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This November

Ty Cobb leads MLB in all-time career batting average with a .367 average. Is there an active MLBer among the top 50 all-time career batting average leaders?

Commentary has mentioned before that I worked for the 2010 Rebuild H-Town campaign so here is this from yesterday’s Chron by Rebecca Elliott:

The funding scheme for ReBuild Houston, the city’s street and drainage repair initiative, remains in limbo after a state appeals court agreed Thursday that the 2010 charter referendum creating the program is void.

The Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals ruling affirms an Oct. 2015 trial court decision ordering the city to call a new election on creating a dedicated pay-as-you-go fund for street and drainage projects.

The case does not appear to affect the city’s ability to continue charging a drainage fee, however, since City Council authorized its collection  in a separate ordinance.

Instead, voiding the charter election essentially removes the restrictions placed on how the city uses the drainage money it takes in. 

Houston is considering whether to ask the appellate court to reconsider, or appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, among other options, mayoral spokeswoman Janice Evans said in a statement.

The state Supreme Court sided against Houston in this case two years ago, saying the city obscured the ballot language surrounding the drainage fee, a major funding source for ReBuild Houston, and, therefore, failed to adequately inform voters about the ballot measure’s intent. 

In the more expansive article in this morning’s Chron, the lawyer for the plaintiffs wants a new election on Rebuild H-Town this November.

I am thinking the City of H-Town does not want a new election on this. The City is thinking about putting the revenue cap vote on the ballot this November. I don’t think they would also want the so-called “rain tax” on the ballot. Remember, we don’t have mayoral or city council candidates on the ballot this year, so turnout this November could be a little on the sketchy side if you know what I mean.

The Chron E-Board today is smacking Texas’ straight ticket voting OPTION. Yes. It is an OPTION! Here is a part of their take:

Of course, voting based upon party affiliation has the appeal of simplicity. When you vote straight-ticket, you’re assuming – sometimes wrongly – that all of the candidates on the ballot from your party share roughly the same political philosophy. But you’re also assuming all of those candidates are competent and honest, and history has taught us that’s how a lot of fools and scoundrels wind up in powerful positions.

Dumping the one-punch straight-ticket option wouldn’t solve this problem. Texans could still cast individual votes for every Democrat or every Republican on the ballot. But that would give voters an incentive to consider each candidate independently rather than lumping all of them together based solely on party affiliation.

And to be sure, it would also impose upon voters the responsibility to work their way through lengthy ballots. Political scientists we consulted say Republican voters are more likely than Democrats to complete long ballots, casting votes in every race no matter how long it takes at the polling place. One of the reasons our state’s GOP leaders are talking about this issue may be that it could work to the advantage of Republicans in down-ballot races.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/End-straight-ticket-voting-10921932.php.

Commentary will say it again. Where is the public outcry on this? The GOP Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court? The GOP Texas House Speaker? The Chron E-Board?

Do they actually think that folks are going to do their homework on the individual judicial candidates? You are dreaming!

They need to go look at how these candidates run in their own primaries and which endorsements are sought after. You get the picture?

Why not look at having a system where the judicial elections are held in odd numbered years and have the candidates run without party affiliations? Just saying.

The lead story in the Chron’s business section is the bathroom bill and future Super Bowls. The bathroom guys don’t give a rat’s arse about stuff like this.

Miguel Cabrera of course is the only active MLBer in the top 50 all-time career batting average list with a .321 average that has him at number 36.

Spring Training starts next week.

On What?

Name the four likely Opening Day starters for the ‘Stros who will be playing in the World Baseball Classic?

The Chron’s John McClain had a post-Super Bowl piece on an upgrade to NRG is in order if we want to host another Super Bowl. Here is how it starts:

Houston did a terrific job hosting Super Bowl LI.

If you don’t believe me because I’m biased, I think you’ll believe members of the print, broadcast and online media who offered unsolicited praise about the exceptional job our city did.

A lot of city leaders should take a bow for a job well done.

Not many cities can brag about providing more excitement than Houston.

New England defeating Atlanta 34-28 in the first Super Bowl to require overtime came on the heels of Kris Jenkins’ three-point buzzer-beater that gave Villanova a victory over North Carolina in the NCAA championship game.

NRG Stadium hosted both of those title games, and city leaders want more. But keep this in mind: We went 12 years between Super Bowls. If Houston wants to host another one, it’s going to have to spend a lot of money to upgrade the stadium.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/columnists/mcclain/article/Houston-did-super-job-but-stadium-needs-to-be-10915845.php.

On what? Upgrade what? McClain never mentions any specific upgrade. No paint job, no repaving the parking lots, no redo the bathrooms. Let’s hear some complaints about the facility before we start talking upgrades that we all know who will pay the bill.

There is another story in today’s Chron on NRG upgrades and again there are no specifics. Here it is: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/texans/article/Ric-Campo-believes-NRG-improvements-essential-to-10919384.php?cmpid=btfpm.

From The Score:

If the Houston police do eventually find Tom Brady‘s missing jersey, they will ensure that it’s returned to the quarterback safe and sound. However, the piece of missing sports memorabilia isn’t something the police department’s losing sleep over.

While Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced that he’s enlisting the Texas Rangers Division to assist the Houston Police Department in its search for Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey, Chief Art Acevedo downplayed the seriousness of the task on Tuesday.

“It might be the highest priority for (the) lieutenant governor, (but) I can tell you we had three homicides the night of the Super Bowl in the city of Houston,” Acevedo told 104.9 The Horn, according to Maribel Molina of Statesman. “We’d like to find it, but I don’t think we’re burning the midnight oil worrying about a jersey.

“It’s just not the biggest, greatest importance in the big scheme of things.”

Acevedo knows there is plenty of media attention on the jersey search, but he’s made sure to remind his staff to keep its priorities straight.

“I told those guys, ‘Hey guys, we’ll give it a run, but let’s keep things in perspective, it’s a jersey,'” Acevedo said.

I feel better.  Now there is story out that it may not have been stolen after all.

Once again, where is the outcry? I am talking about the need to make a major change in MLB and extra innings. This is ridiculous. Check this from Fox Sports:

Major League Baseball, in its ongoing effort to address the sluggish pace of games, intends to test a rule change in the minor leagues this season that would put a runner on second base to start extra innings, Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday.

The test would take place this summer in the Gulf Coast and Arizona Leagues, the lowest levels of the minors, with the purpose of gaining a greater understanding of the effects of the change. The rule — an offshoot of which is already being used in international play — would apply to every inning from the 10th inning on.

One obvious effect would be an increased likelihood of scoring in extra innings, resulting in (hopefully) shorter games and fewer bullpen-destroying marathons that last five hours and beyond. From Yahoo:

“Let’s see what it looks like,” said Joe Torre, the longtime major league manager who’s now MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer and a strong proponent of the testing. “It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it’s nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time.”

The move would have many interesting strategic side effects. For one, it would give a decided advantage to a home team that gets out of the top half of an extra inning unscathed. Their leadoff hitter could opt to bunt in an attempt to move the winning run to third with less than two outs, and a sacrifice fly or any hit would then win the game. There’s also the matter of who that runner on second would be. Would it be the next batter due up, or a pinch runner at a manager’s discretion? The Yahoo report didn’t specify how that would work and said that details of the rule were not yet final.

Even if this rule is a success in the minor leagues — MLB’s standard proving ground for potential rule changes — it would “likely take years” for us to see this being implemented in the majors, the report said.

Also this week, MLB proposed to do away with the intentional walk, in another effort to speed up games.

Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa will be playing for Puerto Rico, Jose Altuve for Venezuela, and Alex Bregman for Team USA of course.

EARN IT

EARN IT. YOU HAVE TO WORK, SWEAT AND BLEED FOR IT.

And this my friend is the ‘Stros’ slogan for this season.

Who holds the ‘Stros record for the most starts at catcher on Opening Day?

Apparently, Donald Trump is not happy with his press secretary, Sean Spicer. Check out this story from CNN:

Washington (CNN) The White House is ramping up its search for a new communications director in an effort to lighten the load of embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer, multiple sources told CNN.

A source familiar with internal communications said President Donald Trump is disappointed in Spicer’s performance during the first two weeks of the administration.

Spicer has served as both White House press secretary and communications director for the new administration. Those roles are typically filled by two staffers.

Former Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller was originally tapped to serve as communications director for the White House, but Miller stepped aside before Inauguration Day to spend more time with his family.

A longtime Republican operative, Spicer is a close ally of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. According to the source close to the hiring process, Trump is upset with Priebus over the selection of Spicer for arguably the administration’s most visible position, next to the President.

“Priebus vouched for Spicer and against Trump’s instincts,” the source said.

The President “regrets it every day and blames Priebus,” the source added.

But a senior administration official says Trump supports Spicer “100%.”

A separate West Wing source pushed back on the notion that Spicer is suddenly unpopular with Trump, saying “nothing could be further from the truth.”

Multiple sources have told CNN that Spicer was not Trump’s first choice for press secretary. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was offered the position but turned it down. Other candidates including Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle were interviewed for the job during the transition.

Spicer did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Spicer has come under withering criticism during his first two weeks. In his first appearance in the White House briefing room on the President’s first full day in office, Spicer berated reporters, accusing them of intentionally downplaying the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration.

But in his criticism of the media, Spicer used incomplete data and dubious assertions in making his case. Conway later brushed off criticisms of Spicer, saying the press secretary was utilizing “alternative facts,” a phrase that went viral in social media.

Over the weekend, Spicer was played by comedian Melissa McCarthy in a scathing skit on the daily White House press briefing on Saturday Night Live.

The President, sources say, was not amused by the performance.

The White House is looking at outside candidates to serve in the role of communications director, the source familiar with the process said.

“Needs to be filled more than ever,” the source said.

Commentary has said it before. Trump is the biggest liar ever and folks agree. Even his supporters know he lies and are ok with the lies.   It is not Spicer’s fault. Spicer may last or be fired or whatever. They can add a communications director or a spin doctor but it is not going to work. You just can’t spin lie after lie. You just can’t. If Trump maybe told an occasional lie, you might be able to get away with it. But when you lie on a regular basis, your spokesperson is going to get nailed – period.

Here is from Politico on CNN having an issue with Kellyanne Conway’s credibility:

CNN quickly rebuked White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday for suggesting that the network did not have concerns about adviser Kellyanne Conway’s credibility.

Spicer, taking questions from reporters at Tuesday’s daily briefing, was responding to a report that CNN had declined an offer to interview Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump and his most prominent on-air surrogate, last weekend because of concerns about her credibility.

“My understanding is they retracted that, they’ve walked that back or denied it, however you want to put it, I don’t care,” Spicer said at about 2 p.m. “But I think Kellyanne is a very trusted aide of the president and I think … any characterization otherwise is insulting.”

“If they choose not to work with someone that’s up to them, but I think we’re going to continue to put out key leaders in this administration, including Kellyanne, that can articulate the president’s policies and agenda,” he added.

About 10 minutes later, CNN’s communications arm released a statement saying that Spicer was wrong.

“CNN was clear, on the record, about our concerns about Kellyanne Conway’s credibility to the New York Times and others. We have not ‘retracted’ or ‘walked back’ those comments,” the statement said. “Those are the facts.”

I don’t know what you can say about Miss Bowling Green. Yesterday, a journalist who was on CNN said Conway looked exhausted.

I am really disappointed that my tax dollars are being used to find Tom Brady’s shirt. HPD’s executive assistant chief said this yesterday:

“The Houston Police Department is the lead agency in the search for the missing Tom Brady jersey.”

That is embarrassing. Hard to believe. Messed up priorities. One would think that NFL Security or the Patriots’ organization could figure this out. Shame on HPD.

What are you going to do with the jersey anyway?  Wear it?

Brad Ausmus of course has nine starts behind the plate as a ‘Stro on Opening Day.

Footnote has a story on the new grub they will be serving at The Yard this season. Have at it here:

HOUSTON — The Astros on Tuesday introduced several food items that will be available at Minute Maid Park this season, confident their food options will be as appealing as the team they have put together for 2017.

At a casual pre-Spring Training gathering on Tuesday, the Astros and Aramark gave local media a sneak peek at several new menu options that will be available to fans this season. Among the mouth-watering dishes are Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Chorizo Loaded Fries, French Toast Patty Melts and Pulled Pork Teriyaki Spam Sandwiches.

“In the offseason, we see what’s going on in the social media world as far as food trucks and things like that,” said Minute Maid Park executive chef Dominic Soucie. “Other stadiums … we look at their menus as well. We see what’s popular and then put our own Houston twist, our own Houston flavor on it.”

“Flavor” being the key word. The Chorizo Loaded Fries are topped with chorizo, queso, chipotle mayo, cilantro, green onion and tortilla chips. This dish will be added to a French fry stand that will also offer brisket fries, Frito pie fries and shrimp fries.

The Italian Grilled Cheese is topped with basil pesto sauce, salami, pepperoni, ham and mozzarella cheese and served on charbroiled sourdough bread.

Soucie described it as warm and salty — the perfect “comfort food.”

“We want people to be comfortable here, and what’s more comfortable than grilled cheese?” he said. “It could be good on a hot day, it could be good on a cold day.”

When deciding on menu items, the culinary staff looks for tasty options that are easily transportable and won’t create a mess. Although the occasional dribble of mustard from a hot dog may make it onto a fan’s shirt from time to time, when it comes to the more outside-the-box creations, the goal is to offer items that are both delicious and easy to eat.

“We’re looking for something that people can move around the ballpark with and not totally make a mess of their food,” Soucie said. “No one really wants to have a mess on their jersey. You just spent a lot of money on a jersey; you don’t want to ruin it by staining it with food. It’s something that has good flavors, that can fit in your mouth easy and has a sense of quality.”

Two items that will likely appeal to the wider masses are two versions of tacos: Green Chile Chicken Tacos and Tacos Al Pastor, which feature pulled pork, pastor-style pineapple, cilantro and onions, served on corn tortillas.

The French Toast Patty Melt has a unique taste given that the Nolan Ryan beef patties, peppers, onions and mustard are served on traditional French toast.

For those looking for some adventure, here’s a chance to try something that is all the rage: Spam.

Yes, Spam.

Aramark created the Pulled Pork Spam Sandwich: teriyaki seared Spam, pulled pork, sliced pineapple, pickled carrots, caramelized onions and hoisin mustard.

Clearly, this isn’t your mother’s Spam. Things have progressed since the 1970s.

“Spam is a very hot commodity right now,” Soucie said. “There’s restaurants where their entire menu is based on Spam.”

All items introduced on Tuesday will be available on the main concourse this season.

I am sticking with hot dogs.

BTW: They are also making changes at the Saint Arnold hangout in left field.

Be there!

The Big W

It happens all the time. A family plunks down $600 or so for a flat screen. They also have a laptop that everyone uses. They also have some Xbox stuff for the kids. One day while the grown-ups are at work and the kids are at school, some thieves break in into their apartment and rip off their stuff.

When they come home, they call the cops, but the cops never show. All they can do is file a police report. They don’t have renter’s insurance so they are screwed. It happens all the time.

Multimillionaire football star gets his jersey stolen, the Texas lieutenant governor calls in the Texas Rangers.

Really local law enforcement? Really Texas Rangers. It is a freaking shirt!

That’s why they have NFL Security. They can handle the matter. There is no need for HPD, or HCSO, or DPS, or the FBI, or the Texas Rangers to spend one second on this. That’s why they have NFL Security.

Evan Tom Brady’s shirt sent out a tweet yesterday saying the jersey was buried under the “giant W”, a reference to Jimmy Durante’s kick the bucket scene from “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Durnate was talking about the $350,000 or so in stolen “loot” that was buried. Durante actually said the “loot” was buried under the “big W”. Still funny though.

From Yahoo News:

Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, admitted Monday night that he and his wife employed an undocumented worker for years, according to a statement.

“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Puzder, a fast food executive, said in the statement.

“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork regarding her employment.”

Lock him up! Sure, I believe him, sure. Double standard.

Trump apparently doesn’t like his press secretary getting lampooned by a woman. Check this from Politico:

As the press secretary for a president who’s obsessed with how things play on cable TV, Sean Spicer’s real audience during his daily televised press briefings has always been an audience of one.

And the devastating “Saturday Night Live” caricature of Spicer that aired over the weekend — in which a belligerent Spicer was spoofed by a gum-chomping, super soaker-wielding Melissa McCarthy in drag — did not go over well internally at a White House in which looks matter.

More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him. And the unflattering send-up by a female comedian was not considered helpful for Spicer’s longevity in the grueling, high-profile job in which he has struggled to strike the right balance between representing an administration that considers the media the “opposition party,” and developing a functional relationship with the press.

“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” added a top Trump donor.

I wonder how long he will last?

On Gaga’s Tummy.

I knew this was going to happen. In the age of high resolution HDTV and social media, I knew during her halftime performance that Lady Gaga’s tummy was going to be lambasted by the pitiful troll community that is out there. Sure enough, yesterday, I got around to checking out the stories on the trolling. Here is from Women’s Health:

Football was a thing last night, and besides witnessing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, people couldn’t stop talking about Lady Gaga’s halftime performance. She jumped into the freaking stadium and sang to the high heavens, all while swinging around on ropes, and nailing what had to be the most intense cardio session ever. A majority of her fans rejoiced, but some people didn’t seem to be too impressed by Gaga. Despite the fact that she’s spent months preparing and training for her time in the stadium spotlight, lots of viewers took to social media to point out Lady Gaga’s “gut,” “flab,” and “belly,” reports Fox News

The thing is, Lady Gaga is in arguably the best shape of her life. She documented her Super Bowl prep on Instagram, saying she was “Training. Everyday all day.” She didn’t stop moving the entire time she was on stage, all while wearing uncomfortably high-looking stiletto boots.

Unsurprisingly, Gaga’s “Little Monsters” had her back, and called out the Internet’s absurdity.

While Gaga had an onslaught of support from her fans, last night proved that these types of remarks are far too common. What’s more, a recent University of Pennsylvania study shows that “body shaming” can actually make people sick. Researchers found that when people felt bad about their bodies, they were more likely to experience metabolic syndrome: a cluster of health issues that can put you at risk for heart disease and diabetes, most likely due to the way your body reacts to stress.

Gaga seemed unfazed by the comments, but you never know who could be reading them.

Let’s see. She was hauled up to the roof of NRG. (I would have been screaming to let me down 15 feet up.) She dove off the roof with just two cables securing her. She put on a very physical show, and great show may I add. And folks want to go after her tummy. Gaga is A-Ok in my book.

On a sad note, from the Chron’s Sunday obituaries:

Lauro Cruz, 1933-2017.

Former Houston State Representative Lauro Cruz passed away on January 29, 2017 at the age of 83.

He served from 1967-1971.

When I get up every morning, I flip on the flat screen for the local news to check out the latest freeway fatality, the latest homicide, and the latest truck ramming through a convenience store or CVS as thieves attempt to haul off the ATM gizmo.   And Donald Trump says the media isn’t covering terrorists attacks.

How about these tweets:

Richard Justice ‏@richardjustice 19h19 hours ago

AL West projections, per @fangraphs: Astros 90-72, Angels 84-78, Mariners 83-79, Rangers 83-79, Athletics 77-85.

And:

Jake Kaplan

@baseballpro‘s annual PECOTA projections out today have the Astros taking the AL West at 93 wins: http://bit.ly/mIity 

That means we clinch early.

There is no MLB question today.

Epic

Unless you are a Falcons fan, last night’s game has to be described as epic. When it was 21 zip, Commentary had the urge to tweet it was all over but the crying but I was a bit hesitant.

The goofball of the evening had to be the NFL Commissioner. He certainly didn’t want to be on the same stage with Tom Brady and he got off as soon as he could. He also got booed on national TV. Payback.

I have no problem with the Hamilton women adding “sisterhood” to “America the Beautiful” before the game.

Best Super Bowl ever? Which one was better?

I am going NFL in place of MLB today. Name the four teams who have never played in a Super Bowl?

Commentary ventured Downtown on Saturday.  I hung out on the balcony of Biggio’s.

Siete Foods got some Forbes run again. Here is the headline:

Abuela Approved: Grain-Free Tortillas For Today’s World

Here is photo caption:

30 Under 30 honoree Miguel Garza and his family created Siete Family Foods out of the need to go wheat and grain free when one of the Garza siblings was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Now, their tortillas are shaking up the $4B industry.

Here is the video:https://www.forbes.com/video/5254624280001/.

Nice job, Miguel.

On a related note, I picked up a jar of Royitos Hotter Sauce at Whole Foods this past weekend. I had it last night. It is pretty good. Check it out.

Since the Chron took down the paywall for the weekend so folks could soak in the Super Bowl coverage, I hope you got to read Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Lisa Falkenberg’s front page column on H-Town. It is a must read. Check it out here for free before noon today: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Howdy-here-s-your-guide-to-the-Houston-we-know-10908885.php?cmpid=btfpm.

His arse is owned for sure by the Russians. Here is from an AP story that is in the Chron:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he respects Vladimir Putin, and when an interviewer called the Russian leader “a killer,” Trump said the United States has many of them.

“What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly in an excerpt released by the network.

And:

During Putin’s years in power, a number of prominent Russian opposition figures and journalists have been killed.

In the interview, Trump says, “I do respect him,” and then is asked why.

“I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing,” Trump said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. “Will I get along with him? I have no idea.”

O’Reilly then said about Putin: “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”

The only question I have is do they have videos or photos or both?

From Politico:

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi urged the FBI to probe President Trump’s finances and personal ties to find out if the Russian government is blackmailing him.

“I want to know what the Russians have on Donald Trump,” the California Democrat told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we have to have an investigation by the FBI into his financial, personal and political connections to Russia, and we want to see his tax returns, so we can have truth in the relationship between Putin, whom he admires, and Donald Trump.”

It is a disservice to our country if an effort isn’t made to check out what the goods are on Trump. This isn’t frivolous.

Good for him.  I am thinking he won’t be the only on to opt out.  Check this:

HOUSTON (AP) — Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

On last night’s ads, I may be in the minority, but I thought the Mr. Clean ad was creepy.

Avocados from Mexico was cute.

Skittles was stupidly funny.

Buick Cam Newton was dumb.

T-Mobile with Bieber and T.O. was thumbs up.

Same for Honda CRV and the talking yearbook photos.

Nice creativity for the Tide ad with Terry Bradshaw and Jeffrey Tambor – how did they pull it off.   I noticed the stain before the ad.

Good stinker ad by Febreeze and the halftime bathroom break.

The Turbotax Humpty Dumpty was grossly effective.

84 Lumber gave us the best with the migrants.

Ditto #WeAccept by Airbnb.

Along the same lines, this Bud’s for you. You know it worked because now some immigrant haters are protesting.

Good job Audi for equal pay for equal work.

Same for KIA with Sean Spicer, err Melissa McCarthy.

Mercedes did OK with Easy Rider’s Peter Fonda and the bikers.

And finally, Proactiv’s ad with Olivia Munn worked.

The Browns, Jaguars, Lions and of course the Texans have never played in the Super Bowl.

Spring training opens next week.

 

Siete Foods and Royitos

Commentary has mentioned that my sister who lives in Laredo and her family have started up a food company called Siete Foods. They work out of Austin.  They produce grain free tortillas and just this past month introduced grain free tortilla chips. You can get their products under the Siete label at Whole Foods nationwide and at Central Markets.

My sister is in town for a few days and she was on the phone with the CEO of Siete, her son and my nephew Miguel. Miguel told her that they had done a demo of their product at the Austin Whole Foods yesterday, partnering up with a hot sauce called “Royitos”. It turns out the creator of Royitos is my old pal Roy Spence, co-founder of the ad agency GSD&M.

Roy put out a facebook post before the demo and gave Siete some props.

Commentary has yet to find a good hot sauce in a jar. According to Royitos webpage, you can get Royitos at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Central Market and Spec’s. I am going to have to check it out.

I really don’t have much to say about Kellyanne Conway’s fake Bowling Green Massacre other than to say lies, lies, and more lies.  I am surprised she didn’t say she was sitting on the grassy knoll during the massacre.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are a Class A minor league baseball team who are affiliated with which MLB club?

Here comes the assault on straight ticket voting in Texas again. See this from the Trib:

Most states have dropped straight-ticket voting, but not Texas. There’s another attempt coming in the current legislative session, and it’s got some high-level supporters.

Partisan efficiency experts might love the time-saving charms of straight-ticket voting, but a number of the state’s top elected officials are ready to outlaw the practice.

Straight-ticket, or one-punch, voting allows people to cast a ballot for all of one party’s candidates with one pull of the lever, stroke of the pencil or click of the voting button.

One and done.

Its requires partisan faith on the part of a voter, an expression of trust in a party’s primary voters, a conviction that the chosen candidates — no matter who they are, what they’ve done and whether they are qualified — are better than candidates offered by the opposition party.

And it makes the coattails of the people at the top of the ballot very, very influential.

Here is the entire article: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/03/analysis-rising-criticism-threatens-one-punch-voting-texas/.

A couple of things. Where is the public outcry about this? Voting the straight ticket is an option, a choice. It is not mandatory.   Think of the long waits for the long lines of voters we would have had this past fall if we hadn’t had the straight ticket option. The anti-straight ticket proponents are narrow thinkers if you ask me.

The Chron E-Board doesn’t think Donald Trump knows or cares much about Mexico. See how their take ends today:

But Trump’s other problem with Mexico is not about money; it’s about his imperious, insulting attitude toward the country.

He and President Enrique Peña Nieto have had several conflicts already, the latest in a phone call last week that was supposed to have cooled things down.

It turns out, according to the Associated Press, that Trump threatened to send U.S. troops into Mexico to eradicate drug cartels, because he said the Mexican army was afraid to fight them.

And according to a report in the Mexican press, he told Peña Nieto he didn’t need Mexico and the Mexican people.

That might sound unlikely, but the Wall Street Journal revealed in a recent editorial that when Trump visited the newspaper last November and was asked about U.S. policy toward Mexico, he responded, “I don’t care about Mexico, honestly, I really don’t care about Mexico.”

Unfortunately, his lack of knowledge and concern for Mexico has become painfully apparent.

Quite simply, we would urge President Trump to take the time to learn more about Mexico, Canada, NAFTA and our interconnected economies. He could start by reading his own trade representative’s web page. Texas’ senators and our congressional delegation also should take the lead.

As things stand now, Trump’s apparent lack of understanding makes it hard to take him seriously. When it comes to U.S.-Mexico policy, he does not speak for our country’s best interests.

Here is their entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Texas-Mexico-ties-10904696.php.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are the Class A minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays of course.

I got nothing from The Yard and enjoy the big game this weekend.

Ted Oberg of Channel 13 has been airing some stories on the NFL getting over on H-Town in return for having H-Town host the Super Bowl. Channel 11 also got into the act last night. Yawn!   This is not news!   This is what the NFL does and this is what cities buy into when they bid to host the Super Bowl.

For one week, we are the center of the universe so it is ok to have the NFL not pay rent, get free parking, get hotel rooms and on and on. The only thing Commentary would prefer is to have our H-Town leaders be up front with us and show us the paperwork, err agreement. Of course, the NFL is not sunshine prone if you know what I mean.

This is both laughable and scary. This fella needs to bone up on history. Ever hear of Black Jack Pershing and Pancho Villa?   See this from Business Insider:

During a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday, US President Donald Trump disparaged Mexico and threatened to use military force against the drug trade, according to Dolia Estevez, a journalist based in Washington, DC.

In an interview with the Mexican news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Estevez, who cited sources on both sides of the call, said, “It was a very offensive conversation where Trump humiliated Peña Nieto.”

Estevez said that while both the White House and the Mexican president have released information about the call, both sides characterized it as a “friendly” conversation and neither disclosed what was said.

Estevez said she “obtained confidential information” corroborating the content of the discussion.

“I don’t need the Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico,” Trump reportedly told the Mexican president. “We are going to build the wall and you all are going to pay for it, like it or not.”

Trump hinted that the US would force Mexico to fund the wall with a 10% tax on Mexican exports “and of 35% on those exports that hurt Mexico the most,” Estevez wrote in Proyecto Puente.

And:

“He even complained of the bad role the [Mexican] army is playing in the fight against narco trafficking,” Estevez, who writes for Forbes and is close to the Mexican journalist and anchorwoman Carmen Aristegui, said during an interview with Aristegui’s eponymous news outlet.

Trump “even suggested to [Peña Nieto] that if they are incapable of combatting [narco trafficking] he may have to send troops to assume this task,” she said.

The US president “said he would not permit the drugs coming from Mexico to continue massacring our cities,” Estevez added. She said Trump went so far as to say, “I really didn’t want to go to Mexico last August,” referring to Trump’s visit to the Mexican capital last year.

Here is the entire read: http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-enrique-pena-nieto-mexico-phone-call-humiliating-threatening-2017-2.

He has no idea! Calling him a moron is being way too kind.

Where will the MLB All Star Game be played this summer?

And then he had it out with the Australian prime minister. From the Washington Post:

By Greg Miller and Philip Rucker:

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

At one point, Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “this was the worst call by far.”

Trump’s behavior suggests that he is capable of subjecting world leaders, including close allies, to a version of the vitriol he frequently employs against political adversaries and news organizations in speeches and on Twitter.

“This is the worst deal ever,” Trump fumed as Turnbull attempted to confirm that the United States would honor its pledge to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center.

Trump, who one day earlier had signed an executive order temporarily barring the admission of refugees, complained that he was “going to get killed” politically and accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.”

Trump returned to the topic late Wednesday night, writing in a message on Twitter: “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”

U.S. officials said that Trump has behaved similarly in conversations with leaders of other countries, including Mexico. But his treatment of Turnbull was particularly striking because of the tight bond between the United States and Australia — countries that share intelligence, support one another diplomatically and have fought together in wars including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Normally, someone would say “I am dumbfounded.” Not with this fella.

I like the following. See this from AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is backing Tom Perez to head the Democratic National Committee, calling the former Obama administration labor secretary the “best bet to help bring the party back.”

Biden cast Perez, a Dominican-American civil rights lawyer who grew up in the Rust Belt, as a tireless champion of working Americans, immigrants and the disabled.

“He knows how to explain why our party’s core beliefs matter to the immigrant family in Arizona and the coal miner in West Virginia. That matters,” Biden said in a statement. “I’ve watched him work. I think I know his heart. That’s why I endorse him as the next chairman of the DNC.”

Biden’s support marks the highest-profile endorsement in the crowded — and still fluid — race to lead the Democratic Party, which has rekindled party divisions exposed in last year’s presidential primary campaign.

While former President Barack Obama has praised his former labor secretary as “tireless, wicked smart,” he’s so far withheld a formal endorsement.

Perez, who was quietly urged by the White House to jump into the race, faces his stiffest competition from Keith Ellison, a Minnesota congressman backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Democratic strategists with knowledge of the chairman selection process say Perez has as much as a 66-member lead among the 447 members of the party who will vote on the next chairman at the party convention in late February. In total, 304 members have indicated who they’re backing.

The strategists spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the vote counting.

Perez aides say he’s raised more than $825,000 for his campaign, with 73 percent of the donors contributed $200 or less.

Ellison attributed the support to Biden’s sense of loyalty to Perez, who spent much of the past eight years working in the Obama administration.

“At the end of the day, I think we can all agree that the DNC chair must be the choice of the rank-and-file Democratic Party members across the nation,” he said in a statement.

Now this last statement got me. Rank-and-file Democratic party members don’t have a vote on this. We are not having a Dem Party primary over this deal. Members of the DNC get to decide.

What a hair-raising story from Politico, aww:

President Donald Trump takes four different medications daily, his longtime doctor told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday, including one that promotes hair growth in men.

Dr. Harold Bornstein told the Times that Trump takes a small dose of finasteride, which is marketed and commonly known as Propecia, a drug often prescribed to treat male-pattern baldness.

Trump is not going to like this. Though, it is hard to tell if the pill is working.

The 2017 MLB All Star Game will be played at Marlins Park in Miami of course.

Nothing from The Yard today.