Texas demonstrates when you cannot govern, you lie. A lot.


Bronte Wittpenn/Austin American

…Elect a president with no public-sector experience, no interest in learning, no desire to hire competent people and no ability to accept responsibility, and you get something like the covid-19 debacle. Moreover, if your party is hostile to government and exercising regulatory power because it is beholden to a donor class and right-wing ideologues, you will not be prepared for disasters when they strike.

…That brings us to Texas. The Washington Post reports, “As millions of people across Texas struggled to stay warm Tuesday amid massive cold-weather power outages, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) directed his ire at one particular failure in the state’s independent energy grid: frozen wind turbines.” There is one problem: That is not remotely true (as you might have guessed from a state with an enormous oil and gas sector). “The governor’s arguments were contradicted by his own energy department, which outlined how most of Texas’s energy losses came from failures to winterize the power-generating systems, including fossil fuel pipelines…”

In other words, rotten policy and management are to blame. “What has sent Texas reeling is not an engineering problem, nor is it the frozen wind turbines blamed by prominent Republicans,” The Post reports. “It is a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service.”

RTFA. Not only a reliable source for facts, the Post has a history of researching the course of events to accurately determine cause and effect. More often than most.

The Electoral College Is Racist. Here’s How to Kill It…

The case against the Electoral College is straightforward: Because states are allocated electors based on the size of their congressional delegations, those with smaller populations have an outsize influence on presidential elections. The result is that a small number of voters in certain battleground states become kingmakers. By one analysis of the 2012 presidential election, four out of five voters had virtually zero influence on the outcome.

It’s really a relic from the past,” says Wilfred Codrington III, an assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School and a Brennan Center for Justice fellow. The Electoral College was established by the framers of the Constitution as a last-minute deal, a gift to Southern states trying to protect slaveholders’ power and leverage the three-fifths compromise. “It wasn’t a stroke of genius. It was really just the least objectionable at the time,” Codrington says…

Codrington thinks Electoral College reform is something everyone—even Republicans—could benefit from. “There are millions of Republicans whose votes are wasted, just as there are millions of Democrats whose votes are wasted, because they live in states that are fully red or fully blue, or mostly red or mostly blue,” he says. “They’re being ignored. And I think that it’s in their interest to think about the popular vote as something that will make their political system more responsive to their interests.”

I happen to think Codrington is wrong…for the reasons listed in the article. I distrust the ease by which the compact suggested can be reversed and put out of service. Though the simple exercise of a truly democratic vote for a few elections in a row would probably make a proper change to popular vote rule easy-peasy.