Thursday, May 21, 2015

Medieval beheaders of Saudi Arabia seek to head UN Human Rights Council in 2016. US taxpayers are forced to pay 22% of general UN budget and an additional 25% of its "peacekeeping" budget

.
5/21/15, "Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'," UK Independent, Roisin O'Connor

"Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations' Human Rights Council, in a move that has been described as the "final nail in the coffin for the credibility" of the HRC.

Reports of the bid come just days after Saudi Arabia posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners. This year it has already put 85 people to death in what has been branded by Amnesty International a "macabre spike" from the 87 people it killed in total last year.

The country will move to assume lead control over the HRC after 2016 when the presidency is awarded to a new nation.

UN Watch, a non-profit human rights group that monitors the international body, disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intentions in a recent report and urged the United States to fight against it.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said that the move was liable to be "the final nail in the coffin for the credibility of a body that already counts dictatorships like China, Cuba and Russia as members, and whose top advisor is co-founder of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize".

"We urge US Ambassador Samantha Power and EU foreign minister Federica Mogherini to denounce this despicable act of cynicism by a regime that beheads people in the town square, systematically oppresses women, Christians, and gays, and jails innocent bloggers like Raif Badawi for the crime of challenging the rulers’ radical brand of Wahabbist Islam," Neuer added.

"Electing Saudi Arabia as the world’s judge on human rights would be like making a pyromaniac as the town fire chief."

The move in 2013 to elect Saudi Arabia to the UN's 47-seat Human Rights Council drew condemnation from campaign groups over alleged systematic violations of the rights of its citizens. 

Germany currently heads the HRC, but its term will conclude in 2016. Elections will be held in early December 2015 for the 2016 term, according to a UN official.

Rates of human trafficking are high in Saudi Arabia, and the kingdom is currently designated by the United States as a "country of particular concern" regarding religious persecution.

The country also has come under fire in recent months for sentencing blogger Raid Badawi to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for publishing essays that criticised the government.

In January authorities drew global condemnation after publicly beheading a woman in Islam’s holy city of Mecca.

A State Department official told the Free Beacon that "as far as we know there are not yet any announced candidates for the 2016 Human Rights Council presidency"."

=======================
.
5/21/15, "Not Thursday Humor: Saudi Arabia Plans To Head U.N. Human Rights Council," Zero Hedge

"The fact that Saudi Arabia is on the U.N. Human Rights Council at all is more than sufficient to make a mockery out of the entire body. Nevertheless, it appears this ridiculous membership isn’t enough for the Saudis, and the Washington Free Beacon is reporting that the medieval desert monarchy is angling to take over the head position when the leadership position becomes available after 2016."...

====================

12/28/2012, "U.S. Taxpayers Will Continue to Pay More Than One-Fifth of U.N. Budget," CNS News, Patrick Goodenough

"In one of its last actions of the year, the United Nations General Assembly on Christmas Eve agreed to extend for another three years the formula that has U.S. taxpayers contributing more than one-fifth of the world body’s regular budget.

No member-state called for a recorded vote, and the resolution confirming the contributions that each country will make for the 2013-2015 period was summarily adopted. The assembly also approved a two-year U.N. budget of $5.4 billion.

The U.S. has accounted for 22 percent of the total regular budget every year since 2000, and will now continue to do so for the next three years....

Before 2000, the U.S. contributed 25 percent of the U.N. regular budget, but it was reduced to 22 percent in line with legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 1999. The U.S. still pays 25 percent of the separate peacekeeping budget."

=======================
.
Comment: The entire US political class is fine with US taxpayers being slaves to beheaders. It's a crime that the US is even a member of this ridiculous group.




.

Half of jobs created since mid 1990s have been temporary or self employed work which per OECD leads to higher poverty and inequality-BBC

.
5/21/15, "Gap between rich and poor 'keeps growing',"  
.
"The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says.

In its 34 member states, the richest 10% of the population earn 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10%. There is no standard measure of inequality, but most indicators suggest it slowed or fell during the financial crisis and is now growing again....

The report says this is partly because there is a wider gap in education in the most unequal countries, which leads to a less effective workforce.

OECD member states include most of the European Union as well as developed economies such as the US, Canada, Australia and Japan.

One of the factors that the OECD blames for growing inequality is the growth in what it calls non-standard work, which includes temporary contracts and self-employment.

The OECD says that since the mid-1990s more than half of all job creation in its member states has been in non-standard work. It says that households dependent on such work have higher poverty rates than other households and that this has led to greater inequality."...




.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rubio and Cruz finish one-two in Central Florida Straw Poll, 5/19/15. Jeb Bush and Scott Walker tied for distant third-Tampa Bay Times

.
Rubio 33.7, Cruz 30.3, Bush and Walker 8.9

5/20/15, "Cruz ties hometown star Rubio in Florida straw poll," SteveDeace.com, by Todd Erzen

"Turns out we were preoccupied with the wrong GOP presidential grudge match in Florida.

It wasn’t a Bush/Rubio race of hometown heroes that is dominating the narrative coming out of Tuesday’s Florida Family Policy Council Straw Poll, but a dead heat between Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas product Sen. Ted Cruz.

Both received roughly 30 percent of the vote while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush weighed in at a paltry 9 percent along with nominal national front-runner Scott Walker.

Attorney John Stemberger moderated the event and presented a comprehensive examination of individual candidate strengths and weaknesses prior to the straw poll vote. It is notable that Stemberger is an active Rubio supporter.

Bringing up the rear in the Florida Straw Poll were Rick Santorum (6.7 %), Rand Paul (4.5 %), Ben Carson (3.4 %), Mike Huckabee (2.2 %) and Rick Perry (1.1%). Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and John Kasich failed to receive any votes."

======================

5/20/15, "Jeb in distant 3rd place in Fla GOP straw poll," Tampa Bay Times, Adam C. Smith

"Results from the Florida Family Policy Council's Republican primary straw poll last night. The significance of the social conservative group's unscientific and non-binding survey we'll leave up to you to decide:


Marco Rubio:                   33.7 percent
 
Ted Cruz:                          30.3 percent
Jeb Bush:(Tie)                    8.9 percent
Scott Walker: (Tie)             8.9 percent
Rick Santorum                   6.7 percent
Rand Paul:                         4.5 percent
Ben Carson                        3.4 percent
Mike Huckabee                   2.2 percent
Rick Perry                         1.1 percent
Donald Trump                  1 write-in vote"

 

=============================

5/19/15, "Rubio wins Florida Family Action 2016 Presidential Straw Poll," Orlando Political Observer, Frank Torres

"Conservatives from all over Central Florida were in Maitland on Tuesday evening, to participate in the first Presidential straw poll in the region for 2016, and to listen to a panel of political experts forecast what they believe it will take to win, in the “GOP Battle for Florida 2016″ hosted by Florida Family Action, the legislative arm of the Florida Family Policy Council. 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio captured the victory with 33.7% of the vote, second was Texas Senator Ted Cruz with 30.3% of the vote, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tied for third with 8.9% of the vote, next was former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 GOP contender Rick Santorum with 6.7%, followed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 4.5% of the vote, rounding out the field was Ben Carson (3.4%), Mike Huckabee(2.2%), and Rick Perry(1.1%).

Before voters casted their ballots FFPC President John Stemberger  gave a 2016 political forecast, breaking down the pros and cons of each candidate and emphasized the importance of fundraising, grassroots, and messaging in the success of their campaign.

Next a panel of political experts gave their views on 2016 picture, and what the candidates had to do to win over voters in the crowded Republican field, and then how to transfer that success into winning the general election. The panelists included Brian Empric, Vice-Chair Florida Federation of Young Republicans, State Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla), Karin Hoffman, National Tea Party Leader, founder of “DC Works for US”, Carl Jackson, Host of Carl Jackson Radio Show, Sara Johnson, Millennial political leader and TeenPact Graduate, and Kurt Kelly, Former Florida Representative, recent candidate for RPOF Chair."...

*The organization will be putting the event on Youtube. When it’s available, I’ll update this post.*"











Image above from Orlando Political Observer


========================== 

Cruz tally noteworthy in that "most of the Ted Cruz attendees received only three days advance notice of the event."...

5/20/15, "Ted Cruz 2016 : VICTORY at Florida FFPC Straw Poll (2015-05-19): GOP Beltway Pundits Amazed!" Ted Cruz 2016 Florida Grassroots Victory Campaign, Patton@Bastogne, Free Republic
 
"Ted Cruz SURPRISES the GOP Beltway Establishment Pundits at the FFPC (Florida Family Policy Council) Florida Straw Poll (May 19, 2015) in Orlando, Florida.

A virtual dead-heat between Ted Cruz (30.3 %) and supposed "Florida native son darling" Marco Rubio (30.7 %). 

.
Jeb Bush and Scott Walker finished poorly in a third-place tie with a paltry 8.9 % each, barely passing an otherwise weak showing by Rick Santorum (6.7 %), Rand Paul (4.5 %), Ben Carson (3.4 %), Mike Huckabee (2.2 %) and Rick Perry (1.1 %). 


GOP 2016 candidates Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and John Kasich each received "zero" straw poll votes....  

Shown below (photograph courtesy of conservative political consultant Kevin Wright) are ten of the estimated twenty-five Ted Cruz Florida grassroots supporters who attended the FFPC event.

Their attendance was noteworthy in that most of the Ted Cruz attendees received only three days advance notice of the event."...


The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) event was superbly moderated by John Stemberger (Florida attorney) who presented a comprehensive examination of individual candidate strengths and weaknesses prior to the straw poll vote."...  

 


 













Above image, 5/19/15, Ted Cruz 2016 Florida grass roots campaign at FFPC presentation and straw poll




.

EU monitor is astonished at EU bias against Israel and reliance on lobbying from highly politicized fringe NGO's-INN

.
5/20/15, "NGO Monitor Unveils EU's Biased Role in the Peace Process," Israel National News, Elad Benari
.
"Is the EU a fair mediator in peace talks between Israel and the PA? NGO Monitor's new analysis shows EU's bias against Israel."
.
"The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, will arrive for a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, and in advance of that visit, the NGO Monitor group has published an analysis of a key EU policy paper, showing the EU's flawed assessment and understanding of Israeli society. 
.
The EU's External Action Service 2014 Israel ENP Progress report, published in March and addressing the EU-Israel relationship as part of the "European Neighborhood Policy," uncritically relies on the claims of political NGOs and all but ignores violence against Israelis, the organization noted.

"It is astonishing to see a formal EU document, which is supposed to reflect developments in Israel and help set EU policy, that is so biased," stated Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.

"Mogherini's visit is an opportunity to begin fixing the failings of EU policy, which, if left uncorrected, will cause serious damage to the EU's credibility in the peace [process]. NGO Monitor's analysis indicates that the EU applies different human rights norms and international standards towards Israel, and omits events and terror attacks against Israeli citizens,” he added.

Examples uncovered by NGO Monitor include:

The ENP report fails to specifically mention violent attacks against Jewish targets, despite the steep rise in such attacks in 2014. In sharp contrast, the report discusses in detail actions done by individuals or groups that are identified by the EU as "extremist Israelis" or "far-right Jewish groups."

The report also wrongfully identifies the Israeli restrictions and Egypt's closing of the smuggling tunnels to Gaza as the "primary obstacle for long-term economic development" in Gaza.

This unsupported claim fails to acknowledge Hamas's violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, continuous terror attacks from Gaza, and the uncontrolled flow of arms that compelled an Israeli response in order to protect civilians from attacks,” noted NGO Monitor.

The report does not mention Hamas's grave violations of international law and human rights, including the use of UNRWA facilities, mosques, and hospitals to stockpile weapons and shield combatants. Simultaneously, the report does not address Israel's humanitarian commitment to the so-called "humanitarian windows" (cease fires to transport of civilians to in Israeli hospitals) during military operations, as Hamas repeatedly violated the cease-fires.

NGO Monitor also noted that Israel is the only ENP country that has an entire chapter devoted to responsibilities under international law, including other ENP countries involved in territorial disputes and/or armed conflicts.

“This deviation from the standard template of ENP reports highlights the EU's singling out of Israel and follows significant lobbying efforts from highly politicized NGOs, the group said.

"Like previous ENP Progress Reports on Israel, the EU relies extensively on material provided by a narrow group of fringe NGOs, resulting in a distorted approach that has affected the reports' content and credibility," added Professor Steinberg.

The purpose of Mogherini’s visit is to hold discussions on a possible resumption of long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the PA.

Speaking Monday ahead of her visit, Mogherini indicated that the EU wants a more active role in seeking peace between the sides.

"My very early visit has a political meaning," Mogherini told a news conference following an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels where she discussed the Middle East.

"The European Union is ready and willing to play a major role in a relaunching of this process on the basis of the two-state solution," she added.

Mogherini took over as foreign policy chief for the 28-nation European Union in November and visited Israel and the PA shortly afterwards, saying she wanted to make a priority of pushing forward the Middle East peace process.

In January, she called for a “fresh look” at the moribund peace talks, saying that she was concerned “about the fact that a process that has gone on for so long, if we just restart the process and that's it, it might not be enough.”" via Free Rep.



.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oregon still has the worst high school graduation rate in the US-KGW

.
Oregon's graduation rate rose from 69% in 2013 to 72%  in 2014 though it remains worst in US:
 
5/14/15, "Report: Oregon has worst graduation rate in the U.S.," KGW.com, Sara Roth

"A comprehensive U.S. report showed that Oregon not only has the worst graduation rates in the nation, but it's holding the country back from achieving its graduation rate goals.

The 2015 Building a Grad Nation report analyzed 2013 graduation rate data from every state in the nation. While the national average reached a record high of 81.4 percent, the four-year graduation rate in Oregon was only 69 percent.

Furthermore, Oregon hadn't improved from the year before, showing stagnation as the last remaining state with graduation rates lower than 70 percent.

"Oregon did not experience significant improvements and became the state with the lowest graduation rate in the nation and the last remaining state with an ACGR [Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate] in the 60s," the report said.

The Grad Nation report shows that overall, much of the country is on track to graduate upwards of 90 percent of seniors by 2020, and many states are already graduating more than 80 percent of students, including neighboring California. Washington State had a 76.4 percent graduation rate.

Also noted was the sharp decline in schools with extremely low graduation rates (the report called them "dropout factories"). African American students also showed steady improvement, although minority graduation rates were still significantly lower than Caucasian students.

To reach the 90 percent goal, the report said 310,000 more students would have to earn a diploma in 2020 than in 2013. The nation needs to concentrate on its low-income students and students with disabilities, English language learners, and minorities.

"The analysis of third-quarter progress shows that this rate of growth is obtainable. The challenge then is to spread what has worked in the states and districts that have improved to those that have not."

Oregon's graduation rate rose to 72 percent in 2014, thanks mostly to counting those who received a modified diploma or went to community college before graduating. It still had the worst rates out of any state in the country.".

"Released annually, by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance,, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, shows detailed progress toward the GradNation goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by 2020. Release Date: 05/12/15"


======================

Oregon has championed outcome-based education:

5/18/15, "Common Core Crowns OREGON ‘Worst Graduation Rate in the U.S.’," politichicks, Macey France

"This recent headlineOregon Has the Worst Graduation Rate in the US, is perhaps shocking to those who don’t know what’s going on in education.  However it comes as no surprise to those of us who study diligently.

All over the country folks are upset about Common Core, which is basically outcomes-based education. We are no longer providing the same opportunities for all with the hopes that the outcomes will be good, but ultimately will be what the kids do with those opportunities. We are skewing the opportunities so that everyone has an equal outcome. Make sense? That’s outcomes-based education.

Oregon has been doing this since the 1990s. We had the cim/cam (think certificate of mastery) debacle, which failed. Did we ditch it? No. We renamed/rebranded it.

For all the other states in the nation that are watching and see that Oregon is the worst across the country, take note. We will all be ‘tied for last’ if we move forward with the Common Core.

The federal government is working towards making all states like Oregon. We are simply ahead of the curve. Instead of pulling back on failed OBE policies and letting the teachers do their jobs, we continue to write legislation that entrenches it deeper. We double down on failed procedures."...via Junk Science

===================

10/28/2010, "Oregon State Board of Education Adopts Common Core Standards and Higher Interim Math Achievement Standards," Oregon Dept. of Education
.
=========================
.
11/13/14, "What is the Common Core? A guide to Oregon's new education standards," oregonlive.com, Betsy Hammond
 





Monday, May 18, 2015

US air strikes in Iraq just for show, Obama and his Republican pals wouldn't allow US spotters which would've made strikes more accurate. US taxpayers can be proud that they continue to lavish ISIS savages with finest heavy weaponry. Obama actions prolong Mid East war-Washington Post Editorial Board

.
5/18/15, "The fall of Ramadi exposes Obama’s weak Islamic State strategy," Washington Post Editorial Board

"It has been apparent for some time that the United States lacks a strategy to fulfill President Obama’s pledge to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State since it has no plan to root out the terrorists’ base in Syria. There was hope, though, that Mr. Obama’s half-measures might be enough to blunt the Islamic State’s advances in Iraq, leaving the Syria problem for the next U.S. president. With the stunning fall of Ramadi on Sunday, even that modest optimism is questionable.

“ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose,” Mr. Obama declared on Feb. 11, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “We’ve seen reports of sinking morale among ISIL fighters as they realize the futility of their cause.” The Iraqi army’s capture of Tikrit the following month seemed to provide confirmation.

But U.S. airstrikes late last week proved powerless to block a sophisticated Islamic State offensive to capture Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province 80 miles west of Baghdad. Once again, the Islamist terrorists are slaughtering captives and sending civilians fleeing in fear. Once again, they have seized U.S. military equipment, including about 30 vehicles the government sent into Ramadi the day before its fall. Once again, in the absence of more intensive help from the United States, the Iraqi government is turning to Shiite militia and the Iranian armed forces that support them. Iran’s defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, flew into Baghdad on Monday.

The Shiite militia cannot save Iraq, as its Shiite prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, well understands. Anbar is Iraq’s Sunni heartland, and many of its residents will regard the militia with as much or more fear than they feel for the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State. But Mr. Obama will not permit U.S. trainers to work with Iraqi forces on the ground or send U.S. spotters to make airstrikes more useful. Referring to U.S. aid, an Iraqi defense spokesman, Naseer Nori, told the Wall Street Journal

“Is it the role we wish for, is it to the strategic level we wish? Absolutely not.” 

Beginning almost a year ago, the Islamic State carved out, across large swaths of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist state of sorts that Mr. Obama deemed intolerable. He said in September that it is a threat to “the broader Middle East,” including U.S. citizens and facilities, and “if left unchecked . . . could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.” Yet he refuses to commit the Special Forces and military assistance that could meet that threat, portraying any alternative to his minimalist policy as being “dragged back into another prolonged ground war.” In fact, Sunni allies in the region will be reluctant to work with the United States until it has a Syria policy, and Sunni tribes in Iraq will not confront the Islamic State unless they believe the United States will stand by them

Every conflict will have ups and downs, as administration spokesmen said Monday. But it is Mr. Obama’s unwillingness to match means to strategy that threatens to prolong this war."











"An Iraqi girl, whose family fled Ramadi after it was seized by Islamic State militants, stands outside a tent at a camp for displaced families on Monday. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)" .

=================================

.

BBC reporters invited to Qatar to observe alleged improvement in treatment of low wage migrant workers were thrown in jail. Have been released but Qatar won't return cameras and hard drives-BBC

.
5/17/15, "Arrested for reporting on Qatar's World Cup labourers," BBC,

We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers- but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs.

Our arrest was dramatic. We were on a quiet stretch of road in the capital, Doha, on our way to film a group of workers from Nepal.

The working and housing conditions of migrant workers constructing new buildings in Qatar ahead of the World Cup have been heavily criticised and we wanted to see them for ourselves.

Suddenly, eight white cars surrounded our vehicle and directed us on to a side road at speed.

A dozen security officers frisked us in the street, shouting at us when we tried to talk. They took away our equipment and hard drives and drove us to their headquarters.

Later, in city's main police station, the cameraman, translator, driver and I were interrogated separately by intelligence officers. The questioning was hostile.

We were never accused of anything directly, instead they asked over and over what we had done and who we had met.

During a pause in proceedings, one officer whispered that I couldn't make a phone call to let people know where we were. He explained that our detention was being dealt with as a matter of national security.

An hour into my grilling, one of the interrogators brought out a paper folder of photographs which proved they had been trailing me in cars and on foot for two days since the moment I'd arrived.

I was shown pictures of myself and the team standing in the street, at a coffee shop, on board a bus and even lying next to a swimming pool with friends. It was a shock. I had never suspected I was being tailed.

At 01:00, we were taken to the local prison.

It was meant to be the first day of our PR tour but instead we were later handcuffed and taken to be questioned for a second time, at the department of public prosecutions.

Thirteen hours of waiting around and questioning later, one of the interrogators snapped. "This is not Disneyland," he barked. "You can't stick your camera anywhere."

It was as if he felt we were treating his country like something to be gawped at, suggesting we thought of trips to see controversial housing and working conditions as a form of entertainment. In perfect English and with more than a touch of malice, he threatened us with another four days in prison - to teach us a lesson.

I began my second night in prison on a disgusting soiled mattress. At least we did not go hungry, as we had the previous day. One of the guards took pity on us and sent out for roast chicken with rice.

In the early hours of the next morning, just as suddenly as we were arrested, we were released.

Bizarrely, we were allowed to join the organised press trip for which we had come.

It was as if nothing had happened, despite the fact that our kit was still impounded, and we were banned from leaving the country.

I can only report on what has happened now that our travel ban has been lifted.

No charges were brought, but our belongings have still not been returned.

So why does Qatar welcome members of the international media while at the same time imprisoning them?

Is it a case of the left arm not knowing what the right arm is doing, or is it an internal struggle for control between modernisers and conservatives?

Whatever the explanation, Qatar's Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to journalism has been exposed by the spotlight that has been thrown on it after winning the World Cup bid.

Other journalists and activists, including a German TV crew, have also recently been detained.

How the country handles the media, as it prepares to host one of the world's most watched sporting events, is now also becoming a concern.

Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International's gulf migrant rights researcher, told us they could be attempts "to intimidate those who seek to expose labour abuse in Qatar".

Qatar, the world's richest country for its population size of little more than two million people, is pouring money into trying to improve its reputation for allowing poor living standards for low-skilled workers to persist."...




.

Former Iowa Democrat Rep. says recent US presidential candidates similar on major issues, role and size of gov., leaving Americans without "a clear choice." Candidate Ted Cruz opposite a Democrat would provide "a real election and real choices...what a representative democracy is supposed to be about"-Nagle, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

.
5/17/15, "Cruz nomination would set up a clear choice," The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier ^  Former Rep. Dave Nagle (D-Iowa)

"Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is running for president. His candidacy should not be overlooked.

Many are not familiar with him, which is not surprising because for most of Iowa it is still very early in the caucus process. But the senator has attributes that may distinguish him from an unusually crowded field of GOP contenders. 

First, he went to Harvard. No, I am not writing about Ted Kennedy, I am saying this fellow actually went to not just Harvard, but the Harvard Law School after doing his undergraduate work at Princeton University. He is well educated and very intelligent. For example, he served for a period of time as the solicitor general for the state of Texas and you do not argue and win cases in front of the United States Supreme Court without being an extraordinarily competent attorney.
.
He is conservative, very conservative, but I don’t dislike that aspect of him. He is a true reflection of his well-formed political ideology. Those who run for office as liberal or conservative can be divided into two classes: individuals who have thought and carefully arrived at their political opinions and those I would call “lip sync” wonders, whose views are obtained by election opportunity, saying what they think needs to be said and then voting to retain their public position. Ted Cruz is not the latter; he certainly is the former. 

Further, he is an excellent debater, having honed his skills from grade school on up through college and then into the practice of law. 

For a conservative, his views are fairly standard. He would, among other things, repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, obviously cut government spending, strongly support Israel and is decidedly in favor of a strong military for the U.S. In addition, his father is Cuban, which may open a door for the Republican Party to crack into the Hispanic voting bloc. 

Can he win the Republican nomination? I don’t know. It is a crowded field, particularly on the right. Cruz is focusing his early attention on tea party members, social conservatives and evangelicals. It’s noted that he has said the problem has been not enough evangelicals have been voting. It would be unrealistic to expect that he moves to court moderates, people he has described as “the mushy middle.” 

According to the latest statistics, approximately 40 percent of Iowa Republicans are self-described conservatives, social, religious or libertarian. He will have a fight with Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and a host of others to emerge as their favorite and then will have to confront Jeb Bush in a less friendly atmosphere in New Hampshire, where independents can vote. But he is a new face, he is bright and Iowans have a history of taking the unexpected candidate and propelling that individual into the national spotlight. 

But the one real reason I think a Cruz presidential campaign would be good for the country is this: A clear choice

Most times, after the presidential nominating process is completed, a strange thing happens. The candidate that was the darling of the left or the favorite son of the right suddenly discovers he or she can’t remember what they said in January, it now being September and really they are in their heart simply a moderate, attempting to move the needle on the dial to 51 percent of the vote. 

As a nation right now, we are badly divided. Neither party has a clear mandate for their policies. As a result, we don’t move too much one way or the other, but this in fact means we are not moving at all. 

We are stuck, with congressional approval ratings at historic lows. Frustration exists with the Iowa Legislature’s inability to find a common ground on educational funding, among other issues. Strange as it may sound, legislative bodies do reflect public opinion and right now, the country is badly divided on the role and size of government, more so federal than state but really both. 

Sometimes presidential elections can determine the country’s future. I think 1940 was one such election. Franklin D. Roosevelt had pushed through the reinstatement of the draft by one vote in the House of Representatives, and America commenced preparation for the coming war. Ronald Reagan turning the country to the right in 1980 is another example. But for this to happen, whether we go left or right, depends on the voting public being presented with a clear choice, and Ted Cruz on the Republican side clearly reflects this opportunity. 

Now if the Democrats will do the same thing, we will have a real election and real choices, which is, after all, what a representative democracy is supposed to be about." via Free Rep.
.

===========================

Comment: The "divided nation" he speaks of is Washington DC vs the rest of America. There's no division between the two political parties-occasional sound bites to the contrary are just for show. Even Soros said there isn't much difference between Romney and Obama. (RomneyCare preceded ObamaCare, CO2 trading was set up in Mass. by Romney). The Beltway crowd gets plenty "done" via executive agencies which make laws out of reach of voters.

1/30/2012, "George Soros: Not "Much Difference" Between Romney And Obama," Real Clear Politics

"Billionaire investor George Soros explains why there wouldn't be much difference for Wall Street between President Obama and Mitt Romney....

"If it's between Obama and Romney, there isn't all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them," George Soros told Reuters in Davos, Switzerland.


"So it won't be that great a difference and I think there won't be a great deal of enthusiasm on either side of the battleground. It will be more civilised than the previous elections have been," he also said."



=============================
.

"The divide that exists in our country isn’t between political parties – it’s between Washington and the rest of us." Sen. Ted Cruz, 3/25/15



.