Monday, July 28, 2008

wendy for the win! (brimer loses ouster suit)

Despite Kim Brimer's best efforts, it looks as if he'll be facing his worthy adversary Wendy Davis on the November ballot.

The Lone Star Project reported that Brimer lost his court challenge against Davis a few days back.
After very brief deliberation, State District Court Judge Tom Lowe denied Republican State Senator Kim Brimer’s effort to knock his Democratic challenger, Wendy Davis, off the November ballot. Judge Lowe upheld Davis’ position on every important disputed point.
We knew Davis would emerge from this frivolous lawsuit victorious, but Brimer may still appeal the decision according to PoliTex.

So for the time being, this drama may continue.

But Tarrant County needs Wendy! We can't let these Republican scare tactics derail one of the most promising candidacies in North Texas this cycle. Contribute to the Wendy Davis campaign today.

After all, Brimer may be trying to oust her from the race, but we all know why he's trying: he's afraid she'll oust him from the Texas Senate.

hutchison gearing up for governor run

It's been rumored for a while now that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would leave her job at the U.S. Senate in order to run for governor of Texas in 2010.

Apparently, the rumors are true. According to Paul Burka, Hutchison has been meeting with the Texas Republican congressional delegation seeking their private endorsements as she gears up for the gubernatorial campaign.
The R’s aren’t thrilled about being in the middle of a potential Hutchison-Perry primary showdown. They would have sided with Perry in 2006, but he has done too many controversial things that he can’t undo: the Trans-Texas Corridor, the coal plants, the HPV controversy, his hostility to the education community, both public and higher.

And Capitol Annex has some interesting news, as well. Karl Rove is reportedly going to hold a Texas fundraiser for Hutchison's bid. We have a feeling that 2010 is going to be an interesting year for Texas Republicans.

Texas Blog Roundup: July 28, 2008

It's Monday and it's time once again for another Texas Progressive Alliance roundup. Here are the blog highlights for the week of July 28:

TXsharon challenges you to view these pictures of Domestic Drilling Armageddon in the Barnett Shale and still support the Drill and Burn Domestic Drilling agenda.

U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez' Republican challenger for the 23rd Congressional seat is taken to task by Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm for shirking his responsiblity on a critical hospital expansion vote before the Bexar County Commissioner's Court.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the GOP's "latest" energy plan in Carter, Oil, & Hair Of The Dog.

Neil at Texas Liberal asks what would be the impact if Polar Bears could vote.

Off the Kuff looks at a Texas Monthly overview of the effects of the Presidential race on downballot elections in Texas and offers his criticism of it.

Guest Columnist JR Behrman at Texas Kaos has a few strong words about Energy Policy: Democrats Routed. He also has a Texas Plan.

Julie Pippert of the MOMocrats asks the Obama campaign to explain its absence in Texas after they announced the roll-out of their Spanish-Language ads as an outreach to Hispanic voters, then discusses a Senate proposal that would require 50% of US cars to have a flexible fuel system by 2012, and finally the MOMocrats share the draft of their position paper to be submitted to the Democratic National Committee for inclusion in the party platform.

McBlogger had a great time in the subprime panel at Netroots Nation. So good in fact that he decided to offer some of his own solutions since the panelists, including the dimwitted Rep. Brad Miller, decided to offer nothing of substance.

XicanoPwr reports on the latest poll by the Pew Hispanic Center on the Latino vote. Latino polling shows that 66% of Latino registered voters will support Obama.

Burnt Orange Report points out that Ag Commissioner Todd Staples finally comes around to what Democrat (and future Ag Commissioner) Hank Gilbert has been saying all along- Texan's are being overcharged at the gas pump due to lack of state inspections.

BossKitty at TruthHugger dreams about the "Count Down To Accountability - Bush, Cheney Indictments".

refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left invites everyone to meet Annette Taddeo- A True Progressive Democrat.

jobsanger writes about how after years of the Bush Presidency even our cloest traditional ally no longer trusts us in Brits Don't Trust Bush On Torture.

Obama and the down-ballot races in Texas are the focus of two articles by R.G. Ratcliffe of the Houston Chronicle. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs summarizes, and finds some to agree with and some not.

Mean Rachel writes an open letter to Rep. Elliot Naishtat, encouraging him to consider joining the technology age and starting an inexpensive, easy-to-use website tailor-made for state legislators with Wired for Change's DLCCWeb, a Netroots exhibitor.

nytexan at BlueBloggin keeps an eye on Mitch McConnell, the GOP king of distortion and extortion. McConnell plans to block legislation that can impact Americans now and push for a bill whose product will not be seen for 10 years; McConnell Extorts Senate For Off Shore Drilling. McConnell never fails to please Bush and his corporate buddies.

WhosPlayin looks at a new USGS petroleum estimate for the Arctic Circle, and notes that only a small portion of ANWR is estimated to be productive, and that the study doesn't address economic feasibility. (Includes Map)

Vince from Capitol Annex tells us that, while indicted former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Sugar Land) won't accept a presidential pardon, he'd love one from Texas Governor Rick Perry.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme gets upset with a crappy newspaper article.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

barackin' berlin

The media has been focused lately on Sen. Barack Obama's world tour, and his opponent John McCain has made a few swipes at the overseas voyage. But whatever your thoughts, watch this speech and listen to the words.

Over 200,000 people assembled to hear this presidential candidate speak in Germany. Yes, President Bush has tried to train us that we shouldn't care what the rest of the world thinks, but after all we are sharing the earth. Unity is important. Common goals can be reached. Yes we can.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Precinct Blogs in Denton County

Few things have been more exciting in this extraordinary election year than watching the grassroots organizing that has developed as a direct outgrowth of the primary election process. And one of the most entertaining aspects of that for me are the blogs that have been popping up at the precinct level. There is nothing more rewarding to this blogger than helping another blogger join the chorus of activists seeking progressive political change in Denton County.

A couple of new blogs have launched recently, joining some previously established ones. Here is a list of the current Democratic precinct blogs in Denton County that I know of. Have I missed anyone? If you've got a Democratic precinct blog in Denton County that isn't listed here, leave me a link in the comments.
Blog/City                       Precinct No. 

Castle Hills Democrats Precinct 224

Highland Village Precinct 322

Lewisville Precinct 324

Corinth Democrats (Lake Cities) Precincts 129 & 108

And if your precinct or city isn't represented, visit these for a little inspiration. When it comes to blogging, the more the merrier.

Monday, July 14, 2008

cynthia mckinney wins green party nomination

The Green Party has chosen their presidential nominee, and no, it's not Ralph Nader.

Instead, it's former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, whose claim to fame we reported on back in 2006:
In March, McKinney had a scuffle with U.S. Capitol security when she wasn't wearing a pin that signified her as a congresswoman and the officer refused to let her enter the building. She cited racism, but the officer claimed not to recognize her.
McKinney won the Green Party's nomination over the weekend, with Rosa Clemente on the ticket as the vice presidential candidate.

For those voters who think Ralph Nader and Bob Barr are too conventional, the Green Party this weekend named former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, its 2008 presidential nominee.

At the Green Party's nominating convention Saturday in at the Chicago Symphony Center, McKinney received 313 out of 532 votes cast in the first round of balloting.

"I am asking you to vote your conscience, vote your dreams, vote your future, vote Green," McKinney told the convention's 800 or so attendees. "A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the movement that will turn this country right-side-up again."

In her acceptance speech, McKinney said that the Green Party only needs five percent of the national popular vote to be considered a major party rather than a minor one, "pulling up another chair to the table of public policy" with an official third party in the U.S.

"Nothing for us is impossible," she said. "We are in this to build a movement."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

running scared! (brimer tries to keep davis out)

If you don't think it's possible to beat an opponent, then you should try to get them disqualified.

Well, at least according to Kim Brimer's logic. The Republican incumbent is apparently trying to get his Democratic challenger, Wendy Davis, removed from the ballot in Fort Worth's SD 10.

PoliTex gives a little background on the situation:

The suit follows the same line of argument as three Fort Worth firefighters charged back in January, when they alleged in a suit that Davis couldn't run for the state senate because she didn't officially step down from her seat on the Fort Worth City Council before filing her candidacy.

"In effect, Davis sought to become a candidate for the Legislature at the same time she continued to hold a 'lucrative office', exercise her duties and enjoy the benefits of office as a member of the City Council," the suit alleges.

State election law prohibits officeholders from running for the Legislature, but state law also requires resigning officeholders to hold their seats until their successors are sworn in, according to city of Fort Worth officials.

A three-judge panel in that case ruled that the firefighters didn't have standing to challenge Davis' eligibility, only a political opponent did.

Now that a political opponent is making that challenge, what will happen? Stay tuned, but we're putting our money on Wendy... again.

the experiment continues to illuminate

The following is an op-ed by Joe Jaworski:
This week, we mark 232 years since our nation declared its independence and launched the greatest experiment in democracy the world has ever known.

That experiment continues to illuminate. The Founders were revolutionaries – and we should always think of them so – who designed our government to be an institution answerable to the American people. Our government works because regular men and women stand for election among their peers who, by their vote, grant the ultimate consent to be governed. No matter the great change that has taken place since 1776, our government was designed to survive “politics” because American citizens are able to control their own course.

The mood is revolutionary again because - for the first time in over fifty years - whoever is elected President will be “new” to the White House. Not since Eisenhower’s 1952 election over Stevenson have we witnessed a campaign without the President or his Vice President seeking the office. And since no incumbent is defending the past four years, the 2008 election cycle is about demanding an honest assessment of our condition and finding a new way forward. We’ll find that way forward by voting our conscience.

I take my kids to vote with me because the citizen’s act of voting is the trademark American experience. I’m asking you today to take stock of your vital role as a Texan and an American, and reflect on your commitment to making our democracy work. We’ll have an opportunity to vote in November 2008 in a life changing election for several offices, and each of us has a duty to cast an informed vote. We’ll be voting for office holders who decide matters vital to our family’s well being. While the politicians and special interests hope for minimal scrutiny from the public, and they expect most people to be “tuned out” until just before the November 4, cycle, it’s July 4 and we have four months until election-day. We have the opportunity to learn who the candidates are, study their issues and ask questions. We can afford to be casually indifferent about a few things in life, but casting an educated vote is a vital civic challenge we ought to accept given what’s at stake: the robustness of our economy, the quality of our foreign relations, and – clearly the most important issue - our domestic investment in our next generation’s health, education and welfare. Today’s vote determines our future. We love our children and grandchildren; let’s remember that when we vote.

Amid the many family picnics, fireworks displays, and community parades, let’s take a moment to reflect on the enormity of our American experience and consider the heroes and generations whose shoulders we stand upon. Our commitment this Independence Day is to participate and defend the democratic ideal committed to us by the Founders and the Americans who followed.

Joe Jaworski served as Galveston Mayor Pro-tem and is currently running for the Texas Senate in District 11.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Comer Files Suit Over TEA Termination

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Chris Comer has filed suit against the Texas Education Agency and its Education Commissioner, Robert Scott, over her termination late last year. Comer, the Science Curriculum Director for TEA at the time, was fired after forwarding an email to colleagues drawing their attention to a lecture given by a pro-evolution expert in the debate on intelligent design.

The lawsuit challenges the agency's neutrality regarding teaching creationism in the classroom.

Creationism is a religious belief. Teaching creationism as science in public schools violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States constitution. The Texas Education Agency ("Agency") has a policy of purported "neutrality" on teaching creationism as science in public schools. By professing "neutrality," the Agency credits creationism as a valid scientific theory. Creationism, however, is not a valid scientific theory; it is a religious belief. The Agency's policy is not neutral at all, because it has the purpose or effect of inviting dispute about an issue- teaching creationism as science in public schools- that is forbidden by the Establishment Clause. The Agency's "neutrality" has the purpose or effect of endorsing religion, and violates the Establishment Clause.

The remainder of the lawsuit is worth reading, as it gives details of the TEA's actions prior to and after the firing. There are also some interesting exhibits relating to the importance of Texas as a battleground in the fight by creationists to introduce the "strengths and weaknesses" argument against evolution.

As the Texas Observer notes:
After all the negative publicity, the mocking editorials, the scorn of the education community, and now this - a serious lawsuit - firing Comer looks like the dumbest thing TEA could have done.
Just before the State Board of Education is due to revise the state's science curriculum, the lawsuit promises to bring the issue of evolution front and center before the public eye. The State Board of Education is dominated by creationists, including the Chairman, Don McLeroy, and District 14's incumbent Gail Lowe. Depending on the outcome of the November elections, it is widely believed they will have a majority on the board. If that is the case, a lawsuit may be the only thing preventing the anti-science idealogues from introducing creationism to public schools through the back door.

cornyn senior staffer exposed!