Weeks Since the HRC Has Called Texas Out on Harmful Policy: 0

Again.  This time, Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton are out to harm transgender youth and the family members and medical professionals who support them.  From Texas Signal:

After Ken Paxton issued an attorney general opinion classifying certain procedures or medications for trans children as “child abuse,” Abbott followed up with his own directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Abbott’s letter to the head of DFPS orders the agency to investigate any claim of gender-affirming care as “child abuse.”

This is hardly the first time the Texas GOP has put policy into place attacking transgender youth.  See also this article from The Texas Tribune: “Trans kids and supporters say new Texas law will keep them out of school sports

So, I’ve written up another postcard to ask Abbott, Paxton, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and any GOP state senator or representative what they intend to do when harm comes to transgender youth directly because of their recent actions.  Update them, use them as is, print them, share them: just make sure your voice is heard.

Oh, and, there’s an election this fall.  Just a reminder….

Texas Freedom Network Calls for Resignation of Senator Ted Cruz

I will post more regarding yesterday’s events in DC and their Texas connections, but for now, here’s a news release from the Texas Freedom Network, The Road to Sedition: Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton Must Resign Now:

Texas Freedom Network President Val Benavidez today called on U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to resign their offices immediately for helping fuel the unhinged conspiracies that have led to today’s pro-Trump chaos and violence in the nation’s capital.

I’ll have postcards up soon asking for Sen. Cruz’s resignation, both addressed to him and to his fellow Republicans who should pressure him to resign in the disgrace he knowingly and viciously cultivated.

In a Desperate Search for Voter Fraud, TX Lt. Gov. Offers a Million Dollar Reward

Another day, another round of Texas in the news….  From The Texas Tribune, There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but Dan Patrick is encouraging people to report it with up to a $1 million reward“:

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday he is offering up to $1 million to “incentivize, encourage and reward” people for reports of voter fraud in Texas, even as there’s been no evidence of mass voter fraud and experts say it’s rare.

The Republican state leader’s crusade for proof of election problems in Texas comes as members of his own party dominated up and down the ballot.

So, the Democrats just managed to orchestrate fraud at the top?

More news on this from CBS and The Hill.

I have to wonder if this is meant to distract from the fact that Texas recently surpassed 1 million COVID cases.

Also, if this keeps up, I’m going to have to make a category for “Texas 2020 Election: GOP vs. Reality” or something like that.

Biden/Harris Won, but the Chair of the Texas GOP wants “a permanent asterisk by their names”

In “nasty things coming out of Texas” news for today, the chair of the state Republican Party, LTC Allen B. West, had this to say, which I’ve quoted in full if you don’t want to click the link:

The news has been announced that the Democrat Socialists have found and counted enough votes to declare Joe Biden the 46th President.

Biden and Harris will be similar to Barry Bonds and have a permanent asterisk by their names. Americans don’t like cheaters, and the perception of such lends itself to reality, just ask Tom Brady about Deflate=Gate.

Regardless, a Harris-Biden presidential administration serves to make my position easy. As well, Kamala and Joe will solidify the fact that Texas will only grow redder and stronger as America’s leading conservative state. If the progressive socialist left believes for one minute that Texas will acquiesce to their collectivism and tyranny, they are delusional.

Texas was born because rugged men and women fought, alone, against tyranny. We will do so again, and lead America to do so, as well. And, in two years, Texas will lead America in delivering a resounding midterm defeat to the Marxist, Socialist, Antifa-loving left.

What happened to the Democrats in Texas this election cycle is only the beginning. It’s time to “cowboy up” y’all.

I’m not going to begin to untangle all the falsehoods in this post.  But I have written postcards, so if you’re a Texan and would like to press your Republican elected officials to call Mr. West out on this one, they’re here: https://www.tdwalker.net/postcards/#postcards. (Scroll up that page for printing instructions.)

Texas Governor Restricts Number of Ballot Drop-Off Locations

It’s never a good sign when your state makes it into the international news.  From the BBC, “Texas governor cuts back on voting locations weeks before election“:

Texas’ governor has ordered that voters can drop off their mail-in ballots at only one location per county in the lead-up to the presidential election.

On social media, there’s a push to get mail-in ballot voters to drop off their ballots rather than mail them in to prevent overloading the already burdened USPS.  That Gov. Abbott is putting up this obstacle is disturbing to say the least.  (I do wonder whether this is the result of the push-back he received from his own Republican party regarding his extension of early voting dates.)

Just for a little context, here are a few county numbers (links are to US Census Bureau website; registered voter count is from the Texas Secretary of State January 2020 Voter Registration Figures website):

  • Harris (including Houston, the 4th most populous city in the US), population: 4,713,325 with 2,370,968 registered voters
  • Dallas (including Dallas, the 9th most populous city in the US): 2,635,516 with 1,335,478 registered voters
  • Tarrant (including Fort Worth, the 13th most populous city in the US): 2,102,515 with 1,151,733 registered voters
  • Bexar (including San Antonio, the 7th most populous city in the US): 2,003,554 with 1,125,759 registered voters
  • Travis (including Austin, the 11th most populous city in the US): 1,273,954 with 813,626 registered voters
  • El Paso (including El Paso, the 22nd most populous city in the US): 839,238 with 469,342 registered voters.

The population of Texas is 29 million, 16,106,984 of which are registered voters.  I don’t have figures for how many voters have requested mail-in ballots.

That said, in a state comprising only 254 counties, we’re looking at a serious attempt at keeping voters from having their voices heard.  Which, sadly, is nothing new.

This article from KPRC in Houston provides more population-related info: “New census data: Harris County is the third largest county in the US, but how does its growth compare to other large Texas counties?

Printable Postcards: Peaceful Transfer of Power and Threats to Voting

In response to Trump’s unwillingness to commit to relinquishing power if he’s defeated in November, ABC News reports that

In a remarkable move, the Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to a peaceful transition of power in the wake of President Donald Trump‘s refusal to do so if he loses the election.

Which is all very well and good, but I’m left wondering what something like that means when we’re still seeing attacks on the USPS and on early voting (see my last post for an example, or this story from The Texas Tribune regarding Harris County’s blocked attempt to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the county, which includes Houston).

I’d written these postcards earlier in the day, so they don’t cite the above action by the Senate, but given that the threats to voting still exist and Trump’s continued stance on transferring power, I don’t think they’ve been rendered irrelevant by the Senate’s action today.  Printing instructions on the linked page.

Texas GOP Sues Republican Governor over Expanded Early Voting

The Republican Party in Texas is going after its own to try to stop Gov. Abbott from ensuring safer in-person voting.  From The Texas Tribune:

In July, Abbott added six days to the early voting period, moving the start date up to Oct. 13 from Oct. 19, citing the coronavirus pandemic. In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court, Abbott’s intraparty critics say the move defied election law that requires early voting to start on the 17th day before the election.

It is the latest legal challenge to Abbott’s emergency powers, which he has wielded aggressively in dealing with the pandemic.

Add this one as yet another attempt by the GOP to curtail access to voting….

Fellowship of Freethought Dallas Gathering: Treat or Trick? Is an Afterlife Possible?

If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and you want to start your Halloween celebration a bit early, check out the Fellowship of Freethought Dallas gathering on October 21st.  From the meetup event listing:

Treat or Trick? Is an Afterlife Possible?

In this fun, Halloween-themed talk, Professor Fisher will use some creepy Halloween stories and B-grade movies to explore some of the weird and wild ways that theologians and philosophers have tried to make sense of the possibility of an afterlife.

Justin C. Fisher is a Philosophy professor at Southern Methodist University

11:00 am – Coffee and mingling
11:30 am – Program Begins
12:30 pm – Potluck

The gathering will be held at the Walnut Hill Recreation Center, 10011 Midway Road, Dallas, TX.

A Response from Senator Cornyn Regarding Kavanaugh Vote

Just before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on whether to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate, I called and emailed the offices of both Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn to voice my concerns about said vote.  I sent postcards to their local offices as well, for good measure.  They’re both on the committee, and they’re both–ostensibly–my senators, as I’m a resident of Texas.

I say “ostensibly” because Cornyn’s response demonstrates that he doesn’t represent the interests of the citizens of his state.  He represents the interests of his party.  Here is a portion of his response, with emphasis added by this blogger:

I believe we should take allegations of misconduct very seriously, which is why I support the thorough investigations being undertaken by the Judiciary Committee and the FBI. Based on his record of integrity as a father, husband, and public servant, I am confident this investigation will demonstrate that Judge Kavanaugh did not engage in any misconduct. As a result, on September 28, 2018, I voted to advance Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination out of the Judiciary Committee with the understanding that it will be considered by the full Senate following the conclusion of FBI’s supplemental background investigation.

I look forward to continuing Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and believe that he will serve with honor on the Supreme Court. I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join together to ensure that this process treats every individual involved with respect, fairness, and decency. I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Cornyn both supports the investigation, and yet he also looks forward to participating his Kavanaugh’s confirmation?  So, even before the FBI completes its investigation, Cornyn is sure that the results will show that Kavanaugh committed no acts of sexual misconduct?  Am I to take this as an indication that regardless of those findings, he will vote for Kavanaugh?  And why highlight Trump, whose recent behavior shows his unwillingness to treat “every individual involved with respect, fairness, and decency“?

Cornyn purports to represent Texas in the Senate.  In reality, he represents the worst of white male privilege in this state.