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Archive for March, 2018

Extra Innings

In the 2017 World Series, how many games went into extra innings?

Commentary will say it again.  When Tiger is in the hunt like he is this morning, the PGA is a whole lot more fun and interesting.

I would tend to agree with the following tweet, but…..

S.E. Cupp‏Verified account @secupp 31m31 minutes ago 

Very disheartened to see many in media covering the Don Jr divorce news with glee, making jokes and memes about it. Divorce is sad and hard on kids, I speak from experience. Let’s have some sympathy and restraint.

….. but, the fella is an arsehole who promotes hate and White Supremacists, you get the picture. So, I understand why folks pile on during his difficult time.  No sympathy from me.

I have not heard of any debates being planned in the Dem runoff race for Governor. That is too bad.

Chron.com has a piece on what confuses folks from H-Town and here are my favs from the piece:

Maribel Molina, web producer

“Why did they build such a cool concert venue IN THE WOODLANDS. That is SO inconvenient.”

Like I have only been there five times or so.

Don Mason, business reporter

“Street names change for no particular reason, sometimes with a conjoined name in between: Montrose-Studemont-Studewood; Westheimer-Elgin; Richmond-Wheeler; Hillcroft-Voss-Bingle.

I live off of Studewood and when I give folks directions on how to get here I often use all three street names.

April M.

“Why is Kuykendahl said Kirkkendoll?”

Yep and don’t get me started on San Phillipe.

Phillip B.

“Moved to Houston from NYC for love. Aside for the backwards right-wing statewide politics what is the deal calling pigs in a blanket Kolaches? Really? Pigs in a blanket. Period.”

This has been covered before.

Here is all of the confusion: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Things-that-still-confuse-some-Houstonians-6145540.php?__twitter_impression=true#item-85307-tbla-25

One that isn’t on the list.  How come there is always construction being done on one of our major freeways?

Keep it in the minors. See this:

Bill Kelly liked

Joshua‏ @josh_e21155 Mar 15

If Manfred ever tries to start extra innings with a runner on second at the major league level it’ll be a very sad day. Some pace of play experiments are simply not permissible

I agree.  I prefer extra innings games in MLB to be extra innings games. Nobody is being forced to stay and watch. If they want to go the way that fast pitch softball goes in the minors, no big deal to me because I don’t watch minor league games. Don’t ruin the MLB experience.

Game 2 of the World Series that we won 7-6 went 11 innings and Game 5 that we won 13-12 went 10 innings of course and someone needs to tell the Donald Trump folks that Game 5 was the best World Series game ever, not Game 7.

The Team Store will open at 12:01 am Monday so fans can get the new gold trimmed lids and jerseys.

 

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Debate, Please

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

On this day in 44 B.C., Julius Caesar bit the dust.

The Ides of March.

Since Marwin Gonzalez has been with the ‘Stros, how many times has he started on Opening Day?

Folks talk sh_t all the time on the internet.

Folks also don’t have their facts correct, but they think they do. I saw this tweet in reaction to a post about Rep. Ana Hernandez’s fundraiser this evening that the H-Town Mayor is hosting:

PoliticoHack‏ @politi_hack 21m21 minutes ago

Replying to @PatrickSvitek

Even this Dallas gal knows that Hernandez supported Turner for Houston Mayor early, instead of Adrian Garcia, who served on City Council with (State Rep. Carol) Alvarado, whom Alvarado supported for Mayor. #notsurprised

Rep. Alvarado didn’t endorse former Sheriff Garcia in his mayoral bid. She endorsed Mayor Turner in the runoff. Those are the facts.

It is really a shame that we don’t have Dem nomination gubernatorial debates scheduled for the runoff. Debates have the potential to get more Dem voters participating. What a shame.

Kuffer thinks there ought to be debates and here is from his take today:

1. Just as a reminder, some 30% of primary voters picked someone other than Valdez and White on March 6. Some of them surely made a conscious decision to vote for one of the other candidates, but some of them just as surely picked a name more or less at random. Neither Valdez nor White has a whole lot of money right now, and neither campaign has done that much voter outreach yet. Having debates will do a lot to perform outreach to the voters who for whatever reason didn’t pick one of the frontrunners the first time around, and they’re basically free.

2. As I said before, Democrats have the only statewide runoff on the ballot as well as more Congressional runoffs. The Democratic gubernatorial runoff is the highest-profile race on the ballot right now, the only one that can claim to give a reason for everyone to vote. (Well, everyone except those who voted in the Republican primary.) Maybe this is just restating point #1, but Valdez-White debates are the best opportunity we will have to focus attention on our eventual nominee for Governor, and perhaps the only opportunity we will have to do so in a way that isn’t filtered through the default Republican perspective. This is a great gift, and both candidates should embrace it.

3. Beyond the practical concerns elections with candidate debates >>> elections without candidate debates. Yeah, sure, most debates are more about choreography and pre-packaged applause lines and zingers and whatnot. They’re still the best chance to see what a candidate looks like under pressure, and without a squadron of consultants standing by to keep them on message. Why wouldn’t we want this? Campos has more.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=85388.

What is the problem? Debate, please.

In 2012, Marwin Gonzalez was our Opening Day starter at shortstop and in 2016, he was our Opening Day starter at first base of course.

Marwin will likely be our Opening Day starter in left field or first base two weeks from today.

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#SpringerDinger is our likely starting center fielder on Opening Day in Arlington two weeks from tomorrow. Cesar Cedeno leads the ‘Stros with 9 Opening Day starts in center field. Name the ‘Stro with the second most Opening Day starts in center field?

Happy Pi Day!

Commentary watched the election returns last night on CNN. The Donald Trump toadie stooge sitting at the end absolutely contributes zilch. Trying to convince the audience that Trump nearly saved the day is wacko. You have to figure CNN knows this. Sigh!

Gov. Greg Abbott puts on the call of the Special Session a hateful and divisive bathroom bill and doesn’t support it tells you all you need to know about the fella. This fella doesn’t deserve one zillionth of an ounce of respect.

Here is from Peggy Fikac of the Express-News:

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t want the bathroom bill to reach his desk despite his public statements of support, a House committee chairman said Tuesday, citing a private meeting with gubernatorial staff while the debate raged.

“The bottom line was, they did not want this bill on the governor’s desk,” Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, who heads the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness, said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. “We had been hearing this also from industry leaders, which corroborated the same thing we were told directly.”

Cook said the revelation came during a meeting in his office that included then-Abbott Chief of Staff Daniel Hodge during last year’s regular legislative session.

The chairman made his comments as his select committee released a report slamming the bathroom bill anew and warning against efforts to revive the measure.

Abbott’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment, and neither did Hodge.

Here is the entire Fikac article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/local/politics/article/House-chairman-says-Gov-Abbott-s-staff-12749758.php.

Wow! Despicable!

And this my fellow Dems is why we need a couple of Dem nomination gubernatorial debates here in Texas in a the next month.

I don’t know if I am in the majority or minority among activist Dems but I kind of would like to see Lupe Valdez and Andrew White debate before the runoff. Who wouldn’t? I would like to see how they match up against each other. That’s the healthy thing to do. Here is from the Trib:

The Democratic primary runoff for governor ramped up Tuesday with a debate over debates between Lupe Valdez and Andrew White, the two candidates still standing from the nine-way primary a week ago.

Within the span of a few hours, White, the son of late Gov. Mark White, called for debates with Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, ahead of the May 22 runoff and Valdez signaled an openness to sparring but with far less urgency. White was the runner-up in the March 6 primary with 27 percent of the vote behind Valdez, who drew 43 percent.

“The party’s nominee for governor – whether it’s Lupe or I – should begin spring training now for the fall campaign against Greg Abbott,” White said in a statement. “A few debates between the two of us before the runoff would make the eventual nominee all the stronger. And who doesn’t love a good debate?”

As part of its response, Valdez’s campaign suggested she was amenable to debating White closer to the runoff date — and took a shot at her rival over the attention-grabbing move. 

“We will be glad to work out a debate schedule when the voters become more focused on the race, but this primary won’t be won on 30-second debate responses,” Valdez spokesman Kiefer Odell said in a statement. “While we understand why someone who received such low support in most of Texas’ major urban areas and the Rio Grande Valley needs a debate to create buzz, Sheriff Valdez is focused on developing substantive relationships with voters across the state — just as she has done in Dallas County for the last 13 years.”

Valdez carried many of Texas’ biggest metropolitan areas in the primary, while White performed most strongly in Harris County — home to Houston, where he resides — as well as the rest of southeast Texas. 

Earlier Tuesday morning, White’s campaign had called on the Texas Democratic Party and media outlets to “sponsor” debates between him and Valdez. The party quickly responded that it currently has no plans to do so, noting that it has never put on such events in statewide races.

“We are not the DNC, and we all know it didn’t go so well for them on presidential debates,” Manny Garcia, the state party’s deputy executive director, said in a statement, alluding to the allegations of bias the Democratic National Committee faced in organizing debates involving the 2016 presidential primary candidates. 

A couple of debates might help us determine who best can take on the Abbott. The debates might even tell us who might have the potential to excite the voters. What’s the problem?

Democratic Party primary voters throughout the state of Texas need to see these two in action.   What is wrong with that? Not wanting a debate is NOT healthy folks.

Jimmy Wynn of course is number two behind Cesar Cedeno with 6 Opening Day starts in center field.

Carlos Correa said he was way too busy to go to D.C. so live with it!

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This Is Healthy

The ‘Stros gave Donald Trump a jersey with the number 17. Who is the best ‘Stros player ever to wear the 17?

Commentary is glad that Tiger is back. He makes the PGA so much more interesting to watch.

R.G. posted a piece yesterday about the back and forth between Lupe Valdez supporters and Andrew White supporters in the Dem Primary runoff race for the nomination for Texas Governor. Commentary thinks this is healthy. Here the beginning of the piece:

The undercurrent of the Democratic governor’s race turned into a bitter Facebook crossfire of identity politics and accusations over abortion stances this weekend between supporters of Houston businessman Andrew White and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. The tone got so hostile at one point that White’s mother – former Texas first lady Linda Gale White – felt compelled to come to her son’s defense.

The debate was triggered when former state Representative Debra Danburg posted an art graphic of a party hat, confetti and a ladder on a mustard yellow background to highlight the words: Please vote for ANDREW WHITE for Governor in the Democratic runoff. During 22 years in the Legislature, Danburg was the Democratic representative for Houston’s Montrose area. The Houston Press once likened her to Davy Crockett, defending “the gay denizens of Montrose,” a state lawmaker who expanded sexual rights, who AIDS-prevention funding and passed a bill making it easier for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. It’s also notable that she passed the state lawmaking spousal rape illegal. So it is not exactly like Danburg is from the Tory wing of the Democratic Party.

But starting Sunday afternoon and continuing into Monday, a Democratic style debate ensued after Danburg posted her plea for White on Facebook. It was like she had exposed the deep schism on the party’s left – the fight to win a statewide office for the first time in almost a quarter century versus a demand that the party serve as the unbending defender of abortion rights and identity politics. There were numerous comparisons of White to the much more charismatic Beto O’Rourke, who is running for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.

The debate began simply enough, with Kim Okanson asking, “Why not Lupe? (Honestly asking – not trying to stir any pots.) Linda George Smith  replied, “defeat Abbott,” referring to Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

Gauntlet thrown.

“I cannot imagine anyone motivated to the polls for White,” wrote Tom Combs. “Voting for him once they get there, sure. But excited…he’s not Beto…White, just not feeling it.”

Jim Sharp replied, “Beto will not win, Beto cannot win if he is on a ticket with someone who will drag him down. Vote for Andrew.”

White personally responded to Combs by writing, “Beto was a congressman for 6 yrs, has been campaigning for over a year, and is one of the most exciting Democratic politicians from Texas in a generation = and he lost 40% of the vote to 2 people that no one has ever heard of and who spent less than $10k…statewide politics is not only about a campaign or connecting with voters (those 2 things needs to happen). It’s about mass media.”

Dallas activist Trey McAtee wrote that White reminded him of centrist Democrats Chris Bell and Bill White, both of whom lost races for governor, and he noted that White’s father – the late Governor Mark White – lost his reelection bid in 1986. Houston Democrat Noah M. Horwitz wrote back, “Because nominating liberal identity politics folks works out great! Just ask Governor (Wendy) Davis.” McAtee popped the reply, “Identity politics? I’ll take a countywide Sheriff over a VC (venture capitalist) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

Here is the entire R.G. article: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/democrats-argue-victory-and-values-in-facebook-fight-over-white-valdez/.

Commentary doesn’t know Mr. McAtee, I think. I will say I did know Governor Mark White. He was a good friend. I held a key position with his 1982 WINNING campaign for Governor when we knocked off an incumbent GOP Governor. If history serves me well, that was the last time a Dem knocked off an incumbent GOP Governor in Texas. I also served as a Special Assistant to the Governor throughout his term and worked on his reelection campaign. We lost our 1986 election because we didn’t turn chicken and high-tail it when confronted with major challenges. Go check out your history books, please.

Like Commentary said, when was the last time a Dem knocked off an incumbent GOP Governor in Texas? Maybe it runs in the genes?

I wish they made more Mark Whites these days.

All and all, the discussion is healthy to have but don’t diss my former boss.

Here is from Kuffer today:

Endorsement watch: Alvarado’s army

Mar 13th, 2018

by Charles Kuffner

Rep. Carol Alvarado has released a long list of supporters for her campaign to succeed Sen. Sylvia Garcia in SD06. This is clearly a show of strength on Alvarado’s part – the list includes the three most recent Mayors of Houston, four of her State House colleagues, Commissioner (and former Sen.) Rodney Ellis, and a bunch of other current and past office holders. One thought that struck me as I read this was a reminder that Alvarado had been the runnerup the last time SD06 came open, losing in a special election runoff to Sen. Garcia. People had a hard choice to make in that election between two very good and well-qualified candidates, and Sen. Garcia emerged victorious. People will once again have a hard choice to make in that election between two very good and well-qualified candidates, and it may be that the bulk of those who are prominent and being public about it are going to Rep. Alvarado.

That’s hardly the final word, of course. There are plenty of people not on Rep. Alvarado’s list, and I’m sure Rep. Ana Hernandez will have her own impressive cadre of supporters. In fact, later in the day Rep. Hernandez sent out this fundraiser email that touted Mayor Turner as the special guest. That email references her HD143 campaign, with no mention of SD06, but you can draw your own inferences. Like I said, both she and Rep. Alvarado are strong candidates. Rep. Alvarado’s opening salvo may have the effect of scaring off other potential candidates, but there’s no guarantee of that, as Sen. Garcia herself could testify from CD29. All I’m going to say at this time is the same as what I said the last time we had one of these elections, which is that I’m glad I was redistricted into SD15 so I don’t have to take a side myself.

Got it?

Everyone knows Commentary doesn’t like that sorry you know what who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but I am not going to get down on the ‘Stros players for going there yesterday. Just like folks shouldn’t think less of Carlos Correa for not attending.

Here is from Jerome Solomon of the Chron today on the ‘Stros DC trip:

Their future best player hails from a tiny fishing village in Puerto Rico, where his parents had to take on extra jobs so he could play the game he loves.

(His name is Carlos Correa, and he didn’t make the trip to D.C. – the team says he had a family obligation that prevented it. Maybe his obligation was to family members affected by America’s embarrassingly insufficient response to Hurricane Maria. If so, good for him being another example of what makes America great.)

The Big Puma of course wore the number 17 during his years with the ‘Stros so go figure.

I wonder if any Dem ‘Stros fans attended the event yesterday at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Just asking.

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The Seventh

Commentary is skipping the MLB question today.

#TXCD7 got some run in the Chron and in Paper City the past few days. Here is from the Chron:

West University could have been the set for “Leave it to Beaver” when Serpell Edwards and his wife Betsy bought their home there 45 years ago. The neighbors were mostly white, the moms stayed at home and took care of the kids, and the politics were reliably Republican.

West U. was part of Houston’s Seventh Congressional District, which had flipped from Democrat to Republican back in 1966, when a handsome young oilman named George H.W. Bush won the seat.

“The Seventh” soon came to be considered the safest GOP district in Texas, if not all of America, dominated for almost 50 years by Bill Archer, who succeeded Bush in 1970, and the current incumbent Republican, John Culberson, who’s occupied the seat since Archer retired in 2000.

But now, as Texas is transformed by hundreds of thousands of new arrivals from other states and other countries, The Seventh has become one of the shakiest — among two dozen Republican districts nationally that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 election.

Democratic turnout surged in Tuesday’s primary election, spurred in part by President Donald Trump’s intense unpopularity among liberals and his seemingly limitless capacity to energize minorities, who now make up a majority of residents in The Seventh, reflecting the transformation of Texas as a whole.

“We have noticed a flood of vote Democratic signs,” said Edwards, 75. “This never happened before.”

Here is the entire Chron read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Diversity-powers-change-in-Houston-s-7th-12742176.php?utm_source=chron&utm_medium=linkmodule&utm_campaign=btfpm.

Here is from Paper City:

In any other year, hers might be an improbable candidacy. Now The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times-published writer finds herself in the middle of one of the most fiercely contested Congressional races in the country. Laura Moser is one of seven Democrats running for the Texas 7th (primary voting day is this Tuesday, March 6), vying to be on the ballot against Republican incumbent John Culberson this November.

Days before the election, Moser was also improbably targeted by her own party, in a rare move that smacked of back-room dealing, and brought to mind the Democratic machine’s squelching of the candidacy of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Presidential election. This drama brought Moser even more national attention — and made her candidacy into something of a national touchpoint.

Moser grew up in Houston’s Southside Place; attended West University Elementary, St. John’s School and Amherst College, then carved out a writing career.

Hers is a literary family — mom Jane Moser presided over Brazos Bookstore.

Here is the entire Paper City read: https://www.papercitymag.com/culture/laura-moser-houston-democratic-party-attacks-congress-election/#90253.

I am sure you saw this from State Rep. Carol Alvarado today:

I am proud and honored to announce the support for our campaign for State Senator, District 6. A host of highly respected leaders representing our civic, business and political community have endorsed my candidacy. Throughout my career in public service, I have had the privilege of working with these valued community leaders to advance public policies and initiatives that have addressed the interests of all of our residents. Their endorsement of my candidacy will help me build a strong winning campaign.

Trusted Elected Officials: Hon. Lee Brown, Former Houston Mayor, Hon. Annise Parker, Former Houston Mayor,  Hon. Bill White, Former Houston Mayor,  Hon. Jessica Farrar, State Representative • Hon. Harold Dutton, State Representative Hon. Jarvis Johnson, State Representative • Hon. Gene Wu, State Representative • Hon. Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner • Hon. Karla Cisneros, Houston City Council • Member Hon. Jerry Davis, Houston City Council Member • Hon. Joe Soto, Mayor, City of South Houston  • Hon. Mary Castillo, South Houston City Council Member • Hon. Louis Martinez, South Houston City Council Member • Hon. Willie Rios, South Houston City Council Member • Hon. Irene Tamayo, South Houston City Council Member  • Hon. Sammy Casados, Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Don Harrison, Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Bruce Leamon, Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Felipe Villarreal, Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Cody Ray Wheeler, Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Rhonda Skillern-Jones, President, HISD Board of Education • Hon. Wanda Adams, HISD Trustee • Hon. Diana Davila, HISD Trustee • Hon. Eva Loredo, HCC Trustee • Hon. Adrianna Tamez, HCC Trustee • Hon. Alan Rosen, Harris County Constable• Hon. Silvia Trevino, Harris County Constable • Hon. Chris Bell, Former Congressman • Hon. Al Luna, Former State Representative • Hon. Diana Davila Martinez, Former State Representative • Hon. Roman Martinez, Former State Representative • Hon. Rick Noriega, Former State Representative • Hon. Krisit Thibaut, Former State Representative • Hon. Carol Galloway, Former Houston City Council Member • Hon. Sue Lovell, Former Houston City Council Member • Hon. Melissa Noriega, Former Houston City Council Member • Hon. Gordan Quan, Former Houston City Council Member • Hon. James Rodriguez, Former Houston City Council Member • Hon. Graciela Saenz, Former Houston City Council Member  • Hon. Ornaldo Ybarra, Former Pasadena City Council Member • Hon. Abel Davila, Former HCC Trustee • Hon. Billy Kelley, Former South Houston City Council Member • Hon. Anna Eastman, Former HISD Trustee.

Senate District 6 Democratic Precinct Chairs: Yolanda Alvarado, Pct. 218 • David Alamia, Jr., Pct. 45 • Virginia Bazan, Pct. 591 • Freddy Blanco, Pct. 72 • Maria Bolanos, Pct. 221 • Rachel Cardenas, Pct. 65 • Charles Carter, Pct. 93 • Elizabeth Cocina, Pct. 67 • Cheryl Curtis, Pct. 302 • Maria Gonzalez, Pct. 36 • Annabella Gutierrez, Pct. 381 • George Hernandez, Pct. 526 • Kevin Hoffman, Pct. 207 • Michael Hinojosa, Pct. 11 • Tijuana Hunter, Pct. 605 • Willie Hunter, Pct. 497 • Carolyn Jones, Pct. 150 • Andrew Lopez, Pct. 211 • Michael Maddi, Pct. 277 • Matthew Maliel, Pct. 166 • Zachery Martin, Pct. 849 • Al Martinez, Sr., Pct. 206 • Eugene Mendoza, Pct. 664 • Patricia Minor, Pct. 2 •   Anselmo Munoz, Pct. 766 • Andrea Murray, Pct. 325 • Ray Paige, Pct. 930 • Richard Ochoa, Pct. 105 • Christian Patino, Pct. 61 • Mary Phillips, Pct. 740 • Rosendo Ramos, Pct. 172 • Ruben Rendon, Pct. 308 • David Robles, Pct. 79 • Natividad Rodriguez, Pct. 69 • Reynaldo Rodriguez, Pct. 1 • Veronica Sanches, Pct. 241 • Miah Seraj, Pct. 755 • Lillian Sexton, Pct. 279 • Johnny Tamayo, Pct. 29 • Ima Turner, Pct. 118 •LaTonya Whittington, Pct. 320 • Holly Williams, Pct. 329 • Belinda Ybarra, Pct. 154 • Fernando Zamarripa, Pct. 261.

Community Partners: Tilman Fertitta • Kase Lawal, Former Port Commissioner • Ambassador Arthur Schechter • Michael Skelly & Anne Whitlock • Lenora Sorola-Pohlman, Former Vice Chair, Texas Democratic Party • Dario Arellano • Ericka Bagwell • Chris & Judy Berno • Gordon Bethune • Blanca Blanco • Christina Cabral • Tony Campos • Chris Canonico • Richard Cantu • Dr. Dorothy Caram • Cindy Clifford • Dr. Edgar Colon • Sergio & Tiffany Davila • Yvette De La Fuente & Armando Diaz • Tony Diaz • Lucy De La Fuente & Frank Rodriguez • Marilu & Solomon De La Fuente • Arturo Eureste • Gayle Fallon • Richard Farias • Jerry Flores • Ramiro Fonseca • Dr. Terence Fontaine • Nene Foxhall & Steve Jetton • Nelly Fraga • Cindy Gallegos • Melissa Gallegos • Teresa Gallegos Manuel “Munger” Gaitan • Giovanni Garibay • Irma Diaz Gonzalez & Roberto Gonzalez • Rusty Hardin • John Hernandez • Jessica Hulsey • Janiece Longoria • Johnny Mata • Drayton McLane, Jr. • Robert Miller • Christina Morales • Terry Morales • Sally Morin • John Nau • Christian Navarro • Ken Olive • Theresa Padilla • Mary Ramos • Janie & Frumencio Reyes • Jessica Rossman • Marty Stein • Robert Tijerina • Delphina Torres • Ray Valdez • Marisol Valero • Mary Vargo •Johnny Villarreal • Javier & Gloria Zenteno.

Got it?

The ‘Stros are going to DC today.

MLB returns to The Yard two weeks from this evening.

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Nice Quote

Hall of Fame great Jeff Bagwell was at Spring Training a week or so ago. We all know Baggy had 449 career dingers. Which MLB team did he do the most damage to in the career dinger department?

“I wanted to be the best” by State Sen. Sylvia Garcia in the Trib yesterday has to be one of the best quotes of this election week. Here is a bit from the Trib:

But when asked about potentially being one of the first Texas Latinas in Congress, Garcia said that wouldn’t be her focus.

“Well, I don’t really ever think about those things,” she said. “I never really wanted to be the first. I wanted to be the best.”

Here is the entire Trib article: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/06/texas-poised-send-first-two-latinas-congress/.

A very good take by Stace on Sen. Beto O’Rourke and his showing in South Texas. Here is how Stace starts:

Much is being said about Beto O’Rourke’s losses in various counties in South Texas to his opponent Sema Hernandez. I’m not saying either was a better or worse candidate to voters in those areas. Hell, I liked both of them. But stuff like this happens. It’s also argued that the same happened for Lupe Valdez, Miguel Suazo, and even Roman McAllen. (Some of us visit McAllen when we visit La Virgen.)

Chicanos in South Texas enjoy voting for Chicanos (or people they think are Chicanos). And there’s nothing wrong with that when Chicano representation at the top levels is dismal and you’ve got a bunch of mean gringos (bad anglos) and vendidos (Cruz) trying to build walls and threatening the well-being of families and communities. The familiar is a lot more warm and fuzzy sometimes to a lot of people of different colors and groups, but it seems people only get mad when Chicanos do it. 

Why get mad at South Texas when little has been done in the form of outreach? You can visit most of the counties (Beto) and still miss most of the voters. I mean, I’m not afraid to say that Beto probably saw the same people over and over again at his Houston visits since these events are sold to Democratic activists and not your regular voter. (I didn’t attend any of them.) The differences between March and November voters is pretty obvious too. I’d even venture to say that social media targeting is a lot easier in a big city than in rural areas, since that was the tool of choice for many campaigns. But did they even try in Rural South Texas?

Advertising in South Texas newspapers and radio stations is relatively cheap, compared to the big markets Democrats complain about not being able to afford. Perhaps some ads and outreach to those news and info sources may have helped. Hell, they’re cheaper than a politiquera (google it), that’s for sure.

Here is all of Stace: https://doscentavos.net/.

Stace makes some very good points.

It could have been worse. It could have been a Cabbage Patch doll. Here is from the Daily Beast:

The family of late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has voiced its anger after a Barbie doll was created in the feminist icon’s image. Toy company Mattel launched a new Barbie range this week based on “inspiring women” to coincide with International Women’s Day, including one of Kahlo. The artist’s family said in a statement that Mattel had no right to use her image for the doll, and criticized the inaccuracies in the doll’s likeness to Kahlo. “Mrs. Mara Romeo, great-niece of Frida Kahlo, is the sole owner of the rights of the image of the illustrious Mexican painter Frida Kahlo,” said the family, with Romeo later adding: “I would have liked the doll to have traits more like Frida’s, not this doll with light-colored eyes.” Mattel insisted that it had obtained the rights to Kahlo’s image from the Frida Kahlo Corporation, saying in a statement: “Mattel has worked in close partnership with the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the owner of all rights related to the name and identity of Frida Kahlo, on the creation of this doll.”

The question is, what would Frida say about this?

Jeff Bagwell of course did the most damage to the Reds with 49 career dingers against them.

Hall of Fame great Craig Biggio is at Spring Training, just so you know.

 

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SD 6

Alex Bregman will be making his second Opening Day start at third base three weeks from today. Name the ‘Stro with the most Opening Day starts at third base?

Just in case you missed it from State Rep. Carol Alvarado yesterday:

Dear Friends,

I would like to congratulate State Senator Sylvia Garcia on her hard-earned victory for the Democratic nomination for the 29th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Sylvia Garcia is well on her way to becoming the first Latina to represent the 29th District.  I am very confident she will be a fighter for us in Washington D.C. and stand up to Donald Trump and fight for the working families of our community.  I am proud to have endorsed her and campaigned with her, and I look forward to working with Congresswoman Garcia when she is sworn into office. 

It is now likely that there will be a vacancy and I am taking this opportunity to formally announce our campaign to become the next Senator from District 6. (Click here to view my announcement.)  

As Chair of a major House committee and successful leader in other legislative positions, I have built relationships that will help me advocate an agenda that benefits all the members of our dynamic community, including protection for our DREAMERs, proper funding for public education, women’s reproductive health, healthcare that is accessible, affordable and attainable higher education, good-paying jobs for our community in our emerging high-tech economy, and full recovery from Hurricane Harvey. 

I am honored by the encouragement I have received from the civic, business and political leadership to seek this position.  In the coming months, I will continue to represent the interests of our community and build a winning campaign for State Senator, District 6.

From the Chron’s website:

AUSTIN — Rep. Carol Alvarado announced her plans to run to replace state Sen. Sylvia Garcia Wednesday, diving into the race only hours after the incumbent won the Democratic Party’s nod to pursue a seat in Congress.

Alvarado, a Houston Democrat and a member of the Texas House since 2008, pitched herself to voters has someone who has built relationships within the Legislature to help her advocate for issues such as protection for immigrants bought illegally to the country as children, funding public education, women’s reproductive health and other issues.

In a nearly three-minute video announcing her her bid for the state Senate District 6, Alvarado explained her connection with people reeling and recovering from Hurricane Harvey and how she’s worked to make communities safer. The district encompasses much of Houston’s east side.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Alvarado-wastes-no-time-announces-bid-to-replace-12735821.php.

Commentary saw this yesterday:

Robert Downen‏ @RobDownenChron 20h20 hours ago

-Women accounted for 58 percent of @harrisdemocrats in-person early votes in Harris County, per breakdowns from the clerks spox.

Remember, Commentary said this yesterday:

It was a good day for a few female Dems. Look at what happened in CD 7, of course CD 29, and CD 16. Look who is leading in CD 23.

My old pal State Rep. Roberto Alonzo was knocked off by Jessica Gonzalez. Longtime East Harris County JP Don Coffey was defeated by Lucia Bates.

Then this from today’s Trib:

A wave of Texas women candidates won or made it to runoffs in more than 50 primary races statewide amid a surge of interest in running for office among women around the country.

Texas women dominated in dozens of congressional, legislative and statewide primary races on Tuesday night in the wake of federal elected officials retiring, the #MeToo movement, mounting frustration over a lack of elected women and President Donald Trump’s win in 2016.

Here is all of the Trib:  https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/07/texas-primaries-2018-women/.

Dem Women doing well on E-Day is all good if you ask me.

There is another Chron story today on the HISD Superintendent. The HISD Board of Education asked him not to attend today’s board meeting. That’s all you need to know and that’s OK with Commentary.

Ken Caminiti of course leads the ‘Stros with eight Opening Day starts at third base.

The team let season ticket holders know that for $350, we don’t have to show up an hour or so before the gates open to stand in line and pick up the giveaways. I don’t know about that. $350 for four bobbles, World Series replica ring and trophy, a scarf and other goodies?

 

 

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History

H-Town Council Member Larry Green left us way too early. I was stunned when I heard the news. Way too early. Way too early.

No MLB question today.

27 years ago, then State Rep. Roman Martinez led the effort in the Texas Legislature to draw the 29th Congressional District in hopes that a Latina or Latino could get elected to Congress. Commentary chaired the H-Town Latino Redistricting Committee that year and I traveled to Austin on many occasions to testify and meet with legislators.

Last night a Latino finally got elected. I guess all those folks who said this might be runoff material were dead wrong. Congrats to State Sen. Sylvia Garcia and her team for running a great campaign.

The H-Town area will now have a Latina Dem in Congress. History was made.

If you run into Roman, give him a thank you.

Commentary doesn’t need a thank you.

It was a good day for a few female Dems. Look at what happened in CD 7, of course CD 29, and CD 16. Look who is leading in CD 23.

My old pal State Rep. Roberto Alonzo was knocked off by Jessica Gonzalez. Longtime East Harris County JP Don Coffey was defeated by Lucia Bates.

Lupe Valdez is leading for the Dem nomination for Governor.

I am thinking Laura Moser got a boost from the DCCC.

Over on the GOP side, Rep. Sarah Davis stuck it to Gov. Greg Abbott. Kathaleen Wall who spent a kazillion of her own dough and was endorsed by Gov. Abbott didn’t even make the runoff.

I don’t understand why some folks think Cong. Beto O’Rourke should have done better than 62%. What is wrong with 62%?

I can’t disagree with this from Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg today:

The Houston superintendent who sought to connect with the district’s Latino majority through his love of mariachi music is taking his song to a new city before he even finishes his first verse here.

It’s unclear whether Houstonians should wail at his abrupt departure, or let out a joyful grito.

Without question, Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza had charisma on the job, and energy, and a disarming approach that seemed to bolster morale in the district and endear him with parents and students.

But in the end, his song lacked substance. In his brief 18 months in Houston, he took his time fashioning a vision for the district, and when he did propose plans, they resembled a dramatic, cacophonous jumble of notes rather than a well-orchestrated composition.

Here is her entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/HISD-Superintendent-Richard-Carranza-hit-the-12733270.php.

I am sure some sensitive Latino types will take offense to Falkenberg’s use of the term “grito.” Not Commentary. I kind of laughed.

The Chron E-Board also had a take on Carranza and here is how it starts today:

Last week we described the Houston Independent School District as barreling down a hill with no sense of direction. Rather than steer us onto a clear course, it looks like our dutiful driver has decided to bail out.

Commitment is the hallmark of great leadership, yet Superintendent Richard Carranza has accepted the position as New York City’s next chancellor of schools, leaving Texas’ largest school district after a mere 18 months on the job.

All too often it feels like our city is used as a stepping stone for ambitious tuft-hunters, but if Mayor Bill de Blasio and others think they’ve scored the next great wunderkind, they should think again. We’d like to say that Carranza’s legacy will be marred by his abrupt departure but that presumes he has a legacy to tarnish.

Carranza leaves behind the chaos of unfinished work. He inherited a tumultuous situation and fed the flames.

While our city welcomed him so recently with joyful mariachi bands, his send-off will be more subdued.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Carranza-bails-on-Houston-Good-luck-New-York-12733217.php.

Good riddance!

My pal Monica Richart has a different take of sorts and here is how it starts:

At the HISD Hispanic Advisory Committee Meeting in mid-February, Superintendent Richard Carranza spoke in a way I had never heard him speak before. There was a fire in his voice, and with a look that was full of emotion, he told the assembled members that he was kept up at night worried about how one third grader’s experience was completely different from that of another third grader across town.

He talked about equity and our failures, excellence and responsibility, and the drive to make decisions that may be difficult politically, but that were necessary so that all students in the Houston Independent School District excelled. In that moment I had hope about the direction our district was going, and the potential to confront, honestly and effectively, problems that have been vexing our system for years.

Earlier this week the leader who pleaded so passionately for equity announced he was leaving the district, and we are reeling.

Here is all of Monica’s Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Richart-The-HISD-community-not-Richard-12732952.php.

That is all I have for today and thanks for voting yesterday.

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Remember the Alamo!

Remember March 6, 1836!

Justin Verlander will be our Opening Day starting pitcher. This will be Verlander’s tenth Opening Day start. What is his record on Opening Day?

Go vote today!

Well that is what I call a quickie. Commentary is talking about the HISD Superintendent leaving us high and dry and headed to New York City. Here is from the front page of today’s Chron:

Less than two years after he arrived in Houston with a mandate to restore trust and equity in Texas’ largest school district, Superintendent Richard Carranza shocked the city’s education community Monday by taking the job of leading New York City’s school system, a stunning departure as Houston ISD works to close a $115 million budget deficit, stave off a potential state takeover and recover after Hurricane Harvey.

Carranza’s departure came without warning in Houston, where many first learned of his decision through social media posts that showed Carranza walking into a New York City press conference. Mayor Bill De Blasio tapped the 51-year-old after his first choice for the job, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, backed out last week during a televised school board meeting.

Carranza, who took over HISD just over 18 months ago called De Blasio’s offer “an opportunity that I could not say ‘no’ to.”

The timing of Carranza’s departure could not be much worse for HISD, which serves about 215,000 students.

The district faces a massive budget deficit and a hefty “recapture” payment under Texas’ school finance law, which could balloon by tens of millions of dollars depending on the outcome of a lawsuit against the state. Amid that, Carranza has offered a series of ambitious proposals in recent months, including changes to the district’s magnet programs and campus funding models.

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Richard-Carranza-houston-ISD-new-york-city-deblasi-12730165.php.

Then I saw this on the Channel 13 website:

Monday, March 05, 2018 05:08PM

HOUSTON, Texas —

Several individuals have been superintendent for HISD over there years, here is a look back at a few:

Roderick “Rod” Paige

Feb. 7, 1994 – Feb. 2001

Kathryn “Kaye” Stripling

Feb. 9, 2001 – Aug. 26, 2004

Abelardo Saavedra

Aug. 27, 2004 – Aug. 2009

Terry Grier

Aug. 2009 – March 1, 2016

Richard Carranza

Aug. 18, 2016 – March 4, 2018

Don’t know when Carranza is leaving though.

Don’t count on Commentary to be one of those to say good luck on your next gig. He’s pretty weak if you ask me. Maybe he didn’t want to put up with the scrutiny Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg had him under. Running away from a challenge. Does not speak well of him. He’s out the door. Good riddance is all I can say.

I don’t have much else to say today other than to go vote.

Justin Verlander is 2-1 on Opening Day of course.

That’s all I have from The Yard today so go vote, please!

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Runoff?

This NL Central Division outfielder has 302 career dingers and 27 of them are off of ‘Stros pitchers. Who am I talking about?

Commentary has an Election Day tradition that some who know me know about.   I have Shipley’s Donuts and pigs-in-a-blankets for breakfast on Election Day. I started doing Shipley’s Donuts on Election Days back in the 1990s.   I don’t know if I can continue with this tomorrow morning morning. Here is from the Chron:

Three former Shipley’s Do-Nuts employees are suing the company’s owner for allegedly groping them and making derogatory and racist remarks toward them, accusations that mirror those made by other former Shipley’s employees in a bevy of legal actions in the last 15 years.

In their suit, filed in Harris County on Friday against the donut maker and its owner, the three women claim that Lawrence Shipley III “regularly subjected them to unwelcome touching, other inappropriate physical behavior and unwelcome sexual comments.”

“(Shipley) hugged Elizabeth Peralta tight across her front and touched her rear and buttocks,” the suit says. “He stared at her breasts and crotch areas. He spanked her rear.”

The other plaintiffs allege similar action from Shipley while working at the Houston-based chain’s North Main Street location. During one incident, plaintiff Esmeralda Sanchez claims Shipley did not punish a male supervisor who made sexual innuendos to her, instead saying that the way she dressed encouraged the behavior.

Here is the entire read:  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Shipley-s-Do-nuts-owner-regularly-groped-12726863.php.

The North Main location is the one I go to. What to do? What to do?

Early Voting in the 2018 primaries here in Harris County is in the books. 70,172 Dems showed up in person. 61,462 GOPers voted in person. 17,744 Dems have voted by mail, GOPers 20,075. The Dem campaigns and the Dem Party better start calling those 15,000 folks or so that have mail ballots and tell them to send them in. In the 2016 Dem Primary here in Harris County, 72,782 voted Early in Person and 13,034 had mailed in their ballot by the end of Early Voting. In the GOP Primary in 2016, 110,365 voted Early in Person and 20,780 by mail by the end of Early Voting.

More Dems this primary here in Harris County than 2 years ago, a presidential primary. Now that’s what I call Dem voter intensity! Can’t say that about the GOP.

I am sure you saw this from this past weekend:

Rep. Carol Alvarado Endorses Sylvia Garcia for Congress

HOUSTON, Texas — Rep. Carol Alvarado endorses Senator Sylvia Garcia for 29th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Now more than ever, we need fighters in Congress who will stand up to Donald Trump and push back against policies that are hurting local families. As City Controller, County Commissioner and State Senator, Sylvia Garcia has proven that she is a leader we can trust to fight for our communities in Washington. I strongly urge the people of Congressional District 29 to support Sylvia Garcia on March 6,” said Alvarado.

Commentary did an interview with Houston Public Media last week on the #TXCD29 Dem primary race. The interview is airing today. I confidently predicted to the reporter that State Sen. Sylvia Garcia would win without a runoff. Woah! Check this from the Trib from this past weekend:

Months ago, Garcia appeared poised to easily win this race, but something happened along the way to the nomination: Out of nowhere, health care executive Tahir Javed, declared his candidacy for the seat and has, so far, raised $1.2 million, most of that his own money. 

Garcia is widely expected to take first place here on Tuesday, but the operative question is will she win by enough to avoid a runoff? 

“We’re still confident we can get out of this without a runoff,” she said. “It’s a crowded field but we’ve worked it really hard.” 

And this:

The sense among most Houston Democratic insiders is that the combination of the large field and Javed’s spending are likely to be too much for Garcia to overcome on Tuesday, meaning a runoff is likely. But, eventually, many expect that her decades of time in Houston politics will carry the day and she will win this race – eventually.

Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/03/can-sylvia-garcia-avoid-runoff-race-us-rep-gene-greens-seat-houston/.

Here is what Kuffer has to say about the #TXCD29 race:

As far as this race goes, let me say this. I have lunch once a month or so with a group of political types. We got together this past Friday, and the CD29 race was one of the things we discussed. We were split on whether Garcia would win in March or not, but the person most of us thought might push her into a runoff was not Tahir Javed but Augustine Reyes, son of former City Council member Ben Reyes. That’s a name a lot of people recognize, with ties at least as deep to the district. I’ll confess that I hadn’t thought much about Reyes before then, but it makes sense to me. We’ll know soon enough.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=85260.

How does this happen? Sen. Garcia has all of the endorsements – Labor, GLBT, the Dem Party groups, the elected officials, the Chron, Emily’s List, and others. She has ballot history. She practically has the Dem Party infrastructure behind her. We will see tomorrow I guess.

Commentary has said before that the folks who run the Texans aren’t smarter than the rest of us. Here is from the Chron’s Jerome Solomon’s column yesterday:

I spoke with two NFL agents this week who said word is the Texans aren’t interested in any players who participated in pregame kneel-downs in protest of police brutality.

There is no directive within the organization, but it is considered to be understood that as desperate as the Texans are to bring in talent, the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to.

Relax. The Houston Texans are not a racist organization.

Passing such judgment on another’s moral compass is grossly unfair when based on a few incidents.

Yet, the Texans’ owner has been racially tone deaf often enough that many believe race is a significant factor in how the team runs its business.

There are many who believe if McNair could field a team with all-white, all-conforming all-pro talent, he would.

And this:

If the Texans have decided players who have or will participate in peaceful protests of injustice are bad guys, they will miss out on some good football players. Not to mention, some truly good guys, good citizens.

Such a team wouldn’t deserve to win.

Here is the entire column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/solomon/article/Texans-would-miss-out-if-they-aren-t-interested-12726004.php.

I sure am glad the fella who owns the Texans didn’t get a statue at NRG.

I said this was coming. I got a big taste of it last season when they told me they were increasing the price of my tickets. Here is this from the Chron this past Saturday that was one of the lead stories on the Chron front page.

On the field, the Astros’ official hashtag for the 2018 season is #NeverSettle.

But in the ticket office, based on the first day of public single-game ticket sales that included an official sellout of the April 2 home opener, the unofficial mantra is #WePriceToDemand.

Demand to watch the team that won the 2017 World Series championship, needless to say, is considerable.

And, depending on the game and the seat location, prices can be considerable, too. But how much more? The Astros won’t give specifics.

“We are pricing to demand,” said Reid Ryan, the ballclub’s president for business operations. “We price like the airlines do and like hotels do and like concerts do.

“Opening Day is the first opportunity for our fans to see us back at Minute Maid Park and to raise the World Series banner, and we are pricing to the demand for the tickets.”

Read the entire article here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/On-demand-Astros-a-hot-but-more-expensive-ticket-12723821.php.

Yeah, we own a World Series but don’t use up a lot of good will. I am surprised Dollar Dog Night didn’t go to Two Dollar Dog Night.

On last night at the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel did a great job and had an outstanding opening. I loved the visit to the movie theater. And yes, I was like a few other million viewers last night wondering what the heck was an “inclusion writer,” then found out five or ten minutes later it was “inclusion rider.”  Got it?

A slight correction from last night to Best Director winner Guillermo del Toro who in his acceptance speech attributed this quote to the late and great Jimmy Cagney – “my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brothers and sisters thank you, and I thank you!” It was actually George M. Cohan who was portrayed by Cagney in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” who said “Ladies and gentlemen, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you!”

There is nothing much I can add to Frances McDormand’s rousing acceptance.

If you are waiting until tomorrow to go vote, you are probably going to have to go online to see where you are voting.

Ryan Braun of the Brewers of course has 27 of his 302 career dingers against the ‘Stros.

MLB play returns to The Yard three weeks from today when Braun and the Brewers visit.

 

 

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