Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump May Elect More Women But Not for Him

Op-ed: Not only is Donald Trump behind in polls with about two weeks to go, pundits believe his remarks about nasty women will elect more of them than ever before.

“The irony is that Donald Trump may result in Democratic women having their best year ever.

In the final two weeks of the 2016 contest, Democrats are casting the GOP nominee’s insult-driven, misogynistic campaign as the embodiment of everything they say the Republican Party gets wrong on women. And their effort looks poised to deliver record-setting results,” Politico reports.

“It’s not just Hillary Clinton, who would of course be the first female president if she defeats him, or Nancy Pelosi, who has a slim chance of reclaiming the speaker’s gavel if enough Republican seats get sunk by Trump. In many of their most competitive races, Democrats are poised to win House and Senate seats that could easily bring the number of women to new levels in both chambers, along with potentially two female governors winning their first elections.”

For three weekends in a row, after he bragged about being such a big star he could grab any woman’s private parts, Trump has been the target of hilarious skits on Saturday Night Live that have gotten some record ratings.

The election website 538 predicts Trump’s foul tongue will depress the turnout of Republicans.

“The nightmare scenario for the GOP is that high-information Republican voters, seeing Trump imploding and not necessarily having been happy with him as their nominee in the first place, feel free to cast a protest vote at the top of the ticket. Meanwhile, lower information Repubican voters don’t turn out at all, given that Trump’s rigging rhetoric could suppress their vote and that Republicans don’t have the field operation to pull them back in,” said 538.

The New York Times has published a list of Trump insults.

Last weekend a Saturday Night Live skit, hosted by the popular Tom Hanks, drew laughs by saying Trump had won the national election insult “Bingo.”

The latest polls have Hillary Clinton with a lead of at least five percent, some put her in double digits.

To win she needs 270 votes in the electoral collect.

​Many believe she will top 330 votes.

New York Times


Friday, October 21, 2016

Thank God for Donald Trump

The media, both television and online newspapers, have focused almost entirely on Donald Trump having a base of support among people who have suffered during the recession that came at the end of the second term of President George W. Bush.
Many of those who support Trump may be people unhappy with Supreme Court decisions making same sex marriage legal, giving gay people equal rights, guaranteeing that women retain the right to abortions and even legalizing marijuana.
These decisions are strongly supported by evangelical and other conservative churches. The problem is people are leaving these churches in droves, according to “The End of White Christian America” by Robert P. Jones.
Changing demographics, lowering the white majority, also is contributing to churches losing members.
“After a long life spanning nearly two hundred and forty years, White Christian America— a prominent cultural force in the nation’s history— has died. WCA first began to exhibit troubling symptoms in the 1960s when white mainline Protestant denominations began to shrink, but showed signs of rallying with the rise of the Christian Right in the 1980s. Following the 2004 presidential election, however, it became clear that WCA’s powers were failing. Although examiners have not been able to pinpoint the exact time of death, the best evidence suggests that WCA finally succumbed in the latter part of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The cause of death was determined to be a combination of environmental and internal factors— complications stemming from major demographic changes in the country, along with religious disaffiliation as many of its younger members began to doubt WCA’s continued relevance in a shifting cultural environment,” the book says.
It adds, “The American religious landscape is being remade, most notably by the decline of the white Protestant majority and the rise of the religiously unaffiliated. These religious transformations have been swift and dramatic, occurring largely within the last four decades. Many white Americans have sensed these changes taking place all around them, and there has been some media coverage of the demographic piece of the puzzle. But while the country’s shifting racial dynamics alone are certainly a source of apprehension for many white Americans, it is the disappearance of White Christian America that is driving their strong, sometimes apocalyptic reactions. Falling numbers and the marginalization of a once dominant racial and religious identity— one that has been central not just to white Christians themselves but to the national mythos— threatens white Christians’ understanding of America itself.”
The appearance of Trump has given conservative Christian Americans a way to express their displeasure, other than shouting at the televisions.
This year Gallup Polls for the first time found 50 percent of Americans approve of abortion rights. For four years same-sex marriage has been approved by a majority.
Homosexual rights were first approved by a majority in 1999.
Although a majority has approved of medical marijuana for a decade, this year a majority approve of legalizing recreational marijuana.
This election is likely the last chance of conservatives to stop the country moving to make these rights part of our culture.
And it will be remarkable, based on current polls, if Trump is not defeated, possibly in a landslide.
The anti-marijuana laws are in an even tougher spot because state after state has legalized it. The Supreme Court cannot be blamed.
There is growing support for dealing with climate change, as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

American Election Faces Biggest Threat Since Civil War

Not since the Civil War has a major party refused to accept the results of a presidential election.
Donald Trump did just that in the final debate, and Thursday he added ammunition to that threat. He claimed the debate was rigged.
And like the Confederate states he made clear he was opposed to the election of Hillary Clinton and would never accept it. The Confederate states did at least wait until after the vote, though they announced their plan before Abraham Lincoln took office.
About this time the Republican party must be wondering if it could do an episode of the new show Timeless in which the characters would go back in time and eliminate Trump, which would theoretically violate the time machine’s charter but also seems to happen.
Many Republicans rejected Trump, mostly the usual suspects.
“The biggest loser tonight was not Trump, the presidential race is over,” said Robert Blizzard, a GOP pollster who is working on a number of congressional races. “Instead, down-ticket Republicans lost tonight — they needed some help and got absolutely none.”
And as in the Civil War, Trump had his foreign supporters. Hillary Clinton accused him of being a tool of Russia’s Putin.
Lenin once referred to politicians of foreign countries who supported the Russian Revolution as “useful idiots.”
Trump had his supporters Thursday morning, proving he was right, to a certain extent, that he could shoot someone on 5th Ave. and get way with it.
The New York Times, in an editorial, said, Mr. “Trump’s meltdown in the closing weeks could be dismissed as a sore loser’s bizarre attempt at rationalizing his likely defeat. But his trashing of the democratic process, in service of his own ego, risks lasting damage to the country, and politicians of both parties should recoil from him and his cynical example.”
The insults and false statements that preceded his potential treason meant that once again polls show Trump lost.
His rollout of Trump TV on Facebook raises the question of whether the nation needs two Fox networks. Ironically, a Fox employee, served as the moderator, the night Trump imploded.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Branding Takes Over Polling

This weekend we saw several examples of how news and polling groups focus on their own polls and ignore the work of others.
Nate Silver of the 538 website can explain all the insider information on how polls work.
But a far simpler question is why would a an ABC News-Washington Post would report a poll that shows Clinton’s lead is only four percent. And in that same story the writers lead with Clinton’s 47-43 lead in a four-person race. It only mentioned later that in a two-person race she had 50 percent support.
Real Clear Politics, which averages polls it considers legitimate, had Clinton leading at 5.5.  But the Post-ABC poll ignored this.
Journalists are notorious for wanting attention focused on their work and not the stories of others but this undercuts their reliability.
The Huffington Post, whose own poll showed Clinton leading by 7.5, published the polls of others.
The other polls are readily available on the web. Readers should be aware that just because one site says it has a new poll doesn’t mean there are not other polls out there.
Nate Silver of 538 reports: “Hillary Clinton has a significant lead, although there’s some question about the margin. For instance, one major national poll released on Sunday morning, from ABC News and the Washington Post, had Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points. Another, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, had Clinton up 11 points instead. Our forecast model falls in the middle and shows Clinton with a 6- or 7-point lead. That translates to an 86 percent chance for her to win the election according to our polls-only model, and an83 percent chance per our polls-plus model.”
Whatever is going to happen, Trump has pivoted to a campaign that claims the voting is rigged. He and his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, do not agree to be on the same page. There is wild talk of a revolution and sending monitors to polling places.
The liberal Daily Kos wrote: “Thank you, Donald Trump. For what? For a number of things. First and foremost, for finally and completely exposing today’s Republican Party—its highest-ranking leaders, its elected officials all over our country, and, yes, the broad mass of its voters. For all the vile things Republicans have said and done for years now,you broke the dam. You made exactly clear what Republicanism really stands for. Hell, these past 10 days you smashed through the dam like the very animal your party has chosen as its symbol.”

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Arrogance of Vladimir Putin

The clocking is ticking for the Russian leader. While he is widely accused of trying elect Donald Trump, polls show his nemesis, Hillary Clinton is the likely winner.
Putin is accused of spying on the U.S. Democratic party, as well as on some European nations.
Even after he was first accused of the U.S. attacks months ago, President Barrack Obama took no public action. He had less than six months to go in his presidency.
Democrats accused him of seeking to help Trump. The Republican, who regularly denies things he has said on television, had praised Trump. He even urged Putin to break into Clinton’s email.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Politico reported.
In the background the Russian leader  had fought with the Ukraine, seizing Crimea. His jets joined the Syrian dictator’s warplanes in bombing Alleppo and killing thousands.
Putin called off a trip to Paris this week after being strongly critized by the French president for the deaths in Syria.
The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, accused Russia of war crimes and said it was in danger of becoming a “pariah nation.”
He said the “West's decision not to intervene against President Bashar Assad in 2013 was “a mistake” that “left the space open for the Russians.”
Obama had asked for Congressional support three years ago when chemical weapons were used by Assad regime. The Republican-controlled group refused.
On Friday, Obama threatened action, but only for the hacking.
“The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
“Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership.”
In this was a TV show, like “Madame Secretary,” all the lights would be turned off in Moscow.
Putin has denied involvement in either the hacking or the Syria bombing. Yet on Saturday it was announced talks between the U.S. and Syria would resume.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had halted the talks when the barrel bombing of Alleppo increased.
There is one thing both parties in the U.S. agree on. Hillary Clinton will likely be more likely to confront Putin. Some call her a warmonger.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Trump Threatens to Jail Clinton

When Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton the devil and threatened to jail her it was not the first time I had heard such talk, though not in recent years in America
It reminded me of political contests in the Third World, and often the incumbent made good this threats to jail opponents. Sometimes they were never seen again.
This was over the top even for a potty mouth. We don’t threaten opponents on debate stages.
"If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation," Trump said, "because there has never been so many lies, so much deception."
Trump's threat -- which he has made before on the campaign trail -- is extraordinary even by the standard of the vitriolic 2016 campaign.
Clinton responded first by calling Trump's comments about her emails false, then said, "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
Trump, as if continuing her sentence, added: "Because you'd be in jail."
It was very Nixonian, said former Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat. He recalled Nixon’s attorney general quit when ordered to fire the Watergate special prosecutor.
But Republicans were shocked as well.
 “Former White House, said,
"Winning candidates don't threaten to put opponents in jail," he tweeted. "Presidents don't threaten prosecution of individuals. Trump is wrong on this."
There was a certain irony as Trump stalked Hillary on the stage, to use the verb chosen by several pundits, to talk about jailing her. He is the one facing trial three weeks after the election or running a phony university. And he will face trial in more than one state for ripping off students. Trump’s Foundation has been ordered to cease and desist taking donations because it is not registered.
In our living room, and many others from what I heard on several stations, people wondered by the taller Trump kept creeping up behind Clinton when it was her turn to speak. It seemed like something from a Frankenstein movie.
In the past such bizarre behavior has worked for Trump. Appparently not Sunday night.
Nearly as scary as the jail threat was his total lack of knowledge of Russia’s role in Syria. It reminded some viewers of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s comment “What is Aleppo.”
The two polls taken right the even showed Hillary the winner.
Before the debate many Republicans had abandoned him, others said they would look for a strong performance to get him back in the race as his poll numbers tumble.