Wednesday, April 27, 2016

...But Before the Convention.

A few weeks ago, I had an idea of what a GOP therapy session would look like at the convention through a montage of hilariously selected songs (if I do say so myself) and some (intentionally) bad images to go along with them.  Well, I had so much fun putting that together that after my midterms finished up last night, I decided to put together a playlist for the highlights of the election session thus far.

Therefore, this is my prequel to the GOP therapy session.  This is ...But Before the Convention.

Event: Donald Trump announces his candidacy.

Song: "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus

I think this is appropriate on many levels.  Donald Trump came to destroy the GOP, and he's run an attention whore campaign.

Event: Donald Trump gives out Lindsey Graham's phone number to the world.

Song: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen

Hey, you're running for president
And this is crazy
But Trump just gave out your number
So destroy your phone, maybe?

Event: Donald Trump begins attacking Megyn Kelly after the first debate, suggesting she had "blood coming out of her...whatever"

Song: "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift

Just too perfect a song to pass up for the situation.  Trump officially began his war on Megyn Kelly and, to a lesser extent, Fox News.  Next month, they will sit down for an interview for the first time since before he announced.  Expect headlines.

Event:  Donald Trump criticizes Carly Fiorina's face.

Song: "I'm a Believer" by Smash Mouth (this version for obvious reasons below)

And then he saw her face, now he's a believer ... that she shouldn't be president?  Who are you to judge on looks Trump?  He's like an orange ogre that lives in a tower.  Speaking of ogres... it's appropriate that this song was used for the film "Shrek."

Event: Trump attacks his opponents for being beholden to donor wishes.  (It's an ongoing event.)

Song: "Government Hooker" by Lady Gaga

The title of the song is pretty explanatory, but I would like to thank the early 2000's remake of "Lady Marmalade" for not making me search for hookers on Google.

Event:  Dumb (Sarah Palin) endorses Dumber (Donald Trump).

Song: "Team" by Iggy Azalea

And since the endorsement was done in such a sing-song form - like something Dr. Seuss would write...

Event: Marco Malfunctions.

Song:  "Mr. Roboto" by Styx

I think the Republican Party really missed an opportunity here.  I mean, the opportunity to nominate the first Hispanic cyborg.

Event:  Donald Trump says he can shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support.

Song:  "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj

I think we all know Trump's butt boy who'll end up being the one getting shot.

Event: Chris Christie has his moment.

Song:  "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter

I think we all felt a little like Chris Christie that day.

Event: Trump once again retweets white supremacists and receives the endorsement of David Duke.

Song: "Oops! ... I Did It Again" by Britney Spears

Trump's surrogates were forced to painfully dance around the topic during brutal television interviews.

Event:  In a last ditch effort, Marco Rubio goes full Comedy Central on Donald Trump - even going as far as insinuating something about Trump's hands and something else.

Song: "It's a Small World" by Disney (Curse You)

Because hearing this song is almost as painful as hearing Donald Trump describe his "Donald" on national television during a debate.

Event:  And then there were three.

Song:  "Survivor" by Destiny's Child

I think it only appropriate that this election season's motto be: "outwit, outplay, outlast."

Event:  The Cruz-Trump partnership from early on in the election is dissolved and a Cruz-Kasich partnership is announced.

Song:  "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson

Because I totally see a Trumpertantrum when the Trump Grump found out about the alliance.

Event:  And through this chaos, the white knight known as Paul Ryan has been floated as the savior at a contested convention - which I am 100% behind.

Song:  "It's Gonna be Me" by *NSYNC

Let me break down the chorus for you...

Every little thing I do (Like run as VP, then Speaker of the House)
Never seems enough for you (Now you want me to run for President)
You don't want to lose it again (Yeah, I know Trump and Cruz are losers)
But I'm not like them (But, I'm not a loser like them)
Baby, when you finally (When you finally come to your senses)
get to love somebody (And see which candidate you really want)
Guess what, (Here's the kicker)
It's gonna be me... (I'm going to be the nominee)

Well, there goes my mind again...

Find these and many more appropriate songs that correspond with other events this election cycle below.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Message to PA Voters.

My fellow Pennsylvanians (mainly my fellow Western Pennsylvanians),

I would like to discuss the upcoming primary in our state with you.  One Western PAer to another.

I understand your concerns because I'm one of you.  Your #1 concern this election is what it has been for decades: the economy and jobs.  But what I fear is that we're all so desperate for the economy to improve that we are making irrational decisions this election - based on what politicians are promising, which is not based in reality.  Therefore, if you get your hopes up based on these promises, you're only going to be let down.

Look, I understand that there seems to be no opportunity in the area.  Wages are stagnant.  And to put the icing on top of the pity cake, the weather sucks.  If you look at the estimates for future population growth, the area is literally at the top of the list of where people are moving out of.  Here are just some of the areas in the PA-OH-NY area that people will be leaving most by 2020 that I drive through to get to school, live in, or have been in: Jamestown, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Buffalo, NY; Erie, PA; Sharon, PA; Rochester, NY; Canton, OH; Wheeling, OH.

I've heard it my entire life - that the area has never been the same since the manufacturing jobs left in the 1980's.  However, here's the harsh reality that no politician wants to tell you and you don't want to believe: those jobs are NEVER coming back.

Since NAFTA went into effect in 1994, the United States has lost 4.5 million manufacturing jobs to foreign country workers.  However, as this article describes, if we wouldn't have lost the jobs to foreign countries such as China, most of those people still would have lost their jobs to automation.  The reality of the situation is that the United States cannot compete globally in the market for manufactured goods.

And this is where the current political season picks up.  You have candidates such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders out there screaming "China is stealing our jobs!"  While Bernie Sanders has made no argument as to how foreign workers are "stealing" our jobs, Donald Trump has put forward the idea that the Chinese are manipulating their currency to make it so the US cannot compete with them globally for manufactured goods.  However, I would like to respond by saying the US has been partaking in US currency manipulation for years as well and nobody has complained about it.

Without making this too boring, the Fed, when dealing with the 2008-2009 financial crisis, decided it was going drop interest rates to practically 0%, where they have stayed until this year when they raised the interest rate target to 0.25% to 0.50%.  There's a simple macroeconomic connection every student learns in econ: You decrease the interest rate by increasing the money supply.  Because there's more money in circulation, this devalues the currency.  (In turn, the devaluation makes your exports cheaper and your imports more expensive.)

Furthermore though, I still don't understand this "stealing" argument many seem to buy.  There's a firm here in the US and another in China.  The firm in China has lower costs, so they are able to sell the good at the market price for less cost.  As a result, other firms that are able to produce this good at a lower cost also pop up in China, driving down the price of said good.  As a result, the US firms who have higher expenses leave the market.  Consumers now get the good at a lower price than they would have paid if it were produced in the US.

However, say you're a Bernie or Trump supporter, and you still think this is "stealing" jobs.  Would you still make the same argument if both firms were in the US?  There's a firm in Western Pennsylvania and another in Florida.  The firm in Florida has lower costs because they don't have ridiculous tax policies like PA does, so they are able to sell the good at the market price for less cost.  As a result, other firms that are able to produce this good at a lower cost also pop up in Florida, driving down the price of said good.  As a result, the Western PA firms who have higher expenses leave the market.  Consumers now get the good at a lower price than they would have paid if it were produced in Western PA.

Are you now telling me you would rather pay more for the same product?  Are you telling me you would want the government policing which firms are allowed to operate and which are not simply because it may move jobs from one place in the US to another?  I thought Trump supporters were supposed to be Republicans, who believe in small government.  Are you telling me you want to increase the size of government and regulate whether someone is allowed to start a business?

As Pennsylvanians, you have the right to be angry and upset with the economy.  But your anger seems to be misplaced.  You shouldn't be angry with China, now producing cheaper goods for us to buy.  You should be upset with Harrisburg.  You should be upset with your representatives.  You should be upset that the person who represents you has been in office longer than you've been alive and has not done one damn thing to help the economy and people he represents, yet he runs unopposed every year.  (Looking at you, Chris Sainato.)

If you were an entrepreneur or business owner looking to expand a company, why would you come PA?  Are you any more productive than workers in any other state?  There are certainly no tax incentives in place to help us compete with other states such as Texas, Florida, and South Carolina.  We have no competitive advantage in fields like California has on technology and New York on all things business. According to the Tax Foundation, we have the 32nd best state business tax climate.  With 31 better options, why would you want to come here?

Trump says to counter China and Mexico trade policies (which is free trade), he would impose a tariff on products coming into the United States.  Now, think about this logically.  He would have to increase the tariff to the point where you could either buy the US good or the Chinese/Mexican good + the tariff at the same price.  Trump would not be taxing the Chinese and Mexican companies.  The tax on the good would be passed on to you as the consumer!

Now, I love Oreos.  (I really love Oreos.)  It became a Trump talking point earlier when Nabisco said it was going to move its factory to Mexico.  The reason they have to do this as a company is because the United States has imposed a draconian tariff on sugar, making sugar twice as expensive in the US as on the world market.  (Trust me, it has nothing to do with health either.  What's the substitute for sugar? Corn syrup.  What state votes first in the primary and loves their corn subsidies? Iowa.  Politics as usual in the US.)  Additionally, the union wages can't compete with what they would have to pay workers in Mexico.

I really love Oreos, but I can't justify an increase in the cost of the product.  I think they're expensive enough already.  Could you imagine having to pay 6 or 7 dollars for a pack?  In fact, moving the plant to Mexico will probably save me money as a consumer of Oreos.  There are millions of consumers of Oreos.  Maybe the move to Mexico saves us all 25 cents per each pack we buy.  With sales of $2.5 billion - estimating the cost is $5 / pack (which is over the actual cost for sure), these savings would save consumers $125,000,000 a year based on the $2.5 billion sales mark.  Can you really justify 600 jobs in Chicago for that amount of savings for consumers?  Even at a savings of 5 cents, it still saves worldwide consumers $25 million that we can spend elsewhere.

The point being - if you are a Trump or Sanders supporter because you believe he will fix the economy, or get you a better job, or just get you a job, you are going to be sadly let down when you realize these promises will never be able to come to fruition based on the policy proposals these two have provided.  You will most likely be made worse off if these two get their way.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Case for Armed Security at U of R.

I would like to take a moment from my travels halfway around the world to make a plea to my home University, its administration, its faculty, and my peers.  In recent weeks, hidden behind the widespread cases of norovirus, there has been another equally important issue to address: the arming of campus security.  Through the hysterical outcries of the anti-gun lobby on campus, I would like to make the case for armed security at the University of Rochester.

I was surprised to discover through emails that our security at the University is not already armed.  With the amount of mass shooting that have taken place at both universities and high schools over the country, many institutions, including my own high school, have taken the necessary precautions to hire armed security guards to protect individuals in such emergencies.

While I wish there were no shootings in America, just like those trying to prevent the arming of security on campus, I understand that we need to be prepared for such an occurrence if tragedy were to strike.  There are currently over 300 million guns in America, and while I wish we could prevent those who have ill intentions from possessing a firearm, the reality of the situation is that anyone looking to obtain a gun will find a way to get a gun.  If a person know he or she will be unable to pass a background check, there is always a firearm available for him or her to purchase on the black market.

There is no way to prevent those who wish to do harm with a firearm from obtaining a weapon, and therefore, we must be vigilant and put all necessary precautions in place to try to prevent a tragedy of this nature from occurring on our campus.  This means arming security.

God forbid, but if a mass shooter were to step foot on campus with the intent to inflict as much damage as possible, it would take the Rochester police department at least five minutes to reach the scene.  (This estimate includes the time it would take to drive from the police station as well as the amount of time it would probably take an individual to place a call once he or she noticed the imminent danger.)

The amount of damage a shooter could inflict greatly varies with the type of weapon(s) used.  Semi-automatic weapons would fire at a rate usually around 45-60 rounds per minute, but as they reach these higher rates, the weapon would have a greater likelihood of malfunctioning.  (This is often the story we hear in the aftermath of mass shootings.)  Another figure to help put this estimate into perspective is the sustained rate, at which a shooter spends time reloading, aiming, changes barrels, and accounts for malfunctions, which puts the figure of rounds per minute at about 12-15.

Taking into account mass shooters typically come prepared with multiple weapons already loaded, an estimate would put the figure about 25 - 30 rounds per minute.  This would mean 125 - 150 rounds would have been fired before a single police officer even arrived at the scene.  This figure is exactly in line with the gruesome Sandy Hook shooting where 154 rounds were fired in five minutes.

If University security officers were armed, I believe it would be a safe assumption to assume an officer would arrive to the scene in approximately two minutes considering they are always spread over campus.  Taking that into account, arming security officers would mean that we could most likely lessen the number of rounds fired by a shooter in a potential mass shooting by 65 - 100 rounds.

President Obama once tweeted in regards to gun violence:

Obviously, the President and I are on opposing sides of gun related issues.  However, the sentiment rings true.  Having an armed security presence on campus would obviously reduce the number of shots fired by a disturbed mass shooter, which in turn would most likely save lives.

Having stated my case for arming security officers, what I would like to do now is what I do best - poke holes in the opposing side's arguments.  On Facebook, this has been the article anti-gun Rochester students point to as their reasoning for opposing armed security.

First and foremost, the entire article seems to operate under the assumptions that campus security is inept, will not receive proper training to handle a firearm, and will bring a gun violence culture on campus.  Operating under these hypothetical assumption with which I immensely disagree, why does campus security even have non-lethal weapons?  If security is as inept and unable to handle these situations, why haven't we already seen acts of police brutality on campus as the author implies will happen if security is armed?  Obviously, a security officer with a taser would be able to inflict this brutality that is being fear mongered, so why haven't we seen these kinds of acts already on campus?

Additionally, the author states in the last paragraph with absolutely no evidence other than saying "this has happened" to support his claim that "if we arm campus security we will see not an increase in campus safety, but rather an increase in violence outside the campus bubble."  Actually, I believe the research and the logic points to the opposite.

I believe this is easy to see through the analysis of concealed carry as well as police patrols.  As concealed carry laws went into effect, they decreased the amount of crimes in those counties, but increased the amount of crimes in adjacent counties where concealed carry was not allowed.  In addition to those studies, an increased presence of police patrols in communities have shown a drop in crime.

The most often cases of crimes we get emails about are thefts that occur on the very outskirts of campus.  A year ago, I just happened to be one of the people who jogged by one of those occurrences back by the tennis courts.  It seems University of Rochester students tend to be targeted just on the outskirts of campus.  I think this is obviously because (1) the police do not patrol there and (2) criminals know that neither the students nor campus security that may be passing by and prevent the crime from occurring will be armed.  Therefore, the policies in place of not arming security may actually be putting students at a higher risk of crime on the edges of campus because you can think of the University as the county without concealed carry while the "real world" is the surrounding area with concealed carry, providing an incentive for criminals wishing to commit an act of theft to perform such an act on the edges of campus where the risk is much lower.

In conclusion, I stand firmly by the decision that the University of Rochester should arm security, and if I were on campus, I would be pleading my case because I care very passionately about the issue.  While I stand firmly in my belief, I encourage those with the responsibility of making this decision to do so on the basis of facts and figures rather than the pressures of fear and protests because this issue is about saving potential lives.

Monday, April 4, 2016

He Came in Like a Wrecking Ball.

I've figured Trump out, and my original assumptions from the fall were correct.  Trump never wanted to be the GOP candidate.  He's simply here to hurt the Republican brand and fracture the party, so we cannot win in November.  He is figuratively a human wrecking ball to the GOP, and it would not surprise me if he's working in cahoots with his good friend Hillary Clinton.

To prove my theory, we have a lot of ground to cover.  Let's go back to the very beginning...

When Trump first announced his candidacy, he kicked off his insult tour of 2015.  This was the first step in his (and Hillary's) plan to stereotype the GOP.  It seemed to play almost too good into Democrat talking points.  I think the original plan was to just give Hillary the talking points come the general; they didn't predict Trump would take off with a group of fringe Republicans and those who have never been involved in the democratic process.

In the beginning, Trump's campaign's was fueled by celebrity status and media attention.  The goal was simply to get him out there.  In the early stages, name recognition is really what drives poll numbers.  They wanted Trump's statements on the air 24/7, and that's exactly what they got.

That brings us to the first GOP debate.  Who had Trump been attacking up to this point?  Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul.  It always confused me as to why Trump attacked Paul until now.

Jeb Bush was an easy target.  He was the "Establishment" candidate.  He had all the money.

Scott Walker was also understandable.  He was closest to Trump in the polls.  At this point, Walker had a very sizable lead in Iowa.

But why Paul?  If you remember, Rand Paul got the 8th podium at the Fox News debate.  There were a considerable number of other candidates between Trump and Paul at this point.

Paul was singled out because he represented a wing of the party - the Libertarian wing.  Jeb was singled out because he represented another wing of the party - the "Establishment" wing.  Walker was singled out because he represented the last wing of the party - the Conservative wing.  Where Bush and Walker were polling had nothing to do with why they were targets for Trump.  Trump was looking to separate and divide the wings of the party, and he was looking to attack the representative figures of those branches.  Bush's and Walker's polling positions were not causal effects of Trump's choice to attack, but merely correlations.  Trump was out to attack and separate the wings of the party.

Immediately following the GOP debate, Trump attacked Megyn Kelly.  I, as well as everybody else, assumed it was because he didn't like the question he was asked by her.  However, looking back now, it would only make sense that Megyn Kelly was to be attacked by Trump at some point, and that question gave him the perfect excuse to start.

The reason is that Megyn Kelly was the most adored newscaster for the Republican audience.  The last poll done on Kelly prior to the Trump incidence was in 2013 when she had a 44-9 favorable-unfavorable rating.  In the year and a half since that, she had be labeled the "brightest," "toughest, " "most beautiful badass" star of Fox News.  (In other words, she had been labeled the darling of the GOP audience.)

In a sense, Megyn Kelly was a person with which a good majority of GOP voters could agree on, and Trump couldn't risk the solidarity of the GOP by the influence of the media.  In a sense, he had to fracture the GOP's unity around Fox and attacking Megyn Kelly was the perfect way to do it.  In a sense, he accomplished that.  Just weeks after the Fox News debate, Megyn Kelly's unfavorable's shot up due to Trump supporters to 42-20.

But like the Bush-Walker-Paul scenario, it's in the aggregate that these moves make sense looking back now.  Who are the two other news personalities and commentators Trump has attacked the most?  Glenn Beck and S.E. Cupp.

Why them?  Megyn Kelly was Fox.  Glenn Beck is talk radio and the Blaze.  S.E. Cupp is CNN.  Following the pattern now?  He specifically pinpointed the most respected Republican in each outlet to tear the party apart.

Now look at organizations.  What is the one organization Trump has attacked more than any other?  Fox News!  It hasn't been MSNBC he's complained about; it's the one media station Republicans like (a lot).

We're getting close to the end game now, and this is where the plan finally starts to reveal itself.  Trump has successfully knocked out Walker, Paul, and Bush (as well as many others).  There are 4 candidates left: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich.  Trump begins to attack Rubio when Cruz is clearly the biggest threat to Trump.  


Trump attacks Rubio because he's the only candidate left with a shot at winning the nomination who can beat Clinton come November.  Trump knows Kasich has no shot; Kasich has practically been half off the stage at every debate he was so close to the edge.  Rubio is the only one left who can win.  And those next few weeks, Trump went after him with a vengeance.

It all started coming together tonight as I wondered why Trump hasn't gotten off this sexism story.  He's done it many times before.  He's mastered the art of "say something else outrageous so they can't discuss what I just said."  However, the end game isn't to win.  The end game is to lose in the nastiest way possible - a brokered convention.

There are already people associated with the Trump campaign organizing protests for Cleveland.  Why would Trump's people being preparing to protest if they wanted to win?  It all makes sense that Trump wants to lose.  The only way he can fracture the party more is to leave it in shambles like the Democratic 1968 convention.  After that, the Democratic Party really didn't come alive again until the 1990's, and that was only with the help of Ross Perot.  

Trump comes out of this not looking like the one thing he has been calling everybody - a loser.  If he were to be the GOP nominee, he would get walloped.  Possibly even lose every state in the nation.  However, if he loses at a convention, he can say the nomination was "stolen" from him and cause havoc until November.

It all makes sense now.  He came in like a wrecking ball.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pro-Lifers Don't Let Pro-Lifers Vote for Donald Trump.

This week, the most telling moment of Donald Trump's candidacy was revealed, and one thing became very clear: pro-lifers don't let pro-lifer's vote for Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Trump stated in an interview that some form of "punishment" would have to be enforced if abortion is illegal and a woman were to undergo the termination of her child - a position not even the most pro-life individuals agree with.

On Thursday, Trump attempted to walk that back by saying the doctors, not the women, need to be punished - a position at least a decent chunk of the pro-life community would support.

On Friday, he then said regarding abortion in an interview, "At this moment the laws are set, and I think we have to leave it that way."  Then, the Trump campaign attempted to walk that back Friday night by saying the laws need to remain that way until Trump were to assume the presidency, at which point he will change the laws through judicial appointments.

Why is this so revealing and important?

1) Because rule #1 to run as the Republican nominee for president is to be pro-life.
2) Because it shows Trump is neither pro-life nor has he though seriously about the issue of abortion.

A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for maintaining the current abortion laws and that is not pro-life.  Donald Trump is not pro-life.

I think up to this point Trump has been able to get away with the extremist hyperbole on issues that he's planning to walk back in the general.  However, he didn't recognize the severity in which the pro-life movement takes these issues and comments.

The pro-life movement has been one of the most powerful movements in America.  It is often remarked that as social issues move more to the left in America (see gay marriage and drug legalization), the one exception is the pro-life movement where millennials are as likely to be pro-life as their grandparents.  It has done so through very good messaging on issues such as adoption and has used scientific studies to enact restrictions on abortion procedures.

What Donald Trump doesn't understand is that people who are pro-life view this as a life-and-death issue, and for him to hurt the movement for his own self-gain was not going to happen.  In fact, as early as the Iowa caucuses, pro-life groups were urging their supporters to vote for any candidate except Trump.

It is clear now why this was and still is the case.  Because Donald Trump doesn't care about abortion.

His earliest comment about "punishing" women show he has no understanding of the pro-life movement and what it's objectives are.  It is as if Trump were trying to overcompensate for not being pro-life by trying to go as far out there as he possibly could.

Taken in context with the rest of his from this week, it is easy to see that Trump has not clearly though of any position on the issue.  First nobody agrees with him.  Then, he's on the edge of the pro-life movement.  And then, he completely jumps over the pro-life movement to a pro-choice stance.

So that leaves you with only two assumptions: Either Donald Trump is doesn't care about the issue of abortion at all, or he is pro-choice.  Whichever you choose, it is clear that Trump is not pro-life.

And this is my question to all you pro-life Republicans out there, which is almost a redundant term: After 8 years of a pro-choice president, why would you want to put someone in the White House who doesn't care about the issue of abortion or is pro-choice himself?

 Pro-lifers don't let pro-lifers vote for Donald Trump.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

GOP Therapy Session.

With the nastiness of the Republican primary, it has been stated by pundits that the GOP will need a therapy session after the primary is over.  Well, it was 2 am, and my mind was hilariously putting together a playlist that consisted of themes of friendship and unity and imagining what this therapy session would look like.  Enjoy.

"Thank You For Being a Friend"

And this is what it will look like when the candidates decide to share a hotel room together to sort out their differences.

"What I Like About You" - The Romantics

In this exercise, former candidates will pull each other's names out of a hat and have to rework the lyrics of this song around that person.  Say for example Donald Trump were to pull Carly Fiorina's name.  This is how he might decide to begin:

What I like about you
I actually like your face
You know how to debate, first-rate
And put Clinton in her place, yeah

"Umbrella" - Rihanna ft. Jay Z

It's always raining in Cleveland, so here's a totally realistic scenario playing out outside the convention center.

"You've Got a Friend in Me" - Randy Newman

And here's what Ben Carson did for his art project that he presented to the group:

"Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler

You may not know this, but Donald Trump is just obsessed with Bette Midler.  Just look at his Twitter account.  This is also Donald Trump's and Jeb Bush's friendship song.

"My Life Would Suck Without You" - Kelly Clarkson

Oh look!  All the guys who fought over foreign policy are hugging it out now.

"You're My Best Friend" - Queen

And here's a picture of Trump taking a trip to Lake Erie with his favorite television host.


And here's a picture of how the therapy session will end.  They all sit around a campfire singing Kumbaya.  Although, they seem to be roasting something other than marshmallows...

Other hits from the therapy session include "Stand By You," "I Really Like You," "Lean on Me," and "Because You Love Me."  For the complete list of GOP Therapy Songs, check out the playlist below.

There Will Be Chaos.

In the previous weeks, Donald Trump has not so subtly suggested that if he doesn't get the nomination at the Republican Convention this July, then his supporters just might riot.  This is like a child threatening that if he isn't given the ice cream he wants, then he's going to throw a temper tantrum.

However, I got news for Donald Trump.  You are entitled to nothing, and you have earned nothing if you don't reach the magical 1,237 number.  If you don't obtain a majority of delegates by Cleveland, which is becoming a slimmer chance every day, then you better start forming plan b.

In fact, this is why I think Trump announced at the CNN town hall that he would not promise to back the GOP nominee and guarantee he would not run as a third party candidate.  I think he realized he's not going to reach the magic number, and there's no way he's going to be able to convince the delegates to vote for him.  Therefore, if he can't have it, he probably wants to play spoiler.  Or should we say he wants to play Ross Perot?  (That was how a Clinton won the last time.)

 It's funny actually.  We've heard nothing but the "great" deals Trump is going to make as president, but he won't even be able to make deals with delegates to get there.  Seriously, if Trump is such a good deal maker, the nomination at a contested or brokered convention should be a cake walk for him.  Yet, he's running scared and making threats.  You could not craft a game more in Trump's favor if he's the best deal maker.  But instead, he's refused to even play the game.  If you're so good at making deals Trump, then this situation couldn't get any better for you.

However, the reality is that Trump is terrible at playing the game, and Ted Cruz is out-maneuvering him at every move.  Take for example Louisiana.  Trump actually won the state in the primary, but Cruz is going to come out of the state with more delegates most likely.  How did this happen?  Based on the split of the popular vote both Trump and Cruz got 18 delegates.  Marco Rubio got 5.  When Marco Rubio dropped out, those delegates became uncommitted.  (Marco Rubio is now encouraging all his delegates to remain bound to him on the first vote to force a brokered convention.)  However, a meeting was held at which only a handful of Trump delegates and all of Cruz delegates showed up to determine what happens to those delegates.  Cruz people outnumbered the Trump and so it was determined that they be Cruz delegates.  So, at worst, it's a tie for Cruz.  At best, he gains 5 delegates.  That's political power brokering, and Trump is completely unorganized and unable to compete in the game.

But this commentary isn't all about Trump; it's all about Cleveland.  The fact that the RNC has to face is that no matter the outcome, there will be chaos.  Let's go through all the possible scenarios.

  • Trump wins the nomination.  #NeverTrump people are pissed.  We don't vote for Trump.  Republicans lose in November.  And I'm sure there will be protests from Democrat leaning groups - if not riots.
  •  Cruz wins the nomination.  This would have to happen by the second ballot or later.  Trump people will say they were "cheated" out of the nomination, and I'm sure we all know Donald Trump would do absolutely nothing to condone riots.  (That's sarcasm, people.)   Also, Democrat leaning groups would probably also protest Cruz.  He's not that much more likeable.
  • John Kasich miraculously wins the nomination.  For this to happen though, Kasich's got to win some states, like pulling an upset in Wisconsin, winning Pennsylvania, competitive in the Northeast, and competes in California.  (I know, it's quite a long shot.)  In this case, Trump and Cruz people are pissed, but I don't think you have protests from Democrat groups.
  • Other wins the nomination.  (And by other, I mean most likely Paul Ryan, but someone else could fit this category.)  In this case, I think you only have angry Donald Trump supporters.  This is because by this point, we've got to be on the 4th or 5th ballot, and people start to wonder if the party is ever going to be able to pick a nominee.  I'm sure die-hard Cruz supporters will be upset, but I think the vast majority of people will be in the "just give us a nominee already" mode.  Protesters get tired, so by that point the crowds outside would have faded.  Remember, we're talking like 4th or 5th day of the convention by this point.
And there will be even more chaos besides protests and rioting.  When we get past the first ballot, which looks very likely at this point, there will be all these backroom deals.  Things may get very heated on the floor of the convention hall.  Cameras will be on everyone at all times.  Candidates may be betrayed.

This brings us to a very important point of the chaos.  Who are these power brokers going to be?  Most likely, there are going to be two very important ones: Marco Rubio and John Kasich.  They have delegates to throw around.  They have hand-picked delegates who will do what these men want them to do.

We all know Kasich and Rubio will not be throwing their support behind Trump.  Hower, the real question is:  Will they throw that support behind Cruz?

Reports say that Kasich has been trying to strike a deal with Cruz to try to prevent a Trump nomination, but Cruz doesn't want to play ball.  If Cruz doesn't want to work with Kasich now, what incentive does Kasich have to support Cruz if he could get a better deal elsewhere?

Additionally, Marco Rubio is probably pretty pissed with Ted Cruz as well.  He didn't want to come out and say it, but you could tell by the cryptic messages he sent on the campaign that he thought Cruz was a sleazy politician.  If Rubio really wanted to endorse Cruz, he would have done it by now.  I don't think he wants Cruz to be the nominee, and I think that's why he's sent letters to his delegates telling them to hold strong on the first vote.  He wants to be the one making the deals in the back rooms, choosing the Republican nominee.

Who else are going to be power brokers in this whole thing?  Party leaders.  Guess what folks, Cruz and Trump have not made too many friends along the way.  Let's go through the list.

  • Paul Ryan: seems to be the only guy who wants nothing do with the candidates or the process.  Definitely not in favor of Trump, and doesn't seem to be too warm to Cruz either.
  • Mitch McConnell:  Anti-Trump and Anti-Cruz to the highest extreme.
  • John Boehner: Has already said if it goes to a second ballot, he will be voting for Paul Ryan.  (That's got to hurt Kasich, who's from the same state.)
  • Jeb Bush:  May be the most anti-Trump person out there.  Not a fan of Cruz either, but willing to support him to stop Trump.  I'm sure he'd support somebody else in a heartbeat over Cruz if he could.
  • Ben Carson:  Trump supporter, but not an insider able to broker many people.
  • Rand Paul:  Anti-Trump since the first debate.  Also publicly attacked Cruz for not returning to Washington to support his audit the fed bill.  There's definitely bad blood there.
  • Chris Christie:  Trump supporter, or should I say Trump punching bag?
  • Mike Huckabee:  Has been very defensive of Trump in interviews, but also seems to like Cruz.
  • Carly Fiorina: Cruz all the way.  Wouldn't surprise me if she's already been promised the VP if Cruz gets the nomination.
  • Scott Walker: Has already said he think if it's a brokered convention that the nominee will not be either Trump nor Cruz, but endorsed Cruz in Wisconsin to defeat Trump.
  • Lindsay Graham: Has endorsed Cruz to stop Trump, but like Bush, would probably jump ship to a candidate who didn't run if he gets the chance at the convention.
  • Nikki Haley: Anti-Trump, and Trump has all the delegates from her state.  First supported Rubio, now supports Cruz.  She may hold a considerable amount of sway over those 50 delegates.
  • Mitt Romney:  Though he didn't win, Romney is still highly respected by almost everybody in the party.  He's supported Cruz in his home state of Utah to stop Trump, but also campaigned in Ohio for Kasich in his effort to encourage strategic voting to prevent a Trump nomination.  He doesn't seem too committed to any candidate - just to stop Trump.  I could definitely see him being a power broker for Paul Ryan because Ryan was his running mate in 2012.
  • John McCain: Anti-Trump and Anti-Cruz.  He and Lindsay Graham will probably be partners in crime at the convention.
  • Susana Martinez: Very unknown to the public, but she's now the head of the Republican Governors Association since Christie had to step down to run for president.  If she's able to control the other governors who are able to control the delegates, she could be the deciding figure in the whole convention.  She's anti-Trump, and endorsed Marco Rubio before he dropped out.  She doesn't seem that warm to Cruz though she's kept quiet for most of the race on all the candidates. 
Here's my best guess as to what happens.  While Trump and Cruz were out there just trashing everybody, Rubio was making friends with a lot of powerful people: Haley, Martinez, Romney, etc.  I think these guys are all going to get together and come up with a plan for who they want the nominee to be.  If I were to bet right now on who actually gets the nomination, I'd put 20 on Trump, 30 on Cruz, 40 on Ryan, and 10 on other.

These people do not like Trump.  The only way he'll win is on the first ballot.

They're not that fond of Cruz, but if it means having to choose Trump or Cruz, they'll gladly choose Cruz.

I think they probably support Ryan because he's very popular with the party and has already been vetted on the national stage.  The only others who have as well are John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin.  John McCain's too old.  The Republican Party is over Mitt Romney.  There ain't no way in hell Sarah Palin's getting the nomination.  If I were in charge, I'd make sure there was security detail making sure she doesn't come within 50 miles of Cleveland.

All I can truly say is it's going to get interesting.  It's going to be insane.  And no matter how this nomination plays out, there will be chaos.