Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I sit with Colin Kaepernick

The advancement of civil rights in this nation requires protests of this very nature -- with something personal at risk of loss to the protester, like Ali, and MLK, and Malcolm X -- and compels by force of conscience people who look like me to stand, or sit, with them.

It's called the First Amendment.  There's a reason the Founders put it ahead of the Second one, after all, and if you're a Second Amendment person but not a First one, then you're an asshole.  But just so we're clear, let's be certain that we all understand that your right to complain about Kaepernick is included within his right to sit during the anthem.

Because we also know this has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

And now... let's all STFU about this trivial matter.  But before we do, let's give the #VeteransforKaepernick the last word.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance urges support for Louisiana flooding victims -- after all, it could be us next -- as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff points out that at current levels of polling, Democratic statewide candidates in Texas have a legitimate shot at getting elected.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme knows Texas Republican racism, meanness and greed is behind the withholding of birth certificates to Hispanic children born in Texas.

Hearst's acquisition of nearly two dozen small newspapers circling the city of Houston points out one of the few bright spots in the industry, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs; the rise of community-based papers.

Socratic Gadfly, noting when all parties have "issues," defends Green Veep Ajamu Baraka from Swiftboating, while noting he opened himself to it by being a conspiracy theorist.

John at Bay Area Houston considers Texas House District 144 incumbent Gilbert Peña to be more stump than furniture.

Neil at All People Have Value, on walkabout in Cincinnati, posted a photo of a cicada on the door of the bar he was closing down.

And Stace at Dos Centavos eulogizes Latino music legend Juan Gabriel.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

The Schulenburg Forty-Eighter has some resources and events listed for those who wish to be active in opposing the fossil fuel industry's latest work-around for the stalled KXL pipeline.

Politifact Texas rates Sean Hannity's claim that "all of Texas is conservative, except for a little bit of Austin" as False.

The Urban Edge takes note of Houston's growing Muslim Latino community.

"Give and you shall receive", Texas politicians tell contributors, in a aggre-post at the revitalized PoliTex blog (at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

The Austin Chronicle posits nine reasons why Donald Trump came to Austin, and the Texas Observer's 19th "Texas Miracle" podcast talks cocks, Glocks, and Trump.

The Bloggess celebrates technology in parenting and friendship.

Grits for Breakfast calls for decarceration and closing prisons to reduce TDCJ's budget.

TFN Insider's guest post is from a Tyler rabbi, who writes about his -- and other non-Christian -- children's experience in the public schools, and the TSTA Blog reminds us that campus miracle workers can only do so much with limited resources.

And Better Texas Blog eulogizes Nelda Laney, wife of former statehouse Speaker Pete Laney.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Funnies

Don't tell anyone, but there will be two better choices on your ballot ...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Trump still flailing, campaign still failing

-- He cannot speak intelligently about his immigration plan's "softening".

Donald Trump on Thursday night insisted on CNN that his recent comments about immigration reflect a "hardening" of his stance, but the Republican nominee refused to directly answer questions about his position on deportation.

"I don’t think it’s a softening," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper when the host noted that Trump actually said there could be a "softening" of his policy on deportation. “I’ve had people say it’s a hardening, actually.”

Despite the fact that he does not demonstrate a working knowledge of his campaign's core issue, that response might have been TMI, given Trump's propensity for sexual entendre'.  (This list is only up to date through June; his most recent comment mentioned Hillary's celebrity support as "not very hot".  It does not appear as if he was referencing the male celebrities.  I can't wait to see what he says when someone tells him today is Women's Equality Day.  Oh, and thanks to Seth Meyers for the inspiration to write this paragraph.)

Update: PolitiFact actually fact-checked Trump's claim with barely any naughty tongue-in-cheek that I could discern or even infer (the definition of 'hot' they use is 'popular', and not 'sexy'), and found it to be Mostly False.

Throughout the interview, Cooper attempted to clarify Trump's stance on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, but with no success.

When he first asked Trump if he had a change of heart about deporting all undocumented immigrants, Trump launched into a rant about building a wall and said that he will give more details on his plan in a week. In addition to building a "great wall," Trump said he'll use "tunnel technology" and "all sorts of e-verify."

Trump reiterated that he will deport the "bad" undocumented immigrants, but suggested that he doesn't have much of a plan beyond that.

"After that, we’re going to see what happens," he said.

Trump dodged the question again when Cooper asked if there would be a path to legalization.

"You know it’s a process? You can’t take 11 at one time and just say, ‘Boom, you’re gone.’ We have to find where these people are," Trump said in response.

He put himself in this position.  Being asked questions he doesn't know the answer to should be familiar territory for him; certainly his being vague and defensive about the questions is old hat for the rest of us.  But his base isn't noticing the hypocrisy, and something on the order of 35-40% of the nation's voters like it just like that.  It's more than 50% of the voters in Texas and several other southern and mountain western states.

I'm so old I remember when people carried beach sandals, i.e. "flip-flops" to the Republican National Convention, and wore Band-Aids on their chins with purple hearts colored on them.  Either a lot of conservatives have died since 2004 or the nation's collective IQ has gone up a few points.  I'm guessing both, causatively, though some days it barely seems like it.

-- Trump's new campaign manager Steve Brietbart Bannon has been found to have been charged with domestic violence in the 1990s, and also to be currently registered to vote at a home which is both vacant and scheduled for demolition.  Perhaps we have at last found the infamous Voter Fraud Unicorn in Florida, the one that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton have been so afraid of that also lives in disguise as a chupacabra in Texas.

If you're Trump's campaign manager, is taking millions of dollars from the Russians better or worse than being a voter fraudster who beats his wife?  I report, you decide ... because the Trumpets don't give a shit either way.

Here's what bad about Trump being so incompetent, and not just for the GOP but the nation: it leaves Hillary Clinton with no competition whatsoever, and that makes her an even lousier candidate than she already is.  She's been on cruise control to the White House since the convention, and not even her own foundation issues will likely slow her down much.

Does make great fodder for the cartoonists, though.