SocraticGadfly: 2/13/22 - 2/20/22

February 18, 2022

Voting 2022 primary time

When you live in a small "red" county in Texas, the local offices are all R's these days. Plus, with Greens not having anything contested at the state convention, AFAIK, and having no desire to vote in a Libertarian state convention, that means voting R in the primary, which I did yesterday in early voting.

Also, per my dad, my one great-grandfather, an old yellow dog Democrat, always voted in the Republican primaries when a primary was the option. His reason why? He wanted the least objectionable Republican to be in the general election.

Add in, first my blog post Monday about local races, and then a second Monday post observing that regional Dems couldn't even get anybody to challenge Michael Burgess, and I wanted to live up to that maxim.

So, on regional and state GOP races? I did vote for Burgess (sad, but) vs the even more wingnut challengers he has. I haven't seen any real polling on that race; I don't know if there's any chance it goes to a runoff.

I voted KANDY KORN KAYE for guv! (And, before I got home this evening, I thought I had typed "KANE" for her last name.) Yeah, she's got no chance, but after the Three Stooges of Strangeabbott, West and Huffines, everyone else in that primary other than her is a wingnut stooge. As for whether that goes to a runoff or not? I doubt it, but am not as confident as the Trib and other statewide media.

I voted Eva Guzman for AG. Definitely less objectionable than either Kenny Boy Paxton or Gohmert Pyle, and not a graven panderer unlike Pee Bush. (Side note: first yard sign I saw for a statewide candidate was for Pee.) 

Ag Commish and RRC? I just "picked a name" among challengers to Jeebus Shot Sid Miller and Wayne-o Christian. Ditto for Lite Guv on "picking a name" not named Danny Goeb.

State-level judicial candidates? Most Rethugs are unopposed, and on civil liberties issues, I'm OK with Libertarians in the general, so didn't care. Plus, as I get older, I dislike partisan-election judicial races, and may in future elections undervote those races.

State senate? Vote-suppresser Drew Springer's unopposed in SD 30.

State house? Per my initial thoughts on this year's cycle, voted incumbent David Spiller vs. the two unknown challengers and whackadoodle Craig Carter. Spiller, the presumed winner, is also unopposed in HD 68.

County judge? As noted Monday, there's an actual Democrat in the fall, so I have a general election option. With that, and without giving away a vote on a local race, I made a careful determination on not just the least objectionable, but probably the best overall.

Beyond that, I had the chance to vote for all those GOP resolutions to be considered at the state convention. Easy no on all but one. That was the one to bar puberty blockers and sexual reassignment surgery from minors. Think that's too strong, but on the other hand, the trans activist world (there is such a thing), with its push for reckless use of puberty blockers for minors for relatively ephemeral dysphoria and without accompanying counseling (per Mayo Clinic guidelines) has brought this on.


Update: Brains and Eggs (which is which with him?) decided to mock me at his site (not linking, as he didn't link here), for talking about voting in a GOP primary. That's even though in his own tweet-heavy roundups, he quoted Mark Jones talking about many Dems who do it, and then tweeted a piece about Dems who do it, where Jones was interviewed. GFY.

February 17, 2022

Coronavirus week 97: Fauci talks endemic transition

COVID governmental grifter Anthony Fauci has dropped the other shoe on what he said a month or so ago, as I blogged here. The nation will transition from pandemic to endemic on the coronavirus, and he says in all likelihood later this year. Of course, much of his framing is full of bullshit. Public health mandates are now, and always have been, in the control of state and local officials, other than Biden's Medicare-Medicaid facilities vax mandate.

It would be Thomas Massie with the "gotcha" on claiming the CDC redefined vaccination. But, the fact is, it IS a "weaker" definition than the 2015-21 version. In turn, that was definitely "weaker" than the pre-2015 version.  The fact is, the newest version is most correct. BUT? It would have been the most correct back in 2015, as flu vaccines clearly demonstrate. So, why DID the CDC wait until now? It may not have been conspiratorial (or midterms elections oriented) in its intent, but it left itself open to that appearance.

Up north, the Green Party of Canada has denounced the so-called truckers protest, including for hatred, racism, and misogyny. Why do "dissident Greens" (actually no longer Greens if your state party was expelled, and arguably self-expelling with some fellow travelers) go into claims of false flags, raising of antisemitic tropes and more.

I have a library hold on "Viral," the Matt Ridley-Alina Chan book taking a serious, non-conspiracy theory (fuck you, Orac) look at the lab-leak hypothesis. A good review here.

The Texas Signal reports on the Nobel Prize nominations for vaccine pioneers Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi.

February 16, 2022

Is nuclear fusion much closer to just around the corner?

Sounds like it is a little bit that way, per this European research update producing a 5-second-stable plasma. Note the on-story caveats that this still won't be coming online before 2050.

But? Even if we're closer to long-term-stable plasma, nuclear fusion may have other extrinsic costs.

First, materials. The story mentions beryllium and tungsten being key materials in the "bottle." How available are they for mining? At what dollar cost and what energy input cost?

Second, safety. I would think that a "bottle" collapse would just shut down a fusion reactor. But, what if, through bad inputs of deuterium and tritium, if they're the fuels, it starts going critical? How do you keep that from blowing up?

Third, it's not quite true that there will be no waste.

Yes, deuterium and tritium produce helium-4. AND neutron radiation.

In the materials for a plant, is it possible that some of the items, say the tungsten, might in some isotopes be capable of being fissioned? Or undergoing beta decay?

February 15, 2022

Texas Progressives talk start of 2022 elections and more

County-level elected officials, just like Tex-ass Congresscritters like Cringe Me Crenshaw, now have the right again to solicit requests for blank absentee ballots and to mail them to constituents. To me, it's a clear First Amendment issue, but, of course, the Fifth Circuit could say otherwise. Stand by. Also, per the dual idenfiication requirements of SB1, I see opportunities for ID theft, something that Tex-ass Rethuglicans probably didn't think of. More here on how the new requirements are leading to many mail ballots or applications being rejected. That said, Rethuglicans who failed to recognize that lots of old white grannies vote by mail and probably vote GOP may have shot themselves in the foot. (Side note: Per the disclaimer at the bottom of that link, that's yet another thing wrong with the Trib's "sponsors." Taking dinero from the Texas Secretary of State's office is bullshit.)

Off the Kuff also sees the chaos with mail ballots caused by the Republican voter suppression law, and wants to see more data about the effects.

Christofascist Tim Dunn and pal Farris Wilks are pushing big money into the guv primary — for Don Huffines. Wonder why they settled on him instead of Allen West? And they're doing it via a PAC run by Former Fetus Forever Fuckwad Jonathan Stickland. This poll is two weeks old, but Strangeabbott, by recognition at least, had a HUGE lead over both of them. (That said, that's among the general public, not hardcore Rethugs. But, interesting? Gohmert Pyle has knotted up Kenny Boy Paxton. Pee Bush is well back in third, but still well, well ahead of Eva Guzman, which I expected.) Among other darlings of the trio? "She's baacckkk" Shelley Luther, running for another state senate seat after failing to beat Drew Springer in a special election to replace Pat Fallon 16 months ago.

SocraticGadfly saw North Carolinians wanting to disbar Madison Cawthorn from running for re-election due to the 1th Amendment, and he talks about the idea of applying that to Kenny Boy Paxton and others.

Both Rethugs AND Democraps on the Harris County Commissioners Court have multimillion dollar ethical problems. (Will Kuff write about that in the next week?)

AOC smokes the Gilberto Hinojosa crack, claims Texas turning Dem is inevitable.

More ethical problems could lie ahead in Harris County. Tough on crime, fuck you on bail DA Kim Ogg has a bunch of her assistant DAs running for judgeships.

Retiring Kel Seliger hopes some other Rethug in the state Senate will take on Danny Goeb. Wish away; the Monthly story notes you helped enable Dan Patrick by twice voting to lower the cloture number.

In case you missed it, Ballless Bob Mueller was back in the news. Sorry, Blue Anon, but obstruction of justice and similar isn't collusion, and Vlad the Impaler Putin was and is too smart to have entangled himself with Trump. Sorry, allegedly outside the box stenos like Aaron Maté and Max Blumenthal, but there WAS meddling and hacking by the Russkies. Sorry, Julian Assange blank-checkers, but the same Wikileaks head who probably hacked the password Wikileaks sent to Donald Jr. was also the first chief propagator of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. Go away,  until you admit that

Rick Casey sees the big picture behind the voter suppression law.

The Austin Chronicle presents their 2022 Democratic primary endorsements.

February 14, 2022

Cooke County Judge election notes

First, please, no Chicago respondents if I do get any hits. Read how the county name is spelled.

With that out of the way? I didn't run candidate questionnaires in my papers, as the weekly shopper-blus had well beaten me to the punch and with staffing belts tightened here, I just have so much time. Well, the regular countywide paper jumped in, itself, with a candidate questionnaire for just county judge candidates on Friday. I suspect it won't do one for county court at law judge, the other contested countywide race, let alone the primary-contested race for the one commissioners court precinct.

So, I'm looking primarily at its questionnair in the Gainesville NOT DAILY Register, which still has that word in its masthead even though it became a semiweekly a full year ago, and dropped from five-day daily to triweekly before that in the first couple of months after COVID hit in 2020. (I think CNHI was eyeballing a drop to triweekly even without COVID, but knowing its level of management, who knows if they were thinking, at all.)

But, I digress.

OK, responses to one question caught my eye.

That was about caseloads in the district attorney's office. I find it "interesting" that two of the three current candidates for Cooke County Judge, both members of the current commissioners court, haven't noted they have taken a pass in the past on voting for more attorneys for the Cooke County DA's office, when asked about its backlog. County Judge Steve Starnes has been in office more than a year, and since he was appointed to a vacancy, local DA John Warren raised it once, before the current budget was finalized. Precinct 4 Commissioner Leon Klement heard Warren mention it in 2020 as well.

Starnes talked about getting a state to add another district judge. That doesn't help the DA's office if it is shorthanded on attorneys. Klement said that the commissioners court doesn't have the authority to tell the DA how to improve criminal justice systems in the county. True, but not the issue at hand. The commissioners court DOES have the authority to adjust the budget to add more attorneys, paralegals, or whatever, to the DA's staff. As for "facilitate dialogue" on this issue? Not needed. Warren's asked and you've said no. Former county judge John Roane mentioned space and a visiting judge. The visiting judge is no more bueno than a new district judge. The space? It's something he's fixated on. Denny Hook, the unopposed Democratic candidate for the position, either didn't answer the question or else had it cut; the Register also didn't run his mug.

Note: While I vote outside the duopoly when I can, and while I also have said that, at the local level in smaller counties, county-level races really aren't partisan, it will be nice to have a D at the local level in the fall.

Movement for a People's Party imploding, and gloated over by Green flunkie Dave Schwab turd-polishing

The Virginia leadership of Movement for a People's Party all resigned Sunday, per this tweet (start of a thread) by Lisa Pfeffer, which I saw as a Walker Bragman retweet.

Reason? Nick Brana failing to exercise due diligence over antivaxxers coming into their Slack feed and trolling them. Antivaxxers who support the racists of the Canadian Freedumb Convoy. Per her thread, other states have joined?

The Green flunkie? Dave Schwab, who, among other things, claimed Greens would never invite a flood of antivaxxers.

Well, it has a flood of antivaxxers ALREADY THERE, Dave, so technically, you're right in that no invite is needed. Jill Stein, 2012/2016 prez candidate, played footsie with antivaxxerism in 2016, and played footsie then and since with other conspiracy theories like 5G cellphones. In the rank and file? I've seen a shitstorm of self-alleged Greens (if they've not officially withdrawn from the party over the Georgia GP kerfuffle) also support the Freedumb Convoy, and espouse antivaxxerism and the Gates (AND Soros antisemitic) conspiracy theories around it.

I've got the Twitter receipts from GP Tex-ass gubernatorial candidate Delilah Barrios attacking GP national's vax mandate stance of two months ago.

Having seen other dissident Greens spew scads of misinformation over this issue, I suspect she does, too. The link she posts is full of other nuttery, with claims that the likes of COINTELPRO infiltrated the GP's Steering Committee. I did check again yesterday on her Twitter to see if she's supporting the so-called Canadian truckers strike. As of now, she's not, but she's not a prolific Tweeter, so who knows? 

There's also Greens among those talking Nuremberg Code nonsense, addressed by me here.

Schwab IS a Green "flunkie." People like him, as well as the nutters, are why I'm an ex-Green. He responded to my "invited" call-out and I said he was technically right in that most of them were already here.

In another Tweet, Schwab said MPP backers should move to the GP since it's solidly left. 

Really, Dave? Are you ignorant of, or just ignoring, all the 2020 Jesse Ventura backers? Or are you dumb enough to consider Jesse a leftist, like you did Glenn Greenwald? (To be fair, Dave ain't the only Green that dumb. I think until relatively recently, David Bruce Collins thought Glennwald was a lefty.)

Meanwhile, whether "invited" or "already here," Schwab used my comments about Greenwald and more importantly Stein, to dodge the original issue of antivaxxers in the Green Party. My third-last Tweet to him was telling him that "my party right or wrong" is no better than "my country right or wrong." He then said he was always right, accused me of ad hominems as well as subject changes and went PR-smug. So, in two tweets back, I said HE'd essentially changed the subject by never answering the main question and that I was reserving the special Twitter treatment of first muting then blocking. 

What a fucking flunkie. What a fucking paid and official flunkie. He's like a higher-Peter Principle Charlie Keener, who 12 months ago didn't want to admit that Greens believed Jan. 6 was a false flag. Even though a number do. Schwab and other state and national party leaders probably should address that issue, too.

Texas CD 26: Answer me this, Democrats

How can you have NObody running in your primary for the 26th Congressional District?

Sure, redistricting made it more reddish, but not wingnut, not totally. Yes, the city of Denton itself is no longer in the district, but the rest of Denton County is. The county as a whole had a less than 10-point gap in the 2020 presidential election. And, incumbent Michael Burgess took a flat 60 percent against a credible opponent in 2020.

Plus, he has the odious stain (in addition to being a Tea Partier and now a MAGAt) of voting not to certify the 2020 presidential election.

Shit, even Ronny Jackson has a Democratic opponent.