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It’s Late Night

This does not surprise me. See this:

Former president George H.W. Bush will break from his own party when he votes in the presidential election this November, opting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over rival Donald Trump, according to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend. 

Politico says Townsend posted a photo on Facebook Monday in which she’s shaking hands with the 41st president, accompanied by the caption “The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”

Why would he vote for a guy like Trump?   For that matter, why would any Bush vote for Trump?

It is official. Donald Trump’s kid is a dumbarse. Why would anyone compare the refugee crisis to candy?  What a four star dumbarse.

Commentary is not going to talk much about keeping white tigers in a restaurant in Downtown H-Town, but why would we want tigers to live in Downtown H-Town? Feel free to answer if you can.

How many games left do we have with playoff contenders?

Jimmy Fallon caught some grief because all he challenged was Donald Trump’s hair.

Commentary doesn’t watch a lot of the late night talk shows. Sometimes Fallon, Kimmel, or Colbert. I don’t have a favorite. I may try to watch when a politico of interest is on and not because I hope the politico gets nailed by a host. It is usually to see what kind of gags the politico will perform like the President and the First Lady have in the past. That’s not to say I would not mind if the hosts would challenge the politicos on occasion, but that is not what I expect. I will leave that up to folks like Wolf Blitzer, Martha Raddatz, Jake Tapper, Lester Holt, Norah O’Donnell, and Jorge Ramos.

I didn’t watch Fallon the other night other than what has been running on the hair deal. Cut him some slack. It’s late night.

In fact, you have to give Fallon some points. I for one would never stick my hand in Trump’s hair. Would you?

From the I didn’t know they could read department. Here is this from Poynter.org:

When The Dallas Morning News endorsed Hillary Clinton for president earlier this month, it broke a 75-year streak of not endorsing a Democrat.

The editorial drew pushback from many readers in Texas, a Republican-dominated state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976. A sampling of the comments underneath the endorsement (more than 3,500) gives some idea of the magnitude of the criticism. Many readers vowed to unsubscribe, although some praised the newspaper for taking a stand for what it called the only “serious candidate on the presidential ballot.”

But it also paid financially for its decision to endorse Clinton. Although he declined to say how many readers cancelled their subscriptions, Dallas Morning News Editor Mike Wilson acknowledged the endorsement came with a price tag.

Here is the entire Poynter. read: http://www.poynter.org/2016/dallas-morning-news-paid-a-price-for-its-hillary-clinton-endorsement/430900/.

I wonder if the Chron lost any subscribers. After their takedown of Trump today, you just have to ask that question.

Speaking of, it is really quite astonishing to see more and more media outlets say that Trump is a serial liar. Here is from a Politico story today:

It does not matter if what he says is false. That Trump lies on a regular and dismal basis is no longer a question. It is a fact.

We only have three games left with a playoff contender – all three with the Mariners.

We won again last night but are still three back in the Wild Card race.  Twelve games to go.

Mr. Birther

Donald Trump is Mr. Birther period.

Since Friday afternoon, his sad team of surrogate talking heads have been trying to peddle the story that the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign started the birther issue. Sorry, pals! Nobody is buying it.

This birther baby has been all Trump’s the past five years and everybody knows it. He owns it. It is not even up for debate. This isn’t spin material.

This is from an MSN story:

Donald Trump derided former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, calling the national security official a “clown” and a “mess.”

Guys like Gates need to get off their arses or high horses and endorse Secretary Clinton like right now.

Commentary is not going to talk much about pensions but you can read what the E-Board said yesterday on the matter here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Pension-possibilities-9228440.php.

Mark Trumbo of B’More leads MLB with 43 dingers this season. When was the last time a player hit 50 or more dingers in a season?

The Rice band pulled off a good one over Baylor Friday night. Here is from the Chron:

Rice didn’t beat Baylor on the football field, but the MOB band aimed to win halftime Friday night at Rice Stadium. 

The MOB, the Owls’ band known for its humorous halftime shows, dedicated Friday’s performance to poking fun at Baylor’s sexual assault scandal, which led to the firing of football coach Art Briles.

And:

The band proceeded to align in a formation to resemble the Roman numeral nine representing Title IX – poking fun at the multiple Title IX lawsuits Baylor is facing over the school’s handling of sexual assaults. 

The band then aligned in a star formation meant to represent former Baylor president Ken Starr and his exit, all the while playing the song “Hit The Road, Jack.” 

Here is the entire read: http://www.chron.com/sports/rice/article/Rice-band-mocks-Baylor-for-Title-IX-lawsuits-9228565.php.

The General, who by the way, went to Baylor was at the game and tweeted this:

John McClain ‏@McClain_on_NFL 16h16 hours ago

The loudest ovation for first half is still Art Briles showing up on Baylor sideline. Fans stood and cheered whey they recognized him.

And this:

John McClain ‏@McClain_on_NFL Sep 16

What an ingenious halftime show by the MOB. Baylor fans need a sense of humor.

Then the Rice administration sold out the MOB with this statement:

“The Marching Owl Band, or MOB, has a tradition of satirizing the Rice Owls’ football opponents. In this case, the band’s calling attention to the situation at Baylor was subject to many different interpretations. Although the band’s halftime shows are entirely the members’ projects with no prior review by the university administration, we regret any offense, particularly if Baylor fans may have felt unwelcome in our stadium. While we know that the MOB did not intend in any way to make light of the serious issue of sexual assault, we are concerned that some people may have interpreted the halftime performance in that vein. Sexual assault is a matter of serious concern on campuses across the nation, and all of us have an obligation to address the matter with all the tools at our disposal. The MOB sought to highlight the events at Baylor by satirizing the actions or inactions of the Baylor administration, but it is apparent from the comments of many spectators and Baylor fans that the MOB’s effort may have went too far.”

There is a column in the Rice newspaper today that starts like this:

Two years ago, I wrote an opinion piece in the Thresher to shed light on what I saw as systemic issues within the Rice community that enabled acts of sexual assault and violence to occur. Since then, the Thresher has reported on the administration’s numerous efforts to curb sexual assault and to increase dialogue on campus. However, the statement released by Rice after the Marching Owl Band’s halftime performance at the Baylor game is a disappointing reminder of our university’s failure to elevate the discourse surrounding sexual assault.

Here is the entire piece: http://www.ricethresher.org/article/2016/09/rices-response-to-mob-performance-deeply-disappointing.

On Friday, Commentary got the Texas Sports Nation in my Chron. Here is what it is:

As a subscriber, you will receive all-star coverage of our beloved hometown teams and athletes across all sports from the Houston Chronicle. Enjoy, deep, in-depth sports coverage and content, valued by sports enthusiasts coupled with a weekly 48+ page full-color magazine, intense interactive online media.

Texas Sports Nation will also air on Sunday nights @ 11pm  on KPRC/Channel 2, immediately following Randy McIlvoy Sports Sunday show which we will co-anchor with Houston Chronicle’s own Sports Columnist Jerome Solomon.

There is a lot of stuff in the 48 pager. I will pay the extra $52 annually to support my paper.

Kaepernick keeps winning. Check this from Saturday’s Chron:

Coach Jeff Riordan thought he was getting ahead of a contentious issue.

At Crosby High School, where he is head football coach and athletic director, Riordan talked to student-athletes this week about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.

None of the players discussed plans to kneel, but Riordan issued a pre-emptive warning: Stand for the anthem or be sent to the locker room.

Riordan and the district reversed the decision days later after some team members complained. Students from across the political spectrum discussed everything from respecting veterans to the Black Lives Matter movement during a lengthy meeting.

They decided to kneel during the coin toss and stand for the anthem.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Taking-a-stand-over-the-anthem-9228522.php?cmpid=btfpm.

In 2013, B’More’s Chris Davis hit 53 dingers of course.

We won 2 of 3 in Seattle and moved up a game. We are 3 out of the Wild Card with 13 to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diez y Seis

I wonder if someone is going to brief Donald Trump on Diez y Seis – Mexico’s Independence Day. I wonder if he will do a taco bowl or enchilada or burrito tweet today?

A few weeks ago, I was feeling good about the campaign. I wasn’t feeling so good the last few days. I am feeling better this morning because Donald Trump still won’t admit the President was born in the USA.  The media is giving this a lot of play today.  Good!

Name the ‘Stros pitcher who has given up the most dingers this season?

Bill King has a response to the Mayor’s pension plan. I will post it on Monday.

Kaepernick keeps winning. Check this from the Chron:

A fifth-grade student in Pearland is following in the steps of 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick by protesting the Pledge of Allegiance. 

According to news station KHOU, Skyla Madria, 10, said she won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or “The Star-Spangled Banner” after leaning the anthem was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner. She also said she’s protesting because of a rarely sung verse of the national anthem that refers to slavery.

The lines of “The Star-Spangled Banner” that refer to slaves are, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.” 

Madria told KHOU she’s knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance three times in the last two weeks and was sent to the principal’s office by a coach. Madria claims the principal called her mother, Elizabeth Owens, and “called me disgusting for not standing up.”

Owens told KHOU that she supports her daughter’s protest and doesn’t believe she’s doing anything wrong. 

Pearland Independent School District released a statement saying that Madria was not touched or disciplined in any way.

Here is the entire read:

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/news/article/Pearland-middle-schooler-protests-pledge-of-9225133.php.

Mike Fiers of course leads all ‘Stros pitchers by giving up 25 dingers to date this season.

Jake Kaplan of the Chron says we need to go 13-3 the rest of the way if we want to make the playoffs. 9 of those games are on the road. Wow!

Pensions

It looks like the firefighters are the holdouts in the pension deal. I will say that they have considerable sway in the legislature. It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Of the three employee groups, they were the most active campaigners for the Mayor last year. Here is Miya’s story:

Houstonians rely on city employees to fix our streets, fight fires, and keep us safe. When they retire, employees get a pension. However, those pension systems have been underfunded for years. “The current system is not sustainable, and I have 22,000-plus employees, the current system is not in their best interest,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner during an afternoon press conference.

In a significant development of the decade-long effort to rein in the pension system, Mayor Turner announced he has reached an agreement in principle with two of the three major unions in the city. Turner says he can close the multi-billion dollar gap with a complex plan that includes changes in employee pension benefits and the sale of a billion dollars in pension bonds. The multi-tiered restructuring has been conceptually agreed to by city and police pension boards, but not the firefighters’ board. “This is my package I am proposing, and based on my conversations of all the different groups in the last seven months, it is the best interest not just employees, but it is the best interest of the city of Houston.” The firefighters’ pension board, long the hold out for reforms, is still unmoved. In a letter to its members, Chair David Keller said in part: “…we are not comfortable portraying to the membership or the public that we have reached a deal. However, we have not walked away from the table. ” Firefighters may get dragged along in the reform anyway. State Rep. Jim Murphy, who has filed pension reform bills during the two previous legislative sessions, is prepared to do so again. This time, he is doing so with a mayor who spent 26 years in the Texas Legislature. It is widely expected that Turner will have better luck convincing his former colleagues to vote for pension reform.

“You know it’s hard to say what’s going to happen to that,” said Murphy. “I think the other employee groups will help convince them (firefighters) to do it, because it’s in their interest, all three of them, to try help the city.” We don’t yet have the specifics of just how much less money retirees will receive, or other benefit changes that would come with pension reform. Turner says specific changes will be made by each individual pension board, but he made it clear, change is coming. “Would I prefer all of us to be standing here today to make it perfect, yes, but at some point in time, the train has to leave the station. The train is leaving the station, but I will always pause to take on additional passengers,” Turner added.

Now who leads the ‘Stros in dingers?

Apparently, Donald Trump is overweight.

Here is from The Hill:

Defending Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Clinton struggling to win over millennialsTrump releases doctor’s letterSanders, Warren to Ohio as Clinton slides in pollsMORE‘s health, David Plouffe said Trump could have some health problems of his own that he hasn’t revealed.

“Let’s talk about medical records, by the way,” Plouffe told host Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.”

“Here’s Trump — you know, ‘Dr. Feel Good’ put out a one-page letter,” he added, referencing a letter from Trump’s longtime doctor that claims Trump would be the healthiest person ever elected president.

“He’s 70. He’s the heaviest president we’ve had, candidate we’ve had, since William Taft. There’s a legitimate issue.”

Now who did Trump call a fat pig?

SpringerDinger of course leads the team with 27 dingers.

The 2017 ‘Stros schedule was released yesterday. We open the season at home against the Mariners. In interleague play, we host the Braves, D-Backs, Nationals, and Mets. We play on the road on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. What’s up with that.

We won last night and still have a faint pulse.

No We Are Not!

A lot of folks in Texas are talking about the article Brian Rosenthal of the Chron wrote about special education.  The Sunday front page headline blared “DENIED: HOW TEXAS KEEPS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN OUT OF SPECIAL EDUCATION”

It is definitely an award winning article and Rosenthal deserves major kudos.

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg today writes about the Rosenthal article and here is how she ends her column:

And really, what does one say about the state’s decision to create an underclass of children in the name of fiscal conservatism?

This is what you say: it’s immoral and probably illegal. And we’re going to put an end to it. Texas is better than this.

Here is the entire Falkenberg column: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-disregard-for-special-education-students-9221043.php?cmpid=btfpm.

No we are not. Texas is not better than this. For the last couple of decades Texas has been screwing over funding for public ed. And folks know it! Our state leadership decided once students of color became the majority in our public schools, it was time to cut funding – take that! It is going to take a major change in leadership before we ever approach being better than this.

The ‘Stros lost again last night and I am not in the mood for a MLB question.

City of H-Town pension reform was the big issue in last year’s mayoral campaign. The Mayor will hold a press conference today on the matter. Stay tuned!

Now this is what you call the dog days. Check this from the Chron:

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has called for a summit of county and Houston city officials and animal welfare organizations to address the region’s “outrageous” problem with stray animals.

“I’m going to try and call everybody together, get everybody in one room and say ‘What do we really need to be doing here’ so we’re more coordinated,” Emmett said.

Emmett’s comments follow news reports about Harris County shelter employees refusing to pick up and euthanize a German shepherd mix that lay dying from a gunshot wound across the street from the facility.

The county facility, located inside the Houston city limits, handles animals from unincorporated sections of Harris County and has no jurisdiction in its own backyard — that’s the province of the City of Houston’s BARC shelter, several miles to the south.

The Houston Chronicle published an in-depth report about the jurisdictional problems last month.

Emmett called the situation “ridiculous.”

Here is the entire Chron article:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/article/Harris-county-judge-calls-for-summit-on-9219881.php.

From the Daily Beast:

Lost amid the uproar over Saturday Night Live’s relative lack of black women performers a couple of years ago is the sad fact that the show went 41 seasons without a Latina cast member (and only two men of Latin heritage, Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen). Now, that is about to change with the announcement on Monday that SNL has hired comedian Melissa Villasenor.

Good for her. But it took way too long for this to happen.

Here is the entire Daily Beast article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/12/snl-s-first-latina-cast-member-melissa-villasenor-is-an-impression-machine.html.

This Donald Trump bromance with Putin is getting ridiculous. Now Simone Biles got hacked.

Last night’s loss was a heartbreaker. Fading, fading, fading.

Fading

I pulled this from Texas Monthly today:

“I wish the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor.”

—North Carolina Republican Party spokesperson Kami Mueller in a statement on Monday, according to the Washington Post. Mueller’s strongly-worded attack on the NCAA and blindside-punch at Baylor came in response to the college sports organization’s decision to pull several championship events scheduled for 2016 and 2017 out of North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBT “bathroom bill.”   

OK.  I wonder if Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is paying attention.

I got news for folks. Colin Kaepernick is winning. I think I said last week that I don’t agree with him but I have no problem with him protesting. And I would leave it at that.

Now Kaepernick got Sen. Ted Cruz to protest him. And he got a supermodel to also protest him. Here is more from Texas Monthly:

Ted Talks

Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to speak out against football players protesting police brutality. Cruz called for a boycott, suggesting people refrain from buying jerseys of athletes who exercise their First Amendment right to protest. “To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes,” Cruz wrote on Twitter on Monday, according to the Washington Post. “Here’s a peaceful protest: never buy another shoe, shirt, or jersey of rich spoiled athletes who dishonor our flag.” Cruz seems to be pretty upset at the NFL players who are protesting, at least according to his Twitter timeline. On Sunday, Cruz retweeted supermodel Kate Upton, who shared similar outrage over the sideline protests during the national anthem started by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tweeting: “This is unacceptable. You should be proud to be an American. Especially on 9/11 when we should support each other.” Cruz/Upton 2020?

Like I said. Kaepernick is leading the discussion and winning.

What is the percentage of African Americans in MLB these days?

And Kaepernick keeps winning. See this from the Washington Post yesterday:

Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem has sparked far more discussion than imitation, but, certainly, other athletes have begun engaging in like-minded acts. Members of the Broncos, Dolphins, Chiefs and Patriots have staged protests during pre-game renditions of the anthem, and outside the NFL, kneeling during the anthem has occurred at a high school football game and a women’s professional soccer match.

However, while the NFL season is just getting going, another major professional sport has been in full swing, with multiple games occurring daily but no apparent emulations of Kaepernick. So why aren’t any baseball players, black ones in particular, following suit?

Orioles star Adam Jones offered an answer Monday to USA Today. “Baseball is a white man’s sport,” he said.

“We already have two strikes against us already,’’ said Jones (not to be confused with the Bengals’ Adam Jones, who also recently spoke out on the topic), “so you might as well not kick yourself out of the game. In football, you can’t kick them out. You need those players. In baseball, they don’t need us.”

I wasn’t aware of Jones’ remarks until last night while at The Yard. A Yard employee asked for my thoughts after he told me about the Jones remarks.

I kind of sarcastically responded that baseball was actually a white man and Latino sport. I went on to tell him how over the past couple of decades, the percentage of African American players has dropped in MLB. I tried to give him a history as to why. I also told him that MLB was well aware of this and had programs in place to address this issue.

Commentary didn’t get to watch Rick Perry dance last night. I heard I didn’t miss much.

With eight weeks left until Election Day, I still don’t know if Team Clinton gets it.

8.3% of MLB players are African American of course and 58.8% are Anglo.

We lost in extra innings last night and our playoff hopes are fading, fading, fading.

Pneumonia Politics

Commentary is not impressed with the folks that advise and surround Secretary Hillary Clinton. This race shouldn’t even be close. I have to agree with David Axelrod on the following. Check this from Politico:

David Axelrod on Monday burned Hillary Clinton for her notorious lack of transparency, calling it more problematic than her recent diagnosis of pneumonia. 

“Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?” Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s former chief campaign strategist, tweeted on Monday morning. 

Clinton’s campaign was heavily criticized by the press and others for failing to disclose the diagnosis, which she received on Friday, until Sunday, when the Democratic nominee had to leave a 9/11 memorial service in New York and almost collapsed as aides helped her into a van.

Clinton’s whereabouts were unknown for a period of time, and her campaign initially said she got “overheated” at the event and was “feeling much better.” It wasn’t until much later in the day that the campaign revealed Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier. 

Throughout her political career, Clinton has been known for her fierce sense of privacy. That trait has haunted her this campaign season, perhaps most acutely with her decision to use a private email server while she was secretary of state — a controversy that continues to be a drag on her presidential run.

They are doing it to themselves.  They need to open up or else.

On MLB, name the team that leads the AL in runners caught trying to steal base?

On the politics of pneumonia, I don’t think I have ever heard of a presidential candidate having pneumonia less than two months before the election. There is no book on this! I don’t know how this will play out. The wobbly video is definitely not good. We will just have to wait and see.

Secretary Hillary Clinton makes one deplorable gaffe and the world around her explodes. Donald Trump makes gaffe after gaffe and folks shrug.

Back to the gaffe. If this was scripted beforehand, then shame on her staff.   If we win this thing, and if she takes her trusted aides to the White House, there won’t be a second term.

Like I said, this race shouldn’t be this close. You have to blame her and her campaign.

What a rough weekend for the Clinton campaign.

The ‘Stros of course have had 39 runners thrown out trying to steal a base and they lead the AL in this category.

Our last 10 games have been played against first place team. We are 4-6 during this stretch. We are now 3 ½ out of the Wild Card with 19 games remaining. It is going to be difficult. The Rangers are in for three. Like I said. It is going to be difficult.