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Ted Cruz’s ironic birther predicament

If birthers wanted to go after Ted Cruz’s citizenship, here are the many questions they could ask

Cruz’s official Canadian birth certificate, as posted by the Dallas Morning News, shows that Rafael Edward Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, on December 22, 1970. Oddly, however, the birth was not registered until December 31, leaving an unexplained gap of nine days. But where was baby Ted over Christmas, an astute birther might ask. Donald Trump could build a casino in a hole that size.

Ted Cruz Birth Certificate

Still, the birth certificate does state that Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson, was born in Wilmington, Delaware. As Cruz has often said, that made him a U.S. citizen at birth, and therefore eligible to be president – but only if the birth certificate is accurate. The Canadian officials would have had no reason to question Cruz’s mother about her native country, nor would they have demanded any proof. Her word alone was good enough for Canadian purposes. Why would they care about the baby’s future qualification for the U.S. presidency?

Which brings us – or rather, which ought to bring the birthers – to the documents Cruz has not produced. Where, for example, is the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which Cruz’s parents could have obtained at the U.S. consulate in Calgary? That would at least establish their intention to register him as an American citizen while they were living in Canada. For that matter, where is Eleanor Wilson’s own birth certificate? I mean, anyone can claim to have been born in Delaware, and everyone (including this dual citizen of the United States and Canada) knows that Canadians are too polite to ask tough questions. Birthers will have no such qualms. Will they require documentary proof?

Of course, even a sheaf of birth certificates would still leave Cruz’s citizenship technically open to question. Under the law in effect in 1970, Cruz would only have acquired U.S. citizenship if his mother had been “physically present” in the United States for ten years prior to his birth, including five years after she reached the age of fourteen. Neither Cruz’s birth certificate, nor his mother’s, nor the Consular Report could irrefutably establish Eleanor Wilson’s residence for the necessary length of time. For all birthers know, she might have been living in Kenya.

Here is the #Republican Agenda

Potential Republican presidential candidates are neck-deep in the “money primary,” schlepping from one wealthy watering hole to another, kissing the proper palms, stroking the insatiable egos, and if successful, pocketing commitments and cash.

The Republican Agenda

The “ideas primary” apparently is still a distant destination. Republican pundits have decided that they must compete on a populist message. With the economy growing, they’ve turned to bemoaning the “people in the shadows” (Ohio Gov. John Kasich), demanding a revival of “the right to rise” (Jeb Bush), or pledging a quality education, “regardless of background or birthright,” even while trying to slash hundreds of millions from public universities (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker).

#RepublicansEchoing President Obama, Bush described the opportunity gap as “the defining issue of our time.” In what was billed as a major economic speech in Detroit, Bush was content to trot out old conservative bromides on small government and competition as the answer to that challenge; his promised “new vision” and a “plan of action” would come . . . later. His basic “principle” was “growth above all.” A growing economy — at 4 percent, twice the current rate of growth — is Bush’s fix for what ails us.

But what is the Republican growth agenda? Here the reality doesn’t match the rhetoric.

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Republicans block Senate bill to boost veterans’ benefits

Republicans block Senate bill to boost veterans' benefits

A divided Senate on Thursday derailed Democratic legislation that would have provided $21 billion for medical, education, and job-training benefits for the nation’s veterans. The bill fell victim to election-year disputes over spending and fresh penalties against Iran.

Republicans used a procedural move to block the bill after Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont chided GOP lawmakers about their priorities.

“I personally, I have to say this honestly, have a hard time understanding how anyone could vote for tax breaks for billionaires, for millionaires, for large corporations, and then say we don’t have the resources to protect our veterans,” said Senator Sanders, the measure’s chief author.

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“Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor”

If corporations are people, why don't the #Republicans want to cut their welfare?

Subsidies considered excessive, unwarranted, wasteful, unfair, inefficient, or bought by lobbying are often called corporate welfare.[1] The label of corporate welfare is often used to decry projects advertised as benefiting the general welfare that spend a disproportionate amount of funds on large corporations, and often in noncompetitive, or anti-competitive ways. For instance, in the United States, agricultural subsidies are usually portrayed as helping honest, hardworking independent farmers stay afloat. However, the majority of income gained from commodity support programs actually goes to large agribusiness corporations such as Archer Daniels Midland, as they own a considerably larger percentage of production.[21]

End Corporate RuleAlan Peters and Peter Fisher (Associate Professors, Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa)[22] have estimated that state and local governments provide $40–50 billion annually in economic development incentives,[23] which critics characterize as corporate welfare.[24]

Some economists consider the recent bank bailouts in the United States to be corporate welfare.[25][26] U.S. politicians have also contended that zero-interest loans from the Federal Reserve System to financial institutions during the global financial crisis were a hidden, backdoor form of corporate welfare.

 

It’s Time to Confirm Loretta Lynch

It’s time for #Republicans in Congress to stop playing politics with law enforcement and national security and confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.

President Obama and Democrats are losing patience with the Republican-controlled Senate’s refusal to bring his attorney general nominee up for a vote, using interviews, social media and now the president’s weekly address to express their mounting frustration.

The president on Saturday morning reiterated comments he made in an interview with the Huffington Post that Loretta Lynch, who was nominated in early November, is qualified and deserves a yes-or-no vote on her confirmation.

“Republicans promised that Congress would function smoothly with them in charge,” Obama said in his weekly address. “Here’s a small chance for them to prove it. Congress should stop playing politics with law enforcement and national security.”