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Alizee’s I’m Fed Up Would Be A Fine New National Anthem—Thank You France For All You Have Done For America

This song & video by a French person named Alizee was recently posted on the Facebook page of Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz.

The song is called I’m Fed Up. It has some of the fine lyrics and would be our national anthem if I were President.

I’d have this Alizee fly in from Paris and sing this song instead of that alleged lip-syncing Beyonce.

I’d ask Alizee to sing our new national anthem in French as appreciation for  French help in the American Revolution and as respect for the very wise French opposition to George W. Bush’s murderous Iraq War that was based on lies.

In the past on this blog I’ve also suggested that Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring should be our national anthem. I stand by that suggestion.

This is a great and powerful nation and we can have as many national anthems as we wish.

January 23, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing Is So Brutal That It Cannot Be True

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2008 about conspiracy theories that many people believe. 

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.

Mr. Kristof wrote that it was crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation.

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get rotten care upon arriving back home.

Did the government or former President Bush know about 9/11 in advance?

No.

Was a government led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die?

Sure–All the damned time.

Mr. Kristof mentioned two other conspiracy theories in his column.

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This was not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter?

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy.

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering inferior produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes?”

And if you ask would millions of Americans stand by and do nothing or even support terrible and genocidal acts?

Of course they would.

People believe all sorts wild and terrible things because they have every reason in the world to believe such things.

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Hope Vice President Cheney’s New Heart Lasts Long Enough For Him To Be Prosecuted For War Crimes

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has received a heart transplant.

(Above–Former Vice President Cheney)

Good.

I hope that Mr. Cheney’s new heart lasts long enough for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.

Human Rights Watch says that both former President Bush and Mr. Cheney should be investigated for war crimes because they ordered people to be tortured.

I suppose it is not likely that this will ever take place.

But with Mr. Cheney having a new lease on life, we can keep on hoping that justice will be done.

(The U.S. Senate website is a great resource to learn about each of the Vice Presidents.)   

March 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Number Of Texans With Health Insurance Will Soar With Health Care Reform—It Was Mitt Romney’s Idea

The percentage of Texans with health insurance will sharply increase to 91% after President Obama’s Health Care Reform takes effect in 2014.

From the Houston Chronicle

“The percentage of Texans with health insurance will increase to 91 percent – up from 74 percent today – after the national health care law takes effect in 2014, the state’s Medicaid director told lawmakers….”

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured Americans in all the nation. 

Here is the website for the Affordable Care Act.  Read for yourself what Health Care Reform will accomplish.

This issue will soon be debated before the Supreme Court.

Texas Governor Rick Perry hopes that–against the odds– the Court strikes down the whole Act or portions of the Act, so he can go on not caring when Texans die or go bankrupt from the absence of health coverage.

Will states rights issues decided by the Civil War help you when you or your family members are sick and have no coverage? Do you want to give up the provision of Health Care Reform that allows people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage?

Governor Perry and Texas Republicans running the show in Austin have had years to deal with this crisis. What have they done beyond attacking cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood so that even more Texans can get sick and die?

For all the Republican griping, what did President George W. Bush and Republicans in control of Congress for much of the last decade do to help more people get health coverage?

One Republican who did do something is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Governor Romney is a major architect of the individual mandate for health coverage that is also part of President Obama’s plan.

Don’t worry though–Governor Romney is pledging to repeal Health Care Reform should he be elected President.

Governor Romney enacted Health Care Reform before he repealed it.

The Affordable Care Act is a middle-of-the-road law based in part on Governor Romney’s Massachusetts plan. This law will help millions of people in Texas and all across the nation.

Top Texas political blogger Charles Kuffner has more on this important concern.

March 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Certificate For Honorably Discharged Veterans—War Based On Lies

Above is the certificate I got a few weeks back from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs noting the death of my father in March of 2011.

My father–Anthony S. Aquino–-was a combat veteran of the Korean War.

Family members of honorably discharged veterans can get this certificate. It is signed by the President.

My dad would have been glad that this certificate was signed by Barack Obama and not George W. Bush.

Tony viewed G. W. Bush as little more than a murderer for sending troops to fight and die in Iraq based on lies.

Dad was of the opinion that President Bush’s twin daughters should go and fight in Iraq.

I’m putting his views a bit more nicely than dad often did.

It is everyday people who fight our wars, while politicians and war profiteering corporations gain.

Also, many civilians die in our wars. Though our nation often lacks the moral character to discuss that fact.

The Coldest Winter—America and the Korean War by David Halberstam is a well-regarded account of the Korean War.

Cultures of War—Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9/11/Iraq by John Dower is about how militaristic cultures bungle and bluster their way into endless conflict.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You Can See Michelle Obama In Houston If You Have Thousands Of Dollars To Attend The Fundraiser At The Mansion Of The Former Enron Trader

Michelle Obama is coming to Houston on November 1.

(Above–Michelle Obama.)

You can see the First Lady in Houston if you have thousands of dollars to attend a fundraiser being held by a former Enron trader.

(Update 10/31/11—This event has now been canceled. The claim is that the First Lady had a scheduling conflict.)  

Here are some details from the Houston Chronicle

“The First Lady will be in town Nov. 1 for a glitzy Democratic fundraiser at the River Oaks mansion of Laura and John Arnold. The super-wealthy hedge fund manager and his wife will introduce Obama to individuals who paid $10,000 for the privilege or couples who paid $15,000. There’s a bargain-basement price, as well — $250 per person to attend the cocktail party earlier in the evening.”

Here is how the event has being reported by Politico

“An upcoming Houston fundraiser featuring first lady Michelle Obama at the home of a former Enron executive who is part of a movement to convert public pensions to 401(k)-style plans is angering some local Democrats. John Arnold, a Houston billionaire and former Enron trader, is hosting the Michelle Obama event with his wife, Laura Arnold, at their Houston home on Nov. 1.  Arnold is part of an organization pushing to convert public pensions — including teachers, police, firefighters and others — to 401(k)-style plans.”

Here is how my fellow Houston blogger Perry Dorrell at Brains & Eggs views this event—-

Let’s count the six degrees of separation: Michelle Obama, John and Laura Arnold, Enron (Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Andy Fastow, et.al.), George W. Bush.

Whoops. That’s only four.

Anybody still confused about what OWS  (Occupy Wall Street) is all about?

Meyerland Area Democrats President Art Pronin was quoted in the Politico article. Mr. Pronin is uncertain why the First Lady would take part in such an event as it seems to run contrary to the interests of so many everyday working people.

Here is a blog post on this issue by Mr. Pronin.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

October 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Iraq War Ending—How Will We Treat Our Veterans?

President Obama is bringing the troops home from Iraq.

How will we greet and regard our troops when they return?

Will they get a parade and good lifetime benefits?

Or will we ignore our Iraq veterans? Will we soon find them on the unemployment lines? Or find many of them homeless?

We know already that people view days such as Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day as days to go out and shop, or to do anything but remember our veterans.

The Iraq War was based on a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

Politicians on both sides of the political aisle approved of the Iraq War

There have been more than 100,000 civilian deaths in the Iraq War. 

My father was a combat veteran of the Korean War.

Here is what my father once wrote about war and about the Cold War—

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their freedom today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.” 

George Bush offered Americans the freedom to die in Iraq. That was all he offered. He did not offer the truth or any sense of honor, decency, or purpose.

Does America have the national character to treat our returning veterans with respect?

Here is a timeline of the Iraq War from Reuters.

October 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vacation Reading—Taking Rick Perry To Rhode Island

With a plane to catch soon and  time in Rhode Island ahead, it is time to select what book I’ll be reading while on the road.

I’d headed to Rhode Island for a final observance of my father’s life.  He spent much of his life in Rhode Island.

Tony Aquino lived 1930-2011.

I often get a great deal of reading done on airplanes and on vacation.

I’m considering this trip a vaction because I’m certain that this is how dad would have wanted me to imagine the trip.

For this vacation, I’ve picked books relevant to Rhode Island, Cincinnati and Texas—The three places I have lived in life.

I have The Cultural Life of the American Colonies by Louis B. Wright.  This book was published in 1957.

I don’t much about this book, but it is just the type of stuff that I often read.

Another book I have is The President Makers 1896-1919—The Culture of Politics & Leadership In An Age of Enlightenment by Matthew Josephson. This book is from 1940.

This is the 2nd book I’ve read by Mr. Josephson.  He wrote about the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. In the President Makers I’m currently on the chapters involved the Presidency of Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft.

The final book I’ll bring along is Fed Up!–Our Fight To Save America From Washington by Texas Governor Rick Perry. This great work was published in 2010.

Fed Up! may provide me with a few quick blog posts while I’m traveling.  Also, since I’ll be wearing a Houston Astros’ baseball hat for much of the trip, maybe I’ll read the book while wearing the cap and make loud comments about seccession and bitching about how George W. Bush was not conservative enough.

It’s going to be a great trip and I’ll be posting from Rhode Island. Thanks to everybody for reading Texas Liberal.

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rick Perry Thinking Of Running For President In 2012—A View From Texas

Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will consider running for President.

(Above—Rick Perry. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)   

If Americans want another Texas Governor as President, one who to the right of even George W. Bush, that is a choice people are free to make.

While I take nothing for granted, my guess is that this is not what the nation wants.

Here is a viewpoint sympathetic to Mr. Perry’s candidacy from the Fox News digital politics editor.

I make no secret that I’m to the left of most voters. Independents and people in the center can read the link above and figure out what they think of Governor Perry for themselves.

Libertarian voters can decide what they think of a soon-to-be law that Governor Perry has championed that forces women seeking a legal abortion to get a sonogram that they may well not want.  

If the state can force one type of unwanted medical procedure on free citizens, than why can’t it force any type of unwanted medical procedure on free citizens?

Not even Texas Republicans are on-board with the idea of Mr. Perry running for the White House.  Governor Perry stands at 4% in a poll of Texas Republican Presidential preferences.

Whoever the Republican nominee is in 2012, one thing will be certain. He or she will be from the far-right of the political spectrum.

Folks can decide what they want at the ballot box in 2012.

May 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

How Do We Have Money To Attack Libya?—We Can Always Ask More Of Ourselves As Citizens

How is it that we have the money to attack Libya?

Each Tomahawk missile we have launched on Libya cost $569,000 in 1999 dollars.

Then there are all the costs of fuel and manpower and whatever else involved.

As of 3:37 PM EST, Sunday, March 20 , the U.S and Britain had launched a total of 124 Tomahawks in Libya.

Britain has a big austerity program going on.—Still, the U.K. also found the resources for war.

How much will this all cost American taxpayers?

I don’t know.

But given that the President has said we must cut even programs that help the poor, whatever the Libya mission costs would seem to be more than we have.

Or at least more than we told we have by both major political parties.

Maybe the alleged budget crisis we are so often told exists is in fact something of a fraud.

Here is the United States Navy website for the Tomahawk Missile.

The full term is Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The Tomahawk name is trademarked.

(Above–A Tomahawk missile product.)

Just because your tax dollars bought the things, does not mean you can call the missile you build in your garage a Tomahawk.

I support the Libya mission. I think we need to act to prevent a massacre of Libyan dissidents and rebels by Colonel Gaddafi.

Hopefully, I’d see the question the  same way if a Republican President had ordered the attack.

It should be noted though, that President Obama does not see the authority of a President to order combat without the approval of Congress in quite the same way candidate Obama saw the question.

How do Republicans feel about the Libya mission?

It is hard to view Republicans as credible on this question.

In the years since 9/11, Democrats and liberals have often been attacked for being soft of terrorism and for not supporting our troops.

This despite the fact that draft-dodger George W. Bush and draft-dodger Dick Cheney did not provide proper body armour to protect our troops fighting in our wars.

From the New York Times of January 7,2006

“A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.”

Here is a useful website to see which Republicans have avoided service and how Republicans and Democrats are rated on issues impacting veterans.

I recall how back in 2002 Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a triple amputee from combat in Vietnam, lost his seat after being attacked by his Republican opponent as weak on national security. Television ads were run in that campaign picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama and Saddam.

In regards to Libya, I imagine Republicans believe we should support a sitting President at a time of conflict. I’m sure they feel that to believe otherwise would be to put our troops at risk.

Right? Did I get the standard Republican line correct here? Or does it only apply when we have a Republican President?

I’m concerned the allied troops fighting for a better future in Libya. I’m concerned for people in Libya. I hope rebel forces in Libya have democratic aspirations.

It seems sometimes the best you can hope for on these type issues is that you get at least some measure of truth from people in power.

It does not have to be this way. People do not need to be helpless.

Our leaders from both parties know that often what we appear to want most is to avoid military service, avoid taxes, get cheap gas, and to blame Muslims for our problems.

We always have the ability to expect more of ourselves.

If we asked more from ourselves, we would get more from our leaders.

( Below–Senator Cleland in Crawford, Texas in 2004. Mr. Cleland was attempting to deliver a letter to George W. Bush asking that attack ads on John Kerry’s Vietnam service be stopped.)

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Will Supreme Court Uphold Access To Health Care Or Will The Court Do Even More Damage To Our Nation?

Nobody knows in the end how the Supreme Court will rule on the Health Care Reform law.

(Above— The Supreme Court. Photo by UpstateNYer.)

Politico has an ideological neutral article on the prospects for the law.

From Politico—

“Chief Justice John Roberts “does not believe the Commerce Clause allows you to do everything and anything,” but he’s not “an adventurer” and therefore might not go so far as to strike down the mandate, according to Charles Fried, a former solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan who testified at Roberts’s confirmation hearings in 2005. “I think there’s a good chance it will be a 6-3 decision in favor of constitutionality,” said Fried, who voted for Barack Obama in 2008……”Other legal experts said all eyes will be on Justice Anthony Kennedy, the most likely swing vote if it really is a 5 to 4 decision. But the constitutionality of the individual mandate — the requirement for everyone to get health insurance starting in 2014 — is a complicated question that might not get decided along predictable ideological lines.”……”Conservative legal scholars say it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Roberts court declares that the Obama administration has taken the Commerce Clause too far. “They don’t have to make a stretch to do that. They can just say, `We’ve let the Commerce Clause stretch way beyond its text, and we’re not going to go any further,” said Dave Kopel, an adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver.”

Read here about the many benefits of the Health Care law. Do you want to go back to lifetime caps on policies and to when you could be kicked off your policy because you get sick? Do you want it to forever be the case that you can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition?

Of course, we know that in recent years the Supreme Court court has appointed a President in Bush V. Gore, and has significantly undermined democracy with the Citizens United case.

Both Bush V. Gore and Citizens United were decided by a 5-4 margin. In both these cases, Clarence Thomas was in the majority. “Justice” Thomas reached the Court by lying before the Senate and the nation about his conduct involving Anita Hill.

How long until many begin to question the Court’s basic legitimacy?

Hopefully, the Court won’t add denying people health care to the damage it has already done to our poltical and democratic process.

People in the center and on the left have the same option to organize and advocate as was made use of by Tea Party cells across the nation in the 2010 election.

Are we going to have a hopeful future in this country, or are we going to live in a nation where people will forever be denied health care because they can not afford it?

Is the Supreme Court going continue our national descent towards being a second-world nation ruled by an oligarchy, or can at least free citizens have the chance to live decent lives with access to health care?

February 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Gift Should You Get This Christmas For People You Don’t Like?

What should to get this Christmas for the people in your life that you don’t like?

The Texas Liberal Panel of Experts has some suggestions of books that you can give such persons.

Extinct recommends Fed Up! by Texas Governor Rick Perry as a literary lump of coal for that unspecial someone.

Fed Up! talks about how to get the federal government out of your life while you collect social security and as your Congressperson asks for earmarks to build yet more roads in Texas.

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat says Decision Points by George W. Bush would be  a real Christmas downer.

Decision Points is about offering excuses and rationalizations for things gone wrong, while at the same time putting forth a worldview of being responsible for your actions in life.

Cactus says a gift Going Rogue by Sarah Palin will ruin not only Christmas for the recipient, but it ruin New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day as well.

Going Rogue is a book by a person who does not read very much. The book tells about how rugged individualism shapes Alaskans even though Ted Stevens spent years in the Senate making sure Alaska got every federal dollar possible.

Now if on the odd chance you want to do something productive for the holiday, don’t forget you can give the gift to yourself and others, of your greater involvement in civic affairs. In this way you’ll be able to fight the likes of Rick Perry, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin.

Happy holidays!

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Houston Mayor Annise Parker Supports Renew Houston And Red Light Cameras—She Asks That You Please Do The Same

Houston Mayor Annise Parker recently discussed the various City of Houston ballot propositions in a conference telephone call with local political bloggers.

Here is Kraftwerk’s video The Telephone Call. It’s a classic.

(Below–A video snippet from Kraftwerk’s The Telephone Call.)

I don’t have any verbatim quotes from the Mayor’s call because I was knitting during the call instead of taking notes.

Please don’t tell the Mayor because she won’t approve, but knitted graffiti is all the rage. See below–

(Photo by Noah Sussman)

Don’t worry though, the essence of the Mayor’s words are clear in my mind to the extent that anything is clear in my mind.

There are three issues on the Houston ballot in 2010. Mayor Parker favors all three of these issues. See encourages all her supporters and all people of Houston to vote for these issues.

Proposition One is the so-called Renew Houston initiative.  This issue will levy a fee on property owners that will go to a dedicated fund that will be used to address wastewater removal and flooding in Houston.

Mayor Parker says that this initiative will use the funds it raises for only the stated purpose of curbing flooding in our city, and that she is aware of no other solution that has been proposed for this longtime problem.

She says that everybody has to pay up for this, because once exemptions are granted to one group of people or one type of property, then others will want an exemption.

Where would the pleas for exemptions end?

Again—I’m giving you the essence of the Mayor’s remarks because I was baking a pie during the call instead of taking notes.

Proposition Two on our ballot is so tedious to describe that someone is going to have to slap me across the face to keep me awake to write the next two sentences.

(Below–Former President George W. Bush slapping Houston-area Congressman Al Green across the face)

Proposition 2 will, for one time only, lessen the residency requirement for Houston City Council candidates to have lived in their district before the November, 2011 municipal elections. Since council redistricting will take place after census results are announced next year , some incumbents may find themselves in new territory.

(Below–Sometimes the ground shifts beneath your feet.)

Mayor Parker supports Proposition as a basic measure of fairness. Redistricting happens and folks deserve a chance at keeping their seats.

This is, in the main, the substance of the Mayor’s thoughts on Prop. 2. I did not take the exact notes because  I was playing pinball during the call.

(Below—KISS pinball machine. Photo taken by The Consumerist.)

Proposition 3 is red light cameras. If you vote Yes on 3, you will be voting to keep red light cameras in Houston.

Mayor Parker urges you to vote Yes on 3. Her bottom line concern is safety on our roads. She wants drivers in Houston to please stop at red lights. She feels red light cameras lessen the number of people running red lights.

That is pretty much what she said on the matter. I don’t have the exact notes because I was driving while on the call.

(Using the phone. Photo by Edbrown05)

Houston Mayor Annise Parker asks her fellow Houstonians to support all three Houston propositions on the 2010 General Election ballot.

She feels that these issues reflect good public policy that will benefit the people of our city.

I agree with the Mayor on these ballot questions.

Here are my Texas Liberal endorsements for 2010.

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Donation To Democratic National Committee—Consider What You Can Do As Election Nears

Above you see Franklin Roosevelt Action Figure, Andrew Jackson Action Figure, and George W. Bush Action Figure . They are standing with a $50 money order that they bought at the supermarket, and are going to send to the Democratic National Committee.

F.D.R.A.F. says that Health Care Reform is as close to a New Deal program that we going to see in our corporate owned nation. He reminds that HCR, among many helpful things, ends lifetime limits on policies, stops the practice of kicking people off insurance because they sick and offers free immunizations to kids. (Read about Health Care Reform on your own.)

Andrew Jackson A.F. says that in his day, slavery was expanded and Indian removal was aggressively pursued all in the name of expanded democracy and liberty. He says he would have done something about it all, but for the fact that he was in favor of all the bad things taking place.  Old Hickory says that in our day, the so-called Tea Party and the Republican Party use talk of expanded democracy and liberty to empower the rich even further and to make sure that millions won’t have access to health insurance. (A good to book to learn about the “evolution” of democracy in the first half of the 19th century is The Rise of American Democracy–Jefferson to Lincoln by Sean Wilentz. )

George W. Bush A.F. says that many of our problems are indeed his fault.

The donation does not change my view that the Democratic Party sometimes ignores the poor and urban voters who are often it’s most reliable supporters.

Nor does it mean that I’m any less frustrated with President Obama‘s failure to communicate effectively for progressive values.

But we are where we are, and we must move ahead past the upcoming election.

The Republican Party has from the moment President Obama took office said no to everything he has proposed. They never had any intention of saying anything other than saying no.

They have said no regardless of the severity of the recession, regardless of the millions without health insurance and regardless of the reality of climate change.

They don’t appear to care about the severity of these problems.

I suggest that you please consider what you can do to help Democratic candidates in the weeks ahead.

After the election is done, there will be plenty of time to discuss what comes next.

September 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Party Holding White House Has Lost U.S. House Seats In 33 Of 36 Midterm Elections Since Civil War

In 33 of the 36 midterm elections held since the end of the Civil War, the party in the White House has lost seats in the United States House of Representatives.

We need to recall this as the 2010 midterm elections approach. There are underlying patterns in all things. This historical fact and pattern of midterm losses for the party holding the Presidency  is one that has impacted both major parties over many years.

Beginning with 1866, only in 1934, 1998 and 2002 has the party holding the White House gained in the U.S. House.

In 1934, Democrats picked up nine seats to add onto an already large majority, as President Roosevelt remained popular and Republicans continued to be associated with the 1929 crash.

(Below–Joseph Byrns of Tennessee was the first Speaker for the House session that convened in 1935. He died during his term.)

In 1998, Democrats won five new seats as part of the backlash against the Republican vote for the impeachment of President Clinton. Despite the Democratic pick-ups, Republicans retained narrow control of the House.

In 2002, Republicans gained seven House seats in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and due to the widespread public support of President George W. Bush at that point.  This allowed Republicans to expand a slight House majority.

(Below–Dennis Hastert of Illinois was selected House Speaker in 1999 and held the office through 2007. Mr. Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker in Congressional history.)

What each of these elections has in common is that they took place in the shadow of larger history-making events. The Great Depression. A vote to impeach the President. The September 11 hijackings.

While in some cases the party occupying the White House has lost only a few House seats, the trend is unmistakable. Midterm elections offer voters a chance to vent against the party holding the Presidency.

In terms of a switch of party control in the House, this has occurred ten times in the 36 post-Civil War midterms. This is something I’ll be writing about in an upcoming post. I’ll also soon be discussing Senate results in midterms.

Liberals and all Democrats should recall that what is taking place today is is often how it is in our politics. It is difficult to see republicans doing well for the moment, but there is reason for hope in the days ahead.

Liberals and all Democrats should also recall that the election has not yet been held.

Consider donating or volunteering in the weeks ahead to the Democrat of your choice.

Here is some history of the House from the House Clerk. You can find, among many other things, the party breakdown for each session of Congress at this site.

A useful book is House–The History of the House of Representatives by Robert Remini.

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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