Monday, January 31, 2022

"It's not Monday you hate, it's capitalism" Wrangle

How was your weekend?

There were two polls regarding the Texas primary elections released over the weekend.  The first, on Friday from the Hobby School of Political Affairs at the University of Houston, has most GOP statewide incumbents -- Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, Sid Miller, Glenn Hegar -- holding comfortable leads for renomination.  Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian, not so much.  The Republican primary for commissioner of the General Land Office, vacated by George P. Bush in his bid against Paxton, is a tossup (80% of those queried are unsure for whom they might vote).

In the Democratic primary, Beto O'Rourke leads handily.  In the lieutenant governor's race, Mike Collier is ahead with 24% but 58% are undecided.  Rochelle Garza (14%), Joe Jaworski (12%), Lee Merritt (7%), and two others with 7% portend a runoff in the scrum for attorney general to face off with Paxton (60% of Dems are unsure).  Same in the contest for GLO, with Sandragrace Martinez leading Michael Lange, Jay Kleburg, and Jinny Suh with 64% undecided.

While these numbers don't seem out of place, it's possible that the pollsters could be weighting Latin@ voters a bit too much and under-sampling Black Dems for my interpretation.  But there was also a general election matchup polled, and IMO these results are the closest to accurate for predicting the ultimate fall outcome.

Six percent uncertain is a rather stunning number nine months away.

The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler's poll, out yesterday, looks somewhat the same... and somewhat different.

Robert Showah has more on Texans' opinions from that survey, including this:

I did not want to open today's Wrangle with an overflowing vat of stupid and crazy, but I can't leave the topic of conservatives behaving badly without a few more items.

They simply outdid themselves this past week.

I have a few criminal, legal, and social justice headlines; the first deals with the previous Tweet regarding Tim Dunn above.

On January 22, members of the Karankawa Nation and several hundred supporters gathered in front of a Bank of America location in Austin (to speak out) against the planned expansion of an oil pier owned and operated by Canada-based oil giant Enbridge. The expansion would cross sacred land at a Karankawa village site near Corpus Christi Bay in south Texas. Pipeline construction would also endanger burial artifacts and have a disastrous effect on the sensitive and biodiverse wet marshes.

Chiara, a Karankawa organizer, gave an impassioned speech defending the environment of her people’s homeland and called out Bank of America for financing fossil fuel extraction. Bank of America invested $42 billion in fossil fuels in 2020 alone.

That will be my segue to the environmental news.

“I’ve seen a lot of Big Oil ads, but this has to be one of the creepiest,” Jamie Henn, the director of Fossil Free Media, said in an email. “Valero wants us to feel like it isn’t just our cars, but the very lives of our children that depend on their product. There’s an unsaid threat in these commercials: transition to clean energy and the world as you know it will cease to exist. That’s of course false ..."

"East Texas, North Texas residents push back against solar plant construction" via KLTV

*heavy sigh*

Dozens of people living in Crawford, just half an hour west of Waco, raised concerns at a school district meeting about the company, OCI Solar Power, building facilities just outside the city. The company is based out of San Antonio, and it proposed a $115 million solar farm. A company official managing the project said the project will not cost the community any tax dollars if approved -- now it’s up to the school board to designate land as commercial property.

A farmer in Crawford said he’d been offered more money than he could make farming to sell his land to make way for construction, but said his neighbors, “would not be happy living next to a plant.”

A similar situation is happening in Southmayd, near Texas’ border with Oklahoma. The school district board there voted to agree to a deal with Galactic Energy. The solar development company is proposing the construction of a 1,750 acre solar farm. Some residents there said they don’t want to lose the landscape and property they’ve lived on for generations. People raising their concerns are asking the school board to reconsider, and say they’re considering starting a petition against construction.

Going extra long on the calm-me-downs to wrap today.

Friday, January 28, 2022

The Weekend Wrangle

Beginning the round-up of the best of the left of Texas from the past week -- or at least since Wednesday -- with your options if you're not voting next month.

Frequent BAN contributor Jim Riley sends along a link to the court order and also speculates about where the case might go from here.  Nothing in the state's legacy media that I have found about this story yet (as usual).

So it's on to the usual bad-behaving suspects in the duopoly.

Seliger is a previously-undisclosed member of the large, bipartisan caucus which looks askance at the work of Dr. Mark Jones.

*Whew* the stench.  And the fallout from the Lege is claiming victims.

That's my segue to the criminal, legal, and social justice updates.

And there's my segue to the environmental news.

And a larger-than-regular collection of calm-me-downs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Another Hump Day Wrangle

Elections were conducted yesterday (besides MLB's Hall of Fame, that is) and the results were announced in a reasonably timely fashion.

In other politics news ...

Cuellar also defiantly stated he would continue his re-election bid and said he expected to win the primary.  If he defeats his two progressive challengers, Jessica Cisneros and Tannya Benavides, he will face Ted Cruz acolyte Casandra Garcia in the fall.

If your weekend plans include Conroe, better rethink that.  Unless you're the FBI and plan on arresting some scofflaws.

On more positive notes:

Vistra Energy, a Texas-headquartered integrated utility and power generation company, said it wants to add another 350MW/1,400MWh BESS to the Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in California’s Monterey Bay.

Vistra said that as Moss Landing -- itself built on the site of an existing gas power plant owned by Vistra subsidiary Dynegy -- already has development permitting in place, and has existing grid interconnection and infrastructure, it can move quickly on the proposed Phase III.

Vistra CEO Curt Morgan described Moss Landing yesterday as “a shining example of the pivot of our generation fleet toward carbon-free technologies”.

Segue-ing to the environmental takes.

A couple of labor notes:

And the criminal and social justice updates.

And the news from the lighter side, not all of it good.

Embree still writes for the Rag Blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Scattershots on Taco Tuesday

No particular organization here.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The Monday Morning Wrangle from Far Left Texas

COVID first.

Stace at Dos Centavos rounds up another week in coronavirus news.  The Dallas Observer points out that medical labs are also facing staff shortages. And Your Local Epidemiologist explains what antigen tests are all about.

That will be my segue to the latest Texas education developments.

There are far too many Texas Republicans -- and one Democrat -- behaving badly for one Wrangle.

SocraticGadfly looked at the on-the-ground activities of the even bigger right wingnuts challenging Greg AbbottJohn Coby at Bay Area Houston highlighted the rich businessmen financing Eva Guzman's campaign for attorney general.

Kuff wasn't impressed by the TXSoS' claim that supply chain issues were the reason they couldn't provide enough voter registration forms.

And more promising developments as the primary season intensifies.

Shifting to climate news:

Carbon capture is a distraction, albeit a convenient one for oil companies who wish to appear as if they are doing something about the climate emergency.

The criminal and social justice headlines.

And the calm-me-downs to wrap today.