Flying Ted

Red isn’t usually one to pile on. Oh, who is Red kidding he piles on like a bad linebacker. If there was any doubt that Cruz cared for nothing other than himself and the greater glorification of all things Ted Cruz, his utter stupidity in fleeing freezing Texas for Cancun exposed his venality and narcissism for all to see.

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Cornyn Writes – Red Translates

Red received the following from Sen. John Cornyn (TPC- Texas) in response to an email from Red urging the Senior Senator to vote to convict Trump. As usual, Red has to translate for the reader to get the true meaning of JC’s response.

Dear Red,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the impeachment of former President Donald J. Trump (that word “former” really stings). I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter (which I will completely ignore).

America has experienced hard-fought elections in the past, and our leaders have always found a way to come together and resolve our differences to address the issues facing our nation (until 2020 anyway). Our Founding Fathers wisely developed a system of checks and balances to prevent an accumulation of excessive power in any single branch of government (when in doubt play the Founding Fathers card). I am committed to exercising appropriate congressional oversight to prevent abuses of power whenever and wherever they emerge (as long as they involve Democrats).

We were all stunned and saddened by the tragic events that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 (everyone but Trump and his supporters anyway). What we witnessed on that day was an attack on American democracy (this is the line I have to throw out to seem reasonable). I fully condemn the violence and lawlessness that occurred, and hope those perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (every perpetrator other than the glorious former President that is who needs to skate).

Since that day, I’ve spent time reflecting on our democracy (we need more gerrymandering), the rule of law (a flexible concept), and the importance of continuing to protect our cherished institutions (the GOP), including those that were under attack on that day. We all have a part in standing up for our democracy (mine is being a groveling bootlick for Trump), for respecting those with different views (I respect the center right, the right and batshit crazy right), and for coming together as Americans unified in the common cause of ensuring our democracy can continue to be the world’s envy for generations to come (not the laughing stock that we are now).

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump, and on January 25, 2021, the House impeachment managers delivered the article of impeachment (H.Res.24) to the Senate (I’ve got to throw this in because it’s the big excuse instead of pointing out that Moscow Mitch had the Senate in recess so that nothing could be delivered before that date). As a United States Senator, it is now incumbent on me to thoroughly review the evidence (give me 5 minutes) and consider the arguments submitted by both sides (or the utter bullshit spewed out by Trump’s defense team) in determining whether former President Trump should be convicted of the specific charges outlined in H.Res.24 (short answer – No – I want to be reelected).

Due its rushed nature, I have some concerns about the process and the lack of investigation done by the U.S. House of Representatives before voting on impeachment (despite all the evidence being out there in the open). Typically, the House conducts numerous hearings, reviews documents, and develops witness testimony before debating whether impeachment is an appropriate action. None of that appears to have been done in this instance (you can see where this is heading).

In addition, I have concerns about the precedent being set by impeaching a former President, and how it may lead to the impeachment power being wielded in the future as a political a weapon, opposed to a “grand inquisition” into whether a public official committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” (unless of course they are Democrats then all bets are off). As I sit in judgment serving as a juror for the impeachment trial, I will be guided by my oath to do “impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws” (and if you believe that I have slightly used Capitol building to sell you).

Again, thank you for sharing your perspective on impeachment, and I hope you will continue to contact me regarding matters of importance to you (I like ignoring stuff). I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate (as a proud member of the Trump Personality Cult).

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN

United States Senator

The Most Affordable City in the U.S.?

Cedar Park Texas Cartoon Map Digital Art by Kevin Middleton

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index, the most affordable city in the entire U.S. is – drum roll please – Cedar Park, Texas. And for those of you not in the know, Cedar Park is a suburb on the northwestern side of Austin.

Red doesn’t pretend to necessarily understand the statistics, but here goes anyway. Cedar Park’s estimated income-to-expense ratio is 1.384. The cost-of-living in CP is estimated at $58,497. In turn, median household income is $80,954. That means that the average Cedar Parkian or Cedar Parker or Cedar Parkite (you choose) family earns about one and a third times the cost-of-living. In technical terms CP’s cost-of-living index is 92.8. Compare that to Manhattan which has an index of 248.6 which is tops in the land. It somehow escapes Red how people actually live in Manhattan but several million folks do just that.

Red remembers when Cedar Park was pretty much just a gas station on Hwy 183 – and not a very nice one at that. Now it has extensive parks, hike and bike trails, community gardens, a skate park, a sculpture garden, a large Austin Community College campus and about 75,000 souls living the good life on the edge of Austin. Oh, and still plenty of cedar.

Map of Cedar Park by Kevin Middleton

Red’s Superb Owl Pick

Red was awoken the other morning by Mrs. Red’s exclamation.

“TOM BRADY IS IN THE SUPERBOWL!”

You’ll have to forgive Mrs. Red as she doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to goings on football-wise unless Red is actually decamped on the sofa watching some modern-day gladiation and Mrs. Red is wanting to get on Hulu to watch the latest episode of “This is Life” or “Zooey’s Extraordinary Playlist” on the old 52 incher. But even the most football adverse of news feeds eventually spills the worst kept secret in the land. Brady and the Buccaneers will be facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon in Tampa Bay and Mrs. Red was just a little bit late to the party.

But Red will say this for the old gal, she really hates her some Tom Brady. And she always puts out a good Super Sunday spread (nobody beats Mrs. Red when it comes to charcuterie) and settles in to watch the big game with Red and about a billion of his closest friends. Red checked in with some of his European compadres earlier this week and yes, many folks do hit the sack early on Sunday for a quick 4-5 hours before getting up between midnight and 2a.m. to join in on the festivities. Others just push on through.

As for the game itself, loyal readers will recall that Red picked the Chiefs over the Saints in his preseason predictions. Picking the Chiefs to repeat was not as risky a proposition as you might think. It’s been done 8 times – most recently by the Patriots in SB 38 and 39 and also by the 49ers, Cowboys, Stealers (twice), Dolphins and Packers in SB 1 and 2. So out of the 55 SBs so far 16 have been double downs. That’s a fair percentage.

Red has mixed emotions here. Surely, he should stand behind his preseason pick and take the Chiefs. In retrospect, the Chiefs were the best team all season even though the Stealers had a great run (only to finish the season staggering around looking for a place to fall). The Bucs defied Red’s expectations through much of the season and all of the playoffs. If Red picks the Bucs he can’t really lose. If correct, he will have picked the winner. If wrong, he will be happy.

But you can’t let emotions get in the way of sound football science. We have some empirical evidence here. The Chiefs visited Tampa Bay in Week 12 and the two quarterbacks put on a show. Patrick Mahomes and Brady combined to throw for 807 yards and six touchdowns. Tyreek Hill absolutely torched the Bucs’ secondary for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mike Evans was no slouch either with 2 late touchdowns to make this one look closer than it was. The Chiefs strolled out with a 27-24 win.

Given the offensive firepower of these two teams (Nos. 1 and 2 in passing yards in 2020), it would seem unlikely that a tight defensive fight is going to break out on Sunday. Of course, that thinking is frequently wrong especially as it seems teams frequently play tight in the first half of the championship game.

The Chiefs have been unbeatable on the road this season. Yes, literally unbeatable going 8-0 away from home. The Bucs Each team’s star wide receiver had a multi-touchdown game, as Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans scored twice late after Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill racked up an unreal 269 receiving yards and three touchdowns on the way to a 27-24 Chiefs win. That loss pushed the Bucs to 7-5 and they would have been on the playoff bubble except for playing in an historically weak NFC.

The Bucs were a less than stellar 5-3 at home in the regular season and a remarkable 3-0 on the road in the playoffs beating the two best teams in the NFC (Packers and Saints) in the process.

Red predicts that the Bucs will jump out to a 14-0 lead mid-second quarter. And at that point, Andy Reid will have the Bucs right where he wants them. The Chiefs score on the next 5 possessions while only giving up a field goal and moving into the 4th quarter have a 31-17 lead. The aged wonder begins the comeback and its 31-27 when the Chiefs get the ball back with about 2:30 on the clock. Andy Reid will never give the ball back to Tom Brady and the Chiefs score a final touchdown with 20 seconds left in the game. Then Reid calls for an onside kick. The Chiefs recover and repeat with a 38-27 win.

You read it here. Red will have the season wrap-up in a week or two. Until then, keep the nachos coming.

Quote for the Day

“They wanna tar and feather the man. They know he did a great job for this nation. They know that there’s never been a more beloved political figure in our country’s history,

There are 75 million Americans who would follow him to the end of Earth. I mean, they love the man, they love what he stands for. They love that he was a fighter, that he carried that fight largely alone. Oftentimes he had to fight for the entire Republican party, right, because they weren’t doing a whole lot of — now you have a lot good fighters but you didn’t back then.

What my father did is something that no political figure has ever done in American history, and he changed his country, and he changed it for the better. And he taught people how to fight, and he gave Americans the greatest civics lesson, and it’s exactly, frankly, what this country needed. He’s really a father to America.”

Eric Trump – Hannity Show on Fox News on February 2, 2021.

Note that while Hannity was letting the Dumb Son rant, CNN and MSNBC were covering the solemn ceremony in the Capitol rotunda where the remains of Officer Sicknick were being placed to lie in honor. Hannity’s support for police stops short when it doesn’t fit his political agenda.

But moving on to the substance of the quote from the Poor Idiot Son of the disgraced former President, Red has to comment on this pack of lies and stupidity.

“He did a great job for this nation.” If you call letting hundreds of thousands needlessly die in a pandemic that you denied and mismanaged, leaving an economy in shambles, retreating from leadership around the globe, exploding the federal deficit through tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, coddling dictators, fanning the flames of racism and homophobia – capped off by leading an insurrection in an attempt overturn an election a “great job”, then Red can’t really help you or the Foolish Fils.

“There’s never been a more beloved political figure in our country’s history.” Yes, all of our most beloved political figures never polled above a 50% approval rating and also lost reelection in a landslide. But Trump did it and you can’t say that about any of those other losers like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt who were popular and got reelected. What a bunch a historical mediocrities compared to Glorious Daddy. Sadly, you get the feeling that Son Stupid actually believes this bullshit.

There are 75 million Americans who would follow him to the end of the Earth. I mean, they love the man.” Well this certainly confirms that Trump converted the GOP into a personality cult. Will someone please tell Eric the Braindead that 80+ million Americans will gladly follow the 75 million just to make sure they fall off the end of the Earth.

What my father did is something that no political figure has ever done in American history, and he changed his country, and he changed it for the better.” Words almost fail Red here. The Scumbag Scion is right in one way. Unfortunately, the only thing Trump did that no other political figure had ever done was try to overthrow the results of a Presidential election through utterly baseless legal actions capped off by an attempt to have an insurrectionist mob stop the count of the electoral college votes. Hardly a change for the better.

And he taught people how to fight.” Well no argument there as witnessed on Jan. 6. Fortunately his lessons in fighting were in line with what one would have learned attending Trump University. Is that where you studied Erratica?

“He’s really a father to America.” You can almost hear the Dumbest of Donald’s Descendants screaming, “Please love me Daddy.”

“They wanna tar and feather the man.” Not true. Tar and feathers are too good for Trump. He needs a nice long sabbatical in a prison cell in upstate New York.

Quote for the Day

“It really is mind-boggling when you look at how many opportunities the party has had to take the exit ramp and get away from Trumpism. The result has become that the Republican party now is an anti-democratic, illiberal, pro-seditionist party.”

Tara Setmayer

Sitting in Texas it is less mind-boggling when you consider the GOP leadership in the Lone Star State. We have a weak-kneed, lead from behind (if leading at all) Governor who has no interest in anything but making sure that Democratic-led cities and counties are unable to govern in a way that displeases him. We have a far-right, power-mad, ideologue of a Lt. Governor who bends or breaks the rules as it suits him. We have a vindictive, indicted, conspiracy nut job Attorney General who uses the AG’s office as a personal playground for his right-wing agenda. We have a sad sack Bush scion as Land Commissioner who must be continually torn between loyalty to his Trump-hating family and his Trump-infatuated base. And for Senators, we have Lying Ted who aided and abetted the Capitol insurrection and Trump bootlick John Cornyn who appears to be afraid of his own shadow despite having just won re-election.

But yes it is somewhat mind-boggling that a philandering, openly corrupt, racist, hate-mongering, lying, serial business failure, prototypical con man who should be disgraced by his post-election attempt to steal an election still holds any sway over what used to be a serious political party.

Red NFL Playoff Predictions 2020 – Conference Championships

Red was 2-2 last week losing out on the Ravens and Saints. Red hedged his bet on the Ravens who he picked because he was being true to his pre-season pick of the Ravens to play for the AFC Championship. The same for the Saints who Red thought might make it to one last Superb Owl before the end of the Brees era. No such luck.

Chiefs over Bills – Once again Red stays true to his preseason pick of the Chiefs repeating as NFL Champions. But again, he does not in anyway discount the real possibility that the Bills win this game. And the Bills certainly have a chance regardless of whether Patrick Mahomes plays. Early signs seem to point PM being ready on Sunday. Mahomes has been less steady for weeks with 7 total turnovers since mid-December and he is playing behind a somewhat rickety offensive line. He still has weapons and the Andy Reid/Eric Bienemy combo to pull out the stops. Ask yourself, is there any other coach in the NFL who would have called the play that won the game against the Browns last week? Your opponent had no time outs, less than a minute on the clock and a punt would almost certainly have had the Browns needing to go 80+ yards to win the game. But with a backup quarterback and the season on the line, Andy Reid throws the ball! That’s some cajones. It’s hard not to account for the Reid factor in any close game. And this will likely be a close one. The Bills defense is very good but that unit is not going to shut down the Chiefs like it did the Ravens – even if Chad Henne is at the helm. Red’s hat is completely and thrown into the bullring in salute of what the Bills have done this season and Josh Allen and crew in particular. But Stephon Diggs is going to need a world-class performance to keep the Bills going. At the end, Red thinks that the Chiefs superior run attack wears down the Bills just enough to eke out a win. Kansas City 33 Buffalo 31.

Packers over Buccaneers – Tom Brady’s record in Conference Championship games is pretty darn impressive. Okay there was that interregnum in the Teens when he lost 3 Conference Championship games in 4 years. In the 2012 playoffs he lost to the Ravens and in 2013 and 2015 to the Broncos (there was a SB win tucked in there in 2014). Can you imagine how insanely happy most NFL fans would be with their team playing in a Conference Championship game four years in a row? Anyhow, since that less than spectacular (in the literal sense) period – TB has been not lost a CC game even though the last season at New England was disappointing. Brady’s ability to will his team over the finish line is unassailable. Can he do it with the Buccaneers? Red was surprised at how easy it looked against the Saints – but Brees is simply not the player he used to be and New Orleans’ offensive scheme looked as tired and old as Brees. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Aaron Rodgers has put together a remarkable season. But the pressure here is Rodgers to burnish his legacy. Expectations are always high in Green Bay and a decade of playoff mediocrity does not sit well. Since winning the Superb Owl after the 2010 season, the Packers have played in three NFC Championship games and lost all three – in 2014 to the Seahawks, 2016 to the Falcons and 2019 to the 49ers. Can this year be different – if not the Rodgers will go down as a playoff choker. Red thinks this is the Packers year. He was admittedly skeptical preseason but the Packers have vanquished most comers – but not the Buccaneers who wiped the floor with them in Tampa in October. That was Rodgers’ worst game of the season with no TDs, 16 for 35 with 160yds passing and 4 sacks. That kind of performance guarantees a loss. Don’t expect a repeat on Sunday. With even an average day the Packers should be good enough to best TB and TB. But don’t expect the TBs to go down easily. This will be another Battle of the Bays nailbiter. Oh and the temperature will be in the 20s with a chance of snow. Please God, let it be a blizzard game (and a night blizzard game at that). Green Bay 24 Tampa Bay 20.

President Joe Biden

Despite it being such a common name, the USA has never had a President Joe (or Joseph). In fact, other than Biden and Joe Lieberman (who could forget Joementum!) Red can’t recall another serious presidential candidate named Joe. In fact, who was the most famous political Joe until Biden – the alcoholic, womanizing, deceitful, corrupt piece of shit Joe McCarthy.

It’s high time for Joe to be something more than the representation of the common man – as in Average Joe, GI Joe, Joe Public, Joe Six-Pack or the slightly more upper class Joe College. A recent article even pointed out that we don’t even have movie stars named Joe. Has there been a major leading man since Joseph Cotton? Okay, Joe Pesci but is that our avatar? Rock and Roll is not so elitist with Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, Joe Strummer, Joe Perry, Joe Jackson etc. It’s the same for the sports world with starts like Joe Montana, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio, Shoeless Joe, Joe Theisman and many more.

But now we have President Joe. It’s about damn time.

Former Megachurch Pastor Will Get to Continue his Ministry – in Prison

Kirbyjon Caldwell, the former pastor of Windsor Village UMC was sentenced to six years in federal prison on Thursday. Caldwell had previously pled guilty in March of 2020 to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges were based on his participation in a scheme that roped people into investing about $3.5 million in historical former Republic of China bonds. The bonds were issued before the People’s Revolution that installed the People’s Republic of China as the governing power over mainland China in 1949. The PRC does not recognize the validity of such bonds and they have no value other than as possible collector’s items.

The scheme dating back to 2013-14 time frame was hatched by Caldwell and Gregory Smith, a Shreveport financial planner previously sentence to prison, who duped investors into buying the worthless bonds based on Caldwell’s influence as a pastor, community leader and author of several books in the “prosperity gospel” vein. Smith promised high returns on the investment, but the approximately $3.5 million stolen from victims was simply divided between Smith, Caldwell and others. Prosecutors alleged that Caldwell used over $900,000 of the money to maintain his wealthy preacher lifestyle.

Caldwell did not engage in a classic Ponzi Scheme where new investors funds are used to pay off previous investors to attract more dupes. This appears to be a more straightforward lie about the investment and just take the money and run. The only place Caldwell will be running for the next six years will be in the prison yard. Hopefully, he will attempt to make amends during his time in prison. He should have plenty of time to contemplate his sins and pray for forgiveness.