Archive for May 29th, 2017

100 Years Ago Today

President John F. Kennedy was born 100 years ago today! Just saying John F. Kennedy speaks volumes.

This is today’s MLB question. Who is quoted in the following from the NY Times yesterday:

Asked by The New York Times in March 2009 whether he felt betrayed by some Republican colleagues (this U.S. Senator) replied,  “When you’ve dealt with Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and Stan Musial, the people I’m dealing with are kind of down the scale.”

That is a cold-blooded quote so who said it?

Commentary is not going to say much about how moronic Greg Abbott comes across when he talks about guns and reporters. This guy has no class whatsoever.

Mike Morris has a piece today in the Chron about the expected repeal of the revenue cap election in H-Town this November. Here is a line from the article:

The Harris County Republican Party plans to campaign against (Mayor Sylvester) Turner’s repeal effort, and is expected to have company.

Who is the “company”? I must have missed who was named.

And this from the article:

Despite the cap’s complexity, conservative political strategist Denis Calabrese said he doubts there will be a shortage of voter education on the issue.

“Voters will come into that election very well informed and knowledgeable and they’ll be able to express their opinion,” he said. “The predisposition going into this is that voters don’t support the repeal of the cap, and we’ll see if that changes as a result of the education efforts on both sides.”

Two early polls – one by the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs and one by the polling firm Baselice & Associates – suggest voters want to keep the cap. The Baselice survey found 53 percent of respondents support keeping the cap and 36 percent want it repealed; the UH poll found broad support for property tax relief.

Democratic political consultant Keir Murray said most residents look only at their overall tax bill and do not notice the amount they pay to Houston ISD, for instance, is nearly double what they send to City Hall.

“Houstonians may theoretically recognize that there’s a revenue cap in place, but they don’t see their property tax bills going down,” Murray said. “We know that’s because of increasing appraisals, but it’s hard to make that distinction to voters.”

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Pension-fix-passed-mayor-turns-to-rev-cap-bond-11176977.php.

Here is what Kuffer had to say about the Morris article:

You know that I support repealing the cap. The question is how to sell that idea. I agree that the predisposition is likely to be to keep it, though I’d argue that most people know very little about the cap. I’d approach this primarily as a plea from Mayor Turner, as part of his overall plan to get the city’s finances in order. Have him say something like “I promised you I’d get a bill passed in the Legislature to rein in pension costs, and I did that. But the work isn’t done just yet, and I need your help to finish the job. The revenue cap limits Houston’s economic growth and lowers our city’s credit rating. To really get our finances in order, we need to repeal it.” You get the idea. Basically, the Mayor has as much credibility with the voters right now as he’ll likely ever have. That’s a huge asset, and he should leverage it.

Alternately, if the local GOP is going to oppose repealing the cap, then one might keep in mind that the city is much more Democratic than it is Republican, so if this becomes a partisan fight then the Mayor has a larger pool of voters available to him. There are also a lot of potential villains to demonize in such a campaign, from the President on down. This would almost certainly be the kind of low-information, high-heat campaign that makes newspaper columnists wring their hands about civility and discourse, but it would get people to the polls. I’d take my chances with it.

Here is all of Kuffer’s take: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=80823.

I really can’t agree with Charles on how to sell the repeal. Voters are going to want to know why they should pay more property taxes. The opponents are going to remind voters that we pay more in utility rates, we now pay a drainage fee and we’ve been paying more property taxes due to increased appraisals. If the repeal campaign says we need to repeal to put more cops on the streets, the opponents are going counter with that promise was made 10 years ago or so and not kept.

As far as making this a partisan issue, I wouldn’t go there because that assumes that Dems are in favor of paying more in property taxes and I don’t think that is true. Dems may want an increase in taxes, but we want the rich and major corporations to shoulder the increase.

The repeal campaign will no doubt be well funded. Commentary is hearing that the opposition will also be well funded. If that is the case, well then things will be very interesting.

Nice job, Council Member Cisneros. See this from this weekend’s Chron:

The first hint of the controversy to come appeared on a company website.

Whole Foods Market was building a grocery store to anchor a new shopping center along Yale Street in historic Independence Heights.

The store would be one of the company’s smaller “365” markets, promoted under the name of the neighboring, more-affluent Garden Oaks community.

Independence Heights took it personally.

“Calling the store ‘Garden Oaks 365’ robs the identity of Independence Heights and chisels away at the branding and identity of this important historic neighborhood,” Houston Councilmember Karla Cisneros wrote in a May 15 letter to the Austin-based company.

She called for a retail identity honoring the “historical significance of Independence Heights” and invited Whole Foods leaders to a meeting.

The response from the company was swift. Jeff Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods, called Cisneros, and by Thursday the online description had been changed to recognize Independence Heights as the store’s new home.

No offense was intended – the Garden Oaks reference online was simply an informal way to locate the store for the public, a Whole Foods spokeswoman said Thursday.

“We want it to be the most fitting to the community that we are in,” she said.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Independence-Heights-wins-Whole-hearted-dispute-11176460.php.

Nice job, Karla.

Hall of Fame great and former GOP U.S. Senator from Kentucky Jim Bunning of course said “when you’ve dealt with Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra and Stan Musial, the people I’m dealing with are kind of down the scale.”

Jim Bunning left us this past Saturday. He had a great pitching career that included the tossing of a perfecto and another no-no.

Ok, now for some ‘Stros. Here is from the Chron’s Brian Smith:

This is about more than believing or buying in. We’re past that.

This can’t be defined by a standard catch-all word such as resilient, gritty or united. That was 2015, and these Astros aren’t young anymore.

This is just a good baseball team 51 contests into a 162-game campaign. The best in the sport, if you want to stick to facts. The best in franchise history at this point in a six-month season, if you want to.

And this is how it ends:

“We’re playing with confidence, and we have a lot of talent in this group, and we trust each other,” said Carlos Correa, who’s now hitting a team-best .302. “So there’s no selfishness in this clubhouse. The chemistry’s great.”

It would take an immediate collapse to erase what’s set up as the summer of the Astros. It will take a few lost months to prevent a return to the postseason.

Believing? Buying in? Young and fun?

We’re past all that.

This is a good baseball team that could just be getting started. The best in Astros history, in fact, as June awaits.

Here is all of Brian Smith’s column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/smith/article/Calendar-says-May-but-Astros-make-it-easy-to-11179853.php.

Here is how MLB.com’s Richard Justice starts his column today:

HOUSTON — What does a 10-game lead get you? On Memorial Day, it gets you nothing. Take it from the Houston Astros. On the other hand, maybe they’re really this good. Maybe this is going to be one of those special seasons players remember forever.

Here is all of Justice: http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/233043112/houston-astros-putting-together-dynamic-year/.

I don’t know where we will be sitting in September, but we are playing great baseball. Having a 10 game lead on Memorial Day is a big deal. We have a good team.   I like our chances.   We start a 10 game roadie this afternoon at Target.



Read Full Post »