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

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

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

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

conservative_catholics_0_1476187927

 

 

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

 

tumblr_inline_nv1f36vdpl1t63ajm_500

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

steinberg-new-yorker

 

 

“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

10

Cruz Endorses Trump

 

Well, he says he will vote for him.  Here is the text of what Cruz said:

 

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

 

In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

 

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

 

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

 

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

 

Six key policy differences inform my decision.

 

First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

 

For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

 

Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.

 

Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.

 

Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.

 

Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.

 

Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.

 

These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.

 

If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.

 

My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.

 

We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.

 

Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.

 

The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.

 

Our country is in crisis. Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.

 

A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.

Continue Reading

21

Of Black Swans and Worthless Elites

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Faithful readers of this blog know that I am fascinated by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2007 book The Black Swan.  In this book Taleb took a look at the impact of events in history for which our prior experiences give us no inkling, Black Swan events.  Taleb states three requirements for a Black Swan Event:

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

I think Donald Trump is a Black Swan event in American political history, but he is also a part of a growing global revolt  against a fairly worthless class of governing elites.  Taleb has a look at this in a recent post:

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science. (For instance it is trivial to show the following: much of what the Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types — those who want to “nudge” us into some behavior — much of what they would classify as “rational” or “irrational” (or some such categories indicating deviation from a desired or prescribed protocol) comes from their misunderstanding of probability theory and cosmetic use of first-order models.) They are also prone to mistake the ensemble for the linear aggregation of its components as we saw in the chapter extending the minority rule.


The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.

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23

Les Deplorables

 

 

In 50 years of observing politics I have never seen a politician hand her adversary such a powerful weapon as Hillary Clinton did when she damned 20% of the American people as deplorables.  In that one remark she summarized the leftist contempt for Americans who stubbornly refuse to submit to leftist shibboleths, and she poured gasoline on the anger of half our population who are sick of being treated as enemies in their own nation.

 

 

24

Not Our Kind

 

 

It is interesting  how much that passes for liberalism these days is merely dressed up snobbishness where people with lots of money can look down their noses at people they deem “poor white trash”.  It is no accident, as Marxists used to say, that Hillary made her condemnation of 20% of the American people at a fundraising event to the cheers and laughter of the Hollywood glitterati and assorted fat cats.  Poor whites are one of the few safe groups to hate, and what is the point of having a great deal of money unless one can feel free to dump vials of loathing on those near the bottom of the economic ladder?

Daniel Henninger at The Wall Street Journal gets this aspect of our politics, an aspect rarely spoken of, but blindingly obvious:

As with the irrepressible email server, Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her infirmity—”I feel great,” the pneumonia-infected candidate said while hugging a little girl—deepened the hole of distrust she lives in. At the same time, her dismissal, at Barbra Streisand’s LGBT fundraiser, of uncounted millions of Americans as deplorables had the ring of genuine belief.

 

Perhaps sensing that public knowledge of what she really thinks could be a political liability, Mrs. Clinton went on to describe “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them . . . and they’re just desperate for change.”

 

She is of course describing the people in Charles Murray’s recent and compelling book on cultural disintegration among the working class, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” This is indeed the bedrock of the broader Trump base.

 

Mrs. Clinton is right that they feel the system has let them down. There is a legitimate argument over exactly when the rising digital economy started transferring income away from blue-collar workers and toward the “creative class” of Google and Facebook employees, no few of whom are smug progressives who think the landmass seen from business class between San Francisco and New York is pocked with deplorable, phobic Americans. Naturally, they’ll vote for the status quo, which is Hillary.

 

But in the eight years available to Barack Obama to do something about what rankles the lower-middle class—white, black or brown—the non-employed and underemployed grew. A lot of them will vote for Donald Trump because they want a radical mid-course correction. Which Mrs. Clinton isn’t and never will be.

 

This is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton. The progressive Democrats, a wholly public-sector party, have disconnected from the realities of the private economy, which exists as a mysterious revenue-producing abstraction. Hillary’s comments suggest they now see much of the population has a cultural and social abstraction.

 

To repeat: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

 

Those are all potent words. Or once were. The racism of the Jim Crow era was ugly, physically cruel and murderous. Today, progressives output these words as reflexively as a burp. What’s more, the left enjoys calling people Islamophobic or homophobic. It’s bullying without personal risk.

 

Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists.

 

Evangelicals at last week’s Values Voter Summit said they’d look past Mr. Trump’s personal résumé. This is the reason. It’s not about him.

 

The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. One wonders if even some of the people in Mrs. Clinton’s Streisandian audience didn’t feel discomfort at the ease with which the presidential candidate slapped isms and phobias on so many people. Continue Reading

16

State of the Race: Revenge of the Deplorables: Trump Takes the Lead

 

 

Trump had the momentum even before Hillary’s ghastly exercise in political malpractice of the past week, but now he is clearly in the lead.  The Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll, which seems to be an accurate barometer of where the race is heading this campaign, has Trump today out to a five point lead.  Go here to look at it.  The Bloomberg Politics Poll, go here to view it, shows Trump with a five point lead in Ohio, the Buckeye state often mirroring the national race.  Perhaps most significantly, a just-released Reuters Ipsos poll, go here to read a story on the Colorado race, gives Trump a two point lead in a state that was thought to be irrevocably lost to Hillary.  Trump is beginning to expand the Romney map.  For example, if he takes the Romney states from 2012, and takes Ohio, Florida Iowa, Nevada and Colorado, he is the President even if he loses Virginia.  Current polls show him ahead in all of these states with the exception of Nevada where Hillary clings to a one point lead in the latest poll.  However, in that scenario Trump  leads in Maine 2 in current polling and if Hillary took Nevada and Trump got the one electoral vote in Maine 2, the race would be tied 269-269 with  the race decided, almost certainly in Trump’s favor, by majority vote by state delegations in the House of Representatives.  Trump is expanding his electoral college reach while Clinton’s is contracting.

Hillary Clinton has been cordially despised by many in her party for a very long time.  Leftists have never warmed to her, and many Democrats view her as simply dishonest.  If she begins to look like a sure loser, more Democrats will vote Green, Libertarian or stay home.  There would be an effort to replace her on the ticket.  Unless she dies, a possibility that in view of her health which cannot be discounted, she will never voluntarily leave the ticket.  Forcing her off the ticket would probably only enhance the disaster for the Democrats.

Trump of course is not popular, to say the least, among Republicans.  His paid leave plan for new parents illustrates again that he is neither a Republican nor a conservative.  However, as he increasingly looks like a winner, more Republicans and conservatives will come to his side, enjoying the crushing of Clinton and hoping to benefit in down-ballot races. Continue Reading

6

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

 

“Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm
A Navy vet focuses in on one of the more damning aspects of this whole Clinton e-mail scandal.  Anyone else not as politically connected as Hillary Clinton would now be under criminal indictment, with excellent prospects of being a convicted felon for the rest of his life, and likely looking forward to at least a year in the slammer.   Hillary’s answer to her interlocutor isn’t even worthy of being called bovine dung.  Guy Benson at Hot Air ably dissects her farrago of lies:

In response, Clinton ran through a litany of excuses, some of which were flat-out lies. She asserted, for instance, that none of her emails were marked classified, even though some were. That’s the whole reason she had to concoct the nonsensical story that she believed ‘(C) for confidential’ was an effort at alphabetizing paragraphs — which is preposterous, especially given this context. She wrapped up her answer by insisting that she did “exactly what I should have done,” which is also false. But a prominent new element of her shifting email spin is a heightened focus on the absence of classification headers at the top of her emails as a key exculpatory factor. This is irrelevant, misleading, and stands in direct contradiction to a previous Clinton claim. First, those headers are used to underscore classification levels on emails sent through the official secure systems, which Hillary was knowingly and intentionally bypassing with the exclusive use of her private and unsecure server. Second, at the outset of her term at the State Department, Mrs. Clinton signed a binding nondisclosure agreement swearing to identify and protect all classified information, “marked or unmarked:”

 

Perhaps Clinton can be cut some slack for not immediately recognizing low-level classified information as such, but she also sent and received messages that were secret, top secret, and above top secret from the moment of origination. A number of these emails remain so sensitive that the State Department refused to release them in any form, even with major redactions. “But there were no headers” is not a valid explanation for these egregious security lapses, particularly in light of her formally-acknowledged duty to safeguard unmarked secrets. But since she suddenly wants to fixate on headers, how’s this for a relevant flashback? Continue Reading

29

Dennis Prager: For Trump

 

The political world was shocked yesterday when CNN ran a poll showing Trump running two points ahead.  I was not.  Faithful readers of this blog know that I have long predicted a Trump victory.  I have long also stated that I will not be voting for Trump because I view him as basically a liberal Democrat wearing a Republican disguise.  I  confess that I have toyed over the past few weeks with changing my mind and supporting Trump due to how dangerous a threat to the Republic Hillary Clinton is.  However, Trump has always managed to say or do something bizarre that has confirmed me in my anti-Trump sentiments.  I desperately want to see Clinton beaten on election day, and I know that the only way to accomplish that is by Trump being elected President.  That is my quandry:  he is a man of little character, completely unfitted for the office.  Clinton is more unfit for the office and is a thorough going scoundrel, yet I cannot bring myself to support Trump.

Dennis Prager, who was vehemently anti-Trump in the primaries, at National Review Online makes the best case possible for a reluctant vote for Trump:

I cannot speak for all conservatives who are voting for Trump, but I can speak for many in making this assertion:

We have the same principles as the Never Trumpers — especially those of us who strongly opposed nominating Trump; that’s why we opposed him, after all. So almost everything that prevents Never Trumpers from voting for Trump also troubled us about the candidate. (I should note that some are less troubled today.)

So where do we differ?

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8

Hillary is as Healthy as a Horse!

 

On her way to the glue factory.  If we had a media that wasn’t almost completely in bed with the Democrats, the following questions might be asked:

1.  Why such a light campaign schedule?

2.  What did Huma Abedin mean in disclosed e-mails in which she said that you are frequently confused and that you need naps?

3.  What did you mean when you told the FBI that due to a concussion you could not recall the briefings you attended in December 2012?

4.  Were your 26 failures to recall information as set forth in the FBI interview notes in regard to the e-mail scandals due to health problems?

5.  Why do you often have severe coughing fits?

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8

L’audace, L’audace, Toujours L’audace

 

 

In a memorable day in American political history, Donald Trump met with the Mexican President in a scene which had all the trappings of a head of state visiting another head of state.  It could easily have blown up in his face, instead Trump looked completely presidential.  Trump is clearing willing to gamble, something professional politicians are loathe to do.  He might well be audacity incarnate, and calls to mind Danton’s famous cry:  audacity, audacity, ever audacity.  He is the most dangerous opponent for a completely conventional politician like Hillary Clinton who never makes a move that is not heavily scripted.  I am looking forward to their debates. Continue Reading

15

State of the Race

 

 

Going into the Labor Day weekend, Clinton is slightly ahead with Trump gaining ground.  The Los Angeles Times daily tracker shows Trump with a lead today of three points.  Go here to view it.  The topline result in August presidential polls isn’t important but the direction can be, and the direction for Trump is good news.  Almost all polls now show that he has at least halved the bounce that Clinton got from her convention.  As a candidate Trump seems to be learning his new trade of politician.  Clinton is bedeviled by her ongoing e-mail scandals that demonstrate that as Secretary of State she was selling access.  The New York Times published an editorial yesterday urging Clinton to cut all ties with the Clinton Foundation.  Clinton is a candidate under constant ethical fire who seems to be attempting to sit upon a shrinking lead with few public appearances for a candidate for President, while Trump ceaselessly barnstorms up and down the country.  This is political malpractice on the part of the Clinton campaign. Continue Reading

9

Huffington Post Thinks Their Readers Are Really, Really Stupid

 

huffpo-trump

 

A current post at leftist Huffington Post brings their readership the bad news that in one week the Reuters Ipsos poll has shown Clinton’s lead tumble to five points from twelve points, and in a poll listing all four candidates, including the Libertarians and the Greens, Clinton’s lead drops to three points.  (A Gravis Marketing Poll released yesterday shows Clinton’s lead dropping from five points to one point in a two way race.)

The hilarious thing with the Huffington Post piece is the edit at the end which includes this for their readers:

Editor’s Note:  Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims-1.6 billion members of an entire religion from entering the US.

Go here to read it.  The Huffington Post editors obviously think their readers are so stupid they will be unable to sort the white hats from the black hats without help.

14

Hillary For Sale

 The level of corruption on display in the State Department e-mails just revealed through the litigation brought by conservative group Judicial Watch, is too great for even the mainstream media to ignore:

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs.

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