Category Archives: Republinuttiness

I Know We Are Happy, But…

Kuff tells us about the indictment of the local right-wing purveyor of hormone and “Low-T” shots whose involvement in the vehicular assault and illegal detention in the name of voter fraud by a former cop he hired now has him indicted for the same crime.

From the Chron:

Through a group called Liberty Center for God and Country, Hotze funded a private investigation into a conspiracy theory that Democrats had collected hundreds of thousands of fraudulent ballots, prosecutors have alleged. The group paid (Mark) Aguirre, a disgraced former Houston police captain, $266,400 to investigate the claims.

and

The vast majority of the money from Hotze’s group, $211,400, arrived to Aguirre one day after the alleged assault, previous grand jury subpoenas showed.

Needless to say, a lot of folks are happy to see one of the wealthiest and whiniest republinuts in town in trouble for something after bankrolling all sorts anti-Dem, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-COVID Vax, and anti-anything progressive campaigns and conspiracy theories.

The problem is when you have a local DA who’s in the news for using her office for political purposes whether against the County Judge or a local District Judge, well, cases in which gun violence and politics mix are sure to get tainted, or questioned before the public square.

Still, I’m sure all sorts of folks, including republicans who want some sort of “normal” right-winger behavior, will be watching this story intently.

Judge Hidalgo Puts Us Back At Yellow

Congrats to all those who are not at-risk or immunocompromised and have been given the green light to move about unmasked at mass events. County Judge Lina Hidalgo has lowered the color code to yellow. People have been living on green, attending unmasked events, and not really paying attention to anything regarding COVID, though. But, congrats anyway.

Me? I look forward to my almost weekly visits with a family member who is immunocompromised, so, I do everything possible to not get infected. That means no mass, unmasked events with people I don’t know or trust to be safe. That means masking up with KN-95 and KF-94s at work, at the store, amongst people, etc. That means if you must see me, I’ll probably be double-masked!

Thankfully, I really like my family members. We make great food together. We even have our own house band and make great music. Studio quality if the booze is flowing. It’s what’s important to me.

Anyway, back to my normal. As, the Judge said, “stay vigilant.”

COVID Happenings

CDC will extend mask mandate on public transport (planes and trains and buses) through April 18. Republinuts are suing, obviously, since they don’t care about anyone. Unfortunately, they cite “science” in their defense. The same science that leaves at-risk and immunocompromised people vulnerable with weakened color codes, I guess.

Anyway, good luck to all.

Isabel Longoria Resigns As Elections Chief

After County Judge Lina Hidalgo made it clear that she preferred someone else in charge of elections, Isabel Longoria submitted her resignation, effective July 1.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Chronicle reported that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat, said she wanted a change in leadership and intended to replace election administrator Isabel Longoria. Shortly after, Longoria announced she would step down on July 1.

Her resignation came after Harris County Democrats called for a comprehensive post-election review, while Republicans — regular adversaries of the county’s Democratic leadership — simultaneously sued the county and demanded Longoria’s resignation.

Also…

Ultimately, the county commissioners court voted to bring in a third-party consultant to review the county’s elections operations and make recommendations for improvement for the remaining 2022 elections.

I guess that the consultant will work double-time so the office can be ready for November. That’ll be a nice vendor contract.

County Commissioner Adrian Garcia supported Longoria’s resignation and defended the creation of an election administrator’s office stating the current system allows for accountability. Also, that an elected official running the elections would have an unfair advantage in their own race.

County Commissioner Rodney Ellis expanded on the fact that Longoria had to face an “unprecedented amount of obstructions aimed at her office and Harris County voters.” That would include anything from frivolous lawsuits to SB1 to no guidance from the Secretary of State. Ellis also stated that the real threat to voting rights are barriers to voting and other voter suppression tactics.

Back when the office was created, I defended our Democratic majority doing so since we elected them, and despite opposition from the Tax Assessor-Collector to the idea. What I did prefer at the time was a lengthy discussion on how it should be created and run and that a national search be done for someone to lead the office. Someone who knew the new voting system and could hit the ground running. Something that would not have taken two years, as Garcia mentioned in his statement. And look at where we are now.

Like Kuff, I was happy with the choice of Longoria because I knew her as a hard-working, open-minded person who would get the job done, if given the freedom by all sides. So, I appreciate Isabel Longoria’s commitment to remaining for the next two elections in May, though, I do remind her that this is a right to work state and loyalty is a two-way street. Whatever errors occurred happened within the entire office, so, I hope that all those involved are held accountable. That’s if all the hubbub wasn’t “political,” right?

Something else I said about the creation of a “non-partisan” elections office that would take out the politics from elections is that these offices are always political, no matter who is in charge. And with republicans continually tossing around voting conspiracy theories, it will be hard for anyone to run this office. And that’s exactly what Republicans want. So, best to keep a Democratic majority at Commissioner’s Court.

Kuff has his take and smacks the local news a bit for basically misleading viewers on how the “missing” votes could have affected the outcomes of some close races without context on the data. As Kuff (and many of us who follow vote counts as hobbies) expected, no outcomes were affected.

Those Litigious GOPers

Republinuts have been lawsuit filing fools recently. One lawsuit against Beto O’Rourke because of a billionaire’s hurt feelings and the other against Harris County because they didn’t like the election.

[Kelcy] Warren, the co-founder of Energy Transfer and chair of its board, filed the lawsuit last month in state district court in San Saba County, accusing O’Rourke of a “relentless and malicious attack” on him. The lawsuit alleges defamation, slander and libel, and it seeks over $1 million in damages.

At first, I thought it said “definition” of character. I agree with O’Rourke, it’s frivolous and pretty whiny. Kelcy is just a poor little rich man.

Speaking of whiny, the local republinuts filed a lawsuit against election chief, Isabel Longoria, for a variety of reasons.

The lawsuit, which lists Longoria by name, claims she interfered with the Republican chair supervision of the primary election by “failing to abide the county chair’s appointment of Presiding Judges and alternate judges” and interfered with “the county chair’s supervision by electing to treat a 10,000 vote discrepancy in the county as a matter ‘for further investigation rather than providing the county chairs and the presiding judges the underlying data suggesting that Defendant could not get those votes counted before a court-imposed deadly.”

So, instead of trying to seek facts, the GOP is putting out all sorts of conspiracy theories to see what sticks, or not. It’s the usual playbook of questioning the legitimacy of elections, including the republican primary which was run by the republicans. All of this with the purpose of attacking County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Democrats. I hope the lawsuit is dismissed.

Bottom line: The votes are being counted and finalized, including the 10,000+ that were scanned but not tabulated. A review of the process is being done. The County Commissioners will get to question the election administrator this week. Answers are coming. Anything else the local republinuts do is just to add a very annoying smokescreen to the facts and more delays.

Kuff has more.

Are You Ready for the Democratic Run-Offs?

Well, the vote counts are in, despite the whining of the Trumpy, Abbott-appointed Secretary of State and republinuts who probably started all the whining, and we can see who will be facing off in the run-off in a couple of months. This is what we see, so far, locally.

US Rep, District 38 – Diana Martinez Alexander, Duncan Klussman

Lt. Governor – Mike Collier, Michelle Beckley

Attorney General – Rochelle Mercedes Garza, Joe Jaworski

State Comptroller – Angel Luis Vera, Janet Dudding

Land Commissioner – Sandragrace Martinez, Jay Kleberg

SBOE – 4 – Staci Childs, Coretta Mallett-Fontenot

State Rep, 147 – Danielle Keys Bess, Jolanda Jones

Judge, 185th District – Jason Luong, Andrea Beall

Judge, 208th District – Beverly Armstrong, Kimberly McTorry

Family Judge, 312th District – Clinton “Chip” Wells, Teresa Waldrop

Judge, County Civil Court #4 – Treasea Trevino, MK Singh

County Commissioner, Pct. 4 – Lesley Briones, Ben Chou

Justice of the Peace, Pct 1-2 – Sonia Lopez, Steve Duble

Those in italics are not on my ballot, but maybe they are on yours. Either way, all of us will have a busy run-off ballot. Those in bold are folks I’m voting for and/or rooting for. Those races I haven’t picked, well, I haven’t learned anything about them, yet.

Outside of Harris County, eyes will be looking toward South Texas where there will be some interesting run-offs, including CD28 where Jessica Cisneros gets one more chance to unseat the old, searched-thru furniture that is Henry Cuellar. Kuff has a good round-up on all of the run-offs in Texas.

Kuff also expands on the coverage of the printer/paper ballot issues at Harris County. I agree that more voter education and election worker training is needed to ensure people don’t scuff their paper ballots while voting. Hell, even I held my paper ballot sheets gently and from a corner while voting on the machine because I worried about it folding or whatever. Ultimately, less that one percent of ballots were damaged, but counting them just added to the delays in results because Longoria and her staff are trying to ensure actual vote security.

What we really need less of is voter suppression from the Lege with laws like SB1, whose mail ballot issues caused even more delays for election staff. And maybe local news media that treats this story in an educative manner (Miya Shay), rather than in a sensational manner (the other reporters).

It’s Dem Primary Election Day 2022!

OK, folks! If you didn’t vote early, today is the day to VOTE so you can pick your choices for the November ballot! Print out your sample ballot here. Find a polling location here. Remember you can vote at any polling location in Harris County. Take a photo ID, your sample ballot, (AND A MASK), because there are too many names to remember.

Also, the 2022 Stace Slate is available for printing. (For those races not on my ballot, here are my choices for those.) There are a lot of slates out there–some are pretty dangerous anti-Democratic ones, too. I think mine are the best.

All that said, I’m glad it’s over today. As Dem primaries go, this one didn’t have too many explosive happenings. Sure, County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Dem opponents came off as Republican-Lite in their attacks. And the dude wanting to unseat County Commissioner Pct 2 Adrian Garcia came off as the typical angry dude, but that may have been his target audience.

In the Pct 4 Commish race, Leslie Briones and Ben Chou and the rest ran races about who was the best for the job. I was hoping to have seen a response to Chou’s pothole vid-ad using one of those pothole patching trucks that are the rave, though. In open seat races, it’s all about introducing ones self and stating ones case. Not too much controversy.

But in the judicial races, particularly the Criminal Courts, there was talk of opponents to incumbent judges being recruited by the local DA, using bond reform and crime as a scare tactic. Of course, it doesn’t help when people who bond out are committing crimes once back on the streets, thanks to bail bondsmen discounting the cost of bail bonds instead of keeping the cost at 10%. It never fails that those who rake in the cash from the criminal justice system are the least blamed or reformed by the system. And the ignorance among the voters continues and is exploited by bad people, especially republicans. It was hard to figure out who was whom on the Dem side, but if you voted for all or most of the incumbent judges in the criminal courts, then you came out pretty good. Let’s hope that this is the result tonight.

The best thing about the end of the primary is the end of republinut ads. From blaming migrants escaping poverty and violence for their suburban kid’s fentanyl and other drug addictions, to labeling a right-wing zealot former justice as “woke” when she’s pretty sleepy, to some pendejo riding daddy’s 4-wheeler from the huntin’ ranch at the border wall, to a threat by a nut-job running for Congress against people protesting police violence, to demeaning and violent right-wing statements flashing on screen, the republinuts took fear-mongering to new levels.

Republinuts have always been about fear-mongering; unfortunately, Dems not of color have been in denial about this for decades. (My guess is they were defending their nice, yet racist, neighbors and relatives.) Dems who vote in the republican primary for the “better” nut-job are the worse. And look at where all of us are now. On top of being constantly attacked, it’s the policies that are taking effect that are hurting people. It’s weak Democrats who use the same scare tactics who weaken the Democratic message.

Anyway, the state of Texas keeps digging itself into a bigoted hole that will be harder to dig out of. We have good candidates in Beto O’Rourke, Mike Collier, Rochelle Garza and others to offer a real alternative. Despite the failures of Greg Abbott, County Judge Lina Hidalgo and a Democratic majority on Commissioner’s Court have led us through a pandemic while keeping their promises of transparency and open-government–the two things that scare republicans the most. We have a good team for the most part. But we need to VOTE to keep them.

So, get out there, make your voice heard. And don’t fall for the republican bullshit.

The Weather Changes; COVID-19 Remains

As one more weather change hits us today, after a few that have kept our coat closets confused, this is a reminder the COVID-19 is still among us.

Yes, as the Texas Trib Coronavirus tracker tells us, cases in schools have dropped dramatically, as have hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the City of Laredo is going through a fourth surge and deaths have reached 82,000 statewide. Also, thanks to Greg Abbott and Republican spread of misinformation, Texas is still less than 60% fully vaccinated, with nine million Texans walking around unvax’d.

Meanwhile, Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration to end the mask mandate on airplanes, thus making them flying death tubes again. All in the name of “freedumb” with no regard for the lives of other Texans.

The CDC, though, does not fall far behind as the warnings are going out that they may change mask guidance as they try to take credit for the numbers decreasing. 49 out of 50 states have weakened their mask requirements and states like California are now moving toward an endemic response to COVID-19, admitting that COVID-19 is here to stay.

A disease reaches the endemic stage when the virus still exists in a community but becomes manageable as immunity builds.

Unfortunately, there are no plans on how to keep the immunosuppressed safe. It’s all about money and keeping whiny, uncaring people unmasked and/or unvax’d, and happy.

The GOP Race for Immigration Agent

I’m sure we’ve all noticed the political ads for Texas Attorney General. Particularly the two brown-skinned people trying to prove they can be as bigoted as the white supremacists in the race. Eva Guzman’s ridiculous, gesticulating, anti-migrant ad is an affront to brown folks. Never have I seen such an awful display of self-hate and political opportunism to get a few votes from racists. Oh, but her family is “legal.”

What’s sadder is that none of the local Latino Dems or Latino group leaders have spoken up against her crap. Some are actually rooting for her is my guess. Like my mom would say, “Comen del mismo plato.” When you eat off the same plate as bad people, they will expect you to be bad, too. Or, at least, just turn away and ignore it.

Then there’s Little Brown Bush who actually has the support of the bigoted Border Patrol club. The same club that serves as the BP’s mouthpiece whenever they need to blame someone else for their abusive behavior against migrants, or when their agents accidentally fall into a culvert. Bush’s ad is toned down as he makes it about cartels and drives a four-wheeler at Trump’s border wall. He does the smart thing and lets the BP dudes (in uniform) do the anti-immigrant talk. Are they getting overtime for this?

If ignoring (and supporting) the bigots amongst us is how we get “representation” then I’m out.

As Ross Ramsey at the Trib tells us,

A Texas attorney general is a civil lawyer, mostly concerned with regulatory, tax and administrative law. But to listen to the candidates, you’d think the state’s top lawyer was some kind of cop.

Sure, they’ll file lawsuits against Biden border policies, but they only prove how bigoted Texas is. Republicans who whine about migrants certainly don’t protect us from anything, especially photo ops at the border.

Another Week in COVID-19

A friend pointed me to a pretty good podcast on how Omicron is counterintuitive. Check it out here. It talks about where we are and about where we may be heading. There may be some hope in a world of “WTF is going on?!?”. Still, we must mask-up and not just be vax’d and boosted.

A few weeks into Omicron, it seems Greg Abbott finally panicked enough to beg the Biden administration for help. He still doesn’t want Texans and Texas schoolkids wearing masks, and, though vax’d and boosted himself, doesn’t want to require it for anyone else. But he demands more tests and monoclonal antibodies for his unvax’d and unmasked fans. C’mon, Abbott, Marco Rubio is calling you “irrational“!

Of course, he is also suing Biden because he says he is the state’s national guard leader (Remember Jade Helm!) and doesn’t think they should be vax’d if they don’t want to be. This is the same “leader” who has overseen recent suicides of his soldiers who are tired of being at the Texas border wasting time and taxpayer money. Some leader.

But Biden isn’t in the clear despite his press conference, either. ICE facilities have failed to give their migrant guests vaccine boosters to protect them from Omicron. We know that Omicron spreads easily and in close quarters like an immigrant prison, well, everyone is endangered. One would hope that Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez will be asked by Senators about this, since he’s been re-nominated for ICE Director after the Senate failed to act on his original nomination. Or will it be the Senate’s original questions on human warehousing and hunting and profits? Good luck, Sheriff.

Well, we’re still on fire here in Texas. COVID-19 continues its spread, infections continue to rise, and hospitalizations of the unvaccinated continue. Anecdotally, folks still seem to be acting as if invincible as I see them unmasked (and hacking up a lung) at the store. The good thing is that the holidays are over and there are less mass events among Democrats again. At least, I’m not seeing any selfies at events.

Stay masked. Stay vax’d and boosted. And stay away from large gatherings.

Greg Abbott’s Inhumanity Continues

Let’s not be shocked that Greg Abbott’s inaction on COVID-19 continues. Instead of a strong push on vaccinations, he’s just sitting back and doing nothing. Instead of a push to encourage mask-wearing, he’s safe in the mansion enjoying the holidays. He fears his right-wing base so much that he won’t even tell us if he got the booster or not. And as Trump found out, ignorance is bliss with that crowd. All this as Omicron is upon us and the last check on COVID-19 positivity tracking toward 15%. With all the testing going on of travelers and people wanting to visit their families, it’s sure to jump a bit more.

Meanwhile, Abbott’s use of the Texas-Mexico border for political purposes continues. He’s trumping up a wall–less than 1,000 feet so far. He’s thrown tax dollars at it–a billion dollars which will build a few miles for photo op purposes. No details and no transparency, but that’s how Republicans work as they dole out money to corporations for this debacle. All while blaming migrants escaping violence and poverty caused by bad US policy. If Texans buy this as a solution, well, the stupid is strong in those believers.

Then, there’s the “catch and jail” program in which Abbott charges migrants with trespassing when captured on private border land, places them in a state prison (which are badly run), and give them to border counties (Kinney) to prosecute. This whole program is a farce and badly run, just like the state of Texas, as the judge in charge has appointed his own set of judges to ensure Abbott keeps his prison filled with pre-trial detainees.

Then, there’s Abbott rescinding a posthumous pardon of George Floyd because of a clerical error? Thousands of employees and lots of lawyers and they can’t get it right? C’mon!

So, as Kuff reminds us today, Abbott is the same as he ever was. Evil.

Visit BetoForTexas.com for the alternative.