Monday, December 30, 2019

2019's Final Wrangle

The aggregation of the best of the left of, about, and from around Texas for the year -- and the decade -- is coming your way.

The latest Texas church shooting (there's a phrase that didn't exist ten years ago) occurred in the west Tarrant County community of White Settlement, where a gunman opened fire and was quickly dispatched by armed Sunday morning service attendants, but not before killing two parishioners of the West Freeway Church of Christ.

The Texas Tribune assembled some of its 2019 analysis on Texas shootings, the 2nd Amendment, and our good old Lege in action inaction.

Via Milt Policzer at Courthouse News:

Those of you who enjoy surrealism as much as I do may want to look at a somewhat frightening ruling by a Texas appeals court the other day. It seems that 13-year-olds and younger are now free to commit sexual assaults in Texas without punishment. They know not what they do.

If you’re in Texas or have to travel there, I strongly recommend avoiding anyone who looks young. The appeals court says because state legislators decided that kids can’t legally consent to sex, they also can’t consent to sex they force on someone else.

I’m guessing Texas legislators might have been surprised by this interpretation.

The result was that a case against a 13-year-old who molested a 12-year-old was dismissed with prejudice. There was a crime but no criminal.

Note to Texas prosecutors: Just charge kids with assault. They can probably consent to that.

The Texas House is heavily targeted by both Democrats and Republicans in a Census/redistricting election year.  Reform Austin runs down fifteen PACs -- ten Rs and 5 Ds -- focusing on the task of getting their tribe to a majority.  Not on their list is Beto O'Rourke's 'Powered by People', a new venture designed to do the same thing.  And the TexTrib projects the seats that may be in play.

Off the Kuff analyzes a poll released by the Eliz Markowitz campaign.  Reform Austin wants to remind HD28 constituents that healthcare is on their special election ballot.

Texas legislators have done an underwhelming job improving healthcare in the state. It’s time to elect officials that care enough about Texans to enact legitimate change. House District 28 has a runoff special election coming up January 28th. Residents of Fort Bend county will have the opportunity to vote for a representative they believe will advocate for vital healthcare reform in Texas.

In his last 2020 Democratic presidential primary update of 2019, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs takes note of the consensus of public opinion beginning to coalesce around the distinct possibility of a #PresidentSandersBonddad has a road map to a Democratic supermajority next November.

It's that listicle time of the year; Dos Centavos has his top ten posts, Somervell County Salon has her top 100, and Houston Strategies highlights his 2019 blogging.

The Texas Observer lists five stories about rural Texas you may have missed, along with its ten best longform readsThe Texas Tribune invites you to revisit some its best stories from the past year.

Houston's jobs market turns out not to have been as robust as earlier economic numbers were forecasting.  The Dallas Fed projects further weakness in the oilpatch for next year, slowing Greg Abbott's "Texas Miracle" bragging down and perhaps denting the political fortunes of Republicans from Trump all the way down the ballot.

Despite a wide variety of Lone Star ecological calamities in 2019, Environment Texas looks on the sunny side.  Grist posited about what ExxonMobil's win before the New York Supreme Court means for other climate lawsuits.

Grits for Breakfast posted his criminal justice round-up on Christmas Day, pointing out Governor Abbott's abdication of executive authority in issuing pardons.

All that Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, writing for Rewire News, wanted for Christmas was for Texans to be able to afford their abortions.

A range of emotional stories from the border merit inclusion.

Ending 2019's last Wrangle with a few lighter items ...

SocraticGadfly got out to Big Bend for the first time in more than eight years, and he shares photos and discusses changes; two additional parts will follow.

In Galveston, the state's official tall ship Elissa returns for limited day sailings for those who wish to experience the life of a 19th-century sailor.

Trainees will spend six hours aboard the 142-year-old ship learning how to navigate the vessel down the Galveston Channel. The $200 course provides hands-on and lecture learning throughout the trip, as well as a light lunch and refreshments.

Participants must be 10 years and older and participants ages 10-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Seven April 2020 dates are currently listed on the event website. Find all you need to know about the daysailing series here and find tickets here.

Find more information on the Galveston History Foundation and Texas Seaport Museum here.

Farewell to a pair of noteworthy artists.

And finally, two more compendiums from the year coming to a close.

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