Everest: The Highest Gamble

It’s time to Break It Down!

Francis Bacon was the 1st Viscount of St. Alban, an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, and author. He served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. In 1625 he publish his third book of essays, entitled, Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall. In Chapter 12 of this edition, Bacon framed an aphorism, a version of which is still used today:

If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.”

Today, the related phraseology we hear most often is, “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” When Francis Bacon coined the phrase, the first recorded instance of its use, he set it in context.

“Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers, for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed.

Instead of being befuddled, perturbed, or embarrassed, without missing a beat, Mahomet pivoted, and uttered the phrase referenced above…

If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.”

Bacon, called the father of empiricism, was popular both during life, and after his death. He considered his Essays mere recreations of his other studies, though his contemporaries yielded them critical acclaim. In fact, one 19th century literary historian, Henry Hallam, wrote of them:

“They are deeper and more discriminating than any earlier, or almost any later, work in the English language.

The Essays were translated into French and Italian during his lifetime. The 1999 edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations includes no fewer than 91 quotations from his various Essays. That’s more than an adequate set up for Sir Francis Bacon.

Today’s real conversation does pertain to a mountain, and of course to one of the aphorisms popularized by Bacon, but obviously not directly to him. Instead this is a discourse about Mt. Everest and the array of individuals who have been, and who may be in the future, drawn to scale it…or to attempt to do so.

Everest is located in the Mahalangur Himal section of the Himalayas, which is in northeast Nepal and south-central Tibet (China) extending east from the pass Nangpa La between Rolwaling Himal and Cho Oyu, to the Arun River. It is the tallest peak in the world, and has been measured at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. The current official height as recognized by China and Nepal was established by a 1955 Indian survey and later revalidated by a Chinese survey in 1975. In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. Waugh chose the name in honor of his predecessor, Sir George Everest, disregarding Everest’s objections.

As the tallest mountain in the World, Everest is like a video game character festooned with a target on its back, or as the dynamic Janet Jackson put it in her Standard, That’s The Way Love Goes, “Like a moth to a flame.” And, just like that moth, too often, the result will be tragic. The next line is the song is “Burned by the fire.” On the positive side roughly 5,000 people from all around the world have successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest. However, by the end of the 2014 climbing season at least 265 people died trying to reach the summit, and/or just as important, descend.

Avalanches alone have killed 35 people in the last two years, including 16 in one day in 2014. At least one person has died trying to climb Everest every year since 1900. Now, the 2016 count of individuals who did not survive their effort to climb Everest commences. At least four people have died on the mountain since last Thursday.

In the words of geographer and climber Jon Kedrowski, who successfully reached the summit in 2012, “Everest is a mountain of extremes. At altitude, the body deteriorates on a certain level.” In 2012, the year Kedrowski reached the summit, 10 climbers died. April 2016 was the first month of climbing since all ascent was stopped after a catastrophic earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015 and the avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas in one day in 2014.

The four deaths over the past week have rattled climbers who are just starting their descent as the climbing season comes to an end. April and May are the months most attempts are made due to there typically being less wind. Wind or not, the temperature is always a factor, ranging from -31 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

And yet, the climbers just keep coming. Over 400 individuals challenged Everest during this season. According to the director of Nepal’s National Tourism Department, Sudarshan Dhakal, the total included 288 foreigners and over 100 Sherpas and guides. That is more than the average of previous seasons. The two-year hiatus undoubtedly created an element of pent up demand for the experience. As a result of the weather related interruptions, 2016 was the first time in two years any one reached Everest’s summit.

On four consecutive fateful days, beginning last Thursday, “Like a moth to a flame,” four brave souls were “Burned by the fire” of Everest. May their souls rest in eternal power and peace! In their honor, see a summary of their individual stories below:


Phurba Sherpa – An Everest crew member, Phurba fell to his death. He was 25-years old and had been working to fix a route near the summit when he fell. The Sherpa people are an ethnic group from Nepal who have lived in the high altitudes of the Himalayas for many generations. They serve as guides and their local familiarity and experience has been invaluable, especially for foreigners trying to climb Everest.


Eric Arnold – A 36 year-old from the Netherlands, he died at night while heading back down after succeeding in reaching the summit on Everest. It is believed he had a heart attack. Eric was a triathlete. While the cause of his heart attack has not been determined, one of the key steps in preparing for an Everest trek is to consult a physician for a full evaluation and screening to detect any pre-existing conditions. When high altitude is the goal, cardio, rather than strength, is the emphasis.


Maria Strydom – A 34 year-old Australian woman, Maria began suffering from altitude sickness. She reached Camp IV, the final camp before the summit. She was unable to climb any higher and a rescue attempt failed to reach her. She had a high altitude cough and acute mountain sickness, which can mean headaches and shortness of breath. These are common symptoms among Everest climbers. Maria had aspired to climb the tallest peaks on all seven continents. Before taking on Everest, she had climbed Denali in Alaska, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey, and Kilimanjaro in Africa. A finance professor at Monash Business School in Australia, she died before she could descend to Camp III.


Subash Paul – A 44 year-old, died of altitude sickness. He was part of a team of four Indian climbers and four Sherpas. The team also had two other members go missing Saturday night. It is believed that the weather deteriorated suddenly and resulted in the team losing direction. According to Nepalese officials, a helicopter search was not possible because the climbers were too high up the mountain.

Of the four casualties noted above, three died chasing a dream; the fourth fell to his death helping them. All four were in effect, “Like a moth to a flame…Burned by the fire.” Rescue efforts are still underway for two missing climbers. The death toll presents a chilling reminder of the enormous hazards Everest poses, even for the most experienced of climbers.

As moths are innately drawn to the light of the flame, we humans, as a species, are drawn to the challenge, thrill, and exhilaration defined by our individual beings. For some, it is Everest. I for one surely can’t even begin to explain it, but that’s a moot point. Those who feel the yearning do what they must. Some folks go to Vegas, and role the dice. Mountain climbers of the highest order go to Nepal and Tibet where they challenge Everest: The Highest Gamble!”

I’m done; holla back!

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HB2: Not In Our (NC) Bathrooms!

It’s time to Break It Down!

In the world according to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, the dastardly liberals of America conspired to create an issue specifically designed to ensnarl NC Republicans who, by the way, were at the time operating blithely in their own orbit doing harm to no one, in a gaggle of tawdry sensationalism and controversy. In my altogether at variance view, that is truly the stuff of fairytales.  IJS!

So how did we get here? On Monday, February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council voted by a 7-4 majority to pass a measure granting transgender people the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. As passed, the law was scheduled to take effect in April. The idea was thoroughly reviewed and discussed by members of the City Council.

The law banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in housing and places of public accommodation. The most controversial and hotly debated provision of the law permits transgender residents to choose restrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify.

Other so-called bathroom bills have sparked pointed debates in local and state governments across the country in the last several months. En masse, supporters view such bills as a preservation of the dignity and safety of transgender individuals. Alternately, opponents see the measures as opening the door for sexual predators to gain access to bathrooms of the opposite sex. As an aside, it is worth noting that while there is no history of rogue predatory transgender stalking and assaulting unsuspecting members of the opposite sex, the concern (at least among conservatives) is real, and must be addressed, accordingly.

The resulting debate in general has been particularly heated when restrooms and locker facilities in public schools are involved. As it were, the Charlotte measure does not include schools, but that fact does not remove the element of contentiousness from the conversation. In fact, the fervor may be somewhat more heated as the City’s Democratic Mayor goes head-to-head with a man who is a former Republican Mayor of the City, and the state’s current Governor.

Charlotte’s Mayor, Jennifer Roberts speaking after the passage of the law, said:

“I’m pleased that Charlotte has sent a signal that we will treat people with dignity and respect, even when we disagree.”

North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory was already on record expressing concern that provisions allowing transgender people to select bathrooms based on their gender identity poses a threat to public safety and warned that state lawmakers could step in to negate the vote. After its passage, he addressed the Charlotte measure directly, writing to Charlotte City Council Members (The Mayor votes only in the event of a tie):

“This action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate State legislative intervention which I would support as governor.”

That is precisely what the General Assembly and the Governor did. After a one-day special session of the General Assembly, Governor McCrory signed North Carolina House Bill 2, or as it has become known familiarly, HB2, on March 23, 2016. The law not only overturned Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance, but also included provisions that exclude LGBT people from protection.

The reaction across a wide spectrum of not so Right Wing elements of America was swift and steady. From planned business relocations to concert cancellations to conventions pulled to events, and hotel bookings scrapped, cancellations began to emerge on a regular basis, and continue even now. Almost right out of the gate Bruce Springsteen cancelled a North Carolina engagement. Since then Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam, Boston, and 98 Degrees canceled appearances. Just yesterday Itzhak Perlman nixed a scheduled concert.

By April 18, or less than a month after the State’s action, the Raleigh Visitors Bureau reported the loss of an estimated $28 million in potential spending. By the end of April, the Asheville Tourism Leader estimated that 7 groups had pulled out, accounting for over $1.5 million in estimated losses. Charlotte, Wilmington, and High Point, among others, also reported lost events, relocations, and revenue.

The Kellogg Foundation pulled a Retreat scheduled for Asheville, Architectural Digest pulled a Spring Party from High Point, the City of Wilmington lost an Architecture Conference, Cirque du Soleil canceled, the Community Transportation Association of America scratched plans, PayPal opted not to fulfill a relocation to Charlotte, and Lionsgate pulled a new Hulu film, also slated for Charlotte.

In response to the pulsating economic dissonance that has resulted due to the imposition of HB2, Governor McCrory conceived a creatively novel response. He contended, and in fact continues to posit that despite the fact he personally urged the General Assembly to take action against Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, and even though his GOP colleagues pulled this rabbit out of their top hat after only one day’s legislative work, and notwithstanding the Republican members of the General Assembly having drafted and pushed HB2 through both Chambers without the presence of a single Democratic Senator, and totally discounting that he signed HB2 less than 12 hours after its introduction, and forget about the fact he has passionately defended HB2 daily since its inception, the Governor argues, with a straight face, that liberals are to blame for HB2. In fact, according to the New York Times:

Governor McCrory said he suspected that “the entire matter had been orchestrated by Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, to give Democrats an advantage in a tight governor’s race.” According to the report, the Governor used the word “Orwellian” twice, in describing the matter.

If you are counting at home, the City of Charlotte kicked things off with an anti-discrimination ordinance. This action was countered by the State of North Carolina issuing a drive by, I mean, one-day legislative response that came to be known as HB2. After a series of cancelled concerts, conferences, business relocations, and other events, the Justice Department entered the fray by suing the State of North Carolina. That action led to Governor McCrory filing a counter suit.

In the balance, the feds offered to relieve the State of $billions in federal funding. The State GOP has characterized this as an unprovoked threat and insists that the mere suggestion constitutes intimidation and overreach by the federal government. The matter has gained attention throughout the country and abroad. I am not at all sure how the matter will play out when all is said and done. I do believe both sides are attempting to extract a measure of leverage out of the proceedings.

By depicting North Carolina as a victim of an overzealous Federal Regime, intent upon stealing, or at least influencing, a tight Governor’s race, the Right is attempting to both engender a sympathetic reaction from conservatives, and jumpstart a robust funding stream, and huge voter turnout in November. Undoubtedly, the left would like to activate an empathic response of its own.

Many of my friends and associates believe it’s just a matter of time before the conservative faction, after putting up “the good fight,” will recognize that it is over matched, come to its senses, and concede. While that would be an outcome many would view as logical, it’s not what I expect. I think the NC GOP, much like the Trump-led national Republican Party is bound and determined to take down every aspect of what they consider Obama’s Democrats, or fight to the bitter end, and if necessary, go down trying. To that end, I believe they have said, in effect, HB2: Not in Our (NC) Bathrooms!”

I’m done; holla back!

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Fact Free Universe: The Quintessential Trump Advantage

It’s time to Break It Down!

In his 1984 tragicomedic novel God Knows, Joseph Heller asserted “The truth is whatever people will believe is the truth. Don’t you know history?” Over the course of the past eleven months, the 2016 Presidential Campaign has unfolded all across our beloved country, from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, from the mountains to the valleys, and from sea to shining sea. During that time both Parties have experienced what by historical terms must be considered unconventional races.

There are a number of reasons both races would be deemed unusual by almost any benchmark or analysis. On the Democratic side of the Aisle, the aspect that stands out most (at least to me) is that the principal challenger, in fact the only one remaining, to the presumed favorite is a Democratic Socialist, by his own appellation. After victory in last night’s West Virginia Primary, he reiterated his intentions to compete all the way to the Democratic National Convention, July 25-28, 2016, in Philadelphia. He insists that he has a challenging but existent path to catch the frontrunner, flip Super Delegates, and win the nomination. While the math suggests it’s improbable, Alexander Pope noted in, An Essay on Man, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”  Small though it may be, I suppose he has a chance.

On the opposite side of the Aisle, the Republicans have had, arguably, an even more unconventional contest. It began with seventeen candidates that were considered viable, and gradually winnowed down to one. The sheer volume of candidates, in and of itself, makes the contest “different,” but there are other aspects as well that tend to stand out. When looking at the group as a whole, the success of non-politicians, and the total rejection of the so-called political class in general, and of the Party Establishment in particular is in a word, astonishing. However, besides those delineators of difference, the thing that stands out most to me on either side is the apparent creation of a fact-free universe by the GOP frontrunner.

In the March 13 Edition of Politico, in an article entitled Trump’s Week of Errors, Exaggerations and Flat-out Falsehoods, the magazine makes the case that Donald Trump is a veritable truth avoidance machine. This was a month ago, and several weeks before Trump was elevated through a series of convincing Primary wins to the GOP’s presumptive nominee status. The magazine in effect fact-checked a week’s worth of Mr. Trump’s verbal stump speech stylings. This amounted to 4.6 hours of speeches and press conferences from North Carolina to Missouri.

In summary, what they found was more than five dozen statements deemed mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or just flat out false. These were deemed material that would not have made it into one of the magazine’s stories, or in some instances would have lead to scuttling a story altogether. According to Politico, it amounted on average to roughly one misstatement every five minutes.

So with that in mind, I will focus on a single example of Trump spin, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I specifically selected that topic because there is a historical record, which I will use to underscore the premise captured in the title, and to re-emphasize the point so forcefully made by Politico.

Here is Mr. Trump attacking Secretary Clinton last week on her lack of personal depth of knowledge on trade issues, and more importantly, her husband’s role in the bill’s passage and enactment:

“She doesn’t understand trade,” Trump said after his win in Indiana forced Sen. Ted Cruz to drop out of the race and all-but cemented the nomination for the real estate mogul. “Her husband signed perhaps in the history of the world the single worst trade deal ever done. It’s called NAFTA.”

In the world according to Donald Trump, Bill Clinton is totally responsible for the “scourge of NAFTA.” It’s as oft repeated as any of his fantastical assertions. It appears to be swallowed by the masses, certainly by Trump World, hook line & sinker. There’s only one small fact-riddled problem with the claim. It’s really not true…or at the very least, it is a misleading characterization.

Trump’s assertion makes NAFTA sound like Clinton’s idea, and a Democratic-led bust. In fact, George Herbert Walker Bush negotiated and subsequently (admittedly) ceremonially signed NAFTA. December 17, 1992 (before Clinton took office). It’s time to Break It Down! December 17, 1992 (before Clinton took office). In fact, just as important, when legislators ratified the bill, more Republicans than Democrats in both Houses voted for the measure:

The bill passed in the House: 232-200, with support by 132 Republicans & 102 Democrats

November 18, 1993

The bill passed in the Senate: 61-38 with support by 34 Republicans & 27 Democrats

November 23, 1993

There is no denying Bill Clinton did support the measure, and he ultimately signed it. However, as you can see clearly from the evidence above, NAFTA’s passage was not only a result of bi-partisan support, but drew it’s initial energy from a Republican President, and was passed with more GOP than Democratic support in the both the House and the Senate. The bottom line is President Clinton didn’t negotiate the bill, and a majority of Democrats in both Houses of Congress voted against it.

This makes it at best a misleading attack, and at worse, another example of Mr. Trump promoting an argument sans media, and up to this point, GOP rival’s pushback. It is my hope the Democratic opposition will do better. All-in-all, just more evidence that Trump’s campaign has existed and operated in the realm of what I have coined a “fact-free” universe.

How is it possible for a responsible media to not push back, with fervor, on such a bogus narrative? Full-throated ramblings of this nature are just one element of what has allowed the Trump phenomena to eat its own and position it to do the same thing to Democrats if left unchecked.

It is fair to say, Democrats have their own issues, and we do. The Party is still sorting them out. I believe there is inherent danger in relying upon the perceived demographic advantages the Party holds to carry the day in the fall General Election. In the end, victory will be predicated by turn out. If the Party is splintered, Team Trump is certainly capable of running roughshod over whomever emerges from the Democratic side. If he is permitted to dissemble and/or assert falsehoods, without resistance, he will continue to create his own reality, absent facts.

By the way, his “self-funded” campaign seems to be headed out the window too. I’m not sure whether to characterize that evolving development as simply misleading, or a case of bait and switch. Perhaps Republicans will take note.

I have a very good friend who insists Trump will not win in November. Alas, the most sobering of caveats follows his confident sounding assertion. “If he does,” my friend insists, “We will get what we deserve!”

I absolutely do not believe I got what I deserved in 2010, nor in 2014, when Democrats stayed home in bourgeoning droves, while Republicans first gave us the Tea Party, then took the Senate in consecutive midterm elections. Instead, I felt abandoned by folks who lost their vision regarding the importance of exercising their franchise at the most critical of times…and then rinsed and repeated the damaging action four years later. A Trump victory in November would leave me no less underwhelmed, disappointed, and feeling bereft. Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware)…Fact Free Universe: The Quintessential Trump Advantage!”

I’m done; holla back!

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The People (of the GOP) Have Spoken: Donald Trumps the Field

It’s time to Break It Down!

I never doubted last night would come. I have suggested for months that the assorted efforts to deny Donald J. Trump the Republican nomination for President, some by Party heavy-weights, others by Party mavens from GOP Christmas’ past, and most by the 15 other men and one woman who challenged him for the mantel of Party Leadership would all in time come to naught. Last night was zero hour of D-Day for the obliteration of the Never Trump Movement, the bewitching hour for what in effect amounted to the Lose with Cruz Circus, and most importantly, the dawn of the age of Trump as the quintessential Leader and mouthpiece of the modern day Republican Party. To Quote Drake (a Canadian, in honor of Ted Cruz) and Future, “What a Time to be Alive!”

Mr. Trump spent fourteen years as the executive producer and host of the NBC reality show The Apprentice. He has spent the last eleven months honing and aligning his business and entertainment-centered shtick to politics. Today marks the first day of the rest of his political life. Welcome the Twilight Zone of American politics.

Despite my certainty that today would arrive, I was not necessarily looking for it just yet. I gave some thought as I sat down to write about focusing on #WHCD, better known as the White House Correspondents Dinner. President Obama did his usual superlative job as he put his cool, refined, and well-timed comedic chops on display in that annual format one last time. Most frequent watchers of the event conceded, of his eight cuts at the mic, Saturday night was not at the top of the list, and yet, at least from my point of view, he still slayed.

Of course if POTUS’s comedic barbs were more pointed, potent, and targeted than those of the featured comedian, Larry Wilmore, host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, Mr. Wilmore still managed to create the evening’s seminal moment…that thing which viewers were talking about the next day, and the next, and the day after that. In wrapping up his commentary, he recalled a time when he was growing up and the poignant question was “Could a black quarterback lead an NFL Football Team?” Then he pivoted to today, when a black man is the leader of the free world. Well-played.

The duality captured in those two very personal memories, juxtaposed against one another might have made for the perfect ending. In fact, a lot of Mr. Wilmore’s critics wish he had done exactly that and stopped right there. Instead he made a fleeting reference to “keeping it 100” (AKA the current vernacular for “keeping in real”), and then declared speaking directly to POTUS, “Yo Barry, you did it my…followed by a variation of the N-word…you did it!”

The Twitterverse lost its collective mind. Immediately! Many people whose opinions I respect skewered Wilmore. In general, they contended it was disrespectful of the man and of the office. They argued that and much more. I should add all the folks to whom I am referring were black. As is customary, when the N-word pops up on the radar, particularly when uttered by a person of color, black folks tend to dutifully police our own. That is not to suggest white folks did not weigh in; they did. Rather, for the purpose of formulating, reviewing, and assessing “my” opinion, I choose to address the various centers of black thought on the subject.

The topic is rife with possibilities, but there are really only two or three key points from Saturday night. First, to borrow a phrase from the political discourse, there is the Never N-word contingent. This group believes the word should be buried (the NAACP actually did that years ago, but the term had its own Easter and folks resurrected it…probably in three minutes in stead of three days), and never used again. Alternately, the Term of Endearment crew is the group that most frequently challenges the Never N-word contingent. Folks in this set believe the N-word can and possibly even should be used…in its proper context, which of course is to convey affection…or endearment. Finally, as it relates to Saturday night, the President, White House correspondents, and a national TV audience, there are those who believe, even as a term of affection and/or endearment, the high profile nature of the event certainly precluded referring to the President of the United States in that way.

My take on this is fairly simple and direct. The #WHCD features a comedian in the cleanup spot. Comedians who get the opportunity to land that gig endeavor to touch a lot of bases, but no matter who is President, of what Party he (so far) is affiliated with, they make every effort to be edgy. If you saw the show you know at the end of his remarks, President Obama dropped the mic. It was a fitting gesture for his last go-round after eight years. Well, whether you like it or not, Wilmore, in what amounted to his benediction, closed out the evening with an affectionate tribute to the President, while simultaneously ensuring that parishioners (attendees and the TV audience) would be discussing his message long after the service (show) ended. Was it a hokey (or should I say Trump-like) grab for ratings via controversy? Probably. Did it minimize or otherwise divest the Leader of the Free World of any power, prestige, or cash in hand? I certainly don’t think so. Did President Obama handle it just as nimbly as he did his own witty remarks? Yes he did. That’s enough for me. As they say in gymnastics, Mr. Wilmore “stuck the landing.”

Back to GOP politics, the suspense ended early last night. By 7:30 p.m. CNN had declared Donald Trump the winner in Indiana, yesterday’s sole contest. Before 9:00 p.m. Senator Ted Cruz raised the white flag of capitulation using these words:

“We left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got but the voters chose another path. So with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

The dominoes continued falling after that…quickly. By 9:05 p.m. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump would be deemed the presumptive nominee:

Reince Priebus


‪@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive ‪@GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating ‪@HillaryClinton ‪#NeverClinton

9:05 PM – 3 May 2016

10,122 10,122 likes

Shortly after that it was Trump time. He admitted that he did no expect the turn of events to happen last night. Nevertheless, he managed to get through, what amounted for him, a short victory speech. In it he attempted to make his first effort to unite the Party, praising Cruz as, “one tough competitor, a smart tough guy.” That might even be viewed as an opening to invite an endorsement from the Texas Senator. Of course given Trump’s scurrilous attacks on Cruz’s wife, and as late as yesterday, his father, the question of a Cruz endorsement of Trump may remain an open one, indefinitely.

The man of the hour wasted no time in pivoting to Hillary Clinton, however. He said she would be a “poor President,” doesn’t understand trade, and he lamented the “deep carnage” wrought by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), ratified during the Bill Clinton presidency.

The anti-Trump movement, despite the sentiment expressed in Chairman Priebus’ tweet, served notice that it was still alive, even if on life support. Katie Packer of Our Principles PAC had this to say:

“There is still time for Trump to continue to disqualify himself in the eyes of voters. We continue to give voice to the belief of so many Republicans that Trump is not a conservative, does not represent the values of the Republican Party, cannot beat Hillary Clinton, and is simply unfit to be President of the United States.”

Down the Primary ballot, Governor Kasich said he’s not leaving the race. John Weaver, his chief strategist, said:

“Tonight’s results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans. Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention.”

With the already ineffective resistance softening even more, it is all but a certainty that Donald Trump will obtain the requisite 1,237 Delegates. By 9:30 p.m. (Eastern) last night, Trump had been assured of 51 of Indiana’s 57 Delegates. With 97% of the votes counted, Trump led with 53.3%, followed by Cruz at 36.7%, and Kasich with 7.5%. That pushes Trump’s total to 1053, or framed differently, 184 from the goal. With only Kasich, who is effectively running fourth in a two-man race (behind two former candidates, Cruz and Rubio), and token opposition from anti-Trump groups between him and the 1,237, and with the RNC finally solidly in his corner, Trump is all but home free. No surprise here. The People (of the GOP) Have Spoken: Donald Trumps The Field!”

I’m done; holla back!

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