Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

White House not believable … at any level!

MSN.com posted a question today as part of its ongoing rolling random online “polls” relating to issues of the day. This one dealt with the economy.

Do you tend to believe economic forecasts from the White House or outside experts?

Hmm. Let me ponder that one. Actually, this was one of the easier questions to answer.

I’ll start by saying that I do not trust the White House to tell me the truth about anything at all. Not a damn thing! Not as long as Donald Trump is the Man of the White House, the guy in charge of the executive branch of government.

Who do I believe? The outsiders.

The question, though, cuts to the heart of what I perceive to be the No. 1 issue facing this White House: its trustworthiness.

To state it briefly, I don’t trust the White House. I don’t trust the spokespeople, the senior aides, the Cabinet, the (acting) chief of staff, the vice president or the president himself.

They all take their cue from the man who won the election in 2016. Donald Trump is fundamentally a liar. He cannot tell the truth even when it suits his interests to do so. He lies when he has no reason to lie. Remember when he said his father was “born in Germany”? He wasn’t. Fred Trump was born in New York City. Why does the president lie? He cannot help himself! He cannot stop lying.

Some of Trump’s closer political allies once called him out on his lying. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who ran against Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, once called him an “amoral” individual who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He also threw in “sniveling coward” for good measure. Well, he’s changed his tune, as has U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another former Trump foe in 2016. I am not in public life, so I am free to stay the course.

Trump is a lying, conniving, self-serving con man who has set the tone for the White House he runs.

How in the world can anyone believe anything from this administration, given its record of lying.

Someone once said “The fish rots from the head down.” So do presidential administrations.

Beto feels the heat from those who want him to drop out

Beto O’Rourke is getting a lot of unsolicited advice these days.

Such as what came from the Houston Chronicle over the weekend. The Chronicle, which endorsed his candidacy for the U.S. Senate over Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, has urged O’Rourke to drop out of the Democratic race for president and to run for the Senate seat now occupied by GOP incumbent John Cornyn.

Read the editorial here.

O’Rourke is polling in the single digits. He was thought to be a strong favorite in Texas among the still-large field of Democratic primary candidates for POTUS; he isn’t polling all that strongly in his home state.

So, should O’Rourke bail on the race for the White House? I’ll offer this view.

He lost by a thin margin against Cruz in 2018, filling Texas Democrats’ hearts with hope that the state might actually elect a Democrat to statewide office for the first time in more than two decades. Cruz has parlayed his near-miss into a presidential campaign that started with a lot of buzz, but which has floundered.

Does he shuck that bid and take on Cornyn? Well, he would need some assurance that he could actually win the Senate seat Cornyn has occupied since 2003.

Were the former El Paso congressman lose a second consecutive U.S. Senate race, I believe that might doom any statewide office aspirations that O’Rourke might harbor.

Two straight losses would be tough to overcome.

I have no advice to give the young man. He’s getting a lot of it from people who are more in the know than little ol’ me. I am just concerned that the magic that Beto found in his first run for the U.S. Senate might be a bit more elusive to find were he to make another run for another Senate seat.

Good luck, Beto. Do what you think is best.

U.S. Senate race suddenly becomes quite the attraction

Well now. A serious legislative big hitter has just entered the contest for U.S. Senate. He hails from just down the road from my wife and me in Dallas.

Royce West, who’s served in the Texas Senate since 1993, wants to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. So he’s in.

Suddenly this contest has become a top-tier event, in my view.

West is one of the state’s leading legislative Democrats. He brings serious gravitas to the debate that will unfold over time.

Sure, first things first. West has to win the party’s nomination next spring. Democrats already have a crowded field in that primary. West’s entry only clutters it up, except that West has considerable standing among his legislative colleagues — on both sides of the aisle — not to mention a reputation as a serious and thoughtful individual.

West is a lawyer. No surprise there. As one of his legislative colleagues noted, he brings “a big voice and a big presence” to the contest. Big presence, indeed, given that West is, shall we say, an imposing physical specimen. He also brings considerable knowledge of the state.

Let me stipulate that I’ve known John Cornyn for a long time. He and I have a strictly professional relationship. I have considered it to be a good one at that. I got to know when he ran for Texas attorney general prior to his moving to the Senate. I like him personally, but am baffled — along with many other Americans — by his silence concerning Donald Trump’s behavior and the potential revelations concerning impeachable offenses.

How might this Senate race get even crazier? Consider this: Beto O’Rourke, who lost by just a little bit to Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, is flailing in his effort to run for president; he might decide to bail on the White House bid and make another run at the Senate seat occupied by John Cornyn.

Stay tuned, folks.

Sen. Cruz: 2020 election a ‘toss-up’

So now it’s U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz weighing in on Donald J. Trump’s re-election chances. Has the Cruz Missile discovered something the rest of us don’t know? No. But he’s blathering anyway.

Cruz appeared on PBS’s “Firing Line” and told the host, Margaret Hoover, that the president “absolutely” could lose his re-election bid. Well, duh! Do ya think?

Cruz also said he doesn’t believe Democrats will nominate a centrist, such as, say, former Vice President Joe Biden. They will nominate a lefty in the mold of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Bernie Sanders. He said the far left of the party is calling the shots and will turn away from a candidate deemed to be too, oh, “moderate.”

He also believes the left is so enraged at Trump’s presidency that they’ll turn out in staggering numbers.

None of this is really a big-time flash. Cruz well might be correct that Trump’s chances are a big dicey at the moment. However, we’re talking about the here and now. The future could reveal something quite different.

It pains me terribly to acknowledge this, but Donald Trump was considered a joke when he announced his candidacy prior to the 2016 Republican primary season. Then he knocked off all those challengers one by one; Sen. Cruz was one of them.

Then he got nominated and ran against Hillary Rodham Clinton, a candidate perceived to be infinitely more qualified. Then all hell broke loose. Hillary lost to The Donald.

Ted Cruz’s prognostication today, therefore, means next to nothing.

Still, it is a bit scintillating to ponder that a former Trump antagonist who’s turned into one of the president’s most ardent allies would consider the POTUS to be in some jeopardy.

If only …

Trump has cast a weird spell over the GOP

I will be mystified likely forever, as in for the rest of my life on Earth, at how Donald Trump has managed to hijack the Republican Party.

It manifests itself in the amazing 180-degree turnaround of at least two former prominent foes of the president.

I want to highlight briefly the amazing about-face performed by two U.S. senators, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas. To be fair, not all Republicans have swilled the Kool-Aid from Trump’s dispenser. Freshman U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah is one who remains (more or less) faithful to his 2016 declaration that Trump is a “phony” and a “fraud.”

Graham and Cruz? That’s another matter.

I have attached a link from CNN.com that illustrates what Sen. Cruz said in 2016 about his Republican Party primary opponent, Donald John Trump. Read it here.

Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar.” He blistered Trump then over that hideous allegation that Cruz’s father might have been complicit in President Kennedy’s murder and of course the ghastly tweet involving Heidi Cruz, the wife of the senator.

These days Cruz sings from an entirely different political hymnal. He’s one of the president’s closest allies in the Senate. He follows Trump step for step into whatever the next adventure brings.

It’s not nearly as dramatic a reversal as the one Sen. Graham has performed.

During the 2016 primary campaign, in which Graham was another Trump foe, he called the eventual GOP nominee everything short of being the Son of Satan. Unfit for office. A liar. Amoral. Architect of party ruination. You name it, Graham said Trump fit the bill. It was all bad, man.

Now that Trump is POTUS, Graham has become arguably the Senate’s most vocal Trump apologist. It’s as if, as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will has said, he became “an invertebrate.” He lost his spine, not to mention body parts common among males … if you get my drift and I’m sure you do.

There’s also this: Graham led the impeachment effort against President Clinton in 1998 while serving in the House, which then impeached Clinton on charges that are far less egregious than the allegations that have been leveled against Donald Trump.

Go … figure!

All this leads me to wonder out loud: How in the world did this carnival barker, con man, charlatan, fraudulent liar cast such a lasting spell over politicians who make up the guts of what used to be a great American political party?

I do not get it.

How can you ‘honor’ a Klansman?

How in the name of human decency can a governor of one of our 50 states proclaim a desire to honor the memory of a Ku Klux Klan leader?

That’s what happened in Tennessee, where Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a onetime Confederate general … who also happened to be a slave trader and a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Honor a Klansman? Really?

This is disgraceful in the extreme. Lee’s declaration has drawn rebuke, understandably, from Democrats but also from fellow Republicans, such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“This is wrong,” Cruz said on Twitter. “Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general & delegate to the 1868 Democratic convention. He was also a slave trader 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK. Tennessee should not have an official day honoring him. Change the law.”

Cruz also said he doesn’t necessarily disagree with honoring Confederate soldiers, but that’s another topic for another day.

Any law that sanctions such commemoration of individuals who took part in brutality against fellow human beings, such as the Klan, must be repealed.

Gov. Lee said he was following the law. Are you kidding? Does the law require a governor to honor someone who sanctioned the killing of others because of their race?

Disgraceful.

Tiring of blowhards and gasbags

A right-wing blowhard is calling it a legislative career in Texas at the end of his current term. Good for state Rep. Jonathan Stickland of Bedford. Hit the road, dude and don’t let the door hit in the wherever on your way out.

I wish more of them righties would call it quits. I also have my fair share of peeves at the other end of the spectrum.

The point of this post is seek to find statesmen and women who speak to us in measured tones. Who don’t feel the need to rush toward a TV camera and a microphone whenever they present themselves. Who know what the hell they’re talking about before words start flying out of their pie hole.

They used to joke in Washington that the “most dangerous place was between so-and-so and a TV camera.” That punchline used to include, say, Republican U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas. He turned over that particular honor partially to one of his successors in the Senate, fellow GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, also of Texas.

Then we had former U.S. Rep. Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner, the New York Democrat who destroyed his public career by getting involved with “sexting” with underage girls. In his day, he could bloviate with the best of ’em.

My most recent “favorite” blowhard/gasbag wasn’t even a politician, although he once had aspirations of becoming one. That would be lawyer Michael Avenatti, the former attorney for Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who had that fling (allegedly) with a future president of the United States in 2006 and then took a $130,000 hush money payment from Donald Trump to keep quiet about an event that Trump said never happened. Weird, yes?

Avenatti could be seen on every cable TV news show under the sun. Until he got indicted for mail fraud! Now he has more or less, um, vanished.

Then, of course, we have Donald Trump. Enough said about that guy.

Social media have played a huge role in this phenomenon. These politicians/celebrities/publicity hounds use social media to promote themselves and jump at any chance to be seen and heard.

I am just one American who has tired of the blowhards who cannot keep their traps shut. Yes, my bias compels me to refer mostly to the right-wing goofballs. However, I have taken some of the lefties to task for being way too, um, available to the media that clamor for a sound bite from them.

I am an old-fashioned guy in this respect: I want my elected representatives to be seasoned, mature, comfortable in their own skin and rational when they seek to be heard.

The blowhards can simply keep their mouths shut.

Is this alliance all that rare … really?

I continue to be struck by the surprise alliance reportedly formed with conservative Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and liberal Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

They supposedly are preparing to team up on legislation aimed at restricting, possibly eliminating, lawmakers who become corporate lobbyists. The budding Cruz-AOC Alliance has tongues a-wagging in Washington. Why, some folks just cannot believe that these two ferocious partisans could find common ground on anything.

But I guess they have. At least that’s my hope.

It’s not unprecedented by any stretch. Two former senators, liberal Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and the late conservative Republican John McCain of Arizona, teamed up on campaign finance reform measures that sought to put caps on the money raised in political campaigns.

Countless other alliances have been formed since the beginning of the republic. Indeed, Democratic President Lyndon Johnson needed Republican senators to help him enact voting rights and civil rights legislation in the 1960s, given the resistance he was getting from southern Democrats in the U.S. Senate. LBJ was able to parlay his bipartisan friendships into landmark legislation.

I get that there appears to be plenty of skeptics about the Cruz-AOC team. Righties doubt that Ocasio-Cortez will be actually reach out to Cruz and other Republicans; lefties are inherently suspicious of Cruz’s statements expressing support for any idea put forth by a progressive colleague.

What began as a Twitter conversation between these two highly partisan lawmakers well might bear fruit. Or … it could wither and die.

I’m going to hold out hope that Sen. Cruz and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez carry through on their pledge to begin draining the proverbial swamp.

Lobby reform: a tough hurdle to clear

Having already lauded Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez for reaching across the partisan chasm to take up the issue of lobby reform, I want to extol the virtues of what the lawmakers hope to accomplish.

The Republican Cruz and the Democrat Ocasio-Cortez say they want to prohibit members of the House and Senate from moving directly from public service into lobbying on behalf of well-heeled, deep-pocketed corporate sponsors.

Yes, the Cruz Missile and AOC have teamed up.

Why is their goal so important? Because it would deprive recently former lawmakers from parlaying their influence and friendships with their former colleagues into legislation that favors their new employers. It’s not a fair fight when lobbyists who do not have those connections have to compete with those who do have them.

I understand fully the role that lobbyists play. I do not oppose lobbying per se within the halls of power, as long as it’s done ethically and above board.

I do oppose the notion that legislators can walk directly from their public service jobs into their for-profit jobs, while gaining an unfair advantage as they campaign on behalf their sponsors.

We’ve seen this kind of thing happen all too often in Texas. Other states no doubt have the same issue that nags them, too.

Former Republican state Rep. David Swinford went to work for wind energy interests immediately after leaving his Texas House District 87 seat. Former Democratic Texas House Speaker Pete Laney left the House some years earlier and registered immediately as a lobbyist for agriculture interests.

That’s for the state to rectify. Perhaps it will eventually.

As for the federal lobbying reform, let’s hope Sen. Cruz and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can use their newfound alliance to hammer out an overhaul that makes sense.

Whether a lobby reform bill ever gets a vote in both congressional chambers likely will serve as a test to determine whether Cruz and AOC are serious about the effort or whether they’re just pretending to be allies for the sake of positive news coverage.

Ted Cruz joins forces with AOC? What the … ?

As my dear ol’ Dad would say: I’ll be dipped in sesame seeds.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a hardline conservative, has joined forces with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an equally hardline progressive, on legislation aimed at banning former members of Congress from joining the lobbying ranks immediately after leaving office.

Who in the world knew?

Cruz put out a Twitter message that declared he actually agrees with an idea that AOC put out there, which is to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists; at least, she said, the new law should require a lengthy waiting period.

I don’t think hell has frozen over, but it might be getting a bit chilly down there nonetheless.

This unlikely partnership demonstrates to me that bipartisanship is not a lost cause on Capitol Hill.

I’ve written often about my dislike for Sen. Cruz. As for AOC, well, she has annoyed me as well, given the undeserved spotlight she is getting as a rookie member of the House of Representatives.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this: “If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around &leverage your service for a lobbyist check. I don’t think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in Congress. At minimum there should be a long wait period.”

Cruz responded with this: “Here’s something I don’t say often: I agree with @AOC.” He said he has long favored a ban on lawmakers becoming lobbyists. He added this via Twitter: “The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for bipartisan cooperation.”

There you have it. Two lawmakers from extreme ends of the political spectrum have reached out, locked arms and decided on something on which they both have found common ground.

Indeed, lobbyists who walk away from the halls of power and begin working directly for corporate employers have built-in advantages over their colleagues/competitors. It ain’t fair, man!

AOC responded that she’s “down” with what Cruz has proposed as long as it doesn’t contain any partisan trickery. Cruz responded, “You’re on.”

This is a small step. It’s still an important one.