Weekly Musing 2-7-16
Days until the 2016 election: 275.
The FUNNIEST Political Commercial so far this Year!
…so if you ever decide to endorse someone, you better know why?!?
On Point: Cruz vs. Rubio
If voters feel like the 2016 election is the last election to save the American experiment, Ted Cruz really is their only option. If voters feel like things are coming to an end in this country without drastic action, they really do not have a choice between Rubio and Cruz. They have only Cruz. Cruz is the disruptive candidate. A voter who feels like the end is near without drastic action has to take the gamble on Cruz, who still has a good chance to win.
Rubio, on the other hand, is the candidate for voters who think the best days are still ahead of us regardless of what happens in 2016. Democrats may fear Rubio as a candidate, but the base of the Democratic Party does not fear him like Ted Cruz. They think they could wait out Marco Rubio, even after eight years in power, and see few of their advances surrendered.
Washington’s lobbyists think that Marco Rubio will not be a disruptive force to them. They know Washington will still be mostly the center of people’s lives to a greater degree with Marco Rubio than with Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz will burn Washington to the ground and throw lobbyists on the street. Marco Rubio will strategically raze parts of Washington, putting fewer lobbyists in danger than Cruz. At least that is the thinking, and it is the thinking that is reflected in the attacks on both men.
For critics of Cruz, he cannot win. The reality is that Cruz can win, but if he wins those lobbyists and politicians attacking him will be out of a job. The Washington elite have every incentive to stop Cruz because he absolutely would be transformational, though his path to victory may be harder than Rubio’s.
For critics of Rubio, he will not go far enough. The reality is that Rubio may have an easier time winning, but his critics do not believe he will go far enough and do as much to fix the problems in Washington.
Cruz and Rubio would both be conservative to varying degrees. What is at stake between the two is how easy their election would be and how transformational their presidency would be. Rubio backers are looking at the path to the White House. Cruz backers are willing to take a gamble on the slog of a general election campaign so they can see Washington rent asunder.
How Ted Cruz Engineered His Iowa Triumph
A good read: A meticulous, technologically advanced, highly individualized groundgame—and legalized fireworks—trumped a certain outsider candidate.
What pundits are trying to sell you (and won’t tell you) about the Iowa caucuses
And everyone seems to be bizarrely discounting Cruz, who’s fresh off an upset win in Iowa. He already was tied for second place with Kasich in New Hampshire polling averages (Rubio was fourth). While the Granite State often favors establishment candidates, Trump certainly doesn’t fit that bill. Teeming with momentum from Iowa, Cruz could become an acceptable vessel for GOP voters’ anger and frustration, and cannibalize Trump’s support.
In Iowa, the Texas senator proved his organization and analytics team are first-rate. He’s playing the long game, and is well-positioned for the “SEC primary” on Super Tuesday, where a bundle of delegates are up for grabs. He’s also been hustling in far-flung places from Guam to Michigan, which most campaigns have, thus far, neglected.
Ready for Rand?
Rand Paul’s admirers, and more than a few of his enemies, believe the country is having a “libertarian moment”—from Tea Partiers in Topeka to Silicon Valley techno-separatists who dream of going Galt. We’ve had these moments before, but each time they come and go without the elevation of a libertarian to high office or the advancement of libertarian ideas. There’s a reason for that, and Sen. Rand Paul is just learning why now.
The problem for libertarian politicians is that Americans hate libertarianism. They like Social Security and minimum-wage hikes, they are still somewhat wary of free trade and they resent that the world is full of conniving and frequently swarthy foreigners who are scheming to provide us with goods and services in exchange for little green pieces of paper. Four times as many Americans support pulling out of NAFTA or renegotiating it as support staying in. Paul, on the other hand, wants to make the whole world a free-trade zone: He scores 100 percent on the libertarian Cato Institute’s free-trade index. Libertarian ideas might appeal to voters on principle—in a poll last fall, 22 percent of Americans said they identify as or “lean” libertarian. But in the voting booth Americans don’t have principles; they have interests.
The rise of the Islamic State doomed Rand Paul’s presidential chances
For much of 2014, I told anyone who would listen — so not that many people — that Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) was a strong dark horse to be the Republican presidential nominee and may even wind up in the top tier when the 2016 race actually started in earnest after the midterm elections.
Then the Islamic State emerged on the world stage. And Paul went from real contender to fringe player.
Paul formally ended his campaign for president Wednesday, saying in a statement that despite the fact that “thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy,” the time had come to step aside.
Is America Ruled By Law or Ruled by Power?
Hillary Clinton is a felon many times over. Assuming the facts are as being reported – or that they are even a tenth of the severity of what has been reported – Hillary Clinton is guilty of multiple serious felonies stemming from her conscious choice to unlawfully hide her correspondence as Secretary of State on a “private” server that was kept in some dude’s bathroom somewhere. I use the term “private” only in the sense that it was non-governmental; every foreign intelligence agency, friend or foe, was reading it. Only we American citizens can’t see what was on it, and that’s because much of it was highly classified material. So she is a felon many times over.
Understand that this is not open to debate. There is no “her side of the story.” There is no excuse nor harmless explanation. To those of us who have worked with classified material in the military or other governmental agencies, the daily revelations of new OPSEC atrocities literally make us nauseous. And I understand what “literally” means. We pros read that someone consciously took classified material off a secure system, walked it out of a secure facility, and somehow (by scanning it then cutting and pasting from the PDF, or even by typing it in manually) put it in an unclassified system and emailed it off in the clear to Hillary and her toilet server, where it was stored in a machine that was hooked up to the world wide web. And we feel our stomachs turn even as we run out of fingers and toes counting the horde of individual security violations that process entails.
The 2016 Presidential Primary Calendar
For all you political junkies…here is a spot to sync you smart phone to all the presidential primary states in the country!
Demystifying The Primary Process
Ahead of the official kick-off to primary season, we plotted out a chart to demystify the delegate selection process. We also sat down with Ben Ginsberg, of Jones Day, to go behind the numbers and look the details of how and when the votes happen. March 19th marks this year’s tipping point for the Republican nomination, or when the 68% of delegates typically needed to determine a nominee are selected.
This year’s campaign has already upended conventional wisdom in politics. Now we get to see what happens when the voting actually starts.
Carson Controversy…so unfair and dishonestly pushed
Just your “average” Democrat…Clintons made $153 million off speeches
Bill and Hillary Clinton made a combined $153 million off of paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary launched her presidential bid in 2015, according to a CNN report.
During that time, the couple gave 729 speeches for an average payout of $210,795 each. Of those speeches, at least 39 were given to big banks, who paid the couple $7.7 million.
Hillary Clinton alone made at least $1.8 million for her eight speeches to Wall Street banks.
She has been repeatedly challenged by Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders for her ties to big banks and other special interests.
“What being part of the establishment is, last quarter, having a super-PAC that raised $15 million from Wall Street, that throughout one’s life raised a whole lot of money from the drug companies and other special interests,” Sanders said during Thursday’s presidential debate.
If Russia Started a War in the Baltics, NATO Would Lose — Quickly
If Russian tanks and troops rolled into the Baltics tomorrow, outgunned and outnumbered NATO forces would be overrun in under three days. That’s the sobering conclusion of war games carried out by a think tank with American military officers and civilian officials.
“The games’ findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,” said a report by the Rand Corp., which led the war gaming research.
In numerous tabletop war games played over several months between 2014-2015, Russian forces were knocking on the doors of the Estonian capital of Tallinn or the Latvian capital of Riga within 36 to 60 hours. U.S. and Baltic troops — and American airpower — proved unable to halt the advance of mechanized Russian units and suffered heavy casualties, the report said.
The study argues that NATO has been caught napping by a resurgent and unpredictable Russia, which has begun to boost defense spending after having seized the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and intervened in support of pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. In the event of a potential Russian incursion in the Baltics, the United States and its allies lack sufficient troop numbers, or tanks and armored vehicles, to slow the advance of Russian armor, said the report by Rand’s David Shlapak and Michael Johnson.
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 of the apps that is currently live. Just go to your app store on either an Apple, Android or Windows phone and search for:
New York GOP (New York State Republican Party)
TN GOP (Tennessee Republican Party)
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: email@example.com
Stay In Touch…Feel Free to Share
My goal is for this to be a weekly political update…sharing political news and analysis that should be of interest to most activists.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.
On Facebook at:
On Twitter at:
My blog “That’s Saul Folks” with Weekly Musings & more:
Thanks again for all you do!