Archive for the ‘Ted Cruz’ Category
A number of years back, I heard a joke, part of which I can’t remember. Still, I can remember enough of it to make a point. Historic military figures were looking at the Soviet Union’s military hardware. When the tanks rolled through Red Square, Alexander the Great replied, “If I had had these chariots, I would’ve ruled the entire world.” On his left stood Napoleon Bonaparte. After Napoleon read the current copy of Pravda, he replied “If I had this as the official newspaper, nobody would’ve heard of Waterloo.”
The point of the joke isn’t to get people laughing. It’s to make the point that there’s a more insidious type of Pravda operating inside the United States. For the last 5+ years, I’ve called that operation the Agenda Media. The Agenda Media doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to get people important facts. In their minds, their responsibility is to push their politicial agenda. If that means omitting important facts, that’s what they’re willing to do. This video is a perfect illustration of the Agenda Media’s selective editing:
Thankfully, citizen journalists with cell phones are recording things as they happened. Thankfully, citizen journalists with video cameras are informing people by filming protests like this, then posting the video to Youtube, then reposting the videos to their Facebook page, then posting the links to their videos to Twitter.
There’s a more important point to this. OFA isn’t just about protesting against constitutional conservatives. They’re identifying people in communities who might vote for progressives. Conservatives will show up to counterprotest against OFA. The big question is whether they’ll get into the neighborhoods and identify people that might appreciate the conservative/capitalist message.
Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul should be the blueprint for Republicans for 2014. They’re picking fights with President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, which is essential to winning elections. They’re framing debates. For instance, Sen. Coburn is highlighting tens of billions of dollars of duplicative spending that should be eliminated in this budget. Sen. Johnson is highlighting how government is used as a weapon against the citizenry. Paul Ryan is fighting for a pro-growth budget that will eventually balance within a decade.
It’s despicable that the Agenda Media would distort what happened at a protest. As despicable as that is, that’s only part of this story. OFA is already identifying potential Democrat voters. Republicans need to start this week at identifying potential conservative voters.
Tags: Organizing for Action, Gun Control, Protests, Agenda Media, Censorship, Voter ID, Democrats, Tom Coburn, Sequester This, Ron Johnson, Victims of Government Project, Mike Lee, Cut This, Not That, Ted Cruz, Second Amendment, Paul Ryan, Balanced Budget, Rand Paul, TEA Party Conservatives, Election 2014
Gabby Giffords’ NYTimes op-ed is disheartening because it’s based mostly on emotional blackmail. Here’s a perfect example of her emotional blackmail:
SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.
Thankfully, Charles Krauthammer’s reply puts things in proper perspective :
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The question is: Would it have had any effect on Newtown? If you’re going to make all these emotional appeals — he’s saying you’re betraying the families — you’ve got to show how if this had been law it would’ve stopped Newtown. It would not have. It’s irrelevant.
I wouldn’t have objected, I might’ve gone the way of McCain or Toomey on this, but it’s a kind of emotional blackmail as a way of saying, ‘You have to do it for the children.’ Not if there’s no logic in this. And that I think is what’s wrong with the demagoguery that we’ve heard out of the president on this issue. (Special Report, April 17, 2013)
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment wouldn’t have prevented the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT or Aurora, CO. The Manchin-Toomey Amendment was the last part of President Obama’s sweeping gun control legislation still left standing.
The rest of the Obama-Feinstein bill went up in flames because people noticed that the Obama-Feinstein bill wouldn’t have prevented these shootings. For once, the American people insisted on genuine solutions to real problems. They rejected the Democrats’ surely-we-must-do-something legislating style.
The American people said that we don’t have to do something if it isn’t a solution. Doing something for the sake of doing something is mostly about people feeling guilty.
Here’s more from Ms. Giffords’ diatribe:
Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
Expanded background checks wouldn’t have prevented Newtown. It wouldn’t have prevented the Tuscon shooting. Both shooters, Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner, had mental health issues.
Rather than focusing on mental health issues, the gun confiscation crowd focused on confiscating guns:
The governor then laid out several ideas for how the state would enforce stricter laws on those so-called “assault” weapons: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it,” he said.
Dianne Feinstein attempted to use the same emotional blackmail in justifying her legislation. Thankfully, Sen. Cruz, (R-TX), stopped that emotional blackmail dead in its tracks. Sen. Feinstein attempted to justify her gun confiscation legislation by talking about seeing a mayor shot down.
Horrific events don’t give people permission to ignore the Bill of Rights. Apparently, Sen. Feinstein and Ms. Giffords don’t agree with that principle. Their approach is to ignore the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold. Finally, this is disgusting:
Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo, desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation, to go on.
Shame on Ms. Giffords. The “gun lobby” that she’s decrying are mostly made up of ordinary citizens paying $35 a year for membership. These aren’t high-powered K Street lobbyists. They’re your neighbors and co-workers.
As for “the wrong these senators have done,” they voted against an amendment that wouldn’t have solved any problems. God help us if we think voting no on amendments that don’t solve problems is a wrong that needs correcting.
Tags: Gabby Giffords, Dianne Feinstein, Emotional Blackmail, Andrew Cuomo, Gun Confiscation, Jared Loughner, Adam Lanza, Newtown Massacre, Mental Health, Democrats, Second Amendment, Ted Cruz, NRA, Bill of Rights, Constitution
This video shows how in the tank and/or stupid MSNBC is about the Constitution:
Here’s what Andrea Mitchell said about the shootout at the I’m not a sixth grader corral:
I brought my handy pocket Constitution with me today just to make the point that this (the fight between Sen. Cruz and Sen. Feinstein) was not a fair fight because Ted Cruz thought that, somehow, he was going to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who began her career in politics facing the bloodshed in San Francisco when she was elevated to become the mayor after the assassinations there.
Ms. Mitchell is a blowhard and a political hack. Notice that she didn’t address the arguments Sen. Cruz made in belittling Sen. Feinstein in the Judiciary Committee. Here’s that video:
Here’s what Sen. Cruz said that ripped Sen. Feinstein’s arguments to shreds:
My fourth and final point is that the Constitution should be the touchstone of everything we do. Some have suggested in this hearing that the role of Congress is to pass laws and it’s up to the courts to determine constitutionality. I would point out that every one of us takes an oath to defend the Constitution and that is a fundamental obligation of every member of this body.
There has been a suggestion that Heller would allow this regulation. I would point out that I am not unfamiliar with the Heller case. Indeed, I represented 31 states before the Supreme Court in the Heller case. So I have an intimate familiarity with that case, having been an active part in litigating and winning it 5-4 before the Supreme Court. And what the Supreme Court said in Heller — it did say there are some restrictions on the Second Amendment that are permissable. For example, it specifically identified the current ban on fully automatic machine guns. But it also said that weapons that are in common use, such as, in that case handguns were the principle issue being discussed, and the same arguments that are being suggested about why assault weapons could be banned were made by the District of Columbia in Heller why handguns could be banned.
The Supreme Court said “No, if they’re in common use for self defense, they cannot be banned consistent with the Second Amendment.” We have heard testimony that there are some 4,000,000 weapons that would be covered by this legislation. I would suggest that, by any measure, 4,000,000 weapons qualifies as common use. So, under the terms in Heller, they can not be constitutionally prohibited.
Mitchell’s argument is based totally on the logic that Sen. Feinstein has been in DC a long time. She’s the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Therefore, she wins the fight. Sen. Cruz’s argument is based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Heller, which dealt with Washington, DC’s ban on handguns.
In that case, the Supreme Court ruled DC’s handgun ban unconstitutional because it infringes on people’s right to defend themselves and their families. That’s consistent with the plain language of the Second Amendment.
If Ms. Mitchell wants to argue against SCOTUS’ ruling in Heller, she has to argue against the plain language of the Second Amendment. That’s an uphill fight at best.
Sen. Feinstein’s argument, if it can even be classified as such, isn’t based on the Constitution. It’s based on the time-tested liberal axiom of “Surely, we must do something.” That axiom isn’t rooted in thinking things through. It’s based on emotion, which is basing policy on the shakiest of grounds.
Ms. Mitchell is right in the sense that this wasn’t a fair fight. Sen. Feinstein was overmatched by the freshman Republican who knew substantially more about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
It’s pretty embarrassing when a freshman schools a committee chair on the chair’s supposed area of expertise. That’s what happened, though. That’s because Sen. Feinstein didn’t think about the rights protected by the Constitution. Conversely, Sen. Cruz had an intimate and thorough understanding of the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling.
What’s most delightful is that the best is yet to come. Sen. Feinstein’s bill doesn’t stand a fighting chance in the Senate. I’d bet that Republicans won’t filibuster Sen. Feinstein’s bill because they’ll want vulnerable Democrats to vote on Sen. Feinstein’s bill.
The confrontation between Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Cruz showed how little respect Sen. Feinstein has for the Bill of Rights. When she told Sen. Cruz that she “isn’t a sixth-grader“, she guaranteed tons of publicity for her bill. Here’s the key exchange between Sen. Cruz and Sen. Feinstein:
“Would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?” Cruz said, speaking to Feinstein.
“Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures, could properly apply only to the following specified individuals, and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the law?”
Pointing her finger and glaring at Cruz, Feinstein shot back.
“One, I’m not a sixth grader,” Feinstein said. “Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.
“I’m not a lawyer,” she added, “but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”
“I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word ‘prohibit’ – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don’t think so.”
First, Sen. Feinstein apparently thinks that it’s ok to infringe upon people’s rights to defend themselves. Second, it’s apparent that Sen. Feinstein thinks there’s a secret exception to the Second Amendment, one where it’s ok to prohibit the manufacture of certain types of weapons as long as a pompous senator “saw people shot with” the weapons she wants banned.
Using Sen. Feinstein’s logic, she’d be fine with banning the manufacture of handguns, too. In fact, handguns kill more people than so-called assault weapons by a huge margin.
What’s frightening is Sen. Feinstein’s criteria for violating the Bill of Rights. Apparently, Sen. Feinstein thinks anything that looks frightening should be banned. Sen. Feinstein apparently didn’t pay attention to the SCOTUS rulings on the DC and Chicago bans on handguns. The text of the Second Amendment is clear:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Passing laws that prohibit the manufacture of certain types of guns is infringing on the people’s right to protect themselves.
What’s most frightening isn’t that Sen. Feinstein isn’t smarter than a sixth grader. It’s that she doesn’t respect the clearly written text of the Bill of Rights.
Bill Kristol’s article misses the point of Rand Paul’s filibuster. First, here’s part of what Kristol wrote about Paul’s filibuster:
On the other hand, Paul’s political genius strikes us as very much of the short-term variety. Will it ultimately serve him well to be the spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party? How much staying power is there in a political stance that requires waxing semihysterical about the imminent threat of Obama-ordered drone strikes against Americans sitting in cafés? And as for the other Republican senators who rushed to the floor to cheer Paul on, won’t they soon be entertaining second thoughts? Is patting Rand Paul on the back for his fearmongering a plausible path to the presidency for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? Is embracing kookiness a winning strategy for the Republican party? We doubt it.
This totally misreads what Rand Paul did. Sen. Paul’s filibuster was about defending the Constitution, nothing more, nothing less. Had Eric Holder said that presidents don’t have the constitutional authority to use a drone-fired missile on a US citizen on US soil, the filibuster never would’ve happened. If Mr. Kristol thinks that that qualifies Sen. Paul for the “Code Pink faction of the Republican Party”, he’d better quickly rethink that opinion.
The rest of Kristol’s paragraph is based on his misreading of Sen. Paul’s filibuster. Actually, it isn’t implausible to think that playing to the TEA Party “faction of the Republican Party” is a smart tactic for winning in 2016. That’s what Sen. Paul’s filibuster was about. Finally, there’s someone willing to stand up for the Constitution. Finally, there’s a Republican who’s willing to cut spending.
The past 2 weeks have been horrific weeks for President Obama. He tried intimidating the Republicans into another tax increase. He tried peddling the notion that reducing the size of the increase by $44,000,000,000 would cause poor children to starve, airplanes to drop from the sky and meat inspections to end until further notice.
And that’s before he cancelled White House tours that he said were the result of sequestration’s draconian cuts. Sen. Coburn and Sen. Lee have done a masterful job of highlighting the billions of dollars of wasteful spending in this year’s budget. While they were challenging President Obama on sequestration, Sen. Paul was challenging the Obama administration on the commander-in-chief’s authorities granted by the US Constitution.
As a result of these senators’ challenges, President Obama looks weaker than he did a month ago. His job approval ratine shows it, having dropped from 55% to 46%.
As for Sens. Cruz, Lee, Rubio, Toomey, Paul and Johnson, I’d argue that they’re part of the ‘picking smart fights faction of the GOP’. That’s the wing of the GOP that I’ll enthusiastically associate with.
Tags: Drone Strikes, President Obama, Eric Holder, Code Pink, Democrats, US Constitution, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Sequester This, Not That, TEA Party, GOP, Election 2016
This letter to the CEOs of gun manufacturers Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson and the CEOs of TDBank and Bank of America is a delight to read:
What’s even better is Sen. Cruz’s shot at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
Finally, to Mayor Emanuel, you recently were obliged to pay over $1.1 million of taxpayer money in legal fees due to your unsuccessful assault on the Second Amendment. And your city’s longstanding policies stripping your citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms have, in turn, produced some of the highest crime and murder rates in the nation.
Your continued anti-gun crusade may well cause some to wonder if the interests of the citizens of Chicago are being sacrificed in pursuit of a partisan agenda.
Regardless, directing your attacks at legitimate firearms manufacturers undermines the Second Amendment rights of millions of Texans. In the future, I would ask that you keep your efforts to diminish the Bill of Rights north of the Red River.
Sen. Cruz is the next rising star in the GOP. What’s fantastic about him is that a) he doesn’t get intimidated, b) he knows the Constitution, c) he’s willing to challenge Constitution-hating bullies like Emanuel and d) he fights for law-abiding companies.
Rahm Emanuel is foolish for picking this fight. Sen. Cruz isn’t just right on this issue. I’ve seen video of him debating. He’s very quick on his feet in that setting. He’s the last guy Emanuel should pick a fight with.