Monday, June 27, 2016

Market madness

The sky is falling.

The Dow lost more than 600 points yesterday and has lost another 220 so far today, all because Brexit means, of course, the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Clinton takes the lead

Clinton Opens 12-Point Lead on Trump as Two-Thirds See Him as Biased

Hillary Clinton surged to a broad advantage against Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, capitalizing on Trump’s recent campaign missteps. 

Two-thirds of Americans see him as biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims, and a new high, 64 percent, call Trump unqualified to serve as president.

These and other doubts about Trump have produced a sharp 14-point swing in preferences among registered voters, from +2 points for Trump in mid-May, after he clinched the GOP nomination, to +12 points for Clinton now, 51-39 percent. 

That snaps the race essentially back to where it was in March.

What, no Brexit bump?

And look at this.

The national poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds another apparent impact of Trump’s problems: 

Perhaps benefitting from comparison, Barack Obama’s job approval rating has gained 5 points, to 56 percent, matching its high since the early days of his presidency. 

That includes 55 percent approval specifically on handling the economy.


In his face-off with the president, Il Duce is getting hammered.

Pray that Hillary is not indicted.

Some details.

There are notable shifts among groups in the latest vote preference results. 

Largest is a 16-point loss for Trump, and 17-point advance for Clinton, among white Catholics, a potentially key group that accounts for one in seven registered voters.

Clinton, further, is now leading among young adults, a group in which Trump was surprisingly competitive last month. 

Trump is -11, and Clinton +11, among registered voters who don’t have a college degree, as well as among liberals and conservatives alike. 

And Trump is -10, Clinton +11, among white men.

Clinton continues to prevail mightily among nonwhites – by 77-15 percent now, vs. 69-21 percent last month; that includes 90-8 percent among blacks and 69-20 percent among Hispanics. 

(For an adequate sample size, this combines results among blacks, and separately among Hispanics, from May and June.) 

Trump leads Clinton by 50-40 percent among whites, down from 57-33 percent last month.

Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am surprised his lead among whites is that big, though I am glad to see it has dropped and I hope that trend continues.

Do that many whites really think free trade and immigration have harmed them in net, and that he can change both without political and economic turmoil?

Are that many whites that concerned about Muslim visitors or immigrants, and willing to see 11 million people actually uprooted from their lives and deported?

Progress in the sciences. Or philosophy.

It's a matter of connecting the dots.

If the dots aren't there, how can you connect them?

A thank you to Mackie.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How to deal with voters when they want what you don't

Steal the Whigs clothes to stave off a Whig victory, as Disraeli did?

Partially adopt the Social Democrats' agenda to deny them power, as Bismarck did?

A moratorium on Muslim immigration to the EU might have been enough.

Maybe even just slowing it down.

Or maybe just cutting back on submission to PC so disgraceful it often seems more angered by alleged Islamophobic speech than actual Muslim Jihad.

In countries beset by Jihader violence and Muslims openly bent on demanding submission to Shariah how stupid is it to criminalize frank expression of anger at or fear and rejection of Islam and Muslim immigration?

In countries where every day in so many ways people frankly reject Christianity why is it illegal to frankly reject Islam?

But Hell, no.

Never give an inch.

Instead, you can always . . .

Delegitimate democracy

Blame it on motives you've already spent decades delegitimating

All the same, why is so momentous a decision, at least as important as a constitutional change, to be made by so shallow and even flippant a thing as a razor thin simple majority in a one-shot plebiscite?

This really is the sort of thing that should not be that easy.

The process of amending the US constitution is far too difficult, sure, which has partially justified the increasingly bold judicial dictatorship of the US Supremes, never very effectively masked by ever more boldly egregious lying on behalf of a minority agenda by them and their epigones among the lesser fry of the federal judiciary.

But this process was way, way too easy.

As has occurred to some people, almost certainly too late.

There is an online petition asking for a second referendum if results are close.

The petition, which has attracted more than 3,234,000 signatures in the wake of Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union last Thursday, calls for a second referendum on the issue if the result is less than decisive.

Another referendum should be held, it says, "if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 percent based [on] a turnout less than 75 percent." 

In a startling result, the Leave campaign won Thursday's referendum with 52% of the vote, with 72% of voters turning out.

Disappointed voters have flocked to sign the petition in the wake of the vote, crashing the official UK government website on at least one occasion and generating more signatures than on any other petition on the site.

However . . .

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his intention to resign following the defeat of his Remain campaign, has previously said there would be no second referendum if the results were close, and enacting the petition would entail enacting laws retrospectively.

Why on Earth did Cameron make such a silly decision?

Anyway, here is Milo, whose joy is boundless.

Geert Wilders a month ago was writing about the same rebellion, really.

His congratulations to Britain.

A criticism not entirely unfair

Democrats: We Will Overcome the Constitution

Nothing stirs the passions of Democrats these days quite like the prospect of gutting the Constitution. 

In an unprecedented act of pretend political bravery, House members held a catered sit-in, demanding that Republicans allow a vote to strip away protections of Second, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution. 

It was quite the scene.

There were the selfie-happy Democrats singing "We Shall Overcome" while demanding passage of a bill that those right-wing nutjobs over at the American Civil Liberties Union have "strongly" argued would undermine civil liberties.

. . . .

The message was clear, though. 

If we recklessly cling to the presumption of innocence, the terrorists have already won. 

If we fail to let bureaucrats create extrajudicial secret government lists that deny Americans their right to due process, we are, in essence, selling ISIS weapons of mass destruction.

. . . .

Civil rights-era heroes like Rep. John Lewis, who lent his considerable legacy to this vacuous grandstanding, was once on the terror watch list himself. 

He didn't know how he got on it. 

He didn't know how to get off of it. 

Yet, today he believes this Kafkaesque system is a sound way to deny his fellow citizens their rights.

This is the Democratic Party of 2016. 

Engaging in emotional blackmail and demagoguery, and waving pictures of the victims of Islamic terrorism to push an unrelated bill that would not have saved a single one of those lives and will never pass, all the while lying about guns. 

Lying about the laws that govern guns and refusing to vote for, or even discuss, a compromise measure Republicans forwarded in the Senate. 

It's been far more important to gin up anger and moral outrage for political gain.

George Will leaves the GOP

"This is not my party."

Will, who has arguably been the most biting and prolific member of the conservative anti-Trump club, reportedly cited House Speaker Paul Ryan's endorsement of Trump as one of the last straws, and was noncommittal about whether he would support Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson. 

Asked by Ballasy to recommend what conservative anti-Trumpers should do now, Will said: "Make sure he loses."

A very quick double-cross

Carswell and Hannan Freeze Out Farage, Say They WON’T Lower Immigration

The single most important issue to the Leave campaign and, once again, the politicians are planning to stiff the voters.

Amazing.

A frightening piece on Islam and Obama's protection of Islam

Defenseless in the Face of Our Enemies

Appalling.

So why aren't they still Democrats?

Uprising in the rust belt

Subtitle: They used to be Democrats. Now they really could hand Donald Trump the White House.

The story focuses on working class, industrial Pennsylvania, devastated by decades of free trade in steel and again by the Democrats' wars on coal and shale oil, both of which promise to get much worse.

Of course they worry about Social Security and Medicare, but they have to privilege jobs for today over retirement security for tomorrow.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hillary puts the Democrats in jeopardy

Will she be indicted, after all?

Unless Hillary is indicted before the convention, the Democrats can no more give their nomination to Bernie without chaos and disaster than the Republicans can give their nomination to anyone but Trump.

If she is indicted before the convention it just might work out, nominating Bernie, though those of her supporters who have been denouncing Bernie and his people for being too white and too male for their taste could, in that case, turn out to be the bitter-enders who ruin the Democrats this year.

Thing is, just as her husband should have resigned when disgraced and let Big Al finish his term, but did not, she probably, if indicted before the convention, would not drop out of the race voluntarily - or submit with grace to being urged, much less forced, out by the party.

And of course any effort by the party to give the nomination to someone who did not even run - Joe Biden has been often mentioned - would be disastrous.

But if she is indicted after she is nominated that will put Il Duce in the White House.