Monthly Archives: October 2010

Praise 92.1 Positions Station as Obama Mouthpiece

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

After a six-minute softball segment with President Barack Obama last Wednesday, Praise 92.1 FM is positioning itself as Houston’s liberal talk network with an interview Monday with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Monday’s interview is billed by The Yolanda Adams Morning Show as a discussion on getting out the vote, and the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, encouraging children to exercise and get active every day.

The problem I have is with the former, not the latter.

For anybody who heard the interview with the president, it is abundantly clear  Praise 92.1, and parent company Radio One, Inc., hope to become Houston’s official mouthpiece for the Obama White House, failing to offer a response to Republicans.

The problem with that is Praise 92.1 bills itself as a Christian inspirational station; I think it is disingenuous to preach the Word, but then fail to seek truth by asking questions from both sides of the aisle.

I don’t like it when Dan Patrick does it at KSEV for Republicans, and I don’t like how Praise 92.1 is doing it there for Democrats.

For anybody who listened to the six minute, 20 second interview, hosts Yolanda Adams and Minister Anthony Valary (“AV”) essentially took the president at face value on his agenda, and even showed their bias through the language they used.

Adams, an award-winning (and amazing, might I add) Gospel artist, accentuated her bias by asking the president to discuss the importance of the election for our people, and declared that we–as in Praise 92.1, Yolanda Adams, Radio One and President Obama–needed the listener’s help to continue Obama’s brand of change in Washington.

AV, on the other hand, did not parse words when he told the president he agreed that Republicans had “driven the economy like a car into the ditch,” despite failing to realize that the worst years for unemployment were marked by Democratic control of Congress.

The pro-Obama language coming from Praise 92.1 is of no surprise, however, when you consider the parent company behind them.

A History of Support for Liberals

Radio One, which operates 53 radio stations in 16 urban markets, has a history of support for liberal politics as it caters to a largely African-American audience.  Rev. Al Sharpton can be heard on The Al Sharpton Show in 18 different markets.

Furthermore, the company’s top brass are unapologetic in their support of liberal Democrat candidates, according to Federal  Election Commission filings.

According to records, Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins was a 2008 donor to President Obama’s campaign, and has contributed to the campaigns of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and New York Rep. Charlie Rangel this cycle.

Radio One Founder and Chairperson Catherine Hughes is also a Democratic donor, formerly supporting Obama’s bid for U.S. Senator, in addition to that of former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, who is the U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama Administration.

While there is a certain political-racial element we could discuss (Gallup Poll: 93 Percent of Blacks Support Obama), it is the Christian angle that I am more interested in pursuing.

It should be said, and I broach the topic carefully, that the Bible does not signify Jesus Christ’s political affiliation, but it does make clear we ought to work to win people to Christ, not push them away.

The practice of engaging in partisan politics, for Christian media, is potentially dangerous, in my opinion, as it has the potential to turn off people to the message of Jesus Christ, who for all intensive purposes, would probably lump the Congress in with the tax collectors of the day.

Often in political discourse, we see liberals balk at conservative Christian groups, calling for their tax exemptions to be revoked.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, Houston’s more popular Christian radio station, 89.3 KSBJ, does not offer its listeners a partisan agenda, except to engage listeners to vote. Period.

Radio One, which is a publicly traded company and not financially supported by listeners, has every right to present its one-sided view; in this case, because the president is not on the ballot, the FCC’s equal time rule does not apply.

But, just because Praise 92.1 can engage in politicking, there will be a cost.

The Fallout From Praise 92.1’s Politicking

Aside from engaging in  indoctrination, Praise 92.1’s bias will ensure another generation of African-Americans will suffer under a philosophy which says reliance on government rather than responsibility is good for black families.

If liberalism, with its tenets of handouts and entitlements, has been so good, why is unemployment is liberal states tilted disproportionately towards African-Americans?

Furthermore, despite great increases in government under every president since Franklin Roosevelt, why are the poor still not housed, the hungry not fed, and the naked not clothed?  A Great Society it did not become.  Liberalism fails time and time again.

Meanwhile, by engaging a political philosophy that so often maligns the Christian faith, Praise 92.1 does a disservice to its own mission to inspire others for Christ.

The same president Yolanda Adams cheered on as “the coolest” last Wednesday is influenced, unbeknownst to most, by an agenda written by a man who dedicated his work to Satan.  Yes, really.

As a result, some will tune out Praise 92.1 as a result of the station’s Obama bias, and maybe Christianity.

Others, however, will remain faithful to the cause, to the station, and to the president.  And who knows how that will hurt them in the long run.

So, how can we stop Praise 92.1?

First, turn off the station.  It helps not to have the sane go insane listening to something that makes the blood boil.  Second, pray. He listens.  And third, you can hit the station where it hurts.

Because Radio One is not a 501(c)(3) as KSBJ is, they rely on advertisers to keep them afloat. Contact the advertisers and let them know you will not be patronizing their business because of the political message that the radio station supports.

Let them know, in clear words, that it is the radio station that is the problem–Praise 92.1’s agenda can divide the Christian community, and as a result, you wanted to let them know that you will not support their business as long as they support that radio station.

And finally, pray again, for our nation, for Praise 92.1, and for the president.  God is still on the throne, and he moves the hands that move the world.

The Yolanda Adams Morning Show Producer Jay Rodriguez could not reached for comment prior to posting.  I will gladly bring an official response from the show when and if it becomes available.

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Best and Worst Campaign Websites: Harris County Democratic Edition

Earlier this week, I analyzed the websites of Harris County Republicans.  Now, it is the Democrats’ turn.

As I have previously suggested, Democrats will always win the war on the web when it comes to information and web design, only because they have an actively engaged youth bloc that knows technology.  You know the type: liberal, ugly feet-in-sandals, environmental t-shirt wearing, vegan Starbucks fan who is always plugged in on their iPhone, flipping through their apps, updating Twitter, etc. Yeah, that nuisance.

And even if the Democrats have found a nice niche for their beautiful web wares, the truth remains, if they are of the liberal brand, their sites are nice but their policies are dumb! On to the sites:

The Best

Best Party Website in Harris County

Designed in the same vein of the Barack Obama campaign, the Harris County Democratic Party offers nothing new in terms of design, but it is still the best political party website (for now!) in Harris County, Texas. I won’t say much else, because a liberals are a prideful bunch and will gloat any chance they get.

Best State Senator’s Site: Rodney Ellis

State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D13) wins by default in the absence of a website by the Harris County Democratic Party’s other local senator, the venerable Sen. John Whitmire (D-15).   Much like Republican Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7), Ellis’ site is well connected for social networking and built for effective communications. But, unlike Patrick, I doubt Rodney Ellis will be the next gubernatorial prospect from his party.

Best State Rep’s Site: Kristi Thibaut

State Rep. Kristi Thibaut (D-133) has a website that is probably one of the best in Texas, in terms of simplicity, organization and effectiveness in engaging readers.  I am always a fan of retro fonts, and Kristi’s site uses them in splashes in a way that makes it crisp and fun.

Best Website Flag: Rick Molina

While his website is of the dime-a-dozen Obama-like sites Democrats are hitching their posts to, Pasadena State Representative candidate Rick Molina (D-144) has a pretty cool flag which is reflective of the district’s industrial lifeblood, and his dream digs in Austin.

The Worst

The Best of the Worst Award: Garnet Coleman

While State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-147) has a website that does the job,  it is very modular in design and in old school HTML. Additionally, whoever built the site did not designate a Metatitle which reflected whose website it was.  As a result, the web browser reads “Home” up top, which would not be typically good for Google search results, but then again, how many people do you know named Garnet Coleman?

Man of a Thousand Words Award: Scott Hochberg

State Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-137) is, in many respects, a statesman, even if he is a Democrat. I would be remiss not to applaud Hochberg on the many emails I have received over the years in which he linked to and explained the political process or something going on in the Democratic Party. Yet, I must admit his website is of that early 90s HTML look that makes me sad, especially since he has so many useful links and content. Furthermore, more images would help break up the very prolific Hochberg’s text.

Yeah, Right Award: Brad Neal

Perennial Democratic State Rep candidate Brad Neal (D-150) uses this piece of crap to get his gobbly goop across to the few Democrats who will bother to show up out there in State Rep. Debbie Riddle‘s turf. Neal has run twice, and will lose again on Tuesday’s General Election. You can blame it on the red nature of the district, but I’ll blame it on his website. Anybody who thinks text that size is appropriate doesn’t deserve to become a State Representative.

The Pretty-Ugly Award: Diane Trautman

I normally wouldn’t write about how pretty or ugly a candidate is, because I don’t like it how the media does that to female candidates of any party, but for a Democratic woman, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Diane Trautman is actually very gorgeous.  So, it hurts to see a nice photo of Mrs. Trautman being displayed on such a boring website, which is why she gets the Pretty-Ugly award: Pretty mug, ugly ass website.

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LSCS: No Discussions on Replacing Chris Daniel on Trustee Board

While it is still three days away, I figured I might as well play devil’s advocate and asked Ray Laughter, Vice Chancellor for External Affairs for the Lone Star College System, what plans, if any, had been made should Trustee Chris Daniel win his election for Harris County District Clerk.

In short, Laughter said, there were no plans considered as of yet.

“Not wanting to get ahead of anything, I don’t believe there has been any discussion about the process to replace Chris Daniel if he were to resign from our board,” Laughter said.

“In the past the board has appointed a committee to review candidates and make recommendations for appointment, in this case for the year and a half remaining on his term.”

Daniel will face Democratic incumbent Loren Jackson for the Clerk’s Office on Tuesday.

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Sen. Patrick: New Tea Party Caucus, ICRoT “Different”

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7) defended the formation of a new Tea Party Caucus today from critics who said its shared goals of Patrick’s Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas invalidate the need for the latter group.

But, according to the state senator, both groups represent the same goals with very different capacities.

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)

Patrick announced the formation of a Tea Party Caucus in the Texas Legislature today, created to represent the interests of followers of the conservative political movement.

According to a press release from Patrick’s office, The Tea Party caucus will be active throughout the session, meeting with conservative leaders from the Tea Party movement, discussing issues, and building support for important conservative legislation.

Meanwhile, the ICROT, Patrick’s post-Republican primary pet cause, serves another purpose, he said.

“The ICROT was never intended to be an active caucus.  It was intended to be a statement of what our party stood for as each member signed the pledge,” Patrick said, via email to TL.  “The voters will decide moving forward if those elected officials keep their word.”

Members of the Tea Party Caucus will meet more rigorous requirements for eligibility.

Membership, which will be determined by Sen. Patrick prior to the start of the 82nd Legislature, will be determined based on three requirements, including:

“The Tea Party is the most important political  movement of my lifetime and I want to be sure their voice is heard loud and clear in Austin after the election is over,” Patrick said.  “This caucus will work with Tea Party leaders across the state to be sure promises made during campaigns are followed up in the legislature.”

Despite Patrick’s enthusiasm, critics said it appears he is abandoning the ICRoT.

David Jennings, of Big Jolly Politics, charged Patrick was already moving on from the organization formed in April, previously predicting the senator would probably “have moved on to something else” before the 83rd Legislature.

As a conservative blogger, Jennings is often critical of the senator for moderate politics, choosing to refer to him on his blog as “D_nny.”

“This might be a record-time dropping of a “cause” for [Dan] – the website hasn’t been updated since April 21st,” Jennings writes. “Remember when, at the start and even during the middle of the Tea Party movement, that [Dan] said the Tea Parties wouldn’t survive if they didn’t tie themselves up in knots with Republicans?”

“Remember, Julie [Turner of the Texas Tea Party Patriots]? Remember what TEA stands for? Now you’ve gotten yourself locked up with a bunch of guys that care way more about what you do in your bedroom than what they take out of your pocketbook.”

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Best and Worst Campaign Websites: Harris County Republican Edition

Each election, I am both amazed and appalled by some of the choices of branding political candidates choose to forgo on their campaign signs and websites. While few are excellent, many are notoriously bad. The Harris County Republican slate is no exception.

 

Today, I look at some of the best (and worst) the Harris County GOP has to offer, and a few comments from me to you.  By and large, the Republicans could use a book on CSS for Christmas.

 

The Best

 

Typically, the best Republican websites come from the Congressional incumbents.  They have more money, staff and relevant content on the issues to fill a site.  U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-7) has the most organized site, featuring top-of-the-page navigation, plenty of social media links and buttons calling voters to interact with the campaign, and an overall clean feel.

 

Of all the Republicans in all of Texas, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)‘s website is built to inform and engage.  A Twitter link up top provides easy access, which a left-hand navigation is straight forward with sections for issues and videos. The gigantic Texas flag behind him and the red, white and blue nature of this website screams “I AM RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN 2016.”.  Scary thought, isn’t it?

 

Texas Rep. Patricia Harless (R-126) sets the bar for what every House member’s website should aspire to be. Not only is it clean and classy, in a Texas cowboy kind of way, but it offers her constituents and supporters ways to get in contact with her via email and social networks. Furthermore, bonus points for the very cool tagline: “I believe that limited government means limited spending.”
I hope she will run for higher office at some point, and take this website with her. 🙂

 

The Worst

 

I start the bad section with the Harris County GOP’s party website only because it could be better.  Republicans, by definition, are not very good with the Internet to begin with, so I will try to be brief. But, this site is crammed, very modular in its appearance while also looking very disheveled. My eye doesn’t quite know what to look at, and therefore, I am apt to struggle to focus on one thing; for example, the video embedded (congrats on learning how to embed videos, guys!) at left is so “heavy” in weight, even if I want to look at the buttons at right (which are the second “heaviest” item), I have a hard time focusing.

 

Another point I want to make, thus proving the assertion about the GOP and its slow progress online: While viewing the website’s page source, the webmaster (or creator) illustrated how behind they were by not only taking the time to write out metatag keywords (which, for all intensive purposes, lost importance years ago when it came to SEO and search engines), but alternating between capitalizing keywords, as if they were case sensitive.

 

Remember when I said the Congressional incumbents had the best sites? On the flip side of that, Congressional also-rans (in this case, Republicans challenging standing Democratic incumbents, who no matter how bad they suck, always win) have among the worst. Steve Mueller, God bless him for trying, has nice talking points framed by a website my 10-year-old brother could make if he was learning HTML.

 

Okay, I lied. Not all Republican incumbents have the nicest sites.  Rep. Pete Olson shows just how boring, white bread he can get by filling one of the Republican’s nicest websites with big blocks of text from top to bottom. Olsen is highly prolific, and unless you have the time to read Olson blah blah blah about blah blah blah, you will be turned off by this website.  Olson does get points for breaking out of the red, white and blue motifs, however.

Back when I was with the 1960 Sun Newspapers, I met and spoke with Rep. Gary Elkins on a number of occasions.  His policies, especially in terms of small business, are incredibly sound. But, his website looks like something I tinkered with when I was in my freshman year of high school!  It is a very simple HTML site. I wish he’d do something about this eyesore.

 

In the Harris County judicial races, one judge stands out for a weird navigation feature on their website.  Harris County Judge Vanessa Valasquez, of the 183rd Criminal District Court, relies on this crazy Flash menu which changes at a rate of every 4 seconds.  The image isn’t even shaped like the flap, with a corner virtually cut off. It looks pretty tacky, and for an older voter, probably isn’t clear it is a link.

 

Orlando Sanchez is to the Harris County Republicans as Chris Bell is to the Harris County Democrats: He is always running for something.  And when he throws his hat in the ring, Orlando counts on the above early ’90s HTML website to carry him through, time and time again.  In fact, if you look closely, the “for Harris County Treasurer” part appears to be pixelated, likely because they changed it in Microsoft Paint every time he filed for a new campaign.  The left-hand navigation is very simple, and let’s face it, the site is boring.

 

While Harris County Clerk candidate Stan Stanart is busy vying for Beverly Kaufman’s seat, he is also busy as the Harris County GOP’s IT guy.  And yet, despite being the Computer Whiz-in-Chief, this train wreck of a website is supposed to persuade us to “Stand with Stan.”  The alternating red and blue text is bothersome, the artwork is fuzzy, and the faded American flag looks like some Windows Outlook background. Navigation is simple enough, but the end result leaves much to be desired, Stan.

Oh, and when the September 27th Fundraiser was over, you should have removed the flashing yellow banner. I got my hopes up thinking I was going to get to spend a night with you, Chris Daniel and Paul Bettencourt!
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2 Houston Libertarians Surge in Popularity on KHOU Website

Glass (top) and Townsend (bottom)

Videos featuring Kathie Glass, Libertarian candidate for Texas Governor, and Bob Townsend, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congressional Dist. 7, have surged in viewership on KHOU Channel 11’s website, making them the two most watched videos on the site.

Glass, whose video comes second to Townsend, advocates for border control and getting “our fiscal house in order,” while appealing to disaffected Perry and White voters.

Meanwhile, Townsend takes a hard line against the status quo, who will increase the size and scope of government and trample on the sovereign and Constitutional rights of Texans.

According to a recent Texas Tribune poll, Glass garnered 8 percent support among those polled (797 persons). The poll, taken before an October 19 debate between Glass, Democratic candidate Bill White, and Green Party candidate Deb Shafto, does not reflect what the campaign maintains is an even higher base of support.

Gov. Rick Perry did not appear at the debate, or any debate this election.

Townsend, meanwhile, will face Republican incumbent Rep. John Culberson.

Texas Libertario proudly supports and endorses the Harris County and statewide Libertarian Party ticket, including Kathie Glass for Governor and Bob Townsend for U.S. Congress, Dist. 7.

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Why are TV Networks Pushing Election Coverage Later?

Anybody notice that this year’s mid-term election coverage is being pushed back significantly this year? Here is a sampling:

  • ABC News, 8:3o p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • CBS News, 9 p.m. CST/10 p.m. EST
  • FOX Local, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • NBC News, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST

While we can expect the cable networks to carry the coverage from the first poll closings in the east, I am surprised (although, should I be?) that the networks have opted for such late coverage this year around. CBS’ 9 p.m. start is pretty much the latest election coverage schedule I’ve ever seen in the almost 14 years I have watched elections on TV with vigor.

Nobody is saying it, but I bet all these networks are cognizant of a real kick in the pants Republican and conservative candidates will deliver come next Tuesday, and the liberals who run those networks (ABC, NBC and especially CBS) want to hold on to their hope-y change-y for just a few more moments before the reality sets in.

Think about it this way: In previous election cycles, we’ve had every single network begin election coverage around 7 p.m. CST, and we got to hear talking heads analyze, dissect, spin and most of all, urge western state voters (solidly blue) to get to the polls early.

Without all that urgency, they may be giving away liberal holds to conservatives without a fight. Maybe they have seen polling data nobody else has? I wouldn’t put it past them!