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.

Update 8-4-21:  Texas officials received big donations from energy companies after the grid collapse.  I have yet to receive an apology for having to endure nearly five days without power in subfreezing conditions.

Update 9-6-21:  Only 28% of Texans approve of the Texas State legislature after they finished their summer session.  

Update 11-29-21:  Texas has done “next to nothing” to weatherize its natural gas supply which would result in major power outages should the state experience another long term freeze.

Update 2-2-22:  Texas Governor Gregg Abbott said ERCOT is ready for the coming winter storm. I don't want a repeat of last year's debacle, yet:

Plunging temperatures are poised to test the main Texas grid in coming days and expectations of record winter demand have already sent electricity prices for Friday surging. On-peak power for Ercot’s North hub closed at $800 for Feb. 4 on the Intercontinental Exchange, according to traders. 

Who will be served, citizens or profiteers?

Update 2-20-22:   Bloomberg reported "The death toll from Texas’s historic February 2021 freeze may have been four times higher than the state’s official count, according to a new analysis.  The Lone Star state tallied more than 1,000 deaths during the week-long storm that couldn’t be explained by Covid-19 or historical patterns."

Update 2-23-22:  ERCOT's Chief said Texas Governor Greg Abbott told him to charge the maximum during last year's deadly freeze.  Texas power customers are the ones paying for those maximum bills, Governor Abbott. 

Update 12-31-22:  Flyin' Lyin' Ted Cruz busted Biden for vacationing in the Caribbean.  I'll bust President Biden's chops for staying free at yet another policy making billionaire's vacation home and not reporting the gift on his financial disclosure form.  Cruz left me in the bitter cold and I am yet to get any apology for being without power for days.

Update 5-8-23:  Gov. Greg Abbott's Texas Department of Public Safety is yet to inform the public regarding the mass shooting at an Allen outlet mall.  It's been 48 hours since the gunman executed eight people with an AR-15 style assault rifle.  It is the 16th mass shooting in Texas thus far in 2023.

Update 6-25-23:  The Texas Supreme Court ruled ERCOT cannot be sued by citizens for its deadly failure to provide electricity to Texans in February 2021.

Update 7-11-23:  Texas fell out of the top 5 states to do business in part due to poor infrastructure.  CNBC cited the fragile electrical grid.

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.

Update 10-2-21:  Over half of Republicans would secede from the U.S. and over 40% of Democrats would do the same.  Our country's future lies with independent voters, so ditch the Reds and Blues.  Give them not a cent.

Update 10-31-21:  A warmed Trump showed up at the World Series game in Atlanta.  He and Melania did the Tomahawk Chop but the stadium did not put Trump on the Jumbotron.

Update 11-1-21:  Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich claimed the people who stormed the Capitol were "agitators not associated with" warmed snake Trump.

Update 11-10-21:  Rep Liz Cheney said America is "confronting a domestic threat that we've never faced before: a former president who's attempting to unravel the foundations of our Constitutional Republic, aided by Republican leaders who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man." 

Update 11-14-21:   Warmed snake Trump inspired the Red Team to stack the 2024 election, once again raising the planned coup question.  In snake world the chant "Hang Mike Pence" with gallows outside is "common sense."

Update 12-12-21:  Senator Lindsey Graham once confronted international strongmen.  Now he supports America's version to the point that Red Team candidates have to kiss the warmed snake.

Update 12-15-21:  Former President Donald Trump launched an angry mob against his Vice President Mike Pence.  Pence escaped the gallows that day only to be labelled as "mortally wounded" by his former boss, now fully warmed in the Florida sun.

Update 12-16-21:  Esquire reported:

They (Fox News hosts and Donald Trump Jr.) knew something fundamental: Trump was watching this unfold on TV and doing nothing to stop it. The Capitol of the United States was under attack, and the president didn't lift a finger.

Update 1-2-22:  Former President Trump plans to hold a press conference from Maro Lago on January 6th, the one year anniversary of his white, middle aged Capital wilding.  Lord, help us all.

Update 1-3-22:   House Minority Leader and snake warmer Kevin McCarthy called the committee investigating January 6th a "partisan political weapon."  The Sunday letter to his colleagues came after the public learned President Trump sat on his keister in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the Capital attack on television, ignoring two requests from daughter Ivanka to intervene.   

Update 1-4-22:  Warmed snake Trump intends to lie about January 6th, his national disgrace. Trump's ego maintenance is endangering our democracy.  The Red Team is all in.

Update 1-5-22:  Donald Trump cancelled his January 6th address/press conference on the one year anniversary of his followers overrunning the U.S. Capital in violent fashion.

Update 1-6-22:  It's the one year anniversary of Donald Trump's Middle Aged Wilding at the Capital.   Many Red Team leaders walked back their initial assessment that Trump bore responsibility for the carnage.

Update 1-10-22:  Warmed snake Trump targeted two Red Team Senators.  He's after Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  Round's Trump sin was to call the 2020 election "as fair as we've seen."  Like any bully Trump wants to control another politician's endorsement of Murkowski.  

Update 1-31-22:  Viper Trump visited Conroe. Texas for a huge warming event.  He spread enough poison to significantly harm our democracy.  The Red Team is now a Cracker Christian party that worships snakeman Donald Trump and willingly believes his lies and distortions.

Update 3-17-22:  Snake Tonald Drump bit his most loyal servant Mike Pence for being a human conveyor belt for Presidential election results.  Chomp, chomp, toxins released.

Trump ruled out asking Pence to be on his ticket if he runs for president again in 2024 and doubled down on his misrepresentations and false statements about the 2020 election and January 6 in the interview. "I don't think the people would accept it."

Update 8-14-22:   More heat for the Trump snake from Red Team Senator Rick Scott:

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan described the comparisons of the FBI to Nazi Germany’s secret police, made by Florida senator Rick Scott, as “very concerning to me, it’s outrageous rhetoric.”

Update 8-30-22:  Next round of Jan. 6ths is encouraged by chief snake warmer Senator Lindsey Graham:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Sunday that if former President Donald Trump is prosecuted, there will be “riots in the streets.”  

Tea Party, 1776 ....

Update 9-15-22:   Trump threatened civil unrest if he is indicted for taking classified information to Mar-a-Lago.

Update 5-11-23:  Trump scorched his CNN Town Hall with lies and insults.  He threw another bone to the Proud Boys and called the moderator a "nasty person."  He turned his sexual assault civil trial into a laugh line.  Suburban Moms, are you listening?  The Trump snake should never have been warmed.

Update 3-19-24:  Trump flip flopped on the Jan. 6th rioters.  Strangely, nobody cares that a petty, vengeful, easily distracted, sexual predator has a shot at returning to our country's seat of power.  The list of former Trump aides working against that very notion continues to grow.

Trump's campaign has gone full delusional with its portrayal of Jan. 6th.  The televised horror of that day is seared in my mind.  Trump celebrates his cult of violence and for that America suffers..

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.

Update 10-27-21:  Conservative commentator Max Boot pinned the blame for the GOP’s “descent into madness and sedition” firmly on its leadership “or lack thereof” in his latest column for The Washington Post.  Boot torched prominent Donald Trump-adoring Republicans — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — as “unprincipled opportunists” who have embraced the “lunatic fringe” of their party and allowed it to “be captured by the crazies.”

Update 12-4-21:  Wingnuts are so emboldened they are running for office. Legislative agendas are not needed for the Red Team, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.