Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mission Impossible: Rand Paul to 'Engage' African Americans

by Sunnyjane

Here I come to save the day -- Mighty Rand is on the way!
(Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey via The Daily Kos)

Save Detroit and Bond With Minorities

Rand Paul's going to Detroit to -- I kid you not -- unveil his new legislative proposal to remove bankrupt Detroit and other economically blighted areas from poverty and the shackles of big government.  Uh huh, that's right: Another Republican who never held elected office before being swept into the U.S. Senate by old white people with safety-pinned tea bags on their XXL-sized clothing  in 2010, is going to set Detroit free!  (What the hell does Rand Paul know about this subject, anyhow?)

But never mind all that.  Sen. Paul's real mission is to unshackle African Americans from the Democratic Party.  That he might be an odd choice may have occurred to you, dear readers.  This is, after all, the same guy who believes that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went a little too far in ensuring that minorities had unfettered access to the same rights that the cream-colored citizens of this country have always enjoyed.  Notably, the senator from Kentucky doesn't think that the federal government should tell businesses that it is against the law to discriminate against anyone who wishes to engage in legal commerce inside their establishments. 

Paul's comment so enraged Kentucky's Republican State Senate -- as well as Democrats, of course -- that the members immediately adopted a resolution declaring any form of discrimination to be inconsistent with American values.  The only African American senator said that Paul's "extreme belief" has made Kentucky "a laughingstock."

 The Ignorance of the Arrogant

OK, forget all that, folks.  This is my Etch-A-Sketch moment.
Picture this:  The Republican Tea Party is sending a Kentucky know-nothing/do-nothing quasi politician into a city that voted 98% to reelect President Obama last year.  His assignment: to convince Detroit's African American citizens that they will be much better off voting for the GOP in the future.

Yes, dear turkey eaters, the party that has voted to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act forty-seven times, has cut the SNAP program, wants to take a woman's right to choose what is right for her and her family away from her -- while depriving her of all contraception methods, of course -- refused to pass the President's jobs bill (and has not proposed one of their own), and made it harder for minorities to vote, expects to attract the African American vote!

Even Michigan Republicans hate the idea of an African American Engagement Office.  One saidIt sounds like we're 'separate, but equal' office in's absurd, offensive and pathetic. 

The Michigan Democratic Party was, of course, equally harsh, saying that the GOP has repeatedly proven they are so far out of touch, they can’t even see it. 

It will be interesting to see how Senator Paul's visit to Detroit turns out.  Stay tuned!

End Note

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Review: 'Double Down -- Game Change 2012' (Part 2 of 2)

by Sunnyjane

I refuse to apologize for cheating to get on the NYT Bestseller list!

In 2007, Mitt Romney was told that he had to appeal to the far-right if he wanted to win the 2008 GOP nomination race against such luminaries as John McCain, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Alan Keys, Duncan Hunter (whoever heard of this guy?), and Rudy Giuliani.  So he did -- but not very well.  After putting forty-five million dollars of his own money into a primary run that cost a total of one-hundred and ten million, he withdrew in February 2008 after losing Iowa to Huckabee and New Hampshire to McCain.

Two weeks after the 2008 election of Barack Obama, Romney was told by one adviser that he lost because he didn't tell his story of being a successful businessman and governor of Massachusetts, blah, blah, blah.   This adviser told him to spend the next couple of years writing a book, lecturing, figuring out who would back him, writing editorials, etc.   The advice was good; the results were not what Romney needed to project himself as what could easily be called Mr. Fix-It of the Economy and Everything Else That is Wrong with Obama and America.  Taking a page from Sarah Palin, he pulled some not-too-ethical shenanigans to get his book on the New York Times bestseller list; most of the books were purchased in bulk.  It was so obvious that the online Paper of Record -- which always awards a dagger to books purchased in bulk -- awarded No Apology two daggers

Few Favorable Winds for USS Romney

Though it had been a foregone conclusion by the first of April, Mitt Romney safely secured the requisite number of 1,144 delegate votes to assure him of the GOP presidential nomination on May 29, 2012.  It had been a long, tiring, and very expensive primary, but Mitt and his staff were geared up and ready to make sure that Barack Obama would be a one-term president.  The campaign would make the election all about the economy, hammering Obama for his fecklessness and failures. They had every opportunity; the progressive left was unhappy that the President hadn't made more progress on his agenda, his most loyal 2008 supporters appeared to be having doubts, and the big money wasn't rolling in.  But in typical GOP style, they managed to screw it up royally because they had a bad candidate, a dysfunctional campaign, and lousy, out-of-touch messages for the broad spectrum demographics that makes up 21st Century America. 

A few of the, um, challenges that faced the Romney Campaign:

Maybe we shouldn't have outsourced our campaign literature to China.

The Ricketts Plan:   Things got off to a rather inauspicious start for the Romenyites -- or Boston -- as the campaign was sometimes referred to.   A little backstory: In February of 2012, Romney had said in a radio interview with Sean Hannity:  ...I'm not sure which is worse, [the President] listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.  (Bold emphasis added.)  

This statement emboldened Joe Ricketts -- a wealthy and influential Republican supporter -- to authorize a highly secret ten million dollar, forty-page plan entitled The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama, which would play up the President's relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  On the same day it was printed up, a copy was handed to the Obama campaign by a mysterious brunette, which got it into the hands of the New York Times through a third party.  The message to the Romney campaign from the Obamans was simple:  that if [the Romney campaign] crossed the line when it came to race,  there would be a price to pay. 

When questioned by a reporter several days later if he stood by his February statement on Rev. Wright to Hannity, Romney uttered those immortal words:  I'm not familiar, precisely, with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.
That Detroit Bailout Thingy: One of the things Mitt's 2008 adviser urged him to do was write editorials (op-eds) to start getting his
message out to the American public.  He took this to heart and in mid-November -- right after the election -- he wrote his opinion of the Bush-proposed bailout of the Detroit auto industry.  (President-elect Obama also supported the bailout.)

The New York Times was eager to print it and Mitt Romney was thrilled beyond words.  Unfortunately, the Times has a policy that only their editorial staff writes the title, and this one came out as Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.  Naturally, the Obamans took that line as one of their major campaign themes against Romney, and by October 2012, that archived op-ed had become the Number One most-read, most-emailed Times editorial, and the Romney campaign was never able to put a halt to what they felt was a dramatic misrepresentation of what Romney had proposed back in 2008.

The problems that faced Mitt Romney were far-ranging and politically damaging on practically every issue: his taxes (stored away in more than two dozen bank boxes), women, college students, Latinos, African Americans, the LGBT community, his gaffes, Ann's gaffes and petulance, the 47% debacle, the Etch-a-Sketch moment, his staffer telling reporters to kiss my ass, etc.  After his jaw-dropping  An-Idiot-Abroad trip to the UK, Israel and Poland, a former Bush staffer said, It almost feels like Sarah Palin is his foreign policy adviser.  Haley Barbour said that Mitt was an inept candidate ... incapable of connecting with voters, inspiring conservatives, or restraining himself from planting his penny loafer in his mouth.  That about sums up how most GOP party leaders -- and the GOP electorate in general -- viewed their 2012 candidate.

The Search for a Not-Sarah-Palin Vice President

Code-named Project Goldfish, Mitt's hunt for a suitable vice-presidential candidate began in April, headed solely by Beth Myers.  With a screw-you to political correctness, the final short-listers were given code names based on their weight, ethnicity, or location:   Chris Christie was Pufferfish, Tim Pawlewnty was Lakefish, Rob Portman was Filet-O-Fish, Marco Rubio was Pescado, and Paul Ryan was Fishconsin.  (No, I don't understand Portman's codename, either, but I have my suspicions.)

I'll do it MY way, or it won't get done.  And piss on you all if you don't like it!

In the interest of brevity, I will concentrate only on Pufferfish -- or Big Boy, as George W. Bush called him behind his back.  Chris Christie turned the vetting process into a nightmare for Beth Myers, who sent him the vetting package in early April, and wanted to have the complete process wrapped up by May 31.  There had already been issues between Boston and Trenton: Christie had told the campaign that he would not endorse Romney early, and that until he did, he didn't want them raising money in New Jersey.  He went for months telling his adorers and those big money guys that he probably wouldn't run, but they continued to try to persuade him.  This galled Romney, who was certain that he'd be the nominee -- whether the party wanted him or not.  Christie finally said he wasn't going to run, and became a Romney surrogate -- with mixed results.

To the Romney campaign HQ, Christie and his staff were overbearing and hard to work with, demanding in ways that would have been unthinkable from any other surrogate.  Trenton insisted on private jets, lavish spreads of food, and space for a massive entourage.  Christie was chronically behind schedule and made a habit of showing up late for  Romney fund-raising events.  

Because red-flag information had turned up on Christie during Myers' research into his background -- and some of his staff -- she asked very pointed vetting questions.  Trenton refused to answer many of them, whining Why do you need to know that? leading the Romneyites to assume that If they're not answering, it's because the answer is bad.  (Wouldn't the 2016 Democratic aspirants love to see that file?)

Racing Toward the  Finish Line
Yo, Chair!  You do realize that the GOP is full of rich, white, crazy old farts, don't you?

Conventions:  The two party conventions have been well covered: The Republicans' was good, the Democrats' was great.  Where the GOP's stars seemed to have been Clint Eastwood and Chris Christie (now that is a story worth reading!), the Democrats relied on Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton to light up the stars in North Carolina.  No contest!

Please proceed, Governor.

Debates: It's old news that Mitt Romney overwhelmingly won the first debate.  What is news -- but has been recently reported -- is that President Obama's performance was so bad that the campaign had to stage an intervention before the second debate.  You can't have a second debate like the first one, they told him.  It was that bad? asked the President.  Yes, they said, it was that bad. 

It's gonna be OK, Chris.  I'm here and I can help you.  Romney can't.

The Big Blow:  Superstorm Sandy, which ravished ravaged the state of New Jersey, left Romney off the political radar for nearly a week -- a period of time that just happened to be seven days before the election.  Instead, Americans read and watched non-stop coverage of the Republican Governor of New Jersey and the Democratic President of the United States working together as an empathetic non-partisan team to do everything they could to help the citizens and businesses of that devastated state.

Stuck in the mid-west, Romney wanted desperately to be a part of the hurricane recovery action:  Just get me to New Jersey, he told to campaign staff.  Find me a shelter where I can show I care.   They told him that it was impossible, but came up with another idea:  The campaign was making a last swing through Pennsylvania and there was a planned event only ten miles from Trenton, and surely Christie could take a little time to dash right over and appear with Romney on the stage.  The Governor kept telling them No, and finally screamed into the phone, Leave me the fuck alone!

It appears (to me) that Romney believed one roaring debate win and a couple of very well-attended rallies in the three weeks before November 6 could erase all the self-inflicted negative coverage he had received throughout the campaign.

Read 'em and Weep
No, Mitt, I don't mind at all that you've kept me up until after 2:00 AM

The networks (including Fox News) called the election for President Obama shortly after 11:00 PM, after determining that he had won all the battleground states except North Carolina.  Perhaps because Bush's Brain Karl Rove was having a major meltdown on Fox, declaring that it was much too early to project Obama as having won, it took almost three hours for Mitt to make his concession call to the President.  Or, perhaps Ann was hyperventilating so badly they couldn't get her to pull herself together -- I dunno.

Whatever, here's the end of the story:

The Inauguration of President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013

End Note

In a recent interview with Ann and Mitt Romney on CBS, the interviewer asked Mitt if he was mulling another run for the presidency. 

This was Ann's response:

Election night, 2012:  That's all, folks; we're done here.  Never again!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: 'Double Down -- Game Change 2012' (Part 1 of 2)

by Sunnyjane

If you liked Game Change, the book on the 2008 election by Halperin and Heilemann, you'll also like the 2012 edition on the campaign between President Barack Obama and former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.  And if you're a political junky who wants to see the jaw-dropping backstage machinations of a presidential campaign, you're going to love this book.  I certainly did.

As Ezra Klein of the Washington Post wrote:  [It is] a joyous romp through the seedy underbelly of presidential campaigning.  ... It’s also a marvel of reporting. Any time three staff members met in a room to badmouth a colleague or a candidate, admitted to a moment of stress or self-doubt, ... John Heilemann and Mark Halperin appear to have been sitting in the corner, scribbling notes.

While Charles Pierce and Michael Kinsley didn't care much for the book -- or Mark Halperin, it seems -- the reports of Double Down's having been called supermarket tabloid trash is based on the insistence from Jon Huntsman, Sr. that he was not Harry Reid's source on the Romney didn't pay any taxes for ten years issue.

West Wing Woes
I wonder why nobody told me anything about having to fight pirates.

The President and his staff were not exactly doing the Happy Dance at the beginning of the 2012 general election cycle -- which started in 2011, of course.  And, despite her personal high approval ratings, the First Lady wasn't happy, either.  

Chicago, which is what the campaign headquarters was called because it couldn't be run from the White House, wanted Michelle Obama to be active in the 2010 midterms and in the 2012 general elections.  She agreed in 2010, reluctantly, because she didn't want to burn through her likability capital on congressional races and she hated being away from her girls over night.  The campaign accommodated her restrictions.  But she was more than willing in 2012 to help MY GUY, as she called the President, and raised ten million dollars in one quarter of the campaign.  She proved to be a real buck-raker, and Chicago was thrilled.  The First Lady was irritated with the President's staff, and didn't mind telling them about it.

The President wasn't pleased with his West Wing staff, either, and he did something about it.  Rahm Emanuel -- who easily succeeded in pissing off everybody -- had already left to run for mayor of Chicago.  David Axelrod (disheveled and disorganized) and Robert Gibbs (who seemed to be quite skilled at using the word fuck as a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, etc.)  were sent to campaign HQ.  Bill Daley became White House Chief of Staff, which didn't turn out very well, and he was replaced by Jack Lew.  Lots of screaming, finger-pointing, and shakeups going on.

But President Obama was also unhappy with himself and his inability to deal with an obnoxious House of Representatives.  He had had to spend his time on issues ranging from birtherism to Osama bin Laden to rescuing two people from Somali pirates.  He thought his messaging was ineffective and sloppy.  In addition, he had a leaker on his staff, which really upset him.  

By May of 2012, he had his Bulworth Moment -- deciding that he was going to stop paying attention to campaign focus groups and tell the American people what he proposed and why.

That decision probably gave him a second term.

And Who Shall Lead Them?

Long before the Republican primary debates actually began in January 2012, the field was wide open  -- I counted as many as fifteen.  As had been said by many, Mitt Romney started campaigning for 2012 right after he lost the 2008 candidacy to John McCain.  But the establishment GOP did not want Romney -- they detested him -- and a bunch of others tried, in vain, to get each other to run.  Perhaps Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi, was the most prescient when he predicted that if Romney ran, his weaknesses would attract a large, unruly field that would be bad for the party. 

Frankly, I think this group even exceeded Barbour's most dire predictions.

Is Rick Perry late again?  Oops!

Halperin and Heilemann share a lot of interesting insights into the personalities and foibles of the final 2012 Hopefuls, except for Ron Paul; there was little said about him.   So here are just a few examples of the less-than-stellar lineup of the Hopeless to become the 2012 Republican candidate for president.

I have never had sex with that woman!  Those women!  I have never had sex with...anybody!

Herman Cain:  Best known for his 8.7 tax program.  Well, Herman didn't think it would suit for him to go around yelling 8.7-8.7-8.7, so he told his staff, Goddammit, we're rounding it up to 9-9-9!   He was, to say the least, one of the most unqualified of the Eight-Left-Standing bunch, and after persistent allegations (which he denied) about sexual misconduct, he quit the race.

And getting there is half the fun!

Michele Bachmann:  Shedding staff like yesterday's underwear, Bachmann gaffed her way through the primaries.  The stories about her migraine headaches must have brought on more: her staff once found her in a fetal position in her hotel room and had to take fast and dramatic medical steps to ease her pain.  She quit in January 2012, after coming in a dismal fourth in the Iowa caucuses.  Thus, the I'm such a loser! quote that has been reported recently.

Hmmm...I'll hit Mitt with my new word: Obamneycare.   It'll be a winner!
Tim Pawlenty:  According to the book, the former governor of Minnesota and the current Congresswoman (Bachmann) from that state ...shared a reverent evangelical faith and a biting distaste for each other.  (Bachmann considered Pawlenty a weak-kneed fraud; he disparaged her as "dangerous" and "insane.")  Pawlenty may well be a weak-kneed fraud, but he's certainly correct on his assessment of Bachmann.  In an effort to tie Obamacare and Romney's Massachusetts health care law, he had coined the word Obamneycare in a television interview.  However, when asked by the moderator during the June 13, 2011 debate why he had used the term, he backed off and refused to take the opportunity to slam his rival.  He resigned from the race the next day.  OK, I guess Michele is right: Pawlenty is weak-kneed.

Giggle, chuckle, tee hee: Whee doggies!  Pain medications are FUN!

Rick Perry:  The Texas governor's debate missteps, his questionable racial history, claims that he is gay, his evangelical background, and his unrepentant assertion that Social Security is a Ponzi  scheme are all well-known fodder on which the media chewed with delight.  However, what was not well known -- even to his staff -- was the seriousness of his back  surgery in July 2011.  The persistent pain and his regular bouts of insomnia, coupled with less than sterling debate performances, led him to resign from the race in January 2012. 

Noooo, I don't want to hear about your wife!  MY wife is the only one who can have an abortion!

Rick SantorumNot much new on Saint Santorum.  Try as he might, Rick could not stay away from harping on far-right, evangelical Christiansta social issues.  Former Nebraska governor Rob Kerrey was heard to say, Santorum: that's Latin for asshole.

I don't know...I guess...let me see...maybe.

Jon Huntsman:  The one issue I found most fascinating was -- to me, anyhow -- brand new.  It involves the ten-year  animosity between Mitt Romney and fellow-Mormon Jon Huntsman, Jr.  -- who incredibly, had never met before 2002.  Both wanted to be The Rescuer of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City; Mitt got the job, and both Huntsman, Jr. and Huntsman, Sr. were not at all happy.

Then, in 2008 when Romney was running to become the GOP nominee, Huntsman assured him he would endorse him, then turned around and endorsed McCain.  Romney was furious.  But Huntsman wanted badly to be Secretary of State and doubted that Romney would appoint a fellow Mormon to that position; thus, he pinned his hopes on John McCain.

Huntsman is a complicated fellow, prone to dark spells and with a dicey relationship with his father.  At times, it seemed to his staff that he didn't really want to run for president -- he just sort of wanted to be president.  I have the distinct feeling that Double Down reveals just a glimmer into the murky world of who Jon Huntsman really is.

And the Candidate is...


End Note

Part 2 of this post will cover the presidential campaign and debates between the two candidates, as well as Romney's careful search for a vice presidential nominee.  That process  turned out to be a WHOA! type of thing.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Name and Shame the 39 House Democrats who Voted With the Republicans Against the Affordable Care Act

By Kathleen

Today the House voted for Fred Upton's "keep your plan" bill which would allow insurance companies to continue offering health-care plans that existed before the Obamacare rollout began and to offer new plans that are not compliant with the ACA. The bill, H.R 3350, was passed with the assistance of 39 House Democrats concerned that if they did not vote yes that it could be politically damaging for them in the 2014 election. 

The names of the 39 House Democrats who voted against the ACA (h/t to Politicususa

Ron Barber D AZ-2
John Barrow D GA-12
Ami Bera D CA-7
Timothy H. Bishop D NY-1
Bruce Braley D IA-1
Julia Brownley D CA-26
Cheri Bustos D IL-17
Jim Costa D CA-16
Peter A. DeFazio D OR-4
Suzan K. DelBene D WA-1
Tammy Duckworth D IL-8
Bill Enyart D IL-12
Elizabeth Esty D CT-5
Bill Foster D IL-11
Pete Gallego D TX-23
John Garamendi D CA-3
Joe Garcia D FL-26
Ron Kind D WI-3
Ann McLane Kuster D NH-2
Dave Loebsack D IA-2
Dan Maffei D NY-24
Sean Patrick Maloney D NY-18
Jim Matheson D UT-4
Mike McIntyre D NC-7
Jerry McNerney D CA-9
Patrick Murphy D FL-18
Rick Nolan D MN-8
Bill Owens D NY-21
Gary Peters D MI-14
Scott Peters D CA-52
Collin C. Peterson D MN-7
Nick J. Rahall II D WV-3
Raul Ruiz D CA-36
Brad Schneider D IL-10
Kurt Schrader D OR-5
Carol Shea-Porter D NH-1
Kyrsten Sinema D AZ-9
Filemon Vela D TX-34
Tim Walz D MN-1

The above representatives have sold out the voters who elected them. President Obama's administration 
has promised to veto the bill. A recent statement from the administration reads:

H.R. 3350 rolls back the progress made by allowing insurers to continue to sell new plans that deploy practices such as not offering coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men, and continuing yearly caps on the amount of care that enrollees receive. The Administration supports policies that allow people to keep the health plans that they have. But, policies that reverse the progress made to extend quality, affordable coverage to millions of uninsured, hardworking, middle class families are not the solution."

Some of the Democrat representatives, such as Pete Gallego of Texas, stated that voting yes for the bill was "the right thing to do" and "that you do the right thing and the rest takes care of itself." All I have to say is that voting yes will absolutely not remove that great big target that the republicans have put on his back. According to the DallasNews only hours after todays vote a spokesperson from the National Republican Congressional Committee said that Gallego's vote was "too little, too late". So Gallego's vote to go along to get along has already proved to have been futile. The other 38 Democrats are also likely to discover quite soon that they too have been bamboozled. I have no sympathy for them and we will see next year how "the rest takes care of itself." 

Please pass on the names. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NEW VIDEO: Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz, caught lying on tape about President Obama, trying to discredit Obama's Christian beliefs - Watch the video evidence! - UPDATES: Some inconvenient facts about Rafael Cruz

Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz, is a shameless liar

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Proverbs 12:22

By Patrick

Junior Senator Ted Cruz recently got into a lot of trouble, as the mastermind behind the infamous "shutdown" which could have caused a global economic catastrophe, if the USA had defaulted (read: Debt Deadline Approaches: Here’s What Would Happen If U.S. Defaults).  

But there is also a second fact that political observers recently became aware of: Ted Cruz is not alone. If you want Ted Cruz, you also get his father Rafael Cruz, who currently tours the country, giving outrageous speeches in which he spews hate and lies. His primary target is President Obama, and just a few days ago, some particularly shocking quotes by Rafael Cruz were highlighted by David Corn at Mother Jones, in an article which thankfully received a lot of attention.

Quote from Mother Jones:

In April, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), spoke to the tea party of Hood County, which is southwest of Fort Worth, and made a bold declaration: The United States is a "Christian nation." The septuagenarian businessman turned evangelical pastor did not choose to use the more inclusive formulation "Judeo-Christian nation." Insisting that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution "were signed on the knees of the framers" and were a "divine revelation from God," he went on to say, "yet our president has the gall to tell us that this is not a Christian nation…The United States of America was formed to honor the word of God." Seven months earlier, Rafael Cruz, speaking to the North Texas Tea Party on behalf of his son, who was then running for Senate, called President Barack Obama an "outright Marxist" who "seeks to destroy all concept of God," and he urged the crowd to send Obama "back to Kenya."

David Corn quoted from a speech which Rafael Cruz gave to the North Texas Tea Party on September 12, 2012. The original clip with this half-hour speech by Rafael Cruz has subsequently been deleted from youtube. However, not only were some key excerpts for example shown at MSNBC, but a substantial portion of the speech is also still available on youtube.

Watch the report by Chris Matthews at MSNBC:

Interestingly, there is more: Although the whole speech from September 12, 2012 has now been deleted from the internet, I already downloaded the full clip even before David Corn published his article at Mother Jones. I did this in preparation for our own post about Rafael Cruz, which we published on October 3. Today I looked at this speech again in order to check whether there are more "nuggets" to discover. It should come as no big surprise that this effort was successful!

Rafael Cruz exposes himself as a shameless liar: While many of his "facts" are just "extremist opinions", which are difficult to "fact-check" in the traditional way, he also makes some factual statements about President Obama in this speech which are open for scrutiny. Rafael Cruz claims that Barack Obama never uses the word "Creator" when Obama recites the Declaration of Independence, and that he never uses the words "under God" when he recites the Pledge of Allegiance. These claims by Rafael Cruz are shameless lies, and the truth can easily be discovered. Apparently Rafael Cruz thought that his Tea Party audience is gullible enough to believe this nonsense (and they probably are).

Actually, Rafael Cruz gets it wrong in two different ways. He, the self-described great American patriot is apparently not aware that the Declaration of Independence uses the words "by their Creator", and not "by our Creator", as Rafael Cruz wrongly quotes in his speech. Apparently Rafael Cruz himself, who inexplicably became an American citizen only in 2005, which is no less than 48 years after he left Cuba, is not fully familiar with this important American document.

But most importantly, his main claims about President Obama are outrageous lies. Rafael Cruz just regurgitates with great conviction some long-debunked nonsense which seems to be pretty popular among radical right-wingers, as "RightWingWatch" already exposed in 2012 ("How Many Times Does Obama Have to Say 'Endowed by Their Creator' Before the Right Will Stop Lying?").

The truth is easy to prove. I created the following video clip, which contrasts the claims by Rafael Cruz in his speech on September 12, 2012 with the real quotes by Barack Obama (special acknowledgement again to RightWingWatch).


Rafael, the bible does not like liars. Do you, an evangelical pastor, really act according to the bible? Or is it all just a political game for you? You should make up your mind, and fast.


Further reading at Politicalgates:




The conservative non-profit organization "FreedomWorks" conducted a radio-interview with Rafael Cruz in February 2013, in which he explains in more detail his "official" life story: How he fought for Fidel Castro for four years (!), at the age of 14 to 18, how he was imprisoned and tortured, how he then somehow escaped to the USA, how he didn't speak English, still got a place at an university in Texas, then went briefly back to Cuba (?), but apparently was so appalled by Castro's version of communism that he promptly returned to the USA, disappointed about the "hope and change" that Fidel Castro had promised.

He conducted the interview with an ultra-conservative female host, who obviously thinks that government healthcare is the embodiment of evil, and who marvels how great it was how in the past when US citizens, after they got sick, first turned to their "families", then their "churches", then their "communities", and only then to the "government." Rafael Cruz, whose son Ted enjoys the luxurious Goldman Sachs-healthcare plan, immediately agreed with her. Oh, the good old days! Cruz also says in the interview that people turn into "slaves of the government" when they accept Government handouts or use any other services.

Daddy Cruz also has more incredibly original thoughts. He further says in the interview that that Democratic Party today follows "socialist policies", which are "not the policies which made America great." He also claims that America turned to Socialism when Carter was elected, and that Ronald Reagan then magically fixed the economy already in his first year. I guess Reagan waved his magic wand!

Listen to the interview:

When you search for speeches by Rafael and Ted Cruz, you find that they very often spoke at events by "FreedomWorks." These fake conservative grassroot organizations are really the cancer of America. They are the secret armies of the billionaires, and today you don't need "real" armies on the streets any more, what you need is an "online army".

Wikipedia duly notes: "Volunteers - 600,000 online activists"

These are the kind of brainwashed people who leave these crazy right-wing comments on the internet everywhere.


The "official" life story of Rafael Cruz is full of huge holes. We will continue to investigate.

Media outlets published in the past a number of very informative articles about Ted and Rafael Cruz. One of the most detailed is an article called "Cruz's life defies simplification" by the Houston Chronicle from October 2012. Some interesting details can be found there.

He (Ted Cruz) was born in Alberta while his parents were working abroad as pioneering computer programmers in the energy exploration business. He obtained citizenship as a newborn through his American mother. Yet he favors building a border wall, boots on the ground and greater militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border.

He's opposed to the Dream Act to help immigrant children who arrived here illegally. Yet his father, grandparents and aunt emigrated to Texas and benefited from U.S. policy and programs that grant legal permanent residence to virtually any Cuban admitted to the U.S. after January 1959.


(Ted) Cruz insists he's looking no further ahead than November. If elected, that accomplishment would be a tribute to his father, who as a teenager arrived in Austin to attend UT with only $100 sewn in his underwear and washed dishes at 50 cents an hour to cover expenses.

"To have suggested to that 18-year-old boy washing dishes that his son might serve as a U.S. senator would have been unimaginable," Cruz said. "That's the opportunity America offers. That's freedom."

Both of Cruz's parents got scholarships that covered tuition but paid their own expenses in college. As a married couple, they co-founded two different seismic data processing businesses. They were working in Alberta oil fields when Ted was born in 1970, returning to Houston in 1974 when a slump hit and they sold their first company.

Interesting! So Father Cruz wasn't opposed to the government when he benefited from its policies.

Also, Daddy Cruz in reality got a much softer start in the USA than he wants his Tea Party audiences to believe. He boasts about the apparent hardships he faced after entering the USA at any given opportunity with his "I started off as a dishwasher" tale.

However, that students in the USA get their tuition paid and then have to work to cover living expenses strikes me as pretty normal. I heard a lot of these stories in the past. Our readers, many of whom have studied decades ago, can certainly provide more insights.

There is definitely much more to discover about Rafael Cruz. There are many, many open questions. We will keep digging!



For a long time, Ted and Rafael Cruz were silent when others published false stories about how Rafael Cruz "escaped Fidel Castro" - which completely distorted the truth.

In 2011, the "Dallas Morning News" didn't let them get away with this apparent "lying by staying silent" (h/t BanditBasheert):

But what the stumping GOP Senate candidate hadn’t clarified, until asked by The Dallas Morning News this week, was that his father departed for the U.S. in 1957, more than a year before Fidel Castro came to power.

“Y’all know my heart,” Ted Cruz told the Austin Republican Women last month. “My dad fled Cuba. He was imprisoned and tortured as a teenager, and came to Austin penniless, seeking freedom. The reason I’m running is simple. He fled oppression once. And you have my word that I’ll fight every day to protect freedom here, so that none of us have to flee oppression a second time.”

Cruz hasn’t incorrectly described when his father fled from Cuba, as has U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. According to the Washington Post, Rubio said on three occasions since 2006 and on his official Senate website that his parents came to the U.S. after Castro’s forces overthrew Batista in January 1959. They actually arrived here in May 1956, the Post said.

Cruz, though, has remained silent as journalists and political activists incorrectly placed his father among the many Cubans who left the island nation after Castro took power, rather than as someone who fought on the same side as Castro to topple a rightist dictator, though he departed for Texas before the revolution succeeded.

“He was a guerilla, throwing Molotov cocktails and blowing up buildings,” Ted Cruz told the Austin American-Statesman for a profile published in January 2006.

Earlier this month, Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford introduced Cruz to 3,000 Christian conservatives at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., as “the next great conservative hope.”

“He’s the combination of the intellectual skill and principle of [Utah GOP Sen.] Mike Lee and the story, the personal story of a Marco Rubio — his dad having escaped Fidel Castro, came into the United States, working as a dishwasher,” Shackelford said.

Last month, a Houston Chronicle political blog described Cruz as “a Cuban American whose family escaped from Castro tyranny.”

In an interview Monday, Cruz professed not to be aware of confusion about when his father, Rafael Cruz, left Cuba.

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