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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Here I stand

Next year commemorates the Reformation’s 500th.  Reformation was a wide movement that included both Catholics and Protestants, but Luther’s 95 Theses posted in 1517 marks the traditional date. Luther’s Diet of Worms defense, “Here I stand. I cannot recant,” defines unwavering faith of the individual.  God plus one believer makes a majority.

            Today, America is embroiled in political donnybrook, and Justice Scalia, defender of originalism, died leaving the possibility of a changed court for decades to come.  Liberals laugh at conservatives for defending the original meaning of the Constitution from a time when women couldn’t vote and slaves were 3/5.  Maybe we should ask just what do we believe and where did it come from?

            Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word that was present in the beginning, fulfiller of God’s plan to rescue sinners like me originates and checks my belief in anything else. But not all that He taught was instantly realized by men. For well over a thousand years after He walked on this planet, Christians continued to live with statism.  Kings ruled absolutely.  Then in the 1670s an Englishman, John Locke, a man of much personal faith, and the Father of Modern Psychology, wrote  Two Treatises On Government in which he asked what kind of governance the minds of men craved.  What he postulated was something like no government known at the time or in the past.   What humans need most, Locke wrote, is Liberty, that is, the ability to follow inner voice in your head.   Christians call this following the Holy Spirit and the mission God gives you As Paul wrote, “For it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me, and the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Fear not if you are not Christian, this means no infallible theistic thoughts.  Indeed we are all bumbling sinners, but we trust in a Divine Guide.)  Liberty inherently means limited government. “Render unto Caesar, the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”  Sorry, Caesar, some stuff just ain’t yours.  Liberty destroys statism.  The order of things is no longer God over Kings over men, but men under relationship to God and over the government they establish.  We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” wrote the Founders. Government doesn’t bequeath our legitimacy.  We bequeath it’s legitimacy.  The principle of the humility of Jesus Christ--who though He was God, let those who disagreed simply walk away—frames Liberty.  Each person has his own walk and dreams.    Liberty thus creates our First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It also follows that if God has established a relationship with each person, He gives Rights that can’t be revoked.   Property (and right to it) is the resource for a personal mission God establishes. “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Free speech follows from The Great Commission and the Shima of Deuteronomy.  The living  God breathed His life into the world when He created it, and gives us new life (salvation).   “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are intertwined into God’s Word.

 Lincoln said, “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Equality was a principle. As scriptures say, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.”

Locke thought Separation of Powers was a vital part of government.  After all, Isaiah wrote, “For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king.”  Three functions, 3 branches make sense, the Founders reasoned.  Actions are thus checked by separation of powers.  One makes the law (congress), one arrests the lawbreaker (police), one judges guilt (court).

Tolerance—“Let us not pass judgment on one another…never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” When one’s future is secure, one is free to tolerate.  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Natural Law “To assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal Station to which the laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them.” Is how the Declaration puts it  God says, “For when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do what the Law requires, they are a law unto themselves.”

Liberty, Rights, Limited Government, Separation of Powers, Tolerance, Natural Law, and Equality—all in our Constitution—come via a Higher Power with principles found in scripture. The Constitution, our mutual contract for a federal government, “either means what it says in context of those who wrote it, or it means what you imagine you want it to say” --Antonin Scalia.   Some of us still believe in the self-evident truth.

 Others may think it’s all a big yawn and should be voided, updated by court whims, twisted in interpretation. But among all social contracts, this one is by far the best to have sprung up.  It has not just stood the test of time, but has allowed mankind to thrive more than any other system.  There is a reason our Presidents and our foot soldiers take an oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” We’ll fight for it. “Here I stand. I cannot recant.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Government of the media, by the media, for the media

Stand back and tell me what you hear.  What I hear is the media saying it is all wrapped up for Trump.  He won 32.5% to Rubio’s 22.5 and Cruz’s 22.1.  That 10-pointer SC win was 8 points lower than the Real Clear Politics average of polls 36-18-17% respectively. There are a lot of people telling polls that they will vote for Trump who don’t bother to show up or change their mind in the last seconds.  That 8 point underperformance was true in Iowa and it was a 7 point underperformance in NH. But of couse, no one ever takes the pollsters to task as having idiot results.

And with a lot of race to come, it could go any way including a brokered convention.  Not for the media who are telling us how we must accept Trump the Inevitable. 

Then consider these early primaries.  Iowa allows you to register that day and has 10-20% turnout decide the thing.  NH has better turnout but is the most open primary in the country.  You can get a motel room and ask for any party ballot if you only claim you are thinking of moving there. (You gotta admit Feb. in NH—really a commitment!)  One tiny hamlet near the Canadian border has 200 people and over 300 votes each primary season.  Sordid Carolina is also ‘open’, but they ask what party you belong to when you choose a ballot.  From this we know that 24% of Republican ballots were given to Dems. 

From this circus, the media claims extraordinary powers of prognostication and chooses our finalists or even the winner forevermore. And all in context of their polls.  Polling is extremely hard today with no land lines in most houses, hence no way to identify voters as voting often or age or even party, the most important information to scale the results.  Thus Trump led in one NH poll 41 to nearest rival at 13. 

And this year I am hearing this ‘establishment’ label but no one defines it precisely.  I think what the media means is that group of incumbent pols in Washington or is it the state party leaders, or donors or even all activists.  Well, I can tell you who most of the activists are in this county and most are not Trumpsters.  So then if he wins, will they work for his campaign?  I have my doubts that 183 people calling on 9000 households will happen like it did in 2010, an off year. Maybe a little literature gets thrown on a few porches.  Trump better bring in some people or maybe keep yelling profanities and strange anti-Republican stances that his supporters love to hear. 

Several years ago I got misidentified as a member of the press at a Reince Prebus speech.  When the journalists all stood up to yell questions at the end of his speech, I quietly retreated to a corner and found myself next to a prominent Republican official.  Not wanting to waste this moment, I started a casual conversation about how the primary season ticks us Oklahomans off.  The same dingbat states come first and let any gonzo vote.  The media divination priests then look at the entralls and tell us who we get to vote for.  Shouldn’t some activists, the real worker bees, the people who care, get some sort of say somewhere? She was entirely in agreement and said she kept mentioning this to the RNC.  The trouble, she leveled with me, is that those states make enormous profits off the circus—hotel rooms, restaurants, plane flights, political tourism.  They essentially bribe both parties into keeping them first with donations of various things.  And then the media wouldn’t much attend if you made, say, Alaska the first Republican primary and left out Democrats.  So what I suggested was that we could have January caucuses and about 200 superdelegates apportioned to the 5 states that are most loyal Republican with the biggest percentages.  The caucus would be open to anybody who had helped with a campaign or who had attended a county meeting during the previous year. We keep records of this. In other words, let the people who care about it really decide.  She raised an eyebrow and said this really was a fair idea, though it means that WY, OK, UT and a couple other very conservative states would get this first balloting.  The moderates would hate it.  The media would hate trying to cover and poll 5 states at once.  The other early states would scream betrayal.

That’s exactly why we should do it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Who's electable, who's not

The issue of electability is yakked about in media, but here’s a bigger picture you might consider.

It’s been said that people often elect a Prez as the guy they are comfortable with, the person you’d like to have over for dinner.  For this reason, Gallup began doing like/dislike polling of candidates.  Once you get into a primary season, those numbers don’t change much and have a lot to do with electability.  For instance, all the R’s who ran for President and lost in the last 40 years had unfavorabilities in the 45-50% range.  What we want is someone in the 30s.  You always have the 30% core Democrats who don’t like any R, so don’t look for numbers less than that.

Rubio is 36% unfavorable; Cruz, 39%; Bush, 46%. Cruz and Rubio are most liked. Bush is problematic.

Donald Trump has 60% dislike—highest in Gallup history.  His dislike among Republicans alone is 46%. He’s going to be almost impossible to elect, despite all the pundits arguing that he is centrist or how he reaches out to Reagan Democrats. But don’t feel too sad.  Hillary is at 52%.

So what about the argument between camps about reaching out to independents vs. getting more core voters?  Both are correct in a sense. In 2012, Obama got 4 million fewer votes than 2008, but Romney got only slightly more votes than McCain and still lost.  Problem was that 3 million fewer R’s showed up to vote.  Romney got 60% of Indies.  So didn’t his Independent support make up for the lost R-base?  No, the answer is that Indies vote half as often as partisans.  If 20% of the electorate is I, they only account for 10% on election day.  60% of 10% is just six points, vs. 40% of 10% is 4 points.  Romney’s was just a two point gained difference from I-vote vs. the 5 points lost from the base. 

But then look at Obama’s statistics.  He got 97% of Af-Amer. who had been ordinarily voting 85% Democrat.  They are 11% of population but comprised 14% of the 2012 vote—they turned out!  He got 73% of Hispanics vs. the ordinarily 60% D.  The next Democrat, unless they can really fire up their base, will probably lose 3 points of Af-Amer. support and another point of Hispanics. If Republicans can just get fired up about a candidate, they will win. Oh, and have you noticed no one ever talks gender gap?  R’s are less than 5 points behind with women.  Dems seem to have lost most married women these days.

So let’s look at the issue of reaching out.  Independents come in 5 almost equal-sized varieties. 24% are deliberaters that the media pretends comprise all I’s.  Others are hidden partisans (always vote D or R, but registered I to fool their dad or husband or friends), weird issue folks (as long as you support cock fighting, I’ll vote for you), anarchists (I hate all politicians!  Vote ‘em all out!), and misfits (socially liberal and fiscally conservative or vice versa). You can see how they vote half as often. You can see how hard it is to swing many votes at a time from this diverse group.

But R’s need to reach out to minorities.  Asians are voting increasingly Dem.  Key is to stress how America can get things done together.  Rubio does this well.  Hispanics must have an impassioned candidate who sympathizes with their situations.  Cruz does this best with personal stories and passionate Latin style.  Rubio does well.  Note, the issue of immigration reform divides Hispanics almost down the middle.  The key to winning Hispanics is not immigration reform but family values, help from society, and jobs.  Af-Ams realize that their problems are single mother homes and gangs, the education gap of the poor, and low work rates of poor males.  But they associate the Handout D’s as their saviors.  65% say D’s favor the middle class and poor, while 15% say R’s do.  A Republican outreach needs to be, look, we favor school choice for bad urban schools, tax & regulation cuts to favor hiring, and faith partnerships with government to heal family situations.  Dems favor alternate lifestyles and redefining marriage, abortion and the nanny state—all of which perpetuate poverty.  Dems have taken you for granted!  Or as Ben Carson says it well, “Half of all black 12th graders function on a 6th grade level.  Half of all murderers and murdered people are black.  Could it be that a large number of them grow up without a father figure to teach them how to relate to authority and the meaning of personal responsibility?”

The only outreach issue that I think needs to be re-visited is George W’s faith-state partnerships.  Government has shown dismal ability to heal lives.  Faith groups are tremendous at this.  And clearly, the R’s need to talk more to minorities like Rand Paul.

My opinion is that Rubio and Cruz are very electable with Cruz best because he will bring out the base and reach Hispanics.  Trump is highly disliked. Bush is dispassionate and disliked somewhat.  Carson is liked but a no-show on issues and no passion. Kasich--I don’t have much data  but I do have his stump speech memorized from the debates.  He started with an $8B deficit and now has a $2B surplus and created 400,000 new jobs.  Just come to Ohio and see what great things he has done.   

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bern, Hill, and Donald show

Rats! The sun rose on Feb. 2.  Donald saw his shadow and now we are going to have another six weeks of bombastic profanity.  For the life of me, I don’t understand how Republicans like a guy who swears, loves Planned Parenthood, and hates George W. Bush’s foreign policy that virtually had a war won when Obama snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 

Or maybe it’s not really the R’s who love the Donald.  He gets 35% in polls but the polls are from IA, NH, and SC which are all open primaries, where Dems vote the Republican ballot. Maybe that 35 points is actually about 20 who are R’s and the rest are Dems and Indies.  Meantime I console myself with jokes.  Did you hear the one about 2 Corinthians who went into a bar?

The Bern and Hill debate was on PBS.  Is that what they call “Antiques Road Show?” The college kids love watching it and they have a new game.  Buy a case of beer and every time someone says the word “free” you take a swig.  Hillary says if Ted Cruz is elected, she is moving to Leavenworth. I am told that on the night before Christmas  in the year 2000, Hillary was lying in bed and suddenly the ghost of George Washington appeared to her.  “What can I do to serve the public better?” she asked him.  Washington said, “Always tell the truth.”  Hillary gulped.  Then an hour later the ghost of Thomas Jefferson appeared.  “What can I do to serve the public better?” she asked.  Jefferson said, “Listen to the people.”  And Hillary gulped again.  Then an hour later, the ghost of Abraham Lincoln appeared.  .  “What can I do to serve the public better?” she asked.  Lincoln said, “Just enjoy yourself and go to the theatre.”

Seriously, I think Bernie has a chance, so I have been studying his ideas. Bernie promises free college.  We could do that.  It happens in Europe and most of the world.  You just close the private colleges and have only government ones.  And of course, the government can’t afford everyone so they give a big test at the end of high school to decide who gets placement.  Those who don’t make the cut, and that includes just about everyone, get to be bowling alley and store clerks.  Moral:  When government promises more free stuff, it means less free choice.  Now if you look closely at Bern’s plan for free college, it is actually free tuition only. And it is about half funded by a 5% tax on financial transactions in savings transactions.  So every time you trade stocks or bonds or CD’s Uncle Sugar takes 5%.  It will turn your 401K into a 201K in no time at all. 

Bernie wants free health care for all which is rather like VA hospitals for everyone. The cost is way more than even his stiff tax rates can raise.  Nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates his spending will be $2.8T more each year (about double) and his tax increases raise only $1T. The max income tax bracket will go to 58%.  The capital gains will be taxed like regular income.  What Cap Gains at 58% means is that nobody in business sells out.  Instead of bright young people taking over old businesses and making their fortune, it means businesses will simply be boarded up on Mainstreet.  After all, who would give the state and federal government 2/3? This would bring economic growth to a dead stop.  Then think about all the S Corp small businessmen paying 58%.  You think they will hire new people or hide their income?

You think Hillary is better?  Well, she is.  She wants 45% income and cap gains taxes.

This is just too serious and I said it wouldn't be.  So did you hear that Obama is going to travel to Cuba?  Quick! Re-jigger the visa system so he can't come back!  He won't attend Scalia's funeral.  He's trying to look up Karl Marx for a SCOTUS nominee.

Friday, February 12, 2016

So how did Africa become black?

Black history month.  So, kids, if you want to stump your public school teachers ask , “How did Africa get to be black?”

            Black is a stupid label since you never see anyone the color of india ink.  Nor do you see anyone the color of snow yet we talk ‘white’ nonsense too.  All humans are some shade of brown.  If you look at a map of Africa you find Hamitic peoples north of Sahara who are Caucasians. It is believed all human races came originally from Africa (DNA and language group tracing). You find a mélange south of N. Africa which has previously been labeled Negroid. But consider, there are the dominant Bantus with dark brown skin and wide,flat noses throughout Africa, but there are also enclaves of pygmies who are reddish brown, rather like Native Americans, but only 4 feet tall.  There are Watusis who are well over six feet tall in South Africa.  Clearly these are not the same race.  There are San-Khoi (Hottentots and Bushmen) in SW Africa who have tightly coiled hair, small noses and yellowish-brown skin whose women tend to very large buttocks.  That’s clearly another race. Nilo-Saharans are an interesting dark brown skin but with facial features much like Europeans—Swedes with dark-skinned cousins in Sudan of strikingly similar DNA. Madagascar Island has natives closely related to Indonesians.  Each race has a distinct language group as well.  For example, the North Africans belong to the same language group as Semitics who wrote the Bible and practically invented commerce in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.

            But the Bantus dominate.  Most Afro-Americans came from a small area of West Africa which kept many slaves and traded them to Europeans who had just about eliminated slavery by the end of the Middle Ages.  Slavery had a re-emergence in the Americas. And the people traded were almost entirely Bantus.  So why did Bantus come to dominate Africa and lend their ‘blackness’ to the continent.  The answer is agriculture.

            The Sahel region of sparse grass and rivers is just south of Sahara.  Here, we know that the natives learned to do agriculture.  In order for a hunter-gatherer to start doing agriculture, they have to see an advantage to raising things and staying in one place, rather than hunting and gathering.  Hunter-gatherers can only support a sparse population, never more than 4 to a square mile. The Sahel farmers found they could raise African sorghum, watermelon, cow peas, pearl millet, cattle, and guinea fowl. It beats the heck out of running around trying to spear dangerous water buffalos. The husbandry of birds like chickens and guineas breeds diseases that spread to humans.  Agriculture allows denser poplations and specialized skills, like warriors and weapon-makers.  In short, the Bantus spread their agriculture south through the rest of Africa, killing off many of the other races by war or by diseases they brought.  The same thing happened when Western Europeans met the natives of the Americas, or when the Chinese spread into SE Asia and Indonesia.

            Thus Africa was overrun by Bantu “black” leaving the other races as small enclaves of race and language in certain remote, desert or jungle or highland places. And this happened about 2000 years ago, rather recently historically, and is strongly marked by language and culture.  Ironic, given our politics of today: a Superior Black Race took over Africa, killed off and subjugated the others.  The best lesson to be learned is that these kinds of racial genocides have happened throughout human history.  Indeed until the American Experiment and British Enlightenment gradually changed people to be of a more accepting heart for others, this supplanting was completely common. Thank Christianity for the change.

            Ask your school teacher if they knew this. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Easy chair debate

Long, hard day remodeling.  I spent the evening sitting in my easy chair watching the Republican debate.  My Ted Cruz did quite well.  I prayed that he not get into a donnybrook with Donald, since that only drags one into the mud and one doesn’t look Presidential.  But Ted didn’t.  He took questions from Martha Radicalass which had false premises and Ted patiently turned the question around and answered with 4 or 5 fabulous points on what we must do. That’s what we look for in a Prez! 

But the media hardly mentioned his name afterwards.  They were continually obsessed with Christie pouncing on Rubio and the donnybrook between Bush and Trump.  They replayed those exchanges over and over like a major polio vaccine discovery, so every pundit panelist could give detailed analysis.  Later, Howard Kurtz of Fox was asked what he thought of the performances of various candidates and when it came to Cruz, he just shrugged and gave him a B+.  No A, I guess, because he didn’t stir up anything crazy. 

And it occurs to me how differently the guys in the easy chairs think from the media.  Guys in easy chairs are looking for a future President, a person with answers for the problems of our time, with level head and wise judgment.  Media wants entertainment.  They want he-said-she-said and “blood coming out of her whatever” and “what difference does it make!”  Because in their world it doesn’t make any difference unless it’s entertaining, emotional, or erotic. 

It is for this reason, they secretly love Trump.  He’s entertaining and a certain portion of Republicans are so angry over Washington that they like Trump. The pollsters and media pump up his numbers.  13 straight polls had him atop Iowa when he wasn’t at all.  But has anyone, among the learned pundits, pointed out the following?  First, Trump has the highest negatives since Gallup began polling opinion on like/don’t like.  Trump is 60%.  Bernie is 31% (Nobody knows much about Bernie yet; just a nice old man who the kids like.). Rubio is 36%. Cruz is 39%.  All the failed Republicans who ran for President since 1972 have been in the 40’s. Hillary is 52%.  What Trump’s negatives mean is that for every supporter he gains, he gains almost 2 R’s who don’t like him and probably 3 D’s who hate his guts.  You can’t win with numbers like that. Likewise Hillary is in disastrous shape.

Trump has no policy statements.  Beyond his bombastic comments he has nothing about what he’d really do either on his website or in his books.  From this, we cannot know what he stands for.  Thirdly, even in his recent statements, he espouses practices that are unconstitutional and un-Republican—banning a religious group from travel back into this country, raising taxes, and doing a trade war with China.  Fourthly, he’s narcissic like Obama.  All the horrible, merciless dictators in history since Caligula have been narcissic characters and we should be on guard for them. Such a guy is unelectable.  But the media loves his “bullying” and edgy dialog and they keep the cameras trained on him continually.

I just pray that there are enough thoughtful guys sitting in easy chairs after a hard day’s work.



Friday, February 5, 2016

How Obama became Christian

So how did Obama become a Christian? Rush Limbaugh wondered yesterday.  Good question.

I have some resources.  First is Ed Klein’s book, The Amateur, in which he interviews about 200 people who have known Barack and Michelle for over 15 years prior to 2009.  Secondly, I belong to that group of oddballs who believe what my church teaches in the basics.  Orthodox Christians represent 9% of Christians (Barna statistics) and there are 9 shared beliefs of almost all Christians—stuff like salvation by grace, a real hell, virgin birth, scripture alone is inspired,etc.  And so when Obama and McCain gave interviews to Rick Warren in 2008, I asked several orthodox Christians and pastors what they thought.  Conclusions were same as mine.  Obama was a Nothing.  This fits with the narrative Klein got from Rev. Wright.  Obama’s wife was a Christian and he wanted to “join up” but whose background was entirely Muslim and atheist.  (Mother and Father were atheist/nothing, Step-dad was Muslim, mentor was communist-atheist)  As a teen who had hung around Hawaii, it didn’t take long to notice that if you wanted to mainstream yourself, you had to latch onto a Christian church.  Wright says that the Obama’s don’t attend church very much, about once in every 3 years, and the fable that he was Barack’s big mentor is false. Indeed, Wright isn’t sure that Barack is Christian and not Muslim.  Instead it appears that Barack chose this church because of its liberation theology and close ties to Marxism. (Oprah, another interviewee of Klein’s, says that she attended Wright’s church for awhile but it was too radical for her.)

The thing that tipped most of us orthodox guys about Obama’s veneer is when Warren asked him what the most important passage of scripture is.  Most Christians will recite John 3:16 or say something about forgiveness, that is, Christianity’s salvation message.  Obama said it was “do it for the least of these, my brothers” which he immediately links to wealth redistribution.  This is the kind of answer you hear from agnostics who are notional Christians.  They will say things like, “judge not, lest you be judged” and link it immediately to how you can’t judge their lifestyle.  Which is to say they run up the flag of Christianity but then show that the true core of it has small meaning in their life. If I had to guess about Obama, I would say he joined a church so he could run for office without controversy. 

Trump’s a little like this too.  But he hasn’t had an Ed Klein book or Rick Warren interview.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ground Hog Day Electability

Ground Hog Day.  Eat a pork tender sandwich or have a sausage, as my farming relatives in Iowa say.

Say, wasn’t Iowa interesting!  Media takes polls and then talks polls for months.  The big question is “Who will exceed expectations?”  Really?  Whose expectations?  We haven’t even voted yet.

            Finally they did vote and it was Cruz, Trump, Rubio.  I’m not a Trump fan so I am so glad he will have to do a new campaign stump speech to replace, “Have you seen the polls?  I’m ahead in all the polls by a lot. I’m pretty unstoppable.  Have you seen my poll numbers?”  A little substance perhaps now, Donald?

            Seriously, 3 contenders and here’s my take on electability. 

            Trump—not good.  He has extremely high negatives.  They are approximately 55% with all voters and over 60%  with registered likely voters.  Among Republicans, they asked who you absolutely wouldn’t vote for and about 30% say No Trump.  That compares to 10% for Cruz and Rubio. Iowans were asked who they had ruled out the day before the election and 51% said Trump while 36 and 39% said Rubio and Cruz respectively.  Like Jeb, he has low crossover appeal.  This looks insurmountable when you consider that the Republican base wants to talk issues and Donald just wants sound bites.  Nonetheless, he speaks out bombastically with frustration which makes for strong supporters.  He could win the nomination if he takes enough winner-takes-all states. 

            Rubio, I like.  Opposite Trump, he has lowest negatives of all candidates.  Articulate, good-looking, terrific demeanor, can talk conservatism well.  But he got himself twisted up in the Gang of 8 amnesty and it seems he needs time to live it down or at least have a better explanation like, “Dems got it so contorted into amnesty that I couldn’t support my own bill in the end.”  It is hard for a pol to admit wrong.  As a businessman, a Christian, a retiree, I could bore you all afternoon with my failures but a politician can rarely bring themselves to admit a flub.  Still, Rubio could win and would be a very difficult opponent for either Hill or Bernie or even Biden.  Smart, young, mainstream guy. 

            Cruz has the best chance despite what pundits say.  Think of how Romney got beat.  He didn’t turn on the conservative base who yawned instead of voting. Poor courage of convictions.   He was painted as a uncompassionate Richie banker by Dems.  Lost minorities, esp. Hispanics with only 27% support.  Trump will fare no better. Hispanics are very turned off by his deportation.   The Dems will use his wealth against him and find a few disgruntled employees whose wives died of cancer because he laid them off (or similar examples).  Dems gin up the single women vote with lack of compassion accusations and scares about R’s taking away benefits.  They gin up minority hate of white privilege.

            This won’t work with Cruz since he worked two jobs to get through Ivy League schools.  He’s no banker.  He’s not wealthy.  He’s not only Hispanic, he wears it on  his sleeve.  This might not mean anything if you aren’t Latino.  Since we had a Mex daughter, let me fill you in.  If you were born south of the border, government was crappy and society had crime.  Your family is your anchor.  When Cruz, in his victory speech introduced his mom, dad, wife and hugged them, he is showing off his anchor.  When he announced for Presidency and told about his parent’s separation and how he could have been another Hispanic kid with a single mom, I knew what he was saying.  Because the biggest heartbreak among Latinos is broken marriages.  Breaking the anchor.  Latin Americans are emotional, want to hear you say, I understand what you are going through. Thus Cruz gets 45% Hispanic vote in Texas where he is Cuban and they are mostly Mex. 

            Consistent Constitutioal Conservative?  Tell me, have you ever seen a politician go into Iowa and state opposition to ethanol subsidies?  And win the state?

            Rubio passes most of these tests too, except the consistency which he may improve.  Cruz may seem too preachy.  Trump flunks all these reasons.

            Cruz also has a strong economic plan and reforms of government where Rubio has tweaking and Trump has only his big image of a success in business and no published plans. 

            A couple other things.  Cruz has been lambasted as “nasty” or uncompromising.  But in his book he tells in detail how he wanted to use the power of the purse to negotiate with Dems and get the bailouts of insurance companies removed from Obamacare. McConnell agreed and then reneged. Cruz is well-liked among the minority of staunchly conservative Congressmen and staunchly conservative voters.   Rubio is called too young.  But he’s about the same age as Cruz and certainly older than JFK or TR with good background as Speaker of House in FL.  Romney is sometimes said to have been scuttled by evangelicals (numbers don’t support this very well, although some had this view).  If they thought Mormonism was so bad, what must they think about a guy like Trump, who says he has never asked God to forgive him because he isn’t doing anything wrong?

            We’ll see how this plays out.