“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Morning Media Headlines on Trump are Almost Universally Negative - The Polls Say Otherwise - What is Going On?

Only Republican Voters Can Stop Donald Trump Now


At about eleven-thirty on Thursday night, Donald Trump stepped off a stage at the North Charleston Coliseum, in South Carolina, and posed for some pictures with his wife, Melania, his daughter Ivanka, and his sons Eric and Donald, Jr. As Trump is fond of pointing out, they make a striking family. Chances are we will be seeing more of them.
The message that came out of this, the sixth televised G.O.P. debate, was that the Republican nomination is increasingly looking like Trump’s to lose. With the possible exception of Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, who took their shots at the billionaire from New York, the other candidates seemed to have given up any hope of standing up to him. And neither Cruz nor Bush managed to knock Trump down. Now, it appears, only the Republican voters can do that. According to the latest polls, they don’t seem to be in any rush.
After the debate finished, Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former spokesman, estimated on Twitter that Trump now had a sixty per cent chance of getting the nomination. That’s just one person’s opinion, of course, but it reflects a widespread fatalism in the Republican establishment. Trump, once regarded as a political neophyte who would inevitably self-destruct, is now increasingly seen as an unstoppable force.
Cruz, who is running neck-and-neck with Trump in the Iowa polls, had a good start to the night, parrying a question about a report, in the Times, that revealed that he and his wife had taken out, and failed to disclose, a loan from Goldman Sachs to help fund his 2012 Senate campaign, during which he had portrayed himself as an enemy of Wall Street and Wall Street bailouts. In his response, Cruz described the failure to disclose the loan to the Federal Election Commission as a “paperwork error,” continuing, “If that’s the best the New York Times has got, they better go back to the well.”
Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, one of the hosts, then asked Cruz about whether, having been born in Canada, he is eligible to be President. This is the so-called “birther question,” which Trump has recently raised. “You know, back in September, my friend Donald said that he had had his lawyers look at this from every which way, and there was no issue there. There was nothing to this birther issue,” Cruz replied. “Now, since September, the Constitution hasn’t changed. But the poll numbers have.”

There followed a lengthy interchange, in which Cruz displayed the verbal skills that made him a champion debater in college, and Trump was reduced to claiming he had only brought it up to spare the Republican Party the trouble of a possible court battle if the Democrats were to sue to prevent Cruz from taking office. Asked to respond to this argument, Cruz said, dismissively, “I’ve spent my entire life defending the Constitution before the U.S. Supreme Court. And I’ll tell you, I’m not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump.”

Cruz clearly bested Trump in this exchange. Unfortunately for him, he appeared to let it go to his head. Trump, as the boxing promoter Don King sagely noted some time ago, is a counter-puncher: if you slug him, he comes right back at you. Cruz appeared to forget this—or to ignore it. When Maria Bartiromo, the other moderator, asked Cruz about a comment he made earlier this week in which he said that Trump “embodies New York values,” he should have proceeded with caution. For days, New Yorkers of all political persuasions have been railing at Cruz’s impertinence, and it was pretty obvious that Trump would have prepared something to say about it.

Rather than disowning his words, or correcting them to make it clear that he wasn’t trying to insult millions of people, Cruz doubled down, saying “everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay-marriage, focus around money and the media.” And, he said, “Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.”

At that, Trump, a man who hasn’t previously been associated with the National Review or a love of the Tridentine Mass, threw out the name of the late William F. Buckley, Jr. And he went on to deliver a little speech that is perhaps the only thing he has said in the entire campaign that is worth quoting at length. This is what he said:

"New York is a great place. It’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. You had two one hundred—you had two one-hundred-and-ten-story buildings come crashing down. I saw them come down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day. And it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction. I was down there, and I’ve never seen anything like it. And the people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death, and even the smell of death—nobody understood it. And it was with us for months, the smell, the air. And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched, and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers. And I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made. As he said these words, Trump was several times interrupted by applause. One of those clapping for him, the cameras showed, was Cruz. Evidently realizing that he had exposed himself to being cast on the wrong side of 9/11, and that Trump had exploited the opportunity with great skill and apparent sincerity, the Texas Senator tried to make the best of it. But the damage had been done.

This was Trump’s best moment in any of the debates. From then on, Cruz and Trump mostly left each other alone and concentrated on the other candidates. In another notable exchange later in the debate, on immigration and taxes, Cruz got into it with Marco Rubio, who gave his usual polished performance but didn’t do anything to change the impression that he is, perhaps, a bit too slick and rehearsed. At one stage, Rubio alluded to ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks and concerns about Syrian refugees in order to justify his changing positions on immigration. “First and foremost, this issue has to be now, more than anything else, about keeping this country safe,” he said. “The entire system of immigration must now be reĂ«xamined.”

Rubio also had a series of spirited exchanges with Chris Christie, who may be his main rival for the role of representing the wing of the G.O.P. that won’t vote for Trump or Cruz. From where I was sitting, Christie appeared to get the better of these exchanges, barely, but that was partly because he slipped in a couple of dubious claims, saying that he never wrote a check to Planned Parenthood or supported the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Jeb Bush, for his part, made one of his trademark verbal slipups early on, saying that “terrorism is on the run” when he evidently meant to say that it is on the rise. After that, though, he made some sensible points—too sensible for this arena. Noting that the United States needs the support of Arab nations in the fight against ISIS, he called on Trump to rethink his proposal for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the country. “We’re running for the Presidency of the United States here,” Bush said. “You cannot make rash statements and expect the rest of the world to respond as though, well, it’s just politics.”

Trump, of course, refused to yield an inch. Not giving a fig what the rest of the world thinks is a central plank of his campaign. So is playing to the prejudices and fears of his supporters, and hinting that dark things are asunder, which justify drastic and possibly authoritarian measures. He called the police “the most mistreated people in this country” and, as he had done before, raised the question of why no one had reported the terrorists who killed fourteen people in San Bernardino, California, in December, to the authorities prior to the attack. “There is something going on and it’s bad,” he said. “We have to get to the bottom of it. We need security.”

Trump’s pitch is that he can provide this security. To this end, he said that he was willing to give up his businesses and let his children run them. “I know I built a very great company,” he said, in response to a question about whether, should he be elected to the White House, he would be willing to put his assets in a blind trust. “But if I become President, I couldn’t care less about my company. It’s peanuts. I want to use that same up here,” he said, referring to his head. “Whatever it may be to make America rich again and to make America great again. I have Ivanka and Eric and Don sitting there. Run the company kids, have a good time. I’m going to do it for America.”


  1. No Republican can win the White House in 2016, unless they can cut into the Black Vote.

    They just can't.

    If they don't pull away some Black Vote, they will need to win 62% of the White Vote, and that is very unlikely to happen.

    1. Mitt Romney won the highest percentage of the white vote, in history (59%,) and got waxed by 5,000,000 votes.

      And, this year the white vote is two percentage points less than it was in 2012.

    2. No black at the head of your ticket this year.

      The blacks will sit the election out.

      Blacks have proven themselves to be the most racist voters in the entire country.

      Skin color is all, for them.

    3. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

      The black vote was 10% in 2000.

      11% in 2004

      2008 pulled it forward a bit to 13%

      And, it stayed at 13% in 2012.

      It will most likely stay at 13% this year (although, it could even ease up to 14%, or down to 12.)

    4. Al Gore got 90% of the black vote, and kerry got 88%.

  2. Iran releases the 4 American Prisoners.

    Kudos for Obama/Kerry.

    1. Honestly, Rufus, surely even you can see what's going on here ?

      They want no holdup on their Big Bomb Bucks.

      No Kudos for you, for being such a nitwit.

  3. Fuckin' USA Jewish controlled media !

    Fuckers want some muzzie lovin' Huma CAIR controlled witch like Hillary the Criminal to be President.

    Can you believe it ?

    1. The Zionist controlled CBS, through its subsidy, Simon & Schuster paid Hillary a $14 million dollar advance for her book.
      Hillary is not controlled by CAIR, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, he is a contractor for David Ben-Gurion's nephew.

      The publisher did not sell enough copies of her book "Hard Choices" to break even.

    2. she is a contractor for David Ben-Gurion's nephew

  4. If the Press is against The Donald, I'm for him.

    Ben's boat has sunk. No reason to go down with the ship.

    Can't stand listening to Cruz, hate the sound of his whiney voice......Rubio is too slick by half.....make a great advertising executive working for Q though......

    Go, Donald !

    1. It is easy to see why Trump would be a good fit for you.

    2. Yup, he's a fit.

      Like his girl, too.

      He knows how to make money grow.

      Very compassionate, too.

      Think of the thousands of people he has hired.

      Have you ever hired anyone ?

      I mean, other than to do your hair and nails ?

      The Press, which is about 80% liberal in this country, sees The Donald as a threat. Hence the attacks.

      Actually, The Donald is a pretty liberal guy himself.

      You ought to get to know him, Ash.

      But, you are 'taken' by the criminal Clinton Gang.

      Or Crazy Ass Bernie, honeymooner of the Soviet Union.

      Thinking it over, Canada is the place for you.

      Glad you are there.

    3. And, The Donald doesn't desire to take Deuce's Limo away from him, which Deuce earned by his own gumption and thought.

      Which is exactly what Bernie the Red wishes to do.....take Deuce's Limo away from him.

      If I had a Limo I'd never vote for someone who wished to take my Limo away, but that's just me.

      Needless to say, Bernie the Red has never actually created any value in his entire stupid whiney life.

    4. So says the Laggard, who's chief apologist, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, never has spoken of a dime he earned that he didn't steal from the bank

  5. SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 16, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, one strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.

    -- Near Al Hasakah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL bed down location, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Mar’a, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Rocket artillery and attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Al Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL headquarters.

    -- Near Albu Hayat, one strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.

    -- Near Kisik, one strike denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL-used culverts, 12 ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL command and control nodes, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL weapons cache, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, four ISIL staging areas, cratered two ISIL-used roads, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed three ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.

  6. They got another bed down location !

    Good Shooting !!

    an ISIL bed down location

    We're gonna deny these bastards even nap time.

    1. (when Allah created jihadis he forgot to make them immune from the need for sleep - a fatal mistake)

  7. The "Obama Economy" kicks in big time -


    Happy New Year !!

    World's Richest Down $305 Billion...

  8. Perusing Drudge, I find this scary article -

    Animal brought back to life after spending 30 years frozen... Drudge

    Think of Ash, frozen in a Canadian snowstorm, then bingo, 30 years later.........heeeeee's back !

    Wouldn't be as bad as Jack is Back, but still......the human race needs a true break once in a while...

    1. The "Obama" stock market is still out performing "GW Bush's" stock market ...
      The numbers speak for themselves.

  9. Lucy just snatched the football away, again. Republicans assured us that this year they really would, seriously, roll out their alternative to Obamacare. Or, maybe, not.

    But I have the sense that some political analysts still don’t understand why the GOP keeps sheering away from proposing an alternative. It’s not because Republican leaders are cowards. It’s not because there are sharp divisions within the party about the shape of their plan. The reason Republicans haven’t offered an alternative is because there is no alternative.

    Specifically, if you want to propose some other, less-intrusive system that won’t cause 10 or 15 or 20 million people to lose health insurance, it can’t be done. The Affordable Care Act looks the way it does because it has to.

    My sense is that even reformocons, who imagine themselves more open-minded than the party’s base, still don’t get that. But the logic has been clear from the beginning.

    Start with a goal almost everyone at least pretends to support: making coverage available to people with preexisting conditions. How can you do that? Well, unless you simply want to provide government insurance, you have to prohibit discrimination based on medical history by private insurers: guaranteed issue and community rating.

    1. But just doing that isn’t enough, because community rating on its own means that people don’t sign up until they get sick, and you have a very poor risk pool. So you have to include an individual mandate, requiring that everyone get coverage. Note, by the way, that the individual mandate is essential in a way the employer mandate isn’t.

      Yet you can’t have an individual mandate without some way of making insurance affordable for lower-income families. So the mandate has to be backed by means-tested subsidies.

      And there you are: community rating, individual mandate, subsidies — ObamaRomneycare! Everything else is details.

      True, single-payer would be an alternative, and I’d be for it if I thought it had any chance of happening. But that’s an alternative to the left; there is no alternative to the right.

      That’s why Obamacare opponents really had to stop it before it happened. As long as it was just a plan, they could insist that it was unworkable — that it would not, in fact, cover the uninsured, that costs would soar, that it would cripple the economy. And the official GOP position is indeed that the law has failed; who you gonna believe, us or your lying eyes? But none of the bad things that were supposed to happen, did. And the repeal-and-replace crowd cannot come up with an alternative, because there isn’t one.


    2. ObamaCare IS the Heritage Foundation plan, the one championed by the GOP candidate for President in 2012, that is he was for it before he was against it.

      The GOP is as "Lost in the Woods" as Fort Leonard Wood.

  10. My friend Dale knew all anyone needs to know about 'ObamaCare' and the VA System.

    They done waited Dale plumb to death.

    Dale was judged not worth the effort.

    And, that was the end of Dale.

    1. He should have bought private medical insurance.
      Blue Cross would have been good.

      But Dale was a welfare recipient, he got what he paid for.
      The VA, well ... it's good for annual check ups.


  11. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said today that his opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz "finally went off the wagon a little bit and went a little crazy" for attacking Trump this week -- calling him "a great hypocrite" for taking and failing to disclose loans that have come to light in recent days.

    The New York Times reported this week that Cruz had not disclosed two loans from big banks, Goldman Sachs and Citibank, in a Federal Election Commission Senate filing.

    "He obviously didn't want the voters to know that he is totally controlled lock, stock and barrel by Citibank and by Goldman Sachs, and I think that's very hypocritical, to be honest with you —- I think it's very hypocritical," Trump said ...

    Cruz displayed his "Canadian Values" when he borrowed that money from his wife's employer.