Texas Liberal

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Some Observations On Debt Ceiling Agreement

An agreement to raise the debt ceiling has been agreed upon that may resolve the issue at least through the projected Mayan apocalypse at the end of 2012. 

So I guess none of us really have much to worry about from this point on.

Though the agreement still does have to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

I’m not happy with all the cuts and the absence of tax increases. How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

Though this observer at Daily Kos says that deal is not nearly as bad as it seems to many liberals. I don’t read Daily Kos very often, but somebody on my Facebook suggested the link. I do whatever it is that people tell me I should do on Facebook.

All 970 of those people on my Facebook are close personal friends.  (Feel free to send me a friend request yourself. I’ll take anybody!)   

Paul Krugman is not very happy about the deal. 

I’m not in a mood to be angry. I’ve got a trip planned in the next few days to help go and put my father’s ashes in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  It is going to be a nice trip.

I’m just not into always being riled up by the 24 hour news cycle. And why be steamed about the agreement when I know I’ll have plenty of time and plenty of blog space to be angry as we proceed.

I will however, because I can’t help myself, make 5 observations—

1. If we wanted a better deal, than we should have all voted and worked harder in the 2010 elections. Republicans control the House because they won the election.

2. As I said above— How can this be what we are getting when we have a Democratic President and a Senate controlled by Democrats?

3. The response to losing elections and not getting the things you counted on from the people you supported is to keep working hard, and to apply more thought and imagination to what you are doing. You’ve always got to proceed.

4. The Republican opposition to tax cuts seems more like a religious belief than public policy.

5. We’ve got to really ponder the question that big money and greed has left this country in the hands of an oligarchy. We could not raise any revenue in this deal even as we were being told by Republicans that the future of the nation was at stake? Options like open protests and civil disobedience need to start being considered. We can’t simply be helpless in the face of powerful interests.  

With this being the first day of August, I hope you’re having a great summer and that you are moving forward. Let’s enjoy the lives we have and be involved in public affairs. Let’s be both thoughtful and forceful.

Below–Prudence Island is in Narragansett Bay.  Just because I’m not mad at the moment, does not mean I won’t be working hard for liberal values in the weeks and months ahead. Photo by junior75.)

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Do You Trust The Private Sector With Your Retirement?—Henry Hudson Would Liven Up Any Saloon

Picture Of The Day–After driving by the place for many years, I recently stopped at Henry Hudson’s Pub near the intersection of Highway 6 and 290 here in Houston.

I had a beer.

I might not have noticed the place but for the fact it has the name of the great explorer Henry Hudson.

If I had my way, all bars and taverns would be named after figures from history.

The Daniel Webster Inn. Oliver Cromwell’s Saloon. Plato’s Pub. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Bar & Grill.

Driving past Henry Hudson’s Pub over the years, I had wondered many times if they had a picture of Henry Hudson in the place. I did not see such a picture.

If my name were Chester Arthur and I opened a bar, I’d hang up a picture of Chester Arthur.

Here are some facts about Henry Hudson from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.

Below is a drawing of Henry Hudson. I think he would liven up any watering hole.

Link Of The Day—Nobel Prize winning economist  and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that Social Security is in good shape and that Republican efforts to cut Social Security are about hatred of government instead of strong public policy.

Does anybody really think the private sector will look after them in retirement? How could anybody think such a thing?

Texas Link Of The Day—The Austin American Statesman says that Democrats have at least a decent shot of winning control of the Texas House of Representatives in 2010.

Blogger’s Note—Because I have some other projects I want to take on, I’ll be offering up shorter and more formulaic posts for the remainder of August. These posts will still be quite good and will merit your visiting the blog each day. Yet at the same time, shorter posts will allow me the time to accomplish other objectives. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Early Voted In Harris County—Some Democrats I Enjoyed Voting For And Two That Failed To Impress

Yestrerday I early voted at the Harris County Administration building (above) located at 1001 Preston Avenue in Downtown Houston, Texas. 

The electronic voting gizmo, which I feel is programmed to flip all my votes to the Republican Party, allowed me to vote in Vietnamese—

(Sunset in a Vietnamese fishing village called Mui Ne

   

…And in Spanish as well.

( Below is Valparaiso, Chile.)

If English is the official language of the United States, how come I can vote in Vietnamese and Spanish in a right wing place like Texas? We’ve even been at war with Vietnam and Spain in the past.

I’m glad we have the ability to make peace with former enemies. We are all brothers and sisters.

I’m very glad I got the chance to vote for a black man named Barack H. Obama for President of the United States. That is what I call progress.

( Below–Blacks voting in 1867. Here is a history of Reconstruction)

I voted for each Democrat on the ballot. Though I did not use the straight party ticket button. I enjoy voting and I went down and selected the name of each candidate.   

I’ve written before, and still assert, that the straight ticket voter is possibly the most rational voter of all. Party identification serves as a kind of shorthand for voters to be able to navigate the large number of issues we confront in our complex society.

However, we do retain the right not to support all the candidates of our favored political party. Inevitably, some will be hard to take.

I paused over the names of Michael Skelly for the 7th U.S. House district from Texas and David Mincberg for the office of Harris County Judge Executive.

Mr. Skelly has campaigned in large part on the false issues of earmark reform and a balanced budget. These are irresponsible postions at a time when swift and decisive action from government is needed to bring our economy back to health.

Here is what Nobel Prize winning New York Times columnist recently said about government’s role in our economic recovery—

….there’s a lot the federal government can do for the economy. It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope…It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes. And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. Will the next administration do what’s needed to deal with the economic slump? Not if Mr. McCain pulls off an upset. What we need right now is more government spending — but when Mr. McCain was asked in one of the debates how he would deal with the economic crisis, he answered: “Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control.”

If Mr. Skelly’s opponent has been bringing earmarks to this district, that is one way we would be better served by keeping the incumbent. Regretfully, the incumbent is quite far to the right.   

David Mincberg has been running a tone deaf negative campaign against the Republican incumbent. After so many years of Republican rule in Harris County, there are so many unmet needs and things to to be done. Why don’t we hear about some of that? Instead, what we are getting are attacks against incumbent that are simply not going to resonate with the public after his very visible role during Hurricane Ike.

Also, Mr. Mincberg has a campaign sign—one so big that it needs to be propped up from behind with rods—located on the right of way on a 610 feeder road near the Galleria. I’d like to take that sign and nail it to the side of Mr. Mincberg’s house. (I won’t though. And don’t you either.) 

I did in the end vote for Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg. Though I’m not sure that was the right course. There is little doubt these men would be better than the incumbents. But from my view, as a liberal who has lived in a city all his life and had my vote taken for granted by Democrats who deliver little, both Mr.Skelly and Mr. Mincberg send up warning flags.

It’s not about ideological differences. There are only two main political parties for 300 million people and a big tent is required. It’s about the issues you choose to focus on and how you campaign. There is plenty of room for political creativity and correct behavior in even the most Republican of constituencies. 

In contrast to Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg, there were votes I was glad to cast—

Rick Noriega for the United States SenateMr. Noriega will be quite a contrast to the far right incumbent. He has served his country in war and is now ready to serve in Washington.  Also, his wife has been known to visit this blog.

Ellen Cohen for the Texas House District 134—It is good that Ms. Cohen appears to have an easy race after banishing the lousy Martha Wong in 2006.

Loren Jackson for Harris County District ClerkMr. Jackson is very honest, never puts a campaign sign in the public space, and once gave me a campaign tee-shirt. Below is a picture of Mr. Jackson. If you see him be certain to shake his hand and to tell him you share his commitment to freedom.  

Loren Jackson

Adrian Garcia for Harris County Sheriff—Mr. Garcia is going to bring some real justice to our county. Everybody is going to be treated the same and that treatment will be just and decent.   

It was fun to vote. I encourage all who share my views to go out and vote. As for those who do not share my views—I can’t offer as much encouragement. You might want to think about staying at home. I’m sure there is some dusting or laundry you could catch up on. 

( Below—The young women below wanted citizens to vote “no” on the showing of movies on Sunday in the town of La Grange, Illinois. This was in 1929. I don’t know how the vote turned out.)  

original negative 

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments