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Archive for September, 2018

Takes from Yesterday

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake just announced he is voting for Judge Kavanaugh. Did anyone actually think this fella would vote against?  Commentary doesn’t know anyone who respects this fella. He is all talk for sure.

GOP talking head Alice Stewart sometimes doesn’t stick to the GOP talking points. The following tweet isn’t a talking point, but it doesn’t have a point either. See here:

Alice Stewart‏@alicetweet 4h4 hours ago

Optics are everything: Dr. Ford looked terrified, Judge Kavanaugh looks like he’s ready to go to war.

So, I had to retweet her with this:

Marc Campos‏@MarcCommentary 4h4 hours ago 

Marc Campos Retweeted Alice Stewart

Duh! I think Dr. Ford said she was terrified.

That was the first thing Dr. Ford said in her opening statement – that she was terrified.

Maybe @alicetweet should have said:

“Optics are everything: Dr. Ford shed a tear or two. Judge Kavanaugh sobbed throughout the first half of his statement.”

Dr. Ford held it together. He didn’t.

He sobbed. She didn’t.

He was evasive. She wasn’t.

Sen. Lindsey Graham made a fool out of himself, but that’s not news.

Everybody knows that Mark Judge can kill the Judge Kavanaugh appointment and that’s why the GOP Senators don’t want to question him.

If Dem Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar or Mazie Hirono had pulled a Sen. Lindsey Graham act, they would be getting scorched.

Same goes for Dr. Ford, if she would have had the tone and attitude of Judge Kavanaugh.

It is disingenuous for folks to say Dr. Ford was credible and she was assaulted, it just wasn’t Judge Kavanaugh. That’s preposterous.

The GOP Senators’ decision to bring in a female attorney to ask questions didn’t turn out so well as they ditched her during the Judge Kavanaugh questioning.

Sen. Ted Cruz and his GOP colleagues, except for Chair Chuck Grassley, never said hello to Dr. Ford. Disrespectful.

Blaming the Clintons? I guess you can blame Sec. Hillary Clinton for yesterday. If she had won, his arse would never have been appointed.

I agree with Judge Kavanaugh that his reputation has been destroyed. He should have read a Commentary of mine a while back. I think I said history would not be kind to those that work for or are appointed by Donald Trump.

My biggest take is that Dr. Ford is a person. The past couple of weeks, she was a news story. We saw her yesterday and the word I will remember most from her statement was when she hid in the small bathroom and waited and then heard Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge go “pinballing” down the staircase.

“Pinballing” instead of walking down the stairs. Descriptive for sure.

Then I saw this today:

Fox News has fired contributor Kevin Jackson over his tweet referring to the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault as “lying skanks,” the network announced Thursday.

“Kevin Jackson has been terminated as a contributor. His comments on today’s hearings were reprehensible and do not reflect the values of FOX News,” a spokesperson for the network said in a statement.

Huh? News to me that FOX News has values. What are they?

Still at 100-58 because of a rainout last night. We still have 4 in B’More including a twin bill tomorrow.

 

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Compelling

I saw this from an internet story today:

Ed Rollins, who leads the pro-Trump Great America PAC, put the chances of Kavanaugh making it at a mere “fifty-fifty” in an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this week. “My sense is you reach a point where, how do you prove your innocence?” Rollins said. “Democrats now smell blood, they’re going to go full bore [but] as long as he fights on I’ll support him, and the president will support him.”

Not surprising, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, true to form, opened the hearing by letting the world know he’s a first-class arsehole. Nice work, Chucky!

I just watched Dr. Ford. Very compelling.

Advantage, Dr. Ford.

I will be an interesting day for sure.

Bill King‏@BillKingHouston 5h5 hours ago

I finally got a copy of the City’s calculation of $98mm/25%. It is, to put it kindly, exaggerated. Will be writing more on this soon.

Here is how Bill starts his blog today:

Town Hall Misinformation

There is so much misinformation being disseminated at the current round of “town hall” meetings it is hard to keep up with all of it.  If you have been subjected to this mendacious onslaught, let me set the record straight on a few issues.

Here is Bill’s blog: http://www.billkingblog.com/blog/.

The Astros will be hosting Cleveland in Game 1 of the ALDS next Friday. There will be three other LDS games on Friday. The Red Sox will be playing for sure that day. Maybe the Yankees and Dodgers. It looks like we will have an afternoon start.

100-58 with four left in B’More. B’More has lost 112 games.

No MLB question today.

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AL West Champs/Chumps

First things first.

From the Chron today:

TORONTO — The domestic assault charge against Astros reliever Roberto Osuna was withdrawn in Canadian court on Tuesday after available evidence yielded there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction.”

A tweet from the Chron’s David Barron on the statement from the Astros:

David Barron‏ @dfbarron 8h8 hours ago

2/2 The #Astros remain committed to increase our support regarding the issues of domestic violence and abuse of any kind. We have engaged with a number of local, state and national organizations – and we look forward to working with them in the short term and over the long term.”

Blah, blah, blah.

Don’t be fooled by the Astros. See this from the Chron story:

Reacting to Tuesday’s developments, Cindy Southworth with the National Network to End Domestic Violence said, “While the case being resolved through a peace bond is not unusual, I am disappointed that, in his statement, Roberto Osuna did not take any ownership for his own actions. He missed an opportunity to communicate to his fans that he commits to being a role model for treating women with respect.”

The Astros are committed to winning a World Series. Their statement yesterday on domestic violence is pure BS and we all know it.

Remember when they said we would get the full story on the incident. That was BS. They are not going to tell us squat. They are not going to let Osuna talk on the issue. Jeff Luhnow and the front office let us know where they stand on domestic violence when they signed Osuna. Pure and simple if you ask Commentary.

Here is from Chron columnist Jenny Dial Creech, first more of the Astros statement:

“The Astros remain committed to increase our support regarding the issues of domestic violence and abuse of any kind. We have engaged with a number of local, state and national organizations – and we look forward to working with them in the short term and over the long term.”

From Creech:

How has Osuna been a productive and caring part of the community? And while the Astros have engaged with organizations, have they actually done anything to bring awareness to domestic violence?

It seems like this whole ordeal has come and gone and a lot of people have moved on. As long as a team is winning, everything else is overlooked.

Hopefully some good will come of this situation. So far, none has. Osuna’s day in court changed nothing. There are still few answers, no apologies, no remorse and no signs that Osuna or the team are doing anything to help victims of or bring awareness to domestic violence.

Here is the entire Creech column:  https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/texas-sports-nation/jenny-dial-creech/article/No-answers-or-remorse-as-Roberto-Osuna-s-13257514.php.

The front office is AL West Chumps for sure.

Here is the Chron story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Domestic-assault-charge-against-Astros-Roberto-13256979.php.

No MLB question today.

Royko sent me this yesterday on my Sen. Ted Cruz take:

To blame the reprehensible and asinine behavior by zealots on Senator Cruz is insane. They are the intolerant ones. What if this were turned around, and this happened to you?

Building baby jails is insane.

From the world embarrassment department, see this tweet:

Evan 20XX Retweeted

Mark Landler‏ @MarkLandler 2h2 hours ago

 

The laughter at Trump’s UN speech underscores a hard reality for him: After 20 months of bombast, he’s now viewed by many foreign officials as a source of humor rather than fear.

Commentary was going to spend time today on how the H-Town Mayor was working to defeat Prop B but Kuffer beat me to the punch here:

The firefighter pay parity proposal sure seems like it’s going to pass

Sep 26th, 2018

by Charles Kuffner.

What are ya gonna do?

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is holding town halls to try to convince voters that the city can’t afford Proposition B, a ballot measure that would tie firefighters’ pay to that of police. It’s turning into an uphill fight.

Mayor Turner argues that full pay parity would cost Houston nearly $300 million, at a time when the city is wrestling with chronic deficits. But Turner is having a hard time getting voters to see this as anything other than attacking the firefighters.

“The default mode is not only to support equity pay but to support it by very big margins,” says Bob Stein, a political science professor at Rice University.

That’s particularly the case if Democrats turn out in larger-than-usual numbers. “You’ll have a lot of voters coming out who are predisposed as Democrats to support equity pay for public employees,” Stein says. “On top of that, the firemen not only have a good campaign message, but they’re going to get national support from national public employee associations and unions to support this equity pay raise.”

I’ve already seen three pro-Prop B signs in my neighborhood. Mayor Turner has been busy holding town halls and writing op-eds, but beyond that I’ve not seen much of a campaign. So yeah, I expect this to pass, quite possibly by a lot. And I’d say Mayor Turner is making the same judgment.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has instituted a hiring freeze across the city government’s roughly 21,400 positions, ordering department directors seeking exceptions to meet with him or his chief of staff in person.

The directive, he wrote in a memo dated Friday, will be reviewed “at a later date this year.” Executive positions are exempt from the freeze, but those already require mayoral approval.

Mayoral spokeswoman Mary Benton said the order was spurred by Proposition B on the Nov. 6 ballot. That measure would give firefighters the same pay as police officers of corresponding rank and seniority, costing the city an estimated $98 million annually.

“The impact would financially cripple the city and force layoffs and cutbacks to services,” Benton said. “The mayor believes it is not prudent at this time to hire additional city of Houston employees, who would lose their jobs as a result of the election.”

I mean, what did you expect? At this point I’d say the city’s best strategy is to find some plaintiffs for the ballot language lawsuit, and hope to get an injunction preventing it from being implemented while it gets hashed out in court. I wouldn’t bet my own money on that outcome either, but the odds have to be better than beating this thing at the ballot box.

And these tweets:

Brian McTaggart‏ @brianmctaggart 22m22 minutes ago

 

The Astros beat the Blue Jays, 4-1, for their 100th win of the season, including team-record 54th on the road. The magic number to clinch the AL West is 1, which means they can clinch tonight if the A’s lose to the Mariners. That game is just starting.

And this one:

Julia Morales‏Verified account@JuliaMorales 17m17 minutes ago

100 wins for the Astros. Just the 5th defending WS champion to win 100 games in a season since 1970.

The A’s lost.

We are now AL West Champs.

 

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Dine at Your Own Risk

We are 99-57 with 6 left. We won 101 games last season and 102 games in 1998. What was our record after 156 games in those 2 seasons?

Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife got the business at a restaurant last night in DC. Commentary hates to say this, but we are in a political climate that folks like Sen. Cruz helped create. Folks have had it. Dine at your own risk these days.

There are a couple of articles I read today about D.C. Dems not too keen on Michael Avenatti’s tactics. Avenatti has another Brett Kavanaugh witness waiting in the wings. Settle down, D.C. Dems. Think about it. D.C. Dem tactics or Avenatti tactics? That’s all I have to say about that, for now.

On the local news front, see these tweets:

Bill King‏@BillKingHouston 21m21 minutes ago

 

Bill King Retweeted Jim Bigham

An individual that works for a board that is appointed by Turner wants to raise property taxes. I’m shocked.

And this:

Jim Bigham‏@JimBigham Sep 23

Southwest Mgmt District Chief asks Turner to lift property tax cap- Claims they can no longer afford to fund public safety in Southwest Houston. @southwestMD

I have lost power in my neighborhood a couple of times the past few months. When we lose power, we get an email from CenterPoint saying they are aware of the outage and they give you a timeline when power will be restored.

Yesterday, we lost power but this time it was planned. They replaced a pole around the corner. You would think if it was planned, CenterPoint would send us a notice ahead of time. Nope!

Yeah, what is that? Can’t folks have an Alex option or a Siro option? See this tweet:

Evan 20XX liked

Lydia DePillis‏Verified account@lydiadepillis 2h2 hours ago

Oh good, another female virtual assistant for people to order around.

“The Wild Bunch” is a film classic. It is as good a western as there is. Up there with “The Searchers”, “High Noon”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “Unforgiven”, “Cat Ballou” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” There is no need to remake “The Wild Bunch.”

Here is from The Hollywood Reporter:

Mel Gibson to Direct, Co-Write ‘Wild Bunch’ Remake

Bryan Bagby will co-write the script with Gibson, who will also executive produce the movie.

The Wild Bunch will ride again.

Warner Bros. has set Mel Gibson to co-write and direct a remake of the violent and influential Western, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Bryan Bagby will co-write the script with Gibson, who will also executive produce the movie.

Sam Peckinpah, known for his action and macho-fueled movies, directed the 1969 original, which told of aging outlaws trying to live out the final days of the Wild West even as the 20th century has no use for them.

The Wild Bunch starred William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, among others, and was nominated for Oscars for original screenplay and score. But it was in its action set-pieces and imagery that the film made an impact, with the picture also dividing audiences and critics over its depiction of violence.

The Wild Bunch is considered the zenith in the filmography of Peckinpah, who also helmed such pics as Straw Dogs and The Getaway.

Here is all the story: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/mel-gibson-direct-write-wild-bunch-remake-1146622?utm_source=twitter&utm_source=Direct.

From Edward Ybarra on my Texans take yesterday:

I was a season ticket holder for the first three years of the Texans. I finally came to the conclusion that the owner did not care if the Texans won when they lost game 16 that would have given them a .500 record if they won. The owner has a fixation with coaches that are using Houston as a training ground. They will all achieve success after they leave Houston. I seem to remember a former Texan coach that won the Super Bowl a few years ago for Denver.

After 156 games in 1998, we were 98-58. After 156 games last season, we were 96-60 of course.

Our magic number is down to 2 and all five AL playoff teams have been decided. Congrats to the Astros, A’s, Cleveland, Red Sox and Yankees!

 

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A Chron Boo Boo

The Astros are 98-57 with 7 games remaining. We need 2 wins to reach 100. Last season we ended up 101-61. When was the last time a MLB club had back to back 100 or more win seasons?

Commentary spent Saturday evening with my Dad. I left just as the Astros were coming to bat in the bottom of the 8th inning.  It sure was a nice drive home.

Commentary and a few other folks picked up on the Chron’s boo boo in Saturday’s hard copy when they put “Garcia” under State Rep. Carol Alvarado’s photo and “Alvarado” under State Sen. Sylvia Garcia’s photo on page A6.

Here is what the Chron put out yesterday:

CORRECTION

A story on Page A6 on Saturday misidentified Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, and state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, and had incomplete identification for Henry Van de Putte, regional CEO for the American Red Cross, Texas Gulf Coast. It also misrepresented Alfredo Corchado’s role as a correspondent on Mexico.

Got it?

Here is the article on the Latino Leaders Network luncheon story that had the boo boos: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Latino-leaders-meet-in-Houston-to-dispel-negative-13248905.php.

Erica Grieder has a column today that is not online yet. Here is the hard copy headline:

Houston firefighters haven’t made a good case for pay parity

I read the column. The first eight paragraphs are about the Kavanaugh confirmation mess. Commentary doesn’t think Grieder makes the case against the Firefighters because she doesn’t spend enough time on the issue. It is a light take.

See this tweet about Michael Avenatti coming out with the third woman on the Kavanaugh confirmation mess:

Evan 20XX liked

David Roth‏Verified account@david_j_roth 10h10 hours ago

We’re never getting rid of Michael Avenatti. This dude is just a fact of life now. He’s going to appear on cable news on the day that the sun goes out.

Commentary has said it before. Avenatti has been pretty much on target. Like it or not, he has been consistently correct.

Here is a Texas Monthly headline:

Cruz and O’Rourke Confident in First Debate, But There Was No Clear Winner

The two candidates for U.S. Senate engage in a contentious discussion on a variety of policy issues.

Here is the story: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/ted-cruz-beto-orourke-first-debate-contentious/.

Commentary watched Tiger. Loved it! Great sports story. Plus, he always wears Nike gear. Loved it!

San Luis of course went 105-57 in 2004 and 100-62 in 2005.

We will have home field advantage in the ALDS which will start at The Yard on Friday, October 5. Our magic number is 3 and we play 3 in Toronto who are 71-85 and 4 in B’More who are 45-110.

The first 5 pages of the Chron Sports section today are on the winless Texans. Astros coverage begins on page C8.

Commentary will say it again.  The folks who run the Texans think they are smarter than the rest of us.

They aren’t.

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Try Telemundo

Once again, with 10 games remaining, we are 95-57 with no contenders left on the schedule. What was our record last season after 152 games and how many contenders did we have left on the schedule?

My hard copy of the Chron today is wrapped by four full page ads by Kanye. I have absolutely no idea what the ad says.

Best I can tell, the #BetoForTexas/Sen. Ted Cruz debate this evening at 6 pm will be on the local PBS Channel 8.

The Washington Post has a story today on SD 19 and it mentions the Latino vote and turnout. Here is from the article:

The result, in addition to one more Republican seat in Texas’s legislature, was a dose of ice water for Texas Democrats. Since falling into minority-party status in 1994, Democrats had struggled to turn out Latino voters in midterm elections, and Republicans had stayed competitive for the Latino voters who did turn out — a trend that helped Abbott win a landslide in 2014.

Democrats were hoping to change that trajectory this year, with Lupe Valdez running to be Texas’s first Latina governor and Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who represents a heavily Latino district based in El Paso, running an unusually strong U.S. Senate race. But they had not cracked the code on how to turn out Latinos between San Antonio’s Bexar County and the Rio Grande Valley. In 2014, just 116,297 total votes were cast in TX23 — and that was, by far, the highest turnout in any of the border districts. Hundreds of thousands of Latino Texas Democrats who vote in presidential elections simply stay home in midterms. And this week, Democrats learned again how big a problem that can be.

Here is the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/paloma/the-trailer/2018/09/20/the-trailer-how-texas-republicans-beat-the-blue-wave/5ba4029a1b326b7c8a8d1596/?utm_term=.c92b1bcd9442

Commentary has talked ad nauseum about this in the past. Nobody pays attention. Here in H-Town, the local Telemundo evening newscast is the most watched and highest rated.  Dems don’t put their campaign ad dollars into Telemundo. It is pretty simple. Don’t you think?  Some folks would say irresponsible.  This isn’t rocket science.

From Royko on SD 19:

More of a Blue Swirl in the toilet than a Blue Wave. Also, with updated poll results, the Anglo Senate candidate of privilege who prefers a Spanish alias is down 9 points to the incumbent, and Loopy is an amusing 19 point underdog.

Last season, with 10 remaining, we were 93-59, with the final 3 at Fenway of course. We ended up going 8-2.

3 ½ up with the magic number sitting at 7 as we head into the final homie.

 

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SD 19 Post Mortem

We are done with the Mariners this season. What was our record against them this season?

Commentary has said it before. It is going to take more than townhalls to defeat the H-Town Firefighters’ Prop B.

Check this tweet:

Bill King Retweeted

Jim Bigham‏@JimBigham 9h9 hours ago 

The pattern continues for the Rebuild and FF Town Hall meetings. Tonight about a dozen residents were in attendance in District J. The room filled with mostly city staff and consultants.

Let me say this. Special elections and general elections are two different animals. That being said, Dems can learn a thing or three from the SD 19 post mortems.

R.G. certainly let the Texas Democratic Party have it yesterday in his piece in Texas Monthly and here is how it starts:

The Texas Democratic Party ceased to exist as an effective political organization Tuesday as Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego in a special election runoff to replace convicted state Senator Carlos Uresti of San Antonio in Senate District 19. The upset gives Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick a lock on the state Senate, meaning he can push any piece of legislation he wants through the body, legislation like the bathroom bill that he forced a special session over last year.

Here is the entire article: https://www.texasmonthly.com/podcast/texas-democratic-party-lost-ability-sell-brand/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Web%20Social&utm_content=texasdemocrats.

Did I say ouch!

And, from the Trib:

Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego on Tuesday in a state Senate district that Hillary Clinton won by 12 points, prompting Democratic soul-searching less than two months before the midterms.

And this:

Gallego’s campaign said that at the end of the day, it was not able motivate its voters as much as Flores did.

“Our investment was in the grassroots and trying to increase the number of Democratic voters in the densest precincts where people hadn’t turned out and trying to cut through the clutter of all the other campaigns going on targeting November … and it proved to be a lot more difficult to get people tuned in to the fact that an incredibly important race was happening today,” Gallego strategist Christian Archer said.

The relative enthusiasm for Flores was evident in the district’s biggest Republican counties — places like Medina County, where he routed Gallego with 80 percent of the vote. Flores’ margins in the red counties were more than enough to offset Gallego’s advantage in vote-rich Bexar County, which gave Gallego a modest 54 percent of the vote.

Flores’ campaign said it benefited from a number of factors throughout the race, starting with the deep Democratic divide that unfolded as Gallego battled state Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, ahead of the eight-way July 31 special election. Gutierrez, who won Bexar County then, never endorsed Gallego in the runoff, and on Wednesday, the two sides had different accounts about how much of an effort, if any, Gallego made to court Gutierrez.

Here is all of the Trib piece: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/09/19/how-pete-flores-upset-democrat-win-texas-state-senate-seat/.

And from the Chron’s Erica Grieder, the end ofher column:

And Democrats who were demoralized by the defeat should take Flores’ victory as a wake-up call. I think we can all agree Texas Republicans aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders lately. I often have occasion to criticize them. But in this case, Republicans didn’t do anything wrong, politically or morally. Democrats can’t say the same.

The district favors Democrats, but Flores’ victory wasn’t an upset. Uresti’s misdeeds created an opportunity that Republicans were bound to capitalize on, and Democratic leaders were complacent about the risk that they would succeed. That attitude might not have guaranteed Gallego’s defeat—but it certainly wasn’t likely to result in a blue wave.

Here is all of the Grieder column: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-Democrats-should-be-demoralized-by-13242703.php.

There certainly is plenty of blame to go around. Bottom line: Dems didn’t have their act together and that’s a shame.

Texas Monthly has an article on the Texas Latino vote. Here is part of it:

“I don’t know that there’s much evidence that Hispanics are embracing progressivism, but are they clamoring for the hard right? Not necessarily,” said Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant who advised Flores in the San Antonio race, suggesting the Hispanic vote, like the group itself, is not as monolithic as it tends to be treated.

In other words, Texas Hispanics have a streak of conservatism that earlier this year prompted one national pollster in Washington to call Texas the Bible belt of Hispanics. Part of the Flores message in the San Antonio race was his pro-life position, a stance that Mackowiak believes resonates with Hispanic voters more than people realize.

BS, calls Democratic political consultant James Aldrete. Certainly there are conservative streaks in the Hispanic community, but a larger motivating factor for Hispanics on election day is one of showing respect over public policy issues—something that he believes O’Rourke has been effective at in his campaign because conveying respect more often requires face-to-face contact with voters. Aldrete points to another part of the Quinnipiac Poll as evidence. It shows immigration to be the number one issue among all respondents, including Hispanics. Abortion did not even measure as one of the top six issues of the poll.

Here is all of the article: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/texas-hispanic-vote-no-guarantee-democrats-heres/.

Commentary thinks Dems will be Okay with the Latino vote. Latino voters certainly know what is at stake in November. Stay tuned!

The Chron Opinion page has two Op-Eds on straight ticket voting today. This will be the last election for straight ticket voting thanks to the GOP controlled legislature. Dems should thank the GOP by voting a farewell straight Dem ticket. This year it is more than well deserved.

Our record against the Mariners this season was 9-10 of course.

10 games remain, 4 game lead, magic number still at 7.

 

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