S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Southwest politics - flotsam and jetsam

Because Texas is located in the Southwest certain issues are more predominant than others with us.
The Southwest in 2008 -- Given the abysmal reputation of our current president, it may be forever before another Texas Favorite Son will be elected. The Iowa Independent writer Douglas Burns thinks that the Southwest will decide the presidential election, however. He may be right if you include the West also, because Colorado and Nevada are technically Western States. Here is what he said with his Obama vice-presidential musings:

Dodd, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, and Obama clearly have respect for each other.. . . Dodd is simply a classy senator who can answer questions with reliable competency. Yes, the Southwest likely will determine the 2008 election, and sure, a Richardson vice presidential nomination makes sense because of this. But Dodd is fluent in Spanish as I saw firsthand when Lorena Lopez of La Prensa and I conducted a joint interview with him. If Obama gets the nomination Dodd complements him in a number of ways as a running mate -- including his ability to campaign in Spanish.

Dodd won't make mistakes out there and with his reassuring white hair, the elder statesman would be a nice balance for Obama. Youth and wisdom. Age and experience.

Climate change issues connected to drought and the water supply have a big influence on the priorities of the West and the Southwest. Our state's water supply is a fragile resource, subject to over use by dry land crop irrigation from water wells and diminishing rainfall. Long hot summers subject our reservoirs to draining by cities and evaporation during drought. Simply Left Behind carried an interesting piece last week called "How Dry I am. . . " from which I quote:

Within our lifetimes, much of the west coast will be uninhabitable desert.

Don't believe me?:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - By 2040, climate change will have melted the glaciers of Glacier National Park in Montana and the spring snowpack in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, scientists said on Tuesday.About 50 percent of the fresh water consumed by people worldwide comes from mountains, so the rate at which snowpack is disappearing is worrying, said Daniel Fagre, an ecologist who works for the U.S. Geological Survey in Glacier National Park in Montana.
This "50%" includes most of Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as most of New Mexico and Arizona.

Transportation -- -- The Southwest Region is geographically large. Texas is the second larges state in the union, one behind Alaska. So getting around is a very big deal for us. We spend inordinately huge amounts of money on roads and highways. "Texas High Speed Developments," at Trains for America (by a guy from Arkansas) has interesting information about something that has been a dream for us for many years. We would love to have a high speed rail line between South Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. To quote:

Something about Texas politics makes me suspicious. It could be that these guys are all on the level, maybe not. You can expect a bloodbath of legislative favor swapping as this [m]oves forward. It is ironic because, from the pure transportation marketing standpoint, Houston and Dallas are natural close pairs for real HSR service up to European standards.

Justice System -- Judges run for office in Texas. State District 303 Family Court Judge Dennise Carcia, of Dallas, is married to an old fashioned folk singer and Methodist minister named Eric Folkerth, a little piece of interesting trivia from this very Republican state. Actually, Dallas has occasionally been know to be a Democratic stronghold. Their annual Christmas letter is posted on Eric's blog, an interesting technique. To quote from the portion of it that discussed Dennise's election:

A big part of what had us so tired at the end of last year was the 2006 election. As you may recall, Dennise was up for re-election then, having served only two years. (Her first election was to fill an unexpired seat)

She won, and she won big: 31,000 votes, and almost nine percentage points. In fact, she won by the widest margin of any county-wide judicial candidate in the past five elections. (Republican or Democrat)

So, on January 1st of this year, Dennise was sworn in again; this time for a full four year term. After two elections in two years, she decided to take it easy on the political front this year.l

But as you may remember, the election of 2006 featured quite a change in Dallas County politics, with dozens of Democratic candidates winning elected office. Overnight, Dennise went from being one of a few elected Democrats to being one of many.


For this and other reasons, she was voted Presiding Judge of the Family Courts in Dallas County. This involves calling, attending, and running various meetings relating to the administration of the courts. Doing this administrative job, running her own court, and supporting all the newly elected colleagues has been a challenge. But it’s been good to learn so much in such a short span of time, and things seem to be calming down now.

Dennise's husband Eric believes that "Love is the natural thing," the charming song, who you get when you visit his site. Eric bids "goodbye" to musician Dan Fogelberg in his most recent and very touching blog post.
View my current slide show about the Bush years, "Millennium," at the bottom of this column.
My links:
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Making Good Mondays is about scrapbooking.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol: Nice to see you stumbled on my blog, and I'm pleased to now stumble on yours. I like the passion and depth that you bring to your writing on the issues.

I'm sure we'll all meet down the road sometime...


Eric Folkerth