MON brief 6.1.20

Riots bad for BLM, good for gun rights

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Today's stories

RIOTS broke out across the country over the weekend, including in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.

Initially a response to the death of George Floyd, a Houston native in police custody in Minnesota when he died, protests morphed into riots featuring radical anti-American elements.

Notably; the San Antonio protest included a group of Texans defending the Alamo, the Dallas protest featured a sword-wielding man nearly beaten to death (he lived), in Houston a horse trampled a protestor, and in Austin, I-35 was more gridlocked than usual.

The unrest lead President Trump to label the anarchist group ANTIFA a domestic terrorist organization, and Governor Abbott to declare a State of Disaster.

Liberals are in an unenviable position. Susan Rice, a former Obama administration staffer, could be seen on CNN giving CPR to the charred carcass of Russiagate, as she blamed Russia for inciting the riots.

Coronavirus your 15 minutes are up, gun control groups get ready to be irrelevant. To the extent that protests continue, both of these positions will become more firmly entrenched, and the BLM movement, if it doesn't distance from extremist elements, will be joining them.

CONTACT TRACING in Texas is off to a rocky start, one that many hope will transform into cancelation.

Last week MTX, the organization selected to conduct the project in Texas, was examined in multiple investigative articles questioning how the contract was awarded and the company's ability to perform.

On Friday afternoon, it was widely reported that the owner of MTX might have fabricated/inflated/misrepresented his educational credentials, representing a doctoral degree he did not earn.

Meanwhile, while some may agree with the use case, contact tracing is being used to track rioters after they are released in Minnesota. This proof of the slippery slope nature of contact tracing validates conservatives'' concerns.

TEXAS' REOPENING is predictably moving at a pace that does not overly strain hospital resources but, at the same time, isn't leading to a quick economic recovery.

This was predictable.

According to Bloomberg, "a month into lifting restrictions, [Texas''] coronavirus cases haven't surged, but many residents are keeping their distance, raising doubts about the speed of the economic recovery."

Politicians will claim that this "success" in slowing spread is their doing, it isn't. As has been noted before, when China opened Wuhan (entirely), citizens didn't run out and resume life at pre-lockdown levels.

Further, before ordered shutdowns, citizens were already limiting travel.

Aside: Home Depot and Walmart appear to be among big retail winners, scoring more traffic during the pandemic than over the same period the year before.

Hit the links

Team Biden on Klobuchar: ''We Need to Avoid Her''

Texas Engage is folding up shop

Court rejects bid to revive canceled US pipeline program

GOP chances of reclaiming House, toss-up

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Tracking

Economic and Social Costs of Legalized Marijuana (NEW)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient infected ZERO of 455 contacts.

Recovery and hydroxychloroquine

Public Policy Polling: April 2020

COVID19 Links

Texas Recovered Numbers

Updated Google Creeper File

Modeling & Projections

Texas HHS Chinese Coronavirus Dashboard

Hostage-at-Home Compliance Tracker

Texas unemployment claims

Coming up

6/2: Open % update

7/15: FEC reports

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Please feel free to contact me (reply to this email or email me at pushjunction@gmail.com) with questions, comments, suggestions, or tips.

FRI brief 5.29.20

Quarter spectated sporting events

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Today's stories

ERIC HOLDER is endorsing 30 Democrat candidates for Texas House and rolling about like a big dog, spending $115,000 across 26 districts.

GREG ABBOTT yesterday, out of the blue, six months before the general election, extended early voting for an undisclosed number of days. 

The announcement was made in passing during an interview on Lubbock television. With multiple court cases in the early stages that may require negotiations and the unknowns about public health that far out, the announcement looks like poor negotiating observers have come to expect.

In addition to the expanded early voting, Abbott announced outdoor professional sporting events open at 25%. Approval to host quarter-spectated-events will have to be given by the Texas Department of Health.

POLITICAL HACKS self-identifying as journalists are pretending that this week's SCOTX ruling, slapping down an expansion of mail-in balloting, adds confusion to voting by mail.

It doesn't.

  1. Texas voters have always been expected to not lie on forms.

  2. Election officials have the same latitude; they've always had to accept applications.

  3. Law enforcement officials have the same broad investigative powers to locate and prosecute Texans who break the law.

JOHN CORNYN and Ted Cruz find themselves on opposite sides of a debate over cuts to the guest worker visa program amid the coronavirus outbreak.

AMERICANS are more worried about the economy than the risk of being infected with the Chia virus accordion to polling from FiveThirtyEight.

Hit the links

Tech billionaires secret plans to boost Joe Biden

Bastrop Co. COVID19 cases went from 132 to 173 last week

TX Congressman Chip Roy bill gives PPP flexibility

American Airlines planning 30% cut, mostly in DFW

Capitol staffer, accused murder competent to stand trial

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Tracking

Economic and Social Costs of Legalized Marijuana (NEW)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient infected ZERO of 455 contacts.

Recovery and hydroxychloroquine

Public Policy Polling: April 2020

COVID19 Links

Texas Recovered Numbers

Updated Google Creeper File

Modeling & Projections

Texas HHS Chinese Coronavirus Dashboard

Hostage-at-Home Compliance Tracker

Texas unemployment claims

Thank you for reading

Please feel free to contact me (reply to this email or email me at pushjunction@gmail.com) with questions, comments, suggestions, or tips.

THU brief 5.28.20

The Weasel Party

Welcome to an action-packed morning brief. If this email was forwarded to you, be sure to sign up (free or paid), so you don't miss a beat.

Today's stories

SCOTX ruled yesterday that lacking immunity (in this case from COVID19) is not a disability and as such universal balloting by mail is not permitted by Texas law.

Humans aren't immune to so many things when you take the time to consider reality. But, when there's an election to rig observance of reality is a luxury Democrats can afford.

Related: Here's a longer article on the opinion.

TEXAS COMPETES, a “pro-business” group, is promoting a fringe LGBT normalization agenda while roughly 50% of the state's economy remains shuttered.

Yesterday, Democrats joined by two Republican-ish members of the House Sarah Davis, and Todd Hunter promoted an LGBT bill months away from the 2021 session. Davis, if she manages to win shouldn't be allowed to caucus with the GOP, she's a Democrat.

The bill's cabal claims it will bolster business, but our state's current circumstances beg the question if there are no businesses open who is there to discriminate against? Texas Competes has not issued a call for the state to reopen and did not respond to a message asking for a position on the matter.

JOE STRAUS (former Speaker of the Texas House) and Karl Rove (former top-tier strategist) got some love yesterday as they weasel their way back into Texas politics ahead of 2022.

The two appear to be manufacturing energy; they can parlay into more control of the GOP in 2021 (redistricting) as they plot a liberal Republican renaissance.

Push Junction has been tracking the pair since fall 2019.

TEXAS ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT reported yesterday that TxDOT has paid over $8 million to 7,500+ employees as "hazard pay" during the COVID-19 standstill. The majority of these funds went to employees in maintenance-related jobs.

MARIJUANA legalization, if passed, would not meaningfully address an anticipated budget shortfall come 2021, much less amount to a windfall of $1 billion in annual sales tax revenue.

Canda, with an annual budget twice the size of Texas' and 10 million more residents, legalized marijuana for cash, and it's not yet lived up to the hype. The country's government expected $100 million (10x less than $1 billion) in revenue for the fiscal year 2019–20, but it's projecting profits of only $66 million.

Lawmakers should dispatch the publicity stunt and headache that would be entertaining legalization in 2021 and focus on the hard work of budgeting.

Related: Cut like Sid

Hit the links

Texas bar bans drinkers in face masks

DOJ drops insider trading probe into three senators

Sam Johnson, ex-Texas congressman, and former Vietnam POW dies at 89

43% Of U.S. Deaths Are From 0.6% Of The Population

Pelosi pulls FISA bill after Trump veto threat

Lame-duck continues free fall

SpaceX launch scrubbed by weather 

Biden will pre-record message to TX DEM convention

* $ denotes subscription needed

Tracking

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient infected ZERO of 455 contacts.

Recovery and hydroxychloroquine

Public Policy Polling: April 2020

COVID19 Links

Texas Recovered Numbers

Updated Google Creeper File

Modeling & Projections

Texas HHS Chinese Coronavirus Dashboard

Hostage-at-Home Compliance Tracker

Texas unemployment claims

Thank you for reading

Please feel free to contact me (reply to this email or email me at pushjunction@gmail.com) with questions, comments, suggestions, or tips.

WED brief 5.27.20

Hike taxes during a crisis?

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Today's stories

DALLAS COUNTY is considering a tax hike, even as they've confined folks to their homes and shuttered businesses for over two months, cutting off in many cases the ability to earn money.

The county is leveraging a loophole that allows governments to "blow past the caps on property tax increases" during a disaster. Let that ruminate.

That right there is the work of a lobbyist, maybe the taxpayer-funded variant. A crisis is not the right time to suspend rules, a lesson we’re learning the hard way.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has said the matter would end up in court, but there's a more natural way to address the problem, close the loophole.

CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES, a liberal Austin think tank, has changed its soviestic name to Every Texan.

SEWAGE testing has predicted COVID19 outbreaks weeks in advance. This low-cost, non-invasive tracking solution hasn't been widely adopted, possibly because it doesn't enrich the right people.

In related news, Open Texas held a rally yesterday outside of the Frisco headquarters of MTX, the company recently hired by Governor Abbott to conduct contact tracing.

Contact tracing, of questionable value at this point, is a civil rights issue being debated at a time when social media platforms are censoring conservative voices.

Censorship by: Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Medium

NANCY PELOSI will headline the Texas Democratic virtual convention, which starts Monday. 

This week the Speaker was sued by House Republicans for pushing remote proxy voting for the U.S. House of Representatives.

RUTH HUGHS (Secretary of State) yesterday dropped an eight-page health protocol document to govern Texas elections while the coronavirus lingers.

Hit the links

Texas could nab GOP national convention

The outrage mob destroys one of its own

Abbott reopens water parks

Counting shift could spike numbers

* $ denotes subscription needed

Tracking

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient infected ZERO of 455 contacts.

Recovery and hydroxychloroquine

Public Policy Polling: April 2020

COVID19 Links

Texas Recovered Numbers

Updated Google Creeper File

Modeling & Projections

Texas HHS Chinese Coronavirus Dashboard

Hostage-at-Home Compliance Tracker

Texas unemployment claims

Coming up

5/28 Townhall on Contact Tracing

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TUE brief 5.26.20

Sweden got it right

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Today's stories

NUMBER OF THE DAY .2%, the death rate of COVID19 as confirmed by the CDC.

Predictably, now that Texas is starting to reopen, there are voices (often loud) claiming that things are going to get worse. The possibility isn't news, was known before the shutdown, and anticipates this virus acting like a virus.

What's true about all efforts by leaders around the world is it's too early to conclude who got it right or wrong from an epidemiological standpoint.

Sweden, for instance, is getting beat up today for having a higher death toll per million than it's neighbors after not shutting down entirely, but this is a myopic and time-constrained view of results.

Richard Florida, an urban studies theorist (huh?), recently opined on the Slate Money podcast that he's not as hard on Sweden as most people.

According to Florida, who is an expert and has paid more than a passing interest in Sweden (i.e., he has listened to the health minister and his boss), the Sweden model isn't about herd immunity or economic stabilization.

“It’s not about not freaking people out, not scaring the bejeezus out of kids, not destroying families, and most importantly not getting these all sorts of anti-democratic stuff we see even in the U.S.”

Speaking of destruction, Texas unemployment had it's worst month on record at 12.8%.

DAN PATRICK caught flack last week from the mainstream media after calling Democrat lawsuits to change election laws in Texas a scam. Spoiler alert, it's a scam.

Evidence suggests voting in person can be done safely at the height of a pandemic, Wisconsin, and South Korea being prime examples. 

Now Democrats are twisting in ways that would make a Russian contortionist blush by suggesting a lack of immunity is a physical condition that qualifies as a disability allowing for everyone to apply for a mail-in ballot.

Hit the links

Allen West injured in a motorcycle accident over the weekend

Democrats dread this general election scenario

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Tracking

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient infected ZERO of 455 contacts.

Recovery and hydroxychloroquine

Polling: No one's excited about Biden

Public Policy Polling: April 2020

COVID19 Links

Updated Google Creeper File

Modeling & Projections

Texas HHS Chinese Coronavirus Dashboard

Hostage-at-Home Compliance Tracker

Texas unemployment claims

Thank you for reading

Please feel free to contact me (reply to this email or email me at pushjunction@gmail.com) with questions, comments, suggestions, or tips.

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