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  • Solid Mess
    July 17, 2019

    There are 24 MLB players with 100 or more base hits this season. How many are Astros?

    I think Commentary is paying around $63 every four weeks to have my Chron delivered. I wish more folks would subscribe. They have a photo on page A3 today accompanying a story on the Harris County Clerk’s pitch to buy new voting machines. There are two folks in the photo, and one is identified. The other person in the photo is not identified and happens to be State Rep. Christina Morales. I remember the days when the Chron wouldn’t make this oversight.

    Commentary will be shocked if the head of the City of H-Town’s Solid Waste Department still has a job by the end of the day today. This is absolutely indefensible! How can this happen? Here is from Jeremy Rogalski and Channel 11 news:

    2.6M pounds of Houston recyclables tossed in landfill

    Records reveal city broke its own recycling rules hundreds of times.

    By Jeremy Rogalski

    HOUSTON — The City of Houston broke its own recycling rules more than 300 times this year and sent at least 2.6 million pounds of curbside recyclables to the landfill, according to a KHOU 11 analysis of city records.

    The findings have one Houston city council member calling for the ouster of longtime Solid Waste Management Department Director Harry Hayes.

    “You either terminate the leadership or you make changes,” said Brenda Stardig, District A council member who represents Spring Branch. “In my world, coming from the private sector, this would be a failed business at this point.”

    KHOU 11 Investigates obtained daily collection data forms from the Solid Waste Department from January 1 through the end of May. The daily logs are filled out by each truck driver and show the type of material collected, the times it was collected, and the disposal site for each load.

    Those forms, cross-referenced with a database of corresponding landfill logs, reveal a city-wide, system-wide pattern of recycling violations.

    At least 123 city trucks dumped 333 loads or partial loads of recyclables at a landfill or garbage transfer facility, which ultimately sends materials to a landfill.

    Here is the entire story: https://www.khou.com/article/news/investigations/26m-pounds-of-houston-recyclables-tossed-in-landfill/285-7f5d73a4-96b4-4e48-9c38-0f53a0c1b014.

    Let me add this. A few more heads at Solid Waste ought to roll. This doesn’t sound like one disgruntled employee or someone pulling a fast one. This appears to be systematic.

    Shameful.

    Thanks, Channel 11.

    Wow!

    Commentary thinks Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner is doing a good job running the City of Pasadena. The Mayor invited me to view the implosion this Sunday morning of the First Pasadena State Bank Building. Cool.

    The best the GOP can do to help out a racist Donald Trump is to demonize four congresswomen of color. Pathetic. Not going to work.

    Michael Brantley with 115 base hits and Yuli Gurriel with 102 are the Astros with 100 or more base this this season of course.

    Did I mention we need another or two quality starting pitchers?

  • Today in History
    July 16, 2019

    Twenty years ago today, John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife Carolyn, and his sister-in-law Lauren left us. It was a late Friday night and most of us learned about it the following morning on the news programs. Tragic.

    Fifty years ago this morning, I watched the launch of Apollo 11. It was the summer of 1969. I had a summer job, so I went in a little late to work. I remember feeling anxious and nervous. Were we really going to make it to the moon? Wow!

    Richard Nixon was our president. It was four and five years after the signing of historic civil rights and voting rights legislation. If someone would have asked me then will we have a racist and bigot living at 1600 Pennsylvania in fitty years, I would have told them they were crazy.

    So, this is the headline of today’s Chron E-Board take:

    The president is a bigot. Patriots can’t stay silent on racist remarks.

    Here is from the E-Board take:

    U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Helotes was one of the few Republicans to offer a strong rebuke of Trump, telling CNN the tweets were “racist and xenophobic.”

    Here is the entire E-Board read:
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/The-president-is-a-bigot-Patriots-can-t-stay-14097414.php.

    We are not going to avoid history on this. Donald Trump has always been and will forever be a racist and bigot. Fess up to it folks. CNN anchors have said it while anchors on other networks just kind of walk up to the line. Sad.

    The paid GOP talking heads on CNN have been pathetic the last couple of days.

    The U.S. House will vote on a resolution condemning Trump. I am betting GOP House members will take a walk on the vote. Pathetic. They have lost any moral ground on this.

    From the concentration camps blankets department, this month we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. NASA put out a piece on what the Apollo program brought us.

    From NASA:

    Space Blankets

    One of the most prevalent spinoffs from the entire space program was invented for Apollo-era spacesuits. It might be best known as the “space blankets” found in emergency kits and handed out at the end of marathons, but multilayer reflective insulation is more often used in less visible applications.

    NASA found that by layering multiple metalized sheets of lightweight mylar, it could create a reflective insulation far more effective both pound-for-pound and inch-for-inch than anything else available. NASA went on to master the technology, improving its strength, fabrication techniques and testing procedures, fine-tuning it for maximum performance.

    The insulation has been used in just about every NASA spacecraft and spacesuit since its creation, and it has become a ubiquitous spinoff found in clothing, firefighting and camping gear, building insulation, cryogenic storage, magnetic resonance imaging machines and particle colliders, to name a few applications.

    Those are the blankets that are being handed out at Trump’s border concentration camps. You can’t make this sh_t up!

    I think I said yesterday that we need a quality starting pitcher.

  • Only in Baseball
    July 15, 2019

    We have played 94 games and we need another quality starting pitcher. How many position players have pitched in games this season for the Astros?

    This only happens in baseball. Commentary is talking about the Angels’ Ty Skaggs leaving us two weeks ago today, on the first day of their roadie in up Arlington. The Angels returned to play at home this past Friday against the Mariners and all the Angels were wearing his jersey with the number 45. His mom threw out the first pitch. The team pitched a combined no-no to top it off and won 13 zip, the day before he would have turned 28. At the end of the game, all the Angels took off the 45 and placed them on the pitchers’ mound. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Then Sports Center tweeted this:

    The Angel’s combined no-hitter last night was the first in the state of California since July 13, 1991 – the same day Tyler Skaggs was born. #SCFacts (vis @StatsBySTATS)

    Only in baseball.

    Commentary is enjoying the robust discussion we are having amongst Democrats on issues that we need to advance. I laugh when I hear GOPers talk about the direction left we are headed as a party. Like they have room to talk. Their leader, Donald Trump is a racist. He displayed his ugly racism again yesterday and the whole world saw it and the GOP was silent, as usual. Shut up.

    Commentary has said it before. I oppose making judges non-partisan. It just gives more power to the big law firms. See this from today’s Trib:

    After a punishing election for Republican judges, state leaders are set to take a long look at Texas’ often-criticized judicial selection system — a partisan election structure that Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht has described as “among the very worst methods of judicial selection.”

    This summer, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law creating a commission to study the issue — signaling that the GOP-led Legislature could overhaul the system as soon as 2021. That move comes after Democrats killed a sweeping reform proposal that Abbott had quietly backed.

    In Texas, one of just a few states that maintains a system of partisan judicial selection all the way up through its high courts, judges are at the mercy of the political winds. They are required to run as partisans but expected to rule impartially. They are forced to raise money from the same lawyers who will appear before them in court. And in their down-ballot, low-information races, their fates tend to track with the candidates at the top of the ticket.

    That means political waves that sweep out of office good and bad, experienced and inexperienced judges alike. And while sweeps are perennial problems for the judiciary, 2018’s elections “set records,” said Tom Phillips, a former Texas Supreme Court chief justice.

    And this:

    The bipartisan commission, whose enabling legislation Abbott signed into law last month, is to include 15 members: four individuals each chosen by the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker; one chosen by Hecht; one by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller; and one chosen by the state bar’s board of directors.

    The commission is charged with weighing every conceivable option for judicial selection reform, and producing a report by Dec. 31, 2020.

    Here is the entire read: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/07/15/texas-partisan-judicial-elections-reform-abbott-support/.

    Don’t be surprised if the commission is heavy on the GOP side. If it is, don’t participate, play or pay attention.

    First baseman and DH Tyler White has pitched in 4 games this season and catcher Max Stassi in one of course.

    We lead MLB with nine grand salamis and Jake Marisnick will probably get booed tonight in LA.

  • MLB Again
    July 12, 2019

    Name the team with the best record at home in the MLB AL this morning?

    Commentary said this yesterday:

    MLB doesn’t respect us for sure.

    Sure enough, MLB suspended Jake Marisnick for two games for the collision this past Sunday. I tweeted that this was bulls_it. Jake is appealing the suspension.

    There is a new book out where former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan takes some shots at Donald Trump. Shut up! Ryan would have my respect if he would have called out Trump when he was Speaker. Typical GOPer in office.

    On the pay-to-play measure petitions that don’t have enough signatures to get on the 2019 City of H-Town ballot, say what you want, but we actually had a version of sorts in play at HISD for a few years a few years ago. Just saying.

    Four years ago, Commentary voted against the current two four-year terms for City of H-Town’s elected officials. I just like the idea of city officeholders having to run every two years. It keeps folks on their toes.

    Commentary has been doing city political campaigns as long as anyone in town. I never heard a campaign say, “are we better off than we were two years ago?” when they had to run every two years. Now it is fair to say, “are we better off than we were four years ago?”

    It is a lot easier to measure stuff like police response, trash pick-up, street repair and overall city services over a four-year span than a two-year span. That’s what happens with four-year terms.

    They can run on their four-year records, but they also have to answer the question. I guess we will find out if this question impacts the current elections.

    The following isn’t news to Commentary. Here is from the Chron:

    According to the new report from the Greater Houston Partnership, the domestic population growth for the Houston region has slowed down over the last eight years. The report, which is based on population estimates data from the U.S. Census Bureau released this spring, cited factors such as the downturn of the oil and gas industry and Hurricane Harvey as reasons for the slump.

    “At the current pace, Houston won’t overtake Chicago for another 25 years,” the GHP stated in a July 2019 Economy at a Glance report.

    Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/article/New-report-shows-how-more-residents-are-moving-14085646.php?src=hp_totn.

    Oh, well.

    At 33-14, the Astros have the best homie record in the MLB AL of course.

    We need another starting pitcher.

  • MLB and Astros
    July 11, 2019

    This Yankee pitcher started Game 3 of the 1963 World Series and lost 1-0 to the Dodgers. The Dodgers swept the Yankees in 4 in that Series. In the 1964 World Series between San Luis and the Yankees, he started Games 3 and 6 and won both in a Series San Luis won in 7. Name the Yankee pitcher?

    This is not another MLB question. Why don’t we get an extra day off like the other 28 MLB clubs? Why are we and the Rangers playing today while the other clubs get the day off after the MLB All Star Game? This is a cheap arse money grab move having us play this evening on ESPN. So stupid if you ask Commentary. Guess what? They never ask Commentary.

    MLB doesn’t respect us for sure. Remember the roof issue during the 2005 World Series.

    I am going to be disappointed if the Astros happily agreed to play tonight.

    I got one of those save the dates cards a couple of days ago. Go check out margaretandmatt2020.com. Matt Luna is My Best Friend’s son and Margaret Cates is his future bride. Cool.

    I have met Margaret a couple of times and she is a great kid. Of course, I have known Matt all his life and he is also a great kid.

    They are getting married next January in Austin.

    The card game in an envelope with a John Lennon forever stamp. Now they definitely have their s_it together.

    This was on Next Door yesterday:

    Since when do we have mosquito trucks that spray the neighborhood? Tonight is the second time this week I have heard them come. Tonight our whole house filled with the smell of chemicals and we all have headaches now. I have never seen or heard mosquito trucks in the area before until this week. Is there some way to request they don’t spray our street? I will take my chances with the mosquitos over this.

    Nope. Commentary doesn’t want to take chances with mosquitos.

    State Sen. Royce West is making an announcement soon. He is supposed to be running for U.S. Senator. My old pal Chris Bell is in the race. MJ Hegar is also running. Sema Hernandez is also running.

    Sen. West would be strong in North Texas. Chris would be strong in the H-Town area. MJ Hegar would be strong among women. Sema Hernandez could make inroads with Latino voters. It is a wide open race in the Democratic Party Primary – right now.

    Jim Bouton of course was the Yankee starting pitcher who lost a game in the 1963 World Series and won 2 in the 1965 Series.

    He was an Astro in 1969 and 1970 and wore the numbers 44 and 56.

    He was the author of the critically acclaimed “Ball Four” which was a kind of a behind the scenes look at MLB. Commentary bought the book at the time and it was a great read.

    MLB tried their best to discredit the book.

    Jim Bouton left us yesterday.

    We are in Arlington this evening.