Thursday Reads


Good Morning!!

Donald Trump has succeeded in making an issue out of Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth, and it only took him a about a week. Another Republican are now questioning whether Cruz is eligible to be POTUS. Ironically, that Republican is John McCain who was also born outside the U.S. He was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone.

CBS News: John McCain Says Ted Cruz’s citizenship is “worth looking into.”

In an interview Wednesday on Phoenix radio station 550 KFYI’s Chris Merill Show, McCain said he “doesn’t know” whether Cruz’s birth in Canada makes him eligible to be president. Cruz, whose father was born in Cuba, asserts that he is a U.S. citizen because his mother was an American.

“I know that came up in my race because I was born in Panama, but I was born in the Canal Zone which is a territory. Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it was territory when he ran in 1964,” McCain said.

McCain added that he was born on a U.S. military base, which he said is not the same as being born in Canada.

“That’s different from being born on foreign soil. I think there is a question. I’m not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it.”

Asked if the Supreme Court might have to weigh in on the “natural born citizen” issue, McCain said, “It may be, that may be the case.”

I don’t think so. After all George Romney was born in Mexico and he was deemed eligible to run for the presidency in 1968. But John McCain hates Ted Cruz’s guts and so do most of his other Senate colleagues. It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.


What I find really frightening is Trump’s ability to gin up bogus issues so easily. How is this going to affect Hillary’s campaign?

From ABC News, here’s the latest on the birther “issue” from Trump: Donald Trump Wants Ted Cruz to ‘Go Before a Judge’ About His Citizenship.

Donald Trump wants Ted Cruz to go before a judge to “immediately, like tomorrow” to determine whether or not he is a “natural born citizen” and therefore eligible to run for president.

Trump made the request for Cruz to seek a declaratory judgment from federal court on the issue during an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

Trump cast such a move as “for the good of Ted.”

“You go in seeking the decision of the court without a court case. You go right in. You go before a judge, you do it quickly. Declaratory judgment. It’s very good,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “So when there’s a doubt — because there’s a doubt. You want the court to rule.”

LOWELL, MA - JANUARY 4: Republican candidate for President Donald Trump speaks to thousands of spectators at a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Monday evening January 4, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

LOWELL, MA – JANUARY 4: Republican candidate for President Donald Trump speaks to thousands of spectators at a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Monday evening January 4, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Donald Trump held a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Monday. Lowell is a 15 minute drive from the New Hampshire border. Anyway Charlie Pierce was in attendance at the rally. Here’s his report: My Monday Night in Massachusetts with He, Trump. Pierce begins by noting the irony of Trump appearing in the building named after the late Senator Paul Tsongas.

The late Senator Paul Tsongas was a brilliant, mild man of substance and ideas. I didn’t agree with all of the latter; Tsongas was an early neoliberal deficit hawk, about which we amiably argued for a number of years. As a political person, he was as far from He, Trump as a chamber quartet is from an industrial shop floor. The greatest monument to his dogged, determined approach is the city of Lowell itself. The Lowell National Historical Site, a monument to the city’s legacy as an industrial center, was Tsongas’s dream. He worked night and day to make it a reality and it revitalized the city, which is why the arena in which He, Trump brought his monkey show was named after him.

Former U.S. Sen. Paul E. Tsongas, D-Mass., who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic frontrunner for president in 1992, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 1997, of pneumonia at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He was 55. Tsongas is shown in this Feb. 2, 1992 photo when he spoke at a town meeting in Nasua, N.H. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

Former U.S. Sen. Paul E. Tsongas, D-Mass., who rebounded from cancer to briefly become the Democratic frontrunner for president in 1992, died Saturday, Jan. 18, 1997, of pneumonia at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He was 55. Tsongas is shown in this Feb. 2, 1992 photo when he spoke at a town meeting in Nasua, N.H. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

A little more:

The primary policy prescription is to elect He, Trump, because he knows everything, including enough smart, top guys who will help him in the unlikely event that he comes up against a problem about which he doesn’t know everything. (He once again cites Carl Icahn and the rest of his proposed junk-bond Cabinet.) I would analyze the ideas presented to the loving audience, but the only idea presented was electing He, Trump, who knows everything. For example, he proposes that, to defeat ISIS, we should “take the oil.” Taking the oil is the beginning and the end of the policy, the alpha and the omega of the idea.“We should be unpredictable,” he says, and I don’t really know what that means, but everyone cheered….

He does not deliver speeches. He delivers remarks. He recites his poll numbers. He explains his long fight against the odds that has resulted in said poll numbers. He mocks Jeb Bush and he sucks up to Tom Brady. He cracks that Hillary Clinton “has the biggest teleprompters,” and everybody laughs a laugh straight out of a frathouse smoker, and he’s rambling on to another topic, usually involving He, Trump. 

Pierce doesn’t get the appeal of this narcissistic display, and neither do I. Nevertheless there are apparently quite a few Americans who lap it up, and that is truly scary. Please go read the rest at the link above.

Another “issue” that came up on the Republican side yesterday was about Marco Rubio’s new shoes with fancy Cuban heels. From NY Magazine’s The Cut: A Vote for Marco Rubio Is a Vote for Men’s High-Heeled Booties.

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio and One Direction bandmember Harry Styles have something in common. Well, two things, actually: an appreciation for the 1D song “What Makes You Beautiful,” and a love of heeled booties.

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Monday, Rubio appeared wearing incredibly fashionable, incredibly well-heeled black leather ankle boots that are sure to feed those rumors about his extravagant spending habits. The boots — which we think are eitherthese Giorgio Brutini boots or these Margiela ones — look a lot like a pair favored by Styles, albeit with slightly less pilgrim flair.


The shoes got a surprising amount of attention from the media and other GOP presidential candidates.

From Slate: Serious Adult Presidential Candidates Make Fun of Marco Rubio’s Fancy Shoes.

It is January of a presidential year. Voting begins in a few weeks. It is time that voters stop dabbling with silly clowns like Donald Trump and his childish insults and consider serious candidates. Political leaders, like Jeb Bush, who will soberly discuss complex issues of great import including trade, budgeting, diplomacy, war …

… and Sen. Marco Rubio’s girly little girl boots.

The Republican side this week is consumed with chatter about Marco Rubio’s choice of footwear during a recent visit to New Hampshire. The problem, in short, is that Rubio’s may well be fancy, made of the choicest leathers and featuring a disconcerting rise in the heel region. To the naked eye, they look suspiciously Eye-talian. In this country, the common, conservative man is expected to wear a bunch of greasy McDonald’s wrappers on his feet, tied together by the intestines of a freshly murdered grizzly bear.

But what about those high heeled cowboy boots lots of conservative guys wear? How is that any different? Oh well, I just don’t get Republican thinking period. A few more links on this:

Policy Mic: Marco Rubio’s Shiny High-Heeled Black Boots Dominated Social Media for No Reason At All.

Vanity Fair: How Much Do Marco Rubio’s Boots Cost?

The Guardian: Devilish history of Cuban heels proves they’re too sexy for Rubio’s God squad.

USA Today: Marco Rubio unamused about ‘high-heeled booties’ scrutiny.


On the Democratic side, the Clinton scandal-mongers are at it again. I’m not going to link to a lot of stories, but you can find some on Here’s Karen Tumulty at the Washington Post:

The ghosts of the 1990s have returned to confront Hillary Clinton, released from the vault by Donald Trump and revved up by a 21st-century version of the scandal machine that almost destroyed her husband’s presidency.

This is a moment that her campaign has long expected. What remains to be seen is whether a reminder of allegations of sexual impropriety against Bill Clinton — which were deemed to have varying levels of credibility when they were first aired — can gain new traction in a different context.

The fresher case being made is that Hillary Clinton has been, at a minimum, hypocritical about her husband’s treatment of women, and possibly even complicit in discrediting his accusers.

And it is being pressed at a time when there is a new sensitivity toward victims of unwanted sexual contact, and when one of the biggest news stories is the prosecution of once-beloved comedian Bill Cosby on charges that he drugged and assaulted a woman 12 years ago — one of dozens who have accused him of similar behavior.

I’m not aware that Bill Clinton has been accused on drugging women, but I suppose Hillary is going to have to deal with this somehow.

On the positive side, here’s a great article on Hillary’s campaign at Fast Company: How the Hillary Clinton Campaign Built A Campaign Staff as Diverse as America. You really need to go read the whole thing, so I’m not going to post excerpts.

What else is happening? Please let us know in the comment thread.


18 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Please be sure to read the Guardian article on Cuban heeled boots. It’s terrific.

  2. dakinikat says:

    The folks in the press don’t want to talk actual issues because it shows their shallow understanding these days. There’s very few news media people that do in depth looks at things. Think it’s part of the rise of reader’s digest approach to articles and news and for profit media. Great reads today!

    • bostonboomer says:


      • joanelle says:

        You said: “Pierce doesn’t get the appeal of this narcisstic display and neither do I”.
        It’s not the narcissism that gets people, it’s the mere fact that he’s expressing their anger in ways they can’t and don’t have access to.
        I’ve gotten numerous emails about how terrific he is and don’t I see he’s right?
        No, he’s not right he just sounds a lot like that little voice in their heads – that’s what scares the heck out of me

  3. Enheduanna says:

    Thanks also for the link to the article about HRC campaign staff – very impressive! I can’t help but contrast that to what I’ve read about Bernie’s dudebros (and experienced in comment threads from his fans). Deja vu 2008 sadly. Every time that Jeff Weaver guy opens his mouth it makes me cringe.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know. It doesn’t say much about Bernie that he has that misogynist Weaver working for him.

    • NW Luna says:

      Deja vu 2008

      And that tells us something. It’s not as bad as in 2008 (yet) but there’s still a large contingent who don’t want a woman as POTUS and find all sorts of tangential excuses to cover up.

  4. Fannie says:

    Sorry about the passing of the senator from Mass. My best friend has liver cancer, and I am so glad to be on her cheering team, but darn the words aren’t coming. And I am spending time trying to become more aware of what goes on when the tumor is so large, they can’t operate.

    I need to go out and get one of those coloring books for her, for me, and keep a journal. I adore her, and her family.

  5. Fannie says:

    Missouri Republican Congressmen so horny: AB 2059 by Bart Korman, lobbyist and the gift of sex.