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100th Birthday Of Hubert Humphrey

Today marks the 100th birthday of Hubert Humphrey.

Mr. Humphrey was a liberal champion of civil rights and full employment.

Mr. Humphrey was Vice President from 1965-1969 and the 1968 Democratic nominee for President.

From the Minnesota Historical Society about Mr. Humphrey’s time as Mayor of Minneapolis—

“In 1948, under his leadership, Minneapolis enacted the nation’s first municipal fair employment law. Buoyed, he went on to deliver a fiery speech at the 1948 Democratic national convention, an impassioned plea urging that a strong civil rights plank be included in the Democratic platform. Although the speech was not well received, Humphrey was instrumental in spurring the convention to add a civil rights plank to their platform.”

The Historical Society entry also has links to a number of reference sources about Vice President Humphrey.

The U.S. Senate website has good profiles of all the Vice Presidents.

From the Senate website about VP Humphrey—

As vice president during 1968—arguably the United States’ most politically turbulent post-World War II year—Hubert Humphrey faced an excruciating test of statesmanship. During a time of war in Southeast Asia when the stakes for this nation were great, Humphrey confronted an agonizing choice: whether to remain loyal to his president or to the dictates of his conscience. His failure to reconcile these powerful claims cost him the presidency. Yet few men, placed in his position, could have walked so agonizing a tightrope over so polarized a nation. Near the end of his long career, an Associated Press poll of one thousand congressional administrative assistants cited Hubert Humphrey as the most effective senator of the preceding fifty years. A biographer pronounced him “the premier lawmaker of his generation.” Widely recognized during his career as the leading progressive in American public life, the Minnesota senator was often ahead of public opinion—which eventually caught up with him. When it did, he was able to become one of Congress’ most constructive legislators and a “trail blazer for civil rights and social justice…”

Here is the full page of Vice Presidential profiles from the Senate.

Senator Humphrey was a liberal and an establishment politician. He took a risk that paid off with civil rights, while his failure to take an agressive stand one way or another on the Vietnam War would cost him later in his career.

Mr. Humphrey is worth taking some time to learn about. Learning about past political leaders offers insight not just on the times they impacted, but on the present day as well.

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Franken Beats Coleman—Link To Wellstone Action!

File:Palisade, Shovel Point (cropped).jpg

The Minnesota Supreme Court has confirmed what we already knew—By a 5-0 margin the Minnesota court has decided that Democrat Al Franken beat Republican Norm Coleman in last November’s Minnesota U.S. Senate race.

(Above–A nice Minnesota scene–A rock formation known as Palisade Head overlooking Lake Superior. )

Here is a story about the decision from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Here is Al Franken’s web home.

It is good that Mr. Franken has won back the seat once held by the great liberal Paul Wellstone. 

Senator Wellstone served in the Senate  from 1991 until his death in a plane crash just before the November 2002 election.   

After Senator Wellstone’s death, Wellstone Action! was established to, among other goals, help train a new generation of liberal and progressive activists and campaigners.

Here is the link to Wellstone Action.

I have made three donations to Wellstone Action. I’m overdue to make another contribution. Please review the Wellstone Action! link and see if you feel this group merits your support. 

Here is information on the life of Paul Wellstone.

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Senator Cornyn Silent On Hard Times For Texans, But Quite Vocal About Al Franken

Our terrible Texas Senator John Cornyn has very little to say about our current economic troubles, but he sure goes on a lot about the closely contested U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.

(Please click here to read the latest report on Senator-elect Al Franken’s ever expanding lead in the Minnesota count.)

Senator Cornyn has been all over making sure that the next U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, must face every possible obstructionist hurdle before he can take the seat he won at the ballot box last November. Senator Cornyn has said he will help filibuster any effort to seat Mr. Franken.

Yet on the portion of his U.S. Senate web home labeled “Jobs and The Economy“, Senator Cornyn has added only one update since October 27. The subject of that one update was the proposed auto bailout. Here is some of the wisdom the Senator offered on that issue—

The nation’s top automakers this week presented their proposals to the Democratic Congressional leadership on how they plan to turn around their businesses and get out of debt. I have yet to see the details of their proposals so I cannot comment on the merits…”

Where are the Senator’s viewpoints on what Texas needs from the upcoming stimulus package? Or his suggestions for job creation in these hard times? How many Texans have lost jobs since October 27 while Senator Cornyn is MIA on issues of substance? 

Above you see a picture of Senator-elect Franken. Those two Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders have no problem with the idea of Senator Franken. It is clear from the picture above that Mr. Franken is a friend of Texas. I think he may even be in love with Texas. (He was on a USO tour of Iraq in this photo.)

So what is Senator Cornyn’s problem?

One thing is that Senator Cornyn has plenty of time on his hands ignoring the needs of the hard-working Texans. Idle hands are indeed the Devil’s workshop.

In fact, Senator Cornyn is now getting involved in the Illinois Senate dispute as well. 

The other issue is that the Republican rump of 41 Senators has selected Mr. Cornyn as Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. 

If only Senator Cornyn worked as hard for all Texans as he does for his apparently more important constituency of the few remaining Republican Senators in Washington.

January 4, 2009 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cheerleaders, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Let’s Win It For Paul Wellstone

With the big day almost here, let’s not forget the great liberal Paul Wellstone.

Senator Wellstone of Minnesota died six years ago, but his deeds and ideas live on. I think Senator Wellstone was the one politician I have had true faith in for all the years I have followed politics.

Here is the link to Wellstone Action!

Hopefully, the Republican who took Senator Wellstone’s seat will be defeated tomorrow.

In any case, we can hope that the better days Senator Wellstone worked so hard for are finally here.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Liberal Super Tuesday Live Blogging–Still Worth Reading Even Though The Day Is Done

Texas Liberal Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Is Up & Running—(And Now That The Day Is Done, It Is Still Worth Reading!)   

Huckabee Wins W.V.—-6:00 PM 

Mike Huckabee got his Super Tuesday started right by winning the West Virgina Republican convention. He takes all 18 delegates from West Virginia.

What a shock that Republicans have winner take all primaries and conventions!

West Virginia was one the most Democratic states until George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. It seems 71% of West Virginians live in a gun-owning household. I wonder if gun ownership entitles those folks to health insurance? 

John Kennedy’s 1960 primary win in West Virgina over Hubert Humphrey proved a Catholic could win an overwhelmingly Protestant state.    

Obama Takes Georgia—6:00 PM

Barack Obama has been called as the winner of the Georgia Democratic primary.

Georgia is 29% black. This means the Democratic electorate in Georgia has many blacks.

President Bush won Georgia with 58% in 2004. That means Georgia whites vote strongly Republican.

If Mr. Obama is nominated, by how much will Southern black turnout increase? Will Southern whites be open to a black candidate? CNN says Mr. Obama won 40% of the white vote in Georgia. But a Democratic primary is different from a General Election. 

Wrong To Bribe Voters, But Okay To Give Them Alcohol—6:15 PM 

Today I was reading America’s Three Regimes—A New Political History by Morton Keller.  

Here is what this book says about 18th Century Southern elections—

“…there was much treating of voters to drinks on Election Day—“swilling the planters with bumbo”—just as in English towns. But there appears to have been little overt vote buying of the sort common in 18th century English parliamentary elections.”

Seems like progress. I would not refuse a drink at the polls.

McCain Best In Connecticut—7:00 PM

John McCain has won Connecticut.

Mr. McCain had the endorsement of Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman. Mr. Liberman’s endorsement might help Mr. McCain with so-called “Independent” voters in November. It seems less clear this endorsement will help with the more conservative voters Mr. McCain is struggling to win.  

Unlike G.W.H Bush In 1980, Romney & Obama Win Home States—7:17 PM

Mitt Romney has won his home state of Massachusetts and Barack Obama has won his home state of Illinois.

It’s reassuring to win your home state

The first George Bush lost his home state of Texas to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Texas Republican primary. The margin was 51–47%. 

Hillary Clinton Projected In Oklahoma–Oklahoma 2nd Best State For Socialist Eugene Debs In 1912—7:25 PM

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one state Democrats will be avoiding in the general election campaign. President Bush won the Sooner State 60-38 in 2000 and 66-34 in 2004.

Oklahoma voters were not always so misguided. The great Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 16.4% of the Oklahoma vote for President in 1912. Nevada was the best Debs’ state that year. His national total was 6%. 

I have faith in the people of Oklahoma and I know they will wake up someday soon. 

McCain Winner In Tiny Delaware—He Could Be A Threat In Some Northeastern & Middle Atlantic States—7:50 PM

John McCain has won Delaware. This goes with wins already tonight in Connecticut and New Jersey. All three of these Atlantic seaboard states have voted for Democrats for President in recent elections.

If there is any Republican who could make a run at these places next fall it would be Mr. McCain.

Delaware was the only state to vote for the winner in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1996.  In 2000 and 2004 Democrats carried Delaware. 

Italy Moves Towards Elections—Rest Of The World Continues To Exist– 8:15PM

The center left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost its governing majority and an election seems likely within the next two months. Regretfully, conservative Silvio Berlusconi may return yet again as Prime Minister. Based on the last few Italian elections, it will be close.

No matter how focused we are on ourselves, the rest of the world still exists.   

Obama Is Alabama Winner–2nd Black Man To Win That Primary— 8:35 PM

Between 1932 and 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won at least 81% of the vote in the one-party Solid South state of Alabama.

In 1948, after Harry Truman desegregated the army, Strom Thurmond, running on a States Rights ticket, won 80% of the vote.

Now Barack Obama has won the Alabama Democratic primary. He is in fact the second black man to do so. Jesse Jackson won it in 1988.  

Obama Winner In Kansas—Governor There Possible VP, But She Most Likely Could Not Deliver Her State—9:24PM

Senator Obama has won Kansas. That state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius, has been out working for Mr. Obama and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. But Kansas is so Republican that I don’t think she deliver Kansas on Election Day.

That would be just as John Edwards did not help in North Carolina in 2004, or Lloyd Bentsen did not help Democrats in Texas in 1988.

With the Electoral College map so tight, a potential running mate needs to be able to put a state in play. Kansas is not such a state for Democrats.

Romney says losing is “fun and exciting.”—9:38PM

Well, he did say “fun and exciting” and he was referencing the campaign—But I am paraphrasing to a degree. Romney said he is going to stay in the race past tonight. 

Governor Romney’s father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, won exactly 3,830 Republican primary votes when he ran for President in 1968. So there is at least one threshold the son has surpassed.    

Obama First In Minnesota Caucus—I Think Paul Wellstone Would Have Been Pleased—10:09 PM

I can’t know for a fact, but I think the great liberal Paul Wellstone of Minnesota would have taken to the campaign of Senator Obama. Here is the link to Wellstone Action! They do a lot of good work for the liberal and progressive side of the debate. 

McCain Makes Lousy Surrender Comment—10:30 PM

I had the misfortune of watching Senator McCain on CNN today. He was saying that Democrats who favored a times withdrawal from Iraq were advocating “surrender.”

What does “surrender”mean here? Does Senator McCain think that Democrats advocate American troops in Iraq turning over their weapons to the militants and asking for mercy? That’s what surrender is.

Would a real man of honor make such a comment? No Democrat supports any type of surrender.      

Huckabee Somewhere Between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson–11:00 PM

Mike Huckabee has won Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alabama this evening. He says he is in the race to stay.

Governor Huckabee has the string support of Evangelical Christians. Evangelicals played a large role in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000. But Bush also had the support of low-tax conservatives and the Republican establishment. Governor Huckabee is no George Bush.

On the other hand, he is more of a candidate than was Pat Robertson in 1988. Mr. Robertson never won a primary and as a “message candidate” won only 9% of primary voters. Running the same year on the other side, Jesse Jackson won 29% of Democratic primary voters. 

So Mr. Huckabee is more than Pat Robertson was in 1988–Though that will not be nearly enough.

McCain in California And Missouri– Can Schwarzenegger Make McCain Viable In California This Fall? 11:36 PM 

All night we’ve been hearing McCain had not made the knock-out punch. Well, it seems to me he at least has everybody else on the ropes pretty good. These two late night wins are most helpful to Mr. McCain.

An even bigger question than who will win the California primary tonight, will be is the more moderate Westerner McCain viable in California in November. You can bet that subject is already on the Republican radar. Just forcing the Democratic nominee to campaign in California this fall will be a Republican victory.

I’m certain McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger is already thinking it out. (While his wife Maria Shriver will no doubt continue her work for Senator Obama.)   

Signing Off With Obama’s Alaska Win—The Race Now Moves On Texas, Ohio & Other Points–12:08 AM

Barack Obama is the winner is Alaska.

  

The race now moves on to Texas, Ohio, and other points.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My Night With Al Franken & Chris Bell

 

I attended a fundraiser last week for Al Franken hosted by 2006 Texas gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell. The event was held in Downtown Houston at the Rice Hotel.

Mr. Franken is running for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota for the chance to oppose vulnerable Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. Mr. Franken said he was the likely primary winner and running within five points of Mr. Coleman. 

I learned about the event on Perry Dorrell’s blog. Mr. Dorrell wrote that he is saving his money to elect Rick Noriega to the U.S. Senate from Texas. That’s a good position to take and I’ve donated to Mr. Noriega.

However, it’s also important that Paul Wellstone’s seat be won again by a Democrat.

I think Mr. Franken shares many of what were Mr. Wellstone’s values.

Mr. Wellstone was a true liberal who was neither strident in tone nor remote from average people. I was an original donor to Wellstone Action and I’ve donated at least twice since.

The invitation for the event at the Rice suggested $500 as a minimum contribution. I called the Franken people and said I did not have $500. They were nice.  They had my name at the door when I arrived. I gave them $50.

Mr. Bell said he knew Mr. Franken from appearing on Air America when Mr. Bell was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Houston and pursuing ethics charges against the disgraced Tom DeLay.

Mr. Franken hit all the right notes in his talk at the fundraiser. He discussed public funding for campaigns, universal health care and the War in Iraq.

Mr. Franken also talked about how he had been to Iraq twice on USO tours before Mr. Coleman had visited that nation a first time as Senator.

Mr. Franken said he was going to run a tough campaign against Mr. Coleman. He said he will hit back against negative attacks.  

Mr. Coleman has hired the same smear artists who ran the ads linking, in essence, former Georgia Senator and disabled Vietnam Vet Max Cleland to Osama.

I spoke to Mr. Franken for about two minutes. I asked him if he enjoyed this process of attending fundraisers and campaigning. He said he did enjoy the process and that he liked meeting people.

There you have my Texas Liberal exclusive—Al Franken likes meeting people.      

I’m looking forward to Mr. Franken’s victory just over a year from now.

October 29, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 4 Comments