Monday, January 29, 2018

The Weekly Wrangle

The primary season is in full swing, and the Texas Progressive Alliance was busy all week with candidate fora, state and regional meetings of activist groups, and catching up on livestreams and podcasts in-between.

From Our Revolution Texas' statewide meeting, 1/28/18.

Here's the lefty blog post and news roundup from last week ...

The Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze hopes that the county Democratic Party's ballot screw-up is not a precursor for the party's November chances.

Just ahead of the end of the #TrumpShutdown, Socratic Gadfly made the point that it might be more aptly named the #SchumerShutdown.

The Texas Tribune took note of Chuck Schumer's appearance in Houston over the weekend raising funds for several US Senate candidates, which prompted a chorus of bipartisan complaining.

The Houston Chronicle reported earlier this week that Congressional candidate Tahir Javed will host the event. A wealthy and prolific fundraiser, he is running for the Texas 29th Congressional District, a Democratic-heavy seat that U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, is vacating.


Schumer's association with Javed is at odds with the local and federal Democratic establishments, who are lining up behind state Sen. Sylvia Garcia's bid for the seat. Garcia has the endorsements of Green, several members of the Texas delegation, and most recently earned the nod of EMILY's List, a powerhouse national Democratic fundraising organization.

While the grumbling was mostly private, it was plain on Friday afternoon that several Texas Democratic Congressional sources who were supportive of Garcia were not happy with the situation.

(Beto) O'Rourke told the Tribune he will attend the event at the invitation of Javed and Houston attorney Nomi Husain. "They asked me to come a long time ago, and I said, 'Absolutely,' and I'm going to honor that commitment," O'Rourke said.

Besides O'Rourke, the money raised at the fundraiser will be evenly split between U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Bill Nelson of Florida and U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen of Nevada.

Texas Vox shared a survey from Yale regarding voters' attitudes on climate change, and recommends asking the questions of your candidates in a forum, or a social media post, or email.

Texas Leftist published four candidate questionnaires: Mike Collier (Lieutenant Governor), Margarita Ruiz Johnson (US House, TX-22), Adam Milasincic (Texas House D-138), and Matt Harris (US House, TX-10).

The Lewisville Texan Journal detailed the campaign of blogger and self-described 'former conservative Republican' Laurie Haines, running in the Democratic primary against Tan Parker in HD-63.

Following up on news in Harvey's continuing aftermath, The Guardian has another foul-air update from the east Houston neighborhood of Manchester, and Space City Weather highlights the National Hurricane Center's post-storm report.  Two cities in the Golden Triangle, Nederland and Groves, registered over 60 inches of rain during the storm, smashing the United States record for rainfall associated with a tropical cyclone by 8 inches.

Also in Southeast Texas and from the Beaumont Enterprise, the Total refinery in Port Arthur was fined more than $300,000 by the TCEQ for illegal emissions during a five-year period from 2011 to 2016, and a large fire at Valero's Port Arthur facility last week (pictured here) was found to have released over one million pounds of toxic emissions.

The Texas Standard reports on an FBI raid in southwest Houston that sheds light on the countless human trafficking slaves hiding in plain sight in the Bayou City.

"We have more brothels than we have Starbucks in our city," Robert Sanborn, president and CEO of Children at Risk, told the Houston Chronicle. The demand is so pervasive that at any given moment there are over 400 storefront sex businesses operating in Houston, said Sanborn.

And the Chron has the story of one victim who is suing the hotels, truckstops, and the website Backpage for profiting from the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Sophie Novack at the Texas Observer writes about the appalling lag of data associated with Texas' maternal mortality crisis.  Is it "a problem of political will?"

Dos Centavos gets that it's not just the border wall that's being debated.

Offcite blogs about the intersection of immigration and food.

At the Rivard Report, SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez demands immediate action on DACA.

The TSTA Blog calls out Greg Abbott's lousy job on dealing with the special education limits.

Zachery Taylor has a theory: those who worship freedom wind up with tyranny.

The San Antonio Current, covering the federal trial of state Sen. Carlos Uresti on fraud and money laundering charges, sees the defense team's strategy as portraying the accused as a clueless victim.

Sarah Becker at Houston Justice describes how her first trip to jail brought her hope.

Grits for Breakfast fact-checks claims about the incarceration rates of 17-year-olds.

DBC Green blog reviews Moxie, by Texas author Jennifer Mathieu (a Houston Press alumna).

Neil at All People Have Value wondered how it came to be that a big giant gun out in the open is fine, but sticks on a banner need to be addressed by law enforcement. APHV is part of

And Steve Russell at The Rag Blog notes the passing of a few progressive titans: Hugh Masekela, Rosie the Riveter, and Ursula K. Le Guin.  And the son of Consortium News founder Robert Parry celebrates his life and legacy of investigative journalism and pledges to continue his work.

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