Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Brief History of Political Parties in Presidential Elections

John Adams, the last Federalist president
A Brief History of Political Parties in Presidential Elections.

1788
George Washington (Independent)
Unopposed

1792
George Washington (Federalist)
Unopposed

1796
John Adams (F)
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)

1800
Thomas Jefferson (D-R)
John Adams (F)

1804
Thomas Jefferson (D-R)
Charles Pinckney (F)

1808
James Madison (D-R)
Charles Pinckney (F)

1812
James Madison (D-R)
DeWitt Clinton (D-R)

Unable to agree on a candidate, the Federalists decided to endorse Clinton.

1816
James Monroe (D-R)
Rufus King (F)

1820
James Monroe (D-R)
Unopposed

Again, the Federalists were unable to nominate a candidate.

1824
John Quincy Adams (D-R)
Andrew Jackson (D-R)
William H. Crawford (D-R)
Henry Clay (D-R)

Jackson won a plurality but not the majority so it went to the House of Representatives. The House ultimately awarded the election to Adams.

1828
Andrew Jackson (Democratic)
John Quincy Adams (National Republican)

1832
Andrew Jackson (D)
Henry Clay (NR)
John Floyd (Nullifier)
William Wirt (Anti-Masonic)

1836
Martin Van Buren (D)
William H. Harrison (Whig)
Hugh L. White (W)
Daniel Webster (W)

Van Buren's vote total was still more than all the Whigs put together.

1840
William H. Harrison (W)
Martin Van Buren (D)

Harrison died a month after his inauguration. His Vice-President John Tyler is so unpopular, the Whigs refuse to endorse him for re-election.

1844
James K. Polk (D)
Henry Clay (W)

Polk pledged to only serve one term.

1848
Zachary Taylor (W)
Lewis Cass (D)
Martin Van Buren (Free Soil)

Taylor dies just over a year after his inauguration, and his Vice-President Millard Fillmore is so unpopular, the Whigs refuse to endorse him for re-election. The Whig party managed to get two presidents elected, and both times, their man dies, and his Vice-President does a bad job stepping up.

1852
Franklin Pierce (D)
Winfield Scott (W)

1856
James Buchanan (D)
John C. Fremont (Republican)
Millard Fillmore (American)

1860
Abraham Lincoln (R)
Stephen A. Douglas (D)
John C. Breckinridge (Southern Democrat)
John Bell (Constitutional Union)

1864
Abraham Lincoln (National Union)
George B. McLellan (D)

For Lincoln's re-election, the Republican party is rebranded as the National Union party, though most state Republicans keep the name "Republican." After Lincoln's assassination, they go back to being the Republican party, and Vice-President Andrew Johnson goes back to being a Democrat.

1868
Ulysses S. Grant (R)
Horatio Seymour (D)

1872
Ulysses S. Grant (R)
Horace Greeley (Liberal Republican)
Thomas A. Hendricks (D)

1876
Rutherford B. Hayes (R)
Samuel J. Tilden (D)

This was the first election where one candidate (Tilden) won the popular vote, but the other (Hayes) won the electoral college vote (not a plurality like Jackson). Hayes pledged to only serve one term.

1880
James A. Garfield (R)
Winfield S. Hancock (D)

Garfield was assassinated after one year. His VP, Chester A. Arthur did okay, but Arthur didn't put up a serious fight for his re-election due to health issues.

1884
Grover Cleveland (D)
James G. Blaine (R)

1888
Benjamin Harrison (R)
Grover Cleveland (D)

Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the electoral college vote.

1892
Grover Cleveland (D)
Benjamin Harrison (R)
James B. Weaver (Populist)

1896
William McKinley (R)
William Jennings Bryan (D)

1900
William McKinley (R)
William Jennings Bryan (D)

McKinley was assassinated in 1901. His VP Teddy Roosevelt did a great job. In fact, Roosevelt was the first vice-president to assume the presidency who then won his re-election.

1904
Theodore Roosevelt (R)
Alton B. Parker (D)

1908
William H. Taft (R)
William Jennings Bryan (D)

1912
Woodrow Wilson (D)
Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive)
William H. Taft (R)
Eugene Debs (Socialist)

This was the last election where one of the two major parties finished in third place.

1916
Woodrow Wilson (D)
Charles E. Hughes (R)

1920
Warren G. Harding (R)
James M. Cox (D)

Harding died in office, and his VP Calvin Coolidge did a good job cleaning up the mess Harding left.

1924
Calvin Coolidge (R)
John W. Davis (D)
Robert La Follette (Pg)

1928
Herbert Hoover (R)
Al Smith (D)

1932
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
Herbert Hoover (R)

1936
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
Alf Landon (R)

1940
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
Wendell Willkie (R)

1944
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
Thomas E. Dewey (R)

FDR died a few months after he was elected for the fourth time. His VP Harry Truman picked up the pieces.

1948
Harry S. Truman (D)
Thomas E. Dewey (R)
Strom Thurmond (Dixiecrat)

1952
Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
Adlai Stevenson (D)

1956
Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
Adlai Stevenson (D)

1960
John F. Kennedy (D)
Richard M. Nixon (R)
Harry F. Byrd (I)

JFK was assassinated in 1963, and his VP LBJ took over.

1964
Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
Barry Goldwater (R)

1968
Richard M. Nixon (R)
Hubert Humphrey (D)
George Wallace (American Independent)

1972
Richard M. Nixon (R)
George McGovern (D)

Nixon became the only president to resign before finishing his term. His VP Gerald Ford had been appointed after Nixon's original VP Spiro Agnew had resigned, so Ford became the only person to serve as U.S. President without being elected on a Presidential/Vice-Presidential ballot.

1976
Jimmy Carter (D)
Gerald Ford (R)

1980
Ronald Reagan (R)
Jimmy Carter (D)
John B. Anderson (I)

1984
Ronald Reagan (R)
Walter Mondale (D)

1988
George H.W. Bush (R)
Michael Dukakis (D)

1992
Bill Clinton (D)
George H.W. Bush (R)
Ross Perot (I)

1996
Bill Clinton (D)
Bob Dole (R)
Ross Perot (Reform)

2000
George W. Bush (R)
Al Gore (D)
Ralph Nader (Green)

Gore won the popular vote but Bush won the electoral college vote, and Nader's 2.8 million votes might have cost Gore the presidency.

2004
George W. Bush (R)
John Kerry (D)

2008
Barack Obama (D)
John McCain (R)

2012
Barack Obama (D)
Mitt Romney (R)

4 presidents have been assassinated. 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat.
4 presidents have died of other causes in office. 2 Whigs, 1 Republican, 1 Democrat.
1 president has resigned before his term was up. 1 Republican.
9 presidents were vice-presidents who suddenly became president.
- 5 of them were not re-elected. 2 Whigs, 1 Democrat, 2 Republicans.
- 4 of them were. 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats.
4 presidents have taken office after losing the popular vote. 3 Republicans, 1 Democratic-Republican.
1 president has served more than 8 years. 1 Democrat.
1 president has served two non-consecutive terms. 1 Democrat.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Smugness in Politics

I found this Vox article on the smugness in American liberalism enlightening. It has a couple things conservatives could keep in mind too. It's long but worth the read.

As anybody who has gone through a particularly nasty breakup knows, disdain cultivated in the aftermath of a divide quickly exceeds the original grievance. You lose somebody. You blame them. Soon, the blame is reason enough to keep them at a distance, the excuse to drive them even further away.
Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The rubes noticed and replied in kind. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Politically Speaking - 3/29/16

Just wanted to hit some political thoughts this week.

1. Random Donald Trump Quotes I Found After 10 Minutes of Googling

"Nobody has more respect for women than me."
"Nobody reads the Bible more than me."
"Nobody knows the system better than me."
"Nobody's done more for equality than me."
"On trade, there's nobody more conservative than me."
On ISIS: "Nobody would be tougher than me."
"There's nobody better to beat Hillary Clinton than me."
"Nobody builds walls better than me."
"There's no one more pro-Israel than me."
"Nobody knows more about trade than me."
"When I am elected, no one will be tougher or smarter than me."
"There is nobody more against ObamaCare than me."
"There's nobody more militaristic than me."
"Nobody's ever been more successful than me."
"Nobody's bigger than me, nobody's better than me."
"Who knows Howard [Stern] better than me?"
"Nobody can be stronger than me on the border."
"Nobody's stronger on the Second Amendment than me."
"You look at those empty factories all over the place, and nobody hits that message better than me."
"Virtually no one has spent more money in helping the American people with disabilities than me."
"Latinos love me."
"The Hispanics love me."
"I love the poorly educated!"
"Who gets worse publicity than me?"

Words can't express, better than his own, what a dishonest narcissist he is. This is what happens when you surround yourself with shameless sycophants and unscrupulous henchmen your entire adult life.

And here's one former Trump worker who's seen the light.
"Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now. You can give Trump the biggest gift possible if you are a Trump supporter: stop supporting him. 
"He doesn't want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so. The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump."
But hey, now Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has surrendered to police for misdemeanor battery after initially lying about it. The charge stems from an incident where he grabbed Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields while she tried to ask Trump a question on illegal immigration. It left finger-sized bruises on her arm; she tweeted out the picture. Lewandowski insisted he never touched her, but video footage has surfaced proving 100% that he did.

Breitbart did not stand by their reporter, leading to a slew of resignations from that site, including her own. Whatever you thought of Breitbart before, it is now just a pro-Trump propaganda site, inflaming white nationalist sentiments.

The initial grab doesn't look that bad, but it's always the cover-up. Not only did Lewandowski insist it didn't happen, but Trump himself said he thought Fields made it all up. Then the Trumpsters started a smear campaign on Fields.

2. RIP GOP

For me, Marco Rubio lost the race when at the last debate, he said he would still support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee because Hillary Clinton was worse. While I admire the attempts of #NeverTrump to try and stop him, I don't see how Trump doesn't get the nomination.

If he goes into Cleveland with 1100 delegates, I am sure the vast majority of the non-Trump delegates will go in with the mentality of making sure it's not Trump. I know I would if I was a delegate. (I missed the filing deadline to run to become one.) There are only two outcomes from this. Either Trump becomes the nominee, or he doesn't.

If he does, he goes into the general election as the least popular candidate in modern history. No one is luckier than Hillary Clinton in this regard. She was poised to be the least trusted, most disliked candidate until Trump showed up. If the Dems had picked someone more like Jim Webb, they'd probably be looking at winning all 50 states.

The GOP has a challenge before them. You have so much baggage there, with the Clinton Foundation working as a slush-fund, with her compromise of national security over her private email server, her constant dishonesty, her stunts like refusing more debates until Bernie Sanders changes his "tone," etc. She could be indicted before the Democratic convention.

And yet somehow, in the easiest slam-dunk election in a generation, Trump shows up. Trump is a golem, an Ozymandias laying waste to all before him. Trump exposed the weaknesses in the Republican party - in their platform, in their lack of results, in the echo chamber of conservative media. The white working class is getting left behind. Some tea party activists are more concerned with obstructing and demonizing their own side.

You had GOP donors throw their money at Jeb Bush, who was never going to win this election. It was a vanity campaign defying all logic. You had clowns like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum crowding the debate stage.

I found the Buckley Club the best compilation site of those who aided Trump's rise, and those who fought it.

But let's say somehow Ted Cruz (the man who said right before Iowa that "Donald Trump is terrific") becomes the nominee at convention. Ted Cruz will be that ideologically pure constitutional conservative that preaches to the choir and no one else. I was really hoping when I saw him in person, I'd see a candidate who could expand his appeal. I didn't. I saw a man give the same stump speech he gives everywhere. The same lines I've heard in interviews and debates. The same televangelist tone, the same red-meat one-liners.

But if it's Cruz or John Kasich or anyone else, Trump will file lawsuits left and right and then runs as an independent. I don't know how he could get on enough ballots - he'd probably co-opt another party to do it. But he would trash the GOP worse than the Democrats, and still, we'd wind up with Hillary Clinton in the White House. Show me a realistic path that doesn't end with Hillary winning the election.

So, really, the best thing the Republican party can do is focus on 2020. Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Susana Martinez, Marco Rubio... The future could be bright once we get this nightmare election season out of the way.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lyrics from All 50 States' Official Songs

Alabama

Brave and pure thy men and women,
Better this than corn and wine
Make us worthy, God in Heaven
Of this goodly land of Thine.

Alaska

The great North Star with its steady light,
Over land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska's flag - to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.

Arizona

Come stand beside the rivers
Within our valley broad.
Stand here with heads uncovered,
In the presence of our God!

Arkansas

It's the spirit of the forest, it's the spirit of the eagle.
It's the spirit of the country that we love.
It's the spirit of pride that we all feel deep inside,
It's the spirit that shines from above.

California

I love your redwood forests - love your fields of yellow grain,
I love your summer breezes, and I love your winter rain,
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine,
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.

Colorado

The war whoop re-echoes no longer,
the Indian's only a name,
And the nymphs of the grove in their loneliness rove,
but the columbine blooms just the same.

Connecticut

Yankee Doodle went to town,
Riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it macaroni.

Delaware

Dear old Sussex visions linger,
Of the holly and the pine,
Of Henlopens Jeweled finger,
Flashing out across the brine;
Of the gardens and the hedges,
And the welcome waiting there,
For the loyal son that pledges
Faith to good old Delaware.

Florida

Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

Georgia

Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through
Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.
Georgia, Georgia, a song of you
Comes as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines.

Hawaii

Hawaii ponoi Nana i kou, moi
Kalani Alii, ke Alii.
Makua lani e Kamehameha e
Na kaua e pale Me ka i he.

Idaho

There's truly one state in this great land of ours
Where ideals can be realized.
The pioneers made it so for you and me,
A legacy we'll always prize.

Illinois

When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,
Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,
When the Southern host withdrew,
Pitting Gray against the Blue, There were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,
There were none more brave than you, Illinois.

Indiana

Long years have passed since I strolled thro' there churchyard.
She's sleeping there, my angel, Mary dear,
I loved her, but she thought I didn't mean it,
Still I'd give my future were she only here.

Iowa

See yonders fields of tasseled corn, Iowa in Iowa,
Where plenty fills her golden horn, Iowa in Iowa,
See how her wonderous praries shine.
To yonder sunset’s purpling line,
O! happy land, O! land of mine, Iowa, O! Iowa.

Kansas

Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where never is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Kentucky

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy, and bright,
By'n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

Louisiana

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Maine

Oh, Pine Tree State
Your woods, fields and hills
Your lakes, streams and rockbound coast
Will ever fill our hearts with thrills
And tho' we seek far and wide
Our search will be in vain
To find a fairer spot on earth
Than Maine! Maine! Maine!

Maryland

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,
Maryland, My Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland, My Maryland!

Massachusetts

All hail to grand old Bay State, the home of the bean and the cod,
Where pilgrims found a landing and gave their thanks to God.
A land of opportunity in the good old U.S.A.

Michigan

How fair the bosom of thy lakes,
Michigan, my Michigan;
What melody each river makes;
Michigan, my Michigan;

Minnesota

Thy son and daughters true
Will proclaim thee near and far,
They shall guard thy fame and adore thy name;
Thou shalt be their Northern Star.

Mississippi

Go, Mississippi, keep rolling along,
Go, Mississippi, you cannot go wrong,
Go, Mississippi, we're singing your song,
M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I

Missouri

Hush-a-bye, ma baby, slumber time is comin' soon;
Rest yo' head upon my breast, while mommy hums a tune;
The sandman is callin', where shadows are fallin',
While the soft breezes sigh as in days long gone by.

Montana

Montana, Montana,
Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast,
You're easily the best.

Nebraska

Beautiful Nebraska, as you look around,
You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground;
All these wonders by the Master's hand;
Beautiful Nebraska land.

Nevada

If you follow the old Kit Carson trail,
Until desert meets the hills,
Oh you certainly will agree with me,
It's the place of a thousand thrills.

New Hampshire

With a skill that knows no measure,
From the golden store of Fate
God, in His great love and wisdom,
Made the rugged Granite State;

New Jersey

I'M FROM NEW JERSEY and I'm proud about it, I love the Garden State.
I'M FROM NEW JERSEY and I want to shout it, I think it's simply great.
All of the other states throughout the nation may mean a lot to some;
But I wouldn't want another, Jersey is like no other, I'm glad that's where I'm from.

New Mexico

Days that are full of heart-dreams,
Nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benedictions,
O'er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana,
Coming through weal and woe;
State of esperanza,
Is Nuevo Mejico.

New York

There isn't another like it.
No matter where you go.
And nobody can compare it.
It's win and place and show.
New York is special.
New York is diff'rent' cause there's no place else
on earth quite like New York and that's why
I Love New York

North Carolina

Tho' she envies not others, their merited glory,
Say whose name stands the foremost, in Liberty's story,
Tho' too true to herself e'er to crouch to oppression,
Who can yield to just rule a more loyal submission?

North Dakota

Onward, onward, onward going,
Light of courage in thine eyes,
Sweet the winds above thee blowing,
Green thy fields and fair thy skies;
North Dakota, North Dakota,
Brave the soul that in thee lies.

Ohio

I sailed away;
Wandered afar;
Crossed the mighty restless sea;
Looked for where I ought to be.
Cities so grand, mountains above,
Led to this land I love.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.

Oregon

Land of the Empire Builders, Land of the Golden West;
Conquered and held by free men, Fairest and the best.
On-ward and upward ever, Forward and on, and on;
Hail to thee, Land of the Heroes, My Oregon.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania,
Blessed by God's own hand,
Birthplace of a mighty nation,
Keystone of the land.

Rhode Island

The skyline piercing Providence,
the State House dome so rare.
residents who speak their minds;
no longer unaware!
Roger Williams would be proud to see his colony,
so don’t sell short this precious port:
Rhode Island’s It for Me!

South Carolina

Thy skirts indeed the foe may part,
Thy robe be pierced with sword and dart,
They shall not touch thy noble heart,
Carolina! Carolina!

South Dakota

Come where the sun shines, And where life's worth your while,
You won't be here long, 'Till you'll wear a smile;
No state's so healthy, And no folk quite so true,
To South Dakota. We welcome you.

Tennessee

Rocky Top, you'll always be
home sweet home to me;
Good ol' Rocky Top;
Rocky Top, Tennessee;
Rocky Top, Tennessee.

Texas

Texas, O Texas! your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far,
Emblem of Freedom! it set our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.

Utah

It was Brigham Young who led the pioneers across the plains.
They suffered with the trials they had to face.
With faith they kept on going till they reached the Great Salt Lake
Here they heard the words..."This is the place!"

Vermont

Let us live to protect her beauty
And look with pride on the golden dome
They say home is where the heart is
These green mountains are my home.

Virginia

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There's where the cotton and the corn and tatoes grow,
There's where the birds warble sweet in the springtime,
There's where the old darke'ys heart am long'd to go,
There's where I labored so hard for old massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn,
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.
(Retired as state song in 1997; new one hasn't been designated)

Washington

This is my country; God gave it to me;
I will protect it, ever keep it free.
Small towns and cities rest here in the sun,
Filled with our laughter, "Thy will be done."

West Virginia

Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang'd they seem to stand,
With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty's Land!
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills;
But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills.

Wisconsin

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Champion of the right,
"Forward", our motto
God will give thee might!

Wyoming

In the flowers wild and sweet,
Colors rare and perfumes meet;
There's the columbine so pure, the daisy too,
Wild the rose and red it springs,
White the button and its rings,
Thou art loyal for they're red and white and blue.

Where I Stand on the Current Candidates - March 2016

1. MARCO RUBIO - Rubio's been the one I've supported because I agree with him on the issues the most of the four remaining men. I think he would be a transformative president. I love the thought of a Rubio/Haley ticket. Poll after poll shows he would beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, better than Cruz or Trump would fare.

I like most of his tax plan, I like that he supports Congressional term limits and balancing the budget. I don't like that's he's taken a much more hawkish tone since the Paris attacks and wants to beef up the Patriot Act.

He's won Minnesota and Puerto Rico, but the other 18 contests so far have gone to Trump or Cruz. At least Rubio can claim he's the only won to get more than 50% of the vote in any one contest.

Rubio really threw himself on the Trump grenade. It's diminished him, but it also did slow down the momentum of Trump. Unfortunately for Rubio, Cruz is the main beneficiary from it. I saw someone mention that Rubio lost the prisoner's dilemma. Rubio and Cruz seemed poised to go after Trump after their last debate, but Cruz stabbed Rubio first. Cruz is campaigning hard in Florida, not because he think he can win, but because he believes he can do enough damage there to stop Rubio from winning.  If Rubio loses Florida, a winner-take-all state, it's over.


2. JOHN KASICH - If Rubio loses Florida, but Kasich wins Ohio, it's a new day. Kasich may be playing a longer game than anyone. He doesn't have the money of Cruz or the free air-time of Trump so he keeps pinpointing certain states to focus on, and lets the vast majority of chips fall elsewhere.

Kasich actually has a pretty good track record. He was a Congressman for a while and was part of the 1990's Congress that actually balanced a budget. He went back to work in the private sector for a while, also would guest on Fox News sometimes. I remember him guest-hosting the O'Reilly Factor more than once. Then he ran for governor of Ohio and he's shown reform there, making him one of the more popular GOP governors in the nation.

Kasich's the last governor standing, and generally it's a governorship that provides the best training for becoming a president. I like that he's trying to keep things optimistic. I like that he's for limiting the scope of the Patriot Act. He strikes me as the best of the four who could actually get Congress to work together. But if he loses Ohio, it's over.

3. TED CRUZ - I feel like my life as a Republican would be easier if I liked Cruz, but when almost everyone who has ever worked with him despises him, that's a warning sign. He comes across to me as opportunistic and phony. I don't get inspired from listening to him speak, I get annoyed. I don't want my president to sound like a nasally Jimmy Swaggart and smile like an alien trying not to blow his cover.

Once Cruz was elected, he has done a lot in the Senate to obstruct and undermine, but not win. It may win with his brand, but he hurts everyone else and doesn't seem to care. The real character signal for me is the way he blasted Mike Lee. Lee is the closest thing he has to a friend in the Senate, and his willingness to throw Lee under the bus shows he has no loyalty to anyone but himself. And then he turns around and says anyone who doesn't support him is "the establishment" or "the elites." Strawmen.

Cruz says reporters are telling him they have exposes on Trump that they're not going to run until June or July. But Ted won't say who. Does anyone really believe reporters would confide in Cruz that way? Cruz makes my skin crawl.

But ... according to ISideWith, I actually agree with Cruz more than Kasich. And he's better than Trump.

4. DONALD TRUMP - Trump's reaching working-class voters in a way that the other three aren't. After fifteen years of war, too big to fail, and stagnant wages - on top of conservative media types more concerned with enriching themselves than actually solving anything - a lot of people feel left behind too. They'd like a Republican who's as anti-mainstream as possible to blow things up. A lot of working-class voters on the left feel the same way, where they see the embodiment of crony capitalism / DC corruption in Hillary Clinton as a front-runner, and so the rise of Bernie Sanders.

One thing that drove me nuts about Romney's 2012 campaign was his disproportionate emphasis on helping small business owners over regular workers.

So Trump comes along. He's a strongman. He shows toughness. He gets a lot of support from people who like that he "tells it like it is" even though he lies more than anyone else running on both sides.  He talks circles around questions without answering them. He's a narcissistic vulgarian who hasn't shown much of a moral code in his life. When he gives speeches, you don't hear much about love of country. You hear about polls and how people love him. The slogan "Make America Great Again" has the implied "I Will" in front of it.

More than once in the most recent debate, he said he'd order the military to kill family members of suspected terrorists, even though it was illegal. Sure he walked it back the next day, but that evening, he felt really good about planning to commit future war crimes. He's the American Benito Mussolini.

Now what does that mean, really? He appeals to the authoritarian, nationalist side of a lot of people. He's about the cult of his personality. His high-tariff trade-war plan would kill the economy. He's demonstrated he doesn't really understand the details of the federal budget. If people think Obama made America lose some stature and/or credibility around the world, that's nothing compared to what Trump will do.

Even now, as he says he's funding his own campaign, it's a shell game. He's funding loans to his campaign, but as donors come in, he's going to reimburse himself.

Back to the conservative media types. At least Trump's exposed a lot of hypocrites, the craven attention-seekers who care more about spotlight than principle. I'm no purity-test guy, but good grief. When Trump says he will order the military to do illegal things and they don't bat an eye, what is going on?

So here's to his enablers and suck-ups: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Joe Scarborough, most of Fox News, and most of Breitbart. Shoutout to Fox Business Channel, soon to be renamed Trump Business Channel. Mazeltov to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Matt Drudge, and everyone at Right2Rise. Applause to the decisions boards of CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC for his wall-to-wall coverage. Kudos to Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions, and Paul LePage for bowing to the Strongman.

As for the Democratic race...

1. BERNIE SANDERS - At least he's honest. His wild aspirations for a socialist America would get stopped by a Republican Congress.

2. HILLARY CLINTON - Probably the most vulnerable Democratic nominee since Jimmy Carter ran for re-election, and yet the GOP can't get its act together.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Chris Christie Has Sold His Soul


I can't say I've ever liked Gov. Mike Huckabee. If I had any respect for him, it was tossed away when he and Rick Santorum went to Trump's rally during the primetime GOP debate. Mike & Rick, already on the return road to irrelevance, turned themselves into Trump's bumbling henchmen.

Chris Christie was something different. He is still the governor of New Jersey. He was very influential of the Republican Governors Association in 2014 and helped get a few Republican governors get elected. Now he has thrown his career away, and for what? I think Commentary's Noah Rothman said it best:
"Standing beside Donald Trump and endorsing the most unfit man to seek the presidency in my lifetime for the highest office in the land, Christie’s base careerism and disregard for the nation were exposed. Gone was the prosecutor who had ruthlessly fought corruption in New Jersey. In his place was a man defending Trump’s handling of the scam operation Trump University, which pitilessly bilked thousands out of their savings. Gone was the man who had scolded conservatives for indulging to bigotry by presuming an American Muslim jurist had to be an advocate for Sharia Law. Instead, there stood a figure linking arms with a demagogue who had proposed banning any Muslim entry into the United States – a proposal Christie had called “ridiculous” – and who dubiously cites the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 as constitutional precedent. Gone was the “straight talker” who “tells it like it is.” In his place is a man endorsing a serial compulsive liar who seems constitutionally incapable of honesty about himself, his record, or his beliefs, and who tells outrageous and slanderous lies about the heroes of his country and of his party. Gone was the conservative reformer who promised the necessary overhaul of the country’s entitlement programs. Instead, the diminutive figure debasing himself in the shadow of a reality television star now defends the unsustainable status quo in perpetuity and with no regard for fiscal realities. 
"For another few fleeting moments in the intoxicating light of the cable news cameras, Chris Christie has sacrificed every principle for which he once stood. Christie will spend the remainder of the campaign season aggressively compromising his integrity and shouting down anyone who refuses to abide the intolerable stench of hypocrisy that now accompanies his presence. This is a man who pounded the table when the facts were with him. Imagine the spectacle we will be forced to witness now that they’re not."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Where I Stand on the Current GOP Candidates

Going by reverse polling average.

11. RICK SANTORUM - An absolute joke. If he comes in the top five in Iowa, I automatically vote for the national GOP to kick Iowa further down the schedule.

10. MIKE HUCKABEE - An absolute joke. If he comes in the top five in Iowa, I automatically vote for the national GOP to kick Iowa further down the schedule. Period.

9. CARLY FIORINA - If you've never held political office, then you really need to have a good bio, and unfortunately her bio is too easy to dismantle, since it mostly hinges on Hewlett-Packard. She'll be a good regular talking-head on cable news.

8. RAND PAUL - It's always good to have some libertarianism in there somewhere, but it's time for him to focus on keeping his Senate seat instead.

7. JOHN KASICH - I like Kasich. I think he's been a good Republican for decades. I don't agree with everything he's done, but he has the best track record and the most experience. I could support him and not hold my nose doing so. He's just not my top guy.

6. CHRIS CHRISTIE - If it came down to Trump, Cruz, and Christie, I'd head the Utah Chapter of Christie 2016, if it hasn't already been organized. I don't get why he's not taking Trump and Cruz head-on more.

5. BEN CARSON - His campaign is like a slowly deflating balloon. It's just clear to me he's a very smart man but shouldn't be president. Nothing wrong with that. I'm a smart guy. I should not be president.

4. JEB BUSH - I used to like Bush. I used to think he'd be a good president. I used to think if he had any other last name, he'd be a good candidate for the Republicans to put forth. But I despise what he and his Super-PAC are doing. They are spending millions and millions and millions of dollars running negative ads against... Christie. And against Kasich. And more than anyone else, against his old pal Rubio.

Why are they trying to destroy Rubio, and now turning their attention to Christie and Kasich? Months ago there was a story how Mike Murphy, head of the Jeb super-PAC Right2Rise, came up with a strategy. Destroy every candidate other than Trump, to force it to a two-man race between Trump and Bush. We're seeing now that the story is true.

New reports show that Marco Rubio has had more attack ads run against him in Iowa than any other candidate. Why is the guy in third place in Iowa, third place nationally, taking all of the hits? Because of Jeb(!). The vast majority of money spent on ads in Iowa is from Jeb(!). And since he's sliding further and further toward the edge of the stage, he somehow thinks Rubio is the one he needs to eliminate the most. Has it helped Jeb at all? Three months the RCP average for him in Iowa was 6.3% Now? it's 4.5%. Three months ago Rubio was 9.3% Now? he's at 11.4%. And he and Carson and Cruz and Trump all remain above Jeb.

Jeb had the money to take out the #1 guy. If he really wanted the job, he should have used all that money on Trump. But he didn't. He backed down in debates against him, and his attack dogs are going after other guys not in first place. Now he needs to realize he is not the candidate for the Republican Party in 2016 and shift the money elsewhere for the good of the country.

3. MARCO RUBIO - He's been my top guy. I haven't liked his increased emphasis on fear, i.e. expand the powers of the NSA and doubling down on the Patriot Act. I like that he's come out in favor of Congressional term limits, and I like most elements of his tax plan. I think he'd be the perfect contrast to Hillary Clinton. She's about the past; he's about the future.

2. TED CRUZ - There's a reason he's the only senator running for president who has yet to be endorsed by another senator. Just about everyone who's worked with him does not like him. I think that matters. He rubs so many people wrong that even his alleged allies, fellow Republicans, are not going to go along with anything he does that they don't like. Over the decades, Senators and Representatives of the party in power in the White House have signed on to things they might not like, but they wnt to support their party, support their president. Cruz would inspire no such loyalty from Republicans, and forget any Democrat compromising with him. I think his televangelist style just comes across as too phony. I would like Cruz to be likeable, but he's not.

1. DONALD TRUMP - The last time I took the ISideWith quiz, the only Republican candidate I agreed with less than Trump was Santorum. Donald Trump is an entertaining guy, he's an off-the-cuff guy, he's a confident strongman. But he can change his mind on a whim. In fact I was watching Jessica Jones on Netflix, and Kilgrave (David Tennant) had this line that instantly jumped out to me as Trump's philosophy. "I'm a man of my word, unless I change my mind." Trump likes to win. If he wins, once he won, what would he really do? No one knows. And with all of his disparaging remarks against Mexicans, women, take your pick, he'd destroy the Republican party.

So this would be my voting preference:

1. Rubio
2. Kasich
3. Brokered convention for Romney
4. Paul
5. Fiorina
6. Christie
7. Carson
8. 3rd party
9. Oh, Bloomberg's running? 4th party.
10. Bush
11. Trump/Cruz/Clinton/Sanders/O'Malley/Huckabee/Santorum

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How would the TSA handle Donald Trump's "Ban all Muslims" policy?

TSA: State your name.
Terrorist: My name is Ach...drew Jones.
TSA: Achdrew Jones?
Terrorist: Yes.
TSA: Religion?
Terrorist: Mus...thodist. Methodist.
TSA: You're Methodist?
Terrorist: Yes.
TSA: Thought you were going to say Muslim.
Terrorist: No, no. Methodist.
TSA: You can board. Next! State your name.
Dave: Dave Chappelle.
TSA: Religion?
Dave: Muslim.
TSA: GET HIM!! SWARM, SWARM!!!