June 4th Republican primaries in Scott County – time for some changes and keep the Sheriff

Primary races for Board of Supervisors, Auditor, Sheriff, Congress.  Our endorsements are as follows:

Thomas Nelson and Jennifer McAndrew Lane for Republican nominations for County Supervisor

Mark Nelson for Republican nomination for County Auditor

Tim Lane for Republican nomination for County Sheriff (incumbent)

David Pautsch for Republican nomination US Congress District 1

Scott County Board of Supervisors

The candidates we support for Scott County Supervisors are competent qualified individuals bringing perspective to the positions useful to the scope of county office — with the kicker being they are change agents intent on transparency and putting a halt to good-ol’ boy and girl politics. They challenge Republican incumbents who have not lived up to  what should be Republican standards.

The incumbents they challenge have egregiously let us down by their votes or support for behaviors regarding the public’s right to know regarding political appointments. How dare they wrap themselves in “confidentiality’ regarding the appointment of PUBLIC officials supposedly responsible to citizens not just them?  How are we to know that the candidates they passed over to fill a vacant position on the Board were not superior to whom they picked?

One of the challenged incumbents is the beneficiary of the appointment which was  essentially done in secret or via the uncontionable allowance of secrecy regarding the installation of a public official, not an employee of the county.

The incumbents have also not been superlative in controlling county spending growth which leads to presumptive spending and build-on budgeting not truly zero-based.

Thomas Nelson brings analytical skills recognized by his award-winning performance in the positions he held in service to the country which includes the of Legion of Merit for his outstanding achievements. His health care background provides important competency in a major aspect of county government.  Learn more about his approach to county government in the River City Reader where all the county candidates were provided the opportunity to answer questions pertinent to the position and current controversies.  Tom Nelson has been active in Republican events locally for many years and spark-plugged the TEA party events held in Davenport beginning in 2009.

Jennifer McAndrew Lane brings a skill set and knowledge that overlap major aspects  of county government — matters related to mental health, social service provisions, judicial system and crime and recidivism.  She is a leader who has been active in Republican events for years and notably forthright in pursuit of civil liberties regarding COVID and more. Learn more about her approach to county government in the River City Reader where all the county candidates were provided the opportunity to answer questions pertinent to the position and current controversies.

Both of these candidates are no-nonsense individuals committed to citizen right to know,  efficient county government and serious adherence to Republican principles. For too many nominee wanabees the Republican nomination is a vehicle for advancement with insufficient attention to applying Republican principles of smaller, less obtrusive, transparent government providing basic services.

County Auditor

David Mark Nelson whose decades of experience as a commercial real estate appraiser is an exceptional candidate for Auditor who brings a devotion to best practices in service delivery, a needed insightful mind as regards evaluations of subjects under the purview of the Auditor and who along with our other endorsees has a dependable commitment to transparency and the public’s right to know, a matter we believe seriously abridged by the current Auditor’s performance in regards to her position on the County Executive Committee. Mark has been a leader in fiscal responsibility efforts dating back many years as regards the city of Davenport.  Also like our other endorsees Mark will protect the prerogatives of county government.

Learn more about his approach to county government in the River City Reader where all the county candidates were provided the opportunity to answer questions at substantial length pertinent to the position and current controversies.  There take note of the responses of incumbent Kerri Thomkins whose unresponsive drone is pretty much limited to, and we quote, “As the current Scott County Auditor, I follow the law and will continue to do so if I am elected for another term.”  Evasive or what we are not sure. Her performance as to appreciation of election integrity matters and purchasing of voter equipment we find wanting.  Mark Nelson is the far better choice in the primary for Republican concerns. 

County Sheriff

Our listing of endorsements herein is not meant to imply a ranking as to the importance of the position to Republican interests. Indeed the position of County Sheriff is critical to the our understanding of the Republic.  The position’s main public face / function is fairly described as primarily policing (law enforcement) of areas outside the metro area as in rural and smaller towns without a police department or to supplement the smaller communities constabulary. The department runs the jail as well.  But its purview is more and intricately related to our state constitution and even precepts of the common-law and judicial matters.

Besides having jurisdiction throughout the county, the department the Sheriff runs might be involved in investigations of city police who are, it should be understood, hired functionaries more limited in their scope of responsibilities.  The Sheriff is directly accountable to the people, not to the Board of Supervisors or as the police force is to the City Council.

Our support of Sheriff  Tim Lane is driven by his performance, by his commitment to the republican form of government, by the involvement he has shown in Republican Party affairs.  We ask Republican Party primary voters when and how long have you ever seen Lane’s challengers involvement in support of  Republican efforts?  Tim Lane has  attended Central Committee meetings for many years and participates in support of Republican candidates for office. He deserves  our loyal support because he has been effective in his loyalty to our country, our state, our county and in support of Republican causes as a citizen participant.

Learn more about his views on important questions asked  in the River City Reader where all the county candidates were provided the opportunity to answer questions pertinent to the position and current controversies.


This letter by Jay Olson commenting in the North Scott Press on May 15th is an impression we share about the candidacy of David Pautsch:

This is an all-American story about a good friend of mine…
An Army Veteran who inspired his two sons to also serve our country, tragically, one did not return home from the battlefield in Iraq.
… a successful business owner.
… a God-honoring man who has shared his faith with thousands, who searched his heart and answered God’s call to help save our nation.
David Pautsch (pronounced pouch)
is challenging an incumbent who no longer is serving the people who trusted her to represent them.
At the recent convention of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, David received a standing ovation after delivering his remarks. (That’s never happened before!). And it happened again May 4 at the Iowa State Republican Convention in Des Moines. David’s seven-minute speech had standing ovations and at
least 12 bursts of applause.
 At the District Convention in April,
the incumbent came in at the last moment and left as soon as she was done justifying her unjustifiable record. The state delegates responded with a similar lack of any enthusiasm. The voters know. A recent independent poll tells it all. The incumbent earned only 32% favorability!
David believes in secure borders, free speech, gun rights, life, honest elections, term limits, farms, rational ener gy and foreign policy, budget controls, constitutional rights and our desperate need for the Lord’s help.
Our country needs a true statesman. To save this nation, vote David Pautsch for the 1st Congressional District
of Iowa on June 4th, and help Make America Great Again.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been a great disappointment to Republicans on budget matters and so much more being a weak sister in holding Democrats feet to the fire.  She is a big spender uninterested in seriously reigning in the size of the federal government  — continuing the “continuing resolution” and omni-bus habits that serve to inculcate all manner of evil Democrat proclivities. The only way to stop it is to stop it.  Her positions while sounding conservative are obviated by support for spending bills that counter them. Miller-Meeks supports the do-nothing type of Republican leadership that is our bane. We can do better because Miller-Meeks is high-maintenance and too undependable.

Learn more about David Pautsch here.  Miller-Meeks performance evaluations by conservative outlets here and here.

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An early debate is an error for both Trump and Biden. Neither one was thinking.

Although more a problem for Biden –

Agreeing to debate that early was an unforced error by Trump. It was bravado in response to Biden’s bravado.

Self preservation should have told Biden not to do anything that would expose him one to one so obviously prior to the nomination. He may have thought it was the thing to do, prove his competency and energy, maybe head off any thought of a coup at the Democrat convention — but it was his dementia talking. That Pelosi and other high-profile Dems were taken aback is telling that it was not a put up job to maneuver Biden out even if some think it has a silver lining.

Trump should have helped his enemies (the entire Demonrat Party) destroy themselves by NOT helping with an exit plan or inducement necessitating one by exposing how bad off Biden is in time for their convention. Trump should have said I’ll be happy to debate you the day after your nomination. Now I happen to feel Trump is not Republicans best candidate and that given the weakness of Biden we have foregone an enhanced opportunity to  win with a superior executive not hampered, distracted and with a better grounding for these trying times.  However beating Joe Biden is doable by Trump pretty much no matter what, Biden is that vulnerable.

One ameliorating thing is that the Democrats do not have a strong bench although they think they can drag anyone across the finish line against a Trump, indeed that their machine can beat anyone. I do not think so. Then again the Dems also realize that Trump has a propensity to say stupid things, the proverbial eat a live rat on stage. That is a true possibility with him.  Nevertheless Trump benefits from the worst contrast the Democrats present, whether Biden or Harris or any of several other icky Dems who may be drug out from the wings (not including Moochelle Obama because I still believe she is not available). Biden is the easiest to contrast even with a gaff by Trump.

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Now this is something that Democrats do that Republicans should as well

Rather than invite more vote by mail fraud and attendant verification issues —

Create theater around the Trump trials – the target  being the law-fare, hypocrisy, falsities being used to get Trump. This article at The Federalist by Brianna Lyman is illustrative: (excerpt) ((cartoons not part of referenced article)

Republicans Need To Show Up To Trump’s Manhattan Lawfare Trial Every Day

Trump is under a gag order, meaning he needs fellow Republicans to remind the public that the so-called justice system is corrupted by partisan actors. . . .

But Trump is prohibited from noting those facts as well, meaning he needs fellow Republicans like Vance and others to remind the public that the so-called justice system is corrupted by partisan actors, including the lead prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, who campaigned on targeting Trump once in office.

“Does any reasonable, sensible person believe anything that Michael Cohen says? I don’t think that they should,” Vance rightfully asked during his press briefing.

“To all the American voters and American people who are watching this, the one opportunity you get to speak up against this sham prosecution and to say the American people elect their president, not corrupt DNC prosecutors, is to vote for Donald Trump in November,” Vance said.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., also appeared alongside Vance . . .

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Pence is a prig and a welching dishonorable one at that, certainly a weasel

Pence must have missed “Public Health 101”. Besides his nonconservative role in “Project Warped Speed” his equivocation of Trump and Dems shows no balance, only the childishness he accuses Trump of.

Readers are no doubt aware that Mike Pence, former Vice- President to President Trump, who challenged him for the Republican nomination and dropped out in short order, has announced that he will not be endorsing Trump for President. He had previously pledged to support the Republican  nominee fully aware that Trump was leading for the nomination, in order to be afforded a spot on the debate stage, one of the conditions set by the RNC.

Pence’s statement to Fox News:

“Donald Trump is pursuing and articulating an agenda that is at odds with the conservative agenda that we governed on during our four years. “During my presidential campaign, I made it clear there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues. And not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised January 6th,” Pence continued.

“As I have watched his candidacy unfold, I’ve seen him walking away from our commitment to confronting the national debt. I’ve seen him starting to shy away from a commitment to the sanctity of human life. And this last week, his reversal on getting tough on China and supporting our administration’s efforts to force a sale of ByteDance’s TikTok,” why I cannot in good conscience endorse Donald Trump in this campaign,”

An article at Townhall presented Trump’s response to the matter ( he could not care less).  The story engendered various readers comments including ours which was in response to another commenter who maintained that:

I believe Pence to be a good, sincere man. A nice guy. But, he’s not what’s needed for this specific point in America’s journey of freedom.

What IS needed are shrewd, tough warriors . . . 

We wrote in response to Pence’s reference to his “constitutional duties” and the above comment:

Trump is tough but not shrewd as he says too many stupid things against interest, his and ours, not Biden level but he should try not to compete. Trump is a flayler but as such he leaves himself open to otherwise avoidable punches.

Pence could have adopted the views of his constitutional betters – Cruz and Cotton — on January 6 but mistakenly believed he was being some sort of tragic principled guy, a martyr to duty when he was wrong about being under any mandate. Our founding fathers were not as naive as he was or pretends they would be in the face of even arguable corruption.

His January 6 performance came off to me as not a legacy of principle as much as blind sanctimony, less than heroic, anemic. He seemed to me to prefer the approval of the uni-party, the business as usual (but not truly peaceful) establishment within the confines of the beltway and the swamp and passively accepting the selectively passive absurdly circular reasoning of a judicial system corrupt in its irresponsibility.

Many of Pence’s criticisms of Trump are valid, and Trump set himself up for the scorched earth childish tantrums of some of his rivals, who turn out to be as immature or spiteful as Trump implied he would be. But Pence’s sense of balance, his implied equivocation of Trump’s sins with Democrats given the essentially binary nature of the coming plebiscite and the utter evil of Democrats is incredibly obtuse for a believer who is active in politics and policy and knows it is a sinful world and that we are all sinners.

If Pence is saying ~~ I am too principled to “endorse” Trump, whatever that means, AND that people should not vote for Trump over the practical options (including any Democrat), or not vote the race, he is a pathetic prig and history ought to record him as such as the Republican Party makes him persona non grata.

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Election is Trump’s to lose, he is capable of doing so, and we intend to engage

Ed Note: We have not posted here in quite awhile.  We have had some time and energy issues for a month or more but have not been inactive in posting political commentary elsewhere, particularly Townhall properties.  For the record we will repost some of those here in coming days.  This post, such as it is, has not appeared anywhere else. 

The 2024 Presidential election at this writing might be Trump’s to loose.  General polling and battleground state polling, suggests that the momentum is Trump’s but also that Biden support is deteriorating within key groups. However the party nomination for either is  presumptive, not finalized. It is not over until it is over. Nominees could change.  While it is looking better for Trump on the legal front we still maintain there is a 5% chance something could upset the Trump train — if not the law-fare against him, health and particularly his foot in mouth disease although that won’t make him quit, only be untenable such that the otherwise convention coronation comes apart.

Machinations in the Democrat Party are to be expected. Intrigues abound as to possible replacements for Biden and were something to be afoot they  are much more closely determined than Republican processes. Most of the intrigues there are about what the RINOs might put together to join with Dems to defeat Trump.

Our instincts at this point are that Joe is not likely to go on his own volition and it is pretty much too late now anyway. Plus he has now scored enough delegates pledged to him to be in control. His all important grifter family needs the presidency for their sustenance and safety, as does Joe.

The Dems are between a rock and a hard place as to alternative candidates. Kamala Harris polls even worse than Biden. Michelle Obama it appears is not going to allow herself the nomination (and we believe is eminently beatable anyway). Dems would have to invent someone and AI is not that far along as yet. Certain institutional aspects propel Biden as their least worst choice.

The Dem hope is that they can get people to vote institutionally (party) (their people largely do) and that they can sufficiently portray Trump, the putative Republican nominee, as dangerous, to get enough so-called no-party people to not vote for Trump and even vote for Joe Bidementia.  This will be  “facilitated” by the exuberance of their dependents to even cheat to win in battleground electoral states. There will be no talk by them of the electoral college being anti-democratic this election.

We choose to honor the full Republican nomination process, something Trump refused to do.  There are states yet to decide and delegates of various discretions to be chosen. Trump is not the official nominee as yet.  Our pledge is to vote for the Republican nominee as there is no viable alternative to the abhorrent Democrat party and its leadership, not to engage in sycophancy ignoring any significant Trump foul-ups, misdirections of the party, statements against conservative interests, nor will we ignore Trump’s tendency to engage in misprisions, a particular bête noire of ours.

In any of our criticisms be assured we believe Democrat policies are rife with evil, their candidates undeserving of support compared to Republicans even the clinkers with the rarest of conceivable scenarios, in which case it would be better to write in Mickey Mouse.

In political practicality this election is a binary situation, more conservative over less conservaitive. Except in the rarest of cases Republican over Democrat across the board, and never a Democrat. But as we approach the general, circling the wagons ought not to mean allowing loose cannon activity go unchecked.

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Yeh it’s over for Nikki, she took the leap

Nikki Haley: ‘I absolutely trust’ that jury that ordered Trump to pay E. Jean Carroll $83 million

As reported in the American Thinker an interview Nikki Haley did included an exchange highlighted below. The article ads context but our conclusion is Haley cannot recover from this as for any serious hope of getting the nomination (if she thinks that is a realistic goal) . It has been apparent Haley has given up on luring Trump support away, relying on Never-Trump types, including Democrat cross-overs to hopefully carry the various contests. But it is (mostly) a Republican nomination and there is great sympathy toward Trump as regards the railroading and lawfare being deployed against him.

Haley’s  statement regarding the jury award against Trump (see below) in essence  endorses incredibly biased proceedings related to all aspects of the lawfare being used against Trump in the case starting with the apparent requirement for Trump to unquestionably prove innocence compared to the state merely having to prove the possibility of guilt.  And never mind that the accuser can’t even pin down the year the supposed sex assault by Trump happened and the jury and judge are thoroughly in the tank intent on finding Trump guilty on something, doing their part to stop his return to the presidency by hurting him in anyway possible.  The full article gets into some of those “details.”

A recent civil damages award was the result of statements made by Trump disparaging the truthfulness of his accuser after Trump was found guilty of sexual abuse but not rape (the accusers original charge). The woman is such a goof-ball that her writing included sordid discussions of rape fantasies and what might be interpreted as apologias for such after the alleged assault. That trial is under appeal by Trump.

Now Trump can  be disparaging toward women (public figures) and say other bone-headed things, a recent example being about history recalling his musing about the civil war ~~ if they had only tried negotiation prior ~~ and he is not shy about spreading political calumny and rumors about political rivals.  But all that involves public figures and his accuser was/is a public figure (author, columnist, publicity hound) and tried to enhance her public figure status (and bank account) with her charges against Trump  because deep pockets and Orange Man bad and her lawyer fees are paid by other Trump haters. 

Keep in mind the full context of the referenced quote as regards Haley is a jury ward of close to 90 million dollars for defamation (of a publicity hound) who accused Trump of rape on a day in a year she is not sure of other than being back in the 90’s, and other questionable testimony by her.

WELKER: What is unique about this case is that the jury has now ruled, they have found him liable of sexual abuse. Do you not trust the jury and their findings, ambassador?

HALEY: I absolutely trust the jury and i think that they made their decision based on the evidence, i just don’t think that should take him off the ballot, i think the american people will take him off the ballot. I think that’s the best way to go forward is not let him play the victim, let him play the loser. That’s what we want him to do at the end of the day. the accuser 

Haley knows the incredible background to all this and went there anyway.

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DeSantis suspends campaign, endorses Trump

And so it goes. Not our first disappointment in politics.  

See DeSantis speech upon suspending his campaign here.  Statement text below.

We do not know the legal or technical implications regarding suspending one’s presidential campaign rather than saying ‘I am out’ and shutting it down forthwith.  Perhaps it is just a matter of final accounting and whatever financial obligations there are to fulfill or related decisions to be made.

But if part of the reason is to facilitate being available prior to the convention or general we think it is a good idea to have our guy able to unsuspend.  Trump is over 77 years of age. Interpolating some actuarial tables he should make it to at least his mid to late 80’s (90%) but that might be modified by the degree of his being overweight. Some extra weight in latter years is protective of men and women but especially for women (osteoporosis and nutrition). If Trump is obese (probably) his numbers might be downgraded some.

More important to the next 7 months are Trump’s chances of  becoming disabled. He is presumably well monitored so let’s leave that at a 1% to 5% pessimistic probability but perhaps aggravated by stress.

On that score, given what is at stake and the not impossibility of other factors causing Trump to drop out or be denied the nomination by the RNC (his RNC by the way) and Milwaukee becoming a brokered affair of sorts due to some legal fait accompli that could still victimize Trump, we think it reasonable all factors considered to put the chances of him not making it through the convention at 5%. Not counting his own devices.

Even though the odds are by our estimation as much as 95%  favorable for Trump through the convention we think it prudent to have a back-up plan of DeSantis as he is superior to anyone Trump is likely to pick for VP between now and then as well.

Having someone  with better governmental executive creds  and other superiorities than Trump in the wings is a good thing. Trump is quite capable of figuratively biting the head off a live rat on stage, jumping the shark, what have you. He has certainly been nibbling at the rodent with his choices of words*,  and expressions of pure ego* without respite.  It is still possible Trump will say something to make his finalized nomination not tenable.  So hang in there Ron.

*see  previous two posts

DeSantis Statement Upon Suspension of Campaign 01-21-2024

Today I am emailing you from Florida. The warmth of being home is a reminder of why I have chosen a life of public service—from joining the United States Navy and serving in Iraq—to representing the people in Congress—and now serving as governor.

And it reminds me why I decided to run for President: to fight for those who have been forgotten in this country.

This is America’s time for choosing.  
We can choose to allow a border invasion or we can choose to stop it. 
We can choose reckless borrowing and spending or we can choose to limit government and lower inflation. 
We can choose political indoctrination, or we can choose classical education. 
These choices are symptoms of the underlying struggle to ensure that constitutional government can endure and that Western Civilization can survive.   
We launched this campaign to bring accountability to government, regain sovereignty at our border, and restore sanity to our society.   
We cannot succeed as a country if we allow our nation to be invaded, our currency to be debased, our cities to crumble, and our kids to be indoctrinated.

The DC elites who have facilitated this mess do not work for you, they do not care about you; they work for themselves. They seek to accumulate power at your expense to pursue an agenda that is harmful to the American people. 

Citizens do not serve politicians; it is the duty of politicians to serve you. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.

Reversing the decline of this nation requires leadership that delivers big results for the people we are elected to serve. I have a record of leading with conviction, championing an agenda marked by bold colors, delivering on my promises, and defeating the people who are responsible for our nation’s decline. That is the type of leadership we need for all of America. 

Now over the past many months, Casey and I have traveled across the country to deliver a message of hope, that decline is a choice, and that we, in fact, can succeed again as a nation. 

Nobody worked harder. And we left it all out on the field.   

Now following our second-place finish in Iowa, we have prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews — I would do it.  But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. 

Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.   

I am proud to have delivered on 100% of my promises and I will not stop now. It’s clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance. They watched his presidency get stymied by relentless resistance and they see Democrats using lawfare to this day to attack him.  

While I have had disagreements with Donald Trump, such as on the coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear.
I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear —a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism—that Nikki Haley represents. 

The days of putting Americans last, of kowtowing to large corporations, of caving to woke ideology, are over. 

I thank all of our passionate supporters who have stood by us through it all. That we had people volunteer to come to Iowa in the middle of a blizzard to knock on doors and make phone calls touched us dearly. 

No candidate had more thrown at him, but no candidate had so many committed volunteers and staff.

Finally, I want to thank my wife Casey and our kids Madison, Mason, and Mamie. Casey has gone far above and beyond in her support for our campaign and for our cause. She is not only a great wife and mother; she is a great American, who cares deeply about the future of the country that our kids will inherit. 

Our kids have seen and done a lot on the trail, from playing on the famed Field of Dreams baseball site in Iowa to making their first snowman in New Hampshire. They are one of the reasons we fight so hard for what we believe in.

Winston Churchill once remarked that “success is not final, failure is not fatal — it is the courage to continue that counts.”   

While this campaign has ended, the mission continues. Down here in Florida, we will continue to show the country how to lead.

Thank you and God bless,

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Responding to triumphalism about Trump’s win in the Iowa Caucuses

Trump may well be the likely nominee.  That may be regretted as it portends an unnecessary type and level of struggle for the general election

On Tuesday, the day after the Iowa caucuses, Gary Bauer writing at American Values, a former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination himself, someone who we have frequently referred to, wrote a commentary that irked me enough to write a response to what I interpreted as its triumphalism and non-sequiturs as regards the results Monday night.  In subsequent days, seeing others write far more irksome pieces I should be busy indeed if I was so compelled but this will serve as vehicle enough.  Set forth below with edits for this publication and a political cartoon from the estimable Michael Ramirez, sometimes wrong but always biting.

(To Gary Bauer)

Your commentary regarding the money spent in the Iowa caucuses is wanting while the whole of the article has the feel triumphalism. It is the general election which all this is supposed to be about and in my judgement trepidation is in order if Trump is the nominee. Accordingly, to paraphrase William F Buckley ~~ it ought to be about the best to serve who can also win. Trump established himself as not all that good an executive compared to Ron DeSantis and as far as winning, any of four Republican candidates going into the Iowa precinct caucuses could beat Joe Biden given Biden’s terrible polling.

Regarding your comments my point / counterpoints follow.

In EOD-1-16-24 you say:

To win a clear majority of the vote on a night of severe weather and ice-covered roads was extraordinary.

Why? I live in Iowa, it was darn cold Monday night and the plows had not been through a lot of the side streets. I attended my precinct serving as a party official and have attended my precinct caucuses since at least 1980. You have campaigned in Iowa. Does not the weather affect every camp’s turnout, particularly if the bad weather was not localized (and it was not)? Would the same percentages in balmy weather not be extraordinary? That is a neutral observation from me as a DeSantis supporter.

You refer to a “clear majority”. Well the process does produce a hard-count and Trump obtained 51% and the others 49% combined. But that means barely half of the Republicans who felt the call to show up thought Trump the best candidate to go forward. Or did they? For the most part every Republican candidate’s supporters are desperate to get the country back. However I think a lot of the Trump vote was a sort of catharsis, sentiment or sympathy and would not survive as fully had Trump not been so “clever” — as in lacking the integrity to debate the others — rather than preside over controlled rallies, fan boy interviews, and tossing epithets at his opponents — the substance of his campaign. Too many of Trump’s supporters are oblivious to the effect of Trump’s personality on the majority of women voters. It is not intelligent voting but it is voting. For the most part with no-party women it is not really issues as much as personality. That is driving a lot of the Haley vote and will be more pronounced in the general.

Given Biden as the opponent, Trump or DeSantis could get 60% of the male vote. I think DeSantis has a better chance at surpassing the 40% of the female vote needed and with enough to overcome the Democrat cheating.

The general election campaign that can be built around such a photogenic family, the articulate wife with a compelling story of her own and the candidate’s personal record hasn’t happened for Republicans in modern history (perhaps ever) or for Democrats in 64 years and the Dems sure as heck do not have such a compelling combination now. This could be a popular and an electoral win the Dems can not cheat enough to alter. That is unless you think Trump would never endorse DeSantis and takes his devotees to a write-in campaign. Ask yourself, what kind of person then is Trump now as he at least allows talk of doing that as he refuses to pledge to support the Republican nominee?

IS THERE ANY ONE OF THOSE ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION THAT YOU WOULD NOT SUPPORT OVER A DEMOCRAT, AND I MEAN ANY DEMOCRAT ON THE POLITICAL SCENE TODAY? The only rational CONSERVATIVE decision is no there is not, so how can you give any credence to the disturbing indeed disqualifying attitude of Trump? If you have not then please explain why as to your answer and why Trump should get away with it?

We know Trump is an egotist, it comes out in every rally and I have attended five and listened to others. It is no longer something I can pass off as a shtick. It hit me hardest due to his lack of contriteness over the iatrogenic devastation of Project Warped Speed. But I assume you will make excuses for him on that . . . he meant well . . . he was mislead — let’s agree to disagree on his culpability on that.

However, regarding Trump’s incredible ego,  how do you explain Trump’s response to questions about Nikki Haley’s Civil War comments? Ponder Trump’s remarks and get back to your readers on that. Trump’s comments are jaw-dropping ignorant as he implies he is well-read on the Civil War while implying if only he had been there to employ his negotiation skills . . . ( I guess the same ones that got the wall built, Mexico to pay for it, Obama Care fixed, gargantuan deficit spending packages approved perpetuating big-government, and not being able to “negotiate” /parlay his true successes juxtaposed to a Joe Biden in spite of Democrat cheating  . . .

Read it and other of Trumps pontifications honestly and you will understand how a lot of people may be seeing Trump’s ramblings as approaching Joe Biden level.  With increasing years the preciseness, the elocution, not to mention propriety are harder to pass off in “context”.

You say:
Believe it or not, Trump was outspent in Iowa by both DeSantis and Haley. In fact, Trump spent $340 per vote cast for him, while DeSantis spent $1,697 per vote and Haley spent $1,797 per vote.

The spending angle you emphasize as regards the Iowa caucuses is askew. They are meaningless figures unless you think Trump was on the same footing starting from scratch introducing himself to Iowans and did not have the benefit of the lions share of free media from outlets like yours and a couple dozen others I monitor, an ongoing apologia that Republican caucus goers tune in to far more frequently than liberal legacy media. Over the last seven years the value of that far eclipses the paid media figures in your gee-whiz comparison.

Oh to be sure there have been critiques of Trump in those news and commentary outlets but the zeitgeist has been sympathetic over the law-fare being waged against Trump. It is a sentiment I largely share but I believe not one that makes him either a great executive or the only candidate who can win or the best candidate to go forward. I also think that sentiment should not douse the reality that Trump was not shy about using law-fare in his business dealings to get what he wanted, including the use of eminent domain, law-suits, bankruptcy, and other species of law-fare. Do you deny that?

The criminal charges are what I have the most personal sympathy for Trump about. But Trump is not naive, nor was he a non-politician babe in the woods when he got to DC. Besides his 8 years pursuing the presidency he has been playing politics at local state and national levels to get the things done he wanted. Who seriously believes someone coming out of the rough and tumble of New York City politics can innocently claim ignorance of treachery and double dealings in politics. Yet Trump’s ego lets him be rolled repeatedly.

Other factors that also negate any validity to the implication you would like to impart to the spending totals comes from the very article you reference for the figures you use. Quoting that article: “Trump has largely avoided criticism on the Iowa airwaves, as Haley and DeSantis have devoted only a fraction of their ad budgets to targeting the front-runner compared to the sums they’ve directed toward attacking each other. Emphasis mine. Paraphrasing: By their analysis of airwave spending, only a fraction of the ad budgets targeted the front-runner (Trump) compared to the sums they directed toward attacking each other.

I believe not going somewhat negative early on, was a mistaken call by DeSantis. Whether not doing so was out of deference or to let Trump blabber on about disloyalty or something when Trump is one of the most disloyal Republicans I have seen in my decades of political involvement including those who actually abandon the party, and I live in Jim Leach’s old district. It is Trumps continuous veiled threat. Clearly he is mostly about Trump, not about Republicans, the conservative alternative party winning.

A short-time Republican even today Trump has less creds than DeSantis as to elected executive service, not to mention that DeSantis was a MAGA (TEA Party) type Republican winning on his own fighting the good fight in congress when Trump was still praising Hillary. May I mention that middle-class raised DeSantis chose service to country out of school rather than a no doubt lucrative career as a Yale then Harvard Law grad. Trump chose real-estate and dating.

Trump is definitively disloyal to the party. Refusing to pledge to support the considered opinion of the Republican caucus and primary voters, a disqualifying matter ironically put in place to protect him, another aspect to his disloyalty. Then there is his refusing to debate, an insult to the process, however clumsy it is an important way for people to evaluate candidates under pressure as they age rather than controlled environments.

And his accusative aura generates the return favor because he hires based on flattery and perhaps boob size. His disparagement of Republican processes (you do remember his claim that he was cheated out of Iowa in 2016) the Party whose nomination he still covets because he needs to be on the ballot but has never cheated him but he and his devotees have cheated it, by bullying past unifying requirements and processes by threatening to bolt on any pretext. The admittedly pathetic apparat he installed of course looks the other way. Trump’s aura is disloyalty and privilege among the worst order as it has been his pattern in his personal life.

Not going more negative earlier was particularly a mistake (in hindsight) for DeSantis for the above reasons and Trumps predictable MO. While all the candidates had some marginal lifting done for them by Haley’s friends at AFP and their poorly defined attack line on Trump — “chaos” “can’t win” — however well funded — supposedly allowing them to take the high road or something — and go nowhere. The candidate who fleshes out with insightful accuracy Trump’s failures , as a personnel executive, as a big spender, as a do little or do nothing on health care and social security, as actually a squish on key aspects of the culture wars along with Haley, but especially for the iatrogenic devastation he helped inflict with HIS project “warped speed”. A mass scale genetic manipulation foisted (I did not say forced but that is a subtlety of propaganda on his watch producing the same effect) on the public allowing the uninformed use of humans as lab mice. His warped speed only successfully immunized big pharma while lining their pockets. Whatever could possibly go wrong did.

This from Mr. “stand-up to corporate America, stand up to the bureaucracy”. Trump was too easily rolled and all it took was his distractions and some flattery, (something that can be built in again by the Swamp)  a guy who was too interested in his next election, snap decisions rather than educating himself about what was being done what the concoction really was, that he was telling people to be like lab-mice. And don’t get me started on his current continued promised pay-offs to Big Ethanol and Big Wind dominating Iowa’s corn crop for gas tanks instead of bellies in the face of devastating food inflation.

I saw or heard a lot of ads. Millions from each went to ad runs not against Trump but which in essence benefited Trump in that they tore down each other rather than call out Trump early on for his many clear shortcomings as an executive. To be sure money was spent to attack Trump but the greater amount to attack one another reduces the gee wiz total you dramatize does it not? Add in the value of “earned” media from outlets actually tuned into by conservative voters who ignore mainstream media when comparing to paid media makes the isolation of raw numbers meaningless.

This New York Times article that I just noticed as I write this also lends support to the irrelevance of the air-time dollars spent as well. In other words maybe they all wasted their money but Trump then prevails with all the hagiography in outlets like yours. Trump did some of what we paid him to do. That is a pure Trumpian analysis from a guy who made a lot of his celebrity bones firing people and moving on to whomever he thought were better choices (a pattern his personal life as well).  We are the board he is but CEO. We get to hire and fire. It is a Trump thing.

And to be sure Trump’s opponents have raised a lot of money but so has Trump. He just did not spend as much in Iowa as a percentage of what he has been raising as his legal bills are formidable and it is undeniable that millions of his allied pac money goes to that while raising it in part on the theme of being assaulted by “RINO’s”. He could be laying waste to Democrats instead he is being tied up in court, all part of the plan (and vulnerability)  while we give him a lot of sympathy votes and cash.  But we do not owe Trump any more than he owes Rudy Giuliani.

You say:
“Some people say that if the other candidates had united around one alternative, the results would have essentially been a tie. But that doesn’t reflect reality.”

The first sentance is of course a tautology. That “it does not reflect reality” (you do not say why) might depend on Trump’s propensity to “eat a live rat on stage”(say or do something really stupid for no good reason) and with his mouth because it is too late after the nomination and destroy OUR chances (should he be the nominee) at defeating EVEN Joe Biden which I believe any of the now three remaining candidates could do (including Trump if he could stifle himself having contributed to his own failure against Biden because of his public persona last time around. I still work full-time in a shop, all male, I had four male siblings growing up and banter, insult, are /were part of the interplay but that did/does not happen toward women when they can hear it. It seems most men know they don’t like it when it is directed at them regardless of how serious. Seeing it in a leader many reject him on that basis. However superficial it is that simple and Trump does not get it, and that is his woman problem and why another politician with similar to Trump policies would have won in 2020 overcoming the cheating.

You say:
Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out of the race last night and threw his support to Trump. If DeSantis drops out, polling shows that the majority of his voters would back Trump. Combined, Trump, DeSantis and Ramaswamy won 80% of the vote last night.

And in all seriousness if Trump became debilitated (he is not likely to die) as he is it appears “obese” and seventy-eight would not a great majority of his fans support a Ron DeSantis? So what does polling show if Trump drops out? And how much does that matter when to be president one must be elected in a general plebiscite not a party plebiscite. Trump can get 60% of the men vote. Will he , can he, get at least 40% of the women vote at least in enough of the electoral college numerating states? It was a women problem before with Trump but not on issues as much as his aura — his mouth, his formulations, his insults. Do you deny that? Mushy no-party women in the general are more a risk with Trump.

In this 2024 election we are in a warped way lucky to face Joe Biden and have the Democrat bench so weak. We ought to do this with the right guy. All the more reason to elect a superior executive, with more appeal to younger people including women, one who has not signaled revenge (not a great selling point in the general) and who is not a lame duck out of the gate, and is still so easily distracted by flattery, celebrity and flatterers,

You say:
A few weeks ago, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has been a real star in the past month as she took on the academic establishment, endorsed Donald Trump. Last night, she called on the other candidates to step aside.

Yes well Chip Roy and Tom Massie have called on Trump to step aside. So, what is your point. She has tied herself to Trump. As has now Ted Cruz who is up for reelection. Sort of like Chuck Grassley did, incredibly.

You say:
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich put it bluntly when he told Sean Hannity last night, “He’s the nominee. Get over it. He is the nominee. He’s going to win the nomination.”

Let me put it bluntly Newt: Maybe so but I want to win THE GENERAL with a guy with better executive talent and I think the greater appeal to women to dampen their anti-Trump attitude however superficial it is, and who has an appealing young family. I want to win with someone with an actual longer MAGA resume, more articulate, more insightful, less prone to eating a live rat on stage, a better fighter not a flailer, a veteran from the middle class who chose service to country at a young age compared to Trump who was too busy to do so as it might interfere with his dating schedule.

You say:
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also dropped out after finishing in sixth place with less than 200 votes.

Gee wiz if he spent $360,000, he would have surpassed Nikki in cost per vote.

Speaking of RINOs as Trump does everyone (although rendering it meaningless as he bandies it about so ridiculously) . . . seriously Chip Roy a RINO?! We have problems with Hutchinson to be sure but what is a better definition of a RINO then the disuniting tactic of someone who refuses to pledge to support the nominee of the Party whose nomination he covets, the result of grassroots participation, and who refuses to even recognize longer serving Republicans then him on a debate stage?  So far that includes Christie (who changed his mind after pledging to do so to get on stage now taking it back, and Trump

In conclusion I  will grant Trump is a competent professional wrestling impresario with a feel for the audience. As to the latter I am personally feeling vibes of a sort of country-club or manor-born demeanor (the depth and elocutions) who is willing to mix it up with the little people and pretend he is one of them.

See how 2024 Republicans spent more than $123 million on advertising in Iowa


Do political ads even matter anymore?


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Reasons to avoid the drama Queen from Queens. Vote for Ron DeSantis

EDITORS NOTE:  These comments reflect our opinion of Donald Trump’s performance and prospects, they are our crystal ball political arguments but it should be ingrained that they pale in comparison to the devastating effect we see on the republic of another term with a Democrat as chief executive and that party also in control of either the House or the Senate with the later able to continue to replace the judiciary.  Some candidates are better than others but those seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for president at this time are vastly superior compared to any Democrat loyal to that party, its platform, its culture AND any independent candidate we are aware of with any plausible chance to be elected at this stage of the process. It is existentially important to vote for the Republican nominee in the general election.

These are our top three reasons. Additional critiques of what we consider his shortcomings on this or that policy can be made about Trump as regards energy, culture, huge deficits, social security and health care reform, personnel, and more.  Again, Democrats are wrong, even evil on all those topics. Donald Trump  made improvements that are on the right track but there is another candidate we have confidence is better, has done better,  will do better than Trump and is less risky as to electability  — Ron DeSantis

Trump has disqualified himself for the nomination

Republicans should not support Trump a third time because he has disqualified himself by refusing to pledge support for the nominee of the party — ironically a rule that was put in place to protect him by an apparat he inspired and a chairman he has approved of repeatedly. His refusal is an authorization for future chaos in the party, tolerating it makes the party monarchical and a vehicle solely for the whims of the regent.

The idea that the nomination he covets would result in somebody unacceptable to the party base, all of whom are authorized to vote in caucuses or primaries and, given the length of the process, his view is an unacceptable self-serving insult, an assault on the integrity of the process and violation of appropriate rules that enhance unity behind the nominee including should it be him. Not supporting the considered opinion of the grassroots of the party makes Donald Trump a RINO, albeit a shibboleth he has degraded of much meaning by his bandying it about aiming it at Republicans he disagrees with or that challenge him.  Chip Roy for God sake.

Trump is not the most salable candidate in the general.  He has no reliable filter

We are just tired of the too often self-inflicted drama that surrounds Trump, the political chaos that surrounds him, his antagonistic ways, and especially his inadequate executive abilities. It does not matter that he is a victim of law-fare, that means in a way we are as well.  But prudent people in the market for an executive should always consider cutting their losses, the baggage, in favor of new proven champion and carrier of the message and policies they want implemented. Being elected or re-elected President is a privilege each time not a proprietary right.  Bad calls,  even crooked ones by the “referees”, dirty illegal tactics by the opposing team last season do not make the victimized player the best one to carry the ball this season.

If he or she  wants our vote for the nomination the candidate has to demonstrate a demeanor and an ability to articulate policies that we can expect will attract more voters than the Democrat AND who will not be a problem plagued, distracted or ill-focused executive upon winning.  We need a candidate who the general election voters will believe is more focused on improvement than revenge.  Trump has signaled he is after revenge. That he also says it is for us is not a great selling point for the additional voters needed to insure victory.

We believe the election is at risk because of an unfavorable aura that surrounds Trump  with a huge portion of the general election voting population, much of it is of  his own making.  It is his women problem and it has nothing to do with policy issues.  It is undeniable that he owns such an aura. Like the oil slick that leads to the damaged but still floating battleship, he refuses to stop the flow nor recognize the self-defeating harm it causes. (See previous post)

Trump’s “Operation ‘Warped’ Speed”

Donald Trump has shown no contriteness over his role in the devastation wrought by and through his executive authority and oversight of public health processes in the COVID epidemic and the foisting (we do not use the word forcing) on the American public, indeed the world, the zeitgeist behind the mRNA genetic manipulation, wrongly referring to it as a vaccine.

Trump pushed for a “warped speed” production and distribution (indeed bragging about it these last three years) while failing to educate himself or the public during that time on key matters related to the concoction being developed, its experimental nature.  He authorized proceeding with insufficient if any long term data as to any iatrogenic effects of such novel genetic approaches on humans to control viruses.

One cannot propose an experimental concoction for mass distribution, remove serious liabilities from those who will make a lot of money from the gambit, fund and otherwise facilitate propaganda behind taking the concoction, vastly increase the national debt in support of the zeitgeist (another iatrogenic effect)  and claim only the good which compared to alternative approaches is entirely debatable. Yes he was mislead but he was too easy a mark, his radar insufficiently protective and arguably ego driven on the matter.

Having their own health departments governors like DeSantis were not so gullible or enamored with a flattering DC bureaucracy.

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Who can deny Trump has a “women problem” . . . and it is his mouth?

This could be Part 3 of Why We Can’t Have Nice Primaries – Trump

First the actual clip of Casey DeSantis that generated all manner of  over the top accusations from Trump, his general modus when he isn’t decrying people who point out preposterous comments he makes. Trump et al accused Casey DeSantis of encouraging illegal voting (see broadsides set forth later) based on this clip:

What fevered mind, what incredible calumny spewing outfit creates the broadsides  that followed the comments from Casey DeSantis calling for people from across the nation to PARTICIPATE  in the Iowa Caucus, WHICH THEY CAN DO never saying VOTE in the caucuses which only Iowans can do.   But Trump and his people were looking for a gotcha in the most unmanly way.  The liberal Politifact, no friend of DeSantis, has an analysis and some receipts on the hypocrisy of the Trump-team accusation.

Politifact: Out-of-state residents can ‘participate’ in the Iowa caucuses, but they can’t vote in them

The stuff you see below is perhaps below even Victory Enterprises stuff.  How desperate does the Trump campaign have to be for whatever percent they are shooting for in Iowa to try and make something out of the supportive wife of a candidate encouraging people to help out on her husbands campaign?  It does not matter one twit where helpers come from to do door knocking, to make phone calls, stuff envelopes, help park cars, drive people to the caucuses, set up tables  . . . whatever.   Saying “participate” is calling for illegal voting is not merely an uncharitable interpretation it is a cheep unmanly lying one.  Really creepy.  Notice Trump does not actually quote Casey DeSantis, he characterizes what was said.

More on Trump women problem posted below the broadsides he issued.

Two variations, essentially the same, have come our way in recent days.  These are direct from the Trump campaign – no excuses. Front and back shown.

Trump has not just gone after Republican Casey DeSantis.  His woman problem is bigger than diminutive Casey. The problem with Trump on that score is the result of Trump’s aura his verbal treatment of women not his policies.

Remember Trump’s PUBLIC statements toward REPUBLICAN women who dare to challenge him — often cyberbullying comments . . . Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Bird Brain Nikki Haley, not to mention numerous woman of whatever political persuasion referring to them as “that dog” and as regards rape accusation however false -“she’s not my type”.

And do women forget Trumps comments about  “elevator screamers” . . . “grab ’em by the . . .  does anyone think that aura, that demeanor is good for winning in the general, a political plus, necessary, appropriate? It certainly reduces the possibilities.

Women are more than half the vote and perhaps the biggest reason Trump has to win through the electoral college (which he used to condemn by the way) rather than also the popular vote. Fortunately every Republican candidate’s good grace is that Joe Biden and or Kamala Harris are so much in bad repute that the Republican nominee ought to be able to win.  All the more reason to pick the best chief executive and not the most prolific twit – er (Trump).

Even when they are deserving of rebuke (usually) Trump too often defaults to commenting on the woman’s looks rather than anything insightful. That creates a women problem. And that is what gets the play because he is too self-centered to change and do better for us.

Scared people may well turn out in droves at the Iowa Caucuses They want their country back. But if their pick is Trump it will bring more chaos, not less, not the normalcy they crave nor the effectiveness in the executive that DeSantis would bring, less distracted, even more authentically intense, less tainted by revenge or oblivious as Trump is.

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