Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Jim Dougherty Running As Democratic Nominee In The 2nd Congressional District Of Texas—Read Why He Feels He Merits Your Vote

Jim Dougherty is the Democratic nominee for the 2nd Congressional District of Texas.

Above you see a picture of Mr. Dougherty.

The Republican candidate is incumbent Ted Poe.

The Green nominee is Mark Roberts.  

Here is the website for Mr. Dougherty.

Here is a map of the 2nd Congressional district.  This Houston-area district was radically redrawn in the most recent Congressional redistricting.

Here are facts and dates relating to voting in Texas in 2012.

I asked Mr. Dougherty to write a brief essay for the blog about this campaign.

Here is what he said—

Politics is caring about people- family and others, assuring opportunity for all, giving back to the community, and being a force for the betterment of our surroundings.  It is about being principled while finding the common ground for an ordered society, and doing it honestly and with integrity, always thinking forward, and seeking best practices for governing and civic involvement.  I am running for the newly configured Congressional District 2 with the belief that in order to be the best we have to understand the evolving needs of our neighbors and be committed to represent their point of view in Washington.
I entered this race knowing the odds.  But I also know our country needs to be flexible.  Our people and our Congress need to come together to get things done.  We have an incredible opportunity to do just that.  My experience as an attorney, CPA, mediator, small business owner, former prosecutor and Board member of various nonprofit organizations –civic, educational, cultural, business, recreational, legal, and religious—has provided me the ability to collaborate, listen, communicate and build consensus.
I built my business fighting for peace, equality, and justice; nurtured my family and raised my two children in Houston.  I know we have greater potential to make an even bigger impact for our country and our world by working together. Washington policies matter and Texas needs a voice that will represent the 100 percent!

October 31, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Early Voting Ongoing In Harris County And All Of Texas—Who Can A Liberal Or Progressive Support?

Early voting is ongoing in Texas.

The last day of early voting is Friday, November 2.  General Election Day is Tuesday, Novermber 6.

(Above–A ballot box.)

I’m supporting Green nominee Jill Stein for President.

Ms. Stein is the only honest voice in this campaign regarding our rigged economy that benefits the most wealthy to the detriment of everyday working people, climate change, and police state-like attcks on the right to dissent.

If I lived in a contested state I would vote for President Obama because there are substantial differences between the two major party candidates.

An important local race can be found in Houston State House district 134. Centrist Democrat Ann Johnson is running to unseat extreme Tea Party Republican Sarah Davis.

Representative Davis has time and time again voted to gut public edcation in Texas and has been part of Governor Rick Perry’s attacks on womens health in Texas.

Texas political blogger Perry Dorrell has compiled two excellent lists on who a liberal or progressive might consider in Harris County and in Texas for 2012.

Here is Perry’s post for federal and statewide offices.  

Here is Perry’s post for Harris County and state legislative races. 

October 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Our Neighbors in Haiti Have Also Been Strongly Impacted By Hurricane Sandy

As we respond to the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent inland storm here in the United States, we should also recall our neighbors in Haiti who have also been adversely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

(Above–Hurricane Sandy over the Caribbean on October 24.)

From The New York Times

“On Monday, the scale of damage in Haiti from Hurricane Sandy became evident. Even though the storm’s center skirted the country, more than 20 inches of rain fell on Haiti’s south and southwest over four days last week, causing at least 52 deaths, tearing out crops and destroying houses…. The government said that the homes of as many as 200,000 people had been damaged — on top of almost 400,000 people still homeless from the January 2010 earthquake. ” 

The Guardian newspaper in England has interviews with leader of international non-profits that are part of the relief efforts in Haiti.

Here is the link to the International Rescue Committee.  This international organization is offering assistance to folks in Haiti.

Here is a BBC overview of Haiti.

October 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Good Luck To Those In The Path Of The Big Storm—Don’t Forget Those Impacted By Hurricane Sandy In Haiti

Best of luck and good wished to all the people in the range of the big storm over the next few days.

Here is a link to the Red Cross to donate to help those who will be impacted by the storm.

The International Rescue Committee is taking donations to help the many people in Haiti who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. 

The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration is providing ongoing updates on the path and impact of the big storm.

October 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Who Can A Liberal Support In Harris County & Texas In 2012?—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–Early voting is ongoing in Texas through November 2. General Election Day is November 6.)

In addition to the fine posts linked to below, I’d like to also please offer the endorsement list for candidates in Houston and Harris County as compiled by my friend and fellow blogger Perry Dorrell at the great Texas political blog Brains & Eggs. 

Here is Perry’s post for federal and statewide offices.  

Here is Perry’s post for Harris County and state legislative races.  

Perry has done a lot of work on these endorsement lists at his blog, and what he has determined merits a look.  They are the best lists I’m aware of who a liberal might consider at the ballot box in Harris County and Texas in 2012.    

As I say every week in this post—Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

I run these words each week in this space because there is nothing more important I can say.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff has one more poll of Texas to discuss.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger has mixed feelings about the extravaganza of F1 Circuit of the Americas and what it’s doing to the sleepy little community of Elroy and Cedar Creek — which will see little benefit for many years  in The Road to Elroy for F1 Wheeler Dealers. And why do corporations decide what news Americans need to hear and see? Why was such a significant news story first discovered on al-Jazeera: Foreign News and HuffPo Get What American News Media Misses. And after watching the talking heads, gotta share this: Hey ya’ll, we are NOT electing a President.

This week WCNews at Eye on Williamson posted about the “Wal-Mart-ization” of transportation in Texas: Profit, greed and ideology 

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is just disgusted with Greg Abbott and his Republican cronies pandering to the people who want to force their religion on every American.

The passing of Sen. Mario Gallegos will set off a scramble to lay claim as his successor in the Texas Senate, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up a list of Green Party candidates on the ballot in Texas in 2012. Please consider this list as Texas Democrats offer another lackluster effort in 2012, and as our political system increasingly seems unable to deal with the most important questions of long-term job creation and climate change.

Libby Shaw writes about Rick Perry’s latest mission: promoting Romney in Colorado. That should turn out real well for him. Check out Rick Perry To Go to Colorado to Promote Mitt Romney atTexasKaos.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Facts About The Super Storm—Global Warming May Well Play A Part In The Storm’s Projected Intensity

(Update 10/28/12–Here is the latest story from The New York Times on the progress of the storm. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Adminstration link below continues to note the course of the storm.)

There is a giant storm headed for east coast of the United States and for inland areas of the nation as well. Some are calling this storm a “Frankenstorm.”

(Above–A recent satellite image of Hurricane Sandy and the eastern half of the United States.)

From Bloomberg Businessweek

The superstorm expected to develop from Hurricane Sandy probably will mean that millions of people lose power for a week as airplanes are grounded and coastal areas are flooded by tidal surge and rain. The system, dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the National Weather Service, will grow out of Sandy and two other storms rushing eastward across the U.S….Because of the large size of the system and the slow motion, it’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impacts for a lot of people,” said James Franklin, branch chief at the National Hurricane Center. “The kinds of things we are looking at ultimately would be wind damage, widespread power outages, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and again, somebody is going to get a significant surge event out of this.” Sandy is expected to be so large it will cover the eastern third of the United States, said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centers for Environmental Protection in College Park, Maryland. …’

Here is the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration page on Hurricane Sandy and the big storm.

Hurricane Sandy has already killed 41 people in the Caribbean.

Here is a Q & A about the storm from New Scientist magazine.

Here is an Associated Press article detailing 5 reasons this may be a super storm.

Here are images of Hurricane Sandy from the International Space Station.

A candidate for Congress in Rhode Island has asked that supporters take down his campaign yard signs so they don’t become projectiles in the storm.

Does this storm have anything to do with global warming?

It seems possible that it does have something to do with climate change. 

From Weather Underground

“Hurricanes are expected to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010). This occurs since a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which can then condense into heavier rains. Furthermore, the condensation process releases heat energy (latent heat), which invigorates the storm, making its updrafts stronger and creating even more rain. We may already be seeing an increase in rainfall from hurricanes due to a warmer atmosphere. A 2010 study by Kunkel et al. “Recent increases in U.S. heavy precipitation associated with tropical cyclones”, found that although there is no evidence for a long-term increase in North American mainland land-falling tropical cyclones (which include both hurricanes and tropical storms), the number of heavy precipitation events, defined as 1-in-5-year events, more than doubled between 1994 – 2008, compared to the long-term average from 1895 – 2008. As I discussed in a 2011 post “Tropical Storm Lee’s flood in Binghamton: was global warming the final straw?”, an increase in heavy precipitation events in the 21st Century due to climate change is going to be a big problem for a flood control system designed for the 20th Century’s climate.”

Here is The New York Times climate change page.  

What is our response to climate change as a nation?

The issue did not come at all in the Presidential debates.

Also, our weather satellites are aging and breaking down and we don’t have all the information we need to track weather systems.

From The New York Times-

“The United States is facing a year or more without crucial satellites that provide invaluable data for predicting storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements, according to several recent official reviews.”

Hopefully the storm will weaken and people in the path of the storm will be well-prepared and safe.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yes On 2012 City Of Houston Bond Issues And On Houston School Levy

I’m voting yes on all the City of Houston bond issues.

(Above–Our City of Houston.)

There are five bond renewals on the ballot.

These bond issues involve renewals of ongoing bonds and will not cause tax increases.

The money will be used to pay for things such as fire station repairs and library improvements.

A tax increase in Houston for vital city services and for improvements to our municipal infrastructure would be just fine in my view.  But that is not what is being done on the 2012 ballot.

Here is a Houston Chronicle story with more specifics on the bond issues.

I am also supporting the Houston Independent School District bond levy.

It is not asking very much that we make investments in our community so that we can have parks to visit and so that our fire stations are well-maintained.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Richard Mourdock’s View On Rape Is The Same As Paul Ryan’s View On Rape–Romney/Ryan Would Redefine Rape

(Blogger’s Note 10/26/12–This is a post I ran on the blog last month. It seems appropriate  to run this post again given the comments of Republican Indiana U.S. Senate nominee Richard Mourdock. Mr. Mourdock said that pregnancy that results from rape are “something God intended.”  Mr. Mourdock is one of a number of Republican candidates across the nation in 2012 who oppose abortion even in cases of rape. Mr. Romney recently filmed an ad for Mr. Mourdock and still says he supports Mr. Mourdock. These are  positions supported by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.)  

When I was in Cincinnati recently I saw Mitt Romney’s jet at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati.

Above you see a picture I took of Mr. Romney’s plane. Governor Romney was speaking at Cincinnati’s historic Union Terminal.

The RR on the tail of plane stands for “Redefining Rape.”

Or–if maybe there are 3 R’s on the tail–it could be “Romney Redefines Rape” or “Ryan Redefines Rape.”

Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan shares the view of Missouri Congressman Todd Akin that some forms of rape are not “legitimate rape.”

How have we reached the point where we feel that some forms of rape are not rape at all?

Here in Texas, women who seek a constitutionally protected abortion are subject to the state-mandated rape of the forced sonogram law. Rick Perry signed that law.

These folks fly around in big airplanes and hold the highest offices in the nation and run for President and Vice President of the United States–But really they are simply brutal men who would redefine rape and brutalize the poor.

October 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Attorney General Abbott Threatens To Arrest United Nations Election Observers In Texas—I’ll Buy Any U.N. Election Observers In Houston A Glass Of Texas Wine

United Nations observers will be in the United States to monitor our upcoming elections.

( Above–The United Nations General Assembly Hall. After all the ballots are cast in Texas, they will be flown to New York to be counted by the U.N. The election will be official when U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declares the winners. Photo by Patrick Gruban.)

Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says that any such observers in Texas may face arrest.

From The Huffington Post—

“Greg Abbott, the Republican Attorney General of Texas, issued a stern warning this week to members of a United Nations-affiliated delegation expected to be on hand to monitor voting at polling places around the country on Election Day…In a letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a body created by U.N. charter and responsible for helping to ensure the integrity of elections, among other tasks, Abbott warned the diplomatic poll-watchers that their involvement in U.S. elections could have strong legal repercussions…”It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” he writes. “Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.” Such a restriction makes election monitoring highly difficult. The OSCE announced earlier this month that it would send 44 observers to polling places around the country on Election Day in order to monitor possible disputes that could arise in the voting process. The move came in response to a petition from liberal-leaning voting rights groups, including the NAACP and ACLU, that suggested the OSCE’s presence could help combat what they fear will be a concerted effort to suppress votes from supporters of President Barack Obama.”

Houston hate-speech Clear Channel radio station KTRH mentioned this topic recently on Facebook.

Here is how some KTRH Facebook followers responded—

“i say shoot anyone seeking to come into this country to try and oversee our elections. And shoot anyone who does not have a state or federal picture ID when they show up to vote”

“What next, they’ll be observing in our bedrooms.”

“We do not need the UN interfereing with Texas.Maybe it is time to succeed.”

“Observing from a far? I could care less! Up in our business? I say welcome to Texas and GET A ROPE…..”

“I run the election process in Galveston County. If one of the UN observers shows up at one of our polling locations they will be asked to leave. If they do not, law enforcement will be called to forcibly remove them. Only election workers, bona fide poll watchers and voters are allowed in at the polling sites!”

Absolutely. Our big state of Texas could at any time be put under United Nations control. I am very glad that Attorney General Abbott will protect us from whatever number of the 44 poll observers who may be sent to Texas.

There have been real efforts at voter suppression in Texas. The so-called Texas Voter ID law was struck down by the courts because it targeted minority voters.

Attorney General Abbott backed the ID law even though it sought to make it more difficult for Texans to vote.

Here is information about helping fight voter intimidation in Houston and Harris County.

Here is a report by Common Cause about efforts to suppress the vote in Texas and in others parts of the nation.

I will take any United Nations elections observers in Houston out for a glass of Texas wine should I encounter them at the polls. I’m certain I will be able to identify them by their blue U.N. helmets, and by the black helicopters they will have parked near the voting locations.

Here is the link to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.

Here is the link for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. These are the folks who will be sending the observers.

The OSCE has issued a statement saying Attorney General Abbott’s threats violate international agreements.

From that statement

“Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), expressed his grave concern today over the threat of criminal prosecution of OSCE/ODIHR election observers. This threat, contained in an open letter from the Attorney General of Texas, is at odds with the established good co-operation between OSCE/ODIHR observers and state authorities across the United States, including in Texas, Lenarčič said, adding that it is also contrary to the country’s obligations as an OSCE participating State. The ODIHR Director shared his concerns in a letter to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.“The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable,” Lenarčič said. “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”

Damned right. I welcome these observers with open arms. The one-word state motto of Texas is “Friendship.” A threat to arrest people who have every right to be here is not very friendly.

Welcome U.N. Observers! And good luck with your mission of improving the quality of our democracy in Texas. We can use all the help we can get.

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It Is Always The Right Time To Take Responsibility For Your Future—Ann Johnson Working Hard For Your Vote

Here’s a picture I took today of Texas House District 134 candidate Ann Johnson.

I told Ms. Johnson I’d hand out leaflets for her on Thursday at the early voting place.

It is always the right time to take responsibility for our future.

In this election, I’ve donated to President Obama and Green nominee Jill Stein, blogged, made my case on Facebook, and attended events for Stein and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

My mother has donated to Brown and gone door-to-door for Obama in Cincinnati.

The hopeful work of freedom is up to each of us everyday.

Ann Johnson is to my right on many economic issues. But this is a big world and people are going to disagree.

At the bottom line, Ms. Johnson is somebody who shares my view that we each have to work hard, and that we have to put ourselves out there to help make the world a more hopeful place.

Ms. Johnson is a decent and hard-working person who will listen to everybody and make her decisions based on what she thinks is best for 134 and for the people of Texas. Ms. Johnson is very clear that 134 has many Republican voters and that these are folks  she also wants to hear from should she be elected to serve in Austin.

The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Ms. Johnson.

Here is what The Chronicle said about Ms. Johnson–

The tea party turnout of 2010 gave Republican candidate Sarah Davis the narrow victory she needed to win in District 134, a prosperous swing district that covers areas from River Oaks to Meyerland and the Medical Center, as well.

Davis speaks about politics with a fiery passion, but her passion often seems aimed more at Washington than Austin.

She successfully navigated the minefield of wedge-issue votes that defined the previous legislative session – voting no on the sonogram bill, for example. But voters deserve a representative who doesn’t just avoid bad votes, but leads on good ones. We believe Democratic challenger Ann Johnson can be that sort of leader.

Johnson began her career as a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where she was known for her no-nonsense, hardworking attitude. After leaving the prosecutor’s office, she dedicated herself to the world of juvenile law, where she focused on issues like child exploitation and sex trafficking – two issues that need the attention of the Texas Legislature. (In one notable case, she successfully argued before the Texas Supreme Court that girls too young to consent under the law could not be charged with prostitution.)

Johnson’s focus on juvenile issues doesn’t end at the courtroom. On the campaign trail, she rattles off embarrassing statistics on Texas kids – we’re 43rd in high school graduation rates, 45th in SAT scores, and have the highest percentage of children without health insurance. Texas should not be content with these rankings, and Johnson certainly isn’t, advocating smart educational investments like all-day Pre-K and capping class sizes.

Issues like education and health care aren’t just matters of compassion, they’re necessary to ensure that Texas has the healthy, educated workforce we need to power our economy.

In this race, Ann Johnson is the better bet for Texas’ future.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Busy Day

Above you see a picture of the water’s edge in Galveston, Texas. I took this picture a few weeks back.

The water’s edge is where a lot of stuff began when whatever creature it was left the water to live on the land.

I had a friend say a few days ago that “Everyday is a do-over.” I like that thought.

The water is both where we came from and where we go back to look for a fresh start.

The past and the future are one.

I’m having a busy day today.

But at the least, I can take a brief break from what I’m doing to consider the big picture and to consider the chance for a fresh start in aspects of life that might merit review.

October 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Ann Johnson Is A Hopeful And Moderate Voice Consistent With Texas House District 134

Above you see Texas State Representative District 134 Democratic nominee Ann Johnson.

I took this picture a few weeks ago.

Here are the boundaries of District 134. I am a resident of District 134 where I live in the Memorial Park area of Houston.

Ms. Johnson is running to unseat first term incumbent Republican Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis defeated then-incumbent Ellen Cohen in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

While I wish Ms. Johnson were more to the left, she represents a clear improvement over the incumbent.

Beyond being an improvement over the incumbent, Ms. Johnson merits consideration on her own accord.

Here are issues that Ms. Johnson cites as important in this race—

Sufficient funding for public education. Sarah Davis has a very poor voting record on supporting education funding to for Texas school kids.

* Making use of available federal funds–despite resistance from Governor Perry and Sarah Davis–for Medicaid in a way that will help Texans get care and protect jobs at the Medical Center.

* Protecting women’s health in Texas from attacks on cancer screenings and family planning services.

Ms. Johnson has been endorsed by the Houston Chronicle. 

Here is an interview with Ms. Johnson conducted by Texas and Houston political blogger Charles Kuffner.

My friend Perry Dorrell has endorsed Ms. Johnson at his blog Brains & Eggs.

The Jewish Herald-Voice has endorsed Ms. Johnson.

Here is how Ms. Johnson is described on her website

Ann is an attorney who represents children, an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law and a former prosecutor. She took on Texas’ criminal justice system to protect children from exploitation and human trafficking. She fought all the way to the Texas Supreme Court – and won a landmark victory that has become a model for other states.

In private practice, Ann represents child victims of harassment and bullying in schools and is often appointed to represent children, including in two of the newly created alternative courts: the Harris County Mental Health Court and Growing Independence Restoring Lives (GIRLS) Court.

Ann is also a survivor. Ann fought cancer and won – and she’ll stand up to fiscally irresponsible, partisan attacks on health care for women and all Texas families.

In her alliance with Governor Rick Perry’s reckless slashing of public education funds and relentless attacks on women’s health, Sarah Davis has shown herself comfortable with extremist views, and out of touch with the concerns and moderate political leanings of District 134.

I ask my fellow voters in Texas House District 134 to please consider Ms. Johnson in the upcoming election.

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Common Cause Looking For Grassroots Poll Monitors in Harris County—Protect Our Right To Vote

With early voting beginning in Texas, it is important that the right to vote be protected. Common Cause has been working in Texas to make sure that one of our most basic rights is not wrongly threatened. Read below to learn about Common Cause training to become a poll watcher in this election. What you see below is a Common Cause press release. If you can’t make one of the training sessions, call or e-mail Common Cause with the contact information provided in the release below. The final link below will take you to a Common Cause report on efforts to suppress the vote in Texas.

Protect the Vote 2012

Harris County has an unfortunate history when it comes to safeguarding our elections.Take a look at some of the headlines from elections past — it’s not good.

Banned from the Ballot Box – In 2008, KHOU reported that thousands of registration applications may have been improperly rejected.

Voter Intimidation Complaints Get Closer Look – In 2010, reports of voter intimidation from poll watchers were reported in minority precincts across the county.

Help us write a new headline in 2012!

Volunteer as a Grassroots Poll Monitor

  • Assist and engage voters with commonly encountered problems at the polls
  • Report, document and prevent voter intimidation outside of polling locations
  • Make sure every eligible voter is able to vote free from harassment, intimidation or misinformation
For more information about this coalition effort, visit www.866ourvote.org.

There are two trainings this week and space is still available, see below for more information. If you are unable to make either of these trainings, we will announce a schedule for others very soon. If you would like to request a private training for your organization or group or have any other questions, please contact mhaver@commoncause.org.

Thanks,

Protect the Vote 2012

Upcoming Trainings!

Monday, October 22 6-8 p.m.
4299 San Felipe, 2nd Floor
Houston, TX 77027 Wednesday, October 24 6-8 p.m.
SHAPE Community Center
3903 Almeda
Houston, TX 77004RSVP to mhaver@commoncause.org 
or 832-641-2882

Bullies at your Ballot Box?

Read this comprehensive report produced by Common Cause and Demos to learn about the challenges Texas voters may face on Election Day and why your participation is crucial!

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Us

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–It was a rough week for Big Tex at the Texas State Fair.)  

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up—-

Off the Kuff takes a look at how many seats the Democrats are likely to pick up in the Legislature this November.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger sees the meningitis outbreak as another nail in the coffin, driven home by the right-wing corporate oligarchy’s war on regulations and existing laws. Voters who don’t put 2 and 2 together about the consequences of deregulation are allowing manufacturing shortcuts to hurt all of us. Deregulation mantras are bought and paid for by corporate greed: My Profit Is Worth More Than Your Safety. Yes, the government can help people, and until Democrats in Texas remind people of that, they’ll keep losing.

And from WCNews at Eye on Williamson on that topic: Democratic success in Texas is tied to voters seeing government as on their side.

Mitt Romney’s slight increase in polling popularity in the wake of the first debate is most attributable to single women, who apparently allowed his economic appeals to overcome their concerns about that whole War on Women thing. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks that if President Obama doesn’t make his case for a better economy, he’s stupid.  

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why so much of the drill baby drill energy is going out of our ports. Who’s getting that energy?

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos explains the Romney plan in terms even a child can understand, inStarving Big Bird, Children and the Poor. Check it out.

Neil at Texas Liberal said there was nothing contradictory about believing in personal autonomy and the role played by luck in life at the same time.

October 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Lloyd Oliver Is Just The Harris County District Attorney Candidate That The Democratic Primary Electorate That Voted Him Merits —Two Lousy Candidates For An Important Office

Democratic Harris County District Attorney nominee Lloyd Oliver is not qualified for the office he is seeking.

(Above–A display of support for Mr. Oliver in a Downtown Houston window front.)  

A recent Houston Press article details many reasons why Mr. Oliver is not qualified.

From The Press—

“I got some skeletons in the closet,” he (Oliver) said. “And some of them got some meat on ‘em.” Beyond the barratry charge involving Perry Mason — which he was nearly indicted for twice — the State Bar of Texas suspended his law license for 11 months in the mid-1980s. Lloyd, with another lawyer, had apparently hoodwinked a woman “with limited education” out of 26 acres and then committed perjury during the fallout, according to a state District Court decision. In strangeness only befitting Lloyd, he’d told prosecutors he barely knew Brenda Oliver, who’d helped him in the ruse, though, in fact, she’d once been his wife, as well as the mother of his child.”

There has been a lot of angst about Mr. Oliver’s nomination. The Harris County Democratic Party even tried to get him kicked off the November ballot.

But the thing is that Mr. Oliver was on the primary ballot against a mainstream Democrat who likely would have run a well-funded campaign, and for whatever reasons the Democratic primary electorate supported Mr. Oliver.

The facts were out there about Mr. Oliver, and the primary electorate–supposedly involving a more informed voter—chose him anyway.

Life is really short and I’m tired of making excuses for base voters who get can’t get it right, or for a local Democratic Party that seemingly can’t get a message out to voters and that thinks it is okay to try to overturn what voters have done in a fair ballot.

Harris County is a majority-minority county with plenty of progressive white voters. If we can’t make it work when big issues are on the line then we get what we deserve.

The same can be said for Democratic primary voters in Fort Bend county who—for a second time—backed a woman named Kesha Rogers for the U.S. Congress who supports impeaching President Obama.

I’m not voting for Mr. Oliver or for his far-right Republican opponent Mike Anderson.

But the truth is that for many reasons we have District Attorney candidates we merit in Harris County.

We have what you get when the  public fails to meet the basic responsibilities of knowing the candidates or caring about the administration of justice.

As much as I believe that luck and circumstance play a big part in life, we must realize that the work of a decent society is up to each of us.

October 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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