Reader Poll: What do you think about the federal shutdown?

The Whirlwind wants to know what you think about the shutdown of federal government.

Both sides blame one another. The Republicans want to delay full implementation of Obamacare. The Democrats point out it is the law of the land.

All “essential” services such as military, law enforcement, mail delivery (not federally funded) and social security benefits, will be available. But tourist spots will be closed, many federal workers furloughed and possibly even the Air Force vs. Navy football game will be cancelled.

What do you think? Is this an effective way to make policy change or is the action of the Congress damaging the country?

Do you support the shutdown of the federal government?

  • Yes (70%, 21 Votes)
  • No (27%, 8 Votes)
  • Undecided (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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Please leave us your comments also.


UN’s massive new climate report adds little explanation for ‘pause’ in warming | Fox News

An enormous U.N. report on the scientific data behind global warming was made available Monday, yet it offers little concrete explanation for an earthly oddity: the planet’s climate has hit the pause button.Since 1998, there has been no significant increase in global average surface temperature, and some areas — notably the Northern Hemisphere — have actually cooled. The 2,200-page new Technical Report attributes that to a combination of several factors, including natural variability, reduced heating from the sun and the ocean acting like a “heat sink” to suck up extra warmth in the atmosphere.

Read full story here.


Government shutdown begins; Senate rejects latest House proposal – The Washington Post

The U.S. government on Tuesday began to shut down for the first time in 17 years, after a Congress bitterly divided over President Obama’s signature health-care initiative failed to reach agreement to fund federal agencies.

Thousands of government workers arrived at federal office buildings to clean off their desks, set out-of-office e-mail messages and make whatever arrangements were necessary to stay off the job indefinitely. Others, including Border Patrol officers, prison guards and air traffic controllers, were required to work but were told they may not be paid.

Read the full story here.


Sculptor Eddie Dixon may replace McDonald on EUB

This has rumor status only but we hear that Lubbock sculptor Eddie Dixon may be appointed to replace Dwight McDonald on the LP&L Electric Utility Board.

Dixon is a Texas Tech graduate with degrees in chemistry and zoology and graduate work in entomology. Before attending Texas Tech her served with the 101st Airborne from 1968 – 1970. He has earned international fame as a sculptor. He is also an aficionado of fine hats.

The Sandstorm Scholar has promoted Mr. Dixon with certain Council members as a candidate for the EUB for almost six months. We had hoped to see him serve with Dwight McDonald, not replace him.

Like Dwight McDonald, Eddie Dixon belongs to no one. If appointed he will be a surprisingly fine choice from this Council.

Learn more about Dixon at his website.


McDonald attacks city leaders for hypocrisy in LP&L board removal Government blog | Lubbock Online Mobile Edition

Former Electric Utility Board member Dwight McDonald fired back at city leaders after what he calls “hypocrisy” in the City Council’s decision last week to remove him from the board citing his dual role as a city magistrate.

McDonald attacks city leaders for hypocrisy in LP&L board removal Government blog | Lubbock Online Mobile Edition.


Gail Kring, bless his heart…

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Electric Utility Board Chairman Gail Kring is a fine man and we infer from his position of leadership of a large agriculture cooperative that he’s competant at his chosen profession.

But, bless his heart, he’s out of his league in his position as Chairman of the EUB. If he doesn’t have the good grace to resign his position the City Council ought not reappoint him to LP&L’s Electric Utility Board.

“Bless his heart” is the West Texas rubric required to speak truthfully but negatively about someone.

Well intentioned but politically inept is Kring. His is the most politically charged position in town. Lubbock cannot afford to have a person leading LP&L who can’t handle both the business and the politics of the appointment. It is irresponsible to let this continue.

Now, before all of the fans of Chairman Kring assail us for picking on such a nice guy we refer them back to the first two sentences of this article. We’ve stipulated to his essential value to someone and we said, “bless his heart.”

“Bless his heart” is the West Texas rubric required to speak truthfully but negatively about someone. For the record, in the past we’ve given Kring a pass for his injudicious statements. Why? Because he’s a nice guy.

But, bless his heart, Kring isn’t up to the job and here’s why.

Chairman Kring asked the new General Counsel for the EUB to opine on who ought to be in the Closed Sessions of the LP&L Board and then emailed the memo to every Board member. “For discussion purposes only,” said Kring.

Kring didn’t throw Kimbrough under the bus; he jumped on the bus, put it in reverse and backed over the new General Counsel himself.

It appears that there may be other issues more pressing for the General Counsel but, for the moment, let’s assume this is the top priority.

Kring should have come equipped with a warning klaxon because once asked to account for what he did, he backed right over his General Counsel trying to run away from the consequences of his request. Mind you, Kring didn’t throw Kimbrough under the bus; he jumped on the bus, put it in reverse and backed over the new General Counsel himself.

EUB member Clayton Isom described it correctly, Kring offered up the General Counsel as a political sacrifice. It was a weak, wrong and witless move on the part of Kring, who is supposed to be leading Lubbock’s citizen owned electric utility into the largest capital investment our city has ever made to ensure power from 2019 forward.

Absence of leadership is what plagues the EUB and Gail Kring made it easy for us to identify him as one source of the problem.

“A passive attendee in a Closed Session, by definition, cannot be necessary to the Board’s consideration of any agenda item.” –Todd Kimrbrough, General Counsel for LP&L

We’ve read and reread Todd Kimbrough’s memorandum. It appears sound in its premise and well-argued. “A passive attendee in a Closed Session, by definition,” writes Kimbrough, “cannot be necessary to the Board’s consideration of any agenda item.” That sentence speaks volumes regarding city employee and Council attendance.

Ousting city of Lubbock employees will, to begin with, eliminate some of the questionable transfers made to the Council budget out of the LP&L bank account.

For example, it is difficult to understand what contribution the City Secretary makes at an EUB meeting, much less her ever present Assistant City Secretary. He is usually skulking somewhere behind her skirts. Neither are necessary to 2019 and the $106,000 annually, that ratepayers are exhorted into paying because the inseparable duo happens to attend EUB meetings, can be used to lower electric rates.

We agree with EUB member Marc McDougal when he says the City Council must be present in some meetings. But as Kimbrough writes, only when they are contributors and “this is likely to be infrequent.”

Why does city ordinance make the Mayor an ex officio member of the LP&L Board unless it was for the purpose of being the voice of the Council on the EUB?

Why does city ordinance make the Mayor an ex officio member of the LP&L Board unless it was for the purpose of being the voice of the Council on the EUB? If the intent of the Charter was to have all seven members present at every meeting wouldn’t it have been written that way?

We have no issue with Kimbrough’s opinion. That’s for others to debate. What we do take issue with is Kring’s retreat from what he asked the General Counsel to do.

After the memorandum was written Kring said, “I told him we have to figure out how they can be included.” Who is the attorney here, Kring or Kimbrough? Expect to see treadmarks on Kimbrough when you see him next.

As The Whirlwind put it, the genie is out of the bottle and Kring ought to have stood up for his General Counsel and his interpretation of the law. From this point forward City Council needs “a specific and narrowly tailored invitation and request from the Board” to attend EUB Closed Sessions.

From this point forward City Council needs “a specific and narrowly tailored invitation and request from the Board” to attend EUB Closed Sessions.

If Kring doesn’t have the backbone to enforce this and to support his General Counsel then let the EUB elect a leader who will follow the law and be accountable for his actions or else fire the General Counsel and buy a new legal opinion.

Bless his heart, we suspect he’s not up to the task.


Area Opinions: Free tickets have no place in Legislature | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

It appears that the Foolish Five and Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez are not the only ones having problems knowing how to handle freebies.

Free tickets have no place in Legislature

Since 2005, lobbyists have dished out nearly $200,000 in free tickets to state lawmakers, and that’s just what’s been reported.

As the San Antonio Express-News has reported, no one knows how many free tickets find their way into lawmakers’ hands. Lobbyists have figured out how to skirt disclosure requirements.

Read the entire article: Area Opinions: Free tickets have no place in Legislature | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.


N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens – NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

Read the full article here – N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens – NYTimes.com.


IRS Documents Reveal Agency Flagged Groups for ‘Anti-Obama Rhetoric,’ Big Three Refuse to Report – WSJ.com

ABC, CBS and NBC have so far refused to report the latest bombshell in the IRS scandal – a newly released list from the agency that showed it flagged political groups for “anti-Obama rhetoric.” On September 18 USA Today, in a front page story, reported the following: “Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ‘anti-Obama rhetoric,’ inflammatory language and ’emotional’ statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.”

Read the entire article here: IRS Documents Reveal Agency Flagged Groups for 'Anti-Obama Rhetoric,' Big Three Refuse to Report – WSJ.com.