Cowboy Capitalism, Big Oil’s Spin Machine and Mutual Aid

cross-posted from Medium

wo weeks ago, a polar vortex hit my home state of Texas. The heating Arctic pushed cold air far south and temperatures plummeted below freezing. In a state that has been hit by hurricanes, drought and wildfires, the climate crisis coming home to roost in one of the most pro-oil and gas states in the country is nothing out of the ordinary. Despite decades of dealing with the aftermath of these climate disasters, the notoriously libertarian state fails at providing for the needs of its residents over and over. But a polar vortex hitting Texas was completely new and it’s leadership even more unprepared for the disaster.

Gas and coal-fired power plants lacking winterization had their facilities freeze and shut down. In a state of 29 million, this led to over four and a half million people without power in frigid weather. Residents living in homes built for the tropics shivered in the dark. Some froze to death. The next phase of the disaster had more than twelve million Texans lose their water or put under “boil advisories,” (which means you have to boil your tap water before you drink it.) More than 130 of the state’s 254 counties were experiencing water outages or potential contamination, and more than 250,000 residents had not had water service for three days, according to state data. Some still don’t have water. Continue reading “Cowboy Capitalism, Big Oil’s Spin Machine and Mutual Aid”

Texas Freezes Over Pt 2. Frozen Wind Turbines, the Green New Deal and Big Oil’s Spin Machine w/ Climate Campaigner Jamie Hen‪n‬

Our series on Texas’s winter crisis continues!

Listen in here: https://bit.ly/BigOilSpinGandR

In this episode, we talk with Jamie Henn from Fossil Free Media about the climate and power crisis in Texas. We discuss how the minions of the oil and gas industry –right-wing politicians Greg Abbott and Rick Perry, and their spin machine– moved to shift the blame of the Continue reading “Texas Freezes Over Pt 2. Frozen Wind Turbines, the Green New Deal and Big Oil’s Spin Machine w/ Climate Campaigner Jamie Hen‪n‬”

Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, John Prine and Left Politics in Country Music w/ Prof. Mark Allan Jackso‪n‬

In this episode, we talk about left politics in country music with Prof. Mark Allan Jackson. Country music has a huge popular following and has been closely associated with Republican and socially conservative political forces. Politicians like George Wallace, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan have all appealed to country’s fans to build their political bases. But country music has also had a populist left appeal as well. From Nashville to Bakersfield, CA, country musicians have espoused progressive political positions as well in lyrics and activism.

Listen in: https://bit.ly/LeftCountryGandR Continue reading “Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, John Prine and Left Politics in Country Music w/ Prof. Mark Allan Jackso‪n‬”

Texas Freezes Over, Cowboy Capitalism and A Failed State w/ Debbie Russell and Clayton Lus‪t‬

We’re rejoined by repeat Green and Red repeat-offenders Debbie Russell (@debmocracy) and Clayton Lust (@claytonlust), in Austin and Houston, respectively, to discuss the “Katrina-scale” crisis happening throughout Texas at the moment.

Listen In: https://bit.ly/TexasWinterGandR Continue reading “Texas Freezes Over, Cowboy Capitalism and A Failed State w/ Debbie Russell and Clayton Lus‪t‬”

Texas Energy Corporations make billions, but weatherization was too expensive…..

cross-posted from Afflict the Comfortable

by Bob Buzzanco

Among the many utterly ridiculous claims made by the Texas GOP and “energy” industry, is that they couldn’t have foreseen a “Black Swan” event like the winter storms in Texas (because the 2011 Super Bowl Stormhttps://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/us/05storm.html was so long ago) and it would have been too expensive to weatherize the infrastructure–natural gas, coal, oil, because wind, the scapegoat for Texas politicos right now makes up barely 10 percent of the power grid. So below is some data on just how much the major energy companies in Texas raked in. I guess when you’re making $9-12 billion a year, you can’t afford to plan for a rain, or snowy, day. Maybe a GoFundMe page is in order?

NRG Energy Revenue, 2006-2020

NRG Energy annual/quarterly revenue history and growth rate from 2006 to 2020. Revenue can be defined as the amount of money a company receives from its customers in exchange for the sales of goods or services. Revenue is the top line item on an income statement from which all costs and expenses are subtracted to arrive at net income. Continue reading “Texas Energy Corporations make billions, but weatherization was too expensive…..”

The Limits of Trump’s Power and the Left’s failure to respond to i‪t‬.

In this episode, we offer a postmortem on Trump’s presidency and the limits of his power.

Listen in: https://bit.ly/LimitsTrumpGandR

The “opposition” gave Trump powers that he never had.  He was never popular, his positions never had close to majority approval, his own judges and GOP officials rebuked him, and, as we’ve talked about plenty, the Continue reading “The Limits of Trump’s Power and the Left’s failure to respond to i‪t‬.”

Impeachment: The Democrats Botch it Again

cross-posted from Afflict the Comfortable

By Bob Buzzanco

Five Dead. Lighting-fast trial. Dems rely on Republicans to “have spine.” No witnesses called. GOP on the ropes but given new life.

Donald Trump incited a violent crowd to storm the capitol, with dozens of police injured and five people killed. Large majorities of Americans believed he was responsible for the assault and the damages.  He was quickly impeached and now he’s been, predictably, acquitted by Senate Republicans who really didn’t even need to try to make up any good reasons for their vote.

Everyone has seen this played out before, several times.  Trump commits some heinous deed and gets off the hook.  Liberals and the Left ramp up their outrage and hatred of Trump, and he doubles down, ultimately to the point of inspiring people to violently attack the Capitol and the “blue lives” they claim to cherish.

Perhaps instead of always blaming Trump, the Democrats should look elsewhere, like inward, to analyze these situations. Continue reading “Impeachment: The Democrats Botch it Again”

Worthy Victims? Two Professors Fired in Texas…..mostly crickets

cross-posted from Afflict the Comfortable

Outrage over Nathan Robinson is fine….but others need help too.

To begin, I have no issues with Nathan Robinson, have never met him, and think that The Guardian’s cancellation of his column over a sarcastic comment about U.S. support of Israel is an outrage--and he deserves support from the Left and from anyone who believes in free expression.

And he’s getting that–lots of it. Since the episode blew up last week, I’ve seen countless social media posts about it, from some of the biggest names in the lefty media pundit celebrity world, and articles about it in various media internationally. I’m glad. People who criticize Israel have been the targets of smear campaigns for too long (I have my own personal experience with that–from the allegedly radical Pacifica Network no less). So, Nathan Robinson is a worthy victim–as Herman and Chomsky wrote about long ago….no doubt. Continue reading “Worthy Victims? Two Professors Fired in Texas…..mostly crickets”

“looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit…” Politics on Campus w/ Bill Troveski from The Way Podcas‪t‬

In this episode we talk politics and podcasting with Bill Troveski from The Way Podcast.

Listen here: https://bit.ly/TheWayGandR

Students for a Democratic Society said in the Port Huron statement, “looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit…”  We discuss the current version of that discomfort that today’s students and youth are inheriting as the pandemic, economic collapse, the climate crisis and political crisis are all crashing down. With Bill, we discuss politics on campus at the University of Connecticut (where he’s currently a student), issues of student debt, the work force, climate change, healthcare and more. Continue reading ““looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit…” Politics on Campus w/ Bill Troveski from The Way Podcas‪t‬”

Professors Fired for COVID Concerns

cross-posted from Afflict the Comfortable

President Neil Matkin doesn’t care about health, safety, or free speech at Collin College

*****

Audra Heaslip and Suzanne Jones are well-established and highly-regarded professors at Collin College…..for the time being.  Both were fired this past week by Collin’s President, Neil Matkin, for expressing their concerns about the college’s (non)response to COVID, as well as for their union activities.  It’s a textbook case of retaliation and Matkin and the College administrators aren’t really trying to hide it.  If Heaslip and Jones can be terminated and possibly lose their jobs, their careers, their security, paychecks, healthcare, then everyone in the academic world is at risk—a tenured professor at celebrity university, or an instructor at a community college, or a K-12 teacher anywhere in America…….. Continue reading “Professors Fired for COVID Concerns”