Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, February 22, 2021

South Of The Border, Down Mexico Way

Ted Cruz Self-Quarantining After Cancun Trip During State Disaster; Sam Houston Rolls Over In Grave

Washington (AP). In a year that has already seen the bizarre and promises more of the same, the polarizing junior senator from the state of Texas is in a world of trouble. More so than usual. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is well known as something of a volatile politician, climate change denier, source of controversy, and apologist for the former president (who incidentally is presently exiled at Mar-a-Lago and promising 'revenge bigly' on the planet). Cruz, often suspected of being the Zodiac Killer, made headlines recently for his latest gaffe: jetting off for a vacation to Cancun with his wife and daughters.

While his home state of Texas became frozen by a winter storm that took down the power grid and affected millions of Texans.

It's been a difficult year for the world. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to loom over all. It's especially hit hard in the United States, where the policies of the previous administration seemed to exasperate the issue. Deep divisions run rampant in the country, personified in the January 6th invasion of the Capitol by Trump supporters. President Biden is working to repair the damage left behind by the Trump administration. And Cruz, true to form, has been an obstructionist since the dawn of the new administration.

And then Mother Nature came along.

Winter has been a hard one in many parts of North America. Some of those places are used to hard winters. Others are not. The state of Texas was slammed by a storm that tracked its way across much of the continent. In its wake was a deep cold, ice, bursting pipes, and the collapse of the power grid. Millions of the state's residents have been affected in one way or another. Over four million were left without power. Millions more were cut off from access to drinking water. 

And in the midst of all this, Ted Cruz jetted off to Cancun with his wife Heidi and their daughters Caroline and Catherine, leaving the state behind at the worst possible moment.

Natural disasters can be a boon or a nightmare for a politician. Competence and concern can lead to the former. Incompetence the latter. The conventional wisdom suggests that you ensure responders have the resources they need, show up and tour the damage, talk to people affected, show some concern... and don't commit a gaffe. Conventional wisdom also suggests that taking a vacation while your constituency is suffering is a really, really bad thing.

And yet Cruz and the family headed to Cancun for some time in the sun regardless. Dogged by controversy, Cruz returned days ago to much furor as Texans fought to cope with the disaster. Claiming that he wanted to be a good dad to his daughters and give them a break, figuratively throwing them under the bus for his own stupid decision, Cruz was seen walking through an airport, spoke briefly to reporters, wearing a mask for what seems to be the first time since Covid started. How long has that been again?

And so the recriminations are being tossed back and forth. Cruz and his family are engaged in the standard fourteen day quarantine after their vacation was so rudely interrupted by a nasty winter storm. People are demanding that he resign. Other political figures picked up the slack during his absence and undertook measures to help Texans trying to cope with the current state of things. Power companies are making excuses about their own incompetence.

Cruz has admitted that the vacation was a mistake. One wonders why he didn't see that in advance. But Ted Cruz has often shown an appalling lack of judgment in pretty much everything in life, along with an obliviousness to anything beyond himself. A man who blames his vacation on his daughters isn't much of a man.

In the aftermath, Cruz has become an object of ridicule and scorn online and beyond, with memes depicting him in various settings toting a luggage bag. More scorn than usual, because to be perfectly clear, it's pretty easy to make fun of Ted Cruz, since he routinely offers no shortage of inspiration in that regard pretty much every single day of the year.

Has his luck run out? That is the question. Cruz has managed to spend a career getting himself into trouble and offering half hearted mea culpas after the fact. He has spent years living with the absurd suspicion that he is, in fact, the Zodiac Killer (note to readers: he's not). His supporters have overlooked those gaffes. But now, in the wake of a devastating winter storm that has left many of them suffering, how forgiving are they willing to be of a man who decided time in the sun was more important than living up to his responsibilities? Time will tell.

The Republican party at the national level has enough problems these days. One of their own being tone deaf to reality doesn't help... especially when so many of the rest of them have the same terrible affliction. Even so, CancunGate presents the GOP with another problem to the mountain of problems. What do you do with a Ted Cruz when he's outlived his usefulness and his own state is screaming for his blood?

To be fair, it must be tough for Ted Cruz to be Ted Cruz right now. Seeing protestors outside his home every day during his quarantine demanding that he resign. Seeing the looks on the faces of his daughters, who know that he tried to cast them as the reason for the vacation and deflect responsibility for his own dumbassery. It's a lonely place to be in.

In closing, a psychic in Dallas reported making contact with the spirit of the legendary Texas leader Sam Houston yesterday. Madame Ballard The All Seeing, as she calls herself, reported that Houston was not impressed by the current situation. "To use his precise words about the senator, Houston exclaimed, 'he's an asshole!'"

Saturday, February 13, 2021

So Is It Cold Enough For You?

 And so it is that winter seems to be smacking a lot of people upside the head. Parts of Europe that rarely see snow have seen lots of it, and deep cold that I'm used to but they're not. The Mid-West is getting hit by a storm. 

And I'm loving every minute of it, but then again, I'm silly that way.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Cheating And Breaking Legs

It's Super Bowl weekend. Kansas City versus Tampa Bay. I will not be watching, because frankly I'd rather crawl on my bare hands and knees through broken glass and then pour lemon juice on the cuts than watch football. That said, I do like to skewer it each year. And thus said, here we go. 

 Annual pointless game about to be played; fans delirious; people grounded in reality yawn

Tampa, Florida (AP) The Super Bowl returns in this year of Covid restrictions with limited attendance in the stands. While some have suggested that the NFL should have cancelled the season entirely instead of playing it, including this reporter, that wasn't to be. This reporter, assigned to cover the tedious, pointless game that never seems to end, despite not liking it, has been in Tampa for the last few days, condemned by an editor who hates him, an editor who, it must be pointed out, is the subject of a permanent restraining order forbidding him from being in the same vicinity as this reporter.... (editor: it doesn't mean I can't make your life a living hell, you jackass!)

And so this reporter is assigned to cover an event he doesn't want to cover. This year Tom Brady is back, quarterbacking a new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have the odd distinction of playing a Super Bowl at home. Brady, who spent years cheating with his former team, the New England Patriots (editor: Tom Brady is a saint and the most honest guy in the sport! Stop degrading him!)

This reporter has been in Tampa during this most unusual year. Raymond James Stadium is the setting for the game this year, but due to Covid, the attendance is to be restricted to 25 000 fans. This in a stadium that has the potential capacity for 75 000 in attendance. But not this year, thanks to Covid. Incidentally, does Covid do requests? Because this reporter has a cranky editor who could really... (editor: oh, I hate you! I hate you so much!!!!)

The Buccaneers are playing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are looking to repeat as champions after winning last year. The game will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, with 358 hours of pre-game coverage already underway on the network and its associated platforms. Commercials are already being lined up for maximum exposure before being unleashed on Youtube the same day, and this year's halftime show includes the Canadian singer known as The Weeknd. No, that's actually the way he spells it. At least it's not Drake. That guy's an asshole. 

Not everyone is happy about the matchup. Brady's former coach in the Patriots, Bill Belichick, has been fuming all year since the trade. Belichick, who spends his spare time these days making Tom Brady voodoo dolls and bargaining with the Prince of Darkness to give him one more Super Bowl win before he dies, is in Tampa at the moment. The Dark Lord of New England has been seen ranting to anyone who'll listen. "That insufferable ****ing ****er!!!! How dare he **** us over like this! Well he's going to get what's coming to him, believe you me!"

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, busy ignoring lawsuits from former players about the damage of concussions, has been busy this week reassuring fans that they have Covid preparations well set up at the stadium. "We've got trained personnel screening everyone, and enough hand sanitizer stored for ten thousand fans to use on their way in." When reminded that 25 000 people are going to be in attendance, Goodell look dumbfounded. "Um.... did I say ten thousand fans? Because I meant ten million. We're bringing in ten million people to watch this game."

Sure enough, there's a lot of interest in the game from all corners. Millions of people watch this thing for the game, for the commercials, for the halftime show. In the opinion of this reporter, they're all out of their minds for doing so, because it's the dumbest sport in the world, and this is in a world that includes golf (editor: shut up! Football and golf are great sports!). The fact that this reporters' cranky editor likes it proves the point this reporter is making.

And so for the course of the weekend, the Super Bowl will dominate everything in the world of such people. One could tell them that the world's ending, and they'll say, "not until the game's over!" One could tell them that they've won a million dollars but they have to go collect it right now, and they might say, "can't it wait until after the post game coverage is done?"

This reporter is stuck covering the event, despite the fact that there are plenty of reporters in the sports department at the paper who'd love to attend this. This reporter would point out that the sports department have all taken too many hits to the head (sports department: hey! Um, were you insulting us? What did you say? What day is this?)

What kind of game will it be? Will Brady be cheating? How will the atmosphere be in a game with a third of the fans? Will the halftime show compensate for it all? Will the game be a superspreader event for Covid? All heady questions, but all things that Goodell is avoiding talking about. Which is to be expected out of Goodell.

Barred from being anywhere in the state for the game is one of the sport's legends, who later went on to infamy. O. J. Simpson, the murder defendant in the so called Trial Of The Century, who later got convicted on other charges and did a few years in jail, was once upon a time a key player of the game. These days he's on Twitter a lot, trying to pretend he's relevant. This reporter has been threatened by him before. Simpson was barred by the League from turning up at events, but recently held a Zoom press conference from home, where he could be seen sharpening knives in his kitchen. 

"It's like this. The ****in' NFL just can't handle the ****in' Juice. They go outta their ****in' way to avoid me, like I'm a ****in' leper or somethin'. Honestly, do I have to ****in' kill someone to get their attention? Because I ****in' will, mother****ers, I ****in' will."

When this reporter, taking part in the Zoom conference, reminded Simpson that he had just incriminated himself in front of reporters, Simpson became livid. "**** you! You're that ****er who keeps tellin' people I was gonna ****in' kill you! Well I'll ****in' kill you for sayin' I'm gonna ****in' kill you, mother****er! I'm gonna **** you up, I swear on the...."

Simpson's feed went offline. It wasn't the only negative story in a week of weirdness. When last seen, Belichick was sitting cross legged on the floor of one of the stadium concourses, breaking the legs of a Tom Brady voodoo doll and muttering, "back stabbing bastard, I'll show him..."

Brady is still the central figure in all this, with speculation that at 43, time is running out. Has he overstayed his welcome? Has he put off retirement for too long? Can he get away with cheating one more time and win another Super Bowl? (editor: hey! What did I tell you about Tom Brady's integrity?) This reporter would point out that his cranky editor doesn't know the meaning of integrity.

And so it is that Super Bowl weekend has arrived. This reporter is taking all possible Covid precautions, but still expects to come down with the disease, as it appears that the NFL's Covid protocols are being carried out by one guy named Jethro who appears to have a cold and keeps sneezing into his hands (editor: you deserve to die of Covid!)

This reporter would like to say, in closing, that his cranky editor is as much of an asshole as Drake is.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Jittery Prognosticator

Groundhog Day is approaching, and I can't let the occasion just pass by. Incidentally, a fair prediction from our rodent prognosticators: lots more winter.