Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Scenes From The Hillary Clinton Dirty Tricks Shop

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Hillary Clinton, with her slender elected delegate and huge superdelegates leads over Bernie Sanders, is the presumptive Democratic nominee. She got there in large measure with the fundraising infrastructure her husband built for his successful presidential run, a veritable stranglehold over the DNC apparatus and a naked willingness to pander to just about every faction in the Democratic Party’s coalition.

But there’s also growing evidence that Clinton had another advantage over Sanders: Her willingness to use dirty tricks and outright fraud to secure the nomination.

Here are just a few examples:

  • A Clinton super PAC is spending $1 million on social media Astroturf trolls to “correct” Bernie Sanders supporters. (Now every time someone posts a pro-Hillary message, you should ask “How much are you getting paid to troll for Hillary?”)
  • I wonder if that Astroturf army were among the ones who got numerous pro-Sanders Facebook groups taken down by posting porn? “According to eyewitness reports, the pages were flooded with pornographic images in coordinated fashion and then flagged for obscene content, prompting Facebook to remove them.” Sort of like Nixon’s old “Ratfucking” tactics against George McGovern updated for the Internet age.
  • The Sanders campaign has argued that the “Hillary Victory Fund, a joint-fundraising committee for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and 32 state Democratic Parties, may have committed ‘breaking campaign finance laws serious apparent violations’ of campaign-finance laws.”
  • There’s at least some circumstantial evidence Democratic Party operatives have been manipulating actual vote totals in various venues to put Hillary on top. Take, for example, these screen shots that show Sanders leading certain counties in this week’s primaries in early returns, with subsequent updates that not only show Hillary leading, but actually show fewer Sanders votes than the last update. Just glitches? Maybe. But it’s mighty strange that every single election night “glitch” in Democratic primaries has seemed to favor Hillary.
  • There are unconfirmed reports that the Clinton campaign is calling up Sanders supporters to tell them Sanders has dropped out. For what it’s worth, these kind of reports seem to surface in every recent presidential election.
  • Don’t think that Hillary’s dirty tricks campaign will end at the primary. Clinton toady and current Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order giving over 200,000 ex-felons the right to vote in a naked attempt to deliver Virginia to Clinton in November.
  • The fact that Clinton would resort to dirty tricks, even going in as they heavy favorite, should surprise absolutely no one who has paid attention to career over the years.

    Cruz Picks Carly Fiorina as VP

    Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

    Ted Cruz has named Carly Fiorina as his Vice Presidential running mate. Assuming, of course, he gets the nomination.

    Fiorina is OK, but there are better candidates, and candidates that help you more in the general election. Of course, Cruz has to get the nomination first. Can he pick up more Republican women with the pick? Maybe, but I’d be surprised if it really moves the needle. Fiorina’s own campaign didn’t set the world on fire, and if women weren’t already alienated by Donald Trump, I don’t see Fiorina pulling them into the Cruz camp.

    I do see four potential positives:

    1. It helps put Trump’s very good Tuesday night (where he won every state) in the shade.

    2. Maybe it gives women voting for John Kasich an excuse to vote Cruz?
    3. Maybe it forces the press to cover Fiorina going after Trump full-bore.
    4. Maybe it makes Cruz slightly more competitive in California.

    Can it keep Trump from getting a first ballot win? Maybe, though Trump was already slightly off pace to clench anyway. But I’m not sure it alters the fundamental dynamics of the race.

    Presidential Race Update for April 26, 2016

    Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

    Today primary voters go to the polls in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. A few Presidential race updates:

  • Tonight’s primaries “look very favorable for Trump,” but they are generally closed primaries. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Technically all Pennsylvania’s Republican delegates are uncommitted, but (Lionel Hutz voice) there’s uncommitted (shakes head) and uncommitted (nods vigorously). Here’s a guide to which delegates are supporting who. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Thomas Sowell: “For conservatives especially, there is finally a real choice for a change — and a sharp contrast with Donald Trump. Senator Ted Cruz has a track record that leaves no doubt as to his adherence to conservative principles. And he is as thoroughly versed in the issues facing this country as anyone who has run for President since Ronald Reagan.” (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • “Moderates will need to abandon John Kasich and unite behind Cruz in order to defeat Trump.”
  • “The excessive and fawning coverage given to Kasich has deformed the GOP race…Kasich serves as a useful proxy for the media, which leans consistently to the left — a way for them to criticize the GOP without having to do so directly.”
  • Shall Not Be Questioned weighs in Pennsylvania candidates from a Second Amendment perspective.
  • Basketball coach Bobby Knight to campaign for Trump in Indiana. Yes, all the chair throwing jokes have already been made. The Knight/Trump comparisons are apt to a point, but Trump would never have lasted six years at West Point… (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Cruz-Kasich Detente in Indiana, New Mexico, Oregon

    Sunday, April 24th, 2016

    Ted Cruz and John Kasich have evidently come to an understanding about clearing the way for the other to fight Donald Trump in the states they’re respectively strongest in:

    Tonight, Kasich for America chief strategist John Weaver issued the following statement:

    “Donald Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans – not even close, but he currently does have almost half the delegates because he’s benefited from the existing primary system. Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the Party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee.”

    Blather about Kasich’s awesomeness snipped.

    Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates before Cleveland. We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.

    In turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well. We would expect independent third-party groups to do the same and honor the commitments made by the Cruz and Kasich campaigns.

    This is a smart move against Trump, and one that keeps Cruz’s real hopes (and Kasich’s delusional ones) alive.

    This is not only the strangest Presidential election of our lifetimes, it’s probably the strangest Presidential election since 1876 (the last time the House of Representatives choose Republican Rutherford Hayes over Democrat Samuel Tilden due to double sets of returns from southern states still undergoing reconstruction), and possibly since 1860…

    Ted Cruz Cleans Up On Delegates Yet Again

    Sunday, April 24th, 2016

    Once again, Ted Cruz has outflanked the Donald Trump Campaign:

    While Donald Trump is winning big delegate states and trumpeting his presumptive-nominee status, GOP presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz and his campaign are quietly fighting — and winning — delegate support, the latest coming Saturday night in Maine.

    Cruz won 19 of 20 delegates Saturday night at the Maine GOP convention.

    Snip.

    On Saturday, the Cruz campaign picked up a total of 65 delegates, including nine in three Minnesota congressional districts, one in a South Carolina congressional district and at least 36 of 37 national delegates in Utah, after winning the state’s GOP caucus last month, according to Politico.

    Again, none of this matters if Trump can secure a first ballot victory at the Republican convention. But if he doesn’t, Cruz is exceptionally well-positioned to become the Republican nominee on the second or third ballot.

    Trump is great at getting free media attention, but he sucks at actually dealing with the Republican grassroots. That, his inability to hire and lead a first-rate campaign team, and his unwillingness to learn from his mistakes, could very well cost him the nomination.

    LinkSwarm for April 22, 2016

    Friday, April 22nd, 2016

    As today is a made-up celebration called “Earth Day,” be sure to have beef for dinner…

  • Reminder: “Officials at VA’s Phoenix hospital manipulated wait-time data to make it appear they were connecting doctors and veterans seeking appointments much faster than they actually were. This was done so VA managers at the Arizona facility could keep getting generous performance bonuses. They got their bonuses but dozens of waiting veterans died.” So how did the VA address the problem? They hired someone accused of doing the exact same thing at another hospital.
  • Huge ObamaCare premium hikes are coming down the pike in 2017. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “The largest health insurer in the U.S. has started pulling out of select Obamacare exchanges.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Eight more ObamaCare co-ops are about to bite the dust.
  • Meanwhile, ObamaCare is helping enourage opioid addiction.
  • Thanks to Obama’s supergenius management, the Taliban are now winning in Afghanistan.
  • “The National Labor Relations Board suspended a top-ranking Philadelphia official after receiving complaints that he helped raise money from unions for his pro-union charity.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Following a congressional subpoena over Benghazi, Hillary’s state department staff hid requested files in another department. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Is Rhode Island closing 66% of polling places for next week’s presidential primaries? Something smells.
  • How Ted Cruz could beat Hillary Clinton. “Clin­ton is en­ter­ing the gen­er­al elec­tion with glar­ing vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies of her own. Her im­age is tox­ic to Re­pub­lic­ans and in­de­pend­ents, and her pop­ular­ity among Demo­crats is now at an all-time low as a pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate, ac­cord­ing to Gal­lup’s polling. It won’t take a top-tier Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate to win.” Also: “Cruz con­sist­ently runs far more com­pet­it­ively against Clin­ton than Trump does.”
  • “It’s not just Wall Street banks. Most companies and groups that paid Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to speak between 2013 and 2015 have lobbied federal agencies in recent years, and more than one-third are government contractors, an Associated Press review has found. Their interests are sprawling and would follow Clinton to the White House should she win election this fall.”
  • Donald Trump jumps on the social justice warrior tranny bathroom bandwagon.
  • Evidently accused pedophile Terry Bean is the one whose organizations are pushing tranny bathroom bills down America’s throats. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Trump convention manager Paul Manafort engages in the time-honored traditional rhetorical device know as “lying your ass off.”
  • Thomas Sowell on campaign lies and dodgy statistics.
  • “Although our panel’s original estimates had Trump finishing with 1,175 pledged delegates, my revised deterministic projections have him at 1,155, and the probabilistic version has him at 1,159.”
  • Ted Cruz has done heavy organizing in California.
  • Man indicted for selling school supplies to Detroit schools he didn’t actually deliver…with the connivance of several principles receiving kickbacks. Now, remind me: Which party has controlled Detroit for half a century?
  • Venezuela instituting four hours of blackouts a day, in addition to the previously mentioned three day weekends. That socialist paradise just keeps
  • Brazil impeaches their President.
  • Won’t someone please think of poor, penniless Boeing?
  • When low-fat dogma trumped science: hamburger study data showed exacpt opposite of study’s conclusions.
  • Navy chief starving Marine air corps.
  • What Women Really Want Is The Patriarchy.”
  • ‘White Privilege’ Is a Racial Slur.”
  • Walden is less a cornerstone work of environmental literature than the original cabin porn: a fantasy about rustic life divorced from the reality of living in the woods, and, especially, a fantasy about escaping the entanglements and responsibilities of living among other people.”
  • Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts. Popocatepetl is less than 50 miles from Mexico City…
  • Goldman Sachs pays $5 billion fine to “settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Pratt & Whitney pushing a B-52 engine upgrade.
  • The woman who can’t remember her own past. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • Lileks: “Who wouldn’t want to lounge around in a set from a 1970s failed Gene Roddenberry pilot?” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Son, that’s no way to treat steaks. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Something Something Something Danger Zone

    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

    “Dems fear their primary has reached danger zone”

    That’s the actual headline on this actual story from the Hill.

    This offers me a chance to cram as many Archer memes into one post as possible do an update on the Democratic Presidential race.

    The upshot of the piece is that the Democratic establishment was fine and dandy with Bernie Sanders when he had no chance of winning, but now that he’s kicking Hillary Clinton’s ass and actually threatening to upset her coronation, there’s finger-wagging and pearl-clutching like you wouldn’t believe.

    “Anxiety is rising among Democrats ahead of Tuesday’s primary in New York, with some fearing the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has reached a danger zone.”

    Translation: Sanders attacks are hurting Clinton. And we just can’t let that happen!

    “‘While this is the NFL, and everyone understands that it’s a full-contact sport, even in the NFL one gets a yellow flag for a late hit at the knees intended to hurt the other player,’ said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane.”

    I know you’ll be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that Lehane “served as a lawyer, spokesperson and expert in opposition research for the Clinton White House.”

    The Vermont senator has long drawn contrasts between himself and Clinton, but his attacks have grown more caustic of late, particularly with regard to the former first lady’s links to big financial companies.

    At a huge rally in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Sunday, Sanders said a speech Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs must have been delivered in “Shakespearean prose,” given the $225,000 fee she received.

    He was equally scathing during last week’s debate when Clinton insisted that, during her time as a New York senator, she had “called out” banks for poor mortgage practices.

    “Secretary Clinton called them out. Oh my goodness, they must have been really crushed by this,” Sanders responded. “And was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements? So they must have been very, very upset by what you did.”

    The left of the Democratic Party has long been uneasy about Clinton’s coziness with the corporate world. But the emphatic, persistent way in which Sanders is attacking her on the topic risks painting her as a cipher of Wall Street — and such a charge could drain liberal grassroots enthusiasm if she locks up the nomination.

    Translation: Queen Hillary owns Democratic voters, and that pipsqueak Sanders has no right to “drain liberal grassroots enthusiasm.”

    “‘I am worried about the increasingly harsh tone and tenor of this campaign [that could] turn off Sanders supporters in the general [election],” said strategist Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has endorsed Clinton. ‘I’m afraid they’re going to stay home.'”

    Funny how this piece keeps quoting Clinton toadies and Democratic insiders, isn’t it?

    How nice of The Hill to offer Hillary this in-kind donation…

    Cruz Takes All 14 Delegates in Wyoming

    Sunday, April 17th, 2016

    “Ted Cruz on Saturday won all 14 delegates in the Wyoming GOP convention — a relatively small number but enough for the Texas senator to declare victory and keep GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump from securing the nomination.”

    You would think that after the first time this happened, Donald Trump would have gotten his ass in gear and hired someone to work on the delegate selection problem for him. The fact he keeps getting pantsed again and again in the delegate fight suggests either an inability to learn from his mistakes, deep organizational dysfunction on behalf of Team Trump, or both.

    And each time it happens, Trump demonstrates, yet again, why he’s not smart and organized enough to be president, while Ted Cruz proves, yet again, that he is…

    Add Arkansas to Cruz’s Delegate Conquest List

    Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

    Ted Cruz does it again:

    Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s supporters have teamed up in Arkansas to pack the state delegation with individuals who’ll turn against Donald Trump in a contested convention.

    Since Rubio ended his presidential bid March 15, his network of party insiders has lined up behind Cruz to win delegates who’d vote for the Texas senator once they’re no longer bound to Trump in a floor fight. Trump won Arkansas’ GOP primary March 1 with 32.8 percent of the vote compared to Cruz’s 30.5 percent and Rubio’s 24.9 percent. But Cruz’s canny operatives, with Rubio riding shotgun, is likely to thwart Trump in the delegate election.

    Trump’s organization is as sloppy in Arkansas as elsewhere, just as Cruz’s is an efficient machine in state after state. This could ding the Donald, costing him as many as 25 delegates after a first inconclusive ballot. Cruz, who finished with 15 out of the available 40 delegates in primary voting, stands to gain all 16 Trump delegates and the 9 won by Rubio.

    Bart Hester, a top Rubio organizer in Arkansas, said he’s filling Rubio’s delegate slate with individuals committed to opposing Trump in Cleveland.

    Add this to Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina and Indiana where Cruz has outfoxed Trump on the delegate front. None of this matters of Trump manages to get to 1,237 delegates. But if he can’t get there, Cruz is the heads-on favorite to prevail on a second or third ballot.

    Early on delegate selection rules worked in favor of Trump, awarding him about 22% more delegates than he received via a strict proportional vote. Now that Trump’s popularity has nosedived and his momentum stalled, the delegate selection process (and his his own disorganization and ignorance of the process) is working against him as Ted Cruz outflanks and outworks him at every turn.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    Why is Donald Trump So Stupid?

    Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

    I’ve decided to get rich in New York real estate.

    I’m going to fly in, get some bank loans, buy up existing old properties, tear them down, build some shiny new condos in their place, and make a mint.

    Which properties? Which bank will you get loans from? Who will you hire to do the construction? How will you navigate the labyrinth NYC regulatory codes for property, labor, construction, etc.?

    Eh, details. Don’t bother me with details. I’m just going to wing it.

    Does this sound foolish to you? Misguided? Naive?

    Well, that’s precisely the approach Donald Trump appears to have undertaken in his Presidential race. Now he’s whining that Ted Cruz, who’s a smart, focused guy with a smart, focused team that understands exactly how the process works in each state, is cleaning his clock in actually picking up delegates.

    Here’s Rush Limbaugh on why Trump’s claims of “cheating” are bogus:

    The one thing that nobody had a heads-up on was how Cruz was going to go into all of these states and arrange to get most of the delegates. We’re talking second and third ballot here. On the first ballot the delegates — for the most part; there are exceptions — are pledged to vote the way the people in their state voted. Pennsylvania, however, is different. Pennsylvania is coming up. You want to know about Pennsylvania? Only 17 out of Pennsylvania’s 70 some odd delegates vote the way voters in the primary go. Some 51, 54, I don’t have the number right in front of me, over 50 delegates in Pennsylvania are unbound, on the first ballot.

    Just use an example. If Trump wins Pennsylvania by 75%, he likely will only get 17 of the 60 or 70 delegates, because only 17 are pledged and bound to whoever wins the state primary. Well, Trump has not been working any of these delegates. Why? Who knows. It could be that he didn’t think he had to. It could be he didn’t even know. It could be he had nobody on his staff that really knows how this works.

    You do because you have been treated to in-depth explanations of how this whole delegate process works, particularly once we get to second and third ballots. And even I pointed out to you that it’s very possible — we won’t know actually ’til the convention starts — very possible that a lot of delegates that have to vote Trump on the first ballot don’t actually support him. And if we get to second or third ballot then they’ll abandon him and go for whoever. Right now Cruz is calling dibs.

    Now, what happened in Colorado is, I’m sorry to say, it’s not a trick. What happened in Colorado is right out in the open. Everybody’s known how Colorado runs its affairs. Everybody has known. Nobody just chose to look at it. It’s no secret that Colorado was gonna have a convention and they’re gonna choose their delegates before the primary. It’s not a secret. It’s just nobody leaked it. Nobody talked about it. Nobody bragged about it. So it was left to be discovered by people who didn’t know. And it turns out that people on the Trump campaign didn’t know.

    Now, I can understand how they might feel tricked here. I can understand how they might feel bugabooed because millions of votes, theoretically, are gonna happen that aren’t going to count. Hey, welcome to establishment politics. We have played for you the sound bites on this program of delegates — I’m sorry — of officials, rules committee officials. We played the sound bite of one of these guys that said, “Hey, what you all have to understand is the people don’t select our nominee; the delegates do, we do.” None of this is a mystery. This is the definition of insider versus outsider. This is a classic illustration of how an outsider has to learn the insider game to play it.

    His conclusion:

    So I don’t see Ted Cruz lying and cheating his way to the convention. I see a lot of hard work. I see some people who know what they have to do, given where they are. They’re in second place in both the vote count and the delegate count. They’re serious about winning. The Cruz team is serious about winning. They have made themselves fully aware of how the process works, and they’ve been out working it for quite a while. They went into Louisiana where Trump scored a massive win but they’ve come out of there with many more delegates than, by appearances, they should have.

    Ted Cruz had goals. He worked the problem ’til he got the result he wanted. What he’s demonstrating, folks, he’s demonstrating he knows how to work himself within this insider labyrinth. He knows how to navigate it. He knows how to work it. He knows how to turn it to his advantage. You have to look at this and say, “Okay, what does this tell us about Cruz, if he should become president?” No matter how enamored you are — and a lot of people are — no matter how enamored you are of the notion of a total outsider with no links to the establishment, no links to insider politics, nothing whatsoever, you’re fascinated by that happening, somebody coming in and just totally wrecking the castle, finding out that you can’t do that without getting inside the castle first. ‘Cause people inside the castle are not gonna let you crumble the walls.

    You know, being an outsider, it has benefits, but it has drawbacks, too, and knowing the rules inside out and outworking the competition is not cheating. If you happen to be more knowledgeable of how things work and are able to work it to your advantage, that’s just hard work. That isn’t cheating.

    Trump never tires of reminding us all how smart he is. But if he’s so smart, why hasn’t he hired smart people who know exactly how the delegate selection process works in each state?

    Just as it’s a bad idea to “wing it” as a New York real estate developer, running for President isn’t a task amenable to half-assing it.

    If Trump is as incompetent at the one main task he’s set himself (getting elected President), why would anyone think he would do better at the hundreds of tasks the President of the United States of America must oversee?