Two right wing religious extremists have rushed to defend Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his trip to Cancun while the rest of Texas is in a state of emergency. Texas is currently sandwiched between two storms, the first dropped temperatures to single-digits earlier this week, knocking out the power grid for millions, the second is slated to hit Thursday, again bringing extreme low temperatures.
Senator Cruz opted to fly to Mexico rather than stay on the ground in his home state to help Texas residents.
First, here’s what they’re saying:
What could @tedcruz do if he were here in Texas? I’m hard-pressed to say. If he’s in Cancun, that means he’s not using up valuable resources of energy, food and water that can now be used by someone else. This is probably the best thing he could do for the state right now
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 18, 2021
The fact that people think Ted Cruz, a United States Senator, can do anything about a state power grid, even his own, is rather demonstrative of the ignorance of so many people who cover politics. They’d rather performative drama than substance.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
I’m sorry Ted Cruz is not there to emote with you people.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
“You people.” As in, millions of Texans trying to not freeze or starve to death.
What they’re exposing is their ignorance about government.
Conservatives, at least Republicans in general, tend to think government serves little important function. They love to toss around the old Reagan joke: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'”
In times of crisis, often the government is the only entity that can effectively help.
And don’t forget – we are the government. Government is people, the people we choose to lead and represent us. We hope they do it well.
Because conservatives don’t believe in government they consistently abuse it, under-estimate it, and make it worse.
So here’s what a few experts are saying about what Cruz could have done instead of fleeing to sunny Mexico.
First, Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin, who was the Deputy Policy Director for Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett:
Former congressional staff here. Every congressional office has a big constituent services function. During local crises that part of the office gets busy and the member can get personally involved.
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) February 18, 2021
For a more in-depth explanation, here’s a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. Notice how he uses the same word “performative,” but explains why that’s not what good lawmakers do.
People who think the job of a member of Congress during a local natural disaster is purely performative have definitely never been around a member of Congress during a local natural disaster. It might be the single situation where they can (and do) most affect policy outcomes.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
“In a local emergency,” Glassman says, lawmakers “are conduit to tons of resources and a resource who can effectively coordinate certain sets of actors and lean on people to make things happen. Can very much turn into administrators.”
It’s sort of like their normal casework load, but on steroids and short notice. There’s a reason members are glued to their phones and don’t sleep when a natural disaster hits their district, and it’s emphatically *not* so they can show their constituents how hard they work.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
Apparently, no one told Senator Cruz, or his religious right supporters.
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Sessions Joins Barr in Pleading Ignorance About Trump DOJ Spying on Dems – Is Rosenstein the Guy or Are They Setting Him Up?
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday afternoon announced that he too, just like former Attorney General Bill Barr, had no idea the Dept. of Justice was spying on at least two top House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. The scandal has shaken both the DOJ and the general public so broadly the Inspector General – less than 24 hours after The New York Times bombshell dropped – announced a wide-ranging internal investigation.
The track records of both Barr and Sessions when it comes to telling the truth – even under oath – are questionable at best and subject to interpretation.
Are they setting former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein up to take the fall? Or was it Rosenstein all along? Or both – were they all in on spying on Democrats?
Many Americans will remember that Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing:
Jeff Sessions lied under oath about meeting with Russian officials during the presidential campaign pic.twitter.com/zxVnV2Asdc
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 2, 2017
And this famous video of then-Senator Kamala Harris, now Vice President Kamala Harris, grilling Barr to a crisp is legendary:
Flashback: May 2019
Harris: Has the president or anyone at the WH ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?
Harris: Seems you’d remember something like that and be able to tell us.
Barr: Yeah, but I’m trying to grapple with the word suggest. pic.twitter.com/y8ewAgVAgE
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 11, 2021
Barr on Friday also claimed Trump knew nothing about the “investigation” and did not order the spying.
This is what Trump was tweeting about the same month that Trump’s DOJ subpoenaed Apple for metadata to spy on Rep. Schiff & other House Intel Democrats who Trump accused of “leaking”. It seems clear that Trump was directly involved in the DOJ’s targeting of Schiff, which is huge. pic.twitter.com/mdEH6ame5p
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) June 11, 2021
At the FBI, which the DOJ oversees, it’s called “lack of candor” and it’s a fireable offense. Unless you’re the Attorney General and your boss is Donald Trump and you’re helping him.
(Sessions was fired by Trump, not directly for this lie, but as a result of it: he was was forced to recuse himself from all things Russia, including protecting Trump, which led to Trump giving him the ax.)
Legal experts have said there is no way any investigation into a sitting member of Congress could have taken place – including, especially, with subpoenas of at least a dozen staffers, family members, and a minor child signing off on those warrants – unless a very top official or officials at DOJ approved the investigations.
On Friday both Barr and Sessions claimed they knew nothing about the investigations involving members of Congress, so, if Americans are to believe them, (and there’s great reason to not,) presumably the only other person who conceivably could have approved the spying on top elected Democrats would be Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein is also the only top DOJ official who was there throughout the spying, which started in 2017 under Sessions, ended after nothing was found, and was started up again under Barr. And again, came up empty.
Speaking of lack of candor, Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under DOJ investigation and has every reason to want to take a swipe at DOJ, would like you to believe Rosenstein is the one who OK’d the spying:
To all those “shocked” and “horrified” that Rod Rosenstein might spy on Schiff…
He was making these threats to BOTH sides, including congressional staff.
They don’t treat their critics well at the DOJ. https://t.co/iLWS6nVuX6
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) June 11, 2021
So all we know is that we don’t know, but hopefully the Inspector General will find out and let the American people know who approved spying on Democrats for political retribution.
‘Sit This One Out Champ’: Trump Surgeon General Slammed for Being ‘Uncomfortable’ With Biden Support of Anheuser’s Beer-for-Vaccine Incentive
After spending the first year of the pandemic generally staying quiet about President Donald Trump’s downplaying of the coronavirus pandemic, comparison to the flu, calling it the “China virus,” opposing masks and social distancing, promoting hydroxychloroquine and other fake “cures,” refusing to invoke the Defense Production Act, and using the pandemic as a way to get on TV every day while spreading false information, former Trump Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is “uncomfortable” with the Biden administration supporting a private company’s free beer incentive, and wonders, “Are cigarettes next?”
“Do public health advocates who’ve tried to raise the alarm about the health complications of increasing alcohol consumption really not have a problem with a federally sanctioned beer giveaway?” Dr. Adams, a former Vice Admiral, asked on Twitter Tuesday.
That “federally sanctioned beer giveaway” comes courtesy of Anheuser-Busch, which has “partnered with the Biden White House to give every American a free beer if 70% of Americans are vaccinated with at least one shot by the Fourth of July,” according to Fortune.
Americans are not given a COVID-19 vaccine shot and then a beer chaser at their local CVS, Walgreen’s or hospital or health clinic.
It’s merely one way to get more people vaccinated.
Given that the Trump administration is responsible for what the media generously calls “vaccine hesitancy,” it’s stunning the top health official who sat back and said little as Trump spread falsehoods – literally creating the situation we now see, where 41% of Republicans say they will never get vaccinated – is “uncomfortable.”
“I’m all for incentives/ rewards, and I’m not against people making personal choices to drink, but even the current Surgeon General put out a report warning about the health effects of alcohol consumption. Donuts, gambling (lottery tickets)… Are cigarettes next? Just me?” Dr. Adams asked.
He then suggested he had tried to take the high road, but just could not stand by any longer.
“I’m just really starting to get uncomfortable with the public health trade offs here,” he said, which would be trying to unite America by motivating people to get their friends and family members who refuse to follow the science and get vaccinated to save their lives and the lives of those around them, vaccinated. “And the messages we’re subtly sending our youth. Is it really worth it?”
I’ve tried to hold off as I know my message is likely to be seen by some as attacking the administration, but I’m not. I’m just really starting to get uncomfortable with the public health trade offs here. And the messages we’re subtly sending our youth. Is it really worth it? 🤔
— Jerome Adams (@JeromeAdamsMD) June 8, 2021
Many argue that, yes, it is. Some agreed with Adams. Some criticized him for his performance as Surgeon General.
And some asked why he didn’t have a problem with the gun giveaway.
1) They aren’t giving beer away. It’s a cash gift card payed for by Budweiser. 2) Krispy Kreme decided themselves to give donuts away and it’s not a program from the government. 3) why not mention the rifles and shotguns being given away by WV?
— Frederick Augustus Olds (@fredaolds) June 8, 2021
(1) Some vice-based incentives are worth it, if it gets more people vaccinated (2) You, as Surgeon General, mocking COVID-19 (and blasting Democrats who were trying to take the response seriously) to get Trump to like you: now that probably killed a lot of people.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) June 8, 2021
Jerome, I hear you. Wonder where the concern was when your boss was telling people to inject bleach and not wear masks or that testing was the only reason we had cases. Agree with your concerns on incentives, but would be more credible if you called out BS consistently
— Ariel Berger (@ArielBerger5) June 8, 2021
They wouldn’t have to beg if there wasn’t people continuously downplaying the vaccine or virus
— Camille (@clt_luv) June 8, 2021
If only the people from the Trump administration (and Trump) had been consistent in their message about ways to fight Covid (masks, social distancing, washing hands, vaccination, etc.) and hadn’t made it a political, partisan issue from the very beginning….. If only.
— Michele (@ourroseylife) June 8, 2021
The sad part of all this is that it had to come to “bribes” for people to take the vaccine. The Right spreads the lie that the vaccine is not safe and why they won’t take it, not even considering the truth of the matter….that Covid was politicized and the vaccine along with it!
— truth hag (@HagTruth) June 8, 2021
Any problem with gun incentives or nah?
— RudyTheBold (@BoldRudy) June 8, 2021
After your obsequious ass kissing of trump, while abetting the misinformation & negligence during the early days of the pandemic, you really should sit this one out, champ.
— Inept Sloganeer (@EliotGreenspan) June 8, 2021
Image: Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen via Flickr
Tucker Carlson’s Lie Biden Called White Republican Men ‘More Dangerous Than ISIS’ Backfires – How Far Off Is He?
Fox News host Tucker Carlson Tuesday night falsely claimed that President Joe Biden called white Republican men “more dangerous than ISIS.”
During his speech commemorating and bringing attention to the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden, in Tulsa, said, “folks, we can’t — we must not give hate a safe harbor. ”
“As I said in my address to the joint session of Congress: According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today. Not ISIS, not al Qaeda — white supremacists. That’s not me; that’s the intelligence community under both Trump and under my administration.”
Here’s what Tucker Carlson, who has been repeatedly called a white supremacist and endorser of white supremacist rhetoric, said last night.
“You’re not surprised. It’s always the same people, isn’t it? ‘Those white Republican men’ – the very ones that just today Joe Biden warned us are more dangerous than ISIS. These are the people have been beating up elderly Asian women in our cities, you’ve seen that plague unfold. These the ones who don’t believe in science who have no decency, they’re the problem.”
Media Matters put together this video that proves how Carlson lied:
Tucker Carlson falsely claims Joe Biden called white Republican men “more dangerous than ISIS”
Biden actually said: “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today — not ISIS, not al-Qaida, white supremacists.” pic.twitter.com/Z8gaoC54J3
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) June 2, 2021
President Biden didn’t call white Republican men “more dangerous than ISIS,” nor did he suggest all white Republican men are white supremacists. He said “terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” and that fact, as he noted, came from the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Tucker Carlson did what he does almost nightly: try to give white nationalists and white supremacists cover.
But this time it backfired.
Not all Republicans are white nationalists or white supremacists, but the fact is that most white nationalists and white supremacists are white Republicans, and most are white conservative men.
Carlson Tuesday night just shined a spotlight on that ugly fact.
During his inaugural address, President Joe Biden told the American people, “A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”
A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.
And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.
It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:
Remember how Republicans were outraged?
Some headlines from that and the following day:
Less than two months ago House Republicans were “basically starting a white supremacist caucus,” as Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin put it. They were forming an “America First Caucus” to preserve “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
In 2019 John Nichols at The Nation wrote: “White Nationalism Is a Republican Crisis.”
That same year Carol Anderson at The Guardian wrote, “Republicans’ white supremacist problem is a threat to America.”
Tucker Carlson can pretend Biden called white Republican men “more dangerous than ISIS,” and his followers will of course believe him, but the fact is, many of them are white nationalists and white supremacists, and there’s no hiding from that – or from just how dangerous to America that hate truly is.
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