I suppose the best we can say about the year ending today is that we lived through it, if only because so many who should have did not.
If the Texas Progressive Alliance had selected a Texan of the Year for 2021, my vote would have gone to Dr. Peter Hotez.
Not getting discussed enough: Dr. Hotez and his colleagues at Texas Children's have done what Pfizer and Moderna won't— developed a safe and effective #COVID19 vaccine, then transferred the patent to manufacturers in the developing world. For free. https://t.co/ovlgEUYriX— Jorge A. Caballero, MD (@DataDrivenMD) December 29, 2021
InnovationMap had Houston's top three COVID research stories. I hope the 'rona and its latest mutation is not the most important story next year. The climate crisis should be. Maybe it will.
Floods, hurricanes, wildfires and droughts. Protests, lawsuits, summits and executive orders. See climate change in the year 2021. https://t.co/E09BTDiayc— Inside Climate News (@insideclimate) December 27, 2021
Texas is now # 1 wind generator in USA & almost 20% of all electricity generated in Texas in 2021 was WIND. Picture is of Wildorado Wind Ranch west of Amarillo, today. https://t.co/4IiFhTwIHn pic.twitter.com/TmYZct1I1I— Scott Uhl (@ScottUhlTX) December 27, 2021
SocraticGadfly noted that Ronny Jackson and other Texas wingnut Congresscritters want to fight the effects of climate change, but only when it affects cops, and without admitting that the likes of Winter Storm Uri are connected. The Concho Valley Homepage reported that the USGS recorded one of the largest earthquakes ever in the Permian Basin last Monday. And Earth911 offers ten green living New Year's resolutions.
Melting glaciers, deadly floods, record high temperatures and more pleas for help. AP journalists look back at a year when the effects of climate change were felt around the world. #2021Notebook https://t.co/ZX7OCyP6MR— The Associated Press (@AP) December 27, 2021
Texas will be changing enormously in the years to come. All of us -- wherever we fall on the political spectrum -- are hoping the changes favor our points of view.
Population changes, April 2020-July 2021:— Sewell Chan (@sewellchan) December 29, 2021
1,000 new people arrive in Texas every day; half are newborns — Every three minutes, a child is born somewhere in Texashttps://t.co/I1yPyQlVMg— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) December 27, 2021
"Send in the Californians," says associate editor @ben_c_rowen. "Then send in more. Don’t stop until everyone here is cuffing their boot-cut jeans and Beto O’Rourke is treating national politicians to a local meal of a Double-Double Animal style."https://t.co/4UCHMri9RM— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 30, 2021
But the San Antonio Current quotes a recent report that advises liberty lovers to move somewhere else, ranking Texas 49th in personal freedoms.
Whatever the evolving demographics portend for the Lone Star State, we'll still have to deal with those who are stuck on stupid. COVID isn't going to kill 'em all.
An A-to-Z list of 25 Lone Star State residents who disgraced themselves last January 6. For embarrassing our state, they've been awarded a 2022 Bum Steer designation. https://t.co/kSJyEwatzv— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 31, 2021
After the Del Rio News-Herald shuttered last year, Frank Lopez Jr., who broadcasts as "US Border Patriot," found a national audience. https://t.co/6LBY9KEGCA+— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 22, 2021
Democrats’ 2022 choice: Govern or lose — Democrats have a narrow window to get a lot done, facing a unified GOP opposition and the slimmest of majorities. In 2022, they need to act for working people, the climate, and voting rights— Alfons López Tena (@alfonslopeztena) December 27, 2021
By @EJDionne https://t.co/mMAIqFuxxd
I'll be surprised if this remark does not cost Chairman Padron his job.
Mr. Hinojosa’s comments must stop. His misogynistic comments are out in full force against @KimOlsonTx. "This Woman" Colonel Olson, stands with every woman who gets degraded, pushed aside or belittled because she wants to make a difference. https://t.co/DATUaD1xx6— Democrat For Rockwall Co. Commissioner Pct. 4 (@ErickaLedferd) December 30, 2021
Flipping Texas is a massive task & I don't have the answers but I know misogyny when I see it! The women quoted in this article @KimOlsonTx @JulieOliverTX should NOT be dismissed. TX is lucky they're persevering after the treatment they received from the nat'l party on down.🧵 https://t.co/HQ6Yqs4afE— Cari Marshall (@CariMarshallTX) December 30, 2021
Still think they're both losers.
Here's a few criminal and social justice updates.
.@Forbes recognizes the accomplishments of 95-year-old Fort Worth resident Opal Lee, who achieved her lifelong goal of getting #Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday this year. #Forbes50over50 #OpalLeehttps://t.co/qoPCg0Sifd— Fort Worth (@VisitFortWorth) December 26, 2021
Texas has banished hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or, in some cases, if—they will ever get out. https://t.co/svbcMQcafN— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) December 29, 2021
Many Texas traffic stops end in death, even when police don't pull the trigger. Is it worth it? — @Dexinvestigates and my last story of the year, and the last chapter in our ongoing investigation into the costs of everyday traffic enforcement in TX. https://t.co/8tdCHT7DMW— St. John Barned-Smith ⚔️ (@stjbs) December 29, 2021
houston-area courts have *1,102 eviction cases* scheduled for the first week of january— Jen Rice (@jen_rice_) December 30, 2021
the texas rent relief program is closed/out of money. the houston/harris county rent relief program is mostly closed/almost out of money.
A father and his 14-year-old son have been charged with capital murder in the killings of three teenagers at a convenience store on Dec. 26, according to Garland Police Department in Texas. https://t.co/j1xsEK5O11— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) December 31, 2021
BREAKING: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reduced the sentence for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the Houston truck driver who was convicted in the 2019 I-70 crash that killed four people, from 110 years to 10 years: https://t.co/uGzrPCl54A #khou11 @9NEWS with the report— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) December 30, 2021
Mark Pitcavage presents some random facts about white supremacist tattoos. Mandy Giles is now blogging at Parents of Trans Youth. And as promised, some lists.
The Texas Observer submits its ten best longform reads of the year. Politico collected the worst predictions of 2021. The San Antonio Express News had all the spooky and strange things. And Texas Freedom Network rounded up the ten best and worst from the Lege.
A few political items, and the soothers to close out the year.
Kuff covered a couple more redistricting lawsuits; a new one filed by Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer over CD35, and an earlier one filed by a state prison inmate objecting to the practice of counting inmates where they are incarcerated rather than where they live. IPR opened a time capsule:
Prohibitionist Andrew Jackson Houston, son of the legendary Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinto and first president of the Lone Star Republic, died in a Baltimore hospital on June 26, 1941.
Two months before his death, the 87-year-old Houston had been appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. “Pappy” O’Daniel to fill a vacancy created by the death of Democratic Sen. Morris Sheppard, who died of a brain hemorrhage on April 9.
Houston, who authored several books on Texas history and taught military science at St. Mary’s University on Trinity Bay, had been the Prohibition Party’s candidate for governor of Texas on two occasions. He also briefly challenged popular 1908 nominee Eugene W. Chafin for the dry party’s presidential nomination in 1912 -- the same year Roosevelt himself had snorted and thundered against the two-party establishment on his newly-formed Bull Moose ticket.
Houston was a Democrat at the time of his surprise Senate appointment on April 21, 1941.
Essential inside look into how Texas schools are choosing which books to ban, by @TaliRichman.— Lauren McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) December 29, 2021
The district gathered groups of parents and teachers to review challenged books. The debate is so fierce, participants are asked to sign NDOs. https://t.co/eOJnrZUbIO #txlege #tellEWA
Reform Austin introduced us to some school librarians who are fed up with and fighting back against book bans. And Susan Hays and nonsequiteuse eulogized Sarah Weddington.
The weather forecast in Texarkana this week probably didn't predict light showers with a chance of fish.https://t.co/hM3PRtliAS— Chron (@chron) December 30, 2021
The "Old 300" was the group of colonists who settled under the terms of Stephen F. Austin's first contract with the Mexican government. They are "The Old 300" because the first contract was for the introduction of 300 families. A list of the families: https://t.co/NLIDc3Yng8 pic.twitter.com/B1sPpnZuTj— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) December 26, 2021