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November 24th, 2019:

Weekend link dump for November 24

Say what you want about Bill Belichick, but NFL coaches go for it more on fourth down now thanks to a famous failed fourth-down conversion attempt by the Patriots ten years ago.

“The television show The Golden Girls was originally a joke. NBC prepared a parody of Miami Vice, Miami Nice, featuring old people sitting around playing cards. NBC’s senior vice president thought it sounded like an excellent idea, so he asked for it to be made into a show.”

“Mixhalo changes the fan’s experience at live events, allowing them to hear the show as the band (or sound engineer) intended. It no longer matters whether Madison Square Garden has poor acoustics or if you’re sitting too far away from the PA system—with Mixhalo, every seat in every venue can hear perfectly. Thanks to Incubus.”

RIP, Vera Clemente, widow of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and MLB Goodwill Ambassador.

“As you can hopefully see, the White House did not release the aid until after it became publicly known that there was a hold. They didn’t release it until after congressional committees announced an investigation into a potential quid pro quo. The State Department portion was actually released by John Bolton on his own authority, and the Pentagon portion wasn’t released until after Bolton was gone.”

“Chick-fil-A has pledged to finally stop funding anti-LGBTQ organizations after years of protests against the brand.” Yeah, we’ll see about that.

“I do wonder why it was necessary to smear my reputation.”

RIP, Azellia White, trailblazing aviator and one of the first African American women to earn a pilot’s license in the United States.

Oh, Prince Andrew. At least we’ll always have Pizza Express.

“So Juul used research specifically designed to make smoking palatable to teenagers, and then produced a product with lots of fruity flavors. And during their first year of operation, they explicitly marketed their product to teenagers.”

“It is truly impressive that Hollywood continues to try to convince us that there is an actual Cats movie and that it is coming out this year and that it will be in cinemas, going so far as to produce two different trailers to further the deception. You have to admire the commitment to a scam. Illuminati MC Skat Cat did what he had to do.”

Everything you ever wanted to know about Fartgate but were afraid to ask.

“Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.”

“Giuliani really has a talent for putting defense arguments as unconvincingly, unappealingly, and suspiciously as possible.”

“Thus, by moving directly to impeachment, the House gets its best chance of winning the testimony of Bolton, Mulvaney, and others, and doing so in a timely fashion. The House likely won’t be able to depose witnesses or examine all the documents in advance, but that’s a small price to pay for obtaining the evidence at the trial.”

RIP, Gahan Wilson, legendary outlandish cartoonist.

Precinct analysis: 2019 At Large #3

Another At Large race, another incumbent in a runoff. Here’s At Large #3:


Dist  JCGonz  Kubosh  Marcel Janaeya
====================================
A      2,944   7,730   1,698   2,395
B      2,405   5,417   2,293   4,802
C      5,452  17,022   3,402   9,584
D      3,554   8,903   3,052   6,250
E      3,840  14,064   2,335   2,889
F      2,195   3,618   1,404   1,676
G      3,646  18,141   2,756   3,630
H      4,452   4,664   1,168   2,820
I      4,283   3,336     984   1,867
J      1,543   2,777     826   1,170
K      3,092   6,989   2,287   4,567
				
A     19.94%  52.35%  11.50%  16.22%
B     16.12%  36.31%  15.37%  32.19%
C     15.38%  48.00%   9.59%  27.03%
D     16.33%  40.92%  14.03%  28.72%
E     16.60%  60.81%  10.10%  12.49%
F     24.68%  40.68%  15.79%  18.85%
G     12.94%  64.39%   9.78%  12.88%
H     33.97%  35.59%   8.91%  21.52%
I     40.91%  31.86%   9.40%  17.83%
J     24.43%  43.97%  13.08%  18.52%
K     18.26%  41.27%  13.50%  26.97%

Here’s what the 2015 data looked like. Incumbent Michael Kubosh cruised to an easy win against three white male candidates, with over 60% of the vote. This year he fell short of an outright win; he was over fifty percent after early voting, but could not keep up that pace. This time he had three non-Anglo opponents, and you can see that it had an effect on his numbers. He’s still a strong performer and a heavy favorite to prevail in December, but he did decline from four years ago.

Janaeya Carmouche gets the chance to try again against Kubosh. She’ll benefit from the turnout that Mayor Turner will generate, and she’s the Democrat in this race, but she has no money, she has a 50K vote deficit to make up, and she trailed Kubosh in the three African-American districts. It’s going to take a lot for her to win.

I don’t know what to say about Marcel McClinton. He got a lot of hype for his candidacy – I was called by two different out of town reporters who were supposedly writing about him; I say “supposedly” because I never saw either of the stories that I was talking to them about – but it translated to nothing. He raised little money, he got no major endorsements, and whatever campaign he did have was invisible to me. Being a candidate is hard, especially citywide, and he’s just out of high school, so I don’t intend to be harsh. I’m just kind of puzzled.

Jose Carlos Gonzalez finished two points behind Janaeya Carmouche. I know even less about him. He got the numbers he got. I don’t have anything to add to that.

Chron overview of the At Large #4 runoff

It was a weird election, but there’s a clear distinction between the candidates in the At Large #4 runoff.

Letitia Plummer

The race to succeed City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards pits youth and name recognition against real world experience and a business mindset.

Anthony Dolcefino, a university student and son of former investigative television reporter Wayne Dolcefino, was the leading vote-getter in the Nov. 5 election for the At Large 4 seat vacated by Edwards, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. He faces Letitia Plummer, a politically active dentist who ran for Congress last year, in a Dec. 14 runoff for the seat.

Dolcefino, 22, gleaned 20.9 percent of the vote in the first round, followed by Plummer, 49, with 15.9 percent.

While city elections are nonpartisan, Dolcefino and Plummer’s respective coalitions in the first round generally matched the city’s conservative-liberal divide.

Dolcefino did best in city council districts that are home to conservative voices at City Hall. Plummer performed best in areas that are reliably blue.

I’m still working on the At Large #4 precinct data, but this is basically correct, with the caveat that no one got that much in any particular district. The runoff is between two not-well-known candidates, and as such it is wide open. About all that really needs to be said is that in the same article, Dolcefino says he is running on a “vision of fiscal conservatism”, and also the need to give “extreme raises” to the firefighters. He’s going to need to employ some super advanced math to make that work.

MLB investigating more than 2017 for Astros’ alleged sign stealing

This sounds ominous.

Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Astros’ alleged sign-stealing will include the 2018 and 2019 seasons, commissioner Rob Manfred revealed Thursday, adding two more years to an inquiry already involving Houston’s World Series-winning 2017 team.

“We are talking to people all over the industry, former employees, competitors, whatever,” Manfred said at the conclusion of the owners meetings on Thursday. “To the extent that we find other leads, we are going to follow these leads. We will get to the bottom of what we have out there in terms of what went on to the extent that it’s humanly possible.”

[…]

“Every time we’ve gotten a lead, we chased that lead down to the extent we felt was investigatively possible,” Manfred said. “Obviously, an individual breaking what is a pretty firm commitment to silence about what goes on in dugouts and clubhouses is a big break in an investigation and an opportunity to push forward that we hadn’t had previously.”

The expanded investigation into sign-stealing is being combined with MLB’s other probe into the Astros for comments made by former assistant general manager Brandon Taubman and the team’s response.

[…]

Manfred clarified Thursday that the league’s investigation into Taubman and sign-stealing started independently of one another and “ended up as one big thing.”

“It’s hard to separate them out,” Manfred said. “I hope at the end of this undertaking, I’ll put both of these issues to bed at one time.”

See here and here for the background on the sign-stealing, and here for some background on the Taubman investigation. It makes sense to combine the two – if nothing else, I presume MLB has only so many investigators available at any one time – though what effect that may have on its direction or timeline is unknown. Of greater interest is what kind of penalties the Astros may face. Craig Edwards from Fangraphs takes a look. There’s too much to easily summarize (go click over, the first paragraph has links to more reporting on the sign stealing allegations), but the bottom line is that it doesn’t look great for the Astros. If Rob Manfred comes down on them, it’s going to leave a mark. Be prepared. ESPN has more.