Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Happy 420 and DogeCoin Day Round-Up from Far Left Texas

Celebrating your intoxicants and cryptocurrencies -- not be confused with non-fungible tokens (although I can certainly see how that might happen) -- on this Taco Tuesday.

"Because the Dallas Morning News needs to sell papers/generate clicks for their website" is the answer to Charles' question.

The DMN Opinion writers have me blocked on Twitter because I've excoriated them so many times that their blisters have blisters.  They're the most conservative bunch in the state, but it appears they have finally become as revolted as everybody else at the extremism of the TXGOP.  And we all know the real problem: the TXDonks are unable to offer anything of substance to counter them.  (This affirms my premise that the the reason Texas has the worst Republicans in the world is because Texas Democrats are completely inept.)

And like everyone else in state media -- and most everybody else in the blogosphere -- the DMN is a bunch of blinkered duopolists. (With Earth Day this week, I'm going to suggest the best alternative.  Stay tuned for that.)

There's a paucity of Tex Dems willing to take shot at somebody next year, and so far they're mostly rich white men: Mike Collier, Joe JaworskiJudge Lina Hidalgo (probably) won't be running; Beto just isn't sure what he wants to do next year, and that's as honest an answer as you'll get from him.  The Castro brothers are stale masa; they've been sitting out too long.  Waiting for the Latin@ vote to show up for Democrats has resulted in south Texas Latin@s turning into Republicans, as they got tired of waiting for the Dems to listen to their concerns.  And all the other secondary solar systems have recently burned out; Wendy Davis, MJ Hegar, Christine Ramirez, etc.

So the Snooze, bored to tears and with a bit of Confederate controversy at the moment, throws out a poll with Alrightx3 against Abbott, never mind polling's accuracy being at an all-time low, never mind messy complications like party affiliation or contrast in Matt Mac's policies (?!) or any other thing that citizens might actually consider when they vote.

And while it is certainly true that the citizenry gives a far smaller shit about policies these days than ever, what the Dallas News is executing here says far more about our democracy -- or our Republic, if you're picking nits -- than anyone would like to admit.

When we started writing our blogs 15 years ago, this parlor game of speculating on who might run in the next election was about the most interesting thing we did.  Today we do the spreadsheets and the investigating and the corporate media does the prognosticating and the simping.

In an effort to retain relevance in a world where they are increasing irrelevant, the stuffed shirts sitting around a conference room table in Big D are almost the last people I want selecting our politicians.  We don't need any W.R. Hearsts or Roger Aileses, Lone Star version.  End of rant.

Greg Abbott's gun buddy Ted Nugent caught COVID-19 (although I'm surprised he didn't catch 14, 15, 16, or 17.)  Matt Angle is being nicer than me.

John Cornyn stepped in his own shit again

Ted Cruz should just delete his account.

Catching up with more Lege business: the Biden administration says that the state can't use the waiver for Medicaid that the Trump admin gave them, so the choice now is to either expand the program under the original (read: Obama) guidelines or do nothing.  Guess which one Abbott/Patrick/Phelan will likely choose?

I have to rant again.

It is Dade Phelan who does not want to expand Medicaid.  And it is Dade Phelan who appointed Briscoe Cain to to head the committee to sheperd these voter suppression bills through the lower chamber.  Dade Phelan is the guy with gavel standing by and watching as the House jams through these bills outlawing abortion, legalizing permitless carry, and making trans kids the object of scorn and hate.  And it will be Dade Phelan who will make sure that gerrymandering the Republicans in power for another decade happens.

If there are any Democrats in the Texas House who thought they were going to get a fair shake from this Speaker, wake TF up and start fighting back.  He's as bad as the other two of the Big 3.

Let me update 'cops behaving badly', or in this first case, "Fire chief caught with his pants down".

I'm sure he hopes the Politifact Texas crew doesn't score this 'pants on fire'.

This video below is graphic. Use your discretion.

I have a lot more on this topic but I'll move on to the social justice headlines after posting Alexandra Samuels, late of the TexTrib, now for 538.

Okay, let me wrap this with a few things that will make me -- and hopefully you -- feel calmer.

More local election news, the environmental and COVID updates I left out of here, and some other stuff tomorrow. Earth Day, and the Greens, on Thursday.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Monday Morning Wrangle from Far Left Texas

Lots to get to since I skipped the update at the end of last week.
How much time and space should I spend on documenting the atrocities associated with gun carnage just in Texas over the past few days?  Frankly it's too difficult to keep up with.  Perhaps I'll just point out that the bloodshed doesn't register with any members of the Lege that weren't previously concerned about it ... and that includes a handful of Democrats.

A reminder to Rep. Crockett that the open permitless carry bill passed with bipartisan support.

Two of the Democrats who voted for HB 1927 — Reps. Terry Canales of Edinburg and Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City — were expected because they were already joint authors of the legislation. [...] The five other Democrats who backed the bill were Reps. Tracy King of Batesville, Harold Dutton of Houston, Eddie Morales Jr. of Eagle Pass, Richard PeƱa Raymond of Laredo and Leo Pacheco of San Antonio.

(The tally was 87-58, which is to say that it would have passed without any Ds voting for it.)

So it is accurate to describe this legislation -- and a host of additional bills on voting rights, womens' rights, transgender childrens' rights -- as the extreme conservative faction in Austin going for broke.

Most of the Texblogosphere remained focused on the bills that will reduce voter turnout in order for the Republicans to maintain their grip on power.  The rationales are still flimsy.

And the costs more significant than who retains control of the state.

Kuff analyzed the propagandist's advantage in pushing voting restriction.  Rep. Erin Zwiener reacted to the passage of anti-trans bill HB1399, while Rep. Gina Hinojosa answers Dan Patrick's questions about voter suppression in SB7.  And Reform Austin covered Rep. Briscoe Cain's history of supporting laws that reduce the vote.

Alluding to Rep. Zwiener's Tweet embedded above, the most compelling testimony under the Pink Dome last week came from a ten year-old girl.

Yvonne Marquez profiled the notable trans-activist Shappley in Texas Monthly.  And the Dallas Voice compared these legislators to a pack of schoolyard bullies.

More about our lawmakers making bad laws, as referenced above.

I'll do Greg Abbott's polling against Matthew McConaghey, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz acting like fools again, some environmental, COVID, and election-related and social justice news later.

Chandler Davidson, professor emeritus of Rice University and one of the nation's leading authorities on voting rights in relation to racial equality and social justice, passed away on April 10.

I join the Texas progressive bloggers and the many students he mentored in grieving the death of Jim Henley: teacher, debate coach, CD7 challenger to John Culberson, and former HCDE trustee.

More on the way.