When Bryon York writes about Trump blowing up the GOP orthodoxy, he’s not writing for Trump followers or the millions who are interested in and may vote for Trump. He’s interpreting the substance of Trump’s still strong showings for a hostile Republican establishment audience. And he’s doing it with wonky academic references – like Broockman and Ahler’s Stanford study – that show that Trump has a so-called uncanny instinct for the issues. So is Donald an evil genius? Or does he actually mean what he says and aims to do something about the problems he feels are plaguing America? And does his vantage point as a media-savvy personality and a long-time businessman and developer help him hit the target?

Maybe Trump is just stubborn and does mean what he says. On immigration and on taxes, for example, he confronts the GOP orthodoxy and lays it to waste. At least for his audiences who love it. And they love it because they’ve felt the same way as Trump for a long time. And on taxes, he is sure to infuriate Wall street and anyone who’s looking for tax relief as a way to unlock innovation and investment. But we’re not in the late 70’s and even if Harry Reid is as unloved as Ted Kennedy – at least by Republicans – the desperate need for tax relief, as evidenced back then by proposition 13, is not bubbling under the surface, ready to erupt. In other words, higher taxes on the wealthy – and there are various ways to define wealthy – seems to play well with a majority of Americans. Does it play well with a majority of GOP voters? Or put another way, would a policy proposal to raise taxes on wealthier Americans doom Trump’s nomination? York quotes a CNN poll that shows GOP voter confidence in Trumps economic stewardship way ahead of others, like Jeb Bush.

So is York Trump’s Will? As in George Will – no fan of the Donald needless to say – and his role in interpreting Reagan’s bold changes for a wide television audience thirty odd years ago. Will York convince the GOP establishment to take Trump seriously? It’s hardly the case that Byron was cheering for Trump at his announcement, but he seems to have become convinced that it’s what Trump says that is just as important as who he is. Both Trump’s tone and his content resonate with voters. Now all Donald needs is for Byron York to convince the GOP establishment to lay down their heavy artillery and start taking him seriously. Whether York even wants to accomplish that is doubtful, but many in the GOP top ranks seem to have been trying to will away Trump from the campaign stage, like a grumpy old-fashioned investor grimly holding onto his naked short on a tech stock in 1995. That investment policy, of course, was a great way to lose everything. In 1995 at least. It worked marvelously, however, some 5 years later. Willing away the Donald may be a losing trade, at least for the next year or so.

According to Marco Rubio “Ultimately the Republican Party will reach out to all voters based on who our nominee is”. He was speaking in Orford, N.H. in front of an autobody shop to a small group, but he was thinking big and added that “Americans have every reason to be optimistic about the future.” Two things that stand out in Rubio’s measured response to Trump, compared to the head-on bashing that Rand Paul – who is even lower in the polls than Rubio – has engaged in when trying to take on Trump and shine a little light on himself. While optimism has always been a part of America, current anger over what is seen as an erosion of the values that gave birth to America and her deep seated faith and hope in the future, needs a conversation on how to ensure that those values are not lost rather than sunny generalities. That conversation can include disagreements but it has to deal with the issues that spark conservative anger. This anger does not ignore optimism; it is a warning cry that the grounds for that optimism are being squandered.

And more importantly perhaps, is the phrase ” the Republican Party will reach out to all voters based on who are nominee is”. As if the GOP were a charity that dispenses it’s generosity on a wide range of pleading voters who are begging the party to please, please include me in your rhetoric. The reality is voters will decide whether to support the GOP candidate based on who that candidate is. And to suggest, as Rubio does, that you better have a candidate with a broad appeal who will bring in a diverse sample of voters on election night, is to ignore the fact that voters always have the option to just stay home. Especially when the nominee does not speak to their concerns. And as the polls show, GOP voters overwhelmingly feel Trump is the one speaking to their concerns. You can try to acknowledge the fact while disparaging them as “inchoate” as W. James Antle III recently did in the Washington Examiner. And no, most people have not read Hayek, but they don’t need a PDF of one of the Austrian economist’s articles to know that the debt is unsustainable and that people’s economic decisions and prices of goods and services are perverted by government incentives and subsidies. In other words, whether slightly snobby like Antle, even as he interprets conservative voters for the benefit of other wonks, or embracingly condescending like Rubio, they ultimately treat conservative voters with scant respect, all the while worrying about them. The only one who does respect their views – whatever his hair, whatever his past mistakes or former policy proposals – is Donald Trump, who in fact really does seem to share as well as broadcast their concerns. Until that perception changes, the polls will likely continue to show Donald Trump in the lead.

Jorge Ramos – the Mexican-American Univision anchor ejected by Trump from a presser – found freedom of expression in America. He says so himself. What drove the young journalist across the border was Mexican government censorship of a news story on an investigative program on Mexican television. He landed, not surprisingly, in Los Angeles and within a few years was anchor of what would become Univsion at the age of 28. That means he was the voice of the Hispanic community in the USA, a large percentage illegal immigrants and from his home country of Mexico. He picked up a Master’s Degree in International Studies at the University of Miami and became a citizen of America in 2008. One would think he would count his blessings, having earned fame, and one imagines at least a certain modest fortune, in his adopted homeland.

The problem is that his beloved freedom of expression only extends so far. Univision depends in no small part on advertising revenue in the US market. It depends in no small part on the continued presence of millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants to provide scale in that market. Univision has been owned by a consortium since 2007. The owners are no longer very Hispanic: Saban Capital Group, TPG Capital, Providence Equity Partners, Madision Dearborn Partners, and Thomas H. Lee Partners. Univision is big business and occasionally outranks the major US networks in terms of ratings.

Safe to say, that all that invested capital (the sale was for 13.7 billion dollars) does not want to see the law applied to the 11 million plus illegal immigrants. And Jorge Ramos arrived at Donald Trump’s press conference to drive that point home. Not to engage in a debate. Ramos was not interested in any answers that Trump might have given him. And Trump seemed willing to answer his question after Ramos jumped the queue, at least for a moment or two before he lost his temper and had the anchorman ejected. And then he brought him back in and Ramos pressed his points again.

What Ramos wants is to impose silence on Trump – just like Black Lives Matter have done at Democratic rallies – rather than exchange viewpoints. That’s because amnesty is a sacred cow. Though shalt not touch it, no mater where the bovine happens to rampage. And the fact that there is a clear economic conflict of interest does not stop Jorge Ramos and his self-righteous quest to silence Trump. And that’s something Trump should have known in advance. Perhaps he does. Likely he did. But losing his temper with Ramos gives Univision just the soundbite they’re looking for. Had Trump instead answered with a Thatcher-like put down, he might have gained advantage from the exchange. He likely has already gained some advantage from the exchange, but he would have exposed Ramos as uninterested in answers and only concerned with hammering home his point that amnesty cannot be touched. Then again, maybe Ramos did that all bey himself. Time will tell.

Why is it when you retreat to a private residence somewhere to consider a run for public office – President of the U.S. in this case – it’s called “spending time in seclusion?” As if you were a convicted felon in the isolation ward? Clearly you and your staff are frantically gathering as much data as possible with emails, msg’s and phone calls filling up most of the hours of your days? Or is Joe Biden in fact meditating, dressed in loose white yoga gear and awaiting divine inspiration to indicate his time has finally come to ruin Hillary’s run, who’s time may never come?

Maybe not. But perhaps the latest Quinnipiac poll – which show him doing as well or better than Hillary in a head-to-head with Trump in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – will provide some encouraging numbers for him to chew on. Maybe he really is secluded from much of the noise out there. It has not been an easy year personally for the Vice President, and he had better be sure whether he wants to run. But the groundswell of support for a Biden run is growing and the numbers are suggesting those who support his possible candidacy may be on to something.

As a christening of his almost-to-be-announced campaign, he’s received a critical article in the New York Times over his key support for 1994’s Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act. Those opposed to the so-called mass incarcerations prevailing in America want Biden to make good and say sorry for supporting a bill that is tough on enforcement and prioritizes stiff sentences in the punishment of crime. At least those the NYT bothered to interview, including #Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. So everyone is waiting, with ebullient poll numbers and sharpened knives. And we haven’t even heard from Hillary’s camp yet. Joe Biden has a lot of Democrats, and others, waiting on his word.

It’s helpful to remember that Watergate started slowly and slowly built momentum, a momentum that eventually ended with Nixon’s resignation. And that the existence of the tapes was not revealed until over a year after the initial burglary attempt on the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the long-famous complex in D.C. It took over 2 years of revelations, resignations, refusals and firings, with Nixon’s political isolation and even paranoia finally bringing the saga to a series of swift events – the Supreme Court ordering Nixon to turn over the tapes and the House Judiciary Committee passing the first of 3 articles of impeachment in late July 74, and then Nixon resigning on August 8, 1974. Nixon was re-elected by a landslide in November of 72 after the FBI – through the Washington Post – revealed that his re-election campaign had involved spying on opponents.

Perhaps it’s the similarities in the rhythm of events that encouraged Bob Woodward to state on camera that Hillary’s emails reminded him of the Nixon tapes and if and when finally released and analyzed in their totality, they would reveal an interesting portrait of the former Secretary of State. “This has to go on a long, long time; the answers are probably not going to be pretty,” he stated summing up Watergate in more ways than one. That means a long road ahead for Trey Gowdy as his persistence earns him the criticisms of Democrats. Surely Nixon thought of Watergate prosecutors as engaging in a witch hunt, and whether one feels Hillary’s actions relating to Benghazi are equivalent to the spying campaign endorsed by Nixon is really beside the point. Procedures that are curious and questionable, and perhaps illegal must bear the uncomfortable light of a thorough investigation. Especially when related to a disastrous foreign policy event in a region of the world that is now falling prey to the worst forms of islamic terrorism the world has witnessed. Things went badly wrong in Libya, and they are going badly wrong elsewhere in the Middle East, and questionable actions by the Secretary of State are from being irrelevant. Time will tell how right Woodward is, and more importantly, what the emails – all of them – reveal.

Ricardo Blanco is a civil engineer, a Cuban-American born in Madrid a few short months before the Paris spring and its communist-led student riots in 1968. He is also a professor and a poet who has famously read his unreadable “One Today” at Obama’s second inauguration. He now will read another poem at the flag-raising ceremony at the embassy in Havana. Ricardo Blanco also happens to be gay and his poetry has been criticized by the muck-racking John Dolan as identity poetry “unsullied by one single stray thought or original turn of phrase.”

Had Ricardo Blanco’s parents been unable to flee, first to Madrid, then to Miami, and had Ricardo Blanco grown up in Fidel Castro’s Cuba, his being gay would have been a problem. His being a poet would have been a problem had he written anything original and un-bowing to the communist party line. Perhaps he realizes this, as his parents were anti-Castro exiles in Miami. Perhaps he realizes how fortunate he was to grow up in America and reap the bounties of its awesome generosity. Perhaps as the Cuban band plays John Phillip Sousa tunes to warm up the audience – I am watching the live feed as I write this – in the hot and humid Havana climate, he will be grateful for the freedom offered him by the Stars and Stripes and the Republic for which it stands, as he sees it raised in the re-opening of the American Embassy.

Whether his poem actually uses the word “freedom” – the band is now playing what is called “son” that’s Spanish – is another matter. One doubts he will actually use that word and instead paint a painfully detailed and trivial pastiche of what has divided America and Cuba and what will unite America and Cuba, using those 90 miles of open sea as a painfully long and drawn out metaphor. Maybe he could use one word instead: freedom. As in what divides the two countries. That simple and that powerful. But that wouldn’t make much of a poem. And we wouldn’t need Ricardo Blanco and his poem at the embassy opening.

According to the New York Times, Jeb Bush is the GOP candidate most likely to win the nomination. And if not Jeb, then Rubio who’s 2nd most likely, or Scott Walker who’s 3rd most likely. It’s still about the money primaries – or the invisible primaries – according to the NYT. Polls matter, but fundraising and endorsements are what separates the likely winners from the rest of the field. If history is any guide. If 2016 eventually pans out to be a contest similar to past presidential contests.

In the NYT’s analysis of the GOP field, there are five candidates who rank 12th – that’s bad – in National Endorsements, while varying greatly in polls, and money raised: Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki. In terms of money raised, Carson is at 9, Jindal at 10, Fiorina at 13, Trump at 14, and Pataki at 15. Trump leads in the two polls, Iowa nad New Hampshire, while the rest are all over the map as far as poll numbers go. That means the GOP establishment is not about to start supporting any of them seriously until they are convinced they can win. Or the GOP establishment in fact does not always do that good a job of picking winners and they just don’t like outsiders who they haven’t rubbed shoulders with. With GOP voters still largely waiting to decide, perhaps the national endorsing crowd should broaden their perspective a bit.

While Jeb Bush leads the NYT’s overall ranking of the 4 variables: National Endorsements, Iowa Poll numbers, New Hampshire poll numbers, and Money Raised, it seems a little early to declare Jeb Bush as the inevitable winner, to put it mildly. The fact that Rubio is sitting cute, cuddly, and pretty at number two reflects his very strong fund-raising efforts and his comfortable mid-level rankings in the other 3 variables. How Scott Walker comes in 3rd behind Rubio is a bit of a mystery, seeing he is well ahead of the Florida senator in every category except fund-raising where he is just one point behind Rubio. And just behind Walker is Carly Fiorina, whose numbers are worse than or are even with Donald Trump’s but leads him anyway. Maybe this is all about the NYT guessing who the GOP wants to win the nomination. Maybe the GOP wants a nominee who the NYT would, if not endorse, at least not attack mercilessly. And maybe, the money and endorsements will wash over the wave of conservative anger and the GOP will resume doing business as usual in D.C. Any outcome at this point, is pure speculation.

The late Allan Bloom in his seminal work, The Closing of the American Mind, released 28 years ago, described the two revolutions that have divided the world for over two centuries now: the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Both occurred within a few years of each other. American support for the French Revolution was divided and America had to display a cautious neutrality as the French Revolution became ever more radical and spread conflict throughout Europe. While America’s revolution gave rise to a republic that encouraged individual endeavor and a constitution that respected local government and individual liberties, the French revolution led to the world’s first truly radical government with the Jacobian terror and a few years later the world’s first proto-fascist government with the diminutive Corsican inspiring many 20th century tyrants. And Central State Planning, with capital letters, is nothing if not French in its origin.

Radicalism, like in late 18th century France, like in the Soviet Union, like in Cuba, like in marxist guerilla movements, or radical Islamic terrorism, inevitably feeds on itself. Radicalism to justify itself, must be ever more radical, or else it’s raison d’etre (it’s fitting to use French) c’est finit. Because the American republic has such a solid constitutional foundation, radicalism in America diffused out into social progressive movements based on gender, sexual orientation, and race of course. The Weathermen became academics and mentors to a future president, and the Black Panthers eventually dispersed as well. And a rainbow, if you will, of social activists took up the language of liberation theory without the guns and bombs.

It is not at all ironic then, that it was precisely Bernie Sanders who radical Black Lives Matter activists targeted in Seattle. The revolution always devours its own; even if in Seattle it was more a case of a shouting match between self-proclaimed standard bearers and aging left-wing activists. There is clearly a problem with police forces being overly militarized, but to say it is merely a white versus black problem is a falsehood. In Baltimore the six cops charged with the brutal detaining of Freddie Gray were evenly split in terms of race. And precisely in Baltimore, a sanctioned and subdued police force have been unable or unwilling to control a rising tide of violent crime.

Black Lives Matter have to shout down and silence Bernie Sanders precisely because he is an aging fellow radical, and to be relevant they need to out-radical everyone else. At least on a theatrical, symbolic level. For now, organized armed rebellion – God forbid – has not been a part of the Ferguson protests, even as they continue to be marred by violent behavior. So shouting down Bernie is an old story – much older than Bernie himself – and one that never has happy or productive endings.

And finally, if attempts to construct and equivalency between the sparring, or twittering, in the GOP race to the theatrics in Seattle, one would mistaken. BLM wanted silent obedience in Seattle, while GOP conservatives want to be heard, and the constitution to be respected. By their elected representatives. That’s the difference between the two revolutions.

A fair bit of bytes are being spent speculating on who Carly Fiorina will force off the next primetime debate roster in Simi Valley, California. Christie and Kasich, two all-in-all moderate GOP governors are slated as likely losers, along with Huckabee, an ex-governor. While the ex-governor of Arkansas almost certainly will be off the roster, all the fuss over Christie versus Kasich – who was treated like a front-runner by the hometown crowd last week – covers up the story of another GOP candidates who, at least in the latest PPP poll, has had a steady and impressive rise in his numbers. Maybe the media got a little tired of the Great-Neurosurgeon-Who-Will-Save-America story and decided not to focus on the fact that in the PPP poll, Carson is second. Yes that means he’s the one behind Trump who has 19% while Ben Carson comes in with 12%. Will Fox news use the PPP poll to place Ben’s pulpit palpably closer to the public-attention-getting center stage? As in right next to the most-hated-candidate-in-GOP-history-perhaps who still leads the polls?

Ben Carson started the debate in Cleveland a little nervously, a little more tense than his usual steady calming presence which has been winning over voters in what seems – for now at least – a sustainable way. But perhaps his lack of political experience really showed up in Cleveland when he did not come out with guns blazing and a precise focus the way Carly did. Ben’s speaking style may not work as well in a debate format where he has to share his precious few minutes with 9 others on the same stage. His strong finish, however, may have been just enough to keep his bandwagon rolling along at a reassuring rhythm. He will need to be both precise and convincing, as well as calm and assured, in the next debate. That’s an almost impossible ask, but he has no choice but to rise to the occasion. And, if some polls are any indication, he just might be up to the task.

Erik Erickson used to be an outsider. He may still be one, in terms of Republican Party establishment standards, or he may not. Maybe the Donald the Trump versus Erik the Red(head) brawl is a case of two hardheaded rams battering each other on the slippery slope of public opinion. Maybe Erik feels Trump went too far and struck him off the Red State gathering on principle. Maybe. Critics of Erickson – mostly on the right it seems – have rushed out of the woodwork to heap opprobrium on the commentator and radio personality. And Erickson has been known to make a sexist comment or two himself.

So where does that leave the GOP when Erickson’s kids and wife have to flee a hotel room in the face of a vocal if tiny protest group? If in fact it actually played out that way. It may not be the whirwind of hate, as he phrased it, but rather the season of witchcraft. As in the accusations of evil heresy being flung against just about every GOP candidate in one way or another. It feels like conflicting schisms in the Nicean council but the sparks and the accusations fly over what someone said as much as over who they are and what they stand for. And while the comparison may seem absurdly lofty given the sweaty jabs, it does make sense. What is being fought over is the soul of the Republican party, and a raging insurrection will not be appeased with moderate reforms. They want change from the ground up and if that means tearing down a few cherished institutions, and political careers, so be it. It is a tough audience and a vocal audience of disenchanted voters, and change is being forced on an unwilling GOP establishment. So Donald may not be the one to force that change – even though one cannot rule out that possibility – but it should be clear to strategists and big-money donors that the rules are changing and that their favored candidates may find themselves accused of heresy. And, rather than burned at the stake, they are forced to the edges, literally, of the debate.

He’s big and loud and makes outrageous comments but in the primetime debate he showed some substance, even while getting into a fierce scrap. Governor Christie really does have a grasp on issues like national security, and it is unavoidable that he would have a fight with Senator Paul. A fight which both went looking for. Could Christie have avoided making it so personal? Perhaps as a former US Attorney for New Jersey he feels entitled to go gunning for Paul, but that means that most will remember the scrap and not his command of the facts on entitlements, for example. And Rand himself with his bad hair seemed angry, defensive, and frazzled. As Trump suggested he did not have a good night.

Trump was Trump, but perhaps – despite his “I don’t have time to be politically correct” zinger – his lack of substantive detail to back up his statements started to show. It’s early days and there are several debates to go, but it will be interesting to see where his numbers are in a few months. Carson got precious little time – 38 minutes without a question from the moderators – and appeared a little nervous and tense in the beginning. But he finished strong and that just might help his numbers.

And while Rubio emerged as the darling of many observers – at least those who are not Democratic strategists – he seemed just a little too young and cute. But he had the best lines of the night and held his own against all those he faced, including his mentor Jeb Bush. Which leaves the question of how the former governor of Florida performed. He seemed a little more comfortable and fluid, but had no over-reaching moment that rose above the fray. Jeb Bush is like the college professor admired by his former students: even Trump called him a gentleman and seemed to mean it. Jeb is the only candidate in the GOP field who likely knows as many world leaders as Carly Fiorina. He’s statesmanlike, experienced, diplomatic and tough. He knows everyone who matters in the establishment – both Democrats and Republicans, both DC and Wall Street – and is smart in a low-key way. What a wonderful Secretary of State he would make with say, Carly Fiorina as his boss in the Oval Office.

With senior intelligence community members’ planned rebuttal to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture slated for release in a few weeks, an interesting sideline is the battle going on in the APA, or American Psychological Association. The so-called Hoffman Report, or the Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture is as critical or more-so of intelligence gathering in a war-on-terrorism environment as the Senate Report. Within the APA they are calling for the cutting of all links between the APA and National Security interrogations. Unless the psychologist is there to assist the accused, or to witness the process in the interest of human rights. In other words: Division 19 go away.

Division 19 is the Society for Military Psychology, which exists, for now, within the APA a civilian organization. That means that it matters to military psychologists how they work and interact with their civilian colleagues. But not according to critics of Division 19 and the PENS report, the report on Psychological Ethics and National Security. Both are seen by the progressive civilians within the APA as the military co-opting the whole organization for its own ends. The PENS report is no longer an operative guideline and if the critics have their way, the military will have nothing to do with the APA from here on.

The issue is whether psychology should ever be used as a weapon. But the debate doesn’t get framed that way for two reasons perhaps: clearly psychology should be weaponized under certain circumstances, so the left within the APA would rather frame the issue as conspiratorial creeping militarism invading their grand old society; and the military seem to have decided that such a blunt no-nonsense framing of the issue would give them bad press. The APA should keep Division 19 within their fold. Because psychology is and has been a part of conflict for a very long time and needs the best and latest research to be effective in a military or conflict-based context of any kind. And because a separate, secretive Society for Military Psychology would operate beyond the pale of any civilian criticism and containment. Do there already exist such units? One would be surprised if they didn’t, given the threats from inside and from outside. But Division 19 needs to remain within the APA. For reasons of War, and Peace.