Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Harris County Coordinated Campaign Midtown HQ. & Republican Opposition Research Web Home

The Harris County Democratic coordinated campaign has a new Midtown Houston location. Above is a picture of the headquarters. This being August, you may not recognize the building from last winter.

The location is 3710 Travis on the corner of Alabama and Travis.

Here is the website of the coordinated campaign. You can find other office locations or give them a call to see what is up. Offices are going up around the county.

Also, The Truth About Texas Republicans, is a new opposition research web site about incumbent Republicans in the Texas State House and State Senate. Check it out.

You’ll see they are even worse than you thought. Look up some of your least favorite incumbents and spread the bad word on your blog or by word of mouth.

Below is an illustration of the Texas Republican Legislative Caucus in private session. 

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intergration Is A Kind Of Miracle

A few days ago I was at the supermarket. In the supermarket parking lot, I saw an interracial couple. One person was black and the other white. 

A moment later I saw a white woman get out of her car with a small Asian girl. I don’t know for sure, but I assumed it was her daughter.

When you think that Houston, and much of America, were strictly segregated as recently as 40 years ago, it really is a kind of miracle what we see today.

I know much work is left to be accomplished. I know how hard it was to reach this point. But I sometimes think to myself that, in this respect at least, I’m glad I live in these times and not in a time when these things were not possible.

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Houston | , | Leave a comment

Women’s Suffrage Parade From 1913

color film copy transparency

Above is a picture of a women’s suffrage parade  in New York City from 1913.

Here is a history of the suffrage movement.

Women gained the vote in 1920 with passage of the 19th Amendment.

It remains hard to imgaine that it took until 1920 for women to be able to vote in this country.

August 11, 2008 Posted by | History, Political History, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Poem Called Ascent

Here is a poem I wrote called Ascent—

Separating one stage,

And then another,

I hope there’ll be something left of me

If I someday I return.

August 10, 2008 Posted by | Poetry | | Leave a comment

Will Texas House Candidate Kevin Murphy Serve This Giant Pig At Campaign Kickoff BBQ?


Texas House of Representatives District 29 candidate Kevin Murphy is having a campaign kickoff and fundraising BBQ on Sunday, August 17. District 29 is centered around Pearland.  

I know this because Mr. Murphy sent me a Facebook invitation for the event.

Any Democratic candidate for any office who makes me a friend on Facebook has my support. I’ll write a post endorsing that candidate.

This event runs from 5 until 7 PM , Sunday, August 17, at Sekula’s BBQ and Grill on Highway 6 in Manvel. You can call 281-997-5460 for more details.

August 10, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grover Cleveland Survived Love Child Scandal

Philandering Senator John Edwards denies that Rielle Hunter’s baby is his love child. This may or may not be a true statement. Who can know?

A love child might not be a problem. Read here the Univ. of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs  account of Grover Cleveland’s handling of the same type of issue in 1884—

In the election of 1884, Cleveland appealed to middle-class voters of both parties as someone who would fight political corruption and big-money interests. Many people saw Cleveland’s Republican opponent, James G. Blaine, as a puppet of Wall Street and the powerful railroads. The morally upright Mugwumps, a Republican group of reform-minded businessmen and professionals, hated Blaine and embraced Cleveland’s efforts at battling corruption. Cleveland also had the popularity to carry New York, a state crucial to victory.

But Cleveland had a sex-scandal to live down: he was accused of fathering a son out of wedlock — a charge that he admitted might be true — owing to his affair with Maria Halpin in 1874. By honestly confronting the charges, Cleveland retained the loyalty of his supporters, winning the election by the narrowest of margins.

( The cartoon above is of Mr. Cleveland.)

While Grover Cleveland was not quite the progressive figure he is made out to be here, it does seem  Senator Edwards should have come out with it all at the start. If this issue was not fatal in 1884, surely Senator Edrwards could have survived it in 2008.

If Mr. Edwards had won the nomination, how could this have been kept a secret?

August 9, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

U.S House Candidate Michael Skelly—Use When Needed

Texas U.S. House Candidate Michael Skelly issued a statement today suggesting MoveOn.org should “move out of Texas.” (Clever, huh?) This was in response to a MoveOn event at Congressman John Culberson’s office yesterday asking Mr. Culberson to look for solutions to our energy needs beyond offshore drilling.     

Because, whatever you may think, offshore drilling is not going to lower your gas prices

Mr. Skelly, a Democrat, is seeking to unseat Mr. Culberson, a Republican, in the November election.

This race is being contested in the 7th U.S House district in Texas. This has been a strong Republican district, but Mr. Skelly is given a chance of winning.

One can understand if Mr. Skelly does not want to be identified with MoveOn in a Republican-leaning district. Winning elections is a practical concern. 

What should not be forgotten though, is that MoveOn consists mostly of average folks who are getting involved for no return but the chance to work for what they believe. I’m certain that on Election Day, Mr. Skelly will take the votes of MoveOn members in the 7th district.

There’s nothing more important someone can give than time. Time is the most important thing we have in life. 20 people stood out in the heat yesterday at Mr. Culberson’s office. Most people do nothing.

Politicians are inherently users. ( As are many of us.) This does not mean they are all without beliefs. You can be a user and have beliefs at the same time. In fact, some politicians are principled.

But when you tell folks working for you to “move out”, you’d might as well be telling them to go to hell. It’s a reaction that strikes of panic by his campaign and of disdain for his active supporters.

Mr. Skelly has the right to conduct his effort as he sees best. And Democrats and progressives in the 7th district have the right to view Mr. Skelly in a guarded fashion.

I see Mr. Skelly as he sees me—As somebody to use to reach a goal. If he seems viable on Election Day and if he can resist telling people who feel as I do to take a hike, I’ll vote for him. It’s one thing to not agree with me on all the issues. I’m not the only person in the world. It’s another thing not to want my support.

If on Election Day he fades away, I’ll just wait two years for the next user to come along.

(This is also posted at the Houston Chronicle where I’m one of seven featured political reader-bloggers.)

August 8, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Masked Olympians Looking Out For Number One


This masked woman is one of the U.S. Olympic cyclists who wore a mask to protect herself from bad air in Beijing.

Will she or any of her teammates speak up for human rights in China?

Don’t hold your breath.

So what if a billion Chinese are not free? This woman does not want to breathe bad air. That’s what important.

Here is the Human Rights Watch report on freedom in China in the context of the Olympics.

August 8, 2008 Posted by | Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Could President Bush Be Charged As A War Criminal?

The Economist magazine recently asked if President George W. Bush might face some type of international war crimes trial after he leaves office. A retired American general is quoted as saying that the Bush administration is likely guilty of war crimes for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

Human rights activists in France and Germany have begun to seek human rights charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The article I link to explains the specifics.

You might think that lying his way into a tragic war might have already merited President Bush a charge of treason.

Still, maybe an outside chance of justice exists with evolving standards of international law. If not the justice of Mr. Bush being apprehended while abroad and placed in a cell, at least the prospect of formal charges and a measure of circumspection by Mr. Bush as to where he travels after his Presidency.

Can a person in power get away with anything at all? One hopes that after such a brutal 20th-century, the 21st-century will bring new and better standards of global justice.

Please click here for a review of The Dark Side–The Inside Story Of How The War On Terror Turned Into A War On American Ideals by Jane Mayer. This book discusses the Bush response of torture and breaches of American civil liberties as part of the so-called “War on Terror.”

August 7, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I’ve Little Option But To Vote For Bradford For Harris County District Attorney

The position of Harris County,Texas District Attorney is an important office. The D.A. decides on matters of life and death.

Harris County loves the death penalty. Counted up until February of 2008, 61 of the 693 executions in the United States since the Supreme Court re-established the death penalty have come from Harris County. That is 8.8% of all U.S. executions coming from one county.

Here is the link to The Innocence Project—Read about the number of innocent people who have been put to death in the United States.

Also, Harris County has been sending some people to jail based on negligent and incompetent work done by the City of Houston’s crime lab.

Earlier in 2008, Republican District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal was forced to resign because of a variety of misdeeds. These misdeeds included an office computer that had stored on it insulting comments and jokes about women and blacks.

None of this is a surprise. There is nothing so lousy or wicked that it would surprise me coming from the Republican-run Harris County District Attorney’s office. The core of Republican support in Harris County consists to a good degree of brutal-minded people with bad hearts. They don’t care if innocent people go to jail or are put to death. I think many of these folks get a rush out of that kind of thing.  

No reasonable person has any faith in the idea of equal justice in Harris County

Republicans have held the D.A.’s office many years now. In 2008, Democrats have a good chance to win a number of countywide positions. 

The Republican candidate is a former judge with a poor and erratic record on the bench.

The Democratic candidate is former Houston Police Chief C.O. Bradford. 

I can’t claim to be enthused about Chief Bradford. Mr. Bradford inherited the crime lab mess, but he admits he did not take all steps possible to resolve the problem. I don’t understand such a path.

How could you be in a position to be able to do something about the lousy crime lab, and not do all in your power to resolve the matter? People’s freedom, and lives, were on the line.

I’ll vote for Mr. Bradford. I feel this office is so important that I can’t stay on the sidelines. It will be good to have an elected D.A. who you feel might at least be a full human being, and not the monsters who have held the job in recent years.

But as I often say, and will say many times during next year’s Houston city council elections, city residents who vote for Democrats time and time again have plenty of reason to be wary of the options we are given at the local level by the Democratic Party.

August 7, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Presidential Campaign Is An Industry That Consumes Your Time For Little Return

The ongoing Presidential campaign is an industry that consumes your time for little or no return, and ebbs your life energy with relentless stupidity. It’s a processed pre-fabricated product.

( Above is picture of facility similar to one where the campaign may well be produced.)

The campaign is about jobs for consultants and staff, finding material for 24 hour news channels, and winning over the 5% of all voters who are both undecided and living in a swing state.

Nothing of relevance is going be discussed in an honest fashion. Mr. Obama, who I support, and Mr. McCain, who I do not support, are going to gear every word to a narrow segment of the electorate.

And the campaign goes on and on and on. It steals your time. It informs you of nothing you did not already grasp.

The outcome does matter. It’s important who wins. But the process is a mess. Unless you are volunteering or donating on behalf of Mr. Obama, you’d do well to stay away from it all as much as possible.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Bloggers Swarm & Storm On To Houston Chronicle Homepage

Each week Texas Progressive Alliance bloggers select posts they feel have merit for a blog round-up. The Texas Progressive Alliance is a coalition, loose but connected, of liberal and progressive politics bloggers in Texas. This week, and in the weeks to come, I’ll be running the round-up on my personal blog and on my space at the Houston Chronicle. I’m one of eight featured political reader- bloggers at the Chronicle.  

I encourage readers at both spots to get to know these bloggers and to take an active part in helping win back Texas from years of Republican misrule.

Here is this week’s round-up—  

Last week on Bluedaze , Big Oil threatened TXsharon. In “Big Oil” Threatens Harm to My “Lovelies” and Me she calls out the abuser and includes a new PR plan that will save Chesapeake Energy millions of dollars and help clean up Big Oil’s act.

Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm is critical of a campaign to knock off Blue Dog Democrats , even if it means electing Republicans, all in an effort to punish Democrats for failing to hew the line on certain progressive issues.

refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left has always heard that What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas or does it for Pete Sessions?

Burnt Orange Report went on strike last weekto raise $1000 for Chris Bell’s State Senate campaign. 12 hours later, 15 donors raised $1,075 for Bell and the BOR team is back to blogging.

jobsanger opines about the lack of Democratic leadership from Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Pelosi: Where’s The Leadership?, and lets us know the Nanny State is alive and well in The “Nanny State” Strikes Again.

The Texas Cloverleaf is on a strike for change! Help raise money for selected candidates. What do we want? Donations! When do we need them? Now!

Continue reading

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Excellent Band Called Black Kids

It’s rare when I find a contemporary band I want to hear. Most music I play in my car was recorded at least 20 years ago. The only current bands I always purchase a new release of are Interpol and The Chemical Brothers.

However, I’ve now found a third current-day band I like. They are called Black Kids. I bought the Black Kids CD. It’s titled Partie Traumatic. The album is strong start to finish. It has a distinct Cure sound. That’s fine by me.

I’ve posted the Black Kids video of the song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You.”

The song and video are good-natured. The young women in the band are dressed like normal people and not skanky or in anyway removed from the people they appear to be in real life.

I’m glad I’ve found a new band to enjoy.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Music | , , , , , | 2 Comments

AIDS & Black People

A new study says that the rate of AIDS in the United States is 40% higher than previously thought and that black Americans are bearing the brunt of this epidemic.

From the Black AIDS Institute

“The rate of new infections among non-Hispanic Blacks was seven times as high as that among whites in 2006 (83.7 versus 11.5 new infections per 100,000 population),” the CDC said. “Blacks also accounted for the largest share of new infections (45 percent, or 24,900). Historical trend data show that the number of new infections among Blacks peaked in the late 1980s and has exceeded the number of infections in whites since that time.”

The CDC acknowledged what activists have being saying all along: More concentrated prevention efforts are needed if the virus is ever going to be contained among African-Americans.

“The continued severity of the epidemic among Blacks underscores the need to sustain and accelerate prevention efforts in this population,” the CDC said. “While race itself is not a risk factor for HIV infection, a range of issues contribute to the disproportionate HIV risk for African Americans in the U.S., including poverty, stigma, higher rates of other STDs, and drug use.”

The following is taken from the Centers for Disease Control report on AIDS as excerpted in Louisiana Weekly

€ Standing on its own, Black America would constitute the world’s 35th most populous country, but would rank 16th in the world in the number of people living with HIV.

€ A free-standing Black America would rank 105th worldwide in life expectancy and 88th in infant mortality. Blacks in the U.S. have a lower life expectancy than do citizens of Algeria, the Dominican Republic or Sri Lanka.

€ Outside of sub-Saharan Africa, only four countries – and only two in the Western Hemisphere – have adult HIV prevalence as high as the conservative estimate (2 percent among adults) for Black America. Blacks represent about one in eight Americans, but account for one in two people living with HIV in the U.S.

€ Despite extraordinary improvements in HIV treatment, AIDS remains the leading cause of death among Black women between 25-34 years and the second leading cause of death in Black men between 35-44 years.

€ Black women in the U.S. are 23 times more likely than White women to be diagnosed with AIDS.

€ Blacks make up 70 percent of new HIV diagnoses among teenagers and 65% of HIV-infected newborns.

Here’s the bottom line–People of color can die in this country and the majority culture will–in most though not all cases– not care. Black folks themselves are going to have address AIDS. Part of this will be demanding that elected officials tackle this problem.

Another solution will be admitting the problem exists.

In 1994 I was part of a campaign for the Ohio State Senate from an urban district centered on the city of Cincinnati. The candidate I worked for was a black member of the Cincinnati City Council. 

This candidate discussed AIDS. He said condom distribution and needle exchange were needed to help lower rates of AIDS. For this message, his Republican opponent and some local black preachers used these assertions effectively against him in the campaign. They said he was promoting immorality. These folks should have been run out of town. Instead, they were listened to as people got sick and died.

A society that does not care if you live or die is given a free pass when you do something self-destructive.

AIDS requires the attention of all people. But it is the folks most impacted who will have do the heavy lifting needed to fight the plague.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati, Politics | , , , , , | 6 Comments

1948 Republican Platform On The United Nations

Below is the 1948 Republican convention platform position on the United Nations—

We believe in collective security against aggression and in behalf of justice and freedom. We shall support the United Nations as the world’s best hope in this direction, striving to strengthen it and promote its effective evolution and use. The United Nations should progressively establish international law…and be provided with the armed forced contemplated by the Charter.

What a difference 60 years makes. Imagine today’s Republicans discussing collective security, international law and arming the United Nations. 

Though none of this is to suggest that Republicans of that day lacked a full compliment of Commie-hunting paranoids. Maybe though they were, for a brief moment, not fully in command of all the party.

The 1948 Republican convention was held in Philadelphia and nominated Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York (below). Though Mr. Dewey began the campaign as the strong favorite, he was defeated by President Harry Truman.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment