Trump wants to make it easier to sue for libel when the media hurts his feelings

The GOP in Houston (Zuma photo via WSJ)

Donald Trump can dish it out but he can’t take.

In Fort Worth Friday he called for shredding the First Amendment and making it easier for thin-skinned politicians like himself to sue newspapers and others who criticize him by telling the truth.

Apparently with a stroke of his presidential pen or a call on the phone — but not an iPhone because he is boycotting Apple — he plans to “open up libel laws” to make it easier and more profitable to sue the media.

Never mind that the Supreme Court in N.Y. Times v. Sullivan held: “A State cannot, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, award damages to a public official for defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves “actual malice” — that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false.” But Trump never lets case law or the Constitution get in the way of one of his rants.

Here is a bit of what Trump had to say as reported by Real Clear Politics:

I’ll tell you what, I think the media is among the most dishonest groups of people I’ve ever met. They’re terrible. The New York Times, which is losing a fortune, which is a failing newspaper, which probably won’t be around that much longer, but probably somebody will buy it as a trophy, keep it going for a little longer. But I think The New York Times is one of the most dishonest media outlets I’ve ever seen in my life. The worst, the worst. The absolute worst. They have an agenda that you wouldn’t believe. And they’re run by incompetent people. They are totally incompetently run. Washington Post, I have to tell you, I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence and I got to tell you, we have a different country than we used to have. We have a different — He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.

And one of the things I’m going to do, and this is only going to make it tougher for me, and I’ve never said this before, but one of the things I’m going to do if I win — and I hope I do and we’re certainly leading — is I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So that when The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected. You see, with me, they’re not protected because I’m not like other people but I’m not taking money. I’m not taking their money. So we’re going to open up those libel laws folks and we’re going to have people sue you like you never got sued before. We have many things to do. We have many, many things to do.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal, who Trump has threatened to sue for pointing out his utter ignorance on various topics, said in an editorial today: “Ripping the press is old political hat, but it’s not every day that a potential President promises to use government power to punish critics. This follows his attack earlier this week on the Ricketts family of Chicago for donating to a Super Pac that has criticized him. ‘They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!’ he tweeted. Does he plan to sic the IRS on them?”

Trump is little more than a bully who can’t take the insults he is so frequently and vilely dishing out.

Now Trump has been caught in still another lie. He claims he can’t release his “beautiful” tax returns because he is being audited. NPR, among others, checked with various authorities and found there is nothing stopping him from releaseing his IRS form, whether he is being audited or not. Perhaps, he fears the embarrassment of the voters learning he is not such a fabulous and successful businessman after all.

Marco Rubio also caught Trump in being two-faced on immigration. As that WSJ editorial points out, despite his railing about illegal immigrants taking American jobs, he is one of those hiring those illegals.

“According to a New York Times report, some 300 Americans have applied or were referred to work at Mar-a-lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, but 94% were turned down,” the editorial notes. “The resort filled the slots with foreign guest workers. Mr. Trump explained there aren’t enough ‘qualified’ Americans to go around, especially in season, and that without these foreign workers ‘you hurt your business.’ Wait a minute. That’s our argument for immigration reform and more legal immigration. Mr. Trump fails his own immigration test.”

Rubio also challenged Trump on hiring illegal Polish workers for a demolition project in New York and paid a settlement for doing so, but it is under seal. He uses the courts to hide his misdeeds. On stage he just stammered, denied and called everybody in sight liars.

George Will writing in Investor’s Business Daily notes that born-again conservative Trump is really running to the left of Bernie Sanders by promising, without any substance or details, to take care of everybody.

“Donald Trump, unencumbered by any ballast of convictions, would court Bernie Sanders’ disaffected voters with promises to enrich rather than reform the welfare state’s entitlement menu — Trump already says, ‘I am going to take care of everybody’ — and to make America great again by having it cower behind trade barriers,” Will writes.

Train wreck.


Time for everyone to gang up on Trump tonight

Trump endorses Romney in 2012 (Getty Images)

The Republican presidential debate tonight in Houston, prior to next week’s Super Tuesday in which 12 states make their selections, may be the last chance for the serious candidates to gang up on the swaggering, bragging, epithet-spewing clown who is actually winning so far, Donald Trump.

In an ironic twist, Trump is now calling the party’s 2012 candidate Mitt Romney dumb because he dared to suggest that Trump is not releasing his federal tax returns because they contain a bombshell — reminiscent of Harry Reid falsely claiming Romney had not paid taxes in a decade. As is his usual demeanor, Trump, who endorsed Romney in 2012, the year Trump registered as a Republican after many years as an independent, tweeted this measured response, “Mitt Romney, who was one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics, is now pushing me on tax returns. Dope!”

Trump earlier called for the firing of The Wall Street Journal’s entire editorial board because it called for him to release his tax returns early and avoid the problems and suspicions caused by Romney’s lateness in doing so. He also threatened to sue the newspaper if it did not apologize for noting his lack of knowledge about foreign trade. The paper didn’t apologize.

Perhaps, if all the candidates on stage tonight start pricking at The Donald’s incredibly thin skin he will collapse into the quivering heap of dangling nerves, crying like the “soft, weak, little baby” that he earlier called Ted Cruz.

Maybe Ben Carson should suggest that Trump release his medical records, especially the records from his shrink.

Marco Rubio should, as he did recently, challenge Trump on his support of ObamaCare and complete lack of foreign policy knowledge. Trump, who doesn’t know the difference between Kurds and Quds, thinks the U.S. should not defend Israel and should be neutral.

Ted Cruz should continue to attack Trump as being dangerously mercurial, prone to temper tantrums, rudderless on political philosophy. He should continue to ask: “And if Donald does win the general election, who knows what the heck he’ll do as president?”

Trump is a cipher who is selling himself as the solution to whatever ails the country by being the brilliant manager — more like dictator.

Nevadans sweep wide to the left

If there were such a thing as a three-sided coin, Trump’s clownish mug would grace the third side. (Ramirez cartoon from IBD)

“If the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds … its policies would most definitely reflect the ‘legitimate concerns’ of children to have ‘adequate’ and ‘equal’ access to ‘free’ french fries, lemonade and videos.” ― Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy–The God That Failed

By my calculation 118,000 Nevadans have just voted for avowed Marxist socialist Bernie Sanders, socialist-lite Hillary Clinton or epithet-spewing, land-grabbing, socialized-medicine-advocate, liberal Donald Trump. That’s 100 percent of the Democrats who voted in caucuses Saturday and fully 46 percent of so-called Republicans who voted in the Tuesday evening caucuses. (Actually, not really caucuses at all because 90 percent of the people stood in hours-long lines, marked their paper ballots and went home without ever discussing the candidates with their neighbors in their precincts.)

Only 40,000 Nevadans actually voted for people who espouse conservative views and values — that breaks down statewide to 75 percent, compared to 25 percent.

So much for the Trump ceiling. Trump got more votes than Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz combined. Doubtlessly some of those handful of Jeb Bush votes even went to Trump, as would some of those Ben Carson and John Kasich votes when they drop out.

Only the voters in Lincoln and Elko counties gave a plurality to Cruz, but Trump finished second in both of those.

Trump has already won in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The CNN poll prior to Tuesday gave Trump 45 percent of the Nevada GOP vote. He got 45.9 percent.

In the 12 Super Tuesday states next week, Trump leads in all save Texas and Arkansas, according to Real Clear Politics. His delegate count is building rapidly with half of Nevada’s now in his pocket. Can anyone catch him?

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Iowa. That is a scary assessment of both Trump and his supporters.

The November ballot could be frightening to face.






Anybody but Trump

Trump speaks at the South Point. (R-J photo)

Tonight’s the night. Nevada Republicans caucus to pick their choice for a presidential candidate.

According to the latest CNN poll, Donald Trump is the choice of 45 percent of the state’s likely GOP caucusgoers, trailed by Marco Rubio at 19 percent and Ted Cruz at 17 percent, with Ben Carson and John Kasich in single digits.

Trump’s support appears to be up from the 36 percent in a CNN poll in October — at which time I asked: “What the hell are you thinking?” In an editorial this past week, I pointed out that Donald Trump has never been and is not a Republican. His core political philosophy is: Whatever is good for Donald Trump — everyone else be damned.

In fact, Trump is nothing more than a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton. He jumped into the race shortly after a phone call from Bill Clinton in which he reportedly told Trump, according to the Washington Post, “that he was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives and was a rising force on the right.”

A WaPo source described Clinton as “upbeat and encouraging during the conversation, which occurred as Trump was speaking out about GOP politics and his prescriptions for the nation.” Trump has given money to the Clintons’ campaigns and their foundation.

Cruz speaks in Summerlin (R-J photo)

The lede photo and story in today’s Las Vegas newspaper was of and about mainly Trump. Of course, the quotes from Trump’s South Point rally were strictly name calling, boastful promises and vague one-liners without substance or specifics — such as saying of ISIS, “We’re going to knock the hell (out) of them.”

On the Nevada section cover of the paper, columnist John L. Smith — under the hed, “Trump putting on huge act as conservative” — ranted about “America’s fascist Fabian,” who entertained the crowd with his “self-aggrandizing and increasingly popular Gorgeous George routine.”

Smith slammed ridiculous Trump with sharp ridicule that ended with a lament:

The list of those Trump has gone out of his way to offend is extensive (I apologize if I’ve left you out), but along his campaign’s Borscht Belt circuit he has denigrated women’s looks, former POW U.S. Sen. John McCain, Mexicans, a disabled New York Times reporter, the Chinese, the French, a billion or so followers of Islam and Pope Francis.

Just telling it like it is, his followers shout. He’s not politically correct! Yeah, Chauvinism! Go, hate speech!

Trump isn’t a candidate. He’s a comb-over Mussolini.

And it seems to be working.

Then he concluded with this pun on Trump’s gimme cap slogan: “For now, our fascist Fabian is making America grate again.”

Over on the editorial page, the editorial, for the third time I think, made a strong endorsement for Rubio, whom Smith had just called “inexperienced.”

The editorial said Rubio “has strong conservative credentials, but he also has the ideas and charisma to bring independents and moderates under the GOP tent on Nov. 8,” even though he was a member of the Gang of Eight and has been more willing to compromise than Texas’ former solicitor general and U.S. Supreme Court clerk Cruz, who is unwavering in conservative principle and won Iowa, though he opposed corn ethanol subsidies. Trump said those subsidizes put people to work.

But, anybody but Trump.

Even the paper’s Bernie Sanders-supporting socialist columnist called out Trump, even though Trump is more like Sanders than an actual Republican. He called Trump “a television entertainer who’s managed to tap into a deep vein of voter frustration over Washington, D.C. gridlock and what Trump claims is a politically correct culture that silences real debate. (Translated, of course, that means the God-given freedom to insult anybody you want, from immigrants to the handicapped to the media to women to politicians and Washington lobbyists.) Seriously, when you have the pope calling out your schtick, you’ve really got to question your life choices.”

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has said of Trump:

Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.

That’s the reason his harebrained ideas — barring all Muslims from entering the country, a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, government-provided universal health care through “a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people” (why didn’t I think of that?) — have received such relatively little scrutiny. No one takes them seriously. His actual platform is all persona — the wonders that will emanate from his own self-proclaimed strength, toughness, brilliance, money, his very yugeness.

The National Review devoted an entire edition to conservatives bashing Trump.

The New Times today has a piece pointing out that Trump is a political zero in New York, noting: “The major banks, for their part, say they are leery of lending to him after having lost millions of dollars on past deals. Lawyers and contractors he has hired in the past say he is slow to pay his bills, and often shortchanges them. Even the few Wall Street executives who say privately that he is a friend are loath to speak publicly about him.”

Lest we forget: Trump has called himself a liberal and said the country is better off when Democrats are in the White House.

He recently advocated a universal single-payer health care system similar to Canada’s and what Sanders proposes.

Trump has proposed huge tariffs that would set off a trade war and kill jobs.

In the Reno newspaper he wrote a piece calling federal ownership of federal land an impediment to economic development, but when asked at a Las Vegas gun show about federal land being relinquished to the states, he said, “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. … I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”

On education, after once calling Common Core a disaster, he then said Common Core is here to stay, but now says it has to go.

Trump  calls for deporting everyone residing here illegally but then letting the decent and law-abiding ones back in. We get stuck with the bill coming and going.

“I think eminent domain is fine,” he has said, specifically referring to the Kelo court decision that let communities grab private property from one person to give to a company that might generate more tax revenue. He tried to use eminent domain to grab a woman’s home so he could build limousine parking for one of his casinos.

He supported Obama’s bank bailouts and ruinous and futile stimulus spending.

Since earlier calling for longer waiting periods and tougher background checks before one might purchase a gun, he now claims to be a staunch defender of the Second Amendment.

The Tax Foundation calculates that Trump’s tax proposal would increase the federal government’s deficit by $10 trillion.

Anybody but Trump.

Rubio at the Silverton today. (R-J photo)


Editorial: Stop giving high-tax states an IRS deduction

We have long advocated making the IRS sales tax deduction permanent, instead of having to renew it every year or so, because Nevada is one of only nine states with no state income tax to deduct, which has been deductible practically from the start of the federal income tax in 1913. It’s only fair.

Actually, the fairest thing to do would be to eliminate all itemized state and local tax deductions for IRS taxes, because residents of high-tax states — mostly run by tax loving Democrats — get to deduct a disproportionate share. This causes low-tax states — and Nevada still ranks nearer the bottom despite recent tax hikes — to essentially subsidize the higher-taxed states by paying a greater share of federal taxes.

Although it has been tried before — by Ronald Reagan in 1986 — in this election year a number of GOP presidential candidates are including in their tax reform packages elimination of state and local tax deductions.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson all have proposed repealing this tax break, while Donald Trump, as usual, is vague on specifics.

The Heritage Foundation has estimated that dropping this deduction could allow the federal tax rates to be reduced by as much as 12.5 percent across the board.

Nevadans — along with residents of New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming, Texas, South Dakota and Alaska — get to deduct about 1 percent or less of their adjusted gross income, while those who live in New York, Maryland, D.C. and California deduct more than 5 percent.

Not surprisingly, The Wall Street Journal reports that all of the top 10 high-tax states voted for Obama, while most of the lower-taxed states voted for Mitt Romney, with Nevada as one of the exceptions. Nearly one-third of the cost of the repeal would be borne by Californians and New Yorkers, both heavily Democratic states.

“If marginal tax rates were reduced in a revenue-neutral and distributionally neutral manner, the more than 70 percent of taxpayers who do not itemize would face lower combined federal and state income tax burdens,” write Heritage researchers Rachel Greszler and Kevin D. Dayaratna. “Additionally, this could lower overall taxes for some taxpayers who itemize but who have relatively lower incomes or live in lower-tax states.”

They concluded that the deductions subject federal tax revenues to the whims of state lawmakers and largely benefit wealthy taxpayers and those in high-tax states.

“The rationale for it is that since state and local taxes reduce individuals’ after-tax income, the income used to pay those taxes should be excluded from federal taxation. …” Greszler and Dayaratna write. “In practice, however, the deduction allows states to raise taxes higher than they otherwise would and has significant perverse distributional impacts, redistributing income from the poor to the rich and from people in low-tax states to people in high-tax states. Despite some efforts to eliminate it, the deduction for state and local taxes remains one of the largest deductions in the federal tax code.”

Using 2010 statistical data from the IRS, you find Californians who filed for state and local income tax deductions claimed deductions of $10,700 per return. Nevadans who filed for the state and local sales tax deduction claimed only $1,430 per return.

Calculated on a per capita basis, Californians claimed $2,116 in federal income tax deductions, while Nevadans claimed only $166 per person for sales tax deductions.

A version of this editorial appeared this past week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record. It ran as a column in the Elko Daily Free Press.

Editorial: Where the presidential candidates stand on public land issues

Basin and Range National Monument (R-J photo)

With the Nevada presidential caucuses just weeks away we are offering readers a glimpse into the stances of the candidates on a key issue — federal public lands control.

For the Democrats there is not much choice.

Bernie Sanders has not taken a stance on letting states and counties have a greater say in public land use, but he has called for raising grazing fees and prohibiting logging and oil drilling on public land.

Hillary Clinton during a press conference in Las Vegas a couple of months ago said the country should preserve federal public lands and add even more.

“We certainly should not be giving in to this ideological argument from the right that we need to put more public lands into private hands,” she exclaimed. “I don’t agree with that.”

On the Republican side, most have called for some level of privatization of federal lands.

The exception is Donald Trump, who was asked at a gun show in Las Vegas recently about whether he would support relinquishing federal land control to states.

“I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do,” he replied. “I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold.”

While John Kasich has been silent on the topic all the other Republican candidates have expressed some degree of favor for transferring control to states and/or privatizing.

As a senator from Texas Ted Cruz voted in favor of an amendment to facilitate the transfer of public lands to the states. In 2014 he also offered an amendment to a bill that would have prohibited the federal government from owning more than 50 percent of the land in any state.

Rand Paul has also said federal lands should be transferred to the states. He has met with Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and expressed sympathy for his plight.

“You run into problems now with the federal government being, you know, this bully — this big huge government bully,” Paul has said. As a Kentucky senator he introduced a bill to give states more power under the Endangered Species Act. It failed.

Like both Cruz and Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio supported an amendment to facilitate the transfer and sale of public lands.

He also backed transferring control of federal energy resources to the states. “This common sense bill will empower states to develop our domestic energy resources responsibly and effectively,” Rubio said. “Ensuring states have more authority in our nation’s energy development will help keep energy costs low, create jobs and grow our economy.”

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina in a recent newspaper interview said, “The federal government does a lousy job of managing forests. The private sector does a much better job of managing forests. The federal government controls too much land in this country.”

Retired surgeon Ben Carson also has expressed the need to allow more local control of the lands. “We the people of the United States are the only ones capable of preventing uncontrolled government expansion and abuse,” Carson wrote in a column in the conservative National Review. “Like the ranchers in Nevada, Americans must find the courage and determination to maintain a free and vibrant nation.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, during a speech in Nevada, said he favored more development of oil and gas exploration on federal lands. “One of the real challenges in the western states is that energy in those areas is often not able to be explored,” he said.

Huckabee also said something is wrong when the federal government can put “a gun in a citizen’s face and threaten to shoot him” over a cow eating grass.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has called for moving the headquarters of the Interior Department to the West.

“I think these lands have to be managed in a true partnership,” Bush said during a speech in Reno in October, noting that public lands “should be viewed as something that creates economic activity, can create cultural values, create wins for citizens and residents of the West.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while not addressing directly privatization of federal land, has been a strong advocate of privatizing public services such as parks in his state.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has supported transferring or privatizing public lands. “We need to get it back into the hands of the states and even to the private sector,” Santorum told an Idaho newspaper. “And we can make money doing it.”

A version of this editorial appeared this past week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record. It ran as a column in the Elko Daily Free Press.

Krauthammer sums up the incoherent barstool eruptions of Trump

You can probably wait and read it Sunday in the Las Vegas newspaper, but why wait?

Charles Krauthammer’s column in today’s Investor’s Business Daily offers his take on the three-way race for the GOP coming out of the Iowa caucus.

Though the theme of the column is bemoaning the media’s obsession with whether the various candidates are establishment or anti-establishment, his best lines describe the clueless meanderings of Donald Trump:

(Ted) Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.

That’s the reason his harebrained ideas — barring all Muslims from entering the country, a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, government-provided universal health care through “a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people” (why didn’t I think of that?) — have received such relatively little scrutiny. No one takes them seriously. His actual platform is all persona — the wonders that will emanate from his own self-proclaimed strength, toughness, brilliance, money, his very yugeness.

I have no idea what yugeness is either but an online search turns up a number of references to the term describing Trump or his crowds of glazed-eyed followers.

Krauthammer concludes that, despite the “establishment” wrangling and mangling, Republicans are picking conservatism over Trump’s brand of populism by 2 to 1 — when you add Marco Rubio and Cruz’s vote tally of 51 percent and compare that to Trump’s 24 percent — which he says bodes well for the GOP’s chances of survival as the party of Reagan

Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at a recent debate. (Polaris/Newscom photo via IBD)

When a pollster calls there’s no time for debate


WSJ grafix

Nevada, like Iowa, conducts a caucus, not a primary.

Perhaps, like Iowa, the pollsters don’t have the best read on the outcome.

The Des Moines Register poll released just prior to the caucus — described as generally the most accurate — gave Donald Trump the lead with 28 points, followed by Ted Cruz with 23 points and Marco Rubio with just 15 on the Republican slate. Hillary Clinton was expected to best Bernie Sanders by 45 to 42 points.

When the smoke cleared Cruz came out on top and Rubio only trailed Trump by a single point and Clinton and Sanders were virtually tied. The Wall Street Journal subscribers can view a graphic with comprehensive results, that also show the delegate count. (Not to spread fear for the future of this country, but … socialist Sanders, according to WSJ entrance poll, won 84 percent of the 17-29 year-olds.)

Telephone polls are more like primaries, where you go into a booth and make a selection and go home. In a caucus, people actually talk to each other and can point out to supporters of Trump that he is an epithet-spewing, snarling bully who has never met a fence he couldn’t straddle.

He has contributed as much money to Democrats as Republicans, including Harry Reid and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

He strongly favors using the government power of eminent domain to take property from a private property owner to give to rich real estate developers like himself.

He backed a single-payer health care system, saying, “I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better,” but now says he opposes ObamaCare.

He has criticized the NRA for balking at gun restrictions, but doesn’t say that now.

He was for privatizing Social Security, but not now.

He opposes giving Western states greater control of federal public lands.

He announced his candidacy shortly after getting a phone call from Bill Clinton.

As in Iowa, the latest Nevada poll by Gravis shows Trump leading here with 33 points compared to 20 for Cruz and 11 for Rubio. But perhaps that will change once people start talking to each other about where the candidates really stand on the issues.

The Nevada precinct caucuses later this month will elect delegates to county conventions, where delegates to the state convention will be picked and that’s where delegates for the national conventions this summer will be selected.

The Democrats caucus at noon on the 20th and Republicans on the evening of the 23rd at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the location.

Republicans must be registered with the state by Feb. 13. Republicans may preregister for the caucus at

Democrats may register the day of the caucus. Information can be found at


Oh great, an election where the choice is the lesser of five evils

Washington-Post-ABC News poll shows Americans have considerable trepidations about all the presidential frontrunners in both parties, but especially for Donald Trump. Fully 69 percent say the idea of a president Trump makes them anxious.

Of the other Republican candidates, 49 percent are anxious about Ted Cruz as president, while 48 percent say the same of Marco Rubio.

 Of the Democratic hopefuls, 51 percent are anxious about Hillary Clinton being president, compared to 43 percent for Bernie Sanders.
In fact, 51 percent are “very anxious” about a Trump presidency:
wapo poll
Can Trump win with those negatives?
Here is the full poll results.

When the circus comes to town, the media beat the drums


It used to be that newspapers made a pretense of being fair and equitable in the coverage of candidates for the same office — except, of course, for fringe candidates.

In this age in which ratings and polls are paramount that apparently is no longer the case.

Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio were stumping for the Republican presidential nomination in Las Vegas Thursday, but the morning paper gave the bulk of ink and display to Trump, leaving Rubio as a mere afterthought.

Trump — a television personality who bankrupted at least four businesses and has yet to articulate a clear or consistent stance on much of anything — warranted a photo and headline above the banner on the front page referring to story and photo on the cover of the B section that took up half the page, as well as being being the topic of two columns. U.S. Sen. Rubio was relegated to 2B with a smaller photo and a shorter story.

The Sun insert in morning Review-Journal carried nothing, of course, but online there is a dominant photo and headline on Trump’s appearance on the Strip along with a refer line to story on Rubio in Summerlin.

Much of the R-J news story was devoted to Trump bragging about his own popularity and snide comments about other candidates and the media. It prominently mentioned the crowd estimate of 1,600 and ending with a toss way line noting Rubio also was in town Thursday.

The only quote from the candidate in the Rubio piece was: “Never in my lifetime has the political class been more out of touch with reality than it is right now. … If we keep electing the same kind of people, nothing is going to change.” The story estimated the crowd was 500, but a Rubio email piece today places the crow at 1,200. Frankly, I doubt the community center room has that capacity.

The latest polls show Rubio in fourth place with less than 10 percent and Trump in the lead with more than 20 percent.

Though Rubio trails Trump in the polls perhaps the more telling number was the campaign contribution report that came out Thursday but was not mentioned in the paper. Rubio gathered in only $6 million, half of what Ted Cruz collected. Trump brags about self-funding.

But perhaps it is a little early to be effectively declaring the winner in print.

A 2011 New York Times series recounted what has happened to early front-runners in past elections. Here are a few examples:




Here is how the R-J displayed the Rubio story: