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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Jeb Bush Quits

The South Carolina GOP primary produced unsurprising results. Donald Trump won, and did so convincingly. Not clear to me who can stop him from gaining the Republican nomination. He's playing by the rules and winning; if that continues, he deserves the nomination. Not the candidate I would have wanted, but if he wins he wins, the game is the game: the winner gets the medal and the burden.

If Trump becomes the Republican nominee, can he beat one of the progressives socialists, hell, communists from the DNC? I don't know. The pundits and pollsters, repeatedly proven notoriously inaccurate, have come in all over the place. Worse, however, and so very frustrating for me, personally, is that I no longer can read the politics of my own country. Although having long railed against the universities, media, and Hollywood for undermining our nation and the West, I did not fully comprehend how far that has gone. It has gone so far, in fact, that an old communist crank such as Sanders gets taken seriously, with his only opponent within the Democratic Party an old, lying, crooked, crypto-communist gangster. Under those circumstances, I will take Trump over the offer from the new Communist Party, AKA Democratic Party, and find it appalling when friends say they will "never" vote for Trump, no matter what. That's their choice and right, of course, but a disaster for the nation. A third Obama term on steroids? No, thanks. I will take a chance on a brash real estate tycoon. Maybe he can save the West from itself.

That said, I wanted to write a few words about Jeb Bush's departure from the race.

He should have left some time ago. The nomination was not going to happen for him, something painfully obvious ALMOST from the start. I see Governor Bush as a smart and decent man, a patriot, and with a good understanding of foreign affairs. I don't think he would have proven a bad president. He, of course, found himself hindered by bearing the name of a major "establishment" family in the Year of the Outsider. His campaign relied on huge amounts of money to promote a tiny, muddled message. Bush couldn't decide whether to embrace or run away from the presidential records of his brother and his father; got himself into early trouble with odd reflections on the Iraq war; and failed to understand the strength and depth of the anti-government mood in the country. He, for example, pushed old-time federal government programs--e.g., Common Core--when, obviously, GOP voters did not want those. As we watch Europe undergo an unprecedented Muslim invasion, and experience a wave of illegal aliens sweeping across our own border, he got mired in the immigration debate, uttering tone-deaf pro-immigration slogans. He did not take a clear stand against importing potential Muslim terrorists into the USA, and refused to defend the second amendment, until too late. His campaign, simply put, came off as out of touch with the new reality.

As mentioned before, I spent the better part of a day some years ago with Governor Bush when he visited Indonesia with a delegation headed by the Secretary of the then-new Department of Homeland Security, Governor Ridge. I found Bush an avid listener, sharp questioner, and a decent person. He, for example, learned that an Embassy employee's elderly mother lived in Florida, did not feel well, and worried about her son's safety in Indonesia; he immediately offered to give the lady a call as soon as he got back home. He had a great sense of humor, "interrogating" me on my status as a Florida resident, trying to figure out what I knew about Florida sports (almost nothing) and ruling me, in the end, a Floridian Solely for Tax Purposes. He seemed somewhat "placated" when I offered up that I had voted for him.

A good guy, but . . . . it was just not his time to become President.

53 comments:

  1. I never spent a day with Jeb Bush, but I'm not so sure about his understanding of foreign affairs. As I recall, he complained at one of the debates that Assad was massacring Christians. So much for his understanding of the Middle East.

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    1. He said a lot of garbled things in the debates. He was a lousy candidate.

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    2. Who is your prefered candidate? If you indicated this previously, I missed it and apologise.

      The Irishman.

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    3. AskTheReferee, if you're still interested, my preferred candidate is Cruz. Alas, I don't think he's going anywhere. And I do have disagreements with him, and think his approach to the electorate wrongheaded. But, on substance, he is closest to my views of those running.

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  2. The trouble with the current general-election polls is that they are asking today who people would hypothetically vote for, and such decisions reflect peoples knowledge of the candidates today. By the general election, people in more states will have started to watch debates, will be fed more ads, will be fed more accurate and inaccurate editorial about the positions and goals of the candidates, and the name recognition will be 100% for the two who are left -- I doubt even a majority of voters outside the early primary states could name the 5 left running on the R side.

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    1. I can but two are irrelevant, except as possible veep picks or appointees (Carson for Surgeon General, Kasich for veep, screw it, Cruz for SCOTUS, too, so make that three.)

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  3. That's the best case for Trump I've ever seen. But G-d spare this nation that choice.

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  4. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think Bush's supporters will go to Rubio. If SC is any indication, this will bring Rubio to parity with Trump. The questions from that point are whether or not Kasich and Carson can retain support, and where their supporters go. Trump can win against a field of five, or even three, opponents. Against one? We shall see.

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    1. My suspicion is that 'yes', Bush supporters will favor Rubio, but it's probably easy to overestimate the fraction heading to Rubio. 55%? yeah probably. 80% perhaps not?
      It's a very difficult calculus as the uncertainties are very large.

      - reader #1482

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  5. It is easy to over-complicate all of this; there will be a choice of two, and it seems increasingly likely those two are Clinton and Trump. Whatever else can be said about the current circumstances; Clinton is part of the establishment, and Trump certainly isn't. If the voters are out to rock the comfortable power-sharing hegemony between the DNC and the GOP, then the choice is palpably clear, and it is Trump. Voting for / electing Clinton because of a personal dislike of Trump would be an act of galactic stupidity.

    The evolution of democracy has reached the point where it badly needs disruption, and many of the voters seem to share the view. Whatever emerges on the other side, let us all hope that is something more functional and representative than the current situation; the people are being dudded, and it has to stop.

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    1. Trump has been part of the liberal establishment his entire life . Many seem to think trump would blow up washington DC . I think that on the contrary he will expand its size and power and use it to enrich himself and his cronies . He will be a continuation of Obama style executive power but will be , I fear , much worse, more like a mob boss than a community organizer. He has been an unscrupulous bully to those whose interests have opposed his own. He screwed the illegals he employed to demo the Bonwit Teller building out of their pay and fought them in court until they were bankrupted. He used his Atlantic City pals to try to take an old ladies home. He has been a long time partner of Russian mobsters and had business dealings with NY crime families. he is currently trying to bankrupt a woman suing him for scamming herself and others with the Trump university swindle. He owes 500 million to large banks, If elected do you think those banks will write those loans off or not ? Deutsche bank is suing Trump for defaulting on a 40 million personal loan, if elected who do think will win that law suit or any of the many other suits Trump is the defendant in ?

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    2. I don't know about any of those matters; and despite your pejorative description, none sounds in the same league as the problems lurking in Clinton's past. Business people inevitably end up in scrapes with other interests, and there is always someone who accuses successful people of being bullies or prevailing over less well-off people. It is hardly disqualifying, even if it is true. The accusation of criminal association is ad hominem.

      And you seem to have missed the point in any event; Trump is not a career political, and whatever other accusation you dream up against him, he isn't responsible for the current mess or the palpably broken major political parties. You can speculate about what he will do in office, but in the end you don't really know, and it could hardly be worse than the current incumbents and their outcomes; and I have little doubt it would be better than another Clinton. He might in fact do as he says,;which would be a major improvement over the behaviour of the current people in both the DNC and the GOP.

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    3. No, However bad Trump is, he can not be as bad as Obama, Clinton or Sanders. I think C.S. Lewis said ti best:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

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    4. No, Trump is not part of the 'liberal establishment'. He's a businessman for whom politicians are fungible, and he's operated in an economic sector which is as enmeshed as any in the regulatory apparatus. The problem is not that he's 'liberal', it's that there is no telling what he'll do.

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    5. Shrillary Shrooooo vs. Vain Male Hairdooo...What is our country coming toooo? [sound of wailing].

      Yes, I suppose I'll hold my nose and vote for The Donald should he run against either Shrillary Shroooo or Bolshie Boynie.

      But I have very serious reservations about Trump. His proposal to wall off Mexico isn't going to work if there's no political will to enforce immigration law. His experience as CEO, where he was truly the boss, will probably meet great frustrations in dealing with Congress and the Courts, which have their own arrogance of power--to say nothing of important places in our system of checks and balances. Trump strikes me as someone who throws a tantrum if he doesn't get his way. How this will play in international affairs, in which I fear Trump will show himself as much a flounderer as the current incompetent (and his SecStates), makes me shudder.

      Trump tweeted that he'll deport the illagals and we won't have to worry about their anchor babies anymore. This shows he has no understanding how nationality law and the 14th Amendment work. The reason they're "anchor babies" is because they're citizens by birth. Deport them, they'll soon walk into a US consular office with proof of birth in the USA, get a passport, come home, and you have a messy class action lawsuit.

      As a person, I find Trump very unappealing. Mark Abrams at 10:26 laid his fingers on much that bothers me as well. Further, when I hear Trump boasting about how he's never had to ask God for forgiveness, he scares me. Don't the liberal Protestants use the Lord's Prayer anymore? Or at least read Dr. Seuss's _Bartholomew and the Oobleck_ to their kids?

      I don't know. Maybe God will shed his grace and either Shrillary Shrooooo will be indicted for endangering national security (remember Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame, anyone?) and we'll have Biden v. Trump, if in which case I might find Biden a more credible POTUS (yikes). Or, Cruz might just pull ahead.

      But I'm also just primitive and superstitious enough to believe that when God has a controversy with a nation, he will send them wicked rulers. @anonymous at1:16, I'm of the mind that Oliver Wendell Holmes' quip about how if the nation wants to go to Hell in a handbasket may very well be coming true before our eyes. And a tyrannical meddler with sterling intentions (think a young Cambodian in Paris named Saloth Sar)who follows his conscience only paves the proverbial road to Hell with proverbial good intentions.

      These days are for Jeremiah's book of Lamentations--and it isn't even Tisha b'Ov.

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    6. But I have very serious reservations about Trump. His proposal to wall off Mexico isn't going to work if there's no political will to enforce immigration law.

      When you mention "political will", do you mean the will of politicians or the will of U.S. citizens?

      U.S. citizens have been mightily pissed-off about illegal immigration for a very long time, and that situation has only become worse and worse.

      I don't believe a President Trump would have many problems deporting illegal aliens; he already has massive support from the public to do just that.

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  6. There are still too many wild cards flying around -- known unknowns, as it were -- to prognosticate with any real confidence. On the Dem side, Hillary is so hobbled that Old Man Bernie is only a step behind her, and keeping up the pace pretty well. The FBI may yet come through with a recommendation to prosecute, which may become a fatal or non-fatal knee-capping of her prospects. Either way, Joe Biden is still more electable than the two mooks running now, and if things turn further south for Hill, Crazy Uncle Joe may get Obama's blessing (along with a secret understanding that Biden will nominate him to the Supreme Court if the Dems regain the Senate).

    In the (relative) middle, Bloomberg could still make his move depending on how the Super Tuesday primaries shake out. That would really scramble the table.

    And on the Republican side, my guess is that Rubio will come way with the greater part of Jeb's support, along with that of Kasich when he finally folds. No telling about Ben Carson's backers, although it's possible that they're behind Ben because he's gentle and mild-mannered -- the exact opposite of Trump. It's hard to imagine too many of them breaking to Cruz in any event.

    So it might come down to Trump vs. Rubio in Cleveland. Or, as is so often the case, I could be totally wrong. As I said, it's too early to place any bets with confidence.

    As much as I dislike Trump, if he turns out to be the nominee I'd have to vote for him in November. Catastrophe is absolutely guaranteed with both Hillary and Sanders. In Trump's case, the probability is only 80 or 90 percent.

    And Senor Diplomad, I agree that Jeb is a thoroughly decent man. Aside from the Terri Schiavo fiasco, he led Florida with extreme competence and dignity. (I've lived in Florida for 40 years, through governors good and bad; Jeb was the best by far.) I don't agree with him about some things, but on balance he would have made a good president. The problem is, he didn't learn soon enough that running a state and running a presidential campaign require two completely different skill-sets, and he came up short this time. Way short.

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    1. Gov. Bush was quite right to intervene in the Terry Schiavo matter in opposition to the horrid trial judge in that case.

      It's a reasonable wager that Dr. Carson's supporters are social conservatives. It would be expected that they would repair to Ted Cruz.
      It's actually a surprise that Dr. Carson is continuing his campaign.

      As for Kasich, he's polling well in two of the eight upcoming contests regarding which recent surveys have been publicly released and has at least been leading both Bush and Carson in the national polls. He may figure he can corral Bush's supporters more readily than can Marco Rubio and make himself the modal establishment lane candidate. Abrasive though he is, Kasich does at least compare favorably to the man who has been Orlando Cicilia's brother-in-law, Cesar Conda's employer, and upChuck Schumer's collaborator.



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    2. Art Deco, the judge in the Terry Schiavo case, where that poor woman was enough out of a coma to plead for her life, is a very good candidate for a public hanging (after due processs of law, including proper impeachment proceedings).

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  7. "… Europe undergo an unprecedented Muslim invasion": unprecedented only in how far it's got, and how little it's been opposed.

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    1. Yes. I should have said that. Thanks.

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  8. Trump has been a lifelong big government, big money liberal democrat with no regard for the constitution (see his Kelo position) , he is a nasty bully and doesnt seem to care about anything but his wealth, his ego and sex . I have never voted for a democrat so i really cant vote for Trump . There is of course the hope that his own greed will make him billionaire friendly and cause him to make limited government appointments to the supreme court , but his resort to Larry tribe for opinions scares me. He speeches are geared towards 4th graders, note that he seldom uses words with 3 or more syllables and he doesnt appear to have absorbed much history, economics or anything else, so his ignorance scares me too . I would almost certainly vote for Sanders over Trump as Sanders would get absolutely nothing done just as his entire life to date illustrates . I really am not sure which would be worse in a Hilary vs Trump race . I do understand people who would never vote for Trump, I am probably one of them

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    1. Diplomad's case comes to this: won't you, if it comes to that, vote for a liberal Democrat over a Commie?

      Sanders would (a) select at least one supreme court justice and other judges and (b) command the U.S. military and civilian executive services. You don't think he can do that significantly worse than Trump? Wait and see.

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  9. Trump will get my vote. Reluctantly. My preference is Cruz. Only Clinton or, God forbid, Sanders are worse.

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    1. Sanders is an honest man. Hellary is anything but. I think the Bernie the Communist discourse should be retired. He's had an interest in Trotskyist literature in the past, but he's essentially an eclectic lefty, not an adherent to Marxism of the Leninist variety.

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    2. Art Deco, "eclectic Leftist" covered Mao Zedong and his good pal Saloth Sar (Pol Pot) as well. On our side of the water, they were also the folks who called Stalin, Beria, Kogonovich, and crew "liberals in a hurry".

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    3. Don't be an idiot. He belonged to the old Norman Thomas Socialist Party and the Liberty Union Party. The Liberty Union Party had an affiliation with one of the three descendants of the Socialist Party (the one run by David McReynolds, not the one run by Michael Harrington or the one run by Penn Kemble). He's a Ben-and-Jerry's goof, not a Maoist.

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    4. Art Deco, perhaps Bern's just a Ben-and-Jerry goof, but I've known too many of that ilk who have clear soft spots for Mao and others of that persuasion. And when it gets to Trotsky, there was one ruthless SOB. Sure, Norman Thomas was a gentleman, but the days when he "made sense" or a socialist of his type could be credible as a respecter of others' civil liberties are past.

      You and I are on the same page that Hillary Clinton is to be trusted about as far as you or I could throw the whole, intact White House (and I'm a grandfather with some health issues). But when it comes to Bern's honesty, I'm of the mind he's sincerely deluded.

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  10. The Bushes seem like fine gentlemen but have proven to be in over their heads in high office. That said, I liked many things about George W "Bring it on" Bush.

    As for Trump, only 1176 delegate votes to go if my math computes. Still has his work cut out for him, and many chances for more stumbles. And wasn't he expected to do better than 33% in SC? Let us not lose hope for Cruz quite yet.

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    1. I'll vote for Cruz. I'm guessing from his performance to date that his ceiling may be in the range of 28% or so of the Republican electorate, with Trump's at 38% or so and the balance consisting of the as-yet unconsolidated establishment lane. The Republican Party may prove to be living in Chinese-interesting times.

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  11. What's been manifest the last several years is that the Republican elite is largely composed of men who live in a bubble and/or are the bitch of Donohue of the Chamber-of-Commerce. Rick Santorum was the only candidate talking about immigration control before Trump appeared. As for Jeb Bush, he's perfectly principled on this issues. Unfortunately, his principle consists of an affection for all things Mexican, a disposition which seems to have affected his brother's thinking. Things Mexican are fine...in Mexico. Most of us have no desire to live in a foreign country.

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  12. A great assessment of Jeb the man, and "Jeb!" the campaign. I'm firmly in the "anybody but Hillary/Bernie" camp. Just about every other candidate is--or was--more congenial than Trump. I think columnist Ann Coulter (one of the few Trump cheerleaders in the media) keeps harping, that if the other GOP candidates want to--or wanted to--win the primaries--steal Trump's message. None have them done so, which is why Trump has such a commanding lead.

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  13. A great assessment of Jeb the man, and "Jeb!" the campaign. I'm firmly in the "anybody but Hillary/Bernie" camp. Just about every other candidate is--or was--more congenial than Trump. I think columnist Ann Coulter (one of the few Trump cheerleaders in the media) keeps harping, that if the other GOP candidates want to--or wanted to--win the primaries--steal Trump's message. None have them done so, which is why Trump has such a commanding lead.

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  14. PS: Canadian columnist Mark Steyn has a great article on Jeb's departure from the political stage called "Bush Whacked."

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    1. IIRC, Mark Steyn is now one of us, not Canaqdian.

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  15. I am intrigued by a comparison of Trump and Churchill. I have spent years reading about Churchill and have been to his grave (not that that gives me any insight) and read his World War II memoir in college. In fact, I had it before college when it was a Book of the Month Club extra for subscribing.

    He was hated almost as much as Trump and for some somewhat similar reasons. He switched parties over India and was very unpopular with the Conservatives in 1939. Only the War brought him to power. In 1940, when he became PM, the Tories almost revolted. If you doubt that read John Lukacs' book "Five Days in London, May 1940.

    He was seen as capricious and a bit of a wastrel, which he was. His friends before the war were typically what used to be called “Cafe Society,” not at all the sort who would be invited to the typical “weekend house party.”

    Chamberlain was a business man and very “sound” as British politicians were judged.

    The comparison is striking to me. I am not at all ready to sign on to Trump but I can consider him with equanimity.

    Had World War II not occurred, Churchill might well be seen as a failed politician of little merit. Had we not had the past twenty years in this country, Trump would not get a glance.

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  16. Jeb was obviously a decent man, but his immigration policy was obsolete the second that Trump slammed through the wall of PC that equated talking about immigration to out and out racism. Plus, American doesn't need more than one POTUS from the same family, never mind 3.

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  17. As you can see from this 1988 interview, Trump has not been a life long liberal Democrat.
    http://youtu.be/Usb0iE5WiZI
    Cruz keeps shooting himself in the foot. His Glenn Beck and evangelical associations would not have broad appeal in the general election. A significant portion of the base would stay home rather than vote for Marco the Betrayer. A socialist or Trump, pick your poison.

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  18. Hill'ry is vile today
    Viler than yesterday
    Standing up or sitting down
    She's entitled to the crown.

    Has the habit of singing rude songs about politicians entirely vanished? Did you ever have it in the US?

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    1. Seems to have died out. I remember hearing such songs in the 1960 election between Nixon and JFK. Nothing since.

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  19. I cannot vote for someone who supports Planned Parenthood, thinks eminent domain is good for businesses and who has not put out any plan whatsoever on how he is going to protect our Constitution.

    I have doubts that Trump has any understanding or the Constitution.

    A pox on all the Republican Candidates who are still hanging on - from Dr. Carson to that idiot Ohioan, Kasich.

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    1. That should read understanding of the Constitution. Sorry.

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  20. "A pox on all the Republican Candidates who are still hanging on - from Dr. Carson to that idiot Ohioan, Kasich"

    OH My my BD! Your political remedy sounds much more like dirty deeds done dirt cheap -- even the Donald has not endorsed such Planned Parenthood style condemnations! Moreover, please have no fear dear, Candidate Trump has expressed his allegiance to Constitutional principles. Further, as the unabashed billionaire reminds us 'eminent domain' can be a wonderful thing!:)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75Cd7oHG6pk

    "Let's Roll"

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    1. Do I want a clear and conniving criminal or a bit of a lunatic? I guess I'll take the lunatic. Some choice.

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    2. Do I want a clear and conniving criminal or a bit of a lunatic? I guess I'll take the lunatic. Some choice.

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    3. I should have been more clear - I meant the candidates with less than 10% support who are pretty much giving Trump the win. If we had only two or three candidates, I don't think he would be doing as well.

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    4. I should have been more clear - I meant the candidates with less than 10% support who are pretty much giving Trump the win. If we had only two or three candidates, I don't think he would be doing as well.

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    5. You're probably right about that Beth. But to quote an infamous stateswoman: "at this point what does it matter?"

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/24/a-trump-win-is-looking-inevitable.html

      "Let's Roll"

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  21. Replies
    1. That tickled! WW! ;)

      OW
      "Let's Roll"

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  22. How about the people of the United States are represented rather than so called refugees flooding our communities?

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