Thursday, February 18, 2021

Last Call For The Day Hell Froze Over In Texas, Con't

I don't know what GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was thinking here, but this looks absolutely callous as hell and he needs to pay a cost for it.

Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed Thursday that he traveled to Cancun, Mexico, as millions of Texas residents were without power amid blackouts from the freezing weather.

In a statement, the Texas Republican said he flew with his daughters Wednesday and would be returning Thursday amid an uproar and calls to resign over the family trip.

“With school canceled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” Cruz said.

Photos that rapidly circulated on social media overnight showed a man who could be the senator at an airport and on an airplane. In some photos, a gray face mask was visible that appeared to be similar to one that Cruz was wearing at President Biden’s inauguration.

According to the social media postings, Cruz appeared to be in the Houston airport, preparing to board a United Airlines flight from Houston to Fort Lauderdale with continuing service to Cancun.

In Texas, more than 3 million customers were still in the dark Wednesday afternoon, according to, which tracks outages nationwide. As of Thursday morning, that figure was about 500,000.

The Texas Democratic Party called on Cruz to resign over the incident. In a statement, party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said Cruz “is proving to be an enemy to our state by abandoning us in our greatest time of need.”

“Ted Cruz jetting off to Mexico while Texans remain dying in the cold isn’t surprising but it is deeply disturbing and disappointing,” Hinojosa said. “Cruz is emblematic of what the Texas Republican Party and its leaders have become: weak, corrupt, inept, and self-serving politicians who don’t give a damn about the people they were elected to represent. They were elected by the people but have no interest or intent of doing their jobs.”
Now, I know Cruz isn't personally responsible for the screwups of 25 years of GOP control in Texas at the state level, and he wasn't the guy who deregulated the state's power grid and make this week's power (and now water) failure inevitable. 

But the guy's got the political instincts of a three-year-old case of yogurt left in the Death Valley sun, and I'm glad to see Dems already ripping into him over this, not that Cruz shouldn't have already been shown the door after his sedition.

Still, I think Cruz has badly underestimated how pissed Texans are over this, and "Remember the time this asshole went to Cancun while the state was a block of ice" is going to resonate for a long, long time.


The Road To Gilead, Con't

Republican state legislatures are getting high on their own supply when it comes to "awful force birth legislation for when SCOTUS kills Roe" as Tennessee would actually give the father veto power over abortion being performed, because women need to be trapped in goddamn 1878.

In an effort to further restrict abortion in Tennessee, two Tennessee lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow a father to deny an abortion without the pregnant woman's consent.

SB494/HB1079, sponsored by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, would give a man who gets a woman pregnant the veto power to an abortion by petitioning a court for an injunction against the procedure.

Tennessee lawmakers already passed one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws last year, although much of it is held up with legal challenges from abortion rights advocates. The ongoing court battle could stretch for months if not years.

Despite the outlook for potential lawsuits, state lawmakers appear adamant in pushing for stricter abortion laws this legislative session. Including Pody and Sexton's legislation, six bills to further restrict abortion have been filed this year.

Pody said Wednesday he introduced his bill after a Tennessee resident expressed concerns that fathers do not have a say over abortion under the current law. He said his bill would assure fathers' right to make a decision about an unborn child.

"I believe a father should have a right to say what's gonna be happening to that child," Pody said. "And if somebody is going to kill that child, he should be able to say, 'No, I don't want that child to be killed. I want to able to raise that child and love that child.'"

But the bill language has drawn criticism from abortion rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the state's Planned Parenthood chapter.

"This unconstitutional legislation demonstrates the condescending mindset underlying this bill: that men should control women’s bodies," ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg said in a statement. "Women are not chattel and this bill needs to be stopped in its tracks."
Sure, let's give sperm donors legal authority over a woman's uterus. Let's see if we can give a wife or girlfriend veto power over a vasectomy while we're at it, right?

My God, what lunacy.  And yet, there's a very good chance that by July 2022, we'll be in a position where this will be law.

America Goes Viral, Con't

COVID-19 and the Trump Depression blew a hole in America's life expectancy numbers, with the average figure dropping the most since WWII. Which, coincidentally, was the last time America lost so many to preventable causes.

Life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic caused its first wave of deaths, health officials are reporting.

Minorities suffered the biggest impact, with Black Americans losing nearly three years and Hispanics, nearly two years, according to preliminary estimates Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a huge decline,” said Robert Anderson, who oversees the numbers for the CDC. “You have to go back to World War II, the 1940s, to find a decline like this.”

Other health experts say it shows the profound impact of COVID-19, not just on deaths directly due to infection but also from heart disease, cancer and other conditions.

“What is really quite striking in these numbers is that they only reflect the first half of the year ... I would expect that these numbers would only get worse,” said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a health equity researcher and dean at the University of California, San Francisco.

This is the first time the CDC has reported on life expectancy from early, partial records; more death certificates from that period may yet come in. It’s already known that 2020 was the deadliest year in U.S. history, with deaths topping 3 million for the first time.

Life expectancy is how long a baby born today can expect to live, on average. In the first half of last year, that was 77.8 years for Americans overall, down one year from 78.8 in 2019. For males it was 75.1 years and for females, 80.5 years.

As a group, Hispanics in the U.S. have had the most longevity and still do. Black people now lag white people by six years in life expectancy, reversing a trend that had been bringing their numbers closer since 1993.

Between 2019 and the first half of 2020, life expectancy decreased 2.7 years for Black people, to 72. It dropped 1.9 years for Hispanics, to 79.9, and 0.8 years for white people, to 78. The preliminary report did not analyze trends for Asian or Native Americans.

The disparity in health care outcomes for Black folk thanks to Trump and COVID was so bad, it literally knocked almost three years off our lives in six months. It's criminal what Trump did, and again, most of these horrific figures were entirely preventable if the Trump regime had taken COVID seriously.

Donald Trump made Black America suffer more than any Oval Office occupant in my lifetime, and yes, more than even Reagan. I will never forgive him for it.


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