If You Don’t Think Ted Cruz is Running for President in 2016, You Haven’t Seen His Schedule

April 11th, 2014

Some political observers think Ted Cruz will pass on running in the 2016 Presidential race, including the very perceptive liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz, who says flatly that “Cruz won’t run in 2016.”

I would suggest to those who don’t think Cruz is running should look at his travel schedule. This Saturday, for example, Cruz has a pretty hectic itinerary in New Hampshire:

Saturday, April 12

10:00 am ET – Nashua
Greater Nashua NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Nashua City Hall, Back Parking Lot
229 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060

11:00 am ET – Manchester
Greater Manchester NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Livingston Park, Pool Parking Lot
14 Red Coat Lane (off Hooksett Road)
Manchester, NH 03104

1:35 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to hold media availability
The Executive Court
Media Room
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109

2:15 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to speak at Americans for Prosperity “Freedom Summit”
The Executive Court
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109

He’s also been to Iowa this year:

Tuesday, March 18

1:40 pm CT – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) Homeschool Day at the Capitol
Marriott Hotel Downtown
Iowa Ballroom
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

7:40 pm CT – Mason City, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Cerro Gordo County GOP Dinner
The Music Man Square
308 South Pennsylvania Avenue
Mason City, IA 50401

There were a significant number of events in Iowa and new Hampshire last year as well:

Friday, October 25

7:00 pm – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz keynotes 2013 Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan Dinner
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Iowa Events Center
730 3rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~7:30 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program in room 402.

Saturday, October 26

12:00 pm – Les Mars, IA
Sen. Cruz Speaks at Defenders of Freedom Banquet
Le Mars Convention Center
Banquet Hall
275 12th Street, SE
Le Mars, IA 51031

NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~1:05 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program.

Friday, August 23 – Dublin, New Hampshire

4:45 p.m. ET
Media Availability
Knollwood Farm
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444

6:30 p.m. ET
New Hampshire GOP Summer Backyard Party
Knollwood Farm
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444

On Saturday, August 10, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.

Saturday, August 10

3:50 p.m. – Ames, IA
Iowa State University
Stephens Auditorium
400 Beach Avenue
Ames, IA 50011

*NOTE: Sen. Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, will speak prior to the Senator at 3:35 p.m.

If Cruz isn’t running, he’s sure spending an awful lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire for a Senator from Texas.

For an additional data point, note that there’s already a Draft Ted Cruz Super PAC that just happens to be run by Cruz regional director Raz Shafer (and a rare kudo for David Weigel for doing the leg, er, Google and WHOIS work).

Finally, this video on the Ted Cruz for Senate YouTube channel sure sounds like a campaign ad:

If I had to bet money, I’d say Cruz is running for the Presidency in 2016, and I think he’ll make a formidable candidate.

When Democrats Say There’s No Voter Fraud, They’re Lying

April 10th, 2014

There’s an risible liberal talking point that continues to rear its ugly head regarding ACORN and the Democratic Party’s demonstrated record of voting fraud:

“That’s not voting fraud, that’s voter registration fraud.”

Before we address the talking point proper (which seems to have originated at the liberally biased “fact checking” site FactChek.org), let us note that:

  1. Voter registration is merely a specific type of voter fraud, not something entirely different.

  2. Both kinds are deeply destructive of the “one man, one vote” principles of representative democracy.
  3. The FBI places both registration and at-the-polls fraud in the same category of fraud.

So in summary, there is no legal distinction between “voting fraud” and “voter registration fraud.”

However, even when making that dubious distinction, there have been numerous, documented instances of Democrats and ACORN staffers (but I repeat myself) committing in-person voting fraud:

  • Take, for example, this case in Troy, New York:

    Four Democratic officials and political operatives have pleaded guilty to voter fraud-related felony charges in an alleged scheme to steal an election in Troy, N.Y., FoxNews.com reports.

    The group forged signatures on applications for absentee ballots and on the ballots themselves in a 2009 primary of the Working Families Party, which was affiliated with now-defunct community group ACORN.

  • Or how about Massachussets Democrat State Rep. Stephen Smith (a member of the Joint Committee on Election Laws” who plead guilty to voter fraud and resigned after casting fraudulent absentee ballots “in multiple elections.”
  • Three Arkansas Democrats and a police officer pleaded guilty to…bribing voters for their absentee ballots for a local election in 2011.”
  • In Indiana, a “former state representative and longtime Jennings County Democratic Party worker received an 18-month sentence Wednesday for three felony convictions of voter fraud” for registering and voting the ballots of other people.
  • “A Milwaukee man pleaded guilty Monday to illegally voting five times last year in West Milwaukee, when in fact he did not have residency there.”
  • Here’s a Brownsville woman voting multiple times in the Democratic primary.
  • Here’s a Maryland woman who plead guilty to trying to cast the vote of her recently deceased mother.
  • So even by the standards of facetious distinctions between “voting fraud” and “voter registration fraud,” Democrats and ACORN have committed plenty of both.

    No wonder they oppose Voter ID…

    WordPress Appears To Be Broken Today

    April 10th, 2014

    It won’t save drafts. More specifically, it won’t save drafts from the dashboard, though you can publish them, and you can edited previously save drafts.

    If you save a draft from the dashboard, it creates what appears to be a copy of the last draft you have before than. Clicking on that draft brings up that older draft, and the duplicate then disappears from the list of drafts when you go back.

    This is on WordPress 3.7.2, which was working yesterday.

    I’m hoping this is a transient error…

    Update: Upgraded to 3.8.2, and Quick Draft still appears to be broken…

    Venezuela: A Ray of Light Amidst the Encroaching Darkness?

    April 9th, 2014

    When last we checked, Venezuela had come down with a case of Terminal Socialism. Here’s an update.

    Faced with crippling inflation and a shortage of basic goods due to endemic cronyism, horrible mismanagement and laughable official exchange rates, Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has finally thrown in the towel and instituted floating exchange rates… sort of:

    A dollar will cost you 6.3 bolívares if you are the government, or if you can persuade Cencoex (the government’s foreign-trade body) that you intend to import vital goods such as food or medicine. Then there’s the Sicad I rate, currently just over 10 bolívares to the dollar, but contingent on irregular, “auctions” (which are nothing of the sort). The new Sicad II process, which is as close to a free market as the government will allow, opened at a whopping 50 bolívares to the dollar. But even that is a bargain compared with the unofficial exchange rate, which at the time of writing stands at almost 68 bolívares.

    Meanwhile, shortages of basic goods mean Venezuelans get to enjoy that classic staple of late stage socialism: waiting in line to get food:

    And the violent crackdown against opposition protesters continues:

    Naturally, as a prelude to cracking down on the opposition, they followed the old socialist playbook by outlawing private ownership of guns. It’s always so much easier to oppress people once they’ve been disarmed. Even so, as the following video (via Legal Insurrection) shows, police don’t always get the upper hand:

    Security forces have also committed dozens of documented instances of torture.

    Are there any rays of home in the grim situation? Yes, Maduro’s government and opposition leaders have agreed to talks. Whether these can actually accomplish anything remains to be seen, but the fact that Maduro “ruled out any changes to the course of what he calls the Bolivarian revolution, the distinct brand of socialism created by his predecessor in office, Hugo Chavez,” tends to indicate that the prognosis is still grim.

    Other Venezuela news:

  • An interview with the jailed opposition leader.
  • Two relative of opposition figures murdered.
  • Globovision assignment editor Nairobi Pinto kidnapped.
  • Spain halts shipments of riot gear.
  • Ben Carson for President: Save Your Money

    April 8th, 2014

    I’ve been getting a lot of political solicitations this year, one of which came from the Draft Ben Carson for President campaign.

    Since this is now a real thing (run by a John Philip Sousa IV) collecting real money, I would like to do my part to quash it.

    Ben Carson is an impressive person with a compelling life story, but giving money to this particular cause is a bad idea, for numerous reasons:

  • Carson himself has said he’s not running.
  • As impressive as Carson is, he’s never held or run for political office. The Presidency of the United States of America is not an entry-level position. Potential Presidential candidates should run for and win at least one high profile office before running for President*. Carson has not done that, though I’d love to see him run for Governor of Maryland.
  • There are no shortage of potential first-tier conservative Republican candidates for 2016: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Rick Perry are all far more credible and experienced candidates than Carson.
  • The idea that MSM would “go easy” on Carson because he’s black is bunk. Were he to somehow become the nominee, he would instantly become a threat to their narrative, and I suspect the attacks we’d see on his history, character, etc., would probably make those against Sarah Palin in 2008 look mild by comparison.
  • Money is fungible. Every dollar you give to Draft Ben Carson is a dollar that could be spent defeating Democratic Senators or Congressmen this year.
  • The only thing donating to the Draft Ben Carson campaign will accomplish is to pad the bank accounts of political consultants and direct mail specialists.

    Though I think we can all agree that Ben Carson would be a dynamite choice for Surgeon General…

    *This requirement is optional for any candidate that kicked Adolf Hitler into the dustbin of history.

    Leland Yee/Shrimp Boy Chow Update for April 7, 2014

    April 7th, 2014

    Here are some updates to the story of California Democratic State Senator Leland Yee and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s federal weapons trafficking charges, via Dwight and Instapundit (among others):

  • “State Sen. Leland Yee spent campaign donations in recent years to travel to the Philippines, the country from which federal authorities accuse him of arranging to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of military-style weapons.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • How did Yee escape terrorism charges? The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not among the “56 foreign terrorist organizations designated by the U.S. State Department.”
  • Both Yee and Chow hire new lawyers.
  • Problem: California Democratic State Senator is illegally trafficking arms to international terrorist groups. Solution: California Democrats ask Obama to ban the import of “assault weapons.” It’s like Al Capone’s fellow mobsters making an impassioned plea for stricter laws on bootlegging. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yee wasn’t just a gun control fanatic, he was an anti-corruption crusader as well. (Insta again.)
  • It took more than a week for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to finally mention that Yee was indicted for arms trafficking…and she still failed to mention he was a staunch advocate for gun control.
  • The guns of the Leland Yee scandal. I’d like to fire a Tavor Assault Rifle, but they seem to garner a hefty premium over AR-pattern rifles. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Last time I checked, CNN still hasn’t covered the Leland Yee gun trafficking story. But thank God they covered his opposition to banning shark fin soup!
  • And speaking of CNN, maybe it’s not a coincidence that their ratings are near an all-time low.

  • San Francisco journalist spends a thousand or so words not explaining why San Francisco’s numerous professional journalists didn’t even catch a whiff of the the scandal. Hey, I think my tweet above just may have a clue…
  • Though he wasn’t in custody during the initial arraignment, sports agent co-conspirator Marlon Sullivan was taken into custody in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • Hope You Didn’t Want To Do Anything in Downtown Austin This Week

    April 7th, 2014

    This week, UT’s LBJ Presidential Library is having a three-day Civil Rights Summit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For this they’ve managed to snag four different past and present U.S. Presidents:

    President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at a Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, April 10, 2014….President Obama will be joined by three former Presidents who will also deliver remarks at the Civil Rights Summit: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on April 10.

    That’s a real feather in the cap for the LBJ Library and whoever arranged the summit, but it’s likely going to mean a huge pain in the ass to anyone who wants to do something in Austin when Obama comes to town. Obama’s over-protective security detail usually bring traffic to a complete standstill wherever he goes. I don’t know his schedule, but if he comes in and leaves Thursday, expect everyplace from the airport up to about 35th street to be all bit impassable for much of the day.

    Better pack a lunch…

    Texas Statewide Race Updates for April 4, 2014

    April 4th, 2014

    My taxes and family health issues have curtailed blogging somewhat, so here are some statewide race updates, some of which stretch back to just after the primary:

  • The Weekly Standard covers the Abbott campaign.

    One Abbott supporter in Edinburg, former state representative Aaron Peña, is a Democrat-turned-Republican with strong ties to the valley. He says his fellow Hispanic Texans may vote Democratic, but they are traditionalists on cultural issues, including abortion. Davis may be popular with the liberal set in Austin, but she doesn’t offer much to Peña’s constituents, he says.

    Also this:

    Davis herself doesn’t appear to be making much effort to court the Valley vote, or any vote for that matter. She’s noticeably inconspicuous on the trail, and even friendly media have a hard time finding her.

  • Davis gives a speech in Midland to sparse attendance. “Davis showed up to an almost empty room but despite the crickets, she told me she felt comfortable.” Ouch!
  • How Davis benefited from her law firm doing government bond work while she was a state senator.
  • At least she’s changed her logo from the sinking ship, even if the new logo looks a little familiar…

  • Two Dewhurst aides quit amid campaign feuding about tactics.” This is not exactly the sign of a well-oiled campaign machine…
  • Paul Burka even goes so far as to say that Dewhurst is toast: “The reality is that Dewhurst has been politically dead since the night of the Wendy Davis filibuster, and he has no hope to retain his office. Unless something very strange happens, Dan Patrick is a lock to be the state’s next lieutenant governor.” I’d say he’s been politically dead since losing to Ted Cruz in 2012…
  • Rick Casey not only thinks Dan Patrick will win, he thinks “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be more powerful than Gov. Greg Abbott.” Agree on the first, disagree on the second, mainly because Greg Abbott is a lot more formidable than Dewhurst. It’s an interesting piece, despite making (I believe) some subtly wrong assumptions about Tea Party politics.
  • State of play piece by Ross Ramsey.

    Movement conservatives in Texas — a label that includes fiscal and social conservatives, Tea Partyers and the religious right — seem to be forming up behind Dan Patrick, a state senator running for lieutenant governor; Ken Paxton, a state senator running for attorney general; and Wayne Christian, a former state representative running for railroad commissioner. Each finished ahead of the establishment candidate in his race — in Patrick’s case, the incumbent lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst.

    Ramsey also notes money switching to conservative challengers. Plus this: “Every Republican senator has probably given some private thought to state Sen. John Carona’s loss to Donald Huffines, and that kind of private thinking often leads to changed voting patterns.”

  • Dan Patrick endorsed by Buc-ees. If they throw in free fudge, this race is so over…
  • Mike Huckabee endorses Ken Paxton. That probably means more to Huckabee than Paxton…

  • 14 Texas state house republicans ask Dan Branch to withdraw.
  • Democratic Agricultural Commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman calls marijuana farms the future of Texas.
  • Ft. Hood Shooting Followups

    April 3rd, 2014

    A few random followups on the Fort Hood shooting:

  • Three people remain in critical condition.
  • More on Fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez, who was apparently Puerto Rican, not Mexican American as some sources erroneously asserted.
  • Lopez saw no combat in Iraq.
  • Lopez was evidently on Ambien. There’s long been persistent anecdotal evidence that several spree shooters were on similar drugs (some sources for which are more reliable than others). I’m not a chemist, pharmacist or psychiatrist, so I’m not in a position to evaluate such claims, nor to answer the chicken and egg “were they crazy before or after taking such drugs” question. But maybe it’s time for people who do know to take a closer look at the question.
  • Time to allow soldiers to carry their weapons stateside? (Warning: Autoplay.) I think you know my position…
  • U.S. Congressman Mike McCaul agrees.
  • Another Ft. Hood Shooting

    April 2nd, 2014

    Another active shooter at Fort Hood. One confirmed dead. 14 reportedly injured. (Some reports have the shooter dead of self-inflicted wounds; let’s hope so.) Early reports of two shooters are most likely erroneous (as is fairly common in these situations).

    Now is also a good time to go over Karl Rehn’s advice for what to do when faced with an active shooter.

    Update: Shooter identified as one Ivan Lopez, reportedly a soldier. (And remember folks, there’s probably more than one Ivan Lopez in Texas. Don’t break out the Jump to Conclusions mat just yet…)

    Hearing reports that now have four confirmed dead on Twitter, but haven’t seen media confirmation.

    Update 2: Blithely ignoring my own advice one paragraph up, this would seem to be Ivan Lopez’s Google+ page (“Works at 2-8 CAV/Lives in texas”) and his connected YouTube channel. What little this says about the shooter could be measured in a very small thimble.

    Update 3:

    Update 4: Four now confirmed dead, including the shooter.

    Update 5: 11 wounded, two in “extremely grave” condition.

    Update 6: Lopez evidently served four months in Iraq in 2011. “They said the gunman was taking medication and seeking help for depression and anxiety and was undergoing a diagnosis process for PTSD but hadn’t yet been diagnosed.”

    I’m far from an expert, but if it’s been two plus years since Lopez saw combat, I would think that would be ample time to make a PTSD determination or not.

    Update 7: “I don’t endorse carrying concealed weapons on base,” [Lt. Gen. Mark] Milley told reporters. “We have military police officers on base.”

    You know, general, I think we now have enough data points to conclusively prove that that policy isn’t working.