Thursday, February 4, 2016

Trump's New Hampshire Card

He better play it because I think he is on to something (the blog roll to my right has captured a lot the fraud and questionable vote tallies, and Rubio sticks out like a sore thumb to me; I predict he wins New Hampshire), and seriously?  

No coincidence with that warning, I guess. Trump better take care as we Cruz along with the coverage after Iowa (and the lesson in humility) and into New Hampshire (no more ‘‘pussy-footing around’’):

"The onetime Republican vice presidential candidate bolted back into the spotlight with her endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Tuesday, but a side story that didn’t go unnoticed was her son’s arrest at her home the day before she threw her support behind the billionaire real estate developer."

With an all-too-familiar salute, I see.

Cruz pushes into New Hampshire
Despite hosting Trump, Scott Brown still neutral on N.H. primary
Scott Brown endorses Donald Trump
Carly Fiorina stopped by student question

Trump compared her to Lucille Ball.

Will Carly Fiorina be next to leave presidential race?

She says no, as the frenzy builds and the money pours in from who knows where.

As much as I'm opposed, here is the hot gas coming from New Hampshire:

Donald Trump blasts Union Leader newspaper in N.H. stop
Savaging a newspaper? In N.H., it’s a primary tradition
‘This is a movement,’ Donald Trump says at Nashua rally
Trump’s rise built on media, crowds
Donald Trump’s hidden supporters
Trump and fans, up-close and live

The place was too packed to get in.

N.H. voters may again go for the outsiders; A large number of independents have contributed to the victories of insurgents in New Hampshire

Yeah, he is not going to win New Hampshire and defy assumptions, despite the polls:

Trump holds 21-point lead over Cruz in national poll The billionaire developer has extended his lead from a month ago and essentially now has more support than his three top challengers combined.

"In New Hampshire, Trump holds a dominant position, having led polls of the GOP primary in the state since July. A Monmouth University poll of Granite State Republicans released Monday gave Trump a nearly 20-point lead over the rest of the field."

"Trump is showing no signs of slowing down there, or elsewhere, after leading most national preference polls since the summer. The brash real-estate billionaire and former reality television star routinely draws thousands of people to his rallies, packing high school auditoriums, arenas, convention centers — even an airplane hangar — across the country."

"On Monday, a Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll pegged Trump at 33 percent among GOP New Hampshire primary voters. The next closest candidates were Cruz, at 14 percent, and Ohio Governor John Kasich at 12 percent."

Kasich could win?

Let's hit that campaign trail:

"Republican presidential hopefuls gird for a month of mud-slinging" by Jonathan Martin New York Times  January 05, 2016

NEW YORK — The already contentious Republican presidential campaign is on the verge of entering a new phase.

The skirmishes that flared last week offered a preview of the more focused and intensive assaults that will come with the new year as a volatile race featuring 12 candidates and divergent fronts in Iowa and New Hampshire turns even more combative and complex.

Supporters of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee are poised to unleash a wave of ferocious attacks this month, according to Republicans familiar with their planning, plunging the muddled contest into a multidimensional war in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.

I'm told there will be “sharper elbows, [and] everybody will have their pads on and helmets buckled.” 

Better check the goal polls.

By month’s end, the candidates and their allied groups could spend as much as $100 million combined, much of it on negative advertising delivered via television, radio, mailers, and digital spots.

And after the effectiveness of positive TV commercials came into question last year, when tens of millions of dollars failed to lift Bush, January will offer insights into whether attack ads still have the power they did in past elections.

Bush’s supporters last week went on the air in Iowa with an ad savaging Rubio over his Senate attendance record and with a New Hampshire commercial contrasting Bush’s achievements as Florida’s governor with Governor Chris Christie’s tenure in New Jersey and Governor John R. Kasich’s record in Ohio. The coming offensive will be just as varied, reflecting the layers of the Republican race.

Based on the results in Iowa and the polls leading into New Hampshire, Bush failed miserably.

Cruz is trying to head off Rubio, perhaps the only candidate who can build a coalition of conservative and center-right Republicans. Rubio is determined to slow Cruz in Iowa, where Cruz is at or near the top of every poll and could be formidable with a decisive win. But Rubio also must confront Christie, who is ascendant in New Hampshire, which votes about a week after Iowa.

Related: New Hampshire a Savior For Christie? 

If it comes up triple sixes I suppose.

Christie and Bush are both focused primarily on denying Rubio the sort of strong showing in the two early states that could vault him toward a coveted position in what could be a three-way race: the mainstream Republican best positioned to stop Cruz or Donald Trump from winning the nomination.

They called it weeks ago.

Trump will give some of the most divisive proposals of his campaign a starring role in his first major television ad, the Associated Press reported.

Trump will spotlight his plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States — temporarily and with exceptions, he says — and to build a wall along the southern border. His campaign plans to spend $2 million a week on the ad, which is set to begin airing Tuesday in New Hampshire and Iowa.

With so much uncertainty looming over the race — one poll last month indicated that fewer than 20 percent of New Hampshire Republican primary voters had definitively decided — the volleys and counterpunches could propel a candidates who stays out of the fray.

Such an outcome is always a possibility in a multicandidate field. But the conditions are especially ripe in a race where some of the party’s traditional dividing lines have been blurred, where there have been few negative ads until now, and where the ability of the ostensible front-runner, Trump, to drive voters to the polls is in question.

Questioned by who? 

The narrative of rigged vote?

“The law of unintended consequences is pretty much guaranteed in this type of situation,” said Phil Musser, a Republican strategist unaffiliated with any of the campaigns. He suggested that his party’s nominating contest was turning into a “multi-dimensional chess game.”

That is why so few of the leading candidates have engaged in any sustained assault or run ad campaigns against Trump. It is a remarkable phenomenon: The party’s national front-runner remains largely unmolested as the first votes near, reflecting how his rivals believe that spending money against Trump and inviting his wrath could only help another hopeful.

Some of Trump’s rivals are privately skeptical that his support in the polls will translate into votes in February. And others believe that targeting him would only benefit Cruz, who, polls indicate, is the leading second choice of Trump’s backers.

Then the nomination is his.

So the other candidates are more focused on one another than on the dominant figure in the race.

“That’s part of the reason why you saw Bush and Christie go after Rubio,” said Carl Forti, a Republican strategist not tied to any of the campaigns. “They don’t gain much from hitting Trump at this point.’’

Maybe they do now.



"Given Trump’s inexplicable ability to deflect political scandals, candidates hesitate to target him, said Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. “There’s a creeping feeling that somehow Trump is operating under a different set of rules than anyone else is, so the typical rules of negative advertising and its effects don’t apply to him,” Scala said. “Everyone would agree that Trump’s not a good thing for the party,” he said. “But people are reluctant to be the ones to do the dirty work of trying to take down Trump.”

Let the mudslinging begin!

"Obama says Trump is exploiting anxiety of working-class men" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis New York Times   December 22, 2015

NEW YORK — President Obama said in a radio interview Monday that Donald Trump, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is exploiting the resentment and anxieties of working-class men to boost his campaign.

Oh, you mean like he does?

Obama also argued that some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first African-American to hold the White House.

F*** OFF! 

It's your mass-murdering policies, sir! That's it! 

Hell, I've even defended you here from time to time!

Demographic changes and economic stresses, including “flatlining” wages and incomes, have meant that “particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck,” Obama said in the interview with National Public Radio.

As if it were all beer and skittles this whole time. Just ignore all the global trade deals that led to such things, the exact kind he is pushing for, that hollowed out that "bargain." 

It's that kind of condescension that has led to the dislike for him.


Trump appeals to white voters with limited education

Donald Trump pounces on the ills of white America

What's next, calling him names and comparing him to David Duke?

"A near perfect storm for [Trump’s] rabble-rousing is upon the United States. China is rising. American power is ebbing. The tectonic plates of global security are shifting. Afghanistan and Iraq have been the graveyards of glory. There is fear, after the killing in California inspired by the Islamic State, of an enemy within. . . . The Weimar Republic ended with a clown’s ascent to power, a high-energy buffoon who shouted loudest, a bully from the beer halls, a racist and a bigot. He was an outsider given to theatrics and pageantry. He seduced the nation of Beethoven. He took the world down with him." 

Wow, now he's Hitler -- or worse:

"Leadership has its burdens. Among them is the necessity of correcting and redirecting the well-meaning folks on your own side who are attracted to dangerous conspiracy theories. There will always be someone out there cooking this stuff up and selling it to the unhinged and gullible. But that just makes it a workaday responsibility of political leaders to make sure this stuff doesn’t get mainstreamed. I’m not saying we’ve always been great at that, but at the level of presidential nominees, we’ve at least recently had the benefit of candidates who see it as their responsibility to try."

I suppose the only thing left would be to pick up and reciprocate the endorsement of an odious dictator, right?

You know he is getting to them when the insults start flying and he's being called a liar by the hypocrites in the pre$$ (and I'm sorry I missed the appearance on MTV).

And what's this? 

The Democrats need the redneck vote?

"Linking old scandals with new, Trump sought to connect Bill Clinton to Bill Cosby: In a video that he posted on his Instagram account Thursday, he drew a parallel between Bill Clinton’s behavior and allegations against Cosby, once “America’s father” on television but now sullied by a womanizing past that has taken on an even darker shade with a recent rape charge."

Not only is that disgusting, but her choice of terminology regarding Cosby and his troubles is strange to say the least!

“You combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear — some of it justified, but just misdirected,” the president added. “I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”

 I love how he leaves the agenda-screaming ma$$ media mouthpiece blameless in all this.

The comments were Obama’s most pointed response to Trump since the Republican candidate suggested that Muslims be barred from entering the United States after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The attack was carried out by a couple who apparently were radicalized Muslims, one of whom had entered the United States on a fiancĂ©e visa.

That's the crap cover story to a crisis drill "gone live."

In the wide-ranging interview, conducted the day before he left Washington on Friday for a two-week holiday vacation with his family in Hawaii, Obama defended his approach to taking on the Islamic State.

He dismissed the notion that the militant group is an existential threat to the United States even as he conceded that he had received “legitimate criticism” for failing to adequately explain his strategy for confronting it.

He also described his view of the anxiety on which Trump has capitalized, arguing that some voters who voice fears about his presidency and doubts about where Obama’s loyalties lie are reacting to the fact that he is the first black president.

I can't believe he just played the race card.

“If you are referring to specific strains in the Republican Party that suggest that somehow I’m different, I’m Muslim, I’m disloyal to the country, etc. — which unfortunately is pretty far out there, and gets some traction in certain pockets of the Republican Party, and that have been articulated by some of their elected officials — what I’d say there is that that’s probably pretty specific to me, and who I am and my background,” Obama told Steve Inskeep, the host of “Morning Edition” on NPR.

“In some ways, I may represent change that worries them,” the president said. “That’s not to suggest that everybody who objects to my policies may not have perfectly good reasons for it.”

Yeah, thanks.

He noted, as an example, that voters living in coal-dependent areas may blame him for the loss of their jobs.

On the Islamic State, which is also called ISIS or ISIL, Obama pushed back against criticism of his approach and said he was “confident that we are going to prevail.”

Would have been nice had your CIA and its allies not created them.


RelatedCongressman Lynch wary of Trump candidacy

"Trump continues to have a dominant lead over the rest of the GOP field in polls on the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary. A Suffolk University poll released Thursday gave him a 15-point lead over US Senator Ted Cruz and three other candidates battling for second place. During his hour-long speech, Trump encouraged the crowd to vote on primary day, unless they had decided not to vote for him. He repeatedly said his advisers told him to scrap the Nashua appearance because of the long traveling between Iowa and New Hampshire. He said he was too loyal to New Hampshire to do that."

That has to win him some votes!

But he has no ground game, right? 

That's his achilles heal, or so goes the narrative.

"With huge goals, Trump builds his ground game in N.H." by James Pindell Globe Staff  January 29, 2016

NASHUA — Donald Trump has led every poll of the New Hampshire primary since July, with double-digit advantages over the other top candidates, Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, in the last month. A recent Fox News poll of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire showed Trump with 31 percent and Cruz and Kasich with 14 and 9 percent respectively.

Trump’s long-term lead has been unusual for New Hampshire, but so has his entire campaign. In a state that treasures direct access to presidential candidates, Trump frequently flies into New Hampshire on his private jet for a rally and leaves the same day.

Trump, in an interview last weekend, defended these tactics as effective.

“It is hard to envision how a man who stands outside one of my rallies in the cold for four hours just to attend a speech is not going to come out and vote for me on Election Day,” he said. “It is actually a lot simpler to get people to vote in New Hampshire than it is in Iowa, and I am confident people will show up for me.”

That is SUCH A GOOD POINT and it really calls into question the results in Iowa.

In recent weeks, however, Trump’s team has reverted to more time-worn, get-out-the-vote tactics.

He's leaving nothing to chance.

In reality, Trump’s turnout in New Hampshire could also depend on his performance in Iowa, said Dante Scala, a political science professor at University of New Hampshire. A strong New Hampshire ground game could save his campaign or ensure a nomination victory.

“In some ways we might never know how good of a ground game Trump has unless he loses Iowa,” said Scala. “If that happens, then he will be tested here and he will need a strong organization to bring his people out.”

Well, he's pulling away in Iowa so.... 

.... what do you mean he lost Iowa?


Check those polls again, will ya'?

“Donald Trump’s loyal 27 percent continues to stand tall in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “The 27 percent isn’t a skyscraper, but it towers over the four candidates vying for second place. One of those four candidates needs a big Iowa surprise to create momentum so that he can break into the 20 percent range in New Hampshire.”

Rubio not in that bunch, but I'll bet he is now.

The poll also showed uneasiness among some Republicans if Trump becomes the nominee — especially if former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg runs as an independent. In a hypothetical general election matchup with Trump, 10 percent of New Hampshire Republican primary voters said they would vote for Hillary Clinton and another 10 percent said they would pick Bloomberg. When Trump and Bloomberg were matched against Bernie Sanders, 18 percent of likely Republican voters said they would support the senator from Vermont.


"Sanders is the only candidate tested in the poll for whom a plurality -- 50 percent -- says they feel comfortable with as president."

And yet the propaganda pre$$ tells us he can't win. 

“This finding signals that not only would a Trump nomination lose votes to the Democrat and independent candidates, it would suppress Republican turnout, at least in New Hampshire,” Paleologos said. “This is the place where Trump’s negatives are quantifiable. If you are the GOP, you can’t afford to lose a quarter of the vote from among the best Republican primary voters.”

New Hampshire Republicans said terrorism and national security were the most important issues to them, followed by the economy and illegal immigration in the poll."

Interesting, because the “new political reality is that a hard line on immigration, however it is defined, is now part of the conservative creed” and they have shrugged off the fuss over Muslim travel ban.

And yet, there’s nothing quite like the New Hampshire primary, meaning they still might steal it from him, and if not (just an idea).

Meanwhile, here in Massachusetts:

"Trump rally in Lowell to draw crowds and protests" by James Pindell Globe Staff  December 31, 2015

More than 230 people have confirmed via Facebook they will attend a Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump protest organized by the Black Lives Matter chapter in Cambridge and the Community Advocates for Justice and Equality. Leaders of the groups said the purpose is to protest Trump’s comments regarding Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and a Black Lives Matter organizer who was physically assaulted at a Trump rally in Alabama.

“Donald Trump is the embodiment of systemic racism in our society,” said Marisa Shea, a CAJE organizer and 29-year-old math teacher from Lowell. “We are protesting because we are not a community that embraces this type of rhetoric.”

I always thought it was Zionist Jew supremacism.

UMass Lowell police said they are setting up a free speech zone for protesters outside of the arena. Sidewalk space is also available for protests, they added.

Shea said her group’s protests are intended to be peaceful and lawful.

Classes will not be in session at UMass Lowell during Trump’s visit, but students have been involved in protest efforts. When news spread that Trump would appear on campus, Ture Carlson, a 19-year-old sophomore from Auburn, organized an online petition on that nearly 2,500 users have signed.

“The mission was to get this hate speech off campus,” said Carlson. “But I had no idea that the petition would get this much interest.”

Lowell police Deputy Superintendent Arthur Ryan Jr. said his goal is to make sure the event is safe and traffic flows as easily as possible in the area.

“We want to ensure that one person exercising their First Amendment rights isn’t interfering with another person’s ability to express their First Amendment rights,” Ryan said.

Trump’s appearance in Lowell comes a week after his campaign opened its first office in the Bay State, in Littleton. According to Trump’s campaign, roughly 50 people showed up at the office’s informal launch Wednesday.

Trump, who has topped polls of the New Hampshire GOP primary for months, will campaign in the Granite State on Tuesday.


The issue echoed but Bush and Rubio didn't take advantage of the opportunity from the set up and the controversy faded.

Your typical Trump voter in Massachusetts:

"The chase ended in Quincy, where Cherylann Kelley, 43, struck a Hingham police cruiser, causing minor damage, before launching into an obscenity-laced tirade about Donald Trump and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the report said."

Everybody loves a winner. So what happens if Trump loses?

What if he wins

Some are predicting just that.

Top Republicans don’t rule out backing Trump

"If Donald Trump wins GOP nomination, he could probably win election" by Philip Bump Washington Post  January 06, 2016

WASHINGTON — Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is in the occasionally unpleasant position of always having to put a positive spin on his party’s chances, so it’s not clear whether he actually believes this argument. But let’s take him at face value.

This is news?

It is still worth remembering who makes up Trump’s base of support in the Republican primary: Disproportionately lower-education and lower-income whites. But people who earn more in income are more likely to vote. Of course, less-educated and lower-income voters also tend to vote Democratic. 

Apparently not, and I'm sick of the insults and mixed messages.

That overlaps with race, too, as we noted after the 2014 elections.

We’ll note that Trump’s advantage among less-educated voters extends to a hypothetical match-up with Hillary Clinton, too, according to Quinnipiac polling from last month.

And finally, we’ll note that Trump’s support has some crossover appeal to Democrats, according to research reported by The New York Times. It’s not enough to swing a head-to-head match-up with Clinton — match-ups that Trump usually loses — but it exists.

And that is the narrative as to how he will lose New Hampshire. The centrist independents will have crossed over and voted for Clinton. That's what we will be told, and they will have killed two birds with one stone.

In summary, then: Trump’s base of support is among groups that tend to vote less frequently than other demographic groups. The theory is that turning them out means a jump in support for Trump that’s hard to measure.

But it’s also very hard to turn them out. Less-educated voters likely vote less regularly because they tend to earn less and tend to be younger. That means that they are more likely to rent or more likely to move around or more likely to work odd hours — all of which make it literally harder to vote. (This is why Democrats advocate for early-voting options: Their voters are more likely to need them.) So it’s not just a function of getting people excited to vote. The Republican Party would need to actually make sure it’s easier for Trump’s less-frequent voters to get to the polls, but without increasing the Democratic vote at the same time. That means a good field/turnout program — which is not a Republican strong suit.

Romney has one. Maybe they could tap into that.

The Hill reported Iowa Republicans saying that Trump’s ground game ‘‘is the real deal,’’ with one Iowa Republican saying that the ‘‘question is whether the people they’ve identified as supporters will turn out.’’ And he’s ‘‘not convinced they will,’’ which undermines the argument that Trump’s ground game is the real deal, since a real-deal ground game would be one that would definitely turn out voters.

And look where we are now.

That is the final card that Priebus gets to drop on us here, though — a card that supersedes all the other cards on the table. Trump almost certainly can’t win the nomination unless he demonstrates an ability to get less-frequent voters to the polls in the primaries, including in Iowa. If Trump can do that, he can win the nomination — and Priebus’s confidence in general election turnout is warranted. If Trump can’t do that, he won’t be the nominee and Priebus doesn’t have to worry about it anyway.

Priebus’s job is to put a good spin on his party’s chances. In this case, though, he doesn’t need to spin at all.

I'm tired of the show fooled political "spin."


Upon inauguration, Trump has said his first trip will be to France:

"Party leader hails rejection of France’s ‘old political world’; Le Pen’s gains echo Trump’s rise on voter fears" by Ishaan Tharoor Washington Post  December 08, 2015

WASHINGTON — These trends are being strongly echoed in the United States. Republican front-runner Donald Trump, in particular, has sought to harness American fears over the Islamist threat.

And who placed that fear there? 

No other than an agenda-pushing, war-promoting, ma$$ media mouthpiece pushing the Jewish war agenda.

On Monday, he called for a total ‘‘shutdown’’ on arrivals of Muslims into the United States, an incredibly inflammatory and impractical policy that led to almost immediate condemnation from his political rivals.

The statement, though, was in keeping with Trump’s controversial rhetorical style, as a New York Times analysis spells out:

The most striking hallmark was Mr. Trump’s constant repetition of divisive phrases, harsh words and violent imagery that American presidents rarely use, based on a quantitative comparison of his remarks and the news conferences of recent presidents, Democratic and Republican.

He reads like a newspaper!

He has a particular habit of saying ‘‘you’’ and ‘‘we’’ as he inveighs against a dangerous ‘‘them’’ or unnamed other — usually outsiders like illegal immigrants (“they’re pouring in”), Syrian migrants (“young, strong men”) and Mexicans, but also leaders of both political parties.

It's okay if Israeli leaders do it, though.

This is hardly a new brand of politics, notes Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia and an authority on extremist and populist political movements in Europe. Mudde briefly spoke to The Washington Post on the contrast between Trump and the ascendant far right across the pond.

‘‘I see the phenomena as very similar. Trump is the functional equivalent of the far right in Europe, he performs the same functions in the political system, and attracts the same kind of support,’’ said Mudde, who described the support base broadly as ‘‘white, nativist, lower-educated, and very unhappy with the establishment.’’

But there are key differences, Mudde said. Trump is not beholden to a political party like Le Pen and, despite his remarks, is not consistently ideological in the fashion of the National Front and other far-right political parties in Europe.

That's why we get the screed from the ma$$ media regarding the guy. 

Don't take that as an endorsement from these quarters, either. It's just an outside and impartial observers view. I have no dog in the fight this $election $ea$on.

‘‘Trump as a politician is nothing like Marie Le Pen,’’ said Mudde. ‘‘He’s much more of a one-man show, with an idiosyncratic agenda.’’

In that sense, Mudde added, Trump is more similar to Italy’s former leader, Silvio Berlusconi, a controversial and outspoken media magnate-turned-politician.

He was an ally that stood by us in Iraq and Afghanistan.


As for the Middle East:

"Trump won cheers as he talked about modifying the Internet to prevent Americans from being radicalized, and said mosques need to receive greater scrutiny (“Something is happening in there — man, there’s anger”)."

Trump “is a fascist demagogue” and he has gone too far even for me.


"An angry Governor Charlie Baker had just finished participating in an event celebrating Chanukah, the Jewish holiday, and used the festival and Revolutionary-era history as a prism through which to see Trump’s push. “I just sat here and celebrated the miracle of Chanukah, which is about religious freedom. And the fight of the people of Jerusalem to ward off a bully who was trying to take away their right to peacefully practice their faith,” he said. “I’m standing in a State House that’s less than a mile from the Warren Tavern, which is where the patriots of this nation began their initial conversations about how to secure their freedom out from under the British crown,” the governor continued. “And I’m standing in the State House, which is probably the most significant symbol in this city of the original fight for freedom, which goes all the way back to why people came here in the first place, which was to have a chance to practice their faith and their religion.”

Yeah, that's a real interesting history lesson, Chuck.

SeeJews Were Tory Traitors 

Kind of turns history and the conventional myths by which we live under upside down, doesn't it?

Of course there is always the perfunctory stop in Israel:

"Trump, Carson struggle before Jewish group" by Jeremy W. Peters New York Times  December 04, 2015

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and Ben Carson may not have reduced doubts about their seriousness as leaders and their understanding of global affairs Thursday as they delivered meandering speeches to one of the country’s most influential Republican Jewish organizations.

Trump, whose remarks about Hispanics, Muslims, and African-Americans have led to allegations of bigotry, littered his speech with jokes about money and what good negotiators Jews were supposed to be.

“I don’t want your money; therefore, you’re probably not going to support me,” he said, drawing blank stares from a crowd that at one point greeted his remarks with boos.

Not only did he bring a smile to my face for telling it like it is, the booing is almost enough to make me cast a ballot for him.

It was an event with a heavily Jewish audience but no Jewish speakers, and there were plenty of attempts by the candidates to telegraph their affinity for the religion.

The gathering was intended to serve as a forum for Republican presidential candidates to engage in a high-minded discussion on Israel and the role of the United States in an increasingly dangerous world.

And while there were many serious and alarming assessments of national security from the candidates, the event quickly veered from sober to surreal.

The reception for Trump was not always so cordial. He was jeered after he would not answer a question about whether Jerusalem should be split in two.

He didn't answer because he doesn't speak Yiddish, and he problem understood the ramifications of the trap question.

When the focus was on the seriousness of Wednesday’s events in San Bernardino, Calif., where 14 people died in a shooting rampage, other candidates took turns explaining how they would combat terrorists and help repair America’s relationship with Israel.

Sorry I haven't been able to cover the ever-changing flow of cover stories regarding that event.

Some directly linked the shootings in San Bernardino to global terror. Others hinted at the possible ties more generally because the facts were still coming in. But they all insisted that the Obama administration bore responsibility for not taking America’s enemies seriously enough.

That's the war debate in this country's $election: are you for war or more war?

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida characterized threats from Iran, the Islamic State, and Palestinian radicals as a common, dangerous strain of fundamentalism that knows no borders.

“This enemy hates our two nations — both liberal democracies, both products of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” he said. “We must not separate the threat to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from the threat to Paris or London or New York or Miami.”

I can see why he's the choice of the e$tabli$hment now.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey insisted, “Every place in America is a target,” adding, “We need to come to grips with the idea that we are in the midst of the next world war.”

I came to grips with that idea years ago, and you can shove the fear across America.

Jeb Bush said of global terrorists, “They have declared war on us, and we need to declare war on them.” 

Your brother already did, and Obama is still operating under the authority given him so....


They even have Liz Warren eating out of their hand, and speaking of that side of the aisle:

"Clinton, Sanders begin their N.H. race in earnest" by Annie Linskey and Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  February 03, 2016

KEENE, N.H. —The new realities of the Democratic contest in New Hampshire: Hillary Clinton dug in for a longer-than-expected nomination slog, while Bernie Sanders tried to seize momentum from his near upset in Iowa.

Just a bump in the road, I'm told.

Since Sanders has almost no support from the Democratic establishment he must run a nearly perfect campaign on his own to remain viable, and he must continue to generate enthusiasm among the hundreds of thousands of supporters, mostly outside of the political world, who are fueling his candidacy.

Meaning he has to pull the inside straight.

So far, he’s doing it: His campaign reported that it received $1 million in donations in the 90 minutes after Sanders spoke about the results in Iowa, calling the race a virtual tie.

Clinton had for months been seen as the likely winner in Iowa. Now expectations flip, with Sanders the one who is supposed to do well in New Hampshire. It’s a place that neighbors his home state of Vermont, and he’s been polling ahead of Clinton here for months.

Thus, if he finishes second.... big letdown and the campaign is likely over.

“Both campaigns leave Iowa having survived,” said Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist who is not working for either campaign. “That’s the most realistic sense of where we are.”

Clinton arrived here Tuesday in seemingly buoyant spirits. But she also faced the perception that her near loss in Iowa reinforced persistent questions about whether she can generate enough enthusiasm, particularly among young voters or those new to the political process.

She quickly got back to work on the stump.

History shows that New Hampshire can be good to Clinton: Team Clinton 2016 is pushing to add another debate to the schedule on Thursday night....

Bill Clinton is up there with her.



Clinton, Sanders fight over claims to progressive credentials

Can Bernie Sanders deliver his revolution?

Hey, if he couldn't win in Iowa....

No McGovern he -- nor she.