Monday, October 17, 2016

The Weekly Wrangle

With this week's blog post roundup, the Texas Progressive Alliance is really looking forward to the third presidential debate this Wednesday.  Really.  Looking.  Forward.

Off the Kuff published two interviews designed to help Houston voters make up their minds on the recapture referendum.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is delighted to learn that Trump's scandals could impact down ballot candidates, even in Texas. Texas GOP is Frightened By Trump's Scandals. Dems could sweep Harris County.

Socratic Gadfly looks at Ruth Bader Ginsberg's recent disrespect for the spirit of the First Amendment, including noting how this refutes "oh the SCOTUS" claims of two-party-only voters.

A reporter arrested at the North Dakota pipeline protest has been charged with three felony violations carrying a 45-year maximum sentence.  Txsharon at Bluedaze passes along a letter of support for Deia Schlosberg, and a reminder that we don't arrest or charge journalists in the United States who are just doing their jobs because, you know, First Amendment.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is not surprised that Texas lawmakers want to take more anonymous goodies from donors. They love the rich.

Egberto Willies comments on the ProPublica story where a five-year-old girl told the author's son on the playground: "only white people".

Texas Leftist is again conducting candidate interviews via questionnaire for downballot candidates in the Houston region.

Some pictures and video of Jill Stein's Texas tour this past weekend were posted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value took his public art sign-carrying effort to Atlanta, Georgia. APHV is part of

The editor of the Lewisville Texan Journal says that when your path is uncertain, hit the road.


More blog posts from across our beloved Texas!

The Texas Moratorium Network advances the 'March to Abolish the Death Penalty', at the Capitol in Austin, on October 29th.

The latest Texas Watch podcast sees the insurance lobby setting the table for the next legislative session.

Jef Rouner exercises his binary logic to remind Democrats that their votes aren't wasted by repeating the logical fallacy that not voting for Democrats is a waste.

At the Texas Observer, Joe Lansdale explains why his East Texas neighbors are voting for Trump, and John Wright asks on behalf of Texas greens: "Won't Someone Think of the (Fracked) Children?"

Michael Barajas laments another ridiculous aspect of our state's antiquated beer laws.

Grits for Breakfast takes note of the vast resources being consumed by the state in criminalizing drug addiction.

Lisa Gray collects local stories of sexual assault in the wake of "grab her by the p*ssy" and "it was just locker room talk".

Shari Biediger eulogizes longtime San Antonio Democratic activist Choco Meza.

Lone Star Ma encourages Rep. Blake Farenthold's constituents to give him some feedback on his defense of rape culture.

Houston Strategies has a story about the recent 'saving' of the Astrodome in an aggreposting.

And the Digital Heretic points out why distrust of the corporate media is at an all-time high. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Vote "fraud" investigation ongoing in Tarrant County

Captain Ahab Greg Abbott and his third mate Flask Ken "I Know Fraud" Paxton are hot on the scent of the elusive Moby Dick.

Less than a month before the Nov. 8 election, allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant County are under investigation by the state, prompting concern that the timing may intimidate some voters — and possibly lay groundwork for the Legislature to enact more restrictions on voting next year.
The complaints focus on mail-in ballots, which allow people to vote from their homes without any ID or verification of identity.

Supporters have long said mail-in balloting is crucial for overseas residents, the military and senior citizens. Critics maintain that such voting is ripe for abuse and raises concerns about “vote harvesting,” in which people could fill out and return other people’s ballots.

Some say the investigation is politically motivated; others say it’s addressing a practice that has been a problem for years.

"The Republicans have been looking for a blockbuster case to demonstrate that voter fraud isn’t just a series of small mistakes," said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. "If some of these allegations turn out to be true, they may finally have their white whale."

Herman Melville thanks you, Professor Rottinghaus.

“Whether there is lawbreaking or not, the issue of voting is polarized and revelations this close to an election are bound to have an effect on Democratic Party and affiliated groups’ efforts to get out the vote. Voters may be hesitant to sign up for or vote through a mail-in ballot, let alone give it to someone else. This may reduce turnout in some heavily Democratic areas that utilize this process.”

Local officials say workers with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office have been in the reliably red Tarrant County gathering paperwork and interviewing potential witnesses.

The attorney general’s office declined to “confirm or deny investigations” or comment on the situation. When asked for the complaints that started the local investigation, attorney general’s workers declined to release them, expressing concern that doing so might hamper a criminal investigation.

There's a lot more, and also at the Dallas News if you like.  Abbott is really turned on about getting somebody under his wheels.

I'm just going to sit back and wait, as his witchhunts have typically come up dry.

If they have something, they'll show something.  If they don't have anything they'll still show something, even if it's the same old nothing.  I just can't get worked up this late in the cycle about the little boy in the wheelchair who constantly cries wolf.

Jill Stein's Texas tour, in pics and video

El Paso, last Friday:

Lots and lots and LOTS of coverage from El Paso media, en Espanol y Ingles.  And these following are from Houston's rally Saturday afternoon.

More coming from San Antonio (today) and Austin (tomorrow).

Sunday Unshackled Funnies