Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mayor Turner wants a study about Confederate statues in Houston

No.  No further "study" is needed to decide whether or not to remove the monuments to the Confederacy in the Bayou City.  I'm fisking Kuff here instead of there.

1.  This question suggests you believe that there is no existing record of statuary within the city's archives.  That would be a laughable premise.  If nothing else, the city requires permits and approvals before statues are erected, so if there is no listing, there is surely a history of permit approvals that should be easily searchable.  It might not be comprehensive to the city's 181-year existence, it may not be digitized, but the past fifty to one hundred years' worth ought to both exist and be easily found and poured over.  A list could be made in time for the next council meeting.

It's hard for me to believe this was a serious query, Charles.  If there were no list of statues, then a lot of city administrators have failed over a very long period of time, which is certainly possible but highly doubtful.  On the chance, however, that no list exists or can be found, I will agree that it is way past time for statues of every kind in the city to be documented.

2.  This isn't the part that requires study; this is the action item.  Several cities, such as Lexington, Baltimore, and New Orleans -- not to mention dozens of others across the United States and even Texas -- are way ahead of Houston in this regard.  Why is that?  Houston's reputation isn't one of waiting for others to "innovate", or progress.  Quite the opposite.  Now, when the issue has moved to the forefront of social consciousness, the mayor calls for a study?  I would ask, obviously: why?  How long?  For what purpose?

3.  Maybe you haven't been able to attend or watch on closed circuit television the city council meetings; that's understandable.  But that's where this sort of discussion takes place (besides on blogs, that is).  We elect city council members to make these tough calls.  Again, not sure why this is a question that requires an answer unless everybody in Houston needs it explained to them like they were fifth-graders.  Granted, there are all those home-schooled Republicans in the exurbs, but still ...

4.  My goodness, sir; the mayor and city council are the ones authorized to make this decision.  The bureaucrats you mention are tasked with executing their order.  Although if enough citizens want to sign a petition to put it on the ballot, there's that.

Four-for-four in really and truly dumb questions, Chuck-o.  You should, in fact, keep going until you ask a question that isn't Captain Obviously-answered.

The Mayor's Special Assistant had a better reply, or excuse for the mayor's recalcitrance, as I would define it.  But the answer there is also pretty clear: there shouldn't need to be much rumination involved for someone who has experienced first-hand the very worst of what the Confederacy represents in his own lifetime, to say nothing of his forebearers.

Now then, to demonstrate that there is some discussion, if not study, that's worth having -- considering both sides of the question in a careful manner -- let me paraphrase my friend David Courtney.  Oh hell, let me just quote him direct.

I think that we should rethink the removal of Confederate symbols. It does not improve long standing racial tensions. It does not address the predatorial business which suck the financial resources out of black communities. It does not address disparities in income or political involvement. It does not address the pressures which are being felt by African American owned business, or historically black universities. It does nothing to advance the well being of African American communities across the country. But it does advance the cause of the Alt-Right by providing them with a simple touchstone by which they can organise.

These are thoughtful and cogent words from a school of thought to which I am not enrolled.  I'll simply say that trying to accommodate, mollify, or otherwise negotiate in good faith with Nazis has not been demonstrated to be a successful tactic throughout the course of history.  IIRC we fought a war over that, the entire world was involved, and the Nazis got their asses kicked.

Among the Sixties memories I would choose not to re-live -- like imminent threats of World War Three and white power rallies -- add a Forties lesson our grandparents and great-grandparents all taught us with their lives, the ones lost and the ones forever impacted.

Never A-Fucking-gain.

Same goes for statues to Confederate "heroes" (sic).  They were traitors to their country.  History would be different if they had won the Civil War, but they did not.  Nobody wants to watch an HBO miniseries to see what it may have been like if they had, either.  No rewriting or whitewashing of history at any time, and never by the racist losers of a rebellion.

Take the statues to the Confederacy down from the public square and put them in a place -- a park in the most Caucasian of suburbs, or a museum -- so nobody can whine about their history being erased.  If it's private property, they can charge admission and not be obligated to condition their alternate facts, carefully chosen by white supremacists long ago to twist truth, logic, and reason far beyond its tensile strength.

How long ago?  Read Glenn Melancon's post linking to the New York Review of Book's piece on James McPherson's Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, published in 2001.  For the click-over-disinclined, here's your Cliff's Note:

Southern politicians didn't want states' rights, they wanted slave owner rights. Only after losing on the battle field did they create a States' Rights mythology to cover up their moral and treasonous crimes, but also to start a new one, Jim Crow.

This topic has been studied long enough.  It's time for our leaders to take action.  The Houston activists aren't waiting around, after all.

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Bannon's Fired" Toons

It's remarkable to me how prescient the cartoonists can be; these aren't new.  You'll have to wait until Sunday for the fresh takes.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Texas wants expedited SCOTUS appeal on redistricting

Not reading this anywhere else.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday morning he plans to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Tuesday ruling that invalidated two congressional districts, including Corpus Christi's District 27.

The appeal will be filed this week, unless the state requests — and is granted — an extension on a three-day deadline imposed by the district court's ruling, Kayleigh Lovvorn, a spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General's office told the Caller-Times Wednesday.

The San Antonio court gave the state a three-day deadline to indicate whether the legislature would convene to consider redistricting, a move Abbott called "astonishing." 

First, I thought these appeals went through the Fifth Circuit before they got to the Supremes (thus the strike-through in yesterday's).  Second, it is a little wild that the three judges who invalidated the constitutionality of the two Congressional districts which Blake Farenthold and Lloyd Doggett currently represent would give the state until this Friday to decide whether to meet with the plaintiffs and start drawing new maps on the day after Labor Day ... or keep fighting it out in court.

Surely it will continue to be the latter.

The federal judges ruled Congressional Districts 35 and 27 violated racial discrimination prohibitions in section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The 107-page ruling, handed down in San Antonio, could lead to a battle to redraw the districts in time for the 2018 elections. 

If Texas does not respond within three days and the Supreme Court does not intervene, the two sides are scheduled to meet Sept. 5 to begin drawing new maps, the ruling states.

Or Abbott's appeal to Justice Sam Alito is taken under advisement by him and he alone decides, or he refers it to the full Court, in which case we're back on the slow track.  If Abbott's appeal is not granted, then Abbott calls another special session for redistricting (rather than leaving it to a squadron of lawyers from the state and MALDEF, etc., and under the supervision of the federal judges of the Western District of Texas).  A special may be coming anyway, since Goobnur Wheels is now grousing about his agenda being derailed by Joe Straus.

IANAL so feel free to weigh, lawyers.

While I was blogging the above, Meagan Flynn at the Press posts an update, beating all the corporate news media outlets and Kuff and the rest of those who are usually on top of these things.  Maybe later today, or tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. in Kuffner's case, with whatever the Chronic or the TexTrib have to say, preceded by "Wow' or something similar.

The ruling means both maps will need to be redrawn in time for the 2018 election, and that lawmakers can't kick the can down the road until the next session. The federal judges gave Texas three days to decide whether it wants the court to redraw the maps for it — or let the Legislature do it. Which would require a special session.


Expect to find out by the end of the week whether you'll have to watch lawmakers tear up the state Capitol all over again this fall. Who knows, given Abbott's philosophy during this past special session was cram as many bills as possible into 30 days, maybe the bathroom bill will even make an appearance on another ambitious agenda.

Hellza poppin'.

Update: KUT touches base with Brennan Center attorney Michael Li, who is also advising the plaintiffs, and he explains the current situation as I have.

“It’s possible that everything gets put on hold until the Supreme Court decides, but it’s also possible that the court lets that go forward,” said Li ... “I think everyone is sensitive with the close timing of the election and everything that it may make sense to go ahead and redraw the maps now.”


“The question now is who redraws the maps.”


“So the normal practice is that a Legislature gets the first shot at redrawing maps," Li said, "and the court has given the Legislature that shot." If they don’t agree to hold a special session to redraw the maps, then the state and plaintiffs go back to court for a hearing in September to hash it out.

The court also still has to rule on the statehouse maps, which could also delay a special session.

Li said legislators will probably want to wait to see if they have to redraw both sets of maps before going into another session. He said it is possible, however, that all this could be sorted out in time for the 2018 elections.

“If all the cards align, and the changes aren’t that massive, then it’s possible that maps could be in place by September or early October,” he said. “But right now everything is up in the air.”

Update (8/18, late p.m.): There will be no special session to address redistricting ... for now. Governor Hell on Wheels reserves his right to call one before 2019 if the Supreme Court lets the air out of his tires.  Ken Paxton's pompous dismay at having judges draw maps -- i.e. his disgust at the governor for failing to take matters into his own hands -- is duly noted for the record.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sine Died

Buy us another round, Governor?

Texas House members huddled near the dais on Aug. 15, 2017. 
Thanks to Marjorie Kamys Cotera at the TexTrib for the pic.

The special session of the Legislature came to an abrupt end Tuesday night, a day earlier than expected, when the Texas Senate adjourned without acting on a House-passed version of a property tax bill.

The House began the late-session drama when it unexpectedly closed the special session with one item pending — a conference committee on Senate Bill 1, which would have required larger cities and counties to get voter approval for property tax increases.

Senate Republicans wanted automatic elections for increases of 4 percent or more. The House settled on a 6 percent trigger, and by adjourning early, House leaders told the Senate to take the 6 percent rate or leave it.

Later Tuesday night, the Senate chose to leave it.

The RWNJs are up in arms tiki torches, but Greg Abbott is signaling 'success'.

"Our office believes this special session has produced a far better Texas than before," said Abbott press secretary John Wittman.

If you're a woman who wanted a choice as to whether to give birth or not, or even be able to have your insurance company pay for your choice under standard polices ... no.  Not at all.

For his part, Gov. Greg Abbott was silent on the session’s end. He signed three bills on Tuesday, bringing the total number of special session bills he’s signed to five. Four more bills await his signature, including a House measure relating to tree regulations on private property that’s a far cry from what he demanded and similar to a bill he vetoed in June. The only other bill to reach his desk relating to reining in municipal powers was one that restricts the annexation authority of cities in large counties.

Likewise, lawmakers didn’t pass bills restricting transgender bathroom use, an emphasis of social conservatives, or limiting state spending, a cause of fiscal conservatives.

Abbott has asked lawmakers to pass bills related to 20 issues. Just nine and a half of those reached his desk.

A better batting average than I predicted last Saturday, but the ultracons are still howling. We'll have to wait for the governor to decide whether his wheelchair seat cushion feels too warm after he gets off the phone with the Porters.  They don't stay up late, but they do get up early to feed the chickens and milk the cows.

Jane Nelson (Senate Finance chair) says we can do whatever we want; she's going to Italy.  Not quite Davy Crockett at the Alamo.  Not even Billy Bob Thornton in the movie, for that matter.

I'll go out on a limb and predict that Abbott feels comfortable enough with his $41 million to declare victory and go home, leaving Dan Patrick to go after Joe Straus, now and next spring.

(Patrick) placed the blame for almost all of Abbott's failed special session priorities on Speaker of the House Joe Straus.

"Thank goodness Travis didn't have the speaker at the Alamo," Patrick said. "He would've been the first one over the wall."

Patrick said the San Antonio Republican had treated the governor's agenda "like horse manure," blocking votes on measures like the "bathroom bill," private school vouchers and defunding Planned Parenthood.

"We missed some major opportunities, but what I'm most upset about is the House quit tonight," he said. "With 27 hours to go, they walked off the job."

Sounds like the proverbial line in the sand to me.  It's possible that the federal judicial panel that found two Texas Congressional districts unconstitutional yesterday compels a special session before 2019 if the Supreme Court ultimately agrees, and in turn orders a fix before elections in 2018, but we'll have to wait for that on the usual unpredictable timeline.  The Fifth Circuit is the next stop, whoever loses appeals again to the Supremes, and even on the fast track the SCOTUS doesn't take the case under consideration until the high court reconvenes on the first Monday in October.  It's possible that any redistricting simply waits until the legislative session in 2021, as the regularly-scheduled decennial mapmaking process occurs.

So if I had to guess right now ... no more specials.  But I could be wrong.  Update (8/17): I'm probably wrong.  Read this post for the latest on how the redistricting decision affects the probability of another special session.

Ross Ramsey at the TexTrib has more inside baseball.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance has no room for hate in its heart, no matter what it calls itself.

Here's the roundup of blog posts and news from last week.

Off the Kuff looks at July finance reports in key state Senate districts.

Socratic Gadfly examines Consortium News' latest in-depth piece on how Putin did NOT "do it" on the DNC hacks and and ties this together with Sy Hersh's comments about Seth Rich.

With only a few days remaining in the special legislative session, it appears that Greg Abbott won't come close to getting everything he wanted out of it, says PDiddie at Brain and Eggs.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme calls out the Texas Republican hate on display this week, from LGBTQ bashing, immigrant bashing to the kicking of the poor.

The Lewisville Texan Journal profiles John Wannamaker, a former Marine and prison inmate, one of four Democrats competing to challenge US Rep. Michael Burgess (CD-26).

Texas Watch asks the TDI to investigate the automobile insurance collision repair industry's practices that appear to be short-changing Texas drivers.

Ted at jobsanger posts some statistical facts about Muslims in the United States.

Texas Vox needs some help for its challenge to one of Trump's deregulatory executive orders.

Neil at All People Have Value went to the monthly meeting of the Houston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. The meeting was well-attended and many tangible actions were discussed. APHV is part of


More Texas blog posts and news!

Houston, Austin, and cities across North Texas all held vigils for Charlottesville last evening in the wake of white supremacist provocations, animosity, and violence in that city.  Meanwhile in College Station, so-called alt-right leader Richard Spence has been scheduled to appear on the campus of Texas A&M in September.

In San Antonio, Gus Bova of the Texas Observer reported that hundreds pf people clashed over the removal of a Confederate monument in Travis Park.

Armed militia members surround a “mobile command center” near Travis Park.

Leif Reigstad at the Daily Post reports that the guy who quit after 37 days as Corpus Christi's mayor, Dan McQueen, is running for the US Senate against Ted Cruz in the GOP primary.

Marc Campos eulogizes former Governor Mark White, while the TSTA blog remembers his legacy.

The Rivard Report notes San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg telling Greg Abbott to back off the attack on cities.

Durrel Douglas at Houston Justice has been covering the Houston ISD goings-on of late, beginning with a post about the candidates challenging board president Wanda Adams, and the possibility of several black legacy high schools in HISD threatened with closure due to failing grades by students.

In a tale reminiscent of George Orwell's "1984", the Texas Senate's Education Committee claims that a $1.8 billion cut to Texas public school funding is part of a long-term remedy, reports the Texas Standard.

Ty Clevenger at Lawflog wonders why the FBI is still protecting Hillary Clinton.

Bonddad takes another look at "The Changing of the Guard", a 1980 book that foretold the rise -- and destructiveness -- of neoliberalism.

Pages of Victory posts part 2 about why he left the Democratic Party.

The Texas Living Waters Project frets about the zebra mussel invasion.

Lone Star Ma makes the case for breast pumps.

And Harry Hamid fears the incoming hordes of killer babies.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Wheels fly off of Abbott's special session agenda

He can console himself with the thoughts of $41 million simolians dancing in his head, and a few targets in the House to shoot them at.

Sunset?  Done and signed.  Mail-in ballot fraud?  Done, with a funny about-face by the allegedly steel-spined gubernor.  Women's reproductive freedoms further restricted?  Natch.  Bathroom bill?  Comatose.  Property tax reform?  We'll see, later today.

Three for twenty is a .150 batting average, not quite Mendoza-line production.  He might be able to get it up to .250 by next Wednesday.  Again, we'll have to wait and see.

Some obfuscations never change.

Abbott has been primarily motivated by avoiding a primary from his right *coughDanPatrickcough* and by whatever it is that his platoon of well-heeled yokels writing him six-figure checks wants, as revealed by the sage RG Ratcliffe at Burkablog.  That's probably something like 'no men in women's restrooms' in Doss, Gillespie County.  (Note the blase' attitude of those quoted in that article associated with million-dollar campaign contributions, as if the ramifications of Citizens United were completely unheard of.)  Tilove at First Reading asked a good question, but the truth is that Abbott doesn't need the Wilks boys' money, and perhaps down deep in his shriveled little heart doesn't really care for their extremist politics beyond pandering to it.

(U)ltimately Abbott, as far right as he has traveled and is prepared to travel “to stay ahead of the needle,” isn’t really entirely politically or temperamentally in sync with Michael Quinn Sullivan and Dan Patrick and the House Freedom Caucus and the Wilks brothers, and they all know that.

He is the governor of Texas seeking a second term and he is better off with a Texas Republican party that is not tearing itself apart.

He depends on donors and support from people for whom Straus is not Satan and Patrick is scary.

Ted Cruz executed a remarkably strong race for president running from the furthest right, most disruptive reaches of the party. But that was pre-Trump.

Post-Trump, it seems likely the party and the country may be looking for a presidential candidate who is not all about endless conflict and, if Abbott is indeed interested in being that candidate, he may be better off without so much as a straw of deer semen from the Wilks brothers.

Some people say that his late (in the regular session) hard-right turn might hurt him to some degree with the business community, blahblahblah.  Don't think so.  Not as long as Mr. International Leather and the Berniecrat Tom Wakely are all Texas Democrats can muster.  I remain of the opinion that only Joe Straus running as an independent -- and the Democrats bailing out of the race altogether, lest their straight-ticket voters spoil the strategy -- can defeat Abbott in November of 2018.

Jim Henson and Joshua Blank have a more favorable take on the special and its ramifications to Abbott and Patrick than is currently in vogue in Democratic circles.  Whatever else happens, Abbott's keeping that list, you know, and so is DisEmpower Texas and Dr. Steven Hate-ze.  So Straus, should he run for re-election and then for Speaker again, had better be marshaling his forces.  And he had better be ready to help Byron Cook and the rest of his lieutenants in the Texas House.

The sane parts of Texas cannot afford having him lose.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Mayor prepares police action against Houston homeless *updates*

With no re-election worries until 2019, and as I predicted five weeks ago ... here comes Sylvester Turner and Art Acevedo with their crackdown on the poorest among us.  (See updates below.)

Here's a short report from KHOU from last night (with video).  Here's the response from the homeless activists: a face-off with the authorities tomorrow morning.  If you want to see how far our local public media has fallen, Al Ortiz: presente.  This fool's 'combat homelessness' phrasing follows on his repetitive use of the word 'panhandling', and quoting the city's advocates against the homeless, as in this piece from May.  Avoid.

I would expect some tense moments prior to the city's attempts to enforce this order, potentially more than just your run-of-the-mill staredown.  Perhaps some corporate media can be on hand with video cameras; certainly the social justice warriors will be.

Sidebar follows.

It's interesting to me how that phrase above, acronymed, has transmogrified into a pejorative.  Some history about that can be found here.  I use it above in context of respect and admiration for those who will be on the point tomorrow morning, and wish I could be standing with them in more than just spirit.  Lousy health precludes my participation.

I've long questioned Mayor Turner's bonafides as a progressive, even a liberal now.  He's a neoliberal, and acts more like a Republican -- even the worst of Republicans -- with each passing day.  Further, it's accurate to describe today's Democrats as Eisenhower Republicans; that goes for every elected one from Turner to Pelosi and Schumer and all of them in-between.  There simply is no such thing any longer as a Democrat who meets the definition of the word 'progressive'.  They don't support the working class, much less the poverty class; they don't support universal single-payer.  Hillary Clinton's espousing of a $12 minimum wage was the clearest demonstration of the half-measures Democrats are comfortable with.  The things they do support are more in line with corporate interests than those of the 99%.  Democrats are just co-opting 'progressive' to replace 'liberal', which they allowed to be sullied by Republicans and conservatives to the extent it is now considered to be an insult by everyone.  That shit started with Reagan.

Turner has no excuse save the craven desire for power to be this way.  He grew up in Houston's poorest neighborhood, Acres Homes.  He represented the area in Austin for decades but did little to ameliorate his neighbors' suffering; he coveted the mayorship, and finally succeeded in his third try two years ago, squeaking in by the skin of his teeth over an allegedly moderate Republican in a runoff.  He bows and scrapes to Houston's white 1% while extending the back of his hand -- a gloved fist -- across the face of those at the very bottom.

I recently heard a young man say that 'empathy is a character flaw'.  Exercising some of my empathy, I overcame my shock and awe of this remark by considering his life experience: probably under 30 years old, a Navy SEAL.  Elite soldiers must be inculcated with a certain amount of ruthlessness in order to be considered successful, after all.  There are few people beyond this profile to which I would be willing to extend much understanding for making such a statement, certainly none for those whose actions exceed their words or their silence in this regard.  As for Sylvester Turner, maybe he hasn't just sold the fuck out.  Maybe he is not a garden-variety sociopath.  Maybe he has simply taken too much acetaminophen over the course of his lifetime.

That's all the slack I can cut for him.

If you can be at the intersection of La Branch and Eagle, or thereabouts, tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., in some capacity of assistance to the least among us, I encourage you to bring your smartphone and/or camera to document any potential atrocities.  Update I: Be advised that HPD has long used Stingray technology to capture cellphone metadata, helping them identify their "foes".  One way to avoid this is to turn off your mobile network connection and upload photos/video later ... at least a mile away from where the action is.

You probably shouldn't drive and park down there, because if you get arrested -- even if you aren't, of course -- you don't want to find that the city has towed your car away.  I would recommend taking the Metro light rail and disembarking at Wheeler station, walking the four or so blocks east alongside or under the elevated portion of US 59.  Look for the large gathering of cops, some on horseback, and others.  Shouldn't be too hard to find.

The more witnesses, the better.  If you consider yourself a Christian, you should easily understand that it's what Jesus would be doing.

Update II: This is NOT the answer.

Update III (8/10, 11 a.m.): "Filth-covered homeless camp near Minute Maid park evacuated" reads the teaser on the Chronic's home page, not the headline of the article itself.  Someone at the paper of record envisions a bright future for themselves as a PR flack in the Turner administration.

Note in the link above where the reporter claims the city will be 'digging up contaminated dirt' at the homeless encampment.  Simply preposterous. Turner and CM Dwight Boykins planned, earlier this year, to build a community center next to an old landfill -- also in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods, Sunnyside -- with methane leaking out of it, assuring the community all the while that it was safe.  And had another whitewashed environmental study conducted that declared such.

No digging up of contaminated dirt at that site has been reported.

Update IV: Meagan Flynn at the Houston Press offers a more comprehensive and unbiased account of yesterday's action (time and date stamp notwithstanding).  Channel 39 has video of one of the residents supporting the action, but their account leads with the usual city officials declaring they're "only here to help", and the usual business owners complaining about shit.

Monday, August 07, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance mourns the passing of former Texas Governor Mark White over the weekend.  A champion for public education, White ushered in reforms that still impact Texas schools to this day, including limits on elementary class size, a "no pass, no play" policy for high school athletes, and the first-ever statewide testing standards.

White will be eulogized by former president George W. Bush and Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of former president Lyndon Johnson, on Wednesday at a memorial service held at Second Baptist Church in Houston.  White will then lie in state in Austin's Capitol rotunda, with a second memorial service held there on Thursday.  He will be interred at the Texas State Cemetery.

Here's the blog post and news roundup from last week.

Off the Kuff cast a critical eye at Chris Hooks' latest (and weakest) piece about Democratic recruitment for state offices.

Blake Farenthold doesn't just insult and demean female Republican senators, he disses his own constituents by favoring oligarchs over Army employees. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme can't wait until he's former representative Farenthold.

In an environmental news roundup, SocraticGadfly wonders if the internal combustion engine's complexities will hasten its demise.

This fall, when someone asks if PDiddie at Brains and Eggs is ready for some football ... the answer will be no.

Stace at Dos Centavos applauds Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez' discontinuance of the use of private jails, and makes the cogent point about elections having consequences for the rotten money bail system in the county.

jobsanger underscores that our nation's greatest shame is an inadequate healthcare system.

Texas Freedom Network's quotes of the week include a few from some highly embarrassed state Republicans.

The city of Lewisville and its school district join the growing chorus of Texas municipal organizations pushing back against the state legislature's attempts to override local laws with dictums from Austin, reports the Texan Journal.

Neil at All People Have Value offered his guide to activism in the Age of Trump. APHV is part of


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

With ten days left in the special legislative session, the Texas Tribune provides a comprehensive update on where things stand regarding Governor Greg Abbott's priorities.

'The Freest Little City in Texas', in the Texas Observer, tells the tale of a libertarian experiment in city government that went awry over taxes, debt, and some very angry people.

Some prison inmates will get moved into air conditioned cells ... after a federal judge set a deadline ordering the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to do so, reports the San Antonio Current.

Michael Li explains how the Texas redistricting case might play out.

Grits for Breakfast sorts out the DPS crime lab fees situation.

Paradise in Hell wonders what the floor is for Donald Trump's approval rating.

The TSTA Blog calls for adult leadership in Austin.

Therese Odell wades into the latest revelations in the Seth Rich story.

Molly Glentzer pushes back against an article that had criticized Houston's mini-murals program.

John Nova Lomax goes looking for the "real" Montrose.

DBC Green Blog wants you -- yes, YOU -- to run for office.

Pages of Victory links to a piece that best explains why he left the Democratic Party.

And Harry Hamid collects a few parts from a passenger train.