(Mrs. Diddie is taking some vacation this week and we're going to bump around out of doors in the exurbs, doing Xmas-type things, so my long-awaited post on the Latin@ vote waits longer. Hope it's relevant by the time I finish it. While you wait, Angela Valenzuela has excerpted a TIME piece that hits a lot of the points I'll be making.)
If you live in Houston and need help this week, the good souls at Baker Ripley are here for you.
Join us at our food fairs in December. Food fairs start at 11AM.— BakerRipley (@BakerRipley) December 2, 2020
Please remain in your car, and a volunteer will place the food in your trunk. pic.twitter.com/GTzhMP85Gc
It looks like TXGOP chairman Allen West -- or at the very least, someone he approves of -- will be challenging Governor Abbott from his right in 2022. The SD30 special election may hold a few clues as to how that will play out.
Texas GOP chairman Allen West is at war with the governor and in love with the camera.— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 5, 2020
Chris Hooks charts his rise: https://t.co/C1TMgTeLJR
Matthew McConaughey continues his non-political political tour of podcasting, excoriating the "illiberal left that absolutely condescend, patronize and are arrogant towards the other 50 percent". Since he's so 'aggressively centrist', Chairman West need fear not should his higher aspirations tend toward the Governor's Mansion. Alright (alright, alright).
Texas Republicans -- and Democrats, to be clear -- may have done better in choosing Beaumont Rep. Dade Phelan as House Speaker-to-be, if all of these glowing profiles of him are any indication of his talents for the job ahead. Sanford Nowlin at the San Antonio Current previews the legislative budget battle. And Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report suggests, from his Lege reporter POV, that his job will be more difficult next year because of COVID.
Details of the way the Texas Senate will operate in a pandemic started to leak Friday evening: There's talk of voting remotely if a senator is quarantined, media mostly in the gallery, and Redistricting will apparently be the only committee taking testimony virtually #TxLege https://t.co/oH79y9DQXY— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) December 5, 2020
New: Lt. Gov. @DanPatrick told senators this week that people may need to take a coronavirus test 24 hours before testifying at the Texas Capitol during the legislative session https://t.co/mysyhsAgTA #txlege— Cassi Pollock (@cassi_pollock) December 5, 2020
How will lawmakers address the effects of COVID-19 on Texas during the upcoming #txlege session? What does the state's political future look like?— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) December 7, 2020
Don't miss our virtual symposium Dec. 7-11. RSVP and send in questions here: https://t.co/ANJYE3s7lN #ttevents
That's my segue to the latest on the coronavirus.
Here's my updated COVID-19 dashboard for Texas.— Christopher Adams (@cadamsKXAN) December 6, 2020
Texas is averaging 12,217 new cases per day, a new record high. Previous record was 11,505 on November 26.
Texas is averaging 170 deaths per day, the highest since August 28.@KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/vTq3MRv0Dl
Hoping my friends in Far West Texas - and those who operate the few healthcare facilities in Marfa, Alpine, Presidio, Marathon - can weather this storm. pic.twitter.com/COfpKx3neH— Tom Michael (@Tom2Michael) December 4, 2020
The city of Lubbock, Texas, has reported that it is out of hospital beds as the nation faces a record number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. https://t.co/9FVz9OW231— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 5, 2020
Only 6 ICU Beds Available In Denton County: ‘We Are At A Critical Point With COVID-19’ – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth https://t.co/IscIct1pjo— Pro-Movement🌻🌹🚩🏴 (@ProMovement1) December 5, 2020
UT researchers Daniel Wrapp and Jason McLellan can thank a llama named Winter for a scientific honor they received this week.— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 7, 2020
And we can thank all three parties for their role in the development of a synthetic antibody against the COVID-19 virus. https://t.co/Xk8TxCCIkO
Social justice (or injustice, as the case may be) showed up a lot in the news over the weekend.
The fight to save the Mary Allen Seminary reveals the challenges of preserving Black placemaking in Texas.https://t.co/IB6SHekyvR— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) December 6, 2020
As @TxDOTHouston inches closer to a Record of Decision for the I-45 expansion, community members and advocates will keep fighting this $7 billion boondoggle. Take a look at our and @StopTxDotI45 storytelling project. Real people. Real impacts.https://t.co/9XFDdyZq5A— LINK Houston (@LINK_Houston) December 1, 2020
There are some anecdotes of children thriving with remote learning. But districts including Houston, St. Paul, Minn., and Fairfax County, Va., have reported historically high failure rates this fall.— NPR (@NPR) December 4, 2020
Here are 4 other lessons from virtual schooling so far:https://t.co/ULgFiW44FB
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee led House Democrats’ effort to pass a bill legalizing marijuana on Friday. https://t.co/OIPqtJuAta— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) December 4, 2020
The @OurEsquina bylines this week included stories by Latino writers with Ecuadoran, Dominican, Puerto Rican & Mexican roots. The subjects were from PR, Venezuela, the Dominican & a Mexican-Am from the San Fernando Valley. The sports included baseball, soccer, skateboarding . 2— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) December 4, 2020
A school in a small town in Texas has ignited hope across the community by opening a student-led grocery store to support families in need.
Linda Tutt High School in Sanger launched the grocery store in November so students could purchase necessities including toilet paper, meat and basic food items. They pay for their purchases by earning points from good deeds.
"In our school district, there's roughly 2,750 students enrolled and throughout the district 43% of these students are considered economically disadvantaged," Anthony Love, the principal at Linda Tutt, told CNN. "About 3.6% of our students are considered homeless. We thought it was important to support them and their families and make sure they had food on the table."
Following up on two items from Friday's Round-up:
The Texas bullet train has survived backlash for the better part of the last decade, but governor’s reconsideration of support indicates its future is more uncertain than ever. I broke down Abbott’s decision in my latest for TM. Thanks for edit by @ben_c_rowen! https://t.co/dlYzw2D0xQ— Morgan O'Hanlon (@mcohanlon) December 4, 2020
And business leaders are hoping that Hewlett Packard's HQ move from San Jose to north Houston spurs a technology renaissance for the region.
What Hewlett Packard's move means for Houston: It's not just about jobs https://t.co/u7GaEZpvM7— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) December 3, 2020
Closing today with some football and Santa Claus.
"Bottom line, it was money and politics. Does that sound like Texas? Oh my gosh, that's the Lone Star State, ain't it?" Absolutely loved this piece from @skhanjr, @dwil and @AlexS_ESPN on the rise and fall of the legendary Southwest Conference: https://t.co/m0cOkR5YdR— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) December 2, 2020
Britton Banowsky, executive director, College Football Playoff Foundation, former SWC assistant commissioner: "I think everyone assumed it would be [Texas] Tech and Houston. Because it was the publics [Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Houston] and the privates [Baylor, Rice, SMU, TCU]. That was kind of a clean way to do it. Public schools get public funding and it just seemed like the legislature would want to make sure it happened. Then out of the blue, Houston was out and Baylor was in."
Texas' governor at the time, Ann Richards, was a Baylor graduate. Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock graduated from both Texas Tech and Baylor. The Texas House Speaker [Pete Laney], House Appropriations Committee Chairman [Rob Junell] and Texas Senate Finance Committee Chairman [John Montford] were all Texas Tech graduates.
According to the book "Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas," by Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson, Bullock summoned Texas and Texas A&M's presidents to his office in early 1994 as the merger neared. "You're taking Tech and Baylor, or you're not taking anything," Bullock told them. "I'll cut your money off, and you can join privately if you want, but you won't get another nickel of state money."
And on behalf of those ATT and DirecTV subscribers who were blacked out by Tegna from watching Texans football this past weekend ... thank you.
TOT reader Jennifer Baacke Schrade graciously shared this nifty photo of Santa in Goliad yesterday. Jennifer says that Santa rides his "reinsteer" in the Christmas parade every year there, making his way around the courthouse square. It doesn't get much more Texas-ish than this! pic.twitter.com/cyAjE6JI3m— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) December 6, 2020