[VIDEO] Did the Cruz campaign come up with the best campaign video of the season?

Hillary takes out the serverOne of the things Ted Cruz is trying to do to distinguish himself from the old white socialist hippie farts on the Democrat side of the aisle is to come up with campaign promotional material that’s a little hip and edgy.  Although it’s 17 years old, the movie Office Space, which Mike Judge wrote, still maintains that hip and edgy vibe.  I know that my teenagers thought it was hysterical.  Here’s one of the pivotal scenes from that movie:

And here’s the Cruz campaign parody, which is garnering rave reviews:

The Bookworm Beat 2/11/16 — the “watching the political parade” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265As this election year’s craziness continues, I keep trying to keep myself from getting upset. My mantra is that I should save my energies for things I can change, either directly or through my own small contributions. For everything else, I need to relax and watch the passing spectacle. That’s what this post is all about.

Socialism’s shortages kill people.  One of the hallmarks of socialism is shortages, with Venezuela being the latest example.  Canada has socialized medicine.  (They also have cheap drugs, but that’s because American companies invest in R&D, costs they recoup by passing on to American drug purchasers, while the Canadian government helps supplement drug costs.)  That’s why a teenager in Canada who could have had a stem cell transplant died — the donor was available, but the hospital beds weren’t.

Unemployment is a core feature of a centralized economy.  The theory behind a centralized (i.e., government managed) economy is that everyone works and everyone benefits.  The reality is that the more the government manages the economy through taxes and rewards to cronies, the more it stifles individual initiative — and the result is unemployment.  With the Obama economy staggering into its eighth year, one can’t really blame millennials, who have never seen a functioning free market, for thinking that the best they’ll ever get is more government hand-outs, courtesy of Bernie.

The media is trying to ignore Ted Cruz to death, but he’s still the strongest conservative candidate.  The media willingly gave Donald Trump free advertising by covering him endlessly.  It wasn’t just that he was “so clever” that he played them.  They wanted to be played because they believe that, outside of his core 35%, he’s unelectable.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, is scary.  After all, Rush anointed him the closest thing we’ll see to Reagan in our era.  Since savaging Cruz hasn’t been working, the media is trying a new tactic:  ignoring him.  That is, they are deliberately denying the American people a chance to hear from a top-ranking presidential candidate.  Gawd, but our media is corrupt.

Still, Ted Cruz plays the long game, and Fox News Latino thinks he’s still got game.  Philip Klein also thinks that New Hampshire is anomalous, since it’s kind of like Europe in that even its conservatives are Leftists.  Look at the rest of conservative America, and Cruz is still the last conservative candidate standing.

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[VIDEO] Cruz ad attacks Donald Trump on eminent domain and campaign donations

Ted Cruz anti-Trump adThis Ted Cruz video, which attacks Trump for donating to Democrat politicians and for using eminent domain for his own profit, has gotten high praise in some quarters, but I have to admit that it doesn’t work for me, for four reasons:

First, I don’t like using kids to sell products.  I find them fundamentally uninteresting.

Second, I had a hard time understanding at least half of what they said.

Third, in part because the kids were so unintelligible, I couldn’t figure out what point they were making with regard to eminent domain, which really is an Achilles’ heel for Trump — and I’m someone who stays abreast of political information.

Fourth, Trump’s has a good response on campaign donations, which is that he is an American businessman who’s played the game by greasing all the wheels, left and right.  You need a harder hitting commercial explaining just that point — why it may be good business, but it’s dishonest politics and damages America in profound ways over the long run.

Overall, I think the Cruz team has put out some great ads and done fine “rapid response” work.  This one isn’t the one for me, though.  What do you think?

The Bookworm Beat 2/9/16 — the “nothing about New Hampshire here” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265All of the posts I’ll link to pre-date today’s New Hampshire primary. This is a NH primary-free zone. You might find it refreshing. And now, to the good stuff:

Trump could destroy conservativism in America for decades.  I think Charles Krauthammer hits the ball out of the park on this one (not to mention hitting the nail on the head):

The threat to the GOP posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. It’s that he’s not conservative. Trump’s winning the nomination would convulse the Republican party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.

There’s nothing wrong with challenging the so-called establishment. Parties, like other institutions, can grow fat and soft and corrupt. If by establishment you mean the careerists, the lobbyists, and the sold-out cynics, a good poke, even a major purge, is well-deserved.

That’s not the problem with Trump. The problem is his, shall we say, eclectic populism. Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.

Turning our military into a vast climate change boondoggle. The worst news this week was the announcement that, as Islamic jihad gets more aggressive around the world, climate change will become the military’s top priority. Only old-fashioned war-mongering fascists will cling to the outdated notion that the military’s top priority is defending America against foreign enemies.

A couple of comments. First, I’ve already seen this pivot to climate change in action during Fleet Week in San Francisco. The Navy ships I’ve visited, rather than boasting about their military capacity, boast about their carbon footprint (or lack thereof).

Second, this will turn the military budget into the greatest, and most corrupt, slush fund ever in the history of American government. The only good thing will be that, once the military is a giant green machine that can’t fight, but does use little batteries to power its tanks, we’ll stop hearing from inane Leftists horrified by the thought that their children, who enjoy the benefits of a nation under the protection of the greatest military in the world (and one, moreover, subject to constitutional control), might actually view our military as a blessing, rather than a curse.

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The Bookworm Beat 2/4/16 edition — “it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265It’s been some time since my last round-up so, without further ado:

A primer for those who need to be reminded why Hillary should be incarcerated, not inaugurated. Deroy Murdock has a knack for political parables. Using the example of the “Foggy Bottom Department Store,” he makes it clear just how heinous Hillary’s conduct has been in connection with her egregious national security violations.

And a primer on foreign trade and capitalism. Larry Elder has a truly brilliant piece about the benefits that flow to America from low tariffs and foreign trade — benefits that are very real even when it seems that American jobs are going away. I urge you to read it. (This is a different issue, of course, from the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce types manipulating and violating American law to ship in cheap labor at the expense of American citizens.)

One of the things I like about Ted Cruz is the long list of people who hate him. You can know a man by his friends and by his enemies. Strong conservatives respect Ted Cruz; RINOs (and RINO’s are the majority of “Republicans” in Congress) hate and fear him. That works for me. Spengler, aka David P. Goldman, has more to say about Cruz’s well-earned Iowa victory (it was a brilliant ground game, not cheating) and about Cruz’s rejection of the Washington establishment and embrace of ordinary conservatives — core conservatives — across America.

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[VIDEO] Jimmy Carter endorses Donald Trump — because he has no fixed principles

Jimmy Carter endorses TrumpWhoever did the research to find this clip found a humdinger indeed.  In it, Jimmy Carter says that, if he had to pick a Republican candidate, he’d go for Trump, because he has no fixed principles and is malleable, unlike Ted Cruz, who is a staunch conservative, and cannot be manipulated.   It reminds me that I’m unimpressed by the list of Cruz’s enemies — the politicians who array themselves against him having consistently proven to be the worst type of quislings. They will always sell out the conservative voters who elected them in order to curry favor with the drive-by media, the Hollywood crowd, and the Chamber of Commerce types (who, if you recall, will always back foreign workers against American labor).

Ted Cruz needs to explain to non-Evangelical voters that they need not fear him

Cruz and a crossNow that Ted Cruz, for the time being at least, is the front-runner, I’m starting to get emails from conservatives in Marin who are disturbed by his open expressions of Christian faith.  Just like their Progressive neighbors, they’re worried about finding themselves in a theocracy.  I therefore think Ted Cruz needs to start campaigning beyond the Evangelicals he’s courted.  This requires him to say something along the following lines:

“Yes, I am a person of deep faith.  My faith is the most important thing in my life.  It informs my values and keeps me humble by reminding me every minute of every day that I am not the most important thing in the world.

“In addition to being a Christian, though, I am an American and a strict constitutionalist.  I would never seek to impose my religion on others, although there is no doubt that my religion shaped my values.

“It’s because of my faith that I value life, liberty, and happiness.  After all, my religion tells me that God gave us the gifts of life, individual freedom, and the capacity for joy.

“You can like or dislike the religious values that shaped me, but you should never worry that I will try to force my religion on you.  The Founders, in their great wisdom, understood that there is no surer way to impose tyranny than to make government an arm of a church, temple, or mosque.”

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Celebrating Cruz’s victory in Iowa — and remembering that conservative Trump supporters are still our friends

Cruz Rubio TrumpI’ve made no secret over the past few months about the fact that I support Ted Cruz, and hope very much that he will be the Republican nominee.  His intelligence, his political courage, his quite unexpected ability to speak to ordinary people in accessible ways about complex matters, his grasp of the issues, his consistent conservativism, his wicked sense of humor and, above all, his fealty to he Constitution make me believe that he is the best candidate for what is proving to be both a troubled and pivotal time in American history.

I’ve also been open about the fact that the possibility of having Donald Trump as the Republican candidate concerns me.  I truly admire the way he’s bulldozed the media stranglehold and ridden roughshod over political correctness.  I also recognize that he’s made all the right noises for a vast American middle that’s fed up with unlimited illegal immigration and worried about radicalized Muslims riding into the US on the illegal immigrant train.  I believe I’ve said all along that Trump has added something important to this campaign season.  It’s just that I can never get away from a few major concerns, such as my sense that the campaign is more about Trump than it is about America, and that he’s a performer and will say whatever he needs to get to his current audience (whether he really means it or not).

Most of all, though,  I worry that Trump does not value the Constitution any more than Obama does.  To me, an America without the Constitution as its political centerpiece is just another First World leftist country heading downhill fast.  After eight years of Obama’s deep and abiding disdain for the Constitution, I’m not sure we can handle any more of that and still be the unique, exceptional country we are.

I won’t lie, therefore, and pretend that I’m anything but delighted about the outcome in Iowa.  To me, the strongest constitutionalist won, and that’s the correct outcome.

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Because Leftists are punitive people, handing our economy to a Democrat spells economic disaster

Bernie sanders yellingI’m about to make one of my huge leaps from the micro to the macro, so bear with me here. I just can’t help but notice a distinct similarity between the punitive parenting style I see in a couple of Progressive fathers I know and Bernie Sander’s hard Left, tax-the-rich politics.  Let’s see if I can convince you that there is a connection.

As many men know to their cost, women talk to each other. When they have children, they talk about two things: their children and their husband’s parenting style. I am happy to report that, with a very few exceptions, most of my friends have good things to say about both their children and their husband’s style as a co-parent. As I said, though, there are exceptions.

In two cases, friends of mine are married to husbands who show myriad narcissistic traits and who are also self-identified political Progressives. In both cases, the women love their children, but find parenting extremely difficult, in large part because they believe that the husbands’ parenting style is counterproductive. And in both cases, the counterproductive parenting style is one that I would call “punitive.”

Let me give you an example of the punitive parenting style at work versus the mothers’ preferred “natural consequences” style, so you know what I’m talking about.

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A quick point about Ted Cruz’s Christian faith

I want to comment on a poster that’s causing concern amongst some conservatives in the blogosphere:

Ted Cruz Christian

The poster obviously implies that Cruz will turn America into a Christian theocracy. I’m a Jewish sort-of agnostic, sort-of theist, but I’m not worried one little bit.

As I’ve pointed out time and again, Cruz has a rare reverence for the Constitution. That means that, while his religion will inform his views (for example, his Christianity doubtless leads to his pro-Life stance) he has no intention of running a theocracy. He likes our political system.  There’s no more risk of a Christian theocracy than there was under all other American presidents before the modern era.

There’s one other thing I like about Cruz’s allegiance to God: it means that Cruz is not your typical navel-gazing Leftist who makes decisions based upon how he “feels” about issues rather than basing his decisions on larger issues of absolute morality and justice — and how he “feels” invariably involves grabbing guns, aborting babies, embracing criminals, and generally dividing the world into victims and more victims, all at the mercy of evil white men. Put another way, each Leftist is his own little god.  No Christian should be, and I prefer it when my president doesn’t confuse himself with God.

Someone who gives primacy to the Judeo-Christian God, however, isn’t going to make that mistake. Believing in a just and moral God also means that the politician knows that something much bigger than the public, or the media, or the FBI is looking over his shoulder and judging him. That ought to keep him honest.

A few words on last night’s unpleasant Republican primary debate

Republican debate moderators Megan KellyI watched the first 40 minutes and then stopped.  My problem was the moderators, who I thought were dreadful.  (Since I read my news and don’t watch it, I approached them with an open mind, since I had no idea what shtick each brought to the table.)  I wanted to hear substantive answers on pressing issues, and they were playing “gotcha.”  Watching the moderator/candidate interactions was unpleasant and, I quickly realized, a complete waste of my time.

I found particularly reprehensible the fact that they gave Rubio and Cruz only a minute to respond to those gotcha videos on immigration.  I prefer Cruz’s immigration stance to Rubio’s, but it was an insult to both men to force them to distill complex ideas and actions down to a single minute in the face of out-of-context video clips.  The tone of the debate was such that I expected to see everyone “perp walked” off the stage with reporters shouting questions at them about their future prison of choice.

The low, hostile, tabloid tone was especially disappointing because I’d hoped that Trump’s absence would clear the air and allow for a more substantive and meaningful debate.

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