September 09, 2016

I take it all back about pushing Socialists ahead of Greens

In a recent post about ranked choice voting, I said that, if I had the option in Texas, I might vote for some Socialist party ahead of Greens.

Boy, was I wrong.

Socialist Party USA (the largest U.S. socialist party) has a party platform looks like Occupy Wall Street on Quaaludes, or flower children embedded in amber. Among the nuttier "wants"? Unilateral disarmament, and NOT just nukes — all weapons. Public referendums on every declaration of war. Soldiers' unions.

SIX weeks paid vacation, which goes beyond even the nice four-five weeks of Western Europe. Social Security at 55 with $25K/year minimum.

Others I disagree with? Repeal the Hatch Act? Wrong; I do NOT want federal employees having partisan involvement. Yes, this hurts the "little guy" federal employee, but, unless one would say "Hatch Act doesn't apply below GS-7," a unilateral repeal is stupid.

Given that other socialist parties are even more minimalist than SPUSA, which has only four statewide affiliates in the nation, and most assuredly does not have more local elected officials than Greens, since the party's website doesn't even list local officials it's gotten elected, that's minuscule indeed. And, I busted Patheos blogger Dan Ariel for fibbing about that on Twitter, after mentioning in a blog post that he had created a strawman of his anti-Green stances. If SPUSA is that small, it means smaller Socialist parties aren't at all in play.

As I said on that previous post, Dan, lemme know when Socialists of any party conduct a ballot access drive in Texas like Greens.

Also let me know when socialists of various non-Communist stripes can quit splitting, quit renaming, and form one stable, unified party.

As for Arel talking about how long Greens have had to become more of a force? Socialist Party USA stem from the old Socialist Party of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, which self-destructed in the 1940s by opposing entry to WWII, after in the 1930s wanting to ape the Communist Party by admitting Trotskyites.

Also contra that claim? The SPUSA has run a prez candidate every year since 1976. Greens only since 2004 (there was no national level Green Party in Nader's 2000 run.)

More hypocrisy on that, via Twitter:
Yet, on his blog, he said part of the reason he was leaving the Greens is they had no chance at winning.

What a douche.

And if he means SPUSA is willing to look beyond the ballot box for a revolution, count me out unless things get more dire indeed.

Oh, and, as busted on Reddit, it's anti-GMO, as much as Greens, and has a presidential candidate who may be almost as pandering as Stein on the issue. That's in the platform. Also in the platform is opposition to radiation of food. So, I guess it opposes Rio Star and Ruby Star grapefruit, beer barley, and other foods created by mutagenesis as well as opposing radiation for food preservation.

Ariel knew about that when he said he was no longer supporting the Green Party on anti-science grounds.

Instead, after creating a strawman, he deserts for a party one-tenth the size, at best.

He also has claimed Jill Stein is a climate change alarmist for claiming Florida could face sea rise of 9 feet by 2050. That's on the high side, but the person who first claimed that? Renowned climate scientist James Hansen.

Meanwhile, this:
The U.S. must immediately return to participation in international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol, limiting carbon emissions, and accept a major role in worldwide efforts to control global warming.

Is the SPUSA's ONLY statement on the subject. That line could have been written by Democrats. 

As for Arel's lie that Socialists (not just limited to SPUSA) have more elected officials than Greens? Wiki says SPUSA has ONE. That's it. Smaller Socialists have no more, I'm sure. And, Social Democrats USA is an endorsing movement, it's not a party. It doesn't count.

And, created other strawmen. I've now blocked him on Twitter, but he claimed, even if sarcastically, not literally, that I was a Green Party Manchurian Voter. I'll return the favor and call him an SPUSA agent provacateur deliberately trying to undercut Greens from semi-withing.

As for his actual claim? Not at all. Contra Arel, I knew about Veep Ajamu Baraka's false flag conspiracy theory already. (At least Arel didn't falsely call him a Holocaust denier.) And, per my ranked choice link, I reserve the right not to vote. I've done that before, in the 2000 Presidential election, the 2014 Texas gubernatorial election, and other races.

I'll give Arel credit for one thing. He led me to read SPUSA's platform and realize just how problematic it is.

So, I could either vote for a party with known science problems, along with a presidential candidate with known science problems and a Veep with conspiracy theory problems, or I could vote for another party with known science problems, known science problems far worse than the Greens in the "dismal science" of economics, and a foreign policy plank that's simply clueless.

And a party that's one-tenth the size.

Even if the Greens, like SPUSA as Arel has (grudgingly?) admitted, need cleanup (and the GP does), it's still at a better starting point.

And, a condescending hypocrite doing some of SPUSA's flag-waving is a turnoff.

Democratic Socialists of America (not an actual party, but a movement/organization), on the other hand, freely admit to approaching a push for a more socialist America in a more pragmatic fashion.

Unfortunately, it's so pragmatist that, other than Nader 2000, it apparently won't step beyond the Democratic fold.

(Update, Feb. 19, 2018: This all said, at the same time, I reject The North Star's definition of socialism. Fair chunks of its argument against the DSA, like on issues such as nationalism and policing, look like undigested, regurgitated SPUSA nonsense.)

So, in what is a case of lesser lesser evilism, it remains the Greens for me. For now. I'm still not quite ready to stop voting for President, but I'm getting shoved more and more in that direction.

Also, if Arel's comment about not caring about elections has any other meaning, along with calls for a revolution, I'm generally with Gandhi and King on nonviolence.

September 08, 2016

The self-apotheosis of Bernie Sanders

I don't know what else to call it.

The former presidential candidate continues to selectively read too many of his own clippings, apparently think that "Our Revolution" is really "My Revolution" (well, to be fair, for him, the revolution could be "our" by including wife Jane), and now plays the spoiler card with Jill Stein.

And, contra the fact that, other than an I after his Senate name, he's really been a Democrat for 20-plus years, this is, per his background, chutzpah indeed.

Per the ancient Roman idea of apotheosis, he needs some humility before even making a small claim to a secular apotheosis.

Like the slave running behind an ancient general in a military triumph parade in Rome and whispering, "You too are mortal."

Unfortunately, the pre-humility hubris he has is fueled by some diehard, or worse "Bernie or Bust" types who think he's still actually running for president.

News flash, all you Cochises: Not only is  he not running, but in ever-more states, in part because of people like Bernie himself calling third-party candidates "spoilers," you legally cannot vote him for president as a write-in candidate. I seriously suggest you check the laws of your state. I know he's not an official write-in in Texas.

This is like a guy like Dan Arel claiming Greens are anti-science, then touting a Socialist Party USA that's just about as anti-science, more Kool-Aid drinking otherwise, and with 1/100th the chance of Greens at not only a presidential win but any national or state-level office below that — and then, like a greedy reductionist (he is a quasi-Gnu Atheist) bashing the Greens' election chances and then saying Socialists aren't about winning elections.

You Bernie or Bust folks, wake up and smell the coffee.

Or, if you care not to, then STFU, just like he should. I'm tired of hearing the man tarpaper over the Democratic shithouse.

September 07, 2016

Why Texas Dems will keep on losing

In a set of ideas that state-level leaders of the Texas Democratic Party will likely love, and that clearly, neolib, tech-drooling (sic) reporters from the Texas Trib and elsewhere clearly DO love ...

The future of Texas voter turnout is allegedly ... all about apps.

And you thought I was going to say "plastics."

Of course, this is all ridiculously not true, and it's almost as laughable as Gavin Newsom's Donkey Kong-type app for pothole repair, one of many of such drizzle-level brainstorms from the former San Francisco Mayor App.

What it IS has been described elsewhere on this blog as "salvific technologism" and by Evgeny Morozov as "solutionism."

What you have is a bunch of technie Anglos at Anglo-focused media products (somewhat, the Chron, definitely the Trib and the Bizjournals franchise) saying apps are the way to get more Dems to turn out to vote — when we know that Dem turnout is most abysmal among Hispanics in the Valley.

Only one of the apps listed on most of the eight points of solution says it specifically comes in a Spanish-language version. Well, there's HUGE oops No. 1 overlooked by all our Anglo touters. That said, TDP Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa probably knows little more Spanish than I do, so prolly no big deal.

Beyond this, this ignores whether poorer Hispanics working multiple jobs have time for that much use of apps in particular or social media tools in general. It also ignores whether or not, time issues aside, and money for smartphones and devices issues also aside, Valley Hispanics and others are online that much or want to be online that much.

It's a lazy substitute for direct mail, let alone door-to-door GOTV efforts. It's also purely a one-way street which ...

Doesn't ask why these voters aren't turning out in the first place.

Sounds perfect for Dear Leader's Battleground Texas cadre.

September 06, 2016

#OregonStandoff: Intelligence held hostage, weeks 3-4 — now on trial

Top, L-R, booking pix of Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, 
Bot., Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Payne, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, Peter Santilli.
UPDATE, Sept. 6: Brokeback Oregon goes on trial starting tomorrow. High Country News reviews the bad history of the Ammonites.

And, it notes that even other defenders of the New Sagebrush Rebellion or whatever we call it are perplexed at the legal strategery of Ryan and Ammon Bundy, above all others in the case.

UPDATE, March 8: The state district attorney reviewing the death of LaVoy Finicum says that all Oregon State Police acted approriately, BUT ... one FBI agent on scene allegedly lied about not firing his weapon and may have gotten cover-up help from fellow agents. There needs to be some firings, if this is true; all this has done is pour more gasoline on the fire of conspiracy thinkers.

More here on the backgrounds of the people indicted so far.

UPDATE, Feb. 11: We may be near the end! Cliven Bundy, demonstrating where his kids got their mix of stupidity and arrogance, was arrested in Portland last night after leaving the theoretical security of his ranch.

And now, the remaining four jamokes reportedly are going to surrender, though they have yet to do that.

They HAVE, though, demonstrated an increasing level of childishness.

Update, Feb. 3: Counting Ammon Bundy, at least 10 defendants have now been indicted. The indictments are currently under seal, but should be unsealed tomorrow.

Accused in the conspiracy so far are Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, his brother, Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana, Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada,  Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah, Joseph O'Shaughnessy, 43, of Cottonwood, Arizona, Pete Santilli, 50, of Cincinnati, Jason Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Georgia,  Duane Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Dylan Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah, and Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Peoria, Arizona.

Update, Jan. 26: Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and five other Ammonites have reportedly been arrested, with one dead after exchange of gunfire with federal and state officials.

The dead man? "Lonesome cows" guy and Ammonites spokescritter LaVoy Finicum. He said he'd rather die than be arrested. He got his wish.
Now, he's already being made a martyr. Contra the likes of a Doug Henwood on the left, the Ammonites were going to create martyrs out of whoever they could, no matter what.

The simple fact is that Finicum never had to do any of this in the first place.

They were also going to claim things like they are now about Fincecum, that he was allegedly shot after surrendering. For all we know, he was committing suicide by cop.

This happened on the way to a community meeting in John Day, in another county, where, per this piece, the sheriff there is apparently a Posse Comitatus type guy.

The fact that the "jamokes" were apparently either dumb enough, or arrogant enough, to try to, or think they could, drive 100 miles from Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to John Day, and hope they'd go scot-free, speaks volumes all by itself. Speaking of, there's your seven arrested jamokes, and one jamokette.

Indeed, that squares with the John Day meeting. The feds and Oregon State Police figured that this would be a good time to make their arrests, with them out of Harney County, and figuring they were in the clear from police action. And, per this new story, the feds just monitored their postings on Facebook and other social media, for when to spring the trap and how. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love petard-hoisting.

Five were arrested at the initial traffic stop, about halfway between Malheur and John Day. They are Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho; Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville; Shawna Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah; and Ryan Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana. Oregon State Police later arrested in Burns Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, a 45-year-old occupier from Cottonwood, Arizona, known as “Captain,” during a separate event, and after that, Peter Santilli — a 50-year-old from Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In addition, Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, has voluntarily surrendered in Arizona.

And, per the petard-hoisting link, the FBI arrested on Wednesday were Duane Leo Ehmer, 45, of Irrigon, Oregon; Dylan Wade Anderson, 34, of Provo, Utah; and Jason S. Patrick, 43, of Bonaire, Georgia, one of the worst.
It's unknown how many Ammonites remain at Malheur. It's also unknown as of Tuesday night how much, if at all, the state and federal law enforcement have tightened the corridor around the refuge in general and around the visitor center in particular. Here's a list of the leading occupiers, which is now down to about five, after those latest arrests.

Update 1A., Jan. 27: The feds have finally done the smart thing (which will be easier with smaller numbers) and sealed off the refuge. Officials have checkpoints, and promise arrests of people tryint to enter. However, despite an initial claim by The Guardian that power would be shut off two and a half weeks ago, it and water remain on.

Per that link, I also have more reason to loathe Obama on lack of interest in, or misunderstanding of, Western issues. His press spox, Josh Earnest, was either woefully ignorant or shoveling shit when he claimed the takeover of federal property was purely a local law enforcement matter.

Update 1B, Jan. 27: Ammon Bundy, through his lawyer, has told the Ammonites to end the Oregon Standoff and go home. Also per that link, law enforcement said that Finicum was reaching for a gun he had in his waistband. Maybe it was suicide by cop.

And, so far, reportedly, those remaining Ammonites, now a splinter sub-subgroup of a splinter subgroup, say they're staying. And being vigilant beer drinkers and pot smokers, on video, while allegedly leaving behind guns in the post-arrest paranoia. That all would add some kinky fun to the #BundyEroticFanFic idea; my blogging contribution to that is here.

Meanwhile, Ammonites now being kept out of Malheur are threatening cop-killings. That same link says 7-12 Ammonites still on site.

Per that same link, Mark McConnell, friends on Facebook with an Ammonite insider but not the Ammonites' radicalism squared, said insiders' claims about Finicum being shot with hands up simply aren't true, but rather than he tried to drive off from the police stop. That, of course, won't stop conspiracy thinkers, who claim stuff like cops firing 120 times at him. That's even as the conspiracy thinker site with the linked story admits McConnell was the driver of the other vehicle. Yes, he notes that after the Finicum truck fled law enforcement, he didn't see the "throwdown," but was an eyewitness to Finicum evading arrest. Even IF 120 shots were fired, per McConnell's comments, it was likely after further resisting. Besides, unless Finicum got many, many miles away, McConnell and others would be able to hear the number of gunshots fired.

Refudiating them? Here's the actual, unedited video of Finicum's truck being stopped:

Forward the video to about the 8 minute mark. That's where Finicum takes off from the original traffic stop. There's a roadblock about a mile ahead of that, though. He tries to avoid it, buries his pickup in snow plowed to the side. He then gets out, first with his hands up, but then, about 15 seconds after that, reaches down to his body or waistband area. IMO, either suicide by cop or that combined with wanting to take a couple out, or maybe just wanting to take a couple out, despite his "I'll die before jail" claim.

Per Gary Bretzing, Oregon SAC for the FBI, Finicum had a 9mm handgun in an inside pocket of the jacket he was wearing. Indeed, by the time he's actually shot, one can see what appears to be a gun in his hand. That, in turn, undercuts any claim he might have had one planted on him.

Several shots were fired, that's obvious, even with no sound. But 120? Not even close.

Nobody else tried to get out, though the driver's side back door could have been opened just as much as Finicum's driver's door. Whether passengers knew he planned something like this or not, I don't know. Law enforcement couldn't approach Finicum after he'd been shot, of course, until everybody else exited and surrendered.

He's shot at about the 9:30 mark. The passengers start coming out and surrendering at the 10:30 mark.

And, of course, had there been a real conspiracy, not only would the FBI not show us the video, nobody would have survived.

Back to the original post.

New update, June 29, 2017: W. Joseph Astartia, one of the FBI agents involved, has been charged with making false statements. Specifically, he claimed he didn't fire at Finicum when the shooting was first being investigated. He reportedly fired twice.

That still leaves us far short of 120 shots. And, contra the likes of Tyler Durden, the original video still shows what I said above.


We're now at the end of the third week, and the start of the fourth, on Ammon Bundy and the other jamokes, asshats, or bags of dicks who have taken over a portion of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and resolution seems no nearer.

And, I may be typing that same phrase on occasion in the future, having done a first and a second serious post, as well as a BundyEroticFanFic send-up.)

The reason that I am here typing this again, and expect to be doing so in the future is twofold.

One is the jamokes.

The other is Dear Leader, aka Preznit Kumbaya, aka Philip Nolan 2.0, The Man Without a Pair of Balls.

Part of this traces back to Washington, D.C, per The Guardian two weeks ago. It reported that Dear Leader was allegedly going to shut off the power there by Monday. That's as in Monday, Jan. 11. Almost 2 weeks ago. Guess that's about as factual as Tricky Dick's secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Shock me.

Now, the governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, has called on Dear Leader to grow a pair.
"The residents of Harney County have been overlooked and underserved by federal officials' response thus far. I have conveyed these very grave concerns directly to our leaders at the highest levels of our government: the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House," she said at a news conference. 
Exasperated by a tense situation that has caused fear among local residents since it began Jan. 2, Brown said, "This spectacle of lawlessness must end, and until Harney County is free of it, I will not stop insisting that federal officials enforce the law."

She's right to be exasperated.

That said, President Obama is a good neoliberal. Maybe her demand for him to "pay up" for state expenses will prod him.
She said the occupation has cost Oregon taxpayers nearly half a million dollars. She didn't say what those costs entailed. 
"We'll be asking federal officials to reimburse the state for these costs," she said.
There you go. If only ...

County Judge Steve Grasty also sounds exasperated, and also rightly so. Cut off the power? Hell, he'd settle for The Man Without a Pair of Balls™ blocking the roads into Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (No, not even that has been done yet.)

There's a related problem, which I've mentioned in these pages a couple of times.

That is that Obama, setting aside climate change, if not the least environmental president since Tricky Dick Nixon, to speak more narrowly, is in my opinion the least outdoors-loving or natury president since then. He just doesn't really "get" the Western states. And, I'm not speaking from the perspective of the Bundys. I'm speaking from the perspective of nature lovers who live there, vacation there, or do both, and love all that it offers, while known that federal lands are a trust that states don't have the resources to adequately preserve and that most private citizens would overuse and destroy instead of preserving.

Speaking of that, the ongoing occupation of the office of "carp lady" Linda Beck is hindering her ongoing battle against the carp, an invasive species — a battle heartily supported by many locals.

And, with that said, a few updated observations about the Oregon situation, aka Oregon Held Hostage.

(Note: For #BrokebackOregon or #BundyEroticFanFic, go to this blog post with some quite purplish, and turgid, prose.)

Susan Hawk, a fraud to the end, resigns too late

The cliched "embattled" Dallas County district attorney is now its ex-DA.

Hawk finally resigned, after repeatedly being treated with kid gloves by most the Dallas media. She "conveniently" resigned a week too late for a November special election, which means Gov. Greg Abbott will appoint a GOP crony.

I still say that in addition to mental health and prescription drug problems, she may well have an alcohol problem. I've said it here, and before that.

But, per the old GOP mantra, she's no longer wasting taxpayer dollars. I wish her the best, while wondering how likely that is to happen.

As for the GOP? Hawk was the only countywide elected official, and only beat Craig Watkins because he had his own problems.

Abbott's replacement will be purely temporary and will get barbecued in the November 2018 general election.

Let me add that the absence of Jim Schuetze of the Dallas Observer in doing zero investigative work on Hawk after all his bashing of Craig Watkins is shameful. He's written two pieces in the last three-plus months. The more recent one was not much tougher, or more in-depth, than a Snooze column, other than the question of whether all of her leave time was paid or not. The other, saying she should resign because she wasn't tough enough for the job, was little more than a nothingburger from him.

Paul Krugman: Your Jackass O'Day with Hillary Clinton Gets Gored (updated)

Stealing a recent blogging theme from friend Brains (who should start using blog tags so we can track this idea) I am doing my own first Jackass O'Day piece.

It's on Paul Krugman. For this, which I on Twitter called his Worst.Column.Ever. Because it is.

Let's look back at 2000's election, since he does.

Certain chunks of the media may have said they would prefer to have a beer with Bush rather than Gore. Of course, one of those offices with Krugman. (See Dowd, Maureen.)

That said, Krugman first ignores that Gore had real baggage. I'm not just talking about how to use, or not use, the Big Dog aka the Slickster, on the campaign trail.

He WAS, when not as wooden as an old hickory tree, a personality who often came off as lecturing, occasionally even supercilious.

But he had bigger baggage yet. Like illegal fundraising.

Besides Wikipedia having an entry called "1996 United States campaign finance controversy," in June 2000, Salon ran what it called "A Gore scandal guide for dummies."

His real problem here is that he wasn't as slick as The Slickster (or Madame Slickster) so this all stuck to him more. And, it began looking more and more like a coverup. Plus, the allegedly cleaner than a hounds-tooth AG Janet Reno refused to appoint an independent prosecutor. So, despite him not wanting to be too close to the Slickster on the 2000 campaign trail, because of his attempt to stifle the campaign finance investigation, and what must be called Reno's attempt to do the same, the Clinton-Gore Administration left plenty of mud on Al Gore.

As for the 2000 press's coverage of Bush, it may have been somewhat too friendly, but was it totally fawning? No. And while Shrub had inherited daddy's malaprops, he had by and large avoided huge stumbles on the trail or during his Texas governorship, until that old DWI popped up.

That, in turn, even if Gore had nothing to do with it, looked like something Gore would have done. And, Gore's oppo research DID bring up Ralph Nader's holding oil stocks.

That's a whole nother story, and why I eventually didn't vote for Prez in 2000. I thought Nader was more egotistical than either Gore or Bush. And, I thought that him holding Big Oil stocks made him unfit to carry the Green standard.

Anyway, Krugman goes on to fellate the Clinton Foundation. In doing so, he whitewashes the reality of the case of Muhammad Yunus and more.

The more includes ignoring a story his own paper did just last year, about the Clinton Foundation getting a big Russian money windfall after the Hillary Clinton-led State Department signed off on Russia obtaining a share of U.S. uranium production.

Here's the dirty details:
At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. …

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
Now, Clintonista flacks have been spinning hard ever since this story was written. But they can't make it go away.  Just Google "Frank Giustra" and you'll learn a lot, lot more.

And we haven't even talked about her vote for the Iraq War, her sponsorship of the coup in Honduras, and other foreign policy fiascos.

Or the Slickster getting $18M as "honorary chancellor" of a for-profit college.

As for Krugman himself? Per Wiki, he worked in the Reagan White House Council of Economic Advisers, though he has attempted to softpedal that — even though he started more than 18 months after Reagan's inauguration. And, he's long been an ardent free-trader, though he now claims new free trade pacts have diminishing returns.

September 05, 2016

TX Progressives' Labor Day blog roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance will not be appearing on "Dancing With The Stars" this fall, though it will be bringing you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the state's voter ID outreach efforts, which began last week.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is hardly surprised to learn about the veil of secrecy that shrouds the $2.5 Million Texas Voter ID Education Effort. Texas GOP Squashes Transparency on $2.5 Million Voter ID Education Effort.

Socratic Gadfly hears about a new idea in the newspaper biz, charging people to have candidate endorsement letters to the editor published, and rips it to shreds.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme woke up after Donald Trump's white nationalist speech very angry at the Republican party.  Remember the ugly, angry GOP debate audiences in 2012?  These were the special GOP people invited to attend. Think about the GOP blocking a Supreme Court nominee, threatening the full faith and credit of the US and so very much more.

It's Labor Day, and according to (faulty) conventional wisdom, we can all begin to pay attention to the coming election, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value says his friend Libby gets enthused by ideas. APHV is part of


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

Megan Woolard Arredondo explores the challenge of climate change for San Antonio.

Grits for Breakfast reviews a new body camera study.

Eileen Smith calls on her fellow Texans to keep Rick Perry on "Dancing With The Stars" for as long as possible.

Space City Weather explains how hurricanes work.

Allen Clifton was appalled by the sexism directed at Huma Abedin.

Swamplot maps where Houston's pot smokers live.

Cherise Rohr-Allegrini critiques the anti-vaccinations film Vaxxed.

John Wright reports on El Paso's challenge to the anti-trans rhetoric of the GOP.

Steve Snyder goes into the weeds of the voter ID litigation agreement.

September 04, 2016

Healthy food, and food for thought, for Labor Day

While you're celebrating the rights (diminishing, along with numbers) of organized labor — while remembering that Dems love to take unions' money and unions' votes while doing as little as necessary for union workers — and not forgetting that May Day in Europe was pushed by unions there to remember Haymarket and should have been May Day here, but for ... erm, a conservaDem President! ... too, you can also enjoy life.

Here's some healthy late summer (if you're in the South or Texas) or end of summer, if further north, picnic-type food. Healthy and tasty both.

I've got some healthy, Italian-themed end of summer food for you.
Egg salad, Italian style.
This is for 1 dozen eggs.

1. Crack, peel, slice and dice eggs and place into whatever your storage container will be.
2. Substitute creamy Caesar salad dressing for at least half your mayonnaise.
3. Add Italian herbs to taste; not fancy, I use a generic dry herb blend plus additional dried basil.
4. Extra Parmesan-style cheese.
5. If you've got it, about 2-4 tablespoons, to your taste, of broccoli raab, if you have any of it. Just enough to enhance, not overpower.
6. Again, to taste, dice up some pepperoncini.
7. And speaking of pepper, some black pepper, preferably fresh ground.

Meanwhile, push for more progressivity in the tax code for labor, something else Dems talk about but little. And don't forget that labor rights are ultimately about human dignity.