November 29, 2016

Try replacing George Zola with Ass Hat

I don't consider myself part of the Alt-Right, although they do have a number of laudable political positions.  What they are NOT, are White Supremacists, White Nationalists or Racist Bigots.  Any movement can contain idiots, but the bigotry that truly pervades comes from those who label them as any of the above.

What Alt-right really represents or means is conservatives who are fed up with being marginalized and are fighting back.  The messed up response from the progressive left?  Lay it on harder:
But activists have warned that the phrase “alt-right” is simply a sanitized rebranding of “white nationalism” and conflating the two has dangerous implications.

That’s why a New-York based advertising professional, who is using the pseudonym George Zola, created a Google Chrome extension called “Stop Normalizing The Alt Right,” which automatically replaces all mentions of the “alt-right” with the phrase “white supremacy.”
That is bigoted, simplistic and other-idea-phobic.  It's the work of an ass hat.  I apologize for my vulgarity, to everyone except someone who is using that synonym. He, or she, deserves it for being so juvenile.

Catching up on Selective Vote Recounts

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is trying to initiate a recount in 3 states that Donald Trump won.  Not in any states that Hillary Clinton won, only Trump state wins in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  The selectivity is even more odd since Hillary Clinton has suddenly joined the challenge after publicly admonishing Trump before the election for not agreeing to abide by the results.

Stein seems like she's angling for funding for her party as the Kickstarter campaign or whatever is asterisked to state that any funds not used for a recount will go to the Green Party.  Given that she's already missed the deadline for Pennsylvania, that Wisconsin and Michigan alone won't change the election results even in the unlikely event they flipped - she could be angling just to raise funds.  That's pretty cynical and manipulative of her, but hey it's politics and anyone thinking the Green Party is squeaky clean would end up with the government they deserve - a crooked one.

What's more interesting is the Democrats and Clinton looking to join in on the recount.  Three theories have been advanced (1) they're actually trying to steal the election (2) they're planting the seeds to delegitimize a Trump presidency because he lost the electoral college and didn't make 270 votes by certification day and had to be appointed by the Republicans thanks to a few states being tangled up in legal proceedings ("selected not elected" like Bush) or (3) they're trying to hide their own ballot tampering efforts and don't want it coming out.

All three are possible, the first two would be unsuccessful ultimately.  The third one is the most intriguing consideration.  But I don't know that participation would amount to successfully hiding their own nefarious activities.   And of course if  they are successful we'll never know that it was their intention.  The Democrats' end-game here is not clear but to steal 70,000 votes in PA is impossible.  Michigan and Wisconsin would leave the electoral college at 280-252 in Trump's favor.  With Hillary Clinton leading the popular vote by 1.7 million votes Democrats might claim Trump has no mandate whatsoever. That might be their real goal; setting themselves up for the 2018 midterm elections where they will already be playing defense.

November 28, 2016

Catching up on Castro

Thuggery defined
A number things have happened this past Thanksgiving weekend that are worth mentioning, even though I don't have a lot of free time lately.  The first one worth commenting on is that Fidel Castro has died.

He was a tyrant. He was a dictator. He was a brutal thug in the vein of Saddam Hussein.  He kept his people under his thumb.

You wouldn't know it from the bland eulogies from the left and in particular aggrandizing from ultra liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose father was a pal of the thug Fidel:
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
But the man was a criminal. Justin Trudeau knows no shame nor reality.  I am salivating for his extradition from the Prime Minister's office
...In the wake of his overthrow of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista in 1959, supporters of the old government were sent before summary courts and at least 582 were shot by firing squads over two years.

Estimates of executions under Castro’s 50-year rule run into the thousands, with monitors warning of unfair trials, arbitrary imprisonment and extrajudicial executions.

Castro responded by insisting that “revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction”.

As the one-party system came into force, independent newspapers were closed and homosexuals, priests and others viewed as a threat were herded into labour camps for “re-education”.

Censorship and repression spread, with fans of American rock ‘n’ roll among those targeted. Freedom of expression, religion, association, assembly, movement and the press were denied.
Cuba is better off without him, even though his brother has been running things for years already.

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Finland)

If only Finland had fjords - for the alliteration.

Flag information:

November 25, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Anything Goes

More profundity, this time from Cole Porter; Anything Goes from 1934. I suspect he's not wrong.

November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Be joyful for what you have been given.

November 23, 2016

Trump, unfiltered

I've been unusually busy the last week or so. But I haven't disappeared just because  Trump won the election and the GOP kept the house and senate. I'll have more time soon to pick up the mantle of conservatism and continue.

Meanwhile, here, unfiltered by a biased mainstream media, is a president-elect Trump message for the American people.  Approaching the public this way is a great idea for president-elect Trump and far superior to the MSM liberal elite who filter and twist any message to suit their own agenda.  This allows Trump to tailor his message to the audience and not have to parse every phrase so as to avoid manipulative media distortions. I would mention this in his first address and every state of the union speech to remind people that they can by-pass untrustworthy media and ultimately pressure them to come back to fair and balanced reporting if they want to remain relevant.

November 20, 2016

Leaked: Clinton premature celebration on election night

Election night.  Back when the Clintons thought they had won the election: [Update: video was removed, another version has been added below.]

Excuse me for enjoying it, that's not very nice. Nevertheless, it's difficult to not have the same level of glee that Hillary Clinton lost.


Sunday verse

November 19, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Fiji)

Geography Now's world tour continues with a place I'd love to visit, Fiji.

And the flag:

November 18, 2016

What Democrats think they've learned from Trump

Whenever a party loses an election, or a series of elections, introspection is often required.  Democrats find themselves in need of that right now, whether they realize it or not.  I say realize it because a lot of progressives on the left seem to be stuck in the same vile rhetoric that they were resorting to using prior to the the election.  Compound that with violence and lingering denial of the results of the election, and you do not have a recipe for the Democrats to move forward.  Not all on the left are mired in that classist group-think and a number of them have started talking about understanding the implications of the elections since 2010, wherein Democrats have lost group in the Senate, Congress, governorships and in state legislatures.

For me to diagnose the problem as an outsider has both its pros and cons.  I'm not at all interested in helping a party that seems set on dismantling the very ethos of America - that which has made it great for over two centuries, from incubation through to world superpower and bastion of liberty.  That is unless of course it helps them change their ways to become a more center-right party.  But let's face it, that isn't going to happen.  In typical liberal knee-jerk reaction, liberals have decided they haven't moved far enough left, that Hillary Clinton was just too cozy with Wall Street.  So their answer in the immediate aftermath of a surprise presidential election this year, is more Howard Dean, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison.  In other words, socialism.  Their answer is more name calling and alarmist rhetoric - America is fraught with racism, sexist, and homophobia.

Good luck with more of the same.
For over a decade Democrats have relied on a basically two-pronged approach to the future (1) indoctrinate youth through liberal education and owning the media culture and (2) the erroneous notion that demographics is destiny.  Democrats have labored under the belief growing Hispanic and African American population proportions have made it impossible for Republicans to ever win the presidency again. It was not only this election that has proved that wrong, as I've already noted. What Democrats have failed to realize so far, is simple;
What Democrats should realize, because everyone else does, is that voters rejected both their policies (which have undermined middle- and low-income families) and their governance (which has fueled rage at a power-hungry federal government). Hillary Clinton proposed more of the same. Coal workers said no. Blue-collar union workers said no. Suburban moms said no. Small businessmen, drowning under Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare, said no.
As I noted, Democrats have taken the wrong lesson from the drubbing;
Instead Democrats think last week was an accident. Mrs. Clinton tells donors that she only lost because of FBI Director Jim Comey.Barack Obama faults Hillary’s tactics—she didn’t spend enough time in the right states. Michael Dukakis says Democrats only lost because of the Electoral College. Rachel Maddow blames third-party candidates.

All this denial has cleared the field for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the leading voice now calling on the party to recognize it has erred and needs change. She is telling the masses, however, that Democrats lost because they didn’t go big enough. They didn’t spend enough. Didn’t regulate enough. Didn’t socialize health care enough. Her prescription: Double down.
Demographics does not dictate party affiliation.  Deliverables do.  In other words, what matters is what voters see as working and what they see as being in their best interest.  If Donald Trump for example is able to normalize or commoditize education across all communities, and thereby level the playing field for jobs and success in general, African Americans will no longer be a lock for Democrats. 

Interestingly, more socialism is not necessarily, right now, a bad prescription politically - arguing that Democrats care about the middle class and their welfare, their health care etc. is not by definition a losing message. If delivered properly there is no reason it can't happen again. But it's not a winning formula for two or four years from now. If president-elect Trump has any level of success on jobs over the next two years, the peripherals like healthcare will matter far less to a larger swath of the population. 

I suspect the conservative model for success will work, but it's too early to be certain. Things happen. But just as I can't predict how the economy will precisely look in 2 years, neither can Democrats. So formulating a double down strategy now, potentially puts them on an irreversible path that bodes well for Republicans in 2018 and 2020.

Friday Musical Interlude - It's All Over But The Crying

Timely song today from the Ink Spots back in 1947.

November 15, 2016

Whither goest #NeverTrump?

The clear distinction between diehard progressive liberals and #NeverTrump that is visible to date is that the latter have accepted a Trump presidency and in many cases are actually hopeful (though unconvinced) that some good will come out of the 2016 election.  The former group are out in the streets creating havoc, or at a minimum sporting Not My President placards.

There's another important distinction. While the Democrat party are never going to work with president-elect Trump (though many say they will), team #NeverTrump now realize that this was not just a Trump win.  They see that Republicans still control the senate, congress, the presidency, the supreme court and a stunning number of state legislatures and governorships, with the wind at the back of the Republicans in the senate for 2018.

Every challenge is also an opportunity and those on the conservative and Republican side have largely realized this.  Today Paul Ryan even said big things are coming.  That's a profound revelation.  It's not about revelling in the glow of the win, it's about the GOP having more power than they have in nearly 100 years. The opportunity does not present itself often obviously. The window, despite the very real prospect of further gains in 2018, is inevitably going to be short.  Furthermore, under Obama the aggressiveness in the shift left for the country was astounding.  Their actions not only justify a strong reaction, but also provide some limited cover for that reaction.  Obama also spelled out for conservatives exactly what "the fierce urgency of now" means.

#NeverTrump is more likely to be heard and influential from inside the tent than outside the tent.   Trump and his supporters meanwhile have won and allies in politics are hard to find.  There's little harm in working together and developing some synergy with those who were #NeverTrump in order to have that notion dissolve away and get things done rather than alienate them in some sort of vendetta.  No one wants Trump have to get his allegiances from the Sanders crowd because that will not only enshrine that #NeverTrump was right but possibly destroy what's left of the republic in the process. I don't think anyone expects that at this point, but why leave it to chance.

So unless your name is Glenn Beck, you're probably safe to come back into the tent.  Many are doing so openly, some more reluctantly, and some not at all. It's up to Trump and his team to move people from (pardon the phraseology) from the bucket of resolute, to the bucket of hesitant to the bucket of surprised and now on board. It's also up to the #NeverTrump crowd to make up their minds so they don't end up (again, pardon the wording), at the back of the bus, because some other people are now getting ahead of them in the lineup.

November 13, 2016

60 Minutes Trump interview, still liberal bias

I'm watching the 60 Minutes interview with Donald Trump (his first since being elected) and there is indeed some liberal bias but what strikes me more is that Leslie Stahl is being very disrespectful to president-elect Trump, interrupting him in a way she would not dare or want to do if she were interviewing president Obama.  It's disgraceful.

And then there's the bias - she talks about people harassing Latinos but no word about Trump supporters being pulled from cars and being beaten.  That's not disgraceful but rather wholly one-sided.

The media has clearly not learned it's lesson - it's bias is killing the media itself.  But they'll continue doing it, just as they will continue losing viewers//readers, and continuing shrinking in importance and influence for the very reason that they cannot set aside their bias.

Bannon and Priebus named to Trump governing team

Via Fox News, the start of the transition team announcements Reince Priebus is going to be president-elect Trump's Chief of Staff and Steve Bannon is set to be senior counselor:

Sunday verse

November 12, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - U.S. geographic facts

A brief list of not commonly known facts about the United States.

November 11, 2016

Thank a veteran

Happy Veteran's Day to all who have served, your effort and sacrifice are truly appreciated.

Friday Musical Interlude - How Soon Is Now?

From 1985, The Smiths doing some death rock.

Thank a Veteran

Remember to honor those who served in the cause of freedom.

November 10, 2016

Ezra Levant on Trump's strength

Why Trump was the right pick, summed up in a few tweets.

November 9, 2016

An Obama surprise & Hillary true to form

Much ado has been made about Hillary Clinton's gracious concession speech.  I didn't see it - she sounded quieter but still shrill.  She seemed like she was still seething underneath the surface.  Franky I'm glad we don't have to hear from her - she was not only an ersatz candidate, she was also an ersatz politician and Secretary of State.

By contrast, there was Obama.  I am far from a fan of Obama, and this impression might be tempered by the circumstance in which it was delivered, but I thought it was likely his most gracious speech of his presidency. Yes, there was a bit of revisionism in it but it was his most inclusive speech since he told Republicans that he won and they were not getting the keys to drive the car back.

Of the two, Obama seemed to better grasp the emotion of the moment; Hillary Clinton is still looking to grasp emotions outside of bitterness and anger.

Post-mortem reminders

🔺  A few reminders to myself about future posts on which to work:

1. What was up with the polls.  Yes, Trump's win was not a shock because Hillary's leads were typically  (though not always) within the margin of error.  BUT - they all had her ahead by more than 2 points except for the LA Times and the IBD poll.  The learning - polls need tweaking.

2. What should Trump's agenda focus on?  It's not a wall, it's the economy and jobs - that's where he can win a landslide re-election over Kanye West in 2020.  Jobs mean votes.

3.  How does this impact the rift within the GOP between #NeverTrumpers and the grassroots? See here for my initial thoughts.

4.  What now for Democrats? Do they go through the soul-searching exercise that Republicans did (though not well) after the McCain loss in 2008? Here's my initial assessment of the Democrats' response so far.

5.  What now for the media as 'loyal opposition'?

6.  What can we expect with a Trump presidency, and a Republican Senate and Congress?  How will Trump lead?  How will Republicans govern?

7.  What does the Trump win mean re: conservatism versus populism versus nationalism?

8.  Will we ever hear from Hillary Clinton after 2016?

Hillary Clinton refuses to give a concession speech

No speech, S.E.L.F.I.S.H.

Her supporters deserved more, Trump deserved more. Sore loser,

UPDATE: Hillary is expected to speak this morning, shortly in fact. I guess she had to get the last word.

Bill Whittle reacts to Trump win

Bill Whittle - so right on so many things:

Trump victory speech

I'm happy with the results (more to follow) but I was up quite late last night watching returns come in. For now, here is Trump's gracious acceptance speech.

Democrats react to Trump win

This about sums it up:

November 8, 2016

So it begins

In one minute the first polls will close and reporting will begin in earnest shortly afterwards. Whatever happens, this election will be a watershed for America.  I pray the citizens of the great nation of the United States get this right. A mistake could doom the country to irreversible decline.

America, you have a great responsibility, you must get this right.

Races to Watch

What to look for as election night unfolds.

All times E.S.T.

7 p.m.

If Trump wins Virginia he's going to win the White House unless later on in the evening he manages to lose Florida.  However, should Trump win Virginia Florida seems far more likely to land in his column than Clinton's.  If Trump even keeps Virginia close, then it bodes well for more likely swing states like Colorado or Michigan, Pennsylvania or  Wisconsin, as there would be evidence of a rising tide that may carry across all states.

If Clinton keeps Georgia closer than predicted, then it bodes very badly for Trump's prospects in true swing state must wins for him, particularly geographically proximate Florida.

7:30 p.m.

North Carolina is critical for Trump, if he loses this close state it could be game over unless he pulls out a rabbit from his hat in Michigan or Pennsylvania.  However, I suspect this race not to be called until much later as it is likely going to be a close race.

8 p.m.

Florida - see North Carolina at 7:30.  Trump will not win if he doesn't land Florida.  Again, I expect a very late call on Florida, possibly after midnight, especially if Trump is overperforming in other states.

New Hampshire - if Trump wins tiny new Hampshire and their 4 electoral college votes it helps him enormously mathematically since the race could be very tight.  Additionally, it bodes well for Trump more generally, in terms of a rising tide of support across swing states.

Pennsylvania - if Trump wins here, the race is over.  He'll win other subsequent swing states most likely.

Maine Congressional District 2 - if Trump wins the 1 vote from this rural district it helps just as New Hampshire does.  It could be the 1 EC vote that moves him from 269 to the needed 270, and it could portend good things in states with a healthy rural mix of voters such as Colorado later in the night. 

9 p.m.

Colorado - some late polling puts this state in Trump's grasp after last week it looked out of reach and a blown opportunity.  If Trump does win here as I think he might, he holds Florida and N.C. and takes N.H., all ahead of this state, it's over. Nevada won't matter.  

10 p.m.

If we get this far without upsets it will be critical to see if trump's election day voters can surmount the early voting lead Hillary Clinton has likely logged ahead of election day.  If It's a tight race, this state could end up the decider.

How it games out as these poll closings pass still has a lot of variability.  Other states that could surprise (and turn out to be important) are of course Michigan and Wisconsin and possibly even Minnesota.  States that likely are set but still considered as swing states are Iowa and Ohio, which Trump will very likely carry handily.

Here's a disturbing thought...

Should Trump pull off a victory tonight, does Clinton challenge the validity of the of the results using Trump's unwillingness to accept the results if he lost, as her justification?

State by State poll closing by EST (with Live Updates)

Below is a list of state poll closing times, along with a running tally of  of cumulative electoral college votes by candidate.  Some of the swing states could be wrong obviously as it's merely my best guess for each state, and not all states are equally certain to turn out as expected.

By my latest estimation Trump wins this 273-265.  Obviously the path becomes easier or more difficult for Trump to win, by early swing state flips.

State (Electoral college votes) Predicted Winner -- Running EC Vote tally (Trump/Clinton)

I'll add the actual results in [winner name] as the results get reported.

Closed at 7 p.m. EST

Georgia (16), Trump -- (16/0) [Trump]
Indiana* (11), Trump -- (27/0) [Trump]
Kentucky* (8), Trump -- (35/0) [Trump]
South Carolina (9), Trump -- (44/0) [Trump]
Vermont (3), Clinton -- (44/3) [Clinton]
Virginia (13), Clinton -- (44/16) [Clinton]

Closed at 7:30 p.m. EST

North Carolina (15), Trump (reported very late) -- (59/16) [Trump]
Ohio (18), Trump -- (77/16) [Trump]
West Virginia (5), Trump -- (82/16) [Trump]

Closed at 8 p.m. EST

Alabama (9), Trump -- (91/16) [Trump]
Connecticut (7), Clinton -- (91/23) [Clinton]
Delaware (3), Clinton -- (91/26) [Clinton]
Florida* (29), Trump (reported very late) -- (120/26) [Trump]
Illinois (20), Clinton -- (120/46) [Clinton]
Maine (4), Clinton 3, Trump 1 -- (121/49) [Clinton 3/3. Maine CD2 still TBD]
Maryland (10), Clinton -- (121/59) [Clinton]
Massachusetts (11), Clinton -- (121/70) [Clinton]
Mississippi (6), Trump -- (127/70) [Trump]
Missouri (10), Trump -- (137/70) [Trump]
New Hampshire** (4), Trump -- (141/70)
New Jersey (14), Clinton -- (141/84) [Clinton]
Oklahoma (7), Trump (148/84) [Trump]
Pennsylvania (20), Clinton -- (148/104)
Rhode Island (4), Clinton -- (148/108) [Clinton]
Tennessee (11), Trump -- (159/108) [Trump]
Washington, DC (3), Clinton -- (159/111) [Clinton]

Closed at 8:30 p.m. EST

Arkansas (6), Trump -- (165/111) [Trump]

Closed at 9 p.m. EST

Arizona (11), Trump -- (176/111)
Colorado (9), Trump -- (185/111) [Clinton]
Kansas* (6), Trump -- (191/111) [Trump]
Louisiana (8), Trump -- (199/111) [Trump]
Michigan* (16), Clinton -- (199/127)
Minnesota (10),  Clinton -- (199/137)
Nebraska (5), Trump -- (204/137) [Trump]
New Mexico (5), Clinton -- (204/142) [Clinton]
New York (29), Clinton -- (204/171) [Clinton]
North Dakota** (3), Trump -- (207/171) [Trump]
South Dakota* (3), Trump -- (210/171) [Trump]
Texas*  (38), Trump -- (248/171) [Trump]
Wisconsin (10), Clinton -- (248/181) [Trump]
Wyoming (3), Trump -- (251/181) [Trump]

Closed at 10 p.m. EST

Iowa (6), Trump -- (257/181) [Trump]
Montana (3), Trump -- (260/181) [Trump]
Nevada (6), Clinton -- (260/186) [Clinton]
Utah (6), Trump -- (266/186) [Trump]

Closed at 11 p.m. EST

California (55), Clinton -- (266/242) [Clinton]
Hawaii (4), Clinton -- (266/246) [Clinton]
Idaho* (4), Trump -- (270/246) [Trump]
Oregon* (7), Clinton -- (270/253) [Clinton]
Washington (12), Clinton -- (270/265) [Clinton]

Closing at 1 a.m. EST

Alaska (3), Trump -- (273/265)

*Varies by time zone. Some polling places will close an hour earlier.
**Multiple closing times.

Election projection 2016. It's a headscratcher.

I honestly don't know what to think at this point. There's plenty of evidence that Hillary Clinton will break 300 electoral college votes.  There's significant evidence that she won't make 270.  Polls show Hillary up by 2% to 3%  on average. But the polls missed Reagan's landslide in 1980.  The polls missed Brexit in 2016. Then again, polls underestimated Obama's defeat of Romney in 2012. Is Trump surging or is his Democrat swing state tour this last week just bravado or desperation? Who knows?  I certainly don't, although it won't stop me best guessing.

Skipping all the boring stuff, I'll leap straight to my prognostications.  Trump will beat Hillary 270 to 268. Clinton will try to litigate it but will fail. The Republicans will keep the House and end up with 51 seats in the Senate.  That's me trying to split the difference between cautious optimism, Trump hysteria and polling and pundit commonality suggesting Hillary wins.  This is really a true unknown situation in my eyes.  I think the most telling insights will come from post-election analysis of polling data.

A few observations I can offer.  

There may be what's been dubbed a Trump Monster Vote, but the size is still TBD. I doubt it will be as big as many hoped for but bigger than expected.  I expect the real difference maker in this election will not be Democrat cross-over voters but rather dampened Clinton support and the lack of enthusiasm among Hillary supporters.   If turnout for Hillary is low then Trump's odds improve dramatically as his supporters clearly have an enthusiasm edge. 

The transit strike in Philadelphia has ended, which is likely good news for Hillary GOTV in Philadelphia.

Hillary may also have abandoned Ohio and could be looking to fortify Pennsylvania.  That's also helpful for her strategically even though to some, it might appear as a panic move.

Pennsylvania may be the state to swing the election.  But so too might be New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan or even the single electoral vote from Maine CD2, if Trump is to prevail. If Clinton emerges victorious then the state that will do it for her is either Florida or North Carolina.

It's Election Day.

Alright.  Here we go.

November 6, 2016

Duelling Echo Chambers

If you look at the 2016 election you can find pundits, pollsters and the general public who predict everything from a Hillary Clinton blowout to a Donald Trump blow out (and everything in between). 

People on the right, many of them, believe that the polls have oversampled Democrats.  That the turnout of Democrats is going to be depressed among African American voters, Bernie Sanders supporters and even to a certain extent Hispanic voters are unenthusiastic and won't turn out in numbers to get Hillary Clinton elected.  Meanwhile, Trump has surged among men, blue collar workers, and a number of other traditional Democrat demographics.  In addition, they cite things like the pollster misreads of BREXIT, where the Stay vote was expected to beat the Leave vote and it has not happened.

There are polls that support many of their assertions.  There's evidence pollsters were re-working their polls and support was converging between Trump and Clinton prior to the initial Comey news that the FBI were re-opening the Clinton email investigation (before slamming it shut again today).  But here's the thing - you can't say the pollsters were adjusting their polls AND that Trump was surging.  It's one or the other.  Additionally, there were a number of polls that showed Romney leading Obama in 2012 that turned out to be wrong.  The preponderance of the evidence of polls was that Obama was leading and he actually was.

While there is a case to be made that Trump has made up ground and that there is this mythical Trump "monster vote" that will emerge on election day.  Okay, maybe but there's no solid evidence.  As much as I'd like to believe it and I've based a lot of my own analyses on skepticism of the mainstream polls, we might be operating in an echo chamber - we hear people saying things, often anecdotally, that we are predisposed to want to believe and hence exhibit a confirmation bias belief in that 'news'.

The same can be said for Democrats, who want to believe the polling general Clinton lead.  They dismiss the anecdotal evidence of huge Trump rallies and small Clinton rallies as forcefully as Trump supporters embrace them.  The Democrat echo chamber has been around a lot longer (and consequently a lot bigger) but that makes it no more correct.

What matters is a preponderance of polls in the swing states. If there's a hidden Trump monster vote, or true unmeasured momentum for him, I'll be as happy as anyone - Hillary Clinton is unfit to be president. Trump is a coin toss at least. But until that happens, I am dialing myself back on my confidence levels.  I think at this point the ceiling for Hillary Clinton is probably about 280 electoral college votes and the floor is about 225. The same is roughly true for Trump. I think Trump's chances of winning are anywhere from 45% to 53%  That's not terrible odds (unless you are Hillary Clinton and are working to stack the deck in your favor).  As a Trump proponent, I'll take that. A Trump landslide would be wonderful, but it's not necessary.

Comey 2nd about face should energize Trump voters

Corrupt much?

Sunday verse

November 5, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography

So close to the election, I haven't forgotten about the Saturday Learning Series and this year's theme - geography.  I've moved it later so as not to interfere with possible electoral news posts.

Unfortunately we've caught up with our primary geography video source, Geography Now and are awaiting more from that wonderful series.  But since it's election crunch time in America, here is a good video on American geography.

Clinton wanted to drone Assange

Hillary Clinton wanted to drone (i.e. bomb) Julian Assange. She apparently doesn't care about taking out a building in London, England (with all of the collateral damage, both physically and geo-politically) as long as it rids her of her own political problems. That is sociopathic (for more, check this link) and shocking.

If the media covered this actual email with the same gysto they drilled down into every Donald Trump innuendo, the election would be over.  But don't count on it - vote, and inform your friends and ask them to vote like your country's future depends on it because it does.

Scheduling Note

Normally Saturday mornings Nonsensible Shoes posts a Saturday Learning Series video.  Given the importance of political events and the immediacy of the U.S. presidential election, the Saturday Learning Series video will be delayed until late evening today to provide room for other important issues that may arise.

MUST SEE: Huma Abedin, foreign agent?

I had a non-American friend who years ago, pre-9-11, applied to join the FBI while living in the United States.  After two years of vetting and background checks, his application was finally declined.  It would seem that there are a lot of security checks in place when dealing with non-Americans who want to serve in American government.  That seems entirely reasonable, defensible and in fact prudent.  

But there is clearly a by-pass to all of that; simply attach yourself to a powerful political person who doesn't seem to care about national security and wait until she runs for president.  In the case of Huma Abedin, it doesn't hurt her ascendancy that she was born in America, probably avoiding some of the normal security questions that would be encountered.

After watching the video, you'll begin to wonder why Hillary Clinton wasn't so robust in her embracing of Abedin as a personal aide. The connections, and implications,  are shocking.  That someone with connections to organizations and people as anathema to liberty and democracy can get so close to the seat of American power is chilling.

Snopes claims to have debunked the video, however, Snopes is a liberal website with biased views.  Clearly the links are easy to investigate for yourself.

On the plus side, a number of websites are indicating that Huma Abedin has flipped favoring her personal liberty over her cause, and is cooperating with the FBI investigation.  Whether that is accurate is not yet clear. However if it is true, it should be enough to entirely derail Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House as well as potentially the goals of those closely connected to Abedin herself. 

That is, if it even gets reported.

November 4, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Hillary Clinton 3

A final Hillary Clinton song for the last Friday Musical Interlude before the 2016 election.

Trump's final message

Watch this America, please.

Friday Musical Interlude - Hillary Clinton songs 2

It's a special edition day, Hillary Clinton songs.

They can't touch me.

We'll see Hillary, we'll see.

State of the race - Nov 4

Yesterday I updated my view of the state of the race for the presidency and it looked like a tie as far as the electoral college.  Today I went back to the RCP average of polls and I recalibrated my weighted average of polls to see if I'm in the same place as my electoral college view of how tight this race is.   It seems to be the case that it is very tight. As you can see below:

Click to enlarge.
Previously I had a two week view which I've changed to a weekly view this time around.  This view takes a weighted average of the polls, as they are not all equal.  The approach is as follows - if a poll has 2000 respondents and another poll has 1000 respondents I've pro-rated the voter percentages Trump and Clinton for each poll as a percentage of that poll but the overall voter total would be 3000 so a poll that has Clinton ahead by 4 points but over 1000 people polled would net her less voters than the poll that had her behind 3 points over 2000 voters. 

Additionally I've excluded polls that do not indicate their margin of error as those polls are not transparent and therefore subject to manipulation. I've excluded any polls with less than 800 respondents and polls with margins of error greater than 4.5%.  I've also excluded all polls with a margin of 6 or more (the last measure has been more fluid than the others as the gap has been larger than that at times).

For November-ending polling only 1 poll has been excluded as a result of those criteria - a Reuters/Ipsos poll that has Hillary Clinton +6. It seems like an outlier, though I could be wrong. That poll has consistently showed Clinton at the high end of the spectrum and seems out of alignment with most polls that range from Trump +4 to Clinton +5 (most at Clinton +1 to 3).

One other note - as I've capped the outlier to reflect the current situation, previous weeks have had polls excluded that previously did not have those same polls excluded - my Excel spreadsheet is not that dynamic (yet).  Therefore weeks prior to November were further apart than they appear above.

With that exclusion my weighted average of polls indicates an absolute tie in total voters allocated across 5 November polls. It's a true toss up right now in my estimation, excluding any possible momentum.

Bear in mind that this does not take into account polling methodologies which I do not have the bandwidth to review, and some polls that I have included demand further review.  Nor does this take into account momentum.  The polls today might not reflect next Tuesday.

However, even the polling as it exists, shows a tight, tight race.

Voter fraud is a real thing

Call this an anomaly if you like, but there are more and more of these weird ' glitches' showing up this cycle.  t's almost as if Democrats are trying to steal the election. It's not the first thing I've posted on the subject and it really hasn't been my focus this cycle. There are a lot of stories and videos out there about the nefarious activities going on, and I've only seen one fraud that went in Trump's favor. Take from that what you will.

Friday Musical Interlude - Goldmine

Colbie Calliat's 2016 song Goldmine. I've liked this live version ever since I first heard it.

Friday Musical Interlude - Hillary Clinton songs 1

It's a special edition day, Hillary Clinton songs.

Pantsuit Everyday:

The opportunity of change

This election has the potential to be a change election. The #NeverTrump crowd, the Weekly Standard, George Will, John Kasich, the Bush family, and the like have really missed the boat.  Clearly they're more concerned about the status quo than the country.  And by the status quo, I specifically mean their status quo.  They don't want outsiders getting inside the walls - not just Trump but also the electorate.  What they are missing is the opportunity that the change represents.

If the polls are correct, Trump could be on his way to a victory - a possibly huge victory.

By avoiding the opportunity they've guaranteed themselves, should Trump win, a seat on the outside.  The tactics made sense if Hillary remained ahead, even though the strategy was very flawed.  But the tactics are falling apart too - denouncing Trump in the face of a potential Trump landslide. 

Not only do they lose their seats of power on the inside, they're losing their base of followers, readers and supporters.  They've trapped themselves in an ever-shrinking echo chamber.

Meanwhile, America may be on the brink of pulling itself away from the brink of irreversible decay.  The Supreme Court, the military, the economy, and the removal of crony capitalism, bureaucracy, laws that encourage offshoring of jobs and Obamacare are all possible under a Trump presidency.  They might not all be achieved in four years, but they become possible, and theoretically achievable in eight years.  That's the real opportunity of the change.  How anyone who calls themselves a conservative would not be onboard with that is unfathomable.

Trump will not solve everything.  But even achieving a few of these things would be a massive success that could be built upon by future generations.

In addition, populism is not a dirty word.  It's a different way of achieving the Reagan Big Tent approach to conservatism.  If African Americans and legal Hispanics see significant gains under Trumpism, the potential for an electoral paradigm shift is also, huge.

Standing on the outside looking in is going to suck for those currently on the inside of the Republican hierarchy.  Trust the rest of us - we know.

November 3, 2016

More Hillary Campaign Subterfuge

Brought to you by Project Veritas.

State of the race - Nov 3

The race for president has been a roller coaster ride in 2016, there have been that many ups and downs for everyone involved or watching.  The latest polls do not deviate from that at all.  Recent polls have seen Trump surge ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire, and even Virginia which has slowly trended from Republican red to Democratic blue over the last 20 years.  Colorado, a former Clinton lock and no longer a swing state is back in play and Nevada could just as easily end up in Trump's column as Hillary's.  Some of these recent polls though, are still outliers in the state by state races, but their recency and unitary direction do corroborate a trend towards Trump.

Many will argue that it's as a result of the FBI Director Comey's re-opening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, but as I and others have noted, the tightening of the polls started before that and pretty rapidly too.  Polling has been recalibrated as there has been a lot of evidence of Democrat oversampling versus Republicans and Independents that pollsters could not carry through election days lest they look unscientific.

That is all beside the point anyway and we are where we are regardless of how we got here.  And where we are right now is striking.  This is how I see the current situation. (Map-sharing courtesy of

Click the map to create your own at

A tie, with each candidate 1 electoral vote short of 270 (now you can see why 270towin got their website name). The election is in 5 days from today (6 including today) and the polling is not over.  The trending is not over.  Everyone is waiting for the next shoe to drop and guessing what it might be - an FBI Clinton indictment, another WikiLeaks bombshell, a Donald Trump October surprise?  No one knows.

But let's assume for a moment that it's status quo through election day and there are no more last minute events.  Here's where, if the above holds true either candidate can get that electoral college win.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary currently has the easier path.  

(1) North Carolina is the most obvious opportunity.  While Trump appears to be leading the margin is still razor thin.  A strong get out the vote effort might put her over the top. If  NC flips to her column, it's over. 

(2) Florida - Hillary through a combination of advertising, stumping and possible nefarious activities could pull off the state. 

(3) Nevada is also a possibility, it''s a traditionally Democratic state and a later state to vote.  Democrats there could be energized to turn out if they are aware that it's a tight race nationally.  

(4) The Utah gambit. Utah has a large Mormon population and they do not like Trump.  Consequently a third candidate is close to Trump in polling there.  Should Trump lose the state to him, the election goes to Congress to decide.  With Clinton at 269 and Trump at 263 and this McMullin guy at 6, there would be intense pressure for the Republican congress to select Hillary as the next president seeing as she would have the electoral college lead.  There is no requirement that they do so, and she's probably loath to count on that possibility, never theless there are a number of #NeverTrump Republican establishment types and combined with the number of Democrats in Congress, it's possible she could win this way.  However, polling has indicated Trump is starting to pull ahead in the state so it still is the least likely scenario for her.

As another point that works in Hillary's favor New Hampshire may revert to norm and go Democrat. I'm of the opinion that it will surprise people and vote Trump.  Should that prove false Hillary will win regardless of teh other options.  However, should any Trump win scenario but one pan out, New Hampshire won't matter.

Donald Trump

Absent more momentum, and stuck in a tie Trump will have to rely on a polling error in a marginally Clinton state to win. His best hope is that the momentum continues.  If it does several states could flip and he could win easily.  Failing that the race comes down to one of three most feasible scenarios for a Trump win; Colorado flips, Virginia flips or Maine CD2 flips.  All would require the latest polls to be slightly off.

(1) The RCP average of polls for Colorado has Clinton up 1.7%, within the margin of error, and with the latest poll an actual tie, and overall average-wise with Trump surging.  Trump has led Clinton earlier in the state, as late as early October. Absent more momentum, this could be down to a recount and a late night next Tuesday for election watchers.

(2) Virginia seems like it would be the hardest flip for Trump.  There is no doubt Trump is surging there but he still has a 3.4 point gap in the RCP average for the state.  Absent continued momentum Trump will not win Virginia.  Unless the Hampton University poll is correct.  It might be.

(3) One of the first states to close it's polls could determine the election.  This one I think is well within Trump's grasp and I'd say with 60% certainty, he'll win it, despite trailing right now.  Maine splits its electoral college votes - 2 go to the statewide winner (Clinton), one goes to the winner of congressional district 1 (also Clinton)  and 1 goes to the winner of Congressional District 2.  The latter, currently is leaning towards Clinton.  However, Trump has led most of the election cycle for that CD's one electoral college vote (from June to mid-October, at one point by as much as 14%). The district is a typically Republican, rural district which would indicate a Trump support base.  Additionally all the polls in the district are very small, in the 300 responder range. The one exception from early October had 800+ responders and showed Trump up 1. Should Trump win Maine CD2 and nothing else varies from the above map, Trump would win 270 to 268.

The dark horse for Trump is Pennsylvania.  He's trending upward there quickly. But it's always been a tantalizing tease for Republicans.  Trump winning there would mean he's probably also won Colorado or Virginia.  Winning Pennsylvania without winning other toss up states would be a weird result.

At this point the race is truly a toss up. Either candidate could win.  Trump's momentum may carry him well past Clinton.  Or he may hit a ceiling and come up just short in a swing state or two.  The momentum might still change with some other October surprise.  Have the Democrats thrown all of their ammo at Trump already? That's hard to say.  Is the FBI going to announce anything?  What will WikiLeaks share this week?  Hang on tight - it's going to be a really wild finish, wilder than the Cubs vs. Indians World Series game 7.  

November 2, 2016

If this is right, it's over

Wow. Just wow. I've followed politics since 1976 (granted, I was only 10) and I have never seen anything like this election, not ever.  If this report from Fox News is accurate, the election is over - Hillary Clinton can't win without a coup d'etat.

Was the FBI investigation the final straw?

Hillary Clinton's campaign seems to be imploding.  From James Carville melting down to finger pointing among everyone to her poll numbers tanking even faster than they were before the news broke last Friday, the Clinton campaigns seems to be (so far) unable to stop the slide. And with only 6 days to go until election day, it seems like she may not be able to recover.

Poll tightening might be replaced this week with polls widening in Donald Trump's favor.  The turnaround in their respective fortunes has been remarkably swift.

Was the FBI investigation being reopened the final straw?  It could be.  But there's more coming still.  With the WikiLeaks Donna Brazile fixing the primary debates to help Clinton, even Democrats seem to be getting sick of the cheating and corruption.

But don't expect a straight line of Trump success and/or Clinton decline.  They won't go quietly into that good night.  But on a macro level they might be out of ideas.  It might come down to how they can cheat the system.  That's par for the course for Clinton, and clearly the Democrats too, because it's their standard operating procedure clearly. The meltdown temper tantrums might just because they don't like getting caught and called out for it.

November 1, 2016

CNN fiddling as Clinton campaign burns

CNN lying on behalf of Hillary Clinton is awful.

It's time to end early voting

It's time to end early voting.  Yes, people could change their minds based on new information that arises after they've voted but before election day, but that's not the real reason it needs to be stopped. Early voting does offer some benefits that cannot be ignored, but the negative possibilities vastly outweigh the potential benefits unless a smarter, more robust methodology is employed to do so. Today, that is not the case.

A system that relies on honesty, integrity and impartiality has inherent weakness. Democrats for decades have been using the inclusivity argument to their advantage for years.  It's true when it comes to illegal alien naturalization and it's true when it comes to voting 'rights'.   The argue that people don't need identification to vote.  They argue that whatever it takes to enable easier voting should be the law of the land.  That includes early voting.  We already know that Democrats are prepared to cheat to get their wins, and possibly more than any other voting rights discussion, early voting enables them to do that.  

Early voting effectively widens the window for Democrats to cheat - to stuff ballot boxes - without eyes on them by election monitors.  Having to dedicate election monitors to every polling place is tricky enough if it's on one day every four years.  But expand that to 46 days (in some states early voting commenced as early as September 23rd this cycle), and consider the logistical nightmare by political parties trying to find qualified, dependable and honest polling place monitors for that long, for as many counties as the nation requires.  It's clearly not happening as voter fraud issues continue to pop up.  Giving Democrats as many as 46 times the number of opportunities to cheat is a kneecapping of democracy and it should not be allowed to continue stand ('not allowed to stand' should not be in the same sentence as 'kneecapping').

There are plenty of potential issues with voting machines, mail-in or absentee ballots going missing or a trunk full of ballots mysteriously showing up to change election outcomes, to have a serious re-think of the neutrality of the entire process. But anything that expands the window that allows Democrats to stuff ballot boxes with dead voter ballots has got to be the number one item on the radar of those seeking fair elections. It's curious that more liberal leaning states are predominant in seeming to favor the earliest early voting dates.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This