Texas Liberal

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Bruce Mosier For 190th Civil District Court In Harris County, Texas

On Texas Primary Day, I’ll be voting for Bruce Mosier for the 190th Civil District Court in Harris County.

Mr. Mosier is running in a contested Democratic Primary.

( Image above is of Shamash, the Babylonian Sun God, handing the code of laws to King Hammurabi.)  

Pleace click here for Mr. Mosier’s web page.

Here is an interview with Mr. Mosier conducted by Houston-based blogger Charles Kuffner.

Mr. Mosier is endorsed by, among many other groups, the AFL-CIO, the progressive Harris County Democrats, the Association of Women Attorneys and the local Baptist Ministers Association.

Mr. Mosier brings has both extensive legal experience and the ability to draw people together. This combination of strengths will make all the difference on the campaign trail and on the bench.

 In addition to a wide range of experience as an attorney, Mr. Mosier served in the Texas National Guard. Please click here for his full resume. 

Like you, I’ve never heard of these people when it comes to contested judicial primaries in Harris County. All they are to me is a series of junk mail pieces and giant yard signs placed illegally on the public right-of-way. 

Annoyingly, I’ve have to do some research.

As I’ve looked around, Mr. Mosier is a candidate I feel comfortable in supporting.

He appears to be a good lawyer, a good Democrat and a good person.

February 24, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Should Broken-Down Cars On Highway Shoulder Be Destroyed By Use Of Laser Weapons Or Missiles?

The U.S. Government recently tested its space warfare capabilities by shooting down a failing satellite.

We’re tough!

Why stop there?

In Houston we have a Safe Clear program. This means cars stalled out by the side of the highway are towed away rather than allowed to remain on the shoulder of the road.

Why don’t we instead destroy these cars with laser weapons or missiles?

People could call a number and report that their car no longer runs.

People with cars to be removed by laser weapons would be asked to stand 15 feet away from the vehicle. The use of missiles would require people to stand at least 25 feet away.

 The lasers could be space-based and outsourced—Such as we see here with these Klingons. 

Or ground-based individual private contractors could be used such as demonstrated here—-

 

Or the city could add vehicles such as this one below to the municipal fleet.

Think how quickly this aggressive policy would remove dangerous vehicles from our roadways.

And maybe best of all—No more tow trucks racing past you at 90 mph to nail the next sucker for $300.

February 23, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Some Observations About Houston Obama Rally

 

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Barack Obama rally held in Houston on Tuesday, 2/19.

( Photo is of sunset as I waited outside in line.)

Here are some facts and observations about this event.

It was held in the Downtown basketball arena used by the Houston Rockets. Nearly every seat in the house was full. Concession stands were open and people were having hot dogs and beer just like at the basketball game.

The crowd estimate I read was 19,000 people.

The line to get in the arena was long. It took me maybe 75 minutes to get inside. Many waited much longer. I saw maybe 20 people in the line reading a book or a magazine.

A rough guess would be that maybe 60% of the crowd was black. I saw a number of older black men wearing suits and ties. 

I saw a number of mixed race couples.

I felt there was a greater racial diversity among the younger people at the rally. But there people of all colors and all ages in attendance.

It is amazing to consider that Houston was a segregated city 45 years ago.

A warm-up band played disco and funk as well as songs sung in Spanish.

Rarely at events such as this, we were spared speeches by local politicians.

Still, the wait for Mr. Obama was long. I got inside around 6:15. I’d say Mr. Obama began speaking around 8:30.

The crowd was very good natured. This is what I took home from the rally. It was a happy group of people.

I had a book, but I called people instead. I called people all across America. Some people I called three or four times.

I’d say–”Hey, I’m at the Obama rally!”

A woman sitting near me kept trying to get folks to start the wave. The three young ladies behind me laughed a lot.

Finally, Senator Obama came on.

One of the first things Mr. Obama said was that he had won in Wisconsin.

This made the people even more happy.

Mr. Obama’s speech went on for some time. It ran a bit long.

That was okay though—He worked in both the policy stuff and the inspirational stuff.

The rally was fun and also had substance.

I feel that solid policy ideas were discussed. I agree that it does not hurt to talk to Iran. We do indeed need plans to help people pay for college.  The Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire.

More to the point, the multiracial and friendly crowd Senator Obama attracted represented a possible American future that was hopeful and decent.

What a contrast from the war and exclusion we have seen over the past 8 years.

Here is the link for Obama in Texas.

February 23, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , | 6 Comments

Observations On Clinton/Obama Debate

Welcome to Texas Liberal live blogging of the Texas Primary debate between Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York.

Above is a photo of Stephen Douglas of Illinois of the famous Lincoln–Douglas Debate of 1858.     

7:05 PM—Mrs. Clinton mentions the great Barbara Jordan.

7:10 PM–Senator Obama correctly points out what a waste of resources the War in Iraq has been, though does not mention that Mrs. Clinton voted for the war.  This great web page discusses the obscene cost of the Iraq War.

7:18 PM–In a question about Cuba, Senator Obama says it does not hurt to talk to people.

He’s right. What does it hurt to talk?

7:22 PM—Everybody likes to mention John Kennedy.

7:25 PM–Senator Obama mentions shipping out jobs to other nations. But maybe it is time for India and China to live the kind of lives we have lived here for many years. What about scaling back our lives to some degree as the world changes?

7:30 PM–Mrs. Clinton discusses aggressive government regulation to address the housing crisis.

Good for her! People like government a lot better when it is doing something for them. Government has a role in people’s lives.

7:35 PM–Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama both right on immigration. Find a path to citizenship for these folks.  

7:41 PM– Mrs. Clinton and Senator Obama both right again. Border fence a bad idea. How can you police and fence all of the border? Sensible policy ideas would work much better.

7:49 PM—Commercial Break–No reason not to profit off democracy.

7:53 PM—Question about how civil this debate has been in contrast to rough words spoken in past.

Mrs. Clinton works a few jabs in.   

8:00 PM– Senator Clinton denigrates the idea that words matter and that hope matters.  

8:05 PM–Senator Clinton fails to mention that her health care effort helped lead to the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress and all the years of damage that takeover caused.

8:09 PM–Another commercial. The TV and the computer are in different rooms and I have not seen any of the debate. Just hearing it. Here is a picture of my TV—

8:14 PM—Obama wrong on health insurance. Everybody has to have it.  

8:19 PM–Mrs. Clinton mentions Kosovo. Learn about this new nation with this BBC link.

8:23 PM–Aggressive bellicose John McCain said we might be in Iraq for 100 years more and also joked about bombing Iran.  

8:27 PM—Mrs. Clinton mentions Brownsville. Here is my favorite Brownsville blog—Bloggin’ All Things Brownsville.

8:33 PM—Question about earmarks. Earmarks are often good. They create jobs and help local areas complete needed projects. 

Mr. Obama says that many earmarks are good.   

8:39 PM—Mrs. Clinton refuses to say she will not allow so-called superdelegates to decide the nomination. 

8: 45 PM–Senator Obama and Mrs. Clinton mention all the hard times they have had in life.  

Mr. Obama was raised by a single mom.

Mrs. Clinton mentions, indirectly, her cheating husband.

Debate over.

Now nothing to watch until rerun of That ’70’s Show at 11.

I thought these candidates had pledged they would entertain me 24 hours a day.

What do I do now?   

February 22, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Yanez Or Criss For Texas Supreme Court?—Make Your Own Call

 

(The painting is The Triumph of Justice by Hans Von Aachen. It is from 1598.)  

Update—Linda Yanez won this primary race and is the Democratic nominee for Supreme Court position #8. Please vote for Ms. Yanez and the slate of Democratic nominees for the Texas Supreme Court. At current the entire court is Republican. Even if you are a more moderate voter than myself, do you imagine that such a super majority is good for the average Texan? Thank you.

I think it has been 18 years since I voted for a winning candidate for state office. That would be whatever group of hacks I voted for in Ohio in 1990. Beginning with the Republican takeover in 1994 —Thanks Bill and Hillary!—I’ve been on a long losing streak in Ohio and in Texas. I moved to Texas in 1998.

It is a novel experience to have contested state and county Democratic primaries. 

A notable contested race in Texas is between Susan Criss and Linda Yanez for Texas Supreme Court position # 8. 

It’s important to elect at least one dissenting voice to combat the far right-wing super-majority that sits currently on the court.         

Susan Criss is from Galveston County where she serves on 212th District Court. She was elected in 1998.

Linda Yanez is a judge at the Thirteenth Court of Appeals which sits in Corpus Christi. She was appointed by Governor Ann Richards in 1993.

In the end, like the Texas AFL-CIO, I have to go with a dual endorsement.

Ms. Yanez had trouble securing ballot access for this election. This bothers me very much. Ballot access is a matter of bottom line competence.       

Judge Criss ordered that jurors in a settled court case not talk to the press. This unfair ruling was overturned.

Both judges have strengths and weaknesses. Both would be a big improvement over the incumbent.   

Here is the home page for Judge Criss. 

Here is the home page for Judge Yanez.

I will note that former Texas Attorney General candidate David Van Os, a true progressive, has endorsed Judge Criss.

I started this post with a measure of enthusiasm that did not hold up as I dug deeper. Maybe it is was the two candidates to a degree. Maybe it was my own unrealistic expectations.

Maybe it’s that judicial races are so remote from the public, that what you get are candidates funded by narrow interests to such an extent that you feel what is taking place is not fully real.       

Yet, of course, the Texas Supreme Court does matter. Whoever wins this race will have my support in November.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on the Texas Primary.

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Live Blogging Of Tonight’s Debate At Texas Liberal & At Houston Chronicle

 

Please click the link for my debate observations—Live blogging up and running. 

I’ll be live blogging the Texas Primary debate this evening between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The debate begins at 7 PM and runs until 8:30 PM CST.

I’ll be posting here on this very blog and also at my spot on the Houston Chronicle as a featured politics blogger.

I believe the debate format is something similar to what is pictured above. I think this will be very enjoyable for the viewing public.   

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imagination Is At The Core Of Liberal Politics—The Specialist Should Work For The Generalist

Imagination and hope are at the core of liberal politics.

To work for a better future you need first to imagine that better future.

This is why I find the message and the campaign of Barack Obama to be of substance.

While I believe that Senator Obama is discussing specific issues, the bottom line is that policy experts can always be hired.

In politics, the specialist should work for the generalist. 

Politics is about policy. But it also about representation, choosing sides, and a vision of the future.

Senator Obama represents a future I want to be part of.

Don’t shy away from voting your hopes.

Don’t let people tell you that imagination lacks substance.

Hope and imagination are things we should never allow anybody to denigrate. They are among the best aspects of our humanity.

Here is the link to the Obama campaign.   

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

Obama With An Advantage On The Ground In Houston And Cincinnati

Hillary Clinton opened a campaign office in Houston only two days ago.

The Barack Obama office in Houston has been open for at least 10 days.

Also, confirming what one of my many Cincinnati sources told me this morning, there is an Obama office in Cincinnati while there is not yet a Clinton office in that city.

Looks like Mr. Obama may have the advantage on the ground in the big March 4 primary states of Texas and Ohio.    

Here is Ohio information for Obama.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Picture From Obama Rally In Houston This Evening

Took this picture from up in the cheap seats at the Obama rally tonight.

It was a big friendly crowd that was looking forward to a win in the March 4 Texas primary.

Here is the Texas for Obama link.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

I’ll Be The One With A Baseball Cap And A Book At The Obama Rally In Houston Today

I’ll be at the Barack Obama rally that starts in about 90 minutes in Houston.

I’ll be wearing an Astro’s cap and I’ll have a book. I’ll be by myself.

The book is America’s Three Regimes–A New Political History by Morton Keller.   

Click here for a positive review of this book.

I’m not fully outgoing, but if you tell me you like my blog I’ll find it in me to have a conversation.

I might even give you a hug.

Though what would be better is if you ask me a question about the book I’m reading.

I do well with those type conversations.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Houston | , , , | 2 Comments

Japanese Immigrant Poem About Working In Hawaii Canefields

 

Here is a poem from around 1905 by a Japanese immigrant who had come to Hawaii to work in a sugarcane plantation. (Photo above is of sugarcane in Hawaii.)

Hawaii, Hawaii

Like a dream

So I came

But my tears

Are flowing now

In the canefields.

Here is a history of Japanese immigration to Hawaii.

While the poem tells the story well enough, here is information about working in a sugar plantation in Hawaii.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Immigration, Poetry | , , , | 3 Comments

I’m Going To See Obama Today, But Best Rally I Ever Attended Was Hope, Heston, Ford & Reagan

Barack Obama will be in Houston today and I’m going to go see him.

He’ll be appearing at the Toyota Center this evening. ( I’m proud to say I twice voted against public funding of the Toyota Center.)  

I’m looking forward to seeing Mr. Obama, but the best political rally I ever attended was a Republican rally in 1980 at the Cincinnati Convention Center. 

In the final week before Election Day, this rally featured Bob Hope, ( Below with Barbara Eden.)

 Charlton Heston,

 

 Gerald Ford, ( Here with Leonid Brezhnev)

 

And Ronald Reagan

 

 I was 13 years old and it was a lot of fun.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 19, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, Political History, Politics, Texas Primary '08, Things I've Done | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Can Vote In The Texas Democratic Primary?—Any Registered Texan!!

(Update 2/15/2010—Just as in 2008, any registered voter can vote in either the 2010 Democratic primary or the 2010 Republican primary. You just have to have been registered one month before the March 2 primary election date. )

This morning I got a question from a Texas Liberal reader about who can vote in the Texas Democratic primary.

This is what the people want to know–Who can vote in the Democratic primary in Texas so that we can have a better Texas and a better America?

Here’s the question that was asked on the blog —

“My husband is registered as an independent but usually votes democratic. He wants to vote in the march 4 primary as a Democrat what must he do?”—Reita A. Troum

Ms. Troum–Not to worry. Any registered Texan can go to the polls and take the party ballot of their choice on Election Day or during early voting. You just have to been registered at least one month before the March 4 Primary Day.

The above picture is of downtown Mineral Wells, Texas.  This community is located in Parker County. Mineral Wells is just one place of the many in Texas where any registered voter can take either party ballot on Primary Day.

Here is the explanation from the office of the Texas Secretary of State

“If you are a registered voter in the state of Texas, you will simply choose your party and vote in that party’s primary.  To explain, we do not register by party in Texas.  One becomes “affiliated” with a party by voting in a party’s primary and the affiliation lasts for that primary year.  As an example, if a voter voted in the March 2006 primary or April 2006 runoff primary, the voter affiliated with that party for the rest of that year, but on December 31, 2006 the affiliation expired.  The affiliation means that the person may not vote in another party’s primary or participate in another party’s convention or sign an independent candidate’s petition for place on the ballot if the independent candidate’s position appears on the primary ballot.  Note that in the general election in November, a voter may vote for whomever he/she wishes, regardless of how or whether he/she voted in the primary or runoff primary election, since all candidates are on the same ballot.”

This blog supports Barack Obama for President. I feel that hope and imagination are at the core of politics. If we can’t imagine a better future, I don’t believe we can take the needed practical steps to achieve a better future. Policy experts can be hired. The inspiration and energy to enact new policies comes only at certain times and from certain leaders. I feel that Senator Obama in 2008 is the right person at the right time for a better America.

Here is the link for the Barack Obama campaign in Texas.

Here is a post on the caucus to be held by Democrats after the polls have closed.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

As G.H.W. Bush Endorses McCain, Here Is Bush’s Poor Record As A Texas Candidate

 

Former President George H.W. Bush has endorsed John McCain for President.

( Story here.  Picture is of Mr. Bush with Dwight Eisenhower.)

Will this endorsement help Senator McCain as he campaigns for the March 4 Texas primary against Mike Huckabee

It can’t be taken as a given.

Polls show Mr. McCain and Mr. Huckabee running close in Texas.   

Let’s look at the electoral record for Mr. Bush in Texas going back to 1964.     

In the 1964 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination to run against the great liberal Ralph Yarborough, George Bush needed a run off to win the nomination. He took 44% in the three candidate first round. 

In the 1964 General Election, Senator Yarborough beat Mr. Bush 56%-44%. This even though John Tower had already claimed the other Texas Senate seat for Republicans.

In 1970, Mr. Bush was again the Republican nominee for the Senate. He lost this race to Lloyd Bentsen 54%-46%.

Mr. Bush was next on the Texas ballot in the 1980 Republican primary. Ronald Reagan won 51%-47%.

At the top of the ticket, Mr. Bush did win Texas in 1988 and 1992. Though in 1992 he won his home state with only 40% of the vote against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. This was the worst showing for a Republican presidential candidate in Texas since 1968. 

In 1992, President Bush finished third in his other home state of Maine. Maine is where the Bush family keeps a second home. Mr. Perot, as well as Mr. Clinton, beat Mr. Bush in Maine in 1992.

The last major party nominee to finish third or worse in a state had been Harry Truman in Alabama in 1948. Though this was because Mr. Truman was not even on the Alabama ballot that year as the forces of Dixiecrat Candidate Strom Trurmond had taken over the Alabama Democratic Party. 

Will Mr. Bush’s endorsement help Mr. McCain in Texas or with conservatives?  

Well, based on these facts and on his lousy 37% national showing as a reelection candidate in 1992, it does not seem that to know Mr. Bush as a public figure is to have have full regard for his views. 

Texas Liberal Is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1000 Views A Day Last Week—Thank You Blog Reading Public

 

A goal I set for Texas Liberal this year was to reach 1000 page views a day. I’ve not reached that goal as of yet over the long haul, but I am glad to report that thanks to readers such as yourself, I did last week hit 1000 views a day for a full week’s time.

I have the goal of 1000 and when I hit that target I’ll set a new goal.

I know some folks place more stock in unique visitors when counting blog traffic. I figure if someone comes to your shop and finds more than one thing of interest, then you have done pretty good with that person. 

All the ways that people count blog traffic have both good points and flaws. I just use my WordPress counter which gives me views and not unique visitors.

In any case, regardless of the traffic, it is good to have a forum with which to communicate and I appreciate all visitors to Texas Liberal.

An additional note–This Thursday I’ll be live-blogging the Democratic debate in Austin between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. I’ll be doing so on this blog and at my space as one of seven featured political bloggers on the Houston Chronicle web page.

The illustration above is of the Ichthyosaur. Here is a good web page with information about this pre-historic sea beast.  

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Sea Life | , , , | Leave a comment