Is the System Rigged? Define Rigged

Over the last few weeks, Donald Trump has been saying that the election is being “rigged” against him and is about to be stolen by the Democrats. He was asked about this during the last debate and indicated that he might not accept the election results. This had lead to two things: 1) the Democrats claiming his potential refusal to accept the result and claims of a rigged system are horrifying and dangerous; 2) Republicans citing examples of Democrats (notably Sanders and Warren) also claiming the system is rigged.

I wanted to unspool this a bit. Because a lot of words are being tossed around lightly that reference several inter-related issues that all fall the description of a “rigged” system.


Breaking Down the SCOTUS Debate

One of the worst exchanges in last night’s debate was about the Supreme Court. I was literally yelling at my television. I was going to break it down but Ann Althouse does it way more thoroughly than I ever could. You should read the whole thing but here’s one quote, when Clinton said her justices would be “on the side” of the American people.

I was already loudly arguing with her. The side? The Supreme Court isn’t supposed to take sides. She’s blatantly saying she wants a Court that doesn’t act like a court but gets on one side. Her Court is a Court that ought to have to recuse itself constantly.

This is absolutely right. John Roberts famously said that his job was to call balls and strikes, not favor either team. Clinton said the Court should “stand up” to the wealthy. But that’s wrong too. It should stand up to the wealthy if they’re violating the Constitution. Standing up to the wealthy or the powerful or the corrupt or whatever is what we have legislatures and executives for. All the Court is supposed to do is decide if their method of “standing up” to whomever is Constitutional or not. As the Bible says, judges should favor neither the wealthy nor the poor, but enforce the law.

Later she got into the Heller decision. She acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right but said that Heller was decided wrongly because it protects toddlers from being accidentally shot. That is, to put it mildly, total and complete bullshit. Cooke:

This is flatly incorrect. Heller, as anyone who has read it knows, revolved around the question of whether the government in Washington, D.C., could legally ban handguns entirely. It had nothing to do with “toddlers.” “Toddlers,” as Sean Davis correctly points out, are not mentioned in the majority opinion, and they are not mentioned in the dissent. Other than in an extremely indirect sense, “toddlers” had nothing to do with the legal question being considered.

Heller involved the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, which forbade handguns and other arms. There were multiple plaintiffs but the namesake was a 66-year-old cop who wanted to keep a gun at home for self defense but was not allowed to. This, once again, exposes Clinton’s “I support the Second Amendment” claim as bullshit. If she is against Heller, she is in favor of gun bans Period.

Trump’s performance wasn’t quite as bad but wasn’t good either. He touted his list of 20 potential SCOTUS nominees (although I doubt he could name a single one of the cuff). He defended the Second Amendment in vague terms. But … and this is where his suckitude as candidate comes forth … he utterly failed to call Clinton out on her crap. He didn’t know Heller well enough to point out that she was lying. He didn’t know Citizens United well enough to point out that she wanted the Court to ban a film that was critical of her. They later tangled on abortion. I’m not pro-Life but, frankly, neither is Trump. And it showed as he was all over the place, failing to point out, for example, that Roe v. Wade allows abortion to be outlawed in the third trimester.

I highlight the exchange on SCOTUS because it is a perfect distillation of the debate and really, the entire campaign. Clinton is vulnerable everywhere. She’s a poor candidate, she often says things that are wrong, contradicts herself and leaves openings a mile wide for her opponent. This is why a junior Senator from Illinois was able to beat her. This is why a crackpot Senator from Vermont almost beat her. But … this is key … you have to actually know stuff to go after her. She sounds authoritative and knowledgeable. Exposing her as neither means getting the weeds a bit.

But Trump can’t be bothered to do his homework. He just wings it. And so on a subject that Clinton should know well but where she spewed a bunch of garbage and lied her ass off, he fought her to a draw at best.

I will continue to say this: just about any normal Republican would have crushed her in all three debates and would be crushing her now in the polls.

Debate Three


The winner of this debate was clearly Chris Wallace who kept the candidates on task and pressed them on several key issues (most notably pressing Hillary on her proposed Syrian no-fly zone that could spark a war with Russia). Trump was OK at first but then got more incoherent as the night went on. Clinton was terrible at addressing questions about Wikileaks, had an awful answer on the Supreme Court and kept trying to awkwardly pivot to her talking points.

Trump probably edges this one out but I don’t think it will make a difference at this point. The good news is that this is the last debate of this endless election season. And so … maybe we’re the real winners.

Hollywood Odds

A blind squirrel, a stopped watch, whatever euphemism works, sometimes Hollywood gets it right. I like to throw up non political posts from time to time, like “Whatcha watching?” for current TV shows, social community recommendations. With all the junk that passes for movies nowadays, and the ever increasing ticket prices, a discriminating movie critic can be a valuable commodity. First a disclaimer, I rarely (maybe 3-4 times a year) actually go to movie theaters. I would say it is a generational thing but I got a tennis buddy, a few years older than me, from Chile, he goes at least once a week and is always recommending stuff, 95% of which I dismiss out of hand.

First, one that I saw and recommend, then one that I am enthusiastically waiting for;

Kurosawa’s classic, remade. First off all, is there a better actor out there today than Denzel? This movie was just plain fun all the way through.

And then, this;

While in college I played basketball with a conscientious objector from the Vietnam War. I was too young for the draft and he was 3 years older, but I got a chance to talk to him at length about his faith. A Christian who risked imprisonment ( he did many hours of community service and volunteer work to avoid it), but he was no coward. He taught me how important it was to stay true to your faith, even at great odds to your own safety and freedom. Courage manifests itself in many forms and this movie reveals just one of them.

A word about Mel Gibson, yeah, he is a real tool, but he makes really good movies. Because of his shortcomings in his personal life I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves in this area, I hope that changes.

As a bonus, 2 movies I saw this weekend on my free HBO preview (nope, still won’t contribute a dime to their bottom line);

The Water Divener. Russel Crowe used to be my favorite actor (one of his hidden gems A Good Year). And the other, Woman In Gold .

Next week I will do another installment of Whatcha Watching?, there is some really good Netflix stuff out.

So, seen any good movies lately?

They must think everyone is a useful idiot

The usual democratic party operatives with bylines are hard at work trying to confound you and provide cover for what seems to be the most banana republicesque election cycle to hit this Country. Pradva of NY has a piece titled “Officials Fight Donald Trump’s Claims of a Rigged Vote“, where they try hard to make Trump sound like a loon for claiming the election is rigged. You can find more of the same at CNN, where an article titled “Trump ratchets up ‘rigged election’ claims, which Pence downplays desperately wants to convince you Trump has gone off the deep end, and even his VEEP is scrambling to cover for that. The WaPo takes it even further with a propaganda piece titled “Trump claims election is ‘rigged’ and seems to suggest Clinton was on drugs at debate. The horror! The man is off his rockers!

Of course, what they hope you are unaware off, and definitely avoiding in all this Kabuki theater, is that fact that Hillary’s people already rigged the Democratic primaries:

In its recent leak of 20,000 DNC emails from January 2015 to May 2016, DNC staff discuss how to deal with Bernie Sanders’ popularity as a challenge to Clinton’s candidacy. Instead of treating Sanders as a viable candidate for the Democratic ticket, the DNC worked against him and his campaign to ensure Clinton received the nomination.

Yeah you might want to deflect by pretending that this crime was just to secure a Hillary victory and was just a primary race, but how much of a stretch is it to extrapolate, based on the massive amount of illegal activities and absolute corruption by every level of this administration during the last 8 years, that these people, seeing how Hillary simply isn’t able to seal the deal – even with massive media shilling and lying, oodles of tainted money, and an opposition candidate that is a giant douche – would feel compelled to rig the national election as well? After all, these are the same people that have spent the last 8 years sicking the IRS, DOJ, FBI, and every other government bureaucracy you can think of on enemies of the left. The same people that continue to break the law at their leisure, lie with impunity about doing that law breaking, and engage in the most underhanded and downright criminal of activities, without fear of repercussions of any kind!

At the risk of having Hal that thinks only the DNC operatives with bylines that have been shilling, lying, covering and colluding with the left should be seen as legitimate, I point out that others have found serious issues. While the left would love you to buy the nonsense that voter fraud is a myth, and that anyone trying to tackle that is doing so out of racist motivations, reality bears out otherwise. The left lies about the fact that it not only exists, but is pervasive and favors them. Don’t take my word for it: here is NYC Democratic Commissioner of the Board of Elections Alan Schulkin admitting it is the case. Remember that the Sanders campaign hinted at the fact there was fraud – and we now know the nomination was rigged so there likely was fraud – going on. Same applies to Trump winning the republican nomination.

Ask yourself: why would democrats be fine with the scary fact that there are 4 million ineligible or dead voters on the rolls? And then there are the large number of articles we have seen, over just the last few months, practically all largely ignored by the DNC operatives with bylines, of county after county – across the country – finding some from of fraud. From illegals, felons, and dead people voting, to people that vote multiple times or vote illegally for the other side’s candidate. Here is one from the beginning of the year, long before Trump said anything. Then there was this one dealing with non-citizens voting in frighting numbers in Maryland. And just today we found out that Texas is investigating allegations of voter fraud in Tarrant county.

The list of cases of voter fraud is extensive, even if Google does its best to hide the facts and serves up the left’s pap about fraud being a myth unless you put in refined and detailed criteria to avoid it doing that crap.And the fact that the fraud is committed predominantly by those that will cast their vote for party of free shit and anarchy, isn’t a coincidence. I actually happen to think that Trump is way off on his claims. There will be no need for fraud, because in the end, with so much on the line and the left not being able to take the risk of the reigns of power going to someone else and the people finding out the levels of depravity and abuse that have been going on, will take a page right out of Stalin’s playbook this election. As Stalin pointed out:

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.

Yeah, voter fraud will not decide the election: the people that will hand it to Hillary will. That’s how banana republics work.

It’s confirmed! Obamacare ‘s real purpose was…

So, those of us that pointed out Obamacare was designed from the start to fail, so the collectivist scumbags could force an unwanted single-payer system on us, and that they would do so in a way that would allow them to blame others for this horrible monstrosity that became law on a party-line vote, have been vindicated:

An email leaked by WikiLeaks Tuesday appears to suggest that Hillary Clinton wants the Affordable Care Act to fail — presumably as a pretense for implementing single-payer, government-controlled health care.

In a chain between Clinton and her senior policy adviser Ann O’Leary titled “Memo on Cadillac Tax for HRC,” Clinton said she’s open to changing her position on the Cadillac Tax — but that the Republican plan to repeal it must pass.

“Given the politics now w bipartisan support including Schumer, I’ll support repeal w ‘sense of the Senate’ that revenues would have to be found,” Clinton wrote. “I’d be open to a range of options to do that. But we have to be careful that the R version passes which begins the unraveling of the ACA,” she continued.

There is no “presuming” that they want failure so they could implement an generally despised single-payer system: that has been the objective from the start. This is how the left gets things people would never accept otherwise: create a catastrophe, then demand they be given even more power so they can be the ones allowed to fix it. Remember the housing crisis and financial markets collapse? More of the same.

Controlling healthcare, currently 1/6 of the US economy, and having the power to make life and death decisions, is incredibly appealing to the people that see the power in government control of institutions that can be used to keep the sheep in line. If it is not obvious to you that once government controls healthcare it will be used as a tool to quiet or control political enemies, just look at the IRS and DOJ scandals.

Fascist Prosecutors Should be Fired

Recently, California passed a law ramping up the penalties for prosecutors who intentionally withhold or falsify evidence. While I think the burden of proof for falsifying evidence should be high, I support heavy punishments for those who do. I’m somewhat inclined to the biblical point of view: if you falsify evidence, you should be punished as the person you tried to frame would have been.

While prosecutorial misconduct (and “papering” judges who call it out) is a problem, there is another problem with prosecutors that need to be addressed and that is the ongoing use of the office to carry out political agendas or to punish people the prosecutor doesn’t like. I’ve spoken before about the state Attorneys General who are attempting to prosecute organizations and companies that “deny” global warming. But the most recent example involves Backpage:

For the past five years, pompous politicians have repeatedly attempted to bully and threaten Backpage into removing its designated escort ad section in the same way they terrorized Craigslist into doing it, and like all bullies they’ve grown increasingly crimson-faced and apoplectic as the Backpage has not only ignored their toothless threats, but beaten them at every turn in court. The reason this has happened is that career politicians are narcissistic sociopaths who can’t grasp when they’re in the wrong and are no more capable of rethinking their tactics than a tribe of rather slow-witted gibbons might be; because Craigslist backed down after a bit of posturing and saber-rattling, naturally the politicians assumed the same schoolyard tactics would work on Backpage.

The AGs alledge that Backpage is being used to traffic sex slaves, a claim for which there is no evidence. In fact, Backpage works with authorities, providing them information on ads they think involved underage or exploited girls. This cooperation reached the predictable result when the AGs of Texas and California issued arrest warrants for Backpages CEO on “pimping” charges. As Elizabeth Nolan Brown details, the evidence backing up these charges is … wanting.

Their “evidence”? It’s… insane. I don’t know how else to describe it other than that. Throughout the complaint, Fichtner uses instances of Backpage cooperating with law-enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in identifying and finding potential victims as evidence that Backpage profits off of exploitation. Backpage is literally rejecting—and turning over to the government—ads that may promote sex trafficking, and the government says, see! proof that sex traffickers love Backpage! Shut it down! It’s like a building owner reporting predatory activity out front and the cops arresting him and tearing up the street corner instead of tracking down the predator.

It also gives lie to the idea that this crusade against Backpage is about stopping the sexual exploitation of children and not eradicating online ads for sexual-services entirely. First, officials went after the “adult services” section on Craigslist. Then they took down sex-ad forum, the gay prostitution site, and escort review forum The Review Board. Next up: Backpage. It’s simply the latest target in the U.S. government’s quixotic and cruel aim to make sex-work as hidden (and dangerous) as possible.

But there’s more to this than just the government’s effort to stop consenting adults from exchanging sex for money. No, this is fascism. And Kamala Harris is a fascist and belongs nowhere near the Senate seat she is likely to win and that she pulled this stunt to get closer to.

Hyperbolic? What Harris (and Texas AG Paxton) are doing is trying to hold a website responsible for the contents of user posts. This is in violation of Section 230 of the CDA, which immunizes websites from being prosecuted for things readers post.

It’s hard to overstate just how insidious an attack on Section 230 is. Section 230 is one of the most important laws defending our free speech. It’s the reason that Jim could not be sued for anything that Alex or I post here (which I’m sure is a tremendous relief to Jim). It’s the reason Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. exist. Without Section 230, any post, any comment, any picture, any article could result in a flurry of lawsuits, mostly designed to silence critics of the wealthy and powerful. Only organization with deep pockets — like the lapdog media — would be able to use the internet.

So yes, I think the fascist iron-tipped boot fits in this case. Kamala Harris and Ken Paxton are using garbage evidence and a moral panic to attack one of the pillars of free speech. Don’t be fooled by their panic-mongering talk of sex slaves. If they gave a damn about that, they’d legalize sex work for consenting adults and find themselves with a hundred times the resources they already have to go after real sexual slavery and abuse. This is about seizing money, this about controlling the behavior of adults, this is about smashing free speech, this is about vaulting one of them into the Senate and one, presumably, into a future governorship or senate seat.

(And while we’re on the subject of fascist prosecutors who should be fired, let’s go after the one who tried to imprison Amy Goodman for reporting on a pipeline protest. The protest is dumb; arresting a journalist for covering it is vile.)

When reality doesn’t back your idiocy…

Alter Reality!:

Whether they admit it out loud or not, many global warming alarmists want more destructive weather events to validate their assumptions. But what happens when they can’t get their “dirty weather,” as Al Gore calls it? Then they’ll just have define down what a disaster is.

Eleven years ago, Gore swore that “the science is extremely clear now.” Global warming was “magnifying” the “destructive power” of the “average hurricane,” he said. Man’s impact on the environment “makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger.”

The weather refused to cooperate with Gore and the U.S. went 11 years without a hurricane making landfall. But Hurricane Matthew renewed the alarmists’ faith in their own nonsense. Acting is if 11 days rather than 11 years had passed, Gore said last week that in Hurricane Matthew, “Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message.” From the same stage in Florida, Hillary Clinton said “Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.” The Washington Post, ever dutiful to the man-made global warming narrative, asked climate scientist Michael Mann (whose hockey stick chart supposedly proves human-caused warming but fails the test for some) about her statement. Naturally, he told the Post she was “absolutely” right.

Strain though they might, they’re not convincing anyone who isn’t already riding along on the climate-change disaster wagon. And they know they’re not. So the climate-hysteria movement needs a new approach. It has to in essence redefine what a hurricane is so that what had before been tropical storms and hurricanes that didn’t make landfall will in the future be catastrophic “hurricanes” or “extreme weather” events that they can point to as proof that their fever dreams are indeed reality.

After Matthew dumped more than 17 inches of rain in North Carolina, science editor Andrew Freedman wrote in Mashable that “it’s time to face the fact that the way we measure hurricanes and communicate their likely impacts is seriously flawed.”

“We need a new hurricane intensity metric,” he said, “that more accurately reflects a storm’s potential to cause death and destruction well inland.”

The current measure is the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, which, according to the National Hurricane Center, provides “a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed.” But if the intensity of a storm is redefined by using other criteria, such as rainfall and storm surge flooding, the game changes.

“So with a new metric, warmists can declare every storm ‘unprecedented’ and a new ‘record,’ ” says Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot and producer of “Climate Hustle,” a movie that “takes a skeptical look at global warming.”

“This is all part of a financial scheme,” says Morano. “If every bad weather event can have new metrics that make them unprecedented and a record, then they will declare it fossil-fuel-‘poisoned weather.’ Warmist attorneys general will use any storm now to get money from energy companies claiming that their company made tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and droughts worse. They will use any bad weather event to shake down energy companies. That is why the extreme storm meme is so important.”

The alarmists need to redefine hurricanes especially now, since the data show that hurricane and tropical storm frequency is “flat to slightly down,” and science — yes, that “settled” field that somehow continues to discover new things — . They still need to hide the decline, except this time the decline that must be buried is in hurricanes, not the temperature record.

They did it with unemployment and other economic measurement units, so why not with this too?

How I’ll Vote

Reason has their annual who we’ll vote for article out in which their writers and associated libertarians reveal who they plan to vote for in this election. I’ve indicated my intension before, but I’ll put it down in one place, answering the same questions the Reason people did.

Who are you voting for? Gary Johnson. He is by far the best candidate on the issues, by far the most qualified and by far the most likable. I realize people think this is a wasted vote; I do not think so. And Pennsylvania is unlikely to be close, in any case. If some combination of Johnson, McMullin and Stein deny Crump a majority, we can deny them a mandate.

Down ballot, I will be voting for Pat Toomey for Senate and Glenn Thompson for the House. Because I think the most important part of this election is having Republicans retain control of Congress.

(I also think the Republican Party may schism after this into a conservative party and a populist one. But that’s a subject for another post.)

Which major-party candidate do you find most alarming? Trump. Clinton is an unprincipled, corrupt, amoral power-grubber whose policies, such as they are, are awful. She’s taking a provocative stance with Russia, has a long history of supporting idiotic foreign adventures, wants to raise taxes and spending out the wazoo and would appoint bad justices to the Court.

But as I said in last month’s posts, in every way that Clinton is bad, Trump is worse. He’s for bigger government, more spending, more debt. He has demonstrated a vindictiveness and a callous disregard for Constitutional restraint. And if I hadn’t been convinced of his mental unfitness, the complete meltdown of the last few weeks would have done it. The only reason to vote for him is SCOTUS justices but a) I don’t think that’s worth the risk; b) I don’t trust him to not appoint outright fascists to the Court who will rubber stamp what he wants to do.

The gripping hand is that there will (hopefully) be a Republican Congress to keep Clinton’s worst instincts in check. They have amply demonstrated that they will not keep Trump in check. They have demonstrated an ability to keep a Democrat in check, having killed efforts at card check, a public option, minimum wage hikes, cap and trade and gun control while cutting spending $700 billion below what Obama wanted.

Who did you vote for in 2012? Gary Johnson. Although in that case, it was because I saw little reason to be apocalyptically alarmed by either candidate. How bad is it that I long for the days of Romney v. Obama?

What will you miss most about the Obama years? Having a President I didn’t despise. I disagreed with Obama constantly, but I felt like he was honest about what he thought, could make his case eloquently and never lost his cool. I never bought into the whole “he hates America!” hysteria. His personal life is pretty much beyond reproach (which was something I liked about Bush as well). Think about listening to Obama speak for the last eight years, then imagine hearing Clinton or Trump speak for the next eight minutes and you’ll see what I mean. In five years, a lot of conservatives will be looking back wistfully on the Obama years, longing for the days when the President was just wrong about everything, rather than being wrong about everything and a piece of shit.

Not surprised to find this out

The left, and in particular the media, have a history of outright lying – fabricating shit – for political advantage, and it looks like that story about Trump manhandling some lady on a plane might be more of that:

Donald Trump’s campaign says a British man is countering claims that the GOP presidential nominee groped a woman on a cross-country flight more than three decades ago.

The man says he was sitting across from the accuser and contacted the Trump campaign because he was incensed by her account — which is at odds with what he witnessed.

“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The Post by the Trump campaign.

In an exclusive interview arranged by the campaign, Gilberthorpe said he was on the flight — in either 1980 or 1981— where Jessica Leeds claimed Trump groped her.

Gilberthorpe, 54, said he was sitting across the first class aisle from the couple and saw nothing inappropriate. Leeds was wearing a white pantsuit, he said, while Trump was wearing a suit and cuff-links, which he gave to his British flight companion.

No idea if this is guy is legit, but considering the media has a history of making up shit to torpedo the democrat’s opposition – from Dan Rather and his made up Boosh shit to the accusations they made against McCain and Romney that all later panned out as false – and the obvious fact that Hillary is a serial liar herself, I would not be surprised this shit, like most of the stuff that comes out of these people’s mouths and minds, are falsehoods.

Anyhow, while everyone is focusing on how Trump talks dirty and might have groped some woman, they all ignore that Bill is a serial rapist and Hillary not just an enabler but someone that has gone out of her way to destroy those that dared point out her husband was a criminal, all the information about the criminal activity of the Obama administration and the Clintons gets ignored.