Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Weekly TexLeft Wrangle

Still got that Latinx vote post on the way; maybe after Thanksgiving.  Meanwhile: time, the presidential transition, special elections, and bills for the 87th legislative session march on.

Early voting is underway in various local jurisdictions holding December 8 runoff elections including Arlington, Coppell, Denton, Duncanville, Frisco, Haltom City, Irving, Keller, Mansfield, Odessa and Palmview. Early voting begins on Wednesday in local jurisdictions holding their runoff elections on December 12 including El Paso, Baytown and The Woodlands. Early voting for jurisdictions holding December 15 runoff elections generally begins on December 3. Early voting for the December 19 special runoff election for open SD30 begins December 9. As of (Sunday, Nov. 22), just over 400 voters had returned absentee ballots.

In a nine-count Twitter thread from last week, the NYT broke down the presidential vote by county across the nation; embedded below is the 4th Tweet in that string with the widely-reported development regarding Tarrant County.

Kuff also examined recent presidential results in the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth area.

As long promised, there will be more to come.

COVID-19 has everyone's attention.

Maybe this was a legitimate offer from our junior senator to feed some of the 25,000 suddenly-struggling Texans in Dallas, or the National Guardsman called to El Paso to handle the surplus of cadavers in that city ...

Who am I kidding?  Leadership from our Twitter trolls in the US Senate?  WTF does that look like?

I'll skip Greg Abbott this week if it's okay with you.  Ken Paxton, on the other hand, is not worthy of a hall pass, much less any other kind.

This is unfortunately a longer-than-it-should-be segment of "Texas Republicans Behaving Badly."

If you need to wash your hands or use some hand sanitizer or pour bleach in your eyes to get past all of that, take a minute and go ahead.

Okay then.

Weed may have some chance of seeing daylight in the forthcoming Lege.

Casino gambling, too.  ("Toomey", mentioned in the Tweet underneath, is Mike Toomey, the head -- or perhaps former head; his status is not clear at this time -- of Abbott's "Strike Force to Re-Open Texas".  He has re-registered as a lobbyist for the coming session.)

Then again, cannabis and slots may have the same odds as Matthew McConaughey has of being elected governor in 2022.

Texas public education faces the same old intractable problems: lack of money and the state's Puritanical culture.

Raise Your Hand Texas prepares for the next fight over school finance at the Legislature.

With a couple of environmental takes, Socratic Gadfly wonders if a new Norwegian-British study shows the James Kunstler types might be right?  And it appears we now have the measurement tools to implement a carbon tax plus a carbon tariff, which must be a part of climate change control.

Progrexas brings word of the growing concerns of Texas communities about the pollution associated with concrete plants.

Wrapping up today with these items.

Dos Centavos writes about one of his favorite performers, Max Baca, of the Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs, who has been in a fight against COVID-19.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Pre-Turkey Day Funnies

Mike Peterson at The Daily Cartoonist has a list of cartoonists’ Patreon and other support sites. As newspapers and media companies continue to shed staff positions, direct support from readers becomes ever more important. Please check it out and consider giving support where you can.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Weekly TexLeftist Wrangle

Still laboring on that Latinx vote post.  (I spent much of the weekend and yesterday at the vet, where it was determined that our first-born dog has early stage renal disease, so posting may be spotty for awhile.)  It's still going to be aggregated from the so-called experts' opinions, who are at least a little more informed than I.  Congressman Henry Cuellar is not one, IMO, but here's his opinion anyway.  It is similar to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez's below.

Muchisimas Gracias, Senorita Cisneros.  I was hoping someone would remind dos Congressmanos that Bernie Sanders swept both the RGV and the borderlands in the March primary (and did not support defunding police, by the way).

DosCentavos also reminded Democrats that the election is over and that continued fighting with the "radical left" only damages the 2020 Biden coalition, held together by dollar store scotch tape.

Moving on to the coronavirus:

Don't expect any leadership from Greg Abbott or Dan Patrick (as usual).

Little Guv in particular is busy pursuing his fever dream.

All while Texans are hurting badly.

Ken Paxton has an excuse; he's been preoccupied, though leading -- except in criminal charges and mafia-styled corruption, that is -- has never been his forte', either.

Twenty twenty-two, Democrats.  And don't be so scared about what happened two weeks ago that you choose to sit out a challenge against these lousy fucks (I'm looking at you, Joaquin/Julian).

With respect to 2020 turnout, Texas had more voters than at any time in nearly 30 years, but that was still good for just 44th out of 50 states (plus DC).  So is Texas still a non-voting state?  Could it go blue if the Democrats focused on those who do not turn out, as opposed to trying to peel off disillusioned Republicans and conservatives?  And what of the mostly abandoned, always demonized leftists?  Would there be enough of those scattered around the Lone Star State to forge a viable alternative?  These are questions I'll try to answer in my "Latinx vote" post.

With a few other takes: the removal of the straight-party voting option probably cost TexDems a couple of seats in the Lege.  Can't blame that on 'soshulizm'.

Snatching state House majority defeat from the jaws of poll-predicted victory was the ugliest loss in their column.  With no control over redistricting and its decade-long impacts amplified by the SCOTUS' gutting of the Voting Rights Act, the gerrymandering will be brutal.  And among several other catastrophes, women's reproductive rights are further endangered.  They've been routed in previous sessions by Republicans.

Graciela Blandon writes for El Paso Matters about the Democratic Party there, suffering from more than than the average-sized post-election divisionsKuff had his first look at some election data.  Jef Rouner for Reform Austin wants to know if HPD chief Art Acevedo is running for something. (TexDonks just ran a Latina metro police chief for governor two years ago, so I can't imagine they'll make the same mistake twice -- LOL).  Schaefer Edwards for the Houston Press profiled Harris County's first elections administrator, Isabel Longoria, who's not down for any drama.  And in Laredo, a city council runoff between a detached incumbent and an aggressive progressive demonstrates the value of what many have been saying: to get Latino/as to vote for you, you have to go where they live and speak to them on the issues they are concerned about.

The work of political newcomer Alyssa Cigarroa, who waged a door-to-door write-in campaign in the City Council race for District VIII, produced a stunning return of 2,122 votes, which represents 42.62 % of the vote in the district.

She will face incumbent Roberto Balli, a six-year veteran of City Council service, in a runoff race on December 12.

I have some environmental updates, and then will close with the human interest stories, focusing on Native American Heritage Month.

The Port Arthur Community Action Network, Lone Star Legal Aid, and the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club have joined with the Environmental Integrity Project to request that the EPA deny emission permits to Oxbow Calcining LLC, Jefferson County’s largest emitter of sulfur dioxide.  The groups want the company to meet certain air quality standards that it has already been punished for violating by the TCEQ, which has declined their petition.

Jonathan Tilove takes a buyout from the Austin Statesman to return to his family in what sounds like semi-retirement.  Here's to hoping we read him again.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday "Prognitive Dissonance" Funnies

Mike Peterson at The Daily Cartoonist has a list of cartoonists’ Patreon and other support sites. As newspapers and media companies continue to shed staff positions, direct support from readers becomes ever more important. Please check it out and consider giving support where you can.