Assessing Trump’s Acceptance Speech at the GOP Convention: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers

July 22, 2016

I’m not a fan of Trump (to say the least), but the sloppy work, bias, and outright dishonesty of “fact checkers” is something we shouldn’t tolerate.

International Liberty

Since I’m not a fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I think that puts me in a good position to fairly assess whether the candidates are being dishonest.

And since several media outlets just produced their “fact-checks” on Donald Trump’s acceptance speech to the Republican convention, this is a perfect opportunity to see not only whether Trump was being dishonest but also whether media fact-checking is honest.

Here’s some of the “fact-checking” from NBC., with each indented example being followed by my two cents.

TRUMP CLAIM: Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed. Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago.

THE FACTS: Yes, 38 percent of African American children are living in poverty, according to Census data. But…

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Did Aliens’ “Private Hudson” foreshadow the Republican Party of 2016?

July 11, 2016
"We nominated Trump? What are we gonna do now, huh?"

“We’re gonna nominate Trump? What are we gonna do now, huh?”

Bill Paxton’s “Private Hudson” is a fan-favorite character in 1986’s “Aliens,” an overall great movie. But was he also an omen for the Republican Party’s fate thirty years later?

Don’t look at me like that, I think I’m on to something here. Consider:

The Republicans started the presidential cycle full of confidence and hope. They had many good, respected candidates. The current administration was unpopular, its policies moreso, and the Democrats’ leading candidate to succeed the president was awful. The Republicans had every reason to be confident. To act like “badasses”, even. Just like Hudson:

 

But things went downhill from there. An alien monster invaded the primary, and one promising candidate after another failed and dropped out until, on the night of the Indiana primary, Ted Cruz and John Kasich ended their campaigns, leaving the field to Trump. The race was seemingly over. Amidst the flaming wreckage of the party’s once-soaring hopes, it was “game over.”

Just as Private Hudson foretold:

I wonder if Trumpkins “mostly come out at night”?

Still, some fight on against Trumpery under the banner of “Never Trump,” refusing to give in and promising a fight to the death at the convention.

Did Private Hudson prophesy their fate, too?

Who needs the Oracle of Delphi when we have Private Hudson? smiley can't look

PS: Yeah, I’m “never Trump,” but the thought of this comparison got me laughing so hard last night, I had to share. Smiley Laughing Maniacal Clown


California Primary: my last ballot as a Republican, and the cowardice of state Democrats

May 22, 2016
"I get to vote twice? Gee, thanks, pal!"

Thrilled to vote against Trump

Well, that’s that. I’ve just filled in my mail-in ballot and cast my last vote as a Republican, the party I’ve identified with for 45 years. Like I said before, I refuse to be part of a party that nominates an anti-constitutional authoritarian populist demagogue. (1)

Instead I cast my vote for president for… (drumroll) …John Kasich. Not that I would ever vote for him normally (I still think he’s a sanctimonious ass), but what little polling there was for California showed he had the best chance of beating Trump in my congressional district. So, strategic voting it was. Go, Kasich.

"This is my happy face"

“This is my happy face”

 

That aside, there were a few other elections of note. In the race to be among the top two finishers and thus earn a spot in the general election for the federal Senate, we had 34 (!) candidates to choose from. (2) Since there was no way I was voting for Attorney General Kamala Harris or bigoted dimwit Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and most of the other candidates I’d never heard of, I cast my ballot for Thomas Del Beccaro, a former state chair of (what’s left of) the Republican Party in California. Who knows, with so many Democrats splitting the vote, he just might sneak into the top two.

For the House and  State Assembly races, I voted for the Republican as the only other choice besides the (statist, progressive) Democrat incumbents. Not that the Rs have any chance: there are so few in these districts, I think they can be counted on two hands with fingers left over.

Judicial races are always frustrating: few candidates even have web sites, and I never see them campaigning, so I know next to nothing about them when election day rolls around. My default is to vote for the incumbent or, if there is none, to prefer a prosecutor.

There was only one proposition on the ballot: a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to suspend members without pay. I voted for it. However, this is also where the “cowardice of state Democrats” part comes in.

This proposition should have been named the “Senator Leland Yee” bill in honor of the Democrat state senator indicted for arms-trafficking. In addition, that same year, another Democrat state senator was convicted of voter fraud and perjury, while a third Democrat was indicted for bribery. 2014 was a banner year for California Democrats.

Funny thing, though. They weren’t expelled from the Senate, even though that body had plenary power and every reason to do so. Why, you may ask? Because expulsion meant special elections to fill those seats and, with all the negative publicity for Democrats these scandals and the expulsions would bring, there would have been a decent chance of Republicans capturing one or more. This, in turn, would have made it harder for Democrats to regain the filibuster-proof two-thirds majority in the state senate (they have that easily in the Assembly) that would enable them to tax-and-spend even more wildly than they do now. So, no expulsions, and the corrupt Democrat senators kept their seats until one finally resigned. (3)

However, to make themselves look good, Senate Democrats under then-Senate President Steinberg proposed this amendment to allow suspension without pay. That’ll show those crooks! This proves California Democrats are tough on political corruption!

Even though they refused to expel three corrupt Democrat senators… smiley well I'm waiting

Cowards.

Still, the bill is worthwhile on its own merits, so I voted for it. Ballot marked, envelope signed and sealed, ready to mail.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to change my registration to “decline to state.”

 

Footnote:
(1) And those are Trump’s good points.
(2) And you thought the Republican presidential primary was overcrowded…
(3) Senator Calderon (D), indicted for bribery, took a “leave of absence” and was term-limited out at the next election. Senator Yee was suspended with pay until replaced in the next election. Only Senator Wright had the decency to resign.


I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.

May 3, 2016

First, a video I think fitting to the occasion:

Such is my mood.

Tonight, Donald Trump won convincingly in the Indiana primary, and Ted Cruz ended his race shortly thereafter. Thus, the last conservative candidate and potentially competent president left the field. All we’re left with is a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, between an incompetent leftist who should be in prison and an incompetent would-be caudillo who is America’s answer to Hugo Chavez. And the latter is now the face and voice of the ostensibly *conservative* party.

With that, I am no longer a Republican, for I cannot be part of any organization or faction lead by a corrupt, emotionally unstable statist and narcissist who makes Barack Obama look like Solon.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.

You know what amazes me? This election season. It began with such hope: an administration with unpopular policies; a corrupt, unlikable, and incompetent probable Democratic nominee; and a large Republican field offering many excellent choices. If any election was a shoo-in for Republicans and conservatives, it was this one.

And it all crashed and burned like the Hindenburg.

And you know who is responsible for this? No, not Donald Trump. He had every right to run and make his case to the public. Nor is the Republican Party ultimately to blame, though they helped create the conditions that drove alienated voters to Trump. The large field of candidates wasn’t responsible, because people could still have made a choice to coalesce around someone other than Trump. But, they didn’t. The media? Please. They whored themselves for Trump, certainly, but, again, the media doesn’t have mind-control rays to make voters vote a certain way. The final choice still stays with the true sovereign in the country: the voter.

And that is who is truly responsible and to blame for the rise of Donald J. Trump and the likely electoral disaster the Republican Party and conservative movement face in November, as well as the harm the nation will suffer under a Clinton presidency: the Republican primary voter.

Yeah, it’s your fault.

When Trump gets swamped in November; when Obamacare becomes irreversible; when the Senate flips back to the Democrats; when even the House is lost; when Hillary gets away with her felonies; when all the gains we made in state legislatures and governorships are pissed away; when the economy still stinks; when the IRS goes back to abusing people whose opinions it doesn’t like; when the state grows and grows and grows and our rights shrink ever further and the world becomes ever more dangerous, well, that’s the choice you made.

It’s all on you, the voter.

You maniacs. You blew it up.

On the verge of the easiest win we’ve ever had and a chance to make historic improvements in this country and undo the damage of the last 16 years, you decided that now was the perfect time to have a tantrum and break it all. Consider these six names:

  • Perry
  • Walker
  • Jindal
  • Rubio
  • Cruz
  • Paul

All of them were there for your choosing. Any one of them would likely have made a good president, maybe even great, and certainly better than Barack Obama has been, Hillary Clinton will be, and Donald Trump could be only in his dreams.

But, instead, you chose the guy who pandered to your justified anger. The con-artist who told you he knew how to make you great again, even though his policy prescriptions were so incoherent that even a resident of Wonderland would be confused.

The duty of a citizen is more than the act of voting and chanting “USA! USA! USA!” at sporting events.

The duty of a citizen is to use his or her vote wisely, with reason and thought toward what is best for the Republic, with sound judgment of the candidate’s character, and not to give it to a sideshow barker selling “Dr. Feelgood’s Miracle Cure.” There is no way a reasonable, sober, intellectually honest and responsible citizen could look at Donald Trump and think him in any way qualified to be president.

But then there’s you.

You had a duty, Trump voters, and you failed in it. You tossed away the heritage the Founders left us to swoon over a new Juan Peron.

You blew it up.


(Video) I’m angry, so I’m voting for Donald Trump!

March 21, 2016

No, not me, silly. The great Andrew Klavan:

It’s parody, of course (1), but Andrew captures well the irrational spirit of most arguments I hear from Trump supporters about why their guy is great: they’re angry, they want to stick it to the GOP “establishment” (2), he’ll make America “great” again (whatever that vague expression means), and they’re angry. Point out the truth about Trump’s record, how it clearly shows he’s unfit to be president, and you’re greeted with non sequiturs, irrelevancies, and anger.

Anger is not a winning voting strategy. Don’t vote angry. Use your reason and vote for the best and only conservative left in the race.

Footnote:
(1) In fact, I think he was as Cruz supporter from the start, but don’t quote me on that.
(2) A word that’s been so widely and sloppily applied it almost lacks meaning these days.


I hope @JimGeraghty will forgive me, but you need to read this. #NeverTrump

March 16, 2016
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

Anyone but.

As penance, I suggest –nay, I implore you!– to subscribe to his Morning Jolt newsletter.

And it’s from this morning’s edition that I copiously excerpt the following, which anyone who seriously thinks Trump is a reasonable choice or that he has a chance of beating Hillary in November needs to read:

All the polling indicates Rubio would have crushed Hillary Clinton in a general election. Cruz looks like he’s got a shot — not a great shot, but a shot. Donald Trump’s general-election numbers are sinking like a stone. (If you can stand him, John Kasich matches up quite well.)

Trump’s fans walk around with great confidence about his general election strengths for which there is no real evidence. They’re convinced he will win over traditional blue-collar Democrats. So far, he doesn’t. They’re convinced he will win over African Americans. Polling in February puts his support among African Americans between 4 and 10 percent. (Romney won 6 percent.) They’re convinced he’ll win a lot more Latinos than everyone thinks. (He’s currently at less than half Mitt Romney’s level of support.) They’re convinced he’ll win Democratic states like New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. (He trails by 18 to 23 points in those states in the most recent polls.)

Trump fans gleefully point to his 7.5 million votes in the primary so far, and forget that the universe of voters in the general election will be on a completely different scale — probably 130 million voters. (Mitt Romney won 10 million primary votes.)

When you mention Trump’s awful head-to-head polling with Hillary Clinton, you hear a lot of references to Ronald Reagan’s trailing Jimmy Carter in March 1980. Ronald Reagan never had the unfavorable numbers Trump has now.

When everybody says, “Oh, the pundits and the elected officials and the other campaigns didn’t see the GOP grassroots embrace of Trump coming . . .” well, yeah; the pundits and the elected officials and the other campaigns thought better of the GOP grassroots.

 

People who support Trump like to say that not backing him guarantees a Hillary Clinton presidency. To the contrary, nominating The Donald almost certainly guarantees a crushing Republican defeat.

But there is still time to derail the “Trump train.”

Trump plays to fear, resentment, and anger. Instead of channeling it in a positive direction, he brings out the worst in people. He is a con artist who poisons everything he touches.

Ask yourselves, what evidence, what smidgen of a hint of proof, is there that Donald Trump would make a good president, or even a mediocre one? You think Trump will “hire good people” and take their advice? When has he in his colossal egotism ever shown that he listens to anyone but yes-men?

Electing Hillary Clinton would be a disaster, but choosing Donald Trump would be a catastrophe — first for conservatism, then for the nation if he’s elected.

We have a good choice. Take a deep breath, let go of your anger, and make it.


#NoTrump Thought for the Day

March 6, 2016

Choices Trump or Hillary

 

That’s pretty much how I feel about the prospect of having those two as the nominees in November.

via… someone on Facebook


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