SocraticGadfly: 11/13/22 - 11/20/22

November 18, 2022

Beat-0 is a wild eyed bomb thrower? Greg Summerlin makes me laugh

So said ConservaDem de luxe Greg Summerlin on my 2022 election post-mortem, probably having come there from Kuff, where I'd posted it.

I'm going to pull-quote the whole thing:

To win future statewide elections in Texas, the Democratic Party needs to nominate moderate, mainstream candidates who can appeal to both rural and urban voters. In short, our candidates should support legal (not illegal) immigration, border security, law enforcement, the military, low property taxes, civil liberties, investments in our infrastructure, better healthcare, and improvements to our educational system (while respecting parental input). Our candidates must support a person's right to own a handgun, shotgun, and/or hunting rifle, but should advocate for restrictions to military-style weapons (e.g., AK-47, AR-15). Our candidates should be pro-choice, in accordance with the guidance provided under Roe v. Wade. They should support renewable energy AND responsible oil and gas drilling (yes, we can both). Our candidates must also publicly reject the radical positions advocated by some members in the progressive wing of our Party (Critical Race Theory, "defund the police", transgenders in women's sports, socialism, open borders, etc.). In summary, if we want to win, our candidates must be tailored to the views of mainstream Texas voters.

Well, Greg?

If the likes of you think critical race theory is some secret tool to make all white schoolkids hate themselves, to expand on his comment and my response? Greg, I'm glad you're an EX HCSO deputy. And, if you think Beat-0 was some wild-eyed radical, when did you leave the Republican Party? As linked in the original but reposted here, Beat-0 WAS a Pander Bear (that's what you want) on O and G. Rurales? Dude went to Muleshoe even though I said it was stupid and that contra both him and you, the votes aren't out there. The reason the votes aren't out there is because most Anglos in those places believe the same bullshit you do.

 If you really think this is a problem with Democratic gubernatorial candidates? I give you, in order:

  • Republican-voting Tony Sanchez;
  • Chris Bell, Republican in sheep's clothing;
  • Bill White, bland national neoliberal apparatchik before becoming bland neoliberal Houston mayor
  • Wendy Davis, Capitol-connected insider and grifter
  • Loopy Lupe Valdez, a "centrist" Dem to the degree she had much in the way of articulated positions on anything, and ex-military and tough on crime
  • Beat-0 the Pander Bear.

There. You need not darken my doorstep again.

Since you ARE an ex-deputy at the HCSO, you either know, from the Commissioners Court there, that "defund the police" is Rethuglican BS, or else you are such an ignorant law-and-order winger you should go back to being a Rethuglican. If you weren't, then THAT's the problem: people like you are lifelong Dems. And, the fact you support the now-about-to-be less than 2 Rethugs on the Comm Court shows how deep your BS is. Seriously; you lost me right there.

But, while we're here on cops? Why don't you ever write about cops shooting suspects, especially suspects who shouldn't be suspects, without cause? (To your credit, you do actually call out Derrick Chauvin; that said, having known or known of multiple small town/small county bad cops and constables, the problem is worse than you would admit. Militarization of police is a problem that I'm sure you wouldn't admit.)

And, one more, on your "thugs attacking cops" in Harris? Robert Soliz was found not guilty Tuesday. Let's see how much you support "law and order" by what you say about the verdict.

Critical race theory? I've blogged about that. Even read a touchstone book, Derrick Bell's "Silent Covenants." That's surely one more than you're read. Per the first link in this graf, I think transgender people in sports is a complex issue, and I don't totally disagree with you. That said, there's probably fire on your part behind that smoke.

The only thing I learned from your blog is that the Chronic was bad enough to endorse Mealer.

The only thing I've learned from you is that probably the likes of Gilligan Hinojosa, instead of picking up paychecks from rurales Dems like Bill Brannon, instead of focusing on GOTV, need to do a better educational job on Republican half-breed ConservaDems like you. If you're spilling this nonsense elsewhere, Greg, whether intending to do so or not, you're recruiting people to vote Republican. So, as I said before, if you were a Rethug previously, you'd help Texas Dems by going back.

November 17, 2022

Why is the AP giving a Warmonger Joe lackey a pass?

Sam Husseini has the goods at Counterpunch about how the Ukrainian missile that landed in Poland became an allegedly Russian missile.

A few key points.

First, this is indeed bad journalism, as Husseini documents. Burn the source, AP, as I tweeted.

Second, in addition to burning the source, does the buck stop there? Did this particular member of the Nat-Sec Nutsacks™inside the Biden Administration act on their own, or does the leaking food chain go higher up? Does it go to Warmonger Joe? How close? And, if it did not loop in Biden, what's he doing about it? 

Second, part 2: Did this Anon Y Mouse coordinate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or any of his advisors?

Third, per the Internet Archive, which Husseini links, Poland didn't sign off on claims of the provenance of the missile, re allegations it was Russian, until after the warmonger inside Warmonger Joe's administration said something.

Fourth, Responsible Statecraft details how this unspooled and came close to a NATO Article 5 declaration.

Fifth, sadly, per Twitter yesterday, claims that this was not a Russian-made missile are now proven false, as the first pushback gets undermined. I don't think the people I read are official Russian PR Twitterverse, but, they're going to be assumed to be that in the future by a lot of people.

Sixth, with the shit hitting the fan, will the Congressional Progressive Caucus call out the Biden Administration on this, or will it be as cowardly and craven as it was a month ago? (As of the time I wrote this, even just the Fraud, er the Squad, let alone the whole not-so-Progressive Caucus, had said nothing.)

Texas Progressives talk shop

The Lege's Sunset Commission said TCEQ needs to get tougher on big and repeat offenders. It also needs to be pushed to follow through on the possibility of getting tougher on concrete batch plants.

The PUC claims to have a solution to prevent future Uri situations. In reality, it's neoliberal bullshit.

The Texas Butterfly Center is alive and semi-well.

The Rio Grande, like the Colorado, is overused and overappropriated, though it gets less attention. Texas, largely hypocritically, sued New Mexico over water issues a decade ago. That's been settled, High Country News reports, though details are sealed. Let's hope the piece is right about the Supreme Court looking seriously at water rights issues. There's the added issue that this isn't a complete settlement, but only between Texas and New Mexico. BuRec hasn't signed off, and its joining the Texas suit is itself arguably hypocritical.

Off the Kuff gives his opening thoughts about the 2022 election. 

SocraticGadfly takes an in-depth look at the latest story on COVID possibly being a lab leak, per reporting by Pro Publica about a Senate minority report.

CultureMap Houston discusses the greatest Texan musician you've probably never heard of.

Texas 2036 proposes its 2023 legislative agenda.

G. Elliott Morris examines how and why the better pollsters and poll aggregators got the 2022 midterms right.

November 16, 2022

Texas 2022 election post-mortem

The Trib notes that some suburban "collar counties" that had been trending more blueish reversed that trend. Fort Bend County was the biggest reverser, of counties it samples, followed by Denton County, in my area, which had been close to getting purplish but now is not again. I continue to blame Beat-0 the Muleshoer. Denton is exactly the type of place he should have been not just doubling down on, but tripling down on, in his campaign. And, he never should have lost Tarrant, which turned slightly blueish in the two previous elections.

These things had downballot results, too. Tarrant County might have a Democratic county judge had Beat-0 spent more time there.

Meanwhile, Jamarr Brown, who is the executive officer for Gilligan Hinojosa on SS Democratic Minnow, openly admitted Dem leaders were a fail on GOTV and messaging. Hello, in that story, even Gilberto himself admits the party has problems. Turnout was at 47 percent, which the Trib gives a smiley face by noting that, while below 2018, it was better than previous midterms.

At the Monthly, Michael Hardy compares Texas Dems to Charlie Brown, as in, especially, of Lucy pulling away the football scenes. This:

Carroll Robinson, a Houston law professor and chair of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats ... is one of several state Democratic leaders who told me the party needs to improve its campaign infrastructure, especially in rural counties, where it performed even worse than in 2018. But when consumers haven’t purchased your product for nearly three decades, it raises the suspicion that you are selling them a lemon. When Ford took its infamous Pinto subcompact off the market in 1980, it wasn’t because the company lacked a robust dealership network but because the Pinto had a well-documented tendency to explode.

Is all you need.

As far as "dealership network," Hardy notes that, despite Beat-0 the Pander Bear, Dems did WORSE in rural Texas than 2018. But, nobody, not Brown or Robinson, is talking about making Gilligan Hinojosa walk the plank yet. Well, Kim Olson, who lost the party headship race to Gilligan this summer, did just that, via retweet, but nobody's followed her lead. And, a Scott Uhl ConservaDem's idea of who should lead the party? Pass. Besides, as I noted at the time of that election, Olson herself is a hypocrite. And, yeah, per a political analyst in Hardy's piece, Dems are close to hitting permanent minority party status. That's between the old BS about "demographics as destiny" and the new BS about "nonvoters being sekrut Democrats."

As for the "bench" for 2024 to challenge Havana Ted, count Hidalgo out, IMO. The contracts cloud will probably still be over her head. The Castro bros will continue to take their hard passes. Nobody of the few Dems in the state Senate is interesting. Maybe a Clay Jenkins, not mentioned in that link two paragraphs above above, steps forward?

As for next year's Lege, Republicans appear to have added one seat in each chamber. Surely not enough for Tony Tinderholt to oust Dade Phelan as House speaker, but the extra seat on the Senate side will just embolden Danny Goeb more.

Forrest Wilder, in his run-Dems-up-the-the-flagpole-and-salute mode, blames GOP redistricting.

Dan Solomon goes worse and says Dems need a celebrity candidate. First, weren't Beat-0 and Loopy Lupe Valdez kind of that? Second, he ignores that Matthew McConaughey took a hard pass. As for ones he suggests? Gregg Popovich could be covered with Primo stench in two years. Eva Longoria ain't doing it.

Kuff weighs in with his own surprisingly good thoughts, starting with having some D officials from "battleground states" do a review of the Texas party, which he acknowledges isn't likely and also may only have a long-term, not short-term, solution. But, it's a good one. Look at how purplish Aridzona's become in relatively short time. Why can't Texas do that? He also notes that this may involved tougher federal action on the border and immigration, which Texas Ds may not like. Well, Aridzona's also a border state, and it's been turning purplish even in the face of all this. So, while Kuff I don't think intended it that way, that part could be seen as a bit of excuse-making for Texas Ds.


At least Texas Dems aren't Texas Greens, who suck, full stop, and probably have no more plans to do real change than do Dems.


Side note: Harold Cook, Democratic campaign whisperer and more, and apparently in ill health after a stroke a couple of years ago, is dead. Stace has a personal reminiscence


If the likes of Greg Summerlin think critical race theory is some secret tool to make all white schoolkids hate themselves, to expand on his comment and my response? Greg, I'm glad you're an EX HCSO deputy. And, if you think Beat-0 was some wild-eyed radical, when did you leave the Republican Party? If you really think this is a problem with Democratic gubernatorial candidates? I give you, in order:

  • Republican-voting Tony Sanchez;
  • Chris Bell, Republican in sheep's clothing;
  • Bill White, bland national neoliberal apparatchik before becoming bland neoliberal Houston mayor
  • Wendy Davis, Capitol-connected insider and grifter
  • Loopy Lupe Valdez, a "centrist" Dem to the degree she had much in the way of articulated positions on anything, and ex-military and tough on crime
  • Beat-0 the Pander Bear.

There. You need not darken my doorstep again. And, a more detailed take on Summerlin's plaint is here.

November 15, 2022

Russia-Ukraine: Zelenskyy doesn't want displomacy either

I said two weeks ago that Joe Biden didn't want diplomacy in the Russia-Ukraine War. (He and the Nat-Sec Nutsacks™ are probably, as old Cold Warriors, seeing analogies to Russia-Afghanistan.)

Per Al Jazeera, neither does Zelenskyy, or so it cites Dmitri Peskov, Putin's PR mouthpiece, claiming about Ukraine. It also directly cites US Secretary of State Tony Blinken claiming — in the face of what seems to be good evidence otherwise — that Russia doesn't want to talk.

The Al Jazeera is via Scott Dunn, a generally good to very good read on Medium.

Of course, Zelenskyy's C-in-C really, really doesn't want negotiations.


Xi Jinping, per James Dorsey, would like something different in Ukraine, and is, essentially, continuing to work on a situational basis on how many pairs of kid gloves to wear while handling Putin.


Latest confirmation of what many of us already know? Ukrainian corruption is so bad that Russia is apparently already getting its hand on arms meant for Ukraine, per details on how it's buying the drones it's getting from Iran.

There you go.

In exchange, the source said, Russia sent a British NLAW anti-tank missile, a US Javelin anti-tank missile and a Stinger anti-aircraft missile. Those weapons somehow "fell into Russian hands" on their way to Ukraine as military aid, the source told Sky.


The latest sign of how low Aaron Maté has fallen.

Seriously, Aaron, how unserious can you be? You know that many of the Never Trumper Rethugs support this war. As one person responded to you, both neolibs and neocons support it.

November 14, 2022

Texas Greens, like the national party, are past their "Best By" date

Nationally, unlike Mark Lause and Brandy Baker, I held out slim hope after the 2016 election for the national party.

The playout of the presidential nomination process, with Dario Hunter playing the race card even while being used by libertarian Green fanbois of Jesse (the still Libertarian Body) Ventura, pretty much eliminated most that hope.

And, when presidential nominee Howie Hawkins, at the instigation (sic) of advisors Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, started peddling the Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid on China in general and the Uyghurs in particular, that tore it. (Howie's halfway correct or more answer on Putin and the 2016 election makes me think that loving the Xi Jinping Thought Kool-Aid was NOT a totally unprompted idea on his part.

Now, we move forward two years to Texas Greens.

First of all, just three candidates for office. Libertarians are down as well, but we're not talking about them.

For governor? Delilah Barrios, Second Amendment absolutist, whose muse on this issue is diametrically opposed to her stances on other issues, like national health care. Barrios apparently sees no cognitive dissonance, which means she must be laser-focused on Sameen's stupidity (it is) as a gun nut (he is).

For railroad commissioner? I was not a fan of Green Hunter Crow even before this race; when you're under 30 and already entering perennial candidate territory, that's a good starting point. And, any Green saying gas should be $2 a gallon is a fucking idiot on climate change; that's like writing blank checks. BUT! That's just the starting point. He's ALSO a Texas secessionist! 

Then, for land commissioner? I'd love to give you a link to Alfred Molison. The best I can do is his Twitter; he has no website and not even a Facebook page, unlike our 2014 nutter for governor, Brandon Parmer, who was on Facebook, though but rarely for campaign stuff. And, whether for retweets or his own original tweets, his Twitter has not been used since 2020.

Molison did the best, at 1.6 percent. Makes you wonder how he'd done with an actual online presence. Crow was at an even 1 percent. Barrios was below 0.5 percent, and I hope me calling her out on gunz helped depress the vote.

Greens have one more shot to break 2 percent, in 2024, or it's back to the petition-circulating, signature-gathering drawing board. Two statewide races of prominence: Inflation Warmongering Joe vs. whoever the Rethuglicans nominate, and other third party candidates, in the presidential race, and Havana / Cancun Ted Cruz vs some Rethuglican and other candidates for the Senate. Other than that, it's three state Supreme Court races and three Court of Criminal Appeals seats. And, since Greens, and Libertarians, have been passing up those judicial races more and more? Realistically, it's two races. Really realistically, Greens will need to hope that Democrats nominate a truly crappy ConservaDem to run against Havana Ted, because if it's either Trump the Comeback Kid or DeStan getting the GOP prez nomination, that race will be way too tribal for Texas Greens to hit 2 percent there. (The mind boggles if Hunter Crow turns 30 before that Senate race.)

Note: David Bruce Collins says it's through 2026; I think the state law is "election inclusive," so 2016, 18, 20, 22, 24. Interestingly, Molison "liked" his Twitter response to me.

This is on the state party in another way. If a candidate doesn't have a website and won't create one? You build one. And, you bill the candidate the cost for that, even if it's a cheapie "Google Sites" like Crow's. And, you make a candidate sign an agreement to that end as part of officially being nominated.

I did a search on the GPUS website. Sadly, under its platform page, its subsection on climate change has just one line about a carbon tax, or carbon tax plus carbon tariff. That's re Crow. On Barrios, only three hits, and all of them news releases, about "Second Amendment." On Molinson, since I don't know in detail why he ran, I have no idea if he has any positions at least halfway hinky with GPUS, or issues basically not discussed.

INNNterestingly, per his Twitter, former friend Brains may also be an ex-Green? His profile says only that he's "not a Democrat." BUT? It DOES have the DSA Roseys rose emoji. And, the presumably anarchist blag flag emoji. NO sunflower or other emoji that would be most commonly associated with Greens (I have not seen the four-leaf clover, though green, as Green.)


That said, Greens aren't alone. Since the Mises folks took over the Libertarian Party at the national level, many Libertarians have stopped donating, even as a number of state affiliates do battle, even splinter, over whether or not to affiliate with LP National, which in turn is trying to go Xi Jinping on state parties that won't toe the line. Their most recent LP National meeting will shed more light.