Author Archives: Phil Bundy
Here we go, the 2016 Presidential Election season has officially started! The Republican Tea Party (GOTP) clown car has lurched away from the curb with the very junior senator from Texas, Ted Cruz at the wheel. Cruz announced his intention to win the White House at uber-right-wing Liberty University to a packed house of students required to attend the rally or face a fine. Nothing quite says “liberty” like forcing students to attend a political rally.
So, where are we in the early moments of the 2016 campaign?
In the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary, a Gravis Marketing poll of potential voters conducted from 25 March 2015 has Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leading a huge pack of likely candidates – other than Cruz.
Scott Walker 19%, Jeb Bush 18%, Rand Paul and Chris Christie 10%, Marco Rubio 7%, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson 6%, Mike Huckabee 4%, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum 1% respectively.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is far in the lead of undeclared candidates with 49%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 20%, Bernie Sanders 12%, Joe Biden 5%, and Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley with 2%.
If the general election was held today, the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll of potential voters has Hillary Clinton beating all GOTP comers by double digits.
Clinton 54/Paul 43
Clinton 55/Rubio 42
Clinton 55/Huckabee 41
Clinton 55/Bush 40
Clinton 55/Walker 40
Clinton 55/Christie 40
Clinton 56/Carson 40
So, according to recent polling data available, if the election was held today Hillary Clinton would be the 45th President of the United States.
He’s thrown his hat into the ring, Republican Tea Party (GOTP) very junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz has officially announced he’s running for the office of President of the United States. The man who hates the government enough to shut it down now wants to lead it.
But where did Senator Cruz from Texas decide to launch his campaign, somewhere in his adopted home state of Texas? Adopted home state because the state of his birth is Alberta – as in Canada. Did he choose a site in Texas? Oh no, he chose to launch his presidential aspirations from possibly the single most conservative college campus in all the country, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.
While making his first presidential pitch, Cruz told his captive audience – as in the students forced to attend the rally under threat of a fine – to imagine a future without abortion rights, the IRS or the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare — and to further imagine they how can make all this happen by supporting him in his quest.
Although, it does seem odd for a candidate to start his ambitious run for the White House with lies and fictitious promises, that’s what Cruz has done. No President can overturn Roe v. Wade – considered to be settled law. No President can dismantle the Internal Revenue Service, and no politician is going to seriously strip 16.5 million fellow Americans of their health care insurance. Well, no sane politician. But of course sane is not the usual word used to describe Cruz, the man who decided to stage a 21 hour filibuster in a bid to defund Obamacare, a filibuster where he chose to read, Green Eggs and Ham, as the Federal Government went into a partial shutdown, and his party came out with green egg all over its collective political face. A shutdown that left him no friends outside the uber-far right fringe.
He has also recently demonstrated his lack of Constitutional understanding as to the Senate’s role in treaty negotiations when he attached his signature with 46 other GOTP senators to the infamous “open letter” to the leaders of Iran. Not a glorious exhibition of his foreign policy prowess or expertise.
The Tea Party poster child is the son of an American mother and Cuban-born father, a father who is an evangelical minister, who has suggested among other things that his son has been, “…anointed to bring about end time transfer of wealth,” and who has also declared that atheists and secular humanists beliefs eventually lead to, “sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion. And, of course, no hope. No hope.” Isn’t it interesting that after the kind of major stink the right raised about the President Obama’s connections to Reverend Jerimiah Wright, there has not been one whimper from the same about Ted’s connection to the crazed rants of his father.
Yes, the 2016 GOTP clown car has left the garage, and currently Ted Cruz is at the wheel.
Forty-seven Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members of the United States Senate have written an open letter to the leadership of Iran.
To undermine the legitimacy of the President of the United States and his Constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy for, and in behalf of, the United States.
The 47 GOTP Senators – aka the Gang of 47 – are led by a very freshman senator from Arkansas, Senator Tom Cotton, who is so new to the Senate he probably has to still ask directions to the men’s room. Like other brash junior GOTP senators – think Cruz, Rubio and Paul – Cotton is walking around shooting from the political hip and shooting himself in the foot, and a whole lot of his associates in the majority party. He has not taken the time to learn what the Senate does, nor what its role and responsivities are under Article I of the Constitution. It appears doubtful the freshman senator has ever read the Constitution, and if he has he certainly does not understand it. The Senate, for example, does not have purview over foreign relations except when the Executive sends it a treaty – after it has been negotiated – to ratify. Utilizing its Constitutional power of “advice and consent” it may debate and wrangle with the President concerning the treaty, but it may not negotiate with foreign countries. In fact, it is against federal law for the Senate to contact foreign countries and discuss foreign policy in any way, shape of form.
In 1798, a state legislator – George Logan – from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took it upon himself to privately negotiate with France during a period of United States history known as the “Quasi War.” The Federalist members of Congress were so angered by Logan’s self-appointed mission, they passed the Logan Act in January of 1799.
The Act simply states, “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Not only have the Gang of 47 committed a huge act of overreach of its authority, it is also clearly in violation of the Logan Act. The little group has committed one of the greatest political acts of stupidity possibly in the annals of the United States Senate.
Although it should be abundantly clear to anyone the Senators in question had no authority to send any kind of correspondence to the leaders of another country, just in case anyone still thinks the Congress has the right to interfere, let us remove all lingering doubt.
The Supreme Court in 1936 ruled in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), “[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.” The Senate “cannot intrude” and the Congress “is powerless.”
Technically, the President could ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the Gang of 47 committed any crime with its letter and could seek prosecution. Probably not something the President will do. The real problem for these GOTP members of the Senate is they look like rank amateurs and fools and have made their country look foolish as well.
Additionally, there is a very real political problem will be for those members of the Gang of 47 who have Presidential aspirations. Senators Ted Cruz (who can never be president), Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have all just proven – beyond a shadow of a doubt – their foreign affairs experience is somewhere between pre-K and Second Grade. One day these very junior senators will have to debate some adults, and when they do this letter will come back and bite them very deservedly in their political buttocks.
One last bit of reality for the Gang of 47 – and its groupies. The ongoing negotiations with Iran are not bilateral – meaning between the United States and Iran – but are multilateral. The United States is one of half a dozen nations negotiating Iran’s nuclear future. Currently involved in the discussions – besides the United States – are Great Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany, under the auspices of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons or NPT, and as such any agreement could only be changed, or nullified, if all the signatories agreed to do so, not simply if the United States Congress, or some future GOTP President decided to so. The NPT became part of international law in 1970, being extended indefinitely in 1995. Any agreement reached through the negotiations would be a United Nations’ Security Council Resolution, and not something any future U.S. President or any member of the Congress has the authority to undo.
Maybe next time Senator Cotton thinks he needs to write a letter – along with his buddies – to another country’s leaders he’ll ask a responsible adult if it’s OK first.
The above picture has been making the rounds on social media. It claims that because Muslims invaded “Christian” lands almost 1,400 years ago that today’s Muslims cannot claim to be victims, this is a premise based on ignorance and shrouded in hate.
More than 1 million and possibly as many as 3 million died in the Holy Land in the name of “Christianity” during the period of the First Crusade to the Last Crusade
Millions of Hindus died under British rule in India – while spreading its “Christian” Empire
Millions of Jews were slaughtered throughout history at the hands of “Christians.”
Millions of Native Americans were slaughtered from the time Conquistadors arrived in the New World under the cross of “Christianity.”
Millions of Africans were enslaved under the guise of “Christianity.”
Too many innocents have suffered and died in the name of religion.
I have served alongside members of the military who are followers of Islam, and I have taught many students who follow the teachings of Mohamed. They are some of the finest people I have been blessed to know. Their religion is NOT a religion of violence.
Ignorance is not bliss; it is simply ignorance. Those who claim to be Disciples of Christ do not make threats against others because of which Holy Book they choose to read, or because of which Prophet – or Prophets – they choose to follow. They do not run secret prisons and torture people while spouting platitudes of “Freedom” and then attending Christian Church Services the next Sunday.
Yes, atrocities have been committed in the name of Allah and yes, atrocities have been committed in the name of Christ. It does not change the fact we are all children of our Heavenly Father.
“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind,” said Mohandas Gandhi, and we are a world blinded by fear and hate. A world staggering in blood.
Do not misunderstand me, ISIL is a terrorist group claiming to follow the teachings of Islam, its actions demonstrate this is not true. The members of ISIL need to be hunted down and eliminated. Not because they are Muslim, but because they are criminals. They need to be hunted down because they are members of a terrorist organization, not because of the religion they claim to follow.