Weekly Musing 12-13-15
Days until the 2016 election: 331.
Steve Forbes: My advice for 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls: If you want to win, here’s how
Implementing big reforms in three critical areas–health care, taxes and monetary policy–would ignite a spectacular economic resurgence in the U.S. that would astound the world.
Americans are in an anxious, frustrated mood. Most people on both the left and right feel we have lost our way.
Since 2009, wage earners have suffered declines in their real incomes, with those who make the least suffering the largest percentage drop.
Our national security is threatened by terrorists and dictators who lethally exploit the vacuum created by President Obama’s abandonment of international leadership. The failed policies of a president who promised to give us “hope and change” have instead created public anger and uncertainty resulting in a level of demonstrations and riots not seen in over 40 years.
This is why dramatic reforms are necessary. My new book, “Reviving America,” shows how implementing big reforms in three critical areas–health care, taxes and monetary policy–would ignite a spectacular economic resurgence in the US that would astound the world.
What happens if Republicans face a brokered convention, explained
In election after election, generally, but not always, well before the voting starts, pundits start wondering about the possibility of a “brokered” party convention.
For the casual observer, that term is meaningless — in part because casual observers are mostly not paying any attention to low-possibility outcomes of things eight months from now. But from the perspective of those who enjoy chaos and tumult (the media), it’s a not totally accurate shorthand for an enticing prospect: a presidential race so close and so hard-fought that even on the night that the balloons are supposed to drop, no one knows whose head they’ll land on.
A “brokered convention,” of the type that The Post reported Thursday had blinked to life on the radar screen of the Republican brass, is a convention in which the delegate (that is, voting attendee) votes of each of the states and territories don’t add up to more than 50 percent for any one candidate. So after all of the voting and caucuses and conventions, for example, 1,000 of the 2,472 voting Republican delegates like Candidate A and 1,000 like Candidate B and 472 like Candidate C. There is no clear winner.
Let’s answer two questions. First, could that happen on the Republican side? And, second, what would happen next?
Good Analysis – Republicans 2016: The Presidential Shake-Up Continues
The Donald Trump Show continues to dominate the airwaves and the polls, and the other candidates seem mere apprentices by comparison.
The billionaire’s appeal is very disproportionately tilted to the blue-collar half of the Republican electorate — many are the old Reagan Democrats who have long since defected from the party of their fathers. Much of the college-educated half of the party, by contrast, views Trump with disdain, but they are fractured and split among the rest of the contenders.
Will the anti-Trump majority in the GOP ever coalesce around one or two of his opponents? Surely that will happen eventually, but will it be in time to stop Trump’s nomination?
The Crystal Ball has been consistently skeptical of Trump’s chances to be the GOP nominee, and we remain so. It would be easier to make our argument if we could explain precisely how and by whom the real estate mogul will be dethroned, but that is unknowable at the moment. We’ve noted before that every now and then, a major party goes off the track and nominates a presidential candidate doomed to defeat, but this is a rare event. It could happen in 2016, given the strength of the Trump phenomenon, but a betting person would still wager against it.
FACT: Ted Cruz is in the catbird’s seat to win the Republican nomination
The Iowa caucuses are 54 days away. Donald Trump is, still, the national frontrunner. Marco Rubio is, now, the establishment’s best (only?) hope. And Ted Cruz is the guy who looks best positioned to win.
Yes, you heard that right.
Obama Has Just Begun
How much damage can he do in his last year of office?
Insidiously and inadvertently, Barack Obama is alienating the people and moving the country to the right. If he keeps it up, by 2017 it will be a reactionary nation. But, counterintuitive as it seems, that is fine with Obama: Après nous le déluge.
By sheer force of his personality, Obama has managed to lose the Democratic Senate and House. State legislatures and governorships are now predominantly Republican. Obama’s own favorable ratings rarely top 45 percent. In his mind, great men, whether Socrates or Jesus, were never appreciated in their time. So it is not surprising that he is not, as he presses full speed ahead.
Obama certainly has doubled down going into his last year, most recently insisting on letting in more refugees from the Middle East, at a time when the children of Middle Eastern immigrants and contemporary migrants are terrorizing Europe. What remaining unpopular executive acts might anger his opponents the most? Close down Guantanamo, let thousands more refugees into the United States, free thousands more felons, snub another ally, flatter another enemy, weigh in on another interracial melodrama, extend amnesty to another million illegal aliens, make global warming laws by fiat, expand Obamacare, unilaterally impose gun control? In lieu of achievement, is the Obama theory to become relevant or noteworthy by offending the public and goading political enemies?
A Very Good Read: ‘The Inhuman Reign of the Lie’: Why Donald Trump’s Words Haven’t Hurt Him & Political Correctness
One of the most insightful things I have ever read about human nature comes in the epilogue of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”: And when the war broke out, its real horrors, its real dangers, its menace of real death were a blessing compared with the inhuman reign of the lie, a relief because it broke the spell of the dead letter.
…Political Correctness is a lie, a lie in which Democrats, their cultural enablers in Hollywood, and their Palace Guards in the DC Media, use the fascist weapons of social pressure, emotional blackmail, and character assassination (racist, bigot, Islamophobe) to coerce us to speak and behave in a certain way that is dishonest.
The Liberal Theology of Gun Control
Put simply, today’s liberalism cannot deal with the reality of evil. So liberals inveigh against the instruments the evil use rather than the evil that motivates them.
…Meanwhile, we’ve just endured what may be the first successful ISIS-inspired attack on the homeland. And like her former boss, Hillary Clinton is demanding the government “take action now” on guns.
Back and forth it goes. Instead of debating the antiterror policy of the past seven years—the wisdom of ending the National Security Agency’s metadata program, whether ISIS can be knocked out without any ground troops, how the lack of nerve on Syria fed this mess, or whether Islamist terror can be defeated so long as our leaders refuse to call it by its rightful name—we’re all arguing over gun control.
Then again, if you were Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton, isn’t this the debate you’d prefer?
AEI Chart of the day: More guns, less gun violence between 1993 and 2013
In contrast to the widely embraced narrative, perpetuated by liberal politicians and the media, that gun violence in America is getting worse all the time, the data reveal that the exact opposite is true. According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50% to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population.
Ehrenfreund says that “Even as a certain type of mass shooting is apparently becoming more frequent, America has become a much less violent place. Much of the decline in violence is still unexplained, but researchers have identified several reasons for the shift.” He then points to factors explaining the decline in violent crime in general and gun homicides in particular, including more police officers on the beat making greater use of computers, a decline in alcohol consumption, less lead exposure, and an improving economy.
Hispanic Voters Only One Problem for GOP
Republicans’ decline with Hispanic voters over the past two presidential races is undeniable and improvement with the growing demographic is an imperative to improve the party’s White House prospects. But a new interactive tool helps demonstrate that the GOP’s Electoral College challenge goes well beyond the party’s problem with Latino voters.
David Wasserman wasn’t joking when he tweeted that the Swing-O-Matic would be “hours of fun for political numbers nerds.” The Cook Political Report’s House Editor teamed up with FiveThirtyEight to create a fun, interactive tool to try to project the 2016 presidential race.
Wasserman and FiveThirtyEight’s Aaron Bycoffee started with the results of the 2012 election and adjusted the size of five demographic groups based on four years of population change.
As the user adjusts the vote percentage and turnout figures, the model recalculates the results for each state — as well as the Electoral College outcome and the national popular vote — taking into account how much of the state’s electorate the group accounts for.
I took the Swing-O-Matic out for a spin the first time by looking at how much better Republicans would need to do with Hispanic voters to make an impact on the Electoral College.
Poll: Not too late for GOP to compete for Hispanic
A new bipartisan survey shows that, despite Republicans’ Donald Trump-driven focus on illegal immigration, up to 63 percent of Hispanics could be persuaded to support a GOP candidate – a finding that could give encouragement to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, and a be a warning sign to Hillary Clinton.
“Republicans have the ability to fight. That’s the loudest message from this study, that both parties have the possibility to get these voters,” said Democratic pollster David Binder, the founder of David Binder Research who also works with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the White House. “It is at their peril that [Democrats] assume Hispanics will vote for the Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.”
Binder’s firm joined with Moore Information — run by Bob Moore, who also works with the Jeb Bush campaign — to survey Latino voters across the country, as well as to run bilingual focus groups in Los Angeles and Miami, for Univision. The full results will be released later on Wednesday.
The survey highlighted Democrats’ built-in advantages among the fast-growing population: while roughly a third of the respondents identified as strong Democrats, just 8 percent said they were strong Republicans.
But 55 percent fell somewhere in the middle, and more than six in 10 of that group’s Republican-leaners said they had previously voted for a Democrat for the House or a higher office. Meanwhile 41 percent of the persuadable Democrat-leaners said they had voted for a Republican, indicating a willingness to break from party lines.
Sad…Nearly Half of Youth Say ‘American Dream’ Is Dead: Harvard Poll
American’s youth are down on the future, with nearly half of those ages 18 through 29 believing the “American Dream” is more dead than alive, a nationwide survey released Thursday by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics shows.
Reflecting the sour mood of the overall electorate, 48 percent of those asked “For you personally, is the idea of the American Dream alive or dead?” responded “dead.” Those who picked “alive” accounted for 49 percent.
While the race or ethnicity of the poll’s respondents didn’t significantly impact the results, the level of education of those questioned did play a role in determining the answer. Fifty-eight percent of college graduates said the dream was alive for them personally, compared to 42 percent of those not in college or who had never enrolled in college.
“It is disturbing that about half of the largest generation in America doesn’t believe the American dream is there for them personally,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director. “That frustration, I think, is tied into a government they don’t trust and they don’t think is working for them.”
The survey also found that America’s young Democrats, who helped propel President Barack Obama in his 2008 primary victory over Hillary Clinton, are more supportive of Senator Bernie Sanders than the former secretary of state, senator, and first lady.
I’ve Changed. This Is War. Seal the Borders. Stop the Visas
I know this is not my usual position. But this is a war. Therefore, I have come to believe there should be no immigration or visa waivers until the U.S. adopts a completely new system to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. This calls for a wartime lockdown and a big change in my thinking.
ISIS and related Islamic terrorists are already here. More are coming. We must stop them.
Until FBI Director James Comey gives us the green light, I say seal the borders.
Here’s what we must do: Completely reform the vetting process for immigrants and foreign visitors. Change the screening process. Come up with a new visa-application review process. Stop this nonsense of marriage-visa fraud. And in the meantime, seal the borders. I agree with Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, who argued many of these points in excellent detail on the National Review website on Friday.
Again, why am I taking this hardline position? In the past I have been an immigration reformer, not a restrictionist. But we are at war. That changes everything.
Let me emphasize that my support for wartime immigration restrictions is not based on religion. I think Donald Trump made a big mistake here. Instead, I agree with this Rupert Murdoch tweet: “Complete refugee pause to fix vetting makes sense.”
ISIS plot for world domination revealed in chilling detail with plans for education and industry
A document outlining how ISIS organises the vast territory it controls has been unearthed – and the terror group is far more sophisticated than we feared.
The leaked dossier outlines how the terror group is trying to build a state complete with guidelines for education, natural resources, industry, diplomacy, propaganda and the military.
The 24-page document ‘Principles in the administration of the Islamic State’ gives an incredible insight into the well-funded regime.
Written by an Egyptian called Abu Abdullah, outlines how kids must receive “training on bearing light arms”.
He also calls for a single identity for the terror group to unite both foreigners and locals and makes the case for establishing independent “factories for local military and food production”.
Patrick Buchanan raises some good points: An Establishment Unhinged
Calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm of historic proportions.
As all the old hate words — xenophobe, racist, bigot — have lost their electric charge from overuse, and Trump was being called a fascist demagogue and compared to Hitler and Mussolini.
The establishment seemed to have become unhinged.
Why the hysteria? Comes the reply: Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration tramples all over “American values” and everything we stand for, including the Constitution.
But is this really true?
True? This is the “real” question – the “real” debate – The Muslim Reform Movement Plays Fantasy Islam
In December 2015, a small group of “Muslim reformers” met in Washington DC to discuss the reform of Islam. They stated they were “Muslims who live in the 21st century” who were “in a battle for the soul of Islam.” They proclaimed that they stood for “a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam.” They called their meeting the Summit of Western Muslim Voices of Reform and named themselves the Muslim Reform Movement. On December 4, 2015, fourteen “founding authors” from this movement signed the Declaration for Muslim Reform, laying out their beliefs.
At the conclusion of the event, two participants posted a signed copy of this Declaration on the door of the Islamic Center of Washington DC (a la Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in 1517). The document was quickly removed, and so far there has been little, if any, support for this reform movement from the greater Muslim-American community.
Here is the reason for that lack of support: the Preamble and Declaration are only two pages in length. But in those two pages these “founding authors” fundamentally rejected the commands of Allah in the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad in an effort to create their own Fantasy Islam that is more compatible with Western, Judeo-Christian values. Let’s examine some parts of that Declaration for Muslim Reform.
PEW Repackages Data – Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world
Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.
Here are answers to some key questions about Muslims, compiled from several Pew Research Center reports published in recent years:
NEW Mobile App for Parties & Candidates
We launched it…finally a new mobile app to help parties and candidates keep in touch with their members.
Our apps are native meaning they use the full power of smart mobile devices to provide rich features such as video, navigation, customized alerts linked to specific content, events calendaring, conventions, ballot registration and voting, breaking news, donations, blogs, instant polls and surveys and more.
And they are fully customizable. So check out one or all of the first four live apps up this week. Just go to your app store on either an Apple, Android or Windows phone and search for:
Michigan Republican Party
WSRP (Washington State Republican Party)
Republican Party of Louisiana
Republican Liberty Caucus
Tea Party Nation
NYS Conservative Party
USVI GOP (Virgin Islands Republican Party)
Lisa Posthumus Lyons (State Representative-MI)
Triston Cole (State Representative-MI)
Gowan for Arizona (Gowan for Congress)
Follow the progress of Right Mobile and the various new parties and candidates that launch their own apps on Facebook at; https://www.facebook.com/rightmobileUS/
If any party or candidate is interested in getting an app of their own, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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