6

Bush Appointed Judge

 

 

When a Seattle Federal Judge, James Robart, imposed a nation wide injunction on portions of President Tump’s executive order, most of the media hastened to noted that he had been appointed by Bush 43.  True, but misleading, as noted by Jerome Wohrle at Liberty Unyielding:

 

 

Judge Robart’s Friday order against Trump sheds little light on his thinking. But at an earlier hearing on Washington State’s motion for a temporary restraining order, he asked what rational basis the government had for restricting entry from the seven countries covered by Trump’s order: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. As NPR notes, these seven countries were previously singled out by Congress for milder restrictions on visas. Congress did so after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, in a 2015 law tightening up the Visa Waiver Program that was signed by President Obama. Critics argue that there was no rational basis for restricting travel from these countries but not other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. This argument is silly, since America has deep economic links and security ties with Saudi Arabia that it lacks with the seven countries subject to the 2015 law and Trump’s executive order. America need not antagonize a key ally when it takes steps to increase border security. Perhaps for this reason, Judge Robart’s order in State of Washington v. Trump does not even make this argument, simply suggesting that for some unexplained reason the executive order may violate the “Constitution.”

To cover up the embarrassing weakness of Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order, reporters at the Washington Post and elsewhere have trumpeted the fact that Robart was nominally appointed by President George W. Bush. They have done this to suggest that his ruling must have merit, because otherwise he would not have ruled against a President of the same party as the man who appointed him. But this is misleading, since Robart is a “staunchly liberal” judge whose appointment was “effectively forced on Bush” by liberal Senator Patty Murray in 2004, when Washington State had two liberal Senators.

The media ignores the fact that Robart’s appointment as a federal judge was championed by liberal Senators like Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who used Senatorial custom allowing senators to veto Presidential appointments of trial judges to obtain the appointment of liberal trial judges like Robart in Washington State. An April 13, 2005 press release by Murray touts Robart’s appointment as the “bipartisan” result of using a state commission to select federal trial judges in Washington, whose appointment Bush then rubberstamped. This Senatorial veto power, known as the “blue slip,” is an old tradition, dating back to at least 1917, that lets senators have a say on which trial judges are appointed to courts in their home state.

When Obama was president, the media did not do this. They would not cite the fact that Obama appointed a judge to suggest that the judge’s ruling against Obama had merit. When Judge James Boasberg ruled against the Obama IRS, few news stories mentioned the fact that he was a liberal Democrat appointed by Obama himself. When Judge Amos Mazzant issued an injunction against Obama’s overtime rule, most of the media either did not report the fact that Mazzant had been appointed by Obama; or if they did, they also suggested that he was a conservative judge, because Republican Senators in Texas used their “blue slip” privilege to block Obama from appointing liberal trial judges in Texas.

Even critics of Trump’s order have found Judge Robart’s order senseless. As one put it,

Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order … may make things even worse in the long run, and had no basis in law. The judge’s temporary restraining order is harmful — it bans giving priority in asylum claims to Yazidi and Christian applicants, even though they are the ones who face a high risk of being killed in Iraq and Syria. (It bans ‘proceeding with any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities,’ see Order at pg. 5, paragraph 1). This ban is perverse, because under U.S. law and international treaties, asylum is SUPPOSED to be given to members of groups facing persecution based on religion, and the threat of genocide faces only certain religions. The judge provided NO REASONING AT ALL for his assertion that the constitution might be violated by the executive order, and lawyers like Scott Johnson have noted that the judge’s order had no real legal basis.

As another observer pointed out, Judge Robart has a history of strange rulings:

Judge Robart, the oddball judge who issued that TRO against the executive order, is the same guy who issued the bizarre college sexual assault ruling that Robbie Soave wrote about earlier at Reason Magazine.

He ruled a falsely-accused male student could not depose or obtain relevant documents from the female student who got him expelled because that would traumatize her (never mind that it was SHE who performed a sex act on him when he was blacked out, meaning that if anyone was guilty of sexual assault it was HER). Reason’s article about it can be found here.

…Robart also bellowed “Black Lives Matter” in open court, as the Daily Caller noted (in a context in which it made little sense).

Continue Reading

20

Seven Days in May Redux

What is it with liberals and coups?  Recently several liberals, including entertainer? Sarah Silverman, and Obama era Pentagon bureaucrat Sarah Brooks, have  been calling for/predicting a military coup against the Trump administration.  Such fools have no concept of our military where the officers are trained from day one of their careers in the essential fact of civilian control of the military.  If the impossible ever happened and some rogue faction of the military ever did move against Trump, the shots fired in such a coup attempt would merely be the opening shots in Civil War II.  Liberals have often fantasized about a conservative military coup against the government of the United States, perhaps most famously in the novel and film of the Sixties entitled Seven Days in May.  From current calls for a military coup emanating from the portside of our politics, such concerns about a conservative coup apparently were a case of the left projecting upon the right what the left would be tempted to do if confronted by a civilian government they viewed as a menace.

 

Hard to believe that it is more than half a century since the film Seven Days in May (1964) was released.  Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling based on a novel published in 1962, the movie posits a failed coup attempt in the United States, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, played by Burt Lancaster, being the would be coup leader.  Kirk Douglas plays Scott’s aide Marine Corps Colonel Martin Casey who, while agreeing with Scott that President Jordan Lyman’s nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets is a disaster, is appalled when he learns of the proposed coup, and discloses it to the President, portrayed by Frederic March.

The film is an example of liberal paranoia in the early sixties and fears on the port side of our politics of a coup by some “right wing” general.  The film is unintentionally hilarious if one has served in our military, since the idea of numerous generals agreeing on a coup and keeping it secret, even from their own aides, is simply ludicrous.  Our military leaks like a sieve, and general officers almost always view each other as competitors for political favor, rather than as co-conspirators.

Ironies abound when the film is compared to reality: Continue Reading

8

Iraqi Archbishop on Trump’s Executive Order Regarding Refugees

 

Well this is interesting.  Crux has an interview with Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda:

 

 

What do you make of the protests against President Trump’s refugee order?

Everyone, including the administration, seems to agree that this should have been implemented with more clarity. There was much confusion about what the order meant and many people were very upset.

From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.

I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.

I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” – especially now that it has been clarified that it is not – should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk.  The executive order has clearly affected Christians and Yazidis and others as well as Muslims.

Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do.  I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real.

Most Americans have no concept of what it was like to live as a Yazidi or Christian or other minority as ISIS invaded. Our people had the option to flee, to convert, or to be killed, and many were killed in the most brutal ways imaginable. But there were none of these protests then of ISIS’s religious test.

Our people lost everything because of their faith – they were targeted for their faith, just like the Yazidis and others too. Now these protesters are saying that religion should not matter at all, even though someone was persecuted for their faith, even though persecution based on religion is one of the grounds for refugee status in the UN treaty on refugees.

From here I have to say, it is really unbelievable.

It is exactly this reasoning, that religion should not be a factor at all in American policy, that has resulted in Christians and other minority communities being overlooked by U.S. and UN aid programs. We are too small to matter, our communities are disappearing from constant persecution, and for years the American government didn’t care. Now when someone tries to help us, we have protesters telling us that there can be no religious basis for refugee status – even though the UN treaty and American law say that religious persecution is a major reason for granting the status, and even though ISIS targeted people primarily on the basis of religion.

I am not saying that any group should have a blanket preference when it comes to being admitted as a refugee in the United States. Such a policy would not be right, and would clearly be against our Catholic faith and teaching. And that is not the policy as I understand it.

But it is very hard for me to understand why comfortable people in the West think those who are struggling to survive against genocide, and whose communities are at extreme risk of disappearing completely, should not get some special consideration.  We are an ancient people on the verge of extinction because of our commitment to our faith.  Will anybody protest for us? Continue Reading

8

Trump Picks Gorsuch

 

Ours is the job of interpreting the Constitution. And that document isn’t some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams for a new and perfected tort law, but
a carefully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, concurring opinion, STEPHAN CORDOVA, Plaintiff – Appellant v. CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, et al, Defendants-Appellees

President Trump hit a homerun with his choice of Neil Gorsuch, currently an appellate judge on the US Tenth Circuit.  Universally recognized as brilliant, he writes in a clear and concise manner that makes his decisions understandable by laymen who have not wasted three years of their life in law school.  Currently 49 years old, when he was appointed by President Bush to the 10th Circuit he was approved by the Senate unanimously.

 He is an originalist who believes that the text of the Constitution must be interpreted as the words were commonly understood at the time the portions of the Constitution were adopted.  He is noted as a friend of religious liberty and, in his extra-judicial writings, as a defender of innocent human life.  The quote above and the quote below indicate that he understands the role that our courts should play in our Republic:

“American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education,” he wrote. “This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary.”

Continue Reading

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

5

Trump Calls Out Media Non-Coverage of March for Life

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  Donald Trump calls out the non-coverage by the media of the March For Life:

 

During a Wednesday night interview with ABC, President Trump called out the media for covering a pro-abortion march but ignoring the March for Life.

ABC’s David Muir asked Trump if he “could hear the voices from the women’s march here in Washington?”

“I couldn’t hear them, but the crowds were large,” Trump responded. “You’re gonna have a large crowd on Friday, too, which is mostly pro-life people. You’re gonna have a lot of people coming on Friday, and I will say this, and I didn’t realize this, but I was told, you will have a very large crowd of people. I don’t know – as large or larger – some people say it’s gonna be larger. Pro-life people. And they say the press doesn’t cover them.” Continue Reading

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

16

Trump Reinstitutes Mexico City Policy

 

 

Bravo for President Trump:

 

 

President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Monday reinstating the so-called Mexico City Policy, which bars international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US government funding.

The policy, initially put in place by the Reagan administration, was rescinded by the Obama administration in 2009.
 
Even during the Obama years, US law banned direct funding for abortion services. But NGOs that performed the procedure were allowed to receive US funding for other programs, including those related to contraception access and post-abortion care.
Now, NGOs that offer or promote abortions as part of their family planning services will be prevented from receiving any assistance from the US Agency for International Development, one of the largest contributors to international development assistance.

Continue Reading

11

President Trump’s Inauguration

 

 

I will be busy in the law mines when the Inauguration ceremony is held.  Let me know in the comboxes what you think.  Analysis from me when I get home tonight.  Paul Zummo will be live blogging the speech at The Cranky Conservative.  Go here to read it.

 

Update: Here is the text of the speech:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, fellow Americans and people of the world – thank you.

We the citizens of America have now joined a great national effort to rebuild our county and restore its promise for all our people. 

Together we will determine the course of America for many, many years to come.

Together we will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent, thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another – but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people. Continue Reading

18

Mentally Handicapped Man Tortured By Four Monsters

 

 

Unbelievable, even by Chicago standards:

 

Chicago Police detectives are questioning four African-Americans suspected of torturing a white mentally disabled man on videotape while someone yelled “F— Trump!” and “F— white people!,” a police spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

“The video is reprehensible,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the police spokesman.

The white victim lives in northwest suburban Crystal Lake, Guglielmi said.

Detectives think the young man, who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s, met some acquaintances in northwest suburban Streamwood and they drove him to Chicago in a stolen vehicle, Guglielmi said.

The victim is believed to have been held hostage and tortured in an apartment in the 3400 block of West Lexington on the West Side, Guglielmi said. Continue Reading

20

Notre Dame: Obama Yes, Trump No

 

 

I am shocked, shocked.  Matt Archbold brings us the news that Notre Dame, which gave pro-abort Obama a thunderous reception as their guest of honor at the 2009 commencement, is considering not inviting President Trump:

In surprising comments reported by The Observer, Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, said he is considering not inviting Donald Trump to speak at this spring’s commencement ceremony — a break from the university’s tradition of inviting new presidents to speak at graduation.

“I do think the elected leader of the nation should be listened to. And it would be good to have that person on the campus — whoever they are, whatever their views,” he said. “At the same time, the 2009 Commencement was a bit of a political circus, and I think I’m conscious that that day is for graduates and their parents — and I don’t want to make the focus something else.”

“My concern a little bit is that, should the new president come, it may be even more of a circus,” he said.

Fr. Jenkins infamously hosted and honored President Barack Obama, the most radically pro-abortion president in our country’s history, in 2009. The Cardinal Newman Society garnered more than 367,000 petitions against Notre Dame’s honor of Obama in 2009, and 83 U.S. bishops publicly opposed the commencement honor. Fr. Jenkins has defended honoring Obama on multiple occasions since 2009. Continue Reading

5

Donald Trump and William Jennings Bryan

 

Attempting to draw historical parallels is usually perilous, especially when the person doing so clearly does not understand the period he is seeking to draw a parallel with.  Such is the case with Arthur Levine in the New York Daily News:

On Election Day, the United States voted for the past over the future. In 1896, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, there was a comparable election. It was a time of transition in which clashing visions of America — one agrarian and waning and the other industrial and rising — battled for the soul of the nation. It was a period of dramatic demographic, economic and technological change, producing deep political and social divisions, growing concentrations of wealth and gridlock in government.

William Jennings Bryan, the defender of agrarian America, and William McKinley, the champion of industrialization, contested for the presidency. McKinley won.

In the 2016, presidential election, the reverse happened. Donald Trump, the contemporary Bryan, won.

The context is similar. Once again, America is in the midst of an economic, demographic, technological and global transformation as the country transitions from a national, analog industrial economy to a global, digital information economy.

As in 1896, the country is divided, pained and angry. The poor are poorer and the rich are richer. The number of have-nots is expanding and the number of haves is shrinking. The manufacturing and Industrial Age jobs, demanding no more than a high school diploma, that promised salaries, dreams and hopes sufficient to support a family, are vanishing.

In their stead, there are now knowledge-economy jobs, requiring the highest levels of education in history. The college education required to get those jobs leaves our children with massive student-loan debt.

At the same time, as in the previous transformation, the nation’s social institutions — government, education, media and the rest — appear to be part of the problem rather than the solution. Having been created for an Industrial Age, they are outdated and seem to be dysfunctional. They need to be redesigned for a global, digital, information economy.

As in 1896, the 2016 election gave Americans a choice of restoring what had been lost or building on the changes. It gave them a choice of attempting to repair the existing institutions or replacing them. The nation chose to restore the past and replace our leadership, electing for the first time a candidate who had never held political or military office. Continue Reading

17

Prediction of Trump Victory Made on March 2, 2016

Trump_Roach_300x262-300x262

(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

12

Podhoretz Gets It

 

 

Lots of commentary out there about what happened in the elections, most of it rubbish.  However, one of the better short pieces is by John Podhoretz, one of the more vehement Never-Trumpers:

 

The nation’s cultural and political elite has been handed its walking papers by the American electorate.

What just happened is the most momentous shift in American political and cultural life in our time. There’s no way to digest the meaning of Donald Trump being on the verge of victory. Understanding it is the work of a generation.

Of course, we’re seeing desperate and pathetic efforts to declare the results illegitimate. For example, Paul Krugman of the New York Times said last night that Hillary Clinton’s loss was due to conscious efforts to suppress the African-American vote.

That idea is beyond preposterous and intellectually deranged. What we saw was a national wave that turned blue states red, not a case in which voter ID laws and efforts to restrict early voting changed the balance of a state or two.

We saw the populaces of America’s rural counties and exurbs — places Donald Trump visited and said had been neglected and forgotten and mistreated by America’s leaders — rise up practically in unison and vote for someone who said he would be the vehicle of their anger and the tribune of their restoration. Continue Reading

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

22

The Man and the Hour

 

For the might of the gentile,

Unsmote by the sword,

Hath melted like snow

In the glance of the Lord.

Lord Byron, The Destruction of Sennacherib

 

 

If I have learned anything over this wildest of Presidential campaigns it is not to underestimate Donald J. Trump, or rather I should say President Elect Donald J. Trump.  With all of his manifest flaws, he has triumphed in a pursuit of the Presidency that I at first thought was a bad publicity stunt.  After he took the nomination I grudgingly concluded that in this odd year, against a status quo candidate like Hillary Clinton, he would win.  However, his achievement should not be underestimated.  Against a biased, and proud of its bias, media, against the entertainment industry, against big business and big unions, with a divided party, and spending much less money than his adversary, he won.  To be sure Hillary Clinton had her problems, but she also had the Clinton political machine behind her and a media intent on covering for her as much as possible, with a corrupt establishment fully in her corner.  Trump’s defeat of all that power arrayed against him is unbelievable, and a tribute to him and his hard core supporters.  I have predicted that Trump will be a bad President.  May that prediction be mistaken.  May we all join in this prayer for him and for us that is adapted from  George Washington’s letter to the States of June 8, 1783:

Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large.   And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.  Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

 

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.

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.

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

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.

5

The State of the Race a Fortnight Out

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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

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

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.

50

Rigged Elections

 

George Will despises Donald Trump and left the Republican Party after his nomination.  However, he believes that Trump has a point about rigged elections:

GEORGE WILL: When Mr. Trump talks about it being rigged, he sweeps all his grievances into one big puddle. He talked about the media. He talked about the primaries. He talked about the polls. Talked about the Republican National Committee. I think when most persons hear that an election is rigged, they think of government action to rig the election. And there Mr. Trump has a point if he would just make it more clearly.

It is hard to think of an innocent reason why Democrats spend so much time, energy and money, scarce resources all, resisting attempts to purge the voter rolls, that is to remove people who are dead or otherwise have left the jurisdiction. It’s hard to think of an innocent reason why they fight so tremendously against Voter I.D. laws. They say, well that burdens the exercise of a fundamental right. The Supreme Court has said that travel is a fundamental right and no one thinks that showing an I.D. at the airport burdens that fundamental right.

We know — we don’t surmise — we know that the 2010, ’12 and ’14 elections were rigged by the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government, the IRS. You can read all about it in Kim Strassel’s book Intimidation Game. She’s familiar to all Wall Street Journal readers and FOX viewers. This is not a surmise. I have talked to lawyers in a position to know they say it’s still going on. The IRS is still intolerantly delaying the granting of tax exempt to conservative advocacy groups to skew the persuasion of this campaign. Continue Reading

9

Debate Three: State of the Race

Almost all pundits now assume that Donald Trump is beaten and his corpse of a campaign is already being picked over by media vultures.  His recent polls have been dismal, with Clinton in some having up to a 12 point lead.  Trump has been besieged with women coming forward to attest to at best boorish behavior, at worst to behavior that could have him facing sexual assault charges in some States.  He apparently had no plan about what to do in regard to this, although he should have assumed that something like this, real or fake, would be thrown against him towards the end of the election.  (Curious how none of the women came forward during the primaries.  All purely coincidental I am sure.)  His campaign has been amateurish.  His ground game is non-existent.  Some polls show him on the verge of losing such die hard Republican states as Arizona and Texas.  He seems headed to a defeat of epic proportions.  That may well happen in three weeks less a day.  However, I am not convinced that events will certainly play out that way.

1. Trump is a brawler.  He is not in this race to claim the title of good loser which seemed to be the goal of John McCain, for example, in 2008.  He will keep slugging until after the last vote is counted.  As in the duel above from Rob Roy, a skilled opponent against a brawler sometimes gets overconfident, and the brawler can seize the initiative in an instant.

2. Trump is slime.  Trump is a sleazy guy, to put it charitably, one of endless reasons why I opposed him in the primaries, and why I long refused to support him.  The King and Queen of Sleaze in American politics are of course Bill and Hillary.  However, Trump is giving them a run for their crowns.  Go here to read the Hillary expose from the Trump-supporting National Enquirer.  When it comes to throwing filth, Trump is only beginning to fight.

3. Disparate polls.  A strange dichotomy has arisen between live phone polls, and internet polls and polls that rely upon robo calls.  Trump tends to do much better in the latter polls than in the former. For example, in the Rasmussen poll from yesterday Clinton is up one point over Trump.  Go here to look at it.  Today Rasmussen has it dead even.  Go here to look at it.  People’s Pundit Tracking Poll had Trump ahead by one point.  Go here to view it.  A Cvoter international poll yesterday showed Clinton up two points, although I have not found a link to the it.  The Los Angeles Times Daily Tracker Poll has a unique methodology in that it polls the same 3000 people each day.  It was the most accurate poll in 2012.  Today it shows Trump and Clinton tied.  Go here to look at it.  In every election cycle there are outlier polls, but it is odd to have such a long lasting split as seen in this election.  Is it possible that these polls are catching a hidden Trump vote that will not reveal itself to live pollsters?  We will find out in the second Tuesday in November.  Although I hate to mention him in the same breath as Trump, I would note that Gallup had Reagan down by eight points at the end of October in 1980 just prior to his one and only debate with Carter.  Reagan went on to win by ten points.  Polls are amusing, sometimes useful, but rarely should they be accepted as Sacred Writ. Continue Reading

7

Bird-Dogging Democrats Part Two

(Language advisory as to the tape:  lots of swearing Democrats.)  James O’Keefe at Project Veritas gives us the second part of his look at the thug black bag boys of the Democrat Party.   Go here to look at the first video. This installment focuses on the Democrat tactic of getting illegal voters to the polls.  Scott Foval, the national field director for Americans United For Change, seen on the video has been fired by his organization, the Democrats seeking to use him as a scapegoat, along with 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, who announced today that he was stepping down from working with the Clinton Campaign.  This thing is starting to explode.  O’Keefe is a master at this, and is worth a thousand of the usual worthless political consultants who drain funds in GOP races.

22

Bird-Dogging Democrats

 

 

(Language advisory as to the tape:  lots of swearing Democrats.)  James O’Keefe at Project Veritas gives us further evidence that the Democrat Party is an organized criminal conspiracy:

 

The goal of “bird-dogging”: to create a sense of “anarchy” around Donald Trump that would undermine his political support. Often, the tactic uses the most vulnerable people — including the elderly and disabled — to maximize shock value.

O’Keefe’s extensive video investigation reveals that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are involved in “bird-dogging” and other provocative tactics through a web of consultants led by Robert Creamer, a veteran Chicago activist and convicted felon who is thought to have planned Democrats’ political strategy during the push for Obamacare in 2009 and 2010.

 

Creamer is also the co-founder of Democracy Partners, a consulting group that, according to Project Veritas videos, apparently contracts directly with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, and that works with an array of super PACs and consultants to organize, film and publicize their provocations.

Creamer affirms on one video that Clinton is aware of “all” of his work, and that Democracy Partners has a daily telephone call with the Clinton campaign to coordinate efforts.

 

O’Keefe and his team also obtained hidden camera videos showing one of Creamer’s consultants, Scott Foval, describing “bird-dogging,” among other tactics, and taking credit for having instigated violence at several Republican events during the 2016 election cycle.

 

Foval — who praises Creamer as “diabolical” — explains how “bird-dogging” works: how they plan confrontations in advance, choose particular individuals to provoke, and maximize media coverage.

FOVAL: So one of the things we do is we stage very authentic grassroots protests right in their faces at their own events. Like, we infiltrate. And then we get it on tape. And then, when our guys get beat up —

Project Veritas: You mean authentic-seeming grassroots?

FOVAL: No, authentic.

PV: You mean —

FOVAL: Protesters.

PV: So like — progressive, what we saw in Madison.

FOVAL: We train up our people, wherever they are, to — and I work with a network of groups, we train them up on how to get themselves into a situation on tape, on camera, that we can use later.

PV: So some of this, so I probably know your work.

FOVAL: I know you do. Everybody does. But —

PV: You mean like a situation where it’s sort of like a —

FOVAL: You remember the Iowa State Fair thing where Scott Walker grabbed the sign out of the dude’s hand and then the dude gets kind of roughed up right in front of the stage right there on camera?

PV: Yeah.

FOVAL: That was all us. The guy that got roughed up is my counterpart, who works for Bob [Creamer].

PV: And that was like, storyboarded? Him getting roughed up like that?

FOVAL: We scenarioed it.

PV: And so you, like leant yourselves to that situation and it happened. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

FOVAL: We not only leant ourselves, we planted multiple people in that front area around him and in the back to make sure there wasn’t just a action that happened up front, there was also a reaction that happened out back. So the cameras, when they saw it, saw double angles of stuff like, they saw what happened up front, and they saw the reaction of people out back.

PV: That’s fucking brilliant. That’s brilliant.

FOVAL: And then the reporters had people to talk to.

Foval also tells Project Veritas’s undercover journalist that Republicans are less adept at such tactics because they obey rules: “They have fewer guys willing to step out on the line for what they believe in. … There is a level of adherence to rules on the other side that only when you’re at the very highest level, do you get over.”

 

In another video, Foval admits that his organization is responsible for an incident in Asheville, North Carolina in September, where an elderly woman was allegedly assaulted outside a Trump rally.

In that incident, the 69-year-old woman, wearing an oxygen tank, heckled a visually impaired 73-year-old Trump supporter, then pursued him. She claimed he then punched her in the jaw, though she had no visible injury; his attorney claims she touched him on the shoulder first, and then fell to the ground as he turned around. The national media covered her claims widely, while largely ignoring his. Foval explains that the woman had been “trained” as a part of his operation.

Foval also explains how the operation is set up to allow the DNC and the Clinton campaign “plausible deniability” in the event that the true nature of the deliberate violence is discovered: “The thing that we have to watch is making sure there’s a double-blind between the actual campaign and the actual DNC and what we’re doing. There’s a double-blind there, so that they can plausibly deny that they heard anything about it.”

 

He explains the flow of money in “rapid response” operations: “The campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval Group, the Foval Group goes and executes the shit on the ground.”

And Foval emphasizes that the goal of “bird-dogging” is to create a sense of “anarchy” around Trump: ”The bird-dogging. The aggressive bird-dogging. What I call it is ‘conflict engagement.’ … Conflict engagement in the lines at Trump rallies? We’re starting anarchy. And he needs to understand that we’re starting anarchy.” Continue Reading

2

Trump Against the Establishment

 

Now, listen to me, you hicks. Yeah, you’re hicks too, and they fooled you a thousand times, just like they fooled me. But this time, I’m gonna fool somebody. I’m gonna stay in this race. I’m on my own and I’m out for blood. Now listen to me, you hicks! Listen to me, and lift up your eyes and look at God’s blessed and unfly-blown truth. And this is the truth. You’re a hick, and nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself!

Willie Stark, All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren

 

 

I was talking yesterday with a client about the election.  We both agreed that it was a poor choice.  I told him that I think it essentially came down to either a third term for Obama, since I doubt if Clinton would do much differently, or voting for someone who might be half crazy, but who would roll the dice and probably bring change.  He told me that was the way he saw it and why he was voting for Trump.

Rumors are rife that a top aide to Speaker of the House Ryan, Dan Senor, leaked the audio tape of Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush.  Go here to read all about it.  If this is true, and if Ryan knew, two big ifs, then it illustrates the fact that plenty of elite Republicans in Washington and around the country would prefer Hillary Clinton to win rather than Donald Trump.  This would also explain why Ryan decided to go to war with Trump after the second debate, a decision which otherwise strikes me as bizarre.  Trump tends to be a fan of conspiracy theories, but this time I could not blame him for assuming that this is precisely what happened.

Trump is now in effect running as an independent against the corrupt powers that be in Washington.  Trump of course is the ultimate insider.  However, the old maxim that it takes a thief to catch a thief, or in this case thieves, comes to mind.  I promised you a wild campaign.  Buckle your seat belts.  The conclusion of this campaign promises to be a roller coaster ride like nothing seen before in American political history.

16

Stupid Catholics

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Well, that is how the people at the top of the Clinton campaign view us.  Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report brings us the news:

So yeah, the Clinton campaign picked Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee but a recently leaked email displays the animus and disdain which the campaign views conservative Catholics.

WikiLeaks released an email chain that included Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, Clinton campaign communications director Jen Palmieri, and Center for American Progress fellow John Halpin.

Halpin wrote:

Ken Auletta’s latest piece on Murdoch in the New Yorker starts off with the aside that both Murdoch and Robert Thompson, managing editor of the WSJ, are raising their kids Catholic. Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups.

Halpin also says of conservatism among Catholics:

It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.

Palmieri reportedly said that Catholicism is “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion” and adds “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Podesta then chimes in saying,

Excellent point. They can throw around “Thomistic” thought and “subsidiarity” and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.

Yup. This is disgusting but it is how the Clinton campaign views Catholicism. And if you’re hoping the media will cover this in the way it deserves, think again. I’d bet it’ll hardly get a mention on MSM. Continue Reading

4

Hillary Clinton Campaigns With Sex Predator Not Her Husband

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The surreal campaign of 2016 continues with Al Gore joining Hillary on the campaign trail.  This is an unusual development in light of the fact that Gore and Clinton have long cordially detested each other.  However, when it comes to power Democrats are always able to swallow their bile and unite.

It does surprise me however due to Hillary’s shock and horror at what Donald Trump said back in 2005.  I guess she is forgetting what Gore was accused of doing just a few years later:

Former Vice President Al Gore has been hit by new allegations of sexual assault. This time, it’s two more massage therapists bringing the charges.

The former VP is already in hot water, fighting abuse claims in Portland, where another masseuse said Gore groped her in ’06 and asked her to perform a “chakra release” (massage-speak for “hand job”.) He denies everything.

The new allegations are said to have taken place at two hotels – one in Beverly Hills in 2007, when Gore was in Hollywood for the Oscars, the other in Tokyo in 2008.

A source from the luxury hotel in Beverly Hills told The Enquirer: “The therapist claimed that when they were alone, Gore shrugged off a towel and stood naked in front of her.” He then propositioned her for a sexual act, according to The Enquirer.

Molly Hagerty, the Portland victim, has also recently piped up with some new evidence: a pair of stained black pants and the remains of some candy supposedly gobbled by Gore. Continue Reading

7

Scott Adams’ Take on the Debate

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Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has had probably the most acute analysis on this strange campaign this year.  Here is his take on the debate:

 

I just watched the debate on replay. Trump won bigly. This one wasn’t close. And keep in mind that I called Clinton the winner of the first debate, and I now endorse Gary Johnson, primarily to avoid being called an alleged enabler of alleged sex abusers and their alleged enablers. That basket of deplorables includes both Bill and Hillary Clinton (the alleged doer and the alleged cleaner-upper) plus Trump and his alleged misdeeds.

Some quick reactions…

1. When the Access Hollywood tape came up, Trump dismissed it as locker room banter that he regrets. You expected that part. The persuasion move was that he quickly contrasted that “small” issue with images of ISIS beheadings, and cage-drownings. It was a high ground maneuver, a powerful visual anchor (like the Rosie O’Donnell move from his first primary debate), and a contrast play. In this framing, Trump cares about saving your life while Clinton cares about your choice of words. I realize the issue is Trump’s alleged deeds, not his words. But in terms of debate persuasion, Trump nailed it hard.

2. Clinton’s body language was defensive. Trump is physically larger and prowled the stage. He won the optics. It only got worse when a fly landed on Clinton’s face mid-answer. Both candidates looked perfect in terms of wardrobe and hair, given what they have to work with.

3. Trump threw in enough random details about Syria to persuade viewers that he knows more than they thought he knew. And he did a great job selling the idea that he knows more than the generals (as ridiculous as that sounds), at least in terms of not announcing where we plan to attack. I agree with the moderator who said there might be good reasons for announcing attacks – such as giving time for civilians to leave – but it wasn’t quite a counter-argument. Trump succeeded in looking informed on Syria, and at the same time reinforced the “can’t keep a secret” theme for Clinton.

4. Trump’s pre-debate show with Bill’s alleged victims dismantled Clinton’s pro-woman high ground before the debate even started. I didn’t see the pre-debate show, but I assume it was impactful. It had to be. Clinton looked shaken from the start.

5. The best quotable moments from the debate are pro-Trump. His comment about putting Clinton in jail has that marvelous visual persuasion quality about it, and it was the laugh of the night, which means it will be repeated endlessly. He also looked like he meant it.

Clinton’s Abe Lincoln defense for two-faced politicking failed as hard as anything can fail. Mrs. Clinton, I knew Abe Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln. You know that was in your head. Or it will be. 

6. Most of the rest was policy stuff that no one understands or cares about. We don’t know how to fix Obamacare or what to do with TPP. But by acting competent on these and other policy issues, Trump gains more than Clinton in persuasion.

7. Trump attacked Clinton on emails, and did a good job. His base needed that.

8. Clinton had to defend her “deplorables” comment. She said she regretted it. Regret isn’t what the public wanted to hear. That’s about her. They wanted to hear that she doesn’t think that way. She failed to address the emotional part of that topic, and that’s a persuasion fail. Continue Reading

11

As Hillary Reaches for the Smelling Salts

 

 

Bill Clinton’s deposition on Monica Lewinsky.  A good thing to remember when Hillary rants tonight about how outraged she is about what Trump said.  Ah for the halcyon days of that Clinton’s presidency when parents had to shoo kids out of the room when the news came on, and when oral sex and the oval office became synonymous.  Trump is a pig, but having these characters act morally outraged over Trump is truly nauseating.

19

Debate Open Thread

 

 

The second debate between Trump and Clinton starts at 8:00 PM Central Time tonight, and for lovers of political theater it promises to be exceptional.  Any other politician would be dead meat now but Donald Trump is not “any other politician.”  He isn’t a politician at all, as he has demonstrated time and time again in this campaign.  What began, I suspect, as a vanity ride for him, has turned into a political movement that has been consistently underestimated by his foes, including me.  Well, I am done underestimating Donald Trump.  Tonight promises to be an epic disaster for him, but I would not be surprised to see him throw away the political rulebook yet again and snatch a victory from a debacle.  We shall see.  For a political junkie like me, it does not get any better than this.

 

Update:  Trump has just held a news conference featuring Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton.  It looks like he is taking the nuclear option unless this is a pre-debate headfake.

 

Update:  Trump thus far, a half hour into the debate, is bringing his A game in the debate:  Calm, articulate and on the attack.  He has won most of the exchanges with Hillary.

Update:  An hour in Trump is more than holding his own.  Clinton came into this debate over confident and Trump came in knowing that he couldn’t afford another loss.  Frank Luntz’ focus group is showing that 17 think Trump is winning, 4 think Hillary is winning and 9 think it is a tie.

Update:  I called the first debate for Clinton and I think Trump is just as clearly the victor in the second debate.  A bravura performance considering the pressure Trump is under.

Update:  From the Luntz focus group:

Focus Group: Who are you willing to vote for?

BEFORE #DEBATE • Hillary: 8 • Trump: 9

AFTER DEBATE • Hillary: 4 • Trump: 18

45

Politics Open Thread

The most hilarious feature in the above video is the idea that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are sleeping together.  Lots of political news, all of it unedifying.  We have Trump from 2005 talking to Billy Bush, yes a scion of that Bush family, braying about his attempt to physically seduce a married woman.  Trump is a pig about women?  Who knew?  Then we have hacks of Hillary’s three speeches to Goldman Sachs, for which she was paid $675,000 for slightly more than three hours of speechmaking, hitherto kept secret, back in 2013 where we learn, to our stupified amazement, that she says one thing in public and one thing in private as a matter of policy, and that she believes in utopian schemes, such as having a common market for North and South America powered by green energy.

 

Too much going on in the law mines today for me to do more than note all this in passing.  This open thread is your opportunity to comment on the political scene.  As usual, be concise, be charitable and, above all, be amusing!

 

18

They Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Agree With Them

 

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Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, gives a demonstration why a fair number of Trump supporters may be keeping their support a secret:

This weekend I got “shadowbanned” on Twitter. It lasted until my followers noticed and protested. Shadowbanning prevents my followers from seeing my tweets and replies, but in a way that is not obvious until you do some digging.

Why did I get shadowbanned?

Beats me.

But it was probably because I asked people to tweet me examples of Clinton supporters being violent against peaceful Trump supporters in public. I got a lot of them. It was chilling.

Late last week my Twitter feed was invaded by an army of Clinton trolls (it’s a real thing) leaving sarcastic insults and not much else on my feed. There was an obvious similarity to them, meaning it was organized.

At around the same time, a bottom-feeder at Slate wrote a hit piece on me that had nothing to do with anything. Except obviously it was politically motivated. It was so lame that I retweeted it myself. The timing of the hit piece might be a coincidence, but I stopped believing in coincidences this year.

All things considered, I had a great week. I didn’t realize I was having enough impact to get on the Clinton enemies list. I don’t think I’m supposed to be happy about any of this, but that’s not how I’m wired.

Mmm, critics. Delicious 🙂

P.S. The one and only speaking gig I had on my calendar for the coming year cancelled yesterday because they decided to “go in a different direction.” I estimate my opportunity cost from speaking events alone to be around $1 million. That’s based on how the rate of offers went from several per month (for decades) to zero this year. Blogging about Trump is expensive.

But it is also a system, not a goal. I wrote a book about that.

Update: Then they started leaving fake book reviews on Amazon to go after my book sales.

Continue Reading

10

Liberals Have Another Pauline Kael Moment

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“I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

Pauline Kael, Film Critic for The New Yorker, December 28, 1972

When it comes to our politics the divisions in our country are often deplored.  What really should be deplored is that one side of our politics, leftists, tend to lack the imagination to conceive how anyone could possibly in good will disagree with them.

Case in point Gail Collins’ op ed in the New York Times entitled “How Could Anyone Vote for Trump?”.

Why isn’t she leading 3 to 1? This is not a normal race between a Democrat and a Republican. One of the candidates has made it clear that he has no attention span or self-control. World security experts in both parties are terrified by the idea of a Trump presidency. He’s screwed small contractors in his business dealings and bought dumb presents for himself with money from his charitable foundation — a charitable foundation, by the way, that appears to have been managed by a team of gerbils. Also, he keeps changing his positions on critical issues and has paid settlements to people alleging he discriminated against them on the basis of race or not being attractive enough. Continue Reading

29

Debate Open Thread

 

 

Fifty-six years to the day from the first Presidential Debate:  Trump v. Nixon Clinton.  Put your thoughts on the debate in the comboxes.

 

Update:

I thought it was a wretched debate with neither Hillary nor Trump doing especially well, although I gave it to Clinton on points.  However, the online polls are showing a decisive Trump win.  That is probably bad news for Hillary as those often in the wake of a Presidential debate are a good sign of political strength as hard core partisans tend to see their candidate winning no matter what.  It looks like Trump did himself no harm tonight and Clinton did herself no good.  She needed to change the momentum of the race away from Trump, and this is an early sign that she has failed to accomplish that.

 

9

Ross Douthat on the Debates

 

Ross Douthat, who has the unenviable task of scattering pearls of conservative wisdom before the New York Times readership, has this prediction on the debate:

 

A series of debates between a man proudly unprepared for the office of the presidency and a woman of Clinton’s knowledge and experience should produce a predictable outcome: She should win, and he should lose.

This is not a hot take. It is a cold take, a boring take, a take that assumes that the political world, even now, is still relatively rule-bound and predictable.

And if I’m wrong, if Hillary manages to throw the debates and the election to Donald Trump, it will be the last such take I offer for many years to come.

Go here to read the rest.  I will miss the predictions of Douthat over the next few years.  I think he is incorrect for the following reasons: Continue Reading

9

Eve of the Debate

 

Presidential debates don’t matter much except when they do.  Back in 1976 on October 6, Ford, in his second debate with Carter, denied that Poland was dominated by the Soviet Union.  He was too proud and stupid to simply admit intially he had misspoke.  This stalled his rise in the polls with Carter, and he went on to lose a close one.

 

 

In 1980 the one and only debate between Carter and Reagan occurred on October 28, 1980, six days before the election.  Reagan clobbered Carter and Carter had no time to recover before election day.

 

 

 

 

So where is the current race just prior to the debate?  The Washington Post ABC poll released last night shows a dead heat.  Go here to read about it.  Likewise the Morning Consult poll released yesterday.  Go here to read about it.  The Los Angeles Times Tracking poll shows Trump with a four point advantage.  Go here to look at it.  Battleground polls have been trending over the past few weeks in Trump’s direction.  A Pennsylvania Poll by Morning Call Muhlenberg College yesterday for example shows Trump slashing into Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania with Clinton having only a two point lead in a four way race.  Go here to read about it.  If Trump takes Pennsylvania, Clinton’s path to victory becomes very, very difficult.  Right now Trump is ahead in all the states taken by Romney, and leads in Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Nevada.  Trump is tied with Clinton in Maine and close to tied in Colorado.  A shocking poll last week showed him only six points down in Illinois.  If that poll is accurate, and I have my doubts about it, Clinton is in deep trouble around the nation. Continue Reading