Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Far Left Texas Round-Up


Governor Rolling Blunder is not a fan of the First Amendment, specifically "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".


I doubt whether a Democratic majority in the Texas House -- with a Democrat as Speaker -- is going to be carrying this water, but we'll wait and see.


Among the very few down-ballot Texas Democrats I'll be voting for are my statehouse representative, Shawn Thierry, because she has been an effective warrior against the ignorance of Republicans like Abbott and company.


Yeahno.  Not no but hell no.  My tax dollars will not continue to support this nonsense.


DeSantis should be nobody's role model.

As Grits has taken note of, this is another distraction from Abbott's failures in managing the response to the COVID outbreak.  Ross Ramsey at the TexTrib, via Progrexas, softpedals the incomprehensibility of the toll of the pandemic on us all.  But even a few members of the GOP are breaking away from the governor now.


And not just on the coronavirus, either.


(Braddock meant 'unilaterally', but sometimes typos are best left for their humor value.)

Between Abbott’s mask mandate, the shutdown of bars and the extension of early voting, the governor has received an unusual amount of criticism from his own party.

The suit argues that Abbott, without addressing the state Legislature, does not have the power to extend the voting period. An Abbott spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

“Abbott’s Executive Orders are unprecedented and have had life and death implications, destroyed small businesses and family’s livelihoods, have had a crippling effect on every single community, and now have the ability to impact local, state and national elections,” the lawsuit said.

Notable Republicans listed on the lawsuit include state party Chairman Allen West and state Sens. Pat Fallon and Charles Perry along with state Reps. Cecil Bell Jr., Dan Flynn, Steve Toth and Bill Zedler.

Sen. Donna Campbell, who was originally listed on the suit, wrote a letter to the plaintiffs' attorney stating that she did not agree to be involved in the suit.



Despite the TXGOP's best efforts to restrict voting, many more Texans have signed up to do so than in years past.


And it's a good thing, because as we all know, there are going to be considerable challenges to voting this year.  Beyond COVID19 and mail delivery problems, that is.


Kuff made an argument for voting in person.  Whether you're voting by mail, at an early voting location, or on Election Day, make a plan.  Don't wait until the last minute.  And don't run afoul of Ken Paxton's Vote Cops, either.


Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that authorities arrested Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown, Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward on charges in connection with an organized vote harvesting scheme during the 2018 Democratic primary election.

According to a press release, to increase the pool of ballots needed to swing the race in Brown’s favor, the group targeted young, able-bodied voters to cast ballots by mail by fraudulently claiming the voters were “disabled,” in most cases without the voters’ knowledge or consent.


Here's a few more election-related items worth your time.


Here's my randomly-sorted social justice headlines and stories.


Socratic Gadfly notes that PRO Gainesville, the group protesting the Confederate statue and other things in Cooke County, appears to have shot itself in the PR foot, as part of recent updates about events there.  Schaefer Edwards for the Houston Press writes that the Nic Chavez case points up the need for both HPD reform and mental health assistanceJohn Coby at Bay Area Houston calls Fort Bend County Sheriff (now Congressional candidate) Troy Nehls one of the reasons why we need police reform.  And Jacob Vaughn at the Dallas Observer covers the latest in the Dallas city budget's cuts to cop overtime, but not much else in the way of actual changes.


With a follow-up to a post in Tuesday's Wrangle:


"It puts the whole (Alamo restoration) project in jeopardy."

Thanks, Dan Patrick!


And here's my Texas environmental collation for the week.  It opens with a seven-count thread on Joppa -- more than an environmental abuse tale, and more even than a social injustice story.


A few weeks ago, the HouChron op-ed board wrote that the TCEQ should be more heaviliy penalizing Texas companies who pollute.  Public Citizen follows up.


The Conversation says that it is time for states that got rich from oil, gas, and coal to figure out what comes next.  Texas has a good head start.

There are several examples of successful just transition programs. One is Project QUEST in San Antonio, which highlights the benefits of “local contextualization” and has helped workers transition from manufacturing to health care, information technology and other trades.

And I'll close with these.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Election 2020 Update: SCOTUS and the Senate

As surely as the seasons change from summer to fall and the Gulf clears itself of tropical disturbances; as certainly as 2020's hurricanes went from boys and girls to non-binary; and as absolutely as there will be a new Justice seated before November 3rd, will President Donald Trump be "re-elected", in the most marginal definition of the word.

Prove me wrong, Donks.  It's all up to you.  No amount of scolding is going to get it done.  The polls all say you've got this, just as they did right up until the afternoon of November 8, 2016.  So this is a "no excuses" election for you.  Not that you won't make all of the same stale ones if I'm right.

And I really don't want to be right.  I'm just not going to be helping you, or many of your down-ballot candidates, like I have in decades past.  That ship has sailed.

As for the Supreme Court: maybe you all can motivate Schumer, et.al. to throw a block.  I'm not seeing it, even if Mark Kelly wins and jumps the seniority line, because of Mitt now.  Amy Coney Barrett (or Barbara Lagoa, or whomever) will have ordered the drapes for her new office by then, her robes having come back from the tailors.  Seat on the bench adjusted and ready to cast her vote on approving the incumbent president's legal pleading for "election tampering", or vote "fraud", or whatever.  Negotiations are open for a third term.  A second one IMHO is no longer in question.



What are you gonna do about it, riot in the streets?



You could use it as a learning experience in how to wield power once you get it back.  Maybe not sign off on Trump's judges or undeclared wars, to start.  Sure sounds like anything more radical than that -- like changing the crusty rules of the upper chamber -- are out of your reach.



One thing I would suggest not doing is giving any more money to Bitch McConnell's opponent.


Personally I would have donated if Charles Booker had won the KY D primary.  And I'm voting for David Collins here in Deep-In-The-Hearta, since he's back on my ballot.  Consider the rest of Kate Willett and Ryan Grim's advice on a case-by-case basis if you've got political cash to burn.

And rank Lisa Savage first if you live in Maine.  Sara Gideon is still going to win, and Susan Collins is still going to lose.  So is Cory Gardner in Colorado.  The other seats Democrats ought to capture are North Carolina (Thom Tillis, R inc. versus Cal Cunningham); Montana (Steve Daines, R inc. versus Steve Bullock); Iowa (Joni Ernst, R inc. versus Theresa Greenfield) and Georgia's regularly scheduled US Senate election (David Perdue, R inc. versus Jon Ossoff).  It's a longer shot, but if a blue wave has been underestimated, the Donks could sweep out Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, replacing him with Jaime Harrison.  But they will lose Alabama's Doug Jones to Auburn's Tommy Tuberville.  The GA special election, Kansas, and yes, Texas, are out of reach.

But the ones I've predicted are enough to give Donks a 53-47 margin, which is what Moscow Bitch has been working with, and if I'm also wrong about Trump being re-elected then it's a new blue day in Washington.  They can do whatever they want.

Just don't forget that Joe Biden wants to work with Republicans because America needs the GOP.  That's why I #ListenToBernie.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Weekly TexFarLeft Wrangle


While there are things to be sad about and things to be mad about, this round-up of the best of the left of, about, and from around our Great State chooses a few things to celebrate.

To mark today as National Voter Registration Day, as well as to highlight the ongoing Hispanic Heritage Month ...


And before moving on to politics, some more good food news.


The sunny side for Democrats:


And for Greens:


Bad news for Republicans, though.


Much more stupid from Coronavirus Cornyn later.


Springer, generally viewed in this jungle primary as Luther's main Republican competition, is in quarantine after his wife tested positive for COVID.


"Can we get back to the good news, PDid?" Yes we can.


And while I have plenty of the regular reporting for another Wrangle later in the week -- you know, cops and Republicans behaving badly, environmental and criminal justice postings -- I'll close today with these.