Travis County Joint General and Special Elections Voter Guide for November 6, 2018

As usual, this is me publishing the notes I make for myself, to make my life easier in the future and help out anyone else who might trip over this little blog by accident looking for some help making their decisions.

These are only the races where I live.  In other places there are other races, so check https://www.votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do to see what will be on your own ballot.

Straight party: this is stupid. You won’t be able to do this any more, but this time you
still can. Consider your candidates as individuals.

United States Senator
Please vote for Ted Cruz. This isn’t even a question. He has been doing outstanding work and should be kept in place. Especially when the next-closest challenger is an anti-gun leftist.

District 17, US Representative
Bill Flores REP – Please re-elect Congressman Flores. He is a solid conservative, so worth a vote over the other two right there. Plus he is in the R party, which means not being categorically against Don Trump. That’s enough to put him over the top.
Rick Kennedy DEM – wants to crush us financially (with the best of intentions) by giving away free pennies from heaven in the form of single-payer health care. That is enough to disqualify him. Also he is a global warmenist, is against our Southern Border Wall, and is otherwise a Democrat. If you like Trump’s agenda, and I do, then a Democrat is exactly the opposite of what we need in Congress today.
Peter Churchman LIB – I applaud him for trying to “be the change” he wanted to see in our government. I don’t like him being against President Trump, and I don’t like him trying to take power away from POTUS to mobilize our military. Otherwise he seems like a fairly solid conservative-leaning Libertarian, which means he is better than any Democrat. But he will lose and most of his votes will be “spoilers” from the Republican side. Vote for who you want, but I’m not voting for Churchman.

Governor
Greg Abbott REP – Please re-elect Governor Abbott! He’s been killing it so far and shows no signs of turning wobbly/squishy on us.
Lupe Valdez DEM – literally an insane person. No thank you.
Mark Jay Tippetts LIB – Small government: good. Current immigration situation is
heartbreaking and we need to be more compassionate: bad. The pure libertarian solution to immigration sounds an awful lot like open borders at a time when we should be building the Southern Border Wall and making people turn around and go be *compassionate* wherever they came from.

Liutenant Governor
Dan Patrick REP – To be clear, this is not my favorite Republican ever. But he *is* a solid conservative, and pretty effective at ramming a legislative agenda I like down the throats of his opponents, which is basically what a Lt. Governor does here. So keep him for now. No, the politically-motivated indictments don’t bother me at all.
Mike Collier DEM – approximately a typical Democrat. He wants to ruin us financially (with the best of intentions!). He wants to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to be armed, and he wants to make it easier to take away your guns (but again, with the best of intentions!). Wants to reduce corruption in government by . . . setting up a committee
wheeeeee
Kerry Douglas Mckennon LIB – if we had sensible people in government, the Libertarian Party ticket would get my vote. We don’t. We have libtards on the other side of the aisle, and we need people who will be *nationalistic* in the face of Democrats having minds “so open their brains fell out”. I like most of McKennon’s stances on the Issues with just a few exceptions that would not prevent me voting for him happily if there were not a better candidate: He is in favor of recreational drug use, against the death penalty, and against police enforcing traffic laws. He is soft on immigration which (again) wouldn’t be a problem in a different political climate than we have today.

Attorney General
Ken Paxton REP – I’ve picked Paxton both by default and because he is a decent guy for the job.
Justin Nelson DEM – the top of his campaign is attacking the other guy for being *accused* of wrongdoing, and the bottom is typical Democrat talking points. No thanks.
Michael Ray Harris LIB – if I don’t find your campaign on an internet search, you don’t get my vote. In 2018 this counts as not even trying to win a race.

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar REP – I am going to push the button for Hegar this year. I said in 2014 that he seemed to be trying to run for *any* office as a Conservative. I haven’t heard anything bad that I can remember about him since then . . . but I was leaning toward Ben Sanders then and I think I still might be. But Hegar has been there doing it.
https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2018/09/14/recommend-glenn-hegar-texas-comptroller
Joi Chevalier DEM – a Bernie Sanders supporter and member of various racist groups . . . two strikes and she’s out.
Ben Sanders LIB – possibly a good candidate for Congress in a different, less-polarized
political climate.

Commissioner of the General Land Office
Once again, I am going to abstain from voting in this race due to lack of a candidate I can support.
George P. Bush REP – No more Bushes.  For any office.  The family is banned.
Miguel Suazo DEM – hey he’s running because he doesn’t like what Bush did in a couple of cases. . . sounds good so far! . . . against school choice for parents…going to try to save us from *climate change*…and he’s gonna improve us with (handwaving) BLOCKCHAIN technology!  oookay thanks for playing.
Matt Pina LIB – appears to have no relevant experience

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller REP – I think I will hold my nose a bit and Keep him in this position. He sometimes comes out with slightly whacky statements, but it seems like the main campaigning point against him is that he is an embarrassment to people who don’t like his style…which rhymes with the main complaint against Don Trump.
Kim Olson DEM – maybe I’m too tired to process it, maybe her campaign material all reads like a robot spent too much time on wikipedia.  Either way it’s oddly bizarre for a political campaign.  She seems to have her heart in the right place (in a big-government sort of way) though and I won’t pitch a fit if she beats out Miller.  Unless she goes completely off the rails. Oh, and this seems like a strange reason to be running for office: https://www.reddit.com/r/TexasPolitics/comments/82pdlo/i_am_kim_olson_candidate_for_texas_commissioner/dvdh9ai/ – and the same “here’s two of three” or “here’s 4 of 3” kind of responses are seen elsewhere online. It’s strange to me.
Richard Carpenter LIB – wants to tap aquifers as a solution to water shortage, vs. making more reservoirs?! and that’s all I learned in my internet research.  Several pages with the same article basically.

Railroad Commissioner
Christi Craddick REP – As in previous years, this is not a solid *for* Craddick . . . but then- attorney General Abbot said she was a great choice, a few years back.  Her issues statements sound good to me.  The principal argument against her seems to be that she is involved with the oil/gas industry, which seems like not a demerit to me.
Roman McAllen DEM – I don’t think I need to go much further than an article I read that endorsed him over his primary election opponent, which described him as “an intellectual” (which is fine) who does not “have a professional history in the energy industry” which is less fine.  And then they followed it with “neither of these Democrats seems deeply involved in the issues facing the railroad commission.” ok thanks for playing.
Mike Wright LIB – once again, a thin campaign from a Libertarian who will lose.  If you want to see more third party action and don’t like either of the other candidates, this is a race where you could vote for the L party, on general principle.

Place 2, Justice, Supreme Court
Jimmy Blacklock REP – I’ll vote for Justice Blacklock.  Ok so he’s new to judgin’, but he’s the incumbent and I don’t like to remove an incumbent judge. And look who he’s up against.
Steven Kirkland DEM – an unabashed homosexual.  Someone whose brain is so far gone as to think this is okay, on the supreme Court?  Yeah, nah.

Place 4, Justice, Supreme Court
I don’t like my judges to be making ideological statements about their own convictions, and here is a race where we have two of them doing it.  One is the incumbent, and my philosophy is to keep incumbent judges in place unless they go nuts, which I don’t see that Devine has done.
John Devine REP – I will be voting for Devine but I expect he may lose a close race. We’ll see.  The main campaign point against him is that he took a politically-incorrect stand on a ruling, and made a technical point that would have granted review to a lawsuit.  Not a huge problem for me.
R.K. Sandill DEM – if he were coming in to replace a retiring judge, that would be ok with me, but here we have a decent incumbent, so let’s keep the incumbent. I also won’t be upset if he wins, unless he goes nuts.

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court
Jeff Brown REP – I have endorsed him before and do it again now.  But this time I post a different article with a ringing endorsement of him than the last one: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2018/10/09/recommend-jeff-brown-texas-supreme-court-place-6 . . . previously, I said of him, “not only is he currently on this job, with no notable complaints, he’s also the only candidate with any Supreme Court judgin’ experience at all.  (This guy.  http://www.texaspatriotspac.com/election-breakdown-2014-texas-supreme-court-justice-place-6)”
Kathy Cheng DEM – the front page of her website is a list of endorsements by racist groups.  And she’s not a Texan.  No thanks.

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Sharon Keller REP – As usual, I give heavy weight to incumbency.  I think I could be okay with Judge Jackson taking this race and I almost expect her to do.  Keller got a lot of bad press for one of the thousands of cases over which she presided, and did her finances wrong and paid a fine for it.  And she’s the incumbent and should probably be kept in place.
Maria T. (Terri) Jackson DEM – Seems like a reasonable sort and a qualified candidate.  If you can’t stand the idea of Keller, go for Jackson.  I don’t like a few of the groups that have endorsed her, but oh well.
William Bryan Strange III LIB – I remain unconvinced from his online presence and amount of campaign material I found, that this person actually exists.  Once again, Libertarian party, with feeling! You have to do more than get on the ballot, in order to be elected!

Place 7, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Barbara Parker Hervey REP  – I quote myself: “Please vote for Judge Hervey” I mean, you could vote against Franklin if you like but Hervey has earned a “for” vote.  TMW even the Houston Chronicle endorses a Republican judge https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/criminal-appeals-barbara-hervey-ramona-franklin-13323217.php
Ramona Franklin DEM – she’s got a touch of the crazyeyes, which has been a reliable indicator for me so far.  Also belongs to a racist organization (but with the best of intentions, surely)

Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Michelle Slaughter REP – Please vote for Judge Slaughter. She is very highly qualified and it’s hard to find any marks against her.
Mark Ash LIB -previously ran twice with basically no campagin?  He’s not a judge, and she is apparently a good one.

District 14, State Senator
George W. Hindman REP – with a genuine Republican on the ballot, this is a no-brainer.
Kirk Watson DEM  – last election, I abstained from voting for lack of a good candidate.  At the time, I said : “As I said last time: “not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical. I’m not a Democrat” He is a moderate-left with typical Democrat policy positions with which I disagree.”
Micah M. Verlander LIB – oh look a Libertarian who isn’t running an active campaign. This is my surprised face.  No campaign, no vote. Next.

District 46, State Representative
Gabriel Nila REP –  He gets a not-the-other-guy vote, very gently holding my nose.  I’m not sure he is actually a Republican but he’s sheets better in the slim amount of information available online than Cole.
Sheryl Cole DEM – She was on the Austin on the City Council when the Austin City Council was a disaster for Austin, so look for her to win on name recognition and be a disaster for Austin in the Congress.  If you like what the D party is about this year, vote for her because she’s one that touts the party line
Kevin Ludlow LIB – his website with his name on it has recent blog postings, and calls him a *FORMER* candidate for Congress.  If he’s not running, he can’t get my vote.  In addition, he doesn’t like the idea of a Child Protective Services program OR corporal punishment.  Has supported “homosexual marriage” and is pro-abortion. That, and the traditional Libertarian desire for open borders and to legalize drugs, will hopefully sink his campaign…well, what little chance he had in this district, anyway.

Place 2, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Cindy Olson Bourland REP – Vote for Bourland. She is not only a qualified candidate but the incumbent. Keep incumbent judges in place unless they go off the rails.
Edward Smith DEM  – not a judge, strike 1, a methodist, strike 2, and on the D party ballot strike 3.  He seems nice enough and I could maybe go for him

Place 3, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Scott Field REP – I endorsed him in 2012 and I endorse him in 2018. Please re-elect Justice Field
Chari Kelly DEM – a non-judge vs. an incumbent who’s not messing it all up? Once again: no thank you.

Place 5, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
David Puryear REP – Please keep Puryear on the court for six muryear. Pun intended. Again.
Thomas J. Baker DEm – seems like a nice enough guy, but choosing a not-a-judge vs an experienced incumbent? Nah.

Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Michael “Mike” Toth REP – He’s the incumbent – barely. For a couple of months. Vs. a
lifetime of judgin’ from Triana.
Gisela D. Triana DEM – I am going to push the button for Triana this time. She seems pretty qualified TBH and if she loses it’s only because of the D by her name. Judges shouldn’t have to register as party-affiliated, I think.

There’s a whole lot of judge and clerk positions with Democrats running unopposed. Come on, Libertarians, you can’t even get on the ballot?

County Clerk
Dana DeBeauvoir DEM – In light of the alternative, it’s yet another vote in favor of
DeBeauvoir. Again.
Erica Lockwood LIB – Oh look, a Libertarian who is apparently not campaigning! What a
surprise!

Precinct No.2, Justice of the Peace
Chris Soileau REP – campaigning so hard, you would think he’s a Libertarian – which is to say, apparently not campaigning at all. You gotta try harder than this, Chris.
Randall Slagle DEM – I think I’ll be voting for Slagle this time. He is currently doing the
job. My philosophy with judges is to let them be unless they are crazy.
Christopher David LIB – campaigning only slightly harder than Soileau.

Austin Community College District Annexation Election
Proposition A, Austin Community College District
Approving the annexation by the Austin Community College District of the following territory: the territory in Pflugerville Independent School District that is no tcurrently included in the boundaries of the Austin Community College District, and authorizing the imposition of an ad valorem tax for junior college purposes, which is currently set at a rate of $0.1048 per $100 valuation of taxable property

Please vote AGAINST this proposition!
Why? Am I against education?
People, my own Darling Wife is a current student at ACC. I went to ACC. All of the
anklebiters are likely going to at least start off going to ACC. I am very much in favor of
Austin Community College! But allow me to quote from a press release from Pflugerville
Residents for Responsible Taxation:

“The tax, pushed as a “savings” for the fewer than 250 Pflugerville residents who attend ACC, would cost city taxpayers up to an estimated $13 million per year based on current property values and ACC tax rate. Even at $10 million per year, it will cost Pflugerville $40,000 per student to reduce their tuition from $361 to $85 per credit hour. It would be far cheaper for PfISD to just directly pay for those students living in Pflugerville…”

So the choice is: pay ten-thousands of dollars per student more than it costs for them to pay out of pocket, and subject Pflugerville ratepayers to the whims of a taxing district in
another city, mostly for the benefit of the citizens of that other city; and the rate has
doubled through the years…or have the students pay their own few-thousand-dollars more per student worth of tuition fees. Hmmm…

If this annexation does not go through, it will cost me, personally, more in tuition fees in
the next 15 years, than it would cost me in property taxes, if the annexation is approved.
And I’m against the annexation because it is a stupid misuse of the tax dollars of my fellow citizens.

City of Pflugerville Bond Election
Prop. A, City of Pflugerville
The issuance of $21,100,000 tax bonds for street improvements to Colorado Sand Drive, Kelly Lane, Old Austin Hutto Road, and East Pflugerville Parkway
Please vote FOR this bond issuance. This is exactly the sort of bond that makes sense: building things that will last many decades, and are an infrastructure improvement that we can afford without really paying more in taxes than we are already paying

Pflugerville Independent School District Bond Election
Proposition A, Pflugerville ISD
The issuance of $322,000,000 bonds for school buildings, school sites, school buses, and the levying of the tax in payment thereof
It’s a big number but I am going FOR this bond as well. Shockingly this is supposed to not  raise our taxes…

Proposition B, Pflugerville ISD
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $1.52 per $100 valuation in the Pflugerville Independent School District for the current year, a rate that is $0.02 higher per $100 valuation than the school district rollback tax rate, for the purpose of maintenance and operations, (including a maintenance and operations component of the ad valorem tax rate equal to $1.06 per $100 valuation, a rate that is $0.02 higher than the current maintenance and operations tax rate)
Vote FOR this as well. This is worded strangely, but it is a *reduction* in the current tax
rate. Due to rising property values, people are still going to pay more in taxes, but at
least it won’t be as much as it would be otherwise.

From the “Duh, me” category: Arctic sea ice vs. temperature, a sudden realization

People who are paying attention to Watts Up With That will perhaps have beaten me to this realization, but it just occurred to me and although it seems rather obvious in retrospect, I made a spiffy visualization that I felt like sharing.

Ok so we’re supposed to panic about the loss of area of arctic sea ice, right? The poor polar bears and their fraudulently-claimed-as-dying photographs, a dEaTH SpiRaL of shrinking summer ice extents, etc., right?  Except that the sea ice seems to have not got the memo, and it has pretty much stabilized for the last decade: 

ok, cool, but we’re still going to die from the global warming though right?

Yeah not so much on that, too.  The number to watch is the temperature anomaly reported by the University of Huntsville at Alabama.  The UAH temperature record is more-or-less a straight recording of the global temperature, without shenanigans like parking temperature monitoring stations at the end of a runway, or putting the thermometer in a box painted brown such as have been producing some of the recent RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURE headlines.  UAH shows a gradual increase from the start of the record, a sharp increase during the El Nino event in 1998, and then it’s pretty much flat after that as well.  Dig it: 

I saw the NOAA sea ice chart and noticed there’s a knee right around 1998.  Then I remembered the super El Nino that seemingly shifted the temperature of the world right around the same time, and the hamsters got on the wheel and started running . . . and I decided to see for myself what these charts look like, overlaid.

So I flipped the Annual Sea Ice Extent chart, stretched it to overlay the scale of time, and stretched it again to overlay the extent with UAH’s global temperature anomaly.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that the match was pretty much bang-on, but I was a little.  Behold: UAH 6.0 temperature vs. NOAA Sea Ice Extent:

Maybe I stretched it a little too much vertically, but you get the idea: One might be forgiven for thinking that these numbers have something to do with each other!  Anyway, if my hunch plays out and we get some global cooling because of the low solar activity in the next (looks at wristwatch) year or three or ten, the Arctic sea ice should start to rebound nicely, and we’ll end up back in the gray area on this chart:

at which point, either we’ll be feasting on headlines about anything but this news of global significance, or if it is reported, the USA will be ignored as a world leader in the reduction of CO2 emissions on a fairly frequent basis (Paris Accord withdrawal notwithstanding) and the role of Sol in the temperature of the Earth will be staunchly ignored.

We’ll see, I guess.

Precision Connector dimensions and compatibility, 1.85mm, 2.4mm, 2.92mm, 3.5mm, SMA

This post is for me. These are my notes for myself – but maybe you will get some use out of it. It has been a problem for me, to distinguish these connectors from each other. I couldn’t find a compilation of dimension and compatibility data anywhere online, so I went and made one myself.  Most of the drawings are from Pasternack’s catalog. The pictures are from random internet searches.

These connectors are generally for use at different frequencies, and just because they can mate with each other does not mean they should be used together. Mix-and-match connections can lead to degraded performance, especially at high frequencies.  The main physical danger to the connectors is from damaged connectors -especially SMA- being tightened on a different connector.  If you just want to pass a few GHz and don’t care too much about signal quality, finger-tighten the shells and go ahead and cross-connect to your heart’s content.

What is your obligation?

If you hear that someone is kidnapping and torturing children on a routine basis, what is your obligation? The police refuse to step in, and you live nearby to where this is happening.  Are you not obliged to help the poor dear children by any means necessary, including violence at the risk of your own life?

So when we have leftarded useful idiots with hyperbolic rhetoric on the television, radio and social media channels . . . when we have elected officials, even Congresscritters, saying this must be handled by people confronting public officials in person . . . what will be the inevitable result?

******

This is the current story-of-the-week. The press corps is agitating for people to be upset about things Donald Trump himself, personally is doing to these children. This is preferable to you hearing about all the good news coming from all over the world as a result of the actions of Don J. Trump. Look here, it’s outrageous! Nevermind:

  • B.H. Obama was President when the exact same things were going on
  • the only people separated from their children are the ones who intentionally come illegally (vs. the regular way of applying for assylum at a legal point of entry)
  • some of the “parents” are kidnappers and/or child sex traffickers; some of them are also human smugglers
  • the vast majority of “children” in federal custody came here unaccompanied, including e.g. a 4 year-old with his mom’s phone number (in Guatemala or wherever) in magic marker on his shirt…including a 12 year-old girl who was sent with the “plan B” pill because the parents knew she would be raped as a regular part of the journey
  • Mexico could give these “assylum seeking migrants” assylum, if that’s what they were actually seeking
  • the “children” who are 14, 15, 16, and 17 years old in USA are considered grown-ass adults in South America, and many of them made the trek to USA to work for wages, not seeking refuge
  • this “family separation” business is all in accordance with established law and approved by the entire court system in USA

. . . no, never you mind all that. Be outraged specifically and only please at the Trump administration for being literally worse than Hitler, tearing children from the arms of their parents and putting them in cages!

******

What will be the inevitable result?  Someone is going to be killed. Mark my words, some borderline-insane leftist is going to supersize their news feed with self-selected hatred of this legitimate exercise of law enforcement, and go a’killing. It goes without saying that peoples’ lives will be ruined. 525 or so “protesters” were arrested for causing a disturbance at a federal building the other day. These people now have a criminal record.

Note that the politicians ginning up their useful idiots care zero percent what happens to them. The press corps, of course, is all for their arrests – they can get some more advertising revenue by covering the story they have almost caused to happen by their own efforts.

********

Those 500 people were all women. Excuse me for being so sexist as to notice and to wonder: where are their husbands?

VFD, how can you be a skeptic about man-caused global warming?

Simple: I look at the data instead of the political spin on the data, and then I think.  Watts Up With That is better than literally all mainstream press as a source of climate news.  It was there that I found a link to this .pdf book that you can read for yourself.  It’s free. You like things that are free, don’t you?  It’s not even a long book.  Check it out:

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

March 6, 2018 Travis County, Texas Primary Election Voters Guide

As usual, this is me publishing the notes I make for myself, to make my life easier in the future and help out anyone else who might trip over this little blog by accident looking for some help making their decisions.

These are only the races where I live.  In other places there are other races, so check https://www.votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do to see what will be on your own ballot.

 

United States Senator
This one is easy.  Ted Cruz by a mile and it’s not even close.  I’m 0% interested in any of the other candidates on this ballot.  Cruz was my guy for POTUS but if he’s not POTUS I at least want to keep him as Senator!

Governor
Again, this one is a no-brainer.  Governor Abbott is still /ourguy/ for %currentyear% and there’s not been anything that I knew he has done yet, that makes me want to be rid of him.

Lieutenant Governor-REP
Dan Patrick is better for Texas values than Scott Milder.  Milder will possibly take a bunch of votes in the cities but hopefully not the nomination

Commissioner of the General Land Office
Jerry Patterson – I endorsed him in 2010 and I’ll do it again now. 
He’s right over the target on his position statements.  He didn’t want to come back and do this job but Bush has flubbed it so bad it’d got Patterson to come out of retirement!
Davey Edwards – Maybe 2nd behind Patterson, but maybe he should keep being the official surveyor where he lives and let someone who knows the job, have the job again.
George P. Bush – No more Bushes in Texas public office or any other public office.  The whole family is from what I can tell a bunch of squishy/wobbly Republicans and there’s always a better candidate in a primary than the Bush, and it doesn’t matter which Bush is running for what!  Significantly this time he is apparently trying to muck up the Alamo, which is one of the few things he is specifically supposed to protect (!?)
Rick Range – Seems to be running on a rather thin “save the Alamo” platform which is good as far as it goes but it’s not very far.

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller – Keep him in this position. He sometimes comes out with slightly whacky statements, but I don’t hear any complaints about the job he has been doing for us.
Jim Hogan – appears to be a Democrat (?) not even sure what he’s doing on my ballot if I’m honest.
Trey Blocker – Has a relatively lightweight resume compared to a guy who seems to have been killing it as the Commissioner already.  Also, there’s something wrong with his face.  He looks like there’s a problem behind it.

Railroad Commissioner
Christi Craddick – As in previous years, this is not a solid *for* Craddick . . . but then- attorney General Abbot said she was a great choice, a few years back.  There have been a few ethical questions raised but I note a distinct lack of legal action succesfully brought against her.
Weston Martinez – why not try to stay in his current job as a Real Estate Commissioner? I could vote for him in the General election but in the primary I’ll be for Craddic.

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
David Bridges – I’m going with Bridges on this ballot.
Sharon Keller – I give heavy weighting to being the incumbent in a judge’s race.  But this woman *barely* won the general election during a time when the R party was knocking other statewide elections out of the park – because in large part she has made some ugly calls.  As a judge.  That’s not great.  I can pull the lever for her in the General again if it’s her vs. a person who self-identifies as a democrat, but in the primary let’s go for Bridges who appears to be what we want from a judge: fairly unremarkable.

Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Jay Brandon
– Judging (get it?) from what I find online, I think Jay Brandon has the right attitude and experience for this position.
Michelle Slaughter – I could vote for her in the general if you people send her there.  This race seems to have a solid set of candidates, which is nice.
Dib Waldrip – Waldrip may be a fine judge and he might be good for the supreme Court, even – but not better than Brandon, for this, now.

Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
This is the only tough call on the ballot for me.  All of these seem to be good choices and I could go *for* any of them in the general election.
Kristofer Monson – seems like an ideal candidate.  Not a solid W but he gets my vote. It’s impossible for me to know if his lack of endorsements is from lack of funds, lack of trying, or just lack of political connections.  Plus, he takes selfies which matters to some people
Donna Davidson – also a good candidate
Jennifer S. Freel – The only one I have any reservation about, because she has little kids who need a mommy right now
Michael “Mike” Toth – also a good candidate

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY BALLOT  PROPOSITIONS

Republican Proposition 1
Texas should replace the property tax system with an appropriate consumption tax equivalent.
Yes.  I look for this one to not do as well as most of the others, but yes.

Republican Proposition 2
No governmental entity should ever construct or fund construction of toll roads without voter approval.
Yes.  It would be nice if they had included “or take out a bond to build a road” here as well.

Republican Proposition 3
Republicans in the Texas House should select their Speaker nominee by secret
ballot in a binding caucus without Democrat influence.
Yes. This is some “inside baseball” stuff but it seems like a good idea.

Republican Proposition 4
Texas should require employers to screen new hires through the free EVerify system to protect jobs for legal workers.
No.  I don’t like electronic systems used as requirements for employment in general, as they are creeping ever-closer to the mark of the beast.

Republican Proposition 5
Texas families should be empowered to choose from public, private, charter, or
homeschool options for their children’s education, using tax credits or exemptions without government constraints or intrusion.
Yes. The dollars should flow to whoever is teaching the student, not to the school which happens to be nearest the student’s home!

Republican Proposition 6
Texas should protect the privacy and safety of women and children in spaces
such as bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in all Texas schools and government buildings.
Yes. I think this is weasel words to say “no men in the ladies’ room”  but as written it is meaningless but it sounds nice, and it’s not legally binding so yes.

Republican Proposition 7
I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.
No.  
This isn’t even an open question.  All through the court system you have to tack on a “health of the mother” clause or this gets swatted down for good reason.

Republican Proposition 8
Vote fraud should be a felony in Texas to help ensure fair elections.
Yes.  This is literally a crime against all the people.

Republican Proposition 9
Texas demands that Congress completely repeal Obamacare.
Yes.  

Republican Proposition 10
To slow the growth of property taxes, yearly revenue increases should be
capped at 4%, with increases in excess of 4% requiring voter approval.
Yes.  I would rather have it lower, but 4% is better than 8%!

Republican Proposition 11
Tax dollars should not be used to fund the building of stadiums for professional or semi-professional sports teams.
Yes.  This is a stupid thing to do but somehow we keep doing it.

Aaaaand heeere weeee goooooO!!! . . . (?)

I’ve been expecting the global economy to crash and the USA economy to stagnate, beginning maybe the middle of last year to the end of this year. The systematic problems that caused the 2008/2009 crash were never properly fixed, and the bubbles are being blown up again.

Here is one bit of speculation that puts the decline start pretty soon: Mid-February 2018. If (big IF) BTC is actually a useful leading indicator, look for the amazingly-overvalued DJIA to plummet soon. If on the other hand BTC and all the other cryptos are just a flash in the pan that was going to fizzle anyway, maybe the ongoing bloodbath in cryptocurrency markets won’t mean anything at all:

So, we’ll see, I guess.

Bitcoin as a leading indicator? Michael Shedlock
Crypto bloodbath, Michael Shedlock

In related news (the relation being upward trends heading downward), depending heavily on whom you ask, we could start to see undeniable global cooling starting around the year 2020. This of course would be greeted with pats on the back from people who made lots of policies that changed nothing . . . but actually it would be related to a natural phenomenon known as the MDO of the GMT, which is predicted by some to begin cooling soon. We’ll see.

CO2 vs. GMT speculation from Girma Orssengo, PhD