Saturday, October 31, 2020

#HookEm: 2020 Stuff


"I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
Psalm 57:2

Let's not kid ourselves: If Texas had lost that game, Tom Herman probably wouldn't be coach right now.

But in this goofy-ass 2020 season, something crazy happened: The Longhorns won.

So Herman's safe for another week.

Texas looked wretched for 90% of this game. Obviously, the defense (four turnovers) and special teams (D'Shaun Jamison kickoff return TD) kept them in the game. But the overall effort was overall putrid.

But Texas stayed close. And in this world of sloppy, no spring practice, football it ended up being good enough. Only in 2020.

Crazy part is that Texas still has a very legit shot at a conference title, with games remaining against every team in front of us.

Bottom Line: Operation "$19 million in buyouts to hire Aaron Hernandez's enabler" might just have to wait a week.

Friday, October 30, 2020

#TXLEGE: No Good Options

"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour."
1 John 2:18

Whole bunch of people filed for speaker in the past week.   None of them good.  You're welcome to read about the details here.

Keep your expectations low.

There's no reason to believe anything will change.

Regardless of the speaker's specific identity, ninety percent of the Texas house's legislative output will be crony capitalism and/or shady real estate deals.

Kudos to Kyle Biedermann and Bryan Slaton for trying to force a culture change. They're fighting the good fight. More power to 'em. But the OVERWHELMING majority of house members like things the way they are.

This is a contest between Giant Douche and Turd Sandwhich (where Giant Douche is passed out drunk in Charlie Geren's office).

Bottom Line: That light you see at the end of the's a train.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

#atxcouncil: Attacking Trump (while asking for money)

"An evildoer gives heed to false lips;
A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue."
Proverbs 17:4

Mobility for All” is the establishment aligned political action committee promoting Project Connect. They recently sent out the above mailer. Not surprisingly, it attempts to cast citizens concerned about the initiative’s 25% tax hike as captives of a cabal of non-binary, non-gendered, boogiepersons in the minds of liberal Austinites.

But for as much as the views of “weapons dealers” may or may not swing the election, one choice of target is: Trump Inauguration Attendees.

Because, whether they want to admit it or not, Project Connect’s supporters are the ones asking Donald Trump for money.

As the trade publication “Mass Transit mag” explained this summer: “CapMetro will now pursue 45 percent federal funding of this $7.1 billion, with a local match for the remaining funding coming through a voter-approved tax rate election for Project Connect.”

Whether or not they want to admit it, right now that means asking Donald Trump for the money. Obviously, Biden could [Note: Probably will] win.  But Austin voters have to make their decision on Project Connect BEFORE they know the answer to that question.

On the other hand, asking 45 (Trump) for 45 (percent of the funding for Project Connect) is an amusingly ironic set of numbers.

Bottom Line: Seriously, y'all are the ones asking him for money, not us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

#TXLEGE: Abbott's Campaign Spending suggests GOP in good shape in Texas house

"and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times."
Matthew 16:3

  • It's fascinating that he's spending more on two central Texas districts currently held by Democrats than anywhere else.  Since he's Greg Abbott, he must obviously have polling data that suggests this is a good investment.  Think our distinguished #atxcouncil's police defunding policy had anything to do with this?!?
  • Steve Allison won in 2018 by close to ten points, it's hard to imagine him being in real trouble.
  • That being said, Abbott seems to have completely written off Lacey Hull and Morgan Meyer.
  • The only incumbent on this list who seems any realistic shot at losing is Jeff Leach, but even that one doesn't seem like a done deal.
    • Note: If Leach actually wins, it likely means R's gain seats in the chamber.
  • We'll see what happens with Matt Shaheen, but we'd be surprised if any of the seats below him on this list flip.
  • All of which is to suggest there will be between 80 and 86 R's in the Texas house next session.
    • Note: Absent our distinguished #atxcouncil's police defunding actions, that range is probably 78 to 84.
Remember: Abbott polls EVERYTHING.

Bottom Line: While there might be some tinkering around the edges, something roughly resembling the status quo seems likely to prevail.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

O'Keefe's San Antonio Election Fraud report raises many more questions than answers

"Do not remove the ancient landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;"
Proverbs 23:10


  • Racquel Rodriguez working for Mauro Garza.
    • Republican candidate for U.S. House in the District currently represented by Democrat Joaquin Castro.
    • Note: West side of San Antonio
  • Project Veritas paid her $500 to tag along.
  • If the first woman she visited was voting for Lloyd Doggett (CD-35), why is someone working in the Castro/Garza district (CD-20) even talking to her?!?
  • Rodriguez confesses to several known illegalities.
  • Unidentified third party was filling out mail in ballots on behalf of the dead.
  • "Mauro allowed me $2500 to buy gifts."
  • What kind of IDIOT do you have to be to discuss any of this in a text message?!?


We should probably start out with a disclosure: We've met Mauro Garza a couple times.  Don't know him well, but we have met.  He's always struck this author as a bit of a patriotic simpleton. Certainly didn't see this coming.

Suffice to say: At a minimum, Racquel Rodriguez must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To the extent that he had foreknowledge of her activities, Mauro Garza certainly should as well. Whether or not the Bexar county DA chooses to prosecute is another matter entirely.

That being said, the whole thing is bizarre. With some voters, she's helping them vote straight Democrat. With others, she wants them to vote Republican. Sometimes she's trying to faithfully execute the voter's choice, others she's actively trying to influence voters. Just odd.

Unfortunately, we now know (not that there was much doubt previously) why THE REPUBLICANS killed the election integrity bills last session. No, really, bang up job Stephanie Klick. You too Valoree Swanson.

Even if it doesn't always break down into a neat partisan narrative, the process as a whole couldn't be less trustworthy.

Bottom Line: There's a lot we don't know, but none of what we do know looks good.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Screwy results in DMN/UT-Tyler poll

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1

[Note: While we were working on this blog post, the Hobby School at U of H released a poll that's likely much closer to reality.  Unfortunately, they didn't poll on Abbott or "issues."  So it makes an apples to apples comparison difficult.  Nevertheless, the U of H poll is consistent with the Texas Tribune poll from a couple weeks ago.]

There's been a poll making the rounds that alleges Biden is up by three statewide. It's being promoted by the ususal suspects for the obvious reasons. But consider some of the other results from the same poll.

Abbott overall job approval:

In other words, they're claiming Abbott has a 20 point net positive rating.  Maybe a year ago.  Not today.

Abbott COVID job approval:

Abbott at 52% approval on COVID is some LOL territory.

Police defunding in various idioms:

That's consistent with of private polling we've seen on the City of Austin on those two issues...but we've got to imagine those policies are less popular statewise.

Bottom Line: Oceanfront property. Arizona. Etc.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Biden hands Texas GOP late gift...will they exploit it?!?

"For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart."
2 Corinthians 5:12

“The oil industry pollutes significantly,” Biden said. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time. Over time.”
Not a lot to add. That remark speaks for itself. Its' negative impact on Texas is obvious.

We were actually in the process of writing a long post about whether the GOP would respond to this...when the Governor and John Cornyn released the following statement:

That's actually a good start. But this needs to reach saturation level. Between now and election day, Biden's remark about eliminating the energy industry as we know it has to be inescapable.

Bottom Line: They don't deserve this level of gift. But they got it. We'll see what they do with it.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

#TXSEN: Cornyn, meanwhile, WHINES about swear words

"The wise shall inherit glory,
But shame shall be the legacy of fools."
Proverbs 3:35


What a...ducking...gimp.

Does John Cornyn actually think anyone cares?!?

Cuz' they don't.

This is nothing new. When Hegar first entered this race, Cornyn's first attack was over modestly PG-13 level language. We addressed the lameness of that strategy at the time. There's nothing we can add today to what we've already said.

Bottom Line:  Cornyn's almost certainly fine.  Hegar's positions on the issues assure that.  Nevertheless, for Cornyn to castigate his opponent for having a personality highlights his own lack thereof.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#TXSEN: Big, late, outside money for Hegar

"For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
Galatians 6:8

A little-known Democratic super PAC backed by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest donors is quietly unleashing a torrent of television spending in the final weeks of the presidential campaign in a last-minute attempt to oust President Donald Trump, Recode has learned.

The barrage of late money — which includes at least $22 million from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz — figures among one of the most expensive and aggressive plays yet by tech billionaires, who have spent years studying how to maximize the return they get from each additional dollar they spend on politics. Moskovitz is placing his single biggest public bet yet on the evidence that TV ads that come just before Election Day are the best way to do that.

The super PAC, called Future Forward, has remained under the radar but is spending more than $100 million on television and digital in the final month of the campaign — more than any other group — on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden outside of the Biden campaign itself. And it has been leading a separate, previously unreported $28 million proposed campaign to elect a Democrat to the US Senate from Texas, Recode has learned.


The group is also not limiting its ambitions to the presidential race. In a “confidential” four-page memo circulated to major donors last week and obtained by Recode, Future Forward and four other Democratic outside groups — Senate Majority PAC, the Strategic Victory Fund, Way to Win, and Mind the Gap — planned $28 million in advertising to boost MJ Hegar, the Democrat challenging Texas Sen. John Cornyn in an uphill race. $10 million of that money was expected to come from a Senate Majority PAC, according to the memo, while another $18 million needed to be raised as of last week for the groups to pull the trigger.

Since that memo, Senate Majority PAC announced an $8.6 million campaign — it made no mention of the rest of the big-donor cavalry joining them. The memo stated that Future Forward was raising the rest to implement the home run play, which began with a buy worth a few million dollars in the state on Tuesday.

“Based on an extensive analysis undertaken by Future Forward PAC and Senate Majority PAC (SMP), we believe that Democrats have a plausible chance to flip the TX Senate seat with a major financial investment in the race over the next week,” the groups wrote to donors last week. “We can push the odds of victory up significantly—from 23% to 35-55%—by blitzing the airwaves in the final two weeks.”
We're of two minds about this:
  • Political consultants are separating arrogant billionaires from their money.
    • Note: This is the likely explanation.
** OR **
  • They know something the rest of us don't.
    • Note: Probably not, but we can't know for sure.
Here's the thing: Where was this effort three months ago?!?

It's not a secret that this website has had nicer things to say about M.J. Hegar than most memebers of her party. She's a good candidate. She's always least a shot.

That being said, up to this point, her effort has seemed lacking.

Whatever you want to say about Bobby Francis O'Rourke, he executed the basic blocking and tackling of campaigns really well. He showed up in lots of places. His field operation was formidable.

Has M.J. Hegar done any of those things?!?

Obviously, her people would argue that she couldn't because of COVID. That's fine. Up to a point. But what was she doing all of last year before COVID hit?!?

Instead, now, a bunch of big money out of state types are going to bankroll saturation level TV advertising?!? Maybe that'll work. But it has a certain Michael Bloomberg feel to it.

They do realize we're a week and a half into early voting...right?!?

On the other hand, maybe they know something we don't.

If not, must be nice to be those political consultants.

Bottom Line: We'll see what happens, but mostly this just seems odd.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
So a fool repeats his folly."
Proverbs 26:11



We will confess a certain degree of mixed feelings. Texas politics in general, and the Texas legislature specifically, is ripe for Seinfeld style satire. Done properly, it's potentially brilliant. Heaven knows, we already privately refer to a certain legislator as Kenny Bania.

But let's not kid ourselves: It won't be done properly. And this isn't about ridiculing the legislature. This is about Democrats trying to create buzz through Hollywood because they don't have anything substantive to say.

In that vein, it's completely tone deaf.

It doesn't take a genius to see that Seinfeld has a certain...geographic appeal. And the "geographic appeal" in question is certainly not Texas. While it's certainly the case that this author is a fan of the location in question, we're not exactly turning to them for political advice.

Put differently: Do you think anyone in New York City would care about what Hank Hill thinks?!?

Speaking of Hank Hill, it wouldn't have even been that difficult to do something similar with a Texas theme. King of the Hill. Matthew McConaughey. Heck, Bobby Francis O'Rourke did actual campaign events with Willie Nelson.

But, instead, Texas Democrats are going with George and Elaine from Seinfeld.


Bottom Line: We'll see how much it ultimately matters, but it's certainly a missed opportunity.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Roy's condemnation of Paxton certainly seems significant

"He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Proverbs 28:13

[Note: We'll be travelling out state for the next several days, publication will resume next week...probably.]

Hoo boy:
For the good of the people of Texas and the extraordinary public servants who serve at the Office of the Attorney General, Attorney General Ken Paxton must resign.

The allegations of bribery, abuse of office, and other charges levied against him by at least 7 senior leaders of the Office of the Attorney General are more than troubling on the merits. But, any grace for him to resolve differences and demonstrate if the allegations are false was eliminated by his choice instead to attack the very people entrusted, by him, to lead the office – some of whom I know well and whose character are beyond reproach.

The work of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas is too critical to the state and her people to leave in chaos and to risk the work of over 700 lawyers managing almost 30,000 legal cases at any given moment, including major cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as processing over $4 Billion in Child Support.

The Attorney General deserves his days in court, but the people of Texas deserve a fully functioning AG’s office.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
Notice that line: "[Paxton's] choice instead to attack the very people entrusted, by him, to lead the office – some of whom I know well and whose character are beyond reproach."

Given Chip Roy's background in the AG's office, this almost certainly means that Roy spoke to all parties involved and decided the accusers are more credible than Paxton. We don't know that for a fact. But consider it a strong educated guess.

Regardless, this ain't good.

Bottom Line: Buckle up....

Monday, October 5, 2020

Paxton rapidly running out of time to address the allegations

"In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness."
Psalm 31:1

Obviously, all sorts of accusations surfaced about Ken Paxton over the weekend.

There's a lot we'd like to say. But we can't. Suffice to say, we're talking about the same FBI as the one that gave us Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Be that as it may, one thing is obvious: The ship is about to sail on Paxton politically.

He needs to openly and publicly address these allegations. Ideally today. Certainly, no later than tomorrow.

Furthermore, for his own sake, he really ought to do so through media outlets that have traditionally been hostile (ie. the DMN or the Trib).

But this slow drip is killing him.

Bottom Line: Perceptions aren't set yet, but they are well into the process of hardening.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Revising and Extending Our Remarks on King Abbott's latest "proclamation"

"Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
1 Samuel 8:9

We may have jumped the gun a bit yesterday, PushJunction explains:
GREG ABBOTT did a thing yesterday that's being misrepresented in the media. Following the July run-off election, Abbott issued a proclamation expanding early voting for the November election.

In addition to expanding the early voting period, Abbott allowed for mail-in ballots to be returned in person on more than one day as permitted by law. Terrible negotiating with himself while Democrats sued and abused almost every election law on the books.

This isn’t the first time Abbott’s been a punching bag on the topic of election integrity.

During the legislative session, he threw a massive bone to Democrats by agreeing to a sweetheart settlement, stopping list maintenance activities kicked off by his then-Secretary of State.

The apparent deal, settlement for the late-session confirmation of a loyal employee, was spiked by Democrats.

The same thing happened here. Abbott gave election administrators an inch by allowing mail ballots to be turned in on more than one day, and lead by Chris Hollins and Dana DeBeauvoir, they took a mile by ballooning the number of drop sites.

Abbott returned a modicum of order yesterday. Now he needs to stop other illegal election activities to prevent them from being used in the future.
To the degree to which we drew an incorrect conclusion about the legality of this move, we apologize.

However, a couple points:
  • Given the way Abbott has acted in recent months, it's hard to avoid drawing any other conclusion.  After he's accused of behaving in a lawless manner, it's easy to assume the worst.  Abbott doesn't exactly have a lot of benefit of the doubt left on this topic.
  • That being said, why permit the single drop off location.  If Abbott is concluding, apparently correctly, that state law doesn't give county election administrators this authority...why is he allowing them to do it at all?!?  The policy is incoherent.
Bottom Line:  We suppose yesterday's announcement is a move in the right direction, but for the counternarrative to take hold so easily illustrates Abbott's squandered credibility.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

King Abbott issues "Proclamation""

"Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
1 Samuel 8:9

Wait, what?!?

A few points:
  1. Abbott doesn't have legal authority (not that that's ever stopped him).  Laws related to the conduct of elections require an act of the legislature to change.  Abbott's already getting sued over this subject.  He's probably going to get sued again.

  2. The underlying policy is incoherent.  If these drop off centers are bad, they should be completely eliminated.  If they aren't, there's nothing wrong with having a whole bunch of them.

  3. Dude's been being criticized for acting like a king for months, and responds by...issuing a "proclamation."
Bottom Line:  Obviously, Abbott's been doing this for months, but add another example to the list.