Monday, May 31, 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021
If you’re anywhere near Stockbridge, Massachusetts (western MA, near the New York border), the Norman Rockwell Museum’s exhibit Pat Oliphant: Editorial Cartoons from the Nixon and Clinton Eras lasts until Monday, so if you can get there, go see it. If you can't, read Mike Peterson's review.
And support today's political cartoonists here.
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Late hours, extreme fatigue, frayed nerves, the old push me/pull you between the far right and the freak right is worth a laugh.
Not as funny as eating flies crawling into your mouth, though.
We understood a long while ago that Kremlin Toad Cruz was not human; there's just no need for him to keep proving it. He can't help himself.
“Pansy” has long been a gay slur, and the junior senator from Texas has repeatedly and unapologetically invoked the term in the past week. https://t.co/q9Ovm9JwVb— Lauren “Vaxxed to the Max” McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) May 25, 2021
Every single time he tweets, he is savaged. But it's interpreted by him, and his lickspittles, as "triggering/owning the libs". It IS a game, we're all playing it, he thinks he's winning.
Apropos of nothing except more of our TXGOP leadership behaving badly ... are Angela and Ken Paxton in an open marriage?
She's working long, late hours under Dan Patrick's tutelege while he's ... doing whatever this is. The AGTX was previously reported as flinging with a woman whom he referred to one of his rich contributors for a job, which became more grist for his corruption mill. "Recommitted to his marriage", as the link from six months ago says, does not seem reflected in these photos.
That's enough mockery at these clowns' expense.
I now return you to your regular "Republicans Behaving Badly" programming. Back under the Pink Dome, as Sine Die bears down ...
In response to February’s massive electricity outages, Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would add charges to most Texans’ power bills to cover companies’ financial losses during the winter storm. Here’s the latest: https://t.co/pD2niHf5mp— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) May 27, 2021
"You'll be invoiced for our expenses from our negligence that resulted in your neighbors freezing to death. Sorry, that's capitalism; some win, others lose."
"Oh by the way, we have openings for unpaid internships for the special session. Please have your young, attractive daughters and nieces apply now."
Be sure and read Phillip Martin's tweet attached to that thread.
#txlege continues to advance bills, like this one, from the Project Blitz playbook. It provides text & talking points for lawmakers, & escalates from measures inserting Christianity into govt spaces to bills to invalidate transgender people, gay marriage, & nondiscrimination laws pic.twitter.com/AV3swjfnxo— Jessica Shortall🧂🥴 (@jessicashortall) May 25, 2021
The #txlege response to the murder of George Floyd and national reckoning over racism:— Bob Libal (@blibal) May 26, 2021
— further criminalize poor people
— outlaw local criminal justice reforms
— give police officers and police unions more power and resources
— lock people up for longer pre-trial https://t.co/aF95Vzrr4Y
I suppose I'll stop there, though I could post some more. Maybe later; it's early and our representatives and senators are still asleep. Mostly.
Oh hell, here's a few more petty pairings.
In announcing his request for @HUDgov to directly send Harris County $750M for flood mitigation, @georgepbush blamed the situation on “red tape requirements” from the Biden administration. But the delays he later referenced came under Trump. #txlege https://t.co/GVQu8lKrPd— Jasper Scherer (@jaspscherer) May 27, 2021
Still more to come. My ever-lengthening environmental post, a collation of "cruelty is the point" of this legislative session and a few others. Just feel the need for some cleansers right now.
Our astronomy team woke up early (or stayed up really late?) to witness the #SuperFlowerBloodMoon earlier today.— HMNS ❤️🦖🧠🌌 (@hmns) May 26, 2021
Also, the McGovern Centennial Gardens are pretty in the morning. We have a stellar view from the #HMNS parking garage.
Inside the Massive Restoration of the Historic Baker Hotel --> https://t.co/sAaLB2AmnG— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) May 27, 2021
"San Antonio is a music city. Like Nashville is to country and New Orleans is to jazz, San Antonio is to conjunto. The whole city has a musical groove," says Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez. https://t.co/s3QdDJf6wK— Texas Highways Magazine (@TexasHighways) May 22, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Update: Big battles yet to come, even as Little Guv Dan Patrick throws a temper tantrum and demands a recount of the ones he was beaten on yesterday.
Edited for accuracy: Pressuring @GregAbbott_TX to call a June #SpecialSession to pass #SB29 to scapegoat #trans kids, #SB10 to prioritize billionaire lobbying and #SB12 to fight social media accountability. TxHouse killed these bills that my donors/lobbyists support. #txlege— David Wyatt | Critical Grace Theory (@davidmwyatt) May 26, 2021
The war, alas, mostly lost already.
Lay it at the feet of the scowly-faced man with the gavel in the video above, along with statehouse Democrats who slid fearfully to the right, and all who trusted Speaker Forehead to be a fair arbiter this session. Dade Phelan is no Joe Straus. Back another horse in 2023, Donks.
Between now and then you need to fight like hell for a few more days, then again in a special session on redistricting, and whatever else Gov. Helen Wheels adds to the call -- undoubtedly some of the trash y'all defeated this time -- and then win some goddamned elections. And don't blame or throttle the Green Party in your efforts to do so, or by Dishrag I'll stop voting for your judicial candidates down the ballot in reprisal, and encourage as many as possible to do the same.
Here's your platform.
(ICYMI: Patrick's 1991 vasectomy, broadcast live on his Houston radio station)
Moving on to other topics ...
Greg Abbott has had a winner of a session by anybody's scorecard, and he's setting up the special to capture a few more flags.
Trust me on this, people:@GovAbbott pledges to give lawmakers input on how Texas will spend $16b of federal COVID-19 aid.— Bob Garrett (@RobertTGarrett) May 21, 2021
Acts after House's requirement of #txlege involvement is erased from #txbudget...https://t.co/reDquTylkz
Yeah, just trust him.
Our publisher @HKronberg writes "Abbott’s pledge of adding legislative oversight to a fall special session should perhaps be viewed in light of his past broken promises to Texas House members and the retribution faced by lawmakers who challenged his authority" #TxLege https://t.co/KMjApGjoqq— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 21, 2021
If a meteor struck the Capitol today and ended the session early, Abbott would at the very least be able to claim Trump-ish bonafides like outlawing abortion, freeing guns from the tyranny of licensing and training, and some extra helpings of steak tartare to his donors like Kelcy Warren.
It won't be enough for Allen West and Sid Miller and MQS and the rest of the Lafitte privateers in the GQP (don't forget about their big shindig in Dallas this weekend) but that's a fight we can wait to watch next year. Today the chattering class is excited about who former Prezdint Agolf Shitler might endorse between Ken Paxtoon and George Pee Bush.
"I like them both very much," Trump said in a statement Tuesday. "I'll be making my endorsement and recommendation to the great people of Texas in the not-so-distant future."
Bush has said he is "seriously considering" a primary challenge to Paxton and has scheduled a campaign kickoff for an unspecified office on June 2 in Austin. Bush spoke with Trump about the race Monday.
I really don't care. Do you? In more immediate Texas election news, voting has begun in the municipal runoffs across the state, and the most prized for Democrats is the Fort Worth mayoral.
The @TexasTribune's @EvanASmith did a great job pushing @MattieForMayor @MattieParker12 and Deborah @PeoplesForMayor to say something new in their 30th forum. The result was a solid discussion of current state issues and Fort Worth's future. Watch here https://t.co/EXi9YNtKYW— Bud Kennedy / #ReadLocal (@BudKennedy) May 26, 2021
And CD-10 progressive Dem Mike Siegel calls your attention to a like-minded candidate in the runoff with a conservative incumbent in Grand Prairie.
I have a backlog of criminal and social justice news. First: more photos and video from marches and rallies in the Lone Star State in support of the cause of Gaza and Palestinians living there under the boot heel of Israeli ethnocide.
Downtown Dallas pic.twitter.com/QyuSnH9z2X— Krista Nightengale (@Knightengale) May 23, 2021
In Dallas, protestors chanting "From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go." pic.twitter.com/GBexunTvDS— Amal Ahmed (@amalahmed214) May 23, 2021
More than 3,000 march in Houston for solidarity rally with Palestinians https://t.co/nhMV8fzGtB— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) May 23, 2021
I was among the #JewsAgainstApartheid who took part in the Protest for #Palestine Saturday in #SanAntonio organized by @JVPSanAntonio & @MASsanantonio. The bombs may have stopped but the #IsraeliApartheid state persists. No one is free until all are free! pic.twitter.com/OjTRjqBhpp— Joel Mayer 🍁✡🌹 (@LostMapleTX) May 23, 2021
And Sam Russek's thread with video of the Houston rally that turned into a march is remarkable. Read the whole thing; here's where the crowd quite gently took down the police barricades and filled Post Oak in front of the Galleria.
HPD's response was incredibly muted compared to past actions I've attended and witnessed. I believe that's unlikely to be the case in the future, given the recent bill passed in Austin.
The Texas Senate voted 25-5 to pass a bill that would raise criminal penalties and require jail time for people who knowingly obstruct emergency vehicles from passing through a roadway or who block a hospital entrance. https://t.co/SPrTvEMhPO— WFAA (@wfaa) May 22, 2021
Also: laws decriminalizing the driving into and running down of protestors in other states are bound to head our way too soon. Then there's the bills that penalize cities for defunding their police departments; these didn't need any Democratic votes, but they got them anyway.
Here is the vote on the anti-defund the police bill in the House. Only applies to counties with 1M pop or more— Lauren “Vaxxed to the Max” McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) May 24, 2021
Several Ds voted FOR: @RDBobbyGuerra@RepAbelHerrero
Tracy King@moralesfortexas@SergioMunozJr@RepRaymondTX@RepRamonRomero#txlege #SB23 pic.twitter.com/DfoVblodpX
Grits for Breakfast hypothesized that "anti-defund" legislation could have the effect of redefining what it means to be a "police officer".
With respect to the statewide camping ban law -- an action taken in response to Austin's efforts -- we know now that cruelty is the point.
Texas Senate approves #HB1925, a statewide ban on camping in a public place. Amendments were added, so it goes back to the House.— Eleanor Dearman (@EllyDearman) May 20, 2021
Background: https://t.co/nzFswrMbZ6 #txlege
(Since this article, language has been added about designated camping sites and wraparound services.)
And the same with cash bail.
Texas Senate initially passes its bail bill as HB 20. The House bail bill was gutted in Senate Committee and turned into SB 21, which the chamber already had passed.— Jolie McCullough (@jsmccullou) May 22, 2021
The bill would more often ban jail release for those without cash.
Read here: https://t.co/FGdTmmCvZG #txlege
Having run long again here, I'll post environmental updates -- the spat between George Pee's GLO and Harris County's non-existent portion of Harvey funding, Coastal Bend Queen Diane Wilson's ongoing struggle against the Big Chem polluters, and some other items -- tomorrow. Here's my collection from the softer side.
Frederick Law Olmsted in 1857. That year he published "A Journey Through Texas," a wonderful account of a 6-month, 2000-mile horseback journey that he made with his brother in 1854. Account here: https://t.co/exXkFEYJBH pic.twitter.com/WnDVEKHJTP— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) May 23, 2021
Texans won’t have to travel to Mexico City to get a sense of Frida Kahlo’s sanctuary, as the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s newest exhibit, "Frida Kahlo Oasis," brings the Blue Home and its lush gardens to life. https://t.co/DjkXXwNK2U— Texas Highways Magazine (@TexasHighways) May 21, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Not so much a Red Raider Wrangle as a Wild West one.
You might find yourself envious of all the Democratic and Republican attorneys having an orgasm thinking about the billable hours they'll accrue when all of this legislation goes to court.
So let's not spend much more of our beautiful mind, or day -- the sun is trying to come out from behind the clouds after two weeks of dreary -- thinking about the wickedness pouring out of the Pink Dome like slime from a sewer. After all, they still have voting to suppress, trans kids to stop from playing sports ...
HK: Lt. Gov. Patrick said anyone who called SB7 a voter suppression bill lied. Analysis proves it is #txlege: Polling places for urban voters of color would be cut under Texas Senate's version of voting bill being negotiated with House https://t.co/5STxFyOvqG via @TexasTribune— quorumreport (@quorumreport) May 24, 2021
... and all of this.
Update on #txlege SBs that must pass by 5/25.#SB23 Anti-Defund Police: Passed 5/24#SB69 Ban on Police Chokeholds: ~32nd on 5/24 calendar as of 7:45PM#SB29 Anti-Trans UIL Athletes: On 5/25 Major calendar#SB68 Intervene if Excessive Force by Officers: On 5/25 General calendar https://t.co/edDZTtAjEe— Mark P. Jones (@MarkPJonesTX) May 25, 2021
Then there will be redistricting in a special session later in the year. A fresh hell for many dead bills to be resurrected. In other words, there will be plenty to get irate about later.
Besides, there has been some good news.
Talerico wins my award for best lawmaker, going away. He found several ways to make a positive impact during the most hideous legislative session ever.
HISTORIC: The Texas Senate just approved HB 2593, which significantly reduces penalties for cannabis concentrates and infused products! #TxLege— Texas Marijuana Policy (@TxMJPolicy) May 22, 2021
Learn more, including info on the amendment to cap all THC at .3% (yes, that means delta-8): https://t.co/eGyPTcpSdu@LuckReunion pic.twitter.com/YGayfdSGkb
Patrick's got it bottled up, though, so if this is your jam, it's time to act.
#HB1535 has passed out of committee after pressure from Texans around the state! There's more to be done to get this legislation across the finish line.— Texas NORML (@TexasNORML) May 24, 2021
Read this for more info: https://t.co/H7ofNBHi46#txlege #texas pic.twitter.com/oCeUvuWCXy
From my cheap seat, nobody has done a better job of Johnny-on-the-Spot advocacy than NORML this session. Every Texan's Dick Lavine has been relentless on Chapter 313 and Texas Watch's Ware Wendell similarly on the trucking tort reform bill (which passed, unfortunately), but the weed folks have really moved the needle.
Corporate media has been shafted by Lege leadership, and transparency has been ... translucent when it hasn't been opaque.
Resharing this column from @JohnnieMo because the public deserves to know what their elected officials are doing, and we deserve to have the opportunity to tell them. https://t.co/AaRaegEdPw via @callerdotcom #txlege cc @willmetcalfTX— Lauren “Vaxxed to the Max” McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) May 24, 2021
That is to say, when they have not embarrassed themselves.
@iamjohnoliver owning @suraechinn & @ABC4GTU as well as #AustinTX @kimzbarnes @KVUE & @DenverChannel's @MileHighLiving7 is @LastWeekTonight content I live for! Also heads up @FDA @FTC & @FCC! #VenusVeil #NewsFail #Brandigration #MedicalQuackery #PaidNews #PaidFAKENews pic.twitter.com/YMttiSKUbW— S Olson, B.S, J.D. (@ThatVDOVault) May 24, 2021
And some Republican state leaders learned the hard way that telling the truth is hazardous to their political health.
Dr. Hotez elaborates from his perspective.
1/5: In 2021, I've written a series of articles describing the globalization of antivaccine/antiscience movement that rose out of Texas in 2015, now a triple-headed monster:— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) May 22, 2021
1) Far right extremism/white nationalism
2) Organized and funded US groups,
3) Russian disinformation pic.twitter.com/kELfoA8WnM
So our beloved Texas has a poor prognosis for democracy, facts, and justice, unless the courts can come to our collective rescue. Yes, I know. Not the kind of blue anybody wants to turn.
Hard-right politics rules the day, week, month, year, biennium, and perhaps decade.
Democratic and Republican officials in Houston are universally upset that the city and Harris County got $0 of $1 billion in Hurricane Harvey recovery $$ Texas handed out Friday.— Zach Despart🖊️ (@zachdespart) May 22, 2021
Jack Cagle says the General Land Office's decision was "absurd" and "mocks common sense." https://t.co/ttHthD1jQO
This is how P Bush plans to get GOP street cred.— Mary Westemeier (@Westygal) May 22, 2021
Showing he is willing to screw Texans who elect Democrats. This will get him votes he needs in the primary
If P Bush will screw over his and his grandparents hometown, then what "small" thing would he screw over for his own gain? pic.twitter.com/wUvGUjEjiD
Are moderate Republicans -- and Democrats who vote in the GOP primary -- the only ones left to rescue the state from this fate?
It's a serious question.
Texas views: "If more people carried guns, do you think the United States would be safer, less safe, or would it have no impact on safety?" (April 2021 @UTAustin/@TexasTribune Poll) https://t.co/IWA9VL3RvA via @TxPolProject #txlege pic.twitter.com/ytKxYVRNI2— Jim Henson (@jamesrhenson) May 24, 2021
Soon Texas women will need to carry a gun and abortion pill for safety thanks to the #txlege. As a Houstonian, I’m thankful for living in a 1st world city and county but don’t care for our 3rd world primitive state that overrules local government.— 🇺🇸☠️Dominique Buonocora ☠️🇺🇸 (@DBuonocora) May 25, 2021
I still I have a lot to post on these and other topics I have promised, but I'll pause here. One soother.
Currently, the tribe is working to preserve the forest and grow additional trees on tribal land.— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) May 24, 2021
In an ecosystem that needs fire much like the Amazon rainforest needs rain, the actions of the tribe could decide the future of the longleaf pine. https://t.co/8qvCxpuMIq
Monday, May 24, 2021
Under the guise of Christian family values and an emphasis on freedom and liberty, the fascists running Texas demand that you show them your child's genitalia; the government must be assured that all children's clothes and hair match what Jeebus gave them below the belt at birth.
And their obnoxious, overbearing, intrusive god forbid anyone who would question -- much less dare to alter -- his decision-making in the womb, under penalty of state law.
To mark Pan-Visibility Day today, and Trans-Youth Advocacy Day belatedly, it's appropriate to focus on the more cruel business the Lege has been up to over the past week.
Proving pressure works, #TxLege Speaker @DadePhelan referred (after the stated deadline) #SB1311 to @StephanieKlick’s Public Health Committee.— Michael Quinn Sullivan🇺🇸 (@MQSullivan) May 24, 2021
So, will she kill it? Or will @Burrows4TX kill this version on the calendar (again)?
Keep up the pressure to #SaveJames & other kids!
🗣 #SB29 is set to be debated on the Texas House floor tomorrow. If passed, trans youth would be banned from playing on sports teams as their authentic selves.— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) May 24, 2021
This is our last chance to stop it. Contact your state rep NOW. #ProtectTransKids #txlege https://t.co/BZFYib4Y3D
Look at all these people showing up for trans rights— Dr. Ada-Rhodes Short 🤖🧠 (@The_Ada_Rhodes) May 23, 2021
If you feel alone
Remember that there are so many people who love you and will fight for your safety, dignity, and freedom to be beautifully perfectly you#protectTransKids#txlege @EqualityTexas pic.twitter.com/jpmdevKco6
That @60Minutes story with @LesleyRStahl last night was trash.— Amber Briggle (she/her) (@mrsbriggle) May 24, 2021
Watch (and share!) this one with @cbsmireya instead. HUGE LOVE to the Gonzales family. Libby for president!#ProtectTransKids #SB29 #txlegehttps://t.co/EoSNOI9BJ7
Thank goodness there's a Texas governor candidate (and a political party) doing more than Tweeting pictures of themselves wearing a pink and blue flag lapel pin and congratulating each other on how hard they fought as they lost.
🏳️⚧️ Restorative Justice in Action 🏳️⚧️— 🌻🌹 Peace Love Flower Power (@mathemattic) May 20, 2021
This Saturday, join @Rainbow_Silks, Co-Chairs of @GreenPartyUS & @LavenderGreens, and Amergin Ó Kai, Delegate on GPUS National Committee, for a Zoom moderated by @DelilahforTexas, Candidate for Texas Governor. Register: https://t.co/1JoRWTLsUF pic.twitter.com/BBeicECZVi
Yvonna Marquez at the Texas Observer also looked at the stress that the onslaught of anti-trans bills is causing our state's trans kids. Adam Briggle, writing at Issues.Org, examined the use of science and his love for his son amid the debate over appropriate trans children's health care. Mandy Giles is grateful for the community she has found while advocating for trans rights at the Lege. OutSmart spoke to five Houston-area families who have traveled to Austin to advocate for themselves and their children. And Socratic Gadfly's take on these bills is a mix of supportive and challenging thought for both critical race theory and gender-critical radical feminism.
Updates as they happen in the Tweet feed to right, or follow it yourself under the #txlege hashtag, or check in here later in the week for the aftermath.
Taking these legislative developments in bite-size pieces, with lots of water and some Maalox to keep them down. More ahead.
Texas signed a fetal heartbeat bill and executed a man on the same day?!?— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) May 20, 2021
Godwin is dead. George Orwell is alive, well, and walking the halls of the Lone Star State Capitol.
They called it a "warped view" because it “supports the idea that America is a fundamentally racist country and that our institutions are inherently systemically racist.”— theGrio.com (@theGrio) May 24, 2021
If by warped they meant correct...https://t.co/QFWYrt5MtN
"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of history." "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past". "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
Thanks to Michael Tolbert for those, and thanks also to Joe Moody, Vikki Goodwin, and Chris Turner in the statehouse last night and in the wee hours today, and Borris Miles and Royce West in the Senate early on Saturday morning, for their eloquence.
Video: Before the Texas House's final vote on permitless carry, Speaker Pro Tem @moodyforelpaso talked about how promises were made in private to address gun violence in this state. Promises that have not been honored or repeated since https://t.co/vRCMNo537T #TxLege— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 24, 2021
On the #txlege Senate floor at nearly 2 am, @SenRoyceWest delivers a powerful rebuke of #HB3979, a #txed social studies curriculum bill that most of the education community did not even get to see or weigh in on before it was passed. pic.twitter.com/qtHX6p0ew0— Jennifer J. Mitchell, CAE (@ATPE_JenniferM) May 22, 2021
In an incredibly sad and moving moment, @BorrisLMiles reads excerpts from the book that Hughes slammed earlier. The book just teaches that children should teach each other well, with kindness. #txed #txlege pic.twitter.com/HA1aYHaktQ— Laura Atlas Kravitz (@AtlasLaura) May 22, 2021
Stirring words are all that Lege Dems have, however, and the Republican representatives and senators answer only to the voters in their primary.
There's a reason why they're doing these things in the middle of the night, bending their own rules like a pretzel, and banning media from covering them.
Some (though certainly not all, there have been many) of the most damaging bills this session have been ones passed in the dead of night while Texans sleep.— Texas Progressive Action Network (@TX_PAN) May 22, 2021
This shouldn’t be the process. Full stop. #txlege
1: Tonight, Texas executed Quintin Jones. But you won’t read any firsthand accounts from reporters who bore witness to his execution. Why? Because TX barred media witnesses, violating the 1st Amendment & TDCJ policy. Texas, hauntingly, killed Mr. Jones in complete secrecy tonight— Savannah (@SavannahKumar) May 20, 2021
Going through the roll call, prayer, and pledge again as if it’s a new day. As if all of this wasn’t crazy enough... it’s ‘another day’ here in the Senate at 1:07am. #txlege— The Back Mic (@TheBackMic) May 22, 2021
Some important things in Texas that journalists (and therefore the public) weren't given in-person access to today:— Sarah Self-Walbrick (@SarahFromTTUPM) May 20, 2021
- the first execution in 10 months
- the signing of a law that restricts abortion access
- the full text of SB 7, which restricts voting in the state
This is NOT what democracy looks like.
I have a shitpile left on all of these topics, plus everything I promised in Friday's Atrocities Documentation Collation, on the way.
Last Night with John Oliver got in on the Texas beatdown.
#Texas @GregAbbott_TX @DrSchwertner @KenPaxtonTX @SenPaxton on Last Week Tonight John Oliver calls u "fucking lunatics" #GunSenseMajority agrees.— patti-B-TxMomsDemand (@BrockingtoPatti) May 24, 2021
✔#TexasDeservesBetter ✔#AbbottFailedTexas #TXlege @MomsDemand
🖕 Invading women’s rights 🖕
🖕 Permitless carry #HB1927🖕 pic.twitter.com/QDQe5JyVb5
Much more coming (sooner than later).
Friday, May 21, 2021
I don’t think, as a whole, we really deserve or have earned “puppy day” at the Capitol. The “good” chamber deserves a bag of angry incontinent feral cats. The “bad” chamber gets a gunnysack full of rabid nutria and raccoons. The 87th #txlege is not puppyworthy. pic.twitter.com/Xjc3qINFuE— Retro Snacking (@Retrosnacking) May 20, 2021
This one will have to appear in segments. We can thank our lucky stars that the House, in a fit of pique, adjourned for the weekend because the Senate is sitting on legislation approved by the lower chamber by near-unanimous consent. (That's not to say they are all good bills.)
Nobody is more upset with the week's developments than the women of Texas; mothers and those that would be. By their own choice and not.
‘Laws of Texas should not enter my body, should not enter any woman’s body, should not enter any person’s body’ — This Texas lawmaker is fighting for abortion rights in her state pic.twitter.com/o5GjEQzqwE— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 20, 2021
In case you're not clear on what vision #txlege GOP legislators and @GregAbbott_TX have for our state, watch "The Handmaid's Tale." They think the Commanders are the heroes of the story. https://t.co/WTpUMZt8oK— Lee Nichols (@LeeMNichols) May 19, 2021
"Somewhat indifferent" might be a little soft.
Texas: *Ranks number 51 in the country for Children's Healthcare*— ꙮ ᶘ ᵒ㉨ᵒᶅ 🥀ℜ𝔲𝔰𝔱𝔶🥀ꙮ (@spooky_rusty) May 20, 2021
Greg Abbott: "We care about kids [in utero. After that, fuck em].
More on the Guvnah's really great week (for him, nobody else) in the next segment.
The man who said the #txlege “must act” … didn’t. The man who said the leaking of cancer-causing chemicals for months after the TPC Group explosions in Port Neches was “unacceptable” ... accepted it. pic.twitter.com/fCQJ8UZHnH— One Breath Partnership (@OneBreathHOU) May 20, 2021
A lot of damage done by Speaker Forehead, but don't exhale yet; Dan Patrick's gang is still in town.
Texans: Please fix our failing power grid so we don't have to suffer from extended blackouts in extreme weather.— Cassandra Hulsey (@CassandraHulse1) May 21, 2021
TX Lawmakers: Umm, no. But how about we bailout energy companies and pass the cost along to you? #txlegehttps://t.co/QnsqWTHBfZ
They don't want cities assisting their homeless.— cody is organizing for Palestine (@codyrarn) May 19, 2021
They don't want voters making their voices heard.
They don't want teachers addressing racism in our schools.
They don't want cities controlling their own budgets.
Why is it that the #TXLege is so afraid of their own citizens?
In a legislative session that has been by far the most extreme and conservative ever, the two Republican-controlled branches and the respective factions within the TXGOP are still slinging mud -- and Mucus -- like they're all infected with COVID.
They're certainly consumed with a raging case of hate, as the masks and gloves have come off and the knives and bricks and bats come out. At this point Lege Democrats are like the poor children in Gaza and Yemen: collateral damage.
Democrats trying to win a statewide race in Texas:— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 19, 2021
"Demographics will do it!"
"Suburban voters will revolt against Republicans!"
"Suburban backlash PLUS a well-timed federal indictment?"
"So, you're saying there's a chance." #TxLege
As you might guess, I have a lot more than three things to say about this ... later. But also a stand-alone environmental post, Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert behaving badly, and some criminal and social justice items, all of which I'll
Here's a few calm-me-downs.
DALE HANSEN cracked open a beer with us on @Yallitics and shared stories we've never heard, including when he was recruited to run against a well-known statewide politician, the unbelievable way he got a job in Dallas, and how he handles haters.— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) May 20, 2021
And it's small solace, but stormy weather sometimes produces a beautiful thing, in that 'darkest before the dawn' kinda way.
Night— Indigenous (@AmericanIndian8) May 19, 2021
Meanwhile...in west Texas, storm chaser Laura Rowe captured this fantastic shot of a mature supercell thunderstorm, illuminated at varying heights from the setting sun#INDIGENOUS #TAIRP pic.twitter.com/nSrenuDegG
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Not thrilled to read about this dude again.
The quota on "alright, alright, alright" ledes has now been reached. Future stories on this topic should riff on Failure to Launch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or literally any line from True Detective, Season 1 https://t.co/0dx3NJkWnL— Aman Batheja (@amanbatheja) May 16, 2021
Delilah for Texas issued a challenge to the erstwhile, unaffiliated, indecisive gubernatorial maybe-candidate.
Alright, I see your making calls @McConaughey that's good! I'd like to call on you to pay for my ballot access so this will be a fair game. I hate asking hard working blue collar folks for money but you're my opponent. Fair game.#GovernorsRace #democracy— DelilahForTexas💚☮🌻🌎 (@DelilahforTexas) May 17, 2021
Be a lot cooler if he did.
And while I have spent much time and effort denigrating Texas Democrats, and will likely be compelled by their own ignominous conduct to continue to do so *coughBetocough*, the fact of the matter is that Joe Jaworski is the best -- indeed the only -- choice to replace Ken Paxtoon (not a typo) as attorney general of our Great State.
Thank you! Check out my website at https://t.co/1ippwlV5OX to learn more about my campaign and priorities, and consider making a donation.— Joe Jaworski (@JaworskiForTX) May 17, 2021
I believe that Lee Merritt is an outstanding candidate, and is someone I could support in the general election (absent a Green nominee). But I've known Joe Jaws a long time; I know who he is, and he's the best man for the job.
George Pee Bush, on the other hand, is a running joke. I care not whether he can dethrone the top criminal in the state. It's as important that we dispense with these legacies as it is the celebrities who think they're entitled to political careers.
All dovetailing nicely with this segment of Republicans Doing That Dumbass Shit They Do.
Dan Crenshaw doesn't like Chuck Todd bringing up the fact that he signed onto the Texas lawsuit to toss out swing state votes, then says "you guys in the press" like doing this because they're "largely liberal."— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 16, 2021
Todd: "Don’t start that. There’s nothing lazier than that excuse." pic.twitter.com/FGRS7tF8UL
Perhaps I'll make the segue to the Lege follies by devoting some space to Greg Abbott's latest cave to profits over people.
#BREAKING: Gov. Greg Abbott informed the U.S. Department of Labor that Texas will opt out of further COVID-19 federal unemployment compensation, effective June 26. This includes the $300/weekly unemployment supplement. #txlege #breakingnews #texas #txnews https://t.co/atLBddnziH— KYTX CBS19 (@kytxcbs19) May 17, 2021
This wasn't costing the state a dime. Abbott swallowed the lie that "nobody wants to work". So like other conservatives -- including Joe Biden -- they will try to force Americans to take starvation-wage jobs with no benefits, no paid time off, and no hope for advancement.
The groups blame the extended unemployment benefits for a labor shortage at Texas businesses like retail stores and restaurants. https://t.co/J4FHdxKN04— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) May 13, 2021
The appropriate market solution would be, as anyone who's passed Econ 101 would know, to raise wages to attract employees. But in Texas, companies are on the government dole, so they actually run themselves more like what they think communism must be like.
Texas is giving out $10.8B in tax breaks to corporations this year in exchange for job creation that often misses expectations.— Zach Despart🖊️ (@zachdespart) May 14, 2021
To close that gap, the state must get more revenue from avg taxpayers — homeowners & small businesses.
Is this fair? ⬇️https://t.co/zsvqsCgi5b
Here's the front page coverage of the problems with #Chapter313. Essential reading for #txlege and #txed. HB 4242, which would extend the program for 2 years past its current 2022 expiration, passed the House and was referred to Sen Natural Resources & Economic Development Cmte. https://t.co/kCXMV19dsb— Dick Lavine (@dlavine) May 17, 2021
“The case for passing the largest economic development incentive program in the Texas history may have been based on the fear incited by a magazine’s typographical error.”— Zach Despart🖊️ (@zachdespart) May 16, 2021
Hell of an intro to this @mmorris011/@John_Tedesco/@stephanierlamm series➡️ https://t.co/H7uyQuO9ft
I think Team Elephant would be horrified to learn that they were as Red as China ... if they were smart enough to figure it out.
Let's see; the Lege, was it?
Texas Senate votes to NOT CONCUR with changes House made to SB 7, the sweeping GOP election/voting bill.— Chuck Lindell (@chucklindell) May 17, 2021
Conference committee: Hughes; Buckingham; Bettencourt; Kolkhorst; Powell, a Democrat.
Background:#txlegehttps://t.co/hDnrBkAWF1 via @statesman
Yes, as Scott Braddock noted, that's five Caucasian state senators -- four Republicans and one very conservative Democrat -- meeting behind closed doors to resolve issues on a bill codifying discrimination against Texans of color and their voting rights.
On that topic, some justice in another arena -- the appeals court -- might be forthcoming. Don't hold your breath, but be marginally encouraged.
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reviewing Crystal Mason voter fraud conviction, question of intent included as part of Texas election voting bill debate #txlege https://t.co/xUpiZZja5I by @chucklindell— Androvett Legal News (@AndrovettLegal) May 17, 2021
And with respect to other social justice developments:
Senate Bill 21 — which wasn't taken up in the House but has now taken the shell of the very different House bail bill — will keep more people accused or previously convicted of violent crimes in jail before trial unless they have cash.— Jolie McCullough (@jsmccullou) May 17, 2021
More: https://t.co/Occ76dE2Re #txlege
Back in Feb, the TX House released 1000s of pages of public comments submitted in the wake of the blackouts. As the #txlege session starts to wrap, as lawmakers fail to meaningfully hold gas cos accountable, it's worth reflecting on what Texans actually experienced in this crisis https://t.co/xnNy41UfbL pic.twitter.com/T7D8g36OxB— Kelly Mitchell (@kellyemitchell) May 14, 2021
.@KXAN_News investigators asked all TX lawmakers on the House Public Health and Human Services Committees and the Senate Health & Human Services Committees if they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine. Which ones didn't answer... and why? Explore: https://t.co/p7moxoE6dw #txlege— Josh Hinkle (@hinklej) May 12, 2021
And that's my segue to COVID.
.@UTAustin/@TexasTribune poll suggests we should expect that with increased number of vaccinated people without masks in public, there will be many among them who are unmasked but unvaccinated, by @jamesrhenson & @JoshuaMBlank https://t.co/QKFFteCBnG via @TexasTribune #txlege pic.twitter.com/jUm9zh8nQf— The Texas Politics Project (@TxPolProject) May 15, 2021
Do I need to blog again why, even though I've had both my shots, I will keep wearing my mask?
Opinion: Count me among those who judge the CDC's recommendation that vaccinated people can unmask to be premature. https://t.co/s39EuUkG81— San Antonio Report (@SAReport) May 16, 2021
Let Governor Wheels take his victory lap. What goes around comes around.
@GregAbbott_TX said Texas reported 0 COVID deaths Sunday, the only time that has happened since they started tracking cases. The state's dashboard confirmed the number, though some counties have limited reporting on weekends. https://t.co/BcF1VZrX4m #khou11 @KVUE takes a look:— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) May 17, 2021
We're all glad about this good news, but as Harvey Keitel said in Pulp Fiction ...
I have lots of green posts that I'll save for another day, perhaps its own post this week. Here's a little something I've been enjoying lately.
Calling all bird fans: The @nature_oregon 24/7 Sage-Grouse Lek Cam, hosted with @exploreorg & @USFWSPacific , is now LIVE! Tune in between 6am-9am PST for a chance to witness it live or just rewind the feed to catch the morning's action. https://t.co/NBCKUsAnec— The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org) May 14, 2021
Lesser prairie chickens, the slightly smaller cousin to the greater prairie chicken, can only be found in five states: Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Following the original petition to list in 1995, lesser prairie chickens were listed in 2014 as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A lawsuit challenging the listing ended in a judge vacating the decision in 2015. Another petition for listing was received in 2016, with a finding anticipated in mid-May 2021.
And my artiste soother.
"The Black Yearbook" is a fine-art piece that consists of more than 200 images and 50 interviews with Black students at UT Austin—where only 4 percent out of 52,000 students are Black. https://t.co/fDhPo3tlb1— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) May 16, 2021