Saturday, August 27, 2016

New Breitbart/Gravis Poll Finds Clinton and Trump Neck and Neck

Well, I guess I'm on a Breitbart jag this morning, heh.

See, "Exclusive – Breitbart/Gravis Poll: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Now Neck and Neck Ending August." (Via Memeorandum.)

Reprehensible Leftist Media Attacks on Stephen Bannon

I couldn't care less about the guy. I'm just blown away at how fast the attacks on him took off yesterday, at Memeorandum.

And now here's the latest smears, at WaPo, "New Trump campaign chief faces scrutiny over voter registration, anti-Semitism."


Right. Notice how this piece bolsters Crooked Hillary's attack on Trump and the alt-right.

I thought I hated the left under Obama. I swear I'm feeling more angry about all things regressives than ever before.

Breitbart Rises as Potent Voice in Election 2016

From the front page of the New York Times, "Breitbart Rises From Outlier to Potent Voice in Campaign."

It's a good piece. Breitbart's actually not one of my daily reads, mainly because I hate all the ads on the website. I'll see some of the better stuff going viral on social media. Besides, I'm not into conspiracy politics, which apparently is going strong there.

That said, I'm glad the site's doing well. I don't care about Stephen Bannon, and I know Breitbart's gone downhill since Andrew died, but at least it's emerged as a recognized force fighting the radical left. And that scares the hell out of regressives, heh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dick and Liz Cheney's Exceptional is Out in Paperback

I blogged this book a lot almost exactly one year ago, upon its release.

It's now available in paper, and more timely than ever.

At Amazon, Dick and Liz Cheney, Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America.

I'm Not 'Alt Right'

Here's a quick post to reiterate, in the strongest possible terms, that I'm a neoconservative ideologue, not just any old "conservative" ideologue, or (god-forbid) some new "alt right" bottom-dweller conservative ideologue, for that matter.

While reading Dave Weigel's piece at WaPo yesterday, I followed the links to Joseph Sobran's essay, "For Fear of the Jews."

It's just revolting, but it's not new to me. This Sobran dude's new (to me), but the ideas there are pretty familiar after dealing with disgusting "paleoconservative" losers over this last decade or so. And unfortunately, some of the memes at that piece don't just reflect on paleos but on the "alt right" as well (see Yishai Schwartz, "Banal, Incoherent, Anti-Semitic and Pro-Trump: Why We Should Take the Alt-Right Seriously"), to say nothing of a lot of generic libertarians too (think of the Ron Paul trolls back in 2008).

Sometimes folks have argued that I'm not really neoconservative, but actually more of a straight "conservative." Nope. I see unalloyed support for Israel as a fundamental tenet of neoconservatism (see David Bernstein, "Is Neoconservatism a 'Jewish' Movement?"). Not blind support, mind you (see David Horowitz's flawed essay on that). But unwavering support for the Jewish people and Israel's leadership in the cause of moral decency in the Middle East and the world. I thus always push back against all manner of attacks against the "evil" neocons, which are usually thinly-veiled attacks on Jewish supporters of democracy promotion, regime change, the war in Iraq, and so forth. After the Arab Spring I'm much more careful about uncritical advocacy for democracy promotion, but Israel remains the light of moral decency in international affairs.

Interestingly, all this recent discussion of "white supremacy" and the "alt right" has conveniently obscured the intense racism, Israel-hatred, and ideological extremism on the Democrat Party left. Folks ought not lose sight of what's really at stake in this election. Donald Trump's a good man. Hillary's attacks on him are despicable. She's got more in common with those "fringe extremists" on the "far reaches of the Internet" than Donald Trump ever will (see William Jacobson, "Hijacking of #BlackLivesMatter by anti-Israel activists already has damaged the movement").

There's a lot more to neoconservativism that foreign policy and support for Israel. In my case, I'm a classic throwback to the old "liberal" who's been "mugged by reality." I'm especially neoconservative on domestic issues, points of ideological emphasis that hark back to the 1960s and some of the earliest neocons who helped shape public policy at that time --- folks like Irving Kristol, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Norman Podhoretz (see Justin Vaïsse, "Why Neoconservatism Still Matters").

In any case, one of the things I love about the "neocon" label is how widely you see people on the right attack it (usually this is part of a diatribe against "endless wars"). Although I sometimes get a painful twinge at these outbursts, I just embrace the label as a badge of honor.

So, there you go. I just felt like I needed to get that out, especially after reading that vile Sobran piece.

David Weigel and Matthew Continetti on the PBS NewsHour (VIDEO)

Following-up from yesterday, "Hillary Clinton to Give Speech Attacking Donald Trump and the 'Alt-Right'," and "Hillary Clinton's Desperate, Shameful Speech on Donald Trump and the 'Alt Right'."

At PBS NewsHour, "Why the ‘alt-right’ is coming out of online chat rooms to support Trump."

I haven't seen Weigel in years. He's packed on a few pounds and grown a "pornstache," lol.

Hillary Clinton's Election Would Mark an Unprecedented Span of Partisan Advantage

From Ronald Brownstein, at the Atlantic:

If Hillary wins I expect we might see many more years of Democrat advantage, mainly because of tremendous demographic change. A Trump presidency, on the other hand, might be able to slow down those trends, especially if he's successful implementing immigration reform (and slows down the current hyper-speed rates of invasion from abroad). Also, a successful Trump economy might turn on young voters --- so-called Millennials --- to the Republican brand. Some analysts argue that the youth vote is up for grabs, and thus an expanding economy with increased opportunity (perhaps with some reforms in the student debt sector) could convince large numbers of young people to vote GOP. All of this is speculation, but nothing's decided yet. The election's actually closer than folks are letting on, as evidenced by Hillary's massive hysterical smear campaign against Trump and the "alt right."

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's a Dead-Heat at the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times 'Daybreak' Poll

I've written about this survey before. See, "Hillary Clinton Slumps in L.A. Times Daybreak Tracking Poll," and "Hillary Clinton 'Inching Up' in Los Angeles Times Presidential Election 'Daybreak' Poll."

Also, "The Presidential Horse Race at the L.A. Times 'Daybreak' Tracking Poll."

Remember, it's an online panel survey that rolls over sub-samples daily. About 3,000 respondents participate in the entire survey, and individual opinions change, not the sample participants themselves (and thus the poll's supposed to be less volatile than traditional random sampling). This one's got a lag of a couple of days before you see changes in the numbers generated by campaign controversies. Notice at the screen-cap how Hillary (in blue) fails to get a substantial bounce out of the Democrat Convention (compared to CNN's post-convention poll on August 1st.) And in the past week or so, Hillary's email controversies appear to be taking a toll.
 photo 9d19d8dd-f2c5-4ed5-a966-08332091f5bd_zpsnpfvldtc.png

But frankly, I have no clue on how reliable is the "Daybreak" poll, although it's interesting that RCP's average of recent horse-race polls is down to 6 percent from almost 8 percent a couple of weeks ago.

Also, we're not talking about polling in the battleground states. The horse-race is the horse-race: It's a snapshot of national opinion that provides survey fodder for TV talking heads, as well as feedback for the campaigns to make adjustments, etc. Lots of folks are saying "if the election were held today" Hillary would crush Trump in a landslide. But the election's not being held today, and frankly, I think the Clinton camp is extremely desperate in the aftermath of the latest devastating email bombshells. Hillary's speech today reeks so strongly of desperation, it's almost like she's lost her mind. (See, "Hillary Clinton's Desperate, Shameful Speech on Donald Trump and the 'Alt Right'.")

Still, I'm not going to be all like 2012, when everyone thought Romney was surging to the finish line, and polls like Gallup had the GOP ticket at 51 percent on the eve of the election. Even Robert Stacy McCain was all excited about a "silent majority" of voters in Ohio flocking to the polls to put Romney over the top. Nope. It didn't happen. Indeed, the networks called the race around dinner time on the West Coast. Totally anti-climactic. And a real bummer.

So, I'm just burning off some steam here. As always, we'll see what happens on November 8th.

More here, in any case, "Where the presidential race stands today."

Hillary Clinton's Desperate, Shameful Speech on Donald Trump and the 'Alt Right'

I'm actually blown away by Hillary's sheer desperation at this point. The email revelations of the last week must have rattled the Clinton campaign, because Cankles erupted like a blast-furnace of smears, lies, aspersions, and guilt-by-association attacks. She's sunk lower than ever before. It was ugly.

I tweeted my thoughts at the time, just as she finished up with the shameful show of baseless slander:

And for Donald Trump's response, see Politico, "Trump hits back at Clinton: 'Shame on you'":
Donald Trump roared back at Hillary Clinton's accusations of racism and hate with three words: Shame on you.

Railing against Clinton for smearing and lying about “decent people,” Trump blasted his Democratic opponent Thursday for suggesting his campaign had allied itself with the likes of racists, white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan members.

“I will work to dismantle the criminal gangs and cartels and to liberate our poorest citizens from crime and violence and poverty and fear,” he said at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire. “To Hillary Clinton and her donors and advisers, pushing her to spread smears and her lies about decent people, I have three words."

Gesturing at the cameras with his right index finger, Trump intoned, "I want you to remember these three words: Shame. On. You."

Earlier, in his prebuttal to Clinton’s speech in Nevada, Trump said: "Now, I have not seen what Hillary is going to say. But I’ve heard about it. And, in a sense, I don’t want to dignify her statements by dwelling on them too much, but a response is required for the sake of all decent voters she is trying to smear."

Accusing Clinton of being “in hiding,” Trump observed that his opponent “is emerging not to take responsibility for her unethical and criminal conduct, but instead to make one of the most brazen attempts at distraction in the history of politics.”

The comments follow the Clinton campaign's release Thursday of a video featuring members of the KKK and Confederate flags waving, an ad that the Trump team denounced as a "disgusting new low."

"The news reports are that Hillary Clinton is going to try to accuse this campaign, and the millions of decent Americans — at record levels. This was set up — this event was set up late last night, and look what happens,” Trump said, gesturing to the crowd at the rally in Manchester. “Look how many people.

“It's a movement, folks, like they've never seen before. And going to accuse decent Americans who support this campaign, your campaign, of being racists, which we're not," Trump said. "It’s the oldest play in the Democratic playbook."

Democrats resort to “this one tired argument" when their policies fail, Trump continued. “You’re racist. You’re racist. You’re racist. They keep saying it. It’s a tired, disgusting argument, and it’s so totally predictable. They are failing so badly.”

"They keep going back to this same well, but you know what? The people are becoming very smart. They’ve heard it too many times before," the Republican nominee continued. “The well is dry. The well is dry. This is the year the American people who believe in much better and much more honest politics say the word enough. Enough.”

American Renaissance Defines 'Alt-Right'

Seen on Twitter earlier:

And my earlier entry, "Hillary Clinton to Give Speech Attacking Donald Trump and the 'Alt-Right'."

I'm post something on pathetic Hillary's pathetic speech a little later. I'm taking my youngest over to Game Stop in a minute.

The Latest from Emily Ratajkowski

At London's Daily Mail, "Exhibitionist Emily Ratajkowski shows off her bottom in NAKED hot tub snap," and "Emily Ratajkowski shares an incredibly cheeky Santorini photo."

Also, "Emily Ratajkowski sparkles on the sand as the cover girl for C Magazine."

BONUS: Via Sports Illustrated, ".@EmRata's Instagram account never lets us down."

No, Ms. Emily rarely disappoints. She knows how to work social media with the best of them.

Hillary Clinton to Give Speech Attacking Donald Trump and the 'Alt-Right'

So, this is the big deal for the day.

Hillary's gonna smear Donald Trump and the "alt-right" as reactionary racists threatening a Fourth Reich in America.

Oh brother.

I posted on the alt-right in May, "Trump Trolls, the Alt-Right, Neo-Reactionaries, and Anti-Semitism."

Frankly, the movement's mostly harmless, especially the Milo Yiannopoulos brand. Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson (Prison Planet) are pretty harmless too.

I would warn against some of the more hardcore varieties, however, folks that cluster more closely to the Stormfront types. You've got real racism over there, and of course some anti-Semitism. Naturally the media's gonna highlight these latter groups as totally representative of the "alt-right," thus smearing Donald Trump and his legions of supporters. These are the regular everyday folks in flyover America, those whom Salena Zito has been talking to all election season. See, "Stumped by Trump's Success?"

In any case, David Weigel (no friend of mine who blocked me on Twitter years ago) has a background piece up at WaPo, "What’s the alt-right? A primer." Weigel was at the libertarian Reason years ago, but he increasingly moved left. For a while he had that prime gig posting the "Right Now" column at WaPo, but was then outed (and fired) in the JournoList scandal as a pathetic partisan hack who made ugly attacks on opponents of homosexual marriage. (For some reason, WaPo rehired Weigel a couple of years ago, as if nothing ever happened. I guess the idiot got down on his knees for forgiveness, or more.)

So, FWIW, here's this from his piece today (via Memeorandum and Hot Air):
On Thursday, with an unusual amount of fanfare, Hillary Clinton will give a speech denouncing the "alt-right" and delineating ways in which Donald Trump has inflamed racist sentiment. On the alt-right itself, the speech is being welcomed as a sort of coming-out party; alt-right figures are finding their phones and email boxes glowing with new messages, asking to explain who they are and what they think.

While reporters like Rosie Gray, Olivia Nuzzi, and Benjy Sarlin have reported on the alt-right's success for a year, and while the Southern Poverty Law Center has closely monitored its success, the movement remains elastically defined, harboring some terms and personalities that remain obscure or impenetrable. This is a guide — which can and will be updated — to the basics.

'The Camp of the Saints'

A 1973 French novel by Jean Raspail, published as "Le Camp des Saints," which envisions an immigrant invasion of France, and which many on the alt-right view as prophetic. In a 2005 essay for the American Conservative, after riots in France, commentator (and future Michelle Bachmann collaborator) Jim Pinkerton cited Raspail's novel at length to ask why Europe had not realized it was committing "national suicide."
As Raspail describes the scene aboard the immigrant convoy, “Everywhere, rivers of sperm. Streaming over bodies, oozing between breasts, and buttocks, and thighs, and lips, and fingers … a welter of dung and debauch.”

But France is persuaded that these people are a “million Christs,” whose arrival will “signal the dawn of a just, new day.” In other words, Raspail writes, what the French are lacking is a proper sense of national-racial consciousness, “the knowledge that one’s own is best, the triumphant joy at feeling oneself to be part of humanity’s finest.” Instead, he concludes, after having been beaten down by decades of multicultural propaganda, “the white race” has become “nothing more than a million sheep.”
Raspail's vision has been cited frequently at Breitbart News, especially when a major Western leader criticizes anti-immigrant sentiment. "Now, as in the novel, prominent political officials are urging on ever larger waves," wrote Breitbart's Julia Hahn in 2015. "Secular and religious leaders hold hands to pressure blue collar citizens to drop their resistance; media elites and celebrities zealously cheer the opportunity that the migrants provide to atone for the alleged sins of the West — for the chance to rebalance the wealth and power of the world by allowing poor migrants from failed states to rush in to claim its treasures."
Keep reading.

Via Memeorandum.

Federal Reserve's Missteps Fueled Populist Disillusion on the Economy and Political Class

I don't know? Seems like blaming the Fed is letting a lot of people off the hook.

Interesting, in any case.

At WSJ, "Years of Fed Missteps Fueled Disillusion With the Economy and Washington":
Once-revered central bank failed to foresee the crisis and has struggled in its aftermath, fostering the rise of populism and distrust of institutions.

In the past decade Federal Reserve officials have been flummoxed by a housing bubble that cratered the financial system, a long stretch of slow growth they failed to foresee and inflation persistently undershooting their goal. In response they engineered unpopular financial rescues, launched start-and-stop bond buying and delayed planned interest-rate boosts.

“There are a lot of things that we thought we knew that haven’t turned out quite as we expected,” said Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “The economy and financial markets are not as stable as we previously assumed.”

In the 1990s, a period known in economics as the “Great Moderation,” it seemed the Fed could do no wrong. Policy makers and voters saw it as a machine, with buttons officials could push to heat or cool the economy as needed. Now, after more than a decade of economic disappointment, the central bank confronts hardened public skepticism and growing self-doubt about its own understanding of how the U.S. economy works.

For anyone seeking to explain one of the most unpredictable political seasons in modern history, with the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, a prime suspect is public dismay in institutions guiding the economy and government. The Fed in particular is a case study in how the conventional wisdom of the late 1990s on a wide range of economic issues, including trade, technology and central banking, has since slowly unraveled.

Once admired globally for their command of the economic system, central bankers now are blamed by the left and right for bailouts during the financial crisis and for failing to foresee and manage forces suffocating the global economy in its aftermath.

Populist protest movements called “Fed Up,” “End the Fed” and “Occupy Wall Street” lashed out at the bank’s policies, and in the case of End the Fed, its very existence. Lawmakers of both parties want to subject it to more scrutiny or curb its powers.

David Einhorn, founder of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, cites the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, in which a famished grasshopper begs a thrifty ant for help in wintertime after failing to stockpile food during warmer weather.

“We had the grasshoppers party from 2002 to 2007 and winter came and the Fed bailed them out,” said Mr. Einhorn, referring to financial firms and individuals who lived above their means. “Now the ants are pissed.”

The Fed’s struggles will be on display from Friday to Sunday when it gathers for an annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyo. On issues of growth, inflation, interest rates, unemployment and how to fight a recession, basic assumptions inside the central bank’s complex computer models have been upended.

“I certainly myself couldn’t have imagined six, seven years ago that we would be employing the policies we are now,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said to a packed ballroom in New York earlier this year. She lamented the government has leaned so heavily on the Fed to stimulate the economy while tax and spending policies were stymied by disagreements between Congress and the White House.

Many Fed officials believe—and private economists agree—their responses to the crisis helped avert a second Depression, outweighing any unfairness in the bailout process. Fed leaders believe low rates helped, too. “Inflation would be lower and unemployment higher now by noticeable amounts had we not employed those policies,” Ms. Yellen said in March.

Regardless, confidence in the central bank’s leadership has dropped. An April Gallup poll found 38% of Americans had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Ms. Yellen, while 35% had little or none. In the early 2000s, confidence in Chairman Alan Greenspan often exceeded 70%...
Keep reading.