Monday, September 11, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance-- those members situated along the Gulf coast, at least -- really feel the pain Floridians are experiencing this morning from Irma.

SocraticGadfly offers up a trio of Harvey-related thoughts related to possible future "big ones." Would an Ike Dike be a massive military-industrial complex boondoggle? Can Houston and Harris County do anything different on evacuation ideas? And does greater Houston, like some other disaster-prone areas, simply have too many people living there?

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is angry with the previous head of Houston flood control and the current pollution helpers.

Dos Centavos wants us to think about undocumented immigrants as something other than cheap labor for rebuilding after disasters.

jobsanger profiles the four Texas Republican Congressmen who voted against federal assistance for Harvey victims.

Texas Vox, the blog for Public Citizen, kicked off its Texas Climate Change Tour in Austin.

Family feuds are the most fun to watch, especially when you're not in the family, laughed PDiddie at Brains and Eggs as he popped more corn.

Neil at All People Have Value said Democrats really need to move on from the Sanders/Clinton primary fight. APHV is part of

The Lewisville Texan Journal reports that the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is suing Denton County over allegation of gender pay discrimination.

Off the Kuff looked at the hopefully temporary reinstatement of the voter ID law as it goes through the appeals process.

And Nick Anderson, previously the Houston Chronicle political artist and now drawing for Texas Monthly, sums up what merits a special session for Greg Abbott and what does not.


Today is also the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, and we solemnly pause and remember the lives of the victims lost on that day sixteen years ago.

In other disaster-related news, Houston Matters reports that aftershocks from the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that leveled the Mexican city of Juchitan continue to hamper relief efforts there.

An Associated Press account reveals that more than two dozen storage tanks holding crude oil, gasoline, and other contaminants ruptured or otherwise failed when Harvey slammed into the Texas coast, spilling at least 145,000 gallons of fuel and spewing toxic pollutants into the air.  The environmental calamity left behind by Harvey will be the most difficult cleanup of all (where it manages to occur, that is).

Texas Standard asks: will those displaced by Hurricane Harvey return to the Texas Gulf Coast?

Better Texas Blog talks fighting hunger after Harvey.

The Texas Living Waters Project will work to find innovative flooding solutions for the next hurricane.

The TSTA Blog cheers the selection of John Sharp as statewide rebuilding (post-Harvey) czar.

Offcite curates a few hurricane think pieces, including a NYT op-ed which uses a phrase familiar to Jill Stein supporters as the premise for rebuilding the nation's coastal regions.  An excerpt:

Environmentalists and scholars have sometimes called this a “green New Deal” or “environmental Keynesianism.” We should invest in science and public education to train the next generation of engineers who will build safer homes and infrastructure. (President Trump promised us infrastructure but, just weeks before this storm, rescinded an Obama-era regulation that required structures built with federal money to take sea-level rise into account.) We should expand and enhance programs that make adaptation to climate change possible for ordinary Americans, helping them to retrofit their homes or relocate to safer ground.

We should plan recovery and rebuilding projects that address local poverty and exclusion, rather than line the pockets of developers. We should commit expenditures to the kinds of projects that mitigate climate change, like clean energy and public transportation. And we should strengthen our safety nets so that when the next storm’s victims are picking up the pieces, they are not also worried about job insecurity, rising health care costs and precarious retirements.

Space City Weather points out that Houston is already pretty dried out, and going to get drier.

Michael Li shows the proposed remedial Congressional maps.

Grits for Breakfast sees a rare moment for bail reform.

Michael Barajas at the Texas Observer took note of Trump’s nomination of two lawyers, Jeff Mateer and Matthew Kacsmaryk, from the First Liberty Institute -- a far right Christian advocacy organization -- to vacant federal judge seats in Texas.  The reaction from LGBTQ groups and civil rights activists was swift.

“First Liberty Institute has used anti-LGBTQ policies to blatantly vilify our families and neighbors for two decades,” Equality Texas said in a Friday statement. “By nominating associates of this hate group, the president is using his office in an attempt to ensure policies will be created and spearheaded to advance anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing and places of business all under the guise of protecting religious liberties.”

Kathy Miller of Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for church-state separation, called the nominations “a clear signal that President Trump intends to make our federal courts the place where civil rights go to die.”

Their nominations must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Last, Texas Moratorium Network announces that the 18th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty is scheduled for October 28 at the Capitol in Austin.

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