Category Archives: Thoughts on Viernes

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance weekly roundup is not classified as Top Secret and thus can be safely taken home with you.

Off the Kuff takes a look at some more in depth polling data about attitudes towards abortion in Texas.

SocraticGadfly saw the obits news last week, and immediately remembered Michael Badnarik as “Mr. Driving Without a License,” and gave the 2004 Libertarian presidential nominee a “proper salute” for that and more.

Stace gives us his Thoughts on Viernes about the FBI raid, Abbott’s Human Trafficking bus, and Beto’s MF’in comments.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

G. Elliott Morris reassesses the landscape for Democrats following the Kansas abortion vote.

Mean Green Cougar Red warns us about the threat to monarch butterflies.

Juanita finds some more ridiculousness stemming from the A**x J***s lawsuit.

Your Local Epidemiologist has a plan for the upcoming school year.

The Texas Living Waters Project says that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide a bounty of funding to help us deal with our growing water problems.

The Houston Press finishes off its Houston Bucket List with some honorable mentions.

Thoughts on Viernes – 08122022

FBI’s Mar-a-Doofus Visit

The FBI search of 2020’s presidential election loser certainly made the whole saga interesting. While Congress asks questions during the Jan 6 hearings, the people have been waiting for some sort of police action–mostly handcuffs and a perp walk. Still, I remain cynical about all of this. Much like Trump’s wall and bigotry (and the bigotry that followed from the likes of Greg Abbott and DeSantis) served as right-wing-nut-job porn, I feel that investigations and opinions on Trump actions somehow satisfy some fetish that Democrats have while avoiding solutions on the issues.

Me? I want action. I want to see Trump suffer, but I also want comprehensive immigration reform now. We have a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in both houses and can’t get rid of the racism and bigotry that Trump put into policy. Hell, we’ve known the racism has been in practice for decades and President Biden and Sec’y Mayorkas can’t even change that within Homeland Security! I certainly won’t make the FBI some kind of hero in all of this given their own history of investigating and affecting the livelihood of civil rights activists. Frankly, for me, the raid was funny because it made Trump even whinier than usual.

Greg Abbott’s Human Trafficking Boondoggle

Greg el Coyote! So, Greg Abbott is wasting $1400 per person (with no breaks and no food on the way) of your tax money on his migrant bus tour of America. A ticket to NYC from Eagle Pass, TX is only $200 for any individual! Who’s making all this money? And how much have they given to Abbott’s campaign? We already know it’s all about the photo op, but does putting them on a bus as a group make it look like they’re on a Border Patrol bus? Is that the image Abbott is seeking to put out there? We know he’s a hateful SOB.

One thing is for sure, Democratic mayors should be calling for FEMA and Health and Human Services resources to help with what Greg Abbott is causing and NOT military assistance. Thankfully, Biden said NO to the National Guard.

Don’t Mess With Beto (Or Uvalde)

I keep asking myself if Texas is worth saving after Greg Abbott’s and Republican’s decades of destructive practices. After Beto brought down a Greg Abbott-sent heckler who laughed at Beto’s comments on Uvalde and guns, he seems to have energized some of us to the point where we are up for a fight.

Bottom line: I hope he has these kind of words for Greg Abbott, too. The rules of campaigning changed a long time ago and Republicans have thrived on lies while Democrats have tried to win Texas by cowering and avoiding issues. Beto showed Texas that he’s willing to fight. Or, at least not take the kind of crap that Greg Abbott slings.

Kuff has more on Motherfuckergate.

Thoughts on Viernes – 07152022 (Sabado Edition)

The Video

The release of the Uvalde video and the aftermath of the release is pretty ugly. While the people want the ineptitude of cops and political leaders at all levels proven quickly, too much went wrong in the process of releasing it. The video was leaked without much explanation of the content. Other than telling us that the screams of the kids were removed, nothing else was really explained and everything was left to be discussed by the viewers without much actual context. The families were not given an opportunity to watch the video first.

While the ineptitude of all levels of Texas government and law enforcement is obvious, the husband of one of the teachers who was shot was vilified for looking at his phone, when he was awaiting a call from his wife. All because much was left unexplained and people want accountability. Too much went wrong and this is disappointing because it detracts from getting to the bottom of this tragedy. Perhaps this was the intent of its release by Texas authorities to the press.

There will be a lot of blame going around, but we cannot trust DPS, Greg Abbott, or Uvalde’s local authorities to be honest with the people. I still think DOJ should be leading the investigation, since the border cops involved themselves in this whole thing.

Let’s Hope It’s Not A Superspreader

What part of COVID IS STILL HERE do you not understand? That is my message to Texas Democratic Convention attendees. They’re going around mostly unmasked at some pretty packed meetings. The selfies of all the fun reminds me of the golden calf scene in the 10 Commandments; they’re having so much fun at the confab and at the afterparties. Gives me the cringes.

Reminder: Dallas County recently upped it’s COVID warnings to “high.”

It’s obvious that both parties are just going with what the people want. With polls showing closer races all around, it’s not time to be controversial, I guess. Hell, Abbott’s failures during the pandemic haven’t even been mentioned! And neither has Abbott’s border boondoggle.

Congresswoman Garcia Leads Effort To Honor the Late Benny Martinez

The late Benny Martinez, a Houston community leader who led the way to achieve a meeting between LULAC and President John F. Kennedy in 1963, among so many other civil rights achievements, will have a Houston post office named in his honor. Martinez served his community as a nurse and as a Sheriff’s deputy for over thirty years, while also being at the forefront of community issues through various organizations. He was also a Veteran. HR 7832 was spearheaded by Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia. The post office is located on 4020 Broadway St.

Thoughts on Viernes – 07012022

COVID-19 Still On The Rise

This week’s COVID numbers reached another disappointing level. Positivity is now just under 26% and the wastewater viral load pushed passed 630%. Among the popular folks announcing they were infected were County Judge Lina Hidalgo and a bunch of others, including two state reps. What’s disappointing is that none of them are telling people to mask-up. Frankly, I think we all know the symptoms that they tell us they’re going through. We need to be told how not to get it. Again! Other than staying home, masking up is probably the surest way to stay uninfected if one has to be in a crowd or at the workplace. So, do it. It’s not that difficult.

FYI – The medical community is worried. As Dr Luis Ostrovsky tells us, “We have to think that there’s much, much more COVID in the community than we think from the official numbers.” We’ve known the direction these numbers were going and without much warning or push from the political folks, people seem to have gone their merry way straight toward a dose of monoclonal antibodies or Paxlovid, or worse.

Anyway, stay safe, folks. And for goodness sake, put on a mask!

Forced School Prayer

It seems we’re definitely headed in that direction after the SCOTUS went out of its way to destroy the Establishment Clause and somehow explain that a coach who was praying in the middle of the football field with his athletes somehow didn’t encourage them to join in and that it was in private.

I tried school athletics in Junior High. During that time, we had some “out of town” folks show up to coach in our little town and they brought with them their preachy-ness. And if one didn’t participate, they were bullied. It got worse in high school and those athletes who managed to get teaching degrees and return to the town pushed the whole public prayer thing. I wasn’t about to be bullied for not praying, choosing instead to be bullied for not participating in sports.

Needless to say, I came out OK.

Uvalde, TX

As I expected, Uvalde, Texas has turned into a clusterfuck of massive proportions. Parents still are not getting information from state or local Republicans. No one seems to be questioning all the “border” money which has gone to local law enforcement in the area to pursue brown people and cause crashes during migrant chases. Hell, Greg Abbott’s policies caused the death of 50+ migrants because they wanted to avoid Abbott’s National Guard and DPS. In Encinal, TX, a Migra migrant chase caused the death of 4 and more injuries. In our area, another migrant chase caused injuries. And more migrants were found in the back of semi in San Antonio–all alive, thankfully. Greg Abbott has thrown money at many photo opportunities and has failed at ensuring the safety of well, everybody. If you haven’t noticed how these things interconnect, well, you’re doing it wrong. But, Democrats need to offer a hell of a lot more than being an alternative.

Thoughts on Viernes…12/03/2021

Biden Warehouses 50% More Humans

Joe Biden ran on how hateful Trump was toward immigrants. He has attempted a few measures only to get challenged by Republicans in the courts. One thing he has continued and has even pushed beyond Trump on the matter is the warehousing of humans who lack a piece of paper that lets them stay in the US. Much of the blame goes to a memorandum which gives immigration agents more discretion regarding deportations; meaning, they can deport as much as they want and imprison them while they wait. Biden sure is allowing the deportation machine to strengthen.

Biden made promises he is breaking. Whether it’s the lucrative practice of human warehousing (which he continues to privatize) or a Border Patrol which continues to violate human rights on a daily basis, even bringing local law enforcement and vigilantes into their lawless practices, this machine goes merrily along and Democrats stay quiet about it. Biden is supposedly in charge. He needs to act like he is. Or the problems he is having with Democrats passing Build Back Better, Prescriptions, Voting Rights, and other things will be the least of his problems in 2022.

There’s An Election In Houston!

Yep, those of us that do not reside in Houston ISD are still paying attention to the run-off election in which folks are voting. What HISD produces affects all of us in this area. So, I urge folks who live in HISD to make their voices heard. My picks haven’t changed:

District I – Elizabeth Santos

District V – Sue Dimenn Diegaard

District VI – Holly Flynn Vilaseca

District VII – Anne Sung

Their opponents are either bought by charter school supporters or bigoted, right-wing zealots who want to destroy public education. Most of them don’t care about protecting children and teachers during the pandemic, either. Find your polling location and get it done!

Voter Suppression Is The Law

As County Judge Lina Hidalgo told us in a FB post, Greg Abbott and his Republican buddies have outlawed democracy by giving the OK to voter suppression. Innovations, such as drive-thru voting and late night voting have been banned because it gives the Republicans the shakes and they aren’t fans of working people and people of color having a voice. Also, bigots serving as poll watchers will be allowed to bother you and hover around you while you vote. Does the law outlaw tasers? Just wondering.

Follow The Filings for 2022

County Chair Odus Evbagharu and the staff at Harris County Democratic Party have a rolling photo album on Facebook of the latest folks to file for office locally. Put a name to the face if you aren’t going to events. It looks like they’re in alphabetical order, in case anyone complains. I preferred in order of filing, though. I like to see who’s on top of things or who’s dawdling or who wants to make a grand entrance. That sort of thing. Anyway…

QEPD Congressman Albert Bustamante

I was saddened to read the news of the former Congressman’s passing. He served CD23 down in South Texas when I was in high school and a bit beyond. Talk about a cinderalla story: He grew up dirt poor in Asherton, TX (about 20 miles from my hometown), put himself through college, was a teacher, was elected a Bexar County Commissioner then became the first Chicano County Judge of Bexar County. Then, he took out a big South Texas name like Chick Kazen with the help of communities like mine who felt more connected to the small town-raised Bustamante. Imagine a kid who grew up loving Chicano politics seeing this guy speak at his high school graduation. I was in awe.

Later, the FBI set its sights on him and took him down for bribery regarding government contracts. I don’t recall if the “briber” got any time, though. I’ve seen a lot more “legal” and uglier ways of giving away contracts for money, like immigrant warehousing contracts to campaign donors, or holding hostage the Build Back Better bill to appease donors, and stuff like that. Anyway, he served us and Bexar County well. The SA Report has an in-depth history into Bustamante, including words from former SA Mayor Henry Cisneros.

Thoughts on Viernes 03082019

Big Win For Voters, Trautman

County Clerk Diane Trautman ran on a platform to expand voting opportunities and two months in, she has achieved one part of that platform. Harris County voters will now be allowed to vote at any polling location in the County, rather than only being able to vote in their home precinct location. The plan was approved by the Texas Secretary of State. Voting precincts will still be open, but voters will have the opportunity to vote close to home, work, or school. Thanks to Dr. Trautman and her staff for leading on this, to a Democratic majority on the County Commissioner’s Court, and to Harris County voters for making this happen.

State Rep-Elect Morales

Congrats to Christina Morales who ran the table winning ballot by mail, the early vote, and election day on her way to a 61-39 victory over Melissa Noriega. I know I have a bunch of happy friends and acquaintances on the Morales side. From the get-go, it was going to be a race about turn-out and not necessarily about issues, especially with two Dems on the run-off ballot. Marc Campos has been doing some writing about his victorious client all should read. Interesting stuff!

What About Anti-Hate Policies?

So, the Democratic community sent a strong enough message to the Democratic establishment that the US House not condemn Congresswoman Omar for comments critical of AIPAC and the Israel lobby. Instead, they voted on a resolution to condemn hate rhetoric. One would figure that it’s a given. It’s too bad they didn’t pass a resolution to condemn hate policies, like caging children, warehousing immigrants, militarizing the border, allowing abuse to happen at the border and in immigrant prisons, etc. Too many blue dogs to save from the Republicans in 2020, I guess? Let’s hope the DREAM/TPS bill, which will be introduced on March 12, gets a floor vote as quickly as the cosmetic stuff gets a vote.

 

Thoughts on Viernes…02092018

He Did What?

Note to all Democratic candidates:  Don’t appear on *ucker Carlson’s Fox News show. He’s a bigot, a liar, and a real asshole. And your critics will accept the premise of his bigoted questions, while you try to make a little 10 minute ad for yourself. The thing is, any candidate would probably reach more future constituents with a web-ad than appearing on the shit-fire that one steps on by appearing on *ucker Carlson.

Anyway…

Republatinos

I was asked, regarding yesterday’s voter registration post, why I didn’t say anything about electing Latino Republicans, instead just talking about Democrats. Apparently, he don’t know me very well. Seriously, though, polling of Latino voters shows heavy support for public education, access to health care, a strong economy with good jobs, and yes, a working immigration system and an end to mass deportations. So, I base my vote, including in a Dem primary, on that criteria. And I’m pretty sure most Latinos (since 65% or so end up voting for the Dem in November) do the same.

So, if you wonder why there aren’t enough Latino Republicans getting elected, ask Republican primary voters why they aren’t putting them on the November ballot. If you want to see more Latino Republicans, then vote in the Republican primary. Ultimately, though, if they (and you) support mass deportations, de-funding public schools, taking away affordable health care from brown people, and low-wage jobs for said brown people, then republatinos won’t even get Latino votes.

The DC Immigration Debate

So, no shutdown, some sort of a budget, and a debate on immigration will start next week. Some bill will be debated and members will get to add all sorts of amendments to it. It’s the amendments that worry me. Amendments are the cause of most derailments of bills. Especially immigration bills.

I expect guest worker crap, literacy exams which citizen-bigots can’t even pass, and pledges to the supreme Cheeto, and other pendejadas. We shall see.

 

Thoughts on Viernes…01262018

The Dem Primary

No doubt, the whole DACA/DREAM thing has sorta gotten me off-track. Sure, the national Dems are annoying the heck out of me, but there are local races and local candidates that I really want to end up on the November ballot. Having lunch with one judicial candidate this week, and hanging out with a countywide candidate, has reminded me of the importance of the Democratic Primary.

As I’ve stated, I don’t know if I’m doing a Stace Slate this year, but I do have a list of candidates whom I really like that I think should get all the support. How do I best sell them on here? A blog post can get boring after a few biographical sentences. So, how about some podcasts?

So, starting next week, I’ll attempt some interviews as only I can do them:  Asking good questions and just having good conversations. For 30 minutes. Live! I don’t know how many of these I’ll do, but I already have a few favorite candidates whom I want to interview. So, stay tuned!

The Trump Plan

As an immigration lawyer friend of mine stated, “It’s a trap!” As a DREAMer associate of mine stated, “We will not sell out our families!”

Since El Cheeto was making his demand, the Democrats should have made some specific demands, too. Like the original 11 million. Remember them? I mean, if they’re “fixing” the process for 1.8 million, it shouldn’t be much different for everyone else, right? And it’s a form of negotiation, instead of just saying no, right? I mean, these are the arguments being made for the “victory” that was CHIP, right?

Anyway, it’s an awful plan. Let’s see what he says on Tuesday. Perhaps Dems can walk out en masse when the Trump’s pendejadas begin. Ay veremos.

Natalia LaFourcade – Alma Mia

This tune and video reminded me of my Mom participating in sing-alongs at her nursing home whenever the mariachis would show up for a birthday. Brand new! Check it out.

 

 

 

Thoughts on Viernes…01192018

DACA on the Campaign Trail

I’m glad to see candidates taking a stab at saying something about DACA or DREAM Act or against anything anti-immigrant that the Republicans have thrown at entire groups of people. With El Cheeto (or republicans in Texas) in office, it is hard to pass any legislation that would include anything positive without some big negatives, so the fight must continue–all the way to the ballot box.

That said, I was watching the CD7 Forum put on by Meyerland Democrats, et al, and the question was posed to the candidates that if they would be willing to vote for a government shutdown if DACA/DREAM wasn’t included in any budget vote. The result was interesting (my reaction in bold) and they all support DACA/DREAM/CIR:

  • Fletcher: Work across the aisle, no shut down. (Because that has worked so well, huh?)
  • Alex T – No Shutdown, we need reform. (Y los DREAMers, que?)
  • Laura Moser:  Yes! Fight! (I liked her ánimo)
  • Sanchez:  Yes on shutdown. (Good)
  • Joshua Butler:  Tough decision because of gov’t employees affected, but yes! (Good way to preface it)
  • Cargas:  No Shutdown, “we are better than Republicans” (The fight makes you better than Republicans)
  • Westin:  Yes. (Good)

Today is the day we find out if there is a shutdown.

For me, it’s a no-brainer. Anything that has the Trumps fending for themselves at the White House is a good thing. Possibly good SNL material. But in the political sense, this is all about the fight. How hard Dems in Congress fight for this, instead of feigning bipartisanship for the cameras (and the campaign trail),  will reap rewards at the ballot box. The problem is, some are usually too chicken-shit to take a real stand. I’m sick of it. Shut it down!

Who Else Is Willing To Get Arrested?

Trump and his ilk are threatening arrests of elected officials who stand in the way of deportation forces. Oakland Mayor Libby Shaaf has come out stating that she is willing to be arrested if she is forced to defend “sanctuary” policies of her city. Good! That’s leadership!

The other day, San Antonio PD Chief William McManus released some undocumented folks who were being smuggled into the US to a humanitarian group, and not to ICE. This has right-wing-nuts, like Dan Patrick, calling for his arrest. You did the right thing, Chief! Don’t let the assholes in the police union bring you down!

It’s all about the fight, folks. And if you’re an elected or appointed official, you better be ready to fight.

The Stace Slate

I’ve made public my support of a few Dem candidates, but I’m not sure if I’m making a slate this year. Perhaps a short list. I can’t say I agree much with the slates that have come out, thus far. And if I do one, it won’t require big membership buys (snark!). So, stay tuned.

Los Cenzontles & Los Texmaniacs:  Traicionera (Video)

 

 

 

Thoughts on Viernes…01122018

Shithole

My people have been called worse. And I’m talking about citizens! I’ve witnessed immigrants called much worse, too. And by people in both parties. But I’ve also witnessed policies put in place by people in both political parties that are much, much worse. Sure, it’s scary when El Cheeto adds ugly words to policy. It’s a lot scarier when deportations happen with mean words, rather than with a smile. In the end, though, deportations are still deportations. But a despot can cause more problems and that can only be taken care of in 2018 and 2020.

As a Salvadoran friend put it last night so eloquently, “All countries have shitholes and beauty. What shitholes they have in El Salvador more often than not have a Made In The USA label.”

US foreign policy has created more shitholes than the US wants to admit. The US also created more shitholes domestically based on racist economic policy in the form of tax cuts for the rich. Ultimately, it’s all about the policies. Hell, LBJ threw around some racial epithets like an expert, but at least he passed the Civil Rights Act. (See what I did there?)

 

2 Years

It’s been two years since we lost our Mom, Flora Medellin. The heart still feels like it was grinded up, yet, it’s trying to put itself back together. In other words, it’ll never be the same. But we’ve got selfies, photos, and lots of memories to make us smile more than tear up. As the Dem primaries begin to heat up, here’s a favorite excerpt from her obit, written by sister Toni.

Casting her ballot by mail every election was a priority—even when she was being wheeled in to surgery or recovering from a serious illness. As she grew older and more frail, she would remind her kids to order her ballot by mail as soon as she could because she wanted to cast her ballot and have it counted in case she “didn’t make it” to Election Day.

So, if you are voting by mail, get yours ordered. If you moved and need to update your address or aren’t registered, get it done!

Wall-For-DACA

A bipartisan deal that included walls, enforcement, and relief for 800,000 was rejected by El Cheeto. Just a reminder, this happened right before the “shithole” comment. Trump wasn’t happy that some Senators were concerned about the recent Temporary Protective Status decision, so, he let loose. And wanted to open the borders to Norway, apparently. Cheeto, along with some of the more bigoted Republicans (Tom Cotton) want a meaner “fix,” that still shows some Republican teeth. So, we’ll see how much more they will pare down the deal.

In other words, eyes on the prize, people. We already knew El Cheeto was a bigot.