Bookmark and Share

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I have run in both GOP and DEM primaries - Came in LAST in Each - Which party is the FUTURE of America? This one...

I am probably one of the very few - less than those you can count on one hand - who has run in both Republican and Democratic primaries for Congress and can give a personal account of the differences. 

I came in dead last in both and yet I can tell you which party is the party that reflects America. I make that judgment even though I got zero endorsements in my 2014 U.S. Senate run in the Democratic party in Texas, save for one visionary young UT student in Austin, Noah Horwitz, who based it on experience instead of passion and youth.

 I have to say that Donald Trump has exposed an ugly secret in the GOP that I witnessed -- racism.

In 2000 I ran in the GOP primary against then Congress rep Tom DeLay in CD 22. I lost and ran again in the 2002 and 2206 GOP primaries. (In 2004 I ran as an independent for the same seat). In 2014 I ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Texas, so I got to see what kind of people make up the primary electorate in each party.

The first thing I noticed in the GOP was it was primarily a one color party in a multi-colored world. Mostly older, white voters. They called themselves "pro life" yet seemed to be against anything that improved life such as healthcare for the poor and food assistance. Being called a "moderate" was the worst possible sin; every candidate swore to be the most "conservative." 

It was rare to see anyone of color at a GOP event and it became evident why. Before 9/11 they were mostly vocal about blacks and hispanics in a negative way. After 9/11 Muslims were added to the list. I used to joke that they didn't even like people from different country clubs. Donald Trump has simply said out loud what most of the primary voters and candidates believe -- that minorities are "bad" people. I doubt they ever met any.

In the Democratic primary I saw America -- a multi-colored party that welcomed blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women and even supported same sex marriage. it looked like the modern world, a mix of people that respect each other and work towards common goals such as advancing our education, cleaning our environment and creating jobs needed in a high tech global economy.  I saw them representing a path for America to once again lead the world.

In 2000, Tom DeLay was cutting off funding for Houston's rail system, putting it a decade behind its sister cities like Dallas and Atlanta. He was responsible for passing unpaid for tax cuts and two unpaid for wars that drove our deficits into the trillions while costing us our creditor national status.  No bid contracts of $39 billion were given to the Vice Presidents former company, Halliburton in Iraq.  Our education system went from No. 1 to being No. 36 - far behind China, Europe, etc.  Texas Republicans have cut education funding by billions, failing our children's future.

In 2015, I see the same GOP still fighting on the wrong side - fighting to keep a confederate flag waving, fighting education funding, fighting against infrastructure funding when we have tens of thousands of bridges about to collapse from old age. I see a party that has demonized minorities quietly, but openly support Mr. Trump who is a billionaire and not afraid to speak the way they think. That is why he leads in GOP polls.

I can't imagine a candidate in the Democratic party speaking so disrespectful of any group - be they Hispanics, blacks, gays, whatever. We aren't bigots. We are progressives who want to make our Constitution's promise of "equality" a real achievement as we educate our kids to the level needed for America to succeed in a space age economy.

My own experience in running for Congress is documented in "Better Times Ahead April Fool" and what i experienced in the GOP primaries (I was kicked off the GOP ballot in 2002 so Mr. DeLay would not have an opponent. I had to file suit to get back on).

In 2016, we need Presidential candidates who respect ALL races, women and religions - not just the ones of one race backed by primary voters who tend to be the most extreme. In this regard, I believe the Republican party has lost its way. Its fights against people having basic healthcare is so anti-life it is amazing they can claim to be 'pro life' with a straight face.  

The GOP obsession with Christianity is blind to the first Amendments guarantee that our government should not pick a favorite religion over another.  We have a freedom from religion and freedom of religion at the same time. Few of them realize that to pray "in Jesus name" is an affront to those of the Jewish faith.  Few of them realize that Muslims honor Jesus in their religion and that no one is demanding to live under Sharia Law in the U.S.  The reaction to the police shootings of unarmed black men has shown that the GOP doesn't honor innocent life as much as it claims. 

I am a personal witness to the workings of both parties primary system. In one, I see the clinging to the past - the GOP in Texas is rewriting history textbooks to eliminate any mention of Jim Crow laws or slavery as the root cause of the Civil War. 

In the other party, the Democrats, I see the future of America, a diverse group that works together and respects a rainbow of colors and people and their religious beliefs. I can say that even though, despite my being in favor of same sex marriage, i was not endorsed by any Democratic Stonewall group.  I lost in both parties but the experience was telling.

The only question I have is how long before the GOP either changes its focus on Grumpy Old (White) People making up the 1% or becomes extinct as it honors Mr. Trump's bigotry and bullying ways.  He is merely stating what their primary voters want to hear.  It's a party still stuck in the 50's and 60's when America was white, rural and isolationist. 

And that's the problem. America is now diverse, urban and increasingly progressive.Democrats welcome gay and straight, transgender or not, any religion or none, heck, I bet we would accept a Martian if we knew one. lol.  

I outlined a roadmap to America's future in Agenda for American Greatness at the book link. Please read and let's move America into a more just and equal society that treats people with respect instead of hate and arrogant bullying.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Donald Trump's Rant of Racism -- Nasty Things to Say About EVERYONE

I was in the car listening on satellite radio and heard the whole 10 minute interview between Donald trump and a female reporter, who he chided more than once ("you aren't very experienced" he said at one point).

He reminds me of Barnum and Bailey show on speed - he never stopped talking and jumping from one thing to another, then repeating himself. He knows the old white base of the GOP likes insults towards illegals, etc. He hurled them at everyone.

Trump will win close to zero Hispanic votes, even less than Romney's poor showing. He is the Democrats new best friend since he is branding the GOP as the harsh bully anti-minority party. He used false facts since the border is not at net zero because Mexico's economy has picked up and fewer people need to look for work in the U.S. Trump claimed Ford is opening a billion dollar auto plant there - so why would immigrants come here when they can work there? His own arguments are illogical.

I detected a bully. He had nothing good to say about ANYONE, not even conservative writers, etc.  Only the Donald can save us from the world - even if he has to bomb every oil field in Iraq. That was the message i heard in a bombastic tone.

One minute he says Mexico is dumping their crooks on us, then saying how smart their gov't is compared to ours, etc. Very bombastic, a bully. 

Trump is scratching the bigotry wound by bringing it into the open instead of using 'dog whistles' like real politicians do.  He is the Bernie Sanders on the right - willing to say what it takes to snag the votes and burn the general election barn  down while doing it...

America is a diverse nation. Racism and intolerance has no place in 21st century life.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

How GOP Turned TEXAS into GREECE - Beware Politicians Bearing IOU's

The big news is that GREECE, a member of the EU with heavy debts, is in default and the financial ripples hit Wall Street with a 350 point drop.  

What is less known is that Texas Republican leadership has done to Texas what Greece's leaders have done -- cut taxes and then borrowed BILLIONS to make up for the short-fall.They are punishing future generations and sticking them with the bill.  After awhile that house of cards comes tumbling down. 
                                                                Above: Greek debt and Texas debt: same problem

According to this article in the Texas Tribune Texas statewide debt is now $205 BILLION. "Of the 10 most populous states, Texas has the second-highest amount of local debt per resident, at $8,627, according to the Bond Review Board. Only New York has a higher local debt per capita."

Instead of paying cash for its roads, the GOP borrows the money. As Gov. Mark White once said to me "When we built roads they were paid for when the cement dried."  Not so under the GOP, which has pushed those expenses off to counties and cities --and the next generation.

The Tribune article explains: "Cities are expected to be doing more of the state’s old jobs like building roads and reservoirs,” said Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League. “It is a bit hypocritical in that regard.”

 If Texas were a country its GDP would rank it about 12th - about $1.6 Trillion, the same size as Canada. Greece would rank 26th with a GDP of $355 billion (about the same size as Dallas-Ft. Worth).  So basically, Texas has the means to be debt free that smaller Greece does not. The problem is that our leadership is doing just what Greece's leaders did - drop tax collections and roll up debt.  

Here is an example of the problem if we just talk about roads, from a Texas A&M report

"Over the past 40 years, our population has more than doubled – up by 125 percent. The number of cars and trucks on the road has almost tripled. And the number of miles those cars and trucks travel has more than tripled. Over the same time, our roadway capacity has grown only modestly—by 19 percent. We have too much demand for roadway space and not enough supply. It’s that simple."

Texas current population of 26 million is expect to top 40 million by 2040! How will we be prepared when our legislature pretends we can grow using a budget that cuts funding for education, transportation, etc?

Then there is the education issue mentioned in the Dallas Morning News: "Texas is “on the brink of squandering” its demographic edge of having a youthful and growing population by not investing enough in education, especially for its large Hispanic population, Tienda said. That in turn, could put at risk the quality of the state’s workforce in the future, she said."

Is Texas the next Greece? If it weren't for federal funds, Texas would be in a crisis like Greece today. yet it continues to squander money, such as spending $800 million to send our national guard to the border to sit and watch the border patrol, which is having its slowest year of crossings in history. That's nearly a $1 billion dollars wasted that could have beefed up our underfunded schools and pot holed roads.

By refusing to expand Medicaid, Texas is costing its taxpayers $100 BILLION that would have been paid by the feds. Instead, people are not getting care and local counties are stuck with the costs. In the old days, wasting $100 billion would have been a hanging offense. Either voters don't "get" the irony here, or they just haven't paid attention to the "borrow and spend" economics masquerading as fiscal sanity in Austin.

Let's face it: Texas couldn't afford to secede if it really wanted to. Voodoo economics has run up the state credit cards. Sooner or later Greece and Texas will have to collect enough taxes to pay for the roads and schools we need to compete in this high tech global economy. Unlike Greece, Texas will double in size - standing still in building infrastructure is not an option, unless you like 24/7 traffic delays. 

Running up our debts to pay for necessities like highway construction and maintenance is not sustainable. Nor is it smart.  At least under Gov. White, we paid our bills as we went. 

If you see a Trojan Horse sitting outside the capitol in Austin, beware of Greeks and the GOP bearing IOU's. It could produce a nasty surprise.