Here’s the difference. In 2013, Ted Cruz rallied Republicans behind the view that they should refuse to fund the government unless Obamacare was repealed. In 2014, Elizabeth Warren is attempting to rally Democrats behind the view that they should not agree to repeal a section of the Dodd-Frank bill as the price for funding the government. It is true that both Warren and Cruz defied the leaders of their parties. But the actual substance of the affair is reversed.
In 2013, Republicans demanded Obamacare repeal as ransom for funding the government. In 2014, Republicans are demanding partial rollback of Dodd-Frank as ransom for funding the government.
Miranda Blue talks about a meeting on Capital Hill where some top Republican congressmen lent their support to a notorious anti Muslim hate group. No surprise, Louie Terror Babies Gohmert was there.
ACT for America, the anti-Muslim group run by Brigitte Gabriel, held a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill today where it was joined by Republican members of Congress including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, and Arkansas Sen. John Boozman.
Gabriel posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of Boozman, Bachmann and Gohmert speaking and of Roskam receiving the group’s “Patriot Award.” Duncan tweeted that he was planning on speaking to the gathering. Gabriel wrote that she had planned on presenting another award to Sen. Ted Cruz, but that he was unable to attend.
Senator Ted Cruz (Wingnut-TX) shoveled some derp for a gullible audience.
“When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz said at the FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall 2014 event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. “This year, I’m sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment.”
Calling these “perilous, perilous times,” Cruz said Senate Democrats have said they are ready to vote on the amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 19 - “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.”
Donald Trump may not be sure if Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is eligible to be president, but he has no problem giving the Tea Party hero a chunk of his fortune.
According to a report in The Hill, Trump has donated $5,000 — the maximum legal amount under current election law — to Senator Cruz’s political action committee, the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund.
If the PAC’s previous spending habits are any indication, Trump’s $5,000 will mainly go toward paying various political consultants.
Although contributions make up the smallest part of the pie, Cruz’s PAC has donated $23,800 to nine politicians. Trump will surely be heartened to learn that two of them — Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — have joined his birther quest to prove that Barack Obama is not eligible to serve as president.
Cruz, who was born in Canada but is a natural born citizen because of his American mother, has also faced birther-themed questions. In August 2013, Trump himself answered a question about Cruz’s eligibility to be president by saying, “If he was born in Canada, then perhaps not.” (As usual, Trump is wrong.)
What convinced Trump to shift from birther attacks to writing checks? According to The Hill, he was won over by Cruz’s disastrously failed plan to force a government shutdown in the hopes of blackmailing Democrats into dismantling the Affordable Care Act.
Greg Sargent has a good analysis of negative Republican reactions to Jeb Bush’s relatively moderate comments about immigration:
The Jeb Bush comments are important precisely because they illuminate the moral and political dilemma for Republicans that underlies this core question.
Speaking to conservative activists in New Hampshire over the weekend, Donald Trump elicited boos when he castigated Bush’s remarks. It’s worth rerunning Bush’s comments, because one of the most important aspects of them has not gotten enough attention — his suggestion that undocumented immigrants might have something valuable to contribute to American society if they are legalized:
“Yes, they broke the law. But it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family…it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. And the idea that we’re not gonna fix this with comprehensive reform ends up trapping these people when they could make a great contribution for their own families, but also for us….they can make a contribution to our country if we actually organized ourselves in a better way.”
Republicans who have responded to Bush with more nuance than Trump have accepted the former point but not the latter one. Rand Paul said: “People who seek the American dream are not bad people, but that doesn’t mean you can invite the whole world to come.” Ted Cruz responded that we need to be a nation that “welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants,” but that “rule of law matters.”
Neither Paul nor Cruz can accept Bush’s latter point, which is that an acknowledgment of the moral ambiguity surrounding the plight of illegal immigrants should open the door to another realization: Solving this problem in a smart way and integrating the undocumented into society is the best outcome for the country - even if they are, in fact, lawbreakers. For many Republicans, that’s the hard part to accept.
Katrina Pierson, the longtime tea party activist from Garland who’s challenging Dallas Republican Congressman Pete Sessions, is having a bad few weeks.
First, Pierson acknowledged that she had been arrested in 1997, when she was 20, for shoplifting at a Plano J.C. Penney’s—not, altogether, a big deal. Pierson’s talked a lot about how she’s turned her life around after a hardscrabble upbringing, and if anything, the arrest fit into her personal narrative. Then, Slate’s Dave Weigel attended a Pierson campaign event and characterized her as a “long shot” who exemplified the emptiness of this year’s tea party challengers in Texas. Hurtful, maybe, but probably not a big deal either: Pierson’s potential voters probably aren’t huge Slate readers.
A bigger deal: On Sunday night, the Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock pointed out that Pierson received some $11,000 in unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission from January 2012 to November 2013—meaning she was receiving government support during a period in which she consulted for Ted Cruz’s senate campaign and was planning for her own run.
Pierson has been a hyperactive tea party organizer for years, doing countless media appearances and traveling extensively around the country to spread her message. When I first met her in the summer of 2011, she was teaching a darkly conspiratorial class on the United Nation’s “Agenda 21″ at a meeting of the Waco Tea Party. Under the UN’s aegis, she told the frightened crowd, Americans would be forced into crowded apartment buildings, and UN-empowered block captains would be “given police power over your neighborhoods.”
When I asked about her activist career, she told me that when “you realize that you’ve been lied to your whole life, it’s an eye-opening experience.” To spread her message, she told me she’d taught classes in Florida, Iowa, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Washington D.C., and all over Texas. It was her full-time job. It had to be, she said, because “our time is limited.” Since then, she’s ramped up her activity. She’s a frequent guest on Fox News
The premise of Sirota’s piece is that John Arnold, through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, is influencing the content of “Pension Peril” through a $3.5 million grant; further, it alleges that WNET engaged in corruption by accepting the grant.
While it is true that Mr. Arnold is an advocate of pension reform, I thought it would be interesting to note his other associations — including those of PandoDaily’s financial backers.
According to the Grants page at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, ProPublica, Inc. was given a grant in the amount of $2 million for the term 2013-2015. ProPublica also notes the Laura and John Arnold Foundation on their supporter page. It should be noted that ProPublica has also been covering pensions, including news reports and investigations.
A search at ProPublica shows that “John Arnold” and “Laura and John Arnold Foundation” are only revealed in the Supporters page. There are no disclosures of Laura and John Arnold Foundation funding in any of the pension articles at ProPublica.
On January 16, 2012, Gigaom featured an article regarding PandoDaily’s start-up financing, “Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily launches with $2.5 million in funding.”
The company is being funded by a $2.5 million investment from some of the most well known investors in Silicon Valley and some of the top seed funds. Investors in PandoDaily are - Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hseih (Zappos), Zach Nelson (NetSuite), Andrew Anker, Chris Dixon (FounderCollective), Saul Klein (IndexVentures), Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital)…
In 2012, Lacy founded technology news site PandoDaily with a reported $2.5m investment from investors including Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Tony Hsieh, David Sze, Jim Breyer, Reid Hoffman, Chris Dixon and Josh Kopelman. The site consists of a daily technology blog and a monthly event series entitled “PandoMonthly”.
Peter Thiel - Libertarian and Republican Donor:
Venture capitalist and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel. Was a co-founder of PayPal and later CEO. Mr. Thiel would also go on to support Meg Whitman for her unsuccesful bid as governor of California ($25,900).
Meg Whitman was a partner with Pierre Omidyar at eBay — as CEO she purchased PayPal from Thiel et al in 2010. Thiel was also a trader for Credit Suisse and speech writer for William Bennett.
• Largest contributor to “Club for Growth” in sum of $1 million.
• Co-authored “The Diversity Myth: ‘Multiculturalism’ and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford” (1995) with David O. Sacks.
• Libertarian objectivist.
• $3.9 million to “Endorse Liberty” supporting Ron Paul for president (2012).
• Private meeting with Rand Paul — “the future of the Liberty Movement.”
• Endorsed Ron Paul for president in 2007.
• Contributed to McCain/Palin 2012.
• $1.7 million Ron Paul Super-Pac in 2012.
• Helped fund James O’Keefe’s “Taxpayers Clearing House” in 2009.
• Multiple contributions to Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.
Peter Thiel’s Republican Party political candidate donations:
Rep. James E. Rogan, Don Stenberg, Sen. John Thune Douglas Forrester, Rep. Robin Hayes, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Sen. Lamar Alexander, State Sen. Dick Monteith, Rep. Lee Terry, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Rep. Dan Lungren, Rep. Bob Beauprez, Rep. Mike Simpson, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. Mary Bono, Gov. Butch Otter, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Nancy Johnson, Rep. Scott Garrett, Rep. Tim Johnson, Rep. Bill Thomas, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Jim Talent, Rep. Denny Rehberg, Rep. Rob Simmons, Rep. Jon Porter, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Rep. Ed Royce, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Rep. Bob Schaffer, John Neely Kennedy, Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. Mike Coffman, Rep. Eric Cantor, John Raese, Dino Rossi, Ryan Brumberg, Sen. Rand Paul, Randy Altschuler, Rep. Justin Amash, State Sen. Richard Tisei, Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Ted Cruz, Josh Mandel, and Sen. Orrin Hatch.
For a more detailed look at Peter Thiel’s political contributions click here.
Peter Thiel “has worked as a derivatives trader at Credit Suisse Financial Products, a securities lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell, and a speechwriter for former education secretary William J. Bennett.”
Marc Andreessen - Romney/Ryan Supporter:
Marc Andreessen is another venture capitalist millionaire (not a billionaire as Theil is). Andreessen was the founder of Mosaic and Netscape. In addition to helping start PandoDaily, his investments include Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and others. Andreessen serves on the board of eBay (see Whitman, Omidyar, et al).
While he supported Barack Obama in 2008, Mr. Andreessen flipped in 2012 to support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
He’s contributed $15,000 to Ryan Prosperity Action, Inc.; Cantor Victory Fund; Romney for President, Inc.; Scott Brown; over $50,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and $30,5000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
In 2012, Business Insider reported:
He has contributed $100,000 to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign via a SuperPAC…
…Andreessen says he supports Romney because he is a “dyed-in-the-wool” businessman who understand that “regulations” get in the way of business.
Andreessen says he used to support Democrats - like Clinton/Gore, for example - but “I turned 40 last year and so I figured it was time to make the switch.”
The amount Republican super-donor Peter Thiel and newly minted Republican Marc Andreessen infused into PandoDaily remains unknown. No attempt was made to contact any of the individuals in this story. What remains clear is that PandoDaily and David Sirota have accused WNET and the Arnold Foundation with corruption for having the latter provide grant money for the series, “Pension Peril.”
The question remains, how can WNET be accused of corruption when ProPublica, who also cover pensions, is the recipient of $2 million from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and gets away unnoticed?
Update and of further interest.
PayPal Founder Peter Thiel Continues to Tout Anti-Government Manifesto
Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report, Summer 2012, Issue Number: 146
“I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” Thiel wrote in a 2009 manifesto published by the libertarian Cato Institute. “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.” Bemoaning the fate of the “smartest libertarians” who, he claims, were so bummed out by the state of capitalism that they “escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it,” he outlined a vision of the future free from the quixotic desires of the poor, stupid, and X-chromosomed among us.
Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of wingnut Ted Cruz, has lately become nothing more than a dimestore version of Pseudo Historian David Barton, as Right Wing Watch demonstrates in this video.