CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

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Issues, News and Views

Who will be the
2016 candidates
for President of
the United States?


Republicans


DONALD TRUMP??

Donald Trump has come out
of nowhere and stolen the
show. He seems to have
captured the zeitgeist, the
spirit of the times. Can it last?



Who, from among this
strong, diverse field , will
emerge victorious to return
the GOP to the White
House?

COMPETITORS
With the inept Obama
Administration in its final
days, one would have
expected that experienced
governors with a record
of accomplishment would
dominate the Race 2 Replace
but outsiders and novices
Trump, Carson and Fiorina
are in the hunt! Seasoned
executives for sure, but
not the ones the beltway
had in mind!


Democrats


BERNIE SANDERS??

The creaky, rusty Clinton
machine grinds slowly
onward, wayward, relying
solely on muscle memory
for movement. Will
Democrats suddenly rise
from their slumber to the
realization she cannot win a
General Election?



Is Hillary a foregone
conclusion, or will
someone else swoop in and
steal the show?


COMPETITORS
Folks on the right can barely
contain their joy at the
prospect of a Clinton
candidacy. Shouldn't that
give pause to the Democrats?
Biden and Warren are both
better candidates and better
Democrats than Clinton, but
aren't even in the race. And
then there are O'Malley and
Sanders, again, both better
Democrats and better
candidates. Yet the Dems
seem intent on following
Clinton in a lemming-like
charge over the cliff.

CONTEMPLATING THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT ANTHONY FREMONT

2016/07/28 - What do you see when Donald Trump and his people take the stage on Primary Night? Do you not see Democrats? Registered Democrats, Democrat voters, Democrat donors, Democrat workers?

When Team Donald takes the stage we do not see people who have worked their tails off for Republican candidates or conservative ideas. Not people like so many of us who have fought in the trenches, who have sacrificed time, money, blood, sweat and tears resisting the progressive tide that has been slowly creeping, oozing, infecting across America for the past hundred years.

In the battle of “The Left” vs “The Right”, Trump has been at best missing in action in the fight for right-of-center causes. He has been a true “outsider”, if not actually aiding and abetting our opponents. The term “outsider”, as personified by Trump, should be thought of as a pejorative. He is an outsider to “The Right” like most any other Democrats. He has opposed us as a collaborator, a willing co-conspirator; he is an invasive species, an interloper, a virus.

It’s humorous to hear Trump whining about the Republican and Democrat nomination systems, about how unfair they are. Of course they are. Every organization takes pains to erect barriers to prevent it from being overrun by intruders. The Chinese built a wall, corporations have internet firewalls, and of course there’s “The Wall” Trump promises to build. The idea is to keep outsiders where they belong - “out”.

The whining is childish. He seems lacking in emotional intelligence. Big Tough Donald Trump, had his iddy-biddy feelings hurt by Ted Cruz. Trump reminds of the character Frank in the old E-Trade commercial. Like Frank, Donald is a Shankopotamus who needs his lack of political skills to be subsidized because he didn’t read the rules and figure out how delegates are secured.

Cruz is to Trump what "La Resistance" is to "Vichy". To differentiate Trump from Cruz, use the term “insurgent” to describe Cruz. He is a part of the “The Right” but fighting the wallflower Establishment. A man shunned by his own party, Cruz is a lifelong Republican, consistently advances conventional conservative views, and is scorned by the Establishment because he seeks to hold them accountable to our values.

If you are a conservative Republican you should be unhappy about a gang of late-to-the-party Democrats taking over your party. So late to the party, in fact, that they couldn’t change their affiliation on time to vote for their dad. And we should be unhappy that our leader RNC Chair Reince Priebus doesn’t just flat out tell Trump it’s not supposed to be fair. The system is designed to keep outsiders, invasive species like Trump, out.

What do you see on stage on Primary Night? There on stage you see an entrepreneur. A businessman with the right sales pitch firing a bull-eye at his target market. He may in fact close the deal this November. Then what?

Does Donald Trump even have a product? He has a good sales pitch, but, what if he wins that contract he’s bidding on? Like the proverbial dog who actually catches the car… now what? What about deliverables? Is he actually going to produce what he promised his customers?

For example, is he actually going to build a wall? And this isn’t a rhetorical question - a wall is probably excellent policy, but will he actually execute? How does he plan to get it through Congress? Or is he planning a reviled executive action in the tradition of our current Executive? Does Trump even want to build a wall? What are we going to get with Trump? Like Nancy Pelosi said, we have to elect him so we can find out what’s inside…

One thing about Trump to his great credit is he has changed the conversation on topics that were in great need of change. For instance, immigration. What part of “illegal” don’t illegal-immigration advocates not get? Bank robbery doesn’t become okay by changing the description to “undocumented withdrawal”. Illegal means illegal, and Trump has done wonders to bring together so many isolated individuals, each of whom was wondering whether they were the last person on earth with common sense.

I don’t like Trump but when I see nasty violent protesters hating on him, his events, and the attendees – while decrying “Hate” – it make me want to vote for Trump.

I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan part of the time, and part of the time in upstate New York. When I’m in Manhattan, I don’t get Trump; but when I’m upstate, riding my bike amidst the obvious decline and decay, well, it makes me want to vote for Trump. It’s painfully obvious why a message like “Make America Great Again” would resonate.

I recently attended an environmental conservation seminar in my little upstate town conducted by the state’s DEP and attended by the local granola crowd. Given the extreme-left agenda I was fortunate my wife suggested we drive my stealth Subaru (WRX) to the event. The speaker encouraged the attendees to force their towns to adopt hyper-restrictive regulation in order to prevent, for all intents and purposes, economic activity. And job creation. And prosperity. I left the two-hour event in near shock at their unbalanced, despotic zealotry, wanting so badly to vote for Donald Trump. And kill every bog turtle.

And that’s the problem for Cruz - somewhere in his intellectual constructs he loses the edge, the connection to the palpable anger that what we pass on to our children will be less than what we received from our parents. The problem with Trump is that he captures the mood, and speaks to the problems, but does not offer a cohesive, comprehensive framework of compatible solutions. And Trump’s problems-people are beating Cruz’ solutions-people.

Get beyond Trump’s demagoguery, slogans, and illegal immigration stance, and it’s hard to find much substance. Sure, better trade pacts are “better” - by definition - but what would he change, and in what deal? It is unclear that his mercantilist ideology can work. Rivals can retaliate against us, unless we use military force to open markets, like Commodore Perry did to Japan. That seemed to work great until the Japanese got us back at Pearl Harbor. But Trump is anti-war, a position which can’t coexist with mercantilism. The trade war that preceded World War II was a lose/lose proposition in so many ways.

What if Donald Trump is actually just a hoax? What if he really didn’t plan to be President? What if there really isn’t any policy depth to him at all? What if, like Obama, there is nothing beyond the great speeches? (One thing Cruz and Clinton have in common, no one will vote for them because their speeches are so great.) Yet at this point it seems highly unlikely that Trump can be prevented from winning the GOP nomination, so we might as well get used to it. And with the GOP nomination probably comes the White House, the new Mayor of Peaksville, OH.

Don’t think for a moment that Trump can’t beat Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate, a fact that establishment Democrats refuse to countenance. Conservatives are under no delusions about Trump’s risks and weaknesses, and that is itself a great strength. Never go into battle – sports, business, war, politics, or any other competition – without a clear understanding of your own vulnerabilities. On this dimension Democrats are in grave peril. They don’t know that they don’t know.

President Trump. If America was a toy it would be funny to elect Trump and see what happens next. It will be horrible if Crooked Hillary were elected President, which is way worse than the hilarity which may ensue if Trump is elected. Funny, that is, if you’re on his side; mean, if you’re not. Lincoln's words "charity to all, malice to none" don't apply to Trump.

Nor do Lincoln's words apply to President Obama who has displayed no aversion to Stalinist tactics of weaponizing government agencies. Like using the IRS to persecute political opponents. Will this latter-day Anthony Fremont follow in the footsteps of Stalin, Nixon and Obama, and use government agencies to take out his petty vindictiveness on political opponents?

What will a Trump Administration look like? Who will he populate the executive branch with? Will he leave Team Obama mostly in place, or replace them with his sycophants and cronies? Or, will he fill the ranks with consistent constitutional conservatives? Or mostly more-of-the-same-Ford-Bush-Dole-McCain establishment Republicans? Populists? Libertarians? Or will it just be random personalities drawn from the unemployment boilerplate?

Who knows? Just lie low, and if he notices you, tell him it’s all good. Welcome to the Administration of President Anthony Fremont.



THE CHALPREM 2016 COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

2016/05/26 - With the Graduation Season upon us, there is no lack of speechmaking. So many offering feel good messages of nonsense that won’t tally in the real world almost all the graduates will face. I certainly don’t remember a single word spoken at any of my graduation ceremonies. In fact, most college graduates are already, by definition, on the path to success, so most of the speeches they will hear are essentially useless. So we offer these suggestions for success in life:

  1. Be nice to those around you. Engage people – smile, say hi, pay a compliment. Put the phone down and enjoy the company of people, not electronics. Parents should teach “nice” to their kids right from birth. Be nice to your kids, they’ll be nice to you. And nice to others. And cause a lot less problems down the road. Stay positive.
  2. Choose your friends carefully. They will influence you and to some extent, you will become like them. Choose positive influences – the friends you choose, the entertainment you choose, for all the choices you make, choose positive influences.

  3. Eat well – focus on quality. Some things never change. Proteins, fruits and vegetables. Don’t worry about carbs, they come along for the ride. When you order bacon & eggs the restaurant will toss in toast and potatoes for nothing. If you order toast & potatoes do you think eggs or bacon will magically appear on your plate? That tells you something about their relative value.

  4. Exercise – focus on quantity. None of us get enough exercise. Before the industrial revolution almost everyone worked too hard; now, in the high-tech age almost none of us get enough exercise. From toddlers to the aged, we are not getting enough exercise. Get a bicycle, start riding. Start easy, gradually add time and distance, and most importantly, get out every day.

  5. Science tells us over and over the importance of good, consistent sleep habits. A month doesn’t go by where a new study tells us for the millionth consecutive time that early to bed and early to rise is the best pattern; that consistency is important; and that we all need at least six hours and no more than eight hours. Stick with the pattern.

  6. Don’t abuse substances. Why would anyone light something on fire for the express purpose of breathing the smoke? Don’t smoke. Not tobacco, not pot. Don’t take pain killers – an opioid addiction is worse that whatever pain you were trying to kill. When it comes to getting high, it is true what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Not to mention alcohol… is getting drunk really that great? Don’t adopt a lifestyle in the first place that down the road will cause you to seek help.

  7. Don’t commit crimes. A criminal record closes doors to opportunity. You’ll never look back afterwards and wish that you had committed even more crimes.

  8. Avoid out of wedlock pregnancy. Statistics show that this is one of the most effective methods of putting yourself on the path to poverty – poverty – and your descendants as well, and their descendants afterwards. Sure, some people pull themselves out of the vortex, but the odds are against it. Some say this proves the system is “rigged”, but it actually proves the opposite – good choices do in fact reward you and your posterity; bad choices haunt you and your posterity. If you don’t want to doom your legacy to tragedy, then do net get pregnant out of marriage, do not make pregnant out of marriage.

  9. Stay in school. Stay in school. If you do nothing else, at least stay in school. Even after you graduate, stay in school and keep learning. The world keeps changing, and there is no certainty that the valuable skills you picked up in school will be so hot later in life. The world is changing and you need to change with it.

  10. Work hard. Don’t kid yourself, life is tough. If it was easy we would all be driving Ferraris. Life has always been tough, everywhere. And it isn’t fair either. Life has always been unfair, everywhere. Don’t blame America, don’t blame the system, don’t blame politicians. Don’t blame. Period. Blame is a waste. Life is less tough, and less unfair, here in America than it’s ever been, anywhere. But it’s still tough. Work hard, keep working hard, that’s how you make your own luck.

None of this is particularly difficult to understand or difficult to accomplish. It’s just common sense. These are the building blocks of success and happiness, irrespective of how you choose to define success or happiness. But your life is the sum of your choices both good and bad; and the strength of America is the sum of all of our choices; both good and bad.



CONTEMPLATING THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT ANTHONY FREMONT

2016/04/26 - What do you see when Donald Trump and his people take the stage on Primary Night? Do you not see Democrats? Registered Democrats, Democrat voters, Democrat donors, Democrat workers?

When Team Donald takes the stage we do not see people who have worked their tails off for Republican candidates or conservative ideas. Not people like so many of us who have fought in the trenches, who have sacrificed time, money, blood, sweat and tears resisting the progressive tide that has been slowly creeping, oozing, infecting across America for the past hundred years.

In the battle of “The Left” vs “The Right”, Trump has been at best missing in action in the fight for right-of-center causes. He has been a true “outsider”, if not actually aiding and abetting our opponents. The term “outsider”, as personified by Trump, should be thought of as a pejorative. He is an outsider to “The Right” like most any other Democrats. He has opposed us as a collaborator, a willing co-conspirator; he is an invasive species, an interloper, a virus.

It’s humorous to hear Trump whining about the Republican and Democrat nomination systems, about how unfair they are. Of course they are. Every organization takes pains to erect barriers to prevent it from being overrun by intruders. The Chinese built a wall, corporations have internet firewalls, and of course there’s “The Wall” Trump promises to build. The idea is to keep outsiders where they belong - “out”.

The whining is childish. He seems lacking in emotional intelligence. Big Tough Donald Trump, had his iddy-biddy feelings hurt by Ted Cruz. Trump reminds of the character Frank in the old E-Trade commercial. Like Frank, Donald is a Shankopotamus who needs his lack of political skills to be subsidized because he didn’t read the rules and figure out how delegates are secured.

Cruz is to Trump what "La Resistance" is to "Vichy". To differentiate Trump from Cruz, use the term “insurgent” to describe Cruz. He is a part of the “The Right” but fighting the wallflower Establishment. A man shunned by his own party, Cruz is a lifelong Republican, consistently advances conventional conservative views, and is scorned by the Establishment because he seeks to hold them accountable to our values.

If you are a conservative Republican you should be unhappy about a gang of late-to-the-party Democrats taking over your party. So late to the party, in fact, that they couldn’t change their affiliation on time to vote for their dad. And we should be unhappy that our leader RNC Chair Reince Priebus doesn’t just flat out tell Trump it’s not supposed to be fair. The system is designed to keep outsiders, invasive species like Trump, out.

What do you see on stage on Primary Night? There on stage you see an entrepreneur. A businessman with the right sales pitch firing a bull-eye at his target market. He may in fact close the deal this November. Then what?

Does Donald Trump even have a product? He has a good sales pitch, but, what if he wins that contract he’s bidding on? Like the proverbial dog who actually catches the car… now what? What about deliverables? Is he actually going to produce what he promised his customers?

For example, is he actually going to build a wall? And this isn’t a rhetorical question - a wall is probably excellent policy, but will he actually execute? How does he plan to get it through Congress? Or is he planning a reviled executive action in the tradition of our current Executive? Does Trump even want to build a wall? What are we going to get with Trump? Like Nancy Pelosi said, we have to elect him so we can find out what’s inside…

One thing about Trump to his great credit is he has changed the conversation on topics that were in great need of change. For instance, immigration. What part of “illegal” don’t illegal-immigration advocates not get? Bank robbery doesn’t become okay by changing the description to “undocumented withdrawal”. Illegal means illegal, and Trump has done wonders to bring together so many isolated individuals, each of whom was wondering whether they were the last person on earth with common sense.

I don’t like Trump but when I see nasty violent protesters hating on him, his events, and the attendees – while decrying “Hate” – it make me want to vote for Trump.

I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan part of the time, and part of the time in upstate New York. When I’m in Manhattan, I don’t get Trump; but when I’m upstate, riding my bike amidst the obvious decline and decay, well, it makes me want to vote for Trump. It’s painfully obvious why a message like “Make America Great Again” would resonate.

I recently attended an environmental conservation seminar in my little upstate town conducted by the state’s DEP and attended by the local granola crowd. Given the extreme-left agenda I was fortunate my wife suggested we drive my stealth Subaru (WRX) to the event. The speaker encouraged the attendees to force their towns to adopt hyper-restrictive regulation in order to prevent, for all intents and purposes, economic activity. And job creation. And prosperity. I left the two-hour event in near shock at their unbalanced, despotic zealotry, wanting so badly to vote for Donald Trump. And kill every bog turtle.

And that’s the problem for Cruz - somewhere in his intellectual constructs he loses the edge, the connection to the palpable anger that what we pass on to our children will be less than what we received from our parents. The problem with Trump is that he captures the mood, and speaks to the problems, but does not offer a cohesive, comprehensive framework of compatible solutions. And Trump’s problems-people are beating Cruz’ solutions-people.

Get beyond Trump’s demagoguery, slogans, and illegal immigration stance, and it’s hard to find much substance. Sure, better trade pacts are “better” - by definition - but what would he change, and in what deal? It is unclear that his mercantilist ideology can work. Rivals can retaliate against us, unless we use military force to open markets, like Commodore Perry did to Japan. That seemed to work great until the Japanese got us back at Pearl Harbor. But Trump is anti-war, a position which can’t coexist with mercantilism. The trade war that preceded World War II was a lose/lose proposition in so many ways.

What if Donald Trump is actually just a hoax? What if he really didn’t plan to be President? What if there really isn’t any policy depth to him at all? What if, like Obama, there is nothing beyond the great speeches? (One thing Cruz and Clinton have in common, no one will vote for them because their speeches are so great.) Yet at this point it seems highly unlikely that Trump can be prevented from winning the GOP nomination, so we might as well get used to it. And with the GOP nomination probably comes the White House, the new Mayor of Peaksville, OH.

Don’t think for a moment that Trump can’t beat Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate, a fact that establishment Democrats refuse to countenance. Conservatives are under no delusions about Trump’s risks and weaknesses, and that is itself a great strength. Never go into battle – sports, business, war, politics, or any other competition – without a clear understanding of your own vulnerabilities. On this dimension Democrats are in grave peril. They don’t know that they don’t know.

President Trump. If America was a toy it would be funny to elect Trump and see what happens next. It will be horrible if Crooked Hillary were elected President, which is way worse than the hilarity which may ensue if Trump is elected. Funny, that is, if you’re on his side; mean, if you’re not. Lincoln's words "charity to all, malice to none" don't apply to Trump.

Nor do Lincoln's words apply to President Obama who has displayed no aversion to Stalinist tactics of weaponizing government agencies. Like using the IRS to persecute political opponents. Will this latter-day Anthony Fremont follow in the footsteps of Stalin, Nixon and Obama, and use government agencies to take out his petty vindictiveness on political opponents?

What will a Trump Administration look like? Who will he populate the executive branch with? Will he leave Team Obama mostly in place, or replace them with his sycophants and cronies? Or, will he fill the ranks with consistent constitutional conservatives? Or mostly more-of-the-same-Ford-Bush-Dole-McCain establishment Republicans? Populists? Libertarians? Or will it just be random personalities drawn from the unemployment boilerplate?

Who knows? Just lie low, and if he notices you, tell him it’s all good. Welcome to the Administration of President Anthony Fremont.



"PRESIDENT TRUMP" - GET USED TO IT

2016/03/24 - The window for a non-Trump Republican nominee is fast closing. For those who have for years looked forward to a showdown between a fighting conservative Republican and that long-expected Democrat nominee, it does not appear that we will get our wish, at least not any time soon.

Of the original seventeen major candidates, Rand Paul was for the most part the lone Libertarian, but his soft-on-crime / soft-on-terror perspective that echoed the President did not capture the spirit of the times. Circumstances such as the Ferguson MO riots inspired by race-card malfeasance, the rise of the "JV squad" ISIS, and President Obama’s serial foreign policy failures, seemed to invalidate much of the policy space where Paul had hoped to differentiate himself. Paul seemed so 2007, a time and place no one wanted to go back to.

Fifteen other candidates were either real legitimate conservatives, such as Scott Walker, Rick Perry or Ted Cruz; or fraudulent pretenders such as George Bush, John Kasich, George Pataki and so forth, with their many and varied apostasies. With a trade so crowded, it was difficult for many voters to sort the fake from the real. And worse, there are always plenty of pro-establishment voters who prefer the imposters anyway. And so that section of the pie got sliced fifteen different ways.

And then there was Trump, who had and has the populist space to himself. When you have a substantial business empire, but no interest in perpetual campaigning, you can throw off-beat policy ideas against the wall and see what sticks. When they do, great; and when they don’t, then fine, back to business. In Trump’s case, he did, and they did. His shtick captured the zeitgeist.

As for Ted Cruz, his message is timeless, but not necessarily timely. His appeal is to the intellectual, not the physical or emotional. You might agree with the importance of the Cruz message, but it's not particularly thrilling. And the very real connection of small government to job creation is not sufficiently direct or obvious to excite people. Trump's message sells easier. It just does. The Cruz message is timeless and important; the Trump message is timely and urgent. Trump wins.

Speaking of timely, those who oppose a Trump nomination have continuously waited too long to face reality, have not made the timely decision to drop out, even when the only choice has been staring them in the face. And beating them over the head. Would you like some Advil, Kasich?

Some candidates should never have entered the fray in the first place, and just added to the cacophony – Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki, to name a few.

Some good candidates, in command of good judgement, realized they had no chance, and did not let ego get in the way of the correct decision to drop out early – Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and Rick Perry.

And Jeb Bush should have seen it too. By the autumn he should have realized he was thoroughly and irredeemably ill-positioned for this election cycle, and he was just wasting time and money trying to take down another candidate who was only slightly less-worse ill-positioned that he, in other words, Marco Rubio.

It would be a shame if the political career of Marco Rubio were to end here, there is so much that could still lay before him. But he should have seen that his “Gang of 8” flirtation, even at the time, was poison; and Trump’s rise should have made clear the poison was fatal to any hope he had in 2016. He misread the public’s mood, then refused to believe the obvious. He must find redemption before he can run again.

If Marco Rubio seemed to be fighting the 2012 election, Rand Paul seemed to be fighting the 2008 election. Good guy, no chance. But if you believe privacy rights are an important matter, Paul represents an intriguing choice as head of Homeland Security.

Ben Carson hung around too long, unless his objective was to protect Trump from Cruz. Carson won nothing, but his petty whining about Cruz siphoned off enough votes to take Arkansas from Cruz and hand it to Trump.

It has been obvious for months that the only way to stop Trump was for the opposition to unite. And it has been equally obvious that the non-Trump was Ted Cruz. But the opposition has been slow to accept. If Carson’s tardy departure took Arkansas from Cruz and give it to Trump, then Rubio’s obstinacy did the same with Missouri and possibly North Carolina.

And then there is John Kasich. His candidacy has never made any sense, and at this point represents nothing but a stalking horse for Donald Trump. A vote not for Ted Cruz, is a vote for Donald Trump. Why does Kasich stay in the race and continue to make an ass of himself?

On Tuesday Cruz swept Utah and picked up 40 delegates; but Trump swept Arizona and picked up 58, thus slightly widening his lead over Cruz. Due to early voting Rubio managed to pick up 14% of the vote in Arizona because of / in spite of his (belated) exit. Kasich? He picked up no delegates, nothing. Again. He was even bested by the drop-out Rubio! Not that Kasich and Rubio were the difference in Arizona, but together they absolutely blocked Cruz in North Carolina, and possibly Illinois.

All along the way Kasich does nothing but block Cruz. Next up is Wisconsin on April 5. Of the 42 delegates at stake, 18 are allocated to the statewide winner while the remaining 24 are allocated to the winners of each of the eight Congressional Districts. A new Emerson poll has Cruz up by 1 over Trump 36-35, with Kasich at 19. Again, Kasich has no chance, but there he is again dividing the non-Trump vote.

The last good chance to stop Trump was for the pretenders to drop out before March 1. The only other decent chance was to drop out before March 15. At this point there is little chance that Trump will fail to obtain a plurality of the delegates. And unless Kasich drops out before Wisconsin, forget about a Trump plurality, it will probably be a Trump majority and unambiguous first ballot victory.

None of which is to say that Trump will fail as the candidate. In fact you should not be surprised if he eviscerates those tired, weary Clintons. Or that he won’t be a great President. We may in fact get a lot of good things from a Trump Administration – but probably not the good things we were hoping for from a Walker Administration or a Cruz Administration. Good things, but different good things. We need to have our eyes open to the good that a Trump Administration could bring. And to get them we will be fighting different battles, on different ground, against different adversaries. The time has come to start preparing for it, strategically, tactically, logistically, intellectually, emotionally.

May we live in interesting times!



THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN CARSON - "C'mon, Man!"

2016/02/05 - Suppose you were running for President - where would you spend the night of the Iowa caucuses? The answer is pretty simple: either you have already given up on Iowa and you're in New Hampshire preparing for the following morning's pancake breakfast in Conway; or you'll be flying the red eye from your "victory party" to get to New Hampshire in time for tomorrow morning's pancake breakfast in Dublin.

And then there's Ben Carson. He announced that he was going to Florida, he was packing his bags.

Packing? Florida?

And that set off a chain reaction. CNN put out the story, and the Cruz campaign dutifully did what they're supposed to do when your closest competitor announces they're closing shop: you go after their customers - hard.

Except it turns out Carson wasn't actually quitting - he was literally going to Florida, to literally repack his literal suitcase. Literally.

This begs a lot of questions about the Carson campaign. If you want to skip #2 New Hampshire, shouldn't your next stop be #3 South Carolina? Where's the sense of urgency? Why Florida? Are you even serious? Florida?

And to pack a suitcase? Would that be the best use of your time? One would have thought a uniquely skilled neurosurgeon would have a better sense of time management - doesn't he have staff / a spouse / adult children who can do that for him? Anyone can pack a suitcase; only Ben Carson is Ben Carson. And for that matter, is Florida the best place to scoop provisions for surviving a New Hampshire February?

Naturally Carson's incomprehensible decisions and perplexing messaging led to confusion, that the Carson campaign was winding down. So, to get himself off the hook, he is blaming George W. Bush. Well, actually, no, he is blaming Ted Cruz. Yes, seriously, according to Carson, this imagined victimhood of his is all Ted Cruz' fault.

Carson has subsequently attacked Cruz, accusing him of dirty tricks, rather than taking personal responsibility for creating a muddled mess in the first place. Obviously the Buck doesn't stop with Ben.

Carson demanded an apology from Cruz, who graciously obliged when none was due, but the supposedly Christian Carson has shown no inclination to forgive. Instead Carson has continued defaming Cruz. Bad on Ben.

In reality, it is Carson who owes an apology, quite a few in fact...

First, Carson owes multiple apologies to his supporters for running a lousy campaign; for failing to display skills necessary to be President; for a foolish decision to go to Florida; for poor time management by failing to delegate packing a suitcase; and confusing messaging about plans and strategies.

Second, Carson owes an apology to Cruz for continuing his personal and mean-spirited attacks even after receiving a public (and unnecessary) apology from Cruz.

Third, Carson owes an apology to his supporters for implying they are so gullible.

Think of it in terms of a multiple choice: Suppose you are a supporter of "X" and an operative of "Y" tells you that X has dropped out because of some scandal. Your reaction is...
• a) Tell him he's full of it;
• b) Seek verification from X people such as friends, campaign staff;
• c) Look it up on your smart phone - you do have a smartphone, don't you?
• d) All of the above; or
• e) Vote for Y.
The first three answers are tolerable but the correct answer is the fourth; the last answer is obviously the wrong one. Yet picking answer e) is exactly the stupidity Carson is accusing his followers of. Time for an apology, Ben.

Even worse, in the end Carson out-performed his polling so it is not clear that the confusion Carson caused ultimately had any impact at all. So what is he even complaining about? Is he even the slightest bit ready for what the Democrats are waiting to unload on him?

We had at times been intrigued by Carson's candidacy. But this episode calls into question his basic political intincts, and his ability to withstand adversity in a non-clinical environment without getting flustered. Also, it casts him as self-absorbed, petty and petulent. And worst of all, we observe the emergence of that divisive destructive victimhood mentality.

And then there's the manipulative Donald Trump. Trump has taken the opportunity to launch unfounded hostile attacks (of course) on his closest rival Cruz, and pick sides with poor Carson, who apparently can't fight his own battles, in order to mop up what's left of Carson's dwindling support.

Meanwhile the seemingly unserious Carson putters about in Florida packing suitcases...



THE WORLD ACCORDING TO CHALPREM

2016/01/11 - Happy New Year. Maybe. There are many things in life that bring joy – faith, family, friends, football, Jose Bautista, to name but a few. But as for matters that occupy our humble website - politics, geopolitics, and public policy – 2016 promises to extend the joylessness of 2015 as the Obama Administration grinds our beloved country into the ground with scorched earth policies right up to the bitter end of its term. So on that happy note we present to you our semi-annual state of affairs.

Inflation and Interest Rates: Let’s get the arcane out of the way first, since it lays the foundation for what follows. Of course we refer to the St. Louis Fed M2 Velocity graph. Velocity of money is a determining factor of money supply and thus inflation, and until the M2V trend begins an extended upward trajectory, we can expect an environment of relatively subdued inflation and interest rates, a currency stability that tends toward strength, and low commodity prices.

Commodities – Copper: The price of anything is determined by the immutable law of supply and demand, along with the relative value of the asset being exchanged (which itself is determined by supply and demand). Thus a stronger dollar means you don’t have to give up as many dollars to get a barrel of oil, or a pound of copper. Copper prices have declined to recession-level lows of $2/lb due in part to dollar strength, but even more so due to declining global demand. Producers have been cutting production in response to the softness. The market for Hg is sometimes referred to as "Dr. Copper" because it diagnoses the strength of the global economy. The copper market currently indicates hypothermia, a temperature well below 98.6°. But it’s not just copper, the entire metals complex is under stress, and both specialist and diversified miners of various metals such as Rio Tinto, Vale, Glencore and Freeport, to name but a few, are feeling it.

Commodities – Oil: If the copper market is hurting, it’s worse in oil - the dollar price of oil is collapsing due to a trifecta of a strong dollar, tepid demand, and increasing production. Copper producers are cutting back supply, while oil producers are increasing supply in an all-out price war. The glut is so severe the world may run out of places to store oil. Prices are now at 15-year lows. Back in July we said "don’t look for oil above $65 for a long time", but that was timid, prices closed below $33/bbl on Friday. And this is with Iran and Saudi Arabia burning each other’s embassies and fighting a proxy war on the Arabian Peninsula, with Libya in disarray, and with portions of Iraqi and Syrian oil production in the hands of terrorists. This geopolitical inferno ought to be a doomsday scenario for $200/bbl oil, but the various combatants seem intent on capturing rather than destroying their enemy’s productive capacity. We don’t see the bottom for oil quite yet, but it might not be that far beyond the horizon. We may be declaring a bottom in our July update.

Shipping: If oil and copper aren’t sufficient as indicators of global economic weakness, then check the Baltic Dry Index, an indicator of the price for maritime shipping of raw materials. The Baltic Dry hit a new all-time low of 490 on Friday. Again, it’s the same problem as with the commodities: projects of all kinds – oil fields, mines, ships, ports – that were initiated early in the decade to take advantage of anticipated growing Chinese demand, are now coming on-line just as Chinese demand is faltering, leading to global over-capacity, over-supply and a glut of just about everything. It is an ingredient of the recession recipe. A "recession" is the painful process where excessive capacity and supply are cleared from the market.

The Shanghai Composite: If you thought the controls that the Chicomms put in place last summer to arrest the precipitous decline at the Shanghai Stock Exchange had worked, you were wrong. The price of anything is always a function of supply and demand, not communist dictates. The controls were merely a hastily constructed dam holding back too much water. The pressure grew, and this week saw gut-wrenching declines as various rules were changed, added, eliminated, reinstated, amended, discarded and so forth. And if you try to sell some shares you could end up in jail. This policy "errortica" motivates capital to flee the country. The People's Bank of China burned through tremendous amounts of foreign reserves attempting to support the currency, then threw in the towel. The Renminbi has dropped 6% against the dollar in the past four months. The Chinese were quick to lay the blame on Evil America for its currency strength. You see? It’s all about M2V, the velocity of money.

China: Is the Chinese economy in even worse shape than we think? China is a black box. Data collection is difficult anytime, anywhere. Even US data, like Friday’s jobs report, is rife with contradictions below the headline number; but when understated folks like Citibank wonder aloud whether China is flat-out lying about their numbers, how is it possible to make sense of what anyone tells us? There are so many conflicting reports of China’s dismal/flat/rosy future it is difficult to make sense of it all. But demographics, debt, the Shanghai Composite, and Dr. Copper, indicate a darkening sky.

Grexit: Six months ago we were lamenting the hype about Greece, and advised readers to ignore it and focus on China. Anybody talking about Greece these days?

Jobs Report: The labor market, like an Obama speech, sounds good but it doesn’t feel good. Take Friday’s jobs report. Five percent unemployment sounds good, but CNBC also reported that absent the decline in work force participation since Obama took power, the unemployment rate would be 7.6%. If the labor market is so strong, why are people giving up looking for work? Because the jobs being created are part time and low paying. Real wages have declined since Obama took power. How do the statisticians tabulate a person taking three part time jobs to cobble together an existence? That gets counted as a full-time worker, and, three jobs created! People are suffering, and they are embittered by the cynical happy talk from the Administration’s back slapping victory lappers like Press Josh Ernest and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. Considering that BS, there's no need to be confused about Donald Trump’s staying power.

US Economy: In July we said we did not think the US Economy was heading toward recession. We were correct. But we believe the probability of recession is increasing. We would still bet against a recession within the next six months but we wouldn’t bet very much. Buying a ticket for the $1.5 Billion Powerball could be safer than betting against a recession. Economic numbers are tepid at best. ISM, PMI, Factory Orders, regional Fed surveys (Philly -5.9, Empire -4.59, Dallas -20.1, KC -8)... nothing to put a smile on your face. Even PMI Services declined from 56.1 to 54.3. And our stock market is taking on water as well. Pretty well every major statistical data point is either declining, or has already turned negative.

US Equities: Back in July when the S&P was trading around 2100 we predicted only marginal increases, expecting that 2200 was attainable but 2300 was not. We were partially right, as the S&P failed to hit 2300, but also failed to get anywhere past 2100. But, we also said that if China continues to soften, all bets are off. Regarding 2016, our optimism is shrinking. Election year uncertainty only exacerbates the uncertainty surrounding global economic conditions. From the current level of 1922, we will probably break 1800, and possibly 1700, even without a recession.

Geopolitics: North Korea claims to have detonated a thermonuclear device. We’ve given Iran the sun, the moon, and the stars - oh, and a path to nuclear weapons - for free. We didn't even get our hostages back. How bad is Obama? We have given up on Crimea, shoved the Budapest Memorandum into a drawer, and thrown Ukraine under the bus. We have shown Ukraine, Iran, North Korea, and indeed the entire planet, what happens to countries that don’t have, or voluntarily give up, nuclear weapons.

Iran: The pusillanimous Obama has emboldened the Iranians to pick fights with Saudi Arabia – toppling the Sunni government in neighboring Yemen, and burning down the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Déjà vu? No, we distinctly remember that this actually did happen before, it’s the same old Iran, up to their same old tricks. Except this time we have a President even worse than Carter.

Jimmy Carter: Ah yes, Jimmy Carter. This is Carter’s world. I went to see the Star Wars movie Friday, it was just like 1977, it was just like Carter’s world: economic malaise, geopolitical inferno… and Star Wars.

Key Indicators: Keep an eye on these four measure to provide an indicator of where the global economy is heading. If they keep going down, it is not good news.
• 1 - $2.00/lb - the current price of copper.
• 2 - $33.00/bbl - the current price of oil.
• 3 - 490 - last Friday's Baltic Dry Index record close.
• 4 - 3,000 - the Shanghai Composite's current level.

2016: The bad news is that this is Carter’s World. The good news is that means Reagan’s World is just around the corner. Vote Ted Cruz in your caucus/primary, vote Ted Cruz in November. Happy 2016!



HOW WRONG WAS GEORGE W. BUSH!

2015/12/04 - President George W. Bush (#43) led us into an ill-conceived war in Iraq on the twin-premise that Islam is a religion of peace, and that all people yearn to be free. But what if, just maybe, Bush 43 was wrong?

What if Islam is not a religion of peace, and Muslims do not seek our vision of freedom? What if the "peace" of Islam is achieved not through tolerance and coexistence, but through conquest and domination? What if our definition of "free" is informed by our western culture, and people from other cultures have a different idea of what "free" means?

In any type of competition – sports, business, war – in any kind quest, it is important to understand the perspectives and objectives of other players. You need to do this in order to identify both threats and opportunities. You cannot assume that other participants, neither potential allies nor potential adversaries, formulate their objectives from the same foundation of ideas that you do.

Christianity and Islam are fundamentally different in that Christianity never anticipates being a dominant religion. Jesus, Paul and the other teachers consistently instructed followers to submit to secular authorities – to render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, to live peaceably with all men. As such there is no embedded civil code in Christianity – no crimes elucidated, no punishments articulated, no rules on a how a broader society should govern itself. It is left up to the broader society to decide how to govern itself.

So it is straightforward to see how the United States Constitution would be drafted and enacted in this environment. The fledgling nation, whose citizenry sprung from a Christian tradition, would need to draft a civil code – one that would be informed by the Christian tradition of the nation’s founders. We have no "Christian Law", instead we have a Constitution and legal framework implicitly guided by a Christian perspective of love and holiness, of mercy and justice.

Islam on the other hand contains an embedded civil code known as the Sharia Law. It lays out crimes and punishments. For examples, theft is punishable by cutting off the thief’s right hand; and, a man can beat his wife for insubordination; and, a man can marry a young girl and consummate the marriage when she turns nine (yes, age 9). These three examples are in blatant opposition to any laws anywhere in the United States and completely abhorrent to our culture and values.

Since Christianity contains no civil code, it can blend in comfortably and unthreateningly in any society. It was never necessary for any of the Christian teachers to pursue or advocate violence to topple authority because Christianity never pretends to be a civil authority. On the other hand Islam requires a Muslim to follow Sharia law, so it is not hard to see how that would create conflict – either violate your religion and follow the local laws, or follow your religion and contravene local laws.

So how can a Muslim reconcile his religion to American values? The answer is he doesn’t have to! Taqiyya is a doctrine in Islam that allows dishonesty and deceit for the furtherance of Islam and in support of it adherents. Taqiyya allows a Muslim to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States without believing a word of it. Even if a Muslim believes Muslims are required to go to war to advance Islam, he is still allowed to claim that Islam is a religion of peace, if he believes that such a claim will further the cause.

Taqiyya represents a fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam. Consider the account of Peter’s denial of Christ. The Bible portrays this as deeply dishonorable conduct by Peter, whereas in Islam it would be acceptable and indeed expected, since Peter was facing danger. If taqiyya was a Christian principle Peter most certainly would not have "gone out and wept bitterly".

Indeed, taqiyya was originated precisely for times and circumstances precisely like the here and now, times when Islam has increased its belligerence and been exposed to a corresponding backlash. The idea was to use subterfuge, camouflage if you will, to preserve the religion and save its adherents from a violent demise.

History shows that it took little time before Mohammed and his followers were clashing violently with their neighbors and the authorities. Some of these clashes turned deadly and Mohammed was compelled to introduce Taqiyya, allowing Muslims to deny their faith, to misrepresent its principles, anything to live to fight another day. General Patton may have been echoing Mohammed when he said, "don’t die for your country, make the other poor dumb bastard die for his".

Taqiyya is an acceptable tool to advance the spread of Islam, to take advantage of gullible appeasers like today’s liberals, progressives and Democrats. Progressives do not understand how devout religious people think, and will misjudge them every time – perceiving malice where none exists, and failing to recognize threats that stare them in the face.

To President Obama and his ilk, Fort Hood was workplace violence. San Bernardino? Workplace violence. The woman beheaded by a Muslim convert in Oklahoma? Workplace violence. To blind progressives like Obama, there are only two type of people: evil Republicans, and everyone else. Violent jihadists, and the philosophies from whence they came, must be good – because they are not Republicans. No honest inquiry from progressives here.

Unfortunately, in our mix of cultures, Taqiyya poisons the well – since it allows Muslims to deceive, how can we who come from a culture that values honesty and transparency ever know for sure if a Muslim is leveling with us? In our culture lying is shameful; with taqiyya lying is par for the course, np, nbd. But how can we know when we’re getting a load of Taqiyya? How can we believe anything, for example, that a Muslim advocacy group like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) tells us?

It begs the question of whether the principles of Islam are compatible with American values. It seems like they cannot be reconciled. The United States Oath of Allegiance instructs us to support and defend the Constitution and our laws from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Yet no day goes by where we do not see Islamic countries, and Muslims, engaging in law, practice, culture, and custom that we deem repulsive.

The First Amendment reads in part "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..." but how do we reconcile that with Islam? Islam demands to be established as the State Religion.

But we don’t want to face reality, do we? Because the conclusions are unpleasant... that maybe, just maybe, Islam is…? But, what if? What if "Islam is a religion of peace" is just a load of taqiyya? What if Islam is actually… ?




Analysis


April 12, 2016 - An observer can only be dumbfounded by the whining of the self-proclaimed business genius Great Donald Trump.

As anyone who has ever attempted a competitive venture - sports, business, politics - knows, life is neither easy nor fair. You have to work harder and smarter, and even then you can still expect the competition to try to out-smart and out-work you.

Trump's campaign is an object lesson on how to fail at business. Its leader is lazy and naive, depending upon showmanship and publicity to win a beauty pageant, while ignoring the strategy and tactics of how to win. He is playing checkers, while Ted Cruz is playing chess.

If Trump was a football coach, he would be complaining that the opponents are using their hands to throw the ball in a game called "football". Sorry, try reading the rulebook Shankopotamus, as one noteworthy sage once put it.

Ted Cruz is doing to Donald Trump what Facebook did to Myspace.




March 22, 2016 - Bomb blasts at the airport and metro in Brussels leave at least 23 dead. Presumably it was Hindu terrorists - not!

Of course, it will turn out to be Islamic terrorism. Not Hindu, not Buddhist, not Christian, not anything but the scourge that is Islam.

Paris and Brussels exemplify what happens when Islam takes root in a country. And if they, the people, try to fight back, it just gets worse. Islam means "submission" - submit, or else...

Our "leaders", who fear to contemplate the long game, continue to tell we the people that Islam is a religion of peace. And that's why there's Donald Trump - it's the PCBS, stupid!



February 16, 2016 - Today marks the 212th anniversary of United States Navy Lt. Stephen Decatur Jr.'s valorous raid on the captured USS Philadelphia in Tripoli harbor.

No less an authority than the British naval hero Horatio Nelson called it the "most daring act of the age."

Our Continental Navy was disbanded after the Revolutionary War. But in 1794 Congress found it necessary to recreate the Navy - because of Islamic terrorism!

Islamic terrorism is nothing new. The United States of America has been victimized by the terror that is Islam for as long as there has been a United States of America, because Islam is a religion of terror.



February 13, 2016 - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, a month short of his 80th birthday.

Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, Justice Scalia was a truly great American, a hero to those of us who believe in the Constitution.

Scalia's passing is nothing short of a national disaster.



January 26, 2016 - One of the distinguishing values embraced by us New Yorkers is the pleasure we take in disparaging the fine Americans who do not live within fifty miles of salt water.

Click here to enjoy a garden-variety example of an arrogant New Yorker indulging his snobby elitism to dump on flyover country.

And yet, consider how New Yorkers squeal when the flownovers push back at them. Note the rage that has been directed at Ted Cruz for taking up the other side of Trump's elitism - how dare that Ted Cruz!

Today's Wall Street Journal published a truly awful op-ed from one of their worst columnists, Bret Stephens. Enjoy his overblown offendedness from his imagined microaggressions!

It's not just the hypocrisy of a New Yorker being offended by imagined slurs from flownovers - it's his utter ignorance that it was a New York elitist that concocted the slur in the first place and directed it at the flownovers.

Here's another New York value: we can dish it out, but we can't take it.



January 22, 2016 - Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Cincinnati, has been detained in North Korea for allegedly committing a "hostile act".

Naturally, dumbass pandering politicians like Ohio Governor John Kasich are lashing out against the NK Communists. Chalprem's view, however, is that we should be lashing out against this idiot Warmbier.

The United States is technically at war with North Korea. North Korea is our enemy! Anyone foolish enough to go there deserves whatever it is they get. What part of N-M-E don't they get?

This is not the first time Chalprem has lamented the stupidity of visting hostile lands, as if, incomprehensibly, this actually should need to be pointed out.

Such morons have no right to expect that America should do anything to secure their release - no money, no exchanges, no concessions of any sort, not even a phone call. Nothing. Nothing, except maybe a MOAB or two. Or more.



January 18, 2016 - Economic barometers continued to get slammed this week.

Today's New York Fed monthly Empire State Manufacturing Survey plummeted from -4.6 to -19.4. But that was only a hint of the carnage:
• Copper $1.95/lb down 8.7% year to date, 24% year-on-year.
• Oil $29.70/bbl down 19.9% year to date, 46% year-on-year.
• S&P 500 1880 down 8.0% year to date, 7% year-on-year.
• Shanghai 2902 down 18.0% year to date, 13% year-on-year.
• Baltic Dry 373 down 19.9% year to date, 49% year-on-year.

These prices are telling us, in unison, that global supply exceeds global demand. When that happens, suppliers cut back. And when many suppliers cut back signifcantly... well, that's what a recession is.

We are not predicting a United States recession yet. But we may soon. The stage is set.



January 11, 2016 - Surprise! Fox News is reporting that the FBI's Clinton email investigation has expanded to include public corruption over at Clinton Global.

As we said last March, "the purpose of the private server was to ring-fence the Clintons’ family foundation, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), or more accurately, Clinton Inc."

The expansion of the investigation to Clinton Inc. was thus to have been expected. The Clintons are always only all about the monetization of everything, so why would there not be a direct link between Hillary's power position at the State Department, and her bank account at Clinton Inc? With the Clintons, how could it be otherwise?

We have said time and again that the investigation would find its way to Clinton Inc. It had to. There's a reason why "follow the money" is a cliché, but it's never been more true than with the Clintons.



January 07, 2016 - On Monday the Supreme Court will hear arguements in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

Friedrichs, a school teacher, claims her First Amendment rights are violated by the CTA because they use her mandatory fees in support of causes she disagrees with. The CTA insists that Friedrichs must pay the dues because she is a beneficiary of the Union's advocacy, and free-riding would be unfair.

In addition to the merits of Friedrich's argument, the dark side of the CTA's defense must not be ignored: aggressive unions can and do inflict damage on employers that in turn impair the working conditions and job security of employees.

Voluntary dues creates a natural balance - where the union becomes too powerful, making excessive demands that imperil the workers' long-term prospects, the employees can withhold their support; and where the employer becomes to powerful, the workers can increase their supprot of the union.



December 21, 2015 - The media doesn't just push its leftist agenda on Republicans - Apple CEO Tim Cook got a taste of "Gotcha" last night on 60 Minutes.

Charlie Rose tried to paint Cook and Apple as unpatriotic for trying to minimize their tax burden.

Instead, Rose should have exposed the tax code as unpatriotic, and commiserated with Cook regarding the damage done to American companies, to the American economy, and to American families, by the excessive levels, counterproductive provisions, and complicated structure of corporate taxes.

Bad on Rose, he showed himself a shill for statism.

Good on Tim Cook for his spirited pushback.



December 18, 2015 - The Establishment won this round, punching a monstrous $1.8 Trillion porkopotamus spending package over the goal line.

Our national debt is approaching $19 TRILLION and the worse it gets, the more the K-Streeters want to spend. The GOP DC beltway establishment is a pool of leaches. They suck the taxpayer dry, and yet they are totally mystified as to why the people are rejecting Jeb! and the other puppets being put forth.

And then there's the disgraceful Marco Rubio who couldn't even bother to show up to vote on the bill. We suspect that the next GOP debate will be about spending and Rubio will be eviscerated.

It has to be Cruz or Trump at the top of the ticket. With apologies to Rand Paul, there is no one else with a shot of winning the GOP presidential nomination who might execute a serious strategy of substantially reducing the size of government.

As for newly-minted Speaker Paul Ryan, that's it for him, that's his Mulligan. He is now on a short leash. One more of these and he is John Boehner, dead man walking.



December 15, 2015 - One can only be disappointed with Marco Rubio and his dismal "attack" on Ted Cruz last night at the CNN Republican debate.

In the last debate Jeb! Bush attempted a spurious made-up "attack" on Rubio, but Rubio nimbly swatted it away, telling Bush "you're only saying that because someone told you to say that", and "The only reason you’re [saying] it now is because we’re running for the same position".

So it was with dismay that we saw Rubio hijack the Bush tactic and try to use spurious consultant-fabricated attacks on Cruz.

Cruz ably swatted the "attack" away, but it would have been even better if he repeated to Rubio those very words that Rubio had shot at Bush - that, like the Toronto Blue Jays, would have been priceless (sorry).

As it was, the debate was largely a stalemate - there will be a lot more reporting on it than it deserves.



December 04, 2015 - We hoped that the replacement for former AG Eric Holder might be an improvement. But Loretta Lynch might just be worse.

Displaying a jarring unawareness of the United States Constitution, she has threatened to prosecute anyone who speaks badly against Islam.

Not only does she seem ignorant of the First Amendment, she seems to want to unilaterally replace it with Islamic Sharia Law, which makes it illegal to criticize Mohammed or the Quran.

One can only be constantly aghast at the Obama Administration's consistent willingness to violate the Constitution, and pander to those who would undermine America.

What a great Obama we have.



December 02, 2015 - An attack in San Bernardino has left at least fourteen dead and at least that many wounded.

The two attackers, a male and a female, were subsequently gunned down in their SUV as they attempted to escape. The fact that there were at least two assailants indicates a "cause" based attack.

The left has wasted no time politicizing the tragedy, clamoring for tighter gun control. They don't mention, however, how France's tight gun control laws were useless in preventing the attacks in Paris.

Gun control laws don't take guns away from the bad guys, instead, they take guns away from the good guys, leaving the good guys defenseless against the bad guys. Now isn't that smart public policy?


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