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Archive for April, 2018

Pulitzer Prize?

MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day yesterday. When did Jackie Robinson leave us?

I watched the former FBI Director interview last night while the ‘Stros game was on in the other room.

These lines from last night’s interview have some punch, don’t you think? Here:

“Truth is not a high value.”

“(Donald Trump) does not reflect the values of this country.”

This is where we are. How many discussions are going on in the world right now about the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue peeing on a prostitute and vice versa? Tell that to your kids.

All in all, the former Director was believable last night but boy, he does need to sharpen his political skills.

Today, the Pulitzer Prizes will be announced. Commentary has not talked to anyone at the Chron lately, but if they submitted an entry, you have to think they have a good shot at bringing home the Pulitzer for their outstanding Harvey coverage followed by the ‘Stros’ historic run.

I wonder if they ordered a few cases of bubbly just in case. It will be well deserved.

This Op-Ed was in yesterday’s Chron. This is the online headline:

Face the facts: Beto will lose [Opinion]

by Roy R. Reynolds

April 15, 2018

I have now read the Op-Ed three times and there is not one single “fact” laid out to back up this fella’s claim, even a fact I might disagree with. Go check it out yourself if you don’t believe me. It must have been a very slow day for Op-Ed submissions. Check it out here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Face-the-facts-Beto-will-lose-Opinion-12834647.php.

Now this is a fact, folks:

Aaron Stough liked

Beto O’Rourke‏Verified account @BetoORourke 53m53 minutes ago

NBC wanted to know how we continue outraising Ted Cruz without taking a dime from PACs, corporations, or special interests. It’s the power of people.

The great Jackie Robinson had a heart attack and left us on October 24, 1972 at the age of 53.  No of course on this one.

Last season, after 16 games, we were 11-5. We are 10-6 today. You can’t fault our starting pitchers. The bats need to wake up. The hitters need to stop looking at their rings and start looking at the pitches, please!

 

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Get ‘Em, Jerry!

My friend Jerry Flores was in a freak accident yesterday and he is in critical condition this morning.

Jerry is one of our community’s leaders and a HPD officer.   He is beloved and respected. He is one with that unique personality that makes everyone around him feel better – it’s special.

Whatever you have – prayers, best wishes, positive energy – send them to Jerry this morning.

Jerry also works security for the ‘Stros and MLB. I see him at The Yard all the time. Jerry traveled with the team during their historic playoff and World Series run last fall. Jerry got a ring last week.

Get ‘Em, Jerry!

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Mexican

Name the MLB club that has produced the most Cy Young Award winners?

Donald Trump will be in H-Town on May 14. Good! It is good for the base!

We all know the Donald Trump and Trump wannabe definition of Mexican: rapists, murderers and drug dealers. They look down on Mexicans and have no respect for Mexico and its people.  There is a racism factor involved.

Mine is 180 degrees from theirs. Mine is based on admiration, respect, love, hard work, family, blood and history. I am Mexican. And proud. I have family there. My four grandparents were born there.

UH’s Raul Ramos has a guest column on Mexico today in Burkablog and here is how it starts:

I admit to taking it personally last week when President Donald Trump announced that he was ordering the American military to fortify the border with Mexico. After all, I am someone with family on both sides of the border. By contrast, my Mexican cousins in the business world hardly seemed fazed by Trump’s move. That’s because a decade earlier, they had begun shifting their business contacts away from the United States and toward China and the Middle East.

Here is the entire Ramos column: https://www.texasmonthly.com/opinion/american-troops-mexican-politics-underestimating-neighbor/.

You need to read this column. Good for Mexico.

Commentary has absolutely no respect for this phony.   Totally spineless.  I am talking about Paul Ryan.

Here is headline from a Politico story today:

The tragedy of Paul Ryan

He began as a Jack kemp conservative.

He ended as Donald Trump’s man on Capitol Hill.

This is from Rick Wilson in Daily Beast today:

Ryan owns his share of the blame; too often, he behaved as if he was some deferential junior VP at a Trump resort and not the leader of the House of Representatives in a co-equal branch of government. The idea, popular among the House leadership, that a diet of ass-kissing and deference would make Trump into a normal president who didn’t need the political equivalent of Depends was always a strategic mistake.

Ryan is now paying the price. The rest of his caucus will pay in the fall.

Saying he is “Trump’s man” is too generous.  More like Trump’s sap.

The sooner Ryan is off the stage, the better. What a phony and a chump.

Dodger pitchers of course have won the Cy Young Award 12 times.

Bregman’s bat came alive yesterday. We still lost in walk-off fashion. Stuff happens.

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Scary and Scared

The Yankees have the most MVP winners with 22. Name the MLB club the second most MVP winners?

The Chron E-Board today has a take on the HISD Board of Education. In the take, the E-Board mentions that changes ought to be made including how we elect Trustees. Here is part of the take:

One significant change that Houston ISD should consider is changing the way it elects school board members. Currently, the nine trustees are elected from single-member districts, rather than by voters from throughout the school district.

Texas law allows a couple of alternatives. One would be a board made up of a mix of single-member and at-large trustees. This is similar to how Houston’s City Council is elected. Sixty smaller school districts across Texas use this governance system, according to the Texas Association of School Boards.

Another alternative would be to switch to cumulative voting, where voters across the school district would be allowed to cast as many votes as there are candidates. This option has been available to Texas school districts since 1995 and is used by a number of smaller school districts for at-large trustee elections.

Changing the governance model could help address one of the biggest challenges facing the school board: Members are concerned about struggling campuses in their own electoral district, but not necessarily in the districts of other trustees.

Single-member districts have played a major role in assuring more diversity on school boards. They help ensure that multiple voices are heard in the development of education policy. But they also can result in a balkanized school district, with trustees focused on their individual parts rather than the whole.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Rethink-how-voters-elect-the-HISD-board-12823317.php.

I don’t know about this. How many Latinos or Latinas are in At-Large positions on the H-Town City Council right now? I think Orlando Sanchez was the last one we elected/reelected in 1999.   Of course, whose fault is that? Mine? Yours? The local Latino and Latina leadership?

If we are going to have a discussion on this, make sure everyone is included in this discussion. Stay tuned!

The scariest thing I heard on the flat screen yesterday was CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin saying that if Donald Trump were to fire the Deputy AG and the Special Counsel, it would be met by a shrug from GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Marco Rubio would issue a blah, blah, blah statement. It got me to thinking. The GOP congressional leadership wouldn’t do a darn thing other than fake some outrage. That would be the end of the investigation as far they would be concerned. Think about it? Name one GOP congressman from the H-Town area who would be genuinely outraged? You can’t.

Don’t be surprised if Trump fires the Deputy AG and Special Counsel. He knows by now the GOP Congressional leadership would give him a pass. Think about it.  Why haven’t they passed a law protecting the Special Counsel?  As I write this, word is Speaker Ryan won’t seek reelection.  Get ready!

Donald Trump is chickening out of going to the Summit of the Americas. It doesn’t surprise Commentary. He is sending Mike Pence instead.

You know the bully type. He talks sh_t, but when he realizes he is going to be in a   room full of Latin American leaders, some from sh_thole countries, he finds the first excuse to high tail it. That’s strong leadership for you. Gutless. Here is from an NBC News story:

“The vice president in no way is a credible substitute,” said Richard Feinberg, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor at the University of California, San Diego. He is in Lima to attend what will be his seventh summit. “Coward,” he said, referring to Trat if Doanldmp.

Although official delegations have yet to arrive, members of Peru’s civil sector and average Peruvians are speculating Trump fears he would be poorly received by many Latin American delegations that dislike his “anti-immigrant, anti-trade, anti-democracy postures,” said Feinberg.

“The absence of Trump confirms his lack of interest in Latin America,” said Carmelo Mesa-Lago, professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies at the University of Pittsburg, who said he is not convinced Trump cancelled the trip in order to evaluate the ongoing crisis in Syria.

He said Trump would have had to confront criticism from Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua -which all have leftist governments – and their solidarity with Venezuela. The Trump administration has sanctioned numerous Venezuelan officials, banned U.S. citizens from using their new cryptocurrency, and are looking into oil sanctions.

Here is the entire story: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trumps-canceled-trip-to-summit-of-the-americas-sparks-harsh-criticism/ar-AAvJt3c.

He got intimidated pure and simple by folks of color.

Don’t tell me Hunker Down is scared. Come on! This if from Lina Hidalgo, the Dem nominee for Harris County Judge:

This question comes up at least once a week. This past Saturday, after we joined students at their Town Hall on gun safety, several people asked the question.

The Town Hall touched not just on the topic at hand but also on healthcare access, on flooding, and on education – all issues I believe should be addressed with voters before November.

As I wrote yesterday in a letter to our Republican County Judge, “It is with these young people’s enthusiasm and passion for civic engagement in mind that I write to invite you to engage in a series of debates with me leading up to the November 2018 election. In monthly debates that are open to the public, you and I would perform a great service for Harris County voters as we explore our approaches to issues including flood planning, gun safety, and criminal justice.”

We have already identified several partners across Harris County ready to moderate, host and report our debates – I’ve proposed a monthly debate between now and the November election.

At some point, Hunker Down has got to acknowledge he’s facing a challenge from a young Latina and there is nothing wrong with that.

This from the Chron:

Former Texans receiver Andre Johnson said he nearly skipped the Ring of Honor ceremony the team had for him in November because of controversial comments made by team owner Bob McNair, the franchise’s all-time leading receiver said on former teammate Arian Foster’s podcast “Now What? With Arian Foster.”

And this:

“I wouldn’t say it surprised me, but I just didn’t like it,” Johnson said. “To know you did so much for a franchise and to have him come out and say something like that.

“At the end of the day, you don’t make the money if we don’t run it. If you take some people off the street and put them in there, nobody’s coming to watch that. It was real touchy with me. I even thought about not doing the ring ceremony.”

Foster said he skipped Johnson’s special day, because of McNair’s comments.

“I planned on going and on the day of, I was like ‘I can’t look at (McNair) in the face,'” Foster told Johnson. “Because I’m not going to shake his hand and I wasn’t going to pretend like I wanted to shake his hand.”

Here is the entire read: https://www.chron.com/sports/texans/article/Andre-Johnson-skipped-Texans-Ring-of-Honor-McNair-12821422.php.

He’s not getting a statue.

San Luis of course is number 2 on the MLB list with 17 MVP winners.

We are 9-3 and six of our last night’s starters were hitting below the Mendoza Line.

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We are 9-2 just like our 1972 start. Have we ever started out at 10-2?

Cong. Beto O’Rourke said yesterday he would vote to impeach Donald Trump but thinks we need to wait for the Special Counsel to finish up his work before an impeachment vote is taken. That prompted a GOP consultant to tweet that just like that, Beto’s 5% chance of winning just evaporated. That’s hilarious!

On the day the feds raided the offices of Trump’s thug lawyer.

Beto has an enthusiastic following because he’s the real deal. The real deals don’t duck impeachment questions. That is why folks like this guy. He’s not giving you a political correct response. He’s calling it like it is.

The GOP leadership in Congress refuses to second guess Trump and his behavior. The only thing out there is the Special Counsel. It makes it easy for Beto to state his case on this.

This U.S. Senate race is being closely watched in part because a lot of people genuinely don’t like Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz is a guy that Trump ridiculed for over a year. Remember “Lying Ted Cruz”? Cruz is not likeable, he never will be.

In Commentary’s book, with seven months to go before the election, it is a risky strategy to defend Trump and his actions. Don’t count on Beto to duck this question. Why should he?

Check out these tweets from the past few days:

Carol Alvarado‏ @RepAlvarado145

Apr 7Thx 2 @mfolhouston & @RiceUniversity for hosting one heck of a panel on gun control. Proud of the students who organized it. We don’t need more blah blah, or #txlege committees to study, we need ACTION! @harrisdemocrats @texasdemocrats @PromesaPAC @MomsDemand

 

Gail Delaughter‏ @Gail_HPM

2h2 hours ago“People don’t want to hear studies anymore.” says Houston Mayor @SylvesterTurner. “They want to see us taking action.” His remarks on flood mitigation before House Homeland Security Committee @HPMNews887 @HoustonPubMedia #harvey

No more studies. Action, please. Coincidence.

This reminds me of the ‘Stros. When we have a few players who should be on the 25 man roster but we don’t have room so the front office says it is a good problem to have. Same can be said about the two candidates for the Dem nomination in the Seventh.  It is a good problem to have.  See this from the Chron:

WASHINGTON – On paper, there is little to separate attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher and writer-activist Laura Moser, the two Democrats vying in Houston’s 7th Congressional District primary run-off battle next month.

They’re both women who favor abortion rights, first-time candidates with deep roots in Democratic politics. Both grew up in Houston political families and attended St. John’s School, an elite college preparatory academy on the city’s affluent west side.

But they’re sharply divided over how to unseat nine-term Republican John Culberson, presenting a contrast that serves as a microcosm of the divisions within the national Democratic Party as it looks to flip two dozen seats and wrest control of the House from the GOP.

And this:

A new Moser campaign strategy memo provided to the Chronicle plays up her status as the “grassroots” candidate “not chosen by DC party insiders.”

The memo also outlines her outreach as an “authentic” voice aimed at the party’s progressive base.

“Laura represents a break away from current political establishment politics and a return to the politics of the people of Texas itself,” the memo continues. “Her non-establishment status appeals to 2018 Democratic ‘surge’ voters. Many folks are awakening to political activism for the first time.”

Fletcher’s campaign rejects the establishment label, contrasting her lifelong legal career in Houston to Moser’s move to Washington.

“Lizzie has been living and working in this community all her life, representing Houstonians from all walks of life in the courtroom, fighting on the front lines to protect Planned Parenthood and quality education for the next generation,” said Fletcher campaign manager Erin Mincberg.

Fletcher’s supporters point to her most recent fundraising, 80 percent of which came from donors in Houston. Moser has not detailed her most recent fundraising figures, but an earlier analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics showed that nearly 60 percent of her contributions came from out of state. Both campaigns have relied on Washington-based vendors and consultants.

And this:

“If you look at them on paper, they basically are 99 percent in alignment on all the issues,” said Harris County Democratic Party Chairwoman Lillie Schechter, who disputes the “establishment versus insurgent” narrative that has grown up around the run-off.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Democratic-runoff-foes-differ-on-best-way-to-oust-12819320.php?src=hp_totn.

Hard to argue with the Chair on this.

The ‘Stros have never started the season at 10-2 and forget the of course on this.

Let’s see. Bottom of the eighth. We are up 2 zip. The Twins load the bases with 1 out. The Skipper brings in Devo and on the first pitch a grounder is hit to Carlos Correa who steps on second base for the force out and fires to first for a double play. End of the inning and the threat.

‘Stros baseball, baby!

 

 

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Macario Garcia

To some, it may feel like the Alt-Right and white supremacists have been emboldened the past couple of years, but just remember, 153 years ago today, Johnny Reb General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia – scoreboard.

When was the last time the ‘Stros started the season at 8-2?

And this is why. See this tweet from last night:

Fox News‏Verified account@FoxNews

13m13 minutes ago@SarahPalinUSA: “It’s obvious why @TheDemocrats don’t believe in securing the border. I think that they just fear that Americans aren’t going to vote Democrat, so by golly, they’ll import people who will.”

Commentary has heard this said over the past few years from other GOPers, but this is from the 2008 GOP nominee for Vice President. I doubt any high ranking GOPers will come out and challenge her.  Gutless?

So, this should be our response:

Fox News‏Verified account@FoxNews 7h7 hours ago

 

.@FrankLuntz: “I think the Republicans are in deep trouble in the House and the Senate as well. If the election were held today, frankly, I think Republicans would lose both.” #MediaBuzz

D.M Thomas, a writer and military history researcher penned an Op-Ed that ran in yesterday’s Chron that is a must read for Latinos in the H-Town area or for that matter, anyone who cares about our community. It is about Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Macario Garcia, yes, the Macario Garcia Drive fella who has a major street named after him in H-Town’s East End/Magnolia Park area. Here are parts of the Op-Ed:

On Nov. 27, 1944, squad leader Macario Garcia and his platoon were pinned down in Germany’s Hurtgen Forest, under intense mortar and machine-gun fire. In the unrelenting barrage of the Nazi attack, several of Garcia’s men were killed or wounded. Garcia himself was hit in the shoulder. He crawled toward nearby underbrush as a machine-gun and various riflemen attempted to finish him off.

Garcia was wearing the uniform of an American G.I. He was wearing the dog tags of an American GI. He was leading a squad of American G.I.s. He was not, however, an American citizen. Garcia was an undocumented immigrant.

And this:

Garcia’s unit, Company B, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, was sent into Germany’s Hurtgen Forest. “Just plain guts” would be needed of every American soldier, for Hurtgen was a nightmare of well-fortified Nazi machine-gun emplacements situated on dominating hilltops. The weather was nothing but sleet, snow, and the coldest of uniform-soaking rain.

Now, in the moments following the Nazi attack, Garcia’s uniform was beginning to soak with his own blood as well.

By interminable inches, feet and yards, Garcia managed to stealthily approach the machine-gun nest until he was near enough to hurl a grenade. After the blast, he used his rifle to kill three German soldiers.

As he returned to his platoon, a second machine-gun opened fire on the pinned-down Americans. And Garcia once again showed that he had “just plain guts.”

By now Garcia had been shot through the leg and arm. He could feel his boot filling with blood and fatigue beginning to overtake him. He later said that he had no idea how serious his wounds were. His only thought was to take out the machine-gun, to save his buddies.

He spent fifteen minutes trying to maneuver within range of the second machine-gun nest. Finally he was close enough to spy its crew halting their fire to change the smoking-hot barrel. Garcia stepped forward and, before they could react, killed three more Nazis and took four prisoners.

For his actions in the Hurtgen Forest — taking out two machine-gun nests single-handedly while seriously wounded, saving the lives of his men and advancing the American position — Macario Garcia was recommended for a Congressional Medal of Honor by both Commanding Officer Charles Lanham and Major Bizarro.

And finally, this:

What if Garcia had been deported? How many more American lives would have been lost in the Hurtgen Forest? How many fewer American lives would have been changed in the years following the war, when Garcia obtained his high school diploma and worked as a counselor for the Veterans Administration, helping fellow veterans and becoming a lifelong advocate for civil rights?

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/What-if-Houston-war-hero-Macario-Garcia-had-been-12815055.php.

Read it, please. Commentary is certain the haters have a squirmy response to the Op-Ed.

I think it was around 1981 or so that 69th Street was renamed Macario Garcia Drive and the rest as we say is history.

Commentary said this about the Texans owner on Friday:

Hey, ‘Stros! Sell this Trump wannabe a ring. He is not winning any friends at this point.   Commentary doesn’t feel sorry for the fella.

The Chron E-Board followed on Saturday with this:

(Thumbs down) When caught in trouble, sometimes a little apology goes a long way — that’s what Texans owner Bob McNair should have learned when he offered a mea culpa after referring to NFL players as “inmates.” But McNair must have suffered a classic football-style blow to the head since then, because he’s now claiming that he regrets the apology. Then again, maybe he’s just gunning for a Cabinet position in the White House.

It says a lot when the E-Board of H-Town’s newspaper has to say this about the owner of the local NFL franchise.

Commentary said this last Tuesday about the banners at The Yard:

I have to say that things feel different at The Yard these days. The expectation game is a lot more serious. There are only two banners hanging over the outfield walls.  They moved the other ones inside the concourse. We now have World Series expectations. Commentary is good with that.

The E-Board followed with this on Saturday:

(Thumbs twiddled) Forget football — it’s baseball season! And while we’re giving a hearty thumbs-up to the Astros who continue to bask in the glow of a World Series title, we still have fond memories of Bagwell and Biggio keeping hope alive in the 1990s. Apparently those memories are now shrugged aside at Minute Maid. The past pennants from the 1980s and 1990s have disappeared from the outfield view. No need for Jim Crane to apologize — just bring them back.

Well actually, the 2005 National League Pennant is still in the outfield and that team had Biggio and a dinged-up Bagwell. Still, Commentary likes being food for thought of sorts.

I was checking out the ‘Stros schedule the other day. We have three series against the Rangers at The Yard and they all fall on a weekend. The series before each weekend homestand with the Rangers is on the road and the one right after is on the road.

We have an unusual amount of three series homestands. We have a 10 game homie in April/May, a 9 game homie in June, an 11 game homie in July right before the All Star break, a 10 game homie in August/September and a 9 game homie in September.

We have a 10 game roadie in June, an 8 game roadie in July/August, and a 9 game roadie in August.

In 1972, the ‘Stros started at 8-2 of course.

Saturday night’s infield pop-up single walk-off win was a first for sure. I have never seen that happen.

We are in Minnesota for three.

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It’s About Time

Three MLB clubs are tied for 10th place for the number of no-nos tossed with 11 apiece. Name the three clubs?

It’s about time. It comes on the day that Donald Trump doubled down on calling Mexicans rapists. He still believes that racist crap. The Mexican President should have unloaded on Trump two and a half years ago, but it is better late than never. Here is from the Washington Post:

VERACRUZ, Mexico — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto delivered his most direct public rebuke of President Trump on Thursday afternoon, in a national address that characterized Mexico as willing to cooperate with the United States but not at the expense of its sovereignty or dignity.

Peña Nieto spoke after Trump signed an order to deploy National Guard troops to halt “a drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border.” In the past week, Trump has accused Mexico of doing little to stop illegal migration and expressed alarm about a caravan of hundreds of Central Americans who were crossing this country to highlight the plight of migrants — threatening to retaliate against Mexico if it didn’t stop the march.

Peña Nieto, speaking Thursday from the presidential palace in Mexico City, noted that the Mexican Senate and all four leading candidates in the July 1 presidential race had condemned Trump’s comments, adding: “As president of Mexico, I agree with those remarks.”

“President Trump: If you wish to reach agreements with Mexico, we stand ready, as we have proved until now, always willing to engage in a dialogue, acting in earnestness, in good faith and in a constructive spirit,” Peña Nieto said. “If your recent statements are the result of frustration due to domestic policy issues, [due] to your laws or to your Congress, it is to them that you should turn to, not to Mexicans.”

The address to the nation was remarkable because Peña Nieto has endured, with diplomatic courtesy and sometimes stony silence, about two years of insults and threats from Trump over Mexican immigrants, the trade relationship, border security and the fight against drug traffickers.

Here is the entire read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/mexican-president-rebukes-trump-over-border-threats/2018/04/05/99b8a49a-3914-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html?utm_term=.0f2f40152a06.

Good! Don’t take that sh_t from Trump.

From Royko:

I hope the November election is about citizens voting Democrat for more illegal aliens, or voting Republican, to slow the number of illegals invading Texas.

Got it? Whatever!

The owner of the Texans is at it again. I am thinking he is pi__ed off because he doesn’t have a ring like the ones they are giving away at The Yard or that he has never been a number 1 seed like the Rockets have going into the playoffs. Commentary is also thinking that the Texans PR folks wish the owner would just chill. This is from yesterday’s NY Daily News:

Sorry, not sorry.

Texans owner Bob McNair wants his apology back. The one he issued after uttering his controversial “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” comment, because he’s not sorry he said it and he never was.

“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair told the Wall Street Journal.

He said he was referring to team executives overstepping their bounds in dealing with owners last year, rather than kneeling players, when he said the word “inmates.”

“I really didn’t have anything to apologize for,” McNair said.

Since the comment, which McNair made amid the Colin Kaepernick-inspired anthem demonstration debate that tore through the NFL, he has emerged as the face of hardline team owners. McNair was recently deposed by Kaepernick’s lawyers as part of the quarterback’s collusion case against the league. Last month, the Texans denied a report that they would not sign any free agents who kneeled during the national anthem.

McNair is annoyed his explosive comment was leaked out of an owners’ meeting.

“We were talking about a number of things, but we were also washing some of our dirty linen, which you do internally. You don’t do that publicly. That’s what I was addressing: The relationship of owners and the league office,” McNair said. “In business, it’s a common expression. But the general public doesn’t understand it, perhaps.”

McNair told the Journal he thinks he’s unfairly portrayed in the media. Most of the attention he gets is for his tough views against anthem demonstrations and political statements in football, but he wants people to know he paid for the funerals of the Charleston church shooting victims in 2015, too. The article points out that there’s more to the guy than just the anthem comments, and it points out some of the charitable work he’s done in the community.

“I do what I think is right,” he said. “Sometimes, people disagree with you.”

Some continue to disagree with McNair’s feeling that players should essentially shut up and play. He’s not backing off his belief that the NFL needs “to stay out of politics.”

“As employers, we set conditions for all of our employees,” he said. “We don’t allow political meetings or statements or that sort of thing during working hours. You wouldn’t let somebody working at McDonald’s, when somebody pulls through, give them a hamburger and say, ‘I don’t know why you’re eating that beef, why aren’t you a vegetarian?’ You don’t allow that. Well, that’s freedom of expression.”

Hey, ‘Stros! Sell this Trump wannabe a ring. He is not winning any friends at this point.   Commentary doesn’t feel sorry for the fella.

Oh yeah, he’s not getting a statue. I wonder if that is a contributing factor to his latest comments. He’s pouting of sorts.

By the way. The ‘Stros owner gave Tilman a ring last night. Hey, Landry’s has a big presence at The Yard.

Just in! A Harris County Democratic Party Precinct Chair got a ring. Congrats, Hugo Mojica!

Bill King just put out a take on Wednesday’s vote on the new development regulations so here it is:

City Council’s New-Found Religion on Flooding 

On Wednesday, City Council narrowly approved a sweeping revision of the flood rules specifying how high new buildings must be constructed.   The amendment to the ordinance is lengthy and complicated, but fundamentally it requires that buildings located in the 500-year floodplain must be built two feet above that level.  

The change will undoubtedly reduce the flooding risk for new construction.  But if your house has previously flooded, the new rules do nothing to make it less likely it will flood in the future.  The changes will also significantly increase the construction costs in the affected areas.  By exactly how much and whether the increased costs are justified by future potential flood savings are the subjects of considerable debate.  

There were good arguments on both sides of this proposed change.  Personally, I thought Council overreached by going to two feet over the 500-year flood plain, especially considering that FEMA is expected to release new flood maps in the next couple of years that could drastically increase the size of the 500-year flood plain.  Some think the map might encompass most of the City, which could make it very difficult to build anywhere in the City and affect property values.  

But what I found insufferably hypocritical about the debate was one council member after another piously lamenting the flooding woes endured by their constituents when of those same council members have, year after year, approved budgets diverting the drainage fees paid by Houstonians to almost everything but flooding.   

Most of you recall that in 2010, City voters approved the imposition of a drainage fee.  The proponents of the fee reassured voters that the fee would be held in a lockbox and that “politicians can’t divert a single cent.”  Ads like this one filled the airwaves.  

Since voters approved the drainage fee, the City has collected about $700 million.  To put that amount in perspective, that is three times the money that was needed to complete Project Brays.  But instead funding projects like Project Brays, the City began paying for 500 Public Works Department employees from the fund in the very first year the drainage fee was assessed and has continued to do so ever since.  Few of these employees have anything to do with flood control.  Since then the money has also been used for bike trails, traffic control and miles and miles of asphalt overlays, which in many cases make flooding worse.

Before Turner became mayor, the City budget included a list of the employee categories that were being paid from the drainage fund.  About two-thirds appeared to be bureaucrats working at City Hall.  After Turner became mayor, the City stopped including that information and other details about how the drainage fees are being spent.  You can compare the level of detail provided by the Parker administration to what the Turner administration now publishes [here – 2015 Budget] and [here-2018 Budget].  

The ReBuild Houston website, which is supposed to keep taxpayers apprised of how their drainage fees are being spent, has not been updated since last June. Rebuild Houston Website

Perhaps the best indication of the City’s real commitment to flood control is that only 6% of the City’s current five-year capital improvement  plan is devoted to flood control.  [CIP Budget]

The debate on the new flood rules got testy when Dave Martin, the district council member representing Kingwood, emotionally narrated a slide presentation he and Turner had obviously coordinated, which showed the extensive flooding that occurred in Kingwood. Greg Travis, who was seeking to amend the proposed rules, challenged Martin, correctly pointing out that the new rules would do absolutely nothing to mitigate the flooding Martin was showing in his slides.   By the end of the exchange Martin was cursing at Travis, a clear sign that Travis’s retort had struck a nerve.

I would take Martin’s and other council members’ emotionally call for action on flooding more seriously if they had not consistently voted for budgets which have allowed the drainage fees to be looted. If these members had really been serious about protecting their constituents from being flooded, they would have insisted that the drainage fees be spent on flood control. To their credit, council members Knox, Stardig, Travis and Kubosh all raised this issue of the diversion of the drainage fees during the debate on the new ordinance.  

The City’s new budget will be adopted over the next several months. We will soon find out if the Council’s new-found religion on flooding is real or whether they were just crying crocodile tears this week. We’ll know that based on whether they insist that the drainage fees actually be spent on flood projects or whether they continue to allow the administration to use the drainage fees to fund its pet projects and as a slush fund to balance the budget. Of course, we will only know that if Council also insists that the administration once again provides the details in the budget on how the drainage fees are spent. 

I hope that Council has really seen the light. But as the Scripture says, “by their fruits you will know them.”

The ‘Stros, A’s, and Yankees are tied for 10th place with 11 no-nos apiece of course.

The Padres are the only MLB club without a no-no and they are in town for three this weekend.

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We just swept B’More. When was the last time we swept a series?

This is kind of hitting close to home. This is about a TV station in San Antonio owned by Sinclair. Here is from Chron.com:

WOAI anchorwoman Delaine Mathieu wrote on Facebook Tuesday that it was “awful” having to deliver promos mandated by parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group that seemed to echo the views of President Trump.

However, she and chief anchorman Randy Beamer had no choice, she added, if they wanted to keep their jobs.

“Trust me, this was awful,” Mathieu wrote in response to a critic on Facebook. “We had several closed-door meetings and even had to re-record our version because we looked so mortified in the first cut.

Here is the entire story: https://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/WOAI-anchor-Delaine-Mathieu-on-Sinclair-promos-12806330.php?ipid=hpctp.

Here is probably one of the better lines from the story:

Texas State University professor Tim England, for instance, called it “a dark day in broadcast journalism.”

Commentary did some checking. It does not look like there are any Sinclair owned stations in H-Town. We can talk freely to local TV reporters and not worry about our words being corrupted by Donald Trump cheerleaders. Whew!

Good for H-Town. Commentary is talking about the vote yesterday on development regulations. Much needed and long overdue. Commentary watched most of the debate live on the flat screen yesterday. Here is from Rebecca Elliott’s article in today’s Chron on the debate over at City Hall:

With only the administration’s proposed regulations left to consider, (CM Greg) Travis lashed out at (CM Dave) Martin, accusing his conservative counterpart of selling his vote to get the mayor to lower the level of Lake Houston by 2.5 feet before a rainstorm last week.

“Sold my soul? I will sell my soul to represent my district tomorrow and the next day. You have no idea what you’re talking about because you don’t know where Kingwood is, sir,” Martin fired back. “Whether you say I sold out, you can call it whatever the hell you want to call it, I protect my neighborhood.”

As you can see, it kind of got emotional and got a chuckle out of me. It got me to thinking if I would ever sell my soul over politics. Would you?

Here is all of Elliott’s article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Houston-City-Council-adopts-stricter-flood-plain-12805504.php.

Commentary has close family in a border city. My niece lives in Laredo. She has a law enforcement background. She recently left her gig as a prosecutor. We talked yesterday, and she never mentioned to me they were getting overrun by Mexicans and Hondurans. Never came up.

Over the past year or so, I have not heard a peep on this from Gov. Greg Abbott, AG Ken Paxton, or Sen. Ted Cruz. They haven’t been calling for the cavalry. I read the Trib and SA Express and I am not running across stories about hordes of folks crossing the border.

Why is Donald Trump sending in the troops?

I have to agree with the following from the Trib:

Texas Democrats blasted the proposal as ill-advised at little more than a political stunt. 

“Trump’s deployment of the National Guard to our border communities is unjustified, irresponsible, and dangerous,” state Rep. César Blanco, D-El Paso, said in a statement. “In 2017, apprehensions for illegal border crossing hit a 46-year low — a 23.4% drop from 2016. 

“This President is out of touch with reality and has consistently demonstrated his disregard for our border communities and Latinos. Demonizing and militarizing our border only hurts our local communities, families, and economy.”

Here is the entire Trib story: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/04/04/trump-administration-send-guard-units-southern-border/.

It is a pretty expensive photo-op if you ask Commentary.

Commentary will be keeping an eye on Tiger today.

During the last week of last season, the ‘Stros swept the Rangers up in Arlington of course.

What rivalry?

We have only played 7 games but who wouldn’t want to be 6-1.

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The Rings

I remember fifty years ago today. I was perplexed when I heard the news. Why, I asked? It was 1968. One of the more turbulent years in our country’s history.

There is no MLB question today.

And fifty years later, this is in the Trib:

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, lit into U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and President Donald Trump during an interview in Waco on Tuesday, suggesting the two Republicans were inciting fear in Texas voters. 

“Let me tell you what the president and our junior senator are doing right now,” he said at an event hosted by The Texas Tribune. O’Rourke was being interviewed by the Tribune’s CEO, Evan Smith. “They want you to be afraid of Mexicans. When they call them rapists and criminals, and say only a wall will keep them out.”

O’Rourke is challenging Cruz in the November election. During the interview, he often referred to Cruz as “our junior senator,” rather than by name. And he criticized Cruz and Trump on their positions regarding LGBT people. 

“And that … is bullsh_t, and we’ve got to be bigger and stronger and more courageous than that,” he added. “And I know that we are. I know that we are.” 

What else do you expect from Trump and Cruz, fifty years later.

The H-Town City Council will take up the post-Harvey proposed regulations on development. Let’s hope lessons were learned. Let’s hope they listen to the folks who put H-Town first.

The Chron E-Board has a take on the proposed regulations and here is how their take ends:

Voters should pay special attention to council members who oppose the new rules. In next year’s city elections, residents will undoubtedly have Harvey on their minds when deciding which politicians have Houston’s best interests at heart.

With these rules on the books, city officials can focus on other steps necessary to mitigate future flooding, like creating new flood infrastructure; better equipping the Houston Fire Department to conduct water rescues; and reducing runoff, such as by eliminating minimum parking requirements. The city must also consider buying out hundreds or thousands of homes in flood zones and converting the land to green space.

Houston needs to finally start reversing the consequences of unrestrained, careless development.

If our leaders refuse to, we may well have to change City Hall’s name to Swamp Castle.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Monty-Python-antics-amok-as-City-Hall-debates-12803387.php.

Baseball was at its best last night at The Yard. The ring ceremony was first class. The ring itself is beautiful and says H-Town, Houston Strong. It is an H-Town original for sure with the skyline. It is the coolest ring I have ever seen.

Last night we had an inside-the-park dinger by Carlos Correa. Josh Reddick stole a dinger with a spectacular snag, he also had a two-run blast, then a grand salami. We won 10-6 and had dollar dogs to boot. I don’t know if there will be a better game to watch this season.

We are 5 and 1. Pretty good, don’t you think?

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Silly Slogan

Charlie Morton got the win for the ‘Stros last night. Name the MLB club that drafted and signed him?

Sorry. This ain’t going to hunt. Commentary is talking about Sen. Ted Cruz and his “Tough as Texas” reelection slogan. I laughed out loud when I first saw it yesterday. #BetoForTexas works. “Tough as Texas”, nope! I wonder how much they paid the consultant to come up with that one? You don’t get your arse owned by Donald Trump then claim to be “Tough as Texas.” That’s as phony as it gets.

Here is the Chron article on Sen. Cruz and his silly slogan: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/us/article/Ted-Cruz-ramps-up-campaign-against-well-funded-12800611.php.

Sen. Ted Cruz is a lot of things and we all know what they are. Do you really think he is “Tough as Texas”? Stop laughing! Come on!

I have to say that things feel different at The Yard these days. The expectation game is a lot more serious. There are only two banners hanging over the outfield walls.  They moved the other ones inside the concourse. We now have World Series expectations. Commentary is good with that.

Charlie Morton of course was drafted in the third round by The ATL in the 2002 draft.

They certainly improved the magnet schedules that they gave away yesterday.  You can now read the darn things.

It was a great Opening Night last night.

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