Patterico's Pontifications

2/19/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:30 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few news items to chew over. Feel free to share anything that you think would interest readers. Please include links.

First news item

AOC giving Gov. Cuomo and the NY Dems side-eye like:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is calling for a full investigation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) handling of COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes.

The New York Democrat in an emailed press release on Friday joined other officials in calling for an investigation into how Cuomo’s administration handled coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes.

“I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19,” the statement said. “Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation,” the statement read.

P.S. AOC has helped raise $2 million to help residents of Texas. You can read about her fundraiser here.

Organizations that will benefit from her efforts are: Southeast Texas Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, South Texas Food Bank, Feeding Texas, Corazon Ministries, North Texas Food Bank, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Food Bank of West Central Texas, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), and Central Texas Food Bank.

Second news item

Speaking of Gov. Cuomo, ever the politician, ever concerned about his career:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he should have been more “aggressive” in calling out reporters and politicians for “lying” about his handling of Covid-19 deaths among long-term care residents.

Cuomo, who’s been accused of covering up the true scope of the death toll among the vulnerable population, said during a news conference Friday that he didn’t combat the “misinformation” about the situation enough and it hurt New Yorkers who lost loved ones.

“I did not aggressively enough — we did not aggressively enough, take on the misinformation that caused people pain and, of course, pain for grieving families and that’s what I regret, I’m not going to make that mistake again. If you’re lying to the people of the State of New York, I’m going to call it out. If you are lying in a report, I’m going to call it out. If you’re lying in a newspaper because you have your own partisan agenda, I’m going to call it out,” the governor said.

P.S. Meanwhile, the DOJ is reportedly investigating whether Gov. Cuomo manipulated data in COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

Third news item

She began deleting more than a thousand tweets back in December because she knew they’d be used against her. And now, they have:

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Friday he will oppose Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, imperiling the prospects of a high-profile nominee of President Joe Biden.

“I have carefully reviewed Neera Tanden’s public statements and tweets that were personally directed towards my colleagues on both sides of the aisle from Senator Sanders to Senator McConnell and others,” Manchin said in a statement.

“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” he said. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Without Manchin’s vote, she will need some GOP support to secure the majority needed for confirmation, which is uncertain given her history on social media of harsh criticism of prominent conservatives. She said during her confirmation hearings that she regrets her past tweets.

Biden has said he will not withdraw her name, and that he believes the votes will be there.

Fourth news item

Sen. Mike Lee defends fellow Utahan:

Sen. Mike Lee is defending Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Although Lee disagrees with Romney’s conclusion, he does not see it as a “cause for alarm.”

“Although Senator Romney and I usually vote together — and with a majority of Senate Republicans, we voted differently,” said the statement from Lee issued through his 2022 reelection campaign. “It shows neither one of us blindly defers to anyone.”

Lee flatly disagreed with the calls to punish Romney for his vote.

“While Senator Romney and I sometimes reach different conclusions, there is enough room in the Republican tent for both of us — just as there is room enough for all Republicans in a general election, regardless of how they voted in the primary,” read Lee’s statement.

Here is where Mike Lee has positioned himself in the Republican tent:

Untitled

Fifth news item

Los Angeles Teachers Union prez digs in:

Now more than ever we are feeling the pressure to return to physical schools before we have the necessary conditions and measures in place to ensure the safety of everyone. And the *pressure is coming from all sides — from the media, the Chamber of Commerce, threats of lawsuits by city council-members, Governor Newsom, and county supervisors.

Local and state officials did not help create the right conditions to re-open schools for in-person instruction and educators are being targeted for trying to protect our students and our communities.

Sooner rather than later, there could be legislation or another lever that will set an arbitrary date to physically reopen schools — a reopen date **not set by science or in consultation with classroom practitioners. We could face a time when elected officials simply say, “Time to go back.”

On Wednesday, more than 900 UTLA Chapter Leaders voted overwhelmingly, 93% to 7%, to organize around a refusal to return for a full or hybrid physical reopening of schools until these safety conditions are met:

One, LA County is out of the purple tier
Two, All staff are either fully vaccinated or provided access to full vaccination
And three, Safety conditions are in place in our schools, such as PPE, social distancing, ventilation and a cleaning regimen

* She neglects to include the many parents clamoring to see the schools re-open
**She ignores that science has already set the necessary standards to safely re-open schools

Sixth news item

Dear Media: A sitting senator who cruzes out of the country to warmer climes while his state’s residents are mired in a deep freeze of misery and loss has got it coming to him. But his wife and children should be left alone. They weren’t elected to office. So stop following them, and publishing their photos to shame them online.

Miscellaneous

The sky has been showing off lately:

thumbnail_IMG_2207

thumbnail_IMG_2050

thumbnail_IMG_2494

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

245 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Nice pictures of the Apocalypse.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  3. RE the UTLA and LAUSD. No one seems to be officially reporting out where the impasse is. UTLA website lists the points in the article as their primary priorities and LAUSD HR doesn’t appear to have reported out to the board what the actual issue is or if they did it was in closed session with no minutes yet available. Statements to reporters seem to indicated both points 1 and 2, but from the union side the statements seem to be more state directed than district directed. Based on the district safety plan, it shouldn’t be the third point, but that plan (submitted to the state in Jan) also contains complaints toward the state re unclear guidelines. They do have an operational sideletter for 2nd semester distance learning that was signed in Dec but it’s only reference to in-person return was that an agreement on a hybrid learning plan would be negotiated at a later point.

    Nic (896fdf)

  4. Dear Media: A sitting senator who cruzes out of the country to warmer climes while his state’s residents are mired in a deep freeze of misery and loss has got it coming to him. But his wife and children should be left alone.

    Agreed. I would not at all have blamed Cruz for simply putting his family on a plane, to Cancun or wherever else. It is his own departure I find…let’s be nice and say questionable.

    Demosthenes (d7fc81)

  5. Those are nice pictures, Dana. Yours? Are you still using film?

    nk (1d9030)

  6. Cuomo lied, people died and Romney is a scumbag.

    Also, it’s always good when the officials tell us how they really feel:

    It’s really unfortunate that they want to pick on us because they want their babysitters back

    In another exchange about social media criticism the schools board has faced, Oakley Union trustee Kim Beede goes on a profanity-laced rant about an unidentified critic after asking her fellow board members, “Are we alone?”

    School board member Richie Masadas insinuates on the call that parents are frustrated with distance learning because they aren’t able to smoke marijuana as much.

    Masadas also says of the school board’s critics that “it’s easy to hide behind their screens” and “when you’re face-to-face with people, it’s a whole different ballgame.”

    Torches and pitchforks.

    “A recall would cost the district money that should be going to the kids,” the petition adds. “I am asking that the board members to resign immediately due to their egregious behavior. They should no longer represent the parents, teachers and children in this school district.”

    You’ve just got to love those CA pols. Basically, they don’t represent you and it will cost you more money to replace them with a new batch that will just call that warm liquid on your leg rain.

    frosty (f27e97)

  7. I like this Cruz Cancun cartoon. It has –‘ow you say? — innuendos.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/whistleblower-at-smith-college-resigns

    But the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias. The student, who is black, shared her account of this incident widely on social media, drawing a lot of attention to the college.

    Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating “systemic racism” on campus.

    In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus. This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist.

    Allowing this narrative to dominate has had a profound impact on the Smith community and on me personally. For example, in August 2018, just days before I was to present a library orientation program into which I had poured a tremendous amount of time and effort, and which had previously been approved by my supervisors, I was told that I could not proceed with the planned program. Because it was going to be done in rap form and “because you are white,” as my supervisor told me, that could be viewed as “cultural appropriation.” My supervisor made clear he did not object to a rap in general, nor to the idea of using music to convey orientation information to students. The problem was my skin color.

    I was up for a full-time position in the library at that time, and I was essentially informed that my candidacy for that position was dependent upon my ability, in a matter of days, to reinvent a program to which I had devoted months of time.

    Humiliated, and knowing my candidacy for the full-time position was now dead in the water, I moved into my current, lower-paying position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life.

    As it turned out, my experience in the library was just the beginning. In my new position, I was told on multiple occasions that discussing my personal thoughts and feelings about my skin color is a requirement of my job. I endured racially hostile comments, and was expected to participate in racially prejudicial behavior as a continued condition of my employment. I endured meetings in which another staff member violently banged his fist on the table, chanting “Rich, white women! Rich, white women!” in reference to Smith alumnae. I listened to my supervisor openly name preferred racial quotas for job openings in our department. I was given supplemental literature in which the world’s population was reduced to two categories — “dominant group members” and “subordinated group members” — based solely on characteristics like race.

    And on and on. If people don’t see what is happening on our campuses is spreading to the rest of society, I don’t know what to say.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  9. https://www.foxnews.com/world/poland-fights-big-tech-push-block-social-media-censorship

    Under the new legislation, any platform that bans a user would face fines of $13.5 million unless the content is also illegal under Polish law. An arbitration committee would be set up to oversee disputes.

    Tech companies had reached a point where they were deciding what was legal and what was not — but that was not their role, Kaleta says.

    “Freedom of speech is not something that anonymous moderators working for private companies should decide,” he said. “Instead, that is for the national body; duly elected officials and all industries, car, phones, finance — were unregulated till they grew too large — the same should happen with Big Tech.”

    And when the left controls what speech is allowed to be discussed, they will continue to let normal speech such as MLK’s dream be restricted while their bigoted speech will be mainstreamed.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  10. NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/20/2021 @ 7:02 am

    The Australians and Indians are also complaining about big tech. I sometimes wish I could retire to Poland. It seems like a nice country.

    frosty (f27e97)

  11. More about Darling Nikki:

    POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump snubs Haley
    SCOOP: NIKKI HALEY reached out to former President DONALD TRUMP on Wednesday to request a sit-down at Mar-a-Lago, but a source familiar tells Playbook that he turned her down. The two haven’t spoken since the insurrection on Jan. 6, when Haley blasted Trump for inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.

    The snub comes on the heels of Tim Alberta’s deep dive in POLITICO Magazine last week on Haley’s presidential ambitions and how she’s trying to have it both ways with Trump.

    Channeling George Costanza in mid-December, Haley refused to confront Trump over his election lies because he believed they were true. “I understand the president. I understand that genuinely, to his core, he believes he was wronged,” Haley told Alberta. “This is not him making it up.”

    After Jan. 6, Haley changed her tune.

    “I think he’s going to find himself further and further isolated,” Haley said of the defeated president. “I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”
    ……….
    Haley tried to recover Thursday with a damage-control op-ed in the WSJ wrapped in blame-the-media rhetoric. But Trump, apparently, isn’t having it.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  12. Cruz came back to TX and the temperature started to rise and the electricity started to flow. Thank you Ted Cruz!

    frosty (f27e97)

  13. The Australians and Indians are also complaining about big tech. I sometimes wish I could retire to Poland. It seems like a nice country.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/20/2021 @ 7:42 am

    There’s nothing stopping you. Poland it is too cold for me.

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  14. It’s pretty interesting to see conservatives NJRob and frosty cheering Poland’s decision that the government is who should decide what speech is allowed in private spaces. Because Poland has such a great track record of government free speech allowances….

    nate (1f1d55)

  15. Darling Nikki’s WSJ Op-Ed:

    The Media Tries to Divide Republicans
    ………
    (The liberal media) wants to stoke a nonstop Republican civil war. The media playbook starts with the demand that everyone pick sides about Donald Trump —either love or hate everything about him. The moment anyone on the right offers the slightest criticism of the 45th president, the media goes berserk: Republicans are trying to have it both ways! It’s a calculated strategy to pit conservatives against one another. It’s also a ridiculous false choice. Real life is never that simple. Someone can do both good and bad things.
    ……..
    If the media gets its way, the GOP will dissolve into endless warfare, ensuring extreme liberal government for years to come. Instead, Republicans need to be honest about what worked and what didn’t over the past four years.
    ……..
    Uh, no. It’s Trump and his supporters that are forcing Republicans to choose sides. Witness the various condemnations of Senators of good will who voted for impeachment. The media had nothing to do with that.

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  16. Under the new legislation, any platform that bans a user would face fines of $13.5 million unless the content is also illegal under Polish law.

    That’s not as high a hurdle as one might think. Under the current neo-Nazi government, any speech can be a crime in Poland.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. nate (1f1d55) — 2/20/2021 @ 7:52 am

    the government is who should decide what speech is allowed in private spaces

    Social media isn’t exactly a private “space”. And yes things like rule of law and due process seem marginally better than some vague process controlled by a few billionaires.

    But please tell me about the great and consistent track record of the social media companies and their heroic fight to protect free speech.

    frosty (f27e97)

  18. I sometimes wish I could retire to Poland. It seems like a nice country.

    They already have relocation centers to assist migrants: Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka ….

    nk (1d9030)

  19. nate (1f1d55) — 2/20/2021 @ 7:52 am

    conservatives … and frosty

    Why do you think I’m conservative? I’m guessing you’ve got no idea and this is just a label you think applies because you’ve heard other people say it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  20. @15-
    Also Poland has been backsliding into authoritarianism over the past several years. Its judiciary is under the control of government’s ruling party. The country is heavily subsidized by the EU, and the country’s security is also dependent on foreign assistance (EU and NATO). Poland has restricted freedom of speech by imposing criminal penalties for implying that Poles collaborated with the Nazi death camps (the did).

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  21. nk (1d9030) — 2/20/2021 @ 8:16 am

    You were doing so well but then we find out you’re stuck in WWII. You know the US has resolved its concerns with Empire of Japan and that situation has been resolved?

    frosty (f27e97)

  22. “I sometimes wish I could retire to Poland.”

    Many of us here agree

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  23. What’s happening in Australia is the Murdock family, which basically owns all the legacy media there, greasing enough palms in the government to help it muscle in on Google’s and Facebook’s action. India is just plain Nazism. Criticizing the government is a crime.

    And, yeah, everybody who admires those places should get on the next boat.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. Go to Poland, frosty!

    nk (1d9030)

  25. (Rep. Lauren) Boebert (R-Insurrectionist) mocked for Constitution tweet

    Twitter users mocked first-term Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO, Insurrectionist) on Friday over a tweet in which she argued that defending the U.S. Constitution “doesn’t mean trying to rewrite the parts you don’t like.”

    Users on Twitter were quick to point out to the gun rights advocate the many changes that have been ratified to the Constitution since it became the country’s official legal framework in 1788.
    ……
    In the more than 200 years since these first set of rights were adopted through an agreement with several states, more than a dozen constitutional amendments have been added that many Americans point to as pivotal moments in U.S. history, including the abolition of slavery, guaranteeing women the right to vote and establishing the legal voting age at 18 years old.
    …….

    Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈
    @cmclymer
    ·
    18h
    Lauren Boebert is a member of Congress and doesn’t understand that we have literally rewritten/revised the Constitution 27 times to do things like abolish slavery and, you know, extend the right to vote and run for office to women… like Lauren Boebert.

    Quote Tweet

    Lauren Boebert
    @laurenboebert
    · Feb 19
    Protecting and defending the Constitution doesn’t mean trying to rewrite the parts you don’t like.


    ……….
    Journalist Kyle Clark pointed out that Boebert has cosponsored a constitutional amendment proposed last month seeking to add term limits for members of Congress.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  26. nk (1d9030) — 2/20/2021 @ 8:28 am

    Go to Poland, frosty!

    You do know that the internet works in Poland and I’d still be able to post? It’s not like me going to Poland would be one less person irritating you.

    frosty (f27e97)

  27. Rip Murdock (259fcd) — 2/20/2021 @ 8:33 am

    The funny thing here is all of the super clever people who think they’ve really pulled a gotcha but don’t know the difference between rewritten and amended.

    You can tell some of them know because they’ve tried to shift it to revised and just hoped no one noticed.

    frosty (f27e97)

  28. (The liberal media) wants to stoke a nonstop Republican civil war. The media playbook starts with the demand that everyone pick sides about Donald Trump —either love or hate everything about him. The moment anyone on the right offers the slightest criticism of the 45th president, the media goes berserk: Republicans are trying to have it both ways! It’s a calculated strategy to pit conservatives against one another. It’s also a ridiculous false choice. Real life is never that simple. Someone can do both good and bad things.

    This really reveals the heart of Nikki Haley. She refuses to hold the Republican party, specifically the Trump wing, responsible for its own civil war. While the media (and Democrats) certainly benefit from the infighting, it is irresponsible to blame it on external forces because that only allows for the party to ignore Donald Trump and his co-opting of the GOP. It’s not a matter of loving or hating everything about him. That is to diminish the real questions every member of the party must be asked and answered, loudly and with a yes or no answer: Who won the 2020 presidential election? Was this the legitimate result of a free and fair election?'” The answer to those two questions within the Republican party will reveal the divide coming from within, and a divide that the media has nothing to do with.

    Haley is still trying to have it both ways. And she is trying to blame their own messy house on anyone but its members. It’s the whitewashing of Trump by someone still trying to get into his good graces. Because no matter what she says from here on out, she just tried to visit him at Mar A Lago, only to be rejected by him.

    Dana (fd537d)

  29. Those are nice pictures, Dana. Yours? Are you still using film?

    Thanks, nk. Nope, no film. Just digital.

    Dana (fd537d)

  30. Nice pictures of the Apocalypse.

    Haha. Thanks, Radegunda. We had a big rainstorm (thunder, lightning, the works) roll through here, and the sky was unbelievable. If you saw my camera roll, you’d think they were pics from some sort of movie. Lots of drama that made for some fun pics. Nature gone wild, indeed.

    Dana (fd537d)

  31. “The funny thing here is all of the super clever people who think they’ve really pulled a gotcha but don’t know the difference between rewritten and amended.”

    What’s the difference? Let’s use the 12th Amendment as an example.

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  32. Great pictures, Dana. I blame climate change. 😉

    Devin Nunes lost yet another suit that demanded money because people allegedly or actually said mean things about him. So far, he’s lost every case, including the ones against his “mom” and “cow” so, in his honor, this.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  33. News item: L A Times up for sale, again.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/los-angeles-times-owner-exploring-sale-of-company-11613765566

    Billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong is exploring a sale of the Los Angeles Times less than three years after buying it for $500 million, people familiar with the matter said.

    The move marks an abrupt about-face for Mr. Soon-Shiong, who had vowed to restore stability to the West Coast news institution and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the paper in an effort to turn it around.

    A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Times said Mr. Soon-Shiong and his family “continue to invest in and plan for the future of the Los Angeles Times, and do not plan to sell.” A tweet on Mr. Soon-Shiong’s account said: “WSJ article inaccurate. We are committed to the @LATimes.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. ->Biden has said he will not withdraw her name

    I remember the old days when Biden virtue signaled-
    Biden promises appointees he will fire them ‘on the spot’ if they disrespect others
    https://www.today.com/news/biden-promises-appointees-he-will-fire-them-spot-if-they-t206392

    BillPasadena (5b0401)

  35. Biden promises appointees he will fire them ‘on the spot’ if they disrespect others

    Other people, not Republicans.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. Going Freedom House, we’re still freer than Poland, but not by much. The places to go for max freedom is even colder Scandinavia.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  37. BillPasadena (5b0401) — 2/20/2021 @ 8:51 am

    Biden’s promise only applies to things he hears from the person while they are working together after he made the pledge. As long as Tanden doesn’t repeat aloud any of the prior statements in his presence during office hours the pledge doesn’t apply.

    frosty (f27e97)

  38. Gah, typos.

    Here’s an interesting Twitter on what’s like to work for both Bezos and Zuckerberg.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  39. And here’s what it was like working at Trump Hotel DC.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  40. Trump himself never returned a plate, but if he was disappointed, you can bet the complaint would travel down the ranks. Like the time the President questioned why his dining companion had a bigger steak. The restaurant already special-ordered super-sized shrimp just for him and no one else.

    This is so consistently Trump. He is obsessed with size: biggest inaugural crowd size, biggest rallies, and apparently, even his food portions had to be bigger and more substnatial than anyone else’s.

    Dana (fd537d)

  41. Great pictures, Dana. I blame climate change. 😉

    Thanks, Paul Montagu. And here I just figured it the effects of a storm…but whatever the cause, I was the happy recipient of its occurrence.

    Dana (fd537d)

  42. Frosty I’d assumed you were conservative largely from the states positions you’ve taken in the past, but if I’m mistaken I apologize. How do you self-identify?

    nate (1f1d55)

  43. Twitter users mocked first-term Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO, Insurrectionist) on Friday over a tweet in which she argued that defending the U.S. Constitution “doesn’t mean trying to rewrite the parts you don’t like.”

    Users on Twitter were quick to point out to the gun rights advocate the many changes that have been ratified to the Constitution since it became the country’s official legal framework in 1788.

    I don’t think Congresswoman Boebert is necessarily wrong, even though it’s the sworn duty of leftist scolds to find fault in everything she does. There is a difference between “re-writing” and “amending” the Constitution, and I think Rep. Boebert is alluding to it. Re-writing the Constitution is to take the Constitution as currently written and somehow read into it something that you desperately want. A good example would be people who say the “general welfare” clause somehow demands that the government provide “free” health care to the citizens, or those who say that the Second Amendment only pertains to members of a state militia. That’s what I think she’s getting at. Obviously Rep. Boebert understands the amendment process; the piece quoted acknowledges she’s sponsoring a term-limit amendment.

    But of course in our ADHD social media dominated age, the real object is to dunk on a politician you don’t like. It’s truly a mindless era.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  44. It’s pretty interesting to see conservatives NJRob and frosty cheering Poland’s decision that the government is who should decide what speech is allowed in private spaces. Because Poland has such a great track record of government free speech allowances….

    nate (1f1d55) — 2/20/2021 @ 7:52 am

    Poland suffered decades under communism. It knows first hand the insidious nature of those who will try and re-enslave them.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  45. Mike Lee, Fascist

    Dave (1bb933)

  46. https://monsterhunternation.com/2021/02/16/publishing-house-baen-books-attacked-by-cancel-culture/

    The vultures on the left are trying to get Baen books deplatformed and shut down because they won’t ban conservatives and join the cult that works in lockstep publishing only leftist thought.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  47. Brent Bozell IV, Son Of Prominent Conservative Activist, Charged In Capitol Riot
    Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III, was captured on video inside the Senate chamber during the attack on the U.S. Capitol and has been charged with three federal offenses, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday.

    Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct. The complaint features several images of him on the floor of the Senate, where he was wearing a sweatshirt featuring the name of a Christian school. Online sleuths focused in on him because of that sweatshirt and posted videos of his activity online. They also found photos of him serving as a girls’ basketball coach at another school in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
    ……..
    Bozell IV can be seen in multiple videos both inside and outside the Capitol building on Jan. 6. In one video, shot by The New Yorker, he is on the floor of the Senate with other insurrectionists. Another video on YouTube shows him exiting the Capitol while talking on his cellphone. The security camera footage presented during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial also shows Bozell among the group of insurrectionists led away from the Senate floor by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman.

    The arrest of Bozell IV, who reportedly goes by “Zeek” or “Zeeker,” comes after his father denounced the Jan. 6 invaders.
    …….
    More:
    The Rise and Fall of the L. Brent Bozells

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  48. Six Individuals Affiliated with the Oath Keepers Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Conspiracy to Obstruct Congress on Jan. 6, 2021
    ……..
    Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Florida, was arrested on Monday in Tampa, Florida; Kelly Meggs, 52, and Connie Meggs, 59, both of Dunnellon, Florida, were arrested on Wednesday in Ocala, Florida; Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville, North Carolina, was arrested on Wednesday in Greensboro, North Carolina; and Sandra Ruth Parker, 62, and Bennie Alvin Parker, 70, both of Morrow, Ohio, were arrested yesterday.

    These six individuals were added as co-defendants to a superseding indictment filed today in United States v. Thomas Caldwell, Donovan Crowl, and Jessica Watkins, 21-cr-28-APM. The superseding indictment alleges that Kelly and Connie Meggs, Young, Steele, and Sandra Parker donned paramilitary gear and joined with Watkins and Crowl in a military-style “stack” formation that marched up the center steps on the east side of the U.S. Capitol, breached the door at the top, and then stormed the building. The indictment charges all nine defendants with:

    One count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 371, that is, to corruptly obstruct, influence, or impede an official proceeding, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1512( c )(2);

    One count of depredation against federal government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361; and

    Unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, or violent conduct in restricted buildings or grounds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a). The indictment also charges Bennie Parker and Caldwell with obstructing the investigation in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512( c )(1).

    According to the superseding indictment, Kelly Meggs is the self-described leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, of which Connie Meggs, Young, and Steele also are alleged to be members. In late December, the indictment alleges, Kelly Meggs wrote in a Facebook message, “Trump said It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! It’s gonna be wild!!!!!!! He wants us to make it WILD that’s what he’s saying. He called us all to the Capitol and wants us to make it wild!!! Sir Yes Sir!!! Gentlemen we are heading to DC pack your s***!!” He went on to state, “[W]e will have at least 50-100 OK there.” According to the indictment, around the same time, Young allegedly arranged, for himself and others, training by a Florida company that provides firearms and combat training.
    …….
    The superseding indictment adds charges that, in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Caldwell and Young tampered with documents or proceedings by unsending and deleting Facebook content.
    ……

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  49. “Who won the 2020 presidential election? Was this the legitimate result of a free and fair election?”

    This is a pretty low threshold. But, what does it accomplish? Yes, a whole lot of Republicans were conned into believing that there was massive voter fraud. This is sad….and a terrible indictment of how we as a society process information….and it’s awful that the President was the one fluffing that false narrative. He should have been resoundly convicted. But the Party needs to decide what it wants to do substantively next. A permanently fractured GOP simply means that the Democrats will drive the agenda for the foreseeable future…and we see more bad policy.

    Personally, I just want us to stop talking about Trump. We had the choice to do something at impeachment and we didn’t. So be it. Now we need to see and hear from statesmen with some alternative visions for the GOP. Will the GOP remain driven by Talk Radio and Fox News…or could some new dynamic emerge. Certainly Haley wants it both ways finding a familiar common nemesis. I get that this seems like leaving the elephant right there in the room. Could it be too soon to challenge the current state of things? No one wants a party of conspiracy theories and irrational fear/anger. We do need people of courage…the question is when is the smart moment for them to act…and how should they do it? I’d be curious what other readers here think is the best path forward for the GOP…..

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  50. GOP’s Thune says Trump allies engaging in ‘cancel culture’
    …….
    In his first interview since he voted to acquit Trump, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican on Thursday defended fellow Republicans who sided with Democrats on the “vote of conscience” and warned against shutting out dissenting voices in the party.

    “There was a strong case made,” Thune said of the Democrats’ impeachment presentation. “People could come to different conclusions. If we’re going to criticize the media and the left for cancel culture, we can’t be doing that ourselves.”
    …….
    Thune suggested he would be taking steps to assist candidates “who don’t go off and talk about conspiracies and that sort of thing.” He praised Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, who was censured by the Wyoming GOP for voting to impeach Trump, for doing an “exceptional job on most issues” and said he was ready to jump into primary battles like the one she is sure to face.

    “At the grassroots level, there’s a lot of people who want to see Trump-like candidates,” he said. “But I think we’re going to be looking for candidates that are electable.”
    ……
    Thune himself was hit by Trump last year after he said efforts by some GOP members in the U.S. House to reject Electoral College results would “go down like a shot dog” in the Senate. Trump called Thune a “RINO,” meaning Republican In Name Only, and “Mitch’s boy,” in reference to McConnell. The attacks inspired some Trump loyalists in South Dakota to huddle for a primary challenge to the state’s senior senator, whose candidacy has gone unchallenged in previous elections.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  51. https://nypost.com/2021/02/20/nyc-shutting-central-parks-wollman-and-lasker-rinks-to-ice-out-trump/

    Communist DeBlasio making the proles suffer because Trump.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  52. As Israel Reopens, ‘Whoever Does Not Get Vaccinated Will Be Left Behind’
    ……..
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted this week to open shopping malls and museums to the public, subject to social distancing rules and mandatory masking. For the first time in many months, gyms, cultural and sports events, hotels and swimming pools will also reopen, but only for some.

    Under a new “Green Badge” system that functions as both a carrot and a stick, the government is making leisure activities accessible only to people who are fully vaccinated or recovered starting Sunday. Two weeks later, restaurants, event halls and conferences will be allowed to operate under those rules. Customers and attendees will have to carry a certificate of vaccination with a QR code.
    ……….
    “Getting vaccinated is a moral duty. It is part of our mutual responsibility,” said the health minister, Yuli Edelstein. He also has a new mantra: “Whoever does not get vaccinated will be left behind.”
    ……….
    Four million Israelis — nearly half the population of nine million — have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and more than 2.6 million have gotten a second dose. But about two million eligible citizens aged 16 or over have not sought vaccines. The average number of new daily infections is hovering around 4,000.
    ………
    Mr. Edelstein, the health minister, said on Thursday that vaccination would not be compulsory in Israel. But his ministry is proposing legislation that would oblige unvaccinated employees whose work involves contact with the public to be tested for the virus every two days. And he is promoting a bill that would allow the ministry to identify unvaccinated people to the local authorities.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  53. ‘I wouldn’t be complaining.’ Gov. DeSantis threatens to pull coronavirus vaccine from communities that criticize distribution
    Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his decision Wednesday to steer COVID-19 vaccine to a planned community with family ties to a Republican power couple, threatening to pull doses if local officials criticize his distribution methods.

    DeSantis is facing questions over his decision to provide seniors living in two of Manatee County’s wealthiest ZIP codes with special access to the vaccine.
    …….
    DeSantis brushed aside concerns of political favoritism during a news conference Wednesday and then issued a warning to local officials complaining about his plan.

    “If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this, we are totally fine with putting this in counties that want it,” DeSantis said.
    ……..
    Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia told the Bradenton Herald she didn’t understand why those neighborhoods were being prioritized.

    “For the life of me, I can’t understand why we would vaccinate the most affluent neighborhoods in the county ahead of everyone else, especially the underserved neighborhoods and large number of manufactured home parks in our community,” Servia wrote in a text message to the Bradenton Herald.
    …….
    Lakewood Ranch’s parent company, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, is owned by the Uihlein family. While a precise breakdown of family ownership is unclear, family members Liz and Dick Uihlein of Illinois are some of the biggest Republican donors in the country, giving $26 million nationally to more than 60 congressional candidates.

    Dick Uihlein also contributed $900,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee in 2018 and 2019, according to its filings.

    Liz Uihlein was also one of the biggest critics of anti-COVID-19 lockdowns, calling the pandemic “overhyped” in April. Dick Uihlein is a descendant of a founder of the Schlitz Brewing Co.
    …….
    The Uihleins issued a statement on Thursday. “Our immediate family, including our children, have no ties to either Lakewood Ranch or Schroeder-Manatee Ranch,” Liz and Dick Uihlein said.
    ………
    DeSantis also faced criticism in Palm Beach County for routing vaccine distribution primarily through Publix pharmacies, leaving poor and rural areas uncovered. DeSantis responded by setting up a vaccination site in Pahokee, an underserved community in the Glades.

    He said Wednesday that local officials should be grateful for extra doses they receive for special vaccination sites.
    “I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t be complaining,” he said. “I’d be thankful that we are able to do it.”
    >>>>>>>>
    Because he can .

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  54. Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct.

    These are pretty run-of-the-mill charges. I note that he is not being charged with assault on a peace officer or vandalism or anything more serious. I am ordinarily fine with prosecuting him along with anyone else who stormed the Capitol building, but given the fact that DAs across the country dropped rioting and vandalism charges against BLM protesters this past summer it might look kind of politically charged if non-violent Capitol rioters have the book thrown at them. But I suppose that will be for the Biden Administration to figure out. I’m going to bet that in this case Kamala Harris reverts to being the “tough prosecutor” she touted herself as being from 2010-19, before Democrat Party politics demanded that she downplay that part of her record.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  55. JVW @55-
    For me the interest is who the person is rather than the charges. Apparently Zeeker is the end of the Bozell line of conservative “intellectuals” and activists. See the second link in my post. His father, grandfather and great uncle are founding members.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  56. Yeah, I know about the Bozell family. After seeing generations of Kennedys, Roosevelts, Tafts, even Bushes, I am never too surprised when we inevitably get to the generation of complete numbskulls.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  57. Great news:

    Some Covid-19 Vaccines Are Effective After One Dose, Can Be Stored in Normal Freezers, Data Show
    Efforts to vaccinate the world’s population against Covid-19 got a boost Friday after research showed that some vaccines provide strong, one-dose protection, and that one of the vaccines can now be stored in normal freezers instead of ultra-cold ones.
    …….
    Pfizer and BioNTech said they have asked U.S. regulators to allow their vaccine to be stored and transported at temperatures consistent with standard freezing, around minus 20 Celsius, following successful internal stability testing. Similar filings were being prepared in other countries.
    ………
    In research published Friday in the Lancet medical journal, one dose of Pfizer’s vaccine was shown to be 85% effective in preventing symptomatic disease 15 to 28 days after being given, according to a peer-reviewed observational study of about 9,000 people conducted by the Israeli government-owned Sheba Medical Center.

    The Israeli findings came from real-world data about the effect of the vaccine gathered outside of clinical trials in one of the leading nations in immunization against the coronavirus pandemic. Israel has given the first shot to nearly half of its 9.3 million citizens.

    The authors noted, however, that the findings don’t justify changing dose schedules, and that more follow-up to assess long-term effectiveness of a single dose is needed before deciding to delay second doses.
    ……..
    Also Friday, in the Lancet, the vaccine co-developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was shown to be 81% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 when doses were spaced 12 weeks apart, compared with 55% spaced six weeks or less, according to results of a peer-reviewed study. Researchers also reported two doses of the vaccine were shown to potentially reduce cases by 50%—a number that scientists said is lower because it included people with and without symptoms. The vaccine’s effect on curbing asymptomatic cases is lower, they said.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  58. @57-
    And Trumps.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  59. Dana!!!!! Beautiful pix!! You have a good eye for composition. As an ol’darkroom man w/an ancient, 35mm Minolta in hand- there’s much to be said for the use of b/w imagery, often lost in the digital age of photo manipulation. Suggest you posting a few contrasting images from Perseverance perched on Mars. America’s latest Mars rover is literally festooned w/cameras, still and video– microphones– and a helicopter. Something positive an uplifting in sour times.

    _______

    OT- a pause for history: 59 years ago today– recall it as if it were last month:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ubC5lo4fiM

    “I don’t know any words for this except the trite ones; tension is mounting here at Cape Canaveral…”- Walter Cronkite, CBS News Correspondent, February 20, 1962

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  60. nate (1f1d55) — 2/20/2021 @ 9:37 am

    How do you self-identify?

    I don’t. I’m not a fan of we. Picking a team is just a way to take shortcuts. If you’re an X everything becomes “what is the X view on this”, i.e. how do I conform my thought to my team. I can listen to Tucker and agree on some things and not others. Same for someone like Jimmy Dore, Eric July, Rubin, or others on the left, right, whatever.

    largely from the states positions you’ve taken in the past

    Maybe. I spend more time criticizing a lot of weak arguments made here than arguing for something. Some of that is because the things I’m for haven’t been common topics lately. That isn’t the same as being on the other side of the argument. Sometimes yes but not always and I understand the accusation. I can think it was stupid for Cruz to leave TX and also think some of the criticism is unfounded or that the reasoning is flawed. I’m pro-2a so that’s traditionally conservative. I’m anti-abortion so that fits. I’ve been pretty outspoken about free speech. Is that conservative? I think there are a lot of corrupt politicians on both side. Is that? I’d be in favor of breaking the US into 50 small countries and letting the states enter into new arraignments. I don’t think that’s very conservative. I’m anti-war and I’m not big on “back the blue”, waving the flag, or bible thumping and I don’t think that’s conservative.

    frosty (f27e97)

  61. What’s it take for the New York Times to grudgingly acknowledge that Chavista-Maduroian socialism has wrecked Venezuela? Food lines? Rigged elections? Government-affiliated gangs beating up the opposition? Inflation of 10,000%? Emigration by anyone who works in the private sector? Hungry people resorting to eating zoo animals?

    Nah. It takes this: Venezuelan Women Lose Access to Contraception, and Control of Their Lives.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  62. What’s the harm in flying to Miami to buy a new car and then driving it back across the country? Plenty.

    I flew back to Miami one week ago to fulfill a desire I’ve had for quite some time–a brand new Mustang. There was some urgency because the 2021 Mustangs have driver “assistance” as a standard feature. I don’t like nanny government, and I don’t like nanny cars. Therefore, the game was on.

    Before last Saturday, I spent countless hours scouring the country for a 2020 Mustang in the color and with the features I wanted, and none of the features I didn’t want. The nearest match I could find was in Miami. The car had bigger wheels (20″) than I wanted, but I figured that I could swap them out later if I wanted. Otherwise, it was perfect.

    So, after some e-mail negotiation (the best way to dicker), I pulled the trigger on the deal and bought a one-way ticket to Miami. The weather in Miami was delightful. Last Sunday the temperature was in the low 80s. The weather in Gainesville, which was my first overnight stay on the trip home, was also agreeable. On Monday I got as far as Port Allen, Louisiana. The weather was turning cold, but no big deal. Tuesday morning there was a lot of ice in the parking lot of the hotel, which I found odd because there were palm trees at the edge of the lot.

    I had originally planned to stop in Dallas to see my sister. When I checked the weather I saw that wouldn’t be advisable. Surely I could traverse Texas by sticking to I-10, right? Wrong. Between Port Allen and San Antonio the roads were HORRIBLE. I grew up in Utah, and have driven in plenty of snow. Icy roads are ten times worse. It was the most harrowing drive of my life. Mustangs are rear-wheel-drive only. Moreover, my new car is a V8 GT with 460 horsepower. I had to be very careful with the gas pedal. I came very close to sliding into other vehicles and/or the walls at the side of the road.

    Nearing San Antonio, I just couldn’t take it any more. Even with the most careful driving, I could feel my back wheels starting to slip and slide. I stopped at a Best Western in Converse. The parking lot had even more ice than the one in Louisiana. I had to walk gingerly to the office. An Indian-looking woman was behind the counter. She said she could give me a room, but that the hotel had no running water. I was all too happy to take the deal, because it seemed that a lot of businesses didn’t have power, but this hotel did. While I was checking in, she was fielding calls left and right from people looking for a room. She turned them all down without even mentioning the water issue. I was feeling quite lucky.

    The next day the treacherous roads were again the main feature. I-10 was closed in places, either because of road work or the weather. I saw where one access point had cones to block entry, but it appeared that one of the cones had been moved to allow vehicles to squeeze in. I decided to roll the dice and get on the freeway. I had it all to myself for a while. Then I noticed a handful of other cars on the road along with me. I passed one off-ramp that had a cop car blocking access. I saw that the off-ramp was full of ice and snow. The cop didn’t seem to mind that I and others were on I-10.

    About an hour west of San Antonio the roads started to get better. I wasn’t about to chance anything, so I resolved to keep my gas tank above half-full at all times. I stopped in a little town called Sonora to get gas. There were a few gas stations still dispensing gas, although it seemed that they were starting to shut down along with all the other businesses. People were lined up to get gas. After no success at one station, I went across the street and found an open pump. Thank God!

    After I filled up, I realized that I needed to hit a bathroom very badly, and it wasn’t just to take a leak, either. There were no bathrooms to be found! Most businesses were closed. The gas stations either had their store section closed, or, if the store was open, the bathrooms were closed (probably due to lack of water). I drove around frantically. I can’t remember the last time I did #2 outside. Maybe 30 plus years ago on a camping trip, out where there was no chance somebody would see me. This situation was more dire than the road conditions and gasoline shortage!

    Finally, I spotted an RV park. There was a standing building that I figured to be the office. Maybe there was a bathroom in there. There were two doors with windows that faced the road. I looked inside the first door. It was dark. And locked too, I believe. I saw a light through the window of the second door, and the door wasn’t locked! It was the laundry room. It was warm, and the washing machine or dryer was running. There was even a nice flat screen on the wall with a show on! Nobody was around.

    But, best of all, there was a bathroom off the laundry room. I checked the toilet. Water. (Not that that would have stopped me.) Checked the faucet. Running water. There was toilet paper. What a feeling of relief. It was only lessened by the fact that there was no soap to be found anywhere in the bathroom. I saw a box of laundry detergent on top of one of the machines. Surely I could be excused for just getting a pinch of the powder with which to wash my hands? Well, it wasn’t to be. It was a box full of those Tide pods or whatever. That was a bridge too far for me. That was stealing. So, I washed my hands the best I could with just the water. I started thinking about humans thousands of years ago. They didn’t have soap then, did they? And yet, they managed to live and reproduce, and here we all are.

    I hit the road. As I neared El Paso, the skies cleared up and the roads were dry. I got to El Paso before dark, and was amazed how beautiful and comfortable it looked. There were palm trees, but they were not juxtaposed with ice!

    From then on, the trip was a breeze. My brand new car was filthy, and I knew that no car wash would do it justice. I’d have to go to town on it after I got home.

    I feel lucky to have gotten through it all with my life, car, and sanity intact.

    norcal (49c97c)

  63. Sounds like quite the adventure (and not in a good way). Glad you made it home safely.

    Nic (896fdf)

  64. Oh, it was an adventure all right. :) If I knew then what I know now I would have gladly paid to have the car shipped to Reno. Who would have thought that the southernmost interstate to cross the country would be a nightmare?

    norcal (49c97c)

  65. Josh Hawley dipped into campaign funds to help bankroll family trip to Universal Studios
    ………
    Federal Election Commission filings show that (Sen. Josh) Hawley’s (R-Insurrectionist) campaign footed the bill in seven separate charges paid to Voodoo Doughnut, Seuss Popcorn, Lard Lad, Lagoon Popcorn, Hopping Pot, Bumblebee Taco, and Margaritaville during a personal vacation last March. The New York Post reports that the event was organized in conjunction with fellow Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s Rely on Your Belief PAC, which spent $4,680.65 on admission to the theme park.

    Because politicians are strictly prohibited from using campaign money for personal expenditures, Hawley’s splurge sounded alarms amongst campaign finance experts. “It appears to not be a legal use of campaign funds,” said Ann Ravel, the former F.E.C. chairwoman under Obama. Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, echoed her, arguing that Hawley’s charges “warrant some scrutiny.”

    Hawley’s office defended the expenses and told the Post, “This was a trip for the respective Leadership PACs of Senators Hawley and Blunt. The event is designed specifically for families to attend. Guests are encouraged to bring their children and Sen. Blunt has been hosting it for a number of years.” His office maintained that “the expenses were reimbursed on Jan. 30,” ten months after they were made.
    ……..
    Nowhere in Hawley’s defense does he say the expenses were legal, and his reimbursement is a tacit admission they were not.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  66. Norcal,

    Since you made it out intact that sounds like a fun trip. I’ve made a few of those in my lifetime though I think the furthest I did was either NJ to Miami or to Texas. I’ve driven through blizzards, blinding downpours, near tornado weather, etc. It’s harrowing when you’re living through it, but becomes a good memory when looking back upon it. But driving in a rear wheel drive beast, that makes it even wilder.

    Enjoy the car.

    NJRob (9e8b7b)

  67. Feds now say right-wing extremists responsible for majority of deadly terrorist attacks last year
    The U.S. government is acknowledging for the first time that right-wing extremists were responsible for the majority of fatal domestic terrorist attacks last year, according to an internal report circulated by the Department of Homeland Security last week and obtained by Yahoo News.

    A review of last year’s domestic terrorist incidents by a DHS fusion center — which shares threat-related information between federal, state and local partners — found that although civil unrest and antigovernment violence were associated with “non-affiliated, right-wing and left-wing actors, right-wing [domestic violent extremists] were responsible for the majority of fatal attacks in the Homeland in 2020.”
    ……..
    The findings about right-wing extremism are “consistent with every single assessment of data I’ve seen, not just in 2020 but in 2019,” (Seth Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies) said after reviewing the fusion center report.

    In October of last year, CSIS published its own analysis of domestic terrorist activity in the U.S. for the first eight months of 2020. Its data showed that white supremacists and other right-wing extremists conducted two-thirds of the terrorist plots and attacks in the nation during that period.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  68. NJRob,

    Thank you. I’m enjoying the car very much. I had a 2007 Mustang GT for a while, and this one is light years ahead of that one. Just the sound of it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. :)

    norcal (49c97c)

  69. What a great story, norcal. Glad you made it and probably are well bonded to your Mustang. I’ve always wanted a GT but never got around to it. My pickup was fun enough on the roads with half the power.

    The cop didn’t seem to mind that I and others were on I-10.

    If he noticed you he knew better than to get in a fleet accident trying to catch up with you, only to have the most miserable time pulling you over. I can’t blame him.

    Awesome story.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  70. #34 Billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong
    He is a big in NantKwest stock symbol NK

    I told everyone and specifically nk to buy his namesake stock NK at $6. As of Friday close it is at $39

    steveg (43b7a5)

  71. On UTLA and LAUSD

    Look if your kid goes into one of their schools in LAUSD, they have a good chance of finishing in the bottom 10% statewide.
    If your child stays home, they may finish in the bottom 10%.
    So why should the teacher risk even a hangnail by going into the classroom? They are not planning on educating your kids

    steveg (43b7a5)

  72. What a trip, norcal. Glad you made it safely to your destination. I firmly believe there is nothing worse than driving on icy roads. Totally unnerving when you feel that slide starting to happen.

    Dana (fd537d)

  73. Great story, norcal, though I’m sure it wasn’t as fun living through it as it was reading your recounting of it. Glad you made it through, and sorry that you picked the craziest moment possible for your cross-country sojurn.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  74. We just hit $4 million!

    Reps. Sylvia Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee & Al Green of Houston are doing incredible work w/ local relief organizations to get emergency relief to Texans.

    Today we went to food distributions, water delivery sites, and home tours of impacted Texans.

    https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1363260562822471681

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  75. Frosty, thanks for the clarification.

    nate (1f1d55)

  76. Makes me wonder if the elderly Asian beatings aren’t the last gasps of Democrat goomba-ism: https://www.businessinsider.com/ron-kim-interview-cuomo-must-answer-covid-nursing-home-deaths-2021-2

    urbanleftbehind (78d09a)

  77. I think the most harrowing part of norcal’s story is that he did it all with a Ford.

    nk (1d9030)

  78. Trump Schedules Address Before CPAC Next Sunday
    ……….
    A senior aide to Mr. Trump confirmed that he would attend the Conservative Public Action Conference, which is being held in Orlando, Fla., this year, and that he planned to talk about the future of the Republican Party as well as President Biden’s immigration policies, which have been aimed at undoing Mr. Trump’s.

    What Mr. Trump plans to talk about and what he ultimately says once he’s onstage often diverge, as he discards scripts that aides prepare for him.
    ……….
    ……… CPAC is traditionally a cattle call for Republican candidates for office as well as aspiring figures in the party. And Mr. Trump has signaled to several allies and advisers in recent days that he is focused on running for president again in 2024.

    Whether he actually does is an open question. But his presence could freeze the field for the next two years, preventing other candidates from developing operations and, more important, networks of donors to sustain their candidacies.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  79. Trump Emerges From Impeachment Trial With Sturdy Backing From GOP Voters
    Former President Donald Trump has emerged from his second impeachment trial relatively unscathed with Republican voters in yet another sign of his continued strength with the party’s base.

    According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted at the conclusion of the Senate’s weeklong trial, a majority of Republican voters (54 percent) said they would support Trump in a hypothetical 2024 presidential primary election – matching the share who said the same in late November, before his standing dipped in a survey conducted shortly after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
    ………
    Compared with another survey conducted immediately after the Jan. 6 events, the share of GOP voters who said Trump should play a “major role” in the Republican Party has increased 18 percentage points, to 59 percent, continuing an upward trend that started before the Senate trial began. By comparison, just 17 percent said he should play no role at all, at odds with the expectations of some Republican officials, such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), that the trial would spell the end for Trump.
    ………
    Compared with the Jan. 6-7 survey, the share of Republicans who said Trump is very or somewhat responsible for the events fell 14 points, to 27 percent. Over the same time period, the share of GOP voters who blamed President Joe Biden for the riot increased 4 points (to 46 percent) while the share who blamed congressional Democrats increased 10 points (to 58 percent).

    Republicans’ views on responsibility for the Capitol insurrection stand in sharp contrast to the broader electorate: 64 percent of voters overall said Trump is at least partly responsible — as the House impeachment managers argued, pointing to his inflammatory and false rhetoric alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The number is virtually unchanged from the initial post-riot survey.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  80. My 97 Mustang gave me 19 years almost flawless service.

    Enjoy, norcal!

    Dave (1bb933)

  81. **She ignores that science has already set the necessary standards to safely re-open schools

    Under pressure from the White House, the CDC modified what it said.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/12/cdc-expected-to-unveil-new-school-reopening-guidance-as-biden-pledges-to-get-kids-back-to-class.html

    https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/969351662/cdcs-new-guidance-for-reopening-schools-may-not-be-effective

    …The CDC says schools can reopen when they have proper mitigation measures, of course, and when the level of community spread of COVID goes way down.

    Dr. Joseph Allen argues those guidelines are wrong,,,

    …JOSEPH ALLEN: On its surface, it sounds great. Who wouldn’t want a good metric of community spread that predicted in-school transmission? The reality is these community spread metrics don’t predict that. Right? We’ve seen examples where schools have stayed open and have been effectively open with very little in-school transmission, even in communities with high community spread. In fact, CDC’s own report has shown that. We’ve also seen the opposite. We’ve seen low community spread, poor controls in school and cases.

    So the community spread metric idea sounds great, but the reality is it doesn’t really tell us what’s happening in schools. Ninety percent of the schools right now in the U.S. are in what CDC deems the red zone, even schools that have been open with no cases or very little to no transmission in the schools. So essentially, reliance on community spread metrics means schools will stay closed, or they won’t get back to full in-person learning any time soon.

    INSKEEP: It sounds like you’re telling me that some schools, if they strictly followed these guidelines, would actually close, schools that are open now.

    ALLEN: That’s right. And that’s the problem…

    https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/npr/969467560/if-schools-follow-cdc-guidance-biden-s-reopening-goals-could-be-hard-to-reach

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  82. 47.

    The vultures on the left are trying to get Baen books deplatformed and shut down because they won’t ban conservatives and join the cult that works in lockstep publishing only leftist thought.

    They’re a little bit more insidious. They pick and choose their targets. They may be trying to get to the point where they would not allow conservatives, but they always have something to object to that many people won’t like. It’s gradual.

    Now the real reason they picked on this forum may not be what they claim to object to, but something else, just like for instance the things they used as an argument to get Rush Limbaugh knocked off the air were nit what they were really trying to stop.

    It’w well organized. This is how it was described:

    Yesterday some nobody, wannabe writer, social justice twit released a hit piece “expose” about how posters on Baen’s Bar were fomenting insurrection or some such nonsense…. However, this was clearly part of a coordinated attack in order to materially harm our business, because immediately after the hit piece was released complaints were filed with the various internet companies Baen uses for services to pressure them into kicking us off the internet. This hit piece was presented as “evidence”. Without going into details the companies then contacted Baen about these “serious allegations” so last night Baen temporarily took down the Bar forum to protect the rest of the company from being deplatformed.

    Any rules will be exploited, first on targets that many people will not approve of.

    It starts with Donald Trump or medical advice, but it doesn’t end there.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  83. A brief summmary of what happened with Cuomo and nursing homes:

    More than 12,000 people died as a result of becoming infected in nursing homes in New York State, but Cuomo released figures to make it seem more like a little over 5,000. He did not cause those deaths – he only caused something like several hundred to a little over a thousand. Most of the extra deaths were outside New York City and its suburbs, because the epidemic started there and there were other ways of the coronavirus getting into nursing homes. Far more deaths were caused by the official medical establishment suppressing or discouraging possible treatments or delaying their authorization. .

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  84. An op-ed article in te Wall Street Journal says we may reach herd immunity by the beginning of April.

    Two separate calculations the author makes lead to an estimate of 55% to 66% of the population of the United States having already gotten and recovered from Covid. In addition 15% of the population has ben vaccinated (adding only half leads to 63% to 75%. The number of cases is declining.

    (although some headlines attempt to make it look like it is not – that’s not in the Op ed piece/)

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  85. Thanks to everyone who responded to my story.

    I spent over two hours cleaning up the car today, including the underside. I was worried about salt, since I saw one truck spraying I-10 with a liquid solution which I can only imagine was salt. Now the car looks fabulous. It’s the most beautiful shade of blue I’ve ever seen.

    norcal (01e272)

  86. I think the most harrowing part of norcal’s story is that he did it all with a Ford.

    Very funny, nk!

    This is the third Ford I’ve owned, and they’ve gotten better each time. The first one was a pale yellow 1969 Fairlane 500 Fastback. After my two-year Mormon mission, my dad was so happy with me that he offered to buy me a new or fairly new car. I said, “That’s okay, Dad. I’ll just take your old car [the Fairlane].” I was such an idiot. My mom said that his money would just go to his new girlfriend. I’m afraid she was right.

    The second was a 2007 Mustang GT. Nice car, but it wasn’t very comfortable. Mustangs back then didn’t have telescopic steering wheels, which I need because I’m tall. Also, it had a hard edged center console that intruded on my legs.

    My new car is the third. This one is comfortable. I should know, because I just drove through hell.

    norcal (01e272)

  87. Just being nostalgic for a time when there was brand rivalry and brand rivalry jokes, norcal. Mazel tov to the new car, and enjoy it in good health!

    nk (1d9030)

  88. Nice pictures of the Apocalypse.
    Haha. Thanks, Radegunda.

    Dana, the Apocalypse was on my mind because I had just been looking at pictures of the Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers.

    My efforts to take photos of dramatic skies have always been disappointing. Maybe I should try B&W, or one of the arty effects that my camera sometimes gets switched to when I want to take normal pictures and I don’t realize it until I’ve moved on. But usually the colors of the sky are a big part of what catches my attention.

    One of my favorite photos is a black-and-white detail of an outdoor wooden stairway, taken from the side, on a sunny day, by a friend who had once worked as a professional photographer. The complex geometry of light and shadow is fascinating. It illustrates his doctrine that the key to good photography is having a good eye; everything else is secondary. It was shot with film, and it seems to be taking on a purple tinge.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  89. Carroll Shelby was a car genius.

    mg (8cbc69)

  90. but Cuomo released figures to make it seem more like a little over 5,000.

    That is not an honest characterization of what happened, Sammy.

    Dave (1bb933)

  91. More accurate would be:

    “… but the statistics collected by the state from the beginning of the pandemic tabulated where a victim died, not where they were infected, and the website where the information was published explicitly noted that.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  92. His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.

    The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system.

    Under some of the plans, when demand increases, prices rise. The goal, architects of the system say, is to balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity.

    But when last week’s crisis hit and power systems faltered, the state’s Public Utilities Commission ordered that the price cap be raised to its maximum limit of $9 per kilowatt-hour, easily pushing many customers’ daily electric costs above $100. And in some cases, like Mr. Willoughby’s, bills rose by more than 50 times the normal cost.

    Many of the people who have reported extremely high charges, including Mr. Willoughby, are customers of Griddy, a small company in Houston that provides electricity at wholesale prices, which can quickly change based on supply and demand.

    The company passes the wholesale price directly to customers, charging an additional $9.99 monthly fee. Much of the time, the rate is considered affordable. But the model can be risky: Last week, foreseeing a huge jump in wholesale prices, the company encouraged all of its customers — about 29,000 people — to switch to another provider when the storm arrived. But many were unable to do so.

    Is not to worry, comrades. Benevolent socialist government of state is intervene to subsidize those who profit from market system when price low!

    Dave (1bb933)

  93. Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 6:06 am

    That is not an honest characterization of what happened, Sammy.

    Cuomo lied, people died, then he lied some more to try to cover it up. He needs to be removed at a minimum and criminal charges aren’t unreasonable.

    frosty (f27e97)

  94. Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 6:54 am

    “It’s a utility — it’s something that you need to live,” Mr. Upshaw, 33, said. “I don’t feel like I’ve used $6,700 of electricity in the last decade. That’s not a cost that any reasonable person would have to pay for five days of intermittent electric service being used at the bare minimum.”

    I’m guessing a lot of people didn’t have power and they lived. Not trying to minimize the danger but this sounds like the beginning of a natural right to someone else’s property argument.

    He could presumably have turned off his mains at the breaker box and not used the power? Then he wouldn’t have gotten charged correct? Did he not know his costs were going up? I’m guessing he couldn’t check? Does he think his life is worth less than $6,700?

    I guess the other question for these middlemen who just pass on the wholesale price; should they have just cutoff the customers before the price spiked? If the middlemen are passing on the wholesale price they aren’t gouging. It also sounds like the wholesalers weren’t gouging if supply collapsed. Maybe they should have cutoff customers who’s bill was some factor of a 12 month average?

    I’m sympathetic to people stuck with these bills but it’s not like economics isn’t a thing. I’d suggest a class action suit, or maybe individual suits, to recover some of that. I’m guessing all of the people complaining about the unregulated free market that doesn’t actually exist are going to want the state government to do something that would leave the individuals in worse shape and want more federal dollars shoveled in because reasons.

    frosty (f27e97)

  95. Cuomo lied, people died, then he lied some more to try to cover it up.

    Trump won the election, too, in a landslide.

    He needs to be removed at a minimum and criminal charges aren’t unreasonable.

    Mike Pence is a traitor!

    Dave (1bb933)

  96. He could presumably have turned off his mains at the breaker box and not used the power? Then he wouldn’t have gotten charged correct? Did he not know his costs were going up? I’m guessing he couldn’t check? Does he think his life is worth less than $6,700?

    This is absurd. Any market mechanism should have daily movement limits, and most do. The failure here is not on the subscriber’s part, but on the marketplace and on the legislators who allowed such a marketplace to operate. I suspect that arrangement is not equitable either, with no penalty assessed for the provider’s inability to provide power at whatever rate.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. @98: Yes, he’s being hypocritical. But backing Cuomo and trashing Trump is equally so. Trump’s offense may have been different in kind, but many died due to Cuomo’s actions. I say we should sent them both to Elba.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  98. Look if your kid goes into one of their schools in LAUSD, they have a good chance of finishing in the bottom 10% statewide.

    Being part of a underperforming group does not make one underperforming. Poor use of statistics here.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  99. “Getting vaccinated is a moral duty. It is part of our mutual responsibility,” said the health minister, Yuli Edelstein. He also has a new mantra: “Whoever does not get vaccinated will be left behind.”

    Right now telling people to “get vaccinated” is like telling the homeless to “get a house.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  100. There are only four nuclear reactors in TX, but three of them worked just fine. The fourth shut down because of a frozen pipe due to poor winterizing. More nuclear!

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  101. Right now telling people to “get vaccinated” is like telling the homeless to “get a house.”

    It’s much easier to get vaccinated In Israel than here because of their far more efficient government program. Here, not so much. In order to speed vaccinations in the US, businesses (not the government) should develop something similar to the Green Badge system. It’s the only way to jump start large scale public events and venues (concerts, malls, air travel, etc.)

    No proof of vaccination, no entry.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  102. Incitement Case Against Trump for Capitol Riot Would Present Challenges
    ………
    Tom Firestone, a lawyer with Baker & McKenzie LLP and former assistant U.S. attorney in New York, said prosecutors would have to consider several factors, including whether Mr. Trump was engaged in constitutionally protected political speech or instead crossed a line that prompted supporters to commit violence. “If you look at his speech, there’s evidence that both sides could use,” Mr. Firestone said.

    Other important considerations would include Mr. Trump’s intent, what he knew about his supporters’ intentions, and whether the attack on the Capitol was reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances. “I think all of these factors would make it a difficult prosecution, though not an impossible one,” Mr. Firestone said.
    ……….
    Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, last month said the Justice Department was looking “at all actors” connected to the riot. Another department official said a day later that the government didn’t expect to bring cases against people for making speeches at the rally on the Ellipse near the White House that preceded the Capitol attack.
    ……….
    Legal observers said a criminal case would be trickier, in part because it comes with a higher burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Benjamin Glassman, a former U.S. attorney in Ohio, said any incitement case would need to do more than just focus on a single speech. “You can’t just look at what’s in the public record,” he said.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  103. On this blog, “m-o-r-e” nuclear will suffice, but elsewhere in right world, dont you have to say MOAR nuclear?

    urbanleftbehind (80349b)

  104. I’m sympathetic to people stuck with these bills but it’s not like economics isn’t a thing.

    I don’t see how price gouging by a public utility during a declared state of emergency is any better morally than price gouging bottles of water by a mini-mart, and there laws on the books. Public utilities shouldn’t be exempt from this.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  105. It’s much easier to get vaccinated In Israel than here because of their far more efficient government program. Here, not so much. In order to speed vaccinations in the US, businesses (not the government) should develop something similar to the Green Badge system. It’s the only way to jump start large scale public events and venues (concerts, malls, air travel, etc.)

    No proof of vaccination, no entry.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:18 am

    I suspect this would backfire. We have done a good job with vaccinations, in my opinion, and everyone who wants one will probably have it in the next few months despite the ridiculous challenges this year. So some incentive to get it, if you don’t like vaccines, sounds great, but there’s too much fear and distrust of the government or science, and forcing something like this requires a lot of trust.

    This is a good example of how much it costs when leaders just lie and lie and lie for a minor advantage.

    I think natural herd immunity combined with vaccination for those who choose it, is the only path, whether we like it or not.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  106. I don’t see how price gouging by a public utility during a declared state of emergency is any better morally than price gouging bottles of water by a mini-mart, and there laws on the books. Public utilities shouldn’t be exempt from this.

    Was there really price gouging, or were the utilities just passing along their costs from the wholesale market? Also, I believe the Texas PUC allowed the utilities to charge their maximum rate. So apparently there was no “gouging”, it was all legal.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  107. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:43 am

    I don’t see how price gouging by a public utility during a declared state of emergency is any better morally than price gouging bottles of water by a mini-mart, and there laws on the books. Public utilities shouldn’t be exempt from this.

    This isn’t like the water bottle issue. With the water bottles they’ve already been produced and are sitting on a shelf. The only reason price moves is in anticipation of future supply and demand changes. In this case the electricity wasn’t sitting someplace waiting to be consumed. If the actual supply goes down and the demand doesn’t go down the price goes up.

    It’s not a moral issue unless you’re making a moral claim to property that isn’t yours.

    But if there are laws on the books that apply then apply them instead of complaining about an unregulated free market that also has laws on the books that apply to it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  108. Thank you for Econ 101 lecture, frosty. Like with Supreme Court Justices knowing what p0rn is when they see it, same with price gouging, whether it’s done by a retailer or electricity purveyor. The larger argument is whether you want unfettered capitalism, which can predatory at times like this, or capitalism with some legal fetters so that customers aren’t faced five-figure heating bills. I chose the latter.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  109. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/21/2021 @ 7:47 am

    This is absurd.

    I see you’re familiar with the argument that individuals have no agency and it’s all about better regulation. Are these variable rate programs the only option in TX? Are there no providers in TX that have stable rates or rate plans with limits?

    Are consumers in TX just too stupid to be allowed to purchase some of the plans available to them. Do they need wiser and better people limiting their choices?

    What I’m seeing is some people who wanted the cheapest, and riskiest, plan they could get now getting burned and wanting to shift that risk to other people. Again, I sympathize but I’m not sure why other people should pickup the bill.

    with no penalty assessed for the provider’s inability to provide power at whatever rate.

    Again, this sounds like something they could sue over. Unless you’re saying there is some government regulation of this unregulated free market that would protect them from being sued.

    frosty (f27e97)

  110. Fraud in the inducement. Bait and switch. I’ve seen how these mini-Enrons operate. One had a sales office on our block. Texas license plates on some of the cars, too. They have also knocked on my door. I’ll save money and save the planet if I show them my ComEd bill so they can quote a better price for green energy. They piggyback on ComEd’s equipment and there’s some law that ComEd has to let them.

    nk (1d9030)


  111. …….. In order to speed vaccinations in the US, businesses (not the government) should develop something similar to the Green Badge system. It’s the only way to jump start large scale public events and venues (concerts, malls, air travel, etc.)

    No proof of vaccination, no entry.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:18 am

    I suspect this would backfire. We have done a good job with vaccinations, in my opinion, and everyone who wants one will probably have it in the next few months despite the ridiculous challenges this year. So some incentive to get it, if you don’t like vaccines, sounds great, but there’s too much fear and distrust of the government or science, and forcing something like this requires a lot of trust……….

    Dustin (4237e0) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:44 am

    I disagree. It would incentivize people to receive a vaccine, and speed economic recovery. Waiting for a herd immunity (despite what Sammy’s WSJ says) will take longer than a couple of months and will result in hundreds more unnecessary deaths.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  112. @112, if the customer knew this was a risk then it’s in them. If they did t then it’s arguable that there was no meeting of the minds on a bill this size. If it’s buried in the fine print I’m content to let lawyers fight it out.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  113. I disagree. It would incentivize people to receive a vaccine, and speed economic recovery. Waiting for a herd immunity (despite what Sammy’s WSJ says) will take longer than a couple of months and will result in hundreds more unnecessary deaths.

    Rip Murdock (9ca350) — 2/21/2021 @ 9:48 am

    If it works, yeah. It would save lives and speed things up.

    I’m saying some level of forcing it will backfire. At least with the anti-vaxx folks I know, they will happily thwart the rules somehow. otherwise law abiding people can get very creative with this kind of thing. For example, getting a friend to take the vaccine for them, to produce a fake document. Or just faking a document. No one is going to go too far enforcing something relating to taking a vaccine, so these efforts would be pretty successful.

    all we have is to communicate the great news about this vaccine, and hope people choose it. Some travel restrictions and demands that teachers and nurses and probably all first responders have it is a good idea.

    People are rattled by a year of one thing after another. We’re a major terrorist attack away from people begging to give up freedom for stability. And then there’s the other side of that. So many americans believe the election was rigged, for example, and don’t want to trust anything anymore.

    fortunately, if you personally get the vaccine, you’re very safe from the bad choices of others. I will be satisfied when everyone who wants one has it, and don’t want to push things beyond that (not that I have a choice… it’s not like Joe Biden really represents me at all).

    Dustin (4237e0)

  114. Dustin (4237e0) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:05 am

    it’s not like Joe Biden really represents me at all).

    What is it you’re always saying? Every accusation is an admission and accusations that Trump supporters are going to disavow him?

    You’re disavowing during the first 100 days? Have we even made 30?

    frosty (f27e97)

  115. nk (1d9030) — 2/21/2021 @ 9:22 am

    Texas license plates on some of the cars, too.

    Those shifty Texans, eh? Were they also wearing boots and a cowboy hat or were they in disguise?

    They piggyback on ComEd’s equipment and there’s some law that ComEd has to let them.

    Haven’t you read the news? The TX energy market is unregulated. Un·Reg·U·Lat·Ed! Are you saying these news articles might not be completely truthful?

    frosty (f27e97)

  116. frosty, if my utility bills for this month are over $1000 I’m going to be pissed.

    If they had sent me an email saying “hey your prices during this storm are going to be 100x higher, so use less” that would be one thing but changing prices drastically without informing customers you are doing so is not reasonable.

    nate (1f1d55)

  117. It’s much easier to get vaccinated In Israel than here because of their far more efficient government program.

    It’s much easier because Israel fronted the money to Pfizer to develop the vaccine, and got a lor of vaccine in return.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  118. frosty,

    Every security of commodity market in the world has daily movement limits of some sort. Not providing consumers that protection against transients is negligent, at best. Agreeing to such an agreement is also negligent, but one party has an army of lawyers, the other party has none, so such agreements could also be called “predatory.”

    SUre, they could have turned their power off, had they realized their peril, but for all you know they could have been vacationing in Cancun.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  119. frosty, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just talking.

    It’s been said that if a million monkeys sitting at a million typewriters typed for a million years, they would eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. I figure you rate one pico-Shakespeare (pico being the prefix for one millionth of a millionth).

    nk (1d9030)

  120. At least with the anti-vaxx folks I know, they will happily thwart the rules somehow

    Stupid people will always do stupid things.

    https://youtu.be/RfdZTZQvuCo

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  121. *Every security OR commodity

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  122. Personally, I think that most of the people who claim to be anti-vaxx are covering for their simple fear of needles.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  123. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/21/2021 @ 9:14 am

    Thank you for Econ 101 lecture

    You’re welcome. You’re comment tells me you aren’t really picking up the details though. You’re pretending this is moral argument when it’s mathematical.

    The question isn’t whether anyone wants unfettered capitalism. That’s not the question you ask when energy supply goes offline and it’s freezing cold. Oh, it sounds nice and moral and “for the people” but it’s really just a cover for negotiating the rate.

    No, the question is how do you ration a supply when it can’t meet demand? Do you think the providers should have turned off the power to more customers? Larger rolling blackouts? We know demand outstripped supply. Who gets the limited supply? Who rations it and how? We already know there was some rationing by the providers. Why can’t the consumers also ration? Who is in the best position to know the value of the electricity to the consumer?

    Or do you imagine that everyone could have kept power and not had to pay more for it?

    frosty (f27e97)

  124. Every security of commodity market in the world has daily movement limits of some sort. Not providing consumers that protection against transients is negligent, at best. Agreeing to such an agreement is also negligent, but one party has an army of lawyers, the other party has none, so such agreements could also be called “predatory.”

    SUre, they could have turned their power off, had they realized their peril, but for all you know they could have been vacationing in Cancun.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:54 am

    I don’t think anyone is honestly arguing that variable pricing, leading to 10-20X increases in power bills, is lawful or OK or defensible. I know there are some dishonestly arguing for these extreme things, but these people are just trolls who want to get a reaction.

    We all intuitively understand that creating a shortage, and using it to price gouge, when 70 or more people die as a result, isn’t something any sane society is going to tolerate.

    That so much discourse surrounds trolls, and in fact many prominent politicians are perfected trolls, is a core reason more and more things don’t work.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  125. nate (1f1d55) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:38 am

    If they had sent me an email saying “hey your prices during this storm are going to be 100x higher, so use less”

    From the article posted in the comment above:

    Last week, foreseeing a huge jump in wholesale prices, the company encouraged all of its customers — about 29,000 people — to switch to another provider when the storm arrived. But many were unable to do so.

    So, basically we’re arguing about whether they gave them enough notice. I think we’re creating a bit of a fiction thinking that the customers had no notice.

    frosty (f27e97)

  126. Fraud in the inducement. Bait and switch. I’ve seen how these mini-Enrons operate. One had a sales office on our block. Texas license plates on some of the cars, too. They have also knocked on my door. I’ll save money and save the planet if I show them my ComEd bill so they can quote a better price for green energy. They piggyback on ComEd’s equipment and there’s some law that ComEd has to let them.

    This.

    Enron caused similar problems, but by active covert intention as opposed to active overt recklessness. Greed was the motivator. The $16k bill to the consumer is a byproduct, it won’t be enforced but the companies will be able to claim it out of a bailout fund, or tax relief.

    Modern society requires certain minimums to function, electricity is one, and once in a decade events still need to be planned for. They’re not unpredictable, they’re literally the opposite. Everyone new this was going to happen, and the steps to mitigate. That it may have cost some incremental monthly extra price for a decade to pay for it, we’re still going to pay for it (plus) all in one year. Now we’re going to make people in Minnesota and Maine pay for it too.

    Texas has grown massively since the last time this happened in 2011, a perfect opportunity to implement a LID fee for new construction that could have paid for it, marginally higher rates…as long as the “regulation” for Texas free market stated winterizing meant X and required it across the board.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  127. frosty, I’m talking about my particular circumstances.

    I’m in a city in TX. I did not get any communication telling me my billing would change. It very well may be buried somewhere in the contract I signed years and years ago. That said, it didn’t occur to me that my rates might be rising to a ridiculous amount.

    And honestly if my bill this month is 50% higher than it was last month I don’t care. But if it’s 10,000% higher I’m going to be pissed.

    nate (1f1d55)

  128. Dustin (4237e0) — 2/21/2021 @ 11:08 am

    is honestly arguing that variable pricing … is lawful or OK or defensible. I know there are some dishonestly arguing for these extreme things, but these people are just trolls who want to get a reaction.

    Variable pricing is lawful, normal, and defensible. The alternative is a claim that you get to take someone else’s stuff for whatever price you decide. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re trying to limit this to emergencies and not making a general claim.

    But I see your experience hasn’t improved your ability to form an argument that doesn’t involve insults.

    We all intuitively understand that creating a shortage, and using it to price gouge

    Or to not just make stuff up. Created? That’s creative even for you.

    trolls … perfected trolls

    How does that work again? Every accusation is an admission?

    frosty (f27e97)

  129. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:54 am

    SUre, they could have turned their power off, had they realized their peril, but for all you know they could have been vacationing in Cancun.

    True but it didn’t sound like anyone mentioned in the article was on vacation. For all I know we’re getting into the land of hypotheticals.

    frosty (f27e97)

  130. nate (1f1d55) — 2/21/2021 @ 11:20 am

    And honestly if my bill this month is 50% higher than it was last month I don’t care. But if it’s 10,000% higher I’m going to be pissed.

    I get that and I’d be pissed too. And I agree with Kevin M that most of these providers should have had limits that kicked in. I also suspect that a lot of these providers will retroactively modify these bills so it might make sense to see how this plays out.

    But, unlike some of the articles and comments I’ve seen, I wouldn’t start buying into whatever the current narrative is about unregulated markets and price gouging. It’s almost like clockwork every time something like this happens the control freaks and marxists show up to explain how they need more power to fix this and that you should ignore that they’re part of the problem to begin with.

    frosty (f27e97)

  131. nate (1f1d55) — 2/21/2021 @ 11:20 am

    It very well may be buried somewhere in the contract I signed years and years ago. That said, it didn’t occur to me that my rates might be rising to a ridiculous amount.

    So, honest question, not trying to be rude, after typing that did you go check your contract? I get not knowing yesterday but I don’t get not knowing tomorrow after this conversation today.

    frosty (f27e97)

  132. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:54 am

    but one party has an army of lawyers, the other party has none, so such agreements could also be called “predatory.”

    I don’t know the TX energy market so I don’t know if all of these providers actually have “armies” of lawyers. But I agree that they could be predatory. That’s why I suggested above that they can be sued.

    I also think not taking the steps mentioned in @129 is grounds for some sort of legal action but I’m not clever enough to know what. I’d like to see something more interesting than the state attorney suing them to a settlement that doesn’t help real people but boosts his career.

    frosty (f27e97)

  133. True but it didn’t sound like anyone mentioned in the article was on vacation. For all I know we’re getting into the land of hypotheticals.

    I don’t “blame” the companies for taking legally valid business practices. Other than the lobbying to make it so. In fact, the energy market in Texas was working as designed. The Texas legislature, and the energy companies who financed them bears ultimate responsibility.

    Well, I blame Texans general attitude that reality doesn’t affect them because those aren’t just lines on a map, we’re special.

    Like Texas Rangers, one riot, one Ranger…a thing that didn’t happen. In fact, it was one near riot caused directly by the Rangers, and generally they were more akin to a South American death squad, scumbags. Modern Ranger’s as an anachronistic part of the State Police excepted.

    Federal spending on Hurricane Harvey relief, direct $15.3B in 2017, just Harvey, not the only weather disaster in Texas that year. Texas is averaging $7.7B a year 2017-2020 just from the FEMA DRF, by far the most of any state. The general attitude that “nah, we don’t need no stinkin’ regulation, federal or otherwise” attitude works especially well when there is little fallout from the impact.

    Who knew that you have to winterize for the winter?
    Who knew that when you concrete over all the wetlands, rain tends to not soak in as much.
    Who knew…

    Yeah, everyone knew, but designing in those requirements are hard and cost money, not doing it costs much more in remediation, but who cares, uncle sugar is going to pay for it.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  134. 1836: Texans were warned by Mexicans; disaster.
    2021: Texans were warned by the NWS; disaster.

    2011 ws a lesson, too. What with ‘100 year weather events’ rolling through every 5, 10 or 15 years–take CONTROL; fight KAOS: ‘Get Smart’— install the winterization packages.

    “Missed it by that much.” – Maxwell Smart [Don Adams] ‘Get Smart’ NBC TV 1965-69, NBC TV, 1970 CBS TV

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  135. SF: but Cuomo released figures to make it seem more like a little over 5,000.

    Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 6:06 am and @ 6:23 am

    That is not an honest characterization of what happened, Sammy.

    More accurate would be:

    “… but the statistics collected by the state from the beginning of the pandemic tabulated where a victim died, not where they were infected, and the website where the information was published explicitly noted that.”

    Yes, everybody knew what was wrong with the statistics, but he refused to release correct statistics, and gave multiple excuses for a long, long, time, and even sometimes boasted (mainly maybe in his own defense) of New York’s excellent record. No other state kept statistics that way. The state’s statistics weren’t even quite right as far as they went.

    Finally a lawsuit (ad maybe the New York State attorney General ahead of a lawsuit) forced it out.

    https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/ny-state-of-politics/2021/02/05/how-the-empire-center-pushed-nursing-home-data-to-be-release

    Hammond began the push for the data on Aug. 3. At the time, he was technically supposed to be on vacation in the Adirondacks. His request was quickly stonewalled and the Empire Center would follow up with a lawsuit after weeks of delay.

    The request sought data for each facility on each day, helping researchers and the public track how the pandemic over real time in different parts of the state….

    “The FOIL law has its weaknesses, which is why we still don’t have the data six months later,” Hammond said. “But it forced the department to go on the record with estimated deadlines and reasons for the delay — which was revealing in itself. The fact that the deadlines kept slipping, and that the reasons given were so weak, made clear that DOH was stonewalling and had no intention of sharing the numbers any time soon.”

    The delays kept the story humming along, Hammond said….

    I said he was only responsible for a few hundred to maybe a little over a thousand excess deaths, but that’s maybe too low, because people who did not have Covid were released from hospitals to nursing homes for rehabilitation, and if the true extent of the disease in nursing homes had been understood early, they wouldn’t have been sent there or some special precautions, like frequent testing of patients and separation, might have been tried to help them endure the peril. In the hopes they wouldn’t get it because every nursing home in the New York City area would have been understood as being a likely hot spot.

    They might have used the Comfort or the Javits Center both for Covid and non-Covid patients, Of course that might have cost the state money. Or maybe the institutions getting patients,

    As I said, the original sin here (which was mostly universal throughout the world, but it doesn’t make that any less of an error or a crime) was excluding patients’ families from visiting.

    It was absurd to act on the basis that a patient’s visitors were more likely to transmit Covid than staff, if they both came under the same conditions. Staff had much more of a chance to get infected, and infected seriously. Families were scapegoated.

    There’s another thing that went wrong, Patient population at nursing home did drop eventually and not just because of deaths, but when vaccines were assigned and shipped to nursing homes, it was on the basis of a full head count.

    Lots and lots of obviously stupid things happened. The latest is refusing to act on the knowledge that a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine is quite good, and delaying the second dose only makes the eventual immunity stronger, and that giving a second dose to somebody who recovered from Covid is absolutely worthless (a first dose will bolster immunity)

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  136. Reasons not to get the so-called “vaccine”

    Horatio (0fd4d1)

  137. Questions for Dr. Fauci

    Horatio (0fd4d1)

  138. Ahh, bad recommendations to murder people based on lies. Cool.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  139. Here is how the calculation of several hundred to a thousand deaths caused by Cuomo’s edict is derived (an underestimate because it doesn’t take into account that people not infected might not have been sent to, or been taken out of, nursing homes if the dangers of nursing homes had been understood and generally accepted.)

    https://nypost.com/2021/02/18/cuomo-policy-may-have-led-to-1k-nursing-home-deaths-watchdog

    The analysis also suggests the controversial mandate is “associated with” more than one in six of 5,780 nursing deaths statewide between late March and early May.

    “The findings contradict a central conclusion of the state Department of Health’s July 6 report on coronavirus in nursing homes, which said, among other things: ‘Admission policies were not a significant factor in nursing home fatalities,’ and ‘the data do not show a consistent relationship between admissions and increased mortality,’ ” according to a draft report prepared by the Empire Center.

    But I guess you could say that depends on the meaning of the words “significant factor.” Is one out of 6 deaths during a six and a half week window “significant?”

    The Empire Center for Public Policy compared “the death rates at facilities that admitted COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals to the rates at others that didn’t,” and then crunched the numbers to “a statistical confidence level of 99 percent.” They gave them 99% not just 95%.

    With that…

    The study found that nursing homes outside New York City and its suburbs bore brunt of the order, with each one that accepted COVID-19 patients averaging 9.3 more deaths than those that didn’t.

    But in and around the city, the difference wasn’t statistically significant, most likely because the coronavirus was so widespread there during the early days of the pandemic.

    True enough…

    The report concludes that the March 25 directive “was not the sole or primary cause of the heavy death toll in nursing homes.”

    And the latest statement from Health Commissioner Howard Zucker?

    It said Empire Center’s report was “consistent with the Department of Health’s analysis that found the March 25 guidance was not a driver of COVID infections and fatalities and COVID was introduced to nursing homes primarily through staff and visitors.”

    Technically true, maybe.

    “Not a driver”. Does that mean you can’t say nursing home epidemics were well correlated with recovered patients released to nursing homes?

    “Primarily.” An estimated five out of six times. (as determined by nursing homes located in areas that didn’t have significant community spread.)

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  140. 130.

    Reason number 1: If this isn’t a vaccine most vaccines are not vaccines. The FDA is confusing people with this 92% or 94% reduction in probability.

    Reason number 3: Yes, they are edging toward saying more and more shots may be necessary.

    Reason number 4: Yes you can strengthen your immune system in general. But one way of doing so is getting a vaccine – any vaccine.

    5. Yes, you cannot swear that it is really perfectly safe. The vaccine does infect and destroy a self-limiting number of cells. Maybe there are other effects. Maybe it can cause cancer. Maybe it can cause an autoimmune response. Maybe if you happen to get infected with Covid at about the same time you get the vaccine, the case will be worse than it would have been because you’ve given the body a red herring..

    But getting infected with Covid is not perfectly safe either.

    Reason number 6: The drug companies even with zero liability have a lot to lose.

    Where they went wrong was saying the drug companies and the medical researchers could not be trusted, but that the medical regulatory agencies could be trusted to screen any dangers out.

    Nobody believes the latter. Remember Vioxx for instance?

    Reason number 7: So what if Israel is a laboratory? Pfizer is mainly interested in proving that one dose is enough or seeing if there are circumstances in which it doesn’t work. Does he mean they shouldn’t be testing it any more?

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  141. Reason number 8: The data are anonymized.

    Reasons number 9-11: I guess this could be an argument that executives at Pfizer and others still have some lingering doubts or would prefer some other vaccine. Waiting to be infected isn’t exactly safe either. It could be said that you’re more likely to feel bad from the vaccine than from most infections, which could be low dose.

    Reason number 12-14: What;s wrong here is the emphasis on the vaccine, rather than the antibodies, which however, may not work against the South African variant. In Israel 80% of cases are the UK variant.

    Yes it’s a problem. Everything else besides this vaccine is ignored.

    Reason number 15: A certain number of people can have unexpected crisis. This is not being explained.

    A reason not given could be that this is somehow not considered safe yet for children. If there is doubt here, is it safe for very old people?

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  142. Reasons number 16-19: No this is not a great medical experiment and certainly not the greatest. If this is an experiment we already have results at least as far as the first few months go.

    Again, when they said the drug companies and the medical researchers could not be trusted, but that the medical regulatory agencies could be trusted to screen any dangers out, they created the impression of danger because nobody believes that medical regulatory agencies could be trusted to screen any dangers out. They’re like NASA and the space shuttle, and it didn’t help to cast suspicion that Donald Trump was somehow rushing through something unsafe. Now Rabbi Chananya Weissman probably didn’t believe that but there’s other sources of mistrust.

    Reason number 20 & 23 & 24: True enough – there’s too much pressure. Yes, it makes you recoil. But you can ignore that and try to evaluate the worth of this independently. But also true, even if this is the best course of action to take, it could be used for something bad.

    Reasons number 21-22: Pfizer insisted on that. They consider a lot of things a trade secret. That means they want to possibly have other companies make mistakes in the future. Or maybe lobby for something.

    25/ Yes, that’s true, but this is not like Oxycontin. I suppose there’s a possibility that mRNA vaccines may cause unpredicted harm. again the problem is the drug regulatory agencies insisting every thing is unsafe until they say so. You know Canada is far behind on vaccines and not relying on approval in the UK and they first placed their hopes on a Chinese vaccine which failed to gain approval.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/canadas-covid-vaccine-failure-11613772230

    . As of Wednesday, my country had administered only 3.52 vaccine doses per 100 people, according to the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data website. The U.S., at 17.00, was doing almost five times as well. The figures were 80.07 in Israel, 25.04 in the U.K. and 5.40 in the European Union.

    Why is Canada such a laggard among developed nations? The government of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn’t negotiate contracts with established drug companies. Rather, it quietly approved a working relationship between Canadian researchers and a Chinese vaccine maker, CanSino Biologics Inc. CanSino abandoned its project in August after multiple failures. Ottawa then had to rush through agreements with Pfizer, Moderna and other companies. “I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China,” Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole told reporters.

    When Canada and other countries experienced a significant spike in Covid-19 cases last month (which has now subsided), Pfizer reduced its shipment to my country by more than two-thirds for several weeks. Moderna announced that only three-quarters of its vaccines would arrive in Canada during early February.

    Other options are off the table for now. Although Canada purchased 398 million doses in all, more than 70% are vaccines that haven’t received approval from health officials. [In Canada. Johnson & Johnson hasn’t anywhere yet]

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  143. Reasons number 26 & 27: There really are coincidences. But somebody needs to provide good statistics on sudden death.

    Reasons number 28-31 Yes there is a problem here with the way it is being sold. And with a lot of other measures.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  144. Reasons not to get the so-called “vaccine”

    1. Not enough Americans have died yet.
    2. America’s economy has not been totally destroyed yet.
    3. Putin is already very unhappy with the half-assed job Trump did in regard to 1 & 2.

    Covid anti-vaxxers are murderous criminals and traitors and we need to take all appropriate steps to defend ourselves and our country from them.

    nk (1d9030)

  145. Yes, everybody knew what was wrong with the statistics, but he refused to release correct statistics

    Again, this leaves an entirely false impression that “correct statistics” were sitting in a computer somewhere, being withheld on Cuomo’s orders.

    In truth, the “correct statistics” did not exist, and had never been tabulated at any time since the beginning of the pandemic, even before the controversial nursing home guidelines were issued.

    It took a dedicated, multi-month research project to arrive at *estimates* of the “correct statistics”, and that exercise in bookkeeping did not save a single life.

    Dave (1bb933)

  146. 3. Putin is already very unhappy with the half-assed job Trump did in regard to 1 & 2.

    I don’t know if nk is suggesting it, but I firmly believe Russian bots and friends are spreading as much fear of this vaccination program as possible, to further screw with the USA, and just to keep us pissed off at eachother as much as possible.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  147. In terms of the vaccine….I received my first dose last week….and I’ve notice a 70%…no probably 75%…increase in my sexual performance. So men out there, if you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for her…she will love the newly vaccinated you!

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  148. AJ has the right idea.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  149. I am definitely suggesting it and I likewise firmly believe it, Dustin.

    nk (1d9030)

  150. https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/why-is-wokeness-winning

    It’s everywhere. Across the country, schools and colleges are dumping SATs so they can engineer racial equity, and abolish the idea of merit. The Smithsonian backed the idea that working hard, showing up on time and perfecting a task are functions of “whiteness”. In California, there’s a ballot initiative to legalize government discrimination on the basis of race; and a new mandate that company boards add members from under-represented communities. Corporations who haven’t publicly committed themselves to the full woke project are being hounded by their employees into doing so, meaning hiring and firing on the basis of race, or forcing employees into re-education sessions, guided by DiAngelo and Kendi. The NBA, for Pete’s sake, is now a festival of wokeness, even as viewership collapses. CRT propaganda like the NYT’s 1619 Project can be exposed as untrue and unethical, but the paper can both debunk it in its own pages and still hail it as a triumph. And the pièce de resistance: 21 percent of liberal students in the Ivy League favor some level of violence to stop campus speech they disapprove of.

    There seems no stopping this. But why? Why this powerful, seemingly inevitable shift, especially among white elites? I’d posit some obvious reasons, but this is a rough guess and I hope we can start a conversation here about the reason for this astonishing change — and how better to engage it.

    The first, it seems to me, is emotional. The reason so many people marched this summer was because of a righteous revulsion at the visceral image of a black man being murdered slowly on the street by a bad, white cop. This revulsion is a vital and important thing — and it’s completely compatible with a liberal attempt to reform the cops and criminal justice to ensure equal treatment under the law for everyone of every race. In fact, there is considerable bipartisan support for a pragmatic shift.

    But this was emphatically not the core message of the Black Lives Matter movement, rooted in critical theory. BLM’s critical race activists do not support reforming the police, they want to abolish them entirely. In fact, they demonize all cops as “bastards”, and they justify violence and exonerate crime as legitimate resistance to the far greater crime of white oppression.

    Liberals, concerned about resilient racial inequality, have simply decided to ignore this. Or they think that a little radicalism is no bad thing in a polarized time: the usual “no enemies to the left” mantra in the era of Trump and white nationalism. I can see why people take this path of least resistance, but what we’ve seen is simple avoidance of the deeper issue of CRT’s profound illiberalism, a dismissal of it, or an anti-anti-woke position that sees opponents as mere hysterics (and maybe racists).

    And the CRT advocates have brilliantly managed to construct a crude moral binary to pressure liberals into submission. Where liberalism allows neutrality or doubt or indifference, CRT demands an absolute and immediate choice between racism and anti-racism (defined by CRT) — and no one wants to be a racist, do they? Legitimate anguish about racial inequality and the sheer terror of being publicly labeled a bigot have led liberals to surrender their core values to the far left.

    The second reason for CRT’s triumph is that it’s super-easy. Social inequalities are extremely complicated things. A huge variety of factors may be in play: class, family structure, education, neighborhood, sex, biology, genetics and culture are some of them. Untangling this empirically in order to figure out what might actually work to improve things is hard work. But when you can simply dismiss all of these factors and cite “structural racism” as the only reason for any racial inequality, and also cover yourself in moral righteousness, you’re home-free. Those who raise objections or complications or cite nuances can be dismissed by the same easy method.

    Then there’s the deep relationship between CRT and one of the most powerful human drives: tribalism. What antiracism brilliantly does is adopt all the instincts of racism and sexism — seeing someone and instantly judging them by the color of their skin, or sex — and drape them with a veil of virtue. You don’t have to correct yourself when your tribal psyche makes you more cognizant of someone’s visible racial differences, and pre-judges them. You don’t have to resist this any more. You can give in to your core nature, and feel pride, rather than shame. You get to have all the feels of judging people entirely by their involuntary characteristics, while actually dismantling racism and sexism! What’s not to like?

    It’s taken a leftist mob, but Sullivan is slowing waking up again to the real danger. Hopefully, others will do the same. If we don’t fight back, it’s all over.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  151. https://www.dailywire.com/news/jeff-flake-voices-support-for-biden-nominee-that-key-senate-dem-said-hed-vote-against

    Neera Tanden is smart, experienced and qualified to lead OMB. I hope she’s confirmed. We should always remember that there will be a Republican President in the future who will want to have his/her nominees confirmed.https://t.co/2P1amqcIa6

    — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 20, 2021

    So glad he’s gone. May he be ignored forever.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  152. 72. steveg (43b7a5) — 2/20/2021 @ 3:59 pm

    Look if your kid goes into one of their schools in LAUSD, they have a good chance of finishing in the bottom 10% statewide.

    101. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/21/2021 @ 7:52 am

    Being part of a underperforming group does not make one underperforming. Poor use of statistics here.

    True, but I think the idea here is that a student can;t learn more than his teacher teaches. At least if they are getting education from the school. Some may think they are learning everything that that grade level means elsewhere. They’re not. Students are not exposed to things.

    Sammy Finkelman (0828cd)

  153. “His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.

    The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system.”

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  154. 138. SF: Yes, everybody knew what was wrong with the statistics, but he refused to release correct statistics

    148. Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 3:19 pm

    Again, this leaves an entirely false impression that “correct statistics” were sitting in a computer somewhere, being withheld on Cuomo’s orders.

    First of all, yes they were because the Department of Health suddenly released them; and second of all, if they weren’t sitting in a computer, it’s because they were deliberately not compiled.

    And the state even changed the way they compiled them early on.

    Unless many news reports were lying.

    From the Albany Times-Union, August 27, 2020:

    https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Churchill-Cuomo-may-be-forced-to-tell-the-truth-15516535.php

    If you’re new to this, here’s some of the backstory: In April, as COVID-19 fatalities started to spike, the state changed how it counted nursing home deaths, deciding that residents who were transferred to hospitals before they died from the virus wouldn’t be part of the total.

    I don’t know where you’re getting your information from.

    The Governor’s office? Somebody somewhere who decided to defend to Cuomo.

    Now the attck on Cuomo y the New York Post and others that sought to blame his edict reto admit or readmit patients without testing them for corona for all deaths of people in nursing homes was wrong. A fairer and more accurate estimate is only one sixth of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (0828cd)

  155. It took a dedicated, multi-month research project to arrive at *estimates* of the “correct statistics”, and that exercise in bookkeeping did not save a single life.

    It didn;t because everybody already long knew or suspected the basic facts.

    But there were family members who wanted answers. Cuomo refused to meet with any of them.

    By the way, some nursing homes did not report many deaths of patients to the New York State Department of Health. That;s another issue on top of this. Nursing homes were required to abide by many regulations, but they were not enforced, or maybe even possible for them to do, ad the state just ket it slide..

    Sammy Finkelman (0828cd)

  156. The Texas electricity crisis is an example of what Nassem Talib called a Black Swan. Black swan events come more often than people think, he says.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Swan:_The_Impact_of_the_Highly_Improbable

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

    The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain:

    The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology.

    The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities).

    The psychological biases that blinds people, both individually and collectively, to uncertainty and to a rare event’s massive role in historical affairs.

    The problem is said not to be wind because they took a loss of wind power in cold weather precipitation events into account.

    They did not take a possible loss of natural gas into account, or not enough.

    Natural gas infrastructure had changed for the worse because pipelines started to be powered by electricity instead of natural gas – also natural gas started more to be left in the ground and tapped as needed.

    Natural gas anyway is a just-in-time fuel. Coal gets deliveries for 90 days and nuclear for two years, and I guess oil needs to be refined and so is stored somewhere above ground.

    Now Texas has a water pipe problem – something somebody didn’t think of maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (0828cd)

  157. The thing aboutt Neera Tanden is does that extremely hostile political commentary affect the job she would do at OMB? It could if it signifies something more. And a lot depends on her boss.

    Sammy Finkelman (0828cd)

  158. You’re pretending this is moral argument when it’s mathematical.

    Thanks for telling me about what I’m pretending about, frosty. I never would’ve known. I’m a CPA, for the record, so I’m generally familiar with math.
    ERCOT and such are basically a creation of government, and TX government let its citizens down by agreeing to a system, overtly or tacitly, that could gouge residential customers in a crisis. That wasn’t just a “mathematical” decision by state politicians and regulators, and it’s not as if there’s not a moral argument to be made. The impending lawsuits are going to sort that out.
    They consciously chose to close off its power grid. They created a system with perverse incentives and insufficient guardrails, such as collecting revenues without investing enough in infrastructure, particularly for not sufficiently maintaining and weatherizing their delivery systems. It’s not as if they didn’t have fair warning a decade ago.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  159. https://notthebee.com/article/students-demand-removal-of-george-washington-statue–at-the-university-of-washington–in-the-state-of-washington

    The children of Mao and the Taliban are running rampant in the state of Washington. What happened to our children? Who didn’t teach them about freedom and liberty?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  160. Dr. Scott Gottlieb on WHO and China.

    The virus most likely emerged from nature, bouncing between animals and humans before it finally broke out. It’s also possible that the virus escaped from a lab where it was being studied. Someone could have become infected while handling samples, and there’s been particular suspicion about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high-security research lab that was experimenting with coronaviruses. The theory of a lab leak is exaggerated by some fringe commentators, who suggest that the virus was deliberately engineered. But it’s plausible to wonder about a lab accident.

    The WHO team said the lab-escape theory is so remote that it doesn’t merit any further investigation. But frozen salmon does? By giving weight to the food theory, the WHO is making itself less credible, which is a pity. The WHO provides important public-health functions, especially in low- and middle-income nations, where its assistance saves lives. Its work is essential. But the WHO risks eroding its standing and mission if it trades rigor for access and the pretense of relevancy.

    I wouldn’t pull a Trump and withdraw from WHO. Instead, if I were Biden, I’d use our financial and political leverage to put some backbone in those bastards and get them to call things as they are and not dance to Xi’s bullsh-t.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  161. TheCollegeFix has had to suspend comments because the left has successfully deplatormed them as they did the Federalist and others for allowing dissenting comments to exist.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  162. Nah. The virus came from one of the Chinese labs. it’s obvious. The only question is whether it was designed or not.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  163. But it’s plausible to wonder about a lab accident.

    This is just disingenuous, possible doesn’t mean probable, doesn’t mean likely. There’s a 99.99999999% chance that it didn’t come from a lab in any way. Well, in all the multiverse it probably happened, but in this reality, nope didn’t happen. The chance of you personally winning the powerball is better.

    Gottlieb should know better, I’d say the chances of that he does know better is 4 orders of magnitude more likely, and he’s just lying for effect.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  164. https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/21/amazon-removes-book-critiquing-transgender-movement/

    Bestselling book removed because it contributes to wrongthink. The agenda must prevail. Dissenting views are not permitted even if they are true.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  165. Dissenting views are not permitted even if they are true.

    The Reproof.
    Rash mortal, and slanderous Poet, thy name
    Shall no longer appear in the records of fame;
    Dost not know that old Mansfield, who writes like the Bible,
    Says the more ’tis a truth, Sir, the more ’tis a libel?

    — Robert Burns

    nk (1d9030)

  166. If the Covid virus came out of China, we’ll never know its origins.

    nk (1d9030)

  167. First of all, yes they were because the Department of Health suddenly released them; and second of all, if they weren’t sitting in a computer, it’s because they were deliberately not compiled.

    I think you’re mistaken here. The newly estimated numbers were “suddenly released” by the attorney general at the end of January:

    [Attorney General] James has for months been examining discrepancies between the number of deaths being reported by the state’s Department of Health, and the number of deaths reported by the homes themselves.

    Her investigators looked at a sample of 62 of the state’s roughly 600 nursing homes. They reported 1,914 deaths of residents from COVID-19, while the state Department of Health logged only 1,229 deaths at those same facilities. One unnamed facility, for example, had an official death toll of 11 but the attorney general’s probe found that 40 had actually died.

    The official data is said to have many inaccuracies and inconsistencies due to nursing homes sending incomplete or inaccurate data:

    To date, despite public records requests from the AP and repeated pleas from state and federal lawmakers, New York’s health department has yet to produce the full number of nursing home residents who died in hospitals as well as the nursing home property.

    Health Commissioner Zucker has said several times that the state is working on such data, and said in his statement Thursday that the state is still “in the midst of auditing this data from nursing homes.” He added that the reporting from nursing homes is “inconsistent and often inaccurate,” such as entries that list an individual as dying both in a hospital and at a nursing home, duplicate entries, or entries with missing information like an individual’s name or an incorrect date of death.

    So I don’t see any basis for saying the state withheld accurate statistics.

    Sammy went on to say:

    And the state even changed the way they compiled them early on.

    It appears you are right about this, and it’s new information to me. Thanks, I was mistaken on that point. But the state says it made the change to avoid double-counting deaths (again) because raw nursing home data was unreliable.

    Dave (1bb933)

  168. Nah. The virus came from one of the Chinese labs. it’s obvious. The only question is whether it was designed or not.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:59 pm

    It is actually pretty obvious.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  169. I just noticed that Allahpundit hasn’t posted at HotAir for six days.

    Canceled or on vacation?

    He’s been active on Twitter during the blog hiatus.

    He’s still listed as an editor at HotAir.

    Dave (1bb933)

  170. Bestselling book removed because it contributes to wrongthink. The agenda must prevail. Dissenting views are not permitted even if they are true.

    Rob, do you think Christian book stores are wrong if they decline to stock books they feel are socially harmful or in conflict with their values?

    Dave (1bb933)

  171. We could view medical/surgical sex changes of persons without preexisting gonadal malformations as the Western welfare state version of Tiergartenstrasse 4, to sterilize the mentally ill and sexually deviant and to look tolerant and charitable while doing it. See also Buck v. Bell.

    nk (1d9030)

  172. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/21/2021 @ 7:43 pm

    Thanks for telling me about what I’m pretending about, frosty. I never would’ve known. I’m a CPA, for the record, so I’m generally familiar with math.

    You’re welcome.

    I can’t help but notice that you’re steering clear of the rationing and price question. But since you’re also up on basic economics do you know what the expected result of price ceilings are? Do you have a suggestion for the consumption quota during an emergency? Are you suggesting they should have had larger rolling blackouts? Or are you suggesting they have none and also not adjust the price?

    The impending lawsuits are going to sort that out.

    As I’ve suggested. Everything you’re saying can be true but doesn’t help understand what they should have done during the emergency. It doesn’t do anyone any good to complain about prior policies when you’ve got a winter storm and less energy supply than demand.

    frosty (f27e97)

  173. Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shield tax records from NY prosecutors

    The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a last-ditch bid by former President Donald Trump to keep his financial records, including years of his tax returns, out of the hands of the Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance Jr.

    The decision was announced in an order with no noted dissents.

    Dave (1bb933)

  174. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/21/2021 @ 8:52 pm

    The virus most likely emerged from nature

    This is certainly true. What is the history of completely engineered viruses? How much more common is it to study and modify viruses that emerged or originated in nature.

    who suggest that the virus was deliberately engineered

    This is the funny thing about language. It’s easy to play these subtle little games. What does this mean? The leading allegation is gain a function research which technically is engineering but would more accurately be called modification. That option doesn’t seem to be part of the analysis here.

    So, the choice is either completely natural or man made. We’re supposed to just ignore the option in between?

    The WHO team said the lab-escape theory is so remote that it doesn’t merit any further investigation.

    Why is it remote? We’ve had other lab leaks. I see the number in @166 but I don’t see the work. It’s not that hard to just keep hitting 9 but I don’t know how an estimate like that has been calculated. The average person never wins the lottery and the average lab never has a leak. But someone wins the lottery and some labs have leaked.

    frosty (f27e97)

  175. frosty (f27e97) — 2/22/2021 @ 6:21 am

    I’m not an energy provider or an expert in the field, so I don’t have a magic bullet for rationing power during an historic freeze, but jumping rates 10,000% is a problem. The issue is larger than pricing and rationing because the entire system in TX failed its residents. It should never have come to this. We’re not some sh-thole country.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  176. Breaking-
    Supreme Court Denies Trump’s Final Bid to Block Release of Financial Records
    The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a last-ditch attempt by former President Donald J. Trump to shield his financial records, issuing a brief, unsigned order requiring Mr. Trump’s accountants to turn over his tax and other records to prosecutors in New York.

    The court’s order was a decisive defeat for Mr. Trump, who had gone to extraordinary lengths to keep his tax returns and related documents secret.

    The case concerned a subpoena to Mr. Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA, by the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat. The firm has said it will comply with the final ruling of the courts, meaning that the grand jury should receive the documents in short order.

    Mr. Vance issued a three-word statement in response to the court’s order: “The work continues.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  177. Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 11:37 pm

    do you think Christian book stores

    Is Amazon an LBGT niche bookseller now? It’s fine if they are. They certainly have every right to be. But do you think they’re really a values based retailer? Does that mean we can play the game of finding things they sell and assuming it reflects their values? Is this book really worse than Mein Kompf or the Anarchist Cookbook? Do those books reflect Amazon’s values?

    Christian bookstores don’t really

    decline to stock books they feel are socially harmful or in conflict with their values

    That is, they don’t make negative decisions about inventory as described here. They have a target market and a limited amount of square feet if they’re brick and mortar. So, they pick products that people who see the sign and walk into the store might like. They are a niche store by design and their marketing decisions reflect that. Do you think Amazon is comparable?

    I’d be easier to just go with “they can do what they want” which is true. Hopefully these are digital books and we can avoid the ecological harm from burning them.

    frosty (f27e97)

  178. Texas has a system where multiple entities can sell power to individuals, but that power comes over a single grid. The pricing of the power for adjustable rate contracts is dependent on decisions made by the Texas regulators (which decided, for some reason, not enough was being charged) and US Department of Energy regulators, which is alleged to cause some of these problems.

    frosty’s Libertarian arguments about contracts seem out of place here, since it was government policies that directly caused the spike.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  179. The number of Republicans who are Trump-over-party stands at 46%, which is the percent that would join Trump in a 3rd party.
    Other signs of GOP rot…
    –55% expressed stronger loyalty to Trump than the GOP.
    –58% of Trump voters call it “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.”
    –59% want him to run in 2024
    –58% of Trump voters said Fox was their most trusted source of news. That’s an interesting correlation.
    At CPAC, Trump will assert that he has total control of the GOP. Trump Fever is officially a long-haul political virus.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  180. Appalled (1a17de) — 2/22/2021 @ 7:26 am

    Well said, Appalled, but I wonder how much USDOE is involved because a reason Texas closed off its power grid was to avoid federal regulation.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  181. #183

    There is some pricing dictated in these rulings, which I believe is the source of some fingerpointing at the Feds.

    https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2021/02/f82/DOE%20202%28c%29%20Emergency%20Order%20-%20ERCOT%2002.14.2021.pdf

    I think I challenge the validity of the pointy fingers too.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  182. Appalled (1a17de) — 2/22/2021 @ 7:26 am

    frosty’s Libertarian arguments about contracts seem out of place here, since it was government policies that directly caused the spike.

    Some bookkeeping; thanks for the lowercase f but it would also be a lowercase l. I’m not arguing for TX energy companies to get into the hookers and meth business.

    In my defense I did make several comments mocking the idea of an “unregulated free market” in TX and the genesis of this rabbit hole were some faulty arguments about price gouging and companies taking advantage.

    So, sure, let’s trust the people who helped create the problem to “solve” the problem with more regulation. Oh wait, I’m repeating myself.

    frosty (f27e97)

  183. Texas has a system where multiple entities can sell power to individuals, but that power comes over a single grid. The pricing of the power for adjustable rate contracts is dependent on decisions made by the Texas regulators (which decided, for some reason, not enough was being charged) and US Department of Energy regulators, which is alleged to cause some of these problems.

    frosty’s Libertarian arguments about contracts seem out of place here, since it was government policies that directly caused the spike.

    Appalled (1a17de) — 2/22/2021 @ 7:26 am

    The devil is in the details, but if the customer knew this was possible when they signed the contract than frosty is correct. If they didn’t know then he’s not. From what I’ve read that’s not clear to me. I lived in Texas for a while. I’m smart and i tend to read things before i sign them but I have no idea if my contract at that time made this possible or not. So my guess is that the consumer wasn’t aware this was possible. But again, that’s a guess.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  184. In my defense I did make several comments mocking the idea of an “unregulated free market” in TX and the genesis of this rabbit hole were some faulty arguments about price gouging and companies taking advantage.

    So, sure, let’s trust the people who helped create the problem to “solve” the problem with more regulation. Oh wait, I’m repeating myself.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/22/2021 @ 8:29 am

    Frosty, What was Arkansas doing that prevented them for losing lower and water for a week and counting? seems like this was a preventable failure of basic utilities.

    Regarding surge pricing in emergencies (aka price gauging). While I agree that it can be very frustrating for people caught in the moment being able to get high prices for generators, building materials, labor etc in a times of emergencies helps get those things where they’re needed. I think laws that prevent price spikes are counter productive because they discourage people from rushing resources to the impacted areas.

    I think a better public policy would be to make means tested support available for unforeseeable catastrophes. No one in the US plans for a week+ without utilities so this would count IMO.

    Part of why we formed a country was to provide for the common good, but I wouldn’t apply the help in cases where the problem was foreseeable, let alone inevitable (e.g. a blizzard in the Dakota’s) .

    Time123 (b0628d)

  185. I’m also struggling why folks keep claiming that this was a once a century winter freeze for Texas.

    Texas seems to get whammy’ed by extreme cold winters every 10 years or so.

    whembly (0a8536)

  186. “So, sure, let’s trust the people who helped create the problem to “solve” the problem with more regulation. Oh wait, I’m repeating myself.”

    The free market can never fail, it can only be failed.

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  187. The devil is in the details, but if the customer knew this was possible when they signed the contract than frosty is correct. If they didn’t know then he’s not. From what I’ve read that’s not clear to me. I lived in Texas for a while. I’m smart and i tend to read things before i sign them but I have no idea if my contract at that time made this possible or not. So my guess is that the consumer wasn’t aware this was possible. But again, that’s a guess.

    Time123 (457a1d) — 2/22/2021 @ 8:30 am

    I almost moved recently, and as part of that I was shopping for utilities. In some places it is remarkably complicated and you can easily wind up using griddy or other services. You can start fixed, and if you forget to renew, you move to variable. Variable is presented as a very reasonable, cost saving option. Customers are presented with hundreds of options on a website. I’m not the smartest spoon in the sock of drawers, but I found it difficult to understand the terms and conditions, and I had no idea there was a potential for a $15000000 bill. It just didn’t occur to me.

    bottom line, price gouging for something you need to stay alive, like electricity in many Texas homes that need power for heat (gas furnaces or electric heaters) when it is 7 degrees outside, is not lawful. Even if the contract says there is no limit to how high the price is, it’s price gouging. A contract with an unlawful term is not enforceable, so trolls are, as usual, wrong. none of these households with $20,000 power bills should pay. those that did might actualy be entitled to considerable damages in Texas if you check Chapter 7 of the Texas Business Code. Beyond that, there’s the obvious public policy that 80 Texans died because our state’s basics failed, and the failure actually was profitable.

    I checked and I think my power bill will be $77. Which is actually relatively high for me. But I’m with a fixed pricing system and they can’t just change my rate without notice.

    Abbott is no dummy. I think he should push for a pair of nuclear plants and winterizing the windmills, make Texas’s grid the best instead of the joke it is today.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  188. Dustin, your experience lines up with mine.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  189. Supreme Court won’t take up challenge to Pennsylvania presidential election results
    The Supreme Court on Monday turned away Republican challenges to the presidential elections results in Pennsylvania, refusing to take up a months-long dispute over extending the deadline in that state for receiving mail-in ballots.

    Even the three justices who would have granted the case — Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch — acknowledged that the number of ballots received after Election Day would not have been enough to threaten President Biden’s victory margin over former president Donald Trump.

    But they said it raised important issues about the role of state courts and authorities to alter voting procedures set by the legislature.

    “A decision in these cases would not have any implications regarding the 2020 election,”
    Alito wrote. “But a decision would provide invaluable guidance for future elections.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  190. I’m also struggling why folks keep claiming that this was a once a century winter freeze for Texas.

    Texas seems to get whammy’ed by extreme cold winters every 10 years or so.

    whembly (0a8536) — 2/22/2021 @ 8:49 am

    Good question. I expect we’ll learn something interesting about how the utilities were managed when this investigated.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  191. Texas officials block electricity providers from sending bills, disconnecting utilities for nonpayment

    Gov. Greg Abbott said he and other state leaders are working fast to find solutions for homeowners and renters facing steep electricity bills after a winter storm left many Texans without power for days.

    After Abbott convened what his office described as an “emergency meeting” Saturday with lawmakers to discuss the issue, the Public Utility Commission on Sunday met to sign two orders, including one that would direct energy providers to temporarily stop disconnecting customers from power or water because they have not paid.

    The commission also signed an order to stop companies from sending invoices or bill estimates to customers “until we work through issues of how we are going to financially manage the situation we are in,” commission Chair DeAnn Walker said.
    ……..
    More government interference in the free market.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  192. I’m also struggling why folks keep claiming that this was a once a century winter freeze for Texas.

    Texas seems to get whammy’ed by extreme cold winters every 10 years or so.

    Exactly so. This one was longer than most, but it’s happened roughly every 10 years for 50 years, basically since as the Texas population explosion happened. Texas has a uniquely Texas problem from a weather standpoint, it does get severe winter, cold snaps, summer hot snaps, but its not seasonal every year, once a decade seems like a long time. It’s grid is not connected to better manage regional load, with the exceptions of north Texas (Where wind is a large percentage), El Paso, and extreme eastern Texas. None of those had the issues ERCOT did/does. In 2011, they said it was a once in a century problem, 1998 being the last time…

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  193. But, unlike some of the articles and comments I’ve seen, I wouldn’t start buying into whatever the current narrative is about unregulated markets and price gouging.

    And I don’t. I’ve been in the situation where some needful item (water, gasoline, etc) is suddenly in short supply and sellers have basically two choices: raise prices or ration. They will have people in their face either way. After an earthquake, I’ve seen folks cart a couple cases of water out of the 7-11 that did neither, and that’s bad too (especially when they set up on the sidewalk to resell at 10x).

    Recently, I’ve been trying to buy one of the new-generation graphics cards but they are all being bought up by Ethereum miners and you cannot get one for less than twice MSRP, on eBay. That’s really the same phenomenon and it happens all the time. Event tickets, for example.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  194. More government interference in the free market.

    Where is this free market of which you speak? The only thing that is free about it is that it mostly operates freely within government-defined rules. And when that operation leads to asinine results, government steps in with a club.

    Probably has to do with the word “government.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  195. More government interference in the free market.

    Where is this free market of which you speak? The only thing that is free about it is that it mostly operates freely within government-defined rules. And when that operation leads to asinine results, government steps in with a club.

    Probably has to do with the word “government.”

    I should have said more government interference in legal contracts between consumers and providers.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  196. Reasons not to get the so-called “vaccine”

    Reason #1 is hilariously wrong, a falsehood erected as a strawman and demonstrating a profound misunderstanding of the whole idea. Why read on?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  197. Sammy has it in detail, but I think nk has it in succinctness.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  198. mRNA vaccines explained, in pictures

    https://xkcd.com/2425/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  199. 3. Putin is already very unhappy with the half-assed job Trump did in regard to 1 & 2.

    To be fair, I think that Xi is happy with the results so far.

    1. The hated Trump is gone.
    2. Competing economies have been savaged.
    3. Their bioweapon platform has been tested.
    4. He has increased control in China.
    5. Their facemask business is booming.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  200. As for reforms needed in TX utility law, I would suggest that default customer damages for failure to deliver power be put in place, so that utilities have a cost number to put in the equation when they decide how much maintenance to do. Companies should have to secure insurance coverage, or post a bond, to pay these damages, and the insurance companies will provide all the “regulation” needed at no cost to the state.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  201. legal contracts between consumers and provider

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  202. @192: I’m not sure that a decision in the PA case would have gone in a useful direction, given its association with Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  203. @190:

    Having unlimited variable rates in a system that (apparently) allows for divide-by-zero singularities is a bad idea.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  204. @204-

    legal contracts between consumers and provider

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    The customers were apparently happy to accept low-cost electricity under their contracts for years, but when the STHF they suddenly became unconscionable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  205. @204-

    legal contracts between consumers and provider

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    The customers were apparently happy to accept low-cost electricity under their contracts for years, but when the STHF they suddenly became unconscionable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/22/2021 @ 10:07 am

    The details matter. What did they know and when?

    How about this, how sure are you that today’s electricity at your house isn’t costing your 1,000 dollars?

    Time123 (457a1d)

  206. How about this, how sure are you that today’s electricity at your house isn’t costing your 1,000 dollars?

    Given that I live in California and receive my electricity from a city-owned electric company, I pretty sure that my electric bill (generally around $45 every two months), I’m pretty confident.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  207. The customers were apparently happy to accept low-cost electricity under their contracts for years, but when the STHF they suddenly became unconscionable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/22/2021 @ 10:07 am

    I agree except not sarcastically.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  208. https://therightscoop.com/progressive-blowout-for-the-ages-wsj-exposes-truth-about-biden-covid-relief-bill-how-most-of-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-covid/

    All told, this generous definition of Covid-related provisions tallies some $825 billion. The rest of the bill—more than $1 trillion—is a combination of bailouts for Democratic constituencies, expansions of progressive programs, pork, and unrelated policy changes.

    • Start with the $350 billion for state and local governments and cities and counties, even as state revenues have largely recovered since the spring. Democrats also changed the funding formula to ensure most of the dollars go to blue states that imposed strict economic lockdowns.
    Last year’s Cares Act distributed money mainly by state population, but much of the $220 billion for states in the new bill will be allocated based on average unemployment over the three-month period ending in December. Andrew Cuomo’s New York (8.2% unemployment in December) and Gavin Newsom’s California (9%) get rewarded for crushing their businesses, while Kristi Noem’s South Dakota (3%) is penalized for staying open. These windfalls come with few strings attached.

    • The bill includes $86 billion to rescue 185 or so multiemployer pension plans insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Managed jointly by employer sponsors and unions, these plans are chronically underfunded due to lax federal standards and accounting rules. Yet the bailout comes with no real reform.

    • Elementary and secondary schools get another $129 billion, whether they reopen for classroom learning or not. Higher education gets $40 billion. The CBO notes that since Congress already provided some $113 billion for schools—and as “most of those funds remain to be spent”—it expects that 95% of this new money will be spent from 2022 through 2028. That is, when the pandemic is over.

    • Enormous sums go to expanding favorite Democratic programs. The package adds $35 billion to pump up subsidies to defray ObamaCare premiums. The bill eliminates the existing income cap (400% of the poverty level) on who qualifies for subsidies, and lowers the maximum amount participants are expected to contribute to about 8.5% of their income, down from 10%.

    Linking to TRS instead of WSJ due to paywall.

    So more than half of the relief bill is just giveaways to leftist constituencies. Good times.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  209. The customers were apparently happy to accept low-cost electricity under their contracts for years, but when the STHF they suddenly became unconscionable.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/22/2021 @ 10:07 am

    I agree except not sarcastically.
    Dustin (4237e0) — 2/22/2021 @ 10:46 am

    I’m not being sarcastic either.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  210. How about this, how sure are you that today’s electricity at your house isn’t costing your 1,000 dollars?

    Given that I live in California and receive my electricity from a city-owned electric company, I pretty sure that my electric bill (generally around $45 every two months), I’m pretty confident.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/22/2021 @ 10:41 am

    I’m not picking on you, but you’re basing your assumption about the future on past performance. This is entirely normal, but the people that did this in TX are now screwed.

    Time123 (457a1d)

  211. ……but the people that did this in TX are now screwed.

    That’s too bad. In Texas, the market worked as intended. Utilities forced to pay for high-cost electricity passed the cost to the customers, as any producer would. At least the Texas utilities aren’t hemorrhaging cash, as they did in California where the electricity marker was only partially deregulated in 1996 (the first state to do so):

    …….The utilities were then required to buy their electricity from the newly created day-ahead only market, the California Power Exchange (PX). Utilities were precluded from entering into longer-term agreements that would have allowed them to hedge their energy purchases and mitigate day-to-day swings in prices due to transient supply disruptions and demand spikes from hot weather.

    Then, in 2000, wholesale prices were deregulated, but retail prices were regulated for the incumbents as part of a deal with the regulator, allowing the incumbent utilities to recover the cost of assets that would be stranded as a result of greater competition, based on the expectation that “frozen” rates would remain higher than wholesale prices. This assumption remained true from April 1998 through May 2000.

    Energy deregulation put the three companies that distribute electricity into a tough situation. Energy deregulation policy froze or capped the existing price of energy that the three energy distributors could charge. Deregulating the producers of energy did not lower the cost of energy. Deregulation did not encourage new producers to create more power and drive down prices. Instead, with increasing demand for electricity, the producers of energy charged more for electricity. The producers used moments of spike energy production to inflate the price of energy. In January 2001, energy producers began shutting down plants to increase prices.

    When electricity wholesale prices exceeded retail prices, end user demand was unaffected, but the incumbent utility companies still had to purchase power, albeit at a loss. This allowed independent producers to manipulate prices in the electricity market by withholding electricity generation, arbitraging the price between internal generation and imported (interstate) power, and causing artificial transmission constraints. This was a procedure referred to as “gaming the market.” In economic terms, the incumbents who were still subject to retail price caps were faced with inelastic demand. They were unable to pass the higher prices on to consumers without approval from the public utilities commission. The affected incumbents were Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Pro-privatization advocates insist the cause of the problem was that the regulator still held too much control over the market, and true market processes were stymied, whereas opponents of deregulation assert that the fully regulated system had worked for 40 years without blackouts.

    By keeping the consumer price of electricity artificially low, the California government discouraged citizens from practicing conservation.
    …….
    State lawmakers expected the price of electricity to decrease due to the resulting competition; hence they capped the price of electricity at the pre-deregulation level. Since they also saw it as imperative that the supply of electricity remain uninterrupted, utility companies were required by law to buy electricity from spot markets at uncapped prices when faced with imminent power shortage.
    …….
    As a result of the actions of electricity wholesalers, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) were buying from a spot market at very high prices but were unable to raise retail rates. A product that the IOU’s (investor-owned utilities) used to produce for about three cents per kilowatt hour of electricity, they were paying eleven cents, twenty cents, fifty cents or more; and, yet, they were capped at 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour when charging their retail customers. As a result, PG&E filed bankruptcy, and Southern California Edison worked diligently on a workout plan with the State of California to save their company from the same fate.[23]

    PG&E and SCE had racked up $20 billion in debt by Spring of 2001 and their credit ratings were reduced to junk status. The financial crisis meant that PG&E and SCE were unable to purchase power on behalf of their customers. The state stepped in on January 17, 2001, having the California Department of Water Resources buy power. By February 1, 2001 this stop-gap measure had been extended and would also include SDG&E. It would not be until January 1, 2003 that the utilities would resume procuring power for their customers.

    Source
    Footnotes removed.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  212. That’s too bad. In Texas, the market worked as intended. Utilities forced to pay for high-cost electricity passed the cost to the customers, as any producer would. At least the Texas utilities aren’t hemorrhaging cash, as they did in California where the electricity marker was only partially deregulated in 1996 (the first state to do so):

    Effective markets require symmetrical information and functioning contracts. Functioning contracts require a meeting of minds on the terms. If one party didn’t understand that their electric bill could jump to $15,000+ without notice there was no meeting of the minds.

    I’m not asserting that happened, I don’t know to be honest. I suspect when people signed up for variable rates they were expected fluctuations of less then 100%.

    Enjoyed the link btw.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  213. 149. Dustin (4237e0) — 2/21/2021 @ 3:25 pm

    I firmly believe Russian bots and friends are spreading as much fear of this vaccination program as possible, to further screw with the USA, and just to keep us pissed off at eachother as much as possible.

    Not just, or mainly, in the United States. That many vaccines are harmful is a major theme of Russian propaganda, and has been for a number of years, and is targeted to all more or less liberal countries, with I think, an exception for the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine that they are selling.

    They weren’t attacking all vaccines in general in Spanish, I think.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/05/technology/russia-covid-vaccine-disinformation.html

    Russian Campaign Promotes Homegrown Vaccine and Undercuts Rivals

    Russian news outlets with connections to the Kremlin ran disingenuous Spanish-language stories targeting vaccines made in the United States and Europe, researchers said.

    ————————–

    …Conducted on Spanish-language social media and reinforced by the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in Mexico City, the campaign signaled a new wrinkle in Russian influence operations, promoting Russian industry and scientific cachet over its competitors as governments around the world race to vaccinate their populations.

    …“Every negative story or issue that has come out about a U.S.-made vaccine is amplified, while they flood the zone with any positive report about the Russian vaccine.”

    Media outlets backed by the Russian government posted to Facebook and Twitter hundreds of links to news stories that reported potential ties suggesting American vaccines may have had a role in deaths, the researchers said. The accounts left out follow-up reports that found the vaccines most likely played no role in the deaths.

    …Researchers have tracked similar Russian efforts in Eastern European countries that are still negotiating with Russia to buy the vaccine. Disinformation researchers have also monitored Russia spreading similar narratives in a half-dozen languages, targeting countries in central and West Africa.

    China has also joined the fray, striking a similar anti-American vaccine tone aimed at a domestic audience, according to disinformation researchers. While Russia and China do not appear to be working together, their shared interests have led to a shared narrative. Last month, a Twitter account dedicated to Sputnik V included a Chinese report that falsely claimed the U.S. media had remained silent on deaths related to Pfizer’s vaccine.

    I think Iran has joined in a little.

    The only tweet from the Ayatollah that Twitter removed was something about vaccines.

    https://www.livemint.com/news/world/twitter-removes-iran-s-top-leader-khamenei-s-vaccine-tweet-for-violating-rules-11610243059317.html

    ‘Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited. They’re completely untrustworthy,’ said a tweet posted on Friday on Khamenei’s English-language Twitter account

    He could day anything about Israel he wanted, but criticizing a vaccine was beyond the pale. This was right after they’d removed Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  214. More from that February 5/6 article about the Russian campaign against competing vaccines:

    The influence campaign in Mexico has become the best understood of the efforts by the outlets with ties to the Kremlin. It was different from previous Russian disinformation campaigns, which leaned on posting false and misleading information online. As social media companies have become more aggressive in rooting out disinformation, Russian operations have focused on promoting selective news stories that skirt the truth, rather than reject it.

    The new approach was particularly effective because the Spanish-language Twitter and Facebook accounts of Russia Today and Sputnik, two state-controlled media outlets, regularly rank among the most influential in Latin America, said researchers at First Draft. “They have cultivated a large audience and regularly rank in the top 10 of the most-shared stories or links,” Mr. Longoria said…

    …..Researchers said Russia’s earlier efforts focused on other targets, [besides Pfizer, discussed earlier in the article] like the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. A Russian effort to undermine confidence in that vaccine — including memes and posts on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere depicting it as dangerous — peaked over the summer and early fall, according to researchers.

    The campaign ]aganist the Astra Zeneca vaccine] included suggestions that the vaccine would turn people into monkeys [!!!??] because it was developed using a chimpanzee virus. It largely targeted countries that were debating purchases of the British or Russian vaccines, according to a previous report in The Times of London.

    That campaign abruptly stopped in mid-December, after the drugmakers announced that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had reached a deal to test a combination of their vaccines together ….

    The Russian vaccine apparently does work, although it is based on more tradition medical methods of creating a vaccine.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  215. 215. Time123 (b0628d) — 2/22/2021 @ 12:15 pm

    If one party didn’t understand that their electric bill could jump to $15,000+ without notice there was no meeting of the minds.

    I think maybe both parties didn’t understand that.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  216. Sammy,

    1. I really liked the comments on Russian disinformation.
    2. It would not surprise me if you’re correct. No company wants to be in a situation where they’re bankrupting customers. It’s not good for long term cash flow.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  217. Functioning contracts require a meeting of minds on the terms. If one party didn’t understand that their electric bill could jump to $15,000+ without notice there was no meeting of the minds.

    Time123 explains it better than I could’ve. At a certain point, terms and conditions that no reasonable person understands just aren’t enforceable.

    That’s putting it nicely. There are great civilizations that would chop limbs off for the equivilant of forcing people to give all they own to live, because you broke the village fire.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  218. 195, Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0) — 2/22/2021 @ 9:21 am

    In 2011, they said it was a once in a century problem, 1998 being the last time…

    The news stories I read didn’t go back to the situation in 1998, but I read there were rolling blackouts for eight hours in January 2011, and four hours in 2014. This time it lasted 3 or 4 days and they weren’t so rotated as they were supposed to be. Demand was a winter record, and Texas lost 40% of its possible generating capacity.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-freeze-power-grid-failure-electricity-market-incentives-11613777856

    Bill Magness, chief executive of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot, which operates the state’s power grid, explained during a Thursday news conference how the system was supposed to work: High peak prices provide the incentive for producers to keep operating in all weather. Generators that can’t produce power when it is most needed risk missing out on windfalls. “They’ll face financial consequences in the marketplace,” he said.

    Electricity generators could hope for huge profits in a price spike, but they could also opt out of attempting too hard to be able to supply electricity in a crisis and too many did not go far enough. If they agreed to supply electricity (I think the day before) and failed then they were responsible for paying the cost of replacing the electricity.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  219. As I thought, it was never necessary for the Pfizer vaccine to be kept at super low cold temperatures. It was simply tested that way, to maximize the chances for FDA approval (and the second shot was also done for the same reason)

    Now they are begging the FDA to approve storage at minus minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) rather than between minus 80 and minus 60 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit and minus 76)

    https://www.managedhealthcareexecutive.com/view/pfizer-biontech-effective-at-one-dose-longer-dose-intervals-for-oxford-astrazeneca-6-million-undelivered-dose-backlog-because-of-winter-storms-and-other-covid-19-vaccine-news-this-week

    https://khn.org/morning-breakout/pfizer-now-says-covid-vaccine-doesnt-have-to-be-kept-ultra-cold/

    The media (and Dr. Fauci) was treating these conditions as if they were really scientifically necessary. Rather than just what was tested.

    Were you fooled?

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  220. 170. Dave (1bb933) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:59 pm

    Once they were released by the Attorney General more were released also by the Department of Health.

    Since that time an aide to Governor Cuomo gave a political, and maybe even criminal, reason (obstruction of justice) for not making better figures available sooner. She said that to Dem legislators.

    I can;t believe they were paralyzed by doubt over the correct figures and let misleading ones stand for that reason.

    Sammy Finkelman (8ac22c)

  221. Time123 — I would expect the Texas courts to side with the power companies and enforce the contract, and I expect a lot of consumer bankruptcies as a result.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  222. I hope not, Aphrael.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  223. In a real-time spot market, the consumer is in zero position to actually have access to the information to make an informed decision. I never chose one of those options when I had the option. Also, most consumers are just not informed enough about mitigating downside risks in a disaster. Heck, people who actually do it in their day job, don’t do a great job personally.

    If people were aware, they’d have not signed up for the el cheapo plans, only the contracted rate ones, then the industry might have moved to do some basic tasks that ensured they could deliver. But they didn’t, the advertising (what most buy on) stressed the cheap electricity vs the possibility of exponential bills others. Of course, if they know that uncle sugar will actually be taking all the real risk, then party on Garth.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (605009)

  224. > We all intuitively understand that creating a shortage, and using it to price gouge, when 70 or more people die as a result, isn’t something any sane society is going to tolerate.

    Yes. That said, my anticipation is that Texas will decide to tolerate it because the alternative is socialism and nobody wants that.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  225. > We all intuitively understand that creating a shortage, and using it to price gouge, when 70 or more people die as a result, isn’t something any sane society is going to tolerate.

    Yes. That said, my anticipation is that Texas will decide to tolerate it because the alternative is socialism and nobody wants that.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 2/22/2021 @ 3:16 pm

    If the contract didn’t include this then not forcing the customer to pay is capitalism. Because in capitalism you don’t force someone to pay for something they didn’t agree to.

    Free Market Capitalism requires contracts be enforced. But as I wrote previously, you have to understand what you’re signing and agree to it. IANAL but I think there’s a reasonableness standard for where the line is on what should be understandable.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  226. Yes. That said, my anticipation is that Texas will decide to tolerate it because the alternative is socialism and nobody wants that.

    Is every other state socialist, Texas has its fair share of socialism? It will depend on how you define it, but America has lots and lots of socialism; highways, tanks.

    Social democracy is a government system that has similar values to socialism, but within a capitalist framework. The ideology, named from democracy where people have a say in government actions, supports a competitive economy with money while also helping people whose jobs don’t pay a lot. This makes it easier for people to support themselves in society by having more protection if they lose their jobs. Socialism places an emphasis on equal rights for everyone, and there is plenty of government ownership or regulation of various industries that make companies play by the government’s rules. This way of governing is appreciated by people living in countries who have to battle the cold more than others, like the northern Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland. The ideology’s movement has seen some interest in other countries whose systems do not work this way, because it has worked well for those who have it.

    Despite a common belief that social democracy is socialist by principle, its policies keep capitalism in place and socialists often dislike social democrats. Social democrats support Keynesian economics, where the government should step in and help people without jobs. In social democracy entrepreneurs own the industries just like they would in a standard capitalist economy. In socialism the workers own them instead which is very different.

    We’re not a purely socialist country, of course few are, we’re also not even close to the top of the list of most freedom in the economy either, we’re 17th, behind Lithuania… Hey, we’ve jumped Hong Kong in the last year as they fell from second.

    Texas is going to get a massive federal bail out over this, I think they shouldn’t, the state decided that they didn’t need minimum requirements that didn’t, you know, meet the minimum requirements, so the companies all provided the minimum standard as created. Working as intended. Neither the company nor the Feds should bail it out and not because socialism. But they will get the bailout, and someone (hey Teddy Cruise…nice shades bro) should sponsor an amendment on the bill that requires Texas to acknowledge the facts before receiving the first tranche of funds, and have an officially passed law requiring remediation before the second tranche, and zero future bailouts if (when) it happens again (again, again, again) in 10 years (again, again, again, again).

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  227. Colonel Klink — to be clear, i’m not endorsing the situation. I’m saying that given my understanding of Texan law and Texan political preferences, I anticipate the state legislature and courts will decide that forcing people to pay these bills, under contracts they agreed to, is better than government stepping in to do something about it.

    *I* think the contracts are unconscionable if they result in unexpected $15K bills to residential consumers. But Texas law hasn’t generally been very friendly to claims of unconscionability — because the political and legal culture has historically viewed such claims as unwarranted government interference in free markets.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  228. Time123 (b0628d) — 2/22/2021 @ 8:38 am

    Frosty, What was Arkansas doing that prevented them for losing lower and water for a week and counting? seems like this was a preventable failure of basic utilities.

    I don’t know. I also understand MS had some issues. I haven’t looked at other states enough to have any real idea. The answer could be as simple as they had energy providers who made better decisions prior to the storm.

    frosty (f27e97)

  229. We have n New York also, since 1999, the ability to pick your electricity supplier (separate from delivery) which can be combined on one bill, and most offer a variable rate. They never promise what it will be.

    For many years it was impossible to find out what the comparable rate was from Con Ed – you could only compare one ESCO to another. They would call you up and they would go door to door and you thought that if you got the lowest rate, you were doing good.

    I learned, about two or three years ago that every single one of them with maybe one or two exceptions, cost more than what the default Con Edison charge was. No newspapers or web sites seemed to tell you this. I guess it finally got to be a mild scandal. They wanted to help low income people and they actually forbade ESCOs from providing electricity supply to limited income people. News started to leak out.

    You would have thought the politicians put this in to enable people to save a tiny bit of money. Nothing doing – except that at the start some favored institutions were able to buy electricity from an ESCO with a strictly limited supply.

    Sammy Finkelman (125d6f)

  230. 224. aphrael (4c4719) — 2/22/2021 @ 3:09 pm

    I would expect the Texas courts to side with the power companies and enforce the contract, and I expect a lot of consumer bankruptcies as a result.

    As will the company if that happens. It seems like this happened with only one electricity supplier.

    In New York, variable costs are averaged over the billing month. Does Texas have time of day metering?

    Sammy Finkelman (125d6f)

  231. frosty (f27e97) — 2/23/2021 @ 5:44 am

    The answer could be as simple as they had energy providers who made better decisions prior to the storm.

    They had access to more providers, and there wasn’t such a big reduction in generating capacity.

    Sammy Finkelman (125d6f)

  232. Time123 (b0628d) — 2/22/2021 @ 8:38 am

    Frosty, What was Arkansas doing that prevented them for losing lower and water for a week and counting? seems like this was a preventable failure of basic utilities.

    I don’t know. I also understand MS had some issues. I haven’t looked at other states enough to have any real idea. The answer could be as simple as they had energy providers who made better decisions prior to the storm.

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/23/2021 @ 5:44 am

    I suspect that the study of how and why this happened will take a while.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  233. Yes. That said, my anticipation is that Texas will decide to tolerate it because the alternative is socialism and nobody wants that.

    This is like the hyperbole during the campaign, that the choice was for Trump or socialism. I think the real answer is a higher degree of regulation to protect consumers from surge-pricing price-gouging by for-profit electricity purveyors, which is what happens in general when free-market excesses create inequities against the poorer strata.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  234. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/23/2021 @ 7:54 am

    when free-market excesses create inequities against the poorer strata.

    Government dies that too, and more routinely. When new institutions are established it may not, or not do so very much, but things get worse after awhile, and worse with the poorer people.

    Government is terrible at planning and especially at making course corrections.

    Sammy Finkelman (125d6f)

  235. Off-topic: Vaccine access codes for hard-hit Black, Latino communities improperly used in other L.A. areas

    A California program intended to improve COVID-19 vaccine availability to people in hard-hit communities of color is being misused by outsiders who are grabbing appointments reserved for residents of underserved Black and Latino areas.

    The program to address inequities in vaccine distribution relies on special access codes that enable people to make appointments on the My Turn vaccine scheduling website. The codes are provided to community organizations to distribute to people in largely Black and Latino communities.

    But those codes have also been circulating, in group texts and messages, among the wealthier, work-from-home set in Los Angeles, The Times has learned. Many of those people are not yet eligible for the vaccine under state rules.

    Some people able to make appointments have been driving to Cal State Los Angeles to get the shots.

    It’s unclear how the codes got into the hands of outsiders, but the situation has forced the state to scramble to protect the integrity of an equity program that Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials have been hailing. The state canceled appointments made with at least one of the access codes after The Times inquired about it last week.

    Yet another case where rules are being broken by people within the system. I’m sure there will be “reasons.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  236. Today is Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the two week anniversary the terrible ice storm that continues to torment Texas. Contrary to what some think above, this ice storm in not like the occasional freeze we get in Texas. It’s far worse.

    I talked to my nephew last night. He said, “Dude, Austin has been covered in two feet of snow for weeks.” Wow, that’s got to suck. The same is no doubt true Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Arlington, and the numerous cities and small towns in Northeast Texas. Maybe not two feet of snow, but snow that will not melt.

    This is bad. An unknown number of people have died, frozen to death in their ice cold homes. Grocery stores are barren, because icy roads have disrupted and prevented delivery of supplies. Tens of thousands of people are without power, because hundreds of oil, gas and water pipes froze and cracked, rendering them inoperable.

    Today is also the one week anniversary of the worst, most horrific traffic incidents in Texas history.

    What happened was in the early morning frozen rain fell over a two lane stretch of a highway, forming a deadly ice trap. No one knew about it, because no one had encountered it.

    A little after 6:00 AM, along comes 133 cars and 3 semitrucks, travelling in opposite directions on the two lane highway. Once they drove over the ice, the drivers lost all control over their vehicles. They started spinning around crashing into each other. One semitruck fell over, gratefully away from the spinning crashing cars. One car crashes into another, causing that car to crash into another, causing that car to another, as the cars spun around over the ice crashing into each other. All the terrified drivers could do was pray for their lives, as the cars kept spinning and crashing.

    When it finally came to an end, every car was damaged, many beyond repair. There were six fatalities; two others later died from their injuries.

    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/weather/2021/02/11/winter-weather-causes-hazardous-conditions-on-north-texas-roads/

    I am reminded of the freeze of 83. I had come down from Austin to spend Christmas with my parents and siblings, brought presents to put under the Christmas tree. When I got here, it was inordinately cold for the Rio Grande Valley. Brrr, but I didn’t think much of it, because I knew it would be warm inside. We had central air and heat.

    We ate a nice dinner on Christmas Eve, talked, told jokes and laughed. It was a wonderful family gathering. All was right with the world. We watched Christmas classics on TV, then went to bed.

    I woke up in the morning and opened the door to pick up the newspaper, and everything was was covered in ice! So I put on some warm clothes and went outside to check it out. Inches of ice all over everything everywhere. I’d never seen anything like it.

    What had happened was an artic blast had blown in from Canada, across the Midwest, all the way down to South Texas and Northern Mexico. Temperatures dropped to 16 degrees over night and froze everything. Temperatures didn’t rise above the 20s for two weeks, so everything remained frozen.

    It was a disaster. See, the thing about The Rio Grande Valley is that beginning in the late 1800s developers had begun buying tracts of land and clearing out mesquite brush to develop farm land. This went on for decades, with interruptions by WW I, the Great Depression, and WW II of course, but by the late 1940s, the mesquite brush had all been cleared and the farm land developed. Everything was set for the Rio Grande Valley to blossom, and it did.

    Low lying ground, humid air, temperate weather, and perpetual sunshine, anything can be grown here, and everything was. By the 1960s, the Rio Grande Valley had become the agricultural center of the United States and the citrus capital of the world.

    Christmas Day, 1983, the entire region was frozen to death. Temperatures did rise above the 30s for over a month. All the crops died and the economic base destroyed.

    There were 44,000 foreclosures within three months, and thousands and thousands more to come over the following months and years. Banks failed. Businesses went bankrupt. Stores closed. People lost their homes. It was complete economic destruction. The Rio Grande Valley didn’t return to economic growth and development for two decades.

    The citrus industry never recovered. Most of the dead farmland was bought up and converted into subdivisions. Some farms were able to recover and survive, but they couldn’t return to what they were before. It wasn’t until NAFTA that the Rio Grande Valley really returned to economic growth and development, but as a trade, not an agricultural, center.

    That’s what this ice storm has the potential of becoming to Northeast Texas. The longer it persists, the more ruinous it becomes.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  237. It’s possible that the reason so many people suddenly ganged up on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was that they thought he would shortly be destroyed by a sexual harassment scandal.

    https://nypost.com/2021/02/24/ex-aide-details-sexual-harassment-allegations-against-cuomo/

    It could be that Lindsey Boylan was talking to more and more people. She is running for Manhattan borough president and I guess that meant it couldn’t be ignored.

    He kissed her without warning in 2018 when she was promoted to be Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and special advisor to the governor — a job she hesitated in taking “because I didn’t want to be near him.” (Cuomo’s relationship with his live in companion has broken up)

    It occurs to me that she might perhaps also have some things to say about went into his endorsement of various projects.

    He was courting her much much too aggressively in a way that she didn’t like, while other top women around Cuomo like the soon to be notorious Melissa DeRosa tried to make it seem normal. She finally quit.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  238. Letter in the Wall Street Journal says don’t blame wind power. It functions in cold weather in Michigan and they don’t have problems with natural gas either. Winterization is offered as an option for wind power – it just wasn’t bought. Natural gas also had too much of it vulnerable to very cold weather.

    ERCOT thought its planning was good enough – it wasn’t. It didn’t take account of low probability events,

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  239. Reading a lot, here and there, about Covid.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  240. Posted yesterday in wrong thread: (typos corrected and very light editing done)

    Sean Hannity is going to have New York Democratic Assemblyman Ron Kim from Queens on his radio show probably in the next half hour, Ron Kim’ uncle died in a nursing home and Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to destroy him [politically] if he didn’t back down from something and also withdrew his conformation of what Melissa DeRosa said on a call to some Democrats as to why good figures were not released on nursing home deaths.

    He wants Cuomo impeached (or rather actually an impeachment investigation) and this is being played up by the New York Post and other right wing media as “Democrats” have now joined in. Some want him censured. More want his emergency powers not extended. But the Assembly may be the stumbling lock to that.

    Everybody confirms the way Cuomo talks. De Blasio said last week he believes Kim because he’s gotten calls like that. It never broke through into the news because of fear and because it was off the record.

    Sammy Finkelman (125d6f) — 2/23/2021 @ 2:13 pm

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  241. 242. Lindsey Boylan is a married woman. Andrew Cuomo pursued her for at least two years. The Governor’s office says the allegations are false. She ran against Jerrold Nadler last year

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  242. Even though they knew it was close to approval almost nobody tended to factor in the number of shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Under the rules, it is to be used one time, and can be stored in ordinary freezers.

    Less will be made very soon than originally projected by the company. It is said to be good for going door to door to vaccinate home bound people.

    The FDA seems to be on the verge of easing the rules for approval for vaccines modified so as to target the newer strains.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/22/covid-vaccine-fda-says-shots-that-target-new-variants-wont-need-large-clinical-trials-to-win-approval.html

    This is apparently OK now because 1) it is an emergency and 2) The election is over and nobody is going to accuse Donald Trump of fast tracking it too much

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

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