Saturday, May 02, 2015

Bush Foundation Accepted Foreign Donations Too - Where's the Media?

The right wing slime machine has had near orgasms and provided breathless reports about the Clinton Foundation accepting donations from billionaires and foreigners.  As past posts have noted, despite all of the hoopla and hysteria, no "smoking gun" of wrong doing has been revealed.  What the right wing media is ignoring is the fact that the Bush Foundations have likewise accepted money from big donors and even foreign governments no doubt seeking influence.  Occupy Democrats notes in part as follows:
As the conservative media networks drive themselves into a muckraking feeding frenzy over the prospect of the upcoming work of fiction titled Clinton Cash, written by a professional right-wing conspiracy theorist and political hitman, the rest of America has picked up the question of foundation accountability out of curiosity and the tempting allure of scandal. But, in one of the countless hypocritical reversals that are all too common in modern American politics, it turns out that the Bush family foundations have been acting like they have something to hide, while the Clintons have publicly released key information about all their donors, such as identity and approximate amount donated. In typical Republican fashion, they are projecting their own corruption onto Democrats and accusing the transparent Clinton Foundation of accepting the same kinds of secret bribes that the Bush Foundation has been taking for years.

Nonprofits are not obligated to reveal their sources, but the Clinton Foundation has been revealing their donors since 2008, ever since Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, to avoid the very allegations her campaign is now being falsely smeared with. Foreign governments could have donated to her foundation in secret, as the “investigative author” fictitious propaganda writer Peter Schweizer has alleged- but the donor list, made public in a searchable database, reveals that the foundation is clean. Tom Watson of Forbes even wrote that “in truth, the Clinton Foundation is among the most forthcoming of major charities and nonprofit foundations—especially those headed by public figures.”

On the other hand, the George Bush Foundation raised $361.8 million dollars between 2010-2013 with no attempt at accountability or transparency.
David Corn of Mother Jones puts it in perspective: “Anyone who wanted to gain favor with the Bush clan while George W. Bush was president could have anonymously donated an unlimited amount of money to his father’s foundation, and now that Jeb Bush is in the hunt, anyone looking to fashion a relationship with the Bushes can contribute millions to either of these Bush foundations and keep that connection a secret.”

Similarly, the George Bush Presidential Library has assets of $47 million and receives $3 million a year from undisclosed donations, functioning as yet another vehicle to funnel campaign and influence money through with no record or transparency, and was accepting donations all throughout George W. Bush’s presidency- another way for the millionaires of America to buy power and favors while trampling over the American democracy.

It’s worth repeating; the Clinton Foundation publicly releases the names of every donor and the amount of each donation, while the Bush Foundations accepted secret, anonymous donations of undisclosed quantities.

Here are a few highlights of what the Dallas Morning News discovered about Bush Foundation donations:
The secretive nature of high-dollar donations to presidential libraries often raises questions, though legislation to require more transparency has repeatedly fizzled.

Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Campaign Legal Center watchdog group, said the biggest issues are presidents raising money in office and the “pitfalls of access, influence and conflict of interest.”

Unlike political campaigns, presidential library fundraisers can take foreign donations. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, for instance, each gave the Bush Center $1 million or more after Bush left office.

[A] top Bush Center booster, California investor Elliott Broidy, pleaded guilty in 2009 to a role in a corruption scandal. Another big donor, Dallas oilman and major SMU supporter Edwin L. Cox, had his son pardoned by former President George H.W. Bush.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death

As repeated news stories from around the country demonstrate, America has a real problem with police brutality.  Even worse, young black males seem to be disproportionately killed in circumstances that raise serious questions as to the validity of claims that they acted out of fear for their lives.  A discussion is badly needed to face the reality that while there are many good police officers - the vast majority - there are bad apples who have no business wearing a badge and carrying a gun.  There should be no room for prejudice and bigotry, yet it continues to exist (yes, and there is lots of homophobia too as I found out personally back in 2003 when Wayne Besen and I were stopped and some Norfolk cops who seemingly got their laughs but tormenting some "faggots" - internal affairs work diligently to protect the officers after I filed a complaint).  After riots and unrest, six officers have now been arrested in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray.  Whether they will be convicted, will be another story. Here are highlights from the New York Times:
Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with a range of crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray, a striking and surprisingly swift turn in a case that has drawn national attention to police conduct.

The state’s attorney for Baltimore City, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded their initial investigation and handed over their findings. Officials had cautioned that it could take considerable time for her office to complete its own investigation and decide whether to prosecute.

The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who was driving the van that carried Mr. Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Along with involuntary manslaughter, Officer Goodson, 45, was charged with “second-degree depraved heart murder,” which means indifference to human life.

All six officers were arrested and appeared before a judicial officer. Bail was set at $350,000 for four of the officers and $250,000 for the other two, according to court records. By late Friday, court records showed the officers had been released from jail.

The death of Mr. Gray, 25, a week after he suffered a spinal cord injury brought to a boil long-simmering tensions between the police and poor neighborhoods in this majority-black city, culminating in rioting and looting on Monday. More peaceful demonstrations continued through the week after a curfew was put in place. And the swift action by the prosecutor seemed to some to mark a turning point after months of debate and demonstrations around the country over police violence.

The Baltimore chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police called the speed of the prosecutor politically motivated. “The actions taken today by the state’s attorney are an egregious rush to judgment,” said Michael E. Davey, the union’s lawyer. “We believe that these officers will be vindicated, as they have done nothing wrong.”

Ms. Mosby faulted the police conduct at every turn. The officers who arrested him “failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed,” she said, describing the arrest as illegal. Officers accused him of possession of a switchblade, but Ms. Mosby said, “The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law.”

Mr. Gray’s condition deteriorated, she said, as officers repeatedly ignored his pleas for medical attention and ignored obvious signs that he was in distress. At one point, she said, when officers tried to check on him, Mr. Gray was unresponsive, yet no action was taken. He died of his injuries a week later.

A. Dwight Pettit, a lawyer who handles police brutality cases in Baltimore — and worked to help elect Ms. Mosby — said her emphasis on the officers’ lack of probable cause in arresting Mr. Gray was significant. Rarely, he said, are police officers prosecuted for making false arrests — and too often, they do not worry about lacking probable cause.

He called the charges of false imprisonment “something new for police activity, which offends the constitutional rights of citizens.”

Going to a Historic Wedding Today

Our friends Tim Bostic and Tony London - the lead plaintiffs in the Virginia marriage case - are getting married today at beautiful Christ and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Norfolk today (the church is like a small cathedral as the images below shows).  The wedding ceremony is open to the community and the husband and I will be in attendance and are among those lucky enough to be included in the guest list for the elegant reception to follow.  Above is a photo from the rehearsal last night.  It should be an amazing wedding and we are so happy for these wonderful guys who had the courage to take a huge risk and put themselves out the to create change.Local media coverage is here.

I am hard on religion, but there are some good and decent denominations that put love and the Gospel message over hate and bigotry, and the Episcopal Church is one of them as is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to which I still formally belong.  Would that all Christian denominations would follow their lead.

Jeb Bush - Pandering Whore Fans Christofascist Anti-Gay Fears

The despicable George W. Bush used gay marriage bans to help boost Christofascist turnout in the 2004 election cycle and now his brother Jebbie is proving himself to be equally despicable and making statements that legalization of same sex marriage nationwide could force church pastors to conduct same sex weddings.  The danger of that happening is zero since under the First Amendment, religious denominations set their own rules and regulations about marriage ceremonies and a host of other rituals.  Jebbie knows this is true and even Antonin Scalia backed down when he tried to play that canard during oral arguments this past week.  The take away?  Jebbie will say and do anything - including blatantly lie - to pander to the ugliest elements of the GOP base.  The Washington Blade looks at Jebbie's shameless conduct.  Here are excerpts:

Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush echoed fears on Thursday ministers would have to perform same-sex weddings if the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality — despite assertions from LGBT advocates such a ruling would have no bearing on the clergy.

The former Florida governor made the remarks during a National Review Institute summit in D.C. in an exchange with National Review editor Rich Lowry. The moderator asked Bush if press reports were accurate he wanted a fix to the Indiana religious freedom law signed by Gov. Mike Pence seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

“I didn’t say that,” Bush said. “I supported Pence. I think he needed to create clarity the law was not an attempt to discriminate against people, it was an effort to provide some space for people to act on their religious conscience.”

Bush called for finding a balance in law between that prohibits government discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people, but enables individuals to act on their conscience.

“We need to get to a place where government’s not going to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation, and at the same time, make sure that there is ample space for people not just to have a religious view, or just to be religious, but to actually act on their religious view,” Bush said. “Conscience is what we need to protect, and I fear that we’re not finding that balance right now.”

As an example of a potential lack of balance, Bush cited concerns expressed by U.S. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia during oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Tuesday that clergy would be forced to perform gay weddings if the court ruled for marriage equality. The response from U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to the concerns was inadequate, Bush said.

“I read some of the transcript, and the solicitor general in defense of the government’s position, when, I guess it was Scalia or someone asked about this question of ‘Well, does that mean that the church or other religious institutions are discriminating if they don’t want to participate?'” Bush said. “And he said, ‘That’s not what’s in front of you today.’ Now maybe I’m misinterpreting that remark, but my interpretation of that was, ‘Well, that might be in front of you tomorrow.’ And that’s where I think we need to focus.”

Bush’s account of the exchange is faulty. Scalia indeed expressed concerns during oral arguments that ministers may be forced to conduct same-sex weddings, but the attorney before the bench at the time was Mary Bonauto, civil rights director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, who gave assurance no clergy would be forced to participate in a same-sex wedding.

“If one thing is firm, and I believe it is firm, that under the First Amendment, that a clergyperson 
cannot be forced to officiate at a marriage that he or she does not want to officiate at,” Bonauto said at the time.

Also responding to Scalia’s concerns during the arguments was U.S. Associate Justice Elena Kagan, who said under current law many rabbis in the Jewish faith don’t marry Jews to non-Jews, but are still able to fulfill their constitutional requirements.

Evan Wolfson, president of the LGBT group Freedom to Marry, said the solicitor general, LGBT advocates, the Constitution and even several justices made clear ministers would be exempt from any ruling on marriage.

“It’s called the First Amendment,” Wolfson said. “Non-gay couples of all different religious views have been marrying for several centuries without it being a problem, as more recently have same-sex couples of all different religious views in 37 states.
Let's not forget Bush's role in the Terri Schiavo debacle.  The man will do anything to prostitute himself to the Christofascist extremists.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Friday Morning Male Beauty

Morgan Freeman - F*ck the Media on Baltimore Coverage

One of the biggest problems blocking any correction of politics and social conditions in America is the decline of American journalism and television news coverage.  Serious news coverage is become harder and harder to find while "reality shows" and inane entertainment news proliferates.  Then there are outlets like Fox News where facts and coverage are twisted - and often ignored - to further a particular political agenda.  Compounding the problem, of course, is the laziness of far too many Americans who fail to educate themselves on issues and then go and vote when they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to really knowing what the issues are.  The proverbial soccer moms from my old neighborhood underscore the problem: they worried about PTA infighting, children's sports, and every other thing that had no effect on the state of the nation or world, but were complete idiots on important matters.  A piece in The Daily Beast looks at the sad state of our media today.  Here are highlights:
I’m seated across from Morgan Freeman, the Oscar-winning acting legend, discussing his latest film Five Flights Up. One of the through lines of the movie, a sweet little rom-com also starring Diane Keaton, is a young Muslim man whose truck has been stopped by the NYPD on a bridge. A televised standoff ensues, with media figures and the public wildly speculating about the cause of the stop. Most, as is their wont, immediately jump to the “he has a bomb” conclusion.

“Isn’t that always happening?” says Freeman of the media’s penchant for unsubstantiated, biased conjecture during live news events. “Look at MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN. Go between those three. There’s a take, there’s a take, and there’s a take. It’s just commentary. CNN wants to be pure news, but the others are just commentary. They’re just commenting on things.”

Which brings us to the TV news media’s coverage of the Baltimore protests in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who was arrested on April 19 for possession of a switchblade. He was later found dead while in police custody, having sustained injuries to his spinal cord and larynx.

Citywide protests ensued, and while some were peaceful, the media focused all of its coverage on the rioting in near-pornographic fashion, leading journalist and African-American scholar Ta-Nehisi Coates to comment, “Cameras actually distort the story. The story already happened. The story began with policy and apexed with Freddie Gray’s death. The story is simple. Gray died in state custody. Unlikely anyone will be punished. (Which explains the riots.) 

[T]echnology lets us see behind the scenes a little bit better,” he continues. “Police have a standard reaction to shooting somebody. I fear for my life and I fear for my safety. Now, at least you can see, ‘Hey, his hands were up in the air! What part of your safety were you afraid of? The guy was running away, what part of your safety was in danger?’ There was one situation I saw where a cop told a guy to get out of the car, said, ‘Show me your driver’s license,’ and the guy reached back into the car and the cop shot him!”

“Anyway, off the media,” he says, waving his hands in the air and chuckling. “F-ck the media.”
We have real problems in this country and lazy and biased media coverage is not helping correct the situation. 

Intellectual Integrity - A Missing GOP Trait

I continually bemoan the state of today's Republican Party where ignorance is embraced and celebrated and where ideological purity trumps objective reality be it in economic matters or the on going denial that climate change is a real phenomenon.   The problem is exacerbated by the growing extremism and ignorance of the party base - in good measure due to the rising of the Christofascists who are mutually exclusive of logic, reason, and intellectual curiosity - and the party primary process which forces the best candidates from campaign contests since the base only votes for know nothings and extremists be they religious extremists or white supremacists who merely don't wear KKK robes in public.  A column in the New York Times looks at the shrinking intellectual integrity in the GOP.  Here are excerpts:
The 2016 campaign should be almost entirely about issues. The parties are far apart on everything from the environment to fiscal policy to health care, and history tells us that what politicians say during a campaign is a good guide to how they will govern.

Nonetheless, many in the news media will try to make the campaign about personalities and character instead. And character isn’t totally irrelevant. . . . . But the character trait that will matter most isn’t one the press likes to focus on. In fact, it’s actively discouraged.

You see, you shouldn’t care whether a candidate is someone you’d like to have a beer with. Nor should you care about politicians’ sex lives, or even their spending habits unless they involve clear corruption. No, what you should really look for, in a world that keeps throwing nasty surprises at us, is intellectual integrity: the willingness to face facts even if they’re at odds with one’s preconceptions, the willingness to admit mistakes and change course.

As Franklin Roosevelt put it in a celebrated speech, “The country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

What we see instead in many public figures is, however, the behavior George Orwell described in one of his essays: “Believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.” Did I predict runaway inflation that never arrived? Well, the government is cooking the books, and besides, I never said what I said.

So what’s the state of intellectual integrity at this point in the election cycle? Pretty bad, at least on the Republican side of the field.
Jeb Bush, for example, has declared that “I’m my own man” on foreign policy, but the list of advisers circulated by his aides included the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, who predicted that Iraqis would welcome us as liberators, and shows no signs of having learned from the blood bath that actually took place.

Meanwhile, as far as I can tell no important Republican figure has admitted that none of the terrible consequences that were supposed to follow health reform — mass cancellation of existing policies, soaring premiums, job destruction — has actually happened.

The point is that we’re not just talking about being wrong on specific policy questions. We’re talking about never admitting error, and never revising one’s views. Never being able to say that you were wrong is a serious character flaw even if the consequences of that refusal to admit error fall only on a few people. But moral cowardice should be outright disqualifying in anyone seeking high office.

We really, really don’t want the job of responding to that crisis dictated by someone who still can’t bring himself to admit that invading Iraq was a disaster but health reform wasn’t.

I still think this election should turn almost entirely on the issues. But if we must talk about character, let’s talk about what matters, namely intellectual integrity.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

House Republicans Seek to Revoke Birth Right Citizenship

Some in the GOP ranks seemingly never cease in their quest to attack immigrants and find ways to deport Hispanics in particular.  How this will help any GOP presidential candidate win votes outside of the shrinking angry white base of party is mind numbing.  But then again, much of the agenda of today's GOP is mind numbing and down right ugly.  The latest target of GOP hate: removing a provision of the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to anyone born on American soil. One would have to be blind not to see that the motivation behind the effort is to revoke the citizenship of children of undocumented immigrants born in America which furthers the white supremacist demands of much of the GOP base.  The Washington Post looks at the effort.  Here are highlights:

The Civil War era’s 14th Amendment, granting automatic citizenship to any baby born on American soil, is a proud achievement of the Party of Lincoln. But now House Republicans are talking about abolishing birthright citizenship. 

A House Judiciary subcommittee took up the question Wednesday afternoon, prompted by legislation sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and 22 other lawmakers that, after nearly 150 years, would end automatic citizenship. 

The 14th Amendment, King told the panel, “did not contemplate that anyone who would sneak into the United States and have a baby would have automatic citizenship conferred on them.” Added King, “I’d suggest it’s our job here in this Congress to decide who will be citizens, not someone in a foreign country that can sneak into the United States and have a baby and then go home with the birth certificate.”

It’s no small task to undo a principle, enshrined in the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court, that defines the United States as a nation of immigrants. It’s particularly audacious that House Republicans would undo a century and a half of precedent without amending the Constitution but merely by passing a law to reinterpret the 14th Amendment’s wording in a way that will stop the scourge of “anchor babies” and “birth tourism.”

Judiciary Committee Republicans . . . .  had to search far and wide for people who would take this view, because they ended up with a bizarre witness: an octogenarian professor from the University of Texas named Lino Graglia.

This would be the Lino Graglia who caused a furor in 1997 when he said that Latinos and African Americans are “not academically competitive with whites” and come from a “culture that seems not to encourage achievement.” He also said at the time that “I don’t know that it’s good for whites to be with the lower classes.”

And this is the very same Lino Graglia whose nomination for a federal judgeship in the 1980s fell apart amid allegations that he had urged Austin residents to defy a court-ordered busing plan and had used the racist word “pickaninny” in the classroom.

Abolishing automatic citizenship for babies born on American soil, and having Graglia make the case, probably won’t help Republicans overcome their problems with minorities, who are gradually becoming the majority.

Democrats, by happenstance, presented a sharp contrast to the GOP effort Wednesday: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and others met at Washington’s Carnegie Library with a coalition including immigration and civil rights advocates to launch a new jobs campaign, “Putting Families First.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) read aloud some of Graglia’s other comments about minorities. . . . . . The congressman asked that Graglia’s past statements be entered into the record. But Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) complained that the line of inquiry was “a non-germane subject for this hearing.”
The GOP seems hell bent to continue on a path of slow political suicide. 

Christofascists: If Christians Can't Discriminate Against Gays They're Victims Of Discrimination

Yet another lunatic of the Christofascist pantheon has enunciated the demand driving "religious freedom" laws favored by GOP political lackeys: making Christians abide by non-discrimination laws is anti-Christian discrimination.  These people want the right to mistreat and discriminate at will against whoever they want (gays in particular) and view themselves as utterly above the law.  This time the mouthpiece was anti-gay zealot Josh Duggar who with his equally lunatic wife pops out children at a rate that would make rabbits blush.  Many Virginians recall Duggar because he was an outspoken supporter of the equally insane Ken Cuccinelli in his failed gubernatorial bid.  The New Civil Rights Movement looks at Duggar's latest batshitery which sadly sums up the views of the "godly folk" when it comes to persecuting others (note Duggars ties to the hate group FRC).  Here are highlights:
"19 Kids and Counting" reality TV star Josh Duggar has become something of a folk hero to the far Christian right, who see him as an anti-choice and anti-gay icon. Duggar is also the executive director of Tony Perkins' Family Research Council Action – the political action arm of the anti-gay hate group. 

On Sunday, after speaking at the National Organization For Marriage's anti-gay marriage hate rally, CNS News interviewed Duggar about this week's Supreme Court marriage case.

"Right now in America there is an agenda to silence people of faith, those who hold a dissenting opinion," Duggar told CNS. "That’s not what America was founded on. America was founded on respect, tolerance, and really not discriminating against people based on their religious convictions."

In other words, not allowing Christians to discriminate against gay people is "discriminating against people based on their religious convictions."

Duggar also claimed that "only one other country in the entire world has ever redefined marriage and that was Brazil when they stepped in through the court system to do that."

Raw Story's Travis Gettys was quick to set the record straight this morning.  "In fact, 18 countries worldwide legally approved same-sex marriage through legislative action or court rulings, and two others – Mexico and the United States – recognize same-sex unions in at least some regions," Gettys notes.
 The reality is that Duggar an his family are freaks and their "reality show" is little better than a carnival freak show.  

Bernie Sanders Announces Campaign for President as a Democrat

Hillary Clinton now has a challenger for the Democrat Party nomination: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  I like Sanders on a number of issues: avoiding fool's errand foreign wars, reining in income inequality, controlling big banks, and liberal social positions.  Although he's thought to be a long shot, he may force Hillary to take some bolder positions.  Moreover, he certainly will not be timid in slamming failed GOP policies, including the GOP's reverse Robin Hood agenda.  Here are highlights from the New York Times on Sanders' announcement:

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, announced Thursday that he was running for president as a Democrat, injecting a progressive voice into the contest and providing Hillary Rodham Clinton with her first official challenger for the party’s nomination.

Avoiding the fanfare that several Republicans have chosen so far when announcing their candidacies, Mr. Sanders issued a statement to supporters that laid out his goals for reducing income inequality, addressing climate change and scaling back the influence of money in politics.

Mr. Sanders’s bid is considered a longshot, but his unflinching commitment to stances popular with the left — such as opposing foreign military interventions and reining in big banks — could force Mrs. Clinton to address these issues more deeply.

“I think it is time for the American people to say enough is enough,” he said in an interview. “We need an economy that works for all of us and not just for a handful of billionaires.”

Mr. Sanders, 73, has said that he will not run a negative campaign and that he has never run an attack ad in his life. A self-described “Democratic socialist” and grumpy grandfather-type, Mr. Sanders has promised to steer the Democratic Party toward a mature debate about the issues he is passionate about.

Democrats who have been hoping for more liberal candidates to enter the race, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts or former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, cheered Mr. Sanders’s decision.

“Having Bernie Sanders in the race, calling for populism, will help open the political space for people like Hillary Clinton and others to take bold stands,” said Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

If anything, Mr. Sanders, who embraces his reputation for being gruff, abrupt and honest, promises to be bold. Recalling that he has defeated Democrats and Republicans with far greater financial resources in his long career, Mr. Sanders suggested that his campaign should not be taken lightly.  “I think people should be a little bit careful underestimating me,” he said.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Will Hispanics Reject the GOP Again?

With the Republican effort to turn out the Christofascist vote about maxed out as that demographic continues to dwindle in numbers, the ongoing question is whether or not the G not to mention GOP support for trigger happy copsOP can attract enough other voters to win the White House in 2016.  With younger voters and more educated voters turned off by the GOP's anti-gay jihad, blacks alienated by GOP backed voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising minorities, many Muslims and Hindu's repulsed by the GOP's self prostitution to the Christofascist, the remaining voting block the GOP has to mine for votes is Hispanics.  Yet even here, the GOP anti-immigrant stance and the very much alive embrace of white supremacists by the GOP, does not bode well for Republicans.  A piece in Politico looks at the odds of Hispanics rejecting the GOP yet again in 2016.  Here are highlights:

This is the week where the Republican party's biggest 2016 challenge takes center stage for the first time. You can’t say Republicans haven't seen it coming. They’ve known for ages that Hispanics have the capacity to make or break them in 2016. Right now it’s looking more like break, unless a couple of potential saviors pull off a miracle—which is why former Gov. Jeb Bush went on Tuesday to Puerto Rico, not known for its early primary status. 

If the GOP is to make any headway with Hispanic voters, analysts across the spectrum say two Floridians are the key. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, is enjoying a surge of attention and polling popularity after announcing his candidacy this month. Bush is not Hispanic, despite his “oops” moment of checking off Hispanic on a voter form, but he may be an even better bet than Rubio.

Yet the primary and general election seasons are riddled with political trapssome Republicans set for themselves, some laid by President Obama—that could well make gains with Hispanic voters in the 2016 cycle more difficult than ever.

The problem began with GOP recalcitrance on immigration reform, despite pleas from party elders after the 2012 election to get behind comprehensive fixes that included legal status and a complicated path to citizenship for many of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. From there, the dominoes fell. The House killed a bipartisan Senate reform bill. Obama responded with a series of executive actions designed to shield millions from deportation. Republicans and conservatives filed lawsuits to stop him. Courts blocked Obama’s actions. Republicans, having backed off comprehensive reform, narrowed their focus to border control and decrying Obama’s executive “overreach.”

Given that history, get ready for a year or more of questions to GOP White House hopefuls about what they would do about all this as president: Revoke permits for undocumented young people—the “dreamers”—who already have temporary legal status under a 2012 Obama policy? Roll back the executive actions now being challenged in court, even if they eventually take effect and millions receive temporary residency permits? 

And that’s just immigration. The GOP is also out of step with Hispanics on major Obama initiatives such as the Affordable Care Act and re-establishing relations with Cuba, as well as broader questions about the role of government. The chasms will put identity politics—as well as campaign skills, personal connections and policy creativity—to a stiff test.

Yet citizenship and other shared immigration goals have receded and new wedges have emerged, raising the question of whether even a Bush or a Rubio can repair relations.  “The idea that Republicans can rip into illegal immigrants without antagonizing Hispanic voters is delusional.”

That sums up why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, though his father was born in Cuba, doesn’t qualify as a party-expander. He’s a ferocious critic of a path to citizenship and Obama’s executive actions and he opposed Loretta Lynch’s nomination as attorney general because she supported “the president’s illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty.” . . . . When Cruz entered the race, the DREAM Action Coalition, which represents undocumented young people, predicted that “he may be the most anti-immigration candidate on stage” during GOP primary debates.

Ted Cruz: Anti-Gay Marriage Crusader? Not Always

Cruz - a two faced pandering whore?
Ted Cruz is already in trouble with some elements of the Christofascist base of the Republican Party for having dined - and presumably begged money from - gay New York hoteliers, Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner.  Weiderpass and Reisner meanwhile are experiencing their own blowback from the insanely stupid soiree.  Now, Bloomberg is reviewing some of Cruz's past that indicates that he has not always been the anti-gay crusader that he is trying to convince the unwashed Christofascist masses he claims to be.  I admit that I despise Cruz, and one can only hope his past two faced conduct comes back to bite him in his very ample ass.  Here are excerpts from Bloomberg:
Senator Ted Cruz, who wants to be the Republican Party's lead crusader against gay marriage, ducked the opportunity to play a critical role in turning back the movement in its infancy.

In 2003, the year Cruz became Texas's top government litigator, the state lost a crucial case as the U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws banning homosexual sex as illegal sodomy were unconstitutional. The decision in Lawrence v. Texas paved the way for the court's consideration of gay marriage. "The final victory for gay rights was foreshadowed when the court decided Lawrence v Texas," predicted Walter Dellinger, a former U.S. assistant attorney general and solicitor general who’s argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court.

Cruz is making the gay marriage debate the cornerstone of a bid to rally conservatives to his 2016 presidential bid, but same-sex issues haven't always been the top priority for a lawmaker who built his profile as a limited-government, Tea Party-aligned conservative.

As Texas solicitor general when the Lawrence v. Texas case came before the Supreme Court, Cruz was "very much in the middle of all this drama," . . . . Yet "Cruz remained absolutely silent," Katine said. The case remained assigned instead to a Harris County district attorney. 
"One would expect the state solicitor to argue a case of this magnitude," said Dellinger. 

Interviews with a dozen former fellow law students, professors, lawyers and government officials show that his lack of involvement in the Lawrence case is part of a broader narrative about the Texas senator's relationship with the gay community: While he has consistently opposed gay rights, he has often stayed away from the front lines of the fight and even courted gay donors.
Religious conservative voters who care more about religious liberty and social issues are now the linchpin of Cruz's candidacy, and many of them believe the gay marriage debate is at a tipping point as the nation's moral fabric unravels.

But when the opportunity came to make that case to the nation's highest court, Cruz appears to have demurred. Bill Delmore, then chief of the Harris County appellate division, said the lead attorney had asked the attorney general--Cruz' boss--to take over the case as it headed to the Supreme Court. That request was rejected . . .

While Democrats accuse Cruz of being anti-gay, he has been friendly with gay donors.

Recently, as the New York Times first reported, Cruz attended a fundraising reception at a gay couple's home in in Manhattan. In his brief 2009 bid to be elected Texas attorney general, a large portion of the money Cruz collected came from donors with ties to the gay rights movement.

He accepted $250,000 from gay donor Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, who is also a top contributor to the national gay conservative group GOProud. Thiel also gave $2 million to Club for Growth, a super political action committee that put $705,657 toward Cruz's Senate run.

[U]nlike a number of Texas legislators and public officials, Cruz was not a leader in opposing gay rights and marriage equality, said Glen Maxey, the first openly gay Texas legislator who founded the state's gay and lesbian rights lobby, now called Equality Texas, in 1985.
There's more, but the take away seems to be that Cruz is trying to scam the Christofascists to further his own interest.  In the process, he is rewriting history.  I hope the Christofascist wake up to the reality that Cruz is trying to take them for a ride.