Tag Archives: U.S. Senate

Quote for the Day

“I think that your successor 500 years from now is going to be writing about us the way that we write about the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. It’s just so corrupt, in the same way that they were selling bishoprics and indulgences to shorten your time in purgatory. We’re selling votes. We’re selling amendments. We’re selling democracy, and it’s absolutely disgusting. But what makes it even more fucked up is that everybody knows that it’s happening, but it’s just what has always happened for so long now that it’s all-encompassing in the system. No one seems really willing to do anything that will compromise their ability to be successful in that system by stepping out of it.”

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, candidate for U.S. Senate

Read more about O’Rourke’s campaign in the Texas Tribune.

Advertisements

Quote for the Day

“I can’t imagine a more transparent and open process than put it on the internet, invite people’s comments and discussion, and then have an open amendment process following debate, and then vote.”

Sen. John Cornyn (TP-Texas).

Senator – How about the process where you don’t negotiate a bill in secret closed-door meetings excluding opposition members and even most members of your party, and where you actually hold committee hearings, get input from experts and the public on both sides, have an open debate and not keep it under wraps until days before a supposed vote? How about that process – would that be more transparent and open?

Red Endorses Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate

Last week Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D- El Paso) announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate seeking to unseat “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas).  O’Rourke comes from a political family – his father was El Paso County Judge.  O’Rourke himself has been in politics for about 12 years – first serving as an El Paso City Councilman and then barely unseating 8-term Congressman Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary in 2012.

O’Rourke carries some baggage from his days as a rock musician and two arrests – neither of which resulted in a conviction.  Since then, he has operated a successful business – making enough money to venture into politics.  His legislative track record is light, but that would be expected from a Democratic Congressman from Texas serving in a GOP dominated House of Representatives.

O’Rourke has taken strong stands on legalization of marijuana and protecting LGBT rights, but he kicked off his “campaign” when he and Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) embarked on a 3 day road trip to D.C. when airline flights were cancelled.  The two representatives live-blogged their discussions as they drove east and created remarkable internet buzz by rationally and civilly discussing the issues.

It is worth noting, that no one from El Paso has ever been elected to state-wide office and that O’Rourke is a long shot against the Cruz publicity and money machine.  The only hope would be that Cruz’s overweening ambition and narcissism will turn off enough moderates to consider making a switch.  Still it would be remarkable if O’Rourke could crass the 45% threshold.  But when faced with a choice of “Lying” Ted or a long shot, Red is not afraid of big odds.  Red is fully on the Beto Bandwagon.

If you are interested in O’Rourke’s campaign, you can find out more at betofortexas.com.

Today in Texas History – March 23

From the Annals of Lying Ted – In 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for President.  Cruz who had held elective office for less than 2 years and was widely reported to be the most hated man in the U.S. Senate seemed a long shot at the time but stunned observers by winning the Iowa Caucuses.  That win kept him in the race for the long haul.  Cruz racked up several more primary and caucus wins including Texas.  Cruz’s campaign, however, was dogged by accusations and proof of various “dirty tricks” including a misinformation campaign about Ben Carson before the Iowa Caucus and a smear campaign against Marco Rubio.  These problems resulted in Donald Trump (amazingly now it seems) tagging his as “Lying Ted.”  In the end, Cruz was unable to match the bombastic firepower of Donald Trump and was forced to suspend his campaign after losing in Indiana.  There was talk of Cruz attempting to engineer a brokered convention but that fell apart with Trump’s closing rush.  It is hard to say how the losing run will affect Cruz’s political future.  He seems certain to draw an opponent in the Republican primary in 2018.

On a personal note, Red can state that within in 10 minutes of meeting Ted Cruz (well before he became a major public figure), he was convinced that he was about the most obnoxious person he had ever met.

Beto O’Rourke to Take on “Lying Ted”?

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso may take on Senator “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018 – that is assuming LTC survives a likely Republican primary challenge.  O’Rourke, little known outside of far west Texas, raised his profile by taking a road trip with Republican Congressman Will Hurd when neither could get a flight back to DC due to weather.

Beto O’Rourke had, it seemed, already made up his mind he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s U.S. Senate seat next year.

But among the many hurdles the three-term Democratic congressman from El Paso would face, semiobscurity seemed hard to crack. He was little known outside of his hometown — no El Paso native has ever won statewide office — despite recent trips to virtually every corner of the state to raise his profile.

That changed Tuesday, when O’Rourke and his colleague, Will Hurd, a second-term Republican from Helotes, found themselves unable to fly from San Antonio into snowbound Washington in time for some House votes Wednesday. Instead, at O’Rourke’s instigation, they rented a Chevy Impala and hit the road for the nation’s capital.

Thus was born a 30-hour bipartisan road trip (plus four hours sleeping at a Nashville, Tenn., hotel), much of it streamed on Periscope and Facebook Live, that O’Rourke from the outset described as the “longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world,” and which over the course of their 1,600-mile journey garnered encouragement from politicians of both parties, 2.6 million views online and the kind of avalanche of positive media coverage that most politicians will never see in a lifetime.

John Cornyn States the Obvious

In an interview with KERA – Dallas, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) unloaded on Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) as a political opportunist.

“We’ve had our differences on tactics or how to accomplish those goals. Part of it [is] from the fact that I’ve been here a while and I’m part of the elected Republican leadership. My goal has always been to figure out how we can advance the conservative cause. I think he’s taken the more immediate shorter-term view of things. Clearly, he didn’t come here to remain in the Senate. He came here to run for president. I think that perhaps explains the difference in tactics.”

So the good folks of Texas voted for a man who had no intention of actually attempting to represent our interests in the Senate.   It’s no surprise to Red that Cruz views his current job as nothing more than a stepping stone to the greater glorification of all things Ted Cruz, but for Cornyn to essentially admit that is fairly remarkable.

All of this begs the question of what Cruz will do if he loses his bid for the presidency.  The Senate will not interest him at all, since it is by now obvious that he will not be able to accomplish anything in that august body that collectively hates him with a white hot passion.  So rather than be a meaningless if petulant back bencher, Red has a few thoughts on what our junior senator might do.

  1. Reality TV show with Sarah Palin – Ted and Sarah on the road, waving flags, shooting guns and talking crazy.
  2. Personal injury plaintiff’s lawyer.
  3. Don’t miss the “TrusTed” show at 9 pm EST on Fox News.
  4. Take over when Ed Young retires from Second Baptist – or push the old guy out if necessary.
  5. Find small third world country looking for Dictator for Life!
  6. Stay at home Dad living off Heidi’s Goldman Sachs paychecks and watching Hogan’s Heroes reruns.
  7. High school history teacher with simple message – Lincoln bad, Jeff Davis good.
  8. Multi-million dollar book deal.  Most copies remaindered for a $1.99.
  9. Actual tea party host.
  10. Or maybe Canada wants him back?

 

Cornyn Backing Criminal Justice Reform

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has been fairly quiet of late – what with the junior senator from Texas sucking all the air out of the room.  But Cornyn (whom Red has taken to task in the past) is actually serious at times about his work as a senator representing not only Texas but the best interests of the nation.  Red speculates that watching Ted Cruz bloviate and bluster his way to national prominence has not set well with our silver-haired senior senator.  Cornyn appears determined to forge his own path to consolidating the considerable power he holds as the No. 2 “man” in the Senate and trying to get legislation passed – something that interests Sr. Cruz not at all.

In that light, Cornyn has taken on the considerable task of federal criminal justice reform by pushing a bill out of the Judiciary Committee that, among other things, would give federal judges more leeway in sentencing, end mandatory life sentences for three-time losers convicted of non-violent crimes, and establish programs to ease released prisoners back into society.

Cornyn faces opposition from other Republicans.  Cruz himself is opposed and as usual misrepresents what the proposed legislation would actually do.  “I don’t think what the justice system needs is additional leniency for violent criminals,” Cruz complains having apparently not bothered to actually read the bill.

For the full story on Cornyn’s efforts check out Mary Clare Jalonick of the AP.