Thursday, May 27, 2021

Senator McConnell Blocks Jan. 6th Commission


House Majority Leader Mitch McConnel led the effort blocking the formation of a January 6th Commission.  His actions prevent a deeper, independent look at the insurrection and how its re-occurrence might be prevented.

The mother of Brian Sicknick, the Capital police officer who died after the rioting, pleaded with Red Team members of Congress for a bi-partisan commission.

"Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” said Gladys Sicknick, who urged lawmakers to visit her son’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

Indications are Capital Police officers are in an abusive relationship, where their voice, mental and physical health do not matter.

"We have heard all of this support for police, police, police, and then your own police force is battered and bruised and now you drag your feet?" said another officer.

Optimizing a political party for the ego needs of Donald Trump is a very disturbing thing.  Senator McConnell is proving to be one of Trump's most powerful enablers.  Sad. 

Update 5-31-21:  Senate Republicans don't want an investigation to get to the root causes of the January 6th insurrection but demanded an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.   

The attack was the worst on the Capitol in 200 years. The protesters interrupted the certification of Biden’s win over Trump, constructed a mock gallows in front of the Capitol and called for the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence, who was overseeing the proceedings inside. Lawmakers hid on the floor of the House balcony as the rioters tried to break in, and senators evacuated their chamber mere minutes before it was ransacked. 

Irony enters when riot inciter Senator Josh Hawley wants COVID-19 origin information released.

"Let the American people see. Let the American people decide ... share the facts."

Those words could easily be said in favor of a January 6th bipartisan investigation.  That's what frosts this independent voter.  Both events killed people.  Both should be investigated for human understanding.  

Update 5-31-21:  Esquire columnist said "By failing to follow in the footsteps of these other bi-partisan commissions (some of which were related to foreign terrorist attacks, some domestic like the Jan. 6 insurrection), today’s Republican senators have put party above politics at a level so high, it should terrify us all. The worst is certainly yet to come.

Update 6-2-21:  McConnell further warmed deadly snake Donald Trump, who is telling friends he will be reinstated as President by August.  As there is no method for him to be reinstated, some consider Trump delusional.  That was clear long before January 6th, the day Trump unleashed his loyalists on the Capital. 

When mental pathology is accompanied by criminal-mindedness, however, the combination can make individuals far more dangerous than either alone.  

He is certainly of an autocratic disposition because his extreme narcissism does not allow for equality with other human beings, as democracy requires.

His emotional fragility, manifested in extreme intolerance of realities that do not fit his wishful view of the world, predispose him to psychotic spirals.

If one cannot have love, one resorts to respect. And when respect is unavailable, one resorts to fear. Trump is now living through an intolerable loss of respect: rejection by a nation in his election defeat. Violence helps compensate for feelings of powerlessness, inadequacy and lack of real productivity.

The treatment is removal of exposure.  For healing, I usually recommend three steps: (1) Removal of the offending agent (the influential person with severe symptoms). (2) Dismantling systems of thought control—common in advertising but now also heavily adopted by politics. And (3) fixing the socioeconomic conditions that give rise to poor collective mental health in the first place.

The challenge is disconnecting the Red Team from their severely damaged leader

When the mind is hijacked for the benefit of the abuser, it becomes no longer a matter of presenting facts or appealing to logic.  

That's the state of the Republican Party.  I said optimized to meet the ego needs of Donald Trump, but hijacked for the benefit of an abusive Trump is more succinct.

Update 6-27-21:  Republican House leadership finally met with Capital police officers and the mother of Officer Brian Sicknick.

Update 7-1-21:  Only two Red team members of the House of Representatives voted for a select commission to review the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Update 7-21-21:  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled his five nominees from the House committee reviewing the insurrection.  Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) "accused McCarthy of trying to “prevent” Americans from knowing the truth of how the Capitol attack occurred."

“The American people deserve to know what happened. The people who did this must be held accountable, it must be an investigation that is sober and gets to the facts,” she said, adding that, however “at every turn the minority leader has tried to get the people not to know what happened.”

Gross incompetence is all Republican leaders have to offer on the January 6th insurrection.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

January 6th Commission Passed House

 

Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) voted against establishing a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.  Pfluger had called the insurrection "a day of needless violence" on Twitter.  He told San Angelo Live:

“This is completely and utterly un-American. I condemn all violence happening at the Capitol. We are a country of law and order. Laying siege to the Capitol building is in total opposition to our ideals. I could not be more disappointed,” Pfluger stated.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised on January 9th:

Congress will provide the full resources to bring perpetrators of Wednesday’s attack to justice.
President Donald Trump's ego was the root cause of the attack.  Thirty five Republican House members stood up to Trump's ongoing lies and belligerence.  

As an independent voter who last registered Republican I want to know what was going on inside the White House while Trump supporters ransacked the Capital, using its halls for a lavatory.  Pfluger and McCarthy walked past MAGA urine and excrement to vote against certifying Arizona's election results.

Two Texas Republican Representatives voted for the January 6th Commission.  Both are veterans, Tony Gonzales (Navy) and Van Taylor (Marines).  Both served in war theaters, Iraq and/or Afghanistan.  Time will reveal the price they pay for their courage.  Former President Donald Trump has a wicked vengeful side.  

The Senate will determine if a January 6th Commission is established.  Sen. John Cornyn earned a Master of Laws from the University of Virginia in 1984.  Senator Ted Cruz graduated from Harvard Law School in 1995.  Each experienced a violent mob intent on interrupting the election certification of Joe Biden as President.  

That experience made no difference for 175 Republican Congress members.  One went from barricading House Chamber doors to calling the day a normal Capital Tour.  

Flashback to the Benghazi investigation:

"I've got to get the facts. I don't want to sound naive, but facts do not come with a color associated," Rep. Trey Gowdy said in May 2014. "There are not Republican facts or Democratic facts or swing-state facts. There are just facts."

It appears the public will not get to hear the facts about what happened inside the White House while the riot raged.  This is extremely disturbing.   

Update 5-27-21:  The mother of slain Capital Police Officer Brian SicknicK is visiting the Capital today.  She will ask Republican Senators to support a bi-partisan commission on the January 6th insurrection that took the life of her son.   Capital Police describe an abusive relationship with many members of Congress whose lives they protected/saved that day.  "We have heard all of this support for police, police, police, and then your own police force is battered and bruised and now you drag your feet?"

Monday, May 10, 2021

Texas Legislature Makes it Harder to Vote, Easier to Carry Gun in Public

 

The Texas House and Senate passed bills allowing Texans to carry holstered handguns in public without a permit or required training.  Law enforcement opposed permitless carry, which head to conference to work out differences between the bills.

A solid majority of Texas voters don't think permitless carry should be allowed, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

Most citizens and law enforcement don't want permitless carry in their communities.  Most people, outside those manipulated by former President and Liar-in-Chief Donald Trump, want to make it easier to vote.

Not the Texas legislature.

The right to vote is under attack, as are the people who protect that right.

Multiple states have passed or are considering new restrictive voting rules in response to the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen. There is, of course, no evidence of massive voter fraud in 2020 — and President Biden legitimately won the election — but that has not stopped unscrupulous politicians in states such as Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Iowa from considering new strict rules on absentee balloting, the ability to use a drop box, and even providing food or water to voters waiting in line.

These attacks on our democracy have received much attention. Far less noticed, however, have been provisions in these laws that penalize local election officials who administer our elections.

Texas already had the most restrictive voting laws in the U.S.  Just like permitless carry, new voting restrictions passed both the House and Senate.  Once differences are reconciled both the gun and voting bills will head to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature.

Texans experienced how much elected officials care for citizens during Winter Storm Uri.  We were left alone in the bitter cold and dark.  If they didn't care about our lives, what do they care about our voice?  Not a flip.   

Update 5-29-21:  Former Houston Police Chief Acevedo said law enforcement across the U.S. does not support permitless carry.  "It is not needed."  Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he will sign the bill.  A solid majority of Texas voters don't think permitless carry should be allowed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Texas Sen. Hughes, Drive-Thru Voting Occurred in Tom Green County

 Senator Hughes should know of drive through voting in Tom Green County.

I tried the drive through the afternoon of an ice storm  It was closed due to weather.  Little did I know it foreshadowed the February 2021 winter storm where the Texas Legislator failed citizens by the millions.

Should Senator Hughes bill pass poll watchers can video voters needing assistance.  Congressman August Pfluger wants my Social Security number on my ballot.  Will the poll watcher be able to obtain my SSN via video should Pfluger's bill get enacted?    

Update 7-11-21:  Yahoo reported:

What Abbott is looking to achieve, among other things, is a ban on 24-hour and drive-through voting, implementing strict new voter ID requirements for mail-in ballots, a prohibition on absentee ballot applications from being sent out proactively, and an expansion of the authority granted to partisan poll watchers.

But in the Senate hearing on Saturday, GOP Sen. Bryan Hughes, committee chair and author of S.B. 1, admitted to Sen. Royce West, a Democrat, that Republicans had not done, nor were they aware of, any studies analyzing the disparate impacts of voting restrictions on people of color.

The exchange followed an admission by Hughes to Democratic State Sen. José Menéndez that he hadn’t spoken with any outside advocacy groups such as the NAACP about how the bill could affect minority voters. There are “some minorities who are Republicans who support the bill,” Hughes noted in response to a subsequent question.

As for his proposed ban on 24-hour voting, Hughes said he had not heard of any fraud cases related to the practice during the 2020 presidential election.

 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Piss Poor Leadership in Texas Grid Failure

In the middle of a record long arctic cold snap we lost power over five days.  I called our power transmission line carrier multiple times.  Not once did the person at the other end of the phone level with me.  I called local officials who were unable to tell me what was going on and when our power might be restored.  

Vanity Fair highlighted what was absent in Texas during a life threatening situation.

In times of crisis, people typically look for strong, pragmatic leaders who will allay their fears while being straight with them and work around the clock to solve the problem at hand. Usually—not in all cases but in most of them—people aren’t interested in seeing elected officials go on TV or the internet and blame others for the situation they‘re in, but rather use what precious time they have to figure out how to fix things.

Texans got lied to (Governor Greg Abbott and Rep. Dan Crenshaw) and fled from (Senator Ted Cruz and Attorney General Ken Paxton).  Former Governor and Trump Energy Secretary Rick Perry surfaced long enough to say something bizarre about Texans staying cold to avoid socialism.  Perry was Texas Governor in 2011 when the grid failed for a mere 36 hours. 

I doubt Rick Perry's house got down to 41 degrees while stoking a fireplace insert day and night.  I doubt Rick Perry went out in bitter cold conditions to ensure animals had food and water.  I doubt Rick Perry braved the elements to cut up firewood with supplies running low.

Socialists didn't cut my power for days on end.  Socialists didn't promise me a rolling blackout and leave us in the dark from Sunday, February 14th to Thursday,  February 18th with only a few shots of power to briefly take the edge off the bitter cold.  No socialist failed to inform us of our particular power outage and when it might be restored.   

I want to know what Rick Perry did as Governor to prevent the 2011 blackout that occurred on his shift from happening again.  I want to know what he did as Energy Secretary to ensure Texas power generators winterized for a 2011 like storm or one that might last longer in duration.  

Ted Cruz flew to Cancun the day I raided our burn pile for more firewood.  He flew back the day I raided it again.  A Houston Chronicle editorial blasted Cruz:

“Texans’ anger with Ted Cruz right now could power an entire electrical grid,  He plopped himself down on a direct flight to paradise and left us to fend for ourselves in this frozen hell.”

 I felt more than ignored by numerous Texas leaders.  


I felt utterly abandoned.  


I do thank the Lord for getting us through.

Update 2-24-21:  Texas energy executives are ecstatic over their huge profits while citizens suffered mightily.

Update 3-4-21:  What's left of the ERCOT board fired CEO Bill Magness. 

Update 3-17-21:  The Public Utility Commission lost its last remaining member today.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked for the final member's resignation after a call with Bank of America was made public.  At least 57 people died during the storm, most from hypothermia.   The Governor and Texas Legislature bear direct responsibility for creating the system that failed millions in a time of dire need.  The resigning member "doesn’t believe the Legislature will adopt sweeping changes to the deregulated market’s design because it’s too complicated and there are too many competing interests."

Update 3-20-21:  Fleeing Senator Ted Cruz plucked QAnon strings with his delusion that the Blue Team wants illegal aliens and child molesters to vote.  Teddy wants actual Americans kept from the polls so the Red Team can stay in power  Cruz wants to make it harder for Texans to vote, even though the Red Team owns the Governor's Mansion and State Legislature.  Piss poor leader. 

Update 3-21-21:  Neither the Texas Legislature nor the Texas Supreme Court chose to deal with Grid Failure.  Markets win, citizens lose.

A move in Texas to wipe out more than $4 billion in electricity overcharges from last month’s devastating blackouts appears dead in the water after deeply divided lawmakers left town without taking final action on the proposal.

Immunity from accountability wins, citizens lose. 

The all-Republican high court split 5 to 4, with the majority deciding that a legal technicality prevented it from weighing in on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’s claim to governmental immunity in a case that predated the February disaster. As a result, a lower court ruling granting government immunity to Ercot stands for now.

Piss poor leaders gave Texans a system that not only failed millions but overcharged in a time of crisis.  That system remains firmly in place. 

Update 3-29-21:  Former CEO Bill Magness testified to Congress that ERCOT had no choice but to order rolling outages to prevent long-lasting damage to electric infrastructure.  We got outages, no rolling. 

Update 5-16-21:   The Texas Legislature nears its close with little done to date to address the Texas grid failure. A bill banning wholesale energy plans for residents will go to the Governor.  The House wants all Texans to pay the absurd bills generated by the failed system.  

"A newly-created Texas Electric Securitization Corp. would use the money raised from the fees for bonds to help pay the companies’ debts, including costs for ancillary services, a financial product that helps ensure power is continuously generated. The aid would only be allowed for the debt that would otherwise be defaulted." 

Update 5-29-21:  Rather than take responsibility for designing a market based system that failed millions in a brutal winter storm. the Texas Legislature wants citizens to pay the outrageous power bills that occurred during and after the power crisis ended.  They also plan for ERCOT's board to have fewer electricity experts and more political appointees.  

Forbes reported:

"A majority of respondents agreed that current laws and regulations in Texas are insufficient to tackle issues related to electric failures as experienced this past February."

WFAA reported

We’ve set up the ERCOT casino over on the side with a bunch of electricity and energy traders,” Hirs saidThat doesn’t exist in a regulated market...The big losers: the consumers. Almost 200 dead and $50 billion changing hands from the consumer side of the ledger to the consumer side. 

There are no lobbyists in Austin looking out for the consumer," Hirs added. "That's of course what the legislators are supposed to do…. 

Others say they also remain unsurprised by the failure of the Texas Legislature, with only days remaining before the end of the legislative session, to draft stronger measures to avoid another disastrous freeze. They blame the failure, in part, because of the ability of energy-related lobbyists to sway lawmakers. 

Update 5-31-21:  Bloomberg suggested the Texas Legislature failed to address the causes of the massive electricity grid failure in the midst of a brutal winter storm.  The series of bills "do little to fix the fundamental issues that made the state’s power grid so vulnerable."

The result is that Texas will continue to have the most isolated and least regulated power grid in the U.S., relying largely on market forces to keep the lights on for its 29 million residents. Analysts and others warn that makes the state exposed to another catastrophe.

Over 150 Texans paid with their lives.  Markets failed and Texas legislatures want citizens to pay exorbitant electricity and natural gas bills for the next 30 years. 

Update 6-15-21:  ERCOT is again warning power customers to conserve.  Energy plants are down and power may be in short supply.  

Update 6-20-21:  Texans found their thermostats raised remotely without their knowledge, much less permission.   ERCOT and ONCOR are clients of the firm that automatically adjusted thermostats.

Update 7-14-21:  The death toll from the winter storm rose to 210 people.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Republicans Warm Trump Snake

 

Yahoo News reported:

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly not shown any remorse for the Capitol riots and is in a "good mood", despite the harrowing video footage shown during day two of his impeachment trial.

Trump is in a good mood because of the harrowing video footage.  

"We love you...  Remember this day forever."--President Trump to Capital rioters
In his mind Trump's goons did good.  

Republican Senators will likely keep the head on the snake.  

A Farmer walked through his field one cold winter morning. On the ground lay a Snake, stiff and frozen with the cold. The Farmer knew how deadly the Snake could be, and yet he picked it up and put it in his bosom to warm it back to life.

The Snake soon revived, and when it had enough strength, bit the man who had been so kind to it. The bite was deadly and the Farmer felt that he must die. As he drew his last breath, he said to those standing around:

"The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful."

I hope Senators Lindsey Graham, Rick Scott, Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz don't whine after they get their mortal wound from a warmed up Trump.   

They have a chance to chill Trump's chance at a second Presidential term by implementing the simplest of consequences and instead will chose to heat him up.

Update 2-12-21:  Trump crawled outside of his golf hole and found the Florida sun:

Trump was unmoved (by mob violence) and mocked the Democrats as he watched the trial hundreds of miles south at his home in Florida.

If Trump can sic a mob on his loyal VP then Republican Senators will be easy pickings.  Trump may be the most expert projector, accusing others of evil that is clearly in his heart.

Update 2-22-21:  Former President Donald Trump plans to reemerge into public view and present himself as the presumptive Presidential candidate for the Red Team.

Update 3-8-21:  The Trump snake is already biting the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC with cease and desist letters banning fundraising in his name.

Update 3-20-21:  Trump’s attacks on “disloyal” Republicans seem to be the latest example of the former president’s vengeful attitude about politics and business

Update 4-12-21:   After calling Senator Mitch McConnell a "dumb son of a bitch" and "stone cold loser":

The National Republican Senatorial Committee named former President Trump as the inaugural recipient of its "Champion for Freedom" award on Monday.

Update 5-16-21:  A warmed Trump called the 2020 election the "Crime of the Century."  Not true.  It is a Perjury of  Grand Proportions.

Update 5-19-21:  A warmed Trump will restart his signature rally events, fundraising for a new superPAC.  Let the lying resume.

Update 5-31-21:  The snake is bent on revenge.  It's the Red Team's new core value, blind loyalty to a mentally deranged man with insatiable ego needs. 

Update 6-3-21:   Trump cannot hear he lost the 2020 Presidential election.  

Update 6-18-21:  Conservative Christians booed former VP Mike Pence when he spoke at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to Majority conference in Florida.  No word if any snake charmers or handlers were in attendance.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Republican Leadership Hypocrisy

Republican House members voted recently on Rep. Liz Cheney's (R-WY) leadership position.  They did so secretly.  

Liz Cheney, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House, held on to her title as House GOP conference chair during a secret ballot Wednesday.

Three sources said the vote among Republican House members was 145-61.

A number of Republicans, including Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), want to take away U.S. citizens right to vote anonymously with their proposed bill. 

Requires voters to produce a matching SSN printed on their ballot in federal elections

It's already tough to vote in Texas.

Texas maintains an in-person voter registration deadline 30 days prior to Election Day, has reduced the number of polling stations in some parts of the state by more than 50% and has the most restrictive pre-registration law in the country.

Add the Republican Party's desire for a citizen vote on secession from the United States.

The Texas Republican party has endorsed legislation that would allow state residents to vote whether to secede from the United States..
The British might counsel Texas Rep. Chair Allen West to not divert citizen attention with an exit vote, because it can backfire.  Texas has been a state much longer than Britain was in the European Union.  

I don't expect Rep. Pfluger of Chair Allen West to listen to my feedback but they will listen to corporate donors, many currently on pause for those voting against election certification the early morning hours of January 7th, post Capital Hill insurrection.  

Texas is "wide open for business" and many of those moving to the Lone Star State don't want the complexity of TEXIT.  Hopefully Pfluger's funders don't want their SSN on their federal ballot either.

Update 3-20-21:  Former President George W. Bush gave a blunt "No" to the question of whether he thought the election was stolen from Trump. 

Update 6-16-21:  Senate Leader Mitch McConnell showed his hypocritical side.