Monday, May 18, 2020

The Weekly "Hey, Bartender!" Wrangle

This late edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's blog post and Tweet and lefty news round-up from around and about our Great State leads off with the governor's latest edicts on opening for bidness again.  The health and welfare of Texans?  Not so much.

And today Greg Abbott rolled on ahead, announcing that the state bars of Texas -- not that one -- would now be allowed by his dictatorial fiat to throw open their doors and let the whiskey rivers flow ... but only for 25% of their seated capacity.

Other restrictions don't make it sound as if Friday night is going to be a lot of fun.

Still, somebody buy Louie a drink, and pour it on his head if he won't take it.

DosCentavos reminded us that Texans are modeling their leaders' behaviors as Texas continues to reopen amid COVID19.

We'll go longer in tomorrow's Wrangle.  Here's a few items to tide us over until then.

Kuff had the latest in the lawsuit over voting by mail.

In his regular weekly White House sweepstakes update, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged about the 'Bernie Blackout' documentary airing on VICE, Joe Biden's campaign issues, and the Greens' Howie Hawkins picking up steam.  Indy Mark Charles also called out the corporate media.

In a timely post, SocraticGadfly said this year's Democratic vice presidential nomination is the most important since 1944

And the field is set for the special election to fill the vacancy in the state Senate, left by Kirk Watson's departure to the world of academia.

Here's the summary from Cassandra Pollock at the TexTrib.

Some Texas businesses prepare to say goodbye ...

... while some get ready to say, 'hello'.

Now is the perfect time to get off the public electric grid and convert your home to solar energy, writes Luke Metzger at Environment Texas.

After advocating for solar energy for twenty years, I finally pulled the trigger and put solar panels on our home this spring. Solar prices have declined 60% in the last decade and financing our system meant my family didn’t have to pay any money out of pocket. The pandemic meant the timing was even better than I had anticipated.

Amid all the social upheaval, I feel more secure knowing I'm producing my own power. With utility workers declared “essential”, there thankfully hasn’t been any major disruption in service. But even when utilities are fully staffed, a couple of downed power lines can leave thousands of people without power and cause large human and economic consequences. Homes and buildings with enough solar energy and energy storage capacity installed may be able to keep their own lights on during and immediately after outages.

With my new rooftop panels, I’m also saving money on my energy bill at a time when we’re using a lot more electricity working and schooling from home (and with our A/C about to be working real hard). According to Energy Sage, the average Texan who goes solar would save a net of $13,000 over 20 years. And by installing solar panels, consumers protect themselves from the unpredictable swings and spikes in utility electricity costs. Solar panels also help reduce demand on the grid, which can lower electricity rates for all customers. 

As an environmentalist, I’m happy to do my part to reduce air pollution as COVID-19, a respiratory disease, rages. Research shows people living in areas with polluted air having a higher chance of dying from the disease. Austin, with 108 days of elevated particle pollution in 2018, is unfortunately one of those areas. But replacing coal- and gas-fired power plants with solar energy reduces the particle emissions that harm our health, while cutting the pollution fueling global warming (which itself is helping spread dangerous infectious diseases).

Astros fans mourned the passing of another great player from their past.

And we'll close with a Tweet from Traces of Texas.

A lot more Wrangle in Tuesday's edition!

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