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Houston Mayor Annise Parker Offers City Budget Democrats Would Blast If She Were A Republican—Working People And The Poor Take The Biggest Hits

Republican Governor Rick Perry and the Republican-dominated  Texas legislature are moving towards passage of a state budget that will severely cut needed state services such as education and health care.

Democrats and all forward-looking Texans have rightfully condemned this budget.

Here in Houston, Democratic Mayor Annise Parker and the Democratic-majority are moving towards passage of a city budget that lays off more than 700 city workers, cuts library hours, and closes some city pools and community centers.

(Above–Houston. Picture by Yassie.)

In this economy, these former city workers may now go for many months–if not longer–without a good job. How many public resources will they use collecting unemployment or visiting the emergency room after their benefits run out?

In the 2010 elections, Governor Perry was soundly reelected and Texas voters chose huge Republican legislative majorities

As hard-hearted and shortsighted as the political majority may be in Texas, our state government officials can at least claim that people got what they voted for.

In Houston, city voters supported Barack Obama with 61% of the vote in 2008. Both final candidates in the Houston 2009 mayoral runoff vote were Democrats. City voters elected a majority Democratic City Council in 2009.

Yet we have a budget in Houston that appears to reflect many of the same values we find in our state budget.

If a Republican Mayor and council had proposed this budget, they would be criticized by the same people now attacking Governor Perry and the legislature.

Democrats and progressives have a right and a duty to ask more of Mayor Parker.

Tax increases should have at least been on the table.

If we are going to ask Rick Perry and Republicans in control of state government to find more revenue to meet the legitimate needs of Texans, we should ask the same of Annise Parker and our Houston City Council.

It appears that working people and the poor are the ones taking the cuts in this budget.

Where are the Democrats and the progressives asking hard questions about if the budget could have been structured in some other way?

Why do we give any benefit of the doubt to a Mayor who attends Republican fundraisers, portrays herself as a “fiscal conservative”, and who has now offered a budget that is balanced on the backs of those least able to take the hit?

Where is the confidence in our beliefs as Democrats and progressives when we consider Mayor Parker?

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Houston-Galveston 2011 Memorial Day Events—Memorial Day History And Links

(Blogger’s Note–5/21/12—Here are Houston area events for Memorial Day 2012.)

Memorial Day, 2011 is May 30.

Freedom-loving citizens in the Houston and Galveston area will attending Memorial Day events in the days ahead.

For all of you good folks who wrongly feel that liberals do not care about our troops, please recall that you are getting this information at a blog called Texas Liberal.

A big Memorial Day event in Houston each year is the ceremony at the Houston National Cemetery.

(Above–Houston National Cemetery. Picture by Postoak.)

Here are some details on the 2011 event—

“This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce that retired Air Force Colonel Ann M. Testa, current federal security director, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, will give the Memorial Day address at Houston National Cemetery… Testa served in the United States Air Force for over 27 years retiring as a Colonel in 2001.  In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from MIT, she received a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Management from the State University of New York. In addition to Testa’s remarks, the event will feature a parade of colors and wreaths by numerous local veterans’ organizations, ROTC units, and Boy and Girl Scout troops. All Boy and Girl Scout organizations in southeast Texas are invited to attend. There will also be many symbolic highlights including a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard; a performance of Taps; a cannon salute; a riderless horse procession by the Houston Police Mounted Patrol; Amazing Grace performed by Ian Martin; and a rifle salute by the VFW District #4 Ceremonial Detail accompanied by Co. A 13th U.S. Regular Infantry with muskets. Peggy Slay, president of the Houston Gold Star Mothers will lead the pledge of allegiance…”

Here are some details about parking at this event—

Park FREE at the North Shepherd Park & Ride, 7821 North Shepherd at Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston 77088, for a convenient connection to the 108 Veterans Memorial METRO bus.  The route will run from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. (fares apply) on a 20 minute frequency.  Additional transportation will be provided at the gate of the cemetery to the event for elderly and disabled.

Here is the web page of the Houston National Cemetery.

Houston Veterans for Peace will be planting U.S. and Texas flags in honor of Texans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan at Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston. Civilian deaths will also be noted in this observance. This event will run from Saturday 5/28 through Memorial Day.

While I wish it were otherwise, there is no Memorial Day Parade in Houston.

Here are some specfics about a Memorial Day event at Seawolf Park in Galveston–

“The Memorial Day Service held at Seawolf Park is the 10th annual such service and begins at 11 am on Monday.  The service is open to the public and we invite all to come and be part of this remembrance….  This service features a speaker from each branch of the service who remembers their lost.  We also conduct a tolling of the Boats for all the submariners lost in WWII who have no graves.  If their operational activities permit, a USCG helicopter will hover over the harbor outside of Seawolf Park and place a wreath in the water for those lost at sea who have no grave. The submarine USS Cavalla at Seawolf park is a WWII veteran and responsible for sinking the Japanese carrier Shokaku which had attacked Pearl Harbor. “

The Galveston County Daily News has a list of other Memorial Day events for Sunday and Memorial Day in Galveston County.

If you are aware of any other events in the Houston-Galveston area, please post a comment.

Below is a history of Memorial Day and a number of links about subjects related to Memorial Day—- Continue reading

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Republican U.S. House Leader Says Joplin, Missouri Tornado Help Contingent On Other Budget Cuts—122 Counted Dead So Far

Republican U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia says that any federal assistance for the Joplin, Missouri tornadoes will have to be offset by others cuts in the federal budget.

(Update 5/26/11—As the death toll rises Republicans running the U.S. House are continuing to debate if tornado help should be tied to other spending cuts.)    

(Above—Picture of Joplin damage as taken by macahanC6R.)  

From the Washington Times

“House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else. If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.” 

The death toll from the Joplin tornadoes is currently listed at 122. 

President Obama has promised the full help of the federal government. 

Do you think that Mr. Cantor and the current hard-right Republican Party would help hard-working Americans when times are rough?

Are these the people you want in power when you need the Medicare and the Social Security that you have worked to earn?

Mr. Cantor and his fellow Republicans in Congress blocked the end of the Bush Tax Cuts on people earning more than $250,000.

In the end, people are just going to have to decide what kind of country we are going to have.

You can assist tornado victims by donating to the Red Cross.

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment