The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

If Elected, Will Marco's Irresponsibility & Corruption Carry Into The White House?

Here's the Nonsense:  Marco Rubio is a great choice for Republican nominee.  He'd be a different and fresh change for American to have in the White House.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Marco Rubio is just another corrupt politician who shouldn't be anywhere near elected office.  He would be no improvement and just another politician there to serve his own self interest.

I've commented numerous times about the irresponsibility of Marco Rubio, but it seems that people never learn.  Americans hear of his poor handling of finances and defend him by saying that they like him because he's a regular guy just like them.  They buy into Marco's claim that he's a workaday American who's never made much money and his poor handling of money is only because he's trying to provide for his family just like regular Americans.  While uninformed people who refuse to do their homework may fall for this, the facts expose the phony that Rubio really is.

While the $2.29 million Marco and his wife, Jeanette, made during the 5 years from 2010-2014 isn't near as much as Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, made during the same period (the Cruz's made $5.05 million), it's still far more than the vast majority of Americans.  Averaging $458,000 per year, the Rubio's are certainly in a better financial position than most of us.  These income amounts were reported by the Tampa Bay Times here.)

While Rubio has spent his adult life often being shown to mishandle finances and defends those situations with a plea for understanding that he's just a regular guy.  But he's really not so regular.  In fact, he's quite privileged.

In a fascinating article written by Ken Silverstein for, the real Marco Rubio is exposed once again.  And what we find there makes one wonder how anyone could trust this man to be our president.

Silverstein's opening two paragraphs are so thought provoking that they have to be quoted in their entirety:

"When it comes to sheer brazen corruption, chicanery and dishonesty there is one candidate who stands head and shoulders above everyone else and that is the right-wing Cuban-American and Tea Party darling Senator Marco Rubio of - naturally, the great State of Florida.

"Mr. Rubio's entire public image - the child of poor Cuban immigrants fleeing the repression of Castro's Cuba who pulled himself up by his bootstraps and even now is a simple Jose Sixpack and family man - is less tethered to reality than The Wizard of Oz.  For example, in his autobiography, An American Son: A Memoir, Mr. Rubio describes how he allegedly grew up poor and mowed the grass and walked dogs to make a bit of spare change.  Technically this may be correct, but most poor kids don't get paid by relatives heavily involved in narcotics trafficking and whose pets double as guard dogs for a drug cartel, as was the case with young Marco, a federal indictment shows.  (See these articles for more on young Marco's upbringing.)"

The article goes on to show how Rubio cashed in through his political career.  Silverstein writes, "So, for example, when Mr. Rubio became [Florida] House majority leader in 2003 he went to work in the powerhouse lobbying firm of Broad and Cassell, which is precisely the point where disclosure forms reveal a giant spike in his income."  (Florida rules allow politicians to hold office and at the same time work as consultants to law firms and lobbying firms.)

In 2008, two years before he ran for U.S. Senate, Rubio left the Florida House and became partner with Vivian Bovo, his former top aide, in Florida Strategic Consultants, which was another law/lobbying firm.  Silverstein tells us that Vivian Bovo is, "the wife of a notoriously corrupt Florida politician and lobbyist named Esteban Bovo, sometimes known as 'El Bobo.'"

While working at the firm Rubio got lucrative contracts from Miami Children's Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.  At the same time El Bobo was chairman of a subcommittee of the Florida House Budget Committee where he could appropriate money for those hospitals.

This is just the beginning of what Silverstein outlines for us in this article.

He goes on to tell of two highly suspicious real estate deals that Rubio was involved in.  The first one was the purchase of a house with financial help from chiropractor Dr. Mark Cereceda.  Silverstein gives these key details:

"In 2003, Mr. Rubio bought his first house (at 6247 14th Street SW in West Miami) for $175,000, putting zero money down.  He put it up for sale in 2005 but had difficulty selling it because of a weak local real estate market.  But gracias a Dios, Dr. Cereceda's mama, Nora Cereceda (now deceased), bought Mr. Rubio's house in 2007 for $380,000 cash, netting Mr. Rubio a profit of about $205,000.  Que suerte! Shortly after Mr. Rubio sold the house, he did a 180-degree rotation on a key insurance bill for which Dr. Cereceda had been lobbying.  Whereas he had previously been an outspoken opponent of the measure - indeed, he was described in one local press item at the time as 'the main holdout' - he ended up voting for the legislation, which required Florida drivers to purchase $10,000 worth of personal injury insurance."

The article notes that many of Dr. Cereceda's clients were drivers who paid him using insurance money.  He goes on to tell of Dr. Cereceda's arrest record and that in 2014 he was busted for running an illegal political contribution scheme in which he had his employees contribute to political campaigns in their names and he saw to it they were reimbursed.  Dr. Cereceda was also a big donor to Ana Maria Pando, a former Hialeah [Florida] branch country court judge, who wrote a letter on official letterhead to state authorities asking that Cereceda's company be reinstated after it got into legal trouble.  But Pando later was convicted of taking a bribe from Cereceda.

The second real estate deal is about Rubio's current house in Miami.  He purchased it in December 2005 for $550,000 with 10% down and a $495,000 mortgage.  Only 37 days later he took out a home equity loan for $135,000.  Jim Greer, the former head of the Florida Republican Party, was the CEO of U. S. Century Bank in Miami and gave Rubio very good terms.  It should be noted that later Greer went to jail for money laundering.

Rubio got the $135,000 home equity loan because U. S. Century Bank reappraised his home's worth to $735,000 just over a month after he purchased the property.  However, the Miami-Dade County assessors put the market value only $503,000 in 2006.

The article goes through a list of women who are close to Rubio, questioning just what their relationships have been.

And it details a home he owned in Tallahassee, FL while in the Florida House, that was the site of many rumors and was one of the poorly handled financial deals Rubio has had in his life.

It also discusses a possible bribe and the PACs he's had support him where people in charge were involved in highly suspicious activities including the treasurer who was involved in activities that caused federal authorities to look into involvement with money laundering activities for South American drug cartels.  There are also suspicious donations made by and consulting fees paid by these PACs that are outlined in the article.

The bottom line of the article, which should be read in its entirety for complete information, is that Marco Rubio's life, especially his finances, are not representative of what we should want for our leaders.  At best his character is questionable.  So, even though he has that little boy appearance and a smile that wins people over, his actions show that electing Marco Rubio would be no different than electing any of the same old corrupt politicians who've gotten us into the mess we are now in.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When Bush Dropped Out And His Followers Went To Other Candidates, How Much Was Trump's Lead Hurt?

Here's the Nonsense:  When an establishment candidate like Bush drops out of the race, his followers will move to another establishment candidate like Rubio and thereby cut into Trump's lead.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Studies are showing that just because a candidate drops out of the race doesn't mean that their followers will move to the nearest ideological competitor. 

In an interesting little article, the Washington Examiner is reporting on a new Rasmussen Reports poll that looks at where Jeb Bush's followers moved their support when Bush dropped out of the race. It's been believed by the other campaigns, the media, and the Republican establishment that if Bush left the race it would hurt Trump as Bush followers would move to another establishment candidate.  

One of the great hopes of the GOPe (GOP establishment) has been that as the number of Republican candidates in the race diminishes and their followers find other candidates to support, that Trump's lead would not just diminish, but would cause him to fall behind and hopefully leave the race.  But this new poll is probably ruining their day.

Rasmussen's new poll shows that many Bush supporters have moved to Trump, which has increased his lead in their polling by 5 points.  I'm sure that has the GOPe spitting nails.

But what they don't understand is that it was inevitable.  Elon University Polling did an analysis of the candidate's support and the results are very interesting.  

The idea that followers of a particular candidate will all go to their nearest ideological competitor aren't accurate.  As you can see, the poll shows 31% of Bush supporters going to Trump.  If Kasich were to drop out, 29% of his followers would go to Trump.  If Cruz dropped out, 43% of his followers would go to Trump.  

As you study these results it is apparent that no matter who drops out, Trump remains the frontrunner.

This certainly must have the GOPe in distress.  The ways for the GOPe to stop Trump are dwindling and it's even questionable if they can at this point.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Imagine Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder To Replace Scalia

Here's the Nonsense:  Losing Justice Scalia is a tragedy, but certainly we can stop the appointment of a radical judge to replace him.

Here's the Horse Sense:  We have no defense to stop Obama from appointing whoever he wants to replace Justice Scalia.  The tragedy of his loss will only be overshadowed by the extreme leftist ideology that will be forced upon us by his replacement.

It is being reported that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning.  This is a huge loss for all Americans because he was one of the few conservatives on the court.  With his passing Obama will have yet another chance to appoint someone else to the Supreme Court and there is nothing to stop him from making the worst decision for America's future.  Quite possibly he'll even consider appointing former Attorney General Eric Holder.

If you think we've seen a nightmare with the Supreme Court decisions so far, we're about to see them get a lot worse. 

There is no one to stop Obama from appointing whoever he chooses.  The Senate will simply rubber stamp his choice because they are controlled by the establishment Republicans who want the same things for America that the Democrats want.  

That means that Obama will choose whoever will best carry on his plans for the court. In September 2014 I suggested that his next SCOTUS appointment might be Eric Holder.  After all, Holder was a good soldier, like-minded with Obama on where America should be headed, and this would be a fitting reward for his faithful service.

Remember that as bad as Holder was as Attorney General, what we might face now could be far worse.  The damage he could do on the Supreme Court would have much farther reaching impact than anything he did as Attorney General.  

Even if Obama doesn't choose Holder, he'll be sure to pick someone like him.  A perfect example is current AG Loretta Lynch.  She was a perfect replacement for Holder as AG and has carried on his legacy perfectly for Obama.  

And there is no one to stop this from happening.  The Senate has shown that they will not block Obama's nominations, so there's really no doubt that we'll get an appointment that is as far left as you can imagine.  Yes, Mitch McConnell said today that they will wait until the next president to have a vote on it, but the fact is that the Democrats are already demanding it be done while still in Obama's final year.  I sincerely doubt McConnell will stick to his position on this since he has never stood up to Obama and the Democrats yet.

This will cause all decisions on the court to be controlled by the progressives.  There are not enough conservatives left to cause any decision to be anything but progressive.

The only real hope we have is that since it is an election year, hopefully that will keep the fear of the voters in the Senate's mind and MAYBE they will be afraid enough of losing reelection that they will do the right thing.

But, the old saying goes that a nation gets the government it deserves.  The judicial branch is a key part of our 3-branch system of government and we are getting exactly what we deserve.

With the moral state of this nation as bad as it is, we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Most Americans profess to be Christian, yet they live like pagans.  Even presidential candidates who claim to be evangelicals (which most people feel are the most devout in living their so-called faith) are being caught in lies and other political games for which they will be accountable on judgment day.  Word has it that one of those evangelical candidates was confronted by some of his campaign staff about lying on the campaign trail and he responded by saying, "It's not lying, it's using words wisely."

How the 2016 election comes out will tell us whether God is giving America one last chance.  But based on the continued immorality and disregard for God that most citizens show, the chances are slim we'll really get another chance.

It's past time Americans take a long look in the mirror and decide if their immorality is worth losing their freedom.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Do We Really Deserve A Good President?

Here's the Nonsense:  Americans are good people and we deserve to have good leaders in elected office.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Americans have long ago dropped the ball when it comes to civic responsibility.  If we don't do our part, we don't deserve the benefits that come as a result of a populace that is politically involved.

Newsmax is reporting about Fox's Neil Cavuto doing an interview with former New Hampshire Governor (and Bush chief of staff) John Sununu said, "I really think that about a third of this electorate will line up tomorrow and make up their mind as they're walking to the box to cast their vote."  If Americans really don't make up their mind who to vote for until they're at the polls, then they really don't deserve a good president or any other good elected official.

The problems in America are of our own making and the above quote shows it.  It was said that large numbers of people who went to the Iowa caucuses didn't decide until they were at their caucus.  Now we're hearing something similar for the New Hampshire primary.  This all boils down to Americans not doing their civic duty to be involved in our political system.

Many blame it on the fact that schools don't teach civics any longer.  They say that people don't learn about what they're supposed to do and how important civic involvement and voting is to our nation. But the fact is that it's not a school's job to educate our students.  It is a parent's job to make sure their children are learning what is important for life.  And if today's voters didn't learn in their schools, their parents dropped the ball and didn't teach them what they should know.

Regardless, even if their schools and parents didn't teach them, as adults we all are capable of learning on our own.  If we are so foolish to think voting is a minor activity and don't take it seriously, then we don't deserve election results that reflect a well thought out choice.

The old saying that people get the government they deserve is true.  Thomas Jefferson spoke of the fact that a nation cannot be ignorant and free.  But like the three monkeys who cover their eyes, ears, and mouth, we have not wanted to accept that anything evil might be happening.  So we have ceased keeping watch over things and holding people to accountability.  And if Sununu is even remotely accurate, we don't deserve to have a government that serves the people.

If this election ends up with poor results, we only need to look in the mirror to see who is responsible.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rubio: An Establishment Liar Guaranteed To Lose The Election If Nominated

Here's the Nonsense:  Rush is probably right.  We've probably been too hard on Marco Rubio and need to see him as a fellow conservative while being open to him as the Republican nominee.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Marco Rubio is no conservative. He's shown himself to be a charlatan that's used the term "conservative" for political gain.  He would be a disaster as the Republican nominee.

There is something very wrong when people start justifying support of a candidate who's proven himself a liar over and again.  I have had respect for Rush Limbaugh on many issues, but his recent verbal gymnastics to try to get people to accept Marco Rubio as a conservative are astonishing.  

Rush has recently said that he doesn't like the excommunication of people from the conservative movement, a clear reference to those of us who've rejected Rubio as nothing but a lying establishment candidate.  

This time Rush is wrong.  Certainly conservatives can disagree about some issues.  They can also be wrong at times.  Some issues, however, are too big to deviate on and still be considered conservative.

Some issues are bigger than even a big tent can accept. The big tent does not mean the tent has to accept every viewpoint on the planet.  And I believe that the issue of our border security, immigration and amnesty is a key issue that cannot be compromised on.  

Yes, that means a lot of so-called conservatives would not be included as conservative under my guideline, but this is an issue that will determine the future of America as we have known it.

The criticism of Marco Rubio stems from his constant lies, which are displayed by telling each person or audience he meets with what they want to hear instead of the truth.  And that is followed up by a record of support for pro-amnesty immigration reform that would destroy the fabric of American society.  

It should be clear by now that the Democrats and establishment Republicans have the same overall goals for America.  Big government, more control at the federal level, huge spending levels to support social programs, and less rights for citizens.  They see themselves as better than you and me.  They see themselves as the ruling elite and we are just the peasant class, way below their level.  We are not to question, but only to support them and be thankful for all they do for us.  

That's the attitude and I don't care if we're talking about Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, or Paul Ryan.  Their actions have sent the message that that's their underlying attitude towards you and me.  And Marco Rubio is one of them, no matter what Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or anyone else tells you.

But contrary to what the left have tried to convince the public, people like Limbaugh and Hannity are not the reference point for conservatism.  They are commentators who sometimes get it right.  But they are not gods and they are not even the ones who we should look to for guidance when questions come up about someone like Marco Rubio.

Before you think this is an attack on Rush and Hannity, let me say that we can all make mistakes in our judgment.  That is where it is up to those of us who see through errors in judgment to help correct other conservatives who get off track.  Unfortunately, all too often when we disagree we attack to destroy instead of correct and bring people back in line with proper thinking.  Or, if we hold the person in high esteem, we accept their view without any analytical thinking.

We must hold each other accountable, no matter who they are.  This past week as I heard a number of Limbaugh's shows I couldn't help but think that it's up to the rest of us conservatives to reject what Rush is saying and let him know that his view is not acceptable logic.

Marco Rubio is no conservative.  He simply pulled the wool over the eyes of voters to get elected as a conservative.  He gives a good speech.  Many think he's attractive.  And for the person who does not think analytically his answers sound real good.  Some very good people fell for it.  But as always happens, time will tell and the truth comes out.

Back on August 2, 2011 Rubio gave a speech in the Senate that should have made people take notice. He said that he tightly embraces the Constitution, but then he said that the future of our nation is divided between 2 different views.  One view is that the government is supposed to provide economic justice (the government is to "level" the playing field even taking money from one and giving it to another) and the other view is that the government is to assure equal opportunity and each person will achieve based on their effort, ability, and situation.  Then he goes on to say that one is not more or less patriotic or moral than the other.

So, he sees no moral difference between the government taking from citizens to give to those who have not earned it;  and a country where people are entitled to keep what they've earned.  

If you understand right and wrong, morality and immorality, then you understand that there is a huge moral difference between a country where the government can take what you've earned and distribute it to those who did not earn it and a country where you are entitled to keep the fruits of your labor.

But Rubio doesn't see it.  He sees no moral difference which shows he has no moral principles. Our laws are based on Judeo-Christian principles.  Those principles are rooted in such teachings as the Ten Commandments.  And in those commandments it says "You shall not steal."  This creates a deterrent to stealing.  But when you have no moral law which creates that deterrent, then stealing can be defined as okay if the government does it.

Rubio has fallen for the lie that there are no moral absolutes.  
He also said that America is divided on what kind of future we want.  A moral person would take a stand that violating a person's right to keep what is theirs is immoral and cannot be allowed.  But when you abandon moral absolutes, you end up with the debates we so often see in Washington.  And Rubio goes along with those immoral debates either not recognizing the moral failure or ignoring it.

Conservatism is based on respecting the rule of law as put forth in our Constitution.  Marco Rubio can say he embraces the Constitution, but his words and actions expose him as a fraud.  

When he says that we have no basis for making a decision other than on our own likes or dislikes, and doesn't even consider the morality of that view, he exposes his non-conservative views.

That should have exposed him for what he is.  But many people didn't see it because they weren't thinking analytically.

Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly has released a 15 page memo that reveals the phony that is Marco Rubio.  Having fallen for his claim to conservatism years ago and endorsed him during his Senate run, she has seen his continued efforts to deceive and now wants him exposed before the American electorate give him the Republican nomination.

The memo is too long to cover in its entirety here.  But it is important and worth the read so please click on the link and don't just read it, study it.  Here are screenshots of some of the points the memo raises (the links in the memo are clickable in the original document which you can access through the link I provided above):

Then the memo shows how Rubio, when he took office as senator, immediately abandoned his positions that got him elected:

It goes on to explain how he lied to conservative media (there's much more in the original memo than just this little screenshot):

Rubio, the memo shows, made false claims:

And he has passed off as truth there were enforcement mechanisms in his bill when in reality it gave administrative discretion to end immigration law enforcement:

One of Rubio's biggest deceptions was that his bill was merit-based and not family-based:

He even falsely claimed that under his bill that no welfare would be allowed to illegals: 

He even deceived law enforcement:

There's a lot more than I've covered here (that's why you need to read and study the original memo), but in conclusion it states that if Rubio becomes president he will carry on Obama's amnesty legacy and enact immigration legislation that will destroy America:

Julia Hahn, in another excellent article in Breitbart exposes Rubio even more when she lists his 7 "accomplishments" in the Senate that show who he really is.  Her list includes:

1.)  The Rubio-Schumer Gang of 8 Bill - Had it passed, the bill would have tripled issuance of green cards, doubled the dispensation of foreign worker visas, and granted citizenship to illegal immigrants (which would also have given them access to welfare and voting privileges).

2.)   Trans-Pacific Partnership (Obamatrade) - Rubio cast the deciding vote to fast-track Obamatrade which gives President Obama fast-track powers and virtually assures passage of all subsequent trade pacts, which are now liberated from Senate filibuster, amendment process, and constitutional treaty vote. According to Hahn's article, Rubio has described this as the 'second pillar' of his three-pillar foreign policy strategy that he'd enact as president.

3.)  Blocking Curbs to Muslim Immigration - Hahn writes that Rubio told Sean Hannity he'd hate to block funding for Obama's refugees, and suggested that curbs on Muslim migration would be unconstitutional.  This pro mass-migration offensive helped give Rep. Paul Ryan (now Speaker of the House) the space he needed to wave in a vast new group of Muslim migrants.  Rubio also joined a group of Senators who voted down a proposal by Sen. Rand Paul to curb Muslim migration from 30 Muslim countries with active jihadist populations.  Rubio has also sought to grow Muslim immigration.  He introduced a bill which would have allowed unlimited increase in Muslim migration.

4.)  Enabling His Corporate Backers to Replace Americans With Foreign Workers - Rubio's efforts to expand H-1B visas has helped protect his corporate backer's increase their bottom line by replacing American workers with foreign workers.  And Rubio's involvement in this has gone virtually unreported in the media.

5.)  Blocking Food Stamp Reform - Rubio voted against a Republican proposal that the CBO projected would save $10 billion by reining in the abuse of the food stamp program. The proposal would have eliminated automatic eligibility for food stamps even if the household has substantial assets.  Rubio joined the Democrats and only 6 other Republicans to oppose the measure.

6.)  Benghazi - Rubio enthusiastically supported President Obama's and Hillary Clinton's intervention in Libya. 

7.)  Terrible Attendance Record - Rubio has one of the worst attendance records in the Senate.  He says that he finds his job as a senator frustrating and he wants to be president instead.

That's quite a record of "accomplishments" that Ms. Hahn has listed.  Not one of the points represent a conservative position on the given issue.

Gov. Chris Christie was right at last night's debate in New Hampshire to point out Rubio's lack of experience.  He has no idea what it's like to run anything.  Say what you will, but experience doing certain things is important.  

I have written many times about Rubio not being a conservative.  And to add to his record and lack of moral integrity, he lack of experience running anything is another reason he'd be a terrible nominee.  

To defend against his lack of experience he recently has said on the campaign trail that being president is nothing like being a governor or real estate developer.  Obviously he was trying to strike out at competitors like John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush who have been governors and Donald Trump who has been a real estate developer.  He rejects their executive experience, whether in government or the private sector, as unimportant and thinks his lack of experience is not a problem.  But then, so did Barack Obama when he was running with no experience.  Ted Cruz, another candidate with no experience running anything, also rejects the idea that executive experience is important for a president.  So, Rubio's not alone in his feeling, but he's also not right.

Add to all this that Marco Rubio is another establishment candidate with ties to Wall Street and will, just like all establishment Republicans, be beholden to the big money donors.  

The continual losing streak of the establishment Republican candidates will continue if Marco Rubio is the nominee, no matter who the Democrats select as their nominee.  It is wrong to think that we should not be against Rubio.  We should be against him and fight hard to make sure he is not the nominee... unless we want another repeat of a losing election.

Marco Rubio as nominee = a guaranteed loss for the GOP in the general election.

And a GOP loss in 2016 = a guaranteed loss for America's future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cruz Win In Iowa Not What's Important About The Caucus Results

Here's the Nonsense:  Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucuses and that means the establishment is finished for the 2016 election.

Here's the Horse Sense:  Cruz's win means very little, but Rubio's strong 3rd place finish could mean doom for the nomination.

The Ted Cruz win in the Iowa Caucuses really isn't an important story except that it allows Cruz to continue his campaign.  Iowa means little to nothing when it comes to the nomination.  The real news is the establishment candidate Marco Rubio coming in with a strong 3rd place finish when he was a distant third in the polls prior to the vote.  How did such a thing happen and could it mean the establishment will throw all their power behind him to force his nomination on the party?

Cruz supporters and some others are thinking this is a predictor of Cruz ultimately winning the nomination.   

Thirteen polls had Donald Trump winning the caucuses by 4 points.  But those shocked by his second place finish must not be aware that Iowa, possibly more than any other contest, almost never ends up with results that reflect the polls.  And, up until about 2 weeks ago, Trump was not seen as being able to win in Iowa.  Cruz was always the favorite except for the last two weeks when he had some poll problems.  So, to say that Trump losing was a surprise just shows naivete.

As the Des Moines Register reported, since the Republican caucuses in Iowa began in 1976, the results have rarely reflected the nomination of the party.  The past winners that went on to become the nominee are:
  • 1976 - Gerald Ford 
  • 1996 - Bob Dole
  • 2000 - George W. Bush

So, don't think that last night's results mean much.  

The establishment GOP candidates have had a terrible time getting traction in the national polls or the 3 early voting states except New Hampshire (the other 2 are Iowa and South Carolina).  For Rubio to come in a strong third place should be a surprise.  In fact, it's such a surprise that some are saying that it's downright fishy.  Some are even questioning whether Microsoft's involvement in the vote count could have caused tampering with the votes since Microsoft is Rubio's second largest campaign contributor.  

With the polls being consistently unreliable when it comes to Iowa, Rubio may truly have won a strong third place.  But with the shenanigans known all too often in politics, the idea that somebody is tampering with the results certainly isn't as much a conspiracy theory as it may be somewhat reasonable doubt about the results.

After all, if Rubio is positioned as a strong 3rd place and Trump is in 2nd place coming out of Iowa, it's a strong case the establishment can make to support Rubio above others in the upcoming contests.  New Hampshire is a place Rubio should be able to do well.  That part of the country is far more moderate than Iowa and not full of evangelicals like Iowa. The makeup of New Hampshire would not traditionally be receptive to the show that Cruz puts on.  

While the establishment may not be able to push a candidate like Rubio far enough to win the nomination outright, if they can reduce the successes of Trump in the primaries they could force a brokered convention.  That would be the one way they could be sure that neither of the candidates they hate most, Trump and Cruz, would get the nomination and they could use the brokered convention to force a Rubio nomination.

We have no way of knowing whether there was any tampering last night, but whether there was or not, this could play into the establishment's hands more than anything else to once again give us a loser candidate and a Democrat victory.