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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

The Texas Blue: Articles

Critical Analysis: Foxes in the Henhouse

"Always remember that there are two kinds of people in Washington, D.C.: those who can count and those who lose." In the foreword to Foxes in the Henhouse, former Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska) recounts this piece of wisdom from one of the most effective legislative figures of the 20th century, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Texas Democrat. Dave "Mudcat" Saunders parlays Speaker Rayburn's wisdom into a succinct statement of what he feels is the contemporary Democratic Party's biggest problem: "They can't count."

Systematic Abuse of Veterans

Veterans' needs are reportedly $16 billion greater than President Bush projects for 2012.

The proposals for the 2008 budget have proven one thing — the need of the Administration to balance the budget is being placed on the backs of our wounded veterans, including those who will be returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Origin of Message

“For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.” — Ingrid Bengis

The Importance of Rural America

What an exciting time to be a Democrat nationally and in the state of Texas! There is an enthusiasm that is permeating the nation in favor of the Democrats.

Texas State Parks Experiencing the Slow Bleed

Of the 28 reasons tourists cite for choosing Texas, 13 are Texas state park experiences. State park goers amount to 10 million visitors annually contributing approximately $800 million in sales.

Yet despite Texas state parks' intrinsic public value, Texas politicians continue to slowly bleed them financially dry. Their budget has been bled so low that Texas ranks 49th in the nation for per capita spending on state park operations with a current annual budget of $56 million.

The "State" of Texas Higher Education, Part II

Transition from High School to College

We must recognize that there is a need for students to be adequately prepared for college so that when they arrive they are ready to take on the challenges they face.

What's The Matter With McCain?

John McCain's campaign has been running a rough road. Media coverage has been steadily souring since he made the same supposed verbal gaffe Obama did a few weeks ago, and these days, for some reason I can't seem to quantify, everyone feels like it looks hopeless for him in 2008. I'm telling you now though — crowning Giuliani (or Romney, or anyone) as the presumptive McCain killer before anyone has really spent any money against anyone else is folly. McCain will be the Republican nominee, and if it isn't him, he's going to have to screw up far more spectacularly than he has now.

Kos' Mystery Candidate: Rick Noriega

Two weeks ago, a post at dailyKos inspired a great deal of speculation. Kos had a candidate in mind to run against John Cornyn, and while every aspect of any recruiting or draft of this particular candidate for the Senate was in the very early stages, it was still a candidate about whom he was very excited. Kos kept names out of the post, but conversations began, and before too long, a few people paying attention to the brainstorming figured out that Kos was talking about State Representative Rick Noriega.

The “State” of Texas Higher Education, Part I

The prospects for higher education in the United States have never looked better in some ways, nor have they looked worse in others. As Texans, we must think more broadly about policy problems and solutions, and recognize that investing resources in education enhances our ability to compete on the national and global stage.

Benchmarking An Elite Netroots Endorsement

In considering any Democratic hopeful's run against incumbent U.S. Senator John Cornyn, I've researched around to try and find a benchmark for what an elite Netroots endorsement might be worth to a Congressional campaign. In short, it's almost impossible to model the impact of such an endorsement effectively due to data issues; oh if only the world were my laboratory! A control group here, an experimental group there, and voila! We could really emphasize the "science" in "social science."