Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fox and Ipsos down to two points
Trump takes lead in Rasmussen

Not too terribly long ago, Reuters was plugging the Ipsos tracking poll as showing Hillary Clinton up twelve points (or was it fourteen?). Fox News had shown Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by nine percent. That's a collective seventeen point drop for Clinton over two polls. An average of an eight and a half point surge for the GOP candidate Donald "build the wall" Trump.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen polling is now showing Trump back in the lead in a four way race at 40-39-9. This is a five point improvement for Trump in this poll.

With an ABC/WashingtonPost release looming, already showing Clinton losing about eight points in her favorability and Trump gaining in his, it's probably safe to say that that poll will not provide any good news for Clinton.

I wonder if Ms Inevitable is still feeling so?

Trump's big day...

Love him or hate him. Agree or disagree. There is no question that Donald Trump took the bull by the horns today and moved the discussion to where he wants it to be. The meeting with the Mexican President was a good moment for him. First, it was immediately declared a disaster before it even happened, and it turned out to be pretty cordial. He beat expectation. But more than anything else, he looked legitimate, if not flat out Presidential. Anyone who saw him on the stage (or just sees a picture or video) will at least at some level see him as the "possible" President. Because quite frankly that was how he was being treated by President Nieto. As a method of subconscious persuasion, this was priceless. He couldn't buy enough television ads to get this same exposure.

The speech was substantive. There were ten points (which provides the talking points). He seemed to stay on point. The moment with the angel moms was emotional. But if there was something that stood out to me, it was how he subtly moved his position ever so slightly, without really making it seem that way. The focus was on the criminal element, border security, and in some semantic wiggle room when it comes to legalization. As he stated (and I agree) if you cross the border illegally, then you should not be eligible for citizenship. But the key word is citizenship. He could still take a step back and allow for another type of permanent residency that does not involve citizenship. In fact, I believe that is eventually where he is heading (and where I would go as well). But that's not what most people will have heard.

Bottom line; If you hate Donald Trump and want to punch him in the face, then you probably still hate Donald Trump and still want to punch him in the face even harder. If you like Donald Trump and want him to become your President. Today reinforced it. It may have even teased you a little as to how it would be if he was the President. For those in between or undecided, I would offer that they probably saw Trump for the first time as looking the part. If nothing else, Trump gains from that. As much as the openly hostile to Trump pundits may try to put a negative spin on this, it's a net gain. That's just a fact.

Btw... if you disagree that this was Trump's day... I ask you this: The other lady running for President gave a big speech on American exceptionalism. How do you think that went for her?

It's most definitely a "different strategy"...

Reality here folks. Democrats and their liberal advocates have been attempting to paint the Republican Presidential candidate as a racist, pretty much as far back as I can remember. As pointed out in the WSJ today:
  • In 2000, for example, an NAACP ad recreated the gruesome murder of James Byrd to imply that then-Gov. Bush was sympathetic to lynching black men. Over footage of a chain being dragged by a pickup truck, Mr. Byrd’s daughter says, “So when Gov. George W. Bush refused to support hate-crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again. 
  • When John McCain ran in 2008, Barack Obama warned that Republicans would scare people by saying, “You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.” The McCain campaign fired back, accusing Mr. Obama of playing the race card from the “bottom of the deck.” Funny thing: All those reporters always hearing “dog whistles” from Republicans somehow didn’t hear this one. 
  • In 2012, when Mitt Romney went to the NAACP and told them face-to-face about his opposition to ObamaCare, the stories were all about how he was really just trolling for the racist vote. Vice President Joe Biden put it more explicitly, telling a largely African-American audience that if Mr. Romney were to win, he’d “put ya’ll back in chains.”
The difference was that in the past, these Republican Presidential Candidates sort of cowered, tucked tail, and ran. Or they attempted to explain it away or even apologize. This was seen as the best strategy. Not to engage these attacks head on, as to not further fuel the flames.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, Donald Trump is not cowering, tucking his tail, running, explaining himself, or apologizing. He's actually fighting back. It's an interesting strategy. But then again, almost everything Trump does is unconventional and interesting.

So rather than take his beating like the whipped Republican is expected to do, he calls out Hillary for being a bigot. He tweets about dead nephews. He yells at the top of his lungs that the Democrats take the black vote for granted. Then he hammers on the reality that things have not gotten better for them, even as their cities, states, and the country has Democrats in charge.

"What have you got to lose" is an interesting battle cry.

But it may be better than "Well shucks, I am sorry for being a racist Republican".

McCain & Rubio win primaries...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton - 68 million in political ads
Donald Trump - 4 million in political ads

This is an interesting topic of conversation. Depending on who you talk to, Hillary getting out in front with 68 million in political ads either shows that:
  • Trump's campaign has been incompetent and incapable of putting together anything any sooner.
  • Trump's campaign made a strategic decision to hold back funds till after labor day, when they felt it would have the most impact.

At this point, I don't think it really matters anymore. What's done is done, and you can only move forward with the reality. Hillary Clinton got about a 60 to 70 million dollar head start in her advertising in key battleground states. Now the question that needs to be answered, is was that money well spent and how might all of this effect the last 10 weeks of the election.

A significant portion of the mainstream media is reporting on this as if the race is over. They feel that there is simply an insurmountable polling lead in most of the battle ground states. There is another pro-Clinton camp who is concerned that there isn't "enough" of a lead in these battleground states, considering how much of a spending advantage she has had. These people worry that this unopposed advertising blitz should have really put Trump away, and they still believe Trump still has enough of a pulse to come back and win. There is still another pro-Trump crowd who suggests that Trump is well within range, the polls don't tell the whole story, and that once he gets his own advertising out there, that things will tighten even more.

I am of the opinion that all of the News regarding Trump's antics, along with the continued revelations regarding Clinton's emails, and the play for pay scandal for Clinton Foundation donors, may have fed the narrative and moved opinions much more than the political advertising has. It seems logical that when more and more Americans do not watch television in the traditional sense like they once did (DVR, Netflix, Hulu, OnDemand) that these sorts of traditional television ads are going to be less and less important.

That being said, they are still at least somewhat important and they no doubt have helped Hillary to this point. Whether her advertising has started to reach the laws of diminishing returns is probably predicated on what other lines of attacks she can come up with. I am not a believer in the concept that if you first don't succeed with a political line of attack, try it again only yell a little louder this time.

Either way, it's likely that new ads from Trump will be more effective than old ads from Hillary that have been played already. That seems nothing more than common sense. So perhaps, if these new ads can have an impact and move the needle, the criticism that Trump waited so long to run ads might be answered.

There is still a lot of work to do if you are Donald Trump, and there are still minds he will have to change to win the election. But considering how much things have already changed, just in the past three weeks or so... ten weeks can be an eternity in politics.

New feature on sidebar polling spreadsheet...

I have decided to become high tech and offer the visual of an arrow. This will tell you not only what the latest poll results are from each pollster, but also whether those polls are going up or down.
  • For instance, this morning LA Times came out with a poll showing Trump up three points. This is now represented with a red three and a red arrow pointing up (since this is an improvement for the leader).  
  • On the flip side, there is a new weekly tracking Survey Monkey poll that came out showing Clinton up by four points. This is represented by a blue four. Clinton had been leading last week by five points, so there is a blue arrow is pointing down, reflecting the fact that her lead in that particular poll is shrinking. 
  • Lastly a PPP (D) poll came out this morning. Clinton's lead stands at five percent which is exactly as it was in the last poll. That would be represented by an arrow going off to the side. 
Of the past sixteen polls, only two of them moved in Clinton's direction, twelve of them moved in Trump's direction, one did not change, and one (Zogby) did not have a previous poll to compare to. This provides us with another manner to see which direction mighty momentum might be taking us. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Note regarding upcoming polling

Monmouth was the first of several polls that looked very good for Clinton right around the end of last month beginning of this month.  In the head to head matchup these six polls averaged nearly an 11 point lead.

  • Monmouth +13
  • Marist +14
  • CNN +10 
  • FOX +10 
  • NBC/WSJ +9
  • ABC/WashPost +8 

It was based on the strength of these double digit and high single digit leads, that many media pundits declared the race over. I would expect that much like the Monmouth poll (where Trump gained six points in a head to head and five points in the four way)...  that most (if not all) of these polls will move in Trump's favor. Obviously, I could be wrong, but I feel as a matter of simple gravity (as well as the logical idea that they will follow the same movement as the weekly and daily tracking polls) - that this will be the case.

Now the irony of this, is that most casual observers will suggest that Clinton is gaining momentum (as these polls are released) even if they show her losing overall support since the beginning of the month. The main reason is that most of your polling trackers only consider the most recent polls. So as these polls come out, other polls less favorable to Clinton will drop off.

(this is why I keep the past 30 days - it keeps all pollsters in the average)

The reality is that most of the pollsters our there are just pollsters, and are not commissioned by large media outlets like CNN, NBC, or ABC. Because the general public does not hear about them, they will not know exactly how many independent pollsters are showing the race very close. (If you removed national media polls from the average my spreadsheet goes from around five points down to just over three points)

But they do hear about the latest CNN poll, or the latest ABC/Washington Post poll. These media commissioned polls always garner the most attention (by design).  They are the polls that the Sunday Morning pundits will talk about.

If these numbers show something similar to the Monmouth poll (6-8 points) - will the media pundits really talk about the fact that it's no longer where it was (8-14 points)? Probably not. They will give us the impression that here comes a bunch of polls still showing Clinton's lead expanding, when in fact it will probably be shrinking.

You heard it here first boys and girls.

Trump gains five points in Monmouth poll

Been waiting for this poll (and the Marist) to come in...  as it had shown a twelve point Hillary lead three weeks ago. The results still show a healthy seven point lead for Clinton, but the outlier has sort of moved somewhat back in line.

Clinton lost support among Democrats (from 92% down to 85%)... as questions about her emails and the Clinton Foundation continue to hound her. She dropped four points overall from 50% in Early August. Trump gained two points from early August, moving from 37% to 39%.

The poll sampled more Republicans (239) than Democrats (226).  It appears that Republicans were weighed down by 2%, while Democrats were weighted up by 4%. The poll sample also included 78% Non-Hispanic-White voters, but was weighed down to 71%

Because of the change in this poll (from twelve points to seven)... Trump is officially under 5 points in the overall average and down to four points in the Projection. Haven't seen that for some time.

(Note: It is the opinion of some that a Presidential Candidate cannot make up five points in 10 weeks, much less five points in three weeks. Meaning there must be something fishy going on). 

Non-hate filled post...

I got a message last night from Roger suggesting that he has a new post worthy of discussion. He called it a non-hate filled post. The post is called "Is Trump out of Time", which I read this morning. So I decided to humor our resident liberal with some discussion. Let's start with the first line:
More than 68%  of Americans have a negative view of Donald Trump.  Clinton is approximately 43%, and her negative opinions have been going down per RCP.
Both statistics are wrong. The 68% is linked to the Huffington Post which shows his unfavorables at 60.6% not 68%. Clinton's unfavorables according to the Huffington Post are at 55.1% not 43%. Roger would like us to believe that Trump's unfavorables are 25 points higher than Clintons. In fact the difference is less than 6%.  Always good to start off a serious analytical post with incorrect data. Gives people an idea of what to expect moving forward.

Secondly Roger cites a poll. (One poll)
In a survey of voters, by Quinnipac University   90 percent of likely voters have already made up their mind about the presidential race and are unlikely to change.
This is the only four way poll released since August 7th that shows the race at more than five points. Roger could have quoted from Bloomberg, Zogby, Pew, ARG, Survey Monkey, YouGov, Rasmussen, Ipsos, Gravis, UPI/Voter, Morning Consult, or the LA Times. All pollsters that show the race within five points, most of them show it within the margin of error, and two of those pollsters have released polls showing Trump in the lead. Instead, Roger chose the poll that shows the best numbers for Clinton to argue that the election is slipping away... and seems to pretend that none of the other dozen or so polls are relevant.

Roger moves on to his in depth analysis:
Recent efforts to muddle the GOP nominee’s hard-line positions on immigration has been a mess. He has made comments then retracted them then does it over and over again.
As Karl Rove suggested very recently. The Trump suggestion that there would be wiggle room on whether or not you can round up 11 million illegals and deport them is nothing new. In fact, Rove provided quotes that go back months, where Trump has suggested similar flexibility on the subject during the GOP nomination battle.

Roger provides no quotes, does no research, and probably didn't put much thought into this. Likely he simply repeated something he read or heard from one of his favorite liberal pundits. Because it came from the left, Roger accepted it to be gospel. Most pundits agree that it's in Trump's best interests to soften his stance on immigration. He won't lose the hardliners on immigration to Clinton or Johnson, and he may gain moderates by showing a softer side.

Roger then moves on to quote one of the most biased liberal rags currently in existence. The Washington Post (with no link).
"Hillary Clinton is methodically preparing for the presidential debates as a veteran lawyer would approach her biggest trial. She pores over briefing books thick with policy arcana and opposition research. She internalizes tips from the most seasoned debate coaches in her party. And she rehearses, over and over again, to perfect the pacing and substance of her presentation. 
Donald Trump is taking a different approach. He summons his informal band of counselors — including former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, talk-radio host Laura Ingraham and ousted Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes — to his New Jersey golf course for Sunday chats. Over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they test out zingers and chew over ways to refine the Republican nominee’s pitch.
First of all, it's been said that Trump has been not only prepping for the debates, but that mocked debates are planned (if not already been happening). Laura Ingraham has been involved because she is supposedly playing the part of Hillary Clinton.

That being said, Debates have always been more about style than substance. From Ronald Reagan's famous "zinger",  to Al Gore's heavy sighs, to Marco Rubio repeating the same lines several times, the things people remember about debates are not the arcane policy details. People remember the moments.

With every passing day, the window closes. Can the most unpopular candidate in history, change enough minds in the swing states, often by 5% to 10% in ten weeks? If he does, it will be historic.
Roger once again, rolls out the tired disproven washed up concept that no candidates have ever come from being down on Labor day to winning the oval office. Again, Roger wants to pretend that Ronald Reagan and George W Bush never became President. Both were two term Presidents, and both were arguably in similar or worse shape in late August against their opponents.

Recap: This is a wonderful non-hate filled posts where we learned several things:
  • Quinnipiac is the only pollster to release a poll recently.
  • Trump's negative ratings are 25 points worse than Clinton's (in Roger's mind).
  • Ronald Reagan and George W Bush (two of our last five Presidents) made historic comebacks of epic proportion that may never be duplicated. 
But the real bottom line to the analysis provided by Roger, was that it was entirely one sided. He neither acknowledged or addressed Clinton's own problems (which are many and not going away). He neither acknowledged or addressed that the polls are closing (not widening). He neither acknowledged or addressed any of the recent positive improvement in the Trump message and the Trump brand (something all but the most die-hard Trump haters acknowledge).

He "only" sees what he wants to see and only allows for analysis that is favorable to his predisposed opinion. It's classic bias confirmation along with more cognitive dissonance. But that is simply my opinion. Of course, I encourage you to read it and come to your own conclusions.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Yet, Trump just keeps hanging around...

Like the monster you just can't seem to kill or get away from in the horror film...

  • Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of being a dark evil "birther" - The birth certificate issue was originally brought up by the Hillary Clinton camp during the 2008 nomination.
  • Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of being a racist - While Donald Trump was fighting to put a country club in Palm Springs that would allow membership for Jewish and Black people. Bill and Hillary were paying thousands of dollars a year to be members of an All White Country Club in Arkansas. 
  • Hillary Clinton accuses Donald Trump of being in bed with the KKK - Hillary Clinton has received $20,000 in campaign contributions from KKK members, has the endorsement of at least one Grand Wizard, and has claimed that a former KKK member was her "friend and mentor".  

Look, we all understand that hypocrisy is the bedrock of liberalism. We also understand that no matter what Clinton states about Trump, most of the MSM will gulp it up as gospel with little or no fact checking, while everything Trump says will be reported by the MSM as dark unwarranted attacks, and a promotion of hate and division.

But at the end of the day, the "facts" simply don't matter. When it comes to politics, people are stupid. They will believe whatever it is that they want to believe. They will discount and disbelieve everything that makes them uncomfortable.

This is why someone might believe that Hillary Clinton (who fucked up everything she did as Secretary of State and left the world a much more chaotic and dangerous place due to her policies) is suddenly capable of "destroying terrorism". Seriously.  The fact that a prediction such as "Hillary destroying terrorism" was provided as objective "analysis" from our own liberal "voice" is proof positive how mind boggling unrealistic people can really be. I'd otherwise be embarrassed, but at this point this sort of rhetoric fits in with the rest of the crowd, so why not?

The truth is that one has to wonder how many bullets are left in the chamber to be fired at Donald Trump. Seems to me that he has taken everything (so far), been out advertised by around 40,000 ads, has been outspent by tens of millions... but is still hanging around, very much in contention.

You can only go back to the same well so many times, before you run out of water. How many different ways can you call a man a racist, and how many different groups of people can you lump into the KKK to make this point. How expansive does this get before you are calling nearly everyone something that ends with an ist or ism? At what point does insulting average Americans for holding mainstream political views become an exercise in self destruction?

The problem is that once you have fired all your rounds, there is only one thing left to do. We may not "quite" be at the point of Hillary throwing her gun at the monster, but it's getting close.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hillary calls tens of millions of Americans "Racists who associate with the KKK"

So there is a simple distinction to point out here. Not all criticisms are created equal. There is a significant difference between calling Hillary Clinton corrupt for actions she has taken in her career that have garnered legal scrutiny... and calling Trump a racists for holding policy positions that are mainstream in the Republican Party.

Nobody (that I know of) is actually voting for Hillary Clinton "because" she ran a home brewed server, because she was negligent with classified documents, because she accepted foreign donations, or because she may have sold her time and clout for cold hard cash. Because she tried to hide 10,000 of emails. Because she lied to the American public, lied under oath to congress, or apparently lied to the FBI.  Attacking her for those things is not an attack on tens of millions who otherwise might want to vote for her.

Openly promoting hatred and division

However, attacking positions such as border security, extra vetting of Middle Eastern refugees, and actually deporting illegal aliens is not an attack on Donald Trump, it's an attack on a very large portion of mainstream Republicans, both those in office and those who are simply voters. So when you associate these views with racism and the KKK, you are not limiting your accusations to Donald Trump. You are literally accusing a large Portions of Republican in office, as well as Republican voters of being racists who associate with the KKK. You are attacking Ted Cruz and his supporters. You are attacking Mitt Romney (who first introduced the idea of a border fence) and his supporters.

Moreover, what Hillary Clinton is telling her supporters and others she wishes to gain support from, is that it's okay to hold these harsh beliefs about those who disagree with you on these issues. It's okay to simply write them all off as racists who associate with the KKK. Certainly we do not want any calm reasonable discussions on these policies that are backed by tens of millions of Americans. Better to shut it all off with a blanket declaration of racism.

Why did Hillary decide to go there? Because Donald Trump had the audacity to reach out to the African American community. No matter how clumsy these attempts may be perceived, at least he is reaching out.

They say actions speak louder than words. The actions of Donald Trump reaching out to a demographic that is anything but supportive of him, is in harsh contrast to the actions of Hillary Clinton deciding to once again play the politics of spurring hatred and division.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nate Silver 538 New Math

I read a piece on 538 regarding the liberal angst of pollsters (such as LA Times) who have the audacity to show better results for Trump than some of the others. Nate Silver wrote the piece "Leave the LA Times Poll alone", where he appease these haters, by suggesting that you shouldn't discount the poll, you just adjust for it by adding four to six points to it for Clinton. Ahem. So I did a bit more checking. Apparently Nate Silver believes that around 70 percent of all pollsters are biased for Trump and require a pro-Clinton adjustment. About 20 percent are accurate. Only 10 percent or so actually require an adjustment in Trump's favor.

This is a portion of the Nate Silver National Polling spreadsheet. These are four of the most recent polls. As you can see the actual results show Clinton up 4,4,1, and one poll tied. This would instinctively suggest a polling average of (4+4+1+0)/4= 2.25

Click picture to enlarge

However, according to the Nate Silver adjusted polling numbers, if you calculate the average (6+4+5+3)/4=4.5 percent lead for Clinton. Of the four polls, none of them show her up by "more" than four points. But the overall average is 4.5.

I have to confess... this is really "new" math for me. As the old saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. That simply doesn't exist in 21st century politics. People make up their own facts everyday. Nate Silver is currently making up his own poll results.

UPDATE: The Quinnipiac poll is the only poll in the past couple of weeks (unless you include something called the Google Consumer poll) that has come in at over 5 points in a three way race. At seven points it still wasn't good enough, so Nate Silver tacked on two more... meaning it's a 9 point four way poll in his world. How interesting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Let's be clear here folks...

When you are the Secretary of State with the clout and authority to grant or not grant certain requests. When your calendar is so full that you have to reject requests from people to meet with you, or tell people you do not have the time or resources to consider a particular proposal.

The quid pro quo from the Clinton side... is nothing more than taking the meeting and considering a proposal.

I happen to work on the same floor as a fairly large group of presales people. There are literally dozens of people who make call after call after call, trying to do nothing more than set up a meeting or gather a lead for one of our actual salesperson to sit down with a prospective client and give a presentation.

These presales people get paid by the lead or by the appointment. It's not their job to sell the product and they get paid for their lead or appointment regardless of the ultimate outcome. Every large company selling a product has a similar group of presales people who gather leads and attempt to set up meetings.

Bottom line. You would have a hard time telling a potential sales person that there is no value in a meeting with a potential customer. To actually meet with a person who has the clout to actually say yes or no, would be considered the most valuable of any meeting.

If a meeting with the Secretary of State was all that was garnered for these donations, that is more than enough to show quid pro quo. Is it worse for the examples where she did actually say yes to whatever was being proposed? Possibly. But I would offer that the main thing being sold here is access to the person holding one of the most influential and important positions in the world. To argue there is no value in that meeting, defies logic.

Ryan Lochte has a future in politics...

You're an Olympic swimmer who embellishes a story about a late night robbery and you lose millions in sponsorship and become a National disgrace.

You're a former Secretary of State who has embellished stories about Cattle futures, not being involved with criminal real estate fraud, and taking money from foreign donors. You lied to the public about classified information that put American lives in jeopardy. You lied in congressional hearings, and it now appears you lied to the FBI. You made up a lie to blame Colin Powell for breaking the law. And most recently it's been proven that you lied about whether or not you peddled State Department influence in exchange for donations to your foundation. And you get to run for President!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

European Union Chief ignores history...

Borders are the worst invention ever!' EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker widens rift with European leaders as he calls for open borders 

  • Says borders should be scrapped despite migrant rush and terror attacks 
  • Insists a stronger EU is best way to combating rising trend in nationalism

Funny how "nationalism" is the new dirty word for the progressives of the world. Even funnier that these same progressives are trying to make "nationalism" into a trend, like owning a Members Only jacket, carrying around a pet rock, or wearing jeans with preworn holes.  

Make no mistake here folks, this is just the tip of the iceberg of a larger political battle here. There are some (like the EU Chief) that would truly like to see a consolidation of our individual states and governments into a larger collective, controlled by a smaller number of people. Somehow, the new left has romanticized the ideal of a globalized government with a borderless society as not only representing a better world, but as something that should be considered the new norm. 

Problem is, that large borderless societies are what history has called an empire. However, empires have never been achieved by political means (only through military expansion), and they have always stretched itself to thin to be able to control by either political or military means. The larger problem, of course, is that people want their independence. I would go so far as to argue that a collective autonomy is built into our social fabric because of a basic human need for at least some basic freedoms. The freedom to live by your values and answer to those who share your values is at the core of this. 

The French want to live in France, speak French, and live by French customs and norms. The Italians want to live in Italy, speech Italian, and live by Italian customs and norms. The British want to live in the U.K, want to speak English, and live by British customs and norms. It's part of the charm of Europe and I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. 

More to the point, if history is of any help to us. People feel strongly enough about it to actually take up arms and fight those who would come into their country and try to change their ways and demand they live by someone else's rules. Our own American fight for independence was spurred by taxation without representation. In other words, we wanted the right to make our own rules and people were willing to die for that right. 

There is no romance in any large centralized system of government. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and all power in between will corrupt according to how much power is consolidated. So unless you believe that corruption is good, consolidation of powers and the diminished capacity for people to have individual freedoms, autonomy, and some independence is not romantic, and should not be romanticized. 

Yes, this means that certain people my not live by the same customs and principles that you do. But it's not your place to demand that your values are just and their values are wrong. Any more than it's anyone else's place to demand that their values are just and yours are wrong. (Think about Radical Islamic Terrorist war on Western values). Better to live and let live in the case of larger societal issues. 

Ultimately this attempt at political revolution by globalist liberals will fail. Just as every attempt to build an empire fails. 


Comment moderation...

First I apologize to those of you who follow decorum for posting comments, and are forced to wait to see comments appear. The truth is that I am to the point where we are literally down to one or two posters who require any moderation. Unfortunately one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, so everyone suffers  because some simply have not shown the restraint necessary.

A few points:

  • Off topic comments are sometimes useful, if they are not too far off topic. Some have been used to start new threads (with hat tips). But don't be offended if a completely out of left field comment is not published. This is not personal. This is a matter of trying to be consistent. 
  • Repeating the same comments over and over is childish. Nobody wants someone tugging at their shirt sleeve looking for attention. If it wasn't a valid comment to be published the first time you posted it, it will be no more valid the second time, or the third, or the fourth.
  • On a similar note, please  make sure you are not simply repeating the same information offered by someone else in the thread. IE: When James brings up the new Survey Monkey poll and it has already been discussed... why does Roger sent me another cut and paste about the same poll two hours later? The existence of the poll is already noted and had been added to the spreadsheet prior to Jame's comments on it. If you have an opinion that follows the discussion, fine. Obviously in this case, it was more of the same tugging at the shirt sleeves trying to repeat information. 

Overall, the comment threads have been better in my opinion. Easier to follow and mostly on topic. There has also been several moderated threads that have had a great deal of comments with a great deal of substance. This is all I have been looking for. Not 100 comments of insults back and forth. If someone wants to engage in that, they can do so over at the legacy blog where Roger is quick to point out that he doesn't "censor". That being said, it doesn't appear that being able to call someone a name, or post multiple cut and paste stories is helping traffic over there.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Why would the Dept Of Justice block an investigation into this?

New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 725 pages of new State Department documents, including previously unreleased email exchanges in which former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state. In many instances, the preferential treatment provided to donors was at the specific request of Clinton Foundation executive Douglas Band.

The new documents included 20 Hillary Clinton email exchanges not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to 191 of new Clinton emails (not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department). These records further appear to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department.

The Abedin emails reveal that the longtime Clinton aide apparently served as a conduit between Clinton Foundation donors and Hillary Clinton while Clinton served as secretary of state. In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. In many instances, Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band, who worked with the Foundation throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure at State, coordinated closely with Abedin. In Abedin’s June deposition to Judicial Watch, she conceded that part of her job at the State Department was taking care of “Clinton family matters.”

This is not only a direct violation of the agreement she signed with the President, but it comes pretty dang close to the sort of conflict of interest that could be considered criminal.  A Secretary of State offering access to her position in the Federal Government in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundations?

Seems worthy of an investigation, if not a special prosecutor.

H/T Commonsense

Will anyone miss the olympics?

Republicans gaining registered voters in key battleground states

Florida - GOP has gained 70,000 more voters than Democrats this year, and cut the Democratic Party advantage by about 250,000 since 2012.

Pennsylvania - More than 85,000 former Democrats are now registered Republicans, and the Democratic registration advantage as been cut by around 200,000 since 2012.

North Carolina - Large rise in Independent voter status has been a major factor in North Carolina. Neither Party seems to be gaining. However, the GOP has remained nearly constant, while the Democratic registration has lost about 200,000 voters.

Iowa - Democrats are said to have lost all of their 100,000 voter edge that they enjoyed in the 2012 election.

Democrats gained in smaller numbers in Colorado (39,000), Nevada (9000),  Arizona (14,000), and New Mexico (no number given).  But according to Politico, the Republicans have a clear overall advantage in the eight battle ground states they looked at.

One of the biggest problems for the Democrats has been their inability to register new Hispanic voters. Hispanics typically turn out at less than 50% nationally, and seem reluctant to get engaged in the political process.  Democrats have (quite obviously) been playing to that audience, possibly at the expense of other voters. Giving up the bird in hand strategy may backfire, if they cannot collect on the two in the bush.

On all fronts, it appears that the Democratic Party is well behind the rates they were at in 2008 and 2012, when they splashed big in new voter registration. Once can only speculate, but certainly it appears that Hillary Clinton is no Barack Obama when it comes to exciting voters.


Now why this is relevant is important. The Democrats seem to believe in the changing Demographic strategy of simply "waiting" till all the old white people die off and are replaced with a more diverse and younger set of voters that will most assuredly be more liberal. Problem is that this theory has been a much better theory than an actual tangible phenomenon.

To put this in perspective:

  • In 2014, Republicans made up a larger share of the electorate than Democrats (36% to 35%). This was an improvement over 2010. 
  • In 2012,  Democrats enjoyed a six point advantage in voter turnout (38-32) - but this was a three point improvement for the Republicans over 2008. 
  • In 2010, Republicans matched their 2006 showing, which showed a slight Democratic advantage at (38-36)  

This is three elections in a row where the Democrats have failed to gain any Demographic ground from the previous election (Presidential to Presidential / mid term to mid term). A this point there is little statistical reason to believe that 2016 will be better for them than 2012.

This is one of those mathematical/statistical realities that seem to run 180 degrees counter to the narrative being spun by your Main Stream Media, who insist that the voting Demographics have been slowly but surely changing for the better for Democrats. Other than in 2008 (where Obama brought in a ton of new voters) - this has been more wishful punditry than fact.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Polls closing - liberals disagree

The last six polls released (8/20-8/16): Clinton +2.5
Previous six polls released (8/15-8/07): Clinton +4.8
Previous six polls released (8/06-8/02): Clinton +9.3

Trump leads Clinton in latest tracking poll

Two polls released this morning included Morning Consult, where Hillary's six point lead (four way race) was cut to three, and the LA Times tracking poll where Trump is now up two points over Clinton.

Liberals disagree that the polls are closing, and disagree that Trump is now leading in the LA Times tracking poll. They disagree with Morning Consult. They also disagree with Zogby,  Pew, and Rasmussen. They generally disagree with anything that might discount the hard held belief that Hillary wins in a landslide so epic that the Republican Party is wiped off the face of the earth.

The Donald and Pence make good impression

Louisiana governor: Donald Trump’s visit ‘helpful’
Edwards told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” Sunday that Trump had always been welcome if he were coming to be “helpful.”
“Because it helped to shine a spotlight on Louisiana and on the dire situation that we have here … it was helpful,” Edwards said.
He also praised Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who joined the visit.
“I also appreciated the good phone call, the conversation that I had with Gov. Pence, who was sincere and genuine when he called, and we spoke for a long time on Friday morning, about their desire to be helpful,” Edwards said.

Hat Tip - KD

Hillary taking some time off?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

This has been a good week or two for Donald Trump

While it may have escaped the attention of some of your garden variety cognitive dissonant liberals, there is no question that Donald Trump had a pretty good week or two.
  • Let's start with the obvious. There has not been a non-partisan* pollster that has released a four way poll (including Johnson and Stein) that has shown a Clinton lead over Trump by more than six points since the Monmouth poll released on August 7th. That's nine different pollsters in a two week period, all showing a four way race anywhere between six points to two point lead up. On top of that, one of the two tracking polls now shows the race even (the other is at four). National polling fluxes many times precede similar fluxes in State polling. Time will tell if this is the case.
  • Donald Trump gave a series of solid policy speeches that have been covered "favorably" by those who have covered them. The fact that your anti-Trump MSM has failed to report much on them, proves that they were anything but the embarrassment that would have been expected by those journalists.
  • Donald Trump showed up in Louisiana, while both Obama and Clinton ignored it. This provided some with an opportunity to say it showed Trump looking Presidential, while it high lighted the fact that the Administration and Democratic nominees do not seem sympathetic to the plight of the people in Louisiana. The President was golfing and the Secretary is at a birthday celebration. Trump even got Mary Landreiu to say nice things about him. Had it been the other way around (Clinton showed and Trump didn't) the media would have led with the story for a week straight. 
  • Donald Trump "shake up" ham-stringed the media. How can you simultaneously claim that Trump is a man who doesn't listen to anyone, then demand it shows weakness when he replaces those who would be advising him. If he doesn't listen to them, he wouldn't be replacing them. If he replaced them, it's because he was willing to be flexible, change up what wasn't working, and move forward with a new strategy. The media is in a twist trying to report this in the worst possible way... and it shows. Likewise with the statement of "regrets". The media, who dared Trump to apologize, doesn't know what to do now that he has. Going after "how" he apologized looks petty, but that seems to be the only angle they have. In both situations, one can almost feel the desperation from the media trying to turn these situations negative, and the frustration that it's not really gaining traction. 
  • Hillary's health has become an issue. From her own responses, to her Doctor's responses stating there have been forged documents floating around with signature, to the campaign releasing the Doctor's letter again... it all suggests that this has gained traction (or at least the Clinton camp believes it has). Even her light campaign schedule has been questioned. More to the point, this is a persuasive "kill shot" designed to continue to keep giving; as every little slip or fumble or moment of confusion over the next twelve weeks will add to the narrative that there is some thing (possibly neurological) wrong with Hillary Clinton. At the very least, this sits in the back of Hillary's mind and could effect her performance on the trail. 
  • Trump has released his first round of advertising, and rather aggressively. The harsh negative reaction from the left regarding the ads, along with their insistence that they will not work, probably means that his advertisement is hitting the mark. If it was really missing that bad, a Trump hating media would simply sit back and let it backfire.  
  • Trump has people talking about whether he can get the black vote. The first rule of negotiations and salesmanship is to always ask for what you want. Sometimes the best way to make the sale is to simply step up and ask the potential client to buy it. The worse they can do is say no, and you are no worse off than before. By basically telling the black community that the status quo hasn't been working for them, and that it may be time for them to try something new... he at least opens a dialogue. By making the claims about 95% support in 2020, he understands that the media cannot help themselves, and that they will cover his statements. Because he has almost no black support to begin with, it's a no lose situation for Trump. All he has to do is give a speech a few times, and the media will do the rest of the work for him. 
Now most of this is going on more behind the scenes, rather than outwardly being reported on by the main stream media. But this sort of has to be the new norm. If things are going well for Clinton, you will hear about it. If nobody is talking about how well things are going for Clinton, or if they are holding on to old news, that means that it probably is going well for Trump.

Right now, we are sort of in a holding pattern. The left side of the media is still reporting the same tired old rumors about Republican unrest, and still reporting it as news every time someone who leans to the right says they may not vote for Trump. This tells me that they have nothing negative to report that is actually new or relevant. Many are still attempting to report as fact that the momentum is still on the Hillary side, that she is pulling away, and that we are nearing a point of no return. This is being reinforced by others in the media repeating similar reports of similar suggestions sometimes even referencing each others in their reports. Because, if enough people in the media say it, then it must be true... right?

Bottom line, nothing much is happening good for Hillary or bad for Trump. When this happens, you see the natural gravity of our two Party system take hold, and the polls tighten. The longer this goes on, the better for Trump. The more Trump can remain looking composed and Presidential, while simultaneously controlling his outrageous statements to those he want's the media to report... the more he will force Hillary to come out and meet him head on, rather than sit back and let the media do her work for her.

*one polling firm I never heard of, commissioned by a Democratic affiliated with the drive to overturn citizen's united released a poll showing Clinton up 8 points in a four way race. not losted by RCP or most others. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Liberals show Trump how to be crude

Trump is the target of more crudeness than the instigator of it

Is the polling being misrepresented?

So I was looking at the Huffington Post ( graph and it struck me as odd. On the first page of polls (ten per page) there was not a single poll showing Hillary up by more than six points. Yet the overall average was showing at nearly 7 points. 

So I noticed that they have a "customize button".  I "customized" the graph to do two things.
  • Only include the polls released in the past 30 days.
  • Only include polls that were either likely or registered votes.  So we removed "all adult" polls which are entirely useless.

The average moved from nearly 7 points to 3.6 percent. 


So in a four way race, only including the past 30 days and excluding any poll that is "all adults" - the Huffington Post average (for the four way race) is at 3.6 percent, and Hillary Clinton is only at 40.4% (meaning she still has a ton of selling to do).  

Not exactly the story that is being told by much of the media, huh? 

For the record, only including the past 30 days of polling is not what I would call "cherry picking". In fact,  I would think most people would suggest that a poll taken three months ago might be entirely irrelevant at this point. I find it interesting that these are being included in the "official chart" and I have to wonder if they would be, if doing so helped Trump rather than Clinton. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trump in Wisconsin

The war on our police is a war on all peaceful citizens who want to be able to work and live and send their kids to school in safety. 
Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, the violent disruptor. Our job is to make life more comfortable for the African-American parent who wants their kids to be able to safely walk the streets. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus. Or the young child walking home from school.

Sources: Clinton Foundation hacked

So when Wikileaks founder (and Hillary hater) Julian Assange suggested that he has "lots of interesting" things to reveal in the upcoming weeks, I am not sure exactly what people expected. But if someone actually have hacked into the Clinton Foundation email system and provided Assange with the goods, one might expect that "interesting" would be an understatement. 

What do you mean hacked? Like with a machete or something?

The fact that the foundation hired a cyber-security company after signs of hacking is probably an exercise in being a day late and a dollar short. Apparently the former Secretary of State is not only incapable of understanding how to load two email systems on one device, not sophisticated enough to understand our classification system... but she may not be wise enough to "not" click on the email link declaring you a guaranteed winner.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gravely concerned

Clinton pushes back on "conspiracy theories" about her health...

Well, quite obviously this one has gotten under her skin, because she feels compelled to take issue with the recent questions swirling about her health. Not only is Hillary making statements, but she is re-releasing the letter from her Doctor declaring her to have the health of a world class Olympic athlete. Well, maybe the doctor didn't go that far, but the letter does say Clinton is healthy enough to serve as President.

Yes, this picture was taken from Drudge, because that's how I roll

I think this is a mistake for Clinton. Considering most of the main stream media was ignoring the stories about her health, it only serves to expose the narrative that has been offered by the rebel media on the right. At the very least it's now in the heads of Americans that her health is being questioned. Fair or unfair, true or not...  really doesn't matter in these situations.

The problems here are many. A recent video (for example) showing Clinton accompanying Vice President Joe Biden to his childhood home to meet his family is being circulated because Hillary is using the hand rails while standing on the steps, and then holding onto a chair while standing in the kitchen. The fact that Jumpin Joe pretty much jogged up the steps to meet his family and displayed the energy of a 10 year old boy made her look tired and slow in the contrast. Now this, in and of itself, doesn't prove anything (other than Biden was probably more excited to be there than Hillary), but it does help push the narrative.

The new reality is that Clinton will have to be on alert at all times to not appear sick, tired, or frail. She cannot afford to hold onto anything, or walk slower than anyone else, give a shorter speech, or take many days off. Anything that makes it appear like she cannot keep up will be amplified and escalated. Drudge has a bunch of picture showing her using a particular pillow when she sits down with people for interviews - not sure what that means, but Drudge can make it look like the repeated use of the same pillow type in multiple situations is worthy of much suspicion.

A disclosure here. According to her own doctor, Hillary does suffer from a condition called Hyperthyroidism.  Hyperthyroidism induces fatigue, physical weakness, muscle cramps, depression, irritability, and memory loss. She also takes a prescription medication that is known to induce confusion and memory loss. I guess it would be a matter of opinion as to whether any of these conditions would play factor in performing the duties of the Presidency. But I will offer the opinion that Donald Trump and his surrogates will continue to fan the flames on this one.

First debate cancelled due to the fact that the race is over...

Although we are still forty days away from the first debate... the pundits have all but declared the next 12 weeks to be irrelevant. The idea that a week can be an eternity in politics, or that people actually start tuning in around the first debates, are old school ideas that have no relevance in today's political society.

Trump offers concession speech after relentless
 demand from the liberal pundits

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trump's Accountant states tax returns
are in "excellent health"

Would anyone actually accept Donald Trump's accountant if he made a statement as to the status of Donald Trumps tax returns?  Of course not. Every one left of Rush Limbaugh would demand to actually see the returns and have other accountants look them over. 

So why is it that we are supposed to "accept" that Hillary Clinton is in perfect health, just because her doctor says so? Shouldn't she also be required to actually release her medical records (all history, medications, test results) and have other doctors look them over? 

Btw: Donald Trumps accountant made no such statement. But he could. Hillary could be hiding her medical records as often reported. But is she?

Rolling Stone is right

The Summer of the Shill
Campaign 2016 won't just have lasting implications for American politics. It's obliterated what was left of our news media

Well for what it's worth, I don't believe that there was much left of our news media to begin with. But I have to agree, whatever there was is now pretty much completely gone. There is no coming back from this election cycle. Journalists who can fool themselves into believing that they have the right to be blatantly biased against Trump, while still maintaining that they be seen later as objective deserve the ridicule they receive. You cannot simply turn journalistic integrity off and on as you see fit.

We've discussed the concept of cognitive dissonance a lot, and I think it's important to understand that not only is it common in today's society, for many people it may simply be unavoidable. Even Patrick Moynihan - who once stated that everyone is entitle to their own opinion, but not their own facts - might have to concede that this isn't even realistically the case anymore. There simply is no such thing as neutral facts anymore. There is only the power of media attempting to manipulate and bend the population to it's own specific will.

Look at a publication like Politico. (or better yet, don't).  They literally repeat the same basic stories (as news) that are nothing more than biased observations, often times written without sources, or written as if "a" source is actually reflective of a much larger reality. They headline every negative story about Trump as a statement, while routinely headlining negative stories about Clinton as allegations or accusations.

  • Trump hates babies
  • Critics allege that Clinton is under investigation 

That assumes you can actually find a negative story about Hillary Clinton on Politico. But if Politico (and way the Washington Post and NY Times) are the sources for your political news, then the world must seem pretty one sided to you.  You could end up like that Reporter who was shocked when Richard Nixon won, because that Reporter literally didn't know anyone who voted for him. If you only read negative stories about Trump, and every time someone remotely neutral criticizes him it's "Politico headline news" then you probably actually start to believe that stuff must be important. 

When your news sources bend over backwards to cover a Pakistani Immigration attorney's relentless personal criticism of Donald Trump as opposed to covering a $400 million dollar payout to the Iranians which appeared to be a ransom for Hostages, then you probably start to believe that pretty much any criticism of Donald Trump must be more important than any other news story. Eventually it becomes so hardened in you, that you cannot understand why others don't feel the same way?

Well... that's likely because those people are not reading Politico, the Washington Post, or the New York Times. They are probably reading FOX, Wall Street Journal, or Drudge Report, which will keep you well informed on the latest Clinton investigation, the latest Clinton medical problem, or the latest politically damaging emails released from what appears to be an unlimited supply of such. You will read about the riots in Milwaukee, the latest terrorism attacks, and the spread of the Zika virus. You will read about how major donors to the Clinton foundation found their way into good graces with the State Department, and you will read about the latest "Wikileaks" that exposed damaging information about Democrats. 

You won't read a peep about any immigration attorneys, which former assistant director of internal security patrols most recently blasted Donald Trump, or about unknown sources telling you that the RNC is thinking about dumping Donald Trump from the ticket. 

So if you read the Conservative news outlets, you probably see the investigations, conflict of issues, and other signs of Clinton corruption  as real issues of concern. You probably don't care less about immigration attorneys or which former one time Republican is not voting for Donald Trump. Your news priorities are different, the news you read is different. This makes your view of the political world different.

For me, I try to read both sides, but I have to admit... it's become hard to see this objectively. 

E.G. - For the life of me, I will never quite understand how someone can argue that it's okay for Hillary Clinton to call Trump the "sergeant of recruiting for ISIS"  but that calling Obama the "founder of ISIS" is worthy of much hand wringing and in need of actual fact checking.  That seems like a painfully obvious display of hypocrisy to me. But perhaps that's just me. Maybe I missed a memo from Websters on the new definition of hypocrisy in a post Trump world. Who can even tell anymore.

But I can certainly understand how it becomes very easy for people on opposite sides of the political spectrum to simply talk past each other, not realizing that they simply do not live in the same political reality. It has become more than apparent to me that Trump fans will never care about 99% of the criticism that the left has of him. Certainly he can say pretty much anything he wants, and his hardcore fans will only cheer him on. Meanwhile, polling suggested that a majority of Democrats would still support Clinton even if she was running while under indicted.  So no amount of criminal or otherwise corrupt behavior on her part will ever matter to those on the left.  All either does it reinforce the reasons why NeverTrump and NeverHillary are who they are. It just divides things deeper, and promotes bias confirmation and cognitive dissonance. 

NOTE:  If you believe that the Washington Post is objective and the Wall Street Journal is biased. Or if you believe that FOX News is objective and Politico is biased. You suffer from cognitive dissonance.  The entire point here is that there is simply no objective news media anymore. All of it is biased one way or the other... almost to the point where (as the Rolling Stone story points out) we may never actually know for sure what is and isn't even supposed to be a scandal anymore.

One side will report everything about one candidate as a scandal while defending the other from any accusations of such. And yes, boys and girls, the media has actually taken "sides". This is obvious to anyone with a thread of objectivity.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Senator McCaskill - Trump Putin founders of ISIS

Oh Yeah? Well I say Trump & Putin founded ISIS

Will the media "fact check" this claim or are they only confused by hyperbole when it comes from Trump.

Was watching the movie Cocktail over the weekend, while working some overtime. There is a scene were Tom Cruise is in an economics class and the stuffy old teacher is criticizing everybody's business plan papers that had been turned in. He mockingly states that one of the students wants to become the Donald Trump of the cookie business.

So you want to be the Donald Trump of the cookie business?

This was a film from 1988 or approximately 28 years ago. Meaning Donald Trump was already considered a business Icon nearly 3 decades ago. Someone who was seen as the gold standard for business success. Oddly, nothing has really changed in his business life (other than becoming a reality television star). If anything, his brand got bigger as he got older.

But isn't it funny how getting you into politics, changes how people view someone. Suddenly the guy who economic teachers in the 80's was looking at in iconic fashion is now considered a moron who actually believes that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama went to the Middle East and founded ISIS.

(He doesn't actually believe that, but don't tell the media).

Reality is that Donald Trump is still the same guy who build a billion dollar franchise and has long been considered the gold star of business success. A moron with a bad temperament would not have accomplished what he accomplished.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Milwaukee riots

By all accounts, the suspect was armed with a stolen semi-automatic gun and had a long criminal history. It's coming to the point where every shooting of a black person (no matter how justified) is going to result in this. 

A billion dollars of manipulation...

Actions speak louder than words

So we will see in excess of a billion dollars spent on this year's  Presidential election. For those of you who believe that this money is being spent in an attempt to educate the public on the candidates positions, policies, and plans for the future, I have some nice ocean side property in Florida to sell you. The fact of the matter is that this money will be spent (in a fairly transparent manner) trying to manipulate the voting public.

Most of the ads will be negative attacks on the opponent. These attacks will sometimes carry a slice of the truth, mixed with a healthy dose of misdirection, misrepresentation, and flat out lies. Other times they will skip the slice of truth, and rely solely on misdirection, misrepresentation, and flat out lies. Those ads that might be considered positive ads, will say nothing of real substance, but will most assuredly be generically pleasing in nature, and generally include some form of emotional music to go along.

My favorite of the ads, are the hybrids. Generally starting off very dark and ominous as they tell you how much the bad candidate likes to torture kittens, and steal candy from babies... before turning heroically to all of the great things about the good candidate. How they help old ladies across the street, and find jobs for the homeless. I especially love the dramatic shift in cinematography and background music as they go from bad guy to good guy.

But regardless of how you look at it... the candidates spent a great deal of time, money, and resources trying to figure out which ads will produce the required about of apprehension and fear about the opponents, and which ads will produce the required amount of calm and reassurance about the candidate themselves. At the end of the day, it's rarely the candidate who wins or loses, but rather the candidate's marketing team.

The truth is that none of this matters. Nor does it really matter what the candidates say on the campaign trail. We all know who Donald Trump and  Hillary Clinton are. For the most part they are not going to surprise us much with what they advocate policy-wise (although Trump might be a bit of a wildcard in those regards). We know what the Republicans advocate, we know what the Democrats advocate. We know none of it will get done without compromise, which means it likely doesn't get done.

What they are doing on the campaign trail is just an extension of what they are doing with their advertising. They are manipulating an unwitting group of potential voters. The only difference is that the campaign trail is more of a chance to motivate the believers, rather than convince the non-believers.

Bottom line folks... almost everything you hear out of the mouths of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be an attempt to manipulate voters. If some of that overlaps with what the actually believe, well then that would be a bonus. But if the choice is between saying what will  help them, and saying what they believe... they will choose the former over the latter every time. (In spite of an argument that Trump does the opposite, I am not convinced that is true. Even the appearance that he shoots from the hip without regard to consequence is likely a deeper attempt at manipulation).

More to the point... words are just words. Even if they were not using them to manipulate the voting public, they would still be just words. Obviously when it comes to political promises, you are better off believing that the check is really in the mail. Politicians have issues keeping promises, even if they actually wanted to keep them (the political machine makes keeping promises almost impossible).

Which is why it really doesn't matter to me what either of these candidates have said, what they are currently saying, or what they say moving forward.  Much better to look at the two candidates, list their accomplishments and failures... and see how they reacted to them. What have they made of themselves. Who around them have benefited. How have they lived their personal life.

What sort of people they have been "prior" to becoming candidates will tell us way more about the sort of President that they would be, than what the candidates promise us. Certainly their own past actions would tell us infinitely more than what the media tells us. That being said, the public is gullible, and easily influenced. Which is why there will be over a billion dollars spent in order to take advantage of that fact. At the end of the day, we usually get what we deserve.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Timing is everything?

Last Five Polls released:
  • LA Times Tracking (8/11) - Clinton +1
  • UPI/Voter (8/11) - Clinton +4
  • Rasmussen (8/10) - Clinton +3
  • Ispos/Reuters* (8/10) - Clinton +5
  • Bloomberg* (8/8) - Clinton +4
Average of the last five polls: Clinton + 3.4
*using four way race rather than head to head

Now this could mean something, or this could simply be a timing issue. But the double digit leads that were being touted by Hillary Supporters have been offset by a variety of polls showing a close race. If I go back a little further, I see three polls with polling through 8/7 - all showing Clinton leading by 6 points, none of them showing her over 45%.  Those eight polls (added together) would show a Clinton lead of around 4.4%. Meanwhile... 
  • RCP shows an average of a 6.3% lead. 
  • shows a 7.7% lead. 
  • Nate Silver is projecting a 7.6% lead for Clinton. 
I won't question this for now. As I have often stated, I let the polling and numbers tell me what is happening, not the other way around. I try very hard not to use my own speculation as a means to modify the statistics of these equations. That being said, my own spreadsheet shows a smaller 5.4 point lead for Clinton, and my cross tabs projection is sitting at 4.6%. This is simply because I am running an unweighted 30 day average rather than a seven day average or a weighted average, and my cross tabs does not allow for demographic changes in individual pollster to effect the average.  

Bottom line: With how the two conventions were reported, and how Trump has been pounded on relentlessly over the past couple of weeks, I find it interesting that gravity seems to continue to take hold of the polls and pull them down towards earth. 

Again, much too early to look at five polls as some sort of trend, but if history has anything to say about this race... it may likely look a lot different come November, than it does in August. I'd say that we are a long ways from being able to make any declarations of "landslides". 

What's good for the gander...

So apparently there were not one, not two, but three different FBI field offices who (after reviewing Clinton emails) recommended opening up a criminal probe regarding the Clinton Foundation and ties to the Clinton Secretary of State.

The Department of Justice, run by Obama Political appointee Loretta Lynch, suggested that the request from the FBI could be seen as political given the timing of the damaging Email investigation, as well as Clinton's Presidential run. They offered that they had already looked into the allegations and deemed no further action was necessary.

(wouldn't actually answer the questions)

(legal experts say the State Dept privacy act does not, in fact, shield them from saying who was hired)

Of course, the substantive difference between the DOJ and the FBI probes on the matter would be that the DOJ did not have access to a bulk of the Clinton emails to make any real conclusion, where as the FBI request for a criminal probe was determined "from" looking through the emails in question.

Now the real issue isn't even whether or not the DOJ should have allowed or still should allow the FBI to investigate. The real issue is why the Attorney General is still involved at all in making these decisions, especially when they concede as part of their explanation that there is a political issue involved.

As a general rule of thumb within the executive branch (and what once was the law), anytime there is a possible criminal action that requires a probe, but could be seen as having political consequences, the Attorney General is supposed to appoint a Special Prosecutor to take over any such investigation... leaving all potential questions about politics and conflict of interests out of the equation.  The simple refusal to do so, along with the refusal to allow the FBI to investigate is enough evidence to show that the DOJ is attempting to stonewall any additional investigations into Clinton.

Meanwhile, much of the Press couldn't care less that the Department of Justice has stonewalled a second potential criminal probe into the Democratic nominee. It doesn't matter to them that such a probe was recommended by three individual FBI field offices. Doesn't matter that even if it wasn't criminal, it was certainly unethical, and a breach of the written agreement the Secretary made with the President when she took her oath of office.

What apparently is more important, is suggesting that Donald Trump was being "literal" when he said that Barack Obama is the "founder" of ISIS because his policies created the vacuum of power that allowed ISIS to flourish. I found it hard to believe, but some media outlets actually "fact checked" the claim. Not the claim that he was "the most valuable player due to his policies" (as Trump was quoted as saying) - but actual fact checks as to whether or not Obama truly took time off from his political career, went to the Middle East, recruited, and otherwise "founded" the Terror Group.

I wonder, have they actually fact checked whether or not Donald Trump really is Hitler as some have claimed? Sounds like that would be a similar use of their time.