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Texas Whack-Jon Republican Refuses Help for Houston From Canada!

Think it is time for “Regime change” in Texas…Time to take down the Governor Abbott and his whack-jobs

Texas “Secretary of State” Rolando B. Pablos refusing help for the victims of Hurricane Harvey

‘Send prayers’: Texas Republican turns down donated blankets, beds, manpower from Canada

Those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana are only beginning to see the way the flood waters have destroyed their homes. Many families tried to ride it out, only to be rescued when the rising waters forced them onto their roof. Thousands escaped with only their lives and the clothes on their backs, losing everything they own.

But according to Secretary of State Rolando Pablos (R-TX), they don’t need any help. As Patheos reported, they just need a little more Jesus.

Quebec’s Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre called Pablos to express her sorrow and condolences on behalf of the people of the Canadian province. She also offered equipment and manpower.

Pablos turned it down. Instead he asked for “prayers from the people of Quebec,” the minister relayed.

Understandably, the neighbor to the north was shocked.

“It was a conversation about how devastating the situation is and we want to express our support to the people of Texas,” she told CBC News in an interview.

This isn’t the first time the Canadians have stepped up with substantial donations. After Hurricane Katrina, they also sent the donation of blankets, beds, pillows, hygienic products as well as electricians to help restore power. Louisiana was more than grateful to accept. Texas was a no. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, by contrast, graciously accepted a generous offer from Mexico for assistance.

“He was very touched by the fact we called him,” she noted.

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Houston – You Have a Problem

There are a series of manmade issues which have resulted in the massive damage we are seeing in the Houston region of Texas. The major contributor is the lack of Zoning Laws which would require developers to use certain standards in location and construction. Much like what happened in Florida during Hurricane Andrew some years back, there are no laws requiring builders not to build on floodplains, or to utilize special construction. As such a lot of the lessons from Andrew, and Katrina (I worked on parts of the Katrina recovery) were ignored.

The second problem is the US Government and FEMA. While FEMA is really strict on rules for coastal homes built along the ocean, and insurance rates are sky high (if you can get it at all) – they take a highly permissive approach to insuring homes and property a few miles inland – even when that property is located on a floodplain which repeatedly floods. I live in a coastal area, designated as a “flood zone”. I was required to utilize certain building methods. For instance the roof and siding are designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane – 140 MPH winds. The house is on “stilts” 13′ above the ground, which were driven 20′ or more into the earth. It has survived 4 Hurricanes, including a direct hit by a Cat 5 with no significant damage despite a 12′ Storm Surge and flooding. Indeed as I write this, my area is being pounded by a Tropical Storm moving up the East Coast, and we are expecting 60 MPH winds and 2-4 inches of rain.

FEMA has paid on properties which repeatedly flood – far in excess of the property values. Properties and localities with no storm mitigation systems.

The National Flood Insurance Program, established in 1968 was meant to protect and indemnify people without creating economic catastrophe. Instead of avoiding the floodplain, insurance allowed people to build within it, within management constraints recommended by FEMA. In theory, flood-hazard mitigation hoped to direct development away from flood-prone areas through the disincentives of risk insurance and regulatory complexity. It isn’t working – especially in areas where there was substantial construction before the law (NOLA), and in Texas where there is no Zoning.

In Houston’s case, catastrophic floods have been anticipated for some time. The combination of climate change, which produces more intense and unpredictable storms, and aggressive development made an event like this week’s almost inevitable. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has called for a national flood risk-management strategy, and the Houston Chronicle has called flood control the city’s “most pressing infrastructure need.” A lack of funding is often blamed, and relaxed FEMA regulations under the Trump Administration won’t help either.

The famously “un-zoned” city has allowed developers to pave over natural areas that provide resilience to floods, and build homes in the way of cataclysm. According to a 2016 analysis by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, 166,000 acres of coastal prairies have been destroyed by development since 2001.“More people die here than anywhere else from floods,” Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher, told us last year. “More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”

Not counting the Harvey’s devastation in Houston, in the past two years, 16,000 buildings have been flooded, and $1 billion in damage was caused by the so-called “Tax Day” and “Memorial Day” floods. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison killed almost two dozen people and caused $5 billion in damage in Harris County, which includes Houston.

The next problem is Houston’s road system. Those giant highways are impervious surfaces which cause rapid rainfall runoff. In the case of the major superhighways in Houston, that runoff is along the road filling underpasses – making evacuation nearly impossible.

After Hurricane Sandy 36 Republican Senators refused to vote in favor of funding relief, including the two Senators from Texas. The political ramifications of that are floating around in the political miasma.

Maybe we need to take a different view of how to pay for this. The State, which is responsible for the laws leaving citizens defenseless – should bear a greater responsibility for its actions. Second – maybe we should put relocation on the table. Those buildings that have repeatedly flooded should be torn down, the owners should be provided FEMA Insurance money – but only to build elsewhere or to build with significant mitigation strategies. Ergo – the State, County, and City has to put a plan of mitigation on the table before a dime is spent for rebuilding.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in American Greed, Disaster Prep, News

 

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That “Immigration” Thing Gets Real

Out here in the country, you get a unique view of what the Chumph’s Storm Troopers have done relative to immigration.

You see…Any crop that can’t be picked by machine is picked by…”illegal” immigrants. Migrant workers.

The above picture is of a local tomato field. It is owned by one of major food producers, Del Monte. This is a large field, I would guess in the 150 acre+ range, normally containing about 3 million tomato plants. The tomatoes grown here go in everything from your spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, and any other product using a tomato puree.

Normally in this part of the world, they plant two crops of tomatoes on these fields, and by July 4th are harvesting the “spring” crop.  There was no spring crop this year. What you are looking at is the long rows of plastic mulch protecting the little tomato plants which are spaced every foot or so. Here is another view.

Noooooo tomatoes! You see, special tractors groom the land, pile the dirt into those long straight mounds, and cover the rows for the plants in plastic.

Then crews of several hundred migrant workers use a little tool which punches through the plastic and plants the baby plants one at a time, a foot apart all the way down that long strip of plastic. When the plants get about a foot tall, the crews come back and insert a tomato stake next to each plant and tie the plant to the stake with a twist tie.

Small problem this year…

No migrant workers.

So Delmonte has lost one crop…And is pretty close to losing a second – wiping out the whole year.

This is a Chumph world with no “Mexicans” (Most of the current Migrant workers aren’t from Mexico, they are from further South, places like El Salvador or Guatemala).

It is the same all over, as I see other food producer fields either fallow, or turned over to machine crops like corn or soy.

So when conservative blowhards like Rich Lowery announce – Trump Is Winning the Immigration Debate …

It’s kinda funny. Tell me that again when product shortages drive the cost of a can of diced tomatoes from $0.99 to $4.00. And that bottle of Ragu starts costing $5.00 this fall.

Just a hint, but you may want to stock up now.

 

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Kansas Republican Join Dems in Vote to End Failed Conservative State

The same conservative “principles” of cutting taxes to foster growth have led Governor Sam Brownback’s Kansas to the same place it led Bobby Jindals, Louisiana during his reign.

Near bankruptcy.

No wonder The idjit in charge wants to do this to the whole country,

Kansas Republicans raise taxes, ending their GOP governor’s ‘real live experiment’ in conservative policy

Republicans in Kansas broke ranks with the state’s conservative governor Tuesday night, voting to raise tax rates and put an end to a series of cuts.

The GOP revolt is a defeat for Gov. Sam Brownback, who overhauled the state’s tax system beginning in 2012, bringing down rates and causing repeated, severe budgetary shortfalls.

Kansas’s legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, but moderate GOP lawmakers joined with Democrats, overriding Brownback’s veto of a bill they’d already passed once that would raise taxes again by $600 million a year. Eighteen of the state’s 31 GOP senators and 49 of the 85 Republican members of the House voted against the governor.

The victory for Brownback’s opponents resulted in part from their gains in last year’s election. Voters — frustrated that public schools were closing early and the state’s highways were in visible disrepair — rejected Brownback’s allies in favor of more moderate Republicans or Democrats.

“It was a hard vote for a lot of people to make last night,” said Rep. Melissa Rooker, a moderate Republican who represents a suburb of Kansas City. “Kansas has had a turn to the far right, and we seem to be centering ourselves.”

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Jobs growth

The legislation undoes the essential components of Brownback’s reforms, which he famously described as part of a “real-live experiment” in conservative governance.

Brownback had reduced the number of brackets for the state’s marginal rates on income from three to two. The legislature will restore the third bracket, increasing taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents from 4.6 percent to 5.2 percent this year and 5.7 percent next year.

Marginal rates on less affluent Kansan households will increase as well, from 4.6 percent to 5.25 percent by next year for married taxpayers making between $30,000 and $60,000 a year and from 2.7 percent to 3.1 percent for those earning less than that.

The legislation also scraps a plan to bring those rates down even further in future years, one of Brownback’s promises to conservative supporters.

Finally, the legislature eliminated a cut Brownback had put in place to help small businesses. Analysts said that the provision had become a loophole, as many Kansans were able to avoid paying taxes entirely by pretending to be small businesses.

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Economic Performance (Gains or losses) Kansas versus other states. Notice Wisconsin under Republican Walker also significantly under performs.

Initially, the state forecast that about 200,000 small businesses would take advantage of the break. As it turned out, about 330,000 entities would use Kansas’s new rule. That discrepancy suggests that tens of thousands of workers claimed that their incomes were from businesses they owned rather than from salaries.

“What we were able to do in the last 24 hours can allow us to start down that road, to begin repairing all the damage done after living with Gov. Brownback’s failed tax experiment for five years,” said Annie McKay, who is the president of Kansas Action for Children, an advocacy group in Topeka.

Tuesday’s vote was a rebuke not only for Brownback, but also for Republicans in Washington who have advocated similar cuts in taxes at the national level — including President Trump.

 

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Farmers Get the Shaft Under Chumph’s Immigration

Image result for illegal immigrants picking tomatoes

This is a common sight in the fields around where I currently live. Immigrants, mostly undocumented, picking the crops. These guys disappear…Say goodbye to your spaghetti sauce and pizzas. The pick tomatoes green, and then turn the red by gassing them with nitrogen. Otherwise the tomato is so soft it rots before getting to market. Last year, the tomato field was planted with cantaloupes –  the same crew (rounded up by an entrepreneurial ex-illegal – now citizen) was out there to pick them.

The Chumph’s Immigrant crackdown is getting ready to cost Americans greatly, and where it hurts – at the grocery store. We have become spoiled since the 50’s days to terrible TV Dinners and certain fruits and vegetables only being available during certain parts of the year. You don’t realize that until you go to a country which doesn’t have the agricultural infrastructure the US has.

A number of crops cannot be picked by machine. Tomatoes are too delicate. Add spinach, kale, cucumbers, lettuce, grapes, oranges, apples, pears, and a host of other fruit and vegetables which have to be picked by hand. Since the 60’s, and almost elusively now those crops are picked by undocumented immigrants.

That may be fine out there in the mid-west, where the principal crops of wheat and corn can be picked by machine. But unless you plan to subsist on a diet of popcorn and wheaties…

If the undocumented disappear, so do the strawberries, blueberries, and and damn near anything except bananas (they are gown in Latin America) to go with your cereal.

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What happens to the independent farmer who provides those crops?

One last note…

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Black folks don’t pick cotton anymore…

 

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Chumph to Destroy National Monuments…And Yogi the Bear

If you haven’t see some of the incredibly beautiful places in this country protected as National Monuments by the last 16 Presidents – You better take a long vacation this summer, as the Chumph is about to sell them off to be strip mined and drilled for oil.

What an unconscionable Piece of Shit this cretin is.

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Soon to be a Mountain top Removal for coal nobody wants by the Chumph’s cohort

 

Trump to order review of national monuments

President Donald Trump is set to order the review of tens of millions of acres of land and water set aside as national monuments by the past three presidents on Wednesday, a move that environmental groups warn will undermine a crucial conservation tool and open up sensitive areas to fossil fuel development.

The review will be conducted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and will encompass the dozens of monuments created over the past 21 years, although the main focus will be on President Barack Obama’s designation last year of Bears Ears National monument, as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument protected by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Both of those are in Utah, and the state’s lawmakers have pressed to revoke the monument status for the two sites, which are believed to hold fossil fuel resources.

But Zinke sought to quell concerns that the executive order would roll back conservation protections provided by 1906 Antiquities Act, saying the Trump’s order “does not strip any monument … or loosen any environmental conservation on any land or marine areas.”

Yet environmental groups fear the review is a simply a pretense to unwind the federal protections in the future, since both Trump and Zinke have supported growing U.S. fossil fuel output.

The Antiquities Act is “one of our country’s kind of bedrock conservation laws,” said Daniel Ritzman, Sierra Club western public lands protection campaign director.

Sixteen different presidents have used the law “to protect some of our country’s most special places. You know places like the Grand Canyon [National Park] started out out as a national monument,” he said. “And it’s not just our important landscapes that have been protected, it’s also used to protect some unique American cultural sites, especially Native American cultural sites.”

Presidents have also used the law to block off areas from fossil-fuel development, such as coal mining at Grand Staircase, but environmental and conservation groups worry those protections will be tossed aside as Trump looks for additional ways to unleash energy development on public lands and waters.

“This administration has made it clear that they’re going to do the bidding of the oil and gas industry,” said Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, a Colorado-based conservation group.

The order gives Zinke 45 days to file an interim recommendations, and 120 days to issue suggestions for legislation or for Trump to revoke or slim down the size of any monuments that cover 100,000 acres or more that were created under the Antiquities Act.

The order does not make any assertions as to the scope of Trump’s authority to revoke monuments, Zinke said and he reiterated his belief that presidents can revise the scope of monument designations, though that the broader authority to delist monuments remains untested in courts.

While presidents have tweaked the size of their predecessor’s monument designations — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, for example, reduced Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Monument by 25 percent — none have fully revoked the status for existing monuments entirely. Environmental groups and tribal officials say they stand ready to sue over any attempts by Trump to change the footprint or eliminate existing monuments.

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The Chumphshits goal for the Grand Canyon

 

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Why “Going Nuclear” By Senate Republicans May Be Catastropic

Republicans decided today to end the Democrat filibuster of Putin’s Bitch selection for the Supreme Court.

They just waltzed their way into a Constitutional crisis.

The Chumph is going to be impeached. The most likely reason is his collusion with Putin to submarine the election.

Ergo – Putin’s Bitch illegally “won” the election.

If (or when) that happens, everything done by Putin’s Bitch is illegitimate. It is the “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree”, meaning every executive order, law signed by the Chumph, or move made in terms of the Executive Branch gets reset to the day Obama left office.

Gorsuch’s nomination is illegitimate.

And that’s where things get really messy.

The issue being, how do you remove him?

Senate GOP goes ‘nuclear’ on Supreme Court filibuster

The historic move paves the way for Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.

Senate Republicans invoked the “nuclear option” to gut the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday, a historic move that paves the way for Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation and ensures that future high court nominees can advance in the Senate without clearing a 60-vote threshold.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to change the Senate rules after Democrats blocked Gorsuch’s nomination minutes before, 55-45. All 52 Republicans then supported the vote to go nuclear, and Gorsuch subsequently advanced to a final confirmation vote with a simple majority.

 

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