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Archive for the ‘National Health Care Debate’ Category

Today I’ll talk about bins and not Ben.  This is in today’s Chron.com:

The city of Houston has been selected as one of five winners of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition designed to spur innovation in America’s cities.

Houston won a runner-up prize of $1 million with its proposal "One Bin for All" to allow residents to mix trash, recyclables and lawn waste in a single bin ready for automatic sorting.

Oh yeah!  Don’t brag about that in my hood because we don’t have the green bins.  I still have to go over behind Star Pizza to drop off recyclables if you know what I mean.

Here is the rest of the Chron story.

Name the only two former ‘Stros that have been in the Opening Day lineup in all three outfield positions?

George P. Bush says he’s running for Land Commissioner.  Now let’s see if he can attract more Latinos into the GOP.  Let’s see what he has to say on the issues.

Does anybody really care about the World Baseball Classic?  The USA played Puerto Rico yesterday in Miami.  The other day Mexico and Canada had a bench clearing brawl.  Maybe if they played a game or two at The Yard I might take an interest.

Jimmy Wynn and Richard Hidalgo of course are the only ‘Stros that have been Opening Day starter at all three outfield positions.

As of today the club has yet to announce our Opening Day starting pitcher. 

 

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The Chron has another take on Saturday’s election and what it means at the City Council table.  Check it out here.

One thing is for certain.  Commentary is still being read.  Here is what I said yesterday:

C-O-L-L-A-B-O-R-A-T-I-O-N ought to be the theme at City Hall over the next two years if you ask me but they don’t ask me but they better start asking me – got it!

I guess they are sort of asking me because here is what the Chron said:

Councilwoman Sue Lovell, who will not return to office because of term limits, said that competition for finite city resources could limit productivity, but a larger issue will be whether the new council can collaborate.

Kuffer has a more expanded take on the election here.

We have to do a better job of getting folks to the polls period.  A 6% voter turnout is embarrassing.   We can’t allow ourselves to let this become the norm. 

Liberal/progressives were the losers this past Saturday.  We let the GOPers and Tea Baggers out work us.  We can’t say that we were outspent because we weren’t.  We just didn’t effectively communicate with our base. 

We have to do more and better than just trotting out the list of all those leaders and groups that endorse.  We have to get their folks to the polls.  I haven’t seen the precinct returns yet but I’ll bet you $10,000 that White Dems and Latinos stayed home on E-Day.  Complacency took over if you ask me.   I don’t know why we would have reason to be complacent.  Oh well!

I will say this, City Hall just needs to focus on providing services and not start getting fancy with us with a bunch of regulations and stuff and new parking rules and stuff.  Stop pi__ing folks off!

On June 30, 2011, this AL MLBer hit his 300th career dinger.  The next day (July 1, 2011), this NL MLBer hit his 300th career dinger.  Who am I talking about?

The Harris County DA cleared the Port CEO of any wrong doing this past Friday.  The Port CEO says he’s leaving.  Here is from Chron.com:

“I came to the Port of Houston to apply my business experience in public service. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Dreyer said, noting the port’s preparations for growth with the widening of the Panama Canal. “This experience, however, has shown me that the political arena is not where I want to be.”

Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out, fella!  Oh no, the dreaded political arena!

I guess you can score one for Port Commissioners Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier!

Maybe by the end of the day, we will have some sort of clarification on when the primaries will be held.

On June 30, 2011, Yankee great Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career dinger and the next day (July 1, 2011) Cubbie great Aramis Ramirez hit his 300th career dinger of course.  Aramis will stay in the NL Central and play with the Brewers next season.

Well what do you know!  Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak is capable of smiling. 

‘Stros catcher Jason Castro got hurt again and will get a late start at Spring Training – drats!

 

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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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A day after getting their arses run on health care reform, GOP leaders said they would not be cooperating on issues like Guantanamo, immigration, and financial services.  That’s a gamble they take if they refuse to work with Dems.  On the immigration reform front, this will just anger Latino voters (of course it will not matter if the Dem Party doesn’t implement a Latino voter engagement strategy).  It is going to be difficult for the GOP to sustain a noncooperation strategy over the next seven months. 

Meanwhile, Lubbock GOP Congressman Randy Neugebauer got him his 15 minutes of fame yesterday. 

Partisanship has gotten so bad that the GOP can’t even acknowledge who got scoreboard.  They can’t even be good sports and shake hands. 

From the Separation of Church and State Department, Lakewood Mega Church will buy The Summit, err Compaq Center, err Lakewood Mega Church they’ve been renting from the City of H-Town for $7.5 mil.  The Summit originally opened in 1975 at a then hefty price of $27 mil to build.  After Toyota Center opened in 2003, we turned it over to the Lakewood Church for around $11.8 mil in prepaid rent.  Lakewood put in $75 mill in renovations.  So a building that we paid $27 mil to build 35 years ago, we’re getting $19.5 mil.  I wonder if we would have gotten a better deal if we had just sold them the building back in 2003.  I guess we’ll hear that the $7.5 mil is a good deal in light of the fact that the City is hard up for cashola these days.

When Roy O stepped on the mound for his first Opening Day start at The Yard on April 1, 2003 versus the Rockies he had what ‘Stros starters on the field behind him that day that will be wearing the brick red on Monday, April 5 versus the Giants?

An H-Town City Council Committee will meet today and get a briefing and progress report on the Downtown Soccer Stadium. 

I was checking out this season’s schedule and found that there are eight 1 pm start times on weekdays at The Yard.  Wednesday, April 7 (Giants), Thursday, June 3 (Nats), Thursday, June 24 (Giants), Thursday, July 8 (Pirates), Wednesday, July 28 (Cubbies), Wednesday, August 11 (The ATL), Wednesday, September 1 (San Luis), and Wednesday, September 15 (The Brew Crew).  There is also a 1 pm start on Monday, May 31 (Nats) but that’s Memorial Day.  I think I’ll be able to handle the schedule.

Geoff Blum at third base back them and The Big Puma in left field back then of course.  If The Big Puma’s knee doesn’t get better soon, Blum might get to start at first base.

According to the ‘Stros, on Opening Day, “the National Anthem will be sung by Texas Country Music artist, Jack Ingram.  A Houston-area native, Ingram has won multiple awards including the 2008 Academy of Country Music Top New Male Vocalist Award.”

 

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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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Commentary told a reporter the other day that the race between Guv Dude and The Former H-Town Mayor would be interesting in that we would see if the Former Mayor could take a punch.  I meant could he take the stuff that Dude’s campaign throws at him and the media scrutiny that comes with running a major statewide race.

Well it has started.  Here’s what a recent Beaumont Enterprise editorial had to say about the Former Mayor refusing to release his personal income taxes while serving as mayor:

“The campaign for governor takes precedence. If (Bill) White won’t release the information, he is telling voters he will always put their interests first – unless they conflict with his own.”

Ouch!

Here’s the complete editorial.

In today’s hard copy of the Chron, here is one of the headlines on the front page: “White tied to company facing pollution probe.”

Ditto Ouch!

The Chron’s R.G. wrote the story that I’m sure has Dude’s staff salivating.  Check it out.

On the front page of the Chron’s City & State Section, the Chron’s Columnist also weighs in on releasing the tax returns.  Check it out.

Ditto, ditto ouch!

Plus you have to throw in the sides so to speak.  Like the other story in today’s Chron about the Former Mayor’s METRO Chair ordering an investigation of the METRO CEO.  Check it out.

The Former Mayor appointed the majority of the METRO Board so he owns it for now.

Ditto, ditto, ditto ouch!

Look, we know Dude can take a punch because that’s all we’ve been doing to him for the past ten years.  We’re going to find out soon if the Former Mayor can take a punch.

Which African American MLB pitcher has won the most games – Fergie Jenkins, Dwight Gooden, Vida Blue, Satchel Paige, or Bob Gibson?

Deem and pass gas is what I have to say about the health care reform bill.  I really don’t care what kind of procedure is used.  The GOP is going to say we voted for the Cornhusker Shuffle, the Louisiana Purchase, Obamacare, the DH in the National League, the BCS System, Hillarycare, Medicaid for Gatos, Instant Replay in the MLB, and anything else they want to throw in.

Tiger is coming back and that’s A-OK with me as long as it is A-OK with his wife.  I’m betting at least one of his others shows up at Augusta sponsored by US, or TMZ, or some other media outlet and sets up a tent to give interviews so they can get another fifteen minutes of fame.

Fergie Jenkins of course won 284 games.

From the ‘Stros:  “Continuing an effort started in 2009, the Pink in the Park initiative, dedicated to breast cancer awareness, will be complemented with several ‘pink’ items on Mother’s Day weekend. Items include a pink cap (May 7), tote bag (May 8) and t-shirt (May 9, Mother’s Day). The Astros will also be celebrating Father’s Day (June 20) with the traditional Father’s Day Tie that features a prostate cancer awareness theme. “

How come they don’t hand out pink T-shirts to the fellas?  I’d wear one with honor and pride.

 

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