Archive for November, 2016

Failed Dem Leadership

Commentary has made it pretty clear. I am not happy with our national Dem leadership. They let us down this year for sure.

They anointed a candidate for president who had a difficult time winning the nomination. They anointed a candidate who lost states we were not supposed to lose.

It is easy to put blame just on the candidate. But we also need to place blame on those Dem leaders who endorsed her early and pretty much cleared the field for her.

I hope this never happens again – ever. I hope our next nominee truly emerges from the grass roots.  And while I am at it, tell me why we should keep super delegates?

Two former ‘Stros combined to hit 60 dingers for the Brewers this past season. Name the two?

Speaking of failed Dems. I know this is a longshot, but I hope Cong. Nancy Pelosi is replaced as Minority Leader. Tell me why I am wrong, please. I just think we need new folks leading the fight for the next four years.

Here is from a story on MSN today:

The 76-year-old Pelosi has been promising some changes to assuage concerns in her caucus, including adding a member of the freshmen class to her leadership team. But her proposals do little to ensure new blood at the very top or change the seniority system that has key committees led by lawmakers in their 80s at a moment when the party needs to be defending President Barack Obama’s health care law and other initiatives.


Republicans are on track to hold at least 240 seats in the House next year. Democrats, who had high hopes of significant gains in the election, picked up just six seats on Election Day earlier this month and remain in the minority with 194 seats.

Here is the entire read: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/reckoning-for-pelosi-as-house-democrats-vote-for-leader/ar-AAkWQ75?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE01DHP.

Failed leadership for sure.

At least we did A-Okay here in Harris County even though the Dem Party had an effort and another group had an effort. What is up with that?

The Dem Party did a nice job with the mail ballot program.

Latinos showed up to vote in better numbers thanks to presidential coverage on Telemundo and Univision and the efforts of immigrant activist groups.

It also helped that we had two local outstanding candidates in Kim Ogg and Ed Gonzalez.

I still question why we have to have two separate Dem efforts though.

Chris Carter had 41 dingers and Jonathan Villar had 19 for the Brewers of course this past season. They are both former ‘Stros players.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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The Chron

Name the MLB player who hit 41 dingers last season who is now without a team?

I have to hand it to the Houston Chronicle for having back to back stories today and yesterday on H-Town and Latino politics. Nice job. Check the stories out here or go pick up a hard copy, please.



Of course, not everything comes up roses in the Chron. They have a front page story today on a local group who is saying without proof that millions of folks voted illegally three weeks ago. Why even have a story? Why give them pub? This is a fringe nut case group. Don’t put them on the front page.

I am not going to give you a link to the story – sorry.

Oh, well. You need to support your local newspaper.

Commentary isn’t watching CNN these days. Just tired of it. I am watching Hallmark channel Christmas movies though. I have one question for Hallmark. Are they ever going to feature Christmases of folks of color? I mean, the radio stations that are now playing the Christmas tunes have folks of color singing Christmas songs. Just saying.

Just for the heck of it, I went to check out NFL QB stats and guess what? The QB for the Texans is one of the worse rated. How about that.

Chris Carter, formerly of the Brewers, hit 41 diners last season and is now looking for a team of course.

Not much from The Yard today.

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A new candidate may emerge for DNC Chair. She is also the first female running – maybe. She also supports eliminating super delegates which is A-Ok with me. Here is from Politico:

Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion-rights group NARAL, took a step closer to jumping into the race for Democratic National Committee chair by laying out her vision for the party.

In an email to DNC members on Monday, Hogue writes that she’s been encouraged to join the race and describes how the DNC is crucial to the success of the Democratic Party.

“I believe the DNC has a critical role to play in regrouping after 2016, one that fully embraces the [Paul] Wellstone triad approach to change: public policy that reflects peoples’ needs, grassroots organizing that honors peoples’ lived experience, and an electoral strategy that brings both to bear to ensure victory,” Hogue writes in the email set to go out Monday morning.

“The DNC can be not just a force every two years at election time, but also a daily presence in peoples’ lives, relevant in policy discussions and responsive to ideas and concerns of people where they live.”

Hogue’s email, obtained first by POLITICO, is the latest sign that the field to succeed interim-DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, is likely to expand.

If Hogue did jump into the race she would join Rep. Keith Ellison, South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a former DNC chairman. Others are still considering running, including New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley, who has sent out similar thoughts on the DNC to members.

Hogue, in her email, asserts that “fighting Trump’s agenda has to be top priority for the party” and highlights the common ground shared by the party’s varied constituencies. 

“Fighting Wall Street greed and protecting women’s fundamental rights aren’t at odds, they’re intertwined. Recognizing these intersections will be critical to build momentum from the outset for the hard policy fights and for electoral accountability come mid-terms. Diversity is our strength and must be our aspiration and our future,” Hogue writes.

The NARAL president, who was a top Hillary Clinton surrogate, calls for some reforms advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, most notably eliminating superdelegates.

“There’s no doubt the party should have a place of honor for those who give their lives to it and their earned wisdom, but the idea of super delegates who might overturn the will of the voters is antithetical to the democratic principles we stand for,” Hogue continues.

Here is the entire read: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/ilyse-hogue-naral-dnc-231862.

She sounds like a winner to me.

There were a lot of Fidel Castro takes this past weekend.  Here is one from a noted Latino organization:

Statement by Willie Velasquez Institute President Antonio Gonzalez on the Passing of Fidel Castro: 

(November 26, 2016, Los Angeles, CA) Fidel Castro “El Comandante en Jefe” of the Cuban Revolution has passed away at 90 years of age. One is struck by the dichotomy of coverage in the media with outpourings of condolences and recognitions of Fidel’s legacy coming from the island, Latin America and the world countered by condemnations coming from the US. 

But that was Fidel. Unapologetically in favor of the victims of and resistors to imperialist domination and intervention Fidel Castro even in death outlives his critics. He inspired two generations of alternative thought and revolutionary action, however imperfect, by those who suffered the consequences of “blue eyed” imperialism. 

I say this as someone who was inspired by the Cuban Revolution along with a generation of young Chicano activists in the 1960’s and 70’s. We grew up with Fidel, reveling in Cuba’s profound advances in health care, education, human development and Cuba’s role in revolutions in Central America, South America and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

And alternately we suffered with the island as Cuba reached the limits of Fidel’s socialist model and endured setbacks.  

I was not disheartened when Fidel left power in 2006 because I perceived that the era of US-Cuba hostility was also nearing an end. On this President Obama deserves thanks for his multiple actions to improve US-Cuba relations.  

Today we in the US, especially those of us with roots in Latin America, have a duty to redouble our efforts to help end the immoral US embargo on Cuba immediately. For our part WCVI rededicates itself to this historic task.

Fidel Castro Presente!

Name the MLB batter who drew the most walks this past season?

There ought to be a law. I am talking about not allowing one state university to just snatch the head football coach of another state university from the same state. Just saying.

Let’s see. Less than two months before you take office, you are tweeting about illegal votes and your staff is having a public spat over your pick for Secretary of State.  Under control for sure.

As far as Mitt Romney getting skewered, he deserves it for taking the meeting in the first place.

Commentary doesn’t have a problem doing a recount. Heck, we are ahead nationwide by over two million votes so why not have a check for unusual things.

Commentary is not going to get worked up over the QB situation at NRG.   I don’t have anything invested so to speak other than the three hours spent watching the flat screen yesterday.

AL MVP Mike Trout of course led MLB with 116 walks.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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Blacker Friday

This is a brief one again.

How many players on the 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot are former ‘Stros players?

Last night, some from the family decided to do the Black Friday thing. After a couple of hours or so, they returned with a few goodies. They also said that they ran into some shoppers with custom made Black Friday T-Shirts. And no, there weren’t any “Make Black Friday Great Again” or “Black Friday Matters” Ts in the mix.

Commentary is not going to delve into the latest college coaching rumors because they are just that – rumors.

Bagwell, The Rocket, Jeff Kent, Pudge, Curt Schilling, and Billy Wagner are on the HOF ballot and have all worn a ‘Stro uniform of course.

That is all I have.

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Redneck Reddick

This is going to be brief.

The ‘Stros officially announced the signing of outfielder John Reddick. He will be wearing the 22. Who wore the 22 from 2004-2006?

GM Jeff Luhnow called Reddick a “perfect fit” and he certainly wasn’t talking about the H-Town community in general. Here is a tweet from Tags yesterday:

Reddick: “Texas is something that brings me closer to home, and it’s more my southern roots and I can hang out with rednecks a little more.”

You know how MLB has a program for young Latin American players to get them acclimated to life and culture in the USA. Maybe the ‘Stros ought to have a program for ‘necks like Reddick to get them acclimated to H-Town’s diversity.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some ‘necks in H-Town and the H-Town area but that is not our reputation – I think.

Maybe someone in the ‘Stros front office should give him the H-Town area zip codes of where ‘necks make up the majority of the population and see if he wants to get a crib there. Just saying.

The Rocket of course wore the 22 from 2004-2006.

There will be 13 of us for Thanksgiving Dinner today and we are all thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!



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Only time will tell if Donald Trump played his so-called base to get to the White House.   He is changing his tune for sure. Here is from a New York Times story in today’s Chron:

President-elect Donald Trump tempered Tuesday some of his most extreme campaign promises, dropping his vow to jail Hillary Clinton, expressing doubt about the value of torturing terrorism suspects and pledging to have an open mind about climate change.

But in a wide-ranging, hourlong interview with reporters and editors at the New York Times – which was scheduled, canceled and then reinstated after a dispute over the ground rules – Trump was unapologetic about flouting some of the traditional ethical and political conventions that have long shaped the American presidency.

He said he had no legal obligation to establish boundaries between his business empire and his White House, conceding that the Trump brand “is certainly a hotter brand than it was before.” Still, he said he would try to figure out a way to insulate himself from his businesses, which would be run by his children.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/nation/article/Trump-retreats-from-some-of-his-extreme-positions-10631692.php.

More from the above:

Trump rejected the idea that he was bound by federal anti-nepotism laws against installing his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a White House job. But he said he would want to avoid the appearance of a conflict and might seek to make Kushner a special envoy charged with brokering peace in the Middle East.

“The president of the United States is allowed to have whatever conflicts he or she wants, but I don’t want to do that,” Trump said. But he said that Kushner, who is an observant Jew, “could be very helpful” in reconciling the longstanding dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said, adding that Kushner “would be very good at it” and that “he knows the region.”

Jared to the rescue?  Sure. Like that is going to happen.

Here is what Commentary thinks. Let Trump continue to mix his personal business while living in the White House. Sooner rather than later even the GOP leaders won’t have the stomach to defend him.

Jason Castro is now with the Twins. This past season he was behind the plate for 111 games. What other position besides DH did he play this past season?

Commentary ran into Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg this morning at the neighborhood breakfast taco eatery. She has a nice Thanksgiving Day column today and here is how it ends:

I’m thankful for stomach viruses. Thanks to a violent illness, I don’t remember much of election night.

I’m grateful for irony: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is reportedly being considered as secretary of energy, the agency he infamously forgot to name among the list of three he wanted to abolish. Maybe he’ll accept the post and then forget to show up.

I’m thankful for humor. Those Biden memes have saved me from the fetal position more than once. And the clever folks tweeting #TrumpYourThanksgiving have dished out one-liners this week that can ease any awkward moment for those of us dining with relatives who voted the other way. Riff on wishbones that aren’t rigged. Build a border wall with potatoes. Deport the dark meat off the plate. Feign disgust at the turkey that has stuffing coming out of its whatever.

Jokes aside, I’m thankful for this country, for this democracy, even for this election, which has been a profound reminder that voting matters, and that those who care enough to turn out have the power to change things.

And I’m thankful for you, dear reader, and especially for the 400-or-so Chronicle subscribers who braved rush-hour traffic to hear me talk the other night. Journalism is more important now than it’s ever been. And those of you who still invest in the pursuit of truth, who willingly expose yourself to diverse viewpoints with which you may not agree, I salute you.

For those of us eating crow with our turkey this year, don’t worry. We’ll make it through dinner. But only with grace, hope and a side of silly.

Here is all of Lisa’s column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Giving-thanks-after-Trump-You-can-do-it-This-10631734.php.

The latest count:

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote surpassed 2 million Wednesday morning, according to Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Clinton has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to Trump’s 62,206,395 votes.

And Falkenberg’s comment:

“utterly useless daily tallies of Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote” 


Commentary watched the entire Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony yesterday. It was cool. Here is the best headline that I have seen about the ceremony:

Vin-sylvania Ave! Scully among DC iconics

Like I said, cool.

Last season, Jason Castro played first base in three games of course.

It is official. From Tags:

The Astros have agreed on a four-year deal with free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick, the club announced on Wednesday.

The pact is worth $52 million, a source previously confirmed.

That’s it from The Yard. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Trump and the Media

Kuffer has a mention on the HISD Trustee runoff election. Check this:

As noted in my analysis of Hillary Clinton’s performance in Harris County, Clinton carried the district, but 1) there were also a lot of undervotes, 2) turnout for the runoff is going to be really low, and 3) Clinton carried HISD VII with crossover votes. I haven’t done all of the numbers, but I can tell you that Dori Garza lost here by a 52-42 margin. That said, lower turnout may benefit Sung more than it does Luman, depending on who is motivated to come out and vote. Pantsuit Nation is touting this race, and it’s certainly possible that Sung will have some more momentum going in. All things being equal, though, this is Luman’s race to lose, and even if he does lose, Sung would have a tough re-election in 2017. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one as we go. If you live in HISD VII, mark the dates for voting on your calendar because they will zip past before you know it.

Here is the entire piece: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=77694 .

Commentary mentioned a few days ago that I have done one of these. It is hard. In 2010, in the general election, 15,000 cast votes in an HISD trustee special election and another 9,600 under-voted. In the December runoff, 2000 voters showed up. Just saying.

The MLB Hall of Fame ballots were unveiled yesterday. Will Jeff Bagwell make it? Did Bagwell ever have a season where he played in all 162 games?

The Chron’s Rebecca Elliott has a front page article today about a City of H-Town official trip to Mexico City to watch the Texans and some trade mission stuff thrown in on the side. Here is from the article:

In fact, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, Houston Texans and Greater Houston Partnership, the region’s main business group, arranged the three-day mission around the game, partnership president Bob Harvey said.

Judging by the draft itinerary, football took center stage for the city’s delegation, which was slated to include the mayor, his daughter, six City Council members, five mayor’s office employees, the director of the Houston Airport System and three members of the mayor’s security detail.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/On-Mexico-trade-mission-Mayor-Turner-was-ready-10629071.php.

As far as the game went, no se puede!

I don’t know what the media networks were thinking when they decided to meet with Donald Trump off the record yesterday. Come on!   This is a guy who called you corrupt and dishonest. At least the New York Times held their ground.

Just do your job and cover Trump.   Prepare for a contentious four years.

Here is from Reuters:

President-elect Donald Trump abruptly canceled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with The New York Times newspaper that he has frequently criticized, complaining in morning Twitter posts about inaccurate coverage and a “nasty tone.”

The move came a day after the Republican real estate magnate met with television anchors and news industry executives and reporters in New York in a session The Washington Post described as a contentious but generally respectful.

Trump singled out reporting of his campaign by CNN and NBC that he considered to be unfair, the Post said, citing four participants at the meeting. The moves illustrated Trump’s complicated relationship with the news media.

As a presidential candidate, Trump was quick to bristle at unflattering news coverage, even as he remained accessible to certain reporters, including several from the Times. At one point, he banned The Post, Buzzfeed and Politico from receiving credentials to attend his events after their coverage was critical of him.

“I canceled today’s meeting with the failing @nytimes when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last moment. Not nice,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

“Perhaps a new meeting will be set up with the @nytimes. In the meantime they continue to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone!” Trump wrote in a second post.

A spokeswoman for the Times said the newspaper was not aware the meeting was canceled until Trump’s tweet, which came at about 6:30 a.m. EST (1130 GMT). Trump’s team tried to change the conditions of the meeting on Monday, asking that it be off the record, but the newspaper refused, said spokeswoman Eileen Murphy.

“In the end, we concluded with them that we would go back to the original plan of a small off the record session and a larger on the record session with reporters and columnists,” she said in a statement.

Just do your job.

Jeff Bagwell played in all 162 games four different seasons of course: 1992, 1996, 1997 and 1999.

Here is from Tags:

When the 2016 Hall of Fame voting results were announced last January, former Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell admitted he had a hard time waiting to see if his name would be called because of the uncertainty of it all.

Bagwell, who’s on the ballot for a seventh time this year, should be a little more at ease when the results of the 2017 Hall of Fame balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America are announced on Jan. 18. He appeared on 71.6 percent of the ballots last year, putting him on the cusp of being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Sixteen of the 17 players that cleared 70 percent in one year — while falling short of the 75 percent needed — got in the Hall of Fame the next year, setting Bagwell up to join longtime teammate and 2015 inductee Craig Biggio as the only players in Cooperstown to play their whole careers in Houston. Only pitcher Jim Bunning, who received 74.2 percent in 1988, didn’t make it on his next try.


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