Archive for Marco Rubio

Preferred by More Billionaires

Understand that I have nothing against billionaires per se. And nothing against Marco Rubio. But why is one the overwhelming favorite of the others?

Ken Griffin:

Ken Griffin, one of the Republican Party’s biggest donors, is backing Marco Rubio for president, the latest top-tier financier to align with Rubio in recent months.

Griffin, the wealthiest man in Illinois and the head of the investment firm Citadel, told CNBC on Wednesday that he would back Rubio and give “several million dollars” to Rubio’s super PAC, which can accept unlimited contributions. Rubio’s campaign confirmed the planned support.

Some of the leading Republican moneymen over the past eight weeks have formally committed to Rubio, who has not built as much money for his campaign as he has buzz. Griffin had previously told CNBC that he was deciding between Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who won much of the early money from the Republican establishment.

Paul Singer:

Paul Singer, a leading Republican fundraiser and donor, is endorsing Marco Rubio in his bid for the presidency.

Singer is one of the GOP’s leading bundlers, and is able to easily invest millions of dollars into a super PAC. He is likely to make a large contribution to one of the outside groups allied with Rubio’s presidential campaign. And it could help Rubio’s official campaign — which only raised $6 million in the most recent fundraising quarter — raise the cash necessary to challenge Bush.

Sheldon Adelson:

Beyond his veneer of reasonableness, however, Rubio has established himself as the most adept of the Republican candidates at regurgitating the militaristic talking points of the party’s neoconservative wing. His competency in this regard has earned him the favor of influential hawkish donors like Sheldon Adelson, as well as an array of neoconservative political operatives.

In April, Politico reported that Rubio has “reached out to Adelson more often than any other 2016 candidate” and “provided him with the most detailed plan for how he’d manage America’s foreign policy.” The piece added that Rubio phones Adelson “every two weeks” and is the “clear frontrunner” to win the “Sheldon Adelson primary.” A follow-up article in October added that a “formal endorsement” is imminent, “and with it, the potential for a multimillion dollar contribution.”

Though one billionaire is unimpressed:

Rubio’s courtship of the controversial mega-donor has spurred criticism even from Donald Trump, who tweeted in October: “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”

Here’s another pro-Rubio billionaire:

Rubio’s political career was in fact jump-started by powerful donors in the ideological vein of Adelson and Singer. Norman Braman, a Florida businessman with a decisively hawkish attitude on U.S. Middle East policy, has been the “single-largest backer of Rubio’s presidential campaign” thus far, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). Braman, a billionaire who’s funded illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, took Rubio on a trip to Israel shortly after he was elected to the Senate.

“Illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank”—you mean, towns in Judea and Samaria where Jews live? What a loaded sentence! Editorialize much?

Sina Toossi is the assistant editor of Right Web, a project that monitors the efforts of militarists to influence U.S. foreign policy.

I do that, too, but to give them encouragement.

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What’s Wrong With Marco Rubio?

How come he hasn’t amassed wealth in the manner of his corrupt colleagues?

You all are doubtless aware that Marco Rubio has scandalized the New York Times with his record of erratic driving (two tickets in almost two decades, the other tickets either having been dismissed, or earned by his wife). Today, the Times has the vapors that Rubio once bought—sorry, “splurged on”—a boat for $80,000.

I found a powerboat for sale online for about 80 grand. Rubio’s boat might have looked something like this:

Not bad. Until you compare it to John Kerry’s seven million dollar yacht, custom-built in New Zealand.

Rubio’s boat wouldn’t make it as a lifeboat for Kerry’s—which makes sense, given that Kerry’s annual Massachusetts excise tax almost equals the cost of Rubio’s boat. If he moored the boat in Massachusetts, which he doesn’t.

But John Kerry married money. Harry Reid made it the old-fashioned way: graft.

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

When his 2010 challenger Sharron Angle asked him in a debate how he had become so wealthy, he said, “I did a very good job investing.” Did he ever. On December 20, 2005, he invested $50,000 to $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies whose shares it held included ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips. When he made a partial sale of his shares on August 19, 2008, during congressional recess, IYE closed at $41.82. Just a month later, on September 17, Reid was working to bring to the floor a bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies — including those in the fund — billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees. The bill passed a few days later, and by October 10, IYE’s shares had fallen by 42 percent, to $24.41, for a host of reasons. Savvy investing indeed.

Here’s another example: The Los Angeles Times reported in November 2006 that when Reid became Senate majority leader he committed to making earmark reform a priority, saying he’d work to keep congressmen from using federal dollars for pet projects in their districts. It was a good idea but an odd one for the senator to espouse. He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, Nev., and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency. His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

There are richer Senators, the richest Democrats, but the point is made. The Rubios have done all right for themselves, but in that quaint, old-fashioned way of hard work, diligence, good fortune, and fast-driving.

I wasn’t sure whom I supported in the Republican primaries, but the Times has made the decision for me!

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Ready for Rubio?

The media brownshirts sure are!

The New York Times Friday report that Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and his wife Jeanette have been cited 17 times for traffic violations was written after the citations were pulled by liberal opposition research firm American Bridge, according to Miami-Dade County court records.

Records show that each of the citations mentioned by the New York Times were pulled in person by American Bridge operatives on May 26, 2015.

So, the New York Times is “outsourcing” its reporting now? Having declared Obama scandal-free, David Brooks couldn’t be bothered to look into the shady dealings of a potential Republican nominee? Who—wait for it—amassed a whopping three traffic tickets over 22 years (none between 1997 and 2011), the others belonging to the lovely Mrs. Rubio. That’s like saying along with my wife, I’ve borne two children.

How many driving tickets have the Clintons earned? Trick question! When was the last time either one drove? A better question would be how many stories has the Times devoted to Clinton Foundations shenanigans—and is it more or fewer than the number of over-the-transom hit pieces on the driving habits of candidates’ wives?

But as long as the driving record of potential First Families are in the dock, what about their parking record, as reported by that bastion of first amendment freedom, The Somerville News?

Before Barack Obama was a United States senator and a presidential hopeful, he was a Harvard University law student living in Somerville who parked in bus stops and accumulated hundreds of dollars in parking tickets. And for nearly two decades those parking tickets went unpaid, until a representative of Obama’s settled all his outstanding debts with Cambridge’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department Jan. 26.

Obama attended Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991. During his time at Harvard, Obama lived at 365 Broadway in Somerville, according to his parking tickets. Records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show that between Oct. 5, 1988 and Jan. 12, 1990 Obama was cited for 17 traffic violations, sometimes committing two in the same day. The abuses included parking in a resident permit area, parking in a bus stop and failing to pay the meter. Twelve of Obama’s 17 tickets were given to him on Massachusetts Avenue.

In one eight day stretch in 1988, Obama was cited seven times for parking violations and was fined $45. Thirteen of the 17 violations occurred within one month in 1988.

We could just bask in the rank hypocrisy of Obama’s 17 years on the lam from his scofflaw days in Cambridge, only finally to pay up when he first ran for president—an offense somehow missed by the New York Times and any vast right-wing conspirators out there. But we do not merely bask here in Bloodthirstan, no siree.

We love this detail:

Obama spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said the presidential candidate’s parking violations were not relevant.

“He didn’t owe that much and what he did owe, he paid,” Psaki said. “Many people have parking tickets and late fees. All the parking tickets and late fees were paid in full.”

Psaki declined to comment further. She refused to say how the fines went unpaid so long and what prompted Obama to finally pay them.

And you wonder how we got here?

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Boxing Him in and Boxing His Ears

Who was the last person to hold Barack Obama to account, his own white grandmother?

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and aspirant for his party’s presidential nomination, has a very poisonous pill he is seeking to add to Iran legislation this week before the Senate.

No, it’s not his much discussed amendment saying Congress would not lift its sanctions on Iran unless Iran recognized Israel. Rather Rubio just wants the Iran deal to conform to the president’s own description of a nuclear framework agreement. As Rubio said Wednesday, “It requires this final deal be the deal the president says it is.”

On the surface, this seems like small ball. On April 2, the White House released a fact sheet that spelled out Iran’s obligations to modify some of its nuclear facilities and limit its enrichment. The fact sheet said sanctions would be phased out over time as Iran complied with the terms of the framework.

Rubio’s amendment simply quotes that fact sheet verbatim and says the president may not waive or lift any Congressional sanctions until he certifies Iran has met the White House conditions.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why that would be controversial,” Rubio said Wednesday. “Yet somehow, I was told this would box the White House in.”

Don’t be coy, Marco. When was the last time the “final deal be the deal the president says it is”? If that were the case with ObamaCare, I’d still have my doctor and be $2,500 richer.

But Rubio knows very well why the amendment is controversial. Almost immediately after the White House announced the terms of what it thought was a framework agreement, the Iranians balked. The foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted that the White House fact sheet was spin. The head of Iran’s revolutionary guard corps said international inspectors would never gain access to military sites. And Iran’s supreme leader says all sanctions must be lifted up front when Iran signs an agreement.

In the face of Iran’s new red lines, Obama wobbled. On April 17, Obama said he was instructing his negotiators to “find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”

Is there such a thing as being too articulate? “Formulas”? “Presentation”? “Body politic”? If you listen carefully and the wind’s just right, he’s calling for our surrender.

Obama’s a big man when he’s piloting a drone 8,000 miles away, but face off against him—either on the high seas or in Congress—and he turtles. With apologies to members of the order Testudines.

PS: Even Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would be afraid to box those ears.

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Gang of 8 – 1 = 0

It wasn’t Marco Rubio’s efforts at trying to bring sense to immigration reform that so angered conservatives. We want reform too. It was the people—and their motives—with whom he was trying to do it.

Sounds like he got the message:

After relentlessly defending for months the Senate’s ambitious overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t respond when House GOP leaders last week trashed it as a “flawed … massive, Obama-care like bill.”

The Florida Republican’s office, which churned out countless press releases touting his interviews and speeches about the legislation, hasn’t said a word about immigration since the Senate passed the bill on June 27.

The silence is a sign that, at least publicly, Rubio won’t try to dissuade the House from a piecemeal approach that excludes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Instead, Rubio is turning to the safer, more-conservative-friendly issues he campaigned on in 2010—President Obama’s health care law, federal spending, the deficit—but with less support from Republicans than before, according to public polls.

There may be a way to satisfy concerns of conservatives over border security and the rule of, and respect for, law. But I don’t think Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are going to find it. Rubio’s choice is to stick with the Gang of 8 or with his conservative base of (somewhat shaken) admirers. Sounds like he’s made his choice.

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Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Is the cratering of Marco Rubio’s once-promising career in the Republican Party:

The White House is playing a larger role in developing the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill than its supporters publicly admit, according to a forthcoming article in The New Yorker.

“‘No decisions are being made without talking to us about it,’ the official said of the Gang of Eight negotiations … ‘This does not fly if we’re not O.K. with it,’” a senior Obama official told author Ryan Lizza for the pending article.

Obama met with four top Democrats pushing the bill on Thursday, and a White House spokesman said earlier that White House lawyers are participating in the drafting of the bill.

But Obama and White House officials have kept a low profile to avoid deterring GOP cooperation.

However, they expect to seize the credit from Latinos once a bill is signed, the New Yorker article said. “We’re not worried about short-term political credit. We’ll get plenty of it if it gets signed,” the official told The New Yorker.

“There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,” a Rubio aide told Lizza. ‘“There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly,” said the aide.

Given the unemployment rate in the African American community (nearly twice the national average), that statement comes awfully close to a racist trope. But Rubio didn’t say it; an aide did.

What ruins Rubio’s reputation among conservatives is his judgement in lying down with these dogs in the first place. It may be a “scoop” that Obama was writing the immigration bill all along, but it had to be presumed. He wrote ObamaCare, he wrote the stimulus; no big initiative gets done without he gets the final word. That can’t even be argued. Does Rubio think Obama’s going to agree to a bill that actually punishes illegals for breaking our laws and secures the border once and for all? No way.

Rubio keeps threatening to walk away from a bill that doesn’t meet his standards, but look how that stance plays in his own party:

McCain also complained to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the gang, about Rubio’s tactics to win support from other GOP.

“Schumer often found himself mediating disputes between Rubio and McCain, who felt that Rubio’s public statements sometimes positioned him positively with [GOP] conservatives at the expense of the Gang,” said the article. “McCain would call Schumer and fume, ‘Look what Rubio’s doing!’”

We know Obama is smarter than McCain (few aren’t), but I don’t think he’s smarter than Rubio. But has Rubio outsmarted himself?

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Rubio On Obama

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Bring Me the Head of Marco Rubio

Or see that he sleeps with the fishes, I don’t care which:

Rubio has long been at the top of nearly everyone’s vice presidential short list — and with good reason. Rubio could help deliver the key swing state of Florida, and as the first Hispanic vice presidential nominee he would give the Romney team a fighting chance with Latino voters. His humble roots and compelling personal narrative could help blunt the class warfare attacks President Obama will surely level at Romney this fall. Rubio is telegenic and a dynamic speaker who can fire up crowds and generate desperately needed enthusiasm for the GOP ticket. He is beloved by the Tea Party, and he could help Romney win over the conservative grassroots (who are still wary of an “Etch a Sketch” nominee). In short, if you were to design the perfect running mate for Romney, you would come up with Marco Rubio.

So Rubio should have the VP slot locked up, right? Not if the Great Whisperer has anything to say about it. In recent months, a whispering campaign has spread in Washington suggesting that Rubio may look good on paper, but he cannot “pass vet” for the vice presidential nomination. The whispers became more audible last October following a hit piece by Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia, who accused Rubio of deliberately “embellishing” his family history by saying that his parents arrived in the United States after Castro took power when they, in fact, arrived during the Batista years. (I pointed out at the time that the story offered zero evidence that Rubio intentionally misled anyone).

Then in February came the revelation that when Rubio was 8 years old and living in Las Vegas, his family was baptized into the Church of Latter-day Saints and attended a Mormon church for a few years before returning to Catholicism. Rubio’s detractors pounced, ridiculously arguing that this disqualifies him from serving as Romney’s running mate, because conservatives would never accept an “all Mormon ticket.”

Rubio also faces the lingering inquiry by the Florida Commission on Ethics into a 2010 complaint that he misspent campaign contributions and abused his perch as Florida House speaker to gain a teaching position at Florida International University. Rubio calls the charges “baseless” and politically motivated and recently demanded the commission close out its investigation.

The Post’s Chris Cillizza writes, “We hear whispers that his time in the state legislature could be mined by a good opposition researcher.” And this month, the National Journal downgraded Rubio’s position on its vice presidential power rankings because, it claimed, Rubio “skated into office without much of his past being vetted in the media. That would change in a hurry if he’s tapped for the vice presidency, and coming four years after Sarah Palin had such trouble adjusting to harsh scrutiny, that’s a very real concern for some Republicans. After all, Tallahassee has its own secrets.”

I quote the oracle Rush: they tell you whom they fear. They fear Sarah, they feared Herman Cain, and they fear the hell out of Marco Rubio. Like weasels, you never want to corner a Democrat: when threatened, they get really nasty.

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Is This An Issue?

Rubio born in Miami to Cuban immigrants who were not naturalized until the 1970s

Rubio was born in Miami, Florida,[5] the second son and third child of Mario Rubio (1927–2010)[6] and Oria Garcia (born 1931). His parents were Cubans who had emigrated to the United States in 1956 and were later naturalized as U.S. citizens in 1975.[7]
He was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Catholic Church[1][8][9] but now attends Christ Fellowship, an evangelical Protestant Church in West Kendall, Florida.[8]

What is the law regarding citizenship eligibility to serve as President? Or VP?

– Aggie

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This Boy Needs to Learn His Place

Not Obama, you racist leftie—Marco Rubio:

“Don’t forget who he is. Marco Rubio was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is from Las Vegas, went to high school there. His cousin serves in the Nevada State Legislature. Marco Rubio has to understand who he is and who he represents. He doesn’t represent the tea party. He represents the state of Florida, the third largest populated state in the country, [that] has all kind of problems and he has to recognize that.”

Marco Rubio was just elected six months ago—running as a conservative! Doesn’t Reid think the voters of Florida (yes, I know this is Florida we’re talking about) knew whom they elected?

But Reid has been a race-baiter going way back:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is taking heat after he told a crowd of supporters Tuesday that he doesn’t know “how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.”

Reid’s comments were quickly criticized Wednesday by one of the GOP’s rising stars — Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban exiles who is running for U.S. Senate in Florida.

In an interview with Fox News, Rubio called Reid’s remarks “outrageous” and “ridiculous” and said “this kind of outrageous speech in politics is continuing to spread.”

“You know, Americans of Hispanic descent, you know what the strongest issue there is? That is economic empowerment, upward mobility,” Rubio said. “There’s only one economic system in the world that that’s possible in, time and again, and that’s the American free enterprise system.

“And the reason why Americans of Hispanic descent should be Republicans is because the Democratic leadership is trying to dismantle the American free enterprise system,” he continued.

“The point is he’s wrong.”

Of course, Reid is just following in the noble tradition of the Grand Kleagle himself, Harry Byrd (D-WV)

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A Tale of Two Speeches

Barney Frank, in victory:

“With the re-election of the Massachusetts delegation and Gov. Deval Patrick, we can reaffirm the complete political irrelevance of the Boston Herald,” Frank told more than 100 supporters at the Crowne Plaza in Newton. “There is no limit to the bias and vitriol they unleashed.”

Frank, 70, spoke at length of the strain of the “vitriolic” campaign on him and his partner, James Ready, and complained the “campaigns of most Republicans are beneath the dignity of democracy.”

[Cue Howie Carr:]

Now, we know one of Barney’s big problems with this newspaper is that reporter Dave Wedge videotaped his partner, James Dude Ready, giving the needle to Sean Bielat after a debate a couple of weeks ago. Wedge rolled tape. In Barney’s world this is bias and vitriol.

See, no one is supposed to say anything about Barney. Certainly the Globe treats him with kid gloves. For example, he’s present at a house in Maine with marijuana plants growing, but he doesn’t know what marijuana looks like. He used to live with a male prostitute named Hot Bottom, but you can’t mention that either, because it’s homophobia. And then there was Barney’s former partner, Herb Moses, who made a six-figure salary at Fannie or Freddie – I can never remember which.

Barney, you won. In fact, you now know you’ll never lose, never have to work a real job, never have to live among the plebes. With this reelection, you are certain to live out your golden showers—I mean years—in the semi-retirement of the minority party in the US House of Representatives.

And instead, you act like a loser—the loser that you are.

This is how to deliver a victory speech:

Rubio, flanked by his loving family, opened graciously with words of thanks to Charlie Crist and words of praise for the “dignity and strength” of Kendrick Meek. He emphasized the importance of his family, thanked his wife, and went on to outline his own story as someone who rose through the Cuban-American immigrant community. “I will always be the son of exiles,” he said, “and will always be the heir of two generations of unfulfilled dreams.” This statement would carry emotional weight for anyone watching, imbued as it is with the classic story of the American dream — but it was all the more poignant knowing that Rubio’s father had died just two months ago. (His mother, Coria, standing with her son last night, got to see the dream of watching her son rise to be a U.S. Senator fulfilled.)

And:

“The United States is simply the greatest nation in all of human history,” Mr. Rubio said. But he added, “it requires action on our part.”

“We’re making a great mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican party,” Mr. Rubio said in his 15-minute speech. “What they are is a second chance — a second chance for Republicans to be what they said were going to be not so long ago.”

I remember how it turned my stomach the way people got weak-kneed at a mere speech by then state senator Obama in 2004. So, I’ll chose not to do the same with Rubio. But he is a very impressive character. And Rush is right: as a conservative Latino, he is the Democrats worst nightmare.

Rubio is the future; Frank is the behind.

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