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Updated: 2016-09-28T00:27:09Z

 



Trump Needs to Let Go of His Brand

2016-09-28T00:27:09Z

As the left, from Vox to Politico and from CNN to MSNBC, delight at what they see as Trump’s poor first debate performance, here’s an idea that Donald Trump could use to boost his next performance. Show that the presidency of the United States of America matters more to you than your brand. Because that’s […]

As the left, from Vox to Politico and from CNN to MSNBC, delight at what they see as Trump’s poor first debate performance, here’s an idea that Donald Trump could use to boost his next performance. Show that the presidency of the United States of America matters more to you than your brand.

Because that’s a problem. Not that it is only Donald Trump that has corporate interests that could conflict with his role as the next president of America. The Clinton Foundation mixes money and politics in a shamelessly seamless way. There is nothing shamed or seamed about Bill and Hillary Clinton. But it’s all beltway stuff with the Clintons. Some of it was paid for directly by the U.S. taxpayer, when Hillary received her salary as Senator and then Secretary of State, for example. Some of it was paid by book sales. Much of it was paid for by speaking fees, especially Bill Clinton, but Hillary as well. All of it was directly related to politics. Building their wealth by leveraging their political power in all sorts of ways as they rose through the state and federal political structure of America was the Clinton’s daily bread.

Trump, on the other hand, has been a developer-turned-media-marketing-mogul. He built his brand the old-fashioned way, through bankruptcy and real estate bubbles and busts. And he survived and prospered – exactly by how much he prospered remains to be seen of course. And through it all, the one constant was building and rebuilding his brand.

When he decided to enter politics, Trump had a choice. He could finance and support an existing politician whose views and policies he found engaging. Or he could enter himself. He did and despite the amused predictions of a colorful collapse, he survived. And he did more than survive. He won. He is now 2 debates and a slender few (at this point) percentage points from winning the White House.

Did he really think he’d get this far? It has been suggested that he did not. But the energy and gusto with which he has taken on one challenge after another – whatever antipathy his methods have provoked in both parties – suggests he was in it to win from the start. And whether he really thought he could win it all in the June of 2015 has long been a moot point. Because he really could win it all now.

To do that he needs to let go of his brand. Not his past. His brand. Yes, he needs to effectively point out how he understands job creation from the inside of a business. And not from a policy brief in an office in the White House or on the Hill. But he can never let Hillary bait him so easily by disparaging his brand and questioning how he built it. He has to work past that, if he can.

Is he narcissistic? Pretty clearly, yes he can be. Perhaps he needs to be just a touch more of a sociopath. Able to disconnect and reconnect with whatever emotion is handy at any given moment. And do it on a dime, like Bill Clinton noticing the video camera at Ron Brown’s funeral, and switching from a chuckle to shedding tears at the drop of a hat. Now that’s impressive.

But more than anything, if Trump can keep his brand at an emotional arms length, he might find it easier to avoid the traps that Hillary’s team meticulously laid for him at the Hofstra debate.




Obama’s Memo and Aleppo’s Weather

2016-09-23T20:09:46Z

You’re nearly as dumb as Gary Johnson, who apparently doesn’t need cannabis to go from affable to really weird at the drop of a hat. You know why you are? Because you don’t get Aleppo. Just like Gary, despite his protestations of: oh, yeah, got it. You don’t get it however. Here’s why. Aleppo is […]

You’re nearly as dumb as Gary Johnson, who apparently doesn’t need cannabis to go from affable to really weird at the drop of a hat. You know why you are? Because you don’t get Aleppo. Just like Gary, despite his protestations of: oh, yeah, got it. You don’t get it however. Here’s why.

Aleppo is hot, dry and in the middle of a hot, dry country. This what those who know tell us. And that is one of the main reasons why people are killing each other and why refugees have been streaming out of Syria and through Turkey and the Balkans and into the EU. There are other minor factors like a ruthless second-generation autocrat killing as many of his fellow Syrians as necessary to cling to power, but you have to keep the weather in mind, don’t you see?

Praise be to Obama then for stroking his pen underneath yet another executive order – who needs Congress? – and pulling together 20 federal agencies of all sorts to ensure that climate change will be placed firmly at the table when the Chiefs of Staff and intelligence agencies analyze the world’s hot spots. A fortunate turn of phrase if you believe the EPA needs to be part of the provisioning of the men and women who risk their lives around the world for the sake of their country.

So there it is: the Presidential Memorandum on Climate Change and National Security. Signed, sealed, but not really delivered. Not yet at least. But here’s the thing. Obama is not crazy. He is not a lone wolf acting on his peculiar vision that makes him hear voices in his head. Would that it would be so simple. But no. He is putting into action what an increasing percentage of the academic and even, yes, the intelligence communities actually believe. It’s a brave, dangerous and exciting new world. You can be a lover of emissions-trading, vegan, environmental analyst. And guess what? There’s a job opening for you at the NSA. Not just the EPA.

And that’s why Congress should have no place in this matter. They would actually strike committees and hold hearings and listen to evidence and debate loudly and publicly amongst themselves. With representatives of industry and science and environmental groups and other stakeholders having their say in front of the media’s prying presence. Both about the actual data on global warming, and on whether an added layer of bureaucracy with it’s own vested interests is the best way to forge national security. For America and for it’s allies. You don’t imagine China striking those sorts of committees, somehow. Or Russia.

By the way, Aleppo has a cool steppe climate and sits on a plateau about twelve hundred feet above sea level. And yes, it’s relatively dry with winters having rare snowfalls. Snow. Falling. But only rarely of course. On Friday it had a high of 77 F and a low of 59.

The bombs being dropped by Syrian and/or Russian jets, however, produce a great deal more heat for the unfortunate souls who have to try and survive them.




Trump Wades Into Tulsa Shooting

2016-09-22T18:13:24Z

The details are different between what happened in Charlotte and Tulsa, and the reaction has been more violent in Charlotte, but certainly angry in Tulsa. And Tulsa is where Trump has decided to stake out a position, by questioning police actions in the shooting of a black man in a strange confrontation involving an abandoned […]

The details are different between what happened in Charlotte and Tulsa, and the reaction has been more violent in Charlotte, but certainly angry in Tulsa. And Tulsa is where Trump has decided to stake out a position, by questioning police actions in the shooting of a black man in a strange confrontation involving an abandoned vehicle in the middle of the road.

If it was Hillary doing this, it would be par for the course. But Trump has suddenly turned on a dime from supporting police forces, after having earned the endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police fairly recently, and having been seen as a strong supporter of police officers across the country.

Is it a one-off comment in a church in Cleveland for the benefit of his African American audience? And will it work? And how will police officers associations react?

We’ll see is the best answer that can be given right now. In Tulsa there is clear footage from a helicopter of most of the event. But even then, police officials and supporters and friends and family of Terrence Crutcher have opposing interpretations of the facts. He had his hands up. True. But Officer Shelby states he was refusing her orders to kneel down on the pavement. He lowered his right arm and appears to be reaching into the car. For a gun? No gun was found and the car window was up, apparently. Was Crutcher high on PCP? The narcotic was found in his car, but no results for tests on Crutcher have been released or perhaps even done. Should that have changed Officer Shelby’s attitude?

Crutcher’s family paint the portrait of a decent father who was attending community college. Police seem to have seen a dangerous “bad dude” who happened to be large, and black. And acting strangely, perhaps high on PCP. Does that, however, justify pulling the trigger? Or would Officer Shelby have done better to hold back a few yards and let her colleagues taser the man. Which is exactly what one of the officers was doing at almost the exact moment when she decided to pull the trigger.

And into these turbulent waters Trump has decided to wade. Is he ready to defend his actions? Because Hillary will jump all over his comments on the Tulsa shooting, in order to score points with her audience. And Hillary’s audience would love Trump to be accused of pandering to African Americans for the sake of a town hall in a black church.

One suspects that groups like the Fraternal Order of Police will limit their reactions until more information is available in both cases. And will give Trump a waiver, while expressing their support for the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis. Trump could have waited perhaps. And he will certainly claim his comments were taken out of context, and that he was merely expressing concern at what he saw in the footage. And that he will wait for more information to come out before making a judgement.

At the same time, in his Hannity Town Hall, Trump praised the results obtained by NYC’s stop-and-frisk program, as a way to reduce black on black violence. And the tweeted calls for unity in Charlotte and Tulsa. One suspects that Hillary’s debate support staff are taking detailed notes.




Obama: the Mildly Annoyed Professor

2016-09-20T17:15:14Z

Terrorism has been a defining force in American politics for nearly two decades now. Like it or not. Bush 43 was going to be the education president. He is now remembered as the president who had to take on the war on terror, like no other president before him. And since, unfortunately. One can argue […]Terrorism has been a defining force in American politics for nearly two decades now. Like it or not. Bush 43 was going to be the education president. He is now remembered as the president who had to take on the war on terror, like no other president before him. And since, unfortunately. One can argue over what tactics and strategies are best. The Iraq invasion looks less wise with each passing year. But one cannot argue over George W. Bush’s commitment to fight terrorism. The same cannot be said of President Obama. Because he has willfully refused to define it as a war against terrorism. As if somehow he could negotiate his way around the brutal reality of radical jihadist terrorism. He’s still trying. After the weekend of terrorist attacks in NYC, New Jersey, and Minnesota, Obama lectured the media not to jump to conclusions and “get ahead” of the story. Like a mildly annoyed college professor dressing down his pupils for not turning in well written essays. At every stage of his presidency, Obama has tried to downplay and qualify and relativize islamic terrorism. And as part of his now near-delirious insistence on his view that jihadism is not as great a threat as people think, the West must appease Islam. Or risk angry retaliation on the part of islamic peace-loving faithful who shall be pushed to take up workshops in IED’s because the West, and America, dare to defend themselves. Jihadims is always the West’s fault by his progressively perverse logic. And of course, as Josh Earnest whined in an interview, we can’t let ISIL control the narrative by allowing them to turn their terrorism into a battle of the West versus Islam. Because that’s what will happen if we use phrases like: radical islamic terrorism. Does Earnest really believe what he’s made to say anymore? Maybe he does. Or maybe as a good spokesperson, he does his best to transmit his leader’s will to the public at large. It’s getting to the point where comparing Obama’s foreign policy to Jimmy Carter’s is a bit of an insult to the former governor of Georgia. But Obama is, tragically, not at all alone in this matter. From Merkel opening up the borders of Germany and allowing terrorists in with the refugees, to British police who refuse to take action when they fear it will stir up complaints of islamophobia, even if it involves the abuse of adolescents, leaders in the West are paralyzed by the fear of being branded racist. But that’s what aggressive activists on the left have done to speech in North America and Europe and around the world. Naming and Shaming, in everything from transgender bathrooms to micro-aggressions, has wrought a deadly silence on those who need to muster the strength and courage, but also the intellectual flexibility, to deal with what is a serious problem. And not one that merely affects the West. Terrorism has caused far more deaths in the Middle East and Asia, as well as Africa. But freedom of expression is not always a right in many of these countries. Nor is it expected to be. It is a right in much of the West. At least in theory. Because right now, fear in of being shamed seems greater than the courage to deal with terrorism. Obama, however, is not someone fearful of being shamed. He actually and whole heartedly believes the progressive ideology. Rubio was right. America elected a charming smooth talking radical. And is now paying the price by a lack of vision on how to fight jihadism. Yes, the men and women who defend America – like the police forces and the FBI that were able to apprehend Rhahami in less than 50 hours – are doing admirable work day a[...]



Panic Amongst Pollsters, Pundits, Republicans, and Democrats

2016-09-19T23:17:43Z

Millennials would rather hang with Gary What’s-a-Leppo? Johnson than Hillary. Trump has for some unknown reason decided to dig up the birther zombie again and annoy mainstream media at the same time with his version of what a press conference is. And Nate Silver just doesn’t know; as he asks us to wait another week […]Millennials would rather hang with Gary What’s-a-Leppo? Johnson than Hillary. Trump has for some unknown reason decided to dig up the birther zombie again and annoy mainstream media at the same time with his version of what a press conference is. And Nate Silver just doesn’t know; as he asks us to wait another week for the data to show some trend that might impact the final, actual, pull the-damn-lever, vote on November 8th. What five thirty eight’s data guru seems to mean is that, while the polls have gyrated around a trendline or mean of a Hillary 5 point lead, it is almost impossible to suggest this pattern will continue in the final weeks of this very unique election. There is no long term equilibrium seems to be Nate Silver’s big worry. Trump is not a GOP-typical candidate, so you can’t compare him to any other Republican when trying to detect a statistical pattern. At the same time, will Hillary’s ground game overcome the noticeable relative lack of enthusiasm among her supporters? Given that her base of support is far more urban and therefore concentrated, while Trump’s is far more rural and dispersed, will Trump’s enthusiasm advantage translate into actual votes? Doesn’t Trump’s much smaller team (or the RNC structure to be more accurate) have to literally cover way more real estate to get out a similar number of votes? Or is there a silent army of Trump supporters who will drive (rather than walk a few city blocks) to the polls and surprise the predictors? All these questions are producing far more stress than a few months ago, because it is no longer clear that Hillary will be president. The experts – as personified by Silver – are suddenly unsure of the final result in a way that they haven’t been before. And there is now more than a little panic. Among Republicans that is. Not just Dems and MSM pundits. Even as the GOP see their grip on the Senate perhaps being just firm enough to hold on to a slim majority. Never mind Charles Blow or Rachel Maddow. Jim Geraghty of National Review fame listed a very funny but pointed list of some of the consequences of a Trump victory. The finger pointing within the GOP if Trump wins and the Senate is lost would be ugly. Or if Trump loses and the Senate also goes Democrat. Or, if Trump does win, aside from imagining the transition between Obama’s and Trump’s administration, the legacy of Obama’s 8 years would be in tatters. How could a prosperous, happy America elect someone like Trump?, the progressives who adore Obama right now would howl. And Hillary. If she loses to Trump – though the odds still are that she probably won’t – she will be reviled and attacked like no other Democrat. Not even McGovern. With both liberal and conservative media piling on about what a terrible candidacy hers was and how could the Democrats have nominated her? All the questions that were angrily dismissed after her sunny yet righteously angry convention just a few weeks ago will come roaring back in the very mouths of those who dismissed them back in late July. This is starting to look like the election with no winners, precisely because of much of the media’s contempt for Trump. And its partisan water carrying for Hillary. That’s a pessimistic view and hopefully – whoever wins – America can face and solve some of the challenges she faces. Let us hope and pray for that. And let’s hope for a vigorous debate and not just nasty name calling on September 26. [...]



Newsweek and NY AG Attack Trump

2016-09-14T23:48:03Z

It didn’t take long. But we’ll see if it has legs and can last. The Hillary camp – and it’s a really big tent, folks all the way from State AG’s offices to mainstream media outlets like Newsweek – hit back quickly to try and divert some of the lousy press HRC has been getting […]

It didn’t take long. But we’ll see if it has legs and can last. The Hillary camp – and it’s a really big tent, folks all the way from State AG’s offices to mainstream media outlets like Newsweek – hit back quickly to try and divert some of the lousy press HRC has been getting over the last week. Especially this last weekend.

Never mind that even her own supporters are asking for Hillary to be a little less Nixonian in her attitudes towards transparency. The Trump Empire is an evil one and a widespread one. And one that will cause irreparable damage to America’s foreign policy should Donald J. Trump actually be elected president. And they will kindly share this vital information with the public. As many times as necessary.

In a hit piece in Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald carefully details possible conflicts of interest that might arise from Trump’s numerous business connections around the world. From Korea to India to Russia, and especially the Middle East, Trump’s relationships with local developers – who put the buildings up and then pay Trump to slap his name on them – could cause conflicts of interest between American foreign policy and Trump’s own economic interests.Even if the details seem a little stretched at times. And whether certain developers really did break the rules, or merely fell out of favor with the ruling party is an open question.

Trump, and his family, must divest all – they practically shout – after first submitting to an inquiry.

Never mind bothering with the Clinton Foundation, which is all about charity and not paying to play, as Eichenwald reassures his readers. It’s Trump’s relationship with (currently out of favor) developers in key ally Turkey that should cause panic. Or in India. And the Gulf States as well. It certainly is valid to seek out information on Trump’s business interests. And the fact that he hasn’t released, and may not release, his tax returns is something that journalists of all persuasions should and do focus on. But the timing of Eichenwald’s piece is a little suspicious.

Coming on practically the same day that New York AG Schneiderman announced his office is opening an inquiry into the Donald J. Trump foundation, it feels like a well-marshalled counter attack against Trump’s campaign to try and do something to stop the momentum that is steadily shifting to Trump’s side. Mainstream media has practically sworn to do their best to prevent a Trump presidency, and this certainly is proof of that.

Will the inquiry reveal scandalous pay-for-play at Trump’s charity? Trump’s organization donated $25,000 to a political group associated with Florida AG Pam Bondi. And that may have caused her not to open an investigation into Trump University. At least, that’s the accusation. For not disclosing the donation, Trump was fined $2,500, and he also took back the donation. Is this a scandal? Schneiderman will do his best to make sure it becomes one. Time will tell, but the New York AG is not beyond shrill activism, as a few oil company executives will testify to.

I know, let’s get CNN’s Anderson Cooper to interview Pam Bondi.

It seems clear that Trump’s business activities will be the target of people like Schneiderman and Eichenwald. One can imagine Hillary’s aides pouring through briefs on Trump’s international connections in preparation for the first debate. Does she really want to go that route?




What If the Twitter Video Hadn’t Gone Viral?

2016-09-13T00:20:56Z

Thank you alert Twitter user for your footage of Hillary Clinton having a rough few moments as she was being bundled into her vehicle by the strong arms of her security personnel. Nice that you happened to have a tripod or very steady hands, whoever you were. What if that footage had not happened and […]

Thank you alert Twitter user for your footage of Hillary Clinton having a rough few moments as she was being bundled into her vehicle by the strong arms of her security personnel. Nice that you happened to have a tripod or very steady hands, whoever you were.

What if that footage had not happened and not gone viral? If Hillary had made it smiling and waving quickly, before climbing into the vehicle and had then collapsed inside? Would we have had disclosure later Sunday on the bare facts of her pneumonia? Or would there have been a discrete silence, followed by an announcement that Bill Clinton would be filling in for her out west in California this week? Followed by speculation about her health. Followed by angry denouncements by her campaign team and her supporters that Trump’s followers and the media had it in for her. Because she happens to be a woman.

David Axelrod – who is as responsible as anyone for Obama’s successful election campaigns – expressed concern over Hillary Clinton’s zealous need for privacy, and the “unnecessary problems” that creates. That’s a diplomatic way of summing up Hillary’s biggest vulnerability. People don’t trust her, because they can never believe she’s quite being straight with them. This latest stumble has that lack of trust metastasizing into concerns even on the part of her own party that suddenly she may not be up to the job. In the most basic physical meaning.

Yes, FDR’s handlers hid his polio and their candidate became a defining figure in American politics. Yes, Kennedy’s handlers hid his Addison’s disease and more than a few shady dealings. But these are unsustainable options in 21st century politics. All it takes is one Twitter feed, to blow the lid off a hermetically sealed campaign strategy.

So now we have good old Bill Clinton on the way to California apparently to fill in. And nasty talk of Joe Biden being considered as a sudden back-up for Hillary should the unthinkable happen, and she be unable to continue in her quest for the presidency. The kind of talk that made Howard Dean furious at that vast right wing media outlet, National Public Radio.

In light of this nervous chatter, perhaps Joe Biden offering her his advice to take 6 days off for every 3 days off her doctors recommend is a little unseemly. Even if Biden is more than ready to look forward to his well-earned retirement as he works the hustings one last time for Hillary. Yes, apparently Article 2, Section 7, of the DNC bylaws does give the DNC authority to fill vacancies in the nominees for president and vice president. Donna Brazile, interim chair, suddenly has a possible added task she never thought she’d have. Right?

No, Hillary will likely not drop out. Yes, illness is part of many past candidates and office holders. Especially given that most are in their 50’s or older. But once again, the need to carefully control an official story has led to more questions than Hillary’s campaign would like. Will this story really be a problem several weeks from now? It certainly could. It depends on whether Hillary bombs in the debates. Will she then blame Trump’s “deplorables”? Or blame her comments regarding half of Trump’s supporters on dehydration?




Undecided or Won’t Say in North Carolina?

2016-09-09T21:15:49Z

In the new Suffolk University poll, Trump has edged past Hillary Clinton by a slender margin in North Carolina, but well within the margin of error. Ahead none the less. The unfavorables for both candidates are high, higher than their favorables, and as a sort of extension of that, the undecideds are statistically significant. Especially […]In the new Suffolk University poll, Trump has edged past Hillary Clinton by a slender margin in North Carolina, but well within the margin of error. Ahead none the less. The unfavorables for both candidates are high, higher than their favorables, and as a sort of extension of that, the undecideds are statistically significant. Especially seeing we’re in the post-Labor Day stretch. 11% were either unsure of who to vote for for president, or unwilling to say who would be their choice. And in the senate race between GOP incumbent Burr and Democrat challenger Deborah Ross, the don’t-know-won’t-say crowd is double the percentages in the presidential race. 22% either don’t know who they’ll vote for, or won’t say who they’ll vote for when it comes to the senate race. Now, the importance of this election has been broadcast continually for about a year, with even louder cries of how much hangs in the balance since Trump won the nomination of the Republican Party. The Supreme Court. The battle with ISIS and how to keep the nation secure. But especially how to bring back strong economic growth and somehow combat a growing feeling of economic stagnation and lost opportunity that’s backed up by the slow growth numbers and the 6 or 7 million silent army of unemployed middle aged men. These indeed are key issues and who gets elected president on November 8 matters. As does who holds the Senate. So are these fairly sizable number of undecideds a case of just now tuning in to the electoral campaigns? Or is it voters showing their clear hesitancy to embrace either candidate? Or voters keeping their choices to themselves in what is as partisan and hostile an electoral environment as America has seen for some time? Whether North Carolina is indeed a tipping point state, or swing state, or not, every poll from here on in will help clarify the race in ways earlier polls cannot. The Tar Heel State’s 15 electoral college votes are not quite Ohio’s 18 or Pennsylvania’s 20, but it is a significant enough amount. No, it’s not Florida with its 29 electoral votes with the sunshine state’s tight race once again looming large. But maybe it’s a sign that Trump’s tightening the gap is a gaining trend. And if that’s the case, expect Hillary’s campaign to ramp up the attacks to an even nastier level with Trump counter punching as hard as he can. As in the Commander-in-Chief forum moderated/hosted by Matt Lauer, where they each tried to paint the other as unfit to lead the nation’s armed forces. And continued doing so the next day. Yes, the demographics in Florida are very different from those in North Carolina. Florida being just the kind of place that home boy Rubio should have swept in the primaries. Which means nothing can be taken for granted, except maybe that California will stay deeply blue. So as five thirty eight’s Nate Sliver wrote a few days ago, look at how the polls are in a couple of weeks on the eve of the first debate. If Trump is still ahead in places like North Carolina that means he’s fought off a Democratic challenge in what should have been a safe state for him. Whether that means he’s then got a shot in Florida will depend on if he can keep his focus. And on how bad a debater Hillary really is. And if the undecideds are still a significant percentage of likely voters on September 25, then 2016 will start shaping up as the defining election that no one wanted to vote in. Let’[...]



You Are Fringe If You Write About Hillary’s Health

2016-09-08T21:00:08Z

With her campaign plane behind her, Hillary berated the assembled press for their unfair treatment of her, the first female president of the United States. In waiting. Unless the polls keep tightening. In which case, it’s not just Hannity’s fault. It’s the entire mainstream media’s fault. 15 minutes and 6 questions. That’s very efficient, isn’t […]

With her campaign plane behind her, Hillary berated the assembled press for their unfair treatment of her, the first female president of the United States. In waiting. Unless the polls keep tightening. In which case, it’s not just Hannity’s fault. It’s the entire mainstream media’s fault.

15 minutes and 6 questions. That’s very efficient, isn’t it? 2 and 1/2 minutes per question on average and you’re back in the air and on to the next stop. And it makes sense to keep the misguided press to questions limited to things like how does it feel to be treated differently because you’re a woman – rather than a single question on the FBI’s latest report on her email scandal – because the real action is elsewhere. As in the vast progressive echo chamber that has been flogging the mainstream media even if it really kinda resembles mainstream media itself. And certainly feeds mainstream media with the Hillary-Correct narrative. Never to be confused with the evil Hillary-Crooked narrative.

Yes Twitter is where the warning shots are being fired. Where the true dem-blue narrative is being nudged into place. Like an Elon Musk rocketship steaming away on it’s launching pad. Nick Merril and Jon Favreau sent out sharp little twit-jabs against reporters who dared talk about Hillary’s health, for example. The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza sneered at those who waste their time on issues like Hillary’s health. And deftly explained why it was valid to worry about McCain’s health, but it is biased and ridiculous to do the same when it’s Hillary Clinton. And Jim Manley helped place all that silly anti-Hillary talk in its proper context: alt-right fringe ranting. Yes, ask a polite question about Hillary Clinton’s health and you will be outed as a white supremacist.

What more do you expect in terms of tactics from the progressively righteous left when they set their sights on controlling a narrative that displeases them? It’s in their DNA to shout down, or attempt to shame, any fact, opinion, or other item of speech that offends them. Or gets in the way of their official narrative of Hillary as the best-prepared candidate for the presidency. Ever. So please stick to the approved script or they will do their best to shut you up. We have all been warned.




President Trump on Trump TV

2016-09-08T18:30:59Z

Now that Myra Adams, writing in the Washington Examiner, has let the world know that Trump TV is not just a rumor but a very real option, a new post-Labor Day question must be asked. What if Trump wins? If Adams is right and the CEO and COO of this yet-to-be media empire is in […]

Now that Myra Adams, writing in the Washington Examiner, has let the world know that Trump TV is not just a rumor but a very real option, a new post-Labor Day question must be asked. What if Trump wins?

If Adams is right and the CEO and COO of this yet-to-be media empire is in fact Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, then maybe Trump TV has both outcomes covered. If Trump loses – especially if it’s a very tight result – then he will assume the chairman’s role at Trump TV and become it’s spiritual leader and branding image. With the rebellion against the establishment still burning in the aftermath of a Hillary victory, what better environment to launch a media network that aims to capture a significant segment of conservative and/or populist voters?

If Trump wins the presidency, then it gets really interesting. If this planned media group is indeed to be mostly internet focused, with advice, but not day to day involvement, from Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, (who left his chairman post at the media group to help run Trump’s campaign), then Jared Kushner will have to build an internet based media group which appeals to Trump’s angry supporters. Who will now have their man in the White House. And theoretically be a little less angry.

Ah, but the separation of powers ensures plenty of anger at every legislative roadblock that President Trump would meet for his ambitious agenda. So Jared could be head of a partisan news and opinion outlet that would help out his father-in-law get his proposals into workable laws. Or he could cheerlead Trump’s suddenly pragmatic coalition building once he’s in the Oval Office, the new president confounding everyone except Rudy Giuliani, Eric, Donald Jr., and Hannity.

Or. Jared could build on his present media holdings, Observer Media, and turn it into an even bigger power player. What would his new and jacked Observer look like? Well, there’s one respected law professor and conservative commentator who might be interested in working with Jared. Greta Van Susteren. And Kushner’s New Observer Media Empire might not turn out to be as pro-Trump as everyone expects it to be. The son-in-law was running his own family’s business well before he hooked up with Ivanka.

There is another possibility. A Third Way if you will. Trump wins. Trump TV goes into production with Trump as a weekly guest. Or the president could appear even more frequently perhaps. Imagine President Trump being as available for interviews as he was back a few months ago. On Trump TV.

Wait a minute. Come on. Jared Kushner would have to rename the media group, if Trump wins in November.

Wouldn’t he?




Putin’s Options and America’s Elections

2016-09-02T20:33:57Z

It doesn’t matter who wins the election in November. If you’re Putin, that is. He’s got all the bases covered. That’s essentially the conclusion that John Schindler, writing for Jared Kushner’s Observer, has come to. And this is someone with lots of experience in the security and intelligence areas. While Manafort and others in, or […]It doesn’t matter who wins the election in November. If you’re Putin, that is. He’s got all the bases covered. That’s essentially the conclusion that John Schindler, writing for Jared Kushner’s Observer, has come to. And this is someone with lots of experience in the security and intelligence areas. While Manafort and others in, or out of, Trump’s campaign team have well-known connections to Moscow and Putin allies in the Ukraine, Hillary Clinton is hardly clean when it comes to the Russian connection. Her role in 2010 at State in encouraging major Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Intel, and Cisco to promise billions of spending in Skolkovo, the Russian Silicon Valley that is in fact a military-state espionage center, means she has helped facilitate the transfer of American technology into the hands of Russian hackers and spies. And along with Obama, her reset with Russia and his need to evade confrontations with an aggressive Putin administration, has left the Russian strongman feeling like the bully on the block. And as far as cyber-warfare is concerned, that’s exactly what Russia has become. Now bullies are usually full of bluster and not quite as dangerous as they like us to believe they are, so using a restrained approach to Putin only seems to encourage him. Jill Stein? She was in Moscow last winter, enjoying sightseeing in the Red Square and railing against American exceptionalism at an RT sponsored conference. RT as in Russian Television, the Putin propaganda machine. Gary Johnson? Maybe he’s not quite as explicitly linked to Putin’s propaganda and spy war, but as a non-interventionist, and perhaps an isolationist as well, he would hardly worry Moscow should he somehow manage to slip between Trump and Hillary in a bizarre election upset. And as a libertarian his concerns over internal surveillance add to the declining worth Americans put on their nation’s spies and the dangerous and vital work they do. How do you fight back in a cyber spy war against an authoritarian adversary which is drifting back to it’s totalitarian roots in many small and not so small ways? Does America’s conflicting opinions on how to fight the war against ISIS, for example, with former top soldiers attacking the current strategy, lead to effective military and intelligence policies? Clearly this is asymmetric intelligence warfare, between open democracies and closed thuggish authoritarian regimes. And we haven’t even mentioned China, which while it is more concerned with procuring industrial secrets from America’s top companies, is also aggressively expanding its sphere of influence in the Pacific. And while no one knows what we all don’t know about everything the NSA and other agencies are up to to defend American interests, they have been mercilessly exposed in several damaging scandals, with Russia always in the background. With polls as they are, perhaps the best one can hope for is that Hillary really is a female Nixon and will use her ability to shamelessly deal with and betray Putin once she’s in the oval office. The problem there is that the FBI’s view of her understanding of cyber security, is that she is naive at best. So maybe we should hope that her statements regarding the private server really were all lies. And she’s a lot more savvy than she is currently suggesting, all for the[...]



Kayla, Joshua and Caitlan: Raging at a Martyr

2016-08-31T18:15:28Z

Now that Kayla Mueller has been officially sanctified, we can turn our bleeding hearts to a crazed Canadian muslim convert and his American wife in Afghanistan, who have been held in captivity by the Taliban for several years. They went hiking in 2012 in a zone some 40 km from Kabul known to be a […]Now that Kayla Mueller has been officially sanctified, we can turn our bleeding hearts to a crazed Canadian muslim convert and his American wife in Afghanistan, who have been held in captivity by the Taliban for several years. They went hiking in 2012 in a zone some 40 km from Kabul known to be a Taliban stronghold. And guess what? The Taliban picked them up. The Canadian’s name is Joshua Boyle and he has had an obsession with terrorism and Islam for years now, according to a very unflattering profile by a Canadian website owned by Global News. His marriage to Caitlan Coleman is not his first. He was previously married to Omar Khadr’s sister. Yes, the Omar Khadr detained as an enemy combatant in Afghanistan in 2002 and held at Guantanamo Bay until his release a few years ago. Omar Khadr is now in a jail in Alberta. Boyle separated from Omar’s sister a few years ago, hooked up with Caitlan (he apparently met both online) and decided a walk in the hills of Afghanistan would be like, cool. What the hell was he and his poor duped wife up to? Was he looking to work with an NGO as seems to be the official rumor circulating? Was he going to spread his arms out over the bare brown hills and proclaim himself the sacred bridge between the Taliban and Christianity and the whole fricking West while he’s at it? Was he going to dig wells for the villagers? We now have two babies born in captivity and a literal sword hanging over their heads. They willfully walked into this nightmare. And it is more than likely that Joshua Boyle had delusional aspirations of some sort. So now he, his wife, and perhaps their two infant children are bargaining chips to be used by the Taliban against the Afghan government. Kayla Mueller went to Aleppo, a city in Syria just to be clear, after having worked with refugees in Turkey. Accompanied by her Medicines sans Frontiers boyfriend. The official story is they were kidnapped by ISIS. Kidnapped? What they did was like walking with a large target on one’s back into the woods in the middle of hunting season. Or maybe antlers taped to your head. Again, delusional stubbornness in the face of clear and present danger. There is no other way to describe what both couples did. Regardless of how brave they may be, or have been. Their need to confront danger – or far worse, their egotistical belief that they were different and not subject to the same risks – has caused great, great pain to their families and supporters, who will never put it that way for obvious reasons. They have also caused diplomatic and military and intelligence problems for their homelands. But they will be remembered – or welcomed if Boyle and Coleman and their infants manage to get of Afghanistan alive – as heroes and peacemakers. Perhaps Kayla will become a martyr, but of the soggy, feel-good activist sort. We will hear platitudes about how we cannot give in to fear from the mouths of those who would never risk their own lives in such foolhardy ways. But maybe Kayla, who seemed to have a very powerful will, wanted unconsciously perhaps to be something more like the early Christian martyrs, who faced similar horrors in the first years of Christianity. It did not have to be this way. Kayla chose not to stay in Turkey. Boyle and Coleman chose to hike straight into Taliban territory. Giving ISIS and the Taliban irresistible targets. Their paths are not a wise one to follow. No matter how we try t[...]



Hillary the Teamsters and Some History

2016-08-29T21:37:09Z

Labor is just one big happy family. Just ask James P. Hoffa, Jimmy’s son. And since the late 90’s, President of the Teamster’s. As he was slowly working his way up the ranks as a union lawyer from the late 60’s through the 70’s and 80’s, the Teamsters and other major unions were under mob […]

Labor is just one big happy family. Just ask James P. Hoffa, Jimmy’s son. And since the late 90’s, President of the Teamster’s. As he was slowly working his way up the ranks as a union lawyer from the late 60’s through the 70’s and 80’s, the Teamsters and other major unions were under mob control. Even if his progress went a little slower than hoped in the early years, given that his father was under investigation, or fighting charges, or in jail, or finally getting a pardon from Nixon in 1971

It’s an old story. Much older even than James P.’s father Jimmy Hoffa. Since at least the start of the 20th century, and likely decades earlier, organized crime and union politics have worked hand in glove. Or foot in concrete sometimes. And while you’ll be glad to know that mob rule in union business is less nowadays – thanks in part to crusading work by a then U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Rudy Giuliani, in the mid-80’s – it ain’t quite over yet.

It certainly wasn’t over when Donald Trump was paying – like every major builder in New York City – a mob tax on concrete, for example. Even in 2014, a WSJ article quoted sources that stated the Luchese and Genovese crime families still had influence, or had been able to once again infiltrate several unions.

So maybe Trump feels a little betrayed by the Teamsters endorsing Hillary Clinton. Or maybe James P. – having seen more than his fair share of dirty politics, and worse, over his lifetime – placed what he feels is a safe bet on the outcome in November. After watching from the sidelines for more than a few months.

Why is it that unions and mob corruption seem to end up in bed, over and over again? The rough and tumble world of late 19th century labor organizing in the face of sometimes deadly strikebreakers was indeed a survival of the fittest. Or the thugiest. Violent and hierarchical. Just like Organized Crime. Yes, the world has changed, but the links still linger.

How will Hillary spin this latest endorsement? Seeing that the Teamsters shared the stage with Bernie Sanders recently, and seeing that union thuggery (whether physical or symbolic) and Democrat politicians have a long, if certainly not exclusive, relationship, this endorsement will likely be spun as just working women and men getting behind Hillary.

It’s funny, but this race at times seems to resemble a race somehow between Goldwater and Nixon. With The Teamsters on her side, just like Nixon in 1972, maybe Hillary really is in cruise control, if a little panicked as of late. She must hope that the Nixon-in-72 analogy ends on November 9, 2016, however. With no 1973-1974 style misfortunes waiting for Hillary. But that, BleachBits and all, remains to be seen.




For Now Hillary Has Diverted the Snipers

2016-08-26T23:07:58Z

If she could just get Jeb Bush to campaign with her, Hillary would have Florida all sewn up, wouldn’t she? They could share the stage and talk about immigration and Common Core and Lincoln and diversity, and what the GOP should stand for. And give a nice thumbs up to Bush 43. Hillary’s game for […]

If she could just get Jeb Bush to campaign with her, Hillary would have Florida all sewn up, wouldn’t she? They could share the stage and talk about immigration and Common Core and Lincoln and diversity, and what the GOP should stand for. And give a nice thumbs up to Bush 43. Hillary’s game for anything, except perhaps doing much to placate Bernie Sanders stragglers and doubters.

If Trump engineered a takeover of a divided GOP, it seems Hillary is trying to behave like a Vulture investor, flapping in with claws bared and bloodied beak wide open, to feast on the morsels of those who cannot and will not and shall not follow Trump.

The problem is, who wants to be the afternoon snack of a foul smelling carrion-eater? Who wants to be thought of as carrion in the first place?? You think you’re marching heroically through the symbolic smoke of Saratoga, or Gettysburg, with shredded uniform but with rifle still in hand, and suddenly you’re told you’re just a corpse waiting to be picked apart, bite by bite?

In other words, will Hillary’s aggressive bid to shame independents and doubters into voting for her, or at least hiding at home on November 8, actually work? Her ad campaign is beyond over-the-top with her KKK footage. And all this from a deeply untrustworthy candidate in most voters’ eyes, during an election that has been about voter rebellion against the status quo. In both parties.

That depends on how hard she continues to push it. And it also depends on how Trump reacts. His response in New Hampshire seemed smart and reasonable, by accusing her of smearing decent people. A sentiment more than a few Republican voters, even those inclined against Trump, would share. Will Trump, however, be tempted to fire back in ways that backfire? Seeing that Steve Bannon is as much of a target of Hillary’s latest attacks as Trump himself is, it is key how Bannon advises Trump to respond to the charges that his followers are crazed, fringe racists. Which a few undoubtedly are, but most would and do angrily reject the charge.

It’s about 2 and 1/2 weeks before the State Department has to start releasing some of the 14,900 emails recently uncovered, according to the latest judicial order. For now, Hillary has filled the stage with the smoke of racist-themed battles, and managed to divert the snipers from targeting the Clinton Foundation’s relationship with her, during her time at State.

But the story will re-emerge with details like the BleachBit app that apparently was used to wipe her server clean. That’s an industrial cleaner, if you will, used to get rid of information you don’t want anyone looking into. Some of that info appears to have been reconstructed. So for now, the battle is about the alt-right and Trump. But we’ll see what the headlines are in the 10-odd days leading up to the first debate in September.




Immigration: Can Trump Avoid the A-Word?

2016-08-25T18:33:04Z

The Southern border is anything you want it to be. If you’re Erica Grieder, it’s a waterway (where the Rio Grande is the border, that is) that Texans have a historical and apparently ecological right to access. If you’re a libertarian NeverTrump’er, it’s a delusional fantasy to build any structure, and all of that should […]The Southern border is anything you want it to be. If you’re Erica Grieder, it’s a waterway (where the Rio Grande is the border, that is) that Texans have a historical and apparently ecological right to access. If you’re a libertarian NeverTrump’er, it’s a delusional fantasy to build any structure, and all of that should be forgotten about. If you’re an angry pro-immigration activist, it’s an oppressive barrier to the free movement of your constituency, illegals. If you’re a progressive policy wonk, the border is a mere transition space that responds to the mix of economic incentives and cultural push and pull that affect the flows of people across it. If you’re a employer in industries like hospitality or fast food or construction, it’s the gateway to lower labor costs. And if you’re a drug dealer, it represents the frontier between areas of production and consuming markets. Of course, if you believe that a border demarcates the limits of the sovereign territory of the United States of America, then it should be a controlled and secure frontier where the American government and it’s agents determine who enters and leaves. And how. Which is what borders have tended to mean around the globe, until the specifics of illegal migration into America over the past few decades grabbed the concept and dragged it into the realm of social policy. And the border became a metaphorical and even a real magnet for activists of all sorts to hang their radical goals on. And many have gladly and glibly gone along with the ride, because they couldn’t stand the guy pointing out what a border should mean. But then Trump took the issue away from Ted Cruz, and then people really, really got righteous at the idea that a border means something legal and sovereign. And so, for Donald Trump, here in late August, what does the border now mean? Don’t ask Steve Bannon, he’s nowhere to be seen in these last few days. He’s likely more focused on Hillary and the Clinton Foundation scandals. Instead, it’s Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence who are doing most of the message refining on the part of Trump, who has been pivoting just a little in the last area people expected him to pivot: immigration. A speech is coming, perhaps not this Thursday, but within the next few days, but a speech on immigration is coming. What will Trump say? In the last week or so, what he says on immigration has depended in part on his audience: softer with Hispanics, harder with his standard audience. So for now the border has become a high-wire balancing act for The Donald. With Law and Order on one side, and a vague promise not to implement mass deportations on the other. Immigration and trade have been two core issues for Trump and are vital concerns for much of his supporters. Can he find a way to justify pulling back on threatened deportations in a way that does not erode his credibility as the law and order candidate in the eyes of his most faithful followers? It’s true, with Hillary or give-them-all-a-hug Gary Johnson as the main options, they probably still see Trump as their best bet for achieving some sort of secure border. In other words: can Trump be flexible on immigration without having the A-word hung around his neck? We’ll f[...]



Smooth Sailing Doesn’t Fly in the 2016 Campaign

2016-08-24T16:27:17Z

One of the many skill sets you need as president is how to fire people. In many ways. Sometimes with effusive praise, especially if they’ve taken a bullet for you. Sometimes with concerned humanitarianism, if the fired subordinate has been a crazy fool. Sometimes with crisp formality if it was really a mess that necessitated […]One of the many skill sets you need as president is how to fire people. In many ways. Sometimes with effusive praise, especially if they’ve taken a bullet for you. Sometimes with concerned humanitarianism, if the fired subordinate has been a crazy fool. Sometimes with crisp formality if it was really a mess that necessitated the firing. So the fact that Trump accepted Manafort’s resignation in a rather gracious and classic way – fairly standard presidential boilerplate stuff – means he is accumulating a skill set which may perhaps be useful come late January. Manafort’s resignation/firing come as news about possible undisclosed payments by Ukranian clients with links to Putin had been weighing uncomfortably on the Trump campaign. In the middle of a bumpy few weeks thanks to a string of other controversies. Manafort was apparently brought in to manage a possibly contested convention with Ted Cruz. But Manafort’s ambitions went far beyond that, and Lewandowski’s exit had something to do with those ambitions. Even if Lewandowski’s credibility in the eyes of Ivanka and Eric and Don Jr. was already eroded. So far we’ve seen a fair bit of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in the media, explaining Trump’s newly changed approach to the campaign. We’ve seen less of campaign CEO Steve Bannon, and it’s too early to tell how much he’s helped Trump focus his message in his latest speeches. Will Trump fire Bannon in a few weeks? Likely not, if the focus and energy of the latest appearances continues. And critics of the turbulence in the Trump campaign should remember that a rebellion often feeds on itself. This is not a year for smooth-sailing campaigns. A thought experiment: imagine that Jeb Bush won the nomination, and that much of his team of advisors were familiar faces from his brother’s campaign. Imagine that no-one was fired, or hired from say sometime last fall. A well-oiled, low-key machine quietly humming along to victory in the nomination process, and presiding over a seamless GOP convention where every speaker was experienced, not too cautious, and fit just right with Jeb’s message of an immigration-tolerant, trade-friendly, common core-boosting GOP. Should I stop now? Did we pass absurd before finishing even the first sentence of said thought-experiment? To expect no turbulence in the Trump campaign’s structure is like sailing into a perfect storm while relaxing in sun-chairs on the deck. Trump’s campaign is different. It does not have an easy, knowable set of precedents to refer to. Despite many critics helpfully offering some from mid-20th century Germany and Italy, for example. That means adjusting tactics in the middle of the firestorms that the media whips up because Trump does indeed provoke them. Because he questions established norms and truths, sometimes in dangerous and divisive ways. But he usually stirs trouble where there already is trouble, or frustration. So in the middle of this turbulence, style does matter. A sense of strength and steadiness in how one responds to the controversies one faces, or creates, is something people look for in a president. That does not mean blind voter faith in institutions. That’s long gone, and Hillary is living proof that you can s[...]



George Soros, You’re not the Secret Operating Code

2016-08-18T21:36:59Z

George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, handles lots of money, dispensing it around the world. Billions and billions of dollars. Maybe that’s small change when you’re working up a continuing resolution on Capitol Hill, but in many of the places where the money is apparently spent, it has made a difference. But one has to remember […]George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, handles lots of money, dispensing it around the world. Billions and billions of dollars. Maybe that’s small change when you’re working up a continuing resolution on Capitol Hill, but in many of the places where the money is apparently spent, it has made a difference. But one has to remember that the Open Society Foundations did not merely spring from Soros’ ambitious brow, and his enormous bank balances. It has a history that goes back to the Congress for Cultural Freedom, or CCF, founded in 1950 in the early years of the Cold War, and used by the CIA and State – thank God – as a platform to influence and discredit the alarmingly widespread cultural nods of approval towards marxism and socialism in places like Western and Eastern Europe, and right around the world. The CCF was renamed the International Association for Cultural Freedom (IACF) in the mid-60’s and one of its affiliates was merged with Soros’ Open Society around 1990. Just as the Berlin Wall was coming down. Soros had already been present in his native Hungary since the mid-80’s, presumably working to prepare for the day that the iron curtain would finally be torn away. And the Open Society was very much present in Eastern Europe throughout the turbulent 90’s. One wonders whether the UK deliberately avoided charging Soros with currency speculation when he shorted the pound sterling to the tune of 10 billion in 1992, making off with a cool billion for himself, because it was understood that he would be spending at least some of those funds helping Eastern Europe rid itself of the legacy of decades of totalitarian, socialist rule. Big money, big history, big politics, big ideas. Like Karl Popper. Like the Mount Pelerin Society. Soros would love to be called professor Soros no doubt, and he is indeed a billionaire yearning to unleash his inner think-tank wonk-beast on the world. And he has. For decades now. But what worked in places like Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia was due in large part to the iron will of Thatcher and the steely optimism of Reagan and their impressive coalition with Pope John Paul II. It was under the umbrella of their focused and relentless foreign policy, one that was also willing to negotiate, that the Open Society Foundations’ cultural work was made possible. Even in the years after they were out of office. Soros is not the secret operating code that brought an end to the Cold War. He’s an app, an important one, but one that fails when the operating system is not robust. Like with the Obama administration and the Iran deal. Iran is not analogous to countries like Poland or Hungary. It is more like Russia, caught in a totalitarian theocracy, with bubbling ethnic tensions ready to erupt when the ayatollah’s lose their grip on power. So it’s no surprise that The Ploushares Fund, would approach the Open Society Foundations in a rather secret way to ask for a little cash (a mere $750,000) to help boost the echo chamber of experts testifying to the feasibility of the Iran deal. Back around 2013. Even Obama’s biggest boosters knew that shaking hands with the ayatollahs or their political representatives on a deal that essentiall[...]



Here Comes Steve Bannon!

2016-08-17T21:45:20Z

So it was Manafort who has had to step sideways and maybe down a few flights of stairs in the Trump Tower penthouse suite. The man who has more political experience than the rest of Trump’s team combined, has been struggling with an Eastern European albatross draped over his elegantly suited shoulders in the last […]

So it was Manafort who has had to step sideways and maybe down a few flights of stairs in the Trump Tower penthouse suite. The man who has more political experience than the rest of Trump’s team combined, has been struggling with an Eastern European albatross draped over his elegantly suited shoulders in the last few weeks. The Russia connection is all over the media, and questions about possible under-the-table payments totalling around $12 million have linked Manafort to Russia and Ukraine’s ousted President Yanucovych, a key Putin ally.

Throw in the DNC and DCC hacks which seem to come from Russian hackers and add in Wikileaks as a Putin agitprop media machine and you have Trump’s campaign beseiged by the type of conspiracy theories that Trump himself has been accused of fostering. Plus poll numbers are depressingly low as of late, and staying that way.

Something had to give. And that was Manafort, who now has to share duties with … Steve Bannon! And Kellyanne Conway, a GOP pollster who previously worked with pro-Cruz Super PAC Keep the Promise, and specializes in trying to bridge the gender gap that many GOP candidates face. Oh. And also, rumor has it that Roger Ailes is helping Trump prep for the upcoming debates, starting September 26.

Did Corey Lewandowski have a heads up on all this when he gleefully re-tweeted the NYT article on Manafort and the possible payments from associates linked with Putin? Regardless, Trump is going to double down on doubling down. He will do it His Way, or no way at all. Expect an even nastier campaign from here on forward than the already lurid expectations coming from most in the media.

The irony is that up in West Bend, Wisconsin Trump gave perhaps the best speech of his campaign by doing what many – like Manafort and others – have been pleading for him to do all along; being focused, disciplined and sticking to his law and order message. But bringing it down to the level of neighborhood safety and job security. While his appeal to black voters may not move the needle much at all at this point, he clearly made a case for why his positions on immigration, trade, and local policing are ones that should matter to large numbers of African American workers who have to deal with the negative consequences of illegal immigration, trade deals and insecurity in their neighborhoods on an almost daily basis.

But that speech may go unnoticed for at least a few days. Right now, everyone will be talking about Breitbart’s Steve Bannon and how his flamethrower approach will make Trump’s campaign even more controversial and theatrical than before. Anything is possible in Trump’s world. Even a well-focused political speech.




What Paul Ryan’s Big Primary Win Really Means

2016-08-12T16:01:50Z

Now that Speaker Paul Ryan has roundly thumped GOP primary rival Paul Nehlen in his home district in Wisconsin, what does it mean? There has been a fair bit written on how Ryan’s campaign team deftly managed the potential challenges that Nehlen’s surprise run involved. In other words, they managed to easily avoid a repeat […]

Now that Speaker Paul Ryan has roundly thumped GOP primary rival Paul Nehlen in his home district in Wisconsin, what does it mean?

There has been a fair bit written on how Ryan’s campaign team deftly managed the potential challenges that Nehlen’s surprise run involved. In other words, they managed to easily avoid a repeat of Cantor’s stunning upset loss in Virginia 2 years ago. All this while facing similar dangers: supposedly out of touch D.C. politician, voter anger on support for free trade, and anger at support for some form of amnesty for illegals.

So that’s the why behind Ryan’s winter beard, which graced his hirsute presence at sporting events. Complete with a little camouflage. The thing is, Ryan is not just play acting – yes his campaign did some spinning – but rather he is known and respected and seen as authentic by his voters back home. Cantor’s team would surely say the same, of course, but somehow Brat was able to paint Cantor as an outsider.

But the main issue may just be that Wisconsin is not Virginia. And Virginia is not Wisconsin. And when you throw Trump into the mix, his support for Nehlen surely backfired, or did little to move the needle in a state that does not poll well for the GOP presidential nominee.

The real lesson from Ryan’s resounding win in what should have been a little-noticed primary, is that it is another marker in the struggle for the future of the Republican Party. And Ryan has played his reluctant hero card very skillfully in the long 3 months between Trump sealing the nomination in Indiana and his own primary win in Wisconsin. A lot has happened in these past 3 months: two conventions and more than a fair share of controversies that have put the Speaker of The House in the media spotlight, having to comment on every tweet of his party’s nominee.

Has Ryan shown grace under pressure during his trial by fire as Speaker? For NeverTrump’ers he has not been nearly tough enough on Trump – savagely dismissive enough would be more like it – for their liking. For Trump and his team, he has been far too distant and neutral, and openly critical of the nominee on some issues.

Try this thought exercise: imagine Ted Cruz somehow as Speaker of the House. Would we already have two wings of the GOP openly waging war on each other? Umm … ok maybe we sort of already do. But it would be a far more volatile confrontation with serious talk of splitting the party in two.

And imagine this: Carly Fiorina manages to grab the RNC chairmanship from Reince Priebus, who may not feel inclined to run again. And imagine Mitch McConnell just manages to hold onto his job as majority leader in the Senate, by keeping down-ticket races clear of Trump’s campaign. Ryan in the House. Mitch in the Senate. Carly at RNC. If Trump miraculously manages to right his campaign and somehow stay on message, winning the White House will be easy compared to governing. Because as victor he will have to unite the GOP, once in the White House. He will have no choice. Won’t he?




Suction Cups Attack the Trump Tower!!

2016-08-12T15:53:45Z

Suction cups. Cupping. Maybe he was inspired by Michael Phelps. Not merely the cabinet full of gold medals and olympic and world records. But those odd, circular bruises on the olympian’s skin. In case you watched Phelps add a couple more gold to his collection over the last few days down in Rio de Janeiro. […]

Suction cups. Cupping. Maybe he was inspired by Michael Phelps. Not merely the cabinet full of gold medals and olympic and world records. But those odd, circular bruises on the olympian’s skin. In case you watched Phelps add a couple more gold to his collection over the last few days down in Rio de Janeiro. And read about the ancient Chinese cure of cupping, which apparently leaves those little bruises on your skin.

Who the he from Virginia exactly is will be – or already is – all over the media very soon. That’s what happens when you make a scary little viral video where you talk with a gothic southern accent and look like a vampire wearing a hoodie. And promise to get Trump’s attention. Which the hooded he certainly did by using suction cups to scale the Trump Tower.

It is a reasonable guess that this is not going to help Trump’s campaign, when more details of who this mountaineering nut case is become available. And what his beliefs are. In his viral video he asks everyone to vote for Trump and notes that he is an independent researcher. While cliff climbing and rockface scaling is arguably more healthy than driving a taxi in Manhattan in the mid 70’s; this he from Virginia does remind one a little of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

Perhaps it will just be a silly summer story. One hopes so. Especially given a new controversy over Trump’s comments regarding the 2nd amendment. Again, as in past controversies, Trump’s rhetorical style gives room for a variety of interpretations, including his campaign team’s official one: those who understandably believe in Americans’ right to lawfully bear arms, are a very united voting block. And will – by implication – head to the polls in much greater numbers than pundits realize to do their best to prevent a Clinton presidency. There are other possible interpretations to his remarks, however. As usual, with The Donald.

On the same day as the cup scaling madman attached himself to the Trump Tower, Trump himself was delivering a speech in Abingdon Virginia. It was a toned down affair for the man, but he certainly did not shy away from the 2nd amendment:

We have to protect our Second Ammendement, which is under siege. Remember that: it’s under siege.

The mostly rural Virginia audience apparently loved it. If Trump wanted to make sure his stance on gun rights was headline news, he’s sure managed to do that. And without using suction cups while hanging onto the side of his building.




Hillary Didn’t Lie – She Short-Circuited

2016-08-09T18:27:26Z

A short circuit is defined as an abnormal connection between two nodes of an electric circuit. Which are intended to function at different voltages. So you get an arc and the thing shuts down usually. A lie is something you state which you know to be false, for the purpose of deceiving. One is intentional. […]

A short circuit is defined as an abnormal connection between two nodes of an electric circuit. Which are intended to function at different voltages. So you get an arc and the thing shuts down usually. A lie is something you state which you know to be false, for the purpose of deceiving. One is intentional. The other (generally speaking) accidental.

So they’re different, especially with regard to intent.

Did Hillary carefully work out her excuse before her appearance at the? Her stating that the direct contradictions between what she said in an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace, and what she said to the public regarding the FBI’s investigation of her use of a private server while at State, was a … short circuit? That she and Chris Wallace operate at different voltage levels maybe? Hillary having an angry and defensive reading on the volt-a-meter? Chris having an impudently polite and prying reading on the volt-a-meter?

Does this make all her pauses – the plodding, determined school teacher rhetoric she falls into so often – suddenly understandable? Is Hillary an evil bot? Or a good bot who sometimes falls into a short-circuit?

Ok, so what she means is she and Chris Wallace were talking past each other. He meant Hillary’s comments to the public and to Congress. She meant her interview with the FBI, which apparently was not even recorded.

Does this remind you of the what the meaning of is is defense of Bill Clinton back in 98? Different styles and personas: he the slick but charming southern lawyer; she the honest-to-goodness midwesterner. Same shameless use of deceit without so much as a blush. Actually, Bill probably still can blush or cry on demand. Better than most professional method actors. But shameless none the less.

But the problem for Donald Trump is this. Unless he hammers away at Hillary’s deceits in a focused and disciplined manner, she will evade any real consequences for this latest act of deception on her part. She is a known commodity, but at the same time is a seasoned politician. Shamelessness comes easy to her. Not quite as easily to Trump, who sweats and stumbles a little when he flubs something. For all his disastrous controversies, he’s just a little more real than Hillary. And a little more believable in his bluster and unpredictability.

Does that make the public comfortable with Trump vs. Clinton as their president? No it doesn’t, not at all. He has to make this about Hillary not himself. By being disciplined when under fire. And time is running out.




Tim Huelskamp Gets Punished for Voting His Beliefs

2016-08-04T16:30:04Z

As Mike Pence – speaking about Trump’s refusal to endorse Speaker Ryan – said: in politics it takes a little time to get relationships going. And to finish things off, he might have added. Just ask John Boehner, who apparently enjoyed a glass of wine in the late summer evening as he watched GOP Representative […]

As Mike Pence – speaking about Trump’s refusal to endorse Speaker Ryan – said: in politics it takes a little time to get relationships going. And to finish things off, he might have added. Just ask John Boehner, who apparently enjoyed a glass of wine in the late summer evening as he watched GOP Representative Tim Huelskamp go down in defeat in Kansas to Roger Marshall in a GOP primary on Tuesday night.

Why did Tim Huelskamp anger everyone from former speaker Boehner to the Ricketts family, who funded a super PAC to bring the Kansas Republican down? And who is the real conservative and what in fact is a conservative in Kansas? The messaging that the truckloads of outside money hammered home was that Huelskamp is not a team player and not a conservative by implication. And bad-tempered and hard to get along with. A real jerk and we’re the real conservatives. not him, was the character-assasinating chorus line’s message.

Ok. So it didn’t have anything to do with votes by the Kansas GOP representative against big ag, the Farm Bill, and the Export-Import Bank? His unwillingness to trade favors in standard, establishment DC-style had nothing to do with previously getting kicked off the Agricultural Committee by Boehner?

His demise is being spun by his opponents as a local reaction to an out-of-touch representative on the hill. But it seems to be more about powerful chapters of powerful national groups gunning for someone they saw as unwilling to pursue what they feel should be their shared agenda. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ESA fund spent lots to vote him out, while The Club for Growth and Americans For Prosperity were supporting him.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, this was a great win for conservatives ‘who want to get big things done´. Which is exactly what Tim Huelskamp believed he was sent to Washington to fight against: big things getting done by big interest groups. That’s local?

Speaker Ryan, who promised not to be as whipish with dissenters as Boehner was, has cloaked himself in splendid isolation, trying to maintain a neutral stance throughout this nasty fight in the plains of Kansas. He wouldn’t be trying to balance his own funding needs against the right of congressmen and women to represent their district in the way they believe best, without being punished by establishment GOP leaders?

Is voting your beliefs obstructionism? It sure was to John Boehner. Is it to Paul Ryan?




Donna Brazile’s You’re-Fired-DNC Dance

2016-08-04T16:28:56Z

Boy is she ever incoming. Soon-to-be DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazil did an oh-so-cute little dance as she exited the stage, after her speech at the convention in Philadelphia. What some of her newly-former DNC head officials did not realize at the time – as they surely clapped heartily and loudly – was that Donna was […]

Boy is she ever incoming. Soon-to-be DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazil did an oh-so-cute little dance as she exited the stage, after her speech at the convention in Philadelphia. What some of her newly-former DNC head officials did not realize at the time – as they surely clapped heartily and loudly – was that Donna was doing her you’re-fired dance.

Amy Dacy, CEO. Luis Miranda, Communications Director. And Brad Marshall, CFO. All gone from the DNC this Tuesday as the expansive and energetic veteran waved them out the front door with an abundance of love and best wishes for their future careers.

Should this cheer Bernie-or-Bust’ers? Brazil has appointed a transition team led by former DNC Executive Director Tom McMahon. So to appease the B-o-B’ers we now have Democrat warhorses moving in to take over the DNC? Could Brazile and McMahon be any more establishment?

Let’s assume that the DNC and Democrat Campaign hacks were in fact done by Russian cyber-crooks, acting in accordance with Putin’s orders. If the house-clearing at the DNC is another sign of Hillary moving back to center of the spectrum after promising the world on a platform to Sanders and his supporters, is that good for Trump?

Any answer to that question is conditional upon what really does happen. In other words, no one really has a clue. Is the DNC hack disruptive? Absolutely. But what sort of effects that disruption will have on the final result of the election is far from clear at this point.

Will Bernie supporters stay home? Will independents and disaffected NeverTrump’ers vote for Hillary?

At this point, Russia and any influence or intention it’s government and security and intel branches may or may not have with regard to the 2016 presidential election, is a wildcard. For example, if Russia continues to be a major story within the election campaign news stream, then the Clinton Foundation’s cozy cuddling up to Russian oligarchs could provide the ammunition to sink Hillary’s last determined bid for the Oval Office. It all depends on what cards get laid down over the next 3 months.

Has Russia shown up with a chess set at what, in fact, is a 100 day Texas Two Card Hold’em game?




It’s Morning in Philadelphia

2016-07-29T16:31:40Z

It’s over folks. Finally. The primaries are officially signed, sealed, and delivered. As they clean up at the Wells Fargo arena in the city in which the founding fathers put quill to paper and wrote down the principles which have guided the world’s greatest experiment in republican democracy for 240 years – or slightly less […]

It’s over folks. Finally. The primaries are officially signed, sealed, and delivered. As they clean up at the Wells Fargo arena in the city in which the founding fathers put quill to paper and wrote down the principles which have guided the world’s greatest experiment in republican democracy for 240 years – or slightly less if you want to get wonky about ratification and the articles of confederation – a benevolent spirit hangs over the city.

Ronald Reagan.

His shining city on a hill metaphor, his morning in America optimism, infused the rhetoric of speaker after speaker at the DNC Convention of 2016. Even as most – but certainly not all – see government once again as the solution. Rather than the problem. And more than government – the separate and equal powers forged by the founding fathers – some like the president prefer administrative fiat, weaseling it’s way down into every local school board and county.

The father of Captain Humayun Khan, Khizr Khan, could have been quoting Ted Cruz when he delivered the best line of the night, asking Trump if he had read the constitution. The distance between his inspiring and austere dignity and a sweaty Bernie supporter trying to out-chant Hillary’s troops is enormous. Only an optimistic veneer could possibly cover over their differences and present the appearance of unity.

But it is a veneer. Because America is already incredibly over-governed by an enormous and exponentially expanding welter of rules and regulations. So the optimism that draped the normative forms of the rhetoric in Philadelphia is lacking in any substance of real change that the nation is demanding in 2016. It’s substance promises even more – way more perhaps – of the same. More rules. More subsidies. More taxes.

In fact, Hillary attacked Trump on what perhaps is her worst weakness: the egotistical idea that she can produce real change through a thousand policy briefs and administrative rules. A thousand new laws and guidelines. A thousand new regulations pushing businesses to abandon efficiencies and innovate economically unsound solutions. Working with thousands of legislators around the country. She and only she. As a She. More rules. More subsidies. More taxes.

She really needs Donald Trump Jr. as her economic czar, rather than Bill. If she truly wants to release the creativity and power of America’s entrepreneurial spirit. Although perhaps if Bill could have his way, he’d be closer to Donald Jr. than to his wife. But he can’t. He’s an ex. She the man now.

So while the speeches were defiantly and righteously optimistic, the policies that came out of Philly would have made Ted Kennedy proud. Or even blush. And that’s a ways from the man whose spirit the Democrats willfully tried to invoke in Philadelphia.




Hillary Should Thank God for Bernie and Donald

2016-07-29T16:30:53Z

In the end, Hillary didn’t even try to come to the plate and compete with the all-star heavy-hitters of rhetoric. Instead she stood on the pitcher’s mound and threw a steady, slow curve ball that tried to avoid every vulnerability of hers by admitting them. And then showing she’s listening. America’s First Mom and Madam […]In the end, Hillary didn’t even try to come to the plate and compete with the all-star heavy-hitters of rhetoric. Instead she stood on the pitcher’s mound and threw a steady, slow curve ball that tried to avoid every vulnerability of hers by admitting them. And then showing she’s listening. America’s First Mom and Madam Steady Hand also showed her purpose in running for President of the United States of America. To defeat Donald Trump. To avoid the risks she claims he represents. And she’s had everyone from from Mayor Bloomberg to the Khan family’s father chip in, who told Trump to read the Constitution basically, as he told the story of his fallen soldier son. The family being Muslim-American of course. Hillary should thank God that Donald Trump won the GOP nomination. She now does not have to capture in a simple, effective way why she should be president. She just has to say why he shouldn’t be president. That’s her campaign strategy from here on in. But that means she’s working under Trump’s agenda. She’s running – in the literal sense – a reactionary campaign, responding to Trump’s provocations and tweets. As she said: A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can’t trust with nuclear weapons. So that’s how she will work the issue of her high negatives (as high now as Trump’s in some polls) and the lack of trust in her. She will bait Trump and say: see? he can’t be trusted! As she wound her way through her hard-left policy planks: universal health care; increased access to abortion; free college for middle and lower class kids; higher taxes – we will follow the money is what she said – for corporations, banks, and the wealthy; trade deals especially with China that have to be changed or cancelled; climate change and the implied carbon taxes; gender issues, trans and all; and on and on … you wondered: What would Hillary have done without Bernie or Donald in the primaries? After her core constituency, she is appeasing Bernie supporters and appealing to both those who support Trump and those who oppose Trump on the GOP side. Any issue is worthy of her consideration. She’ll take positions on almost any side of the spectrum if she thinks it will get her to the White House again. And this time with her desk in the Oval Office. Right now that side of the issues is firmly on the left, and with a nod to populist concerns. She will nod at any concern. She has a policy paper on any issue. She is the true policy wonk. Not Bill, the great explainer. Hillary is the status quo, because year after year, she helped build the current progressive status quo. She may have had her legions of allies and supporters paint her as the in-the-trenches change-maker, but those changes have largely been made. How much farther can you go than transgender bathrooms in every school and abortion on demand across America? With Hillary taking her turn at the top of the status quo, America will find out. [...]



After the Weeping and Venting – Will They Support Hillary?

2016-07-26T23:39:09Z

Bernie Sanders stood stubborn and tall in the Philadelphia convention center a few hours before the DNC would gavel open the convention at the Wells Fargo arena a ways away in another part of town. The boos were showering him on stage because of his explicit expression of support for Hillary Clinton, and of the […]Bernie Sanders stood stubborn and tall in the Philadelphia convention center a few hours before the DNC would gavel open the convention at the Wells Fargo arena a ways away in another part of town. The boos were showering him on stage because of his explicit expression of support for Hillary Clinton, and of the need for his army of supporters to follow him in that support. Brothers and sisters – Bernie said, arm raised somewhere between a professor making a point in a debate, and the classic 60’s revolutionary raised fist. Brothers and sisters – Bernie repeated, after another pause. But the boos continued, his supporters who filled the room unwilling to make the leap with Bernie Sanders and to declare they will work for Hillary’s general election campaign. When Sanders hit the stage hours later at the convention itself, there were was several, steady minutes of cheers and applause from his supporters, who would not let him begin to speak until they had expressed their boisterous admiration for the aging socialist. As he began his speech – sounding like the nominee of the party after a gloriously successful primary campaign – the tension was palpable. And there was only one real question: Would they boo again? When Bernie endorsed Hillary on the convention stage? If they did, they were few and far between. And there were plenty of Bernie supporters in the hall. Who had chanted and loudly boo’ed at various points that evening, right from the opening prayers. But Sanders with his seemingly-outdated, bludgeoning rhetoric, somehow silenced their dissent, point by lumbering point. Even if his proclaiming of the most progressive policy platform ever for a Democratic Party, left lingering doubts as to how Hillary would navigate between the screaming left wing and the pragmatic, corrupt centrists, once the convention wraps up. Have the Bernie-ristas tired out finally? That’s the thing. The buzz and energy in the arena seemed to come from them, and not as much from the stalwarts and supporters of Democrat identity politics crowding the place up. And Bernie threw them some meat – sorry: veggie burgers – by calling for them to vote during the roll call vote Tuesday night. Which will deal – almost certainly – with the role of Super Delegates. And how to curtail them in future primaries. The revolution continues apparently, in policy platforms and the great coming battle against The Donald. As Bernie Sanders listed the reasons for the struggle – a list which celebrated his dragging of the Democrat policy planks over to the far left of the left-of-center where they had been – he tried to infuse his supporters with a continued sense of purpose. The goal still being the establishment of a Socialist Scandinavian style political system, and society, in America. They wept in the stands as his endorsement of Hillary was shouted out by Bernie. Presumably male photographers rushed to take pictures of the bare armpits of any younger Bernie supporter who also happened to be fem[...]



The Space between Donald Jr. and Ivanka

2016-07-22T21:11:06Z

Much has been said about Donald Trump’s children, including speculating on how much influence they really do wield on their father. And now with the convention over, we have just a little more insight into who they may be. And how much power they might have in a Trump White House. While Eric certainly has […]Much has been said about Donald Trump’s children, including speculating on how much influence they really do wield on their father. And now with the convention over, we have just a little more insight into who they may be. And how much power they might have in a Trump White House. While Eric certainly has been present in the media, and Tiffany actually gave a short little speech, the interesting siblings are Donald Jr. and Ivanka. And while no one is more like you genetically than your siblings, politically there’s more than a little distance between the two of them. Donald Junior was down in the pits – to use a Wall Street phrase – trading cheers (for his dad’s reaching 1,237) and jeers (with the New York delegation that he basically ran angrily urging Ted Cruz to endorse during the senator’s infamous speech). And when it was his turn to take the stage he delivered a speech that was both uplifting and charmingly defiant towards the establishment elites. He even won grudging praise from Erick Erickson, for crying out loud. In that speech he outlined a policy platform that focused on education and jobs, with some references to crime and trade. But it was a speech about values and accomplishments. And America’s politically-correct paralysis that underlies the tendency for the nation to appease abroad and to encumber with misguided regulation at home. Never mind the thousands and thousands of pages of Dodds-Frank that ensures only those financial behemoth’s on Wall Street that can afford the required platoons of compliance daemons to sort through the labyrinths of rules and regulations, will prosper. To the detriment of smaller, newer, innovative companies in finance. Despite some marvelous exceptions, like Paypal. A local school in a small town in the midwest now may face pages and pages of administrative “guidelines” on how students must now be afforded gender neutral bathrooms. Rule by executive order has trickled down to your local school board. And Donald Jr’s Soviet Department Store analogy for how public schools exist to serve the teachers’ unions and not the students hit home perfectly. All in all, a very very good speech. Less so with Ivanka. She’s not a Republican, she told America. She’s not a Democrat. She’s a Millennial. Maybe it’s all her tall blond sisters, and sisters-in-law – herself included; but her proposals sound a little Scandinavian. Free daycare and free maternity leave. While she didn’t state it quite that bluntly, it was clearly implied in her remarks about how mothers are those who are truly discriminated against, in terms of wages. Not necessarily women in general. Clearly this is an important topic, but America already has subsidies and incentives that support working families. The problem of how to accommodate a working mother’s needs on the job site is a very real issue. But one senses that Ivanka would be fine with a top down solution imposed on all companies regardles[...]



Trump: What Values Come First?

2016-07-22T21:13:36Z

Trump doubled down on Trump during his lengthy, roaring convention speech Thursday night in Cleveland. And the crowd loved it. And many in the media and the think tanks – both conservative and liberal – will hate it. Because it was an attack on them. On Hillary as their supposed puppet. And a defense of […]Trump doubled down on Trump during his lengthy, roaring convention speech Thursday night in Cleveland. And the crowd loved it. And many in the media and the think tanks – both conservative and liberal – will hate it. Because it was an attack on them. On Hillary as their supposed puppet. And a defense of those who they ignore. If you were transported in a great pumpkin from, say last Halloween, straight to Trump’s acceptance speech; how shocked could you claim to be? Trade, immigration, civil unrest and terrorism. Trump did not water down his controversial policy proposals. With perhaps the exception being where he never actually mentioned the word Muslims while talking about making sure a vetting program was in place before accepting refugees from “any nation that has been compromised by terrorism.” And he continually praised the men and women in blue, living up to his promise of a law and order theme for his speech. He continued to go straight for Hillary, setting up what everyone has rightly predicted will be one heck of a nasty in-the-muck general election. But he framed his attack on her as the puppet of a system rigged by the elites within his own promise to be “your voice.” As he put in the closing section of his speech: while Hillary wants you to pledge that “I’m with Her” he pledges that “I’m with you.” While his flipping of Hillary’s Slogan (and her Go Here! arrow) will surely elicit eye rolls from many in the media, it cuts to the heart of his attack on political-correctness. Hillary’s campaign has been built on the dictates of identity politics. The “I” in “I’m with her” is a coalition of self-identifying groups under the rainbow coalition. Before you’re a small-business owner in Atlanta, you’re an African American above all. Before you’re a lawyer in Kansas City, you’re a female voter. Before you’re a tech owner-manager in Silicon Valley, you’re a gay male. And woe on you if you instead insist you’re a business owner above all, or a lawyer, or – like Peter Thiel did – a proud gay man who happens to be an astonishingly successful investor in tech, but first is a Republican, and above all, an American. The – I’m with her – means you have to gather in these self-proclaimed cultural identities by giving them what the elites that claim to represent them demand, like gender-neutral bathrooms while American cities face a crime wave. The – I’m with You – of Donald Trump is a response to those identity politics coalitions. And yes, it does risk white-identity politics if you frame it from Hillary’s perspective. As most of the mainstream media does. As much of the conservative media also does. But if you see it from the perspective of believing that one is an American first – like Thiel – then it is a rejection of identity politics in favor of a nation[...]



Melania Trump’s Plagiarism Frenzy is Missing the Point

2016-07-22T21:28:45Z

Melania Trump’s RNC speech was over 15 minutes long, and contained a few sentences allegedly plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s speech, and those few sentences are the ONLY thing people are talking about in her speech. That’s ridiculous. She was poised. She was elegant. And she was well-spoken. I won’t remember Melania “plagiarized” her speech because […]

Melania Trump’s RNC speech was over 15 minutes long, and contained a few sentences allegedly plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s speech, and those few sentences are the ONLY thing people are talking about in her speech. That’s ridiculous. She was poised. She was elegant. And she was well-spoken. I won’t remember Melania “plagiarized” her speech because I will remember her incredible story of her childhood in Slovenia, her work ethic that made her a successful model, her emigration to the United States, and that SHE DID THE WORK to become a citizen of the United States.

And by did the work…I mean LITERALLY did the work. Legal immigration in this country is actually a real thing that apparently no one really cares about because no one feels bad for the immigrants doing the paperwork, blood work, fingerprints, and literally taking an exam. If you think Melania Trump didn’t have to do any of these things for immigration because she was wealthy and married Donald Trump, you are very misinformed.

Aside from a few sentences that are the only thing the media is feeding the sheep at this moment, Melania Trump shared quite and incredible story of her American Dream, and her pride to be a citizen in the United States beamed from her while sharing her story. A First Lady who is honored to live in the United States and respects her privilege of being an American citizen is a first Lady I’ll always welcome to the White House .




Trump Picks Mike Pence as VP

2016-07-15T21:29:37Z

Donald Trump announced on Twitter today, that he has officially selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence has his Vice President. Rumors have swirled for days around his selection and were finally put to rest. In light of the attack in Nice, France last night, Trump said he’d be postposing his announcement. The news conference to discuss […]

Donald Trump announced on Twitter today, that he has officially selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence has his Vice President. Rumors have swirled for days around his selection and were finally put to rest.

In light of the attack in Nice, France last night, Trump said he’d be postposing his announcement. The news conference to discuss the selection has been postponed to tomorrow, Saturday at 11 am.

Only one thing remains to solidify Donald Trump’s official nomination is at the Republican National Convention next week in Ohio.