I know there’s plenty of news that doesn’t rely on schadenfreude to be delicious…
— Bedirhan Cinar (@bedirhan) February 12, 2016
Elevator pitch: Ted Cruz is found murdered and every Republican in Washington is a suspect.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 21, 2016
People just don’t like Ted Cruz! It seems that practically everyone who’s spent so much as a long weekend in his company can’t abide him. Even other Republicans…
@politicalwire Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) January 19, 2016
Whether they first met him decades ago…
Cruz College Roommate Veterans For Truth pic.twitter.com/tQJYFQsfEJ
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) January 21, 2016
…. worked with him, per the NYTimes, as he first entered the DC establishment…
… In Mr. Cruz’s time as a Supreme Court clerk, a coveted step in a legal career that he had meticulously plotted out, he showed his now familiar capacity to infuriate colleagues. He also worked hard to please his boss, delved into the nuances of constitutional law for long, grueling hours and sought to smooth over harsh feelings at clerk happy hours. But when he left, he was most remembered by his fellow clerks for his fervor for capital punishment cases, a cause that would define his legal career and help him break into politics…
During his clerkship, he presented his boss with a caricature of him and other clerks pulling a stagecoach driven by the judge. According to someone who saw the illustration, there was a graveyard behind them with headstones representing the number of people executed in their jurisdiction that year…
… Or have more recently been forced to deal with him…
The NYTimes reports, “Bob Dole Warns of ‘Cataclysmic’ Losses With Ted Cruz“:
… “I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”
“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”…
— Roy Edroso (@edroso) January 21, 2016
(CNN)It was no accident that two Iowa GOP icons — Chuck Grassley and Bob Dole — attacked Ted Cruz the day after Iowa’s Republican governor said a vote for the Texas senator would be bad for the lead-off caucus state.
It is part of a fascinating and once unthinkable calculation by leading establishment figures that Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils at the top of the Republican presidential pack — and defeating Cruz in Iowa is now part of this strategy…
One leading GOP strategist involved in the effort put it this way: “If Trump loses we wash our hands of him. Cruz will think we need to be more crazy and be a long-term nightmare.”…
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) January 19, 2016
Politico has reported that “a leading Republican pollster privately told Speaker Paul Ryan and his leadership team Sen. Ted Cruz would be the biggest drag on House Republicans should he win his party’s nomination”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 21, 2016
Welp, Trent Lott just told me he'd take Trump over Cruz if he had to choose.
— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) January 21, 2016
So (“everybody is saying”) the faceless bureaucrats behind the GOP establishment (such as it is) have fomented a cunning plan…
WASH POST PAGE ONE FRIDAY: Establishment warms to Trump… https://t.co/IqM1uJJz63
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) January 22, 2016
… “If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate. “As a party, we’d have a better chance of winning with him, and I think a lot of Republicans look at it that way.”…
… For one thing, many Republicans in Congress especially despise Cruz, who has a history of picking long-shot fights and blaming other Republicans when he is unsuccessful.
Beyond that personal hostility, there’s a political calculation. If Cruz is nominated, they say, he could alienate swing voters with his brand of scorched-earth conservatism. If he’s elected, they fear, Cruz would shut Republican moderates out of power.
“Between Trump and Cruz, it’s not even close,” said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a longtime House moderate who has not endorsed a candidate. “Cruz isn’t a good guy, and he’d be impossible as president. People don’t trust him. And regardless of what your concern is with Trump, he’s pragmatic enough to get something done. I also don’t see malice in Trump like I see with Cruz.”…
“With Trump, hey, it’s just a deal,” said Alex Castellanos, a longtime Republican strategist. “The primary’s one deal, that’s done. If he were to be the nominee, the next deal’s a general [election]. You can see him saying, ‘We had to do what we had to do to win the primary, but now’s the general, and we’ve got to beat Hillary.’ You can see him pivot on a dime.
“But with Cruz, oof, you’re looking at a Republican Party that wouldn’t win the vote of a young person, a young woman or a minority for a generation,” Castellanos said….
Cruz is seen as inflexible — and inflexibly antagonistic toward most of his own party.
“Trump does not have any particular enmities down here. I don’t think anyone gets up in the morning and is irritated with him,” former House speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview. “That’s not how it is with Cruz.”…
“They think he’s fundamentally dishonest at times in the way he operates — doing things for his own benefit and calling the Senate Republican leader a liar,” said Vin Weber, a former congressman. “That has forced some people to look past all of Trump’s issues and think about what he could offer.”
Hey, when people like Rudy Giuliani, Pete (R – IRA) King, and Newt Gingrich are calling you nasty, unelectable, and impossible to get along with… you might have a problem, Sen. Cruz.
And there are even less likely rumors roiling the horse-race tout sheets…
But think about who we're talking about here- Dole, Lott, etc. All public Jeb supporters. This is part of a plan. https://t.co/SNvoqzkhff
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) January 21, 2016
1. Build up Trump so he defeats Cruz 2. Trump wins early primaries 3. ??? 4. Jeb is nominee. https://t.co/Es1N5AkgSd
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 21, 2016
Why should the other bigots have all the fun? In case Sarah “Bible Spice” Palin’s endorsement wasn’t enough to make it official, the Grey Lady lifted her soiled skirts and stepped into the morass, to explain how “Evangelicals See Donald Trump as Man of Conviction, if Not Faith”:
… Brash, thrice-married, cosseted in a gilded tower high above Fifth Avenue and fond of swearing from the stage at his rallies, Mr. Trump, who has spent his career in pursuit, and praise, of wealth, would seem an odd fit for voters who place greater value on faith, hope and charity.
Yet polls increasingly show Mr. Trump well in front of the crowded Republican field among white evangelical voters, despite competition including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, whose father is an evangelical pastor; Mr. Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa caucus winner; former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Roman Catholic whose story of raising a daughter with a disability struck a chord with voters and helped push him to victory in the 2012 Iowa caucuses; and Ben Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist who brought prayer into the operating room as a neurosurgeon and has spoken frequently about his Christian beliefs as a candidate.
A New York Times/CBS News poll last week showed Mr. Trump, a Presbyterian, dominating the field with 42 percent of evangelical voters; Mr. Cruz was second with 25 percent.
In dozens of interviews with evangelical voters in 16 states, from every region of the country outside the Northeast, those supporting Mr. Trump sounded a familiar refrain: that his heart was in the right place, that his intentions for the country were pure, that he alone was capable of delivering to a troubled country salvation in the here and now…
And on Monday, Mr. Trump spoke at Liberty University, the Lynchburg, Va., institution founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Mr. Trump has been wooing Jerry Falwell Jr., and Mr. Falwell lavished praise on him, comparing Mr. Trump to Jesus and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for voicing unpopular thoughts…
Rev. Hucksterbee and Rick Sanctorum — let’s face it! — are luzers, and nobody likes that guy Cruz. Their god is a strong god, a winning god, one never hesitant to rain down destruction or crush another horde of unbelievers. Their god is YOOOOOGE.
And the Trumpenfuhrer is ready to lead them to glory, per NYMag:
… “Christianity, it’s under siege,” the GOP front-runner said at the Evangelical college’s morning convocation. “We don’t band together. Other religions, frankly, they’re banding together … we have to unify. We have to band together, we have to do really, in a really large version, what they’ve done at Liberty.”…
The mogul further argued that “the Bible is the best,” though he had some difficulty in trying to quote it.
“Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame. ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,’” Trump said, inspiring chuckles from an audience that knows that chapter of Scripture by its god-given name of “Second Corinthians.”…
“In my opinion, Mr. Trump lives a life of loving and helping others … as Jesus taught in the New Testament,” Falwell said on Monday…
Second-gen religious hustler knows: Hustler Trump got serious game.
Our own Siubhan Duinne linked to Daniel Danger‘s amazing Storify post, “I went to a Donald Trump rally and saw a man wearing a plastic bag as a shirt”:
… I picked seats on the floor, partially to commit to simply being a bit more “in the shit”. I chose an aisle seat that had a clear open line of sight to the podium, and also offered a moderate amount of “phone privacy” by having an empty space to my right. Which turned out to be useful because the people behind me were actively trying to read my phone all night…
They are handing out signs that say "The Silent Majority Supports Trump", and 'Eye of the Tiger' is BLARING
— Daniel Danger (@tinymediaempire) January 4, 2016
I missed who the speaker was, but he went on a whole bit about how there were Democrats hiding in the audience, and they probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t identify themselves due to “past incidents”, and because they were basically outnumbered in the room. And this was said in a joking manner to get a laugh from the room. Perhaps “past incidents” referred to Trump supporters beating and kicking a Latino man at a rally in Miami, The Black Lives Matter protester kicked and beaten at a Trump rally in Alabama, or the Trump supporters beating and peeing on a homeless Latino man because “Donald Trump was right.”…
I snuck into the reserved VIP section, where trash bag man is. Trump declares he "has the smartest audience" pic.twitter.com/LCobRvJQZf
— Daniel Danger (@tinymediaempire) January 5, 2016
By this point, a good number of Non-Trumpsucklers had been removed from the room. Some were protestors who shouted out or held signs and drew attention to themselves, and others were simply people who the mob had identified as an outsider and became aggressive towards. I saw many bursts of shouting people pop up in the stands surrounding a person who was sitting down just existing. Police didnt ask any questions, they just escorted people out. It quickly became a gleeful game to the room: find the democrat, yell at them, police intervene, everyone cheers. Trump declared this “Fun”, specifically more fun than talking about politics.
This was also the moment where I realized I was the subject of a witch hunt. I was quiet, I wasnt applauding racist bullshit, I wasnt cheering when Immigrant Rights protestors were hauled away. So I had put a giant red flag up by my non-participation. I was listening and taking notes on my phone, occasionally leaning over to my friend to clarify things. But this made the people around me suspicious, and people dont like when they see someone forming an outside line that might communicate the happenings within their little safe space to the outside world…
You could have dragged a minority into that room and thrown a baseball bat on the ground and a fucking line would have formed.
— Daniel Danger (@tinymediaempire) January 5, 2016
Seriously, you should read the whole thing!
Not really a surprise that Gawker could say that “White Nationalists Still Love Trump, Even After He Denounced Their Robocall”…
Located in a town famous for its hills, University of Pittsburgh’s main campus climbs an especially steep one like a vine. You can see intelligent design (small ‘i’, small ‘d’) in the way classes, dorms and the medical school all sit within a short walk of Fifth Avenue at the bottom while a more strenuous hike is rewarded with the athletic facilities and an excellent view. Behind campus Center Ave. runs up the spine of the hill and over its peak, into a neighborhood understandably known as the Hill District.
Around dusk Center is busy with Pitt employees looking to avoid Oakland traffic, and crows. For reasons that probably involve old, tall trees that line the street, and the excellent view, crows seem to like that part of Center. Once in a while one can see what seems like half the crows in Pittsburgh wheeling around over the hill and holding corvid debates in a babbling din. You can drive on for miles and see murder after murder headed for Center in the fading light.
Of course you need look up, so like most commuters I usually missed it. In fact I only noticed it one early spring night when I opened my car window and looked around to see what the racket was about. I have not even taken that commute for a long time now so I have entirely lost touch with how often or what time of year it happens. This weekend I brought Dr. Mrs. Dr. F., Jr. for a walk on the hill at dusk but we only saw clear sky and a great view of Pittsburgh’s east end. The girl loves pointing out birds so I thought a living sea of crows could short out her toddler brain in a delightful and hopefully non-permanent way.
Maybe you all can help. Does anyone know motivates crows to gather in mega-murders like that? Mating season? I would love to hear actual expertise, educated guessing, suitably persuasive BS, whatever you got. Maybe some of you drive that commute and can pass on when you see it happen.
Use this space to share any unexpected wildlife encounters you have had.
Praise goddess, and more immediately cat-wrangler Marc, for some happy news to start the day:
The red kitten, who I called ‘Rusty’ has gone to his furever home. Ohana will be going home with my sister at Thanksgiving. As for the other three… I had two people (for different reasons) have to back out of taking a kitten, and then two people at work decided that they were no longer interested in getting a kitten. So, after Thanksgiving I’ll have Miri and three kittens. If I keep ’em much longer, I might as well accept this as my ‘crazy cat person’ starter kit. I’ve already named them, so that isn’t much of a leap.
They are still growing and learning by leaps and bounds. Tigger is the biggest of the bunch, but Sylk is still the leader when it comes to getting into stuff – she was the escape leader when I had them penned in the bedroom. They seem a little more rough and tumble when they play than when I did the video, plus I don’t have a place to feed Miri, since they are able to get up on the kitchen table where I’d been feeding her. They still sometimes kitten pile when they sleep, but they are getting too big to do it on the pet beds I have. Flynn and Tigger will sometimes sleep on their back, but the girls have yet to do so (at least when I’m around). Once in a while Tigger will sleep in the cat tree with his head over the edge and softly snore – very cute.
The only areas still off limits are the Guest Bedroom (trying to keep it cat hair free), and the back patio. I don’t want them getting ideas about the outdoors, since I live next to a very busy street. So far, so good.
Programming note: Some of the photos are going to show wrong-side-up on some devices… I reoriented the ones that Marc sent me from his cell, and last time I did that for a Garden Chat some people’s high-class iDevices flipped them back the way the machine wanted.
Apart from that much-needed respite, what’s on the agenda for the day?
We found this little guy or gal sunning him or herself on a rock beside a mountain stream:
Even the yellow-bellied sliders are polite around here.
Saw this lovely sight yesterday:
Notice the moon? The weather couldn’t be more perfect.
Today we’re going into town in search of mass quantities of fresh cider, some of which I plan to transform into hard cider when I get back home.
I’ve not followed the news closely. But Trump is a punch-line even in darkest red Carolina:
The water looks low, but we’ve had plenty of rain. We didn’t see any wildlife aside from a little black snake, assorted wading birds and a swallow-tailed kite.
I guess all the other critters had enough sense to stay in a cool spot during the heat of the day. The sun kicked my ass, and I’m happy to be home with my feet up.
What are you up to this Sunday? Any plans for tomorrow, or do you have to work? We’re off and playing it by ear. Definitely avoiding the beach and waterways, which will be overrun.