Saturday, February 20, 2021

Frozen Stories from Texas: The Deadly Winter of 2021

Winter came with historic lows and snowfall in Texas, a state totally unprepared to withstand freezing temperatures because of an energy grid that wasn't properly maintained.

Texas is under a weather siege. With the collapse of their power grid infrastructure - people have been without heat, electricity, and their water was, and is today, contaminated and has to be boiled.

Other Winter Stories

** Texas Senator Ted Cruz fled to Cancun while his constituents were freezing to death and going without food. Political pundits say it was a major gaffe as Cruz was forced to experience the walk of shame afterwards.

** A 11-year-old boy fell in a frozen pond in Jefferson, Texas and was spotted by a passing dog walker who rushed for help. The was okay and successfully rescued.

**Texas officials are investigating the outrageous energy bills as a result of last week's storm. Griddy, a power company told it's customers if they didn't like the prices they were welcome to go with someone else!

** Democratic Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have raised over 2 million dollars for the Houston Food Bank.

** The powerful winter storm that hit Texas was a test for the state's "Go-It-Alone attitude." Texans have long prided themselves on bucking federal oversight and standing apart from the rest of the country. Now they need the federal government's assistance.

** President Biden approved a major disaster declaration and is sending FEMA in to assist the failed infrastructure.

** A Texas woman used tortillas to rescue a dog from the freezing cold. The woman picked up the lost, or stray, dog on her way back from a food run.

Finally...

Texas set the stage for its energy crisis more than 80 years ago when they vowed to never allow power outside the state, thus avoiding federal regulation.

Friday, February 19, 2021

It's Always The Same Thing: Republicans Don't Want Every American To Vote

The record voter turnout for 2020 was historic because a majority of the population voted.

That's a reason to celebrate our democratic foundation - the right to vote - is standing strong.

It withstood the efforts of Trump and the Republican Party who tried to subvert voter turnout last year.

Everyone knows the reason why.

The Republican Party is a minority party in terms of followers nationally. There's a hell of lot more Democrats and Independents from coast- to-coast.

To counter that reality Republicans have to cheat and obstruct justice to attain their election goals.

Since the 2020 election, GOP dominated state legislatures have been busy trying to restrict voting rights ahead of the 2022 elections. 

They're considering increasing voter ID requirements, tightening no excuse-vote-by-mail, and banning ballot drop boxes, among other insidious way to disenfranchise minorities who tend to vote for democrats.

I submit that this is a stupid approach because it's already backfired on them in 2020. Democratic voters were enraged when they saw the GOP's efforts to cancel their votes.

That was just one of the reasons Joe Biden won by over 7 million votes. The other is Democrats have learned to fight back and marshal their outreach resources to counter the GOP's assault on our democracy.

As long as there's GOP dominated legislatures, especially in the swing states, the right to vote is going to be limited by restrictions specifically designed to disenfranchise non-Republican voters.

Voting is a right in America, no matter what Republicans think.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Why Are The Supreme Court Justices Hindering Investigation of Trump?

For reasons unknown, the Supreme Court justices have diverged from long-standing practices and are holding up the case of Trump v. Vance.

Lawyers are baffled by the paths the justices have taken - or rather, not taken. One thing is clear, it's stalling the case to get Trump's taxes, and Vance's office is disadvantaged by the courts inaction.

For nearly four months, the court has refused to act on emergency filings related to the Manhattan grand jury's subpoena of Trump's tax returns.

This is not the normal procedure the court takes. Usually, there's a timely response, one way or the other.

So, what is happening behind the scenes?

This unexpected delay smacks of politics and appears to ensnarl the justices even more in the controversies of Trump.

Trump's lawyers have been fighting the subpoena for over a year in lower courts and in the supreme court.

The kicker is apparently Trump's legal team may be prolonging the case up to another year! Their new strategy is to get the justices to judge the merit of oral arguments they now want to submit.

The fact that the court has six conservative judges and only three liberal judges doesn't bode well for Vance's team.

It also confirms that the Supreme Court has been taken over by conservatives, and no longer serves the rest of Americans.

Shame on them!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Exposed! Trump and Putin's Conversations Are Being Investigated

This ought to be interesting

Throughout Trump's presidency he maintained a secret relationship with Putin.

Now the Biden administration is examining transcripts and memcons (memories of conversations by staffers) to see how much sensitive material (and secret agreements) Trump had with his Russian counterpart.

Many of the phone calls were hidden in the NSC's top-secret codeword system to limit staffers and even cabinet members' access and prevent leaks.

Trump went to great lengths to keep his in-person conversations with Putin private, from confiscating his interpreter's notes to foregoing American translators and notetakers in their meetings.

Records show Trump's interactions with Putin went as far as disclosing classified information to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office.

So now the question is how much of this material is going to be shared with the public?

Are we ever going to know the true depth of Trump's depravity regarding his relationship with Putin?

I'm hopeful that happens. But I'm realistic enough to realize that we may never get the whole story.

I'll be satisfied with some juicy tidbits of truth about Putin and Trump's relationship.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Real Reason Why GOP Senators Sold Their Souls To Protect Trump

Political pundits say it was fear that forced GOP Senators to vote for acquitting Trump during his second impeachment trial.

Fear of Trump's vengeance.

But it was more than that

The Republican Party has chosen fiction over fact. Loyalty to country is no longer part of the Republicans message.

Proof of that lies in the response that state GOP parties have had towards their own senators. The brave seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump are facing a backlash from their own states.

To put this in focus look no further than one state party Republican who attacked GOP Senator Toomey today. His take on Toomey reflects the whole party's attitude;

"We didn't send Toomey to the Senate to vote his conscience or what was supposedly right. He was sent there to further the party's aims. Period."

And there you have it. The soul of the Republican Party is gone, replaced by a cult who believes in power at all cost.

When political observers talk about domestic terrorism they don't just mean white supremacists anymore...

... they're also referring to a party that has gone rogue and is an enemy of democracy.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Need Health Insurance? Sign Up Today

Were you laid off from work in the last year?

Are you scrambling to get health insurance now that you're unemployed?

Experts say the number of uninsured people have risen during the pandemic and now the Biden administration has taken action.

Today marks the first day for signing up for the Affordable Care Act. Government insurance markets will be available until May 15th in most states.

Thanks to Biden who ordered that the program reopened, people who don't have coverage but recently developed a health problem will have an option for action.

Note: Any coverage purchased will start the first day of the following month.

If you need financial help the government will buy coverage in the marketplaces for you, depending on your income.

Interested?

The federal government operates a call center to offer assistance and can connect people to local help for selecting a plan.

Those who make 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for assistance with premium payments in the form of tax credits.

If you're not happy with your current coverage, this enrollment period is an opportunity to improve your situation.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Coping With Stress: We All Need a Relief Valve

What do you do to relieve stress?

Eat?

Drink alcohol?

Do drugs?

What gets you through the day?

We've all been prisoners - to some extent - of the pandemic. As if life itself wasn't stressful enough we're now forcefully confronted with our mortality.

The answer to meeting the increased challenges is having a relief valve.

I remember a few decades ago when screaming in a clinical setting was considered a popular trend for coping with stress. It was called Gestalt Therapy, and as far as I know is still practiced today.

I'm not endorsing this approach to dealing with stress, but it's worth sharing it as one alternative.

I think a hobby - or better yet - hobbies are a better way to deal with the woes of the world.

Take knitting for example. I remember when Ram football legend Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier, took up knitting and suddenly made it okay for men across America to indulge in the craft.

The point is, like a pressure cooker, there has to be a release valve, or we go off the "deep end" and do stupid and bad things to ourselves and others.

There's countless options from reading, writing, exercising, making crafts, playing games, etc. al.

The trick is finding a hobby(s) that meets your unique interests. If you're one of those people that already has hobbies then you know what I mean.

Getting into that "happy place" can be a life saver. 

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