Sorry that I have to begin again with Greg Abbott.
That's not paraphrasing him. Here's the thing: he's not this stupid and there's no excuse for him being this ignorant. And he's too adept at lying for this to be another put-on, just one more con of the science-resistant TXGOP base. Rural Republicans who run cattle know all about herd immunity. Was he too ashamed to mention out loud -- in all of the briefings he's sat through about COVID and vaccines -- that he didn't know what the term meant? He couldn't have quietly asked someone who did know? Luis Saenz, Mr. 'Honest Broker', where are you?
This is more in line with his usual.
Venal and catering to the worst instincts of Texas Republican primary voters is what we've come to expect from you, Governor. You're slipping. Besides, John Cornyn holds the crown for stupid Tweets, and you should let him keep it.
People are dunking on this @JohnCornyn tweet and while yes it’s typical bad-faith bullshit, it’s *word for word* copy-pasted from a Politico story trying to make Biden look bad for having a press “strategy” that reporters don’t like because he’s not Trump https://t.co/j6ZNCUxwUq pic.twitter.com/DMqrBGpOnj— Matt Negrin, HOST OF HARDBALL AT 7PM ON MSNBC (@MattNegrin) April 12, 2021
It's only Tuesday. Gonna be a long week, especially if Dan Patrick keeps cranking out the hate.
Another bill was added to the senate state affairs com., SB 1311 which would not allow transition related care to be covered by insurance policies and give the state medical board or any regulatory agency the power to revoke their license due to providing gender related care. pic.twitter.com/gk7ud0Ykr4— TENT (@TransTexas) April 11, 2021
Just when you think the conservatives in the Texas Lege have sunk as low as a catfish's belly in a sewer ditch ... they wiggle in deeper.
Transphobic bills at the #txlege are just targeted attacks on children for simply being who they are.— Progress Texas (@ProgressTX) April 13, 2021
There’s no place for transphobic hate in Texas. Trans Texans belong here. #TransRightsAreHumanRightshttps://t.co/2VTb9lgYlZ
It's days like yesterday that I am glad that Saint Molly has gone on to her great reward and must no longer waste her beautiful mind considering the actions of these reprehensible guttersnipes.
Before I segue, let me point out one more Texas Republican behaving badly, and another whose sudden disability I should acknowledge.
In radio interviews and events, Texas GOP chairman Allen West has been telling Texans they can secede from the United States.https://t.co/NA7NExGQXg— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) April 9, 2021
West gets a pass here; he really doesn't know any better. He's an immigrant from Florida.
I know they want to secede, but is Texas familiar with what happens to countries with a lot of oil?— Marsh_Ink⚠️⬛️🟥🌽 (@Marsh_Ink) April 11, 2021
Dan Crenshaw's almost-last Tweet before he was struck blind had to do with "progressive fascism" (sic), so I'll just wish the Congressman well with his upcoming retina surgery ... and an early, happy retirement from politics. Eyesight or no, FOX News would have a collective orgasm live on The Five if you joined their stable of pundits, sir. I hear there's an open national radio slot, daytime, for a prominent conservative demagogue as well.
I promised more Lege in yesterday's Wrangle so I must follow through. The voting curtailment bills have been covered enough for the moment and the transgender discrimination legislation is simply too distasteful to mention beyond the above, so let's move down the ...um ... ledger.
The Texas Senate passes its budget bill without addressing billions of dollars in unspent federal relief. Now, public education advocates are demanding that lawmakers open up the spigot for local school districts. https://t.co/jlCXqw4N7W— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) April 9, 2021
New this a.m. --> Houston Republican withdraws bill to redraw Texas appellate court districts. Here's why:https://t.co/sfidTH3m5G #txlege #appellatetwitter @joanhuffman @NathanForTexas @KVPTexas @dodrummond @kdgarcia @texasdemocrats— Taylor Goldenstein (@taygoldenstein) April 9, 2021
Current Texas law requires that to receive a permit for concealed or open carry, an individual must be at least 21, pass a fingerprinted background check, complete 4-6 hours of training, and pass a written exam and a shooting safety and proficiency test. https://t.co/k35YEZ6WqX— WFAA (@wfaa) April 14, 2021
TODAY: The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted to approve a bill to decriminalize marijuana, as well as separate legislation to lower penalties for cannabis concentrates.https://t.co/1aqHTiK9In pic.twitter.com/h1TglhPn9i— Tom Angell 🌳📰ⓥ (@tomangell) April 9, 2021
"Today" in the above was actually last Friday. Sports gamblers, it's time to mobilize.
Calling all fans! 📣 We have an opportunity to legalize sports betting in TX this year. The House State Affairs Committee is expected to consider sports betting legislation soon. Ask your legislator for their support: https://t.co/zt3XP8j2qW #txlege #LetTexansPlay pic.twitter.com/fMzEYtcA2M— Sports Betting Alliance (@SBAllianceUS) April 12, 2021
Providing the assist from here to criminal and social justice news ...
The Texas legislature wants the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs to find a way to halt eviction proceedings while the agency works through its massive backlog of relief payments #txlege #publicpolicy #politics #housing #rent #COVID19 #Texashttps://t.co/RR3HxBY6L3— PLCTexas (@PLC_Texas) April 12, 2021
Marvin Scott III died in Texas police custody. His family will protest until the officers involved are arrested.— Alexa Ura (@alexazura) April 13, 2021
“[They] could be our neighbors, and we don’t know.” https://t.co/hJmcIiFjGi
Bexar Facts, KSAT, and the San Antonio Report hosted a forum Thursday with representatives from Fix SAPD, the police union to discuss Proposition B. https://t.co/Rb7HOMQhWL— San Antonio Report (@SAReport) April 9, 2021
Two thoughtful pieces here from Texas Monthly.
Deep East Texas is one of the most underserved regions in the nation when it comes to broadband. In Jasper, the lack of high-speed internet is so severe that there is no Zoom-style instruction for remote learners. ⠀@sindyabhanoo reports: https://t.co/iawmqLPXV2— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) April 12, 2021
Residents in Houston's historically Black Third Ward have gone 40+ days without water, after storms devastated Texas. This is horrific, and vital reporting from @TexasMonthly https://t.co/6RTKl2Jh0w pic.twitter.com/mObu2XVsKO— Timothy Meinch (@timeinch) April 8, 2021
Meg O'Connor at The Appeal notes that the city of Austin is using money diverted from policing to fund substance use care. Rachel Martin for NPR examined the lingering issue of hunger for many Texans one year into the COVID pandemic. And CBP found two girls, ages 3 and 5, in a remote area of west Texas after smugglers dropped them from the top of a 14-foot high section of wall at the southern border. They hope to reunite them with their mother, who is already in the US.
Some environmental news:
"Texans for Natural Gas" set up an astroturf org with stock photos of women. Maybe hoping to distract from the fact that TX leaks so much natural gas - which is nearly entirely methane, 35x stronger than CO2 - each year, it's enough to supply almost every household in TX? https://t.co/WUrD2RnSlY— Prof. Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe) April 9, 2021
2/3 of #chapter313 dollars go to petrochemical projects.— Dick Lavine (@dlavine) April 13, 2021
'We have had increased renewable development in Texas, but total emissions have actually increased - because of the Permian. So, we are taking one step forward, but two steps back.” https://t.co/spKUkRTxCz #txlege
The second Harris County chemical plant fire in two weeks killed a worker in Crosby. The first, an explosion in Channelview, is still under investigation as to what precisely caused the blaze. And restart issues trouble the massive Total refinery in Port Arthur from Winter Storm Uri. So as oil rises and frackers get back to work, expect prices at the gas pump, the grocery store, and for building materials like roofing and insulation that are petro manufacturing-dependent to keep going up, spurring that "inflation" scare word at the Fed. If you know that the existing housing market in Texas is red hot for sellers now -- and if you know why that is -- then you can extrapolate that building materials of all kinds are hot commodities just because of renovations alone. For that matter, even wood pulp is short, and that affects the price of everything from toilet paper to lumber. All this demand translates to more immediate pollution here in southeast Texas, and more long-term deleterious effects to the planet.
One bright spot for our ecology.
A new ship being built in Brownsville reflects an oil-and-gas industry transformation sweeping Texas and the globe. Unlike old-style rigs, this offshore-energy vessel will seek to exploit wind, rather than oil.https://t.co/QlNeLI7Pbh— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) April 7, 2021
This is still a politics blog, and while I am unenthusiastic about the early jockeying for statewide elections in 2022, I bring you the latest anyway. Of more immediate interest will be the various municipal elections conducted this year around the state.
Hear from the next Mayor of Fort Worth this Wednesday, April 14, in a moderated forum with Brian Byrd, Ann Zadeh, Deborah Peoples, Mattie Parker and Daniel Caldwell. https://t.co/59C9cQjpSn @FTWChamber @fwhcc @FWMBCC pic.twitter.com/snZj0BNACL— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (@startelegram) April 12, 2021
Not surprising, but super disheartening just how many Dallas City Council candidates are trying to scare their way into an election win by suggesting that the current council defunded the police budget by $7M when, in actuality, the overall police budget went up by $8M this year.— Pete Freedman (@PeteFreedman) April 9, 2021
It's election season, folks. Which is probably the only time we would ask this: did a City Council candidate really threaten to have somebody shot over a yard sign? https://t.co/chxhWVWqNy— D Magazine (@DMagazine) April 7, 2021
These days I find myself more interested in past history than current.
Veteran Austin journalist Bill Minutaglio's latest book is a crowd-pleasing account of heated political battles in Texas over the past 150 years. But does it get the big picture right?https://t.co/Z294xaokuB— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) April 11, 2021
And that's my segue to the lighter side.
For the past three years in Galveston, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Clay Cup Studios have been working together on the Turtles About Town initiative. Last week, the organizations installed the 100th turtle for the project.— Glasstire (@Glasstire) April 7, 2021
More below:https://t.co/NEWEbSZz6h pic.twitter.com/4QGrhcrgkP
Still a few links left for later in the week.