SocraticGadfly: 2/18/18 - 2/25/18

February 23, 2018

Rod Dreher, tripling down on the bigotry

First, Sarah Jones nails the racism behind his backing Trump's "shithole country" comments.

Specific to one issue he raises? Dreher knows and ignores — or else is incredibly ignorant — that Section 8-type housing in metropolitan areas was built on a history of redlining and segregation. It was often that way in its USDA rural equivalent in small Southern towns, for that matter.

Second, Dreher hangs himself in accusing the NYT of pseudoscience on transgender issues. The reality is that this is the same Religious Right "established science" bullshit on gender identity that Dan Patrick peddles.

None of this is new, of course.

I've made a semi-staple of writing blog posts about Dreher's various bigotries.

Here's the last before my current one, which itself contains links to him defending Paula Deen's cringeworthy comments and other things.

Beyond that, per Sarah Jones, it also notes how much of an elitist he is. That's even more laughable, given that he's written before about how troubling in some ways his visits back to childhood Louisiana are. He has noted some degree of family distance, without apparently wondering that his family might see him as an elitist. (From what I've read, I don't think they've got so much problem with his other stances.)

Dreher strikes me as a version of Andrew Sullivan, moved about three Overton Windows right.

February 22, 2018

Organizing against Trump — #IndivisibleTeam
has #TeaParty based ideas for suckers,
by Dem sheepdoggers (newly updated)

Sounds great, huh? Take some ideas that the Tea Party used to fight Obama, do a little intellectual judo, and use this new set to fight Trump? (They have a new Web version now, which is no better.)

Erm, not so fast, Cochise, or rather, not so fast Jeremy Haile and compadres. There's a bit more, and a bit less, to the situation than what you claim. Haile worked for Lloyd Doggett, so he KNOWS some of the things that I'm going to list below are true. Levin also worked for Doggett and I suspect that Angel Padilla has similar Texas connections. In other words, per items they list, and my responses below, they know better.

Time for a bit of additional sharp elbows. GovTrack ranks Doggett as less liberal than Eddie Bernice Johnson! Yoikes!

First, they don't tell you that Preznit Kumbaya, by continuing to sing from the Kumbaya playbook, helped shoot some of his own plans in his own foot.

Second, they don't tell you that Preznit Kumbaya was and is a neoliberal who, initial statements aside, hated people trying to "push him" from the left.

Third, they don't tell you that, even though a fair amount of the Tea Party movement did start at the grassroots, much of it became corporately co-opted by people like Dick "Dick" Armey.

There's more here, part of it as noted in a screengrab of I sent Haile.

And, that part about Eddie Bernice and Jelly is true, true, true. Sorry, folks.

Shit, in my current district, where I've not been for too, too, long, but way too long, my Congresscritter hasn't even had a staff member visit. Nor has he announced a visit of even a staff member to my town, or the nearest town of over 25K, in local media.

Speaking of local media, there's "issues" with Indivisible outposts, as noted below under Localization Problems

Update, April 5, 2017: I'm sure the "team" doesn't want the general #resist idea-makers wondering why the hell, nearly three months since they organized, their mentor, Doggett, per the graphic at right, has yet to sign on to John Conyers' "Medicare for All" HB 676 — Conyers' bill for single-payer national health care.

And, if you look at the graphic? Ted Cruz challenger Beto O'Rourke, and possible O'Rourke challenger Joaquin Castro, are both among non-supporters. So too is wasted space Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Texas House Dems' hot young gun Mark Veasey and others.

That's eight in all, or almost three-quarters of Texas 11 Democrats in the U.S. House. Guess the Indivisibles need to look inside themselves on this whole advocacy schtick.

As for grassroots advocacy stopping Obama? Nooo, he helped with that himself, not to mention the moneybags co-opting of most Tea Party groups.

Dear Leader undersold and underfunded his stimulus plan, and part of its projects weren't shovel-ready. TARP et al were used to insure banksters got money even on defaulted mortgages that were shite in the first place. The "quick rinse" bankruptcy for Ford and GM pissed off others. And, failure to put banksters through any sort of nationalization, or close to that pissed off yet more people from Dear Leader's left — the types of people he said he wanted to "push" him, then bitched when they did.

And, Larry, Moe and Curly above know that, too.

As for Tea Partiers pushing their own members in the GOP? Well, that's true.

When was the last time you saw a left-liberal Dem primary a Rahm Emanuel Blue Dog, though? Larry, Moe and Curly know that, too.

Claiming, in essence, for Congresscritters that there is no such thing as a "safe district" is even more laughable.

Besides, the authors undercut themselves by admitting that Congresscritters don't care about deep-thinking voters:

MoC Cares a Lot About
MoC Doesn’t Care Much About
Verified constituents from the district
(or state for Senators)
People from outside the district
(or state for Senators)
Advocacy that requires effort - the more effort, the more they care. Calls, personal emails, and especially showing up in person in the district
Form letters, a Tweet, or Facebook comment (unless they generate widespread attention)
Local press and editorials, maybe national press
Wonky D.C.-based news (depends on MoC)
An interest group’s endorsement
Your thoughtful analysis of the proposed bill
Groups of constituents, locally famous individuals, or big individual campaign contributors
A single constituent
A concrete ask that entails a verifiable action - vote for a bill, make a public statement, etc
General ideas about the world
One single ask in your communication (letter, email, phone call, office visit, etc)
A laundry list of all the issues you’re concerned about.

Note No. 4 on the right-hand list:
(Member of Congress) doesn't care much about ... your thoughtful analysis of the proposed bill.
In other words, he/she allegedly, contra No. 3 on the right, DOES want something social-media like. BUT, they also contradict No. 2 on the "does like" side, to a degree. This would apply to groups as well as individuals.

(This also ignores using a "cutout" address within a Representative's district, or Senator's state, to get around the verification issue at the top of the left-hand side of the list. For former Congresscritter staffers, we don't have the brightest people in the book.  That said, the whole piece looks like it's written at Citizen Engagement 101 level, if not remedial level.)

As for occupying a Congresscritter's office. mentioned elsewhere? Our Democratic snowflake sheepdoggers, if they don't know the answer, need to be told that someone as "librul" as Bernie Sanders will arrest you for trespassing. My soon-to-be-former Congresscritter, Gohmert Pyle, aka Louie Gohmert, would sure as hell arrest people in his quite safe, very non-swing, district, for that.

Update, Jan. 24: Ted Cruz's staff called the cops on people at his Houston office.

And, the sheepdoggers know that. (Update, Jan. 26: And Trump, taking a page from Cruz, has shut down the White House phone line. But, as this story notes, you can call his businesses instead.)

More naivete, or bullshit, follows in the next chart:

February 21, 2018

No, shale oil has not refudiated #PeakOil

First, oil is a finite resource, contra a few Russian abiogenesis nutters. Therefore, even with perfect production techniques, we would hit a peak in production.

Second, don't believe the hype about shale oil.

Yes, we look to catch up to the US 1970 peak in production this year. We may pass it.

And it probably won't last that long.

For people who overhype the long-term prospects for shale oil (including, perhaps, some staff at the Houston Chronicle), this piece explains fully what I've said before. Shale wells look good because they have a high initial production — that drops off FAR more rapidly than older "conventional" wells. 

The piece notes that the Bakken and Eagle Ford may well already be past peak, and that the Energy Information Agency may well be overtouting the Wolfcamp formation in the Permian. (What, the EIA overtout something? I'm shocked there's gambling in this room.)

The OilPrice piece also notes that modern fracking, when oil tapers off away from an area's sweet spot, may partially parallel multiple holes in the past. Go read the whole thing.

In other words, it's kind of like running electricity through 220 volt lines rather than 110, while only having 20 percent more amperage, not 100 percent.

Or, for a better analogy, from natural gas, here in Texas? As one commenter on that site notes, nobody talks about the Barnett Shale any more. The Marcellus is cheaper, richer and the Barnett has seen its best drilling already.

And, (linked at the piece), read the Post Carbon Institute's take on the EIA's rosy assumptions in general. Here's a good extract from early on:
More aggressive technology, coupled with longer horizontal laterals, allows each well to drain more reservoir area, but reduces the number of drilling locations and therefore does not necessarily increase the total recovery from a play—it just allows the resource to be recovered more quickly at lower cost from fewer wells. 
Exactly. I've known that for years.

And visit the home site behind all this.

Is this more correct than the EIA's fluffing? Well, a previous Post Carbon Institute report a few years ago forced EIA to reduce its original fluffing on projected reserves in California's Monterey Shale by 96 percent.

David Hughes, the author of the Post Carbon piece above, was the person who also exposed the reality about Monterey:
Over the past decade, Hughes has researched, published and lectured widely on global energy and sustainability issues in North America and internationally. His work with Post Carbon Institute includes ... Drilling California (2013), which critically examined the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) estimates of technically recoverable tight oil in the Monterey Shale, which the EIA claimed constituted two-thirds of U.S. tight oil (the EIA subsequently wrote down its resource estimate for the Monterey by 96%); and Drilling Deeper (2014), which challenged the U.S. Department of Energy’s expectation of long-term domestic oil and natural gas abundance with an in-depth assessment of all drilling and production data from the major shale plays through mid-2014. 
Yeah, it's more correct than the EIA and the EIA has admitted that.

So, don't believe the latest BS, and don't believe journalists who don't push back against EIA data.

It's possible that, at least in the Permian, fracking may peak in just 4 years.

February 20, 2018

TX Progressives: Ready, get set, go vote

The Texas Progressive Alliance notes that early voting starts today.

Brains and Eggs has some early voting thoughts both for statewide and Harris County races.

Off the Kuff questions the assumption that Republicans have the advantage for November in Harris County.

It is understandable that the tragic events at Florida's Stoneman Douglas High School would dominate the current news cycle.   As we continue to mourn with them AND stand with them in calls for action, it's also important to keep up with developments in our community as well.  Texas Leftist shares news about the brave students of Houston's Austin High School, who protested the ICE detention of an undocumented classmate, just months shy of his graduation.  Is it truly the priority of our Federal Law Enforcement to persecute high school students who have done nothing wrong??  #FreeDennis

Lewisville Texan Journal talks about an area Democratic debate.

SocraticGadfly has some First Amendment and other questions about the Mueller indictments.

Stace is still sad that the local rodeo doesn't have any Tejano Music on GoTejano day. But San Antonio is having one awesome music fest in March with the  Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair Weekend. Because without Tex-Mex culture, politics is pretty boring.

Neil at All People Have Value said school shootings are an intended result of America's gun culture rather than an aberration. APHV is part of


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

Brene Brown speaks truth to bullshit on gun reform. (Not from this week, but it was getting shared a lot this week and is certainly on point, so.)

Jason Pittman and Anita Ledbetter explain how Trump's tariffs on solar panels will affect Texans.

Juanita passes along a couple of primary recommendations.

Texas expat Elise Hu prepares for the Year of the Dog.

Texas Vox lauds the closure of more coal-fired power plants.

Jim Schutze calls Ken Paxton a tool of Satan.

The Lunch Tray highlights a class difference in how parents treat junk food for their kids.

Paul Battaglio, Doug Goodman, and Meghna Sabharwal voice concerns about how nonprofits are handling sexual harassment allegations.

February 19, 2018

Rabid #Hillbots and the name #JillStein

Jill Stein wasn't the best Green Party presidential candidate in 2016. I've said that many a time.

I've also repeatedly said the GP isn't as good of a third party of the left vehicle as it could be by any means

But, both are what they are, and Jill Stein was better than Hillary Clinton and the Green Party is better than the Democratic Party where available.

That's why it's fun to watch rabid Hillbots / Clintonistas go even more rabid whenever Jill Stein's name is mentioned. The Mueller indictments last Friday (my take here) plus Twitter's feed on Sunday, are the latest proof.

That's why it's more fun yet to troll the #ImWithHer / #StillWithHer folks to point out Cynthia McKinney 2008, Stein 2012, Stein 2016.

The Hillbots, as this shows, practice a certain tribalist version of feminism and the leader of the tribe is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Elizabeth Warren could have been seeking the Dem nomination instead of Hillary Clinton and her Dem primary backers would have been attacked just as much as Berniecrats.

Suck on it, Hillbots. You know it's true.

Besides, with all the paid trolls of David Brock, you're in no position to complain.