Shameful yet predictable, isn't it?
The saying goes that Texas isn't truly a "red" state; it's a non-voting state. Texas ranked 41st in the nation for voter turnout in 2018 — the year of the Blue Wave, when nationwide turnout was through the roof. Texas is the second-largest US state, so that's especially alarming.
Why don't Texans vote? It's not that they just don't give a damn: Texas officials go out of their way to keep Texans from voting. Last year, Texas closed down more polling places than any other state. According to a report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Texas closed down 750 polls since 2012. The closures are obviously and grossly targeted to disenfranchise minorities.
From The Guardian:
McLennan county, home to Waco, Texas, closed 44% of its polling places from 2012 to 2018, despite the fact that its population grew by more than 15,000 people during the same time period, with more than two-thirds of that growth coming from Black and Latinx residents.
It's shameful, and more evidence that Chief Justice John Roberts helped make Jim Crow great again when he gutted the Voting Rights Act. It doesn't even matter whether deliberate malice or incredible naïveté motivated Roberts, the ramifications have been grotesque.
Knock yourself out, dude.
It's just possible that the national GOP hates Kris Kobach more than Kris Kobach hates immigrants. Which is high bar to clear! From the moment he declared for the Kansas's US Senate race by misspelling his own name on the registration form, the National Republican Senate Committee accused him of "simultaneously put[ting] President Trump's presidency and Senate Majority at risk." But Chris -- sorry, Kris -- Kobach brushed off the DC insiders' gripes with the dogged confidence of a guy who plans to grift a billion dollars to erect a home-brew border wall.
While Mike Pompeo was Hamlet-ing all over Foggy Bottom, the NRSC could keep Kansas on the back burner. But now that Pompeo says he's foregoing the Senate race to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fuck shit up in the Middle East, the GOP is panicking. The Wall Street Journal reports that internal Republican polling has Kobach almost 20 points ahead of his closest primary challenger, Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-1), and weak against a strong Democrat in the general. And Republicans remember that 18 months ago, that racist nutbag Kobach managed to lose the Kansas gubernatorial election by five percent in a state Trump took by 20 points. So they're not risking a narrow GOP majority in the Senate on that incompetent buffoon, at least not if they can help it.
Healthcare: no longer the matter with Kansas.
In Kansas, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican leaders of the state legislature announced today they've reached an agreement to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It's not only honest-to-God bipartisanship, but in a genuine surprise, the more than 100,000 Kansans who'll get Medicaid coverage won't even be subjected to poor-people punishing work requirements that are all the rage in red states these days. It's a heck of a nice development, considering that expansion had been blocked by Republicans in the legislature last fall. Kelly ran on it, so of course they couldn't let it pass. Kelly's predecessor, Sam Brownback, repeatedly blocked Medicaid expansion and crashed the state's revenues through deep tax cuts that somehow never resulted in prosperity.
Now, of course, the Kansas Lege still has to actually pass the legislation, so Kansans making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level may not want to go scheduling any "I got live-saving surgery without going bankrupt" parties yet. Still, with Republican leaders on board, it looks hopeful.
Georgia governor may appoint own rightwing flunky to Senate, not Donald Trump's, and they're going craaaazy.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is in hot water with his own party's Trump loonies -- which is to say, virtually all Republicans -- because of reports he's likely to defy the Great Man's pick for the US Senate seat being vacated at the end of the year by Johnny Isakson, who's resigning due to declining health. Donald Trump wants rabid loyalist Rep. Doug Collins to move from the House to the Senate, but Kemp appears to have settled on an Atlanta financial services exec, Kelly Loeffler, a newcomer to politics but clearly an excellent choice for the Senate since she'll always side with rich people while perhaps not totally alienating women voters in the 'burbs the way a hardline Trumpsucker like Collins would.
For his efforts to game out an "electable" conservative candidate, Kemp is being excoriated by Trumpetarians as a dirty rotten traitor to the cause, since Trump's last-minute endorsement of Kemp in the 2018 GOP primary (breaking a Trump pledge to stay neutral) is thought to have tipped the primary his way.
Let's try not to revel too much in the anticipated wingnut-on-wingnut violence, shall we?