Astros discussion with Chron’s Jake Kaplan; Dylan Baddour talks Election 2016; Jim Bordell of Team Rubicon on Houston flood recovery

Welcome to this, the 42nd episode of The Weekly Brew podcast. This week, we talk with Jake Kaplan and Dylan Baddour of the Houston Chronicle about the Astros and Election 2016 and hear from Jim Bordell of Team Rubicon about Operation Moonshot and the flood-recovery efforts going on in Houston.

Dylan Baddour is the Houston Chronicle’s young, hotshot political reporter, and he’s been covering the madness in the race for the Republican nomination. He calls in to the podcast in the wake of Cruz and Kasich dropping out of the race, and discusses the impact for the election season, particularly as Republicans weigh whether or not to unite behind Donald Trump, the presumptive favorite for the nomination. Baddour also speaks to what has been a particularly heated and divisive nomination season, and contemplates whether or not this is the “new normal” for American politics.

Jake Kaplan, a Philadelphia transplant who spent time working for the Philadelphia Inquirer and MLB.com covering the Phillies before signing on with the Houston Chronicle to cover the Houston Astros. After a puzzling 12-20 start to the season in which many, including Sports Illustrated, picked them to go to the World Series, the Astros are in trouble, and Kaplan examines the pitching struggles facing this team and assesses what it needs to do to turn things around.

Finally, we welcome Jim Bordell, who is the incident commander for Operation Moonshot, Team Rubicon’s Houston flood relief effort. Team Rubicon is a nonprofit relief group that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to deploy emergency response teams, and they have brought their expertise in crisis management to Houston in response to the heavy rains and flooding of the last few weeks. Hear Bordell talk about the relief efforts and visit teamrubiconusa.org to find out how you can help.

Our sponsor, Oui Desserts (at 3411 Kirby), has agreed to help us in our reviews to get iTunes reviews. If you go by Oui Desserts with your mobile device, Penny will show you how to leave a 5-star review with a little blurb about what you enjoy in the show, and in return, you will get a free cookie or macaron for leaving the review and we’ll read your review on air next week. Take advantage.

And remember this week: no matter who you are, where you go or what you do, always, ALWAYS brew responsibly.

Super Tuesday political primer; ESPN Deportes’ Dolores Lozano; The Vanity

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Welcome to Episode 32 of The Weekly Brew – on this week’s podcast, we cover all the bases, talking politics, sports and music on this special Leap Day edition.

First, we welcome in Texas State Representative Matt Shaheen (R) and Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis, who help break down the political landscape in advance of Super Tuesday. Shaheen discusses what conservatism means and the issues the GOP has gotten away from in recent memory, while Lewis addresses the issues facing Houston – the most diverse city in the U.S. – and the effect Bernie Sanders has had, energizing the electorate. Both discuss the significance of the Trump candidacy and what it means that Trump is as powerful and popular as he is.

Dolores Lozano, of ESPN Deportes and a Baylor grad (another Bear!), calls in to talk about her path to a career in sports and the state of the Baylor and University of Houston programs, as well as the Houston sports landscape.

Finally, Alex Dugan, the Houston-born lead singer of Austin-based band The Vanity, joins us to discuss what it means to be a rock and roll band and promote The Vanity’s upcoming show (with former podcast guests Second Lovers!) at Raven Tower in Houston Saturday, March 5. We’ll definitely be there and so should you! Visit their website to get tickets.

And most importantly, remember to vote this week! As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to go to iTunes, click “Subscribe” and while you’re there, you can help us out tremendously by clicking “Ratings and Reviews” and leaving us a nice 5-star rating with a little blurb telling us how you found us, what you enjoy and what you’d like to hear going forward. Thanks, and as always, remember to brew responsibly.