Two right wing religious extremists have rushed to defend Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his trip to Cancun while the rest of Texas is in a state of emergency. Texas is currently sandwiched between two storms, the first dropped temperatures to single-digits earlier this week, knocking out the power grid for millions, the second is slated to hit Thursday, again bringing extreme low temperatures.
Senator Cruz opted to fly to Mexico rather than stay on the ground in his home state to help Texas residents.
First, here’s what they’re saying:
What could @tedcruz do if he were here in Texas? I’m hard-pressed to say. If he’s in Cancun, that means he’s not using up valuable resources of energy, food and water that can now be used by someone else. This is probably the best thing he could do for the state right now
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 18, 2021
The fact that people think Ted Cruz, a United States Senator, can do anything about a state power grid, even his own, is rather demonstrative of the ignorance of so many people who cover politics. They’d rather performative drama than substance.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
I’m sorry Ted Cruz is not there to emote with you people.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
“You people.” As in, millions of Texans trying to not freeze or starve to death.
What they’re exposing is their ignorance about government.
Conservatives, at least Republicans in general, tend to think government serves little important function. They love to toss around the old Reagan joke: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'”
In times of crisis, often the government is the only entity that can effectively help.
And don’t forget – we are the government. Government is people, the people we choose to lead and represent us. We hope they do it well.
Because conservatives don’t believe in government they consistently abuse it, under-estimate it, and make it worse.
So here’s what a few experts are saying about what Cruz could have done instead of fleeing to sunny Mexico.
First, Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin, who was the Deputy Policy Director for Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett:
Former congressional staff here. Every congressional office has a big constituent services function. During local crises that part of the office gets busy and the member can get personally involved.
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) February 18, 2021
For a more in-depth explanation, here’s a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. Notice how he uses the same word “performative,” but explains why that’s not what good lawmakers do.
People who think the job of a member of Congress during a local natural disaster is purely performative have definitely never been around a member of Congress during a local natural disaster. It might be the single situation where they can (and do) most affect policy outcomes.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
“In a local emergency,” Glassman says, lawmakers “are conduit to tons of resources and a resource who can effectively coordinate certain sets of actors and lean on people to make things happen. Can very much turn into administrators.”
It’s sort of like their normal casework load, but on steroids and short notice. There’s a reason members are glued to their phones and don’t sleep when a natural disaster hits their district, and it’s emphatically *not* so they can show their constituents how hard they work.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
Apparently, no one told Senator Cruz, or his religious right supporters.
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‘End of Freedom’: Glenn Beck Melts Down Over ‘Fascism’ of Dr. Seuss Copyright Owner Discontinuing Six Books
Glenn Beck, the far right wing conspiracy theorist and multi-millionaire broadcaster, went on a disinformation rant Tuesday, falsely claiming that Dr. Seuss’s children’s books are being “banned.”
In truth, out of the 60 or so books written by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as “Dr. Seuss,” who died 30 years ago, the organization that owns the copyright to his works announced it is ceasing publication and licensing of six of his mostly lesser-known works because of racist depictions.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer,” their statement reads. “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
Like any business or copyright owner they have the right to produce or not produce what they want.
But according to Glenn Beck, that’s “fascism” and the “end of freedom in America.”
“They have now banned six books from Dr. Seuss,” Beck lied to his viewers Tuesday, not bothering to explain that “they” is Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
“Dr. Seuss,” he repeated, aghast. “You can no longer print these six books,” he declared, naming several of them.
“This according to a panel of educators and ‘experts,'” he said, with disdain for experts.
“They are banning Dr. Seuss books,” he repeated, again lying.
“How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up and goes, ‘This is fascism. This is fascism.'”
“You don’t destroy books,” he continued, despite the fact that the books aren’t being destroyed, they are merely not printing more of them or licensing more of them.
There are no book burnings taking place at anti-Dr. Seuss rallies, the police are not showing up at schools, libraries, or homes with school-aged children. No “experts” are scrounging in anyone’s attic or tag sales. The “book police” are not getting search warrants to examine Amazon and Barnes & Noble sales data to track down Dr. Seuss fans.
But Beck wasn’t finished.
“What is wrong with us America?” he asked, not realizing what is wrong with America is staring at him in the mirror.
“Go out and buy those books today, find out if you can get ’em. Buy Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head,” he added, jumping on the lie they too have been banned.
“It’s the end of an era. It is the end of freedom in America, where you are bullied, to the point to where you better not have that book.”
“Buy Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head because it’s the end of an era. It is the end of freedom in America” pic.twitter.com/VokzfOj8b6
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 3, 2021
‘It Is Time’: Mississippi Joins Texas in Lifting All COVID Restrictions Despite Doing Terrible Job Controlling Virus
Barely one hour after Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott announced he was lifting all COVID-19 restrictions, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, also a Republican, joined in, tweeting “it is time” to get rid of his state’s mask mandate. Next to a vaccine, wearing a mask is the single most effective action anyone can take to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves declared on Twitter, revealing that he has blocked other “lockdown” protocols. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”
Governor Reeves, dubbed a “Trump acolyte” by The New Yorker, early on in the pandemic refused to take any action, and worse, overrode local officials who had ordered lockdowns and other protective measures. Instead, Reeves told Mississippi residents to trust the “power of prayer” over the deadly virus. And then he flew to Europe for a family trip.
Reeves has a strong background in finance, and he says he’s looking at the coronavirus numbers, but it appears he isn’t actually looking at the important coronavirus numbers for his state.
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference Reeves said he’s focused on the numbers, he looks at them every morning.
But, he declared, “the total number of daily cases is not the end-all be-all,” If you’re not testing much, like Mississippi, Reeves would be correct – but not in a good way.
“What is the end-all be-all, and the single most important issues, are what do the total number of hospitalizations look like, what are the total number of patients that are in ICU beds, and what is the total number of patients that are on ventilators?”
Those are the “single most important” numbers you would look at if your only goal is ensuring hospitals are not over capacity. They are the most short-term numbers you could look at to manage the pandemic in the worst possible way. Those are numbers to focus on if your main goal is merely preventing “last-mile” problems. They do not take into account “long COVID,” those patients who contract the virus and never fully recover. In fact, they are numbers to look at if you literally don’t care how many people contract the disease, or spread it.
Meanwhile, we did look at the numbers, the really important ones, to determine how well – or poorly – Governor Reeves is managing the pandemic.
It’s not good.
Here are some stats the first-term GOP governor might want to be paying attention to.
Mississippi ranks 32nd in total population across the U.S., but ranks 23rd in total coronavirus cases. That means Reeves’ state is outpacing the average – not good.
Those numbers are probably a lot worse, since Mississippi ranks 36th in per capita coronavirus testing.
Worse, just 14 percent of Governor Reeves’ residents have had their first COVID-19 vaccination shot, which means his state ranks 43rd, per The New York Times. That’s pretty bad.
Governor Reeves claims that “hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted,” but Mississippi, according to Bloomberg, ranks number 13 in hospitalizations (number one is the worst.)
And here’s the worst number: Mississippi ranks number 5 in per capita coronavirus deaths. There are just four states that are in a worst position.
Despite all this, Reeves is opening up his state, immediately.
Stats via WorldOMeter
Pompeo Mocked for ‘Fake Victimization’ After Bragging He Was Called ‘Worst Secretary of State in History’
Pompeo Is a Likely 2024 Presidential Hopeful
Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is being chided and criticized for bragging on social media he was labeled the “worst Secretary of State in history” by The New York Times.
He’s a little off.
A May New York Times opinion piece, “Mike Pompeo Is the Worst Secretary of State Ever” called Pompeo the “worst Secretary of State in American history.”
Just days earlier the Times also reported, “As he leaves office, Mr. Pompeo, 57, has been tagged by a number of officials and analysts with the dubious distinction of the worst secretary of state in American history. That will come back to haunt him as he considers running for president in 2024 or seeking another elected office, as he is widely believed to be doing.”
There’s also this passage from a January 20 opinion column, which reads:
In recent weeks, the Chinese state media had dismissed Mr. Pompeo as “crazy” and the “worst secretary of state in history.”
Not many are denying that Pompeo was the worst Secretary of State in history. In fact, last summer the Washington Post’s Deputy Editorial Page Editor called him just that in a piece aptly titled, “Opinion: Mike Pompeo is the worst secretary of state in history.”
Regardless, today it’s Pompeo’s “fake victimization” and bragging about being labeled the “worst Secretary of State in history” that has many up in arms – especially given his poor record.
No one is trying to cancel you by calling you “the worst secretary of state in history.”
We are describing you and how terrible you are.
— Eric Owens (@ericowensdc) March 1, 2021
Man who lied for his president and lied for himself now claims he will never stop speaking truth, which itself is a lie.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 1, 2021
The best thing about this tweet is he reference to a description of himself as the “worst Secretary of State in history” as if it’s some kind of petty, personal insult, rather than an assessment of his performance in the most important job he’ll ever have. https://t.co/CWD1AE9ciG
— Richard Hall (@_RichardHall) March 1, 2021
I know you want to classify all the negative comments about as “liberal media,” etc…
But explain this.
If you guys did such a great job, HOW THE FUCK DID YOU LOSE THE HOUSE, THE SENATE AND THE WHITE HOUSE?
Spin that you soulless POS. https://t.co/XTzF0ibYJp
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) March 1, 2021
Weird that he thinks being judged to be bad at his job is the same thing as being “canceled.” https://t.co/Lr3sT9ntlF
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) March 1, 2021
Dear Ex Secretary of State @mikepompeo: The American people didn’t just try, they in fact cancelled you when they fired the Administration in which you worked.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 1, 2021
When most people who understand your job think you were bad at it, and you failed at your own stated goals, leaving things worse than when you started, and rather than prompt introspection you declare this a source of pride, it says something about you & those you’re appealing to https://t.co/saGvLXN3Cl
— Nicholas Grossman (@NGrossman81) March 1, 2021
More fake victimization plays by the former West Pointer, Secretary of State who continued to fail up his entire life. https://t.co/XH1rbhh3ss
— Jon “WEAR A MASK” Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) March 1, 2021
I was proud to be the worst Secretary of State in history and, if you’ll have me, I would be honored to be the worst president in history as well. Thanks and God bless. https://t.co/wTQzofcLOQ
— derek davison (@dwdavison) March 1, 2021
It’s like they can’t even see how Trump utilized actual name calling as a pillar of his “governing” style. Calling mike the worst Secretary of State isn’t name-calling. It’s a judgement based on historical observation. https://t.co/4svGoQtCGp
— Stranger in the Night (@planetJoseph) March 1, 2021
“I’m shit at my job… but I’m proud of it!” – Mike Pompeo https://t.co/y1zYTgvu2d
— 😷 Mx. Scott Kelley Ernest 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ (@scottkernest) March 1, 2021
Coups have consequences, @mikepompeo
It’s called consequences culture. https://t.co/fjCZOf71HP
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) March 1, 2021
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