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Showing posts from September, 2016

The sad descent of Gateway Pundit into madness

Back in the day,  Gateway Pundit was a stimulating and insightful conservative blog. I well remember the 2004 campaign- perhaps the most blog-intensive in history- in which we both were members of Blogs for Bush and fought the good fight side by side.

But how the mighty have fallen! Sadly, Gateway pundit has come to this.

Ok. Try to stop laughing. Yes, the blog seriously proposes that Hillary Clinton was sending hand signals to Lester Holt telling him what to do and say on Monday night. The startling, stark tinfoil hat lunacy of this suggestion, the sheer, utter, outrageous, raving paranoia.... well, suffice it to say that there are some things so transparently ridiculous that they serve as their own refutation.

The damage Donald Trump has done to the conservative movement is enormous. It goes beyond handing Hillary Clinton the presidency on a silver platter, with the Senate as garnish. It goes beyond making certain the fate for the Supreme Court they now advance as an argument for v…

The signs are getting less preliminary

While we obviously won't be at the magic seven-day mark until Monday, every day the polls that come out include a greater percentage of responses gathered after last Monday's debate. And with every poll things look more discouraging for the Trump people- or would if they paid any attention to reality rather than living in their own fantasy world.

The consensus shows a 4-to-8 point Clinton lead in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan,  Polls in Florida and North Carolina show somewhere between a tie and a four-point Clinton lead. Ohio and Iowa are essentially tied. Voters in my adopted state are somewhat- how should I say this?- eccentric. So very little that could happen in Iowa would surprise me. But I would be surprised if Trump ends up carrying Ohio.

I expect Trump to be as bad or worse in the second debate as he was Monday. He's Donald Trump. He simply can't help himself. And I would not be surprised, especially if by early next …

Preliminary signs show Hillary pulling away again after the debate

While reminding us that most good polls are taken over a seven-day period and that since it's been less than a week since the debate it will still be several days before we'll know for sure, Nate Silver tells us that preliminary data suggests that Hillary has gotten a bounce from the debate and is moving back to the position she occupied before her numbers started to go south.

He also points out that even a small gain has huge implications for the Electoral College. Even now, days before the first definitive post-debate polls come out, Hillary's chances of winning according to Silver have gone back up to 63.7% to 36.2% for Captian Oblivious.

Even the latest Rasmussen Poll, which has a strong Republican bias, shows Hillary up by one point. That's bad news for Trump.

Image by DonkeyHotey

Nate Silver: 'Every scientific poll I've seen' shows that Hillary won the debate

Nate Silver cites the tweet I've included in saying that "every scientific poll I've seen" shows that Hillary won the debate- some of them by large margins. He also says that there are a few signs that she might be pulling away again.

We now have four scientific polls on who won the debate:
Morning Consult: Hillary +23
YouGov: Hillary +27
CNN: Hillary +25
PPP: Hillary +11 — Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 28, 2016
But he cautions that there's really no reliable information on that yet. Most good polls are taken over a seven-day period, and it hasn't been seven days yet. By next week we'll have a better picture of what the first debate did to the race.

This is only personal intuition, so take it with the amount of salt it deserves. But I would be very surprised- and more disturbed about the sanity of the voters than worried, really- if the polls. when they come out, don't send Il Duce deep into denial mode and Hillary back into at least a clea…

If you still need evidence that The Donald is out of touch with reality...

You know that a candidate is in trouble when he makes a serious statement in a presidential debate and the audience laughs at him. And when the Democrats can score this heavily with an ad that actually tells the unembellished truth, Armageddon must be at hand.

If anyone ever doubted that Donald Trump is unbalanced, totally lacking in self-awareness, and utterly out of contact with reality.... well, let's just say that a seven-year-old with Oppositional Defiant Disorder would know better than to say something like this- and probably would be better-behaved, to begin with.

Take a time-out, Donald.

Don't be conned

Here's a good article on why you shouldn't be conned into thinking that Donald Trump's Supreme Court appointments would be any better for the Constitution and America than Hillary's would be.

It takes a special kind of gullible to think that anybody goes from being a life-long, pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, pro-socialized medicine, pro-gay "marriage," pro-Hillary partisan liberal Democrat to being a pro-life, anti-amnesty, anti-Obamacare supporter of traditional marriage overnight, just in time to run for the presidential nomination of the party he's spent his life and carloads of money opposing.

When that someone is a professional con-man with a history of not paying his workers and contractors, disrespecting the Constitution and the rights of others, lying at the drop of a hat and showing all the sincerity of your average spider addressing your average fly... well, caveat emptor also applies to the Brooklyn Bridge!

Donald Trump is a man without honor, and…

Evan McMullin has challenged Gary Johnson and Jill Stein to an "undercard debate"

But it looks like they're both chicken.

And something more important happened yesterday, too

The Cubs won their one hundredth game of the season.

Trump says the darndest things!

Once again, I have occasion to blog about chutzpah- "that quality exhibited by a man who murders both of his parents and then begs for mercy on the ground that he's an orphan."

Donald Trump has always been the master of chutzpah. A supposedly monumental ego (which almost certainly, as in most such cases, covers up monumental insecurity about his own self-worth) combines with a breathtaking obliviousness to reality to produce more cheeky, jaw-dropping absurdities than any public figure I can think of since Baghdad Bob. Any day now I expect to read that old Bob is Il Duce's new press secretary!

I thought that he surely set a new record for chutzpah last night when he- Donald J. Trump, the Mouth that Walks- accused Hillary of lacking the temperament to be president and of frequently being "out of control!" The line drew derisive laughter from the audience and incredulity all over the world. But the Trump campaign has topped it.

Based largely on stacked, non-s…

So who won the debate? This says it all

Here's the thing about Evan McMullin and gay marriage

Evan McMullin himself believes in traditional marriage.

His mother is in a gay marriage.

He thinks we should "move on" from the marriage debate. I don't completely agree with him; I think there are aspects of gay marriage which are socially problematic and that we would be better served simply with equal rights for gay couples.

But that said, I have gay friends I love, and I appreciate the fact that McMulin is someone who is into uniting people, not dividing them

That's a good thing.

This much should be said....

Maybe Trump's rambling and incoherent ravings are because he has terminal ADHD. If so.... don't feel bad, Donald. Many other children have the same problem.

Ask Mommy to have you medicated. Some grownups even have the problem; I do. Help is available!

Debate summary: Whoever won, we all lost

Much of what Hillary said was nonsense. ALL of what Trump said was nonsense,

Trump came across as the horse's patoot he is. Hillary came across as far more responsible than she is.

I've already heard a great summary of this debate: "The longest Saturday Night Live opening skit in history."

Evan McMullin summed it up well: "What will America's friends and enemies abroad think of this embarrassment? What kind of message does this send to our kids?"

Another McMullin statement: "Everything good one said, the other said. Everything bad Hillary said, we're tired of hearing. Everything bad Trump said, we're ashamed to hear an American saying."

McMullin Debate Response 1

(NOTE: This and succeeding posts tonight titled "McMullin Debate Response" are responses live-tweeted by Evan McMullin to things Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton say tonight in the debate.

Posts marked "Debate Aside" are my own comments interspersed among them as I listen to the debate-REW)

Donald Trump wants to decrease taxes while increasing government spending and borrowing. The math leads to a growing national debt.

So much for principle

Yes, after over half a century of dabbling in politics, this election is making me cynical.

I've never had much time for Ted Cruz, whose rather-be-right-than-president style of politics led him to oppose Obamacare with a one- man filibuster at a time when the American people were furious about obstructionism and excessive partisanship. That rather impractical attitude sort of dominates my former party. And while I would have held my nose and voted for Cruz (especially against Hillary), he's the one exception (well, maybe Ben Carson, with his crazy talk and total lack of qualifications might be another) to my conviction that any Republican other than Donald Trump would have made mincemeat out of Hillary Clinton.

But when Cruz made his speech at the Nuremberg Rally Republican Convention in Cleveland and was booed off the stage by the Trumpkins for refusing to endorse the Orange God Emperor, I began to develop a grudging admiration for the Cuban-American with the bizarre theolog…

A childhood fantasy comes true- for somebody else

When I was in the Boy Scouts, we used to go on grueling hikes, usually on the hottest days of summer.

President Kennedy said that it was patriotic, or something.

Today they would be considered child abuse. I remember seeing a movie of part of the worst of them a few years back. It was on the Kettle Moraine Glacial Trail in Wisconsin, 18 miles long as the crow flies and 22 miles by pedometer. On the hottest day in August. With only a two-quart canteen.

I remembered that it was bad, but the movie amazed me- dehydrated kids literally staggering like they were drunk, with white salt deposits encrusting their lips and vacant expressions on their faces. Like so many things when you get to my age, your memories of experiences are a great deal more pleasant than the experiences themselves.

March 14, 1964- I know the date because Jack Ruby was convicted of killing Lee Harvey Oswald that day- we were on another long, punishing hike. That it was spring rather than summer didn't change the f…

Are Cruz supporters a cult, too?

I'm fascinated, now that Ted Cruz has knelt to Il Duce, how may of his supporters who were so adamantly Never Trump have suddenly bought that ridiculous "we don't know what Trump would do" nonsense and meekly followed their leader.

It makes you wonder just how clearly Trump has to tell people what he would do before they believe him! Today I actually encountered a Cruz fan who described me as a "closet liberal" for taking the very position her hero had taken days before,  and who now described the Cheeto -colored chieftain as a "moderate conservative!"

Denial, as the senator from Minnesota used to say, isn't just a river in Egypt. And it simply underscores the point that there is no place in the Republican party anymore for Kool-Aid abstinent, thinking conservatives.

“I am Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, Godfather of Soul, Queen of Meereen, and Agent of SHIELD...."

Oh, how I wish I were back home in Chicago right now!

The Apollo Theatre is host to "Thrones!", a musical parody of "Game of Thrones" that I really, really want to see. And not just for Jon's direchihuahua, either.

The entire idea is wonderful- and the reviews are stellar. Even from the fan base.

The two best musical numbers are said to be "Stabbing" (sung at the Red Wedding) and a number done at a moment so somber that even a parody can't play it any other way: "Hold the Door!"

I either have to get to Chicago ASAP or pray that it comes to Des Moines. It's even been updated from the original English version to include Season 6.

I don't want to see this as badly as a Cubs world championship or another Blackhawks Stanley Cup or the Bears winning once this year (preferably against Green Bay). But it's on the same list.


According to the new Dan Jones Poll in Utah, after six weeks Evan McMullin is one point in back of Gary Johnson.

Why is this significant? Well, according to many models, if McMullin were to carry only Utah that would throw the election into the House of Representatives.

There, each state would caucus and cast a single vote for either of two candidates despised by their own party's members and whom they know to be absolutely unfit for office- or for the former Republican House Policy Director, whom they know personally and respect, and know to be more fit to be president than either of the others.

Evan McMullin.

Oh. And btw... more people in Utah support third party candidates than support Hillary!

If Donald Trump were your doctor....

You would also find out at some point that he'd never been to medical school, and thinks that disease is caused by evil humours.

Two questions

The Republicans have nominated a candidate for president whose name- "Trump-" is British slang for the passing of wind.

And California's Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signed a bill on Sept. 19 that regulates bovine trumping.

Can't we at least leave the cows out of it? And is there anything the Democrats don't want to regulate?

The Republicans don't get it. But some of the media do.

This is the year many of us- myself included- gave up on the Republican party.

For some,  it's undoubtedly a temporary thing. Many of my fellow McMullin supporters are followers of Ted Cruz. Some are already planning for Cruz's 2020 campaign. Doubtless many are dismayed by Cruz's decision to sell out after all and tacitly endorse the man who has hijacked the GOP.  But for many of us,  2016 marks a final break with the party.

Even without Donald Trump, many of us simply are sick and tired of what the Republican party has become.

Evan McMullin has been the victim of a vicious cycle. Despite his steady progress in gaining access to the ballot in state after state- the campaign expects voters in 43 of the 50 states to have the option of voting for McMullin either by marking their ballots or by write-in by Election Day- the polls for the most part continue to ignore him. He has a natural constituency- the Republican mainstream- far larger than the marginal ones of Gary Johnson…

Both a comedy and a tragedy

A week ago, I blogged that Nate Silver thought that the week that followed would be crucial in determining whether or not the Democrats needed to panic due to Trump's surge in the polls.

Hillary's situation has improved slightly. Right now FiveThirtyEight's projection gives her a 60.8% chance of beating Donald Trump. But Silver's advice is to keep your eye on the post-debate polls. The debate Monday night, he points out, will have a far greater impact on the race than the events of the past week.

It will be fascinating to see whether The Donald actually manages to do a credible impersonation of someone qualified to be president. In the Republican debates, of course, that didn't matter; all Trump had to do was to give an outlet to people's anger. He could be as outrageous and as unreasonable and as outright bizarre as he pleased, lie about every and every matter of open public record, and be as much of a public jackass as he pleased, and nobody cared. That will …

Shameful, yet shameless

It's been awhile since I've blogged that definition of the Yiddish word chutzpah of which I'm so fond: "That quality exhibited by a man who murders both of his parents, and then pleads to the court for mercy on the ground that he's an orphan."

Well, consider the raw, shameless chutzpah of this ad for Hillary Clinton:

"I've spent my life fighting for children, our families, and our country, and I'm not stopping now."

Hillary, tell it to the unborn children whose murder you endorse and legitimize.

Have you no shame at all?

The little orange kitten who thinks he's a lion

Here is a fascinating article on two counts.

First, it paints a picture of Vladimir Putin's Russia which reminds me of Richard J. Daley's Chicago in some respects. The picture of the sleeping election judge reminds me of the time I had to report the fact that the policeman assigned to the polling place where I was a poll watcher was out in his car taking a nap. Of course, even in the heyday of the Chicago Machine nowhere near half the votes it garnered were fraudulent. They didn't have to be. If you simply added together every patronage worker and his or her spouse and assumed one adult child of voting age, the Machine entered every election with a formidable enough lead that cheating wasn't strictly necessary.

Especially in minority wards, where there was little opposition and little oversight and the precinct captains  could get away with pretty much anything, standards were looser. But there was even less reason for outright fraud on the South and West Sides since e…

But since when has Trump cared about the truth?

Donald Trump on debate moderator Lester Holt: “Lester is a professional, but we'll see what happens ... By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It's a phony system. They are all Democrats. It's a very unfair system. I've worked pretty well within the system.”

Media bias, of course, is real, and a concern in presidential debates; anyone who doubts that should simply recall Candy Crowley's intervention in support of President Obama's misrepresentation of the facts four years ago. But in fact, Holt is a registered Republican.

On the other hand, since The Donald just says whatever serves his purpose at the moment whether it's true or even rational or not and whines that he's being picked on no matter what the actual facts, those who have been paying attention lo these many months (that is, those who have ruled out the possibility of voting for the Big Orange Toddler)  automatically take everything he says with a carload of salt on general principles.

Thank you, Pittsburgh Pirates!

With the Bucs' victory over the Washington Nationals, my Cubs have clinched home-field advantage through the National League Championship Series, assuming they get there.

I knew Massachusetts was wicked Left...

...and I do mean "wicked!"

But this is absolutely insane.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court deserves not only mass impeachment but institutionalization in a mental hospital.

Lose the robes. Grab some straight jackets. The Court just ruled that African-American men are justified in running away from the police!

One wonders which side Their Dishonors are on in the war on crime.

The bottom line: Don't.

The title of this article is "Reconsidering my Opposition to Donald Trump."

I strongly commend it to you. It's an eloquent statement of the reasons why Christians, in particular, SHOULD oppose Donald Trump.

For that matter, so should anybody who calls himself or herself an American.

WARNING: Graphic and disgusting language. WARNING: You may be planning to vote for this.

What is described below is NOT an aberration. All you have to do is to spend any time at all on Twitter or simply in conversation with random Trump supporters to see that this is not far from the norm among the hard- core alt-right supporters of the Orange God Emperor.

And yes, I know that this does not represent all Trump supporters. Some- including people I know and respect- are in denial about who and what Trump and his movement are actually about. They are so focused on the commendable goal of keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House that they are pretty much oblivious to the price they'll pay for choosing Trump.

I just got this email from the McMullin campaign. I've embedded a video recording of the call where the link appeared in the email. Again, be warned. (NOTE: This post originally said that the conversation was not "bleeped" or edited. I'm glad to say that the McMullin campaign did remedy that).

Be prepared for a rude introduction to just what th…

Where do the candidates stand on war in outer space?

Russia and China are preparing for future wars in space.

President Obama, as is the case with security threats on earth, is oblivious.

Donald Trump, while clearly the spaciest candidate, probably wants to abandon outer space and stop playing policeman to the solar system, while building a wall around the planet to keep out those illegal aliens.

Hillary Clinton is ahead of the game. She's studying Romulan and Goa'ould  for use in sending classified emails.

Gary Johnson probably thinks that if the Russians and the Chinese want to smash Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Houston with mass drivers from orbit, the government shouldn't interfere.

Jill Stein likely is against orbiting military satellites because there will soon be so many Russian and Chinese ones up there that for us to join them would pollute the Van Allen belt.

Evan McMullin- who is, after all, running against four space cadets and to succeed a fifth- is clearly the only candidate with the experience to deal wi…

FiveThirtyEight sees the Democrats winning the Senate

Ironically, FiveThiryEight now thinks that Donald Trump will cost the Republicans the Senate as well as the presidency.

It's ironic because that reinforces the best argument for voting for the Little Orange Kitten: that otherwise Hillary will appoint Scalia's successor and maybe several other Supreme Court justices, and get them confirmed.

Since Hillary seems to be pulling away again nationally, though. the best plan for preventing that remains working like crazy to keep the Senate safe for the GOP. That could still happen. No way are the American people stupid enough to elect Trump.

What's the difference between a Trump "Republican" and a lemming?

Answer: Lemmings don't really commit mass suicide.

But bogus Republicans who support the man who hijacked the party and is the enemy of everything it ever stood for do.

First, they managed to get an ignorant, unqualified, unstable and boorish clown- the only one of the Republican candidates whom the polls clearly and consistently said could not defeat Hillary Clinton- nominated because expressing their anger was more important than winning. Then they blamed the consequences of their own stupidity on their fellow Republicans who love their country too much to support that walking disaster. And now, they're moving to make the blunder permanent and destroy the party for all time.

Reince Priebus, the Republican national chairman who has completely sold out to those who have taken a great political party hostage, is hinting that former GOP presidential candidates whose consciences will not permit them to endorse authoritarian sociopath Donald Trump should be barred from seeking th…

No ifs, ands, or butts: Trump even lied about his colonoscopy!

Donald Trump is a pathological liar.

So is Hillary Clinton, of course. But The Donald has raised lying to an art form. He lied his way through the Republican debates. He's lied about his past positions on almost every issue. And when he gets caught in a lie- which he does regularly- well, he tries to lie his way out of it.

He even lied about having had a colonoscopy.

Now, I know a thing or two about colonoscopies. Let me sound a "too much information" warning before we go any further.

I've had more than my share of colonoscopies in the past three years. The first was in the spring of 2013 when I finally had the colonoscopy all men should begin having every five years once they turn 50. I was 63.

Sure enough, it turned out that I had a malignant tumor in my colon, a third of which was removed a few months later.  Six jolly months of chemo followed.  I had two annual colonoscopies after that. Things are presently going so well that I don't have to have another one …

An oldie but goodie from the early days of our national acid trip

Andrew Klavan summarizes the case for Donald Trump:

Donald Trump and the death of the Republican Party

I don't agree with everything in this FiveThirtyEight article by Claire Malone, Harry Enten, and David Wield. For one thing, the GOP's principled stand in support of the Western ethical tradition in the face of the tsunami of moral nihilism from the cultural barbarians is one of the most attractive things about it to me, and not, as the article implies, some sort of failing. But in general- sadly- it's a pretty good analysis of the death throes of a great American political party- the party of my forebears and, until the convention in Cleveland, my own party as well.

Yet even in my one point of dissent, I have to acknowledge the truth in what the article says. If, as I believe, we are living in a society that is coming apart at the seams, the side of reason and common sense and sanity is surely the side I want to be on. But after all, the whole problem is that the tide is moving in the opposite direction- toward radical, unaccountable individuality, moral license, and the …

Why it's important to insist that homosexual orientation is not a sin

Sadly, a great many conservatives- including conservative Christians- stubbornly insist on the discredited notion that sexual orientation is voluntarily chosen. The damage that error does is enormous. Nothing such a person says thereafter is going to be taken seriously by anybody of homosexual orientation, or even any heterosexual who is less than twenty or thirty years behind the times on that subject.

Recently a generally fine post by Sean Daenzer appeared on the website of my church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Regrettably, the last commenter on the post manifested precisely that misinformed and destructive attitude. Unfortunately, the article was sloppy at one point in its use of language, permitting itself to be understood as saying that depression and sickness are "sinful conditions." Commenters on the post at the LCMS Facebook page quite rightly took exception to that implication.

Regrettably, those in charge of the page responded with this unfortunate &…