Friday, February 5, 2016

American Banana Republic Elections: From Bushwhacked in 2000 to Cruz Control 2016

The Des Moines Register is claiming the Democratic Caucus held in Iowa stinks, but it appears the editorial staff must have worn nose plugs for Republican caucus.  What stinks to high hell is the Iowa Caucus itself.  From Bushwhacked in 2000 to Cruz Control in 2016 the Iowa Caucus is a phony baloney election that any banana republic would be embarrassed about.  According to the Des Moines Register:


Once again the world is laughing at Iowa. Late-night comedians and social media mavens are having a field day with jokes about missing caucus goers and coin flips.

That’s fine. We can take ribbing over our quirky process. But what we can’t stomach is even the whiff of impropriety or error.

What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period. Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.

The Iowa Democratic Party must act quickly to assure the accuracy of the caucus results, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Oh the horrors, head for the fainting couch.  The Des Moines Register is outraged I tell you.  Funny though the Register has lost their sense of smell when it comes to the Republican Caucus and Ted Cruz Campaign informing Ben Carson supporters prior to the vote that Carson had dropped out.  From The Conservative Treehouse:


Explosive Audio Surfaces – Cruz Campaign Telling Iowa Precinct Captains Carson Had Dropped Out of Race… is reporting on audio they have obtained which shows Ted Cruz Headquarters telling Iowa precinct captains that Ben Carson had dropped out of the race. The messages were sent at 7:07pm (CST), and 7:29 (CST) before the votes were cast.

This factual evidence refutes the claims made by Ted Cruz and his campaign team:

Transcript [inaudible]…from the Ted Cruz campaign, calling to get to a precinct captain, and it has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail, so it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz. He is taking a leave of absence from his campaign. All right? Thank you. Bye.

[Transcript] Hello, this is the Cruz campaign with breaking news: Dr. Ben Carson will be [garbled] suspending campaigning following tonight’s caucuses. Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted instead. Thank you. Good night. (link)

Well, this essentially proves Ted Cruz and Rick Tyler were lying for the past 48 hours.

I guess that information escaped the editorial board at the Des Moines Register.  And I guess they weren’t reporting in 2012 when they announced Mitt Romney the winner only to have to retract and announce that in fact, Rick Santorum had won. 

The Iowa caucus is a great big two-party sham designed to maintain the status quo.  I’m not the only one to question the Iowa Caucus scam, the late Christopher Hitchens had this to say in 2008:


The Iowa Scam

The undemocratic caucuses are a terrible way to choose a presidential candidate.
By Christopher Hitchens

It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption—and the flagrantly anti-democratic character—of the Iowa caucuses….

It's also that campaign aides are showing up at Iowan homes "with DVD's that [explain] how the caucuses work…" Nobody needs a DVD to understand one-person-one-vote, a level playing field, and a secret ballot. The DVD and the other gifts and goodies (Sen. Barack Obama is promising free baby-sitting on Thursday) are required precisely because none of those conditions applies in Iowa.

In a genuine democratic process, these Tammany tactics would long ago have been declared illegal. But this is not a democratic process…

[T]he Hawkeye Poll of the University of Iowa was published. Huckabee had 13 percent, in a virtual tie with Rudy Giuliani for second place, behind Mitt Romney with 36….

About 45 percent of 85,000 or so Republican caucus voters are evangelical Christians. Roughly half of them automatically vote for the most socially conservative candidate in the race, and it looks like they have decided that's Huckabee….

"It stinks," says veteran political reporter Jack Germond….  Between the coverage and the hyper-compressed campaign calendar, he says, "the whole system this year is absolutely a disgrace…"

It's only when you read an honest reporter like Dan Balz that you appreciate the depth and extent of the fraud that is being practiced on us all. "In a primary," as he put it, "voters quietly fill out their ballots and leave. In the caucuses, they are required to come and stay for several hours, and there are no secret ballots.

 [F]or Democrats, it is not a one-person, one-vote system. … Inducements are allowed; bribes are not." One has to love that last sentence.

What it does is give the whip hand to the moneyed political professionals, to the full-time party hacks and manipulators, to the shady pollsters and the cynical media boosters, and to the supporters of fringe and crackpot candidates.

It is impossible that the Republican Party could be saddled with a clown like Huckabee if there were a serious primary in Iowa, let alone if the process were kicked off in Chicago or Los Angeles or Atlanta.

It is an absolutely terrible way in which to select candidates for the presidency, and it makes the United States look and feel like a banana republic both at home and overseas.

Ah yes indeed.  The United States primary process makes our country look like a banana republic globally.  And it’s not just the Iowa Caucus scam it’s a process rife with corruption and dirty money from dark and dirty players.  And while the 2016 primary is not an exception, it certainly is exceptional in the level of corruption. 

Case in point Ted Cruz is clearly not eligible to be President of the United States since he is not a natural born citizen.  So why is he even on the ballot?  Well let’s take a look at who Ted Cruz is and who is backing him financially.  From Alternet:


How Ted Cruz Helped The Rehnquist Supreme Court Tear Down Church-State Separation

In 1999, Bush for President campaign aide Ted Cruz helped lock down the Christian conservative vote for Bush, by arranging a meeting between his friend Paul Weyrich, a key architect of the religious right and new right -- who co-founded the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and ALEC -- and Bush campaign member Timothy Goeglein, who went on to serve in the presidential administration of George W. Bush.

Soon after, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist presided over the wildly controversial Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision, which effectively shut down the 2000 election vote recount in Florida, thus handing the presidency to Bush.

Serving on the elite Republican legal team during the legal battles leading up to the Rehnquist Court decision was Ted Cruz, a former legal aide to Justice Rehnquist, who moved on to become Texas Solicitor General.

My, my, my.  Sounds like a quid pro quo to me.  So how did the crooked Cruz get from Texas Solicitor General to a United States Senator from Texas?  Where did the money come from to fund Cruz’ senatorial campaign?  From U.S. News:


Cruz Financed 2012 Campaign With Loans from Goldman Sachs, Citibank

The previously undisclosed $1 million in loans undercut Cruz's anti-establishment image.

Ted Cruz's defiant self-description as a populist willing to put his personal financial security on the line to win elected office is under fire amid disclosures that the Texas Republican senator financed his anti-establishment 2012 Senate campaign in the most establishment of ways: by getting a big loan from Goldman Sachs.

Cruz's Federal Election Commission filings show that he and his wife, Heidi, dumped a total of $1.2 million of their own money into his upstart, ultimately successful, bid for the Senate, which has provided the tea party darling a platform for his current presidential campaign.

But personal financial disclosures show that the Cruzes took out loans from both Goldman Sachs, where Mrs. Cruz is managing director, and Citibank, the New York Times reported…

Candidates are required to report to the FEC any loans taken out to finance their federal campaigns, and must continue to report outstanding debt even after the initial disclosure of the loan. Cruz did not do so, but called the discrepancy "inadvertent…"

But Larry Noble, general counsel at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said the failure to report the loans is illegal, and not subject to interpretation…

Gee, one would think that a former Texas Solicitor General and clerk for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would know the law, especially if the “loan was illegal and not subject to interpretation.”

"It's a failure to report. It's not a question of semantics. It's a question of law," Noble says. "You have to report all loans, that includes a loan the candidate takes out ... for his committee."

The violation is not necessarily a one-time thing, either, Noble says, since the loans needed to be continuously reported. "As long as it's outstanding, it has to be reported as debt," Noble says…

Tsk, tsk makes that Iowa win look a little smelly, that along with telling Iowa caucus goers that candidate Ben Carson dropped out of the race prior to the “votes” being taken.  But I guess the editorial board of the Des Moines Register had their nose plugs on. 

And who else benefitted from the false report that Ben Carson had dropped out of the race at the Iowa Caucus?  Why none other than that other political outsider and stalwart of Republican Christianity and honesty, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.  From Gregory Palast:

Rubio's Billionaire Vulture

Paul Singer, the GOP's Baddie Sugar Daddie

It's out of the closet –– or, more accurately, out of the coven.  The list of the billionaires who have given at least $2.5 million to Conservative Solutions, the pro-Rubio Super PAC, is headed by Paul Singer….

And this is the key fact you need to know about the man whose cash would pick our President:  Paul Singer likes to breakfast on decayed carcasses….

Singer made his first billion, his first killing (and I don't mean that metaphorically): via an attack on victims of asbestos poisoning.

Background: The executives of a few asbestos companies, WR Grace, USG and Owens-Corning, knew that their asbestos factories were killing their workers. When caught and sued, the companies filed for bankruptcy, agreeing to pay almost all their earnings to those dying and injured by their asbestos.

But Singer had a better idea. These companies, as you can imagine, were worth next to nothing; and Singer bought Owens-Corning for a song.

If he could cut the amount paid to the victims, Singer could boost Corning's value big time. So, a PR campaign was begun attacking the dying workers, saying they were all faking it.

One attacker was a guy named George W. Bush.

In January 2005, President Dubya held a televised meeting to promote an "expert" who pronounced that over half a million workers suing Singer's industry were liars. If workers couldn't breathe, he said to the grinning President, it wasn't the fault of asbestos.

The "expert" was not a doctor, but notably, his "research" was partly funded by ...Paul Singer.  And so was Bush…

The legal, political and PR attacks on the dying workers chiseled away the compensation expected to be paid by the asbestos companies, boosting their net worth. Singer then flipped Corning, selling it for a neat billion-dollar profit….

Paul Singer had placed a big bet on the asbestos industry; then, set out to fix the casino, helping install Bush in the White House. That is, he had a President willing to beat up on asbestos workers and push for so-called "tort reform" that undermined these victims' claims. What the victims lost, Singer gained.

But there's trouble on the horizon for Singer. In 2007, Britain outlawed Singer and all other Vulture speculators in Third World debt from collecting their pound of flesh in the United Kingdom. Other European nations are following suit.

Several US Congressmen are pushing a UK-style prohibition on Singer's activities. (Even Chevron Corporation is complaining about the Vulture attacks. When Chevron calls bankers unscrupulous, they've got to be really unscrupulous.) Without a veto pen over Congress, Singer stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Singer plays defense, but is best at offense: To collect on some of his claims against Argentina, his lobbyists have pushed a bill in Congress to put an economic choke-hold on trade with the South American nation. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blocked this crazy attack on our ally. As a result, Singer is not a happy gaucho. There will be blood. Obama will have to pay….

There's one thing that every billionaire wants: another billion. And that's threatened by Obama's plan to tax the "carried interest" tax deferment.

Guys like Singer don't pay taxes like you and I do. While we pay taxes on income, the profits from vulture speculation and arbitrage are often recorded as "carried interest," effectively not taxed for years, then when collected, only at a low rate. It's a billion-dollar benefit for the billionaires, and every Republican candidate has sworn to keep this loophole open and make sure you and I pay Singers' taxes for him.

Well I guess Marco Rubio is the billionaire’s ace in the hole in case Cruz is found to be ineligible due to being born in Canada to a Cuban father and an American mother, where until recently he was a Canadian citizen.  But a lot of moneyed interests are looking to have that Constitutional requirement overturned for good.  From Washington Times:


Arnold Schwarzenegger lobbies for law change to seek presidency

Hollywood action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been quietly lobbying key politicos for a legal loophole or a constitutional change that would clear the path for him to run for president in 2016.

If allowed, Mr. Schwarzenegger would face off against Hillary Rodham Clinton, The New York Post reported.

“Schwarzenegger has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed so he can run for president in 2016,” a source said, The Post reported. “He is ready to file legal paperwork to challenge the rules.”

The actor was born in Austria, making him ineligible to seek the high office. The Constitution states plainly that one of the requirements for a U.S. president is to be a natural born citizen. Section One Article Two states: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of president.”

I wonder for what reason is the GOP so anxious to change the constitution so Arnold can run for President of the United States?  Bingo, I think I found it in this 2003 Greg Palast article in Alternet:


Arnold's Enron Secret

If Arnold wins, it's hasta la vista baby, to the $9 billion owed to the state of California by Enron and the other electricity barons.

By Greg Palast / AlterNet October 4, 2003

It's not what Arnold Schwarzenegger did to the girls a decade back that should raise an eyebrow. According to a series of memoranda our office obtained today, it's his dalliance with the boys in a hotel room just two years ago that's the real scandal.

The wannabe governor has yet to deny that on May 17, 2001, at the Peninsula Hotel in Los Angeles, he had consensual political intercourse with Enron chieftain Kenneth Lay. Also frolicking with Arnold and Ken was convicted stock swindler Mike Milken.

Now, 34 pages of internal Enron memoranda have just come through this reporter's fax machine that tell all about the tryst between Maria's husband and the corporate con men.

It turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off.

Here's the story Arnold doesn't want you to hear. The biggest single threat to Ken Lay and the electricity lords is a private lawsuit filed last year under California's unique Civil Code provision 17200, the "Unfair Business Practices Act." This litigation, heading to trial now in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion they filched from California electricity and gas customers…

Who's the plaintiff taking on the bad guys? Cruz Bustamante, Lieutenant Governor and reluctant leading candidate against Schwarzenegger…

One month after Cruz brings suit, Enron's Lay calls an emergency secret meeting in L.A. of his political buck-buddies, including Arnold. Their plan, to undercut Davis (according to Enron memos) and "solve" the energy crisis -- that is, make the Bustamante legal threat go away…

While Bustamante's kicking Enron butt in court, the Davis Administration is simultaneously demanding that George Bush's energy regulators order the $9 billion refund. Don't hold your breath: Bush's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is headed by a guy proposed by ... Ken Lay.

But Bush's boys on the commission have a problem. The evidence against the electricity barons is rock solid: fraudulent reporting of sales transactions, megawatt "laundering," fake power delivery scheduling and straight out conspiracy (including meetings in hotel rooms). So the Bush commissioners cook up a terrific scheme: charge the companies with conspiracy but offer them, behind closed doors, deals in which they have to pay only 2 cents on each dollar they filched.

Problem: the slap-on-the-wrist refunds won't sail if the governor of California won't play along. Solution: Recall the Governor…

So think about this. The state of California is in the hole by $8 billion for the coming year. That's chump change next to the $8 trillion in deficits and surplus losses planned and incurred by George Bush. Nevertheless, the $8 billion deficit is the hanging rope California's rightwing is using to lynch Governor Davis…

And the only thing keeping America from a President Muscle Head is the Constitution, and boy Republicans hate that pesky Constitution.  So if they can get a legal challenge to what constitutes a “natural born citizen” before the Roberts Supreme Court what do you think the chance is that the Supreme Court would rule in Ted Cruz favor?  From the Texas Tribune:


Cruz, Justice Roberts Have History

Within two hours of the U.S. Supreme Court releasing its opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last month, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz spoke out about the decision.

Cruz, a Republican competing against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a July 31 primary runoff for an open U.S. Senate seat, called the decision “shameful” and described it as a “sad day for the court.” He accused the court’s justices of being motivated by politics rather than upholding the U.S. Constitution.

It was a harsh assessment considering that Chief Justice John Roberts, a man whom Cruz has described as a mentor and friend, played a pivotal role in the law being upheld…

Both Cruz and Roberts clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist early in their careers, Roberts from 1980 to 1981, Cruz in the mid-1990s.

After Election Day in 2000, Cruz was a lawyer working on the legal battle over the Florida recount for the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign. Cruz told the Miami Herald that Roberts' name was the first that came to mind when he was asked to help find lawyers to work on the litigation. Roberts reportedly helped with legal briefs and participated in a mock hearing to prepare Bush’s legal team.

“We needed the very best lawyers in the country, and I called John and asked him to help,” Cruz later wrote in the National Review. “Within hours, he was on a plane to Florida.”

When President George W. Bush nominated Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005, Cruz was an outspoken advocate for his confirmation, calling him “brilliant” and a “lawyer’s lawyer."

Man, this gets uglier and scarier by the minute.   So, after this Iowa Caucus sham election when are we going to quit this banana republic style process controlled by the elites of the two parties? 

What’s really outrageous about the current system is that the selection process goes on for almost two years and the two parties consider the votes cast by voters to be suggestions that they, the superdelegates, can override.  From Bloomberg:


For starters, superdelegates are formally unpledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention who are chosen by position, not through votes in primaries and caucuses. The two big groups are elected officials (members of Congress, governors) and party officials.

Superdelegates were added in the 1980s for two reasons. One was practical: It was the only way to ensure that those party leaders could get to the convention, at least as delegates. 

The other was political: Democrats were concerned that their new system didn’t place enough weight on electability, and believed a larger voice for politicians and formal party leaders would tilt the nomination in that direction…

Yes, indeed the superdelegates are the elite members of congress and governors who do not reflect the will of the voters and can overrule the will of the voters like they did in 2008.

Let’s have a national primary in June where everyone goes to the polls on the same day.  Let the people choose the candidates for the nation’s highest office of any party they wish.  Those chosen by the voters, regardless of party affiliation advance to the general election.  Otherwise American will continue to be a Bushwhacked banana republic run by billionaire backed crooks.

By Patricia Baeten

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