Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance would like to remind you that many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.  While those who died are also remembered on November 11 each year, Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime.  In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served -- not only those who died -- have sacrificed.

Please also note the correct spelling of Veterans Day, not Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day.  Here's the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with the grammar lesson: "Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an 's' at the end of 'veterans'; it is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans."

Please: never say 'Happy Memorial Day', or 'Happy long weekend', or any other variant, because if all you're doing is shopping and barbecuing, then you've completely lost the ability to relate to what today is all about.  It's much more offensive, in fact, than saying  'happy holidays' at Christmas.

And let's not forget exactly what they died for, either.  It wasn't just defending our country or 'freedom'.  Especially in the wars and 'domino effect' police actions, declared and otherwise, since World War II.

Here's the lefty blog post roundup.

Off the Kuff has an update on the redistricting situation.

Socratic Gadfly has collected and assembled his first set of thoughts on the idea of guaranteed, universal, or basic income; both its promises and its possible perils.

Texas Republicans are leading the way for mean, misogynistic, crazy, racist policies. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme joins the resistance.

With hurricane season approaching, Neil at All People Have Value reported on the Trump/Governor Abbott hurricane plan for the Houston/Galveston area. APHV is part of

Democrats were on the comeback trail even before the Montana special election results came in, reported PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

jobsanger is fearful about the three bullies -- Russia, China, and the US -- who are jockeying to be King of the Rest of the World.

In acknowledging the 2,000 homeless teens living in Denton County, the Lewisville Texan Journal also reports that a non-profit organization has recently opened a new shelter there for them.

Jeremi Suri writes in Rivard Report that on this Memorial Day, we must better prepare for the next war.

High Plains Blogger offers his take on Ken Burns' latest long-form video project for PBS about an aspect of American culture, The Vietnam War.


In a plethora of reactions to the Texas Legislature's flurry of bill passages and deaths as Sine Die comes today ...

RG Ratcliffe at Burkablog posts about Dan Patrick's scorched earth potty politics in 'War and Pee'.

Better Texas Blog explains the Saturday Night Massacre Texas budget deal approved by the Lege, and dives deeper into the cuts to Medicaid.

The TSTA Blog criticizes Greg Abbott's support of the "sanctuary cities" law, Dwight Silverman explains how you can legally circumvent the new texting-while-driving ban, and Grits for Breakfast adopts the 'glass half full' POV for the law named after Sandra Bland that omits the full telling of her story.

Mark McKinnon wonders how the Texas GOP got to be so out of touch with the business community, and Mimi Swartz was not amused by Greg Abbott's joke about shooting reporters.


And in non-Memorial Day and Texas Lege blogging ...

DBC Green Blog explains 'lesser evil' and defines 'progressive'.

Somervell County Salon has a few religious news items and notes from the distaff side.

The Rag Blog tells the story of one of Houston's least acclaimed filmmakers, Eagle Pennell, who lost his aspirations and eventually his life at the bottom of a bottle.

Beyond Bones (the blog for Houston's Museum of Natural Science) has a new paleontology exhibit spotlighting the living and deceased -- as in fossilized -- artistry of swimming crinoids, aka feather starfish.

And Harry Hamid reminisces about his first car.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Funnies

WH Budget Chief: ‘I Hope’ Fewer People Get Social Security Disability Insurance

“There is fraud, no doubt,” the New York Times‘ Teresa Tritch argued in 2015. “But there is no evidence it is rampant.” Tritch pointed to a telling statistic: “If people on disability were faking it, they wouldn’t have such high death rates.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Democrats come creeping back

This will be a "kind to the Donkeys" post.  Seriously.

-- Today is special election day in Montana, and things seem to be breaking nicely for Rob Quist, the folk singer and political novice bidding to replace Ryan Zinke (now Interior Secretary) as the Treasure State's sole Congressman.  His Republican opponent body-slammed a reporter for the British newspaper The Guardian yesterday.  Greg Gianforte was charged with assault late last night after the incident.  The best account comes from a Fox News reporter, among three who witnessed it.  Don't be afraid to click on the link.

Gianforte was rejected by the voters just six months ago in his bid to become the Big Sky Country's governor.  Montanans elected Democrat Steve Bullock, barely, with 50.2% of the same electorate among which Trump carried 56-35 over Hillary Clinton.

Polling still slightly favors Gianforte, so this late development may or may not change enough minds; it's all about turnout, as per usual in special elections.  Trump has recorded a robocall for Gianforte and the Republican has run hard on President Pussy Grabber's coattails, so today's result will truly be a marker of how far disenchantment with Boss Tweet has come.

No bets made or taken.

Update: Quist falls short, 44-50. I received an email from a Democratic organization on May 24 -- asking for phone calls or a donation -- claiming a poll showed him "as few as two points behind".

-- In Georgia, prospects are similarly brightening for Joel Ossoff, who has opened a 7-point polling lead on Karen Handel for the right to replace HHS Secretary Tom Price in Congress.

Ossoff and Handel will face off in a June 20 runoff election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. Democrats are hopeful they can channel anti-Trump fervor into a win for Ossoff, given that Trump won the ruby-red district by just one point in November.

-- These two potential Congressional flips come on the heels of a couple of statehouse victories for the Blues in New England.

(Last) Tuesday, Democrat Edith DesMarais won a New Hampshire House of Representatives seat while Christine Pellegrino, another Democratic candidate, won a New York state assembly seat. Both races took place in districts previously under Republican control that Trump won in November.

More here.

-- And Roll Call sees a shift to the left in 19 US House races across the country.  They mention Pete Sessions' TX-32 -- still 'likely Republican' -- but not John Culberson's TX-7, and call today's Montana election as 'tilting' GOP.

Certainly the cautionary warnings about polling apply in the wake of Clinton's narrow win loss for the White House six months ago.  I personally distrust polling even more than I did before; not good old Ted at jobsanger, however.  You can find a couple of posts just like this every single day at his shop.  Something considerably less than meaningful and very close to worthless.  A few people are never going to get it; this cluelessness almost has a 'teaching pigs to sing' quality about it.  Still, it's better than pimping out fake news, advanced by the most ignorant and vile of Republicans, who are forced to retract, and even then won't stop.

If you're a Democrat being duped about the Seth Rich murder mystery by the likes of Blake Farenthold, Newt Gingrich, and Sean Hannity, would you please wake up and smell the coffee.

That was being nice to Democrats; trust me.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

With this week's lefty blog post wrangle, the Texas Progressive Alliance is old enough to remember when Republicans considered giving classified information to the Russians a bad thing.

Off the Kuff notes that the state's voter ID failure in 2016 was way bigger than you thought it was.

SocraticGadfly says that Republicans, Democrats and media pundits alike who talk about a "25th Amendment solution" to President Trump need to read their Constitution better.

The night they drove old Dixie down happened twice in New Orleans this past week, as documented by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Republicans double down on killing women with expanded war on health services. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says vote as if your life depends on it. It does.

Dos Centavos wonders aloud if Houston will sue the state of Texas over SB4.

jobsanger is in the camp of those who believe Trump's top pick for FBI director, Joe Lieberman, would be a terrible idea.

The Lewisville Texan Journal questioned the seeming collaboration of the local school district and their political action committee -- a violation of state law -- in that city's recent school bonds election.

Neil at All People Have Value attended the weekly Tuesday protest at the Houston office of wicked-doing Senator John Cornyn.  APHV is part of

Texas Leftist celebrates Houston's diversity.

And Houston Streetwise has some photos of the de-Dowlingization and soon-to-be Emancipation of a street in Houston's Third Ward.


More news and blog posts from around Texas!

Jonathan Tilove at First Reading interpreted the Freedom Caucus' outsized influence on the legislative session as a coarse correction.

The Texas Observer quotes a House member saying that her chamber -- and Speaker Joe Straus -- are "being rolled by the Senate" and Dan Patrick, and transgender children are under the wheels.

The San Antonio Current watched some of the most self-proclaimed "pro-life" members of the Texas Lege using procedural tactics to kill a bill that would fund a study of rising maternal mortality rates.

 (note date on toon)

Grits for Breakfast complains that the bill in the Lege that replaces 'Driver Responsibility' fees with a 'Phillips-Miles tariff' is making a bad situation worse.

In PoliTex's North Texas political roundup, Rosie O'Donnell is raising money and attention for a centrist Democratic challenger to to thirty-year incumbent Joe Barton, and one of two open seats on the Fifth Circuit may go to a John Cornyn protege'.  Or perhaps state Supreme Court Justice (and prolific Tweeter) Don Willett.

Covering San Antonio's municipal elections, the Rivard Report explains that river barges and runoffs make for ugly politics.

Zachery Taylor explains how for-profit insurance is a government-authorized crime syndicate.

DBC Green Blog wishes to point out for the record that Dr. Jill Stein remains relevant to the national discussion (why would that dinner table photograph be so ubiquitous and contentious among Democrats if she weren't?) and she is still debunking the Russian conspiracy theories.

Therese Odell adds the late-night comics' reactions to the latest Russia revelations.

New Deal Democrat at Bonddad graphs out the economics of real median income having flat-lined since 1958

Doing its part to keep Austin weird and to export the feeling, The Rag Blog brought their ongoing anniversary celebration to Houston's Brazos Bookstore.

And Tom Carson at Texas Monthly eulogizes Snyder native Powers Booth.