Tag Archives: thoughts on viernes

Thoughts on Viernes…07182014

Collier Set to Tour Texas

Mike Collier, Democrat for Texas Comptroller, is about to take off on a tour of Texas next week. For the next two weeks, Collier will hit around 36 cities and towns in a tour called the Texas Watchdog Tour. I’ll do an expanded post on the schedule this weekend, but make plans for Sunday’s send-off.

Who: Mike Collier, The Watchdog — Democratic candidate for Comptroller
What: Texas Watchdog Tour Kickoff
Where: Tin Roof BBQ, 18918 Town Center Blvd. Atascocita, TX 77346
When: Sunday, July 20 at 12:00 PM
 

National Democratic Leaders Support The Child Refugees

With immigration-related stuff hot in the news, it’s good to see nationally recognized Democratic leaders take a lead in actually offering services and shelter, rather than become immigration “experts” and offer nothing. Obviously, Texas’ own Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has done a great job. Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland has done a great job of taking on the Obama administration’s express deportation policies, while trying to protect the children from Murrieta-type hate in his own state. Now, Massachussets Governor Deval Patrick is offering up his state to child refugees. I hope we find more of these unafraid Dems, especially in Texas.

An Evening of Texican Rock and Roll

So, I caught West Texas Chicano rockers Los Lonely Boys at HOB last night. It was a flawless show, for sure. The Boys tested out five new tunes from their latest release, Revelation, and they were definitely crowd pleasers. Blame It On Love was my favorite, but Don’t Walk Away, So Sensual, and Give a Little More were just as perfect.

LLB dug into their first album, recorded over 11 years ago, and gave the crowd Crazy Dream, while closing with their top hit, Heaven, which became a sing-along. In between, the Boys offered a tribute to the late Johnny Winter, and in between tunes, they offered some musical interludes which showcased the guitaristics of Henry Garza, the massive bass sounds of JoJo Garza, and the powerful drumming of Ringo Garza. The brothers invited a percussionist whose name I didn’t catch (Longoria?), but he provided some powerful rhythms to most of LLB’s hits.

Great performance, great music, and they are coming to a town near you. Dallas (18th), El Paso (20th), then Califas for a while. Check out their tour.   And don’t forget to get their new album, Revelation!

Music Break ~ Los Lonely Boys – Give A Little More (Revelation)

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Thoughts on Viernes…07112014

Abbott Can Multiply!

Or at least one of his minions can. When he came out in support of the DPS surge, the only amount we heard was “$1.3 million per week” but not much else. Yesterday, he announced that the surge could cost $50 million! Well, duh. Republicans call for a surge of South Texas, but just now realized the total cost?

As I told Wendy Davis yesterday:

Access Earned

Just read that a high-powered lawyer who paid a nice chunk of change for a fundraiser to gain access to El Prez told him that he needed to do some executive action on immigration reform. The “hecklers” at the Obama speech got a 2-minute meeting with El Prez to tell him the same and didn’t have to pay one cent for access to El Prez. This is the problem with politics today. Unless you have money, you have to be bold and gutsy to be heard.

Lost Photo-Op

So, El Prez didn’t want a photo-op? As bad as his refugee deportation plan is, politically, he could have outdone the GOP by just showing up to a Valley area human warehouse to check out the realities of failed US-Latin American policy. Now, we have Rick Perry and Sean Hannity posing with a machine gun. Classy stuff. And a lost political op for El Prez…again. Who’s in charge over there?

And If This Is Obama’s Katrina…

…who in the hell is Brownie? Well, here’s a poll you can take to decide.

Heckuva job, Brownie(s)!

Music Break – Los Lonely Boys – It’s Just My Heart Talkin’ (LIVE)

Thoughts on Viernes…05232014

No Nos Olvides, Julian!

julianWell, President Obama made it official and stole Julian Castro from Texas and San Antonio. Either that, or he just made his future–political and otherwise. No doubt Castro will run the place well. Frankly, I’m sorta glad President Obama finally has a Mexican American in his cabinet–ya era tiempo! Anyway, no one is sure if this is a step-up toward Clinton-Castro or toward a secure financial future after his service to America. Bottom line:  It’s good for the Secretary-Designate.

Still, I’m curious as to how Republicans will react. Will the rest play nice and allow their rabidly negative nelly Cruz to be their mouthpiece? We saw how that worked during the shut-down. Best to just confirm him and let him do his job.

The Bigots and Their Religion

I’m getting pretty sick and tired of the local bigots using “religious freedom” as their basis to oppose the Equal Rights Ordinance. They want the right to hate and discriminate–plain and simple. Which reminds me, the KKK is also a “Christian” organization. There–I said it!

SUPPORT HERO!

Abortion Art

Next time the Republicans want to cut National Endowment for the Arts funding while poking fun at some of the artists who get funding, let’s remind them that they have proclaimed the photoshopper of those awful Wendy Davis posters an “artist.” And they paid the guy, too. Que pendejadas!

Music Break:  In honor of Secretary-Designate Julian Castro, here’s the Chicano National Anthem–Las Nubes by Little Joe, Johnny y La Familia

 

Thoughts on Viernes…05022014

DewTrick, PatHurst – They’re The Same!

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Falkenberg for a long time–she’s just a good writer. Her recent take on Democrats “propping up” Dan Patrick and talking down the incumbent David Dewhurst caught my attention and I didn’t know what to think. Should Dems be in the mix of a right-wing run-off? Obviously, we should be throwing negatives about both of the right-wingers.

Bottom line:  When it comes to Republicans, I think they’re all the same. Ultimately, whether one screams about “invasions” or not, Republicans have blocked immigration reform, they have voted against tuition equality for Texas DREAMers, and worst of all, they’ve blocked Medicaid expansion, they have cut $5 billion in K-12 funds, and they’ve cut another billion in higher education. I don’t need to be accused of carrying diseases by any Republican to realize that they’re not fans of Texas Hispanics. And this whole “reaching across the aisle” BS hasn’t been in practice for what, a decade?

Now, I’m one of those that does believe that Patrick is an easier target in November. If Patrick’s mouth causes more Latinos to vote Democratic, better for us. And if Patrick were to win, ushering in an even darker period in Texas governance, perhaps that will be what it takes to wake up Texans. As one of my mentors once told me, Latinos will not wake up until they have been handed the worse the right-wing has to offer. But, for now, we’ve got State Senator Leticia Van de Putte who will put in the work to sweep out the GOP from the Capitol.

 The Latino Side of Obamacare

Yesterday’s numbers about the ACA Sign-Ups provided one side of the story. The other, though, is about a botched “Latino” roll-out of the Spanish-language website to sign-up Latinos which affected sign-ups, as the National Journal reported.

Why didn’t most of the 10.2 million uninsured Latinos eligible for coverage buy health insurance this year?

In part, it’s because the administration fumbled. It delayed the launch of CuidadoDeSalud.gov—the Spanish-language enrollment website—until December, when it “soft launched” so that Latino groups working with the administration could test and report bugs.

Then when the administration did promote the website, users reported that the Spanish was a messy translation. Media reports about the accuracy of the translation were mixed, but suffice it to say that the Spanish language has many regional dialects that were not all reflected in the words used on CuidadoDeSalud.gov, making it more difficult for some native speakers to understand the health insurance application process.

More importantly, the administration delayed its outreach to the Latino population.

Part of my small business is professional translations and let me tell you, you not only need to get it right, but it better make sense to the audience. And when it comes to Latinos, we’re not talking about a homogeneous audience. As I always say on this blog, it better be culturally relevant.  But, mostly, you don’t delay messaging to anyone, and in this case, Latinos. Website or not, the field aspect of this needed to be in overdrive from the beginning. Those who were “working it” did it well in the end. Thankfully, the ACA is very much alive and the next sign-up period begins in a few months.

This isn’t a new story. But much like the botched attempt to market to Latinos caused a drop in Latino support for the ACA, stuff like this can affect support for the political party in power which currently has the support of the Latino electorate. In other words, get it right, Democrats! Especially here in Texas!

Music Break – Jimmy Gonzalez and Mazz f/ Marcos Orozco ~ Cantinero

 

 

 

Thoughts on Viernes…04272014 (Domingo Edition)

Excellent Op-Ed by TMF

DC-Friend State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer offers a great editorial in the Chron regarding the Latino Vote. He gets it–and it’s something I’ve been saying for, what, nine years since DC began? Anyway:

Ironically, the active neglect that harms millions of Latino families actually helps a shrinking Republican Party stretch out its governing majority a little while longer. Because when you are hungry, sick or uneducated, your personal view on government is so negative that you won’t register to vote or refuse to vote if you are registered. Is it any wonder why 3.45 million Texas Latinos choose not to participate in voting? Would you invest in a government that has given you nothing in return?

It seems more than a coincidence that the political party that has hurt Latinos the most also has profited from their voter apathy. It almost seems as if the Texas Republican Party’s goal is to breed disillusionment at the polls in the hope that this stalls the emergence of a Latino majority in Texas.

So, when I see some liberal bloggers and activists blame a loss on “Latino apathy,” I pretty much get into “STFU” mode. Two decades of Republican rule, and a legislative style that is more about breaking apart, than bringing together, (and a Democratic Party that has been cut off at the knees in the legislature) has caused what I call voter indifference, especially in the Latino community. (Sure, they have similar meanings, but words matter.) We can blame Republicans all we want, but simply giving up our rights as Texans and Americans by shirking our responsibility to vote is not the answer. Anyway, read the op-ed.

Kingwood Area Dems Brunch a Huge Success

staceTwo statewide candidates, a couple of countywide candidates, and several more judicial candidates visited the Kingwood Country Club to break bread (and awesome blintzes) with a great group of suburban Democrats on Saturday. I was proud to serve as the Emcee, again, since I’ll always consider KAD my home away from home.

collierMike Collier, candidate for Texas Comptroller,  started it off with a rousing, matter-of-fact stump speech on the job he is seeking and how wrong the Tea Party-led Republican candidate is for the job. Collier stated that Glenn Hegar’s plan to tax the poor through a sales tax while getting rid of the property tax is dangerous. He added that he will be talking about a plan to bring fairness to the property tax system that puts homeowners and big business on equal footing when it comes to that tax burden.

samhoustonSam Houston, running for Texas Attorney General, was also well-received, citing his small West Texas-town upbringing and his love of the law. Houston wants to make the office one that serves the people, rather than political and special interests, which is what Greg Abbott has made it. Houston is an impressive candidate who, along with Collier, will have crossover appeal from thinking Republicans who just can’t stand the divisiveness of their own candidates.

candidatesAlso gracing the great crowd of Democrats were:  Melissa Noriega for County School Trustee; Judge Steven Kirkland; County School Trustee Debra Kerner; and judicial candidates:  Gloria Cantu-Minnick, George Arnold, Farrah Martinez, Chip Wells, Jim Peacock, Kathy Vossler, Kay Morgan, Shawna Reagin, and Ursula Hall. Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis also revved up the crowd, announcing various events and initiatives for 2014.  He also introduced a very energetic and new political director for the Party, Chris Young. Representatives for Kim Ogg for DA and 2015 Mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner were also in attendance.

menkesSpecial honorees were longtime members, Bruce and Karen Menke. They’ve spent their time with KAD always working for the greater good. Whether it was working events and organizing in Kingwood or around the County, they have been among the most committed Dems. They are moving out of the state to be close to their grandkids, so for us, it will be a huge loss, but it is their friendship that we will miss most. Good luck, Bruce and Karen!

As Democrats, we don’t get to spend too much time at a country club, so we made sure we stayed until our 1PM “kick-out” time. It was an enjoyable event, and it sure gave me a lot of energy to go do something! The Republicans are offering the worse crop of candidates in their history, and we really don’t want to find out what they will do to undo Texas.

Joe Barton’s Immigration Bill

Joe Barton, congress dude from North Texas, has an immigration bill coming up for introduction. The gist of it:  More border security (to appease his people), amnesty for “minor children” (because that’s what his people will call it), and a worker exploitation and “no citizenship, just legal” part to it. He says he likes living in a Republican state and thinks being nice to Latinos will keep it Republican.

So many questions, especially the “minor children” part. In the past, a DREAM Act has included DREAMers in their early 30s. The age limit was scaled back in 2010. This makes it sound like they will scale it back another decade or so, thus, cutting out tens of thousands more from citizenship, instead, just giving them the “legal resident” route. For some it will be enough. For most, it will not be. I know I don’t like it. Citizenship is very important, but the fear of deportation is a reality that these folks deal with all of the time. For sure, before Democrats speak up, let’s hear what Barton’s people say about it. Let them tear themselves down some more before they realize they need to pretend to play nice.

MUSIC BREAK:  The Mavericks~That’s Not My Name

Thoughts on Viernes…04182013

chancladan

Castro Wins by A Chancla!

That NYT Article on The Castros

Jeff Horowitz mostly made the article about this.

Neither brother, both of whom graduated from Stanford and then Harvard Law, speaks fluent Spanish. And neither is learning it.

Much like the Castros, I grew up as a “pocho.” Thanks to parents who pushed me to learn it, I’m pretty comfortable speaking it, writing it, and translating documents to ensure some cultural relevance and not just some robotic Spanish that the media is dictating we should know. In other words, I consider myself kind of dangerous. But pochos like me are few and far between. In fact, folks in my generation (The Castros are 39 and I’m 42) generally aren’t the best Spanish speakers, although we are quite connected to the overall cultura, particularly Mexican American (Chicano) cultura. That Horowitz got a quote from a pollster who happens to be Peruvian (Bendixen) tells me he didn’t do much research in Texas on this particular cultural matter. In other words, Latinos aren’t all the same.

Is there a burgeoning immigrant population to which we must also communicate? Sure, but Anglo, African American, and other candidates must also learn to be culturally relevant to Mexican Americans and other Latinos. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work–and it hasn’t ever. And, by the way, wonky Spanish is just as boring as wonky English to folks who aren’t reporters, analysts, consultants, staffers, bloggers, etc. Of course, there’s that other matter that all Mexican American and Latino voters are, wait for it, Americans!

Anyway, when I heard about the article I didn’t want to read it, thinking it was just some hack trying to make something out of nothing. The gringo media needs to get serious about talking about Mexican American and other Latino candidates otherwise, they will keep giving us virtual toilet paper.

Latinos Are The Next Whites?

This was an article in Slate about something having to do with the color spectrum and Latinos. Something. I sorta joked that I attempted to become white by living in Kingwood for 10 years, but that it didn’t take.

I think, for the media to get what Mexican Americans go through, they just need to watch this. Or at least, talk to us!

Music Break:  Los Lonely Boys ~ Don’t Walk Away (2014)

 

Thoughts on Viernes…04112014

Stop It With The Bush Loving

Bush #3 calls immigration “love” and the right-wing goes crazy and national pro-migrant groups get enamored. What is up with that? Did he release a policy proposal on making 11 million undocumented folks citizens? Did he call on President Obama to stop deportations? Will he cease and desist on previous calls for a whole new Bracero program? All answers, simply, are NO.

On everything else, Bush #3 is still anti-Latino. He hates health care access for poor people. He wants to dismantle public education. He is not pro-woman/pro-choice. And, worst of all, he’s another Bush. Let’s just stop the love affair before it really starts. OK?

The Houston NDO Thing

Seems like there’s a lot of chisme and scuttlebutt as to where Mayor Annise Parker is headed with the non-discrimination ordinance she is working up at City Hall. Obviously, something is needed, and I’m on the side of those who want something that affects private businesses, too. My buddy Texas Leftist has a pretty strong opinion with which I agree. Texpate wants an NDO, too. Others who are supportive of NDO and the Mayor seem to be pushing folks to get involved, call Council Members, and not place it all on Mayor Parker.

I’m not sure what to think. Unlike President Obama who made a Dem Primary campaign promise for immigration reform in 2007-08, Mayor Parker didn’t make any specific promises. But there’s no doubt the community expects action from the Mayor. It’s not a good spot (politically) to be in, I’m sure. So, from my end of things, I’ll keep watching from the sidelines and support folks like Texas Leftist. One thing is for sure, simply comparing and settling for what other cities got shouldn’t be the goal. Houston can do better.

Music Break – Flaco and Max – Beer Drinking Polka

 

Thoughts on Viernes…03282014

United We Dream Visits the Democrats

A national pro-migrant youth group called United We Dream visited Democratic Party HQ offices around the country today, including the local office at 1445. The purpose was to tell Dem Party leaders (local ones, too) that they must lead and demand that President Obama halt deportations and provide relief to families who have been left to suffer under the Obama Administrations deportation policies.

United We Dream leaders are gathered in Houston for a movement building training to launch it’s #WeCantWait campaign, created to address the most pressing and most painful issue facing the undocumented community: deportations. Under President Obama, we’ve lost 2 million mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to an enforcement system created only to tear our families apart, and now we’re saying that we can’t wait.

Can you blame them? These young people are asking for an audience, but, unfortunately, doors have been closed to them–even the doors to the negotiation room with the President. Some coffee, pan dulce, and a conversation wouldn’t really hurt.

In Case You Haven’t Noticed…

…Latinos have much to be upset about, given what recently occurred in Hempstead. Small town, but close enough to home. When people entrusted to ensure positive outcomes for students–all students–make up their own rules, well, do you really want to question why leaders of all political stripes are being questioned by activists? Again, communication is important–even from allies.

Cesar Chavez at the Movies

Go check out the flick this weekend! You’ll thank me. Republicans will avoid it, but I’m hoping Democrats support it a lot more. My review here.

Music Break – Little Joe y La Familia – Viva Cesar Chavez!

 

 

Thoughts on Viernes…03142014

#NotAnotherObamaImmigrationMeeting

Yes, it’s that time again for another meeting. As I stated last night, President Obama called for a review by DHS to find out how he can more humanely deport people. A whole bunch of people “liked” it when I shared it on Facebook. But as I stated, he still wants to deport, and he sure isn’t stopping deportations during this review. In today’s meeting with the same groups as always, Ali Noorani from one of the invited immigrant groups called it a stopgap, but he doesn’t seem to know the definition of the term:  a temporary way of dealing with a problem or satisfying a need. Obama just wants more of the same, but with feather-lined handcuffs.

So, who got to go to the meeting? The NCLR leader who called him “deporter-in-chief” was there, but not the pro-migrant groups who have been calling for an end to deportation and a sensible immigration reform. What is up with that? Well, like I stated in the other post I did this week, I’m not taking seriously the sudden “insults” from people who have done Obama’s bidding this whole time, and today’s meeting proved my assertion.

To School or Not To School

That was the question before the HISD School Board yesterday in what was a heated meeting in which school closures was the topic. Ultimately, Jones HS will be converted into a “futures” academy and Dodson ES will be closed. What’s a futures academy? Click here to find out. It doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but it’s really for kids who are decided on a career track. A kid graduates on the high school curriculum, and by the end of summer of his/her graduation, they earn an AAS degree from HCC. My worry is about transferability of courses into four-year degrees that aren’t necessarily in this original career track. Because kids do change their minds. Considering that most HISD students qualify for some sort of financial aid and Texas Republicans are intent on cutting financial aid (or imposing time limits to graduation), well, you see my concern.

Music Break ~ Max Abrams (f/ Raul Malo) In My Solitude

Thoughts on Viernes…03072014

Wendy Davis at the Trib

wendyThe Texas Trib had a good episode of TribLive this week, featuring Democrat for Texas Governor Wendy Davis. Among other things, Davis talks about her defense of a woman’s right to choose and the all-important border vote. I agree with Davis and know she will take South Texas handily since it is solidly Democratic and because the alternative, Greg Abbott, is a hate-monger who will be bogged down by Dan Patrick’s mouth (my opinion). Give it a listen.

The HISD School Closing Situation

Like any good liberal should not be, I was not happy with the proposal to shut down some schools. But given the argument that enrollment had decreased and that HISDs freedom to transfer schools seemed to have hit some of these schools, I was at least willing to listen. After much debate and, I’m sure, lobbying by parents and advocates, HISD Board Prez Juliet Stipeche took off the three elementary schools from the closure list, opting to give them an extended chance to grow. On the other hand, it seems like two others are still on the closure list. So, the Board has an opportunity to split the difference. Bottom line:  demographic and population shifts happen, and tough decisions need to be made. I don’t envy the Board, especially those who truly support public education–unlike my own board member whose campaigns are paid by charter school interests. Anyway, the Board will decide next week where all of this is going. I do agree with Trustee Wanda Adams that the board needs to solidify this whole local school choice thing.

Dime Con Quien Andas…

There’s been a lot of uproar over Venezuela lately, but I didn’t fall for it. It’s easy to fall for students protesting and fake photos, but in any movement, one must ask:  Who’s really in charge? Who’s funding it? And what is the real intent? I take this approach even with the latest “pro-migrant” evangelical movement because one doesn’t know what the real intent of things are nowadays. Perhaps I’m cynical, or perhaps I just want to stay true to my leftist beliefs. Or perhaps I’m true to governments truly elected by the people–poor ones included. I’m glad Danny Glover gets it. And my friend Roberto Lovato, too.

MUSIC BREAK:  Adalberto ~ Somos Novios (from Una Voz Enamorada)