Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Sending Signals

I just read about the Tobacco Hornworm Caterpillar (above) in New Scientist Magazine.

When the caterpillar eats a tobacco leaf, the leaf releases molecules that attract a predator of the caterpillar.

This is just like how when folks who support the Tea Party and the Republican Party bash government, immigrants, and Muslims, a signal is sent out to the rich to come and prey on all of us.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Hippo, Giraffe, And Pumpkin Read Snow By Orhan Pamuk

Hippo, Giraffe, and Pumpkin are reading the novel Snow by the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk.

Hippo, Giraffe, and Pumpkin read many novels as they seek insight into the human condition.

If you were Hippo, Giraffe or Pumpkin, wouldn’t you want to understand just why people do the things they do?

Pumpkin wants to know what can be done to prevent Halloween.

However, Snow is not about Halloween. It is about tensions between Islam and the West, and about the universal concern people have for how they are viewed by others.

Here is a review of Snow from The New Yorker.

Mr. Pamuk has won the Nobel Prize for literature. Here is Mr. Pamuk’s web home.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Kristi Thibaut Set To Win Again In Texas House District 133—Brilliant Harvard Gov. Graduate & Annie’s List Provide Top Analysis For Texas Liberal Readers

(Blogger’s Note–Brilliant Harvard Kennedy School of Government  graduate and Burnt Orange Report blogger Phillip Martin has teamed up with Annie’s List to compile a number of profiles of competitive Texas State House of Representatives races in 2010.  Republicans control the Texas House by only a 76-74 margin. Phillip has been nice enough to offer up these legislative  race profiles for Texas Liberal readers. Here at Texas Liberal, I never shy from giving my readership the best in political blogging. My commitment to this type of quality is only enhanced when somebody else is doing the work and all I have to do is cut and paste onto the blog.

The first electoral profile I’m running is of Texas House district 133 which covers portions of Houston and the Houston area. In this district, incumbent Democrat Kristi Thibaut will be winning a second term over a Republican challenger.

While I have no words to add to these posts beyond a brief introduction, I will be adding pictures. Above you see a woman waiting at a train station in Alief back in 1902. A person waiting for a train is metaphoric of the fact that so many of us are waiting for the train of hope, the train of common sense, and train of prosperity to pick us up from the station of despair represented by years of Republican control of Texas. Sadly, this train is long overdue. I’m not suggesting that Alief is the station of despair. It’s just a metaphor and you don’t have to be so literal.  A book you can read to learn about the railroad history of Houston is Rails Around Houston by Douglas Weiskopf.)

Here is the first profile—

Candidate PagesRep. Kristi Thibaut website, on Facebook, on Twitter
Candidate Pages: Jim Murphy website, on Facebook, on Twitter

District Overview: The Numbers, The Issues, and the Candidates

District 133 is situated in the west side of Houston, outside the 610 Loop. The district has two distinct communities. The southern half is centered in the Alief area, with significant Latino, African-American, and Vietnamese populations. The northern half contains the wealthier, Anglo Memorial community. A majority minority district, Rep. Thibaut and Jim Murphy have been battling back and forth to represent it since 2006, when Murphy won against Thibaut. In 2008, Thibaut claimed victory by just 497 votes. This decidedly middle-of-the-road district split 51.9% for Obama in 2008 and many analysts say it has a small “undecided” swing voter population, meaning elections often rely on who can get the most voters to the polls.

In the Legislature, Rep. Thibaut  has proven herself as one of the most effective and aggressive members of the Texas House. She was named ‘Freshman of the Year’ by her peers in the House Democratic Caucus and served in key roles on two conference committees that tackled foreclosure rules for struggling homeowners and university entrance requirements. Meanwhile, Jim Murphy has moved farther to the right in what appears to be an attempt to sweep up surge voters in an tough year for Democrats, but a fire destroying all the Harris County voting machines has brought attention to the election, and that, coupled with Bill White’s popularity in the county should spin turnout for both sides.

Why Rep. Kristi Thibaut Will Return Next Year

Rep. Kristi Thibaut has a strong record in her first term in the legislature going into Round Three with Murphy, and she knows her opponent. She has the mixed blessing of incumbency, a great team, and a strong field plan. She has used the office to help her district in concrete ways, including hosting job fairs, school supply drives, a Veterans Benefits District Fair and more. Rep. Thibaut is running an aggressive grassroots voter contact program and we should look for a healthy amount of advertising on cable TV as well.  A Harris County district, where Bill White took more than 85% of the vote for mayor – twice – Thibaut could also be helped out by turnout for the governor’s race. This race will be a close one to watch all the way until Election Day, as — along with Rep. Diana Maldonado in HD 52 — Thibaut is one of the top targets for Republicans this November.

June 30 Campaign Finance Report:

HD 133: Thibaut vs. Murphy Contributions
Cash on Hand
Rep. Kristi Thibaut (D)
$116,363 $48,002 $150,012
Jim Murphy (R)
Thibaut’s Advantage
$4,611 $25,097

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment