Archive for January, 2010

Liveblogging the 2010 SOTU Address

Tonight I will be liveblogging President Obama’s State of the Union Address. I tried this once before with modest success. If you’re down, I’ll see you back here at 8pm CST in the comment section.

7:44 — Wrapping up an episode of “Teen Mom.” Oh, the joys of sharing a TV. :) If you want to watch online, check out or

7:56 — lol@msnbc: “What is the meaning of not eating his [Obama’s] pie?”

8:01 — Damn right we need followthrough on health care reform… (msnbc commentators)

8:07 — mic trouble?

8:09 — Rachel Maddow laying down the truth — Republican Party does not negotiate or participate, only says “No.”

8:12 — Progress is not inevitable; it takes work. Very true, Mr. President.

8:14 — I like the honest perspective we are getting here. No perfunctory “state of our union is strong.” No sugar-coating.

8:16 — “strained but hopeful, stuggling but encouraged.” Anonymous female letter-writer, good for you!

8:17 — Decency and strength — a good juxtaposition.

8:18 — “We all hated the bank bailout.” “About as popular as a root canal.” Necessary, but not popular. Tough sell, but true.

8:20 — Fees for the biggest banks. Very popular — I think even the Republicans clapped…?

8:21 — A list of tax cuts. Eat your heart out, non-clapping Republicans.

8:22 — Income tax hasn’t been raised either. Still no GOP applause.

8:23 — McCain… so sleepy…

8:24 — Jobs bill! USA! USA!

8:25 — At least the GOP will clap when you say “business.”

8:26 — GOP not clapping for loans to small banks? WTF?

8:27 — Ah, the old white men like it when you say “eliminate capital gains tax,” even if it’s just for investing in small businesses.

8:28 — High speed rail! America finally entering the 21st century.

8:29 — Eliminating tax breaks for companies that outsource, and give tax breaks to companies that create jobs here. Right on.

8:30 — An American lost decade, with climbing costs and no job or income growth. Yyyyyyyup.

8:31 — Washington says “wait.” Other nations do not. No 2nd Place for America.

8:33 — Fixing the problems that are hampering our growth. Financial reform! Real reform!

8:34 — Energy innovation. Batteries. Solar Panels. More production, and more incentives, are needed. Oh, GOP loves nuclear power. There’s the applause. And for oil and gas.

8:36 — Don’t believe in global warming? Do it for your (business) country, then.

8:37 — We need to export more goods. Goal: double exports over the next 5 years.

8:39 — S. Korea, Columbia, and Panama are “key partners.”

8:40 — “The best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.”

8:41 — Senate: quit dragging your feet and pass the community college bill passed by the House.

8:41 — Tax credits for college, and increase Pell grants. Good stuff.

8:42 — Child care tax credit doubling. Tax credit for nest egg. Saving on mortgage payments. Yeah, clap for it, dummies. Ah, here we go: health insurance reform.

8:44 — “Let’s clear a few things up.” Like, remembering to have a heart. Time to remember why we overwhelmingly want health care reform in this country. Oh, Michelle Obama looks bored as hell.

8:46 — The process of creating health care legislation really is the thing that has turned off most Americans. But we’re so close! The President is right — don’t walk away from America, Congress!

8:48 — “Let me know.” Like the GOP has a plan for health care reform. GOP just got called out, albeit diplomatically.

8:49 — 2000: budget surplus of 200 billion dollars, 2009: 1 trillion dollar budget deficit.

8:51 — Is this the beginning of Hooverism… in 2011?

8:53 — Bipartisan fiscal commission… a smattering of polite clapping.

8:54 — Executive order to create the aforementioned commission. Hmm.

8:54 — “That’s how budgeting works.” Haha, nice.

8:55 — For 8 years we did nothing to solve our national problems while simultaneously coddling the rich. We are not going back to that!

8:56 — A deficit of trust (in Washington). The credibility gap. That’s right — now do it.

8:57 — Lobbyist… murmur murmur murmur… YES — YOU BETTER SAY THAT ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT DECISION

8:58 — “Continue down the path of earmark reform.” Sounds like a 12-step program for elves.

8:59 — Earmarks on a website… now it sounds like World of Warcraft.

9:00 — He’s right — we have to get out of this eternal-campaign mode.

9:02 — Hell yeah, Democrats — grow a pair!

9:02 — Just saying “no” is not good leadership. Hear that, Mitch?

9:04 — “Do what it takes to defend our nation.”

9:05 — Troops in Afghanistan to start coming home in July 2011…

9:06 — Combat troops out of Iraq.

9:07 — Support veterans when they come home!

9:08 — The largest increase in support for veterans in decades.

9:09 — AFAIK Reducing nuclear proliferation wasn’t exactly the way Reagan did it… Anyway, keeping nukes out of terrorist hands is definitely a priority.

9:10 — There’s this thing called “diplomacy,” you see.

9:11 — Haiti.

9:12 — Unity in diversity. Remember that.

9:13 — Prosecuting civil rights violators. Fighting hate crime. Aaaaand now we get to ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

9:15 — Values! American values! And doubts!

9:16 — Cynicism and disappointment. Change isn’t easy, and the President can’t do it alone.

9:18 — Setbacks, some deserved. Determination and optimism. Fundamental decency.

9:20 — A nice wrap-up.

9:30 — Republican response has a live audience…? Ooookay.

9:32 — “taxation, regulation, litigation.” Uh huh. Not the same thing, or even the same catagory of thing.

9:33 — “proper, limited level of government at every level.” At odds with his next line.

9:34 — Oh that’s rich — cooperation, not partisanship.

9:35 — Insurance across state lines and tort reform are not sufficient for solving the health care crisis.

9:37 — “School choice” in GOP-speak means destroying public education.

9:38 — Did… did this dude just advocate for not giving miranda rights to the crotch bomber? It sounds like he’s saying it’s a shame we didn’t start torturing him right away. Waterboard him, before we lose that critical intelligence! Ughhh.

9:40 — Governor-for-11-days knows all about Governor-ing! He understands half of Federalism, I think.

9:42 — Well, this dude did better than Bobby Jindal, at least.


Lubbock Democracy for America’s Movie night is this Thursday 1/28/10 at 7:00pm at Lubbock County Democratic Party HQ, 2809A 74th St. We are watching a documentary about the religious environmental movement called “Renewal.” This film has gotten excellent reviews for presenting a side of the environmental movement many don’t consider. Learn about the film at:

As always, we will have free refreshments and a discussion after the film. We will also have copies of Texas Tech Professor Katharine Hayhoe’s book A Climate for Change available for sale, since the subject matter is the same.

Please join us and tell your friends about this uplifting event as well. Hope to see you there!

Lubbock DFA on facebook

Meet the candidates!

I want to make sure y’all are aware of all the wonderful opportunities to meet statewide Democratic Party candidates this weekend in Lubbock.

We’ve got two free events on Friday 1/22/10:

Former Texas House Speaker Pete Laney
invites you to meet
Bill White
Former Mayor of Houston
Candidate for Governor of Texas
Friday, January 22nd
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Historic Baker Building
1211 13th Street Lubbock, Texas 79401
Friends and family are welcome.
RSVP @ 713-613-5356 (Ask for Bianca)
There is no minimum contribution required to attend.


Barbara Ann Radnofsky (Candidate for Texas Attorney General)
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
Home of Dr. Rebecca Butler & Ben Davidson @ 4809 19th Street #7

And a whole day’s worth of events on Saturday 1/23/10:

Coalition Student Training and Lunch
Meeting for college and university students discussing grassroots
campaigning and networking. With guest, Bill White gubernatorial at
grassroots training starts at 11:00 a.m.
The Science Spectrum @ 2579 S. Loop 289 (use south entrance on 74th St)

Rally/Party for the Texas Observer
Information on their new interactive website
1:30 p.m.
The Science Spectrum @ 2579 S. Loop 289 (same as above)

Candidates Press Conference
All the statewide candidates will have a press conference
3:00 pm
The Science Spectrum @ 2579 S. Loop 289 (same as above)

Lubbock County Democratic Party BANQUET!!
6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
McInturff Center @ 602 Indiana (At University Medical Center)
Please call 806- 749-8683 For Tickets ($60 each) — TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT!!
Gov.: Felix Alverado, Farouk Shami, Bill White; U.S. Senate: John Sharp; Attorney General: Barbara Ann Radnofsky; Ag Commissioner: Hank Gilbert and Kinky Friedman; Supreme Court Justice: Blake Bailey #9; U.S. Congress #19: Andy Wilson; State Rep. #85: Joe Heflin; State Rep. #84: Carol Morgan

Lubbock Democrats have been working hard to make this weekend a success. Please take advantage of these wonderful free (except for the banquet) opportunities to meet our statewide candidates in person!


John Stewart prognosticated, “The Kennedy legacy goes down to a naked guy who owns a truck.”

If “Scozzafava’d” (having a candidate endorse the other Party’s candidate) is still a verb in the political lexicon, then I believe “Coakley’d” (taking victory for granted while your opponent campaigns his heart out) should be a verb as well. The conclusion I’m coming to is that Coakley may have been a fine public official, but she was a terrible candidate. Brown’s campaign made all the right moves to take advantage of this special election situation. Meanwhile, Coakley gaffed it up and stayed inside where it was warm (19 events compared to Brown’s 66 events, according to dkos).

The lesson for progressives: work hard and don’t take anything for granted. The lesson for elected Democrats: when you have a mandate from the people, use it or lose it.

The silver lining (beyond the fact that Joe Lieberman is joyfully irrelevant once again) is that Texas Democrats don’t take anything for granted.

Call for Coakley

The Massachusetts special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s senate seat is today, and it’s going to be a squeaker. Polling wizard Nate Silver at predicts that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley, but I take heart in the well-established history of pollsters (even the best ones like Nate Silver) getting special elections wrong.

At any rate, if you have a few minutes, you can call 5 likely-Democratic voters in Massachusetts to turn out the vote.

Click here for the online tool to call Democratic voters in MA. It includes a script and directions to their polling place.

A Saturday to Remember!

Save the date now for Saturday, January 23 — Lubbock County Democratic Party is offering a day filled with once-in-a-lifetime events!

The day kicks off with a region-wide meeting of college-age Democrats. At 11:00am at the Science Spectrum (use the South entrance off 74th St), the Coalition of West Texas Democrats hosts a meeting for college and university students from throughout the region. Johnnie Jones, president of the Coalition, will discuss grassroots campaigning and networking. At 12:00, gubernatorial candidate Bill White will join students for pizza, discussion, and informal Q&A.

At 1:30pm, in the same meeting room at the Science Spectrum, the Texas Observer party begins. The managing editor of the magazine and several reporters will be on hand to give their insights. This will be a fantastic event, and I will blog more about the details of it as the date approaches.

There will also be a press conference in the same meeting room at 3:00pm. Democratic candidates attending the banquet will be available to the press. All the statewide candidates will arrive at 3:00.

That same evening, the Lubbock Democratic Candidates Banquet is taking place:

Saturday, January 23, 2010
6:30-10:00 pm
McInturff Center
602 Indiana, Lubbock

A ticket includes beer and wine, a buffet dinner, and the chance to listen to strong and clear voices of reason! This is the Party’s big annual fundraiser, and it covers many of our vital expenses throughout the year.

Candidates coming to the event are:

Gov.: Bill White, Felix Alvarado, Farouk Shami; U.S. Senate: John Sharp; Attorney General: Barbara Ann Radnofsky; Ag Commissioner: Hank Gilbert and Kinky Friedman; Texas Supreme Court: Bill Moody #5 and Blake Bailey #9; U.S. Congress #19: Andy Wilson; Texas Rep #85: Joe Heflin; Texas Rep #84: Carol Morgan.

If you want banquet tickets, call Democratic Party HQ (2809A 74th St) at 749-8683 or I’m happy to sell you some. Leave a note in the comments and I’ll contact you via email. You can also purchase them online via actblue.

Remember: Saturday, January 23 will be a very full day for Democratic politics in Lubbock!

TX GOP: Purity Test at the Ballot Box

The Republican Party continues to divide itself.

Look at these ballot propaganda propositions on the 2010 Texas Republican Primary Ballot:

Ballot Proposition 1: Photo ID
The Texas legislature should make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 2: Controlling Government Growth
Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 3: Cutting Federal Income Taxes
In addition to aggressively eliminating irresponsible federal spending, Congress should empower American citizens to stimulate the economy by Congress cutting federal income taxes for all federal taxpayers, rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on so-called “federal economic stimulus”. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 4: Public Acknowledgement of God
The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property. (For/Against)

Ballot Proposition 5: Sonograms
The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion. (For/Against)

I guess they’re trying party-building by way of five hot-button wedge issues. Republican Primary voters better answer correctly, lest they find themselves impure.

Stay classy, GOP.

KRFE AM 580 on 87.7 FM

There’s a recent change in the Lubbock media landscape that I think is important enough to mention here. As of Thursday, KRFE AM 580 has been broadcasting on FM 87.7 as well. As of Wednesday before that, 87.7 FM was still broadcasting Christmas music, so this is a welcome change.

The programming on AM 580 / 87.7 FM is pretty good. Owner and morning talk show host Wade Wilkes is a good dude, and he compensates for his conservative handicap by having local attorney Charlie Dunn as a co-host in the mornings. KRFE is also home to the Todd Klein show, which does a decent (if erratic) job of maintaining a balance in viewpoints while allowing callers to have their say and then some.

I still miss the days of KTXT 88.1 FM as a college student-run radio station. The new 88.1 format of BBC radio is nice, but I’d rather have local special interest shows and new indie music. 87.7 FM was acting as the successor of that old KTXT format to a point, but no longer.

Lubbock County 2010 Democratic Candidates

I’m a bit late in posting these, but oh well — they’re mostly for posterity. Hello, google searchers two months in the future.

The 2010 slate of Lubbock County Democratic candidates is a good one, though we did not field a candidate for every office.

Highly competent Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Aurora Chaides-Hernandez is seeking reelection.

Lubbock-Cooper ISD Police Chief Jesse Pena will be our candidate for Lubbock County Sheriff.

Incumbent Democratic Party Chair Pam Brink is being challenged by Clif Burnett, who ran for Republican County Chair in 2008.

Texas House District 84, which is completely contained within Lubbock County, will have a Democratic candidate: Carol Morgan. I am very excited that Carol has decided to seek this office. Her background as a teacher, high school career counselor, and businesswoman have immersed her in issues that matter to folks in Lubbock County.

Even though his district is bigger than Lubbock County, I also want to mention Andy Wilson, Democratic Party candidate for Congress in Texas’ 19th District. He collected over 700 signatures to get on the ballot (the requirement is 500), so his campaign is off to a good start. I encourage you to sign up for his newsletter, which he writes himself, at his website I Stand With Andy.

Announcement Today at 2:45pm

I’ve just gotten word that there will be a special announcement today at Lubbock County Democratic Party HQ (2809A 74th St) at 2:45pm.

Be there if you can, or check back here later for an update!

E-mail It