Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Lawrence Lessig Was Talking Out His Ass

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Let’s take a look at a small sideshow act to this year’s Electoral College circus: Lawrence Lessig’s Amazing Disappearing Faithless Electors.

The Harvard professor, Creative Commons founder, and all around political gadfly boldly declared a few days before the election that “at least 20 Republican members of the Electoral College may not cast their votes for President-elect Donald Trump.”

That’s just 18 more than the 2 that actually flipped. One wonders how Lessig arrived at his grossly inflated count, assuming it wasn’t plucked out of thin air or his nether regions.

Indeed, Lessig spent much of the 2016 election cycle making mystifying moves and puzzling pronouncements. In August 2015, he announced he was running for the Democratic nomination for President, raised $1 million to do so, pledged that if elected, he would pass a campaign finance “reform” (including a basket of liberal activist proposals, including limiting free speech by overturning Citizens United, eliminating Gerrymandering, introducing ranked voting, etc.) and then resign. Two months later he walked back the resignation promise, and shortly after that, after being excluded from the debates and unable to obtain any traction in the race, dropped out entirely.

So instead of Lessig, Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton, the poster child for the campaign finance abuses and conflicts of interest Lessig railed against. Indeed, Lessig himself mentioned that the Clinton Foundation was why Clinton could never make campaign finance reform central to her campaign, and said that Clinton’s big money was deadly to the cause of reform. Indeed, his criticism of Clinton’s big money ties to lobbyists goes back at least to the 2008 Presidential race. (Note: That piece criticizing Clinton is from the Wayback Machine, as Lessig appears to have scrubbed the piece from his own website.) He also noted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary’s hand-picked head of the DNC, did everything she could to keep him out of polls and debates.

Believe it or not, Lessig was actually enthusiastic when Donald Trump entered the race, and even talked about running on a third-party Presidential ticket with him:

“Donald Trump is the biggest gift to the movement for reform since the Supreme Court gave us Citizens United,” Lessig told Politico.com, referring to Trump’s boasts that he’s given big sums to candidates in both parties and then called in favors as needed. “What he’s saying is absolutely correct, the absolute truth. He has pulled back the curtain.”

“I’ll make a promise,” Lessig said in Politico’s report, after stating he would not “rule out a third-party run with Trump” should that offer be made. “If Trump said he was going to do one thing and fix this corrupted system, then go back to life as an entertainment figure, I absolutely would link up with Donald Trump.”

In light of all that, it’s strange that Lessig would not only throw his full weight behind Hillary Clinton, the embodiment of special interest money in politics, but lie about faithless electors in a last-ditch attempt to deny Donald Trump the presidency.

Then again, if I were to pick a locale for the most intense cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Harvard University faculty lounge would probably rank near the top of the list…

Tracking 2016 Electoral College Voting

Monday, December 19th, 2016

You can track the electoral college voting as it happens today here. So far there have been no faithless electors or other surprises, though one Maine elector has announced he’s voting for Bernie Sanders rather than Hillary Clinton.

Update: Trump 170, Clinton 83, including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, as of 12:30 PM CST. No surprises or faithless electors so far.

Update 2: Trump 251, Clinton 118, no faithless electors in Maine. Evidently the faithless elector’s attempt to cast a vote for Bernie Sanders was ruled out of order and he voted for Clinton instead.

Also, a Minnesota elector who refused to vote for Clinton was replaced. Likewise another one in Colorado who also refused to vote for Clinton.

Update 3: Four faithless Washington State electors vote against Hillary Clinton. “Three of the faithless electors voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with one voting for Faith Spotted Eagle.” Faith Spotted Eagle is evidently one of the Keystone pipeline protest lunatics.

So far the only person to have lost electoral college votes in 2016 thanks to leftist shenanigans is Hillary Clinton.

Update 4: Texas 38 electors puts Donald Trump over the top, making him the 45th president of the United States of America. More later…

Update 5: There were two faithless Texas electors, “one for Paul Ryan and one for John Kasich.”

Update 6: Correction: One of the faithless Texas electors voted for Ron Paul, not Paul Ryan as earlier reports had it.

Update 7: One more faithless elector: One elector from Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders. That puts the final vote at 304 electoral college votes for Trump, 227 for Clinton, three for Colin Powell, one for Ron Paul, one for John Kasich, one for Bernie Sanders, and one for Throat Warbler Mangrove Faith Spotted Eagle.

LinkSwarm for December 16, 2016

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Next week come two joyous events: Christmas, and Donald Trump being confirmed President by the electoral college. The first is a time of family celebration, and the second means liberals can finally shut the hell up about their asinine cockamamie schemes to keep the duly-elect 45th President of the United States of America from taking office.

Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Speaking of the electoral college, publicity whore faithless elector Chris Suprun turns out to be a serial liar rather than a 9/11 first responder.
  • Linux guru Eric S. Raymond (who I’ve been on panels with at the odd science fiction event and such) has a long piece on the hard truths Democrats need to face to exit the political wilderness:

    First, your ability to assemble a broad-based national coalition has collapsed. Do not be fooled into thinking otherwise by your popular vote “win”; that majority came entirely from the West Coast metroplex and disguises a large-scale collapse in popular support everywhere else in the U.S. Trump even achieved 30-40% support in blue states where he didn’t spend any money.

    County-by-county psephological maps show that your base is now confined to two major coastal enclaves and a handful of university towns. Only 4 of 50 states have both a Democratic-controlled legislature and a Democratic governor. In 2018 that regionalization is going to get worse, not better; you will be defending 25 seats in areas where Trump took the popular vote, while the Republicans have to defend only 8 where Clinton won.

    Your party leadership is geriatric, decades older than the average for their Republican counterparts. Years of steady losses at state level, masked by the personal popularity of Barack Obama, have left you without a bench to speak of – little young talent and basically no seasoned Presidential timber under retirement age. The fact that Joseph Biden, who will be 78 for the next Election Day, is being seriously mooted as the next Democratic candidate, speaks volumes – none of them good.

    Your ideological lock on the elite media and show business has flipped from a powerful asset to a liability. Trump campaigned against that lock and won; his tactics can be and will be replicated. Worse, a self-created media bubble insulated you from grasping the actual concerns of the American public so completely that you didn’t realize the shit you were in until election night.

    Your donor advantage didn’t help either. Clinton outspent Trump 2:1 and still lost.

    Your “coalition of the ascendant” is sinking. Tell all the just-so stories you like, but the brute fact is that it failed to turn out to defeat the Republican candidate with the highest negatives in history. You thought all you had to do was wait for the old white men to die, but anybody who has studied the history of immigration in the U.S. could have told you that the political identities of immigrant ethnic groups do not remain stable as they assimilate. You weren’t going to own the Hispanics forever any more than you owned the Irish and the Italians forever. African-Americans, trained by decades of identity politics, simply failed to show up for a white candidate in the numbers you needed. The sexism card didn’t play either, as a bare majority of married women who actually went to the polls seem to have voted for Trump.

    But your worst problem is less tangible. Trump has popped the preference bubble. The conservative majority in most of the U.S. (coastal enclaves excepted) now knows it’s a conservative majority. Before the election every pundit in sight pooh-poohed the idea that discouraged conservative voters, believing themselves isolated and powerless, had been sitting out several election cycles. But it turned out to be true, not least where I live in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where mid-state voters nobody knew were there put Trump over the top. Pretty much the same thing happened all through the Rust Belt.

    That genie isn’t going to be stuffed back in the bottle. Those voters now know they can deliver the media and the coastal elites a gigantic fuck-you, and Republicans know the populist techniques to mobilize them to do that. Trump’s playbook was not exactly complicated.

    Some Democrats are beginning to talk, tentatively, about reconnecting to the white working class. But your real problem is larger; you need to make the long journey back to the political center. Not the center you imagine exists, either; that’s an artifact of your media bubble. I’m pointing at the actual center revealed by psephological analysis of voter preferences.

    First on his list of suggestions: Give up their suicidal gun control policies.

    (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit.)

  • The always pungent Jim Goad talks about how victimhood identity politics destroyed the Democratic Party:

    Still scratching their pointy heads over losing an election they were certain that history had preordained them to win, the Democrats are blaming everything except their own stupidity and arrogance.

    The intersectional house of cards has fallen. Every maladjusted minoritarian mini-tyrant in the country is freaking the frick out that their ragged, patchwork coalition of misfits is crumbing before their eyes. From coast to coast, every HIV-positive mulatto one-armed transgender lesbian midget is suddenly worried that Trump and his supporters in the heartland will become “normalized.”

    Huddled inside a rainbow-colored yet opaque bubble, it’s obvious that they have no idea what just hit them. Many overpaid and demonstrably clueless strategists seem to think that perchance they didn’t call people racists, sexists, homophobes, and Islamophobes enough. Maybe if they just verbally shat upon the stupid, uneducated, hateful, and soon-to-be-extinct white masses in flyover country who put Trump over the top, they could have shamed enough of these irredeemable rubes into voting for a party and an ideology that clearly hates their guts.

    Not for a moment does it seem to have occurred to them that maybe it’s not so wise to play aggressively hostile identity politics when your designated opponent is still the demographic majority.

    Listen up, dimwits: When you encourage racial pride in all groups except whites, you aren’t exactly making a case against “racism.” If you have even a semblance of a spine, sooner or later you’ll hear this nonstop sneering condescension about how you were born with a stain on your soul and say, “Hey, fuck you. I’ve done nothing wrong, but you’re really starting to bother me.”

    I suspect that for perhaps the majority of those who voted for Trump, it had nothing to do with the stupid, juvenile, leftist catchall excuse of “hatred.” If you really think extraordinarily complex social conflicts over power and resources can be explained by a dumb word such as “hatred,” I hate you.

    Instead, a large swath of voters grew so tired of being actively hated, they struck back and said “enough.” They didn’t “vote against their interests,” as is so often patronizingly alleged; they voted against the condescending, scolding, sheltered creampuffs who try to dictate their interests to them.

  • “NY Times Hires Reporter Who Sent Stories to Hillary Staffers for Approval.” This is my shocked face. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • For all the lunatic leftist blather, Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that there’s no evidence Russians hacked voting machines. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Also, it wasn’t Russia that obtained Hillary’s emails, it was disgruntled Democratic insiders that gave them to Wikileaks.
  • And speaking of disgruntled Democratic insiders, some Clintonistas are only too happy to see the back of Huma Abedin. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “Records: Too many votes in 37% of Detroit’s precincts.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Lots of Democrats are pretty clear about the contempt they hold regular Americans in, but few are so stupid as to actually call America’s heartland “flyover country” in public.
  • “David Brock’s Media Matters Has Hidden $1,052,500 From The IRS Since 2010.”
  • In another entry in the “liberals keeping it classy” annals, a reporter tweets about Trump having sex with his own daughter.
  • Hillary Clinton didn’t win “America’s” vote, she won California’s:

    California voters are alone responsible for Clinton’s “win” in the popular vote. The latest tally shows Clinton up by about 2.8 or so million votes. She’s won California by nearly 4.3 million votes. So, take away California and the rest of the country starts to look like… well, it looks like the rest of the country. California is weird, but if that’s what the Democrats want to elect a president of, then the only thing you can really say to them is, “Congrats, you already have Jerry Brown.”

  • Scott Adams on dwindling liberal protests against Trump: “What are you doing that is more important than stopping Hitler?????????”
  • More on that Trump vs. Department of Energy dust-up. How long do you think that stonewall will last when Rick Perry is running the place? (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Along with the selection of Mad Dog Mattis for Secretary of Defense, the selection of Michael Flynn for National Security Advisor signals that Trump is tossing political correctness out of the Pentagon. Good.
  • How Trump can use the power of the purse to crack down on illegal alien sanctuary cities. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Get ready for more Scott Walkers as Republicans control 25 state capitals: tax cuts, pension reform, right to work, school choice.” (Usual WSJ hoops apply.)
  • Obama tries to create a new ethnic group for Democrats to pander to.
  • How an underachieving screwup from Plano named John Georgelas became Yahya Abu Hassan, a leader of the Islamic State.
  • Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi’s insane “demonitization” scheme continues to wreck India’s economy.

    The parched branches of big banks are still fortunate. For unexplained reasons the RBI has supplied almost no new cash at all to India’s hundreds of smaller rural co-operative banks or to its 93,000 agricultural credit unions, so keeping millions of farmers from deposits that total some $46bn. It has also banned these institutions from competing with “pukkah” banks in exchanging old bills for new. With no cash flowing, farmers cannot even seek help from informal networks that in normal times account for more credit in rural areas than formal institutions. And although India’s 641,000 villages house two-thirds of its people, they contain fewer than a fifth of its ATMs. These are being slowly modified to supply the new notes, which unhelpfully are smaller than old ones; for now most stand idle.

    Starved of cash, India’s rural economy is seizing up. A study by two economists at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research found that in the second week of the drought, deliveries of rice to rural wholesale markets were 61% below prior levels. Soyabeans were 77% down and maize 29%. Prices have also collapsed. In Bihar, Scroll’s reporters found desperate farmers selling cauliflower for 1 rupee ($0.01) a kilo, a twelfth of the prior price.

    It is not only farm incomes that are pinched. An investigation by Business Standard, a financial daily, found that virtually none of the estimated 8m piece workers who hand-roll bidis, a kind of cigarette, has been paid since the cash ban. Another Indian daily, the Hindu, reports that more than half of the 600-odd ceramics factories in the town of Morbi, a centre of the tile industry in the state of Gujarat, with a combined output worth some $3.5bn a year, have temporarily closed because they cannot pay workers. In Agra, the hub of Indian shoemaking, some firms are paying workers with supermarket coupons to keep them on the job.

    India’s wealthy few have servants to take their place in the still dismally long queues snaking outside banks, but the pain reaches even to the top. A dentist in a posh part of Delhi is shocked by a 70% fall in trade since the cash ban. “All my patients can pay with plastic so I assumed I was safe, but I guess people are just being careful about spending in general.” This does seem to be the case. A brokerage that surveys consumer-goods firms says November sales have fallen by 20-30% across the board. Property sales, which traditionally are made wholly or partly in cash, have plummeted even more.

    Small wonder that Fitch, a ratings agency, on November 29th cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth for the year to March 2017 from 7.4% to 6.9%. That is in line with most financial institutions’ trimmed estimates, although some economists think the damage could be even worse. “There will be no or negative growth for the next two quarters,” predicts one Delhi economist who prefers anonymity. “Consumer spending was the one thing really driving this economy, and now we are looking at a negative wealth-effect where people feel poorer and spend less.”

    Perhaps more embarrassingly for Mr Modi’s government, there are few signs that its harsh economic medicine is achieving the declared goal of flushing out vast hoards of undeclared wealth or “black” money. Officials had predicted that perhaps 20% of the pre-ban cash would not be deposited in banks, for fear of disclosure to the taxman. Yet within three weeks of the “demonetisation”—well before the deadline to dispose of old bills, December 30th—about two-thirds of the money had already found its way into “white” channels. Some of this is doubtless illicit: inspectors of Delhi’s bus system have found that the bulk of daily takings now mysteriously appears in the form of the banned bills, which public-sector firms can still deposit, rather than the usual small change. Reports from Maharashtra, in the centre of the country, suggest that brokers are offering to buy old notes with a face value of 10m rupees for 8.4m, suggesting that they have found ways of laundering them.

  • India’s Foxconn cell-phone factory has let 25% of its workforce go due to declining sales.
  • Speaking of phones, how long you have to work earn enough to buy an iPhone varies widely by country, from 24 hours in New York to 627 hours in Kiev, which is even more than Nairobi (468 hours).
  • Popping the liberal university bubble:

    When students inhabit liberal bubbles, they’re not learning much about their own country. To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.

    We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological.

  • “In 2015: 4,454 men died on the job (92.4% of the total) compared to only 367 women (7.6% of the total). The ‘gender occupational fatality gap‘ in 2015 was again considerable — more than 12 men died on the job last year for every woman who died while working.”
  • Another day, another fake anti-Muslim “hate crime” exposed.
  • Llewellyn Rockwell of the Mises Institute explains Trump: “To get to where we want to go, the American political class has to be hit hard, and the media and the universities need to be exposed for the propaganda factories they are.”
  • Liberal women cutting off their long hair because of Trump. Says Instapundit: “Trump wins, and Democratic women respond by making themselves less attractive. Sorry, Democratic men!”
  • Formerly rich man forced to sublet his palatial digs to renters to make ends meet. Wait, did I say man? I meant The New York Times.
  • Pictures from an abandoned Russian military base above the arctic circle. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “City Of Chicago Working Around Clock To Clear 18 Inches Of Bullet Casings From Streets.”
  • Dripping Springs ISD stonewalls open records request over tranny bathrooms.
  • More on How Clinton Lost

    Thursday, December 15th, 2016

    Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential race by rewriting the rule book. Conversely, Hillary Clinton seems to have lost the race by simply ignoring the same rule book.

    This Politico piece on how Hillary Clinton’s arrogant campaign lost Michigan is well worth it’s own link for the rich aroma of schadenfreude wafting off it:

    Politico spoke to a dozen officials working on or with Clinton’s Michigan campaign, and more than a dozen scattered among other battleground states, her Brooklyn headquarters and in Washington who describe an ongoing fight about campaign tactics, an inability to get top leadership to change course.

    Then again, according to senior people in Brooklyn, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook never heard any of those complaints directly from anyone on his state teams before Election Day.

    In results that narrow, Clinton’s loss could be attributed to any number of factors — FBI Director Jim Comey’s letter shifting late deciders, the lack of a compelling economic message, the apparent Russian hacking. But heartbroken and frustrated in-state battleground operatives worry that a lesson being missed is a simple one: Get the basics of campaigning right.

    Clinton never even stopped by a United Auto Workers union hall in Michigan, though a person involved with the campaign noted bitterly that the UAW flaked on GOTV commitments in the final days, and that AFSCME never even made any, despite months of appeals.

    The anecdotes are different but the narrative is the same across battlegrounds, where Democratic operatives lament a one-size-fits-all approach drawn entirely from pre-selected data — operatives spit out “the model, the model,” as they complain about it — guiding Mook’s decisions on field, television, everything else. That’s the same data operation, of course, that predicted Clinton would win the Iowa caucuses by 6 percentage points (she scraped by with two-tenths of a point), and that predicted she’d beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan (he won by 1.5 points).

    “I’ve never seen a campaign like this,” said Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member and longtime political hand in Michigan who described months of failed attempts to get attention to the collapse she was watching unfold in slow-motion among women and African-American millennials.

    Rollins, the chair emeritus of the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus, said requests into Brooklyn for surrogates to come talk to her group were never answered. When they held their events anyway, she said, they also got no response to requests for a little money to help cover costs.

    Rollins doesn’t need a recount to understand why Clinton lost the state.

    “When you don’t reach out to community folk and reach out to precinct campaigns and district organizations that know where the votes are, then you’re going to have problems,” she said.

    From the day Clinton released her launch video, the campaign knew she’d struggle with enthusiasm. Yet they didn’t do many of the things voters are used to seeing to give a sense of momentum, insisting that votes didn’t come from campaign literature, door knocking, commitment to vote cards or the standard program of sending absentee ballot applications to likely voters rather than just appealing to the people once they’d already ordered the ballots.

    “It was very surgical and corporate. They had their model, this is how they’re going to do it. Their thing was, ‘We don’t have to leave [literature] at the doors, everyone knows who Hillary Clinton is,’” said one person involved in the Michigan campaign. “But in terms of activists, it seems different, it’s maybe they don’t care about us.”

    Michigan operatives relay stories like one about an older woman in Flint who showed up at a Clinton campaign office, asking for a lawn sign and offering to canvass, being told these were not “scientifically” significant ways of increasing the vote, and leaving, never to return. A crew of building trade workers showed up at another office looking to canvass, but, confused after being told there was no literature to hand out like in most campaigns, also left and never looked back.

    “There’s this illusion that the Clinton campaign had a ground game. The deal is that the Clinton campaign could have had a ground game,” said a former Obama operative in Michigan. “They had people in the states who were willing to do stuff. But they didn’t provide people anything to do until GOTV.”

    The only metric that people involved in the operations say they ever heard headquarters interested in was how many volunteer shifts had been signed up — though the volunteers were never given the now-standard handheld devices to input the responses they got in the field, and Brooklyn mandated that they not worry about data entry. Operatives watched packets of real-time voter information piled up in bins at the coordinated campaign headquarters. The sheets were updated only when they got ripped, or soaked with coffee. Existing packets with notes from the volunteers, including highlighting how much Trump inclination there was among some of the white male union members the Clinton campaign was sure would be with her, were tossed in the garbage.

    According to Hillary’s final FEC report, the Clinton campaign spent $576,402,561 on the race. Don’t think that printing campaign literature, sending volunteers door-to-door or mailing absentee ballots is cost-effective? Fine. But if you have half a billion dollars to spend you do it anyway. What else are you going to do with the money?

    Well, if you’re Clinton, you spend money running up the popular vote count in places where it doesn’t help get you electoral college votes:

    But there also were millions approved for transfer from Clinton’s campaign for use by the DNC — which, under a plan devised by Brazile to drum up urban turnout out of fear that Trump would win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, got dumped into Chicago and New Orleans, far from anywhere that would have made a difference in the election.

    And when regional offices tried to go to the DNC for help, they were refused because the Clinton campaign didn’t want them talking to the DNC:

    With Clinton’s team ignoring or rejecting requests, Democratic operatives in Michigan and other battleground states might have turned to the DNC. But they couldn’t; they weren’t allowed to ask for help.

    State officials were banned from speaking directly to anyone at the DNC in Washington. (“Welcome to DNC HQ,” read a blue and white sign behind the reception desk in Brooklyn that appeared after the ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz just before the July convention).

    A presidential campaign taking over the party committee post-convention is standard, but what happened in 2016 was more intense than veterans remember. People at the DNC and in battleground states speak of angry, bitter calls that came in from Brooklyn whenever they caught wind of contact between them, adamant that only the campaign’s top brass could approve spending or tactical decisions.

    “Don’t touch them. Stay away,” one person on the other end of the call remembered Clinton campaign states director Marlon Marshall saying after hearing about a rogue conversation between a battleground operative and an official at the DNC. “You can’t be calling those people and making them think something is coming when nothing is.

    Mook himself made a number of those calls.

    To Brooklyn, this was the only way to shut down what they perceived early as an effort to undermine the campaign’s planning, DNC officials playing good cop as they made promises they couldn’t keep to friends in the states, took credit for moves Clinton’s staff already were making, or looked to dig up trouble to use against them later.

    So not only did the Clinton campaign have a thermocline of truth to keep unpleasant messages from reaching the top ranks, they created their own and then strengthened it out of turf defense, arrogance, paranoia, and ego.

    As in most of these Clinton 2016 autopsies, all the insider fingers seem to be pointing at campaign manager Robby Mook as the designated scapegoat for their collective failure. And I’m sure he had a hand. But the fact the Clinton campaign was an arrogant, out-of-touch operation reflected the presence of an arrogant, out-of-touch candidate at the very top of it.

    Read the whole thing.

    LinkSwarm for December 9, 2016

    Friday, December 9th, 2016

    The Dallas police and fireman pension fund has halted withdrawals of money to stop a pension run in order to keep the system (temporarily) solvent. Texas municipal pension debt is a big story with a lot of different ramifications and angles, and I need to do some research before I post, hopefully sometime next week.

    In the meantime, enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Why they voted for Trump:

    Working-class Americans have been mocked, maligned, and forgotten long enough. They are fed up and they went to the voting booth last week and said so.

    This election’s “red state” vote had little to do with racism or any phobias. The message we heard last week was, rather, a clear and simple plea from the average blue-collar, small-town mother and father for Washington and other big-city elites to stop belittling, disparaging and vilifying them and their families. It was their way of telling the “know-it-alls”; the politicians and pundits, to stop flying over and driving past their gutted factories and dying towns and pretending they don’t exist and do not matter. They simply wanted the “smarter and more educated” city folks to know that they are tired of insults and that the condescension needs to stop. They voted for Trump because someone finally appeared to care and listen.

    They voted for Trump because he seemed to get it. Finally, someone seemed to understand that the average guy: the plumber, the carpenter, the truck driver, the farmer — the good and decent family man from Dewey, Oklahoma, and from Hillsdale, Michigan — is the one who is now suffering from more cultural disrespect than perhaps anyone else in all the country.

    They voted for Trump because they’re sick and tired of being laughed at. They voted for Trump because they have, frankly, “had it” with being labeled intolerable by those who claim to be tolerant. They voted for Trump because they think it’s deplorable that they are the ones being called “deplorables.”They voted for Trump because they can’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio or read the news without some highbrow elitist in the mainstream media calling them “low-information,” “uneducated white males” who are too dumb to know what’s best for them and too stupid to see that Washington knows best. They voted for Trump because all they want is to have a job, get some respect, pick up a paycheck, go to church, raise their kids and be left alone.

    This is why. This is the explanation.

    Hate had nothing to do with it.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Kurt Schlichter: “The liberals are truly going nuts, and it’s beautiful.”

    They recently resurrected Nancy Pelosi for another glorious term winnowing away the House Democrat caucus. Pretty soon it’s just going to be her and some guy representing Berkeley who they recruited while he was shouting “Workers of the world unite!” at bored coeds on Telegraph Avenue. You know, if you want to reach out to the kind of hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, normal Americans who voted for the black guy then allegedly refused to vote for the woman because they are racist, you totally want an ancient, rich, snooty, San Francisco leftist and Botox after-picture like the Nanster.

    The only way you could further alienate these alienated voters is, I don’t know, making your DNC chairman some radical leftist, urban black Muslim who hates guns, loves Farrakhan and who parties with Middle Eastern scumbags who issue fatwas to kill those voters’ soldier sons and daughters. Now, that’s some real diversity, and the Dems should totally get right on it. But seriously, we could never dare to hope that the Democrats would be that stupid. Could we?

    And I had to laugh at this, even a little guiltily:

    Next up at bat is the hard-4 hedgehog that is anti-gun activist and alleged comedian Amy Schumer, another over-praised, over-hyped mediocrity who Tinseltown is trying to force down our throats like the fingers she clearly never forced down hers.

  • Speaking of liberals going nuts, this Washington Post piece about how Trump’s election stole one woman’s sexual desire is an exemplar of the “Middle Aged Feminist Talks About How She’s Very Upset With Politics While Narcissisticly Sharing The Tedious Minutia of Her Life” piece.
  • “Liberals have migrated beyond observable reality into fantasyland.” (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Liberals prove once again how sane and generous they are by suggesting to let Tennessee wildfire victims burn because they voted for Trump.
  • The collapse of the political left:

    The rejection was apparent in the 2010 and subsequent House elections; Republicans have now won House majorities in ten of the last 12 elections, leaving 2006 and 2008 as temporary aberrations. You didn’t hear Hillary Clinton campaign on the glories of Obamacare or the Iran nuclear deal, and her attack on “Trumped-up, trickle-down economics” didn’t strike any chords in the modest-income Midwest.

    Republican success has been even greater in governor and state legislature elections, to the point that Democrats hold governorships and legislative control only in California, Hawaii, Delaware and Rhode Island. After eight years of the Obama presidency, Democrats hold fewer elective offices than at any time since the 1920s.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Hey, maybe liberals should use persuasion rather than automatically label everyone who disagrees with them racist. (Hat tip: Will Shetterly.)
  • Clintonistas are still bitching about Bernie Sanders, saying his challenge to their beloved Queen fatally wounded her. You know, the way Trump having a dozen primary challengers kept him from becoming President.
  • Piers Morgan (I know) on how Donald Trump pwns the media. “Every time they throw their high-minded journalistic toys out of their strollers at one of his tweets, Trump wins.” (Hat Tip: Borepatch.)
  • Trump is blessed by having weak opponents: “How influential did the press expect to be? It ran against Trump in the election and lost. Why should anybody inclined to support the president-elect — roughly half the country, you may recall — pay attention now to a press that has said the usual rules don’t apply? Again, the more the opposition was cranked up, the less effective it became.”
  • Outgoing Vice President Joe Biden says he’s running for President in 2020. It’s not like he would have done worse than Hillary did this year…
  • ObamaCare in one graphic. One big, depressing graphic…
  • Reminder: That “97% of scientists agree than man is causing climate change” factoid is false.
  • Ties between Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist government and the Islamic State.
  • Are NGOs smuggling illegal aliens into Europe with the help of the EU?
  • With her poll ratings dropping, Angela Merkel suggests a burka ban. Such actions would be unnecessary if Merkel hadn’t brought the “refugee” crisis on in the first place.
  • Five Afghan “refugees” charged with raping a 15-year old boy in Sweden. Strangely enough, I don’t remember gay gang rapes of children in Sweden being in the news before the current wave of Islamic immigration…
  • Speaking of Afghan “refugees,” an EU official’s daughter was murdered by one.
  • What Trump’s Taiwan phone call means:

    When evaluating this unorthodox and, yes, risky move, one has to remember that it is China, not the United States, that has been rewriting the rules of engagement in the East and South China Sea. It is China that has been unilaterally asserting territorial claims against its neighbors, China asserting jurisdiction over international waters and air space, China failing to rein in the increasingly serious North Korean nuclear program. The power that is challenging the status quo in Asia is not the United States.

    (Hat tip: The Corner.)

  • Italy’s PM: Hey, give me near absolute power, because that’s never backfired on Italy before! Italy: Get stuffed!
  • In related news, actress Paola Saulino, who promised blow jobs for those who voted against the referendum, says she’s making good on her promise. What? You want pictures of Paola Saulino? Well, if you insist:

    And here are the dates for her “thank you” tour:

    I get the feeling the adoring crowds will make Black Friday look tame by comparison… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Now India is confiscating gold and jewelry from political enemies targets of corruption probes.
  • Canada wants to criminalize pronouns. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • If the New York Times wants to fight “fake news,” perhaps they should look in the mirror.
  • A guide to winning the media wars:

    We all know that independent websites taking Hillary to task on her very real and very deplorable track record of being a compulsive liar is what was truly decisive. The mainstream media knows this, which is why they haven’t actually been focusing on censoring provably fake news sites, but rather have been promoting an agenda to lump any non-establishment perspectives within the umbrella of “fake news” in order to destroy their competition and regain an upper hand in the national narrative. If those of us who value independent media want to thwart this nefarious plan, we need to fully understand what these cretins are up to.

  • 27-year male Clinton supporter hits 69 year old woman over the head with a chair. In his defense, he really does not look like the sharpest knife in the drawer:

    Or even the sharpest spoon…

  • More fake hate crimes.
  • The amnesty crowd is at it again.

    A DREAM Act 2.0 that addressed these problems — that prosecuted fraud, implemented enforcement, prevented downstream legal immigration, and focused much more narrowly on those who came very young — would possibly be something that even I, were I a congressman, might be able to vote for. But the lack of these elements is clear proof that the amnesty crowd isn’t interested in fixing the specific problem of a sympathetic but small group of people; rather, these young people are simply poster children who have been used for years to try to justify a general amnesty for all illegal aliens. And when the DREAM Act fails, as it will, Pedro Ramirez and his fellows will need to ask the pro-amnesty politicians and lobbying groups why they were sacrificed on the altar of “comprehensive immigration reform.”

  • Instapundit suggests downsizing imperial Washington:

    Donald Trump ran for president on the slogan “Make America Great Again!” And he’s also promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington. But maybe the way to do that is to make Washington a little less great. Because as Washington has prospered over the last several decades — to the point where people are making Hunger Games comparisons — the rest of the country hasn’t done as well.

    So perhaps it’s time for a role-reversal. I propose that over the next several years, we transfer a lot of federal employees out of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, to parts of the country that aren’t doing so well economically. This would provide a boost to places like Buffalo, New York, or Quincy, Illinois, or Fresno, California, while getting federal bureaucrats out of the D.C. bubble.

  • Delusional liberal in Time suggests that people not pay their taxes while Trump is president. So he wants to: A.) Starve the federal government of money, and B.) Put liberals in prison where they can’t vote. OK, but what’s the downside?
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issues a stay of execution for an Alabama inmate. “Lawyers for Smith argue that although the jury rendered a verdict of life without parole, the trial court overrode the jury’s verdict and sentenced Smith to death.” Hmmm…
  • There’s a new cybersecurity commission report out. Guess what? It’s crap!
  • Black Workers’ Suit Accuses Job Agency of Favoring Hispanic Applicants.” Also: “He added that the staff of the MVP office in Cicero ‘was mainly Mexicans’ and that the employees were not welcoming toward African-American job seekers.” Also: “The vast majority of Hispanic job applicants served by MVP were in the United States illegally.” Note: The agency in question is not the Democratic Party, or the federal government… (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Speaking of racial discrimination lawsuits in hiring, CNN is being sued for just that. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Armor car robbery ringleader killed in Houston, accomplices arrested. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Recovering from a devastating spinal injury via power lifting. (Ht tip: Instapundit.)
  • Marxist vegan diner closes. “Ultimately, the restaurant’s popularity among social justice warriors proved unable to sustain its rickety business model.”
  • Naval Base Bombed, Shinto Worshipers Fear Backlash – New York Times – December 8 1941.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Noted without comment: The @EvilMopacATX twitter feed.
  • LinkSwarm for December 2, 2016

    Friday, December 2nd, 2016

    Welcome to the last month of the year! (Insert standard “where has the time gone” lament here.)

    Enjoy the traditional Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Kevin D. Williamson brings the wood:

    The Democratic party is an odd apparatus in which most of the power is held by sanctimonious little old liberal white ladies with graduate degrees and very high incomes — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Randi Weingarten — while the manpower, the vote-power, and the money-power (often in the form of union dues) comes from a disproportionately young and non-white base made up of people who, if they are doing well, might earn one-tenth of the half-million dollars a year Weingarten was paid as the boss of the teachers’ union. They are more likely to be cutting the grass in front of Elizabeth Warren’s multi-million-dollar mansion than moving into one of their own. They roll their eyes at Hillary Rodham Clinton’s risible “abuela” act, having actual abuelas of their own.

    As in the Republican party, the Democrats have a restive base that is more radical than its leadership, more aggressive, and in search of signs of tribal affiliation. The Democratic base is not made up of little old liberal white ladies with seven-, eight-, and nine-figure bank balances, but the party’s leadership is.

  • Alan Derschowitz is not a fan of Rep. Keith Ellison’s DNC Chairman bid:

    What should a political party that has just lost its white working-class, blue-collar base to a “make America great again” nationalist do to try to regain these voters? Why not appoint as the new head of the party a radical left-wing ideologue who has a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam racist? Such an appointment will surely bring back rust-belt voters who have lost their jobs to globalization and free trade! Is this really the thinking of those Democratic leaders who are pushing for Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee?

    Keith Ellison is, by all accounts, a decent guy, who is well liked by his congressional colleagues. But it is hard to imagine a worse candidate to take over the DNC at this time. Ellison represents the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party, just when the party — if it is to win again — must move to the center in order to bring back the voters it lost to Trump. The Democrats didn’t lose because their candidates weren’t left enough. They won the votes of liberals. The radical voters they lost to Jill Stein were small in number and are not likely to be influenced by the appointment of Ellison. The centrist voters they lost to Trump will only be further alienated by the appointment of a left-wing ideologue, who seems to care more about global issues than jobs in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Ellison’s selection certainly wouldn’t help among Jewish voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania or pro-Israel Christian voters around the country.

    Also, Derschowitz is not buying the “friend of Israel” blather put forth by Ellison defenders:

    Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only 8 Congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets. In 2009, Ellison was one of only two dozen Congressmen to vote “present” rather than vote for a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” And in 2010, Ellison co‐authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”

  • Five Thirty Eight asserts that education levels one of the primary determinants of which counties voted for Trump.
  • More electorate analysis: “This is a case where the simplest explanation is the correct one: Donald Trump won because he did exceptionally (indeed, historically) well with the white working class, a bloc that until 2016 was resistant north of the Mason-Dixon line to voting Republican en masse.”
  • Fidel Castro’s murders by the numbers. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Could Marine Le Pen be the leftmost candidate in France’s presidential election?
  • Your government in action: health inspectors deny the homeless a free BBQ meal.
  • Rotherham, post-truth and the “alt-right”:

    Some on the left in the West see certain ideas and even some easily verifiable truths, as plain dangerous, much like the totalitarian communists of yesteryear. Dangerous to public order. Dangerous to the ‘common good’.

    Whilst this section of the left has always existed, it now seems to have become more ‘mainstream’. It seethes and obsesses within carefully-policed ideological echo-chambers. It dominates in universities, trade unions and the public sector. And whereas it was once mainly prevalent in fringe far-left outfits, it has now effectively co-opted the Labour party through its membership and leadership.

    Anyone who has ever tried to engage with this section of the left will know that it doesn’t ‘do debate’ with conservatives on issues like immigration, multiculturalism and identity politics. For it, “the debate is settled”. Opposing views are intrinsically wicked. Such ideas are to be ignored. Muted. Blocked. Banned. Disrupted. Drowned out with fog-horns.

    It does not feel it needs to win the argument nor does it see any reason to engage in one. Where it can apply ‘No Platform’ or ‘Safe Space’ schemes to stymie debate, it will do so assiduously. Where it can’t, it’s adept at innovating campaigns such as #StopFundingHate to help promote the censorship it craves.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Still more on How Trump got elected:

    The privileged worked hard for Trump. Every time they described his people as uneducated white males, implicit dregs, they drove votes to Donald. And they so described the working class unceasingly.

    It made him President. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is how he got in.

    The privileged denigrated all whites unlike themselves. Then Hillary made her “deplorables” speech, confirming her contempt for half of America–those uneducated, shapeless, dull-witted proles in Flyover Land, obese, farting and belching, swilling Bud, watching NASCAR for god’s sake in awful trailers. And why not not sneer at them? Why did Hillary need their votes? Did not Rachel Maddow love her?

    For Trump it was gold, pure gold. If he had written her speech, he could not have come up with a better line to destroy her. It was the purest product of the establishment’s hubris. She did it to herself. Sweet.

    It made him President.

    Black Lives Matter also did yeoman work for the Donald. As they and snowflake Brown Shirts and excited millennials blocked highways and beat Trump’s supporters and shut down rallies, and vandalized cars, and of course looted, they presumably thought they were working against the Trump Monster. Not a chance. Out there in the uncharted barbarian lands between Manhattan and Hollywood, in dark primeval forests where Cro-Magnons are still a rarity, people were sick of lawlessness, and of an establishment that tolerated it. It produced more votes, perhaps not for Trump or even against Hillary but against the class that she represented.

    Immigration. Here Hillary and Obama did great work for Donald. As Obama frantically brought in as many “refugees” as possible from everywhere, anywhere that might not be compatible with the people upon whom he would force them, Hillary promised to import huge numbers of Muslims. It was luminously stupid politics, but politically she was luminously stupid, so it fit.

    It is why she is not President.

    She knew that the backward peoples of Flyover Land ought to want hundreds of thousands of Somalis and Pakistanis and who-knew-what to live with, and if they didn’t, she would force them and it didn’t matter because she had big donors and everybody in the media loved her.

    However incoherent and ignorant Trump was, the Establishment was determined to elect him. Elect him it did.

    (Hat tip: Borepatch.)

  • The end of identity politics? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • You know those sacred medicare funds? Obama has raided them to help take care of illegal aliens.
  • Germany’s security agency infiltrated by a jihadist. (Hat tip: Ace.)
  • The pension fund for Dallas policeman and firefighters is teetering on insolvency thanks to risky investments.
  • Don’t agree with everything in this John Gray essay on the closing of the liberal mind, published right before Trump’s election, but there’s a lot to chew over concerning the post-liberal world order, and especially the Labour Party’s relation to it. “Labour has become unelectable in any foreseeable future.”
  • Banks in India run out of money thanks to the idiot currency ban:

    Many in north India who slept outside banks in freezing conditions woke up in the morning to be told only that no cash had arrived.

    “I have been doing the rounds of banks for the past 20 days and have been unable to withdraw my own money,” said Balbir Singh, a junior executive in a private firm in New Delhi. “Even on payday the story was the same: the bank said it simply had no money to disburse, even though I have ample credit in my account.”

  • Turkish Lira collapses.
  • Global warming: “Since 1940 the sea level off of northern Washington has dropped about 15 cm. (6 inches).”
  • How Gary Taubes overcame the severe backlash over his famous expose of how low fat diets fail compared to low carb diets like Atkins.
  • Chicago’s real estate market expect to rank dead last. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Will Wallace Hall have the last laugh on his UT records request? (Hat tip: Cahman’s Musings.)
  • Smoking marijuana inhibits blood flow to the brain.
  • The science of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Nothing says “class” like wearing an ascot, sipping a glass of wine, and spray-painting “Fuck Trump” on a supermarket wall.
  • The wit and wisdom of Robert Stacy McCain.
  • A startling factoid:

  • Less startling, still interesting:

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • A concise definition of the issue:

  • “Your Tears, Kos! Let Me Drink Your Tears!”

    Thursday, December 1st, 2016

    The chief Kossak is still enraged at the election results, and just let his bile spew in an epic rant about that continued enragement (which is pretty much a textbook case of “anger issues”). A bunch is the usual “racist/sexist/white supremacist” crap, but much takes square aim at his own side for such an epic cock-up.

    Some of the tastier bits:

  • I’m angry at Hillary Clinton for losing. Plain and simple, her campaign had one job. And it should’ve been an easy job! And yes, they won the popular vote, and let’s never forget that. But they weren’t even polling in Michigan! It was rank incompetence.

  • I’m angry at Clinton for running an old-world campaign. She was in California TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE ELECTION raising money. She was in CALIFORNIA! TWO WEEKS before the election! Clinton’s campaign raised $500 million for itself, and another $175 million through Priorities USA. Donald Trump’s campaign raised about $250 million total. But Clinton, who lived through both the Obama campaign and the Bernie Sanders one, was still stuck in that old way of thinking, that more money meant more victory.
  • And speaking of the Obama and Sanders campaigns, Clinton still didn’t learn the obvious lessons from a people-powered campaign. I mean, spend time in front of crowds in battleground states, and the money will come in, easily! You don’t have to have a rich-people fundraiser in California weeks before the election to raise the money.
  • Oh, and what was all that money spent on? The biggest chunk was on worthless TV ads that did nothing to move the needle. Donald Trump knew that, and spent almost nothing on TV. Yes, he was on TV a lot, but that’s because he gave the media reasons to cover him. Meanwhile, the Michigan Democratic Party had to scramble to raise $200,000 for its GOTV efforts, completely ignored by the Clinton campaign.
  • I’m angry at the Democratic consultant class, who really shit the bed this year in epic, glorious fashion. All that money you donated? Either pissed away by these assholes, or tucked into their pockets. It’s on Clinton for letting them run the asylum. And related, I’m angry at myself for thinking that campaign manager Robbie Mook—a decent guy—heralded a different way of running the campaign. Either he went along with the bullshit, or he got sidelined. Either way, any top consultant working for this campaign should be blacklisted into eternity. Not the staffers who toiled away! Those people are heroes. But the assholes at the top making the decisions.
  • But most of all, he seems really angry that people are allowed to express opinions he doesn’t agree with:

  • I’m angry at those who are angry at me for trying to tamp down the Clinton criticism after the primary, as if endless sniping from the left, through Election Day, would’ve done anything to improve her chances. Goddam liberals, why couldn’t we wait until after she was elected to snipe at her? She ran the most explicitly liberal campaign in Democratic history, yet that was never enough. Meanwhile, the religious right never took their eye off the ball, and rallied fiercely behind Trump despite his overt moral failures. Now they get that Supreme Court, and we don’t. Congrats!

  • I’m angry at the media, who thought endlessly harping over a non-scandal email story was clever and smart and necessary. Then, after Trump announced he would kill the White House traveling press corps, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer declared that Trump had “gone too far!” Fuck you. NOW he had gone too far? Fuck them all. I hope Trump kills the White House press corps altogether, so maybe the assholes will be properly motivated and incentivized to hold the presidency accountable, rather than playing “stenography” from inside the White House.
  • Remember when the Clinton Foundation was a BIG STORY, despite there being ZERO evidence of wrongdoing, while a single reporter at the Washington Post dug up example after example of wrongdoing at the Trump family foundation? Remember? Yup. Fuck those assholes.
  • I’m angry at ME. It was easy to trust the data, and I expected it to continue working. And then it didn’t, and fuck that shit. So I built an entire narrative around what the data said, and it was wrong. And I still don’t know how else I would’ve handled it, so that makes me angry as well. I know what we must do in the future—organize with a vengeance—but when it comes to covering the election, I’m at a bit of a loss.
  • I’m angry at me because I don’t know what I could’ve done better. I know there are people who want to scream “you shouldn’t have squelched Clinton dissent!” And to that, I say that’s one of the things I did RIGHT. Heck, maybe I should’ve tamped it down sooner. I don’t know how anyone can argue that having liberals diarying about “Clinton’s imminent email-related indictment” was in any way helpful. Clinton Derangement Syndrome was strong, and it cost us.
  • Takeaways:

  • “Spend time in front of crowds in battleground states, and the money will come in.” Really? Have you seen Clinton speak? There more she speaks, the less people like her. Hillary’s great at scarfing up big bundled donations from special interests expecting political favors. Drawing donations from small donors thanks to her electric personality? Not so much.
  • How dare Bernie Sanders supporters not fall in line and do the Party’s bidding?
  • Saint Hillary is pure as the driven snow! How dare you investigate those silly email and Clinton Foundation scandals?
  • Clinton got the most biased coverage in her favor ever in Presidential election history, and Kos is screaming that it just wasn’t fawning enough.
  • Note that Kos is screaming about both how was he to know all the polls were wrong and how he should have squelched dissent harder! Don’t see a little disconnect there, Commissar Kos? Like how your side’s ruthless insistence on squelching dissent skews polls, or having a press so in-the-tank for Hillary dangerously impaired your side’s situational awareness? Ever hear the term “preference cascade”?
  • Take a nice refreshing drought of Kos’ anger, and liberal self-delusion, at the same time.

    (Hat tip: Kurt Schlichter’s Twitter feed.)

    Jill Stein’s Scam Recount

    Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

    Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein is raising money for a recount in three states Donald Trump won: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    Funny thing, through: Stein is not only raising far more money than the recount actually requires, but she keeps raising the amount she’s requesting:

    November 24, 2016 at 3:46AM – In the beginning, Stein figured she needed a total of $2.5mm to fund her recount efforts. That figure included $2.2mm for the actual filing fees and presumably another $0.3mm for legal fees and other costs.

    November 24, 2016 at 1:20PM – Then, just 12 hours later, after the cash just kept flowing in, Stein figured she needed at least another $2mm as her fundraising goal was raised to $4.5mm in total. Of course, the filing fees of $2.2mm didn’t change but the “attorney’s fees” apparently surged by about 300% and the total costs of the effort skyrocketed to $6-7mm.

    November 25, 2016 at 6:11AM – Now, just this morning as Stein approaches $5mm in total donations, her overall fundraising goal has surged once again and now stands at $7mm.

    And that’s on total filing fees of $2.1 million for recounts in those three states. As Zero Hedge puts it, “So, with nearly $5mm raised so far, the question is no longer whether recounts will occur in WI, MI and PA but just how much Jill Stein will be able to drain from the pockets of disaffected Hillary supporters to fund her long-shot efforts.”

    Indeed, Stein has raised more money for the recount than she did for her actual Presidential campaign. It’s also garnered 12 times the press coverage her actual campaign did.

    And all this for a recount that experts say has no chance of changing the actual results:

    Recounts typically don’t swing enough votes to change the winner. Out of 4,687 statewide general elections between 2000 and 2015, just 27 were followed by recounts, according to data compiled by FairVote, a nonpartisan group that researches elections and promotes electoral reform. Just three of those 27 recounts resulted in a change in the outcome, all leading to wins for Democrats: Al Franken’s win in Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate race, Thomas M. Salmon’s win in Vermont’s 2006 auditor election and Christine Gregoire’s win in Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial race.

    Recounts also typically don’t change the margin by an amount that would be large enough to affect the result of this year’s presidential election. The mean swing between the top two candidates in the 27 recounts was 282 votes, with a median of 219. The biggest swing came in Florida’s 2000 presidential election recount, when Al Gore cut 1,247 votes off George W. Bush’s lead, ultimately not enough to flip the state to his column. In each state Trump won or leads in, his advantage is more than 10,000 votes.

    Indeed, Trump’s victory margins in those three states are:

  • Michigan: 10,704 votes.
  • Pennsylvania: 70,638 votes.
  • Wisconsin: 22,177 votes.
  • Even Democrats are calling Stein’s recount a waste of time.

    “It’s a waste of time and money. It is not going to change anything,” said Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, who served as campaign manager for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

    “I think it probably was the Stein people looking for a way to stay relevant, raise some money and take the stink off of them. Instead of everybody screaming, ‘You made Trump happen,’ she is counting the votes to change that whole narrative.”

    Even the Clinton team thinks it’s a waste of time:

    In a Medium post on Saturday, Clinton lawyer Marc Elias wrote, “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves.”

    The Clinton team’s involvement will likely be limited to having lawyers or other experts at recount sites to watch over the proceedings.

    “My sense is that the Clinton people would have preferred this not to happen and are going to be involved only in a monitoring capacity,” said Robert Shrum, a Democratic strategist and a veteran of several presidential campaigns, including that of 2004 nominee John Kerry.

    Shrum added that he believed “people are way over-excited about the thing.” There is, he added, “no chance” that it will change the election’s outcome.

    But Stein missed Pennsylvania recount deadline. So now Stein’s not only suing, she’s asking her supporters to file precinct-by-precinct recount requests. “Further complicating the effort, the Pennsylvania Department of State noted that some of the precincts are in counties that had finished certifying their election results, closing the five-day window for petitioning precincts to hold recounts.”

    Wisconsin has denied Stein’s request to do a time-consuming hand-recount. So naturally she’s suing there as well.

    Michigan has already certified its election results for Trump.

    There’s been speculation that the entire strategy is to delay official electors from casting their votes for Trump in order to cast the election into the House, but that seems equally unlikely. All electoral votes must be finalized December 13 so they can be cast December 19. Michigan and Wisconsin both have Republican governors (and Michigan a Republican Secretary of State), so the chances they would play along in this Hail Mary charade by not certifying electors is nil. Nor do I see three separate federal judges (Michigan is in the Sixth Circuit, Pennsylvania in the Third, and Wisconsin in the Seventh) all moving to block electors from voting.

    Stein’s play is a scam to extract money from gullible liberals, and will not prevent Donald Trump from being certified as the 45th President of the United States of America.

    LinkSwarm for November 25, 2016

    Friday, November 25th, 2016

    Hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm before you go off to engage in mortal combat to save $5 on an improved deframbulator.

  • Kurt Schlichter on why Democrats won’t autopsy their own corpse. Lots of quote fodder:
    • “If Americans outside the big blue cities don’t care about the social obsessions of aging hippies, indoctrinated millennials, and frigid feminists, then they’re wrong. You can probably fix everything by redoubling your efforts to show them how horrible they are.”

    • “Why pretend to respect their opinions when you don’t respect their opinions. They like guns and America and Jesus, and frankly those things are, at best, embarrassing if not downright horrible. I mean, #Science, right?”
    • “Why bother assembling and analyzing the facts when you know what the answer will be, what it must be: racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and whatever other faux-phobias that come slinking out of academia to give you an excuse to hector and nag normal people.”
  • One of the great side effects of the election is the end of the Cult of St. Hillary:

    If you want to see politics based on emotionalism over reason and a borderline-religious devotion to an iconic figure, forget the Trump Army; look instead to the Cult of Clinton.

    Ever since Donald Trump won the presidential election, all eyes, and wringing hands, have been on the white blob who voted for him. These “loud, illiterate and credulous people,” as a sap at Salon brands them, think on an “emotional level.” Bill Moyers warned that ours is a “dark age of unreason,” in which “low information” folks are lining up behind “The Trump Emotion Machine.” Andrew Sullivan said Trump supporters relate to him as a “cult leader fused with the idea of the nation.”

    What’s funny about this is not simply that it’s the biggest chattering-class hissy fit of the 21st century so far — and chattering-class hissy fits are always funny. It’s that whatever you think of Trump (I’m not a fan) or his supporters (I think they’re mostly normal, good people), the fact is they’ve got nothing on the Clinton cult when it comes to creepy, pious worship of a politician.

    By the Cult of Hillary Clinton, I don’t mean the nearly 62 million Americans who voted for her. I have not one doubt that they are as mixed and normal a bag of people as the Trumpites are. No, I mean the Hillary machine—the celebs and activists and hacks who were so devoted to getting her elected and who have spent the past week sobbing and moaning over her loss. These people exhibit cult-like behavior far more than any Trump cheerer I’ve come across.

    Trump supporters view their man as a leader “fused with the idea of the nation”? Perhaps some do, but at least they don’t see him as “light itself.” That’s how Clinton was described in the subhead of a piece for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. “Maybe [Clinton] is more than a president,” gushed writer Virginia Heffernan. “Maybe she is an idea, a world-historical heroine, light itself,” Nothing this nutty has been said by any of Trump’s media fanboys.

    “Hillary is Athena,” Heffernan continued, adding that “Hillary did everything right in this campaign…She cannot be faulted, criticized, or analyzed for even one more second.”

    That’s a key cry of the Cult of Hillary (as it is among followers of L. Ron Hubbard or devotees of Christ): our gal is beyond criticism, beyond the sober and technical analysis of mere humans.

    Snip.

    As with all saints and prophets, all human manifestations of light itself, the problem is never with them, but with us. We mortals are not worthy of Hillary. “Hillary didn’t fail us, we failed her,” asserted a writer for the Guardian. The press, and by extension the rest of us, “crucified her,” claimed someone at Bustle. We always do that to messiahs, assholes that we are.

    And of course the light of Hillary had to be guarded against blasphemy. Truly did the Cult of Hillary seek to put her beyond “analysis for even one more second.” All that stuff about her emails and Libya was pseudo-scandal, inventions of her aspiring slayers, they told us again and again and again.

    As Thomas Frank says, the insistence that Hillary was scandal-free had a blasphemy-deflecting feel to it. The message was that “Hillary was virtually without flaws… a peerless leader clad in saintly white… a caring benefactor of women and children.” Mother Teresa in a pantsuit, basically. As a result, wrote Frank, “the act of opening a newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station.”

    Then there was the reaction to Clinton’s loss. It just wasn’t normal chattering-class behavior. Of course we expect weeping, wailing videos from the likes of Miley Cyrus and Perez Hilton about how Clinton had been robbed of her moment of glory; that’s what celebs do these days. But in the media, too, there was hysteria.

    “‘I feel hated,’ I tell my husband, sobbing in front of the TV in my yoga pants and Hillary sweatshirt, holding my bare neck,” said a feminist in the Guardian. Crying was a major theme. A British feminist recalled all the “Clinton-related crying” she had done: “I’ve cried at the pantsuit flashmob, your Saturday Night Live appearance, and sometimes just while watching the debates.” (Wonder if she cried over the women killed as a result of Hillary’s machinations in Libya? Probably not. In the mind of the Hillary cultists, that didn’t happen—it is utterly spurious, a blasphemy.)

    Then there was Lena Dunham, who came out in hives—actual hives—when she heard Clinton had lost. Her party dress “felt tight and itchy.” She “ached in the places that make me a woman.” I understand being upset and angry at your candidate’s loss, but this is something different; this is what happens, not when a politician does badly, but when your savior, your Athena, “light itself,” is extinguished. The grief is understandable only in the context of the apocalyptic faith they had put in Hillary. Not since Princess Diana kicked the bucket can I remember such a strange, misplaced belief in one woman, and such a weird, post-modern response to someone’s demise (and Clinton isn’t even dead! She just lost!).

    It’s all incredibly revealing. What it points to is a mainstream, Democratic left that is so bereft of ideas and so disconnected from everyday people that it ends up pursuing an utterly substance-free politics of emotion and feeling and doesn’t even realize it’s doing it. They are good, everyone else is bad; they are light itself, everyone else is darkness; and so no self-awareness can exist and no self-criticism can be entertained. Not for even one second, in Heffernan’s words. The Cult of Hillary Clinton is the clearest manifestation yet of the 21st-century problem of life in the political echo chamber.

  • Tabloid writer tells his media counterparts to stop freaking out and crying wolf over Trump:

    A word of neighborly advice to our more genteel media friends, the ones who sit at the high table in their pristine white dinner jackets and ball gowns. You’ve been barfing all over yourselves for a week-and-a-half, and it’s revolting to watch.

    For your own sake, and that of the republic for which you allegedly work, wipe off your chins and regain your composure. I didn’t vote for him either, but Trump won. Pull yourselves together and deal with it, if you ever want to be taken seriously again.

    What kind of president will Trump be? It’s a tad too early to say, isn’t it? The media are supposed to tell us what happened, not speculate on the future. But its incessant scaremongering, the utter lack of proportionality and the shameless use of double standards are an embarrassment, one that is demeaning the value of the institution. The press’ frantic need to keep the outrage meter dialed up to 11 at all times creates the risk that a desensitized populace will simply shrug off any genuine White House scandals that may lie in the future (or may not).

    Hysteria is causing leading media organizations to mix up their news reporting with their editorializing like never before, but instead of mingling like chocolate and peanut butter, the two are creating a taste that’s like brushing your teeth after drinking orange juice.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Trump finally offically wins Michigan.
  • Electors receive death threats. More of that vaunted liberal tolerance we keep hearing about…
  • How Clinton lost the Midwest. “Decent people don’t like to be called racists and told that their religion needs to be changed.”
  • It’s not just the DNC race: Bernie Sanders supporters are challenging Democratic Party insiders in races across the country.
  • Andrew Cuomo’s top aides indicted for corruption.
  • “Influential gay rights advocate and top Obama donor, Terry Bean” arrested for child rape.
  • More on Democratic Representative and DNC chair Keith Ellison’s radical anti-police roots.
  • The defense Intelligence Agency warned Obama that pulling out of Iraq might lead to the rise of an Islamic State.
  • “One by One, ISIS Social Media Experts Are Killed as Result of F.B.I. Program.” My reaction: 😊 (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • More of those “mostly peaceful” protestors we keep hearing about, this time in North Dakota (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The reason the micro-group of neo-Nazis got attention is the media. It’s not the Right. This is an active attempt by CNN and others to paint all conservatives as anti-Semites. It’s disgusting.” Or why Richard Spencer is the new Westboro Baptist Church: A tiny, unimportant thing constantly hyped by the mainstream media as a way to paint Republicans as evil. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Interactive map of the war(s) in Iraq and Syria.
  • “Sanctuary cities” mean sanctuaries for career criminals.
  • How Trump could implement immigration enforcement in his first hundred days.
  • Mickey Kaus wonders if Democrats are finally willing to flip to an enforcement-first approach, giving up on amnesty to take the issue off the table and win back working class white voters. That idea makes a lot of sense, which is why I’m sure Democrats will never go for it…
  • Palestinians are shootinge each other, since the border wall makes it difficult to shoot Israelis. “The violence, much of it directed at a Fatah leadership seen as corrupt and out of touch.” Has there ever been a single moment in the history of “Palestine” when their leadership wasn’t “corrupt” and “out of touch”?
  • More Trump dividends: France cancels umpteenth Israel-Palestine summit because nobody gives a rat’s ass.
  • Twitter suspends the account of their own founder. That’s some mighty fine vetting process you’ve got going on there, Jack… (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • Anti-Trump parody hat company files for bankruptcy.
  • A cure for AIDS?
  • Heh:

    Stolen from a random Twitter liberal who was very, very upset about it…

  • A Dive Down Into The DNC Chair Race

    Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

    Following any electoral disaster, the recriminations come think and heavy, and after watching an election all America’s left-wing elites thought was in the bag slip away, Democrats have thrown an absolute hissy fit of rage.

    It’s against that backdrop, and the backdrop of Bernie Sanders supporters disgruntled at Debbie Wasserman Schultz putting both thumbs, a big toe, and half a cankle on the scale to tip the primaries to Hillary Clinton, that Democrats will choose their next Democratic National Committee chair sometime between now and March 31, 2017.

    So here’s a roundup of the contenders, pretenders, and offenders in the DNC Chair race:

  • Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Ellison gets victimhood identity politics points for being both black and a Muslim (in fact, the only Muslim in congress). Among prominent Democrats who have publically declared they’re backing Ellison are:
    • Bernie Sanders.

    • Massachusetts Senator progressive sweetheart and pretend Indian Elizabeth Warren.
    • Outgoing Senate Minority Leader and mysterious accident victim Harry Reid
    • Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
    • Both of Minnesota’s Senators (Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken).
    • Michigan Rep. John Conyers, who is, in fact, still alive, having spent more than 51 years in congress. (Congrats on your son showing up safe, by the way.)
    • Alex Soros.
  • Former Vermont Governor, former DNC chair, onetime Presidential contender and dance remix inspiration.
  • South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison has also launched a DNC chair bid. Harrison, like Ellison, is black, but what other qualifications does he have? As Republicans hold the state House, Senate and Governor’s mansion in South Carolina, Harrison does not seem to have accomplished notably much as state chair. However: “Harrison also joined the Podesta Group, a lobbying and consulting firm founded by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.” Presumably Harrison is either the designated Clinton Machine candidate, or a guy trying to raise his national profile for his own reasons.
  • Labor Secretary Tom Perez is also reportedly considering a run.
  • As is Democratic National Committee Finance Chairman Henry Munoz III.
  • Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego is said to be considering a run, supposedly with the backing of fellow Rep. Linda Sanchez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The fact the most prominent link I could find focusing on Gallego’s prospects is from “NewsTaco” should give you some idea of the outlook on his chances.
  • Ilyse She Wolf of the SS Hogue, chairman of the National Abortion Rights Action League, is claimed to be considering a run. One wonders why. After getting knifed in the back over ObamaCare, the party’s vestigial pro-life wing was pretty much wiped out in 2010. To paraphrase This Is Spinal Tap: You ask yourself how much more pro-abortion could the Democratic Party be. And the answer is none, none more pro-abortion.
  • California Rep. Xavier Becerra gets tossed in at the end of many lists, much like a college basketball team appears near the bottom of the “also receiving votes” of weekly polls.
  • Former Maryland governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley got into the race and then dropped even more quickly than he dropped his Presidential bid, which was plenty quick. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has also bowed out.

    Baring an unlikely heavyweight stepping in (like Hillarysaurus or the Golfer in Chief), the race will probably come down to Ellison vs. Dean.

    As DNC chair from 2005 to 2009, Dean was either very effective at pursuing a 50-state strategy that paved the way for Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008, or else he was very lucky at coming in just as Republican dissatisfaction with Bush43 was cresting. (As Charlemagne notes in the musical Pippin, “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”) Dean won his chairmanship the first time around as a liberal firebrand (“Yeaggggh!”), but as a prominent Hillary backer in 2016, he’s getting pegged as the default “status quo” candidate compared to Ellison.

    And Ellison is something else:

    Ellison was the first Muslim elected to federal office when he won his seat in 2006. Ellison also has had ties with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

    Ellison repeatedly has been regarded as one of the most liberal members of Congress.

    He supported impeaching then-Vice President Dick Cheney, compared President George W. Bush to Hitler, and blamed Bush for the September 11 attacks.

    Ellison also has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood:

    Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

    It gets worse. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.”

    Given that, it’s no surprise that Ellison is not a fan of Israel, supporting the “divestment” movement and hanging around with anti-Israel groups like The U.S. Campaign.

    As a result, Jewish Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect of Ellison heading the DNC: “The rise of Ellison could drive Jews out of the Democratic Party, according to Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a private wealth manager who worked in the administrations of New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican. “There are many longtime Jewish Democrats who are on the fence about whether to stay in a party that has been tilting away from Israel—and if Ellison is elected, I believe a good percentage of them will leave the party.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    Scott Johnson at Powerline has been following Elison’s rise for a decade. He’s not a fan:

    As the Minnesota’s Fifth District representative in Congress, Keith Ellison has a good gig. He’s a hustler who is accustomed to exploiting the ignorance of voters in a one-party district in a town with a one-party newspaper. Ellison has exploited the ignorance of his constituents in lying repeatedly about his personal history, as I tried to show in “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.”

    As a Republican, I’d be delighted to see Ellison win. Like Wasserman Schultz, he’s be a part-time Chair at a moment in history they desperately need a full-time chair. More importantly, he’d drag the Democratic Party even further left, double-down on the victimhood identity politics that’s driving normal people out of the party, and do everything possible to make 2018 look an awful lot like 2010. On the plus side, as a Bernie backer, he might finally cleanse the DNC of the Clinton Machine’s stench once and for all (assuming current felony investigations don’t do that for him).

    I fear that Dean, far closer to being a centrist, would concentrate on building up the Democratic Party’s election infrastructure in all 50 states like he did in his previous tenure. Dean was also very successful at fundraising, and would probably be far more likely to keep “big money” donating to the Democrats in the Age of Trump than Ellison. Dean would be bad for the Republican Party, but possibly good for America if he also junked the Social Justice Warrior wing of the party and put a stop to the endless victimhood identity politics race baiting. That would be a real service. The downside is that the Clintonistas would probably keep lurking in the party machinery.

    “The first big test for those running will come [when] the candidates meet with state party leaders at the national gathering of Democratic chairmen in Denver.”