Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 14, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.


1. Could Ted Cruz Be President? (link)

Here we go again. Another article debating whether or not Ted Cruz could be President. There is a lot to digest in the article from the Texas Tribune, but in a nutshell:

Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, came to the U.S. in 1957 to study at the University of Texas. He did not become a U.S. citizen until 2005.

Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Delaware and later moved to Houston. She graduated from Rice University in 1956. By virtue of being born in the United States, she is a citizen. Because she spent most of her life before Ted Cruz was born in the U.S., he also qualified as U.S. citizen at birth.

“Ted Cruz didn’t naturalize. He was natural at birth,” said Spiro, the Temple professor

Spiro said it’s possible that a person could challenge that the laws granting citizenship at birth do not define what it is to be a natural-born citizen. In fact, the phrase “natural-born citizen” is only used once in the U.S. Code — in Article 2 of the Constitution. Such a challenge would be unlikely to change the current definitions, however, he said.

Look, I like Ted Cruz but can we just stop this debate about Cruz for President? Let's see how he does as a U.S. Senator first before we even think about the White House. I know Cruz is popular right now and that is great, but he hasn't even been elected to the Senate... yet.

With that said, what do you think about this article?

2. Polling Looking Good for Paul Ryan (link)

Unlike what Democrats are telling you, Paul Ryan actually is polling pretty well among senior citizens, women, and independents. According to FOX News:

Surveys conducted shortly before Mitt Romney's VP roll-out show Ryan actually polls fairly well among all three of these groups. And while Democrats claim to be ecstatic at Romney's choice -- they say he's an easy target, and they've already gone to town portraying him as "extreme" -- the bookish lawmaker from Janesville, Wis., could end up bringing more votes to the ticket than he turns away.

A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 31 percent of likely senior voters gave Ryan a "very favorable" rating, compared with 21 percent of all legal-age voters giving him that rating. Just 16 percent of seniors gave him a "very unfavorable" rating.

So while Democrats are chipping away at Romney in Florida as the GOP candidate visits the Sunshine State on Monday, drawing attention to Ryan's controversial Medicare overhaul plan, polling suggests seniors might be at least amenable to the VP pick.

Calculations about which voters Ryan could bring to the Republican ticket were certainly a factor in Romney's selection, and in any presidential candidate's choice in running mate. It's unclear who exactly the Ryan pick will resonate with, and who it will turn away, but Ryan doesn't appear to be starting off on the wrong foot with several key demographic groups.

A CNN poll earlier this month showed more women have a positive view of Ryan than not. It showed the same among independents.

Many will look at the polling and think that it looks bad because Ryan hasn't broken 50% nationally, but remember that Paul Ryan wasn't really known nationally before Saturday. Ryan is actually doing pretty well right now.

3. Nations Refuse to Take Back Their Citizens (link)

Should other nations be punished by the United States if they refuse to take back immigrant felons? One Texas Representative thinks so.

Long after they were ordered out of the country, thousands of criminal aliens from places like China, Cuba, Vietnam and Pakistan remain free in the United States to commit new crimes because their home countries refuse to take them back.

For years, this unique problem percolated under the political radar. But recent crimes by immigrant felons have lawmakers scrambling to punish nations that refuse to repatriate their own citizens. The Obama administration and many Democrats in Congress, however, are blocking punitive legislation, preferring to let the State Department handle the issue diplomatically.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, is leading the charge in Congress to change the law, pushing to withhold visas to nations that refuse to take back their own.

"I don't know why the State Department seems to take the side of foreign countries over our own American interest in the United States," Poe said, urging the U.S. to tell those countries: "Look, you take these people back or the consequence is going to be no visas for your nation."

Under a 2001 Supreme Court decision, U.S. immigration officials are only permitted to hold someone for six months after their incarceration. So when a home nation refuses to take back their national, the U.S. is required to release them -- no matter what they've done.

What are your thoughts?

4. Long Shot Democrats in Texas (link)

Democrats have a long ways to go in Texas.

Being a Democrat in a Texas election is like being the fastest sprinter outside of Jamaica or the best beach volleyball team outside of the United States. Unless something odd happens, your medal will be silver or bronze.

Eventually, a Democrat will win a statewide election in Texas. It could happen this year, though that seems highly unlikely given the recent history of elections here, the relative organizational strength of the candidates statewide and the fact that the incumbent Democrat at the top of this year’s ticket —President Obama — lost soundly in Texas four years ago. At the height of his popularity.

But this is not a lament about a pitiable party that can’t put a win together and shouldn’t even try. Eventually, the Democrats will win a bigger following, or the Republicans will fritter away their advantages, or both. The argument over pendulum swings is a matter of when and not if. That’s why Texas Republicans made sure they had people on the ballot in as many statewide races as possible throughout the 1980s.

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