Jeb’s Father-in-Law Was an Undocumented Alien Who Retired on U.S. Social Security

Jeb Bush's father-in-law, Jose Maria Garnica

Jeb Bush’s father-in-law, Jose Maria Garnica

Outside Florida, Jeb Bush may be viewed as being more liberal — more reasonable and smarter — than his infamously witless, reflexively conservative brother, George W. But Floridians know better. As governor, Jeb was a right-wing hardliner — a doctrinaire supply-sider who slashed at least $14 billion in revenue to the state government by cutting taxes, mostly on the wealthy, and killing programs for the middle class and services for the poor. It was Jeb who signed Florida’s infamous “Stand Your Ground Law” and Jeb who tortured a stroke victim, Terri Schiavo, by ordering her to be kept alive artificially years after she’d suffered irreversible loss of brain function.

One area where Jeb’s positions are famously out of synch with the extreme right, however, is immigration. Last year he outraged tea party types when he expressed compassion for those who cross the border illegally. The undocumented, Jeb said, come to the United States seeking employment as an “act of love … an act of commitment to your family.”

Now a report in the Washington Post may explain why Jeb’s position on immigration is an outlier from conservative orthodoxy. It’s personal. His wife Columba’s late father, Jose Maria Garnica Rodriguez, was a undocumented worker from Mexico:

Jon Stewart Skewers Florida Republicans’ Climate-Change Denial

screenshot-stewart-skewers-fl-climate-change-denial

Watch the video:

Obama: ACA Was the GOP’s Plan ‘Based on Conservative, Market-Based Principles Developed by the Heritage Foundation’

chart-uninsured-rate-drops

Five years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, the metrics point to success: the percentage of Americans who are uninsured has fallen dramatically, the runaway growth of healthcare costs has slowed, family budgets are more secure and, most importantly, lives are being saved. At an event on Wednesday marking the ACA’s fifth anniversary, Pres. Obama addressed these and the ACA’s other successes — and even pointed out the fundamental paradox of the GOP’s contrived opposition to it: The ACA was based on their own plan.

photo-obama-aca-fifth“[The] Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it,” the president said, “based on conservative, market-based principles developed by the Heritage Foundation and supported by Republicans in Congress, and deployed by a guy named Mitt Romney in Massachusetts to great effect. If they want to take credit for this law, they can. I’m happy to share it.”

Ted Cruz is at Least the 197th Person to Enter the 2016 Presidential Race

size0While many mainstream news outlets reported that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the first Republican to officially declare his candidacy for president in the 2016 election Monday, he’s actually 197th or more down the line, according to the Federal Election Commission. Indeed, as of yesterday, Cruz had not filed a Statement of Candidacy form with the FEC yet (he has 15 days from his public declaration to do so).

It’s not a high bar for entry into the race, however. One must either have raised $5,000 in campaign contributions, spent $5,000 on one’s campaign or designated someone else — a committee — to raise and/or spend $5,000 on one’s behalf.

Our perennial favorite candidate, Paul Chehade, has been in the race since 2013. He’s joined by, to judge on names alone, some rather quirky folks with aspirations to high executive office.

Canadian Ted Cruz’s Failure to Wear an American Flag Pin at Campaign Kickoff Showed ‘Utter Contempt for Everything American’
Where's the American flag pin?

Where’s the American flag pin?

Did you notice? When Canadian Ted Cruz launched his U.S. presidential campaign in Lynchburg, Va., yesterday, there was something conspicuously absent on his lapel. An American flag pin.

Conservatives have made it clear in years past that among candidates for president there is no greater symbol of patriotism than wearing an American flag pin. In fact, in 2012, Joseph Farah, publisher of World Net Daily, said that when a candidate does not wear an American flag pin, it is “a metaphor for his utter contempt for everything American.”

After Banging the Birther Drum for Years, the GOP’s First 2016 Candidate Is a Canadian

art-canadian-flag-ted-cruzSen. Ted Cruz made it official yesterday. He’s running for president. It’s fair to say he has zero chance of winning his party’s nomination, much less the general election. It’s further fair to say he’s in the race for the same reason that Newt Gingrich teased a run for the presidency for so many cycles before jumping in — and for the same reason that Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Alan Keyes and others have run — to sell books and/or land a hosting gig on Fox or hate radio.

The twist here is that Ted Cruz was born in Canada — Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, to be precise. His mother was an American citizen, but his father was a Cuban national — and, worse, a member of Fidel Castro’s Communist Party.

Why You Felt Good About Things Before You Listened to the Pundits
Indicators

Figures from the Conference Board, which measures consumer confidence

There’s a new standard for judging the success of Pres. Obama’s initiatives: Every single last soul in America must be doing great before we can claim progress.

Don’t believe it? Can you count the number of times you’ve heard news reported this way?

Pundit: “Well yes, Freemont, unemployment continues to fall, month in and month out, but if you’re a person who is still looking for a job and can’t find one, then you’re not feeling any improvement.”

Duh.

Let me correct that. Big, super-irrelevant duh.

Facts are facts, and numbers are numbers. Whether “you’re the person” for whom things aren’t getting better doesn’t change the fact that THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER.

This Republican and tea party tactic of dismissing Pres. Obama’s proven successes by noting the exceptions has gone mainstream.

Santorum Stands Mute As S.C. Birther Claims Obama Tried to Nuke Charleston
Left: A photo of Virginia Ellisor and South Carolina politician Lee Bright from Ellisor's Facebook page; left: a screenshot of Santorum listening to Ellisor's rant

Left: A photo of Virginia Ellisor and South Carolina politician Lee Bright from Ellisor’s Facebook page; right: a screenshot of Santorum listening to Ellisor’s rant

On a swing into South Carolina last week in his never-ending but never-gonna-happen campaign to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum proved again that he is a political hack who lacks the gravitas — and class — required to be president.

During a Q&A session at a birther, anti-Muslim summit, Santorum said nothing during a two-and-a-half minute rant by Virginia Ellisor, a self-described “retired teacher, lifelong political activist and lifelong resident of South Carolina,” who laced her comments with a series of ridiculous allegations against the president — that Pres. Obama is a “communist dictator,” that he is “not a citizen,” and that he is “trying to destroy the United States.”

Getting to specifics about the latter accusation, Ellisor cited a recent alleged attempt by the president to destroy an American city.

Flashback: Rove Erases 22 Million White House Emails on Private Server at Height of U.S. Attorney Scandal – Media Yawns
Rove

Rove

Now that they’ve taken control of Congress, Republicans are wielding power much the same way they did in the Clinton era and for the six years afterward when they controlled the White House and Congress under George W. Bush: ineptly — ex. 1, 2, 3, etc.

Then as now, it’s clear that the only thing Republicans do very well is inflame the media with bogus scandals — which is a handy way to distract attention from their ineptitude. They are doing this with their usual aplomb, and considerable success, in the matter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send emails.

Clinton has said she deleted about 50,000 emails that dealt with personal matters, citing her daughter’s wedding and her mother’s funeral as examples. All the correspondence pertaining to official business was turned over to archived by State. The deletion of the emails, though perfectly legal, has excited House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, who has announced plans to deploy House committees to investigate what might aptly be called Servergate.

Al Jazeera Explains How Clueless 47 Senators Were About Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations

Leave it to Al Jazeera America to give a little lesson in international relations to the 47 asshats who signed the now infamous letter to Iran threatening to obviate any agreement on that country’s nuclear designs. It’s worth a read, since I haven’t seen a similar explainer in the capitol press corp’s output.

Here’s a sample:

Beyond the amusing inaccuracies about U.S. parliamentary order, it seems there are some features of the nuclear negotiations that the signatory senators don’t fully understand — not only on the terms of the deal, but also on who would be party to an agreement.

There are no negotiations on Iran’s “nuclear-weapons program” because the world’s intelligence agencies (including those of the U.S. and Israel) do not believe Iran is currently building nuclear weapons, nor has it made a strategic decision to use its civilian nuclear infrastructure to produce a bomb. An active Iranian nuclear-weapons program would render moot the current negotiations, because Iran would be in fundamental violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Enumerati

  • 19%

    Jeb Bush’s lead in the GOP presidential field in New Hampshire, followed by Scott Walker at 14%, Rand Paul at 7%, Donald Trump at 6%, Ted Cruz at 5% and Chris Christie at 5%, according to a new Suffolk University poll in New Hampshire.

  • 739

    Number of amendments the Senate had attached to the budget bill during yesterday’s vote-a-rama marathon, reports the New York Times.

  • 29%

    Scott Walker lead in the GOP presidential race in Iowa, followed by Ben Carson at 14%, Jeb Bush at 12%, Mike Huckabee at 11%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Marco Rubio at 5%, Rand Paul at 5% and Chris Christie at 5%, according to a new InsiderAdvantage poll in Iowa.

  • 6 in 10

    Americans said they were bothered a lot by the feeling that ‘some wealthy people’ and ‘some corporations’ don’t pay their fair share, according to a Pew Research survey. “Only 27% cited their own tax bills as something that bothered them a lot, even though 40% thought they paid more than their fair share given what they get from the federal government.”

  • 19% to 18%

    Scott Walker’s lead over Jeb Bush in the GOP presidential primary in New Hampshire, according to a new Gravis Marketing poll. Chris Christie is at 10%, Rand Paul at 10%, Marco Rubio at 7%, Ted Cruz at 6% and Ben Carson is at 6%.

Poetic Justice

Today, the Senate’s engaged in its budget vote-a-rama,
A most clamorous scene of high crimes and low drama.
They vote on amendments
Not understanding their contents,
But it still ain’t a budget ’til it’s approved by Obama.

Verbatim

  • We estimate that keeping registration open through Election Day in 2012 would have allowed an additional 3 million to 4 million Americans to register and vote. We used the number of Google searches for ‘register to vote’ in the weeks leading up to the 2012 election to measure late interest in registering. These search terms were entered millions of times, and much of the activity fell at the very end of the campaign period.

    — Alex Street, writing in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.

  • On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be that it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.

    – Sen. Ted Cruz, in an interview with Texas Tribune.

  • You’re playing God with the Internet!

    — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) shouted at Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, reported National Journal.

  • This is no way to treat an ally. Conducting the foreign policy of a great nation requires maturity and a strategic sense of America’s long-term interests. This is no time for schoolyard antics.

    — Jeb Bush, writing for National Review, on President Obama’s relationship with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • You can’t govern the country based on being angry.

    — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Politico, as he tries to carve out a position in opposition to the Ted Cruz wing of the GOP.

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