Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016 Part X. The final stretch

The Republican Party has officially nominated Donald Trump. The Democratic Party has officially nominated Hillary Clinton.  Both parties have, therefore, managed to nominate the two least liked Presidential candidates in over a century, and perhaps of all time.  The choices are so unattractive that the two most significant third parties, the Libertarians and the Greens are actually attracting serious attention with their candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  The new American Solidarity Party, a Christian Democratic party that is socially conservative but otherwise somewhat liberal in other respects is actually getting commentary in some quarters.  Their candidates are Mike Maturen and Juan Muñoz.  Any third party candidate is unlikely to win, but frankly the third parties are much more likely to get a serious looking at this year than at any time since the early 20th Century, at which time a variety of progressive parties and special campaign parties received serious attention.  Those parties failed t win also, but they did get some serious attention.

How the country fell into this sorry situation has been widely speculated on for months, but basically it came about because the two major parties utterly ignored their base. At least the Democrats still are, but they also have, so far, much stronger party organization that has allowed it to suppress insurgencies, although at the cost, it would appear, of the position of their national committeeman.  Republican insurgents succeeded in toppling their establishment, but probably at the cost of the election and at a time which effectively will secure a "progressive" triumph that stands to permanently impact the country until such time as most of it unravels under its own weight, which is likely to occur at some point.  Chances are high, however, that a positive benefit of that will be that Congress will rediscover that it, not the Presidency, is the governing body, and indeed it already seems to be doing so.

And so we roll on to the General election.

Commentary followup, August 1, 2016

At some point it has gotten difficult to watch this election season and not conclude that you just don't want to. The entire thing has become unbelievably surreal.

This past week the news has been full of articles about the DNC and its emails back and forth within it. They are a little shocking.  It's pretty clear that the DNC was working against Sanders, but that's not any real surprise.  It shouldn't have been, but it was.  It really shouldn't have been commenting on making use of Sanders religious dedication, or lack of it, as a point in the election and the person who referred to its Hispanic outreach efforts as "taco bowl outreach" really needs a dope slap.

As part of this, we now have the question of how the Russians got into the DNC email system.  What is up with that?

All of this should be a gift to Trump, but by the weeks end Trump's comments about the Russians maybe finding missing Clinton emails and then going on to continually comment about Khizr Khan's comments at the Democratic convention are just stunning.  What, on earth, is he thinking?

It is often said that countries get the politicians they deserve, and I suppose in some ways we do deserve this. But this entire election has now reached the point where to a lot of people it seems really out of hand.  The two major party players are highly unpopular and for good reason.  Lots of people are extremely uncomfortable with both candidates.

I've noted it before, but if ever there was an American election in modern times that cried out for third party candidates, this is it.  Right now it does not look like the major third party candidates will be able to participate in the debates, which is a real shame, as we have to wonder what the impact of that would be.  Normally we think that they would simply scrub off votes from either party, and maybe tip the balance that way in a close election, but frankly if they received more press this time around, they may do more than that. At least Johnson form the Libertarian Party might do fairly well, and its now clear that Stein from the Green Party would pick up an appreciable number of Sanders voters.  I don't think Stein can ever be imagined as a potential victor, but it's not impossible that Johnson could be.

That doesn't amount to an endorsement of Johnson.  Indeed, I'm not keen on the Libertarian Party.  But perhaps the two main parties are so out to sea this year that third parties ought to step in.  In a year in which Republican voters were willing to give a chance to such an unlikely candidate as Trump, and Democrats nearly did the same with Sanders, perhaps voices that aren't getting heard ought to be.  That might stand to make this election historic in a positive way.

Indeed, this particular year the rare "what if" clause of the 12th Amendment might come into play, and we might almost hope that it does.  In relevant part, that provisions states:

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
That's right, we might have a situation in which neither Trump  nor Clinton take over 50% of the vote.  And if that occurs, it's up to the House to choose from amongst the top three.  I'm not entirely certain the House would go for Clinton or Trump in that situation.

And if they simply can't agree on what to do, then Joe Biden becomes the President.  It'd be bizarre, but it could occur.  Then the Senate would have to pick the Vice President from amongst the VP candidates.

Given the make up of the House, this would favor the Republicans, but it might also be the case that they'd be so disaffected that they wouldn't want to do, or live with, the obvious.  Not likely, but actually possible.

Commentary followup, August 3, 2016

How Joe Biden can become President in the 2016 Election. A wild, but hypothetically possible, scenario.

You never know. . . .

On other matters, President Obama came out swinging at Donald Trump a couple of days ago and stated he was unfit for office. This came in the wake of ongoing controversy about Trump's comments  about Khizr Khan's statements at the Democratic Convention.  This is causing a lot of GOP figures to back away from Trump, while saying little, except in some exceptions, as Trump's comments are so insulting of the sacrifice made by Cpt. Khan, who died in action.  It's getting a lot of Press and President Obama called upon the leaders of the GOP to disavow Trump, which would be a dramatic, if nearly impossible, thing for them to do at this stage of the race.

On this in general, yesterday the New York Times ran an article on this and a really insightful comment was made by one of the readers about no matter what a person's view was, after the election, or maybe even now, it was paramount to make an effort to understand why so many have been attracted to Trump not matter what he's said.  Of course, the Time readership being what it is, the average Time commenter came back full of snark with their typical "I'm smart, everyone else is dumb" reply, but that commenter has a really good point.  Trump has said some things that are flat out shocking and in a normal year would have been the death of his campaign.  But this year has been totally different which means something hugely significant is going on.  That's why the GOP establishment is now not saying anything, it doesn't know what to say, and it truly appears that Trump cannot loose his base.  I feel his based is not sufficiently large to carry him through and that this will be a disaster for the GOP, which I think the GOP now believes as well, and that it's opted for the Dunkirk Option, but somebody is truly going to have to figure out what occurred here.

The controversy is also calling into question Trump's ineligibility for the draft during the late stages of the Vietnam War, but so far there's no reason to question his status. Clinton, of course, perhaps uniquely for a candidate of her antiquity, cannot be questioned in regards to that.  It is interesting how the Vietnam War has come back election cycle after election cycle to haunt those who didn't serve, which many who have run for high office did not.

Jill Stein is having a critical eye turned towards here for the first time, which is interesting in that some must actually consider her a bit of a threat to the Democrats.  

Commentary followup, part two, August 3, 2016

The question is, are the voters watching?

There is some reason to believe the answer to this is no. People might have their minds made up to the point where whatever happens now doesn't matter. But if they do, this week might be proving to be the worst imaginable for the GOP.  It's been truly incredible.

Trump has, without good reason, sparked a new spat with Speaker Ryan.  Its hard to know why he would do this, and his VP candidate Pence is not following his lead, and has endorsed Ryan.  So we actually have a split between the VP and the Presidential candidates in the GOP in regard to Ryan.

The debate over Trump's comments on the Khans is getting worse. Added to that, it now seems that Joe Scarborough had some information some time ago that would at least raise questions about Trump's views on the use of nuclear weapons.  This hasn't been fully developed, but it's troubling.

Indeed, at this pace, the GOP candidacy shows ever sign of imploding.  Trump's dedicated supporters are going to stick with him at this point, but a lot of Republicans were not very keen on him to start with.  Conservatives who didn't like Trump but grudgingly came along have to be considering bolting at this point.

Things have the feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop, but what will that be? An endorsement of a black horse independent?  An emergency GOP denouncement and rejection of the nominated candidate?  Nothing at all?  It's hard to know, but this week has been a disaster and its only Wednesday.  

Some sort of intervention will happen. But the question there is whether the nominee can accept the intervention.  If not, then what?

Commentary:  August 6, 2016

Trump came out yesterday and endorsed Ryan and McCain.

I've seen a small amount of push back on the Khan speech at the DNC which fell into a different context than Trumps.  Basically, that text criticized Khan for politicizing the death of his son.  I have to admit that this has bothered me a bit consistently since I read of the speech being made.  What I hadn't done, however, was read the speech.  Here it is:

First, our thoughts and prayers are with our veterans and those who serve today. Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy -- that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams. Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son "the best of America." If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities -- women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America -- you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can't solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.
Out of line?  Well, it's not something that I really think should be done.  I.e., I don't really feel that the parents of those who lost their lives in battle ought to speak in this context, which does not mean that it isn't their right to do so.  Mostly I think the speech was a bit in articulate, but I wouldn't expect a speech from a person who grew up speaking a language so radically different from English to deliver the Gettysburg address either.

I suppose, again, the most problematic aspect of this is that Trump replied the way he did.  In order to acquire the job he seeks he will have to have a pretty thick skin and show an ability to turn the other cheek.  He hasn't. By lowering himself in this debate, as he did, I suspect he's done fatal damage to his chances with a lot of previously undecided voters.

Commentary: August 8, 2016

The long anticipated conservative GOP effort at fielding their own candidate has now occurred.  Evan McMullin, a former CIA staffer, has announced a bid for the presidency with the backing of some conservatives in the GOP.  McMullin is a Mormon with ties to Utah and some early speculation holds that even if his overall impact on the race on a state by state basis is low, he may take Utah away from Trump as Trump's support is very low there within the GOP.

As the McMullin race is just starting, its overall impact is really too early to speculate on, but after a week in which Trump did very poorly, particularly given that he is now competing for the undecided vote in general, rather than for GOP primary votes, this may be the beginning of additional bad news for Trump.

Of interest, at least one of the weekend news shows is now beginning to talk about polls featuring Johnson and Stein, which also shows how unusual the dynamics of this election are.  Supposedly, even optimistically,  Johnson only takes 10% of the vote and Stein 5%.  McMullin will appeal to a different group of disaffected voters.  If he can take even 5% of the vote, and other third party candidates as little as 1%, this race starts to look much different.  And that's assuming that the third party candidates positions in the polls do not start to improve.

Commentary:  August 10, 2016

Some related threads I haven't previously linked in here, but I probably should have:

Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right.
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion.:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion. Father Longnecker weights in.

Taking a look at the moral aspects of the vote, a topic that that perhaps matters more than any other here.

Okay, having noted those, an additional couple of comments.

Some Trump supporters claim that the Press is now hard focused on Trump and his gaffs and ignoring anything that questions Clinton.  While I'm reluctant to credit conspiracy theories about the press, I think there's an element of truth in that.

That seems fairly evident to me in the news pending over the past few days.  Yesterday Trump, who can't seem to know that New York buffoonish humor is detested in much of the country, made a really lame comment directed towards those who are on the right but find him distasteful.  Noting that if he looses, the Supreme Court goes with him for a generation, which is correct, he further noted that if Clinton is elected "there's nothing you can do about it". That's also correct. But then he went on to say something like "I don't know, maybe the 2nd Amendment people" (this isn't an exact quote).

To anyone listening this sounded like a reference to murder in jest.  I know his campaign is trying to spin this now, but you can't unspin that.

Trump doesn't seem to grasp that the demographic that was willing to tolerate his brash, boorish, rudeness has already voted for him and there are no more members of it.  He's loosing voters now.  But that comment probably was just another one of his lead bomb comments that most people ignore, and the press might try to be a little more balanced.  This same week we're told that many more Wikileaks of Clinton emails will be released and some of these, they claim, deal with arms to Middle Eastern folks most of us would not care for, they claim.  That seems like a pretty serious accusation against Hillary Clinton that you'd think we'd be focusing on, but we don't seem to be yet.  But maybe that's just yet.

Commentary:  August 18, 2016

Apparently signaling an intention to go full bore into his in your face style, Trump has shaken up his campaign style and put Steve Bannon, a Breitbart executive, in control of his campaign.  This signals an intention to go the polar opposite of what Republican leaders have been urging, and strongly aim for the disgruntled blue collar  and disaffected elements of the GOP.  That writes off appealing to moderate Democrats who might no like Clinton, although it might actually appeal a bit to some of Sanders blue collar support.

It will be perceived as risky, but it probably is a wise move.  Trump's campaign is going down in flames right now and he might as well throw the dice.  It will turn off wavering independents in large numbers however, so its based on the concept that there are enough hardcore right wing voters to push him over the top.  There won't be, but as a strategy, it's likely the best one a figure like him can employ.

Commentary:  August 26, 2016

Signature gatherers were out in full force in Casper for third party candidates.  Folks detailed to gather signatures for the Libertarian and the Green Party campaigns were reportedly on campus at Casper College and in the Smith's parking lot a signature gatherer, somewhat disingenuinely  or ignorantly wearing an AR15 t-shirt was gathering signatures for the Delta Party candidate.  Apparently Republican conservatives are gathering signatures for Evan McMullin, whose essentially running as a third party conservative Republican.

I'm generally of anyone getting on the ballot this year, although I didn't sign for the Delta Party candidate as I'd never heard of him.  That candidate is Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, who apparently is to the Democrats what McMullin is to the Republicans.  He tried to gain the Democratic ticket and fell flat, so now he's formed his own party to advance what is essentially a campaign appealing to traditional Democrats who are left of center, but not so far left of center that they're now looking at Stein.

McMullin's boosters, as noted, are trying here as well.  An interview that related to him reveals that the Utah native is afflicted with the Utah disease of wanting to transfer lands from the Federal government to the states.  Why a conservative feels that he needs to run on this anti conservation platform escapes me, but this is a year in which a lot of the race escapes me.

Commentary followup: August 30, 2016

It appears that Green Party candidate Jill Stein and establishment GOP candidate Evan McMullin gathered enough votes to appear on the Wyoming ballot in November.  I know that the Libertarians had signature gatherers out as well, and I'd be surprised if they did not also make it onto the ballot.

Commentary, September 19, 2016

If George F. Will is correct, and of course he follows things more closely than I, it's his job, the control of the Senate is likely to come down to a single race, which the incumbent GOP Senator is likely to lose.

If that's the case, and assuming a Clinton victory (which is presently not safe, given that the races are actually surprisingly close) this could indeed be a transformational race, particularly in regards to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Commentary, September 27, 2016 

Last night was the first debate between the two major, and disappointing, Presidential candidates.

This morning, no doubt, there will be piles of pundit commentary and both parties, and their real fans, will claim victory.  In reality, neither candidate can claim to have blown the other out of the water.

I'd give both candidates B-- grades, or maybe C+.  Lester Holt, whose ability to control the debate was completely non existent, gets a D-.

I can't say that either candidate was spectacular.  Hillary Clinton managed to get a few digs in, but she was also quite unspecific regarding details on some of her major themes and Trump let her be, showing insecurity on them on his part.  On gun control, for example, he let her use the euphemism of "gun safety, which id the Democratic Party's way of avoiding telling a clear truth on their position. Trump didn't want to touch it. They pushed each other around on well known positions, but didn't get into them much, in spite of grossly violating the time limits they were each given and wholly ignoring Lester Holt's efforts, such as they were, to rein them in.

Trump's blustering style and rapid speech managed to make the few really good points become muddled.  Clinton occasionally was clear and occasionally not.  Trump was probably most effective at demonstrating Democratic insiders like Clinton can't claim to carry the torch of new effective ideas as they've been around so long they would have tried them by now.  Clinton was probably most effective at seeming clearer than Trump.

I doubt anyone in either camp was much convinced by anything.  As for independents, maybe some were swayed one way or another, or maybe their taking another look at the (excluded) third party candidates who increasingly look good by comparison.

If I was to declare a winner, it'd be a close call, but it would likely be Clinton, who has more experience at this sort of thing, but only by decision, not by knock out, and only barely.  A person could argue that Trump did well simply by requiring Clinton to go toe to toe with him in her own ring.

October 8, 2016

It's simply amazing how, even with campaigns being as sophisticated as they are (particularly on the Democratic side, where the pros are in charge of this campaign), the respective sides still can't help doing stuff they shouldn't.

On Trump's side, that's mostly dealing with what Trump says, although there appears to be a fairly dedicated effort at this point to dig up stuff from his pasts.  Enough of an effort that it does give some credence to those who would claim that the press is out to get him.  But the Democrats blunder as well.

Take for example this television advertisement in support of Hillary Clinton:

Why, on Earth, would anyone give a rat's fanny about what Hollywood types feel about this, or any other issue?

Indeed, I noted that here on our own blog a couple of times.  Being famous for acting or singing qualifies you to comment on politics not at all.

I suspect most people know that, and I'd think the Clinton campaign wouldn't want to be associated with an industry that most people hold at some distance.  Indeed, the lives of a lot of Hollywood types are so screwed up that a person can't really take seriously their recommendations on a serious matter that isn't concerned with acting.

The Trump campaign certainly knows that, and came right back with an ad parodying the Clinton one.

October 8, 2016, part two

Well, in an election season when seemingly every odd thing that could happen, had happened, the revelation of comments made in 2005 by Donald Trump which are, reportedly, quite lewd (I haven't read them) has resulted in host of endorsement retractions and calls for Trump to step down as the candidate.

This is an interesting development, to say the least.  Given the history of this race it seems unlikely that Trump will step down, but given the volume of the cries, who knows?

October 9, 2016

Well, after reading some of the comments and most particularly reading about the flood of Republican figures disavowing Trump, I finally read what the comments were.

I'm sad to say that I am both underwhelmed while at the same time finding the comments repugnant.

Underwhelmed as the comments seem fully consistent with Trump's character, which we've known about throughout this race.  They are repugnant.

At this point the GOP really is fully at a crossroads. The best thing that could possibly happen would be for Trump to step down, which nearly any other individual caught in this situation would to. So far, he is rejecting calls that he do just that.  In my view, he should.  If he was loyal at all to his party he wold. Yes, there is only three weeks left in the campaign to go, but the nation as a whole does not like either of these candidates and there's actually still a chance for a bonafide conservative or moderate to win.  Frankly, at this point, if Trump and Pence hit the skids, which they should do, a new ticket lead by Paul Ryan would likely defeat the disliked Hillary Clinton.  Nearly any decent Republican figure would do for a vice presidential candidate.  So, if  the ticket was, for example, a Ryan/Rubio ticket, they'd likely win.

But odds are that Trump will fail to do the right thing, and odds are high that this latest revelation truly ends his chances, and with them the conservative cause for over a decade, if not longer.

October 21, 2016

I've been abstaining from posting here in part because not all that much has been going on, really, and in part because I post too much anyhow.

But, reading the commentary following the recent debate, I guess I can't abstain further really.

I watched the last debate.  It's the only one I've watched from beginning to end.  And so, I can gauge the commentary on it a bit.

All the more so because I don't like either one of these candidates, Trump and Clinton.  I predicted way back in 2015 that Clinton would win the next election, and I think my prediction will come true, but personally I find her to be the most lamentable Democratic candidate since JFK, and of course JFK became mostly lamentable after the fact (although there were some lamentable things before).  She's a consummate politician and I feel she'd tack to the wind from whatever direction it was blowing.  This does not mean that I think Trump is nifty either.  I think Trump is the festering boil the Republican Party got after it refused to take seriously an infection that had been running at fever pitch for years.  Bernie Sanders was that candidate in the Democratic Party, where they managed to take a few aspirin and carry on.  Anyhow, as I do not live in a swing state, I have the luxury of voting for a third party candidate or writing the name of one in, which is what I intend to do in protest.

So, that is, I may be more objective than the press, which I truly think at this point is solidly Democratic.

The spin from the debate is that Trump did the best he ever did but that the master debater Clinton did better.

Trump did seem to do better, much better, than he did in the part of the first debate I watched, although like both Glen Beck and Michael Moore, I never thought he did as poorly as the press claimed he did.  In the last debate, I think he was nearly equal to Clinton, quite frankly. And that's because she gave a poor, yes poor, performance.

She's a smoother talker but very poor at actually addressing facts in some instances.

The best example of this is in regards to the Supreme Court.  Trump actually answered the question directly.  Clinton, if she is to be believed, apparently thinks the Supreme Court is a junior high class council.  "It should listen to the people".  No, it shouldn't Mrs. Clinton, and if you believe that, you are a pathetic excuse for a lawyer.  Courts apply the law, and that should be all they do. Granted, in the last term, Justice Kennedy authored an opinion that's so egregiously contrary to the law that there's reason to question whether its actually binding precedence (yes, a shocking view I know from a lawyer), but that doesn't make the Supreme Court the United States House of Liberal Lords.  Not by a long shot.

They were both pathetic in regards to the Middle East. Trump accused Clinton and her fellow travelers in government on spilling the beans on the offensive on Mosul, currently going on now.  What nonsense.  Mosul is the type of military target that everyone knows is a necessary target.  It has to be taken, and everyone knows that.  Surprise isn't a factor.

Clinton for her part backed a no fly zone over Syria, which is absurd.  It's one thing to enforce such a zone over a country that you de facto occupy, quite another over one that you do not.  If that country is so weak you can do it safely and not have that act of war be recognized as such by your opponent, that's one thing, but in this case the no fly zone would have to work to shoot down Russian aircraft. Really?  Why on earth would we want that kind of risk.

Of course don't, which is why I think the whole no fly zone is just warm and fuzziness on this issue that she doesn't believe. And the Mosul sneak attack options probably aren't seriously believed by Trump either.  Shame on both of them for babbling about it.

The big news of the night was Trump's refusal to say he'd automatically accept the results of the election, which as the Press all atwitter.  This has been portrayed as a shocking departure from American political culture.


It is true that generally politicians have avoided this, and that has been portrayed as putting the nation above the self.  But we seem to have forgotten that the Bush-Gore election went to the United States Supreme Court.  Up until the Supreme Court ruled there was some question on whether Bush was the legitimate President (it's often forgotten that latter ballot counting showed he'd won by any measure).  Had the Supreme Court determined that counting in Florida was improper there was a real chance that Gore could have become President.  That's not that long ago.

Beyond that at least one modern election, the 1960 election, could have been challenged and should have been.  It's widely believed that vote tampering swung a close election from Nixon to Kennedy in that election, but Nixon did not challenge it. He's often praised (when he is praised at all) for that decision.

Well, hindsight being 20/20, we should all wish that Nixon challenged that election. That would have put him in office, probably, if it did, from 1960 through 1968.  The US would likely not have backed the coup in Vietnam, not have invited a mess with Cuba in the early 60s, and likely not have nearly caused a war over Berlin.  Kennedy was a creep and a disaster, and the country would have been much better off with out him, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Crisis and the Vietnam War.

So I'm not all that worried about Trump challenging an election.  It's not likely to do anything, or even happen, but I don't think he's obligated to abstain in advance.

I do think, however, that the Press is so biased against him, even though I don't like him, that there is almost nothing he can do that won't generate bad press.  Trump could go to work at Trump tower, find it on fire, rush in and pull a woman out of the fire and hit the fire alarms on the way out, and the headline the next day would read "Trump Assaults Woman While Acting To Save His Property. . . And He Hates Cats".  Clinton, in order to get equally bad press, would have to shoot Tim Kaine while aiming for  a Bill accuser while high on weed, and only that would last for a day.

I would say "thankfully it will all be over soon", but it won't.  Depending upon the results, when Clinton becomes President we're either going to see a big lurch legally to the left, or we're gong to see four years of complete stalemate, the latter being the better option.

But, fortunately for me, I can register a protest on the whole thing with my vote, as I do not live in a swing state and therefore I am not presented with a really immoral option vs. a really distasteful one.

On other news, we're treated this morning with the fact that Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry are going to stump for Clinton.  Apparently she's aiming for the tragically fallen Disney Star/can't remember what size my clothes should be vote.

October 31, 2016.

Geez Louise, here we are just a little over a week away from the election and new shockers keep popping up in this, the oddest of elections.

After earlier determining that Hillary Clinton was a bonehead for poor handling of her email, but not a criminal, the FBI now has opened the investigation back up.

Now, let's be clear about what the FBI has actually said.  It only said it found the existence of more emails, not that there was anything improper about them.

Indeed, it only learned of them while investigating Anthony Wiener's alleged sexting of a fifteen year old.  Wiener's unfortunate wife was the long suffering Huma Abedin, who is chief of Clinton's campaign and a long serving Hillary Clinton staffer.  The emails that showed up were ones that Abedin apparently sent and they might, but might not, contain confidential information.  So they may amount to nothing.  Or they might.

The Trump campaign is rejoicing, Clinton dropped back down to nearly on par with Trump, and the Democrats are howling about the FBI director, who was really put in a bad spot by this revelation and had to make some tough decisions on whether to say anything or not.  I think he made the right decision, but the Democrats are complaining about his breaking a long standing protocol that nothing of this type should be revealed on the eve of an election.  However, in an election in which some are claiming the fix is in, even if it clearly isn't, not saying something may have in fact been destructive to the nation when the information was revealed, which it clearly would have been sooner or later.

The missed part of all of this story is what it reveals about the the upper stratosphere of the Democratic Party, which is perhaps much more significant than the emails (or maybe not, depending upon what they say).  Abedin has been a liability forever simply due to the creepy Wiener. That there's a direct connection between a Presidential candidate and a figure like Wiener, at this stage, is pretty dense. But Abedin would be an unlikely figure for a campaign figure for a more populist and in touch campaign in the first place.  I'm sure she's a nice lady (and I feel bad for her, as you have to, about all of this stuff), but should she be in that role?  I doubt it. But in the rarefied atmosphere of the upper reaches of power stuff like this apparently doesn't occur.

Of course, it is disturbing that this information hasn't surfaced before, whatever it is.  Apparently Abedin was supposed to have turned over any computer earlier that she used in her employment by Clinton.  This computer was apparently her former husband's, not hers, and that provides, apparently, a bit of an excuse. Still, why was Anthony Wiener's computer being used?


In other news, Adele is for Clinton.

Why anyone would care who Adele, who is English, is for, is not clear.  She could be Anthony Wiener for all I care, and I don't know why anyone else would care either.

November 3, 2016

Oh my goodness, what a wild ride.

Just a little over a week ago it looked to be a Clinton blow out.

Now, the polls have moved so close its literally impossible to tell who will win.  Trump has closed something like a whopping eleven points in a week, and is still gaining.

But every Friday, it seems, something happens.

Related threads:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right.
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion.:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion. Father Longnecker weights in.
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part II
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part III Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part IV
Tracking the Presidential Election Part V
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VI. The wobbly Democratic Party.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VII
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VIII. Is there a Brexit lesson for the US election?
Tracking the Presidential Election 2016, Part IX. Yawn. . . . who?. . . what parties?
Maybe You Can't Go Home Again. . . but you don't have to keep traveling in the same stupid direction.

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