El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Posts Tagged ‘obama

NPT Capitol: Dem candidate for Gov, a good friend of W

Tom Schieffer declared his intention to become the Democratic candidate for Governor today at the Capitol.

Schieffer is a former US ambassador to Japan and Australia. He was appointed by President George W. Bush. The two men are close friends, who in the past have been business partners, Schieffer told reporters today.

“The President asked me to serve my country…he did not ask me to serve the Republican party,” said Schieffer. When pressed he told reporters he had voted for Bush when he ran for Texas Governor and U.S. President. When asked what he thought of Bush’s time in office, Schieffer said, “He’s my friend. I tried to serve his presidency as best I could because I thought it was in the interests of the country.” Schieffer was keen to stress his Democratic credentials, pointing out he also voted for Obama in the primary and general elections of 2008 because, he possesses the, “intellectual capacities to change America.”

“I’m not new to the Democratic party,” said Schieffer describing how he remembered campaigning with his mother who was a part of “Ladies for Lydon” in 1960. Schieffer portrayed himself as a moderate business friendly Democrat.

“Just having a good business climate is not the only thing you do… I’m convinced that after being abroad that if we don’t recognize that education is the foundation of a good business climate, then we’re going to fall behind,” said Schieffer, adding that the jobs of the future were based in the “knowledge a based economy.”

–Ben Wright

You can watch video of Schieffer’s press conference (courtesy of Burnt Orange Report) after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

NPT DC: Reyes comment on Obama speech

silverstrereyesNews release from U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes. For the transcript of Obama’s speech, click here.

“President Obama was very honest about the challenges our country is facing but reaffirmed that America will rise to the challenge and will emerge from this crisis a stronger nation. The road ahead will not be easy, as we are confronting one of the most serious financial crises in our nation’s history, but the President and the Congress are determined to lead our country in a new direction and will continue to advance an ambitious legislative agenda that will move America forward again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

NPT DC: Obama chastises Perry over stimulus

From the Dallas Morning News: “The president … joked about the fact that we need transit dollars in Houston, although the governor of Texas has said that maybe Texas won’t take money from the stimulus bill,” Houston Mayor Bill White recounted afterward. [link]

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Speaking to a gathering of about 80 of the nation’s mayors at a White House meeting, Obama specifically mentioned Houston’s need for transit dollars but said Texas could lose money if Perry does not apply for all the federal aid for which the state is eligible.” [link]

Why did Obama feel the need to make these comments despite the fact that if Perry turns down stimulus aid, the legislature can request it? [link]

perry2Simple. Because Perry (and other governors too) have worked out that a lot of the stimulus aid will require much tweaking of the state budgets. And you can’t tweak a state budget without the governor’s signature.

Any creation/expansion of a state program (say, providing pro-rated unemployment benefit for seeking part time work) could bring down bucket loads of supplementary federal dosh (in addition to the one time windfalls for things like transportation projects.) [link]

But… that sort of thing requires the Governor’s say-so, as well as the feds and the lege.

Hence Obama’s singling out of Perry. The stimulus package is not just about fixing the economy. It is also about expanding the scope of state government by providing massive incentives. (Paid for with the national credit-card) In this sense it is as much about colonization as relief. But HR1 is structured in such a way that Governor’s can take the relief and reject the colonization.

Perry said Tuesday, “In Texas, we actually know it is a good idea to look a gift horse in the mouth.” This glitch in the stimulus package means h that states can drink (at least half of) the milk without putting a deposit on the cow.

–Ben Wright


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 21, 2009 at 9:34 am

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NPT Capitol: A picture paints a thousand words

1-dollarThe Texas Industrial Areas Foundation, a conglomeration of church-based progressive groups, held a press conference at the capitol on Wednesday calling for the expansion of CHIP. I mean, who wouldn’t take a buck for only 28 cent investment?

TIAF’s argument, summed up by Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, was that expansion was a moral imperative that made good economic sense. If the bible was the basis of the former, federal matching funds was the basis of the latter.

The group cited Obama’s signing into law of the federal SCHIP law which will provide $2.52 for every $1 Texas contributes towards covering families earning below 300% of the federal poverty level: $66,150 for a family of four.

“I’m not a banker, but that seems to be a prudent investment…I hope that we in Texas are not too proud to take this money,” said one pastor. Another, accused the state of “moral failure” citing, Texas’ 1.5m uninsured children as reason enough. That’s quite a combination, theology and math. That said, the governor is yet to agree to meet with them, showing that it is easier to speak truth, than it is to speak truth to power.

–Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

February 20, 2009 at 9:57 am

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