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Archive for August, 2018

Monkey What?

The Astros are 82-51. How were we doing last season after 133 games?

The GOP nominee for Florida governor could have said muck this up, screw this up, mess this up, or even f__k this up, but no, he went to the monkey card. I have to hand it to the GOP talking heads on CNN yesterday, they all said the GOP nominee should apologize. He didn’t. He won’t. He needs that vote. He is running against an African American and so he knows he’s not going to get the African American vote, so he needs the vote that likes what he said yesterday. Pretty simple, if you ask Commentary.

Royko responded yesterday to my take on the Beto yard signs:

That is just not true. It may be the observation of a few in heavy Democrat neighborhoods. And, a lot of the Senate Democrat candidiates’s signs were being placed prior to the 90 days as allowed by regulations.

I have, and neighbors, in our suburban neighborhood have, placed Ted Cruz signs in our yards.

The other problem is that some candidates’ signs being removed by vandals.

Yes, my neighborhood is Democratic, but Donald Trump got a lot of votes around here. I have not seen a Cruz yard sign – period – this election season.

I was in Baytown yesterday and picked up a Baytown Sun. There was a lengthy front-page story on the State Senate District 6 Special election stuff.

We are now in our 19th season at Minute Maid and we are still talking about the left field dimensions after Tyler White’s walk-off dinger? Check this tweet from yesterday:

Dieter Kurtenbach @dkurtenbach 17h17 hours ago

I like Enron Field, but that 150-foot left-field porch remains 1000 percent bush league. Plays for both teams, but wooooof.

315 feet. Boo hoo!

In the replay of the walk-off, Tony Kemp is seen jumping up and swatting away a bubblegum container that was fixing to land on Verlander’s head. Who in the heck is throwing a container into the air?

After 133 games last season, we were 80-53 and just wrapping up a three game homie against the Rangers in Tampa of course.

Back to 2 ½ with 29 games remaining.

 

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Yard Signs, Standoff

After this afternoon’s game against the A’s, we will have 29 games left to play. How many will be against contenders?

Let me just say this about the State Senate District 6 Special Election. When it comes to calling a Special Election, Dems do not make the decision – period. That’s all I can say about that.

Sen. Sylvia Garcia asked Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart to step in and call the special election. Stanart decided to lecture Sen. Garcia on her retirement plans. Got it? Oh, brother! Here is from the Chron:

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart accused state Sen. Sylvia Garcia of delaying her resignation to boost her state pension even though it could leave 840,000 people in and around Houston without representation when the Texas Legislature convenes in January.

In a sharply worded letter sent to reporters, Stanart accused Garcia of playing political games to make him look bad and boost her own finances. Garcia, who is running for Congress, last week called on Stanart to call a special election for her soon-to-be-vacant state Senate seat because Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has refused to call one.

Abbott’s staff told Garcia that her “intent to resign” letter is insufficient. Abbott’s chief of staff told Garcia she has to submit a resignation letter without the word “intent.” Garcia has refused to do so, saying her intent to resign should be enough and that she wants to continue to represent her constituents until another senator takes office.

Stanart, who is up for re-election in November, said Garcia’s staff is trying to make “some political points by dragging me into this issue.” He said he does not have the authority to call a special election for her Senate district as Garcia’s attorney had contended.

“I also understand that the likely reason you want to delay your resignation until after Jan. 1, 2019, is to increase your state pension,” Stanart said.

Here is the entire Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Harris-Clerk-accuses-State-Sen-Sylvia-Garcia-of-13188413.php?src=hp_totn.

Sigh!  Standoff, anyone?

Kuffer decided to have a say on this too here:

See here for the background. Can’t say this is a surprise, it seemed like a longshot based on an interesting reading of a particular clause in the Constitution. Maybe the argument would work better in a courtroom, but I wouldn’t want to bet my own money on that.

I’ve been reluctant to criticize Sen. Garcia over this because I do think Greg Abbott is being a jackass and the precedent Garcia cites of Leticia Van de Putte’s resignation letter is on point, but we’re past the point of academic debate, and this is not a suitable place for drawing a principled line in the sand. The downside far outweighs any benefit I can think of for winning this contest of wills. Suck it up and submit another letter with the language Greg Abbott is demanding. It’s stupid, but it’s not as stupid as delaying the election. The Chron has more.

Here is all of Kuffer:
http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=87497.

I don’t know about playing chicken on this one.

In Commentary’s neighborhood, all you see is Beto signs. I have yet to see a Sen. Ted Cruz sign.

Here is from the Trib today:

As O’Rourke’s yard signs are popping up in neighborhoods around the state, frustrated Cruz supporters are having trouble finding ones promoting the current U.S. senator’s re-election bid. Until recently, that was by design, according to Cruz’s camp.

GEORGETOWN – The conversation unfolding before a campaign event for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz here last week echoed similar ones popping up among Republican groups around Texas. With a mixture of frustration and bewilderment, attendees were discussing the proliferation of black-and-white yard signs in their neighborhoods brandishing a single four-letter-word: BETO.

The signs have become a signature calling card of Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s bid to unseat Cruz. While Democrats posting yard signs for candidates is nothing new, even when it happens in some of Texas’ most conservative conclaves, what’s been different this summer is the extent to which O’Rourke’s signs have seemingly dominated the landscape in some neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, Cruz signs are far tougher to spot, and many Cruz supporters have become increasingly agitated at their inability to obtain signs to counter what they see on their daily drives.

And this:

The sign disparity is not necessarily indicative of an enthusiasm gap, but of differences in campaign spending priorities. But more broadly, Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe has an aversion to yard signs — he said he views them as a far-less-effective use of campaign money than door knocking, television and radio advertising, phone banking or direct mail. That’s not a new strategy in Cruz world. Roe said the Cruz 2016 presidential campaign spent no money on yard signs.

Here is the entire Trib piece: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/29/beto-orourke-ted-cruz-yard-signs/.

No signs in 2016. No nomination in 2016.

In Commentary’s book, signs matter.

After today’s game against the A’s, we will have 29 games remaining including 3 at Fenway, 3 with the D-Backs at The Yard, and 3 with the Mariners, also at The Yard of course.
Now it is a 1 ½ game lead.

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The Week, Again

The Red Sox pitching staff has given up 500 runs this season, second fewest in MLB. Which team’s pitching staff has given up fewer runs?

Commentary heard sighs of relief yesterday on the NAFTA deal with Mexico or the new trade deal with Mexico, whatever. Huh? Has anyone reported on the details?

Commentary said this yesterday:

Someone said this past Saturday night that on the day Sen.  (John) McCain is memorialized this weekend, on that day Donald Trump will be the loneliest fella on the earth.

Wrong. He’s already the loneliest fella on earth. He just can’t stand the tributes to Sen. McCain. Trump can’t figure out how to make this about himself. His pettiness was on full display for the world to see yesterday. That is why Sen. McCain decided to leave him out of his funeral. Petty.

Check this story in the Trib today about Dems running against GOPers on Harvey: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/08/28/hurricane-harvey-becomes-focal-point-houston-area-races-congress/.

The federal response to Harvey has been slow. How many GOPers have been calling out Trump on the slow response? End of story. Hang Trump and Harvey around their necks and do it now.

Here is from Royko on my take yesterday:

First, I am highly critical of wasting millions of dollars of precious taxpayer money for the special election that could have been held for a negligible cost 76 days later at the general election.

As far as Trump, why would anyone think he cares about being at McCain’s funeral? He was criticized for playing golf yesterday, somehow disrespecting McCain. Trump went and played golf the day of Barbara Bush’s funeral.

Obama went and played golf on numerous occasions where the media did not criticize him.

I said this on Friday:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is going to debate Geraldo Rivera. Huh? That doesn’t score you points. That loses you points so go on ahead and debate Geraldo.

This tweet from yesterday:

Dan Patrick‏ @DanPatrick 13h13 hours ago

Ready to fly to NYC to debate @GeraldoRivera as soon as @FoxNews says go. Meanwhile @GeraldoRivera keeps snipping, digging himself in deeper. Thanks @rushlimbaugh

Followed by this tweet:

Evan 20XX Retweeted

Gene Wu‏@GeneforTexas 13h13 hours ago

 

Gene Wu Retweeted Dan Patrick

This is by far one of the most out-of-touch things I’ve ever seen from an state official. There are serious problems that our state faces right now. The solution to these problems need to be discussed openly and honestly. And, not w/ Geraldo. This is straight up embarrassing.

Let him go for it!

The Astros pitching staff has given up 435 runs of course, fewest in MLB.

2 ½ game lead with 31 games remaining.

 

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The Week

The tributes to Sen. John McCain keep coming. From both sides of the aisle. He is having former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama speak at his funeral. The celebration of his life will go on for the entire week. We are learning this morning that Donald Trump refused to put out words of praise for Sen. McCain. I am not surprised.

Someone said this past Saturday night that on the day Sen. McCain is memorialized this weekend, on that day Donald Trump will be the loneliest fella on the earth.

Expect Trump to drop an insulting tweet on Sen. McCain this week.

After the Democratic National Committee initiated the McGovern Rules back in the early 1970s, Commentary was part of the effort here in Texas to reform the Dem Party and empower minorities and women.

Back then, it never occurred to me that a Super Delegate component would evolve. It certainly wasn’t in the spirit of the McGovern Rules.

It turns out that this past weekend, the DNC decided that Super Delegates aren’t so super after all. I’m OK with that.

If you read this from the internet, it looks like the Super Delegates themselves made the case for their role to be curtailed some. Check this:

“This vote to strip superdelegates, unpledged delegates, automatic delegates, whatever you want to call us of our voice on the first ballot is inconsistent with our charter,” former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile said.

While awaiting results of a vote on a related issue, she strolled past media tables, saying, “I’m going to see how they’re counting the votes. I’m gonna make sure it isn’t Chicago style.”

Make sure the Illinois delegation hears the Chicago style remarks.

And this:

“What I witnessed was a political murder suicide,” said Bob Mulholland, a super-delegate and DNC member from California who helped organize opposition to the proposal. “What the DNC voted was to take away the votes of governors, Congress members, and take away their own votes, too. Absurd.”

Former DNC Chairman Don Fowler, a Mulholland ally, told committee members before the vote on Saturday that “this attempt to take voting rights away from people whose voting rights are ensured in the charter is not good government.”

He said, “It will be confusing, it will take the leadership out of the presidential nominating process which it has served very well for decades.”

The Dem party can certainly do without this elitist thinking.  Sound like they are way out of touch with Dem voters.

Commentary has said it before. This fella has been in office too long. Check out his tweet from Saturday:

Sarah Davis and Kathryn McNiel liked

Official Ed Emmett‏@EdEmmett 2h2 hours ago

Think of the brutal life-saving work our first responders were doing a year ago. Think of the long hours emergency officials put in. Think of the terror our neighbors were going through. So is it really that much of an inconvenience to vote yes on the flood bonds today? #together

Come on! You don’t shame the voters. I think everyone knows what they were doing a year ago.

Last I heard, a bunch of folks said earlier this summer that a whole lot of folks would not show up to vote if an election was held on the last Saturday in August. That’s our voter culture, buddy! For some folks, it would have been more convenient to vote in the Fall.

It is time for this fella to hit the road.

There is no MLB question today.

The A’s are in town for three. We lead them by a game and a half. Replica rings are being handed out this evening.

 

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SD6 Standoff

The Astros ended last season with four players hitting above .300 and another finishing at .299. How many Astros players are hitting above .300 this season?

Go vote tomorrow!

“Papillon” was a pretty good flick that came out in 1973 starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. It also had a pretty good Oscar nominated music score by Jerry Goldsmith. A remake of the movie is being released today. Why not just rerelease the 1973 version? I wonder if they will stick with the same music score? Oh, well.

The DNC is meeting in Chicago and the Super Delegates are fighting a proposal to diminish the role of Super Delegates and that’s all you need to know on this.

It looks like Donald Trump can’t count on his hometown newspaper. The owner of the National Enquirer was granted immunity by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Along those lines, Jeff Sessions told Trump to F-off yesterday.

Along the alternative reality lines, the Chron E-Board today has a scathing take aimed at Trump supporters. Here is part of the end of their take:

A house divided against itself cannot stand. President Lincoln knew that. In their hearts, Trump voters know it, too.

They must decide: the man or the country. Amid the lies, scandals, investigations and Omarosa exposés, a record 72,000 Americans died last year of drug overdoses. A much-needed infrastructure bill is nowhere to be found. Tariffs are straining foreign relations and igniting trade wars that cost Americans jobs and drive up prices. Hundreds of migrant children separated from their parents have yet to be reunited.

Americans should pay attention as Mueller’s investigation continues. Trump has no shame; he won’t resign as Nixon did. So it is up to Congress to hold him accountable, and if the facts support it, to call for impeachment. It is up to the American people, including those who voted for Trump, to examine our loyalties: America, or the man?

We already know Trump’s choice.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/America-first-Trump-supporters-must-rethink-13178780.php.

Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Kellyanne Conway and others are creating this alternative reality aimed at their base. You know, alternative facts and truth isn’t truth. GOP leaders are just standing there, letting them get away with this crap. It certainly does not help when CNN put on Conway on prime time like they did last night.

Commentary is pretty confidant voters will help straighten this mess out in November.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is going to debate Geraldo Rivera. Huh? That doesn’t score you points. That loses you points so go on ahead and debate Geraldo.

Commentary has said it before. There is not a durn thing I can do on calling a Special Election for Senate District 6. I don’t have the power.

Here is Charles’ take on the latest: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=87430.

Here is from the Chron on the SD6 standoff:

More than 850,000 people in and around Houston could be left without a state senator to represent them when the Texas Legislature convenes in January because of a dispute between Gov. Greg Abbott and State Sen. Sylvia Garcia over the wording of her “intent to resign letter.”

As Abbott and Garcia staffers blame each other, there is a growing threat that people living on Houston’s East End, South Houston, part of Pasadena and all the way out to Baytown will have no representative in the state Senate when the Legislature meets on Jan. 8.

If a replacement is not in place for Senate District 6, it could leave Democrats even more short-handed than they are now. Of the 31 Texas Senators, just 11 were Democrats in the last session. Without Garcia or her replacement, Democrats would have a 10-member caucus — the smallest ever in modern political times in Texas.

The fight is over Garcia’s “intent to resign” from the Senate letter from late July. In it, the Democrat said she intends to resign on Jan. 2, 2019 when she will likely be heading to Washington to represent much of the same area in Congress. Garcia won a primary for the 29th Congressional District in March and is heavily favored to win the general election versus Republican Phillip Aronoff in November.

Garcia could resign now, but has said she does not want to leave the people of Senate District 6 without representation.

By submitting the intent to resign in July, Garcia told Abbott she left him enough time to set a special election in November to coincide with the general election on Nov. 6.

In order to put an item on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, a governor must issue a proclamation 78 days before the election. That deadline passed on Aug. 20.

Abbott still has the authority to call an emergency special election to fill the vacancy during other times in September or early October, but would need to give voters advance notice of at least 36 days.

The governor has several other options, and could also call for an expedited election to be held in early January, before the session begins.

But Abbott’s office says none of those options are possible until he has an official resignation letter.

Abbott’s chief of staff, Luis Saenz, sent a letter to Garcia in late July explaining that Texas election code requires her to submit a letter of resignation, not an “intent” to resign.

“The Governor stands ready to call an election to fill your seat, but only after you submit a “resignation” in accordance with the Election Code,” Saenz wrote.

Here is the entire story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Dispute-could-leave-850-000-Houstonians-without-13178009.php?src=hp_totn.

Got it?

Jose Altuve is batting .328 and Tyler White .306 of course.

That’s why our lead is 1 ½ games over the A’s with 35 games remaining.

 

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JFLO

See these tweets:

Carol Alvarado @RepAlvarado145 21h21 hours ago

 

Who doesn’t love JFLO? Join us for a fundraiser benefiting our beloved injured officer Jerry Flores. Tomorrow (TODAY, 8/23) at 11am to 4pm at Minute Maid Park

And:

Brian McTaggart Retweeted

Brian McTaggart‏  @brianmctaggart Aug 17 

Brian McTaggart Retweeted Assist the Officer

Astros fans take note of the benefit for Jerry Flores, a great man and an integral part of the team’s security detail. He needs our help.

Be there. Today, from 11 am to 4 pm. At The Yard. For our friend, Jerry.

No MLB question today.

Go read Mimi Swartz’s nice and extensive take today in Texas Monthly on Harvey, a year later. Here is a part:

“No city in the world was prepared for Harvey, but we are gonna see more of these storms,” says Jim Blackburn, an environmental lawyer, Rice engineering professor, and co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters Center. A thin, silver-haired seventy-year-old with a folksy manner and a bushy mustache, Blackburn has proposed plenty of novel solutions to Houston’s ongoing ecological issues. “We have to learn to live with water,” he says. “Development in the twenty-first century is all about living with water.”

One of his latest suggestions is to exchange our strong mayoral system, which empowers politicians, for a structure that revolves around city managers. “Let’s get professionals to run the city,” he explains. Blackburn also wants to pay the owners of what’s left of the Katy Prairie to leave their land fallow.

That’s not going to happen.

And this:

Indeed. Much of the blame for Houston’s problems has fallen on county judge Ed Emmett. With his team of county commissioners, Emmett prioritized all sorts of real estate developments over flood-control projects throughout Houston’s boom years. But this June, he stepped forward and proposed a $2.5 billion bond vote to finance everything from home buyouts to drainage improvements to detention pond construction. “We must take steps now to make our county more resilient,” he said. “Now is our chance to work together to protect each other proactively.” He was promptly criticized by Democrats for purposefully tanking his own deal by scheduling it in August rather than November, when voter turnout would be much larger and broader. Still, after rocky polling in the beginning, it looks as if the bond will pass nonetheless. (“Support Prop. A—because there’s no plan B,” urged a Houston Chronicle opinion piece.)

After the flood bonds pass this Saturday, there will be a discussion for sure on who should lead Harris County moving forward. A number of folks have had it with the tired bunch led by Emmett. They want new faces, fresh ideas, and vibrancy. Emmett and bunch have had too many chances. They try to come across as our saviors these days when in fact they have been the problem.

Here is the entire Texas Monthly piece that you should read: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/harvey-anniversary-houston-preparing-next-big-storm/.

Donald Trump says that if he is impeached, the market will tank. Got it? Keep talking, please!

The Astro released their 2019 schedule yesterday. I am not impressed. The Yankees visit The Yard the second week of April. The Red Sox and Cubbies visit at the end of May. We open at Tampa Bay and close in Anaheim. (If we open with a roadie, we ought to close at The Yard and vice versa.) Our only holiday game at The Yard is Memorial Day against the Cubbies. We have an off day on the Fourth of July and are in Milwaukee on Labor Day. For our Home Opener, we host the A’s. Got it?

More from Tags:

SEATTLE — The Astros will play regular-season games in three countries next season after it was announced Wednesday they would face the “host” Angels in a two-game set in Monterrey, Mexico on May 4-5. The Astros previously have played exhibitions in Mexico, but this will be their first regular-season game not in the U.S. or Canada, where Houston plays in Toronto each season.

The games will be played at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey, which is the home of the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League. The 2019 Major League schedule will also feature games in Tokyo and London.

I think I will seriously look at going.

We are a game up in the AL West and also got a group stare.

 

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GOP’s Problem

The Astros have played 126 games. Name the Astro player who has played in 123 of the games?

The GOP’s problem this November is Donald Trump.

Commentary would have to say that Dems had a great day yesterday and all we had to do was watch the flat screen.

Think about this. It was a GOP appointed Special Counsel who just brought down a longtime GOP player/operative/lobbyist who was Donald Trump’s Campaign Chair.

It was a GOP appointed U.S. Attorney’s Office that got guilty pleas out of Trump’s fixer/personal attorney Michael Cohen.

The best I can tell, the only Dem who has had a role is attorney Michael Avenatti. Very few took him seriously when he stepped forward with Stormy Daniels months ago. Say what you want about Avenatti, but he has called it from the beginning.

This morning, Commentary has yet to hear a credible GOP voice say Trump didn’t direct Cohen to make the payoffs. It happened.

The GOP leadership is too cowardly to take on Trump. The GOP isn’t going to call out Trump. Instead, look for them to create a distraction of sorts. Don’t let them. Dems need to wrap Trump around the neck of every GOPer running for office throughout the country. Make them defend or denounce Trump. Pretty simple to me.

We have the Big Mo on our side. Run at them. Don’t let them off the hook.

If you don’t believe me, did you watch the GOP talking toads, err heads, who struggled mightily last night?

Early Voting in Person on the flood bonds elections is over and Kingwood led all EV locations with 4,133 voters, followed by West Gray’s 3,967.

From the Chron:

Hickory Hollow, a longtime barbecue, chicken-fried steak and live music venue in the Heights, will close after January, the restaurant’s new landlord announced.

I used to be kind of a regular. I have not been there in three or four years. I usually get the burger and fries or onion rings. I have never had their chicken fried steak.

Alex Bregman of course has played in 123 games this season.

We are still tied for first.

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