Balkinization  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cruz-Thomas in 2016

Sandy Levinson

The Washington Post reports that Ginny Thomas, who is married to Justice Clarence Thomas, has endorsed Texas's (Princeton and Harvard educated) junior senator Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination.  I'm sure the endorsement was sincere and that no quid pro quo was involved.   That being said, it also occurred to me that a thoroughly plausible ticket in this extraordinarily peculiar political season would be Cruz-Clarence Thomas.  The only downside for Thomas would be his presumably having to resign from the Court in order to do it, thus leaving a vacancy to be filled by Hillary Clinton should she prevail.  (There is, of  course, no possibility whatsoever that President Obama could fill a vacancy that would arise only in June 2016.)  It would, however, certainly add clarity about what is at stake in the election.  In any event, you read it here first!

As for Cruz, incidentally, I increasingly think that he has a good chance of being the last man standing come next June.  In the political system in which I grew up, the favorite would clearly be John Kasich, a capable governor of a vital swing state, but that system appears to be dead.  Kasich's only hope is that Jeb! withdraws before New Hampshire and selflessly endorses Kasich instead of the young prince Rubio, but I certainly wouldn't bet on that happening.  Cruz's big hope has to be that he can come in first, even with only 32%, in the winner-take-all states following March 15 and that Trump, realizing he is not in fact going to get the nomination, will throw his support behind Cruz because Cruz has generally been "nice" to him. 

Perhaps Cruz would be tempted to pick snarly Carley as his veep, but I doubt it, since she's as cravenly ambitious as he is.  Thomas, on the other hand, would be perfect; a Cruz-Thomas ticket would allow Republicans to persuade themselves that we indeed live in a post-racialist color-blind society and prove it by voting for a Canadian-born Cuban-American and an African-American from Pinpoint, Georgia.  What could be more inspiring!



Comments:

Originalists and Federalist Society members might be salivating.
 

Ginny Thomas has been a Tea Party activist for a while now & before that was some other form of conservative activist as well (shocking, I know, that there is a strong overlap). Cruz is a logical choice for her. Ben Carson arguably might be someone who she would support, if he was more of a serious candidate. I wouldn't be surprised if Carson and Cruz will find common ground if coalition building came into play.

I still to be blunt find Cruz to come off as too much of an asshole (even his own party's senators apparently can't stand the guy) to be the last person standing. Think Rubio should be able to take the Bush43 conservative while pleasant enough to others approach to win. But, your bet here isn't that far off the mark. Unpleasant as that might be. The ticket in theory would be interesting. Thomas is sort of a Ben Carson who can handle the details in a believable fashion. Surely has the base vote including his clear distaste for the other side. And, he can be pleasant when he puts his mind to it -- Ginny and him can change their RV into a campaign bus. Plus, he's still pretty young.


 

"The only downside for Thomas would be his presumably having to resign from the Court in order to do it, thus leaving a vacancy to be filled by Hillary Clinton should she prevail."

It occurs to me that this is, rather transparently, the only upside, only it's not an upside for Thomas or anybody who likes him.
 

Some might think there are other "upsides" such as thinking he would be a good member of the ticket to promote the Republican message & he himself might find it rewarding to do so at times with his activist wife. Some might think it would help a movement to set up term limits (he would have had about 25 years on the Court, a good run, and his fellow Bush41 appointee Souter resigned before that ... other long term members will retire sooner than later; he can be there for much longer).

Of course, we would assume here, I guess, that the Republicans would lose with a Cruz-Thomas ticket since otherwise HC wouldn't get a shot to fill his vacancy. Thomas would resign beforehand, but Republicans control the Senate and can just delay things until the Obama term ran its course (see 1968).
 


I am a bit surprised that a Supreme Court justice endorsed a presidential candidate. Does anyone know if that has happened before?

Then again, has a lawyer who argued regularly in front of the Supreme Court run for president before?

In any case, I cannot see why Thomas would give up a lifetime gig on the Supreme Court for the worst job in the federal government and provide Obama with an opportunity to appoint another progressive to the Court.

Keep an eye on Ted Cruz.

The electorate in both parties is most anti-establishment in my middle aged lifetime and, despite his naked ambition, Cruz has the most anti-establishment cred of any elected representative running for president. Cruz made a calculated decision to openly call out his own party's leadership on multiple occasions and he proudly offers their loathing of him as a applause line in stump speeches and debate responses.

Cruz has also translated that establishment loathing into campaign cash. The senator from Texas has convinced the libertarian/conservative money men as well as thousands of individual donors that he is the only candidate who will actually do what he promises. As a result, Cruz has raised a campaign war chest rivaling Bush and Clinton.

Given his inexperience in national politics, Cruz is running a remarkably organized and efficient campaign. Cruz is the only candidate (including Bush) with organization in every county of the first four primary states and has a presence in every state and overseas possession which casts nomination votes. After doing all that, Cruz still has more cash on hand than any other candidate of both parties.

Cruz is very quietly lining up all the important endorsements which carry weight with GOP caucus goers in Iowa, who are disproportionately Christian conservatives. Cruz has bagged Rep. Steve King and radio host Steve Deace so far, and appears to be the favorite of Iowa GOP kingmaker, Bob Vander Plaats. If he gets all three, Cruz could be a surprise winner in Iowa, which would be a springboard into the South where he has been organizing for months.

 

If I had to bet money on who would get the GOP nod I'd put it on Cruz for many of the reasons Bart has described. I only wonder why the conservative base buys his recent self presentation as an anti-establishment outsider. The guy clerked for the Chief Justice of the US, worked for the W. Bush campaign and then White House in Justice and FTC, and served as the longest serving Solicitor General for Texas. That guy is anti-establishment?
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) with this:

"I am a bit surprised that a Supreme Court justice endorsed a presidential candidate. Does anyone know if that has happened before?"

seems to be relying on the "pillow talk" presumption in Anglo-American law rather that the contents of Sandy's post. It's been obvious to me that our own MRO has been cruising for Cruz based on his comments at this Blog. Our own MRO has virtually quoted the talking points of the Cruz campaign.

As for endorsements by Supreme Court Justices, keep in mind the step beyond endorsement in Bush v. Gore %-4 that included Justice Thomas in the majority.

By the Bybee [expletive deleted], does the new bio of George H. W. Bush get into his nomination of Thomas?

 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

everyone wants to be an outsider -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BBTocwq3lY
 

Mr. W: I only wonder why the conservative base buys his recent self presentation as an anti-establishment outsider. The guy clerked for the Chief Justice of the US, worked for the W. Bush campaign and then White House in Justice and FTC, and served as the longest serving Solicitor General for Texas. That guy is anti-establishment?

I buy it because he has burned his bridges with the GOP establishment. I have never seen a senator of either party call out his party leadership from the Senate floor like Cruz. First, he flat out calls McConnell a liar. Then, he breaks down how the GOP leadership lies to the voters by promising to reverse progressive policy, only to hold show votes while fully funding the the policies they claim to oppose.

https://youtu.be/QSl8DWUQYf8

https://youtu.be/aimgwzV-77U

These are not the acts of an establishment politician playing the rebel for the voters.

Cruz is either a true believer or he is one hell of a gambler.

 

Cruz is merely another Elmer Gantry variation. He is a true believer - in himself. Yes, he's a gambler, from hell. Perhaps our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) imagines himself as a disciple, groomed for - drum roll - a judicial appointment. Our own MRO "buys it," lemming-like, just as with those poll numbers for you know whom, preceded by his lockstep amorousness with the Bush/Cheney Administration. Caveat emptor.

And note that our own MRO has avoided addressing his "pillow talk" presumption concerning Justice Thomas' alleged endorsement of Cruz. Those second-hand DUI fumes must be overpowering in his admitted "middle age" perhaps more accurately muddled.
 

This post at:

http://www.honestgraft.com/2015/11/why-ted-cruz-wants-to-fight-barack-obama.html

titled "Why Ted Cruz Wants to Fight Barack Obama" must be "inspirational" to our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) and his ilk. If what Obama said is an insult, it was clearly a group insult - and accurate. Maybe some others in that group will also put chips on their shoulders to look as macho as Cruz. Wouldn't those machos be great on the ground in Syria directly against ISIL rather than their "fighting words"?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag:

Honest Graft? Have you linked to Hillary Clinton's blog?

In any case, the blogger is correct that Cruz would love to have a public fight with Obama, but missed the context.

Cruz suggested that we place a moratorium on importing refugees from Muslim countries for security reasons with an exception for Christian refugees fleeing the genocide there against their people.

Obama did indeed make the quoted juvenile and inaccurate crack that Republicans in general are afraid of women and three year old orphans. The reality is that these refugees are disproportionately young men fleeing the draft by the Syrian government or one of the militias in that civil war. Young men who also fit the demographic of ISIS and al Qaeda fighters.

Obama went further to remark that the US should not have a "religious test" for accepting refugees. This was a direct shot at Cruz. The reality is that our immigration law does make religious persecution a test for qualifying for asylum and Islamic jihadis have been religiously cleansing Christians and Jews from Muslim countries across the world.

Let me explain the politics of Cruz's response.

1) Having a personal fight with Obama is even better GOP nomination politics than battling the GOP establishment. Perfect foil and free press.

2) Americans oppose Obama's plan to import Syrians by a 2-1 margin. Democrat politicians are bailing on Obama and the GOP may pass a bill stopping this importation and have a veto override vote.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/260631-poll-over-half-reject-obamas-syrian-refugee-plan

3) Cruz's exception for Christians fleeing genocide will be well received by Christian conservatives, whose churches are well aware of this holocaust and have been working to provide relief for their fellow faithful. Christian conservatives make up a disproportionate number of the GOP primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina.

Win, win, win.

Cruz knows what he is doing, even if it is going over the heads of most Democrats and many of his opponents.
 

Spam attack pretty early now.

Cruz definitely is a rising national political star using his Tea Party rep and anti-government rhetoric helps there. But, to actually be a successful presidential candidate (see Lincoln vs some base favorite in the beginnings of the party), Cruz seems to me (I say this objectively and hopefully) has issues. People like Ginny Thomas are not the norm here. But, Cruz very well can get a strong chunk of delegates here so in some fashion as candidate or power broker can very well be very important.

History note. Charles Evan Hughes did step down from the USSC to run for President and others (up to William O Douglas) thought about running as President or v.p. A few others stepped down for political reasons. John Davis was a top advocate (both in the Steel Seizure Cases and Brown v. Bd. -- Landmark Cases/C-SPAN fan here) who ran for President.
 

Let me explain the politics of Cruz's response.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:36 AM


These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!

Cruz is pandering to racists and bigots (aka the GOP base).

 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One):

"Win, win, win."

sounds like his 2008 poll results. (Cue to BB.)

And our own MRO's:

"Cruz knows what he is doing, even if it is going over the heads of most Democrats and many of his opponents."

Elmer Gantry steps (inspired by his father?) are so obvious to most Americans as demagogic with a view to Iowa. Our own MRO is now fully out of the Cruz closet, perhaps as a way to get from under, via patronage, the dull life of being the top DUI legal beagle in his sheltered mountaintop community. Our own MRO provides an Elmer Fudd analysis of politics.

Note our own MRO still ducks " ... addressing his 'pillow talk' presumption concerning Justice Thomas' alleged endorsement of Cruz. "

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], did Cruz ever identify that 5th agency he would shut down, or did he really mean to shut down Commerce twice?
 

BB, Thanks for reading my mind before I posted.
 

Shag/BB:

I can only hope that you Democrats play the race card with the opposition to Mr. Obama's plan to import Syrians. You are calling over half of the electorate racists. Great election year politics, that.

Democrat politicians who engage their brains before opening their mouths are beginning to do the electoral math.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/18/how-high-ranking-democrats-are-undercutting-obama-on-syrian-refugees/
 

Blankshot, I agree that pandering to racist scum like you can often be successful. I disagree that it's something you should be proud of.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) has difficulty predicting the past, suggesting his hindsight is myopic, as is his foresight. His trolling for Cruz suggests a dry spell in his Mile Hight State (of mind). Or perhaps he is worried that CO is one of the few states not barring Syrian refugees, looking under his bed at night not only for commies and progressives, but also Syrian refugees who are not Christian. I imagine he has pictures of Roy Cohn and Sen. Joe McCarthy on his bedroom walls. Now he can hang Cruz alongside them.

I wonder if our own MRO is pushing his armed revolution alternative to the present state of governance.
 

In the face of 2 to 1 opposition from voters, dozens of Democrats joined the GOP House majority to pass a bill requiring strict vetting of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/syria-refugee-bill-vote-216053

I guess they are all racists.

THIS is why Cruz is eager to pick this fight with Obama.
 

Yes, I'm sure this looks favorable to a racist fear mongering scumbag like Cruz (and you). But it's still not something to be proud of.
 

I think there's an obvious difference between saying 'we will take people of this religion but not that one' and 'we will take people facing religious persecution,' and, yes, the first one looks a lot like a religious test.

I agree with Bart that it will likely help Cruz in his nomination race, but I agree with the others here that it's a shameful, cowardly ploy that invokes the days when we turned away refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.
 

Mr. W: I think there's an obvious difference between saying 'we will take people of this religion but not that one' and 'we will take people facing religious persecution,' and, yes, the first one looks a lot like a religious test.

Christians and Jews can claim that they are facing religious persecution in the Muslim world, the Muslims fleeing Syria are not facing religious persecution, but rather getting out of the way of a civil war.

but I agree with the others here that it's a shameful, cowardly ploy that invokes the days when we turned away refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.

The Muslim Syrian refugees are not fleeing persecution and death. They are coming from perfectly safe camps in Turkey and Jordan in order to find a new life in the EU and US. While I can sympathize with their plight, they are not analogous to Jews fleeing the Holocaust and their admission is not worth the risk of terrorist infiltration.
 

and their admission is not worth the risk of terrorist infiltration.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 6:08 PM



Only if you're a coward.
 

BB:

Calling a majority of Americans and a supermajority of House Republicans and Democrats racists and cowards.

Great election strategy. You and Barry feel free to keep it up.
 

Meanwhile, the French are confirming that multiple jihadis attacking Paris, including the cell leader, infiltrated as migrants.

http://news.yahoo.com/attackers-used-refugee-crisis-slip-france-pm-200055808.html
 

Not to point out the obvious, but this is the first sentence of this post:

"The Washington Post reports that Ginny Thomas, who is married to Justice Clarence Thomas, has endorsed Texas's (Princeton and Harvard educated) junior senator Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination. "

It does NOT say that Clarence Thomas endorsed her. Yes, yes, they almost certainly agree on this, but he didn't endorse Cruz officially.
 

Calling a majority of Americans and a supermajority of House Republicans and Democrats racists and cowards.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 6:44 PM


Most Americans probably have no clue how insignificant the "threat" is. The people who voted for this bill (and scum like you) are cowards.

 

I'm definitely looking forward to when the cowards who support this bill start working towards repealing the 2nd amendment. Because fear.
 

the Muslims fleeing Syria are not facing religious persecution

The Shia, Alawites, etc there aren't facing religious persecution from groups like ISIL?
 

Teresa, thanks for pointing out what our own MRO ducked, despited being prodded several times, regarding Justice Thomas' alleged endorsement of Cruz's candidacy. I was out to lunch much of this afternoon, really, I had lunch with liberals and some progressives, whereas our own MRO is too frequently "out to lunch" when it comes to facts.

And Mr. W does some fact-checking as well.
 

The Shia, Alawites, etc there aren't facing religious persecution from groups like ISIL?
# posted by Blogger Mista Whiskas : 7:07 PM


On planet Bart Christians are facing more persecution (War on Christmas) in the US than any of those groups are facing in Syria.
 

BB, that Starbucks cup was some pretty awful persecution. Maybe those who were upset about it could find refuge in another country?
 

A land where people are forbidden to say "happy holidays"...
 

Has the Cruz campaign shut down its troll (aka our own MRO) at this Blog as counter-productive? I have been thinking about counter-productive bumper stickers in case Cruz does become the Republican nominee. Here are a few:

CRUZ TO NOWHERE

CRUZ TO HELL - BUT NOT BACK

CRUZ? NO, BOOZE!

SINK CRUZ'S ARK

STOP CANADIAN CRUZ/KEYSTONE XL SLIME

Add to these commons at your pleasure.
 

YOU'RE CRUZY IF YOU VOTE FOR ME
 

Starbucks cups and a war on Christmas? Really?

Try mass murder and terrorism.

Educate yourselves:

http://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/USCIRF%20Annual%20Report%202015%20%282%29.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians#Current_situation_.281989_to_present.29

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/

http://www.amazon.com/Crucified-Again-Exposing-Islam%C2%92s-Christians/dp/1621570258

 

Try mass murder and terrorism.

Educate yourselves:

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:44 AM


Mass murder and terrorism in the US? #learntoread
 

Mr. W: The Shia, Alawites, etc there aren't facing religious persecution from groups like ISIL?

The Shia Alawite minority rules Syria through the Assad dictatorship. Unless you count the rebellion against this dictatorship as religious persecution, then the answer to your question is no.

The refugees are fleeing general violence and the draft.

http://www.ibtimes.com/syrian-men-conscripted-bashar-assads-army-choose-escape-over-kill-or-be-killed-1919724
 

Item: "Sense of Congress-- It is the sense of Congress that the United States should (1) continue to recognize and promote diversity in the Armed Forces; and (2) honor those from all diverse backgrounds and religious traditions who have made sacrifices in serving the United States through the Armed Forces."

http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2015/11/defense-authorization-act-encourages.html

Item: the "sane one" suggests a government agency to help explain what it means "to be a part of a Christian-Judaeo society."

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kasich-walks-back-judeo-christian-agency

Item: let's welcome Christian refugees

http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/dividing-people-along-religious-lines-makes-americans-less-safe

I need to go to the Statute of Liberty again. Need to look at the plaque again. Give us "your Christians" doesn't seem to be in there.

BTW, the quick rush to add requirements to Syrian refugees seems rather kneejerk and bad policy as a rule. I'm sure Brett, silently of course, is quite upset at it, since he wants govenrment to be slow and limited, not needless additional government rules for reasons of kneejerk fear and emotion.

The idea bad things get support of a lot of people is far from surprising especially given the limitations of human nature. But, ultimately, a candidate reveling in that is more dangerous to our republican values than Trump. Ted Cruz to me is like something out of Sinclair Lewis or something. Maybe, Loretta Young can come in ala Farmer's Daughter and bring us some sanity.
 

Prof. Dorf as usual has some good thoughts:

http://www.dorfonlaw.org/2015/11/even-mere-state-refusal-to-assist.html
 

Her's another bumper sticker inspired by the re-invigoration of our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One):

CRUZ MISSILES ARE FUSIES*

*When I was a kid back in the late '30s when firecrackers were legal (at least around the 4th of July), a firecracker that was a dud and only fizzled was called a "fusie."

I second Joe's endorsement of Prof. Dorf's blog post.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Joe:

Our immigration law concerning refugees provides that religious persecution is a ground to grant asylum and terrorism is a ground to deny asylum. Given that the victims of religious persecution in this refugee stream are Christian and all the al Qaeda/ISIS terrorists are Muslim, then the combination of their faith and our law creates a de facto religious test.

When screening for terrorists in a group of refugees, it makes eminent sense to pay particular scrutiny to Muslim applicants because the entire pool of terrorists seeking to invade the United States are Muslim.

If it cannot effectively screen for terrorists because of a lack of information, then the government needs to seriously consider suspending granting asylum to Muslim applicants who cannot prove that their lives are in imminent danger if asylum is not granted. We have no legal or moral responsibility to grant asylum to applicant merely so they can improve their standard of living.

The very real and demonstrated tactics of al Qaeda/ISIS, not the irrational fears of some mythical cabal of racist cowards, makes these distinctions necessary.
 

The very real and demonstrated tactics of al Qaeda/ISIS, not the irrational fears of some mythical cabal of racist cowards, makes these distinctions necessary.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:51 AM


No, it's definitely the irrational fear of racist cowards. How will you separate the Muslims from the Christians? Are you planning to depend on the honesty of terrorists?
 

BB: "No, it's definitely the irrational fear of racist cowards. How will you separate the Muslims from the Christians? Are you planning to depend on the honesty of terrorists?"

Good heavens! You made an actual substantive point.

Given AQ/ISIS's practice and indeed requirement of a public display of their Islamic faith, we have not seen them disguise themselves as Christians, Jews or some other faith. However, if AQ/ISIS were to adopt that tactic, then the government might have to broaden their screening.
 

Numbnuts, the screening of refugees is already quite intensive.

http://time.com/4116619/syrian-refugees-screening-process/

You are nothing but a chickenshit racist.
 

Well, Paul Ryan says there will be "no religion test," which is good since I'm not sure what the proper test for "Muslim" is especially since in the eyes of Al Qaeda, ISIS etc., loads of self-professed Muslims aren't really Muslim. See also, what "Christian" means in this country.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paul-ryan-syrian-refugees_564cb1f9e4b00b7997f878f3
 

BB:

The Obama administration is lying to you again.

The President plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 and more in subsequent years.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/11/world/middleeast/obama-directs-administration-to-accept-10000-syrian-refugees.html?_r=0

Team Obama and their Democrat media outlets like Time claim that the screening process will take 18-24 months.

http://time.com/4116619/syrian-refugees-screening-process/

Do the math.

How precisely does the Obama administration plan to admit 10,000 refugees into the United States over the next 13 months when the screening process takes 18-24 months unless they plan to release them into the population BEFORE the screening process is complete?

This does not even get to the fact that there is no database in Syria with which to conduct a screening process and our screeners are not going to travel to the Syrian communities of origin in the middle of a war zone.


 

Exactly: They're going to be exhausively vetted by asking them, "Are you a terrorist?"

Because the records that it would take to do a real job of vetting them don't actually exist, and nobody is going to walk around in a war zone interviewing their alleged neighbors and former employers.

The director of the FBI: “We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them,”
 

Joe said...Well, Paul Ryan says there will be "no religion test"...

That is correct. The House bill requires that the director of the F.B.I., the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence confirm that each applicant from Syria and Iraq, without exceptions for persecuted Christians, poses no threat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/us/politics/house-refugees-syria-iraq.html

Because Team Obama is lying when they claim there is an effective screening process for terrorists, these department heads will not be able to provide the required certification. We are locking out both the Christian survivors of religious cleansing and Muslim economic migrants.

The GOP is afraid of being called racist, so the Christian refugees will pay the price.
 

Yes, if someone has never done anything that puts them on a terrorist watchlist then it's going to be tough to determine that they are a terrorist. That is true if they are from Syria, Ireland, or Lockport, NY (Google it). Suck it up you cowardly racist scum.
 

Don't know what Brett's comment adds. Here's a more comprehensive summary:

http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2015/11/setting-the-record-state-on-resettlement-of-syrian-refugees.html

Not sure what the new proposed rules adds here. Some in fact are wary about them in that we are basically still relying on the same oversight parties (you know, the Obama Administration, the problem in some people's eyes). BB is basically correct though "terrorist watchlist" isn't the only rule there going by the details.
 

BTW, again, I point people to Prof. Dorf's post, including the reference that Cruz and the Republican Party / leadership as a whole on the whole is not fully on the same page on this question. This apparently is the value of his campaign, I gather, so isn't surprising.
 

Here's another bumper sticker:

ONWARD CRUZTIAN SOLDIERS

Perhaps our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One), though admittedly "middles aged," with his highly skilled military qualifications could lead such a 'CRUZADE."
 

Brett might be able to inform us how exhaustively Filipinos were vetted (recalling the guerilla warfare over the decades in those Islands over resentments going back to the beginning of the 20th century).
 

Might all this back and forth on Cruz impress Justice Thomas on Sandy's suggested ticket? How much of a pension would be available to Thomas if he resigned from the Court? Even if a losing ticket, consider the next book deal and speaking fees. Financially this could be good for Thomas' brand.
 

"The reality is that these refugees are disproportionately young men fleeing the draft by the Syrian government or one of the militias in that civil war. Young men who also fit the demographic of ISIS and al Qaeda fighters."

Radio the other day said that of those allowed into the US after screening only 2% are single men of military age. They're admitted from their country of origin. After 1.5-2 years.
 

"The Shia Alawite minority rules Syria through the Assad dictatorship. Unless you count the rebellion against this dictatorship as religious persecution, then the answer to your question is no."


Educate yourself.

"Islamic State gunmen arrived at the front gate in a group of pick-up trucks. Several carried machine guns. They took out the prisoners and sorted them into two groups, Sunni and 670 Shias. The fighters grilled the Sunni group, asked them to recite prayers, and interrogated them about family backgrounds. Some Shia prisoners tried to pass themselves off as Sunni. They were discovered and returned to the Shia line-up....According to the UN, the prisoners were lined up in four rows. They were told to kneel, and then shot. "

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/25/isis-ethnic-cleansing-shia-prisoners-iraq-mosul

"The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) slaughtered about 700 Turkmen civilians last month, including "children, women, and old people," United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Iraq chief Marzio Babille told Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA).The massacre of members of the country’s Shiite minority occurred in the northern Iraqi village of Beshir between July 11th and 12. The Turkmen ethnic group makes up roughly four percent of Iraq's population, according to the BBC. As members of the Shia Muslim sect, they are directly targeted by Islamic State Sunni extremists, who consider them apostates."

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/un-isis-massacred-700-turkmen-including-women-children-elderly

"On 12 June 2014, the Islamic State killed at least 1,566[2] Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets in an attack on Camp Speicher in Tikrit. At the time of the attack there were between 4,000 and 11,000 unarmed cadets in the camp.[3] Alleged ISIS fighters singled out Shia and non-Muslim cadets from Sunni ones and executed them."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Speicher_massacre

 

Mr. W:

You do know the difference between Iraq and Syria and that the Shia Alewites are Syrian?

The Iraqi Shia are not part of our Syrian refugee discussion.
 

Up close and personal accounts of how many of the Alawites in Syria live.

"A dull artillery boom shook the coffee cups on the table where we sat. The men who took me to her, also Alawite, began to reel off their own stories of murdered friends and relatives, and of neighbors abducted by rebels. “You will find stories like this in every house, people killed, people kidnapped, and all because of their sect,” one of them said."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/the-price-of-loyalty-in-syria.html?hp&pagewanted=all

"In Syria, Alawites these days are especially persecuted because they have the same religious identity as the president, Bashar al Assad. As a result, they have been targeted by the various Islamist rebel groups."

http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-09-27/fleeing-rebels-desperate-syrians-find-refuge-among-istanbul-s-alevis
 

Cruz is not talking about blocking Alawite, he is talking about blocking Muslims, period.

My first group of posts was about ISIS persecution of Shia generally. My second is about the Alawites.

 

The sad thing is that you shouldn't need links about this, though they can easily be provided. Common sense and very basic knowledge of what's going on should tell you that the Alawite are going to be targeted. Their religion is a very different strain of Islam, and ISIS is not known for it's 'ecumenical' views. Also, the bad blood between Alawites and Sunni in general goes back a very long way. It's common knowledge the bad blood between Sunni and Shia.

It's like you've lobotomized yourself in order to stand with Cruz and against Obama.
 

Also, the bill that passed the house covers Iraqi refugees as well.
 

Mr. W:

The Shia Alawites are not some poor oppressed minority. They are the Syrian ruling class attempting to beat back a revolution by the majority Sunni they have been oppressing and massacring for decades.

I have zero sympathy for them.
 

It's like you've lobotomized yourself in order to stand with Cruz and against Obama.
# posted by Blogger Mista Whiskas : 7:22 PM


That lobotomy is a pre-existing condition, so it is covered by Obamacare.

 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

I was lured to this website:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/gop-presidential-field-cartoon-characters-n448491

"The GOP Presidential Field As Cartoon Characters" based on a Peter Hart focus group of Republican voters. While Trum, Rubio, Fiorina, Carson and JEB!? are featured, nothing on Cruz in the report. So as a public service in addition to the Cruz bumper sticker challenge, I challenge your views of what cartoon character best describes Cruz. Out of a sense of fair play, I'll hold back on my choice(s). First prize: One week in the Mile High State (of mind), Second prize: two weeks in that venue as a guest of our own MRO high atop his mountain community.
 

Mr. W:

I was discussing the Obama plan to import 10,000 Syrians in 2016 and thousands afterward.

You offered the example of the Syrian Shia Alewites as an example of Muslim on Muslim religious persecution. I disagreed because the Alewives have been the persecutors in Syria for decades.

Then you changed the subject to and offered the straw man of ISIS persecution of Iraqi Shia. To the extent that Obama is planning to import persecuted Iraqi Shia, you might have a point. I am unaware of such a plan. The Iraqi Shia appear to be migrating to Shia areas of Iraq.

The House bill beefing up screening of refugees includes Iraq because part of the ISIS caliphate is located there, not because Obama plans to import thousands of Iraqis.

Cruz's plan includes all Muslims because the man is thorough, not because Obama plans to import thousands of Muslims from places other than Syria.

 

Steven Colbert talked about some of the candidates last nite and had not only Michael Caine ("shag" has a different implication over there) but his replacement on Comedy Central at 11:30. Amusing bit was various visual representations of the candidates, including an otter or something for Ben Carson. He didn't include Ted Cruz, but did have him as an early guest.
 

In case too many of our usual suspects have been busy watching (with their children?) Saturday cartoon shows, I guess I'll have to start off my own challenge. I offer as my "CRUZTOON" characters this quintet:

THE JOKER

THE RIDDLER

PENGUIN

THE JOKER

TWO-FACE

all nemeses of Batman. OOPS! I committed a CRUZPEAT!
 

Another bumper sticker:

CRUZ-UNCONTROLLED 2016
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Interestingly, both of our subjects are in the news today.

It appears that the reemergence of terrorism as a campaign issue and Ben Carson's cluelessness concerning foreign policy are shifting Carson voters to Ted Cruz in Iowa and maybe nationally.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/11/ben-carson-ted-cruz-iowa-conservatives-216124

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-trump-retakes-lead-cruz-surges-in-ia-rubio-second-in-nh/

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-trump-retakes-lead-gop-race-cruz-makes-gains-n466651

Good polls for Ted Cruz. (Make sure you bookmark that bb! ;^) )

If Cruz can pick up the final endorsement of the big three in Iowa GOP politics, Bob Vander Plaats, he might pull off the upset in the caucuses.

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/11/20/cruz-looks-secure-another-major-endorsement-iowa/
 

AOL News had a bit on the "surprising" rise in the polls for Ted Cruz.

It's simply logical. We are getting a bit closer to actual primaries -- the War on Christmas is upon us and all -- and Carson and Truman are not really sane choices. Many don't think Republicans are sane in general, but ultimately they do go to realistic choices here. We saw this in 2012, e.g., with various boomlets and then Romney. The odds were that Jeb! (a younger Jeb was on C-SPAN earlier today introducing his dad, part of a look at past campaigns) would be the one, but like a copy of a copy, he has shown the "!" was a bit overenthusiastic.

The conservatives here would ideally go to Ted Cruz with a few voters going to someone else. Cruz wins out nicely here. The issue is if he can get enough other votes from the other wings of the party to get a majority. Tricky, since again, he is a hateful asshole (guy makes Cheney look like a cupcake) that even his own fellow senators, including conservative Republicans, find hard to take.

It would be tricky alone since again he is going for a certain portion of the party these days. Winners of the nomination are types who seek out a wider audience. What will happen ... time will tell.
 

"ideally" should have been "logically"

Anyway, apropos of something perhaps, am now reading "A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States," which is an edited version of the man behind the first Japanese internment case talking about his travails as the events were happening. His brother and nephew was involved in the editing.

Also, congrats to the new governor of LA.
 

More bumper stickers:

CRUZ, PAST-PLUPERFECT OF CRAZY

(English majors should love that one.)

CRUZ PREYS - DAILY

TED CRUZ-A-FICTION

CRUZ TO THE PAST

(The last was inspired by our own MRO's adulation of The Gilded Age as America's best days.)

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], our own MRO closes his latest troll for Cruz with this:

"If Cruz can pick up the final endorsement of the big three in Iowa GOP politics, Bob Vander Plaats, he might pull off the upset in the caucuses."

Yes, Cruz ming end up virtually in the Caucases as did the last winner of the Iowa caucuses. Perhaps for laughs Googling Cruz may then entertain us as did Googling of Santorum. (Where's Stephen Colbert when we really need him?)

Aside to Joe: Did you have to bring Truman into this? I think you meant Trump. Truman was from Missouri, the "Show me" state insisting on verification, whereas Trump "Shows up" spouting what Republican voters are looking for without ANY verification.

 

Good polls for Ted Cruz. (Make sure you bookmark that bb! ;^) )

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 12:05 PM


Today's GOP is batshit crazy, so Cruz probably has a good chance of winning.
 

Imagine Cruz winning not only the Republican nomination but also the presidency. I could imagine a second Constitutional Convention (That's for you, Sandy) to address, inter alia*, the 1st A's religion clauses. Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) as the troll for Ted Cruz at this Blog might have a suggestion how his new lockstep pal might wish to amend the 1st A's religion clauses in light of Cruz's current campaigning. (I would assume our own MRO is "Cruzing" for a President Cruz cabinet position as other than a termite.)

*My third challenge would be to identify other changes in the ideal Cruz Constitution by both the usual and unusual subjects. (Prizes for first and second place same as for prior challenge.)
 

Does it strike anyone else as odd that Sandy, who made this post, and Cruz are fellow Texans? Did Sandy forget - or did he remember - the Alamo? Are the comments in this thread unintended consequences of Sandy's goal? Or is Sandy's goal to occupy us and keep us from muddling really, really serious issues?
 

If our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) has any free visits to the NYTimes website left, he might check out Paul Krugman's Blog post "Thinking About the Trumpthinkable" with a lengthy quote from an email from Alan Abramowitz on his views after reviewing a WaPo poll regarding the candidacy of Trump. Alan (I don't know him personally but it's easier than spelling out his last name) points to the strength to date in polling of Trump. He disregards Carson, and focuses on "Macro" Rubio as perhaps a possibility to overcome his polling analyses without mentioning Cruz or any other Republican candidate. Perhaps Cruz will challenge Alan to a face-to-face for not mentioning him; if so, "Bully for Cruz!"
 

Dr. Carson was on at least one political talk show this morning. By way of background, Carson in his professional days as a physician was committed to the Hippocratic Oath, "First, Do No Harm." As a politician there is no comparable oath, so Carson utters in his soft spoken manner things that seem harmful. Today, it seems, waterboarding may be fine with him. But maybe there is a political hypocritical oath.to contrast with his Hippocratic Oath.
 

Bart,

The bill the House just approved applies to Syrian and Iraqi refugees and Cruz talked about Muslims in general, so I offered examples of groups that would fall into those categories.

You're committing a rather gross logical error in your dismissal of Alawite Muslims fleeing Syria (they are, of course, not the only Muslim group there being targeted). The rulers of Syria may be Alawite, but not all Alawite's are rulers. Besides, how despicable is it to dismiss Alawites in general when many of them now fleeing Sunni murderers are women and children, who weren't oppressing anyone. But then again, the kind of tribalism that is behind this movement to privilege Christians over Muslim targets of ISIS usually comes with a healthy dose of despicableness.


 

I've also read with some amusement some conservative responses to Obama's 'religious test' criticism. There response is: the refugee law already has a 'religious test' in that refugee status can be obtained by the applicant showing religious persecution. It's a pretty terrible argument with a basic equivocation: by 'religious test' Obama obviously meant preferring one religion over another (automatically granting refugee status to people because of their faith), or rather discriminating against one religion (denying all Muslims from the area). The refugee law does no such thing: it allows, as one ground, refugee status to be awarded if the applicant shows religious persecution. The applicant could be Christian, Muslim, Yazidi, or what have you. A Christian living in Assad controlled areas may in fact not be able to show they particularly have faced religious persecution while, as I've noted, many Muslims in the area could make such a showing.

But what the conservatives are talking about is, of course, something plainly different: they are talking about granting status to all Christians in the area, denying it to Muslims (or at the least 'prioritizing' the former). This is plainly not like what the law does, and their attempts to equivocate between the two is beyond silly.
 

Yes, though both start with "Trum," I mean Trump.

Dead Truman might be only marginally worse, to be honest.
 

Mr. W:

When we are at war with other nation states, we not only suspend immigration from the enemy states, but we also intern enemy aliens to protect the homeland.

Now that we are involved in a religious war, I see no reason why we cannot and indeed should not suspend immigration of followers of the enemy religion in order to protect the homeland.

It is true that we are not at war with all of Islam, but it is also undeniable that a substantial part of Islam is at war with us or enabling that war. Unless you can offer a reasonably effective way of distinguishing between enemy Muslims and other Muslims, then suspending Muslim immigration is a perfectly reasonable means to protect the homeland.
 

Now that we are involved in a religious war

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:57 PM


"We" are doing nothing of the sort.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) with his:

"Now that we are involved in a religious war, ..."

may be suggesting a First CRUZADE under his candidate. Recall that our own MRO has on more than one occasion at this Blog suggested as a possible alternative to the political disfunction here in America today "armed revolution." This type of inanity by our own MRO might even be a call for a civil religious war here in America. Our own MRO continues to provide hyperbolic dreck like the blivit.

Query: Has America prior to what our own MRO now states been invlved in a religious war? Does Congress' declaration of war power under the Constitution include religious wars?
 

Shag/bb:

It does not matter one whit whether you choose to be at war with Islamic fascism, it is very much at war with you.
 

Alas, our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) cannot show even "one whit"* - and absolutely no wit - by trying to impose his paranoid fears on others. Once again our own MRO is in his Chicken Little mode, screaming "THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!" Once again his alternative of "armed revolution"? But maybe the war is between his American fascism and Islamic fascism. This inspires another bumper sticker:

CRUZIFRIED!

*Recall my frequent references to our own MRO as a NOAGN (aka Nit On A Gnat's Nut) for perspective of his troll-role.
 

"When we are at war with other nation states, we not only suspend immigration from the enemy states"

"It is true that we are not at war with all of Islam"

You've acknowledged you lack the critical premise for your argument. We are not at war with 'Muslims', therefore no ban on immigration of 'Muslims' is warranted.

A ban on all Muslims because of trouble with some, or even a 'substantial' number, would be like barring all Koreans because we were involved in a conflict with North Korea.

Besides, I don't see how a bar on religious group could pass the First Amendment strict scrutiny it would warrant. No such generalization could be said to be 'narrowly tailored.'


 

"Has America prior to what our own MRO now states been invlved in a religious war? "

Shaq, good question. You might already know about this, but the Treaty of Tripoli seems instructive about Founding attitudes about this.

"Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen (Muslims); and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan (Mohammedan) nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
 

Mr. W, the "invived" in your partial quote of me, my error, of course was intended to be "involved." I appreciate your coment on the Treaty of Tripoli. While I was familiar with Art. 11 in substance, I associated its essence as based on the work of Jefferson back when. A quick check of the Treaty at Wikipedia indicates that this Treaty was unanimously approved by the Senate in Pres. Adams' Administration. Consider how the Senate of today would react to a provision similar to Art. 11. Prof. Primus' recent post here critical of originalism and originalist Justice Scalia's history in his dissent in a recent case might cause some originalists favoring the current Republican approach to Muslims to squirm with this history of the Treaty so close in time following the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Imagine, unanimous, with half the Senate from the then slave states. But of course back then there was no Iowa with its influentialE & E (Ethanol & Evangelism) caucus.
 

It does not matter one whit whether you choose to be at war with Islamic fascism, it is very much at war with you.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 10:37 PM


It does not matter to me one whit what radical "Christians" think about anything.
 

Shaq, great points about the two very different Senates, even while those in control of the latter one express such over the top fealty to the earlier...
 

Mr. W: A ban on all Muslims because of trouble with some, or even a 'substantial' number, would be like barring all Koreans because we were involved in a conflict with North Korea.

If we lacked the means of distinguishing between North and South Koreans, we would suspend the immigration of all Koreans during that war.

The lack of a means of distinguishing between jihadis and other Muslims and the demonstrated jihadi tactic of infiltration with Muslim migrations for the purpose of mass murder of civilians are the critical premises for my argument.

This is a new situation and needs to be examined as such.

Besides, I don't see how a bar on religious group could pass the First Amendment strict scrutiny it would warrant. No such generalization could be said to be 'narrowly tailored.'

To start, immigration is not a right guaranteed by the Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. Even if they did, Syrians do not enjoy protections of our Constitution because they are not part of the People.
 

The Treaty of Tripoli matter is referenced from time to time to show how our religious neutrality. As noted on Wikipedia etc., there is some dispute over the translation, but it remains the official translation submitted to the Senate. A follow-up treaty did not involve the provision & from time to time, it has been assumed we are a Christian nation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli#Article_11

John Oliver has a segment of Syrian refugees and the political response here:

http://crooksandliars.com/2015/11/john-oliver-lays-waste-republican

As he noted, the President of France said it still will take 30,000 refugees:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/18/france-says-it-will-take-30000-syrian-refugees-while-u-s-republicans-would-turn-them-away/


 

By what means could we separate North and South Koreans (or better yet, Koreans sympathetic to the North or the South would be more analogous) that we could not apply to the current situation? We'd use the same ways-their location, their personal history, their professions, etc.

"This is a new situation"

That can't be correct. I've read of the heightened concern that Jewish refugees got around WWII because of the fears they might be Nazi spies or loyal to communism and such. And when we accepted refugees from Communist nations they could have as easily been infiltrated by Communists.

As to the Constitutionality, the First Amendment says that Congress shall 'make no law' respecting an Establishment of religion, favoring one denomination over another. Such a refugee law would fall under that.


 

Mr. W:

I agree that dividing people by geographical residence is not a gurantee that an immigrant from a friendly location is not in fact an enemy. This is why we need a finer category of identifying enemies posing as refugees than simple geography. For example, Muslim jihadis reside in friendly countries as well as the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but they are in all cases Muslim.

Once again, if you can offer a reasonably effective method of barring Muslim jihadis invading the United States as refugees which does not use religion as a criteria, I am more than willing to discuss it. Law enforcement and intelligence cannot offer one.
 

Once again, if you can offer a reasonably effective method of barring Muslim jihadis invading the United States as refugees which does not use religion as a criteria, I am more than willing to discuss it. Law enforcement and intelligence cannot offer one.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:14 AM


I have an easy method. Is there any evidence that they're a terrorist? No. Then you cannot bar them.
 

Here's our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) repeated challenge to Mr. W:

"Once again, if you can offer a reasonably effective method of barring Muslim jihadis invading the United States as refugees which does not use religion as a criteria, I am more than willing to discuss it. Law enforcement and intelligence cannot offer one."

It seems that our own MRO has not watched John Oliver's take on this (Joe provides a link above), which explains the vetting procedure starting with the UN refugee program. No system is 100% perfect. [Note: Our Union is not yet perfect.] Perhaps the burden should be upon our own MRO to point out the flaws in the vetting system in detail, i.e., not just Cruz over the many steps of the vetting system. It would seem that the Constitution would place the burden on our own MRO and his ilk. The point has been made regarding America's "Watch List" that includes many American citizens who, because of the power of the NRA, are not blocked from obtaining arms under the "modern" version of the 2nd A. Or those coming in via Visa arrangements from certain european countries, such as the 9/11 terrorists. Our own MRO has shown that he lacks chops in history (among many other areas) about the "others" in the history of the Colonies and even after 1776, including in more recent years not permitting Jews on a ship escaping Hitler to come onto our shores or locking up Japanese Americans who were American citizens. America, it was thought, had learned lessons from these failings of American principles. Since then many refugees from Asia have come to our shores. But not so many Syrians what with a vetting process of up to two years. The reactions of the CRUZADERS is purely political, taking advantage of an awful event too good for Republican presidential candidates to pass up.
 

The vetting procedure is also summarized here:

http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2015/11/setting-the-record-state-on-resettlement-of-syrian-refugees.html


 

BD: Once again, if you can offer a reasonably effective method of barring Muslim jihadis invading the United States as refugees which does not use religion as a criteria, I am more than willing to discuss it. Law enforcement and intelligence cannot offer one.

bb: I have an easy method. Is there any evidence that they're a terrorist? No. Then you cannot bar them.


1) There is no right to immigrate into this country.

2) This non-method assists rather than prevents terrorist infiltration.
 

bb: I have an easy method. Is there any evidence that they're a terrorist? No. Then you cannot bar them.

2) This non-method assists rather than prevents terrorist infiltration.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:08 PM


No, it doesn't. If we determine that they're terrorists, then we don't let them in. Just because the idea if Muslims coming to America makes you soil your pants, that is not evidence that they are terrorists.
 

Joe:

The vetting procedure as described in your linked blog:

Refugees undergo extensive checks before resettlement in the U.S., often lasting 2-3 years. They are first screened by the U.N. Refugee Agency, who then refers them to the U.S. for resettlement. They then undergo a rigorous 13-step process of interviews, background checks, security clearances, and medical screenings, detailed here: http://goo.gl/lw8qTb. Beyond this, Syrians get an extra level of scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama has promised to take 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States over the next 13 months and untold thousands more after 2016.

Mr. Obama has not asked Congress for funds to detain these Syrians in a massive camp in the United States, so we must assume that he plans on releasing them into the population while their asylum requests are checked as he has done for thousands of other illegal aliens over the past few years.
 

bb: If we determine that they're terrorists, then we don't let them in.

The question is how precisely do you intend to identify infiltrating terrorists?

When asked for her plan to defeat ISIS, Hillary Clinton recently answered that she would defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

You are offering the same circular argument.
 

Just an aside, but there is a really great new Iranian kabob restaurant near where I live. If I find out that they're terrorists I will definitely be giving them directions to Woodland Park, CO. All I ask in return is the recipe for their kabobs.
 

You are offering the same circular argument.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:19 PM


Physician, heal thyself!!

If you don't have any evidence that they're terrorists, then they're not terrorists. Causing you to soil yourself is not terrorism.

 

The question is how precisely do you intend to identify infiltrating terrorists?

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:19 PM


Presumably the same way we identify the people we send drones to go kill.
 

bb:

In other words you have nothing and would import every terrorist who our intelligence has not identified as a member of ISIS or al Qaeda.
 

In other words you have nothing and would import every terrorist who our intelligence has not identified as a member of ISIS or al Qaeda.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:37 PM


We're killing people based on nothing? That doesn't seem right.
 

In other words you have nothing and would import every terrorist who our intelligence has not identified as a member of ISIS or al Qaeda.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:37 PM


I would not import all of them. I would only import the ones who are dumb enough to sit for months in a refugee camp instead of just coming over in a commercial airliner. We'd call them "Bartists".

 

Fortunately, these "Bartists" (or "Bartorists", I can't decide) would be so bloody stupid that they probably would not be much of a threat.
 

I still don't see any way that this situation is 'new.' German spies could have posed as Jewish refugees. Soviet spies could have posed as refugees from there. Castro's spies could have posed as Cuban refugees. Etc., etc. You use the same kind of techniques to vet current refugees as you did those groups.

"so we must assume that he plans on releasing them into the population while their asylum requests are checked"

Or we could assume that there were some number of Syrian refugee requests that have been lodged for a while (that would make sense, the conflict has gone on for a while). Or we could read and recognize what the word 'often' means.
 

Mr. W:

Could haves are meaningless. We are dealing with religious fundamentalists who require public observances of their faith and kill Muslims who observe other faiths for heresy. They are highly unlikely to pretend to be Christians. If they do so, we will have to shift our defensive strategy again.
 

They are highly unlikely to pretend to be Christians.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 6:14 PM


You have no clue what they're likely or unlikely to do.
 

"Could haves are meaningless."

No, they're not. Nazis and Communists were every bit as evil and dangerous as our current foes. And they were every bit as capable of posing as people that we in fact took in as refugees despite that fact.

Of course, there's the fact that this is not just a 'could have been,' as the case of Herbert Karl Friedrich Bahr described in the link here instructively demonstrates:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/us-government-turned-away-thousands-jewish-refugees-fearing-they-were-nazi-spies-180957324/?no-ist

"and kill Muslims who observe other faiths for heresy"

So now after all that run-around you concede other Muslims in the area face religious persecution from these people?

"They are highly unlikely to pretend to be Christians."

I'm not sure why we'd conclude such a thing. These people break Koranic commands with regularity and then turn around attack people in the name of the same commands.
 

Until now most of the oppositions mentioned against Cruz's plan have, with good reason, focused on how it violates basic American values and very possibly would provide little protection. But what should also be noted is the possible harm such a policy would work in our overall goal of defeating radical Islamists. It's well known that these groups recruit by pitching to potential recruits that there is currently a full blown war between the Christian West and the Muslim world, that the West really only cares about Christians and squishy Westernized Muslim moderates must 'pick a side' anyways so they should pick their religious fellows. This policy of Cruz's would play right into their hands. I dare say I wouldn't be surprised if ISIS formed a SuperPac to support Cruz.
 

Perhaps Cruz's and many of the other Republican presidential candidates' reactions to the tragedy in Paris and the situation of Syrian refugees were inspired by an obscure work of friction by an obscure author partially titled "Never Allow A Crisis To Go To Waste ... " a screed against Obama seeded and spawned with hate even before Obama's inauguration.

Then there was the sequel: "BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI, BENGHAZI!"

Crap like that accounts for Trump being #1 in the hearts of Republican voters.

All of these characters seem to follow Seinfeld's George Costanza's "It's not a lie if you believe it."
 

Mr. W: Nazis and Communists were every bit as evil and dangerous as our current foes. And they were every bit as capable of posing as people that we in fact took in as refugees despite that fact.

The Nazis, Soviets and ISIS have very little in common apart from their shared evil. Only the latter are religious fundamentalists. Your analogy is strained to say the least.

BD: "They are highly unlikely to pretend to be Christians."

I'm not sure why we'd conclude such a thing. These people break Koranic commands with regularity and then turn around attack people in the name of the same commands.


Do you have a single example of an Islamic jihadi disguising himself as a Christian or Jew to infiltrate into the US or EU?

Remember, these evil assholes are celebrating their faith in these attacks and think that Allah is going to reward them for their piety.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) closing:

"Remember, these evil assholes are celebrating their faith in these attacks and think that Allah is going to reward them for their piety."

could apply equally to the Crusaders with substitutes for Allah.
 

Do you have a single example of an Islamic jihadi disguising himself as a Christian or Jew to infiltrate into the US or EU?

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:34 PM


We've got more casualties from terrorism in the US by radical right wing "Christian" assholes than we do by Syrian refugees.
 

Do you have a single example of an Islamic jihadi disguising himself as a Christian or Jew to infiltrate into the US or EU?

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:34 PM


I'm quite certain that they could easily disguise themselves as radical Christian assholes. You and they have a lot in common.
 

Seriously, what compels progressives to excuse evil with false moral equivalence?
 

In 2006, two al Qeada in Iraq members successfully infiltrated into the US as Iraqi refugees and were allowed to settle in the US with government benefits while their applications were processed by the immigration bureaucracy. The FBI only found them three years later because one liked to brag about killing Americans.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-kentucky-us-dozens-terrorists-country-refugees/story?id=20931131


 

Seriously, what compels progressives to excuse evil with false moral equivalence?
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:05 AM


I'm not excusing "evil". I'm mocking your cowardice.
 

"Your analogy is strained to say the least."

My analogy is about the relative ease with which all the groups discussed could have posed as refugees, it's not strained at all. The Nazis could have and actually did pose as Jewish refugees, but we rightly did not refuse to take such refugees.

"Do you have a single example of an Islamic jihadi disguising himself as a Christian or Jew to infiltrate into the US or EU?"

The examples of Islamic jihadists disguising themselves as other Muslims, especially groups like Alawite or Sufi Muslims, is pretty sparse as well.

It's interesting that Islamphobes recently would point to the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya to argue that Muslims were especially nefarious because their religion allowed them to misrepresent the same to further their jihad, now they insist that jihadists, who have been documented breaking Koranic command after Koranic command (doing drugs, visiting prostitutes, drinking alcohol, etc), are somehow magically prevented from posing as Christians.
 

With all the necessary caveats concerning Iowa polls over a month out from the caucuses, Cruz is now tied with Trump in the new Quinnipiac polling.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/iowa/release-detail?ReleaseID=2305

Last month at an old-fashioned soda counter in Sidney, Iowa, the senator was greeted by a Vietnam veteran who told him, "I voted for Obama for change. Now all I got is change. That's why I am voting for you."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ted-cruz-gains-momentum-iowa/story?id=35381774\\
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W: "The Nazis could have and actually did pose as Jewish refugees, but we rightly did not refuse to take such refugees."

The Nazis did not have a religious or ideological problem with doing so.

The examples of Islamic jihadists disguising themselves as other Muslims, especially groups like Alawite or Sufi Muslims, is pretty sparse as well.

Precisely.

If the Sunni al Qeada/ISIS cannot even bring themselves to pretend to be members of another branch of Islam, what makes you think that they will pretend to be Christians or Jews.

Once again, public representation of their faith and punishment for representations of other faiths is key to their twisted belief system.

 

The FBI only found them three years later because one liked to brag about killing Americans.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 8:18 AM


So, in the 3 years they were here they managed to go on a talking about killing spree. They should be right at home in Kentucky.
 

The Nazis didn't have an ideological problem posing as....Jews? Do you realize how wacky that sounds?

"If the Sunni al Qeada/ISIS cannot even bring themselves to pretend to be members of another branch of Islam, what makes you think that they will pretend to be Christians or Jews."

What I meant with this was that it's not much an argument to say X has happened a couple of times while Y has never happened, therefore Y is foolproof.

You do know that these jihadis have, rather uniquely in the Muslim world from what I've read, proclaimed a doctrine that they can declare other Muslims to effectively not be so and deal with them in ways they think non-Muslims can be dealt with. By your logic they shouldn't be able to bring themselves to pretend to be such non-Muslims.
 

Mista Whiskas, these are incredibly evil people, but they're not evil enough to lie in order to facilitate the killing of their enemies. That would cross the line.
 

Mista Whiskas said...The Nazis didn't have an ideological problem posing as....Jews? Do you realize how wacky that sounds?

Why? Western spies have a very long history pretending to be an ideological or religious enemy. The Islamic fascists do not.

What I meant with this was that it's not much an argument to say X has happened a couple of times while Y has never happened, therefore Y is foolproof.

Nothing in life is perfect or unchangeable.

Let's get back to the original distinction which led to this conversation.

The Muslim refugees we are discussing are almost all economic migrants from safe, Muslim dominated camps outside of any war zone.

The Christian refugees are the victims of a genocidal religious cleansing across the Islamic world and are no safer in Muslim dominated camps.

Muslim jihadi have a demonstrated history of infiltrating the EU and US posing as Muslim migrants. They do not have any recorded history infiltrating as Christians or Jews, or posing as such in any situation.

Thus, it is reasonable to suspend the economic migration of Muslims into the US as refugees while continuing the migration of Christian victims of the religious genocide in the Islamic world. The latter migration is more urgent and poses no known risk of jihadi infiltration.

IF the situation changes and the jihadi start disguising themselves as Christians and Jews to invade our country, THEN we will have to reassess the situation.
 

IF the situation changes and the jihadi start disguising themselves as Christians and Jews to invade our country, THEN we will have to reassess the situation.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:21 AM


Because it would be stupid to be prepared for something that is obviously going to happen, if it hasn't already happened?

 

"Western spies have a very long history pretending to be an ideological or religious enemy. The Islamic fascists do not."

"Muslim jihadi have a demonstrated history of infiltrating the EU and US posing as Muslim migrants."

Many of which are their ideological and religious enemies.

You're basically arguing that in the category of refugees for reasons of religious persecution that instead of individually vetting each individual regardless of religion we categorically declare Christians in the area persecuted and Muslims not. Such group generalizations would, ironically, be decried if suggested by a leftist in other areas (race in the US), and it flies in the face of the evidence.
 

A question, Bart. What about refugees from the area that are neither Christian or Muslim (yazidi for example)? Should they be allowed in as refugees?
 

Mr. W: You're basically arguing that in the category of refugees for reasons of religious persecution that instead of individually vetting each individual regardless of religion we categorically declare Christians in the area persecuted and Muslims not.

No. I would strengthen the screening process for all immigrants. Al Qeada and ISIS are hardly the only threat to the homeland.

We are discussing the proposal to suspend Muslim economic migration into the United States.

What about refugees from the area that are neither Christian or Muslim (yazidi for example)?

Same category as the Christians victims of genocide.

Where this flight from religious war could get tricky is if there is a large Shia migration to the west attempting to escape al Qaeda/ISIS genocide. So far, this is not a problem. The affected Shia have generally migrated into Shia controlled areas in Syria and Iraq protected by Iran, the local Shia and now Russia.
 

We are discussing the proposal to suspend Muslim economic migration into the United States.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:53 AM


No, you're trying to justify bigotry.

 

If we had a Christian refugee that could not show religious persecution would you let them in? And if we had, say, an Alawite Muslim that could show religious persecution, would you say no? On what defensible grounds (note: the Alawites fear the UN camps for good reason too, and there's no evidence of jihadists pretending to be Alawites)?
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W: If we had a Christian refugee that could not show religious persecution would you let them in?"

If they fall under another legal ground for asylum, yes.

If they are economic migrants, no.

And if we had, say, an Alawite Muslim that could show religious persecution, would you say no?

You really need to pick a better group than the Alawites to make your point. That clan is guilty or of complicit with mass war crimes. I frankly have no more sympathy for the Alawites than I would for former Nazis seeking to emigrate from East Germany to escape Russian vengeance. The Alewites can stay in government controlled parts of Syria like the East German Nazis could stay in West Germany.



 

If we had a Christian refugee that could not show religious persecution would you let them in?
# posted by Blogger Mista Whiskas : 11:20 AM


Currently the bar for religious persecution of Christians is being forced to drink coffee out of a red cup.
 

Bart

Comparing the Alewites to the Nazi Party is a terrible analogy. There are millions of Alewites in Syria. While some Alewites are complicit in Assad's regime's misdeeds many are not, yet you would condemn them all (most of the are undoubtedly women and children). That's the hallmark of bigotry. Interestingly, your thinking here matches that of the jihadis who want to kill us and them.

I still have yet to see any reason why we should turn away a Muslim who can show religious persecution or admit a Christian who cannot other than tribalism.


 

I have little concern for BP at this point but the fact he reflects a position of so many primary/caucus voters, particularly of a certain party.
 

Mr. W:

The Alawites make up about 10% of the Syrian population, which is less than the Nazis made up of the German population before they took power.

Blaming Assad and excusing his Alawite government, secret police and military for all the torture, rape and mass murder they committed and the Alewites who enabled this regime in exchange for favored status in Syria is nonsense.

We are not breaking up Syrian families to take their women and children, and leave the men, although apparently this is what Canada plans to do.
 

Bart,

The analogy to the Nazi Party in Syria would be the Ba'ath Party. As I've said before and repeat again, that many Alawites supported Assad (over the alternatives of course) does not mean that all of them did. Of course another minority group in Syria about the same size of the Alawites that supported Assad were: the Syrian Christians. You condemn all the first, support all the second.
 

Mr. W: The analogy to the Nazi Party in Syria would be the Ba'ath Party.

Same situation.

As I've said before and repeat again, that many Alawites supported Assad (over the alternatives of course) does not mean that all of them did.

Not all Germans supported Hitler and not all Nazis supported Hitlers atrocities. They did not stop him either and millions died.

I have no sympathy for Good Germans or Good Alawites and certainly no desire to provide them with asylum in the United States to help them escape the consequences of their support or acquiescence to mass crimes against humanity.
 

Bart,

"Same situation."

Not at all. The Baath or Nazi Party member joined the political party in political power and could be said to be responsible for the actions of that power. A person who happens to be of the same faith as many of those in power is in no such similar position.

"I have no sympathy for Good Germans or Good Alawites and certainly no desire to provide them with asylum in the United States to help them escape the consequences of their support or acquiescence to mass crimes against humanity."

As I noted, Syrian Christians supported Assad and his regime, for many of the same reasons as the Alawites.
 

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