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
John R. Coppedge, a surgeon from Texas, writing in The Hill, has the best speculation I have seen on what is physically wrong with Hillary Clinton: Continue reading
Once one understands that Hillary Clinton is a transparent crook, this is not surprising:
An elderly woman who donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign says she was charged multiple times after she stipulated she would only be making a one-time donation, according to a report from the New York Observer.*
Carol Mahre, an 81-year-old grandmother from Minnesota who has voted Democratic since Eisenhower’s re-election in 1956, said she wanted to make a one-time donation of $25 to Clinton’s campaign. But when she received her U.S. Bank statement, she noticed that multiple charges of $25 (and one for $19) were made to her account from the Clinton campaign.
Mahre said she wanted to make only a one-time donation. Her son, Roger, agreed to help her get her money back, as she could not afford the multiple donations.
“It took me at least 40 to 50 phone calls to the campaign office before I finally got ahold of someone,” Roger told NBC affiliate Kare11, which first investigated Mahre’s story. “After I got a campaign worker on the phone, she said they would stop making the charges.”
But the charges didn’t stop. Roger said his mother is “very good with the Internet,” and doesn’t believe she would have mistakenly signed up for recurring donations. But even if she had, why would the recurring donations change from $25 to $19? Why would the charges come on the same day or in the same month instead of monthly? . . .
Observer reporter Liz Crokin spoke to a Wells Fargo employee who works in the fraud department to figure out what was going on.
“We get up to a hundred calls a day from Hillary’s low-income supporters complaining about multiple unauthorized charges,” the employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told Crokin. The source added that they had not received any calls about the Trump campaign and donations.
The source said this has been going on since the spring, and that the campaign stops after it has taken a little less than $100 from a one-time donor.
“We don’t investigate fraudulent charges unless they are over $100,” the source said. “The Clinton campaign knows this, that’s why we don’t see any charges over the $100 amount, they’ll stop the charges just below $100. We’ll see her campaign overcharge donors by $20, $40 or $60 but never more than $100.” Continue reading
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.
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
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
1933: “Well, sure, Hitler really hates Jews, but he has a great policy of getting everybody back to work!” 2016: “Yeah, Hillary is an abortion extremist, but she really loves the welfare state!”
Hmmm. the willingness of Mark Shea and other Catholic “pro-lifers” to endorse Hillary abortion-uber-alles Clinton has attracted the attention of a writer outside of Saint Blogs. Tom Riley at The American Thinker dissects this movement of the absurd:
Now that the practical choice is between coughing Clinton and terrifying Trump, the Seamless Garment crowd is making new attempts to co-opt pro-life sentiment in favor of the vociferously pro-abortion candidate – that is, Clinton. This New Pro-Life Movement is supposedly bolder, more sincere, more consistent, and especially more “prudent” than the old (and conservative) one.
It’s wise to wave aside some of this with a sneer – especially the tried-and-false dilution of the pro-life message with the goofy pretense that opposing capital punishment makes innocent lives safer. But it’s also wise to take seriously a more profound falsehood: that the way to advance pro-life goals is to throw our full support behind the welfare state.
Oddly enough, one of the most prominent proponents of this viewpoint is Mark P. Shea, whose self-written Wikipedia listing describes him as “an American author, blogger, and speaker working in the field of Roman Catholic apologetics” and whose forays on behalf of broad pro-lifery display all the telling logic and rhetorical effectiveness of a banana slug in the noonday sun. Shea is fond of telling us such things as that the invasion of Europe must be encouraged by pro-life Christians, maybe because Jesus was a refugee, too. It’s pointless to ask him whether little German girls ought to be raped by Jesus stand-ins. Indeed, it’s pointless to offer counter-argument to anything Shea says, since he never offers argument. He makes assertions and accuses anyone who disagrees with him of defying the Magisterium.
But Shea refers us to Matthew Tyson, whose presentation of the New Pro-Life Gospel is more explicitly reasoned and cogent. Tyson reasons thus: pro-lifers have put all their authentic plastic fetal models into the wrong basket. They’ve been working to elect Republicans for years. They’ve concentrated on changing the composition of the Supreme Court. Yet time and again, the Court has handed them defeats, and legalized abortion has continued unabated. Therefore, pro-lifers must address the “root causes” of abortion – by expanding various welfare programs so women will not feel forced to seek the destruction of their children.
Like all the most effective lies, this one has a limited truth behind it. Efforts to establish a pro-life – or even a strict constitutionalist – Supreme Court have proved less than encouraging. Tyson is right that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were decided by courts on which Republican presidents had appointed a majority of the justices. (He’s certainly wrong, however, to characterize these courts as featuring a majority of conservatives.) Why has this strategy proved a disappointment?
One reason is that pro-life conservatives haven’t managed to place all their most favored nominees on the Court. Please recall that Robert Bork was President Reagan’s first choice for the vacancy left in 1987 by the retirement of Justice Powell, and that Douglas Ginsburg was Reagan’s second choice. (Ginsburg withdrew his nomination over marijuana use, arguably a necessary qualification for Democrat presidential candidates.) Instead of Bork or Ginsburg, we got Anthony Kennedy – the “conservative justice” liberals love to flatter, and the deciding vote in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Why is it that we got Kennedy instead of Bork? Because Bork was borked by just such Democrats as the “pro-life” Tyson proposes to vote for. Let’s hear it for a progressive pro-life attitude!
Whole Woman’s Health is certainly the most extreme pro-abortion decision ever rendered by the Court – and it’s important to look at who, aside from Kennedy, rendered it. We have Stephen Breyer (a Clinton appointee), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a Clinton appointee), Sonia Sotomayor (an Obama appointee), and Elena Kagan (an Obama appointee). One of the reasons the grand pro-life strategy for the Supreme Court hasn’t delivered is that voters like Shea and Tyson have labored to thwart it. Tyson mocks conservatives for electing Republicans in an effort to influence the composition of the Court: supposedly, in conformity with the commonplace definition of insanity often attributed to Albert Einstein, conservatives do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Is Tyson saner because he intends to the same thing over again (that is, vote Democrat) and get the same unacceptable result?
Tyson boils the whole pro-life emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court down to a single question: can pro-lifers overturn Roe v. Wade? He concludes – reasonably, though not unassailably – that they cannot. Yet is this the only question of importance to the movement that is likely to come before the Court? Whole Woman’s Health shows that it is not. Texas’s perfectly sensible restrictions on abortion mills could have stood without overturning Roe. They didn’t stand because a Democrat-influenced Court is inevitably devoted to expanding Roe. This is a process that will continue if the insouciant Mr. Tyson gets his way. Will the Court overturn state requirements that only a physician can perform surgical abortions? Following the example of California’s legislature, a Democrat Court almost certainly will. Will the Court restrict even further the First Amendment rights of abortion opponents? A Democrat Court will. Will the Court lift restrictions on fetal tissue procurement and sale? Yup – if the Democrats prevail. Mandatory abortions for mothers deemed unfit? Don’t count it out. After all, Hillary is a big admirer of Margaret Sanger.
It’s all coming down that great big pro-abortion highway, folks, and “pro-lifers” Shea and Tyson are, in effect, cheering it on. None of this stuff really matters, after all. What really matters is “focusing on why.” What really matters is “thinking deeper.” What really matters is expanding the welfare state in every way imaginable.
An entertaining deficiency in Tyson’s argued thesis (and Shea’s unargued one) is the assumption that pro-lifers should practice something that can only be called vital utilitarianism. Just as Jeremy Bentham thought ethics should focus on the greatest good for the greatest number, the new “pro-lifers” think our only concern should be the most lives for the greatest number. In this assessment, questions of principle are mere distractions. American law is establishing an expanding right to kill? Who cares? We can’t change that anyhow and shouldn’t even try. The only question is, how can our heroes Shea and Tyson save the most lives? Photos on their websites should let the critical reader know just what unlikely action heroes Shea and Tyson would be. More important, utilitarianism of this sort, even if it’s not explicitly hedonistic, isn’t an ethical theory consistent with the Catholic faith.
Despite their ethical confusion, our new “pro-lifers” insist that the smart and prudent thing for pro-lifers to do is to support every state program for making lives easier, work less necessary, and businesses more likely to collapse. Only that way – and not by maintaining pro-life principles – can we truly call ourselves pro-life.
This is the most offensive part of the argument because it is so hypocritical. Expanding the welfare state too is the same old thing expected to produce new results. Tyson indicates that aborting mothers are women in poverty who feel they don’t have options. But why are there so many single mothers in poverty? Shea and Tyson probably don’t remember Daniel Patrick Moynihan – although, as a liberal Democrat, he would certainly have won their vote. Way back in 1965, Moynihan first began to assert that the expanded welfare state wasn’t good for poor people, and especially for poor blacks. Experience since then has only tended to strengthen his distrust of such expansion. Shea and Tyson like simplifications, so I’ll give it to them simplified. Welfare programs contribute to the breakdown of the family, and the breakdown of the family contributes to the abortion culture. Continue reading
Between the deplorables remark and her collapse yesterday, Trump should really name Hillary his de facto campaign manager.
Well even the mainstream media can no longer keep up the pretense that there is not something seriously wrong with the health of Hillary Clinton. After her hurried departure from the 9-11 memorial in New York yesterday, and her filmed collapse, even a completely pro-Clinton press could no longer ignore the obvious. First the Clinton campaign said she left because she got overheated. Temperatures in New York at the time of her departure were around 80 degrees. Next up was a sudden statement by a physician that Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday by him. Maybe. Pneumonia however is an opportunistic disease that often accompanies other maladies, and I doubt seriously that is all that is wrong with her. Rumblings about her replacement are beginning to be heard in high Democrat circles. However, my guess is that Clinton has been planning to be the first female president since at least her college days. The only way she will agree to leave this race is if she is a corpse. On a human level I do not enjoy seeing anyone struggling with illness and I pray for her recovery. However, I do blame her for her manifest dishonesty in attempting to conceal the true state of her health from the American people. Continue reading
Well, before a fundraiser in New York City yesterday of Hollywood glitterati, put on by a lesbian group, Hillary, I guess because she really must secretly long for retirement, made this statement:
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call ‘the basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.” Continue reading
― George Orwell,
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
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?
Well, judging from this document dump from the FBI on Friday, Hillary Clinton does a mean Sergeant Schultz imitation:
Hillary Clinton told FBI agents that she could not recall issues related to her email server at least 26 times, according to an 11-page document released by the FBI on Friday.
Clinton’s memory lapses are frequent during the interview, marked often by agents as “could not recall” and “did not remember.” But the “could not recall” remarks are often related not to long-distant emails, but things she should perhaps definitely recall.
Here is a list of what she allegedly couldn’t recall:
- When she received security clearance
- Being briefed on how to handle classified material
- How many times she used her authority to designate items classified
- Any briefing on how to handle very top-secret “Special Access Program” material
- How to select a target for a drone strike
- How the data from her mobile devices was destroyed when she switched devices
- The number of times her staff was given a secure phone
- Why she didn’t get a secure Blackberry
- Receiving any emails she thought should not be on the private system
- Did not remember giving staff direction to create private email account
- Getting guidance from state on email policy
- Who had access to her Blackberry account
- The process for deleting her emails
- Ever getting a message that her storage was almost full
- Anyone besides Huma Abedin being offered an account on the private server
- Being sent information on state government private emails being hacked
- Receiving cable on State Dept personnel securing personal email accounts
- Receiving cable on Bryan Pagliano upgrading her server
- Using an iPad mini
- An Oct. 13, 2012, email on Egypt with Clinton pal Sidney Blumenthal
- Jacob Sullivan using personal email
- State Department protocol for confirming classified information in media reports
- Every briefing she received after suffering concussions
- Being notified of a FOIA request on Dec. 11, 2012
- Being read out of her clearance
- Any further access to her private email account from her State Department tenure after switching to her HRCoffice.com accou
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
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