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Tag: ted cruz

Ranting Cruz Votes No On Bipartisan Bill To Stop Electoral Coup (VIDEO)

The Senate Rules Committee voted 14-1 to advance the Electoral Count Act, legislation designed to prevent another coup like the one led by defeated President Donald Trump, and Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, on January 6, 2021. Every Democrat and every Republican except the junior GOP Senator from Texas voted for the legislation.

The bill is even supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But according to Sen. Cruz, who once bragged he was “leading the charge” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, the bill is “all about” Donald Trump.

With so many stories published about the GOP’s efforts to keep Trump in the White House despite Joe Biden winning both the popular vote and the Electoral College by large margins, some may have missed The Washington Posts reporting back in March the shows “just how deeply” Cruz “was involved, working directly with Trump to concoct a plan that came closer than widely realized to keeping him in power.”

“As Cruz went to extraordinary lengths to court Trump’s base and lay the groundwork for his own potential 2024 presidential bid, he also alienated close allies and longtime friends who accused him of abandoning his principles,” the Post notes.

“Cruz’s efforts are of interest to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, in particular whether Cruz was in contact with Trump lawyer John Eastman, a conservative attorney who has been his friend for decades and who wrote key legal memos aimed at denying Biden’s victory.”

On Tuesday Cruz railed against the Electoral Count Act, which would make the January 6 attempt to overturn the election at least more difficult, as his fellow Republicans seemed to ignore his outburst.

“This bill is all about Donald J. Trump,” Cruz declared, not realizing that he was indicting the former president by saying so. “And nobody in our lifetimes has driven Democrats in this body more out of their mind than President Trump.”

“This bill is a bad bill, this bill is bad law,” Cruz complained. “It’s bad policy and it’s bad for democracy,” he added, despite every other Republican on the committee voting for it and several Republicans voting for the House version.

What he did not say is that no Democrat has ever conspired to overturn an election and execute a coup.

Senator Angus King (I-ME) after Cruz’s rant, reminded the committee the bill does not “come out of the blue,” saying it is “a modification of a 150-year old law.”

“It’s not a new effort of Congress to intrude into the electoral process,” he said, taking a gentle swipe at Cruz.

“I watched this,” NPR’s Peter Sagal said of Cruz’s remarks, “and what’s remarkable is to the extent to which all the other Senators (with the exception of a mild correction from Sen King) simply ignore him.”

He went on to note the bill “merely intended to clarify” the existing law, “which virtually everyone … has agreed is archaic and confusing.”

Despite all his bravado, the bill did advance out of committee almost unanimously, with the exception of Cruz’s lone no vote.

Watch below or at this link.


Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Senate Advances Reforms To Prevent A Trump-Style Electoral Coup

Efforts to reform the Electoral Count Act, an 1887 law whose quirks and ambiguities became a roadmap for Donald Trump and his allies to try to subvert congressional certification of 2020’s Electoral College vote, moved a step closer in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday.

The Senate Rules Committee, in a bipartisan 14-to-1 vote, approved a bill that clarified state and congressional procedures for the final stages of certifying presidential election results. The bill explicitly seeks to prevent the abuses that led to the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

“I’m pleased that we are where we are today,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who voted to send the bill to the full Senate. “Assuming that we make no changes here today, or, at most, technical changes, I’ll be proud to vote for it and to help advance it.”

The Electoral Count Act (ECA) was passed after one of the 19th century’s most disputed elections. Like 2020’s presidential election, that contest also saw states sending competing Electoral College slates to Congress and violence at the Capitol. The ECA, which took years to write, is notorious for garbled and dense passages that Trump’s most aggressive supporters sought to exploit to subvert Joe Biden’s victory in November 2020.

The remedy, The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act or S.4573, seeks to blunt the cornerstones of Trump’s attempted coup.

“The Electoral Count Act was largely overlooked for over 130 years, but it was at the center of a plan to overturn the 2020 election and the will of the American people, that, as we all know who work here, culminated in a violent mob desecrating the Capitol,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who chairs the rules committee. “They did this by making false claims that this law allowed the vice president to refuse to accept Electoral College votes that were lawfully cast, by recruiting state legislators to declare a failed election and appoint their own [presidential] electors, and by exploiting the fact that the law allows one single senator and one single representative to object to a state’s Electoral College votes and use baseless claims to delay the count in Congress.”

The bill is the result of a bipartisan group of 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans working for months to create a narrowly focused bill that prevents abuse by either party if their candidate loses. Klobuchar and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the rules committee’s ranking minority member, highlighted four primary areas in the legislation.

“The bill explicitly rejects, once and for all, the false claims that the vice president has authority to accept or reject Electoral [College] votes. It makes it clear that the vice president role during the joint session is ceremonial,” Klobuchar said. “Second, it raises the threshold to challenge the electoral votes [of any state] during the joint session of Congress to guard against baseless claims. Right now, just two people out of the 535 members can object and slow down and gum up the counting. This bill would raise the threshold to one-fifth of Congress.”

“It replaces the undefined and controversial ‘failed election’ clause [in the 1887 law] and ensures that states can’t overturn the results of an election,” Blunt said, referring to state legislatures overriding their state’s popular vote for president. “It provides for an expedited federal court process to ensure states issue [presidential Electoral College] certifications after the [popular vote result of the election] has been certified in their state.”

The only rules committee member to object to the bill and vote against it was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who claimed that it was a federal power grab.

McConnell, however, called the bill “common sense” and said that it – not a recently House-passed ECA reform bill – was the “only bipartisan compromise… [that can] become law.”

“It’s common sense… that the vice president obviously has no personal discretion or power over the presidential vote,” McConnell said. “It is common sense to protect states' primacy in appointing their electors, but also strengthen requirements that states publicize their rules before the elections and stick to them. It’s common sense to make technical fixes to other related laws like the Presidential Transition Act. And it's common sense that our colleagues leave chaos-generating bad ideas on the cutting-room floor.”

Several voting rights organizations praised the committee’s action. But they also noted that it was the only pro-democracy legislation that stood a chance of emerging from Congress after the 2020 presidential election, which they said was insufficient.

"Fixing the Electoral Count Act is critical, but it is not enough. It eliminates some avenues for election sabotage, but many others remain,” said Wendy R. Weiser, vice president of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

On the other hand, Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization opposing more authoritarian government, noted the reform was supported by many Republican senators.

“The bipartisan vote to advance the Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA) underscores the momentum and cross-ideological consensus… [to] strengthen presidential elections in the future,” said Genevieve Nadeau, Protect Democracy counsel. “We now call on Congress to finish the job and pass the strongest ECA reform possible by the end of the year.”

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Endorse This! Al Franken Continues Comeback, Nails Ted Cruz

Since his much-lamented resignation from the United States Senate, Al Franken has started his own podcast, made some TV and radio appearances, and is currently on tour across the country -- but his profile rose sharply this week when he guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Instead of dwelling on the good news of President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act, Franken's monologue drilled into another existential threat facing our nation. No, not the “enormous gaps in wealth and income” nor the “threats to our democracy,” but rather a peril that has troubled him since his Senate days.

“I really think that one of the most serious issues facing our country today is just how big a dick Ted Cruz is,” he said.

“Now I’ve said it before, but I probably like Ted Cruz more than most of my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz,” Franken added. “Ted Cruz is probably one of the most famous senators because, as I mentioned, he’s a huge dick.”

Welcome back, Al.

Watch the entire segment below:


Endorse This! Colbert Lays Into Republicans Over Veterans Bill

After his former boss Jon Stewart assailed Ted Cruz and other Senate Republicans for voting against the PACT bill, meant to aid veterans affected by toxic burn pits, Stephen Colbert joined the chorus of righteous outrage by taking on Republicans himself.

“I’ve been making the political jokey make-em-ups for over 20 years now, and I have never seen anything so baldly cynical and pointlessly malicious as this,” he said. “And if there are children in the room, tell them to age quickly and please vote.”

Both chambers of Congress originally passed the bill, but due to an administrative issue, the Senate was forced to vote again. Twenty-five Republican senators then shamelessly flipped their votes, blocking the Pact Act’s passage, and making outrageously false claims about pork.

Evidently the incessant shaming by Stewart and Colbert forced feckless Republicans to do the job we pay them vastly too much to do and vote in favor of the PACT bill.

Colbert takes a funny shot at Donald Trump's Saudi golf tournament -- and the scary photo portrait of him there.

Watch the entire clip below:

Endorse This! Jon Stewart Isn't Done Owning Ted Cruz (VIDEO)

Unlike Republicans who exploit our troops for political gain -- and do almost nothing to improve their lives after sending them off to die -- Jon Stewart has devoted his retirement from The Daily Show to ensure veterrans get the care they deserve.

Now Stewart has gone to war with the widely despised Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over his vote against the PACT Act, which is meant to aid veterans affected by burns.

After excoriating the Senate Republican caucus for gleefully voting against a bill that every veterans group supports, and lying about its merits, Stewart has relentlessly trolled Cruz for his newfound opposition to a bill he voted to approve two months ago.

“He didn’t say anything,” Stewart told host Chuck Todd of Cruz’s excuses for pulling his support. “He can’t point to anything specific that was changed. They all just got this mumbo jumbo about a budgetary gimmick, but nothing changed. This isn’t my opinion. It is on congress.gov. The text of the bill they voted for June 14th is the same bill.”

Stewart proceeded to troll Cruz in epic fashion on a pre-recorded videos. Rarely have a politician's lies provided so many laughs.

Watch the entire clip below:

WATCH: Cruz Fist Bumps GOP Colleagues After Defeat Of Vets' Health Bill

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was caught on camera on the floor of the Senate fist-bumping his fellow GOP senators after they successfully blocked legislation to help veterans who are suffering after being exposed to toxic burn pits.

"Hundreds of thousands of American veterans were exposed to toxic fumes from burn pits on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan," NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reported in January. "So far, though, the Department of Veterans Affairs still denies the vast majority of their claims for respiratory illness and rare cancers. The White House, the VA, and Congress have all promised action, but it is not happening fast enough for sick veterans."

"This week, it was about to finally happen. But Republicans – many of whom previously voted to pass the bill, blocked it."

"The bill, known as the Honoring Our PACT Act, passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support in June, but due to a snag in the bill's language, it needed to go back and pass the House and Senate again," CBS News reports. "On Wednesday evening, 25 Republican senators reversed their support from June and voted no on a procedural vote to advance the legislation."

"President Joe Biden is a strong supporter of the bill," CBS News notes, putting the number of veterans exposed at 3.5 million. "At the State of the Union in March, he called on Congress to take action on burn pits, which he believes may have been a factor in his son Beau's terminal brain cancer."

"Veterans have come home with a number of illnesses, including terminal cancers, but have been forced to argue to the Department of Veterans Affairs their illnesses were related to burn pit exposure," CBS adds. "The legislation would have removed the burden of proof from veterans and their families by presuming a number of conditions could be related to exposure to toxic fumes from burn pits."

A video that's quickly gone viral on social media captures Senator Cruz gleefully celebrating the GOP's defeat of the legislation that could help millions of veterans, and their families. In it he initiates a fist-bump with Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Endorse This! RuPaul Roasts Ted Cruz On Marriage Equality

Filling in for Jimmy Kimmel, guest host RuPaul laid into pretend human being Ted Cruz during a recent taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“Sen. Ted Cruz says that the Supreme Court was clearly wrong about its 2015 same-sex marriage ruling,” the drag icon said of the Texas senator. “In gayer news: Child, fuck Ted Cruz.”

The legendary drag performer and host of RuPaul's Drag Race spoke out amid increasing fears that the Supreme Court — which jeopardized abortion rights when it overturned Roe v. Wade — might soon come after gay marriage.

While Democrats in the House quickly passed a bill to ensure that gay marriage stays intact at the federal level, Republicans in the Senate either oppose gay rights or prefer to ignore the matter. And of course Sen. Ted Cruz had to reiterate his anti-gay bigotry -- despite the fact that his teenage daughter has publicly rebuked her dad and come out as bisexual.

Fun for the whole family!

Watch the entire segment below:

What Ted Cruz Got Wrong About Gay Marriage And The Supreme Court

Anticipating action by the Supreme Court's right-wing majority, Senator Ted Cruz last week said the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide was “clearly wrong.”

Asked about the landmark case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in a video posted to YouTube from his podcast, he claimed, “Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history,” he claimed.

For many, his comments come as no surprise. In his concurring decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Clarence Thomas seemed to put a target on the landmark LGBTQ+ case, claiming that the court “should reconsider” its decision in Obergefell.

So Cruz’s comments seem to be merely doubling down on Clarence Thomas’ threat to same-sex marriage. “Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” said Cruz. He went further, saying that the Obergefell decision “was the court overreaching.”

But he’s wrong. The United States Congress has passed federal legislation regulating marriage previously, and the Supreme Court has decided cases enforcing those laws over the past “two centuries of our nation’s history.” As early as 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which prevented a person from being married to more than one individual at a time, later amended and strengthened by the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act 1882.

Both laws were later upheld by the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States (1879) and Late Corp. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. United States (1890). Congress also passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, defining a marriage as a union between one man and one woman, which was ultimately struck down by the Court’s decision in Obergefell.

The majority opinion in Obergefell largely rested on precedent from previous cases, including the seminal civil rights case Loving v. Virginia (1967), which struck down laws that made interracial marriage illegal. The court echoed the words of Loving in its opinion on Obergefell, claiming that marriage, and the freedom to choose one’s spouse, is “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” Consequently, the court concluded that “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and…couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

Given the connection between the rights of interracial couples and same-sex to marry, Justice Thomas’ desire to revisit the court’s decision on Obergefell is odd. Would a reconsideration of the principles undergirding the Obergefell decision force the Court to reconsider its ruling in Loving? Given that Justice Thomas, only the second African American to serve on the Supreme Court, is married to a white woman, perhaps he should not throw stones.

To avoid directly stating his own aversion to same-sex relationships, Cruz instead complained that the Court prematurely truncated the democratic process. “Before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting. And had the court not ruled in Obergefell, the democratic process would have continued to operate,” Cruz claimed. “In Obergefell, the court said, 'No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, sanction and permit gay marriage.'”

Cruz’s words are oddly reminiscent of the "moderates" in Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, who urged civil rights activists to “wait” for more gradual change. Yet the Court anticipated and answered this objection in its decision. In his majority opinion for the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited Schuette v. BAMN, noting that “when the rights of persons are violated, ‘the Constitution requires redress by the courts,’ notwithstanding the more general value of democratic decision-making. The dynamic of our constitutional system is that individuals need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right.”

Perhaps Cruz and Thomas’ opposition to the expansion of human rights is not because of its timing, but because, as Dr. King observed, “privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.”