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Zorro

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,371

Journal Archives

House MAGA squad seeks to expand by boosting challengers to fellow Republicans

The defiant far-right acolytes of former president Donald Trump in the House Republican caucus have embarked on a targeted campaign ahead of the midterm elections to expand their ranks — and extend their power — on Capitol Hill.

The effort, backed by Trump and guided by House members such as Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), is part of a broader push by followers of the “Make America Great Again” movement to purge the GOP of those not deemed loyal to the former president and his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged in favor of Joe Biden.

Former Army Green Beret Joe Kent is running for a U.S. House seat in Washington state held by another Republican, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted to impeach Trump over his role in the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

Kent said he has little interest in fighting with Democrats if he makes it to Congress. Instead, he wants to force Republicans into tough votes, starting with articles of impeachment against President Biden and a full congressional inquiry into the 2020 presidential election, which he says was stolen from Trump.

“A lot of it will be shaming Republicans,” Kent said. “I need to be going after the people in the Republican Party who want to go back to go-along-to-get-along. It’s put up or shut up.”

https://wapo.st/3FvkWrp

Fucking American Nazis.

Many home insurance premiums are rising faster than inflation

Lumber prices, supply chain disruptions and climate change are driving costs upward.

Ken Hoagland was surprised to see his monthly mortgage payment increase recently.

“I noticed that our mortgage had gone up $100 on a $1,250 mortgage,” he said. “So, I looked into it. First, I called the mortgage company and they said, ‘It’s costing a lot more to insure your house. Talk to [the insurance company].’ So then I called USAA and said, ‘What’s going on?’”

Across the country, homeowners renewing their policies are discovering that rising material costs, supply chain disruptions and climate change are combining to drive premiums up by an average 4 percent to an average annual premium of $1,398, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit organization known as Triple-I that provides information on the insurance industry. Triple-I uses data from Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence for its analysis.

Since 2017, premium rates are up 11.4 percent on average, which means they are rising faster than inflation — and insurance experts expect that the rates will stay high.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/12/27/rising-home-insurance/

Insurance on my Florida home went up 70% over last year. Thanks DeSantis.

5.2-magnitude tremor strikes off Greek island of Crete

ATHENS, Greece — A 5.2-magnitude earthquake has jolted Greece’s southern islands, but no damage or casualties have been reported so far.

The tremor struck at 5:15 p.m. (1515 GMT) east of the island of Crete and at the depth of 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), the Institute of Geodynamics reported in Athens.

The earthquake was felt in Crete and the islands of Karpathos, Kassos, Rhodes and Santorini, according to local media.

An unrelated 4.0-magnitude tremor also hit at 6:14 p.m. (1614 GMT) west of Athens, the Institute of Geodynamics reported. The epicenter was at a depth of 16.7 kilometers (10.4 miles), it said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/52-magnitude-tremor-strikes-off-greek-island-of-crete/2021/12/26/d56ecf4e-666c-11ec-9390-eae241f4c8b1_story.html

It will be interesting to find out whether there's any increased activity around the Santorini caldera.

Some in South Florida regret sitting on housing market sidelines

Now, buyers find homes are $100,000 more expensive.

FORT LAUDERDALE — As South Florida home prices spiked during the pandemic, some people decided to put their home shopping on pause in the hopes that prices might drop, a decision they are coming to regret.

Now, a year-and-a-half into record price growth and dwindling inventory, non-buyers are stuck in a precarious situation: They want to buy but are facing higher prices than they did when they first started searching and are finding themselves at risk of being priced out of the South Florida real estate market.

“They feel like they made a mistake at some point, and they feel like they can’t catch up because the market is so far ahead of them that they can’t get back in,” said Alicia Cervera, of Cervera Real Estate in Miami.

Allie Sinbine and her husband, Steve, were among those who decided to try and wait out the real estate market after they started looking at homes in June 2020. They put their search on pause a month after shopping, thinking it was likely that homes prices would start to lower toward the end of the year.

“We assumed that with the New Year and the election ending, we would start to see things level out and they would come back down to where they were,” she said.

Instead, home prices just kept rising, further pushing the couple out of the housing market. They are looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the $250,000-to-$300,000 range, but as prices have continued to climb, they’ve expand their search beyond Palm Beach County, farther north to Port St. Lucie. They’re exploring new construction homes and considering that they may have to up their budget a little bit.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida/2021/12/26/some-in-south-florida-regret-sitting-on-housing-market-sidelines/

I think this housing market is different than 2007. There's too much money sloshing around and there are historically low interest rates, along with Boomer retirees looking for warmer climates; that combination points to continued house price appreciation in the Sunshine State at least in the short term.

Trump Flack Cooperates With Jan. 6 Committee--Then Hits the Brakes

Despite all the bluster from Team Trump railing against the committee, a new lawsuit reveals the former flack has been quietly cooperating with investigators.

Despite all the bluster from Team Trump railing against the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, the former president’s spokesman has been quietly cooperating with investigators, a new lawsuit reveals.

Taylor Budowich, a flack for former President Donald Trump, has turned over more than 1,700 pages of material and testified under oath before the committee for four hours, according to a lawsuit he filed in federal court on Friday.

On Christmas Eve, Budowich sued the committee’s members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the bank J.P. Morgan Chase to block investigators’ attempts to seize information about him from the financial institution. The lawsuit also provides a glimpse into the committee’s work.

Although Budowich in the past has lambasted the bipartisan panel investigating the attempt to halt certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory as a “sham Unselect Committee,” it turns out that he’s been cooperating for some time.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-spokesman-taylor-budowich-cooperates-with-jan-6-capitol-riot-committeethen-hits-the-brakes

Anger over mask mandates, other covid rules, spurs states to curb power of public health officials

Republican lawmakers pass laws to restrict the power of health authorities to require masks, promote vaccinations and take other steps to protect the public health.

At the entrance to the Lowe’s in a central Ohio strip mall, a bright blue-and-white sign tells customers that, under local ordinances, they must wear a face covering inside. Next door, at Hale’s Ales & Kitchen, a sign asks customers to please be patient with a staff shortage — with no mention of masks.

The city line between Columbus and suburban Hilliard crosses right through the strip mall, Mill Run Square. In Columbus, where the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store lies, the city council early in the coronavirus pandemic created a mask requirement that remains in place. In Hilliard, where Hales is located, the city council has not imposed a mask rule, despite entreaties from the top county health official as coronavirus cases spiked.

Under a new law in Ohio — one of at least 19 states this year that have restricted state or local authorities from safeguarding public health amid the coronavirus pandemic — Franklin County’s health commissioner Joe Mazzola can no longer intervene. The county health department was stripped of its power to compel people to wear masks even as the omicron variant fuels a fifth coronavirus surge in the United States.

“We’ve not been able to put in place the policy that would protect our community,” Mazzola said.

The number of states that have passed laws similar to Ohio’s is proliferating fast, from eight identified in one study in May to more than double that many as of last month, according to an analysis by Temple University’s Center for Public Health Law Research. And around the country, many more measures are being debated or being prepared for legislative sessions to start early in the new year.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/25/covid-public-health-laws-restricted/

Shark kills 31-year-old man near Morro Bay; all swimmers ordered to leave water

A 31-year-old man was killed by a shark off the Morro Bay coast in what is believed to be San Luis Obispo County’s first such fatality in 18 years.

A 31-year-old man was pronounced dead Friday morning due to a shark attack off the coast of Morro Bay in what is believed to be San Luis Obispo County’s first such fatality in 18 years.

County officials are in the process of contacting family members before releasing the man’s identity, said Eric Endersby, Morro Bay harbor patrol director.

The man appeared to be a bodyboarder, Endersby said. The man was initially aided by a nearby female surfer, who paddled over to help.

Endersby said she does not appear to be related, and it’s unknown whether she saw the attack.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/california/story/2021-12-25/bodyboarder-killed-in-shark-attack-off-morro-bay-waters

Spanish eruption's end brings 'emotional relief,' rebuilding

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

MADRID — Authorities on one of Spain’s Canary Islands declared a volcanic eruption that started in September officially finished Saturday following 10 days of no lava flows, seismic activity or significant sulfur dioxide emissions.

But the emergency in La Palma, the most northwest island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago, is not over due to the widespread damage the eruption caused, the director of the Canaries’ volcanic emergency committee said in announcing the much-anticipated milestone.

“It’s not joy or satisfaction - how we can define what we feel? It’s an emotional relief. And hope,” Pevolca director Julio Pérez said. “Because now, we can apply ourselves and focus completely on the reconstruction work.”

Fiery molten rock flowing down toward the sea destroyed around 3,000 buildings, entombed banana plantations and vineyards, ruined irrigation systems and cut off roads. But no injuries or deaths were directly linked to the eruption.

Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/nation-world/story/2021-12-25/spanish-eruptions-end-brings-emotional-relief-rebuilding



The photo accompanying this article is amazing.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Accuses Jewish Space Lasers of Trying to Shoot Down Santa

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Claiming that the “enemies of Christmas” are taking their war against the holiday to “a whole new level,” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene warned of a conspiracy to use “state-of-the-art Jewish space lasers” to shoot down Santa.

“If you want to win the war on Christmas, first you take out the person who makes Christmas possible,” Greene said. “As I speak, Jewish space lasers are being trained on the North Pole.”

Noting that norad tracks Santa’s route each year, she urged those military officials monitoring his progress “to be on the lookout for any incoming of a space-laser-ish nature.”

In her most incendiary claim, she asserted that the Rothschild banking family is masterminding the anti-Santa plot “because they don’t worship Santa the way regular people do.”

“The Rothschilds have already celebrated their own holiday with their little Rothschildren,” she said. “They call it the Festival of Lasers.”

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/marjorie-taylor-greene-accuses-jewish-space-lasers-of-trying-to-shoot-down-santa

Florida's second COVID Christmas marred by 320% infection hike

Source: Tampa Bay Times

The contagious omicron variant is likely driving a surge of more than 17,800 infections a day.

The omicron variant is Florida’s unwelcome Christmas visitor, likely driving a 320 percent surge of COVID-19 cases in just one week.

The state on Christmas Eve reported 125,201 cases from Dec. 17-23, a daily average of more than 17,800 over the seven-day period. That’s the highest infection rate since early September, when the delta wave was cresting.

In just two weeks, Florida’s seven-day average has gone from 4,200 cases a week to 17,800, according to the data released Friday. The Sunshine State has already surpassed the 16,000 daily cases recorded at the peak of last year’s winter wave and could soon surpass the summer delta wave, which peaked at 25,000 daily cases.

The Florida Department of Health has not released any data that shows how much of the surge is driven by the omicron variant. But the fast-spreading mutant virus has repeated this pattern in South Africa and Great Britain and is now the dominant strain in the U.S., spreading to all 50 states in less than a month.

Read more: https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/12/24/floridas-second-covid-christmas-marred-by-320-infection-hike/
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