Many politicians who voted against President Obama’s helpful stimulus program have requested stimulus funds for the people they represent.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful “trillion-dollar spending sprees” that was “more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs.” But that didn’t stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down. Sessions wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in February urging him to give “full and fair consideration” to the affluent city’s request for $81 million for a rail project, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. His letter suggested that the project would create jobs, undercutting his public arguments against the stimulus.”
From the same article–
“Sessions was hardly alone. Scores of Republicans and conservative Democrats who voted against the stimulus law subsequently wrote letters seeking funds. They include tea party favorites such as freshman Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former presidential candidates.”
None of this will surprise anybody.
Government has got to part of our recovery from this terrible recession. Anger at immigrants, Muslims and the President will be a cold comfort when you need a job, disaster relief , health care, or social security.
Government is part of what makes a society a decent place to live.
Based on those we see seeking stimulus funds, it seems that many on the right realize this to be the case no matter what they tell their supporters.
Black Man From Chicago To Offer Federal Government Help To Self-Reliant Deep South—Why Don’t We Put Them To Work Rebuilding New Orleans?
President Obama has addressed the nation about the BP/Transocean oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
President Obama, a black man from Chicago, is going to use the powers of the federal government to assist Gulf Coast areas in the Deep South impacted by the spill.
(Above–A young Barack Hussein Obama with family.)
It is important that these folks in these coastal communities be allowed to maintain their way of life.
Did you think their way of life involved a minimum of government involvement in their lives?
Well..Kind of. If you live in a city and suffer from the effects of generations of poverty that is not your fault, then you need to pull yourself up.
But if you are a Gulf Coast resident impacted by the BP/Transocean oil spill—That is different.
I don’t know.
In addition to self-reliance, another aspect of the Gulf Coast way of life is overfishing and ecologically destructive fishing methods.
President Obama left that out last night.
People in the impacted counties know how they feel about the role of the federal government.
They want the federal government to do as little as possible. People need to work to get what they have in life.
This is why Jefferson Parish, where Grand Isle, Louisiana is located, voted 62% for McCain in 2008. Grand Isle is very concerned about what the oil will do to local industries.
In Pensacola, Florida, where the oil spill is also a big deal, the two Pensacola-area counties were strong in 2008 for Sarah Palin to serve as Vice President—Escambia County was 59% for McCain and Santa Rosa County was 73% for McCain.
Should folks in this part of the nation be helped despite a clearly stated preference that our federal government should remain as uninvolved as can be in the lives of citizens?
Yes. These folks should be helped because they are people and all people matter. People matter even if they don’t respect the ocean resources that sustain a way of life they say they value, and they matter even if they would let you suffer when unexpected hardship comes your way.
At the same time, folks need to hear the truth and they need to be reminded of the standards they hold others to when they are the ones asking for help.
Maybe we could put economically displaced Gulf Coast residents back to work by having them rebuild New Orleans and helping New Orleans be able to withstand the next hurricane. We could do this as part of a federal jobs program.
That would be honorable self-reliant work.
Where Is Houston Mayor Parker On Arizona Immigration Law?—Where Are Houston Hispanic Political Leaders?
The new immigration law in Arizona has prompted a strong response across the nation.
Based on your race, you could be asked for your papers by a police officer.
However, regretfully, we have heard little of substance from Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
This silence is despite the fact that Mayor Parker began her rise to the Mayor’s office by championing the human rights cause of justice and fair play for gay folks.
Congressman Duncan Hunter of California says he would support deporting Hispanic children born in the U.S. This even though being born in the U.S. makes you a citizen.
In an election year—In a political climate where Tea Party people are running around with all sorts of far right-wing views— we don’t have the luxury of silence.
Mayor Parker, who knows as well as anyone that people can be deprived of human rights and basic justice, needs to speak up.
Beyond the Mayor, where are Hispanic political leaders in Houston?
I’ll tell you where they are.
They are sitting in low-turnout districts happy to have a clear path to re-election, hoarding campaign war chests, and doing nothing of substance to increase Hispanic turnout in Houston, Harris County, and Texas.
If this low turnout makes Hispanics more vulnerable to being accosted for the crime of existing—So it goes.
The freedom of all people is connected. Yet many of our local Democrats in Houston would have folks go it alone against the forces of intolerance and against police state tactics.
The good news is that there will be a march in Houston on May 1 in favor of the human rights of immigrants. Please click here for the details.
I thought Republicans believed that in a time of crisis all Americans should rally around our President. I can recall Republicans who said we had to get behind George W. Bush and all his wars so we could avenge the attacks of September 11, 2001. I might even be able to recall suggestions—subtle and otherwise—that people who did not support George W. Bush were not fully loyal.
Well—This does not seem to be the case for Republicans anymore as President Barack H. Obama works to fight our economic crisis. Where is the Republican message of “country first” that John McCain kept pushing at us for all those months?
I guess supporting our President in these hard times for our nation is not as important as the Republican religion of tax cuts as the cure to every ill, and the Republican fear that a government that helps people will show a path outside of ceaseless brutal competition with each other.
Patriotism is sitautional with Republicans in Congress. That is if loyalty to the nation is what motivated them in the first place after September 11. Maybe what they saw was Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority in a nation always afraid of another terrorist attack.
Barack Obama should not get everything he wants just because he says so. The Democratic majorities in Congress must be independent in a way that the previous Republican majorities were not. Just don’t expect much constructive input from Republicans. Whatever it is that truly moves them, the good of the nation is not so high on the list.
Not far from a home I lived in for many years in Cincinnati, was a house where was kept a horrible mean dog. Every time I would walk past that house, this big terrible dog, which was kept tied up outside, would bark and lunge at me.
I hated that dog and I despised the people who keep such a dog that scared people who were just passing by.
In my most recent visit to Cincinnati, which ended yesterday, this same house had in its lawn a John McCain sign. They have this sign up even though the election was over three weeks ago.
It’s been a few years now, but I’ll bet you the same rotten people live in that house.
I’m glad that dog is dead now. And while I don’t wish harm to come on the people who live in that house, I will say they are the same miserable rotten folks they were a decade ago.
The above map shows that the “blue” areas of the South, counties where Barack Obama outpolled John McCain are where there was a great deal of cotton production at the start of the Civil War.
What was true abut the cotton production areas of 1860 and the strong Obama areas of 2008, is that they are places where black folks lived back then and still live today.
Click here for a U.S. Census list of the percentage of black people living in each of the states. Mississippi is first at 37.2% and Montana is last at 0.6%.
This link to the New York Times shows where either Republicans or Democrats ran ahead in Presidential balloting from 2004. For the most part, the only parts where Senator McCain gained on George W. Bush was in mostly white areas of the South and Appalachia.
I hope folks in the rural South, elsewhere in the South, and in Appalachia, figure out that insularity and racial suspicion in an increasingly diverse nation, is not the ticket to helping their kids in what will be a difficult economic future.
Barack Obama’s best state on Election Day was tropical Hawaii (Above–Hawaii). Mr. Obama won Hawaii with 72%. At one point in his life, Mr. Obama lived in Hawaii.
Also, Mr. Obama won 60% or more of the vote in California (61%), Connecticut (60%), Illinois (62%), Maryland (60%), Massachusetts (62%), New York (62%), Rhode Island (63%) and Vermont (67%). He won 93% in the District of Columbia.
John McCain’s best state was dusty Oklahoma (Above–Oklahoma). The McCain/Palin ticket took 66% in Oklahoma.
Other 60% states for Senator McCain were Alabama (60%), Alaska (62%), Idaho (62%), Utah (63%) and Wyoming (65% ).
Overall Senator Obama won the popular vote with 52%.
I’m glad America followed the lead of Hawaii instead of that of Oklahoma.
One thing I never call people is stupid. I don’t think people are stupid or dumb. They might be ignorant, but they are not stupid. In a democracy we assume that the average person has the ability to understand what is taking place.
If ignorant, the chance always exists that uninformed people can be brought up to speed. Hope remains. Think of all the people who voted for George Bush in 2004 and then voted for Barack Obama in 2008. These are people who caught on.
The other thing is that when you insult somebody you had better be sure they will not get the last laugh.
A lot of people seem to think Sarah Palin is dumb or stupid. The people who seemed most sure of that fact were in the John McCain campaign. She did a few bad interviews at the beginning of the campaign, and they put a muzzle on her the rest of the way. They did so even after she did well in her debate with Joe Biden.
The McCain campaign should have taken her off the trail for a few days and treated her with respect. I’m glad they did not, but that is what would’ve been best for the McCain effort. She could have been coached on issues. Her talents as a communicator would have taken care of the rest.
Instead, they just wanted her to be a woman who did the heavy lifting of motivating the base while the man-in-charge went around looking for the main prize. She was a trophy candidate.
I wish Sarah Palin was dumb. Then I would not worry about her anymore. She may be ignorant and mean-spirited, but she is not dumb. People often said that Ronald Reagan was clueless, but most times Mr. Reagan got the best his foes.
Sarah Palin is a disciplined quick-learner. She calculates her next move every step of the way and knows just what she needs to know to advance on the next level. It might flatter liberals to think that folks who believe that people and dinosaurs lived at the same time are stupid. Sure–They are so stupid they kicked our asses at the polls for years.
Sarah Palin is smart and dangerous. Her abilities merit nothing but our respect and close watching.
You might win a fight by being better informed than your foe. Or by laying better plans or by working harder. But if you think that you are simply smarter than the other man or woman, you are likely in for a surprise.
Here are my Texas Liberal election predictions. Please take them to the bank. They are certain to be correct.
President— Senator Obama will win 52.0% of the vote. Senator McCain will win 46.8%. 1.2% will go third party candidates. I don’t know what the final electoral vote count will be, but Mr. Obama will have at least the 270 needed for victory. That’s good enough.
Once in the voting booth, some of our fellow Americans, though not enough to shift the outcome, will have “second thoughts” about Mr. Obama. The motivation will in part be racial, but the larger factor will just be how fully different an Obama Presidency will be from we have known in recent years. Even a bad situation, if familiar, can be comforting.
The racists have already made up their minds against Mr. Obama. But the good thing is that some racists will vote for Senator Obama and some of these people will see the world in a new way after Mr. Obama is President.
We all have room to grow.
What will carry the the day for Mr. Obama will be increased turnout of black voters and young people. I don’t feel polls have captured these voters well. There are so many black folks who have just sat elections out over the years.
With the election of Mr. Obama we will be, for the time being at least, emancipated from the post 9/11 era of fear based politics. America’s political majority will be a multi-racial coalition of people who have hope for a decent future.
That’s the side that I want to be on!
United States Senate—I predict 58 Democrats and 42 Republicans. Then 57 Democrats after Election Day when we do what is right and kick Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus. This would be an overall gain of 7.
I sure hope that Al Franken beats Norm Coleman in Minnesota. The Idea of Mr. Coleman sitting in Paul Wellstone’s seat just makes me sick.
United States House—I see a Democratic gain of 24 for a 257-178 Democratic Majority.
Here in Houston, Nick Lampson and Michael Skelly will lose their House races. Local Democrats will say how sad that all is, but in fact many Democrats will bid both men a hearty good riddance. Mr. Skelly’s campaign in particular has exceeded what is needed to win a Republican district. Is it really so that liberals are unlikely to be successful business people? As for Mr. Lampson, he got his two extra years in Congress and now he can pay his karmic debt for his terrible 2006 campaign.
In my other hometown of Cincinnati, my parents will still be afflicted with Mean Jean Schmidt as their Congressperson, However, across town, increased black turnout is going to finally, after all these years, nail Steve Chabot. I don’t feel that my parents should move across town to live in the Democratic district. Maybe they could just drive over there every so often.
Texas—Democrats will win back the Texas House, but fail to have a working majority because they refuse to move Texas into the 20th-century with a party-based majority system. Freelance House Democrats will hold out on the vote for Speaker to see who offers the best deal. Some will support a Republican for Speaker. The public will lose out and I’ll say I told you so.
Harris County, Texas—Democrats will win all offices but for County Judge Executive. They will win back the judgeships.
The first thing I’ll be looking for is major reforms of how we conduct the death penalty in Harris County. Hopefully, the new District Attorney will pursue a course far less bloodthirsty and barbaric from what we have seen from the seemingly inhuman men who have been elected to this office in the ten years I’ve lived in Houston.
It will be up to rank-and-file Democrats and all people of Harris County to see that the new Democrats in Harris County office really represent a change. There is more to our county than traffic and hurricanes. There are many people who need help from government.
Urban voters are used by Democrats all the time. The switch to Democrats in Harris County reflects demographic trends, high turnout for Mr. Obama, and campaign money that flowed on in from big donors when it seemed likely Democrats could win the county. It is not some grassroots rebellion.
They’ll use us if we let them. Let us remain vigilant and make life better in our county.
For those opposed to my views this Election Day, I offer nothing but the back of my hand. For those on my side of the aisle, let’s hope that this time the wheel lands on our number.
In these last two weeks of the Presidential campaign, the two major party candidates only travel to states that they feel serve some purpose to visit. They only have so much time.
Senator Obama visits states he feels he has a chance to win.
Senator McCain, at least at this writing, goes where he feels must to spark a comeback or to keep up appearances.
Is this a course we should follow in life? Given that we only have so much time, should we only go to places where we are reasonably certain things will go well? Or, if things have gone wrong in life, should we allow ourselves to reach a point where we go places only because we feel we have no option?
It’s easy to go where we know things will be good. It’s easy to go somewhere because we feel we have no choice.
Politicians are practical to a fault. Most are at least. They will use what works and discard what does not.
I think a good course to follow is to go as many places in life as one can regardless of underlying circumstances. These places can be geographical locations, or mental places where you consider ideas outside your normal day-to-day thinking. This could also mean seeing people and talking to people that you do not normally speak with.
As a general rule, it is best to not behave as politicians do. This is for no small reason that politicians often feel they have little option to act beyond the narrow range allowed them by the general public.
As the candidates pursue their schedules for the needs of the moment and put forth ideas that they feel people want to hear, remember that you have a far wider range of options in your life.
My parents in Cincinnati got nasty robocalls from the John McCain campaign. The calls said Barack Obama hangs out with terrorists.
My father tells me he called the Republican National Committee and told them he had gotten a call from the McCain campaign saying that Senator Obama wanted to blow him up. Dad said he had the young man who answered the phone fooled for a few minutes. He said the young man assured him Barack Obama was not trying to kill anybody.
Who is making these misleading robocalls on behalf of John McCain?
Clearly it is robots that make robocalls.
I feel the robots that make the robocalls should be turned off or unplugged.
What kind of robot makes a robocall?
Maybe it is a giant robot that feels it can get away with anything because it is huge.
Maybe it is a once decent human who has been turned evil by robots.
Maybe it a robot with frustrated artistic ambitions that is bitter from failure and now does nothing but make crank calls.
Maybe the calls are being made from from outer space robots. Has President Bush covertly ordered that our space probes be reprogrammed to make robocalls?
These robots should be turned off by the McCain campaign.
Better yet, the electorate should turn off the McCain campaign on Election Day.
I watched the second debate this evening between John McCain and Barack Obama. Here is my summary of this second debate.
During the debate my mind wandered and I can’t clearly recall what was said.
I became terrified that people who remain undecided could decide the election and I could not concentrate. The debate hall in Nashville was, it was claimed, filled with these so-called undecided voters. I support democracy. Yet sometimes I run from the implications of my support for democracy. How could one not?
Who could be undecided at this point? After eight years of George W. Bush and the clear contrast between John McCain and Barack Obama, who could still be undecided? Should these folks be allowed to provide the final margin of victory for either of the candidates?
What did I think about while my mind was wandering from whatever it was the candidates were discussing?
Dolley Madison (below) for one thing. I think she was our best looking First Lady. The best biography I am aware of James Madison is James Madison–A Biography by Robert Louis Ketcham. Dolley gets a good write-up in this account of Mr. Madison’s life.
During the debate, I thought about giant whales smashing the boats of whalers.
My debate haze was broken for a few moments when Senator McCain referred to Senator Obama as “That one.” This was good because it seemed just the kind of gaffe that would nag Mr. McCain the rest of the way. I was relieved that other guy made the mistake instead of the candidate I was supporting.
Issues? Yeah—I guess they have a place. Just not in one of these debates.
During the debate I felt I could hear airplanes roaring inside my head.
Biplanes do not make a roaring sound? In that case, what I was hearing in my head?
Most of all during the debate, I thought to myself that I sure hope Senator Obama can hold on to his lead in the polls and win the election next month.
It is this thought that best sumarizes the debate in my mind. Just hold on and wait for Election Day to arrive.
For a longer view, read the excellent America’s Three Regimes–A New Political History by Morton Keller. Every minute we spend following this campaign is time we don’t spend learning something that will have value after November 4.
While false charges are being made by a desperate campaign that Barack Obama has had questionable associations in his past, the facts are far more clear that John McCain has been, and still is, linked to dangerous extremists.
The picture above is part of the evidence.
Voting 95% of the time with George W. Bush, John McCain has linked himself to man who has done more harm to this nation than anybody in recent years.
These are the facts of the matter.
And while we are at it, why has the issue of Sarah and Todd Palin’s association with the secessionist and disloyal Alaskan Independence Party gone away?
Governor Palin’s basic loyalty to this country remains at issue.
When a President has died in office, it has often been quite early in his term. This has often made a big difference in American history.
This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day.
The first President to die in office, William Henry Harrison, expired just a month into his term. Harrison died in 1841. President Harrison, at 68 the oldest President to that point, was a Whig. His Vice President, John Tyler, was a representative of the Southern planter class picked to help balance the ticket and not in full agreement with the Whig mainstream. As President, Tyler pursued policies, such a veto of a national bank, that greatly distressed Whig leaders such as Henry Clay.
Abe Lincoln’s (above)1865 assassination occurred just a month into his second term. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson (below), who had not been Lincoln’s first term VP, had very different views than Lincoln on Reconstruction, and how the South and Southerners should be handled after the Civil War.
Here is a stark difference between the person elected President and the person elected Vice President. The United States got one month of a great President and just under four years of a terrible President. And black folks got a century of Jim Crow.
James Garfield was shot in the first year of his term in 1881. He died a few months later. Garfield’s successor, Chester Arthur, might well have been an improvement. President Arthur sought Civil Service reform and was surprisingly independeant despite a reputation as a machine politician.
William McKinley was shot and killed in the first year of his second term in 1901. McKinley’s Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, who like Andrew Johnson had not been the first term VP, was a very different man than McKinley.
Franklin Roosevelt was shot at in 1933 in the time between his election and inauguration. Roosevelt’s Vice President-elect, John Nance Garner was far more conservative than F.D.R. You might never of had a New Deal if Garner had become President instead of Roosevelt.
Roosevelt would later die in the first weeks of his fourth term. Vice President Harry Truman who had not been VP in the first three F.D.R terms, took the White House and did a pretty good job.
Also, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in his first year as President in 1981.
Let’s say you are less than a hardcore Republican, yet are still considering voting for 72 year old John McCain. American history shows us that you may feel you’re voting for Mr. McCain, but that what you really may get is President Sarah Palin.