Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cornyn Failing Texans Again

Senator John Cornyn is letting Texans down. He has failed to submit recommendations for any of the seven federal bench seats currently vacant, some for three years. Wednesday he voted against legislation that would allow women who have suffered harm by not being paid equally for equal work to sue.

Two of the judgeships Sen. Cornyn has failed us on are now classified as judicial emergencies due to the backlog of cases that have collected while he dithers. There are real people here in Texas who are suffering delays in getting justice and as the old saying goes “justice delayed is justice denied”.

John Cornyn has once again shown he isn’t willing to look after the interests of Texas women by voting against their rights to enforce pay equity. He apparently agrees with Rick Perry who calls it nonsense.

We have an opportunity to retire John Cornyn this November by electing Dr. David Alameel. He has served his country in the US Army, he has served his community as a dentist and philanthropist and is now willing to serve his state and the nation in the US Senate. I urge your support for Dr. Alameel.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why am I a liberal?

I’m a married, straight, middle aged, white male living in the suburbs, the product of 12 years of Catholic schools so you might expect me to be a conservative and yet I’m a liberal; not a neo-liberal but a New Deal/Great Society liberal.

I’m a liberal because I believe that public education is what made this nation great and helped win WWII as well as the peace that followed it. I believe that every child no matter how poor or broken the home or how poor a community they come from deserves a decent education. I believe quality education makes for more productive workforce and a happier, healthier life.

I’m a liberal because I believe that the criminal justice system should be even handed with rich and poor. I believe that justice isn’t just about punishment it’s also about healing the community. I believe that while the death penalty may make you think “they got what they deserved” that penalty has been dealt out to those who were innocent and even when meted out to those who were guilty it only served to harm that person’s family.

I’m a liberal because I believe in economic fairness including fair pay for all, women should be paid the same as men when they do the same job. I believe that everyone who works a full time job deserves a living wage and access to medical care for their family. I believe that farm workers and domestic workers deserve the same minimum wage and job protections as everyone else.

I’m a liberal because I believe our society is rich enough that we as a nation are responsible for seeing to it that no child goes unfed or with medical conditions untreated.

I’m a liberal because I believe the best way to restore and maintain this nation’s economy is to have a full employment policy so that when market demand for labor is low our government puts people to work either directly or through infrastructure improvement projects. I believe that shared prosperity is the only sustainable prosperity.

I’m a liberal because I believe in inclusiveness and human rights so I support marriage equality since every human has a fundamental right to love whom they choose. I believe in immigration reform because every human has a right to earn a living and care for their families. No one should worry that they’ll lose their job if the boss finds out they’re gay or an atheist.

I’m a liberal because I believe that it’s none of the government’s business what anyone does in their own home or to their own body so jailing someone for smoking marijuana or restricting a woman’s right to control her own body is out of the question.

I’m a liberal because I believe in community, we all do better when we work together instead of stepping on others in a race to get "ahead". I support expanding Medicaid because like public education it is good for everyone, healthy students learn more, healthy employees are more productive and all that saves money in the long run.

I’m a liberal because I believe that making war is too often done for the profit of a wealthy few and not the welfare of the many either in this country or in the nation that is the battlefield. I believe that if we do make war then our troops deserve not only our respect but also the finest medical care available whether they are wounded physically or mentally.

I’m a liberal because I believe that in a democracy government is nothing more or less than the organized will of the people. Government is there to insure that those people are taken advantage of whether through outright fraud or abusing the commons.

I’m a liberal because I believe in protecting the environment that humans and our society have adapted to. Being green doesn't cost jobs by raising costs, it actually creates jobs and saves money as well as leaving a better world for all our children. I believe that as the nation that creates the most green house gases per capita we have an obligation to lead by example and significantly reduce our emissions before asking others to do so especially developing nations like India.

In short I’m a proud liberal because I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to make our world a better place and I accept my share of that responsibility. Do you?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Greg Abbott's family values apparently include statutory rape and draft dodging

Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for governor, has been campaigning and drawing crowds with Ted Nugent. The aging rock star has publicly bragged about his sexual encounters with under age girls. As the father of a teenage daughter, I am outraged at Nugent’s behavior but Greg Abbott, currently the Texas Attorney General, continues palling around with Nugent and that’s reprehensible. What does it say about Greg Abbott’s family values that he enthusiastically embraces a sexual predator who has admitted to multiple counts of statutory rape?

Nugent claims to be a true patriot and supporter of the Second Amendment yet he once told an interviewer that he dodged the draft during the Viet Nam war by defecating in has pants and continuing to wear them for days until his appearance before the draft board. Abbott claims he’ll defend Texas and our constitution yet he publicly associates himself with an admitted draft dodger. Nugent later claimed he had pulled the wool over the reporter’s eyes, so either way he’s been disrespectful of those who served our nation, many of whom gave their very lives for it. What does Abbott’s continued embrace of Nugent say about his idea of patriotism?

How can any Texan calling themselves patriots not be outraged? How can any man who respects women not be outraged that a high government official and seeker of yet higher office associates with someone as repulsive as Ted Nugent?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

GOP Violating Ethics and Possibly Campaign Finance Law

In Florida the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) created a website that gave the appearance of backing Democrat Alex Sink for Congress and took contributions from people who thought they were supporting her with the intention of providing those funds to her adversary. Rather than campaign on ideas and policy leading Republicans have stooped so low as to lie about their identity and intentions in order to steal money from people who disagree with them.

15 Democratic candidates in other states have also been targeted by the same corrupt Republican ploy. Lest you believe this corrupt operation is just a few rogue individuals you should know that Daniel Scarpinato, the NRCC's press secretary told CNN “we are very proud of this program.” Scarpinato says the sites have been so successful that the NRCC plans to build more of them in the 2014 election cycle. While here in Texas an as yet unidentified group is making robo-calls using a woman’s voice claiming to be Sen. Wendy Davis.

While the GOP, aka God’s Own Party, claims to be the only party of morals, law and order, party leaders are violating simple ethics and possibly campaign finance law. Rather than campaign on ideas and policies the morally bankrupt leadership of the Republican Party is willing to violate ethical standards to win elections. That should tell you something about the moral quality of their ideas and policies.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why are our tax dollars subsidizing highly profitable corporations?

Roughly half of all fast food workers use some form of public assistance, Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance. 68 percent of fast-food workers are single or married adults who aren’t in school, 26 percent are raising children. Big companies that pay minimum or near minimum wage to their mostly adult employees are responsible for a high percentage of people on government assistance.

If you’re one of the 49 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes then you are being taken advantage of by Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart, and other top executives because you’re subsidizing their profits to the tune of $7 billion every year. That’s what it takes to pay for the public assistance relied upon by their employees. McDonald's subsidy alone is worth $1.2 billion a year, which equates to more than a fifth of its 2012 profits.

If you think you pay too much in federal taxes ask Congressman Lamar Smith why he allows your tax dollars to subsidize the profits of big corporations like McDonald’s, Walmart and Papa John’s. If you think your state taxes are too high ask Senator Donna Campbell why she isn’t working to make highly profitable companies pay their employees enough that they don’t qualify for public assistance.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop subsidizing their profitability by raising the minimum wage so that anyone working a full time job didn’t need our tax dollars to pay for health care, food and rent?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lamar Smith, a latter day Ebenezer Scrooge

Here we are in the midst of the season of giving when churches, the Marines and police departments across the nation make special efforts to help the less fortunate and yet Congress led by wealthy men is taking away needed assistance. I’m talking about men like Lamar “Scrooge” Smith voting to reduce food stamps and failing to continue extended unemployment benefits for those who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
There are more than 47 million Americans facing hunger today and yet congressional Scrooges have cut $40 million from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program which means 4 million Americans, many of them children, will have less to eat. Food Banks are already unable to keep up with demand this shameful cut will only make things worse.

Extended unemployment benefits are next on the chopping block and the excuse the Scrooges offer is the ridiculous claim that unemployment insurance benefits discourage people from looking for work; but the reality is that there are at least three unemployed people for every job opening. Even if every open job were filled today 65% of the currently unemployed would still be without a job. How many of us would sit back and accept even the maximum $1800 a month benefits rather than take a job that pays even half of our former salaries? That barely covers my health care bills and groceries; where would mortgage payments, utilities and gas for the car come from?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Senator Campbell to blame for lack of curriculum in SCUC ISD

In “Change ideas dominate SCUCISD board meeting” from the November 28 issue writer John Heberling brought up the abandonment of CSCOPE as one cause of the current lack of curriculum in the district. What he didn’t mention is that the district didn’t drop usage of CSCOPE voluntarily; it was ripped out of the hands of small and medium sized districts like ours all over the state by a few legislators looking to earn their conservative credentials by vilifying it as anti-American.

The witch hunt over the CSCOPE curriculum was uncalled for as evidenced by its use in districts like Lackland ISD using it broadly. Dina Webb, Lackland's executive director for curriculum and instruction, was quoted in the Express-News in January saying “We don't mandate how teachers use it and certainly, as a military district, wouldn't teach anything anti-American. But we certainly don't have the money or staff to be able to write new curriculum every time the state standards change.”

State Senator Donna Campbell didn’t stand up for our district. In a year we have a chance to replace her with Daniel Boone, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, who has the interests of our schools at heart because he knows that education is the way to economic prosperity and a fulfilling life.