Texas Liberal

All People Matter

You Need Not Spend Thanksgiving With Family—All People Matter

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s a day we are supposed to spend with family, eating a large meal, and watching football. If that’s what you do, good for you. You’ll get no argument here. (Despite my dislike of football and the concussionsand long-term disability suffered by football players.)

However, for many, Thanksgiving is a different holiday than the popular image of the day.

Some spend the day with friends instead of family. Some are alone.

Maybe you don’t like your family or maybe your schedule and/or  budget does not allow travel to where your family lives. Maybe you’re alone at this point in life.

Whatever Thanksgiving is for you, it’s your choice or your circumstance. Many popular notions and conceptions are as unrealistic as the menu above. How many people are serving pumpkin bread in the shape of a pumpkin? Or mashed turnips?

Each year my wife goes to see her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. For scheduling reasons, I’m unable to go with her to Chicago or to my parents home in Cincinnati. Most years I’m fortunate enough to get an offer from a co-worker here in Houston for Thanksgiving dinner. I politely decline.

Instead, I drive down to Galveston and have a day at the ocean. I eat at some seafood house. It’s always packed and I’m always the only person there alone. I survive just fine. People are too busy stuffing themselves to notice I’m alone.

One year I did not go to Galveston. Instead, I went to the House Of Pies on Kirby Drive in Houston. I had just purchased all three volumes of Robert Remini’s life of Andrew Jackson. I had a lot of reading to do. I sat in that restaurant for maybe three hours reading about President Jackson. It was a wonderful day.

In the House Of Pies that day were gay couples and folks of all types. There were all sorts of people in, I’d wager, all sorts of personal situations.

All good relationships between people have value.

All people have value.

Whatever Thanksgiving brings your way, make the best of it. Life is not like what is shown on TV commercials and TV shows. Life is what it is. You have great value.

Have a very good Thanksgiving.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Party Holding White House Has Lost U.S. House Seats In 33 Of 36 Midterm Elections Since Civil War

In 33 of the 36 midterm elections held since the end of the Civil War, the party in the White House has lost seats in the United States House of Representatives.

We need to recall this as the 2010 midterm elections approach. There are underlying patterns in all things. This historical fact and pattern of midterm losses for the party holding the Presidency  is one that has impacted both major parties over many years.

Beginning with 1866, only in 1934, 1998 and 2002 has the party holding the White House gained in the U.S. House.

In 1934, Democrats picked up nine seats to add onto an already large majority, as President Roosevelt remained popular and Republicans continued to be associated with the 1929 crash.

(Below–Joseph Byrns of Tennessee was the first Speaker for the House session that convened in 1935. He died during his term.)

In 1998, Democrats won five new seats as part of the backlash against the Republican vote for the impeachment of President Clinton. Despite the Democratic pick-ups, Republicans retained narrow control of the House.

In 2002, Republicans gained seven House seats in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and due to the widespread public support of President George W. Bush at that point.  This allowed Republicans to expand a slight House majority.

(Below–Dennis Hastert of Illinois was selected House Speaker in 1999 and held the office through 2007. Mr. Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker in Congressional history.)

What each of these elections has in common is that they took place in the shadow of larger history-making events. The Great Depression. A vote to impeach the President. The September 11 hijackings.

While in some cases the party occupying the White House has lost only a few House seats, the trend is unmistakable. Midterm elections offer voters a chance to vent against the party holding the Presidency.

In terms of a switch of party control in the House, this has occurred ten times in the 36 post-Civil War midterms. This is something I’ll be writing about in an upcoming post. I’ll also soon be discussing Senate results in midterms.

Liberals and all Democrats should recall that what is taking place today is is often how it is in our politics. It is difficult to see republicans doing well for the moment, but there is reason for hope in the days ahead.

Liberals and all Democrats should also recall that the election has not yet been held.

Consider donating or volunteering in the weeks ahead to the Democrat of your choice.

Here is some history of the House from the House Clerk. You can find, among many other things, the party breakdown for each session of Congress at this site.

A useful book is House–The History of the House of Representatives by Robert Remini.

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Terrible—Jim Bunning Sits At Same Senate Desk Used By Henry Clay

 

I read recently that the terrible far-right Senator from Kentucky, Jim Bunning, now sits at the desk used by the great Kentucky Senator Henry Clay.  Clay was also Speaker of the House and Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams.

This is a travesty.

It would be as if George W. Bush lived in same White House as did Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

This happens you say?

Well…It’s awful.

Senator Bunning once said about himself—“Let me explain something. I don’t watch the national news, and I don’t read the paper. I haven’t done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information.”

Time Magazine said about Bunning, a former baseball pitcher—“Bunning shows little interest in policy unless it involves baseball.” 

Time rated Mr. Bunning as one of the five worst senators.

Some member of the Senate should come around when nobody is looking and hide the Clay desk so it cannot be used by Mr. Bunning.

Henry Clay lived from 1777 until 1852. He is considered one of the greatest of all United States Senators.

The best book I am aware of about Clay is Robert Remini’s Henry Clay–Statesman For The Union.

Here is the link to Clay’s home Ashland in Lexington, Kentucky.     

Here is a good link for a history of Clay’s life in public affairs.

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

February 11, 2008 Posted by | Books, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments