Wednesday, December 11, 2019

To 2020 and beyond (and back again)

The March 2020 primary ballots are set, barring a couple of past-the-post changes.  There will be a Green slate of statewides and more, eventually.  Kuffy's handling the deep Donkey dive and Stacey's endorsing his friends as usual, so I'll focus on the fun.  We have one more election here in H-Town to conclude this year, and here's the relevant data point on early turnout.

Early voting in Houston’s runoff elections ended Tuesday with 115,204 ballots cast in Harris County, producing a higher turnout than the first round despite two fewer days to visit the polls.

Keir Murray points out that the H- Town electorate is, demographically if not almost precisely, the same good citizens who voted last month (visit the Tweet thread for the comparison).

It's remarkable how closely this matches this morning's fresh poll.  And as we know, these/those folks nearly put Mayor Sly back in without this pesky runoff, gave the purplish District C two Democrats to choose from (see below), and will -- hopefully -- sweep out the Kubosh/Dolcefino/Dick conservo-trash from Council's At Large seats.

I'm not going to spend my holiday Saturday evening refreshing for late-arriving election returns, and I may not even Tweet much about them depending on the quantity of alcohol imbibed.  Likewise I encourage you to go forth and make merry this weekend, and check your favorite source for the final results on Sunday morning.

Onward to the new decade.

There will be amusing developments on the right, and far right, and extremely far right (and fascist right and OMG GOP WTF right) in this snapshot, as I bounce around from city council to the statehouse, Congressional, county commissioner, and time-travel to the past and then back to the present day.  So if this post reads disjointedly ... well, strap in and enjoy the ride.

Update: For the record, I posted here in advance of Hooks, so if anybody took inspiration from somewhere, it was him from me.

It is my belief that the further starboard the conservatives move, so go the Donks in trying to appeal to the so-called centrists, which at this point are essentially Republicans who tolerate gays and abortion.  I'm so old I can remember the phrase "I'm a social liberal and a fiscal conservative".  The GOP-ers who allegedly gave a large, steaming shit about federal government deficit spending, i.e. the Tea Party, seem to have gone extinct.

Now you might prefer to call these folks 'ticket-splitters', because what they believe and who they vote for may not be in perfect alignment.  Here's some evidence.

Hillary Republicans in west Houston just couldn't stretch to Jenifer Rene Pool four years ago.  Likewise in 2018 for Beto/Dan Crenshaw voters.  (Crenshaw has drawn a better D challenger than 2018's inept Todd Litton, but EyePatch's heavy national following thanks to his SNL appearance makes him a more formidable obstacle.)  With respect to Harris County Precinct 3, and evolving electorate aside, it may be an easier flip if next spring's primaries give us a fall match between, say, Brenda Stardig and Kristi Thibault or Morris Overstreet.  We'll wait and see.

The African American dynamic in the Democratic primary should prove captivating.

-- Jerry Davis v. Harold Dutton (HD-142)
-- Jolanda Jones v. Ann Bennett (Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector)
-- Ashton Woods v. Shawn Thierry (HD-146)

It isn't quite accurate to describe these races as 'progressive challengers to (slightly more) conservative incumbents'.  Of the three, Dutton is the most endangered.

Manny Fernandez for the New York Times profiled Dutton and his quandary.  <<-- This is the best read in this post, particularly for those who have missed the controversy.

I made no recommendations on whom to vote for in HISD races in 2019 because of the state's imminent takeover.  I don't have children or grandchildren in the school system; my expectation for these representatives of the public trust is that their decision-making, such as spending taxpayer money, won't be crooked or stupid.  That very low bar has rarely been cleared.  So I really have no idea as to whether Greg Abbott's appointees will do any better, but despite our governor's own long-standing reputation for rock-bottom ethical conduct, it seems difficult to project that he/they might do worse.  Some of us understand that Abbott is dippin' in the koolaid that he doesn't know the flavor, and it's a crine-ass shame that he gets the chance to do so.  HISD is an uber-clusterf, and Dutton is likely to be the fall guy for it.  And probably not the last one.

I got a lot more but let me stop with two HTX city council runoff races that get decided this Saturday.  First, from nonsequiteuse.  She mad again, y'all.

I get it, Andrea, but I just see it more as a distinction without much of a difference than you.  And I actually prefer Abbie Kamin's position on guns more than I do Shelley Kennedy's.  It's not cool that Kennedy called Kamin's stance "leftist" and "wants to take away" guns, for sure.  And donating to Bill King smells bad too, although there are a lot of voters who think Sylvester Turner is nothing but the lesser of two evils *raises hand*.

This contest has the Democratic establishment and progressive organizations split all over, with Kennedy claiming, as nonseq has noted, a good bit of conservative support.  Kennedy got my recommendation to District C's voters due to her closer-to-the-people grassroots effort, including some activist Democrats I respect.  That's compared with Kamin's large fundraising apparatus and establishment backing, something I find myself increasingly leery of.  I don't see any losers here; Kamin will make a fine CM if she prevails.

And if hindsight from four years in the future reveals I made the wrong call here, then I probably made a bigger mistake endorsing Edward Pollard over Sandra Rodriguez, based on his bragging about being a conservative Democrat.  I hate that shit.

Pollard pushes a centrist message -- “That pothole could care less whether you’re a Democrat or Republican” -- and touts endorsements from the Houston Police Officers Union, business groups like the Houston Realty Breakfast Coalition and industry groups representing city contractors, engineers and Realtors.


Rodriguez stresses the need to engage new immigrants and improve the district’s poor civic engagement, and is backed by SEIU Texas and other labor groups, the Texas Organizing Project, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, and a host of Democratic politicians at the federal, state and local level.

“I just want to do the work. I’ve been doing the work for 20 years, I enjoy what I do, and if this will help me push policies and move our district forward in Southwest Houston, to change the image -- because you hear Sharpstown, Gulfton, Westwood, you think crime, you think prostitution, all the negativity -- if this will help me serve the district, then I’ll run. That was the ultimate decision-maker.”
She's exactly the kind of candidate I like, and Pollard, as it turns out, is not.  Let this be a lesson to me that more due diligence is necessary over the course of the next 90 or so days.  If you still can in District J, vote for Ms. Rodriguez.  Mea maxima culpa.

And do vote, please.  There is evidence it does your body good.

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Weekly Filing Deadline Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is watching the 2020 spring ballot filings on today's deadline, as well as the turnout and trends in the ongoing Houston city and educational runoff elections' early voting period (Election Day is Saturday).

There's also the sixth Dem presidential debate happening in nine days, so it's a busy time for those of us who are political junkies.

Here's the round-up of the best blog posts, Tweets, and lefty news about and around Texas, our Texas from last week.  First, TXElects.

(Today) is the deadline for candidates to file for a spot on the March 3 primary ballot as a Democrat or Republican, or to be eligible to receive the nomination of the Green or Libertarian Parties at their conventions. It is also the deadline for candidates to file to run under the banner of a political party not currently having ballot access.

It will take at more than a week to determine with certainty all of the candidates who filed and were certified to be on the ballot. County parties have until December 17 to electronically submit their candidate rosters to the Secretary of State, and state parties have a December 18 deadline. Candidates seeking to have their names removed from the ballot must withdraw by Tuesday.

There are still ways to reach the ballot if a candidate fails to file by the close of business Monday. There may be chances for partisan candidates to file past the December 9 deadline in specific cases of vacancies or the withdrawal of the lone candidate. Independent candidates must file declarations of intent to run by December 9. Write-in candidates must file their declarations of candidacy by August 17, 2020.

Noted by Ballot Access News, the state has appealed the ruling it lost in Dikeman v. Hughs.  The law at issue compels minor party candidates to pay a fee to run for office; it was struck down by a lower court a week ago.  And in filing developments ...

Progress Texas also has a list of candidates who've placed their names on the March 2020 Democratic primary ballot.  Kuff looked at the initial Congressional race ratings in Texas.  Howie Klein at Down With Tyranny profiled TX-25 hopeful Heidi Sloan.  And Jeremy Wallace at the HouChron examined the race to replace retiring Cong. Pete Olson in TX-22, with twelve Republicans aiming to be the nominee.  (In 2018, Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni almost knocked off Olson.  Kulkarni is running again, along with Pearland city council member Derrick Reed, and possibly one other Democrat filing later today.)  The statehouse district in the same Fort Bend County area just lost its Republican representative due to his unforced racial error, underscoring the shifting political sands in the nation's most ethnically diverse region.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had his regular weekly update on the Democrats running for the White House.  Mike Bloomberg made an appearance at the Texas Dems' quarterly meeting on Saturday.

Texas Monthly will be doing a regular political roundup.

SocraticGadfly collected all the huzzahs and handsprings for the Texas Tribune turning 10, and offers up a pretty contrarian take.

Meredith Lawrence of the Dallas Observer reports on the sad state of affairs with refugee asylum.

Robert Rivard at his self-titled Report urges the University of Incarnate Word to settle the Cameron Redus wrongful death case.

And here's some environmental developments.

Axios reports that the rural healthcare crisis is costing lives, a story the Texas Observer has recently been covering extensively.

Closing this Wrangle with some lighter news ...

Americans of certain age are mourning the passing of Carroll Spinney, who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life for Sesame Street for nearly fifty years.  And Mean Green Cougar Red posted an appreciation of the children show's countercultural cartoons.

Paradise in Hell is here for the blood red White House Christmas trees.

Alice Embree at The Rag Blog posted about Houston's iconic '60s-'70s underground newspaper, Space City!, getting new digital life.  And there will be a fundraiser for TeXchromosome this coming Saturday at the Peace House Farm in Austin, with music, a flea market, and silent auction.

Last, Jessica Huseman, ProPublica's Texan at large, emphatically explains why she loves Texas.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Sunday 'Low Flow' Funnies

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water,” Trump said, complaining that water flow in other fixtures has slowed to a trickle. “You can’t wash your hands practically, there’s so little water comes out of the faucet, and the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, you end up using the same amount of water.”

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Weekly 2020 Update: They Drop Out in Threes

Hasta la vista, Joe Sestak.

Sayonara, Steve Bullock.

And so long (for now at least), Kamala.

Somewhere in the bowels of the archives here (I really should have started tagging posts years ago) is one that contains a prediction that Senator Harris would be there at the end, wherever the end happens to be.  She was a contendah briefly, after all, and I wasn't the only one who thought she had more than enough potential.  But identity politics can only carry you so far this cycle, and she never had firm positions on policy, vacillating from day to day, M4A being the most obvious example.

Yes, Tulsi Gabbard crushed her early on, but in truth Kamala was unable to adequately defend an abysmal prosecutor's record in the #BlackLivesMatter era.  And yes, she is held to a different standard than Crime Bill Joe Biden.  But that's on his support base of older African Americans, and not her progressive detractors.

When she started falling in the polls in California -- which was moved up on the schedule specifically to facilitate her nomination -- that was everybody's clue that she was toast (IMO).  And then OK Bloomer plunges in, and almost instantly polls ahead of her.

So before she were to suffer an embarrassing defeat in her home state primary, revealing weakness that some ambitious California Democrat might take advantage of should she run for re-election to the US Senate in 2022, she chose the wiser course.  And she has a great deal of political viability remaining next year as a potential vice-presidential nominee or attorney general-designate for the eventual Democratic standard-bearer.

There's lots of bitching and moaning about #PrimariesSoWhite, and that's absolutely a huge problem for the Donks, but they aren't capable of doing anything about it four years from now, never mind in 60 days.  Complain to your DNC member (last time I looked, not many of them were white men).

While my first impression is that many of her supporters are headed to Elizabeth Warren, this Morning Consult poll suggests that Biden and Bernie and Liz all pick up a percentage point, which doesn't alter things to any significant degree.

Let's move on to the remaining horses in the race.

-- Is this worse than sniffing other women's hair, rubbing their shoulders, or groping young girls?  I don't think so, but only because it's his wife.

On the other hand, this is really weird.

Snopes rates it factual.  He said it in 2017, at the same time he related the story about Cornpop.  And it's already been meme'd, long form.

Joe Biden needs an Adult Protective Services intervention.  Stat.

-- What is happening with Elizabeth Warren? Chris Cillizza says it's because she got attacked in the debates for Medicare for All, and face-planted when she couldn't justify her support.  I think he's got it partly right, anyway.

Yet if all you watch is corporate media -- and yes, NPR, funded by Big Oil, is corporate -- then you're getting an entirely different message about Warren and M4A.

"Poison"?  Seems like I've read that before.

“I think it’s that Medicare for All is poison,” said a senior aide to another 2020 Democrat. “It is fucking poison. You touch it, you turn to dust.”

I'm sure it couldn't be a talking point from those consultants hired to trash Medicare for All.  It never ceases to amaze when a former Republican runs off the reservation.

Warren has long been a surrogate for Sanders in the punching bag department.  The Talking Heads ignore him and focus on her because they don't see his candidacy as having any chance.  To that end, Liz has served Bernie's cause quite well.  As the primary continues to distill to two moderates -- Biden and Buttigieg -- and two progressives, the focus will be sharply on the differences between the factions as well as within them.  If you're a fan of early predictions, say that Mayo Pete takes Iowa with Bernie and Liz splitting the rest.  The story will be who finishes third.  Then comes New Hampshire, which at this early juncture is a face-off between next-door neighbors Warren and Sanders.  Nevada, a pure tossup, will give somebody a boost of momentum.  But whoever hasn't won a state by then, heading into South Carolina where Biden is heavily favored, will be facing the loudest calls to stand down.

It may not be clear until after Super Tuesday in early March, when the winners of California and Texas and other diverse delegate-rich states are known, but there are likely to be just two left standing by then: one corporate centrist and one progressive.  For at least two years now, I've thought it would be Biden and Bernie.  I still think that.

-- Why is Bloomberg betting big on Texas?  (The article does not answer the question.)

Bloomberg’s self-funded presidential campaign, launched just over a week ago, has already spent at least $6.2 million on ads in Texas, including at least $2.25 million in the Houston area alone, according to an analysis by the research firm Advertising Analytics. The campaign has so far spent more only in California, and the Houston market ranks third in the nation, behind New York and Los Angeles. Dallas ranks just after Houston, at nearly $2 million. Bloomberg spent $671,000 on ads in San Antonio, the analysis shows.

Bloomberg already has double the earned media in a month than Andrew Yang has for the duration of his campaign.  They're not talking about his scandals, and they're not talking about his long history as a devout, if moderate, Republican.  And how does he qualify for the debates if he isn't taking any individual contributions?  Will the DNC change the rules for him if suddenly turns into a contender?

Okay then; who's ready for some snark?

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance encourages those who have runoff elections in their jurisdictions to cast their ballots before the rush of holiday errands overcomes you.

A chemical plant explosion in southeast Texas, the fifth this year, was the top story last week.

The TPC facility in the Jefferson County community of Port Neches, between Beaumont and Port Arthur, released butadiene, a known carcinogen, into the air.  The fire burned for days, forcing the evacuation of about 60,000 people from their homes in Port Neches, Groves, Nederland, and northern Port Arthur on Thanksgiving.  After it was extinguished, a concern that asbestos was also an aerial contaminant was disclosed.

As our recent environmental nightmares pile up, we're reminded that our past mistakes are going to come back to haunt us as well.

And a profile of TPA blogger Texas Sharon at the Who What Why is the story of how she became one of the nation's foremost anti-fracking activists.

Moving on to a few of our elected officials' by-now predictable bad behavior:

And refocusing on a story that simply hasn't received enough scrutiny ...

A dominant Texas engineering company led by a former University of Texas regent has admitted to a pattern of illegal campaign contributions to political power brokers involving top level staffers facilitating hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations over many years.

Dannenbaum Engineering, the name behind major airport and highway projects and the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Brownsville, is facing federal charges from the public integrity division of the Justice Department for an election fraud scheme. The company and its longtime CEO James Dannenbaum were charged this month with circumventing federal election law by making donations in their employees’ names to three congressional candidates re-election campaigns.

Dannenbaum, the company’s 80-year-old namesake, has been a major donor to Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz as well as Gov. Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Schadenfreude was enjoyed by Texas Democrats at the expense of their counterparts.

The Texas Republican Party committed the political equivalent of an own goal when it sent its 2020 election strategy to the Democrats. ... Entitled “Primary/General Election 2020 [Draft],” the document began showing up in Democrats’ inboxes (last) Monday night. One of the main components of the plan is a disinformation campaign.

Republicans plan to spend about $6,000 buying up domain names similar to those owned by Democratic candidates. The domains would then be turned into ‘microsites’ that are filled with negative information.

Lots of bloggers are paying attention to who's filing for office next year.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posted his regular Dem prez candidates update.

Socratic Gadfly scores SC Justice Alito as the worst wingnut on the Court.

Closing out this Wrangle with a collection of human interest stories (which have come to be one of the most popular parts of this weekly posting).

Two posts about feral hogs this week.

Somervell County Salon writes about why she will no longer keep birds.

And Wes Ferguson at Texas Monthly visits Zwolle and Ebarb, Louisiana during their Tamale Festival, discovering a bit of Texas history just across the Sabine.

To see the first capital of Texas, to stand on that hallowed ground, you have to leave the state.

If you time your visit right, you can join the multitudes who gather for a presentation of the royal court of the tamale queens. A dozen or so young women and girls, several in flamenco dresses, will cast off their tiaras and commence a ritual display of fall abundance and mestizo heritage in Zwolle and Ebarb, a pair of towns where the isolation of the Piney Woods has, for centuries, preserved a remarkable, if little-known, remnant of Texas’s past.

They sit on the western edge of Louisiana, just down the road from the historic site of a Spanish mission and presidio named Los Adaes.

Los Adaes served from 1729 to 1772 as the first seat of colonial power in Texas. Following the Louisiana Purchase, the United States and Spain both claimed the area around the mission as their own. This disputed strip became known as the Neutral Ground or No Man’s Land until 1821, when the boundary between Texas and Louisiana officially moved west to the Sabine River. Settlers who’d lived near Los Adaes for generations found themselves cut off from their former countrymen on the other side of the border.

“It’s like they’re orphans, orphaned to history,” says Francis X. Gal├ín, a historian whose book, Los Adaes, the First Capital of Spanish Texas, is being published by Texas A&M University Press next June. “Maybe their isolation allowed for their culture to flourish.”

Relics of that culture have persisted for centuries in the pine-strewn hills near what is now the eastern shore of Toledo Bend Reservoir. It’s a piquant blend of Spanish, Native American, and Southern redneck with notes of French Creole mixed in that locals have extolled every autumn since 1975, when the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta was founded by a local tourism booster named Rogers P. Loupe.

“And he was a Cajun,” points out Mary Lucille “Betty” Rivers, a retired schoolteacher turned historian and author.

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Weekly Twenty Twenty Update

Just a bit more than two months before the Iowa caucuses.  So it's probably too soon for this.

Click the map to create your own at

If you got a better way-too-early prediction, let's hear it in the comments.

No sooner than Hillary Clinton reached her most recent spoiled-milk discard date, we get Obama weighing in on the 2020 primary.

I'm just sorry I bought his lies in 2008.  By 2009 I was off the bus, but the damage, as we all know -- even those who cannot acknowledge it to this day -- was done.

And that's not the half of it: drone-killing American-born teenagers for the alleged sins of their fathers; "we tortured some folks"; signing the NDAA (which ended habeas corpus); letting the protests at Standing Rock "play out for several more weeks", enabling militarized police forces to brutalize protestors; prosecuting low-level government whistleblowers (Chelsea Manning) while letting top advisers skate (David Petraeus).  I could go on, but if you haven't gotten the picture already, you never will.

I have but one fuck left to give about what Barack Obama says or does regarding the 2020 Democratic primary.  If he opposes Bernie Sanders to any degree greater than he already has ... well, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, revolutions can take place at the ballot box or in the streets.  And the establishment corporacrat centrist neoliberal faction gets to choose where it will be.

It would have been illuminating to have heard from him during the past three years as Trump savaged him, the office of the presidency, and all of the normative behaviors that have been in place for almost two hundred and fifty years of our republican democracy, but I suppose he was just too busy making post-presidency millions to comment on any of that.  It seems that I heard more griping about Trump from George W. Bush than I did from Obama, as a matter of fact.

Be that as it may, BO can take a seat beside HRC and STFU.  Forever.

Now then ... let's review the aspirational jerks bidding to be the next Obama.

-- BootEdgeEdge's post-debate polling bump is, according to, still just his base.  He got called out for his lying by Michael Harriott at The Root, who then got a phone call from Pete.  Seems to have gone well enough.  One more thing:

That's enough of a reason to strip IA and NH from first-in-the-nation status as far as I am concerned.  I don't think it will ever happen, though.  Let the speculation begin as to the eventual migration of Petey voters, once reality splashes cold in their faces.

-- Elizabeth Warren has had a much tougher week, month, past couple of months.

Her candor issues have crushed her.

-- No, wait; Senile Uncle Joe had a worse week.  His top Latina adviser quitting his campaign underscored his problems with voters who are not conservative, senior whites and blacks.

Biden was criticized for skipping a Latino elected officials forum in June -- at the time, a campaign surrogate held up C├írdenas’ role in the campaign as proof of Biden’s commitment to Latino voters. And in August, his campaign went into damage control after immigration activists grew upset with him over how he spoke about the issue at a debate. He also avoided a California Democratic event where he was aware the immigration issue could haunt him.

At a South Carolina event on Thursday, Biden ended up in a widely publicized clash with Carlos Rojas, an immigration activist with the group Movimiento Cosecha, who wanted the candidate to pledge to halt deportations.

"No. I will not stop all deportations. I will prioritize deportations, only people who have committed a felony or serious crime,” Biden told Rojas.

Rojas then told Biden that he had volunteered for the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008 but became disenchanted with the Obama administration because “over those 8 years, there were 3 million people that were deported and separated from their families.”

“You should vote for Trump,” Biden cut in.

Hostility, mild or not-so-much, is a symptom of dementia.  At least he was able to remember to suggest to another person to vote Democrat.

-- So if you were seriously wondering why Mike Bloomberg jumped in, now you know.  See, Bloomer is even more of Republican than Joe, or Liz, or Pete.

But what candidate is it that all of these powerful, influential moderates really want?  I read this and I still can't figure it out.

-- Then again, maybe Kamala had it roughest.  The requiems and obituaries have been written.

Hey, political advisers have to eat too.

-- All roads then lead to one place.

-- MSNBC's debate moderators and the network's coverage of Yang and Tulsi and Bernie -- wrong and misleading where it has been presented at all -- has come under plenty of withering fire.  So here is a rare moment of clarity when Chris Matthews, the fattest of the network's blind hogs found the biggest acorn asked the right question.

Major Gabbard, similarly, gets more wrong than right but this is the crux of her campaign IMHO and the best argument for her bid for the White House.

-- So long, Mayor Messam.  We really never knew ye.

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance is already downshifting in preparation for the abbreviated holiday week, with a shorter-than usual collection of somewhat less than hard-hitting blog posts and Tweets and news from around and about the Great State from last week.

Several reporters are looking ahead to the primaries in the spring, publishing news of filings for offices on that ballot.  HPM detailed election security measures being undertaken for 2020 by Harris, Fort Bend, and Brazoria counties.  TXElects linked to a study published by the League of Women Voters that revealed many Texas counties' websites were both improperly secured and not in compliance with state law.

The League graded sites based on a number of criteria including website security, mobile friendliness, ease of use, thoroughness of information, help for special categories of voters and availability of information in Spanish. ... The League determined 74 counties -- 29% of the total -- had “inadequate” election information posted online. Among those, 19 county websites “do not appear to be official,” and Crockett Co. had no web presence whatsoever.

Just ahead of the start of early voting for the runoff elections, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs released his recommendations for the Houston city council alphabet districts.  (Mayor and at-large runoff endorsements are linked there.)

Criminal justice developments included ...

Better Texas Blog tells the untold stories of the state budget.

RG Ratcliffe at Texas Monthly explains how Texas might turn blue in 2020.  Ross Ramsey of the TexTrib via Progrexas analyzes the reasons for Lone Star Republicans launching trial balloons associated with gun safety legislation.

In impeachment news, Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher was all over the Fiona Hill hearing.

SocraticGadfly, noting November 22 and the anniversary of the death of the president in Dallas in 1963 last Friday, has a twofer; first writing about the irony of Jackie's JFK Camelot legend actually reflecting Kennedy reality beneath the legend, then looking in part at Jack's assassination, noting -- with examples -- how to distinguish conspiracies from conspiracy theories.

The Texas Signal points out Greg Abbott's loss of appetite for Chick-fil-A now that they have pledged to stop giving money to anti-LGBTQ groups.

Texans icons on the way out, gone but not forgotten, and perhaps on the comeback:

Mike McGuff shares the trailer for the documentary about the legendary former Houston rock and roll radio station KLOL.

Closing out this Wrangle ...

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper have force-multiplied their brand in Waco, turning the sleepy Baptist community into a retail shopping destination.

 And the TPA wishes Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora all the best in their new media venture.