Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lynch meets with Bill Clinton...

Lynch and Bill Clinton meet on a plane.
Try to hide meeting from the media

 Then coincidentally:
Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a closely allied public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.
To be clear, there is a court order that requires this information to be turned over by July 21st or in approximately three weeks. The Justice Department is asking for a 27 month delay? Seriously?

We can speculate all day long whether or not one thing had anything to do with the other. I am not much into conspiracy theories, but this one comes a little too wrapped up in a bow for me. Is it far fetched to ask the hypothetical question as to whether or not there is damaging emails in these correspondences?

Considering Clinton agreed (to the President) not to have any form of interaction between her duties of Secretary of State, and her interests in the Foundation, is there actually a "good" reason why four top aides to the Secretary of State would be creating any correspondence with the Clinton Foundation in the first place? If someone can think of a good reason, please feel free to elaborate.

Meanwhile, I would also ask if anyone can come up with a good reason why the Attorney General would meet with the Husband of someone who is under criminal investigation by the FBI? A case that the Attorney General is ultimately overseeing? This seriously looks like a combination of the two of them both lacking integrity and common sense.

What's the matter with Massachusetts?

There is a very famous political book named "What's the matter with Kansas" where author Thomas Frank suggests that the rise of compassionate social conservatism in the Midwest was an exercise in large amounts of people voting against their own interests.

I would offer that we are seeing something of an even more obvious nature happening with many of your traditional core Democrats. Maybe I should write a book called "What's the matter with Massachusetts"?

The reality is that in our two Party system, the two core Parties are pretty much always evolving and changing. The classic line (originally used by Ronald Reagan) "I didn't leave my Party, my Party left me" is probably not an unusual concept to people willing to hold true to their personal convictions. The trouble is that partisanship often times makes personal convictions secondary to Party convictions. More to the point, partisanship turns people into followers. How often do you notice that the true partisan can never comment on an issue, till they have heard the talking points memo from their leadership. There is a very tangible difference between agreeing with every Party stance, and choosing to agree with every Party stance. Nearly all partisans fall into the latter category.

So how are the Parties changing? Ask any Democrat and they will tell you that the Republican Party is becoming the Party of old white people, right on the verge of dying off. They see a battle line being drawn between the aging white generation, vs a growing minority population and the emerging millennial generation. To those on the left, the baby boomer and generation Xers apparently represent everything that's wrong with our nation, while your minority and millennial represent a better future.

My question is why?

The reality is that very few (if any) generations can boost of the accomplishments and achievements of the boomer generation. They have been by far and away the most financially successful generation, came up with countless innovative changes to our society, are probably the most educated generation, and they still hold many of most prominent and important jobs and positions in both the private and public sector. They understand the value of starting at entry level, and achieving success and promotion through hard work and dedication. The Generation Xers have many of those same traits. But yet, these are the folks the left believe we should discount?

Meanwhile, the left will have you believe that we need to be following the direction of uneducated migrant workers, minorities in crime ridden urban areas, and the beautiful snowflake millennial generation. Now I can understand why someone who is a struggling immigrant, someone living in the middle of a gang war, or someone who believes Trump for President is "hate speech" that requires counseling...  would want to be a Democrat.

But can anyone explain to me why any white person over the age of 40 would choose to discount the opinions of their own generation of success and accomplishment, in favor of the political demands of people who are not even citizens of the country, black lives matters, and the ultra sensitive politically correct entitlement ideals of the millennials?  The only reasonable explanation available (other than white guilt or total partisan brainwashing) is that they are simply trying to jump on the bandwagon they believe will end up in power.

If you doubt me, go back to the beginning and tell me I am wrong about how Democrats describe Republicans. Their interest doesn't appear to be any particular set of convictions, but rather all about identity politics. Their interest appears to be completely and totally about putting together a coalition of voters that will keep them in power. But in order to do so, they will need to make concessions to those who vote for them. Uneducated migrant workers, minorities, and the millennials. All the while, demonizing the "older white generations" as what's apparently wrong with our society.

Funny thing is, for you're an older white Democrat, that means you are choosing to back the party that demonizes you. You are choosing to back a Party that openly has no interest in your interests. I'd have to ask... what's the matter with you?

Tale of two polling realities

Trump takes the lead in latest Rasmussen Poll
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 43% of the vote, while Clinton earns 39%. Twelve percent (12%) still like another candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 
Last week at this time, it was Clinton 44%, Trump 39%. This is Trump’s highest level of support in Rasmussen Reports’ matchups with Clinton since last October.
I am sure the left will discount this poll as a outlier. But I would offer it as further proof that nobody can objectively know whether or not the polling is really moving in Hillary's favor, or moving in Trump's favor right now. The one thing we do know for sure is that it cannot be doing both at the same time, so some (or possibly all) of these polls are wrong.

The interesting thing is that intuitively it's easy for people to see what they want to see here. Those who believe that the negative Trump media coverage is continuing to bring him down, can find bias confirmation from the Ipsos/Reuters and ABC/WashPost polls showing Clinton's lead expanding. Those who feel that recent terror events both home and abroad seem to play into the hands of Donald Trump, can find bias confirmation from looking at NBC/WSJ and Rasmussen Reports showing Trump drawing essentially even or actually pulling ahead.

In other words, people can find a reasonable explanation (at least reasonable to them) for both polling realities.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fox News Poll confirms

Trump losing ground with Republicans

The most recent Fox News poll shows Clinton leading Trump by six in a head to head, and five in a three way including Libertarian Gary Johnson. Clinton was leading by three in the previous poll. So what makes the difference?
  • Clinton up 83-6 with Democrats (Clinton up from 79%)
  • Trump up 74-10 with Republicans (Trump down from 82%)
  • Trump up 39-31 with Independents (Trump up from 35%)
You can pretty much attribute all of the three point movement to partisan differences and then some. Whereas Clinton is consolidating her Democratic Support, Trump is losing support among Republicans. 

The lion's share of the drop comes from those who are "once again" wanting or even expecting to see someone else come out of the convention with the nomination (only 52% of those say they will vote for him). Again, we can only speculate if this is a permanent change, or if the very recent resurgence of the Dump Trump movement is responsible for this. If it is the former, it would bode poorly for his chances. If it's the latter, then there should be a reasonable expectation of another bounce, once the nomination is official. 

The good news for Trump is that he increased his lead with Independents, a demographic he will need to win, in order to stand a chance. The other bright side of this for Trump and his supporters is that there is some serious low hanging fruit, with over a quarter of Republicans not currently supporting him. If he continues to lead Independents, and can bring some of those wayward Republicans home, then demographically he should stand a pretty good chance.  

New Quinnipiac poll - Dead Heat

Democrat Hillary Clinton has 42 percent to Republican Donald Trump's 40 percent - too close to call - as American voters say neither candidate would be a good president and that the campaign has increased hatred and prejudice in the nation, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.
This compares to results of a June 1 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, showing Clinton edging Trump 45 - 41 percent.
This is now the second poll in the last week to come out showing the race tightening. The recent NBC/WSJ poll showed Clinton leading Trump 39-38 percent with the Libertarian and Green Party candidates included in the polling question.

Contrary to popular believe among your mainstream media folks, there is no more real evidence that Clinton is expanding her lead (Ipsos/Reuters and ABC/Washing Post) as there is evidence that the race is tightening (Quinnipiac and NBC/WSJ). In fact, of the four polls, Quinnipiac is clearly the most respected of the pollsters, as well as being the only independent (non-media commissioned) poll.

Now there has been some competing suggestions from the right regarding the polling out there. Newt Gingrich has all but accused the media of making up polling results to show Hillary with a lead, stating that if the polls show the race withing five points, that Trump will likely cruise to victory. Whereas talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh has suggested that Hillary really is up in the polls, and that people should stop writing them off and start dealing with it.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.

There is definitely some serious demographic problems with the polls putting Clinton   up big. Approximate half of the Ipsos/Reuter polling sample is made up of Democrats, which pushes her lead up to nine percent for registered voters. When they filter for "likely voters" (which traditionally benefits Republicans) the lead increases by four points? Both assumptions not only defy any empirical historical evidence, but appear to be totally without any statistical explanation. This was also the pollster that managed to show Clinton expanding her overall lead, while losing a fairly significant amount of support in every demographic breakdown. This can only be done by further manipulating the demographic breakdown to include "more" Democrats as an overall percentage of the sample. When taken as a whole, this strongly suggests that Gingrich may have a point regarding pollsters manipulating the numbers in order to champion the story of a big Clinton lead..

That being said, when I plug the cross tabs into my own spreadsheet (using historically calculated demographic percentages) I show Clinton leading, but by only around four points. The overall numbers are not unlike what we saw in 2012.  Both Obama and Clinton garnering the Democrat vote overwhelmingly, while Romney and Trump take the Republican and Independent vote.

The one demographic where Trump has slipped behind Romney is in the GOP vote. There was an overwhelming consolidation of Republicans right after Kasich and Cruz dropped out. But since then, there has been a slow loss of support among Republicans. Whether that is permanent or the result of the recent surge in the Dump Trump rumblings is not clear. But in talking to some of the "on the fence' Republicans I know, it feels like they want to vote for Trump, and are simply looking for an excuse to justify it. Trump may actually benefit from becoming official which would silence the "Dump Trump" movement once and for all. He could also benefit from staying "on point" for more than one or two speeches.

Bottom line, folks is that we may not see consistent polling for some time, if ever on this race. It seems clear that there are some substantial differences of opinion as to what the make up of the 2016 electorate will look like. If those differences are not reconciled, then we may be seeing a very wide range of polling results throughout this entire campaign.

(More on that later)

Monday, June 27, 2016

The self-absorbed left goes off the edge

So I read this piece from The Guardian by a gentleman named Aditya Chakrabortty called It’s become okay to be a racist in Britain.  While some of the examples he used seemed alarming (such as calls to burn down mosques), some of the others seem much more relevant and typical to the actual debate going on across our own country, and quite obviously across the globe.

In particular he refers to a discussion from a “leaver” who complained that her daughter moved to London, only to be exposed to things like sexual groping on the trains, and living in an Apartment building where open fires were being used to cook food. The implication was that such complaints were based on racism and the author openly suggested that this woman stating that "she wanted her country back” was offensive. Apparently not wanting to be groped by strange men, and expecting people to follow fire code laws shows a lack of tolerance for other cultures. Moreover this was a tolerance that Chakrabortty felt had been the norm throughout the 90s and 00s, but was now being overwhelmed and replaced with fear based intolerance and right wing bigotry.

I guess I ask myself to what degree does someone have to “tolerate” behavior that the existing culture deems inappropriate or downright illegal, just because such behavior is the norm in the areas of the world where some of these refugees and immigrants come from? Why “should” an American or Briton have to put up with sexual assault or worry about their building being burned down, just because it would seem “intolerant” by the liberal elite to expect any sort of assimilation?

The reality is such tolerance was probably only a thinly veiled mirage, held together by a small minority of liberal elite who shamed the majority into being quiet, as to not be called a bigot or racist.  The reality is that for most reasonable people, the idea of tolerance ends when behavior shifts from simply unusual or different… to harmful, disrespectful, or downright illegal.  For most people, this is simple common sense, not bigotry or racism.

Twenty first century western culture is at a cross roads, ladies and gentlemen. Right now the direction seems to be heading “away” from a blind acceptance of diversity regardless of the actions, and moving back towards the common sense approach that certain actions “require” intolerance, if indeed those actions are harmful to the culture and the citizenship as a whole.  Unfortunately our lack of global leadership has turned this into an impossible situation. When efforts to demand assimilation to cultural norms and laws are declared to be bigotry and racism, then what other options remain?

I guess the recent U.K. vote to leave the E.U. provides us with one example of a resounding answer to that question.