U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 31, 2016

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

THE WEEK

1. Trump, Clinton hold slight leads in Iowa
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump overtook Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) atop the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll in Iowa released Saturday. Among likely caucus-goers, Trump notched 28 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 23 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) 15 percent. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders. They sit at 45 percent and 42 percent, respectively. The poll, which has a margin of error of 4 percentage points, is the last that will be released ahead of Monday’s caucuses.

Source: Bloomberg Politics, Des Moines Register

2. California police capture escaped inmates
The two remaining inmates who had escaped from a California jail last week were taken into custody by San Francisco police Saturday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, have been on the run since they escaped by rappelling off of the jail roof Jan. 22. A third inmate who escaped with them, Bac Tien Duong, 43, surrendered Friday in Santa Ana. A jail teacher was arrested Thursday for allegedly aiding the inmates.

Source: ABC News, NBC Los Angeles

3. Obama to make first visit to U.S. mosque
President Obama will visit a U.S. mosque for the first time during his presidency, the White House announced Saturday. He’ll head to the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday to “to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life,” the White House said. The visit comes as Islamophobia factors heavily into the 2016 presidential race. Republican hopeful Donald Trump has called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post

4. Pentagon won’t further discipline David Petraeus
Defense Secretary Ash Carter will not further discipline former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus. Petraeus resigned in 2012 amid a sex scandal with his biographer. In 2015, he pleaded guilty in federal court to mishandling classified information and was sentenced to two years of probation and a $100,000 fine. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Petraeus could have faced Army charges for his actions even though he had left for the CIA in 2011.

Source: The Washington Post

5. NYT backs Hillary Clinton, John Kasich
The New York Times editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination Saturday, praising her vision for the middle class, women’s rights, and undocumented immigrants. On the Republican side, the editorial board published a weaker show of support for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whom they described as the only antidote to the field’s extremism and inexperience.

Source: The New York Times, The New York Times

6. Clinton, Sanders agree to 4 more debates
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns have agreed to four more debates, a Clinton aide said Saturday. The candidates are still waiting for approval from the Democratic National Committee, which hasn’t yet commented on the request. The first would be Feb. 4 in New Hampshire, with the rest in March, April, and May.

Source: Politico

7. Liz Cheney to reportedly announce run for U.S. House
Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is running for Wyoming’s U.S. House seat, The Associated Pressreported Saturday based on federal election documents. Cheney, who is expected to announce her campaign Monday, would vie against eight other Republicans to replace Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R), who is set to retire once her term is up. In 2013, Cheney unsuccessfully ran for Senate.

Source: The Associated Press

8. Authorities arrest 24 in Mexican drug cartel sting
U.S. and Mexican authorities worked together to arrest 24 alleged high-level members of one of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels Friday, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Sunday. The sting took place along Arizona’s border with Mexico. The 24 people, who have not been named, are being held by Mexican authorities. They’re allegedly part of the Sinaloa Cartel, which recently saw the recapture of kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Source: The Associated Press

9. Screen Actors Guild Awards highlight diversity in Hollywood
While the Oscars come under fire for all-white acting nominations, the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night showcased Hollywood’s diversity. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV,” said actor Idris Elba, who presented an award and won two himself. Other performers of color who took home awards included Queen Latifah, Viola Davis, and Uzo Aduba. The hashtag #SAGsSoBlack trendedSaturday in response to #OscarsSoWhite.

Source: Yahoo

10. Novak Djokovic wins 6th Australian Open
No. 1 Novak Djokovic swept No. 2 Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3) to win the Australian Open on Sunday. The Open title is Djokovic’s sixth, which ties Roy Emerson for the most men’s singles titles in the tournament’s history. Djokovic now has 11 Grand Slam wins to his name, the same number as legends Rod Laver and Björn Borg.

Source: The New York Times

U.S. Politics

Voter Asks Ben Carson: If You’re So Smart, Why Don’t You Accept Climate Change?

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/CHRIS CARLSON

CLIMATE PROGRESS

Ben Carson is not a fan of the uneducated.

At his town hall meeting in Iowa City on Friday, the Republican presidential candidate insulted people with low IQs and lamented that they were allowed to vote. He said it was “disturbing” that many people are unable to pass the written test to get into the military. He urged the audience to “read up” on the history of Islam, and said progressives are “dumbing down our society” with calls for political correctness.

All of this intrigued Daniel Schnall, 29, a graduate student at the University of Iowa and registered independent. Schnall asked Carson: If you’re so passionate about being educated, then why don’t you accept the science of human-caused climate change?

“You’ve spoken a lot about using common sense and using your brain, and I really appreciate that,” Schnall said. “And in some of the questions in the debates, you responded that you really seek the input of experts.”

He continued: “The experts in the scientific community overwhelmingly agree that climate change is a problem. Can you explain that discrepancy, and why you’re not willing to listen to the experts?”

For the entirety of his presidential campaign, Carson has been unwilling to say he accepts the mainstream scientific opinion that carbon emissions from human activity cause climate change, and that climate change will have catastrophic effects if left unchecked. “There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on,” Carson has said, implying that humans have nothing to do with how hot the Earth is becoming.

On Friday, he responded to Schnall’s question by saying that the climate science is “politicized.”

“I don’t subscribe to the politicization of the environment, because that’s what leads to things like the Clean Power Plan,” Carson said, referring to Obama’s regulations to limit carbon emissions from coal power plants. “The EPA has said that if we implement every aspect of the Clean Power Plan, it will lower the temperature of the Earth by 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit… that’s the benefit. The cost is billions of dollars and millions of jobs. That doesn’t make any sense, because that is ideologically driven.”

There’s a lot to unpack about Carson’s comments on the Clean Power Plan. For one, he said that regulations would be useless because they would only make a small dent in global temperatures. But that’s scientifically misleading — no one regulation in any one country can be significant enough to make a big dent in global temperatures. However, considering the United States is currently the world’s second-largest carbon emitter and by far its largest historically, the idea is that the U.S. must act first to motivate other countries to do the same.

And his claim that putting carbon regulations on the already-dying coal industry would cost “billions of dollars and millions of jobs” is also dubious — according to multiple studies, the regulations would actually create jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors, since both will have to be increased to meet the regulations’ requirements.

But the most notable portion of Carson’s response was what he didn’t say — and that’s anything about the actual science of human-caused climate change. Carson said the EPA had become politicized and that the Clean Power Plan wouldn’t work, but he didn’t say anything surrounding the actual question, which was why, scientifically, he doesn’t accept that climate change is a problem.

Schnall recognized this, telling ThinkProgress that he was “not really” happy with the candidate’s answer. Schnall said that while he’s “not the biggest climate change advocate,” he asked the question because he was frustrated with the polarization of climate change in politics. And for Carson in particular, he just didn’t understand how someone could preach the importance of education while denying mainstream science.

“If he’s going to stand up there and say we need to listen to the experts, and we need to use our brains — 97 percent of the scientific community agrees on this one,” he said. “It’s not just politicizing the issue. It’s a little more than that.”

EMILY ATKIN

U.S. Politics

Koch network spent nearly $400 million in 2015

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

THE HILL

The Koch brothers’ donor network spent close to $400 million last year, and is on its way to spending an unprecedented $889 million supporting right-wing politics and causes during the 2016 cycle.
On Saturday afternoon, the Koch network assembled 500 wealthy conservatives — its largest gathering ever — at a luxury resort near the foothills of Palm Springs’ Coachella Valley.
About 150 of the donors are first-time attendees, and the rest are paid-up members of the conservative donor network, which requires a minimum annual membership fee of $100,000.
“Everybody, come out and identify yourself because this isn’t some secret cabal,” Charles Koch said in his opening address to the donors on the lawns of the luxury Renaissance Resort and Spa.
“I’ve been identified lately,” Koch said, referring to his recent media appearances to improve the Kochs’ public image, “and it’s not so bad, I’m still here. … I’m going stronger than ever.”
While billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have historically kept their political and ideological activities secret, they made a strategic decision last year to “open up” the donor network, which had been portrayed by Democrats including President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, as a sinister force in American politics.
The strategy involved Charles doing a series of media interviews to promote his new book, “Good Profit,” and also allowing a small number of journalists into their exclusive retreats.
This Palm Springs retreat is the second time journalists have been allowed to attend. They had to agree not to name any donors in attendance who do not consent to being interviewed.
The Koch network hired out the entire Renaissance Resort and Spa. Koch staff and security guards are stationed throughout the resort and screened cars at the front gate to prevent infiltration. The hotel has a championship golf course, a sand-beach pool, and 100,000 square feet of meeting space. Hung in the hotel lobby is a giant banner announcing the theme of the event, “A Vision to Unleash America’s Potential.”
The donors gather over three days in breakout sessions and larger group settings to discuss their various policy initiatives, which include slashing taxes, government spending and regulations, and other less expected initiatives such as criminal justice reform. They also discuss politics; the rise of billionaire Donald Trump in the 2016 cycle has many Koch donors concerned, given his unreliability on conservative issues.
The network is now the most powerful force in right-wing politics, with a budget and technological infrastructure that rivals that of the Republican Party.
Many of the Koch network members – which include some of the biggest-spending conservative families in America, such as Michigan’s DeVoses and the Adelsons from Las Vegas – spend tens of millions each year advancing their favored politicians and causes.
In his introductory speech, Charles Koch told the donors he had four goals to change the trajectory of American government and society.
The first is to “reverse the policies that are moving us toward a two-tiered society,” which include corporate welfare.
The second is to end “irresponsible government spending.”
The third is to get governments at all levels to focus on what he sees as government’s “primary responsibility to people,” which is to “keep Americans safe.”
And fourth, protecting free speech, which is “under attack everywhere.”
“Now the tragedy is,” Koch said, “in my view, America is moving further and further away from this type of society. And we’re moving more toward of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty.”
Jonathan Swan
U.S. Politics

Virginia GOP Scraps Mandatory “Loyalty Pledge” for Primary Voters

Virginia GOP Scraps Mandatory

Image Credit: AP

POLICY.MIC

The Republican Party of Virginia has given up on a plan to make all voters in the upcoming GOP primary sign statements saying “I am a Republican” after weeks of pressure from supporters of real-estate billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A spokesman confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the state party has abandoned the plan, which would force all people casting ballots for the Republican nominee for president to sign such a document. Virginia has an open primary, which means anyone can vote to choose the GOP nominee, not just members of the party.

News of the proposal being rescinded first emerged on conservative blog The Bull Elephant.

In December, Trump called the idea a “suicidal mistake” and said the Virginia GOP was “working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters.”

Of course, Trump is the one who stands to benefit from defeating the proposal. As Mediaite’s Ken Meyer wrote in December, “There is a possibility that Trump’s frustration on this is due to how his supporters are mostly a mix of independents and hard-right conservatives who are disenchanted by the Republican Party:”

Three black pastors who are also Trump supporters filed a federal lawsuit against the Virginia GOP over the pledge earlier in January, according to the Washington PostThe party has denied opponents’ characterization of the document as a pledge or oath, previously releasing a statement saying it implemented “a far lower barrier to participation than in states that require party registration for voters participation in primaries.”

Tom McKay

U.S. Politics

Sunday Talk: The beginning of the end is near

DAILY KOS

In less than 48 hours from now, the (stupid) people of Iowa will gather in caucus locations throughout the state to cast the first “votes” in the 2016 presidential primaries—as mandated by the Preamble to the Constitution.

This is a perilous time for the GOP; despite an overabundance of polling and know-it-all pundits, many big questions remain unanswered.

Among them are:

Is Canadiananchor babyTed Cruzeligible to run?

Why has God (Jesus) forsaken BenCarson?

 Is Jeb!—or anyone, really—the “smart Bush“?

Has Marco Rubio’smoment“—assuming that such a thing even existsfinally arrived?

Time for some traffic problems in Des Moines?

Where is Rand Paul’s Aqua Buddha now?

Just who does Carly Fiorina think she’s kidding?

And, most (yugely!) importantly:

Can Donald Trump harness enough “white power” to make America great again?

Stay tuned to find out.

 

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Roundtable: David Brody (Christian Broadcast Network), Joy Ann Reid(MSNBC), Tom Brokaw (NBC News) and Jennifer Jacobs (Des Moines Register).

Face The Nation: Raging Narcissist Donald Trump (R); Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Pollster Ann Selzer; RoundtableKimberley Strassel (Wall Street Journal), Ed O’Keefe (Washington Post), Ezra Klein (Vox) and Ben Domenech (The Federalist).

This Week: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Raging Narcissist Donald Trump (R); Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos, “Independent” Strategist Matthew Dowd​and Katrina vandal Heuvel (The Nation).

Fox News Sunday: Raging Narcissist Donald Trump (R); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Kathie Obradovich (Des Moines Register), Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and Anne Gearan (Washington Post).

State of the Union: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Roundtable: Republican Strategist Ana Navarro, Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D), Radio Host Hugh Hewitt and Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a hidden camera report on what happens when hidden cameras capture American lawyers being asked to move highly questionable funds into the U.S (preview); and, a report on scientists trying to get to the bottom of climate change and sea level rise by studying one of the largest glaciers in the Arctic Circle (preview).

Late night shows:

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Monday: Actor John Travolta; Actor Courtney B. Vance; Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy; Singer/Songwriter John Moreland.

Tuesday: Actor David Schwimmer; Preacher Joel Osteen; Singer/Songwriter M. Ward.

Wednesday: TV Personality Dr. Phil McGraw; Filmmakers Mark & Jay Duplass; Georgetown Prof. Michael Eric Dyson; Rapper Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals.

Thursday: TV Personality Michael Strahan; Comedian Samantha Bee; Rock Band Wilco.

Friday: Guests TBD.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Monday: Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code); Tuesday: Journalist Peter Bergen; Wednesday: Comedian Hannibal Buress; Thursday: YouTube Star Lilly Singh.

More>>>

By Silly Rabbit

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 30, 2016

Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

THE WEEK

1. State Department finds top secret information in Hillary Clinton’s emails
The State Department has deemed the contents of 22 messages on Hillary Clinton’s email account “top secret” and won’t release them. This is the first time the Obama administration has confirmed that the unsecured home server Clinton used as secretary of state contained material of the highest levels of classification. Department officials won’t say the nature of the emails, or if Clinton sent any herself. The news comes days before the crucial first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

Source: The Associated Press

2. 1 of 3 escaped Orange County inmates surrenders to police
One of the three inmates who escaped from a jail in Orange County, California, surrendered to police Friday after a week on the run. Bac Duong, 43, was taken into police custody after he told a citizen on the street he wanted to turn himself in. Duong’s accomplices, Hossein Nayeri, 37, and Jonathan Tieu, 20, are still on the run. The news comes shortly after a woman who taught English at the jail was arrested on suspicion of helping the inmates escape.

Source: Los Angeles Times, CNN

3. Obama announces rules to crack down on pay gap
Obama announced Friday a new requirement for companies with 100 or more employees to report pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity. The announcement, made on the seventh anniversary of Obama’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, has drawn criticism from Republicans who argue that gender discrimination is already illegal, so additional actions are not necessary. The first reports will be due September 2017.

Source: CNN, The New York Times

4. Flint water lead levels may be too high for filters
Local, state, and federal officials encouraged Flint residents Friday to test their water for lead. Recent samples from 26 homes in the Michigan city showed lead levels too high for water filters to effectively handle. Officials said pregnant women and children under 6 should drink only bottled water until testing is complete. The city has free testing kits available at fire stations. Flint’s water crisis was prompted by a 2014 switch in the city’s water source.

Source: Detroit Free Press

5. Trump-less debate earns second-lowest ratings of season
Fox News’ presidential debate Thursday night was the second-lowest rated GOP debate of the season, drawing in 12.5 million viewers. The ratings are notable because it was the first time that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump was absent from the stage — he boycotted after claiming moderator Megyn Kelly was biased. Trump’s counter-programmed Iowa event raising money for veterans got roughly 2.7 million viewers. When Trump faced off against Kelly in August, Fox News drew a record 24 million viewers.

Source: CNN

6. Obama seeks $4 billion for computer science classes
President Obama called for $4 billion Saturday to increase students’ access to computer science classes. Another $100 million would go to school districts themselves to fund the programs. Only 28 states currently allow students to count computer science courses toward their graduation requirements. “Our economy is rapidly shifting, and educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that CS is a ‘new basic’ skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility,” the White House said in a statement.

Source: White House, Wired

7. Scott Walker has $1.2 million in campaign debt
Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-Wis.) failed presidential campaign has $1.2 million in debt, according to a Federal Election Commission filing released Friday. After dropping out of the race in September, Walker’s campaign raised $597,000 in the fourth quarter. “Governor Walker made substantial progress in addressing financial commitments over the last quarter, and he remains humbled by the outpouring of support from friends across the country who continue to believe in his commonsense reform agenda,” a campaign spokesman said.

Source: Politico

8. Facebook bans private gun sales
Facebook banned private gun sales on its site and on Instagram, the social network announced Friday. The policy change does not apply to licensed gun sellers and gun clubs, which can still maintain profiles on each site. Facebook, which now allows peer-to-peer payment transactions via private message, had already banned sales of marijuana, pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs.

Source: The New York Times

9. David Bowie leaves $100 million in will
Rock star David Bowie left half of his $100 million estate to his widow, Iman, according to his will filed Friday in New York. The other half is to be split between his kids, Duncan Jones and Alexandria Zahra Jones. Bowie, who died of cancer Jan. 10 at age 69, requested that his ashes be scattered in Bali in accordance with a Buddhist ritual.

Source: BBC News

10. Angelique Kerber upsets Serena Williams to win Australian Open
No. 7 Angelique Kerber upset top-ranked Serena Williams in the Australian Open final, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 Saturday. It was the German player’s first time in a Grand Slam final. “This is the best two weeks of my life, my career,” Kerber said. “I had goosebumps when I was playing on the court.” Williams still trails Steffi Graf for the most singles titles in the Open era.

Source: The New York Times, USA Today

U.S. Politics

Stephen Colbert’s ‘Trump vs. Trump’ debate reveals just how meaningless but loud Trump actually is

Stephen Colbert (YouTube)

Stephen Colbert (YouTube)

THE RAW STORY

Stephen Colbert celebrated Thursday’s Trump-free Republican presidential debate by holding his own Trump vs. Trump debate.

The “Late Show” host said Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, was “the star of this year’s top reality show,” so the debate just wouldn’t be the same without him,

But he said the real estate tycoon and reality TV star showed weakness by backing out of the debate to protest what he sees as “unfair” treatment by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

“After all, why would he want to practice going head-to-head with a strong, blonde woman?” Colbert said.

Colbert then used video footage of Trump’s frequently contradictory statements for a “mano a moutho” debate.

For example, Trump said Jan. 17 that “no one likes” Ted Cruz “once they get to know him,” after saying as recently as Dec. 11 that he liked the Texas senator “a lot.”

Trump also said this month that he loved Iowa and its people, although he wondered during a speech in November just “how stupid are the people of Iowa?”

He described Clinton in July as the “worst Secretary of State in the history of the United States” — although in March 2012 he described her as a “terrific woman” and friend, adding, “I think she does a good job and I like her.”

Trump heaped praise on Kelly in 2011, telling her that he could never beat her skills as a debate moderator. “You have done a great job, by the way, and I mean it,” he added with a smile.

This week, however, Trump said he had “zero respect” for Kelly, adding that she’s not very good at her job and “highly overrated.”

“Mr. Trump, in the past, when you have turned against a woman in that way — she ends up with half your assets,” Colbert cautioned the twice-divorced candidate.

Watch the entire segment posted online by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert:

U.S. Politics

Cruz happy to let millions lose health insurance to repeal Obamacare

Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses a legislative luncheon held as part of the "Road to Majority" conference in Washington June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX1H57C

attribution: REUTERS

DAILY KOS

Ted Cruz predictably vowed to repeal Obamacare Thursday night despite the fact that millions of Americans have been relying on it for three years now.

Question: Senator Cruz, if you repeal Obamacare, as you say you will, will you be fine if millions of those people don’t have health insurance? And what is your specific plan for covering the uninsured?

Cruz: Sure.

We could stop there ‘cuz that pretty much says it all, but let’s do a deep dive, shall we?

Cruz: First of all, we have seen now in six years of Obamacare that it has been a disaster. It is the biggest job-killer in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance, have lost their doctors, have seen their premiums skyrocket.

Well that’s an exercise in magical thinking.

National Journal: Obamacare is Creating Jobs — Yes, Really.

Bloomberg: Obamacare is Spurring Startups and Creating Jobs.

On premiums, yes, some have risen and some have fallen. That doesn’t take into account the ability of many people to shop around for lower rates nor does it account for the tax credits for which a majority of Obamacare buyers are eligible. Here’s a good explainer.

Cruz: If I’m elected president, we will repeal every word of Obamacare.

Shocker. But remember, he’d still have to get repeal through Congress—where practically everybody, including his GOP colleagues, hates him.

Then comes his big plan for a replacement, which, once again, he’d have to get through a Congress that hate-hate-hates him.

First, he wants to expand competition. Thanks for the fresh thinking, Cruz. Republicans have been saying that for decades.

Problem: “The barriers to entry are not truly regulatory, they are financial.” In other words, health insurers aren’t doing it because it’s not profitable.

In 2012, Ms. [Sabrina] Corlette and co-authors completed a study of a number of states that passed laws to allow out-of-state insurance sales. Not a single out-of-state insurer had taken them up on the offer. As Ms. Corlette’s paper highlighted, there is no federal impediment to across-state-lines arrangements. The main difficulty is that most states want to regulate local products themselves. The Affordable Care Act actually has a few provisions to encourage more regional and national sales of insurance, but they have not proved popular.

Insurers have been muted in their enthusiasm for G.O.P. across-state-lines plans. Neither America’s Health Insurance Plans, the lobbying group for most private insurers, nor the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association have endorsed such a plan when it has come before Congress.

Cruz also wants to keep “government from getting in between us and our doctors.”**

(**Except when it involves women’s bodies. Then he wants a government free-for-all.)

And finally …

Cruz: We should work to de-link health insurance from employment so if you lose your job, your health insurance goes with you and it is personal, portable and affordable.

Oh, you mean scrap Obamacare for something more akin to what they have in CANADA. Hmm.

Kerry Eleveld