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A winter storm with below freezing temperatures killed more than a few people in Texas last week.

The failure of the state’s electrical grid during the weeklong cold snap left more than four million Texans without electricity and heat, many for days on end in subfreezing temperatures. Many residents also lost access to water, and 14.6 million were ordered to boil water to make it safe to drink.

Power had been restored in most of the state by Tuesday morning, but 7.5 million people in 204 counties remained under boil-water orders.

So far, nearly 80 people have died a result of the storm and its effects, according to the Associated Press.

An 11-year-old boy was found frozen in his bed, his family told the Houston Chronicle. A grandmother and three grandchildren died in a house fire as they were trying to stay warm, the Chronicle also reported. At least six deaths occurred near the Abilene area, local media reported, including a patient who couldn’t get medical treatment due to a lack of water and three elderly men who were found dead in subfreezing homes.

And how the hell do you boil water without electricity … or water?

Not really a very amusing situation, but Senator Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas) was joking about it at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today.

Cruz made light of a controversy last week in which he flew to Cancún, Mexico, for a family holiday even as millions of Texans shivered in unheated homes. “Orlando is awesome,” Cruz said. “It’s not as nice as Cancún, but it’s nice!”

The crowd laughed at the quip.

Of course they did, and of course Cruz did. All those deaths in subfreezing homes were a whole entire week ago. Who can possibly keep a straight face about the miserable deaths of almost 80 people a whole week ago? How can a US Senator be expected to 1. take his job seriously and 2. have some semblance of compassion when there’s a crowd of Trumpists and racists and sedition-supporters to do his stand-up act for?

Cruz was cheered as he issued a warning to members of his own party who want to “erase the last four years” and banish Trump’s “Make America great again” movement. “Let me tell you this right now: Donald J Trump ain’t going anywhere,” he said.

Cruz doesn’t know that, of course. Trump is 74, he eats terrible food, and he never gets any real exercise. (Hitting a golf ball doesn’t count as real exercise.) There’s also the fact that he ran out of ways to keep the Manhattan district attorney from seeing his tax records a few days ago when the Supreme Court ruled on the matter.

If he doesn’t keel over dead soon he might be in an orange jump suit, but the die-hards are still pretending he’ll be back.

Cruz and fellow Republican Josh Hawley were among the most prominent senators who voted to challenge the result of the 2020 election. An unrepentant Hawley earned rapturous applause as he recounted that episode.

Yes that “episode,” in which a violent mob smashed its way into the Capitol, killed a cop, stole papers off the desks of senators and representatives, and very nearly got close enough to kill some or all of them.

Cruz and Hawley are facing an investigation from the Senate ethics committee over their conduct before the insurrection. They and others at CPAC have perpetuated the lie of a stolen election despite officials saying it was the most secure election in US history.

But hey, Cancún is very nice, haw haw haw.

Cruz, inset, and the golden statue of Trump that set the whole planet laughing. Images via YouTube.

There was vivid proof of Trump’s continued dominance of the Republican party when a golden statue of him was seen at CPAC. The kitsch monument is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Bizarrely, the disgraced ex-commander-in-chief also appears to be holding a star wand and sporting Stars and Stripes shorts.

The patriotic shorts won’t do him any good when the police turn up at his door.

Millions of pages of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns and business documents have been turned over to New York prosecutors after he lost a 17-month effort to keep investigators from obtaining them.

The records, including the federal income tax returns Trump filed with the government’s Internal Revenue Service from 2011 to 2019, were handed over to New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. by Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars, on Monday.

The handoff came hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the former president, who left office a month ago.

He’s also under criminal investigation in Georgia, over that time he phoned election officials to try to bully them into “finding” him enough votes to win the state. Funny guy to do it while being recorded, but he always did love the limelight.

Ordinarily I don’t enjoy seeing people humiliated or tormented, but the ex-president from the outer boroughs is a special case. I would like to see him in handcuffs, told to be quiet, and finally led away to serve a 50 year sentence with no tv and no extra ice cream.