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Where's George Orwell Today? Texas!

Jim Hightower on

If you think the GOP's Congress of Clowns represents the fringiest, freakiest pack of politicos that MAGA-world can hurl at us -- you haven't been to Texas.

It's widely known, of course, that Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott and most other top Republican officials here are obsequious Trump acolytes. Thus, Texas is infamously racing against Florida to be declared the stupidest, meanest, most repressive state government in America, constantly making demonic attacks on women's freedom, immigrants, voting rights, public schools, poor people and so on. But I'm confident Texas will win this race to the bottom for one big reason: GOP crazy runs extraordinarily deep here.

We have a county-level layer of ultra-MAGA cultists constantly pressing the state's far-right officials to march all the way to the furthest edge of extremism -- then leap into absurdity. Therefore, the party officially supports abolishment of labor unions, elimination of the minimum wage, privatization of Social Security, legalization of machine guns and ... well, you get the drift. Now, though, local mad-dog Trumpistas are pushing their party straight into the abyss of autocracy by declaring war on H-E-B.

What's that? H-E-B is a Texas chain of supermarkets beloved in communities throughout the state. "Beloved" because the stores fully embrace the rich diversity of all people in our state, has affordable prices, values employees and supports community needs.

Nonetheless, county Republican zealots screech that H-E-B violates their party ideology by accepting food stamps, opposing privatization of schools, and (horrors!) sponsoring some LBGTQ pride events. So, they're demanding official condemnation of the grocery chain for -- get this -- "advocating for policies contrary to the Republican Party of Texas platform."

Yes, violating the party platform is to be criminalized. It's the reincarnation of Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four": Be MAGA ... or else.

CAN'T OIL BARONS EVER BE HONEST? (HINT: NO)

Former New Mexico Gov. Bruce King once opposed a bill because, he said, he feared it would "open a whole box of Pandoras."

 

An odd rhetorical twist, but it would be helpful if today's ego-bloated, high-tech billionaires and corporate profiteers had a bit of self-restraint, rather than thinking their money equals genius. For example, such doofuses are presently pushing convoluted schemes to "solve" our globe's technology-caused climate crisis with -- what else? -- technology.

Their latest box of Pandoras includes a grandiose plan to "geoengineer" carbon dioxide, the destructive gas spewed into our air by the production and use of fossil fuels. The geniuses say they have the techno-knowhow to suck-up that bad gas and pump it a mile deep into the Earth. See, problem gone! All they need, they say, is for taxpayers to put up trillions of dollars.

Who's behind this hustle? Oil giants. Yes, the same prevaricating snake oil salesmen who cause most of the suffocating CO2 pollution that's rapidly cooking our planet! Such petro-peddlers as Occidental Petroleum are now trying to rebrand themselves as "carbon management" experts, asking us to trust them to reengineer our atmosphere. But they're frauds; their magical "Vacuum Cleaner in the Sky" won't remove even 1% of the new carbon emissions released every year.

Worse, Occidental says it intends to keep much of the CO2 it vacuums up, using the gas to force more oil out of the ground -- thus creating more global warming! As Occidental's CEO gleefully puts it, geoengineering "gives our industry a license to continue to operate for ... 60, 70, 80 years."

Razzle-dazzle technology is not a climate solution. It's a business-as-usual lie told by profiteers desperate to keep burning fossil fuels -- and our globe.

To find out more about Jim Hightower and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

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