Archive for June, 2019

She Kicked Arse

Name the MLB club who will have the most starting players in the 2019 MLB All Star Game?

If you are a Democrat, who do you want on the debate stage next year against Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden or U.S. Senator Kamala Harris?

Enough said.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris kicked former Vice President Joe Biden’s arse last night. She owned him pure and simple. Eviscerating. She carved him up good.

Biden’s pathetic defense of his opposition to bussing was puzzling to say the least.

It was also excruciating to watch Biden’s African American National Campaign Co-Chair try to defend him afterwards.

How could Biden not be prepared for what happened last night?

We really don’t need this fella to be our nominee.

Here is from a Channel 2 news story a couple of days ago on the City of H-Town mayoral race:

Former city of Houston council member Sue Lovell is poised to enter the race.
Lovell confirmed to Channel 2 Investigates on Wednesday that she is more than likely entering.

Here is the entire story: https://www.click2houston.com/news/investigates/costly-stump-is-on-will-houston-mayoral-field-get-more-crowded.

Sue was also a strong supporter of the Mayor back in 2015.

It looks like we dodged a bullet for now as SCOTUS threw the 2020 Census citizenship question back to the lower court. Let’s hope we can run out the clock.

The Astros lead MLB with 3 starters in the 2019 MLB All Star game of course.

50-32 with a 4 ½ game lead. The Mariners are in town for the weekend.

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Let’s see. In 2016, we elected a Democrat Harris County District Attorney. In 2018, we elected a Democratic majority Harris County Commissioners Court. Are Dems asking too much wanting their Democratic DA and Democratic majority Commissioners Court to work together? Come on! You guys are supposed to work together! What’s the point of winning if you are not on the same page? Don’t let us down! Don’t disappoint us!

This is about par for Texas. Check out how today’s Chron E-Board take starts:

Just how far will the state of Texas go to deny former death row inmate Alfred Dewayne Brown compensation for his 2005 wrongful conviction?

Apparently, as far as needed — the law be damned.

In 2016, when Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar blocked Brown’s compensation, his staff argued that Brown’s application didn’t meet a narrow, literal interpretation of state statute. Hegar disregarded a 2012 Texas Supreme Court ruling that would have allowed Brown to get paid. The comptroller argued in a letter to the Chronicle that his duty isn’t to interpret the law, but to make an essentially ministerial decision to grant or deny the claim based on what the law says.

This is all you need to know, from the E-Board take:

Did police union officials, who maintain Brown is guilty, lobby state officials? Did Hegar, a Republican up for re-election in November, allow politics to come into play?

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Comptroller-s-decision-blocking-compensation-14054001.php.

Yep, it looks like a union hit job if you ask Commentary. Justice denied for sure.

News from The Yard. I think I know where this is going. From today’s Chron:

A 25-month-old girl who suffered a fractured skull when struck by a foul ball at an Astros game last month continues to recover from her injuries, and her family has hired a prominent Houston attorney to consult with the Astros about the matter.

In a letter addressed Wednesday to Astros owner Jim Crane, attorney Richard Mithoff provided the first public details about the child who was hit in the head May 29 by a line drive off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. during a game at Minute Maid Park.

While no legal action has been filed, attorneys say Mithoff’s letter represents the first public overture to the Astros toward conversations that could lead to a financial settlement.

It also satisfies, for now, the public’s interest in the condition of the crying child who was photographed being carried toward a ballpark exit by her grandfather as Almora slumped behind the plate in distress after seeing the ball hit the child.

“The family wanted to thank everyone for their concern, and that was first and foremost,” Mithoff said. “Secondly, we wanted to see whether any conversations can take place that can lead to a discussion of options that would make sense for the fans and the ballparks and the clubs.

“I know Jim Crane and know him to be a responsible owner, and I think he will do the right thing.”

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/A-foul-ball-a-child-s-fractured-skull-and-14054185.php.

A couple of MLB clubs have decided to extend netting all the way down to the foul polls. I think all MLB clubs could very well move toward this. If this happens at The Yard, it would certainly eliminate a lot of pre-game autograph opportunities for the fans. I would also have to evaluate my seating situation. I expect a decision on what will happen at The Yard toward the end of the season so stay tuned.

Our run differential has taken at hit lately as we lost by a dozen last night.

In the mood for afternoon baseball today?

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Border Stench

The GOP owns the image of the Honduran father and daughter on the banks of the Rio Grande. It is all yours. Haunting.

The NY Times had the image on their front page and in color. The Chron had it on page A10 in black and white. Shame on the Chron!

AC360 last night called it the Rio Bravo River. Slip of the tongue. (Rio Bravo was the flick starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan. Just saying.)

The conditions at the #TrumpConcentrationCamps also belong to the GOP. It is your administration. It is your policies. It is all yours.

Chron columnist Erica Grieder starts off her column today by writing Dems are partly to blame for the border stench. I actually thought it was an April Fool’s Day column. You gotta be kidding, right?

On the local transportation thing that folks were talking about yesterday, it is not good. Commentary can’t remember the last positive thing on transportation that came out of an H-Town City Hall. Same thing for Metro.

Commentary was for light rail and I occasionally use it to go to The Yard or jury duty or something along those lines. When I see it pass by, I don’t see a bunch of riders. I mean, it is OK, but it hasn’t accomplished what it was supposed to do.

I don’t understand the monstrosity called the I-45 widening. How did this happen. Who were the folks who thought this was a good idea?

The best that has happened to local transportation over the last decade has been the traffic apps on your mobile phone gizmo or on your car dashboard. Just saying.

On a related note, yesterday, Harris County Commissioners Court decided to redivy up the funds it gets from Metro for roads and stuff. Up until yesterday, the two GOP Commissioners got more than the two Dem Commissioners. Now the funds are going to be distributed equally. Commissioner Jack Cagle didn’t like losing funds. County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she wanted the amounts allocated by commissioner precinct based on science. I got news for her. It already is. At the beginning of the decade, we went through redistricting and each commissioner precinct more or less had the same amount of folks – ta da! There you have it.  That’s all the science you need.

Commissioners Court said no to DA Kim Ogg’s request for more prosecutors yesterday.

On a related note, this isn’t cool. Blakinger has told her story and how she made it. See this tweet:

Keri Blakinger‏Verified account @keribla 3h3 hours ago

This is pretty astonishing: Weeks after I published a hard-hitting story about the @HarrisCountyDAO, Chief of Staff Vivian King went to commissioners court and essentially told them my reporting can’t be trusted because I did time.

Commissioners Court also voted to oppose the relocation of the Battleship Texas. Good luck with that. The Texas Legislature has made it clear who will decide where the Battleship Texas resides once she is repaired.

We won last night and no MLB question today.

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Not Shamed

After 12 games, Yordan Alvarez has 16 base hits. How many of the 16 are extra base hits?


You can hashtag it all you want. Have the Wicked Witch of the West skywrite it across skies throughout the nation. Do one huge flash mob where every single one of us in America participates.

It doesn’t matter to him. That’s who he is.

Does not care about little brown kids wearing snot soaked clothes. Little brown kids in soiled diapers doesn’t faze him. He doesn’t care if they brush their teeth. Their personal hygiene is not his concern.

Separating families is Ok by him.

He is not shamed at all.

They are not his type.

For those who have CNN, I highly recommend watching “Apollo 11” that aired this past Sunday evening. A fascinating and entertaining watch for sure.

There is some interesting artwork on some Downtown Houston sidewalks these days. That is all I am going to say about this.

Yordan Alvarez has 9 extra base hits of course, 7 dingers and 2 doubles.

The Pirates are in town for 3.

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Pete and Local

What was our record after 79 games last season?

After reading the following from the LA Times on a police shooting of an African American in South Bend, Indiana, you have to wonder why Mayor Pete would continue with his campaign for President:

A town hall featuring Mayor Pete Buttigieg broke into near chaos Sunday afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate tried to respond to community concerns over a white police officer killing a black man in the city.

Buttigieg was solemn, somber and circumspect as he tried to explain the procedures of how officials will review the shooting, while saying that he didn’t want to prejudice the investigation. He also said he would ask the Justice Department to review the case and for an independent prosecutor to decide whether to prosecute.

“We’ve taken a lot of steps, but they clearly haven’t been enough,” said Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind.

The largely black audience of hundreds was having none of it. “We don’t trust you!” a woman hollered at the mayor.

The tragedy unfolded in Buttigieg’s city on June 16, and it would be difficult to imagine a domestic crisis more nightmarish for a mayor and a presidential candidate who has enjoyed a largely carefree rise to the top tier of Democratic contestants.

Buttigieg’s lack of popularity among black voters nationally — a crucial demographic for winning the Democratic primary and then the presidency – was already one of his biggest weaknesses in a contest dominated by racial justice issues like never before. Buttigieg had recently been laying the groundwork to win over some of those skeptical voters in states such as South Carolina.

But now the shooting has highlighted the racial tension right on Buttigieg’s home turf, revealing for a national audience the pain and anger that has long festered among South Bend’s black residents.

And this:

But at home, Buttigieg is a much more common figure in American politics: a white politician struggling to connect with his black constituents, whose lives are plagued by grinding poverty and violence that their wunderkind mayor has been unable to repair after seven years in office.

“You might as well just withdraw your name from the presidential race,” said a woman in the raucous crowd. “His presidential campaign is over… I believe that today ended his campaign.”

Here is the entire LA Times story: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-2020-pete-buttigieg-mayor-police-shooting-black-voters-20190624-story.html.

Honestly. I did not know who the fella was until he got in the race. I mean, like we got over 20 folks in the race and a couple that are in the debates, I have never heard of until I saw the list last week. I thought Mayor Pete was like the former mayor of South Bend until last week when he returned home. I went on the City of South Bend’s website to see if he was and he is.

It looks like he’s got a major issue back home to deal with. You gotta take care of business at home before you start going all over the country running for president. Just saying.

The H-Town City Controller penned an Op-Ed yesterday on how we go about setting the City of H-Town’s budget. Here is how it starts:

Despite the passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Houston’s most significant financial hurdle still looms large: its structurally imbalanced budget.

And here is how it ends:

It’s past time for the city to get serious about its structurally imbalanced budget. Houston’s financial future depends on it.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Houston-city-controller-Balance-your-budget-14029421.php.

Did you see a single solution offered by the Controller? I certainly didn’t.

I don’t even know why this is even happening. Really? This is a no brainer. Here is from today’s Chron editorial:

The fact that Harris County is again doing business with Karun Sreerama deserves scrutiny — no matter what some officials say.

That is the only reasonable reaction when someone who resigned as director of Houston Public Works over his involvement in a bribery scandal — which sent a Houston Community College trustee to prison — is back seeking government contracts.

Yet to listen to City Councilman Jerry Davis, it is a disappointment that Sreerama’s return as a vendor for the county has been met with suspicion. To hear Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jack Cagle tell it, Sreerama got a “raw deal” and deserves the contract he’s been tapped for.

Never mind that when he sought that contract he was joined by Jerry Eversole, a former county commissioner who is still barred from seeking public office as part of a plea deal in a 2011 corruption case.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Smelly-deal-is-legal-but-not-good-government-in-14029470.php.

This is insulting for sure.

Now that was certainly a lousy week of baseball. We lost seven in a row. One to the Jays, three in Cincy, and three in the Bronx. We needed yesterday’s win.

After 79 games last season, we were 52-27 of course.

We have a much needed day off today.

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We’ve got to change our losing ways, baby! That is five in a row we have lost.

Yesterday, Commentary participated in a meeting briefing conducted by Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman and Michael Winn, Administrator of Elections for Harris County. Big Jolly, err David Jennings was there, as was John Cobarruvias.

We were briefed on how the elections results will be presented and reported on election night for this November. They saw what Commentary wrote about the May 4 election night results presentation. I get what and how they are going to present on election night. It has been impacted by the new voting centers method of voting and the technology available to report election night results.

The voting centers system requires a few changes. The political campaigns will need to make a few adjustments, but it is nothing that can’t be handled.

They also gave us a walk through on the proposed combined primary voting experience. The in person voting experience is going to be a bit different and I suggested that they educate the partisan voters as best they can if we end up going to this system.

I really don’t want to get into too many details from the meeting briefing because they are still working things out. If someone wants to holler at Commentary, I will give them my take directly. Just pay attention to information coming out of the Clerk’s Office and ask questions if you have them.

I want to thank County Clerk Trautman and Administrator Winn for reaching out and more importantly, for their professionalism.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been given permission by MLB to explore the possibility of playing some of their games in another city that doesn’t have MLB like Montreal. Nobody goes to games in St. Pete, where they play, and they have a lousy crib. Heck, they have sealed off their upper deck. The Expos used to play in Montreal before they moved to D.C. and are now the Nationals.

My best friend said if they do this, they ought to be called the ExRays. I tweeted it out as if I thought of this. Hee, hee, hee!

Portland, Oregon wants an MLB team. If the Rays moved to Portland, they would have to be an AL West team meaning either the Ranger or Astros would move over to the AL East with B’More, the Jays, Red Sox and Yankees. That would mean the Yankees and Red Sox would visit The Yard three times a season instead of once. I am in for that. That is the least disruptive.

Of course, MLB never does H-Town any favors and they would probably move the Tigers or Cleveland to the AL East and stick us in the boring AL Central, with Cleveland/Tigers, Royals, Twins, and White Sox.

And in the end, the Silver Boot series would be down to six or seven games a season. That is not much of a rivalry.

Commentary went to go see the Astros play the Expos in Montreal in 2004, I think. They didn’t have much of concession grub selections, but I thought it was pretty cool that the PA announcer announced in French and English.

Losing five in a row doesn’t put me in the mood for MLB questions.

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Swinging Dems

Democrats haven’t won a statewide office here in Texas since 1994. Now we are considered a swing state. Do we know how to act like swing state Dem voters?

Commentary has been involved in winning statewide campaigns in Texas. In 1982, I was in charge of Mark White’s Latino, Bexar County, South Texas and El Paso aspects of the campaign when White ran for Governor and won. I also was the number two person for the Texas Democratic Party’s Get-Out-The-Vote Campaign in 1976, the last time a Democrat carried Texas in a Presidential race. That was Jimmy Carter.

I will be the first to admit to you that campaigns are managed a lot differently these days.

Last year, we saw #BetoForTexas come close. I am certainly not going to complain about how his campaign was run, you know, not using polling data, blah, blah, blah. His campaign helped a whole lot of Dems win office in a lot of parts of Texas.

In 2020, here in Texas, we will have a Democratic Presidential candidate and a Democratic U.S. Senate candidate leading the way. The #BetoForTexas campaign got a lot of people to get engaged. Folks got some valuable experience. They will be ready to embrace being in a swing state. Dems will know what to expect.

I was watching off-and-on the H-Town City Council meeting yesterday on adopting the budget and they were discussing studying the issue of a commuter service fee. Something along the lines of charging folks who come into town everyday who come to work but don’t live in the city and don’t pay city property taxes – you get the picture. You know, folks from West U, Bellaire, Pasadena, Pearland, The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land and the villages. That’s not good public policy. Not a good idea. Certainly not neighborly.

The vote to study a commuter service fee didn’t pass.

If they want, maybe they can do a pilot program of sorts and slap a fee on city employees who don’t live in the city and see how that goes.

Former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t get it, pure and simple. Rather than own up to his remarks on working with segregationists, he gets his African American Campaign Co-Chair to defend him.

We got swept in Cincy, have lost four in a row, and I am not in the mood for MLB questions.

We are at Yankee Stadium for four starting this evening.

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DA Ogg

Who has played in the most games this season – Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa or #SpringerDinger?

The only thing Commentary has to say about the indictment handed down yesterday on the stabbing murder of Josue Flores is our DA Kim Ogg handled it well.

The Police Union doesn’t agree and called out the DA yesterday. The Police Union was also bragging about the botched raid earlier this year. Just saying.

On the last day of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, I kind of threw out my picks for Texas Monthly’s Best and Worst. On Best, I got it right on Reps. Moody and Phelan. On Worst, I got it right on Sens. Hughes and Paxton, and Rep. Strickland, sort of – he got a Cockroach designation.

I got it wrong on Rep. Nevarez – he got Worst – and Sen. Seliger – he got Furniture.

I don’t know what to say about the Chron’s newsroom. Yesterday, they put out the story on Texas Monthly’s Best and Worst List and they had photos of each elected official named. For Rep. Neave, they posted a photo of Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos. I tweeted out the mistake late yesterday afternoon. The wrong photo is still posted. Sad.

The Texas Tribune is in H-Town today at the George R. Brown Convention Center to talk about the 86th Legislative Session. I will have to watch it online.

Sen. Carol Alvarado will participate in today’s Trib event. She had a very good session.

Carlos Correa has played in 50 games, #SpringerDinger in 48, and Jose Altuve in 39. The team has played 74 and Alex Bregman has played in 72.

We have lost three in a row and are 48-26 and Jose Altuve is back in the starting line-up today – finally.

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When I’m 77

Sir Paul is 77 years of age today and he still tours. On the Sirius XM Channel today, we will hear nothing but Sir Paul’s tunes from The Beatles and post-Beatles days. Tunes like “Hey Jude”, “Let It Be”, “Long and Winding Road”, “And I Love Her”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “My Love”, “Band On The Run”, “Vanilla Sky”, and I could go on forever. His “Live and Let Die” was nominated for a Best Song Oscar but did not win. What won the Oscar that year for Best Song?

Happy Birthday, Sir Paul!

Texas Monthly came out with its Best and Worst Legislators. Here are their best:

House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Reps. Joe Moody, James White, Donna Howard, Dade Phelan, Victoria Neave, and Tom Oliverson and Sen. Kirk Watson.

Their Worst:

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Sens. Bryan Hughes, Angela Paxton and Brandon Creighton, Reps. Tom Craddick, Poncho Nevarez, and Jeff Leach, and The Dean.

What is up with The Dean?

In 1973, the Best Oscar Award went to “The Way We Were” and not “Live And Let Die” of course.

When was the last time you heard “The Way We Were” and when was the last time you heard “Live and Let Die”?

If the MLB All Star game was today, Alex Bregman, #SpringerDinger, and Michael Brantley would be starters.

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Name the Astro who will turn 22 on June 27 – in 10 days?

It was 25 years ago this evening.  It was a Friday evening, June 17, 1994, and I was watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals with our Rockets playing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden when the game was interrupted for the chase in slo-mo. O.J. Simpson in the white Ford Bronco.

They kept interrupting the game for updates on the chase and finally they went to a split screen. It had to be one of the most surreal moments in our local history for H-Town sports fans. We were watching our team fight for our first ever NBA championship while a well-known TV personality, Pro Football Hall of Fame great was being pursued on an LA Freeway for the murder of his wife and her friend on the same TV screen.


That was before flat screens and social media. You can only wonder.

The Rockets lost 91-84 that night, so we had to come back and win the next two at the Summit to win our first NBA title.

O.J. just joined twitter a few days ago and he already has over half a million followers.

When it comes to the I-45 expansion, are we helpless? Who makes those decisions? The Governor?

Here is the latest from the Chron’s front page today: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Massive-I-45-project-will-remake-Houston-freeway-13999092.php.

Yordan Alvarez of course will turn 22 on June 27.  I witnessed his fourth dinger at The Yard this past Saturday.

We are in Cincy for three starting this evening and our run differential suffered a big hit yesterday.

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