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OPINION

Watch: Ted Cruz Says Cancun Trip ‘Obviously a Mistake’ – but Claim He Did It to Appease His Daughters Falls Apart

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered up not an apology, and not even an honest explanation, Thursday evening upon returning home from a very short trip to Cancun, alone, after accompanying his wife and two young daughters to the Ritz-Carlton in Mexico for what was supposed to be a five-day get-away.

But new details, including a leaked group text message confirmed by The New York Times expose the two-term Texas Senator as not being honest about the trip.

“Whether the decision to go was tone-deaf, look, it was obviously a mistake, and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” Cruz told reporters in front of his house as protestors called for him to resign.

Tone-deaf, many noted, was being especially kind.

“I was trying to be a dad,” he insisted, not understanding that good parents teach children about responsibility, community, and taking care of those who put their trust in you by electing you, not running off to a foreign country when the going gets tough.

“All of us have made decisions, when you’ve got two girls who have been cold for two days, and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look we don’t have school, why don’t we go, let’s get outta here.'”

That claim echoed one he made in a statement released after he decided to cut short the trip and head back to Texas, where millions are just getting power back, but suffering extreme cold weather and in many cases no water, and burst pipes, and other damage.

In his statement Cruz claimed: “With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”

But leaked group texts, The New York Times reports, show Senator Cruz’s wife Heidi initiated the offer and idea of the trip, telling friends their house, like millions of other Texans’ homes, was “FREEZING.”

“Ms. Cruz invited others to join them at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancún, where they had stayed ‘many times,’ noting the room price this week ($309 per night) and its good security,” The Times reports. “The text messages were provided to The New York Times and confirmed by a second person on the thread, who declined to be identified because of the private nature of the texts.”

Cruz in his statement also revealed a lack of understanding of what his job is, especially during a crisis.

“In a local emergency,” says Matt Glassman, a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, 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.”

In other words, Cruz’s constituents needed his help, but he chose to leave them, revealing to Texans and his daughters he’s neither a good role model, lawmaker, or dad.

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OPINION

Sessions Joins Barr in Pleading Ignorance About Trump DOJ Spying on Dems – Is Rosenstein the Guy or Are They Setting Him Up?

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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:

And this famous video of then-Senator Kamala Harris, now Vice President Kamala Harris, grilling Barr to a crisp is legendary:

Barr on Friday also claimed Trump knew nothing about the “investigation” and did not order the spying.

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:

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.

 

 

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OPINION

‘Sit This One Out Champ’: Trump Surgeon General Slammed for Being ‘Uncomfortable’ With Biden Support of Anheuser’s Beer-for-Vaccine Incentive

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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?”

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.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen via Flickr 

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OPINION

Tucker Carlson’s Lie Biden Called White Republican Men ‘More Dangerous Than ISIS’ Backfires – How Far Off Is He?

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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:

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:

Unity.

Unity.

Remember how Republicans were outraged?

Some headlines from that and the following day:

Why Are Conservatives So Angry Biden Denounced White Supremacy?

Rand Paul Says Joe Biden’s Speech Was ‘Innuendo Calling Us White Supremacists’

Biden’s targeting of racist extremism is being portrayed as an attack on the right itself

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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