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Courtesy of @caslernoel

Dipshits in Austin Create Law that Accidentally Gives Life to Illegal Voting Appeal

There’s a good reason you may have seen the DA’s office recently tweet about Crystal Mason, the Fort Worth woman who spent nearly a year in the clink for illegally voting in 2016’s presidential election. Her lawyers are trying to spring her via a new Texas election law that just went into effect. Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson believes Mason remains guilty. It’s there. In the tweet.

Mason’s ACLU lawyers have filed a brief with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals seeking her conviction to be overturned. The odds of the plan working are nil — DA’s offices don’t like being told they’ve made a mistake, and as a non-wealthy Black woman, Mason perfectly embodies the voter-fraud boogeyman that conservatives like Wilson and pretty much every other pol in the state likes to claim is bedeviling the election process: poor, brown, Antifa-joining, Satan-worshipping commies voting twice, harvesting ballots, voting on behalf of the dead, all of that. In actuality, voter fraud is statistically nonexistent, and of the few actual frauds who have been caught, a majority of them are white Trump supporters, a small but loud, obnoxious, and often violent Republican-party offshoot not known for its smarts. Remember all those Trump boats that sunk in that dumb lake a while back? Ah, that was good.

That narrative, though. Conservatives got to keep pushing it to keep forcing state legislators to continue enacting “voter security” measures, which actually amount to vicious voter suppression tactics. Can’t beat your opponent with better, more popular ideas? Make sure your opponent’s supporters’ votes don’t count. That’s the Republican way.

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The 46-year-old Mason was sentenced to five years in prison for casting a ballot illegally. Since she was on supervised release from a federal tax fraud conviction, she was not allowed to vote at all. Allegedly unaware of her status and since she was told her name was not on the voter rolls, she cast a provisional ballot. It was never counted. She was convicted in March 2018. Her sentencing drew all kinds of righteous outrage. There’s no telling how many white criminals have gotten off with much lesser sentences for far worse, violent crimes. Or Kyle Rittenhouse. What explains that bullshit? His mom (!) drove him across state lines with a firearm into the middle of a riot to administer first aid to injured … Boost Mobiles and Taco Bells? A Black child in the same circumstances would not have lived to see the next morning. There’s your American experiment at work.

The new law Mason and her team are looking to is Senate Bill 1. They believe it “clarifies” that submitting a provisional ballot is insufficient evidence to prove a voter knew she was ineligible to vote. Team Mason believe the law is retroactive and that a reversal of her conviction is in order.

The new Texas election law, one of Mason’s attorneys told the Star-T, indicates that “a person may not be convicted solely upon the fact that the person signed a provisional ballot affidavit … unless corroborated by other evidence that the person knowingly committed the offense.”

Mason and her attorneys have also brought up a bipartisan House resolution in which “no Texan should be prosecuted for the offense of illegal voting if the person voted or attempted to vote based on a mistaken, honest belief that the person was in fact eligible to vote,” the attorney told the Star-T.

The DA’s office has other thoughts. In their tweet, they say Mason received verbal and written notification that she could not vote.

“Even under the new law, she is guilty,” the DA says. “She wasn’t convicted simply for casting a provisional ballot; she was convicted for casting a provisional ballot when she knew she was ineligible to vote. Knowledge of ineligibility is key.”

What I’d like to know is the way by which Mason was told she was ineligible. If there was a conversation with her, who was on the other end. Let’s hear their story. If it was a letter, then please. Most of my mail ends up in the shredder unread. If you need to tell me something important, John Law, better not put it in a PAPER LETTER that goes in the MAILBOX. Unless it comes with a $250 check (thanks, Grandpa Joe!), I’m so not interested.

 

R’s Push Book Ban Because They Have No Original Ideas

We’re not talking Updike, Pynchon, or Morrison here, but we are dealing with literature that appeals to high schoolers. Not Penthouse Forum but something oddly kind of close.

In the wilds of Keller recently, a bunch of Karens pressured beaten-dog officials to remove a book from a high school library for containing a description of a hummer, among other acts of sexual intimacy. Gender Queer: A Memoir also features some explicit illustrations. Is the artwork any good? Because that’s all that really matters.

Anyway, the thing is that while the Keller Karens are going around banning books, they might as well go ahead and confiscate their kids’ cellphones and laptops, too, because little Jaxson Luger Bright and Brooklynne Anne Cassidy are seeing way more sexualized stuff on TikTok and IG than they would come across in any school library.

If only it were about that. It is not. This is about the Texas government trying to play morality police and the evangelical horde falling in lockstep behind Greg Abbott and his cancerous cabal of vapid vampires. The governor does not care that young people with gender identity issues are prone to self-harm or that they are likely trapped in uncaring, unforgiving families. Instead of trying to make these children feel safe by offering them alternative, empathetic viewpoints like Gender Queer, Greggy appears to be concerned that non-straight stories might give straight, god-fearing Christian kids some funny ideas, which is ludicrous because if you’re straight, you’re straight — no amount of Satan dong (or lack thereof) or Satan boobage (or lack thereof) is gonna change that.

Abbott does not care. He does not understand, for one, and for another, it is his job to wage absurd culture wars to give Republican politicians something to talk about to distract voters from his party’s real No. 1 priority: slashing taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Were Trailer Park Jed and his kinfolk to realize they have more in common with the gay Black dude at the local dive bar than anyone in the state capital, Republican politicians would never win another election again. If only Trailer Park Jed and his fam weren’t racist pukes. All Republican politicians have to do now is say they hate brown people without actually coming out and saying, “We hate brown people” to get elected and reelected ad infinitum. We are only a couple of months away from Republican office-seekers appearing at rallies and town halls in white hoods. This is how far we’ve fallen. And the bottom is … man, it’s way over our heads.

Conservative pols started whining about books in October, once they realized that no one — not even they — knew what Critical Race Theory (CRT) was or how it applied, or didn’t, to early education. Last month is when Abbott started hemming and hawing about “the availability of pornography” in Texas schools. He even went as far as to tell the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to refer pornography “for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.” Such a good, responsible use of the courts. Glad our taxpayer dollars are being employed so wisely.

As Texas’ new anti-abortion law is nothing but a shameless attack on minority women, so is this half-assed book ban a thinly veiled attempt to punish young people with gender identity issues. That wily Abbott, he knows you can’t talk gender without talking sex, and that is what explains all this anti-book nonsense, which is really just anti-LGBTQ+ evilness by evil fuckers like Greg Abbott who wouldn’t know a beatitude if it pierced him in the side like a spear.

Fort Worth also has the distinction of being home to some callow nerd named Matt Krause, who created a list of 850 allegedly problematic books to be banned from Texas schools. Most of the listed titles deal with — what else — gender and racism. Along with thinking that reading about gays will make one gay, Krause, like most ReTrumplicans, believes teaching children about slavery will make little baby snowflake white kids feel saddy-waddy 🙁 Fuck you! Feel sad! And make it your life’s work never to let slavery and Jim Crow happen again!

The Texas Tribune says, “While most school districts have ignored Krause’s inquiry” — hahaha! — “North East Independent School District in San Antonio is reviewing more than 400 books flagged by the Republican lawmaker, and Katy Independent School District near Houston has launched a broad review of its books and asked parents to report any vulgar material.”

It’s pathetic the lengths bootlickers will go to twist themselves into pretzels to lick the boots of the ass-clowns beneath them to score political points. Maybe Trump will speak at your dumb school district, Katy. Maybe he’ll do a Cameo that you can screenshare during an assembly of future Hitler Youth. That would be more #tyte than @khancherz hopped up on a grown-man can of Monster.

Courtesy of @StrictlyChristo

Fort Worth, Press Come Up with New Ways to Downplay Surging Economy

I love Visit Fort Worth, but come on. The only reason hotel revenues are topping pre-pandemic levels is that more than half the population is vaccinated now because we have a president who puts science over conspiracy theories. Didn’t Trump say COVID was going to disappear “like a miracle” one day a long-ass time ago? It didn’t, and because his mouthpieces at Faux News kept harping on the purported dangers of the vaccine just to hurt Grandpa Joe’s recovery efforts, we now have two variants to deal with. And lots of corpses. Never mind that everyone at Faux News, including Tucker Carlson, is vaccinated. As always, young readers, watch what the evildoers do, not what they say.

In a Star-T story the other day, the head of Visit Fort Worth, our city’s convention and tourism bureau, credited local hotels’ fat/phat revenues only to the CARES Act, something passed by Congress in the first year of the pandemic and signed by the orange buffoon. Please. While I’m not saying those federal monies didn’t help, the reason people are packing F-Dub hotels now is that we’re all safer — thanks to one man, President Joe Biden. Dump bungled the entire early pandemic response and should be held accountable for all the senseless death we had to endure on his watch. It wasn’t until Biden took office and tackled the issue with authority that we were able to go back to restaurants, go back to live music, and go back to traveling and staying overnight at hotels. If not for Joe Biden, that “complimentary buffet” would still be prewrapped bear claws and tiny bottles of water, y’know, the only ones Donald Trump can drink with only one of his tiny hands.

Since Biden took office, as of this writing, nearly 6 million new jobs have been created, a record; nearly 588,000 jobs per month on average have been added; unemployment is down to 4.2%, a record to date; and hotel and restaurant worker wages are up 13%. In Biden’s first 10 months, three times as many jobs were created than under the last three GOP presidents combined.

Let’s talk about inflation, because I know the Trumpies are going to throw that at me. It’s what happens when demand is up and supply is down, and why is demand up? Because we’re working and have some cash to throw around, and why is supply down? Because workers are moving on from factories and warehouses into other, often remote, often much less soul- and body-crushing gigs. Don’t believe the scam that the right and CNN and Faux News and The New York Times are trying to push on you. Let’s interview a Trumpy middle manager who can’t believe groceries cost more. Now she’s spending twice as much a month! Shame, Joe Biden. Shame. As Dan Price puts it, “If companies were really ‘forced to raise prices’ because of inflation, they would have been ‘forced to lower prices’ after they got $1.9 trillion in tax cuts. But they didn’t — they raised prices then, too.”

 

Power Grid About “Half-Ready,” Says Tribune

So, are you “half-ready” to try to sleep with 100 blankets on again? Or “half-ready” to sit in your car for a couple hours just to stay warm? The good news, says the Texas Tribune, is that we’re not expected to experience another winter storm like the one that zapped our ridiculous power grid last year. The bad news is that Gov. Greg Abbott’s billionaire buddies at ERCOT are counting on balmy temps this time around because what? You expect them to care about anyone other than themselves and embryos? More than 100 Texans died last February. In response, Abbott established a few protocols that all of our energy providers have crossed their hearts and hoped to die promised to follow. Like with the gun pandemic, we’re getting thoughts and prayers about the grid. But don’t you worry. Abbott and his buddies won’t spend a minute without light or heat, praise be. Or running water. My family had to boil it out back on our propane grill to keep from dying of thirst. I’m more than “half-ready” to cast my ballot for Beto.

 

… But Will it Be Counted?

It’s beyond frustrating. On the daily occasion I scroll through Twitter, just about everything I see revolves around one thing: voting rights. How to enact them, how to protect them, and how to have them tattooed on every American citizen’s forehead. And then there’s some tweet from Joe Biden about some ethnic holiday or COVID shots. I. Don’t. Freaking. Care. If we don’t have voting rights, we’re not going to have any ethnic holidays to celebrate or COVID shots to get. We’re going to be living in cold, dark prison cells for daring to jerk off or for using “tRump” in a text. Vice president will be that Hercules guy, and Speaker of the House will be Walker, Texas Ranger. Or is he dead? Did Chuck Norris die? Anyway, his son or whomever, best friend, someone equally repulsive and idiotic.

Humorous? No (sorry), but it’s enough to underline the fact that even though Grandpa Joe could win the 2024 popular vote and the electoral college vote by another landslide, Trump bootlickers like Greg Abbott will have already rigged the system to elect the candidate they prefer rather than the one most of us voted for. And that candidate is going to be the orange stain. This is scary stuff, kids.

And now Congress is enjoying Christmas break, la-de-da, as if all is well in the world and the reptiles on the other side of the aisle aren’t plotting the demise of democracy itself — everyone who isn’t a walking corpse knows the next coup attempt won’t have the touristy, smash-and-grab joie de vivre of Jan. 6 but that it will be a viper of hardened steel that will pierce our souls in the middle of the night. But, please, Chuck and Nancy, and Grandpa Joe, enjoy your fucking holiday. Build Back Better? Meh, it can wait. Women’s reproductive rights? Later. Mark Meadows and the rest of the Jan. 6 traitors? Next year. As I’ve said, enjoy your downtime, you body bags with legs. These holidays may very well be our last as a free people. The fact that you’ll be dead soon should be no comfort. Don’t you have kids? And grandkids?! Don’t you have nightmares of seeing them chained to Junior’s basement and used as lion bait? Because that’s the future they’re looking at now with you with your thumbs up your asses.

The mainstream media machine cannot be trusted either. The Times. I used to want to write for the Gray Lady, but now I wouldn’t want my distinguished reputation as a well-meaning but angry hack sullied by being associated with that birdcage liner. And they’re not the only one. Every mainstream media outlet you can think of has taken on the anti-Biden narrative just to remain relevant, because don’t ya know the TikTokers and the Instgrammers and the Facetubers are eating into all our oh-so-respectable fourth estating. Now the Times et al. have been reduced to peddling pearl-clutching both-sides schlock to be able to sell $50 toesocks and $5,000 gravity blankets. The fate of democracy means nothing to the press — the Times, the Post, CNN, and every other Amazon derivative masquerading as some kind of beacon of truth — until it does, at which point it will be too late. What any reasonable person would think is important and should be covered is not. Example: Some Trump bootlicker made a PowerPoint of the bloody coup attempt days before Jan. 6 — if only he had produced it on a private email server and were a woman running for president, maybe you’d have read about it in the Times. Like, every day. For months. Alas …

We do what we can here with our political coverage. I write hot shit, and over the past couple of weeks, we’ve investigated shady dealings at the DA’s office and a web of monied right-wingers shifting school policy in Southlake hard to the right. Our investigative staff is tiny (two, sometimes three people). We’re trying, though it’s not enough. It’s never enough.

“The small-d democrats of American journalism need to do better,” the Philly Inquirer recently wrote. “We need to … sound the alarm in ways that the average rank-and-file reader will both understand and care about. That means realizing that while those who’ve descended into the insanity of QAnon or horse-dewormer COVID-19 cures won’t be reached by any article in a mainstream publication, there are still plenty of good-hearted but discouraged voters who need to be roused.”

Ah, the independent voter, that well-meaning but soulless malingerer. We all know he’s who’s keeping Chuck and Nancy away from D.C. for the holidays. Don’t want to upset that bro by actually governing or by actually holding traitors accountable for their seditious actions that were broadcast to the world on TV.

The Atlantic is the only MSM entity that gets it. In an entire recent issue devoted to the death of democracy, the editor writes, “The leaders of the Republican party — the soul-blighted Donald Trump and the satraps and lackeys who abet his nefarious behavior — are attempting to destroy the foundations of American democracy. This must be stated clearly, and repeatedly.”

It’s a “democratic emergency” that’s “already here,” one law professor tells them. “We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024, but urgent action is not happening.”

Of course it isn’t. Who’s gonna feed the doggos in Delaware? Who’s going to light the menorah in New York? Who’s gonna tipple the malbec in San Fran?

“For more than a year now,” The Atlantic writes, “with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.”

Thanks to Tucker Carlson and other right-wing propagandists, Trump has corrupted almost half of the populace into believing U.S. elections are fraught with corruption and that a charlatan is currently occupying the White House. What we rational people say or do doesn’t matter. The orange stain’s true believers are adamant in their version of reality, which is patently false. Belief demands blindness. They won’t stop until death comes to one or all. Embryos, tax cuts, and white supremacy just mean that much to them. And Christmas trees. To watch Fox News for one second, you’d think their studio had been firebombed the way the hosts have been going on and on about their stupid plastic tree that was torched by some homeless guy. Always the victims, those people. Always the victims.

Bottom line is, no one is coming to save us. We can’t count on Joe Biden. We can’t count on Congress. We are the cavalry. We are the only thing between a church-state and democracy. Get your block-walkin’ shoes on, kinfolk. Next year is now.

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