the 603 alliance had their caucus today at the Hopkinton State Fair grounds in Contoocook NH. The idea was to get conservatives in NH to unite behind a single candidate via a caucus.

Ted Cruz has won, Ben Carson came in 2nd Carly Fiorina 3rd. Donald Trump failed to make the first cut not managing 25 votes, Jeb bush didn’t manage a single vote.

Under the rules if the winner of the 603 alliance caucus drops out of the presidential race the people pledge to support the 2nd place finisher and so forth.

Expect updates

Update 1

I arrived at the event at 10:30 AM one hour before registration was to end. The person directing me to park commented on the number of people who had showed up and expressed worry about finding places for all of them.

Any voter who was in line at 11:30 would be checked in as long as they met the following requirements

1. They were a Registered republican voter in NH.

2. They were a registered unenrolled NH voter who pledged that they had not taken a democrat ballot

3. They had a photo ID.

Ted Cruz showed up in person to greet people before the start of the event

It was very apparent that his people were there in force and read and raring to go. Ben Carson’s people were also well represented:

603 stills 1 006

I hand counted 718 people. at my arrival and it was very clear that some candidates took this very seriously and others did not.

and the vote would come down to who bothered to show

Under the rules of the Caucus any candidate who failed to get at least 25 votes in the first round would be eliminated. From the looks of things early it seemed it would be a Cruz vs Carson race

Ted Cruz showed up in person to make his case, speakers showed up to speak for Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Carly fiorina. Oddly enough while Rand Paul had two events in the area his people did not show up for the caucus.

Expect another update

Final update:

Here are some random images from the event

Here are the speeches from the event for the various candidates & their reps before the vote:

Ted cruz spoke in person:

However there were representatives for other candidates Marco Rubio:

Ben Carson:

But the most eloquent speech for a candidate not there came from Rep Baldarsio for Donald Trump:

Based on this speech representative Baldarsio’s candidate deserved a better fate after the first round of Voting Donald Trump was eliminated for not drawing the 25 votes necessary to advance.

But even so Trump did infinitely better than Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore combined who despite a ton of time spent in the state by some and millions in superpac money belonging to others didn’t garner a single vote between them

In addition to trump Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and John Kasich all failed to get 25 votes (but at least weren’t shut out like Bush Christie & co.

Trump had not missed the first cut by much and once he was out the other candidates scrambled for his votes. When the 2nd round was done however Fiorina had not been able to catch up with Carson and was out. It was down to Cruz and Carson but while the absent Carson had made a decent showing Cruz’s crew was just too large:

When it was all over I talked to Diane Vitter of the 603 alliance:

I think several candidates made a big mistake not showing up. Rand Paul was less than a mile from the location in the very same town. Lindsey Graham has spent the last week in the state, and the fact that Kasich managed to get votes when Bush was not.

As for the candidates there, if I was Carly Fiorina I’d make a big fuss about advancing when Trump did not, and if I was Ben Carson I’d point to a 2nd place showing while being on a book tour.

And Ted Cruz, well that’s tomorrow’s lead post.

Final update, some stills:

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

As a person who is a bit of a defense hawk I’m not down on Kelly Ayotte like a lot of other conservatives. I have noted on more than one occasion she has talked real sense on military matters, has been great on Benghazi

On the Hagel hearings she was spectacular:

Yesterday she raised an incredible point at the Hagel Hearings that nobody seems to have caught
Of course he also voted against a sense of the senate in designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization and he told us during the hearing that it was because of it was part of an elected legitimate Iranian government.
I don’t think that the people who rose up in 2009 in the green movement who were persecuted and shot at by the Iranian government would call that government a legitimately elected government. Nor would, at the time that he voted against designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization at the time they were assisting those in Iraq who were murdering our troops.

That is simply devastating. Yet it got absolutely no airtime in the MSM. Why, because it can’t be refuted, there is no way to describe that vote in a positive way and there was nothing in either Senator Ayotte’s demeanor nor her delivery that can be used to attack her on style or substance.

and when she voted against Manchin Toomey she was savaged by the MSM.  As I put it at the time:

The left has wanted to bring down the only national pol to the right of Chris Christie in the NH and now they’ve finally found a picture of Kelly Ayotte they think they can sell to the General public & New Hampshire voters.

Additionally Ms. Ayotte has been willing to give me time on occasion and it’s much appreciated.

Bottom line I like Kelly Ayotte.  She’s not as conservative as me or frankly as I’d like but she the most conservative member of the Senate from any state north-east of Pennsylvania and that combined with her performance on national defense issues means something.

And because I like Kelly Ayotte I’d like to give her some free advice:

If the Jeb Bush team wants to pull stunts like this in NH:

During an appearance at a Jon Huntsman / The Hill “No Labels” event, a female audience member named Lauren Batchelder played the role of a female antagonist toward candidate Donald Trump.

However, Ms. Batchelder is not just an average audience member.  She’s a paid political operative of the GOP and a paid staff member of Team Jeb Bush:

Let him do it with someone who isn’t on your staff:

However, as previously noted, it didn’t take long to discover that Lauren Batchelder was not just an ordinary audience member, she is actually a current staffer for Senator Kelly Ayotte and also working in New Hampshire on behalf of the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign.

Your name being associated with this not only pisses off the base that you are going to need to turn out in full next year to be re-elected  but by asking the question

“…do I get to choose what I do with my body?”

your intern Lauren Batchelder in one fell swoop put your pro-life credentials in doubt and the last thing you need is single issue NH right to life voters deciding you’re not worth their vote.

I don’t know if the Bush people put you up to it or not, if you knew about it or not, or if your staffer did this on her own but for the sake of a one day sound bite that backfired on the Bush campaign, they’ve given the base and the pro-life community, two groups that NEVER forget a reason, to distrust you.

This is bad.

Moreover because of Ms. Batchelder’s attempt to erase her affiliations the apology I’d normally suggest may not fly because destroying the evidence doesn’t do much for one’s credibility, it makes one look like Hillary Clinton.

That was incredibly stupid.

So take my advice:  Approach your staff and tell them this:

“The next time a candidate with a campaign that’s pulling single digits in the polls tries to use them for a stunt with the potential to piss off the base like this you have a choice:  Say NO or resign publicly.”

No charge.

Oh and it goes without saying that if Ms. Batchelder is still working for you by the end of the week the signal it will give to the base and pro-lifers will be so unmistakable that no amount of advice of mine will help.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Your first job is to get re-elected.

Sam Rayburn

If you looked at the Mainstream media Thursday evening and Friday morning there was a single theme. The Conservative caucus in the house was doomed, they were stuck with John Boehner and that if they force an election for speaker through a motion to “vacate the chair” they will create a speaker who will destroy conservatives etc etc etc

Such was the conventional wisdom brought to you by the same people for whom the conventional wisdom at 8 AM Thursday was “Kevin McCarthy will be the next speaker of the house.”

This is exactly wrong.  The time for the GOP conservative caucus to strike is NOW, the time to make a motion to vacate the chair is NOW and the time to force the feckless GOP members to make a decision between the base and the establishment is NOW!

However everyone is ignoring a card, that the Conservatives / Tea People have, a card, a wild card, a card that they likely will never have  in play again.

They have Donald Trump.on the GOP primary ballot.

You see in a normal year, the Tea Party might manage to bring  a primary challenge to a sitting congressman and unless the congressman is very new or very weak that threat might or in just the right district it will only be an annoyance because their name recognition will be enough to carry them through against any unknown challenger.

 

But not in the year of Trump!

In the year of Trump a whole new set of voters will be going to the polls on primary, voters who are not loyal to the GOP establishment, a set of voters who look at the establishment that attacks with scorn, a set of voters who are ready to follow Trump..and people who pledge their support to him.

What happens if in such an environment a GOP establishment candidate gets a primary challenger runs as a Pro-Trump Candidate?

Suddenly:  You have an opponent that has instant credibility with that set of new voters.

Suddenly:  You have an opponent that is newsworthy to not only local media but national media.

Suddenly:  All those checks that Trump can’t take from donors for political reasons have a professed Pro-Trump destination that can accept them, checks that can be used to finance a pro-Trump rally in that district

Suddenly:  You have an opponent who would share a stage with Trump and might even get a chance to speak to a huge crowd.

and most frightening of all to a member of the GOP establishment in the house

Suddenly:   You have a credible well financed challenger ready to unseat you.

I suspect such a candidate would do anything to avoid such a situation, even support the freedom caucus candidate for speaker.
Now there are of course risks,  particularly if Trump suddenly collapses but the media and the establishment has been predicting Trump’s collapse for the last three months and it hasn’t happened yet and it’s certainly not going to happen before a GOP leadership vote.

And of course given Mr. Trump’s legendary humility there is absolutely no chance that he would want to promote congressional candidates who are specifically promoting and supporting him for president is there?

If the freedom caucus wants to move members of the GOP establishment this is the scenario that they should put in front of every member preparing to vote with Democrats to stop them.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

The taste of your sweet breath
The salt of morning tears
Again I say good-bye to you
Hold on tight
So good to hurt so bad
So sad to ride away renewed
Go on laugh
Go on cry
It’s alright

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something lost about me with you
There’s something blind about the chosen few
There’s something wonderful about love

It’s been an odd week in social media, one in which the conservative side of the aisle poured out its love and money to The Popular Girl™ as compensation for the horror of being widowed at a young age. Next to losing a child, as brutal as it gets. This duly noted, giving a very well-paid political talking head over $400,000 for the college education of a two year old and child not due to be born for another two months gives pause for thought as to whether people engage their brain before thinking with their wallet.

Was I meant to be yours
The will of Christ above
Do you believe true love is blind
‘Cause I don’t know
When I get home come spring
Won’t you be glad to be mine
Just don’t laugh
Please don’t cry
Just say so

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something dark about destiny
There’s something blue about you with me
There’s something wonderful about love

Strange sights abounded this past week. A full-blown liberal in every sense of the world, a staff member of the despised on all fronts both collectively and individually Obama administration, was hailed as walking atop the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each day on his way to work. Said individual, regardless of his personal strengths, would have at best received an “unfortunate” cluck over upon his death were he not married to the aforementioned Popular Girl™. No GoFundMe page, no tribute torrent, no maudlin memorials. None. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to tear each other to shreds over Donald Trump and Pope Francis, who according to some will shortly have an armwrestling contest to see which is indeed the Antichrist.

Sorry to call so late
The planet turned four times
You’re on my mind but you’re nowhere
In my world
Please kiss the little bird
God bless the cozy cage we share
You kill me
You thrill me
You threaten my dreams, girl

Life is unpredictable, simultaneously cool and cruel. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the quality of sympathy is not strained when it comes to Mary Katharine Ham. But neither should it be misplaced, defined as cash donations for one who like so many in conservative new media has become what they profess to oppose, namely a cyberspace recluse living behind corporate media’s castle walls albeit ones with conservative runes carved above the impenetrable self-satiated door.

Do not let the present sorrow obscure reality. The conservative blogosphere was founded on the principal of citizen journalists directly addressing not only fellow citizens with the truth, but also a corrupt mainstream media ensconced in its ivory tower, never so much as acknowledging let alone addressing the public.

That changed when the first third-party paycheck arrived.

It used to be that monetizing blogging consisted of placing a Google Ads link on your site. Now, we have Salem Media owning HotAir and RedState and Townhall and Twitchy, the leading example of a third-party entity taking over what once were blogs and transforming them into corporate media mouthpieces albeit ones with a usually conservative bent.

There are very, very few blogs and bloggers left; genuinely independent voices offering news and analysis. (As a side note, I am honored to write for one on this site.) Instead, we have countless casual format columnists drawing their material from the same mainstream media sources they insist are cesspools of liberal bias, adding nothing except “me too” or “f u.” They excel at making themselves the focus of attention, especially when some real or imaginary slight comes their way. Their call to battle is cry outrage! and let slip the tweets of butthurt. Promoting the conservative agenda is a side issue. The primary focus is self-promotion, moving ever further up the ladder in pursuit of exposure on the selfsame mainstream media they insist they exist as its opposition.

Everyone enjoys an attaboy from others; a retweet or a blog post link. But how many conservative new media high rollers return the favor save for other at or above their exposure level? They excel at asking us to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. But return the favor? Not so much. Say something about this, and you are immediately set upon by a wolfpack of sycophants and wannabes hoping that by doing so they will curry favor with the elite. Excuses made for the select abound: they’re too busy, blah blah blah, how dare you speak to them in that manner. Let them be and quit making a fuss knocking on their ivory tower’s door!

Again, conservative new media has become what it once professed to oppose.

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something liberating death alone brings
There’s something funny about a lot of sad things
There’s something wonderful about love

Love remains; mercy triumphs in the seeming failure of the cross. The bloodstained wood is followed by the empty tomb. Throughout our temporal sorrows and joys, forgiveness and understanding through our shared humanity, led by the Man of Sorrows, should guide our way. But do not be fooled; do not substitute a pity party for sympathy. The poor and the orphan need our help. Others need love, not fulfillment for love of money.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=6aJqf1_kAa4?rel=0&w=450&h=253

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – The latest CNN poll reveals nothing more than that Election 2016 is still anyone’s game; well, almost anyone.  I think Kasich, Santorum, and Jindal can hang it up and start vying for positions in a future Republican administration.

Following the CNN debate Carly Fiorina’s numbers have surged and Trump has stumbled a bit.  Carson has also dropped while Rubio has advanced.

This debate was the first one I’ve watched this season.  I wanted to watch to see what I’m missing about Trump – everyone is so thrilled that he is saying things nobody else will say, they’re ready to elect him, it seems.  I remain unconvinced.

Trump does indeed say the most outrageous things.  Several times during this debate my jaw simply dropped in stunned silence that such utterings could come from a supposedly serious presidential contender.  On the subject of whether or not vaccines cause autism, a claim now debunked by science, Trump holds fast:

I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Because you take a baby in — and I’ve seen it — and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time.

Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me.

Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

It’s as if the child simply caught a permanent case of flu or something.  Based on nothing whatsoever, Trump concludes that this child “now is autistic” because of “the vaccine.”  Based on what?  A fever?  It’s simply an irresponsible and outrageous claim without real evidence behind it and one that strikes fear in the hearts of parents.  Shame on him.

On the subject of war with Afghanistan, I think Dr. Ben Carson really hurt himself when he indicated that the “bully pulpit” would have been his first choice rather that war after 9/11:

I said, you can do the same kind of thing. Declare that within five to 10 years we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.

There are smart ways to do things and there are muscular ways to do things. And sometimes you have to look at both of those to come up with the right solution.

This puts him straight in the camp with Ron Paul, I think, and while I think Ben Carson is a brilliant and gentle man, he cannot lead this country at this time with this philosophy.  It is naïve at best.

Peggy Noonan’s analysis of this debate was as spot on as any I’ve seen and her remarks on Carly Fiorina perfectly summarize her performance:

Ms. Fiorina has broken through again. This was the debate in which she became an acknowledged heavyweight. She is prepared, has a highly organized mind, and remains collected under the lights in a way that allows her to be what she is, knowledgeable and eloquent. She was brilliant on Planned Parenthood, direct on Mr. Trump and bankruptcy—at this point she’s using him as a foil. Her closing remarks on Lady Liberty and Lady Justice were so strong, the man sitting next to me insisted she must have known the question was coming. She can, however, be too stern. There’s nothing wrong with putting a woman on the currency; it does not erase anyone’s history.

That being said, (and I’m sure I’m about to infuriate a lot of people) I think Carly will most likely end up in the VP slot – and she would be superb there.

As for Rubio, I think he is statesmanlike, knowledgeable, and strong, but too many people simply don’t trust him anymore. I don’t know if he can overcome that.  He will carry that Gang of Eight vote with him like an albatross, yet this is what he says today:

So I’ve seen every aspect of it, and I can tell you America doesn’t have one immigration problem, it has three.

First, despite the fact that we are the most generous country in the history of the world in allowing people to come here legally, we have people still coming illegally.

Second, we have a legal immigration system that no longer works. It primary is built on the basis of whether you have a relative living here instead of merit.

And third, we have 11 million or 12 million people, many of whom have been here for longer than a decade who are already here illegally.

And we must deal with all three of these problems. We cannot deal with all three of these problems in one massive piece of legislation. I learned that. We tried it that way.

Here’s the way forward: First, we must — we must secure our border, the physical border, with — with a wall, absolutely. But we also need to have an entry/exit tracking system. 40 percent of the people who come here illegally come legally, and then they overstay the visa. We also need a mandatory e-verify system.

After we’ve done that, step two would be to modernize our legal immigration system so you come to America on the basis of what you can contribute economically, not whether or not simply you have a relative living here.

As strong as he is on so many other issues, Rubio may never get past immigration; voters have long memories and much mistrust these days.

In the end, I think the CNN poll shows more than anything else that we still have a long way to go and we can anticipate many more changes to come.  Once the undercard starts filtering out and those votes swing hither and yon, as will the money, things will change as well.

I have a friend who swears that Trump is going to pull out of this and swing his support, and votes, to Ted Cruz.  I’m not seeing that at all, but there you go.  I do believe, at least, that Trump never really intended to be this far ahead when he got in this and is as surprised as anyone that he’s still in the lead.  But, he’s faltering now, I think. His biggest line is always a blustery roll about how successful he’s been and not much substance after that.

It’s a long way to 2016 and will certainly be an entertaining ride.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

As I’ve been writing a lot about the Kim Davis situation I was very interested in how it would come up in the Presidential debate on Wednesday, however the subject didn’t so much point out the differences in the GOP position as it pointed out the seemingly contrary positions of both media and the selective enforcement of federal law and selective interpretation of the constitution depending on who it involves.

First lets look at the Kim Davis exchange:

Jake Tapper: I want to turn back to Governor Huckabee. Governor Huckabee, last week, you held a rally for a county clerk in Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as I don’t need to tell you. You’ve called what happened to Kim Davis, that clerk, “an example of the criminalization of Christianity.” There are several people on the stage who disagree with you. Governor Bush, for example, says that that clerk is sworn to uphold the law. Is Governor Bush on the wrong side of the criminalization of Christianity?

Gov Mike Huckabee: No, I don’t think he’s on the wrong side of such an issue. Jeb is a friend. I’m not up here to fight with Jeb or to fight with anybody else. But I am here to fight for somebody who is a county clerk elected under the Kentucky constitution that 75 percent of the people of that state had voted for that said that marriage was between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court in a very, very divided decision decided out of thin air that they were just going to redefine marriage. It’s a decision that the other justices in dissent said they didn’t have and there wasn’t a constitutional shred of capacity for them to do it. I thought that everybody here passed ninth-grade civics. The courts cannot legislate. That’s what Roberts said. But heck, it’s what we learned in civics. The courts can’t make a law. They can interpret one. They can review one. They can’t implement it. They can’t force it. But here’s what happened: Because the courts just decided that something was going to be and people relinquished it and the other two branches of government sat by silently — I thought we had three branches of government, they were all equal to each other, we have separation of powers, and we have checks and balances. If the court can just make a decision and we just all surrender to it, we have what Jefferson said was judicial tyranny. The reason that this is a real issue that we need to think about

Jake Tapper:Thank you, Governor.

Gov Mike Huckabee: No, no. Let me finish this one thought, Jake. I haven’t gotten that much time, so I’m going to take just what little I can here. We made accommodation to the Fort Hood shooter to let him grow a beard. We made accommodations to the detainees at Gitmo — I’ve been to Gitmo, and I’ve seen the accommodations that we made to the Muslim detainees who killed Americans. You’re telling me that you cannot make an accommodation for an elected Democrat county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky? What else is it other than the criminalization of her faith and the exaltation of the faith of everyone else who might be a Fort Hood shooter or a detainee at Gitmo?

Jake Tapper:  Well, I’m not telling you that, Governor. But Governor Bush is, because he — because he disagrees. He thinks that Kim Davis swore to uphold the law. You disagree? You’re not — you don’t…

Gov Jeb Bush: I don’t think — you’re not stating my views right.

Jake Tapper: OK. Please do.

Gov Jeb Bush: I think there needs to be accommodation for someone acting on faith. Religious conscience is — is — is a first freedom. It’s — it’s a powerful part of our — of our Bill of Rights. And, in a big, tolerant country, we should respect the rule of law, allow people in — in — in this country — I’m a — I was opposed to the decision, but we — you can’t just say, “well, they — gays can’t get married now.” But this woman, there should be some accommodation for her conscience, just as there should be for people that are florists that don’t want to participate in weddings, or bakers. A great country like us should find a way to have accommodations for people so that we can solve the problem in the right way. This should be solved at the local level…

Jake Tapper: You did…

Gov Jeb Bush: And so we do agree, Mike.

Gov Chris Christie: I was —

Jake Tapper: Governor, you said, quote, “she is sworn to uphold the law.”

Gov Chris Christie: She is, and so if she, based on conscience, can’t sign that — that marriage license, then there should be someone in her office to be able to do it, and if the law needs to be changed in the state of Kentucky, which is what she’s advocating, it should be changed.

Ok so we have a question of “she’s sworn to uphold the law” and “there needs to be an accommodation based on faith” presumably based on the 1st amendment but oddly enough when Mr. Tapper asked this question on federal drug laws

Jake Tapper: Senator Paul, Governor Christie recently said, quote, “if you’re getting high in Colorado today,” where marijuana has been legalized, “enjoy it until January 2017, because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana.” Will you?

The arguments on enforcement suddenly changed.  While Senator Paul invoked the 10th amendment suggesting the feds had crossed into a state issue. During his answer he mentioned a person on stage who used pot at one time. It turned out to be Jeb who had this to say. (all emphasis mine)

Gov Jeb Bush: So, 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it. I’m sure that other people might have done it and may not want to say it in front of 25 million people. My mom’s not happy that I just did. That’s true. And here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. We have — we have a serious epidemic of drugs that goes way beyond marijuana. What goes on in Colorado, as far as I’m concerned, that should be a state decision. But if you look at the problem of drugs in this — in this society today, it’s a serious problem. Rand, you know this because you’re campaigning in New Hampshire like all of us, and you see the epidemic of heroin, the overdoses of heroin that’s taking place. People’s families are — are being torn apart. It is appropriate for the government to play a consistent role to be able to provide more treatment, more prevention — we’re the state that has the most drug courts across every circuit in — in — in Florida, there are drug courts to give people a second chance. That’s the best way to do this.

Hold on a second. The laws concerning drugs are Federal laws, laws actually passed by the congress and signed by the president as opposed to the reinterpretation of a constitutional amendment.  How is it that Kim Davis a county clerk is “sworn to uphold the law” but public servants in the state of Colorado who are not claiming this has anything to do with religion, are not?

As the exchange continued. It got worse, after Jeb bush was pressed by Sen Paul on medical marijuana: again emphasis mine

Sen Rand Paul: Well, you vote — you oppose medical marijuana…

Gov Jeb Bush: Here’s the deal. No, I did not oppose when the legislature passed the bill to deal with that very issue. That’s the way to solve this problem. Medical marijuana on the ballot was opened up, there was a huge loophole, it was the first step to getting to a (inaudible) place. And as a citizen of Florida, I voted no.

So Jeb Bush believes Kim Davis “Is sworn to uphold the law” but didn’t oppose the state legislature in Florida passing a bill directly contradicting established federal law and apparently he’s not alone here.  (again emphasis mine)

Gov Chris Christie: And Senator Paul knows that that’s simply not the truth. In New Jersey, we have medical marijuana laws, which I supported and implemented. This is not medical marijuana. There’s goes as much — a further step beyond. This is recreational use of marijuana. This is much different. And so, while he would like to use a sympathetic story to back up his point, it doesn’t work. I’m not against medical marijuana. We do it in New Jersey. But I’m against the recreational use against marijuana. If he wants to change the federal law, get Congress to pass the law to change it, and get a president to sign it.

So Christie, like Bush is willing to support and implement laws that contradict existing federal law, laws that he is sworn to uphold, and is willing to do this without claiming a religious or constitutional reason.  It sounds to me like “being sworn to uphold the law” apparently doesn’t apply if the law is supported by yuppies on the left or the MSM who are both widely in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

 

Now let’s take a look at another subject. The Question of the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship came up, Mr. Trump (backed up by Senator Rand Paul) said scholars said no but when asked by Jake Tapper, Carly Fiorina (after making a great point concerning the Democrat’ desire to have this as an issue & not solve the problem said this: again emphasis mine

Carly Fiorina: …the truth is, you can’t just wave your hands and say “the 14th Amendment is gonna go away.” It will take an extremely arduous vote in Congress, followed by two-thirds of the states, and if that doesn’t work to amend the constitution, then it is a long, arduous process in court. And meanwhile, what will continue to go on is what has gone on for 25 years. With all due respect, Mr. Trump, we’ve been talking about illegal immigration for 25 years. San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989. There are 300 of them. And meanwhile, what has happened? Nothing. The border remains insecure. The legal immigration system remains broken. Look, we know what it takes to secure a border. We’ve heard a lot of great ideas here. Money, manpower, technology…

So Mrs. Fiorina says that “you can’t just wave your hands and say “the 14th Amendment is going to go away, and an awful lot of media pundits and people like Jeb Bush are with her on this. But lets take a look at the text of it The 14th Amendment specifically section 1 which states:

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Nowhere in that entire section do you see the words “Gay Marriage” ( in fact you will not find the words “marriage” anywhere in the US Constitution)

Yet five members of the Supreme Court found a right to gay marriage that every other justice who ever served on the Supreme Court did not, one that overrode every single state constitution that said otherwise.

So my question is this? If justices can magically reinterpret the 14th Amendment to find a right to Gay Marriage in a document that doesn’t mention marriage, and the media claims it is legit how is it that one can’t interpret that same 14th amendment to say it doesn’t grant citizenship to people born here if their parents came illegally not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”.

Bottom line, apparently some in the GOP believe, with the media that when it comes to Kim Davis, the 14th Amendment is flexible and the enforcement of federal law is not, but some of those same people believe with the media, that when it comes to birthright citizenship and federal drug laws. The 14th Amendment is rigid and the enforcement of federal law is flexible.

Funny isn’t it?

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.

OK I’ve had a few hours to sleep on it and here are my debate takeaways.

Winner:  Main Debate Rand Paul:  Despite not having much time in the early rounds won two segments.  Made strong cases for everything he believed and sold his positions well.  Accomplished everything he needed to do, the only question is do people agree with those positions.

Winner: First Debate Lindsey Graham:  Memorable lines , humor and again made the case first for a ground war against isis, the single most important issue for the future of the country and for pressing the Obama administration in the senate.

Graham will get a small bump because he’s polling so low with Paul it’s harder because he’s making cases for things that many in the base disagree with.

Five interesting points.  

My two “winners”  are both people I disagree with.

Not only were there no bad debate performances in either debate but there was an awful lot of substance in them (particularly in debate 1)

The debate was specifically designed to promote confrontation .  It did and the candidates made the most of them.  I’m sure to the ratings delight of CNN

While it was a very long night for the Candidates it was even longer for the moderators who did an excellent job.

There wasn’t a person on either stage (even the ones I disagree with) that didn’t make themselves more credible it was like a convention of British Sea Captains from the Napoleonic Wars

 

Let’s go through the candidates starting with debate 2 in sort of the order of how they did.

Marco Rubio:  2nd place  Did exactly what he had to do, got noticed, had memorable moments and made excellent cases over an over.  Gave donors a reason to stay.

Carly Fiorina:  Completely justified her promotion to the main debate stage in a situation where he needed to do so.  Strong answers, and played to the MSM expectations and brought up the Planned Parenthood videos which will play very strongly to the base.

Chris Christie:  Reminded every conservative in the country why he was so popular before and used his time wisely.

Mike Huckabee:  Every chance he got she knocked it out of the part and really did a great job on the Kim Davis question noting the accommodations for Islamic Terrorists vs a Christian Clerk.

Jeb Bush:  A slow start but showed energy and reassured the donor class that was worried with a friendly establishment audience.

Donald Trump:  Target #1 of everyone there.  Brought up two excellent points (having to be friends with everyone in business and the threat of North Korea) that had previously been ignored.  Proved he could take a punch which is an important quality in a front runner.

Ted Cruz:  Like Huckabee took good advantage of every chance he had to talk, if he had been given the chance to make his climate change response might have been able to win.

Scott Walker:  May have saved his campaign by coming back strong

Ben Carson:  Gave good answers but criticized for being low key.  But that’s how he is.

John Kasich:  The least memorable performance of the night, yet still a good one, seemed kind of a poor man’s Lindsey Graham.

Debate 1:

Rick Santorum:  A very strong performance, made the best case for a min wage hike (I disagree there) that I’ve heard so far.

Bobby Jindal:  Really strong appeal to the base, very energetic again did the job he needed to do getting noticed.

George Pataki:  Had the single best hit on Hillary in either debate noting that she was a Senator from NY the target of terror attacks and still did what she did.

Short Term:  Tactical results:

Who was helped the most last night?  Carly Fiorina, she realized right away what the pundits were looking for & gave it to them.  Lots of credibility.

Who was hurt the most last night?  Ben Carson, the media has spun this as a defeat even though he is presenting himself the same as he always was.  The media template is to give Carly the push at his expense.

Long Term Strategic results:

Who was helped the most long term?  Donald Trump:  Not only did he dominate time and prove he could take every punch thrown at him but because nobody did bad enough to be eliminated that guarantees the vote will remain divided.  The longer that’s true the bigger advantage he has.

Who was hurt the most last night?  John Kasich:  Not because he did bad, he didn’t but because Jeb Bush did better and he is the establishment Bush fallback position.

A much longer post is coming about:

The flexible 14th amendment Kim Davis  Birthright citizenship

Ironic moment of the night:  Jeb Bush hits Kim Davis for not obeying nonexistent federal law while insisting he would not hit Colorado for ignoring explicit federal drug laws.

Most significant post debate moment:  Frank Luntz group, nobody in the group said Ted Cruz won but every single person in the group was impressed by him.  Continues to play the long game.

Am I the only one who noticed….The post debate interview with Donald Trump where he talks about getting to know his opponents.  I think it was rather revealing & will affect the way he counterpunchers in the future.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.

Like Pete, I’m old Enough to Remember when Pundits were Expected to Support the GOP Candidates. I also agree with Pete in

Now granted Pataki is polling only slightly better than I am but when it comes down to it If I’m Donald Trump I’m dancing in the streets over it and if I’m the tea party I’m grinning like a cat.

I’ll take it one further: Any GOP presidential candidate who spends time talking about Trump rather than highlighting his/her position on the issues is wasting precious time and is a fool.

Carly Fiorina manages to turn the tables on Trump while turning the spotlight on herself. Even the WaPo, not exactly an arm of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (a term popularized by Hillary Clinton back during her bimbo eruption-fighting-days), declares that her ad “is the best one of the 2016 campaign so far.” In case you haven’t seen the Fiorina ad I’m talking about, here it is.

Trump had asked, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president!?” The Fiorina campaign’s answer was a most resounding “YES.”

1. The ad starts with Fiorina’s triumphant voice saying, “Ladies, look at this face,” immediately addressing its target audience.

2. The faces of the women in the ad are the faces of women you know – daughters, friends, coworkers, moms – as Fiorina defines “the face of leadership in our party, the party of women’s suffrage,” establishing the Republican party’s historical pro-women stance.

3. The ad gets a dig at the Dems and Hillary, “We are not a special interest group, we are the majority of the nation.”

4. While she speaks without notes or teleprompter to the National Federation of Republican Women in Arizona, Fiorina, who looks fit, trim and up for the challenge, ends with, “This is the face of a sixty-one year old woman, I am proud of it, every year and every wrinkle.” As the WaPo said,

a message that not only could none of her male opponents deliver but also one with reach well beyond just the Republican base.

The ad success in positioning Fiorina as a strong adversary who, while addressing an insult, wastes no time and scores a point or two against the Dems.

And Trump’s name did not cross her lips once.

May that be a lesson to the other Republican candidates.

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

Recall at Debate number #1 the very first question was all about supporting the GOP nominee no matter who it is, Trump refused to make that pledge and the GOP and their candidates made a big fuss about Trump’s refusal. It took many weeks & a lot of negotiation before Trump finally signed the pledge.

Since then Trump’s has continued to rise to the point where people who presumed that the Donald was a flash in the pan now are taking the possibility of his election seriously and lo and behold suddenly we see GOP pundits singing a different tune.

The Weekly Standard Editor told CNN on Monday that he would be unable to back the real estate mogul.

“I doubt I’d support Donald. I doubt I’d support the Democrat,” Kristol said. “I think I’d support getting someone good on the ballot as a third-party candidate.”

and he’s not alone:

Now granted Pataki is polling only slightly better than I am but when it comes down to it If I’m Donald Trump I’m dancing in the streets over it and if I’m the tea party I’m grinning like a cat..

For the tea party it illustrates the double standard that exists for the establishment GOP. The Base is expected to go along with the nominee come what may but the reverse isn’t true (see Dede Scozzafava)

It’s also gold for Trump because it not only diminishes the rest of the GOP field and the party that made such a big fuss, but if the party actively tries to stop him it gives him the excuse to dump his promise.

Of course none of this really matters because John Nolte notes he’s already switched to a general election campaign

Basically, he’s telling Republican voters the unvarnished truth about where he disagrees with us on a number of bedrock conservative issues, and he’s gambling that enough will stick him because they trust him more than the 15 others on existential issues such as immigration, border enforcement, lowering middle class taxes, simplifying the tax code, killing terrorists, and giving as good as he gets from the corrupt media.

He is also counting on the fact that The Base hates #GOPSmartSet enough that we are willing to go with a more moderate candidate if it means bringing down the corrupt, feckless, insulting, useless GOP Establishment.

Now I think this election is far from over, in fact it hasn’t even started yet but sometimes as I look at the GOP & its supporters and see how they deal with their base, with Trump and more importantly with Trump’s voters, I wonder if the label “The Stupid Party” should be the official name after all?

One of the things that I find amusing is the media’s complete shock that Donald Trump’s methods have so far led to success.

This is not a big surprise as they missed it from the very first day of his campaign:

His goal had nothing to do the reporters or networks covering him. He wasn’t playing the game by the rules they expected, he made his own rules and made them play along. He accomplished exactly what he wanted to do in the way he wanted to do it.

In other words he punked the MSM and punked them good and just like Bart in Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles, he’s laughing at them.

Those two paragraphs describing his announcement speech could be used to describe every single day of the Trump campaign.

So what exactly is Donald doing with for example his words on Carson and Fiorina well John Nolte seems to get it.

nol

I think Trump has watched the Obama years carefully, I think he saw the methods and has seen how the electorate has changed. He is using those very same methods today, both to “Trump” the media and to “Trump” his opponents.

That Trump, being a master salesman and dealmaker is approaching the presidential campaign as a deal & sale to be made makes perfect sense. He has studied the customer base he wants to sell and is acting accordingly.

If you approach everything Trump does under that lens it will all make sense.

That the media doesn’t recognize this says a lot about their own blindness, but the question is will his opponents be smart enough to counter it? At least one of this is:

Hours after Republican front-runner Donald Trump went after surging GOP rival Ben Carson on CNN, questioning the neurosurgeon’s faith and calling him just an “okay doctor,” Carson told The Washington Post that he wanted to lower the temperature on their escalating conflict.

“The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know,” he said. “And I’m certainly not going to get into that.”

Trump is playing his game, Ben Carson needs to continue to play his. If you are a singles hitter you win by hitting singles, not by swinging for the fences.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what they’re good for.