October 30, 2016

Democrats stuffing ballot boxes, caught on camera

Voter fraud alive and well in 2016. This is disgusting. How do you know they are Democrats?  If they were Republicans this would be headline news all day, every day.

Sunday verse

October 29, 2016

Clinton News Network Smackdown

Just had to share this.

Are the Obamacare price increase an October surprise for Hillary - from Obama

First of all, just...wow, America:

Seriously though - why was this announced right before the election instead of afterwards if president Obama didn't want to kneecap Hillary Clinton in her run for the White House. This is not something Democrats can swing in their favor at all.

Perhaps Obama preferred Sanders all along.

Basket of Deplorables + Basement Dwellers + FBI redux = Trump

Earlier today I posted a Learning Series post on math.  Here's some more math.  Barring some near term unknown variable, Basket of Deplorables + Basement Dwellers + FBI redux = Trump.

Let me explain the math. Hillary Clinton described Donald Trump supporters a 'basket of deplorables'. She thereby ensured that there won't be a lot of crossover voters from existing Trump supporters at that point.

But that actually wasn't the beginning of it.  Nor was it the end of it.  Her hacked emails show what she really thinks of voters - not just Trump voters, but even her voters.

She doesn't like people unless they supporter unquestioningly.  So she must be truly irate over the latest October surprise from the FBI.

Ouch. Forget everything I've written about the polls to this point.  This is a new race at this point.  Start with Hillary Clinton with a base of support at 40%.  The question is how high above that floor can she keep it with 10 days to go and no upcoming debates.  This will provide a lot of insight to both the sway of the media and their ability to skew public opinion towards Hillary Clinton.

Clearly Clinton is going to demand urgency in resolving and disclosing the details buy the FBI because that's her only play at this point.  That could clearly backfire in a really bad way for her if there's any fire behind the smoke.  I say that because FBI director Comey would not come forward with this at this point if not coming forward until after the election would be a far worse option.  In other words, where there's smoke, there is fire, and the FBI know what the fire is already.

Fasten your seatbelts America, this is going to be a wild week.

Saturday Learning Series - a break from geography

Since Barby at Geography Now is in a research period and a video break it's a good time to look at something other than geography for possibly the first time this year (I may have previously posted a bonus item or two that were not geography).

This time because someone I know is struggling with math, polynomials:

October 27, 2016

Here's why I don't trust the polls

Being objective this (or any) election cycle is difficult.  There's a partisan bias inside everyone, and that's the starting point for all of us (even for those who are supposedly still undecided).  It only gets more challenging from there. Rhetoric is heated and on both sides and often off-the-scale inflammatory in nature.  When it comes to the polls, it's concerning that those conducting the polls share these biases and display proclivities based on those biases or at a minimum based on assumptions that may be guided, at least in part, subconsciously by these biases.

Let me cite one specific example.  The latest ABC News poll  has Clinton leading Trump 48% to 42%, a full 6 points ahead.  Taking that at face value, with only two weeks to go to the election, it seems impossible for Donald Trump to make up enough ground nationally, to win enough states to win the election.  That is, until you drill down just a little bit.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 22-25, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,135 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 36-29-29 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
Take a look at the partisan affiliation split. 36-29-29 Democrats-Republicans-Independents. Seems plausible on the surface - Democrats +7. Except if you look at the latest Gallup survey on partisan split (admittedly from mid-September, but affiliation does not change that quickly) The split is quite different. Gallup has the split 32-27-40. Democrats only +5 and many more Independents which are leaning Trump.

There were 1135 surveyed. Based on the poll's internals, that would mean 409 Democrats, 329 Republicans and 329 Independents. That would leave 68 who were polled who probably refused to state their affiliation. If those numbers were reflective of Gallup's polled mix, there would be 363 Democrats, 306 Republicans and 454 Independents, leaving 12 undeclared.

Interestingly the poll does not give support among the candidates by party affiliation. But if we assume 89% of Democrats will vote for Clinton, 88% of Republicans will vote for Trump and 53% of independents will vote for Trump and most of the remainder will not divulge their vote (these percentages result in a 48% to 42% result per ABC, but this is just to establish a baseline comparison, I'm not trying to correct the poll here, just make a point) then something interesting can be derived.

Simply by adjusting to reflect the Gallup partisan breakdown the Clinton lead drops from 6% to 3%.

That's just one aspect of polls that can easily be skewed by re-weighting only seemingly slightly can dramatically affect the outcome of polling.  A lot of people conflate oversampling with weighting. The Atlantic calls Trump supporters idiots for not getting this - meanwhile they conveniently have glossed over the weighting issue.

The latest ABC poll is just one example.  Weighting this way is best-guessing and other polls could easily have erred similarly in Trump's favor.  The truth is we just don't know.  In fact - maybe Gallup is wrong and the ABC weighting is correct. The point is the polls are all over the place and subject to bias, intentional or not based on how that weighting is applied.  The only way you can account for this is the aggregation of polls and looking at not specifically the margins but the trends.  Polls at least should be internally consistent.  If polls are consistently among themselves showing Clinton pulling ahead, or Trump narrowing the gap, then that's reasonable to believe they are directionally indicative of a trend.  And that's only if the bias is not intentional, as an intentionally skewed poll would probably be adjusted to reflect the desired outcome. Individual polls don't mean a lot trends do.

October 26, 2016

Clinton Campaign Crooks

Project Veritas posts a fourth undercover video, and they're getting more and more frightening in terms of what they are exposing in the Clinton campaign.  This one involves offshore shell companies and wire transfers of money.

The Clinton campaign is distancing itself from those implicated in these videos but CNN is being more proactive - calling James O'Keefe a criminal repeatedly. But he's really not.  The logic is if you can't refute the message, shoot the messenger.  

Social Experiment #2:- Under FBI investigation

Kind of a strange video below.  But it's interesting.

October 25, 2016

Social Experiment #1: Democrats vs Republicans

This speaks for itself. Personally, I've always favored civility.

October 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton wanted ducks on the ground

These videos speak to, among other illegalities, Hillary Clinton involvement in a Donald Duck scandal. No, really.

Part 1 - Inciting violence:

Part 2 - Mass voter fraud:

Part 3 - Hillary was involved:

Is a paradigm shift underway - Part 15

A recommendation on why African Americans should not vote for Hillary Clinton.

October 23, 2016

Is a paradigm shift underway - Part 14

Another African American voter, voting for Trump for solid reasons.

Sunday verse

October 22, 2016

Is a paradigm shift underway - Part 13

Why would black people vote for Hillary Clinton?  This man makes a cogent, intelligent argument. It only leaves me with one question - why do so many African Americans seem to record their videos in their cars? I don't have an issue with it, and it's not a criticism, just an observation and a question.

Warning, there's some language on this video, nevertheless, his points are valid.

Clinton News Network doesn't know it's facts from a hole in the ground

Watch this on the fly fact check and the ensuing surprise that Hillary Clinton's team did indeed destroy phones with hammers.  CNN is so unashamedly in Hillary Clinton's clamp that they don't even bother to find out the facts about her.  It makes them look like absolute idiots when the issue comes up.  And they wonder why they are in last place in Cable News. Maybe if they got back to actual journalism rather than delivering the Wehrmachtbericht of the Clinton campaign they might regain some clout among voters. But we all know that's not going to happen.

Hillary Clinton memes.

Some of the best memes on Hillary Clinton.

Saturday Learning Series - Additional information

It looks like I'm caught up on the Geography Now series, so here's some bonus material in rapid fire format.  Currencies, outlets, airports and animals.

October 20, 2016

That's government for you

Here in Ontario Canada, today was the day students in Grade 10 were supposed to write the provincial literacy test.  I'm not sure if this was the first year it was online or not, but why a government would have every student in the province login to write the test at the same time is beyond me.  Oh wait, it's the government.

The website crashed.

Joe Scarborough nails liberals on hypocrisy on electoral outcome

Joe Scarborough calls the liberal media out with 100% accuracy.

Meanwhile Pat Caddell, Democrat pollster argues that Democrats and liberals have selective memories. Via Breitbart (hear the whole clip there):
“Selective memory is exactly the point” when it comes to the mainstream media’s reaction to Republican nominee Donald Trump suggesting he would wait and see before accepting the election results on November 8.

“All he said was, ‘I’ll wait and see what the results are,’ which is a reasonable position, I suppose,” said Caddell, also pointing out that Democrats challenged the results of the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004.
The media wanted Donald Trump to concede after that question.  He didn't so they took his answer and made that the issue.

Debate wrap; Trump won.

Last night was debate #3 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Short summary - Trump won.  Polls will show the net effect in the coming days.  But while tweets on Twitter by mainstream media suggest Hillary won, their immediate reaction and even focus groups indicate otherwise.

Wait for it - Washington Post visual at the end:

Other mainstream media sources are reporting similar results but a lot of people feel they're in the tank for Hillary. What's more interesting are personal opinions like this one:


Martha Raddatz owned by Gingrich on Media Bias

Gingrich runs circles around Raddatz and she doesn't realize it. Unfortunately, she still manages to use the exchange as an opportunity to share anti-Trump media.

What is Globalism?

A few weeks ago I wrote about Globalism vs Free Trade vs the Trump Train.  But what exactly is Globalism?  Lauren Southern explains the super-centralization that is globalism.

October 19, 2016

State of the polls - October 19th

The final debate is today.  Going into it, I thought the exercise below would be useful, since I suspect  the polls will change in the next week.  Rather than looking at the race today, I thought I'd take a look at the polls themselves and see if there's any accounting for the Hillary Clinton October surge that is seemingly suspect.  A couple of things have jumped out.

Following are polls from the RealClearPolitics average of polls, looked at in isolation. In each case I've looked at polls sectioned into the 1st half /2nd half of each month dating back to June 2016. Let me add a caveat here.  There is an additional overlay that is needed here which is to compare these polls to how they performed or assessed Trump and Clinton in the primaries.  A lot of pollsters predicted Trump's death during the primaries.  Many of those who were wrong are predicting the same now.  And that should be factored in as an adjustment factor here.  I have not had the opportunity to do that here.

Another thing that should be factored in is that the polls don't all share their weighting of polling participants.  They are black boxes and those methodologies definitely can skew results.  Not making that methodology available makes a poll suspect in my eyes, as a hidden methodology allows the opportunity to manipulate results.  In turn, I have also not had the time to review most polling crosstabs where they are available, so there's some culpability on my part as well.

Firstly let's take a look at Rasmussen, a pollster generally regarded as conservative-leaning.  I've selected this one first because there is an obvious point that comes from it.  Here's what a trend of their polls look like.

Rasmussen: Click to enlarge

Forget the trends, look at the x axis.  The last included Rasmussen poll included is from July.  But Rasmussen is still polling to this day. Rasmussen has the race tied.  But it does not reflect in the RCP average anymore.  Why not?  That's strange.

Next let's look at the LA Times polls.  This poll is an outlier as it has Trump leading.  This poll has caught a lot of flack from pollsters and journalists but it has been a consistent methodology poll and therefore can indicate a trend regardless if the polling mix is correct or not.

LA Times: Click to enlarge

To me this poll indicates a narrow "trading range" for each of the candidates : Trump 43 to 46 and Clinton 42 to 45.5 since early August. This poll displays much less fluctuation than other polls and is probably more reflective of decided voters since the same voters are being repeatedly polled whereas in other polls we see a fresh set of voters each time.  The takeaway is that Trump voters are likely not abandoning him.  Rather the question regarding this poll is, "have they selected a truly representative sample of voters?"  

In contrast to the LA Times polls, CNN-related polls tell a different tale.  CNN showed a narrowing race, as did many polls through the first half of September but a suddenly widening gap in October.  That's representative of the RCP average of polls and reflects the narrative that the October surprise of Trump's verbally abusive hot microphone comments.  Is that properly reflecting the present situation?  At odds with the LA Times, that's the real question, which we do not know the answer to as of yet.

CNN: Click to enlarge

CBS, echoes the CNN narrative but with a wider divide throughout,  settling in at 11 points so far.  That seems unrealistically high, nevertheless the trend observed in CNN related polls is echoed here.

CBS: Click to enlarge
Fox News, cognizant of their viewer base but nevertheless an establishment institution mirrors CBS but on a smaller scale - either in an attempt to ameliorate the feelings of their viewers or in an unintentional bias in their polling.  The question is - does the bias overstate or understate Trump support?

Fox: Click to enlarge

Over the last 6 weeks, Fox has had a Clinton lead ranging from 5% to 7%.  Only in the first half of September was the race really tight in their polling.  The consistency mirrors the LA Times a little better than other polls.  That's interesting: (1) is the consistency more reflective of the race than the sudden swings (I believe it probably is) and if so (2) is the Fox polling getting a better or worse sample than the LA Times?

One set of polls I have consistently taken issues with are the NBC-related polls.  Specifically their SurveyMonkey polls I find dubious but in addition the plethora of NBC polls (excluding CNBC and MSNBC) seem to be stacking the RCP averages just because there are so many of them. Nevertheless, despite their almost outlier-esque differentials, take a look a this trend - it's interesting:

NBC: Click to enlarge

Their view of the post Labor Day Trump free fall has him bottoming out in the first half of October and already rebounding. Has their sampling changed?  They seem to be an outlier in terms of a Trump recovery or support turnaround.  On the other hand, they are showing Hillary above 50%.  That's definitely an outlier at this point.  That's not to say it cannot happen and they may be a leading indicator of that but at this point I'd be very reluctant to believe her support has surpassed 50%.

Next up is Reuters.

Reuters: Click to enlarge
What's interesting about Reuters-related polls is that Trump never breaks 40% and Hillary and Trump combined are very low numbers, indicating a large number of undecided and/or other party voters.  Hillary Clinton never breaks 44%. Interestingly, the Trump slump here also appears to reverse in the second half of October.

I also looked at Monmouth and Quinnipiac.  The former interestingly has polls showing up consistently in the latter half of the month and the latter seems to be overdue for another poll.  Both, seemingly refuting my earlier point about Hillary Clinton support not exceeding 50%, so perhaps there is some evidence that should could be there now.  Again, the evidence is thin, but there is more evidence  than I mentioned above.  Take from the two pollster views below, what you will.

Monmouth: Click to enlarge

Quinnipiac: Click to enlarge

If pollsters are skewing results, they will have to rid themselves of their biases over the next two weeks if they wish to maintain an air of expertise.  If the election rolls around and your polls are off - you get hammered. Zogby used to be included in the RCP average but was way off in recent elections and got themselves bumped from not only RCP but from the media in general.  Pollsters don't want that for themselves.
The debate tonight affords them the opportunity to adjust any bias.  If Trump or Hillary Clinton slays the debate, there's an immediate opportunity to adjust accordingly.  But if the polls are prejudicially skewed by the pollsters (say against Trump), and the debate is close to a draw and they have to adjust Trump's support upwards, where does that leave them in explaining the late shift?  Late deciders are breaking for Trump?  That's a tough pill to swallow given the build-up in the narrative to this point.

At this point one thing is clear, the post election poll analysis is going to be a lot to sift through, but it will probably be quite revealing, regardless of who actually wins the election.

October 18, 2016

October 17, 2016

Keepers of the Faith

It's become abundantly clear that the Republican establishment, including the supposedly conservative media outlets like National Review, are no longer the Keepers of the Faith of 'conservative orthodoxy' (a redundant term to be sure).  Perhaps they never really were.

Everyone, including his most ardent supporters, has the understanding that Donald Trump is not a pure conservative, there's .  We get that. But there's more to it than that.  Firstly, conservatives wanted a fighter, after watching John McCain and Mitt Romney buckle like a belt in the face of a liberal media onslaught, anything less would be the equivalent of surrender.  In the GOP primaries, candidate after candidate dropped when they could not stand up to Donald Trump effectively. Eloquence is wasted if it is not effective. The reason Trump won was twofold in that regard.  He would not whither under attack but fight back robustly, and even more importantly, it was and is perceived that he would not roll over and allow the country to slowly sink into a socialist mire.  It's the broader picture of the GOP that they have been bullied into submission not just in elections but in issue after issue.  They no longer stand up for principle.

It was time someone stood up, and the Republican establishment had become too worried about their own circumstance as the loyal opposition to bother to fight for their beliefs.  If they ever did believe in core conservative principles, for most of them it seems, those days are long since gone. Ergo, Trump.  

Trump is not a straight line Republican or conservative.  But the Venn diagram of his common beliefs with those of Republicans conservatives contained enough overlap that the street brawler skills he brought to the table offered more than enough to compensate for his lack of pure conservative credibility on every issue.  Trump is an imperfect vessel.  But the GOP establishment is seen as a completely broken vessel from Paul Ryan to even, increasingly, Fox News.

Which brings us to the other reason that the flight from Republicanism has occurred among the conservative voter base.  The GOP establishment ran away from it first, in principle. So why stick with them? And with the ascendancy in the GOP of Trump's brand of populist, nationalist demi-conservatism, even he is disposable as far as many conservatives are likely concerned.  If he does a good job on conservative values, he'll get re-elected by his supporters (should he even win in the first place). The blind support of the GOP establishment meanwhile is done. Over.  They brought it upon themselves. Indeed, they accelerated its happening by openly abandoning any pretense of conservatism in many quarters by acts of open hostility towards their current standard bearer.  

The GOP and conservative media establishment are only better than the Democrats in their destruction of an outsider candidate for having not been caught rigging the system, or having the guts to try to do so at the convention floor.  They openly despise Trump and in some quarters even openly support the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. That is anathema to conservatism or classic liberalism. They have proven to not be the Keepers of the Faith.

That title clearly belongs to grassroots conservatives.  Where the country goes from here is not clear, but the flame of classic liberalism (i.e. modern conservatism) is flickering and in danger of dying out - at least in the form of the Republican brand and party.  That now, is no great loss.  What is important is the ideas.  A new standard bearer is required. Donald Trump is serviceable in that regard, for now.  But he is not the Keeper of the Faith, despite being willing to fight for it.

So long as the ideas of Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, Hayek, Tocqueville,  Jefferson and the like, are alive somewhere, the flame shall not die out.  Americans, and others around the world (myself included), belief in the those principles and while they may wane, they will not die, and they will be renewed eventually, because they are right.  Whether the vessel for that continues to be America is a different question. Leave it with us Republican establishment, we've got this. 

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 11

Asians too?

October 16, 2016

Nigel Farage on Hillary Clinton

The same old, same old if you vote for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton wants your vote, stupid!

Note:  I want to thank Deplorable Keith H on Twitter for providing me with the visuals for this post. Twitter has become an elitist progressive corporation but it's a useful tool while not every conservative voice has been banned yet.  When that time does come, I'd urge every conservative to cancel their Twitter account.  Until then, use the platform I say.

Thanks to WikiLeaks, liberals and Democrat registered voters should be finding out how Hillary Clinton and her campaign team feel about them.  It turns out, they don't think very highly of you.

They do however, think pretty highly of your vote.  The quotes in the pictures on the left are from Hillary Clinton via WikiLeaks.

You thought the bucket of deplorables was bad, but Democrat voters are worse - she sees you as a "bucket of losers".  Everyone to her is in some bucket it would seem, and none of the buckets are particularly desirable to her.

Click to enlarge and read.
The second picture is an excerpt from Hillary's speech to Goldman Sachs.

I said should be finding out, but I don't know that they ever will.  Now we see why the media at outlets like CNN want to control what you see or hear or read about the WikiLeaks releases on Hillary Clinton.

If the liberal elite knew that you thought they were dumb, they would not be able to count on your vote.

They can't have that - they need your vote or they'll not be able to consolidate their power and continue to chip away at the remaining bits of real democracy and liberty in America.  If you empower them, you are sealing your own fate.

As a very concerned outside observer, I'm just saying.

CNN - We are the Gods of your information!

This is wrong beyond words.  How something this horrible can go on in America is beyond words. CNN is a liability when it comes to American greatness because it does not believe in independent thought.  CNN believes in Big Brother and they want to be part of it. It's immoral.

They don't want liberty for you, and they don't want it for themselves. They want to follow the Democratic party of the cliff and they want you to fall in line as well. It got me thinking about the Led Zeppelin tune The Immigrant Song, with the ironic lyric (given the song title and conservatives' views on illegal immigration), "We are your overlords."

State of the Race - October 16th

It's been a while since I've updated my weighted average of polling on the national polls of the race for president.  The swath of polls in October showing Hillary Clinton charging ahead has made it somewhat of a distasteful task.  Nevertheless, it needed to be done. Except my results were - well, unexpected.

As a reminder, not all polls are created equally.  To account for this I have not included all polls from the RealClearPolitics average of polls in my analysis.  I have excluded polls with no reported Margin of Error.  Not reporting that makes the numbers dubious at best and unscientific at worst.  I have also excluded polls with a margin of error greater than 4.5%, which is a pretty large margin of error.  As an added twist, I have excluded polls where multiple instances of the same poll source are occurring within days of itself.  For Example the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows up 3 times in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Yes, the dates are different but it seems like a way of manipulating the average of polls by including your own smaller polls, more frequently.

Given all of that, the race it turns out is a lot closer than the topline optics would indicate, although Hillary Clinton has not surprisingly given the media blitz on Trump, retaken the lead over the last 4 weeks (1.4%).  However the lead is razor thin at this point which makes the final debate, the advertising blitz and the get out the vote effort coming up in the last weeks, uber-critical.  I expect to see significant poll changes starting next week.  Which direction they'll shift is anyone's guess.

For comparison purposes, here's what my unweighted results look like, although I've excluded polls for the same first two criteria I've mentioned above. You can see the gap is larger (4 points).

Sunday verse

October 15, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Ethiopia)

One of the more interesting countries in Africa. Thanks again to Geography Now for this great educational series.

The flag:

October 14, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Lazy Eye

The song Lazy Eye, by Silverspun Pickups.

Trump - A bitter but necessary pill

By Dean L

The establishment in Washington D.C. extends far beyond the White House and Congress. The establishment extends even beyond the various self-serving government bureaucracies.  It includes lobbyists, the beltway establishment media, wealthy political donors seeking crony capitalism and supposedly philanthropic foundations. It probably includes a lot of others as well.  Power and wealth has become clustered around a small number of people and institutions to the exclusion of everyone else in the country.  That's not to say you cannot do well outside of that cabal, but the glass ceiling to real wealth and power is real, and it's not made of glass, but rather steel.

That is not what the country was founded on and runs counter to the core American concept of liberty and justice for all.  Those who speak to that notion for your votes are being duplicitous.  They say it but they don't really mean it. Nearly six decades of liberal policy has not lifted everyone out of poverty.  It never will.  Just like the Clinton foundation, or any crony capitalist company like G.E., government has grown to the point where it exists to serve itself - first, last and always. The elite wish to stay the elite and they will do so at your expense.

As an aside, former insider Jack Abramoff discusses the world inside Washington, including Hillary Clinton:

In the face of all of this stands Donald Trump. A loud, obnoxious, pompous, petty, foul-mouthed, blowhard who clearly has alienated women and many minority communities. Yet he stands up for correcting the ills that have become entrenched in American government and have already entrenched a national downward spiral of American exceptionalism, and will be the death knell of the American dream - not of home ownership but rather liberty and justice for all. And by that justice I mean not the equality of outcome for all, which inevitably will lead to an ersatz outcome, but equality of opportunity, that is key.

The ongoing American downward spiral is not inescapable, for now at least. Back in 1980 America escaped a malaise just as bad as today's, simply by voting for change. Ronald Reagan's election in 1980 led to an American roaring back to strength, prosperity and optimism. So too now, the stakes are high. Donald Trump is an imperfect vessel for the right elixir to what ails America. He is a bitter pill to swallow because of his personal shortcomings. But because of his personal strengths, including an unshakable faith in American greatness, he can deliver on much of what he promises. Much of what he promises is to get government to step aside and allow people to succeed. The government will be there to facilitate the success, not to drive it, not to offshore it, not to sell it to the highest bidder, domestic or foreign. That, while unspoken, is Hillary Clinton's approach.

A bitter pill to swallow is not exactly the same as A Time For Choosing, but medicine doesn't always taste good.  It's what it does for you that matters.  America needs it's government cleansed.  WikiLeaks has exposed the backrooms for what poison they are.  Americans need to come to terms with the fact that snake oil is all they are being offered.  The game must change.  The slate must be wiped clean.  No one is going to do it from the inside; not Hillary Clinton, not Paul Ryan,  not the hobbled Supreme Court, not the RNC. No one.  Trump has no vested interest in the status quo, and neither do Americans. A bitter pill yes, but it is a time for choosing too.  Not choosing to take your medicine when you need it, is suicide.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 10

Hispanic Trump supporters facing abusive protesters.

October 13, 2016

Trump supporters, you might need this

Just breathe.
Donald Trump is toast according to probably 90% of pundits and 99% of media talking heads.  He's not. He might be close, but then again, maybe not. Against the constant barrage of media onslaught, questionable but clearly trending polls comes this from esteemed analyst Sean Trende;
If you look at the RCP Average, Clinton hasn’t so much surged as Trump has lost support since the beginning of the month, which suggests those voters are still gettable for him.

That is because the fundamentals of this race indicate it will be close. The second-term president with middling approval ratings, the modest growth, and the historic unfavorability of the two candidates continually exert gravity on the contest downward to a tie. When Trump is “best behavior” Trump, the race is competitive. When he isn’t, Clinton pulls to a lead. If Trump were to be “best behavior” Trump for the remaining four weeks and conduct himself in the third debate as he did in the second, he might close the gap again. Indeed, the NBC/WSJ poll released over the weekend actually suggests Trump made up some ground in the aftermath of the debate.
But don't get too excited too fast, Trende says it's possible, but goes on to say it's not probable;
I don’t think that will happen. For one thing, Trump feels “unshackled” (whatever that means), suggesting that he doesn’t want to be “best behavior” Trump.

More importantly, though, I don’t think Clinton and the Democrats will let him...
Fair points. Indeed I've started to wonder whether Trump can sustain an impressive run for longer than 10 days.  He's reflexive in his responses and Democrats know it.  Those reflexes don't always serve him well. He's like a bull distracted by a red cape at times.  And I agree with Trende, Trump will need to string together about 25 days of great behavior, not just 10.  That's a longshot bet for those of us hoping Trump can win and bust up the intransigence of Washington D.C. power.

But Trump has surprised multiple times in the past and he is capable of doing it again.  And polling data has become an instrument to shape public opinion as opposed to reflecting it.  They'll have to come back to earth for the sake of their own integrity over the last week or two.  If there is a deliberate bias now, it will change then.  If there isn't this will be a Clinton blowout.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 9

Hispanic support for Trump is outperforming what the polls say about it. Maybe.

October 12, 2016

More on Hillary Clinton Corruptocrat

Google's in on it, and everything is rigged.

Chelsea Clinton investigated Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Foundation

Hillary Clinton, corruptocrat, according to...her own daughter???

I think that about sums it up.

Hillary Corruptocrat

I'm not gonna lie, there are a lot of reasons to worry that Donald Trump is slipping in the polls and perhaps the silent majority, the paradigm shift many people are expecting might not be happening.  But no reason to worry is bigger than this:

Rotten to the Core

Rather than a 2500 word essay, which I'm actually eager to write, just watch this video that covers the subject of corruption in the Democratic party, the media and the so called elite in America.

The Democratic party is NOT about Democracy.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 8

Hispanics for Trump continues this week.

October 11, 2016

October 10, 2016

Leaked Clinton Emails: Illegal Coordination with SuperPACs

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
This should come as no surprise since everyone with half a brain realizes Democrats coordinate with the media on messaging all the time.

Via Law Newz:
Federal campaign finance laws generally prohibit a candidate’s election campaign from coordinating with the candidate’s super PAC. However, the law on what constitutes coordination is somewhat fuzzy, or open to wide interpretation, to say the least. The latest email dump from Wikileaks includes a legal memorandum that provides a perfect example of how far Clinton campaign lawyers are willing to go in interpreting what may be considered illegal coordination with a super PAC.

The April 2015 memorandum outlines a strategy for the Clinton campaign to work with the Priorities USA Action Fund super PAC (Priorities) in a manner that campaign lawyers argue does not rise to the level of coordination under campaign finance law. One particular focus of the memo is in the area of fundraising and the sharing donor information between the campaign and the super PAC.

The memo interprets the law as allowing the Clinton campaign to “identify donor prospects for Priorities and provide Priorities with the donors’ contact information using a specific template form approved by the legal team.” A footnote then explains why using the template form is so important:
Merely completing [the template form] likely would not be an in-kind contribution from [the campaign] to Priorities. However, sending over a substantial portion of HFA’s donor list likely would have to be valued and reported as an in-kind contribution.
In other words, it appears the campaign may be able to avoid a potential coordination violation by simply breaking up the donor list and sending it to the super PAC in small increments.

Post-Debate Linkaround

A few links on post debate thoughts and observations worth seeing.

I just finished posting my thoughts indicating it was not a game changer.  I neglected to mention that I think Trump won by a small margin.

Here's what some other people thought.

At least one blogger thinks Trump won.

Clinton contradicted herself, clearly.

Was Melania Trump trolling the Clintons?

Clinton's most cringe-worthy debate moment from one point of view.

Team Clinton might be becoming unglued.

CNN, clearly had some bias. And the moderators were once again far too involved.

Is there a rationale to excuse the dirty Trump talk?  In politics all is fair.  And according to at least one poll it doesn't seem to matter what Trump said. Then again, it's probably too soon to tell.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 6

It's not just African Americans that are supporting Trump as I've shared in my previous 5 paradigm shift videos.  Hispanic Americans are turning to Trump too.

Debate Round 2 - some quick thoughts.

The debate last night was fairly mild. There were no real bombshells. There were no great fireworks; a town hall format lends itself to a more reserved debating style. Conservatives undoubtedly expected more from Trump. But hoping for a knockout punch was hardly realistic. They're rare in debates. Trump and Clinton both played to their bases primarily. Both made solid points in that regard. But it was no game changer.

Overall the race has settled into a status quo situation and the debate helped cement that. Changing the races in the battleground states is only going to be tougher now simply because time is running short. The real question now is how accurate the polls are. As soon as Trump caught up and was nosing ahead, suddenly there was a Clinton surge and it pre-dates the first debate. There was no reason for a momentum shift at that point. Several of the polls there was reason to suspect in terms of methodology, and I did write about them.

Thereès a lot of indicators that the polls may not be reflecting the electorate accurately this cycle. Some of the polls used a 2012 turnout model for predicting likely voters. That's pretty suspect because a great deal of voters who turned out for Obama - namely youth and African Americans - will simply not turn out in the same numbers for Hillary Clinton. This could turn out to be a very low turnout election. In addition there's an unknown Trump surge factor in the anti-establishment, anti-corruption voters. Some are predicting it could be as high as a 5% surge which would provide Trump a blowout win. That's not going to happen but it could be as high as 2% or 3%, which would be enough to push him over the top. It's an unknown and the polls don't reflect it. Or perhaps they do reflect some or all of it. There are alsos a lot of Sanders voters who still feel cheated by a DNC that moved to ensure he didn't win. Many will stay home or vote for Gary Johnson as a form of protest. Some may take the protest further and vote for Trump in a more meaningful protest. That remains to be seen.

But let's not delude ourselves. Many pieces of evidence about the polls are simply anecdotal and wanting to feel good about the race from conservatives and from Trump supporters.  The polls show Clinton taking a lead and a Trump and this race is still either Clinton's to lose or neck-and-neck and a decisive debate would have helped either candidate. That didn't happen and it leaves one debate that could, unusually, decide things. Trump can't hang his hat on a devastating WikiLeaks scandal on Clinton because (1) the sex scandal on him probably didn't change much and (2) there may not be one on Clinton at all, and if there is, it also might not matter. If Trump is going to win this election he is going to have to count on his own success, not silent voters, not WikiLeaks and not another debate like round 1 or round 2. A solid debate from a man who 15 months ago hadn't really done any, and seemingly prefers not to prep for them, might be asking too much. However, he did seem better prepared in debate 2 in terms of polish and readiness. He's going to have to do even better next time around if he wants to be president.

The Clinton WikiLeaks dump begins

I don't think this will be the worst of what gets leaked about Hillary Clinton but it's some some potent stuff.

October 9, 2016

October 8, 2016

Progressives are anti-science

Lauren Southern making several great points.

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Estonia)

This year Saturday Learning Series has leaned heavily (i.e. entirely) on Geography Now.  Why? His video series is fantastic and  more importantly, geography is really important. 

Today, the geography, and flag, of Estonia.

October 7, 2016

Trump, Hot Mic yawner

Everyone is claiming Donald Trump is done because of an October surprise - Trump caught on a hot microphone talking about women and sex.  Oh, in 2005.  No doubt Democrats and their media cohorts sat on this to release at the most opportune moment.

Not a big deal, outside the beltway.

Frankly, this is another one that I don't think will matter to Trump as long as he does well in the debate on Monday.  Men won't care and women who dislike him enough or like Hillary enough to vote on that basis are already energized and already locked in and likely voters in Hillary's column.  Another factor - Democrats in power are famous for the Friday news dumps when no one is paying attention to the news because it's the WEEKEND.

It makes me think that maybe Democrats and or media liberals rushed this to the front page as soon as they found it.  That doesn't smack of panic at all.  But it doesn't really matter if this was a wasted opportunity or not. The real difference will happen on Monday if Trump performs anemically in the debate. If he does, it's over.  If he does well, then maybe it could have been a Tuesday distraction from positive reviews of Trump by undecided voters.  So either Democrats are worried or the media, and their pollsters are worried.  That's my only takeaway from this.

Friday Musical Interlude - Silver Springs

Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac.  Destined originally for Rumours, possibly the best song not put on an album.  It was instead released two decades later, as a live song on The Dance, garnering a Grammy nomination for that version.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 5

An African American pastor in Virginia, who endorsed Donald Trump, is predicting a landslide victory for Trump in that state.  That's a big deal - if Virginia votes Republican after having shifted to a Democrat state over the last several election cycles, then Trump will win because that state is one of the swing states less likely to flip this cycle.  It would be a signal of a larger wave.

Still skeptical?  What about this one from Detroit?

October 6, 2016

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 4

Another African American supporting Trump, who understands that voting as a block doesn't make sense when the Democratic party, including president Obama, demand it.

October 5, 2016

VP post-debate analysis

Had to watch.
Full disclosure, I watched the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Wildcard game last night, not the Vice Presidential debate. Instead I DVR'd the debate and I have not watched it yet.  As such, I have not had a chance to assemble my thoughts on it.  However, I've heard a fair bit of post debate pontification and do have some quick observations about that.

In short order:

(1) Apparently Mike Pence (R) defeated Tim Kaine (D).
(2) This despite the moderator trying desperately to assist Kaine by enabling the interruption of Pence far too frequently.
(3) The MSM are positioning the Pence win as him positioning himself for 2020, not for helping Trump.  In fact, they are floating the idea that Trump is angry at Pence for doing too well and therefore making Trump looking bad by comparison.

To be honest, I think most viewers of a VP debate would be hardcore partisans on either side and not a huge number of Independents and/or Undecided voters (of whom many are low interest voters).  If my assumption is correct, the debate (no matter the mainstream meme about Pence's win being for Pence not Trump) doesn't matter.

More post-debate analysis will follow.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 3

Another video this week from an African American, rightfully disenfranchised from the Democratic party.

October 4, 2016

Fake Hillary campaign speech?

A few weeks ago (mid-September) this video was posted.  I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist but there are a couple of really weird moments in this video that the Youtube poster brings to our attention that do not have simple straightforward answers.

A fake speech might seem far-fetched but she has done speeches with fake accents in the past.

Washington Post on WikiLeaks - nothing to see here

Julian Assange at WikiLeaks today instead of providing the promised Hillary takedown leaks, instead offered a delay.  No October surprise.  Not yet at least.  According to the liberal Washington Post, itès never coming.  Thatès what they want you to believe because, Heaven forbid, Assange actually has something, they don't want anyone to actually be paying attention when it gets revealed.  How absurd.
For weeks, backers of Republican nominee Donald Trump have hyped the tantalizing possibility that the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks was on the verge of publishing a set of documents that would doom Hillary Clinton’s chances in November.

...The group’s founder, Julian Assange, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm, suggesting to Fox News hosts that his scoops could upend the race with documents “associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles, some quite interesting.”

The announcement by WikiLeaks that it would host a major news conference Tuesday only seemed to confirm that the bombshell was ready to burst. The pro-Trump, anti-Clinton media world rippled with fevered speculation.

...Over the course of two hours Tuesday — with the world’s media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in — Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against “neo-McCarthyist hysteria,” blasted the mainstream press, appealed for donations and plugged their books (“40 percent off!”).

But what they didn’t do was provide any new information about Clinton — or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.
Nothing to see here folks, move along.  Notice the denigration of Assange and his attempt to procure donations?  Except Assange still has something to release he claims.

We'll see. The Washington Post seemingly however, has made up its mind.

State of the race - October 4th

After seeing Trump peak at 270 about a week back (and not posting on it), I've got a different picture today, that doesn't completely align with all of the latest polling but does reflect a tight race.  As of today, I have Hillary winning a squeaker.

The darker the color red, the safer for Trump, the darker the blue the safer for Clinton.

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

Current polls have Hillary ahead in Florida and North Carolina, the latter by tenths of a percent. I think Trump will carry both of those states.  Nevada has Hillary back in front but it's too early to shift that back to her column yet.  

Also of note, Gary Johnson the Libertarian is pulling over 20% of the vote in Nevada and realistically has moved that state to less safely Hillary's, but I'm keeping it as is for now.

The VP debate is tonight.  Watch it and you'll see some definite contrast between the two men.

A surprising MSNBC take on Trump taxes and honesty

This is surprising.  Liberals on MSNBC don't think the Trump tax issue will hurt him, and think Hillary is being smug without good reason. Well, all except one liberal.

Via the Free Beacon:

Globalism versus Free Trade versus the Trump Train

I've always been a fan of free trade; it's a core conservative principal. So you might wonder why so many people who favor free trade seem to be behind Donald Trump and his seemingly protectionist rhetoric (myself included).  The answer is pretty simple. Free Trade and Globalism are not the same thing.

Globalization, as it relates to free market neoliberalism can be defined as follows, although this is hardly the only definition;
Neoliberalism refers primarily to the 20th century resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism. These include extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.
Therein lies the problem. Each of those policies mentioned have been applied only in part. There is the obvious, often noted imbalance of open markets between countries wherein free access to consumers in America by producers in China, Japan and other nations are not reciprocated fairly by those nations through duties, tariffs, and legal obstruction. But there are other incomplete applications of the free market, quite often as they relate to labor.

Labor (including intellectual labor) is the one asset that any human has that they can offer. In free markets, companies in different countries can offer their goods and services for sale in most any country in the world. For the most part, laborers are not - they are confined to do business in the country of their habitation, most often that is, the country of their birth. Relocation is difficult, challenging and not always a simple matter to do legally. So as a supplier of labor, people do not have the free market to supply the way they do to consume. Even if the rules were simplified to allow anyone access to any country for citizenship (hardly a reasonable idea), people would often lack the economic means to take advantage of the opportunity. While this mat change in time with the advent of virtual workspaces, it is not even the norm in industrial or postindustrial nations let alone underdeveloped regions like sub-Saharan Africa or Bangladesh. So the people are forced to partake of the free market as consumers but produce in a not truly free market as a supplier of labor. That leaves the advantage to the largest companies capable of producing where labor is cheap and selling where demand is strong at higher prices. This does not benefit the suppliers of labor or in the long term the purchasers of those goods and services who increasingly see their jobs offshored to cheaper suppliers. Soon their ability to continue purchasing at those higher prices will fall away as well. They cannot produce at the same prices as cheaper overseas labor and will not have the mobility to sell everything, move to Bangladesh and work in a sweatshop garment factory at impossibly low wages. And why would they want to do so?

The solution in part it would seem is to free up the labor market from artificial barriers. Since the rise of terrorism, there's a practicality question but that does not mean that nothing can be done. Right to Work states have seen job growth while overly union-friendly states have seen the opposite. Minimum wage laws and mandatory benefits attract illegal immigrants to jobs most Americans do not want to do, and also forbid labor suppliers from offering their skills at whatever pay the want. Of course there's an argument to driving wages in America down to the level of those in Bangladesh, but at those wages Americans would become a nation of impoverished workers and no longer be a market for the goods they are manufacturing.

The answer is a happy medium. Laws that encourage business ownership over the oligopoly that the industrialized world seems increasingly headed towards need to strike a balance between benefiting labor and benefiting business. More businesses , small businesses, free from onerous government burdens and red tape, mean more variety. They mean less homogeneity in product and service offerings and a greater chance that someone will succeed and be copied.

Ultimately that's the cycle that needs to be reinvigorated - the growth of small businesses into larger ones as they succeed and the culling of the poor ones. The free market does that very efficiently, better than any government ever has or ever will. I know to many progressives it's scary because it's not managed in the direction that they'd like to see society head. But who are they to dictate where society should head? I know society has taken a lot of turns I think are ludicrous, but I am not trying mandate society be like me. The idea is even more ridiculous than kids wearing jeans with their underwear and/or butts sticking out.

Circling back to Trump, I am still in favor of free trade. But I am not in favor of free trade at the expense of self interest. Free trade in itself is no holy grail - free trade is ultimately built on the notion that self-interest serves everyone better than any other idea could. Free trade is, or should be, built on the notion that a rising tide raises all boats. So free trade pursued for free trade itself, or for the benefit of a few at the expense of many is a twisted revision of free trade that I cannot support. That is what globalism has become. It certainly has nothing to do with classic neo-liberalism. Donald Trump, riding a wave of frustrated and angry populism is at least arguing that the status quo does not work for far more people than it does work for and should be blown up and reset, more intelligently. Better deals are not a bad thing. Smarter laws are not a bad thing. Crippling red tape cannot continue either. This is why Donald Trump voices the frustration of so many people, not because he says terrible things about Rosie O'Donnell. That can be forgiven because it makes clear he speaks his mind, and on the economy, he's think what millions of other people are thinking too. That's why he might very well win this thing.

Is a paradigm shift underway? Part 2

This week I have be posting videos from various African American voters who are actively supporting Donald Trump or are at least distancing themselves from the democratic party who have been taking their votes for granted for decades.

Of course a bunch of anecdotal videos don't mean that African Americans are suddenly shifting opinions en masse, but videos like these are not inconsequential. This could be an early signal of things to come, and that's what is really interesting.

October 3, 2016

Will Trump lose voters over his tax returns leak?

My suspicion is that Trump won't lose votes over his leaked taxes and his ~$1 billion write-off loss carried forward structuring his taxes to pay as little as possible perhaps nothing) for the last 18 years, is not only legal, it's smart. The question is whether Trump and his surrogates argue the points effectively, and then move on, not dwelling on it ad nauseum.

Here's the point team Trump needs to make.  Tax avoidance and tax minimization are two different things. Paying as little tax as possible is good business.  Why would you pay more taxes than you have to pay?  Hillary Clinton has got accountants doing her tax no doubt and is doing the same thing as much as legally possible.  Not doing so is bad business and someone doing that should be viewed as someone incapable of making the smartest decisions.

Trump is where he is at in this race as a candidate because many people are hoping that he will run the Executive branch the same way - efficiently and with smart decision-making.  Hillary Clinton decrying his tax write-offs as unfair is being disingenuous.

The other tack that Hillary Clinton can take in attacking Trump is that such losses do not show the business acumen Trump claims to possess.  That too should fall on deaf ears.  Trump has had many businesses and many successes.  Capitalism is about taking risks - some will succeed and some will fail.  Trump has done both and more importantly after his losses, he didn't give up but picked himself up and was able to succeed once again.  That just reinforces his point - he's a fighter.

Is that who voters want to keep out of government - someone who says he wants to correct the system and is a fighter?

Many people do want just that - the establishment of both parties of course.  And also a lot of people who disagree with Republicans in general will of course want to keep Trump out of power.  They're not going to change their votes, but neither are those who support Trump.  The taxes will change nothing.

What will offer a valid counter-point to Trump's fighter image is if he doesn't prepare hard for the next debate.  That would be like rolling over.  Whether Trump won the first debate, barely lost it, or got trounced doesnèt matter.  The media projection was that he lost soundly or barely because he underprepared.  Seeming to have underprepared for the next debate will let the image stick  that Trump is not a serious fighter, just a showman.  That's where the race will be decided if anything is going to change.

UPDATE: As expected, Hillary Clinton has used the same tax minimization strategy as Trump.
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