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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,239

Journal Archives

Cruz Hopes To Tap Into Immense Popularity of Carly Fiorina

INDIANAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—In choosing the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina as his running mate, Senator Ted Cruz hopes to tap into the immense popularity of one of the most beloved public figures in America.

Minutes after the news of Cruz’s selection leaked, political insiders called the choice of the wildly adored Fiorina a game-changer for the Cruz campaign.

“It’s no secret that Ted Cruz has some trouble with likeability,” the Republican strategist Harland Dorrinson said. “What better way to fix that than by choosing Carly Fiorina, a person everyone is absolutely crazy about?”

Fiorina’s reputation for winning the hearts of everyone she comes in contact with dates back to her days as the incredibly well-liked C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard and, before that, Lucent Technologies.


It's silly season in California

Got the voter guide the other day, and there's a real wealth of information in the candidate statements for the Senate.

"Run for God’s Heart and America’s Freedom, challenge 10 giant chaos in economy and economy-related sectors."

"My campaign represents ending international bankers’ rule and their financial exploitation of nations; reestablishing people’s rule by creating a Citizen’s Bank to serve as America’s central bank; ending mind control slavery; ending non-consensual human experimentation; ending hunger, homelessness and violence; protecting earth, water, air, forests, oceans and animals; practicing Christ consciousness and implementing constitutional justice under the leadership of the US/UN. Through my national and international research and political activism, I identified “mind control slavery” by satellite energy technology weapons and social engineering programs that have been in continual development for the past 50 years and facilitated their “declassification”."

"I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I stand for the poor, elderly, and disabled, environmental issues, unions, small business, and represent the average citizen."

"I am mainstream Facebook in social media! My core values drive America!"


"To reverse downward spiral of last II8 years: balance our budget, resist war, reduce costs, reduce taxes, repeal welfare and minimum wage so all can find jobs."

"I have my attorney’s license in Washington D.C. and was a pilot in the US Air Force. I understand the economic, financial and legal challenges in balancing budgets and effectively serve the public and Veterans. In addition I am an Eagle Scout."

"*S.A.V.E. the future!*"

And my favorite...


How the left blew it in Latin America

In the end, the populist revolutionaries who swept to power in Latin America a decade ago proved to be worse than the corrupt oligarchs they replaced. Instead of ushering in a new day of good governance and transparency, the Bolivarian revolution is fizzling out under the weight of its own massive corruption, ties to organized crime, intolerance and megalomania.

The promises of the rule of law, democratic openings, and authentic “people’s power” were mirages that have vanished. It will take years for the continent to recover from the wreckage of authoritarian populism that many initially thought held so much promise.

What is most disillusioning is that this discredited generation of revolutionary leaders had a real chance to substantially remake Latin America by offering a more inclusive, fair and less corrupt model of government.

Many of the leaders (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, his successor Dilma, Rousseff in Brazil; Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua; Salvador Sánchez Cerén in El Salvador) had actually put their lives on the line to defeat the old authoritarian and exclusionary order. Others like Rafael Correa in Ecuador; Hugo Chávez in Venezuela; Evo Morales in Bolivia were genuine political outsiders with a real opportunity to create new governance models unmoored from the chokehold of traditional elites. Some, like Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, were simply megalomaniacal. All failed abysmally.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article73237642.html?ref=yfp#storylink=cpy

'Game of Thrones'? More like waste of time


For those who must live and work among them, the next couple of months will be a challenge. Beginning this Sunday, these loyal subjects will return to Muggleshire, or Rivenmoore or wherever it is that HBO's "Game of Thrones" is supposed to take place. Prepare yourself for loved ones and co-workers shocked, outraged and generally agitated by the imaginary things that happen in this magical land that never existed.

Of all the successes HBO has enjoyed with its hour-long dramas, "Game of Thrones" is perhaps the most surprising. Who could have foreseen that fantasy, a genre that suppresses the horrors of middle school by escaping into the womb of Middle Earth, would emerge as the ratings champion of premium cable? Why have programming executives surrendered Sunday nights to those lost souls you see in the park eating turkey legs and jousting with plywood broadswords?

For those allergic to blood oaths and derring-do, HBO's decision to schedule "Thrones" in the wake of Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese's "Vinyl" only compounds the humiliation. Just when all the cool kids were getting into grimy nostalgia for '70s sleaze, "Game of Thrones" arrives to rub our noses in the folderol of magic, dragons and pidgin Shakespeare. It's like being at a party where someone rips "Exile On Main Street" off the turntable and forces everyone to play Dungeons and Dragons.


Ted Cruz Asks Central Park Hansom Cab Driver How Much It Costs To Whip Horse For An Hour

NEW YORK—Saying the activity seemed like the perfect way to spend some free time while he was visiting Manhattan, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz reportedly asked a hansom cab driver in Central Park Tuesday how much it would cost to whip his horse for one hour.

“Excuse me, sir, beauty of a horse you’ve got. How much are you charging to flog it for an hour or so?” said the Texas senator, who quickly clarified that he did not want to go anywhere or even sit in the carriage, but would instead prefer to beat the horse with a riding crop at his leisure for a period of 60 minutes.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamed about thrashing a hansom cab horse in Central Park. I can’t wait to give it a couple good whacks on the face. I’m trying to really experience all New York has to offer while I’m here.”

After he was turned down by the driver, Cruz reportedly told onlookers he would instead head down to the Central Park pond to feed on the ducks.


German automakers who once laughed off Elon Musk are now starting to worry

It wasn't long ago when the German car industry was still laughing out loud about Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors electric car company.

The proud makers of the world's top-selling luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche could not fathom how a small-time, loss-making upstart from California could ever compete with the giants of the industry that had a century and a half of experience and expertise. In November, a former Daimler chairman, Edzard Reuter, even called Tesla "a joke that can't be taken seriously compared to the great car companies of Germany" and dismissed Musk as a "pretender."

But the patronizing laughter came to a screeching halt after more than 325,000 buyers from around the world lined up to put down $1,000 reservations to order Tesla's Model 3 in the first week — even though the company's electric car for the masses, priced from $35,000, won't go into production for another 18 months.

Some in Germany are now, rather belatedly, seeing Tesla as a long-term threat to the pride and joy of the country's economy: the car industry that employs 750,000 workers and indirectly accounts for 1 in 8 jobs.


Go Tesla!

In Kansas, lawmakers lose patience with governor's tax cuts

After he became Kansas governor in 2011, Sam Brownback slashed personal income taxes on the promise that the deep cuts would trigger a furious wave of hiring and expansion by businesses.

But the "shot of adrenaline" hasn't worked as envisioned, and the state budget has been in crisis ever since. Now many of the same Republicans who helped pass Brownback's plan are in open revolt, refusing to help the governor cut spending so he can avoid rolling back any of his signature tax measures.

If Brownback won't reconsider any of the tax cuts, they say, he will have to figure out for himself how to balance the budget in the face of disappointing revenue.

"Let him own it," Republican Rep. Mark Hutton said. "It's his policy that put us there."


Another Republican economic miracle.

Kerry should denounce Venezuela’s ‘coup’

When I asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview whether Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has staged a de facto coup by refusing to accept his country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly’s laws, he refused to take the bait. Kerry said, “I don’t characterize it. I don’t use labels.”

But, before we get into whether he should have responded with a resounding “yes,” let’s take a close look at his full answer.

“What I do think is that there is gridlock in Venezuela, and that President Maduro is certainly ignoring what has been expressed by the will of the people in the recent elections. That’s very dangerous,” Kerry told me. He added, “We want to have a normal relationship with Venezuela. We are not engaged in any activity against the government of Venezuela.”

Pressing him on the issue, I mentioned to him that Venezuela’s National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup told me earlier last week that the National Assembly is planning to ask the 34-country Organization of American States (OAS) to apply its Democratic Charter against the Venezuelan president for rejecting veto-proof laws passed by the congress.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article72220692.html

On Primary Day in New York, Trump Eyes a Delegate Sweep, While Clinton Aims to Extinguish ‘the Bern’

Donald Trump will finish his Empire State campaign rallying supporters with Bills coach Rex Ryan in Buffalo, while Hillary Clinton schmoozes with Stephen Colbert in Manhattan, and Bernie Sanders completes his frenzied tour of all five boroughs. Then, as New Yorkers head to the polls on Tuesday, Trump will dream of a delegate sweep, while Clinton makes the the final arrangements for the Sanders campaign’s funeral, and Bernie-backers pray for another Michigan miracle.

The most recent polls show each party’s front-runner in a commanding position. A CBS News/YouGov poll puts Trump over Ohio governor John Kasich by 33 points, while an Emerson University poll puts him up by 34; in both surveys, the Donald commands over 50 percent. FiveThirtyEight puts the odds of a Trump victory tomorrow at greater than 99 percent. But that doesn’t mean the mogul won’t be wringing his tiny hands while waiting to hear the returns: The New York GOP’s complex delegate allocation rules may allow the Donald’s rivals to diminish the significance of his win.

Here’s the trouble for Trump: Each of New York's 27 congressional districts has three delegates to award. If the Donald clears 50 percent in a district, he lays claim to all three — but if he comes in anywhere below that threshold, even at 49 percent, he collects two delegates, and the runner-up takes one. According to a Politico poll released last week, Trump runs up big margins in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, but he's stuck around 40 percent in many districts upstate. And then there are districts like Charlie Rangel’s up in Harlem, where the race will be decided by, approximately, two Republican families. The Politico poll suggests that Cruz and Kasich could scoop up as many as 24 of the state’s 95 delegates. With Trump’s path to a pre-convention majority already claustrophobically narrow, the front-runner has to hope that late-deciders upstate give him a few more district-level landslides.

On the Democratic side, polls from over the weekend show the race tightening, but it will likely be too little, too late for the political revolution. A CBS News/YouGov poll from over the weekend puts Sanders within ten, matching his best showing from a top-tier firm in the state. An Emerson University poll released Monday shows him trailing by 15 — still up 3 points from last week and 33 points from last month, when Emerson gave Clinton a 48-point lead over the Vermont senator. Nonetheless, a RealClearPolitics average of all polls puts Clinton up by nearly 13, and FiveThirtyEight puts the odds of a Clinton victory in the Empire State at 99 percent.


Cuba calls Obama visit 'an attack' as Communists defend ideology

Source: Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Communist-led Cuba was an "attack" on its history and culture aimed at misleading a new business class, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Monday, the latest sign of blow-back after the ground-breaking trip last month.

"In this visit, there was a deep attack on our ideas, our history, our culture and our symbols," Rodriguez said at the Communist Party congress.

Cuban leaders have hardened language against the United States since Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years, with Fidel Castro accusing him of sweet-talking the people.

President Raul Castro referred to the United States as "the enemy" in the opening speech of the party congress over the weekend and told Cubans to be alert to U.S. attempts to weaken the revolution.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/cuba-minister-calls-obama-visit-attack-communists-defend-174532222--finance.html

Sounds as if Cuban leadership feels threatened by Obama's modest attempt to normalize the relationship between the two countries.
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