Another Virus

It might be the only up-side to the pandemic.  For awhile, there were no mass shootings.  Of course, as soon as humans with access to guns gather together it can quickly go sideways…and it has.

Not only do a lot of Americans have a lot of guns, but we seem to be particularly unable to handle conflict.  Something more than limiting access to guns needs to happen to fix this, but that’s where it needs to start. 

While Democrats are trying to tighten up access to weapons, some Texas Republicans want to allow guns to be carried without a license. It’s hard to pick the most ridiculous thing to come out of Austin on a daily basis, but this one takes the entire week.

How do we address the stressors that lead to these horror shows?  At what point do anger or feeling disconnected require a mental health intervention?  

Prime The Pump, Stupid

President Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” should have bipartisan support.  One would think that everyone would want Americans to be employed, and, that they would like to see our crumbling infrastructure rebuilt.

Nope.  Republicans do not care about either of those things and Moscow Mitch McConnell is leading the way to stop it in its tracks.

Not only would the plan invest in roads, bridges, domestic manufacturing, water, clean energy, and broadband expansion, but it would also help the disabled and elderly access decent housing, while increasing the pay of caregivers.  

Republicans care more about an increase in the corporate tax rate than they do about Americans who are experiencing third-world conditions like food insecurity, even though those corporations will greatly benefit from most of the things this plan will do.

They are too short-sighted (or just racist and classist) to understand that this will make America stronger.  There is no benefit to having a lot of weak links in a chain, but Republicans either don’t understand or they don’t care.

President Biden’s plan will prime the pump of local economies.  For every paycheck generated by this bill, money will be spent locally by that newly-employed person on housing, food, big ticket items and, post-pandemic, entertainment.  Those workers will pay taxes on their earnings, as well as sales tax, and be actively engaged in our nation’s recovery.

A jobs program is not a hand out. What was a handout were the tax cuts corporations were handed by Republicans three years ago.

Instead of being a heartless obstructionist, Mitch McConnell should do the right thing and lead his fellow Republicans to to prime the pump.

That’s How They Get Ya’

Texas is ranked 50th in ease of voting.  Now, in an attempt to hold on to power (because they know they can not win on a level playing field), Republicans want to make it harder for Texans to vote.  Well, they want to make it harder for those who are poor, disabled, and most of all, not white.

Texans already had plenty of obstacles to overcome in order to vote.  Texans can not register to vote online. (What century is this?)  Last year, many polling places were closed (during a pandemic, when social distancing was necessary) to make it harder for Texans to vote.  Most of those polling places, no surprise, were in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.  Drop-off ballot boxes were removed.  

For those who did manage to obtain a ballot, there was one more dirty trick. Straight-party voting was no longer possible. Republicans didn’t want down-ballot candidates to be impacted by votes against you-know-who.  

The line moved very quickly when I voted. Outside of my polling place was one small sign, amidst those for candidates, reminding voters not to stop at their vote for POTUS.   They did stop there, it seems.  That is why John Cornyn still has a job.  The combined vote for both presidential candidates was higher than those for senatorial candidates. Straight-party voting would’ve given us another Dem in the Senate.   

Now, Texas Senate Bill (or as it should be known, Republican BS7) would make it even harder to vote.     Drive-thru voting would be prohibited. In order to vote by mail, you would need to prove a disability.  That means that the disabled, including veterans who may have PTSD and can not function in certain environments, will have to prove they deserve a mail-in ballot.  It would also limit early voting.   

There is no end to the conniving Republicans will do to stay in power.  That’s how they get ya’.

The Perfect Pick: Secretary of the Interior

Transitioning to greener energy is inevitable and necessary.  The national, high school debate topic so long ago when I was debating was based on US energy independence. You know, “drill, baby, drill.”

Despite strides made in green energy, the old guard will not give up the ghost of fossil fuels. TX AG, Ken Paxton, has even sued to reopen Keystone XL.

What does this have to do with the Department of the Interior? Plenty. Everything is connected.

Of all of President Biden’s wonderful cabinet picks , Deb Haaland was a most welcome choice. She is a woman with a deep understanding of the agencies she will oversee, from land management to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Will they rename the bureau? It seems behind the times.
I was surprised to learn that there are tribes who rely on gas and oil revenue, although this is a drop in the proverbial bucket to what the big guys in gas and oil industry are making.  

Revenue going to tribes in the US (or to all citizens in Norway) doesn’t fix the many problems caused by fossil fuels.  From destroying land and polluting water, to the increase of extreme weather events due to climate change from its use, it’s a costly firm of energy.  The gas and oil industry costs money and lives in the long run.

Though it may be possible to extract revenue from wind and solar, I don’t know that the trade would be dollar-for-dollar.

With our new, Secretary of the Interior, I have hope that the lands of America will become even more beautiful because someone is truly watching over them with her head and her heart.

Here are some small ways that wind and solar have come into play, and, they can be replicated.

For his pick of Deb Haaland, Joe Biden deserves a hearty “atta boy.”  She is the perfect pick for this enormous and important job.