Sen. Ted Cruz, Canadian citizen

Tea Party poster boy and right-wing Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz seems to have run into a problem as he considers a bid for the presidency.

He’s a Canadian.

Here’s his birth certificate:


Now, unlike the birthers, I can read. And I see the line that says “Name of Mother Before Marriage: Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson. Her Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.” That means that Ted Cruz is an American. Just like John McCain, who was born in Panama and ran for president as a Republican, and just like Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney, who was born in Mexico and sought the presidential nomination in the 1960s as a Republican.

English: Ted Cruz at the Republican Leadership...

The Cuban/Canadian usurper

Oh, and Barack Obama — whose birth certificate says his mother was born in Wichita, Kansas, and who, unlike Ted Cruz, John McCain and George Romney was born in the United States (Yes, birthers. Hawaii is a state.) — is an American.

If I had the brain of a birther, I could riff on Ted Cruz’s birth certificate all day.

He was born in Canada! But his dad is from Cuba and they snuck into America through the Canadian border! Is he one of those “terror babies” Louis Gomert is always talking about?

His father is from Cuba! Did his father work with Fidel Castro? Is he a communist?

This birth certificate doesn’t prove anything. It doesn’t say “Ted” anywhere. Who is this Rafael Edward Cruz? Does he speak English?

What’s a geophysical consultant? Is that some kind of “one-world-government” adviser?

But Ted Cruz is an American. If you’re born to an American woman anywhere in the world, and your birth is registered with the American Embassy, you’re an American. That’s all you need. If you’re born anywhere in the world and your father is an American and married to your mother (no matter her nationality), and your birth is registered with the American Embassy, you’re an American. That’s all you need. If you’re born on American soil, and your parents aren’t American, you’re an American. That’s all you need.

But Ted Cruz is Canadian, as well. If you’re born on Canadian soil, you’re a Canadian. So technically, Ted Cruz could run for the Canadian Parliament.

Isn’t the exploding head of a Tea Party birther a sight to behold?

But we won’t see it (from the Washington Post):

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced Monday evening that he will renounce his Canadian citizenship, less than 24 hours after a newspaper pointed out that the Canadian-born senator likely maintains dual citizenship.

“Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship,” Cruz said in a statement. “Assuming that is true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator; I believe I should be only an American.”

Now I’ve seen references to “The Manchurian Candidate” as the Ted Cruz story has developed. But the difference there is that Raymond Shaw was born in America to American parents.

Oh, yeah. And Michele Bachmann is Swiss.

Stupid is as stupid does: The GOP says Hillary is old

For those of you keeping track of what the Republican campaign strategy will be if Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016 (via Jezebel):

GOP strategists are trying very hard to remind potential voters in the 2016 presidential election that Hillary Clinton (who hasn’t even decided whether to run yet) will be old when she hypothetically assumes office. Like, really old.

Older than Ronald Reagan when he assumed office? No, actually — a year younger than him. Older than John McCain (who was, to be fair, dogged with worries that he was too old to be president) when he ran in 2008? No, no — three years younger, as a matter of fact. Clinton will be 69 by the next presidential election, and though the GOP has put forward no shortage of Old White Candidates in past presidential elections (including Bob Dole the oldest ever at 73), this hasn’t stopped the likes of Republibros like Mitt Romney strategist/chief jester Stuart Stevens and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from making jibes about Clinton’s age. Honestly, does anyone think this strategy won’t backfire horribly?

Uh … they don’t think it will backfire because they create their own reality. You know: Mitt Romney is going to win in a landslide. Sarah Palin is a perfect candidate for vice president. Rick Santorum and Herman Cain should be in the White House. Newt Gingrich is the perfect spokesman for family values. Benghazi is the greatest American tragedy since 9/11.

So, why would a bunch of fat old white guys not think that focusing on Hillary’s age is a viable strategy?


They lost. Why don’t they shut up?

During the campaign, Mitt Romney was the greatest thing since sliced bread, according to the Republican party and the Tea Baggers.

How soon they forget:

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips on Thursday disputed that President Obama claimed a mandate in November’s election, arguing that his re-election victory came over “the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney.”

“You know, Obama ran on the fact he was going to raise taxes, the Republicans put up the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney, yet Obama allegedly has this mandate,” Phillips said during an appearance on MSNBC. “Well, why did Republicans keep the House if Obama has this great mandate? People don’t want their taxes going up. What people do want is spending cuts.”

Unbelievable. These guys went all in for Mitt. Their “concerns” about his candidacy disappeared when he got the nomination, and they were convinced he was going to lead them to the promised land and out of the clutches of the socialist, Muslim, Kenyan usurper.

Tea Baggers really have no shame.

The GOP’s wish … with a capital W

Wow! Mitt Romney was such a bad candidate that Republicans are now longing for the charisma of former president “He Who Shall Not Be Named.” (From the National Journal):

As Republicans reassess their future in the presidential wilderness, seeking a message and messenger to resonate with a new generation of voters, one unlikely name has popped up as a role model: former President George W. Bush.

Prominent Republicans eager to rebuild the party in the wake of the 2012 election are pointing to Bush’s successful campaigns for Hispanic votes, his efforts to pass immigration reform, and his mantra of “compassionate conservatism.” Bush won 35 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000 and at least 40 percent in 2004, a high-water mark for a Republican presidential candidate. …

These signs of wear and tear to the Republican brand are prompting some of Bush’s critics to acknowledge his political foresight and ability to connect with a diverse swath of Americans, although the economic crash and unpopular wars on his watch make it unlikely he will ever be held up as a great president.

“Unlikely” is understating it. “Never” is the correct word.

But the whole idea of “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron to begin with. It’s just that the phrase was  enough to convince media hacks that you can go after programs like Social Security (which Bush did at the beginning of his second term) in a caring manner. “Compassionate Conservatives” told lies to put is in an unnecessary war when it should have focused our military on the real enemy in a cave in another country, gave billions of dollars to the super rich in tax cuts, turned a budget surplus into a huge deficit and alienated nearly every minority group in the nation.

Then it plunged us into a financial disaster.

Because it lost the last presidential elections, the GOP wants us to get the warm fuzzies by remembering the eight years of Bush the Dumber, the person the party totally pretended never existed during the campaign.

That’s why you call it the Stupid Party.


A (hopefully) final note on the 47%

The above spread sheet contains the latest numbers from the presidential election. If you look at Row F, you see that the U.S. total for Mitt Romney was 47.49%. That rounds off to 47%. And you know what that means:

If I may:

There are 47% of the people who would vote for Mitt Romney no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him … who believe they are victims. Obama’s job is not to worry about those people. He’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for the lives of their fellow man.

But Obama says he’s the president of all Americans. So here are a few things the true 47% are going to have to deal with (from The Nation via Crooks and Liars):

1. Barack Obama has won an overwhelming majority in the Electoral College, a daunting majority of the popular vote and a majority of the nation’s states—including most of the country’s largest states and states in every major region of the republic: New England, the mid-Atlantic, the Great Lakes, the South, the Southwest, the Mountain West and the West.

2. Barack Obama has won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history—except Barack Obama in 2008.

3. Barack Obama is the first Democratic president to win more than 50 percent of the popular vote in a re-election run since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944.

4. Barack Obama is the only Democratic candidate for president since FDR to twice win more than 50 percent of the national vote.

5. Barack Obama has, in both of his presidential runs, won a higher percentage of the national vote than any Democratic nominee since Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 landslide victory.

When George Bush the Dumber won the 2004 election by a narrower margin than Obama (48% voted against him) he said he had a mandate. The Republicans agreed.

By the GOP definition, Obama has a broader mandate.

So as Joe Biden says:

If they get out of the way. If they get out of the way and let us pass the tax cut for the middle class and make it permanent. If they get out of the way and pass the jobs bill. If they get out of the way and allow us to let 14 million people who are struggling to stay in their homes because their mortgage is upside down when they never missed a mortgage payment. Just get out of the way.

GOP asks rest of the world: What happened?

A few note on the total disconnect from reality by the GOP in this election.

First, CBS News reported this:

Mitt Romney‘s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.

Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

OK, let’s stop here for a minute. I’ve posted Nate Silver‘s poll-based forecasts from the 538 Blog since July and on Election Day morning (links, here, here and here). And other statisticians, like Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium, were looking at the same numbers Silver was using and coming to the same conclusion. So a bunch of people saw this coming and gave relatively high odds on an Obama victory. And when they released their findings, the right went nuts, saying it was part of a left-wing media conspiracy that used skewed results to give the impression that Obama had the election all sewn up. But the “REAL NUMBERS” that the GOP had were showing a Romney landslide.

Really, how can they have been so blind? Paul Krugman says:

I suspect that it comes down to two things: self-definition in terms of always being the people with the power, and the right-wing information bubble, which left them completely unaware of information they didn’t want to hear.

Yeah. They didn’t want to hear what skewed poll numbers, based on probability and statistics, were saying. So they decided to seek out the skills of the “unskewers” to validate their version of reality. And you saw how that worked. Here’s what one of the GOP-supporting unskewers said after the vote:

Dean Chambers, the man behind “unskewed polls,” a site that attempted to re-weight polls that Chambers thought oversampled Democrats, admitted to his model’s shortcomings on Wednesday.

“Most of the polls I ‘unskewed’ were based on samples that generally included about five or six or seven percent more Democrats than Republicans, and I doubted and questioned the results of those polls, and then ‘unskewed’ them based on my belief that a nearly equal percentage of Democrats and Republicans would turn out in the actual election this year,” Chambers wrote on The Examiner website. “I was wrong on that assumption and those who predicted a turnout model of five or six percent in favor of Democrats were right. Likewise, the polling numbers they produced going on that assumption turned out to be right and my ‘unskewed’ numbers were off the mark.”

Ya think!!??

Of course, we now have to go through the spectacle of a political party trying to figure out how its presidential campaign derailed so badly:

Top Republican officials, stunned by the extent of their election losses Tuesday night, have begun an exhaustive review to figure out what went so wrong and how to fix it.

Party leaders already had planned to poll voters in battleground states starting Tuesday night in anticipation of a Mitt Romney victory — to immediately begin laying the groundwork for midterm congressional elections and a Romney 2016 reelection bid.

But as they watched one state after another go to President Obama and Senate seats fall away, party leaders quickly expanded and retooled their efforts. They’re planning a series of voter-based polls and focus groups, meetings with constituency group leaders, and in-depth discussions with their volunteers, donors and staff members to find ways to broaden their appeal.

The Rude Pundit has a suggestion:

You are going to get advice from everywhere, all over, left, right, crazy. So the Rude Pundit’s not going to attempt to say much here because you’re not going to listen. It comes down to this: Stop being jerks, and, as Joe Biden said, get out of the way. Stop being jerks to women, to immigrants, to gays, to union members. Just…well, just fucking stop.

Now, you have to ask yourself, will they listen?

Uh, no.

And I’ll close with this little dose of skewed reality from a YouTube commenter:

You KNOW your party is pathetic when a friend asks: “Hey, did that guy who talked utter nonsense about rape get elected?”

And YOU have to reply: “Which one?”

Romney on climate change

As Han Solo said to Chewbacca: “Laugh it up, fuzzball.”

But then, look at the base:

I’m sure chants of “USA, USA” are the best strategy when killer storms are bearing down on you.

Foreign policy debate failures

A couple of thoughts on the presidential debate on foreign policy:

1) For the two candidates to discuss foreign affairs and never mention the European financial crisis and the possible collapse of the euro zone was completely irresponsible. That is the moderator’s fault, but at some point someone should have said:

“You know, we’re wringing our hands on Iran and Afghanistan. We’re upset with China. We’re giving our stock answers on Israel, but if the the euro falls apart, we’re going to go into a recession that’s going to make the past five years look like boom times. So we should be focusing on that very real possibility and stop spewing on these side issues.”

But no one did.

2) If Mitt Romney was going to agree with everything President Obama was doing, why bother having a debate. The only time Romney came up with an original thought was when he referred to the Navy and 1916. And Obama completely sunk his battleship with his answer:

Of course, Sean Hannity, the Borg queen over at Fox News, has a retort:

“Some of our troops rode horses in Afghanistan and the Marines still carry bayonets. Maybe someone should tell the President how the military actually works.”

Given that when Hannity speaks, the Borg collective reacts, expect to hear this bit of stupidity in the days to come.

Biggest newspaper in Utah endorses Obama

The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah made an endorsement today:

In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

Wait! What??!! Obama is endorsed by a newspaper in the heart of the Mormonland? OK, it endorsed him in 2008. But still. This is coming from Salt Lake City.

Read the whole endorsement here under the headline “Too Many Mitts.” It includes this gem:

From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.

Of course, Obama’s not going to win Utah, but it’s amazing that the state’s largest newspaper offers such a complete takedown of the GOP opponent.

The accompanying editorial cartoon is priceless: