Margin Prediction

I think my results prediction from August is pretty damn good. If I had it to do over again, I would put Indiana in the Dems column for senate and be more likely to give them 51 votes. I might have to think harder about Arizona.

I’m going to call the final margin at 50-40. McMullin, Johnson, and Stein will add up to about 10. It’s a blowout by contemporary standards but the two party vote will keep it from doing much more in the electoral college than I originally thought. Maybe Arizona, maybe NE-2.

Advertisements

Jerry Fallwell

At this point what is the counterargument that “evangelicals” are nothing more than a white nationalist group? When I first read that the group emerged as a reaction to segregation and pretended it was in reaction to Roe v. Wade, I thought it was a bit much. Sometimes movements outgrow their original intent. But with Fallwell saying he would vote for Trump even if he liked rape, there’s no other answer. Family values are meaningless unless they advance white nationalism.

The Mormons are shaming the so-called Christians. At least they are standing on their values.

The One Real Major Flaw With Hillary

I haven’t heard anyone mention this since the 2000s.

It’s not that she’s corrupt. She’s not. It’s not that she’s too hawkish or too conservative or too liberal or too establishment or too radical. It’s not that she doesn’t fellate the media with access. In fact, none of the criticisms that have been leveled at her this year made any sense to me and apparently, very few of them had any real traction in comparison with Trump’s flaws.

What bothers me most about Hillary is that her husband was president. Does that make me sexist? It bothers me because it’s quasi-dynastic. I am not saying she doesn’t deserve it on her own merit. On the contrary, there’s an argument that in a more female-equal society, it would have been Hillary elected in 1992. Fine. But it wasn’t.

I didn’t like that at all about George W. Bush and largely opposed Jeb Bush for that reason first of all. W got away with being a right-wing President because most people believed his presidency would be a repeat of his father’s—but oh boy.

On the other hand, Bill Clinton was a fine president who was a flawed husband. I believe Hillary will be a great president even if there is a quasi-dynastic edge to her election. But while we cannot risk another below par president, much less another W-scale disaster, let alone the whirlwind of Trump, it is nonetheless troubling that a Bush or a Clinton will have been in office for so much of the recent decades. I don’t think it’s an optimal position.

Might it be a way to have a “third term” of a popular president? Sure. George Wallace did this in Alabama and the Kirchners did it in Argentina. But it just seems a bit strange. Maybe the idea got going with RFK as a way to press rewind on the JFK assassination and Teddy for the same reasons. Maybe people want to press rewind to the 90s more than they admit. (I fully admit it.)

Obama was a gifted politician and the Iraq war issue was real, but some of me often wonders if this concern, maybe in the form of boredom, had more to do with it in 2008. Obama was also a reasonable policy equivalent and Sanders was not.

I would have been very torn between Hillary and Joe Biden.

 

Mr. T’s “Reynolds” Access Hollywood Video

[Full Company]

The Access Hollywood Video

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama]

Have you seen thish?

[Clinton]

Creepy Orange Hitler does unwanted gropes of vag hair

And he said it all right there

[Obama]

Highlights!

[Orange Hitler]

The charge against me is connection with one

Alt-Right for the purpose of improper fascism and anti-semetism

My real crime is frequent sexual assault

As a star grabbing pussies

Without her knowing consent

[Kaine/Obama]

Damn!

[Orange Hitler]

I had frequent sexual harassments

Most of them at my own penthouse

[Kaine]

At his own penthouse!

[Obama]

At his own penthouse!

[Deep Voice]

Day-um!

[Orange Hitler]

I did this in front of my children

My typical visit as Ivanka’s father

[Kaine/Obama]

No….

[Company]

Booo!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

He’s neveh gon’ be president now!

[Kaine/Obama]

Neveh gon’ be president now!

[Clinton]

That’s one less thing to worry about!

[Clinton/Kaine/Obama}

That’s one less thing to worry about!

======================================================

All “Hamilton” parodies aside… can you, for just one second, imagine the reaction if Obama had ever been caught on tape saying anything remotely like this?

HRC Takes One For The Team

This has been the theme of her political life. In 1975, she moved to Arkansas to marry Bill. After Bill’s first term as governor when he lost reelection, she remade her image to help him win. He did. When Bill’s presidential campaign got off to a rocky start due to Gennifer Flowers, she stood by him. When her health care bill failed, she stood down and became a more traditional first lady.

When Bill had an affair with an intern, she stood by him and eventually reconciled instead of divorcing and beginning her own political career.

I would argue that the Iraq vote was a vote the party needed too, but maybe that’s a bridge too far. (Remember: the leadership wanted this issue over with so they could run the 2002 election on the basis of economics.)

When Obama came out of nowhere and won the nomination from her, she teamed up and became one of his strongest political allies even with less policy control over the role of Secretary of State than was normal.

No one could be more opposite than Trump, who denies losses, cannot accept blame, refuses to admit mistakes, and has never stayed loyal to a wife.

If Trump wants to bring up Bill’s affairs, Hillary should respond with this line. She is a team player. She puts those who need her ahead of herself and she always has. Trump never has.

A Post-Debate Rant

Trump is a clown. There is no other way to put it. He constantly involves himself in idiocy, knows nothing. And (I never thought I’d write this) at least George W. Bush seemed to know he needed people to tell him what to do. Not only does Trump appear to hire shitehouse advisors, he doesn’t listen to them. I guarantee none of his advisors said, “yeah, fuck preparing for the debate.”

But this post-debate minitraversy about Miss Puerto Rico? He called her Miss Piggy and that’s “fat shaming?”

This is one of these college/liberal only memes that just sounds retarded to the rest of the country. Not only that, but she was a model or a beauty queen. No one else asks for it, but if you’re one of those things, you are doing your thing based on your looks. You were not forced to be in a beauty pageant.

Now, calling Rosie O’Donnell a pig—and she’s not attractive—is one thing. But Rosie is not in the business of being attractive. She’s a comedian and a talking head. Other misogynist attacks Trump has leveled against women are equally as irrelevant to what they were doing. Unless it was Megyn Kelly’s job to be pregnant, her being on her period is irrelevant, for example.

But when these bizarre new social rules are held against people—we can’t just beauty queens by their looks—it only fosters the believe that P.C. is out of control. (Spoiler alert: it is!)

Now, as for “fat shaming”: look, judging people by things other than their character is not what leaders of that echelon should do. But it is what most people do. Most people do make fun of people in not nice ways and when you aren’t careful about how you attack leaders for doing it, you’re attacking followers.

And you can count me as one of those people who doesn’t think fat is good. I expect no one to share my likes and dislikes, but I also expect no one to try and talk me out of my likes and dislikes. So, no, I will probably never find a 300 pound woman attractive. I also refuse to believe that a few “critical studies” professors are smarter than the “medical establishment” and can “prove” that being morbidly obese is actually healthy. Or that people who actually eat less calories than they consume don’t lose weight. Or that genetics are any barrier to weight loss.

It’s that whole reality-based, pro-science thing I have that is increasingly at odds with the overgrown children who think the whole world is kindergarten and no hurt feelings are allowed.

History Repeating: Boycotting the “Settlements” Only

If I was back in academia again, I might want to research two recurring themes in Jewish life in diaspora: the theme of the Court Jew whose close relationship with power provides security and the assimilator who thinks that blending in alone will provide safety. The problem with the former is that if the power is unpopular or deposed for any reason, populist anger is directed at those who benefitted regardless of their religion and often spreads even to the assimilators.

This almost never works out to anyone’s benefit, but it’s a knot that’s almost impossible to untangle for a small and hated minority. The only solutions to this dilemma that seem to function at all are Zionism and Western Liberalism though both are never completely secure protections.

So I can’t help but wonder what the point of this letter signed by many respected Jewish academics is. Is it to try to be a “good Jew”? I’m sure any query at the signatories is answered with “not in my name” and “moral responsibility” and so forth and so on.

But there’s just one problem. It’s wrong not only on a basic factual level, it’s actually counterproductive in a utilitarian way towards resolving the situation.

First, it’s wrong because it’s based on falsehoods. The 1967 lines may be a starting point for final status negotiations, but they only reflect the status quo of 1967. Prior to that, there were Jewish “settlements” in places like Gush Etsion that were destroyed and whose inhabitants were murdered. It’s an arbitrary point and notwithstanding a number of UN resolutions with no legal effect whose real purpose was to foster peace discussions, answering the question of whose territory is it leads to absurdity if the answer isn’t Israel. It could be the UK’s, since they were the Mandatory Power, but they left and the only state declared within the mandate prior to 1967 was Israel. It could be Jordan’s, but then you’re validating their war of conquest—which wasn’t even defensive in nature. If it’s “Palestine” then it’s a disputed claim with Israel and there’s no legal reason why the lines are those of 1967 and not whatever the two negotiate. The last remotely sensible answer would be Turkey, which is the successor state to the Ottoman Empire. Under that logic, however, neither Israel nor Palestine exist.

Leaving the question of sovereignty aside and just reverting to the question of title, most of the physical land in the West Bank belonged to the state or to large land barons, many Turkish, many Syrian, very few “Palestinians.”

To the extent settlements from Israel conflict with prior land use rights, there should be redress available in the legal system and those injured due compensation or a return of those rights. But that’s very different than saying every square inch inhabited by an Israeli is an illegal settlement. Israeli settlements are largely built on empty land that was infeasible to build towns on before modern infrastructure and engineering were developed.

I’ve traveled quite a bit in the “West Bank” and see these places with my own eyes.

Second, this will hurt, rather than harm, peace. If Palestinians (correctly) perceive that Israel is a divisive issue among Jews and that persistent repetition of falsehoods and drummed out outrage incited by these “new facts” can convince even Jewish Americans that they are correct, then there’s little incentive for them to stop it. The reaction on the Israeli side is and has been to feel even more bunkered and isolated with American support on the wane. These are utilitarian calculations, of course, but that’s all that’s left after the moral absolutes of the truth are left behind in the first place.

The worst idiocies of the left are in attempts to repeat the procedures of their victories. Not every disadvantaged group are “just like” American blacks or South African blacks. Every disadvantaged group deserves its own organic solutions to its own unique problems.

The logic of the civil rights movement in the US has now been expanded to include anything that people might make a comment on that hurt’s your feelings. The way you are born, like race, or traditions you keep, like religion, are nothing special in this milieu. Anything you choose to do now, no matter how absurd, self-indulgent, or self-destructive must now not only be benignly ignored, but praised and encouraged.

This is creating a generation of psychologically disabled Americans who cannot understand conflict and who cannot pierce the emotional trappings of conflict. And this is, of course, leading to a change in attitudes towards tough conflicts like Israel.

But in the end, the only solution involves security for self-determination for both peoples in some form. But you won’t get there encouraging Palestinian obstruction and Israeli defensiveness based on garbage lies.