Monday, January 20, 2020

The MLK Day Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance salutes the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with this collection of the best blog posts, Tweets, and lefty news from around and about our Great State.

First, a few political and electoral stories that need attention from voters in statehouse districts in Dallas and the Houston area.  TXElects:

An abbreviated early voting begins (tomorrow) and runs through Friday for the HD28, HD100 and HD148 special runoff elections. January 28 is Election Day.
  • In HD28, Republican Gary Gates faces Democrat Liz Markowitz for a Fort Bend County seat that has gone from 14 points redder than the state as a whole in 2002 to less than a point redder in 2018. In the November special election, the six Republican candidates collectively received 61% of the vote. Markowitz, the lone Democrat in the race, received the other 39%. Turnout was 19.7% of 148K registered voters.
  • In HD100, Lorraine Birabil faces James Armstrong III, both Democrats, for a Dallas County seat. Birabil led the five-candidate field with 33%. Armstrong received 21%, finishing five votes ahead of Daniel Clayton. Turnout was 7.9% of 87K registered voters.
  • In HD148, Democrat Anna Eastman faces Republican Luis LaRotta in a Harris Co. seat that has been steadily 15-19 percentage points bluer than the state as a whole since 2002. In the November special election, 12 Democratic candidates split 69% of the vote, led by Eastman’s 20%. LaRotta finished second with 16% of the vote, nearly four points ahead of third-place finisher Adrian Garcia, a Democrat with the same name as a current Harris County commissioner and former sheriff. Turnout was 25.2% of nearly 88K registered voters.

Kuff interviewed three Dem candidates in HD138: Akilah Bacy, Josh Wallenstein, and Jenifer Pool.

Olson has endorsed Pierce Bush, the grandson of GHW Bush, as his replacement.

From the Rio Grande Guardian:

Prominent civil rights attorney Jim Harrington will be the keynote speaker at tonight’s celebration of MLK Day at Cine El Rey.  [...]

Harrington is founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project and was attorney for the late civil rights icon Cesar Chavez. The president of the Cine El Rey Group, Bert Guerra said Harrington will stress “the importance of incremental change at the 10th Annual MLK Celebration.

“While Jim Harrington may be best known as the attorney who sued the city of McAllen for the infamous police brutality during the 1970s and 1980s, his homecoming will provide a very important message of healing and forgiveness,” Guerra said.

“His return to McAllen reminds us that even though there is still and perhaps will always be work to be done in seeking justice, that pursuit demonstrates that MLK’s Dream is alive and well in this part of America we call the Rio Grande Valley.”

See this link for details on tonight's event, and read Harrington's column, "Using the MLK holiday to kickstart organizing for justice", here.

Two El Paso blogs added to the roll are Max Powers (a non-Trump Republican) and Jaime Abeytia's Lion Star (Democratic).  Powers picked a bone last week with Abeytia bashing the Rethugs while cashing their checks (a common practice among political consultants across Texas).  And in other sidebar additions, you can find another GOP blog there: Big Jolly Times, whose contributor, Howie Katz, wrote an amusing take about the Democratic presidential primary.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, keeping to his regular beat, had two Updates on that topic that appeared before and after the contentious debate in Iowa, with the Warren-Sanders feud still simmering.

CD Hooks, writing for Texas Monthly, puzzles through Abbott's senseless rejection of refugees.

Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher revisits Impeachment Corner.

DeSmogBlog reports that Formosa Plastics, the giant Taiwanese conglomerate owning a chemical plant on Lavaca Bay, has continued to pollute the coast with plastic nurdles despite being fined $50 million and signing a consent decree to cease doing so.

The Lunch Tray looks at a new effort to eliminate school "lunch debt shaming".

SocraticGadfly did a non-political double dip on Texas sports, first talking about the glories of Luka Doncic, then noting why he, along with a majority of other non-Houstonians, thinks the cheating Astros got off lightCort McMurray, editorializing in the Chron, gets to the heart of the Astros' cheating scandal.

More than a few football fans noticed that Sunday's AFC championship game featured two teams with Texas roots.

In a compelling read from Dan Clouse at LareDos, 'The Incident at Laredo' details a little-known account of a faulty assessment of a nuclear attack from Cuba that occurred in the 1960s.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sunday Funnies

Ding Dong the Witch is ... going to get off scot-free?

Which Witch, though?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#DemDebate7: Fizzled, not sizzled *updated

When the talking heads are trying to read lips and body language and meaning into a post-debate non-handshake, you can safely ascertain that the main event was a dud.

Update 1, 1/16: Well, that escalated quickly.

The disagreement, which was amplified on social media because no one knew exactly what had happened, was the continuation of an argument the pair had been having in recent days.

Now perhaps this squabble will carry on a few more news cycles, or be revisited at some point in the future, but I'm seeing molehills and not mountains (which makes me a contrarian to a lot of still-seething Berners this morning).  Say la vee.

Update 2: No, that looks likes a very rocky, craggy mountain upon further review.

Regarding the whole kerfuffle, I'm reminded of LBJ's "Let's make the son of a bitch deny it" legacy as it relates to Warren (allegedly) being told by Sanders that a woman couldn't get elected president in 2020.  It no longer matters who's telling the truth, especially when moderator Abby Phillips provides such a generous assist.

We are, as we all know, supposed to believe women when they're being #MeToo-ed, except Warren isn't being sexually harassed here.  It could very well be that she felt condescended to (if the anonymous sources not in the room are providing an accurate account.  She confirmed that, after all).  If she thought she was being dismissed, mansplained, gaslit, or otherwise vilipended, then who is Bernie -- or I, or anyone else for that matter -- to tell her she wasn't?

Is "I did not mean it the way that you took it" too victim-shamey?  Maybe.

So ... win-win for her to be able to deliver a well-rehearsed zinger at the debate, smirk as Bernie was called a liar by the moderator, take a victory lap with the "I don't want to fight here" baloney, and then say whatever she said to Bernie post-debate that quite obviously wasn't fence-mending.

Well-played, Liz.  Lose-lose for Bernie, but maybe in the long run for you too.  You're the one with the more extensive record of dishonesty.

Somewhere in the middle of some upstate New York woods, Hillary Clinton is cackling her ass off.

If you're a Berner that's burned up about the whole thing, my advice is: get over it.  Fast.  Make a donation.  Get on the dialer.  Or text, if talking to people is outside your comfort zone.

The only question about last night that matters is: did it move the needle in Iowa?  Suppose we'll see, but the bobbleheads all seem to agree that nothing did.  That could help Biden, of course.

There are three tickets that get punched out of the top four the morning after Hawkeye Staters caucus on February 3rd.  Klobuchar, fifth currently by her own measure and mine, is probably out after that, losing her first race ever.  And the spin begins for New Hampshire.


Update 3: I'm feeling a bit like Tom Steyer this morning (Thursday, 1/16), but only in the aspect of standing off to the side watching this train wreck.

And there you have it. Sanders supporters are furious because Warren is clearly a conniving opportunist orchestrating a center stage hit to take Bernie down! And, if you read the internet, CNN is very clearly in cahoots! Warren supporters, meanwhile, are 100 percent sure that Bernie Sanders is a latent sexist! He always has been! That’s why many of them voted for him last time!

None of my advice above needs to be revised. I was #BernieOrGreen in 2015, nothing has happened to alter that, and I simply don't believe Elizabeth Warren's version of this story.