VP Debate

Just a quick few thoughts, again.

The VP debate rarely matters in an election. And I guess that’s good if you’re a Clinton supporter because Pence beat the crap out of Kaine. Kaine was constantly interrupting, frequently off-topic, vague with details and awkward in his transparent one-liners. By contrast, Pence was focused and prepared. I disagreed with him plenty, but I ended the night with a good impression of where he stands on the issues. I have no idea what Tim Kaine thinks about anything other than, “Donald Trump sucks.”

It was also a good reminder of what the GOP gave up when they nominated Trump. The election is still close — Clinton has surged in the last week but there’s still five weeks left; plenty of time for Trump to come back and win. However, the Pence debate made it really clear that any normal Republican would be crushing this. The only time Pence ever floundered was having to defend Trump: Trump’s statements, Trump’s positions, Trump’s “foundation”, Trump’s businesses. On these, he mainly resorted to “who is this Donald Trump person of whom you speak?” When he was talking about generic GOP policy or about Clinton, it was simply no contest.

I’m also told there was a moderator, but it was hard to tell. Someone seemed to keep asking pointless questions.

The Clinton Tapes

Hot Air has a good roundup of the most interesting quotes from the Clinton campaign audio tape that was leaked last week.

There is a…a strain of, on the one hand, the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates. And on the other side, there’s a just a deep desire to believe that, you know, we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough and we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel.

So as a friend of mine said the other day, I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right and I don’t have much company there. Because it is difficult when you’re running to be president and you understand how hard the job is. I don’t want to over-promise. I don’t want to tell people things that I know we cannot do. I want to level with the American people…and be very clear about the progress I think we can make.

She also gets into how she thinks that Sanders was selling a false promise of political revolution but that she understands why it appeals to young people with poor job prospects.

I would find the tape … reassuring had it been leaked months ago. So much to the point where I’m actually wondering if the Clinton campaign itself leaked this to try to win over moderates. The biggest problem I, and many others, have with the Clinton campaign is its drift to the far Left. It wouldn’t erase the concerns about Clinton’s ethics, temperament, corruption and history of bad decisions. But … it would be better than all that combined with a Far Left agenda.

However … Clinton ultimately embraced Sanders’ agenda. She let him write the party platform and she’s running on the very promises she once said were impossible (mainly because they are). If she wins the election … give me a second to choke down my bile … she will be expected to deliver this. And if, God forbid, she had a Democratic Congress, she might be able to. So for all the “pragmatism” she might be expressing in this audio, it means very little as far as practical politics.

Ultimately, this reveals that while Clinton does show an understanding of the limits of politics, she is perfectly willing to sell any pragmatism down the river if it gets her closer to power. It shows someone who can not be trusted. Because the second she feels her power slipping, she’ll geek for whatever cause is in the air.

Scientific American Drifts From Science

A few weeks ago, Scientific American sent twenty questions to the four Presidential candidates, asking for their policy positions on scientific issues. I think that’s a fine idea. The next President will control billions of dollars in federal funding for science, have to set priorities for our various department and agencies that do science and have to deal with scientific issues like disease, vaccines and climate change. These questions won’t reveal much about what the candidates think, but will reveal the kind of people they surround themselves with who actually write the answers. Are they surrounding themselves with real scientists or cranks? Big government lackeys or free market gurus? Earth-first idiots or global-warming-is-a-fraud crackpots?

Having read through the answers, it’s about what I would expect. It’s mostly pablum but gives you a general sense of their philosophies. Clinton thinks government can solve everything, Johnson is very in favor of free markets, Stein is a crackpot and Trump is kind of all over the place. All show some grasp of the issues but differ on their approaches. In terms of the quality of answers, I would rank them Johnson, Clinton, Trump, Stein, but … that is an entirely subjective rating. I rate Johnson high because I favor free markets and Stein low because she’s a crank who favors massive government intervention in everything.

Well, that wasn’t enough for Scientific American, who decided to “grade” the candidates on their answers. They rated Clinton highest (64 points), Stein (44 points), Johnson (30) and Trump (7). But their ratings having nothing to do with the actual science and everything to do with politics.

Both Trump and Johnson are hit for favoring free market approaches to climate change. Why? Because Scientific American doesn’t think the free market can handle climate change. Maybe it can’t, but that’s an opinion not a fact. It’s fine for pundits to have opinions but SA is presenting this as though it is some kind of objective analysis, which it clearly is not.

It get worse. They are heavily biased against Trump, frequently giving him zeros on issues where he’s not entirely wrong. They give him 0 points on education because he favors bringing more market forces to bear on education. Trump may be right or wrong on that (I think he’s right) but they bash him because ITT folded and Trump University was a scam. This has nothing to do with what Trump said. It’s bashing him for things he said outside of the forum and for issues unrelated to what he’s talking about. If you’re going to hit Trump for the failure of ITT (which he had nothing to do with), why not hit Clinton for taking millions in “for profit” college money? Clinton and Trump give basically the same answer on nuclear power, but Clinton gets two points and Trump gets one because reasons. On scientific integrity, they give Trump 0 points because … Politifact has rated a lot of his utterance as untrue. Look, I’ll be the first to call Trump a liar but this has nothing to do with his answers to this specific question. It’s ridiculous.

But it gets even worse. On nuclear power, they give Jill Stein 2/5 points. Jill Stein’s answer on nuclear power is one of the worst answers the entire debate. She plans to shut nuclear power down based on junk science and favors on-site storage based on junk science. Her proposal would almost certainly make climate change worse, not better. And if we’re going to judge candidates by what they’ve said elsewhere, she once claimed nuclear power plants were bombs. Stein is a complete crank on nuclear power. There is no way she should get any points on this. She also get 2/5 on food, even though she’s a complete crank on GMOs and farming.

Nowhere is this bias more visible than the question on vaccines. Trump is given 1/5 for occasionally engaging in anti-vaccine nonsense. But Stein is given 3/5 when her entire party is devoted to anti-vaccine nonsense; nonsense she has not seen fit to dispel. Seriously, Scientific American? Seriously?

I’m glad someone is asking the candidates questions about science policy. But Scientific American needs to just lay out the questions and answers and leave it that. We do not need this kind of biased analysis showing up in a supposedly scientific magazine. Write about it on Politico or Daily Kos or whatever.

You might wonder why this set me off. It’s because this is one of the biggest problems facing science today: the efforts by scientists and scientific publications to wed scientific facts to political opinions. This shows itself most thoroughly in the debate about global warming where disagreeing with left wing policy solutions to global warming is considered a form of “denial” on par with claiming the planet isn’t actually warming. The debate over global warming (and a host of other issues) would be light years easier if we separated those two; if we said “you can accept that global warming is real and not accept my solutions to it”. SA’s “grading” of the answers to the science debate is just the latest in the misguided philosophy of mistaking opinions about scientific issues for facts about scientific issues. And it needs to stop. These issues are way too important.

This must be what they meant when they made the ludicrous claim Obamacare would make healthcare affordable

So the WaPo is running an article titled “Obama administration may use obscure fund to pay billions to ACA insurers” which basically tries to make the criminals in the WH look like heroes, because they have found a way to circumvent congress and the will of the plebes:

The Obama administration is maneuvering to pay health insurers billions of dollars the government owes under the Affordable Care Act, through a move that could circumvent Congress and help shore up the president’s signature legislative achievement before he leaves office.

Justice Department officials have privately told several health plans suing over the unpaid money that they are eager to negotiate a broad settlement, which could end up offering payments to about 175 health plans selling coverage on ACA marketplaces, according to insurance executives and lawyers familiar with the talks.

The payments most likely would draw from an obscure Treasury Department fund intended to cover federal legal claims, the executives and lawyers said. This approach would get around a recent congressional ban on the use of Health and Human Services money to pay the insurers.

I mean, why not? Aren’t these the same people that paid off Iran and lied about what they were doing to convince people that had stopped Iran from pursuing a nuke and missiles to get them on target, only for us to find out Iran is going right ahead with more of the same and now also grabs US citizens as hostages, because these morons will pay ransom money to avoid us finding out we were had? Isn’t this the same administration that told the FBI to let that criminal Clinton break the law and commit acts that should have resulted in her inability to ever hold any kind of security clearance as well as spend time in an orange jump suit making license plates, because if they had gone after her Obama would have gone down too for knowing this was happening and then lying about not knowing? It was this administration that has set new records for law breaking and abrogation of powers to the executive after the lot of them spend 8 years whining about evil Boosh and promising they would fix everything and also be totally transparent about it?

The lesson here is a simple one: never trust the left. They are liars, crooks, and will always do whatever it takes, because to them the end justifies the means. Nothing should frighten you more than some credentialed collectivist twit telling you they are doing something to help you. What they are doing is to help themselves, and you are sure to be fucked over in the process, sooner than later. Guaranteed.

First Debate Thoughts

  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • Judged as as pure debate, Clinton “won” as far as that goes. You can tell because the conservative blogs are calling it a draw. She didn’t get rattled. She appeared almost human. Her answers were coherent if alarming. Trump held his own for thirty minutes. But, as I suspected, having a one-on-one debate meant his catch phrases began to wear thin after a while. His ignorance of policy and his tendency to shaft other people kept coming back up. Trump avoiding rising to Clinton’s bait a few times, but he did bite more than once and was on the defensive a lot. This is was clearly intentional from Clinton because the one thing we know about Trump is that he can. not. let. anything. go.
  • That said, I don’t know how much of a difference it will make. Trump has been exposed as a lair, a fraud and a policy ignoramus for months now. His core supporters simply do not care. They either despise Clinton more or cling to the strange belief that he will trash the system without also trashing the country. He could literally have spent the entire 90 minutes masturbating and they wouldn’t have cared.
  • I thought Holt did an OK job. He mainly let the candidates go at each other, which is a format I prefer. There’s been some criticism of him for not going after Clinton (bringing up Benghazi, etc.). There’s legitimacy in that. It seemed odd to press Trump on his support for the Iraq while ignoring the woman who voted for it. But … most of the things that put Trump on the defensive were brought up by Clinton. Trump punched back a few times, making Clinton talk about the e-mail scandal. But he spent so much time trying to weasel about his tax returns, his bankruptcies, his birtherism that he wasn’t able to push her on other issues.
  • I suspect Trump will do better in the next debate because Conway will make sure he stays on the offensive.
  • What was with the sniffing? Based on the internet speculation about Clinton, I’m going to assume that Trump has Ebola.
  • Trump has already surrendered much of the conservative agenda. Among other things, he called for massive investments in “infrastructure”, mandated paid parental leave, restricted trade and more gun control.
  • In fact, I challenge anyone to go through that debate transcript and find anything either candidate said about basic freedoms. The subjects of mass surveillance, the War on Drugs and mass incarceration weren’t touched on. Foreign wars were barely mentioned and the only in the past tense. Obamacare wasn’t really addressed. Regulation wasn’t really addressed. What this came down to was which candidate is most qualified to tighten the screws on our liberty.

Avenger Endorsement

What, it’s a surprise that Tony Stark prefers Trump?

Stark is first and foremost a business man, a self made business man(yeah, he did build that). A big proponent of the 2nd Amendment (and whatever gadget he designs that makes a loud boom and kills bad guys), he wants the freedom to run his company the way he wants with as little government interference as possible. And when all is accomplished he would like to pass on his wealth to the little Iron Men in his brood without Hillary’s 55% death tax staring him in the face. Comic book heroes understand freedom and the American way, they exhibit qualities of character, honor, and courage Hillary only reads about in books, while whispering under her breath ,”Suckers”.

So the big debate tonight. No doubt it will get huge ratings, but for me, I’m a bit MEH. It was tantalizing when Trump was Trump, but now that he has official handlers and wants to act all presidential, I suspect Snooze City. The first 15 minutes will tell the tale. If he does not hit her hard (something McCain and Romney were too scared to do) over the oceans of possibilities, I will probably switch over to football. If we don’t get the bombastic Trump, the guy that verbally destroyed all the other GOP contenders, if we don’t get hair pulling and eye gouging, why bother?

I hope he gets elected just for this

Just so we can finally have someone have a politician that can claim they reduced the rediculously large size of a bureaucratic, inefficient, politically biased, corrupt, and largely inept government and be right about it. And all we would need is for Trump to be elected!

If you needed more proof our government was not serving us citizens, shit like this should leave you with no doubt that Leviathan could stand to shed some of the bloat. Yeah, I know that Trump’s election would only remove 25% of its size 9if these shitbags actually were kind enough to keep their word), and I personally would prefer to see at least half of it, if not more, go up in smoke. I wonder if these idiots would also move to Canada and do the country a double service!

Tight As A Drum

In 2016, Hillary Clinton has:

  • An arguable structural advantage in the electoral college.
  • An incumbent President with an approval rating in the high 50’s.
  • A media almost united behind her.
  • An historically awful Republican candidate: a deeply disliked two-bit conman who knows nothing about policy and has a poor ground game in battleground states.
  • A big funding advantage.

And, as of this morning, the campaign is basically a toss-up, according to 538’s analysis. There was a reason the Democrats rejected her in 2008 in favor of a freshman Senator. There was as reason the Democrats almost rejected her this year in favor of a 74-year-old crackpot Senator from Vermont. And that reason is not her extra X-chromosome. It’s because she’s a poor politician.

Vindicated yet again? What difference at this point does it make?

So we now get conclusive proof that our suspicion that “the FBI investigation of EmailGate was a sham“, bears out:

From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.

This week, however, we learned that there is actually no mystery at all here. The FBI was never able to get enough traction in its investigation of EmailGate to prosecute anybody since the Bureau had already granted immunity to key players in that scandal.

Granting immunity is a standard practice in investigations, and is sometimes unavoidable. Giving a pass to Bryan Pagliano, Hillary’s IT guru who set up her email and server, made some sense since he understands what happened here, technically speaking, and otherwise is a small fish. The wisdom of giving him a pass now seems debatable, though, since Pagliano has twice refused to testify before Congress about his part in EmailGate, blowing off subpoenas. Just this week the House Oversight Committee recommended that Pagliano be cited for contempt of Congress for his repeated no-shows. That vote was on strictly partisan lines, with not a single Democrat on the committee finding Pagliano’s ignoring of Congressional subpoenas to be worthy of censure.

So there you have it. It was rigged from the jump, and the reason why is obvious: this country is run by crooks and has basically become a banana republic. The law is only for the plebes. Our political aristocracy, well some people connected to the Democratic Party and those in that party holding the highest jobs, are above it all. They can do whatever they want, especially the criminal stuff, and get away with it.

There was never going to be any investigation, because it would have led to Obama’s door. The Clintons knew this. So this corrupt administration had the FBI do a Kabuki show for the plebes, and then swept the crimes under the rug. Our legal system is not to be trusted anymore. And our political class is definitely degenerated into a criminal enterprise run by a bunch of families that give the Mafia a run for their money. What as shame. I guess this is what fundamental change looks like. And don’t expect the press to cover this and feel used and disgusted because of the lies and being taken advantage off. My guess is that the press knew this was happening all along and went with it, because they only feel crimes can be committed by the political enemies of leftist ideology.

Whenever you hear a leftists preach from his or her soap box about how corrupt the other side is, remember that all they are doing is projecting. They assume because they are doing it the other side is too, or worse, they are basically fooling you into thinking that the unlawful corruption isn’t their doing. These are the people that after all feel it is more important for their ideology to win and are willing to do anything to make it so. Don’t worry though. CM will tell you they are doing great in rigged polls, so all is well and reality doesn’t matter. Dark times are a coming.

P.S. Nixon called. He wants a mulligan, cause he got screwed for far less.