Monthly Archives: September 2016

Hilly On Points

Unsurprisingly, Trump did not knock Hilly out in the first debate. As even Mark Shields at PBS said, Trump won the first third but faltered in the second and third.

Hilly was better than I expected her to be. (Weirdly enough, she had a bit of the Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie” thing going on.) Trump was his usual aggressive self but, while he could run over the moderator at will, he didn’t land many punches past the first third.

Now there will likely be complaints about the questions and about how the moderator let Hilly run on; but what in fact happened is that Trump missed opportunities. He missed tying cybersecurity to Obama’s giving up American control of ICANN (aka the internet). And he was not deft enough to use that question to pivot onto Hilly’s risking America’s security with her home brew server. He hammered her for the fact her employees took the Fifth but he missed the opportunity to nail her with Comely or Mills having been given immunity.

My bet is that the media will spin this as a big win for Hilly. It wasn’t but the fact that she stood up and counter punched will be enough to push the narrative forward. Which would be damaging to Trump if this was the only debate. But it isn’t. There are two more.

Trump is smart enough to watch the game tapes and figure out where he missed targets and how to hone the attack.

I think we have seen the top of Hilly’s game tonight. Tonight she was about as good as she is likely to get. I don’t think we saw Trump’s “A” game.

One other thing to note: it was not a very interesting debate. Which will mean that a good deal of the TV audience will not have stuck it out for the whole thing. People who watched the first third might well have come away thinking The Donald had won and will be astonished to read in the paper that Hilly pulled it out. Mistrust grows.

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Turkish Muslim “Hispanic”

You have to go to a British paper at this point to get the nationality and religion of the Cascade mall shooter.

And, of course, the motive is “unclear” and terrorism is not suspected.

Motive is likely important here: if this bastard was just going to the mall to shoot a girl who wouldn’t date him and a few random strangers, it will all be ok and nothing to do with Islam or immigration. If, on the other hand, it turns out that the creep was doing it for ISIS or was self-radicallized, the gently, gently media will go with the mentally deranged, lone wolf, narrative.

Anything to avoid asking if Arcan Cetin was a worthwhile person to have allowed into the US. Because: racist, Islamophobic and very bad indeed. Besides, his Twitter and Facebook accounts suggest he’s a Hilly support so no point in looking too closely.

But, and it is a big but, it also works as a boy meets girl, gets bounced by girl and goes in and kills her story. I am not sure that is much consolation.

Update: You can see this guy’s FaceBook timeline here

Apparently in high school ROTC. No sign at all of Islam or radicalization as far as I can see.

Update #2: Ooopsie…now his Facebook page is closed:



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Pro-Wrestling hits the Presidential Debates

The Clinton campaign thought they were being clever inviting billionaire loud mouth Mark Cuban to sit in the front row of Monday’s debate and what? Glower? Heckle?

It is a fatal mistake to try to out reality TV the master of reality TV.

Trump has invited Bill Clinton’s ex-mistress Gennifer Flowers to the debate and she’s accepted.

When it comes to throwing chairs the Clinton people are rank amateurs. I mean Trump is actually in the WWE Hall of Fame. He’ll put Flowers in the front row and she won’t have to say a thing.

And the best part is that it is pretty clear that the Clinton people started the race to the bottom.

Now, for real fun, I bet Monica Lewinsky might be available Monday night.

Beer, popcorn, big screen TV…I am looking forward to a deplorable evening of fun.

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Can Clinton Win?

Polls are tightening up. Mook is sending out emails to donors suggesting that there is a 40% chance of a Trump victory. The MSM has been reduced to talking about the “Wide Spread Condemnation of Donald Trump Jr.’s Skittles Analogy”. Hilly herself cancelled a fundraiser today without any explanation. The Donald suggested she “sleep well”. The most heavily anticipated American political debate pretty much ever is less than a week away. So, can Hilly win?

The Donald is pretty much even, if not a little ahead, nationally in the polls. His battleground state numbers are improving and there is a bit of momentum being built. The Electoral College is in flux with the Hilly landslide turning into a cliff hanger. But can Hilly win?

Of course she can. In fact, at the moment, Mook is right and Trump has no more than a 40% chance of winning. 60/40 are big odds.

What Hilly has to do to win is to begin to put points on the board. Instead of trying to protect her lead she needs to extend it. She needs to go into the first debate loaded for bear and pull the trigger over and over until there is nothing left on the stage but a bright orange corpse. She knows so much more than The Donald. She’s “been in the room” when murder has been committed on behalf of the United States. She has had the 3:00 AM phone call from Benghazi. She is so qualified that, if she loses, every HR lady in the US will throw up.

As I write, Hilly is going to win. She has to win because, with all her faults, her dishonesty, her criminal behaviour, her catching breaks from the FBI and Justice, her weird twitches and occasional full on seizure, she is the only candidate who understands Washington and can play in the “Bigs”. She knows where the bodies are buried (may have buried some herself), how money flows, how deals are done.

Trump, compared to Hilly, is just a rube. A babe in the Washington woods. No clue about how things are done. No idea that you can’t just bomb the living shit out of ISIS because, well, civilians. And environmental damage.  He’s so dumb he thinks the American President should put America first.

Faced with that, after a few minutes of reflection, and despite actually not liking the woman, American voters, especially those in battleground states who have lost their jobs to H1-B and H2-B replacement workers, could be persuaded that Trump is trouble. That he is going to rock their sinking boats.

To date, Hilly’s campaign has had a Wall of policy with many bullet points each addressing a micro-slice of a carefully focus-grouped and surveyed public. No broad brush here, Hilly is a pointillist with a bit of pigment for every, tiny, patch of the American world. She saves her palette knife for larding shade on Trump.

To win, Hilly has to slime Trump so thoroughly that even his supporters will feel a bit dirty voting for him.

So, can she win?

Trump keeps having these biggish rallies. 10,000 here, 8,000 there, 20,000 over there. People line up. They may be deplorable but they are not ashamed.

Unless Hilly can make them feel ashamed. Make them understand why it is a good thing to welcome unknown refugees and damn police officers for doing an impossible duty, accept that it is important to make a “deal” with Iran and that Israel is actually rather nasty, understand that the job they lost to an H1-B worker or an illegal worker will make them better off in the long run, she is not going to win.

But, if she can make terrorism un-Islamic and black people think the Democrats actually give a rat’s ass about the inner cities, there is no doubt at all that Hilly can win.

But I wouldn’t put any money on it.

To win you have to show up. To win, you have to make sense. To win, you have to make people understand that you will put America first, that you will put them first.

Hilly can’t close that sale because she has no clue what those words even mean.

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More Bombs in New Jersey, And a Van (well SUV) Loaded with Weapons

Things begin to get very real indeed.

I have always hated the whole “Homeland” thing. I go back to Talking Heads.

Trump is up 7% in the LA Times Poll as of Friday, they don’t poll Saturday.

I am expecting parabolic by Tuesday. 5 guys in a van loaded with weapons. How the Hell did that happen? That is all Trump need to say.

So far no deaths – except the Somali scum shot by the cop as he slashed his way through the Minnesota Mall and he doesn’t, ever, count. But that is more a matter of luck than policy.

Obama, and his little poodle Hillary, wear ISIS cells. They wear the millions of Muslims allowed into the US without proper vetting and for no good reason. Trump needs to say very little, res ipso loquitur.

Bomb(s) in NJ, Bomb(s) in Manhattan, Stabbing in Minnesota…Hilly’s done

A while back I suggested that the US Presidential election was going to be a landslide. But I acknowledged I had no idea which side of the mountain would collapse. Then it became clear that Hilly’s tin ear – “deplorables” – was sinking her. Then she fell off the sidewalk.

Today and tonight horrible things happened in America. A bomb (and two more discovered) at a charity run in New Jersey, a big bomb in NYC (which mercifully does not seem to have killed anyone(Update: now second, pressure cooker device found.) and reports of a multiple stabbing attack in a Mall in Minnesota (Update: no big surprise, Somali perp, invoked Allah). No attribution as yet. No claims from the usual suspects(Update: Another non-surprise, ISIS claimed the attacks – but they would wouldn’t they). But past experience suggests that these attacks were likely part of Islamic Jihad. A certainty? No. But a reasonable working hypothesis.

Elections are unfair. People react to exogenous events. They wonder which candidate would do the necessary to stop the attacks in the event they are, in fact, terrorist attacks. They do a gut check.

While she looked exhausted in her airplane interview, Hilly managed to encourage people to wait for the facts. It was a seasoned political move and, at surface, the right call in the circumstances. But it was icy cold. There was no outrage, no passion, no understanding of just how these sorts of attacks make ordinary Americans actually feel.

Here’s what Trump said,

“Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on, but, boy we are really in a time. We better get very tough, folks,” Trump said. “It’s a terrible thing that’s going on in our world and in our country and we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant. We’ll see what it is.”


Even if, by some weird workings of God, the three incidents have nothing to do with terrorism, Islamic or otherwise, Trump got to the guts of it. Hillary looked weak, fell back on passive language, sounded like a mid level bureaucrat urging people to “stay calm”.

Trump sounded like a leader.

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Trump Panic

Andrew Coyne has gone full RINO in todays National Post, “We’re Staring into the Abyss of a Trump Presidency” (use incognito mode to defeat the NP paywall). Coyne points at all of the possible people to blame for this terrible mess and, of course, fails to notice that the American electorate has simply had enough of the current political system. That idea, the idea that people independently of elite opinion have weighed the system and found it wanting is beyond Coyne as it is beyond most of the commetariat.

Trust Nassim Nicholas Taleb to explain how people who seem intelligent, as Coyne often does, can misunderstand the basics of the political world.

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When Plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. (medium)

Coyne and his ilk parted company with what one might refer to as “regular” people years ago. From Global Warming to Brexit to mass hidden unemployment to pro-refugee policy they have ceased to hear anything outside their shrinking bubble. The fact they can make assorted, sophisticated, arguments in favour of elite policy, from either the left or the right, proves terrific rhetorical dexterity. But it does not change the actual facts on the ground.

For Intellectuals Yet Idiots words are reality. Which means that it is a knock down argument to yell “Racist” or “Bigot” at someone with whom you disagree. But what happens when that no longer works? When people refuse to accept the labeling, hectoring and judgement of their intellectual “betters”?

In a word: Trump. Or Brexit. Or the collapse of the EU.

Coyne needs to get out more. He is smarter than he sounds in his NP article; but the poor man is entirely isolated. Isolation creates cluelessness.

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She’s melting

The polls are trickling in after Hilly’s really bad, just awful weekend.

Leave aside the headline numbers where Trump is ahead; what is more interesting is the fact that Trump is anywhere close to Clinton at this stage in the race. She is massively outspending him, has most of elite media on her side and she still is not closing the sale.

I said a while ago that my sense is that this is going to be a landslide election. Not a point or two and ten electoral college votes, more like 5-9 points and a hundred EC votes.

The problem Hilly has is that she was supposed to be inevitable. Particularly against Trump. If inevitable slips to somewhat likely a fair number of undecided voters will take another look. Both candidates have strong negatives but Trump’s are pretty much a matter of record. Hillary is just piling negative on top of negative. After all, anyone can get sick, but it takes Hillary to pass out, avoid the hospital and then announce she’s got pneumonia two days after the alleged diagnosis. That simply looks sketchy.

The email leaks are not helping either. Colin Powell pretty clearly does not like the woman and thinks she was pretty abusive trying to pin her email misdeeds on Powell. The DNC pretty clearly sold ambassadorships for donations. None of this is a smoking gun and none of it is fatal; but it adds up to a picture of a candidate who is more than a little untrustworthy.

Part of this election is going to be about who shows up. Trump supporters, in all their old, white, middle class, deplorableness are very enthusiastic. They will show up. Will Hilly’s supporters show up?

The last two Presidential elections saw a black man attract huge black support. Will Hilly have the same success with black voters? I can’t help but be a bit skeptical.  Will the nice suburban, Kate Spade carrying, college educated ladies show up en masse for Hilly? Perhaps, but the question of trustworthiness is significant for this group.

Landslides are sometimes the result of enthusiasm and sometimes the result of indifference. Hilly has to scare the bejesus out of her supporters so they will make the effort to show up. Trump makes an excellent bogyman but is he scary enough? I don’t think he is.

The first debate is going to be Yuge. Trump has to walk the line between defeating Hilly and bullying her. If he comes off as a bully he loses, if he behaves like a gent he’ll go a long way toward eliminating the bully image. My bet is that he knows that and will be charming as he points out that Hillary lied to congress, lied to the FBI, should be charged with obstruction of justice, gave us ISIS and watched from the sidelines as four Americans died in Benghazi. It will be fun to watch.

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The Silence of The Donald

Apparently Woodrow Wilson wrote a friend, “Never … murder a man who is committing suicide.”

It is sound advice. Advice Donald Trump has managed to follow today.

At this point the only thing Trump can or should do vis a vis Hillary is wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to the first debate. There is nothing to be gained from Hillary and the Democrats’ huge problem. It is their huge problem, not his.

For Trump, Hillary’s illness, whether actually pneumonia or something deeper, is a gift which is better unopened.

The fact is that Hillary is just about the only Democratic potential candidate Trump has a shot at beating. Biden comes in and the Trump run is over. Kaine would be tough, Warren as a substitute female candidate would have more traction than Trump wants. The only surefire loser, and possibly the one potential candidate that Trump could defeat nearly as easily as Hilly, is Bernie Sanders and, frankly, Trump might have trouble there.

No, Trump wants Hillary to last out the week, indeed the month, until it is entirely too late for the Democrats to kick her to the curb and come up with a winner. So, if he is as smart as I suspect he is, he keeps his mouth, and Twitter account, shut. It will nearly kill him but letting Hilly twist in the wind is his best move.

I think he’ll make that move. One day at a time.

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Tick Tock

The Democratic National Committee has a problem.

Hillary Clinton is sick. How sick we really don’t know. Sick enough to cancel a trip to California to pick up big cheques.

At this point the Dems have about a week before the voting has begun and Clinton, for better or worse, is locked in as the Democratic candidate for President. If she is too sick to run, or, perhaps more importantly, too sick to stand a chance of winning against Trump, she has to be off the ticket by Friday at the latest.

Tick Tock.

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