Thursday, August 16, 2012

Four More Beers

I think we finally have proof that President Obama is not Muslim.

Yes, that is a draft beer and a pork chop, according to eyewitness accounts at the Iowa state fair.

 Back in 2008, the slow-sipping Obama found himself on the losing side of the beer-drinking battle, since Hillary Clinton knocked them back with gusto, sometimes with a shot of whiskey. The President was forced to pretend that beer didn’t matter. “Around election time, the candidates can’t do enough. They’ll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer,” he told crowds then, trying to undercut Clinton’s chugging advantage.

Yes, Obama has learned quite a bit since the arugula 'scandal'.

In 2012, however, Obama is determined to win the beer vote, a task made easier by the fact that his opponent, Mitt Romney, never drinks as a matter of religious principle. On his three-day trip through Iowa, beer was Obama’s ubiquitous prop, repeatedly offered up by the president and his aides as proof of his relatability—and more indirectly an attempt at reinforcing the otherness of Romney for regular folks.

The president didn’t just order beer before cameras, which he did at two different stops. He traveled across the state with a bus stocked with White House-brewed beer, and even handed out a bottle to a patron at a coffee shop in Knoxville. His campaign press secretary briefed reporters on the beer consumption of senior staff at the Iowa state fair—two Bud Lights apiece. A press gaggle detailed some of the attributes of the White House brewery. And Obama talked about brews, over and again.

By the time he made it to Waterloo Tuesday night, after another stop at a Cedar Falls pub for a 7 p.m. Bud Light, the strategy bordered on self-parody. “Yesterday, I went to the State Fair and I had a pork chop and a beer. And it was good,” Obama said, by way of introduction. “Today I just had a beer. I didn’t get the pork chop.  But the beer was good, too.”

Even with scant evidence that the president was actually drinking any of the many beers he was seen ordering, holding, and handing out from his home-brewed stash, the optics are still very much in his favor. Especially when Mitt Romney is having a campaign event at a Miami juice bar -- no alcoholic or caffeinated options on the menu -- owned by a convicted cocaine dealer.

I remember a time in the recent past when Republicans were pretty good at these presidential campaigns. Karl Rove must be cringing in agony.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brainy endorsements: Alfred Molison for HD 131, GC Molison for SBOE

Alas, whatever fences may have been mended with my Democratic friends by yesterday's endorsement may be undone today.

That's the way the Communist cookie crumbles.

HOUSTON – For the first time a Communist Party in the United States has formally endorsed two Green Party members for public office. The Houston Communist Party ( ) formally endorsed and will support Alfred Molison Jr. for Texas House of Representatives, District 131, and G.C. Molison for Texas Board of Education District 6, as Green Party candidates. Both candidates will face Libertarian, Democratic, and Republican opponents on the ballot November 6, 2012.

I join them in this endorsement. Alfred Molison Jr.'s opponent in HD-131 is Democratic incumbent Dr. Alma Allen, who beat back a primary challenge from former Houston city council member Wanda Adams in July. GC Molison is challenging 3 others in SBOE -6, including Democrat Traci Jensen.

“I was surprised and very happy upon hearing the news of their endorsement by the Houston Communist Party. Usually, the CPUSA ( ) mandates that members support and work for Democrats for public office. As far as I can tell this is the first and only endorsement by a Communist Party club of any Green Party candidates in the entire United States,” said Alfred Molison III, manager of his parents' election campaigns.

“I want to publicly thank the members and leadership of the Houston Communist Party for (their endorsements). We look forward to working together to improve the lives of working class people, better educate all the children of Texas and maintain and improve the entire environment for everyone.”

Molison III has served in the past as co-chair of the Harris County Green Party as well as former co-chair of the Green Party of Texas, and has previously run for municipal office himself in the city elections in 2009 as part of the Progressive Coalition. Both of his parents are retired and have joined the fray as candidates in this cycle in order, in their words, to expand upon the Ten Key Values of the Green Party.

For her part, Dr. Allen entered the statehouse after defeating a thoroughly disgraced Rep. Ron Wilson in 2004, and has met token opposition, if any at all, since that time. Adams' challenge in the primary, won by Allen 60-40, has been the closest contest during that period.

Dr. Allen has done little to distinguish herself during her tenure. In her three four terms in the House, her claim to fame is an anti-spanking bill, as well as her bipartisan efforts to get that bill passed with the help of a Republican colleague. Laudable, if low profile. The Chron's by-now-notorious and disgraced editorial board praised her in their primary endorsement, noting Speaker Joe Straus' appointment of Dr. Allen to the legislature's joint committee to study public school financing.

I just don't know how much more study that topic requires at this point. I believe everybody understands what the problems are, and the Republican-dominated Lege will very likely keep cutting money from the education budget. So Dr. Allen -- with all of her years of education experience and record of bipartisan cooperation -- is probably on that committee for the sole purpose of rubberstamping whatever it is the GOP is going to do in 2013.

Oh, one other thing: Dr. Allen came out early and endorsed the Corporate Democrat in CD-07. She obviously likes her fellow Democrats swimming in marinara sauce. That of course would be the plutocrat variety of rojo, and not the populist-flavored Red.

The candidates whom Mrs. Molison is challenging in November, likewise, are fine people and capable contenders. Marc Campos, the Latino political consultant with all the answers, has Jensen as his client. So we can expect a good push in the Latino community for Jensen.

For my part, I thought that Latino voters would have gone with the Latina and the progressive in the primary, Patty Quintana-Nilsson. So perhaps Campos' vaunted secret-key-to-Latino-turnout was in play, and if we're lucky, will finally be revealed to the benefit of all.

While we wait for the Democratic establishment candidates to reveal themselves as dedicated servants for the working class in their respective districts, we can know that there are already two candidates who are waiting for them.

“We are happy to support and endorse these candidates for public office who will fight for social justice to include economic justice for the working people of their districts”, said James Thompson, Chair of the Houston Communist Party. “This will serve as a good example of cooperation between Reds and Greens in an effort to fight for the interests of working people”, he said.

“I have to admit to having had some prejudice against Communists," Molison III said. "However, when I went to meetings with the Houston Communist Party, I was surprised to find a tremendous amount of genuine freedom of speech, democracy and differences of opinion and procedure. It wasn’t divided. It was respectful and broad. I think most people would enjoy meetings of the Houston Communist Party. They aren’t fighting for the doctrine and theology of Marxism. They’re working together to figure out how to help people and the world. Just like the Greens and the Green Party, they haven’t been bought out by the wealthy and the big corporations.”

And there you have it. I just hope nobody still wonders why I have broken out of the Blue straight-jacket of one-party thinking. I encourage all free thinkers to join me.

Once you have scooped your brains up off the floor and arranged them carefully back into your cranial cavity, that is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brainy endorsements: Nile Copeland

The first in a continuing series of endorsements of November candidates for progressive voters.

Nile Copeland is my favorite candidate running for any office in 2012. And when you read this, you'll understand why.

TODAY I see stories in the news like:

 I am running for the Texas First Court of Appeals because I am tired of apologizing for the legal system. It's time to fix a broken judiciary. It's time to put your foot down and say NO MORE BS. Judges have a responsibility to uphold the time honored position and see that the law is fair, impartial and to act professionally and with integrity. We should be proud of our Texas Judges. If you read a story where a judge does something you think is BS, please send it to me.

Here's more about Nile if you need it. I didn't. Truthfully I would be inclined to support nearly anybody whose slogan was "No More BS", but as we know politicians -- certainly judicial candidates -- do not typically use language so blunt in ther campaigns.

Needless to say, I only sat with Copeland a couple of times before I realized he was the man. I just wish he was running for Texas Supreme Court. Or governor. Maybe he will.

But for now we need to elect him to the First Court of Appeals, where currently only Republicans serve with one exception. Because the counties served by the First -- Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Waller, and Washington -- include a number of rural ones where many voters aren't so discriminating, it is vital that we put the word out that Copeland is the man for the Herculean task of reforming the judicial system in Texas, beginning at the appellate level.

So e-mail this post to your friends using the link below, and to the Democratic chairs in the counties listed above -- here's a list of county chairs with their e-mail addresses -- and make a contribution if you can to Copeland's campaign. You can also like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter.

He is as good as it gets for Texas progressives.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to thank Mitt Rmoney for clarifying what this election is about -- better than it ever could -- as it brings you this week's roundup.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed how blind America's elected leaders are to the reality of climate changes. Headlines have described catastrophic climate and weather events, one after another for the past decade. Each year seems to break another record, at least in terms of human recorded history. So 2012 gives Americans a chance to elect responsive and responsible leaders. On Fire, Out of Food, Out of Water, Out of Power shows the reality Americans are facing. Who can we elect that will step up to save our future?

The great equalizer in any society is education, that's why the regressives hate it so much. WCNews at Eye on Williamson points out that the GOP attack on public education will continue next session.

Off the Kuff notes that while Democrats want to talk about solutions in Texas, Republicans want to talk about things that will benefit themselves.

At TexasKaos, Libby Shaw explains how the Texas Tea Party Republicans Bur[ied] the Birther Hatchet. For Ted Cruz.

The stooges running Harris County elections came under the withering scrutiny of PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, and a proposal to appoint an elections administrator was met with moans of objection from Democratic activists. PDiddie reminds the naysayers that if you keep on doing what you've been doing, you're going to keep on getting what you've got.

Rick Perry and his minions lied their asses off about there being money to pay for women's health. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme isn't the least bit surprised.

 Neil at Texas Liberal has been in Chicago this week. Neil has posted a number of pictures from the City of Broad Shoulders.