After a year of no new shows, we're happy to announce that The DOT Show is back!
Created in 2006 to keep Texans updated on the latest in Texas Politics and highlight some great, Texas music, we are excited to present our latest episode - our first on Ustream.com; so now you can watch as well as listen.
Here is a clip regarding Rick Perry's fantasy emergencies before the Texas Legislature; announced only to bolster his national political career among conservatives.
In the latest episode of The DOT Show, Michael and David discuss the Voter ID debate in the Texas Senate, Governor Perry's attempt to reject Federal Stimulus money, and interview award-winning Blues musician Ray Bonneville.
On the latest episode of The DOT Show, we welcome accomplished songwriter and recording artist Randy Weeks. You will likely recognize Randy's songs from such movies as Sunshine State, Shallow Hal, and several other films as well as radio play.
The 3rd song he performs on this episode is currently exclusive to The DOT Show, written the day after the Presidential election and recorded after the completion of his new album that will be released next week.
Sit back, relax, and listen to Randy Weeks on The DOT Show...
The latest episode of The DOT Show features Texas musician and songwriter James McMurtry. After an already accomplished career in music, James McMurtry dove head first into politics with his 2005 album Childish Things, and particularly the song, ""We Can't Make It Here."
On his latest album, Just Us Kids, James continues to illustrate his songwriting prowess on both political and non-political songs alike.
Sit back, relax and listen to The DOT Show interview James McMurtry in between acoustic versions of three of his songs: The DOT Show
And take a moment to read my and others' thoughts on the importance of music in the political process here: Music in Politics
(Some great writing on music and politics from our former DNC member and longtime friend of BOR, David Holmes. - promoted by David Mauro)
What convention? No. This is not a lost, late post from Denver. I am at the Americana Music Association festival in Nashville, TN and just as embroiled in politics as I ever was in Denver a couple weeks ago.
I was reminded of my purpose here as I sat in the headquarters hotel of the convention when right past me walked someone I have known for the last 10 years - from politics. While I was quite surprised when I saw Glenn Smith at this festival, I instantly knew why he was here.
I first remember pondering the issue of music in politics while reading Cornell West's Democracy Matters. Mr. West's thoughts about the role of music in American culture and politics voiced ideas that I had felt deep within my own view of politics and community for years.
I will write more about my thoughts on that in the future and some projects I am working on involving music and politics, but for now, I recommend Glenn's first post from his time here at this festival in Nashville: God Bless Americana: Singing Political Victory
And I'll leave you for now with an experience I had last night that confirmed why both Glenn and I are here at this festival.
As I sat in the audience at an incredible music performance chronicled here, I had a conversation with the burley, camo-shorts-wearing guy who sat next to me on the pews of the Ryman Auditorium. He had driven an hour from his home in rural Tennessee with his two sons to make this their first concert.
At times, my neighbor would hoot and holler as favorite songs from his past were played by these legends and at other times I saw him wipe tears from his eyes as he explained that a certain song had been his high school song.
I said to him, "This music obviously means a lot to you and you chose this to be your sons' first concert. Is there something you hope they take away from this?"
He said, "Yeah. I hope they understand roots and that there is something bigger than what is hip right now. I want them to understand where their music came from, at least."
Music sits at a place in our culture where politics and community and emotion and dreams all meet - it shapes ideas and reflects them. There are important things that are happening at this festival in Nashville; things that just may have an impact on progressive politics for a long time to come...
(Austinite Rick Cofer will be officially picking up the torch from David Holmes for the DNC later this week. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)
So, most of you who know me know that I did not run again for my position on the DNC because I want a young person to always be in this seat and I have hit the official age limit of being a Young Democrat. Here at the convention in only its second day, I officially FEEL like I am no longer a Young Democrat.
These conventions are amazing fun and once you get going at one, it is very hard to find a place to stop.
I am trying to blog a little while here, although it isn't easy to find time to do so. I'm writing on a blog I have been relying on for great convention information over at: DemConWatch
And one of the most fun differences about this convention compared to previous ones is Twitter. It has been a lot of fun getting live updates on what others are experiencing or who they are looking at. You can follow me on twitter @ Texasdnc.
(I awoke this morning to the news that Lena Guerrero had passed away after a long battle with cancer. I thought I'd share some of my memory of her.)
Growing up a Democrat in Odessa Texas, I was starved for outside Democratic connection so I made it a point to go to every function possible that involved a Democrat from anywhere else. When I was about 17 or 18, I heard that someone was coming to town to give a speech about something. I had never heard her name and had no idea how to pronounce it correctly, but I knew when I walked in the room who Lena Guerrero was - and after hearing her give a speech, I knew I'd not only never forget who she was, but even in my political youth, I recognized that Lena was someone special.
For those of you who did not know her, a simple analogy to understand a large part of her personality is to think of the wit and candor of Ann Richards who launched Lena's statewide political prospects by appointing her to the Railroad Commission. But that's just a starting-point in understanding Lena - she was very much her own person and personality. She was one of the best public speakers I've ever heard.
At 25 she became one of the state's pioneer Hispanic female legislators after having been President of Texas Young Democrats at 21 in 1979. She sometimes had a shocking sense of humor - often out good-ol'-boying the good ol' boys.
A couple years after I first heard her speak, I called Lena to ask her if I could meet her for advice on my own run for TYD President. We met at the Austin Club and she grilled me for half an hour about the status of the organization and where every single vote I expected to get would be coming from - and had no problem telling me that I didn't yet have enough to win if I got a strong challenger. She taught me how to count in politics. And she loved Young Democrats.
I kept up with her over the following years. I remember about eight years ago hearing that Lena had inoperable brain tumors and only had 6 months to live. By that time she was a successful lobbyist after her political career was halted after a mistake she made that Karl Rove manipulated to full impact.
Lena was a fighter. She did everything she could to battle the tumors including an experimental radiation treatment that did work to halt the growth of the tumors for years. But having the tumors in her head kept her from functioning at full capacity physically.
In 2003 I found myself out of work after a political campaign so I called Lena to ask if she knew of anything. She told me that she could use my help so she hired me to help her lobby. She always had a great sense of humor about everything - she moved at about the pace of a turtle during that time and had no hesitation poking fun at herself for the condition she was in.
But we worked hard - she taught me a lot about the business of lobbying. She rented an apartment in the Westgate building so that we could work across from the Capitol and so that she could rest when needed. Her sister, Carmen, would cook all of our meals to the standard Lena's doctors had ordered while we worked from her apartment until all hours of the night during that legislative session - with one exception: sunset.
Every day as we sat high in the Westgate building with large windows facing West, Lena ordered a halt to work no matter how frenzied it might be at that given moment. She would say, "David, get off the phone," or, "turn off the debate for a minute; we're going to watch this sunset because there is no way we can know if it's our last."
Lena taught me a lot - about politics, business, life; but I am one of many. She felt it was her responsibility to help other people rise in their careers and politics and I consider myself very lucky to have been one of the people she guided.
So, today in memory and honor of Lena Guerrero, stop whatever you are doing at sunset, be thankful for what you have, and be thankful for the life and impact of Lena Guerrero.
In the latest episode of The DOT Show, Michael and David talk with Senator Hillary Clinton regarding her Texas strategy; discuss the Texas primary process; and cover the latest news on rumors of lawsuits by presidential campaigns in Texas.
There is a lot of information in this show, so sit back, relax, and listen to The DOT Show...
(Senator Obama has also agreed to come on the show, but his campaign stopped responding to the scheduling details late last week.)