Trumps Second Major Mistake, the Debate

Donald Trump is leading Republican Presidential Polls due to his alpha male, fearless approach that says ” I can beat them all, and have no fear.” It resonates because Obama is not an alpha and seems to fear most world leaders. The contrast appeals to voters.

Donald Trump has shown the white feather. A civil war term for soldiers who turned and tan, showing white tail feathers, so to speak. The reason for his deciding to turn and run from the prospect of facing Megan Kelly of Fox News. The candidate says he is doing so because she asked him a tough question before with the suggestion she may do so again. The question she asked at an earlier debate was about Trump’s having made sexist statements. He had!

The reason this is Trump’s Second Major Mistake is that he tries to show himself as the toughest guy in the campaign. He says, for example, that he will build a great fence on our southern border and make Mexico pay for it. That’s tough. Now I suspect the Mexicans will simply laugh at him and we know he will back down. This is his self-made disaster.

The full impact of this will not be seen immediately as true believers will cling to his slippery, sinking side for a while, but not forever. The full impact will hit when voters realize that he ran away from a woman who may ask a tough question again.

Compounding his problem is that he continues to demean and impugn Megan Kelly’s obvious talents as a journalist. She is a lawyer and excellent journalist. His efforts further reduce his stature.

Trump’s first big mistake was having Sarah Palin endorse him.

Patriots Did It to Themselves

Dan Shaughnessy is one of my favorite sports writers. He is very smart, writes very well and describes the Patriots self-inflicted defeat  here.


Patriots brought this loss upon themselves


By Dan Shaughnessy GLOBE COLUMNIST JANUARY 25, 2016
This never should have happened.

The New England Patriots, a team on a mission that started the season 10-0, are bounced from Super Bowl contention because they outsmarted themselves and wound up having to win a road game in a very tough venue in the AFC Championship game.
The top-seeded Denver Broncos played great defense and beat the Patriots, 20-18, at Sports Authority Field Sunday. Intrepid Tom Brady drove the Pats to a last-minute touchdown and pulled them to within 2 points in the closing seconds, but Brady’s potential game-tying 2-point conversion pass was tipped and intercepted, ending the Patriots season. And so New England’s Revenge Tour that followed the Deflategate mess ended with a whimper in the Mile High City.

Sorry to say this, but the 2015-16 Patriots are something of a myth. They are forever the fortunate champs of the hideous AFC East, but they cannot win a road playoff game. They have not won a road playoff game in more than nine years (San Diego, January 2007).

Besting the pathetic Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets annually assures the Pats a first-round bye and second-round home game every year, but does not prepare them for the noise and disruption of Sports Authority Field in January. The Pats have simply forgotten how to win in enemy territory.

The worst part of this unsatisfying ending is that the Patriots are all done because they did not take care of business in Miami on the final weekend of the regular season.

The Pats could have played the Broncos in Foxborough Sunday. New England’s (No. 2) seeding has nothing to do with unfortunate losses to the Eagles and Jets at the end of the season. Those were contested games, played when we still had no clear vision of the AFC playoff alignment. The season finale is quite different. On that day, Jan. 3, the Patriots knew their situation and owned absolute control of their fate. They played a 1 p.m. game in Miami against a team that was ready to hit the golf course. And they tanked. They worked on their running game. They insulted the Dolphins. And they paid the price. With Brady and Rob Gronkowski both exposed to hard hits, the Pats lost to the Dolphins, 20-10. They forfeited the top seed in the AFC. And it came back to bite them Sunday. The Pats got their butts kicked by a team that all of New England laughed at all week.
Remember the narrative? Denver’s aging quarterback Peyton Manning was Willie Mays in the 1973 World Series, a fading star who hung around too long. The Pats were indominable after their mighty 7-point playoff win over the Kansas City Chiefs. They were going to surge into Super Bowl 50 and Brady was going to establish himself at the Greatest of All Time by winning his fifth Super Bowl.

So what happened? The Broncos spanked the Patriots Sunday afternoon. Sorry to remind you but Peyton Manning, the guy you were all feeling sorry for earlier in the week, now has won three consecutive AFC Championship games against Tom Brady.

New England gave it a great shot at the finish, and closed to within a 2-point conversion of sending the game into overtime in the final minute. But it was too little, too late. And it should never have come to that juncture.

The Patriots are out of the Super Bowl tournament because they had to win a game on the road and they are no longer a team that can win a playoff game on the road. They’ve lost their road toughness. Or maybe they are just out of practice.

In the old days, when the Patriots were truly great, they could go to Pittsburgh (twice) and win the AFC Championship game. No more. Now they can only win playoff games in their friendly crib in Foxborough.

That’s what makes Sunday’s loss so painful. Is there any Patriot fan who thinks the Pats would have lost Sunday’s game if it had been played in Foxborough? Of course not. The Broncos are not very good. They are likely to be cannon fodder for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara. The Broncos look like the same Broncos who were smoked by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Patriots should be playing in Super Bowl 50. They should have stayed the course and put themselves at Gillette for the entire AFC tournament. But they chose another path. And now they are done. What a waste.

Is America Racist, Larry Elder Says “No”

Is racism still a major problem in Ame­­rica­? President Barack Obama certainly thinks so. He said that racism is “in our DNA.” Really? If racism is in our DNA, doesn’t that it’s mean immutable, unchangeable?

But America has changed — and dramatically so. In 1960, 60% of Americans said they would never vote for a black president. Almost 50 years later, the black man who said racism is in America’s DNA was elected president, and four years later re-elected. That’s only the most obvious example of racial progress. There are many others.

Take inter-racial marriage. As William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution wrote, “Sociologists have traditionally viewed multiracial marriage as a benchmark for the ultimate stage of assimilation of a particular group into society.” Black-white marriages were still illegal in 16 states until 1967. And a 1958 Gallup poll found that only 4% of Americans approved of black-white marriages. Today that number is 87%. In 1960, of all marriages by blacks, only 1.7 percent were black-white. Today, it’s 12 percent and rising.

Now what about “racial profiling” and abuse of blacks by police? Doesn’t that prove that racism remains a major problem? In the summer of 2014, Ferguson, Missouri became ground zero for this accusation when a white policeman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.  While a Department of Justice investigation of the incident cleared the officer of any wrongdoing, it did accuse the city’s police department of racial bias.

But what was the Justice Department report’s most headline grabbing stat? The gap between the percentage of blacks living in Ferguson — 67% — and the percentage of those stopped by police for traffic violation who are black — 85%. An 18 point discrepancy.

Racism, right? Not so fast.

Blacks comprise 25% of New York City, but account for 55% of those stopped for traffic offenses — a 30-pointdiscrepancy, far bigger than that of Ferguson. Why isn’t the NYPD, a department that is now majority minority, considered even more institutionally racist than the Ferguson PD? The answer is you cannot have an honest discussion about police conduct without an honest discussion of black crime.

Though blacks are 13% of the population, they commit 50% of the nation’s homicides, and almost always the victim is another black person, just as most white homicides are against other whites. In 2012, according to the Center for Disease Control, police killed 123 blacks, while, by the way, killing over twice that many whites. But that same year blacks killed over 6,000 people — again, mostly other blacks.

What about traffic stops? Unlike when responding to dispatch calls, police officers exercise more discretion when it comes to traffic stops. Therefore “racist” cops can have a field day when it comes to traffic stops, right?

Actually, no.

The National Institute of Justice is the research agency of the Department of Justice. In 2013, the National Institute of Justice published a study called “Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy.” Three out of four black drivers admitted that they were stopped by the police for a “legitimate reason.” Blacks, compared to whites, were on average more likely to commit speeding and other traffic offenses. The Institute wrote, “Seatbelt usage is chronically lower among black drivers. If a law enforcement agency aggressively enforces seatbelt violations, police will stop more black drivers.”

The NIJ’s conclusion? These numerical disparities result from “differences in offending” — in other words, not because of racism.

Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also found that blacks violate traffic laws at higher rates than whites — in every offense, whether it’s driving without a license, not wearing a seat belt, not using a child safety seat or speeding.

Is there still racism in America? Of course, there is. But racism is not in America’s DNA. Recent history and a lot of research and data prove it.

As liberal Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson said, America, “is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protections of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all of those of Africa.”

Patterson, by the way, is black.

Palin Endorses Trump, His Biggest Error

I have been surprised at Donald Trumps success as a presidential candidate and his continued improvement as a candidate. His message resonates with many who are dismayed by the state of the nation. He is smart and his authoritative demeanor is what is being sought by many voters.  He is the alpha male who seemed to have the nomination “in the bag.”

By allowing and probably seeking Sarah Palin’s endorsement, he is showing a tone deaf ear to the voters. Palin’s appearance and her statements were awful for his campaign. He will now be tied to a polarizing character and it can only prove damaging.

This action is a response to Ted Cruz’s rise in popularity. Still, the Iowa caucus is not a clear indicator of probable success in the race for the nomination. Many Iowa winners are ultimate losers in that race.

I must admit that I once admired Palin and attended her acceptance speech at the St. Paul convention. She was electric. With the passing of time so has her luster. Trump has embraced Palin or vice versa, and voters will now be confronted by the suggestion that  a vote for him may be a vote for her as Vice President. The effect will be damaging to Trump.

This is his first big mistake and may well propel Cruz, Rubio, the surging Kasich or a steady Bush into the lead. I just don’t like Christie for his Sandy statements that won an election for Obama. Nevertheless, Trump is now tied to Palin and that will make all the difference. Moreover, this endorsement at this time was not necessary. It was his first big mistake.


S.O.S. for a Declining American Navy

S.O.S. for a Declining American Navy
Today’s 272-ship fleet isn’t nearly enough. The U.S. needs 350 ships to meet the rising global dangers.

Jan. 6, 2016 7:02 p.m. ET
Late last week China confirmed that it is building its first aircraft carrier from scratch, adding to a fleet that includes a Russian-made carrier. The news cast U.S. military policy in a particularly unsettling light: While China’s naval power expands, America has deliberately reduced its presence on the seas. The Navy—after nearly $1 trillion of Defense Department cuts, in part mandated by the 2011 budget-sequestration deal between Congress and the Obama administration—is already down to 272 ships. That means the U.S. fleet is less than half its size at the close of the Reagan administration nearly 30 years ago (and down by 13 ships since 2009).

The Navy had intended to increase the fleet to 308 ships, including 12 that will replace the nation’s aging ballistic-missile submarine deterrent. But in a mid-December memo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Navy to cut the number of ships it plans to build in favor of placing more-advanced technology aboard the existing fleet.

Secretary Carter’s plan implies that the deterrent effect of a constant U.S. presence in the world is less important than the Navy’s ability to fight and win wars with the advanced weapons he favors. That assumption is mistaken. We need both the ability to be present, which demands more ships than we have, and the related power to win a war if deterrence doesn’t work. Even the Navy’s now-endangered plan for 308 new ships was far below the approximately 350 combat ships needed to achieve this aim.

With danger rising around the world, from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, the increasing military and economic threats cannot be ignored. Here is what an expansion of the Navy to the 350 ships needed to safeguard national security would look like:

• Aircraft carriers. Applying power requires the anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, surveillance and strike ability of aircraft carriers. It requires an increase from the congressionally legislated level of 11 aircraft carriers to 16, enough so that we could maintain at least one carrier strike group in the West Pacific, the Persian Gulf, and return powerful U.S. naval forces to the Mediterranean.

• Supply ships. The ability to shape events on land is linked to the ability to operate independently of it. Supply ships assure this. The U.S. currently has 29 such vessels but it needs to double the number so that it can provision a larger fleet in the West Pacific and return to the Mediterranean in strength.

• Submarines. The Pentagon’s annual report last April on Chinese military power predicts that China will have between 69 and 78 submarines by 2020. The U.S. expects to have about 70 submarines in the same year. Yet repairs, maintenance and rotational cycles mean that only about 25% can be deployed at a time and must be spread around the world.

The U.S. will likely retain its qualitative advantage, but the size and quietness of China’s submarine fleet means that America needs a total of 90 submarines to provide a healthy nuclear deterrent, shadow or hunt enemy subs, assure dominance in the West Pacific, and meet additional global challenges.

• Amphibious craft. Increased Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean and that of China and Iran as well as Islamic State’s occupation of Sirte on the Libyan coast also demand a return to the amphibious presence that the U.S. maintained during the Cold War. The possibility that China would seize and hold islands in the West Pacific as a means of extending its strategic reach also emphasizes the need for greater amphibious capability. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps should have 45 ships for these missions, an increase of nearly 50% over the current level.

• Large surface combatants, destroyers and cruisers. These remain the U.S. fleet’s backbone. They hunt for subs and other surface ships, project power inland, and protect—and are protected by—aircraft carriers. For the foreseeable future they will be the main defense against proliferating missiles that can be launched against ships from land, air and sea. Weighing China’s ability to concentrate naval forces in its adjacent seas against the U.S.’s global commitments, a total of 100 large surface combatants—an increase from the planned 88—is the minimum required to protect each of America’s 16 carriers with five ships.

• Small combatant ships. Defense Secretary Carter wants to cut the number of the small naval combatants, called littoral combat ships (LCS), to 40 from 52. Even in its upgraded version, the LCS falls short of the ability both to defend itself and take the fight to an enemy. Instead of building 40 ill-defended combatants, the Navy needs a minimum of 30 new small combatants that possess a real frigate’s offensive and defensive ability.

• High-speed vessels. Current plans are right when they call for 11 of the low-cost, unarmed and fast twin-hulled ships that can transport small Army or Marine units along with their equipment.

The fleet described here would number 350 ships, about 240 ships fewer than the Reagan Navy, and 13% larger than the combat fleet the Navy currently seeks. Using the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimates, this would require an annual $24 billion shipbuilding expense. That means a 45% increase of the current $16.5 billion shipbuilding budget, or an added $7.5 billion yearly to the shipbuilding portion of the Navy’s budget to reach a 350-ship fleet by 2045. China’s shipbuilding plans, as well as other global challenges, show why a larger fleet is needed sooner than 30 years from now. Achieving this would increase annual shipbuilding budgets.

Yes, this is expensive, but it’s cheaper than surrendering America’s global naval dominance—and that’s where the nation is headed, given the trend lines as China’s fleet grows. The expense can be moderated. One example is the shipbuilding economies of scale found in the 1980s: The contracts for the aircraft carriers USS George Washington and USS Abraham Lincoln were signed on the same day and the great ships were built nearly simultaneously, saving about $700 million. More savings are possible if a new president were to overhaul the top-heavy Pentagon and make sorely needed reforms of military management.

Yet the $7.5 billion difference between the Navy’s insufficient current plan and the minimum required to meet foreseeable commitments is a fraction of even the Obama administration’s defense budget. What the nation can’t afford is to retreat as menaces increase abroad.

Mr. Cropsey is director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. He served as a naval officer and as deputy undersecretary of the Navy in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.


Why, How Trump Beats Hillary. Alinsky Works Both Ways

You must concede this about Donald Trump: He does keep his enemies and opponents rocking back on their heels. He does it, as the Wall street Journal’s sage James Taranto, observes, by following the very Saul Alinsky tactics that so impressed Hillary as a Wellesley undergrad.

This week he made clear that if Hillary was going to charge him with being part of the “war on women” (the successor, I take it, to her historic “vast right wing conspiracy”), he was going to attack her as an enabler and defender of a serial sexual predator — her husband.

Now, he is accusing Mr. Clinton’s defender in chief of being a moralistic hypocrite, applying to her rivals (including Trump) standards from which she excuses her husband. The current kerfuffle is only incidentally about Mr. Clinton at all.

It’s a textbook example of Saul Alinsky’s fourth tactical rule: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” (That is as true of feminism as of Christianity.)

And Trump is perfectly situated to level this attack, for precisely the reasons some Chozicks imagine otherwise. He himself is a voluptuary, not a moralist, which immunizes him through pure logic against any accusation of hypocrisy. As a practical matter, his tabloid lifestyle inoculates him against inquisitions into his private life of the sort that snared Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston during the Clinton impeachment. It all reminds us of a now-quaint anecdote in Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”:

“During a conflict with a major corporation I was confronted with a threat of public exposure of a photograph of a motel “Mr. & Mrs.” registration and photographs of my girl and myself. I said, “Go ahead and give it to the press. I think she’s beautiful and I have never claimed to be celibate. Go ahead!” That ended the threat.’

Others, knowing that the public memory is short and millennial voters deficient in history have reminded readers of how sordid and extensive Bill Clinton’s known abuse of women has been.

Taranto is right as he so often is: The Trump charge is an effective one. Even the notoriously leftwing writer, the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus, agrees the charge is warranted:

“Trump has smeared women because of their looks. Clinton has preyed on them, and in a workplace setting where he was by far the superior. That is uncomfortable for Clinton supporters but it is unavoidably true.”

Don Surber observes that Hillary, too, slandered women and adds, “Bill Clinton’s return to the center stage reminds people that for a quarter-century, the media has covered up for this lecher, which further makes the case for Trump’s attacks on the media.”

At Breitbart, John Nolte twisted the knife:

Hillary Clinton and the DC Media were sure they had found the secret weapon to waltz the Lying Benghazi Bungler directly into the Oval Office: a replay of the phony War on Women issue.

It didn’t matter who won the nomination in 2016. Mitt Romney was no sexist, so the DC Media fabricated a Todd Akin to beat him to death with.

Then Donald Trump came along, a candidate who not only understands that the rules set by the DC Media are rigged to elect Democrats, but someone competent enough to serially-beat them at their own game.

On this day, Bill Cosby is finally facing justice for the longstanding allegations against him, and thanks only to Trump, so are Bill and Hillary Clinton after 20 years of being shielded by the corrupt media.

When NBC’s Savannah Guthrie tried downplaying Bill’s abuse by calling the Lewinsky scandal “alleged”, Trump made her retract that description — after all, both parties did admit to the misconduct under oath. It was not just alleged — the sexual relationship in the Oval Office with a young subordinate is fact. The  media aren’t dealing with the usual Republican patsies any more.

In salty language, my online friend “Ignatz Ratzkywatzky” characterized the state of play.

Memorandum has the headline “Donald Trump doesn’t understand what ‘sexism’ is” from some dumb cluck at CNN.

I don’t have to even read it to know that real sexism is saying certain trigger words like “HIStory”. And it’s refusing to admit women are paid 1% of what men are, though every reputable study that controls for factors like education, pregnancy, time in the work force etc demonstrates women make slightly more than men. And most importantly, it’s not supporting a woman’s right to choose to kill her baby even though ~half of those dead babies are little women.

And of course he goes on to explain that sexism is not arranging trysts with sad, lonely subordinate girls in your employ. Nor is it raping women or pouncing on them after their husband has committed suicide. Nor is it shaming and embarrassing your wife by screwing hundreds of women while married to her. And it’s not even shaming and embarrassing the women who have the courage to speak out against your serial adulterer and abuser husband.

Guys like this assbite aren’t afraid Trump doesn’t know what real sexism is. They’re afraid he and we all know what it is and for once are willing to talk about it, rather than their stupid fables.

How bad is it starting to look for Hillary? Even the New York Times concedes, that next to West Virginia, Trump’s strongest support may be in New York State.

He fares best in a broad swath of the country stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York.

Mr. Trump’s best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump’s 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina follow.

If Trump is the nominee and the Republicans win New York, the electoral college vote tally for Hillary looks exceedingly difficult. As Michael Walsh reports, if Trump takes New York, he can easily win.

Perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea for Hillary to try to reprise the tired, ridiculous War on Women campaign theme or for her party to dump on the blue collar white base that they rode to victory so many times.