Category Archives: 2013 Categories

Why Doesn’t Bernie Have His Own Hispanic Millionaire Bundler?

bernieRecently, Joaquin Castro called out Bernie Sanders’ Hispanic outreach. OK, I guess that’s fair. Then again, some of us believe that Bernie Sanders’ campaign speaks to everyone and that you don’t need to be holding a Chipotle burrito to say you support us.

Castro also called out Bernie Sanders for not going down to South Texas. Well, it’s not Bernie’s fault that he doesn’t have the support of a South Texas Hispanic millionaire bundler.

McAllen developer Alonzo Cantu once said:  “To me, there’s two things that will keep us from being ignored,” he said. “Money and votes. I think we’ve shown we can raise money. That will get us attention, or at least get us a seat at the table, get us in the room.”

On August 7, Cantu held a $2700 a plate fundraiser for Hillary at his mansion. No public events–or actual Hispanic outreach–were held.

And, here, Bernie wants to serve everyone–even those of us with nothing to give–by filling large venues without requiring $2700.

When told that Sanders had attracted huge crowds in Dallas and Houston:

Castro reportedly clarified that he was referring to Texas’ predominantly Latino communities.

Apparently, Dallas and Houston just aren’t Latino enough? I attended the Houston event, and I’d bet the money in my pockets versus the money in Cantu’s pockets that there were way, way more Hispanics at the Houston event than at Cantu’s fundraiser for Hillary.

Or, I can get a little more technical:  Sanders has NOT called for the wholesale deportation of Central American children, like Hillary has and has defended. If either of the Castros wants to defend this, then I’m listening, because Hillary keeps botching up that issue alone.

Ad: Vote Yes to Protect HERO

The Jorge Ramos Thing

Ramos Crosses the Borderline

Talk about shock value!

Jorge Ramos did the unthinkable at a press conference:  He started asking questions without being recognized by the guy giving the press conference, thus, pushing the level of Trump assholability to all new highs. “Go back to Univision,” gave many of us flashbacks of being told by bigots to “Go back to Mexico.”

The shocker was that Trump had security escort Ramos out the door as Ramos became relentless and just wouldn’t wait his turn–if a turn was even going to happen. But I think the whole affair lost its shock-value when Ramos was let back in and allowed to ask all the questions he wanted only to get the same ol’ Trump answers. While Trump may have ultimately gotten his way, he went the route of pissing off an entire group of people…again!

For Latinos, mistreating a media icon like Jorge Ramos was the ultimate insult. Some think of Ramos as the “Latino Walter Kronkite,” while others think of him as just a good news-man who does what he does to get to some truths that people may not want to hear. Right-wing politicians (and perhaps President Obama at various points of his career) have probably thought of Ramos as annoyingly relentless, especially on the topic of immigration reform.

Three-quarters of Latinos are not supporting Trump, while a few self-haters love the guy. Ramos attempting more “gotcha” moments will probably not change those few mindless Latinos. But it made for great social media political drama.

For me, what bothered me the most was Trump’s ability to sound like his white supremacist supporters– “Go back…”

 

 

 

City of Houston Races Are Set!

city-of-houston5PM Monday came around and the final filings were released by the City of Houston for the 2015 races. Looks like there will be contests in most races, some will be decided on November 3, others in the December run-offs.

Council Races on my radar (click here for full lists):

District F (home):  Kendall Baker, Steve Le, and incumbent Richard Nguyen. From the looks of it, Baker and Le are pro-discrimination, while Nguyen is a HERO supporter and has served my new district well.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz, Roland Chavez, Karla Cisneros, and Abel Davila. Jason is a friend of mine, I’ve made no secret of that.

District I:  Robert Gallegos (incumbent) and Herlinda Garcia. If this is the same Garcia who ran for HCC on the fake-Black Dave Wilson anti-Gay ticket, then, we know where she stands. Gallegos, on the other hand, hit the ground running once elected and has done a great job for the district that I almost landed at when moving.

District J:  Mike Laster, Manuel Barrera, and James Bigham. Before I moved to F, I supported Laster for his second term. He’s represented the district well and is a HERO supporter.

At-Large 5:  There are five candidates, but the only one worth watching is Philippe Nassif.

At-Large 1:  With eight candidates, only two have interested me:  Lane Lewis and Tom McCasland. Of course, I’ve known Lewis for a while and have supported him in the past.

At-Large 2:  Incumbent David Robinson remains the only candidate of the five who filed that is interesting and serving constituents well.

At-Large 4:  Seven filed for this seat; however, the two that I have met and remain the most interesting and qualified are Amanda Edwards and Laurie Robinson.

At-Large 3:   Doug Peterson is the only candidate I’ve really met from my Democratic activism. Some might want anyone but Kubosh, but Peterson is getting the Dem nods.

City Controller:  This one has six candidates, but the only one I’ve given my attention is Chris Brown.

What is unfortunate is that while many of my favorite candidates have an actual interest in serving and addressing multiple issues, their opponents seem to be more interested in being bigots, or making this a bathroom election. Houstonians need to learn about the candidates, about the real issues, and vote accordingly.

Well, those are my thoughts for now. I’ll work on something for the Mayoral race soon.

Chron did a little breakdown of the races.

Catching Up on a Lunes

First Day of School

juiceboxGood luck to all involved in educating kids. If you’re a college student, take responsibility for your academics, take advantage of all kinds of student services (especially tutoring!), and don’t expect any hand-holding. Teachers, please enjoy your after-school juice box (see pic). All, be safe on the streets.

Local Campaigns

Now that it seems the club endorsements are about done, I’m looking forward to the actual campaigns, including the pro-HERO campaign. If you want to catch up on some of the local races, check out Kuff’s interviews with District F’s Richard NguyenDistrict H’s Jason Cisneroz, At Large 3’s Doug Peterson and  Texas Leftist’s questionnaire of At Large 5’s Philippe Nassif.

Protesting Children

Just when Hillary double-downed on Central American kids last week, we’ve got some anti-kid activity at a local HISD Arabic magnet school on the first day of school. See what I did there?

Monday Music ~ Ram Herrera – Los Años (Mucho Mas Que Amor-2015)

Back to School Reading: TPA Round-Up

–And DC attempts to get back to regular blogging after feeling all dead inside (politically, of course) these last few weeks. Stay connected!


The Texas Progressive Alliance liked it better when politicians wanted to kiss babies and not deport them as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff took a closer look at who votes in City of Houston elections.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos notes that when the GOP opened its house to dog whistles it ushered in the wolves. The GOP Deserves Its Monster.

Fresh off his vacation, and as it approaches its centennial, SocraticGadfly casts a critical eye at what he describes as the decline and fall of the National Park Service.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Donald Trump is exposing the world to the racism consuming the GOP along with its authoritarian, 2nd amendment mindset.

It was all Houston mayoral elections all last week for PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, who attended a forum in his back yard, smelled some oligarchy in the HGLBT Caucus endorsement, covered the two adverse developments for the HERO, and witnessed Chris Bell’s smackdown of Adrian Garcia.

With Bernie Sanders running strongly for 2016, Neil at All People Have Value wrote that polling data reports more and more Americans are open to Socialism. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Paradise in Hell previews the fried delicacies that await us at this year’s State Fair of Texas.

The Lunch Tray confirms that Americans do indeed want kids to eat healthier food at school.

Texas Watch tells you what’s really driving the cost of your car insurance bill.

Alexa Garcia-Ditta takes you on a tour of San Antonio’s new HB2-compliant abortion facility.

Tamara Tabo explains why you haven’t heard more about all those bikers who were arrested in Waco in May.

The Makeshift Academic reports that Arkansas has fully embraced Medicaid expansion.

Pamela Coloff awards the title of Worst Lawyer in Texas to disgraced and now disbarred former prosecutor Charles Sebesta.

Emerging Latino Leaders Video Series: Adrian Garcia

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship program has started a video interview series featuring Houston mayoral candidates with the purpose of informing young voters about the local 2015 elections. They kick-off the series with Adrian Garcia.

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship, Mi Familia Vota, El Gato Media Network, and Kalipsous Production joined forces to organize and produce interviews with Houston’s mayoral candidates with the goal of attracting the youth to vote this November.

Emerging Latino Leaders is a collaboration between Rice University Center for Civic Leadership and Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing Latino civic engagement. ELL provides future leaders with the confidence, support, and skills needed to take an active role in their communities.

ELL Fellowship, along with other groups, will be hosting a Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 12, 2015 at Rice University at 10:30AM. Stay tuned!

And now, here’s Adrian Garcia:

Poll: 25% of Latinos Are Clueless, Self-Hating Trump Supporters?

trumpinata

Credit: Lalo Alcaraz/GoComics

While the media is selling the latest poll of Latino thoughts on Donald Trump as “75% having a negative view.” I’m pretty concerned about a quarter of those polled being accepting of Trump’s message; not surprised, but concerned, as they could easily accept the usual GOP message on Latinos and immigrants. Given recent elections, they probably have accepted the GOP message.

More specifically, the poll found the following:

Asked to assess that comment (about immigrants being rapists and drug dealers), 55 percent of Latinos said that the remarks were “insulting and racist and have no place in a campaign for president.”

Another 29 percent said that “Trump should have been more careful with the language he used, but he is raising an important issue.” Fourteen percent said that “Trump had the guts to say exactly what was on his mind about an important problem we need to deal with.”

A huge majority also found that Trump is hurting the GOP’s image. I would ask, “More than usual?” Let’s face it, the GOP has a “nice” way of insulting Latinos and immigrants, which probably coincides with the 29% who felt Trump should have said it differently. Be nice, but we still won’t vote for you, might be the message.

Frankly, what the poll found is not surprising. That Democrats, throughout this Trump media frenzy, have simply pointed and blamed on the issue is disappointing. This is an opportunity to lead on immigration reform, deportation reform, and immigrant warehousing (detention)–and that goes for Bernie, too–along with the rest of the issues in which Latinos poll strongly progressive. Whether Dems will wake up to this is still yet to be seen, so, here’s another opportunity.

10 Mothers Lodge Complaint Against DHS Family Detention Centers

Credit: DMN

It is time to #endfamilydetention. Although a judge has condemned the deplorable conditions at these privately-run prisons and has called for the release of these families within the next ninety days, the Obama administration will more than likely appeal the decision and continue FDR’s tradition of warehousing immigrants.

Here’s the press release from American Immigration Council on the complaint.

From the Inbox:

Deplorable Medical Treatment at Family Detention Centers
Mothers Lodge Complaint with DHS Offices for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Inspector General

July 30, 2015

Washington, DC — Today, ten mothers came forward to lodge formal complaints about the substandard medical care they and their children received while detained by the Department of Homeland of Security (DHS). The complaints describe the severe suffering families have endured due to poor access to and quality of care, and questionable medical ethics. These ten complaints are representative of the regular failures of DHS to provide adequate medical care for mothers and children in family detention facilities, and they add to the already ample evidence demonstrating why family detention must end.

The deplorable medical treatment described in the complaints include:

  • Wait times of up to 14 hours, in the direct sun, in order to be seen by medical staff;
  • A mother with two broken fingers denied medical care and advised to “drink more water”;
  • A mother with breast cancer repeatedly denied care despite suffering severe symptoms and weight loss;
  • More than 250 children given adult doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine;
  • Children left in the care of guards, sometimes for days at a time, when women are transferred off-site for emergency or specialized medical care;
  • Administration of intravenous fluids through a bent needle;
  • A five-year old repeatedly transferred off-site for medical care only to have on-site medical professionals later refuse to issue prescribed medication;
  • A family denied food and placed under enough stress to prompt a suicide attempt;
  • A child who was vomiting blood told only to drink water and not referred to external medical care until three days later.

The majority of the mothers with medical complaints have attempted to seek medical care on more than one occasion, only to find themselves waiting endlessly, sometimes in dangerously hot conditions in the extreme heat and sun common to southern Texas. In at least one instance, a woman who had to leave the medical line after waiting for hours was forced to sign a letter stating she refused medical care. Some mothers reported that their children had adverse reactions to their vaccinations, including temporary paralysis, vomiting, and high fevers.

One woman described her medical experience in Dilley saying, “Simply, they don’t care. What is more important for them is control. These are delicate situations when someone is sick and vulnerable. They just care about control. I thought I came to this country to escape abuse, mistreatment and disrespect. But it’s the same here.”

The complaints were submitted to the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on behalf of the women by the American Immigration Council (“Council”), American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (“CLINIC”), Immigrant Justice Corps, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (“RAICES”), and the Women’s Refugee Commission (“WRC”).

These six organizations urge both CRCL and OIG to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into these examples immediately and to take swift action to fully address the systemic problems highlighted by these cases. Advocates have heard from women about many more medical care problems, including 74 additional instances at the facility in Dilley, Texas alone, since June 2015. The medical abuses highlight the urgent need to #EndFamilyDetention.

DosCentavos Feels the Bern

bernie

I joined over 5000 of my closest friends and attended the Bernie Sanders rally at UH Hofheinz on Sunday evening and I must say I was impressed in a lot of ways.

Sure, I was expecting a great, truly progressive speech from Senator Sanders–even after the weirdness of #NN15–but what I didn’t expect was such an amazing atmosphere. The diversity in the room was notable, if only because I had recently been reading some snark on Facebook by Hillarite friends of mine talking about how “white” Sanders’ events had been. The Houston event, though, blew those notions away. The bottom line:  A diverse cross-section of America seems to be listening to Bernie Sanders because he’s saying the right things on most issues, rather than just speaking in one-liners (evident in a one-hour speech).

Now, much like Hillary Clinton, Sanders has not provided expanded answers on immigration reform (usual standard stuff), but after Saturday, Sundays venture into racial justice issues hit all the right notes. While Clinton has offered her standard stuff on immigration reform, she also has a record of calling for immediate deportation of children and more deportation judges, so, the negative stuff being tossed about by her fans against Sanders on the issue really hasn’t affected what I think of Sanders. I’m hoping Sanders expands on the issue, as well as Latin American affairs in the future.

PDiddie expands on what Bernie said, so, no sense in rehashing the speech. I will provide a youtube of film I took when Sanders began his talk on racial justice and immigration, in case he is still receiving criticism. The good thing about the #NN15 stuff is that, hopefully, Dem candidates will begin to speak on the issue. Ultimately, this isn’t about race or identity politics, it’s about expanding the space that the issues have received in Democratic Party politics (more on that in the future) and actually doing something about these issues. If Dem activists cannot handle it, then we can’t win in 2016.

As far as the event, it was good to see fans of Hillary and other Dem activists in the crowd. I think we were all looking for a dose of energy because these are our issues Bernie was hitting on. Primaries are a good thing, nationally and locally, so, let’s enjoy the discussion.