Archive for the ‘presidential politics’ Category

Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

January 15, 2016

Republican Debate: Race to the Bottom

At the 6th Republican Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina, it was difficult to identify the real Donald Trump. All seven participants seemed to be angry and irrational, apparently the chief requirements for the GOP candidacy this year.

More:

“Fact Checker of Republican Debate Hospitalized for Exhaustion,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs

January 14, 2016

Ted Cruz, Senator from Goldman Sachs
While running for his U.S. Senate seat in 2012, Texas Republican Ted Cruz failed to disclose a $500,000 campaign loan from Goldman Sachs, reports the New York Times. That’s especially awkward since Ted’s missus, Heidi Nelson Cruz, is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in Houston. In fact, Chad Sweet, Cruz 2016 presidential campaign manager, worked for Goldman Sachs for 10 years. Candidate Cruz has recently tried to distance himself from Goldman as part of his hardly credible populist pose.

Besides that sizeable low-interest loan from his wife’s bosses, Mr. Cruz apparently got one from Citibank, too. Other campaigns have been fined for failing to make such disclosures to the FEC. The Cruz campaign’s response to the Times story: “Ooops.”

More:

“Ted Cruz Hates ‘New York Values’ But Sure Loves New York Money,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“Ted Cruz’s Loan from Goldman Sachs Was a Bullish Bet on the Obama Economy,” David Nir, AlterNet

Related:

“Goldman Sachs Will Pay $5 Billion To Settle Financial-Crisis Claims,” Jim Zarroli, NPR News

“The Great American Bubble Machine,” Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Birther

January 7, 2016

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Birther

Donald Trump told an interviewer the issue of Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth could be “very precarious” for the GOP if Senator Cruz emerges as the Republican presidential nominee, since a U.S. president is required to be a “natural-born” U.S. citizen and Mr. Cruz was born in Canada. Since Mommy Cruz was a U.S. citizen, Calgary-born Ted is considered a natural U.S. citizen, but was automatically granted dual Canadian citizenship by accident of natal geography.

Ted Cruz forgot about that last fact until recently reminded by the Dallas Morning News. He finally renounced his Ottawa allegience and hasn’t been Canadian for the last 18 months. Even so, Senator Rand Paul thinks his Texan colleague is “without question … qualified … to be prime minister of Canada.”

Donald Trump, of course, was Obama-birther-in-chief in days gone by. He probably casts doubt on title claims when negotiating for real estate, too.

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Un-American. Unconstitutional. Unacceptable.

December 9, 2015

Un-American. Unconstitutional. Unacceptable.
Making people from a minority group wear identity badges, registering them in a database and tracking themDenying sanctuary to refugees due to their faith traditions and returning them to deadly war zones. Closing houses of worship. Barring valid travelers from entering this country due solely to their religion.

That’s not America.

A man who grew up across the street from his German-American immigrant grandmother should know better. Even one who is an egocentric, bigoted, billionaire bully.

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Image (after a Leytonstone Tube Station passenger) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

November 18, 2015

GOP Circus Loses Another Clown

Did you know that lame-duck Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was running for president? Probably not; few people did. But don’t worry – he just dropped out of the race. Man, those Duck Dynasty folks are mighty disappointed.

Gov. Jindal’s campaign spent more money than it raised last quarter, but that’s kind of a habit for him. He’s leaving office with the state budget $500 million in the hole. Maybe the budget just needs an exorcism. Anyway, that’s the next governor’s problem.

When his term is over, Mr. Jindal will hang out at America Next, the nonprofit advocacy group (not a “think tank”) he set up to launder money for his campaign, not that there was much of it.

More:

“Bobby Jindal drops out of White House race,” Alex Isenstadt, Politico

“Why Bobby Jindal’s Candidacy Failed,” Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Dr. Carson’s Snake Oil

November 4, 2015

Dr. Carson's Snake Oil

One of the so-called “gotcha” questions Carl Quintanilla asked Dr. Ben Carson on CNBC’s October 28th reality show was about his involvement with Mannatech, a shady medical supplement company. “I didn’t have an involvement with them,” the candidate replied. “That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda,” the Doc harrumphed. A great media moment, but denying a verifiable fact is never a good long-term strategy.

Ten months before the debate, Jim Geraghty of the National Review described Ben Carson’s decade-long relationship with the purveyor of unproven “neutraceutical” nostrums, a firm that paid $4 million to settle a false medical claims suit, a firm thouroughly discredited in a 2007 ABC 20/20 investigation.

So Mr. Quintanilla’s debate question should have come as no surprise. Ben Carson shilled for Mannatech on PBS in 2014 and The Wall Street Journal‘s Mark Maremont had outlined Dr. Carson’s decade-long relationship with Mannatech just weeks before the CNBC event.

Since the debate, has Dr. Carson addressed the fact that for 10 years he promoted medical hokum for money? No. He tried to sidestep the issue of his personal and professional ethics by blaming his political opponents for raising this controversy, another clear falsehood. So much for the moral high ground.

More:

“What Ben Carson’s Mannatech Answer Tells Us,” Jim Geraghty, National Review

“Springtime for Grifters,”New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Senator Rubio: ‘I’m Not an Absentee, I’m an Outsider!’

October 30, 2015

Senator Rubio: 'I'm Not an Absentee, I'm an Outsider!'

First-term Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), congressional quitter and presidential candidate, has missed more votes than any other senator in the current Congress. Telling Jeb Bush that other people missed votes years ago doesn’t change that.

Besides, Mr. Rubio says, he isn’t playing hooky, he’s a rebel, an outsider.

“When pressed on CNN’s State of the Union about why he’s missed so many votes, the senator explained a lot of them ‘won’t mean anything’ and will ultimately go nowhere or get vetoed by Obama. But isn’t that a bit hypocritical, since Rubio just declared that federal workers who don’t perform their jobs should be able to be fired? ‘Voting is not the only part of the Senate job. The most important thing a senator does is constituent service,’ Rubio explained, adding that he still attends intelligence briefings. ‘I’m not missing votes because I’m on vacation,’ he said. ‘I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again.'”

— “Marco Rubio Is Skipping Senate Votes Because He’s a Washington Outsider,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Trump: Born on Third Base

October 28, 2015

Trump: Born on Third Base

“’It has not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars,’ Trump remarked. ‘I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back, and I had to pay him back with interest.'”

— “Trump: My dad gave me a ‘small loan’ of a million dollars,” Nick Gass, Politico

Trump père, Fred, left an estate worth $200 million in 1999, and son Donald, self-made man, inherited about $40 million of it.

“I’m running for office in a country that’s essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman.” — Donald Trump in Rolling Stone.

Donald J. Trump was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. He isn’t rich because he’s a great investor. He’s rich because his dad was rich, because he likes to spend other people’s money, and because he enjoyed government incentives. But given that head start, just how successful has he really been?

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Jeb Bush Endorses Gingrich Moonbase Plan

October 18, 2015

Jeb Bush Endorses Gingrich Moonbase Plan
“This week while campaigning in New Hampshire, presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked how he would reinvigorate the space program if he were elected, and he brought up Newt’s Moon base idea. ‘People started laughing, and I’m thinking, ‘Really?’ I think it’s pretty cool,’ Bush said to a crowd of supporters, saying there’s nothing wrong with having big, aspirational goals. He didn’t promise anything specific about the idea, but he noted that America should partner with commercial spaceflight entrepreneurs like Elon Musk to turn our spaceflight dreams into reality.”

— “Jeb Bush thinks Newt Gingrich’s Moon colony idea is ‘pretty cool,'” Loren Grush, The Verge

It’s not just because Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich are both Republicans. He may have been speaking to New Hampshire voters, but Jeb Bush spent eight years as governor of Florida, a state with a huge aerospace industry, which could really use the work, no matter how goofy the project.

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Dr. Ben Carson Re-Writes the Hippocratic Oath

October 9, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson Re-Writes the Hippocratic Oath

“As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. … but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

Benjamin Carson MD

In a graphic elaboration of Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens,” retired brain surgeon Ben Carson explained that you’re gonna die of gunshot wounds to defend a willful misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment.

Dr. Carson also suggested that President Obama forgo visiting the grieving families of Roseburg, Oregon and wait for the next mass shooting. There’s never a long wait; there’s been a mass shooting almost every day this year.

Thanks, Doc. Time for a second opinion.

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