Monday, December 28, 2020

The Far Left Texas Wrangle

Ambling toward the end of a year that no one will look back upon with any fondness, I collected a few listicles to sort through; they appear close to the end of this post.  First let's catch up on the last election of 2020, and a vacant seat in the Texas state Senate that gets filled by a slightly less rabid Republican than the other one.

No Texan even moderately progressive gave one solid shit about this outcome, but had Luther prevailed, Greg Abbott would have been bloodied heading into his re-election campaign.  That might have energized Allen West and the rest of what comprises the "More Freak Right than You" caucus, and losing does nothing to soothe the savage beasts.  They will primary him regardless, and depending on how the various Lege skirmishes go, may feel stronger and more squirreley than ever in six months.  We'll be watching.

The Cornyn family brisket became a trending topic for a few days.

While John created the diversion, Ted secured a few million dollars in CARES Act funds for his friends, the Wilks brothers.

Cornyn indicated that Abbott went to DC last week and asked Trump for more time to spend the remaining $2 billion left in the pandemic relief fund, saying without the slightest hint of irony that Texas would do so "hopefully in a more effective and reasonable way”.

It is to laugh.  Not to be outdone, Ken Paxton tried to make sure nobody knew that the reason he asked the Trump administration to claw back Harris County's federal COVID-19 relief funding was because he was afraid they might use the money to expand access to voting.

By contrast, all Dan Patrick managed in the week before Christmas was to ignore his peer in Pennsylvania, who wants him to pay off his $1 million promise about election fraud.  And outgoing statehouse Speaker Dennis Bonnen caps the worst year of his life (it's a long line, dude, and you're at the very end of it) by contracting COVID.

Criminal and social justice headlines:

In the latest hypocritical effort by the governor to shrink the size of state government, Abbott wants to take over the Austin Police Department and give it to the TXDPS.  D Magazine says that the new Dallas police chief, Eddie Garcia, is not humbled.  Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast blogged that limiting police pursuits would save lives ... but cops enjoy them too much for that to happen.  The outgoing El Paso DA, Jaime Esparza, wants to be the next federal prosecutor for the Western District of Texas.  A North Texas man who filmed his son's arrest -- for making a "wide right turn" -- by the Keller PD was beaten, maced, and arrested himself.

And Trump pardoned former Cong. Steve Stockman.

The Texas eviction moratorium was extended by the SCOTX.

For some reason this has not halted evictions in Harris County.

The moratorium appears to be working much better in Austin, however.

And as promised at the top ... some lists.

Latino Decisions: TX-10, TX-21, and TX-24 are among 15 Congressional districts that an engaged and enthused Latin@ electorate should decide in 2022.

HPM's Town Square podcast reviews the year in racial and social justice, with emphasis on BLM, George Floyd, John Lewis, and Kamala Harris.

Environment Texas posts the top ten wins for the state's climate for the year.

Texas Monthly's top ten favorite books about the Great State are here.

And ending today with these.

Tom Hanks plays a Confederate Civil War veteran from San Antonio in the film News of the World, released on Christmas Day.

And there once was a Texas governor who claimed election fraud and refused to leave office. It happened 147 years ago (and no, it wasn't Ma Ferguson).

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