Monday, November 30, 2020

The Weekly Wrangle from Far Left Texas

The election is over ...

... winter has arrived ...

... and my Latinx voter post is still incomplete.  In the interim, the TexTrib has a seminar I'll be watching in order to germinate any last thoughts.

To note the last day of Native American Heritage Month, I introduce the topic of land acknowledgement, via Ali Velshi.

Former independent presidential candidate Mark Charles has also spoken about this.

The land that I have lived on previously belonged to (among several others; the following most prominently) the Tāp Pīlam Coahuiltecan, Karankawa, Atakapa-Ishak, and Hasinai peoples.  The most significant of these to me are the Hasinai, for which my Order of the Arrow lodge (BSA) is named.  They essentially named Texas -- or Tejas, their word for 'friend'.

As with Columbus Day, the Anglo celebration of Thanksgiving just past is a particularly difficult time for Indigenous Americans.  And as with Black Americans, the history of the United States is not well- or fully told in our schools or our texts; much of this learning comes from sources outside the mainstream.  And a lot of it -- such as the Holocaust, to use one example -- is denied by those who have the capacity to know better, or rejected on account of '(white) American exceptionalism' or related nonsense.  I consider the awareness of this knowledge, and its denial and rejection, to be a small part of there being no possibility of returning to 'normal'.  Those who don't like -- or resist -- change are going to be very unhappy for the rest of their existence.  And their resistance will make an already unpleasant set of new realities even more so for the rest of us.

Probably nothing will bother me more, however, than those who see and understand the new realities, but their investments in the status quo -- not just financial but emotional and political and intellectual -- dictate to them and to us that change can only occur incrementally and slowly.

We're already long past that point. (steps off soapbox)

On to the Wrangle, beginning with a few election post-mortems:

TXElects challenged the conventional wisdom that Tarrant County turned blue this year.  Kuff examined recent presidential results in the counties surrounding Travis and BexarThe Texas Lawbook reviewed appellate court races for the Houston area.  Reform Austin looked ahead to 2022 for Texas Democrats, and Patrick Svitek at the TexTrib did the same for the TXGOP.

Suffering is not something Texans can overlook.

Many are doing their part to help.

Some are not.

Here's the latest developments regarding COVID-19.

Catching up on criminal justice tweets and blog posts:

Perhaps because of Gamaldi's influence, the HPD oversight board scores as the "least robust" of all of Texas' major cities.  Grits for Breakfast wrote that Texas prison understaffing has reached dangerous levels, and calls for the Lege to close and consolidate some units.  Dylan McGinnis at the HouChron investigated the rebidding of a contract for the City of Houston to avoid using unpaid prison (aka slave) labor.  And a (legislative) gun fight is likely to break out next year in Austin.

I'll have some environmental news in the next Wrangle at the end of this week.  Here's a few items from the lighter side.

Socratic Gadfly had two snarky Thanksgiving-related posts; first, he came up with some suggestions for new names for the Washington Football Team. Second, he gave a smackdown to the cult of Whataburger.

D Magazine posted the detailed story about the helicopter crash that took the life of guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn, on the 30th anniversary of the tragic event (back in August).

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Leftovers 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 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.