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The junior senator from Texas keeps living up to “Lyin Ted,” the handle hung on him by the country’s premier prevaricator-president.

After Ted Cruz said he was going maskless because he’d been vaccinated, he doubly dissembled.

Sans mask, he told CNN : “At this point I've been vaccinated. Everybody working in the Senate has been vaccinated" and "CDC has said in small groups, particularly with people who were vaccinated [people] don't need to wear masks."

Neither is true, CNN pointed out. 

Cruz and a slew of like-minded right-wing Republican science-deniers and skeptics have never been gung-ho for decisive government leadership in battling the most lethal global pandemic in a century.

Anyway, Cruz and a slew of like-minded right-wing Republican science-deniers and skeptics have never been gung-ho for decisive government leadership in battling the most lethal global pandemic in a century. The death toll is over 566,000, and counting.

Medical experts agree that vaccinations and mask-wearing—like hand-sanitizing, social distancing and avoiding crowds--are powerful weapons against COVID-19.

Even so, a sizeable chunk of the Trump-GOP base still thinks the pandemic is a hoax and believe the vaccine itself is deadly or even a secret government scheme to inject microchips into our bodies so Big Brother can track us. (Even Dear Leader got vaccinated.)

Libertarian-leaning anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers claim that temporary, government-mandated restrictions to protect public health violate their personal freedom.

So to hell with saving lives, right? Why not expand individual liberty?

Let’s start by eliminating the drinking and smoking age for kids and wipe out laws against driving drunk or doped up. 

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Down with licenses required to drive a car or truck and fly an airplane.

No more licensure requirements for, say, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, electricians, public school teachers, counselors, therapists or handlers of explosives, radioactive materials and pesticides.

It’s a lot more liberating to be like Eric Cartman. “Whatever, I do what I want,” says the selfish, narcissistic, bigoted cartoon kid from “South Park."

“Your liberty to swing your fist [or to risk my health by willfully spreading potentially lethal viruses in my direction] ends just were my nose begins” is an old expression that has been linked to English philosopher John Stuart Mill, President Abraham Lincoln and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

“The exact genesis of the quote is uncertain, but in general it conveys the principle that your right to exercise whatever ‘liberty’ you think you’re entitled to ends when that liberty threatens my life and safety,” "Dartagnan" wrote in Daily Kos.

At the same time, fervid Trumpians refuse to mask, at least in part to prove their fealty to their cult leader. Besides, masks are wimpy to manly menfolk like Cruz. He mocked mask-wearing during his speech at this year’s Conservative Action Conference.

Remember when young tough-guy Ted was so fired-up for kicking Iraqi butts in Kuwait that he volunteered for the Army and rode in a tank helping the U.S. led-coalition chase Saddam’s soldiers home?

Oh wait, Cruz stayed safely stateside in civvies. 

After candidate Trump called Cruz “Lyin Ted” on the 2016 campaign trail, insulted his wife and suggested the senator’s daddy was in on the JFK assassination, Cruz defied President Trump at every turn, twice voted to impeach him and denounced the Trumpian coup to keep him in power. 

Uh, that didn’t happen either. Cruz eagerly became one of the president's leading lickspittles. His non-stop fawning and toadying did not go unrewarded; Trump redubbed his courtier "Beautiful Ted."

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The Washington Post kept a running score of all the false or misleading claims Trump made while he was president. The total was 30,573.

I'd like to see the paper start a tally on Lyin' Ted, who, like the guy who nicknamed him, is a union buster who thinks that only rich white lives matter and that the purpose of government is to enrich the already rich. 

Berry Craig