by baldilocks

Ever since I’ve returned to the USA from Kenya, I’ve had people ask me how I feel. The answer is “better,”baldilocks but I’ve struggled to find the words to describe what “better” means in this context. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, struggling to find the words to describe something is unusual for me.

Meeting my Kenyan family certainly wasn’t a First Contact situation, as I’ve mentioned before, but it was like this: I’m normally uncomfortable around people whom I’ve just met face-to-face, but I felt none of that at all. My Kenyan family is composed of sweet and wonderful people and I think we all felt instantly connected.

As for my father, I suppose that some people in my place would be angry about the 50 years of separation and the sparse contact, but I felt none of that—only fascination at finally being able to see the face of the man who is responsible for my existence…and, oddly enough, a bit protective of him.

Here’s something that only the children of divorce/death of a father can gra
sp: growing up being the only person in my family with my last name and, not only that, the only person I knew close by with this name, I’ve always felt isolated. Oh, my American family never made me feel that way, but It was what it was.  With the Kenyans, there is–at last–more than just one Ochieng. (Actually, ‘Ochieng’ is the ‘Smith’ of Kenya.)

I accept and revel in my oddball-ness now, but it took childhood and a good part of my adulthood to get to that point. But, I think that it’s point at which we all arrive, if we’re blessed enough and driven enough to keep moving: that God put each one of us on this Earth for a purpose.

I did feel a little worried about how my American dad felt about all this attention being focused on the guy who missed out on all the hard work. But it was the guy with a different last name than mine who summed up how I feel since one of my lifelong dreams became true. I feel whole.

(Thanks to Asher Abrams)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

Three years ago Gallup talked about median income both household and per-capita worldwide:

The median annual household income worldwide is $9,733, and the median per-capita household income is $2,920, according to new Gallup metrics. Vast differences between more economically developed countries and those with developing or transitional economies illustrate how dramatically spending power varies worldwide. Median per-capita incomes in the top 10 wealthiest populations are more than 50 times those in the 10 poorest populations, all of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

It included this chart on median household and per capita incomes of the richest countries

income stats

Now remember these figures represent what individuals and families earn in the course of an entire year.

Now lets consider those numbers compared to US college students.

Stacy McCain loves to quote tuition at elite colleges, on Thursday he talked about

Scripps College is an elite private women’s school in California with an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students who pay annual tuition of $49,152.

Now in fairness this is an elite college with as Stacy says less than 1000 students, lets consider a public college like UMass Amherst home of a certain oppressed female named Cora that has now gotten international attention.

According to the UMASS site the estimated cost for next year for a student including room and board is, #26,445 for a Massachusetts resident, $36,331 (including illegal aliens) for a New England Resident (RI,CT,VT,NH or ME) and $43,268 for a person who lives outside of New England

Or Missouri University which has gotten some attention lately by students who consider themselves oppressed. If you are a resident of Missouri you are paying $25,514 in tuition and fees while if you are an out-of-state resident your cost to be oppressed is $40,126 and this price doesn’t include a course fee that varies from $30 to $90 PER HOUR.

Now look at this chart again and consider: If you are a student a UMASS or MIZZOU student paying the lowest possible tuition/fees you are rich enough to purchase or have purchased for you something more expensive than the median per capita income of the richest nations in the world.

Meanwhile if you are going to Scripps college you or your parents are buying something for you that cost more than the median household income of all but three nations in the world.

So that leads to an obvious question for these special snowflakes that Stacy McCain asked this week:

Exactly how much “oppression” can any girl suffer at an elite college like Scripps? Isn’t the very fact that she is enrolled at such a ritzy school testimony to her privileged status?

One of the reasons why I absolutely love RS. McCain is he cuts to the chase so well, but I submit and suggest that question is not restricted to students at Scripps, it is also properly asked of students attending MIZZOU or UMASS who are crying oppression.

How can you credibly claim to be oppressed when you can afford a product that costs more than the median household income of iberia, Burundi, Mali, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Benin, Toga and Zambia COMBINED?

I think that’s an excellent question, don’t you?

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I’ve never met Andrew Klavan, and probably never will.

I have met Robert Bidinotto, though.

Yesterday I was reading Robert’s excellent article, A vote for #Neither, where he spells out my feelings exactly (emphasis added),

I realize that an election is merely a tactical decision, almost always between less-than-ideal options. Oftentimes it is a choice for the lesser harm. But — and I’m being stone-cold serious — in a choice between Trump and Clinton, I have no clue who would cause the greater long-term harm to America or to my own values and interests. An unprincipled populist demagogue, whose answer to all problems, foreign and domestic, is an international trade war — or a pathological criminal with a progressive agenda? We’re not talking about two characters who would continue the status quo of steady American decline. We’re talking about two human wrecking balls. Each, in his or her own way, would accelerate American decline in a host of political, economic, and cultural ways.

I post only that paragraph, but you must read the full essay. He describes how we end up rationalizing our self-corruption individually and as society.

No wonder I’m going through Denial, anger, bargaining, depression . . . but no acceptance – or, as Prof. Jacobson put it,

A Trump versus Hillary general election is lose-lose.

So fight on Ted. To the end.

Still, it’s a struggle to not succumb to negativity, and that’s where Klavan comes in. Yesterday’s podcast is titled “Cruz is Desperate – And Should Be!” After picking Carly for VP,

Cruz added he will soon pick out the tie he’ll wear to his inauguration speech, and some new carpeting for the oval office.

and there’s even a Bernie joke, which starts out,

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has fired much of his campaign staff. He says the move is in keeping with his principles, because the staff started with high, unrealistic hopes, and ended up unemployed so now they have a better understanding of how socialism really works.

Klavan is smart, quick and funny, but what I like about his show (which I have already recommended) is that he reminds us on every show of a deeper truth: the Lord commands us to be joyful,

“Rejoice always”

Don’t sign on for “one long life of misery.” as he puts it.

Happiness, in many ways, is a series of conscious choices, a search for the people, the work and the things that uplift your spirit.

Bearing this in mind, this weekend I’ll meditate on Psalm 118, especially on verse 24,

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Notice how it says “we will rejoice”, not maybemight, perhaps, but we will. Politicians come and go, but those are words to live by.

Bonus: Ethel Merman & Donald O’Connor

———————————-

In other news,
I updated Wednesday’s post, “See you in court”,

UPDATE, April 29,
Trump University Hearings Will Start on the First Day of GOP Convention

Klavan will never run out of material!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Six months ago I bluntly told you that in a Ted Cruz Donald Trump race, Trump was the establishment pick:

If Ted Cruz is willing to take on practically his entire caucus as the junior senator against a powerful Senate leader how much more willing will he be willing to do so with the bully pulpit & the power that comes with it in his hands? The Supreme Court Fights alone will be epic and I suspect a man as familiar with the court as he will managed to find actual conservatives to both nominate and fight for.

Now contrast that worry with what the Establishment will had to deal with in a Trump administration. Picture a group of people appointed by a pragmatic deal maker and picture the establishment and even the left having to deal with Trump and his appointees, many of whom will be self-made and have absolutely no loyalty to the conservative electorate that said establishment loathes so much.

Then finally consider Trump himself, he prides himself as being person who is a great negotiator and dealmaker. The problem with a dealmaker is the key question: “What do you give up to make the deal?”

If you are an Establishment republican or even a democrat that question will console you, but as a social conservative it does not.

So for me it’s no surprise that John Boehner is now on the Trump train:

The former House speaker also described the two other Republican candidates as friends. He recalled playing golf with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for years, and said they were “texting buddies.” Despite Trump being short of the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination, Boehner accepted that The Donald is the presumptive Republican nominee.

While he did not praise Trump’s policies, the former speaker said he would vote for The Donald in a general election. He said he would not, however, vote for Cruz.

What? This isn’t possible, we’ve just been told for months by the Trump campaign that Ted Cruz is the insider and Donald Trump was the outsiders and that Ted Cruz maintaining the opposite was lying.

Next thing you’ll be telling me that Ted Cruz is telling the Truth about Donald Trump being liberal:

Boehner may have attacked Obama’s sharpest critic, but he had positive words for the president himself. The Stanford Daily reported that the former speaker “reflected positively on his relationship with Obama. Although he acknowledged that the two disagree, Boehner said the two get along well.” While it is good to make friends across the aisle, the sharp criticism against a fellow Republican — one of the most insistent and orthodox conservatives in recent memory — contrasted with praise for the putative head of the Democratic Party strikes conservatives the wrong way.

The former House speaker also praised Hillary Clinton, after briefly mocking her sexist campaign. “Oh, I’m a woman, vote for me,” he said, but the crowd reacted negatively. Later, he admitted that he has known Clinton for 25 years and finds her to be very accomplished and smart.

Boehner also added that he thinks Bernie Sanders is a nice guy and the most honest politician in the race, even though he disagrees with the Vermont senator’s positions on nearly all of the issues.

So to sum up, John Boehner, fan of Clinton, fan of Sanders, fan of Obama, fan of Trump, hates Ted Cruz.

What does that tell you? I know what that tells Ted Cruz:

“If you’re wondering who has actually stood up to Washington,” Cruz said, “John Boehner has made it crystal clear” that Donald Trump is not that candidate

As Allahpundit put it, this would have been more useful six months ago which is likely why Boehner kept his mouth shut till now.

Oh Boehner and friends aren’t stopping at hitting Ted Cruz:

The same players who detest Ted Cruz have now recruited a straw man RINO to run against Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), one of the most intrepid conservatives in the House of Representatives.

and who are they funding to oppose him?

Well, who is Tom Atkinson? He is the quintessential wealthy trans-ideological Republican. He donated to a liberal Democrat, Kathy Taylor, who ran against the Republican mayor of Tulsa. That Republican mayor, Dewey Bartlett, is Tom Atkinson’s own brother-in-law! Atkinson has tapped Shane Saunders, a former aid to John Sullivan, the RINO Bridenstine defeated in 2012. Saunders is known to be close with Boehner as well.

On Atkinson’s campaign website and in his ads, he sells himself as a conservative and not a politician. But how could a conservative donate to a prominent Democrat who funded Emily’s List and held fundraisers for Joe Biden?

So for all the republicans who were outraged over John Boehner who have within a few months of cheering his departure bought into the false attacks on Ted Cruz by the Trump campaign let Ted answer it directly:

John Boehner, in his remarks, described Donald Trump as his texting and golfing buddy. So if you want someone that’s a texting and golfing buddy, if you’re happy about John Boehner, Speaker of the House, and if you want a president like John Boehner, Donald Trump’s your man.  

A lot of people have been played this cycle and in the internet age there is no excuse for it.

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The latest in a series of post looking at Amoris Laetitia as it’s actually written as opposed to how it’s spun.

Did you know that marriage has obligations in terms of parenthood? This pope does

68. “Blessed Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, further developed the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. In a particular way, with the Encyclical Humanae Vitae he brought out the intrinsic bond between conjugal love and the generation of life: ‘Married love requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time must be rightly understood… The exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties towards God, themselves, their families and human society’ (No. 10). In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Paul VI highlighted the relationship between the family and the Church”.

I can see Amanda Marcotte pulling out her hair now.

And did you know that ministering to those in “imperfect relationships” is about leading them to matrimony?

78. “The light of Christ enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:9; Gaudium et Spes, 22). Seeing things with the eyes of Christ inspires the Church’s pastoral care for the faithful who are living together, or are only married civilly, or are divorced and remarried. Following this divine pedagogy, the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an imperfect manner: she seeks the grace of conversion for them; she encourages them to do good, to take loving care of each other and to serve the community in which they live and work… When a couple in an irregular union attains a noteworthy stability through a public bond – and is characterized by deep affection, responsibility towards the children and the ability to overcome trials – this can be seen as an opportunity, where possible, to lead them to celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony”.

And if not possible to get matrimony to seek conversion, and remember seeking conversion implies something is wrong.

Oddly enough the media that has been so anxious to cheer Amoris Laetitia seems to have skipped this part on abortion. (emphasis mine)

83. Here I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being. The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last. Consequently, “those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty”.

This was not just stated, but URGENTLY stated and note the property reference drawing the parallel to slavery.

And here is one paragraph that should be shouted from the rafters. emphasis mine again

84. The Synod Fathers also wished to emphasize that “one of the fundamental challenges facing families today is undoubtedly that of raising children, made all the more difficult and complex by today’s cultural reality and the powerful influence of the media”. “The Church assumes a valuable role in supporting families, starting with Christian initiation, through welcoming communities”. At the same time I feel it important to reiterate that the overall education of children is a “most serious duty” and at the same time a “primary right” of parents. This is not just a task or a burden, but an essential and inalienable right that parents are called to defend and of which no one may claim to deprive them. The State offers educational programmes in a subsidiary way, supporting the parents in their indeclinable role; parents themselves enjoy the right to choose freely the kind of education – accessible and of good quality – which they wish to give their children in accordance with their convictions. Schools do not replace parents, but complement them. This is a basic principle: “all other participants in the process of education are only able to carry out their responsibilities in the name of the parents, with their consent and, to a certain degree, with their authorization”. Still, “a rift has opened up between the family and society, between family and the school; the educational pact today has been broken and thus the educational alliance between society and the family is in crisis”

If I was the school choice movement I would emblazon those excepts of this paragraph at the head of every single document and press release put out.

You would think that this coming from an official document authored by the MSM’s favorite Pope would be news, but nothing the Vatican does that oppose the left’s memes is considered news.

Four years ago I told you a bit about a fellow by the name of Hal Chase, let me refresh your memory a bit.

First Baseman Hal Chase reached the majors in 1905 and almost instantly was proclaimed a star. As Bill James put it:

No one ever saw him play without being left gasping for adjectives

While he was universally considered great word started getting out that he wasn’t above throwing games (or “laying down” as it was called at the time) and that was the buzz on him for years and while some managers and players talked about it nobody did a thing about it until he was managed by  Christy Mathewson.

Mathewson was so honest & trusted umpires would ask his help on close plays without objection from the opposing team.  So when Chase continued his business there Mathewson suspended him and the case went before the National League.

By the time the case was called however Mathewson was in France fighting World war one and Chase managed to make the case that those who backed the charges were part of a clique against him and was acquitted.

And thus the 1919 World Series was thrown.

Which brings us to Donald Trump.

 

It was less than a week ago that we saw this:

If you confront Trump or his supporters on any of these questions of inconsistency, they’re already shopping a new answer. You see, he’s been projecting an image. (AP)

Donald Trump’s chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been “projecting an image” so far in the 2016 primary season and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving” in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.

 

and heard this:

The most interesting thing Manafort said yesterday, incidentally, wasn’t the bit about Trump playing a part. I think it was this:

“Is Donald Trump running against the Republican National Committee?” asked Mr. Manafort, referring to the candidate’s unrelenting assault on what he calls the “crooked” nominating process. “The answer is he is not.”

“He gave us the mandate to bring together a team of professionals that could finish the job for him, but could also then begin to link in with the establishment institutions that are part of our party, what you represent, what the state parties represent,” he said, also alluding to think tanks and members of Congress. “We’ve started all those conversations,” said Manafort, adding of Mr. Trump, “He cares about the united team.”

Trump changing his “tone” on the trail for different audiences is one thing, Trump buddying up to “establishment institutions” within the party is another. Cruz is under pressure to do that too, but the whole point of Trump’s attack on Cruz lately is that he’s a phony outsider who’s taking full advantage of the establishment’s “rigged system.” Now here’s Manafort reassuring the RNC that he’s not running against them and even wants to “link in” with them.

As Jazz Shaw described it:

Getting past the absurd sounding phrase on the surface, it actually is pretty hard to accuse Trump of flip flopping. Why? Because aside from building a wall and taking care of veterans, Trump has taken both sides of pretty much every other issue at one point or another over his long career. That’s what’s confounding so many of his opponents: you just never know what the guy is going to say next.

Do you support position A or position B?

As I’ve always said, I support position A.

But last week you said B.

Yes, but last month I clearly said A, as I’ve always maintained.

But.. but…

Next question.

He’s also been free to fire off opinions on subjects which would completely sink any traditonal conservative and continue to march on down the campaign highway relatively unscathed.

Yet as Rush Limbaugh pointed out on Wednesday not only did Donald Trump win all five states that he was expected to win yesterday (which in itself was NBD) but he won EVERY COUNTRY of every state that voted on Tuesday.

What does this mean, simply this.

All of those stories concerning Trump as putting on an act have been out there for a week, it was covered heavily by the media and was in magazines and sites all over the place, but in every single county of Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania GOP voters decided that Trump’s inconsistency on issues and the idea that he is basically putting on a “performance” was not a reason to vote for someone else.

As Bill James put it on page 332 of an earlier version of his baseball abstract concerning Mr. Chase:

“He was free, then. It had all be brought out into the open, and he had gotten by with it.

In fairness that sentence would be a pretty good description of Hillary Clinton too, but I was under the impression that the GOP was supposed to be a party of objective truth vs relative truth.  I’ll give the last word to a man and God named Jesus Christ:

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37

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Ah, Donald Trump.

The man who has spent millions of dollars in court, suing for eminent domain here in the U.S.A. (and lost) and in Scotland, in pursuit of projects that either fail or are never finished (see the Scotland link).

The same man who sued the guy who correctly appraised the odds on the Trump Taj Mahal’s failure – before the Taj even opened. The same man who lost that lawsuit.

Yes, that Donald Trump.

Now Trump will be spending more time in court (emphasis added):

New York judge decided Tuesday that a fraud case against Donald Trump over his former school for real estate investors will go to trial – raising the possibility that the Republican presidential primary front-runner could testify during campaign season.

New York County Supreme Court Judge Cynthia Kern made the decision at a hearing Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether the case will be weighed at a jury trial – which is what Trump’s team is seeking. Trump attorney Jeffrey Goldman said it’s possible the trial could be held this fall, and Trump could testify.

The fraud case in New York against Trump is not the only one:

Trump University is currently the defendant in three lawsuits — two class-action lawsuits filed in California, and one filed in New York

Trump “could” testify in the New York case, but he is slated to testify in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.

Trump never showed up at his so-called “university.” He is not showing up at the prestigious National Press Club where he was scheduled to give his foreign policy speech, opting for the Mayflower Hotel instead, a venue that may be more amenable to his Joan Rivers-like shtick. He will not show up at the Virginia Republican convention this weekend.

He is, however, showing up on every cable TV news channel – not, heaven forfend, on Sunday morning shows with their pesky questions on policy –  especially on the Trump Infomercial Station™, formerly known as Fox News Channel.

Imagine how their ratings will soar when the winner of the Republican primary has to show up in federal court to answer fraud charges.

Hillary (who, mark my words, won’t be in court over her emails anytime soon) herself couldn’t have planned it better.

UPDATE, April 29,
Trump University Hearings Will Start on the First Day of GOP Convention

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

As predicted Donald Trump won with big margins in Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Like his win in NY this was completely expected and while Trump did have rather healthy margins to boast about there it’s hard to get excited about races that you were expected to win in areas where liberals are strong.

But the more important point is this. One might argue that Wisconsin and Iowa are states which the GOP hope to flip this time around, nobody is saying that about Connecticut.

Or Maryland

Or Delaware

Or Rhode Island

Or even NY Which Trump won last week.

And while every single cycle we hear members of the GOP confidently predicting a reverse of Pennsylvania, as long as the Dems count the votes in the city I sincerely doubt that the GOP can win beyond the margin of fraud.

I have no problem with Donald Trump fans cheering his victories, if you asked people last July if this was possible they would have said you were crazy, but the bottom line is this

While it is certainly possible that Donald Trump’s appeal to blue collar voters and his attracting of people who normally don’t pay attention combined with Hillary Clinton being Hillary Clinton, might be enough to overcome the MSM onslaught to flip states that went for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

But if you are looking at any of these wins as a sign that Trump is going to do bring those states to the GOP fold you’re deluding yourself.