A tumultuous week last.
This week's podcast has it all:— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) May 8, 2021
Rep @jasminefor100 lighting up @GoldmanCraig over "defunding police" @DonnaHowardTX clashing with @ShelbySlawson on abortion. @BriscoeCain vs @RafaelAnchia and @jessicafortexas on voting rights.
Listen: https://t.co/agarPvjvv0 #TxLege
That moment when he realizes he put a Jim Crow-era slogan in the bill he’s claiming isn’t voter suppression😬 pic.twitter.com/tg9ZHBxXcI— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) May 7, 2021
"The most conservative 48 hours in Texas history", Bud Kennedy at the Startlegram wrote. And it still wasn't good enough for them.
If these were the most conservative 48?— rachel + leotta ✨🦁✨ (@rachel_leotta) May 8, 2021
Then someone kindly explain what happened to Constitutional Carry?(HB1927)
A watered-down abortion bill?(Heartbeat Bill)
No ban on allowing parents to medically castrate their children?@DadePhelan @Burrows4TX @GregAbbott_TX @LtGovTX https://t.co/2HLCrgOi4S pic.twitter.com/erCI7CSzH8
At least Texas Democrats can muster a protest on the south steps of the Capitol, amirite?
Thanks y'all for making it out today! It was truly inspiring to see you all for what was the largest rally at the Capitol this year.— Texas Freedom Network (@TFN) May 9, 2021
And all in defense of the right to vote! #txlege pic.twitter.com/6dW8Pla565
Saturday was local and consent calendar day, and the mood was ...
Find the rare Texas Republican that gets the Pink Floyd reference.
Since these beans were hashed, smothered, fried and refried last week, I'll move on to some topics neglected; namely election and politics news developments.
The biggest enchilada left on the buffet for the Donks is the mayor's seat in Fort Worth.
The next Fort Worth mayoral runoff forum is Wed May 12 at 11am at Texas A&M Law downtown, sponsored by the chambers and the @startelegram. Parker & Peoples are also scheduled to speak Sat 9am at the Chorizo Menudo Breakfast at Nuevo León. Possible @SteerFW forum TBA— Bud Kennedy / #ReadLocal (@BudKennedy) May 7, 2021
In this Wrangle last week I posted that Austin had approved ranked choice voting for their city elections. D Magazine says it's time for Dallas to do the same. (Hey, Houston? San Antonio? Bueller?)
Serving notice to Joe Biden on his failures in South Texas are John-Michael Torres of La Unión, Norma Herrera of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, and Roberto Lopez of the Texas Civil Rights Project, writing in the Rio Grande Guardian. Nathan Newman in The Week points to a lifeline that the president could throw to El Paso and other blue cities in red states.
El Paso is being squeezed.
In 2019, the Texas state legislature passed SB2, which limits property tax increases to 3.5 percent per year. Meanwhile most of the city's budget is based on largely unfunded state mandates. And where the state in 2008 funded 45 percent of local education costs, that's been reduced to just 39 percent today.
So even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, "the wiggle room we have to spend on projects we think are important becomes smaller and smaller," observes El Paso County Commissioner David Stout.
A city similar in size to Boston and Washington, D.C., El Paso is politically a blue triangle at the far end of a sea of red in West Texas -- and Stout thinks politics plays a big role in the increasing limits on local spending: "The state legislature wants to stop local progressive policies from being put in place."
Luckily for the residents of these localities, there's new hope for an escape. President Biden's American Rescue Plan and the revival of Congressional earmarks are giving local cities, particularly in red states, the first chance in a generation to creatively plan new local projects to demonstrate the possibilities of progressive government.
El Paso's Stout says since Texas "has preempted us so much and taken over our budget, the only way we can fund anything else is through money coming from the federal government."
Read on. And the H-Town firefighters whipped Sylvester Turner again. Long past time to throw in the towel and pay the men and women, Mr. Mayor.
Criminal and social justice and injustice news:
Texas cops killed a mentally ill Black man over a little weed. I'm not hearing enough about this case. Please spread the word. #BlackLivesMatter #FridayMorning #Racism #DefundThePolice https://t.co/kiyZysj2en via @ABC— psileste (@Christarchist) May 7, 2021
Major concerns about this report.— Mike Siegel (@SiegelForTexas) May 8, 2021
Yes, we must protect labor rights. But cop unions are predatory when it comes to public dollars. They raid city budgets at the expense of schools, housing & health.
Plus they’re the ones called in to bust a picket line. https://t.co/p7IDrY8IGU pic.twitter.com/Jn0q0lA1k0
Which member of the Supreme Court said that racism is over in America? I forget his name -- I think it rhymes with Juan Boberts -- but I hear he's supposed to be the swing moderate vote now. He's probably not on Twitter anyway.
Plano, TX https://t.co/geyl66cxtK— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 8, 2021
If these 2 reviews don’t explain to you everything wrong with Magnolia ISD of Magnolia Texas, then nothing will! Magnolia ISD is a KKK school district that must be exposed! DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING! #MagnoliaISD #TXDeservesBetter #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #BreakingNews pic.twitter.com/1AHJwlzxvR— A Lefty Gamer (@A_Lefty_Gamer) May 7, 2021
People don’t know about the severity of white supremacy going in the districts of the #JimCrow Caucus in the #txlege. SCV are still using propaganda to indoctrinating kids. Here is the flyer to upcoming Confederate Youth Camp in Royce City, Bryan Slaton’s hometown and district /1 pic.twitter.com/7hv1YiOzv6— Shell_Seas (@LivingBlueTX) May 8, 2021
How about some environmental updates?
Rachel Meidl at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute, writing in the HouChron, thinks that the Bayou City can become a leader in the circular plastics economy. Space City Weather explains Houston's new climate normals.
Despite the fact that climate change has led to an ever-growing number of fires, floods, blizzards, and hurricanes that rack the state, Texas officials have been loath to take action. https://t.co/h1HjgjuOmD— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) May 7, 2021
I drank deeply from the data and this is what I found:— Russell Gold (@russellgold) May 7, 2021
✴️During the blackout, Texas' grid operator paid some natural gas companies to shut down and stop using electricity — exactly when power plants needed the fuel the most.✴️https://t.co/M7ZJBiFPNi
Technology giant Samsung is considering spending $673 million to build solar energy farms in Central Texas, according to documents filed with the state.https://t.co/ElxYGhvXbj— Austin Statesman (@statesman) May 7, 2021
Texas can expand its clean energy leadership as solar power continues to grow in the state.— EDF Texas (@EDFtx) May 10, 2021
Taking advantage of this abundant natural resources means new jobs and a stronger grid. via @grist’s @ysabelle_kempe #txenergy #txlege https://t.co/J510r52edy
Elon Musk is taking over both South Texas and Austin.
This would be another Tesla facility on the thousands of acres the company owns east of Austin. https://t.co/jK247UMnSm— AustinBizJournal (@MyABJ) May 6, 2021
The RGV is putting up some resistance.
On Saturday, residents of the #RGV will speak out about the dangers of SpaceX. A mock sketch show will be performed in response to Elon Musk’s appearance on the nationally syndicated @nbcsnl When: Saturday, May 08, 6:30 - 7:30 PM #LiveFromRGV https://t.co/QyjCYPUqa5 pic.twitter.com/YI1FHxNmFY— bryan parras (@HighTechAztec) May 8, 2021
And the Austin Chronicle lampooned Musk last month.
Proclaiming "an end to a century's worth of frustration and a great day for the schoolchildren of Texas," Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law today (Thursday, April 1) Senate Bill 3236, authorizing the purchase of the entire city of Austin, excepting the Capitol Complex and University of Texas campus, by area Technoking Elon Musk, henceforth to also hold the title of "Iron Mayor."
That's a good one to transition to the remaining soother. I'll have more as the Lege works their, uh, magic this week.
This is the Runaway Scrape Oak tree aka the Sam Hhouston Oak. At the foot of this giant live oak, General Sam Houston and a force of less than 400 Texans camped on the first night of their retreat from Gonzales on March 13, 1836. About six miles east of Gonzales. pic.twitter.com/OlqEk1updM— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) May 9, 2021