Electronic Vehicle Battery as Home/Grid Power Backup

Washington Post Climate Advice Columnist, Michael J. Coren, talks about how the battery in your car can become a part of the larger power grid solving short term and medium time frame problems.

Technology already exists to connect your car to your home and use the batteries in the car as a backup to your home incase of power failure. Coren writes about how the electric vehicle battery can currently be used during a power shortage or outage. He describes how to do it, and how much it will costs.

Coren also looks at how when paired with solar power generation (or other home power generation source), the EV battery can help to moderate the difference between peak generation times, and peak usage times. You will need a two way hookup between your house and the grid, and a two way hookup between your EV and your house. This has been a serious concern for alternative energy advocates. A decentralized solution would be almost poetic.

Electric vehicles can now power your home for three days

The next generation of EV batteries will feed energy to your home — and the grid

The article may be behind a paywall.


Advice by Michael J. Coren Climate Advice Columnist

Updated February 17, 2023 at 4:33 p.m. EST| Published February 7, 2023 at 6:30 a.m. EST

Posted in Coping with Change, Culture and Technology, Curated Content, Daily Life, Environmental Politics, Free Market Politics, The new economy | Leave a comment

Letters from an American 2023 02 02

Today the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted along party lines to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her seat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Republicans voting to remove her justified their action by pointing to language she used that they say was antisemitic. She has apologized for that language. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Open in app or online

February 2, 2023

Heather Cox Richardson
Feb 3


▷ Listen

Today the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted along party lines to remove Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her seat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Republicans voting to remove her justified their action by pointing to language she used that they say was antisemitic. She has apologized for that language.

Earlier, House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) used his own discretion to remove Democratic California representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

While these removals are often portrayed simply as a quest for revenge after Democrats removed Representatives Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from committees when they were in charge, there is a crucial difference between the cases. The Democrats removed Gosar and Greene—both members of the far-right group—after they threatened violence against their Democratic colleagues. Republicans removed Schiff and Swalwell over make-believe dangers and now have removed Omar allegedly over policy differences. At the same time, McCarthy reinstated Gosar and Greene to prime committee assignments.

The Republicans have accepted violence among Congress members.

Today’s vote is a window into a larger story. It appears the Republican Party has split, and the far-right wing is making a play to become what amounts to a third party. Its members demanded the removal of Schiff and Swalwell from the intelligence committee and Omar from foreign affairs: Schiff and Swalwell apparently because they have gone after former president Donald Trump, and Omar because she is Muslim and a woman of color.

Removing Schiff and Swalwell was relatively easy, since the speaker can determine the make-up of select committees himself. Removing Omar was dicier, since it required a vote of the House. Today, McCarthy gave the far right what they wanted, getting rid of Omar.

In order to justify it on grounds other than racism, though, he had to pretend the issue was antisemitic words. It’s a hard sell to convince people that the Republican Party cares much about antisemitism when it has embraced the openly antisemitic Ye, also known as Kanye West, and when Trump recently warned Jews that they must “get their act together…before it is too late.” Kevin McCarthy himself in November 2022 indulged in antisemitic tropes when he tweeted: “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican….”

McCarthy catered to far-right members in order to get the votes to become speaker; now he is giving those members what they want in order to keep them from ousting him and to get them on board for imperative legislation like a bill to raise the debt ceiling.

The power the far-right representatives are getting is making them a force distinct from the rest of the Republican Party. They demanded, and got, extraordinary representation on committees apart from the normal party apparatus, power over the Speaker and the introduction of bills, and now have normalized violent rhetoric within the party.

Their rise is a logical outcome of the history of the Republican Party. Back in the 1980s, those Republicans determined to get rid of government regulation of business and social programs did two things.

First, they insisted that any government regulation of business or provision of a basic social safety net was “socialism” because, they claimed, the tax dollars that such government action cost would come from those with money—who they implied would be white people—and thus would redistribute wealth from hardworking white men to those who benefited from such programs. This idea has nothing to do with the modern definition of socialism, which means government ownership of the means of production. Instead, it is a holdover from the Reconstruction years in the United States, when white supremacists insisted that Black voting would mean a redistribution of wealth as formerly enslaved people voted for lawmakers who promised to fix roads, and build schools and hospitals.

Second, Republicans in the 1980s made a deliberate decision to court voters with religion, racism, and sexism in order to hold onto power. Antitax crusader Grover Norquist brought business leaders, evangelicals, and social conservatives into a coalition to win elections in 1985. “Traditional Republican business groups can provide the resources,” he said, “but these groups can provide the votes.” Over the decades their focus on religion, race, and sex ramped up until it took on a power of its own, stronger than the pro-business ideology of those who fed it.

Now, a generation later, that rhetoric has led to its logical conclusion: the Republicans have created a group of voters and their representatives who are openly white supremacists and who believe that any attempt to use the government to hold the economic playing field level is socialism. They are overwhelmingly evangelicals. They back former president Trump or someone like him and are eager to break the power of the current government even if it means defaulting on our debt. They threaten violence.

With the Republican Party just barely in control of the House, that group now wields enough power that it divides the House into three groups: the Democrats, the Republicans who want to cut taxes and gut regulation, and the Republicans who want to destroy the “socialist” government, want to keep white people in charge, support Trump or someone similar, are fervently Christian, and openly court violence.

Today, the House voted to condemn socialism—another attempt to appease that far right—while Republicans then chided those Democrats who refused to vote in favor of that condemnation because they said they thought it was a setup to cut Social Security and Medicare as socialism. (They are not socialism.)

Also today, former president Trump “retruthed” the words of a person who warned that he and “80,000,000” were willing to fight for Trump and were “Locked and LOADED.” In the House, some of the far-right group are wearing AR-15 pins, but when Emine Yücel of Talking Points Memo asked Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) why she was wearing one, her office answered that it was “about sponsoring a gun bill and has nothing to do with whatever blueanon conspiracy theories are being floated on Capitol Hill,” a reference to the idea that Democrats– rather than the Republicans like Greene who were QAnon adherents– are embracing conspiracy theories. The members wearing the pins have not, so far, introduced any gun bills.

This is alarming, but it is not the first time an extremist minority in Congress has organized, determined to control the country. In 1879, for example, before the parties switched into their current arrangement, Democratic former Confederates banded together, demanded the leadership of key committees—which the exceedingly weak speaker gave them—and set out to make the Republican president, Rutherford B. Hayes, get rid of key Republican policies by refusing to fund the government until he caved.

With the support of House minority leader James A. Garfield, Hayes stood firm, recognizing that allowing a minority of the opposition party to dictate to the elected government by holding it hostage would undermine the system set up in the Constitution. The parties fought it out for months until, in the end, the American people turned against the Democrats, who backed down. In the next presidential election, which had been supposed to be a romp for the Democrats, voters put Garfield, the Republican who had stood against the former Confederates, into the White House.



Twitter avatar for @atruparAaron Rupar @atrupar

hi @HouseGOP i found some anti-Semitism

5:41 PM ∙ Feb 2, 2023

Posted in Letters from an American, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Big Sky 55+: 2023 Legislature Bulletin #4

Week 4 in Helena — update from Big Sky 55+!

Inside this week’s Legislative Bulletin #4

  • Action needed on HB 282 and 283 — Bad Landlord/Tenant Bills
  • Update on SB 121, the Governor’s exorbitant tax bill
  • "Right to Work" bills attacking the rights of Public Employees
  • NO mention of Montana’s Long-Term Care Crisis in the Governor’s State of the State address, despite these grim statistics:
Reminders — Join us!

  • "We the People" Rally on Wednesday, Feb 1 at noon in the Capital.
  • Our next Legislative Town Hall — Can Montana Senior Care Survive the 2023 Legislature? Monday, Feb 6, 6pm.
JOIN Big Sky 55+

Big Sky 55+
PO Box 1663
Helena, MT 59624
United States

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YC Study Group 2023 02 01 – Engaging Red Voters

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Wednesday, February 1st, 7:30 am via Zoom, Danny Choriki will lead a discussion about engaging moderate Republican voters



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Wednesday, February 1st, 7:30 am via Zoom, Danny Choriki will lead a discussion about engaging moderate Republican voters

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2023 AT 12 PM – 1 PM We the People: A Rally for the Montana Constitution Montana State Capitol We the People: Rally for Montana’s Constitution – Northern Plains Resource Council

Monday, February 6: Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day Helena, MT Link to RSVP: https://tinyurl.com/mr2ykyd8

Thursday, February 9th, Freedom of the Press and the Public Right to Know, 6:30 pm Webinar Register https://lclibrary.libcal.com/event/10190724

Monday, February 20LGBTQ+ Lobby Day with the Free and Fair Coalition Helena, MT

Thurday, Febrary 23Public Lands Rally 2 PM Helena, MT

Danny, Wednesday, February 1st , 7:30 am via Zoom, Danny Choriki will lead a discussion about engaging moderate Republican voters

**Breakfast Club discussions among members may continue until 9:00 am depending on member interest. Please consider holding announcements or information not related to the speaker’s topic until open discussion period at the end of the meeting.

Please remember to mute your microphone during the meeting unless you are speaking. Add questions in the chat box at the bottom of the screen, use the raise hand image under reactions, and keep questions short so the speaker has time to respond. Thanks!


Social Hour at MAD Pizza
Every other Thursday at 5 pm at MAD Pizza, East of McCormick Cafe at 2417 Montana Ave
26 January 2023
9 February 2023
23 February 2023

Coffee and Conversation.
All Democrats are welcome.
Every other Monday at Black Dog Coffee on Poly Drive, 8:30 AM.

  • January 30, 2023
  • February 13, 2023
  • February 27, 2023

Questions, text Wanda 406-671-9777

Tipsy Tuesdays

Volunteer-led far-left socializing each Tuesday at Bar MT, 2314 Montana Av. Starts at 7pm.

  • Every Tuesday evening.

Valentines Day Luncheon and Card Creation
WHEN: Saturday, February 11, Noon
WHERE: 404 Houle Dr. (Robyn Driscoll’s House)

Come enjoy lunch and stay to make valentines that will be delivered to the Memory Care Unit at West Park Village. I will have construction paper, glue, glitter and other decorations, but if there is something particular you need to create your valentine, I encourage you to bring it. If you could bring a pair of scissors, too, that would be great. Please RSVP to Robyn robyn, so there is plenty of food. See you then!

Next members meeting
Our next members meeting will be held on Tuesday, Februay 20, 2023 in the evening at 6pm. It will be jointly held on zoom and at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall at 2032 Central Av.

Minutes and agenda.

Danny Choriki started a meetup called Danny’s List. This is a buildup to the community calendar I am working on. If you have an event you would like to publicize, let me know. Political or educational.

Don’t forget the YC Dem Calendar.

And then there is our website.

Contact Danny if you have any thoughts, concerns, want to be more involved, etc.

Danny Choriki at +1 406-850-4631 (text) or danny.

We the People: A Rally for the Montana Constitution
Montana State Capitol
Event by Montana Human Rights Network – MHRN, Northern Plains Resource Council and Western Native Voice
Montana State Capitol
Born on May 8, 1927, to George and Doris (Brenner) Stickney in Beloit, WI., he was the second of four children.

Ed attended Murray High School in St. Paul, MN and graduated in 1945. After his Military service in the Korean Conflict, he attended Macalester College for his undergraduate degree in Premed and received his Doctorate in Family Practice from the University of Chicago. He completed his internship at Minneapolis General Hospital.

While at Macalester, Ed met Jessica Page and they were married in June of 1951. They had their first child, Claudia Jean in Chicago in 1954. The family moved to Broadus, MT where Ed started his own family medicine practice in 1955 as the only physician in town. During this time Ed and Jess had their second and third children: Laura Jane born in 1955 followed by Jeffrey Page in 1957.

In 1961 the family moved to Miles City, MT where he practiced medicine for 37 years. Even after moving to Miles City, Ed would fly his own plane back to Broadus to see patients. In 1998 Ed and Jess moved to Billings, MT and he retired in 2000 after practicing part time with Billings Clinic.

He was avidly involved in the church, and Ed and Jess volunteered their time and leadership to many organizations and financially supported many nonprofits they held dear.

Anyone who knew Ed would say he was a stickler for the proper use of the English language, and he would correct any and all offenders. He also enjoyed word play and excelled in the art of "punishment." As much as he appreciated words, Ed lived and loved through music. He delighted in playing piano duets with family members and special friends. Whether it be duets with his son Jeff and daughter Laura or accompanying Claudia while she sang, there was nothing he cherished more. Music was his lifeblood.

Ed lived a wonderfully long life. The memory of his wit, his joy, his love of family and his passion for making the world a better place will carry on through those who knew and loved him.

He is preceded in death by both parents, sister Katherine (William) Huber, brother Robert Stickney, wife Jessica Stickney, brother-in-law David (Mary Fran) Page, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Owens.

He is survived by his children Claudia (Bob) Fife, Laurel, MT; Laura (John) Blodgett, Billings, MT; and Jeffrey (Peggy) Stickney, Missoula, MT; brother George (Sharron Gebhardt) Stickney, Gilbert, AZ; and sister-in-law Janet Hawk, Billings, MT. Grandchildren Andrew (Julienne) Stickney, Jessica (Randy) Mayes, William (Kristin) Fife, David Stickney and great-grandchildren Kayden, Liam, Lena, Rook, Ruby, and Duke along with many cousins, nephews, and nieces.

A Memorial will take place May 8, 2023, at 2:00pm at Mayflower Congregational Church.

Contributions can be made to Rocky Mountain College, Intermountain Children’s Home, Mayflower Congregational Church or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.

Open Letter to Matt Rosendale from Bruce A. Lohof explains to him why failure to honor the national debt would be a catastrophe. The appears in the 1/12/23 edition of the Carbon County News.

“We weren’t amused when House Republicans, obstructed by your Freedom Caucus, took 15 ballots to select a Speaker. There’s little left of Kevin McCarthy and it’s become difficult to think of him without a smirk. You and your Caucus are equally diminished. Our suspicions – that you’re less interested in governing than in breaking things – are confirmed.

Not that delay was critical. We’ve read your legislative agenda – let’s see, here in pride of place is getting to the bottom of Hunter Biden’s laptop – and most of it can wait. Spectators who liked the gavel debacle, though, may not like the part where the House fails to honor the national debt. Let me rephrase that: the part where you throw the U.S. Government into default. What’s up?

Perhaps you don’t know the difference between spending money and paying bills. Washington habitually lives beyond its means. Hence the national debt. You can reduce debt by reducing expenditures. You cannot reduce it by stiffing creditors.

Perhaps you think of the debt-ceiling debate as a gun to our head. It’s you saying to us: we’ll pull this trigger unless you slash spending for the “safety net,” for the IRS, for you-name-it.
Or perhaps you see the debate as performance theater. Perhaps you’re a breaker of things who’s oblivious to consequences.

A U.S. Government default would have consequences, though. And each one would be a nasty surprise for your constituents. Items:
Soaring interest rates. Small businesses, local governments, and mortgage holders would suddenly find borrowed money more costly. You claim to like small businesses. Many of your constituents hold mortgages. How will they cope with higher interest rates? Whom will they blame?
Vanishing benefits. Do any of your constituents receive Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits? Agricultural subsidies? Do they anticipate receiving student loans or tax returns? Do they visit U.S. Government facilities? To be blunt: Montana receives $1.47 from Washington for every $1 that Washington receives from Montana. Is this really a spigot that should close because you don’t know the difference between spending money and paying bills?
A devalued dollar. As the globe flees to the Euro or Yen and away from a dollar that no longer enjoys the “full faith and credit of the government,” the cost of imported goods climbs. Your constituents buy things that are not made in America. Do they want to pay more for them so that you can hold a gun to the establishment’s head?
Double-digit inflation. As happens whenever a currency goes south, inflation flares. You’ve been blaming Joe Biden for inflation rates of 9 percent (although by year’s end they’d fallen to 7). What will you say to your constituents when inflation moves above 15 percent because you’re a performance artist, not a legislator?

These are several reasons why U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that defaulting on debt obligations is “unthinkable” and “would have absolutely catastrophic economic consequences.” Are you listening? Your constituents are.”


  • Webinars: Tackling Housing Needs in Small Towns (see details below)
  • Contacting Legislators
  • MT Senate Committees 2023
  • MT House Committees 2023
Look up legislation on MT Leg site: LAWS Look Up Bill Information Page (mt.gov)

Watch hearings live: Montana Legislature (sliq.net)

Submit Testimony Go to: https://leg.mt.gov/public-testimony/and use the testimony request form to submit written testimony. You can also choose to give Zoom testimony.

Track basic topic and specific bills using the free version of FastDemocracy https://fastdemocracy.com/

Under the Rotunda daily newsletter (from MDLCC): Under the Rotunda (mailchi.mp)

Forward MT Newsletter: What the Helena – Forward Montana

MT Free Press Newsletters: Montana Free Press in your inbox. – Montana Free Press

MT Free Press Podcast: The Session (montanafreepress.org)

Montana Conservation Voters Newsletter: MCV MATTERS Newsletter Signup (everyaction.com)

MFPE Newsletter and Updates: Protect Montana’s Public Schools and Services (mfpe.org)

MT Human Rights Network Action Alerts: Stay informed and connected (everyaction.com)

Northern Plains Resource Council Info: Legislature – Northern Plains Resource Council

MT Sentate Committees 2023
MT House Committees 2023
Yellowstone Democratic Study Club is an independent organization working to bring community leaders to discuss a variety of issues in weekly breakfast hour sessions.

Issues discussed are for information only.
Meetings are open to the public.

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Yellowstone County Democratic Breakfast Study Group · 2000 Outlook Drive · Billings, Montana 59105 · USA

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Property Tax Relief Deadline Reminders for Homeowners

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Legislative Action Item from MT State Democrats – 30 Jan 2023

The MOFE has a great newsletter/email list on education-related bills moving through the legislature. I’m sharing the link to that here in case anyone would like to sign up: Montanans Organized for Education (mofeactionfund.org)

Thanks, all!

Montana House and Senate Democrats

🚨Action Alerts🚨

Testimony Help Sign Up Form

*hearing dates and times are being regularly rescheduled, if a hearing has changed, it will be indicated with a yellow highlight


What: HB 317, Provide for the Montana Indian Child Welfare Act

Position: SUPPORT

When: Wednesday, February 1st @ 3 pm

Where: House Human Services Committee – Room 152 – Sign up to testify or submit written comment

Goal: 5+ in person/zoom, unlimited calls/emails

Talking Points:

  • The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is integral to protecting the best interests and well-being of American Indian children in Montana.

  • In 2020, American Indian children made up 9% of the state’s child population and 35% of the children in foster care.

  • HB 317 is essential for protecting Indigenous children in Montana and tribal sovereignty.

LAP_ Week Five.pdf

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Letters from an American 2023 01 30

The news today illustrates a dramatic difference between governing and garnering votes. President Joe Biden was at the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland, today to celebrate the bipartisan infrastructure law, passed in November 2021, that is investing about $1.2 trillion in fixing our highways, bridges, internet access, and so on. In Maryland it will devote about $4 billion to fixing and expanding the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac railroad tunnel, which has become a bottleneck for the 9 million commuters who pass through it as they travel the vital link between Philadelphia and Washington. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Open in app or online

January 30, 2023

Heather Cox Richardson
Jan 31


▷ Listen

The news today illustrates a dramatic difference between governing and garnering votes.

President Joe Biden was at the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland, today to celebrate the bipartisan infrastructure law, passed in November 2021, that is investing about $1.2 trillion in fixing our highways, bridges, internet access, and so on. In Maryland it will devote about $4 billion to fixing and expanding the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac railroad tunnel, which has become a bottleneck for the 9 million commuters who pass through it as they travel the vital link between Philadelphia and Washington.

The law is formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Biden noted that fixing the tunnel is expected to create 20,000 jobs over the next ten years. He also announced that it, along with all the Amtrak developments on the Northeast Corridor, would be built by union labor.

Tomorrow, Biden will speak at the West Side Rail Yard in New York City to talk about how funding for the Hudson Tunnel Project from the bipartisan infrastructure law will improve reliability for the 200,000 passengers a day who travel through it on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit.

The passage of the measure in late 2021 took months of careful negotiations even as former president Trump—whose own inability to pass an infrastructure measure became a running joke—tried to scuttle the talks. Biden’s victory lap is not undeserved.

The administration today also called attention to the effects of its new border enforcement measures providing migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela a legal path to obtain a two-year visa so long as they have a U.S. sponsor and a thorough background check. The new system will admit up to 30,000 migrants a month.

New data shows that the number of migrants from those four countries has dropped 97% since the program went into effect. Overall, migrant encounters at the border have dropped by half, although migration from Ecuador and Peru, which are growing unstable, has increased. The administration has asked Congress repeatedly to fix our outdated immigration system, but Republicans derailed the effort in the previous Congress when they objected to a path to citizenship for so-called dreamers: people brought to this country as children. Now almost twenty states led by Republicans say the administration’s new program violates the law, and they are suing to stop it.

In charge of the House, Republicans plan to hold hearings on what they call Biden’s border crisis. Today the White House called out “some elected officials” for “trying to block the Administration’s effective measures because they would rather keep immigration an issue to campaign on than one to solve. If those elected officials succeed,” the press office said, “their actions will lead to more illegal immigration."

Actually governing is a lot harder than talking about it. On December 30, House majority leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) promised that the House Republicans would “hit the ground running to do what we promised on the border, crime, energy, inflation, Life, taxpayer protection & more.” He outlined eleven bills the party would bring to the floor in the first two weeks of the new Congress. Half have indeed been voted on by now—the fifth week of Congress—but they were only for show. They will never pass the Senate, and no one is trying to negotiate to pass them. The other half aren’t on the calendar.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin noted today that the Republicans have turned to investigations, abortion, threatening the national debt, and trying to defund the Internal Revenue Service rather than dealing with the issues they insisted were vital in 2022: crime and inflation. She also noted that at the very time the Republicans were hyping those issues, both crime rates and inflation were actually falling.

More demonstrations for the extremist base appear to be coming. As Amy B. Wang noted today in the Washington Post, the Republican National Committee is urging lawmakers to “go on offense in the 2024 election cycle” on antiabortion measures, although since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, voters have made it clear they want abortion rights protected.

Nonetheless, as party leaders have done repeatedly when voters reject their increasingly extremist stands, the RNC suggests that the party did poorly in 2022 not because their stand was too strong but because it was too weak. Candidates were not clear enough about their opposition to abortion. The RNC wants them to demonstrate their conviction by passing strict laws that outlaw abortion at six weeks, before many people know they’re pregnant.

House speaker Kevin McCarthy has, however, backed off on Republican suggestions that they will not agree to raise the debt ceiling without cuts to Social Security and Medicare. On Face the Nation yesterday, he said the party was committed to “strengthening” the programs. In fact, the only proposal on the table right now to strengthen the programs is from the far-right House Republican Study Committee, which calls for strengthening Social Security and Medicare by, among other things, raising the age at which people become eligible for them.

I’d love to hear McCarthy explain how that plan is not a cut in the programs.

Finally, today, former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has applied for a six-month U.S. tourist visa. Bolsonaro entered the United States when he was still president, two days before his successor took office and a little more than a week before his supporters attacked the government and tried to reinstate him. That timing means he came to the U.S. on an A-1 visa restricted to heads of state, which had to be replaced as soon as he was no longer president.

Bolsonaro’s lawyer told Reuters reporter Daphne Psaledakis that Bolsonaro wants "to take some time off, clear his head, and enjoy being a tourist in the United States for a few months before deciding what his next step will be.” In fact, the right-wing leader has made it clear he is afraid of the many investigations underway in Brazil for fraud and now for inciting the attack on the government that might end up putting him behind bars.







Twitter avatar for @FritschnerAaron Fritschner @Fritschner

In December incoming House Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise announced 11 bills the GOP majority would "bring to the House Floor in the first 2 weeks." Half haven’t gotten votes yet, and none are on the schedule for the current week, which is Week 5 of the 118th Congress
Twitter avatar for @SteveScaliseSteve Scalise @SteveScalise

🚨 Sent a letter to my colleagues outlining bills the GOP Majority will bring to the House Floor in the first 2 weeks. We’re ready to hit the ground running to do what we promised on the border, crime, energy, inflation, Life, taxpayer protection & more. https://t.co/fL82h0jjQH https://t.co/0FZi3Sp8Cz
5:50 PM ∙ Jan 30, 2023

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Montana Free Press 2023 01 31

From the reporters, editors & supporters of MTFP in Helena and far-flung Montana.

Your daily newsletter from

Groups seek federal protections for Arctic grayling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to adequately account for climate change impacts and a lack of regulatory safeguards for river-dwelling Arctic Grayling, environmentalists argue in a lawsuit filed Jan. 30. By Amanda Eggert

Resolution on new House and Senate districts is sailing through the Legislature

A resolution containing lawmakers’ feedback on newly drawn state House and Senate districts is sailing through the legislative process ahead of a deadline next month. By Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Bill would penalize officials who fail to hand over records to legislative auditors

Proposed legislation making its way through the Montana Senate seeks to clarify the responsibility that state agencies have to provide certain information to legislative auditors. By Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Trust, perception and Montana elections

Heading into the 2023 session, Montana was primed for a pitched policy debate over the integrity and security of its election process. Now the conversation among lawmakers has kicked loose questions about trust, perception and how extensive the case for change truly is. By Alex Sakariassen

Committee debates medical ‘right of conscience’ bill

A bill that would allow medical institutions, providers and other health care employees to deny services based on their “ethical, moral, or religious beliefs or principles” was the subject of intense debate Monday during an initial committee hearing, setting up a conflict over rights of providers and patients. By Mara Silvers

The Session: A speech, a crowded hearing room and the cost of defending laws

Governor Greg Gianforte delivers a State of the State address that focuses on economic growth but lawmakers are turning their attention to social issues. By MTFP Staff

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Tracking the 2023 Montana Legislature

Keeping track of the Montana State Legislature is more important than ever.

The Yellowstone County Democrats are working to more effectively and efficiently track what is going on at the legislature and soon after following the federal legislature. Here is what we are working on.

  • Purchasing a tool to track the legislature and organize the efforts to let each other know what is going on at the state legislature. We have selected FastDemocracy.com. We need to raise $8,000 in order to purchase and effectively use this tool for the current session.
  • Help people to start using FastDemocracy.com.
  • Coordinate efforts.

For more on the fundraiser for the FastDemocracy.com campaign for Yellowstone County Democrats.

To donate to the FastDemocracy campaign.

Stay tuned for updates on this project.

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FastDemocracy.com – Eyes on Helena

Yes, Democrats in Montana are on the defense. It’s time we got better at it.

Call or text Danny Choriki at +1-406-850-631, or email danny@choriki4mt.us.

Among the top priorities for Yellowstone Democrats in 2023 are:

  • To keep a skeptical eye on the wing nuts at the 2023 Legislature.
  • Increase the effectiveness of our citizen efforts to impact the 2023 Legislature.
  • Organize for the municipal elections in 2023 and the next round of the state and county elections in 2024.

To advance these goals, the Yellowstone County Democrats want to purchase a two-year, professional version of FastDemocracy.com.

The following is from their website.

Why Fastdemocracy.com?

Great Question. It is a great free tool for any citizen to simply and easily keep tabs on any state legislator as well as the US Congress. It also provides a great set of professional tools to organize the effort, maximize the impact, and contribute to future organizing efforts.

Sign up for a free citizen’s account. This description is from their website.

“FastDemocracy was built because we believe that everybody deserves to know what their governments are doing. That’s why we provide basic bill tracking for free while giving Government Relations Professionals the most intuitive and powerful legislative platform out there.

“FastDemocracy Free is for politically interested individuals who want to casually follow along with legislation and want to contact their legislators.

“FastDemocracy Professional is for Government relations professionals, nonprofits, advocacy groups, businesses, law firms, associations, legislators and journalists. Basically, for anybody who needs the best legislative tools and information to succeed with their advocacy goals.”

Fast Democracy Website, 7 Dec 2022

With the professional version, we can coordinate and track the efforts of all our members who are using FastDemocracy Free to keep tabs of their important issues. This allows us to coordinate efforts and send out and publish specific calls to action on bills, hearings, votes, etc.

What do we need?

Help us raise $5,000 for the license for the FastDemocracy Professional license. This lasts until the beginning of the next session. A little bit more ($500) covers the credit card fees and other administrative costs.

Anything up to $8,000 will be a one-time contribution for help organizing the effort, rewards for volunteers, and possibly some merchandising!

Once we have reached our bottom target of $5,500, we will order the professional version and start organizing our efforts. Until then, please sign up for the free version and start tracking areas and bills that are of concern to you.

And while you are at ActBlue be sure to set up a monthly sustaining donation to help fund our ongoing organizing efforts.

Here are the differences between the two versions of FastDemocracy.

FastDemocracy Free Features

  • Create a personal account to track state and federal legislation
  • Track bills and topics
    • Web and mobile app
      • Notes on bill

FastDemocracy Professional Features

  • Real-time legislative alerts
  • Real-time hearing alerts
  • Categorize bills into lists, by topic, client, or priority
  • Customizable reports for clients and stakeholders
  • Upload testimony and documents
  • Collaboration with colleagues and partners
  • Embeddable legislative widget for your website
  • Patent-pending bill similarity detection
  • Amendment analysis and alerts
  • Vote scorecard creation
  • State press releases
  • Legislator statistics
  • Premium support
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