Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cruz: I'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacked my wife and father

Ted Cruz gave an awesome speech last night

He really has me rethinking what I am going to do come November.  The crowd actually boo-ed him for saying people should vote for the person who will defend our freedom and remain faithful to the constitution?  This is the Party I am a member of?  I got involved in politics to defend our freedom and our constitution for heaven's sake.  Johnson/Weld is looking better and better all the time.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Anatomy of a Trump Ceiling in Wisconsin

It's simple, the vast majority of the other candidates' supporters can't stand him (from Public Policy Polling):

Reading what Trump says is actually worse than listening to what he says

I was reading the Trump Town Hall comments.  Read the below and try to tell me what Trump actually believes on nuclear proliferation.  It's like he is a drunk crazy person from North Philadelphia:

COOPER:  Let's talk about nuclear issues because you talked about this in a really interesting article in The New York Times.

TRUMP:  One of the very, very big issues.  I think maybe the biggest issue of our time.

COOPER:  That's what you said to The New York Times.  You said you worried about the proliferation of nuclear weapons…

TRUMP:  Right.

COOPER:  … the most.  You also said, though, that you might support Japan and South Korea developing nuclear weapons of their own.  Isn't that completely contradictory?

TRUMP:  No, not at all.  Look, you have North Korea has nuclear weapons.  And he doesn't have a carrier yet but he has got nuclear weapons.  He soon will have.  We don't want to pull the trigger.  We're just - you know, we have a president, frankly, that doesn't - nobody is afraid of our president.  Nobody respects our president.
You take a look at what's going on throughout the world.  It's not the country that it was.

COOPER:  But if you're concerned about proliferation, letting other countries get nuclear weapons, isn't that proliferation?

TRUMP:  No, no.  We owe $19 $trillion, we have another $2 trillion because of the very, very bad omnibus budget that was just signed.  It's a disgrace, which gives everything that Obama wanted.  We get nothing.  They get everything.
So that's going to be $21 trillion.  We are supporting nations now, militarily, we are supporting nations like Saudi Arabia which was making during the good oil days which was a year ago, now they're making less but still a lot, $1 billion a day.
We are supporting them, militarily, and pay us a fraction, a fraction of what they should be paying us and of the cost.  We are supporting Japan.  Most people didn't even know that.  Most people didn't know that we are taking care of Japan's military needs.  We're supporting…

TRUMP:  Excuse me, excuse me, we're supporting Germany.  We're supporting South Korea.  I order thousands of television sets because I am in the real estate business, you know, in my other life, OK.

COOPER:  It has been a U.S. policy for decades to prevent Japan from getting a nuclear weapon.

TRUMP:  That might be policy, but maybe…

COOPER:  South Korea as well.

TRUMP:  Can I be honest are you?  Maybe it's going to have to be time to change, because so many people, you have Pakistan has it, you have China has it.  You have so many other countries are now having it…

COOPER:  So some proliferation is OK?

TRUMP:  No, no, not proliferation.  I hate nuclear more than any.  My uncle was a professor was at MIT, used to (AUDIO GAP) nuclear, he used to tell me about the problem.

COOPER:  But that's contradictory about Japan and South Korea.

TRUMP:  (AUDIO GAP) Iran is going to have it very - within…

COOPER:  But that's proliferation.

TRUMP:  Excuse me, one of the dumbest I've ever seen signed ever, ever, ever by anybody, Iran is going to have it within 10 years.  Iran is going to have it.  I thought it was a very good interview in The New York Times.

COOPER:  So you have no problem with Japan and South Korea having…

TRUMP:  I thought…

COOPER:  … nuclear weapons.

TRUMP:  At some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we're better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have…

COOPER:  Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?

TRUMP:  Saudi Arabia, absolutely.

COOPER:  You would be fine with them having nuclear weapons?

TRUMP:  No, not nuclear weapons, but they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us.
Here's the thing, with Japan, they have to pay us or we have to let them protect themselves.

COOPER:  So if you said, Japan, yes, it's fine, you get nuclear weapons, South Korea, you as well, and Saudi Arabia says we want them, too?

TRUMP:  Can I be honest with you?  It's going to happen, anyway.  It's going to happen anyway.  It's only a question of time.  They're going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.
But you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them.
Now, wouldn't you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?  And they do have them.  They absolutely have them.  They can't - they have no carrier system yet but they will very soon.
Wouldn't you rather have Japan, perhaps, they're over there, they're very close, they're very fearful of North Korea, and we're supposed to protect.

COOPER:  So you're saying you don't want more nuclear weapons in the world but you're OK with Japan and South Korea having nuclear weapons?

TRUMP:  I don't want more nuclear weapons.  I think that - you know, when I hear Obama get up and say the biggest threat to the world today is global warming, I say, is this guy kidding?
The only global warming - the only global warming I'm worried about is nuclear global warming because that's the single biggest threat.  So it's not that I'm a fan - we can't afford it anymore.  We're sitting on a tremendous bubble.  We're going to be - again, $21 trillion.  We don't have money.

Gotta say I love this new Ted Cruz ad

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mark my words, if given the opportunity, Rubio will betray the #NeverTrump folks and that movement will melt away

The #NeverTrump hashtag has become very popular, especially with the conservative cool kids but I believe it has probably already reached its high water mark or will soon.  It's March 1st today and as someone who has usually picked the most conservative candidate in previous Presidential contests, I'm very familiar to losing and the emotions that go with it. Last go around, on April 25, 2012, I wrote "Screw the GOP, they don't seem to want my vote anyway" in which I quit the GOP and endorsed Gary Johnson.  Let's just say that way of thinking didn't survive to November and by then I was very pro-Mitt Romney (at least in a race vs. Obama).  Once the heat of the moment passes, you think about things in a more practical way like "do I really want the Democrats in office for another four years" and suddenly you don't hate the target of your hatred so much anymore.  So this natural progression is probably enough to doom #NeverTrump anyway but there is another reason why I think it is doomed.  Marco Rubio.

I know Marco Rubio has been attacking Trump on a very personal basis in the last week but at some point he is going to realize that he isn't going to win the nomination and if Trump is the one winning, he will go begging to the Trumpster to be his VP no matter what he says.  Why would he do this?  Because he has no other choice.  He already said he won't be running for re-election to the Senate and probably wouldn't win if he did (he only has 31% of the Florida electorate viewing him favorably according to PPP Polling).  Those numbers also indicate that he probably couldn't be elected Governor in 2018 either.  So if he wants to stay in elected politics, being Trump's VP will be his best option (and Trump will love to have Rubio crawl back to him begging). 

It just seems so inevitable that he will betray #NeverTrump just like he betrayed all those voters who went with him because he claimed to be anti-amnesty.  And once he does so, all the establishment opposition to Trump will melt away as how can they go against their golden boy Rubio, the man next in line to be President?  Sure, there will be some refuseniks but it will probably be about the same number of people who didn't vote for Mitt either.

Monday, February 22, 2016

There is no realistic way for Rubio to get greater than 50% of the delegates

I know people keep saying that we've only had 3 states vote and so there is plenty of time for the race to turn around for Rubio, who has yet to win a single state, especially now that he is getting establishment support.  I really don't think so, the math is just very daunting.  You just have to realize that by the end of March 15th, 59.9% of the delegates will have been allocated.  Is there any scenario here where Rubio does well and gets large amounts of delegates when there will be four major candidates competing, Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich (who says he is in the race at least until after the OH primary on March 15)? 

Let's assume that Rubio runs the table after March 15th, taking every single state, including Trump's home state of NY and other northeastern liberal states where Trump should do well like NJ and CT (note, that in the latest MA poll, Trump is winning by 34 points, with 50% of the vote).  Well, that's still 40% of the delegates, he also needs to get 245 more delegates before the end of March 15th in order to get to the magic 1,237 delegate number.  Even getting to 245 (about 16.5% of the total) will be extremely tough.  Most states are deep red states where Trump and Cruz should finish 1 or 2.  Other states, like Massachusetts are very liberal and would likely go heavily towards Trump.  Heck at this point it's not even clear Rubio is going to carry Florida on the 15th.  While 245 delegates out of 1,480 doesn't sound like a lot, you have to understand that so far he has 10 out of 103, so less than 10% of the total allocated.

Regardless on whether than 245 is doable, we have to understand that there is zero chance of him running the table at the end.  If you just eliminate NY, NJ and CT, which I believe are core Trump states, that takes 174 delegates off the table and makes him now get 419 by the end of March 15th or 28% of the total up to that point.  I really don't see how he could possibly get that much in a 4 way race with lots of Trump and Cruz friendly states in the mix.  Plus, winning with 419 still requires him to win in places like PA and WV (105 delegates total), which are heavily blue-collar and very Trump oriented.  It also requires him to win Cruz friendly states like SD, MT and NE (92 total). 

Note that Nate Silver estimates that Rubio will need to have 632 delegates through March 15th with is 43% of the total while in a 4 way race where states are apportioned proportionally.  Again, I just don't see any realistic way that this could happen.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why I might prefer Trump to Rubio

No, I didn't have a brain tumor for breakfast, it's just last night's loss in South Carolina had me thinking, if Ted Cruz doesn't do well on Super Tuesday, I might have to make a choice.  For if Cruz isn't able to get a heap of delegates and state wins in the SEC primary, what exactly will be his path to victory?  He has focused his campaign on social issues and immigration which I've said time and time again is a mistake.  People care about the economy, people care about jobs and he should have focused on those issues.  Instead, Trump did and many of the people Cruz was targeting went to Trump instead.  Cruz can still turn it around but, in the case that he doesn't, I'm going to have to make a choice between two candidates I really hate, Trump and Rubio.  And despite all the bad things I have said about Trump, I might actually prefer him to Rubio.

Now I know, Rubio's voting record is only a little less conservative than Ted Cruz's so how does it make sense that I choose someone like Trump over someone who is technically more conservative than Jesse Helms?  Because I don't trust Rubio's record.  I think many of his votes he just went along with the conservative crowd because he needed to have a conservative record for the election and he didn't particularly care about the issue.  When you look at the issues he does care about, foreign policy/national security, and immigration, there is a lot I really don't like.

On national security, he has thrown in with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, with no civil liberty that isn't worth stomping on and no dictator that is not worth overthrowing.  He was in favor of overthrowing Qaddafi, when we had zero national interest for doing so, and he is currently for putting boots on the ground in Syria, again, where we have zero national interest.  His foreign policy adventurism will be expensive and is something we can't afford.  Try balancing the budget when you are throwing money at the military AND are sending troops everywhere.

On immigration, he obviously threw in with the Democrats in trying to legalize millions of illegal aliens while only paying lip service to border security.  His list of wrongdoing here is pretty extensive so if you want a complete rundown, check out what the conservative legend Phyllis Schlafly has to say about it (seriously there just is so much, from broken promises to defeating amendments that would have not allowed legal status for gang members).  And obviously, we all know, if Rubio is President the wall will NEVER EVER be built and the invasion along our southern border will continue.

I have this feeling that in many ways a Rubio administration will be a lot like a third term for George W.  We will see a lot of military adventurism, spending controls will go out the window and none of the changes that need to be made, will be made. 

And this is why I think I might prefer Trump.  Now, I'm not kidding myself, in many ways he is a Democrat, but I think he will shake things up for the better in certain key areas.  First, he believes in a wall along our southern border, which is something we desperately need.  Second, he will try to get jobs back into this country by dialing back some of the free trade agreements that have completely gutted our manufacturing base.  We don't make anything anymore.  Instead of having lots of skilled labor, we have lots of burger flippers and customer service reps.  Our country and our economy are dying.  Third, he is a businessman who is used to seeing profits (I know he had four bankrupt companies but he has been more profitable than unprofitable) and so the fact that we keep running up yuge deficits will be a problem for him.  Fourth, as he said in last night's SC victory speech, he will be appointing businesspeople for government posts instead of just "political hacks".  That is something we desperately need as it is the only way we will get real change.  Finally, he is very clearly not a military adventurist.  Now I don't want to get into an argument of if he opposed the Iraq war or not, it's clear he didn't until after but I don't think it would have been his decision to go in if he were President back then.  It's one thing to support something that your President has decided on, it's another to come up with the idea in the first place.

And if you haven't noticed, Trump is the one reassembling the Reagan coalition.  He has conservatives, moderates, independents and democrats backing him.  Even the Teamsters are considering a general election endorsement of him (the last time they did endorse a Republican for President was Reagan).  Rubio doesn't have a chance of doing that as he just doesn't have a connection with the white working class.

2016 is a very important election and may be one of the last chances we have to elect someone who can actually make a difference.  Rubio, he won't be making a difference.  It will be just the same old disappointing Republican administration.  With Trump, he will shake things up and at least in a few areas, it will be for the better.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

ICYMI: Ted Cruz made a great case for himself at yesterday's press conference

Ted Cruz knocked it out of the park last night at the CNN Town Hall

Ted Cruz did a great job last night at the CNN Town Hall.  He came across as knowledgeable, serious, honest, funny and loving (seriously, how can anyone who sings to his wife on the phone be a bad guy?).  This is exactly what he needed and I think he changed quite a few minds.

Part I:

Part II:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trump's huge support among the white working class is because they have been suppressd by the GOPe for almost 30 years.

Trump's disastrous candidacy (disastrous for the GOP and conservatism) is all the fault of the GOP establishment, pure and simple.  The last Republican nominee who actually seemed to give a crap about the white working class was Ronald Reagan (who even got the endorsement of the Teamsters twice!) but once the blue-blooded country club Republican George H.W. became President, the white working class within the GOP was ignored or outright suppressed.

Their core beliefs were constantly denigrated and they were called all sorts of names, bigot or racist being the worst.  They were sick of minorities getting preferential treatment in hiring and college admissions.  They were sick of losing their jobs to off-the-book illegal immigrants who can always work for less as there are no taxes associated with hiring them.  They were sick of their factories shutting down so that employers could make a killing having their products made by people working at slave wages.  They were sick of billions in foreign aid would go to those very same countries (e.g. the $50 billion bailout package given to Mexico just one year after NAFTA went into force).

These white working class Americans found a champion in Patrick Buchanan, who could speak their language as he cared about what they cared about and, importantly, understood them thanks to his own blue collar roots. Unfortunately, instead of making substantive responses to Buchanan and the Buchanan Brigades,  the establishment carpet bombed them with ad hominem attacks.  They essentially tried to shame this large part of the electorate to death.  It worked for a while, even as there were fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs and these white working class Americans stood a better chance of finding a job at a Chick-fil-a rather than actually building something.  W didn't speak for them as he was just a born-again blue blood.  McCain was focused almost exclusively on foreign policy and campaign finance reform and Mitt had laid off scores of workers while at Bain.

The GOP establishment liked focusing on "small business owners", but there are comparatively few of them and many of the working class knew the GOP only mentioned them in arguments that attempted to lower tax rates on the rich, people they really don't give a crap about.  Notice how every election year every GOP candidate has to come out with a tax plan even though taxes are low on the list of what the white working class cares about.  No, they don't want to pay 50% of their pay in taxes but they generally aren't with effective tax rates that are often under 10% for people in their income range.  They care about jobs and what the GOP will do about it.  And they don't want to hear how changes in regulations etc. will eventually bring jobs back.  These people are living paycheck to paycheck and need relief NOW!  If the establishment hadn't been ignoring and suppressing these people for the last 30 years, maybe they would have more cushion so they could be more patient.  But the cushion is gone and the patience is gone.

They are with Trump because he is a man of action and believe that if he comes to power he might actually force factories to come back to their area so they can have real jobs again.  He will shut off the tidal wave of off-the-book labor that is constantly streaming over the border, costing them jobs.  He is not a conservative ideologue like Buchanan but at this point they are too desperate to care.

So now the GOP faces complete and utter disaster.  I have no doubt that  Trump can win the general, that's not why I think it will be a disaster.  He'll be a disaster because the vast majority of his beliefs are non-conservative and will lead many Republicans to question what's the point of voting Republican if this is what we get?  What the point if the best we can do is nominate a national socialist to face off with an international socialist?

Actions have consequences and the GOP establishment calling their own voters bigots, racists and isolationists is having some very negative repercussions both for the party and the nation as a whole.

Let's all pray that Ted Cruz can pull it off on Saturday, he might be our last hope.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ted Cruz on ABC's This Week

Ted Cruz does a great job on Meet the Press

Thoughts on the South Carolina Debate

I just finished watching the debate (I was only able to watch part of it last night) and I have to say that probably nobody actually won it.  In a normal election Trump would have blown himself up by blaming 9/11 on a Republican President who had just entered office, by defending Planned Parenthood and eminent domain abuse, but this isn't a normal election and most of his supporters are too stupid, ignorant and enamored by his celebrity to support someone else.  Anyway, here is how I think each candidate did.

Cruz:  I think he had a good debate, he had Rubio and Trump calling him a liar but much of that was due to minor campaign issues like the Carson thing and push-polling.  In my experience, whining over campaign actions doesn't usually accomplish much.  Cruz's answers tended to be thoughtful and he came across as someone who knew what he was talking about and believed in conservative values.

Rubio:  The media, especially Fox, is talking about how he had "his best debate yet".  I don't know about that.  I've seen a lot of debates and I'd say this one was par for the course for him.  Some nice rehearsed speeches but nothing to make you think he is ready for the office of President of the United States.

JEB:  I hate to say this (because I don't want another Bush) but he keeps getting better.  He comes across as very reasonable, thoughtful and dare I say, Presidential.  I think I might actually prefer to have him as President over Marco Rubio.  This election might be getting to me but I am warming to him.

Kasich:  You can just see him allying with Democrats in Congress along with RINO Republicans to get things passed.  Enough said.

Trump:  Did he even say one conservative thing the entire debate?  He certainly said many liberal things like the blaming of W and the defending of Planned Parenthood

Carson:  He just needs to quit already.  He has no path to victory unless someone kills all the other candidates.  He isn't ready and his answers in debates are just such meaningless crap.  I'm waiting for him to say "can't we all just get along?"

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Marco Rubio Betrayal

A scathing indictment of Marco Rubio from Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum.  Read the whole thing but here is the key conclusion:

There is no single major distinguishing policy difference between Marco Rubio, John McCain or Lindsey Graham. They have the same trade policy, immigration policy and foreign policy. But on immigration most especially — the issue in which all four have invested the most — there is no daylight separating them.

The difference, then, is one of persona, not policy. And in the arena of immigration, this translates into a vital difference. The biggest change from McCain-Kennedy, which could not get out of the Senate, and the Gang of Eight — which was nursed along by conservative pundits despite being to the left of Kennedy’s bill — was the presence of Rubio. Rubio created the conditions necessary to produce a considerably more open borders bill: conservatives who were invested in the Rubio Brand provided no early pushback but accepted Kennedy’s old talking points, and Rubio gave red state Democrats the political space necessary to support it. This is how it got 68 votes in the Senate.

The stakes of course are raised considerably if Rubio is President or Vice President. Rubio would have a much, much better chance than Obama of getting an open borders bill through Congress...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Trump's comments on Cruz's Iowa victory are precious

Cruz: Trump is having a Trumpertantrum, is losing it and might nuke Denmark while in a fit as President

This is a friggin awesome video:

Who Benefits from Rand Paul and Rick Santorum Dropping Out?

I check last month's PPP poll in New Hampshire which has a handy dandy crosstab with that data.  Rand Paul supporters seem to either go mainly to Cruz or to undecided (I guess they might stay home or vote for the Libertarian candidate).  Rick Santorum supporters (which has to be a small handful) will go to a few places but Rubio will get 44% of them and Cruz will get 20% (as would JEB and Fiorina).  It's kind of funny how Santorum is thought of as so far right but really he has mainly establishment-minded supporters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Watch Ted Cruz campaign today in NH

Ordinary people support Cruz while Country Club Republicans back Rubio

The recent FEC filings are really interesting.  While the absolute number raised is clearly interesting, I think the composition of the donations is too.  Are most of the donations coming from regular folks who usually can't give over $200 to a candidate or are they coming from the rich that give $2000 and up?  Doing this analysis you can see who is supported by the grassroots and who is supported by the establishment and country club Republicans.  Take a look:

As you can see, Ted Cruz gets 60% of his huge haul from donations under $200.  Rubio, on the other hand, only gets 27%, with the majority of his money coming from donations over $2,000.  While his numbers are not as lopsided as those for Bush, Kasich or Christie, they still confirm that there just isn't that much grassroots for him.  Think about it, Cruz has raised 4 times the amount of money that Rubio has from small donors.

Watch the Ted Cruz victory speech in Iowa

The immense challenges Ted Cruz had to overcome to win Iowa

The anti-Cruz folks seem to be acting like "of course Ted Cruz won Iowa, it was tailor made for him".  Well, no, it wasn't tailor made for him and he had to overcome a large number of challenges to win the state.  Here's a list:

1.  The media which seemed to give Trump 24/7 free coverage
2.  The ethanol lobby that pretty much owns Iowa and hates Cruz for opposing ethanol subsidies and mandates.
3.  A popular Governor actively politicking against him and for other candidates.  It was also clear that the two sitting Senators were against him
4.  A large number of candidates that were all vying for the voters most likely to go to Cruz.  Carson, Huckabee, Santorum and Paul weren't an awesome bunch but they did garner over 16% of the vote in Iowa.  Luckily Huckabee is already out and in a week, Santorum and Paul should follow soon after.  Hopefully Carson calls it quits too since he simply has zero chance.
5.  Establishment candidates not named Rubio not doing well.  Although there are a large number of establishment candidates, they only totaled 8.4% of the vote.  They didn't steal that much from Rubio.

When you look at all that, Cruz clearly wasn't a shoe-in and overcame quite a bit.  Heck, New Hampshire doesn't seem so insurmountable after that now does it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The smarter, more prinicipled members of the establishment prefer Ted Cruz over Donald Trump

Here is an interesting article which shows that some of the establishment/neocons who I've actually always respected (even if I don't agree with them on everything) are looking at Cruz:

“I would not hesitate to back Cruz as the nominee,” Abrams — who not long ago told National Review that Cruz’s use of the word neocon invoked “warmongering Jewish advisers” — told BuzzFeed News. “If it’s a two man race, it’s really extraordinary to see Republican office holders in some cases or former office holders saying they don’t like Cruz or they would go for Trump, who is from my perspective not a Republican, not a conservative, has no policy views on anything that you can actually describe or get a handle on.”

In an interview on his campaign bus in Iowa last week, Cruz told BuzzFeed News that, despite his jabs at neocons, he has “good relations with a great many foreign policy thinkers.” Cruz has in the past cited Abrams along with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton and former CIA director James Woolsey as trusted foreign policy experts.


There are three reasons why Cruz is attracting some soft support from neoconservatives. To start, it’s Cruz’s pedigree. With degrees from Harvard and Princeton, some think he can’t possibly be serious about some of his more extreme statements. (During his first campaign, he launched a scathing attack on the Council on Foreign Relations as a “pit of vipers,” neglecting to note that his wife had been an active member of the group.)

“What gives people pause is the credentials. That is, wait a minute, this guy went to Princeton and Harvard Law School and you have Alan Dershowitz saying he’s one of the most brilliant students I ever had in 30 years at Harvard Law School, and you’re telling me he sees the world the way Donald Trump does? Is that really credible?” Abrams asked rhetorically.


“I‘ve seen people turn out to be somewhat different as president than they said they were going to be when they were running,” said Kristol. “Not because they misled anyone, just because when you’re president things look a little different from when you’re giving speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire and so forth.”

“I think at the end of the day a Ted Cruz administration would follow a foreign policy that I would be pretty happy with,” Kristol said. “I’m more relaxed about Cruz than some of my neoconservative friends.”

Their words represent a real change for a group that has long felt particular warmth for the campaign of Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

“A couple months ago, establishment Republicans were confidently saying, ‘No way will we ever support Cruz,’” said a foreign policy-focused conservative operative familiar with the establishment Republican donor and activist world. “But now that they’re confronted with reality that Trump could actually be the nominee, suddenly Ted Cruz doesn’t look so bad by comparison.”

Dana Loesch Endorses Ted Cruz

Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council Endorses Ted Cruz

Monday, January 25, 2016

The GOPe is really not thinking it through with their swing to Trump

I swear that GOP establishment has had a brain tumor for breakfast (stole that line from "Heathers") and has for the last few weeks.  I understand why they hate Cruz, basically, he doesn't like them and won't give them jobs in the White House even if he wins.  So based on their calculus, if he loses they lose and if he wins, they lose.  So in opposing Cruz they are operating in their own self-interest albeit the self-interest of people who have no true guiding principles but their self-interest nonetheless. 

What I don't get though is why they are piling in with Trump (Dole, Grassley etc.) and against Cruz right before the Iowa caucuses. In my honest opinion as an armchair quarterback and political junkie with no actual political experience, I think that Cruz is stoppable after Iowa but Trump simply isn't.  So let's say Cruz wins in Iowa, the Trump bubble might finally pop and one of the "establishment" candidates might finally get some oxygen for their campaign.  Then the establishment can start their "kill Cruz" campaign and pile into JEB, Christie, Rubio or Kasich, whoever is looking strongest.  They can also pressure the others to drop out so it becomes a one on one contest which would even the playing field a little.  And while the initial calendar does favor Cruz with so many red states voting initially, we are talking a delegate battle and there is a way to stop him from amassing the necessary delegates prior to the convention.  The chance isn't anywhere near 100% but there is a chance to stop him.

Now what if Trump wins Iowa?  Then he gets a momentum boost in NH and then that boost helps him pretty much run the table in most states and then we are stuck with Donald Trump as the nominee.  I realize many in the establishment would prefer Trump to Cruz but wouldn't they rather have Rubio or Christie instead?

What they should be doing is piling onto Trump right now, letting everyone know all of the horrible comments he has made over the years to really chip away at any evangelicals who are behind him now.  Then once his bubble is popped (hopefully), THEN they should turn on Cruz to try to get one of their own elected.  Seriously, are these people complete morons?

Trump Supports Partial-Birth Abortions

Seriously, what kind of man doesn't support a partial-birth abortion ban, probably the type who has had to have many women have abortions:

Get ready for a wild ride for the next 7 days in Iowa

Here is why you shouldn't pay too much attention to Iowa polls and a lot can change in just 7 days.  In 2008, looking at the polls you would think Obama's support was crumbling and in 2012 you would have thought Santorum was an afterthought.  The Washington Post tweeted these handy dandy charts:

Rick Perry Endorses Ted Cruz!

I've always liked Rick Perry, I never supported him for President because he was the sort of Republican I'd constantly have to make excuses for (unlike Ted Cruz).  But I am very happy that he has endorsed Ted Cruz and also had some very nice things to say about the Senator:

After Perry dropped out of the primary, Cruz's campaign immediately began courting his donors and supporters in Texas, while Cruz reached out to the former governor and asked to get together -- a gesture Perry says he appreciated given how little down time candidates get off the trail. When they met, Perry said, Cruz struck him as someone who deep down is likely “shy,” and “one of the best listeners I’ve ever dealt with in the political realm.” It was in stark contrast to more negative perceptions he had held about Cruz, driven by "media narrative" and "through the optics of a campaign."

“I really didn’t want to talk about policy, I didn’t want to talk politics, I didn’t want to talk philosophy,” he said of their meeting last month. “I wanted to talk about him, who he was, see if I could get a handle on Ted Cruz the man, not Cruz the caricature I’d seen through the political lens. What I found was a very different person than what I had been led to believe.”

Watch the endorsement below:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Establishment May be Abandoning Rubio

I remember not too long ago that people were saying that Rubio was a shoe-in for the moderate lane and he would eventually win the nomination because he would be able to garner both conservative and moderate/establishment support.  Well, that hasn't been happening and the establishment seems to be worried and are thinking the choice my come down to Trump vs. Cruz.  For example, Bob Dole has stopped taken Viagra for long enough to chime in and promote Trump over Cruz as the establishment.  So what happened with Rubio?  Well, he's turned out to be a lazy campaigner and his dazzline speaking abilities at the debates haven't been enough to wow people, possibly because of the fact that he keeps promoting W's foreign policy which everyone who is not a neocon is sick of.  And look at the latest CNN/WMUR Poll:

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul have all gained since the last poll was taken while Rubio has lost 4% putting him in a tie for fourth place with JEB.  If Rubio comes in behind JEB, it might be lights out for Rubio.  If he is supposed to be so great and electable how is it that he is losing to JEB in a moderate state?  I think the establishment types have become frustrated with the lazy Rubio and don't think he is ready for the big leagues.  Maybe in another 4-8 years but not now.  And surprisingly they are going for Trump, the least Republican guy in the field.  Let that sink in, they have a choice between a guy who represents Republican values to his core (Cruz) and a guy who really has no values and they choose the guy who has no values, because they think that is more electable.

Great Cruz Commander Ad with Phil Robertson

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump

I know some, especially Trumpkins and some media-types, view this as a negative for Cruz but if you actually watch the speech, Sarah Palin sounds like that drunk scary/crazy older woman who would hit on your at a hotel bar.  And during parts of the speech, Trump looks like he wishes he were someplace else.  On the positive side for him, he did find someone who makes his speeches sound downright coherent!  She has fallen far from that 2008 GOP Convention speech but she didn't write that one and I think she might have written this one on cocktail napkins or something:

Watch Ted Cruz's late night town hall

This is must-see TV.  He tells a great story of how he stood up to George W and the UN in a Supreme Court case and won:

Listen to Ted Cruz on the Kuhner Report

ARG: Kasich could win New Hampshire

A post-debate poll by ARG shows Kasich as #2 in New Hampshire and statistically tied with Trump among those who will "definitely" vote.

This is a bit of a weird poll as Kasich didn't exactly shine at the debate and ARG only gets a "C-" from polling guru Nate Silver. However, if true, a Kasich victory could be the death knell for Rubio as if Kasich wins he will have a bit of that "winner" aura around him and has a much better electability argument than Rubio.   He's a popular, successful centrist Governor from a battleground state.  And Rubio, is, well, polling #4 in Florida at this point.  At the very least this would seriously wound Rubio and would keep the "moderate" lane kind of crowded.

However, just to reiterate, this is a weird poll.  Nobody thought Kasich did particularly well in the South Carolina debate and it's not like he is putting in any more time in New Hampshire than other moderates.  If anyone would be surging, it should be Christie, who has put an incredible amount of time in New Hampshire and has debated well. Just look at the numbers from the candidate tracker Union Leader:

-- Jeb Bush -- 41
-- Ben Carson -- 13
-- Chris Christie -- 61
-- Ted Cruz -- 18
-- Carly Fiorina -- 49
-- Jim Gilmore -- 21
-- Mike Huckabee -- 2
-- John Kasich -- 51
-- Rand Paul -- 28
-- Marco Rubio -- 18
-- Rick Santorum -- 7
-- Donald Trump -- 20

Anyway, we'll see what happens.  If we are seeing a Kasich surge, it is coming at the right time.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ted Cruz on Fox News Sunday

A good interview but he does seem to have too obvious a disdain for the media.  I don't think he should say things differently just say them in a more genial way:

Ted Cruz's Great Apology to New York

I wish he had done that in the debate:

Ted Cruz Talks to the Frank Luntz Focus Group

A pretty interesting interaction.  It was pretty interesting to hear what they thought about Congress:

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Thoughts on the South Carolina Debate

Cruz really had a great debate and clearly won (don't believe me, just check the Frank Luntz Focus Group which nearly unanimously went with Cruz).  He was able to land hits on Trump by simply quoting Trump leaving the Donald doing nothing but quoting poll numbers and liberal law professors.  Anyway, here are my thoughts candidate by candidate:

Cruz:  It's so nice to have an intelligent candidate who does his homework, thinks things through and knows what he is talking about.  I've been sick of having to make excuses for the GOP candidates for the last 28 years.  Even many Rubio supporters that I follow were just in awe of his performance.  His one bad move was the New York values comment.  We all know what he meant and he is right but it did leave the opening for Trump to mention 9/11.  As Trump already had used the 9/11 comment previously to defend New York values, Cruz should have dropped it during the debate as the Trump response was obvious.

Trump:  Other than the exchange with Cruz, Trump actually did pretty well especially when asked about the Haley "anger" comments.  It was basically a "you're god damned right I'm angry" sort of response.  He also got the better of Cruz on the New York values comment at least among the press and New Yorkers who are probably not his core constituency anyway.

Rubio:  He had some good moments and landed some nice punches on Hillary but otherwise it was a rather forgettable debate for him.  Christie also destroyed Rubio after Rubio said Christie shared many policies with Obama (which is true but Christie did a great job in responding). 

Christie:  He is becoming a candidate who you want to see go after Hillary in a debate.  Cruz would probably be best but Christie is kind of turning into a Trump with some government experience and logic.

JEB:  Actually had some nice moments, I'm warming up to him a bit. 

Kasich:  He can make himself sound conservative but then you remember that he supported Obamacare and so is full of crap.

Ted Cruz on Neil Cavuto Post-Debate

I live in the NYC area and Cruz is right

I think it's pretty obvious that when Ted Cruz was referring to "New York values" he was not referring to 9/11 just as Republicans in the 80's and 90's who referred to San Francisco Democrats or San Francisco values weren't condemning the actions of San Franciscans during earthquakes or the San Francisco Fire.  New York stands for corruption, failing schools (for the poor, the rich have great schools to send their kids to), greed, extreme income inequality, socialism (the current Mayor was a Sandinista supporter!) and complete intolerance of anyone who doesn't agree with them politically (I know as I have a Ted Cruz phone cover and a Ted Cruz magnet on my car).  So enough with the bull crap. 

Luntz Focus Group: Cruz Overwhelming Winner of the Debate

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Seriously, is this the best they can do?

Cruz must have a squeaky clean past if the best that his opponents can do is come up with some legislative maneuvering around the Gang of 8 bill and his natural born citizen status.  On the Gang of 8 bill they first were trying to smear him as pro-amnesty because of an amendment that he proposed which closed the pathway to citizenship, as if he supported amnesty, just not citizenship.  Now they have even gone through 1,000 pages of transcripts of a 5 day markup of a bill to show that he differed on a few points with the anti-immigrant Jeff Sessions.  This is just so lame.  First, as the anti-immigrant folks are firmly behind Cruz, nobody is going to really doubt his bona fide's on this issue.  Second, the criticisms are so nitpicky that no ordinary person will have the attention span long enough to be reached by the criticism.  It's a total waste of time.  And no matter how much they try to smear Cruz with this, he is stronger on immigration than just about every other candidate on that stage.  You really think people will say "Oh, Cruz is weak on immigration, I'm going to vote for Rubio".  Give me a break.

On the natural born citizen issue, it is just lame.  Luckily, the leftist media has actually served a purpose for once by branding birtherism as crazy (though they did it to defend Obama).  And no matter what, Cruz is a natural born citizen.  He is a US citizen and never had to be "naturalized", hence he is a natural born citizen.  It's pretty clear. And don't take my word for it, take the word of two former Solicitor Generals in the Harvard Law Review:

No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .”

The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.

The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of “natural born Citizen” has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings, the details of which individuals born abroad to a citizen parent qualify as citizens from birth have changed. The pre-Revolution British statutes sometimes focused on paternity such that only children of citizen fathers were granted citizenship at birth.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point. But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born. Thus, in the relevant time period, and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.”

While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother. Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Find out what one embedded reporter learned about Ted Cruz after following him across the country

Read this great piece which basically says that Ted Cruz is a much better retail campaigner than people have previously thought.  The 7 things she learned are:

1.  Cruz sticks to the script
2.  His rallies have gotten bigger and flashier
3.  The rallies are packed with people of all ages
4.  He uses his theater background to his benefit
5.  He's funny
6.  He's a mingler
7.  He loves data

Read the whole thing as it does provide a great inside look at what is happening on the ground at these things.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

JEB and Rubio have both spent an order of magnitude more on TV ads than Cruz. How's that working out?

It really is amazing how much money has been wasted on TV ads already and the primaries are still a month away!  JEB and Rubio especially don't seem to be getting much bang for their buck according to NBC:

One of Ted Cruz's fiercest critics just joined his campaign

Mike Huckabee's Communication Director, Alice Stewart, who has a long history of attacks on Ted Cruz, just joined the Cruz campaign as spokeswoman and senior adviser.  I think people with brains can tell which way the wind is blowing.  Read the whole article about what happened and the history behind it at the National Review:

Ted Cruz’s campaign Monday announced the hiring of Alice Stewart, who until recently served as Mike Huckabee’s communications director, as Cruz’s spokesperson and senior adviser. The move is notable for several reasons. First, it’s a high-profile changing of teams less than one month before Iowa’s February 1 caucuses. It’s also a real boost to Cruz’s operation in that state and beyond; Stewart knows Iowa well, having worked for the past two caucus winners, Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But most interesting about the hire is Stewart’s history of antagonizing her new boss. She hails from a close-knit Huckabee braintrust that loathes Cruz and has angrily affixed to him the labels of phony, opportunist and hypocrite — an effort that Stewart helped lead until three weeks ago, when she departed Huckabee’s team under cloudy circumstances, ultimately due to concerns with the direction of the campaign.

Since the start of the 2016 cycle, Stewart has earned a reputation among campaign insiders — reporters, party officials, rival strategists — as one of Cruz’s fiercest critics. Perhaps her most public attack came in late 2014, as both Cruz and Huckabee were preparing to launch their campaigns, and I was writing a story with my National Journal colleague Shane Goldmacher about their apparent “collision course” to win evangelical voters. When I called Stewart for the story, she bludgeoned Cruz — on the record.

So much for the idea that Cruz would only win red states in the primaries. He would win California

Conventional wisdom seems to be that Ted Cruz will do best in the primaries in the deep red states where he appeals to the die-hard Republicans.  Well California is one of the bluest of the blue and Ted Cruz is leading there according to a recent Field poll.  And if you add both the first and second choices, Ted Cruz has a commanding lead over Donald Trump:

If Ted Cruz is able to replicate this in other blue states, this primary process could end up being much shorter than anyone anticipates.

Listen to Ted Cruz on the Glenn Beck Program Today

Check out Ted Cruz's Brilliant New Ad on Immigration

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Rubio: I'm okay with the US spying on Israel

So much for supporting the Jewish state.  See this story from Breitbart:

Rubio and his ally Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)discussed the matter privately in a room away from reporters early Wednesday morning at the Royal Amsterdam Hotel in Pella, Iowa. The two men talked before they set out on a three-stop Iowa campaign tour to showcase Gowdy’s endorsement of Rubio.

This reporter heard the conversation while picking up a laptop computer and other materials left in a back room, away from where reporters were eating breakfast. Rubio, Gowdy, a couple of campaign staffers, and a Secret Service agent were the only ones present in the back room.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the NSA monitored Netanyahu’s conversations, including conversations with U.S. legislators

“We spy on everyone,” Rubio told Gowdy, defending the practice of spying on a U.S. ally. “That’s the nature of intelligence.”

“It’s more complicated than the [WSJ] story makes it seem,” Rubio added.

Gowdy responded that people are upset because the U.S. decided to stop spying on leaders of Germany and some other nations, but still spies on Israel.

So much for Nevada being Rubio's "firewall"

There has been talk about Nevada being Rubio's firewall, with the campaign pouring resources into that state so that they could get an early caucus/primary victory.  Personally, I think it is an idiotic strategy because Nevada comes after Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  If he loses all three of those states, you really think anyone will care if he wins Nevada?  It won't exactly cause a wave of momentum for Rubio to suddenly do well in the SEC primary.  Regardless, according to Gravis this firewall strategy doesn't seem to be working: