Texas Liberal

All People Matter

You’ve Got To Have An Awareness Of The Parts To Grasp The Whole

As I’ve said before, you’ve got to have an awareness of the parts to understand the whole.

Abobe you see a picture I recently took of some parts that will soon be part of a larger whole.

Things just don’t appear from thin air. They exist for a reason. They exist because they were made. They exist as a result of the things that made them.

When you are trying to understand something, whether it be a machine or some fact of our society, try to see the parts that make the whole.

Doing so will help you understand what is taking place.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Rick Molina Working Hard To Represent The People Of Pasadena In Austin

Rick Molina is running very hard to win in Texas State House District 144.

This district represents the hard-working people of Pasadena, Texas. Pasadena is the second largest city in Harris County.

From Mr. Molina’s campaign web home

“From an early age, his parents taught him the value of hard work, persistence, and community service. His family wasn’t wealthy but they knew that a good education was the key to success. As the first person in his family to go to college, Rick attended nearby Rice University and the University of Houston Law School, all while working part-time to pay his own tuition and volunteering as a student mentor. Unfortunately, today’s skyrocketing tuition costs undermine not just our families but our businesses that depend on a skilled workforce to keep our region economically competitive. Rick wants to make sure that our colleges aren’t off limits to middle class students. After college, Rick moved back home because he knew Pasadena had the right elements to raise a family of his own: quality of life, friendly people, and safe neighborhoods. Crime prevention is important in every community and Rick will use his experience as a former Harris County prosecutor to keep drugs, gangs, and violent criminals off our streets and focus on supporting our law enforcement officers.”

Mr. Molina’s opponent, incumbent Ken Legler has a very poor record on job creation and helping people who are put of work in these hard times.

Click here for some of the details on Mr. Legler’s record on outsourcing jobs abroad and opposing unemployment benefits.

Mr. Molina is hard-worker and a great believer in the American Dream. He’s the kind of effective representative in Austin that the people of Pasadena merit.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

314th Family District Judge John Phillips Does Not Seem Warm On The Idea Of Gay People Adopting Children–We Should Vote For His Opponent

Which candidate for Harris County family District Court does not like the idea of gay people adopting children?

According to Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey, it is Republican incumbent John Phillips who feels this way about our fellow citizens who would just like to help a child get by in the world.

From Mr. casey’s column–

Mayor Annise Parker didn’t need to be reminded of this story. After last spring’s primary, she endorsed Phillips’ opponent, Judge David Longoria. (Her only other endorsement is of State Rep. Ellen Cohen.)

“Parker headlined a fundraiser last July partly because of Longoria’s extensive credentials. Another factor was that when she adopted two teenagers five years ago (a heroic act, in my opinion) she was advised that Phillips, who had jurisdiction because he had terminated the parental rights in the case, has often expressed his disapproval of allowing gays to adopt. Parker’s attorney, Connie Moore, managed to get the case transferred to another court, much to the teenagers’ good fortune.”

Click the link to read the full column about Judge Phillips and how he conducts his office.

It is so bad that Houston Mayor Annise Parker endorsed Judge Phillip’s opponent. This is only one of two races this year in which the Mayor has taken an active stand.

Running against Judge Phillips for the 314th District Court is David Longoria.

Be sure to vote in all the races on our Harris County ballot. They all matter.

Houston blogger Charles Kuffner has interviews with all the Democrats running for Judge in Harris County.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chafee For Rhode Island Governor—He Offers Adult Solutions To Tough Problems

I have a number of home states. Regular readers know that I often write about Ohio as well as Texas.

(Above–The Rhode Island State House in Providence.)

In addition to these great states, I also lived in the Great State of Rhode Island between 1968 and 1980. So please allow me to offer up an endorsement in the Rhode Island Governor’s race.

Independent  Lincoln Chafee  is one of the few politicians this year, or in any year, offering an adult solution to a tough problem.

Mr. Chafee, a former Republican Senator for Rhode Island who was defeated in 2006, has said that tax increases are needed to address Rhode Island’s budget deficit.

This is such a break from the relentless anti-tax drumbeat in America that puts lowering taxes over the public good.

For those concerned that Mr. Chafee was a Republican, it should be noted  he was the only Republican to vote against the Iraq War and that he endorsed Barack Obama in 2008. Since he is running as an independent, elected Mr. Chaffee will not result in a Republican victory.

Here is the web home of the Chafee campaign.

In contrast to Mr. Chafee’s leadership ,  the Democrat in this race, Frank Caprio, has told President Obama to “shove it” for not endorsing him this race.

In tough times, honest and steady governance is needed.

Lincoln Chafee will provide such governance for the people of Rhode Island.

If people think that they can have good services without taxes, they are wrong.

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hank Gilbert For Texas Agriculture Commissioner–Why You Should Support Mr. Gilbert

(Blogger’s Note–This is post, with minor edits, that I ran before the Democratic primary last March. I supported Mr. Gilbert at that point I still support him today.)

I support Hank Gilbert for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.

(Above—A Texas Longhorn. The leading agricultural exports of Texas are live animals and red meat. Here are facts about Texas Longhorns.)

Here is the web home for Mr. Gilbert’s campaign.

Why do I support Mr. Gilbert?

Here is why—

1. Mr. Gilbert has extensive education and experience in agriculture. Here are some facts about Mr. Gilbert

“Hank earned his bachelors degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M, where he was the Student Council representative for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was also a recruiter for the Agricultural Education Department. Upon graduation, Hank was hired to teach high school agriculture in East Texas where he worked for 13 years. Since leaving the teaching profession, Hank has continued to work with agricultural youth, both as a volunteer 4-H leader in his community and with the local FFA chapter. In 2005, Hank created the East Texas Jr. Invitational Livestock Expo in Smith County, Texas. To date, this show has awarded over $75,000 in scholarships to its participants to support their educational pursuits.2. Mr. Gilbert is committed to making the Texas Department of Agriculture a friend of the small Texas farmer. He will be aggressive in promoting Texas  agriculture to ever wider markets and he will advocate for organic and sustainable farming methods in our state.” Continue reading

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Endorsements For The Great State Of Ohio—My Home For Many Years

While I live in Texas today, I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for 18 years. I left Ohio in 1998.

( Above–The flag of the great State of Ohio at Lake Erie. Photo taken by Matthew Trump.)

Since I still have a number of connections in Cincinnati, I’d like to offer up a brief slate of Ohio endorsements.

In the race for Governor, I encourage all to vote for incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland. Governor Strickland has moved up in the polls in recent days and appears to have a shot at winning. Governor Strickland will help President Obama carry Ohio again in 2012, and will make a big difference in redistricting Ohio’s many Congressional seats for the decade ahead. After so many years of a Republican Governor in Columbus, Mr. Strickland has restored priorities that benefit average Ohioans.

For the United States Senate from Ohio, I endorse Socialist Dan La Botz. The idea of a Socialist U.S. Senator is not as odd as it may seem. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a self-declared Socialist. His presence in the Senate has not caused the Republic to fall.

Mr. La Botz offers the hope of an alternative to the two major parties that will take the needs of working people into greater consideration. Many elected Democrats are decent people. But the role of big money in our politics has become such that an additional option merits a look.

There was a time when many Americans voted for Socialist candidates. The Socialist candidate for President in 1912, Eugene V. Debs, won 6% of the popular vote. The 1912 Socialist platform called for such things as a minimum wage and progressive income tax.  Sometimes it takes an outside voice  to call for what the people need most.

The Democrat in the U.S. Senate contest, Lee Fisher, appears to have little chance of winning. Make your vote count by sending a message that no matter how nasty our politics have become, you can still imagine a better future.

In Ohio’s First Congressional district, please consider voting for Democrat Steve Dreihaus. In sharp contrast to my Senate candidate, Mr. La Botz, Mr. Driehaus is a moderate to conservative figure.

We live in a nation of 310 million people that has only two major political parties. While the Republican Party has moved to the extreme right in almost all cases, Democrats still welcome many views.

Mr. Driehaus did the brave thing and supported President Obama’s Health Care Reform. Health Care Reform has already helped many Americans by stopping insurance companies from booting you off coverage because you get sick and by stopping the practice of lifetime limits on policies.  Mr. Driehaus should be rewarded for his vote with another term .

For the Hamilton County Commission, please vote for Jim Tarbell so that Democrats can retain control of the commission. It took Democrats so long to win the commission, it would be shame to lose it back.

Lastly, I encourage Ohio liberals and all Democrats to be certain to vote all the way down the ticket in the state legislative races.  The next legislative session will take up redistricting. It is important that Democrats have a major say in how the lines are drawn.

As a fellow Ohioan, I urge all Buckeyes to consider new options on the ballot and to please vote in a way that offer hope for our future instead of anger or resignation.

(Below–Picture I took last summer of Downtown Cincinnati. I’m glad to say that I still make it to Cincinnati twice a year.)

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Took Our U.S. Constitution, A Document Able To Meet The Demands Of The Present Day, Into the Voting Booth—TPA Round-Up

Here is the weekly round-up of the Texas Progressive Alliance. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.

With the round-up this week is a picture of me at my early voting place this past Saturday afternoon.

In the picture I’m holding my copy of the United States Constitution that I took into the voting booth. As I’ve written, I carry the Constitution with me at all times.

I do so in case I am harassed out of the blue on the public street by crazies denying that the commerce clause  permits Health Care Reform or that the Constitution  is some how a right-wing document that favors a conservative view of public policy.

We can’t allow angry small-minded folks to define our founding documents. The Constitution is a document fully able to meet the demands of the present day.

The round-up—

Off the Kuff has interviews with Linda Chavez-Thompson and Barbara Radnofsky.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks breathing benzenesulfur dioxide and other pollutants is bad. Why doesn’t the TCEQ agree?

The Texas Cloverleaf posts on Blog Action Day about clean water in the Barnett shale.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points our that there a still many unanswered questions regarding Gov. Perry and a special favor for a mega donor, The drip, drip, drip continues for Perry’s mega-donor problem. Continue reading

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ann Harris Bennett Makes Her Case For Harris County Clerk In 50 Words Or Less

Ann Harris Bennett is the Democratic nominee for Harris County Clerk.

Above you see a picture of Ms. Bennett.

Here is a description of the duties of the Harris County Clerk

  • Records documents related to real property transactions
  • Maintains an index and issues copies of all recorded documents
  • Maintains and issues copies of birth, death and marriage licenses
  • Issues marriage licenses
  • Files Assumed Name Certificates
  • Administers County and State Elections

I asked Ms. Bennett to say in 50 words or less why she should be elected to this office.

Here is what she said—

“I will make sure our elections are run fairly, run an office that is accountable, that will employ officials whose integrity is above reproach, whose policies are transparent, utilizing the best technology available to bring this office into the 21st Century. Please vote for Ann Harris Bennett for County Clerk.”

Here is Ms. Bennett’s campaign web home.

Ms. Bennett was endorsed by the Houston Chronicle.

While I would not be inclined to support a Republican in any case, Ms. Bennett’s Republican opponent  is a Tea Party extremist.

Our diverse, growing and hopeful county does not need the Tea Party. The outgoing Republican incumbent clerk has not endorsed the Republican in this race.

Please consider Ann Harris Bennett for Harris County Clerk.

October 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

The 2010 Texas Liberal General Election Endorsement Slate

Here is the Texas Liberal endorsement post for the 2010 general election.

(Above–The red is the City of Houston within Harris County, Texas.  In the upper right is Harris County in Texas.)

Where possible, I am voting the straight Democratic ticket.

In the case of the office of the State Comptroller, I am voting for Green candidate Edward Lindsay. There is no Democrat in this race. If the Green gets 5% in this race, then Greens get automatic ballot access in Texas in 2012. I want the option of Green Candidates on the ballot.  Texans merit a choice that will consistently advocate for social justice and fair play. Hopefully the Greens can grow into this role in cases where Democrats let voters down.

(Blogger’s Note —I voted for Mr. Lindsay in early voting. Since that time, Mr. Lindsay’s ability to hold the office has come into question. You’ll have to figure out for yourself  what course is best in this matter. It is a frustrating situation.)

I am  voting Yes on Houston Proposition 1 in favor of the job-creating Renew Houston. This issue will help address our flooding problems in Houston.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 2. This issue will help manage the Houston City Council redistricting process more fairly for incumbents not sure where their new district lines are drawn.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 3. A yes vote in on Issue 3 will help save lives on our already dangerous streets by keeping our red light cameras.

I’m not voting the Democratic ticket with a full measure of enthusiasm. I’ve lived in a city everyday of my 43 years. Democrats sometimes take advantage  of the loyal support of urban voters and offer little in return. It is really little different from how Republicans take the majority of rural votes in our nation, yet at the same time offer few solutions to the many problems of rural America.

While I do believe that former Houston Mayor Bill White will be a much better Governor than the incumbent, I’m disappointed that he has not put forth a vision that includes all Texans. We live in what is many ways a poor state. Yet the poor frequently seem shunned by the modern Democratic Party.

However, it should also be noted that the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor of Texas, Linda Chavez-Thompson, has offered a very inclusive view of who should share in the blessings of freedom and prosperity in our state.

In Harris County, Loren Jackson has done a great job modernizing and bringing new efficiencies to the office of Harris County District Clerk.

The entire Democratic slate for countywide offices is competent. And at least two of the Republicans running for countywide office are so-called Tea Party followers.

The Tea Party is not something we need in our Harris County.

In Texas Congressional District 7, located in the Houston-area, there is a write-in Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent. Her name is Lissa Squiers. The incumbent is not running unopposed.

I am not endorsing any Republicans. It is possible a case could be made for the reelection of Harris County Judge Executive Ed Emmett. Mr. Emmett is a reasonable voice who brings some moderation to the Republican Party in a way that likely benefits the County as a whole.

Top conservative blogger Dave Jennings at Big Jolly Politics, endorsed Democrat Jeff Weems to serve on the Texas Railroad Commission. Mr. Jennings did this despite the fact he is Tea Party mouthpiece.

I cannot in this political climate endorse a Republican. It is not enough that Mr. Emmett is not a kook. Silence in the face of extremism is very much a vice. The present day Republican/Tea Party talking points of drastically scaled back government and racial and ethnic intolerance simply have nothing of relevance to say to our growing and diverse county.  Mr. Emmett needs to speak up against the rising menace of Tea Party extremism.

I urge all to vote in the upcoming election. Please vote for all the offices right down to the last judicial and county race.

Here are some links to facts about the election—

Here is the Democratic Party of Texas.

Here is the Green Party of Texas. ( I note that this web page has no update newer than July 23. I really want to be supportive, but are these people serious or not?)

Here is the Harris County Democratic Party.

Blogger Charles Kuffner has interviewed scores of Democrats on the ballot. Listen to these interviews and hear the candidates for yourself.

For those of you who insist on considering the Republicans on the ballot, the League of Women Voters of the Houston area has all the facts.

Here are the endorsements of the Houston Chronicle.

If you have a candidate you think is worthy of mention here, please go ahead and leave a comment.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vote Yes On Renew Houston—Though If They Fix Flooding Like They Run A Campaign….

Renew Houston is Proposition 1 in Houston on the November ballot.

This initiative will levy a fee of property owners to address wastewater runoff issues in Houston and help curb flooding.

The issue is being pushed by engineers who will profit from the program.

Yet at the same time, flooding is a big deal in Houston. Many people in all parts of the city  would benefit from this concern being addressed.

I support Proposition 1 because I believe it will create jobs and manage flooding.

This is an issue you should spend some time pondering for yourself. It involves a lot of money over many years to possibly fix a big problem. It is an issue with both strong pros and cons. I personally feel the good outweighs the bad on this question. However, this is the type of concern that defies easy ideological characterization.

Here is the Renew Houston web home.

The Houston Chronicle supports Proposition 1.

My fellow blogger Charles Kuffner backs Issue 1.

Here is a Houston Chronicle article detailing the views of those who oppose the issue.

While I am for Proposition One, special note must be made of how poorly this campaign has been conducted by Renew Houston boosters.

Renew Houston has picked a needless and avoidable fight with the Houston Independent School Board.

Renew Houston has also engaged in an unnecessarily angry dispute with some black members of the Houston City Council.

If Renew Houston “fixes” flooding with the same skills they have shown in running a campaign, you see below what our streets in Houston would look like.

If they fix flooding like they run a campaign, we will all be underwater.

(Downtown Houston after Tropical Storm Allison in 2001.)

October 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t Recall The Last Time I Saw A Cigarette In An Ashtray

I was taking a walk a few days ago when I encountered  a cigarette in an ashtray.

This is something I used to see all the time.

But I as I looked at the ashtray you see in the picture I took above, I could not recall when I had last seen a cigarette in an ashtray.

I guess that is for the good.

Who misses scenes such as the one you see below? (Photo taken by Stefan-XP)

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

It Is About Who Votes

I don’t like to talk about polls, but I will do so in this case.

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll points to Republican gains next month.

As things stand now, Republicans are more inclined to go to the polls. It is the people who vote who will decide what happens.

However, there is also this in the poll—

President Barack Obama’s numbers have improved slightly. His job-approval rating among registered voters stands at 47 percent, up one point from last month and three points from August….that rating is better than George W. Bush’s 38 percent in October 2006 (before Republicans lost control of Congress) and Bill Clinton’s 46 percent in October 1994 (before Democrats lost power).

There is also this-

“In the survey, 50 percent of likely voters say they prefer a Republican-controlled Congress, versus 43 percent who want Democrats in charge. Last month, Republicans held a 46 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters on this question. The GOP’s current seven-point lead, McInturff observes, is on pace — historically — to result in a shift of power in Congress. “The Democrats, with two weeks left, are facing very, very difficult arithmetic.” Yet among the wider universe of registered voters, Democrats hold a two-point edge, 46 to 44 percent, which is up from the 44 percent to 44 percent tie in September.”

I’m not trying to paint a phony picture of what is going to happen in the upcoming election. I expect Republican gains.

I’ll just say that for all the alleged anger and for as bad as the economy has been since Mr Obama took office, many folks continue to support Democrats.

As rough as the next two weeks may be—though there is still plenty to be hopeful about—2012 will be hard-fought election with a wider turnout. There is no reason to despair.

Or maybe what I should say is that there is no reason to despair except for the people who vote Democratic who are instead not voting.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Many Who Opposed Stimulus Now Seek Stimulus Funds

Many politicians who voted against President Obama’s helpful stimulus program have requested stimulus funds for the people they represent.

From the Washington Post

“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.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Loren Jackson Makes His Case For Harris County District Clerk In 50 Words Or Less

Loren Jackson is running for reelection to the position of Harris County District Clerk.

(Above–Mr. Jackson with moon walking astronaut Eugene Cernan.)

Here is the official web page of the District Clerk so you can study what this office does for the people of Harris County.

Here is how the Houston Chronicle describes the office—

“The duties of this office include summoning jurors for the district and county criminal courts, maintaining court records, preparing daily court dockets and receiving child support payments.”

I asked District Clerk Jackson to, in 50 words or less, tell the people of Harris County why he should be returned to office.

Mr. Jackson quoted from the Chronicle editorial backing his effort—

“In the race for Harris County District Clerk – the most important yet least known office in the Justice system – “the choice is clear. Democratic Incumbent Loren Jackson has done an excellent job.” ~ Houston Chronicle”

Here is the Chronicle’s full endorsement of Mr. Jackson.

Here is Mr. Jackson’s campaign web home.

Please consider voting for Loren Jackson for the office of Harris County District Clerk.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Please Stop Interviewing Managers In Dugout While They Are Working

I wish  the various television networks broadcasting the baseball playoff games would stop interviewing the managers in the dugout while the game is taking place.

Above you see Texas Ranger manager Ron Washington being interviewed recently while his team was playing in the postseason.

These people are working and these games are not exhibitions.

I think all interviews with managers and coaches while the game is taking place are a bad idea.

Let these people work and leave them alone to think stuff out.

Okay—I’ve covered this subject that has been annoying me for a long time.

That I can vent on these minor matters is a good thing about having a blog.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments