Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The State of the State Of Texas - 2013

Yesterday, Governor Rick Perry gave his 7th State of the State address outlining his priorities for the state of Texas. Left out of the list of Republican priorities that Perry outlined in his 45-minute address are the legislative priorities being pressed by Democrats in the Texas Senate and House.

Progress Texas recently published a brief on the major issues concerning Texans and the 83rd Texas Legislature - clicking on the links take you straight to that issue:
  1. Budget and Taxes: Investing in Our Future
  2. Expanding Medicaid: 231,000 Jobs by 2016
  3. The Battle to Save Public Schools
  4. Family Planning Cuts Run Deep
  5. Water for a Rainy Day
  6. LGBT and the Fight for Equality
  7. The Voting Rights Act Still Matters

Gov. Rick Perry gives his 7th State of the State address.

Texas Democratic legislators respond to Gov. Perry's 7th State of the State address.
Democratic priorities include plans to fix the state's business tax, end what they called accounting gimmicks to make the state's books appear balanced, making improvements to infrastructure and to restore funding to the Women's Health Program.

One House Democrat said the governor painted an unrealistic picture of the state. "Not sure what parallel universe Gov. Perry is living in, but it's not the same one as the people in my district," said Rep. Naomi Gonzalez, D-El Paso. "We need to restore money to education and health care."

Two years ago, Perry declared there would be "no sacred cows" immune to deep budget cuts as the state struggled with a $27 billion budget deficit amid an economy still feeling the effects of The Great Recession. Lawmakers responded by passing deep cuts across-the-board, including slashing $5.4 billion from public schools and billions more from state Health and Human Services programs. (Gov. Rick Perry's State of the State Speech - 2011)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Democrats Launch Plan To Turn Texas Blue

Politico: National Democrats are taking steps to create a large-scale independent group aimed at turning traditionally conservative Texas into a prime electoral battleground, crafting a new initiative to identify and mobilize progressive voters in the rapidly-changing state, strategists familiar with the plans told POLITICO.

The organization, dubbed “Battleground Texas,” plans to engage the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles. Two sources said the contemplated budget would run into the tens of millions of dollars over several years - a project Democrats hope has enough heft to help turn what has long been an electoral pipe dream into reality.

At the center of the effort is Jeremy Bird, formerly the national field director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, who was in Austin last week to confer with local Democrats about the project.

In a statement to POLITICO, Bird said the group would be “a grass-roots organization that will make Texas a battleground state by treating it like one.”
“With its diversity and size, Texas should always be a battleground state where local elections are vigorously contested and anyone who wants to be our commander in chief has to compete and show they reflect Texas values.

Yet for far too long, the state’s political leaders, both in Austin and in Washington, D.C., have failed to stand for Texans,” said Bird, who recently founded a consulting firm, 270 Strategies. “Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters — and as importantly, by mobilizing Texans who are already registered voters but who have not been engaged in the democratic process.”

Read the full story @ Politico


Jon Stewart Reveals Paul Ryan As A Taker, Not A Maker

In his Inaugural Address, Pres. Barack Obama's gave an unapologetic defense of America's social safety net program and refuted Paul Ryan's often repeated charge that Social Security recipients are "takers not makers."  In interviews on conservative media channels this week, Paul Ryan questioned the President's choice of rhetorical devices as a "straw-man" and denied ever making the "takers vs. makers" claim. But by weaving together comments Paul Ryan made on the presidential election trail last year about entitlements and "takers vs. makers," as well as citing the former VP nominee's own experience with government assistance, Stewart cheekily "proves" in the final seconds of his commentary that Obama plagiarized Ryan in his inauguration speech.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obama's Reference Of American Equality And Fellowship

Particular passages from President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address strike a cord within most Americans for the promise of equality and fellowship that inspires the spirit of America —
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed."

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
Many younger Americans, who were not alive to witness or do not know of the events at places called at Stonewall, Selma, and Seneca Falls, may not fully appreciate the President’s references to those places.

Seneca Falls — The Seneca Falls Convention—held on July 19-20, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York—was a gathering organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in conjunction with a group of radical Quakers displeased with the state of women’s rights in the United States. The event is widely considered to be the start of the women’s rights movement in the United States.

Selma — A series of three protest marches that took place during the month of March, 1965 in Selma, Alabama, that forever altered the public’s perception of the Civil Rights movement, mobilized President Lyndon Johnson and quickly led to the introduction and passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Stonewall­ — The event that is widely regarded as “the opening shot” in the gay rights movement in the United States took place early in the morning of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located in the Greenwich Village section of New York City.

Click here to read the details of events at those places @ Forbes.