How to Annoy Your Fellow Republicans

Senator Ted Cruz continues to march to his own special drumbeat.

Highlights from Hair Balls

Political Animals

Senator Ted Cruz is apparently annoying everyone in Washington.

From political blog The Monkey Cage:

"The staffer, whom two GOP sources identified as working for Representative John Culberson of Texas, went on to decry Cruz for holding events in Culberson's district and telling his constituents that defunding Obamacare would be 'easy.'...

"...A significant number in the room of about one hundred people applauded the woman's remarks, but several GOP aides said it was not a standing ovation or an overwhelmingly positive response...

"...On the other hand, it's fair to say the staffer's anger at Cruz carries a fairly broad base among House Republicans, many of whom view his Obamacare push as self-destructive to the party."

So even Republican staffers are already sick of his schtick.

Of course, this is hardly the first wave Cruz has made. He was one of three senators to vote against John Kerry as Secretary of State, and wrote a doomed bill to kill Obamacare. The Washington establishment doesn't really know what to make of him because Ted does not care. As The New York Times wrote in an article titled "Ted Cruz Runs Counter to Senate's Courtly Ways": "He could not be more pleased. Washington's new bad boy feels good."

Indeed, when Chuck Hagel was nominated for Secretary of Defense — a former Republican Senator, mind you — Cruz went Joe McCarthy on him, insinuating without any real evidence that Hagel took money from North Korea. You can't make this stuff up.

But apparently, Rafael Edward Cruz has always been a bit off. His freshman roommate from Princeton had this recollection:

"I remember very specifically that he had a book in Spanish and the title was Was Karl Marx a Satanist? And I thought, who is this person?" Craig Mazin says of Ted Cruz. "Even in 1988, he was politically extreme in a way that was surprising to me."

I am going to go ahead and guess that the book concluded that Marx was indeed a Satanist. I am hoping and praying — not to Satan — that Ted Cruz runs for President. This will be good, good stuff.
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Riders Beware

Unsafe Rides
Houston Police arrest 9 kids robbing and assaulting bicyclists on a trail.

Craig Malisow

Houston police have arrested nine juvenile males they say robbed and assaulted bicyclists on or near the Columbia Tap trail, in 13 incidents since May.

The suspects — all between ten and 16 years old — "were referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation authorities on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. The youngest suspect was referred to authorities on charges of robbery," according to an HPD press release.

The release also states, "South Central officers conducted an extensive investigation into incidents in which victims on bicycles were being robbed and assaulted while riding on the Columbia Bike Trail [which runs from the Third Ward to downtown]. The victims were knocked off their bikes, beaten and then robbed of their bicycles, cell phones and other property."

Police believe the same group is "responsible for more than seven other similar robberies in locations near the bike trail. In those cases, victims were also robbed of bicycles and/or other property."

HPD Captain Glenn Yorek told the Houston Chronicle that, in addition to money, the robberies were done for fun: "They thought it was a good summer activity," he said. But "some said they needed money to eat or to buy shoes."

According to the Chron, "The attacks began in mid-May and targeted victims, from college students to senior citizens, in the mid-morning and early evening...The captain described some of the beatings as 'brutal.' In one instance, the attackers broke someone's collarbone and ribs. Other times, the robbers hit their victims in the back of the head, followed with beatings by at least two attackers."

So remember: Always wear a helmet.
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Political Animals

Bait and Switch
Driver's license offices open Saturdays! But not for getting driver's licenses.

Jeff Balke

As if the issue of voter ID cards weren't confusing enough, the state of Texas has managed to complicate matters further by offering Election Identifications Certificates between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays at select driver's license offices around the state through November 2. This would make a lot of sense if it weren't for the fact that those offices won't offer driver's license services on Saturdays.

So if you thought DPS offices were crowded, awful places filled with pissed-off people forced to wait for long periods of time just to change the address on a driver's license, wait until you see how angry they will be when they get to the DPS office on Saturday only to find out they can't do anything except get an EIC.

Most residents already have ID, but if you need an EIC, you have an alternative, but don't be surprised when you show up and the place is full of pissed-off people wanting to renew their driver's licenses. I cannot fathom what made the DPS think this was a good idea, but there's no turning back now. It's as if state officials don't actually want people without a driver's license to vote or something.

In fact, the state of Texas has been beset with problems involving the new EICs, including the fact that they were unavailable in 70 counties.

But if you do need an EIC, here are the requirements:

• Bring documentation to the office to verify U.S. citizenship

• Bring documentation to the office to verify identity

• Be eligible to vote in Texas (Bring a valid voter registration card or submit a voter registration application through the Texas Department of Public Safety at the office.)

• Be a Texas resident

• Be 17 years and ten months or older

Keep your head down and good luck.

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