Ted Cruz: Booger on the Lip of Democracy

Trevor Noah has decided to pick on a man he calls “the booger on the lip of democracy.” That would be Senator Ted Cruz, the target of a scathing nine-minute segment on Tuesday night’s episode of The Daily Show. A faux documentary about the senator, narrated by correspondent Desi Lydic, it lampoons everything from Cruz’s adolescent aspirations of “world domination” to his ill-advised trip to Cancún amid Texas’s state of emergency in rapid succession.

Interesting article on a useless political parasite.

Texas Nearly Went Dark – AGAIN – Because Officials Misjudged Weather

Texas came uncomfortably close to another round of rolling blackouts Tuesday night because grid operators misjudged the weather.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of the state’s grid, had counted on a mild cold front sweeping the state, lowering demand for power. It didn’t happen. As a result, demand on the grid was about 3,000 megawatts higher than anticipated — or the equivalent of 600,000 homes.

The forecasting error, coming as 25% of power generation was off line for seasonal repairs, was another grim reminder of the vulnerability of Texas’s grid. Two months ago, a deep winter freeze knocked out almost half the state’s generating capacity, leaving millions of people in the dark for days. But Tuesday’s weather was hardly extreme, and the close call has raised questions about whether the grid operator, known as Ercot, can prevent a repeat of the February energy crisis.

“It’s a disgrace for a power grid in modern times to struggle to keep the lights on during a mild day,” said Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice University.

No doubt that comment is echoed by millions of Texans who wonder who’s in charge and why haven’t they been fired by now. No, not just the Electric Reliability Council. Throw in the State Legislature and the feeble hacks inhabiting the governor’s mansion and outbuildings.

Tesla is building a secret battery in Texas. A VERY BIG battery!


Mark Felix/Bloomberg

Tesla is best known as an electric car company, but the firm also has a thriving business in battery storage—including utility-scale battery installations to support the electric grid. Bloomberg reports that Tesla is currently building a battery installation in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s new home state of Texas. The project is in Angleton, about an hour south of Houston.

Tesla hasn’t publicized the project, which is operating under the name of an obscure Tesla subsidiary called Gambit Energy Storage LLC. When a Bloomberg photographer visited, a worker discouraged picture-taking and said the project was “secretive.” The project appears to consist of 20 large banks of batteries that have been covered by white sheets…

The installation will use lithium iron phosphate batteries that are expected to last 10 to 20 years. The document says that it will generate around $1 million in property tax revenue for the city of Angleton. The site will be unmanned but will be remotely monitored at all times, according to the document…

Cripes, you could produce a different documentary film, every week, on all the off-the-wall – but useful – projects Elon Musk is working on. Might do our boffins in Washington some good to take lessons.

Texas money loves their version of class warfare


Dan Christian Rojas/AP

Texas has the third-highest number of billionaires in America, most of them oil tycoons. Last week, the laissez-faire state energy market delivered a bonanza to oil and gas producers that managed to keep production going during the freeze. It was “like hitting the jackpot”, boasted the president of Comstock Resources on an earnings call. Jerry Jones, billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, holds a majority of Comstock’s shares.

But most other Texans were marooned. Some did perish…

Lower-income Texans, white as well as Black and Latino, are taking it on the chin in many other ways. Texas is one of the few states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving the share of Texans without health insurance twice the national average, the largest uninsured population of any state. Texas has double the national average of children in poverty and a higher rate of unemployment than the nation’s average.

The tactic isn’t new, of course. Standard operating procedure for the top of the money pile for decades, centuries. Owning and controlling mass communications and political parties in the two main streams of pop culture politics remains the usual drill. Still, there is an insurgency growing…and I doubt Texas can continue to be the Lone Star exception.

Texas’ official says grandparents are ready to die for US economy — and they must!

The lieutenant governor of Texas argued in an interview on Fox News Monday night that the United States should go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Patrick claimed after speaking to over a hundred people over the phone that there’s a consensus that they don’t want to “lose our whole country” over the current public health crisis and face an economic collapse

Health experts have made clear the coronavirus poses a particular danger for older patients – 60 years old and older – who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19.

This rightwing asshat calls 100 “experts” who agree that sending folks back to work rather than sheltering in place – halting quarantine from a highly-infectious disease – makes economic sense in his distorted understanding of what the result could be.

Aside from his obvious failing at essential humanity, Patrick’s ignorance of cause-and-effect in the firestorm of a plague is downright criminal. First, he thinks the death of thousands [or millions] is OK if it returns our economy to profitability. Second, the man is a fool if he thinks this coronavirus plague will not infect a critical mass of people of all ages if turning your back on public health standards of conduct and sanity is allowed to prevail. Crushing the US economy.

No doubt his “experts” qualify as such because they donate to political campaigns for cretins – candidate and voters alike.

Texans fight to stop Feds taking their land to build Trump’s Wall


Border wall started by Bush – additions by Trump

❝ When David Acevedo attended a meeting with officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Webb County last month, he thought he would come away with more information about the Trump administration’s border security plans…

The only thing he knew for sure was the administration wanted access to his land to conduct surveys and site samples for border security purposes. And in a letter dated Oct. 15, the government asked him to grant access for 18 months.

❝ It’s a familiar fight for people in the Rio Grande Valley, said Ricky Garza, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project who is urging his clients not to allow the government access to their land. He represents five Valley landowners and is in talks with another, he said last week.

“A landowner is under no obligation to sign that right of entry to allow them free access to the property, but it’s in the government’s interest [to have them sign],” he said. “They don’t want the landowners to ever see the inside of a courtroom.”

❝ …the Trump administration is likely to seize the land it wants, said David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

“I think he’s not going to mess around trying to negotiate beforehand,” Bier said. “He doesn’t have to, according to the courts and according to the statute. He can get away with just taking the land and putting a $100 price tag on everything. He can do that and leave it to the courts to figure out what’s just compensation somewhere down the line.”

This crap legalism relies on law enacted 80 years ago in the Great Depression. Primarily to put folks to work on Public Works projects, provide income and mostly useful civil projects. This is what conservative bureaucrats have turned the concept into.