Three down, two to go

Speaker Greg Stumbo’s Majority is dwindling in Kentucky.  It was 54-46, but then, after the 2015 gubernatorial election, a Louisville Democrat changed parties.  Gov. Matt Bevin appointed another House Democrat to his cabinet, and yesterday gave one of the plums at his disposal, a $125,000 a year workmen’s comp judgeship, to yet another House Democrat.   Stumbo’s down to 51.   Two House Republicans also took appointments, so there will be four special elections.  I’m not sure when they’ll  be, but it’s pretty obvious what Bevin is doing.  I’ll wager there are at least two more House Democrats who are pondering their future.  When Stumbo assured his members, after Bevin’s election, not to worry, because Hillary Clinton would be coming to their aid, I doubt it had the intended effect.  Odds are even that Stumbo’s gone in the next few weeks.  Another target state for the Task Force.  All we’d need is the green light from Bevin, and we’d get Kentucky.  This is what our sponsor, Rep.DeCesare told me, and I think he’s right.

I’ve been saying all along that Trump, Carson and Fiorina were media candidates, meaning they were created and are sustained by media coverage.  My buddy Nate Silver at went out and proved my point.  O. K., Nate’s not my buddy, but I have to admit the stuff they’re producing at 538 is very valuable and persuasive stuff.  I make light of number crunchers only because I’m not one.  But crunching numbers only you gets you part way there.  If you’re good at politics you see things coming before they show up in any poll.  Take Jeb!, please.  As a politician, I knew he didn’t have a prayer, even though he was ahead in the polls last spring.  Those polls meant absolutely nothing but name I.D.  Period.  They weren’t worth the paper they were written on.  Bush 3 never had a prayer.  You gotta smell the zeitgeist, dude.

The best thing about the debate last night was the tone  —  relatively civil, especially  between the Cubans and Trump.  This is very important.  Stay civil, by all means.  The highlight, for me, was Cruz saying he’d get Donald to pay for the wall, and Trump laughing right along.  I want these two guys to be buddies.  How smart is Cruz?  Trump calls him a bit of a maniac, and Cruz tweets back the song of the same name, and does it with a smile on his face.  That’s smart.

In fact, the more I think about Cruz the smarter this guy looks.  He knows he needs Florida, and that Rubio could get it for him.  So when he’s asked about the Libyan debacle, he attacks it, but he doesn’t call Rubio out on it.  He could have easily thrown in a shot about Rubio’s support of it, but he didn’t.  He’s not going to get nasty with Rubio.  And Rubio, no dummy himself, will reciprocate.  I feel like a boxing referee, giving instructions to the fighters  — no low blows, no rabbit punches.  Now shake hands and come out fighting.

Natalie Hill, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s daughter, sang the national anthem.  Boy, was his election a sign of things to come.  If he’d lost, the D’s would have still had 60, enough to fix some of the obvious flaws in the Obamacare bill they’d previously rammed through the Senate.  But when they lost their cloture proof majority, they had no choice.  They were stuck with an unworkable piece of garbage, but they swallowed hard (at B. J. Clinton’s urging) and figured they’d get it to work somehow.  Wrong.  Thanks, Scott.  Your career was short, but you accomplished more than some lifers ever do.

That anthem was the nicest part of the debate.  Seeing the nine candidates, good Americans all, hands over their hearts, singing or whispering along, with all the American flags everywhere.  Over in Europe they look at that and say, Those people are weird.


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