Texas Liberal

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Indiana Is My Favorite Swing State

Indiana is my favorite swing state.

(Above is Aurora, Indiana on the shores of the Ohio River)

Here’s why.

1. Indiana is not far from my long time home of Cincinnati.

2. My wife and I have been to Indiana together and I love my wife. Indiana reminds me of how much I love my wife.

3. The Ohio River runs along the Indiana/Kentucky border and the Ohio River is my favorite river.

4. Indiana has not voted for a Democrat for President since 1964 and an Obama victory in Indiana would be excellent. The latest poll shows Senator Obama up by two points in Indiana.  Here is a story from Salon about how Indiana has become a contested state

5. Back in my punk rock days I saw a Circle Jerks concert in Indianapolis.

Here is some basic information about Indiana.

What is your favorite swing state? With Senator Obama on the move across the country, there are many to choose from!

(Below is Evansville, Indiana. Evansville is also on the shores of the Ohio River.)

October 22, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Robots That Make Robocalls Should Be Turned Off And Unplugged

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.

Here is a brief history of robotics.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who I Would Have Supported For President—1824-1852

This is the second entry of my Who I Would Have Supported For President series. The first part covered 1788-1820. This entry will consider 1824-1852.

In these years, I would have been looking for support of abolition, an active federal government that unified the country with roads and canals, and just treatment of Native Americans.

1824 marked a turning point away from the so-called Era of Good Feelings of almost non-existent political competition for the White House, and the awarding of electoral votes by state legislatures. What replaced these things was much greater partisanship, and the awarding of electoral votes based on the legitimacy of the popular vote.

Here is how I would have voted 1824-1852—

1824—This election might have been the first time I would have been very enthusiastic for my pick. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams  was an advocate of internal improvements and a foe of slavery.

Adams won the race in the House of Representatives in what’s termed the “Corrupt Bargain.” Campaign rival Henry Clay of Kentucky gave Adams his support after no candidate won an Electoral Vote majority on Election Day. Adams later appointed Clay as his Secretary of State. This enraged Andrew Jackson of Tennessee who had won the most popular votes in the four-way race of 1824.

Adams was at one time a man of the future in his views and policies, while also a man of the past as a son of John Adams and a former Federalist.

1828—I would have supported President Adams for reelection. Sadly, he never had a chance. Andrew Jackson was the easy winner. This was a triumph of the average man and as such a kind of progress. It was also a victory for small and inadequate government in the expanding nation, for the interests of slaveholders and, for many Native Americans, a death sentence.

1832—With hesitation, I would have backed Henry Clay against Jackson. Though President Jackson would have scored some points for his slapping down of John Calhoun (above) and South Carolina in the Nullification Crisis. This was an assertion of national government at the expense of states rights. It was not, however, a blow against slavery. Clay was a champion of more helpful and active federal government with his “American System.” He offered little on the other issues I would have liked to have seen addressed. Jackson won the election.

1836—There was little to be be glad about in 1836. Vice President Martin Van Buren of New York offered, somewhat implausibly , more Jacksonian empowerment of the everyman. The Whig opposition was divided between three regional candidates in the hope of denying Van Buren an Electoral College win and forcing the election into the House.  It was an ineffective strategy that offered little hope. Van Buren won. ( Van Buren was both a political organizer and thinker who played a large role in the development of political parties in the United States. He is worth further study.)

1840—This election offered the choice of another term for the states rights Democrat Van Buren, or accepting the notion that Whig William Henry Harrison (Tomb below. I’ve been there many times.) of Ohio was for common back woodsman. The Panic of 1837 left Van Buren vulnerable and he lost. Since in an effort to keep Southern support Whigs had done nothing on slavery,  I would not have been with Harrison.

1844— This election would be first time I’d have the chance to support a third-party candidate in protest of the inaction of the two major parties on slavery. Liberty Party nominee James Birney of New York would have won my vote over both Democrat James K. Polk of Tennessee and Whig Henry Clay. Birney ended up with 2.3% of the vote.

Some might have argued that Polk’s support for the annexation of Texas and extension of slavery this implied should have been reason enough to vote for Clay. Clay opposed annexation. But by this point I would have had been more than tired of waiting on slavery.

Polk won the election and started the unnesscary Mexican-American War. Would I have been wiser to have gone with Clay? These type questions would extend all the way up to Ralph Nader’s day.

1848—Again I would have voted on the issue of slavery. Martin Van Buren, of all people, was the nominee of the Free Soil Party. His running mate was Charles Francis Adams of Massachusetts. Adams was the son of J.Q. Adams.

Van Buren was on whatever side of the a question that would keep him in the political game. I’m sure I would seen him for what he was. Yet by 1848 slavery was the only question left. ( Indian Removal should have been on the same level. But it was not.)

Whig Zachary Taylor of Louisiana won the election. The Free Soil ticket won 10%.

The Liberty party was better on slavery that the Free Soil party. I would have been disappointed by the step backwards. The Liberty party was for abolition while Free Soilers focused on stopping the expansion of slavery.

1852—By 1852 the nation was dividing strongly along sectional lines. The Compromise of 1850 was the leading issue. But whatever side of the Compromise you were on in the conventional sense, you still supporting slavery. Abolition was not on the table for the major parties.

I would have voted for Free Soil candidate John Hale of New Hampshire. Mr. Hale won just under 5%. The winner was Democrat Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. Mr. Pierce was a terrible President.

What Hath God Wrought–The Transformation of America, 1815-1848is a Pulitzer Prize winning account of most of the period covered in this post.

David Leip’s Atlas of U.S Presidential Elections is a great source to see how the people voted in the elections referenced above.

(Slavery was the biggest issue in the United States in 1852.)

Next up will be my picks for President 1856-1876.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Who I Would Have Supported For President | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Black Men Named Powell Who Crossed Party Lines On Presidential Endorsements

Former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell (above), a Republican, has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

General Powell is not the first well-known black man named Powell to cross party lines with a Presidential endorsement.

In 1956 Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., a Democrat, endorsed President Dwight Eisenhower over Democratic challenger Adlai Stevenson. (The first link in the sentence is to a good essay on the A.C. Powell endorsement. It provides a sense of Mr. Powell and some context for his endorsement of Eisenhower.)

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day.

A strong book about Adam Clayton Powell (below) is Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.: The Political Biography of an American Dilemma by Charles V. Hamilton.

Governor Stevenson, despite a reputation as a so-called liberal, had a poor record on Civil Rights. Mr. Stevenson had the support of many in the Dixiecrat wing of the Democratic Party, and often seemed more concerned with that support instead of making progress on issues of racial justice.

A good book about the silence on questions of Civil Rights by many leading political and literary figures of the mid-20th century, is Divided Minds by Indiana University professor Carol Polsgrove.

Adam Clayton Powell is a figure worth study. He was a strong advocate for Civil Rights and a greatly flawed figure at the same time. He had both legislative success and an inability to keep himself out of trouble. Few people could be both so right and so wrong at one time.

Mr. Powell served in Congress 1945-1971. Seemingly past his day, he was defeated in the 1970 Democratic primary by Charles Rangel. Mr. Rangel still serves in Congress and has had some problems of his own in recent months.

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Are These Houses In Galveston Still Standing?

I took this picture in Galveston a few months ago. The picture is of houses under construction on the beach. I wondered to myself how long it would be until a hurricane came and blew them away or washed them away.

I’ve not been to Galveston since Hurricane Ike. I intend to go within the next few weeks. Maybe I can get a before and after picture for the blog. Though much of the beach is gone at the moment. I might have to take the picture from a different angle.

Here is the United Way Hurricane Ike relief fund.

October 18, 2008 Posted by | Galveston | , | 2 Comments

Kos Thinks I’m A Liberal Weenie

Below are two paragraphs from Daily Kos written by Kos himself. They are from a post discussing potential Democratic wins on Election Day that would be highly injurious to Republicans. The post makes the obvious assertion, one all Democrats would agree with, that it would be best if Republicans were to lose in as many places as possible on November 4.  

Who on our side of the aisle could disagree?

Then, somewhat out of context at that point in the post, Kos says the following—-

“I realize there are people uncomfortable with aggressive language and action. That’s the difference between liberal weenies and movement progressives. Liberal weenies sit around thinking that “the truth” is enough for victory, and that if we simply explain to voters why Democrats are better, why, we can’t possibly lose any elections! That’s the crowd that wants to keep the “high ground” and doesn’t want to go down in the gutters and fight the GOP where they live, lest we get a little muddied ourselves.

Movement progressives realize that we must do everything necessary allowable under the law to win because elections have consequences. This isn’t about who is most pure, but about taking the fight to the enemy and aggressively embracing progressivism, offering clear contrasts between us and them, and fighting fire with fire. There’s no ambiguity about where I belong.”

Kos says if you do not feel we should do all allowed by law to win elections, that you are a ‘liberal weenie.” We should conduct ourselves as if we were Republicans.

Gay bashing? Suggesting a candidate has fathered an illegitimate black child as the George W. Bush campaign said about John McCain in 2000? A Willie Horton type campaign? Voter suppression within the bounds of the law?  

We’ve seen in the primaries and in the general election campaign that plenty of Democrats might well respond favorably to such strategies.

I do not think it would be best to proceed in these ways. 

Here is a post where Kos takes on the McCain campaign for being the most negative of the two major campaigns. Is Mr. Obama a weenie? This post was written the same day of the post I quote above.

Written by Kos just 40 minutes before what I excerpt up top here, is a post praising Senator Obama for going after Fox News. The contention , correct in my view, is that Fox News makes a point to exacerbate cultural differences as part of a larger political strategy.

So what does Kos do the very afternoon he rightly takes after Fox News? He looks to promote an internal culture war. Effete liberals are “weenies.”  

Advocating for one of the two mainstream parties, appearing on Meet The Press, writing for Newsweek and being part of the 24/7 campaign industry all make Kos an embodiment of “mainstream.”

Think about it. What is more mainstream than being a partisan of one of the two broad based political parties in a nation of 300 million people? What media outlet or consumer product would not kill for the market share of the political world held by the Democratic and Republican parties?

I think Kos is for most part helpful to Democrats and liberals. If he can make a buck off of all this stuff then more power to him. 

Kos is very good at marketing his brand. You can bet he’ll do “everything allowable under the law” to make sure his market share does not slip.

( Below–A weenie that a liberal or any other person could have for lunch.)

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Who I Would Have Supported For President—1788-1820

If I’d been around, who would I have supported for President between the years 1788 and 1820?

( Here is part two of this series–1824-1852)

Without knowing the past, we can’t grasp the present.

In the years 1788-1820, I would have been looking for a strong federal government, an expansion of our new found freedoms to include all people, and just treatment of Native Americans.

As it turned out, by 1820 there was little doubt that America was one nation united, it’s just that this unity often came at the expense of the freedoms and just treatment I would have hoped for.

Elections in these days were not decided by popular vote. Candidates were often nominated by caucuses of sitting members of Congress. This was the so-called King Caucus. Electoral votes were won by votes in state legislatures.  

1788—In the first Presidential election, I’d have backed George Washington of Virginia (above as painted by Gilbert Stuart.) I would have felt the new nation needed a solid start, and that General Washington would be best to provide that foundation. Also, General Washington had no opponent in 1788.

1792—Washington was again the only candidate. Though by this point an opposition was emerging to the ruling Federalists.

1796—While I would have been concerned by the elitist tendencies of Federalist Alexander Hamilton, I would have supported Federalist Party Vice President John Adams of Massachusetts. In part this is because I’m a native New Englander. More meaningfully, Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an agrarian slave holding republic would not have held much appeal. Adams beat Jefferson of Virginia in 1800.

Jefferson’s candidacy can be seen as a beginning of the very successful Democratic-Republican Party.

1800—While I would have been turned off by Adams’ Alien & Sedition Acts, I would have supported President Adams over repeat challenger Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s view against standing armies in peacetime and his advocacy of slavery and states rights would have gone against my support of strong central government and a move towards the end of slavery. Jefferson won the election. 

1804—The Federalist party was in disarray in 1804 and there was hardly a contest. I would have softened on Jefferson to a degree because of the Louisiana Purchase. This was an act of an assertive federal government no matter what Jefferson put forth as the official line. The Federalist was Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. Pinckney had a record of work and support for a strong federal government. By 1804 though, he had moved towards a more southern influenced view of these questions. I don’t think I would have backed either candidate.

( Below—The Louisiana Purchase and what America was in 1810.)

1808—This time it was Pinckney against Secretary of State James Madison of Virginia. At this point it would have all seemed useless. Many Virginia Federalists bolted and supported Madison. The narrowing of the Federalist party gave the party an increasingly aristocratic tint. I would have been frustrated in 1808.

Where were the champions of an America both more free and not looking towards the South? Madison won the election.

1812—Opposition to the Democratic-Republicans and the Virgina Dynasty got a moderate lift from debate over war with England. This is what would become known as the War of 1812. I would of have had a tough call in 1812. Democratic-Republican dissident DeWitt Clinton of New York was endorsed by Federalists to run against President Madison.

I would have liked Clinton for his role as “Father of the Erie Canal.” The canal helped unify the country. I would have been suspicious of the motives behind the War of 1812. I would have seen the war as about protecting the Southern cotton trade and as a vehicle to stop British assistance to Native Americans resisiting the advance of the United States across their lands.

On the other hand, I would have noted the nationalist sentiments behind the war and seen these feelings as, over the long haul, likely leading to the undermining of the states rights position.

( Below–The Erie Canal at Kirkville, New York. Looks like a nice place for a picnic.)  

I think I would have gone with Clinton. Madison won the election.

General Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812 helped set off an agressive white man’s democratic nationalism that I would have seen as a logical extension of Jefferson’s views many years earlier.

1816—I would have sat 1816 out. Opposition to the Democratic-Republican Party took the form of 1814’s Hartford Convention. Secession was an option considered at this meeting by some of the leading remaining Federalists. I could have never had gone for that program. Secretary of State James Monroe of Virginia won the White House in 1816. In this so-called Era of Good Feelings election, Monroe won easily. 

1820—Monroe was reelected without opposition. This would be the last election before the popular vote of eligible white males become the deciding factor.

David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Electionsis the best online source of Presidential election history.   

The Penguin History of the USA by Hugh Brogan is a great one volume history of the nation.

Next up will be my Presidential choices for the years between 1824 and 1852.

( Below–White House portrait of James Monroe. I don’t think he is gazing out at the future. Monroe was the last of the Virginia Dynasty.)

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Who I Would Have Supported For President | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Copley’s Self Portrait & My Monarchical Impulses

Above is the self-portrait of the great artist John Singleton Copley. This portrait was painted in 1784 when Copley was 46.

In 1784 Copley lived in England. He had been born in Boston in 1738 and lived there for most of his life until he left for Europe in 1774.

The timing of Copley’s departure for Europe just before the American Revolution was no accident. He was a loyalist. Copley never came back to the United States.

Sometimes, when frustrated with the general public, I look at Copley’s haughty self-portrait and entertain a brief monarchical sympathy. It’s like a stiff drink to get past a rough moment.  

I think things out and always reject the option of a king or queen. I think the best way to support democracy is to be candid about the flaws of the masses. That way you are ready for what comes in politics and society.

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Art, Colonial America, History | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Sorry My Late Friend, A Black Man & A Democrat, Is Not Here To See Barack Obama

I’m sorry that my late friend, Johnny Castille, a black man and a Democrat, is not here to see Barack Obama on the cusp of winning the Presidency.  

Johnny died late last year or early this year. I can’t recall the exact date. He was in his early 60’s at the time of his death.

Johnny was a sacker at my local supermarket here in Houston. He had served in Vietnam and worked at General Motors in Indiana for many years. He was retired from GM and was working at the supermarket until his retirement benefits kicked in. I don’t know if he would have ever seen those benefits given the state of GM.

Johnny was one of the first friends I made after I moved to Houston 10 years ago. He was a loyal Democrat and a good person. He had a sense of humor. While he was at first a supporter of Hillary Clinton, I’m certain he would have moved to Senator Obama as the campaign progressed.

There is a woman customer I talk to at the supermarket who was also friends with Johnny. I mentioned to her last week that I regretted Johnny was not here to see what was taking place. She said she had had the same thought, but she knew Johnny could see what was taking place.

She told me she has prayed long and hard for Senator Obama to be safe in this campaign, and that in her view he was anointed in some way.

I felt some understanding for what she was saying despite not having the same religious faith or skin color as she.

There are three weeks to go in the campaign. In honesty I wish I had a faith that would allow me the relief of prayer. I am tense over the outcome. Senator Obama offers hope that this country is not the country we have lived in for the past eight years.

Maybe we can move past some of the history that holds us back in so many ways. We’ll elect this black person and folks will see that the world does not end.

I never thought I’d see a black person as President of the United States. In three weeks we’ll see how it turns out. Win or lose on Election Day, I’m sorry Johnny is not here today. But I’m made hopeful by what I am seeing. Maybe it is possible that morning will come.

October 15, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Conservatives Hold On In Canada—Should Obama Attack If Elected?

Sadly, exit polls suggest that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party have held on to power in Canada. The opposition was divided and could not win the votes. Conservatives will not have a majority of seats in parliament, but they will have enough to govern.

( We did though gain a leftist Prime Minister in Peru)

If elected, how will Senator Obama respond?

Will he tolerate a right wing government on our very borders? What will be the “Obama Doctrine?”

An invasion of Canada would have the advantage of taking Canadians by surprise. It would be a war closer to home than our two current wars. Soldiers could even go home for the weekend.

Democrats and liberals have a lot of pent up aggression after eight years. Canada’s provocative act of Democracy is an affront.

Mr. Obama serving as Emperor of Canada would be just the emotional bailout we need in these hard times.

Oh Canada! How could you do this to us!

October 15, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

Adrian Garcia For Harris County Sheriff

 

Who should citizens of Harris County, Texas select for the position of Harris County Sheriff?  

The best choice is former police officer and current Houston City Councilmember Adrian Garcia.

Councilmember Garcia was a police officer for 23 years and has served as Chair of Council’s Public Safety and Homeland Security committee. Mr. Garcia knows law enforcement.   

As a councilmember, Mr. Garcia has had a laser like focus on neighborhood concerns such cleaning up vacant lots and graffti, while at the same time addressing the larger problem of homelessness in Houston.

Mr. Garcia has the endorsement of the Harris County Deputies union.

This strong record of public service, and the confidence placed in Mr. Garcia by rank and file law enforcement professionals, stands in sharp contrast to the poor record of his opponent.

Incumbent Sheriff Tommy Thomas has been involved in many scandals. 

The sheriff’s office attempted to delete internal e-mails that were later shown to contain ethnic slurs. 

Many inmates in the county jail have died while incarcerated. 

Harris County had to pay $1.7 million for a wrongful arrest by the sheriff’s office.

Less ideological blog readers who reach this post will note that I’m a rabble rousing liberal, and may feel that I’m not the right source to offer a view on this important law enforcement position in our county.  

Yet liberals support law and order as a foundation of a decent and just society. You can’t have a decent life and a just society if criminals rule the streets.

Also, Mr. Thomas has been in office for 14 years now. Harris County has changed a great deal in those 14 years. Sheriff’s office employees e-mailing racial slurs in this day and age is just not going to get the job done.

Let’s move ahead for more effective and up-to-date law enforcement by selecting Adrian Garcia as our new Harris County Sheriff. 

Here is the web home of the Garcia campaign.

Here is an overview of the race from the Houston Chronicle

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tune Out M.L. King’s Kids—Focus On His Great Life

This won’t surprise you—Martin Luther King’s three surviving children are fighting for money instead of for justice. This time the issue is a biography of the late Coretta Scott King.

From the New York Times–

In the third King v. King legal dispute in four months, two of Dr. King’s children are refusing to provide a biographer of their mother, Coretta Scott King, who died in 2006, with a collection of her photographs, letters and personal papers. Their brother, Dexter King, chairman of their father’s estate, has asked a judge to force them to comply.

At stake is a $1.4 million book deal with the Penguin Group — as well as the reputation of one of America’s most famous families. Penguin said it intends to terminate the contract and demand the return of a $300,000 advance if the Kings do not turn over the papers to the biographer, Barbara Reynolds, by Friday.

The two children who oppose the book, the Rev. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, say their mother did not want Ms. Reynolds to write the biography. Dexter King, who orchestrated the deal, said his siblings and mother signed control of their intellectual property over to their father’s estate.

A judge has ordered the Kings to appear in an Atlanta courtroom on Tuesday to resolve the dispute.

“It’s sad and pathetic to see the three of them behaving in this self-destructive way,” said David J. Garrow, a  Pulitizer Prize-winning biographer of Dr. King. “Unfortunately all of the children seem to regard their father’s legacy as first and foremost an income maximization opportunity for themselves.” 

Don’t let the King kids distract you from the greatness of Martin Luther King. Tune them out. Take the fact that the children put Dr. King’s name in today’s news as a spur to learn more about King.

Here is my Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Books, Martin & Malcolm | , , | 1 Comment

Encourage Your Daughter To Study Math—Raising A Kid In This Culture Can Be A Kind Of Abuse

I read a story in the New York Times a few days ago that made me ill.

The story was about the failure to recognize and develop the mathematical talents of young people in our country. Girls especially face this problem. The article said that students who do well in math are often immigrants or the children of immigrants, or kids who are seen as nerds.

What the article could just of well of said is—The more you are fully socialized into this sick culture, the more you are pulled away from academic success.

This is the kind of culture that propels the ignorant Sarah Palin to the top of the political ladder.

Hockey moms. Soccer moms. Football moms.

Sure.

Beyond the fact that maybe dads should do more of the driving, where are the debate club moms and the math club moms?

It really borders as a kind of abuse to allow a child to become part of our culture without taking a strong role in understanding what strengths and interests a child has in school and in life.

Here is a quote in the article from a professor at the University of Wisconsin who has a son who is successful in math studies—“Kids in high school, where social interactions are really important, think, ‘If I’m not Asian or a nerd, I’d better not be on the math team.’ Kids are self-selecting. For social reasons they’re not even trying.” 

Where are the parents here? How many kids have talents that are never utilized or never even realized because parents don’t make an effort to see what the kid is able to do in life?

What is wrong with people? Take some time with your damn kids beyond sports and just hanging out.

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

What Is The Bradley Effect? Who Was Bradley?

The so-called “Bradley Effect” is a topic of conversation and, for Democrats, concern in the 2008 campaign.

What is the Bradley effect? Who was Bradley?

The Bradley effect is the idea that persons contacted by pollsters lie about support for a black candidate for public office. They tell the pollster they support a black candidate because they don’t wish to be seen as racist. But when they go to vote, they vote for the white candidate in the race instead of the black person they had told the pollster they favored.

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact Of The Day.

A recent Associated Press story suggests that Senator Obama will have to have a lead in the polls of at least six points to overcome this factor on Election Day. This idea is disputed by a leading analyst of poll data. This New York Times article discusses the issue.

The term Bradley effect comes from the 1982 election for Governor of California. Los Angles Mayor Tom Bradley ( photo above), a black man, was leading in the polls over California Attorney General George Deukmejian. Mr. Bradley was a Democrat and Mr. Deukmejian a Republican.

Despite Mr. Bradley’s lead in the polls, Mr. Deukmejian won the election by a small margin.

From the New York Times 1998 obituary of Mayor Bradley

“Tom Bradley, the sharecropper’s son who became Mayor of Los Angeles and presided over the city for two decades of explosive growth and change, died yesterday..He was 80. Mr. Bradley was Mayor from 1973 to 1993, an era in which Los Angeles was transformed from a collection of suburban neighborhoods to what Mr. Bradley liked to call a ”world-class city,” a place with glittering skyscrapers, a striking new skyline and a vibrant downtown…. His election as the first black Mayor of Los Angeles, which was then the nation’s third largest city and largely white, reflected a significant change in local politics in the United States. For most of that time, Mr. Bradley was an immensely popular figure whose stately bearing and placid demeanor seemed to reassure his increasingly polyglot city….Soft-spoken and self-effacing, Mr. Bradley shunned some of the perquisites that his stature and office might have brought him. Calling it a foolish waste of money, he refused to use a cellular telephone that was installed in his car, a former aide recalled. Still, Mr. Bradley learned to move as easily in the society of the fabulously wealthy as he did in the world of the poor and disadvantaged from which he had come.”

Is the Bradley effect for real? Have we moved ahead in the 26 years since 1982? Will a kind of reverse Bradley effect take place this year where Senator Obama actually gains votes because he is black?

Nobody knows.

( Please click here for information about black governors in the United States)

(Please click here to read about black U.S. Senators.)

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aurore Press To Release Jockey Club Book—Old Punk Rockers To Have Reunion Concert

 

Cincinnati’s Aurore Press will soon be releasing Stories For Shorty: A Collection Of Recollections From The Jockey Club 1982-1988. 

If you were lucky, you spent some time at Newport, Kentucky’s Jockey Club in the years mentioned above. 

The picture above from inside the Jockey Club above captures the essence of the place well.

Stories From Shorty will feature remembrances from Jockey Club patrons and performers. I think the book will be the publishing sensation of the fall.

Also, a Jockey Club reunion concert will be held Saturday night November 22 at Newport’s Southgate House. The doors open at 8. November 22 is the day of the release of the Jockey Club book.

Local giants such as The Thangs, SS-20, The Reduced and BPA will be just part of the musical lineup for the reunion show.  

Stories For Shorty will be released earlier in the day on November 22 at Shake It Records in Cincinnati. This event will take place at 5 PM at Shake It.      

I’m glad to report that I’ll be at the Southgate House for the show. I hope to see you there.

( Please click here for my greatest punk rock moments.)

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Books, Cincinnati, Music | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment