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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Of likability and exploding skulls (Updated)

Well, the TPM electoral spread is back down to 1.3% Clinton, and Trump will no doubt pull ahead soon. The map at Electoral Vote puts Florida and Ohio in Trump's column, which means that he simply has to flip North Carolina and Michigan, where he is behind by only a couple of points. Five Thirty-Eight gives Ohio and Florida and North Carolina to Trump but places Nevada in the just-bare-Dem category. Virginia is in play again.

Update: TPM now has the race exactly even. I predict that Trump will be on top tomorrow. My last prediction was proven wrong a week ago (thank God); I fear that this time I will be right.

Pro-Democratic sites keep printing stories telling us: Don't panic. Relax. This was to be expected. You don't want to demoralize Democrats. I'm reminded of Jack Lemmon's line in The Great Race, when he is told that their iceberg is sinking, and that he should keep this bad news to himself: "Of course I'm going to keep it to myself -- until the water reaches my lower lip, and then I'm gonna mention it to somebody!

Vox explains:
Lambasting Trump while being unpopular herself would be a clear winning strategy in a zero-sum head-to-head race. But in a four-sided race, where the two lesser candidates aren’t receiving much scrutiny from the press or the campaigns, it tends to have the side consequence of pressing a lot of people to Johnson or Stein. The fact that there are two different third-party candidates in the race — one for people who think Clinton’s too left and one for people who think she’s not left enough — makes it really difficult to avoid bleeding voters.
But the fact remains that her basic problem in this race is almost painfully simple. Over the course of her winning primary campaign she became a deeply unpopular figure. And it’s hard — indeed, unprecedented — for such an unpopular person to win the presidency.
This analysis leaves out one all-important fact: Hillary was quite popular just a short while ago. The single most important chart of the race comes from Huffington Post, which has aggregated the many polls on Hillary's popularity:

By contrast, here is Trump's chart:

The reversal of Hillary's popularity fortunes had nothing to do with anything she actually did: It's not as though we saw photos of her sleeping with a horse or sacrificing a baby to Satan. She is the same woman she was in 2013, when most people liked her just fine. The change did not come from within but from without. The reversal has everything to do with propaganda.

I'm not just talking about mainstream media coverage, although it doesn't take much money to pay a few journalists to come up with stories falsely portraying Clinton's entirely laudable charity as a slush fund. The troll armies on social media made an enormous difference. People do get badgered and bullied into going along with the mob, even though we all like to pretend that we are ornery independent thinkers.

The Bernie movement played a special role here. For quite a while now, I've argued that Bernie was (wittingly or unwittingly) the puppet of the Stone/Manafort operation -- an opinion I formed before it came out that Bernie's campaign manager, Tad Devine, was part of the Manafort effort in Ukraine. (He also worked for a whole lot of other really awful people.)

Let me hammer home one point that nobody seems to have noticed heretofore. When Bernie brought Devine onboard, the main item on Devine's resume was the Ukraine effort. To vet the guy, all one needed to do was to spend a few minutes researching what happened in Ukraine during those years. A little Googling would have revealed the awful truth: Bernie's "eminence greasy" previously worked for the political campaign that used dioxin to poison a rival candidate.

Devine (if confronted) would no doubt claim that he did not sanction the use of dioxin personally. Nevertheless, he continued to work for Yanukovych for years after the world learned of the dioxin. Tad knew the score. Undeniably, he didn't mind working for a dioxin-based political movement -- and Bernie didn't mind hiring That Dioxin Guy.

And yet our easily-propagandized left still considers Hillary impure.

They castigated her for giving boilerplate speeches at Goldman Sachs -- yet they devoured anti-Hillary pieces published by Salon, a media empire run by a Goldman alum and kept financially afloat by a Wall Street hedge fund. They also passed around many stories published by Breitbart, run by another Goldman Sachs alum who has strong ties to the racist right.

What infuriates me most about young progressives is their hubris. They all think that they are so smart that their skulls may soon explode. In fact, they are so damned dumb that they routinely accept right-wing talking points at face value. The easiest person to bamboozle is the smirky young twerp who thinks he's the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

The video below proves the point. I don't know much about David Caul, the young man being interviewed here, but when he smugly proclaims his generation to be the most intelligent in all of human history, even the gentlest of souls will want to pick up a pipe wrench and make him eat his own fucking teeth.

Which is pretty much what Thom Hartmann does, as the clip goes along. Here we have a perfect illustration of the principle I'm trying to explain in this essay: Whenever the right has poison lemonade for sale, arrogant young hipsters are the first to say "Fill my glass!" They, not Hillary, are the reason why Hillary will soon lose.

Her honest and trustworthy numbers are even worse then Trumps-thats whats making her unfavorable.
Well, this has nothing to do with the US election...

My dog, a border collie who has been my companion for 12 years and whom I love dearly, is seriously ill. Please can people send good vibes to her, in prayer or by other means. She cannot walk more than a few steps, and when we went to the vet earlier today I learnt that she has a big tumour. And she had a very high temperature. Since then, her appetite has improved slightly - I managed to get her to eat something this evening, out of my hand and by spooning it to her, while she was lying down - and I am hoping her temperature will be lower when we go to the vet again tomorrow morning. Thanks!
That is the smuggest motherfucker I've seen for a while. Wow! As the maître d'in Ferris Bueller says. "I weep for the future."

Oh my god, b. I'm so sorry...12 years is not enough time for such a friend.

All I can say is, tempt her to eat with the foods she likes best. These days can be so anxious. But I thought I had lost Bella in 2012, when she had a tumor, and the fates allowed us to keep her for another two and a half years. So keep your hopes up.
Yet, despite all of this, despite 25 years of smears, despite the Corporate Media doing its worst to serve Tsar Putin (however unwittingly)--she still leads.

Besides, the EV people said the latest polls in CO and NM favoring the Orange Grifter were suspect.

Either one of them can still win or lose.

Now, if the GOP had not been captured by Vladimir Putin--er, its own crazies--so that it could have nominated someone like Kasich, who can at least appear to be reasonable--well, Kasich would be running off with this race, thanks to the Corporate Media's unfailing bashing of the Clintons.

I see very few signs for any of the presidential candidates in my town, and I live in a red state--so I would expect to see more visible support for the Orange Grifter. Maybe his support is a mile wide, but an inch deep?
He (Devine) also worked for a whole lot of other really awful people.)

Like Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, John Edwards, Lloyd Bentsen, and Claire McCaskill? Those don't seem like awful people to me.

Let me hammer home one point that nobody seems to have noticed heretofore. When Bernie brought Devine onboard, the main item on Devine's resume was the Ukraine effort.

That's nonsense. He was a senior figure in every Democratic Presidential campaign from Carter's re-election bid in 1980 to Kerry's campaign in 2004. His resumé, in particular his record of working on Democratic national and senatorial campaigns, was pretty extensive. Yes, he worked for Yanukovych's campaign. So, if you'll recall, did the Podestas. Political consultants are hired guns - their very existence is a lot of what's wrong with the political system these days.

In case you haven't noticed, Hillary won the nomination. You can stop beating up on Bernie now - that's a really poor way to achieve solidarity and consensus. Really.
Prop, it doesn't matter who he worked for BEFORE. Kerry and Gore were BD (Before Dioxin). And the hired gun argument doesn't wash with Bernie running as the Purity Candidate.

I will NEVER stop beating up on Bernie. Never never never. His campaign seeded intractable lies about Hillary all through the left. At this point, I consider Bernie Sanders a greater evil than Donald Trump.
IN reality, it's not even close.

"American likely voters say 62 - 38 percent that Clinton is qualified to be president and 61 - 38 percent that Drumpf is not qualified, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today."

That's from Quinnipiac, which shows the election at Clinton 41, Drumpf 39, Johnson 13, Stein 4.

Trump is not going to win. Voters are not thrilled with Clinton, but if it looks like Trump is going to win, they will flock to Clinton. Which is why this "Trump might win" narrative is very helpful to Clinton.
Jesus, stop apologizing for your "wrong" prediction from a couple weeks ago. Trump didn't take the lead in the averages, sure, but he has bounced back big time. You called it.

TPM shows a tie.


The 538 "Now-Cast", the most volatile of the three polls they run, actually showed Trump in the lead for a while in the summer. That went away.

You'll need to move out of the city and buy a ranch, if you have a cow every time a poll shows a bump for Trump. ;)


I understand and share your disgust, but I fail to understand your terror. Even if, Ascended Madoka forbid, Putin's puppet "wins", it will not be the end of humanity, or of human technological civilization, or even of the USA.

Yes, it will be very bad for many people. It will not be apocalyptic.

The USA has survived worse--The Civil War, The Great Depression, both World Wars, etc. The Last Hurrah of the Paleface Booboisie will not destroy our country, much less the world. If the Browning of America does not prevent the rise of Trump, it will doom the hopes of the next Republican presidential candidate.
If I may play the role of Captain James T. Obvious of the Starship Well-Duh, please note the gender and pigmentation of Caul the Callow. I doubt one could find such a percentage of smug hipsters among non-white Millenial males, or Millennial women of any pigmentation.

Demographic change marches on. Maybe this time, non-white America will save white America from its own folly, Ascended Madoka willing.
Joseph, Hillary has not changed but her role has. Being a candidate is like being on a job interview. On a job interview, every weakness is magnified and every strength is taken for granted as part of the qualifications. I should know, I look at resumes and interview people all day long.
Hillary is smart and capable and qualified, that's why she does a good job when she has a job. She just doesn't interview well.
She wasn't liked from day one when Bill started running for office back in Arkansas before the hate The Clintons started.
If Bill was running instead of Hillary, he would have Trumps head months ago. People would be chuckling at Trumps stupidity instead of giving him the time of day.
Having said all that, she will win despite it all.
Elections in the US have never been about the preference of the poeple. That's why we have delegates. If Hillary loses, it's because she doesn't serve the purpose of the poeple that decide the elections. And the people that decide elections are not the hillbillies that are amused by Trump.
To be sure, the people have to be made ready and appearances have to be considered. But the masses are easily mesmorized or cajoled.
Stop the presses! You have missed the most interesting story of the day, Donald Trump's testosterone levels. First, read this doctor's discussion of the issue Now, consider some points she made, testosterone levels are not obtained unless there is some reason to do so, Trump's testosterone levels should be low, based on his PSA levels, then consider the effects of synthetic testosterone and the warnings that it should not be taken if there is a chance of prostate cancer. Here is what makes sense: Trump has been taking synthetic testosterone for years because he years, that explains his short attention span, his bursts of anger and his hyperactivity. There is a huge downside to the use of synthetic testosterone, the big one being that the body stops producing natural testosterone, meaning that more and more is necessary. When all the facts are considered, it is clear that Trump is addicted to PEDs.
small j, thanks for the link. I'll be working on this...
The same polls with Trump leading in likely voters show him trailing among registered voters in their own results. The one with him up 5% in Ohio shows sample cohorts like 2004. If the turnout is more like 2008 or 2012, that those same poll results would show a lead for Clinton. These unlikely and tendentious poll numbers are averaged into the influential poll aggregators' top line figures, leaving a false impression.

The growth of voting minorities has continued over the four years since 2012. There are some millions more of them. The relatively unlikely voters count the same as the likely voters screened, if they show up and vote. Yet, any newly registered voter is automatically screened out as 'unlikely,' because they didn't vote in the last election. Many new voters are very motivated to vote.

If the Obama coalition votes, she wins. He is campaigning to energize them. If the Latinos turn out, she wins. Trump is energizing them to turn out.

Clinton +4 in the popular vote, and 320 in the Electoral College.


XI, I hope you are right, but I fear you are wrong. Trump voters are far more motivated than are Clinton voters.
The members of the Global 1% own the U. S. Government; they are the "people that decide the elections" of whom M (Mr. Bond's boss? ^_^) spoke.

The Global 1%ers want to control the labor and natural resources of the whole planet.

Since they own the U. S. and its allies, the chief obstacles to their goal are the continuing independence of Russia and China.

The foreign policy advanced by Putin's Puppet would gut their hopes, since it serves Russia.

The only reason I can think of that the 1%ers might want the Orange Grifter is if they know he will double-cross Putin the way Hitler double-crossed Stalin in 1941--and if he'll dare to cheat Putin, he'll dare to cheat them, too.

I would expect the 1%ers to play it safe and choose Hillary--and what they say goes, unless you want to postulate a massive alt-right mutiny in the ranks of the armed forces and the police.
Two observations.

1. Low T coupled with taking testosterone over a prolonged period of time will result in a shrinking of the testes to the point where they almost vanish. I'm talking grape size. So what you are saying is donny has no balls.

2. HRC'S net unfavorable crossed in early 2015 in your chart. I wonder why? Was this her performance as sec of state that people didn't like?


What infuriates me most about young progressives is their hubris. They all think that they are so smart that their skulls may soon explode. In fact, they are so damned dumb that they routinely accept right-wing talking points at face value.

Joseph, you're abso-freakin' right on this point. And I'll also add that this election season proves it, especially with the former Bernie-or-Busters who have run off to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.
Thanks, Marc, to sticking to the topic introduced. I had to pause the first time Thom handed the Twit generation robot his ass.

I need time to savor this.
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