Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Last Call For The Day That Hell Froze Over In Texas, Con't

Millions of Texans remain without power or water right now in freezing winter temperatures, and state officials have no idea when power will be restored. The main reason is because Texas Republicans simply do not care if residents die, because government in Republican states means it's you're problem, not the government's, so you need to get off your ass and fix it yourself.

By Tuesday morning, the residents of Colorado City, Tex., were getting anxious. More than 24 hours had passed since a deadly Arctic blast knocked out power across the state, leaving them without heat or electricity in below-freezing temperatures. To make matters worse, many also lacked running water, forcing them to haul in heavy buckets of snow each time they needed to flush their toilets.

Residents turned to a community Facebook group to ask whether the small town planned to open warming shelters, while others wondered if firefighters could do their job without water. But when Colorado City’s mayor chimed in, it was to deliver a less-than-comforting message: The local government had no responsibility to help out its citizens, and only the tough would survive.

“No one owes you [or] your family anything,” Tim Boyd wrote on Tuesday in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to KTXS and KTAB/KRBC. “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!”

Boyd’s tirade, which also demanded that “lazy” residents find their own ways of procuring water and electricity, immediately drew backlash. Later on Tuesday, Boyd announced his resignation and admitted that he could have “used better wording.”

The controversy highlighted how one of the worst winter storms in decades is testing the limits of the embrace of self-sufficiency and rugged individualism in Texas. The state’s decision to skirt federal oversight by operating its own power grid is one of the main reasons that close to 3.3 million residents in Texas still lacked electricity by early Wednesday morning, while outages in other hard-hit states had dwindled to less than one-tenth of that size. As of late Tuesday, grid operators still couldn’t predict when the lights might turn on, and advocates were warning that Texas’s poorest and most vulnerable residents were at risk of freezing to death. At least 10 deaths in Texas have been linked to the winter storm since Monday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The failure to deliver basic services has angered countless Texans, including top-ranking elected officials. But in Colorado City, Boyd rejected the notion that municipal governments or utility companies had any obligation to provide paying customers with necessities like heat and running water during a catastrophic winter storm.
Hah. "Use better wording" my ass. Deep down, every single Republican believes this.  Government exists for them, and not you. When they use government, it's patriotism. When you use government, you're "lazy" and getting "handouts".

You know, like expecting power and water that you pay for.

Why aren't you providing your own power and water like the Founding Fathers? George Washington didn't whine about his internet being down. He had slaves providing everything he needed, you know.

Maybe you should try to get some of your own.

Oh wait, they basically are.

A Taxing Explanation, Con't

Newly revealed subpoenas for the Trump Organization criminal probe are pointing to serious tax issues with Trump's Seven Springs estate in New York, complete with Trump's usual fraud playbook of stiffing contractors on upkeep and property tax deferment and pocketing the difference as fraud.
Manhattan prosecutors conducting a criminal investigation into possible bank, tax and insurance fraud by former President Donald Trump and his company recently subpoenaed documents from an engineer who worked on an expansive property owned by the Trump family in Westchester County, north of New York City.

The engineer, Ralph Mastromonaco, told CBS News he recently received the subpoena and quickly complied, turning over maps of the 200-acre Seven Springs Estate and other documents he produced for the Trump Organization nearly a decade ago. The subpoena has not been previously reported and there is no indication that Mastromonaco is being investigated for wrongdoing.

Mastromonaco said his work included surveying Seven Springs as part of an effort by the Trump Organization to get approval for a subdivision in 2013, and that he doubts his work will prove relevant to the tax fraud investigation.

"I think they are just touching every base. I really had nothing to do with the project after (that). My role ended after they got an approval and whatever they did after that, I had nothing to do with," Mastromonaco said.

Mastromonaco's subpoena came weeks after Manhattan investigators sent another subpoena to the town clerk of Bedford, New York. Seven Springs straddles Bedford and two other affluent suburban towns, North Castle and New Castle. The grand jury subpoena, which was obtained by CBS News, requests documents related to Seven Springs valuations and tax assessments, tax appeals, and conservation easements.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance first began investigating Mr. Trump in 2018, and initially targeted hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. However, Vance's office has indicated in court filings that the investigation has since widened to look at possible crimes as wide-ranging as fraud and tax evasion.
Now it's entirely possible that this is just poor schlub who had the misfortune of doing a job for Donald Trump, but Trump also lies, cheats, and steals whenever he can, and yeah, if he goes away for felony tax fraud, I won't cry a single tear.

My guess would be there are a lot more people waiting in the wings in several states to serve Trump with papers, but the key is remembering that his violent cultists will absolutely attack anyone who does.

That's a concern for any DA's office, or any US Attorney's office.

The Return Of Romneybot

Mitt Romney has a plan to raise the minimum wag to...some...number above $7.25 an hour, but he'll be damned if anyone actually knows what the number would be.

As Democrats try to plot a way forward to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced Tuesday that he's working on a separate bill to increase the long stagnant minimum wage while “ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants.”

Romney said he's working on the bill with Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and it also includes a provision for the minimum wage to "increase automatically with inflation."

Increasing the minimum wage is a priority for the Biden administration, but Democrats have been split on the best path forward.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the head of the Senate Budget Committee and a longtime proponent of raising the minimum wage, is pushing for the measure to be included in the Covid-19 relief bill and passed through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to avoid the filibuster and pass the measure without any Republican support. Some Democrats are concerned the Senate rules might not allow the minimum wage hike to be used in reconciliation.

Romney said his bill would raise the minimum wage "gradually" but did not say to what amount or over what period of time.

"Congress hasn’t raised the minimum wage in more than a decade, leaving many Americans behind. Our proposal gradually raises the minimum wage without costing jobs, setting it to increase automatically with inflation, and requires employers to verify the legal status of workers," Romney wrote in a pair of tweets about the proposed legislation.

The Democratic-controlled House Education and Labor Committee earlier this month approved a Covid-19 relief bill that includes a wage hike from $7.25 an hour to $15 over four years.
I love how Millionaire Mitt's plan is such a pittance that he can't even be bothered to reveal what he'd raise the minimum wage to, let alone give it a timeframe.  It's the Trump Health Care Plan™ all over again. Republicans never have details on their plans, only that they "will work better" than the ones out there, and then they spend years not actually implementing them.

Tom Cotton getting involved too lets me know this isn't a serious proposal at all, but it'll sure make the news. Mitt Romney may have voted to convict Trump, but he's still Mitt Romney, Republican jackass.
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