Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Travel Blogging IX

Cruising upstream in the Amazon basin: We've been river cruising all day today, and will do so again tomorrow. Ship authorities say we will go upstream 900 miles or more to reach Manaus. It is hard to imagine a deep water port for sea-going vessels that far inland.

River cruising is smooth sailing, there is seldom any sense of movement as rivers tend to be darned flat ... no waves or swells. Another nice part is there is usually something at which to look and that something changes every few minutes.

Considering how big the Amazon is, the level of river traffic is quite sparse, compared to the Rhine or Danube, or the Mississippi for that matter. The region isn't heavily populated, we see a very occasional house or tiny settlement along the banks but those are miles apart.

Some of the tributaries we've seen entering the Amazon would qualify as among the world's biggest rivers. To us who live in dry regions most of the time, this sheer volume of water in a riverine setting is surreal.

Tomorrow we go out on a local boat for some up-close-and-personal with these waterways, supposedly fishing for piranha during the trip. They're toothy little buggers, if I remember correctly from our last visit.

It's time to deploy the deet mosquito repellant.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Alt-Right Is Accurate

The New York Times has an article today concerning complaints about calling white nationalists/supremacists as "the alt-right." The article notes Trump consigliere Steve Bannon called "the platform of the alt-right."

I'd like to weigh in on this issue. Bannon meant that, as a conservative pro-Trump media group Breitbart was an alternative to the old-right media outlets like Weekly Standard and National Review which were overtly anti-Trump.

He was making the distinction between classical free-trade, small government, conservatism and populist fair-trade, helpful government conservatism. Bannon called the latter alt-right, as opposed to old-right. That isn't racist in any way, nor is Trump.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Travel Blogging VIII

At sea, "steaming" south from Devil's Island to the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil: The DrsC did not go ashore at Devil's Island, we've been here before on a prior cruise. This time our ship anchored much closer to the island, probably because this is a much smaller ship which has a shallower draft.

We get a sea day tomorrow and enter the Amazon sometime on Wednesday. It will take us a week to sail upriver to Manaus, stay there two nights, and sail back downriver to the South Atlantic. This leg of the trip has been on our collective bucket list for some years.

Cruise ships distill fresh water from sea water picked up in the open ocean. The result is very pure water but it's also "soft" as it lacks minerals - thus rinsing off soap can be a challenge.

We got an announcement today that beginning day after tomorrow we will be on restricted rations with regard to fresh water. This is the case because we cannot process river water. It will be so hot and humid we'll want two showers a day, but will have to limit ourselves to one, for example.

Amazon water is simply too dirty to distill and would clog the filters, etc. So the laundries will be closed and we are asked to reuse towels and curb water use to some extent. As Californians-by-birth, the DrsC know how to conserve water.

Travel Blogging VII

At sea between Barbados and Devil's Island, French Guiana: I have to say that I enjoyed Barbados, but it is less prosperous looking than Trinidad. We had an excellent guide, whose specialty is photography.

We were informed that Barbados is the only significant Caribbean island that is not volcanic. It has mountains - big hills really - but no peaks. It's the result of upthrust as two continental plates come together.

We learned about "chattel" houses, houses designed to be disassembled, loaded on a truck and taken elsewhere to be reassembled. These were built on plantation land owned by the big land owner and when that owner needed the land, the more-or-less squatters had to move on, taking their dwelling with them.

We also learned a poem which contains the recipe for rum punch.
One sour,
Two sweet,
Three strong, and
Four weak.
Translation: 1 measure of lime juice, 2 measures of simple syrup, 3 measures of rum, and 4 measures of fruit juice, orange for example. Add several dashes of Angostura bitters and store in the refrigerator overnight or longer, several days is ideal. We sampled the result - it is excellent, smooth and tasty, with a kick.

On another topic entirely, the U.S. just finished an extremely consequential election. We elected a controversial man as our next president. You would expect much political talk aboard our cruise ship, at least two-thirds of the passengers are U.S. citizens. You would, however, be wrong.

In a week on board, I've heard no political discussion on deck or over dinner. I suspect we all fear the topic would pierce the superficial geniality which is the behavioral norm on such ships.

It is known to the group at dinner that we are retired university faculty. They may suppose we are as liberal as most such, a supposition which would be incorrect.

President-elect Trump is the elephant in our table's conversational room, entirely unmentioned. I find this amusing, as does the other DrC. On our last night at sea, I may bring it up just to see if I've gotten the players on each team identified correctly.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Travel Blogging VI

At sea between Trinidad and Barbados: I have to say I was impressed with Trinidad and the city at which we were docked - Port of Spain. They were in better repair, more urban, more bustling, and generally less "third world" than the other Caribbean islands we've visited so far.

If you haven't traveled in the tropics, human-created things there tend to deteriorate very quickly. On the other hand, natural things tend to thrive, exhibiting exuberance in every way.

Counteracting tropical entropic forces requires a diligence in maintenance which tropical people often do not possess. Trinidad seems to be overcoming this natural tendency better than most.

Port of Spain city is impressive, has some high rise buildings, and an opera house, called NAPA for National Academy for Performing Arts, that rivals the opera house in Sydney for architectural drama. We were told it was built by the Chinese.

Trinidad & Tobago is, of course, a former British colony. We've visited former colonies of France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, the U.S., and Japan. Of all the colonial masters, the Brits seem to have been the most successful. Regardless of what you think of colonialism, doing it well is better than doing it poorly. The Brits were masters.

We visited the home of Angostura Bitters, used in a variety of cocktails. They also distill rum from molasses, all imported today as cane is no longer grown here. I had no idea the firm was headquartered in Trinidad. They would appear to be major competitors of Bacardi.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Travel Blogging V

At sea between Saint Lucia and Trinidad: First, COTTonLINE wishes all of our readers a Very Happy Thanksgiving Day. Our regular readers have much to be thankful for following November's election. Perhaps our once-great nation can become so again. At minimum we can retard the rate of decline for a few years.

In addition, the DrsC are thankful for relatively good health and comfortable circumstances in our household. Growing old is no picnic but we are doing it in some style and without over much suffering.

COTTonLINE will celebrate its 10th birthday in December, just over a month from now. We are thankful to have this venue in which to share our thoughts and discoveries. I'm certain you do not enjoy it as much as I do, and that's fine. I believe I missed having an audience when I retired from professing, and this blog gives me one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No Whites Need Apply

RealClearPolitics quotes former Bernie Sanders spokeswoman Symone Sanders (no relation) as follows:
In my opinion we don't need white people leading the Democratic party right now. The Democratic party is diverse, and it should be reflected as so in leadership and throughout the staff, at the highest levels.
Whites aren't needed as Democratic candidates for national office, either. Things are progressing as we have predicted.

Travel Blogging IV

At sea between the islands of Nevis and Saint Lucia:  Today we visited Nevis, and weird coincidence, Prince Harry arrived on the island today. We missed his arrival but heard of it.

Unlike St. Thomas which was overrun with tourists of of 4 cruise liners, we were the only cruise ship at anchor off Nevis. My sense is Nevis is more "authentic" or less touristy than many islands.

The island looks very much like any volcanic tropical island, although the people here are of African origin whereas those in the Pacific are of Asian extraction. Still the vegetation is very similar and the architecture is too, although more things here are made of volcanic stone cut into building blocks.

The roads are extremely narrow, mostly have no center line or shoulders and are perhaps 1.5 cars wide. The lack of width doesn't keep people from parking right on the road, so dealing with oncoming traffic is a matter of driving wherever there is room. Most vehicles are of modest size but I saw one full-size dump truck and thought how difficult that monster must be to drive here.

The island is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, a talented fellow whose portrait graces the $10 bill and who was our nation's first Treasury Secretary. The home where he was born is now a museum about him, and another museum features lore and artifacts about Horatio Nelson, famous admiral from the iron men and wooden ships era of the Royal Navy.

Nevis has a very attractive and well-done botanical garden featuring tropical plants from many lands. Particularly striking was a Rainbow eucalyptus tree with particolored bark.

Islanders proudly tell you that Princess Diana and two of her children spent one of her last vacations here at an attractive hotel upon a hillside overlooking the coastline. It seems the Brits are trying to turn Diana into an Evita-like figure, with some unfortunate success.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Travel Blogging III

At Sea, between St. Thomas and St. Kitts & Nevis: The all-news TV channels are abuzz with folks upset about some white supremacists celebrating Donald Trump's election.

Trump has said or written nothing which reflects their desires. It is true that as president Clinton would have done things they'd like even less. So what? So they see him as the lesser of two evils, how is that his problem.

Likewise, the U.S. Communist Party endorsed Clinton and would have celebrated her winning, had it happened. She is many things we don't respect, but is no Communist.

Communists likewise would have seen her as the lesser of two evils. Nobody seemed to think that was her problem.

A whole bunch of sore losers can't wrap their minds around Trump winning, and are lashing out. I hope they can get over themselves, but I'm not optimistic.


On a happier note, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgins is looking quite prosperous. Like all U.S. territories it is probably execrably governed ... a sad reality. 

There were four large cruise ships tied up to the dock today, bringing probably 11,000 potential customers and their credit cards. Other than taking tours they don't buy much, some jewelry. 

Cruising is a big deal, both as leisure and financially. As we sailed away from Ft. Lauderdale three days ago, two other large cruise ships were keeping pace with us on essentially the same course. Another three or more left at roughly the same time but went in different directions.

The ship we're on is an old one, she'll have her thirtieth birthday in 2018. Normally a ship of this age would have been sold off to the Japanese or some European outfit catering to the backpacker crowd. Our ship got a reprieve because she was originally built for the five star luxury market and is more elegant than many. She's decently maintained but lacks certain amenities like soda guns in the bars. Her smaller size (and consequent shallower draft) makes her able to sail up the Amazon River or through the Kiel Canal.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Travel Blogging II

At Sea, enroute to the U.S. Virgin Islands: I was watching MSNBC's Morning Joe this a.m. and heard an interview where various people were arguing about Steven Bannon, formerly head of Breitbart and now consigliere to president-elect Trump.

One said they were with Bannon when he first saw a Trump rally. They reported his reaction was "Trump's another Andrew Jackson, or maybe Teddy Roosevelt," both great populists and spell-binding orators.

You may recollect COTTonLINE wrote this about him many months ago. We said we were reminded of Teddy Roosevelt, the non-stop talker and human whirlwind. LikeTeddy, Trump is his own man, more an independent than a political insider.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cillizza: Obama Great for GOP

Breitbart reports The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said the following on MSNBC's Morning Joe program.
I always say that the greatest thing that happened to the Republican Party is Barack Obama. Yes, he spent eight years in the White House, but during those eight years they have made massive gains.
Cillizza is a lefty, for sure, but not entirely stupid about who's up and who's down. The gains have truly been massive.

About Steve Bannon

Michael Wolff of The Hollywood Reporter interviews Trump consigliere Steve Bannon, and describes him thus:
If Trumpism is to represent something intellectually and historically coherent, it's Bannon's job to make it so. In this, he could not be a less reassuring or more confusing figure for liberals — fiercely intelligent and yet reflexively drawn to the inverse of every liberal assumption and shibboleth.

A working class kid, he enlists in the navy after high school, gets a degree from Virginia Tech, then Georgetown, then Harvard Business School. Then it's Goldman Sachs, then he's a dealmaker and entrepreneur in Hollywood — where, in an unlikely and very lucky deal match-up, he gets a lucrative piece of Seinfeld royalties, ensuring his own small fortune — then into the otherworld of the vast right-wing conspiracy and conservative media. (snip) And then to the Breitbart News Network, which with digital acumen and a mind-meld with the anger and the passion of the new alt-right (a liberal designation Bannon derides) he pushes to the inner circle of conservative media from Breitbart's base on the Westside of liberal Los Angeles.

What he seems to have carried from a boyhood in a blue-collar, union and Democratic family in Norfolk, Va., and through his tour of the American establishment, is an unreconstructed sense of class awareness, or bitterness — or betrayal. The Democratic Party betrayed its working-man roots. (snip) Likewise, the Republican party would come to betray its working-man constituency forged under Reagan. In sum, the working man was betrayed by the establishment, or what he dismisses as the "donor class."
The above is very close to a textbook definition of a populist thought leader. Trump, whose roots were anything but blue collar, nevertheless spent years dealing with guys in the building trades, who tend to be pragmatic hard workers. I can imagine Bannon and Trump find much to like in each other.

The Signal Being Sent

We wrote about Trump's personnel choices yesterday. Today comes a New York Times article characterizing those choices, saying what they mean.
Mr. Trump moved unapologetically to realize his campaign’s vision of a nation that relentlessly enforces immigration laws; views Muslims with deep suspicion; aggressively enforces drug laws; second-guesses post-World War II alliances; and sends suspected terrorists to Guantánamo Bay or C.I.A. prisons to be interrogated with methods that have been banned as torture.
 You know NYT strongly disapproves, but it sounds near-ideal to me.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Trump Picks

As I write this, Donald Trump has made five key appointments. They are Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Rep. Mike Pompeo for head of the CIA, ret. Lt. General Mike Flynn for national security advisor, plus policy advisor Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus.

I have to say I'm impressed. Priebus is a proven-competent bureaucrat, which is what the chief of staff needs to be. Wild man Bannon will keep Trump from being cooped by the DC Uniparty elite.

Sessions is an experienced prosecutor and a deep conservative who actually has Democrat friends. Pompeo is a West Pointer, a member of the Intelligence committee, and a conservative. And Flynn is nobody's pushover.

These are good folks, and to the extent they reflect Trump's plans for the nation, I am encouraged. I would like to see another 10 at this quality level.

Travel Blogging I

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - As you may have surmised, the DrsC are on the road once again. This time we've flown to FL to board a cruise ship which will thread its way through the Caribbean islands, stopping along the way.

Then we make our way to Brazil and sail up the Amazon to Manaus, very nearly half way across the country, stopping at several river ports along the way. After two days in Manaus, we head back downriver and back through the islands to Ft. Lauderdale. The whole thing takes about a month.

Not certain how much Internet I'll have on shipboard; the usual sort of posts may be somewhat limited, we'll see. Travel posts shouldn't be a problem, the question is whether we'll see things fun to share.

NYT: The Two Americas

The New York Times runs a short article with two interesting maps: terrain where Trump won, and places where Clinton won. Trump gets 85% of the land area, but only 46% of the population lives there. Clinton's 15% of the land area holds 54% of the population.

The Times estimates she got 1 million more votes than Trump, but they were concentrated in very "blue" regions - cities mostly, with some Indian reservations, and odd places like Teton County in WY, a wealthy enclave in a generally working-class "red" state.

The rural/urban divide isn't a joke, it's a real thing - see for yourself. The demographics are different and, face it, population density alone determines a lot of things. It is inversely proportional to the degree of personal freedom we have. The DrsC have tried both and long since decided we are "country folk."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Broader Coalition

Writing for RealClearPolitics, David Byler reports some additional detail on who voted for Trump.
That isn’t to say that Trump performed terribly among whites who have a college degree. Exit polls showed he won that group, 49 percent to 45 percent. But these correlations underline the fact that Trump’s increased national and regional strength came mainly from non-college-educated whites, a group that he won 67 percent-28 percent.
Another way of interpreting the above data is that Trump won the white vote. Some parts were more pro-Trump than others: men more than women, older more than younger, non-college more than college grads.

The Brainy Are Less Social

A website associated with the Independent (U.K.) paper reports research findings about very smart people. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.
While it's widely accepted that socialising makes us happier, this might not be strictly true if you’re highly intelligent.

Evolutionary psychologists from Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics and Political Science found exactly this when they studied more than 15,000 young adults.

They concluded that, while people generally feel happier when they spend time with others, very smart people are an exception to this rule.
If you're really smart, you understand this finding. In my experience, really smart people and the less brainy sometimes don't enjoy each other's company.

Also, a bit of introversion often comes with a high IQ. When a lot is going on in ones head it is easier to entertain oneself, reducing dependency on others.

CA Is the Problem, EC is the Solution

A very lopsided Democrat landslide in California is the only reason Clinton won more votes than Trump. See an Investor's Business Daily article which describes this. The key quote:
If California was more like the average Democratic state, Trump would currently have a 400,000 vote lead in the nationwide popular vote.
Cloud cuckoo land, aka CA, is earlobe deep in illegal immigrants, many of whom likely voted. Thank heavens for the Electoral College (EC).

Witching Hour Snark

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds posts some sarcasm which is (falsely, I believe) attributed to VP-elect Pence.
Obama entered office without any successful executive experience. Eight years later he'll leave it the same way.
In a way we've been lucky. Imagine all the evil Obama would have done if he'd been half way competent.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Bradley Effect Lives

Posting at The Washington Post's political blog, The Fix, Aaron Blake asks and answers this question:
Who likes President Obama and voted for Donald Trump? Lots of people.
It's a good question Blake asks, I take exception only to his answer. My guess is that the actual answer is relatively few people.

Blake explains the President's relatively high approval numbers and the large vote Trump earned by imagining many people who like Obama voting for Trump.

I have an alternate spin which also explains that same apparent contradiction. I believe the President's consistently high approval numbers are a Bradley Effect artifact, not in all cases representing genuine approval.

Some people fear being viewed as racists if they say they don't approve of Obama. The socially desirable answer to the question, "Do you approve of President Obama's performance in office?" is "Yes." It is the answer no one is likely to ask you to justify, or take exception to on racial grounds.

Therefore some fraction of responders will falsely answer "Yes" when a true answer would be "No." People who answer insincerely might be predisposed to vote for Trump.

The Trende Line

Sean Trende writes for RealClearPolitics about the failure of the "demographics is destiny" meme for Democrats. This is a long, thoughtful article that is worth putting aside for when you can spend a bit of time digesting it.

Much of the piece is a thorough debunking of The Emerging Democratic Majority by Judis and Teixeira. See what Trende writes about that book's thesis:
To make the theory work, you have to find a way to explain the fact that, from top to bottom, the Republican Party is the strongest it has been since the 1920s. Whatever majority may be emerging, it does not look particularly Democratic right now.

If you look at turnout rates as reported by the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey dating back to 2002, African-American rates have always lagged Republican rates by around five points, give or take. (snip) This was true in 2010 as well as 2014. The exceptions were 2008 and 2012, when African-American turnout rates exceeded white rates.

Analysis focuses on the “fast-growing” Hispanic vote, but the Hispanic share of the electorate has actually increased glacially. (snip) The fact that Hispanics are increasingly adopting a “white” identity (what Reihan Salam calls “racial attrition”) may blunt this growth in the future.

Trump received more votes from white evangelicals than Clinton received from African-Americans and Hispanics combined. This single group very nearly cancels the Democrats’ advantage among non-whites completely. This isn’t a one-off; it was true in 2012, 2008 and 2004

If the last few elections have done nothing else, it has been to convince me that history has no arc; it bends toward nothing; we are certainly ill-equipped to harness whatever power it has. Rather, it simply meanders like a lazy river; we are carried along by the current.
Did you have any idea the evangelical vote is consistently bigger than the vaunted minority vote? I sure as hell didn't. Trende is one of the best election analysts in the business.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Classic Oregon

The NBC affiliate in Portland, KGW-TV reports about the anti-Trump riots that have occurred there. Hat tip to for the link.
PORTLAND, Ore. — More than 70 percent of the 112 anti-Trump protesters arrested in Portland didn’t vote in Oregon, according to state election records. The other approximately 30 percent did cast a ballot in Oregon or in another state.

At least seventy-nine demonstrators either didn’t turn in a ballot or weren’t registered to vote in the state.
In any sane world a judge would throw the book at those who are (a) eligible to vote, (b) didn't vote, and then (c) rioted. Nobody has recently accused Oregon of sanity; they'll get off with a wrist-slap.

TDS Claims First Victim

The first clear victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome has been identified. He is Matt Harrigan, founder and now ex-CEO of the PacketSled cybersecurity startup. He was fired for threatening to shoot president-elect Trump. See what The San Diego Union-Tribune reports he put online:
Harrigan posted "I'm going to kill the president. Elect," according to the Reddit copy of his Facebook comments.

When a friend responded “You just need to get high,” Harrigan wrote “Nope, getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts. Find a bedroom in the White House that suits you, (expletive.) I'll find you."

When warned by a Facebook friend that he might get a visit from federal authorities, Harrigan replied “Bring it secret service.
Sounds like Harrigan was drunk or high. Now he's unemployed and "radioactive," anybody who hires him will be suspect. Hat tip to for the link.

Liberals Lying ... Again

There is much talk about how Steve Bannon, president-elect Trump's special counsel, is supposedly anti-Semitic and favors white supremacists. David P. Goldman debunks those charges at his Spengler column for PJ Media.

Inasmuch as Trump's favorite daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren are Jews, his appointing an anti-Semite seems far-fetched. As Goldman notes, his analysis of the Breitbart site's publications shows the charge is nonsense, in fact the opposite is true.

As COTTonLINE readers know, I respect Goldman's work. If he says Bannon is pro-Israel, I believe him. You might consider doing the same.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Voting One's Social Class

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, a source COTTonLINE seldom cites, Joan C. Williams argues that the key to understanding the Trump phenomenon is social class.
One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich.

Most blue-collar workers have little direct contact with the rich outside of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But professionals order them around every day.

Women don’t stand together: WWC women voted for Trump over Clinton by a whopping 28-point margin — 62% to 34%. If they’d split 50-50, she would have won.

Class trumps gender, and it’s driving American politics. Policy makers of both parties — but particularly Democrats if they are to regain their majorities — need to remember five major points.

> Working Class Means Middle Class, Not Poor
> The Working-Class Resents the Poor
> Class Divisions Have Translated into Geography
> Emphasize Economics
> Don't Write Off Blue-Collar Resentment as Racism
Williams' article is worth reading in its entirety.


As a COTTonLINE reader it's likely you supported the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump. Given that support, you are at least somewhat happy at the outcome of last Tuesday's election. We certainly are.

You can imagine quite a few people don't agree with us. See a Washington Post article by Alexandra Petri, who writes of "The Five Stages of Trump Grief" they are experiencing.

Oh, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the rending of garments, the anguished sobs. For a Trump supporter, the article is richly endowed with schadenfreude, the pleasure derived from another's misfortune.

This is one of those rare events where nearly every moonbat you'd like to see suffering actually is suffering ... mightily. Which suggests the observation, "Karma is a bitch."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Too Far Outside the Box

Jerry Bowyer comes up with an interesting idea for his Townhall column. His title pretty much sums it up:
Is President Obama Liberalism's Gorbachev?
For the historically challenged, Gorbachev presided over the collapse of the Russian Communists. Seeing Obama presiding over the collapse of liberalism and Democrats seems a bit strong for a party that actually cast more votes Nov. 8 than the Republicans did.

An Unintended Consequence

The New York Post has an article suggesting that Obama's opening to Cuba - restoring diplomatic relations and cancelling restrictions on the import of cigars and rum - may have irritated enough Cuban-Americans to swing Florida from Clinton to Trump. Absent FL's 29 electoral votes, Trump would not have gotten to 270, as he so far has 290.

Michigan and New Hampshire have not been called, one leans each way. We'd be sweating out their recounts, had not FL gone decisively for Trump. This was an unforced error, Obama could have waited until after the election to act.

CA Evolving Toward a Plantation Economy

Demographer/pundit Joel Kotkin, writing for The Orange County Register, looks at the election results in CA and how those reflect deteriorating political realities there.
Compared to the Bay Area, which now rules the state, the more blue-collar, Latino and African American interior, as well as much of Los Angeles, account for six of the 15 worst areas in terms of living standard out of 106 metropolitan areas, according to a recent report by Center for Opportunity Urbanism demographer Wendell Cox.
Forty percent of "worst areas" are in CA? That ranking puts them on a par with places like Detroit and Baltimore ... grim.
California is on the road to a bifurcated, almost feudal, society, divided by geography, race and class. As is clear from the most recent Internal Revenue Service data, it’s not just the poor and ill-educated, as Brown apologists suggest, but, rather, primarily young families and the middle-aged, who are leaving. What will be left is a state dominated by a growing, but relatively small, upper class, many of them boomers; young singles and a massive, growing, increasingly marginalized “precariat” of low wage, often occasional, workers. 
Kotkin ignores the army of union-represented government employees - teachers, prison guards, LEOs, parole officers, social workers - who "manage" what he calls the precariat. To the extent a middle class remains in CA, they will be most of it, filling the "overseer" role in CA's "plantation" economy.

A Staggering Toll

The New York Times' Frank Bruni describes the impact the Obama presidency had on the Democratic Party. Bruni writes:
His presidency will end with Democrats in possession of 11 fewer Senate seats (depending on how you count), more than 60 fewer House seats, at least 14 fewer governorships and more than 900 fewer seats in state legislatures than when it began. That’s a staggering toll.
Rendered at the voting booth, the public's verdict on Democrats isn't favorable. It would appear obituaries for the GOP are, to say the least, premature. Hat tip to for the link.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

U.S. Tribal Politics

Regular readers know we've been predicting that if (and now, when) Hillary lost, the Democrats would realize they can no longer nominate a white for president and win. Up to this point I've been a prophet crying in the wilderness. Now see what Instapundit Glenn Reynolds has written on the subject.
What if minority voters just won’t turn out for non-minority candidates any more? That’s a real problem for the Democrats, especially if all the racial politics they pursue in order to try to motivate minority voters (Black Lives Matter, immigration protests, etc.) actually serve to make minorities less likely to vote for whites, even if they’re Democrats. And if working-class whites start to vote Republican the way minorities have voted Democratic — and all that racial politics is likely to encourage that — the Dems are in trouble.
What if Bill Clinton is the last white Democrat president ... ever?

Saturday Snickers

Herewith are some of my favorites from Steven Hayward's weekly compilation for Power Line of cartoons, recaptioned photos, witty sayings, etc.

Map of U.S. counties, mostly red, showing whether each voted for Clinton or Trump. Captioned:
Trump has better coverage than Verizon
Can you hear us 'now'?
Two photos, the top one shows a woman pulling along a man on all fours with a dog collar and leash, captioned:
Hillary voters heading to the polls
The second photo shows the headlong charge of weird war vehicles from a Mad Max film, captioned:
Trump voters heading to the polls
A seeming screen capture from CNN, showing Trump speaking, headlined:
Trump Elected President
The subhead crawl says:
"Mass suicides" reported across college campuses//Riots in San Francisco
Movie still of the cavalry hat-wearing Brigadier General from Apocalypse Now, captioned:
I love the sound of liberals
Crying in the morning
Downward-looking photo of a nighttime urban street full of protestors, captioned:
The is what happens
When you give children
A trophy for losing
Photo of a rag doll, captioned:
Show me on this doll
Where the election hurt you
Photo of the Oval Office handshake between President Obama and President-elect Trump, captioned:
Photo finally emerges of
Trump grabbing a pussy 
Cartoon resembling famous "last helicopter from Saigon" photo, this one peopled by recognizable caricatures of Hollywood show folk desperately trying to board, captioned:
Last helicopter out of Hollywood
Photoshopped Hillary wearing an orange jumpsuit in jail cell, speaking with Bill who's outside the bars. Hillary speaks:
Any word from Trump about that pardon?
Bill speaks, through laughter:
Sorry, played golf with him yesterday and forgot to mention it.
Photo of a destroyed Smart car, captioned:
Wisconsin couple were treated for minor injuries at local hospital emergency, after their car hit a squirrel on Highway 8. The squirrel refused treatment and left the scene. 

Systemic Polling Bias

Normally, I respect the analytic work of Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics. Today his column argues that the polls did as good a job of predicting the election outcome as they did in 2012. I'm not entirely convinced.

Yes, it is true as he argues that most polls had Clinton ahead by a small margin and the polling margin of error was wider than that margin so a Trump win was possible. He believes the error was in the media's interpretation. I'm still not convinced.

I see a systemic error in the fact that almost all polls showed Clinton ahead by varying amounts. If it were merely random error, you'd expect roughly as many polls to err by overestimating Trump's chances as actually did err by underestimating them. This did not happen. Ergo, systemic bias.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Where as Important as Who

I'll be coming back with additional thoughts about the election just concluded for days, weeks, maybe months. It was that big a deal.

My latest thought is this. The pundits who observed the changing demographics in the U.S. overlooked a key variable: where those new non-white voters are located. They are not evenly distributed across the U.S.

Rather, for reasons we've explored here, they tend to cluster together, where their votes become largely superfluous. Who cares whether CA goes Democrat by 51% or 91%? It yields the same electoral and senate votes either way. Ditto in NY, IL, etc.

CA, for example, is probably majority non-white at this point, or soon will be. Adding additional black and brown Democratic votes to the CA total does little nationally, so long as an equal number of whites leave the state and go elsewhere. Perhaps it yields an additional handful of D House seats in CA whereas the displaced whites will yield the same number of R House seats elsewhere - nationally no change.

A map of which presidential candidate won each congressional district shows most of the U.S. bright red. The blues are concentrated along the west coast and the north east, with islands in the midwest. If lots more Democrat-voting minorities move to those states, their national political impact is minimal.

Just sayin'.,,,

A Word of Advice

A friendly suggestion to the unhappy souls demonstrating and even rioting in the streets of several major cities. Get it out of your systems before Inauguration Day in January.

A Trump Justice Department may take a dim view of violence in the streets. It probably won't pat you on the head and soothingly say we understand your pain.

I don't want to prejudge, but it just might leave you in jail for 90 days, and allow you to exit with a criminal record. The other DrC says: "Suck it up, Buttercup." And adds, for the last 8 years she hasn't had a president, now it's your turn.

Honor Our Veterans

November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War One, is the day we honor American veterans: those who served honorably and especially those who were wounded or died on our behalf. We owe them our thanks and our respect. Happy Veterans Day!

An Ugly Little Man

Lame-duck Senate Minority leader Harry Reid says ugly things about President-elect Donald Trump. It sort of fits, ugly comments from an ugly customer.

My rejoinder: In roughly 70 days Harry Reid, who is retiring, will be nobody. In the same 70 days Donald Trump will be leader of the Free World.

Reid couldn't win the Senate back for his party. Trump won the presidency for his party, and had coattails.

Which is a winner? Which is a loser? Answer: Reid's a joke and a sore loser.

Moving Downmarket

Reading Politico about Melania's sit down with Michelle at the White House, I had an extremely minor epiphany. Moving from the ostentatious luxury of Trump Tower and Mar y Lago to the White House has got to feel like moving from the Hamptons to a museum or perhaps to a Williamsburg-like recreation of history.

It isn't moving to a better neighborhood, for sure, although the job that comes with the house is arguably the biggest job in the world today. Like many recent presidents, the Trumps will probaby spent a fair amount of time at their own homes. Reagan, Nixon and the Bushes certainly did, as did Johnson and Kennedy. The Clintons and Obamas did not.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

GOP Looking Healthy

Writing at the Power Line blog he co-founded, John Hinderaker makes some interesting points about the very healthy state of the Republican Party. These are points you'd be hard-pressed to learn from the MSM.
As of January, the GOP will control the presidency, the House, the Senate, and an overwhelming majority of state government institutions.
That includes 33 governorships, and 24 states in which they control the governor's office, and both houses of the legislature. My understanding is that Democrats only have such complete statewide control in five states.

Change in Panem

Tuesday night Katniss and Peeta led an attack on the Capitol, and defeated the elites there. Very soon Panem will have a new leader, new policies less biased toward the Capitol, and a bunch of out-of-work elitists.

Raise the three-fingered salute to the rebels. Then, rotating your wrist 180 degrees, raise a one fingered salute to our lame-duck President 'Snow,' aka Barack Hussein Obama.

Tribalism Trumps Sisterhood

The Guardian (U.K.) reports a majority of white women voted for Trump. Hat tip to for the link.
White women without a college degree supported Trump over Hillary Clinton by nearly a two to one margin. White women with a college degree were more evenly divided, with 45% supporting Trump, compared with 51% supporting Clinton.

Women of color, in contrast, voted overwhelmingly for Clinton: 94% of black women supported her, and 68% of Latino women. While exit polling data has flaws, the early responses underline a stark racial divide among American women: the majority of white women embraced Trump and his platform, while women of color rejected him.

While white women had the strongest support for Trump, 26% of Latino female voters also supported him.
Republicans know the Latino vote is much less monolithic (i.e., more winnable) than the African-American vote. This reflects Latinos' easier path to full acceptance in mainstream American society.

It Was a Change Election

Matt Bai is no Trump lover, in his columns for Yahoo News, but that doesn't mean he won't occasionally stumble across some truth. Here he describes his view of Trump's electorate.
Some large number of Trump voters — enough to put him over the top in the Electoral College — are under no illusion that he is likely to inspire them, or even reward their faith. But a lot of them made the calculation that they’d rather find that out, one way or the other, than sit through another four years of rapidly expanding government, endless scandals and empty oratory.

That’s what they saw coming in a second Clinton presidency, and no one did much to disabuse them of the notion.
Translation: It was a change election, as many had hoped/predicted. For several years a majority of Americans have said the country is on the wrong track. In 2016 the candidate of the status quo lost, as she should if elective government means anything.

A President from Marvel Comics

I just had an insight, or maybe a brain-fart, and have hastened to post it before I think better of it. I begin with the fact that various movies based on Marvel Comics© heroes have done well at the box office recently. They reflect the contemporary zeitgeist in some inchoate way.

Here is my maybe-insight: What if Donald J. Trump is the Marvel Comics version of a presidential candidate? Larger than life, drawn garishly in bright colors, crude, but oddly appealing in the way comic book heroes often are, admired almost as much for their flaws as for their virtues.

Whadda ya think? Do I have a piece of the truth here? Can't a comic book hero defeat the distilled essence of ex-wife nearly every time?
You bet.

How did the pundits miss this? For that matter, why did it take me this long to see it?

Having the Last Laugh

Writing at the normally left-wing New Republic, David Dayen argues that we "deplorables" got the last laugh yesterday. That's hard to argue with.
The lesson for Democrats is ultimately clear enough: You cannot write off half the country, much less spend an election cycle deriding it, and expect success.
Really? Who would have thought we took offense at them laughing at us? So narrow minded of us, so stupid of them.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Demographics

I've been waiting to see a demographic breakdown of voting in the election just concluded. Here is a first look courtesy of AFP via Yahoo News.
Half of Americans who are considered middle class, making $100,000 a year or more, voted for the 70-year-old billionaire according to USA Today's exit polls.

Forty-three percent of people with college degrees backed the Republican

Trump's success was rooted in profound dissatisfaction with the status quo -- felt keenly in rural areas and smaller towns far from prosperous cities that voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.

White turnout was higher than expected and Trump won more of the traditional Republican vote than Mitt Romney, a Mormon, in 2012.

Latino turnout was at a record high. While two-thirds voted Clinton, Trump won 29 percent of the demographic compared to Romney's 27 percent

While a majority of African Americans voted Clinton, she won their vote by a smaller margin than did Obama over Romney in 2008 and 2012.

American women traditionally lean Democratic, and Clinton won the female vote 54 to 42 percent, about the same as Obama, according to Pew Research Center.

Romney won 44 percent of the women's vote in 2012 and fellow Republican nominee John McCain won 43 percent in 2008.

According to the Pew Research Center, eight in 10 white born-again, evangelical Christians say they voted for Trump compared to 16 percent for Clinton.

Young Americans threw less weight behind the Democratic candidate this time, disappointed in Obama's administration and unenthusiastic about his anointed successor.

The Obama "Legacy"

With apologies to William Shakespeare:

I come to bury Obama, not to praise him.
The evil men do lives after them;
While the good is oft interred with their bones.
So let it be with Obama.

With Republicans controlling the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives come January, 2017, the meager Obama legacy is in peril. It is likely that Obamacare, the Iran nuclear deal, and certain trade deals will become defunct.

What remains is a footnote saying Obama was the first non-white president, a man during whose administration race relations became worse. His will be a very weak epitaph.

Further Election Thoughts

Nearly all prognosticators - pollsters and pundits - alleged most college-educated whites would never vote for Trump. Meanwhile the other DrC and I were sitting here - two whites with three college degrees apiece - having voted absentee for Trump and wondering how can those gloomy "experts" be correct?

The other DrC says she always planned to vote for Trump, and had trouble understanding the prediction of a wave of women voting for Clinton. A predicted wave which never materialized, it should be noted.

We would better have trusted our instincts and ignored the prognosticators. Lots more college educated whites voted for Trump than anybody thought would happen. Lots more women voted for Trump than anybody much predicted.

Meanwhile, many fewer minorities voted for Clinton and that, at least, we did predict. I've not yet heard the numbers on millennials, but I'm guessing they were slackers too.

A bunch of rust belt blue collar whites who'd stayed home in the last two elections came off the bench and voted for Trump, as he'd predicted they would. Hence Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin went for Trump.

Trial Concludes, Verdict Read, Sentence Passed, Jury Dismissed

When FBI Director James Comey described former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's handling of government secrets as reckless and entirely inappropriate, he created a de facto indictment of her. Her 'trial' was the election, Donald Trump was the prosecutor, and she testified at length, if not under oath, on her own behalf.

Which is to say Hillary Rodham Clinton was tried in the court of public opinion, and this a.m. the verdict came in from a jury eventually numbering perhaps 120 million or more.

Verdict: Guilty as charged.
Sentence: Political oblivion.

Two American political dynasties died yesterday, the Bushes and the Clintons. The Clintons at least died trying desperately, the Bushes effectively committed suicide. Like the #NeverTrumpers, neither will be missed.

It's time to thank the vast 'jury' for their patience and insight, and excuse them to go about their lawful pursuits.

Court stands adjourned.

Krugman Is Correct, for a Change

Writing about the Trump win in The New York Times, lefty economist Paul Krugman writes (scroll down):
What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. We just caught Krugman in the process of actually being correct for a change, likely by accident.

I've Made a Little List

As a result of the Donald Trump victory last night, here are names of some people - #NeverTrumpers - from whom I wish to hear little in future. I've made a little list, they'll none of them be missed....
  • Anybody named Bush, including two former Presidents and a Governor who wouldn't support the party's candidate.
  • Bill Kristol, about whom I'm sad since his Dad's essays in the Wall Street Journal sold me on conservatism.
  • George Will and Charles Krauthammer, senior pundits who couldn't stomach The Donald's downmarket ways.
  • Governor John Kasich, who wouldn't attend the Republican convention in his own state.
  • Ross Douthat, who has written some good columns in times past.
  • David Brooks and Michael Gerson, who have done likewise.
  • Dana Milbank, who became a shill for Clinton, as did John Harwood.
When your party nominates someone, by a clear margin, you support them or change parties. These non-persons don't get it.

Instant Analysis

Okay, I freely admit to being pleasantly surprised after all. We got the notice stuff out of the way in the post below.

For sure pollsters blew the prediction badly, as they did with Brexit in the U.K. Populist nationalism is alive and well here as well as in England.

Now, how did this unexpected election win occur? Trump got the overwhelming support of white non-college grads everyone said he'd get. Exit polls are said to have shown that substantially more white college grads voted for Trump than were expected to do so by the pundit class.

College grads knew they were supposed to support Clinton and lied about favoring Trump: they either told pollsters they were undecided or supported her. This was the real "shy Trump vote" people speculated about. The other DrC suggests a sort of non-racial "Bradley effect" operating, and I concur.

COTTonLINE first mentioned the emergence of tribal politics in March of 2014 and has returned to the topic several times. It was likely white bloc voting would become routine.

I've predicted that if Clinton lost, she will prove to be the last white candidate nominated by the Democrats for at least the next several presidential cycles. I stand by that prediction.

I expect a more fine-grained analysis of voting trends in the coming weeks will determine that African-Americans didn't turn out in nearly the numbers who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Perhaps millennials - many of whom favored Bernie Sanders - will be shown to have underperformed as well. And once again the likely Latino vote was apparently overestimated.

News Flash

Trump Wins

Clinton Concedes


GOP Keeps Senate, House Majorities

Monday, November 7, 2016


The polls open on the East Coast in less than six hours. We'll start getting results from the right coast by maybe 6 p.m. on the left coast. Twenty-four hours from now we should have a good idea of the makeup of the elected part of FedGov for the next two/four years.

I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised, but honestly don't expect that outcome. Too many polls show HRC with a slight edge to justify optimism.

However the election turns out, life goes on. What may not "go on" is this fine country we inherited from the "greatest generation." The U.S. begins to feel "overripe."

It has had a good run, but it may be winding down, slowly enough I hope to enable me to live out my life in relative comfort and safety. Readers with grandchildren should be concerned about their later years, I believe.

One Robin ...

The Daily Caller website reports the results of Monday's Investor's Business Daily tracking poll. It gives some cause for cautious optimism.
Republican nominee Donald Trump is leading over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by two points, according to the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) national poll published Monday.

Trump’s reversal is due primarily to his increasing support from women voters. Clinton still leads among women 43 percent, but Trump overcame a double-digit deficit in the poll, and is only trailing 3 points behind the Democratic nominee.

Clinton lost one point, bringing her down to 42 percent in Sunday’s poll, while Trump remained stable at 43 percent in the daily tracking poll.
One robin does not a spring make, but it beats a snowstorm for darned sure. Hat tip to for the link.

Quote of the Day

Ed Driscoll, guest blogging at Instapundit, quotes Dana Carvey on economic systems.
To me, capitalism is an Apple store. Socialism is the Department of Motor Vehicles … sweaty, pissed off workers who can’t get fired. And they laugh at you … ha, ha, ha ha … you got the wrong line you f***ing idiot.
Remember the DMV next time a Democrat tries to sell you on single-payer socialized medicine. Imagine yourself relying for care on a (shudder) VA hospital.

Birds of a Feather ...

The Daily Mail (U.K.) reports residential segregation is growing rapidly in British cities and towns. The article interviews an East Indian butcher.
It is not good that we all live separately but how can we fix this problem? Asian families like to live in the same area as each other so we can support one another, but then the white people move out.

It's not that we deliberately choose to live separately – it is just what happens. We want to live in this area because we are close to the mosques and all our families are very close to each other.
The article never mentions where the whites who flee immigrant neighborhoods are going. It could be urban white neighborhoods or suburbs or the countryside.

What I find curious is this self-sorting process - seen as new in the U.K. - is such an old one in the U.S.  Most of our neighborhoods sorted themselves out decades ago.

The Comey Comedy

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds' jaundiced view of the most recent two of Comey's three public utterances concerning Clinton emails.
So the cynical take on Comey's actions is that he stalled an internal revolt by his statement last week, and now that it’s too late for any of the upset staffers to leak anything that will affect the election, he’s undone it.

Is that too cynical? It’s 2016.
There's talk of a post-election firing of Comey by Obama. If it doesn't happen, perhaps continued employment is his quid pro quo for not admitting publicly he was ordered by Lynch to exonerate Hillary, or told she would never under any circumstances be indicted.

Bill Clinton Gives a Trump Speech

The Daily Caller has a Bill Clinton speech given privately to donors in Canton, Ohio, a year ago. The text could have come word-for-word from a Trump speech, see what Bill is reported to have said.
Middle-aged, non-college-educated white Americans’ life expectancy is going down and is now lower than Hispanics, even though they make less money.

And the gap between African Americans and whites is closing, but unfortunately not because the death rate among African Americans is dropping but because the death rate among white Americans is rising.

Why? Because they don’t have anything to look forward to when they get up in the morning. Because their lives are sort of stuck in neutral.
Okay, we know Bill was trying to explain Trump's appeal to an audience baffled thereby, but it's clear he understands what motivates them, as he should. Trump supporters are the people among whom Clinton grew up.

Preparing a 'Welcome' for Russian 'Visitors'

Many pundits have criticized Donald Trump's questioning whether the U.S. should leap to the defense of nations which do not spend on their own defense, as required (and agreed) to do by NATO treaty. This criticism has, however, begun to have the desired effect.

Several European nations are getting more serious about defenses against a Russian incursion into their territories. A RealClealDefense article sketches preparedness moves made by eight frontline countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine.

Prodding people into taking their own defense seriously was (and remains) a good idea. For countries in harm's way, being stronger than Russia isn't what is required, being stronger than one's neighbors will do for starters.

The Finns have stayed independent of neighboring Russia by remaining an indigestible cadre of vicious winter warriors who know their territory and are prepared to die killing Russians. It helps that they don't often prod the Russian bear publicly. Other countries in the region are adopting some version of the Finnish response to Russia, as the RCD article outlines.

It Won't Be Long

Forty-eight hours from now we should have a pretty good idea of how the election turned out, so long as we don't have a "hanging chad" problem in Florida or elsewhere. Pundits have noted some ways the electoral college could end up tied, but I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.

However it turns out, half the country will be pissed and grumpy. Either my half or the other half, one of us will be somewhat happy and the other will be lots of unhappy. Half will be hopeful, only to be disappointed later, and half will be disappointed, only to become more so with the passage of time.

Rooting for a political party is like rooting for a sports team. The trouble with rooting for a political party is that instead of "wait until next year" losers end up saying "wait until four years from now."

I'm not young but I have a reasonable chance of seeing two more presidential elections after this one. It's entirely possible I'll never see a winning season again. A Republican who watched FDR defeat Hoover in '32 wouldn't see another Republican president until Ike in '52, some twenty years later.

Writing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Wayne Allyn Root argues that if Trump isn't elected, there will never be another Republican elected president. He reasons open borders will flood the country with illegals who will be given amnesty quickly and vote Democrat while living on welfare essentially forever. I wish I could believe Root is an alarmist.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weird Pharmacological Science

Drug giant Merck has created a medication that "turns off" production of the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's Disease. It does this by reducing the presence of two precursor chemicals in the blood, according to an article in The Guardian (U.K.).

Yet to be determined is if it also stops degradation of mental function. This should be known in another year or so. Great news, if it pans out. Hat tip to Instapundit for the link.

Two Troubled Souls

Periodically, snarkmistress Maureen Dowd intersects with reality at The New York Times. Today her column is, inevitably, about Trump and Clinton, and uncharacteristically she isn't impressed with either. Here's her conclusion:
The problem with Donald Trump is: We don’t know which of the characters he has created he would bring to the Oval Office.

The trouble with Hillary Clinton is: We do know. Nobody gets less paranoid in the White House.
The last real paranoid we had as President was Richard M. Nixon. Ask Bob Woodward how well that turned out. Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.

Zogby: Millennials, Blacks Apathetic

Pollster John Zogby reports via the Washington Times that turnout among the young and Blacks appears to be unenthusiastic. There two groups turned out big for Obama.

Zogby wonders whether Clinton can win if a substantial number of these voters stay home. On the other hand, Latinos seem to be voting in large numbers. Zogby isn't feeling confident about predicting voter turnout.

A Skillful Nationalist

Many sources here and in Europe have wondered at rightist parties making positive comments about Vladimir Putin of Russia. How, they've asked, can you admire someone so obviously an opponent of your national interest?

I think perhaps I have stumbled across an answer, if not perhaps the answer. Putin is admired for being an unabashed advocate for his own country. Putin acts for Russia the way rightist parties wish their own national leaders would act for their countries.

In America it is widely reported Putin has played a relatively weak hand well, whereas Obama has played a relatively strong hand poorly. European nationalists see Putin as having played Russia's weak hand well whereas Angela Merkel has played Germany's strong hand poorly.

When Trump says he believes Putin a strong leader he doesn't mean one America will be fond of, but one Russia is fond of. Trump aspires to be similarly popular among Americans as Putin is among Russians and for the same reasons.

It is entirely possible to admire an enemy's skill while opposing his goals, much as northerners admired the generalship of Robert E. Lee during our Civil War. He played the South's weak hand skillfully on behal of secessionist slaveholder goals with which they did not agree.

Singing "Every hand's a winner and every hand's a loser," Kenny Rogers made this point - winning with a strong hand should be easy even if some blow it, the real skill is winning with a weak hand.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Snickers

Steven Hayward once again comes forward with a collection of cartoons, recaptioned photos, and witty sayings for Power Line, pretty much all of them in the spirit of political snark. Herewith some of my favorites described:

Three, all good, comparing Clinton to Nixon.

Photo of a glum Hillary, wearing glasses, captioned:
Dropping faster in the polls than Bill Clinton's pants in an Arkansas trailer park.
Attractive photo of Chelsea with infant on lap, reading a children's book. Book title:
Nana Goes To Prison
Photo of an anguished-looking Hillary, captioned:
The FBI "reopened" my investigation?
What, you mean like with a can opener?
Photo of an angry-looking Hillary, captioned:
I am not a crook
I am an undocumented felon.
Photo of FBI Director James Comey, captioned:
Just in ...
James Comey died in a car accident tomorrow.
A whole series making plays on Anthony Weiner's last name and unfortunate interactions with Clinton. My favorites:

Cartoon of the Hillary logo, two vertical blue bars crossed with a red weiner instead of a red arrow.

Photoshopped picture of various aides and Secret Service members helping Hillary up the steps into the Oscar Meyer weinermobile.

Photo of a college classroom, professor pointing to a projected picture of Anthony Weiner, captioned:
In conclusion, that's how dick pics
saved western civilization.
And finally, a photo of Osama bin Laden captioned:
I would still be alive
If I donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Have a great weekend, set your clocks back tonight, and remember to vote Tuesday.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Trump Has Momentum

CNN has an electoral map looking at which candidate might win which states. Today they have released the revised map, which looks more favorable to Trump than the previous one, though Clinton is still ahead by their calculations. Here is what they report:
-- Maine's 2nd Congressional District moves from "battleground" to "lean Republican"
-- New Hampshire moves from "lean Democrat" to "battleground"
-- Ohio moves from from "battleground" to "lean Republican"
-- Utah from "battleground" to "lean Republican"
I'll take that as good news, if maybe not quite enough thereof.


On Wednesday, we wrote that Fox News' Bret Baier claimed an indictment was likely. Good practice requires that we report Baier has walked back some of those assertions and apologized. You'll find his apology here at the Mediaite site.

His retraction consists of an admission that an indictment, or lack thereof, is the prerogative of prosecutors, not FBI agents. He also indicates that while the FBI believes Clinton's server was hacked, they have no absolute proof thereof.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Trump a Clinton Beneficiary

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has had some of the most interesting insights about the election next Tuesday. He argues our fears are the strongest influences on our decisions, and ...
We can’t imagine a scenario in which Trump tries to kiss us, or someone we know, without permission. Nor can we imagine that society will treat women worse because a guy with an appalling personal history is president. Frankly, we’ve outgrown that type of thinking. (Thanks to Bill Clinton.)
But that's what HRC keeps harping on. Adams predicts her schtick won't work.

Serious Snark links to the Townhall blog of Kurt Schlichter. He has given Hillary Clinton the funniest evil nickname of this election cycle. He calls her
Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit
'Nuff said.

Angry Outburst

NBC News reports Hillary Clinton responding to a heckler in Florida:
I'm sick and tired of the negative, dark, divisive, dangerous vision and behavior of people who support Donald Trump.
Trump supporters are, conservatively, nearly half the U.S. population. How can she possibly govern effectively something of which she is so sick and tired?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

FBI: An Indictment Likely, If Not Obstructed

It was only a matter of time before the FBI began leaking like a sieve, and it now doing so.  RealClearPolitics reports Fox News' serious news guy Bret Baier has said on-air that FBI sources have told him the following:
1. The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far and has been going on for more than a year.

2. The laptops of Clinton aides Cherryl Mills and Heather Samuelson have not been destroyed, and agents are currently combing through them. The investigation has interviewed several people twice, and plans to interview some for a third time.

3. Agents have found emails believed to have originated on Hillary Clinton's secret server on Anthony Weiner's laptop. They say the emails are not duplicates and could potentially be classified in nature.

4. Sources within the FBI have told him that an indictment is "likely" in the case of pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation, "barring some obstruction in some way" from the Justice Department.

5. FBI sources say with 99% accuracy that Hillary Clinton's server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information had been taken from it.

Snark City

Steve Sailer, writing in Taki's Magazine, quotes comedienne Elizabeth Woolf's sarcasm (scroll down):
I am really happy that Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidency. This will send a powerful message to every young girl in this country that you could potentially reach any level or attain any position in this country…provided your husband does it first.
Not exactly making it through her own efforts, eh?

New Trump TV Ad

I don't know about you, neither state I live in is a "battleground" state. WY always votes Republican and CA always votes Democrat, at least in recent cycles.

For that  reason, I see essentially zero presidential TV ads. It can, of course, be a blessing. Back in the day, I tended to see them over and over ad nauseam.

Still I am curious about the message Trump is putting out in states where the outcome isn't a foregone conclusion. I found a link at Conservative Treehouse to the most recent Trump TV ad entitled "Choice." It is good, you might want to check it out.

Hat tip to for the link to CTH.

Quote of the Day

Bill Whittle, as quoted by Stephen Green, guestblogging at Instapundit, about our nation's ills (scroll down).
While Trump isn’t a cure, he might at least be a tourniquet.
Obvious implication: to keep U.S. from exsanguinating.

COTTonLINE Prediction Looking Good

CNN reports for early voters, turnout among blacks is down. See what CNN writes is happening:
A dip in African-American turnout has knocked Democratic early voting numbers off their 2012 pace in key battleground states like North Carolina.

The trend is also evident in early vote data from other swing states that could play key roles in deciding the election, including Florida and Georgia.

Republicans appear to be in better position than they were in previous presidential elections in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio, while Democrats have improved their standing in Colorado and Arizona.
COTTonLINE is not surprised. We predicted eighteen months ago Clinton could never motivate minority voters the way Obama did, and repeated that prediction again in September of this year, here and here. I'd remind you we also predicted, if Clinton loses, the Democrats will hereafter nominate only persons of color for president.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

State of Play - One Week Out

Things are looking up for Trump supporters: polls improving, negatives dropping, swing states starting to shift, the candidate staying on message and off Twitter.

Conversely, things are looking dour for Clinton: Comey redux, Wikileaks, Weinerleaks, Huma rumors and the general miasma which hangs over the Clintons like Pig-pen's cloud of dust.

I begin to permit myself to hope that just maybe, possibly The Donald can pull off a win. The odds, still not in his favor but certainly improving, could be in his favor a week from today.

As I am fond of saying of Super Bowl games - typically the only pro game I watch each year - a close game is a good game, blowouts are uninteresting. This election looks to be a close game after all.

Dear readers, it's fingers-crossing time.

Tuesday's Conspiracy Theory

Writing at PJ Media, Richard Fernandez quotes a snarky Facebook post by David Goldman (aka Spengler):
I'm seriously considering canceling all my appointments to get a scenario thriller out before Nov. 8. Premise? Huma Abedin is a Saudi agent, and her masters in Riyadh have decided that Trump is preferable to Clinton (who was a major mover in the hated deal with Iran)....

A Cold Winter Forecast

COTTonLINE believes the sun truly dominates our world's climate. Vencore Weather reports the cyclical arrival of an exceptionally quiet sun, one with few or no sunspots. This presages cold winters for the next few years.
The increasingly frequent blank sun is a sign that the next solar minimum is approaching and there will be an even greater number of spotless days over the next few years. At first, the blankness will stretch for just a few days at a time, then it’ll continue for weeks at a time, and finally it should last for months at a time when the sunspot cycle reaches its nadir.

The weak solar cycle and the expectation for continued low solar activity this upcoming winter is an important factor in this year’s colder-than-normal Winter Outlook for the Mid-Atlantic region.
We must wait until the solar minimum is past to learn if global warming is truly happening. Hat tip to Drudge Report for the link.