Norbert Hofer, the candidate for Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), won 36.4 per cent of the vote, and will face an independent candidate in the final vote next month.
It was the Freedom Party’s best result in a national election and comes after a campaign that focused on the impact of the migrant crisis…
Exclusive Data Analysis: GOP Primary Turnout Up 8.7 Million Votes, More Than 60 Percent In 2016 Versus 2012 – Breitbart
Newly compiled data after the New York Republican primary shows that among the states that have voted so far in 2016, GOP primary and caucus turnout is up well more than 8 million votes and well more than 60 percent over 2012’s process.
Top GOP officials say that the intense interest in the GOP primary throughout the year so far only serves to benefit the Republican nominee in November, whoever it ends up being.
In total, so far, nationwide the GOP has seen an increase of 8,719,041 votes in 2016’s primaries, caucuses and conventions over 2012’s primaries, caucuses and conventions….
The Increasing Instability of Obamacare – National Review
United Healthcare’s announcement that it is pulling out of most of the exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – a.k.a. Obamacare – is one of many indications of the law’s continuing instability.
United made this decision for obvious reasons: It was losing too much money, with no prospect of a quick turnaround. The company reported that it lost $475 million on plans sold in the ACA’s exchanges in 2015 and expects to lose another $650 million in 2016…
Rape Trees, Dead Migrants And The Consequences Of An Open Border – Breitbart
Many of the most caring people in the U.S. think they are helping the poor from Latin America by leaving our Southwest border wide open between ports-of-entry, but they are not. Several of the transnational criminal organizations (cartels) operating in Central America and Mexico make an estimated one-third or more of their profits from illegal immigration. Specifically, two groups below Texas, the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels, are largely fueled by the trafficking and smuggling of human beings.
The brutality of these criminal groups, from incinerating innocents in a network of ovens to their near complete control of state and local governments, is largely paid for by funds generated from illegal immigration – a shadowy economic engine that is only possible because we refuse to properly secure our border with Mexico….
Former Senator Announces Upcoming Marriage To Man 50 Years His Junior Nearly 20 Years After His Wife Died – The Blaze
Former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford announced that he will be marrying a man 50 years younger than himself almost 20 years after his wife passed away from leukemia, according to an op-ed that was published in the New York Times Sunday…
Nebraska Abolishes Civil Forfeiture – Daily Signal
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, has signed a major state forfeiture bill into law. Like New Mexico before it, the Cornhusker State now requires a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited.
Civil forfeiture is the law enforcement tool, which allows property suspected of being involved in, or derived from, criminal activity to be seized by police, sheriffs, and federal agents. It was ramped up in the 1980’s as a means of combatting the drug trade and organized crime, with the goal of stripping kingpins of their assets and ill-gotten gains.
Thirty years later, though, forfeiture has morphed into a system that is far more often used to seize relatively small amounts of cash, that stacks the deck against property owners fighting to get it back, and that encourages profiteering by law enforcement authorities….
Obama Infuriates The Brits As He Threatens To Send UK ‘To The Back Of The Queue’ If They Vote To Leave The European Union – Daily Mail
President Barack Obama told Britain today that it would have to ‘go to the back of the queue’ if it leaves the European Union, then tries to negotiate its own trade deal with the United States.
A US-UK trade agreement is not going to happen ‘any time soon,’ Obama said during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron….
Solar Developer SunEdison In Bankruptcy As Aggressive Growth Plan Unravels – Reuters
SunEdison Inc SUNE.N, once the fastest-growing U.S. renewable energy company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday after a short-lived but aggressive binge of debt-fueled acquisitions proved unsustainable.
In its bankruptcy filing, the company said it had assets of $20.7 billion and liabilities of $16.1 billion as of Sept. 30.
SunEdison’s two publicly traded subsidiaries, TerraForm Power Inc (TERP.O) and TerraForm Global Inc (GLBL.O), are not part of the bankruptcy. In a statement, the companies, known as yieldcos, said they had sufficient liquidity to operate and that their assets are not available to satisfy the claims of SunEdison creditors…
Governor Enables 200,000 Felons To Vote In November – WorldNetDaily
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised Friday to use an executive order to restore voting rights to felons, an announcement that leaves the Republican-dominated legislature – some of whom have opposed an overturn to the Civil War-era prohibition – in the cold…
MARCH 15THPOLL PROJECTIONS (Combined Averages For Florida, Illinois, Missouri. North Carolina And Ohio)
Donald Trump: 37.5%
Ted Cruz: 24.8%
John Kasich: 16.8%
Marco Rubio: 12.0%
RESULTS (March 15, 2016)
Total Votes: 3,190,482
Average Percentage: 42.5%
States Won: FL, IL, NC And MO
Delegates Won: 216
Total Votes: 1,739,720
Average Percentage: 19.2%
States Won: OH
Delegates Won: 80
Total Votes: 1,653,239
Average Percentage: 25.6%
States Won: None
Delegates Won: 51
Total Votes: 961,306
Average Percentage: 10.5%
States Won: None
Delegates Won: 6
Total Delegate Allocation Since Iowa
Donald Trump: 673
Ted Cruz: 411
Marco Rubio: 169
John Kasich: 143
Total Vote Count Since Iowa
Donald Trump: 7,541,464
Ted Cruz: 5,479,989
Marco Rubio: 3,392,133
John Kasich: 2,721,254
MARCH 8THPOLL PROJECTIONS (Combined Averages For Michigan, Mississippi, Hawaii And Idaho)
Donald Trump: 36.9%
Ted Cruz: 18.4%
Marco Rubio: 16.6%
John Kasich: 10.1%
RESULTS (March 8, 2016)
Total Votes: 740,467
Average Percentage: 38.6%
States Won: HI, MI And MS
Delegates Won: 71
Total Votes: 580,146
Average Percentage: 34.9%
States Won: ID
Delegates Won: 56
Total Votes: 373,917
Average Percentage: 15.3%
States Won: None
Delegates Won: 17
Total Votes: 180,813
Average Percentage: 10.8%
States Won: None
Delegates Won: 0
Total Delegate Allocation Since Iowa
Donald Trump: 458
Ted Cruz: 359
Marco Rubio: 151
John Kasich: 54
Total Vote Count Since Iowa
Donald Trump: 4,344,542
Ted Cruz: 3,579,114
Marco Rubio: 2,426,859
John Kasich: 1,088,248
Regarding the recent Wall Street Journal article titled Trump, Voters And The GOP Convention:
WSJ – “Donald Trump may pile up more than enough delegates in the primaries to make his GOP presidential nomination this summer a formality. But what if he doesn’t? Mr. Trump, Ted Cruz and their media mouthpieces are claiming it would be political theft to choose the nominee at a contested convention. These timid souls need an education in party rules, political history and muscular democracy.”
Ed – “Timid souls”? What’s timid about either of them or their respective supporters? And just what in hell is “muscular democracy” anyway? Is that another way of describing a system in which the opinions of everyone who isn’t a party official, lobbyist or major donor are ignored?
WSJ – “The Republican Party’s rules say a candidate needs the votes of 1,237 of the 2,472 delegates at the July convention in Cleveland to win the nomination. They don’t say all one needs is a plurality, or to have won the most primaries. There is no moral right to the nomination because a candidate wins 40%, or even 49%, of the delegates. He needs a majority, and the 1,237 number is no secret.”
Ed – True enough, yet anyone who thinks it’s reasonable to ignore the most popular candidate in this race – simply because he didn’t win the aforementioned number of delegates – and then gladly hand the majority of them to someone who garnered far less delegates (or maybe none at all) is mentally unstable.
WSJ – “Parties set this public requirement because they exist to win elections, and a nominating majority is the best indicator of the rough consensus necessary to unite the party behind the winner. A candidate who can’t put together a majority of delegates is unlikely to unite the party and is probably a loser in November.”
Ed – Yet, handing the nomination to someone else, who cobbled together even LESS delegates, is somehow LIKELY to unite the party? Please explain how that works, exactly.
WSJ – “Before the primary system became the norm in the decades after World War II, party nominees were always chosen at the convention. But even in the primary era, a convention fight has been possible.”
Ed – Nobody gives a shit.
WSJ – “As recently as 1976, Gerald Ford came into the convention with more delegates than Ronald Reagan, who offered the vice presidency to Senator Richard Schweiker to turn the Pennsylvania delegation his way. The influential Drew Lewis chose to honor his pledge to Ford, kept the Pennsylvania delegation in line, and denied Reagan the nomination.”
Ed – Is this supposed to strengthen your argument in favor of a brokered convention? In case you forgot, Ford got his ass kicked in the general election that year. Reagan, on the other hand, won back-to-back landslides starting in the very next presidential election cycle.
WSJ – “Democrats had to go three rounds of balloting in 1952 to produce Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson as their nominee. In 1956 Democrats staged a floor flight over which of more than a dozen candidates to nominate for vice president. Estes Kefauver won. And in 1980 there was a short-lived effort at the Democratic convention to change the rules to help Ted Kennedy catch Jimmy Carter, who had lost nearly every late primary to the Massachusetts Senator.”
Ed – Somebody just shoot me now.
WSJ – “With this history in mind, each party continues to have rules for how long delegates are pledged to a candidate. Under the GOP rules, about 1,700 delegates out of 2,472 (69%) are bound in the first ballot to vote for the candidate for whom they are pledged – usually by a primary or caucus result. The 31% who are unbound come from states that don’t hold binding presidential preference contests, or from states that allow some of their delegates to remain uncommitted.”
Ed – *Yawn*
WSJ – “If the first ballot doesn’t produce a majority, nearly 80% of the delegates then become free to vote for the nominee of their choice on the second ballot. By the third ballot, 89.4% are free to choose. This gradual liberation is designed to prevent a stalemate and let the delegates work their will to coalesce eventually around the best nominee. This isn’t cheating or “stealing the nomination.” It’s how the process is supposed to work.”
Ed – That “process” is complete bullshit, and every rational person knows it! Look, if a candidate gets close but doesn’t win the required number of delegates, then the “process” SHOULD work this way: the top candidate still wins the nomination, but the second-place candidate gets to be his running mate. In essence, the winner forfeits his right to choose a VP while still retaining his top-dog status.
Why is this both the fairest and smartest way of choosing nominees? Because NO OTHER CANDIDATE is more representative of the will of Republican voters than the one who garnered the most delegates in the primary race, and to argue otherwise is just plain idiotic! Furthermore, combining the support bases of the two most popular candidates is far and away the best means of beating the Democrats in the general election. It’s common-fucking sense.
WSJ – “Ah, but aren’t the delegates part of the “establishment”? If by establishment you mean stalwart party members in the provinces, then yes. They are often the rank-and-file GOPers who run state and local party operations. But others are activists chosen to become delegates by the various candidates.”
Ed – You can refer to them as the “establishment” or the “Mickey Mouse Club”, for all I care, but the fact remains that they’re not representative of the rest of the GOP voter base, and the “process” they’re engaged in is still completely asinine.
WSJ – “It’s true that three delegates from each state are Republican National Committee members. But the rules this year require nearly all of those RNC members to vote in the first ballot for the candidate who won the most at-large votes in a state primary or caucus. So those RNC members, a small minority of delegates, are expressing the will of the voters in the first go-round.”
Ed – Which means nothing to anyone who understands basic math.
WSJ – “The premature protests by Messrs Cruz and Trump are entirely self-serving. Both men think they have a good chance to win a plurality of delegates but can’t be sure they’ll get all the way to 1,237. They want to cry havoc in advance so party members will shrink in fear of a GOP breakup if there’s a nominating fight at the convention.”
Ed – “Self-serving” or not, what they’re saying with respect to a party” breakup” is not only highly likely, it’s about as close to a certainty as one can get without owning a magic, crystal ball. If neither Trump nor Cruz is chosen as the Republican party’s presidential nominee – assuming they both garner large numbers of delegates yet fail to gain the required 1,237 – not only will all hell break loose on the convention floor, but the party will utterly disintegrate as a result. It’ll be finished as a viable, political institution from that moment forward, and God help any GOP power-broker who can’t spot this eventuality coming a mile away.
WSJ – “These candidates and Republicans generally should toughen up. If Messrs. Trump or Cruz couldn’t sway a majority at the convention, it would be because they couldn’t convince their fellow Republicans that they have the best chance of winning. Every candidate entered the race knowing the rules, and every candidate has an equal opportunity to exploit them. Mr. Trump certainly has used the accelerated primary calendar to his advantage, racking up a delegate lead before he’s been subject to any real scrutiny.”
Ed – “Toughen up”? Excuse the hell out of me, but these guys have been toughening up since last summer, running a grueling race, day in and day out, and taking more shit from the leftist media – as well as establishment-fluffing assclowns like you – than any of the party’s limp-wristed, spineless, kneecap-sucking leaders ever will.
Oh, and just in case this little factoid escaped your attention, the current race – like every other – has less to do with the candidates and far more to do with the people who vote for them. Why? Because a politician’s job is to represent WE, THE PEOPLE. So you can take your well-articulated, yet nonetheless scatterbrained, notions of what is or isn’t an equitable nomination “process” and shove them with a red-hot poker!
WSJ – “It’s always possible that a losing Mr. Trump would bolt the GOP and run as a third-party candidate or urge his supporters to boycott in November. But the same might happen in reverse if Mr. Trump becomes the nominee despite what is growing opposition from traditional Republicans. If the businessman can’t rally a majority at the convention, then he can’t unite the GOP enough to beat Hillary Clinton.”
Ed – Bullshit! There is no reverse scenario here. Either one of the two leading candidates gets hosed by the party’s leadership, or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, it’s anyone’s guess how the general election plays out, but if he does, it’s bye-bye Republican party, and don’t let the door smack you in the ass on your way to oblivion.
WSJ – “Many primaries have yet to be held, and the odds are that the voters will give one candidate a clear majority before Cleveland. But if they don’t, the voters themselves will have set the stage for the convention fight. The event could a great education in party democracy, and it certainly would do better in the ratings than the usual four-day infomercial.”
Ed – I agree that an education in “party democracy” is certainly possible in this case. The lesson, however, may well prove to be that you, the Republican elite, have spat too many times in the faces of your constituents, and now you’re about to be bludgeoned to death with your own convention gavel.
…figuratively speaking, of course.