6

Pure Schadenfreude

 

I am beginning to think that the maxim Pride goeth before a fall will be permanently attached forever more with a picture of Hillary:

 

Hillary Clinton was so confident of victory last year that she bought a second house next to her residence in Chappaqua, New York, to accommodate White House staff during presidential retreats there.

“I thought I was going to win,” she said.

The New York Post reported last year on the Clintons paying $1.16 million for the three-bedroom, ranch-style home next to their house in Chappaqua. The newspaper’s source said at the time it was thought to be a weekend retreat for their daughter Chelsea’s family. Continue Reading

10

Farce

So Donald Trump Jr. was conned during the campaign into meeting with a female Russian attorney who allegedly had dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton.  The meeting was held, the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had no information on Clinton and wanted to talk about her pet cause, Americans adopting Russian kids.  The biggest foe of the Trump administration is the clownish manner in which they often conduct themselves.  As for going to a foreign government to get dirt on a political adversary:  bad, very bad, and very common, as the Clinton campaign demonstrated by working with the Ukrainian embassy in regard to producing dirt against Trump.  Go here to read all about it.

3

It Was the Russians! It Was Comey! It Was the New York Times!

Ah, the country truly dodged a bullet last November.  Clinton has a thousand reasons for why she lost instead of the real one:  her campaign message boiled down to this:  “Hey, you ignorant peasants, vote for me, it’s my turn!”  I guess excuse-making is better than looking in the mirror and thinking:  “Somehow I managed to lose to a man who had been never been elected  dog catcher, whose campaign organization was congealed chaos, who had worse media than Satan, who had half the campaign funds that I had, who often had difficulty getting out three consecutive coherent sentences,  who had more women alleging gross behavior than even the accusers of my “husband”, who had a large section of his party in revolt against him, who has mutant hair, and who hawked steaks and other Trump products during his campaign!  What does that say about me?”

 

10

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Donald J. Trump

 

 

And a special hello to all of you in this room who have known and loved me for many, many years. It’s true. The politicians. They’ve had me to their homes. They’ve introduced me to their children. I’ve become their best friends in many instances. They’ve asked for my endorsement and they’ve always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I’ve always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me.

Donald J. Trump, Al Smith Dinner, October 20, 2016

10

Conservative Ivory Towers and Trump

 

Father Rutler at The Catholic World Report has a good post on the conservative establishment and Trump:

 

We heard and read much commentary from ivory towers during the presidential campaign of 2016, some of it from academicians, and most of it from journalists, television commentators and pollsters for whom the imperium of reality is a form of colonial oppression. One self-styled conservative faculty member at Columbia University confidently predicted : “After Trump gets wiped out this November, the passions will cool. Unlike some past elections, this election won’t be close enough for anyone to argue that the opposition stole the election.”

Another contributor to a leading conservative journal added shortly before the voting began: “No one outside Trump’s evaporating base of diehards seems to think nominating a buffoon was an especially good idea. Yet there he stands, setting conservative politics back a decade every time his tongue makes it past his teeth.”

Their bewildered surprise on election night showed how locked and lofty their towers are, and how quickly perception withers in the groves of Academe. The object of their indignation and scorn, of course, was the billionaire candidate, who is the sort they might solicit for donations to the endowments and fellowships off which many of them live, but who would not be welcome at any of their Chablis and Brie symposia which they are deluded enough to think make a difference in the world. Various professors and journalists published “Never Trump” proclamations which made some cogent points for anyone interested in substance, but which were impassioned beyond reason and conspicuous for a kind of snobbery peculiar to arrivistes.

The veneer quickly shattered when they lapsed into middle school name-calling. Many of these were not liberal in politics, as the term now is used. A considerable number would call themselves social conservatives, and might even think of themselves as strong Catholic apologists. They were not satisfied to state their objections to Mr. Trump’s contentions and avowals, for they resented with unedifying condescension that he was not the sort who belonged in their circle and was stubbornly insolvent in their abstract alchemy. He was “manifestly unfit to be president of the United States” and gave offense with his “vulgarity, oafishness, and shocking ignorance.” He speaks with a “funky outer-borough accent.’’ As though these writers had a copyright on the tradition of culture, they complained: “Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.”

The palpable disdain from the Ivory Tower was not because reality has a bad taste but because it is in bad taste. Many of the same voices were relatively mute during the past eight years of our nation’s moral disintegration, possibly out of reluctance to lose status on campuses which have become ethical wastelands.

Before the election, which they assumed would bury conservatism in a landslide, the hyperventilating professors, journalists, and clerics, were preparing to preen that they had been prophets. When the polls closed, they suddenly learned to their dismay that humanity consists of humans, the cipher for whom was “uneducated white males” who had not matriculated in the shade of the Ivory Tower. It is not beyond some of them to shy from the fact that they bet on the wrong horse. Now there is some chagrin that the winning horse has left them at the gate. This brings to mind the incident in 1914 when none of the three white cassocks fit the small and bent figure of the newly elected Pope Benedict XV. The papal haberdasher was hastily summoned to make adjustments. When he told the Holy Father that he knew he would be elected, Benedict said, “Gammarelli, if you knew, why didn’t you make me a cassock that fit?” Continue Reading

25

My Heart Bleeds

 

Following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and Republicans’ major electoral gains in November, outgoing Obama employees and loyalists to failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have found their job prospects in the District foundering, according to Politico.

“It feels like there are just thousands of us trying to find a job, and there are no jobs,” longtime Clinton aide Mira Patel, who worked for Clinton in her Senate, State Department and 2016 campaign offices, told the outlet.

Following Trump’s surprise victory Nov. 8, Democratic operatives no longer have some 4,000 presidentially appointed jobs for which to apply when the billionaire businessman takes the oath of office Jan. 20.

The Democratic workers who were expecting to see a Clinton White House are reportedly finding the transition especially difficult:

Clinton aides appear to be having a harder time, both emotionally and practically.

“There’s anger, there’s frustration, there’s anxiety, there’s burnout,” said Russ Finkelstein, a managing director at Clearly Next and longtime progressive career guru (including as a founding team member at the lefty jobs board Idealist.org) who has been counseling Clinton alumni.

“People are in shock,” said Anastasia Kessler-Dellaccio, 35, who quit her job at Sister Cities International to run Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary. Some Clinton campaign workers say they’ve lost their bearings because they’re so rattled by the differences in Trump’s values from those represented by Obama and Clinton.

Kessler-Dellaccio added, “I think people, myself included, are trying to figure out, ‘How do I recalibrate my dreams?’”

Go here to read the rest.

18

Change of Heart

 

 

I think the antics of the crazed left since the election of Trump are costing them supporters.  Case in point, Rod Dreher publishes a letter from a young mother:

I’m a secular/agnostic Californian and longtime reader of your blog. I’ve enjoyed your books beginning with Crunchy Cons, and have valued your insights over the years.

Though you don’t know me, I feel like I know you and your family. And I want to share with you, from the liberal bastion of Northern California, that I am officially tired of the type of people who have surrounded me my entire life. In the wake of Trump’s election, I am experiencing “tribe fatigue.” I’m not tired of The Other, Detestable Tribe. I’m tired of my own.

A bit about me: I am a [deleted] with two young children. My parents were non-religious Democrats, and my ex-Catholic mom loathes organized religion to this day.

So I was raised a secular liberal. My college professors were secular liberals. During my journalism phase, my newspaper colleagues were secular liberals. My law school professors and peers were – in the vast majority – secular liberals. Almost everyone at my corporate law firm was a secular liberal. My California neighbors and friends are secular liberals, as are my colleagues. My mother, siblings, and their spouses are all secular liberals.

By all rights, I should be a member in good standing of their tribe, “liking” their Facebook posts and joining their candlelight vigils against the evil Trump Administration. But November 8 and its aftermath revealed to me that I am just so tired of these people. I can’t be like them, and I don’t want my kids turning into them.

I am tired of their undisguised contempt for tens of millions of Americans, with no effort to temper their response to the election with humility or empathy.

I am tired of their unexamined snobbery and condescension.

I am tired of their name-calling and virtue-signaling as signs of supposedly high intelligence.

I am tired of their trendiness, jumping on every left-liberal bandwagon that comes along (transgender activism, anyone?) and then acting like anyone not on board is an idiot/hater.

I am tired of their shallowness. It’s hard to have a deep conversation with people who are obsessed with moving their kids’ pawns across the board (grades, sports, college, grad school, career) and, in their spare time, entertaining themselves and taking great vacations.

I am tired of their acceptance of vulgarity and sarcastic irreverence as the cultural ocean in which their kids swim. I like pop culture as much as the next person, but people who would never raise their kids on junk food seem to think nothing of letting then wallow in cultural junk, exposed to nothing ennobling, aspirational, or even earnest.

I am tired of watching them raise clueless kids (see above) who go off to college and within months are convinced they live in a rapey, racist patriarchy; “Make America Great Again” is hate speech; and Black Lives Matter agitators are their brothers-in-arms against White Privilege. If my kids are like that at nineteen, I’ll feel I’ve seriously failed them as a parent. Yet the general sentiment seems to be these are good, liberal kids who may have gotten a bit carried away.

I am tired of their lack of interest in any form of serious morality or self-betterment. These are decent, responsible people, many compassionate by temperament. Yet they seem two-dimensional, as if they believe that being a nice, well-socialized person who holds the correct political views is all there is, and there is nothing else to talk about. Isn’t there, though?

I am tired of being bored and exasperated by everybody. I feel like I have read this book a thousand times, and there are no surprises in it. Down with Trump! Trans Lives Matter! Climate deniers are destroying the planet! No cake, we’re gluten-free!

These are good people in a lot of ways. But there has got to be a better tribe.

That leads me to . . . drum roll . . . the Christian Right. It is no small feat, switching tribes. It feels stressful and weird to abandon your tribe for the Detested Other Side.

Since November 8, my husband and I have been taking the kids to church. (He is politically conservative with a religious bent, so no argument there.) I have come this close to buying a giant poster of the American flag for the living room. I may do it still. Continue Reading

7

Yawn, Trump Wins Electoral College

 

The attempt, predictably, to generate an Electoral College revolt against Donald Trump failed miserably yesterday.  The College met around the nation on Monday and Clinton suffered the defection of five faithless electors to two for Trump.  Here is the tally:  304 for Trump, 227 for Clinton, three for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and one each for Sanders, Paul, Kasich, and Faith Spotted Eagle (yeah, you read that last one correctly).  Now the deranged Left can spend their time coming up with cloud kukooland schemes as to how the Republican Congress will fail to certify the Electoral College votes and Trump will thus be denied the Presidency.  Leftist special snow flakes simply do not inhabit the same frame of reality the rest of us occupy.

Liberal Celebrities and the Electoral College

 

Fresh off their success of convincing their fellow citizens to elect Hillary Clinton President of these United States, Hollywood celebrities are attempting to convince Republican members of the Electoral College to betray the people of their states and not vote for Donald Trump when the Electoral College meets on December 19.  This is hilarious for several reasons: Continue Reading

22

End of the Recount Farce

 

I haven’t wasted the time of TAC readers in covering the moneymaking scheme of Jill Stein, former green party candidate, in calling for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, due to the fact that the recounts had no hope of success, if by success altering the outcome of the election was the goal.  Clinton was beaten so thoroughly in the electoral college that in order to change the outcome recounts would have to award her all three states.  The smallest vote gap was in Michigan of approximately 10,000 votes, and any recount, based upon history, would barely make a dent in such a total.

Only one state did a recount, Wisconsin, and the Badger State as a result of the recount increased Trump’s vote margin of victory by 162 votes.  In Michigan the state appellate court shut down the farce.  In Pennsylvania Federal District Judge Paul Diamond, in a truly blistering decision, refused to order a recount:

 

Unsuccessful Green Party Candidate Jill Stein and Pennsylvania voter Randall Reitz allege that because Pennsylvania’s voting machines might have been “hacked” during last month’s election, I must order the Commonwealth to conduct a recount of the votes cast for President. There are at least six separate grounds requiring me to deny Plaintiffs’ Motion. Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any “hack” occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ lack of standing, the likely absence of federal jurisdiction, and Plaintiffs’ unexplained, highly prejudicial delay in seeking a recount are all fatal to their claims for immediate relief. Further, Plaintiffs have not met any of the requirements for the issuance of a mandatory emergency injunction. Finally, granting the relief Plaintiffs seek would make it impossible for the Commonwealth to certify its Presidential Electors by December 13 (as required by federal law), thus inexcusably disenfranchising some six million Pennsylvania voters. For all these reasons, I am compelled to refuse Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief. Continue Reading

10

Hillary Clinton: The New Coke of Presidential Candidates

 

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal brings us this election factoid:

 

Seems that during the recent campaign, Hillary Clinton spent twice as much as

DONALD J. TRUMP

Hillary Clinton and her supporters spent a record $1.2 billion for her losing presidential campaign — twice as much as the winner, Donald Trump, according to the latest records.

The president-elect, who confounded critics during the campaign by saying there was no need to raise or spend $1 billion or more, ended up making do with $600 million.

Clinton’s expensive machine tore through $131.8 million in just the final weeks, finishing with about $839,000 on hand as of Nov. 28.

Team Trump spent $94.5 million in the home stretch — from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28 — and had $7.6 million left.

The figures include all spending by the campaigns, PACs and party committees.

But still lost the election to

DONALD J. TRUMP

Which means that

DONALD J.TRUMP

will the next president of the United States. Continue Reading

7

My Dad and the 2016 Elections

 

 

Like most people I guess, the two people in this world who had the largest impact on me were my parents.  Considering how large they loom in my memories and in my heart, it is hard for me to comprehend that my Mom has been gone from this Vale of Tears for almost a third of a century, and my Dad for just over a quarter of a century.  I look at myself now and I recognize that most of what I am is an amalgam of their qualities that I received, either through genetics or what they taught me when I was growing up.  Intellectually probably my debt to my mother is greater.  She was the reader of the family, and I received from her a love of verbal sparring, logic and an endless thirst for knowledge.  Politically I received more of my inheritance from my father.  My Mom was inclined to the liberal side of the ledger, although the Democrats lost her vote when abortion became an issue.

My Dad, and go here to read about him, came from a long line of Republicans, probably dating back to the Civil War.  My branch of the McClareys never had much money, but we usually voted Republican.  My Dad had no great fondness for the Republican party, having a low opinion of almost all politicians whatever they called themselves, but he had certain beliefs and instincts that led him to vote for  Republicans.  Always something of a rebel, too much Irish blood in his veins not to be, he always thanked the Union steward in his plant who handed out voter guides because it was handy for him to know who his Union endorsed so he could vote the opposite way, he disliked most things big:  Big Business, Big Unions and, especially, Big Government.  It is from my father, back in the early sixties, that I first heard the Libertarian, “Their ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”  Dad taught me  that everything in this world has a price tag, and nothing is free but the grace of God.

While not being fond of the rich, he once succinctly defined feminism as “Games for rich women.”, he had nothing but scorn for those who sought to live off the government.  The salaries that Union bosses got used to drive him up the wall.  The dishonesty of television commercials would sometimes elicit a derisive snort from my laconic father.  Any sort of sham or pretense produced a strongly negative reaction from my father who was a naturally honest man.  The idea that government could solve problems, outside of perhaps winning wars, he regarded as a simple lie.  When Walter Cronkite used to say at the end of his news broadcast on CBS, “Well that’s the way it is.”, my father’s rolled eyes gave his assessment of how much he accepted that contention.

In regard to the 2016 elections, other than knowing that he would sooner have lost a right arm than vote for Hillary Clinton, I only know one thing for sure about Dad and his reaction to the elections:  he would have loved how the confident prediction of almost all pollsters that Hillary would win came tumbling down.  Dad hated polls.  He hated that anyone thought that they could predict an election before the votes were counted.  That seemed wrong to him.  When it comes to making predictions on elections, obviously I have not followed in my father’s footsteps, but in his belief that it is human hubris to pretend certainty when massive amounts of people are involved in making up their minds, I do agree with him.  So, here’s to you Dad!  I am sure you privately shook your head about your eldest son and how he seemed to pay little attention when you spoke, or argued with you, but I was actually paying close attention, and the older I get the more I appreciate the instruction I received from you and Mom.  May my kids say the same a quarter or a third of a century from now about me and their mother, especially when their thoughts, as mine are now, turn to family and absent loved ones at Thanksgiving.

12

Demographics and Democrats

 

 

I am always amused by theories that, on the American political scene, a party has an electoral lock on the White House or that one party will be in control of Congress forever.  Such theories tend to be plentiful just before they are punctured.  The latest popular theory on the left is that the Democrats, due to illegal immigration from Mexico, will soon have total political dominance.  This has been bruited about since the 2000 election, so “soon” is not a precise term.  Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics takes a look at it:

The black vote: Neither of Barack Obama’s wins in 2008 or 2012 were dependent upon African-American turnout.  But it certainly helped.  Had the Republican nominee in 2008 received George W. Bush’s share of the black vote, and had African-American turnout resembled 2004, President Obama’s 2008 lead would have been halved.  In 2012 it would have been reduced to a single point.

The possibility of a reversion-to-mean among African-American voting patterns in 2016 was always a very real one.  If you look at turnout rates as reported by the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey dating back to 2002, African-American rates have always lagged Republican rates by around five points, give or take (though if you control for socioeconomic status, African-Americans are more likely to vote than whites).  This was true in 2010 as well as 2014.  The exceptions were 2008 and 2012, when African-American turnout rates exceeded white rates. 

Now, it was possible that we had entered a period with a “presidential” electorate and a “midterm” electorate, but it was foolish to dismiss the possibility of a mean reversion once a charismatic history-making candidate such as Barack Obama didn’t top the ticket.  With the African-American share of the electorate declining to 12 percent in 2016, I think it’s pretty clear that something along these lines occurred. 

Likewise, with Donald Trump winning a larger share of the black vote than Mitt Romney or John McCain did, and with the midterm electorates looking more like the electorates of 2002 to 2006, we have to take seriously the possibility of a mean reversion there as well.

Hispanics: Analysis focuses on the “fast-growing” Hispanic vote, but the Hispanic share of the electorate has actually increased glacially.  It was 8 percent of the electorate in 2004, 9 percent in 2008, 10 percent in 2012, and 11 percent in 2016. If we rely on the census data for the electorate, it has been even smaller.  The fact that Hispanics are increasingly adopting a “white” identity (what Reihan Salam calls “racial attrition”) may blunt this growth in the future.

Moreover, I’ve long believed that analysis of what motivates Hispanic voters misses the mark.  White and liberal analysts are far too reductionist when it comes to these voters, and for some reason have decided that immigration reform is a make-or-break issue for them.  This ignores an awful lot of contrary evidence, such as the fact that a majority of Hispanic voters told exit pollsters in 2008 that immigration reform wasn’t important to them, or voted Republican anyway.  It ignores the fact that sizeable minorities of Hispanics voted for anti-illegal immigration candidates such as Jan Brewer and Sharron Angle.  It ignores the fact that a large number of Hispanic voters backed Propositions 187 and 209 in California, and so forth.

I was always skeptical (though not entirely dismissive) of the idea that Hispanic voters were on their way to voting like African-American voters. Given that Donald Trump has likely out-performed Mitt Romney among Hispanics, I think it is safe to say that 27 percent represents something of a floor for Republicans.  It could be the case that Republicans will suffer further erosion here over time, but given that, over the long term, the Hispanic vote has gradually become more Republican (Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Jimmy Carter and George McGovern all won larger shares of the Hispanic vote than Obama did in 2012), and that Hispanics become more Republican as they move from the border to the burbs, and that Hispanic immigration has for now leveled off, it may also be the case that the Republican share of this vote will grow.

Whites: I have written extensively about the Republican voting trend among white voters, especially among working-class whites. That is obviously an incredibly salient point in the wake of this election, where whites without college degrees voted like Hispanics, but with the impact Hispanics would have if they constituted 40 percent of the electorate. It is true that there weren’t enough working-class whites to win the election for Trump, as many asserted during the campaign.  But it was closer than a lot of people think.

I’m not going to rehash everything here; it is pretty well covered in the links.  I will just make two points.  First, mocking the GOP as the Party of White Voters was, from an electoral perspective, extremely short-sighted.  White voters are still 70 percent of the electorate (probably more). Winning around 60 percent of those voters will win a party an awful lot of elections.  If Trump were to bring college-educated whites back into the fold, that share will grow.

Second, this chart should have really scared Democrats a lot more than it apparently did.

Women: Here, I can be brief.  Analysts are right to examine the gender gap – the distance between the male share of the vote and the female share of the vote – but they are wrong to make predictions based upon it.  As I wrote earlier this year, the gender gap giveth, but it also taketh away. We see this on full display in 2016.  The 24-point spread in 2016 was actually the largest on record.  But like the year with the second-largest spread (2000) and the third-largest spread (1980), it ended in Republican victory.  In fact, looking at the years with the four smallest gender gaps in history (1976, 1972, 1992, 2008) we may reasonably ask ourselves if perhaps large gender gaps tend to hurt Democrats.

Overreach: The major theme of my book is that all party coalitions fall apart because, well, governing is hard and it inevitably forces parties to choose among members of their coalition.  More importantly – and this is where I think realignment theory isn’t just wrong but also counterproductive – parties see their wins as a sign that they’ve finally “won” at politics.  But this hubristic take is always wrong, and usually destructive. Such hubris destroyed the Republican coalition in 1910 when they thought they had won a mandate to pass the self-serving Payne-Aldrich tariff. It weakened the Democratic coalition in 1937 when FDR believed he had a mandate to pack the Supreme Court and pass the Third New Deal.  It destroyed the Republican coalition in 2005 when George W. Bush famously quipped that he had earned political capital and intended to spend it.

I have little doubt that a belief that demographics would save them at the presidential level led Democrats to take a number of steps that they will soon regret, from going nuclear on the filibuster to aggressive uses of executive authority.  But one thing deserves special attention.  A good deal of e-ink has been spilled describing the ways in which the culturally superior attitudes of the left drove Trumpism.  This too, I think, derived from a belief that history had a side and that progressives were on it, combined with a lack of appreciation of just how many culturally traditionalist voters there are in this country. Continue Reading

18

Ten Simple Ways to Lose a Presidential Election

 

I always thought that Bill Clinton had preternatural political skills.  During Hillary’s campaign this year his appearances tended to be lackluster and he gave off an air of frustration.  Perhaps this is why:

 

 

In the waning days of the presidential campaign, Bill and Hillary Clinton had a knock-down, drag-out fight about her effort to blame FBI Director James Comey for her slump in the polls and looming danger of defeat.

‘I was with Bill in Little Rock when he had this shouting match with Hillary on the phone and she accused Comey for reviving the investigation into her use of a private email server and reversing her campaign’s momentum,’ said one of Bill Clinton’s closest advisers.

‘Bill didn’t buy the excuse that Comey would cost Hillary the election,’ said the source. ‘As far as he was concerned, all the blame belonged to [campaign manager Robby] Mook, [campaign chairman John] Podesta and Hillary because they displayed a tone-deaf attitude about the feeble economy and its impact on millions and millions of working-class voters.

‘Bill was so red in the face during his conversation with Hillary that I worried he was going to have a heart attack. He got so angry that he threw his phone off the roof of his penthouse apartment and toward the Arkansas River.’

Bill has a luxurious penthouse apartment with an outdoor garden at the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock.

During the campaign, Bill Clinton felt that he was ignored by Hillary’s top advisers when he urged them to make the economy the centerpiece of her campaign.

He repeatedly urged them to connect with the people who had been left behind by the revolutions in technology and globalization.

‘Bill said that constantly attacking Trump for his defects made Hillary’s staff and the media happy, but that it wasn’t a message that resonated with voters, especially in the rust belt,’ the source explained.

‘Bill always campaigned as a guy who felt your pain, but Hillary came across as someone who was pissed off at her enemy [Trump], not someone who was reaching out and trying to make life better for the white working class.’

According to the source, Bill was severely critical of Hillary’s decision to reject an invitation to address a St. Patrick’s Day event at the University of Notre Dame.

Hillary’s campaign advisers nixed the idea on the grounds that white Catholics were not the audience she needed to reach.

Go here to read the rest.  The Hillary Clinton campaign was a monument to political malpractice.  Here are ten simple ways to lose a presidential election.  The Clinton campaign was guilty of each one of them.

  1. Campaign theme-Don’t have one.  Clinton’s theme was the vapid Stronger Together.  She might as well have been running on Apple Pie.  Trump’s campaign theme of Make America Great Again, tied in with his constant assertion that nothing works in America anymore.  That most people believe that something is deeply wrong with the country is borne out by the polls that constantly show most Americans believing that the country is on the wrong track.
  2. Ignore the Election Calendar-Americans routinely toss out the party in power after eight years.  Any member of the same party running after a two term president is going to have an uphill climb and should plan accordingly.
  3. Despise your Adversary-Ignore his strengths and concentrate on what a loathsome character he is in your eyes.
  4. Campaign Lackadaisically-Clinton, perhaps due to her health, often had one or two campaign events a day.  Trump would usually have four to five massive rallies all about the country.
  5. Identity Politics-Split the American people up into warring factions and cater to some of them.  Forget that other factions will almost always deeply resent this favoritism.
  6. Believe the Polls-If the polls show you ahead, relax and attempt to coast to victory.
  7. Enthusiasm-Ignore that your adversary has lots of it on his side and you have nil.  Assume that a good ground game can compensate for the fact that most of your voters view you, at best, as a typical pol.
  8. Economy-Pretending that the economy is good at a time when millions of workers have abandoned job searches as futile is a sure path to popularity on election day.
  9. Rely upon the Media-If the media is on your side relax, even if most voters view the media as unreliable.  The voters were probably just joking when they began repeating the old Soviet joke:  There is no truth in Pravda (Truth) and there is no news in Izvestia (News).
  10. Believe your own Hype-The handouts you give to the media should be accepted as Gospel Truth in campaign headquarters.  Yell good news to the rafters and ignore bad news.

 

 

 

 

17

Schadenfreude: Doctor Feser Illustrates When it is Permissible

Language advisory as to the above video due to foul mouthed liberals.

Philosopher Edward Feser takes a look at schadenfreude:

 

Bill Vallicella asks: Is there a righteous form of schadenfreude?  The Angelic Doctor appears to answer in the affirmative.  Speaking of the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have of the damned, Aquinas famously says:

It is written (Psalm 57:11): “The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge”…

Therefore the blessed will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked…

A thing may be a matter of rejoicing in two ways.  First directly, when one rejoices in a thing as such: and thus the saints will not rejoice in the punishment of the wicked.  Secondly, indirectly, by reason namely of something annexed to it: and in this way the saints will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked, by considering therein the order of Divine justice and their own deliverance, which will fill them with joy.  And thus the Divine justice and their own deliverance will be the direct cause of the joy of the blessed: while the punishment of the damned will cause it indirectly.

End quote.  So, the idea is this: On the one hand, the suffering of a person is not as such something to rejoice in, for suffering, considered just by itself, is an evil and, as Aquinas goes on to say, “to rejoice in another’s evil as such belongs to hatred.”  However, there can be something “annexed” to the suffering which is a cause for rejoicing.  For example, if we are able to develop a virtue like patience by way of suffering, that is something to rejoice in, and thus in an indirect way the suffering can in that case legitimately be a cause of rejoicing.  But another sort of thing which can be annexed to a person’s suffering is justice, as when a person suffers some harm as a deserved punishment.  And someone’s getting his just deserts is in Aquinas’s view something to rejoice in.  Hence, Aquinas concludes, in an indirect way the suffering of the wicked can be something to rejoice in.

This is in Aquinas’s view true even when the suffering is eternal, if that is what is deserved.  Indeed, he judges that the joy of the blessed would be incomplete without knowledge of the infliction of these just deserts:

Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.

Now, that’s schadenfreude, big league.

Putting the question of hell to one side, though, we can note that if schadenfreude can be legitimate even in that case, then a fortiori it can be legitimate in the case of lesser instances of someone getting his just deserts, in this life rather than the afterlife.  For example – and to take the case Bill has in mind — suppose someone’s suffering is a consequence of anti-Catholic bigotry, brazen corruption, unbearable smugness, a sense of entitlement, groupthink, and in general from hubris virtually begging nemesis to pay a visit.  When you’re really asking for it, you can’t blame others for enjoying seeing you get it.  Continue Reading

17

Prediction of Trump Victory Made on March 2, 2016

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(If faithful readers of the blog will permit me the indulgence of resurrecting this post from March 2 of this year.)

I’m not sold on the idea that Clinton is unbeatable, least of all by Trump who, when it comes to the Clintons’ variety of thermo-nuclear scorched earth politics, is the equivalent of a cockroach.

Ernst Schreiber

Hattip to commenter Ernst Schreiber for the idea behind this post.

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a strong opponent of Donald Trump.  I view him as an ignorant blowhard, a Democrat in a skimpy Republican disguise, and a disaster in the making of epic proportions if he should be elected President.  I will not vote for him if he is the Republican nominee, an easy call for me since if Illinois is in play Trump is heading for a landslide win in any case.  However, unlike many Trump critics my opposition to him does not have anything to do with his electability in the fall.  If Clinton is the Democrat nominee I think it likely that Trump will win.  Here is why.

1. Clinton Smear Machine-Unlike most candidates I think Trump is largely immune to smears.  Throughout his career he has been subject to a largely bad press.  Except for cannibalism and incest Trump has been charged with every crime imaginable and with some that truly do tax the imagination.  I doubt if there is much more that could be revealed to harm him.  Like Huey Long, the Kingfish of the Depression Era, he thrives on bad press and attacks.

2.  Colorful Career-As loathe as I am to admit it, there are elements in Trump’s career that will probably play well with the voters, including this incident, go here to read it, where Trump intervened to stop a violent mugging in progress.

3.  Wrong Clinton-I always said that Clinton had preternatural political skills, however that was Bill Clinton, who could probably have won an election after being discovered in bed with either a live boy or a dead girl.  His spouse on the other hand is a miserable politician who got beaten like a drum by Obama in 2008 and who has struggled to beat an elderly socialist this year.

4.  Empty Promises-Democrats have thrived over the years on making empty promises to voters with a straight face.  No one can out empty promise Donald The-Mexicans-Are-Going -To-Pay-For-The-Wall Trump!

5.  Outsider-This is clearly a year when the voters want an outsider.  Trump, the croniest capitalist, would seem to be the consummate insider, except when compared to Hillary Clinton.  In the primaries Trump has been able to paint himself as an outsider, and compared to Clinton it is not quite so laughable a claim.

6.  Scandals-Beltway pundits clearly underestimate public anger over Benghazi.  Tie that in with the e-mail crime scandal, and doubtless a lot of juicy tidbits being excavated by Trump’s opposition research, and Clinton will be on the receiving end of endless negative attack ads that would have bounced off her husband but likely will do damage to her.

7.  Jugular-Republicans frustrated by a too gentlemanly form of campaigning by their candidates will have nothing to complain about from Trump.  He will begin with throwing the kitchen sink against Clinton and proceed on from there. Continue Reading

5

The Other Side of the Hill

 

 

Harris had been encamped in a creek bottom for the sake of being near water. The hills on either side of the creek extend to a considerable height, possibly more than a hundred feet. As we approached the brow of the hill from which it was expected we could see Harris’ camp, and possibly find his men ready formed to meet us, my heart kept getting higher and higher until it felt to me as though it was in my throat. I would have given anything then to have been back in Illinois, but I had not the moral courage to halt and consider what to do; I kept right on. When we reached a point from which the valley below was in full view I halted. The place where Harris had been encamped a few days before was still there and the marks of a recent encampment were plainly visible, but the troops were gone. My heart resumed its place. It occurred to me at once that Harris had been as much afraid of me as I had been of him. This was a view of the question I had never taken before; but it was one I never forgot afterwards.

Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

The above is a description by Grant of the first time in the Civil War when he led troops against a Confederate position.  As in War, so in Politics.  We usually are eloquent in the weaknesses of the side we support in politics, but we forget that the other side have their share of problems also.  After the shellacking of the Democrats on Tuesday perhaps we should look at things from their point of view for a moment.

In 2008 they won a great victory, placing Barack Obama in the White House, winning 257 seats in the House and 57 seats in the Senate.  They controlled 29 governorships after the 2008 elections and 62 out of 99 legislative chambers.  After eight years of Obama, they go into 2017 controlling neither the White House nor Congress, with 16 governorships and 30 out of 99 legislative chambers.  Is it any wonder that some articles are being written by Democrats currently that read like this one by Thomas Frank, a fairly shrewd left wing observer of politics:

What we need to focus on now is the obvious question: what the hell went wrong? What species of cluelessness guided our Democratic leaders as they went about losing what they told us was the most important election of our lifetimes?

Start at the top. Why, oh why, did it have to be Hillary Clinton? Yes, she has an impressive resume; yes, she worked hard on the campaign trail. But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.

She was the Democratic candidate because it was her turn and because a Clinton victory would have moved every Democrat in Washington up a notch. Whether or not she would win was always a secondary matter, something that was taken for granted. Had winning been the party’s number one concern, several more suitable candidates were ready to go. There was Joe Biden, with his powerful plainspoken style, and there was Bernie Sanders, an inspiring and largely scandal-free figure. Each of them would probably have beaten Trump, but neither of them would really have served the interests of the party insiders.

And so Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition.

To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

Put this question in slightly more general terms and you are confronting the single great mystery of 2016. The American white-collar class just spent the year rallying around a super-competent professional (who really wasn’t all that competent) and either insulting or silencing everyone who didn’t accept their assessment. And then they lost. Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness, shouted from a position of high social status, that turns people away.

The even larger problem is that there is a kind of chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years, a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google jet and those nice people at Goldman. The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the “last thing standing” between us and the end of the world. It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue. Enough! Continue Reading

6

Oops!

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E-bay sellers around the globe thank you Newsweek for this classic Dewey beats Truman moment:

“President-elect Hillary Clinton ‘went high’ when her opponent and his supporters went ever lower…”; “on election day, Americans across the country roundly rejected the kind of fear and hate-based conservatism peddled by Donald Trump… The highest glass ceiling in the western world had finally shattered.”

Most Leftists view history as a straight line progression, and are continually shocked when the muse of history, Clio, stubbornly fails to perform the role they have assigned to her.

19

Schadenfreude: Soon to be Unemployed Obamacrats

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Ah well, in the vibrant economy that Obama created, I am sure they will have no trouble finding jobs in the private sector to pay their attorney fees for the various felonies so many of them committed while in government.   With old time hard-case federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani likely in charge of the Justice Department in the coming Trump administration, I can imagine they will be having sweet dreams for the next 71 days that remain of the regime that I am sure they thought was merely the first of endless leftist control of the White House.  Remember ladies and gentlemen to have your attorneys get the terms of the immunity deals in writing first before you start ratting out your colleagues.

  An object lesson for the incoming Trump administration:  always remember that some day your political enemies will be where you are now.

8

Schadenfreude: Stephen Colbert

 

Ah, Stephen Colbert on election night.  He bemoans the fact that Americans are so obsessed with politics.  Let that sink in.  Colbert made his career by playing a caricature of a right wing television blowhard to the delight of his left-wing audience.  It is the liberalism that he has championed throughout his career that has permeated society with noxious attempts to enforce ideological conformity.  One can imagine the different tune he would have been singing if Clinton had trounced Trump.  If an unexamined life is a tragedy, “funny man” Colbert’s life is a grim tale indeed.

19

Catholics Vote for Trump: Patheos Hardest Hit

The poll, published by CNN, shows 23 percent of Americans who voted this election season identified themselves as Catholic, while 27 percent said they were Protestant, 24 percent “Other Christian,” 15 percent “No Religion,” and three percent “Jewish.” Of the Catholics who voted, 52 percent voted for Trump and 45 percent voted for Clinton. Continue Reading

12

Patron Saint of Politicians

You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat-on, without that horrible moral squint… With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.

Cardinal Wosely to Sir Thomas More, A Man for all Seasons

 

 

 

(A repost from 2010.  It seemed very appropriate today.)

In this political season I was curious as to which saint was the patron saint of politicians.  Much to my shock I learned that on October 26, 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Saint Thomas More as patron saint of politicians and statesman.  It was an inspired choice, but I think the average politician might find Saint Thomas More difficult to emulate.

1.  As far as I can tell, Saint Thomas More always told the truth.  Most politicians seem to regard lying as a job requirement or a job perk.

2.  Saint Thomas More was noted by contemporaries for not taking bribes.  Such honesty was just as rare among politicians then as it is now.

3.  As Cardinal Wolsey, unforgettably portrayed by Orson Welles,  noted in A Man for All Seasons, Saint Thomas always viewed issues of public policy with a “moral squint”.  Most politicians would view this as a severe handicap.

4.  Saint Thomas gave up the highest office in England over a matter of principle.  I am afraid the average politician’s reaction to this would be, “You have got to be kidding”.

5.  Most politicians when viewing the movie “A Man for All Seasons” would probably think that Richard Rich is the hero of the film. Continue Reading

95

Election Night Open Thread

As usual, TAC will have an open thread for election night.  In regard to the presidential contest, most of the polls show Clinton with a three to four point advantage.  However, two of the most accurate polls from 2012, the Los Angeles Times Daybreak Poll and IDB, show Trump ahead by three and two points respectively.  Additionally, while national polls were placing Clinton ahead yesterday, most electoral college projections showed Trump’s position improving, with him nipping at Clinton’s heels.  This really does not make much sense, but that is par for this skunk-fest of an election.  My hypothesis is that the polls have been off because of an inability of most them to accurately gauge Trump’s support.  We shall all find out soon enough.

Things to watch for tonight:  If Trump takes Florida and Ohio he will likely need just one or two blue states to win, assuming that Iowa and the Romney states from 2012 fall to him.  There will be likely a titanic contest in the upper Midwest tonight over Michigan, Wisconsin and, perhaps, Minnesota.  The Dems also seem worried about Pennsylvania.  If Trump flips one of these states, than he can likely start calling himself Mr.  President.  New Hampshire and Maine 2 could be absolutely critical if the contest is close and Trump does not flip one of the states in the Upper Midwest or the Keystone State.  In such a scenario, assuming that Trump takes Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, they set him up to win if he takes Nevada or Colorado.  Additionally, keep your eyes on Oregon.  If there is one state I think might shockingly flip from blue to red, in defiance of all the polls, it would be that one.

In regard to the Senate, it could be a nail biter to see which party controls it.  In the House the GOP is expected to hold, but the margin in the House could be critical over the next two years.

It promises to be an exciting election night if not an edifying one!  As always, put your comments in the comboxes.

 

Updates:

All times are Central Standard Time

6:30 AM-Just got back from voting.  One of the perks of living in a small town is little waiting in order to vote.  It seemed to me as if the polls were less busy than in 2012 and 2008.

5:05 PM-First polls close in an hour.  Lots of exit poll chatter that I won’t bore you with due to my conviction that exit polls tend to be unreliable.

6:00 PM- Vermont called for Clinton.  Indiana and Kentucky called for Trump.  Too close to call:  Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina.  Georgia and South Carolina being too close to call is not good news for Trump.

6:30 PM-West Virginia called for Trump.  North Carolina and Ohio too close to call.  Republican Senator Portman of Ohio  has won re-election.

6: 45 PM-Go here to see the latest vote tallies for states whose polls have closed.

6:50 PM-South Carolina called for Trump.

7:00 PM-Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee called for Trump.  Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts called for Clinton.  Democrat pickup in Illinois in the Senate where Tammy Duckworth unseats Mark Kirk.

7:07 PM-Rhode Island called for Clinton.

7:15 PM-Marco Rubio has won re-election to the Senate from Florida.

7:25 PM-Young beats Bayh for the Senate seat in Indiana.  An important victory in the Republican attempt to retain control of the Senate.

7:30 PM-Alabama called for Trump.

7:35 PM-The Republicans will retain control of the House.

7:50 PM -One can never be sure about anything when it comes to Presidential elections in Florida, but it looks like Trump is going to have a narrow win.

8:00 PM-New York is called for Clinton.  Donald Trump sweeps the states of the Great Plains and Texas.

8:05 PM-Arkansas called for Trump.

8:22 PM-Connecticut called for Clinton.

8:40 PM-New Mexico called for Clinton and Louisiana is called for Trump.

8:57 PM-Virginia called for Clinton.

9:00 PM-Montana called for Trump.

9:10 PM-Burr, the Republican Senator in North Carolina has won re-election.  Likely that the Republicans will retain control of the Senate.

9:25 PM-Ohio called for Trump.  Colorado called for Clinton.

9:30 PM-Florida called for Trump.

9:45 PM-The New York Times now projects that Trump has a 92% chance of winning the Presidency.  Right on cue North Carolina is called for Trump.

9:50 PM-Republican Senator Ron Johnson has won re-election in Wisconsin.  Grand!  One of my favorite conservative senators!

10:00 PM-California, Washington and Hawaii called for Clinton.  Idaho called for Trump.

10:10 PM-Utah called for Trump.

10:25 PM-Oregon called for Clinton.

10:30 PM-Wisconsin called for Trump.  That is the blue state he needed.  Iowa called for Trump. I’m calling it.  Trump is going to be the 45th President of these United States.  In the year of Brexit and the Cubs, the improbable was probable.  The ladies have been waiting to sing this song in celebration of the defeat of Hillary Clinton:

 

10:40 PM-Georgia is called for Trump.

11:24 PM-Nevada called for Clinton.

11:40 PM-My bride’s reaction to the election results:

12:07 AM-Maine called for Clinton, but not Maine 2 with its one electoral vote.

12:25 PM-Roy Blunt, Republican Senator from Missouri has won re-election.

12:27 PM-Pat Toomey has won re-election in Pennsylvania.  Hurrah!  It is certain that the Republicans have retained control of the Senate.

12:50 PM-Pennsylvania is called for Trump.  Trump will have at least 290 electoral votes, and quite possibly he will end up north of 300.

With that, I will be turning in.  Much analysis tomorrow and in the days to come.  The Democrats had a very bad night, and the Republicans find themselves in control of the Congress and the Presidency, although admittedly Trump makes an odd sort of Republican.  I will end this night’s blog coverage with this observation that I have made on other election nights:

 

After the 2008 elections many on the Left, giddy with victory, predicted that in future the Republican party would be only a rump party of the South, doomed to wander in the political wilderness for 40 years.  Typical of this commentary was a piece written by frequent commenter Morning’s Minion:

For look at what the Republican party has become in recent years: a rump party of the south and the plains, mired in an anachronistic culture that has little resonance with the modern world and with the younger generation.

Of course this commentary betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of American political history.  In that history there are no final victories and no final defeats.  The great issue in contention since the days of the Federalists and the Republicans, the role of government in the lives of a free people, has remained with us no matter what names the two parties call themselves.  When a party dies, the Whig party for instance, a new party steps forward to carry on the fight.  The parties themselves shift and change, but the large issues involved tend, at bottom, to remain the same.  Kipling wrote long ago:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

That is sound advice in American politics, no matter if an election is good for your party or bad for your party.

22

Comey: Never Mind

 

FBI Director James Comey delivers a November surprise:

Dear Messrs. Chairmen: 

I write to supplement my October 28, 2016 letter that notified you the FBI would be taking additional investigative steps with respect to former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.

Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton. 

I am very grateful to the professionals at the FBI for doing an extraordinary amount of high-quality work in a short period of time.

Sincerely yours, 
James B. Comey
Director

Impact?  Hard to say.  We are right on top of the election and normally a big event in an election needs a few days to seep into the public consciousness.  Most people will probably hear about it tomorrow, and the number of people who haven’t made up their minds by this time how they are going to vote, if they are going to vote, is probably small.  It is probably marginally good news for Clinton, but I doubt if will have much influence due to the lateness of this revelation and the fact that most people have probably reached a decision on Clinton, one way or another.  Whoever is elected, Comey needs to go.  Having Prince Hamlet as FBI Director is bad for the country.

 

19

Election Forecast

Hillary and Donald

 

Four years ago I was convinced that Romney was going to win in a landslide so take what follows with a boulder of salt.

We are coming to the end of a very odd campaign.   In Trump and Clinton we have the two most unpopular major party candidates for President in US history.  During the course of the campaign we have had Trump accused of sexual assault by a baker’s dozen of women.  Clinton is currently under renewed criminal investigation for her using non-secure civilian e-mail servers as Secretary of State in order to protect her business of selling access and influence to the highest bidders.  WikiLeaks has revealed various unsavory aspects of the Clinton campaign and Project Veritas has shown the Democrats engaging in plots to incite violence at Trump rallies.  Trump is on audio as praising physical assault as a means of sexual success.  Clinton has jealously guarded her health records although there is demonstrable evidence that she is suffering from some malady.  Her secret paid speeches to Goldman Sachs revealed by Wikileaks underline that she routinely, as a matter of deliberate policy, says one thing in public to the people and another thing in private to the powerful.  I suspect that most Americans would wish to have as little to do personally as possible with either candidate.  In short, it has been a contest between two skunks.

This in part explains why the polls have been all over the place throughout the campaign.  Having said that, the national polls currently tend to show either a dead heat or Clinton with a very slight advantage.  The state polls indicate that Trump may be surging, with the most recent polls showing him ahead in the blue stronghold of New Hampshire, and extremely close in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  He seems to have beaten off threats in Arizona and Georgia.  Early voting indicates that the black vote may be down from 2008 and 2012 while the Hispanic vote is up.  Overall, the Republicans seem to be holding their own in early voting in most states.

 

www_270towin

The above are the states I view as currently safe for each side.  This gives Clinton 182 electoral votes to 164 for Trump.

www_270towin

Next let’s add states that are almost certain to fall to each side:  for Trump, Arizona and Georgia, for Clinton, Minnesota and New Mexico.  This  ties Clinton and Trump at 197 electoral votes each.

 

www_270towin

Next we have the states where it is close, but there seems to be a clear advantage to one side:  this gives Trump Iowa, Ohio and one electoral vote for Maine 2 (Maine allocates one electoral vote to each of its Congressional districts), with the other three Maine electoral votes to Clinton.  This gives Clinton 200 electoral votes to 216 for Trump.

www_270towin

Now it gets tricky with true battleground states.  I give Florida, North Carolina and New Hampshire, based on the latest polls, to Trump.  Florida, as usual, will be very close, but with a decrease in the black vote, Trump Democrats, and a large effort by the Cuban community, I think Trump will win.  North Carolina, based on early voting, I think Trump will take it, and probably by a wider margin than that by which Romney took the state in 2012.  Clinton will take Virginia, although recent polls are showing it quite close, and Pennsylvania.  The Democrats who control Philadelphia will manufacture votes if they have to in order to win in the Keystone State.  That gets Clinton up to 233 and Trump up to 264.

Continue Reading

17

A Clear and Present Danger to the Republic

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As faithful readers of this blog know, I am no fan of Donald Trump.  I think he will be a bad President.  I view him as a man of low character, a man who has amassed a large fortune utilizing frequently methods of dubious morality, and whose sexual morality would offend honest rutting pigs in a mud sty.  His lack of basic knowledge regarding so many aspects of being President is alarming.  His born again conversion to conservatism I find highly suspect.  His pro-life protestations ring hollow to me.  I finally agreed, very reluctantly, to support him solely due to the abortion issue.  While I doubt Trump’s sincerity in regard to his claim to now be pro-life, I do not have any doubt of the sincerity of Hillary Clinton in being a pro-abortion fanatic, who would attempt to bring the weight of the Federal government against pro-lifers.  For me, that is enough.  However, I have concluded that there is another strong reason to favor Trump.

Ross Douthat, who is a conservative and a pro-lifer, argued yesterday in the New York Times for the defeat of Trump:

A vote for Trump is not a vote for insurrection or terrorism or secession. But it is a vote for a man who stands well outside the norms of American presidential politics, who has displayed a naked contempt for republican institutions and constitutional constraints, who deliberately injects noxious conspiracy theories into political conversation, who has tiptoed closer to the incitement of political violence than any major politician in my lifetime, whose admiration for authoritarian rulers is longstanding, who has endorsed war crimes and indulged racists and so on down a list that would exhaust this column’s word count if I continued to compile it.

It is a vote, in other words, for a far more chaotic and unstable form of political leadership (on the global stage as well as on the domestic) than we have heretofore experienced, and a leap unlike any that conservative voters have considered taking in all the long years since Roe v. Wade.

Go here to read the rest.  Douthat, in short, views Trump as a danger to the Republic.  Douthat is correct that there is a candidate who is a danger to the Republic this year, but it isn’t Trump.  If Trump is elected next Tuesday he will start his term in office with most of the media, academia and the entertainment industry against him.  He will have few firm allies in Congress.  Many of his supporters, and I will be firmly in that category, will cast a jaundiced eye on him, ready to oppose him instantly for any hare-brained or wrong-headed ideas he tries to implement.

Now let us contrast that with Hillary Clinton.  Her entire career, and that of her odious husband Bill, has been a testament to using raw political power to escape the consequences of one’s actions.  They have committed felony after felony, amassing a vast fortune in the process, selling out the public interest time and time again for personal profit.  What has been the reaction of the political establishment of both political parties to this?  Are the Clintons regarded as pariahs, moral lepers?  Why no, these two transparent crooks are regarded as members in good standing of the comfy Club of elites that run this country.  This was underlined by the news that both Bush 41 and Bush 43 plan to vote for this villain.  For members of the Club the political stances they embrace are, at bottom, mere shams, to most of them at least, that they recite in election years in order to gain political power and not really to be taken seriously by other members of the Club.  What is to be taken seriously is some outsider, like Trump, who threatens the comfy world of the Club.  If Clinton is elected, either Obama or she will use the pardon power to relieve herself and her associates from legal liability for their manifold crimes, and the destruction of any notion of rule of law in this country will be gone, with it having been made utterly clear that there is law only for people outside of the Club, and that our ruling elites may do as they please.  She will do this to the enthusiastic cheers of almost all of the media, the entertainment industry and academia.  Democrats in Congress will applaud her.  Republicans in Congress will huff and puff and, most of them, then go about business as usual, recalling their outrage only in election years.

Enough of this Kabuki theater of our elites that is destroying what the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us.  It is highly ironic that Trump the crony capitalist, the ultimate insider, may be the instrument to destroy the cozy world of the Club that is rapidly transforming our Republic into an Oligarchy, at least on the Federal level, but such is the case.  Vote for Trump to send a message to the members of the Club in both parties that we are not all totally fools, that we see what is going on, and that this Republic of the people is not going down without a fight.

5

Daisy Ad Redux

 

Want a sign that the Clinton campaign is getting desperate?  Look no farther than Daisy Ad 2.0, featuring the little girl from the old ad, now all grown up and doubtless just as much an expert on thermonuclear war as she was in the 1964 ad.  The Daisy Ad in 1964 was regarded as over the top and only ran once.  The Johnson campaign, and most of the media, portrayed Goldwater as reckless and a crypto Nazi.  Ironically it was Johnson who was planning to ramp up the Vietnam War.  This led wags to opine that they were warned in 1964 that if they voted for Goldwater that the US would go to war, and sure enough they voted for Goldwater and the US went to war in Vietnam!  In regard to Trump and Clinton, Clinton is the one itching to lock horns with Putin.  If anything my criticism of Trump would be not that he is too bellicose, but that I think he would bend over too far to avoid foreign conflicts.

Due to closing polls and the reopening of the Clinton e-mail investigation, big money is beginning to flood into the Trump campaign, twenty-five million from one donor, and the Trump campaign is flooding the battleground states with ads.  For the first time in the campaign, Trump will be spending more on ads than Clinton.

4

Doug Schoen Backs Away From Clinton

Long time Democrat political operative Doug Schoen pulled his support from Clinton last night on Fox:

 

DOUG SCHOEN: As you know, I have been a supporter of Secretary Clinton… But given that this investigation is going to go on for many months after the election… But if the Secretary of State wins, we will have a president under criminal investigation, with Huma Abedin under criminal investigation, with the Secretary of State, the president-elect, should she win under investigation.

Harris, under these circumstances, I am actively reassessing my support. I’m not a Trump —

HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. You are not going to vote for Hillary Clinton?

SCHOEN: Harris, I’m deeply concerned that we’ll have a constitutional crisis if she’s elected.

FAULKNER: Wow!

SCHOEN: I want to learn more this week. See what we see. But as of today, I am not a supporter of the Secretary of State for the nation’s highest office.

FAULKNER: How long have you known the clintons.

SCHOEN: I’ve known the clintons since ’94.

FAULKNER: Wow! But their friend here has said he’s reconsidering.

SCHOEN: I have to, because of the impact on the governance of the country and our international situation.

FAULKNER: So the news in that is are there other people, I would imagine, like Doug Schoen. Continue Reading

42

Save Huma!

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Her estranged hubbie, Anthony Weiner, and if he were a fictional character he would be rejected by an editor as completely fantastic, is purportedly cooperating with the FBI.  Apparently there are some 650,000 emails on the laptop that Huma and Weiner shared, and Huma has said that she rarely used the laptop and does not know how her e-mails got on the laptop.  I suspect Weiner was saving these emails for a rainy day, and for him, Huma and Hillary it is now raining buckets.  Remember Huma, the fifth amendment needs to be invoked at the start of your questioning by the FBI.

17

What’s Next

 

I promised you a wild finish in this oddest of all election years and I believe the FBI has furnished it!  What does it mean for the rest of the next nine campaigning days before election day?

  1.  Negative Coverage-Most of the media has been on a crusade against Trump.  However, now Hillary will be receiving a larger share of the negative coverage than she is used to.  Most of the media has underplayed, or simply spiked, negative Clinton coverage this campaign.  This is not an option now, especially with the Anthony Weiner involvement, since salaciousness in the media is the one thing that regularly trumps ideology.
  2. Stink Bomb Coming-I assume that the Clinton campaign has one or more negative stories about Trump they were reserving for next Friday.  I expect them to be rolled out next Monday instead to distract from the reopened FBI investigation.
  3. Anonymous Sources Say-Expect to hear details about the ongoing investigation from anonymous FBI agents and Department of Justice officials.  I expect these accounts to differ radically.
  4. Republicans Coming Home-This should gain Trump at least another ten percent of the Republican vote, say a solid three point gain, and more of the independents he was already winning, say two to three points.
  5. Sanders Brats-This latest news confirms the worst of what Sanders supporters thought about Clinton, and I expect one or two points of them to switch to the Green candidate.
  6. Republicans for Clinton-I think this shoots that movement in the head.  Subtract another point.
  7. She’s a Crook-  It is one thing to suspect the candidate you are grudgingly voting for is a crook.  It is another thing to have them under criminal investigation.  Most Democrats would vote for Satan if he had a D after his name, but not all.  One to three point loss.
  8. Time to Cocoon-This whole business increases the stink of what has already been a skunk fest of an election.  I predict relatively low voter turnout which I suspect benefits Trump.

Continue Reading

35

FBI Reopens Investigation Into Clinton E-Mails

A Hiroshima sized October surprise:

 

The FBI is reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server that she used while serving as Secretary of State, NBC News has learned. FBI director James Comey wrote in a letter to Congress that “in connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation … I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Go here to read the rest.  I have been hearing that members of the FBI on the original Clinton e-mail investigation were ready to come forward and denounce the non-indictment of Clinton and claim that the original investigation was a sham.  This may be an attempt to head off the FBI agents coming forward, or the newly discovered e-mails may be very damning.  Either way, ten days out, this is very bad news for the Clinton campaign.

Update:  Oh, this is too perfect!  I have to be dreaming!

In the latest stunning revelation in today’s saga involving the FBI’s second probe, moments ago the NYT reported that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

 
 

The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

Until recently Anthony Weiner was married to Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, who separated from Weiner recently after news emerged that Weiner had engaged in an online affair with an underage girl.

The F.B.I. told Congress that it had uncovered new emails related to the closed investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton or her aides had mishandled classified information, potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

Go here to read the rest.  By seizing Huma Abedin’s electronics the FBI struck the mother lode.  Every dirty deal that Clinton was involved in will be on them.  As for Weiner, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made copies of everything he found over the years on Huma’s electronics, for potential blackmail purposes:  Hillary I would like you to appoint me ambassador to France.  I am sure that you would agree that is a fitting post for a man who can keep quiet about everything that you and my beloved Huma discussed through e-mails?

Trump is living proof that it is smarter to be lucky than it is lucky to be smart.

 

 

15

Pat Condell Makes the Case for Trump

I have never seen a stronger case for Trump than that made in the above video by internet celebrity Pat Condell.  An Irishman, and former comedian, living in England, Condell is an outspoken atheist.  I used to watch his Youtube videos to find out what the New Atheists were up to.  However, over the years, on politics, I found myself agreeing more and more with Condell.  He recognizes the danger from radical Islam and understands that the current days of welfare state liberalism are drawing to a close.  He values freedom above cant, and in that, above all, we are in hearty agreement.

3

Bill Clinton, Inc.

A very interesting document released courtesy of Wikileaks detailing how the Clinton Foundation was basically a money making scheme for the Clintons, as well as serving to establish a political power base for them:

 

 

One of Bill Clinton’s closest confidants outlined in a lengthy 2011 memo how he and another aide helped secure at least $50 million in speaking fees and other ventures for the former president – in addition to raising “the bulk” of funds for the controversial Clinton Foundation.

The 12-page memo from Doug Band, released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, was designed to highlight the crucial role he – and his global strategy company Teneo – played in procuring money for the ex-president and Clinton’s namesake foundation.

“Throughout the past almost 11 years since President Clinton left office, I have sought to leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and to raise funds for the Foundation,” Band wrote. “This memorandum strives to set forth how I have endeavored to support the Clinton Foundation and President Clinton personally.”

CLINTON AIDE CRITICIZED EX-PRESIDENT FOR CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Under a section titled “For-Profit Activity of President Clinton (i.e., Bill Clinton, Inc.),” Band wrote that he and Clinton aide Justin Cooper “found, developed and brought” to Clinton all four of his advisory arrangements at the time – arrangements that “yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements.” The memo also included a footnote explaining how Clinton’s speaking agent estimated that during a 10-year period, “$20 million in speeches for the President have derived … from Justin and my efforts.”

What’s more, Band and Cooper apparently helped make Clinton wealthy – and “solicited and obtained … in-kind services … for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like” – at no extra charge.

“Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities,” Band wrote, noting the pair didn’t take a “fee” or “percentage” of Clinton’s income, only collecting their standard Foundation salaries. 

 

Continue Reading

5

The State of the Race a Fortnight Out

election

 

The polls are tightening and Trump seems to have momentum.  The Washington Post tracker poll is down to six, Clinton advantage, from twelve over the weekend.  The Fox poll, released last night, is down to a three point Clinton advantage from six last week.

The Los Angeles tracker today has Trump up one.  The IDB tracker has Clinton up by one today and Rasmussen has Clinton up by one today.

My gut reaction is that currently this is probably a three point race, Clinton advantage, plus or minus one either way.  I think a two point race is a danger zone for Clinton, as the greater enthusiasm of the pro-Trump/anti-Clinton voters might overcome such a gap.  We shall see.

32

A Storm is Coming

 

 

Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal quotes Michael Moore who truly seems to understand the angry wave that Trump is riding:

 

Broken, morbidly-obese, planet-sized clocks are right twice a day.  Mike Moore on Trump:

“Whether Trump means it or not is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting. And it’s why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump,” Moore told an audience in an Ohio theater during the one-man show that served as the basis for Michael Moore in TrumpLand.

“He is the human Molotov cocktail that they’ve been waiting for,” Moore added. “The human hand grenade that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them.”

“So on November 8th, the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain and take that lever, or felt pen, or touch screen and put a big f___ing X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J. Trump.

“They see that the elites, who ruined their lives, hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hate Trump, after they loved him and created him and now hate him. Thank you, media. The enemy of my enemy is who I’m voting for on November 8th.

“Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘F___ you’ ever recorded in human history,” Moore adds. “And it will feel good.” Continue Reading

2

Bird-Dogging Democrats-Part IV

Part IV of James O’Keefe’s look at the criminal machinations of the Democrats. This video looks at the scope of the Project Veritas investigation which apparently had undercover agents at various different levels of the Clinton campaign.  Go here to view part 1 of the series, here to view part 2 and here to view part 3.

26

October 25, 2016: Newt Gingrich v. Megyn Kelly

 

 

TV doesn’t get better than the confrontation between Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich last night.  Kelly has had a vendetta against Trump since their clash early in the campaign.  Rumors are rife that she is leaving Fox soon and is now basically auditioning for a slot at CNN or MSNBC, and is tailoring her show to reflect the prejudices of her next employer.  Newt Gingrich, love him or hate him, never suffers in silence media bias and he let Kelly have it yesterday.  (It should be noted that while Gingrich supports Trump he has been forthcoming about problems in the Trump campaign and has publically criticized Trump on numerous occasions.)  Note that while she was ready to call Trump a sexual predator how defensive she became about rapist Bill Clinton.  Bravo Mr. Gingrich!

19

Scott Adams is Fed Up

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has been one of the more interesting observers of the current race for President.  He is clearly now fed up, and I can’t help but wonder how many voters quietly share his sentiment?

 

I’ve been trying to figure out what common trait binds Clinton supporters together. As far as I can tell, the most unifying characteristic is a willingness to bully in all its forms.

If you have a Trump sign in your lawn, they will steal it.

If you have a Trump bumper sticker, they will deface your car.

if you speak of Trump at work you could get fired.

On social media, almost every message I get from a Clinton supporter is a bullying type of message. They insult. They try to shame. They label. And obviously they threaten my livelihood.

We know from Project Veritas that Clinton supporters tried to incite violence at Trump rallies. The media downplays it.

We also know Clinton’s side hired paid trolls to bully online. You don’t hear much about that.

Yesterday, by no coincidence, Huffington Post, Salon, and Daily Kos all published similar-sounding hit pieces on me, presumably to lower my influence. (That reason, plus jealousy, are the only reasons writers write about other writers.)

Joe Biden said he wanted to take Trump behind the bleachers and beat him up. No one on Clinton’s side disavowed that call to violence because, I assume, they consider it justified hyperbole. 

Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40%+ of voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behavior online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right? Continue Reading

4

Bird-Dogging Democrats Part III

 

Part III of James O’Keefe’s look at the criminal machinations of the Democrats.  Bob Creamer, the convicted felon husband of Democrat Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, head of Democracy Partners, and a visitor to the Obama White House 342 times,  in this video talks about how Hillary Clinton personally signed off on the sending of agents in Donald Duck costumes to Trump rallies to highlight Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.  Coordination between Creamer’s organization and the Clinton campaign would be illegal.   Go here to view part 1 of the series, and  here to view part 2.

 

 

 

24

Trump Gives the Gettysburg Address

 

(I couldn’t help myself.  When you see what this country has come down to in this election you either laugh or weep.)

 

First, I am going to sue those broads who claim I ruffled their hooped skirts.

A very, very long time ago, a bunch of guys, who if they lived today I would hire in a New York second for the Trump Organization, came up with a fantastic idea of  the United States dedicated to Liberty, Equality and a bunch of other good stuff.  It was huge, just huge.

Now we have a bunch of losers trying to bust up this great nation.   A lot of our guys have died fighting these doofuses and today we are here to talk about ’em.

 What good does talk do? They were brave and now they are dead and all our talking won’t bring ’em back. The world is going to remember ’em because of what I am saying here today.  We have got to win this thing for ’em.  We have got to get junk yard dog mad at the enemy because they killed our guys.  We have to beat ’em and bring back the America that those great old guys back in ’76 started, so Freedom and all the good stuff won’t leave us.  You guys are running this joint and if you want to keep running the joint we have to win!  Let’s make America great again!

Refreshments provided by the Trump Organization.   

 

2

Shocked! Shocked!

 

I am shocked, shocked!

 

 

The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

 

Go here to read the rest.  When Trump says the system is rigged, he doesn’t know the half of it.

13

Shock Potential Enormous

 

 

Pat Caddell, who first came to prominence as Jimmy Carter’s pollster, looks at current polls and finds that something does not add up:

 

“All of the tracking polls keep holding at Trump being ahead,” he continued. “And then all of these other polls that are one-off polls, or whatever … I don’t know how they’re doing some of these university polls. You just put the name of some university and apparently it becomes credible, whether they know what they’re doing, or not.

Caddell was pointing out the discrepancy between the different types of polls. “But in any event, polling is all over the place…. Something isn’t adding up,” said Caddell.
“Something is going to happen here, I just sense it,” he concluded. Either “Hillary will glide into the White House, or we’re headed for one of the greatest shocks in American politics. I think it’s a very close call. I think the shock potential is enormous.”
Go here to read the rest.  Today IDB/TIPP showed Trump two points ahead.  ABC/Washington Post showed Clinton twelve points ahead.  I cannot recall disparity of that magnitude in polls this late in the race for President.