Thursday, February 11, 2016
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GOP Establishment in Chaos over Trump Victory?
by Jonathan Easley and Niall Stanage
The Republican establishment has been plunged into disarray by Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, which revitalized Donald Trump’s campaign and muddled the chances for a centrist alternative to emerge.
The Granite State result is just about the worst possible one from the establishment’s perspective — ensuring the centrist vote will remain divided, with no candidate in that lane having momentum and a viable path to victory.
Trump won the Granite State resoundingly, being projected as the winner by multiple news organizations as soon as polls closed at 8 p.m. As of 11 p.m., he was way out in front, leading second-place John Kasich by a margin of more than two-to-one with 76 percent of precincts reporting.
Just as importantly, the primary delivered a heavy blow to Marco Rubio, stopping dead the momentum he had received from his strong third-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucuses.
Those two factors alone are enough to cause consternation among establishment Republicans, who hope to see Trump taken down by someone on their wavelength.
Read more at 1776 Coalition: http://www.1776coalition.com/featured-content/gop-establishment-in-chaos-over-trump-victory#ixzz3znr2kQSJ
HILLARY WINS MORE DELEGATES DESPITE GETTING CRUSHED
Limbaugh: 'Wait 'til Bernie finds out New Hampshire was rigged'
Despite being the victim of a popular vote landslide in the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton is actually a winner when it comes to the number of delegates earned.
The former secretary of state is leaving the Granite State with at least two more delegates than Sen. Bernie Sanders, even though Sanders won by a margin of 60 to 38 percent of votes.
How is this possible?
New Hampshire not only has 24 “pledged” delegates, which are awarded based on the results of the popular vote, it also has eight “superdelegates,” who are free to lend their support to the candidate of their choice irrespective of the vote.
Though Mrs. Clinton had only nine pledged delegates through the voting process, she has an additional six superdelegates as of Wednesday morning, giving her a total of 15.
Sanders has 13 delegates, all of which he won through the popular vote. Two superdelegates are uncommitted at this point. So even though the results appeared to be a massive win for Sanders, the delegate count where it matters tells a different story.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh commented on the absurdity of the Democratic Party process, saying, “What kind of system is that? You go in and you get skunked, you get schlonged, your get landslided out by 22 points and you leave the state with two more delegates than Bernie. Bernie’s always talking about how this system’s rigged and that system’s rigged, the economy is rigged and Wall Street’s rigged. Wait ’til he finds out that New Hampshire was rigged.”
Radio host Rush Limbaugh
Overall, Clinton holds a commanding lead over Sanders, with 394 delegates compared to 42 for Sanders.
Limbaugh, meanwhile, said the left-leaning media is in “full-fledged panic” over the fact that Donald Trump won the Republican side of the New Hampshire Primary, collecting more than twice the votes of his nearest competitor, Ohio’s John Kasich.
Do you support Donald Trump’s no-nonsense candidacy? Tell the world with this brand new magnetic bumper sticker: “DONALD TRUMPS THE REST”
As WND reported, the New York Daily News featured a bluntly offensive lead story that calls out voters as stupid for picking Donald Trump.
The newspaper tweeted: “Front page: DAWN OF THE BRAIN DEAD – Trump comes back to life with N.H. win.”
The New York Daily News responded to Donald Trump’s win in New Hampshire.
The cover itself showed Trump with a white-painted face and huge red-painted lips drawn into a smile – akin to the Joker in Batman movies. And its headline, in all caps, blasted “Dawn of the Brain Dead.”
The subtitle read: “Clown comes back to life with N.H. win as mindless zombies turn out in droves.”
Limbaugh opined: “When the media starts insulting and blaming the voters as being stupid idiots, you know that full-fledged panic has set in. Because this means that they are unable to control the outcome. And that is what the media lost when they lost their monopoly, their inability now to control the outcome, to control the message, to control how people vote, to control what people think, to control what people’s opinions are. It’s all out the window, and everybody that considers themselves to be part of the establishment is facing a major, big-time rejection today.”
“On the Republican side,” Limbaugh said, “this would not be happening had there been some official, real, serious, consistent pushback to Obama.”
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Bloomberg vs. Trump?Patrick J. Buchanan
Michael Bloomberg: 2016 White House Bid
The morning of the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump, being interviewed on “Morning Joe,” said that he would welcome his “friend” Michael Bloomberg into the presidential race.
Which is probably the understatement of 2016.
The three-term mayor of New York and media mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion, making him one of the richest men on earth, told the Financial Times on Monday he is considering a run.
Bloomberg had earlier confided he was worried about Hillary Clinton’s ability to turn back the challenge of Bernie Sanders, regards Trump’s rise with trepidation, and is appalled by the pedestrian character of the campaign rhetoric.
“I find the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an insult to the voters,” said Bloomberg; the public deserves “a lot better.”
This haughty disdain calls to mind the late Adlai Stevenson. Yet, if Bloomberg runs, his electoral vote tally would likely make Adlai, by comparison, look like Richard Nixon on his 49-state romp in 1972.
Republicans should give Mayor Mike every encouragement to enter the race. For though he threatens to spend a billion dollars of his own money to buy the presidency, his name on the ballot as a third-party candidate could send the Democratic nominee straight down to Davy Jones’s locker.
With Bloomberg siphoning off millions of liberal votes, Democrats would not only lose red states they customarily write off, winning solid blue states would require a far steeper climb.
Third Party candidates have played crucial roles in presidential politics. Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt killed the re-election hopes of his successor President William Howard Taft in 1912, by running as the Bull Moose candidate and delivering the nation to Woodrow Wilson.
Strom Thurmond carried four Deep South states in 1948 and George Wallace carried five Deep South states in 1968. Both sought to throw the election into the U.S. House. Neither succeeded.
Ross Perot got 19 percent of the popular vote in 1992 and 8 percent in 1996. Though he did not carry a single state either time, as a candidate of the populist center-right, Perot peeled off a third of the votes George H. W. Bush had won in 1988 — to sink Bush in 1992.
Why would Bloomberg, who has great wealth and is willing to part with it, not be able to beat Trump, or another Republican nominee, if he plunged a billion dollars into his campaign?
Though he may be a pioneer in modern media and a man with a golden touch, Bloomberg is 74 years old this week, uncharismatic, and does not fill up a room the way the Donald does. He lacks a common touch and is a social liberal, pro-abortion and pro-same-sex marriage.
Moreover, he is a compulsive nanny-stater who outlawed smoking in New York bars, restaurants and public places, prohibited the sale of cigarettes to anyone under 21, forbade trans-fats in restaurants, sodas larger than 16 ounces, chain restaurant menus without calorie counts, cellphones in school, non-fuel-efficient cabs, greenhouse gas emissions, and non-hurricane-proof buildings in coastal areas.
While not well-known nationally, Bloomberg is a zealot about tougher gun control laws and his candidacy would produce a deluge of contributions to the National Rifle Association. This obsession, along with his social views, would sink him in Red State America.
Nor is Bloomberg, despite three straight victories running for mayor, a great political athlete.
In his last race, as the Republican and Independent candidate, Bloomberg spent $102 million to defeat an underfunded Democrat comptroller, but managed to win only 51 percent of the vote.
If Clinton, or even Sanders, were at the top of the Democratic ticket in New York State, either would crush Bloomberg in his home town, especially with the GOP nominee, say Trump, siphoning off all of the Republican-conservative votes Bloomberg received to become mayor.
Now only would Bloomberg lose the Big Apple, his statewide vote would come mostly from the Democratic nominee, giving Republicans the best opportunity to carry the Empire State since Ronald Reagan coasted to re-election in 1984.
By spending a billion dollars, Bloomberg could blanket the nation with ads. But once Republican oppo research groups defined him for Middle America, perhaps 4 in 5 of his votes would come out of the basket upon which Democrats rely.
For example, as a Jewish-American, Bloomberg might do well in the Dade-Broward-Palm Beach County corridor, taking votes that Clinton or Sanders would need to carry Florida. Yet, where would Bloomberg get the rest of his votes to win the Sunshine State?
Clearly, Bloomberg is envious of the success of the Donald, since he descended on that escalator at Trump Towers on June 16.
The problem for Bloomberg is that, while this is the year of the outsider, with populist revolts breaking out in both parties, Sanders and Trump caught the lightning early, while he was restructuring his media empire. And, to be candid, Michael Bloomberg is no barn burner.
So all together now: “Run, Mike, Run!”
Donald Trump Built A Juggernaut
And Had The Media Pay For It
Washington Times, by Charles Hurt
Mr. Trump’s second place finish in Iowa gave respite to the legions of media pundits and establishment flunkies who suffer the worst forms of Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome. They braced for a huge blow-out win in the Corn State. When it didn’t happen, it was like an executioner’s gun jamming. First they flinched, then they blinked a few times and then got up and ran like their hair was on fire.
Ever since, of course, they have been gloating and crowing — from a safe distance — that Donald Trump failed. King Midas had finally touched something and turned it into silver, instead of gold.
This, to be sure, is every bit as delusional as the derangement syndrome that has captivated their sanity for six months now. What Donald Trump pulled off in Iowa was nothing short of miraculous.
The last time a secular, loud, brash New Yorker who was leading in all the national polls faced Iowa Republican voters — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008 — he got truly schlonged. Mr. Giuliani came in sixth place with only 4 percent of the vote.
Donald Trump came in second place with an astonishing 24 percent of the vote. He was just 3.3 percentage points behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who won the race by shamelessly pandering to the state’s huge evangelical population, which has determined the outcome of every Republican caucus there since at least 2000.
If Rudy Giuliani had done as well in Iowa as Trump did, the media would have declared him the winner and he very likely would rushed through New Hampshire and South Carolina on waves of positive press and his ultimate gambit of winning it all in Florida very likely could have worked. In other words, if Mr. Giuliani had done as well as Mr. Trump did in Iowa, we quite possibly would be referring to him now as former President Giuliani.
But the media hatred for Mr. Trump is so unrestrained that even a stellar accomplishment like he had in Iowa was dismissed as a shattering loss. And Sen. Marco Rubio’s third place loss behind Mr. Trump was spun endlessly as some kind of huge victory. This propelled the Florida Republican, until his poor performance in last weekend’s robotic performance in the New Hampshire debate.
What is so amazing about Mr. Trump’s blowout in the nation’s first primary in the Granite State is not just the 2-to-1 win over the next-nearest competitor, but his performance among every demographic group on every single issue.
Among women, middle-aged voters, the elderly, the educated — all people the experts warned would flee from Donald Trump — Mr. Trump managed to win. And he won on every major issue, including the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
Perhaps the sweetest thing out of New Hampshire is how the media will be forced to spin the results. They will, of course, try to minimize Mr. Trump’s thumping.
Then they will be forced to breathe wind into Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s disappointing — but surprising — second-place finish. The Kasich campaign is hopeless going forward. And so the battle rages on for the so-called “establishment lane” with Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and even Ted Cruz piled up behind John Kasich’s hopeless campaign.
Live by the spin, die by the spin.
Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @charleshurt.
Donald Trump (AP)
The Populist Earthquake
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Overturn American Politics
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders overturned American politics with their stunning wins in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday. As I write, with two-thirds of the vote in, Trump leads John Kasich by almost 20 points on the Republican side and Sanders leads Hillary Clinton by 21 points on the Democratic side. Those numbers are incredible. Trump outperformed his ideological precursor Pat Buchanan, who won the New Hampshire primary in 1996. And Sanders—well, what can one say about Sanders? He won every demographic group except seniors and voters with incomes of more than $200,000. And he did this against an opponent who has spent 30 years in the public eye and is supported by basically the entirety of the Democratic Party. What’s more, he’s competitive with Hillary Clinton in fundraising because of a tremendous outpouring of generosity of small-dollar contributors.
What’s fascinating about Trump and Sanders is that their ideological profiles are similar. Both candidates believe the American experiment is terribly out of whack and requires fundamental change if it is to be rescued. They both are happy to attack Wall Street, corporations, trade deals, and the supposedly corrupting influence of money in politics. They both support single-payer health care. They are evidence that a large contingent of New Hampshire primary voters believe something is seriously out of whack in America. And that is a repudiation not only of the Republican “establishment” but also of the Obama administration in which Hillary Clinton served.
I can’t get over the reluctance Democratic voters have to embrace Hillary Clinton as their nominee. Here is President Obama’s former secretary of State, wife to the forty-second president and twice-elected senator from New York, and she ties in Iowa and loses by double digits in New Hampshire to a septuagenarian Vermont socialist. There’s also an enthusiasm gap at work here—Republican turnout is up in both Iowa and New Hampshire, suggesting that GOP voters have had it after eight years of Obama and are ready for change. Clinton is a candidate of the past, she has no discernible message, she is compromised ethically and under investigation by the FBI. This is the candidate Democrats want to put forth in November?
The Republican picture is much cloudier. I admit I thought that by the end of Saturday’s debate Marco Rubio had recovered from Chris Christie’s furious assault. I was wrong. As I write, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rubio are in a fight for third place in New Hampshire. But with 72 percent of the vote in Rubio seems to be coming in fifth behind both Cruz and Bush. Christie at Saturday’s debate was a heat-seeking missile aimed at Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions. He blew Rubio up, and himself up too. Christie is likely to suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday.
John Kasich’s second-place finish in New Hampshire is impressive, but it’s hard to see where he goes from here. He got about the same vote share as Jon Huntsman did in New Hampshire in 2012. And Huntsman, you’ll recall, was not the Republican nominee. The result in New Hampshire means that Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Bush, and Rubio will all duke it out in South Carolina over the next week and a half. I don’t think Kasich will emerge on top.
Cruz, though, is a different story. He won the Iowa caucus and has shown himself to be competitive in New Hampshire. His problem is that his support is deep but narrow. He needs to broaden his coalition to include some of the “somewhat conservative” voters who typically determine the Republican nominee. But he doesn’t seem interested in doing that. Maybe his tactics will change during the fight for South Carolina. Or maybe evangelical voters will put him over the top in the Palmetto State just as they did in Iowa. If that happens, he’ll be a strong contender for the nomination.
Where does that leave Jeb Bush? He has to come in first or second in South Carolina to prove that he’s the party’s best shot to defeat Trump and Cruz. And he may have it in him. He’s improved with every debate and he’s been willing to go after Trump in the past. I’ll also note that Right to Rise has begun airing an ad featuring his brother, my favorite living president, endorsing him. That has got to have some pull with lifelong Republicans. The problem is he’ll also have to fight Kasich and Rubio in South Carolina. That will split the non-populist vote and potentially lead to another muddle.
Ross Douthat wrote the other day that the GOP is a party on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I can’t disagree. There was a chance, after Iowa, that Rubio would consolidate the “somewhat conservative” vote in New Hampshire and foil the populists. But Chris Christie (and Rubio) ensured that didn’t happen. We’re left with a dogfight among so-called establishment Republicans and a wily billionaire who hopes to execute a populist takeover of the Republican Party.
REPUBLICANS DEBATE: SHOULD WOMEN BE DRAFTED?
Phyllis Schlafly torpedoes candidates' plans for women in front-line combat
Toward the end of the eighth Republican presidential debate, the moderators introduced a new subject that has been absent from stump speeches and ignored in the seven previous debates. ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who covered the war in Iraq, asked the candidates whether young women should be required to sign up for Selective Service if the military draft is reinstated, just as young men are required to do.
Sen. Marco Rubio, whose teenage daughters were seated in the first row, was called on first. “I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in combat,” Rubio began. “I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a draft is ever instituted.”
Rubio has been ridiculed for the way he seems to deliver memorized, canned talking points, but his answer suggests he was unprepared for this question. He said he had no problem with women in combat “so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job are not compromised.”
The debate was held the night before the Super Bowl, where some of the nation’s best athletes compete before a world audience. Since there’s no rule preventing “people of either gender” from playing football in the NFL, why has no woman ever appeared in the Super Bowl? Even if an exceptional woman could meet “the minimum requirements necessary to do the job” of playing football, that’s not good enough for the physical demands of the NFL – or for military combat.
Rubio’s reference to “minimum requirements” was echoed by the next candidate to speak, former Gov. Jeb Bush. “If women can meet the minimum requirements for combat service, they ought to have the right to do it. For sure.”
Rubio and Bush have been the loudest voices calling for rebuilding the U.S. military into a force capable of defeating ISIS. Why should we shoot ourselves in the foot by assigning women to combat merely because a few exceptional women “can meet the minimum requirements”?
Even when they “meet the minimum requirements” for military service, women are injured at twice the rate of men, just as female athletes in high-school and college sports suffer much higher rates of injury. The higher injury rate for women is one reason why a Marine Corps study found that all-male teams outperformed mixed gender units on a wide range of tasks.
Yes, women can fight hard against enemy attackers, but it takes real men, backed up by unit cohesion, to say, “Let’s go get him,” and initiate the fight against armed enemies. There is no evidence that women are the equals of men in actual combat.
When I was asleep in bed with my late husband and we heard a noise downstairs that sounded like someone was breaking into the house, I assure you my husband didn’t say, “Honey, why don’t you go downstairs and check out that noise?” My husband did the manly thing and went downstairs himself.
Yes, women can pass many tests for strength needed for combat, but there are no tests to find out who will say, “Let’s go kill a vicious enemy soldier bent on killing you any way he can.” We have plenty of evidence that men can and will walk into that kind of peril to save their buddies.
The naive premise that women can perform in combat to the same standards as men was refuted by retiring Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, the outgoing commander of U.S. Southern Command. In his final briefing, Gen. Kelly warned of the coming “pressure to lower standards, because that’s the only way it’ll work in the way that the agenda-driven people want it to work.”
When it turns out that few if any women are actually serving in combat units, Gen. Kelly predicted, “the question will be asked: Why aren’t they staying? Why aren’t they advancing as infantry people? The answer is, if we don’t change the standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any real numbers.”
The third Republican candidate to endorse women in combat was Gov. Chris Christie who, like Rubio, is the father of two teenage daughters. “There’s no reason why young women should be discriminated against from registering for the Selective Service. That’s what we should aspire to for all of the women in our country.”
Sen. Ted Cruz was not allowed to speak on this topic in the debate, but he unloaded the following day. “It was striking that three different people on that stage came out in support of drafting women into combat in the military,” Cruz said. “I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was: Are you guys nuts?”
“We have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military,” Cruz said to loud applause. “The idea that we would draft our daughters, to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”
North Carolina Drug Testing Welfare Applicants
Starting late last year, North Carolina began issuing drug tests to new applicants for certain state welfare benefits. Now the state is reporting that 24 percent of the first batch of applicants tested came up positive for illegal drugs.
State officials report that of the 89 applicants given the drug test, 21 of them tested positive. An additional 70 applicants who were told to take the test never showed up for their appointment and consequently never got benefits.
The law requiring drug testing of Work First recipients suspected of drug use was signed into law in 2013 despite Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s veto — his first such action.
In his veto statement, McCrory said the legislature “overreached” with its drug testing requirement. McCrory also said the program is too costly.
“It’s almost impossible for us to have a consistent method and a fair method to implement such a measure in 100 counties in North Carolina,” the Gov. wrote. “I think it’s going to be legally tested, and frankly, it costs too much to do. You won’t get return on your money.”
“This is not a smart way to combat drug abuse,” McCrory insisted.
Still, the drug testing requirement was only levied on the Work First program, not all state welfare programs.
North Carolina’s Work First program assists low-income families, but the majority of those who benefit are children, not the adults. Additionally, adults who receive the aide must participate in work requirements.
The implementation of the law went into effect in August of 2015 after objections were eased and funds were added to the budget to pay for the program.
Now, some results are in. The Macon Telegraph reports that of 7,600 welfare applicants, two percent were referred for drug testing. Nearly one quarter of those tested were found to have illegal drugs in their systems. But the positive tests amount to only .3 percent of total applicants.
Also, despite the positive results, in half the cases benefits were still paid to the applicants because children were involved.
Critics of the program say that at $55 per applicant, the drug testing is too costly. They also say these results prove that few of the applicants are drug users, at least no more or less so than among the general public.
A critic of the program, State Senator Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, said the results show the testing is ineffective.
“They found very few applicants. Plus, the process is already in place in terms of asking questions and making those referrals [to drug treatment programs],” Robinson told WRAL. “So, we just wasted state dollars, in terms of that piece of legislation and in terms of the time and staff all across the state.”
Ciao…….Moe & Helen Lauzier
Ciao…….Moe & Helen Lauzier