Monday, January 06, 2020

The Weekly Wrangle

With the holidays over and the primary election season fast approaching, this week's round-up of the best of the Texas Progressive Alliance's blogs, Tweets, and other lefty news sources has a bit more political focus and intensity.

Because we pick our presidents in the Electoral College and not by national popular vote, it's important to look at state polling for clues as to how the Democratic presidential candidates may begin to sort themselves out.  State polls also give us clues as to what's most important to their respective electorates.

(O)ne should not assume, like national polls often do, that social and political problems are national in scope and should be addressed by the national government. Many issues, like policing, school funding and mass transit, fall under the purview of the state and local authorities.

Additionally, social and political problems vary in their importance from national to state and from state to state.

For example, in October, Gallup found that 34% of Americans cited “the government/poor leadership” as the most important problem facing the country, 13% cited immigration and 11% said the economy.

In Texas, however, immigration and border security ranked as the most important problems, whereas “political corruption/leader” was of less concern.

In Ohio, a third of voters cited the economy as the most important issue, followed by health care, social issues and the environment.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posted his first presidential primary update of the new year, leading off with the possible effects of Trump's 'Wag the Dog' war.  Carlos Sanchez at Texas Monthly gives Julian Castro's presidential campaign a fond farewell.  Castro has, at the time of this posting, endorsed Elizabeth Warren.  And Andrew Schneider for HPM reports that despite some accounts indicating Trump's evangelical support is waning, here in Texas that's far from true.

The US Senate primary battle is heating up.

Gromer Jeffers and Robert Garrett at the Dallas News have been hard at work ...

... and one candidate has tripped herself up, twice, in the past week.

Cubic Tzirconia  Christina Costello  is NOT, contrary to her claim, the most progressive Democrat running for Senate.  And she is more than aware of this.

Elsewhere in our Great State, Iris Dimmick at The Rivard Report has seven Bexar County races worth knowing more about.  Kuff interviewed Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and his Democratic primary opponents Ben Rose and Christian MenefeeNonsequiteuse makes the pro-choice case for defeating state Rep. Sarah Davis.  The Meyerland Democrats will host a forum for her Democratic challengers this Thursday evening.

And with 2020's first special election coming in just a few weeks, excitement in Fort Bend County is already at fever pitch.  Scattershooting a few more newsworthy items:

The Texas Signal laments our firearms-obsessed state government.  Newly re-elected Houston mayor Sylvester Turner picked Dave Martin, one of the most conservative members remaining on city council, to serve as mayor pro tem.

The Rio Grande Guardian considers the completion of the construction/expansion of Interstate 69 to be of essential importance in this new decade.

Closing out this first Wrangle of the Twenty Twenties with some soft news.

Paradise in Hell has ten reasons to be glad 2019 is over.  Mark Pitcavage remembers the New Year's Eve of Y2K.

Hitting the world of sports, SocraticGadfly, after laughing with schadenfreude over the Hatriots, offered his hot take on what Jethro Jerry Jones might do to replace Red Jesus Jason Garrett. Earlier, he tackled baseball, wondering why Cardinals top brass John Mozeliak isn't doing more to improve the rotation.  Gadfly's visit to Big Bend country, in last week's Wrangle, apparently encouraged the Texas Standard to recommend a west Texas road trip to Fort Davis, Alpine, Marfa, and Balmorhea.  (This blogger has made that trip a couple of times and highly recommends it, especially a stay at the newly-renovated Indian Lodge.)

Nightime at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, TX.

The Great God Pan Is Dead lists the ten best comics of the past decade.

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