Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bell will endorse King today *updated*

What a revoltin' development.  Jim McGrath, tweeting for the King campaign:

So much for that "most progressive candidate in the race for mayor".  So much for blaring his HERO support in his mailers.  So much, in short, for any remaining political aspirations he may possess.  The only reasonable explanation is that Bell has arranged some quid pro quo for himself in exchange for his support of King.  I personally feel a few measures of disgust, nausea, betrayal, and about ten other emotions, all negative, that I could enunciate but won't until it's official.

Bell will allegedly announce his endorsement late this morning at the Godwin Community Center in Meyerland, according to an embargoed press release from McGrath yesterday.  Nothing has appeared yet anywhere but social media overnight, and I will update here when there's more.  For now, you can mark me as more disillusioned with Democrats than ever.


Chris Bell will no more sheepdog me in behind Bill King than Bernie Sanders will Hillary Clinton.

Bell's got some deal involving a large amount of city dollars waiting on Bill King's approval as mayor.  I've been more disgusted with Democrats and Republicans lying down together, but I cannot remember when.  This is a real low point for Houston, and Texas, and Texas Democrats.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Peace for Paris Wrangle

As it brings you this week's aggregate of lefty blog posts, the Texas Progressive Alliance stands with Parisians and citizens of the world in condemning the violent attacks of last week.

Off the Kuff took a closer look at how people voted in the Houston mayor's race.

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos, and contributing to Daily Kos, wonders if Houston's anti-HERO supporters (those who embrace discrimination on behalf of bathrooms) know the group's head ringleader is defending a male bathroom pervert?

Socratic Gadfly is trying to popularize the term Inside the Mopac media as a parallel to "Inside the Beltway media." (And he's just started reading "A Field Philosopher's Guide to Fracking," which has a number of references to our own TXSharon at BlueDaze!)

Donald Trump asked "How stupid are the people of Iowa?" and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs answered, "stupid enough to vote for you, asshole".

Neil at All People Have Value observed that artist Mark Rothko had an almost Starbucks level of hatred for Jesus. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks it's all kinds of wrong to have private businesses pay for our border patrol.

From main line media reporting, it almost seems like some "shocking development" that the same forces which defeated the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance would now turn their ire upon the city of Dallas. But to Texas Leftist, or anyone that has closely followed the U.S. Pastors Council, this move was just a matter of time. Hold on to your seats North Texas, and get ready for some heinous lies to come your way.

Egberto Willies sees similarities between the message Robert Jeffress preaches and that of the most extreme mullahs of ISIS.

The Lewisville Texan Journal passes on the LISD pleading that Greg Abbott appoint an experienced state commissioner of education.


And here's more posts from other Texas blogs.

jobsanger takes note of the fact that Republicans are embarrassingly bad at creating jobs.

The Texas Election Law Blog updates the story about the ongoing challenges that the city of Martindale has had in conducting a local election.

Culturemap Houston goes to acclaimed local filmmaker Trey Edwards Shults for advice on surviving Thanksgiving with family: Make a movie together.

Somervell County Salon posts about Land Commissioner George P. Bush's Alamo overreach.

Prairie Weather has a eulogy of French philosopher Andre Glucksmann.

The Texas Observer was on the scene as the UT Million Student March called for free tuition, cancellation of student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for campus employees.

Grits for Breakfast has the report on the Texas DPS documenting traffic stops of minority drivers as 'white'.

Morgan Guyton decries Houston pastors who bore false witness against their transgender brothers and sisters.

Texas Watch has a petition calling for hospitals to be accountable for their doctors.

Raise Your Hand Texas reviews the education-related interim charges for the Legislature.

Alexa Martin-Storey and Kate Prickett remind us that plenty of laws and policies that undermine same-sex parenting still exist.

And last, Fascist Dyke Motors found some blog seeds while cleaning.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Funnies

"I am not afraid"

If you don't know what Grindr is, Mom... don't Google it.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


French President Francois Hollande vowed a “merciless” response to the deadliest attacks on the country’s soil since World War II as ISIS claimed responsibility Saturday for a coordinated assault on Paris.

A state of emergency was declared and France deployed 1,500 troops after a near-simultaneous series of explosions and shootings brought the city to a horrified standstill overnight. The death (toll was at least 120)...

French police were hunting possible accomplices of eight assailants, who attacked concert-goers, cafe diners and soccer fans in a coordinated assault targeting at least six locations in the French capital. Authorities said that seven attackers blew themselves up, while the eighth was shot by police.

Just Parisians and tourists enjoying a night out.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacks that killed 127 people in Paris, saying it sent militants strapped with suicide bombing belts and carrying machine guns to various locations in the heart of the capital.

The attacks, described by France's president as an act of war, were designed to show the country would remain in danger as long as it continued its current policies, Islamic State said in a statement.

The French have been at the tip of this spear before, when the offices of cartoon satirists Charlie Hebdo were attacked in similar fashion.  Could this be swift retaliation from the drone assassination of "Jihadi John", aka Mohammed Emwazi, just a day or two ago?

There have been remarkably inappropriate responses from American politicians already.  First, Ted Cruz, who believes that the appropriate response is to kill civilians in the vicinity of IS.

We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the west. It will not be appeased by outreach or declarations of tolerance. It will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life.

Cruz did not specify where these airstrikes should take place or what they should be targeting.
Cruz also called for “a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS” to the United States. Previously, Cruz has misquoted U.S. intelligence officials to make the case against taking in Syrian refugees.

There is no evidence yet that any refugees were involved in the attacks. 

Then there's Republican Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.  There won't be no ferriners in his district, he's tellin' ya raght now.

If you have looked at your Twitter feed this morning, you'll see the following trending topics: #ParisAttacks, Islamic State, and ISIS, along with Stop The War, #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist, and #MakePeaceIn5Words.  Earlier, #WW3 was also trending.

I don't know what the appropriate response is so soon after this horror, but I don't think Ted Cruz or Jeff Duncan or any other Republican are ever going to have the proper one.  It seems that IS at the very least has managed to export its very radical definition of terrorism well outside the borders of Syria and Iraq, and the West's response is -- sort of like Israel's to the Palestinians -- hit 'em back harder.  We've had a few hundred years, it seems, to learn that this is probably not the best path forward.

The Democratic debate tonight will have some fresh questions.

“American leadership is put to the test,” (CBS' Steve) Capus said. “The entire world is looking to the White House. These people are vying to take over this office.”
“This is exactly what the president is going to have to face,” he added.

Mr. Capus said the news team had planned a different debate, but “there is no question that the emphasis changes dramatically.”

“It is the right time to ask all the related questions that come to mind,” he added. “We think we have a game plan to address a lot of the substantive and important topics.”

It will be revealing to me to see where Mr. Capus drives the bus tonight.  My prediction is that we're going to watch as Clinton, Sanders, and O'Malley put on their most hawkish facade and talk tough, to avoid being called doves by the thuggish GOP (which will happen, even if Hillary Clinton threatens to turn the western Syrian desert into glass, trust me). 

There's a larger national conversation that it feels like we ought to be having.

Do we bomb or do we talk?  If we talk, do we talk about what influenced and radicalized, from the beginning, the people who carried out the bombings and beheadings and killings?  Or are they just too crazy to talk to and we keep on droning them until they're all dead.  (Except they won't be; there's always a fresh generation provoked by the martyring who wants to 'get some payback', too.)

Update: If you want to better understand this dilemma straight from the horses' mouths -- i.e., every living CIA director -- then start there with the second page of the report on drone assassinations, and then back up and read how Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et. al. got it wrong in 2001.  (The documentary will air at the end of this month on Showtime.  Here's the trailer.)

And when does America get hit?  Sooner, or later?  Does the guy/gal sitting in the Oval Office catch the blame if it happens on their watch?  Do we invade some country that had nothing to do with the attack because they're close by?  How about more troops on the ground, which means more flag-draped caskets, more solemn, longer Veterans Day parades, and eventually -- a couple of decades from now -- a granite monument to the fallen in DC, and other towns across the country?  How about some more torture and wiretapping of American citizens?  More VA atrocities, more homeless vets, more suicides of vets?

I've seen this movie before.  Can we rewrite the script?