Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign’s No Good, Very Bad First Day

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-A Cave.

I wrote earlier today how, after his presidential campaign announcement, Sen. Cruz failed to buy TedCruz.com and TedCruzforAmerica.com. Though he snatched up TedCruz.org, the guy’s team can’t even get the donor link together.

According to The Hill, the donor link did “not offer encryption for online transactions, the level of security illustrated by a padlock next to the URL on most common browsers.” Meaning someone could steal your credit card number.

Which is funny since, after that was resolved, the security certificate revealed the alternative site domain was “Nigerian-prince.com.” That site parodies those spam e-mails you get from long lost “beloved relatives” who want to give you a billion dollars in exchange for your Social Security number.

Birds of a feather stick together, y’all.

As if it didn’t get any worse, the Liberty University crooners surrounding him were so *not* into it. Though Liberty, an evangelical Christian university, attracts a certain type, that doesn’t mean they fit neatly into Cruz’s 1984-esque wet dream of an America where everyone received the Most Likely to be Ted Cruz honor in their yearbook. (Qualifications: Beating Commies with Bibles.)

Yeah even some of those freethinking Communists dissed the dude.

Look I know running for president is pretty much the epitome of #YOLO but Christ almighty, Ted Cruz, get your shit together.

 

—  James Russell

UPDATED: Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign’s first big blunder

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is a former solicitor general who helped shut down the government.

This post has been reflected to update just how much Sen Ted Cruz’s web presence sucks.

Dude. Y’all. The guy is a sitting senator running for president who let Tedcruz.com slip between his fingers. It’s his damned name! What the hell is wrong with this guy?!?!?

Original post:

You know, if you’ve had your eyes on the presidency since your first Senate election, you should probably, you know, prepare in advance. Not only do you need staffers, fundraisers, dark money PACs and unpaid interns, you also need an adept web presence. (see: President Barack Obama)

Which brings me to Sen. Ted Cruz, who launched his presidential campaign this morning. The firebrand freshman senator forgot to buy Tedcruzforamerica.com. So instead of a beaming Cruz-as-superman welcoming the Chosen Ones to his campaign bunker, you are redirected to…Healthcare.gov, a portal for President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

And Cruz’s nemesis.

Maybe you remember Cruz and others forced a 16 day government shutdown in 2013 by refusing to vote for a budget bill that didn’t repeal the entire ACA. After Congress passed a clean budget bill, Cruz and his right-wing allies were slammed for their actions. Backbenchers, fringe types, they were called.

Naturally those are fightin’ words. And Cruz, the humble junior senator from Texas, is all ready to fight regardless who criticizes him.

Because when does criticism ever stop Cruz?

Never.

Duh.

—  James Russell

California GOP recognizing Log Cabin

The California Republican Party voted Sunday (March 1) overwhelmingly to charter Log Cabin Republicans of California as an official affiliate of the state GOP.Screen shot 2015-03-03 at 10.13.35 AM

The vote was 861-293.

John Musella, whose term as chair of LCR-California began the same day the state GOP voted to recognize the group, said the vote “sends a strong signal that the Republicans’ ‘big tent’ has room for everyone.”

The Texas GOP, however, must have its own tent, and that tent still has a “No Gays Allowed” sign hanging on the door.

The Texas GOP just last year refused to allow Log Cabin Republicans and a second LGBT Republican group, Metroplex Republicans, to have booths at the state convention. It was at that same convention that the Texas Republican Party adopted a platform that called for “reparative therapy” for LGBTs — a discredited practice of trying to convert gays to straights.

And Republicans nation-wide seem to be more in line with Texas Republicans than with California Republicans. The GOP is still fighting desperately against the apparently inevitability of marriage equality, and the Conservative Political Action Committee — CPAC — refused to let the national Log Cabin group sign on as a sponsor of the annual CPAC conference.

Even in California, there are plenty of Republicans who disagree with recognizing Log Cabin, and the state party platform itself says homosexuality is unacceptable: “We believe public policy and education should not be exploited to present or teach homosexuality as an acceptable ‘alternative’ lifestyle. We oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.”

The state party also has a bylaw that prohibits recognition of organizations focused on “lifestyle preferences.”

—  Tammye Nash

LCR-Texas holding Lobby Day on Thursday

Jeff-Davis

LCR-Texas Chair Jeff Davis

Log Cabin Republicans, an LGBT Republican organization, will be hold its LCR-Texas Lobby Day on Thursday, Feb. 12, and LCR leaders are encouraging LGBT Republicans and their GOP allies to register for and participant in the event.

Issues LCR wants to address with Texas lawmakers include low taxes, the Second Amendment, the right to privacy, protecting children and parental rights and promoting the Texas economy, according to Jeff Davis, LCR-Texas chairman.

LCR-Texas Lobby Day begins with check-in at the Capitol Rotunda at 8:30 a.m. (with breakfast provided). Introductions and instructions are set for 9 a.m., followed at 9:30 a.m. by meetings with lawmakers.

Lunch will be provided at noon, and the afternoon — from 12:30-4 p.m., will be filled with more meetings with legislators.

Lobby Day closes at 5 p.m., and the day winds up with a happy hour at Rain, 217 W. 4th St., beginning at 6 p.m.

RSVP here so that organizers can have a more accurate count of those attending, which will help with coordinating and planning, Davis said.

For more information about LCR-Texas and its legislative agenda, go here.

—  Tammye Nash

Same-sex couple buys JebBushforPresident.com

As I wrote yesterday, the 2016 GOP presidential primary is in full swing.

Candidates are rallying the base, forming political action committees and laying their ground game.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has done all of that. But somehow Bush forgot to purchase JebBushforpresident.com.

One’s man mistake is another man’s opportunity. Or, in this case, a gay couple’s opportunity. According to to Business Insider, CJ Phillips and Charlie Rainwater work in the tech industry and live in Portland, Ore. The tech bears told B.I. they bought the domain in 2008.

Here’s the text (click on the image to see a larger version if you are having trouble reading it):

Bears Jeb Bush

I’ve sent an email to the couple. I’ll update this post later today if I hear from them.

—  James Russell

Konni Burton and other legislators attend energy briefing with quacks

10922581_215067605334889_3678561947259798580_oThere’s no need to bring your pitchforks and white hoods when you become a freshman in the Texas Lege. There are other people you meet down there who will bring all that — and a tin foil hat too.

Take, for instance, the photo to the right. It was posted on Senator Konni Burton’s Facebook page, from which I haven’t been blocked yet.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday, Jan. 21) she and other legislators attended an Energy Infrastructure Security Breakfast Briefing sponsored by fellow North Texas Republican legislators Rep. Tan Parker and Sen. Kelly Hancock. The guests of honor were, as you see, Frank Gaffney and Dr. Peter Vincent Fry.

Gaffney and Fry make Ted Cruz look like a kind and gentle grandmother.

Gaffney’s one helluva sweetheart. He’s a border-closing, right-wing warmongering Islamophobe who clings to his Bullion as much as his convictions. A champion of our 2003 march into Iraq (get the energy connection now?), he later threw around accusations that everybody and anybody was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most notably he alleged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin was a conspirator in the Brotherhood, a claim also supported by former Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Gaffney set up a legitimate-sounding front shop for his whackodom called the Center for Security Policy. You can read more about him here.

Fry is concerned about the nuclear arsenal as executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, according to his Family Security Matters profile. He predicts the world is going to end a lot. He’s so concerned about our families’ security matters he formed The Noah Project, which is “dedicated to the civil defense and survival of American families and their communities in the event of a nuclear or solar EMP or any other catastrophic event that would affect societal change in America.”

They’ve formed two compounds — one already sold out — where you can live off their products and proven method. Funny enough, the website didn’t even mention the word “militia.”

Later that day, Sen. Burton voted with 19 other senators (including one Democrat) to gut the Senate’s two-thirds rule, which required 21 senators to even debate legislation. Lt. Gov Dan Patrick actively campaigned against the rule on the campaign trail.

He got what he asked for. The chamber voted to replace it with a three-fifths rule, requiring only 19 senators instead. Many observers say the two-thirds rule worked in the Democrats’ favor, and propelled Burton’s predecessor Wendy Davis to international fame by allowing her to filibuster legislation. (Incidentally, the rule propelled Burton into her current career as well.)

Folks, these are the people who represent you, whether you voted for them or not. They are taking advice from folks like Gaffney and Fry. They listen to the Eagle Forum’s virulently anti-LGBT Cathie Adams and take big checks from archconservative Republican millionaires. They are recruited and polished by fringe groups like Gaffney’s. And they run Texas.

After the briefing, legislators could ask questions. I wonder what they asked.

—  James Russell

Know your rights; make your vote count

U.S. Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

Special Contributor

 

Unlike any other time in American history, it is important for all eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote on Nov. 4.

Recently, there has been significant dialogue regarding which party will control the House and the Senate in Washington. These conversations highlight a very real point: This election is critical to the future of minorities and middle-class Americans.

Voter engagement is crucial.

In minority communities, there is a common misconception that voter turnout is only important during presidential elections. But adhering to this school of thought could result in more than a decade of financial and political oppression.

It is not enough to see massive voter turnout in 2016; the same level of voter turnout must occur on Nov. 4.

Since the election of President Barack Obama, America’s first African-American president, the Republican Party has become the “Obstructionist” Party. During the current Congress, the GOP has done everything in its power to ensure the ineffective operation of our federal government. For example, in 2013 the Republican Party caused a government shutdown.

Now, with the help of the U.S.  Supreme Court, the Obstructionist Party has shifted its efforts to implementing new voter ID laws and unconstitutional “poll taxes” that block the votes of approximately 600,000 eligible voters in Texas.

The new Texas voter ID law lists state driver’s licenses, voter identification certificates, state ID cards, concealed gun permits, military IDs, citizenship certificates and passports as the only forms of permissible voter identification.

Student ID cards, issued by the state’s colleges and universities, and other forms of government identification, including a voter registration card, are not acceptable forms of ID under the law.

The ability to utilize concealed gun licenses as a form of acceptable voter identification highlights the reality that these new laws were created to favor a specific demographic, while disenfranchising others. Why would a state deliberately violate the civil rights of millions of its residents?

Research shows that if African-Americans and Latinos successfully turned out to vote, many so-called red states would become blue.

A Congress controlled by Democrats would guarantee a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. This would occur during the first 100 days of a new Congress.

Additionally, increased access to early childhood education would become a reality, and the Equal Pay Act, which ensures that women earn the same wages as their male counterparts, would go into effect.

But none of these vital changes will occur without proper voter education and participation.

To be prepared for the Nov. 4 election, I encourage all voters to prepare themselves by visiting www.sos.state.tx.us to confirm their registration status. Voters can also visit www.votetexasgov to learn their correct polling places, and know their rights.

Do not allow yourself to be denied your right to vote based on technicalities. Educate yourself and vote on Nov. 4 to strengthen our democracy.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson represents Texas’ 30th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. She is a longtime ally of the LGBT community.

—  Tammye Nash

LULAC looking for volunteers to escort children

Dallas’ LULAC Council #102 is looking for volunteers to escort refugee children being brought to DFW from the Texas/Mexico border.County Judge Clay Jenkins

“We need Guardian Angels for these children in case they are confronted by the hatemongers and bigots we saw this weekend,” noted a LULAC email sent out this afternoon that issued the “call to action”. Anyone interested in volunteering should email their contact info to mgarza@dgley.com to get signed up for training and to be provided with legal and community logistics info.

“Religious community leaders of all faiths are strongly encouraged to volunteer,” according to the email, which quoted Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the lest of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told Stonewall Democrats last week that the flood of unaccompanied children from violence-torn Central American countries is a humanitarian crisis, and urged the LGBT community to get involved to help. Jenkins made national headlines when he stepped forward to offer a place for the children to go until their situations can be resolved.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., activists with the youth-led immigration reform group United We Dream staged a mock funeral for the Republican Party today in the halls of the Dirksen and Hart senate buildings. The protesters, carrying a mock coffin, said the GOP is dead to them because of the party’s stance on immigration reform.

Many of the protesters carried rainbow flags to symbolize their belief that immigration reform is inextricably tied to LGBT rights issues.

—  Tammye Nash

Carson City ends opposition in challenge to Nev. same-sex marriage ban

Clark-County-GOPThe Clark County, Nev., Republican Party edited its official platform statement over the weekend to remove a section defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, cut out a statement opposing abortion and added a section affirming people of all sexual orientations The Associated Press reported.

The pivot came over the weekend after some debate and a vote at the group’s central committee meeting in Las Vegas. Strong statements on social issues don’t align with the group’s belief in individual freedom, according to Nick Phillips, the organization’s political director.

“A big part of it has to do with personal liberty and smaller government,” he said Tuesday, “and other people not infringing on our rights and beliefs.”

The Clark County GOP is among the first in the country to make such changes to their platform statement. It comes amid overall shifts in public opinion on same-sex marriage, changes in the county party leadership and efforts to appeal to a broader base.

“Younger people believe they’re getting screwed by the Democrats on fiscal issues, and screwed by Republicans on social issues,” Phillips said. “Take that away and you’ve got a party you can get behind.”

About 570 people attended the committee meeting, and about 100 to 120 people opposed overhauling the platform statement in a vote Saturday, Phillips said. Critics raised concerns that abandoning the marriage definition would lead to the government forcing churches to perform weddings for gay couples.

Removing the anti-abortion provision drew even more strident opposition, Phillips said.

The platform now includes seven tenets outlining the Republican stance on jobs, public education, health care, immigration reform, taxation, fiscal responsibility and personal rights.

Clark County is home to three-fourths of Nevada’s residents, but it’s unclear whether the state Republican Party will follow suit and eliminate abortion and gay marriage language in its platform statement.

The state party is scheduled to hold its convention in Las Vegas April 11 and 12.

—  Steve Ramos

Republican official says gays should be purged from GOP, blames homosexuality on Satan

n-MARYSEARS-large

Mary Helen Sears

A new candidate for a Michigan seat on the Republican National Committee wants gays “purged” from the GOP and claims homosexuality is a “perversion” created by Satan himself, The Huffington Post reported.

Mary Helen Sears of Houghton County in the state’s Upper Peninsula, elected vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party’s 1st District last year, posted a rant in Aprilon the Schoolcraft County GOP website — preceded by a warning asking readers to “please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog.”

In the post, Sears claimed that homosexuals prey on children, argued that “Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit” and advocated that Republicans “as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent.”

Michigan’s representatives on the Republican National Committee have lately stirred other controversy, mostly due to Dave Agema, a former state lawmaker who has regularly made anti-gay comments and has been condemned by fellow Republicans, including Gov. Rick Snyder.

Last month, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak issued a joint statement asking Agema to step down from the RNC “for the good of the party.” Instead, Agema’s Michigan co-chair on the RNC, U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land (who had condemned Agema’s anti-gay comments), resigned her seat, saying she wanted to focus on her campaign. Under party rules, the state GOP must pick a woman to take Land’s place, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Enter Sears, who is running for Land’s vacated RNC seat. She’s, “if anything, to the right of RNC Committeeman Dave Agema on the political spectrum,” wrote Macomb Daily columnist Chad Selweski.

Sears, in her post on the Schoolcraft County GOP website, wrote that Communist college professors were indoctrinating young people and claimed that Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory “gave rise to Hitler’s Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia.”

“If the GOP continues down this trend and stand for perversions and the daily social fad … The GOP will be truly dead and Satan will have had his day,” Sears wrote.

Darren Littel, communications director for the Michigan Republican Party, told The Huffington Post the GOP supports a traditional definition of marriage, “but we also believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect and these comments clearly don’t reflect those principles.”

The prospect of Agema and Sears heading the Michigan delegation on the RNC is apparently striking fear in the hearts of some Republicans, according to the Macomb Daily:

Apparently some Republican insiders are so shaken by the prospect of having Agema and Sears as Michigan’s two representatives on the RNC that they’re growing concerned about two mainstream Republicans in the three-person field splitting their votes, thereby allowing Sears to claim victory. When the GOP State Committee meets to select Land’s replacement, Sears’ competitors are expected to consist of Ronna Romney McDaniel, daughter of Ronna Romney, and Sandra Kahn who, I’m told, is the aunt of state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and the ex-wife of Sen. Roger Kahn of Saginaw Township.

Ronna Romney McDaniel, incidentally, is the niece of Michigan native and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The RNC will choose a new national committeewoman on Feb. 15.

Although some Michigan Republicans may agree that Sears’ views are extreme, at least one GOP group has taken to social media to express fear that a pro-gay agenda is taking over the Michigan Republican Party.

The Delta County Republican Party recently published a list proclaiming that influential GOP pols like Priebus, Schostak and Senate candidate Land had surrendered to a “homosexual and stealth jihad agenda.”

—  Steve Ramos