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The New York Times’ decision to draw a line in the sand against Donald Trump’s threat to file a libel suit may come back to haunt the news organization.

The issue involves a story about two women who allege that the presidential candidate groped or kissed them without their consent. In a letter asking for a retraction, Trump’s attorney claimed the article was libelous, reckless and defamatory. The Times’ attorney fired back: “…[I]f he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”

The Times’ response is extraordinary in that most news organizations, when facing such a threat, issue the appropriate response: “We stand by our story.”

As an expert witness in nearly 30 defamation lawsuits, I have never seen a news organization take such a combative and public stance except in the courtroom. But The Times’ lawyer seemed pleased with the response. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/18/insider/i-hardly-expected-my-letter-to-donald-trump-to-go-viral.html

This immediate and rather vitriolic letter places The Times with both feet in the presidential muck that this campaign has become. No longer is the news organization standing above the fray.

In an editorial, The Times lectured Trump on constitutional law. “it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, is as ignorant about constitutional law as he is about every other matter pertinent to the nation’s highest office.”

The editorial noted Times v. Sullivan, the important case that defined the tenets for a successful libel suit against a public official, which was extended to a public figure in a later case. Trump would have to prove the Times engaged in reckless disregard of the truth.

What The Times failed to mention is another important libel case: Herbert v. Lando.

Anthony Herbert was a U.S. Army officer in Vietnam who claimed he witnessed war crimes that his commanding officer refused to investigate. In a 1973 report on 60 Minutes, correspondent Mike Wallace and producer Barry Lando argued that Herbert had lied and was himself guilty of war crimes. The Army officer filed a libel suit.

Even though CBS eventually won the suit, the U.S. Supreme Court provided plaintiffs like Herbert, and potentially Trump, the ability to investigate the “state of mind” of journalists while they are reporting a story.

“When a member of the press is alleged to have circulated damaging falsehoods and is sued for injury to the plaintiff’s reputation, there is no privilege under the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press barring the plaintiff from inquiring into the editorial processes of those responsible for the a publication.”

I doubt the news organization wants to have its editorial process placed under a microscope. The Times may win the battle and lose the war. To wit, I do stand by my story.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law

 

I’m not going to get a chance to see the entire debate tonight because of work but here is what things are going to come down to one thing: Will the caricatures of the two candidates be confirmed or refuted.

1. Trump: Is he crazy, is he presidential?

These two questions are what the American people want the answer to. Hillary Clinton the media and the left (but I repeat myself) has been trying to sell Donald Trump as an uncontrolled loon for the last year or so, completely unprecedented and unable to deal lead. That caricature took a huge hit thanks to his mexican trip whose live feed completely disappointed the left has the Donald not only sounded strong but competent. While this was no surprise to me as a person who is running business on an international scale has to know how to deal with foreign leaders this is totally contrary to what the MSM has said.

The goal for Donald Trump therefore is to appear presidential enough on TV to make a lie of this. I predict that he will have very little trouble doing so due to his massive TV experience.

2. Clinton: Is she corrupt, is she well?

There have been two memes with Hillary Clinton that has been out there, the first is corruption, while the email scandal has not had legs with the MSM it HAS with voters. Clinton needs to give answers that suggest there is no there there. This should actually not be a hard thing to do as she has decades of experience dissembling before reporters, however it is the viewing audience and not the press that she has to sell this too. My gut says she should be able to do this but the real question is, have her consultants prepped her for the press or the people? That will be the determining factor.

The second factor can’t be wargamed. Clinton’s health. I’m sure that Hillary has rested herself to the max and her medical and makeup team will have put out full effort to make sure that she is in the best physical shape possible or tonight.

All that being said if she starts coughing, if she starts to fall, if anything happens that says “unwell” that will be the final nail in the coffin for her. This is the overriding factor above all else. Can she manage to stand there for 90 minutes without seeming ill?

I predict she will manage to do so but the reality is we have no idea on this. It is the wild card in this debate.

The Clinton advantage MSM: The biggest advantage for Hillary Clinton is the MSM. As long as Hillary Clinton doesn’t cough up a lung, start drooling on the stage or physically collapse, the media will pronounce her well and declare her the victor in tonight’s debate. It doesn’t matter what she says or how she says it this is going to be the media narrative that the press will be selling.

The Trump Advantage the audience: It appears this is going to be one of the most watched debates in the history of history. A large amount of people who would not normally bother will politics will be drawn to it. Furthermore I suspect most of those people will not be bothering with much of the pre-debate or post-debate coverage. This means that Trump will have an excellent change to make his case directly to the people, particularly those who will not be bothering with the post-debate spin. If he doesn’t commit an obvious gaffe, and by gaffe I mean something that normal people, not the media, not the media, consider a gaffe. He will be fine.

My prediction. Barring a physical collapse by Hillary, this debate is going to be pretty much a wash by normal debate standards. However a wash in the debate is a win for Trump because the main question in the mind of people who don’t like Hillary is: Is Trump Qualified. If he passed that bar, he win…

…it should be pointed out that the MSM is going to declare Hillary the victor in this debate (again barring a physical collapse) I wouldn’t be surprised if most of those stories have already been written and just need the odd bit of space filled in. Howie Carr has nailed it:

Whatever happens on Long Island, Hillary will immediately be declared the winner by 98 percent of the press. The headlines are already written, the phony-baloney polls and focus groups are ready to roll.

Hillary has to accomplish only two feats in Hempstead. The first one is to get off a couple of canned zingers for her adoring fans in social media to run with Tuesday morning.

What’s the over/under on how many minutes it will take her to say, “I’m a grandmother”? Comrade Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell will lap it up with a spoon. Oh, she so humanized herself, blah blah blah.

Hillary’s second task may prove more daunting: She has to remain vertical for 90 long minutes, with no oxygen mask or iron lung up there on the stage.

Alas for the Clintons we live in an age where people will have already formed their opinions and shared them online long before the pundits are able to push these stories.

Update: PowerLine reports they are getting panicked fundraising requests and says

with a hundred million people set to tune in to tonight’s debate, the Democrats have even more to worry about: what if millions of those viewers don’t find Trump scary or dangerous, and they see no reason to consider him a “racist, sexist bigot”? If I were a Democrat, I’d be worried too.

I’m enjoying this much too much.


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I can’t imagine how Bernie Sanders voters feel today.

If you were a Bernie bro the home stretch of this season had promise.  Your man was still fighting even after Donald Trump had clinched and unlike Trump, Hillary had not managed to secure enough bound delegates to win the nomination meaning that the superdelegate who by the rules were completely free regardless of past pronouncements or media statements to vote for whatever nominee they wanted.

Furthermore with the FBI investigation still having over her and polls consistently  showing Bernie beating Trump, there was always the chance that the tide at the convention would turn.

There was HOPE!

And more important than hope, as long as Sanders did not concede they had leverage.

As long as the threat of a move to Bernie at the convention existed, Hillary Clinton was forced to entertain progressive choices for VP, to give lip service to your issues.  To very publically be a sister to the left.

That leverage ended the moment Sanders left the race and endorsed and the ultimate express of that loss of leverage is the pick of Tim Kaine.

Once Bernie was out the fix was in (and not just in terms of VP with no alternative Democrat as a threat suddenly Bill Clinton was meeting with Lynch, the FBI was crying “careless” but unwilling to enforce the law and suddenly Justice was uninterested.) and you progressives could be tossed under the Clinton bus, and ironically thanks to the Wikileaks disclosures you know that has been the desire from day one.

In one message dated May 5, 2016, with the subject line “No s–t,” the chief financial officer of the Democratic National Committee, Brad Marshall, plotted how to portray Sanders, who was raised Jewish in Brooklyn, as an atheist.

“It might [make] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” Marshall wrote, apparently referring to Sanders and upcoming Kentucky and West Virginia primaries.

“Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage,’’ Marshall asked.

“I think I read he is an atheist.”

“This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and atheist.”

The chief executive officer at the DNC, Amy Dacey, responded with a single word: “Amen.”

Or to put it another way, Putting aside my own feelings as a Conservative Catholic or opinions on Hillary’s options, do you really believe, dear Bernie fans, that a “pro-life” senator and governor with a religious background and an affinity for the trade deals you despise, a former DNC chair, the ultimate insider, a straight white male, would be the Democrat choice for VS if they actually cared what you think?

You may have have “felt the burn” before but now you really know what it is to be burned

Well there’s always Dr. Jill Stein & the Green Party.

Exit question for Bernie fans:  Given these facts how jealous are you of the Never Trump folks.  They at least had a champion who was willing to go before the convention and at great risk to his political future not endorse.  Who will be your champion at the Democrat Convention?

Update: added DNC quote


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If you read my morning post you know that in my opinion Ted Cruz’s speech at the Republican Convention was the only honorable response for him in this situation and I applaud him for it.

However you might noticed that while I think Ted Cruz was totally justified in what he said at and after the speech as you can see by the title of this post I think Donald Trump played Ted Cruz and won, and I would even say won brilliantly.

The reason is apparent when you ask a very basic question:

What advantage does Donald Trump get with a Ted Cruz endorsement?

The answer is almost none.

Donald Trump spent the entire campaign (falsely) referring to Ted Cruz as “lying Ted”, the media, which hates Ted Cruz MUCH more than they do Trump and have been attacking him since the day he was elected, played it up a year.  He would get no love from the GOP establishment which hates Ted Cruz as much as the media does from an endorsement and the number of NeverTrump people from the GOP who would vote for Trump after a Cruz endorsement is so minimal that it’s not worth thinking of.

In fact a Ted Cruz endorsement might even HURT Trump who is still trying to win over Bernie Sanders fans who believe Ted Cruz is the devil and seriously could you imagine the gift to Hillary Clinton a Ted Cruz endorsement would be?  I can see the ad now:

Mythical Cruz Endorsement speech:  “Donald Trump is a great leader”

Cut to old Donald Trump “We call him lying Ted”

Mythical Cruz Endorsement speech “Donald trump will make America Great again”

Cut to old Donald Trump speech: “He lies lies and lies”

I’m Hillary Clinton & I approve this message

Donald Trump knows media and knows visuals, he isn’t dumb enough to let this happen.

There is also no advantage for NOT having Ted Cruz speak.  He won 11 states and made a strong case if he was denied a speaking spot or stayed away it would draw into question the “Big Tent” business and “party unity” meme that Trump was playing on.  There is no visual no media no nothing.  Nothing at all, no advantage.

Instead consider what we saw at the GOP convention last night.

Images of the delegates on the GOP floor booing Cruz in support of Trump

A contrast between Cruz’s attack and the pro-trump speech from Mike Pence (who endorsed Cruz before the Indiana primary) causing Cruz grief from all over.

A contrast between Cruz’s “attack” and people reporting Trump thought Cruz’s non-endorsement was “No Big deal

(Even as I type this Rudy Giuliani was on MSNBC calling Trump the “bigger man”.)

And reporter after reporter talking down Ted Cruz both that night and even the next day

And remember all of this is taking place with a GOP convention that is drawing millions more viewers than usual and sets up tonight as an even bigger potential TV audience.

And doesn’t even take into account all the social media radio etc this generated or the fact that it took MSM attempt to go wild Meliana “plagiarism” business off the tube.

All this was made possible because Trump is good at reading people.  He understands who Ted Cruz is and knew that despite all that “lying Ted” BS that Cruz is an honorable man and used that to his advantage.

Trump also knows media, he knows the audience and played to them manipulating the situation, the visuals and the media because he understands that the audience for any counter argument will be only a tiny percentage of this and consists mostly of political geeks like you and me dear reader.  If Mitt Romney had 1/10 of the Trump media savvy he’d be president today.  It was absolutely brilliant.

And remember each of these conflicts at the convention that the MSM thinks are so damaging helped build audience to draw people who would normally never watch this stuff and give Trump free access to make his case.

And now that Bernie has dropped out what drama is there in the Democrat convention?  What person who has not already made up their mind will be watching it?

Nobody.

Trump won the case and the night and will likely win the competing conventions even with the MSM doing all they can to knock him off and prop up Hillary.  Furthermore his actions maximize the potential vote increase from persuadable voters while keeping any damage localized to voters he had already likely lost.

You can debate Trump and his morality all day and all of the night but in my opinion this is pure LBJ class political genius.

And I submit and suggest that’s not debatable .

One final thing, the fact that Ted Cruz did the right thing and deserves praise rather than blowback he is getting is totally irrelevant to this analysis, but it all comes down to what matters most as this tweet says:


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State Sen Jim Rubens in Hollis
State Sen Jim Rubens in Hollis
While all the focus right now is on the National convention there is still local politics going on and there are plenty of divides there.

In NH former State Senator is putting up a primary challenge to Senator Kelly Ayotte. He made an appearance in Hollis NH and I managed to get there to cover some of it before I had to head for work and got the tail end of his speech

He then took questions on political promises and the clash between establishment vs grassroots

On Race Relations

On the 2nd Amendment and guns

I think that’s critical along with this question on life and planned parenthood

I’m committing to you on camera.

one from me on targeting police

On illegal immigration and sanctuary cites and had an interesting take on the effect

and then sat for an interview with me before I had to run to work

as a rule such a primary is an uphill climb and while my opinion on Senator Ayotte is not as harsh as many in the room it’s my opinion that as Scott Brown learned if you don’t have the pro-life and the pro 2nd amendment conservatives turning out in a general election you lose.

Mr. Rubens web site is here.


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In less than two weeks, when Massachusetts voters elect Martha Coakley to the US Senate — let’s not pretend that Republican state senator Scott Brown has any chance of pulling off the monumental upset — they will trigger a massive domino effect that has the state’s political class buzzing with anticipation. 

The Boston Phoenix Jan 8th 2010

The latest poll from Rasmussen has to be filling both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders fans with glee:

Donald Trump has now grown his lead over Hillary Clinton in Rasmussen Reports’ first weekly White House Watch survey.

Trump earns 42% support to Clinton’s 37% when Likely U.S. Voters are asked whom they would vote for if the presidential election were held today.

This is the 2nd straight poll showing Trump ahead of Hillary, it’s a result that nobody in the MSM would have dreamed of six months ago.

There are two ways of looking at the Hillary campaign:

The Clinton campaign & their media allies are analogous to the French army before World War 2.  Completely prepared to fight the last war but unable to cope with a foe prepared to do the unexpected.

But I think the real answer is this:  Hillary Clinton is the worst Democrat candidate for national office since Martha Coakley.

She has all the unappealing qualities of Ms. Coakley in terms of temperament and presentation, Her campaign also has the same air of entitlement that Coakley had.

That is bad enough but she also has one disadvantage that Coakley for all her ineptness did not.  The Email Scandal, Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and more.

Hillary Clinton has become a byword dishonesty and corruption.  It’s no coincidence that the Donald’s Tag line for her is #corrupthillary

And we haven’t even gotten to Bill

As I wrote last year the press recognized (but did not publicly admit) Hillary’s Coakleyness very early:

The media are liberals first and Hillary fans 2nd.  They understand that the rise of streaming technology means their power and influence are on the wane as the low info voter’s choices increase. They dropped her for Obama like a rock once it became clear she was losing in 2008 and are terrified of a GOP victory in 2016 that combined with control of the congress could mean a fundamental shift of power.

The MSM will do all they can to prevent this from happening.

The moment they can get a viable candidate in they will throw Hillary under the bus so fast it will make your head swim.

But thanks to the intervention of President Obama there is no longer a Biden card to play so unless the Democrats are willing to take a chance with Bernie Sanders the entire nation is going to see the 2010 Martha Coakley campaign repeated on a national scale.

 

That’s going to be fun.

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Yesterday at Hotair there was a post that seemingly didn’t make a lot of sense:

There’s been something missing from the Trump campaign recently and I don’t mean displays of steaks, champagne or Yuge private jets. While he’s been on TV and radio on a daily basis, The Donald hasn’t held a single public rally in more than a week. Given his overall strategy through the entire primary this seems an odd turn of events. Zeke Miller at Time Magazine took note of this curious development in his daily brief without much in the way of an explanation.

I didn’t understand it until I watched CNN last night.

The conversation was all about the “violence” at the Democrat convention in Nevada.  You had Wolf Blitzer trying to put threats made by Sanders supports on the candidate.

It was very telling, there have been huge splits in the Democrat party and since Iowa there have been interesting things being done by the Hillary Clinton supporting establishment.

but if you are a viewer of the MSM you have not seen any of it as they have been too busy pushing the “Trump evil” “Trump violent” memes.

But with Trump not holding large rallies, suddenly the MSM doesn’t have protesters to cover and spin, suddenly the problems that have been taking place in the Democrat party since the start of the primaries are breaking through and as polls continue to show Trump competitive with Clinton (something the MSM has said was simply not possible) suddenly the arguments in favor of Bernie Sanders are looking better and better.

I think Trump is doing all he can to force the Hillary/Bernie divide out into the sunlight.

That’s smart, very smart.

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If you are spending any time on twitter you will find that the vitriol between conservatives/republicans on the “Never Trump” side and supports of the victorious Donald has if possible gotten worse with an almost religious fervor.

In one sense I understand the problem, it comes down to this:

Strong fiscal/social conservatives like myself had literally our dream conservative in Ted Cruz. Young, God fearing, intelligent, a person who had fought for us. He would also have also been the first Hispanic American to lead a national ticket putting our liberal friends on the defensive. He got to the very brink of the nomination outlasting more than a dozen other strong accomplished competitors…

…and yet in the end the votes choose a reality show star with very um…flexible positions and beliefs who is actually OLDER than Hillary Clinton who was complementing both her and Obama as late as 2008.

Meanwhile on the other side you have people, perhaps not as ideological as myself, who saw the GOP nominate equivocating losers over and over again while watching the gop submit again and again to Obama in congress. Then they see a man come up, challenge both the GOP & the MSM very publicly on both Radical Islam and Illegal Immigration, not back down despite constant attacks, go forward and rally GOP votes with a promise that he will make America Great again. They back them man, watch him win state after state in a crowded field…

…and then when he finally reaches the point when the nomination is his thanks to overwhelming support of the votes, they see a large amount of both the GOP establishment and conservatives that they supported in the past, decide they would rather see Hillary in the White House than support the man they voted for.

Let me remind everyone of a few things.

1. Christianity is a religion, CONSERVATISM IS NOT:

If you start worshiping Conservatism or consider Christianity as good because it helps lead to conservatism, you’re worshipping a different God than me. Let our secular liberal friends treat their politics as a religion I’m not doing it.

2. Elections are all about marketing:

The voter is the customer base and the candidate is the product, if your favored candidate failed to sell themself to the voters. Rather than blaming the voters who preferred someone else you had better start getting to work to either
A: Find a candidate you support who can OR
B: Help your previous candidate improve their pitch for the next time around.

3. Voting is a proactive action:

In order to win an election you have to get people to proactively go out and vote for you. This means that you need to convince them to turn out rather than stay home. If you treat the voter as someone who owes you support rather than a customer you have to make the sale to, you will lose and deserve to do so.

3a. You don’t win voters over with threats or smug declarations:

If you want your candidate to win an election, particularly after a bruising primary, you need to give those voters who had gone elsewhere a reason to vote for you. You need to assure them that you have their best interests at heart. As a general rule this can not be accomplished by threats and Insults.

Both sides need to decide what their goals are and act accordingly:

Doctrine conservatives had better remember that this is not going to be the last election or political fight in America and this election cycle has unfortunately proven we are not even the majority of GOP primary voters. So if your goal is to advance our agenda and beliefs for the good of America on everything from religious freedom, to guns to Obamacare to radical Islam we are going to need allies. I suspect none of those allies are going to be found in the ranks of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders voters.

Donald Trump supporters while legitimately celebrating their victory had better remember that while the top 4 GOP candidates who managed to win states have outpolled the Democrats (25 Million to 21.7 Million) as of right now Donald Trump has received 1.8 Million LESS votes than Hillary Clinton  (10.6 Million to 12.4 Million). So while it might be fun to tweak a Paul Ryan, a Mitt Romney or a Lindsey Graham, if your goal is to elect Donald Trump president, you are going to need most of those Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich voters to turn up and vote for your man.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath and do it soon.

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On Tuesday Jake Tapper showed once again that is one of the few actual journalists in journalism.

One of the most frustrating things about the contest between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump for the GOP nomination was the MSM’s almost compete willingness give a pass to accusations by Mr. Trump concerning Senator Cruz that had no basis in fact and instead note how effective they were. That’s what made Tapper’s statement so extraordinary, it was the exception rather than the rule for the media.

But that was during the days when Donald Trump was hitting Ted Cruz now that his primary target is Hillary Clinton we now have headlines like this:

Trump Blames Hillary for Birtherism, Wolf Blitzer Summarily Fact-Checks Him

And stories like this:

Original birther Donald Trump today tried to push birtherism on Hillary Clinton, but Wolf Blitzer didn’t go to commercial break without fact-checking that little claim.

That is a bit ironic because while it was completely necessary to take liberties with the facts for Mr. Trump to hit Ted Cruz all that will not be necessary for Trump to attack Hillary Clinton is to tell the truth as in this case since the reality of course is that Hillary campaign of 2008 were the first people who brought up the question of Barack Obama’s birthplace

But that is not relevant to the media. From this point on the media will question Mr. Trump with ruthless abandon and anything Donald Trump says about Hillary Clinton will be presumed false by them until proven otherwise, and perhaps not even then.

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Brett Maverick: Now he did everything a man shouldn’t do, but he’s still alive, looks like he’ll be elected sheriff and I know he’ll end up with the biggest ranch in the territory. I’m broke. Nobody even knows I’m leaving or cares. Could I be wrong?

Maverick: The Saga of Waco Williams 1959

One of the things that leaped out at me after the Indiana Primary results was the sudden pivot of the MSM.

Before the Indiana Primary the media was covering both the GOP race between Donald Trump , Ted Cruz and apparent Trump surrogate John Kasich  and to a lesser degree the Democrat Race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

After the Primary when Senator Cruz was decisively defeated by Mr. Trump & Both Senator Cruz and Trump surrogate John Kasich pulled out of the race the MSM quite rightly stopped covering the GOP primary race as there was no longer a race to be covered.

However the MSM also suddenly decided to stop covering the Democrat race even after Bernie Sanders scored an upset win over Hillary Clinton in a state she previously won in 2008.

This is a cause of consternation among supporters of Bernie Sanders

And without a question there is one person that you need to blame for this situation with the MSM

That person is of course Senator Ted Cruz

You see Donald Trump still can’t mathematically clinch before the primaries on June 7th so as long as Ted Cruz kept his campaign active there was, in theory still a chance that Mr. Trump could fail to get the required delegates before the GOP convention. That would have given the media a reason to cover the GOP nomination race.

And because they were covering the GOP race they had to cover the active Democrat race where Bernie Sanders continues to give Hillary Clinton a run for her money putting their desire to support Hillary Clinton as their (and by “their” I mean the Democrats with bylines that compose the media) nominee.

However Ted Cruz’s withdrawal completely changes the dynamic.

Now there is no longer a GOP race the ratings machine that pays the bills, namely Donald Trump, is now completely focused on attacking Hillary Clinton.

This give the media a ratings and a financial incentive to do what they would like to do anyway, completely ignore Bernie Sanders despite his impressive win in Indiana and excellent prospects in upcoming states and crown Clinton because doing so involves covering Trump.

In fact the only hope of Bernie getting any coverage is if Trump keeps tweeting stuff like this:

Because even if Bernie sweeps the rest of the remaining states, the only substantial coverage he is going to get is if Donald trump brings him up.

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Lt. Col. Charles R. Codman: You know General, sometimes the men don’t know when you’re acting.
Patton: It’s not important for them to know. It’s only important for me to know.

Patton 1970

I’m old enough to remember when the media was trumpeting the anger of the president of Mexico toward Donald Trump.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox really doesn’t like Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

So much, in fact, that for the second time in two days,Fox used an expletive — this time, on live TV — to describe it.
“I have to say that we are not, I am not going to pay for that f***ing wall,” Fox said during a live interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network on Friday morning, repeating the phrase that made waves when he used it a day earlier.
This time however, the expletive went uncensored as a visibly stunned Bartiromo gasped.
“I am not. And he should know that. And I am not going to apologize,” Fox added.
But that was back in February Cruz had won Iowa and while Trump had done well in Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina the idea that Trump would someday president let alone the the GOP nominee was something the conventional wisdom said was not possible.
But now that the conventional wisdom has been turned on its head Fox is singing a different tune

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox who famously told Jorge Ramos in February that he was, “not going to pay for that [Trump’s] fucking wall,” has now apologized to Trump and invited the presumptive GOP nominee to Mexico.

The former Mexican leader addressed Trump in a Tuesday interview with Breitbart News, stating, “If I offended you, I’m sorry. But what about the other way around?” That evening on The O’Reilly Factor, Fox said, “I think it’s very important to invite Donald Trump to come to Mexico and to learn about the real Mexico that I would think is totally different.”

At Hotair they note the contrast:

In February, Mexico’s Foreign Minister called Trump “ignorant and racist.”  In March the President of Mexico compared Trump to Hitler.  And in April, Guajardo threatened that Mexico would no longer be a trading partner with the US if Trump is elected…Oh what a difference a presumed nomination makes

Oddly enough while this story is getting some traction at Hotair and even at The Hill when I did a search of CNN for the string “Vicente Fox” here was the result:

vfoxcnn

Nothing newer than April 12th, Mr. Fox’s statement and Mexico’s apology and invitation may as well have not happened.

Now one doesn’t have to have supported Mr. Trump in the primary to recognize that the sudden reversal of Mexico on Trump is newsworthy, that it speaks to his electability and that it further suggest that a policy of strength might just be more effective in protecting US interests than an apology tour.  For example my magnificent seven writer Fausta wrote about this on her blog as she absolutely detests Donald Trump.

But apparently you DO need to be a person outside of the MSM married to both supporting Hillary Clinton and in backing illegal immigration in order to find this story newsworthy.

Unexpectedly.

Update: I have a funny feeling that the MSM will not be so circumspect in reporting this:

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox has taken to Univision to call on Mexicans able to vote in the United States to vote against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, just hours after ostensibly “apologizing” to him.

Less than 24 hours after what Fox himself told Mexican radio was really only a strategic apology, Fox was back to form on Univision, condemning Trump and launching an anti-Trump GOTV campaign.

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It’s now been 2 days since Donald Trump unofficially secured the GOP nomination but there is an interesting dynamic that is getting no attention.

One of the signs that a race is over is something called a preference cascade. It’s the point where it becomes apparent that a particular candidate is going to win both and both pols and voters start lining up behind the person who is going to win (It’s also worth noting the candidates remember who was with them before the cascade came, the true believers, vs those who decided to join the parade when there was no other in town) but I digress.

That more than anything else is why Donald Trump starting pulling over 50%, once people decided that Trump was going to win attitudes started to change, that’s when you knew, press coverage not withstanding, baring something incredible it was all over.

And that brings us to Bernie Sanders.

Lost in all the commotion of Ted Cruz and then John Kasich dropping out of the GOP race after Indiana was Bernie Sanders chalking up an unexpected primary win.

Sanders told reporters this evening, “I understand that Secretary Clinton thinks that this campaign is over. I’ve got some bad news for her. I know all the pundits thought we were supposed to lose but that apparently is not what all the people of Indiana concluded.”

Sanders also scoffed at the idea that staying in the race could hurt Democrats’ chances against GOP front-runner Donald Trump. “Not at all. Not at all,” he said. He pointed to polls that showed voters saying the primary invigorated the party. “I have no doubt, zero doubt that what we have done in this campaign, what we are doing now and what we will do in the next 6 weeks is good for the democratic party and it will result in a higher voter turnout,” he added.

It will likely remain mathematically possible for Sanders to win the Democratic nomination until at least June 7 because the large number of superdelegates, who overwhelmingly back Clinton now, but are free to change their minds.

Clinton currently needs to win 70 percent of remaining delegates in order to clinch the Democratic nomination using only pledged delegates.

For quite a while the MSM has been declaring the Democrat race over, but oddly enough the voters don’t seem to agree, and more importantly the normal preference cascade that would be the sure sign of a race that’s been won just plain hasn’t taken place.

So let’s review:

Until Ted Cruz’s defeat and decision to pull out of the GOP race the media has maintained that the GOP race was not over.

Yet even with Bernie Sanders victory in Indiana and the fact that Hillary needs 70% of the elected delegates to win the nomination outright the media has no problem dubbing Hillary the winner and completely dismissing Bernie Sanders even though the voters have shown no sign of the preference cascade that would normally follow a winner.

I wonder why?

Update” Day by Day is thinking preference cascades today too

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Grail Knight: You must choose, but choose wisely

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989

A while back Donald Trump was asked what his favorite bible verse was “an eye for an eye” This is the full verse in question:

But if injury ensues, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Exodus 21:23-25

For a person who proclaims Christianity this is a rather odd choice, given these words from Jesus Christ the son of God:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.  If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.  Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

Matthew 5:38-45

I bring up these verses because as Donald Trump gets ever closer to the nomination conservatives I see what is happening as a parallel to a biblical event.

Not those I have just quoted the moment in Exodus where the law was given to Moses, nor the sermon on the mount but from chapter 8 of the book of Samuel.  Starting with verses 1-3

In his old age Samuel appointed his sons judges over Israel.  His first-born was named Joel, his second son, Abijah; they judged at Beer-sheba.  His sons did not follow his example but sought illicit gain and accepted bribes, perverting justice.

This is  parallel to the corrupt GOP that has been ignoring the voters for years angering them and looking for a solution said this in verses 4 and 5.

Therefore all the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”

This is compatible with the voters (particularly evangelicals) saying.  Forget pols we want Donald Trump and turning out for him.

Samuel being Samuel went to God  who after noting their rejection of him told Samuel in verse 9

Now grant their request; but at the same time, warn them solemnly and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them.”

and then did what the Lord told him and said the following to the people of Israel in verses 10-17

Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king.  He told them: “The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows:

He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot.  He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.  He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers.  He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials.  He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.  He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work.  He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.

And while I don’t anticipate a Trump presidency or even a Trump candidacy will mean we will be conscripted to his kitchens, it is very apt thing.  We know who and what Donald Trump is, we have seen his campaign and even before this we have seen him for years and so has the left.  We have seen him equivocate on life, on culture and on position after position.  We have seen him flip flop on people and issues for our entire lives.   As Ace put it:

Out: “Leave it the way it is”

In: States should be allowed to do what you conservatives think they should do, whatever that is.

The thing about Trump is, it doesn’t matter if he gets answers wrong on everything, because I know, fundamentally, he shares my instincts.

Even though his instincts on so many issues are directly contrary to my own, and in fact are the instincts of the PC Democratic Left.

Moreover he has lived a life in the tabloids.  He is an opposition researchers wet dream.

Yet we as a party are getting ready to nominate him over a man more competent, more honest, 20 years younger and who would be the first Latino to head a major party ticket.

Yes Trump has talked about Radical Islam, Yes Trump may actually build that southern wall, but does anyone doubt that Donald Trump as president would nominate a moderate to the Supreme Court?  Does anyone doubt that he will be making deals with Democrats on both spending and social issues?  Does anyone doubt that a Trump presidency will cause a reaction from our foreign allies almost as disastrous as the last seven year has been?

and that’s the BEST CASE SCENARIO.

The worst case scenario?  The election of Hillary Clinton.

This is likely the very last chance for the gop to make an alternative choice.  The choice is before you dear voters and let me remind you of the last line of Samuel’s warning from verse 18:

When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you.”

The last seven years have been a horrible time but we got the government we choose and deserve, it remains to be seen if we deserve at least four more years of bad government.

The choice is yours.

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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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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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AP reports,

Trump’s newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort,

He of the Soviet connections,

made the case to Republican National Committee members that Trump has two personalities: one in private and one onstage.”When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Manafort said in a private briefing.

I would like to know why is Trump’s advisor granted a private briefing with the RNC rules committee, but I digress.

Trump indeed has been projecting an image for the last forty years: The image of a thoroughly disreputable scammer, a liar and a cheat, a man who repeatedly went on air with Howard Stern to degrade and insult women (including the mothers of his children), and whose supporters are issuing death threats to GOP delegates. The same Donald Trump who promises to change the GOP platform on abortion, after saying women who had abortions should be punished, a position he – surprise! – later backtracked.

Manafort assured the GOP (emphasis added),

“You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” he said.

Manafort is one of the lobbyists Trump hired recently, yet

In fact, the last time Manafort was intricately involved in a presidential campaign was Bob Dole’s unsuccessful 1996 bid, and he has been largely absent from GOP politics and Washington for years.

As William Jacobson explained,

Trump is playing his core supporters, knows he can’t win a national election with his current message, and is planning to change characters mid-play to soothe the GOP elites he rails against to get you worked up.

Let me state this as directly as possible: If you support Trump, you are being played.

Trump isn’t worthy of your trust.

And now even his top advisor has spelled it out for you.

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

as I write this the polls have just closed and it took the networks a whole 1 second to project Donald Trump as the winner of his home state and the vast majority of delegates therein.

Hours of spin based on these results not withstanding lets look at the real world application

As of this writing Mr. Trump has 756 delegates. Let’s presume that he gets 90% of the delegates out of NY (85 out of 95) that would get him to 841 meaning he would need a total of 396 more delegates to clinch it before the convention.

The last day of the primaries is June 7th (CA, NJ, NM, SD & Montana) but there are five election days before then April 26th (CT, Del, MD, PA & RI) May 3rd (Indiana), May 10th, (WV & Neb) May 17th (OR) and May 24th (Wash)

Tallying up the delegate totals of the states before June 7th the total number of delegates available is 371. This means it is mathematically impossible for Mr. Trump to clinch before the last day even if he wins every single delegate on the table.

The good news for Trump is April 26th should be great for him. I expect to see him win all five of those states and pick up at least 100 delegates. I suspect may 3rd and 10th will not be so friendly. I see Cruz winning Nebraska and Indiana with West Virginia capable of going in either direction. He might be lucky to get 20 delegates on the day.

I have no idea what’s going through the mind of Washington & Oregon voters but as both states are proportional even if Trump wins em both that’s likely another 40 delegates or so.

If my numbers are right that leaves him about 236 delegates shy going into June 7th and that’s where it gets tricky. New Mexico is proportional so I’m figuring 12 delegates for Trump. Montana & SD are straight winner take all and I’m betting both will go for Cruz but so is New Jersey which looks like Trump country. that’s another 51.

That leaves California with 172 delegates…

…and Trump needing 173.

Now there are some undeclared delegates going to the convention and I don’t doubt that Trump will win his share but if you want to understand why the Trump campaign is so upset about Ted Cruz’s delegate operation now you know.

This is going to go down to the wire (much to the delight of the networks for ratings purposes) and how Trump finishes is going to say a lot about how a Trump general election campaign might look like.

I’ve already written about the insanity of the left’s outrage concerning John Kasich’s suggestion to a college girl that attending drunken college parties might be hazardous to her health and well being.
I’d like to follow up with a single question to the media providing outraged coverage of of it by all the major Democrats with Bylines mainstream media shocked that anyone might advise a young lady to avoid a physical risk that involves alcohol:

“Would you be offended by John Kasich or anyone else advising a young woman not to get into a car being driven by a person who has been drinking at a college party because of the dangers? Would that constitute ‘blaming the victim’? If not why not?”

Think about it.

Apparently, college rape epidemic not withstanding to Democrats When it comes to the War on Women Chalk is much more dangerous that a Drunken Frat guy at a party.

What else can we conclude from this story:

Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich today told a female college student concerned about “sexual violence, harassment and rape” that she should not “go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”

The first-year student asked Kasich at a town hall in Watertown, New York, what he would “do in office as president to help me feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment, and rape?”

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, spoke about empowering victims by ensuring access to confidential reporting and rape kits. “You ought to absolutely know that if something happens to you along the lines of sexual harassment or whatever,” he said.

His suggestion to avoid drunken college parties has produced this from Democrats

Democrats pounced on Kasich’s response. “Republican presidential candidates like John Kasich and Donald Trump are insulting women everyday [sic] on the campaign trail by blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence,” a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, Christina Freundlich, said in a statement.

Meanwhile Chalk is still banned at DePaul and our friends on the left are down with it.

So to sum up:

For our friends on the left, writing “trump 2016” in chalk on the sidewalk creates such an unsafe environment that it must be stopped at all costs (thus making Milo’s Yiannopoulos Emory chalking a story) , BUT a presidential candidate advising a young women concerned about her safety on campus that avoiding drunken parties is a good idea is an act so outrageous that it’s worth frienzied media coveraged by ABC, the Guardian,Slate, Politico, CNN and a bunch of leftiest bloggers.

After all how can we even think about worrying about drunken parties when there are still people with chalk walking free on any campus?

If you want to know why some of us thought the culture war was worth fighting, this is it.

Closing Thought If Animal House took place in 2016 instead of 1962 right now Otter and company would be checking the facebook profiles of all the leftists outraged over Kasich to find out if any of them have daughters at or near Faber college for their party email blast…

…and Dean Wormer would plotting to confiscate their chalk.

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Mr. Rickey, I thought when I signed the contract I signed for one thing. There is a ‘W’ column, and there is an ‘L’ column. I thought it was my obligation and duty to put as many as I could under that ‘W’ column.

Leo Durocher Nice Guys finish last.

This year MLB made two rule changes/clarifications involving plays at 2nd base, one favoring offense and one favoring defense.

For the offense the rule clarification states that the fielder making a play at 2nd on a double play has to touch the base having control of the ball for the force out, in the past being close was generally enough for the umpire to call the runner out on a force.

For the defense the ability to “take out” a 2nd baseman or shortstop has been greatly limited. If the runner shows any sign of deviating from a direct path to 2nd base to interfere with the pivot throw to first, or raises an arm or leg to o so, he will be cited for interference and the batter called out.

Now there are many who don’t like these rule changes as they are affecting baseball customs that have been in place for years however no matter how much one might object to these changes, a MLB manager who wants to win is no more likely to tell his players to ignore these rule changes than an AL manager is to decide to allow his pitchers to bat because he dislikes the DH.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Colorado.

When Donald Trump’s people say that the Colorado primary system was changed to favor the establishment he is likely correct as the GOP was trying to protect a potential frontrunner like Jeb Bush from an insurgent like a Ted Cruz and like those baseball fans they have every right to say they don’t like this new system.

However this doesn’t change the fact that these changes were made back in August of 2015 and at the time the changes were made neither Donald Trump campaign nor any other said a word.

In fact they didn’t say a word all of 2015 as I tweeted

However while every campaign didn’t say a word about the changes only one of the three remaining candidates decided to incorporate the rule changes in their Colorado campaign.

That man was Ted Cruz.

Donald Trump may not like the new rules, Donald Trump might object to the new rules, but if he wants to blame someone for not winning any delegates in Colorado this year, he should look in the mirror.

Speaker Ryan’s Sherman moment is the example of great longterm thinking.

By declining to run at this time Ryan achieves many things:

1. He doesn’t antagonize any of the existing candidates or their supporters meaning that the Trump Cruz and Kasich factions will not be hitting him for it.

2. He keeps the party from putting him in an impossible position as the GOP candidate who won less states that Rubio or Kasich.

3. By declaring that only those who ran should be considered he comes off as respecting the voters.

4. It puts himself in a position where any potential candidate needs to approach him for support.

5.  If the GOP wins this fall, he puts he not only doesn’t start with a bad relationship with the incoming administration but where the new president actually owes him a favor. 

5. He puts himself in a perfect position to run himself both if the GOP loses in this cycle, running in 2020 or if they win after two terms of a Trump/Cruz or whoever presidency waiting till 2024 where he’ll be at the ripe old age of…54.

Smart, very smart

A few days ago Wired gave breathless space to a piece about a couple of Bronx Rappers objecting to Ted Cruz campaigning in their area.

While there was a lot in the piece that was laughable there was one line that jumped out at me that is worth your attention: (emphasis mine)

“Ted Cruz has no business being in the Bronx. This is an immigrant community,” Rodrigo yelled as police escorted him out. “We deal with climate change every single day, and he wants to say it doesn’t exist. We’re one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, and to receive this right wing bigot is an insult to the whole community.”

Seriously nobody at wired thought the “We deal with climate change every day” was a bit suspect?

Am I to understand that the sea level has been rising in the Bronx to the left that the average person in the neighborhood is fearful? Have they stopped renting basement apartments because of the rising seas. Are the Yankees getting ready to put their stadium on stilts?

That wired could include that line and not ask the obvious question: “Can you substantiate your claim concerning Bronx residents ‘dealing with climate change every day’ and if so how?” tells you that to the folks at Wired, “climate change/global warming” is a religion believed so strongly that any statement concerning it must be treated as fact.

And they say Catholicism requires faith.

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This is the week of opening day and right now no matter how bad a start a team might have fans across the nation have hope that when the calendar turns to September their team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The reality of course is that only five teams in each league will be in the post season, 3 division winners and two wild card teams, one of which will eliminated after a single playoff game. Thus for most teams and cities disappointment will be the rule.

To put this in perspective these are the games scheduled for September 28th 2016

Mariners vs Astros 2:10 PM
D-backs vs Nationals 7:05 PM
Red Sox vs Yankees 7:05 PM
Cubs vs Pirates 7:05 PM
Orioles vs Blue Jays 7:07 PM
Indians vs Tigers 7:10 PM
Mets vs Marlins 7:10 PM
Phillies vs Braves 7:10 PM
Twins vs Royals 7:15 PM
Brewers vs Rangers 8:05 PM
Rays vs White Sox 8:10 PM
Reds vs Cardinals 8:15 PM
Athletics vs Angels 10:05 PM
Dodgers vs Padres 10:10 PM
Rockies vs Giants 10:15 PM

By the time these games are played many if not most of the teams playing will be eliminated from playoff contention. Furthermore it is very likely that several teams who are fighting for a playoff birth will find themselves playing against teams that are mathematically eliminated.

Now ask yourself his question: How would you react if the teams who were eliminated simply decided to forfeit their games rather than play them?

After all, they have no chance of winning and their opponents do? Isn’t it unfair that they are taking away potential wins from a team that actually can do something for them? Is it unfair to the fans of the teams still in contention that these cellar dwelling teams might thwart their chances to advance?

Of course such a person making that argument would be laughed out of the park. You are only entitled to a win over an opponent no matter how weak. If you want that “W” you have to finish the game with more runs. Remember even the worst team in modern history the 1962 Mets, managed to win 40 games.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Both Donald Trump and my guy Ted Cruz have argued that John Kasich should drop out of the race for the GOP nomination on the grounds that he has no mathematical chance to get to 1237 delegates, but more importantly both Trump and Cruz have argued the Kasich is taking votes away from them.

That argument is nonsense.

It’s true that if Kasich wasn’t in the race and people had to choose between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz potential Kasich voters would likely choose one or the other. And if Kasich chooses to leave the race, I’d be quite delighted.

But those votes don’t “belong” to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or even to John Kasich. Those votes belong to the voter who is casting them.

And if Mr. Trump or Senator Cruz wants the votes of people inclined to support Governor Kasich, they, like a team looking to earn a playoff spot has to earn them.

And that’s how it should be.
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The third in my series noting the weakness of Donald Trump’s Sour Grapes arguments concerning Delegates.

In baseball there are many different ways to build a team. You can build one based on a park (Think of Fenway Park’s wall) you can build one based on player combinations, for example the Phillies of the 50’s had the ultimate fly ball pitcher, Robin Roberts with Richie Ashburn an outfielder with incredible range. The result was an awful lot of outs.

You can go with pitching, you can go with speed, you can go with defense, you can go with power, you can play the big bullpen but in the end every choice comes with a tradeoff.

The speed team may not have that big bat they need at the time they need it, the power team might not be able to advance that runner, the great hitting team might now have the men who can get to that grounder to protect the lead and the defensive specialists might not have to bat to get that extra run, the great bullpen might not have the starters to get to the seventh or the strong starting lineup might not have the horse to get those last three outs to wrap it up.

The presidential campaign has run the same way. The various candidates all had different plans to get to the finish line and each one had their trade offs from Chris Christe’s New Hampshire or bust to Jeb Bush’s superpac plan.

Donald Trump’s plan was unique, bypass the traditional party structure, the face to face campaigning and use his national celebrity to run a national campaign on a couple of big issues (immigration and the war on terror) and bypass the state parties altogether.

Regardless of any critique of Trump’s it is inarguable that this plan has been on the whole widely successful. Trump has won the most states, the most delegates and has outlasted 14 of his 16 opponents. Only Ted Cruz has come close winning 8 states but that pales to Trump’s 19. Trump has done a good job and no amount of saying otherwise makes it any less true

However like a baseball team with no speed Trump’s plan has drawbacks.

It’s looking very much like the Establishment GOP is doing it’s best on the state level to get delegates who are less likely to support Donald Trump once they are released, it’s also looking like Ted Cruz is doing his best to use his grassroot strength to get delegates favorable to him selected.

Donald Trump and his people are crying foul, but all this complaining ignores one thing, Trump choose to be in this situation.

You’ll remember during the lead-up to the Massachusetts primary Governor Baker ran his own slate for the GOP state committee, opposing tea party activists. A lot of us didn’t like it but he was within his rights to do so.

That type of process or a variation of it takes place in every single state in the union.

There was nothing stopping Donald Trump from getting involved in these races, in fact building up representation in the state parties might have been a rather wise use of his large stash of personal funds.

Trump decided not to do this. He kept his focus on the national campaign keeping his focus on the public at large rather than the party and for the most part, as I’ve said, it’s been successful.

Now if he manages to win the nomination outright that will the wisdom of the plan but is he ends up shy at the end of the primary season Trump will find his situation like a power hitting team having needing to get a runner to 2nd and having no speedster on the bench or anyone who can bunt available.

It won’t be because he is being cheated, it’s because he built his team a particular way and the game is tilting in a direction that doesn’t fit.

That’s not unfair, that’s just life.

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In yesterday morning’s post I noted that Donald Trump’s complaint about it being “unfair” that he has to get 1237 delegates to support him and used a Jackie Robinson reference to explain why there is nothing unfair about it.

But there is another argument that is not only better but actually devastating to both conservatism and the Trump campaign

Put simply Donald Trump is objecting to the rules as they are and based on his interpretation of “fairness” suggests the rules should be ignored.

Can someone explain to me how that is any different than what Illegal immigration advocates are saying.

They are claiming that obeying the law, going though the normal channels to enter the country legally is an undue burden. That suggesting that people follow the law and enforcing the law by building the border fence is racist.

To them it’s all “unfair”

So think about this for a second a billionaire candidate who happens at this moment to be the public face of enforcing immigration laws against largely poor people is whining about having to obey rules?

Frankly I’m shocked the left hasn’t had every single surrogate beating this in every single segment on every single TV show every single day and I’m even more surprised that the MSM hasn’t thought of this and started playing it up. It’s the ultimate gimme for them.

Once they do, this will make the damage Donald Trump did damage to the Pro-Life moment by his idiotic comments look like a walk in the park.

Now we know the reality is this is all about money, the money for the interests looking for cheap labor and the money contributed to Democrats and establishment republicans for keeping that labor cheap and the power and wealth that comes from the vote Democrats get from opposing the enforcement of the law.

But in a year that’s all about unreality none of that is going to matter
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It Ain’t over until it’s over

Yogi Berra

Of all the stories about Jackie Robinson that you might hear, the one that has stuck with me the most involves a moment of defeat.  A moment where he seemingly had no recourse but to accept defeat.

It was 3:58 PM on Oct 3rd 1951 and Bobby Thompson had just hit his “shot heard round the world” the Giants fans were going wild and as he circled the bases the Dodger players had all left the field, all that is but one.

In the Book:  Rickey and Robinson author Harvey Frommer describes the scene:

Now thousands were climbing out onto the field.  “Holy hell broke loose all over,” recalls former Giant Wes Westrum.  Only Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn defenders in the field remained at his position.  Hands on his hips, a scowl on his face,

In his own book The Man in the Crowd A fan’s notes on Four Generation of New York baseball Stanley Cohen recalls watching the game on TV with a friend who was confused by Robinson’s action.

“What’s he doing there?”  my friend wondered

“I think”, I said, “he’s making sure Thompson touches all the bases.”

He was right Frommer again:

He waited and watched to make sure that Thomson, trotting out the home run, touched every base.  “That was so characteristic of Jack,” observes Rachel Robinson.

Robinson knew that under the rules of baseball if Thompson missed a base he could be called out, he knew that it didn’t matter if the ball had cleared the fence, until that plate was touched the run hadn’t scored and the Dodgers didn’t lose and if he left the field before touching that plate the game remained tied and his Dodgers still has a chance.

And that brings us to today in Wisconsin and Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is getting angry about the delegate counts now saying that having to get to the delegate count that everybody knew was necessary from day 1 is unfair.

It’s an amazing argument.  It’s an argument he didn’t make when he announced in June.  It’s an argument that he didn’t make in January or February.  Only now with the realities of math against him are we hearing how unfair it is.

One might say it’s analogous to a 17 man field running a marathon and the leader at the 22 mile mark saying he should get credit for finishing the race.

Now I’ll concede that the GOP establishment doesn’t like Trump. I share Donald Trump supporter’s disdain and distrust for the GOP establishment. Trump supports are probably right that they will use dirty tricks and shady deals to try to keep from the nomination.

But expecting that he earn the 1237 delegates before the convention to clinch the nomination or persuade that number to support him after he gets there isn’t one of them.

1237 is not dirty tricks.  That’s just Jackie making sure all the bases are touched before walking off the field.

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There has been a lot written about the Trump flips and flops concerning Abortion this week and on Jake Tapper’s weekend show State of the Union the discussion turned toward Trump’s days as a young bachelor and the question of if he ever dated a women who had an abortion.

Now this actually is the wrong question in a critical sense.

There is no question that Trump has a liberal past, the entire premise of Ted Cruz’s attack on him are based on his own words and comments the question is, are his protestations to be a conservative NOW actually sincere or not?

It’s a very biblical question.

For example nobody would question if Saul of Tarsus was once a persecutor of Christians. In fact in his famous trial before Herod he admits it.

I myself once thought that I had to do many things against the name of Jesus the Nazorean, and I did so in Jerusalem. I imprisoned many of the holy ones with the authorization I received from the chief priests, and when they were to be put to death I cast my vote against them.

Many times, in synagogue after synagogue, I punished them in an attempt to force them to blaspheme; I was so enraged against them that I pursued them even to foreign cities.

Acts 26:9-11

But them came his famous conversion

On one such occasion I was traveling to Damascus with the authorization and commission of the chief priests.

At midday, along the way, O king, I saw a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my traveling companions.  We all fell to the ground and I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad.

And I said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.  Get up now, and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness of what you have seen (of me) and what you will be shown.

I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.’

“And so, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.

Acts 26:12-19

and the rest is history.

However earlier in Acts there is a conversion story that didn’t go so well, the story of Simon the Magician

A man named Simon used to practice magic in the city and astounded the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great.  All of them, from the least to the greatest, paid attention to him, saying, “This man is the ‘Power of God’ that is called ‘Great.'”

They paid attention to him because he had astounded them by his magic for a long time, but once they began to believe Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptized.

Even Simon himself believed and, after being baptized, became devoted to Philip; and when he saw the signs and mighty deeds that were occurring, he was astounded.

Acts 8:9-13

 

But it turned out he was more interested in power than service

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the holy Spirit.”

But Peter said to him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought that you could buy the gift of God with money. You have no share or lot in this matter, for your heart is not upright before God.

Repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your intention may be forgiven.  For I see that you are filled with bitter gall and are in the bonds of iniquity.”

Simon said in reply, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Acts 8:14-24

And that’s what it really comes down to with Trump and why his BS on abortion is a problem, because this is the question that GOP voters need answered.

Is he a real convert to conservatism as Paul was to Christ, or is he just out for himself as Simon was?

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One of the easiest ways to produce clicks short of a promise of nude Kate Upton photos on a site is gotcha videos of people being stupid or ignorant.

The way it normally works is this:

Interviewer asks man on the street, on campus etc questions that a moderately educated person would presumably know.

Intervieweee gives answer indicating they have no idea what interviewer is talking about but are doing their best to fake it

People on TV laugh at them and have their superiority confirmed.

Now the social implications  of taking joy in another’s ignorance is a post for another day but the bottom line reality is most people are too busy or too wrapped up in real life to pay attention to history or current events.  You dear reader are part of a niche that cares about news and what’s happening in the world.  That’s why you’re here.

By extension those in the news profession are a smaller subset of that niche.  Because they are paid to report and know things when they prove to be ignorant about certain things laughter is justifiable.  It’s their job to know and inform the rest of us.  That’s by the way is why media bias is so insidious, it’s designed to purposely keep us ignorant of facts that contradict their worldview.

Now if those of us who are interested in information are a niche, and those in the news profession are a smaller part of that niche, then in a republic like ours our Senators and Congressmen & women are an even smaller subset of that niche.

Their job is to not only know about things but to make decisions based on that knowledge to the betterment of hundreds of millions.  They are bombarded with information and their ability to act on it is the basis for our support of them.

That’s why I absolutely love the this story about Senator Dianne Feinstein on Hillary Clinton:

Golly, I forget what bills she’s been part of or authored. I didn’t really come prepared to discuss this,” Feinstein said in a meeting with the Chronicle’s editorial board to discuss her new water plan for the drought-stricken California. “But she’s been a good senator. There are things outside of bills that you can do, and I know that she’s done them for her state.”

Feinstein explained that because Clinton had served for such a short time – she served for nearly a decade, from 2001-2009 – she wasn’t able to gain the seniority necessary in the Senate to get things done.

Now remember Senator Feinstein has been a professional feminist for decades.  She has been deep in the political world for a long time both on the state and the federal level.  If there is anyone who might be should be able to rattle off the accomplishments of Hillary Clinton without thinking hard it would be someone like her.  As Hotair put it about Feinstein

Assuming she’s still of sound mind, one would imagine that any major accomplishments of such a nationally famous figure would just leap off of her tongue. But essentially in the same breath, Feinstein turns around and pretty much admits that Clinton didn’t do anything because… she wasn’t there long enough? It was nearly a decade… how much time does one need to dig into the job and get things moving, particularly when the Senator in question is so well connected? Elizabeth Warren hasn’t been on the job for all that long and she pretty much drove through the creation of an entire new department.

The fact is that Feinstein isn’t the first to fumble this question and she won’t be the last. The reason is that Hillary Clinton has accomplished essentially nothing in terms of governmental action in her entire career.

We have laughed about voters and Hillary supporter not being able to name a Clinton accomplishment but they are in essence part of the General public so one might excuse that ignorance.  We have marveled at bloggers and then professional reporters not being able to name Clinton accomplishments, and rightly so, because they are part of the information niche that should know better.

But for a Sitting US senator and professional feminist, someone at the top of the information chain, someone who was elected to the Senate the year Bill Clinton entered the White House and has been in politics since 1970 to not be able to rattle off a list of accomplishments to justify electing Hillary president tells you that Mrs. Clinton hasn’t got any.

There are plenty of people who will argue that the candidacy of Donald Trump is a con game, an exercise in narcissism, the election of a person who is completely faking it on issues and knowledge with no accomplishments in the political world.

I submit and suggest that while there may be justification for that argument, the same point can be equally made concerning the election of Hillary Clinton and unlike Mr. Trump, she doesn’t have the excuse of spending a lifetime outside the political niche.

God help us all.

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I’m back trying to get that elusive $61 a day for DaTipJar but lately I haven’t reported on my progress. Part of it has been I’ve been busy but the other part being the reports for March would be rather depressing.

If we made our $61 a day my annual Tip jar would come into today at $5185, it currently stands at $2857. That’s a deficit of $2328 an increase of nearly $1000 this month.

Or to put it bluntly As of March 26, we’ve made our goal up to Feb 15th a full 29 days behind our goal.

And it’s not due to a lack of traffic, our number in March remain consistent with the blog’s recovery from our previous doldrums as of today we are over 10,000 visits ahead of last March and on a pace to nearly meet March 2014 the final month before our unexpected traffic crash began.

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The media are not our friends, they are partisan players, They are not fair and impartial umpires. The most important protectors of Barack Obama right now, is the mainstream media and no one is more ready for Hillary than the mainstream media.

So the media tries, typically to do two things to republicans; To caricature us as either evil or stupid. So they ask question to us that are often rigged to paint us as either evil or extreme. And on the flip side they give these love fests to Democrats and try to paint them as loving and wonderful and caring about kids and furry kittens and bunny rabbits.

And we’ve got to understand where the media’s coming from and not accept the false premises of their questions and instead, Look the path to winning is not complicated, speak the truth with a smile.

Ted Cruz , Aug 31 2015

One of the things that was very frustrating about the 2008 and 2012 races is the cluelessness of Mitt Romney and John McCain concerning the motives of the MSM.

As long as they were providing talking points against conservative republicans the media treated them with kid gloves.  They were the voices of reason and moderation, but as soon as the nomination was theirs, they were just another racist, sexist, homophobic tool to oppress the masses.

It took them a long time to figure out that the purpose of the MSM is to elect Democrats and that every interview, every question, every moment is about finding that talking point that will help defeat them.

Looking at this Chris Matthews interview with Donald Trump it appears that for all his protestations about the “unfair” media, the Donald™ hasn’t quite grasped that.

Forget that this position is inconsistent with what pro-lifers have said right along Trump let himself be played by Chris Matthews into affirming the predudices and falsehoods that the left have played for years: (via Hotair)

Part of the goal is to remove the ability for pro-choicers to demagogue the issue by scaring vulnerable women. Now, thanks to Trump, that’s back on the table.

There are those who are talking about the Trump flip flop and how he (Trump) is playing conservatives, but I think the real story is the difference between a nominee who is both able to see the MSM for what they are AND counter them.

Someone like Ted Cruz.

Take a look, for example at this interview with Chris Matthews:

Notice how Matthews talks fast, filibusters and quickly pivots in the hope of catching Ted Cruz out, and notice how how no matter how many twists and turns he throws at him, Ted Cruz doesn’t get rattled and doesn’t fall into his trap.

And Cruz hasn’t just done this with Matthews, he’s done it with Jorge Ramos and Katie Couric and continues to frustrate the MSM that has tried to spin him for years.

As we head toward the end of the Primary season voters in the remaining states need to ask themselves this question.

Do you want to spend the rest of the Campaign watching the MSM tear Donald Trump apart as he’s forced to pivot again again and again?

This should not be a hard question to answer.

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In the wake of a week of Terrorist attacks in Europe and Asia the administration has decided it’s time to get Americans the hell out of Turkey:

The State Department and Pentagon ordered the families of U.S. diplomats and military personnel Tuesday to leave posts in southern Turkey due to security fears.

The two agencies said dependents of American staffers at the U.S. consulate in Adana, the Incirlik air base and two other locations must leave. The so-called “ordered departure” notice means the relocation costs will be covered by the government.

CNN (via this Jake Tapper Tweet)

has more

“The decision to move our families and civilians was made in consultation with the Government of Turkey, our State Department, and our Secretary of Defense,” Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said in the statement.
A U.S. defense official told CNN that the base had been placed under Force Protection Condition Delta for weeks, the highest level of force protection for U.S. military bases. Delta level means that either a terrorist attack has just taken place in the immediate vicinity or “intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is imminent,” according to military guidelines.

Note the key word here “ordered”. Not suggested, not advised ORDERED. It’s reached a point where it is so dangerous in Turkey, a NATO ally, that the families of US personal and their dependents MUST flee for their own safety.

Now in a normal time this would be a huge story. It would be leading the news on every network and people and the MSM, much to their disgust, would be forced to bring in “experts” to explain that his forced evacuation of Americans have nothing to do with the failed anti-terrorism policies of the Obama administration’s foreign policy has led to this.

But fortunately for the MSM Corey Lewandowski committed the 2nd unenforced error for the Trump campaign (the 1st being the “Klan” interview with Jake Tapper) when he encountered Michelle Fields and didn’t take Glenn Reynolds advice about an apology & a drink to end the matter:

Donald Trump’s campaign manager was charged Tuesday in Florida with simple battery for allegedly roughing up a reporter.

Jupiter police said Corey Lewandowski, 41, was charged with the misdemeanor for grabbing and bruising the arm of Michelle Fields, 28, an ex-reporter for the conservative Breitbart News outlet, at a campaign event at Trump National Golf Course on March 8.

A “misdemeanor for grabbing and bruising the arm”. Now even in an election year by any rational standard this would never “trump” the forced evacuation of US personal from the territory of a NATO ally due to the threat of terrorism.

But then again I’m not the media looking for an excuse to change the subject from the utter and absolute failure of the Obama foreign policy (which was led by a woman named Clinton for the first 4 years) and change it to the Trump campaign which not only carries a lot of eyeballs but does so with a story that plays right into the “Trump vs Women” meme that they love.

Now this is an election year and manhandling a female reporter, even if one argues that it was accidental is newsworthy, particularly if it’s done by the campaign manager of the front runner for the GOP nomination.

But if you think for one minute that this is a more important story than US personal being pulled from Turkey, you’re smoking something.

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I’m back trying to get that elusive $61 a day for DaTipJar but lately I haven’t reported on my progress. Part of it has been I’ve been busy but the other part being the reports for March would be rather depressing.

If we made our $61 a day my annual Tip jar would come into today at $5185, it currently stands at $2857. That’s a deficit of $2328 an increase of nearly $1000 this month.

Or to put it bluntly As of March 26, we’ve made our goal up to Feb 15th a full 29 days behind our goal.

And it’s not due to a lack of traffic, our number in March remain consistent with the blog’s recovery from our previous doldrums as of today we are over 10,000 visits ahead of last March and on a pace to nearly meet March 2014 the final month before our unexpected traffic crash began.

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Just under a year ago at the start of the campaign season Scott Was considered a key guy. At the initial FITN event I found it impossible to get anywhere near him for an interview or a question (Incidentally at the same event two months before he announced one could approach Donald Trump without much of a media swarm at all).

At the time Scott Walker was the one of the Golden boys of the campaign and even at other events either I was unable to get close enough for questions or he and his team declined to speak with me.

As we near the anniversary of that event Wisconsin is about to vote and Scott Walker is long gone having dropped out months before the first votes were cast demonstrating that he could read the signs of the time far better than Jeb Bush or Chris Christie but six months after leaving the race Walker has made news.

“I just fundamentally believe that he is a constitutional conservative,” Walker said of Cruz in an interview with conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, who also supports the Texas senator, on Wisconsin’s WTMJ.

Walker brings Cruz popularity with many in the Republican base after his high-profile battles with unions and an unsuccessful recall attempt, though the governor has just a 39 percent job approval at home, according to a February Marquette Law School poll.

Scott Walker was in my top 3 for the entire time he was in the race.  He like Cruz fights without apology which is why I liked him and his record of defeating the democrats in his state despite the best efforts of the left is strong but the real question is, in a year when endorsements have had little or no effect will the Walker endorsement be enough to get Cruz over the line in the state?

I hope so.

Yesterday at AIPAC Ted Cruz gave a stirring speech in defense of Israel which I agree with wholeheartedly

In a sense while excellent this speech was not much different than others he has given in the past and frankly is not different that things you will see at this blog or many other conservative blogs.

The difference is that yesterday that speech was broadcast live in its entirety on FOX News, CNN & MSNBC.

Why? I hate to admit it the reason is Donald Trump.

All three networks carried the Donald Trump speech at AIPAC. Trump raised many of the points that Ted Cruz did, Trump brought up the points about Palestinians indoctrinating their kids into Jew hatred and rewarding terrorists.

His line concerning kids heros was spectacular.

Meanwhile, every single day, you have rampant incitement and children being taught to hate Israel and hate the Jews. When you live in a society where the firefighters are the hero’s little kids want to be firefighters. When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars. In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews – we can’t let this continue. You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace.

But for the most part Trump like Ted Cruz didn’t say anything that folks like me haven’t said before.

The difference is, when Trump says it, the message no longer has the effect of a tree falling in an empty forest.

I wrote about this a while back noting the number of Twitter followers he has:

2.9 MILLION. He has more people following him on twitter than all the candidates above combined except Rubio & Paul and easily has more than double of the two of them combined. In fact there is only one person in the race that has more followers than him


That was Hillary Clinton with 3.6 million twitter followers.

I wrote that on June 16th of last year since then Hillary’s Twitter followers have soared to 5.7 million an increase of 63%. Not bad at all.

Ted Cruz my guy has done well too, he’s gone from 416K followers to 955K more than doubling his followers. Not up to Clinton’s numbers but quite an increase.

However Donald Trump went from 2.9 Million twitter followers to SEVEN MILLION an increase of 194%. He has gone from having 700,000 less twitter followers than Hillary Clinton to having 1.3 million more in under a year.

You might not be impressed by those numbers, but the networks are. Les Moonves explained this well:

“I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going,” said Moonves.

“Donald’s place in this election is a good thing,” he said Monday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.

“There’s a lot of money in the marketplace,” the exec said of political advertising so far this presidential season.

Beyond politics, Moonves said ad sales in general are strong because there’s not a lot of places beyond The Big Bang Theory where advertisers can reach 20 million people all at once.

There are a lot of reasons to oppose Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, but his ability to get the conservative message out on Illegal Immigration, on Radical Islam and yesterday on Israel to the public who have been shielded from facts by the Democrats and the media that serves them is game changing.

Instead of a tree falling in a forest he is a meteor smashing in the city, when he talks about subject they can’t be ignored.

And as conservatives we should be damn happy about it.

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illinois signBy John Ruberry

You can once and for all drop any lingering belief you may possess that Barack Obama is a bi-partisan unifier. A Chicago Democrat in the Illinois House who believed in compromising is now a lame duck because of our leftist president.

Illinois has been locked in a budget battle for nine months. The primary combatants are Republican political newcomer Bruce Rauner, the first Land of Lincoln governor to win a majority of voters since 2002, and House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has led the lower chamber in Springfield for 30 of the last 32 years. He’s also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. His daughter, Lisa, has been the state’s attorney general since 2003.

If there is a poster child for the problems of America’s fifth-largest state–a declining population, deficit spending, woefully underfunded public pensions–it’s Michael Madigan, who has been a member of the Illinois House since 1971.

Last month President Barack Obama, whose first public office was as an Illinois state senator, spoke to the General Assembly where he hailed the graces of compromise and working across the aisle with the opposition.

“Where I’ve got an opportunity to find some common ground, that doesn’t make me a sellout to my own party,” Obama said that day, after which Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) stood and cheered.

“We’ll talk later, Dunkin,” Obama quickly replied and then continued his speech.

And so Obama talked.

Dunkin is the type of politician Obama who was able to “find some common ground” with Governor Rauner. Madigan’s gerrymandering talents created super-majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly–with not a vote to spare. But Dunkin defied Boss Madigan several times by preventing several overrides of several Rauner vetoes.

Madigan responded predictably by directing funding to the campaign of his primary opponent, Juliana Stratton. She also received Obama’s endorsement and the president–and here’s  the”We’ll talk later” part–appeared in a Stratton radio spot and narrated a TV ad for her.

Shouldn’t Obama be focused on defeating ISIS, tackling the federal deficit, and creating jobs? No, he has better things to do, it seems, such as sticking his nose in a state legislature race that means nothing to a family of four in, let’s say Ohio, that is struggling to get by.

Television advertisements in the expensive Chicago TV market are unheard of in state representative races.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Republican interests contributed heavily to Dunkin’s campaign.

Last Tuesday was primary day in Illinois–and Stratton easily bested Dunkin. The Democratic Machine defeated the compromiser.

Obama is a fraud. He should be ashamed of himself but of course he isn’t.

John Ruberry regularly blogs and Marathon Pundit. He’s a life long resident of ILL-inois.

Many years ago after the initial invasion of Iraq George Bush flew to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln  and gave a speech behind a banner on the ship that proved to be so consequential to the MSM that a decade after it happened it was worth a story at US News and world report:

If there’s one day in particular Bush could choose to rewrite, it might be May 1, 2003.

It was a sunny day off the coast of San Diego. Congress had authorized what would become the Iraq war a few months earlier, in October 2002. The invasion had begun in March 2003. On May 1, President Bush had landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the co-pilot’s seat of a Navy fighter jet.

After landing, Bush changed out of his combat suit and stepped up to the podium, surrounded by a crowd as receptive as the one in Dallas last week.

Having marched U.S. troops through Iraq and deposed of Saddam Hussein’s regime (and his statue), Bush called Operation Iraqi Freedom “a job well done.”

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” Bush said, the infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner hovering over him. “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

Now at the time of that statement it was very true, we had successfully invaded Iraq, overthrew Saddam and even managed to hold democratic elections that had the potential to change the middle east forever.

Alas as time went by things got complicated

Instead, the speech and the banner became a symbol of the unpopular war, which would last another eight brutal years. The image came to encapsulate not just the war, but the mistakes of the Bush administration as a whole,

In fact the MSM used that speech to pummel Bush for a decade (oddly enough that same MSM hasn’t touched Obama & Biden for declaring Iraq a success when pulling out and letting it crumble to pieces but I digress).  Google “Mission Accomplished” speech and you’ll see a cornucopia of Bush critique that continues to this day.

Compare that to Hillary Clinton this week, who said this to Chris Matthews on MSNBC:

“We didn’t lose a single man” is quite a statement considering what happened in Benghazi, fox called it a gaffe but Thomas Lifton disagrees:

Sorry, Fox, it’s not a gaffe, it’s a tell. To Hillary Clinton, the four male officials and warriors don’t matter at all. They are at best an inconvenience. If they were alive, they would have to be dealt with, but because they are dead, they can be forgotten, rendered unworthy of memory.

Red State called out Chris Matthews:

If you want to know why Chris Matthews simply let this baldfaced lie go unchallenged, the answer is simple. Matthews is a deeply corrupt Democrat apparatchik who abandoned even a shallow pretense of being a journalist nearly two decades ago. His wife is running for Congress and she is totally dependent upon the Clinton fundraising network to finance that bid for office. In fact, Matthews is so in thrall to Clinton that even the left wing media have started to notice.

and even Politico noticed the omission albeit obliquely:

Clinton may have been referring strictly to the U.S.-backed overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which indeed saw no loss of American lives and cost just around $1 billion. But her comments ignore the 2012 attacks at the U.S. mission and CIA outpost in Benghazi, which killed four people including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

I mean cripes there was a movie made about it:

In many ways this is much worse than President Bush’s speech, after all she is saying this not directly after the fall of Libya before all that followed took place but years AFTER not only Benghazi but all the other grief as Ed Morrissey notes at hotair:

Yes, they certainly do ignore the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. But these remarks ignore a lot more than that. Qaddafi’s Libya was a brutal dictatorship, but one that had been cooperating in some part against radical Islamist terrorist groups, and had a functioning military that kept them on the run. Decapitating the regime without any way to influence developments on the ground did not result in “a functioning state.” It resulted in a failed state. The government that held two elections cannot even claim all of Tripoli as under its control, and its writ runs nowhere else in the country.

Most stunning of all, Clinton seems unaware that ISIS is taking up blocs of territory in Libya now, too. So have al-Qaeda affiliates like Ansar al-Sharia — the group that sacked our Benghazi consulate nearly four years ago, thanks in large part to security decisions made by State under Hillary’s leadership. We didn’t give Libya a chance — we destroyed Libya, and left nothing but a viper pit of terror networks to replace it. And Hillary thinks this is a success story.

Now given that this was said on camera, in the middle of a presidential campaign during a cable network town hall you would think that her statement would be all over television…

…you’d think wrong as MRC notes

Tuesday’s NBC Today didn’t deem it newsworthy. Instead, the only mention of the town hall events was correspondent Kristen Welker touting how both Democratic contenders used the opportunity to hurl their “sharpest attacks” at Donald Trump…

…On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Cecila Vega followed the same pattern…

…On CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King used the town hall to illustrate how “Hillary Clinton says she feels good about her campaign and the votes that she has received.” A soundbite followed of Clinton proclaiming: “I’ve gotten 5 million votes, 600,000 more than Trump, 1.6 million more than Bernie Sanders, so I feel really good about where I am in this campaign and, of course, the number of delegates that I have won is also considerably higher than Senator Sanders.”

Why are we seeing this, because we’ve reached the point were the Hillary Nomination is now inevitable and the media, despite their fears have gone all in.

Closing thought, a year ago I thought the Dems would dump Hillary as her legal situation would be untenable (silly me thinking the Obama Chicago team would enforce the law) but I ended my post with this caveat:

The moment they can get a viable candidate in they will throw Hillary under the bus so fast it will make your head swim.

But if they can’t, If worst comes to worst they’ll fight for Hillary in what will be a campaign so dirty even people as jaded as me will be surprised.

That is coming, the only comfort is that Donald Trump will likely fight back just as dirty.

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Buzzfeed reports the  Trump’s campaign has moved to background check volunteers:

Donald Trump’s campaign informed aspiring volunteers Sunday night that they would have to pass background checks and sign non-disclosure agreements if they wanted serve in the Trump Tower Call Center in Manhattan.

“We need to make sure our call center is a safe environment for all of our volunteers and staff,” campaign organizers wrote in an email to volunteers, which was passed along to BuzzFeed News.

Political phone-banking, in which volunteers are organized to gather in a designated location and make calls to prospective voters, is common practice in presidential campaigns. Less common is the “on-boarding and briefing” apparently required by Team Trump.

This is unusual in the sense that most campaigns are usually dying for any volunteers they can get.

However unlike most people running for office Trump is very familiar with how media works and this move preempts two rather obvious Democrat/media tactics

1. By doing background checks it stops the following headlines the MSM is dying to produce:

Trump call center staffed with Illegal Immigrants

Violent criminals abound in Trump call centers

These headlines would invariably produces stories throughout the Democrat/MSM media complex, then there would be commentary from Democrat leaning pundits on these stories, then stories about seeking comment from the Trump campaign, then commentary from the aforementioned pundits on seeking comment, then the stories about the comment or lack thereof, then the commentary about the comments or lack thereof and the inevitable debate question about double standards.

2.  By requiring non-disclosure agreements  you are establishing a personal cost to any MSM/DNC plant who the opposition might send.

As anyone who has worked in a call center or in a group can tell you such environments are full of conversation, quips, occasional trash talk, conversation, speculation and rumor. Any or all of these things are easily spun to “create” a news story or expose of the “real” story behind the Trump campaign.

Now a non disclosure agreement in itself would normally not be much of an impediment to a newspaper or a Democrat campaign looking to score a hit, but if you combine Donald Trump’s well-earned reputation for litigious behavior with his wealth to absorb legal costs and his desire to get back at such person an individual has to consider the possibility that Trump might decide keeping such a person in court for a decade with a judgement that while a drop in the bucket for Trump could be life altering for them as the reward for a minor political jab.

Would you risk it?

There are many disadvantages to Trump as the GOP nominee. Lack of media savvy is not one of them.  Trump’s people have figured out it’s better to have a one day story on background checks than weeks of stories generated by volunteers planted in the Trump campaign to produce weeks of stories designed to damage the campaign.

I’ve been considering my commentary yesterday on the Democrats shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago event and in doing so I think I’ve overlooked the single most important aspect of the event in terms of the Democrat party.

No it’s not the rape of the first amendment by the faithful, no it’s not the fact that in a Democrat controlled city a democrat mob was able to keep the person who is leading the Republican field from presenting his care or even the media’s , disgraceful support of these tactics in print, online and on television proving that the charge of them being “democrats with bylines” is not a charge but a fact of life.

No the factor that is most significant is how these rioters illustrate the progress the Democrat party has made in the field of civil rights and inclusion.

Think about it.

Fifty to Sixty years ago when Democrat thugs used violence and intimidation to silence and shut down republicans who insisted on exercising their constitutional rights to assemble, to speak, to publicly support the candidates and positions of their choice the people committing these atrocities against the Constitution and all we supposedly hold dear as a nation where what?

Almost uniformly white, male, straight and protestant.

Fast forward to the present day and watch the TV coverage of Friday’s events and do we see? A dramatic change.

Sure Democrats thugs are still using violence and intimidation to silence and shut down republicans who insist on exercising their constitutional right to assemble speak and publicly support the candidates and positions of their choice committing an atrocity against the Constitution and all we supposedly hold dear as a nation but consider the crowd doing it.

It’s a cornucopia of different races, sexes and I’ll wager if we polled those in attendance we would see not only different sexual orientations but people from a variety of religious belief and even no belief at all, united by the common bond to make sure that republicans and conservatives should not be allowed to exercise any right that they do not permit.

It’s taken 3 generations but the Democrats have shown the world that thuggishness, violence, political intimidation, totalitarianism and a disregard for the basic rights of man, are precepts and traits that are not restricted by race, religions, sex or orientation.

How proud the party must be.

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Cringing to these fellows will never do

Admiral Robert Blake

I have to say I disagree with Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his Chicago rally because of threats of violence and thugs.

If these folks can shut down a Trump Rally unopposed they can do it elsewhere and rewarding this kind of behavior will just bring more of it.

What is the point of a first amendment if this can take place?

Oh and the leaders of these protestors were not only hoping for violence but would absolutely love to see one of their own number shot or killed to create a martyr, after with Democrat turnout down they need to create something to motivate them.

If you think that’s kind of harsh then I submit you haven’t paid attention to how the left operates.

No wonder the left likes Radical Islam so much, they use the same speech suppressing tactics.

CNN spent the night making excuses for thugs, I suspect if they were disrupting a Hillary Clinton rally they’d be outraged

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It was the twelfth debate, and I finally got around to watching the second half.

Jake Tapper was the moderator, and he did not do something the moderators of other debates have done, namely, this:

“Mr. Trump, what do you think of yourself?”, to which he answered “I have a big penis“;

“Mr. Rubio, what do you think of that?” Rubio: “Donald’s a braggart”;

“Mr. Cruz, how do you think you can beat Trump if you don’t let him drag you in the mud?” Cruz: “Because I stand on the issues (and explains)”;

“Mr. Trump, but enough of that, let’s talk about you some more. Trump: “Brag, brag . . .”

For not turning the show into a Trumpspectacle, I say, Thank you, Jake Tapper.

That was the good news. The bad news is,

Without Rubio and Cruz going on a steady attack against Trump, the effort to delegitimize him stopped almost completely. They treated him as a typical politician, someone they just disagree with here or there, which is precisely the thing that got him into first place before.If you’re not actively deligitimizing [sic] Trump, you’re legitimizing him.

Trump is a BS artist, a bully, thin on issues, woefully ignorant on foreign policy, invariably opportunistic, and self-contradictory,

However . . .

Trump’s rivals apparently have not figured out yet that the best defense is a relentless offense.

And so Trump is forging ahead.

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

Yesterday’s GOP debate proved several things.

The GOP can do substance, there were good questions and answers and while there were several tough blows they were all within the bounds of propriety.

It also proved what I’ve said that Trump can do substance.

There were solid difference between the candidates and they were highlighted very well but without the circus did people keep watching or change the channel.

I think Ted Cruz made the best point of the night in saying that Donald Trump has correctly identified the problems but his solutions are off. It’s the only way in my opinion to win over potential Trump voters.

Rubio had a good debate and it answered the question on Rubio pulling out before Florida (no chance).

Kasich did OK but oddly nobody seems to be leaning on him to pull out even though he has won two less races than Rubio. He is what he is and in normal year would be a valid consideration.

But the winner of the Debate was Donald Trump. Not because he gave good answers (he did) Not because he stayed on the offensive on Islam (He did) and not because he sold he lie on Ted Cruz being for Amnesty with a straight face

No he won because he was the leader and anything that doesn’t stop the guy in the lead helps him.

The biggest loser is whoever hosts the next debate because while this debate likely got ratings, if the next one is like this, it may not.

Closing thought, we’ve had a Debate in Ohio, we’ve had one in Texas and now in florida, will they have on in NYC so Trump can get home field advantage once?

Update: Ed Morrissey nails John Kasich:

Kasich stood out in the last debate because he didn’t take part in the personal-insult circus. In this debate, with everyone focusing on substance, Kasich didn’t stand out at all.

The reason for his campaign kinda melts doesn’t it?

draw-mohammedAs longtime readers of this blog know I’ve been interested in the case of Molly Norris from the very start:

I call on bloggers today to put up a post proclaiming they remember Molly Norris.

I call on talk radio and Television hosts to mention this anniversary and express their outrage

I call upon our representatives to pass a resolution of outrage over this Fatwa and in support of Molly Norris.

And have stayed angry about it

Every day this stands the first Amendment is desecrated and our rights are become simply words on an old piece of paper. If we don’t fight this and continue to fight it, then not only will we forfeit the rights our forefathers died to bequeath us, but we will have proved ourselves unworthy of those rights.

The failure of the American Public to be outraged over an American Journalist working and living in America forced to go into hiding under an assumed name due to threats from Islamic terrorists is to my mind one should be a matter of personal and Public disgrace to the American People and our media.

Thursday I saw this tweet from Zilla Stevenson

It links to this post at frontpage mag which reminds of this disgrace:

So Molly Norris no longer exists. But whatever name she now goes by, she can’t work as a cartoonist, because a cartoonist’s style is as recognizable as her handwriting – and in any case, what previous work, signed “Molly Norris,” could she submit in applying for jobs? Relatives and friends must worry about meeting with her, or communicating by phone or email, for they have to assume that Muslims determined to find Molly Norris will know who her relatives and friends were before she changed her identity and could conceivably be watching them, hoping they will lead to Molly Norris. She is “in effect, being put into a witness-protection program – except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab.”

How does she survive? With what handful of people does she allow herself to associate? What kind of life must Molly Norris be living if the government provides no support?

But most disturbing of all is how Molly Norris has been essentially abandoned to her fate, and has had both to “disappear herself” and to endure having “disappeared” from the American public’s consciousness.

 

And suggests one of the candidates for president do something about it:

Imagine that if even one of the candidates were to talk about her, what good he might do. Let’s imagine what he might say:

We no longer have free speech in this country, because those who are most outspoken about Islam have been threatened with death. Many have been scared into silence, and others have had to change their lives.

Take the case of Molly Norris, forced to go into permanent hiding, and to change her identity, because she dared to suggest an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” in solidarity with cartoonists in Europe threatened with death for having drawn what we now call MoToons. When she was threatened herself, the most that the American government would do for her was to suggest that she go into hiding. The government did not offer to support her, or to pay for her security: it was “a witness-protection program without the government picking up the tab.”

Now imagine that same candidate brings up the story of Molly Norris at every gathering, forcing the media to report to the broad public what he has to say about her monstrous situation, imprints her story on the public consciousness, causes people to bethink themselves about how our officials have behaved in their insensate determination not to fight but to give in to Muslim threats.

Now the odds of our Democrat friends who will never oppose radical Islam as much as they do republicans are as great as my odds of winning the next Papal election but if either at tonight’s debate or sometime soon one of the GOP candidates, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would bring it up tonight, particularly Trump who the villains at CAIR are attacking.  They would do a positive service both for the country and for free speech.

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As long as we remain silent on Molly Norris the image above isn’t a net meme, it’s reality.

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