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Beto O'Rourke is organizing thousands of welfare check-ins for elderly Texans

Writer James Lane Allen once wrote, "Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it." If that's the case, we're seeing the true character of political leaders in the state of Texas right now.

While Senator Ted Cruz gallivanted off to Cancun as people in his state froze in their homes, boiled water for drinking, and stood in line for hours to get food, former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke gathered volunteers and organized a grassroots effort to help elderly Texans stuck in their homes to connect them with resources.

O'Rourke wrote on Twitter that a virtual "welfare check" phone banking event held on Wednesday, February 17 had reached 151,000 seniors.


"One of our vols talked to a man stranded at home w/out power in Killeen, hadn't eaten in 2 days, got him a ride to a warming center and a hot meal," O'Rourke wrote.

O'Rourke has been sharing county-specific shelter, food bank, and aid information on social media, pointing people to the places where they can seek help in their area. He's also holding another phone bank welfare check event on Thursday from 1:00pm to 9:00pm, which anyone in the country can sign up to be trained and help with.


The situation in Texas is dire. Millions have been without power for days, millions more are under water boil orders, stores are running out of food, and people are chipping icicles off the insides of their homes. While there's nothing anyone can do about the weather, there is plenty that can be done on the ground to get people connected with the help that is available.

Politicians can bicker all they want about who's to blame for this crisis, but it's pretty obvious that the problem is the state's approach to independent energy competition with little government oversight or regulation. Texas is known for distancing itself from the federal government and limiting its own state government, which means people have to rely on each other in a crisis. Isn't that what small-government ideology is all about? The power of local communities and organizations to provide what people need? Wouldn't it logically make sense, then, that politicians who scoff at government aid and regulation would be the first on the ground providing that community-oriented assistance, since that's the societal structure they want to see?

How ironic is it then that the politician doing that assistance is Beto O'Rourke, while Texas's actual elected official, Ted Cruz, hops on a plane to Cancun?

O'Rourke pointed out the irony of the Texas government being run by people who don't believe in government and explained how fighting regulation led directly to the crisis Texas is currently experiencing. "We are nearing a failed state in Texas," he told Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

It's worth pointing out that O'Rourke isn't even in an official leadership position right now. A lifelong resident of El Paso, O'Rourke served four terms in the House of Representatives and gave Ted Cruz a run for his money in the Texas Senate race in 2018. He also made an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2020. But at the moment, he's just a private citizen, and he's doing far more leading by example and taking far more action than Texas's actual elected representatives.

A crisis shows us who is fit to lead and who is not. Good for Beto O'Rourke for stepping up and exemplifying what leadership should look like and for helping out his fellow Texans when they need it the most.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Moms don't have to be hard to shop for. Here are gifts she'll love.

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Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

A tiger at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary and a mugshot of Joe Exotic from Santa Rosa County Jail.

Netflix’s “Tiger King” will go down in history as the collective distraction that helped America get through the dark, depressing days of early COVID-19 lockdowns. The show followed the true story of the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying, redneck with a mullet,” and Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue.

Exotic is currently serving out a 21-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and hiring someone to kill Baskin.

The show was a raucous look inside the world of big cat owners and brought a lot of attention to the animal abuse that runs rampant in the industry. The light it shed on the industry was so bright it led Congress to take action. The Senate unanimously passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act on December 6. The House had already passed the bill in July.

The White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.

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