Friday, September 30, 2016

Democrats: the Party of?

When I was younger, more liberal, and more prone to vote for Democrats, the Party always was associated with the blue-collar working class voter. In my state, the Party is actually  called the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) Party.

These blue-collar workers were considered the backbone of America. They were good, hard working, patriotic, god loving Americans. There was a bond between these people and the Democratic Party.

Today many of these same voters are no longer voting Democrat. In fact these same working class voters are now overwhelming supporting Donald Trump. You can choose your reason for this, but there is no denying it.

What I find interesting is this. These same people who were once described in such glowing terms in the past are suddenly not seen in the same light. Today they are:

  • Uneducated 
  • Low information voters 
  • They cling to guns and religion
  • Bigots, racists, etc...
  • They can mostly be tossed into the basket of deplorables

Funny how these people became so horrible in the eyes of the twenty first century progressives, who now cater to BLM, Spanish speaking Hispanics, Middle Eastern refugees, environmentalists, and free speech hating mellinnials.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How strategy and debate strategy must align...

As has been pointed out by many over the years, people don't remember the substantive specifics of the debate, but they remember debate moments and debate feelings.
  • Richard Nixon sweating vs John Kennedy's cool demeanor
  • Ronald Reagan, there you go again moment with Jimmy Carter
  • Reagan's youth and inexperience zinger with Walter Mondale
  • Lloyd Bentson's "you are no Jack Kenndy" moment with Dan Quale 
  • Al Gore's heavy sighs with George W Buch
You might remember that people thought Obama won the debates against McCain, and that Romney won the first debate against Obama... but nothing specific really stands out. The truth is that we use debates to flush things out and sometimes a candidate can win on points, but not really move the needle in the long term (Mitt Romney). 

Donald Trump went through what seemed to be about a hundred and fifty debates in the GOP primary. On points, I believe he took dead last by a wide margin in pretty much every single debate (even if you included the podiums themselves). A couple of the performances were so bad, I thought his support would collapse into negative numbers. But it never happened. In fact, the worse it looked, the better he did in follow up polling. 

I guess one has to understand that a debate between political candidates is not judged by a group of debate experts, and the winner is not provided an automatic bump in the polls by a predetermined amount. Winning no points, does not guarantee you won voters. The debates are opportunity for the candidates to distinguish themselves as they see fit, not a real debate contest (or college debate champion Ted Cruz would probably be the GOP nominee and would be up by double digits in the general). 

The hardest part about judging these debates is to remove your own preconceived notions and attempt to judge them without any form of "bias confirmation".  In other words, if you believe that Donald Trump is dangerously unfit or that Hillary Clinton is out of touch, this debate probably reinforced that notion (for you). But did anything happen in this particular debate that was "different" than what we have seen before? 

For the undecided voter, they have already been privy to much of the same information you have on these two candidates, but have failed to come up with the same hard ironclad conclusions that the partisans have. In spite of Donald Trump's actions over the course of the past several months, they still do not see him as dangerously unfit. In spite of all the scandal that has surrounded a fairly dishonest Hillary Clinton, they do not see her long track record as either disqualifying her or providing the incentive to vote for them. 

What the undecided are looking for (from everything I can gather) is:
  • Trump to look less "dangerous" 
  • Clinton to look less "establishment status quo" 
So the questions must be: 
  • Was there anything Donald Trump did during this debate that would have convinced someone (not already convinced by his actions over the past months) that he is unfit? 
  • Was there anything Donald Trump did during this debate that would have convinced someone (not already convinced by his actions over the past months) that he is actually fit. 
  • Was there anything Hillary Clinton did during this debate that would have convinced someone (not already convinced by her long track record in politics) that she is too status quo.
  • Was there anything Hillary Clinton did during this debate that would have convinced someone (not already convinced by her long track record in politics) that she can provide change. 
What the public wants is a combination of both candidates. They want the Trump emotion, the Trump enthusiasm, and the Trump revolution of change, but they want the Clinton experience, the Clinton control, and the Clinton preparation. 
  • Can Trump deliver the control and preparation? 
  • Can Hillary generate the emotion and enthusiasm? 
  • Can Trump show that he is fit. 
  • Can Hillary show that she feels Americans need for change?
In spite of the overwhelming declaration of a Clinton debate win, I am not convinced that either candidate pulled off what they needed to in terms of moving voters long term. But both have opportunities in the next two debates to do just that. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hip Hip...

Senate Overrides Obama’s Veto of 9/11 Bill
The Senate on Wednesday voted to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow 9/11 victims’ families to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, despite Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan’s warning of “grave” risks to American national security if it becomes law.
Despite his late plea, the Senate voted 97-1 to override Obama’s veto. Only Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voted to sustain the president’s veto.
The measure now heads to the House, which is expected to vote to override the veto Wednesday afternoon. Leaders of that chamber say they have the votes to override Obama’s veto for the first time in his presidency.

Finally - after seven and a half years, Congress has decided to override an Obama veto. To say it is about time, is an understatement. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the lame duck Obama's approval ratings have slipped from around a plus eight just a few weeks ago to a 49.8 to 47.1 average today.  

FBI Friday dump update - bombshell?

Last Friday, the FBI put out another informational dump of damaging information regarding the investigation. Friday night is when you release information that you hope the public doesn't really notice. After some more review, it's getting harder and harder to swallow the idea that Comey and the FBI did not have evidence to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

This is pretty easy to follow.

  • The Defense Department had uncovered approximately 1000 emails between General Petraeus and Hillary Clinton, that were sent/received to/from Clinton's private email server. 
  • Those emails were not part of the emails that Clinton turned over to the FBI.

This means that Hillary Clinton deleted approximately 1000 emails between herself and General Petraeus before turning over her emails to the FBI. There is absolutely no other reasonable explanation.

Corrupt or just downright stupid?

Now let's try to reconcile this information with the fact that Comey suggested that Clinton did not have any "intentions" of committing any criminal acts, which is why he could not recommend prosecution (in spite of admitting to evidence that there was criminal behavior).

Certainly one of the crimes Hillary could have been charged with would be obstruction of justice. In this case knowingly withholding or deleting of any relevant (much less classified) information that had been stored on your server would be considered your basic garden variety obstruction. Moreover, proof of obstruction would also provide irrefutable evidence of the very "mens rea"(1) that Comey suggested was lacking. The very fact she was hiding this information was because she understood it was legally harmful.

Even if Comey believes that Clinton did not understand that her original actions were criminal. He cannot seriously suggest that she didn't realize that withholding or deleting such evidence would not constitute obstruction. After all, Clinton was licensed to practice law in the one state (Arkansas) she managed to pass the bar exam in.

Taking Comey's statement at face value suggests the outrageous: That Comey actually believes that 1000 emails between the Secretary of State and the Director of the U.S. Central Command would have been honestly deleted as not being "work related".

Hat Tip PLB

(1) proof that someone understood or had intentions of committing a crime.

Doesn't sound like a man pushing for war in Iraq

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Post debate analysis

I watched the debate "after" hearing some of the reaction of people, mostly those spinning heavy for a Clinton win. I also watched a couple of real time message boards where you would have thought Trump spent the entire night defending his tax returns, sniffling, and acting incoherent. I was expecting to see something different than I did.

What I saw was a very spirited, very personal, and very entertaining debate for about the first half hour to forty five minutes. The moderator (Lester Holt) asked good policy questions, and allowed both candidates leeway to engage the topics and each other without much interruption. If anything, I found Trump to be slightly more engaging, at least as knowledgeable, and more forceful with his beliefs. I only wish this debate on the issues could have continued.

But then Lester Holt ran off a string of questions that went something like this:
  • Ask Trump a personal question designed to put him on defense.
  • Ask Clinton a question about policy.
  • Ask Trump a personal question designed to put him on defense.
  • Ask Clinton a question about policy.
  • etc etc...
This pretty much went on till the end of the debate:
  • Trump asked about his taxes - Clinton not asked about medical records. 
  • Trump asked about the birther situation - Clinton not asked about FBI investigation.
  • Trump asked about his supposed support for Iraqi war - Clinton not asked about her support.
  • Trump asked about a comment he made about Clinton's looks - Clinton not asked about calling Americans deplorable.

Holt also got heavily involved in calling the birther issue racism (it's not). He ignored all of the factual information that it started with Blumenthal and a Clinton staffer long before Trump ever talked about it. He interrupted Trump to fact check several times, while not interrupting Clinton once. The favoritism displayed by Holt was obvious and it became a tag team event on Donald Trump down the stretch. Literally the last half of the debate was set up to make Trump defend things, while giving Clinton a free rebuttal to attack.  

Now if you are a Clinton defender and you believe differently. Ask your self this question. How would debate number two go, if it was determined that none of the subjects brought up tonight could be brought up again? If you had to choose completely different topics, and this time there had to be at least three specific questions about Clinton's behavior, and there could be no questions about any Trump behavior.

Given the circumstances, I was surprised to see that two of the three professional polls showed the watchers were fairly split (PPP had it 51-40) and Democratic pollster Pat Caddel said their poll showed a 48-43 advantage for Clinton. A couple of focus groups showed that while they believed Hillary probably won the debate, it moved very few people one way or the other. Only the CNN Poll showed a wide victory for Clinton, but that poll came with the caveat that they admittedly had a large Democratic bias to the sample (somewhere near fifteen points higher than otherwise might be expected).

Oh, and of course, every online poll I saw showed huge advantages for Trump. Showing that he still has his loyal following of rabid internet trolls willing to back their man. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Open Mic - Comment moderation off

Comment moderation turned off tonight - go crazy!

Pat Caddell, the Democratic pollster and Fox News Insider, told Breitbart News that poll respondents said Clinton performed better at the debate; 48 percent said Clinton did a better job, compared to 43 percent, who said Trump did the better job.  Two percent of voters, previously undecided, switched to Trump after the debate. No undecideds went to Clinton. One percent switched from Trump to Clinton, and one percent switched from Clinton to Trump.

Conservative Time magazine online poll?

A CNN/ORC poll of debate watchers released after the event found 62% felt Clinton won compared to 27% for Trump. The poll suggests the debate audience was a bit more Democratic than the public as a whole, about on par with the Democratic tilt in the audience that watched the first debate in 2008 between Obama and John McCain.

The stakes are high tonight!

Over the past few days, some very favorable polling came out for Donald Turmp.

  • On the National Scale, the ABC/Wash Post poll came out with the headline that the race was a virtual tie (Clinton led by one). 
  • Morning Consult now shows Trump ahead (by one), as does a new Bloomberg/Selzer poll (by two). 
  • Trump increased his lead in the latest Rasmussen poll (now up five) and the LA Times tracking poll (back up to four). 
  • Quinnipiac is now showing a one point race (Clinton up). 
  • The only poll moving in Hillary's favor was the YouGov/Economist poll, that shows Clinton gaining one point (now up by three). 
  • Previously, some people were confused by the NBC/WSJ and Marist polls, that both showed Clinton up by six (believing this was good news for Clinton), not realizing that even those two polls were showing dramatic improvement for Trump. 

On the state level, Trump is also gaining.

  • In Pennsylvania CNN shows Trump closing to within one, and Morning call shows it within two.
  • In Colorado  CNN shows Trump ahead by one, Gravis shows Trump up by four, while Quinnipac and YouGov both show Clinton with a one point lead. 
  • Trump appears set to pick up Maine CD2, and is still showing consistent leads in Georgia, Iowa, with another poll (Suffolk) showing him with a small lead in Florida. 
All this means is that as of right now, the race is razor thin, with the tipping points being Florida and Colorado, both of which are within one point of being a virtual tie.


So the stakes for tonight's debate couldn't be higher. Although I might suggest that both candidate are looking to accomplish something different. 

For Clinton, she needs to show Americans that she is the clear cut choice. Her entire campaign focus so far is to suggest that Donald Trump is simply not fit, not qualified, not up to the job. This would suggest that in something like a Presidential debate that she should wipe the floor with him. Anything less than a resounding win for her tonight, probably works against the overall narrative of her main campaign message. If the debate (polling) results are muddied by one of those plurality wins, or something within ten points, I don't think she would have accomplished what she needs to.

Meanwhile, Trump needs to show that he is capable of looking Presidential, at least for most of 90 minutes. Earlier in the race it was suggested by her own campaign that he would garner credibility by simply standing up on stage with the former Secretary of State. That is an odd dilemma for Clinton. Quite literally Trump could gain by just being in the same forum and acting like a credible alternative. While I am convinced that there is almost nobody in the main stream media that will admit that he wins the debate (regardless)... I think his upside is much higher if he performs well tonight. 

Three things to watch for that could be game changers. 

First, if Trump loses his cool and starts to behave less like the more disciplined Trump and more like the boorish troll that dominated the GOP debates. Specifically, this will be about his demeanor, more than about what he actually says. He can say pretty much anything he wants, as long as he looks in control, states it with confidence, and stands behind it. The problem comes in when he becomes visibly irritable and looks impulsive and less than in control. This is what the Clinton camp is looking to induce, looking to exploit, and hoping it can be the topic of discussion moving forward. 

Second, if Hillary appears at any time to be losing focus, appears irrational, looks shaky, or anything that would make it seem that she is not physically up to the task of standing on stage for 90 minutes. Lord forbid she loses her balance, or ends up coughing. My gut feeling is that her medical team will be treating her like the slightly injured star quarterback of an NFL team. Basically she has been off the campaign trail for several days resting, and I would expect that they will be filling her up with medications and anything necessary to make sure she has 90 minutes worth of debating in her. 

I am not actually "expecting" either of these things to take place. I believe that Trump will remain fairly disciplined and I doubt you will see any big medical issues from Hillary Clinton. But it would be interesting to see how the public reacts to either.

Lastly, there has been speculation that Lester Holt has been planning to be "more engaged" in the process than Matt Lauer. However, in an interview over the weekend, the executive director of the commission that rules over the Presidential debates stated that she did not feel that it was the moderators place to be deciding which facts to check, who's data to use for fact checking, and suggested that each candidate be allowed to basically fact check the other. 

So the moderator could be come the story, especially if it appears that Holt is playing favorite by being hard on Trump (and not so much on Hillary). This could actually work for Clinton (depending on the effectiveness) or for Trump, if it looks like he has to take on Hillary and the moderator and still performs well.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

How each candidate wins the first debate...

Why Clinton will win:

  • Experience. Clinton has gone head to head with Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Trump has always had multiple people on stage with him. Her experience with this situation could be the difference. 
  • Preparation. She's probably been spending more time prepping for this debate than anyone has ever spend prepping for any political debate. It would follow that she will be prepared for whatever Trump can throw up there, and she should have a plan to put Trump on edge.
  • Trump loses his cool. No question that much of her preparation revolves around trying to push Trump's many buttons. If she pushes enough of them, that the undisciplined Trump comes out, it could heap benefits for her.
  • Media spin. Most of the media will love whatever she does and they will hate everything he does. In a time where many people gather their opinions from what they get from other people, this could be a difference maker.
  • Moderators. There is no question that there has been a shot across the bow, warning the moderators that it's up to them to "fact check" Donald Trump in real time. This could prove to be disruptive and harmful for both candidate, but more so on Trump since that will  (of course) be the emphasis.

Why Trump will win:

  • Style over substance. If the GOP debates and the Commander in Chief forum was any indication, Donald Trump has a knack for dominating an event with his boisterous presence. In many ways it doesn't matter what he says, if he says in with enough confidence and vigor, it comes across positively. 
  • Fights his fight. The danger of Clinton trying too hard to push his buttons is that if she isn't careful, it could quickly descend into the sort of personal fight that Donald has the ability to excel at. Nobody has gone down in the mud with Donald Trump, and came out without a face full of it. 
  • Trump maintains his focus. One way for Trump to win is to pull Clinton down in the mud, the other way is to meet her and remain on her level of professionalism. While Clinton wins by showing a difference between the personalities. Trump wins if he can negate those differences.
  • Exceeds low expectations. In baseball, the tie goes to the runner. In these debates a tie (or a close contest) goes to Trump. He doesn't need to really win. He just needs to show he belongs on stage. Anything that makes him look Presidential, helps him. Trump's lack of qualifications is literally Hillary's entire campaign focus.
  • His adoring fans will  believe he won regardless. Not matter what happened or what he said in his debates in the Republican primary, a large portion of the viewers simply believed he won. This helps with flash polls, internet polls, the pure volume of social media buzz. This could work (as it did in the primaries) to undercut media criticism, as it makes the media look out of touch with what draws voters. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

FBI with another Friday night dump...

Some of the highlights:
  • Cheryl Mills (high ranking Clinton aide) was given immunity for her testimony. On top of that, the FBI agreed to keep certain topics "off limits".
  • There was apparently an additional  four people given immunity in the investigation.
  • In spite of all of these people granted immunity, there was never a grand jury convened.
  • The President (who claimed he never knew about the server) sent emails to Clinton (on her personal server) with a pseudonym (fake name).
  • One of the employees of the firm that handled the private server, referred to the deletion of emails as the Hillary cover up operation.

This is just the start. It's going to take some time before people get a chance to wallow through everything. As the other Scott Johnson wrote (over at the Power Line) everything the Clintons touch turns into scandal. Right now the FBI is up to their necks in scandal after having come in association with the Clinton slime. It would certainly appear that the fix was in from the beginning, and that the FBI never really had any intentions of doing anything other than facilitating a reasonable excuse to not prosecute anyone.

A legacy of corruption

There are many legal experts who make the case that the FBI has probably never given this many people immunity in an investigation that did not produce any indictments. Unfortunately, there is now a great many people in this country who no longer believe that the FBI is honest and can be trusted. This may be the legacy of the Clintons. The complete acceptance of corruption and partisanship as being a standard part of our leadership, government, and now law enforcement.

Trump - $140 million dollar ad buy...

Sixty million will go to local advertising in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Forty million will go towards national advertising. The remaining forty million will go towards digital advertising.

There has been a lot of criticism regarding Trumps lack of advertising and reliance on twitter, big events, and free media. He allowed Hillary to run over forty thousand television ads before running one himself. But in spite of all that, Hillary couldn't really take full advantage of her advertising and we find ourselves in a traditionally close election at this point. It will appear (once again) to boil down to a handful of states.

Not sure the ad buy compares to what Hillary is spending down the stretch. But it has to be (at the very least) much closer than forty thousand to none. Either way, one might expect that Trumps advertising might be more impactful considering these are going to be new to many people. People tend to tune out political ads (or any ads) once they have seen them so many times.

So the question remains... how does Clinton run forty thousand ads and "not" be ahead by double digits?

Well it reminds me of the story about a pet food company who was bringing out a new dog food. They hired the best advertising firm, spend a record amount of money on the advertising drive, saturating the market with their ingenious ad campaign. After a fairly good start, the sales started to level off to very disappointing levels. So they called a meeting with the advertising firm to find out what went wrong. The pet food company made their case that the firm was derelict and demanded an explanation for why their product was not selling considering the money poured into everything.

The advertising firm said that they had done tons of market research, got very consistent feedback, and certainly had a good answer for the pet food company. It turned out that dogs simply didn't like the food so people quit buying it.

Sometimes, it's more about the product than the pitch. We'll see if the Donald has better luck making his case than Hillary did.

Friday, September 23, 2016

What are the worst policy disasters of the past 20 years...

This is an open ended question I want people to think hard about before answering.

Hey Donald!

You Da Man!!

Cruz, in Reversal, Issues Endorsement of Trump for President
"A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him," he said in a message posted to Facebook.
In response, Trump put out a warm statement saying he was "greatly honored by the endorsement" by "a tough and brilliant opponent."

This is one of those classic examples of bad timing. As in if he was going to do this (honor his pledge) then it should have been done at the Republican National Convention, when it would have not looked... well... so stupid.

As of now, I have no idea what exactly Ted Cruz stands for? Was it acting on principle not to endorse someone who made fun of his wife's looks, or is it acting on principle to follow through with a pledge you made in front of America? Not sure you can have it both ways?

So what makes me curious... is where does Glen Beck stand on this issue? After all, Ted Cruz was the last guy in Washington he could trust (exactly because he was a conservative who did not endorse Trump). Does that mean that Beck is now alone in his conservative principles, or is he about to do the same 180 and now argue that it would be better to have Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton?

I guess with things as close as they are right now... every little bit helps. I am sure Trump is happy to have the endorsement.

Trump picks up eight points in latest Marist poll...
Cross tabs are beginning to stabilize

Don't be fooled by the fact that McClatchy/Marist put out a poll showing Clinton winning by six points. Their last poll showed Clinton up fourteen points in a four way race, and fifteen in a two way race. This poll was a four points higher for Clinton than any other poll the last time it was released, and was a good seven or eight points higher than the averages at the time.

The cross tabs were "better" this time, but still are off with Independents by around eleven points when compared to the average of the seventeen pollsters I track cross tabs for. To put it in perspective all polling (that I can track with cross tabs) but Marist, Suffolk, and ABC/WashP show Trump leading independents. Overall, however, the huge variations are settling in at least a little.

If anyone is curious - the cross tab averages from the seventeen polls:

DEM                                REP                                IND
Clinton - 83                      Trump - 81                      Trump - 39
Trump - 6                         Clinton - 7                       Clinton - 30
Other - 7                          Other - 8                         Others - 20
Undecided - 3                   Undecided - 4                  Undecided - 11

You can play around with the Demographic breakdown to determine how you feel it will turn out? Will it be a huge Democratic advantage (nine points) as it was in 2008? A smaller advantage (six ponts) like it was in 2012? Will it be like it was in 2004 (prior to Barack Obama) when it turnout between the two Parties was even? Or perhaps it could be like 2014, when Republicans held an advantage?

Why the left should be a little nervous

Many pundits suggest that changing general population demographics suggest that the Democratic advantage might be growing (and are predicting an increased Democratic advantage in the seven to eight point range). But recent Party registration numbers show the opposite. Republicans are gaining more registered votes in most battleground states, and in some of these states Democrats are actually losing them. This, along with the fact that Democratic party advantage has only increased once over the past six elections, suggests that there really isn't much tangible evidence to back this assumption. More people doesn't necessarily create more voters.

It also may actually be that the 6-9 point advantages Democrats saw in 2008 and 2012 were flukes, spurred on by the first Black President motivating minority and young voters like nobody before him. It could also be that these get out the vote drives were so successful in 2008 and 2012, that there is simply not much of a pool of new voters to bring into the fold. These theories seems to be something almost universally ignored by pundits who generally see the increases in 2008 and 2012 as demographic in nature, and give no credence to any suggestion that it had anything to do with Obama or a very robust GOTV campaign. I would offer this is dangerous, as those same Demographic shifts did not show themselves during the midterms.

That it the real difficulty in any election. Figuring out exactly "who" is going to vote. 2016 may be the most problematic of them all.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Dad is a Small Business?

Is it just me, or is this like a Saturday Night Live sketch of someone trying to play stupid Hillary? WOW! Coo Coo... Coo Coo!! 

One has to wonder if the is the Hillary Clinton who will show up for the first debate? Or perhaps it will be sleepy Hillary who gave the last press conference on the bombing attacks (who couldn't remember from one statement to the next that she had just used the term bombing). Or maybe the one from the Commander in Chief forum? The one that was so bad, the left had to blame Matt Lauer.

For her sake, let's hope a different Hillary Clinton shows up?
For amusement sake, I think this Hillary would be wonderful.

Guess which one the black community is rallying behind?

Keith Lamont Scott (suspect)

1992 - Aggravated assault
1992 - Assault on a child under 12
1992 - Assault & threats
1995 - Assault with intent to kill
2004 - Assault with deadly weapon
2005 - Evading arrest - (Served 7 years)
2015 - Driving while intoxicated

Brently Vinson (police officer) 

Review of court records show no
infractions ever against Vinson
Former Ardrey Kell High coach Adam Hastings, now the head coach at Providence Day, said Vinson was an all-conference football player as a junior in 2007. Vinson, who played safety and wide receiver, missed his senior year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee
Vinson decided to play a prep season at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, where he earned a scholarship to Liberty University. At Liberty, Vinson became a team captain at defensive back and had a team-high 69 tackles as a senior in the 2012 season. He also studied criminal justice there.
Hastings said when Vinson came back to town after school he would often ask him to come and speak to his players. Once, Vinson mentored another Ardrey Kell player who had suffered a similar knee injury.
“We need more Brent Vinsons, that type of person, in our communities,” Hastings said. “I don’t know anything that happened (with Tuesday’s shootings). … He’s a natural leader and one of those guys who always had the best interest of others before himself.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Protests in Charlotte

So a black police officer apparently shoots an armed black man, and the town explodes. Traffic stopped for hours, semi-trucks looted, Walmart looted, seven  twelve police officers injured, multiple arrests.

Of course, the daughter (who from what I can gather wasn't there) suggested that the man was quietly reading a book, while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school. She suggests that the police mistook the book for a gun, attacked him with a taser while he was still in his car, disabled him, and then apparently pulled him out and shot him dead. 

Perhaps we can replace "hands up don't shoot" with "it was a book" as the new battle cry for Black Lives matter protests. They both sound equally credible at this point. 

Meanwhile... Clinton took another day off from the campaign trail.

No need to campaign... she's got this thing under control?

Did Hillary call in sick ?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Silver moves Nevada to Trump...

At this point, Nate Silver has North Carolina back to red meaning the Donald is now successfully defending all the states Romney won (538 now shows Georgia at +6 and Arizona at +4.8). So much for Clinton "expanding the map".

Meanwhile, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and now Nevada have been projected to flip by 538 (as well as one of the ECV in Maine). This gives Trump 266 electoral college votes to Clinton's 272.

Make no mistake, things are tightening. Silver shows Colorado closing (-2.0), New Hampshire nearly as close (-2.1), and Pennsylvania (-3.0),  Michigan (-3.4), Wisconsin (-3.5) within striking range.  He even shows Virginia (-4.1) and Minnesota (-4.4) as more competitive than either Georgia or Arizona.

If Trump can manage to hold on to the map as it is currently projected, he would only need one of those remaining states. Just one, and he would become President.

Left side of the media has completely lost their collective minds...

So according to a rising number of liberal journalists, the reason why Donald Trump is moving up in the polls (less than three weeks from when Politico wrote a piece about how Clinton was prepping for a landslide victory) is because the media simply is too hard on poor Hillary Clinton, and not hard enough on Donald Trump.

So, basically the media is blaming themselves for not being hard enough on Donald Trump? Anyone else see the inherent problem with this logic?

The reality folks is that there is no such thing as "the media" anymore. What we have today is the right side of the media, the left side of the media, and a handful of journalist who would like to pretend that they are neutral, but because they don't offer any tangible amount of partisan thinking, they become effectively irrelevant in the 2016 culture of partisanship.

The problem today is that the left side of the media hates the fact that there is a right side of the media that now garners similar attention, and that the old traditions of a liberal media being thought of as an objective center is long gone. While they may believe what they say (that the media overall isn't fair) it's clear what they want isn't objective fairness.  What they want is for everyone in the media to promote the same views that they hold on the election. They want everyone to report this election as if Hillary Clinton is a bona fide Presidential candidate, while Donald Trump is a buffoon who probably shouldn't be let out of the house without psychiatric supervision.

Bottom line: the left side of the media are so hateful about Donald Trump, that they simply cannot objectively see their own bias.

Let's take CNN (the supposed neutral cable news network) and their coverage of the two conventions. I watched the eight person panel covering the Republican convention, where seven of the eight panelist offered a negative take on Donald Trump's speech. Two of them were so angry that they could hardly speak. When their own CNN flash poll came out, showing over 70% of the viewers had a positive impression of the speech, they could hardly contain themselves. But the truth is simple. If CNN had fair and accurate coverage of the speech, they should have had a panel that saw the speech the same way the public saw it. The public was overwhelmingly positive about the speech, while 87% of the CNN panel saw it negative. On the flip side, did CNN find seven panelist to criticize a Hillary Clinton speech (that was by most objective accounts fairly flat)? Of course not, it was about the same breakdown, which is to say they only had one panelists who was seriously critical, and everyone else held a varying degree of positive feelings about it.

Here is the bottom line, and the one thing that the left doesn't appear to understand. The American voter "can" actually think, "can" actually process information, and "can" draw their own conclusions. I would offer that a substantial portion of the general population is just as smart or smarter than the journalists in question, and almost none of them are any where near as politically partisan as these journalists.

So when the right side of the media hits Americans hard with Hillary's deleting 15,000 work related emails emails, security lapses, foundation scandals, FBI investigations, and health issues... and the left side of the media hits Americans with the fact that Trump hasn't released his taxes, or that he has flipped flopped on certain issues, or that he now believes President Obama was actually born in Hawaii... Americans have the ability to determine on their own what sort of "equivalency" these issues hold for them.

It's not up to the media to determine what should be viewed as important to everyday Americans. They simply don't hold that power (anymore), nor should they. The fact that the Paul Krugmans and Nick Kristofs believe that this is somehow wrong and needs to be fixed, shows us exactly how much contempt they hold for the general public, and exactly "why" it's a good thing they no longer hold this power.    

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hillary blames the truth for radical Islamic terror

Hillary Clinton went after Donald Trump for calling radical Islamic terrorism radical Islamic terrorism.

We need to be polite to the killers to win this war... 

“The language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries,” Clinton said, citing an article by former head of the counter terrorist center Mike Olsen citing Trump’s tough rhetoric as fueling Islamic state recruitment. She described Trump as a “recruiting sergeant” for ISIS.
Clinton made her remarks on the airport tarmac prior to leaving for an event directed at millennials in Philadelphia, speaking out about the terrorist attacks in New York City before President Barack Obama addressed the nation.
She criticized Trump for “irresponsible reckless rhetoric,” because he repeatedly refers to radical Islam as responsible for the attacks.

As we have been lectured for the past eight years, calling radical Islamic terrorism radical Islamic terrorism is a bad thing, because apparently certain people in this world are incapable of distinguishing between the radical Islamic behavior that is at the root of ISIS and the peaceful Muslim community that is made up of people not interested in blowing themselves up for the chance at seventy two virgins.

So apparently the key to all of this is to simply not to describe radical Islamic terrorism as radical Islamic terrorism. Somehow that will defeat ISIS and put a stop to all of this killing and violence.

Obviously we can see the direct results of this eight year policy with multiple terror attacks again over the past week. Can anyone justify why this policy should be continued (other than for the sake of political correctness and Hillary Clinton courting the Muslim voters)?

Nine Minnesotans attacked
ISIS takes credit
Dayton calls for tolerance

“I ask everyone in the St. Cloud area and throughout Minnesota to rise above this atrocity and act to make religious and racial tolerance one of the ways in which Minnesotans again lead our country,” 

Perhaps he should show a little more concern for the victims here... and a little less concern for political correctness.  Nine people were stabbed, and his primary worry seems to be that Islamic terror will be blamed and it will look bad for his political Party.

On a personal note, I spend some time living in St Cloud right after college and actually worked in the Crossroads Shopping mall for a while. It's a nice college town, with good Midwestern people. This hits especially close to home for me.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Here is a pick me upper...

Doesn't somebody on that plane got a red bull handy?

- Notice that Hillary "sleepy" Clinton calls the attacks out east "bombings" in her initial statement.

- The follow up question from the press, was what she thought about Donald Trump jumping to conclusions by calling it a bombing without all the information. Did they not just hear her call it a bombing too?

- These are the people who believe they are the smart ones.

The problem with misunderestimation...

This all started with George W Bush. The man the liberal elites believed was "too stupid to be President" drove them to near insanity by winning back to back Presidential elections. There was a hundred and one different explanations about what went wrong, but none of these progressive thinking prognosticators ever considered the possibility that Bush, Cheney, Rove, and gang actually knew what they were doing. Rather it was always seen as some sort of fluke, some sort of mistake, some sort of collective foolishness on the part of the American electorate... if they even would admit that Bush actually won.

But as much as the left held Bush and his team in contempt, he was considered Albert Einstein in comparison to how these same progressives see Donald Trump.

On paper Donald Trump is a multi-billionaire. A man who has successfully built over five hundred individual businesses, and became an international business icon. He beat a field of fifteen well qualified Republican candidates (including Jeb Bush with his 100 plus million dollars) without raising any money. While splitting votes fifteen ways, he broke the all time record for Republican primary votes, and increased Republican turnout to near record numbers.

Now here we are, fifty days out from the 2016 Presidential election... in a virtual dead heat. Hillary Clinton ran nearly 50,000 campaign ads before Trump ran one. She's been prepping for this for ten years, while Trump has no political experience. Yet, Donald Trump appears to be exactly where he wants to be at this moment in time, and I am being generous when I say that Hillary Clinton appears flat footed and unsure as to where to go.

Yet, nobody in your progressive elite club of pundits will concede that there is even the slightest possibility that Donald Trump knows what he is doing. They see him as a buffoon, a bigot, a thin skinned crazed wild eyed maniac. It's only a matter of time before he says something or does something that produces the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. They seem to be banking on that as their political strategy.

The left didn't believe George W Bush was smart enough to become President. They were wrong. Now they believe the same thing about Donald Trump.

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Does this raise any questions?

Clinton Foundation Spent Less Than 6 Percent On Charitable Grants In 2014
During the 2014 tax year, the tax-exempt foundation spent a total of $91.2 million, but less than $5.2 million of that money, or 5.7 percent, was granted to charitable organizations, the group’s tax filings show. The Clinton Foundation raised nearly $178 million in 2014. The organization’s charitable grants also declined significantly when compared to its donations in 2013. Compared to its 2013 charitable grants of $8.8 million, the Clinton Foundation’s grants in 2014 declined by more than 40 percent, even as its revenue over the same period increased by 20 percent. According to the tax filings, the Clinton Foundation is currently sitting on $354 million in assets, including $125 million in cash or cash equivalents and $108 million in property or equipment.

Oddly, if you visit some of the Charity rankings, they are claiming that the Clinton Foundation spends 86% of their money on charity programs. Looks to me that if you are sitting on over $125 million in cash, it's pretty much obvious that you cannot be spending 86% of revenues on Charity.

A couple of years ago, these same Charity rankings did not include the Clinton foundation as a charity, because they did not fit enough of the profile to even qualify. One has to wonder how they went from not qualifying to getting four stars and a determination that 86% of the money raised goes to charity.

The new Donald Trump...

I have heard real anger from the left regarding this whole segment. Many believe that it was inappropriate for Fallon to allow Trump on the Tonight Show and normalize/humanize him. I guess it's the sworn duty of everyone in the media to treat Donald Trump like the monster the left wants him to be.

By the way, if he was actually the monster the left thinks he is, then how is it that he could even appear to be normal and human at all? I would expect a monster to turn down the request (obviously a planned deal) and otherwise act like an ass.

Of the two events... Fallon showing Donald to be human by messing up his hair, and Kimmel showing Hillary to be healthy by having her open up a pickle jar... only one of those two segments appears to be truly ridiculous at this point.

Some morning laughs...

We all know that the media is not all that upset because Donald Trump did something to be ashamed of. They are upset because Donald Trump played them for fools, and left them holding a giant sack of dog shit.

They can scream and holler over the fact that Trump didn't apologize or didn't make any humble gestures about being wrong. But the real truth is that that Trump outsmarted them to get them to cover this event, but more importantly Trump outsmarted them by putting the birther nonsense to bed.

Let's start with a simple fact. The public doesn't much care about the "birther" issue anymore. Why would they? It has nothing to do with this election. The only reason it was brought back into play, was by a desperate media attempting to induce Donald Trump into rehashing a past issue that they felt might gain some traction, do some damage, and possibly change the momentum. After all, isn't this the exact thing that Donald Trump would do?  He simply cannot help himself, can he?

Problem is that Trump simply didn't fall for it. He showed up. Filed out his endorsements. Told him that Obama was born in Hawaii. Claimed Hillary started it. Left the stage. Didn't even take questions (nor should he on the topic).

The media now has the option of letting it go. Or going after the angle of who actually started it. Neither is going to get them any closer to making Trump look bad in this case. If they let it go, he wins. If they have to go back and investigate who actually started it (to prove him wrong) it only takes them off course on something that technically has nothing to do with him. The more different theories that come out about how it started, and when it started, and how many people were involved, the more it becomes clear that this is not (as suggested) Donald Trump's signature issue... nor is it an issue that can be clearly tagged on him. In fact, it only works to associate Clinton with the issue, which actually might be the only real damage done by all of this.

After all, Trump believes Obama was born here.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Patty Solis Doyle admits this started in 2007
From a Clinton campaign coordinator

Doyle appeared about an hour later on CNN with Wolf Blitzer to address the issue once again. She denied that Hillary Clinton had started the Birther theory — then admitted that someone in the Clinton campaign had, in fact, been involved. Here is part their exchange:
Blitzer: Someone supporting Hillary Clinton was trying to promote this so-called Birther issue? What happened? 
Doyle: So we — absolutely, the campaign nor Hillary did not start the Birther movement, period, end of story there. There was a volunteer coordinator, I believe, in late 2007, I believe, in December, one of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in Iowa — I don’t recall whether they were an actual paid staffer, but they did forward an email that promoted the conspiracy. 
Blitzer: The Birther conspiracy?  
Doyle: Yeah, Hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. We let that person go. And it was so, beyond the pale, Wolf, and so not worthy of the kind of campaign that certainly Hillary wanted to run. 

So let's be clear here folks... There was an email circulated by the Clinton campaign that was apparently not meant to go public (or was it?). But said email was forwarded by someone within the campaign that quite obviously had access to this email.

But no matter how you argue this, the idea that Barack Obama was not born in the United States did not come from Trump. It came from a 2007 internal Clinton campaign email that was floated as a possible campaign issue.

But let's turn this around. If the Trump campaign was floating a controversial email within their ranks, and it ended up going public. Would anyone in the press blame anyone other than Trump himself? Would anyone accept that it was the fault of the "rogue" campaign worker who released the information?

Not in a million years...

Born in the U.S.A.

Trump: Obama was born in the U.S.A.

Now, he says... let's move on to making American great and strong again. 

This is on the heels of another attempt at a Politico hit piece (or was it a Talking Points Memo piece) regarding how Trump "doubled down" on the birther issue, because he told reporters that he thought we should be talking about the economy and jobs, and that the issue was dogging the "media" more than his campaign.

Turned out he avoided the question so that the press would cover the announcement that another 44 high ranking members of the military were endorsing him. The press apparently believe he would be giving a big statement on Obama's birth place.

Guess his statement wasn't exactly what they were expecting.

The truth, here folks is that the left is running out of ammunition. Since Donald Trump has not done much new to make negative Trump news, the media wants to drudge up past issues and try to recirculate them.

Today the left is literally falling all over themselves in anger because he basically made the birther issue a non-issue and made the media out to be the ones focused on everything but what is important. They are also upset that they covered this event (that made him look good) because they believed he was about to make some outrageous statement about Obama's birth place. They got played, because they are desperate for something else to attack him for.

Oh, and apparently they are upset because he blamed the birther movement on Clinton and 2008 which the left is demanding is a "deplorable" lie.

Note: Polifact blames it on Clinton supporters from 2008, and not Clinton herself. But that is just splitting hairs. The reality is that his birthplace being a question was originally brought up by her campaign and her surrogates, if not by her personally. What is patently false is the suggestion that it originated with Donald Trump. A lie the left repeats, but is not challenged by Polifact or anyone else.

My only question is how far Politico, TPM, and Huffington Post will look foolish "doubling down" on this non-issue.

On a similar note, Politico was trying to gain some traction with the idea that he "attacked" a clergy member of a Black church he was visiting last week. The attack was in regards to a particular clergy member who was against Donald Trump speaking... who interrupted him because he brought up Hillary Clinton. He promptly (and respectfully) changed the subject. Afterwards when asked about her, Trump suggest that she had appeared nervous about the whole situation of him speaking at the church. I guess calling a critical Black clergy member nervous about his appearance at her church would be a 21st century dog whistle call for calling her the n-word.

A moment in time...

So yes, the momentum has changed. Yes, the concept of a Hillary Clinton landslide seems like a distant memory. Yes, it appears that once again, the underwhelming former first lady is attempting to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory...

But this is just a moment in time. Just as I stated a few weeks ago when polls were coming out with double digit Clinton leads, there is way too much time left in this race to draw any real conclusions. In fact, I would argue that there is still three very distinct possibilities:

  • Hillary Clinton regains her footing, puts this rough patch behind her, has some strong debate performances, and regains her overall advantage in the polls. While I don't believe that she will ever get back to the big leads she saw after her convention, a comfortable four-six point victory feels like it could be within her grasp; That is if she avoids the pot holes and things fall into place.
  • Donald Trump continues to gain credibility and momentum, slowing convincing enough Americans that his is a reasonable alternative to the establishment candidate running for a third Obama term. A landslide victory is probably not in the cards (despite the opinion of Scott Adams), but if Trump can turn into some semblance of real Presidential candidate, and if Clinton slips up (or has another medical incident or two) he too could move into that four-six point range.  
  • The election remains close till the end, with an ebb and flow that can provide both encouragement and discouragement to both sides. Things continue to stay ugly, neither candidate can pull away, and it's a dog fight right down to November 8th. 
Having watched several Presidential cycles very closely and observing how the poll fluctuate over the course of a Presidential run, I can say that some of this should not have come as much of a surprise. The candidate who has the second convention, generally gets a little better bounce, early polls generally favor the Democratic candidate (for multiple reasons), and there seems to be a real separation as to what happens before labor day and after labor day.

In this case Clinton got the second convention. She has gotten the lion's share of positive media coverage, and most polling done before Labor day use registered voter samples, which almost always inflates the polling number for Democrats. I would have expected that if nothing else changed, that we would still a slight tightening of the race after labor day, as the convention bumps wore off, and the pollsters shifted from registered to likely voters.

So the fact that the race has moved from that six-eight point Clinton lead into a margin of error sort of deal, can be partially explained by phenomenon that I would have expected either way. What makes this election unique is the high negatives for both candidates and the fact that issues and policies are quite secondary to other means of persuasion and marketing. I believe at this point what has moved the needle more than we might otherwise expect is the pure and simple fact that Donald Trump is a better persuader than Hillary Clinton (in spite of her obviously having help in this area).  

Moving forward there is disagreement as to which candidate has the advantage (or is most likely to be the one to move into the mid single digit lead and win comfortably). 
  • Some will argue that Hillary Clinton just went through her roughest patch yet, and is still at worse tied or a little ahead of Donald Trump. If Trump has not pulled in front at this point, he never will. Moreover the electoral college map favors Clinton at this point, and she simply has way more paths to 270 EC votes. This is a credible argument. 
  • Others will argue that it is Donald Trump who has actually had the longer and rougher patch. He has been ridiculed by the President, attacked with upwards of a hundred million dollars worth of Hillary Clinton attack ads, criticized by many of his own Party elite, and absolutely crucified by the media. Yet, here he stands, less than two months from the election, coming from down double digits to leading in many polls. If Hillary did not put him away before, how does she put away a more disciplined Trump, who is just recently started spending his millions? This is a credible argument as well.  
For me, this is not much different than I have said all along. Corrupt Hillary and Bigoted Trump have been persuasive arguments for some time. But both are starting to bump up against the law of diminishing returns.  In my humble opinion, the candidate who can better pivot to a different strategy will be the candidate who will come out on top. Trump appears to have found his pivot by acting more conventional (policy speeches, etc), while pushing the Hillary lacks strength and stamina argument. On the flip side, Hillary right now seems a little stuck (basket of deplorables). If I was a Hillary supporter, that is what would worry me right now. Because in my humble opinion, she will need to find her pivot (as Trump already has) to keep up. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hillary's doctor's note problem...

Hillary Clinton's release of new medical information consisted of a "new" doctor's note much like the old doctor's note... in that it really didn't provide the details of her medical history. All it really stated was that there was nothing "new" to report.

Thing is,  I don't specifically believe that "anyone" really believes that Hillary Clinton's medical problems would be something that developed since the last doctor's note. Nobody is interested in recent medical diagnoses. What people want to know is why she seems resistant to releasing her full medical history (like John McCain did)? 

One would believe that if she is in as good of health as her internist says she is, that releasing the full medical diagnosis would do no damage. In fact, releasing the full medical diagnosis could possibly help her if she was indeed as healthy as advertised. The fact that she keeps this under wraps furthers the idea that she has something substantial in her reports that she does not want the public to see.

Either way, she is sort of playing a losing hand. After releasing a two page doctor's note once. Now releasing the same thing again. The seeds are sown that she has something to hide. If she were to come out over the next couple of weeks with more information, nobody is going to believe she is releasing everything, and short of submitting herself to an examination by some doctor wearing an adorable deplorable t-shirt, I doubt she can lay this issue to rest.

After all... she claimed she released all of her work related emails. She only fudged her answer by around fifteen thousand emails she kept hidden.

MIghty Mo

So there is no question that momentum is on the side of Donald Trump. Another new poll came out (from CBS/NYT)  showing the race essentially tied, and Trump has started to pick up steam in most of the important battleground states. The question right now has to be what is causing all of this movement? Here is my two cents worth:

Donald Trump is becoming a more serious candidate. Whenever Trump manages to stay on topic, avoid controversy, and basically not say anything too terribly offensive, gravity seems to pull the polling back towards normalcy. He's been on message recently. From his trip to Mexico, to his outreach to the black community, and to his string of specific policy proposals, he's behaved like a serious Presidential candidate.

Closet Trump supporters are coming out of the closet? I write this as a question, as there is no way to really measure this. But one of the theories may be that people who otherwise were afraid to show their support for Donald Trump are finding themselves more able to do so. This could suggest that recent poll movement may in part be artificial. Just a new found ability to measure previously silent support. Who knows? By November showing your support for Donald Trump might be a "trendy" thing to do.

#NeverTrump movement lost a key argument. One of the pillars of the #NeverTrump argument was the fact that he would lose in a landslide and bring down the Party with him. With less than two months away from the election, he is now polling better than how establishment candidates Romney and McCain finished, and a Hillary landslide seems like a left wing clouded delusion. Whether this is pulling some of these fringe members over into the Trump camp is hard to know for sure. But the credibility of the movement has been compromised, as has their influence.

Commander in Chief forum was success for Trump. He proved that he could go up on stage with Hillary Clinton (albeit at different times) and look Presidential. In fact, it was Hillary Clinton who had a problem with looking Presidential. She was out of sync, looked hesitant, and outwardly lied about important national security topics in front of military personnel. Trump had some odd moments and said some questionable things, but he looked and acted forceful, confident, and in control. The subsequent attacks from the left on Matt Lauer did nothing more than amplify the idea that Trump got the better of Hillary in a situation where almost everyone expected the opposite.

Basket of deplorables comment is now a gaffe. I understood the original concept here. Clinton pulled a Donald Trump move (or tried to). She boldly makes and outrageous statement to garner attention. She backs off the concept that "half" of Trump supporters are un-American bigot behind hope. Ultimately she got some people discussing what percentage (if not half) of Trump supporters are in fact deplorable. So far so good. But the Trump camp did not take the bait or fall for the trap. Instead of defending their voters, they turned it around on Clinton. A Washington Elite, in front of filthy rich out of touch leftist elite donors, shows her bigotry by lumping tens of millions of "hard working Americans" into a "basket". Trump supporters have taken to wearing the deplorables comment as a badge of honor. Ultimately it may have worked considerably  to "undercut" her argument about racism and bigotry. Clinton doubling down on the bigotry angle at this point may reinforce a new found feeling that she is out of touch with many Americans and is willing to write them off in a broad sweeping (generalized) manner.

Health issue has now gone mainstream.  How clever does it now look that Hillary Clinton attempted to prove her good health by going on Jimmy Kimmel and opening up a jar of pickles? Let's forget, for a second, about the psychological impact of having an extremely secretive Presidential candidate with unknown health issues and focus on credibility. Trump questioning of Hillary's health can no longer be written off as a crazy conspiracy theory. He was right and it never hurts to be right when you are running for President. It's now Clinton under scrutiny for once again hiding something from the American public that many people might find important.

But getting back to the psychological impact of having an extremely secretive Presidential candidate with unknown health issues... that's going to be a problem down the stretch. Even her best case scenario (where there are no more blatant health issues) the questions will swirl. Why was she late for that appearance. Why is Trump holding more rallies. Are they sitting or standing at the debates. But the bigger problem will come if she has another coughing fit, loses her balance, or god forbids has another feinting spell.      

Nate Silver wrote a post today asking how much the deplorable statement and Hillary's health might be playing a part in the Trump movement. He sort of declared that he believes these to be minor issues, and that the momentum was clearly in his corner prior. He looked at some of the tracking polls (some showing post 9/11 movement and some not) to prove this point. He may be right, that current polling hasn't had enough time to really digest either issue. 

But that would suggest that things are actually "worse" for Hillary than they may otherwise seem to be. It would be much easier for a Clinton supporter to brush off the recent Hillary polling drop to short term consequences of these two events. But I have to agree with Silver that this movement was taking place "before" the deplorable comment and the health issue. I just happen to believe that both comments will play a part moving forward. 

First, I do believe that the basket of deplorables comment may have been the last bullet to be fired in the Donald Trump and his supporters are all bigots argument. Certainly, I don't believe they meant it that way, I just think it makes it harder to continue to argue racism, without reinforcing the feeling that she is simply out of touch with millions of Americans, and discounts them as bigots for not agreeing with her. The whole bigotry argument was stretching the laws of diminishing returns as it was, and now she has something to lose by continuing it. 

Secondly, the health scare argument going mainstream is only marginally important in a moment in time. Where it will pay dividends for the Trump campaign is moving forward, when every little sniffle, cough, stumble, or moment of confusion will reinforce (through confirmation bias) the idea that she might be secretly sick and simply hiding it (like she hides everything else). The fact that she has never been honest and always been secretive will pretty much foil any sort of transparency she can muster on the subject at this point. Other than those already dead set on voting for her, the majority of the public will continue to wonder and the chances of it becoming worse for Clinton far outweighs the chances of it becoming better. There is way too much time for more "incidents" to occur, and probably not enough time for suspicious people to feel secure. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Voters concerned about illary's Health.

Democrats aren’t worried about Hillary Clinton’s health, but most other voters feel she may not be physically up to the job.
a closer look finds that while 73% of Republicans and 51% of voters not affiliated with either major party are concerned about the Democratic presidential nominee’s health if she is elected president, just 28% of Democrats agree. Seventy-one percent (71%) of Democrats are not concerned.
Among all voters, 43% think Clinton’s health makes her less able to serve as president, but 48% don’t believe that to be true.  LINK
That 43% number may not seem like a lot, but in a close race where one or two points could turn the election, having 43% question her ability to serve as President (health wise) is a big concern. More to the point, having over half of independents (where this election will be won or loss) being concerned about her health is a scary number if you are a Hillary fan.

In terms of other non-health qualifications, Donald Trump can at least learn. But Hillary is not going to get any healthier by becoming President. Have you seen what the job does to former Presidents? Clinton, Bush and Obama all looked like they aged about 20 years in two terms. Imagine how Hillary might look?

If you can open a pickle jar, you can be President.

Well hopefully, she can drop in on another late night show and open another pickle jar. Then we will all know she is fine.


Another poll with similar numbers:
Fifty percent of people think that Hillary Clinton "has given the public false information about her heath," a Politico/Morning Consult poll found in the days following the Democratic nominee's pneumonia scare at the 9/11 Memorial on Sunday. By comparison, only 37 percent of people say the same about Donald Trump.
Overall, people think Trump is healthier than Clinton, with 22 percent saying Clinton's health is "above average or excellent" and 36 percent saying the same for Trump.
Less than half of voters, at 44 percent, said Clinton's health would negatively affect her ability to be president; three in 10 people don't think she'd survive her first term while two in 10 people think Trump wouldn't. If one of them were to die, voters would rather have Mike Pence as president; 43 percent said he's prepared to serve, versus 38 percent who think Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, is ready to step up to the plate.  LINK

Trump now leads in three states Romney lost

According to the RCP four way race average, Donald Trump has now taken the lead in Iowa (+1.0) Ohio (+0.5) and Florida (+0.2).  Now of course, none of these states are actually in the bag for Trump. In fact they are all basically toss ups at this point. But reality remains that Florida and Ohio were not too terribly long ago considered Clinton states to lose. In fact, earlier in September, Clinton led in the RCP averages by around four points in both Florida and Ohio.

On the flip side, Clinton leads currently in North Carolina by 0.7 in four way race. This is currently the only state that Romney won that Clinton is ahead in. (Note: Silver has Trump barely ahead in North Carolina)

Add it all up and you are looking at Clinton at 293 and Trump at 245... meaning Clinton's electoral landslide is turning into a nail biter. I am pretty sure that polls in both Michigan and Pennsylvania will be watched very closely over the next couple of weeks.

Click the map to create your own at

Meanwhile Trump now leads three of the four tracking polls, with the forth (Ipsos) showing tied. He leads by five in the LATimes tracking poll, and three in both the UPI/CVoter and Peoples Pundit polls. All of those polls were either even or in Hillary's favor just within the past week or so. If I were Hillary Clinton or a Hillary Clinton supporter. I might be a little nervous right now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clinton's trust questions explode
Trump pounces without pouncing

So Clinton avoided the Emergency Room (likely on several occasions) in order to conceal medical issues from the Press. Much like (if you believe the explanation) she caught pneumonia and didn't bother to inform anyone. Both of these situations show a reckless disregard for the health safety of Clinton and possibly others, all for the sake of political appearance (and Clinton's privacy).

The bottom line here folks is that nobody really knows for sure what is wrong with Hillary Clinton right now. But the fact that something is wrong has gone from conspiracy theory to pretty much conventional wisdom at this point. I doubt many people actually believe that seasonal allergies and a temporary bout with pneumonia is a reasonable explanation.

Herein lies the bigger problem. At this point, almost no explanation from Clinton will be believed. Why should it be? After all, her ability to shamelessly lie about extremely important, extremely dangerous, and extremely delicate subjects is her modus operandi. Like the boy who cried wolf, why should we believe her "this time" ?

So why is Trump seemingly missing this opportunity and instead attacking the "basket of deplorables" gaffe by Clinton?  (I used to believe the basket of deplorables comment was strategy, but in the wake of everything else it has become a gaffe) Why isn't he barging full speed ahead like a bull in a china shop, falling all over himself to pounce on her latest health episode as proof she doesn't have the strength and stamina?

The reason is two fold. One obvious and one not so obvious. The obvious reason is that it would be in bad taste, and quite frankly the situation doesn't need his help. In fact, if Trump were to jump onto it, many wobbly Clinton supporters might find that reason enough to defend her.

The less obvious reason is that the "basket of deplorables" statement becomes the excuse for wobbly Clinton supporters to pull away and undecideds to make the move. Nobody wants to admit that they would pull their support from Clinton because she might not be feeling well. But if it makes them otherwise uneasy they just use the "basket of deplorables" excuse to justify it.  (further explanation here)

There is no doubt that this has been a devastating series of events for Clinton.  But ultimately she has nobody but herself to blame. She literally has outsmarted and out-deceived herself on this one.