Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's Official

From Chris Bell, Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas:


Dear Friend,
Over the past half year, I have traveled all over Texas, literally exploring the race for governor. You have indulged me in this process as I sought the answers to some important questions, some personal (and Alison's doing better every day, thanks) and some of them public: Can a Texas Democrat win? Are Texas Democrats ready to try something different? Do people see what is happening in Texas the same way that I do?

Well, I have my answers, and today I am proud to share the news that I've decided to run for governor.

If you ever want people to question your sanity, explore running for statewide office as a Democrat in Texas. When this started, I had no clue as to how people might respond. I have not been that nervous about getting on the phone since running for Houston City Council the first time. Everyone agreed that it would be a tough road for any Democrat but, interestingly, the overwhelming majority of people with whom I spoke could also see that Rick Perry is creating a huge opportunity for a Democrat. They also agreed it wasn't enough for me to be right about Rick Perry being wrong; it would take a positive message that could unite all Texans.

As I've traveled the state, I've been talking about the "New Mainstream," the disaffected majority of Texans who know that Rick Perry couldn't lead a silent prayer. I've been talking about how budgets are moral documents that have both a fiscal impact as well as a human cost. And, as a public school parent, I've learned that parents and teachers across Texas share my frustrations with Enron-style accountability that encourages dropouts and systematic fraud by teaching our kids nothing as much as how to take yet another standardized test.

The best part of the exploration phase has been watching as people came out of their seats to cheer. Some memories have really stuck with me: the young college student who approached me in Brazos County, with tears in her eyes, telling me how inspired she was by what I had said; the pastor in Mount Pleasant who told me he would be with me all the way; the County Chair in Lubbock starting the chant, "Run Chris, run!" I won't pretend that people were responding to me so much as to hearing someone talk about the world the way it is, and not just the way it polls.

The one remaining question was whether my wife, Alison, would be up for the fight. I am happy to tell you that the prognosis after chemotherapy is as good as it can get. Ali has been my rock ever since we've been together, and there's no way I would embark on something as challenging as a race for governor without her feeling up to it. As everyone knows, she's every bit the fighter I am, and she feels strong enough to join me in this battle.

We're launching our campaign for governor on Sunday afternoon, August 14th, at 2PM in Austin, and Alison and I want you to join us there. If you would like to help organize participants from your city, please let us know. Information about the launch rally is available here.

We are going in with eyes wide open, aware not only of the odds but also of the possibilities to achieve great things for Texas. I look forward to seeing you in Austin and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship and support.

Sincerely,

Chris

P.S. Ironically, as I was writing this letter, I received a "thought for today" email from a friend. It was a quote from Anatole France that says, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." I couldn't have said it better myself. I dream of a better state and believe we can build it together.

We all know who that chair is.
-Synthesis

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

BBQ a success

First, I want to thank everyone who made the DFA barbeque a success. Special thank should especially be extended to Sue W., Johnnie Jones, and Maria Maldia for donating food and/or money. If I left anyone out, I apologize. Remind me to thank you at our next meeting

Overall, I think the evening turned out as well as I could have hoped for. I’d estimate that we had about 30 people attend at least a part of the festivities. I tried to set up a baseball game, but no one believed me when I said my broom handle would make a perfectly good bat. Ysidro (our County Commissioner) stopped by, as did the new president of the TTU Democrats. I spoke with her and she agreed that our two groups are natural allies that can and will work together in the near future.

There were some unfamiliar faces in the mix that I hope will become regulars at our meetings. All in all, great food, great friends, great conversations. We should do it again some time, as long as I don’t have to clean up after it again.
-Synthesis

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lubbock DFA Barbeque

WHO: The Lubbock chapter of Democracy for America (DFA) will be hosting a get together for the greater progressive community in Lubbock

WHAT: We’re having a Texas Barbeque! Conversation and consumption (of food) will be done liberally.

WHEN: The BBQ will take place Saturday July, 23rd from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

WHERE: Beautiful Ratliff Park, located on the corner of 50th and Chicago, will serve as the location for our BBQ. Lubbock DFA has reserved the sheltered tables. A Volleyball net, a basketball court, and a children’s playground will also be available for kids of all ages.

WHY: Lubbock DFA wants to reach out to friends and neighbors and build strong ties and a stronger Lubbock community. We cannot build up from the grassroots on an empty stomach.

HOW: So far, Lubbock DFA has raised $40 for the event; to those donors I want to offer many thanks. We will need another $100 or so for food and other incidentals. I am asking for donations from DFA members. You can pledge a contribution online, or if you wish, you can contact me at ian.barba@gmail.com and I will arrange to pick up any contribution, be it in the form of cash or check. You can donate anonymously if you like, but I would like to officially recognize all members who will make this event possible.
This BBQ will not be technically open to the public; however I want to encourage everyone to invite your neighbors, your friends, your family, and anyone else you might think would enjoy some good food and good fellowship. If anyone has a large (mailing) list of friends and he or she needs help contacting everyone, please contact ian.barba@gmail.com, and I’ll do my best to help.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Rove hits the fan

The Raw Story has a transcript from today's gaggle. They weren't about to let McClellan get away from Karl R--- (obscenity edited by author). I swear, if I had McClellan's job (professional liar), I think I would cry every night.

While I am of the opinion that the left needs to stop obsessing over our boogeymen, Karl in particular, I admit it will be really sweet when he occupies the first of many jail cells. In a more perfect world, Bob Novak would get the second one.

This isn't some namby-pamby fact finding investigation, this is criminal and people have already received jail time. Judith Miller will be heading to the pokey just for refusing to out her source. Her name would never be in the news if prosecutors and the judge didn't believe that something very illegal conspired when Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA agent. Someone committed treason, and it very well may have been the turd blossom himself.
-Synthesis

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Message Discipline to the Nth degree

Wow. At 6:30 this morning the two leading letters to the editor in today’s print edition of AJ just seemed like garden-variety homegrown vitriol.

Now one must consider the possibility that even the AJ participates directly in the vast right wing conspiracy or at least gets marching orders from the Rove-Luntz-Dobson-Limbaugh axis of weevils.

Newsweek has apparently got the goods on Rove (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/) for revealing Valery Plame’s identity as a covert CIA agent.

With friends like him, does this country really need enemies? Our local letters to the editor column would appear to be at the leading edge of the Republican damage control message machine here.

Love 'em, hate 'em or try to avoid 'em, the Republican WMDs - weapons of message discipline - are deployed with an efficiency that would be awe inspiring if it wasn't so repellent. We will probably never know for sure if his outrageous statements about liberals and 9/11 were a deliberate ruse to rally his faithful ahead of the trial he must know is coming, but the circumstances certainly suggest it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Texas Democrat

This is making me really happy. I knew that Chris Bell was a good person, and that he would make a great governor, but to see it put down in words like this... it just makes me really happy.

I am sick and tired of the Republican stranglehold over this country and this great state of Texas. I am sick and tired of the give-up, know-nothing, corporate-owned Democrats that have just rolled over and let the Tom Delay crowd tighten their grip.

We true, blue Democrats are taking our country back, bit by bit, rolling up our sleeves and doling out knuckle-sandwiches when necessary.

I am proud that Chris Bell stands, unafraid, in Texas, and aligning himself with progressive Democrats. These Republicans in power are crooks, and they must be stopped.
-Synthesis