These “must reads” for Texas independents is a work in progress. If you have others to recommend, let us know.
We will not claim these publications are “objective” but they are honest, spur critical thinking and have an independent edge we like and respect. Those with cross-partisan policy making intentions — such as Grits for Breakfast and Charles Hugh Smith — are rare gems.
If you have other blogs, sites or books you’d like to see us list, please send them to us at contact@LIVTexas.org. And please tell us why you like the publication.
Thank you, you independent critical thinkers and open government advocates!
We recommend you add these to your reading lists:
Consortium News — the first investigative journalism on the net, founded by the guys who broke the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and who came from and still work in “mainstream media” – with honesty and intellect galore.
Ballot Access News — written by the premiere ballot access expert in the country, Richard Winger. Take a look at the miles of work Winger does every month to chronicle lawsuits, petition drives, legislative changes, book reviews and more to open up and clean up elections in the USA. Subscribe if you care, like we do, about competitive elections!
Blog Maverick — The Mark Cuban Weblog: Know any billionaires who do their own weblog? Just one reason Mark Cuban is called the “people’s billionaire.” PS He’s also a truly independent!
Charles Hugh Smith: An out-of-the-box independent and economist thinker who deep dives into the “deep state” that is doing great harm to our country’s economic and security well-being.
The Intercept: As stated by the Intercept: “The Intercept is an award-winning news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Its in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on politics, war, surveillance, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media, and more. The Intercept gives its journalists the editorial freedom and legal support they need to expose corruption and injustice wherever they find it.”
Glenn Greenwald on Substack: Greenwald, who became famous as Edward Snowden’s attorney, is an independent journalist in the best tradition of those words. His sharp critiques of progressives’ captivity by the Democratic Party, as a progressive himself, is unique, honest and always provocative. Greenwald, a founder of The Intercept, left in November 2020 after a dispute with his colleagues about printing news critiquing Joe Biden and his son, just before the presidential election.
Wolf Street: Founder and publisher is Wolf Richter (and former Texans), whose amazing history you really should read at his site. In his cynical, tongue-in-cheek manner, he reports on and dissects economic, business, and financial data, Wall Street shenanigans, complex entanglements, debacles, and opportunities. Brilliant stuff!
Politics Done Right – Egberto Willies is a political activist, author, political blogger, radio show host, business owner, software developer, web designer, and mechanical engineer in Kingwood, TX. He is self-described as “an ardent Liberal that believes tolerance is essential.” His favorite phrase is “political involvement should be a requirement for citizenship”. He believes that we must get away from the current policies that reward those who simply move money/capital and produce nothing tangible for our society and a whole lot more. Egberto lives, eats and breaths political activism and tolerance of all views!
Bill King Blog: King became a published author in 2004 with an opinion essay in the Houston Chronicle on hurricane evacuation. That essay lead to a 10-year relationship with the Chronicle and the publication of over 400 columns and editorials. From 2011-2015, Bill was a member of the Chronicle’s editorial board. In 2015, Bill published a compilation of his columns in Unapologetically Moderate.
Dallas Morning News Watchdog, Dave Lieber: From DMN, “Dave has written a hard-hitting newspaper column in Dallas/Fort Worth since 1993. His work appears twice a week. His goal is to save readers time, money and aggravation. In 2019, Dave won top prize in America’s largest column-writing contest. The contest judge called his winning entries ‘models of suspenseful storytelling and public service.'”
Grits for Breakfast: Scott Henson is the highly respected ace researcher, journalist and policy professional on civil liberties and criminal justice in Texas. He also founded, with his brilliant wife, Kathy Mitchell, Just Liberty, a 501c4 cross-ideological organization that is pushing for common sense and very needed reforms winding their way through the sausage maker otherwise known as the Texas legislature.
Quorum Report: Harvey Kronberg has our respect as a (if not, THE) top-notch political analyst of Texas politics. Though you have to subscribe for Quorum’s deep analysis dives, you can get the “Buzz” at Quorum Report for free. These quick news alerts are a must read if you follow the machinations of the Texas legislature. Quorum’s news clips section that you can access for free — is a daily compilation of Texas press. (We hope you will subscribe and keep what only Kronberg can do — let us be ‘insiders’ from outside of the Capitol Dome.)
Texas Tribune: Though we urge you to get to know who owns your local and state media, to their credit, The Texas Tribune, does fully disclose this information. Though, to be honest, we have been disappointed for the past few years in the Tribune’s failure to adequately cover the terrible mistakes going on with Texas groundwater just 40 miles east of the Capitol, we respect much of what the Tribune does do.
The Texas Monthly: We quote from the Texas Monthly, “For almost half a century, Texas Monthly has chronicled life in the Lone Star State, exploring its politics and personalities, barbecue and business, true crime and tacos, honky-tonks and hiking. Our combined monthly audience is more than 20 million and growing rapidly.”
If you’re lucky enough to have a local newspaper, we hope you will subscribe. Though many people are reading their news online, in rural communities newspapers you can hold in your hand still play an important role.
The Austin Bulldog: we love longtime investigative reporter and all around news hound, Ken Martin. His newest publication, The Austin Bulldog, is THE local Austin news site with an investigative bite.
The Austin Independent: founded in 2020, by former City Councilman and, before that, Austin Chronicle writer, Daryl Slusher. Slusher does a fine job covering local political news in Austin as a one man show with the sophistication to get the nuance of what’s really going on in Austin politics. This is no easy feat, given how “progressive” Austin is run by the power elites in real estate, slightly from behind the throne — and despite the many competing interests.
San Antonio Report (formerly Rivard Report): a local San Antonio independent online publication does an excellent job at local coverage, especially writer Brendan Gibbons. Gibbons broke many important stories on the Vista Ridge project when he was writing at the San Antonio Express News and then with repeated important coverage at the San Antonio Report.
We encourage you to read and join our study group to discuss:
Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop by Lee Drutman: See Rich Winger’s book review here. The League of Independent Voters of Texas has started a study group of this book. Contact LIV at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512.213.4511 (landline) to join the group.