Saturday, May 31, 2008

count every vote


According to HuffingtonPost, it has been confirmed that today's meeting of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee has afforded a compromise on Florida's primary: each of the delegates will attend the convention with half a vote. Sen. Hillary Clinton is expected to gain 19 pledged delegates from the plan, but there's no word on how the question of Florida superdelegates will be handled.

After a 50/50 solution for the Michigan delegation fell three votes short, a deal is on the table now that would essentially ask all of the candidates that took their name off that state's ballot to agree to sign uncommitted delegates to Sen. Barack Obama. Clinton would keep her delegates, as her name was on the ballot there. This compromise would give Clinton 10 delegates.

We're glad to see the Democrats working together to find a solution to this, because after all, as Democrats we don't believe in disenfranchising voters. Here's hoping that the compromises we'll learn more about as the day goes on will make every voice heard in Michigan and Florida!

Friday, May 30, 2008

rachael ray, the food terrorist


Rachael Ray is a popular author and Food Network television personality. She's been nominated for two Emmy Awards and has served as a spokesperson for Burger King, Nabisco, and W├╝sthof.

Now, Ray can add suspected terrorist to her resume.

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin is up in arms about Ray's wardrobe choice in a recent Dunkin Donuts ad:

So it was with some dismay that I learned last week that Dunkin Donuts’ spokeswoman Rachael Ray, the ubiquitous TV hostess, posed for one of the company’s ads in what appeared to be a black-and-white keffiyeh.

The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.

Due to the uproar this has caused, Dunkin Donuts has pulled the ad. They're still siding with Ray, though, and claiming that no one involved supports terrorism or terrorist clothes (a likely story!).
In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the commercial.
And now, via Gawker, we find that Republican presidential nominee John McCain's daughter loves jihad scarves, as well. Meghan McCain, tell us once and for all: do you support terrorism and/or meals cooked in less than thirty minutes?

ricky martin endorses hillary clinton

Ahead of the Puerto Rico primary this Sunday, the candidates are shoring up their support among Latino voters. (Check out "Podemos con Obama," the new Spanish language viral video supporting Obama.)

Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced the endorsement of Puerto Rican Grammy winner Ricky Martin:
Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin endorsed Hillary Clinton this afternoon, just days before the U.S. territory prepares to vote. Martin, who became famous in the mid-90s for his song “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” said in a written statement released by the campaign that Clinton “has always been consistent in her commitment with the needs of the Latino community.”
Latina actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria both endorsed Clinton's bid ahead of the Texas primary in March. Other celebrities behind Clinton include Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, and Elton John.

podemos con obama



Jessica Alba, George Lopez, Paulina Rubio, John Leguizamo, and other Latino musicians and film stars are supporting Obama in a new Spanish-language music video produced by Andres Levin, just ahead of Sunday's primary in Puerto Rico.

boyd richie endorses barack obama

Despite the fact that Sen. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and 227 out of 251 counties with primaries back on March 4 here in Texas, Chairman Boyd Richie of the Texas Democratic Party and his wife Betty, both superdelegates, have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.
"I believe Sen. Obama is the candidate who can best provide the leadership and change Texans desire," Richie said in a statement. "Too many Texas families find themselves unable to make ends meet, much less save and invest in the future, due to Republican policies that burden the middle class and divide Americans. Sen. Obama has the skill and ability to unite Americans from all walks of life and put our country back on the right track."
It's interesting to note that Richie thinks Texans "desire" the candidate that lost the Texas primary. [You might want to check out "Some Questions for Boyd Richie" over at Brains and Eggs.

Another tidbit: Richie's opponent for the state chairmanship at next month's convention has been threatened that she'll lose her superdelegate status if she continues her campaign. An Obama supporter, Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Roy LaVerne Brooks is considering jumping ship to Team Clinton if the antics in the state party continue.

Support Our Troops: Give Them the GI Bill of Rights

The future Freedom Institute must be promsing John Cornyn an endowed chair after he retires from the Senate this fall, along with a seat on the board of a few of the corporations whose water he has carried so dutifully throughout his term. That's the only reason I can come up with for Cornyn's vote against the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act, also known colloquially as the GI Bill of Rights.

Cornyn's opponent in the November election is a member of the Texas National Guard, Lt. Col. Rick Noriega. In an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle on Monday, Noriega slammed his opponent for his hypocrisy regarding the Iraq war.

Texas needs two senators fighting for our veterans and our families. It is reprehensible that Cornyn supports keeping our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but refuses to provide for our soldiers once they return home. As a public servant, as a soldier and as a Texan, I am ashamed of Cornyn's continued efforts to deny our troops the benefits they earned defending the United States.

Sen. Cornyn argues that financing higher education for veterans would encourage soldiers to leave the military to attend college. The notion that we should limit benefits to force our troops to stay in the military is morally repugnant. The knowledge I gained while attending college is instrumental in the work I do as a member of the Texas House of Representatives and as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. I believe that higher education should be a reality for any American who wants it, and I am disheartened by Cornyn's desire to deny this valuable right to the honorable men and women of the armed forces. A stronger GI Bill will help military recruitment, attracting America's most capable and gifted volunteers to the military during a time when we need more troops than ever.

The G.I. Bill is the right thing to do. Even most Republicans realize that, and for good reason. The original GI bill was an investment in human capital that is credited with transforming the middle class.
For every dollar spent on the bill's cost, the federal government estimates that the country got $7 in return, from both increased economic productivity and taxes generated by the higher income levels of veterans who took advantage of the program.
Bush has already signaled he will veto the bill. An editorial in the NY Times sums up the hypocrisy of our president and his anti-vet supporters rather well.

Having saddled the military with a botched, unwinnable war, having squandered soldiers’ lives and failed them in so many ways, the commander in chief now resists giving the troops a chance at better futures out of uniform. He does this on the ground that the bill is too generous and may discourage re-enlistment, further weakening the military he has done so much to break.

So lavish with other people’s sacrifices, so reckless in pouring the national treasure into the sandy pit of Iraq, Mr. Bush remains as cheap as ever when it comes to helping people at home.Thankfully, the new G.I. Bill has strong bipartisan support in Congress. The House passed it by a veto-proof margin this month, and last week the Senate followed suit, approving it as part of a military financing bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Cornyn has indicated he will support the president's veto if it comes to that. Although he never served in the U.S. armed forces, Cornyn thinks he can inoculate himself against his hypocrisy by hiding behind the uniform of someone who did.
"The anti-war crowd is determined to use our men and women in uniform for their political advantage, even if our national security is jeopardized in the process," Cornyn campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said. "The fact that Noriega would associate himself with a group that attacks John McCain [R-Ariz.], an American Hero by any standard, will not go unnoticed by Texans."
Unfortunately, McCain is on the wrong side of this issue as well, refusing to return from the campaign trail to even vote on the bill. As to Cornyn and McCain's concern that the bill will hurt retention by encouraging soldiers to leave military service, they fail to mention the same study found that the additional benefits would increase recruitment by an equal percentage, so the net effect would be neutral.

Texas deserves a senator for whom supporting the troops is not just a platitude; someone willing to fight for the opportunities of all Americans, not just those with the money to buy access and influence. Texans deserve Rick Noriega.

[Disclaimer: I volunteer my time and energy to elect Democrats to office in Denton County and throughout Texas. Join us. ]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

obama supporters less likely to vote down-ballot

According to surveys, twenty-five percent of Texas primary voters only voted for president in the March 4 primary.
Obama supporters were more likely to vote in the presidential race and then skip the other contests than Clinton supporters, who tended to continue voting down the ballot. More than 80 percent of Democratic voters in the Texas counties where Clinton had her largest victory margins went on to vote in the U.S. Senate race, the leading statewide contest on the ballot after the presidential race. By contrast, only 71 percent of voters in Obama's strongest counties did.
I'll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions about why Barack Obama's voters would be more likely to skip the rest of the races on the ballot, but no matter what the reasoning it's something we need to make sure is fixed by November if Obama is the nominee.

This isn't a condemnation of Obama voters, though, because the number of Hillary Clinton's voters that skipped down-ballot races is too high, as well. We can't have people only interested in the "rock star" presidential race when maintaining control of Congress is critical to the Democratic Party. At the very least, we should be able to convince these people to vote a straight-ticket in the general election rather than skipping out on other races altogether. (Perhaps that was the problem in the primary: long lines and no "straight ticket" option.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

anderson cooper slams his competitors

CNN's Anderson Cooper slammed his competitors today on his blog when he wrote the following:

I’ve also gotten some e-mails today about an article on the website of a local television station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The article is about Louisiana’s governor Bobby Jindal. In the article they state that I have endorsed Jindal as the best choice to be John McCain’s Vice President. I have no idea where the reporter got this information, but I haven’t endorsed him, or anyone else.

I don’t endorse candidates. Never have. Never will. That’s not my job. I called up the station and asked them to remove the incorrect sentence from their website, but just in case anyone thinks I’ve suddenly decided to start taking sides in political races, I haven’t. I leave that to folks on other networks.

We'll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but we think we have a pretty good idea what he's talking about.

"unstinting resolve" on darfur

Today, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain released a joint statement declaring that the three presidential hopefuls stand united on Sudan.
Today, we wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us. We stand united and demand that the genocide and violence in Darfur be brought to an end and that the CPA be fully implemented. Even as we campaign for the presidency, we will use our standing as Senators to press for the steps needed to ensure that the United States honors, in practice and in deed, its commitment to the cause of peace and protection of Darfur’s innocent citizenry. We will continue to keep a close watch on events in Sudan and speak out for its marginalized peoples. It would be a huge mistake for the Khartoum regime to think that it will benefit by running out the clock on the Bush Administration. If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, we pledge that the next Administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.
You can read the rest of the statement here, and watch a video below that shows Clinton, Obama, and McCain talking about their stance on ending the genocide.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

florida teacher has student voted out of class

The actions of one Florida teacher may make you feel sick to your stomach, so read ahead if you dare.
A Port St. Lucie mother says her five-year-old son with special needs was voted out of his classroom by his peers at the behest of the teacher, who has since been reassigned.

Five-year-old Alex Barton will be starting his summer vacation early. His mother doesn't want him to to return to school after what allegedly happened in class at Morningside Elementary Wednesday afternoon.

"I'll never be able to send him to school again without worrying if something is going to happen," says Melissa Barton, Alex's mother.

She admits he's had behavior problems, and can be difficult at times.

She says he's undergoing tests to determine if he suffers from Autism and other disorders.

But, she claims a Wednesday incident pushed the lines of discipline into the realm of abuse.

"(She) took him and stood him in front of his classmates this week, asked every single child to tell Alex why we don't like him... in his words, tell Alex why we hate him," she explains.

After having each child ridicule the boy, she says the teacher continued belittling him.

"Then they had a vote on if he deserved to stay in the class or not," says Barton.

Like a twisted reality show, Barton says in a 14-2 vote, his classmates voted the five-year-old out of the classroom.

This is absolutely disgusting. I simply can't believe that anyone would do this to a child, let alone someone that chose a profession in which they are supposed to help children learn and grow.

bloggers' caucus at the state convention

The Texas Progressive Alliance
Proudly Presents
The Third Biennial Blogger’s Caucus
Thursday, June 5, 2008
8:30 p.m. - Midnight
The Cedar Door
2nd and Brazos
Austin, Texas

Come and have a drink with the best and brightest from the Texas Blogosphere.

Monday, May 26, 2008

fox news guest jokes about killing obama

Liz Trotta, a Fox News contributor, laughs about having Barack Obama killed along with Osama bin Laden in a segment about Hillary's RFK reference.

Friday, May 23, 2008

shame on you, keith olbermann

The media are in a feeding frenzy today after Hillary Clinton raised Robert Kennedy's 1968 assassination, though she says she was only talking about primary timelines.

Keith Olbermann and the rest of the pundits are leaping at an opportunity to try and sink Clinton's already faltering campaign. Olbermann devoted his "Special Comment" to trashing Clinton over her remarks, saying that she "cannot be forgiven." Others are saying potential vice-presidential ambitions are also out the window now.

What happened that was so bad? You'd think from watching MSNBC tonight that Wonkette's satire were true, and that Hillary said she'd assassinate Barack Obama or something. [Wonkette has a roundup of the press flipping out over the comments here.]

Here are Hillary's comments in context:
Hillary Clinton: People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.

Q: Why?

Clinton: I don't know. I don't know. I find it curious. Because it is unprecedented in history. I don't understand it. Between my opponent and his camp and some in the media there has been this urgency to end this. And historically, that makes no sense. So I find it a bit of a mystery.

Q: So you don't buy the party unity argument?

Clinton: I don't because again I've been around long enough. My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it. There's lots of speculation about why it is.

Q: What is your speculation?

Clinton: I don't know. I find it curious. And I don't want to attribute motives or strategies to people because I don't really know, but it's a historical curiosity to me.
You can make your own judgment here, but I think it's very obvious reading these comments (or hearing them over and over and over again on the cable networks) what she meant here. She is saying that the race isn't over, and citing historical instances when the race has gone into the month of June. Sure, she shouldn't have brought up the memories of that 1968 tragedy, but she was trying to recall a time when the race had gone into June. It isn't hard to understand. If she had worded it just a little differently it never would have been a question.

For anyone to suggest that Hillary Clinton is making some kind of statement about the current race, suggesting that perhaps Barack Obama will be assassinated, is absolutely repugnant. I am so deeply disappointed in the media for blowing this up, especially since it has been dismissed by the Obama campaign and the media outlet she was speaking to.

The media are grasping at straws in order to have another scandal before this nomination battle comes to an end, and in the meantime they are impugning the character of one of America's great leaders. They should be ashamed.

Worst of all is Olbermann, who made an idiot of himself when he yelled out every minor controversy or scandal of this long primary season, blaming all of it on Hillary and saying that the media forgave her those sins. The screaming buffoon ended by saying that her latest comment was unforgivable. So I guess Olbermann's happy now, because he will no longer have to try and hide his heavy bias toward Obama, now that Clinton cannot be forgiven.

Clinton apologized to the Kennedy family today and clarified what she meant by her statement:
Earlier today I was discussing the Democratic primary history and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns that both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged in California in June 1992 and 1968 and I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That’s a historic fact. The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I’m honored to hold Senator Kennedy’s seat in the United States Senate from the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family.

So let's move on, before Keith Olbermann pops a blood vessel.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

help relief efforts in myanmar


Earlier this month, Cyclone Nargis devastated the country of Myanmar (Burma). Nearly 150,000 people are dead or missing, and the United Nations reports that 1 million people have been left homeless.

Oxfam is working hard to provide relief to these people.

With a crew of 29 staffers and 62 volunteers, Oxfam’s local partner, Metta, has been rushing life-saving aid to more than 68,000 survivors of the devastating cyclone that slammed into Myanmar 10 days ago.

While international aid agencies wait for visas to enter the country so they can begin their emergency operations, five of Oxfam’s local partners are spending more than $100,000 a day on relief supplies—including fuel for search and rescue missions, food, and medicine—for distribution to displaced people. One of the locations is so remote—the island of Pyin Kha Yai—that the nearest community is a 10-hour boat ride away. Everything on that island has been destroyed.

“Experience has shown us that the most effective and timely response can be where local organizations are on the ground and ready to mobilize,” says Mike Delaney, Oxfam America’s director of humanitarian response. “In Myanmar, in the wake of this immense tradgedy, it is the people themselves, facing incredible odds, that have risen to the challenge and are helping to save the most vulnerable.”

Please contribute what you can to Oxfam's relief efforts today to help those in dire need. Every little bit counts and will go further than you think. It is important right now that we save as many lives as we can.

recount

This Sunday, May 25, HBO will present an original film based on true events -- Recount: The Story of the 2000 Presidential Election.

Recount stars Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Laura Dern, John Hurt, Denis Leary, and Tom Wilkinson as the various people that were involved in the controversial decision-making that led to the election of George W. Bush during November 2000.

View the trailer below, and then watch the movie on Sunday at 8 p.m. CST. The movie will replay on Monday, May 26, at the same time.



edra bogle for sboe: help her today!

Dr. Edra Bogle is running for the State Board of Education in District 14 here in North Texas. Bogle wants to "help reform textbook standards, improve curriculum standards, and be a good steward of the Permanent School Fund," according to her campaign website.

We need a leader for District 14, and we need Edra Bogle. She is a lifelong educator and political activist, as well as former chair of the Denton County Democratic Party.

She's certainly qualified for the position and will bring about a much-needed change on the SBOE, so we want to help her in any way we can. Besides contributions, we've learned of another way we can help.

I received the following email from Bogle's campaign manager:
As a loyal Democrat I am sure you will be supporting all our candidates. The attached letter shows how you can significantly and painlessly help Edra in her race against a far right wing Republican, and help to arrest control of the SBOE from those who would have us teach their particular version of Christianity in the public schools. Please take a moment to read this letter and vote for her today. The children's future is at stake.
The text from Edra's letter is below.

Have you ever had a candidate say, “I’m not asking for your money?” Well, I’m not asking you for money, but rather for your help in being endorsed by Democracy for America. Such an endorsement yields both financial aid and excellent publicity. Help me show that I have real support in my race for State Board of Education, District 14, by voting on-line for me.

My opponent is a religious extremist who has done and will do whatever she can to weaken the public school system promoted by none other than Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. They had it right in the first place. I will work toward their goal of making education available to every child, and making that education something that children can enjoy and that will serve them well in their actual lives. Our local school systems and our teachers need the freedom to teach the way our country has traditionally done, not follow commands imposed by Austin or by Washington D.C.

Help me by going to the Democracy for America web site and showing your support for me. You need not be a DFA member--everyone is welcome to express their support. Here’s how to vote.

    1) Go to www.democracyforamerica.com
    2) Click on “endorsements” at top left corner of the page.
    3) From the drop down menu click on “current applicants.”
    4) Enter your zip code, press enter then scroll down and click on Edra’s photo--you will then be sent to her applicant page.
    5) Under “grassroots supporters” click on “add your support.”
    6) If you are not a member of DFA you will need to scroll down to “new user.”
    7) Fill in your email address, name, and zip code, and create a password. (If you wish to actually join DFA you may do so, otherwise this is all the information needed.)
    8) When you click on “sign up” you will immediately be sent an email. Go to your email and open the email, then click on the link provided.
    9) Your vote has now been tallied--thank you.

Thank you in advance for helping me to wage this very important campaign, and thank you for your vote.

Please follow those simple steps to help Edra Bogle today! Send a leader to the SBOE... choose Edra!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Castle Hills Democrats Endorses Barack Obama

Our good friend and dedicated Clinton supporter, Judith Ford, has endorsed Barack Obama on her blog, Castle Hills Democrats.

.... there comes a time when it becomes obvious that your favored candidate is not going to win the nomination. Such is the case for poor Hillary. She fought hard, she was a tough opponent, and she didn't give in easily. But she is not the candidate who can get 75,000 people to come out and support her on a weekend afternoon, like Barack Obama did this weekend. And she is not the candidate the Democrats are turning to in hopes for meaningful change for our battered country.

The fat lady is warming up, and she's about to sing because Hillary's campaign is just about over.

Therefore, I'm proud to transfer all of my support to Barack Obama for President.

The blessing and the curse of the Democrats this year was having two immensely qualified and charismatic candidates running for president.

Those of us who grew up during the second wave of feminism in the 60's and 70's and witnessed the courage of Shirley Chisholm's historic campaign imagined a day when a woman running for president wouldn't be considered symbolic. Few would have guessed then that such a time wouldn't come for another 36 years.

NOW's president, Kim Gandy, explains why her organization sees a Clinton loss as a significant setback.
While still holding out hope that Clinton can win, Gandy suggests that her defeat would be a huge blow to some feminists. "It's hard to imagine that anytime soon there will be another candidate as extraordinary as Hillary Clinton," she said.
I think that statement sells women short. It's shameful that a nation that was built on the ideal of equality has denied women the opportunity for a legitimate run at the nation's highest political office until this year. But that was never for want of talent - take Ann Richards and Barbara Jordan for starters.

Hillary Clinton's amazing run this primary has already strengthened the political capital of female politicians such as Kathleen Sebelius, who is increasingly mentioned as a possible VP pick. And it has virtually settled the question of whether the U.S. will accept a woman in the role of supreme commander.

One of the first suffragettes, who as an African-American woman certainly knew the the struggles of both, stated in her famous speech,

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!

It's time to right the world turned upside down by the neoconservative agenda. The women who have been Clinton's most fervent supporters will hold the key to this election. It would be a sad addition to the legacy of feminism if the next four years were lost as a testament to identity politics.

kentucky landslide


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton gives her victory speech from Louisville, Kentucky, after winning that state's primary by thirty-five points.

We liveblogged her speech last night. Check out our other election coverage posts from yesterday's exciting primaries in Kentucky and Oregon: Hillary Takes Kentucky, Kentucky Liveblog Parts 1, 2, and 3, Obama Wins Oregon, Split Decision, and You've Got A Friend In Me.

crownover votes for radioactive waste dump

West Texas is a beautiful place, but it's certainly lacking something. What could we add? What could make it better? According to Myra Crownover, it needs a radioactive waste dump.

Back during the 78th Texas Legislature in 2003 (the first one where the Texas House was under GOP control), the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1567 which allowed for the disposal of “low-level” radioactive waste from other states right here in Texas. A slew of Republicans in hotly contested races this year including Betty Brown (R-Terrell), John Davis (R-Houston), Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), Myra Crownover (R-Denton), and Linda Harper Brown (R-Irving) voted to make Texas a glowing, leaking, radioactive waste dump. [CSHB 1567: Record Vote 316, Day 53, Texas House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, p. 1713-17-14].

The real kicker to the whole story is that these folks not only voted for the radioactive waste dumping bill, but took buckets of money from Harold Simmons, the corporate raider who purchased Waste Control–a company that has seen a lot of benefit from HB 1567. (Oh, did we forget to mention that House Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) has taken at least $50,000 from Simmons for his campaign account?)

Sounds fishy to me.

Take a look at her opponent, John McClelland. We asked him what he thought about this, and here's what he had to say:
The proposed radioactive dump is just another item on the laundry list of what Republicans are doing wrong in Texas. The GOP and Myra Crownover apparently do not care for the well being of the people or the environment of West Texas. They only appear to care about the donations they receive from special interests in oil & gas, and in this case radioactive waste disposal.
Let's dump the waste elected to the Legislature. As your next state rep, John McClelland would make health and the environment a priority in House District 64 and all of Texas.
Make a contribution to John today and help send Myra packing in November!

Thanks to WhosPlayin for the photo above.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

you've got a friend in me



"I commend Sen. Obama and his supporters. And while we continue to go toe-to-toe for this nomination, we do see eye to eye when it comes to uniting our party to elect a Democratic president in the fall."
-- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton tonight in her speech from Louisville, Kentucky

"We've traveled this road with one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for this office. In her thirty-five years of public service, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people, and tonight I congratulate her on her victory in Kentucky. We've had our disagreements during this campaign, but we all admire her courage, and her commitment, and her perseverance. And no matter how this primary ends, Sen. Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age. And for that we are grateful to her."
-- Sen. Barack Obama in his speech tonight from Des Moines, Iowa

I smell a dream ticket.

split decision


Barack Obama is not only winning Oregon tonight by double digits, he surpassed a milestone in his campaign: a pledged delegate majority.

But with Hillary Clinton's 35-point spread in Kentucky tonight, she's emboldened and she's not going anywhere. She said in her victory speech tonight that more people have voted for her than for any other candidate in a Democratic primary... ever.

So once again, we have a split decision. Where do we go from here? With only two states and one territory left, we've got to let the voters in Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico have their voices heard.

And we can't forget Michigan and Florida, who turned out over two million strong. As Democrats, we cannot disenfranchise anyone, let alone voters in pivotal swing states! Count the votes, and we'll see what happens. We've come this far, so let's play it out until the end.

June 3. We've got it in our sights now. Soon, we'll have a nominee to unite behind and we'll push onward for a Democratic White House in November.

obama wins oregon


Things work a little differently in Oregon -- voters vote by mail instead of showing up to the polls. So rather than exit polls, CNN conducted phone polls all day, and through those polls they are able to project Barack Obama as the winner of the Oregon primary.

With 30% of precincts reporting, Barack Obama is winning Oregon 60-40.

Speaking in Iowa, where he won the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Obama told supporters, "it was in this great state where we took the first steps of an unlikely journey to change America."

"The skeptics predicted we wouldn't get very far. The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out. But the people of Iowa had a different idea," he said.

Obama continued to look to the general election, focusing his attacks as he has for the past week on Sen. John McCain, while commending Clinton for "her courage, her commitment and her perseverance."

We'll have more Oregon results and analysis, as well as more from Obama's speech from Iowa. Stay tuned!

kentucky liveblog, part 3

8:13 p.m. - FOX: This loss is embarrassing for the Obama campaign. Hillary's voters won't vote for Obama, they're going to McCain.
8:15 p.m. - Republican voters said they'd vote for Gore in 2000 because they were mad that Bush bested McCain, but they came home in November.
8:17 p.m. - CNN Breaking News: Because of proportional delegate allocation in Kentucky, even though he's losing there in a landslide, he just went over the majority of pledged delegates... 1627 delegates.
8:19 p.m. - John King: Obama's argument to superdelegates is "I have won the majority of pledged delegates." He is also leading in superdelegates.
8:20 p.m. - John King: Obama campaign will say, we are the Democratic party, I'm winning more votes, let's be democratic.
8:23 p.m. - Sean Hannity is reporting on Obama flip-flop on Iran. Shows video of Obama saying that Iran is not a serious threat, and now today in Montana said that Iran is a grave threat. "This is a campaign ad in the making here."
8:25 p.m. - MSNBC: Dream ticket won't happen because Hillary is going to push through June 3 to drive up her numbers, she doesn't even know what she wants to do with those numbers yet, just to say she did it.
8:26 p.m. - They are within one delegate of getting the majority, but it doesn't do the Obama campaign any good to write off a whole region of the country. Hillary is starting off the night winning Kentucky by 250,000. Obama campaign was "too cute by half" and they're realizing it now.
8:27 p.m. - On June 3, Rahm Emanuel and other House leadership will come out for Obama when he is much closer to the required number of delegates to win the nomination.
8:28 p.m. - Hillary is emboldened to go on through June 3 now, and to dare them to do that.
8:29 p.m. - Chris Matthews: Forget the Bradley effect, these people are quite willing to say that they are voting based on race. Harold Ford, Jr.: Obama made a mistake tonight, he should have been in Kentucky and then this margin would have been closer. What does he have to do to win Appalachian voters over if he is the nominee?
8:30 p.m. - Joe Scarborough: This is not so much about race. It's not only the image Obama is projecting, elitist McGovern/Dukakis wing of the party, his bitter comments... when a candidate says that voters cling to guns and God and bigotry, that's going to cut into your margin in Small Town, Kentucky.
8:31 p.m. - Scarborough: Obama needs to act like he gives a damn. He didn't listen to you when you said he needed to roll up his sleeves and go to Pennsylvania, West Virginia. If they believe that he'll fight for them, they don't care if he's purple.
8:32 p.m. - Anderson Cooper on CNN: There had been talk a couple of days ago that Obama would declare victory in Iowa.
8:33 p.m. - Donna Brazile: This state (Iowa) put him on the path to the White House twenty weeks ago. This is going to be an important swing state in the fall.
8:34 p.m. - CNN: The nominee is decided by delegates, not the popular vote. Clinton campaign's claim is especially ridiculous because we don't know how many votes were cast in the Iowa caucus, for instance. It has to be wrong for Hillary to ahead because there is no accurate popular vote number.
8:35 p.m. - CNN: I'm not saying that Hillary can win, but when we use these manufactured things like pledged delegates, we can't call out Hillary for using popular vote.
8:36 p.m. - With almost 100% of Kentucky precincts reporting, it looks like the final vote tally in that state will be 65-30 in favor of Clinton, giving her an enormous thirty-five point victory.
8:38 p.m. - Anderson Cooper: We're waiting on Barack Obama to speak live in Des Moines.

Live-blogging is done for now. We'll try and get a video of Obama's remarks up after he speaks in Iowa. And come back later tonight for Oregon results.

kentucky liveblog, part 2

7:38 p.m. - Clinton 65%, Obama 31%, with 86% of precincts reporting.
7:39 p.m. - Tim Russert thinks Hillary forgot about delegates, popular vote doesn't matter. Is Hillary going to fight or unite? She said she's going toe-to-toe. The maps that Hillary is citing to say she'll do better in the general were put together by Karl Rove.
7:40 p.m. - Wolf Blitzer says Hillary's winning Kentucky by 35 points. Polls close in Oregon in just over two hours.
7:42 p.m. - CNN: Obama campaign reporting 200,000 new contributors. Breaking all records, using internet, etc. Obama set to give speech in Des Moines, Iowa.
7:44 p.m. - Obama will probably wait for some results out of Oregon before speaking, will probably speak around 10 o'clock Eastern, 9 central.
7:45 p.m. - Howard Wolfson live in the studio at CNN after the break.
7:46 p.m. - MSNBC: Russert is talking about Obama's new donors, a great number of them gave less than $25 so they can be tapped over and over and over.
7:48 p.m. - Everyone's playing commercials.
7:49 p.m. - Howard Wolfson on CNN: Obama will continue to outraise us and outspend us, and we'll continue to beat him in state after state. We will have the resources we need to get our message out.
7:50 p.m. - Wolf Blitzer: How do you explain Obama's fundraising ability, when Clinton has Terry McAuliffe? Wolfson: Both candidates have broken fundraising records. Hillary has huge wins in WV and KY.
7:51 p.m. - Wolfson: MI and FL is a key part of the process, but it's not about us. It's about Dems being true to principles and making every vote count. We think they'll be seated and we'll obviously get those delegates. We'll do well in the upcoming states, we did well tonight, and we're ahead in the popular vote.
7:52 p.m. - Blitzer: Is it possible this will go to the convention? Wolfson: We don't have a nominee, if Obama gets the number of delegates required we'll salute him, but we don't have a nominee and we're going to keep on going. My expectation is that we will have a nominee, Sen. Clinton, before we go to Denver. It is premature for Obama to declare victory tonight.
7:54 p.m. - Pat Buchanan on MSNBC: Only one third of Hillary's voters said they'd vote for Obama in the general. If I were a superdelegate, I'd be looking at these monster victories... I'd be nervous.
7:55 p.m. - Keith Olbermann: On Feb. 5, Huckabee won big, Romney won big, are McCain's losses on Super Tuesday relevant to Obama's monstrous losses in West Virginia and Kentucky?
7:56 p.m. - Buchanan: Obama lost New York and California, but he's going to beat McCain there. Utah's Romney, Mormon thing. I think McCain is in trouble because of his position on trade in Michigan and Ohio.
7:57 p.m. - Olbermann: Obama will speak in about an hour before Oregon's polls close, based on his success in Kentucky by getting delegates there.
7:58 p.m. - Tammy Bruce on FOX News: Hillary should threaten an independent run. I admire what she's doing, I would rather have Hillary, someone who we know will listen as opposed to Barack Obama. Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary have seen what the party has turn into, it's run by George Soros and they're not happy with it and neither should anyone be.
8:01 p.m. - Sean Hannity: These results are devastating for Obama, only 1/3 of Hillary voters will vote for him. A majority associate him with Rev. Wright, less than half think he's honest. How can you win the general election if you can't win Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania?
8:04 p.m. - Hannity: Michelle Obama's comments about just now being proud of her country, Barack's comments about bitter voters clinging to guns and religion, I think that's playing a big role now. Do you think that plays a role [asking pro-Clinton guest]?
8:05 p.m. - Alan Colmes: Maria, he's trying to drag you over to trash Obama when you're here for Hillary. You have to include MI and FL, because you don't want to win this with people thinking it was manipulation.

kentucky liveblog

We'll be live-blogging election coverage on the major networks tonight. Now's a good time to hit the refresh button!

7:04 p.m. - Hillary is expected to address her supporters shortly.
7:05 p.m. - John King is using his magical CNN map thing to prove that Hillary could never win, but Wolf Blitzer chimes in that everything could change if the Rules Committee seats Michigan and Florida when they convene on May 31.
7:06 p.m. - FOX News numbers: Clinton 62%, Obama 33%, with 57% of precincts reporting.
7:07 p.m. - "Obama has a celebration planned in Iowa, where the magic of hope and change all started" on FOX News.
7:09 p.m. - Tim Russert on MSNBC: Hillary wants to be as tough as McCain, but Obama has a different worldview on foreign and defense policy, and the Dems must make a decision on which they want.
7:13 p.m. - Pat Buchanan on MSNBC: Hillary thinks she's earned the right to be on the ticket as VP, and if Obama denies her then she can get someone to nominate her from the floor, and if he doesn't take her as VP then he is responsible for losing his own election.
7:14 p.m. - MSNBC panel discusses how Hillary feels that Barack can't win the general.
7:15 p.m. - Hillary's victory speech!
7:16 p.m. - Hillary: Not here to win primary or election, but to fulfill ideals of nation, etc.
7:17 p.m. - Hillary: Sen. Ted Kennedy (applause, cheers) is one of the greatest progressive leader in party history, most effective leader in country's history, hero to millions of Americans. Proud to have stood by Kennedy to increase minimum wage, offer health care to millions of children. "Five extraordinary decades devoted to America." He's been with us through our fights and we're now with him through his.
7:18 p.m. - Tonight we've achieved an important victory. It's not just Kentucky bluegrass that's music to my ears. They said it was over (boos, groans), but you never gave up on me, I'll never give up on you.
7:19 p.m. - We're winning the popular vote.
7:20 p.m. - Sees eye-to-eye with Obama on electing a Democrat to the WH in November. Help her, go to hillaryclinton.com (crowd says it with her).
7:21 p.m. - We have to select a nominee best positioned to win in Nov. and best prepared to face the enormous challenges. That's what election is all about. More people have voted for me than for anyone that's ever run for the Democratic nomination - more than 17 million votes.
7:22 p.m. - You know our political process is more than candidates, ads, pundits, it's about the path we choose as a nation and whether or not we solve problems, rebuild economy, end Iraq war, restore American leadership, and stand up for you every day.
7:23 p.m. - Too many Americans have felt invisible, but you've never been invisible to me. I've been fighting for you my entire life.
7:24 p.m. - Every deserves health care, shot at the American dream, to fill the gas tank and buy the groceries, to build a better life for their children. New century poses new challenges to meet, if only we had a president ready, willing, and able to lead. (crowd chants "Yes she will!")
7:25 p.m. - We believe it will take a president with experience representing the people of the U.S. in more than 80 countries to restore moral authority in the world. America is worth fighting for. I've fought with determination, never giving up and never giving in.
7:26 p.m. - Not because I wanted to demonstrate my toughness, but I believe passionately that the Dems must take back the WH and end Republican rule. That's why I'm still running and you're still voting!
7:27 p.m. - I'm going to campaign in Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico, and keep standing up for the voters of Florida and Michigan. Those two states cast 2.3 million votes and they deserve to have those votes counted. I will make our case until we have a nominee, whoever SHE may be!
7:28 p.m. - Kentucky has a knack for picking presidents - delivered 2 terms to a president named Clinton. As Kentucky goes, so goes the nation. Neither Obama or I has won 2,210 delegates required to win the nomination. Neither of us will reach the magic number when voting ends on June 3. Our party will have a tough choice. Who's ready to lead our party at the top of the ticket? Who is ready to defeat McCain in swing states? Who is ready on day one to lead?
7:29 p.m. - So many Kentuckians I want to thank, thanks to Kentucky steering committee including former governors, etc. etc., friends in labor, Kentucky Veterans for Hillary, Chairman Terry McAuliffe, family, staff, volunteers, supporters, and in Oregon and across America.
7:31 p.m. - One more request for all of my supporters, for everyone that has helped the campaign. Keep working, keep fighting, keep standing up for what you believe is right. That is exactly what I'm going to do. People ask me how do I keep going, it is you that keeps me going. I think of all the women who were born before women could vote. So many barriers have crumbled and fallen, but we must break highest and hardest glass ceiling.
7:32 p.m. - Honored by support of woman whose husband is serving in military. Thankful to 11-year-old who sold bike and video games to support my campaign. Dalton, thank you so much, the $422 you raised helped carry the day in Kentucky.
7:33 p.m. - That's why I'm in this race to fight for your future. No matter what, I'll work to elect a Democratic president this fall. United we stand, divided we fall, those words inspired our founding fathers, by the people, for the people, in service and sacrifice. We will come together as a party united by common values and common cause. We know no boundaries of race, gender, geography, there will be no stopping us.
7:34 p.m. - We won't juust unite our party, we'll unite the country and make sure our best years are ahead of us.

hillary takes kentucky


The major networks have called it for Hillary Clinton in Kentucky. With over thirty percent of precincts reporting, CNN had Hillary up by more than ten percentage points over Barack Obama.

Clinton's win in Kentucky is being called a sweep -- she's winning big, everywhere:

According to exit polls in Kentucky, Clinton won among men, 62-32 percent, and among women, 67-27 percent.

She also beat Obama across all age groups, income groups and education levels.

Nine percent of Kentucky voters were black, and they broke for Obama 87%. Clinton won 71% of the white vote. In exit polling, over half of Democratic voters said that Obama shares the views of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Polls show that Obama will likely have the advantage in Oregon's primary. We'll report later with more numbers, and with results from Oregon, whose last polls won't close until 10 p.m. CST.

Updates:
6:43 p.m. - 57-40 Clinton, 40% reporting
6:50 p.m. - 58-39 Clinton, 43% reporting
6:58 p.m. - 58-38 Clinton, 51% reporting
7:02 p.m. - 59-37 Clinton, 53% reporting

ted kennedy diagnosed with brain tumor

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., has a malignant brain tumor, according to reports.
A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics' most enduring figures.

"He remains in good spirits and full of energy," the doctors for the 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

They said tests conducted after the seizure showed a tumor in Kennedy's left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma, they said.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.
Kennedy's Senate colleagues reacted with grief and worry for their friend.
“I want to take a moment to say how distraught and terribly shaken I am over the news of my dear friend, my dear, dear friend, Ted Kennedy," [Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.)] said. "Ted, Ted, my dear friend, I love you, and I miss you."

“We just don't feel like going on,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). “He is the center of the Senate, the heart, mind and soul. Just pray.” ...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) delivered the news of the diagnosis at the Democrats’ weekly policy lunch. The usually boisterous session fell into “stunned silence,” Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said.

At the Republicans’ lunch, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) said, “We immediately all bowed our heads and said a prayer.”

Walking out of the Democratic lunch, a visibly shaken Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said: "I am having a hard time remembering a day in my 34 years here when I felt this badly."
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illi., frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in this year's presidential primary and the candidate endorsed by Kennedy, called the news "heartbreaking."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., called Kennedy the "most effective" senator ever and said he was a "fighter" whose "courage and resolve are unmatched."

Let's keep the Kennedy family patriarch in our thoughts and prayers tonight.

geraldine ferraro on sexism in the primary race

dnc launches "mccainpedia"


While Hillary and Barack battle it out until the end, the Democratic Party is ready to take on John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. The DNC has already launched ads against the Arizona senator, and even has an online resource center for those interested in defeating McCain in November.

Their latest move against him speaks to the fact that we're in a new political age: the Internet era. We've all seen and used Wikipedia, and online encyclopedia chronicling just about every single thing in the world. The Democrats now have a wiki of their own, McCainpedia.

The Democratic Party continues to lead the way in using the Internet to change politics. In the past, research by candidates and political parties was hidden from the public and couldn't be accessed by voters trying to figure out how they should vote, by activists looking to influence the election, or by bloggers trying to find good research to help write their blogs. With this resource, which will be constantly updated with additional material through the election, we are embracing the idea that opening up our resources is the best way to engage voters and elect a Democrat to the White House. ...

John McCain has been anything but transparent during the course of his campaign. From tax returns that he refuses to disclose to his failure to fully explain how he's going to pay for his massive tax cuts for corporations, he's attempting to avoid very basic levels of scrutiny. Because his goal is to hide facts about his policies and his record, we've made those available to everybody so that the American people can see for themselves that John McCain is offering a third Bush term.

McCainpedia will be an awesome resource for progressive bloggers, as well as anyone that wants to see a Democratic victory in November. So let's get started and do some research on John McSame!

Monday, May 19, 2008

help preserve california's marriage victory

We told you earlier about the exciting news out of California: gay marriage will be legal in that state. The Supreme Court ruled that a marriage ban for same-sex partners was unconstitutional. But the fight isn't over just yet.

From the Human Rights Campaign:
Right now, our opponents are raising millions of dollars to overturn this ruling through a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. For months, HRC and Equality California, as part of the Equality for All coalition, have been working to educate voters on the harmful effects of this amendment and counteract the efforts by anti-gay conservative groups to place this amendment on the November ballot.
We won't know for sure until June whether an anti-gay initiative will appear on the ballot in California, but that hasn't stopped HRC from taking pre-emptive action. HRC sent staffers to Orange County to educate voters and contributed $100,000 to the Decline to Sign effort.

HRC has set up a special fund to fight this ballot initiative - the HRC California Marriage PAC. By donating to this fund, 100% of your contribution will go straight to California to help the fight. Give what you can today to help preserve California's victory for marriage equality!

Texas Blog Roundup: May 19, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it's time to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance for the preceding week. Check out the best that the Alliance has to offer, brought to you this week by refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left.


WhosPlayin took a look at the Daisetta Sinkhole and wonders what part the saltwater disposal well on the site exceeding its licensed capacity might have played.

Boadicea of Texas Kaos has a clue for hapless Congresscritter John Culberson, who had his ass handed to him on the floor of the House this week.Memo to Cubby-Read the Bill BEFORE You Speak.


CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme joins the chorus criticizing the border patrol's plan to use hurricane evacuation as a means to find undocumented residents.

Refinish69 has a little talk with progressives over at Doing My Part For The Left about how Tomorrow never comes.

Not all of the countywide offices up for election in Harris County this year are high profile, but some of them should be more prominent on the public's radar. Off the Kuff takes a look at one such office with his early overview of the County Attorney race.

In response to the Mainstream Media's declaration (or whitewash) that the March 29 county and senate district caucuses were perfect, Vince at Capitol Annex says otherwise in the first of several pieces that looks at individual challenges to the conventions.

$422 Million. That is what most oil companies settle out of court for with Dallas super law firm Baron & Budd this past week. But the Texas Cloverleaf asks why is Exxon the lone holdout to want to go to trial in an election year?

Harry Balczak over at McBlogger takes look at a new website that's really nailed Chris Matthews and Tim 'Gotcha' Russert.

North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad explores the GOP's tarnished brand.[Also, please note that NTL has a new home: northtexasliberal.org.]

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on Speaker Tom Craddick giving up his number one job, protecting members of the Texas House in Lots Of Smoke, Little Fire, But Lots Of Ire.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Political Parties Focus on November

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, we learned that this last Saturday the Republicans began their GOTV campaign for the general election.

The GOP held a "Walk to Win" event in various counties statewide.
Here's the plan: volunteers will drive to assigned neighborhoods, knock on the doors of of people who voted Republican in 2004 or 2006, wait for said door to open, and ask, "so...are you still a Republican?"
Oh, how I would like to be a fly on the wall for those conversations.

The Texas Victory website reminds us why this effort is important.
Democrats took control of all countywide offices in Dallas County in 2006, even though the democratic vote did not increase from 2002. The sad truth is if we would have had a comprehensive plan to get out our vote out in 2006, we would have won. If it can happen in Dallas County, it can happen anywhere.
Here's hoping.

It's worth noting that Dallas County started its Democratic tsunami in 2004 by electing Don Adams to Criminal District Court No. 2, its first countywide Democratic judge since 1992.

This year in Denton County, Karen Guerra is running for the 16th District Court, the first judicial candidate to run as a Democrat in over 20 years.

Pundits maintain that winning a countywide election is still an uphill climb here. But in a year that seems destined to turn conventional wisdom on its head, Ms. Guerra's qualifications and integrity make her uniquely qualified to carry the Democratic banner in Denton County, and yes, even make a little history.

erica jong: "fling" won't end marriage for gay couples

California's recent decision to overturn that state's ban on gay marriage has brought the issue back to the forefront of American politics whether we like it or not.

Wouldn't it be nice if people could simply recognize that it's none of their business? Marriage is supposed to be about love. But any way you slice it, there are still quite a few Americans who would deny their fellow citizens that chance at love, and they will undoubtedly let their loud voices be heard this election season in order to attempt an electoral divide like the one we saw in 2004.

Erica Jong wrote an article ["Hurrah for Gay Marriage"] on HuffingtonPost in defense of gay marriage. Here's an excerpt:

So hurrah for California and Massachusetts. Let's hope the anti-gay lunatic fringe eventually sees gay marriage as a blessing not a curse. It certainly promotes stability and family. And it's certainly good for kids.

We agree with much of what she writes in the rest of the article, but one paragraph stands out like a sore thumb and it just has to be addressed.

I've often found that gay people are better at marriage than straight people. They don't get all bent out of shape about sex for sex's sake. At least this is true for gay men. And they don't run to bust up a perfectly cozy union because one member of the couple -- or both -- has a fling. Some couples are faithful and some not. And they seem to practice this without the territoriality and hypocrisy of mixed-sex couples. Actually, they should be our role models in marriage. They take it far more seriously than straight people -- perhaps because it was forbidden for so long.

Okay, so let's get this straight. "Gay people are better at marriage than straight people." That sounds like an interesting argument, but it could have legs. A sociologist once told me that gay people make better parents because they can never accidentally have children; they have to work for it. But the kicker is still to come: "...they don't run to bust up a perfectly cozy union because one member of the couple -- or both -- has a fling."

Is she for real? Is she actually reinforcing gay stereotypes, especially one regarding promiscuity, in a marriage debate? Gay people won't get divorced over infidelity because they aren't monogamous by nature. That's what I'm getting from this. I appreciate the sentiment, but what started as a defense of same-sex marriage ended up as an offensive stereotype of the very people that the author is supporting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The GOP's Tarnished Brand

Peggy Noonan wrote a piece in the Washington Post reflecting on the Republican's loss in Mississippi. She acknowledges the failures of the Bush administration, but blames the GOP for its dismal prospects in the upcoming elections. I'm not fan of Noonan's but I think she summed it up rather well.

What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn't happen in 2005, and '06, and '07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They're stuck.

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party's fortunes from the president's. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn't be left with a ruined "brand," as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.

The Republicans gained their political advantages through incredible party discipline. Rove's divide and conquer strategy helped win elections but the need to cater to so many special interests kept the party from evolving its message on the larger issues like the economy and the war.

Cheney's cudgel kept anyone from stepping out of line, but also prevented development of leadership with the courage to think independently of the administration's agenda.

At the same time, some of the worst policies and leadership in the history of this country were uniting Democrats and converting independents, ensuring that the GOP would have fewer safe seats. (The lingering question of the Mississippi race seems to be whether they have any safe seats at all.)

Running away from Bush's debacles would have been difficult under any circumstance, but McCain's history as a Washington insider virtually ensures the failures of this administration will be rehashed endlessly for the next six months. Jaren Bernstein has a perfect summation of the legacy the GOP will be running from this fall.

For seven long years, we've tried entrusting our government to those who discredit it, defund it, and fundamentally disbelieve in its role, except when they seek a lucrative contract or a bailout. We gone down the road-and it is a crumbling road, with potholes and failing bridges -- where the solution to every problem is a tax cut, where critical agencies are staffed with cronies at best and opposition lobbyists at worst, where secrecy trumps transparency and cynicism rules, where budget resources are never available for expanding children's health care, but always there for war.
The biggest problem the Republicans face in rebuilding their brand is the fact that their agenda has finally been laid bare. They are the party of big business, and that's not going to change no matter how much populist rhetoric Huckabee spews. When a rising tide was floating all yachts, the average Joe simply didn't care that corporatists were plundering the treasury, gutting oversight and rewriting the rules to their liking.

Now that the economy is headed south with no bottom in sight, people are waking up to a new reality - the long shadows on the horizon tell us it's no longer morning in America. Unfortunately, tossing the arrogant plutocrats responsible for this travesty won't begin to wrest power from the oligarchy that wields the power. If Democrats can win the White House this fall, will they still have the backbone to unwind the policies that brought us to our knees?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ellen degeneres on california marriage equality

"I’m thrilled that the California supreme court overturned the ban on gay marriage. I can’t wait to get married. We all deserve the same rights, and I believe that someday we’ll look back on this and not allowing gays to marry will seem as absurd as not allowing women to vote.

P.S. I’m registered at Crate & Barrel."

- Ellen DeGeneres, daytime talk show host and famed "out" comedian, discusses potential wedding plans with longtime lover Portia de Rossi following California's decision to make gay marriage legal in that state.

free to be you and me

In a monumental 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court made history today by ruling that a state ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, effectively rendering gay marriage legal in the state of California.

California is the second U.S. state, following Massachusetts, to recognize marriage equality.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the following in a statement today:
This is a historic day for the state of California, and a long-awaited day for the plaintiffs in this case and their families. The California Supreme Court has made clear that same-sex couples in committed relationships and their families deserve the same level of respect afforded to opposite-sex couples. The court did its job by ensuring that the state constitution provides the same rights and protections for everyone. This is a decision that strengthens California families.

We congratulate and commend the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Heller Ehrman, the Law Office of David C. Codell, Equality California, Our Family Coalition and, of course, the courageous plaintiff couples and their families who looked to the courts to defend their rights.
Civil unions or domestic partnerships are available to same-sex couples in Connecticut, Washington, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Gay marriage is currently recognized in five countries: Spain, the Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium, and Canada.

pinky and the brain

Remember Carrollton mayor Becky Miller? The one that allegedly went to Western Kentucky University, married a few of the Eagles, and faced sniper fire when her plane landed in Bosnia?

Well, she's not the mayor anymore.

In last Saturday's election, underdog opponent Ron Branson unseated the incumbent in a come-from-behind victory that the Dallas Morning News is taking credit for.

Mrs. Miller had led by 9 percentage points in early voting, but those ballots were cast at least a day before a Dallas Morning News story delved into her background. She wound up losing by 9 percentage points.

"That's a total flip," Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet said. "I can just make the assumption that ... that [news story] definitely had an impact."

Now, with Pinky out of the picture, Mayor Branson, known as "The Brain" for his propensity to hatch dastardly schemes, can move in and quickly enact his evil plan to make Carrollton the next Farmers Branch (whites only).
With Tim O'Hare's mayoral victory in neighboring Farmers Branch, two strong advocates of expelling illegal immigrants will lead neighboring northern suburbs. ....

Voters Saturday offered a mix of opinions about the candidates. Bob Olsen, 52, supported Mr. Branson because of his tough stance against illegal immigrants.

"He thinks kind of the same way Tim O'Hare does," Mr. Olsen said.

You're next, Lewisville.

our new home: northtexasliberal.org

Those of you that usually access our site by visiting www.northtexasliberal.com... well, don't.

We inadvertently let our domain name expire and it was immediately scooped up by a wannabe cowboy in the former Soviet Bloc. We feel about as disenfranchised as a Florida primary voter, but we decided instead of caving to communist blackmail, we'd just find a new home.

You can now visit our blog at the following locations:
www.northtexasliberal.org
www.northtexasliberal.net
northtexasliberal.blogspot.com

Please update your blogrolls and RSS feeds!

Thanks,
The Management

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the secret life of becky miller

The Secret Life of Becky Miller is the story of an ordinary soccer mom that fantasizes she's a pirate and a superhero.

Stay tuned for the upcoming sequel based on a true story: The Secret Life of Becky Miller 2: The College Years. The synopsis -- an ordinary Texas mayor fantasizes that she attended Western Kentucky University.

Update: The Miller-Branson showdown, a.k.a. Carrollton's municipal election, is this Saturday. The Dallas Morning News failed to make an endorsement in this race, but they did issue a stern editorial, saying "Carrollton needs a straight shooter" and encouraging Carrollton officials to push Miller out should she win Saturday's contest.

Why does the news media hate Pinky?

carrollton gone wild

Who would have thought Carrollton politics would make national news?

Well, come to think of it, Carrollton's not the first Dallas suburb to make the big time with its antics: we all remember the Farmers Branch fiasco.

Anyway, Wonkette has picked up on a Dallas Morning News story about Carrollton mayor Becky Miller, the Texan Pinocchio. Here's the quick run-down, Wonkette style:
  • She tells people she was engaged to Don Henley, frontman for the "westerny" '70s rock band, the Eagles. Why this would be anything to brag about, we don't know. But according to an Eagles spokesman, Henley has "never heard of her, doesn't know her, certainly was never engaged to her." Maybe he was on drugs, because that is what Rock Stars do.
  • She claims to have sung backup for Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne. Ooh, aren't you cool. Spokesmen for Browne and Ronstadt, as well as Miller's entire family, say this never happened. Miller hilariously claims that she went by other names — including "Pinky" — and that may be the source of the confusion. But she won't tell reporters what those other names were, because they were either really embarrassing or she's just making shit up.
  • She claims she used to attend Western Kentucky University. She didn't do this at all.
  • She says her brother died in Vietnam. Her father says that her brother never served in the military or died, what with him STILL BEING ALIVE. Miller — no joke — says her father has Alzheimer's and doesn't know what he's talking about, because she has a secret other brother who did die.
Miller is up against challenger Ron Branson in the election, and she is accusing him of dirty politics for trying to expose these alleged lies, half-truths, Bosnia snipers, etc. But her friends and family are not even on her side? Do they want her to lose? Are they also related to Rev. Wright?

Trust me, we'll be keeping a close eye on this feisty North Texas election.

Monday, May 05, 2008

true blue



Can you imagine waking up this November to a map of Texas that looked like this?

Well, neither can we, but we're certainly making progress in that direction.

With Sen. John Cornyn polling under 50% now, polling site Rasmussen Reports has added our junior senator to their "potentially vulnerable" category.

Any incumbent who polls below 50% is considered potentially vulnerable. That is especially true when a little known challenger is so competitive in an early general election match-up. The race for President in Texas is also fairly competitive early in Election 2008.

Noreiga leads among voters earning less than $40,000 a year. Cornyn leads among those with higher incomes. Cornyn leads among Evangelical Christian voters and other Protestants. Noreiga leads among those with a different faith background. Both candidates do well within their own party and are fairly evenly matched among unaffiliated voters.

According to Rasmussen, President Bush is polling with mere 45% approval ratings in Texas. And as reported earlier, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both very competitive in general election polls against Sen. John McCain.

Some have predicted that Texas was cycling blue... but could 2008 be our year?

Texas Blog Roundup: May 5, 2008

It's Monday and time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Blog Round-Up.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme notes Republican-run government favors crony money over Texans' health. Asarco, a proven polluter, is given a permit to start polluting again and Abbott says lead poisoning landlords have a right to privacy.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston, thinks Bob Perry should go to Hell.

Doing My Part For The Left's Refinish69 joins Austin high school students in Breaking the Silence.

WhosPlayin writes about the disturbing trend for hospitals to require payment up front for expensive services like chemotherapy. Even "non-profit" hospitals like U.T.'s M.D. Anderson are doing this, even while reducing free care and racking up huge surpluses.

Off the Kuff looks at the race for Harris County Sheriff and foresees immigration issues playing a big role.

The Texas Cloverleaf wonders why Governor 39% appointed a policy nerd to chair the Transportation Commission, rather than someone who knows anything about roads. Cronyism perhaps?

In the wake of the SCOTUS decision approving voter ID legislation last week, PDiddie of Brains and Eggs fact-checks the need for it.

North Texas Liberal's Texas Toad takes a look at the new Republican culture war over something just as useless: allowing guns in national parks. Thank you, John Cornyn.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has this post on the Reaction To Perry's TxDOT Appointments.

McBlogger take a moment to talk about the state of the TTC and Guv. 39%'s appointments to the Transportation Commission.

Lightseeker shares his opinion On Trusting Free Market to Regulate Government over at Texas Kaos.

Vince at Capitol Annex shows another example of Voter ID Idiocy, this time highlighting an editorial from the Texarkana Gazette's pseudo-ivory-tower-intellectual editorial board and explains why such thinking is typical of suburban newspaper editors.