Here's the lefty blog post and news from around the Lone Star State.
Listicles were popular this week past; Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer has five reasons why Ken Paxton is the luckiest son of a bitch politician in the state.
5. Straight-ticket voting is here to clean up Paxton's mess.
According to the Texas Tribune's latest polling, Paxton faces the toughest race of any Texas Republican, leading challenger Justin Nelson by just one point, 32-31. Paxton's advantage is likely larger than that, however, because Texas still has straight-ticket voting for the 2018 election.
Incumbent Texas Gov. Greg Abbott leads Lupe Valdez by 12 points in the same poll, so about a quarter of those voting for Abbott would have to split their tickets and seek out Nelson's name on the bottom in order for him to defeat Paxton. In 2020, Texas voters will have to vote in each of the state's races individually, leveling the playing field in down-ballot races.
You're excused from feeling a bit paranoid about the weather on holidays in Southeast Texas based on recent history (and also exempt from ridicule for considering Tax Day a holiday). With "weather panic" apparently the new normal in the Bayou City, Jeff Balke at the Houston Press points out five things Houstonians do during heavy rain events despite being warned not to.
(Please read the first one. If you're the person who blames government officials for seventy years of poor decision-making every time this happens but continues to vote to re-elect them, their friends, and their staffers when they retire...why don't you just move to Mexico? Or somewhere else there isn't a hundred-year flood once a quarter?)
The March for Our Lives tour stopped in H-Town yesterday, featuring as speakers a few of the young men and women who survived the Parkland high school shooting. A couple of hundred supporters gathered to voice support, while about one-fourth that number of gun nuts protested loudly across the street. See more at the #RoadToChange hashtag.
The weekly roundup of criminal justice news at Grits for Breakfast includes this piece of news (bold emphasis Brains'):
Grits has been saying for months that the opiod epidemic in Texas is overstated compared to the problem of meth addiction and overdoses, and that hysteria over fentanyl is largely unwarranted here because the drug does not mix with the relatively impure black-tar heroin common in Texas and California markets. So I was not suprised to see Snopes rule that the fentanyl-soaked flyers touted by the Harris County Sheriff's Office as causing the hospitalization of a deputy was a bogus story.
Though HCSO said "field tests" indicated fentanyl on the flyers, lab tests confirmed that was false. Laughably, HCSO said in a statement, "The Sheriff’s Office is also working to verify that deputies have access to the most reliable field testing kits available." Faulty field tests used by law enforcement in Harris County have been responsible for hundreds of false convictions, so don't hold your breath.
Bonddad suggests there are some easy-to-understand motivations underlying the Republicans' daily rabid attacks, led by Trump, as it relates to their strategy for winning in November. Speaking of the fall elections, Off the Kuff made more comparisons to 2014 on relative levels of enthusiasm and candidate fundraising.
Gus Bova at the Texas Observer reveals that the Trump administration's own figures show that "zero tolerance" immigration enforcement did not work. In fact it only succeeded in making it much more difficult for those seeking asylum to comply with the law.
Dos Centavos takes (apparently generic, mostly unidentified) Democrats to task over their timorousness regarding the call to abolish ICE.
Equality Texas is hosting town hall meetings on the ramifications of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court decision in Dallas, Waco, San Antonio, and Houston next week.
Downwinders at Risk passes along the public notice from the Dallas City Council's public hearing on the proposed regional air quality monitoring network, scheduled for late August.
Bruce Melton at The Rag Blog reports on yet another environmental calamity: Alaskan permafrost has flipped from carbon sink to carbon source; it is now melting so fast that it's emitting more greenhouse gas than it formerly stored.
The Spanish language newspaper La Prensa, which closed suddenly earlier this summer, has been reborn in print (and online soon). The San Antonio Current has the story.
Vanessa Eichler at Rivard Report argues that inadequate funding remains the biggest problem in Texas public education.
David Collins has the details on the latest Texas Green Party PR disaster. Update: Which, as it turns out, happens to have been bogus.
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub compares its namesake to the current White House occupant and finds similarities only in their respective failures.
SocraticGadfly suggests ways to either improve on the current shootout method or reduce them in World Cup games.
And Harry Hamid can kinda sorta relate to the Thai-boys-soccer-team-that's-trapped-in-the-cave's dilemma.