Romney results bode poorly for Trump

For one primary reason, Mitt Romney was, in the 2012 presidential election, the worst possible choice out of the several most credible Republican hopefuls to challenge President Barack Obama’s re-election: Obamacare should have been the defining issue of that campaign but Romney was singularly unable to prosecute the case against a government takeover of the health insurance system because he, thanks to the creation of “Romneycare” in Massachusetts when he was the Bay State’s governor, was perceived as the “grandfather of Obamacare.”

A similar problem may play out for Republicans in 2016.

Please read the rest of my article for The American Spectator here:

What Unity?

Shortly after Tuesday night's Indiana political earthquake which left Donald Trump as the near-certain Republican presidential nominee, Trump thanked Ted Cruz for dropping out of the race because "we want to bring unity to the Republican Party."

Twelve hours later, I received a call to my radio show from a man named Increase, an African-American born in the West African country of Cameroon and now a U.S. citizen.

Increase expressed profound appreciation for the founding principles of this nation, for the Constitution, for conservatism and for the Republican Party — and then proceeded to explain that because of what the United States means to him, and what the GOP should stand for, he cannot vote for Trump to be president....


Please read the entirety of my column for the Denver Post here:

The Drudge Distraction (or why Trump is so angry about Colorado)

“Fury as Colorado has no primary or caucus!” shrieked a scandalized Drudge Report on Monday morning. That would be news to the roughly 60,000 Republicans who caucused across the state on March 1, many of whom attended Saturday’s GOP State Assembly.

Matt Drudge was channeling the phony indignation of his chosen candidate as Donald Trump spent the evening on Twitter and the morning on Fox News complaining that Colorado’s delegate selection process was “a crooked deal.” (If it strikes you as odd that a “news” site has an obvious bias toward a particular candidate, you might not be alone.)

The real crooked deal, and perhaps the reason that Trump and friends are so frenzied in waving around the shiny object of faux corruption, is Donald Trump’s so-called charity: According to an analysis by the Washington Post released Sunday night, 2,900 of the 4,844 reported charitable contributions by Mr. Trump from 2009 through 2014 were free rounds of golf at his golf courses. Others were such things as “175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals and 11 gift certificates to spas.”

Higher-valued “charity” included conservation easements granted on property he owned — likely to have been conditions of receiving permits for land development. According to thePost, not a single item of charity in the “93-page document compiled by the Trump campaign” is a “cash gift from Trump himself.”

At the risk of playing into Mr. Trump’s distraction from the faux-charity bombshell, let’s return to the Centennial State:

Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:

Extortion Won’t Finance Trump’s Wall

On Tuesday, in an unsuccessful last ditch effort to revive his flagging hopes in the Wisconsin primary election, Donald Trump posted to his website a plan to “compel Mexico to pay for the wall.”

The heart of the plan is to threaten to amend federal regulations so that the Department of the Treasury can demand compliance by money wiring services with the Patriot Act’s “know your customer” banking regulations.

Illegal aliens who use these services would not be able to provide documentation that meets the standards required by the regulations and would therefore be unable to remit money to their families in Mexico, an amount estimated by the World Bank at about $24 billion in 2014.

You might think that the plan represents a level of cleverness beyond what we’ve seen from the Trump camp before. But lest you think that The Donald has suddenly had a fresh new idea, a proposal for “remittance status verification” was actually brought to the U.S. Senate, in slightly different form as S.79, in January 2015 by Senator David Vitter (D-LA).

Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:


Electability is not a four-letter word

If the average of recent polls showing Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton by more than 11 percentage points is correct, you’d have to go back to Ulysses Grant’s 1872 thumping of Horace Greeley to find such a landslide.

Even recent elections that we think of as utter domination (1980 – Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter by 9.7%, 1988 – George H.W. Bush over Michael Dukakis by 7.7%, 1996 – Bill Clinton over Bob Dole by 8.5%, 2008 – Barack Obama over John McCain by 7.3%) pale in comparison to Trump’s looming loss to Clinton.

Perhaps the comparison to 1872 is particularly apt as Grant, running for re-election, carried a whiff of corruption and scandal (which turned into outright stench a few years later) but won an overwhelming victory against a famous but unappealing challenger who ran, literally, as a Liberal Republican. In 2016, we face the spectacle of an utterly corrupt, national-security-risking, professionally incompetent Alinsky-loving rape-defending shakedown artist and liar trouncing the current front-runner of the FGOP (Formerly Grand Old Party) who has a lifetime full of holding liberal policy positions.

From time to time, “conservatives” tell me that my consideration of electability — who has the best chance of winning the general election — is misplaced and I should focus more on principle. Then when I do (as I always do anyway), and write that, for example, I can’t support John McCain, they tell me that the most important thing is beating the Democrat and I should vote for any candidate, no matter how flawed, who has an “R” after his name. They can’t have it both ways.

Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:

Fifty Seconds

Fifty seconds. A little more than one second per dead body. That’s what President Barack Obama spent opening his Tuesday morning press conference from Havana, Cuba, reacting to the death of at least 30 human beings and injuries to at least 230 more in two coordinated terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Fifty seconds.

I suppose you’ve got to keep on schedule when there’s a baseball game to get to, right?

The “move along, folks” attitude following another Islam-perpetrated catastrophe perfectly befits this president, the same man who on November 5, 2009, gave a “shout-out” and spoke about “an extremely productive (Tribal Nations) conference” for nearly two minutes before addressing that morning’s massacre of American servicemen and women by Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood.

Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:

Three Cheers for Free Trade

Donald Trump and his fellow liberals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are lambasting free trade as the scourge of the American working man. How odd it is that an economic activity so beneficial to almost every American, indeed to the vast majority of the human race, suffers such attacks with only half-hearted defenses raised by politicians who should know better and economists who do know better.

I stipulate: in trade, as in any economic endeavor, there are losers in the short run. Capitalism is, after all, fundamentally a system of creative destruction. But if there is any area of agreement among economists of all political stripes — a group among whom finding agreement is exceptionally difficult given their unique decision-making anatomy — it is that free trade provides large net benefits to the societies that engage in it, even if other nations do not lower trade barriers to the same degree.

Furthermore, the benefits of trade accrue in large measure to the lower economic echelons of society in an extension of Schumpeter’s profound observation that “the capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within the reach of factory girls in return for steadily decreasing amounts of effort.”

Allow me to offer a few quotes (emphasis added) from one prominent economist, at the time a professor at an elite university, who was lamenting the poor understanding of international trade in the United States:

Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:

Trump's First Really Bad Week

It was an ugly weekend for Donald Trump — his first in a primary election season that for Republicans has been somewhere between a surprise and an embarrassment. Not only did Ted Cruz win two of Saturday’s four primaries and caucuses, trouncing Trump in Kansas and Maine, but Trump barely beat Cruz in Louisiana and Kentucky. Trump consistently underperformed polls going into the contests.

There was not a great deal of polling for these elections, but here are the results as compared to the RealClearPolitics average of polls in each state, with each candidate’s numbers representing his percentage of the vote received:

Kansas (caucus): Cruz 48.2, Trump 23.3, Rubio 16.7, Kasich 10.7 (Cruz +25 over Trump).
Average of two recent polls: Trump +9, meaning Cruz beat the polls by 34 points.

Kentucky (caucus): Trump 35.9, Cruz 31.6, Rubio 16.4, Kasich 14.4 (Trump +4 over Cruz).
RCP only had one poll on this race: Trump +13 over Cruz meaning Cruz beat the poll by 9 points.

Louisiana (primary): Trump 41.4, Cruz 37.8, Rubio 11.2, Kasich 6.4 (Trump +3.5 over Cruz).
Average of three recent polls: Trump +15.6, meaning Cruz beat the polls by 12 points.

Maine (caucus): Cruz 45.9, Trump 32.6, Kasich 12.2, Rubio 8 (Cruz +23 over Trump).
There was no poll of this race, but I’d bet money that a poll would not have shown this result, not least because Trump recently received the endorsement of Maine’s Governor Paul Le Page.

Donald Trump’s response was to say he wanted to “take on Ted one on one,” and that Cruz should have done well in Maine because “it’s very close to Canada.” Trump also opined that Cruz cannot win California, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania — which may well be true, at least as long as other non-Trump candidates are in the running — and he called for Marco Rubio to get out of the race.

Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:


Our dog is missing!

If anybody has friends in Gilpin County, in the area of Roy's Last Shot, Lump Gulch, Snowline Lake, Gold/Quartz roads, etc., could you please ask them to keep an eye out for our missing dog? Her name is Luna. She's a blue-merle colored corgi with one blue eye and one brown eye. She's extremely friendly. Her tags may be difficult to read. She's about 15 inches long, maybe 10 inches tall, with white on the tip of her tail, and gray/white/tan fur. My e-mail is rossputin(at)rossputin(dot)com

If anybody happens to find her or hear of anybody else finding her, please let us know as soon as possible. She's really part of the family and we're incredibly sad...


Person Trumps Party (or why I'll NEVER vote for Donald Trump)

I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was, after all, a Republican Party event I was speaking at…

I recently had the privilege to be the keynote speaker at the Douglas County (Colorado) Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner. “DougCo,” a large suburban and rural county south of Denver, is, in percentage terms, even more Republican than the famously conservative El Paso County which contains Colorado Springs, Focus on the Family, the Air Force Academy, and the enormous Fort Carson U.S. Army base.

As someone who values fundamental principles highly (and not because marijuana is legal here), I’m reasonably well known — at least to those who listen to my radio program — for my opposition to the candidacy of Donald Trump. And so I was pleasantly surprised when my request for a show of hands caused but one single arm to go up in support of Mr. Trump. (Perhaps 60 percent of the room supported Ted Cruz and almost all of the rest were for Marco Rubio.)

I continued my remarks, focusing on the tremendous anti-liberty direction our nation has taken in recent years and on the phenomenon that is the rise of Bernie Sanders. I explained that wealth redistribution is theft even if a majority of people vote on it. I pointed out that so many politicians campaign on outcomes rather than principles, and discussed the end-justifies-the-means approach that has long characterized Progressivism and which explains their explicit disdain for the Constitution.

Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:

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