Archive for November 21st, 2016

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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