Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Oh FSM! Let your Noodly Appendages Bless Trump-Ernst 2016

Raw Story: Who will be Donald Trump’s running mate? Here are five options

Joni Ernst

The gun-totin’, Harley-ridin’, pig castratin’ Iowa farm girl burst onto the scene when she won the Iowa senate race in 2014. Ernst has shown no willingness to embrace Trump, but the 45-year-old first-term female senator would be an ideal running mate for any Republican. Ernst is an Iraq veteran who won in a swing state. And as her notorious campaign ad proved, she already has the Trumpian flair.

Militay experience to balance out Trump’s draft dodging. Plus that all important de-nutting experience for taking on The Donald’s rivals.

We have already reached the Mosh Pit of the Theatre of the Absurd, lets really let some Head Banging fly!

Republicans Have Two Choices: Fall in Line or Sign Up as Hillary’s Oppo Research Attackers against Trump

Not a single R vote has been cast as I type this but all the smart money is on Trump running the win table tomorrow with the exception of maybe Texas. This may not translate into the hugest (or Yuuuugest) pot of delegates compared to the other but will firmly establish the R race as Trump vs the Others.

And the Others have a choice between now and the Conventions. Do Hillary’s dirty work for her while she sits back and triangulates between left, center and center right, saving her own attacks dogs like David Brock for the General. Or just pivot and sign up like Christie and Brewer and Sessions as officer/supporters of the Army of El Douche.

For example Trump’s weaseling around the KKK issue elicited a response from Clinton that was about as hard hitting as “My that wasn’t a nice thing to say”. Because for this weekend at least she doesn’t have to make the case that Trump is the White Supremacist candidate: his new supporters are making that clear as day and his erstwhile R opponents are forced to make hay by trying to shame Trump’s base with accusations of racism. Which given the history of the R’s Southern Strategy since 1968 might as well be the illustration of ‘cognitive dissonance’ in Webster’s Dictionary.

Will the Republican Establishment allow Rubio to wage all out war on Trump between now and June? When that looks to drive up Trumps negatives beyond their already high levels for November? That is de facto acting as Hilary’s Oppo Research Deployment Team? I wish I had answers as good as the question. Over to you all. For live commenting the day time developments or just frankly speculating on tomorrow evenings results. And the week after. And the three months after that.

Christie is Done. But Wow! What a Parting Shot!

I don’t think Chris Christie makes it out of New Hampshire. But he may have put ‘paid’ to Rubio and indirectly punched tickets for his rivals Bush and Kasich. Because Lord knows that Trump didn’t do himself any favors on eminent domain in the Live Free or Die State nor did Cruz for laying back and even apologizing to Carson.

48 hours ago I was confident that New Hampshire would be a major winnowing event. But now the only person I still see an unlikely to make the cut is the guy that THREW the upper-cut. Those of us of a certain age have fond memories of the toy Rockem Sockem Robots and its catch phrase “Knock his Block Off”. For those that click through that is Rubio in blue to the right.

Other first and second impressions of the Republican Debate? Or the Hillary/Bernie grudge match? “Let’s Get it On!”

Mahatma Sanders: “First they Ignore You”

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

I have been firmly in the conventional wisdom camp that Bernie would never be the ultimate candidate and so as much as I always wanted to “Feel the Bern” and more or less identify with Sanders as a Social Democrat over against his Democratic Socialism you got to keep it real.

Until the tide starts flowing against the sensible conventional wisdom. Because while the smart money is still not on “then you win” anybody who went heavy on “then they laugh at you” futures is looking a little foolish right now. Because on the Democratic side the race between Sanders and Clinton is right in Stage 3: “then they fight you”

Open Season Primary Thread: Paulite Bros for Bernie, Sleepy Ben Wakes Up on Open Evangelical Highway

Pick a topic relating to New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada. The floor is open. Except for that whole Impractical Bernie vs. Electable HIllary thing, that’s been done to death. Some topic teasers for you.

The shakeout from Iowa more intense than I predicted, first O’Malley and Huckabee and now Paul and rumors have it Santorum. And this morning Kasich saying “Do or Die” in New Hampshire. All of which shuffled the lanes particularly on the Republican side.

For example Paul’s dropout slams the Libertarian lane shut. Leaving College Libertarian Bros adrift. Where do they wash up? Where does some Ayn Randian atheistic personal liberty gold bug anti-Fed pot smoking small government guy go? Evangelical Ted? Authoritarian Donnie? Big Government Bernie? It sure ain’t Hillary or Marco. I think there is a good case for Bernie. After all who really wants to throw your Grannie off Social Security, and Aqua Buddha knows your chances of meeting good looking college girls are better at the Sanders rally. And you can bring your blunt, or number, or joint (whatever kids call it these days).

So topic one: Liber-Bros for Bernie

Another lane, another topic. Nobody I know expected Ben Carson to actually get on track. But four things happened. First it looks like both Huckabee and Santorum have dropped. Meanwhile Trump revealed that he literally couldn’t navigate around the New Testament even with a native guide (Ralph Reed). Two Corinthians forsooth? And mistaking the Communion Plate for the Offertory? Meanwhile Dr. Carson is mightily chapped that Cruz workers played dirty by saying he had dropped out. How do evangelicals in South Carolina take this diss? AFter all Carson still finished in fourth in Iowa with all kinds of competition for evangelicals. Now he has the opportunity to take on board the Huckabee and Santorum contingent while siphoning away actual church goers from Trump and Christians who woke up to what a nasty piece of work Cruz is.

So topic two: Carson Wakes up on Highway Evangelical racing with whom?

Topics: three, four and five? Open buffet, diner’s choice. But make it a little original please, no equivalent of green jello with carrot salad.

Iowa Open Thread: I know you got opinions, predictions

I knew what was going to happen on Monday three days ago. My argumentation was solid and based on data. Even data-based. But now I don’t. At all. Because ‘reasons’.

But I am sure all you do and will fill me in while we wait for actual results about 26 hours from right now. Let the Games Begin! And unlike Hunger Games I am not sure the prediction odds are with anyone. You all can prove me wrong, trump me if you will. Or cruise to victory or whatever horrible pun play you like.

Trump vs Cruz: Transactional Inside-Outsiderism

What fresh hell/word salad is this?!! Bear with me a second and then treat this as a political open thread.

Trump and Cruz are each in their ways walking talking self contradictory oxymorons. Each purports to be the outsider speaking for the common man yet each came straight to the top through insider channels. Trump manages to be a nouveau riche guy born to money, itself a contradiction, who brags how that money allowed him to outright buy politicians in both parties. Cruz is a guy actually born to the working class who managed to punch every ticket through Ivy League to Harvard Law to Supreme Court Clerk to Texas Solicitor General to U.S. Senator by his early 40’s. And married a Wall Street banker to boot.

Yet though both on any conventional metric are consummate insiders by CV they have convincingly sold themselves as outsiders. How? Because each man is fundamentally, deeply, at basis, bedrock (how low can Bruce go?) transactional in ways that cross cut their undoubted establishment ties and path. Cruz by all evidence convinced himself or was convinced by his evangelical father that he was destined to be Leader of the Free World. Except maybe without the “Free” part. As such you can see every single career decision. however seemingly at the heart of the establishmen.t as actually being inside-out. He has punched every inside ticket on his way to being the outside leader, the path being subordinate to the goal.

And of course Trump as a person and a politician cannot be separated from his book The Art of the Deal, for him it is transactional turtles all the way down, except that unlike Cruz’s desire to be King of the World, and a world that has some relation to the one we live in, Trump seems to dream of being the High Trump of Trumpistan, “First, Last and Penultimate of His Name”

Transactional. Taking the Inside path to Outsiderism to the Mountain Top. Same shit different day.

(Some people would apply this same analysis to Hilary. Well the shoe fits too closely for this Yellow Dog Dem’s comfort, but run free my Droogs)

Trump Trapped: RNC Snagged

I’ll make this short and then turn it over to you all.

As long as Trump is polling in the top 2 or 3 in early States he can’t drop out and the RNC can’t force or even encourage him to drop out. After all he is “Winning” by the only measure that matters this cycle. In past cycles maybe there were only three or four tickets out of Iowa, two or three out of New Hampshire, and only one or two out of South Carolina. And most of that was driven by money, if you didn’t have one of those early tickets it dried up. But this cycle not only is money not necessarily the screen that it used to be (you being one Fries, an Adelson or a fifth of two Kochs from having cash for the distance), it wouldn’t operate anyway if you actually have one of those top two tickets.

As of now Trump is Trapped. By success. Or more precisely by successful excess. And I don’t see any mechanism by which the Republican Party can chase him away. After all I saw polls today that had him leading both nationally and in North Carolina. How much of a loser do you have to be to quit while you are on top?