Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Join Forces Against the Fed

Click to read the full story with links at the New York Times First Draft blog.

Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz might end up running against each other for the Republican presidential nomination, but they can agree on one thing: their distrust of the Federal Reserve.

On Wednesday, the two Republican senators introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act which Mr. Paul has been pushing for some time.

Republicans have questioned the Fed’s moves to stimulate the economy since the financial crisis, arguing that the expansion of its balance sheet will create economic instability. In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry called the Fed’s monetary policies potentially “treasonous” and said that Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman at the time, would be in for “ugly” treatment if he visited Texas.

“Enough is enough,” Mr. Cruz said in a statement. “The Federal Reserve needs to fully open its books so Congress and the American people can see what has been going on.”

The wacko behind Ted Cruz

Click here to read the full opinion column in the Worchester, Massachusetts Telegram.

When I heard Rafael Cruz’s recent rant about God’s vengeance and unisex bathrooms, my first thought was: Oh, his poor son.

Rafael Cruz, you see, is the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, widely believed to be considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Like most of us, I’d never heard of Rafael until he fretted Tuesday about the risk of transgendered people using public bathrooms. According to Rafael, unless we discriminate against these folks they’ll soon be sharing our stalls and engaging in God knows what else.

“An ordinance was passed by city council with a blessing of the mayor that allows men to walk into women’s bathrooms,” Rafael said, speaking on a conference call. “It even would allow kids to make football teams to go shower with the girls. That is a recipe for disaster, for sexual predators, for who knows what. So my call to every Christian is, enough, we can no longer sit comfortable on the pews. And, pastors, you cannot continue to hide behind the pulpit. God will hold you accountable.”

You get the gist. I’m not in the habit of sympathizing with Ted Cruz, but I figured old Rafael was his embarrassing-relative-cross-to-bear. You know, like Billy Carter was Jimmy’s and Roger Clinton was Bill’s. Most recently, President Barack Obama’s uncle, Onyango Obama, was a source of shame after news broke that he was an illegal immigrant ordered by a judge to leave the country in 1992.

Back to Rafael. After some research, I learned that he’s an evangelical Texas preacher who believes that the media want to destroy America, that gay marriage is a government plot and that — allow me to quote here — “Evolution is one of the strongest tools of Marxism because if they can convince you that you came from a monkey, it’s much easier to convince you that God does not exist.”

In other words, Rafael Cruz is a full-on, fundamentalist wackadoodle. It happens. Granted, not every son can boast a dad who lauds Glenn Beck as a “modern John the Baptist,” but we empathize, right? Must be tough on Ted, especially with such lofty political aspirations.

Turns out, it’s not so tough on Ted. Quite the contrary. According to a story in 2013 in the National Review Online, the close “partnership” between Cruz and his dad has been “a rising force” in Republican politics ever since dad helped his son win the 2012 U.S. Senate race in 2012:

“Ever since, Cruz has kept his father, a 74-year-old pastor, involved with his political shop, using him not merely as a confidant and stand-in, but as a special envoy. He is Cruz’s preferred introductory speaker, his best messenger with evangelicals, and his favorite on-air sidekick — a presence who softens his edge.”

So Ted Cruz isn’t hiding his dad. He’s consulting his dad. And Ted Cruz wants to be president of the United States, armed with a wrath-of-God-type father who helps “soften” his edge. Rafael is also said to hold considerable sway over his son and his inner circle.

“Their road show has enthralled many on the right and startled Cruz’s potential 2016 rivals,” according to the National Review. “No one else in the emerging GOP field has an ally like the charismatic elder Cruz.”

How is this possible? A father like Rafael should be a scandal, not a savior. An extremist who asserts that Christian believers are “anointed” by God to “take dominion” of the world should not have the ear of any powerful leader, let alone one who wants to be president.

Only in conservative tea party circles would a judgmental zealot be deemed a political asset.

Sen. Ted Cruz says school choice is a civil rights issue

Click here for the full Jan. 28 story from McClatchy News Service.

School choice is today’s top civil rights issue, Sen. Ted Cruz told a group of several hundred students at a rally in Washington on Wednesday during National School Choice Week.

“Just last week we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. In 1963, Dr. King stood at the Lincoln Memorial and promised justice for all of our children. School choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” the Texas Republican senator and 2016 presidential hopeful said (hear his remarks here).

Cruz declared that school choice was a way of “ensuring every child has an opportunity to receive an excellent education, that it shouldn’t matter what your race or ethnicity or zip code is, every single child deserves an opportunity to achieve the very best.”

Loretta Lynch meets Ted Cruz. A grand old time is had by all

This link will take you to the full story at the aptly named hotair.com, which includes video of questioning by Senator Cruz.

Confirmation hearings for Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to replace Eric Holder, got underway this week. One of her inquisitors was Senator Ted Cruz (R – Tex) who had plenty of questions, many related to the performance of the current Attorney General and how her approach might differ, if at all. The conversation would, in my opinion, be described as polite and professional, while still being confrontational. This first section (which starts in the first couple of minutes in the video below) deals with the limits of discretion in prosecution.

With regard to the limits of executive power, Sen. Cruz asked, “Let me ask about your understanding of prosecutorial discretion. Would it allow a subsequent president… to state that there are other laws that the administration will not enforce – labor laws, environmental laws – would it allow a president to say every existing federal labor law shall heretofore not apply to the state of Texas because I am using my prosecutorial discretion to refuse to enforce those laws? In your judgment, would that be constitutional?”

Nominee Lynch responded, “Again, I would have to know what legal basis was being proposed for that.”

Sen. Cruz continued, “I find it remarkable that you are unable to answer that question. I can answer it straightforward. It would be patently unconstitutional for any subsequent president to refuse to enforce the tax laws, or the labor laws, or the immigration laws for the very same reason that President Obama’s actions refusing to enforce immigration laws are unconstitutional. And it is discouraging that a nominee who hopes to serve as attorney general will not give a straightforward answer to that question.”

Ted Cruz praises Michelle Obama for shunning head scarf

This link will take you to the full Jan. 28 Chicago Sun-Times story.

First Lady Michelle Obama is getting some support from an unlikely candidate: Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

She created some controversy by not wearing a head covering while visiting Saudi Arabia to pay condolences after King Abdullah’s death.

Some took issue with the fact that she covered up on a trip to Indonesia, but not in Saudi Arabia.

Cruz, tweeted out his support “for standing up for women.”