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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Normally I don't share something from Bill Maher, but aside from his liberal use of profanity he makes some good points about California.

Someone out there has a book that counters Gail Collins' "As Texas Goes, So GoesThe Nation" about Texas holding a lot of political sway. While that may be true, California is a trend setter.

Republicans love to bash California. Why is that?

Could it be that California has a budget surplus and doesn't know what to do with it after deciding to do the opposite of what most governors do when faced with a budget crunch which is not only cut spending but also reform the tax system to generate more revenue?

Could it be that California is reinvesting that surplus money into social services and improving the social contract?

Could it be that California's 55 electoral votes have been a reliable source for Democratic candidates for President since the 1992 election? The last time a Republican carried California was George H.W. Bush in his election victory in 1988 when he won over 400 electoral votes. Since then Republicans have not come close to 300 electoral votes and only won the popular vote once (George W. Bush 2004).

Yes, California has its share of crazies (Darrell Issa), but their crazies are neutralized and quarantined by the fact they have a Democratic governor and lieutenant governor. Democrats currently control a super-majority in the State Senate with 28 seats in the 40 seat chamber. In the State Assembly, Democrats hold a 53-25 seat advantage. In Congress, California's House delegation is 38-15 in favor of the Democrats and is represented in the Senate by two Democratic women who were elected in 1992. California voters in 2008 passed Proposition 20 to allow a 14-member independent panel to redraw state and congressional districts unlike here in Texas where legislative districts are redrawn at the whim of whoever is in charge at the state legislature.

California has seen its share of economic distress but a lot of our nation's economy is headquartered in California. The Central Valley is home to a large portion of our countries food supply. Apple, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook are headquartered in California's Silicon Valley.

There is already this whisper campaign among Republicans here in Texas that Wendy Davis is a California saboteur (she's not, read her Wikipedia page) and that Texans don't need California values. I'd like to know what kind of California values people don't like. Is the one where they treat people fairly and equally? I like that one and I think those are universal and not unique to one particular region of the country.

Maybe instead of fear mongering and driving Texas into the ground, maybe our elected officials could give it the old California try. You know, listening to the people and governing for a change.

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