Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ted Cruz's Electability is Going Away

Over the last few weeks Ted Cruz's prospects in a general election have dropped substantially. Yesterday at a town hall discussion in Milwaukee, the favorite candidate of 'true blue' conservatives effectively said he would not support Donald Trump if Trump were the nominee. In doing so, Ted Cruz appears to be the next hope of the 'Never Trump' movement among movement Conservatives, and I believe he is now playing to their tune, and bringing the hardcore Conservatives into an alliance with the 'establishment' Neocon Republicans. 

For a man whose political career is all about calculations, Ted Cruz just made a grave error, even if his supporters don't immediately notice. Cruz started this election by playing nice with Donald Trump, and it appeared that an alliance between 'true Conservatives' and 'Trump populists' was at hand. Really, those two groups together make up about 80% of today's Republican electorate. However, earlier this year Cruz changed course, and he is now doing everything he can to sabotage Donald Trump, including delegate chicanery in states such as Louisiana. In doing so, Cruz has virtually forfeited any support from Trump voters in the general election, myself included. 

If Trump supporters do not come out to vote for Cruz in 2016, then Cruz risks being another Mitt Romney. This is a huge 'miscalculation' on Cruz's part, and it's not the first. In trying to brand Trump as "not a true Conservative," Cruz has also tacked way too far to the right in the last month, and it's already way too late to walk that back.

For example, in Utah Cruz followed around Mormon convert and popular conservative talkshow host Glenn Beck. Beck pleaded to Mormons to vote for Cruz in the Utah primary, stoking century-old sectarian discord  by saying that southern Evangelicals "haven't been listening to their god." Beck also said that Cruz was the fulfillment of the Mormon "White Horse Prophecy."

That may play out well in Utah, but it will not do so in a general election. Cruz also made appearances with pastor Kevin Swanson, aka the "Kill the Gays Preacher." Describing this in words won't do justice to the meeting. Just watch for yourself:

I get wanting to shore up the base, believe me. I don't have a problem with Republicans aligning with far-right forces, but the "Kill the Gays" preacher is way too far out and has no place in the party. The media is largely ignoring these things right now because it favors Cruz in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump, but on the off chance that Cruz actually gets the nomination, you can bet the media is going to be all over this, as well as Cruz's multiple affairs that he's been trying to cover up. 

Ted Cruz is a disaster, he has gravely miscalculated. Trump supporters are some of the most committed voters out there. By playing nice with Trump and not aligning with the 'establishment' Republicans, Cruz could have counted those Trump supporters in a general election even with the affairs coming to light. Instead, Cruz has hitched his wagon to the establishment and has tacked way too far to the right to be viable in a general election. The latest polling data shows that Cruz has gone from a slight lead over Hillary Clinton to now being well behind. Have a look.

The sharp drop in support over the last couple weeks says it all. Cruz has alienated independents and moderates with his far right religious kookery, and has made it clear in no uncertain terms that he does not want the Trump Populists' support. This is the result above, and I expect more of it.

If you like Ted Cruz, it had better be for a reason other than electability. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The EU's "Deal" with Turkey: All Talk, no Action

Eidomeni, Greece

The buzz about a deal between Turkey and the EU to "tackle the migrant crisis" is unwarranted. The EU and Turkey are apparently "close to reaching a deal," but when I look at the deal, I see a lot of similarities between that deal and the defunct EU 'resettlement plan' agreed to in September of 2015.

A little background on the latter: In September of last year the EU agreed to a 'migrant quota' whereby some 160,000 "migrants" trapped in Greece, Italy and Spain would be resettled to countries throughout the Eurozone. Thus far, not even 1,000 of those "migrants" have been settled because the countries which 'agreed' to the deal have dragged their feet on the matter.

Fast forward to now. The EU is planning on deporting an unspecified number of trapped and rejected asylum seekers back to Turkey. In exchange, Europe will resettle, within the EU, a number of asylum seekers camped in Turkey. It is assumed this will be a 1-for-1 deal, and I've heard it will involve around 70,000 people, all of whom would be rejected asylum seekers from EU countries. In addition, Turkey will get 'accelerated talks' for visa-free travel within the EU.

But here's the problem: How are the 'migrants' from Turkey going to be resettled? Which European countries are going to take them? Judging by the previous 'resettlement agreement,' it appears that NONE of them will want to take the migrants. For countries like France, Belgium, Finland, Poland, and the Czechs, who have taken relatively few 'migrants,' it's much easier to not take any of them. In effect, that's what those countries HAVE been doing thus far with the previous agreement. Is there any indication they will behave differently this time? I don't think so.

'Migrant' arrivals in Greece have dropped dramatically in March.

That leaves Germany, Austria and Sweden to directly take most of the 'resettled' migrants in exchange for their rejected ones. That may end up being what happens, but that isn't going to be a "European solution," but rather a 'solution' where the most idiotic liberal countries once again do all the heavy lifting.

Also, the 45,000 'migrants' trapped in Greece are 'expected' to be resettled in Greece, as per the September 2015 agreement.

As for Turkey joining the EU, Cyprus already vowed to veto any efforts. France has been the country traditionally blocking any movement on liberalization with Turkey, and I fully expect France to object to visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. That in and of itself could end this entire deal.

In summary, there's a very good chance the Turkey-EU deal does not even go through. If it does go through, there's an even greater chance that EU nations will drag their feet. If anything meaningful does come of this deal, it will almost certainly involve a swap of asylum seekers to and from Germany, Austria and Sweden only.

More important is the fate of the 40,000 or so 'migrants' stuck in Greece. They are NOT expected to be returned to Turkey. If these 'migrants' end up being resettled, then we should expect more of them to show up and expect the same thing, and this drop in 'migrant' arrivals will only be temporary.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

UPDATE: Car Bomb in Berlin from "Turkish Gangs." "Migrants" finally breach Macedonia border, get roughed up and sent back!

Top of the morning, Germany!

A car bomb exploded on Bismarckstrasse this morning in Berlin, giving Germans a pleasant wake-up call. Residents were told to close windows and stay indoors. A 43-year old man crawled out from the car and died on the pavement. The man was known to police for "drugs and violent offenses," according to BILD newspaper. 

The car was registered to a woman with a "Turkish-sounding" name. 

Police are saying this was not 'terrorism,' but is instead gang-related crime. 

Haven't these guys ever played Oregon Trail...?

About 1,500 "migrants" got frustrated with the Macedonian border situation and decided ford a nearby river. Where they got the equipment to do this is anyone's guess, although I suspect they got it from NGOs. 

So far, Macedonian police detained 700 of these illegal "migrants," and also detained 50 slimy journalists and 'volunteers' in a nice cold jail cell. Then fined and deported the lot of them. It's unknown where the other 800 are, although I suspect they will have even more difficulty trying to get into Serbia and Slovenia. It won't be any easier for them, and I doubt the local population will be in much of a mood to help these people. 

Meanwhile, the situation is deteriorating at Idomeni, where some 13,000 people are camped and waterlogged in torrential rain. Idomeni is now twice the size of "The Jungle" in Calais. More updates to come. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Merkel In Trouble after "Election Setback"

CDU Headquarters: "We're gonna have a problem here."

Yesterday, on 'Super Sunday,' Germans in the southern Rhineland state of Rheinland-Pfalz, the Black Forest state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, went to the ballot box in regional elections. Most polls showed that right-wing, anti-migrant party Alternative Fuer Deutschland would at the very least pass the 7.5% threshold to hold seats in each of those three regional governments. Everyone expected AfD to get a much higher share of votes.

Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, was hoping to win back the governments of Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Wuerttemberg, the former being run by an SPD-Green coalition, and the latter being run by a Green-SPD coalition. 

However, AfD's surge led to a defeat for the CDU in both Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Have a look at the results.

Look specifically at B-W and R-P. Things didn't go too well for the CDU. In B-W, the CDU got a multi-decade low of 27.5% of the electorate. The Greens will most likely keep their colaition government there. It doesn't look much better in R-P, where SPD came out on top, although the coalition formed there remains uncertain. In either case, the CDU isn't capturing those two states, and this is a direct result of Merkel's stubborn "refugees welcome" stance.

Today Merkel came out and said the election results will not change her policy. That's not a big surprise, but think about this: There's only one reason the CDU lost in B-W and R-P; and that is Merkel's refugee policy. In fact, the CDU candidates in both of those provinces realized this, and openly called for an 'upper limit' on asylum seekers, in order to give themselves cover for the election. Voters weren't fooled, and as a result those two lost BECAUSE of Angela Merkel.

This makes Merkel a liability for the CDU, and that is a very good way for her to get removed from power. Merkel acts like she's in a good position, but the fact is that she is rather isolated, and there will be serious fallout from this disastrous election. Stay tuned, I will continue providing updates and analysis. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why Conservatives Lose, and Liberals Win

Consider the following scenario: A dozen 'Cultural Marxist' groups collude to stop the rally of a right-wing populist candidate by violently storming the arena and breaking up the event. They succeed. Not only do they succeed, but they also block peaceful supporters, start fist fights and assault police officers.

Now consider this: Presidential candidate #2 steps in and blames the disturbance not on the Marxists who colluded or on the criminals themselves, but on the candidate who used 'provocative language' and 'created an environment' where people do criminal acts. Candidate #2 does not hold the actual criminals responsible for their actions.

Candidate #2 sounds like a real liberal, doesn't he? What with making excuses, blaming the 'environment' and societal factors. That candidate must be a Democrat.

Well, it's not. Candidate #2, in fact, bills himself as the "True Conservative." Candidate #2 is Ted Cruz, and this illustrates exactly why Liberals win and Conservatives lose.

When the liberal establishment attacks Donald Trump, many Republican candidates join in with the liberal establishment, and often pile on by using the exact same language and talking points as the liberal media does. Yet, on the off instance that the media actually digs into Hillary's unethical (and possibly illegal) behavior, the other Democratic candidates close ranks to protect their own.

That's why Liberals win and Conservatives lose.

The Republican establishment is more than happy to comb through Donald Trump's past and bring up any tiny thing. They are more than eager to join the media in piling on Trump for 'not denouncing' a former Klansman whose endorsement he was not familiar with. Center-left Democrats, however, frequently associate with Marxists, radical Feminists and flat-out Communists in order to achieve their ends. They NEVER worry about "guilt by association," and they never "punch to the left."

That's why they win. And that's also why America has continually slid to the left over the last few decades. Conservatives would be wise to learn that lesson, and learn it soon.

Friday, March 11, 2016

UPDATE: Balkan Route is SHUT, no indication of it ever opening again

Macedonia has completely restored its immigration controls to normal, meaning that no one may pass through Macedonia without proper travel documents. About a month ago, Macedonia restricted travel to "refugees" from Iraq and Syria. Now things are shut off even to them. This shut-off is official, and this time it is NOT being described as temporary. In other words, there's no indication that Macedonia will be opening its borders again.

Meanwhile, "migrants" continue arriving in Greece at varying daily rates. Some days it's a few hundred, some days its over a thousand. Since none of them are travelling through Macedonia, virtually all of them are getting piled up in Greece. Latest reports confirm that there are now some 36,000 "migrants" stranded in Greece.

EU President Donald Tusk called this, "the end of irregular migration to Europe."

Whatever that might mean.

In the meantime, Merkel and 'Europe' are negotiating with Turkey to make some kind of a settlement plan, which includes liberalizing visas for Turks to travel (and settle) in the EU. That, of course, would be an epic disaster.

'Migrants' have two other choices from Greece: Bulgaria and Albania. I doubt 'migrants' will go through Bulgaria, as police and border officials there have repeatedly gone to extreme circumstances to keep illegals out. Stay tuned, will continue to provide updates.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Germany: AfD blows out results in municipal elections!

All that matters: 'More security for our women and daughters.' 

Germany's municipal elections typically give a very good idea of what will happen in the regional election happening just a week later. Yesterday, Germany's municipal elections saw Merkel's CDU drop from 33% to 28%. AfD surged from nothing to 13%. The Green Party got destroyed, going from 18% to 11.5%. Apparently nobody wants to vote for the loony Greens given their continued enthusiasm for multiculturalism and "refugees welcome."

AfD got an amazing 19% of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt in the east, 13% in the Black Forest state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and 9% in the typically liberal Rheinland-Palatinate. To get parliamentary representation, all they need is 5% in the elections one week ahead.

AfD performed better than it was polled. For example, polls in Frankfurt (Rheinland-Palatinate) had AfD getting only 6% of the vote, but during the election AfD scored 10%.

This is a good sign for the regional elections next week. Chances are, AfD will have seats in every regional government. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Otto von Bismarck and the only way to beat Donald Trump

"Trump is Hitler! Trump is Hitler! Blah blah blah!"

Comparing so-and-so to Hitler has been part of American political discourse for decades: Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Osama bin Laden, and now Donald Trump. On and on and on and ad nauseum. Everything is Literally Hitler, and the comparison is never good.

I'd like to make a better comparison regarding events of these days to different German leader; Otto von Bismarck. The very first chancellor of the German Empire. Von Bismarck entered office as Germany was rapidly industrializing and joining the modern world at a breathtaking speed. The aristocratic Prussian did everything he could to keep the Junker class on top and Socialist workers locked out of power. Bismarck forbade the circulation of socialist literature. He gave police the power to stop, search and arrest socialist party members at will. And despite that, the Socialist movement steadily gained supporters because Socialists represented the interests of a growing number of people frustrated by the massive social changes of the day.

Sound familiar? It should.

If Bismarck were like Mitt Romney, he'd have dug in his heels and refuse to give up power, and refuse to even throw a few bread crumbs to the growing movement of frustrated people. He'd have used all the Kaiser's horses and all the Kaiser's men to suppress those upstart workers. And Germany would have fallen into a revolution much like France had some eighty years previously.

But Bismarck was no Mitt Romney. He was ten times the leader Romney, Rubio and all the other establishment fools are. Bismarck came to understand that in the rapidly-industrializing world the Junkers could not hold onto power AND keep their absolute privilege. One of the two had to give, and it was obvious which one.

In 1880 Bismarck relented, and created the world's first modern welfare state. He worked with industry, but also looked to stimulate growth by giving workers greater security by enacting labor laws and implementing a social safety net, something unheard of in the rest of the industrializing world. 

Bismark's plan worked very well. Through the late 1800s and beyond, violent class warfare exploded across France and the United States. The abysmal working conditions in Britain were enshrined by Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. For the masses, industrialization represented a new kind of misery and exploitation. This led to violent social upheaval.

But not in Germany. The Junker class remained firmly in power, and did so because instead of oppressing the growing Socialist movements, they simply took away the Socialists' legitimate reasons to be angry. Bismarck called this, "stealing their thunder." 

There's a lesson in this for the Republican establishment of today. The Republican base is angry. They've been ignored, exploited, taken for granted and even derided by the Republican establishment and the pathetic Pundit class in their employ. Even today I don't think these people realize just how much they are hated, and looking at the latest primary results, it couldn't be more clear that they are well outnumbered by the 'insurgent' forces in their party.

If the Republican establishment does not want to share power, then they would be wise to 'steal Trump's thunder,' and do so very soon. What would that look like? Trump's appeal comes from two places: Immigration and trade.

First and foremost, the establishment will have to get behind building a wall by Mexico, period. This is what the clear majority of Republican voters want. Most Americans as a whole are sick and tired of illegal immigration, so this will not be a difficult position to take. Implement eVerify, which will make it very difficult for illegal immigrants to find work. Cut welfare aid for illegal immigrants and bring net migration down to 200,000 per year or so. 

With trade, the Republicans will have to put a 'dumping penalty' in China, as well as a reciprocal tariff on imports. China already has multiple tariffs on US goods. The least America can do is reciprocate. It's probably also time to seriously review NAFTA, as Mexico is clearly not holding up its end of the bargain with enforcement of labor and environmental regulation, and it has lead to a nightmarish 'race to the bottom' which has hurt both countries. It's time to look seriously at that.

While the Republican donors and establishment may really not like these positions, not taking them will ultimately result in control of their party being wrestled from them. Perhaps violently. 


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Autopsy of Trump's victory in Kentucky

Here are observations from Trump's solid victory in Kentucky: 

 1) if you layover a map of Virginia, Trump takes a wide swath of the most 'Southern' counties in Kentucky.
2) Trump dominates in Coal Country. No surprise there.
3) Cruz does well in the more Bible-Belty west near southern Illinois.
4) Cruz takes Lexington and suburban Cincinnati.
5) Surprisingly, Trump wins in Louisville and is strong in many counties along the Ohio river. 
6) Trump does very well in rural areas.
In Ohio, Trump and Kasich will fight for Toledo to Cleveland. Trump will really pick up votes around Youngstown and Akron in the east. The 'rust belt.' Hardly anyone there will vote for Cruz. Trump will rule rural Ohio.
Cruz will do well in Columbus, maybe Cincinnati but that's about it. This thing is going to get a lot harder for Ted Cruz. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

UPDATE: "Migrants" smash open Macedonia Border and get tear-gassed. Belgium shuts border to France. 'Jungle' evictions continue.

Yesterday the "Migrants" used an improvised battering ram to smash down Macedonia's border railway gate. As you can see in the video, they succeeded in their lawless action, but were soon dispersed by teargas. As I wrote in a recent article, Greece now has some 20,000+ stranded migrants who are waiting to travel into Macedonia and beyond. Most of them will not legally be able to.

As expected, civil groups in Germany and the rest of Europe are protesting, but Angela Merkel and the rest of the German government are actually pretty quiet about this latest incident. It's only because of Macedonia's and Austria's effort that "migrant" traffic into German has hit all-time lows, with Germany at times now receiving only a hundred "migrants" per day.

Belgium is taking full advantage of the scrapping of Schengen. With the piecemeal dispersion of "The Jungle," hundreds of "migrants" have been streaming into an already unstable Belgium. Belgian police have responded by shutting their western borders with France, and have now shoved another 600 illegal "migrants" back into France. Expect the Belgian border to tighten even further, as most of the Paris terrorists came from Belgium, and various neighborhoods in Brussels have already become safehavens for terrorists. 

"You want me to kill myself?"

The second round of demolitions in "The Jungle" has finally begun. French authorities are steadily moving 'Jungle' inhabitants from the shanties over to container homes just offsite and away from the highway. That doesn't mean The Jungle is going away. The French are just trying to limit it's population to 2,000. Independent estimates put The Jungle's population at almost 5,500. 

It's unclear what the evicted "migrants" will do. I don't think many will end up claiming asylum in France. If history is any guide, they may just disappear into various places in Europe. Stay tuned, will provide further updates when the situation changes.