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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

America Makes History

America showed once again its specialness by making history yesterday.

President-Elect Obama was elected by getting more votes from white voters than John Kerry got in 2004 and Al Gore did in 2000.

Now we have done something to stun the world - showing it the best of that American Dream where a poor kid with no family connections or inherited wealth can rise to become President. How many other countries can claim that? In most countries only a small elite have that opportunity.

John McCain gave a concession speech that was deep and meaningful. It was the best he has ever done. He was a gentleman and a gracious loser, unlike those he silenced for booing.

Harris County also changed yesterday - we now have a mix of Democrat and Republican leadership instead of only the GOP in charge. This is better for all of us.

It also appears that the Democrats will not have a 60 seat lock on the U.S. Senate, so the new President will still need to reach across the aisle to get bills passed. And that is also a good thing. I expect it to keep things in the centrist zone, not too far left -- after being too far right too long. Voters rejected that extremism yesterday, and they would do the same if Democrats venture beyond moderate/centrist policies, or center left.

Americans have put a new face on our leadership that sends a strong message to the rest of the world. The Ship of State has been put on a big reef. It will take a massive effort with that global connection to get us off and repair the damage. It is necessary so we can sail back into blue waters.

If the world could vote, they would have voted by a substantial majority for Obama as well. We have the potential of a better future, which will take working closely with our neighbors from Europe to Asia.

A new chapter for America, and the world, has opened...

In Houston, the guy who ran the positive ads got elected County Judge as a Republican, showing the power of a positive campaign.

All the Democrat judge candidates won, breaking a 100% GOP lock on judgeships. That swept out both bad and good people. It was a sweep, but big sweeps can clean out the good along with the bad.

The outgoing bad was Sharolyn Wood, who abused her power as a judge in at least one case that I am personally aware of -- making a Plaintff pay for the Defendant's legal fees (over $40,000) when it was the Defendant's vehicle that had malfunctioned from a computer error that caused it to suddenly accelerate when it was still new. It surged against a gas meter and would not shut off. Awarding a defective product attorney's fees for trying to get a settlement (and the car fixed) was neither fair or just. Ms. Wood should have been removed a long time ago.

The outgoing good (GOP) judge is Judge Lamar McCorkle - a fair and honest judge in my dealings with him.

The problem is when you pick judges based on party instead of their judicial qualities, you lose the good with the bad.

With the return of two parties to Harris County we achieve some balance - instead of a one-party monopoly that leads to a failure of checks and balances.

If a party DA won't prosecute another Republican (or a Democrat another Democrat) then we get the abuses we saw in Sheriff Thomas and DA Chuck Rosenthal's offices --because no one is calling out bad behavior of their compatriots who are crossing the legal line.

If we do this right, we have better days ahead of us, locally and nationally.

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