I was chatting with someone online last week, noting the speed at which Democrats have lurched ever so hard to the left since regaining control of the House of Representatives. Not just presidential candidates pandering for votes, mind you, but a frenzy of policy proscriptions, each further to the left than the last.

Pick a topic… any topic. The discussion has moved to the far left wing of the Democrat party. The new guard are enthusiastic activists. They are loud, and they want attention. In the words of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she’s the new boss and everyone better get out of the way. Like the middle-schoolers who thought to lecture Senator Feinstein, they will settle for nothing less than total agreement with their opinion. Toddlers throwing tantrums seems an apt comparison.

I understand the ideological purity of children. The passion which motivates these students is commendable. Their methods and behavior, which was encouraged by the adults in the room, was not.

The children’s belief that the Green New Deal will save the planet is what I expect from children. Adults should know better, and our elected officials even more so. A study by the American Action Forum totaled up the costs of this “deal” and the news was about what you would expect.

Estimates range from $51 trillion to $93 trillion dollars, yes trillion - with a T. At the high end of the estimate, that’s over $65,000 per American household. Of course, bill backers say that the “rich” will pay for this, not middle-class workers. But in reality, that $93 trillion is larger than four times the value of all of the Fortune 500 companies combined. There aren’t enough rich people.

I guarantee that there will be little in the way of improvement for the environment. And the impact for we mere humans could be considered less than a good deal in light of the trade-offs that would be required.

Definitely looking forward to when this spin through the Progressive Left playbook gets around to gun control. After the last month of Democrats explaining their positions on abortion, an interesting if not horrifying discussion on infanticide ensued after bills supporting abortion at any stage of pregnancy were passed in New York and debated in Virginia. This all culminated in a vote in the Senate Monday on a bill that protects infants born alive after botched abortions, requiring doctors to provide care rather than leaving a newborn infant to die from exposure. Forty-four Democrats voted against it. Some of those same senators rant daily about the treatment of children in detention centers for illegal immigrants, but think that newborn babies who survive attempted abortion do not deserve legal protection.

The argument from some Republicans is to get out of the way and let the Democrats tell America exactly what they stand for .....not a bad idea at all.

A recent story posted on Axios reported on recent surveys that are taken monthly by polling firm Marist. These issue-oriented surveys run perpetually and are often a good gauge of where the American public stands on issues without interjecting party loyalties.

For the first time since 2009 when Marist started polling on abortion, just as many Americans identify as pro-life as do pro-choice, with both at 47 percent. Last month, the percentage of Americans identified as pro choice climbed by a margin of 17 points. That is quite a turnaround. A full 80 percent of the public would prefer abortion be limited to the first three months of pregnancy. That is up five points in one month.

If only we had actual representation by our elected officials. Or at least ones willing to stand up to pass legislation when it has a chance to actually move through the government, not just when they are in the minority.

In the meantime… welcome to the new “National Conversation” where every insane progressive idea is the solution to every crisis we have had, and politicians race one another further and further towards the socialist abyss.

One of the best parts of moving to the South has been experiencing seasons and weather so different from California’s more mild climate. Big storms have hit Tennessee, flooding areas through the middle of the state and prompting flash flood and tornado warnings throughout western counties.

Vince has encountered more than one flooded road while out and about working. The nearby highway drains through the corn field across the street, and along through my backyard to the creek that runs along our property. I have watched my backyard transform into a wetland and creek throughout the last week of rain.

And has there been rain! I think it would be easier to count the sunny days this month, not that I am complaining.

We share the backyard with more birds and wildlife than I have seen… my favorite being a beautiful cardinal that likes to hang out in the tree by my kitchen windows in the mornings. In addition, the Purple-Throated Martins have started building a nest in their house in the backyard. When the rain slows enough, the grass in the backyard becomes a smorgasbord of bird favorites - and a congregation spot.

Never thought that bird baths would be so entertaining!

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.