BREAKING: Donald Trump Wins Indiana

Donald Trump has won the Indiana Republican primary, CNN is projecting.

There are 57 delegates up for grabs tonight, but 27 of those are divided among congressional districts. Trump will receive at least 30 delegates, however, for winning the popular vote in the state.

This post will be updated when delegate totals are available.

LIVE: Hot Air's Ed Morrissey Previews Indiana Primary

GOP Early Exits: Indiana Is Prime Trump Territory

With the polls about to close across most of Indiana, early exits show that it’s fertile ground for Trump. According to ABC News, 60 percent want a political outsider, which isn’t bucking the trend from past primaries. Regarding illegal immigration nearly half support deportation of illegal immigrants, whereas 41 percent, on average, supported the policy. The prolonged economic torpor under the Obama administration has probably boosted voter yearning for a political outsider. In Indiana, 70 percent of voters are worried about the direction of the country, although the number for those who are angry with the government is lower than in previous contests:

Attributes: Trump’s done very well in previous primaries among those looking for a candidate who “tells it like it is” or “can bring needed change,” and more recently, those focused on electability. He’s had a hard time with those, instead, who mainly care about a candidate who shares their values. Preliminary exit poll results in Indiana point to about the typical split in the size of each group, with change and plain talk voters accounting for more than half the total.

Time of decision: Early deciders are another group to watch: Trump’s done especially well all season among voters who made up their minds more than a month ago. They account for nearly half of Indiana GOP voters in preliminary exit poll results, similar to their average in previous contests.

[…]

GOP unity: Animosity within Republican ranks is on display again. As in New York and Pennsylvania, a majority of Indiana GOP primary voters – nearly six in 10 in preliminary exit poll results – say the campaign has mostly divided the party, while only four in 10 instead think it’s “energized” it. Trump supporters are most likely to say the contest has energized the party, while those supporting Cruz are much more apt to say the party’s been divided.

[…]

Midwestern demographics: Based on preliminary exit poll results, among key GOP groups, a third are “very” conservative, six in 10 are evangelicals and a majority attends church weekly. Still, weekly churchgoing evangelicals – a better group for Cruz in the past – account for well under half of all Indiana GOP primary voters, about four in 10.

New Poll Shows Trump With Huge Lead in West Virginia

A new PPP poll out of West Virginia shows Donald Trump with a massive lead in the state over Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Trump is leading Cruz by nearly 40 points, 61 points to 22, in the latest poll. Trump is also the only Republican candidate with a positive net favorability rating.

West Virginia heads to the polls on May 10. They have 34 delegates up for grabs--22 of which are elected statewide.

PPP's new West Virginia poll finds it's likely to just keep Donald Trump's recent streak of dominant victories right on going. Trump leads in the state with 61% to 22% for Ted Cruz and 14% for John Kasich. Trump, with a 67/24 favorability rating, is the only candidate GOP voters in the state even like. Both Kasich (32/50) and Cruz (32/53) come in with negative favorability ratings. 

Adding Carly Fiorina to the ticket has done little to help Cruz. Only 12% of voters say picking her as his running ma te makes them more likely to vote for Cruz, compared to 31% who say it makes them less likely to vote for Cruz and 54% who say they just don't care one way or another. Fiorina's 40/32 favorability rating with Republican primary voters does at least make her more popular than Cruz himself.

On the Democratic side, it looks as though West Virginians are feelin' the Bern. Sanders has a 12-point lead over Clinton.

DWS: 'Of Course' Sanders Is Wrong that the Process Is Rigged

At a campaign stop on Monday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders railed against the Democratic Party’s “rigged system” which favors the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton.

“We have won 45 percent of pledged delegates, but only 7 percent of superdelegates,” Sanders reminded the crowd, proving the process “makes it hard for insurgent candidacies like ours to win.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz responded to Sanders’ rant on Bloomberg Politics’ “With All Due Respect," arguing that the senator is mistaken.

“Bernie Sanders is wrong because we have had these rules in place since 1984,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We have two types of delegates: we have the delegates that are pledged, that … represent voters based on the outcome, and then we have party leaders and other elected officials who have been in the trenches for a long time who have a role, appropriately so, in choosing our party’s nominee.”

“Because it’s never occurred that our party’s nominee has been selected by superdelegates.”

Schultz is unlikely to convince Sanders’ supporters she and the other party officials are not biased toward a Clinton nomination. Sanders only has 39 superdelegates to Clinton’s 520, despite his winning several primary contests. In other words, he and his supporters are right to be upset.

As for Democratic voters, they have made themselves clear: Sanders has a right to remain in the race. 

Mrs. Clinton, When You Tell People You’ll Ruin Their Lives; They’re Probably Not Going To Like You

The Clintons entered the Mountain State, and it was not pretty. The reception has been described as anything but fantastic. That’s probably because Hillary Clinton pretty much assured that she was going to ruin the livelihoods of West Virginians, whose communities have been centered on the coal industry. As Cortney and Katie wrote recently, the former first lady has been leading a weird, almost counterproductive, march against coal.

During a Democratic town hall event, she proudly said, “we're going to put a lot of coal miners out of business.” Former Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted that this statement was awkward, while the Cook Report’s David Wasserman said this sounded like a sound bite from a candidate who is trying to lose Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Regardless, the reception of the Clintons has been described as “lukewarm,” with her facing a “tough crowd” due to her remarks that she’s ready to take the lead in the war on coal, which began under the Obama administration. It’s got to the point where a local might receive some votes from West Virginia Democrats due to Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ remarks on climate change, alternative energy, and destroying coal (via Metro News):

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said he was “disappointed” that Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had endorsed Clinton.

In the fight for coal, “Earl Ray’s been right with us and I don’t doubt that he’s continuing to be with us. I just worry about him lending his credibility and great name and track record to a candidacy that seems to be just a continuation of what the Obama Administration’s done,” Raney said.

During a Monday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline,” Raney went so far as to name another presidential candidate for Democrats to consider during the May 10 primary election, and it was not U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), who has said, “We must make significant reductions in carbon emissions and break our dependence on fossil fuels.”

“If they’ve got to vote for a Democrat in the primary, then Paul Farrell is certainly a viable candidate,” Raney said of the Huntington attorney, 43, whose name is on the ballot.

“He knows West Virginia values. He knows what needs to happen here and he knows he isn’t going to win the national scene, but it would send an awfully good message, I think, for the people say, ‘Hey, we vote for Paul Farrell here on the first ballot at the convention.'”

Can you blame them? If this war on coal continues, West Virginians can expect their energy bills to rise 20 percent. That’s bound to torpedo home budgets, especially in communities where the cannibalization of mining jobs has decimated the townsfolk. As Cortney pointed out, it’s no wonder why West Virginians are scratching their heads over a woman, who’s already a bad campaigner, who tells them she’s going to torch their livelihoods, but also says she will fight for their interests in Washington. The Associated Press reported on a blunt exchange between the coal miner and the former secretary of state:

Hillary Clinton faced some angry voters Monday during a campaign swing through West Virginia, a state that overwhelmingly backed her eight years ago in her primary fight against then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Bo Copley, an unemployed coal worker, asked Clinton why voters should believe her pledge to help revitalize the region's economy during a stop at a health center in Williamson.

"Still supporting her hurts you," he told Sen. Joe Manchin, who joined Clinton at the small round-table event. "It's not a good outlook here."

Clinton released a $30 billion plan last fall aimed at aiding communities dependent on coal production and she's promised that her husband would focus on revitalizing the region.

Her efforts haven't been helped by a remark she made in a March interview with CNN, when she said she would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business." She was responding to a question about how her policies would benefit poor white people in southern states.

Copley asked, "How you could say you are going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend?"

Clinton called the comment a "misstatement."

"I can't take it back, and I certainly can't get people who, for political reasons or personal reasons, very painful reasons, are upset with me," she said. "I want you to know I'm going to do whatever I can to help no matter what happens politically."

She added, "Whether or not West Virginia supports me, I'm going to support you."

Oh, c’mon, lady. It doesn’t take a genius to see that $30 billion isn’t going to be enough to help these people if that is your intention. Re-sowing the socioeconomic fabric in these towns is going to take time, possibly generations. For some, it’s already too late. If the Democrats win the war on coal, 125,800 jobs will be gutted, with $650 billion in lost economic activity over a ten-year period. Is $30 billion going to be enough to make up for those losses? And this just doesn’t apply to West Virginia, but for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other coal-producing states as well. It’s insulting to think that Clinton’s “hey, sorry I screwed you over” economic package to soon-to-be ex-coal workers will be anything but adequate.

Even Bill got some jeers at a campaign rally over his wife's comments about coal (via the Hill):

“I want you to send me to West Virginia,” he said during an event in Logan, W.Va., describing a conversation with the Democratic presidential front-runner. "I want you to send me to those Native American reservations out there where those good people have nothing because they don’t have gambling. I want you to send me to any place in America that feels left out and left behind. That’s what I want to do.”

Hecklers greeted the former chief executive’s remarks with jeers.

“This is where they start screaming because they don’t want to hear this,” Bill Clinton said as the protesters apparently left the venue.

“The difference between us and them is that we listen to them,” he added.

Circling back to Hillary, what’s more disconcerting is this notion that she cares. Mrs. Clinton and her team know that the state isn’t going Democratic this year. The last time West Virginia went blue was 1996. Mitt Romney won every single county in 2012. This state has shifted more to the right since 2000, and even Republicans trounced pro-coal Democrats, like Natalie Tennant who ran for the outgoing Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s U.S. Senate seat, in the 2014 midterms. No one really trusts the national Democratic apparatus here, and they certainly do not like President Barack Obama. So, yes, there’s a primary on May 10. She has to try to win some support—and surprise, surprise, it was a total disaster. We shouldn’t be shocked if Sanders manages to win here. After all, a Sanders presidency might be the best thing for the coal industry. 

I'll close by reiterating another known fact about Clinton--she's untrustworthy. Again, she promised to deliver the death blow to coal, and now she wants it to be a thriving sector of the U.S. economy. She's a liar, though I know that's not news. But her shameless side is on display here–and it's quite explicit. Don't be fooled West Virginians - the Clintons couldn't care less about you.

2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Hoosier State Exposes Weeks of Pent Up Emotions as Cruz Rails Against Trump

Follow Townhall’s Indiana primary coverage tonight starting at 6 p.m.

The Hoosier State has produced some of the most controversial exchanges yet on the 2016 campaign trail. Knowing how important a win in Indiana is for momentum’s sake, Ted Cruz couldn’t hide his emotions this week on the campaign trail, clashing with a Trump supporter and unleashing his harshest words yet for “pathological liar” Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is crying foul over what he sees as a “rigged” Democratic primary process that has left him without a prayer in the superdelegate tally.

Republican Primary

Donald Trump: The businessman is leading by 15 points in the Hoosier State over Cruz, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. “If we win Indiana, it’s over,” he said. Trump's expected win doesn’t mean he's about to let his opponents off the hook. On Tuesday, Trump accused Cruz’s father of helping John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald after reports that he was pictured with him before he pulled the trigger. Trump also criticized Cruz for not helping Carly Fiorina back on her feet after she fell off a stage on Monday. Looking forward, Trump’s campaign is adopting a new strategy and is spending thousands of dollars in ads in Nebraska.

Ted Cruz: Cruz unloaded on Trump at a press conference in Indiana Tuesday, calling him a “pathological liar” and "narcissistic" and urging voters to “think about their children before voting for the bullying businessman. A day earlier, the senator spent several minutes trying to convince a Trump voter that Trump was not as conservative as he thinks and that he’s “lying” to them. Ahead of the tallied votes on Tuesday, Cruz’s campaign released a 2-minute web ad called “#ChooseCruzinIndiana, featuring his wife Heidi, Gov. Mike Pence, and Cruz's vice presidential pick Carly Fiorina.

John Kasich: With the entertaining battle between Trump and Cruz, Kasich has been largely left out of the Indiana headlines this week. The governor's own state of Ohio has indicated they want him to drop out of the 2016 race.

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton: Clinton’s nightmare came true on Monday in West Virginia when a laid off coal worker confronted her with the controversial coal comments she made in March. At a CNN town hall, she proudly promised she would put coal miners and businesses out of country. She is trying to escape those remarks, now claiming they were taken “out of context.” Before the primary officially enters coal country, Clinton has a competitive race in Indiana. Currently, she is ahead by an average of just 4 points.

Bernie Sanders: Sanders is still ranting about the DNC “rigged” primary process, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz insists his assessment is wrong. He is far behind in the super delegate count, but Democrats don’t want him to hang up his hat just yet. In a new poll, almost 60 percent say they want the senator to stay in the race until a potential contested convention, which Sanders is convinced will happen.

Delegate Count

Republicans

Trump - 996

Cruz - 565

Kasich - 153

Democrats

Clinton - Pledged delegates: 1,645; Superdelegates: 520

Sanders - Pledged delegates: 1,318; Superdelegates: 39

Primary Schedule

Tuesday - D/R Indiana primaries

Video: Bloomberg Warns Grads Against PC Campus Culture, Gets Booed


Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, infamous among conservatives for his nanny state and gun control advocacy, has actually been quite strong in resisting the prevailing culture of hyper-sensitivity on college campuses. In his commencement address at Harvard several years ago, he cautioned his audience against the embarrassing lack of intellectual diversity at elite American institutions, where conservatives are glaringly underrepresented. A taste of his remarks, which Mary Katharine Ham and I highlighted in our book, End of Discussion:

There is an idea floating around college campuses – including here at Harvard – that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism. Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than here in the Ivy League. In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama. Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors. That statistic should give us pause – and I say that as someone who endorsed President Obama for reelection – because let me tell you, neither party has a monopoly on truth or God on its side. When 96 percent of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer. Diversity of gender, ethnicity, and orientation is important. But a university cannot be great if its faculty is politically homogenous.

That critique was met with applause in Cambridge, as faulty members and administrators squirmed in their seats. Bloomberg took his message a step further in his speech to new graduates of the University of Michigan over the weekend, scolding students for the stifling atmosphere of habitual offense-taking, censorship, and ideological enforcement that has poisoned campuses from coast to coast -- including in Ann Arbor. For his plea in favor of tolerance and open-minded debate, Bloomberg was booed. Via The Hill:

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was booed during a commencement address when he criticized college "safe spaces." Bloomberg said during the commencement address at the University of Michigan on Saturday that "keeping an open mind to new ideas is essential to your professional success — just as it's crucial to our collective future as a Democratic society." "The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through safe spaces, code words and trigger warnings is, in my view, a terrible mistake," he said. "The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations — not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro. And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views."

Bravo to Bloomberg, and shame on the sniveling, self-absorbed, intolerant children who booed him.  That this sentiment would be greeted with negative jeering anywhere in a supposedly free society is depressing unto itself. That the boos rose up from college students -- overtly rejecting the concepts of pluralism, free thought and adult comportment -- tells you everything you need to know about why the anti-PC backlash is so ferocious.  Meanwhile, there's an update to an outrageous story we also featured in End of Discussion.  The Washington Post reports:

A tenured professor and a legal institute are suing Marquette University, claiming a breach of contract for the suspension imposed after he publicly criticized an instructor for stifling debate in class. The conflict began in 2014: After a student complained after a philosophy class that he was disappointed that he and others who question gay marriage had not been allowed to express their views during the classroom discussion, the graduate-student instructor told him that opposition to gay marriage was homophobic and offensive and would not be tolerated in her theory of ethics class. John McAdams, an associate professor of political science at Marquette, blogged about it, writing that the instructor “was just using a tactic typical among liberals now. Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.” ...McAdams was suspended without pay the following month and banned from campus, and in March of this year he was told by university president Michael Lovell he could not return to teaching unless he wrote a letter acknowledging that his behavior had been reckless and incompatible with Marquette values and that he feels deep regret for the harm he did to the instructor. On Monday, McAdams and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, claiming breach of contract.

This tenured professor was fired (!) for publicly calling out another instructor at his nominally Catholic university for explicitly shutting down a debate about same-sex marriage in her ethics (!!) class. She upbraided a student for "homophobia" because he dared to adhere to the Catholic Church's stance on the issue. Supporters of the robust exchange of ideas in academic settings, and opponents of the punishment of alternative viewpoints, should hope Prof. McAdams wins his suit and takes a giant bite out of Marquette's wallet. What a disgraceful episode. I'll leave you with this:


As a Yankees fan, I don't much care for Curt Schilling. The "bloody sock" game was a deeply unfortunate blemish in Yankees history. And I would not have shared the provocative -- and certainly offensive to some -- transgender bathroom-related meme that got Schilling fired from ESPN (the whole thesis of End of Discussion is that the Left's new weaponized form of political correctness seeks to actively punish 'thought transgressions'). But even if you're willing to defend the network's decision to pull Schilling off the air, if they're also censoring sports history as a means of exacting additional retribution against the former pitcher for his "transphobia," that is frighteningly Orwellian. ESPN's pro forma "editing for time" excuse is lame garbage; it also makes zero sense, given the context of the series their film documents. 'Your subversive thoughts will not be tolerated, Mr. Schilling. You're fired, and we'll see to it that your historical contributions to the world of sports are systematically erased to the greatest extent possible.' Beyond creepy. End of Discussion.

Democrats To Sanders: Do Not Leave Us With Hillary...Just Yet

Feeling the Bern seems to be still going strong, or Democrats like watching it from the sidelines, because a new poll shows they do not want the disheveled Democratic socialist from Vermont to drop out of the race. In fact, they want him to stay in all the way to the Democratic Party’s convention in Philadelphia this summer. Then again, the delegate lead Hillary Clinton has amassed over Sen. Bernie Sanders is almost insurmountable, but the fact that almost 60 percent of Democrats want Sanders to remain still reinforces that Hillary isn’t the left’s first choice (via the Hill):

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats said Sanders should stay in the race until the summer nominating event, according to a NBC News-Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday.

Only 25 percent said he should drop out after the last votes are cast on June 14 in the final Democratic primary in Washington, DC. Sixteen percent said Sanders should drop out now.

Clinton leads Sanders by about 300 delegates with just over 1,000 still up for grabs. Because Democrats award their delegates proportionately, Sanders would have to defeat Clinton by huge margins in the remaining states to catch her.

Even if he does, which is unlikely, Clinton has a huge lead among superdelegates who have pledged to support her at the convention. Those votes are likely to put her over the top for the nomination.

Over at the Washington Post, Philip Bump wrote that Sanders could forced a contested convention, but it’s doubtful he could emerge victorious:

Back in the halcyon days of Sanders's "momentum," when he'd won seven of eight contests in a row, including a big win in Washington, his argument was that the momentum would propel him through the end of the voting in June, offering a compelling argument to superdelegates that the will of the party now rested with him, and that Clinton's early support was therefore negated. Then he lost five of the last six races — and Clinton's delegate lead returned to about what it was in the middle of March. The momentum was, as many had suspected, a function of several Sanders-favorable races clustered in a short window (as was the recent streak by Clinton). The race hadn't really changed at all.

Now, it seems, Sanders's argument will be that his strong performances at the tail end of the contest, including a win in California — coupled with close national polling — should provide the same motivation to superdelegates to embrace his candidacy. Sanders is who the party now wants to win.

There are a few flaws in that argument, including that Sanders's one-point deficit in the national Real Clear Politics polling average — which came right after those seven wins — has now widened to four points. The biggest problem for Sanders, though, is that, unlike on the Republican side, California isn't the last contest. The last contest for the Democrats is the D.C. primary, on June 14. And there is essentially no way that Clinton will lose that contest, given how strongly she has performed in places with large black populations.

[…]

On CBS on Sunday, Sanders insisted that his campaign might still win the majority of pledged delegates. "We need to win 65 percent of those votes," he said of the remaining total. "The states coming up are favorable to us."

The problem for Sanders is, as it has always been, that Democratic contests are all proportional. He needs to win every state by a wide margin to hit his goal. The other problem for him is that nearly half of the remaining delegates are in California. If he and Clinton essentially tie there — or even if he wins by five points, which polling suggests won't happen — he needs three-quarters of the delegates everywhere else to make up for it (including New Jersey and D.C.).

Could he win pledged delegates? Yes, in the sense that he could win the lottery.

Still, concerning strength, Sanders has let go hundreds of campaign workers, and he’s started to shift from attacking Hillary to where he wants the Democratic Party to go in the future in his stump speeches; a signal that he’s beginning to see that the ride is almost over. He’s raised millions, along with being the candidate who has spent the most this cycle, even outraising the Clinton machine, but that’s also ended with the April fundraising hauls. So, the Sanders camp seems to be buckling a bit. Nevertheless, he definitely has enough money to last him until July, although he will have to contend with the criticism that he’s splintering the party at a time when they could unite and exploit the deep divisions with Republicans over Trump. At the same time, regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination—if Trump becomes the standard bearer for the GOP, it’s not far off to suggest that Democrats will turn out in droves to stop him. Democrats have a united party regardless of who wins, or what convention drama that will unfold in Philadelphia. The same cannot be said for Republicans at present.

After Navy SEAL Killed on Front Lines, White House Still Refusing to Call U.S. Troop Role in Iraq Combat

Tuesday morning Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a Navy SEAL operating as an advisor to Peshmerga forces was killed on the front lines against ISIS. Carter specifically said the SEAL was killed in combat after he was shot when ISIS soldiers broke through an Iraqi forces checkpoint and made their way to Peshmerga territory just outside of Mosul. 

Despite the classification by Carter that the casualty was in fact a combat death, the White House is still refusing classify the role of U.S. troops in Iraq as combat. Since 2014, three U.S. service members have been killed in the war against ISIS.

"What I think is true is that Iraq and Syria are dangerous places and our men and women in uniform, who are engaged in a mission to offer training, advice and assistance to Iraqi forces that are fighting for their own country, are doing dangerous work. They are taking grave risks to protect our country. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude. Today's incident is a vivid reminder of the risks our service members are taking and some of them, three of them now, have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country," Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday. "But the President has been clear, time and time again, exactly what their mission is. That mission is to support Iraqi forces on the ground who are taking the fight to ISIL on the front lines."

The White House also offered condolences to family.

#TransformationTuesday: Five Times Ted Cruz Praised Donald Trump

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) didn't hold back on Tuesday while addressing Indiana voters about Donald Trump. He warned voters that Trump is a pathological liar and a narcissist.

That speech was essentially the completion of Cruz's 180 degree turn on Trump over the past year. In the spirit of "transformation Tuesday," let's take a look at five times Cruz had some nicer things to say about Trump.

1. June 2015: Cruz issues a welcome statement saying that Trump can make America great again

“I’m pleased to welcome Donald Trump into the race for the 2016 Republican nomination for President of the United States. His experience as a successful businessman and job creator will prove crucial to ensuring the eventual GOP nominee is not only well-equipped to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, but also to make America great again.”

2. June 2015: Cruz: "I like Donald Trump" and he shouldn't have to apologize for his immigration comments

“When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific. I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth,” Cruz said during an interview on “Fox and Friends” promoting his new book. “And I think NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.”

3. July 2015: Cruz says Trump is taking on the Washington Cartel

"He’s bold and brash, and he’s willing to speak the truth. And he’s taking on the Washington cartel," Cruz said.

[...]

"I appreciate Donald focusing on illegal immigration," Cruz said. "I've been proud to defend him for focusing on illegal immigration."

4. August 2015: Cruz refuses to bash Trump, and praises him for making illegal immigration a campaign issue

“Quite a few members of this field have attacked Donald Trump. A lot of folks in the media have asked me ‘Ted Cruz, will you do the same?’ I have been glad to praise Donald Trump for speaking out boldly and brashly and for focusing on illegal immigration.”

5. December 2015: Cruz tweets that Trump is "terrific" and that there's not going to be a "cage match" between the two

Looks as though the Trump/Cruz friendship is officially, totally, dead.

Good News for #NeverTrump: Jim Beam Fills 14 Millionth Barrel

For the first time in bourbon-making history, Jim Beam has filled and sealed its 14 millionth barrel since the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, according to the Associated Press.  

Seventh-generation master distiller Fred Noe and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin sealed the barrel Monday at the company’s flagship distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, just outside of Louisville.

Bevin said Kentucky bourbon is now an international symbol of the state’s heritage and craftsmanship. The milestone comes two years after the distillery filled its 13 millionth barrel.

This news may be of pleasure to those Americans who despise the voting decisions of states like Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Vermont.  

While those in the #NeverTrump band wagon drink their miseries away, now is the time to turn our attention towards Hillary Clinton and the new age liberalism that has crippled America.  

Precious Cupcakes At Drake University Block Recognition Of Conservative Turning Points USA, Called Them 'Hateful'

Apparently, a groups that mainly focuses on lower taxes, less government, and fiscal responsibility is “hateful” in the eyes of the precious cupcake brigade at Drake University. These social justice warriors at the Iowan school rejected a motion to recognize a Turning Points USA chapter on campus in April (via Campus Reform):

According to minutes from the Senate’s April 21 meeting, opponents gave several reasons for rejecting the application to establish a Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter on campus—from claiming that its mission is too specific to arguing that Drake already has other conservative clubs—but expressed particular concern about the group’s views on social issues.

Senator Kevin Kane, for instance, said he could not justify approving TPUSA because of its “hateful record,” claiming that some of its tweets “directly relate to social issues.”

Senator Linley Sanders also took issue with the group’s social media activity, saying she “does not support some things concerning social issues on their Facebook page.” She denied that her opposition was based on TPUSA “being conservative” in general, however, saying she was merely worried that “the organization may be against specific groups[,] which could be perceived as condescending.”

Hypeline reports that a third senator, Olivia O’Hea, even criticized the prospective student group for pro-life tweets sent from the personal Twitter account of TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk, contrasting O’Hea’s argument with posts from her own Facebook page (which are no longer public) declaring her support for Planned Parenthood.

A few senators did dissent from the prevailing view, notably Senator Jon Lueth and Vice President Zachary Blevin, both of whom pledged to set aside their personal political beliefs and support the club in the interest of promoting free expression, but according to KCCI, the final tally was a lopsided 15-3 against recognizing TPUSA.

Hypeline, a project of Turning Points, had a more detailed piece about what occurred during the April 21 meeting. Sanders took issue with the group’s pro-Second Amendment stances, and O’Hea took umbrage with the group’s “I Survived College Without Becoming a Liberal” t-shirts.

Yeah, I may not like that leftist students wear Che Guevara t-shirts, who was also reportedly a racist, but that wouldn’t stop me from supporting a Marxist club on campus (though it seems like most college campuses are one giant left wing country club). But that’s beside the point. There was absolutely no reason for Drake to reject Turning Points USA other than they’re a conservative group. To suggest otherwise is grossly disingenuous. Reform added that Turning Points could re-apply for recognition again once a new student senate is convened next year.

Hillary: My Comments Saying We'd Put Coal Miners Out of Business Weren't In Context or Something

Back in March, Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the follow: 

"We are going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business," she proudly proclaimed.

According to Hillary Clinton, you can have a job in the energy industry so long as it's in the so-called "green" energy sector progressives choose.

Clinton, of course, made those comments in an effort to appease her far-left, fascist environmentalist, anti-fracking, global warming alarmist, anti-fossil fuel voting base. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was furious about the comments and her efforts to make the argument that coal mining jobs should be transferred into the renewable energy sector (which cannot survive without government subsidies) fell flat. 

This week, Clinton is campaigning in coal country and she was confronted by laid off coal miner Bo Copley for her comments.  Naturally, she responded by saying her comments were out of context and that people were misusing her statement.

"I just want to know how you can say you're going to put a lot of coal miners out of jobs and then come in here and tell us how you're going to be our friend because those people out there, don't see you as a friend," Copley said.

"I don't know how to explain it other than what I said was totally out of context from what I meant," Clinton responded. "It was a misstatement."

>

Former President Bill Clinton is also having a rough time in the regin.

Clinton has promised to protect President Obama's legacy, which is one that includes the utter destruction of the coal industry for ideological and political reasons.

“The reason the coal industry is suffering in this country is because of the policies of the Obama administration. When he first ran for president, Barack Obama made it clear that he intended to bankrupt the coal industry. When he couldn’t get his destructive cap-and-trade plan through Congress, he used the EPA to promulgate regulations on the coal industry that will cost our economy between $29 billion and $39 billion annually," FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon said in a statement. “If Hillary Clinton was serious about helping the economies of coal states, she would pledge to reverse the regulatory onslaught of the Obama administration. Unfortunately, she has already indicated that she plans to continue waging the war on coal and double down on radical environmental policies that are devastating coal states and destroying jobs.” 

This post has been updated with additional information.

Venezuelan Socialism: Two-Day Workweeks, No Supplies, And A Government So Broke It Can’t Pay For Its Own Currency

The economic disaster caused by Venezuela’s 21st Century Socialism continues to reap havoc on the nation’s socioeconomic fabric. We have rolling blackouts due to energy shortages. There’s a lack of access to television, long distance phone service, and toilet paper. And with the government failing to provide, the people have resorted to looting. Now, the government has shortened its workweek to just two days (via Opportunity Lives):

Venezuela is coming apart at the seams. Crime is rampant, jobs are scarce, poverty is alarmingly high and looting is prevalent in big cities and rural towns. Venezuelans spend hours every day waiting in line at their local grocery stores and supermarkets hoping to purchase whatever rations may be available. And now there are reports that with energy and electricity in such short supply, the socialist government is cutting the workweek to two days

[…]

With misery rising, Maduro is running out of excuses. For months he has blamed Venezuela’s severe food shortages on a “conspiracy” by the United States. It’s gotten so outlandish that the Venezuelan government recently claimed that Vice President Joe Biden is plotting Maduro’s assassination.

[…]

What’s strange is that just as Venezuelans are in most need, the government is reducing its availability to deliver basic public services by shortening its workweek.

Not surprisingly, the people are taking to the streets and demanding change. Discontent is no longer confined to the middle class. Now even Venezuela’s poorest, once the most faithful devotees to the promises of socialism under Chavez, are calling out for help and pleading for a lifeline.

In terms of finances, the country is in such dire straits that they may run out of money “to pay for its money” (via Bloomberg):

Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No diapers or car parts or aspirin -- it’s all been well documented. But now the country is at risk of running out of money itself.

In a tale that highlights the chaos of unbridled inflation, Venezuela is scrambling to print new bills fast enough to keep up with the torrid pace of price increases. Most of the cash, like nearly everything else in the oil-exporting country, is imported. And with hard currency reserves sinking to critically low levels, the central bank is doling out payments so slowly to foreign providers that they are foregoing further business.

Venezuela, in other words, is now so broke that it may not have enough money to pay for its money.

[…]

The currency crisis sheds light on the magnitude of the country’s financial woes and its limited ability to remedy them as oil -- the mainstay of its economy -- continues to flatline. Venezuela’s inflation, the world’s highest, is expected to rise this year to close to 500 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Total disaster.

Cruz Warns Indiana Voters: Trump Is a 'Pathological Liar,' 'Think About Your Children'

Speaking to the press in Evansville, Indiana on Tuesday, Ted Cruz unloaded on Donald Trump perhaps more than he has at any point in the 2016 campaign. The Texas senator warned Hoosiers that Tuesday’s primary will have national significance and that a victory for Trump will jeopardize American values.

In his remarks, Cruz called Trump "narcissistic" and a "pathological liar." Then, Cruz reminded voters that Trump once admitted he doesn’t like to ask God for forgiveness.

“What does that say” about him? Cruz asked. “I’ve asked for forgiveness three times already today.”

Trump’s bullying and lack of humility are not presidential qualities, he argued.

“Think about your children,” Cruz pleaded. “This is not who we are. This is not our values.”

Cruz’s testy press conference comes a day after his combative 7-minute exchange with a Trump supporter on Monday. The senator offered the voter information about Trump’s not-so-conservative record on guns, etc., but the sunglass-wearing voter insisted on calling him “lyin’ Ted.” Safe to say, Cruz didn’t win his vote.

If Hoosiers come out today and deny Trump another victory, it “will change the entire trajectory of this campaign,” Cruz said. “Indiana can do it.” 

Heidi Cruz: My Husband Is Definitely Not the Zodiac Killer

Sen. Ted Cruz's wife Heidi has addressed the bizarre-yet-slightly-humorous meme that says Ted is the Zodiac Killer. According to Heidi, she's pretty certain her husband isn't the Zodiac (especially since he was born after the first crimes took place), but the "garbage" on the internet doesn't bother her.

From Yahoo:

Heidi spent Monday morning traveling across Indiana in support of her husband’s presidential campaign. At a cafe in Carmel, Yahoo News asked for her reaction to a series of jokes Comedy Central host Larry Wilmore made at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday night where he repeatedly called her husband “the Zodiac Killer.”

“Well, I’ve been married to him for 15 years and I know pretty well who he is, so it doesn’t bother me at all. There’s a lot of garbage out there,” Heidi said.

Despite Heidi's confirmation of something we already knew, the meme just won't die:

...sigh.

Killed in Combat: Navy SEAL Shot While Advising on Front Lines Against ISIS

The Defense Department has confirmed a Navy SEAL working on the front lines near Mosul as an advisor to Peshmerga troops has been killed by ISIS small arms fire. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is acknowledging the SEAL was killed in combat, a term the Obama administration has avoided using to describe two previous U.S. troop casualties in the fight against ISIS since 2014. 

Earlier today Carter announced an American serviceman had been killed, but the details were not released.

The military official said the soldier was killed by "direct fire" after Islamic State forces penetrated the peshmerga forces' forward line. The American was three to two to three miles behind that front line before the attack was launched, the official added, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.  

‘Political Asteroid’ Incoming: Trump Leads GOP Opponents By 34 Points In California

In April, radio host and commentator Hugh Hewitt noted that he doesn’t see how GOP frontrunner Donald Trump could get to 1,237 delegates by the time the Republican Party has their nominating convention in July. Speaking with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, Hewitt’s rosy hypothetical gave the billionaire 51 of Indiana’s 57 delegates, but added that he wouldn’t nab any in Nebraska, South Dakota, or Montana. At the time, Trump needed 392 delegates to reach 1,237. Hewitt’s projections after 14 of the remaining 15 contests placed Trump only at 273. That would mean Trump would need to clinch 119 of California’s 172 delegates, which Hewitt said he doesn’t think is possible, unless a “political asteroid” hit the Golden State. Well, from the latest poll, Mr. Trump has a whopping 34-point lead, so that asteroid might be incoming (via the Hill):

Donald Trump leads his GOP presidential rivals by 34 points in California ahead of the state's primary on June 7, according to a poll released Monday.

Trump is at 54 percent support, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 20 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 16 percent, according to the SurveyUSA poll published by ABC7.

All three candidates spoke at the state GOP convention over the weekend, and California is the final major state with delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination up for grabs.

[…]

The survey of 2,400 Californians, including 2,011 registered voters and 529 likely GOP primary voters, was conducted April 27–30.

That’s almost insurmountable, though Hewitt said the Cruz team is organized in California, whereas Trump isn’t. Let’s see what happens. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Trump has a 26-point lead. 

Republicans Halt Obama HHS Nominee Over California Abortion Mandate

Congressional conservatives are taking a stand against the Obama administration’s abortion agenda by blocking one of the president’s Health and Human Services nominees. Until the White House investigates whether California is unlawfully forcing health insurers to cover abortions, Mary Wakefield, the deputy HHS secretary candidate, will have to wait.

The Senate Finance Committee, led by Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is placing an obstacle before Wakefield – not out of personal animosity, but concern for the right to life and religious freedom in California. A couple of years ago, the state’s department of health mandated that insurers provide coverage for abortions as a “medically necessary procedure.” As a result, some churches and Catholic institutions were forced to violate their religious beliefs. Pro-life groups like Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation condemned the directive as discriminatory and filed lawsuits against the state’s department of managed health care, but the mandate remains.

The rule, Hatch and others argue, violates the Weldon Amendment, which prohibits any kind of discrimination against insurers who opt out of abortion coverage. The HHS Office for Civil Rights began an investigation into the matter in December 2014, but as of today it seems little progress has been made.  

While Wakefield may not have been privy to California’s biased law, she will be used as a symbol of resistance until the administration proves it is seriously looking into this intolerant decree.  

ICE Gets More Taxpayer Money For Fewer Deportations

In the real world, Americans don’t typically get paid more money for doing less work than they were before, but this is the government we’re talking about. Thus, it’s only fitting that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has received more taxpayer money in the last few years despite the fact that the agency has deported 43 percent fewer illegal immigrants from 2012 to 2015.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

ICE deported nearly 410,000 aliens in 2012 when it received roughly $2.8 billion in taxpayer funds. In 2015, the agency expelled just 235,413 aliens but received around $3.5 billion to fund its deportation programs, according to the DHS statistics.

Deportations dropped by 174,436 over the past three years despite an increase in funding totaling more than $680 million, according to statistics highlighted Monday by the Senate subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.

In total, ICE was shown to have received around $3,901 more in funding for each illegal immigrant it failed to deport over the years.

“ICE removed nearly 43 percent fewer total aliens from the United States in FY 2015 than it did in FY 2012—and nearly 62 percent fewer aliens from the interior of the United States,” the subcommittee found, adding that from 2012 to 2015 the agency's budget for detention and removal grew roughly 25 percent.

And the reason for the decrease in deportations? Lawmakers placed the blame squarely on the Obama administration’s policies.

“This dramatic decline in deportations is the direct result of policies implemented by the Obama administration to get around plain law passed by Congress,” the subcommittee noted.

O'Reilly: Trump Will Be Nominee, Even if Cruz Wins Indiana

Many have called Indiana’s primary a do-or-die state for Sen. Ted Cruz, but Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly isn’t convinced.

On CBS’ “The Late Show,” Monday evening, host Stephen Colbert wanted to talk about Indiana, and specifically, understand “what the hell is going on” with the race.

To O’Reilly, Indiana isn’t as big of a deal as the media is making it out to be because Trump can’t be stopped, he said.

“I called the race three weeks ago for Trump—you can’t stop him,” O’Reilly told Colbert. “And what the media does—the TV media—they try to get the horserace so you watch, but it was over three weeks ago after New York.”

The Democratic race has also been over for weeks now too, he added.

 “Same thing with Hillary Clinton. Feel the Bern all you want but the Bern’s gonna be in the refrigerator. And Clinton’s gonna be the nominee… so it’s Hillary versus Trump.”

If Cruz manages to pull off a win in Tuesday’s Indiana primary, it will give the Texas senator “a little bit of a thing to hang on to,” O’Reilly said, “but it’s still gonna be Trump.”

 For his part, Cruz says he’s staying in the race as long as he has a “viable path to victory.”

“I am competing to the end and the reason is simple,” he said on the campaign trail. “If Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump become president we’ll see liberals on the U.S. Supreme Court and we’ll see the Heller decision overruled, which means the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms will be stripped away from every law abiding American. If we allow the next president to be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump we will see the same economic stagnation, we will see taxes rising on the American people. We will see jobs going overseas."

Panetta Reflects on Bin Laden Raid: I Wouldn’t Have Guessed Al Qaeda Would Metastasize Like It Has

Five years ago on Monday, justice was served. It was the day President Obama gave the order to send a group of Navy SEALs into Abbottabad, Pakistan to find and kill Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader behind the September 11 terror attacks.  In a new CNN special Monday night entitled "'We Got Him': President Obama, Bin Laden and the Future of the War on Terror," Obama offered new insight into the minutes and hours leading up to the decision to give the green light on the successful raid.  

“Everybody had had their say by the time I made my decision,” Obama told CNN’s Peter Bergen.

“We had prepared as well as we could,” with the limited information they had received, he added.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta joined Wolf Blitzer on CNN Monday night ahead of the network special to weigh in on the new developments. What is Panetta surprised to know about the terror threat now that he didn’t know then? Blitzer wondered.

“I would not have guessed Al Qaeda would have metastasized as it has,” and give way to even more terrifying terror cells like ISIS.

While there continue to be elements of Al Qaeda that are dangerous, ISIS, he said, is a clear and present danger that deserves more of our attention. Al Qaeda was a central threat, but ISIS is dispersed and more difficult to track, he explained.

Blitzer also asked Panetta why the U.S. has not been able to capture Al Qaeda leader Al-Zawahiri.

“It’s not for lack of effort,” Panetta said. The former CIA director thought it would be a “matter of time” before we pinned him down and he’s “not sure” why it hasn’t happened. Yet, he is confident they will find him.

One other interesting exchange between Panetta and Blitzer came when the CNN anchor asked if the former CIA leader thinks Pakistani leaders were intentionally hiding Bin Laden.

“I’ve never seen clear evidence,” Panetta answered. “But I’ve always suspected someone down the line… knew he was located in that area.”

Nice Try: Transgender Woman’s Story About Harassment At North Carolina Bathroom Seems To Be A Lie

Oh, here we go again. It’s another story of harassment against the LGBT community that appears to be a tall tale. Transwoman Alexis Adams said she was “humiliated beyond belief” when security guards escorted her out of the Transit Center in Durham, North Carolina. Her offense: using the woman’s bathroom and taking a selfie. Yet, security camera footage showed something very different (via Fox8):

“I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I was speechless,” she said. “It was embarrassing. I was outed in front of everybody.”

The Durham woman said she wanted to make a statement by going into a woman’s restroom and snapping a selfie in the mirror.

She said a custodian confronted her when she came out of the stall and she was escorted out.

The city of Durham owns the Transit Center and recently released surveillance footage of the alleged incident after the original story was aired.

Adams can be seen in the video entering the public bathroom alone. About four minutes later, a custodian enters. Shortly later, Adams can be seen leaving the restroom by herself.

That’s not exactly being escorted out by security, Ms. Adams. When confronted with the footage by Fox8, there was prolonged silence followed by Adams saying, “You had to be there to witness it.” Without a doubt, the LGBT community faces harassment and discrimination, but this story appears to be a hoax. Did Adams not know that there were surveillance video cameras on the premises? Moreover, stories like these make it harder for actual victims of discrimination to come forward.

As Christine wrote, in Austin, Texas, a gay pastor alleged that a Whole Foods baker wrote an anti-gay slur on his cake. As it turns out, the whole episode was a giant lie. First of all, the baker who handled the cake is also part of the LGBT community, so major fail there. Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist broke down this hoax, listing rules for the precious cupcake brigade when it comes to manufacturing a hoax. Rule number one was picking a believable villain.

For Adams, saying “you had to be there” doesn’t cut it. Either security escorted you out, or they didn’t. From the footage, it appears this never happened.

WSJ: Hillary Has Some 'Explaining to Do' in Coal Country

Remember when Hillary Clinton proudly claimed she would put coal miners and coal companies "out of business?" She may have hoped those comments would not be a factor in the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries, but now that the primary schedule has brought her to coal country, it's all too clear that voters have not forgotten her controversial pledge. 

Soon after Clinton made the remarks at a CNN town hall in March, she walked them back, knowing they may come back to bite her in the Appalachia. In a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), she admitted she made a mistake and insisted she had coal miners' backs.

That apparently did little to convince West Virginians. Recently, officials told Manchin the Clintons were "not welcome" in their town and Bill Clinton, who did manage to enter the state, received an icy reception from protesters who interrupted his speech over the weekend. 

As the Wall Street Journal notes, she has some explaining to do

Will Hillary's coal comments jeopardize her chances in West Virginia and Kentucky? Will it matter?

Update: Hillary was also confronted at a campaign stop on Monday by a laid off coal industry worker who asked her how she could dare ask for their friendship. In her response, Clinton insisted her remarks were "taken out of context."

The Republican National Committee released the following statement from spokesman Michael Short, who says that Clinton cannot have it both ways on an issue important to Appalachia voters.

“If Hillary Clinton really stood with coal country she’d be calling on the Obama EPA to stop taking a wrecking ball to their way of life," Short said. "Given her steadfast support for Obama’s War on Coal, her promise to ‘put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business’ may have been one of the few honest moments she’s had this entire campaign.”