Beyond terrible, beyond awful



A few months ago, I talked about the Texans, specifically about how, as the weeks went on and they kept winning games, more and more people started commenting on my clothing. Now, as the Astros are 1-5, I have seen quite an opposite reaction forming. Since baseball isn’t once a week on a Sunday, I don’t actually go into town to watch all, or any, of the games.

When I was home last week, the plan was originally to bring an Astros hat back up north and wear it all the time. However, given how hipsters have turned wearing the gear of extremely bad sports teams into some sort of humorous, ironic statement, I figured no one would actually figure out that I was from Houston.

For what it’s worth, I’m also a bit of a Yankees fan, but given that I live in Boston, I am not going to publicly express it–that is far more dangerous than being a Democrat in Texas. Even though I don’t wear hats or jerseys for any team in public, I still have found reactions from my fellow Bostonians.

Often time I will be streaming the Astros game on my computer while I am working in the library. For every four people who walk by, at least two laugh, and usually at least one makes some sort of snarky comment. I want to be offended at first, but then I remember that we are 1-5. So, yeah, we are that bad.

The Astros are beyond terrible, there are beyond awful. I pride myself as someone who watches an unhealthy amount of baseball, and I can only name a handful of Astros players. Maybe that is because our entire payroll makes less than Alex Rodriguez, but that’s just a theory.

The greatest irony is that, in another month, when I return to Houston, I will probably be able to come out of the Yankee’s closet. So this month 1800 miles away might be my only following the team this closely.

Hall lists his supporters

Perhaps I missed this, but it is news to me that Ben Hall now has a gigantic list of his supporters on his website. Many of these names stood out to me. I have taken the liberty of creating a Wikipedia page for this year’s mayoral election, which lists most of this info, but I would like to go over some of the more surprising supporters.

It is no surprise that Dr. Hall would receive the bulk of his politician endorsements from the African-American community, but it did catch me off guard how pervasive his support was. There were rank-and-file politicos like Jarvis Johnson and Carol Mims Galloway who were listed, which is almost expected. However, the three African-American politicians who were on the list, and three who were off the list, which I would like to talk about a little bit. C.O. Bradford, Lee Brown and Al Green were all listed as supporters of Dr. Hall’s candidacy. However, Dwight Boykins, Ronald Green and Sheila Jackson Lee are all conspicuously absent.

Now, Bradford did support Parker in 2009, but got into a somewhat high profile feud with her before the 2011 elections, during which rumors actually floated about him challenging the Mayor in the election. I cannot remember if he ever came around to Parker’s candidacy in 2011 after nobody feasible ran against her, but it makes some sense that he would immediately jump on the bandwagon to endorse Parker’s opponent. Ronald Green, on the other hand, never really had a rocky spell with Parker, and, by all accounts, the two still get along pretty well. However, Ronald Green and Bradford have something in common: they both have higher ambitions. Personally, the first time I met both of them, I felt a very strong inkling that they wanted to be the Mayor, sort of like when one meets the Castro brothers, you know they want to be Governor/Senator/President. Accordingly, I find it interesting that Bradford would endorse Hall, who will probably lose, if he might be interested in running in 2015.

Second, I find it very intriguing that Dwight Boykins,who is running for the City Council with some very high profile support, is not listed among Hall’s supporters, but his honorary campaign treasurer, Lee Brown, is. For that matter, some of Boykin’s supporters, like Borris Miles, have also stayed out of the race. I am going to assume it has something with the fact that as someone who is probably getting elected, Boykins won’t want to be on the Mayor’s bad side.

Third, Al Green is a public supporter, while Sheila Jackson Lee is not. Green, if you might remember, was the one who made Hall stand down and endorse Locke back in 2009. I guess Green felt obligated to help Hall this time around. I suppose that Jackson Lee is more tepid to support Hall as some of her former political opponents (e.g., Jarvis Johnson and Craig Washington) are in Hall’s column.

Another point I would like to make is that Bob Lanier is quoted and prominently featured on Hall’s website, as providing a testimonial that reads “He is exactly what Houston needs at this time.” However, Lanier is not mentioned among Hall’s official list of supporters, and the quote isn’t dated, leading me to think that, maybe, he said this back in 2009.

Finally, I was surprised by how many people in the Jewish community support Hall. Alan Rosen, the recent Constable for Precinct 1, and Alvin Zimmerman, his campaign strategist, aren’t really surprises, but I saw a few names of the parents of people I went to Hebrew School with (PLEASE NOTE: The “Hurwitz”s that endorsed Hall are not related to me, I have an “o” in my last name).

Just as an aside and a blast from the past, Rod Paige, Bush’s 1st term Secretary of Education, is listed as a supporters. Also, someone is listed with the name “Drayton McClane,” which may or may not be a typo for Drayton McLane, as in the former Astros owner.

Parker doesn’t have a supporters page, but I assume it will be a priority now. Can’t wait to see who I find on her list!

Davis to run for re-election

From the Fort Worth Star-Tribune, Wendy Davis WILL NOT be running for Governor, Lieutenant Governor or anything else besides re-election to the State Senate. This had been expected (her Facebook page had something along those lines in January), but now it is pretty final. This  brings up two points. First, about Davis herself, and second, about the Texas Democrats and 2014 in general.

First, Davis will be vulnerable in 2014, and I was one of the many people actively rooting for her to draw the longer straw, and only face election concurrent with a presidential contest. Davis only won by 3% last year, meaning she has very little room for loss in a year unfavorable for Democrats, which 2014 will be if previous midterm elections are any precedent. The upside for a campaign is that she has great name recognition, and is a formidable politician. Also, perhaps people will actually show up to vote in 2014 (unlike 2010), but a man can dream.

Second, the loss of Davis, coming after the loss of Castro, represents the dwindling number of good Democrats to run for statewide offices next year. Kinky Friedman and Mike Villarreal are the only people actually talking about running. Unfortunately for the TDP, there are (I think) 12 other statewide positions that need filling. I’m reminded again of what the San Antonio Express-News said about the Democrats & 2014: “For Texas Democrats, the 2014 gubernatorial race looks much like last season did for the Houston Astros. They know they’re obligated to show up, but they’d just as soon skip ahead a few years until the picture gets a bit rosier.”

In re Villarreal

From the San Antonio Express-News:

For Texas Democrats, the 2014 gubernatorial race looks much like last season did for the Houston Astros. They know they’re obligated to show up, but they’d just as soon skip ahead a few years until the picture gets a bit rosier.

Anyways, I thought that was funny. But the article goes on to say that Mike Villarreal is seriously contemplating running for Governor. Except I don’t really think that is true. As you may recall, BOR recently wrote something about possible gubernatorial candidates, including Villarreal. Except, as far as I could tell, they were just pontificating and guesstimating. And the Express-News doesn’t seem to have many other references besides the Austin blog. For what it’s worth, Villarreal seems to have a history of having a ginormous ego, thus, it isn’t too much of a stretch to see him pursuing higher office.

The Express-News did interview the San Antonio-area State Representative, and he reportedly stated being “tickled” by the Austin blog’s idea. But make no mistake, Villarreal got the idea from the blog, the blog didn’t get the idea from Villarreal. Villarreal went on to say that Perry “isn’t doing a respectable job,” and that “the right candidate” in 2014 could get the job done.

I’ll put him down on the election tab as a “maybe” for Governor.