Ted Cruz: ‘sniveling coward’ of the year

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ted Cruz takes the grand prize as the “sniveling coward” of this still young year.

I kind of like the term “sniveling.” It’s so, um, descriptive. You can draw a mental picture of someone cowering in a corner, sobbing while crouched in some sort of fetal position.

It’s an epithet that the Texas U.S. senator threw at a fellow Republican presidential candidate in 2016. Yep, that would be Donald John Trump, the guy who eventually won the presidency that year. You recall the moment, yes? Trump tweeted an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife. Ted went after Trump with ferocity, calling him a “pathological liar,” a guy with “no morals,” and yes, he called him a “sniveling coward.”

Trump is all of that. So, too, is Ted Cruz … I mean the sniveling coward part.

You see, after Trump got elected Cruz began sucking up to The Donald. They became best friends. Cruz became afraid of the damage Trump might cause were he to remain committed to his earlier view of Trump’s morals, his lying and his lack of courage.

He cowered in the face of potential payback. Thus, he became a “sniveling coward.”

I suppose you could say he burnished his “sniveling coward” credentials by jetting off to Cancun while Texans shivered in the dark during that horrible winter storm. Oh, and get this: Cruz then decided this weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference to mock Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York progressive member of Congress, who came to Texas and raised $5 million in storm relief … while Cruz was hightailing it to the beach in sunny, balmy Mexico.

All of these examples I have cited offer plenty of evidence to suggest that Ted Cruz is very much the “sniveling coward” he once said of an ex-president to whom he now professes blind fealty.

Cruz makes me want to puke.

ACA gets new life

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

You might recall when Congress approved the Affordable Care Act. Then-Vice President Joe Biden warmed up the podium for President Obama and then whispered a remark got on a hot mic.

“This is a big fu**ing deal,” Biden said. Obama signed the bill into law and then commenced a decade-long fight with congressional Republicans who wanted to kill it. They never came up with an alternative. They never sought to improve the ACA. They wanted it wiped off the books. Why? Because the law had President Barack Obama’s name on it.

Donald Trump was the top GOP cheerleader, but he never had an alternative, either. Now he’s gone. Democrats control both legislative chambers. VP Biden is now the president.

And the ACA is still a big … deal.

Improvements to it are contained in a COVID relief bill that the House has approved. It’s now in the Senate and is likely to pass narrowly.

The New York Times reports: Now the Biden administration and a Democratic Congress hope to engineer the first major repair job and expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its passage. They plan to refashion regulations and spend billions through the stimulus bill to make Obamacare simpler, more generous and closer to what many of its architects wanted in the first place.

At Last, Democrats Get Chance to Engineer Obamacare 2.0 (msn.com)

The link I have attached to this blog post goes into detail what Democrats have in mind.

Suffice to say that the ACA isn’t perfect. Its rollout was a disaster. However, it has managed to provide health insurance to millions of Americans. Barack Obama always stated he would welcome improvements to the law.

Republicans who controlled the White House and Congress had their chance to produce an alternative to law they despised. They failed. Now it’s Democrats’ turn. Perhaps they can deliver the goods to Americans who continue to support the act, no matter how much venom is spewed by its foes.

We’re awash in vaccines?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Is it just me or are we awash in COVID-19 vaccines these days?

Johnson & Johnson has just received approval to distribute its one-shot vaccine. It vows to deliver tens of millions of doses in a major hurry. The J&J medicine now joins Pfizer and Moderna; AstraZeneca is likely to win approval in short order, too.

A part of this ongoing drama needs some attention. It is the amazing development of the vaccines by these “big pharma” outfits.

Think of it. The world became affected a bit more than a year ago by the coronavirus. There might have some research being done at that time, but then Donald John Trump declared — finally! — a national emergency. He sought to get the drug companies fired up to produce the vaccine. Then he bungled the start-up, along with damn near everything else regarding our national response to the pandemic.

Still, the pharmaceutical firms kept at it. There have been some arguments over whether the federal government funding of the research had a tangible impact on the companies’ ability to deliver the vaccines.

They did. Pfizer came out first. Moderna followed shortly after. Now we have J&J.

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine (msn.com)

As a point of personal privilege, my wife and I have been vaccinated fully with the Pfizer drug; one of our sons has received his vaccine from Moderna. We are praying that our entire family — extended and immediate — gets inoculated against this disease.

I want to salute the researchers at these big pharma companies for delivering the vaccines that now are beginning to reel in the impact of the virus.

Why, I’ll even offer a good word for Donald Trump, who promised a quick delivery of the vaccine. It happened pretty much as the ex-president said it would.

LGBT bill needs to pass

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As someone who believes a person’s sexual orientation is delivered at birth, I am perplexed — no surprise here — at Republican opposition to a bill that grants gay people protection against losing their job because of who they love.

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBT Americans. It faces an uphill climb in the Senate because Senate Republicans believe it infringes on their religious freedom.

Oh, my.

I keep asking myself when I hear this argument: What part of the term “secular document” do these folks not comprehend? Yes, the U.S. Constitution is a secular document drafted by smart men who sought to keep religion out of the nation’s governing framework. Now, I know that they also granted us all religious liberty, that we are free to worship — or not worship — as we please.

The founders also wrote into the Constitution a clause that grants “equal protection under the law” for every single American. It makes no distinction among Americans’ sexual orientation.

This is a sticky issue. I am acutely aware of the toes it steps on.

BBC reports: The act would also federally codify into law the 2020 June Supreme Court ruling that said employers who fire workers for being gay or transgender are violating civil rights law.

Advocates for the act have argued that the current “patchwork” of state anti-discrimination laws does not provide enough comprehensive protection, and leaves many LGBT individuals at risk.

More from the BBC: Before the vote, the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank said the act “would make mainstream beliefs about marriage, biological facts about sex differences, and many sincerely held beliefs punishable under the law.”

US House passes bill protecting LGBT rights (msn.com)

I have sought to make this case before, but I’ll try once again. The U.S. Constitution governs a nation founded by individuals who sought to live free of ham-handed religious dogma.

Civil rights legislation approved repeatedly over the years and affirmed by the Supreme Court has sought to ensure that all Americans enjoy the same freedom from discrimination. Shouldn’t that include LGBT Americans, too? Of course it should!

What has happened to conservatism?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Someone a whole lot smarter than I am will have to explain what in the name of political sanity has happened to the modern U.S. conservative movement.

I am sitting out here in Flyover Country looking at the parade of goofballs, lunatics, seditionists and cult followers traipsing onto the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. I am shaking my head in utter disbelief.

These loons stand before the adoring CPAC crowd and denigrate actual conservatives and true-blue Republicans. These are the folks who have had the gumption to be critical of the Loon in Chief, Donald Trump. That’s it. That is their mortal sin, in the eyes of these morons.

The real conservatives aren’t invited to attend this event. They are basically booed in absentia off the stage whenever someone, such as Ted Cruz, mentions their names out loud.

I am not a conservative, so I have no particular dog in that fight. I am just a spectator and a blogger who wonders — as is my right — about the health of a once-vibrant political movement.

Were I to diagnose the well-being of the conservative movement, I would declare it to be taken over by body snatchers. They are no longer a viable political movement, a governing philosophy. They are loyal to an imbecile who in the course of four years as president of the United States managed:

To run up the greatest national debt in history, alienated this nation from our most valuable international allies, destroyed the decorum associated with the highest office in the land, took dead aim at ethnic and racial minorities, was impeached twice by Congress — the second time for inciting an insurrection — and then lied to the nation and allowed many hundreds of thousands of Americans to die needlessly from a killer virus that has swept over the world.

However, the cultists at CPAC have invited Donald J. Trump to speak and for him to declare that some phony “revolution” he proclaims to lead will continue into the future.

I believe with all my soul that Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald W. Reagan are spinning their graves … and that were they around today none of them would be allowed to speak at today’s perverted gathering of so-called conservatives.

Ya gotta watch this … really!

Ted Cruz speaks at 2021 CPAC: Full speech – YouTube

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The link I have attached to this very brief post is of Ted Cruz, Texas’s infamous junior U.S. senator, the guy who sought to flee to Cancun while the state he represents shivered in bitter cold weather.

I just don’t have anything to add to this video, other than it is about 17 minutes long. Cruz is speaking to fellow fanatics at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla.

He is one of the warmup acts, I suppose, for Donald John Trump, whose speech Sunday night will bring CPAC’s meeting to a close.

Cruz is just truly despicable.

That’s all I have. B’bye … for now.

Human rights, (cont.) …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Human rights ought to extend to those who reside in a country without proper documentation … and that certainly includes those living in the United States of America.

Therefore, I endorse President Biden’s view that undocumented immigrants are entitled to receive COVID-19 vaccines without fear of being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

It’s a matter of public health, Biden told Univision television interviewers. Thus, a danger to undocumented immigrants is a danger to all with whom they come into contact while going about living in the United States.

“I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated and so they’re protected from COVID without the ICE or anyone interfering,” Biden said. “They should… not be arrested for being able to get a vaccination.”

Spare me the criticism that Biden is pandering. The president vows to protect all Americans and, indeed, all residents of this nation.

According to The Hill: The comments follow an announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this month that said ICE was not conducting enforcement activities at or near COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine,” the agency said in a statement at the time. “DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who needs a vaccine can get one, regardless of their immigration status.”

Biden: Undocumented immigrants should get vaccine without ICE targeting them (msn.com)

These individuals’ immigration status can be handled separately, apart from the need to get them vaccinated against a virus that continues to sicken and kill U.S. residents — regardless of whether they are citizens, are here legally or illegally.

It is a human right to be protected against this pandemic.

‘Human rights’ has returned

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

For four years the words “human rights” were rarely uttered by the president of the United States.

Now they have returned to the presidential vernacular. President Biden’s statement this week after the release of intelligence on the death of a prominent Washington Post columnist includes a fulsome statement about the need to protect the rights of all human beings.

The report blames Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, for ordering the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist and critic of the Saudi regime. President Biden has refused to sanction the man known as MBS, fearing some long-term harm to U.S.-Saudi relations. I wish he would have dropped the hammer on MBS, but that’s another story.

It’s out: MBS ordered killing | High Plains Blogger

As for the human rights mantra, I welcome its return to the top of our foreign policy pecking order.

We must stand in this country as a beacon of individual liberty and respect for the rights of all humanity. Only the president of the United States can speak to that priority and only the POTUS can alert the world that we mean it when we invoke those rights for everyone.

Human rights did not get much attention from Donald J. Trump. Indeed, the ex-president sought to curry favor with despots and dictators, such as, oh, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, by proclaiming some sort of bizarre “love affair” with him. Of course, Trump infamously refused to criticize Russian bad boy Vladimir Putin for anything, let alone for the way he treats those who live under his ham-fisted rule.

I hope those days are gone. I also hope to hear much more from President Biden on the value he will place on human rights. May he say it loudly and often going forward.

Texas feels the shame

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas continues to take its lumps over the near-disaster we experienced a week ago.

You see, a state that has prided itself on its ruggedness, its independence and its know-how is being pounded over the failure of an electrical grid that was supposed to carry the state through the worst weather imaginable.

It sure didn’t do the job.

Indeed, now we hear that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was about four minutes away from a total collapse.

As Ezra Klein wrote in the New York Times: Second, it could have been so much worse. Bill Magness, the president and chief executive of ERCOT, said Texas was “seconds and minutes” from complete energy system collapse — the kind where the system needs to be rebuilt, not just rebooted. “If we had allowed a catastrophic blackout to happen, we wouldn’t be talking today about hopefully getting most customers their power back,” Mr. Magness said. “We’d be talking about how many months it might be before you get your power back.”

How does Texas save its face? How does it recover from this mess, which darkened electrical output for 4 million Texans?

One thought might be to join the two other major electrical grids and give up this notion of Texas running its own grid. ERCOT already is suffering from resignations of seven board members, all of whom quit in the wake of the power failure.

It doesn’t make me feel at all good about my adopted home state.

As Klein writes: It wasn’t even the worst cold Texas experienced in living memory: in 1989 temperatures and electricity generation (as a percentage of peak demand) dropped even further than they did in 2011. Texas hadn’t just failed to prepare for the far future. It failed to prepare for the recent past.

Opinion | Texas Is a Rich State in a Rich Country, and Look What Happened – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Let us demand some actual leadership from our, um, leaders on this matter.

Yes, we’re a rich state. However, we seem to suffer from a poverty-level absence of bright ideas on how to prevent a recurrence of what we all endured. No one likes freezing.

CPAC = idolatry

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What you see in this picture is an utterly disgusting image I just had to share on this blog.

It was taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The image here appears to be some sort of faux gold statue of Donald John Trump. I am trying to grasp the profound repulsiveness of it.

All I can come up with is that it depicts Trump as some sort of idol to be worshiped by the CPAC attendees who will listen this weekend to the message/lies that Trump will offer them.

I am out! You look at this picture and draw your own conclusions.