Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Now Corny Wants to Take Credit for The New GI Bill

From today's Center for American Progress Briefing:
After voting against Sen. Jim Webb's (D-VA) GI Bill, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) now "has the gall to try and take credit for its passage." Brandon Friedman of VoteVets.org writes, "It is an admirable attempt at spin, however. Either way, the troops know Cornyn is a flip-flopper who supports them when it's politically expedient."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Horror in Iraq Continues Despite McCain's Claims

John McClaim's continuing statements that we are achieving "victory" in Iraq defy rationality and the truth on the ground. Can you tell he was an advocate for Vietnam? One would have thought that he had learned his lesson there. But, no, he simply has to appeal to his misinformed and belligerent base that can't bother with the facts. The real danger is that McClaim continues to have a residue of respect for once fighting the administration's lackeys on Iraq and other issues. Unfortunately, that man is buried underneath at least 6 feet of dirty lies, misinformation and his own denial of his former embodiment as a man who at least had a little integrity. May that former soul rest in peace.

The Facts:
Juan Cole details the fundamental failure of the "surge" in today's Informed Comment here is an excerpt:

"The law revising treatment of former Baathists, which Bush and McCain had hailed as meeting a "benchmark" for political progress in Iraq, has never been implemented. The law is so ambiguous that how it is put into effect would determine if it could actually reduce the resentments of Sunni ex-Baathists. It was denounced when it was passed this winter by ex-Baathists such as Iyad Allawi and Salih Mutlak in the Iraqi parliament, which I thought a bad sign.

Although this important Reuters story is itself a refutation of the whole Kagan-Bush-McCain victory narrative of the "surge" or troop escalation, it will not even be mentioned on American television. The troop escalation had been intended to lead to political reconciliation, not just to temporarily tamp down violence in some neighborhoods. In fact, it led to a massive ethnic cleansing of Baghdad's Sunnis. There is no evidence that most of the Sunni Awakening Councils, who take money from the US to fight the Salafi Jihadis, are eager to reconcile with al-Maliki's government, by the way."

For a taste of what is really still happening in Iraq take a look at this interview with Laura Logan from last night's Daily Show.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My first State Democratic Convention, what an experience!

Bic Asberry, Wally Wadsworth and Jeanine Allen all tried to tell me what to expect at my first state convention but it was still a shock and a thrill. Sitting for hours at a time listening to debate on resolutions that were going to be referred to the SDEC anyway seemed to go on forever. The food was horrible, the weather was suffocating, the Austin Convention Center seemed to have been built by a confused sadist and after hearing the same speech repeated 20 or 30 times it did get old. But there were many thrills and highlights that made the trip worthwhile.

There were estimated to be 15-20,000 people in attendance and when we all cheered at once it shook the building. Nancy Sanchez was our designated cheerleader and she did a terrific job of it too.

Our Delegation came away with quite a few feathers in our hat. Phillip Borawski was elected as a member of the Permanent Resolution Committee and spent almost two completes days from early in the morning to late in the evening working on that vital committee. And amazingly Brandi Richards was elected as an Obama Delegate to the Democratic national Convention in Denver. Way to go Brandi! I was elected as what is called the Director position over the 10 County Chairs in Senate District 2. That position also makes me a member of the prestigious State Democratic Executive Committee. We are all honored to represent Rockwall Democrats in these three influential positions.

Harold Partain did a fantastic job of getting us all accounted for and keeping us together as a delegation. I think the vast majority of our delegates were there for most of the polled votes, though several alternates were elevated to full delegate status on Saturday.

The highlight for me was hearing Chelsea Clinton speak. She was poised, articulate and very warm. She spoke about her mother’s courageous campaign but pledged her and her mom’s full enthusiastic support of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. I swear there was some kind of light shining around that brilliant young woman.

Barack sent the Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, to speak on his behalf. Governor Kaine is a rising star in the Democratic Party. A graduate of Harvard Law School, his law practice in Virginia for 17 years specialized in representing people who had been denied housing opportunities because of race or disability. He did a good job of focusing our collective eyes on the prize of the presidency and the work we have ahead of us to capture it for Senator Obama.

Another highlight was hearing State Representative and Lt. Colonel in the National Guard Rick Noriega. Click here to see the YouTube video. Noriega joined the United States Army in 1979 in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis. He became a Lt. Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard, and most recently served in the War in Afghanistan that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On his return from Afghanistan, Mayor Bill White requested that Noriega command the evacuee shelter operation at the George Brown Convention Center, where he oversaw thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Rick is the Democratic Candidate running against Little Johnny Cornyn who has never met a corporation he didn’t love or an environmental protection law that he liked. Cornyn votes for billions and billions in war funding without blinking an eye and goes apoplectic at the thought of spending millions on the elderly or poor children. His most recent stomach turning stand was to oppose the New GI Bill giving the 1.5 million Iraq an Afghanistan veterans a decent chance at a quality education. I guess Corny doesn’t think these men and women who have spent multiple tours risking their lives, their limbs, their brains and their souls have sacrificed enough to earn a good college education.

There are several polls that put Noriega in a dead heat with John Cornyn. Cornyn has big corporation donors, but we can beat him with grassroots activism.

Boyd Richie was re-elected as Democratic Party Chair. Early in the convention he gave a rousing welcoming speech to all of us. He also showed us a new video that will be aired on TV called By The Numbers that dramatically shows how the tide is turning against the Republicans all over Texas and the nation.

Kirk Watson was the Convention Chair and did a great job. He is a former Mayor of Austin and a current Texas State Senator from the 14th District. Kirk is a rising star in the Democratic Party and after hearing his speech and witnessing his mastery of the convention process it is easy to see why.

There was some kind of mix up so that Glenn Melancon didn’t get a chance to speak but I think he too is a rising star in our party and you can see a video of him speaking here. Glenn can beat Ralph Hall if we can get a turnout in November like we did in the primary. That means we have a real shot at replacing someone who has gone along with every Whitehouse decision in lock step fashion. Ralph Hall, a veteran of WWII who went to college on the original GI Bill, voted against the New GI Bill too. I still can’t figure that one out.

There were many more speakers who repeated the message to us that we CAN take back Texas and Washington this year. We have great candidates and a growing grass roots organization all over Texas. Let’s get moving and take back our State and our Country! I am excited and ready to move.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A weekley roundup of liberal Texas blogs

I though I would change things up a little today and do my own personal round up of Liberal Texas blogs.
Brains and Eggs has questions for Boyd Richie which are rather pointed and direct about how he has managed the party recently. Included is an accusation that he had Ron Kirk tell a women who is running for State Chair that if she did her superdelegate status would be lost.

Meanwhile Texas Kaos has important info re Texas Democratic State Convention.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram had an article this weekend that details how the Texas Sunset Commission is recommending that The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) be placed under a conservator's management since the leaders of the department seemed to have taken a bad trip to exotic (foreign owned) tollway island and drank the cool aid.

Vince from Capitol Annex reviews the Texas Legislative Study Group’s excellent recommendations concerning what the Texas Legislature needs to do to improve higher education.

The burning question at Doing My Part For The Left is will Republicans return Rev, Hagee’s hate money.

For more tidbits check out:

Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up: June 2, 2008 (Pre-Convention Edition!) at Capital Annex

If any of you have news about the issues or processes that will be going on at the State Convention later this week, please post them in the comments section.