Saturday, March 11, 2023

Stop the Stupidity! Make Daylight Savings Time Permanent

One year ago on March 15th, the US Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act which ends the twice-annual changing of the clocks.

So why are we having to turn our clocks one hour forward tonight?

The reason is simple, the House never passed the legislation, and it never made it to President Biden's desk for signing.

I don't understand. Who would be against enabling children to play outdoors later or reducing seasonal depression?

I know of at least one group that opposes the change, The National Association of Convenience stores. There are others that want things to remain as they are. Despite no good reason to keep playing with the clock in the 21st century.

The Sunshine Protection Act which was sponsored by senator Marco Rubio last year was reintroduced by Rubio on March 2nd. The senate passed the bill by unanimous consent, but it stalled in the House last year.

This is a great chance for the House to pass a bipartisan bill that will truly help Americans out.  As Democratic senator Ed Markey, a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a recent press conference, 

"It's past time for Congress to broaden its horizons and finally make Daylight Saving Time permanent. With the Sunshine Protection Act, we can shine a light on the darkest days of the year and deliver more sun, more smiles, and brighter skies."

Background on Daylight Savings

America first adopted daylight savings time in 1918 to save oil and electricity during World War I. But now, it isn't associated with energy savings.

The benefits of a Permanent Daylight Savings Time (DST)

-In a recent meta-study by Rutgers researchers they found that DST would allow more people to commute during daylight hours and decrease the risk of car accidents.

-Also having fewer hours of darkness would help reduce crime. 

-Other studies have shown that more daylight means less energy usage. An extra hour of daylight over winter will keep houses warmer for longer.

-A study by the American Council projected a decrease in carbon emissions by 10.8 million metric tons.

-Losing sleep. Instead of waking up at 8:00 a.m., we're waking up at an hour that our body says is 7:00 a.m. Briefly put, it messes up our circadian clock which is an internal clock that tells us when to go to sleep and when to wake up. The cognitive consequences or lack of sleep, tend to hit students really hard.

With all these benefits it's hard to understand why we haven't made a permanent DST in the USA a long time ago.

As it stands, I suspect the reason is partisan politics and that some businesses don't want to see a permanent change for financial reasons.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Beware the Ides of March - Will Trump Become the First Former President in US History Tried for a Felony?

No one saw this coming.

Trump's hush money payment to Stormy Daniels six years ago may get him his first criminal indictment from the looks of things.

The Manhattan district attorney's office told Trump's legal team that he could face criminal charges yesterday stemming from his role to bribe Daniels from talking about their affair.

Prosecutors issued Trump an invitation to testify and tell his side of the story before the grand jury. I highly doubt Trump's lawyers will let him because he's such a liar he'd perjure himself while spinning his tale.

Some court observers think Trump's lawyers might try to meet with prosecutors in an effort to fend off criminal charges. Good luck with that. It appears the DA's office is locked and loaded for this big game hunt.

I have to admit, when the new DA Alvin Bragg took over the case five years ago it looked like he was going to let Trump off the hook, especially since two prominent lawyers on the case claimed there was enough evidence to charge the former president back then.

It looks like a lot of people underestimated Bragg. Critics even thought Bragg was afraid to take on Trump. Or he was in someone's pocket. Obviously, they were wrong.

This trial is going to be historic in many ways. The United States has never seen a former president indicted for a felony. Trump better beware the Ides of March.

Most political wags have suggested Trump's first criminal indictment would come out of Georgia for his attempt to overturn legitimate votes in the state in his favor.

When the day comes, and the Manhattan DA's office announces Trump's indictment a dam will burst. It seemed like no one wanted to be the first to try Trump. 

When it happens, it'll be the opening overture for the rest of his criminal cases that will follow this year and next year.

It's still hard to believe that accountability is finally coming for Trump and that there's a possibility that if convicted of a felony he'd get up to four years in prison.

As it stands, I can't get too excited about the possibility of Teflon Don being put behind bars because no one in his crooked life has ever held him accountable. Hopefully this will be the first time.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Gun Safety News: Colorado Lawmakers Introduce 'Assault Weapon' Ban

Somewhere in Washington DC Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert is suffering a near breakdown. She heard about a Democratic-Sponsored Bill involving gun safety for the residents of the "her" state.

As MAGA's AR15 poster girl Boebert is one of the most vocal gun advocates in the country. The idea that the bill (HB 23-1230, also known as "Prohibit Assault Weapons in Colorado") may become law in her state is like acid dripping upon her tiny brain.

The bill was introduced by Democratic state Representative Elisabeth Epps of District 6 in Denver and state Senator Rhonda Fields of District 28 in Adams and Arapahoe counties.

The debate surrounding the bill stems from what can be considered an assault weapon. But it goes deeper than that. Citizens of Colorado are sick of mass shootings and murders committed with AR15 style platform rifles.

It safe to say all Americans are tired of mass shootings with assault rifles. As of mid-February, the Gun Violence Archive has counted 100 mass shootings this year as of the first week of March. That's more than the days of the year and this disturbing milestone doesn't show any signs of abating.

It's going to take other states (ideally all 50) passing gun safety laws to begin to slow down the slaughters that our society has tolerated thus far. 

There has been a growing movement across the country to do more about addressing gun violence. However, fierce resistance is still coming from MAGA lawmakers in bed with the NRA and gun manufacturers in the country.

The day the bill was introduced Denver high school students marched to the Colorado Capitol building to protest gun violence after a student was shot dead outside of the city's East High School last month.

If the bill passes Democratic Governor Jared Polis will sign it into effect immediately. Gun traders would have until July 1 to sell or transfer their unsold firearms to non-Colorado residents.

As it stands, it's time some meaningful gun control was passed, especially a ban on assault weapons.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Hard-Right House GOP Preparing to Gut Programs for the Poor

                  It's war on the poor, 

but the Republicans don't care as long as they slash programs and make cuts somewhere in our national budget.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sold his soul to the minority MAGA Republicans in the House and promised them he'd create a debt ceiling crisis by not compromising with democrats.

One of the many sick things about this push is those MAGA Republicans concede their going to cause political pain and blowback from their colleagues and poor Americans. But they don't care.

"There is going to be a gnashing of teeth. It is not going to be a pretty process. But that's how it should be," said Ralph Norman, an arch-conservative member of the House Budget Committee.

In the MAGA mindset going after food stamps is a lot easier than cutting Social Security or Medicare. Calling the Biden administration, "a woke and weaponized government," Norman wants to see deep spending cuts on social programs and foreign aid. 

But the crap doesn't end there. The MAGA morons want to eliminate the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Pentagon.

On top of that they want to eliminate Obamacare expansions to Medicare.

Claiming it takes courage, Rep. Josh Brecheen on the Budget Committe rationalized the assault on the truly needy Americans by noting he has to go after them because there's no other options.

So far, no plan or agenda has been forthcoming detailing the exact cuts they're going to make.

Democrats are eagerly urging them to share their dark vision, but McCarthy is refusing to until the poison package powered by MAGA clowns gets voted on.

For good reason. McCarthy knows Americans are going to be infuriated at having a slice of federal programs they rely upon slashed, effecting all incomes.

There is no talk of compromise among the MAGA minions who are on a search and destroy mission.

When it comes to voting on the plan it's not a slam dunk because...

1. The GOP has a narrow House majority.

2. Securing 218 votes needed to approve the budget is going to be extremely hard.

3. Some Republicans risking political harm in swing states do not want to be attached to something so vile. 

Every proposed budget has to have someone who can translate the agenda. MAGA morons have Russell T. Vought (a former Trump administration budget director) who now leads the far-right Center for Renewing America.

As it stands, have you ever noticed that when it comes to making cuts Republicans always go after the most vulnerable?

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Enemy Within: Part 1 - Tucker Carlson

This is Part One of a series of posts on individuals who are subverting democracy in any way they can. Each individual I introduce is a major player against American freedoms and an outright liar and traitor.

Part One:

Tucker Carlson

Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson has been hosting his own show on Fox News since 2016. From the very start he pushed right-wing conservative talking points.

Carlson is not a reporter. He is a clown for hire. He is also a propaganda puppet for the MAGA crowd best known for pushing lies about what happened on Jan. 6.

Despite being publicly outed during Dominion's lawsuit against Fox for knowingly telling lies about the 2020 election - promoting the Big Lie - he continues too knowing there will be no repercussions from Fox News management. 

He colluded with traitor and insurrectionist Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who gave Carlson 41,000 hours of videos showing the attack at the Capitol. No other media source has been allowed access to the videos put together by the Jan. 6 Committee.

Carlson's insider influence on Republican lawmakers has led to unfettered access to information he should never have been allowed to see. There's security footage that Carlson can now share with his pals in dark places.

He has already come out with his first special report based upon cherry picked moments where people are calmly walking down a hallway "respectively touring" the Capitol.

Of course, at the same time there is absolute chaos in other hallways and rooms...but Fox viewers will never see that. No, they will hang on to every lie Carlson spews like it's the gospel.

The shameless right-wing host seems to be immune from pushbacks against him in the courts and other TV news stations and social media. This deeply flawed individual is only a part of the conspiracy against democracy today.

There are other equally vile people who have chosen to ignore reality by spreading incendiary lies designed to undermine our freedoms and the rule of law. I will be featuring those other enemies within in the coming weeks.

One last thing. Carlson is not doing what he does for money (he was born with a silver spoon in his big yap). 

He's doing it for the power he can wield and because he's a narcissist. Both qualities that traitors are known for.

As it stands, the common denominator for the individuals I'm featuring is just how powerful and what a threat one person can be to our democracy.

Monday, March 6, 2023

A Desperate Trump is Planning another 'Stand Down and Stand By' Threat

Have you ever seen a cornered rat turn and show its teeth in defiance? It's beady eyes aflame with rage? 

Then you know what Trump looks like as he skulks around Mar-a-Lardo posting threats on his failing social media, ironically named Truth Social

He's going for the jugular every day (and night) now, threating special counsel Jack Smith, his wife, and everyone else involved in the numerous civil and criminal investigations against his traitorous ass.

He sealed the deal at a recent CPAC event promising retribution against all who dared to go after him if he gets re-elected. That includes the FBI, DOJ, and any other government agency that he doesn't like.

The increasing tenor of his desperation is more apparent as his mindless rants are only meant to do one thing... motivate his base.

The plan appears to be getting his supporters worked up into a froth and when the first indictment comes down and he has to be arraigned in court, he'll message them with something along the lines of, "Be there. It should be wild."

Yes, the same siren calls the demented former president used to activate the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers to assault the Capitol on Jan.6th.

It's that simple. Trump is hoping for widespread riots that will rock the country and somehow save him from prison. 

So, the worst president in US history is gamboling on such chaos that he'll emerge as a strongman/dictator and overthrow our republic.

Of course, it's the delusion of a madman who no longer pretends to defend democracy and is trying to turn the country into a fascist state.

Make no mistake. When the indictments continue to pour in Trump's minions will go out of their skulls and start riots all over the country. 

How big or small they'll be is anyone's guess, but as long as the authorities respond and keep some order, we'll survive Trump's scheme... again.

As it stands, it's incredible to think that a former president is trying to hold the country and government hostage with his threats!

Sunday, March 5, 2023

What is a 'Safe Place' and why is it so Controversial?

             Where's your safe place?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a safe place (as on a college campus) is intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.

The idea of a safe space on campus enraged right-wing Republicans who called students snowflakes and other disparaging terms for seeking to protect themself from radicals on campus.

The concept of a safe place originated in the gay liberation movement and the women's movement during the 1980s. The first public safe places were gay bars and consciousness raising groups.

Conservatives considered the safe place culture as a violation of the First Amendment and a mechanism for retreating from opinions which contrast with one's own.

Opponents of safe places claimed they blur the line between security against physical harm and giving offense. 

In response, advocates for safe spaces asserted that people subject to hate speech are directly affected by it and that safe places help maintain mental health.

The battle over safe places have simmered for decades until I heard the term surface recently in the news.

To my utter surprise right-wingers are now defending the idea of a safe place!

One of the most prominent clowns in the crazy caucus in the House, Marjorie Taylor Greene, said she needs a... safe place!

"We are fed up," Greene told Fox News last week. 

"We are fed up with Democrat policies. We are fed up with the woke ideology being shoved down our throat. We are tired of our children being brainwashed into those same ideas. We want our own safe place, and we deserve it," she ranted.

This turnaround on safe places is at best amusing and at worse just another example of the hypocrisy coming from right-wing conservatives who will do or say anything if they think it'll further their cause, even if it is another humiliating MAGA flip-flop.

As it stands, my safe place is at home. I suspect it's the same for millions of other Americans.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...