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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Ross Ramsey of the Trib has the obligatory piece on straight ticket voting. Who benefits and its future.

Let me say this. Are voters complaining?   The losers complain. The winners don’t. Is the system broke? I don’t think so.

Here is from Ross’ piece:

For every political candidate rescued by straight-ticket voters, another is doomed. The most recent election offered some case studies. Every county-wide election in Harris County went to the Democrats, as did straight-ticket voting.

Texas voters knew what they wanted to do in high-profile races, like the one for president, but straight-ticket voting — where ballots are cast for all candidates of a particular party — becomes more important as the names on the ballot become less familiar. When it comes to county-wide races for judges, for instance, voters often don’t know much about the candidates or the issues.

They vote for the parties instead, casting their fates on the basis of general ideology, or at least the brand names they like most.


The politics of straight-ticket voting are simple: It’s popular with a voting district’s majority party and unpopular with the minority.

The Republicans are obviously winning state elections, but in recent elections they’ve been losing the state’s urban areas. Houston is blue. Dallas is blue. Even Fort Worth is blue, although Tarrant County overall continues to turn in solid and important election majorities for the GOP.

Forty states don’t allow straight-ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eleven states have dumped or limited it since 1994, according to NCSL.


And straight-ticket voting remains popular with voters. In this year’s general election in Harris County, 65.3 percent of voters pulled the lever for the Republican or the Democratic Party. The Democrats had a 5.3-percentage-point advantage, which is why all of those officials were turned out of office.

In Dallas County, the total was 65.1 percent. It was 64.5 percent in Tarrant County, with an eight-point Republican advantage. More than half of Bexar County’s voters, 55.6 percent, cast what have been called one-punch votes — hitting the ballot just the one time for the party of their choice.

Here is the entire article: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/11/21/analysis-live-party-die-party/.

Hey folks! In case you have not figured it out, we are becoming more partisan and that is being reflected when folks go to vote. They are picking a partisan side.  So why do we want to deny voters that option? Again, it is an option. Just saying.

From Yahoo Sports:

The Houston Astros have placed first baseman Jon Singleton on outright waivers less than three years after signing him to an unprecedented five-year, $10M contract. The deal also include three team option years, which could raise the total value to $30M.

The deal was unique in that Singleton signed it before taking a single MLB at-bat. It was the source of much debate, even drawing criticism from the MLBPA after it was perceived he’d given up a large chunk of his future earning potential to ink a team-friendly deal. As it turns out, Singleton may have actually done well to land that money. He hit just .171/.290/.331 over 420 plate appearances in 2014-15 and he didn’t play in the bigs at all in 2016.

Singleton last wore the 21. Who wore the 21 from 2004-2006?

Commentary is glad to see more Dems say we need a full-time DNC Chair and not another elected official. Here is from a Politico story from the weekend:

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who is up for reelection in 2018, said last week that “the DNC head ought to be full-time,” though he refused to answer followups on the race or who he’s supporting. Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America, is considering a run for the DNC post and also thinks the position should be full-time, according to a spokeswoman.

Last weekend, Assistant House Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn of South Carolina sent a letter to House Democrats arguing that the next chairman needs to be engaged on a full-time basis.

“The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) primary goal is to win the presidency,” the letter, obtained by POLITICO, said. “Winning the presidency in 2020 is possible. But it will require, in our not-so-humble opinion, a 24/7 bottom-to-top rebuilding effort.”

Here is the entire Politico piece: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/keith-ellison-dnc-resistance-231575.

Come on Dems! Pick a full-time Chair.

Commentary has been saying this for a long time. Check this from Mike McGuff’s blog:

Spanish-language TV news ratings in Houston are, what can I say, getting muy caliente! So much so that Univision 45 KXLN and Telemundo 47 KTMD are fighting for the top spot during the late news. That even means over their English-language newscast counterparts. And I’ve heard the Houston English-stations have taken notice. Just look at the 2016 Lone Star EMMY wins for example. “At the close of the October 2016 survey period, our station was once again the most-watched during Primetime,” Tony Canales, President and General Manager, KTMD told mikemcguff.com. “Our late weekday newscast also outranked all of our local competitors.” KTMD certainly has momentum behind its back for the first time in years. Just years ago, the station was airing a newscast produced out of Dallas with a handful of Houston reporters trying to make it more local. Now the NBC owned station is the only Spanish-language station in town to use a helicopter to cover breaking news. The station tells me it just launched a new app that features first-of-its-kind Spanish-language weather alerts. It’s also launched a new consumer investigative unit called Telemundo Responde (Telemundo Responds) which fights for viewers’ rights. “The Telemundo Station Group stations have been completely transformed thanks to NBCUniversal’s investment in the stations,” Canales added. “As a result, the Telemundo-owned stations have ushered in a new era in Spanish-language local news.”


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in Houston is close to 45% with no signs of slowing down. The population that speaks Spanish at home grew about 8.5% between 2010 and 2015. The younger group, ages 5-17 grew by 2.4% while 18-64 year olds grew by 4.3%. However the largest growth goes to the population ages 65 and over who grew by 30%. “This paradigm of Spanish-language media growth and of Telemundo and Univision stations in Houston claiming the #1 and #2 10 p.m. newscasts (regardless of language) is not new,” López Negrete explained. “Houston boasts a very large Hispanic population and has for quite a long time. This enormous audience is making a conscious choice to consume Spanish-language television, and is funneled into TWO networks/channels vs. four major ones.” That large Hispanic population actually separates Spanish-Language TV from the English-language world. While Houston is ranked number eight in the Nielsen TV Designated Market Area (DMA) list, it’s actually the fourth largest Spanish TV market in the country behind Miami (#3), New York (#2) and Los Angeles (#1).

Here is the entire read: http://mikemcguff.blogspot.com/.

I hope local Dems are paying attention. Local Telemundo and Univision were factors in more H-Town Latino voter participation a couple of weeks ago. Pay attention!

Andy Pettitte of course wore the 21 from 2004-2006.

The ‘Stros have yet to assign new catcher Brian McCann a jersey number. McCann wore the 16 with The ATL and the number 34 with the Yankees. He won’t get to wear the 34 with the ‘Stros and Tony Kemp is wearing the 16 for now.

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Hunker Down will be running for reelection in 2018.   Some thought he might not.

Here is from the Chron:

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said Thursday that he plans to seek re-election when his current term is up in 2018, ending speculation that he might step aside after more than a decade at the helm of the nation’s third most-populous county.

Emmett, a Republican known for his pragmatic, steady approach, said he made the decision Wednesday night after conferring with family and friends.

“I’m in kind of a unique position to bring people together at a time when it’s needed more than any other,” the 67-year-old Emmett said. “Harris County is a big, diverse place with lots of problems. Those problems don’t have simple answers.”

Emmett’s decision follows a Democratic sweep of countywide races on the ballot earlier this month, a rout attributed to the county’s changing demographics and turnout against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Gerrymandering has kept the GOP in the majority on the county’s governing body, the commissioners court.


Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Friday that she had been considering running for the judgeship but would not since Emmett is seeking re-election.

“If he’s not there,” Parker said, “I’m going to be first in line.”

Commentary is thinking Hunker Down will not get a free pass.   Dems just won the top of the ticket by 161,000 votes and 12 percentage points here in Harris County. I am thinking that some Dem names will surface in the next few days or weeks as possible County Judge candidates. Possibly African American and/or Latino candidates.  Hopefully.

It won’t be like 2010 or 2014 because a Dem won’t be living in the White House.

Kuffer has a real good take on Harris County and 2018. Here are parts:

I’ll repeat my mantra here: Conditions in 2018 are going to be different than they were in 2010 and 2014. I don’t know what they will be like, and it’s certainly possible they could be worse, but they pretty much have to be different by definition. I’ll also say again that after this election, it’s hard to argue the proposition that there are more Democrats in the county than there are Republicans. Doesn’t mean there will be more Democratic voters in a given election, and things can always change, but as they stand today we have a bigger pool than they do. Put aside the Hillary/Trump numbers, and consider that in this election, the average Republican judicial candidate received about 606,000 votes, and the average Democratic judicial candidate received about 661,000. There are more Ds than Rs.


– It all starts with the candidates. There are three important county offices that will need candidates – County Judge, which has now been complicated by Judge Ed Emmett’s announcement that he plans to run for re-election instead of retiring as had been thought, County Clerk, and Commissioner in Precinct 2. (Yes, District Clerk and County Treasurer are also on the ballot, but with all due respect they don’t have the ability to affect policy that these offices do. Also, HCDE At Large Trustee Diane Trautman will be up for re-election, but unless she decides to step down that candidacy will be accounted for.) I’m not going to get into the candidate speculation business right now – there will be plenty of time for that later – but we need good candidates, and we need to ensure that they fully engage in the primary process. The last thing we need is a Lloyd Oliver-style failure.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=77561.

It is not too soon to be thinking about 2018.

The ‘Stros made a couple of big moves yesterday including the signing of Josh Reddick for four years for $52 mil. How many All Star game appearances does Reddick have?

Remember when Mitt Romney said this about Donald Trump earlier this year?

Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.

I am far from the first to conclude that Donald Trump lacks the temperament of be president. After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.

Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, while has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.

There is dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War while John McCain, whom he has mocked, was imprisoned and tortured.

Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark: He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq. Wrong, he spoke in favor of invading Iraq. He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. Wrong, he saw no such thing. He imagined it. His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.


There are a number of people who claim that Mr. Trump is a con man, a fake. There is indeed evidence of that. Mr. Trump has changed his positions not just over the years, but over the course of the campaign, and on the Ku Klux Klan, daily for three days in a row.

Romney is meeting with Trump this weekend. Sad and pitiful.  Romney lost his morals and conviction I guess.

This from a New Yorker piece about a question to the President four days before the election:

When Obama wandered down the aisle of Air Force One, I asked him, “Do you feel confident about Tuesday?”

“Nope,” he said.

The ‘Stros put this out yesterday:

The Houston Astros have acquired catcher Brian McCann from the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league right-handed pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow. “We entered the offseason with the acquisition of a catcher as a primary focus,” said Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow. “Brian McCann is a great fit for the Astros as he is not only a good defensive catcher, he is also a left-handed hitter with proven run producing ability. His experience and his ability to impact his teammates will be a significant benefit to our team.” McCann, 32, batted .242 (104×429) with 20 homers, 13 doubles, 58 RBI and 54 walks in 130 games in 2016. He appeared in 92 games behind the plate, and three at first base. Over the course of his 12-year career, McCann has been named to seven All-Star teams and has won six Silver Slugger Awards. He spent his first nine seasons with the Braves (2005-13), and past three with the Yankees (2014-16).

And from Tags:

HOUSTON — The Astros on Thursday reached an agreement on a four-year, $52-million deal with free agent outfielder Josh Reddick, a source confirmed for MLB.com, on the same day the club announced the acquisition of veteran catcher Brian McCann in a trade with the Yankees.

The club has not confirmed the report.

Reddick, who will turn 30 in February, hit .281 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 115 games split between the Athletics and Dodgers last season and satisfies the Astros’ need for a left-handed-hitting outfielder. Primarily a right fielder in his career, Reddick’s signing means George Springer will likely play center field next season.

Reddick, a former Gold Glove winner with the A’s, is a career .255 hitter with a .316 on-base percentage in eight years in the big leagues. He was traded to the Dodgers in the Rich Hill deal halfway through last season and batted .258 in 47 games.

Reddick is in the zilch department in All Star game appearances of course.

So it is adios to Jason Castro and hello to higher prices for a Saint Arnold.

I like the McCann move but not too sure about the Reddick deal.

Jose Altuve got third place in the AL MVP voting.

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Interesting to say the least. Both H-Town Fire and Police will now be headed by Latinos and outsiders. Interesting.

Check this tweet:

Mike Morris ‏@mmorris011 2h2 hours ago

Art Acevedo (Austin PD chief) accepts new job as Houston Police Chief http://bit.ly/2ewfkmC , Austin radio reporting #hounews

Form the Statesman today:

(Austin) Mayor Steve Adler released the following statement about Acevedo: “Houston is getting a world-class police chief. Chief Acevedo has made our community safer and closer and he is trusted and much loved by so many. Austin is losing a moral and joyous leader and I’m losing a friend.

From Rebecca Elliott in today’s Chron:

El Paso Fire Chief Samuel Peña has been tapped as Houston’s new fire chief, replacing Interim Fire Chief Rodney West, sources said Thursday.

Peña, 45, has led El Paso’s fire department for three years.

Like I said, interesting. Congrats.

The ‘Stros signed starting pitcher Charlie Morton for $14 mil for two-years. He is 33 years-old. How many MLB All Star games and post season games has he played?

I am thinking former HISD Trustee Larry Marshall will never get a school named after him. Check this from Ericka Mellon of the Chron:

A bribery lawsuit that kept a cloud of suspicion over the Houston school district for six years ended Wednesday with a jury finding that former board president Larry Marshall participated in a kickback scheme that caused millions of dollars in damages to a local construction contractor.

The civil jury decided in favor of the Gil Ramirez Group, an upstart firm that alleged it lost lucrative school district contracts because it did not offer bribes to Marshall through his political campaign treasurer and longtime friend, Joyce Moss-Clay.

The verdict, which may be appealed, deals a hit to Marshall’s legacy as one of the longest-serving and best-known Houston school trustees, who started as a teacher in 1955 and later worked to integrate the nation’s seventh-largest district.

“The culture of corruption at HISD took a serious blow today,” Kelly Greenwood Prather, an attorney for Gil Ramirez Jr., said after the verdict, which triggered tears of joy from her client.

The jury found that Marshall, Moss-Clay and two HISD construction contractors violated the civil racketeering law and awarded the Gil Ramirez Group about $451,500, an amount that is tripled to $1.4 million under law.

The jury also found the group interfered in contracts and awarded $3.4 million in punitive damages, plus $676,667 in actual damages.

The Houston Independent School District, dismissed as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015, distanced itself from Marshall Wednesday, issuing a statement that the district is not responsible for paying damages on the former trustee’s behalf.

Marshall’s legacy taking a hit is putting it mildly.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Former-HISD-president-participated-in-bribery-10619547.php?cmpid=btfpm.

From the Stand by Your Man Department, I have nothing but kudos for Kate Upton having Justin Verlander’s back. Made my evening!

New ‘Stro pitcher Charlie Morton who is getting $14 mil over the next couple of years has played in zilch All Star games and has pitched in one post season game of course, a 2013 loss as a Pirate to San Luis in the NLDS.

And that is why the price of my tickets have gone up and why the price of Saint Arnold will also go up. MLB economics, just saying.

From the Chron’s Brian Smith today:

He is the best Astro since Craig Biggio retired.

He’s the one Houston athlete above all others that I’d pay top dollar to watch up close, in person.

And he’s still somehow underrated, despite producing one of the greatest all-around offensive seasons in franchise history.

Maybe Jose Altuve will shock baseball and steal the 2016 American League Most Valuable Player award on Thursday, beating out Los Angeles’ Mike Trout and edging Boston’s Mookie Betts.

Here is the entire column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/smith/article/Jose-Altuve-merits-MVP-as-much-as-anyone-10619656.php?cmpid=btfpm.

Why not?

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