I've been away from the Blogosphere for a while due to personal business. My activity on FB & Twitter has been rather scant for the past five days. But I'm back in the saddle, and I should be posting another entry later today.
In bringing you this week's round-up of the best blog posts and news from the left of Texas last week, the Texas Progressive Alliance understands the value of standing fast for—and not compromising, or negotiating—progressive principles.
The first item (next paragraph) is now out of date. The election results are in, and Rep. Carol Alvarado is now Sen. Carol Alvarado. The expected runoff was avoided due to Alvarado obtaining a majority, 50.4% of the vote in a four-way race with extremely light turnout.
The special election to fill the #SD6 vacancy left when Sylvia Garcia was elected to Congress in November concludes tomorrow (i.e., Tuesday 11 December, or yesterday, because I'm late with this repost), but is widely expected to feature a runoff between the two Democratic state representatives vying for the job (among four candidates). Ana Hernandez, PDiddie's endorsee, and Carol Alvarado have the short odds to move on to a head-to-head matchup for the right to go to Austin for a seat in the upper chamber; the loser will return to the Texas House.
The state legislature is still Republican but a fresh moderate breeze might be blowing through the Pink Dome, writes Ross Ramsey at the Texas Tribune. Whether it's a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" or not remains to be seen next year. In another preview of the forthcoming legislative session by Ramsey and republished at Progrexas, freshmen lawmakers are about to find out exactly what they won.
Texas Vox takes a first look at the environmental bills filed for the 86th Lege.
The TSTA Blog reminds us that funding public schools is the state's responsibility.
Andy Canales explores how Latin@ schools are performing, particularly those in the RGV. (Since 2005, there’s been an increase of 800,000 Latino students in Texas. Their success—or lack thereof—will influence the future of our state.)
Texas Standard links to the sickening report in the Austin American Statesman about the 3000+ cases of abuse and neglect in children's day care centers, many of them unlicensed. The worst news was that nearly 900 kids have died over the past ten years.
Tony Plohetski and Sean Collins Walsh are members of the team investigating an alarming series of incidents at Texas day care centers, and what the state is and isn’t doing to respond to allegations of abuse, poor conditions and child deaths. The Statesman series is called “Unwatched.”
After a state district judge issued a temporary restraining order halting the implementation of the voter-approved "pay parity" proposal, Houston attorney (and mayoral candidate) Tony Buzbee offered to mediate the dispute between the city and the firefighters. That drew a quick "no comment" from the incumbent mayor Sylvester Turner, who was recently praised for his ability to reach across the aisle in Texas Monthly's "Power" issue.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson made a rare public appearance at a Houston fundraiser for MD Anderson, and made news when he talked about some of his conversations with the president in a dialogue with retired CBS correspondent Bob Schieffer.
"So often, the president would say here's what I want to do and here's how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can't do it that way. It violates the law," Tillerson said.
Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer writes about Texas voter turnout in the 2018 election: much improved, but with a long way still to go.
Grits for Breakfast rephrases the question of whether not jailing people for failure (or inability) to pay the fines associated with Class C misdemeanors excuses the punishment of those crimes.
We're left to wonder: why is debt to the government somehow such a big deal that it warrants incarceration of those who cannot pay? Clearly, non-carceral methods are sufficient for these same judges to declare "justice" done if the beneficiary of court-declared debt is a person, not the government.
Better Texas Blog warns of the dangers of short-term health insurance plans.
Paradise in Hell wants to see that Confederate plaque in the Capitol taken down now.
Zachery Taylor is concerned that the conspiracy theories have been overtaken by the absurdist mainstream media narratives.
David Collins joined the chorus those calling for a halt to the canonization of GHW Bush.
The hunt for Bigfoot in Daingerfield State Park, 136 confiscated snakes in San Antonio, and revenge on a 12-foot alligator in Livingston top the Texas Observer's "Strangest State" stories from December.
And Sir Elton John's farewell tour passed through Houston Saturday night (no fighting, all right?) and was a rollicking march through five decades of songs for all time. Both Matthew Keever of the Press and Johnston Farrow of CultureMap documented the history.
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.