It was a strange week or so, and, like many, we are scratching our head as to who Trump thinks his opponent is, Michael Bloomberg, Paul Ryan, John McCain, or Khizr Khan?
Watching Trump throw away last week on rabbit trails was stunning. At the same time, Hillary is on message and understands who her opponent is, except she continues to lie about her emails and made the bizarre claim that FBI Director James Comey "said my answers were truthful." The Washington Post gave Hillary Clinton 4 Pinocchios given those big time lies, yet this quickly disappeared as the media frenzy was focusing on Trump.
But here is the problem, an unfocused campaign, responding to everyone who attacks him, means defeat. Remember the old political saying "if you are explaining, you are losing," and you need to be clear who your opponent is.
So, Donald, get your act together, get on message, and focus on the real battle, and ignore personal insults that don't matter.
At the end of last week, Trump went to Wisconsin and endorsed Ryan, McCain, and Senator Ayotte, and was on message about party unity and gave a good tax reform speech on August 8, 2016. We will see if it continues.
Any more weeks like last week, and the GOP is in deep trouble.
The Khan Setup: Why Did Trump Buy In?
Last week on This Week (August 1, 2016) on ABC, Trump got set up on the Khan speech at the DNC.
To be clear, Trump should have saluted young Kahn's military service and moved on and not debated a grieving father.
But just for your information, the references by Mr. Khan to the constitution were flat wrong! Of course, the major media and Democrats have ignored the facts. There is no constitutional limit to immigration based on religion.
There is an Article VI of the Constitution, but it only says no officeholder or an employee can be required to adhere to a particular religion.
The idea of banning certain people or groups from entering the country is constitutional. Heck, our former left-wing President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from the U.S. during the hostage crisis unless they were opposed to the radical Shiite Islamist Mullahs regime.
Friend Gary Bauer at Campaign For Working Families observed a few more important facts:
"Muslim Americans have volunteered to serve in the U.S. military and most have done so honorably. We owe them the same gratitude that all of our men and women in uniform deserve - no less but also no more."
"It is also a disturbing fact that a number of Muslims serving in the U.S. military have conducted jihad and have killed their fellow service members. Most notable was Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Palestinian Muslim who murdered 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas and wounded 33 more. Muslim American naval engineer Mostafa Ahmed Awwas tried to sell information about how to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to hostile Muslim countries. There are a dozen other examples including Muslim convert Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his unit in Afghanistan.
"The disproportionate number of Muslims in the U.S. military who have engaged in atrocities that killed or threatened other U.S. soldiers highlights the challenge facing the U.S., Europe, and the entire non-Muslim world - How do you sort out the 'closeted jihadists'? Prudence and common sense says immigration and refugee policies need to be changed to make the safety of the American people, of all faiths, the number on priority. That is the Trump/Pence position. It is the opposite of the Clinton/Kaine position, which calls for massive increases in the number of Muslims brought into the United States.
Obama/Clinton Pay Ransom To Iran To Get Hostages Released, How Can We Keep These Clowns From Running Our Foreign Policy?
"Mr. Khan's hero son was killed by a Muslim suicide bomber not by Donald Trump, who did not support the Iraq war. Khan also used his moment of fame... to argue that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism... I do not believe they have the answers on how to defeat radical Islam. They aren't even willing to admit that the problem is within their own faith."
$400 million in cash ($500 euro bills non-consecutively numbered!) showed up at the same time the U.S. hostages were released, not a coincidence!
We now know the hostage release was delayed per hostage Pastor Abedini until the money showed up via an unmarked plane.
You can't make this up. We send them cash, which can easily be used to fund their terrorist friends and harm U.S. interests.
The more we learn about the Iran deal, the worse it gets.
Good reason to send Obama and Clinton packing in November.
California: Wrong Lesson For Texas' Future
Having just returned from California, it's time to ask, is this our future? Basically, at TCR we see two roads for America, the Texas road or California road.
California taxes: High taxes, sales, income, gas, property are the highest in the country.
Texas taxes: Sales, gas, and property, and only latter considered to be too high.
California roads: Infrastructure deteriorating, congestion off the charts and not handling the numbers of people living there.
Texas roads: Progress, but similar problems that need to be addressed via a Texas type solution (more on this in another article herein.)
California water: A joke. There is no new reservoir since the drought, so fresh water (rain and snowmelt) is diverted to the Pacific, and only one desalination project built in San Diego and with the only real answer being rationing!
Texas water: A water plan has passed and is moving forward. Could Texas' flood prone areas divert water from the Gulf of Mexico to be piped to drought areas of Texas and to the West, like California, at a profit for the state? Worth looking into.
California welfare: Incredibly, almost one in three of all Americans on welfare live in California. Maybe because of the generous programs.
Texas welfare: One of the lowest and is obviously better, puts people to work.
So given the big differences, what are Texas' lessons for California? Lower taxes and simplify the tax code, school reform, gut overreaching regulations, long term infrastructure planning, which also involves the private sector, and public pension reform to control runaway pension costs.
Texas Transportation: Still Much Work To Do
Living in Texas metropolitan areas, given as our economy has slowed, we all understand that the roads are deteriorating, the congestion is getting worse almost to the point of L.A. style traffic in Houston, Austin, and Dallas!
Last session, the Legislature let the voters vote for, and they did, pass a constitutional amendment which diverted certain taxes for roads. It was clear, that at $100 a barrel for oil, we would generate millions for roads and infrastructure.
The proposition dedicated a portion of the general sales tax and motor vehicle sales tax to the general highway fund. A slowing economy impacted this reducing the amount available to transfer. It's still helpful, but leaves holes in funding of the short and long term road building needs.
So we are still faced with choices (1) do nothing; (2) more toll roads, which cost users considerably more per mile than no fee roads; (3) index the gas tax to inflation and/or set the gas tax rate to be inverse to oil prices so as prices at the pump decline, the state highway fund gets additional revenue; or (4) other innovative ideas.
It's clear the status quo is not sustainable.
With Trump Poll Numbers In Decline,
Are Down Ballot Races In Texas In Danger?
Maybe to be forearmed, you need to be forewarned. Trump's decline in the last two weeks, if not reversed, could impact other GOP races.
Our concern here is over turnout. If it looks like the race is over and Trump will lose, it could discourage base voters or that traditional GOP voters are switching sides for President and then not bothering to vote down ballot. Either is a big potential problem.
What this means is clear that down ballot focused campaigns will be essential, or 2016 could be a very tough year.
Independent campaigns for down ballot candidates even if supporting the best and brightest of both parties could help with independents, which could be critical in reelecting key GOP elected officials.
TCR on the Air
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RWB is returning in September with new shows.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.