Sunday, December 20, 2020
If you need a last-minute stocking stuffer, Mike Peterson at the Daily Cartoonist has updated this list of cartoons, cartoonists and their Patreon and other support pages. A great gift is a subscription to one of your (and their) favorite artists!
Friday, December 18, 2020
It's remarkable that Ken Paxton didn't find his way to the top of either Texas Monthly's Bum Steer Awards or Progress Texas' Worst of 2020, but that just shows you how stiff the competition is.
The winners were well-deserved.
The late, great Molly Ivins: “The Democrats never miss a chance to miss a chance.”— Tenilla Sheehan (@tenilla) December 15, 2020
More of TM's selections throughout this post. Here's a salute to Governor COVID, who would rather kill Texans than cower before the "bidness/freedumb" base of the TXGOP.
Because this year was such a special one, we reserved a distinguished place among our 2021 Bum Steer (dis)honorees for the not-quite-twenty Texans who spectacularly disgraced themselves during the pandemic.— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 17, 2020
Let's give it up for the COVID Nineteen y'all: https://t.co/IO51x4YQzZ
More "do as I say, not as I do" from our elected leaders.
NEW: Despite CDC guidelines to avoid public gatherings, 80+ legislators from both parties scheduled in-person fundraisers in Austin this past month.— Lauren McGaughy 🌟 (@lmcgaughy) December 15, 2020
We scoped out the most popular venues — and got kicked out of a couple — to bring you this story:https://t.co/SonagGBmDm #txlege
"I saw a guy with an oxygen machine. He was carrying around an oxygen machine to *breathe,* but he didn't have a mask on."— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) December 16, 2020
Grooms with COVID, flying bodily fluids, and maskless dance floors: Texas wedding photographers are telling all. https://t.co/e2Opnc3Xcm
There were other late contenders for Bum Steers and Worst Texans. Here's one of the hard-charging finalists on my personal list.
Prosecutors: A former HPD captain faces assault charges after accosting an A/C repairman at gunpoint who he believed was involved in a ballot fraud scheme https://t.co/PDIUA568yz— St. John Barned-Smith ⚔️ (@stjbs) December 15, 2020
Read the whole Tweet thread. Few stories have the shock capacity of this one.
Aguirre was apparently paid more than $200k from the "Liberty Center for God and Country," to investigate the alleged voter fraud. The vast majority of the money — $211,400 — came the day after the alleged aggravated assault. pic.twitter.com/Y8WlFtrP2d— St. John Barned-Smith ⚔️ (@stjbs) December 15, 2020
Guess who's behind the Liberty Center for God and Country? It was "Christians Outed for Behaving Less than Godly" week.
Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you people? So much for separation of church & state. Your gov’t just gave $4.4 million ‘stimulus’ loan to billionaire conman Joel Osteen's Church. https://t.co/7JNZw3NxAY via @houstonchron— kotawi (@kotawi) December 15, 2020
Then there's Greasy Henry Cuellar, whose bad behavior was noted twice.
Besides shafting AOC -- a trending topic this week regarding M4A -- who was the beneficiary of slots on Energy and Commerce?
Last weekend, @HoustonDSA protested Rep. Lizzie Fletcher's ties to fossil fuel donors & her failure to #FightForOurLives with a Green New Deal.— DSA for a Green New Deal🌱🌹⚡️ (@DSAecosocialism) December 18, 2020
Today Nancy Pelosi rewarded Fletcher & 4 other pro-business "New Democrats" with powerful positions on the Energy & Commerce Committee. https://t.co/hnMgtVyGeP
Those of us who won't be supporting corporate Democrats any more have a long, hard job ahead. And it doesn't involve pushing people like Fletcher to the left.
Despite these Grinches ...
... several Texans got in the spirit of the holiday season.
THE SPIRIT OF GIVING: The rapper and entrepreneur was spotted donating toys during and emergency toy drive in Houston. https://t.co/I7uHjMUIkG— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) December 18, 2020
Dallas buys Oak Cliff hotel to serve as COVID-19 quarantine location and housing for homeless people https://t.co/o2iq9R6di9— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) December 17, 2020
UT-Austin establishes Dan Rather Medals for courage in journalism https://t.co/rQeGx77ucr— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) December 18, 2020
I have more of the typical updates on environmental and criminal and social justice news that will wait until Monday's Wrangle. Closing today with these.
I wrote a story about the actor Barry Corbin, who left Lamesa, Texas, & wound up playing the roles of Uncle Bob, General Beringer, Maurice Minnifield, a couple of psychotic patriarchs, 15 sheriffs—and Macbeth. @TexasMonthly https://t.co/sPL3UYnqAF— Michael Hall (@mikehalltexas) December 17, 2020
“Selena: The Series” has reignited interest in her music.— Texas Standard (@TexasStandard) December 15, 2020
For more on the next generation of female Tejano artists, we’ll talk to Veronique Medrano.https://t.co/orlOrfBEbV
KEWX, the New Braunfels Radar, has gotten into the Holiday spirit. Each year our electronics staff add red and green lights to the tower around Christmas time.— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) December 18, 2020
Bonus content for the astronomy folks - getting Jupiter and Saturn being buddies in the picture!@NWS @NEXRADROC pic.twitter.com/DiwqQkEbHh
THROWBACK: In this 1961 photo, Houstonians line up for their free polio vaccine shots at the Minimax store off Holmes Road. The special clinic, sponsored by the city, was set up at the store because the area was so far from any public health facility. (Jim Morgan/Chronicle file) pic.twitter.com/LehYdv1xuQ— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) December 17, 2020
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
I feel certain you haven't missed anything, but since it's been awhile and for the sake of posterity, I'll break it down by Tweet, in something close to chronological order.
It might help get the attention of people with pardon power, though. https://t.co/nDFX2j4l9s— Jay Root (@byjayroot) December 8, 2020
GA AG: “The Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally and factually wrong about Georgia.”— Matt Schwartz (@SchwartzChron) December 9, 2020
Mich. AG: a “publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading.”
Wisc. AG: “I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit.” https://t.co/IJfsrDOqKB
In a very brief order, the court says Texas lacks Article III standing to sue other states over how they conduct their own elections. In layperson's words: a state has no valid interest, under the Constitution, in attempting to police other states' voting procedures. pic.twitter.com/o2TRRN2PmM— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) December 11, 2020
There were zero votes for the TX AG on the merits, including zero votes from Trump appointees. It was a clown suit from the beginning, and 126 representatives, 18 state AG’s, and a host of prominent right-wing activists beclowned themselves by supporting it.— David French (@DavidAFrench) December 12, 2020
Undermining American democracy is a non-starter but smart politics? https://t.co/mAECcUTU8q— Evan (@evan7257) December 10, 2020
I decided to leave Ted Cruz and Dan Crenshaw out of this rundown ... because there's only so much bullshit all of us can take.
The meter's running ...— Bob Garrett (@RobertTGarrett) December 15, 2020
Lawyer hired to defend Texas AG Ken Paxton in whistleblower case will cost state $540 an hour, according to latest by @lmcgaughy and @MorrisReports #txlege @KenPaxtonTX https://t.co/9XqJBpY6wv
National lawyers group seeks sanctions against Texas AG Ken Paxton, colleagues who sued to undo Biden’s win https://t.co/lVLGFTwvGV— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) December 15, 2020
Chris Hooks at Texas Monthly attempted to describe Ken Paxton to a new audience. Steve Vladeck gave his explanation of the Paxton lawsuit, then broke down the SCOTUS ruling
There was lots of news on the COVID-19 front.
With the FDA granting Pfizer an EUA for its coronavirus vaccine, Socratic Gadfly presented his round-up of coronavirus-related news, which covers vaccine efficacy in the real world, distribution to problematic and/or impoverished rural areas like the "Big Rez", and more, including how long the vaccine's protections may or may not last. Bud Kennedy at the Startlegram says rural Texans are 'angry' at the coronavirus and its toll on the grieving.
“I’ve never seen this level of human suffering in my 20 years of healthcare." https://t.co/baBU0aFLJE— Texas Standard (@TexasStandard) December 14, 2020
The White House Coronavirus Task Force is increasingly suggesting that states including #Texas begin shutting down again since they aren’t doing enough to slow the worst surge in COVID cases that the country has seen, writes @BenjaminEW➡️ https://t.co/ot7O0vgzad— Zach Despart🖊️ (@zachdespart) December 14, 2020
Greg Abbott says the White House -- i.e. Deborah Birx -- was "unaware" of all the things he's done to slow the spread. Whoever happens to be at fault (and I would assert it's all of them), the pandemic is grinding everybody down.
Nurse Christian Ramirez said he’s started to dream he’s in the hospital and will wake up wondering where his patients are.— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) December 13, 2020
At one point during the summer, he saw a nurse weeping next to a dying patient — her own mother — wondering if she’d infected her. https://t.co/zuCDXS4t0o
The @EPA is fast-tracking the review of hundreds of products that may be effective against COVID-19—even as many experts warn that some of these products could be dangerous to consumers and the environment, especially when overused or used incorrectly.https://t.co/9YHk9Nhumw— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) December 11, 2020
And as my segue to the criminal justice collation:
🚨🚨 According to a study from the University of Texas at Austin, 21 people who died from the virus while incarcerated had served 90% or more of their sentence. And nine people had been approved for parole but died before they could be released. https://t.co/0AKRzyNTuG pic.twitter.com/DDj9meXxq3— Rio Slade of the Guillotine Party (@RioSlade) December 14, 2020
Grits for Breakfast lists his top ten Texas criminal justice stories of the year. The latest Texas Watch podcast outlines the brutal history of tort reform in the Lone Star State.
SCOOP: Texas prisons been flouting state fire officials for years, ignoring orders to get working fire alarm systems. MOST inspected facilities don’t have them - which is how prisoners can keep starting fires to protest conditions. Here’s a story& a THREAD https://t.co/FfHrXk0XRj— Keri Blakinger (@keribla) December 13, 2020
Both men were put to death last week.
As a transition from this topic to election news ...
More in this Tweet thread from the Chron's Jasper Scherer.
There were other municipal runoff election results from the Metroplex covered by TXElects. LareDos posted about the progressive candidates who won in that city's council and community college board races. And El Paso's mayor, Dee Margo, lost to his predecessor, Oscar Leeser.
The head of the Texas Democratic Party has appointed a committee to take a "deep dive" on what went wrong in the November election after a group of executive committee members wrote to him demanding answers, reforms and a shakeup in senior staff.#txlege https://t.co/NssalBfhlV— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) December 8, 2020
I predict no action will be taken. In more positive developments for leftists, David Collins blogged about the Green Maps Project.
Of note is that Texas Greens already have a 2022 candidate for governor.
There were a few news items from the Lege yesterday. Maybe you heard.
Looks like the dedicated data and mapping staff of the @TXLegeCouncil will not be pulling all-nighters during the Christmas season this year to get ready for redistricting. Key Census geographic boundary data will not be available for another six or more weeks. #txlege https://t.co/5HBft9BMLA— Texas Election Source (@TXElects) December 11, 2020
That would be Kyle Biedermann. Secession could be yet another litmus test between the Trumpublicans and the other ones.
You see it, right?— Joe (@CPO_JOE) December 13, 2020
They wanna leave a country they hate, and go to someplace named after a country they hate. pic.twitter.com/bYHwQlj8XK
Oh yeah, the Electoral College met. Nothing of interest to report there that I haven't already mentioned at the top, so here's the Texas Music Office director playing his violin while they counted the votes.
While electoral college votes are officially being certified, they broke out a fiddle to keep people entertained here in Texas. That is Brendon Anthony, director of the Texas Music Office. And yes, we have a Texas Music Office. pic.twitter.com/9xiZ0OBzbd— Jeremy Wallace (@JeremySWallace) December 14, 2020
A plethora of environmental developments:
Texas Environmental News aggregated these: the SCOTUS gave New Mexico a win in the latest skirmish over water between us and them; BP's dismal refinery safety record finally came to the attention of Trump's Labor Department; and the Midlothian cement facility pollution plan is moving ahead, but activists there are not relenting.
NASA has famously used fuel cells to power spacecraft & satellites, and that existing technology led many to believe hydrogen will eventually replace gasoline and diesel as the world’s primary transportation fuel.— HOUmanitarian (@HOUmanitarian) December 12, 2020
https://t.co/kunp7s2gf5 by @cltomlinson
The Week says it's mostly hype, though. *heavy sigh*
Oil companies are struggling with falling energy demand this year and as world leaders pledge to address climate change. But Exxon Mobil has doubled down on its commitment to oil and gas and is making relatively small investments in future technologies.https://t.co/1D6RaJDIbv— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 11, 2020
There's a balance of good news, bad news, and a hybrid of both in the Tweets below.
“#Wind and #solar are the cheapest forms of e#nergy on a levelized cost basis for electric generation, and that will continue to be the case,”— TXsharon (@TXsharon) December 8, 2020
Why are we still permitting new #oilandgas wells that #taxpayers will pay to clean up? https://t.co/efnN7sqgff
How Texas and other red states tried to jump start carbon storage a decade ago https://t.co/mgc8qxp2Ta— Laredo Morning Times (@lmtnews) December 10, 2020
Federal wildlife managers are considering offering permits to landowners in the Permian Basin that environmentalists say could further compromise habitat for a rare lizard found only in parts of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. https://t.co/mGDG2yc5tE— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) December 13, 2020
DSA activists had a busy weekend in Houston last.
Although we visited these four companies today, they are far from being the only offenders. Today we shed light on the devastation that ensues when corporations and donors hold power over politicians. pic.twitter.com/TAQyOqf1es— Houston DSA (@HoustonDSA) December 13, 2020
A couple of Texas-based firms figure prominently in the latest Trump election conspiracy theory/Russian hacking episodes.
UPDATE: I said that Dallas' "Allied Security Operations Group"—behind the disinformation-fueled attack on Michigan's certification for Biden—would be traced to Flynn.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 14, 2020
Well, one of the men who headed it until days ago "served as an intelligence operations leader under DIA Flynn." pic.twitter.com/oANiTXzs8P
SolarWinds, the software company at the center of a suspected Russian cyber attack on U.S. federal agencies, has deep roots in Austin https://t.co/Fqprn5SM0o— Austin Statesman (@statesman) December 14, 2020
I should do these Wrangles at least twice a week, shouldn't I? A few social justice pieces, centering on the looming eviction crisis.
“I am kind of just marked, for what feels like years. And nobody is going to give me a chance because of that one mistake on my record.”https://t.co/5F26DUSueD— Texas Observer (@TexasObserver) December 15, 2020
Evictions filed in Texas during COVID-19:— Gregorio Casar (@GregCasar) December 7, 2020
Fort Worth: 8,525
Our tenant protections in Austin are succeeding. Progressive local government really matters. #EvictionMoratorium #CancelRent pic.twitter.com/CrziRvaoVN
Liberation News profiled H-Town's I-45 expansion opponents. And the San Antonio Current reports that the Alamo City will hold its largest holiday food distribution event of the year today.
Wrapping up with these lighter-side items.
From sports and school graduations to protests and a presidential election, our photographers captured the unique experiences of a year saddled with social-distancing and shutdowns.— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) December 13, 2020
👀 Check out the images in The Dallas Morning News year in pictures https://t.co/qVVqxqtzBt pic.twitter.com/KBXObKS5jQ
The largest wildlife bridge in the United States opened Friday in San Antonio.— KUT Austin (@KUT) December 13, 2020
The bridge will be covered with native trees and plants and connect a previously divided 330-acre park. | via @TPRNews https://t.co/0JaCi6GdzL
As Steve Bresnen noted, low profile run-flat tires were not a recent invention.
Texaco vehicle in East Texas circa 1915. Texaco was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1902. At first it was "The Texas Company," but when a salesman saw the abbreviation "Texaco" in a telegram, it became the nickname of the company & the its official name. The Texaco star came in 1903. pic.twitter.com/zwm8QpFXBC— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) December 12, 2020
Goddamit!!! Kiss an angle good morning..and let her know you think about her when you're gone.— PJ Smith ☠ Buccaneer (@PJTheAltrusian1) December 12, 2020
"Country music legend Charley Pride dies at 86 from COVID-19 complications" https://t.co/xklazDSnwu
Meanwhile, somewhere in Texas ... Better safe than sorry, I reckon. pic.twitter.com/mZuYJeQqU2— Traces of Texas (@TracesofTexas) December 9, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Mike Peterson at the Daily Cartoonist has updated this list of cartoons, cartoonists and their Patreon and other support pages. You don’t have to support them all, of course, but if you enjoy my weekly aggregation, please choose your favorite artists and back them up!