Archive for August, 2019

Trump Lite

Name the Astro batter who has been hit by a pitch the most this season among Astro hitters?

Governor Greg Abbott sometimes does his best to go Trump lite. Earlier this month his campaign sent out a fundraising letter demonizing immigrants. A day later El Paso happened. What a dumbarse move.

Yesterday, he admitted the letter was a mistake. Here is from the Chron:

Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he erred when his campaign sent a fundraising letter the day before the deadly attack in El Paso, telling supporters they needed to “defend Texas” from waves of illegal immigration.

“Mistakes were made, and course correction has been made,” Abbott said at his second Texas Safety Commission meeting in El Paso, adding that he spoke to the El Paso legislative delegation and “emphasized the importance of making sure that rhetoric will not be used in a dangerous way.”

Commentary would have preferred an apology. Knowing Abbott, he will go Trump lite again. Pathetic and pitiful.

Royko sent me this on my takes yesterday on the 2020 Texas State House races and CNN putting GOP liars on the air:

One might keep in mind, just as in the late 1980’s, when the Dems allowed all the criminals out on PR bonds, where the miscreants were back out raping, robbing and pillaging the same day, so too will there again be a backlash at the local ballot box.

My brother and sister-in-law were nearly killed by a DACA kid or an illegal alien, with no driver’s license or insurance, who ran a red light and caused a major injury accident on FM 1960 on a Saturday afternoon. Can’t find out if any warrant was issued, or if the DA ever prosecuted in Houston’s Sanctuary City. There are record numbers of Americans being injured and killed by drunk-driving illegal aliens.

And, if Queen Sheila keeps calling for reparations from all taxpayers, and Al Green wastes everyone’s time on impeaching Trump, and Lizzie wants abortion up to, and even after birth, you may not like the outcome next November.

Ok. Got it. Don’t release the tapes, please.

You know how you get those emails from the other side of the globe saying someone died and left you a kazillion dollars and please contact. I actually got one in the mail yesterday.

Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos has been plunked 11 times to lead the team of course in the HBP category.

A game behind the Yankees, 27 left, in Canada for 3.

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CNN’s Disservice

Name the MLB club with the best record over the last 10 games?

The Chron has a story today on the 2020 Texas State House races in the H-Town area. Here is quote from GOP State Rep. Sam Harless:

“I think the Democrats see a little blood in the water, they’re getting excited, but I think the Republicans will pick back up five to seven seats.”

I have never met the Harless fella, but I would like to bet him on this.

Local organized labor will be endorsing soon the H-Town races. I wonder if there will be any surprises. Stay tuned!

Last night’s thunderstorms knocked out my power a couple of times then our cable went down. I turned it on this morning, and it wasn’t working. Not even a techie on the phone could get the cable box to work. I think it got fried.

CNN bringing on folks who say Donald Trump doesn’t lie is a disservice to the country. Why do they do it? Don’t they know better. Don’t they see the harm in what they are doing when they bring these habitual liars on TV? Sigh.

The Astros are 9-1 over the last 10 game of course and we are still a half game out.

We finish up the homie this afternoon.

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Name the MLB pitcher who has pitched the most innings this season?

The GOP has some folks politicking at driver’s license offices. I wouldn’t know.

My driver’s license was up for renewal in October and a couple of months or so ago, I renewed online and voila, my new license was received a couple of weeks later and I didn’t have to go stand in line. My vehicle registration was due at the end of this month and in early August I went and got my vehicle inspected, came home, went online and applied for my vehicle registration and voila, 8 or 9 days later, my registration stickers arrived. Saved me a trip to the courthouse where I would have paid for parking and stand in line. It works.

The racist, bigoted, homophobic HCC Trustee Dave Wilson resigned so he can run in another trustee district. Got it?

Here is Kuffer’s take: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=91999.

Ok, now. We know the deal. We can’t get bamboozled like they were 6 years ago. We got to keep calling him out and talk up our candidate Monica Flores Richart. Don’t be surprised if he pulls the same cr_p he pulled 6 years ago like being endorsed by his cousins Carl Alvarado and Silver Garcia or sending out mailers with Emiliano Zapata on them. This guy will go the bottom of stuff to win this thing so stay alert folks.

Justin Verlander of course leads MLB with 184 innings pitched. It could have been more, but he got tossed in the 6th inning last night.

86-47 and still a half game back

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Justin Verlander has struck out 239 batters and Gerrit Cole 238 to lead MLB. When was the last time an Astros pitcher ended the season leading MLB in strikeouts? BTW: Randy Johnson in 1998 doesn’t count because he wasn’t with us for the entire season.

Commentary has to admit that I have been entertained by the fallout of the meeting between the Texas House Speaker, the former Chair of the House GOP Caucus, and the Empower Texans fella. Instead of focusing on the 2020 elections, the GOP House Caucus is participating in a circular firing squad. Some of their members have been calling for the tape to be released. Some want a special Caucus meeting called – delicious.

We all know about the tapes juiciest parts so why release it? In fact, don’t release it. Keep things festered up my book. It is better for Dems. Don’t release the tape, pretty please.

Get a life, please. Commentary is talking about the folks who are still grousing about #PlayersWeekend. The all white and all black uniforms didn’t sit well with so called “purists.” Someone said the baseball diamond resembled a chessboard. That’s a good one. Someone said it was a disservice to baseball to not have the Yankees and Dodgers play each other in pinstripes and Dodger blue. Excuse me, while I gag on that one.

They didn’t change anything about the game other than the threads that were worn. A lot of these teams already have variations of uniforms like those gray or brown things the D-Backs wear on the road.

In 1987, Nolan Ryan led all pitchers with 270 batters that he struck out of course.

We are a half game behind the Dodgers and Yankees with a key series with the Rays starting this evening at The Yard.

Dollar Dog Night this evening.

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At the 132 game mark, we are 85-47. How were we after 132 games in 2018, 2017 and 1998?

As of this past weekend, the following had filed a campaign treasurer designations for the #TXHD148SpecialElection: Kendra Yarbrough Camarena, Terah Isaacson, Luis Humberto LaRotta, Mia Mundy, and Penny Shaw.

When was the last time the City of H-Town had an HPD officer indicted for murder while on duty?

This would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that a couple of innocent folks were knocked off. Here is from a news story on Channel 2 this past Friday:

Hours after the charges were announced, Chief Art Acevedo held his own news conference. The chief answered a lot of questions but did not want to answer one of Channel 2’s inquiries, telling reporter Sophia Beausoleil, “I’m not going to get into a debate with Mr. (Mario) Diaz you know on every little piece.”

The chief was not happy with a question regarding an exchange from last Feb. 15. During an interview, the chief said, “It’s really important for the community to realize, we still had a reason to be at that home.”

Channel 2 Investigates reminded Acevedo: “Chief, you indicated you had reason to be at that home. There appears to be no reason listed in this affidavit.”

Acevedo’s response was, “But remember, that affidavit is but one piece of a very comprehensive investigation.”

However, on Friday, when a reporter asked about it on two occasions, Acevedo had this reaction: “I stand by that. We had probable cause to be there.”

When the question of a right to be in the home was asked again, the chief said: “Tell Mario Diaz that I think it’s great that he’s watching and that I appreciate it, but the probable cause, let me just tell you this … if I was investigating this we would have done a search warrant based on what we knew, we would have done it right and we probably wouldn’t be here today.”

Here is the entire story: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/hpd-chief-double-downs-on-comments-i-stand-by-that-we-had-probable-cause-to-be-there.

A far cry from the day they all stood in front of the mics right after the shooting. You know, the dirtbag press conference. Sigh!

The E-Board has a take today on the indictments.

The Chron’s Mike Morris had an eye-opening front-page story yesterday on two years after Hurricane Harvey and the City of H-Town. It is a must read. Powerful. Sad. Devastating.

Here is the article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Two-years-after-Harvey-has-Houston-lost-its-14373573.php.

I am flabbergasted. Wow!

Working in tandem, the Chron E-Board also put out a take. Here is their online headline:

Another Harvey? Houston isn’t ready.

And here is how it starts:

Ask officials if we’re better prepared today than we were when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017, and the answer is as quick as it is alarming: No.

Ask why we are not better prepared, and the answer is more complicated but just as troubling.

Here is the E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Another-Harvey-Houston-isn-t-ready-Editorial-14374688.php.

It was #PlayersWeekend in MLB this past weekend and games featured teams wearing all white like the Astros or all black like the Angels. Some fans didn’t like the uniforms. In recent years, they have worn pink, light blue and camo, as long as the scoreboard is working, who cares?

In 2018, after 132 games, we were 81-51, in 2017, 79-53, and in 1998, 82-50, of course.

We have the day off.

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Free Press, Please

Name the player with the highest batting average in MLB this morning?

The Astros were dead wrong not allowing a credentialed member of the media into the clubhouse after the game Wednesday night. They violated the rules pure and simple and MLB ought to stick them with a fine and discipline the employee who ordered the action. I like Justin Verlander, but he doesn’t get to change the rules involving the media’s access. If Verlander doesn’t want to talk to a member of the media, just say I am not going to answer your questions. Those are the rules. They can’t do that.

From MLB Alyson Footer on the Astros breaking the rules:

Players are within their rights to not answer questions from reporters, or a particular reporter that they may have a problem with. Teams cannot block a reporter -a member of the BBWAA -from entering the clubhouse based on that alone. This isn’t debatable. It’s against the rules.

The Astros were completely wrong in this situation.

Here is what the Astro said:

This course of action was taken after taking into consideration the past history between (Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony) Fenech and (Verlander), Verlander’s legitimate concerns about past interactions with Fenech, and the best interests of the other media members working the game.

We chose to prioritize these factors when making this decision. Fenech was allowed access to the clubhouse shortly after other media members and had the opportunity to approach Verlander or any player he needed. We believe that our course of action in this isolated case was appropriate.

That is a pretty lame arse response if you ask Commentary.

Here is from the Baseball Writers:

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America is alarmed by the Houston Astros’ decision to restrict the clubhouse access of a reporter from the Detroit Free Press after Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. This action by the Astros violated the MLB club-media regulations, which are laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the BBWAA expects MLB to respond accordingly and promptly.

Lame arse Astros media folks.

Here is the takeaway from this. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole at this point in the season are probably running neck and neck for the AL Cy Young Award. If Verlander ends up losing by a hair and the Detroit area baseball writers don’t vote for Verlander, then this incident will factor into the discussion in November when the winner is announced.

Justin Verlander and the lame arse Astros media fella will have nobody to blame but themselves.

Have folks not learned anything about pushing around the media these days? Oh, well.

Commentary is disappointed in the Astros.

Our own Michael Brantley of course leads MLB with a .338 batting average.

82-47 and the Angels are in town for the weekend.

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How many dingers has Justin Verlander given up this season?

Commentary is not going to say much about politics today.

We know we are in full campaign season mode when the H-Town Mayor called on Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session on guns. Huh? The mayor would have a better chance at getting the climate gods to give H-Town a 72 degree high temperature in August. Silly.

Last night was my first day at The Yard with netting and I am not happy. My view is obstructed. It is difficult to follow the flight of a fly ball. This is not what I signed up to pay for back in 2000. It is definitely not the same experience. I am looking to move.

Tonight is Thirsty Thursday at The Yard. Draft beer is supposed to be half price. A concession worker told me last night that they would be serving in smaller cups. Huh?

Justin Verlander has given up 33 dingers of course.

Last night was an unusual game for sure. Verlander gave up two dingers, the only two hits and baserunners he allowed. He pitched a complete game.  We lost 2-1. The game lasted 2:12. One of the shortest games I have ever been to.

We are now 3 behind the Dodgers and still 2 behind the Yankees.

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

The Astros have played 127 games. Name the Astro player who has played in the most games this season?

My Dad is 96 years old today!

I was with him yesterday and I made him breakfast – eggs, ham, beans and a tortilla. I went out and got him takeout for dinner – fish, mash potatoes and candied yams. We watched an old Frank Sinatra movie together, an Adolf Hitler piece on a history cable channel, and the ballgame. My Dad loves to watch the World War II related programs since he served in the European Theatre.

Commentary has told you before the battles and campaigns he was part of – Rome-Arno, Southern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland and Central Europe. He had one paratrooper combat jump behind enemy lines. He also handled a 50 cal machine gun.

He was big in national LULAC in the late 1950s. He helped organize the Little School of 400. He successfully sued the City of Baytown and got single member city council districts.

He also had a few beers yesterday. His beer list that makes his fridge include Tecate, Tecate Light, Modelo Especial, Dos XX, Miller Light, Bud Light, Coors and Coors Light.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Commentary counted 24 Spanish language surnames on the ballot for City of H-Town elected positions this election season. I am sure this is a record. I know some of them. You have to figure that unless a non Spanish language surname candidate in certain races is pure domination, the Spanish language surname will get votes. Just watch.

Manuel Barrera sent me this on my HISD and TEA possible takeover take yesterday:

Well when one lives in a community where you live, I can understand why you think that way. Try going out in a world where the working men and women live.

I guess it was in response to this that I said:

Commentary may wrong on this, but I just don’t see a lot of folks from the community stepping up to defend the HISD Board and fight the takeover. Maybe the community has had enough.

A couple of things. I think I’ve spent plenty of time out in the community over the past few years. I might have mentioned it before. A few years ago, I lost an election and I went through a process that led me to find time to go out with my clients, err candidates when they go door to door. I wanted to know what the voters had on their minds. It also helps me determine if what the message the campaign is putting out is working. I have gone to an array of neighborhoods in H-Town, the Sheldon area, Pasadena and South Houston. Neighborhoods like Independence Heights, North Lindale, Woodland Heights, Old Sixth Ward, trailer parks, Eastwood, Pecan Park, Mason Park, Montie Beach, Park Place, Second Ward, and on and on. Heck, we were on Harding Street a couple of days before the botched raid. I doubt any other Dem political consultant in the H-Town area has been to as many doors as I have the past few years.

During this time, I have also attended more than my share of civic club meetings from affluent neighborhoods to not so affluent neighborhoods. I have heard what’s on the minds of voters. If I can sum up the general sense of my visits with voters would be that they are not satisfied with the level of service they are getting from their local government – schools included.

As to where I live, the neighborhood certainly wasn’t what it is now when I first moved in back in the late 1980s. Commentary is talking about the Heights. I won’t apologize for where I live.

Alex Bregman of course has played in 121 games to lead all Astros.

81-46 and two games behind the Dodger and Yankees for best record in MLB with 21 home games and 14 road games left on the schedule.

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My Goodness

Name the team with the lousiest record in MLB?

Filing deadline for the #TXHD148SpecialElection is Wednesday, September 4. There are ten folks who are in or are considering, according to what I am hearing.

HISD Trustee Elizabeth Santos says she is “exploring” a run for the position. Here is what Kuffer said about Santos’ “exploring”:

All due respect, but no. Not with all that is going on with the Board right now. I mean, I understand the desire to jump ship, but no.

Here is all of Kuffer:  http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=91893.

It is hard to argue with Kuffer on this. TEA is fixing to take over HISD and a HISD Trustee wants to run for State Representative? Over the past few days, in conversations Commentary has had with folks about the upcoming special election, the TEA takeover mess comes up every time Santos’ name is mentioned.

Meanwhile, the HISD Board is fighting back in court. Here is this from the Chron:

Commentary may wrong on this, but I just don’t see a lot of folks from the community stepping up to defend the HISD Board and fight the takeover. Maybe the community has had enough. We will see.

My goodness. There are a bunch of folks running for City of H-Town offices.

Here is how the Chron start their story on the election season:

More than 125 candidates turned in paperwork to run for city office by Monday’s filing deadline, setting up a packed November ballot likely to leave every incumbent with at least one opponent.

The unusually crowded field is driven largely by the city’s move in 2015 to extend term limits, allowing officials to serve two four-year terms instead of three two-year terms, said Rice University political science Professor Bob Stein.

“It used to be that you just wouldn’t run against an incumbent. You would wait until they term-limited out,” Stein said. “Candidates are no longer getting the two-year pass.”

The Tigers of course at 37-85 have the lousiest record in MLB.

We need to sweep the remaining three with the Tigers.

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Filing Deadline Day

We are 79-46 after a lousy roadie that included losing 5 in a row. Where were we sitting after 125 games in 1998, 2017 and 2018?

Commentary put this out last week:

In a Chron article today, the Sen. John Cornyn Campaign called U.S. Senate Dem candidate Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez a “true progressive.” I’ll take that. I would shout out a name and label at Cornyn, but he probably couldn’t hear because he has is head up so far up Donald Trump’s, err well you get the picture.

When Sen. Cornyn’s head comes out for air, who wants to tell him about the latest on NASA. You know you are a Donald Trump tool, when you don’t even know you are being used as a Trump tool. What a tool.

Today is the filing deadline day for H-Town City races, HISD Trustee races, and HCC Trustee races.

The four incumbent HISD Trustees who are up for reelection have not filed for reelection as of this past weekend. One of the four, Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones is running for HCC District II Trustee. The other three Trustees are Diana Davila, Jolanda Jones and Sergio Lira.

Just a reminder. In 1979, 40 years ago, the election was the first time H-Town had single member districts for H-Town City Council. I was there. Most of you weren’t. I managed a winning campaign for an H-Town City Council single member district race. You didn’t.

Former H-Town City Council Member and Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez will be running for City Controller.

Wow! State Rep. Jessica Farrar is resigning effective September 30 of this year. She is my state representative here in District 148. She had a great career and more importantly, she did it her way. I was one of her campaign consultants when she first got elected in 1994.

She is a champion for women, the poor, Latinos, African Americans, the LGBTQ community, Labor, Teachers, Children, among others. She was one of the few legislators to vote against that stupid constitutional amendment that banned same sex marriages back in the 2000s.

She has what it takes. One session she was one of three or so Democratic Party House members to vote against GOP Tom Craddick’s election for Texas House Speaker and suffered the consequences like being a member from an urban center and getting put on the Agriculture Committee which made all the farmers in her district happy.

Out of 150 House Members, she was 7th in seniority.

Thanks a million, Jessica!

It looks like we will have a special election to fill the position this November. This will be the third special election within the past year of a Harris County legislative district held by a Latina. Think about that.

Or look at it this way. The Latino/Latina community in Harris County will have lost 35 years of legislative experience in the Texas House of Representatives this past year.

A special election in Texas House District 148 will be worth watching. Commentary has no idea who will be in the field or if I will even be involved. Remember, Dems, GOPers, and Independents will be voting in the constitutional amendments and local elections. If there are multiple candidates and a runoff is an outcome, the filing for the 2020 primary elections will open at around the November 5 election date and end right before the runoff. You could have two Dem candidates in a close race in November headed to a runoff, and both would file in the Democratic Party Primary a few days before the runoff. One would win in December and then they would face each other three months later in a primary consisting of only Dem voters. That’s too much to process.

Show me the #TXHD148SpecialElection candidates!

Of course, Commentary and Jaime Mercado have the most and best experience in winning local special elections involving Dems over the past year. Just saying!

Jacob Carpenter, who covers HISD for the Chron, put out a must-read story yesterday on the next steps for TEA including the strong possibility of having the HISD Board of Trustees step aside and putting in a conservator and board of managers to run HISD. Here is part of Carpenter’s story:

State-appointed board members would assume all the power currently held by the district’s elected trustees. Those responsibilities include hiring and firing the superintendent, approving the HISD’s budget and setting district policies.

State law dictates that (TEA Commissioner Mike) Morath would choose HISD’s superintendent from the outset of the board’s appointment, though the new managers could later tap their own leader for the district. Morath could permanently retain HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, who has held the position since March 2018, but he has not commented publicly about her chances.

Here is the entire story:

You really need to read the story. If a paywall blocks you, go steal a hard copy at Starbucks or at a library.

The Chron E-Board also weighed in yesterday and here is their online headline:

State intervention best option for Houston ISD. Now tell us the plan.

Here is how the E-Board take ends:

At this point, the best option available under the law is a state-appointed board of managers. In the very likely event that Morath, the TEA commissioner, takes that route, he should do so with the utmost consideration of all that’s at stake. That includes students’ futures, of course, but also the public’s trust, and the elements of the current HISD ecosystem that are actually working — and there are many.

Intervention must be undertaken with respect and careful attention to community concerns. New board members must reflect the district’s diversity and its values. They must understand the communities they serve as well as grasp the importance of inclusion and best practices in their governance. The panel should include experienced educators, as well as candidates with financial expertise and civic involvement. There must be a clear plan for implementation, for measuring success — and a defined exit strategy.

Parents, educators, students and taxpayers, therefore, must step up to ask hard questions and demand that the state provide honest answers. How will members be chosen? What criteria will be used to ensure that state appointees prioritize the needs of HISD students? Will there be additional financial resources to help schools improve? Will a strong ethics policy be in place and enforced?

Above all, Morath and TEA must promise — and provide — transparency. Parents need to be confident that their children’s welfare is at the center of every decision, every discussion. Houston is done accepting any less.

Here is the entire take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/State-intervention-best-option-for-Houston-ISD-14339472.php.

Here is the deal. If the Trustees are moved aside, some folks and communities are going to be pretty p_ssed off. Some more than others. Do the transition or takeover in a way, if at all possible, that shows no favoritism with the exception of favoritism to the students. Pretty please!

In 2018 after 125 games, we were 75-50, in 2017, 76-49, and in 1998, 76-49 of course.

We are three and a half behind the Yankees for the best record in the AL and MLB. We start a 10 game homie tonight that includes the Tigers, Angels, Rays and netting in front of my seats.

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