Critics Pile On Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz didn’t just stir up a hornet’s next by running off to Cancun while millions of his Texas constitutes were being battered by a historic winter blizzard, he poured gas on the nest and set it on fire.

Late night comedians, editorial boards and both Republican and Democratic politicians have raked him over the coals

Cruz is a jerk.  Someone who never misses a chance to say something mean-spirited about any and everyone.  He was very vocal calling out the mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, when he left the country to attend his daughter’s wedding in Mexico.  He took shots at Chris Christie and Barack Obama..

He’s an equal opportunity ass when it comes to berating other politicians. Which is why he has been pummeled so much by his own misstep.  It is obvious that many of his fellow Republicans do not hold him in high esteem.

They know that all Cruz wants are headlines and sound bites on Fox News, not good government.

The only Republican I heard come to his defense is house member Matt Gatz of the panhandle of Florida.  And Gatz is as much a whack job as Cruz is.

Cruz wants to be President.. God spare us all.

Pore Little Ole Ted Cruz

The whole world knows that all of Texas looks more like the Artic Circle than where cowboys roam.  A historic winter storm has cut off electric power and shut down water availability.  People are dying.

So what does U.S. Senator Ted Cruz do?

He hops a plane to Cancun, Mexico.

(As I write this the night of Feb. 18, the low temperature in Dallas is supposed to be 11 degrees while the low in Cancun tomorrow will be 69.)

In this age when everyone has a camera on their cell phone, Cruz was quickly spotted boarding a plane and shortly after his gambit was all over the news.

Cruz said his daughters and some of their friends wanted to take a vacation and he was just being a good dad by going with them.  Undoubtedly some of this is true.  But when you’ve spent the last three days and nights with no electricity or water, this explanation doesn’t get you much sympathy.

Instead, the good folks in the Lone Star state seem to think their senator does not need to abandon them.  Heck, if nothing else, give him a shovel to clear someone’s driveway.

But then, Cruz is much more a “show” horse than a “work” horse.  He would rather be yapping on Fox News than worrying about someone in Grapevine, TX.

(And Ted, if you insist on being on TV, how about shaving that ratty-looking beard?  Real men don’t have such a pitiful beard.  But then, real men don’t desert their neighbors who are in trouble either.)

 

Brrrrr

When I heard it was to be 19 degrees in Montgomery, my first thought was of mountains of quilts stacked atop cast iron beds in grandpa Lee’s little frame house near Red Level in Covington County.  Except for one fireplace in the small living room, there was no heat.  So on really cold nights, you crawled under so many quilts that it was almost impossible for a 10-year old to roll over.

The house was built in 1935.  Daddy told me it took five days to build it.  Considering that there was no pluming or wiring, this was easy to understand.  In fact, daddy said they built the barn before the house and his family lived in the barn until the house was ready.  Of course there was no insulation and the house was on pillars several feet from the ground.  A cardboard box would have been as warm.

Things weren’t much better at our own small concrete block house near Mobile. Except instead of a fireplace, we had a couple of small gas-fired heaters.  I don’t know the proper name for them.  But the fire warmed some ceramic blocks that reflected heat.  They were better than a fire place, but not by a lot.  I would stand in front of one getting a towel good and toasty, then jump in bed and wrap my feet with the towel.  They were turned off at night, so getting out of bed in the morning was always great fun.

There are other “cold” memories.  Daddy was in the Air Force and stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska about 1950.  At one point we lived in a little shotgun house.  It got to minus 63 one night.  We had a Hudson.  Daddy dug a trench under the car and would slide a kerosene heater in there to get the car’s motor warm enough to try and crank it.

The Cheena River ran near where we lived and a road ran down to its edge.  But there was no bridge.  When the river iced over, people drove across the ice and onto the road on the other side.  The same river went through the middle of town.  There was a bridge there.  But when the river froze cars were diverted across the ice to save wear and tear on the bridge.

One January night in 1978, I was driving along the interstate in Des Moines, IA.  Thankfully there was little traffic and i was not speeding.  Suddenly I hit a patch of ice and away we went.  I tried to steer, but the car wasn’t having anything of it.  When I realized I was about to go down an embankment, I just turned loose of the steering wheel and lay down in the front seat–not wanting to watch what might be about to happen.

Fortunately, we just slid down the embankment and did not flip.  I was very thankful..

Now I have central heat and air conditioning and as long as the lights are on, I’m OK.  And I feel for the thousands without power at this Dixie deep freeze makes it’s way across the region.

We often hear folks talk about the “good old days.”  I don’t recall much good about dashing to bed with a warm towel.

 

Covid Follow-Up

My last post concerned my son in Mobile who has a severe respiratory issue and his frustration at trying to get a Covid-19 vaccine shot.

I am happy to report that he now has an appointment at a west Mobile Wal-Mart this coming Wednesday.  Let’s hope this happens..

And I certainly want to thank all the readers of this blog who got in touch with suggestions.  You were great and your help was very welcomed.  One thing I learned  is that it seems that shots  may be easier obtained in rural locations than urban ones.  I heard from folks mentioning Union Springs, Bayou La Batre and others.  Several also suggested that he try in Florida and Mississippi since they seem to have their act together better than Alabama.

I got my first shot in Montgomery on Friday at a first-come, first-served drive in clinic.  This ran Monday through Friday last week at the location of old Montgomery Mall.  A tip of the hat to all involved.  And there were a LOT of folks involved from what I saw.

I got in a long line of cars that snaked back and forth through the parking lot. Had no idea how many cars were there when I took my place.  Would guess 100 or more. Probably more.  And as we inched along, I figured it would take me at least two hours or more to be done.

However, I am glad to support that from the time I got in line until I got my shot was only 75 minutes.  We were held an additional 15 minutes to see if we had any reaction.  I did not.  In fact, to me it was just another shot.  No side effects t all.

I go back on March 5 to get my second dose.

Again, thanks so much to all who offered thoughts and suggestions..

Kevin & Covid

My son Kevin is 57 and lives in Mobile.  He has a severe respiratory condition known as alpha 1-antitrypsin related emphysema.  This means his liver does not produce a certain enzyme needed for the lungs to retain elasticity.  A very rare condition.

He has been hospitalized seven times in the last 16 years with respiratory issues and is on oxygen most of the time.

Yet, even with this condition, he is having great difficulty in finding a way to receive the covid vaccine.

Here is how he describes his situation:

Well, it’s pretty much a given I’m not going to be getting a COVID-19 vaccination for a while. We have exhausted all the avenues given to us, registered with all the sites, called all the phone numbers and it appears to be all for naught. Local supplies are basically exhausted. 

Compounding the frustration of this is that we have seen a wealth of social media announcements from individuals who got vaccinated but they are in far better health than I am. Some don’t meet any of the criteria for getting vaccinated now, not in age, risk category or profession. 

Finally, I wrote someone I know through the newspaper who is a public information officer at the Mobile County Health Department and asking how I could get vaccinated like all the other line-jumpers I have seen. 

His answer was “the federal government won’t give us what we request.” He added that they had hoped to move on to the group of those with pre-existing conditions by this point but don’t have enough vaccine to do so. 

In order to receive vaccine, we have to follow the guidelines on who is eligible. If we deviate from the list, there is always the possibility future shipments would be diverted to another health agency.

This is who is currently eligible in Alabama as of February 8:   

Individuals 65 years of age and older
First responders
Health care workers
Hospital based-occupations with high risk of exposure.
Frontline workers – Frontline workers include those in cybersecurity and infrastructure, first responders, corrections officers and support staff, food and agriculture workers, U.S. postal service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, educators (including support staff), judiciary, clergy, and State of Alabama government officials.
Those living in group homes or settings

He avoided my question. It was no answer to how all these people I’ve seen — librarians, mayoral staff, writers, reporters, p.r. specialists — gained access when there was supposedly a vast shortage. In fact, the vaccinations of some of those people isn’t covered under the guidelines he cited. 

The staffer told me MCHD is counting on the circulation of another vaccine like the Johnson & Johnson version to make available to “those with medical issues such as [myself].” 

Here’s the sticking point with that: the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s effectivity rate is just over 60 percent, not in the 90 percent range like Pfizer and Moderna. Yet the higher-risk people like me would get that? So the “important” people get the good stuff and the rest of us should be grateful for whatever they deem fit for us. 

I don’t even know if that is worth bothering over because I wouldn’t feel any safer with that vaccine. I would still be stuck in the house. I am also waiting on a vaccine before I go to the dentist to fix the tooth I cracked during Hurricane Sally, almost five months ago. I just don’t feel safe enough without it. 

I guess that’s what I get for not being Mardi Gras royalty. Looks like Mobile is still the last great plantation. 

He is very frustrated.  As am I.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  larrylee133@gmail.com

 

 

 


Larry Lee334-787-0410

www.larryeducation.com  (blog)

Education Is Everyone’s Business