A friend who lives in TX-7 dropped by the Democratic candidates' forum over the weekend. This gathering also featured Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who from this friend's account induced in him a "man-crush" (the word he used in his Facebook summary). I'm sure Rep. O'Rourke is very charismatic, and even with my deep skepticism I might be susceptible to his charm offensive. That's how the best liberal politicians operate, right?—saying all the right words with the right tempo and tone, but not necessarily adding up to progressive policies when analyzed in the cold light of a January day.
PDiddie, who steadfastly refuses to be charmed by O'Rourke, did not post much last week, and thus does not appear in his Weekly Wrangle/Texoblogosphere this week. However, on Friday he managed to cough up Part 4 of his Revolution vs. Resistance no-longer-Trilogy. And it's brilliant. Among other points, PD invokes a recent column from Ted Rall that I strongly recommend reading in its entirety, and then illustrates how the Democratic establishment is actively smearing actual progressive Senate candidate Sema Hernandez. Meanwhile, that same establishment actively promotes corporate-friendly candidates as part of its keep-the-big-donations-coming-regardless-of-how-many-seats-we-lose strategy.
It is because of Progressives like Sema that PDiddie plans to vote in the upcoming Democratic Primary, giving at least the Texas Dems one more chance to prove their bona fides. Given the current condition of the Green Party in Texas, I can hardly blame him, and am tempted to join him, although I'd prefer to have his signature (and those of his readers) on our Ballot Access petition. (Reminder: Per state law, if you vote in a primary, or attend another party's convention at any level, you can't put a valid signature on that petition.)
Enough preamble. Let's serve up some hot links.
Here's the original on Goodreads.
Full disclosure: I am an acquaintance of the author. Also, I have admired her writing since she was a 20-something contributor to the Houston Press nearly half her life ago.
Disclaimer: Any book I give a 5-star rating has to literally knock my socks off. I'm sticking to my system, even though it may decrease this book's average (which, last I looked, was the highest of all my Goodreads books). As a 55-year-old male, I'm no expert on YA fiction, so I judged this book on more standard literary merits (admittedly, standards maintained by a mostly white middle-aged male literary establishment).
It isn't just because I know Jennifer Mathieu that I'm rooting for Moxie to become a nationwide phenomenon, or even bigger. I want the film adaptation to be a monster hit and spawn Moxie clubs in schools all over this nation. I want to see the next generation of girls brought up to feel empowered to demand respect, and boys taught to respect them as equals. I want to see young people of all genders willing and able to challenge and banish sexism where they find it, from their homes and neighborhoods to the Nation's Capital. STP, y'all—Smash The Patriarchy, the sooner the better.
What I love most about Moxie is the setting—or, more accurately, the way Jennifer portrays it. She has fully fleshed out her fictitious Gulf Coast shrimping town, capturing small-town Texas in the 2010s exquisitely.* Like hundreds of little towns and cities in Texas, it has all the technological advancements and fast food franchises of recent decades, but it remains ruled by attitudes that haven't graduated past the 1950s.
Yes, I've been working on some Green stuff lately, preparations for the Ballot Access Drive that begins in March. And I can happily report that a civil vibe was maintained at Monday's Harris County Green Party meeting.
But Green business is not why I felt compelled to post something here today, nor any brand of politics. On this, her birthday, I wanted to enshrine some Facebook tributes to Kayleen/Gisele/Gizzy here rather than just consigning them to the disposability of the FB news cycle.
The Texas Progressive Alliance marched in solidarity with women over the weekend, and stands shoulder to shoulder with them as the second year of the quest for equal rights, decent treatment, and fair consideration is a clear demonstration that they are twice as pissed off as last year.
DBC missed the march due to taking care of domestic business, but is happy that some Harris County Greens turned out for it, complete with a banner and green t-shirts. DBC also agrees with Dr. Margaret Flowers, who reminded us on Twitter and Facebook that, unless marching for women's issues includes vociferous opposition the US's lethal foreign policies, killing women and children through bombing and hunger, irrespective of which corporate party is in power, then that march is not worth the wear & tear on our shoes.
Here's the lefty blog post and news round-up from last week.
Michael Li interprets the latest SCOTUS action on Texas redistricting.
G. Elliott Morris gives a short course in poll tracking.
Two weeks after Houston native Nathan Neblett became Tarrant County's elections administrator...he's out, via PoliTex. Commissioners will address the vacancy in their meeting this week, but don't expect to tap a replacement before the March 6 primary.
DBC Green blog praised a couple of the Democratic candidates who spoke at Our Revolution Gulf Coast's quarterly meeting.
EgbertoWillies.com said that many Democrats seemed to have believed that because Trump is unpopular they would coast to a blue wave. Those who warned were attacked as pessimists; not reading the data objectively. The double-digit Democratic generic polling lead has evaporated. There is work to be done.
The Lion Star videotaped interviews with Gina Ortiz Jones and Judy Canales, two of the Democrats running in TX-23, and the Lewisville Texan Journal covered the debate between Will Fisher and Linsey Fagan, contending to challenge incumbent Republican Michael Burgess in TX-26. Here's an excerpt:
Probably the most interesting moment of the debate came much later when they were asked about the other side of the 2016 ticket. Both candidates strongly supported Bernie Sanders in a Democratic primary race that has been called into question by Sanders supporters and some party officials. The issue remained contentious among Democrats nationally right up until the general election. (Ed. note: The issue remains contentious; legally so.)
jobsanger finds merit-based immigration to be a bad idea, hurting workers by depressing wages, thereby helping corporations.
Texas Standard--linking to the Statesman--asks if the state ought to be insuring its $7.4 billion (guesstimated worth) of property, rather than self-insuring it as is currently done.
Michael Barajas of the Texas Observer reports on a lawsuit questioning the conduct of Port Arthur police and the staff of a hospital there after a mentally ill patient wound up dead for refusing to take off his underwear. And in an ongoing examination of the challenges facing rural Texans, Christopher Collins finds that if they want decent health care, they'd be best off self-deporting to New Hampshire.
Texas and other Southern states are home to small-town doctor shortages, skyrocketing rates of preventable disease among rural residents and some of the highest uninsured rates in the nation, according to a new report that places Texas’ rural health care failings in a national context for the first time.
Better Texas blog has an update on the Lege's efforts to stabilize the individual health insurance market (better known as the Affordable Care Act).
Socratic Gadfly has some thoughts on the nuances of universal healthcare, Medicare for All, co-pays, and the positions on all of those of Beto O'Rourke and Tom Wakely.
Stuart Williams urges Texas Democrats to compete in rural areas.
Neil at All People Have Value shared a picture from the weekly John Cornyn Houston office protest, held each Tuesday at 11:30 am to 1 pm, at 5300 Memorial Drive.
And Harry Hamid has been ill long enough as to be hallucinating.
Normally I would wait until Monday to post reflections on a Sunday afternoon political outing. But I couldn't wait that long to give some online kudos to the crew at Our Revolution. Mainly thanks to Facilitator Ann Rosenwinkel, the two-hour Texas Gulf Coast regional quarterly meeting at the Havens Center was well attended, ended well ahead of schedule, and accomplished quite a bit.
Mostly, the meeting gave members a chance to chat with some candidates and choose their delegates to next weekend's state meeting in San Antonio.
Sigh. Once upon a time, the Harris County Green Party could run a meeting that accomplished a lot and left attendees feeling energized afterward. Even when some members occasionally used meetings as soapboxes for their pet issues, we got stuff done.
Now that I have signed into an Our Revolution meeting, apparently I'm a member of something. Do I feel sufficiently jazzed by the experience to want to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into OR? Nah. But even if I have lingering suspicions about it being just another way to keep wayward progressives voting for Democrats, I must respect the way they ran this meeting and the group's sense of purpose.
Profound and sincere apologies for anything that might even be perceived as passive-aggressive in a recent response to a Brains and Eggs entry. My comrade Perry Dorrell has posted two-thirds of a series he labels "the Revolution vs. the Resistance," and it's a fascinating read for Texas Progressives.
News flash: Sema = Revolution, and Beto = Mere Resistance.
Don't Just Say No
Naomi Klein's rushed-to-press book from last year is entitled No Is Not Enough. The title is a pretty solid slogan for Progressives in North America and elsewhere. The Pussy-Hat Resistance Movement is a Just Say No campaign.
It is not entirely true that the Resistance is focusing exclusively on halting the Drumpf/GOP agenda, without offering alternative policies. Generally, however, the main thrust of the Resistance consists of NO! and then figuring out what happens after Democrats recapture Congress, like the dog that finally catches the car.
The Revolution, on the other hand, is about proposing something different—not just different from what Republicans offer, but from what mainstream Democrats laughably call their "ideas." The Revolution may work within the Democratic Party as outsider candidates, in third parties, or independently; whichever, they bring truly progressive platforms that include single payer/Medicare for All and ending US foreign military adventures.
Last August, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread delays at the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. Winter Storm Inga wrought some havoc with the start of Spring 2018, what with two days of what we call "severe weather." It wasn't so much severe weather as severely messed up highways. The presenters on the Weather Channel were calling our roads "skating rinks" with drinking-game frequency, and the Southwest Freeway definitely fit that description.
Fortunately, my place of work prudently scheduled the beginning of the Spring term for today, as if the committee knew we'd have Houstonians-don't-know-how-to-drive-in-it weather after MLK Day.
Downwinders at Risk chronicles the holiday in the aftermath of the cancellation of the Arlington MLK Day parade (the one Greg Abbott was supposed to be the grand marshal of).
Neil at All People Have Value blogged about the Houston Democratic Socialists of America–endorsed slate for 2018. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
PoliTex reminds Texans that we are first in the nation with our primary elections, and that the deadline to register to vote in them is less than two weeks from today.
Socratic Gadfly is still waiting for Lupe Valdez to take a political stance. And in a sidebar, he had snarky pieces about Trump's alleged payoff to Stormy Daniels and what's new on Gorilla Channel viewing, both run with Ken Silverstein's Washington Babylon.
Michael Li outlines the Texas redistricting case SCOTUS has agreed to hear.
Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher reluctantly climbs down into the shithole.
Grits for Breakfast points out a problem with life-without-parole sentences.
Off the Kuff takes a shot at predicting which female candidates for Congress in Texas have the best chance at getting elected, and Lion Star has video of some of the CD-16 candidates (he seems to like Norma Chavez).
Even as larger communities like Houston have welcomed the New Year and largely turned the page on Hurricane Harvey, this is not the case for many other Texas cities and towns. As Texas Leftist shares, Harvey is very much a 2018 reality for coastal towns like Rockport.
In his latest "water is wet" post, jobsanger bar-graphs a poll that shows race relations in the US are still a problem.
Jim Schutze at the Dallas Observer notices that life has gone on in Dallas even after tearing down the statue of Robert E. Lee.
Texas Standard's regular aggregation of state news includes the story at the Statesman that justices of both the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals heard in a symposium from experts on how to better serve defendants with mental health issues.
Leah Binkovitz at the Urban Edge ponders the Houston region's transit future.
Sarah Martinez at the San Antonio Current documents the brief but impactful life of the #DentonTrumpster, and Leif Reigstad at Texas Monthly profiles some Texans, well known and lesser known, that we lost last year.
Somervell County Salon laments the pending reuse of sodium nitrite to control the feral hog population.
DBC Green blog has his mind blown by a conservative host on RT.
Better Texas Blog plans to face 2018 with a fierce sense of optimism about what can be accomplished.
Harry Hamid approaches Ludditia.
And Millard Fillmore's Bathtub reminds you to fly your flag today (i.e., Monday, MLK Day, because this Texoblogosphere was published that day).
I had to stop watching the video above about halfway through it. But I will watch the rest of it.
I had to stop because something Peter Lavelle says, starting about 16:50 and ending at 18:30, compelled me to post something about it. Beyond that, it got me doing some serious thinking.
Lavelle, an American academic and journalist, hosts Crosstalk at RT International. He considers himself a conservative. Not every middle-aged guy with short hair, specs, and a bowtie is conservative, but he's basically George Will with an open mind. Like George Will, he is no fan of our alleged president or our alleged president's cronies.
What Lavelle says about RT, and why it is the target of such McCarthyite vitriol, is that the network challenges narratives propagated by Western mainstream news sources, in some instances exploding those narratives. Left unspoken is that, as Dr. George Lakoff might put it, people in general hate having their narratives challenged.
Then comes his mini-rant at the 16:50 mark about Russiagate, in which he manages to challenge a different narrative about the events in Ukraine a few years ago.
...and I'd like to point out to our viewers here, because it almost never gets any airtime: Paul Manafort was working for the Yanukovych government before it was overthrown illegally in February 2014. Yanukovych was trying to get into a European association agreement, something the Russians didn't particularly like, okay?
Ballotpedia can be difficult to navigate, mostly because of its multi-dimensional mission. It contains mostly accurate information about various state and federal elective offices, who currently occupies those offices, and who is running for them in the current election cycle.
Therefore, as a public service, I am seriously getting my Kuffner on and providing handy links to all of Ballotpedia's pages on the 2018 primary races for Texas's
I will add State Board of Education candidates as soon as I find them.
The various pages include names of those who actually filed, those who withdrew, and even some who declined to run. It also includes candidates (and non-candidates) who identify as Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and Independent. However, the lists of candidates for the State Legislature include only Democrats and Republicans. For Libertarian candidates, see this page on lptexas.org.
Libertarians and Greens will select their nominees in conventions rather than elections.
If you have any interest in Texas electoral politics, you may want to bookmark this entry; I know I will. I will also update it as needed.
UPDATE: Travis Christal is not running as a Green for Comptroller, despite what Ballotpedia indicates. The Texas Green Party co-chairs say that Christal missed the 14 December filing deadline.
Sadly, I did not arrange to make it possible to celebrate this day with fried peanutbutter and banana sandwiches. But I did pick up two King Cakes Saturday at a nearby Whole Foods Market. It's the birthday not only of the King, but also of the Thin White Duke. What foodstuffs do you associate with David Bowie?
One of the King Cakes was completely consumed on Epiphany at a gumbo gathering of some fellow Progressive types. The name Beto O'Rourke (see below) came up in conversation that evening. Since the Green Party will have no dog in the Senatorial fight, someone asked, would we Greens vote for O'Rourke to try to evict Ted Cruz from his seat, or would we grouse about how Democrats are just Republicans in donkeys' clothing and not vote at all. I was pleased to inform the other guests that O'Rourke is not the only Democrat in the primary—and, if they are inclined to vote in March, they can vote for Sema Hernandez instead.
The Rivard Report covered the opening of Dream Week 2018 in San Antonio.
Socratic Gadfly blogged about Beto O'Rourke's visit to Northeast Texas.
RH Ratcliffe at Burkablog got reactions from some Texas mayors regarding US ICE director Thomas Homan's threat to lock up elected officials in "sanctuary" cities.
Dos Centavos wonders if Latin@s will roll with Trump on the basis of him actually doing something--no matter how terrible it might be--on DACA. (Senate Democrats who folded on a fix at the end of last year left the DREAMer activist community outraged.)
PoliTex saw and heard the backlash in Fort Worth to that city's selection of Governor Greg Abbott as the grand marshal of the MLK parade next week. And the Houston Press is still wondering why there are two different MLK Day parades in the Bayou City.
The Lewisville Texan Journal has a profile of Willie Hudspeth, the civil rights activist and Vietnam vet running for Denton County Judge. And from the Texas Observer: Austin community organizer and self-described "democratic socialist" Lewis Conway Jr. wants to find out if a convicted felon can get elected to, and then serve on, city council.
The Lion Star blog sees a state district court judge in El Paso who wants off the 2018 ballot, and DBC Green blog links to Kuff regarding all the Democrats who have filled the primary that are gunning for a seat in the US House. And Elliott Morris at Decision Desk HQ also has five numbers that frame where the 2018 Congressional elections stand.
With so many candidates on the primary ballot, Texas Leftist has his candidate questionnaire, TLCQ 2018, up and ready to go, so check it out and look for responses to come in soon.
The TSTA Blog urges teachers to be the voting bloc some state legislators fear they can be.
A Trump social media guru previously based in San Antonio (having relocated to Florida in preparation for the 2020 re-election campaign) has been called to testify before Congress in the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, reports the Current.
Neil at All People Have Value noted that Trump was making a case for street protests against corrupt government in his tweets about demonstrations in Iran. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.
The Texas Tribune takes a look at the furniture rental outfits across the state who threaten their customers with jail time, and follow through on it, if they miss a payment.
Mike Snyder at the Chron wants to consider the question of how Houston should grow post-Harvey.
The Texas Living Waters Project talks to Dr. Andrew Sansom about his freshwater environmental activism.
And Harry Hamid reported some issues with an arson investigation in his 'hood.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.