Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

Here is how to respond to violence

There’s been no shortage of outrage being expressed today over the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Va.

It has come from across the partisan divide. Republicans and Democrats alike have spoken eloquently about their outrage at the violence perpetrated by the white supremacists who gathered there to make whatever statements they want to make. They have spoken as one.

I want to share a statement that came from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who’s been a target of this blog on many occasions over the years. Today, though, I want to applaud Sen. Cruz for speaking eloquently and passionately about an incident that has consumed the nation.

It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great Nation with bloodshed. Heidi’s and my prayers are with the loved ones of those killed and injured in the ongoing violence in Charlottesville. The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.

The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate. Having watched the horrifying video of the car deliberately crashing into a crowd of protesters, I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.

These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this. Our Nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

Well said, sir. Thank you.

This Senate campaign could be a scream … really!

Go, Dan, go!

Dan McQueen is running for the U.S. Senate now held by Ted Cruz, aka the Cruz Missile.

McQueen is not exactly new to politics. He was mayor of Corpus Christi for all of 37 days. Then he quit amid a huge splash of bad publicity, a social media feud via Facebook with constituents and the media.

Now he’s decided to go after Cruz, who’s going to seek a second Senate term in 2018.

Read Texas Monthly’s report of McQueen’s candidacy.

McQueen was new to politics when he was elected mayor in 2016.

Then questions emerged about his academic credentials and his business expertise. He fought with the media and with city council members. McQueen got entangled in a clean water dispute. Then came questions about a relationship he was having with a business associate.

He had enough. So he walked away from his mayor’s job after a little more than month.

Is he the right person for Republicans to nominate next spring when he runs against Cruz? I have no clue.

But a guy who couldn’t stand the heat at City Hall now wants to step straight into the white-hot fire of Capitol Hill. How in the world is he going to withstand the scrutiny he is going to get as he campaigns against Cruz?

But you know what? The more I think about it, the more Dan McQueen sounds like he’d be a good fit in that zoo we call Congress.

Welcome back, Beto!

I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but Beto O’Rourke is making himself quite at home in what might be considered “enemy territory.”

O’Rourke is the Democratic member of Congress who wants to succeed Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz at the end of next year.

He keeps coming back to the Texas Panhandle. He’ll be here Tuesday, conducting a town hall meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Austin Middle School in Amarillo.

What’s the deal? O’Rourke represents an El Paso district in Congress. He’s got a Democratic Party primary yet to win. He has returned back home to Texas during the August recess to resume his full-time campaign for the Senate seat occupied by Cruz.

O’Rourke has developed quite a fan following among local Democrats — yes, there are actually living, breathing Democrats in the Panhandle. They can’t get enough of this young man.

I’m curious about a couple of things regarding Rep. O’Rourke.

First, how much time is he going to spend mining a limited number of Democratic primary votes when there exist so many more in larger urban regions in, say, Dallas and Tarrant counties, in Bexar County, in Travis County, Harris County and, oh yes, El Paso County? Hey, it’s a big state and he’s got to get from place to place in a big hurry.

Second, if the young congressman gets nominated by Democrats next spring, will he come back to the Panhandle when the general election campaign kicks into high gear?

You and I know the rule of thumb regarding partisan Texas politics: Democrats generally have given up on the Panhandle, while Republicans take this region for granted. Just as national politicians campaigning for president focus on “battleground states” and ignore the trusty Red and Blue states, the same can be said for the intrastate campaign in Texas.

Do candidates for statewide office spend as much time in regions where the outcome is preordained? If I would run a Texas-wide campaign, I would focus my attention on those “swing regions” and seek to gin up turnout among my own partisans, be they Democrats in Austin and the Hill Country or Republicans in Amarillo and throughout West Texas.

I hope I’m wrong about Beto O’Rourke. Just maybe the young man will possess the energy and pizzazz to spend more general-election time far from his base of support.

You know, too, that I am no fan of the Cruz Missile.

Enough said.

‘Lyin’ Ted’ makes a comeback

Flash back for a moment to the 2016 Republican Party primary campaign for president of the United States.

One of the candidates was tossing out insulting nicknames: Low Energy Jeb, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary … oh, and Lyin’ Ted.

All of those insults were disgraceful displays of petulance from the man who tossed them, Donald John Trump.

But now it seems that “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz is showing that he might have earned that moniker. He said that “No one in Texas cares about the Russia” story. Really, Sen. Cruz? No one in Texas? He says he has attended numerous town hall meetings and no one brings up the questions about the president’s relationship with the Russian government, or whether that government sought to tilt the 2016 election in his favor.

Excuse me, Sen. Cruz, while I say it out loud and for the record: That is a lie.

Social media erupted with comments from Texans who do care about the Russian investigation and what it might produce.

According to the Austin American-Statesman: “Washington is obsessed right now. It is the Democratic talking point du jour,” Cruz told reporters on Capitol Hill … “But when I go back to Texas, nobody asks about Russia. You know, I’ve held town halls all across the state of Texas, you know how many questions I’ve got on Russia? Zero.”

Read more from the American-Statesman here.

My trick knee is throbbing once again and it is telling me that Cruz has, indeed, received questions about Russia. I also am going to toss out the notion that this issue is far more than just a Washington, D.C., parlor game.

So, with that, allow me only to say, with extreme vigor and conviction: Stop your lyin’, Ted.

Sen. Cruz crawls into the belly of the beast

Ted Cruz deserves some high praise.

The junior U.S. Republican senator from Texas came back home for the Fourth of July and ventured into the heart of the Loyal Opposition — where he got an earful from constituents about the Senate GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz went to McAllen, deep in the Rio Grande Valley and the base of one of the strongest bastions of Democratic voting loyalists in Texas.

Cruz’s constituents told him point blank that they detest the Republican plan to replace the ACA with something concocted in secret, with no Democratic input.

According to the Texas Tribune, Cruz took the criticism well. “Isn’t freedom wonderful?” Cruz said shortly after taking the stage. “Think about it: In much of the world, if protesters showed up, they would face violent government oppression. In America, we’ve got something different.”

Yes, we do, senator.

With so many of his Republican colleagues forgoing direct communication with their constituents, I want to applaud Sen. Cruz for listening to their complaints.

Will he act on what he hears? I’m not holding my breath for that to happen. I do applaud him nevertheless for stepping into the line of fire.

Read the Tribune story here.

Donald J. Trump: RINO or real thing?

Republican In Name Only.

That’s intended to be a pejorative term for politicians who portray themselves as Republicans but who in the eyes of the true believers aren’t the real thing.

I bring it up as I ponder the relationship that Donald J. Trump has within the ranks of the Republican Party, under whose banner he was elected president of the United States.

The president has embraced the Republican congressional leadership’s version of health care overhaul — that is, if you can figure precisely what it is about it that appeals to him.

The true believers within the GOP might argue that Trump doesn’t believe in anything. In today’s world, the term “true believer” seems to apply only to those on the far right. They are the likes of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, tax reform activist Grover Norquist, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh … those types.

The president doesn’t fit into that category of Republican, from what I can discern. He campaigned for his office promising to leave Medicaid alone and to provide health insurance for every American at a cost they can afford; he says he wants to spend $1 trillion-plus to rebuild the nation’s highways and airports; he formerly gave lots of money to Democrats and once considered Bill and Hillary Clinton to be his friends.

I have many Republican friends who do not consider any of those examples to be of their liking.

I’ll clear the air for a moment on one point. My own distaste for Trump as president lies simply in the notion that his lengthy and successful business history didn’t translate into the kind of man I want to be president. His reputation and public persona are anathema — in my view — to the kind of person I want representing the country I love so deeply. Trump’s absolute ignorance of politics, public policy, and the mechanics of governance — and his seeming unwillingness to admit to what he doesn’t know — is frightening in the extreme. Then there’s his view of this nation as it relates to the rest of the world; enough said on that.

Trump’s entire adult life has been focused on one thing only: personal enrichment. You can throw in self-aggrandizement, too, if you wish.

Donald Trump is a RINO according to what I believe is the definition of the term.

That makes it so very hard for me to grasp what this guy intends to do with the nation — with my nation  — he took an oath to protect.

Wake up, Congress, to greater civility

Ted Cruz believes this past week’s shooting at a baseball practice that wounded several of his fellow Republicans should be a “wake up call” for members of Congress.

The Texas U.S. senator is right, of course. He almost seems to state the obvious, that the tenor and tone of current political discussion has been filled with too much poison.

Five people were hurt in Alexandria, Va., while practicing for Congress’ annual charity baseball game. The shooter was angry at Donald J. Trump and, apparently, at GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who was wounded by a rifle shot from the gunman. Scalise’s condition is improving and for that we all are grateful.

The gunman died in a shootout with police.

“We may disagree on whether the federal government should have a simple flat tax or a massively confiscatory federal income tax, but those differences should not lead to demonization, vilification and personal attacks,” Cruz said in remarks to supporters.

But that’s what we’ve been hearing. It goes back many years. It’s been a bipartisan mantra. Democrats and Republicans point at each other across the aisle on Capitol Hill and question each other’s motives for whatever it is they seek to accomplish.

Politics used to be a noble calling. That’s not the case these days. It has become a contact sport. Some suggest politics has turned into a blood sport.

The dips*** shooter in Alexandria exemplified the danger of letting our emotions get the better of us.

No ‘fishing expeditions’? Sure thing, Sen. Cruz

Ted Cruz doesn’t want special counsel Robert Mueller to go on a “fishing expedition” in his search for answers relating to Donald J. Trump’s relationship with Russian government officials.

I now shall remind the junior U.S. Republican senator from Texas about another fishing expedition that once suited GOP members of Congress just fine. It involved Kenneth Starr’s probe into an Arkansas real estate matter; they called it Whitewater.

Starr, the special counsel appointed to look into that deal, then went on a fishing expedition of his own. He wandered far afield and then discovered that President Bill Clinton was involved in a tawdry relationship with a young White House intern.

A federal grand jury summoned the president to talk about that relationship. The president didn’t tell the panel the truth.

Boom! Congressional Republicans then had their grounds for impeaching the president. The House did it. The Senate then acquitted him.

So, you see? Fishing expeditions can turn into something consequential.

Mueller is a pro and deserves latitude in his search for the truth.

I just find it laughable that Cruz would issue a warning against Mueller, a former FBI director and a man fairly universally respected as a thorough and meticulous investigator. Indeed, Cruz called Mueller a “good and honorable man.”

One can imagine if a Democratic president faced the kind of scrutiny that is being leveled against Donald Trump. What do you suppose the Cruz Missile would say then?

I get how political consideration — and leanings — are driving the analyses of the Mueller investigation.

My own take on Robert Mueller’s probe is that if he uncovers something that is, um, illegal, he is bound by his oath to pursue it to the very end.

‘Most of America’ first, eh Mr. President?

I need some time to digest this idea a bit more completely, but what I see initially gives me stomach pains.

Donald J. Trump has pitched a budget that takes away oil royalties the federal government shares with four Gulf Coast states that bear the bulk of the responsibility for responding to disasters related to the drilling of oil off their respective shores.

The result could cost the states of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama billions of dollars in revenue.

Who gets the dough? The feds do!

Is this how the president plans to “put America first”?

This is another baffling proposal that has to pass congressional muster.

Here’s a thought for Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn — two Republicans who are among the president’s seemingly dwindling roster of congressional allies: Don’t stand still for a budget proposal that robs your state of valuable revenue.

According to CNBC: “The plan is part of the president’s effort to contain the growth of the U.S. federal deficit. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that ending the royalty-sharing program would save the federal government $3.6 billion over a decade.”

I’m a deficit hawk, too. I get the need to reduce the deficit — which the Obama administration had overseen during its eight years in office. Why, though, take money from states that also rely on this revenue stream to help them deal with pressure to fund valuable state programs?

My hope now is for Congress to step in and dispose of a presidential proposal that appears to punish four of our United States.

Jeb Bush says ‘I told you so’

Dear Jeb,

OK. You win. Sort of.

You’re saying you warned us about Donald J. Trump becoming a “chaos president.” Now you’re crowing a little bit too loudly about the prediction that has come true.

Let me admonish you, though, on a key point: You were far from being the only observer to make such an observation.

Granted, many of us didn’t precisely use the term “chaos president,” as you claim to have done. A lot of pols around the country — especially some Republicans just like yourself — used some quite harsh language to describe the fellow who won the election this past year.

Mitt Romney warned of electing a “phony” and a “fraud”; Rick Perry called Trump a “cancer on conservatism”; Ted Cruz, another Texan, described Trump as “amoral.” There were others, but you get the point.

A lot of us out here in Flyover Country referred to Trump’s unfitness for the office. The implication, although not stated explicitly, was that his absolute ignorance about public policy, politics, public service and government would lead to the kind of chaos that has erupted in just the first 100-some days of his presidency.

It’s all coming to pass.

Will it doom this guy? Will it result in impeachment and conviction in the Senate? Will it force him to quit before the House impeaches him?

I am not going to bet the farm on any of it. He should have been toast while running for office when he said Sen. John McCain wasn’t a real “war hero,” or when he mocked that New York Times reporter’s disability, or when he acknowledged grabbing women by their private parts, or when he disparaged the Gold Star couple who spoke against him at the Democratic National Convention.

Jeb, he not only withstood all of that tempest, he parlayed it in some perverse fashion to shore up his standing among your party’s “base.”

Yep, he’s the “chaos president,” just as you said it would be.

Make no mistake, Jeb. I detest the guy as much as you do. Maybe more. It is appalling in the extreme that he managed to win the election.

I now plan to wait for the special counsel to do his job. We’ll get to hear from James Comey shortly when the former FBI director tells the Senate Intelligence Committee what it needs to hear.

And we’ll all get to watch as the chaos continues — and you’ll get to gloat some more.