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Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

On this Good Friday the lead story in today’s Chron is about declining home values in Harris County.  That means a declining tax base.  Local municipal governments and local school districts have some tough decisions to make.  Check out the story.   This is not good news.

In the coming days, weeks and months, our local elected officials will be tested because there will be cuts in services.  We can also expect furloughs and lay-offs.  Let’s just hope there is fairness and openness in the process.  Let’s make sure the pain is spread around.  Let’s also put demagoguery aside.   Stay tuned!

CM James Rodriguez and the proposed Downtown Soccer Stadium got some run in today’s Chron lead editorial.   Check it out.    Way to go James!

This MLB Hall of Fame member is 65 today.  He was a pitcher and ended up with 324 wins career including 24 as a ‘Stro.  Who am I talking about?

Commentary got some run on Fox 26 News last night on the politics of the new health care law.  In the story, the local GOP Chair Jared Woodfill called on Guv Dude to call a special session of the Texas Legislature so the Lone Star State can pass a Health Care Freedom State Law – huh!  I don’t think Dude wants to do anything right now that will focus on his leadership skills, err lack of leadership skills.  Sorry Jared.

Happy Birthday to Don Sutton of course who was a ‘Stro in 1981 and 1982 and who also has the distinction of having 1,354 at-bats without a dinger!

Take the time to drop by Fan Fest at The Yard tonight and tomorrow and check out the silent auction stuff, the cool gear for sale, the autograph sessions, chatting with the front office, watch the Stros and the Blue Jays, and a enjoy tasty St. Arnold!

By the way, have a nice Easter Sunday!

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The fallout from Sunday’s health care reform vote includes threats being made to Dem members of Congress that voted yes.  The media has been playing the recordings of some of the threatening phone calls – yikes!  Who is to blame?

I think it is a sign of the times and that’s too bad.  With 24-7 cable news, twitters, Facebooks, internet, emails, talking points, photo shop, and all this new media and gadget stuff, it is a lot easier to get folks riled up. 

Some folks said yesterday that the leadership in DC from both parties ought to stand together in some sort of photo op and ask folks across the U.S. of A. to be more civil.  Even if they did that, it is not going to stop the Glenn Peckers and Rush Limblows from spewing their hate.  Remember, they get paid to promote hate.  Unfortunately, we just have to live with this these days.

Just wait until they take up immigration reform – double yikes!

This season the ‘Stros will be celebrating 45 years as ‘Stros when we first started being ‘Stros in 1965 – get it.  Who represented the ‘Stros in the 1965 MLB All Star Game and where was it played?

Commentary will be attending tonight’s meeting of H-Town’s Term Limits Review Commission at 7 pm at City Hall.  Let’s see who shows up tonight.  Of course, when the Commission finally makes a recommendation sometime this June, all kinds of folks are going to open their pieholes and offer their three cents.  I’m betting that most of those that opine never make it to a Commission meeting.

I’m telling you, you are missing out on hearing what folks think about how the city is run.  It has been a very informative civics lesson.  Be there or else!

Pitcher Turk Farrell of course represented us in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1965.

They still read Commentary at The Yard for sure.  Here’s what I said last week:  “This season at The Yard, the ‘Stros will be commemorating their 45th season as ‘Stros – get it!    We were the Colt ‘45s in 1962 but became ‘Stros when we moved to the Dome in 1965. On Saturday, April 10 when we play the Phillies at The Yard, both teams will be wearing their 1965 uniforms – cool!  I wonder if they will have 1965 concession prices for grub.”

Here’s what The Yard put out this week:  “As part of the April 10 anniversary celebration, the Astros have set aside 1,965 tickets in the View Deck II and Outfield Deck sections to be offered at $3.50, which is the same as the 1965 price of Astrodome tickets for box seats and several upper level sections. This special pricing is only available online at http://www.astros.com while supplies last. Special pricing for food and beverages will be offered as well, including $1.00 hot dogs, compliments of Classic Foods, and $1.00 Coca-Cola Classic fountain sodas (while supplies last).”

Of course, St. Arnold wasn’t around in 1965 so their price won’t be discounted.

 

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This past weekend’s health care reform debate on CNN was definitely must see TV.  It was historical and dramatic as vote Numero 216 flashed on the screen at 9:45 pm local time last night.  I actually think last night’s vote will help Dems this November.  Many were writing off Dems the day after the Massachusetts Massacre.  I think I said that it would be turned around if The President took control.  He did and Dems are better off.

Speaking of November, the Chron has a front page story on Guv Dude versus The Former H-Town Mayor and their vulnerabilities on spending and budget cutting.  It is an interesting piece in that it points out that they pretty much are vulnerable on the same things.  Check it out. 

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, The Former H-Town Mayor released his tax returns for last year but not for his other five years as Mayor.  In the Chron piece on the release, SMU political scientist Cal Jillson said sooner or later The Former Mayor will cough them up.  Jillson said “most candidates for high office release five years of tax returns.  The question is how much blood is exacted from him before he decides to do that.”

Stay tuned!

This past weekend the ‘Stros announced that Roy O would be the starting pitcher on Opening Day, making this Roy O’s eighth straight Opening Day start.  Who was the first team Roy O faced on his Opening Day debut?

Commentary has been doing a little house cleaning and came across Time Magazine’s 1996 pre GOP national convention issue and they had a two page spread on the Rising GOPers.  Here’s who they named back in 1996:

Utah’s Governor Michael Leavitt ended up serving in 43’s Cabinet at the EPA and Health and Human Services.

Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith ran a couple of unsuccessful statewide races in Indiana and ended up being appointed by 43 to Chair the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Kansas U.S. Senatorial candidate Sam Brownback won and is now retiring and running for Kansas governor.

California A.G Dan Lungren is now in Congress.

Ohio Treasurer Kenneth Blackwell ended up being Ohio’s Secretary of State and ran unsuccessfully for governor and RNC Chair.  He is still hanging around somewhere.

Ohio Congressman John Kasich was Newt’s Budget Chair and left congress in 2000, thought about running for Prez in 2000, didn’t and is now running for Governor of Ohio.

San Diego Mayor Susan Golding ran unsuccessfully for higher office and still lives in San Diego.

Oklahoma Congressman Steve Largent ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002.

New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari resigned in 1997 to go work for CBS but that didn’t work out and now does lobbying.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry has probably become the most notable and influential of the 1996 Time Magazine Rising GOPers as he has now achieved the status of Guv Dude.

In this past weekend’s Star Telegram, there is a piece about Latinos in Fort Worth wanting to name a street after Cesar Chavez.  Here’s what a Latino leader says:  "Cesar Chavez is a hero to the Hispanic community.  He is our Martin Luther King. We need to be promoting individuals like that."

I don’t know about that.

Also this past weekend, it looks like the City of H-Town won’t catch the fire station graffiti writer thanks to a rinky-dink Keystone Kops style investigation that was conducted by the city.  Way to go!

Roy O of course beat the Rockies (10-4) on April 1, 2003 at The Yard.  The opposing starter was a fella named Jason Jennings who we sent to the showers after four innings after he gave up a dinger to Jeff Kent and two dingers to Jeff Bagwell.  Four years later the ‘Stros traded for Jennings – huh!

 

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The Former H-Town Mayor got another story in today’s Chron that he probably didn’t want to see.  Check it out.   It has only been 16 days since the March 2 Primary and already Guv Dude’s campaign has had a few juicy morsels handed to them. 

On another front, the H-Town Mayor is supposed to announce her METRO appointments today.   Usually when new METRO appointees are announced, the media will ask them if they ever ride the METRO bus, ride the light rail, have a METROpass, or use the park and ride.  You want to bet on this?

What is higher – the President’s salary or the minimum salary for a Major League Baseball player?

Speaking of, right after the Massachusetts Massacre earlier this year, Commentary pleaded for The President to take charge and it looks like he did as we are nearing a winning vote on health care reform and GOP leaders are crying for a technical foul.

Remember when GOP members of Congress from the Lone Star State were crying and saying that The President had it in for the Lone Star State and they pointed to the Sealy plant and the Constellation Project.  Hey, on his NCAA bracket, The President has A&M and Baylor making the Sweet Sixteen so shut up and quit crying.

The two GOP U.S. Senators from the Lone Star State have invited The President to tour the border.  Before The President accepts the invite, he ought to ask the Senators to let him have a few U.S. Attorneys first.

Tie goes to the runner as they say.  The President makes $400,000 and the Major League Baseball minimum salary for a player is $400,000. 

On Opening Day at The Yard on Monday, April 5, as part of the pregame festivities, some former Navy SEALS will parachute on to the field – cool! 

 

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“We have to get a bill passed,” said House Speaker Pelosi yesterday or else Democrats will be failures in the eyes of the voters for not getting a health care bill passed when Democrats controlled Congress and The White House.   

I have to disagree with the Speaker.  You are already failures in the eyes of the voters.  The mistake The President made was letting you and Majority Leader Reid lead.

“People are at various levels of the seven stages of grief,” said New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner.

It doesn’t help that corporations – thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court – are now going to weigh in big time in races this year and most likely not on behalf of Democrats. 

Democratic elected officials in swing districts that are up this year should be very nervous.

Commentary doesn’t have a problem having to go through one of those metal detector gizmos at the state capitol.  We do it here at City Hall.  We do it at some of the county buildings. They even check you out at Toyota Center and Reliant Stadium.

This player was not elected into the Hall of Fame until his fourth year of eligibility even though at the time of his retirement he was fifth on the all time dinger list behind Aaron, Ruth, Mays, and Robinson.  He hit 40 or more dingers in a season eight times.  He had nine seasons of 100 or more RBIs.  He also made the All Star Team 11 times.  Who am I talking about?

This is what Roy O. said a couple of days ago:  “I’ll be ready when it gets time to go. This new workout stuff should help a lot."  He‘s swimming more.

Harmon Killebrew of course.

One of the giveaways at The Yard this season is a hidden book safe.  I found out it is one of those hollowed out books where you can keep valuables like tickets to ‘Stros games.

 

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Today is 9/9/9 – so what!

The President has a so called make or break speech tonight. It is kind of odd in that he will be speaking to Dems only because the GOP has tuned him out on health care. Heck, last year nobody knew what a public option was. Now it is a four letter word in right wing land. Any day now, expect to learn that some fella will name his race horse – Public Option.

The Lite Guv’s decision to stay put is going to make it harder for Lone Star State Dems to make inroads next year since their line-up will pretty much stay the same.

With all this swine flu and germ stuff going around, let us do away with the handshake and go straight to the knuckle bump. That is what I’m starting to do.

Let’s see now, I bought all The Beatles albums when they first came out. Then I bought some again on eight track and then on cassette. Then I bought a bunch of them on CDs and then I got the best of and the anthologies and now they are telling me that I have to buy the remastered editions because all the ones I bought over the last 45 years were muddled when it comes to sound – huh! The new stuff has better sound quality – huh again! I don’t know about this.

Speaking of, we’re not going to reach Cecil Puede’s goal of 90 wins this season because we would have to go 23-1 the rest of the way which is darn near impossible since we still have three left against the Cards and four against the Phillies – both first place teams – yikes! Speaking of, Lights Out Lidge of the Phillies has an ERA of over 7 with about 10 blown saves and might lose his closer job. I’ve heard that tune before.

 

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Commentary has a cool poster of Senator Edward Kennedy called “To Sail Against the Wind” that was given to some of us that supported him in 1980 when he ran for President. The poster hangs in the front office. There is also a picture of me and Senator Kennedy when he came to Texas for a conference and his office asked that I accompany him while he was in the state. I also have a cool photo of Senator Kennedy and me getting off of a plane in South Texas while we were campaigning for Mondale/Ferraro back in 1984. He was a great campaigner and back then the only Spanish he knew was the words to “Jalisco” that he revived when he was campaigning for Senator Obama last year.

In 1980, some of us took a little heat when we supported him against incumbent President Jimmy Carter. We stood with our folks as Kennedy overwhelmingly trounced Carter in Latino communities across the Lone Star State. When he came to Texas right before the Democratic Primary in 1980, we had a crowd that overflowed into the parking lot at Denver Harbor’s Resurrection Catholic Church for an evening rally. That day at noon, we also filled the Reflection Pool area outside of H-Town City Hall. I always wanted Senator Kennedy to be President but we all know why he wasn’t.

A few of his speeches rank among the best in American political history including his 1968 eulogy of his brother Bobby. Here is a bit:

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

“Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.”

And of course, arguably the greatest convention speech of all time from 1980 – I was there and here is how it ended:

“For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.

“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

I have his convention speech on an album that they gave us right after the convention. It is one of my most cherished political treasures.

I’m glad I knew him and supported him.

"The whole state of Texas should be celebrating with us. That was the biggest, most chaotic, moronic thing when they went through that Texas two-step." This is what a LULAC lawyer said after Latino groups kicked the arse of the Lone Star State Dem Party on the Two Step deal in federal court yesterday. Hey, that’s what folks were saying the night of Step Numero 2.

There is an article in today’s Chron on the H-Town mayoral race. Commentary got some run so check it out.

Here is what Annise Parker’s spokeswoman sent me about my take on texting while driving yesterday: “Annise did speak out against texting and driving on August 4 at the Young Leaders Mayoral Forum.”

In order to reach Cecil Puede’s goal of 90 wins, we’re going to have to go 29-8 the rest of the way which is going to prove difficult since we still have five left against the Cards and seven against the Phillies – both first place teams – yikes! It was worth watching as Wandy barely lost out to Adam Wainwright last night – 1 zip – ouch!

 

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Jake James Rodriguez joined us yesterday at 1:22 pm at 8 pounds and 8 ounces and his mom, The Lovelier Wendy, is doing A-OK. She and James called me yesterday to let me know that Jake was ready to don the Brick Red and head to The Yard.

The Chron snatched up Commentary’s take on the H-Town Mayoral race yesterday and put it up on Chron.com for other folks to see. As expected, I got banged around a bit in the comments section. Some fella even hurt my feelings by saying I didn’t know squat about baseball – oh, yeah! I can recite the infield fly rule blindfolded – can you? I can tell you the starting eight position players of the 1960 Yankees – can you?

Let me do some ‘splaining. I don’t have a horse in the mayoral race. I get asked on occasion by a number of players in town what I think is going on in the race. They are asking because this race is far from being a slam dunk for any candidate. Not even the candidate handlers are saying it is a slam dunk deal for them. This thing is still wide open and that is what I tried to convey yesterday so SHOW ME THE TV!

If we can’t get health care reform passed with 60 Dem Senators and close to 60% of the House being Dems, then don’t think for a second that voters are going to look favorably at Dems in 2010.

President Bill Clinton is 63 today. Happy Birthday Mr. President!

In order to get to Cecil Puede’s goal of 90 wins, we have to go 33-10 the rest of the way. I don’t know about that. We returned the rental yesterday, errr Pudge. We put Hampton on the 15 day DL – we should have put him on the 45 day DL. We’re hurting real bad but at least we didn’t sign Brett Favre.

 

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Hutch kicks off her campaign in Galveston County this morning – good luck! Hutch obviously reads Commentary because she is going to say that Guv Dude has been in office way too long. Meanwhile, the Dem State Senator from Travis County said he wasn’t going to run for Guv even though he said he would have won – huh – yeah, sure. Usually, the way it works, if you can win then run. Of course, he also probably read Commentary because he knows he couldn’t win because he couldn’t figure out how to engage the growing Latino vote. Tom Schieffer is wondering why Lone Star State Dems aren’t embracing his candidacy – huh! Maybe it has something to do with that big hickey on his next given to him by 43 that just won’t go away.

CEWDEM sent out some stuff this past weekend on 10 reasons why folks shouldn’t vote for the H-Town Mayor or John Sharp in the U.S. Senate race. I think some of the shots at The Mayor were off the mark. The fella that took the shot obviously doesn’t know jack about environmental law in the Lone Star State. They are kind of skewed in favor of industry. The H-Town Mayor has had to be very creative in taking on industry. I want the fella to go ask industry lobbyists what they think of the H-Town Mayor.

It looks like DeLay will be “Dancing with the Stars.” I wonder if they are going to have him wear tight pants. I wonder if he is going to wear a silk shirt that is open all the way to his belly button – yikes!

Commentary’s weekend for the most part was pretty miserable. The AC here went out Friday afternoon and the AC repair guys couldn’t get here until this morning. Heck, it was hotter inside than outside.

Then Tiger got run yesterday – ouch!

Then The President’s folks signaled that they were going to punt on health care reform. It looks like they are fixing to take the reform out of the debate. What is the whole point in having Dems control Congress and The White House? I sure hate to see scoreboard go to the insurance giants.

The misery continued as Wandy got lit up Friday night and we lost two out of three in Milwaukee. Cecil Puede said we would get 90 wins this season. That means we have to go 33-11 for the rest of the season – ouch.

About the only good thing that happened this weekend was taking in “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” It is definitely a different take on time travel flicks but you need to check it out.

 

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The Chron’s Columnist has a piece today about Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee’s Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform. Turns out the GOP’s Jared didn’t have to send out thugs to mess things up.  Check it out.  She got on her cell phone while someone was talking and asking a question. You gotta be freaking cwazy! Come on! That sends the absolute wrong message!  There ought to be a law banning town hall meeting hosts from getting on their cell phones during their own freaking town hall meetings!

The Chron also has a piece about Cong. Jackson Lee’s Town Hall Meeting and how she didn’t promote it.  Check it out. 

That’s pretty good. We’re using the recess to shoot ourselves in the foot on health care reform. Like I said a few days ago, I wish The President could choose his own Democratic Congressional Leadership Team because the folks currently in charge have managed to get rolled pretty good on this.

Heck, they aren’t town hall meetings. They are town hall melees!

The next time I run in to Hillary I’ll make sure not ask how Bill is doing.

FYI: Remember Jason Lane? He caught the last out of the 2005 NLCS that sent us to the World Serious. He’s now batting .245 as a member of the Las Vegas 51s, Toronto’s AAA affiliate.

Speaking of, recently released Russ Ortiz is now a member of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the AAA affiliate of the NY Yankees.

Cecil Puede said we would get 90 wins this season. That means we have to go 35-14 for the rest of the season and after last night, well, like they said in “Godfather, II” – “difficult, but not impossible.” I actually thought a 7-2 lead would be good enough but what do I know? Hey, we caught a Fish last night but threw it back – yikes!

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