Friday, March 29, 2019

The Weekly Twenty Twenty Update

The first Democratic debate of the 2020 presidential primary will be held on June 26 and 27 in Miami, NBC News, the host of the debate, announced on Thursday.

To qualify, a candidate will need to either have at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls, or provide evidence of at least 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 different donors in at least 20 states.

If more than 20 candidates reach one of those two qualifications, the top 20 will be selected by using a separate method that rewards contenders for meeting both thresholds, followed by highest polling averages, and then the most unique donors.

There will be 12 debates in total over the 2020 Democratic primary season -- the June debate is the first of six scheduled this year, with six more scheduled for 2020. CNN will host the second debate in July.

Various campaigns are making appeals for small-dollar donations -- in some cases, one dollar -- in order for their candidates to hit the 65K contributor threshold.  Not qualifying for the debates may weed the field to some degree.

This story from Insider lists the thirteen who have already made the debate stage.

Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam entered the race this week, inching the primary field count closer to 20 candidates. And with former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Tim Ryan (among others) discussing possible runs, it may not be long before the group tops 20. If that happens, that could pose serious problems for the DNC and the thresholds it set for its initial primary debates.

More on Messam here.

Messam, a former wide receiver for Florida State University where he was a member of the 1993 national championship team under legendary coach Bobby Bowden, went on to build one of the fastest-growing minority-owned construction businesses in the country.

As Miramar's mayor, Messam advocated a gun-free zone in the city's new amphitheater, challenging a law backed by the National Rifle Association, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel. He has touted his city as a safe zone for undocumented immigrants and has opposed oil drilling in the Everglades. He also supports action to fight climate change, the newspaper reported.

Here's what the rest of the Democratic presidential field was up to this past week.

Joe Biden 

CNBC reported Wednesday that a Biden presidential announcement could come as late as the end of April, citing those familiar with his plans.

The former vice president also attracted attention for expressing regret over his handling of the 1991 Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, during which Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment. “To this day, I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved,” he said, during remarks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York Tuesday, honoring students who have worked to prevent sexual assault.

Those crocodile tears drew a stinging rebuke from cable news talking head Joan Walsh.

... CNN host Erin Burnett noted the irony.

“You’ve got Joe Biden as the white grandfather in all of this, the white man saying it’s a white man’s culture. Okay. It’s got to change,” Burnett said.

Walsh then replied that she had a way for Biden to make a change.

“I have an idea for how he can change it. Don’t run,” Walsh said. “Come out and support a woman. There’s six women in the race, four female senators. If you want to change it, that’s a way to change it. You know, I admire Joe Biden. I am a fond Democrat. He was a great vice president. But you want to change it? Don’t run.”

She then added his treatment of Hill was not going away.

It “will remain a huge issue if he does run,” she stressed.

Cory Booker

A CNN town hall in South Carolina on Wednesday touched on a number of Booker’s campaign priorities, including criminal justice reform and the rising costs of health care.

The New Jersey senator said he would “absolutely” consider issuing mass pardons for those convicted of marijuana-related crimes, noting that “there is no difference in America between using and even selling marijuana between blacks and whites, but if you’re African-American in this country, you’re almost four times more likely to be arrested for that.”

Booker also somewhat broke from his past support of the pharmaceutical industry -- which is particularly prominent in his home state -- by pledging not to take money from industry executives and PACs.

Vox has six takeaways from Booker's town hall.  CNBC reports Booker is lining up support from financial industry heavyweights in order to compete in the money game.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg had a relatively strong performance in a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, polling at 4 percent,which tied him with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and vaulted him into an upper-tier of candidates where in a crowded field capturing more than 1 percent support is hard.

Sports fans who have noticed the resemblance between Buttigieg and Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got a kick out of Stevens expressing his admiration for the South Bend mayor and noting he has “followed him pretty close.”

“I’ll be real candid, I love a lot of his platforms. I’m a big fan of his,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston. “I haven’t endorsed anyone yet, I don’t get into the political stuff too much, but he’s a hard one for me to root against. He’s also rising pretty quickly.”

Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand became the first candidate to release her 2018 tax returns Wednesday, revealing that she earned roughly $218,000 and paid nearly $30,000 in taxes. The New York senator further called on her fellow candidates to follow suit. (Elizabeth Warren’s website includes 10 years of tax returns but her 2018 form has yet to be posted.)

In her first major event since officially joining the race, Gillibrand spoke outside of Trump International Hotel in New York last weekend, where she called the president a “coward” and said she has “stood up against Donald Trump more than anyone in the Senate.”

Kamala Harris

Harris was in Texas last weekend; Houston on Saturday.  You can find that update within this past Monday's Wrangle.

John Hickenlooper

In a Washington Post op-ed, the former Colorado governor said he supports “the concept of a Green New Deal,” but that the much publicized proposal put forth by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. “sets unachievable goals.”

“We do not yet have the technology needed to reach ‘net-zero greenhouse gas emissions’ in 10 years. That’s why many wind and solar companies don’t support it,” Hickenlooper wrote. “There is no clean substitute for jet fuel. Electric vehicles are growing quickly, yet are still in their infancy.”

“Amid this technological innovation, we need to ensure that energy is not only clean but also affordable,” he continued.

Amy Klobuchar 

The Minnesota senator announced a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Thursday, focused on repairing and replacing roads, highways and bridges; expanding public transportation; increasing internet access; rebuilding schools; and modernizing airports and seaports, among other initiatives.

“This plan is about bringing our country together,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Building bridges is not just a metaphor -- this is what I’ve done and what I will continue to do as president. ”

Beto O’Rourke

After a quiet week following his whirlwind first days on the campaign trail, O’Rourke will hold a trio of kick-off rallies in El Paso, Houston and Austin, Texas Saturday.

More from the TexTrib.

Thousands of people are expected to attend each rally, and each is being held in large, picturesque outdoor spaces. In Austin, the rally is taking place in the heart of downtown, with the state Capitol as a backdrop. In Houston, the rally is happening outside Texas Southern University, where 2020 rival Kamala Harris held an indoor rally last weekend.

O'Rourke's campaign is making sure to use the day to mobilize supporters in Texas and far outside it, with volunteers hosting over 1,000 watch parties in every state and territory.

The former congressman finished third in a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, garnering support of 12% of respondents, trailing only Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have consistently finished first and second in early primary polls.

Bernie Sanders 

The Vermont senator drew massive crowds at three outdoor rallies in California last weekend.

Sanders also told MSNBC Tuesday that he does not support “incremental reform” to improve the Affordable Care Act, only his “Medicare-for-All single payer program” and argued for the complete elimination of private insurance.

In a column in the Des Moines Register, Sanders pledged to support Iowan farmers and take on corporate agribusinesses, writing that farmers have “been systematically stripped of their ability to control their own futures and no longer know whether their hard work will earn them future success and stability.”

“When we are in the White House, we are going to strengthen antitrust laws that defend farmers from the corporate middlemen that stand between the food grower and the consumer, and have now become so big and powerful that they can squeeze farmers for everything they’re worth,” Sanders wrote.

Elizabeth Warren

Much like her crusade against some of the country’s largest tech companies, Warren is also proposing that large agriculture businesses be broken up, writing in a blog post Wednesday that “we must address consolidation in the agriculture sector, which is leaving family farmers with fewer choices, thinner margins, and less independence.”

Warren also made a campaign swing through the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, discussing poverty, housing, and family farms. The Clarion Ledger:

“In a democracy, we need a government that doesn’t just work for those who are already rich,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in Greenville, ahead of a Jackson town hall Monday evening. “We need a government that says, ‘You’re rich? Good for you, but pitch just a little bit back in the kitty, so everybody else gets a chance.'”

Warren began a three-state Southern tour with a town hall in Memphis on Sunday night, speaking to about 500 people. The Mississippi leg of the trip started Monday morning in Cleveland, where she met with state Sen. Willie Simmons at the home of civil rights leader Amzie Moore, before discussing poverty and housing issues on a walk to Simmons’ restaurant, “The Senator’s Place.”

Warren recently rolled out a housing plan based on legislation she introduced in the Senate last year, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act. It’s the latest of several in-depth policy proposals she’s authored, including a universal child care and early education plan she discussed in Memphis.

Get more candidate news from 538's weekly wrap.

Here's a few more headlines.

Vox: What the 2020 presidential candidates’ logos tell us, explained by design experts

Vox: The one takeaway from every Dem primary poll

Born to Run the Numbers: How to break out from the crowded pack of candidates?  Find "The Most Important Thing"

Public Integrity: Nine things to know about Marianne Williamson

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Weekly Wrangle

Some members of the Texas Progressive Alliance switched from Mueller High Life to Stolichnaya (in order to more quickly drown their sorrows) at the 5 p.m. unhappy hour yesterday.  The gloating also lurched to the right, but is still happening much too early.  When you play two-party politics like it was a football game, that's what it feels like to those of us who aren't fans of either team.

After reading Socratic Gadfly's wrap-up and round-up on the Mueller report and reactions, you're ready to move on to the non-collusion/obstruction-related blog posts and news from across Texas from last week!

The biggest statewide news was the explosion and fire at the ITC storage facility along the Houston Ship Channel, which resulted in a environmental catastrophe that is still ongoing today.  It began burning on Sunday afternoon March 17 ...

By Monday morning, March 18, a shelter-in-place for the nearby city of Deer Park had been issued as the fire burned throughout the night.

And all day Tuesday.

The first air toxicants were reported.

By Wednesday, March 20, the fire was finally out ... for awhile.

As community leaders meet the media, tensions rise.

The first time benzene levels in the air around the facility were reported.

And spill runoffs into the Ship Channel were first noted.

And as we know since last Thursday, it really hasn't.

Beyond Bones tells you some things you should know about the Deer Park fire and public safety.


Under the pink dome in Austin, Stephen Young of the Dallas Observer broke down the fight between Texas Senate Republicans and Facebook over abortion.  Earlier today, Progrexas reports that a Texas House committee failed to advance an anti-choice bill because the Democrats denied a quorum call.

Revisiting news from a few years ago, TXElects says that a deceased Harris County commissioner's multi-million dollar political bank account awaits resolution.

Former Harris Commissioner El Franco Lee, who passed away in January 2016, still has more than $3.6M in his campaign account, reported the Houston Chronicle’s Zach Despart. His widow, Ethel Kaye Lee, is its treasurer and has sole discretion on how the funds may be spent. Under state law, the account’s funds must be dispersed by 2022.

They may be contributed to the Democratic Party, one or more candidates and committees, the state, a charitable organization or a university. Individual donations may also be returned. Among Democrats, Lee’s war chest is the third largest, trailing only Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston), who had nearly $8M on hand as of December 31, and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), who reported having $4.3M on hand.

The account could become a significant source of campaign contributions for Democrats in the 2020 cycle.

The Texas Tribune's Emma Platoff followed presidential candidate Kamala Harris around Houston this past Saturday.

“This is Harris County!” declared a bevy of colorful signs in the hands of supporters in a crowded auditorium at Texas Southern University. And when Harris began to speak during the biggest event of her first major swing through Texas, the native Californian was implicitly communicating much the same message: There may be two Texas Democrats vying for support in this state nearly a year ahead of Super Tuesday, but she isn’t ceding any ground to the state’s native sons.

“I love being in Harris County!” she declared by way of greeting, enjoying raucous applause and, apparently, the alignment between her surname and the name of Texas’ largest county and one of its most diverse. In unveiling a major pitch for raising teachers’ salaries -- a proposal her campaign has described as “the largest federal investment in teacher pay in history” -- Harris made sure to nod to the last Texas Democrat to occupy the office she seeks.

“[Lyndon B. Johnson] was the last president that made a meaningful investment in public education.” One of his reasons, she said, was “to bridge the gap between helplessness and hope.”

Saturday was Harris’ second public campaign event in Texas after a visit Friday night to the Tarrant County Democrats.

In Houston, on the campus of one of the nation’s largest historically black colleges, she attracted a crowd of some 2,400, including influential area Democrats like U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia, as well as state Sen. Carol Alvarado and state Rep. Ron Reynolds.

Rodney Ellis, a Harris County commissioner and major crusader for criminal justice reform, praised Harris as a “career prosecutor, but… a thoughtful prosecutor,” defending Harris against criticisms of her record. When he introduced her, he declared, “I’m endorsing her right now!”

In immigration developments, Robert Moore at Texas Monthly reports that inland checkpoints have been closed so that Border Patrol agents can process an influx of families seeking asylum.  NPR also has news that USBP is releasing recently-apprehended migrants without detaining them because, officials say, facilities are filled to capacity.

LareDOS has an account from longtime Zapata County residents who say that the border wall's eminent domain prospects reminds them of the 1950s-era Falcon Dam/Reservoir project.

Sophie Novack at the Texas Observer writes about the diabetes crisis in the Rio Grande Valley spawning an amputation crisis.

The Lunch Tray debunks the arguments for Trump's school nutrition rollbacks.

In Port Aransas, plans for a major oil export terminal proposed by the Port of Corpus Christi are colliding with locals who want to preserve the community's small-town tourism draws of fishing, birding, and downscale beach experience.  The Rivard Report has the story.

Grits for Breakfast explains why police should be required to get a warrant to use cell site simulators, also known as "stingrays".

Joel Mathis at The Week blogged about how socialism won at SXSW.

And The Bloggess would like to tell you a ghost story.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Funnies

As the progenitor of the surf rock genre and an innovator who helped stretch the possibilities of the electric guitar, Dale inspired musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder, and the Beach Boys. Dale’s “Miserlou” also notably featured in the opening credits sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Dale said in 2015 that “I can’t stop touring because I will die” due to medical expenses stemming from cancer treatment, diabetes and renal failure. “I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that’s on top of the insurance that I pay for,” Dale said at the time.

Please support candidates that support Medicare For All.  Without exceptions.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Weekly Wrangle

Winding up SXSW in Austin and RodeoHouston on Saint Patrick's Day was a little too much for this Texas Progressive Alliance blogger.  Your round-up of the best of the left of the Lone Star State is, accordingly, a day late (but never a worthy blog post short).

The biggest Texas news of the week was Beto O'Rourke ending the suspense and entering the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.  The morning after his Annie Leibowitz/Vogue cover, he made his formal announcement and traveled to Iowa, where he stood on a diner counter and gesticulated enthusiastically, inviting the playful snark of of CNN's Jeannie Moos.  His first-day fundraising numbers were purposely delayed for 24 hours, then announced as just barely exceeding those of Bernie Sanders (but without disclosure of Beto's per-donor average.  We should know whether O'Rourke's claims about being grassroots- and small donor-driven are accurate by early April, as federal campaign financial reports are due at the end of March).

Here's a handful of reactions to the Texan's kickoff.

Ring of Fire: Beto'Rourke raised a ton of money but won't tell us where it came from

Daily Dot: Beto likes to stand on counters -- and there are memes to prove it

Texas Tribune:

-- Beto O’Rourke acknowledges involvement with hacking group as a teen, expresses regret for writings

-- In Iowa, Beto O'Rourke works to find his footing on health care

-- Beto O'Rourke gets crash course in presidential scrutiny over two days in Iowa


-- Beto's excellent adventure drips with white male privilege

-- Beto O'Rourke apologizes for jokes about wife, says he has benefited from 'white privilege'

Politico: ‘Not one woman got that kind of coverage’: Beto backlash begins

Op-Ed News (Bill McKibben): How to tell if Beto O'Rourke is for real: A Green New Deal and natural gas

Last October, in the heart of Texas hydrocarbon country and in the final weeks of his Senate contest with Ted Cruz, O'Rourke told the Midland Reporter-Telegram that "the natural gas that we use as a cleaner energy source here in this country could be something that replaces coal-fired plants in China, in India -- two of the largest economies on the planet that are burning coal and contributing to climate change. I'd much rather they burn natural gas from Texas that's connected to jobs here."

On Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa, during his first campaign appearance as a presidential candidate, O'Rourke praised the Green New Deal, particularly its call to "get to net-zero emissions." He said, "We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this."

The Atlantic: O’Rourke mostly gets a pass for his lack of specifics

Reuters: Beto O’Rourke’s secret membership in America’s oldest hacking group (The Cult of the Dead Cow)

FiveThirtyEight: Is Beto O’Rourke learning how to troll the media?

The Week: Beto O'Rourke is hit with a 'devastating' new 2020 attack ad. Well, sort of.

Texas Observer (Justin Miller): Why is Beto Running for President, Exactly?

SocraticGadfly also took note of O'Rourke entering the presidential scrum, in particular that he still is not unequivocally for single-payer, and wonders when Sema Hernandez will apologize for endorsing him last fall and claiming he did support it.

(This might not be exactly what Gadfly is 'wondering' about ... but he's quite obviously asking for an apology from the wrong person anyway.)

(Click, scroll, and read all the Tweets, please.)

Stace at Dos Centavos wonders if people may be "Beto'ed out".  And Miles Coleman at Decision Desk HQ looks at his 2018 Senate race to see what it may mean for Beto's WH bid.

With much of the state's attention focused on the presidential race, Texas Standard sees an interesting challenge to John Cornyn in 2020 shaping up.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged about that as well, pointing out that the LBJ law would permit both Beto and Julián Castro to run for both president and Senate next year (if they so chose).

The Democrat defeated the Republican in the HD-125 special election for a seat in the Texas House.

Former San Antonio council member Ray Lopez defeated San Antonio construction businessman Fred Rangel, 58%-42%, to win the unexpired term of former Rep. Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio), who resigned in January to accept an appointment to the Bexar Co. Commissioners Court. A little more than 9K votes were cast, an increase of around 3K over the February 12 special election. Turnout for the runoff was 9% of registered voters.

Lopez jumped out to a 57%-43% lead in early voting, and he carried Election Day, 61%-39%. Lopez received more than four and a half times as many votes as in the special election, when he squeaked past Coda Rayo-Garza into the second runoff spot by 28 votes. Lopez received 19% of the vote, just over half the vote received by Rangel (38%). The Republican increased his vote total by nearly 1.5K votes, but it was not enough to overcome Lopez’s surge.

From the Texas Legislature, Progrexas watched as the Texas House Public Education committee passed a comprehensive $9 billion school finance and property tax reform bill ... but only after removing a merit pay provision that had angered teachers' unions.  Better Texas Blog already has their hot take on it posted.

Vicky Camarillo at the Texas Observer reported on the bills designed to break the cycle of 'debtor's prison'.  Grits for Breakfast has more on that topic.

As activists rallied at the Capitol yesterday, Texas Freedom Network updates on the legislative threats to LGBTQ equality and fairness.

Off the Kuff looked at the anti-sick leave bill that may serve as a stealth "bathroom bill".  Sanford Nowlin at the San Antonio Current is also on the sick leave/bathroom bill beat.

VICE has a story about the underground marijuana doctors here.

In Marble Falls, Texas, a town of 7,000 about an hour west of Austin, a drug deal of sorts is going down. Underneath cover of a gray, foggy day, local buyers -- average age: 80-plus -- prepare their home for the meeting. Laid out on dining table for guests is coffee, tea, and Girl Scout Cookies while FOX News blares in the background. Republican regalia, like a 2016 Trump-Pence sticker on the laundry door and a picture of one resident’s father arm-in-arm with President Dwight Eisenhower, adorn the walls. Show horses ninny in the fields outside.

[Names have been changed.]

With his partner and wife Vicki, Chad supplies medical marijuana to about 200 patients around Austin through their homemade tinctures, edibles, bath salts, and more. “We’re no medical experts,” Vicki and Chad admit, they just happen to have more information about cannabis than most anyone else their patients meet. Medical marijuana patients themselves, they’ve also assumed roles as political advocates, petitioning state legislators to expand Texas’s severely restrictive cannabis regime.

The Texas Tribune's Alex Samuels writes that while medical cannabis expansion has strong support in the Lege, it will likely be blocked by Dan Patrick.

San Antonians with Type 2 diabetes will be among the first to test a breakthrough oral insulin capsule, according to Roseanne Garza at the Rivard Report.

Michael Li previews the return of racial gerrymandering before the SCOTUS.

Ty Clevenger at Lawflog has filed a defamation suit accusing CNN, the New York Times, and Vox of smearing Texas financial advisor Ed Butowsky with false claims about his role investigating the murder of DNC employee Seth Rich.

San Antonio's first draft for a climate action plan is encouraging but needs more, says Texas Vox.

The Bondad Blog proposes using a FICA-styled tax in order to transition to Medicare for All.

Harris ranks 53rd among Texas counties for health (Deer Park refinery fire notwithstanding) in a report linked at Houston Public Media.  The high cost of housing means many residents have to make a trade-off between paying the rent or the mortgage and visiting the doctor.

Kroger's first self-driving, grocery-delivering autos hit the streets in Houston this week, in four southwest-area zip codes to begin, says CultureMap.

And David Collins reviews "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness", Arundhati Roy's second novel.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Beto and Castro can run for both president and Senate *Update

It's the good old LBJ law.  *See news about Joaquin's imminent announcement and a Senate poll at the end of this post.

In his daily posts about something related to Beto, or the Senate race against Crony-n, "Shelley" Kuffner is yet to show any indication he gets this.

He has managed to conspicuously ignore the woman who's been in the 2020 Senate race for months, who got 24% against Bobo last year in the primary, and he's still pissing in one hand wishing for MJ Hegar/Wendy Davis/some other POS retread establishment conservaDem.  The more wars for oil, the better for his retirement plan.  Everybody votes their self-interest, after all.

It's still odd that his pining for Beto and/or Julián overlooks the historical and legal quirk that Lloyd Bentsen last took advantage of in 1988.  Ross Ramsey cleared this up weeks ago.

The law that allows Texans to run for two national offices at the same time is known as the LBJ law because it was passed to allow Johnson to run for both the vice presidency and for re-election in 1960. In his case, and later in Bentsen’s, it meant an incumbent didn’t have to risk the seat he already had for a higher one he wanted. Johnson, as it turned out, didn’t need the protection; Bentsen did. 

I've been saying for weeks that I did not think RFO'R would take on Corndog, and I still don't.  He's a top five presidential challenger upon entry yesterday, with plenty of media calf cramping, and he has 8 months to decide whether to file for another run at the upper chamber of Congress.  Castro is a different story; he's getting no traction, even after gouging Bernie Sanders on reparations at SXSW this past week.  Julián's White House bid is on life support and brother Joaquin would be an idiot to give up his seat in the House.

[B]oth O’Rourke and Castro would be eligible to be on the Texas ticket for Senate and for president or vice president, if they so desired. Texas law prevents candidates from filing for more than one office, except for that LBJ exemption. And the exemption in the Texas Election Code is broader than history might indicate: “This section does not apply to candidacy for the office of president or vice-president of the United States and another office.”

Yes, either dude is more likely, IMHO at this very early stage, to wind up as someone's #2 than the presidential nominee.  They would balance a ticket nicely with Kamala Harris, or Liz Warren, or Amy Klobuchar.  Maybe even Cory Booker.  And fantasize about the possibilities, Donkeys, with both Beto and Castro -- or vice versa, pun intended -- at the top of the '20 Lone Star ballot.  Even George Will knows that the GOP is roadkill if Texas turns blue.

So while my vote still goes to Bernie Sanders and Sema Hernandez as Democratic federal standard-bearers, I get that there are some jackasses that wouldn't be happy with those choices.  Maybe too many.  We'll see how things go in about a year.

But this is a spitballing post, and you decide what sticks or doesn't.  I think the most interesting question could be: what if Beto and Julián both run for president and Senate?  Who might you vote for in that case?  (I'd still be voting for Bernie and Sema.)  And what if there was a Senate runoff between O'Rourke and Castro next April, after the March 3rd, 2020, "Super Duper Tuesday" presidential primary results were known?

How about that!

Update: Within just a few hours of this post, the Texas Tribune reported that Joaquin is all but in against Cornyn.  He gives up important committee chairs and seniority to do, which I deem to be stupid, but it is accurate that some other San Antonio Democrat will announce for his House seat the instant he officially declares for the Senate.  Castro is pegged as the frontrunner for the nomination in a PPP poll just released.