Tag Archives: Texas storm

Cruz seeks to make amends?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What you see in this picture is the image of a man who was caught demonstrating his true character and who now is seeking to create an image of altruism.

Ted Cruz, the notorious junior Republican U.S. senator from Texas, was photographed cutting barbecue at a charitable event for Houston firefighters this weekend. It was nice of him to do so, yes?

Well, let’s put it in a bit of perspective.

He had gotten onto an airplane the other day to fly on vacation with his family; they were jetting to Cancun, Mexico. Big deal? Yeah, it is. Cruz was leaving while the state he represents was struggling with bitter cold, power outages, water shortages; his constituents were suffering. So he decides to be a “good parent” and take his daughters to the Caribbean resort.

It didn’t go over well at all. Critics pounded him mercilessly. Cruz returned to Texas way ahead of schedule. He admitted to messing up. He didn’t stand his post where he should have stood doing his job as a senator representing Texans who needed his help.

I am not going to give him a pass just because he showed up to cut some ribs for firefighters. He’s trying to make up to Texans.

He did the damage when he boarded the airplane and sought to get away from the misery. That initial action — not the gesture he was photographed doing — is the more accurate measure of the man.

No more weather misery, please

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There well might be a snicker or two coming from places north of this part of Texas. That’s fine. They can giggle, chortle and snort all they want, given that they know a thing or three about heavy snow and plunging temperatures.

I just am delighted to know that we are powering through the misery that visited us a week ago when that Arctic blast swooped down on us. A week ago, we awoke to zero-degree temperature. Our home was dark. The water wasn’t running.

But … we soldiered on. We got through it.

Now, to be sure many Texans are still struggling with water quality issues. The lights are on, but they still have to boil water before drinking it. We managed to wiggle our way out of that particular issue in Princeton, Texas. Yes, the city issued a boil-water advisory when it restarted its treatment plant, which had failed when it lost its power. The city then rescinded the advisory a couple of days later.

Were we prepared for this event? Hah! Hardly. That might be source of the snickering up yonder.

Here is my hope for the Texas Legislature, which is one month into its planned five-month legislative session: Lawmakers need to find solutions to the crisis that unfolded here; they need them on the books this session and sent to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, where Abbott needs to sign them into law.

I’ll be candid. The cost of those remedies don’t give me much pause. I mean, we went through hell around here. If we can get our energy grid better suited to handle this kind of freeze, then I am willing to pay the price. OK, spare me the lecture about whether I would pay “any price.” I have my limits, just like everyone else.

We are products of our surroundings. I have never lived in a place that gets buried by snow every year, or has to endure sub-zero temperatures each winter. I have a cousin who lives in St. Paul, Minn.; we have two nieces who were born in Alaska; another cousin of mine once lived in the Land of the Midnight Sun (and Perpetual Darkness) as well.

Today is a new day for us here in North Texas. The sun will come out later. The temperature will rise to a seemingly “balmy” 60 degrees.

Few of us will forget the nightmare … and while we’re at it, let’s send good thoughts to those who still are battling water quality issues.

Cruz needs to ‘show up’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ted Cruz is continuing to take heat over his ill-conceived, ill-advised and ill-considered family vacation to Cancun, Mexico.

The Texas Republican U.S. senator deserves every single bit of it.

The latest broadside comes from state Rep. Jeff Leach, a fellow Republican from Plano, a former member of the conservative Freedom Caucus. Leach says Cruz erred badly by jetting off with his family to the resort in Mexico while the state he represents is suffering from the ravages of the monstrous winter storm.

Freedom Caucus loses a member . . . more to follow? | High Plains Blogger

Leach said, “It’s important for us to show up, to be present, such a big part of leadership is to be present, and as state representative for over 200,000 people here just north of Dallas, I’m here, I’m present, I’m on the ground, I’m available. I work for the people, not the other way around. They’re the boss, not the other way around. It’s important for us as policymakers to show up for work and do our jobs.”

Texas Republican Slams Ted Cruz’s Cancun Trip, as Second GOP Lawmaker Under Fire for Fleeing State (msn.com)

This is the kind of criticism that Cruz can expect perhaps until hell freezes over. Cruz has shown a propensity for popping off about other elected officials’ misbehavior, all of which seems to heighten the hypocrisy quotient for what he did.

Cruz’s abrasive, aggressive and rampant ambition hasn’t exactly endeared him to many of his Senate colleagues. I am finding it hard to find anyone standing up for him, although there well might be someone out there who can excuse his dereliction of duty.

I am going to side with state Rep. Leach. I mean a big part of being a good leader is just showing up.

Infrastructure needs help!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texans from Amarillo to McAllen, from Texarkana to Texico and from Orange to El Paso all got a serious wakeup call this week.

It is that “infrastructure improvement” includes much more than roads, bridges, airports and ship channels. It also includes natural gas pumping stations, wind farms and perhaps even petroleum pump jacks.

Texas claims to be proud of its energy production machinery. However, we seem to have neglected taking sufficient care that it works during rough weather.

Yep. We had some rough weather this week … you know?

I’ll set aside until later a discussion about the mismanagement of the power capacity, which was the result of some pi**-poor decision making at the top of the electricity grid management chain of command.

The state’s energy infrastructure needs to be winterized, upgraded,  made to withstand what well could become more frequent dramatic climate events such as what we endured.

It won’t be an easy task. As the Texas Tribune reports: Energy experts said that in some cases, retrofitting plants to withstand cold could be extremely difficult and expensive in Texas. Many of those plants already skimped on such upgrades due to the infrequency of prolonged and widespread subfreezing temperatures in the state.

What it means to winterize Texas’ energy plants | The Texas Tribune

I get that events such as what we saw don’t happen all that often in Texas, except perhaps in  the Panhandle — where my wife and I lived for 23 years before we moved to Collin County in 2018.

Texas’s utility system operates under the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is independent of other major regional electricity management concerns. It failed us, folks. It didn’t turn out to be so, um, “reliable.

How do we winterize the network? Many experts believe the natural gas transmission system should be Priority No. 1, given that LNG provides the bulk of the energy that Texas uses to power its electrical plants. One thought is to enclose the plants during the winter, protecting them from nature’s cruel blasts.

Look, I am not an engineer. I don’t have specific solutions to offer. All I know for certain is what my wife and I experienced at the first part of this hellish experience. Our power went out because of system failure, as did our water … for the same reason. 

A state that proclaims to be energy dominant should not expose its residents to the nightmare that millions of them are experiencing at this very moment.

If we’re going to invest in infrastructure, we ought to start — and perhaps even finish — with our energy grid. It needs help to withstand the wrath that well could present itself with more frequency in the future.

That’s what is likely to occur when Earth’s climate is changing. More on that, too, to come.

President for ‘all Americans’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden’s campaign pledge to be “president for all Americans, not just those who voted” for him sprang to mind as he made a major disaster declaration for Texas.

Why is that a big — or even a medium deal? It’s because his predecessor at times politicized these decisions, taking aim at officials in states that didn’t vote for him in the 2016 election; the California wildfire disaster comes immediately to mind.

Biden approves major disaster declaration for Texas: FEMA (msn.com)

President Biden has told the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pull out all the stops to help Texas recover from the monstrous winter blast that knocked power out for millions of Texans and continues to cause major water-quality problems for thousands of us.

It’s interesting, too, that the White House has been working closely and feverishly with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who was one of those who refused to recognize initially that Joe Biden, a card-carrying Democrat, was really and truly elected president in 2020.

None of that matters one damn bit … not to Gov. Abbott now or to the president.

Presidents do govern the entire country and must answer to all Americans. They also must set aside partisan differences when Americans are suffering.

As the saying goes: We live in the United States of America.

It’s all about Cruz’s mouth

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Do you want to know why this kerfuffle over Ted Cruz’s aborted vacation in Cancun is gaining such traction?

I am going to tell you anyway, even if you don’t care one little bit?

The Republican U.S. senator from Texas has taken great pains to blast the daylights out of other politicians — chiefly Democrats — who take vacations at inopportune times.

Thus, it is Cruz’s mouth that has gotten him into trouble.

Cruz jetted off from Houston to vacation with his wife and daughters at the very time Texas is struggling to recover from serious Arctic blast that resulted in millions of Texans losing electrical power, natural gas to heat their homes or water to drink.

He tried to pawn it off on his daughters, whose schools were closed because of the weather. They asked Mom and Dad if they could go somewhere warm. Sen. Cruz and Heidi Cruz obliged. The family took off for Cancun. Then the fecal matter hit the fan.

Cruz then  returned home. To his credit (I reckon), he has apologized for messing up. Still, the story will be tough to kill and bury. Why? Because the junior senator from Texas has made a nagging habit of sounding sanctimonious as it regards politicians’ working and vacation habits.

He tore Austin Mayor Steve Adler a new one in December because Adler vacationed in Cabo San Lucas while the city he governs was struggling with the pandemic. Cruz is on record saying that Congress shouldn’t take vacations when there is so much damn work to be done. They should just work, work, work until the job is finished, he has said.

So what does the Cruz Missile do now? He wants to be a good parent and leave the country — not just the state — while Texans are suffering grievously.

As the saying goes, “Words have consequences.” Those words carry a particular consequence when a politician who utters them intones a high degree of self-righteousness while castigating others … and then does the very thing he condemns.

‘Distraction,’ Sen. Cruz?


(Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ted Cruz is back home in Houston.

It seems that the Republican U.S. senator heard the hollering and got back quickly from his vacation in Cancun. His reaction to the media is disgraceful.

He called it “unfortunate” that the trip has become such a “distraction.” What a joke from a serious jerk.

Cruz jetted off to the Mexican resort while his constituents in Texas — and that includes my family and me — are suffering from the monstrous winter storm that paralyzed the state’s utility systems.

Instead of staying at his post, making sure the federal government could deliver relief for Texans, Cruz decided to fly away because he wanted to be a “good dad” for his daughters who wanted him to accompany them on a family vacation.

Good grief! He should have just told his children: Kids, I am sorry I cannot join you but I have a serious job to do and I need to stay home and make sure our state’s residents don’t suffer any longer from the storm. Go have a great time and I’ll see you and your Mom when you get home.

But, no-o-o-o-o! He didn’t say that. He chose instead to desert his post while the state is suffering.

This guy makes me sick.