the Chron called the Texans today.

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Grow Up

In the Chron today, Stan Marek, a “specialty subcontractor based in Houston”, has an Op-Ed that starts with this:

As the debate about illegal immigration rages at the national level thanks to the vitriolic rhetoric of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, it’s high time for all of us to take a look at how the broken system is negatively affecting people right here in our own community.

My entire career has been spent in construction, so I’ve been perfectly positioned to see how this mess has evolved over the past few decades. Rather than rehash arguments I’ve made previously – arguments I will continue to make in the future – I’d like to share with you the story of a young woman whose experience is all too common here in Southeast Texas.

Here is the entire Marek Op-Ed: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Marek-What-immigration-reality-looks-like-for-9237716.php.

That is all fine and dandy. But guys like Marek just need to grow up and endorse Secretary Hillary Clinton. Quit being wimpy, please!

The ‘Stros are now 81-71. What was our record last year with 10 games to go?

Last night, I spent part of the evening watching the riot. How come folks don’t riot during the day?

I also watched the  first episode of “Designated Survivor” and I was impressed.

Remember this from 11 years ago today. I am talking about Lovely Rita, or premature evacuation, as a former H-Town Council Member once said. Check this from today’s Chron:

This week in 2005 many of us in the Houston area were buckling down to bear the brunt of Hurricane Rita. 

The aftermath and horror of Hurricane Katrina just weeks before had scared many people in the area into action, with long lines at grocery stores, hardware stores and voluntary evacuations.

Hurricane Rita, a Category 5 monster, was moving toward the Texas Gulf Coast with frightening speed, causing evacuation orders for low-lying areas. 

The rush to get out of town and to places to the north and west created horrendous traffic jams as residents from every county in the area clamored to get out of the path of what was predicted to be a damaging hurricane. 

People who would have otherwise hunkered down, were scared into taking drastic action. Rita did indeed look terrifying and was headed straight toward Houston with 175 mph winds and worst-case scenario potential. 

The worst was possible. 

Some 2.5 million people hit the road ahead of the storm’s arrival. The worst day was probably Thursday, Sept. 22, as every conceivable evacuation route was clogged well past capacity.

I stayed in town.

With 10 games to go last season, we were 80-72 of course.

Even though we are now 1 game out of the Wild Card race, I am thinking more folks will be more interested in watching football tonight instead of checking the ‘Stros host the Angels. Just saying.

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