Three GOP presidential candidates—one of them not yet declared—are pandering to conservative right-wingers with the typical nutty, ignorant statements. One of them is Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who kept making awkward outreach motions toward minorities after he opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One of his strategies to set himself apart was opposing mass incarceration and the drug war while the GOP supports these. Last week, he may have lost any minority support, however, after he blamed what he described as “thuggery and thievery” in Baltimore last week on a “lack of fathers.” He laughed when he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, “I came through the train on Baltimore (sic) last night, I’m glad the train didn’t stop.” According to Paul, root causes of these riots are “the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of a moral code in our society.”
Paul’s oldest son, William Hilton Paul, crashed his car into an unoccupied car while driving drunk, the third time that he had a problem with the law involving alcohol, the first two while he was underage. His first offence included an assault of a flight attendant on a US Airways flight. At the time of the recent car wreck, Paul’s 22-year-old son didn’t have automobile insurance.
Another GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), is struggling with his attempts to woo the Hispanics. He tried to make up for an absence last March at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with a recent speech before the organization to talk about the group’s important issues. First he told them that the president’s immigration policies to benefit families in the Hispanic community are scare tactics for the Hispanic community. Then he told them that Hispanics are conservative because Hispanics don’t panhandle and because they believe in family, country, and hard work.
Paul and Cruz have both decided to investigate Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claim that President Obama might be attacking his state. After the U.S. Special Operations troops launched a training program, Jade Helm 15, in seven southwestern states, Abbott called out the National Guard to protect the residents of Texas. The right-wing thinks that the U.S. is declaring martial law on these states, especially Texas, because the training exercises labeled the state as “hostile.” Adding to the conspiracy theories is that the rioting in Baltimore is a cover for the military to take over parts of the U.S.
Conspiracy theories aren’t new to Cruz: he has long maintained that Islamic Sharia law threatens the United States, ISIL operatives are coming into the country across the southern border, and a UN resolution was intended to abolish golf courses in the country. At the South Carolina GOP’s annual convention, Cruz said that “the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration.” Both Paul and Cruz have given credence to the crazy theories by demanding answers from the Pentagon about the covert actions.
Wal-Mart is in the midst of the conspiracy theories that include confiscating guns and building “secret underground tunnels.” Texans maintain that the government’s political prisoners will be put into abandoned Wal-Mart buildings. President Obama is planning to use Special Forces to impose martial law in Texas and will hold political prisoners in abandoned Wal-Mart buildings, according to a group of Texans. The president plans to transport them in train cars that already have been prepared with shackles, according to an anonymous letter supposedly from a Texas Ranger. Another theory is that the plumbing problems closing some Wal-Mart stories are actually a cover for building the secret tunnels to move supplies and people during a crisis. A website pondered whether these massive stores soon be used as “food distribution centers” to house invading Chinese forces who will be disarming Americans.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush revealed last week that Charles Murray, known for his book The Bell Curve, shapes Bush’s ideas. The book states that inequalities in the United States are explained by intelligence differences among racial groups. At Harvard, George told his classmates that “poor people are poor because they’re lazy.” Jeb told conservative National Review editor Rich Lowery that he “was waiting for the last chapter [of The Bell Curve] with the really cool solutions—didn’t quite get there.” Bush most likely agrees with his brother, George W., who told Harvard classmates that “people are poor because they’re lazy.”
Jeb Bush has a long history of creative money-making ventures. In a savings and loan fiasco 30 years ago, he and a partner, Armondo Condina, borrowed $4,565,000 to buy a Miami building. Repaying the loan was on the condition that the building’s revenues were sufficient to cover the repayment, and they made no payments for the next two years. The bank sued them, the S&L company went bankrupt, and the partners were allowed to keep the building for a payment of $500,000. The failure of the S&L company cost taxpayers $285 million.
Some of Jeb Bush’s hard-earned money came from his position on the board of InnoVida where he was paid $15,000 a month. Claudio Osorio, the CEO of the company that promised to use sturdy and lightweight building panels to revolutionize affordable housing, went to federal prison for fraud after Bush started collecting his stocks and cash for lending his name to the enterprise. Bush had to repay only half the $470,000 he collected as a consultant from late 2007 through the fall of 2010, and his settlement was unlike the others in the case because of a “nondisparagement” clause that limits what the bankruptcy trustee can say about the former governor.
Although Bush claimed that he had thoroughly vetted the company, the Miami attorney who represented NBA player Carlos Boozer and others after they lost $2.5 million invested in InnoVida, said thorough vetting would have revealed Osorio’s “questionable history” at his prior high-flying company, CHS Electronics. That company had to pay $11.75 million in a 2000 settlement.
Bush served five years as a director Swisher Hygiene when the Charlotte-based seller of sanitary supplies issued faulty earnings reports and as a consultant at Lehman Brothers while the investment bank headed toward a drastic 2008 bankruptcy contributing to the global financial crisis. He received $2.4 million of stock holdings from his board seat at Tenet Healthcare, assisted by profits from the Affordable Care Act. Other ventures included private equity and offshore investments in natural gas exploration and shipping. One fund was set up in the United Kingdom to shelter his investments from taxes.
These are the candidates that sneer at the working poor because they don’t have the advantages of the wealthy and entitled. Bush hasn’t yet officially declared himself a candidate because he’s still raising money for his super PAC, but he will definitely be a one; Paul and Cruz are already stumping the country for votes.