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  • Conditional Probabilities

    Posted by Jonathan on February 18th, 2016 (All posts by )

    Daniel Henninger in the WSJ:

    Still, it takes a lot to believe that Donald Trump could win more electoral-college votes than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and that his Supreme Court appointments would have Justice Scalia’s respect for the lives of his voters. Mr. Trump’s nominations for anything sit as a mystery.
     
    Before Justice Scalia’s death, some might have said the Trump option was a risk worth running. The risk now has become too high.

    He has a point.

     

    34 Responses to “Conditional Probabilities”

    1. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Still, it takes a lot to believe that Donald Trump could win more electoral-college votes than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders

      I’m not sure why they conclude that. Liz Price-Foley posted a poll (yesterday?) showing all three R’s beating either Hillary or Bernie in a national election. Not a slam dunk, but it doesn’t take “a lot to believe” Trump could win either.

    2. Bill Brandt Says:

      If you think what the challanges are facing this country today -both foreigh and domestic – and who we have running – in both parties – it is to weep.

      For starters a new President better have some humility given the challenges and i see none in that in Mr Trump, for starters.

    3. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Amen.

    4. TangoMan Says:

      Before Justice Scalia’s death, some might have said the Trump option was a risk worth running. The risk now has become too high.

      I don’t see that at all. For Trump to implement his deportation plans he’s going to have to rely on the judiciary quite a bit as the leftists take all sorts of challenges, to programs and to individual deportation, to the courts. Liberal judges are not going to support deportation, that goes hand in glove with liberal bleeding heart, hate America, syndrome. Trump needs originalists on the bench because the Constitution doesn’t support open borders. The type of judge who supports Trump’s view on deportation has a very high probability of being consistently conservative on a whole slew of issues. The weak-kneeed sisters of conservatism who support Amnesty are going to be judges who also have a lot of overlap with liberals, so beware the Rubio and Cruz and Kasich judicial allies for they’re most likely to flip.

      If you think what the challanges are facing this country today -both foreigh and domestic – and who we have running – in both parties – it is to weep.

      Only Trump has shown the backbone to propose deporting 30 million people. Everyone else is willing to lay down and surrender. I don’t see why you want to weep.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      Trump says many things. I’m guessing he won’t follow through on all of them.

    6. Ginny Says:

      The Republican field at the beginning had promise – governor after governor had really done work in their states that seemed to promise a good start and the senators had independence and eloquence; Carson and Fiorina seemed to have a quiet confidence and secure sense of national and personal values. If the latter didn’t seem to have enough experience in the battles of Washington, you felt they had the humility to learn and would be great at a cabinet post. And who is leading now? The only one that seemed to not understand the gravity of the role, the weight of our history, the responsibility of a nation like this in the world. Maybe it will all end well. If not, I suppose I’ll vote for Trump – we’ve seen enough catastrophes from the economic and moral philosophies of those running on the D side, it is hard to believe he won’t be better. But that is a very, very low bar. I assume he won’t promiscuously open other country’s secrets to theirs and our enemies; his crony capitalism might not set us on the road to serfdom as fast as would Sanders’. But, that’s alow bar.

      As for Trump, I’m guessing he won’t follow through on many of them.

    7. TangoMan Says:

      Trump says many things. I’m guessing he won’t follow through on all of them.

      And how is this different from every single politician over the last 200 years?

      The single difference in play here is that Trump has staked a position which is far outside the political mainstream and this strategy came with high risk, look at all the people calling him racist, cruel, unrealistic, etc. He’s remained consistent on this point throughout.

      This leaves voters with a decision problem – do you give weight to his statements/policy positions or you discount them completely and instead put weight on unsupported wishful thinking which presumes that he won’t implement the central plank of his campaign?

      The rational bet is to assign weight to the policy statement. In 2000, if you were against nation-building missions, the safe bet was to go with Bush because in the Bush-Gore debate it was Bush who came out against nation-building while Gore was all for it. Oops. If you were opposed to nation-building it would be quite a contorted decision process to decide to come out for Gore because you thought that Bush would renege on his pledge.

    8. TangoMan Says:

      governor after governor had really done work in their states that seemed to promise a good start

      I agree with this but only as far as it goes by which I mean if you exclude, say, 50% of the spectrum of topics and concentrate your analysis only on the remaining 50% of the spectrum of topics, then there was certainly something good to see on that restricted range of topics. Let’s see, who other than Jan Brewer in Arizona made any effort to purge infiltrators out of their states? Kobach in Kansas was Secretary of State, not Governor. Of the people who threw their hats into the presidential race there was no effort expended on immigration deportations, same with trade, same with jobs from the perspective of diminishing labor supply as a strategy to boost wages. Heck, the neocon warmongering viewpoint also seemed to be the standard quo position amongst all of the candidates. If you’re opposed to warmongering and nation building, there was no one to support.

      the responsibility of a nation like this in the world

      The only guy who is taking actual, real life, personal body blows to his financial well-being and tarnishment of his brand in the business world. If anyone understands the responsibility and is willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of the nation, that’s Trump. No one has put more skin in the game.

    9. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Trump says many things. I’m guessing he won’t follow through on all of them.

      The GOPe has said and promised many things, and deliberately reneged on every one of them. Let us say that Trump reneges on everything he says. How is that different from the rest of the Republican Party?

      It is the Republican Party that has made Trump look good to so many Republicans. You can argue that you don’t agree with Trump’s statements, but you can’t argue against him using credibility compared to the GOP.

    10. Bill Brandt Says:

      “Trump says many things. I’m guessing he won’t follow through on all of them.

      And how is this different from every single politician over the last 200 years?”

      The difference with Trump as that one has absolutely no assurance he is going to do anything he says – with most politicians you at least have a voting record, or in the case of ex governors, what they veto and what they sign.

      With Trump all one has is hope. There is nothing in his past professional life that suggests he believes anything he is telling us.

      But after the stuff the people have been promised in recent years in the past by politicos, people are grasping at anything. He has become a perfect conduit for the voter’s rage over promises broken.

      He was smart enough to realize the anger and frustration of millions of Americans, and has harnessed that anger.

      If he is the nominee I will vote for him but I am not going to assume he will do anything he says.

    11. TangoMan Says:

      With Trump all one has is hope. There is nothing in his past professional life that suggests he believes anything he is telling us.

      McCain was long for Amnesty. Then he was up for reelection and cut videos about “building that dang wall.” Once safely reelected he was back to Amnesty.

      Trump entered into a race where the consensus position of all the people running was “no wall” and some form of comprehensive immigration reform, the need to drastically boost work visas, the free trade as practiced was hunky dory, etc. and Trump came out blasting and took positions far outside the accepted mainstream. That strategy could have sunk his candidacy in the starting gates if the positions were unpopular. Now, you may argue that everyone knows that these positions are very popular but if so, then all the other candidates are idiots for purposely avoiding popular positions and running on unpopular positions, so why on earth would any of us want to elect such idiots to office? So, if Trump’s gambit wasn’t a sure thing, then he either gambled big in a high stakes contest or he took positions he believed in. Either way what shouldn’t be lost on him is that his support is due to his positions. If he reneges on his positions and becomes a George Bush or Bill Clinton do-over he essentially becomes a lame-duck as soon as that becomes evident or he becomes a tool of either the Democrats or the Republicans. Either outcome destroys the Republicans as we currently know them but what remains is the information garnered from this election – Trump was elected for X,Y,Z policies and these policies captured the imagination and enthusiasm of vast swathes of the electorate and a rebuilding Republican party needs to institutionalize those policies so that all politicians under the Republican banner fight for them going forward.

      This is about more than Trump. There is no time-machine effect where we ever go back to business as usual with the way the Republicans govern because the polling data tells the tale – the establishment candidates, despite their resources and constant advertising, barely connect with the electorate. Once the soldiers have “seen the lights of Paree” there is no putting the country back in the boy. The Republicans will never again win against the Democrats if they have a base of voters who are so dispirited that they give up on politics and sit out elections because they believe that electing Republicans is of no benefit to them when compared to Democrats winning.

      As I noted in an earlier thread, what is happening is what SHOULD be happening, which is the RP needs to change in order to give voice to the voiceless and having 30% or 50% of whatever the size of the crowd eventually settles down to being permanently excluded from having their views and concerns listened to and acted upon, well, that’s very unstable for society.

      Look, Trump makes his money from building things, selling things, not from Wall Street, so it’s arguable that his own self-interest could be advanced by working to build up a healthier middle class with more disposable income who would then vacation at his properties, play golf at his courses, buy his luxury ties or fancy mustard or whatever. Wall Street is quite content to beggar the middle class in order to increase the gains to Capital but I’m not so sure that Main Street sees the issue in the same way. Trump, in my opinion, is closer to Main Street than Wall Street. Regardless of Trump’s positioning, what’s clear is that the Republicans are more focused on Wall Street than Main Street but when you look at the demographics of the US, there aren’t that many Wall Street voters compared to all of the Main Street voters, so the Republicans really do need to have their eyes opened to how they’ve been led astray.

      I too wonder whether Trump will deport millions, will he have the backbone to stand up to the bleeding heart stories which will run in the media as the deportations start. Will he play hardball on trade when the bulk of his advisers will be pulled from the Republican apparatchik class. One man arrayed against an entire system devoted to opposing his reforms is going to be a tough battle, so even if Trump buckles, that doesn’t mean that the reform that people are voting for has been stopped. If Trump’s opponents think that Trump is bad and manage to stop him, then somewhere down the line the successor to Trump is going to be far, far more damaging to establishment interests.

      Frankly, I’m seeing absolutely no upside to voting for candidates other than Trump for that removes all pressure to reform the status quo. If there is no upside to voting for the career politicians who are wired into the establishment donor base, then Trump is worth the gamble regardless of how he governs because it’s the statement of how we want America to be formed and governed that matters, not that we want Trump to be the President.

    12. Tyouth Says:

      “…he won’t follow through on many of them.” If Trump made significant progress on three, even just two, of the top four positions he’s staked out we’ll be an improved, more secure country.

      “… no upside to voting for candidates other than Trump for that removes all pressure to reform the status quo.” Tango, you dis Cruz? BTW I note Cruz is 23% vs Trumps 28% this morning (Friday) in S. Carolina. Cruz emphasizes the rule of law (would the border situation be as it is if those existing laws were enforced?) and has repeatedly emphasized the constitution when he speaks. The trend seems to be that Cruz is slowly but steadily narrowing the gap.

      Trump IMHO is just a little too unprincipled, with too little bottom. Convenience and “winning” aren’t the be all and end all in this life.

    13. dearieme Says:

      “But, that’s a low bar.” Elections are always about voting for the lesser evil.

    14. Anonymous Says:

      TangoMan:Regardless of Trump’s positioning, what’s clear is that the Republicans are more focused on Wall Street than Main Street but when you look at the demographics of the US, there aren’t that many Wall Street voters compared to all of the Main Street voters, so the Republicans really do need to have their eyes opened to how they’ve been led astray.
      ****

      Thing is, if you look closely at who gains political contributions from Wall St, it would be the Democrat candidates.
      If I understand correctly, the large D donors are Wall St, or Big Business, such as GE, etc.
      The group of R’s that want cheap labor, etc, are cooking their own goose with short-term ‘profit’ at the expense of livelihood of their business when all customers can no longer afford their product. A shrinking market is not a good thing, and plumping for cheap labor is a fools errand. I think.
      tom

    15. Anonymous Says:

      “You can argue that you don’t agree with Trump’s statements, but you can’t argue against him using credibility compared to the GOP.”

      “Trump was elected for X,Y,Z policies and these policies captured the imagination and enthusiasm of vast swathes of the electorate and a rebuilding Republican party needs to institutionalize those policies so that all politicians under the Republican banner fight for them going forward.”

      In my view, he has no credibility. He is a crony capitalist poster boy. His business history makes it likely that he is merely moving from being on the demand side of buying political protection and entry into politically protected or created markets to supplying such favors and insider trading. That’s the type of “making deals” that is his expertise. He does channel the anger of a large part of Republican and independent electorate and has carefully chosen his issues and positions to cater to those elements (of which I am a long standing member).

      The primary reasons we can be sure he will not attempt or succeed in implementation is that his life long record shows he has never held these positions or that he has held opposite positions and that he never furnishes anything more than a glib, sound bite position on any issue. He doesn’t provide any answer to questions about implementation details because he doesn’t have any. His complete focus is on closing the deal (winning in his parlance) rather than governing. A 35% tariff for products imported from Mexico from companies that move production there? Seriously? Of course not. Make Mexico pay 100% of the southern border wall of life? Sure. ALL (meaning every single) illegal deported in a matter of months? Really? If his positions become the face of the Republicans, there won’t be anything left to rehab.

      His moving to protectionism may be wildly popular among large groups of economically illiterate voters and is certainly one of those areas where “picking winners and losers” for political profit has a long history. The effects on stifling comparative advantage gains in productivity and growth are long term and defuse while the “winners” reap concentrated, but huge gains. Perfect. The democrats will certainly sign up for that one. Now if we only had our currency sound, we could put our trade issues with purchasing power parity to rest. If we quit regulating, protecting, taxing our productive assets, we might increase our gains from comparative advantage. If we educated rather than baby sat and indoctrinated our youth, perhaps we might have generations with much brighter futures and opportunities.

      His hard line on illegal immigration also rightly has wide spread support, but he will never have to actually deal with the illegals here in the short term because you first have to effectively close the border. Once that is done, the public’s attention to the issue will largely fade and there likely never will be any large scale deportation. We might be able to get rid of most of the criminal element. Again, he has no details because he has a mantra, not a plan.

      Trump may be entertaining 35% of likely Republicans, but his “reality” show is unlikely to play well in the electorate at large. In my opinion the only reason Trump fares OK in head to head polling against the Hildabeast and Bern down Sanders is the huge negatives those two bring and the fact that most the electorate is more certain who they are against than who they are for and volt their narrow short term interests.

      I live in Texas. I voted for Cruz in the senate primary and general election. He’s not perfect, but I have been largely supportive of his service. I am very confident he has the best ideological foundation. I am convinced that from a position of the presidential influence he will not only nominate appropriate originalist court members, but will stiffen the legislative branches resolve to deal appropriately with the underlying issues of our security, economy, legal system and social concerns. I have no doubts about his veracity or his ability to communicate. I believe that he will be an effective leader and could move the Republican party toward a better congruity between their platform and stated positions and their results.

      Trumps negatives will likely result in large numbers of conservatives and moderates staying away from the general election (not me, having a high tolerance for living with the “lesser of two weevils”). The only way he wins is if the same lower voter participation afflicts the Democrats. If Cruz is nominated, it is still a formidable task for him to win. He will need to energize the Trumpeteers, moderates and a good chunk of independents. Given his plain talk and detailed programs, he is a major and real threat to the existing establishment in both parties. Both of these candidates have to rely on energizing a major increase in participation among folks that have usually not participated. A long shot given the self-aborbsion, shallow thinking and egocentric mindset of so many.

      I go with Cruz because he is least likely to further the gulf between promises and policy we now condemn and his ideology is consistent with liberty. Too much risk that Trump will further our disappointment.

      Death6

    16. TangoMan Says:

      A 35% tariff for products imported from Mexico from companies that move production there? Seriously? Of course not.

      Why do you think we have Japanese and German automakers in the US? Look back at our history. Honda didn’t decide to build a plant here because the economics made sense to build in Ohio and Indiana compared to Japan, Mexico, Thailand, India and export the cars from those plants into the US.

      He doesn’t provide any answer to questions about implementation details because he doesn’t have any.

      Cruz might be the only one who is detail oriented enough to be able to expound on minutia, but only to a surface degree, but Presidents, as a class, are leaders, not policy apparatchiks. This is why we see the phenomena of “You have to pass the legislation in order to find out what’s in it.” If legislators don’t even know the fine points of legislation, because it’s written by analysts and staffers, then no one should expect a President to have mastery over every single aspect of what appears in the Federal Register.

      His moving to protectionism may be wildly popular among large groups of economically illiterate voters

      I’m not economically illiterate. I know economic theory pretty well, but theory has to be validated against reality and as we look around us, theory is breaking apart. Hollowing out the middle class doesn’t work to the interests of the US. Being an economic purist isn’t supposed to be the equivalent of signing onto a suicide cult. A few years back I spent countless hours wading through export statistics broken down by SIC codes to get an indication of where, exactly, the US demonstrated comparative advantage. Wheat exports, hog skins, etc don’t make for a reassuring picture. Maybe the particulars have changed since then but I doubt it.

      Make Mexico pay 100% of the southern border wall of life? Sure.

      This is a no-brainer. Do you ever wonder how the US can leverage power over Swiss banks and other foreign institutions? The US controls the financial system of the world. There are billions of dollars being sent into Mexico from the US – a tax on every remission, a tax on Mexican banks wanting to access the US financial system, etc. Easy peasy.

      If we educated rather than baby sat and indoctrinated our youth, perhaps we might have generations with much brighter futures and opportunities.

      I’m not going to argue this point but I’ll add to it. Do you believe that the future prosperity of the US is dependent on our ability to increase the number of high school drop-outs we produce in our schools? Yes, you read my question correctly. If not, then why the f-ck are we importing 10s of millions of GRADE school drop-outs from south of the border and from places like Somalia, Afghanistan, etc. We tell our kids that not graduating high school will doom them to a life of hardship, and as taxpayers we know that these kids are going to be lifelong fiscal drains for the rest of us, but that thinking gets suppressed when it comes to the infiltrator class who are said to “do the jobs that Americans won’t do.” We get rid of all of them and this frees up resources in our schools. This should be self-evident, educating kids is a long term value proposition, it’s an immediate money-sink but is supposed to return long-term gain. Well, when the infiltrator parents of the kids are drop-outs, earning under the table or very low wages, then they’re not paying enough in taxes to even approach paying for even a portion of the cost of educating their kids, so deporting parents and kids results in an immediate cost reduction in virtually every public district in the US. More resources together with a student body which now becomes more proficient in English and requiring less remedial education and class-dumbing down, presents a better environment for whatever reform you can implement to purge the ideological indoctrination out of the classrooms so that we can focus on educating OUR kids, not the world’s kids.

      On a bigger picture though, even if you could reform the education system so that it functioned as you would like it, graduating those kids into the socio-political-economic system we have now would yield the same dismal results we see now. What’s the point of getting a degree in software engineering if 2 months on the job at Disney you get a lay-off notice because Disney is bringing in 10,000 programmers from India to replace every American programmer in their employ, rinse and repeat across the entire economy.

      I highlighted the word “might” in your sentence. That’s a heck of a hedge you’re putting into your promise of a better future post-reform. On what basis do you envision that better future? Validate your prediction against present-reality. Those Disney programmers did have successful careers until they were fired and replaced with Indian imports. My point is that welfare sucking corporations have twisted the system to such a degree that economic returns to capital take precedence over the health of society. The normal constraints which put capital and labor in a mutual dependency and conflict relationship have been thoroughly gutted in favor of capital, now capital is importing indentured labor in order to undercut domestic labor. The system as it presently exists is unstable – you can’t hollow out the American labor force while simultaneously counting on selling a majority of your products to that same market.

      His hard line on illegal immigration also rightly has wide spread support, but he will never have to actually deal with the illegals here in the short term because you first have to effectively close the border. Once that is done, the public’s attention to the issue will largely fade and there likely never will be any large scale deportation. We might be able to get rid of most of the criminal element. Again, he has no details because he has a mantra, not a plan.

      There exist men of principle and men of expediency. It is to the long term benefit of the US to a.) improve the mean human capital level of the US population, b.) to raise the median income level of the US, c.) to reduce net social welfare transfers per person, and most controversially, d.) to reduce social diversity within society. Deportations help on every single issue. With infiltrators what we have is a privatization of financial gains accruing to employer, employee, customer and socialization of losses which is passed onto society. On net, this is s negative for the US – the path to greatness is to not built on producing more high school illiterate drop-outs in our workforce.

      The details are simple, really. Databases are everywhere. Infiltrators who have kids in school are known to be infiltrators. Same with bank records, utility records, drivers licenses, medical clinics and hospitals, and so on. Deputize local law enforcement to act as immigration law enforcement, tie compliance to federal funding and hold city and state funding hostage until any recalcitrant local government cries uncle. Crack down on employers.

      Look, you can have skin cancer growing on your arm and if either through fear or laziness if you never go to the doctor then the problem will get worse for you, so being proactive will have better long term outcomes for you and it’s the same with this deportation issue – there is no actual benefit to the US in adding 30 million low skilled dependents to the nation. Life improves for Americans as we reduce the number of tax dependents we all have to support.

      Simply put, if not Trump, then no one else because all of the others are active traitors working to increase the number of immigrants, even Cruz with his support for a 500% increase in H1B visas, because there are too many Disney programmers who are American and we can’t have that.

      I am very confident he has the best ideological foundation.

      Cruz is beholden to Goldman Sachs. Putting aside his character flaws and lying, he is aligned with Wall Street’s effort to boost returns to capital even at the expense of the continued hollowing out of America’s economy. There is an awful lot of pressure to meet earnings targets and boost returns to capital and if that means shipping jobs overseas, firing Americans and flying in Indians, hiring infiltrators in order to undercut competitors who are staffed up with Americans, then that’s the nature of the game. The way this changes is to have the rules of the game changed and to disallow vested interests in twisting the rules to their benefit. Cruz is beholden to institutions which PROFIT from the existing order. When push comes to shove, he more than Trump, is compromised. It doesn’t matter what he says in a low pressure environment like a campaign, what matters is the moment of decision – how on earth did he ever think that increasing H1B visas by 500% was a good idea? He likely didn’t but he proposed this because Corporate America wanted it because Corporate America was under pressure to goose earnings just a tad higher. Cruz is bought, he depends on the good graces of the Capital Class in order to win this race and then to fund his retirement after the race or after leaving office. See Eric Cantor and countless others. I don’t understand how people who can see the corruption in the system come to think “But this time it will be different.” Cruz is a bought pawn.

      If Cruz is nominated, it is still a formidable task for him to win. He will need to energize the Trumpeteers,

      The people who’ve disengaged from the system and come back into the fold due to Trump are not predisposed to believing that with Cruz that “this time it will be different” and that his deep ties to Goldman Sachs are indicative of nothing, that he’s not a bought pawn and that GS just loaned him money because they want to cut their own throats and they like Cruz the man. Plenty of voters have realized that the system is crooked and they’ve disengaged and they see Cruz as being part of the crooked system, Cruz depends on the crooks to fund his retirement. Cruz is therefore bought and paid for.

    17. Jonathan Says:

      The details are simple, really.

      The details are never simple.

      I agree with Death6 on all points. We don’t know what Trump will actually do if elected, and some of his main proposals seem likely to be unworkable.

    18. TangoMan Says:

      The details are never simple.

      The details are indeed simple. Systematic identification of infiltrators can be achieved through a variety of means. Systematic snatch and grabs are put in place.

      The complexity arises from the REACTIONS – this is a PR nightmare. Crying kids, sympathetic infiltrators who want to stay here, Americans who choose to stand with foreigners than with their countrymen, actual traitors dedicating their lives to furthering the interests of foreigners at the cost of America’s interests, etc.

      Actual deportations and apprehensions are simple.

    19. TangoMan Says:

      We don’t know what Trump will actually do if elected, and some of his main proposals seem likely to be unworkable.

      You many not know what Trump will do but we all know what every single other candidate for the Republican nomination will do, they’ll do the bidding of their masters.

    20. Lexington Green Says:

      “… they’ll do the bidding of their masters.”

      Yep.

    21. Jonathan Says:

      this is a PR nightmare

      Yes, for good reason. Not everyone agrees with you about mass deportations, and the people who disagree with you vote. If you think Trump can issue an order and get millions of people deported you’re dreaming. And of the people who currently agree with you, most are probably going to lose their zeal if we build a border fence and make a serious effort to catch the criminal illegals. I’m sure that Trump knows all of this too, but for now immigration is a great wedge issue that gets him supporters from both parties.

    22. TangoMan Says:

      Not everyone agrees with you about mass deportations, and the people who disagree with you vote.

      And not everyone agrees with you about constitutional government, limited government, preserving historical American freedoms, etc and these people vote too and the people who disagree with you are vastly disproportionately represented in both the American minority community and in the infiltrator community, who if they become citizens, they will vote against the America you’re trying to preserve or rebuild.

      If you think Trump can issue an order and get millions of people deported you’re dreaming.

      For the purposes of this analysis, let’s presume that there exist two types of people, one type will be self-serving, take the easiest path which has the least amount of hostility or personal inconvenience while the second type of person is the one who will volunteer to sacrifice his life for his country, will willingly take on the risk of being maimed in order to protect his country. While history shows us that the 2nd type almost never makes his way into positions of political leadership, there is nothing actually precluding a patriot from achieving political success and using his position to do what is good for America even at great personal physical and reputational risk to himself. So far at least, the candidate who has suffered the greatest personal cost to reputation is Donald Trump. Present behavior is about the best variable to use to predict future behavior.

      The America you want cannot be preserved, never mind strengthened, under the current multicultural regime. If you’re not willing to make hard choices, or support those who do make hard choices, then you very effectively signal your priorities – you’d rather flush America away so that your children can’t live in a better America so long as no one thinks that you’re a mean person.

    23. becky Says:

      I agree with death also.

    24. TangoMan Says:

      I agree with death also.

      I assume that you have personal experience of numerous politicians, in various races, living true to their promises to you, the voter. Right? See, most of us don’t have that experience. Most of us are regularly betrayed by the politicians we support but somehow we never see those same politicians betraying their donors. Odd that. So my question to you is why you believe that Cruz, the golden boy of Goldman Sachs, is going to betray his money men and stay true to what he promises his voters? What makes Cruz trustworthy in an environment where every other politician has shown that they never betray those who give them massive amounts of financial support?

    25. Tyouth Says:

      “… the golden boy of Goldman Sachs…” is an unfair and shallow smear. His wife is a VP at Goldman Sachs and he needed to finance his campaign. Which bank would you have preferred? It’s hard to see why getting a loan makes him less trustworthy. Most candidates do it.

      “What makes Cruz trustworthy…?” His study and legal defense of the constitution go back (really, it might be fair to call it an obsession) for more than 20 years. He’s had an impressive legal career…an intellectual workhorse. See the rather long New Yorker article below.

      Ted Cruz, the Absolutist – The New Yorker
      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/…/the-absolutist-2

    26. Tyouth Says:

      “Mr. Trump’s nominations for anything sit as a mystery.”

      Jon, I think the writing on the wall is becoming PROGRESSIVEly clearer regarding Mr. Trumps possible nominee selections.

    27. TangoMan Says:

      It’s hard to see why getting a loan makes him less trustworthy.

      This is the taint of politics. Individual events, when all strung together, paint a pretty comprehensive picture in that the events all seem to interlock.

      When we have constant reports in the media about H1B abuse why does Ted Cruz propose this:

      It’s going to be hard for the Republicans to field a presidential candidate as enthusiastic about the H-1B visa as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

      Cruz, who announced his presidential bid this morning, once proposed an immediate increase in the base H-1B cap from 65,000 to 325,000. Cruz offered the H-1B increase as an amendment in 2013 to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill.

      Who is this good for? Is it good for the existing workforce? Is it good for students coming out of STEM programs and about to enter the job market? No to both. It’s good for employers who can reduce the cost of what they pay for labor and thus boost profits.

      The only way that we can argue that this measure is good for America is to make the equation that what is good for capital is synonymous with what is good for America. Reducing the American middle class to peonage will be good for the Capital Class and so, under this formulation, it would also be good for America. The hollowing out of the middle class has been a long trend that’s continuing to play out. The opportunity has long been there for many politicians to argue that this hollowing out is NOT good for America and thus advance their careers by working to stop measures which further this hollowing out. Cruz didn’t take that route rather he took the route which aligned with the view of the Capital Class, of Goldman Sachs where his wife made her career.

      Multiple pieces of independent evidence strongly suggest that Cruz’s interests align with those of Capital and that his policies will aid in the continued hollowing out of the middle class. The loan is merely one piece of the puzzle. The H1B measure is another. The American economy is a long, long, long way from having labor shortages which would warrant importing foreign labor as a method of dealing with the labor shortages, so we can safely discount necessity as a motivation for such a vast increase in visa labor. What looks to be clear is that more employers wanted to partake of imported labor as a means of reducing labor costs paid to Americans. Cruz chose to aid employer cost-saving measures against American workers/voters.

      His interests are aligned with Goldman’s interests.

    28. TangoMan Says:

      Jon, I think the writing on the wall is becoming PROGRESSIVEly clearer regarding Mr. Trumps possible nominee selections.

      Here’s the background on two judges who Trump has publicly supported:

      Sykes and Pryor are conservative federal judges, both nominated to appeals courts by President George W. Bush.

      Sykes is a judge on the Seventh Circuit and former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Pryor is a judge on the 11th Circuit and Alabama’s former attorney general.

      According to Slate, Senate Democrats tried to block Pryor’s nomination to the 11th Circuit court, saying that he had described Roe v. Wade as “the worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”

      But Bush installed Pryor during a recess appointment, which meant he didn’t have to get the Senate’s confirmation.

    29. Grurray Says:

      Here is what Cruz states on his campaign website about H1-B visas:

      Amend the H-1B visa program to fulfill its original purpose: Work with Congress to pass reform legislation for the H-1B visa program that will:

      Create an advanced degree requirement: Only individuals with advanced degrees in their respective fields may be brought to the United States with an H-1B visa. And preference will be given to those with advanced degrees from American universities.

      Create a “layoff cool-off” period for all H-1B visa applications: Companies must wait one or two years between laying off a worker and bringing in any H-1B foreign workers to ensure that the program is not used to displace American workers.

      Establish accreditation or recognition requirements for overseas schools: The recent lack of federal oversight of the H-1B visa program has fueled a cottage industry of diploma mills. Foreign academic institutions must meet minimum accreditation standards at least as stringent as those imposed on American universities in order to qualify for the advanced-degree requirement.

      Require sworn affidavits describing domestic hiring efforts: Companies will provide sworn statements and documentation that detail their efforts to hire Americans before requesting foreign workers through the H-1B visa program. Individuals who make false statements in these affidavits will be subject to perjury charges.

      Suspend companies from H-1B visa eligibility for failure to help foreign workers obtain green cards: Many companies misuse the H-1B visa program to train foreign workers that they intend to send back overseas to compete with America. The law must impose additional requirements on employers to pursue Legal Permanent Resident status on behalf of their H-1B visa-based foreign workers, or risk loss of access to the program.

      Here is what Trump’s campaign website says about H1-Bs:

      Increase prevailing wage for H-1Bs. We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B program. More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the program’s lowest allowable wage level, and more than eighty percent for its bottom two. Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas. This will improve the number of black, Hispanic and female workers in Silicon Valley who have been passed over in favor of the H-1B program. Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.

      They seem like they’re both now on the same page as far as greater oversight and restrictions.
      If we’re supposed to ignore contradictory things Trump has said and done in the past then we’re going to have to do that for everyone.

    30. TangoMan Says:

      If we’re supposed to ignore contradictory things Trump has said and done in the past then we’re going to have to do that for everyone.

      The unstated point here is WHY Cruz switched positions and took on Trump’s position. The answer is because it was evident to Cruz that Trump had a tiger by the tail and his position was widely supported by the voters. Absent Trump, the remaining candidates could have maintained their Cordon Sanitaire on deportations, the border wall, and all other popular immigration positions and advanced the Chamber of Commerce favored Comprehensive Immigration Reform measures which were extremely unpopular with the public.

      What Cruz and the others did in response to Trump was exactly what McCain did in response to Hayworth’s challenge, McCain went hard right, became a border hawk, won the primary, won the general, and then went back to business as usual. This campaign ad is funny to watch due to the sheer amount of lies per second.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0lwusMxiHc

      You’re asking people to believe Cruz just like McCain asked the voters of Arizona to believe him. McCain cut that ad back in 2010. Where’s that “danger fence?”

    31. TangoMan Says:

      “danged fence” not “danger fence.”

    32. Jonathan Says:

      Trump’s suggested judges do indeed appear to be conservatives. That is a good sign.

      Absent Trump, the remaining candidates could have maintained their Cordon Sanitaire on deportations, the border wall, and all other popular immigration positions and advanced the Chamber of Commerce favored Comprehensive Immigration Reform measures which were extremely unpopular with the public.

      Trump did a valuable service by shifting the bounds of the debate in the direction of the issues that mattered most to a large number of voters whose concerns both parties have ignored. Whether he would also be a good president is another question.

      What Cruz and the others did in response to Trump was exactly what McCain did in response to Hayworth’s challenge, McCain went hard right, became a border hawk, won the primary, won the general, and then went back to business as usual.

      Indeed. The problem is that this concern applies to Trump at least as much as it does to the other candidates. We can predict what he should do or is likely to do or would be stupid not to do but it’s all speculation until he gets elected. Remember “Read my lips, no new taxes”? It made no political sense for GHW Bush to break that pledge. Past performance is no guarantee of future results but it’s probably the best predictor we have. GHW Bush in 1988 had a history of being a liberal Republican. McCain has a history of flip-flopping on issues to win elections. Cruz has a consistently conservative if brief political history. Trump does not have a history of political conservatism or of being concerned about Constitutional issues. He has brilliant political instincts but we really don’t know what he would do in office or even whether he would shift his positions in a general election.

    33. TangoMan Says:

      Trump did a valuable service by shifting the bounds of the debate in the direction of the issues that mattered most to a large number of voters whose concerns both parties have ignored.

      Indeed. The problem is that this concern applies to Trump at least as much as it does to the other candidates.

      I link together your two statements. On the one hand Trump takes a massive risk and takes massive body blows in response to his policy positions and, to the surprise of the media and establishment classes, they can’t kill the beast and the public supports him and on the other hand there is the tactic of veering to the “safe” positions in response to challengers but not really meaning what you pledge to do.

      Trump didn’t take the safe route. Conventional political wisdom is you don’t want the media attacking you for “picking” on any protected and favored minority groups, like blacks, Hispanics or Muslims. The parsimonious conclusion here is that Trump is acting on conviction rather than calculation. The other politicians, after having Trump be the guinea pig, respond to his position with their own calculated position.

      I agree that what we’re engaging in here is speculation as to what any candidate would do after winning office, but even within the realm of speculation some speculations are more grounded than others. We can gauge which positions seem to be better anchored to conviction and which to political calculation.

      Cruz has a consistently conservative if brief political history. Trump does not have a history of political conservatism or of being concerned about Constitutional issues.

      Cruz and Trump are both susceptible to the same charge – they tailored their positions with an eye to a run. Even when Cruz was running for Senate there was speculation, as with Rubio, that the Senate was only meant to be a brief stop on the road to the White House, meaning that every filibuster speech was meant to add a piece of theater to his public persona. Hands down Cruz has been more consistent than Rubio but with respect to Trump, Trump gets the bigger picture on conservatism that Crux misses. Let me illustrate that point. With the passing of Scalia we are now seeing liberal legal analysts laying out plans on how to overturn Heller, Hobby Lobby, Citizens United and other cases which furthered conservative legal principles. The point here is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, what liberals can overturn can, in turn, be fixed by future conservatives. What can’t be overturned is the demographic transformation of the nation. Blacks vote for Democrats at the rate of 95%, Hispanics at the rate of ~75%, Asians at the rate of ~75%, Muslims at the rate of nearly ~100%.

      I can explain to you WHY these minorities vote so overwhelmingly for liberals but the WHY isn’t the crucial point here, the crucial point is that they DO and we have no evidence that Republicans can fix this while simultaneously holding on to your vote and mine. Your desire for strong Constitutional government becomes moot if your viewpoint becomes a minority viewpoint in the US.

      The hallmark failure of Conservatives and Republicans in the US is their complete dereliction of duty on the task of Conserving the People and Traditions of the US. Trump is the strongest candidate on this issue which cannot be undone. Cruz has not gone as far as Trump with respect to deportations. No one else has. This means that in an anyone-but-Trump Administration all of those future legal immigrants and the present and future infiltrators will eventually, after much wrangling, get the vote and so too will their children and because your message of limited government and such has near zero appeal to these millions upon millions of people, their votes will cancel yours. Your views, which used to be a majority in the US of the past, will become a small, fringe, minority view in the future. A nation is a reflection of its people. That’s a simple truth.

      A focus on Cruz may result in a short-term victory for your ideological concerns but that victory can be easily washed away. In the previous thread on Trump Canada entered into the discussion. It’s relevant to this point. After what, 9 years of Conservative government and much progress on slowly advancing conservative principles in government and in law, the recent election of Trudeau and his Liberals has the liberals on a tear revoking and invalidating every measure advanced by the Conservatives. I mean, this appears to be the first order of business of that government, wiping out every single conservative advance. Anything Cruz can do will get wiped out if the demographics get more unfavorable to conservatives and no one other than Trump is speaking to the issue of national identity and demographics.

      I’ll make the choice really stark. With Cruz and gains can be erased. With Trump, any measures that you don’t like can be erased by counting on a movement anchored in a favorable demographic. After either leaves the scene and a successor rises to office, that successor will have behind him a favorable demographic or an unfavorable one and locking in a new direction which favors constitutional limited government is wholly dependent on having the electoral, legal and cultural backing of the electorate. If Cruz gets in then the demographic transformation that is threatening the US cannot be undone. Legalizing, eventually, 30+ million LIBERAL DEMOCRATS and their children, dooms your vision into irrelevance.

      The establishment of the Republican Party who actually believe in something other than rent-seeking are fools and their supporters are being played as patsies. You can’t be on the ideological frontlines fighting for your cause while your rear theater has its lines overrun by the enemy, that is, focusing on moving the ball forward a foot at a time while paying no attention to the demographic gains which strengthen the liberal Democrats is a scenario guaranteed to result in heartbreak, tears and enslavement to Big Totalitarian Government for you and me. Always secure your rear theater before focusing on your front lines. Always. Cruz doesn’t think that there is any problem with an unsecured rear theater or he’s not leader enough to fix the problem because his sympathies lie with populations who are future immigrants.

    34. TangoMan Says:

      Here’s a physician writing a letter to Dreher at the American Conservative making the same point I made above:

      This is not just an economic issue. If you concede the country to somebody else, you have conceded the country to somebody else. They will use their power to perpetuate their own value system, not yours. It’s important to note that every setback social conservatives have suffered in the political realm over the last twenty years has happened as our portion of the electorate has shrunk. And now we’re gonna pretend it’s virtuous to compound the problem? We are the sad sack training our replacement and hoping this means the company’s giving us a promotion and an assistant.