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Michael Bloomberg Will Never Be the Next U.S. President
If he runs, the former New York City mayor will hand the election over to Republicans
Once again, Mr. Bloomberg seems to be channeling his inner Frank Sinatra and musing that if he can make it there—in the Big Apple—he can make it anywhere. ......

If Mr. Bloomberg does launch an independent run for the White House, he’ll be attempting to do what nobody has done since George Washington: win the presidency without the backing of a major political party.

........... the former mayor does have something going for him that past independent candidates have not: a billion dollars. Reports indicate Mr. Bloomberg says he is willing to sink at least that much money into mounting a run, if he decides to go. .........

Mr. Bloomberg has as much of a chance of winning 270 electoral votes as the proverbial camel has of passing through the eye of a needle.

....... Conservatives don’t trust Mr. Trump, who has demonstrated that he is not particularly doctrinaire about political issues ..... Among Democratic regulars, there is scarcely more love for Mr. Sanders, who seeks the nomination of a party he never joined and has consistently criticized throughout his career as an independent politician and admitted socialist. ....... it could well be that Mr. Bloomberg, backed by his bundles of billions, might be able to siphon off moderates from both left and right. But winning the election—that’s a whole different deal, one complicated considerably by that most American anachronism, the Electoral College. ......

With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who receives the largest number of votes wins each state’s entire cache of electors

....... Bottom line: if Michael Bloomberg runs for president as an independent this year and achieves a significant percentage of the votes, the end result is a Republican victory. ..... the last billionaire to mount an independent presidential run, H. Ross Perot, failed to win a single electoral vote in 1992 despite earning more than 19 percent of the national popular vote. ...... Mr. Perot’s percentage of the popular vote marked the best showing by an independent or third-party candidate since former President Theodore Roosevelt, denied the Republican nomination in his 1912 comeback attempt, formed his own party (the Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party) and won 27 percent of the national vote. Mr. Roosevelt won eight states that year—something no independent or third-party candidate has ever matched—but the only tangible effect of his candidacy was to split the Republican Party’s votes and deny a second term to President William Howard Taft, as Democrat Woodrow Wilson won the presidency with a mere 41 percent of the national popular vote. ........ The institutional advantages enjoyed by the Democratic and Republican parties make it exceptionally difficult for a third-party or independent candidate to win any states at all. The last third-party candidate to win any states was the segregationist Alabama governor George C. Wallace, who took five Southern states in 1968 for a total of 46 electoral votes. ........ what he doesn’t have is the ability to win any states in which gun-rights supporters hold sway. ....... He starts the race with at least 206 electoral votes off the table. ....... That would leave Mr. Bloomberg battling the Democratic nominee for electors in the solidly Democratic “blue states” and in the swingy “purple states” that tend to swing back and forth between Democrats and Republicans. In 2012, these states accounted for 332 electoral votes. The ultimate effect would be the dilution of left-wing and center-left votes in these states between Mr. Bloomberg and the Democrats, thus enabling the Republican candidate to win the “purple states” and even a boatload of states that normally go Democratic. ........

no independent or third-party candidate has ever won more than 88 electoral votes—less than one-third of the total currently required to win the presidency.

....... The other, far more unlikely, outcome is that he wins a handful of states and prevents any candidate from receiving the required 270 electoral-vote majority, thereby leaving the election to be decided by the House of Representatives for the first time since 1824.
Donald Trump won’t participate in debate over feud with Fox News
“There are powerful forces that are really controlling our lives,” Gilmore said. “The biggest one is the organized establishment media. And I just noticed, just now, you gave Carly Fiorina two one-minute answers in a row.” ..... All of the low-polling candidate have been overshadowed by Trump, the bombastic billionaire who rose to the top of the GOP field with promises to erect a giant wall on the border with Mexico and to bar Muslim foreigners from entering the country. ..... But they may never have been as overshadowed as they were tonight. That’s because, just as their early-evening debate begins, Trump will be holding a press availability elsewhere in Iowa, stirring speculation that he might change his mind and attend the main debate, which is set to begin at 9 p.m. ....... But the timing of Trump’s event could still leave him time to make an appearance,

and still be able to make the debate – or make a spectacle that would overshadow it.

........ So far, Fox hasn’t blinked. Trump hasn’t either. ..... As of Thursday morning, Kelly was still set to moderate the debate. And Trump had scheduled his own “special event for veterans” rally, to be held elsewhere in Des Moines on the same evening. Trump will be joined by a pair of long-shot candidates, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, after they participate in the 7 p.m. “undercard” GOP debate. ....... “Fox is playing games,” Trump said in a news conference Wednesday. “They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else. Let them have the debate. Let’s see how they do with the ratings.” ........

a race dominated by the reality-TV-trained showman.

..... could allow Trump to dominate the debate without even having to show up. If networks show his rally before, or even during, the formal debate, Trump could steal the moment again. ....

A few days ago on Twitter, Gilmore compared himself to, yes, a toe.



How Trump Will Foil The Desperation Prayer Of Democrats, Liberals

For the first time in its history, the United States has had four, and arguably five, consecutive terms of unsuccessful federal government, from administrations and Congresses of both parties.

The last Clinton term under-reacted to the original terrorist incidents at the Khobar Towers (1996), the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam embassies (1998) and the USS Cole (also 1998); and stoked up the housing bubble through the Community Reinvestment Act and executive orders to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to invest massively in sub-prime mortgages. ......... Two-thirds of Americans, in all polls, feel the country is headed in the wrong direction ....... It is a corrupt and vulgar system and virtually all Americans know it, and everyone above the age of 40 has seen an alarming decline in the quality of candidates for high, and especially national, office since the Reagan years. ...... The presidencies between Polk and Lincoln (Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan sharing three terms) were inadequate, and so were those between Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt (Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, though Coolidge retains his apologists), but none of these presidents was re-elected after a full term, and neither talent drought was as profound or extended as the 20 years of misgovernment the United States is reeling from now.In the circumstances,

it is little wonder that the country is looking elsewhere than the ranks of its elected officials to find a possible president.

.......... Viewed from that perspective, the rise of Donald Trump is not so surprising, and he is not running as a spoiler, as Ross Perot did against George H. W. Bush did in 1992, nor as an aggrieved Theodore Roosevelt did in 1912 against William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson. He has the populist aptitudes of the old Progressive party because of his often outlandish Archie Bunker–esque political incorrectness,

but he is more credible than Archie because his views emanate not from a blue-collar reactionary, but from an accomplished billionaire as well as a successful television personality.

........... Mr. Trump is financing himself ..... there is no point merely to ejecting the incumbents ...... They have tried turning the rascals out many times in the last 30 years and they just get worse rascals. ....... The liberal press establishment is frenzied in its animosity to Donald Trump, and their hysteria is becoming more vociferous and desperate

as he utters clangorous violations of the normal parameters of political discourse.

The echo chamber explodes, the commentariat foams at the mouth, but he seems to pay no penalty in the polls. I think there are two explanations for this: Donald doesn’t really say such outrageous things as his opponents spinningly impute to him; and vast sections of the population are more bitterly disappointed and angry at the deterioration of their country and the misinformation of the mainstream media than the subjects of that resentment can imagine. .......... Mr. Trump’s durability now scares them. Last week, the New York Times accused Mr. Trump of being on “the brink of fascism.” ....... On health care, he seeks the repeal of Obamacare, the shattering of the insurance cartel, and the provision of universal health care, with health-savings accounts and with, presumably, where necessary, the according of discretionary tax credits. He is for gradual, extensive legalization of drugs with some of the proceeds of savings available to drug education and treatment. ......... thinks climate change is a hoax, and cap-and-trade both insane and hypocritical. ....... He would disband the Department of Education and distribute its funds to the states, and leave legalization of specific drugs, like the rules over same-sex marriage, to the states. ...... He would abolish super PACs, lift limits on individual contributions to candidates, and ban soft money. ...... his tax plan is a moderate reduction in income taxes and a steeper reduction in the corporate rates;

he seeks, effectively, to turn the national debt into a sinking fund, cutting expenses beneath revenues and steadily shrinking the deficit.

....... Germany, he believes, can sort out Ukraine with the Russians, who are welcome to Syria, and let Russia destroy ISIS. .......

his policy positions, though vague in places, and subject to being moved around in response to his apparently spontaneous aperçus and reminiscences, are not especially radical or provocative.

....... The Trump effect appears to rest on his talent for shocking conventional opinion, and on his extreme contempt for the conventional wisdom, the degraded political modus operandi, and the snipers’ gallery of the biased and lazy senior media. He still leads the polls of those for whom people absolutely will not vote, and I suspect that

in the end the elected Republican politicians will stand on each other’s shoulders and deny him the nomination

, while making profound concessions to his policy preferences.......... is striking very close to the heart of the American problem: the corrupt, dysfunctional political system and the dishonest press. ..... it all started to go horribly wrong with Watergate, when one of the most successful administrations in the country’s history was torn apart for no remotely adequate reason and the mendacious assassins in the liberal media have been awarding themselves prizes and commendations for 40 years since. ......... I suspect the Bush-Clinton era, which had its moments, is ending, and that whatever happens next year, Donald Trump will have played an important role in it........ To adapt George Wallace’s old phrase, he has shaken the American political system “by the eyeteeth,” and it will be better for it.
Donald Trump’s Hostile Takeover of the G.O.P.
What, in the frantic year leading up to the nomination of a Presidential candidate, look like mass movements that are on the cusp of taking over a party often turn out to be nothing more than gyrations in the polls, even if they are extended ones, or the inflation of one noisy slice of the electorate that gets disproportionate media attention. .......

The history of Presidential primaries is the history of small and exciting movements that quickly get snuffed out.

...... For a moment in the 2012 campaign cycle it seemed like Michele Bachmann was going to remake the G.O.P into a vehicle for the religious right, but she never made it past Iowa ...... On the Republican side, you have to go back to Senator Barry Goldwater’s nomination, in 1964, to find a Republican who captured a party against the will of the party’s élites. ......

Donald Trump’s attempt at a hostile takeover of the G.O.P. is astonishing in its breadth. He is not just competing against a large field of candidates for votes in the primaries; he is at war with nearly every power center in the Republican Party—and he is winning.

...... the rise of a movement on the right that dislikes Republican leaders almost as much as it dislikes the President. ....... his pattern of insulting women with terms like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” After the debate, Trump seemed to make Kelly’s point by attacking her in a vulgar way. .......

Fox News has long been considered the most influential news organization for conservatives.

........ Castellanos called Fox “the most powerful Republican institution in contemporary American politics” and “the stage on which Republicans play.” ...... “Most Republican candidates kneel before it, supplicants hoping to sip airtime from its chalice.” ........ Similarly, Trump has been attacking, and been attacked by, the main organs of conservative opinion—National Review and The Weekly Standard—which were previously considered the enforcers of conservative ideology and institutions to be flattered rather than condemned. ......

And, of course, Trump has his nearly six million Twitter followers, which he has sometimes described as better than owning his own newspaper.

...... Trump is also at war with his Party’s more interventionist foreign-policy establishment, and he often attacks the biggest donors in the G.O.P. ......

Trump would undoubtedly welcome the support of any of the establishment figures he now ridicules. Like an inept high-school boy trying to win the affections of a girl, he sometimes seems to mock people in order to get their attention.

..... Nobody has voted yet, and what looks now like an unstoppable movement may in a few weeks or months seem more like a passing fad. .... Trump, at the moment, rather than trying to ingratiate himself with the power brokers of his adopted Party, is trying to destroy them. What’s astonishing is that it’s working.


A Saudi Prince Burns Donald Trump
With his battle with Megyn Kelly and Fox News still raging, Donald Trump got into another spat on Thursday—this time with an ultra-wealthy Saudi prince who helped him out, financially, twice in the nineteen-nineties, when some of Trump’s businesses were struggling. ......... the Prince isn’t the sort of fellow to sit back and ignore such antics. On Thursday afternoon, he posted a tweet of his own, in English, which read, “Trump:You base your statements on photoshopped pics?I bailed you out twice;a 3rd time,maybe?” ........ this isn’t the first time that bin Talal, who is a nephew of the late King Abdullah, has tangled with Trump on Twitter. .......

In December, after Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, the Prince tweeted, “You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win.”

Trump fired back: “Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money. Can’t do it when I get elected. #Trump2016.” ........ According to Forbes magazine, he is the richest individual in the Arab world, with a net worth of more than seventeen billion dollars.

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