Tag Archives: elections

Russian hackers attack US election systems

What, me worry? Russian hackers attempted and were partly successful in June in accessing the election databases of Arizona and Illinois.

Hackers targeted voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona, and the FBI alerted Arizona officials in June that Russians were behind the assault on the election system in that state. The bureau described the threat as “credible” and significant, “an eight on a scale of one to 10,” Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (R), said Monday. As a result, Reagan shut down the state’s voter registration system for nearly a week.

It turned out that the hackers had not compromised the state system or even any county system. They had, however, stolen the username and password of a single election official in Gila County.

The article describes in detail the overall bad situation, including a number of additional attacks as well as the poor security surrounding the online voting option that more than 30 states use.

As usual, we are being told not to worry by the responsible government officials:

Tom Hicks, chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, an agency set up by Congress after the 2000 Florida recount to maintain election integrity, said he is confident that states have sufficient safeguards in place to ward off attempts to ma­nipu­la­te data. For example, if a voter’s name were deleted and did not show up on the precinct list, the individual could still cast a provisional ballot, Hicks said. Once the voter’s status was confirmed, the ballot would be counted. Hicks also said the actual systems used to cast votes “are not hooked up to the Internet” and so “there’s not going to be any ma­nipu­la­tion of data.” However, more than 30 states have some provisions for online voting, primarily for voters living overseas or serving in the military.

Hicks has made me feel so much better!

The November Democratic primary expands!

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, has now announced his support for a carbon tax, this following earlier positions that rejected religious liberty and endorsed gun control.

Read the story at the link. It is very clear that libertarian principles have little to do with Johnson’s campaign. He is running as a moderate liberal, through and through.

Adding the Green Party candidate Jill Stein we now have four liberal Democrats running for President, with two (Clinton and Stein) occupying the communist wing of the party and two (Trump and Johnson) occupying the moderate liberal wing of the party . O joy!

Another establishment Republican endorses Clinton

Today a former Romney official, one of many similar establishment Republicans from the Romney campaign as well as the Bush administration, announced in an op-ed that he is voting for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

I haven’t reported on this stream of Clinton endorsements by Republican politicos, as I generally consider most such endorsements to be meaningless. However, I think it important to make one comment. It is perfectly understandable if a conservative decides that he or she cannot support Donald Trump for president. Trump’s past history as a liberal Democrat certainly makes him a poor choice if you happen to be a sincere conservative who believes in the Constitution and small and limited government.

At the same time, if you are a sincere conservative you don’t then announce that you are endorsing Hillary Clinton and will vote for her instead. You either don’t vote for anyone for president, or you pick the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who has his own problems but at least has a past conservative track record. By throwing their support to Hillary Clinton, these establishment Republicans are finally revealing to the world that they really never had any interest in conservative values and have always been lying when they said so. Instead, they are simply more interested in the power they gain in Washington, and will do whatever it takes to obtain that power, including supporting the most socialist, corrupt, and dishonest Democratic Party candidate presented to us in the past century.

Thus, these endorsements are actually very useful information. They finally tell us who the fake conservatives in the Republican Party are and, should Donald Trump win in November, will allow him to finally purge the party of these liars and backstabbers, so that we might be able to finally make real some progress in gaining some control over our presently very oppressive and destructive federal government.

Trump’s agriculture advisory panel

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has announced his list of agricultural advisers, drawing mostly from established Republican players.

The New York City real estate mogul’s rural and agriculture advisory committee — comprising 65 people — is a Who’s Who of farm policy, with five members of Congress, including the chairmen of the House and Senate agriculture committees, 10 current and former farm-state governors and two former GOP presidential nomination rivals, former Govs. Rick Perry and Jim Gilmore.

…The list includes some major GOP donors, including Charles Herbster, a Nebraska cattle rancher who’s serving as the council’s chair, and Bruce Rastetter, a wealthy agribusiness leader in Iowa. But it also lists most of the Republican farm policy establishment, including Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Mike Conaway of Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who used to lead the House panel, as well as nearly a dozen state agriculture commissioners.

The advisory committee — which is six times larger than Mitt Romney’s 2012 panel — also includes a number of distinctly Trumpian characters, from Red Steagall, Texas’ official cowboy poet, to Sid Miller, the Texas agriculture commissioner who made national headlines for trying to bring deep fryers and sugary drinks back to schools.

Much of this panel appears to be very much mainstream Republican establishment, which has its positives and negatives. On a positive side, the article notes that in the panel’s first discussions about policy there was talk about eliminating or streamlining federal regulation on agriculture. On the negative side, the panel has some important members who favor the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal worked out by the Obama administration.

This information once again suggests that Trump will govern somewhere in the middle. If Congress is controlled by Republicans than there is also a good chance that its policy will lean rightward, though this panel also suggests that policy will continue to favor the crony businesses that the Republican leadership likes.

More speculations about Trump’s cabinet

This article gives a nice overview of the people who it appears are being considered for positions in a Trump presidency, should he win.

Unfortunately, it does not give a lot of background about the people mentioned. Many, like Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich, are well known. Others, like businessman Donald McGahn, are unknown. Some, like Senator Bob Corker, suggested as potential Secretary of State, would be a disaster, based on his past history of getting the Iran deal approved.
Some. like Harold Hamm and Steve Mnuchin, have been described here at BtB at the links behind their names, Hamm positively and Mnuchin negatively..

There is more at the link. Read it all. This list is a start. It will require vetting to get a sense of what we can expect from a Trump administration.

Note that there is a reason I am so focused on Trump and not Clinton. Trump remains an unknown, who might be worth voting for if it appears his plans as President are reasonable, something that might still be possible, despite all the negative reports I’ve given him. Moreover, there is a chance that Trump can be positively influenced. Learning as much about him as possible increases that possibility.

Clinton however is not an unknown. She is corrupt, a liar, and an avowed socialist who believes strongly in increasing the size and power of the federal government, as does the entire political party that supports her. To deny any of this is to live with your head in the sand. She thus needs no vetting.

Trump considers funding super-PACs to defeat Cruz and Kasich in later elections

Update on the November Democratic primary: Donald Trump is considering creating two super-pacs expressly focused at destroying the political careers of Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

During an event in Cleveland on Friday, Trump hinted at the prospect of funding an outside group against Cruz in the future.“Maybe I’ll set up a super-PAC if he decides to run,” Trump said of Cruz. Turning to his running mate Mike Pence he asked rhetorically, “Are you allowed to set up a super-PAC…if you are the president, to fight someone?”

The source close to Trump’s thinking indicated that Trump would consider forming the super-PAC whether or not he wins the presidential election in November.

This sure doesn’t sound like the actions of a Republican and conservative looking for allies within his party. Instead, it sounds like a Democrat who, having gotten the Republican nomination for President, can now stop pretending and begin the process of using his position to destroy the conservative movement in the United States in order to make it easier to impose liberal policies.

Trump’s supporters keep screaming that Cruz should have endorsed Trump for party unity. Well, the same applies to Trump — to bring the party together — only more so, since he has the nomination for president and as such is the de facto leader of the party. Moreover, while Cruz’s speech could have been more carefully worded, it nonetheless laid out the arguments for voting against Hillary Clinton and supporting all Republicans nationwide, even Trump (though unstated). Trump however is clearly doing the exact opposite, considering the investment of millions of his own money to actively work to defeat two of the party’s more conservative Republicans.

But hey, Trump can win! Who cares what he stands for!

Trump Treasury Secretary to be former Clinton donor and Goldman Sachs banker?

According to one Trump fund-raiser, should Donald Trump win the presidency he plans to nominate for his Treasury Secretary a former Clinton donor and Goldman Sachs banker.

[Steve] Mnuchin, who is a former donor to Hillary Clinton, spent 17 years with Goldman Sachs, where his father also had been a prominent executive. He later worked with investment groups affiliated with George Soros, including as chairman of controversial mortgage lender OneWest Bank Group (which would later be acquired by CIT Group). He also has spent time as both an art dealer and film producer.

Heh. I seem to remember how Ted Cruz was attacked because his wife worked for Goldman Sachs. Trump was going to save us from the big bankers!

I myself am not really bothered by this man’s connections with Goldman Sachs. What worries me is that Mnuchin previously supported Hillary Clinton and also has ties to the very leftwing money-man George Soros. Thus, this story once again underlines the need for voters to elect as many conservatives to Congress as possible, in order to limit the influence of Trump’s liberal friends.

Trump picks Pence

It appears that Donald Trump has chosen Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate.

This article provides a detailed look at Pence’s background, which is decidedly conservative and tightly linked with tea party philosophy.

Trump’s choice here is definitely encouraging. It suggests that his claimed conversion to conservative values might actually be sincere (though clearly shallow), because it suggests he is looking for conservatives to help him figure out how to be a conservative. As I’ve said repeatedly, the best way to make sure Trump governs as a constitutional conservative is to surround him with constitutional conservatives. This choice indicates that he is not going to resist that possibility.

Let me add that picking Pence could help Trump significantly in garnering support from the status quo Republicans that have been resisting him, since these same people respect Pence highly.

Let me also add one cautionary note. I have a memory of Pence at one point waffling on conservative principles for political gain, but I cannot at all remember the context or situation. Thus, it is important to remind ourselves repeatedly that these are all politicians, and that their interest is not necessarily that of the nation’s but of their own self-interest, which means getting elected. At any time they could toss the Constitution in the trash heap if that is what they think will get them votes. UPDATE: This article outlines Pence’s waffling as governor in Indiana, confirming my reservations about him.

It is therefore very important to not only surround Trump with conservatives, all politicians must be surrounded by voters who demand they defend our rights and our freedoms, as defined by the Constitution. Only then can we be reasonably assured that those rights will be defended.

New poll shows Trump barely winning Utah

More news on the upcoming November Democratic primary: A new poll in Utah shows Donald Trump getting only 29% of the vote, with Hillary Clinton getting 26%, and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson getting 16%.

The article correctly notes that Utah has been solidly Republican for decades, until now.

Bear in mind that Utah is a state that Mitt Romney won 73/25 over Barack Obama in 2012, boosted no doubt in part because of Romney’s Mormon faith. Still, John McCain won Utah in 2008 by a 63/34 margin as well. Utah has not been competitive in decades, with the smallest margin in recent times coming in 1996 — a 21-point win by Bob Dole on his way to a national defeat.

It appears that a large percentage of Utah’s conservative voters are choosing Johnson, which might be their only conservative choice, though sadly he might not be much of a conservative or libertarian as he claims From this second link:

When Johnson took the tiller in New Mexico in 1995, the budget stood at $4.397 billion. When he left in 2003, it had grown to $7.721 billion, an increase of 7.29 percent a year. Of the eleven governors who filed to run for president this year (two Democrats, Johnson, and eight Republicans), only one had a worse record on spending growth. In New Mexico, Bill Richardson, Johnson’s Democratic successor, clocked in a little better than he did, but Richardson’s successor, Susana Martinez, has shown what a fiscal conservative looks like: New Mexico currently spends less than it did when she took office. It’s not just at a state level that being more fiscally conservative than Johnson is a bipartisan achievement. Federal spending during the time Johnson was in office grew at an average annual rate of 4.49 percent. Late Clinton and early Bush weren’t as successful in their efforts to fight spending cuts as they might have been, but Johnson makes them look like Coolidge, and federal spending since then has grown at an average annual rate of 4.56 percent.

One piece of good news from the poll in the first article above. It shows down ticket Republicans doing very well, despite the poor support for the party’s presidential candidate. And that really is what is most important at this point. It is essential the public vote in as many conservatives as possible to force whomever is President to move in a conservative direction. As Milton Friedman so wisely noted,

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.

Another look at what President Trump would likely do

Link here. The author tries to thoughtfully predict what Trump will do should he win the Presidency, based on his record. This quote at the article’s beginning however describes Trump quite accurately:

My biases are clear up front: I don’t trust Trump. I don’t trust his promises, because he has shown no willingness to hold to them. I don’t trust his ideology, because he proclaims that his guiding star is his own self-assurance. I trust Trump to be Trump: a man of convenience, a thinker of no great depth, a reactionary with no constitutional understanding and a willingness to maximize executive power.

The analysis is fair, however, and notes some smart things Trump might do, based on his past record, as well as the dumb things we can expect from him.

I post this not to suggest I prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. I do not. Clinton is a corrupt, power-hungry leftwing ideologue who will magnify all the bad things Barack Obama has done, supported by a corrupt, power-hungry leftwing Democratic Party that likes everything Barack Obama has done. We need to do everything we can to prevent her election.

At the same time, we mustn’t blind ourselves to the problems we will face should Trump win. This article is a warning. Prepare yourself, because things are not going to be much better under a Trump presidency, and the best option for minimizing that damage is to make sure Congress is as conservative as possible.

Cruz supporters dominate Washtington state convention

The real Republican election: Though Donald Trump is likely to win the upcoming Washington primary and thus its delegates, at the state’s convention this weekend the party chose a slate of Ted Cruz backers to be those delegates, even if they have to vote for Trump.

This is how we change things, regardless of who wins the election in November. Get conservatives into government at the ground level. Have them dominate policy issues. Have them move up the ranks and dominate the state legislatures. Have those winners move up and dominate Congress.

We do that, and it won’t matter much who is president, because it will be these legislators who will control the agenda. In a sense, this is why Trump’s liberal tendencies are probably less of a threat than Clinton’s committed socialism. Give them both a conservative Congress and Trump, being more malleable, will bend to its will while Clinton, a hardline leftist, will fight it every step of the way. This is another reason I like Cruz. He understands this, which is why he worked so hard to build a grass-roots foundation for his campaign. He might not be the president, but when the next president starts trying to make policy it will be Cruz’s people who will guide him.

It is thus very important that conservatives do not boycott the upcoming elections, even if they choose not to vote for a presidential candidate. It is essential the Congress and the state legislatures remain firmly conservative, and for that to happen conservatives have to vote.

Why Trump and Cruz dominated campaign

Three stories today illustrate forcefully why voters in 2016 chose Donald Trump first as their Republican presidential candidate, with Ted Cruz a very strong second, while rejecting forcefully the establishment standard-bearers such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich.

The first story shows video of Hillary Clinton baffled because a businesswoman’s health insurance costs doubled since Obamacare was passed. Watch the video. She can’t even consider the possibility that Obamacare is the cause. She in fact says it is “a big step forward” only to have hostile groans ripple through the audience. Later she bluntly says “”What could have possibly raised your costs $400? That’s what I don’t understand?” and members of the audience once again laugh at this blindness.

Everyone knows that Obamacare has been a disaster that is driving costs up. Clinton refuses to recognize that, which is why she is having so much trouble clinching her party’s nomination, and why people dislike her so much.

The second story is about an investigation being launched by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Senate Republicans into the squelching of conservative news stories by Facebook. Rather than figure out how to get some control over the budget, these clowns want to harass a private company. Facebook’s actions might have been politically motivated, dishonest, and aimed at censoring conservative viewpoints, but they were also entirely legal under the first amendment. As noted here, the Senate has no business investigating Facebook. The Republicans calling for this investigation should sit down and shut up. Moreover, by even focusing on this Thune is demonstrating why the Republicans who now run Congress have failed so miserably in garnering voter support.

The third story is an example why Cruz, and Trump, were successful and popular with voters In his return to Washington, Ted Cruz didn’t whine about his defeat by Trump, or attack or insult the voters. Instead, he focused in on why Trump and he did well.

“All across this country people are hungry for change. This election cycle should be a wake-up call to Washington, D.C.,” the senator from Texas said outside his office. “The frustration and volcanic anger with Washington was echoed throughout this election.”

If the Republicans had for example simply done what Ted Cruz has tried to do in Congress these past few years, get Obamacare defunded, even if it meant closing down the government, they might not now be faced with having Donald Trump as their standard-bearer. By refusing to fight for the things the voters wanted, they disqualified themselves in the voters eyes, which is why they lost.

Does Trump have the best space policy?

This opinion column looks at the three remaining politicians campaigning for president, and finds that Donald Trump probably has the most favorable position toward commercial space.

While all three candidates mouth favorable platitudes towards NASA and space exploration, all three also express reluctance to fund a giant government space program. Trump however was the only one to note the positive aspects of commercial space and express

…support for the government partnering with private space companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX. “I think there needs to be a growing partnership between the government and the private sector as we continue to explore space,” Trump told AIAA. “There seems to be tremendous overlap of interests so it seems logical to go forward together.”

Obviously, one can’t and shouldn’t put much faith in what any politician says during the campaign. Nonetheless, this might be a hopeful sign that if elected, Trump would push to dump NASA’s SLS/Orion and have NASA instead focus on buying space exploration services designed and operated by private companies.

Trump’s new finance chief donates 2x more to Democrats than Republicans

Researching November’s Democratic primary: The man Donald Trump just appointed as his finance chairman routinely donates twice as much to Democrats than he does to Republicans, and has deep ties with the Democratic Party’s most liberal wing.

Beyond his contributions, Mnuchin’s past employers don’t fall in line with Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail. Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs partner and worked for liberal mega-donor George Soros’s hedge fund. He also contributed to a group called America Coming Together, which was largely funded by Soros and unions.

But don’t worry. We now have two candidates who will fix Obamacare and make sure the foreign policy of the United States is run by the same people that have been doing it for the past eight years.

You asked for this

The post is short but this is the essence: “Given the choice between a dozen solid conservatives and one Clinton-supporting con artist and game-show host, you chose the con artist.”

Nothing can change the fact that all of Donald Trump’s past and recent history suggest that he is a moderate liberal Democrat. I expect him to rule in exactly that way should he win the presidency. He won’t be as corrupt or as leftwing as Clinton, but considering the power the federal government already wields, his willingness to support and use it will nonetheless contribute to the continuing decline in American freedom.

I hope I am wrong. I sadly do not expect that.

The stupid party, part 2

Update: Thomas Sowell chimes in, expressing some of the same thoughts I do below.

As we approach the Indiana primary next Tuesday, it appears that we are also approaching the moment of truth for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the Republican Party. And not surprisingly, that party appears ready to once again shoot itself in the foot, as it did in 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012.

Polls show that the race is very tight, though the momentum seems to be favoring Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, national polls as well as the analysis of most political insiders say that Trump will lose to Hillary Clinton in November, while those same polls and insiders say that Ted Cruz has a far better shot at winning the national election.

In other words, it looks like Republican voters are going to pick the weaker of the two candidates for their nominee.

Pretty dumb, eh? What makes it even dumber is that even the slightest honest appraisal of the political beliefs of Donald Trump quickly reveals himself to be a RINO, a liberal Democrat with many ties to the corrupt political establishments of both parties. In addition, his political positions both before and during the campaign have revealed himself repeatedly to be a liberal Democratic in all things except illegal immigration, and even here he has shown indications that he will go soft once in office.

Trump is not a corrupt lying politician like Hillary Clinton. He would definitely be a better choice than her. Moreover, the insiders and the polls might be wrong about his chances against her, but I do not think so. Trump’s primary election results suggested to me that he has the support, like Mitt Romney, of a large minority of moderate Republicans and moderate former Democrats (concentrated in the northeast) that will not translate into a majority in the general election. If anything, he has set himself up to be a nice target for the press to destroy, once he is the Republican candidate.

For the Republican Party to favor him over Ted Cruz, a committed conservative who has repeatedly proven his willingness to stand up for these ideals, even under terrible fire from the press, the left, and the Republican leadership that really doesn’t want the right to win, is either madness, or it shows that the country in general no long believes in the ideals that founded it.

I’m not sure which it is, but either way, the future does not look good.

Vet charities not getting promised Trump donations

What does this tell us? Three months after Donald Trump held a charity event for veterans rather than participate in a presidential debate, more than half of the $6 million raised has not been given to any of the veteran organizations.

A survey by The Wall Street Journal of 19 of the 22 groups originally listed by Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign as the prospective recipients of the funds found that they had received roughly $2.4 million of the estimated $6 million in donations the campaign said the event generated. The total received by all of the groups is likely to be more.

Take-aways from Cruz’s win in Wisconsin

Link here. Key quote, which I think accurately predicts what will happen in the next few months:

Trump will not win 1237 delegates before the convention. The question is whether Cruz can catch him in a plurality or get close to it and win a mandate. It’s quite obvious that Trump’s victories during the first half of the race were a result of unprecedented name ID and a divided field. He would have lost most states had this been a one-on-one contest, which tells you that the majority of voters don’t want him. Thus, even if Cruz comes up short of a plurality, as long as he wins the aforementioned states, the Texas Senator will have a moral mandate when he likely wins a delegate race on the second ballot. Trump will argue that it doesn’t reflect the will of the voters, but it’s clear that 60% of voters in most states don’t want him. He only won in previous states because of Rubio, and the remaining wins come as a result of Kasich staying in the race or non-Republican voters.

The article has lots of good information and analysis. It correctly notes that if John Kasich would do the sensible and honorable thing and end his campaign now, Cruz’s path to the nomination would be significantly cleared.

Tea party Republican wins primary for John Boehner’s seat

A conservative tea party Republican has won the primary for former House Speaker John Boehner’s congressional seat.

If anything should tell the Republican leadership that they aren’t doing what the voters want, even more than the presidential campaign, it is this story. Boehner did nothing but show contempt for the tea party Freedom Caucus in the House, doing anything he could to block them. In the end, they were instrumental in getting him ousted. And as the article notes,

Davidson’s win Tuesday could give those [tea party] lawmakers reason to dig their heels in as things escalate. They can make their case to Republican leaders that, sure, putting their foot down on a proposed budget that increases spending might hinder Republicans’ goal of passing a budget on time. But what they’re doing is really in the interest of a growing number of Republican voters. Look no further than this highly symbolic seat they just won.

Even though I have serious doubts about Donald Trump’s conservatism, his rise is just another indication that the voters are pissed off at the leadership in Congress, from both parties. That leadership had better change its stripes soon, or it will find others taking their place, as has happened with John Boehner..

Democratic fascists force cancellation of Trump rally

Fascists: Upset that a Republican candidate they disagree with planned to hold a rally in Chicago, thousands of protesters threatened violence at tonight’s Trump rally and forced Trump to cancel the event.

In a telephone interview after postponing his event in Chicago, Trump said he didn’t “want to see people hurt or worse” at the rally, telling MSNBC, “I think we did the right thing.”

But Chicago police said they had sufficient manpower on scene to handle the situation and did not recommended Trump cancel the rally. That decision was made “independently” by the campaign, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

I am not a supporter of Donald Trump, but I will always defend to the death his right to speak. These protesters are merely an extension of the oppressive academic leftwing movement that tolerates no dissent, and does whatever it can to silence and squelch any opposition. That was their goal tonight, and they succeeded. And if you doubt my conclusions, consider this quote from the above article:

Veronica Kowalkowsky, an 18-year-old Trump supporter, said she had no ill will toward the protesters — but didn’t think they felt the same way. “I feel a lot of hate,” she said. “I haven’t said anything bad to anyone.”

Chicago community activist Quo Vadis said hundreds of protesters had positioned themselves in groups around the arena, and they intended to demonstrate right after Trump took the stage. Their goal, he said, was “for Donald to take the stage and to completely interrupt him. The plan is to shut Donald Trump all the way down.” [emphasis mine]

Sadly, it was Trump’s nonchalant encouragement of violence against protesters that helped inflame this situation. In some ways he is as guilty of misbehavior as are these protesters.

Update: Read this eye-witness account of what happened at the rally tonight, and weep for the death of free speech and freedom in America.

“The Republican Establishment is Worse Than Trump.”

Link here. This article is a nice bookend to my previous post, as it outlines quite nicely the reasons why Donald Trump is doing so well. As the author says,

Donald Trump is not the candidate I want to see Republican voters select, but I do love the fact that he’s raised a giant middle finger two inches from the face of the Republicans who prefer to mock, ignore and alienate those of us who put them into power rather than fight for God, country and conservatism.

The author also does a nice job of reviewing the history of the past six years, starting with the 2010 election when the voters gave the Republicans control of the House in one of the biggest landslides in decades, followed four years later by an even bigger landslide to give them the Senate. What did that Republican leadership do with those victories? Nothing. And when a handful of Senators and Congressmen (included Ted Cruz) tried to fight back against the Democratic Party’s agenda, the Republican leadership in Congress acted horrified and appalled.

The article at the link is also interesting in that it opens with a very telling quote from Cruz, noting how that Republican leadership only has outrage against anyone who tries to give the voters what they were promised.

What’s considered unpleasant in the Senate is not lack of civility – you can insult the heck out of each other although I don’t engage in that. What’s considered unpardonable is actually speaking the truth and doing what you said you would do and even worse making clear, shining the light on the fact that there are a whole lot of other people willing to do exactly the opposite of what they said they would do. That’s treated as the unpardonable sin, how dare you be so selfish – and it’s funny they use the term selfish – as to actually honor the commitments to your constituents.

Which is why it doesn’t bother me in slightest that Cruz is rumored to be hated in the Senate. He should be hated in the Senate. He hasn’t been playing their corrupt game.

“How I Went from Trump Curious to Anti-Trump.”

Link here. The essay describes how the author started out somewhat supportive and intrigued positively by Trump, and has ended up opposing him. Key quote:

You can read Trump in two different ways. You can see his bluster and lack of any policy knowledge as refreshing. You can see his hyperpersonal style and enormous ego as somehow “authentic.”

On the other hand, you can see a guy who’s entire life is devoted to persuading people to get into business with him. A salesman, trying to make a sale. And you can start to see that the salesman really has no interest in his actual product, and no real intent to abide by the terms of the contract. A salesman who is just willing to say whatever he needs you to say to sign the dotted line — and who will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to abide by those contract terms, should they become inconvenient later.

The thing is, while I can’t make anyone see this way, I can tell you I went from being a Type 1 person to a Type 2 person. I would waver between these views of Trump, but then eventually I was won to the Type 2 way of seeing things, and now that I see it, I can’t not see it. [emphasis in original]

The essay describes exactly what I expect a majority of Americans will go through should Donald Trump get the Republican nomination for president. In the end, a majority will become anti-Trump, and he will lose.

Violence against reporter and protesters at Trump events

Link here. The article is focused on a protester getting punched at a rally yesterday but it also includes details of other similar events, as well as the story of Trump’s campaign manager physically manhandling a reporter for asking a question.

I realize that people are angry, both the Trump supporters and the protesters at his rallies. Nonetheless, the worst thing we can do is become violent over these disagreements, as that violence will do nothing to solve our problems. Instead, it will likely make them worse.

One more point however: So far it appears that this violence has only occurred at Trump events. Worse, Trump himself has sometimes encouraged his supporters to treat protesters roughly. From my perspective, it is exactly this behavior by him that will work against Trump in the general election. Americans will not take kindly to it, and he will be damaged by it.

The stupid party

The nickname for the Republican Party for the past few decades has been that of the “stupid” party. Why it has this reputation can be explained in numerous ways, from how its leadership in Congress routinely gets hosed in negotiations with Democrats, from how its Presidents since Reagan have routinely allowed liberals from the Democratic Party to dictate policy, from how the party since 2000 has routinely picked losers as its Presidential picks, and from how it has squandered every election victory it has earned since the day Ronald Reagan retired in 1988.

I think two stories today demonstrate that the stupidity is not limited just to the party’s leadership. In the first, we find that in every poll taken comparing a head-to-head election with Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz does better than Donald Trump.

Polling has consistently shown Cruz to have an advantage over Trump in this regard: Fox News found that Cruz would fare 4 points better than Trump, beating Clinton by 7 points (50 to 43 percent) to Trump’s 3 (47 to 44 percent). NBC News and the Wall Street Journal found that Cruz would fare 6 points better than Trump, losing to Clinton by 4 points (49 to 45 percent) to Trump’s 10 (51 to 41 percent). And Quinnipiac found that Cruz would fare 5 points better than Trump, tying Clinton (at 45 percent apiece) while Trump would lose by 5 points (46 to 41 percent).

Nor should we be surprised by this. Trump might sound good now, but when he has to face Clinton (or anyone) in the election, his negatives, which are yuge (to coin a phrase) will sink him. Meanwhile, Cruz’s smart campaign strategy and his remarkable skill at debate make him a wonderful candidate. To paraphrase what he has said numerous times on the campaign trail, I can’t wait to get him in a head-to-head debate with Clinton or Sanders. He will make them look like fools.

In the second story, we find that Trump is crushing all opposition in South Carolina. Cruz comes closest, but even his best poll there so far has him losing by a good margin.

It appears no one is considering the eventual election. Instead, Republicans appear posed to pick a cool reality television star who happens to have a lot of money, merely because he is a cool television star that happens to have a lot of money.

There is madness here, and that madness can only lead to the kinds of villainy that eventually led to the deaths of millions, in places that also put their faith in strong personality cults.

The politics of high fantasy

Link here.

Beyond railing against the wreckage, the other commonality between the two big New Hampshire winners is in the nature of the cure they offer. Let the others propose carefully budgeted five-point plans. Sanders and Trump offer magic.

Take Sanders’ New Hampshire victory speech. It promised the moon: college education, free; universal health care, free; world peace, also free because we won’t be “the policeman of the world” (mythical Sunni armies will presumably be doing that for us). Plus a guaranteed $15 minimum wage. All to be achieved by taxing the rich. Who can be against a “speculation” tax (whatever that means)?

So with Trump. Leave it to him. Jobs will flow back in a rush from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from everywhere. Universal health care, with Obamacare replaced by “something terrific.” Veterans finally taken care of. Drugs stopped cold at the border. Indeed, an end to drug addiction itself. Victory upon victory of every kind.

How? That question never comes up anymore. No one expects an answer. His will be done, on Earth if not yet in heaven. Yes, people love Trump’s contempt for the “establishment” — which as far as I can tell means anything not Trump — but what is truly thrilling is the promise of a near-biblical restoration. As painless as Sanders’.

I would say that this above all is my biggest problem with Trump. As good a deal maker as he claims he is, he really seems to have a very childish and naive understanding of what he’ll be able to do once in the White House. Worse, he might very well decide that following the Constitution is too much of a bother, and that though he might think that Obama had the right idea to chew hard at its limits along the edges, maybe it would be better if President Trump tore it apart with his teeth.

Even more frightening to me is the apparent naive belief the electorate seems to have in these pie-in-the-sky promises. Our civilized society cannot stand if our citizenry has become so muddled-brained that it sees these promises as realistic.

The candidates’ take on science

The journal Science today posted this somewhat useful review of the positions that the presidential candidates have taken on a variety of science issues.

One must read this article while recognizing that Science is not trustworthy on many of these subjects. For one, its position is always for more funding. If a politician even suggests that the rate of budget increases should be trimmed, Science will frame that suggestion as if the politician wants to slash all spending for science.

For another, Science is quite biased and agenda-driven when it comes to climate change, and illustrates that bias in this article in its reporting on Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his position on this subject. To quote:

Cruz has used his position as head of a Senate subcommittee that oversees climate research to question recent temperature trends. Last fall Cruz called climate change a “religion.” Voted no on a measure affirming that humans contribute to climate change. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words above is a misstatement of what Cruz has said and serves to trivialize his position. He hasn’t questioned the “temperature trends”, which for almost two decades have been stalled. If anything, he has noted these trends as evidence that the theory of human-caused global warming has a problem. What he has questioned is the data that NOAA and NASA have been publishing. If anything, Cruz’s positions on the science of climate change have indicated that he has educated himself well on the subject, and has taken some thoughtful positions on it.

Nonetheless, this article is worth reviewing, as it reveals a great deal about the candidates. A close look for example at Rubio’s position on climate change reveals that he might not be consistent, and that his stated positions now might not match what he does should he become president.

Iowa results suggest strong Cruz future

Ted Cruz’s strong win in the Iowa caucuses tonight, combined with a record turnout of Republican voters (180K+) indicates that his support is far deeper than any poll or expert had predicted. Every prediction had insisted that if the turnout was big, Donald Trump would win. As noted at the second link, “By Team Cruz’s own admission, turnout of 175,000 tonight would strongly favor a Trump win.”.

Instead, the turnout was 180,000, and Trump lost to Cruz handily and was almost beaten by Marco Rubio.

On the other side of the aisle Clinton appears to have barely squeaked by Sanders. To me the more significant number is that the Democrats could only marshal about 10,000 voters, far less than in the past and suggesting that the enthusiasm for either of their candidates is weak.

Two thoughtful endorsements of Ted Cruz

While cable television and the general media goes nuts of the childish feud between Donald Trump and Fox News, Ted Cruz today got two different endorsements that not only supported his nomination for president, but also outlined in detail two completely different reasons for supporting him.

The first, at the website Legal Insurrection, outlined Ted Cruz’s consistent and long term history as a trustworthy constitutional conservative. Not only does the article review Cruz’s history in the Senate, where he did whatever he could to fulfill his campaign promises (often prevented from doing so by his own Republican caucus), the article also looks at his background before becoming a senator. Its conclusion?

In short, Cruz has a long (dating back to his early teens) record of being a conservative in both principle and action.  He didn’t bound out of bed one day, put his finger to the wind, and decide to become a conservative (as was charged against Mitt Romney, among others); he’s always been a conservative. [emphasis in original]

Conservatives have been complaining for decades that they can’t get a reliable conservative nominated to run for president. With Cruz, we actually have that chance, and he will be running against the weakest Democratic candidate since George McGovern.

The second article outlines Cruz’s particular advantages for cleaning out the bureaucratic corruption in the Justice Department and elsewhere in the federal government.
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Trump: “Let’s get to be a little establishment.”

In attacking Ted Cruz today, presidential candidate Donald Trump revealed exactly why I really don’t trust him, and consider him no different than Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, Romney, and all the other fake conservatives the Republican Party has been foisting on us for the last twenty years.

“You know what? There’s a point at which: Let’s get to be a little establishment,” Trump told the crowd at the South Point resort and casino. “We’ve got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don’t worry. We’re going to make such great deals.”

In other words, expect from Trump (who still is essentially an old-fashioned liberal Democrat) the same kind of horrible budget and political deals we been getting from the Republican leadership for the six years — doing nothing to stop the Democratic Party’s leftwing agenda.

Trump criticized Cruz for being “strident”, thus preventing him from compromising with the Washington leadership. To that I say, “Amen!,” and loudly. The time has come for some real stridency, not the verbal fake stridency of Trump, who sometimes sounds like a tough guy but in the end is going to endorse everything the Democrats have been pushing, albeit in a less radical way.

Once again, I must add, that should Trump be the Republican candidate, I will still vote for him. Trump is not the radical leftwing ideologue that is Sanders. Nor is he corrupt like Clinton. He will at least act to delay the worst leftwing policies, thus delaying the final collapse slightly. And delay is still good in this context, as it will give us an opportunity to right the ship later before it sinks.

A cold-eyed look at Trump’s actual record

Link here. Key quote:

While Sessions, Cruz, and others on the outside like myself were fighting the worst immigration bill of our generation in 2013, Trump was promoting the Dream Act. When it really mattered he wasn’t with us.

Moreover, what sort of judges would Trump nominate? Where does he stand on proposals to rein in the lawless courts? If he believes the courts are the law of the land, even when they violate the most fundamental rights or original intent of the Constitution, as he did with religious liberty, what will he do when the courts inevitably use the same phantom 14th Amendment legal theory to toss out his immigration proposals?

While I will vote for Trump in a heartbeat should he be the Republican candidate running against either Clinton or Sanders, he isn’t yet that candidate, and conservative voters have an obligation to look at him honestly. From my perspective, he is not the candidate I want, as he in the end will likely not really change anything as President, but instead continue the general policies that have gotten us where we are. He might make some radical changes around the edges, on hot-button issues like immigration, but overall his political philosophy is that of a traditional liberal East Coast New Yorker.

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