web analytics
Currently viewing the tag: "Texas"

Via Loomis, this is just bizarre. I think you have to take it this way: Texas generates a lot of oil. Putin identifies oil with power. According to Martin Sixsmith’s book, oil went from accounting for 25% of GDP under Yeltsin to 50% under Putin. This was intentional, and for huge amounts of Russians–particularly provincials–his rule has been an utter, avoidable disaster. But to Putin, oil is what power is all about. It’s what keeps Europe from pushing him around. It’s what lets him throw his weight around when dealing with his neighbors. It stands to reason that the idea of losing your prime oil producing region would be the most devastating thing Putin could think of doing to his adversary. The whole “America seized Texas, therefore I can seize Ukraine” element is obvious spin. Of course, to the extent that his goal is to “destroy American liberalism,” as his advisor says in the piece, getting Texas to leave the Union would be just about the most counterproductive way to do it–the Senate becomes a bit harder for the GOP and the House would immediately become a Democratic lock. It seems that Putin, unsurprisingly, does not understand American politics all that well. A much smarter play would be to back Californian separatism, which would ensure that Republicans hold the House until kingdom come, and would ensure that Republican presidencies–i.e. the ones more likely to provide the foil he wants to play to his electorate–become much more common. Admittedly, the creation of a hypothetical sovereign California would have many unforeseen side effects that may not all be positive for Putin, but the overall situation would be much more to his liking. I would guess that there’s a vastly smaller portion of people favoring Californian separatism than Texan separatism in their respective states, but a big glut of Kremlin cash could certainly get the ball rolling, to whatever extent it’s going to roll.

Lev filed this under: , ,  
This and this are why I thought Wendy Davis would have been better served seeking re-election or running for something like Lt. Governor or Attorney General: she’s obviously not a flaming lib given that she represents a fairly Republican district of the Texas Senate, but because of her national profile

Continue reading »

Lev filed this under: , ,  
Straight from Bee Cave Road in bee-yoo-ti-ful Austin Tejas, here’s the Texas Library Association’s 2014 Maverick Graphic Novel List.

Continue reading »

“I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.” — Texas Tea Party Jackwad
Also too, remember the past:
At the close of the Civil War … some three-quarters of a million of Negroes, the mass of them densely ignorant

Continue reading »

From 2-Year-Old Boy In Texas Dead After Shooting Himself In The Face on TPM:
Correction: This post originally gave the wrong caliber for the the weapon involved. It was a 9 mm handgun.
But everything else in the story was accurate, I guess.

Continue reading »

Matmos filed this under: , ,  

Is it strange that I’m proud of this?

Public Policy Polling, as is its habit, has a cool, unconventional poll up on its site right now, measuring the favorable/unfavorable ratios of the 50 American states.

Overall, it shows (in order) Hawaii, Colorado, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia on top, and (in reverse order) California, Illinois, New Jersey, Mississippi and Utah at the bottom. The last five states are the only ones with net negative ratios (though Louisiana is close with a tie). […]

You can wander around PPI’s crosstabs from this survey for many hours, but the factor that does jump out is political ideology. California’s dismal ranking is basically driven by its heavily negative ratings from people self-identifying as “very conservative” (10/74) and “somewhat conservative” (12/65). Texas, ranking 38th, draws ratings nearly that dismal from self-identified liberals (22/56 among “very liberal” folk, and 17/59 among “somewhat liberal” respondents), but that’s offset by the ecstatic opinion of the Lone Star State among conservatives (62/9 for the “somewhat conservative;” 68/7 for the “very conservative”). Basically, conservatives love TX and hate CA more intensely than liberals feel about either.

Strange that New York has completely fallen off the radar as the conservatives’ scapegoat for all the ills of America. Back during the ’90s it would have been inconceivable that any other state would have been as hated by them. But times change I guess.

Informally, though, I have noticed the shift. Many of my red-state relatives are prone to insulting California in front of people who actually live there (i.e. us). One of my aunts kept bringing up that creep Richard Ramirez for years after he was caught, as some sort of proof that California is a twisted place. This was apparently ignoring the fact that the Plains and Midwest generate way more serial killers per capita than the West Coast does. My experiences hint to me that California hatred among right-wingers is based mostly on fear of the large and politically influential Hispanic population in the state. Ironically, Texas has much the same thing going on, but the process there is far less advanced and white folks are still largely in firm control of things. Texas is about where California was politically in the mid-1980s, so far as I can tell. And while Rick Perry has been smart enough to avoid a Prop 187-like suicide for the party among Hispanic voters, he’s not going to be there forever, and it’s only a matter of time until the fundamentals demand it happens.

In any event, I’m proud of this poll. To get that kind of hatred, we must really be scaring them.

Lev filed this under: , ,  

What a surprise that Texas (a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon) would be involved in such blatant hijinks as this:

The latest bit of climate controversy has kicked off in Texas, a state with a governor, Rick Perry, who has suggested that climate scientists have manipulated data. At issue is a report on the future of Galveston Bay, on Texas’ Gulf coast. The report was commissioned by the state’s Commission on Environmental Quality, and prepared by a private consulting firm. The TCEQ, however, had issues with the report’s contents when it came to topics related to climate change, and tried to edit the report. Now, the scientists who prepared the report are asking that their names be removed from it.

The report was being prepared by the Houston Advanced Research Center, which contracts the work out to research scientists. One of the chapters of the report focuses on the impact of sea level rise. Studies in the peer-reviewed literature suggest that, after thousands of years of relative stability, the rate of sea level rise has been accelerating during the last century, and it’s expected to continue to rise as temperatures get warmer. That obviously has implications for low-lying coastal areas like Galveston, and the report touches on some of these.

That didn’t go over well with some people at the TCEQ, who edited the report to remove all references to sea level rise (replacing “rise” with “change”) and made other alterations to diminish its significance. The author of that chapter, Rice University’s John Anderson, was appalled, and refused to approve the edits (he provided a copy of them to Mother Jones, which has posted them online).

After the Houston Chronicle picked up the story, word of the problems spread among the authors, and every single scientist on the report has now asked that their names be removed from it. In response to queries about deleting basic facts (sea levels have risen) from the report, a TCEQ spokesperson was quoted as saying, “Information was included in a report that we disagree with.”

I really think that the modern Republican Party’s faith-based, frothing hatred of all things climate science is pretty much the best proof around that the GOP has basically become a mindless butt-zombie of down-South corporate America.


Your Vintners