Category Archives: 2021

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance bids “bon voyage” to the Ever Given as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff comments on the Senate’s omnibus voter suppression bill and the fight against it.

SocraticGadfly has takes on two Texas Democratic items. First, he looks at the latest Betomania lead balloon. Second, he looks at a 2018 election pal of Beto: Kendall Scudder, ConservaDem.

=================

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

Dr. Peter Hotez frets about the growing global anti-science movement.

The Current introduces us to Kaitlin Teniente, the first female coach of a college E-sports team in Texas.

Grits for Breakfast concluded that Texas was able to greatly reduce the number of traffic stops conducted without any negative effect on crime.

G. Elliott Morris criticizes an analysis of the effects of Georgia’s voter suppression law.

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker celebrates National Out To Win Day.

Contribute To The Ride to End Alzheimer’s

La Leona

Some of you may not know that I’ve recently taken up trike riding. That’s right, 3 wheels a-rollin’!

Late last year, I broke down and decided to invest in my health by purchasing a Trident Spike. I figured I could get some good exercise while enjoying the outdoors.

With COVID-19 still rampant and some of the trails still full of unmasked mouthbreathers, many of my rides have been virtual while I use my Sportscrafters OverDrive Trike Trainer. So, I’ve been in training, re-gaining my legs, and hoping for some good causes to support while enjoying my trike.

A day ago, I found out that the Alzheimer’s Association was doing their Spring edition of the Ride to End Alzheimer’s. I have the option to find a trail or take my trainer and trike outside and do a virtual ride. So, on April 18, I’ll be doing a two-hour virtual ride to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. I figure that’s about 20 to 25 (corrected) miles, depending on my virtual program.

My initial goal is $100, but I hope to keep raising it as we get closer to the ride. I wish I had found out about it sooner, but let’s see what I can raise in a couple of weeks. You can also donate through my Facebook Ride page.

I’m dedicating this ride to my mom, Flo. She was not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but was experiencing mild cognitive impairment as she aged. For years, my family has supported Alzheimer’s causes in one way or another. The ride is also dedicated to all those family members and friends who have also experienced this dreaded illness either as patients or as caregivers.

So, please, make a contribution. It will go a long way to helping end Alzheimer’s.

Los Blogs de Tejas: TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance is the least fungible token ever as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff speculates about Sen. John Whitmire‘s political future.

SocraticGadfly talks about being real versus being “woke” on the scope of Biden’s stimulus bill and what’s permanent in it and what’s temporary.

==================

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

R.G. Ratcliffe thinks Briscoe Cain may turn out to be the most effective weapon against passing voter suppression legislation.

The Lone Star Project presents Greg Abbott’s long history of discriminatory vote suppression.

Stephanie Stradley answers all of your questions about the Deshaun Watson lawsuits.

John Coby got a preview of Harris County’s new voting machines.

The Dallas Observer warns of the threat to voters with disabilities in the Legislature’s vote suppression bills.

The TPA mourns the loss of Don Bankston, associate judge, former Fort Bend County Democratic Party Chair, and all around mensch.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance condemns anti-Asian hatred and violence in all its forms as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff finds some hope in a poll that shows broad support for voting convenience over voting restrictions.

SocraticGadfly has a group of COVID-related posts. First “Galveston Karen” went on to make herself “Texas City Karen” last week. Second, his weekly coronavirus news roundup talked about the one-year anniversary of COVID awareness first really spiking in the US. Related to that, he addressed the NBA as capitalist COVID hypocrites. Finally, on hypocritical PR, he looked at masklessness at a Kroger and corporate response.

Stace reacts to the imminent departure of HPD’s Chief.

=================

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

Houstonia talks to restauranteurs, chefs, and bartenders about their year in COVID.

R.G. Ratcliffe observes Dan Patrick’s jihad against green investing.

John Coby lays into Rep. Chip Roy for his anti-Asian racism.

Luis Acuña explores what the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 means for Texas broadband expansion.

Lilli Hime discusses the current legislative session with LGBTQIA advocates.

William Kim calls on everyone to fight back against anti-Asian hate.

Abbott’s Trumpian Response to “Neanderthal Thinking”

Greg Abbott doesn’t enjoy being challenged by President Joe Biden nor the media as was evidenced in his freak-out on a KPRC interview yesterday. The freak-out continued on Twitter (see image).

With Texans, the Feds, Texas city leaders, the Texas business community, and the medical community incensed at Abbott’s idiotic decisions to rescind a mask mandate and open up Texas business 100%, Abbott took the usual route Republicans take when challenged: Racism.

It did not take long for Greg Abbott to go full-Trump by blaming immigrants for COVID-19, even after his failed attempts at keeping open and reopening Texas have caused more death and infection. But Abbott’s reaction only shows his sinister and evil intentions to enrich big business while the rest of the state suffers, not only with COVID-19, but with misinformation and bigotry.

Let’s face it, we don’t need to be reminded that Brown (and Black) folks have always been blamed and scapegoated since Texas was founded. The playbook is pretty old and it’s gotten old. Really old.

In a twist, CNN is reporting that while Abbott makes up stories about immigrants spreading COVID-19 thanks to Biden, the reality is that Abbott is stalling efforts to have the Biden administration provide COVID-19 testing for immigrants and mitigation prior to release.

DHS has already set plans in motion to use Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to support community efforts to test, isolate and quarantine migrants released from Border Patrol custody, the official told CNN. But the grant money needs to be approved by the state before it can be distributed to border communities. CNN previously reported plans were underway to use FEMA funds to help localities acquire tests. As of Wednesday, Texas had not yet provided a response to the administration since engaging with the Department of Homeland Security.

CNN 3/4/21

Anyway, this post is just a reminder that Greg Abbott is a bigot who will continually scapegoat “the other” for his own political gain. Actually, this bit of news shouldn’t be a surprise. The surprise is that there are still idiots out there (even Dems) who will keep this guy in office, even when given a clear choice.

Abbott Signs Death Warrant on Texas

We’ve already talked about Greg Abbott’s intentional failures, but he has decided that Texas’ failures are a political opportunity for himself.

On March 2, the day some celebrate “Texas independence day,” Greg Abbott chose to show off Texas’ fake rugged independence and individualism by rescinding an order to comply with CDC mask guidelines and opening up the state to 100% capacity. Abbott always talks tough, but the numbers show he is more than willing to sacrifice Texans for his political career.

Abbott shot off opposite numbers during his campaign rally-slash-presser to make his case. In other words, instead of deaths and infections, he stated how many people had gotten better after contracting COVID-19 as an exhibit to prove why he needed to rescind the mandates. Plus, Abbott seems to think that with a miniscule amount of Texans having been vaccinated, that we are in the clear. The reality is that over 2 million Texans have been infected, with over half being people of color. Over 42,000 Texans have died with 60% being Brown and Black.

Because of a botched fight to control COVID-19, a too late effort by Trump and Abbott to enact mask and protocol mandates, and a botched vaccine roll-out while Trump was in office, the economy of the nation and Texas has tanked. Perhaps controlling the virus through earlier efforts could have lessened the economic toll, but what has actually happened is the opposite. Now, Abbott uses the background of a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock to show off a business willing to go along with 100% capacity to save itself, but not its customers. Thankfully, many small businesses are still requiring masks to enter. Unfortunately, Texas corporate hero HEB is only “urging” customers to mask up.

All that said, those who follow Abbott (and Trump, still) are plainly stupid or heartless or both. They live off of that feeling of faux independence and rugged individualism that has been written in the history books, yet are the first to whine when disaster strikes and blood is left in their hands. As some celebrate Texas, we must all realize how far this state has not come and how many people have been willfully killed through bad public policy since its inception.

And then we must ask,’ Who’s in charge?” And rid ourselves of stupidity and willful ineptitude.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes that everyone has food, water, and power again as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff worries that Republicans in the Lege are determined to learn all the wrong lessons from the freeze and the blackouts it caused.

SocraticGadfly offers his take on some of the issues in The Great Texas Freezeout of 2021 with a sports metaphor: “Nature Bats Last 1, Texas Exceptionalism 0.”

=====================

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

Andrew Exum reveals the difference between performative governance and actually governing.

Jef Rouner offers a crash course in ERCOT.

Noah Horwitz gives a proper sendoff to Rush Limbaugh.

Paradise in Hell channels Sen. John Cornyn.

Therese Odell goes deep into the latest controversy surrounding The Bachelor and its longstanding problems with race.

Charlie Sykes isn’t a Texan, but anyone who calls Dan Crenshaw “one of the Trumpiest grifters extant” gets honorary status.

Biden Kiddie Jail Opens in South Texas

Out in my former neck of the mesquite, in Carrizo Springs, TX actually, an oil field worker tent and portable building camp that Trump opened for a month as a jail for unaccompanied minors has been reopened up again by the Biden Administration.

Blaming COVID-19, Biden mouthpiece Jen Psaki pointed to a lack of room at the usual Health and Human Services facilities because of COVID-19 protocols that called for increased distancing as the reason to reopen the Carrizo Springs, TX facility located in the middle of nowhere.

700 teenagers will now reside at this reopened facility while they await placement with families or sponsors. Current rules call for the Border Patrol to hold these children for up to 72 hours before transferring them to an HHS facility. The 700 kids were currently being held in a border patrol tent prison because the original facility which became infamous for using cages for the kids is being renovated. Into what? I have no idea.

Also, current HHS facilities have more of a group home atmosphere.

No doubt, immigrant rights activists and attorneys are worried about how the children will be treated at this facility. Psaki and Biden can use whatever cleaner description of these facilities they can create, the bottom line is that children should not be kept in prison-like facilities in the middle of nowhere, whether in cages or not.

Of course, the optics are terrible. Biden made promises to not be like Trump at all when it comes to immigration. While we know immigration policy and process takes time to be put in place (although Trump did wonders with executive orders), detention and practices can be changed immediately. When in need of a solution, Biden basically ran back to a Trump-era idea. Some call that a lack of creativity on Biden’s part.

One other thing, the Carrizo Springs kiddie jail can be expanded to house thousands. Given the lack of creativity, the potential for this place to grow should scare us.

Yet, I’m not surprised. And I’m definitely not surprised at the haunting silence of Democrats in Congress or on the ground Dem activists who don’t seem to see a problem with this. We must demand more from Biden when it comes to migrant warehousing and detention–especially ending the private contracting of it. And while Biden has attempted some short strides in trying to curb deportations (which has been denied by a federal judge) and putting forth some sort of immigration package for Congress to consider, more must be done.

Ultimately, beyond a human rights issue, this is also a political fight. How hard a President and a Congress fights for an issue also makes for great optics. We have a Democratic majority put together by dollar store scotch tape (i.e., Manchin and Sinema), but a majority nonetheless. Use it!

UPDATE 3PM: Biden will reopen Homestead child prison, too.

Latino Rebels reports that the Biden administration will also reopen the Homestead child prison facility in Florida. During the Trump administration, the corporation running this prison was given a $300 billion no-bid contract with the help of former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly before it was finally shut down. During the 2020 Democratic primary, various candidates toured the facility and lobbied for its closing after charges of child abuse and horrible conditions. Today, it will be run under a different name–as if that changes anything.

Los Blogs de Tejas – TPA Round-Up

The Texas Progressive Alliance never short squeezes its weekly blog roundup.

Off the Kuff examines a couple of polls about current political attitudes in Texas.

SocraticGadfly explains why he is totally on board with the pending trade of Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dos Centavos tells us about his successful Harris County vax portal registration.

===================

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

The Dallas Observer discusses double masking.

Loren Steffy observes that the oil industry didn’t do so well under Donald Trump.

Grits for Breakfast expresses cautious optimism about new Travis County DA Jose Garza.

Equality Texas warns of the forthcoming legislative attack on trans kids.

Reform Austin reports from the first Senate Special Committee on Redistricting meeting.

Jef Rouner calls for a MAGA ban at fan conventions.

Mark Pitcavage explains the history of the word “sheeple”.

Abbott’s Intentional Failures

Greg Abbott was not put on this earth to serve the vast majority of Texans and his State of the Failed State speech was just another example of his black heartedness and disdain for those most in need.

As the Texas Lege tries to get back to work amid COVID-19, missing from Abbott’s priorities are efforts to fight COVID-19. It’s not surprising, actually. Abbott has been missing in action in that regard, and President Biden is finding out that Trump and his ilk were MIA, too.

Abbott’s time-wasting moves have been to protect businesses who continually push to violate COVID-19 protocols. His only intention has been to flout CDC guidelines and suggestions by keeping Texas businesses, churches, and schools open in the midst of a pandemic that caused more and more death and illness. By adding that folks aren’t required to get vaccinated in all of his statements on vaccine rollout, he’s pretty much in line with all the yahoos whose behavior has put Texans in peril. Kuff has more on this particular issue.

Abbott completely ignores the need for reform of law enforcement, which would include prioritizing funding toward programs that take on the root causes of crime–homelessness, poverty, mental illness. Instead, he promotes his own version of Trumpism in a vow to overthrow local control of local law enforcement. He commits to ending the actual bail reform that is finally coming to light, while supporting punishment before trial for those who cannot afford to bond out. He is not interested in meeting the demands of the people who continually go abused by a bigoted law enforcement system.

At a time when people are most in need of preventive health care, Abbott cares not about the health of Texans by not supporting an expansion of Medicaid. 2 million Texans could benefit from this expansion at little cost to the state. Instead, Abbott simply does not care. He never has. And sick people be damned.

Finally, Abbott is content with restrictive voting laws that keep Black and Brown people home on election day. He keeps talking about “trust” in elections when his own Donald Trump, et. al. continues a crusade against a legitimate election. Abbott makes up accusations of voter fraud with no evidence, while supporting efforts to stop people from voting. It’s a great deception to rile up bigoted supporters. In fact, while people seem to want to save the republican party, they seem to forget that even “moderate” republicans have found the crazies in the party useful to win elections. They’re just finding out the hard way that these idiots also want to be their elected leaders (look up Greene and Boebert).

Why people have trusted Abbott and republicans to run this state is beyond me. Why people think he would do anything other than serve the masters that keep him and his buddies well-funded also keeps me dumbfounded. Bottom line: Abbott does all of this with a purpose in mind–Keep the rich happy and kick everyone else in the teeth, even the people he continues to fool. It has been the republican way for decades, but Trump allowed the already hateful behavior to show its teeth with amped up racism, lies and deception. And Abbott seems to be OK with that behavior in the role of a Trump lapdog, as long as he gets to lead them.

Democrats need to fight and with fighting words; and with none of the usual rhetorical crap that is never believable, like moving to the right on something, or attempting to fight like gentleman (and gentlewomen) with sugarcoated bullshit, when all republicans do is bludgeon those they hate–verbally and through racist policies.

Texas will not change until the people recognize who is actually on their side when it comes to economic opportunity, health care, education, and the issues that actually matter. But we’ve been saying this for…ever, and no one seems to get it. And the republicans gain ground because they are so good at finding those weaknesses in people that allow them to blame “the other” for every problem.

Anyway, just wanted to put something down on virtual paper which states the obvious: Greg Abbott is failing Texans quite intentionally and he’s been allowed to do it since his beginnings . If we’re going to fight him, well, fight him. But let’s not be squeamish.