Category: Election 2016

In The News

A few stories I’m following right now:

  • I’ve been critical of some of Trump’s cabinet choices. But my first impression of Mattis, the proposed Secretary of Defense, is positive. He opposes torture, supports a two-state solution for Israel, recognizes that the Iran deal is flawed but that tearing it up would be a mistake. His approach to Iraq was a big reason the surge worked and his musings show an active and sharp mind. He has been willing to praise or criticize politicians from both sides. Moreover, Trump said that one thing that impressed him was that Mattis opposes torture, which Trump ostensibly favors, and made a good argument against it. One of the big concerns with a President is that he will surround himself with Yes Men. Mattis is definitely not a Yes Man. He’s a good choice. But the thought process behind the pick is also encouraging.
  • Of course, he’s still thinking about Bolton for State, so it’s not all roses.
  • Trump sent out a tweet the other day saying that flag burning should be banned and come with a loss of citizenship. You can pretty much guess my response to this: I’m with Scalia.
  • Of course, Hillary Clinton her own damned self once co-sponsored an anti-flag burning bill. No matter what Trump does, let’s not lose sight of what the alternative was like.
  • Neither Obama nor Biden will attend Castro’s funeral. Good.
  • Trump’s deal to keep Carrier from shipping jobs to Mexico (actually, Pence’s deal) does not impress me. It’s a $7 million tax break specifically for Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in Indiana. It’s crony capitalism and an example of what we shouldn’t be doing. We have an entire economy run on backdoor tax breaks, regulatory holidays, subsidies and special dispensations. What we need to do is make America a better place for all businesses through comprehensive and universal regulatory and tax reform.
  • However, I suspect the Carrier deal is a preview of Trump’s Presidency. He’ll make a huge fuss about little things he does like saving a thousand jobs, to give the impression that he’s doing good (which, to be fair, all Presidents do). The real good will have to come from Congress, who have the power to unshackle our economy.

As Jane’s Law Turns

For the last eight years, you may have heard, the Right Wing has been crazy. At least, that’s what the media assured us. And to be fair, there was some craziness out there: conspiracy theories about Obama, the tendency to infer nefarious motives to Democrats, etc. But I saw this less as a manifestation of Right Wing insanity and more of a manifestation of Jane’s Law:

The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

You see, I’ve been blogging a long time, since Bush’s first term. And I remember how crazy the Left was when Bush was in power. I remember a plurality of Democrats thinking Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11. I remember them saying we invaded Iraq to enrich Hailburton. I remember the Bushitler signs. I remember the claims that Bush was “gutting” spending he was massively increasing. And I especially remember that the only e-mail threat I’ve ever gotten was from a liberal angry at something I’d written on Moorewatch.

Right now, the media is all up in arms about “fake news”, the supposed apotheosis of Right Wing insanity. I find this concern utterly hilarious from a movement that made fakes news shows like The Daily Show their standard bearers. I find it hypocritical from the people who made serial confabulator Michael Moore the most successful documentary filmmaker in history. I find it bizarre coming from the likes of Vox, which frequently writes factually challenged articles that play to their liberal biases. There was an NPR article that said that fake news sites don’t do as well with liberals (hello? The Onion?). But even if that’s true, it’s mainly because liberals have been in power for eight years, at least at the Presidential level.

So I’ve been wondering since the election: how long would it take for the Left to go nuts, now that they’re out of power? How long before Jane’s Law is applied in the other direction? The answer is: not long.

My canary in the coal mine is Snopes, whose debunkings have slowly been shifting toward debunking nonsense and fake news about Donald Trump (e.g., Ivanka said she’d mace him if he wasn’t her father). But the real manifestation is in the current push for electoral recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We’ve gone through several stages here of increasing insanity and hypocrisy:

  • Before the election, Trump complained that the system was rigged. Many left-wing sites did sterling work debunking this. They also mocked Trump as a sore loser and castigating him for questioning the integrity of the election and endangering democracy.
  • Then, last weak, based on poor analysis of election returns, a computer scientist started claiming that the election may have been hacked by Russia. He’s since backed off a bit since people who actually know stuff about elections pointed out that the “discrepancies” in the election returns were actually differences in demographics.
  • At first, this was ignored. Clinton didn’t touch it. Some said it probably wasn’t hacked but maybe we should recount just to be sure. But over the Thanksgiving break, the roof caved in. Jill Stein called for a recount in Wisconsin and raised $7 million from Democrats to … well, it’s not really clear what that charlatan is using the money for. But Democrats sure gave her a hell of a lot of it. Now the Clinton camp is joining in, kinda, and many Democrats are openly saying the election might have been hacked.
  • Of course, this is not portrayed in the same way Trump’s ramblings were. Suddenly, calling an election rigged isn’t threatening our democracy; it’s strengthening it! Calling for a recount in a state decided by 60,000 votes or more isn’t being a sore loser; it’s testing the system!
  • The hypocrisy reached full circle today. Trump responded to the recount requests by tweeting out quotes from Clinton criticizing his complaints about a rigged election. He then tweeted that he would have won the popular vote had not three million illegal aliens voted for Clinton. There is zero evidence to supports his allegation. It appears to have originated in a few random tweets. But suddenly, the same commentators who were solemnly calling for a recount started blasting Trump for having the temerity to question the election. How dare he!

Here’s but one example of the response picked almost at random:

Krugman, BTW, went on a multi-tweet rant the other night about how important it was that we do a recount to insure the integrity of the election.

The lack of self-awareness here is simply stunning.

Look, I don’t like Trump either. And I’ll admit that, on election night, I entertained the idea that a Russian hack was responsible for the surprising result. But by the next morning, I realized that I’d spent the last few weeks reading up on just how hard it would be to do that. Not impossible, but very hard. But even if you think a Russian hack were possible, how you can you go, in the span of a couple of days, from promulgating conspiracy theories to denouncing them? It’s madness.

Look, maybe the Russians did hack the election. And maybe millions of illegal aliens voted. But without evidence — not speculation, not random blips on maps, not random tweets — real, solid evidence, I’m not going to proclaim the election results to be a fraud. Prove either assertion beyond a reasonable doubt and I’ll happily eat some crow and then join the pitchfork parade.

But please don’t sit there and tell me how reasonable and rational you are when you embrace one conspiracy theory while swatting down another. And please don’t tell me how reasonable and rational you are when you give $7 million to a grifter like Jill Stein on the desperate hope that your conspiracy theory is real. Maybe there’s something to it. But you’re not carefully and calmly considering the evidence. You’re going down a rabbit hole into madness.

The Indecorous President

As echoed by every single Trump voter on this site, the gold medal of Trump winning the election was that Hillary didn’t. A collective sigh was heard through out the country, she can now go away, snuggle up to her $millions, kick Bill out to the dog house, have Huma move in, whatever she wants, just have her removed from our sight and our ears and we are all happy.

And as with presidents, a certain decorum is expected, precedent has been set and for the most part followed, at least by the Republicans. The old guy ushers in the new guy, photos are taken in the rose garden, and all work towards a smooth transition. Then, on Jan 20th, the old guy rides into the sunset, he keeps his trap shut and allows the new guy to work his way into the job. This is how it’s been done, followed, and respected, minus Bill Clinton of course. But looky here, Obama has decided to set all that in it’s head, he likes the soapbox and will not just go away;

With Ma Clinton rebuked and put away wet and the far left superstars Bernie Sanders and Lizzy Warren circling Political Jupiter somewhere, it looks like Barky will try and set himself up as the reasoned voice of the Democrats. When asked if he will be like former President George W. Bush and pledge to stay out of politics and not criticize decisions made by his successor his answer was no surprise for the guy who believed he was always the smartest in the room.

Some excerpts;

Look, I said before, President Bush could not have been more gracious to me when I came in

But being gracious has never been part of his character, so he will not follow suit.

As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country

So Bush was not an American citizen or did not care deeply for his country.

if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it is necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it comes.”

Oblivious to the fact that Trump voters do not share his values or ideals (kinda like the whole purpose of elections since sometimes folks want a change of direction).

More of that liberal arrogance ,”I’m right, and if it takes longer than 8 years to prove it, so be it”, that or ,”Crap, Trump is going to ruin my Legacy and undo all my executive orders, I better stick around”.

But don’t weep for the Obama’s, they just bought their 5th home in about the whitest neighborhood on the planet, yea diversity.

OK, that was actually a good move

Everyone here knows that I have very little love for Ryan these dahys, but when he does something right, I will give him his props. From the article:

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday persuaded Republicans to postpone votes on bringing back legislative earmarks until 2017 after reminding members of President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington.

House Republicans were set to hold a secret ballot on changes to their internal conference rules that would have allowed lawmakers to direct spending to projects in their districts under certain circumstances.

Based on what lawmakers were saying in the meeting, “it was likely that an earmark amendment would have passed,” according to a source in the room.
“Ultimately, the Speaker stepped in and urged that we not make this decision today,” the source said.

Behind former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Republicans banned earmarks after winning the House in 2010 and have stuck by that policy despite grumbling from both sides of the aisle.

I am glad Ryan put an end to this terrible, terrible idea, and very impressed he did it for the right reason. I am really, really angry that the republican establishment douche-bags thinks it is time to bring back pork barrel spending now that they are in the majority. WTF, have you not glommed that the fact so many people voted for Trump was precisely this sort of statist waste, you fucking idiots?

With the GOP now set to control both Congress and the White House next year, some Republicans are agitating for change.

Reps. John Culberson of Texas, Mike Rogers of Alabama and Tom Rooney of Florida filed an amendment to GOP rules that would ease the earmark ban by creating a new process for targeted spending.

A separate proposal by Rooney that focused more narrowly on Army Corps of Engineers projects appeared to have the votes to pass on Wednesday, several lawmakers said.

Not only no, but hell no. As was pointed out before: no matter how good the original intention of the idea – and I am not saying these people have good intentions at all, and suspect they are teeing this up this way precisely because they can get the votes from others that actually in this one case see this as a good move – it will end up abused.

Short cuts even for what some might believe to be good things, just leaves the door open for others that later come along, to do bad things, as a lot of liberals, driven psychotic because Trump inherited the government machine they just spent the last 8 years weaponizing to force thing their way, are now realizing.

Mo earmarking. Despite all the arguments that it is needed to make some thing move faster, this idiotic practice is all but guaranteed to devolve back into what it was: a machine to allow those that use that practice to collect campaign money by pushing for pork barrel spending at the tax payers expense.

Here is some advice Mr. Ryan: never let this shit come back under the “Drain the swamp” administration. if you do, I am going to assume you did that because you wanted to sabotage this move to defang the establishment.

For the “Not my president” douchebags

Loser

Loser

BTW, read up on this, before you start spouting how it was the deplorables that elected Trump. These people voted for Obama, then saw what he did, hear how Clinton wanted to double down on the shit Obama did, and said fuck off. Of course to the left, that makes them suddenly people motivated by vile reasons…

On Restraining Government

All right, I know I’m breaking my bogging hiatus after one entire day (almost), but I did want to make an important point.

One of the responses to concerns over what exactly a Trump Administration will do is to say, “Well, the system has checks and balances in it. Congress will have its say. The Courts will have their say. The system is very robust.”

This is, to put it mildly, high-falutin’ bullshit.

Yes, our government technically has a lot of restraints on its power — the Bill of Rights, checks and balances, the rule of law, SCOTUS. But these restraint are not laws of nature; they only work when our leaders observe certain political norms. And as we have seen many many many many times in the past, ambitious or dictatorial politicians can violate those norms whenever it suits them.

The Constitution was no impediment when Andrew Jackson (to whom Giuliani recently compared Trump) sent thousands of Native Americans to die on the Trail of Tears. The Court actually ruled against Jackson and he ignored it.

The Constitution was no impediment to Lincoln when he shut down opposition newspapers, imprisoned opposing politicians, coerced Maryland into not seceding and suspended Habeas. Quite the contrary, the Court and the Congress completely acquiesced.

The Constitution was no impediment to Wilson when he nationalized industries, jailed dissenters and imposed a draft.

The Constitution was no impediment to Roosevelt when he completely rewrote the Constitution, massively expanded government and stayed in office for life.

The Constitution was no impediment to Bush when he tortured people. Or Clinton when he started wars without Congressional approval. Or Obama when he expanded mass surveillance. It did not stop Kennedy or Nixon or Johnson or Clinton or Obama abusing the power of government to punish their enemies. And there is no constraint — formal or otherwise — over the President’s power to use nuclear weapons.

The Constitution is not a magic spell. It only works when our politicians observe certain norms and agree to abide by it. And it really only works when we the people force them to abide by it. And we the people have a really shitty record of holding politicians’ feet to the fire, especially when they are of our political tribe.

I’m not saying Trump is necessarily going to be a dictator. He’s not even President yet. What I am saying is that I’m not impressed by the safeguards built into the system and their ability to stop Trump (or Clinton, had she been elected) to do what they want. If you want these safeguards to work, the only way is stop being a piece-of-shit partisan and call out your side when it does bad things. Don’t make excuses. Don’t question people’s loyalty. Hold the politicians’ to the fire. Because that is all we have. Our liberty is too important for a trust fall exercise.

President Trump

I’ll have more thoughts later in the day, including some thoughts on the future of the blog. Right now, the popular vote is tied but Clinton could still win it slightly. So as far as the polling goes, it wasn’t entirely wrong. The result was off by 3 or 4 points, which is a big error, but not historic. The people who projected a 99% chance of a Clinton win, as I said, were too drunk on state polling.

Right now, the Left is melting down, proclaiming that this proves America is a racist misogynistic country. Maybe. But the fact is that only real victories the Democrats have had in the last 22 years — 2006 and 2008) were the result of the disastrous Bush presidency. The Republicans have piled up win after win in Congress and the State Houses. This year, they nominated a woman had trouble winning the NY senate seat in 2000, lost a gift-wrapped nomination in 2008 and was just humiliated by a semi-coherent hamster.

Maybe they need to rethink their approach to this whole politics thing.

Election Open Post

Use this post to discuss the returns as they come in. My prediction for the Presidential race:

Clinton 49
Trump 46
Johnson 4
Others 1

With Clinton winning about 300 votes in the electoral college. But as I noted last week, no results — from a Trump win to a Clinton landslide — would surprise me.

I expect the Republicans to hold the House and barely lose the Senate. I expect marijuana legalization to make some keys wins and for Colorado’s socialized medicine to go down in flames.

Results as they come in.

I’m just … well, right now … I’m just so fucking glad it’s almost over.

They told me if Donald Trump was elected…

Because he was such a belligerent buffoon, he was almost certain to start WW3. Then again, news like this, coming from the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s administration, where then SecState Clinton showed her awesome diplomatic skills and “reset” the frayed relations evil warmongering Boosh so damaged with the Russians. shit, I remember the current Community Organizer in Chief and the wanna-be crime syndicate kingpin that wants to get the job mocking those that warned the reset had failed and in fact had caused relations to really sour. I guess this sort of stuff makes sense if you have the ability to see the nuance in things. At least that’s what the collectivist crime syndicate tells us rubes when we try to point out their dissonance and discorded bullshit.

I am going what I have seen from Obama. He promised to stop all the strife, heal the world, and stop the rising oceans, only to start even more wars than war mongering Boosh. Shit, he even managed to un-win both of those wars Boosh started and had all but wound down, despite the treasonous attempts by the left to make them fail. Now the Middle East is a disaster, Iraq and Afghanistan are firmly in the loose column, with Egypt (Arab spring baby!), Libya (where they went to war so a Clinton partner-in-crime could make money on oil), and Syria all turned into disastrous war zones. Iran is getting a nuke, Saudi Arabia is fighting the Iranians in Yemen, Turkey clearly is heading down the path to an Islamic dictatorship after what now looks like a clearly staged coup attempt that allowed Edrogan to purge his political enemies, and Israel is waiting for Obama to screw them one last time on the way out.

Things are not better elsewhere either. North Korea is still a huge problem. The Philippines is shifting towards China, Japan and South Korea are thinking they may need their own nukes because the US can’t be trusted (and they are right), Russia as shown above is causing trouble, and there are scores of other hot spots across the globe where a military forced to keep a ridiculously high tempo and is wearing down the people and gear it has are being told to do more with less. In fact, the world is probably in a more precarious and dangerous situation – due to lack of leadership from someone I will leave unmentioned – than it was since the Cold War. And maybe it is even worse than that. not that things are very good here at home either. Rigged primaries, rigged campaigns, cheating and lying, abuse of power and blatant banana republic legal challenges, all hidden by a complicit group of propagandists claiming to be objective.

What you didn’t know any of that? Maybe that was because of the DNC operatives with bylines now finding no reason to complain about the US being belligerent. After all, these are not really war-wars, and this strife can’t be blamed on the inept foreign policy of th last 8 years, right? Obama, and by definition both his previous and future SecStates, are doing it for peace! Not to steal oil, or avenge daddy, or whatever other stupid trope the left fed people back when. Hillary, having such a long and distinguished resume of great achievements, will fix it all!

No matter who wins this election, Americans lose. I guess the choice is between which one will do the least damage, and I that those of you thinking that will be Clinton need to lay off whatever controlled substance you are abusing.

Some Thoughts on The Polls

There’s a nerd fight going on between Nate Silver and several other analysts about how to interpret the Presidential election polls. Silver is projecting Clinton as having about a 65% chance of winning. HuffPo and Princeton are projecting her at 98%. I have some thoughts over at my personal blog:

Put aside everything you know about the candidates, the election and the polls. If someone offered you a 50-to-1 or a 100-to-1 bet on any major party candidate winning the election, would you take it? I certainly would. I would have bet $10 on Mondale in 1984 if it was a potential $1000 payoff. And he lost by 20 points.

It seems a huge stretch to give 98 or 99% odds to Clinton, considering:

  • Clinton has never touched 50% in the poll aggregates.
  • There are still large numbers of undecideds and third party supporters who will doubtless vote for one of the two candidates (and Trump’s recent surge has come from fleeing Johnson voters).
  • We have fewer live interview polls now than we did in 2012.
  • As Nate Silver noted, the average difference between final polls and the election has been about two points.

Basically, I think Wang and HuffPo are not accounting enough for the possibility that the polls are significantly off. In the last 40 years, we’ve had one Presidential election (1980) where the polls were off by a whopping seven points. That’s enough for Trump to win easily (or for Clinton to win in a landslide).

HuffPo’s analysis seems kind of bizarre to me, actually. They currently have Clinton up 5 points in the polls. There is not a single national poll that as Clinton up by that much right now. The average polls advantage for Clinton is two points. Silver estimates that corresponds to a real advantage of three. If he’s right, Clinton has an advantage but any outcome is possible.