KEVIN WILLIAMSON – What John Adams Knew.
GOP: ERICKSON – Trump voters; BARONE – Only Cruz; KURTZ – Blame the media; EILPERIN – BO’s thumbs.
LEADS: CHARIN – Please lie to us; WILLIAMSON – Garland’s moderation; ADAMS – Chicken with Garland.
PA: DRUCKER – PA trips Donald; BATCHELOR – 54 hustlers; FOX – “Medical” pot; SNYDER – PoliticsPA.
END NOTES: BATCHELOR – Trump/Russia; BATCHELOR – NKorea tunnels in Gaza; MURRAY – Bell Curve “prescient”; MARK LEVIN 3/17/16.
KASICH – NAFTA, ObamaCare, Common Core . . .
And the son of two social workers in the mill town of McKeesport . . .
Kevin Williamson, NRO: “What John Adams Knew”
“There is a line from John Adams of which conservatives, particularly those of a moralistic bent, are fond: ‘Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.’ The surrounding prose is quoted much less frequently, and it is stern stuff dealing with one of Adams’s great fears — one that is particularly relevant to this moment in our history.
“John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as ‘passion.’ Adams’s famous assessment: ‘I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.’ Democracy, he wrote, ‘never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.’
“If you are wondering why that pedantic conservative friend of yours corrects you every time you describe our form of government as democracy — “It’s a republic!” he will insist — that is why. Your pedantic conservative friend probably is supporting Ted Cruz. The democratic passions that so terrified Adams have filled the sails of Donald Trump. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432941/donald-trump-populist-demagogue-john-adams-anticipated
GOP . . .
Erick Erickson, Resurgent: “Trump Voters Begin Arguing Against Their Data”
“Those of us who were skeptical of Trump could not comprehend that voters were so angry they would align with a man who actually has profited from the system the voters hate. But many of Trump’s voters are perfectly fine with Trump as a flawed vessel so long as he burns Washington to the ground, which they are convinced he will do. Ask a dozen Trump voters why they support Trump and you will get a dozen different answers. But each will end with a rebuke to Washington.
“The problem now, as Trump appears more and more likely to be the Republican nominee, is again the data. This time it is not Trump skeptics arguing about the data. It is Trump supporters doing so. They find themselves in the ironic position of arguing that the very same data set that showed Trump’s rise also shows he cannot beat Hillary Clinton. They want the first half of the data to be true, while hoping the other half of the very same data is false.
“The data does not work that way. The polls that showed Trump winning the Republican nomination also show that he cannot beat Clinton. In nineteen of the twenty past polls, Trump consistently trailed Clinton by around eight points.
“Certainly polling can change, but therein lies the rub for Trump. Trump performs remarkably well with blue collar white men. He performs terribly with college educated white men, women of any background, black voters, hispanic voters, Asian voters — pretty much everyone other than blue collar white men.
“For Trump to make inroads with those voters, he risks alienating his core. If he wants to build a hispanic coalition, he is going to have to walk away from his wall. If he walks away from his wall, he is going to see his voters walk away from him. . .”
Michael Barone, Washington Examiner: “Michael Barone: Only Ted Cruz Can Stop Donald Trump”
“. . . Any candidate needs to get a 1,237-delegate majority to be nominated. Trump needs to get a majority of delegates in the contests ahead to get there. The March 15 results show how that could happen. The question is what Republican voters who fear Trump’s nomination will damage the party, the nation or both will do about it.
“Such voters amount to a majority or near-majority of the Republican primary and caucus electorate which, as Trump has correctly noted, is substantially larger than in past presidential election cycles. So far, 18 million Americans have voted in Republican contests — just short of the total for the whole cycle in 2008 and 2012.
“Trump has won 37 percent of their votes. Contrary to his suggestions, he hasn’t won huge majorities from first-time voters. But that’s given him 47 percent of the delegates. To see why, look at the March 15 results. If Ted Cruz had won the votes cast for either John Kasich or Marco Rubio in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina, he would have beaten Trump and deprived him of dozens of delegates. . .”
Howard Kurtz, Fox: “The new battle cry: Why can’t the media ‘stop’ Trump?”
“. . . Nearly 7-1/2 years after Barack Obama’s election, we still hear a familiar refrain on the right: If only the media had properly vetted him, he would never have made it to the White House. Never mind that Obama managed to beat the Clinton machine in his first campaign and then to get himself reelected. The 2008 coverage of Obama was indeed too soft, but by 2012 the country certainly knew what it was getting.
“The current comiplaints center on the fantasy notion that news organizations have failed to aggressively report on Trump.
“But I have read hundreds of articles, and watched thousands of segments, about Trump’s business setbacks; his casino bankruptcies; allegations of mob ties and racial discrimination; the use of foreign workers to staff his properties and make his merchandise; how he gave large sums to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton; how he changed from liberal positions on abortion and health care; even accusations that he cheats at golf.
“I have consumed many fact-checking efforts about erroneous or questionable statements he has made, about how much Medicare spends on prescription drugs, or having watched reports of thousands of Muslims celebrating on 9/11 in New Jersey.
“I have read or seen a long line of commentators accusing Trump of being racist, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic, of being ignorant on policy, of encouraging violence.
And yet he keeps winning primaries. The negative media attention and fact-checking attempts bounce off him like rubber arrows.
“There are limits, it turns out, to the mighty power of the press. . . “
Juliet Eilperin, WaPo: “Obama is increasingly involved in the 2016 presidential campaign”
Obama’s worried about his next job . . .
“As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton begin to tighten their grips on their respective party nominations, President Obama is plunging into the campaign fray, not only to help Democrats retain the White House but in defense of his own legacy in a political climate dominated by Trump.
“The president has been clear that as we get closer to the general election, it will become even more important that the American people understand what is at stake,” White House deputy press secretary Jennifer Friedman said in an email. . .”
LEADS . . .
Mona Charen – Please lie to us (John Batchelor, 3/17/16)
“. . . Exit polls show a strong percentage of voters in all recent states say that they would not be comfortable supporting Trump as the nominee. I think you really will see the fracturing of the Republican Party. Please Lie to Us “I trust in the good judgment of the American people.” So said a radio host I admire (not one of the screamers) about six months ago when the rise of Trump was still notional. At this moment, looking at both parties, you have to ask whether judgment is being applied at all or whether we’re in the much more dangerous realm of emotional release. “Let’s start on the left. Democrats have made careers out of pretending that “government” has money to distribute, that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, that most of the problems of black America are attributable to white racism, that deficits can be eliminated by raising taxes on the few at the top, that women are victims in need of government redress, and that climate change is the greatest national security threat we face. Fairy tales. In the past several years, partly due to President Obama’s destructive divisiveness, those delusions have deepened, and now, with the influence of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, a full-throated socialism commands the affections of Democrats under the age of 30. In Iowa, for example, Sanders won 84 percent of voters between the ages of 17 and 29. “Democrats have plunged lustily into a dumbed-down politics that appeals to the mammalian brain, not the reasoning one. The Black Lives Matter movement demands not justice but rote obeisance. No issue is ever presented in the terms that mature adults should manage, namely that there are inevitable trade offs in life, and that every policy has costs and benefits. No, now it’s “The billionaires are screwing you” or “The system is rigged against you.” “The Democrats’ likely nominee, insofar as she has any true convictions at all, has trimmed and tacked to the left. She has endorsed a $15 an hour minimum wage, declined to consider entitlement reform, and, in a marked shift, now opposes free trade. “Among Republicans, a similar conspiratorial mindset has taken hold. Our problems – slow growth, crime, increasing inequality – are the result of an evil cabal. The Democrats believe the cabal is on Wall Street. Large numbers of Republicans locate it in Washington, DC. . .”
Kevin Williamson, NRO: “Merrick Garland’s ‘Moderation’”
“. . . Carrie Severino and others have argued here that Garland is no judicial moderate, that he is a quiet left-wing activist well disposed to political efforts to undermine the Second Amendment. On that question, I defer judgment to our experts. But there is another question we ought to consider, which is whether there is any such thing as a judicial moderate.
“If the expanse of your political imagination is roughly the dimensions of the New York Times, that may seem an absurd question. We hear all the time about “moderates” and “extremists” in the nation’s courts. A great deal of huffing and puffing, which no doubt dishevels the pages of a nearby copy of The Economist, insists upon the virtue and the needfulness of such moderation.
“But the fundamental question that we must ask about Supreme Court nominees — all nominees to all benches, in fact — is not one of degree, which is the sort of question that the criterion of “moderateness” would apply. Instead, it is an either/or question: Does the law say what it means and mean what it says, or are judges empowered to graft private notions of justice from their own souls onto the law and the Constitution?
“Antonin Scalia understood that this was a yes-or-no proposition, and they hated him for it. . .” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432899/merrick-garland-moderate-activist-too-activist-constitution
J. Christian Adams, PJM: “Obama Plays Chicken with Merrick Garland Supreme Court Nomination”
“President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court means the White House has decided to play chicken with Senate Republicans. It means President Obama believes Garland can be packaged as a reasonable moderate to force Senate Republicans to go wobbly.
“It also means that President Obama is playing the long game, instead of short-term electoral politics.
“Picking Garland instead of more progressive alternatives shows Obama is sacrificing any turbocharging effect on the Democrat base in the fall in exchange for, what he must believe, is a chance to make Senate Republicans buckle. . .”
Also: Joel Pollak, Big Govt: “5 Facts You Need to Know About Merrick Garland”
“On Wednesday, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Here are five quick facts you need to know about Garland.
“1. Garland is considered anti-Second Amendment. As the National Review noted last week: ‘Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation” and voted “to uphold an illegal Clinton-era regulation that created an improvised gun registration requirement.’ Obama will use his pick to pursue a gun control agenda.
“2. Garland has favored environmental regulations. As SCOTUSblog noted in 2010: “On environmental law, Judge Garland has in a number of cases favored contested EPA regulations and actions when challenged by industry, and in other cases he has accepted challenges brought by environmental groups.” That could be very important, with Obama’s Clean Power Plan in the balance.
“3. Garland’s positions on abortion and social issues are murky. Some liberals are worried that Garland may not be unambiguously pro-choice. Richard Wolf of USA Today writes: ‘During 19 years at the D.C. Circuit, Garland has managed to keep a low profile. The court’s largely administrative docket has left him without known positions on issues such as abortion or the death penalty.’
“4. Garland would maintain the Court’s demographic profile. He is the second Chicagoan Obama has nominated. He is no ‘wise Latina,’ and is the first man Obama has chosen. But Garland, like Scalia, is a graduate of Harvard Law, keeping the number of Crimson justices at five. If confirmed, he would also be the fourth Jew on the Court, preserving the odd exclusion of evangelical Protestants.
“5. Republicans have supported Garland in the past. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
in particular has been outspoken in his support for Garland as the best Republicans could expect from the Clinton administration. More recently, he suggested he would welcome Garland’s nomination but predicted that Obama would make a more ideological pick. That makes Garland harder for the GOP to oppose.”
PA . . .
David Drucker, Washington Examiner: “How Pennsylvania could trip up Trump”
“Donald Trump might actually need more than 1,237 delegates, as allotted by each state and territory, to secure the Republican presidential nomination and avoid a contested convention.
“That’s because 54 of Pennsylvania’s 71 delegates to Cleveland are unbound on first ballot, according to state GOP rules. The popular vote winner of the commonwealth’s April 26 Republican primary is only guaranteed to walk away with 14 delegates that would be bound to vote for him on the first ballot on the floor of a contested nominating convention. Most states require delegates to vote for the winner of their primary on first ballot.
“Pennsylvania looms very large if this turns out to be a contested convention,” said Charlie Gerow, a veteran Republican consultant in Harrisburg who also is a candidate for delegate. ‘There is not any state that will have the number of uncommitted delegates that we do.’
“Pennsylvania’s delegates, if they wanted to band together in opposition to Trump, could deliver a trove of votes to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the first ballot, possibly forcing a contested convention. This story was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Salena Zito . . .”
Also: 54 Hustlers (John Batchelor, 3/17/15)
Thursday 17 March 2016 / Hour 3, Block D: Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, in re: Pennsylvania GOP delegates would be at the center of any contested convention It’s been 40 years since Republicans have gone to their convention without a clear nominee, but when they did, Pennsylvania was right at the heart of the struggle – because of the state’s unusual process of assigning delegates. Pennsylvania’s primary contest is unlike others. For years, the Keystone State primary has been a ‘preferential primary’ – simply a beauty contest – and had no connection whatsoever to delegate selection. It’s not winner-take-all. It’s not winner-take-most. It’s not even proportional. The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s Republican delegates are technically “unbound” or ‘uncommitted.’ Used to be they all were, but this year party rules changed slightly, making 14 ‘at large’ delegates bound to vote for the winner of the PA Primary, but on the first ballot only. There are also three “automatic” delegate slots for the state party chairman (Rob Gleason), the National Committeeman (Bob Asher) and National Committeewoman (Christine Toretti). The remaining 54 delegates, elected by Republican primary voters in each of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts (three per district) remain legally ‘uncommitted.’ . . . “ http://johnbatchelorshow.com/schedules/thursday-17-march-2016
Fox: “PA House passes medical marijuana bill”
Cloward-Piven – magnify a crisis & grow some more government. Notice the “radio emergency alerts” during this election season or the notices from the “Ad Council.” Barry is not the only employee working to get another job!
About pot, keep in mind:
- Prescription drugs lead often to non-prescription drugs. Oxycontin, a pain-killer opens the door to heroin use.
- A contest develops between how much the patient will lie to the physician in order to get a script. Many patients also feel cheated if they see a physician and don’t get a prescription. And writing a script is evidence to reviewers that the physician DID something.
- More use of marijuana leads to more monitors – government employees who count casualties and justify clinics.
- Rocky Mountain High: Other states have had terrible results from prescription pot.
“Senate Bill 3 with a vote of 149-43, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Wednesday’s debate on the state House floor started shortly after 4 p.m.
Rep. Sims argued there is, ‘No metric to measure the smile on a child’s face when they can go a day without a seizure.’
While Rep. Matt Baker spoke in opposition of the bill saying, ‘I can not remember the last time a body voted on a bill in direct violation of federal law.’
Representatives passed multiple amendments in favor of the bill on Monday and Tuesday.
The Senate, which originally approved the bill last May by a vote of 40 to 7, will not be able to vote to approve the reformed bill until Monday, which is its next day in session.
Governor Wolf released the following statement:
“I applaud the Pennsylvania House for passing legislation to legalize medical marijuana, . . .”
Sy Snyder, PoliticsPA: 3/18 Ups & Downs
Michael Eakin. This time it’s a unanimous decision on who had the worst week. Michael Eakin resigned from the State Supreme Court on Tuesday. The ex-Justice has been haunted by his emails ever since Seamus McCaffery called him out back in 2014. The renewed accusations of Kathleen Kane and the efforts of his colleagues to protect him ultimately brought him down. The Justice and his legacy will now be yet another casualty of that sordid saga known as “Porngate.”
John Kasich. It’s been a long campaign for Ohio Governor John Kasich. Shunted to the periphery for much of the past year, Kasich finally scored a big victory in his home state on Tuesday. He followed that up with a well-received visit to Villanova University the next day. On top of all that, he got the endorsement of former Gov. Dick Thornburgh and beat back the ballot challenges that threatened his chances in PA. A few more weeks like this and Kasich could have a really chance in the Keystone State.
Tom Wolf. Once again, Governor Wolf vetoed a GOP budget plan. This time, however, it appears the coalition that held strong over the last nine months is beginning to fray. One Democratic Senator, Andy Dinniman, voted for the GOP bill while another, Lisa Boscola, publicly complained about the budget crisis’ impact on schools. Gov. Wolf might have to consider trying to save face, as a veto override would be a crippling defeat for his Administration.
Ed Rendell. The former Governor is the chair of Katie McGinty’s Senate campaign and should be one of her best assets, instead he’s causing headaches. These problems are mainly due to Rendell’s loquacious nature. After twice commenting on the amount of money McGinty needed to raise, the PA GOP took advantage by filing an FEC complaint. Nonetheless, Rendell just keeps on talking. Whenever a campaign surrogate is overshadowing the candidate, that surrogate is doing their candidate a disservice.
Bob Casey and Ryan Costello. Both PA lawmakers were on the congressional team that defeated the Georgetown faculty squad 41-35 in a game that raised $646,000 for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Costello took home “most valuable player” honors.”
END NOTES . . .
John Batchelor (3/16 & 17/16)
“Wednesday 16 March 2016 / Hour 2, Block C: Josh Rogin, , in re: Donald Trump and Russia, of which he speaks open-handedly. Trump organization wants to get along with Russia for 25 years – has been trying to expand its real estate brand into Russia fo multiple projects to partner with Russian oligarch to build, esp in Moscow, Even sent his son. In 2013 nni9nced that he’d bld a tower in Moscow. Said we shd let Russia bomb ISIS, and let Europe solve eastern Ukraine. Huge security implications for the US. “Russia on the A list for the Trump Organization.” Trump considers himself an oligarch, cultivates Georgian billionaire and others; “best friend” has extensive investments in Russia. Trump constantly criticize Chinese regulatory regime and govt actions; contrast with his favor for Russia and see that there’s a close connection between Trump’s proposed foreign policy and his business interests. Campaign is funded by his own donations. What he needs is a position of power to leverage big, big deals. China could improve its romance with Trump by shovelling [sic]money in. . .”
Thursday 17 March 2016 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, in re: Huge attack, smuggling and rocket tunnels from Gaza in to Egypt and Israel: North Korea (emph added, jb) has been active in almost all of these. DPRK engineers in Gaza to build – for high pay, Multiple SCUD versions reaching Gaza, much of it via Iran. Also along southern Lebanon along the Israeli border. Also in Iran, the underground Fordow nuclear operation. Iran uses a DPRK workforce to build all these. Soleimani has radically cut salaries of the al Qassam Brigades. The appealed for more money; Iran said, ‘We’ll get back to you.’ Supposed to have been a secret mtg. / Both Hose and Senate on Iranian missile launches: growing frustrated; Samantha Power speaks of ‘slowing down and degrading the program’ – but these are intercontinental – ICBMs – to hit the US. Russia to sell 30 Sukhoi jets to Iran, which clearly violates the deal. Also needs Security Council approval.
Charles Murray, AEI: “An open letter to the Virginia Tech community”
“ . . . I should begin by pointing out that the topic of the The Bell Curve was not race, but, as the book’s subtitle says, “Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.” Our thesis was that over the last half of the 20th century, American society has become cognitively stratified. At the beginning of the penultimate chapter, Herrnstein and I summarized our message:
‘Predicting the course of society is chancy, but certain tendencies seem strong enough to worry about:
- An increasingly isolated cognitive elite.
- A merging of the cognitive elite with the affluent.
- A deteriorating quality of life for people at the bottom end of the cognitive distribution.
“Unchecked, these trends will lead the U.S. toward something resembling a caste society, with the underclass mired ever more firmly at the bottom and the cognitive elite ever more firmly anchored at the top, restructuring the rules of society so that it becomes harder and harder for them to lose. [p. 509].
“It is obvious that these conclusions have not been discredited in the twenty-two years since they were written. They may be more accurately described as prescient. . .”
Mark Levin (3/17/16)
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin show, We already had a populist movement in the 1890’s that was the foundation of progressivism in the United States. This movement produced massive tariffs which lead to the destruction of the farming industry and ultimately helped bring about the Great Depression through the Smoot Hawley tariff.
“Progressives and populists harangue against trade and demand more power for the government. They both share the same seed of tyranny. They claim to empower the people, but only empower centralized government, and have abandoned free market capitalism and the Constitution. Constitutional conservatives are caught in between the Establishment and the progressive populists and have no place in the Republican Whig Party or the progressive populist movement.
“Conservatives need to realize that the only way out of this abyss is to embrace constitutional conservatism which embraces liberty. And that is the contrast between Donald Trump’s populism and Ted Cruz’s conservatism.”