Monday, August 29, 2016

Loads of good posts

My tab bar is overflowing. Time to clean it up, share, and let this post be the archive.

The tracking average of polls that I've been using is from RealClearPolitics. I like the readability.

Perhaps the best post of all of these: Avik Roy, a conservative with a focus on medical policy, talks about how the GOP and conservatives have become a cloak for white nationalism. The leadership of the party winked at concerns about racism and lack of appeal to minorities, so they didn't see the extent to which it was happening... until this year. My prediction is that the GOP has at least another 4 years of chaos ahead before there is any semblance of unity.

At National Review, there is a long but fast-paced article about the problems with conservative media. The overwhelming problem is that non-conservatives don't get their news and don't trust conservative sources. Then the author inadvertently show why people shouldn't trust conservative media source when he talks about coverage of economics. He used a purely statistical argument to conclude Obama has done worse with the economy, ignoring the context that Obama inherited the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. By the same author, conservative media personalities enrich themselves and conservative media is a hive of charlatans. Conversely, the liberal media has been crying 'wolf' for years before they got someone like Trump who is actually terrifying.

We can't leave the topic of conservative media without some schadenfreude at the infighting between various conservative media outlets over whether Trump is great or an abomination.

All politicians tend to ignore issues that show their weakness. According to Kilgore, terrorism is a weakness among Dems. I agree. It's a serious issue that any government in power needs to deal with. Don't stand there pretending that there aren't dangers because that's denialism.

Trump calling for his supporters to monitor polling places is not only scary, it may be illegal.

A list of Trump's threats and insults. Another list suggesting 33 actions/statements that Trump might regret if he ever decides to get specific about what he might have said that he regrets.

Finally, a completely different sensibility in the analysis/theory that Clinton is trying to reach out to GOPers instead of tarring them as disgusting Trumpettes.


Update 9/1/16. More on conservative media, seconding what was already written, but maybe a few good points besides. By Bill Kristol's choice for president.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Trump Shitstorm Warning

Trump had a meeting with some Hispanic supporters (snark--it must have been a very small meeting). One of the supporters reported that Trump "regretted having made those comments." Which comments? Oh, just the ones about Mexicans being rapists and drug dealers.

The article is a must-read. Supposedly Trump promised a fair and humane policy concerning illegal immigrants currently in the US.

What is going to happen when Trump is asked about this? Is he going to repeat that his policy will be fair and humane? Allow me to express my doubts. If he were to repeat that his policies for the illegal immigrants already in this country will be fair and humane, that is when the shitstorm will occur. I think it should be here by midweek unless Trump reiterates his opposition to any kind of amnesty and any 'humane' policies. That is my prediction. Stay tuned for updates. (I may have to eat crow.)


Friday, August 12, 2016

Short: More GOPers think Donald is dead

Donald Trump continues to provide most of the fodder for my commentary. Today there's an article about how little hope GOP insiders have, based on surveys of said insiders. Half of them think he's lost already. One question that wasn't asked is whether it would take a miracle for Trump to win--but that's not a very scientific type of question. Nonetheless, Bernstein thinks he's in 'needs a miracle' territory

Good discussion of whether Trump should do the debates and on what conditions.


Update 8/22/16. A ray of hope for Trump and the GOP. More new voters are registering as Republicans than Democrats.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Conservative media lies again Part 537

Alright. I've written before about how MSM lies versus how conservative media lies. I'll repeat it again so no one can accuse me of defending either sort of lie. The MSM lies by skewing what they report, and ignoring or downplaying stories that hurt liberals/progressives. The conservative skews in the same way, but they also report outright lies or fabrications. Their fact-checking is non-existent, and they never apologize for the lies or fabrications they've disseminated.

Ok, that's out of the way. This article discusses several cases of conservative media hyping stories of Clinton's poor health. The Drudge Report, WorldDailyNet, and InfoWars are mentioned.

Plus, there's this claim from a self-declared 'polite' white supremacist. Supposedly the Secret Service carry injectable Valium for Clinton. The evidence is a grainy picture of a person (presumably an agent, but who knows) holding a cylindrical object. It's not clear what he is holding, and certainly not why he is holding it. On this basis, some of the conservative media is making such claims.

Oh, really? Is this any way for a media organization to build credibility? OF COURSE NOT.


Update 8/25/16. Health report covered by non-lying media. Obviously not a conservative media outlet.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Who is the good American?

It looks like the speech by Khizr Khan at the Democratic national convention was a turning point in the presidential campaign. Here is my speculation as to why it was a turning point.

Trump likes to pretend he is the greatest at everything. Khan showed very specifically some ways in which Trump is a faker as a good American.

  • Khan's son was so patriotic that he joined the military, put his life at risk, and in fact lost his life. Trump was a coddled rich boy with draft deferments. None of his children joined the military. Most children of liberals don't join the military either. So who is the good American?
  • Khan had been married to the same woman, who has grown old and rather homely. She is a dedicated to her family, grieves for her son, and isn't vain, self-centered, and focused on her own appearance. In contrast, Trump is currently married to his third trophy wife, a former model who is over 20 years younger than him. So who is the good American?
  • Khan credits this country for his success and the ability of their sons to follow their dreams. He declares: "that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings..." Contrast this with Donald Trump, who gives credit only to himself and his awesome abilities, and doesn't acknowledge the blessings that have come from others. So who is the good American?
  • Khan lists the people/groups Donald Trumps smears and disrespects: women, Muslims, other minorities, judges, and even the GOP leadership. So who is the good American?
  • Khan asks: "Have you even read the United States Constitution?" Trump, who doesn't acknowledge reading, but only watching TV. He probably doesn't carry a pocket copy of the Constitution in his expensive suits (and neither do most Americans, especially liberals). So who is the good American? 
  • Khan asks "Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?" All faiths, genders, ethnicities are found there. Trump has made no sacrifices. Perhaps this was the most scathing of the accusations. But it rings so true. So who is the good American?
Did Khizr Khan finally gets stalling voters/undecideds to see that Trump has no clothes, and is an ugly, empty, grasping fake? Perhaps he did. 

So who is the good American?


Extra. Backstory on how the Clinton campaign learned about the Khan family.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Short: Analysis of Trump's campaign strategy

I've written about Trump's ridiculous political strategy that worked to secure him the GOP nomination. This view is from a different angle, which is how Trump is going to keep voters interested in him. So it's more a media strategy than a political strategy. Short, pithy, informative, and funny in a gut-wrenching way.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Short: Defeat of a Freedom Caucus member

Good article about the ins and outs of how a member of the Freedom Caucus was defeated in a primary challenge. The Freedom Caucus are those members of the House who brought down John Boehner and who support shutdowns, debt default, etc.

Guy in the middle - gone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Crazy week for The Donald

Matt Glassman (via twitter): Is this the stupidest week ever in American politics?

Jonathan Bernstein (via twitter): It's Monday.

Yes, it's been a crazy week. Last Thursday, the father of a Muslim-American US Army captain who was killed in Iraq spoke at the Democratic Convention and attacked Trump for his prejudice against Muslims. Trump unwisely has launched attack upon attack back at this family.

Attacking the grieving families of fallen soldiers--not a good tactic. Has Donald Trump adopted the tactics of the reviled Westboro Baptist Church? So it seems. And the conservative media is supporting him in these tactics.

Last night my sweetie was kept awake following myriad tweets about Trump's campaign falling apart. Campaign aides are suicidal. Paul Manafort, his campaign manager, is 'mailing' it in. Trump is feuding with GOP heavyweights John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and Paul Ryan. The head of the Republican National Committee  (RNC) has called Trump to complain about how he handled the Khan family, and then leaked this information. The RNC has even checked on the official procedure for selecting a new nominee if Trump quits the race. (Source for part of this info.)

Then this morning on Morning Joe, Scarborough revealed that Trump has questioned advisers on why we can't use nuclear weapons since we have them. This is astounding, and the people on Morning Joe were certainly distressed. This is the most terrifying aspect of Trump. He doesn't understand that as president, he needs to be careful not to trigger a chain reaction of nuclear missile launches Because if we start using them, other countries will follow.

Hillary hasn't fared that well this week either. She went on Fox News and doubled-down on some claims that the head of the FBI already said weren't true. However, she also repeated that she wouldn't handle email that way again.

And it was uncovered that the US government sent $400 million to Iran on the same day that they released four American prisoners. Though this looks like a ransom, it wasn't a straight ransom, but part of a series of large deals with Iran settling old issues while setting up a new nuclear agreement.

However, any comparison of Hillary's week and Donald's week has Hillary is the big winner. Will it matter on Election Day? I certainly don't know.

Image: @MEMRIReports

Extras. Lots of other sources. Other Republicans support the Khan family. Trump seeks support from Congress, gets little. GOPers trying to talk sense into Trump. Detailed discussion about Khan from Snopes. Trump against Kelly Ayotte. Campaign woes from Vanity Fair:
"The problem is that Trump watches TV every minute that he isn’t actually on his phone, either talking or tweeting. And then he gets angry at what he sees on TV and reacts."
Update 8/4/16. Was there or wasn't there an intervention of the few GOP leaders that Trump might listen to? Maybe there was, because Trump didn't insult the Khan family in the past 24 hours. However, Gingrich is now sadly admitting that Trump is blowing the campaign. Guiliani says "What intervention? There was no such thing. Trump is a great candidate." Well, something like that.

Update 8/7/16. The Huffington Post has a timeline of Trump's week, including additional gaffes and missteps that are too numerous for me to cover. It's rather stilted, and doesn't note the Trump toed the line on Friday. Still, a fun recounting of the many Donald blunders in an amazing week.

Update 8/8/16. A letter signed by 50 former national security officials says Trump "would be the most reckless President in American history." Maybe he'll retaliate by saying he's 'not there yet' in deciding whether these former officials deserve tickets to the next Miss World contest. This deserves to be a big issue. I wonder if/when it will become so.

Update 8/10/16. Here's a CNN article on GOPers who have declared that they don't support Trump. The list goes on and on. I did eventually get to the end.