Friday, October 29, 2021

The Weekend Spine-Chilling Wrangle

Early voting concludes Friday for the November 2 constitutional amendment, general, and special elections. Through Wednesday, 455K Texans have voted early in-person or by mail statewide, representing 2.7% of registered voters.

In HD-118, just over 5K people have voted in person in the special runoff election, representing 5.2% of registered voters. Early turnout in the district is on pace to double that of the September 28 special election.

Now y'all get out there and keep not voting.

Then again, it's scary season.  So if fear works on you, pay attention.

How about anger?  Will some righteous outrage spur turnout?

It seems to work for the Right.

I try to keep it light in order to maintain my sanity.  That doesn't do anything to GOTV, but I've decided that's not really my job any longer.

And advancing some action items beyond voting, because the system is quite obviously dysfunctional, and voting for Coke or Pepsi isn't going to fix it.

It's a shame that people have to keep learning the same lesson over and over again.

More climate and criminal social justice news in the Wrangle on Monday.  It's a great weekend for baseball and trick-or-treating and Dia de Los Muertos and lots of other things.

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Monday Morning Wrangle from Far Left Texas

Dan Solomon's excuses are as good as any for me to skip this fall's elections in favor of more trivial pursuits.  And since I don't have children or grandchildren, the Houston school board races are a non-starter for me.  YMMV, of course.

Elsewhere, frying bigger fish:

We're left to our own devices as to why the other so-called liberals, Kagan and Breyer, declined to join Sotomayor in dissenting.  That's enough to project a more ominous fate for Roe once the Supremes collectively pass judgment.

There were some reactions to Governor Strangelove's latest chat with Breitbart, which happened at the 50-yard line of Darrell K. Royal Stadium.

And to think that all this time I thought it was the Aggies who were the conservative darlings of higher education in Texas.  Silly me.

Alas, on the state's corruption scale, this barely registers.

Still anxiously anticipating a long break from having to report this shit.

I'll take that as my segue to the criminal and social justice updates.

A Lefty Gamer has been relentless in Tweeting about the MAGAts running the Magnolia ISD.

That gets me to the environmental headlines.

And the soothers.  There was MuertosFest in San Antonio over the weekend ...

... and another festival just like it this weekend.

With a 5–0 statement in Game 5 Friday, Houston is returning to the World Series for the third time in five years because over the final 26 innings, it outscored Boston, 22–1. That was after the Red Sox had become the first team in postseason history to run off six straight games with 10 hits or more. A gullywasher became a drought. It ... just ... stopped.

Asked to explain the whiplash-inducing turn to the series, Boston manager Alex Cora said, “Brent Strom and Martín Maldonado. Two of the smartest people in baseball. They completely changed their strategy against us midway through Game 4.”


It was during that game that Strom, the chief navigator of pitching, decided to tack to the starboard side. The change Cora referenced was a decision by Strom to have his pitchers attack the Red Sox with fastballs.

“Yeah, very much so,” Strom said. [...] "I basically told the group, ‘If you’re going to get beat, throw your best stuff over the plate, then you can sleep at night. Rather than dancing around the strike zone.’ Young pitchers start dancing, and you can’t do that.”

Confession: I was among the Debbie Downers lamenting the collapse of the starting pitching, especially after Luis Garcia came up lame.

Garcia lasted only eight batters in Game 2, departing with a sore knee and a 91-mph fastball after getting only three outs. The knee injury forced Strom to study Garcia’s delivery to see if something was causing the pain. The old pitcher whisperer found it and put Garcia on the mound the next day for a bullpen session. He showed Garcia that he was creating stress on his knee by having his right foot (the plant foot by the rubber for the righthander) slightly angled, with the ball of his foot a bit closer to the plate than his heel. That caused his knee to be turned slightly inward as he lifted his front leg in the load phase.

Strom told Garcia to place his right foot directly parallel with the rubber. With a straight plant foot, Garcia would keep his knee (and thus his weight upon leg lift) over the foot.

Voila! Garcia hit 97 mph seven times in the first three innings after throwing one pitch that hard the entire season out of 1,118 four-seamers.

“I was surprised,” Strom said. “The funny thing about it, outside of that injury, if he had not hurt his knee, we might not have made that tweak. So, the tweak was made not to increase velocity but to take stress off his knee. We did it the very next day after he threw one inning and he seemed to like it. And quite frankly we probably should have done it sooner, but he was having a good year and you hate to mess with somebody who’s having a good year. It’s the dicey thing about messing with a good thing. The injury probably helped him.”

Then there was this, the backbreaker for the Sox.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Sine Died, Autopsied Wrangle

The executive summary, in case you've been taking some time off from the creepshow that the Texas Lege has been for the past ten months.

Lt. Dan has decided he wants a fourth special, but Governor Fish Lips says "not now, asshole".  Maybe later.  We have a few wieners and loosers ranked.

And sightless gerrymandering being the hottest topic ...

It wouldn't be the silly boundary season without some litigation.

Attention finally turns to 2022.

Kuffner has all the Donkey shuffling covered, and TXElects -- and his Tweet feed of the usual suspects, appearing to the right on his blog's landing page -- covers the Pachyderm dances.  I'll wait until after the filing deadline in December to muse about primary challenges.  I will say that I like the idea of Julie Oliver taking on Lloyd Doggett, whose reputation far exceeds his current value.

I'm looking forward to blogging on the regular about some things besides our state lawmaker goons, so praise the Lawd for small blessings.  First: some housing news, broken out from the criminal and social justice headlines.

Here's Kuff's catchup.  I note he still hasn't mentioned anything about it.

The Harris County District Attorney confirms a "pending criminal investigation" connected to Houston City Hall. In a letter obtained by 13 Investigates, the DA denies access to documents related to the probe, because in their words, "this investigation has yet to be resolved" and is "in the course of preparing for criminal litigation."

13 Investigates requested documents from the city weeks ago when the City of Houston's now-former Housing Director shocked City Hall with allegations of a "charade of a competitive process" to award millions in housing subsidies. According to sources and documents at that point, the DA was asking about specific payments made to specific individuals starting in 2018.

It's not all bad news.

Here's more criminal and social justice and injustice news from around the state.

And here are a few items specific to the border region of Texas.

I'm starting to wake up to the fact that Republican Latino/as in the RGV (and elsewhere) don't consider themselves Hispanic.  They call themselves Tejanos; they praise themselves for their good fortune based on hard work and Jeebus and not on luck or cronyism, just like whites; and they hate immigrants, 'gobermint handouts', and worship the flag and the military.  Sounds like any other MAGAt to me.

A few environmental updates.

And the soothers.

The South Texas Music Festival is this Saturday, October 23, in San Benito.

T'is the spooky season, so get out there and get scared of something beside the Texas GOP.

Monday, October 18, 2021

The Monday Wrangle from Far Left Texas

“Shortly before Texas' new abortion law went into effect, the SAFE Alliance, a nonprofit that supports survivors of sexual abuse, was counseling a 12-year-old girl who had been repeatedly raped by her father.”

Any minute now, Governor Strangelove is going to eliminate all rape in Texas.  He told us so.  And he always speaks the truth.

After taking a General Strike break at the end of last week, I have more than enough for a very long post.  I'd rather not subject either you or me to that, so let's just hit the highlights.  Or lowlights and lowlifes, if you prefer.

Yes.  Well, Texas Democrats in the Lege could have honored the general strike, or perhaps thrown some other wrench in the gears, but I feel certain they did not have the stomach for a fourth special session.  They all -- mostly -- want you to re-elect them next year anyway.  To keep fighting.  Something.

My personal general strike extends to voting in this current election.  I see no point in weighing in on constitutional amendments.  Similarly, I won't be voting n next spring's Democratic primary.  They can choose who they like and I'll choose whether to vote for any of them in the fall.

There is -- as I have come to understand -- a messsage being sent to government's leaders in not voting.  And that message ranges from "FU" to "IDGAF".

I'll move on while I still have the will, or the interest, to provide these news updates.  Documenting the atrocities is hard.

Environmental developments:

The Axios Dallas newsletter (subscribe here) says that illegal emissions were lower across the state in 2020.  But...

... but North Texas saw an increase in unauthorized pollutants, according to a report from the Environmental Integrity Project and Environment Texas.

Why it matters: 2020's pollutant decline was mostly due to pandemic shutdowns of manufacturing and oil and gas production and not due to increased enforcement of environmental protections, the report says.

The Dallas Observer's Jacob Vaughn writes about a west Dallas neighborhood's concerns about yet another concrete plant's pollutionHPM says that Galveston Bay researchers are literally fishing for data on chemical runoff.  And the Statesman's op-ed board says that the EPA must save Texas from itself.  In more newspaper news, D Magazine says that the DMN should retire its editorial board, and El Paso Matters reports that the El Paso News is now printing the paper in Cuidad Juarez.

A few too many criminal and social injustice updates.

One spot of good news here.

And a few calm-me-downs.