Thursday, April 28, 2016

First Kasich; Now Fiorina: Has Senator Cruz Run Out of Hail Marys?

First Kasich, Now Fiorina: Does Senator Cruz Have Any Hail Mary’s Left? The Acela Express roared through the Northeast Tuesday, doing more political damage to Senator Cruz than Hurricane Sandy did to Governor Christy. Donald Trump won every country in the primary votes in Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Governor Kasich came in second in four states, barely trailing the Senator in Pennsylvania. Senator Cruz was a distant third in four of the states. He’s running out of time in his race for the Presidency. It’s time for a Hail Mary pass or a buzzle beating shot from half court. Politics makes strange bedfellows. The Senator and Governor entered four days ago into a lovefest, alliance, non-aggression pact, a horizontal division of the market, treaty, or act of desperation. Governor Kasich agreed to stay out of Indiana and Senator Cruz would cede New Mexico and Oregon to Governor Kasich in the latest manifestation of a Stop Trump Movement. The Hail Mary was an attempt to stop splitting the anti-Trump vote, allowing either Cruz or Kasich to win the remaining state contests on a one-on-one fight with Trump. It failed quicker than the non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and Russia, which divided Poland between the two countries, but soon saw Hitler invading Russia. The American voters delivered over 50% of the Republican vote to Donald Trump in each of the five states on Tuesday. Poland fell, Republicans held fast. Governor Kasich was in Indiana today campaigning. Senator Cruz’s new Hail Mary, his new political soulmate, is to announce Carly Fiorina as his running mate. The last time a Presidential candidate named his Vice Presidential nominee prior to securing the nomination was in 1976 when Governor Reagan anointed Pennsylvania's moderate Republican Senator Richard Schweiker as his running mate in an unsuccessful attempt to win the Republican nomination. Carly Fiorina may look good on paper. She could help Senator Cruz in the California primary, which will be his last chance to stop the Trump Bandwagon. Ms. Fiorina is a woman who can stand up to Secretary Clinton on the stump. She clearly stood out in the undercard debates earlier this year. Her debating skills are as outstanding as those of the Senator. She was always well-prepared and dominated the debates. Carly Fiorina presents a compelling personal story, rising from a secretary to CEO of Hewlett-Packard, a classic example of living the American Dream, serving as an example for the all the women of America. If only the facts lived up to the narrative! She was only a secretary for a few days. She comes from a privileged background. Her father, Joseph Sneed, was a federal appellate judge, having previously served as Dean of Duke Law School. Ms. Fiorina earned her Bachelor’s degree from Stanford, and then received an MBA from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Science in Management from M.I.T. She was fired by HP after six years as CEO. The VEEP designee failed abysmally six years ago in running for the Senate in California. It’s difficult, near impossible, today for a Republican to win a statewide election in California. If ever there was a year, it was 2010 with the Midterm Revolt nationally against President Obama and the Democrats. Not in California! Carly Fiorina ran a poor campaign against Senator Barbara Boxer. She lost by 10% by the unimpressed California voters. She bowed out early in the Republican race this year despite her impressive debate performances. Her problem is an inability to connect with voters. Senator Cruz comes across as your mean uncle. Carly Fiorina mirrors him. It’s as though they were fraternal twins separated at birth and now reunited – two peas in a snarly pot. The two of them are too smart for us, and they know it. Indiana is a basketball state - not a football state. Bobby Knight won three national titles with the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team. The “General” is a legend in Indiana. His persona mirrors that of Donald Trump. The two were campaigning together today in Indianapolis Carly or Bobby? Who would you want by your side in Indianapolis?

Monday, April 25, 2016

An Irreverent Look at the 2016 Presidential Election

Governor John Kasich campaigned in the New York Primary by eating New York Pizza with a fork. Senator Cruz rues New York values. Politics makes strange bedfellows but the Cruz-Kasich cabal sounds like a dud cruise missile. The new Trump sounds like the old trump, just as the New Nixon echoed the Old Nixon and the new Dukakis was the same as the old Dukakis. Is Donald trump running for President? Or is it Don Rickles? Donald Trump is the most Democratic of the 17 original Republican candidates, but he may be the last Republican standing. Donald Trump is appealing to the lower income, less educated voters, but Senator Sanders accuses the poor of not voting. Senator Sanders, the attacker of the rich and corporations of not paying their fair share, but he and his wife had taxable income in 2014 of $20,5271, but paid only $27,653 in federal taxes, a tax rate of 13.5%. He falls in the top 5% of income earners in the United States. He’s not paying his fair share. The Democrats are running two senior citizens for President. The Republicans running as the New Ronald Reagan are violating Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” Charles Koch, of the Koch Brothers, finds it repugnant. Senator Rubio alluded to Donald Trump’s penis size, of which he presumably had no personal knowledge. Donald Trump has been making nice with Megyn Kelley. Governor Chris Christy made nice with Donald Trump, but looked like a hostage suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome. Rudy Giuliani voted for Donald Trump, supports Donald Trump, but will not endorse him - a distinction only a lawyer can understand. Donald Trump, the consummate New Yorker, has embraced New England’s Tom Brady. He’s probably eyeing the QB’s foreign-born model wife. Donald Trump, supposedly the richest candidate in the race, has spent the least money of the five remaining candidates. Secretary Clinton has been running on gun control against Senator Sanders in the primaries, but knows it is a loser in the general election. Senator Cruz is running as everyone’s second choice. His wife, Heidi, is an investment manager at Goldman Sachs. Too bad she can’t release a recording of Secretary Clinton’s 20 minute, $250,000 speeches at Goldman Sachs. Secretary Clinton won’t release the Goldman Sachs transcripts and Donald Trump his tax returns. Secretary Clinton is the only Presidential candidate investigated by 100 FBI agents. Donald Trump and Secretary Clinton are their parties’ front runners, in unfavorability ratings exceeding 50%. California matters this year!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In Memory of Professors Tibor Machan and Essai Adibi, Two Chapman Stars

Chapman University is in transition. President James Doti built Chapman from a small college to an expanding university. He is retiring. Chancellor Daniele Struppa will become President shortly and hope to further transit Chapman into a national university. Sadly, neither Professor Tibor Machan nor Esmael (“Essie”) Adibi will be there for the next stage. Both are economic conservatives who were cheerleaders for Orange County as a haven for entrepreneurs, as much as there can be entrepreneurs in today’s California. Both professors valued America as the land of opportunity for both were refugees from oppressive regimes. Tibor was smuggled out of Hungary in 1953 when he was 14. His father him wanted to escape the brutal Communist dictatorship. Tibor forever loathed communism, socialism, collectivism, and bureaucracy. Essie earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran, and then came to the United States to earn an MBA from Chapman. He was studying in the United States when the Shah of Iran fell, being succeeded by the authoritarian Ayatollahs. He wisely remained in the United States, earning a Masters in economics from Cal State University Fullerton, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Claremont Graduate School. His mentor at Chapman was then Professor James Doti. Essie returned to Chapman 38 years ago and co-prepared with Professor Doti the annual Chapman Economics Forecast for Orange County, which became a major economic event in Orange County. He was an expert in econometrics. He directed Chapman’s A Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research since 1985 and held the A Gary Anderson Chair of Economic Research. A memorial service was held at Chapman’s new Musco Center for the Performing Arts. The 1,000 seats were filled. A large percent of the mourners were his fellow Persians for Essie was also a pillar of the Persian expatriate community. Essie was also one the nicest people you would ever meet. He was also one of the hardest working people you would ever meet. He knew that success in America came from hard work. I still see Essie standing outside Beckman Hall with a smile on his face and a cigarette in his hand. Therein lies his mortality. He died at a young 63 from a massive stroke, undoubtedly related to his heavy smoker. A colleague last Monday said he advised Essie several times to quit smoking. Essie’s response was “to put a cigarette in his hand when he dies.” President Doti said of Essie: “I lost my closest friend and Chapman has lost one of its brightest stars.” Tibor was the Libertarian of Libertarians. He received his BA from Claremont Mckenna, an MA from NYU, and a Ph.D, from UC Santa Barbara, all in Philosophy. As a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Barbara, he and a few friends bought a magazine for $2,000. It became Reason Magazine, the magazine of, by and for libertarians. Tibor had a forceful presence. I sat on a couple of panels with him over the past 20 years. He could eviscerate knee jerk liberals in debates He was a prolific author with scores of books, columns and blogs, always espousing the cause of freedom, which included freedom from an increasing oppressive state and federal bureaucracy. He was a strong advocate for freedom, both personal and economic. He retired as an emeritus professor at Auburn University, but his career did not slow down. He was a fellow at the Hoover Institute in Palo Alto. He was a longtime columnist and consultant to Freedom Communications, publisher of the Orange County Register. He held the R.C. Hoilles Chair of Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at Chapman from 2004 through 2014. Raymond Cyrus Hoiles acquired the small Santa Ana Register newspaper and grew it into the Orange County Register and the parent Freedom Communications. R.C. Hoiles was outspokenly conservative on most issues, but was one of the few publishers to oppose the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. Tibor began writing for R.C. Hoiles and the Register while still a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Barbara. He fit into the Register.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lessons From the New York Primary

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won landslide victories. Both triumphed after a mediocre campaign month. They are back. The only thing that can keep Clinton from the Democratic nomination will be an indictment, which is not coming. If Bill Clinton was referred to as “America’s first Black President,” then Hillary Clinton may be “The Nation’s first Black female President.” Her campaign is geared to uniting the Obama Coalition. Donald Trump is helping her do that. He beats her in the unfavorability polls by 15%, 67% to 52%. Senator Cruz comes in at 52%. What a sad commentary! Secretary Clinton’s path to the White is easy. All she has to do are: 1) Don’t utter any of her spontaneous; stupid, arrogant statements; 2) Keep Bill muzzled for six months: 3) Run away from Bill’s policies; 4) Make sure Bill keeps his zipper up; 5) Stick to President Obama, and yet distance herself from the President’s policies; 6) Hope the economy holds up through November; 7) Pray there’s no major terrorist attack in the United States before the November Election; 8) Keep the lid on the Mideast through the election; and 9) Don’t get indicted. Donald Trump won big, reaping 92 of New York’s 95 delegate votes with 60% of the vote. Donald Trump has been railing against the rigging of the delegate process. Yet, with 60% of the vote, he won 97% of the delegates. Senator Ted Cruz came in a distant third. Governor Kasich received almost twice as many votes as the Senator. The Senator discovered that “I Love New York” Trumps “New York Values.” Donald Trump is serious about winning the nomination. He has shaken up his campaign staff, hiring two pros. He is also now investing real money into the campaign. He expects to win. Senator Cruz is planning and organizing for a second ballot victory in an Open Convention. That door closed yesterday. Watch Senator Cruz become more petulant and negative as the nomination is slip-sliding away. He might be seeing a lot of third place finishes except for Indiana. Secretary Clinton received twice as many votes as Donald Trump, but that simply reflects the fact that twice as many Democrats are registered to vote in New York, which has closed primaries. The sour note for Trump is that he failed to win the Borough of Manhattan. It used to be that “As Maine and Vermont go, so goes the nation.” Senator Cruz is about to learn in this Republican Primary Season that “What goes in New York, goes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, et al” all the way to Cleveland. Senator Cruz is in the campaign all the way to Philly. He’s been running for President all his adult life. He’s not about to quit just because he’s losing at the ballot box. Senator Sanders will stay in because he’s got the Berm. The Senator is having a blast There’s always the chance Secretary Clinton will be indicted. Governor Kasich will continue in the race because he will be the last Republican standing if Donald Trump and Senator Cruz self-destruct.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The New York Primary in a Nutshell

The New York primary will be relevant this year, as will California. Ted Cruz Loves New York, but not “New York values” See how he squirms out of that one! The New York Daily News in its inimitable manner on the front page advised Senator Cruz to take “the F U” train. He’s been taking it upstate to attempt to win a few delegates from conservative, upstate Congressional districts. Senator Bernie Sanders, the expatriate New Yorker from Brooklyn, is running against Secretary Clinton, the carperbagging Senator from New York. Neither one is qualified to be President, according to the other. Hillary, the candidate of the people, couldn’t figure out how to use a farecard at the New York City subway. She also hasn’t driven a car in two decades. Hillary and the Donald are the most unlikeable candidates in the presidential race. They will win New York. Two weeks ago secretary Clinton said “I’m sick of the Sander’s campaign lies.” Two days ago the Trump and Kasich forces to unite and shut the Cruz campaign out of committee spots. Last weekend the Cruz campaign won all 28 delegate votes without a primary or caucus or even straw poll - no semblance of a vote by the people - just a cabal of party zealots. The people in Colorado did not get to vote. Paul Manafort, Trump’s new campaign aide, accused the Cruz Campaign of using “Gestapo tactics.” Senator Sanders, the Brooklyn Jew, called on Israel to take “a more balanced” approach in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said the Palestinians should be treated with “dignity and respect, hardly a winning argument in New York.” Trump now realizes, coming out of Wisconsin, that he needs to beef up his campaign staff, ground game, and spend some of his fortune funding an organization building a ground game. Senator Cruz understands the ground game. New York City Mayor De Blasio endorsed Secretary Clinton for President. They appeared at a charity dinner with a canned scrip. She said to Hizzoner: Took you long enough.” He responded “Sorry, Hillary, I was on C.P. time.” Hillary’s belated response “Cautious politician time. I’ve been there.” “CPT” stands for “Colored People Time.” I was shocked when I first heard the phrase in Louisiana three decades ago. Had a Republican candidate engaged in such a racist joke, it would have led off the evening news. It’s still shocking that the Mayor, whose wife is African American, and thus has two African American children, would use it even in jest. It’s shocking that Secretary Clinton, whose primary wins in the South depended on overwhelming African American votes, would agree to participate in such a joke. Shocked, but not surprised. Secretary Clinton has a tin year. I Love New York.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Will Donald Trump's Hoof 'n Mouth Disease Finally Catch Up to Him on the Abortion Issue?

Donald Trump had a bad week. His campaign manager was arrested for battery. His mouth blew the abortion question, He’s expected to lose Wisconsin next week, perhaps by double digits. The media is proclaiming his end and piling on. Every major campaign has a bad week or two, but overcomes it. Don’t sell the Donald short yet! Donald Trump has triumphed so far by trashing everything in his way. I understand his appeal, but it is radioactive. He has alienated women, Muslims, Mexicans, Mormons, POW’s, FoxNews. He is doing a better job than Secretary Clinton in reassembling the Obama Coalition. He is trying to win Wisconsin after trashing Governor Walker, who is popular with Wisconsin conservatives. Hi is boorish. His presence is an affront to the image of the United States. He is gauche. He’s been a misogynist to Carly Fiorina and Heidi Cruz. He is an uncontrolled, undisciplined, unprepared, arrogant loose cannon. He wings it, phones it in, speaks off the cuff, shoots from the hip, often thoughtlessly. Yet, he has prevailed to date in the Republican race. Dr. Ben Carson is a great person. He was rising in the polls earlier in the race. He dropped out though when it became clear that he was not yet ready for prime time as well as being too nice. Donald Trump is the opposite of nice, but he is totally not ready for prime time. His base has stuck with him so far. His abortion comment yesterday crosses the pale. Chris Matthews set him up by asking if women having abortions should be prosecuted if abortions are illegal. There’s no way, absent a revolutionary change in the Supreme Court, that Roe v. Wade will be reversed. He should have refused to answer the absurd hypothetical. Instead, he said they should face some punishment. He later retracted, but he said it. His statement’s on video. It will be merciless campaign fodder against him in the general election. He validates the otherwise specious Democratic claims of a Republican War on Women. He falls into the public den of infamy with Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri in 2012 and Indiana’s State Treasurer Richard Murdock, both of whom said incredibly insulting statements about rape. They cost the Republicans two Senate seats which were winnable. Incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McGaskill of Missouri was highly vulnerable in her reelection campaign. She won in a landslide because Congressman Akin uttered a statement that was insulting to the intelligence of the American people. He was asked about abortions for women who were raped. He said: “Well, you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down..” In other words, if it is a real rape, a “legitimate rape,” the woman will not get pregnant. He proved he was an educated ignoramus. Richard Murdock had knocked off the incumbent Senator Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican primary. He was favored to win, but he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with his statement of fetuses conceived by rape: “Life is the gift from God that I think even if life begins in this horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Don’t Republican candidates understand that if they utter a statement that is incredibly stupid or outrageous, then the media will use it to destroy them politically. Donald Trump suffers from Hoof ‘n Mouth Disease. Sooner or later, he will run off at the mouth, espousing some half-baked statement that offends almost everyone. Maybe he feels emboldened because he got away with several outrageous statements this election cycle. He did it with the abortion answer. Pro-Life and Pro-Choice partisans are equally offended. There is no excuse for stupidity.