Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How Donald Trump Staged a GOP Takeover

At WSJ, "How Trump Won — and How the GOP Let Him":
With his victory in Indiana, Donald Trump has seized a controlling stake in the Republican Party.

Back when few people took Donald Trump seriously as a potential presidential candidate, the New York businessman asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, to meet in Iowa. Over breakfast at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel in January 2015, Mr. Trump spent 45 minutes grilling Mr. Gingrich on his experience running for president.

“It was clear to me at the end of the talk that he was seriously considering it,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Yet two months later, in March 2015, three-quarters of Republican primary voters in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll said they couldn’t imagine supporting Mr. Trump for president. He was so marginal that during a candidate cattle call by the National Rifle Association the following month more people stayed to listen to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal than to Mr. Trump.

Most Republican leaders remained oblivious while Mr. Trump plotted the political equivalent of a corporate takeover. With his resounding victory Tuesday in Indiana, he has seized a controlling stake in the Republican Party with the backing of shareholders unhappy with previous management.

Mr. Trump, having driven out the last of his rivals, is now the party’s presumptive nominee—a jaw-dropping outcome that says as much about the GOP, caught in turmoil and transition, as it does about Mr. Trump.

Ever since their bitter 2012 presidential loss, Republican leaders and the party’s grass roots have been at odds, with rank-and-file voters angry at the failure of elites to deliver, and at odds over the issue of immigration. Mr. Trump found opportunity in the rupture.

Party leaders and the other GOP candidates almost unanimously underestimated Mr. Trump’s staying power. His rivals believed his provocative campaign would fail, a presumption that allowed him to run for months in a splintered field of competitors. Most were reluctant to attack, convinced they would scoop up his supporters when Mr. Trump’s campaign finally imploded.

Republicans proved vulnerable to his unconventional campaign style. As a skilled entertainment professional, he made himself ubiquitous. His audience seemed ready to forgive any outrageous comment or slip-up.

Mr. Trump dominated the campaign conversation with a communications-heavy strategy that relied on mass rallies, TV interviews and debates. That meant no polling, no analytics, little paid media, no consultants.

“This election isn’t about the Republican Party, it’s about me,” Mr. Trump said in an interview this week. “I’m very proud I proved an outsider can win by massive victories from the people, not from party elites or state delegates.”

Having dealt the GOP establishment its biggest defeat in decades, Mr. Trump said his mission wasn’t to change the party. He also doesn’t appear interested in whether the GOP can muster the kind of institutional support its presidential nominee normally receives...
Keep reading.

Deal of the Day: Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

At Amazon, SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Speed Sewing Machine with Metal Frame and Stainless Steel Bedplate.

More, Up to 70% Off Easy Spirit Women's Shoes.

And for Mother's Day, IGI-Certified 18k White Gold Diamond Studs (1 cttw, H-I Color, SI1-SI2 Clarity).

Also, by Samuel P. Huntington, Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity.

Still more, from Pat Buchanan, The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization.

Plus, from Ann Coulter, ¡Adios, America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole. (And, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.)

From Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, and The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction (Kindle Edition).

BONUS: Mark Krikorian, The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal.

Okay, Started Reading, The Closing of the Liberal Mind [BUMPED]

I love Amazon.

I ordered Kim Holmes' new book on Thursday night when I got paid, with free shipping, and the package was delivered on Sunday!

Man, that was fast. And so cool too. I've been plowing through the pages!

I haven't been this excited about a new book for a year or two, and I can't recommend this one enough. It's explains very carefully the precise nature of the ideological threat we're facing, taking the argument right to the top of the Democrat Party hierarchy. Conservatives have a lot of work to do if they hope to reclaim some of the ideological space, and to save American politics from even much more dire straights in the years ahead.

Check it out, The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.

The Closing of the Liberal Mind photo 13119012_10209731342423304_6532273431493805090_n_zpsbmxkuoai.jpg

Alexis Ren Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Casting Call 2017 (VIDEO)

Boy, they're getting an early start for next year!

Canada's Fort McMurray Engulfed in Flames (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Uncontrolled Wildfire Burns Near Fort McMurray, in Canada's Oil Sands Region, Force Residents to Flee (VIDEO)."

And at Rebel Media, "Rebuild Fort McMurray."

Uncontrolled Wildfire Burns Near Fort McMurray, in Canada's Oil Sands Region, Force Residents to Flee (VIDEO)

Via Telegraph UK:

Vox Day: 'Why I Support Donald Trump'

One of the better arguments for Trump I've read in recent weeks.

At Heat Street, "Vox Day of #Gamergate: Why I Support Donald Trump":
I am often asked why I, a Christian libertarian and intellectual, would publicly support Donald Trump, a man of no fixed ideology, no apparent religious beliefs, multiple marriages, visible ties to the Clintons, and whose taste and sophistication tends to resemble that of a nouveau riche rhinoceros. It is a reasonable question. After all, how can anyone support a candidate whose public statements are, to put it mildly, inconsistent—when they are not completely self-contradictory.

The answer is as simple as it is conclusive and convincing. Donald Trump is the only candidate in either major party whose personal interests are aligned with those of the American public rather than with the interests of the anti-nationalist elite who see America as nothing more than lines on a map and Americans as nothing more than 300 million economic units in the global economy.

The reason I trust Donald Trump, despite all his rhetorical meanderings, is that he is a traitor to his class. Unlike Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, both ordinary people who sold their souls in order to be granted a seat at the table of the Great Game, Donald Trump was born a member of the elite and he has always been welcome in the inner circles of both political parties. When I met him in 1988, it was at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, where he was the personal guest of George Bush in his private suite there. Like the Bushes, like the Clintons, Trump is truly neither Republican nor Democrat. He is a lifetime member of America’s bi-factional ruling party.

So Donald Trump was already a man of great wealth, influence, connections and power. He did not need to run for president in order to make a name for himself or to launch a public speaking career at $200,000 a pop. Nor does it make sense to claim that he is running for president in order to assuage his formidable ego. Quite to the contrary, he has been under furious attack and criticism from the media as well as from the wealthy elites his rivals are most desperate to please, and it is only his tremendous ego that permits him to survive it. He is enduring this relentless, bipartisan assault because the ruling party knows he has chosen the American people over them.

Ask yourself this: why did Donald Trump run for president in the first place? I believe that the real reason is that he, like you, is deeply concerned about the current state of the United States of America, and he, like you, fears for its future...
Still more.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Donald Trump in Control After Ted Cruz Exits GOP Presidential Race (VIDEO)

Boy, what a night.

My earlier comments on today's developments here, "Charles Krauthammer: The 'Stop Trump' Movement Died in Indiana (VIDEO)."

And here's the Wall Street Journal, "Donald Trump Gains Clear Path to Nomination":

CARMEL, Ind.—Donald Trump rolled to a decisive victory in Indiana’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday and his chief rival, Ted Cruz, dropped out of the race after earlier calling the front-runner a “pathological liar.”

Mr. Trump was on pace to win all of the state’s 57 delegates to the Republican National Convention, leaving him in a position to clinch the party’s nomination when the final primary contests are held June 7. Mr. Cruz finished in second place and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who made a deal with Mr. Cruz to not campaign in the state, was third.

Mr. Cruz told supporters Tuesday night that he was suspending his campaign. “Together we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we got but the voters chose another path,” he said.

Earlier in the day, he launched a fusillade of attacks, calling the front-runner “utterly amoral,” a “narcissist,” a “serial philanderer” and a “pathological liar.”

Mr. Trump responded on Twitter: “Lyin’ Ted Cruz really went wacko today. Made all sorts of crazy charges. Can’t function under pressure—not very presidential. Sad!”

The extreme remarks reflected the stakes as the candidates turn to the final laps in a nominating contest that has defied convention, splintered the party, and left nearly two-thirds of all general election voters with a negative view of the likely standard-bearer before an expected showdown with Mrs. Clinton in November.

Nationwide, Mr. Trump is viewed unfavorably by 65% of voters, according to last month’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. That is higher than Mrs. Clinton, who is seen unfavorably by 56% of voters.

A sweep of the state’s delegates would leave Mr. Trump just 225 delegates short of the 1,237 required to clinch the party’s nomination. With nine states to go, including Nebraska and West Virginia next week and California on June 7, Mr. Trump would require less than half of the remaining bound delegates to become the nominee.

Katie Packer, who leads an anti-Trump super PAC that spent $1.3 million against Mr. Trump in Indiana, said in a memo that her group will continue to fight against the front-runner. “There is more than a month before the California primary—more time for Trump to continue to disqualify himself in the eyes of voters,” she wrote.

And John Weaver, the chief strategist for Mr. Kasich’s campaign, said the Ohio governor will soldier on. “Gov. Kasich will remain in the race unless a candidate reaches 1,237 bound delegates before the convention,” he said.

For Mr. Cruz, Tuesday’s contest had been his strongest opportunity to change the momentum of the GOP campaign. His team for weeks had pointed to the Midwestern state, comparing it to Wisconsin, where the Texas senator won a convincing victory over Mr. Trump last month.

But Mr. Cruz never gained traction in the state. A series of decisions designed to boost his prospects, including naming Carly Fiorina as his running mate, were seen by many voters more as acts of desperation than smart maneuvers...
Still more.

Republicans Must Stand Up to Political Correctness or Lose

From Daniel Greenfield, at FrontPage Magazine, "FIGHTING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN THE AGE OF TRUMP":
When it was announced that Harriet Tubman would displace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, there were two sets of dramatically different reactions among Republicans on social media.

One group passed around links to a National Review piece celebrating the decision to “tell the story of a deeply-religious, gun-toting Republican who fought for freedom in defiance of the laws of a government that refused to recognize her rights.”

“If it was political correctness that drove this decision, who cares?” it asked.

Much of the Republican base, the other group, cared. Donald Trump noticed and denounced the move as “pure political correctness”.

Political correctness is the defining element of the culture war today. It’s also one of the driving forces of Trump’s candidacy. Republicans and conservatives who ignore the backlash to it do so at their own peril.

When the left exploited the Charleston church shooting to begin a purge of Confederate flags that extended all the way into reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard, Republicans failed to defy the lynch mobs and even cheered the takedowns, some of which took place under Republican governors, as progress. Congresswoman Candice Miller, a Republican, announced recently that state flags in the Capitol featuring confederate insignia will be taken down due to the “controversy surrounding Confederate imagery”. The “controversy” is another term for the left’s manufactured political correctness.

There are legitimate positions on both sides when it comes to the Confederate flag, but the historical debate is not the issue. Just as it doesn’t matter very much that Harriet Tubman was a Republican. It matters far more that both moves were driven by the social media mobs of political correctness.

Culture wars are not about actual historical facts, but a tribal conflict over culture between clashing groups. This is a conflict in which it mattered a great deal that northeastern elites were lining up to get $400 tickets to see Hamilton, a hip-hop musical praised by many of the same Republicans who wouldn’t be caught dead watching reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard. That New York theater trend led to Southerner Andrew Jackson being displaced on the currency instead of New York’s own Alexander Hamilton.

Some conservatives would argue that Andrew Jackson founded the Democratic Party while Hamilton, a longtime foe of its political forebears, would likely have aligned with the modern Republican Party. And like Tubman on the $20 bill, they would be completely missing the forest for the factoid.

Imagine that you live in a world in which the theater tastes of New York elites combined with a media pressure campaign by two obnoxious New Yorkers determines who shows up on American currency? It isn’t nearly as grating if you are a Republican living in New York or Washington D.C. and share much of the culture of the liberal upper class, even if you generally dissent from its economic and social policies.

But it’s a lot more irritating if you live in Alabama or Mississippi and your culture is not only an object of mockery and contempt, but you also have it rubbed in your face that the momentary whims of an entitled elite operating out of a handful of overrated cities matter more than your entire history...
A great essay.

Keep reading.

Charles Krauthammer: The 'Stop Trump' Movement Died in Indiana (VIDEO)

There is no "Stop Trump" movement, or "#NeverTrump" hashtag tantrums, after this.

Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP race a little while ago. It's very big news, but considering the full-on explosion of vitriol on the campaign trail today (with Donald Trump smearing Raphael Cruz as an alleged Lee Harvey Oswald accomplice), I don't think fences will be mended any time soon, and that might not actually be helpful as far as the general election is concerned. But we'll see. We'll see.

The video's from earlier this afternoon. Krauthammer predicted that the "Stop Trump" movement would die in the case of a Trump win tonight. Well, it's dead as far as Ted Cruz being the movement's main vehicle, that's for sure.

Penélope Cruz 'Reader Finds' at Egotastic!

I haven't blogged Penélope Cruz in quite a while.

At Egotastic!, "READER FINDS: Penélope Cruz, Camille Rowe, Rosanna Arquette and Much Much More..."

Penélope Cruz is a leftist, which is why I haven't blogged her much lately. But now that I think about it, I'll still take Penélope over Ted any day, lol.

Penelope Cruz photo penelope-cruz-picture-2.jpg

Oregon Mill Town Hails Donald Trump as Savior

This is great.

We've already been hearing stories about Trump's deep support among America's economically disenfranchised, especially among working class whites. But so many stories remain to be told, and it's not just blue collar whites by any means.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Inside Trump Nation: In a down-on-its-luck Oregon mill town, the savior they're waiting for is Donald Trump":

With the unemployment rate now exceeding 7.2% in Josephine County, the biggest issue in this year's election here is who can put people back to work. Many are betting it's the businessman in the race, even if he's a brash real estate mogul from New York whose chief previous contact with lumber was the veneered reception desks in his swank hotels.

Southwest Oregon is not a natural fit for a billionaire East Coaster, but neither are any of the other GOP candidates, particularly those running on a religious platform; Oregon is among the nation's least church-going states.

Trump's conviction that global trade deals are selling Americans short plays well with the independent streak that runs through Oregon Republican politics. Trump, many here believe, would never put up with letting the Western timber industry falter to protect endangered birds and owls.

“It's a part of the world that sees itself as having been abandoned,” said Jim Moore, a political scientist at Pacific University outside Portland. “These were not Mitt Romney people; they did not vote for George W. Bush. They've latched on to Trump as they have latched on to other outside candidates. The difference is, he's winning.”

Texas Latino Voters Who Support Donald Trump

We have so many illegal immigrants that the statistic showing "77 percent of Latinos" opposing Donald Trump probably means that 77 percent of Latinos are illegal, or they have immediate family members who are illegal.

Meanwhile, lots of Hispanics support Donald Trump. Frankly, Democrat Party support is likely exclusively concentrated among Latinos looking for a massive illegal alien amnesty program. No wonder some of them have announced they're fighting a "civil war" in this election.

At LAT, "Inside Trump Nation: How Donald Trump scored a win in Texas border country":

Patti Magnon grew up on the other side of the Rio Grande — in the adjacent Mexican city known as Nuevo Laredo.

But the border here has never been a barrier, and Magnon, who has lived on the U.S. side now for years, feels at home in both. “Proud to be an American & a Catholic!” proclaims her bio on Twitter. “Love my Mexican heritage! An immigrant is not the same as an illegal immigrant.”

These days, Magnon sometimes feels she has more in common with Americans elsewhere across the country than with Latino families here in Texas, and that started when she told people she was voting for Donald Trump.

Election 2016 | Live coverage on Trail Guide | April 26 primary election results | Track the delegate race | Sign up for the newsletter

“They bash you,” said Gina Gil, who’s also joined a small but enthusiastic group of people here on the border who like what Trump has to say — especially about immigration, a subject that, here on the banks of the Rio Grande, they feel they know as much about as anybody.

“I find it insulting when people say people who follow Trump are uneducated, unintelligent,” said Magnon.

“Te aventaste!” Gil exclaimed. “You hit it.”

Across the country, only a small minority of Latinos have backed Trump, and even here in Texas, a plurality of Latino Republicans voted for home-grown U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the March 1 primary with 44% of the overall vote to Trump’s 27%. Now as ever, most Latinos vote Democratic, and in Texas, where Latinos make up more than a quarter of the electorate, up to 71% of them backed Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls.

It was here on the border that Trump scored his biggest Texas victories, capturing Laredo’s Webb County, which is 95.3% Latino, and Zapata County next door (94%), as well as Terrell County (49 17.4% Latino Hispanic) and Hudspeth County (78%), which are farther west.

“It’s the hardworking people,” said Miriam Cepeda, 24, a history major at the nearby University of Texas-Pan American who is leading Trump’s campaign in the Rio Grande Valley east of Laredo. What she hears, she says, is a lot of resentment aimed at undocumented immigrants who receive government services. “Those that pay the taxes and do what they’re supposed to say, ‘Why do I have to pay?’”

Magnon and Gill voted for Trump in the Texas primary, plan to vote for him in the general election, and are waging their own kind of ad hoc citizens’ campaign, praising him on radio shows and online, recruiting friends and family.

The two women met last summer when Trump came here, to the Southwest border’s third-most populous city, behind El Paso and San Diego.

Magnon drove her 7-year-old daughter, Allie, to the small local airport to see the real estate magnate. They were greeted in this majority Democratic, heavily Mexican American town by a crowd of opponents chanting into megaphones: “Dump Trump!”

Both Magnon, 44, and Gil, 49, are former Democrats — working mothers with community college educations who say they’re alarmed about welfare fraud, illegal immigration and the rising costs of healthcare. Magnon almost lost her health insurance when Obamacare took effect. Gil seethed at paying an $800 penalty under the new federal healthcare law, but insurance would have cost even more.

Trump promised to run the country like a business and repeal Obamacare. They didn’t think he was racist when he promised to build a bigger border wall to keep out Mexican “rapists.” They thought he was right — and were delighted to find that others around town agreed with them.

“I was surprised other people in Laredo think like I do,” Magnon said...
Keep reading.

Donald Trump Rivals Brace for Crippling Loss in Indiana (VIDEO)

Well, let's hope so.

This primary season's dragged on far too long. Hopefully, even more of the GOP establishment will start to coalesce around Trump, and then folks can figure out a way to respond to the left's barrage of smears heading our way before the convention in Cleveland.

Or, that is, in a rational world.

At the New York Times, "Donald Trump's Foes Fear Indiana Primary Could Be Decisive Blow":

The coalition of Republicans opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy braced Monday for a debilitating setback as he appeared poised for a victory in Indiana that would put him on track to seal the Republican nomination by the time primary voting ends next month.

The Indiana vote has emerged as a decisive and perhaps final test for Senator Ted Cruz, who has abandoned hope of overtaking Mr. Trump in the race but still aims to throw the Republican nominating fight to a contested convention in July. Mr. Cruz, of Texas, has pleaded with Indiana voters in recent days not to anoint Mr. Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, and has devised a series of long-shot tactics to derail him in the state.

On Monday, that mission of persuasion took on a vividly literal form for Mr. Cruz during a campaign stop in Marion, Ind. Confronted there by determined hecklers bearing Trump campaign signs, Mr. Cruz insisted to one that he was making a mistake.

“Donald Trump is deceiving you,” he said. “He is playing you for a chump.”

Polls now show that Mr. Trump has a clear advantage in Indiana, where 57 delegates are at stake. A survey conducted by Marist College for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found Mr. Trump leading Mr. Cruz by 15 points there, and close to capturing an outright majority of the vote. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio was in a distant third place.

Mr. Cruz has signaled that he intends to forge ahead irrespective of the outcome in Indiana in a bid to block Mr. Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates required to claim the nomination. He spent part of the weekend campaigning in California, which is among the last states to vote, on June 7, and collected the endorsement of former Gov. Pete Wilson, who warned that Mr. Trump would doom the party as its nominee.

But Mr. Wilson conceded in an interview on Monday that a defeat in Indiana would imperil Mr. Cruz’s path forward. To win California, Mr. Wilson said, “the first thing he needs to do is win in Indiana.”

Without such a victory, Mr. Wilson said, “I think it’s much more difficult. The nearer that Trump gets to having the magic number, the more difficult it is.”

Stephen Pollard, Jewish Chronicle Editor, on Anti-Semitism Accusations in Britain's Labour Party (VIDEO)

Following-up on Pollard's riventing essay the other day, "The Left's Hatred of Jews Chills Me to the Bone."

At Sky News:

The General Election Starts Now

At great piece, from Amy Walter, at the Cook Political Report:

3. The Northeast Corridor was supposed to be “establishment” country.

It’s one thing for Trump to win his home state of New York by 61 percent. It’s another thing for him to CRUSH his opponents up and down I-95. These are the states where nice, safe, moderate establishment candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney win. It’s not where a firebrand with unorthodox policy positions and an even more unconventional campaign style should win. Trump’s success in these blue states should also put to rest any idea that Kasich has ANY shot at winning anything in Cleveland. Kasich lost Montgomery Country, Maryland and Greenwich, Connecticut to Trump. If he can’t win in these establishment strongholds, he’s not winning anywhere.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Democrats Plan to Pound Trump Before He’s Nominated

I'm not sure what to think of this.

Donald Trump is not Mitt Romney, and he's not going to take attacks from the despicable Democrats lying down. And as we've seen since Trump entered the race, the more vicious the attacks on him, the more rabid his supporters become. I don't expect that to change once the attacks start coming from Pri­or­it­ies USA Ac­tion, or the DNC for that matter. Will Trump be able to respond in kind before receiving public funding for the general election (assuming he's not "self-funded" after all)? Who knows? Moe Lane seems to expect Trump to get blown out of the water, but he's blogging at Red State, hardly your neutral source for analysis on such issues.

In any case, at National Journal (via Memeorandum):
Super PAC will air $20 million in negative ads before Donald Trump can counter with general-election money, a strategy that defined Mitt Romney in 2012.

Don­ald Trump loves to brag about how he al­ways coun­ter­punches when at­tacked, but he could soon be tak­ing an un­answered, $20 mil­lion pum­mel­ing in those few states that will de­cide the Novem­ber elec­tion.

A series of ads paint­ing him as an un­ser­i­ous, un­ready, and un­scru­pu­lous busi­ness­man who also hap­pens to dis­par­age wo­men and minor­it­ies is to start air­ing June 8, the day after the fi­nal primar­ies in which Trump is likely to clinch the Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion.

“That’s a good day to start,” said Justin Barasky with Pri­or­it­ies USA Ac­tion, a su­per PAC back­ing Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton. “We’re not go­ing to the make the same mis­take Re­pub­lic­ans did in wait­ing too long [to go on the of­fens­ive].”

For five full weeks, in a lull between the primary sea­son and the GOP con­ven­tion, these mes­sages may have the air­waves to them­selves in sev­en swing states, with the no­tori­ously tight-fis­ted Trump loath to spend tens of mil­lions of his own money to counter the at­tack and the Re­pub­lic­an Party un­able to de­fend him un­til he of­fi­cially be­comes the nom­in­ee.

If Re­pub­lic­ans find this strategy fa­mil­i­ar, they should. It’s ex­actly what Pri­or­it­ies did to 2012 GOP nom­in­ee Mitt Rom­ney in those months after he had se­cured the nom­in­a­tion, fol­low­ing a long and ex­pens­ive primary battle—but be­fore he was of­fi­cially nom­in­ated and al­lowed to use mil­lions in gen­er­al-elec­tion money he had already col­lec­ted.

“Mitt Rom­ney was a fun­da­ment­ally likable guy. Look what they did to Mitt Rom­ney. They turned him in­to his­tory’s greatest mon­ster,” said Rick Wilson, a Re­pub­lic­an strategist and lead­ing “Nev­er Trump” voice who has been warn­ing for months that Demo­crats would start blis­ter­ing Trump the mo­ment he se­cured the nom­in­a­tion.

In 2012, Pri­or­it­ies spent $21.5 mil­lion at­tack­ing Rom­ney between May and the end of Au­gust, when the former Mas­sachu­setts gov­ernor form­ally ac­cep­ted the nom­in­a­tion at the GOP con­ven­tion in Tampa. The ads fo­cused on five swing states, most not­ably Rust Belt Ohio, and por­trayed Rom­ney as a heart­less plu­to­crat who en­riched him­self by shut­ting down factor­ies and ship­ping jobs over­seas. The ads were cred­ited with turn­ing Rom­ney’s busi­ness ex­per­i­ence from an as­set in­to a li­ab­il­ity among many gen­er­al-elec­tion voters. In Ohio, Pres­id­ent Obama re­ceived 2 per­cent more sup­port from white voters and non-col­lege gradu­ates than he did na­tion­ally—a big factor in his 3-point vic­tory there that Novem­ber that sealed his reelec­tion.

Wilson pre­dicted that Pri­or­it­ies would have a much easi­er chal­lenge with Trump than it did with Rom­ney, giv­en Trump’s already high dis­ap­prov­al rat­ings and the host of con­tro­ver­sies in his past, from the de­funct Trump Uni­versity to his mul­tiple bank­ruptcies in At­lantic City.

Pri­or­it­ies will also find its Re­pub­lic­an op­pos­i­tion in a far more pre­cari­ous fin­an­cial con­di­tion. While both Rom­ney’s cam­paign and his su­per PAC were de­pleted by the drawn-out primary, he was non­ethe­less a prodi­gious fun­draiser, ul­ti­mately col­lect­ing $820 mil­lion for him­self and the Re­pub­lic­an Party and an­oth­er $153 mil­lion for his tech­nic­ally in­de­pend­ent su­per PAC.

Trump has no fun­drais­ing op­er­a­tion, has in­sul­ted the tra­di­tion­al GOP donor com­munity, and as of yet has not be­gun rais­ing money for the party. At a re­cent meet­ing, Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Com­mit­tee mem­bers pub­licly ex­pressed con­fid­ence they could raise all the money needed. But privately, some mem­bers wor­ried that Trump as nom­in­ee won’t be able to raise a frac­tion of the $1 bil­lion that Clin­ton and Demo­crats are likely to spend.

Trump has avoided spend­ing money on his cam­paign whenev­er pos­sible, largely re­ly­ing on free cable TV cov­er­age to spread his mes­sage. And it’s un­clear how eas­ily he can write him­self eight-fig­ure checks, even if he wanted to...
Well, that doesn't sound particularly auspicious for the Manhattan mogul, but then, it's been a completely unpredictably election season thus far.

My bet is that Trump will continue to assume the mantle of respectability, and he'll ingratiate himself with the GOP establishment while turning increasingly to a by-the-book mainstream presidential campaign. He's going to have to fork over some of own cash if he's serious about rebutting the left's smears before Cleveland, but we'll see. We're already seeing the Republican establishment warming to a Trump candidacy, and my main hypothesis throughout is the both Republicans and conservatives hate Hillary more than they hate The Donald, so by the time of the general election we should be seeing a full-on battle among the historical constituencies of the two parties.

We're in uncharted territory here, but I'm loving it.

Still more at the link.

Donald Trump Leads Ted Cruz by 34 Points in California

Wow. Talk about a blowout. And the primary's still more than a month away.

From John Sexton, at Hot Air, "Poll: Trump leads Cruz in California by 34 points."

And at ABC 7 News Los Angeles:

Yeah, well, I can understand the voters' resignation, but frankly I'm fired up!

This is going to be such an epic general election matchup. I'm stoked!

Sabine Jemeljanova for Page 3

At the Sun UK, "Such a tease! See Sabine's full gorgeous shoot here."

Olivia Culpo, Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Hudson, and Charlotte McKinney at Opening of Intrigue Nightclub in Las Vegas (PHOTOS)

At Egotastic!, "Kate Hudson and Charlotte McKinney for Opening of Intrigue Nightclub In Las Vegas."

More photos, including shots of Olivia Culpo and Vanessa Hudgens, at the link.

Has the World Learned Anything Since Brussels?

I don't think so.

At Blazing Cat Fur:
It has become alarmingly clear since the Brussels terror attack that the West either doesn’t understand the nature of Islamist terrorism or doesn’t want to. President Obama denies that the Islamic State poses an existential threat, belittles those who disagree, and seems more vested in undermining allies and political opponents than fighting terror. Whether acting out of ideology or naiveté, he refuses to admit the role of religious doctrine and instead blames terrorism on generic criminality, violent extremism, gun violence, or global warming. He fails to address the jihad and genocide being waged against non-Muslims in the Mideast and beyond, does not speak honestly about the Islamist threat, and portrays those who do as hatemongers.

Deal of the Day: Perky-Pet Bird Feeders for Mother's Day

Pretty cool.

At Amazon, Perky Pet 8133-2 Daisy Vase Vintage Glass Hummingbird Feeder.

More, Save on Perky-Pet Bird Feeders.

And here's your Mother's Day Gift Guide.

And thanks to all my readers who've been shopping through my Amazon links. When you do your shopping here, you provide support with no extra cost to yourself. I really appreciate it.

I like posting the book links too!

More, from Katie Pavlich, Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women.

And from Sharyl Attkisson, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington.

Marybeth Hicks, Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom.

Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know - and Men Can't Say.

BONUS: Phyllis Schlafly, A Choice Not an Echo: Updated and Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition.

May Day Protesters March for Immigrant Rights in San Deigo (VIDEO)

More illegal aliens and communists, via ABC News 10 San Diego:

Indiana: Last Stand for the 'Never Trump' Movement

At the New York Times, via Memeorandum, "Indiana May Be #NeverTrump's Last Stand."

Everybody's talking about the WSJ poll out yesterday, "Donald Trump Holds 15-Point Lead Ahead of Republican Rivals in Indiana Poll."

And here's the Cruz campaign's last gasp, at LAT, "Ted Cruz barnstorms Indiana as state's primary proves pivotal in GOP race."

VIDEO): Greenpeace Leaks Documents on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

At the Guardian UK, "Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal":

Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts.

The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection.

President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture.

“Discussions on cosmetics remain very difficult and the scope of common objectives fairly limited,” says one internal note by EU trade negotiators. Because of a European ban on animal testing, “the EU and US approaches remain irreconcilable and EU market access problems will therefore remain,” the note says.

Talks on engineering were also “characterised by continuous reluctance on the part of the US to engage in this sector,” the confidential briefing says.

These problems are not mentioned in a separate report on the state of the talks, also leaked, which the European commission has prepared for scrutiny by the European parliament.

These outline the positions exchanged between EU and US negotiators between the 12th and the 13th round of TTIP talks, which took place in New York last week.

The public document offers a robust defence of the EU’s right to regulate and create a court-like system for disputes, unlike the internal note, which does not mention them.

Jorgo Riss, the director of Greenpeace EU, said: “These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look at the scope of US demands to lower or circumvent EU protections for environment and public health as part of TTIP. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible. The prospect of a TTIP compromising within that range is an awful one. The way is being cleared for a race to the bottom in environmental, consumer protection and public health standards.”
Keep reading.

Protesters Pour Into Heavily-Fortified Green Zone in Baghdad (VIDEO)

It's out of control over there.

At LAT, "Iraqi protesters pour into Green Zone, storm parliament."

And at CBS News This Morning:

Illegal Aliens and Communists Protest Donald Trump in Los Angeles for May Day

These are exactly the people Trump warned about. Mexico's not sending its best.

Violent May Day Clash in Seattle (VIDEO)

Gotta love the headline here, "anti-capitalists," heh.

At the Seattle PI, "Anti-capitalists clash with Seattle police on May Day."

They're communists. Is that so hard? They're freakin' communists.