How much does Lindsey Graham hate Ted Cruz?

Well, let me put it this way:

If Lindsey Graham had a gun with two bullets, and he was locked in a room with Osama Bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, and Ted Cruz, he would shoot Cruz, twice!

Lindsey-Graham-batshit-crazy

From the Batshit-crazy wing of the GOPe, former presidential candidate Lindsey Graham just keeps on spewing craziness.

“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

Ted Cruz hasn’t spent a lot of time in DC courting the ruling class, and it shows.

 

Venezuela burns: Nobody Cares

by Francisco Toro, Caracas Chronicles

The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

venezuela burns

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

Here at Caracas Chronicles we’re doing what it can to document the crisis, but there’s only so much one tiny, zero-budget blog can do.

After the major crackdown on the streets of large (and small) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…

Nothing.

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If ever a case were to be made for the 2nd Amendment, it is being made right now in the streets of Venezuela.  Soldiers shooting civilians in their homes, on the streets, in open view of the public:  somehow, I believe they would not be doing so if the Venezuelans had the ability to offer armed resistance.

Socialism: 100 years of failure means nothing.

Wake up, America.

Execution Watch: Special Report

by Mark R. Execution Watch Editor

Execution Watch:  SPECIAL REPORT–Upcoming Texas Executions

justice-servedTDCJ has been fairly active so far in 2016 with three executions already carried out. And this year could be among the busiest in recent memory, with TEN more scheduled through July.

According to the TDCJ Death Row site, the following executions are scheduled (subject to successful last minute stays):

Date: March 2

Offender: Coy Wayne Wesbrook

Summary of Offense: Murdered Gloria Jean Coons (his ex-wife) and three other men (Antonio Cruz, Anthony Ray Rogers, and Kelly Hazlip).  TDCJ states a female at the residence was shot, C&CP Forum states that she also died (Diana Ruth Money).  In a tale only Channelview (home of the Pom Pom Mom) could provide, Wesbrook went over to his ex-wife’s residence for an attempted “marital reconciliation”, only to find three men and a female there.  He later found her in a threesome, so he did what any heartbroken man would do–go out to his truck, get his hunting rifle, and start shooting everyone.

Date: March 22

Offender: Adam Kelly Ward

Summary of Offense: Murdered Michael “Pee Wee” Walker, a Commerce Code Enforcement Officer, while Officer Walker was taking pictures of code violations outside Ward’s home.  The Wards (Adam and father Ralph) had been in a running feud with the City of Commerce over the condition of the Wards’ property–the Wards claiming the City was harassing them unfairly; the City claiming that the Wards’ property resembled something from the TV show Hoarders.  The City would later settle with Officer Walker’s father (a first responder who watch his son die in his arms) and children over complaints that Walker was sent into a dangerous situation without adequate backup.

Date: March 30

Offender: John David Battaglia

Summary of Offense: Murdered Faith and Liberty Battaglia (his daughters) over a custody dispute.  In one of the most sickening and heartbreaking stories in recent years, Battaglia gets the daughters for a custody visit, then calls their mother on the phone and proceeds to kill them while she overhears everything.  The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has already revoked Battaglia’s CPA license (as a CPA myself this is a stain on our honorable profession).

Date: April 6

Offender: Pablo Lucio Vasquez

Summary of Offense: Along with co-defendant Andy Chapa, murdered Daniel Cardenas (age 12).  Although they stole some of Cardenas’ property, the main reason for his murder was so Vasquez could engage in the Satanic ritual of drinking Cardenas’ blood.

Date: April 27

Offender: Robert Lynn Pruett

Summary of Offense: While incarcerated at the McConnell Unit and serving a life sentence for murder with a deadly weapon, Pruett killed TDCJ Correctional Officer Daniel Nagle.

Date: May 11

Offender: Terry Darnell Edwards

Summary of Offense: Going back to a former restaurant where he was employed, Edwards killed the store manager (Tommy Walker) and another employee (Mickell Goodwin) during a robbery.

Date: June 2

Offender: Charles Don Flores

Summary of Offense: Along with co-defendant Richard Lynn Childs, Flores murdered Elizabeth Black (age 64) at her home in Farmers Branch during a robbery.  (They didn’t find any money.)

Date: June 21

Offender: Robert Leslie Roberson III

Summary of Offense: Struck and killed Nikki Curtis, his two-year-old daughter.  Not only is Roberson an example of the failed prison revolving door (during a 10-year stretch he would be out on parole three times, returned twice for violating parole–the first time with two additional charges, then incarcerated for this crime), evidence showed he molested his daughter as well.  (Had he been placed in general population he would likely be dead by now.)

Date: July 14

Offender: Perry Eugene Williams

Summary of Offense: Along with three others, Williams abducted and murdered Matthew Carter, a first-year student at Baylor College of Medicine, while he was returning a video to a Houston video store.

Date: July 27:

Offender: Rolando (a/k/a Roland) Ruiz, Jr.

Summary of Offense: Ruiz was the triggerman in a murder-for-hire plot where he killed Theresa Rodriguez so her husband could collect life insurance proceeds.  The tale would be otherwise non-descript (other than he also received a 2-year sentence for assaulting a Bexar County jailer as well), except that her husband (who received a life sentence) was Michael Rodriguez, later to become one of the notorious Texas 7 (and the first of them to be executed).

Mr. Trump’s Mandate

An interesting moment in last night’s CNN Townhall with GOP candidate Donald J. Trump occurred during his discussion of Obamacare, and his plans for an alternate health care strategy.  Let’s cut to the video:

 

The most contentious provision of Obamacare is the mandate that everyone be covered or be subject to a fine.  In fact, the legal gymnastics undergone by Chief Justice John Roberts that the mandate was actually a tax, and therefore legal, has provided Mr. Trump with the basis for his criticism of Ted Cruz as the erstwhile sponsor of Roberts during the nomination hearings.

But, here we are, in Donald’s own words saying, “I LIKE THE MANDATE.” (emphasis mine).  I asked a FB friend and true Trump believer about this, and he denied Trump said anything of the kind.  IKR.

cruz-or-loseA truly been a remarkable primary season, indeed.

 

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread:  A Free Speech Zone.

 

WFFOT:  #CruzOrLose

 

 

 

7 years after The Russian Reset

You remember the famous Russian Reset, don’t you?  It was an attempt of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration to improve relations between the United States and Russia in 2009.  Mrs. Clinton gave the Rooskies a big red button with the Russian word for “reset” on it, symbolic of the new and improved relationship between the two superpowers.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Clinton’s button used the Russian word for “overcharge” rather than “reset.”  IKR

Fast Forward 7 years. Mrs. Clinton is now running for President based largely on her experience and the historical nature of being the 1st female President.  So how would you evaluate her first big initiate as Secretary of State, the Reset?

russian-resetAnti-smoking posters in Moscow have used the image of U.S. President Barack Obama smoking to deter smokers — saying that both he and cigarettes are killers.

The poster has a photoshopped image of the U.S. president and the words: “Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills a lot of people. Don’t smoke — don’t be like Obama.”

Russian State Duma opposition deputy Dmitry Gudkov published a photograph of the bus stop poster on Facebook, adding a Soviet joke about freedom of speech in the United States versus the Soviet Union — essentially, Soviet citizens were free to criticize U.S. presidents while standing in Red Square.  source

Helluva job Hillary.

 

Execution Watch: Gustavo Julian Garcia, Texas

By Mark R, Execution Watch Editor

Barring any last minute stays, Tuesday will bring us the third execution of the year for Texas (and the only one scheduled for this month).

Gustavo Garcia is, to put it nicely, a thug. And one that we have waited way too long to execute. (It’s so old the death row info is the old paper copy.)

On December 9, 1990, up in Plano (DFW area where I live), Garcia and his thug partner Christopher Vargas went into a liquor store and proceeded to rob the clerk, Craig Turski. Garcia shot him once in the abdomen, he tried to run but they reloaded and shot him in the head. A customer who saw Garcia managed to leave and come back with her husband, they found the store deserted and called police. The clerk was found but died later.

Nearly one month later (January 5, 1991) the thugs, now accompanied by Garcia’s girlfriend (also reported as his “common-law wife”, or “whore” as it used to be said) went to a Texaco in Plano and repeated the same thing. The clerk (Gregory Martin) happened to be on the phone with his girlfriend, warned her he was being robbed, and told her to call the police. Although his warnings weren’t enough to prevent his murder (Garcia was again the triggerman), they were enough to get the police there before the thugs could escape.

Garcia confessed to both crimes and was tried on the Turski murder. (Vargas was tried for capital murder and sentenced to life; the whore tried for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and sentenced to 20 years.) As if two capital murders in less than a month weren’t enough of an indicator of future dangerousness, the prosecution brought up his multiple burglaries while a juvenile, his numerous disciplinary actions while in school, and the problems he created while in jail awaiting trial. Not surprisingly he was sentenced to death. However, Garcia managed to get his original sentencing phase overturned on federal habeas appeal in 2000.

But not only were all the prior incidents rehashed at the second sentencing trial (March 2001), during his incarceration time Garcia tried to escape from prison in 1998, which of course was also used against him. (You think you might want to be a model prisoner so as to maybe get a life sentence the next time?) The second time was the same as the first (death sentence) but this time, ALL appeals were DENIED (the final appeal was DENIED the day before Masterson’s execution).

Garcia’s demise is, again, way overdue: he’s been on death row (since 1992) longer than my SO’s daughter has been alive (born 1995).

TDCJ info on Garcia:

Texas Attorney General press release:
https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/media-advisory-gustavo-garcia-scheduled-for-execution

Conservatives Anonymous

Just got this email from the Cruz Campaign:

The Cruz for President campaign today launched a new TV ad, “Conservatives Anonymous,” illustrating how Marco Rubio has betrayed the trust of the American people by breaking his campaign promise to fight amnesty. Instead, once elected, Rubio worked closely with Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer and aggressively fought to pass the Gang of Eight amnesty bill in the Senate. This ad is the first in a series that will soon air focused on how conservatives have been betrayed by their elected officials in Washington, D.C. who fail to keep their promises to fight for conservative principles.

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