Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Rick Santorum And Hillary Clinton Are Of One Mind—Super Tuesday Update From Ohio

Rick Santorum sided with Hillary Clinton to allow convicted felons to vote. The TV ad shown in this post is proof. Why else would would Hillary Clinton be shown with Rick Santorum if the two had not once had an affair?

Or at least voted the same way on many issues when both were in the Senate.

I saw many ads today for the Ohio presidential primary on Super Tuesday. ( I’m in Cincinnati at the moment.) A number of the ads were paid for with Super Pac money, as part of the great free speech victory of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

The picture is somewhat tilted because I was shocked by what I was learning. I was jolted. I’d thought Rick Santorum was a real conservative.

According to the ads I saw today, it is in fact Mitt Romney who is the true conservative.

I’ll keep Texas Liberal readers up to date in the days ahead from the Stupid Tuesday campaign here in Ohio.

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama Will Not Meet With Dalai Lama—Martin Luther King Wrote Why We Can’t Wait

President Barack Obama will not be meeting with the Dalai Lama as he visits Washington this week.

This is the first time in 18 years that a sitting President will not meet with the Dalai Lama during a U.S visit by the Tibetan leader.    

President Obama will be ing China next month. It seems that not wanting to offend China is more important than human rights. 

Regretfully, this action by our President is consistent with the pattern already set by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did meet with the Dalai Lama on his visit. The Dalai Lama spoke of the need for the United States to address the gap between the rich and poor in the world.  

Here is how President Obama’s decision has been reported in the Times of India.

It is hard to see in this respect how President Obama is improving our image abroad.

Martin Luther King wrote the book Why We Can’t Wait. 

It seems that President Obama can wait a long time for the Chinese government to give greater freedom to over one billion Chinese citizens.

(Please click here for the best Martin Luther King reading list on the web.)

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Obama And Clinton Must Maintain Human Rights Pressure On China

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while on a tour of Asia,  has said that human rights issues in China should not interfere with areas of possible cooperation with China. Secretary Clinton mentioned climate change and the global economic downturn as other issues in U.S.–China relations.

As important as these issues are, how can the freedom of over a billion people not be at the top of the Obama-Clinton agenda for our China policy? 

Here is what Amnesty International says about Mrs. Clinton’s remarks–

“T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA advocacy director for Asia and the Pacific, made the following statement in response to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments to reporters that human rights will not be at the top of her agenda in her first visit to China”

“Amnesty International is shocked and extremely disappointed by U.S. Secretary Clinton’s comments that human rights will not be a priority in her diplomatic engagement with China.

“The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues. But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future U.S. initiatives to protect those rights in China.

“The Chinese people face a dire situation. Crackdowns on Tibetans, Uighurs and religious groups such as the Falun Gong are widespread, resulting in thousands of political prisoners–some of whom have been executed. Half a million people are currently in labor camps. Women face forced abortion and sterilization as part of China’s enforcement of its one-child policy.

“It’s not too late for Secretary Clinton to do the right thing for the Chinese people. Amnesty International urges Secretary Clinton to repair the damage caused by her statement and publicly declare that human rights are central to U.S.-China relations before she leaves Beijing.”

I agree with Amnesty’s view of this question. I hope that President Obama and Secretary Clinton will reflect further on this concern and choose a more just and decent path. 

Here is the web home of Amnesty International USA.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama | , , , , | 4 Comments

If Mr. Obama & Mrs. Clinton Can Make Up, Who In Our Lives Can We Move Ahead With?

It appears that President-elect Barack Obama is going to select Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Without forgetting that political relationships are about using people, there is a lot to be said for moving ahead after a hard fight and hard feelings.

Given this reconciliation between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton , it is a good time to think about who in our lives we can move ahead with, past bad times, to a better relationship.

When we are in our graves, how will our anger and our grudges serve us?

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Relationships | , , , , | 11 Comments

A Great Week For Progress, Freedom & Hope!

A Great Week For Progress, Freedom & Hope!

These important moments came on the anniversary of The March on Washington, and the anniversary of ratification of a woman’s right to vote.

We’re ready to move forward now to even greater victories for all Americans.       

Martin Luther King

Barack Obama

 Susan B. Anthony

Hillary Clinton

Senator Hillary Clinton smiles on stage at the 2008 Democratic ...

August 29, 2008 Posted by | History, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If Democrats Can’t Unify After 8 Years Of Bush, Then They Do Not Deserve To Govern

Senator Hillary Clinton made her convention speech yesterday. Many say it was a very strong speech. Maybe they are right. It was very gracious at many points. 

For my very small part in this process, I never supported Senator Clinton. But I made clear as long ago as last October that I would support her strongly if she were the nominee.

All I can say this morning is that if Democrats can’t unify after 8 years of George Bush and threat of four more wasted years under John McCain, then they do not deserve to govern. This is the election year we have and this is the chance we have to move forward in this country.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 5 Comments

As Ford Did Not Offer VP Spot To Reagan in ’76, Obama Had No Obligation To Any Defeated Candidate

Taken as a general matter, since the current primary-heavy process of selecting nominees began in 1972, victorious Presidential nominees have not selected their nearest rival in contested nomination fights as the Vice Presidential nominee. 

Only twice in contested nomination battles beginning with 1972 has the Vice Presidential nominee been the second place finisher in total primary votes. The Democratic ticket in 2004 and the Republican slate in 1980 are the two.

The 2008 Democratic race was the closest in vote totals, but the ideological fight for the Republican nomination in 1976 (Convention photo above) may have been the more intense struggle.  

In 2008, Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York each won just over 48% of the popular vote in the primaries with Mr. Obama winning a few more votes than Mrs. Clinton. For Republicans, John McCain of Arizona took around 45% of the total with Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas each in the low 20’s.  

In going with Joe Biden of Delaware, Senator Obama has made his call. Senator McCain will do the same next week.

Here is some history on this matter—

John Kerry of Massachusetts won 61% of Democratic primary voters in 2004. His closest competitor, John Edwards of North Carolina, won 19% of all such voters and got a spot on the ticket. 

In 2000 Al Gore of Tennessee (76% of Democratic primary voters) did not pick Bill Bradley of New Jersey (20%). Nor did George W. Bush of Texas (63% of Republican primary voters) select Mr. McCain (30%). 

In 1996, Bob Dole of Kansas (61%) left Pat Buchanan of Virginia (24%) off the ticket.

In 1992, Bill Clinton  of Arkansas (52%) selected neither Jerry Brown of California (20%) or Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts (18%).

In 1988, George H.W. Bush  of Texas (68%) did not make Mr. Dole (19%) his running mate. Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts (43%) did not offer the spot to Jesse Jackson of Illinois (29%).

The 1984 Democratic race was hard fought. Still Walter Mondale of Minnesota (38%) denied Gary Hart of Colorado (36%) a place on the ticket. This was a race almost as close as 2008.

In 1980, incumbent Vice President Mondale stayed on the slate after President Jimmy Carter of Georgia (51%) beat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts (37%) for the nomination.

In the 1980 Republican race, the second place finisher did get the second spot. Ronald Reagan of California (61%) picked Mr. Bush (23%) as his number two.  

In 1976, Mr. Carter (39%) did not offer the job to Mr. Brown (15%), George Wallace of Alabama (12%) or Morris Udall of Arizona (10%),

In the fiercely fought Republican race in 1976 , President Gerald Ford of Michigan (53%) did not offer the Vice Presidency to Mr. Reagan (46%). Senator Dole was President Ford’s choice.

1972 was the last time the nominee was not the top vote getter in the primaries. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota won 26% of the vote against 25% for George McGovern of South Dakota and 24% for George Wallace. The nominee, Mr. McGovern did not offer the VP spot to either gentleman.

( Governor George Wallace stands in the schoolhouse door blocking integration in Alabama. Neither George McGovern or Jimmy Carter thought it best to run with Mr. Wallace in a Presidential election.)

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hillary Clinton And Supporters Have Earned Convention Spot

Hillary Clinton and her delegates and supporters have earned the right to be heard at the Democratic National Convention in Denver later this month.  

All the votes should be counted.  

We hear about party unity and that is very important. But folks are not simply going to forget that just a few months ago there was a tough nomination fight. Senator Clinton won many Democratic votes and her followers worked hard. This work has earned a spot in Denver.

Let’s follow the open and correct path. Let people have their day and take it on faith that they will focus on Mrs. Clinton’s virtues, and not on what some may feel are failings of Mr. Obama.

Let’s put the nomination battle behind us by recognizing the importance and accomplishments of everyone who wants to see a Democrat in the White House next year.

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

If Bill Clinton Can Be Forgiven For Years Of Adultery And Harassment, Can’t Obama Be Forgiven For Other People’s Sexism?

I read another story yesterday about Hillary Clinton supporters reluctant to support Barack Obama.

It was a Wall Street Journal article about some leading Clinton fundraisers. There is a group of big money Clinton supporters called “Hillraisers” deciding what step to take next.  

Many are still mad about harsh remarks made about Senator Clinton that appeared in the media. From the article —

“The Clinton holdouts are typically most angry about what they say was the media’s sexist treatment of Sen. Clinton during the campaign. And though few, if any, blame Sen. Obama directly, they fault the Illinois senator and other party leaders for what they say was failing to do enough to stop it.

Susie Tompkins Buell, a Hillraiser from San Francisco, said, “What really hurt women the most was to look back and see all this gender bias.” Ms. Buell said she hasn’t decided whether to vote for Sen. Obama and plans to skip the August Democratic convention.”

If Senator Clinton’s people feel they can’t vote for Senator Obama, then that is what they need to do.  

Supporters of Senator Clinton can decide for themselves if anything we saw in the Kentucky and West Virginia primaries had to with reluctance to have a black President.   

Folks need to follow what course they feel is best.

My course will be to support Barack Obama, and be glad I lived to see the day a black person became President of the United States.

Senator Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, has a lifetime record of shameful conduct with women. Yet he had the support of women’s groups as President. Backers of Senator Clinton’s White House effort did not renounce President Clinton’s support for her in the recent campaign.  

It’s not hard to imagine that if President Clinton had been able to restrain himself with Monica Lewinsky, Al Gore would have picked up the few extra votes needed to have kept the 2000 election away from the Supreme Court. 

If Senator Obama has committed some greater offense in people’s minds, they should not vote for him in November. That’s a call for each person to make on their own.

July 8, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’ll Vote For Obama If He Pays Off My Hotel Bill

I read today about Hillary Clinton asking Barack Obama to help pay off her campaign debt.

One article I read said Senator Clinton would not be able to campaign fully for Senator Obama if she had to raise money on her own to pay off the debt.

I think Senator Clinton is on to something here. I’m staying at a hotel in suburban Boston this week. I’ll vote for Senator Obama if he pays off my hotel bill.

If he refuses to pay?

Well—Then I just might be very busy on Election Day and not be able to make it to the polls.

Why should I pay pay my own bills if I can bully someone else to do so?

June 27, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Texas Notes—Clinton Robbed Of Texas Win, Lottery Sales Decline & Galveston Tax Break Racket

Here are some Texas notes & thoughts about events in the news—

State Democratic Party Convention.  

Party Chairman Boyd Richie won reelection to another term as Chair. I once saw Mr. Richie speak in Houston. He barely mentioned online activism.

Maybe Mr. Richie sees that a goal of some portion of blogger activism is about joning the already existing mainstream two-party infrastructure of political job seeking and consulting gigs. Why talk about something you can take for granted and that fits seamlessly into the structure as already formed?   

You have your mainstream political bloggers and others less-connected. Folks can easily co-exist as long as everybody is respected. It takes all kinds.

Texas blogger Perry Dorell at Brains & Eggs provided good coverage of the convention.

I have no idea if Mr. Richie is an effective chairman or not. Since he has been reelected, I hope he’s effective.  

The convention put off until 2010 any discussion of changing the so-called Texas two-step caucus system. This is a process that allows the allows the loser of the popular vote on primary day to gain more delegates than the winner. 

Some delegates are allocated by popular vote, and other delegates by a process that begins the night of the primary with caucuses at each of the voting precincts.  

In 2008, Hillary Clinton won the Texas primary, but won fewer Texas delegates than Barack Obama. The caucus system allows people not working at night and without childcare concerns to go and vote a second time. This can only favor more affluent and educated voters. 

Some say the caucuses get people together and strengthen the party. I say if folks are only getting together this one night, it is not much of a party.

In any case, the purpose of the primary is to see who the people want as the nominee—not a social outing.

Declining Texas Lottery Sales Hurt School Funding

Sales of lottery tickets are down 2% in Texas and this is hurting state-provided school funding.

Good. I hope lottery sales tank. Then maybe Texas will find a way to fund schools that does not exploit the desperation of poor people.

The lottery came to Texas when Democrats held power in Austin. The cancer of the lottery is just another token of appreciation for the never-ending years of minority support for Democratic candidates. 

One hopes when Democrats take power in Austin again, it will be a majority committed to all people in Texas and not beholden to Democrats who might as well be Republicans.

This will require strong minority turnout. Folks have to realize they’ll be left out if they don’t show up at the polls.  

Tax Break Racket In Galveston And Elsewhere In Texas

Here is a story that speaks for itself from the Galveston Daily News— 

Developers of residential and retail projects in special tax financing zones have sought at least $17 million in public money as reimbursement for improvements that are supposed to benefit the public.But there’s a blurry line between public improvement and private perk. Developers of affluent neighborhoods want reimbursement for building boccie ball and horseshoe courts, for hundreds of thousands of dollars in “administrative expenses,” for architectural fees and environmental mitigation that developers outside such zones pay for themselves. In some cases, it appears developers are seeking public funds to pay for pagers, cell phones, office overhead and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to lawyers and consultants, some charging $200 an hour.And developers have been reimbursed for work without providing standard documentation.

No one has been accused of doing anything improper. Such expenses are eligible for reimbursements under Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone agreements. The question, some elected officials say, is whether the reimbursements are appropriate. The issue isn’t isolated to the island. More than 70 such reinvestment zones are registered in Texas, and still more likely exist, officials say.

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | 9 Comments

I’m Drinking Soothing Tea And Reflecting On My Love For Senator Clinton

I’m going to drink some soothing tea today and find my way to loving everybody on the left and center-left side of the aisle for the election ahead.

Not any kind of narcotic tea. Just some nice soothing tea.

See my tea kettle below? It is brewing up the tea.

My love includes Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

Yesterday I wrote I was opposed to Senator Clinton being selected as the running mate.

But you know–when I sit here and reflect on the miracle of a person of color standing so close to winning the White House, I find I have no animosity.  

I’m for whatever the program is that wins the election.

This is the only path. It’s the course that forces on everyone, the discipline and humanity needed to win the election and make our nation better. 

Even the most violent volcano subsides in time.

Look at the picture below of Vesuvius and Naples today.

See the harmony and excellence you get once the tumult is over.

I once had the chance to visit Naples. My family came from Naples 100 years ago, so being in Naples was like a visit to the homeland.

Finding reconcilation and love is our homeland in this election.  

Below you see a picture of some tea leaves.

I’m reading these leaves and seeing a much better day ahead.

Let’s start now to make these better days.


June 4, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Senator Clinton’s VP Talk Seems Misguided

Please click here to see my updated thinking on this issue.

I said many months ago that if Hillary Clinton were the nominee of the Democratic Party, I would vote for her.

I said I would even though the Clintons are somewhat centrist for my views, and even though I still resent the loss of Congress in 1994.

Just what could these people do to make up for the damage of 12 years of Republican control of Congress?

And it’s all still true—I’m still not a fan of Hillary Clinton, and I would still vote for her if she were the nominee.  

The bottom line is winning the election.

Now that it seems very likely she has lost the nomination fight, Senator Clinton is saying she would accept the Vice Presidential nomination.

You know what—I’ll accept it as well if offered.

The thing is the nominee makes this call.

Supporters of Senator Clinton are good people and I have no fight with them. The time is long overdue for a woman President. I’m sorry that many good people are so disappointed in the outcome of this race.

However, I’ve found comments by Senator Clinton about hard working white Americans and about Robert Kennedy’s killing somewhat difficult to accept.

If Senator Obama picks Senator Clinton, I will be on board. I hope though he chooses another path.  

Below is former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller of New York. ( The link to the U.S. Senate essay series on Vice Presidents is very good.)  Mr. Rockefeller was the last New Yorker to serve as Vice President. His term in office was 1974-1977.


June 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Political Parties Take Advantage Of All Core Voters

Many white Democratic women are feeling shut-out by a Democratic Party now rallying around Barack Obama.

That is what I am reading.

It makes sense that someone, man or woman, waiting a long time in life for a woman President, would be upset by Senator Hillary Clinton’s apparent loss in the nomination fight.

Someone waiting a long time for a Black President might feel the same way. 

Some of these women—It’s not clear how many–say that they just won’t line up and support the Democratic nominee. They say that women—white women in this case—have been an important group for Democrats at the polls and this fact should be recognized.    

Okay. Folks have that right to vote for John McCain.

But political parties “use” core constituencies all the time.

They use them in two ways. One way as a natural result of the pluralism in American society, and in one way less benign.  

When you have two major political parties for 300 million people, the fact is that some people are going to be left out for the top spots in any given election cycle.  And policy choices are going to made by governing majorities in legislative chambers that reward some core groups of political supporters more than others. 

To some extent, this is the way it has to work.

Less benign, is the expectation that reliable voters will vote for a party no matter what.

I’ve said a number of times in this blog that as a lifelong city dweller, I have, like the majority of others in the two cities I’ve lived in as an adult, always voted for Democrats at the local level. I’ve often not seen very much in return. 

In honesty, if I ever see a viable option at the polls at the municipal level, I might take that option.

What have Black voters gained over the last 20 or 30 years from 90% support for the Democratic Party? 

Has the Republican Party delivered for rural voters and Evangelicals? I bet many would tell you they have been used as well.  

I believe in political parties. They provide voters with a shorthand to navigate a very complex set of issues in our very big and complex country. 

Political races are, in my view, about issues.

But it is also so that politics is an industry with office-holders, staffers, and campaign professionals who want to keep things as they are for their own benefit.

It’s up to voters and activists to change this fact.

For people on the left side of the aisle and upset about Senator Clinton’s apparent loss, this election is going to come down to either winning and moving ahead, or losing and wasting yet more years of our lives in a country not making progress.

People can decide what they want to do.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

Global Poor Keep Taking Hits—Clinton & Obama Silent About It As Always

The BBC reports that damage to the environment will harm living standards for the world’s poor

From the article–

Damage to forests, rivers, marine life and other aspects of nature could halve living standards for the world’s poor, a major report has concluded. Current rates of natural decline might reduce global GDP by about 7% by 2050.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) review is modelled on the Stern Review of climate change. It will be released at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Bonn, where 60 leaders have pledged to halt deforestation by 2020.

“You come up with answers like 6% or 8% of global GDP when you think about the benefits of intact ecosystems, for example in controlling water, controlling floods and droughts, the flow of nutrients from forest to field,” said the project’s leader Pavan Sukhdev.

“But then you realise that the major beneficiaries [of nature] are the billion and a half of the world’s poor; these natural systems account for as much as 40%-50% of what we define as the ‘GDP of the poor’,” he told BBC News.

In our interconnected world, issues such as this should be part of the political discussion.

Why have Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton been silent on the world food crisis that has impacted millions of people across the world?  

As a rich and powerful nation, we have obligations to others beyond our borders.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 2 Comments