Cruz Plan Falls Flat

Most every conservative loves Ted Cruz. You just don’t hear criticism of him from talk radio or TV’s talking heads. He does well in debates, is smart and has risen some in the polls.

However, before getting everyone’s endorsement, you might want to know a little bit about his tax plan.

Christopher Chantrill writes in the

Ted Cruz has unveiled his Simple Flat Tax plan that includes a single low, low personal income tax with a single rate of 10%. He also wants to eliminate the federal corporate income tax and the employee payroll tax, and replace them with a 16% Business Flat Tax. But according to Larry Kudlow and the Tax Foundation, he is really talking about a value added tax, a VAT. Here is what the Tax Foundation says about the Cruz plan.

It’s actually pretty simple: there’s profits that go to shareholders, and there’s wages, salaries, and other compensation to workers. Both get taxed at the same rate: in this case, sixteen percent.

In that sense, a subtraction-method value-added tax is actually just a simple combination of a sort of corporate income tax and an ordinary payroll tax. (Fittingly, Senator Cruz’s plan uses this VAT to eliminate the corporate income tax and the payroll tax.)

In a way, you could say that nothing changes. Corporations still get taxed on their profits and workers will still get taxed on their labor; that’s because under Cruz’s plan a business gets taxed on its gross revenue less costs like stuff bought from other businesses and equipment to expand the business. And under his plan labor costs wouldn’t be deductible.

But there are three big differences between today’s world and Cruz world, and they might transform the labor market.

First, if a business is taxed on its labor costs then the advantage for hiring labor “off-the-books” goes away. Think of the possibilities with respect to illegal immigrants.

Second, there is health insurance and other “benefits.” As I see it, in Cruz world these would be taxed like any other labor expense. Same thing for corporate pensions. All of a sudden it would pay businesses to offload all the benefits and just pay their employees in cash.

Third, the removal of the payroll tax will reduce the marginal tax rate on nearly all workers and particularly low-wage workers struggling to get off welfare. Right now, the marginal tax on welfare recipients that work is about 50 percent, because every dollar they earn is taxed with payroll taxes and also results in reduction in their welfare benefits.

On top of that, I worry about the end of the link between the payroll tax and Social Security; it might make it more difficult to reform Social Security into a real savings program. Democrats will start agitating for more taxes of business to pay for higher Social Security benefits. I don’t like that at all.

These are pretty dramatic changes in the world of work for wages, but Cruz isn’t talking up the drama. He is just saying that there is nothing to see here but his Simple Flat Tax plan. Not exactly, Ted. Not when you are talking about the most significant change in taxes on work in my lifetime.

This sort of politics flying under the radar bothers me, although I understand why it is necessary. In today’s high-tax high-benefit state almost any policy change is going to have big winners and losers, so you want to put the losers to sleep, as in “you can keep your doctor.”

I would like a world in which we walk into the future with our eyes open. That would mean the ability for culture leaders to talk to the American people before the politicians got to issue their tax plans. We know why this is impossible: liberals. Jonah Goldberg:

Hollywood is liberal. The music industry is liberal. The fashion industry is liberal. Publishing is liberal. The mainstream media are liberal. Silicon Valley is liberal. Believe it or not, most corporations and the overwhelming majority of charitable foundations are liberal.

Since the first thing that liberal babies learn in their cradles is how to trash conservative ideas as racist, sexist wars on women, conservative ideas don’t get much of an airing in America. And that means that politician Ted Cruz has to fly his ideas under the radar.

Larry Kudlow doesn’t like Cruz’s VAT tax, whether it is flying under the radar or not. When taxes are paid by businesses, he warns, “the true costs for workers and consumers are hidden” and thus are easy for politicians to raise.

But if you ask me, the main problem with the Cruz Business Flat Tax is that it will dramatically change the rules for business. Austrian economics tells us what happens next: a period of adjustment for the liquidation of the malinvestments revealed by the new tax regime. After all, some businesses will benefit enormously from the change. Others will go to the wall.

That’s why I predict that the first result of the Cruz tax reforms will be a short, sharp recession. Only then will the boom resulting from lower marginal taxes rates begin.

I hope other candidates will point this out, because no one is talking about this right now and it needs to be examined.

The Real Reason Jet Shot Down?

DC Whispers makes this interesting argument for why the Russian jet was shot down yesterday over Syria:

Within minutes of shooting down (and filming) a Russian military jet the Turkish government was claiming it did so to protect its own airspace. Russian officials then disputed that claim while the Obama White House quickly sided with Turkey.

The real reason though is something far simpler and sinister and something both the Mainstream Media and the Obama administration doesn’t want you to know – money. Namely significant sums of money being pocketed by oddly close allies of the Obama White House via direct dealings with ISIS terrorists.

Much has been said about ISIS generating millions of dollars every week via sales of oil taken from territories it took control of months earlier. Until very recently, Barack Obama has been reluctant to attack ISIS oil fields and ISIS oil transportation routes.

Here is an excerpt from an earlier report concerning that much-publicized 40-minute sit down that took place between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama at the G20 Summit which was hosted by Turkey:

“…After several tense seconds, President Obama looked away and then began speaking. Putin awaited his own interpreter and with each word from Mr Obama, his smirk became more pronounced. Barack Obama spoke of the need for cooperation, of dealing with Assad, of an international approach to ensure fairness to everyone involved.

Mr. Putin jabbed a finger at the ISIS oil fields photographs and declared them gone. He then rose up from his chair, smiled warmly for the media cameras watching the exchange, and then later gave the now infamous comments that made clear his feelings toward the American president: “He’s a child. A child.”

It was Putin who demanded that ISIS oil production be destroyed and it was Putin who set out to do just that as described by this excerpt:

“…Within hours of that meeting, U.S. forces began bombing ISIS oil transport trucks. The Obama White House moved quickly to push the American media to detail those attacks as a show of Barack Obama’s determination to defeat ISIS in an attempt to minimize Putin’s growing influence as the dominant world leader in the war on ISIS. What the White House didn’t disclose (but disgruntled military operatives then leaked) was that it ordered leaflets to be dropped prior to the bombing campaign to allow “innocents” time to escape.

The Obama administration proudly claimed it destroyed 116 ISIS oil transport vehicles.

Russian military then proceeded to decimate over 500 hundred ISIS transport trucks – and did so without prior warning.

Statistically, the Putin-directed response to ISIS is 500% greater than that overseen by Barack Obama which would appear to only reinforce Mr. Putin’s claims of Barack Obama’s childlike approach to dealing with Muslim terrorists.”

Now with the above information in hand, add to it this very important fact:

ISIS has been using Turkey to bring its oil to market and in doing so, has developed a mutually beneficial financial arrangement with the Turkish government – namely Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is potentially making millions of dollars on the side via that arrangement. Erdogan, perhaps the single most powerful Muslim Brotherhood leader in the world, is of course also very close to Barack Obama.

The Russian fighters were attacking ISIS oil routes that led into Turkey, thus endangering the multi-million dollar agreement between ISIS and the Erdogan regime. Turkey was allowed to shoot down a Russian jet fighter with the assurance it would have the quick support (and thus military backing) of the Obama White House after doing so.

That is exactly what just transpired.

With that information now added to this wicked cauldron of international deceit, add this excerpt from a related D.C. Whispers report:

“It should also be noted that Turkey has now militarily engaged both the Kurds and Russia – the two forces that have most aggressively taken up the fight to defeat ISIS. The Obama administration continues to refuse to adequately arm Kurdish fighters, and openly complains of the increase in Russian influence in that same region.

It’s as if Recep Tayyip Erdogan enjoys leadership of two nations, his own Turkey, and that of the United States via what appears to be considerable influence directed through the vessel known as Barack Hussein Obama.”

UPDATE: Senator and GOP candidate Marco Rubio just sided with Barack Obama and declared “we must defend Turkey from Russian assault.” Mr. Rubio suggested Turkey, as a NATO member, could require ALL NATO members to defend it against Russia should it be attacked. In more direct terms, that would be a potential World War III scenario.

Survival Guide for Holiday With Libs

Are you dreading another holiday with your liberal relatives? Sitting around the Thanksgiving table and listening to them blather on about climate change, Ferguson or the imbecilities of your favorite Republican GOP candidate?

From the Ace of Spades blog comes this valuable guide to “Surviving The Progressive Imbeciles Who Have Spent a Week Cramming on How to Survive You.”

Given that the progressive elder-children-yet-not-quite-adults you’ll be encountering this Thanksgiving (who I will henceforth refer to as “grownchildren”) will be armed to the teeth with Vox explainers and Obamacare propaganda, I herewith humbly submit these first sketches of a new branch of Lifemanship I call “Thankgivingmanship,” which I define as the gentle art of insulting the stupid without alerting them to the fact that they’ve been insulted at all.

It is the goal of the dedicated Thanksgivingman, then, to achieve the sublime art of giving offense without offense being taken.

My basic strategy is thus: It would be as rude of you as it is rude of your cretinous grownchildren kin to allow a Thanksgiving dinner into a stupid game of Rachel Maddow Talking Points and their rebuttals.

So, rather than confront the unemployed idiots who will be assailing you, I propose instead to superficially avoid conflict and engagement on their dummy mouthflappings, and appear instead to agree with them.

But — and here is the point — a skilled Thanksgivingman will only appear to agree with the grownchildren by feeble intellects, such as those possessed by the grownchildren themselves. Instead of disagreeing with them — which will cause argument and anger — you will instead claim to agree with them, while in fact saying things which contradict them, or subvert them, or simply baffle them by being nonsensical.

Our definitions and mission now established, we turn to the first of our three primary Thanksgivingmanship gambits:

The Neutral and Nonsensical Statement Disguised as Agreement. Progressives do not process language the same way human beings do; they chiefly adduce meaning from tone and body language, like dogs.

This means that you can say many things which are either irrelevant, nonsensical, or otherwise not in agreement with the progressive subcreatures you’re temporarily amidst so long as you deliver your words with a warm smile and a lot of nodding.

You may also use uptalk to express an insincere solidarity. As with dogs and babies, progressives find artificially high-pitched vocal tones to be soothing and possibly a prelude to Walkies and Snackies.

Whenever a progressive grownchild says something stupid and ignorant, which will be always, do not engage on the merits. Progressive grownchildren will become highly emotional and agitated at the slightest show of disagreement, and may wet the floor or claw at the furniture.

Instead, say something which is either neutral or nonsensical (which successfully communicates your true beliefs to other real human beings capable of deciphering obvious meaning) while deploying smiling, nodding, and uptalk to falsely convey agreement with to the more-stunted intellect of the grownchild.

For example, if a progressive grownchild says, “Rachel Maddow is just so amazing,” you can respond by nodding and saying “Absolutely, Rachel Maddow is without doubt a mammal.” (Or: “A mammal…?”)

Possible responses to common grownchild mouthchatter include:

“Well I see that the ‘Faux Noise Machice’ has gotten everyone riled up about so-called ‘terrorism’ again.”

“Doubtless! Terrorists only win when allow them to make us afraid, or dead.” (Or: “Afraid, or dead…?”)

“Can’t people see that stupid cons are doing Just What ISIS Wants us to do?”

“It’s so obvious– the attacks in Paris weren’t just an attack on human lives. They were an attack on our shared human capacity to be alive.” (“To be alive, and stuff…?”)

This is a very simple one, which can be deployed in a variety of contexts:

“None of this is Obama’s fault — he’s doing the best he can to keep America out of another War of Choice.”

“Boy that Obama– he is really something, isn’t he?”

As the evening wears on, and you are preparing to depart, you may become somewhat more blatant in your stealth insults, like so:

“I just read an explainer about this on Vox.”

“Today’s world is so remarkable! When I was young, we had to read books and derive our own thinking for ourselves. What a time to be alive, when sounding vaguely informed is no longer a luxury of the intellectual, but a cheaply assembled ware available to the common man!”

Fake Statistics. It was my old friend Boston Irish who alerted me to this ticklish little trope, when he observed that no matter how absurd the statistic you proposed to a progressive, if that statistic seemed to call attention to whatever bugaboos xhe was excited about, xhe would respond with a gushing “I know, right?!”

He demonstrated this to me at a party by interrupting a couple of liberals talking, and announcing to them:

“You know, based on current statistics, in ten years, the entire state of California will be homeless.”

“Right! I know!” came the response.

By the way, that is not schtick. That is not a joke written for this blogpost. I was really there, he really said that, that really happened.

After having secured the agreement to his obviously-crank “statistics,” he turned to me with a slightly arched eyebrow and sipped his beer in quiet triumph.

This propensity of grownchildren to agree to whatever fantastical “studies” and “statistics” you propose to them can be exploited for much private merriment at the holidays.

Other gambits include:

* “You know, the average family of four pays more in fees to the Big Banksters than they spend on rent.”

* “By the year 2030, global warming predicts that the North American landmass will be flooded by seawater and wolves.”

* “99.4% of the world’s wealth is controlled by six-tenths of a single person.”

* “More people are killed every year by shooting accidentally shooting themselves than who died in all the wars in the world combined, except for the Korean War.”

You need to throw that “Except for the Korean War” in at the end because the claim, on its face, is too preposterous, so you deduct out Korean War deaths to bring it into the real of the plausible. (Plausible, that is, for progressive grownchildren.)

You may follow Boston Irish’s trope of the obviously-crank “liberal study” claim, or you can try your hand at nonsensical claims:

* “Studies have proven that if you have a gun in your house, you are more in danger of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a rattlesnake. Think about it.”

A minor variation of the Fake Statistic ploy is the Fake Profundity gambit, in which you propose some ludicrous “deep thought” which derives not from social science, but from your own personal philosophical inquiry.

For example, this one is best delivered with chin uplifted, Obama-style, and a metaphysical glaze of the eye:

* “For what is it that gives the terrorists power — their weapons, or our primitive, irrational fear that they will kill us with their weapons?”

It is generally a useful practice to prefix such bits of nonsense with faux-biblical language, such as “For what…” or “Lo” and “Thus and so.”

Fake Quotes. Progressives love fake quotes — they just love dressing up whatever passes for this week’s SJW Conventional Wisdom and attributing it to some historic figure.

Generally, these historic figures are very well known, because progressives don’t know any historic figures except the very well known. Thomas Jefferson is always a popular choice. For “bad sounding quotes,” Hitler is preferred. Napoleon and Marcus Aurelius may be deployed as well, but be prepared for some confused looks as to who it is you’re talking about.

Offering a ridiculous quote can bring you and any other lively minds at the table great amusement. Your target will probably not notice the quote is fake, because he is an imbecile, and also because you’ll have a serene, self-satisfied smile on your face as you say it, which he will read as “A Fellow Progressive in Discursive Mode.”

This minor camouflage will permit you to smuggle huge amounts of nonsense in the guise of Wisdom of the Ancients.

Feel free to subvert your noddingsmiles with messages that are blatantly mottos of the NRA, if only the grownchild could understand simple words, which they cannot.

For example:

“Wasn’t it Mahatma Gandhi who said, ‘It is the necessarily the first man to shoot who wins the battle, but it is always the last man shooting who wins the day’?” l

“As Gertrude Stein said” — and I should say here that this gambit works best when you pronounce this name, for no particular reason, in an outrageous German accent, as Gaertruude Schteinn.

So, let’s begin again: “As Gaertruude Schtein said, ‘The man who is slowest to arm himself is quickest to savor the bounties of Heaven.'”

Another gambit is to offer up the following quotes, while claiming to not know the source of this wisdom.

“I forget who it was who said it, but ‘Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you’re fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.'”


“Who was it who said, ‘Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true’?”

You will get big nods for these Aphorisms of the Ancient Sages. You yourself can take pleasure in the knowledge that both quotes are from the movie Point Break, delivered by Johnny Utah (Keanu Reaves) and Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), respectively.

If you get any verbal expressions of agreement, a “hear-hear” or an “amen,” you can extend the joke by saying, “In the words of the spiritual master Boddhisatva, ‘You can do what you want, and make up your own rules. Why be a servant to the law, when you can be its master…? Six seconds, we’re going to be meat waffles.'”

Make this trope your own. Have fun with it. If you want to claim that it was Niccolo Machiavelli who first advised, “Sweep the leg, Johnny,” go with it, but try to get your more subtle Fake Quotes in before “going big” like that.

A Final Word. At some point, even an experienced Thanksgivingman will go too far, and give his game away. At that point, there will be sulks and silences, and the Thanksgivingman will have actually failed at his goal, which is to give offense without offense being taken.

In such straits, the Thanksgivingman, in order to be the polite person he wishes to be, will have to apologize — it is the verminous grownchildren who have come to bicker and strafe, after all, not the Thankgivingman.

However, for the zealous Thanksgivingman, even an apology can be exploited for further Thanksgivingmanship points.

For example, if the childanimal you are speaking with declares:

“You’re micro-aggressing me.”

…then be sure to respond,

“Ah, then please sincerely accept my most micro apologies.”

Blogger Asks a Question

The media is trying to control how we perceive our GOP candidates. The most recent attempt was to ambush Donald Trump and make it look like he wants a database on all Muslims in the U.S. He denied it, but once the word has been around…

Still, I notice that Fox has given less coverage to Trump. Once they found a poll that showed Ben Carson ahead in Iowa and tying with Trump nationally, they couldn’t stop promoting it. Since Carson’s slump, not so much. Their pundits like George Will and Charles Krauthammer grudgingly give Trump some due, but they are convinced he won’t be the nominee and repeat that as often as they can.

But on the internet, Conservative Treehouse asks,

Can somebody tell me about all the big Rallies for Cruz, Rubio, Bush, Carson, Kasich, Christie??? Are they too having several a week? Does anybody have the listings of previous rallies and upcoming rallies? The location, the venue, the attendances?”


Trump is the only one working. It’s glaring. He’s not just working, he’s been chugging along lapping the field day-in and day-out for months now. Nobody is attracting the people like Trump. Nobody.

But wait, that’s going to annoy the naysayers that attack his supporters as idiots & low information boobs. So let’s take the crowds out of it.

Let’s pretend that Trump isn’t getting the huge crowds. Ignore the movement. Ignore the people.

♦ Is there anybody out there working as HARD as he is?
♦ Is there anybody as driven & disciplined at getting his message out?
♦ Is there anybody doing as many interviews, appearances and events, non-stop for months & months as he is?
♦ Who is working for it the most? Who?

Now this leads one to think, Hmmm…..why aren’t the other candidates working? Seriously, there’s nobody else even trying to campaign other than Trump. The rest of he field is 100% weaksauce posturing & hoping Trump will flame out and/or depending on the media’s Propaganda.

What are they actually doing? Anything? It’s glaringly obvious. Why aren’t they campaigning? Where’s the rallies? Where’s the energy? It’s not there. There is no there, there. They’re not EVEN TRYING. How telling is that? Why are they not even trying? What does this reveal about the field?

If Jeb, Rubio, Cruz or ANYBODY other than Trump was regularly having massive rallies that attracted thousands of people, do you think the media would be quiet about it?

How about just ONE rally? Wouldn’t they be shouting like banshees from every rooftop in the nation? Touting the surging candidate? “Jeb Rally is sold out!! 10,000 in attendance! He’s a serious contender! Jeb is surging!!!!!”

What do we have? Nothing. Zilch. Nada.A big Zero.

Trump is the only one actually working. There is no debate about this.

If one steps back from the nattering propaganda and looks at the reality of the situation, it’s quite clear. Nobody is even coming close to his energy, dedication, wit, work ethic, or expertise. Some may even claim his handling of the media is genius. But, Ya know what I respect more than his genius? His unrelenting and disciplined work ethic. It’s like nobody I’ve ever seen.

He goes on to highlight this story about the great ground game Trump has from NBC NEWS:

FORT DODGE, Iowa — Every one to two weeks, Donald Trump descends into an Iowa town for one of his signature campaign rallies. But behind the big crowds of supporters is a campaign machine of staffers and volunteers that has built a formidable network of support on the ground in the hopes of turning enthusiasm into an Iowa caucus victory for the real estate mogul.

The reach of the team’s work is evident at its campaign rallies in the Hawkeye State.

Before Trump’s now-notorious 95-minute monologue in Fort Dodge, Iowa, last week, Wendell Steven, 77, sporting his white Trump shirt and red “Make America Great Again” hat sat about halfway back in the local community college auditorium where Trump would speak.

Asked what led him to come to the event, Steven said he got to personally know one of Trump’s ground organizers, Chris Hupke, who oversees primarily the northwest region of the state for the campaign.

“He’s probably around five times [more than] anyone from the other campaigns,” Steven said. “He calls up just to see how the weather is and where I’m at. He’s a good guy.”

His wife, Donna, interjected, “Wendell had open heart surgery, he got a get-well card from Chris and a personal visit at the house!”

Another Trump fan in a nearby seat at the Fort Dodge rally also said he’d been recruited by Hupke. Roger Huetig, 67, an Army veteran, met Hupke at a Webster County Republican fundraiser and found solidarity with the candidate’s immigration message.

“Deport them! Fill those busses up!” Huetig exclaimed.

Hupke told NBC News that his focus is teaching would-be backers about the caucus process.

“It’s all about the caucus and getting people educated and to understand what it means to caucus. And then following up with the people that have been supportive to get them out there,” he said.

While Trump has campaigned in the major metropolitan areas of the state, the campaign has also targeted Fort Dodge-like events in smaller towns, including Newton (13,000 population), Oskaloosa (10,000) and Winterset (5,000).

“The fact that he’s making the effort to come to Fort Dodge — it makes you feel like you count. We now count a little bit more,” said Tracy Stevens, 52, who filled out a “commit to caucus card” for Trump.

“He actually put an effort to see a small town in Iowa,” said Zach Sukovaty, 20. “Yeah, he may go to the big cities where there’s a lot more people, but if he jumps around to small towns, they’re going to consider him more because he’s for small-town people.”

In Fort Dodge alone, the campaign enlisted 40 volunteers to show up hours early and partake in various tasks around the event.

“I drove two-and-a-half hours just for this,” said Dave Vanderwel, 71, alongside his wife, Phyllis. The couple from Orange City, Iowa, wanted to volunteer for the campaign. That night, they passed out Trump signs to the crowd.

“Hey, I’ll drive anywhere. This is worth it, man. We need people like [Trump] who will get our country back on track,” Vanderwel said.

At the front entrance, just beyond the newly-implemented Secret Service metal detectors, Walter Jensen and his son, Barry took down the names of people walking in. The elder Jensen has only caucused once before.

Jensen owns a trailer store in Humboldt – a community a half hour north of Fort Dodge – and recalled Hupke coming into his shop about a month ago “on a cold call just to see if we knew anyone around that might be Trump supporters.” Jensen told Hupke, on the spot, he would “absolutely” help out the campaign as a volunteer.

A few yards from Jensen at the Fort Dodge rally stood Tana Goertz, Trump’s high-energy Iowa co-chair and a mini-celebrity herself after appearing as a finalist on The Apprentice in 2005.

Goertz huddled with potential supporters, rattling off her elevator pitch for the campaign. “You make sure you go out and caucus for Mr. Trump,” she told a father, who agreed to be a caucus-site leader for the campaign. (The campaign hopes to have its designated caucus leader for every neighborhood voting location by next week.)

Back inside the auditorium, Harvey Friesleben sat in the second row. The 73-year-old from Goldfield has never caucused. “I’ve never got this excited about it. This is my first. Never caucused but I’m here,” Friesleben said.

One section over, Dean Peterson, 48, a roadworker from Otho, arrived early with his son, Jake, 14. “He brought me here,” Peterson said. And now, Peterson said he will follow through and caucus for Trump because “he’s honest and tells it the way it is. He doesn’t put up with none of their crap.”

Amid that conversation, Kim Hefty, 57, a farmer who drove 45 minutes from Bradgate for the event, sat in the seat directly in front of the Petersons. She is a lifelong Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

“It gets to the point where it’s about the person, not the party anymore,” Hefty said. “I think Donald talks the talk and walks the walk. And I don’t care for Hillary [Clinton]. I just don’t trust her.”

Ten minutes before the event was to begin, Hupke crossed by the entrance, where about 100 still waited in line to pass through security. “Let’s rock and roll,” Hupke said.

Two hours later, Trump left the building after giving – even for him – one of his more memorable speeches.

As attendees exited, the campaign staffers stayed until all were properly bid farewell. Stephanie Laudner, who is part of the staff and married to the state director Chuck Laudner, praised the crowd of about 50 who stood for nearly two hours on the risers behind Trump. And Sam Clovis, the campaign’s senior policy adviser, shook the hands of each person leaving the stage.

As Chuck Laudner told NBC News in October: “As long as Trump stays viable, we have a network. We’ve got this foundation laid out there that we can grow from.”

If the RNC works against such a successful candidate – who can also self fund – they are throwing away a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Trump reminds me of Reagan, who they also tried to spurn.

Colbert Getting Left Behind

Several young people tell me how great Stephen Colbert is and his new show, too!

They say “he’s as tough on Democrats as he is on Republicans. He makes fun of them, too! He had great ratings at his start! And, he’s a devout Catholic!”

Pardon my skepticism.

Lots of Democrats use Catholicism like, oh I don’t know, the Kennedys, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi; but their actions are not at all in keeping with a church that is against abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage.

Evidently Kyle Smith at the New York Post finds Colbert painfully left and so does the audience.

So Stephen Colbert turns out to be just as much of an a-hole as “Stephen Colbert.” Viewers have noticed.

After an initial burst of interest spurred by CBS’s big-bucks saturation advertising campaign for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the show’s ratings have tanked and it is now running third in late night behind NBC’s Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who rarely has managed second place before.

The reason? A survey by the Hollywood Reporter found that conservative viewers are turning off Colbert in droves. Nearly twice as many Republicans are watching Kimmel as Colbert, who has turned “Late Night” into a sort of wannabe MSNBC show.

The pattern is familiar: When a Democrat is the guest, Colbert is Barbara Walters. When a Republican is on, he turns into Tim Russert.

Gosh, whoever could have predicted that?

“Because comedy doesn’t work unless the underlying premise rings true, just about no conservative finds Colbert funny,” a Post columnist opined on April 11, 2014.

“So, though he will be dropping the faux-con shtick when he takes over Letterman’s chair, millions of conservatives won’t be watching. CBS is essentially writing off half the potential audience before the first show even airs.”

Ratings show that 47% of Colbert’s viewers identify as Democrats, 17% as Republicans. Kimmel’s audience is evenly split — 33% Democrats, 32% Republicans, while Fallon’s is nearly so (36% Democrats, 31% Republicans).

“Colbert Nation is filled with wealthy, socially liberal men who overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana and want Bernie Sanders to be president,” pollster Jon Penn explained to The Hollywood Reporter. Some 30% of Colbert viewers report that they are atheists, which is the No. 1 “religion category” choice for “Late Show” viewers. (Memo to the US Marine Corps: Don’t bother advertising on Colbert. Manufacturers of pastel capri pants for men, on the other hand, should not miss out on this opportunity.)

Of course, CBS could spin this by saying that Colbert’s viewers are the sort desired by advertisers. Except in the first week of November, Kimmel not only beat the “Late Show” in total audience, he also beat him in the key 18-49 age group. Colbert isn’t targeting a demo; he’s pandering to a niche.

The pattern is familiar: When a Democrat is the guest, Colbert is Barbara Walters. When a Republican is on, he turns into Tim Russert.

There’s a tradition in comedy of taking it easy on someone who is gracious enough to play along. Even “Saturday Night Live” wasn’t harsh on Sarah Palin when she actually appeared on the show.

Colbert is different. Consider The Atlantic’s summary of his recent political interviews: “Even by Colbert’s standards, his interview with [Ted] Cruz featured much tougher treatment than any of his other political interviews to date . . . Colbert steered almost completely clear of politics in his moving interview with [Joe] Biden. And when Bernie Sanders appeared on the show last week, Colbert gave him space to deliver his campaign talking points with little interruption.”

Almost as if he was trying out a third personality — a parody of a know-nothing liberal pundit — Colbert made a complete ass of himself in front of Cruz by suggesting that the senator, being religious, necessarily equated his opponents with Satan.

“You’re a religious man, right, you’re a religious man? . . . What about your opponents politically, are they diabolical?” Colbert then attempted to argue the Constitution with Cruz, which is a bit like giving chess tips to Garry Kasparov. Cruz reminded the baffled comic of the existence of something called the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states those powers not specifically granted the federal government, and in so doing actually won a round of applause from Colbert’s audience.

Colbert is so unremittingly hostile to Republicans that he will shortly find conservative invitees declining to appear. (Except Ted Cruz, who would argue with a tree stump.) That means the Colbert show risks turning into an echo chamber in which viewers doze off as Colbert and his liberal guests beam lovingly at each other like a mother and child.

This can be a bit sick-making to watch. As The Atlantic put it, “Colbert said goodbye to Biden by practically pleading with him to run for president. With Cruz, there was no deadpan, and no praise. ‘I really appreciated you sharing your views with us,’ Colbert said, ‘and good luck with the campaign.’ ”

CBS had a far funnier, more talented and more interesting choice to replace David Letterman right in front of it: Craig Ferguson, former host of “The Late Late Show.”

As Andy Borowitz wrote in The New York Times of Ferguson’s stirring, surprising and funny memoir “American on Purpose,” “Almost every time Ferguson has a chance to go for a cheap, easy laugh — the mother’s milk of late-night comedy — he runs in the opposite direction. Take the opening scene in which he meets George W. Bush at a reception . . . He bonds with Bush as a fellow recovering alcoholic, clinking glasses of sparkling water with him as the president makes an earnest toast to America. I repeat: this is the opening scene of a book by a comedian. That’s what we in the comedy business call courage, and it pretty much sets the tone for the rest of this memoir, in which Ferguson admirably avoids wisecracks and instead goes for something like wisdom.”

Cheap shots vs. wisdom. CBS made its choice, and now it is paying the price.

Be Sure to Vote Today

On off election days like today your vote really does count more than in a general election. If you make the effort to go to your polling station, you’ll be doing more than most Memphians who won’t bother. If fewer of the opposition turn out, it’s a big help.

We voted at our polling place today and candidate Dan Springer was out front waving his sign. He stopped to chat with us briefly.

I know all the candidates in this runoff feel like they’ve been electioneering since the spring and it will be a relief to finish today.

In District 5 we have a win/win situation. Both candidates running for that City Council seat are Republicans. The winner will replace our previous Democrat representative and now mayor Jim Strickland.

The Shelby GOP has done an outstanding job of recruiting good candidates and promoting them. It has been evident in the past several years when we have defeated many Democrats in a blue city. It’s the only way we’ll turn Memphis around.

The least you can do is go cast your ballot. At the maximum it will take half an hour including travel time.

Jindal: A Class Act

Last night on Fox’s Special Report, Louisiana governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal announced he is stopping his campaign.

He’s young, so the fact that he didn’t get much traction this time means he gained experience for the next attempt at elected office. Jindal’s a very brilliant man and a well spoken one, as he was at the Shelby GOP fundraiser he headlined this spring.

Blogger Erick Erickson shared his experiences with Jindal:

A couple of years ago I was out in California for a meeting and ran into Bobby Jindal and his wife. They were in the same hotel. I’ve know the Governor of Louisiana for a number of years. I’m a native of Louisiana. We caught up on life and I mentioned I had not been home in quite a while to see my parents.

We parted company and I went to my meeting. That evening the phone in my hotel room rang. The Governor’s Chief of Staff was calling to tell me Governor Jindal wanted me to fly back to Louisiana with him the next day. He knew I had a day of down time before my flight, had not seen my parents in a long time, and could hop a flight back to Atlanta the next day.

I agreed. We got to the airport the next morning and Governor Jindal looked at me, smiled, and said, “Good. If you didn’t come I was gonna call your mama and tell her you had the opportunity and refused.” We both laughed hard.

When I decided it was time to retire from RedState, Governor Jindal was the first elected official in the nation I talked to about it. He was encouraging and told me he thought I could pull off departing and starting over with no problem. When I was doubting, he gave me a shot of confidence to leave.

Governor Jindal also gave Louisiana a shot of confidence. I fled that state after the Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke race where my parents had a sticker on the back of their car “Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.” I never even considered I could return home to what I considered a third world hell hole. Hell, a family down the road from us literally kept a cow on a cinderblock in the front yard for milk. Everyone I went to high school with it seems either wound up working for the state, working for Exxon, or going to jail. Louisiana was a state without a lot of hope.

When Katrina blew through I was well settled in Georgia, but my parents were and still are in the Felicianas where we have a family farm. My parents now live in my grandparents’ home in Jackson. The roads are still crumbling there and the biggest industry is still the prison system. But there is something new — suburbs stretching from Baton Rouge up a nicely paved Highway 61. Baton Rouge is growing in every direction.

After Katrina, the Democrats in the state imploded. The old ways and old bureaucracy collapsed. Bobby Jindal lost to Kathleen Blanco in his first run for governor. The Democrats ran a blatantly racist campaign in which they intentionally darkened Bobby’s skin in mail pieces and referred to him as “Piyush Jindal,” which is his actual given name that no one calls him. In 2007, Bobby came back to beat Blanco after Katrina. He never looked back.

Bobby Jindal oversaw a fundamental transformation in Louisiana. State industries were downsized and privatized. People were forced to compete in the private sector. The state payroll stopped serving as an extension of the welfare state. Ethics reforms were pushed through the legislature quickly. Legislators fought Jindal, but Jindal used his mandate effectively for change. Soon, businesses started pouring into Louisiana. More and more industry came in providing more and more people a way out of poverty.

Four years after his first term, Jindal got re-elected with only nominal opposition. He won with 53.9% of the vote and saw Democrats and others pick up several parishes (the state has parishes, not counties) in 2007. In 2011, he won every single parish and 65.8% of the vote. The Democrat got just 17% of the vote. The legislature headed toward the GOP as well.

Bobby Jindal gave Louisiana a lot of hope. Unfortunately, he was never able to capitalize on that in a Presidential race. He couldn’t find a reformist message and was crowded out. At home, resentment with his budget cuts and politics led Republicans to start vocally criticizing him. On the campaign trail, Jindal became known more as a bomb thrower than a policy wonk. With Louisiana as his base, he did not have the deep pocketed billionaires other candidates had just by virtue of residency in states with those billionaires.

At the age of 24, Bobby Jindal became the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. At 28, he was the president of the University of Louisiana System, overseeing more than 80,000 college students in the state. At 30, President Bush appointed him Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. By 33, he had become a congressman. He was a Governor before turning 37. It is a pretty damning indictment on the whole debate process this year that a man with that resume could not make it on the main debate stage in any of the Republican debates.

Bobby Jindal is the smartest Governor in America, one of the great reformers of the twenty-first century, and a genuinely kind soul. He is returning to Louisiana to finish out his second term with a population that is ready to move on from the Jindal era. The Republicans in Louisiana, with David Vitter as their nominee, are crumbling and, should Vitter manage to turn the tide and win, look set to roll back parts of Jindal’s legacy.

Bobby Jindal may not be the man Louisiana wants right now, but he is Governor the state needed. I probably will never move home, but I know now that I could. It is thanks to the single minded determination of a native son of the Bayou State whose parents were immigrants to our nation. I suspect we have not heard the last from Bobby Jindal and it would be our loss if this was the end of his career in politics.