SocraticGadfly: 3/19/17 - 3/26/17

March 25, 2017

Cheri Honkala and Green Party candidate organization

Green Cheri Honkala may sue in federal court over losing the special election for Pennsylvania's 197th state House district.

Democrat Emilio Vasquez, according to vote canvassing, won the race with 1,970 votes to 282 for Honkala and 191 for Republican Lucinda Little. (Other votes went to one or another

Both Vasquez and Honkala were running as write-ins. Vasquez was a substitute after the Dems' original candidate was ruled ineligible for not living in the district.

Honkala? She missed the filing deadline by a day. (Other votes, beyond those listed, went to one or another of the six total write-ins, per this story which, while perhaps harsh to Honkala, is also snrky to the district in general.)

And, there are problems from there.

First, blaming a state agency's carelessness? Sounds a bit like blame-gaming. And, no, Honkala's legal mouthpiece, Samuel Stretton, there is not a fundamental right for a candidate's name to appear on a ballot regardless of filing deadlines. That said, in another piece, Honkala does seem to admit she blew it.

Honkala is suing claiming massive ballot irregularities, per the first link. Per Stretton's news release:
"We have evidence of at least one if not more ballot boxes at the victory party for Emilio Vasquez. I have been told of evidence of voters being intimidated in the voting booth. There is evidence of election workers such as judges of elections assisting people to vote for the democratic candidate. There is evidence of other voters being misled repeatedly and other acts of misconduct."
Details of the filing are here, at a Green Party webpage. Note: As of Friday afternoon, the information there, apparently taken off a PDF of Stretton's filing which run through Acrobat's OCR to extract text, hasn't been edited. And, I'm guessing that PDF came from a fax, or was written with a poor font; the errors I saw were mainly from bad OCR reads. That said, the Party, in another piece, details the allegations. At the same time, the party now jumps in on the blame game on the write-in issue, noting that Honkala wasn't on the ballot due to a "technical error.'

Let's say all of that is true, first. Would it be enough to flip 850 or so votes that Honkala would need for a plurality victory? Stretton says he has represented Democrats down to the ward level before and is still "sickened." And, yes, Philly elections have that bad of a reputation.

As for the allegations, again noted here, that Green Party piece? Even if all the allegations are true, they're NOT all illegal. I know the first one isn't illegal, and if you're really planning a suit in a court of law rather than a missive in the court of public opinion, it's never good to lead off that way.

Second one? Also not illegal, unless it was an election worker identifying him/herself as such, then making that statement. No. 4? If they were outside the 10-foot distance, and not election workers, also not illegal. All three of the above are dirty politics, but .... that's Philly. Otherwise, I'm not sure what or who "poll workers" are, but some people are of course allowed inside polling places. In Pennsylvania, here's the state's mix of law and suggestions on polling place peoples and actions. If the GP's "poll workers" are "clerks" as on the state's link, absolutely they're allowed in there. Now, what they can do is restricted, but that's different from whether they're allowed in there or not.

As for the missing ballot deadline? She ran for sheriff of Philadelphia in 2011, getting more than 6 percent, and was Jill Stein's Veep candidate in 2012. She should have some knowledge about deadlines, though it's unfair to call her an almost perennial candidate.

The main thing, though, is that if fraud wasn't as massive as she claims it was, that means that she couldn't get the vote out in a place that's supposed to be her ground zero. Yes, she was hindered by being a write-in, but so was Vasquez.

I mean, the previous state rep was booted out on a felony conviction, necessitating the fraud, and Philly politics has rough elbows indeed.

Beyond that, even if there was fraud, there was a total of six write-ins. How do you know all the votes that may have been stolen were stolen from you?

As for why this case is being filed in federal court for what is a state-level office? You got me. I'd presume the U.S. district court in Philly will bounce the case on grounds of not having original jurisdiction. This is just like Jill Stein's recount drives last year. In some cases, appeals eventually went to federal court, but they all started in the respective state court systems.

So, why is Stretton filing this way? Does he know he can't win this, and this is a way to throw sand in Green faces?

Finally, the amount of time and research I spent on this piece says something about my mindset related to all of this.

This all said, Honkala may well be a good activist for causes that need political solutions. But the skills and mindset both for that are different for being in electoral politics. Look at Barack Obama.

March 24, 2017

#Cardinals pass torch from Waino to Martinez

Carlos Martinez, official
Cardinal Ace Moundsman
Both of the St. Louis Cardinals' top two pitchers, Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright, were downplaying the issue of who was going to start opening day, as was manager Mike Matheny.

I call bullshit, since the Spanish Twitter Flea has now been named the opening day starter.

He's the "ace" now. Waino is still good, though his 2017 may be closer to his 2016 than his pre-Achilles 2014. And so, it's time for this transition to take place.

Along with the signing of Dexter Fowler, it will probably make for locker room change too. Let's hope.

As for the rest of the rotation? If Lance Lynn is back to his old self, he's No. 3, Mike Leake is No. 4 and Michael Wacha is No. 5. Trevor Rosenthal, or possibly Marco Gonzales up from Memphis, is in the wings. (If Waino is really more like 2016 than 2014, will Matheny have the gonads to drop him to No. 3 if Lynn is at least as good as in the past?)

I'm looking forward to a new season, and the changes of leadership.

March 23, 2017

What color are these strawberries is ultimately a philosophical question, not scientific

A lot of people have probably, via Facebook friends or whatever, seen the photo of strawberries at left, whose production is described here.

I haven't actually opened the picture in Photoshop, but I'll take at face value the claim it has no red pixels.

But, what does that actually mean?

Photoshop's default on color pictures is to present a photo in "RGB" format. That's Red, Green, and Blue — the three primary colors. But, many Photoshop commands let one manipulate not only those three colors, but the three commonly accepted secondary colors of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, plus a channel for Black. If you've ever heard of CMYK (B already used for Blue) photo editing, that's where it comes from. The Black channel is necessitated by the conversion of primary colors back to secondary.

Anyway, back to RGB colors. Several thoughts here.

First, many colors, even in "normal lighting," whatever that is, aren't what we think. If you use Photoshop much, you'll see that the "green" in grass is about one-third yellow.

Second, does Photoshop's 256-level format (two to the eighth power of bits on eight-bit basis) for each color channel imply a level of digital accuracy that doesn't exist? I mean, we can peg light to 500 nanometers. But, is that blue or is that cyan, or turquoise, if we use a non-technical color, or what? Wiki has a full piece on "spectral color" which raises such issues.

And, with that, we're into various issues of philosophy.

Setting aside some aspects of epistemology, we've got what would be either informal logic or linguistic philosophy, first. That is the issue of categories and definitions.

Per what I posted above, where does one color "stop" and another "begin"? That's not a science issue, that's a philosophy issue.

We also have linguistic philosophy issues on how one defines color. Setting aside the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which is nonetheless of a certain degree of strength, some languages distinguish between more colors than others. Isaac Newton, with the rainbows produced by his prism, famously distinguished indigo as a seventh color of the spectrum.

To the degree the above photo is an optical illusion, it trades on something else which is related to epistemology, and to David Hume's project of empiricism. That is the idea of qualia, or why do things seem to be the way they are.

The idea of qualia, if accepted in one of its several forms and definings, undercuts the "blank slate" idea of human perception stressed by Hume, and to fair degree by fellow empiricists. A child old enough to point to a red splotch in normal light, when shown this picture above, would not be able to point to claim it has a color similar to that red splotch on the blank slate theory of the human mind. (I frame the example this way to try to bracket the issue of the baby's mind being "contaminated" by explicit written or oral conversation.)

As to opponents of the idea of qualia? As I've gotten older, and more read in modern philosophy, I find Dan Dennett's arguments more and more lacking. The more and more we do current research in robots, artificial intelligence and similar, the more and more we realize human minds don't work that way. Dennett's other objections are somewhat functionalist in nature.

A side issue is that discussions of qualia often get wrapped up with issues of ontological dualism, even though in reality the two are separate items.


Or IS it ultimately a philosophical, not a scientific, question?

Nature painting by tetrachromat Concetta Antico
After all, the issue of color persistence, which is at the heart of the illusion, is a scientific issue, not a philosophical one. So is the related issue of the structure and operation of the human eye's cone cells. And, just as Nelson Goodman's "grue" is a philosophical question, special glasses that can make people see tetrachromatically (allegedly) are scientific issues — even if the fourth "primary color" might be something they wind up calling "grue." Beyond glasses, natural tetrachromatic people are already here, albeit a small minority, and one quite hard to identify — and self-identify —, which puts back to the issue of philosophy.

Per what I said above about a lot of green in Photoshop actually being yellow, I can see, looking at her paintings, how tetrachromat Antico, at the link above (learn more about her at her website), has her fourth cone cells tuned to somewhere between red and green (which actually shades to a yellowish-green in most people anyway).

Bottom line?

We mustn't steer away from the ditch of scientism only to drive into the other ditch of philosophism.

Nor can we consider many scientific questions outside of philosophy.

On the other hand, we also can't consider many philosophy questions outside of science. Philosophers fear, often rightly, "poaching" on their territory by the science world. On the other hand, in many issues related to consciousness, volition and other matters of the human mind, philosophers all too often remain resistant to legitimate claims of neuroscience and related fields.

March 22, 2017

Fight for clean water, air and elections in Austin Friday

If you're going to be in the City Different on Friday, you might make time for the Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day. It's from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday. Per the Texas Greens notice:
Go to the “Our Water, Our Land, Our Elections Lobby Day” Facebook page for free tickets.

Update, per a GP email:

This Lobby Day will be a chance for concerned citizens to learn about the lobbying process, as well as a chance to meet with key Texas legislators in support of our electoral priorities to: a) end one-punch straight-ticket voting, and b) lower barriers to ballot access for minor party and independent candidates.

The public is invited to come any time between 10am and 4pm to the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Extension (Underground Building), Legislative Conference Center, Room E2.002. Starting at noon, invited speakers will talk about electoral reform, water rights, eminent domain, and the other priorities of Texans for Electoral Competition and the League of Independent Voters.
Priority bills for Texans for Electoral Competition are HB 25, HB 1711 and the Texas Voter Choice Act, HB 3068:

HB 25 would eliminate one-punch straight-ticket voting on Texas ballots. Texas is one of only ten states that currently has the practice. Ending straight ticket (one-punch) voting  enjoys the support of key Republican leaders of the House, including House Speaker Joe Straus.
Eliminating the one-punch option will not prevent voters from voting straight-ticket. It could, however, have positive effects for electoral competition. Having the one-punch option at the head of the ballot effectively asks voters to first identify their party. “Independent” is not one of the choices. Texans for Electoral Competition believes ballots should appear as a collection of candidates rather than a collection of parties.

HB 3068 restores voter choice by eliminating the barriers that prevent qualified candidates from running for public office in important ways.It caps nomination petition signature requirements at 10,000 for statewide office and makes filing deadlines consistent with constitutional standards; it replaces unreliable, inefficient and costly paper-based processes with secure, proven web-based technology; and simplifies ballot access by eliminating unnecessary filing requirements.

HB 1711/SB 829  would require an auditable paper trail with which to verify vote counts and perform recounts, something that is not possible currently. Recounts under our existing system merely rerun the numbers stored electronically in the central collection system, they do not actually re-tabulate the ballots.
More information will be available at the Lobby Day in Room E2.002.
About Texans for Electoral Competition

Texans for Electoral Competition was founded by the League of Independent Texas Voters, the Green Party of Texas, and the Libertarian Party of Texas. Current members of the coalition include Texans for Accountable Government, Left Up to Us, and the Constitution Party of Texas.


I got telephoned about another event in Austin, on Saturday. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it was, and doubly unfortunately, the party, even though it was an official call from Kat, doesn't have it on the website.

These are things that I mentioned in my "post mortem" last November. Green volunteers, from executive leadership on down, are appreciated (and I hope semi-Greens like me are likewise appreciated) but ... the organizational game needs to be moved up a step. The Saturday event should be on the website

March 21, 2017

#Resist! — with a side of risotto, Clintonista neoliberal style

We'll explain that header, as I usually do with such creative headers, in just a minute.

Risotto for the resistance?
The Democratic Party establishment's version of "resistance" to Donald Trump is apparently going to be led by the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America — two of the most shameless Clintonista outfits in last year's Democratic primaries.

CAP was founded by John Podesta, who gained new levels of cooking fame when Wikileaks one dump of emails from the Democratic National Committee email hacks laid bare for the world his risotto recipe. Current CAP head Neera Tanden apparently wasn't passing around her own curried basmati recipe.

MMFA was started by David Brock, the Clinton concierge who is the question-answer to "The Democratic hack who looks like a constipated Newt Gingrich." During the 2016 campaign, it metastasized into half a dozen spinoffs, led by people like Clinton Boys Peter Daou and Tom Watson.

These are the type of people who agreed with Hillary Clinton on promoting Trump, seeing him as the best candidate to run against. These are the types of people who surely agree that Donna Brazile did the right thing in leaking primary debate questions.

That said, I'm not a Democrat. This is just another reason for me to promote to others the idea of leaving the Democratic Party.

So, #DemExit and #VoteGreen (or better).

OK, Greens: Positive ideas to reform the Federal Reserve, not trash it

I am not in the camp of some Greens, and some other left-liberals and beyond, who adopt a quasi-Libertarian (small or capital 'L") and quasi-conspiratorial take on the Federal Reserve. Indeed, I met one of those libertarian folks at an early 2009 rally and protest outside the Dallas Federal Reserve.

The reality is (with reference to Wiki's page on the Fed):

1. We need some sort of national banking system. Per Lincoln's comment about replacing McClellan, if you want to replace the Fed, what will you replace it with? Outside the Great Depression, and to a lesser degree by far, the Great Recession, almost all of American’s major financial storms came about because we had no national banking system. That includes the Panic of 1837, the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893 — the latter two were both worse than the Great Recession, while the former lasted longer and the latter, at its worse, almost matched the Great Depression in its severity. There was also the brief, but sharp, Panic of 1907.

2. The Fed did what it could post-2009 on the economy, due to Dear Leader not proposing a large enough, vigorous enough relief/stimulus package and Republican Congresscritters blocking later efforts to expand that. To the degree the Fed, whether the national “The Fed” or the regional banks, had problems and contributed to the Great Recession, Obama can be faulted along with the majority of both parties in Congress for not taking a look.

3. An(other) allegedly progressive Democratic president, Wilson, gave us the most business-friendly, banker-friendly alternative on a national banking system he could devise. That’s especially true of the various regional Federal Reserve banks, like the Dallas Fed. Given that their presidents rotate on and off the board of the national “Fed Open Market Committee” and that these regional Feds are almost totally the captive creature of private-sector financial interests, this is a problem indeed.

This fact is illustrated by the Internet. “The Fed” has a “.gov” suffix on its board of governors URL. Regional Feds like “The Dallas Fed” have “.org” suffixes, as does “The Fed” itself outside its board of governors. (Links for all regional Feds are on the Wiki page near the top.)

Of course, this just underscores the truth behind the old adage that the Fed, at the national level, likes to pretend it’s a public entity when that strengthens its powers, but a private entity when that works better.

4. Back to history, briefly Before Tommy Wilson, TR — even though he had to send himself as "his man" to visit J.P. Morgan, hat in hand, in 1907 during the "Panic" of that year — refused to touch the issue, just as he refused to touch a 16th Amendment for an income tax.

The reference is to the 1902 Northern Securities trust-busting legal procedures, when Morgan said, why can’t T.R. send his man to my man and we’ll just fix things up?

The oft-maligned Taft gets credit for both doing that — an income tax amendment — and reducing a high tariff, even though that involved tradeoffs to get the 16th Amendment voted out of Congress and sent to the states.

Anyway? Greens and independent-minded left-liberals and beyond? Rather than gutting the Fed, talk about how you would reform it to make it better.

My thoughts?

Reform of the Fed must, must, must start with reform of the regional Feds. And, that reform must include taking at least part of the private sector’s sole power at the regional feds away from it. Period and end of story.

The U.S. is the only major nation whose central bank is a public-private hybrid, let alone one with that much regional power.

A minimum for reform would be that one-third of the board of each regional Fed is a public-sector presidential appointment. (Currently, per Wiki's article on the structure of the fed and regional feds, three board members are bankers appointed by member banks, three are non-bankers appointed by member banks, and three are non-bankers appointed by the national fed.)  Given the Fed’s “dual mandate,” at least one of the presidential appointments to each regional Fed board would be an official representative of the Department of Labor. Another could be an official representative of the U.S. Treasurer, or the Department of the Treasury.)

The national board of governors "exercising oversight" over regional Feds and their boards is not enough, even if that's in conjunction with it appointing three board members.

That would make 12 instead of 9 members of each regional fed's board. I'd be OK with banks appointing one more Class A member to offset that.

Given the New York Fed's outsized role in the nation's finances, I would say five presidential appointments, not three, would be needed.

The president of each regional Fed would have to be a presidential appointment as well. Having the board of a regional Fed appoint the president is not good enough. I'd be OK with the national board of governors and regional board making nominations, but, this would have to be the president's call. Tim Geithner's role running the New York Fed make clear how important it is for this to be a presidential appointment. An additional restriction might be that nominees by a regional board for the presidency could not be an employee of a bank that was a member of that regional Fed

Second, the stipulation of the Department of Labor, above? That should apply to the national Fed's board of governors, too. And, given that the Treasury actually prints our banknotes, as well as pressing our coins, the Treasurer of the United States should sit as an ex official member of the board of governors too. If the current Fed wanted an expansion from seven to nine governors rather than the replacement of two, that's fine.

Given that the national board of governors is already short two members, I think presidential appointment powers for the two national members would of course go along with ex officio status, and that the appointment of regional presidents, with a nomination process, should not be subject to Congressional approval.

Note: None of these reforms would preclude something like 49 other states creating their own versions of the Bank of North Dakota. (Note: By that bank's enabling statutes, and even more by how it was treated by others lending institutions at its creation, its powers are actually fairly limited; progressives, Greens, left-liberals should not think that such an institution is a panacea for communitarian ideas, though it may well help. It is NOT a statewide credit union, though there would be nothing legally stopping other states from doing that with their state banks, if they formed them.)

That then said, communitarianism, especially in its more ardent versions, is probably another area where I'm not fully comfortable being in the Green Party saddle. And, despite that he blocked me on Twitter, I can still be mensch enough to say that a lot of Greens need to read or listen to Doug Henwood, or someone similar, to get real left-liberal and beyond understanding of modern America's financial system and what's realistic and what's not on changes to it. Trying to do ever more things by barter, or communitarian banking, or similar?

First, that's not realistic. And, related, what do you do if you think you got ripped off on a barter? Revert to the law of the jungle or similar? If you're a nonviolent Green, do you tighten your circle of trust ever more? Per this link, many communitarian groups wind up failing, above all because of the amount of hard work involved. Also, at a small-scale level like that, there's less room for error, and less room for modern social welfare. That's why, contra an Occupy movement myth, small businesses aren't automatically better than big ones.

Next? Short of a full communitarian community, your local trade association, if it has moved beyond barter to private money, can't have that money "translate" if it's not accepted by central banks, whether it's some "community bucks" or Bitcoin.

And, that's a good thing! It's called "rule of law." I don't want anarchy in the banking system, or in general, whether it's proposed by hardcore libertarians or by anarcho-Greens. Pass.

Second, IMO, in the more extreme forms, that's a communitarian parallel to states' rights stances; what it really does in the end is further weaken "the mystic chords of memory" from the peroration of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. I no more want a Republic of Greater Portlandia than I do a Republic of Texas. And, related to that, as Thomas Frank pointed out on the original Occupy movement, a communitarian focus runs the risk of withdrawal from national issues that may not be of community concern. (I know that some — even if nowhere near all — people who might like a Republic of Greater Portlandia knows the city, and definitely the state of Oregon, have criminal justice problems based on the high degree of whiteness.)

One of those "someone similar" folks to Doug Henwood would be Michael Hudson. He's a left-liberal, but, unlike Henwood (self-putatively), I don't think he's a "beyond." Anyway, Hudson, in this great piece about how he is a heterodox economist and more, notes that in a monetized (that's as in money-based, not barter-based, or similar) society (but not necessarily a capitalist one (scroll down to near the bottom, if you don't understand that "banking and finance" aren't the same as "capitalism") somebody has to provide credit. Better the government, especially if we pull the influence of private bankers over regional Feds, than private bankers.

(Hudson is more critical of identity politics than I am, but that's in part because, as he notes, leadership of specific identity politics groups within the Democratic Party has been taken over by neoliberals. I'm not sure how critical he is of the general idea of identity politics, but I fear he might be a big Henwoodian in that way, trying to reduce everything to classism. After all, his father was a Trotskyite.)

I'm not expecting people who comment on the current banking system of the United States to have the same level of understanding as a potential nominee to a regional Fed board membership. I am "expecting" you to have more knowledge of how banking works than did Andrew Jackson. If not, I respectfully suggest you follow Wittgenstein and stop talking; please don't have some of the same unrealistic ideas as the Zuccotti Park Occupy folks did on finance and economic issues in general.

As for antipathy to banks, not just their modern American abominations in Manhattan? Banking, including transnational banking, precedes modern capitalism. After all, the likes of the Medici and the Fuggers were in place more than 500 years ago, serving a system that was still basically mercantile and only proto-capitalist. Beyond that, the Soviet Union had a central bank. A banking and finance system is NOT the same as capitalism. And as for "fiat currency," lest any Greens are going down THAT libertarian rabbit hole? The Chinese were printing paper money 1,000 years ago.

Getting more into the weeds, your local bank, even if it's only a state bank and not a national bank, needs somewhere to both invest some of its reserves and have a backup source of liquidity. Even a credit union needs some of that; as Henwood had no problem in pointing out to the Occupy kiddos, credit unions are not autarkic investment and savings institutions.


Sidebar: Shock me that at least one Green peddling this nuttery (FB status is posting as "public," so I'm violating no confidences) is a 9/11 "truther." Said person, per my normal practice, is already blocked.

March 20, 2017

Who stole Tom Brady's jersey — allegedly worth $500K? (found!)

Tom Brady
A rundown of the story to date on who apparently stole the jersey Tom Brady wore in Super Bowl 51. (And one from his previous SB 49 win.)

Update, March 20: Found! And, per an NFL presser? A "credentialed member of the international media" is reportedly involved. Oops! I guess Brady's friend Trump will have to block entry into the US of international media. That said, this was hinted at (less the "international" part) six weeks ago.

More from ESPN — as the Eff Bee Eye investigates, it appears that one of them Mezzicans may have been the thief! An former editor with paper Diario La Prensa is reportedly being eyed, and the jerseys were found down there.

Add in that FBI head cheese James Comey just told Congress today that he hates the Patriots and we got us a conspiracy theory cooking!
That said, I have a further tie-in.

Aaron Hernandez is Hispanic, right? On trial for murder right now, right? Needs money for trial lawyers, right? Possibly still able to access the Pats' locker rooms, right?

Surely he'd have motive to steal Brady's jerseys and sell them to fellow Hispanic Mezzican reporter guy, right?

(This relates someone to my update, Feb. 9: Oooppssss? It appears maybe the jersey wasn't stolen after all, possibly just misplaced. And, is Tom Terrific taking a page from his BFF Donald Trump about the ebil media?
“I went in to take my eye black off and they had opened up [the locker room] to, I don’t know, the media,” he said Monday on WEEI. “And I walked back to my bag and it was gone. Same thing happened two years ago [in the Super Bowl against Seattle]. That sucks, but, oh well.”
Well, there you go. The haters in the non-New England media did it.)

Now, why can't even the Texas Rangers find it? Maybe a transgender person took it into the bathroom not of his or her alleged "biological" sex, so the Rangers, following on Lite Guv Danny Goeb, are befuddled.

Update, Feb. 21: Yes, per the header, that piece of cloth is allegedly worth $500,000. If Houston cops really think it is, and Brady's boo-hooing that much, then pony up some reward money!

That said, that baby's impossible to resell now except on the totally black market now. Maybe the thief just wanted a souvenir, but if he or she wanted money, not at all likely now.

Of course, there is one other option, as NFL staff were in that locker room too.

Roger Goodell did it, as a last pound of flesh!

Other possible thieves?

Tony Dungy for being accused of cheating by Deion Sanders.

Deion, to set up the story.

Bob Kraft, to make Goodell look bad.

Bill Belichick, to set up a rallying cry for next year.

Dan Patrick (the Lite Guv known as Danny Goeb, not the sports guy), to promote the bathroom bill.

Meanwhile, as of Feb. 13, it appears that the game ball from James White's winning touchdown was never lost in the first place.

TX Progressives cover Maddow's Geraldo takeoff, Danny Goeb's bathroom bill and more

The Texas Progressive Alliance has not been wiretapped by the UK as it brings you this week's roundup, noting that with the start of astronomical spring, Donald Trump's daytime blather gets longer than potential nighttime respite.

Off the Kuff covers the big redistricting decision and what it all means going forward.

SocraticGadfly takes Rachel Maddow's big fluffery over Trump's tax returns (and Maddow herself) to the cleaners.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston publishes Texas Lt Gov Dan Patricks response to the Texas masturbation bill. "I will beat this bill off with both hands!"

A whiff of the Eighties — specifically Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone's vault -- accompanied Rachel Maddow's big reveal and subsequent letdown of Trump's tax returns last Tuesday evening, at least according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value said that Trump budget was a pornography of self-mutilation and cruelty for Trump supporters. APHV is part of

Easter Lemming reminds people that Pasadena, Texas has a chance to put voter discrimination behind them in this mayoral election. He is busy working for Pat Van Houte's campaign.

CouldBeTrue of">South Texas Chisme
marks another week of">Republican hate cloaked in religion harming women, children and the poor.


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

Nipuni Gomes deconstructs Dinesh D'Souza.

Dan Wallach has some practical advice for buying Internet of Things devices.

The Lunch Tray implores a school food visionary to come to Houston.

The TSTA blog reminds us that vouchers offer neither reform nor choice to schools.

Beyond Bones identifies seven native Texas bugs that you don't want to touch.

Shari Biediger found it to be not too hard to cope with SxSW in Austin without Uber or Lyft.