Houstonians Rally For Reproductive Rights With Gubernatorial Candidate Beto O’Rourke

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Dem gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke chatting with a supporter after his speech at the reproductive rights rally in downtown Houston(05/07/22)

Houstonians showed up in large numbers at the Discovery Green park in downtown Houston (05/07/22) for a reproductive rights rally headlined by gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke. The very well attended and high energy rally comes on the heels of the recent bombshell leak of a draft Supreme Court majority opinion which suggests the high court is getting ready to strike down the landmark Roe v Wade decision which made abortion legal. Judging from the energy in the crowd at Discovery Green, one can safely assume that reproductive rights and the future of the Supreme Court generally, will be major issues in the upcoming midterm elections. This message was very clear from Beto O’Rourke and the other high profile Dem leaders in attendance, who included State Senator Carol Alvarado(District 6), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia.

Beto said at the rally:“This has been among the toughest weeks for so many people across this state and across this nation, but as I look out at each and every single one of you, there is something extraordinarily beautiful in the way that we have decided to come together. And in these tough times, Texans turn out. They are there for and by one another. It brings out the very best in us…We want our fellow Texans, wherever they are, to whatever party they may belong to, to whomever they pray, however they love, whatever country their families originally came from, to know right now we stand together. We stand with them…For most of us, I’m 49 years old, for my entire life, Roe vs Wade has been the law of the land, I’ve known nothing else. But those who preceded me, those who preceded all of us, they made that happen. That fortunate generation who was fighting for the rights that so many, too many have taken for granted for too long, we now have that same opportunity to fight like just they did, and I want us to remember, whatever we think the odds are right now against us, this is possible, and in fact it has been done before against much greater odds.”

There’s no other way to interpret Beto’s remarks other than a call for Texans of goodwill to unite against efforts by Republicans at the federal level and their state counterparts(Gov Abbott’s regime), to peel back their constitutional rights. This could end up being the winning message because it could attract a sizable chunk of the independent vote.

Bottom line folks, historical trends favor Republicans to do very well against Democrats this Fall(party out of power). Reasonable people will agree however, that the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion has given Democrats nationwide, a much needed jolt. Will this jolt be enough to upend historical trends and hand Democrats a surprise victory in November? Only time will tell. Given the high energy at Discovery Green Park however, the potential certainly exists for Democrats to “come from behind” and pull off a surprise win in the elections this Fall.

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Shontel Brown Credits Endorsements By Hillary Clinton And Whip Clyburn For OH-11 Primary Win

Shontel Brown was on MSNBC’s Politics Nation (08/07/2021), where she credited her recent win in the OH-11 Democratic primary to endorsements from powerful establishment Democrats Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Polls leading up to the 08/03/2021 Democratic primary had Progressive firebrand Nina Turner, backed by Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and other leading Progressives, leading Brown in the race. This is why Brown’s primary win was considered by many, an upset.

Shontel Brown told host Al Sharpton:“If all politics is local, I’m as local as it gets…We knew that this was a local race. Having the support of local city council members, school board members, precinct committee folks, that was our path to victory. But I will say, getting the attention and the support of someone like Hillary Clinton certainly reshaped the narrative and got a lot of national support, and after that the ball just started rolling. Whip [James] Clyburn also endorsed my candidacy, the CBC endorsed my candidacy. Right after that, the AFT and the Teamsters came on board…”

Brown then went on to tout her winning political record, even before the high-powered endorsements, telling host Sharpton:“Let the record reflect, we always saw a path to victory, and I say this as calmly and respectfully as I can. I never got into this race with the expectation to do anything other than winning. I have six wins under my belt and Lord willing, on November, this will be my seventh. Anyone who knows me, seven is a number that I strongly believe in as a child of faith. It represents perfection, completion in God. And so I believed from the very beginning that this was my race…”

During the interview, Brown repeatedly avoided delving into the Progressive versus establishment Democrats divide which characterized her primary race, instead reiterating that voters are primarily interested in a candidate who can deliver results, not their political label.

For the record, Yours Truly was already sold on Shontel Brown as a solid Dem candidate, but after hearing her nailing it on the deep spiritual significance of the number seven, she instantly became one of my favorite Democrats, and hopefully in November, one of my favorite House Democrats.

Bottom line folks, as Shontel Brown correctly pointed out, too much is often made of the divide between Progressives and establishment Democrats, when at the end of the day, voters just want capable, even-keeled candidates who can deliver results. After watching Brown’s interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett right after her win, and this one on MSNBC, it is difficult to still consider her win an upset. Yours Truly will leave it at that so as not to ruffle feathers, but I suspect you get the drift.

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Florida Police Arrested 6 Yr Old Black Girl Over Tantrum At School

In one of the most outrageous cases illustrating the ease with which children of color get caught up in the criminal justice system, we now get a shocking report out of Florida that police in Orlando arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted and took a mugshot of a 6 year old Black girl because she threw a tantrum at Lucious & Emma Nixon Elementary School where she’s a first-grader. Yeah, Orlando police charged first-grader Kaia with battery and threw her in the back of a squad car for a trip to a juvenile detention center. Absolutely outrageous!!

According to her visibly upset Grandma Meralyn Kirkland, Orlando police charged her granddaughter with battery because she got upset and kicked somebody (presumably one of her classmates). Kirkland says she tried to explain to an officer that her granddaughter had a medical condition (sleep apnea) which the family was trying to resolve but the officer was very dismissive. The officer she spoke to apparently responded saying, “I have sleep apnea and I don’t behave that way.”

Rebecca J. Kavanagh a New York City Public Defender has dug up the name of the officer who arrested little Kaia and surprise surprise, the officer, Dennis Turner, also arrested an 8 year old Black boy on the same day for an unrelated incident. Folks, it appears the school-to-prison pipeline is alive and well in Orlando, Florida.

Bottom line folks, there are a lot of problems with the criminal justice system and it may be easy for us members of the public to simply sit on the bleachers and point fingers at law enforcement for all the problems. The reality however is that these are systemic problems in the criminal justice system that sooner or later consume even well-meaning, good-natured individual officers. In other words, even though the officer mentioned above is cast in very negative light, the real problem is that he finds himself in a culture at the Orlando Police Department where it is very normal to criminally prosecute children of color for being children. While there will certainly be an effort to go after officer Dennis Turner individually, one only hopes that this troubling incident will spark a real debate about the real systemic problem which is the school-to-prison pipeline.

On a lighter note, if little Kaia can kick so hard at 6 years old as to warrant a battery charge, maybe the Miami Dolphins or Jacksonville Jaguars should keep an eye on her for a future Hall of Fame Kicker spot.

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