Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Last Men and OverMen is Moving to Wordpress

They say all good things must come to an end. But they never read Last Men and OverMen, a good thing that will never end. Never, Never ever. Never, ever, ever, Ok I think I've made my point.

No, this blog is not ending, though, perhaps it's not a blog anymore. There is a rule of thumb where blogs are on blogger but websites are on Wordpress, which is where we now are.

So please join me folks. The water is warm. Not only is this good thing going to continue, it's going to be much better as Wordpress's formatting simply blows Blogger out of the water.

No matter how hard you work on Blogger it always seems to give you a certain amateurish look. WP on the other hand just has this wonderful polish.

See you on the flip side. I think you will like it better as I do.

Florida Voters not Buying Trump's Birther Con

We've heard so much lately about how much trouble Hillary is in. Just recently a lot of prognosticators like Larry Sabato have updated their forecasts for a closer race.

The irony is, that this might all be in the rearview mirror already. The Trump momentum may well have ended in early September. But last week with her health scare imputed a lot of short term noise into the polls.

FiveThirtyEight gives Trump the edge in Florida currently. But a new Monmouth poll shows her with a 5 point lead among likely voters-the same margin Survey Monkey gives her nationally.


"Florida HRC 46 (was 48 in Aug) DJT 41 (was 39) "

"#FLSen Rubio 47 (was 48) Murphy 45 (was 43"

So according to Monmouth, Rubio is no shoo in either.

The best news? Floridians are not as stupid as Trump needs them to be, needs us all to be:

"Hillary Clinton holds a 5 point lead over Donald Trump in the crucial swing state of Florida. This is slightly less than the 9 point lead she held in a Monmouth University Pollof Sunshine State voters taken last month. Sen. Marco Rubio is currently locked in a tight race with his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, ahead by a statistically insignificant 2 points after leading by 5 in August. The poll also found that voters are skeptical of Trump's recent attempt to draw a line under the Pres. Obama birther controversy."

Part of what has enabled Trump to get closer is since he brought in Kellyann Conway, he's had more message discipline. He was perhaps able to reassure some suburban whites that maybe he's not a racist after all. But the reopening of the birther furor may well set back that effort.

"Most Florida voters (75%) have heard about Trump's recent admission that Barack Obama was born in the United States, but they doubt the GOP nominee's sincerity. Only 24% think that Trump actually believes Obama is a natural born citizen, while the majority (54%) say Trump only made the statement for political reasons."

"Trump also implicated Hillary Clinton in starting the birther controversy back in 2008. More Florida voters do not believe she had a role in it (47%) than say she did (35%). While most voters (76%) say this recent flap will have no impact on their vote, 18% say Trump's statement makes them less likely to vote for him and just 4% say it makes them more likely."

"If Trump wanted to put an end to his role in the birther controversy with his statement on Friday, it does not seem to have had the intended effect," said Murray.

As other polls have show, her favorables inched up in Monmouth too.

"Florida voters' opinion of the two candidates has remained stable over the past month. Only 32% have a favorable opinion of Trump and 56% hold an unfavorable view of him. This is similar to his August rating of 33% favorable and 54% unfavorable. Nearly 4-in-10 voters (38%) have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 49% hold an unfavorable view of her. Her rating stood at 36% favorable and 50% unfavorable last month."

No one is buying his absurd birther spins. We looked at Stephen Colbert's epic takedown in an earlier piece.

Believe it or not, I think this could have a real negative impact for Trump. Colbert is a comedian not a political operative-though he played one on his old show.

As far as normalizing him-or the opposite of normalizing him-shows like Colbert's can have a bigger impact on undecideds, middle of the readers, indies, etc, aa a lot of people watching this are not political animals like me and quite possibly you.

For people who haven't made up their minds yet or who are on the fence, this may well push them away from Trump. It's very hard for a candidate for POTUS to be fodder like this for late night comics.

I certainly appreciate Colbert compared with Jimmy Kimmel's playing with Trump's hair.

The Republican Party's Hitlerian Disregard for the Truth

Morning Joe is Back in Bed With Trump Again

Guess he only objects to Nazism if he doesn't think it can win. Now that the media is ripe with 'Trump can win' testimonials Joe Scarborough is cool with Nazism.

Meanwhile, Morning Joe is back in bed with Trump again.

A National Review article warns that if you don't vote for Donald Trump it's Republican suicide.

The NR who got panned by the RNC earlier for an edition full of  #NeverTrump columns is now #NeverNeverTrump. Not voting for Trump is Republican suicide.

So Republican suicide is on the ballot. The other choice is national suicide. GOP partisan hacks like Morning Joe would rather take national suicide.

Great piece by Richard Cohen who talks about Donald Trump's 'Hitlerian disregard for the truth.'

We've never seen such a congenital liar in recent history. Not at this scale. Maybe the worse since Hitler. Certainly the worse we've seen in modern US history.

"The Economist, a fine British newsmagazine, is rarely wrong, but it was recently in strongly suggesting that the casual disregard for truth that is the very soul of Donald Trump's campaign is something new under the sun. The technology -- tweets and such -- certainly is, but his cascade of immense lies certainly is not. I'd like to familiarize The Economist with Adolf Hitler."

"I realize that the name Hitler has the distractive quality of pornography and so I cite it only with reluctance. Hitler, however, was not a fictional creation, but a real man who was legally chosen to be Germany's chancellor, and while Trump is neither an anti-Semite nor does he have designs on neighboring countries, he is Hitlerian in his thinking. He thinks the truth is what he says it is."

One rule with Trump so you don't get burned is try to give him as little credit as possible. Even his not being an anti Semite is highly dubious. Here is the real author of 'The Art of the Deal.'

"Fascinating on Trump & Jews. Stereotypes as smart lawyers, accountants (& ghostwriters) he can use to his advantage."

And you could argue that Trump's version of HItler's anti Semitism, is his own Islamophobia. And he may not have any particular plan to innvade other countreis now, but he has asked his advisers repeatedly about what's wrong wtih using nuclear weapons.

"Soon after becoming chancellor, Hitler announced that the Jews had declared war on Germany. It was a preposterous statement since Jews were less than 1 percent of Germany's population and had neither the numbers nor the power to make war on anything. In fact, in sheer preposterousness, it compares to Trump's insistence that Barack Obama was not born in America -- a position he tenaciously held even after Obama released his Hawaiian birth certificate."

"At the time, people tried to make sense of Hitler's statements by saying he was seeking a scapegoat and had settled on the Jews. Not so. From my readings, I know of no instance where Hitler confided to an intimate that, of course, his statements about Jews were, as we might now say, over the top. In fact, he remained consistently deranged on the topic. He was not lying. For him, it was the truth."

"Trump's fixation on Obama's birthplace is similar. It was not, as far as he's concerned, a lie. It was a strongly felt truth that he abandoned only last week and then only under intense pressure -- not out of conviction. To Trump, the lie was not what he had been saying about Obama's birthplace; it was the one he had told when he finally was compelled to say that Obama was born in the USA. The reason he did not apologize for having so long insisted otherwise, is that an apology would have crossed his personal red line. Like a child, his fingers were crossed."

"Just as Hitler's remarks about Jews were deeply rooted in German anti-Semitism, so was Trump's birtherism rooted in American racism -- with some anti-Muslim sentiment thrown in. Trump's adamant insistence on it raised issues not, as some have so delicately put it, about his demeanor, but instead about his rationality. It made a joke out of the entire furor over revealing his medical records. I'm sure that Trump is fine physically. Mentally, it's a different story."

Interesting point about Trump. Does he know it's a lie? I always go back to Josh Greenan's fascinating piece on Trump. There are two kinds of Trump supporters.

1. Those who believe stuff like the Birther nonsense.

2. Those who assume Trump is just kidding about this.

As Greenan predicted, Trump's mendaciousness gives cover to both groups.

Butt in this post's title, I don't say Donald Trump's Hitlerian disregard for truth but that of the Republican party.

Because after their shameless defense of Trump's birtherism over the weekend, the GOP has embraced birtherism formallly. Truth is Trump didn't invent birhterism anyway, it was present in the GOP before him but he was shrewd enough to see the benefit in embracing it more fully in the primary.

Have no doubt about it. The GOP has sullied itself. Those who are putting the party ahead of the country right now-Morning Joe, Paul Ryan, Reince Preibus, the National Review, will have a lot to answer for as the moderate-former-Republican Jennifer Rubin says.

Back to Trump's ghost writer:

Trump's Rogues gallery: Chris Christie, Roger Ailes, Rudy Giuliani, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon. Judge a man by the company he keeps

Trump's Rogues gallery continued: Roger Stone, Corey Lewandowski, Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, Judge a man by the company he keeps."

This entire party has now sullied itself on Trump's Hitlerian lies.

Donald Trump was Born With an Inheritance but He Lost His Daddy's Money

Guess who these are the immortal words of? Yup, you guessed it, my main man Harry Reid. I'm going to miss him in the Senate.

Chris Cillizza recently wrote another post complaining about what Harry said about Romney's taxes in 2012.

Few politicians, though, are as willing as Reid to speak publicly about their disregard for the truth in pursuit of victory. His view on how to win in politics is both remarkable and remarkably depressing."

How often does Cillizza believe Harry Reid has lied compared to Donald Trump who Cillizza doesn't find depressing at all?

For the record, it's not so clear that Reid did lie. When he said it, Romney hadn't released the two years he'd release in October.

And if Romney paid-pretty low-taxes in a couple of years, this didn't mean he didn't pay zero other years. We still don't know as Romney never released it.

Meanwhile. Cillizza is not 'depressed' at all by Trump's pathological lying. Indeed, in his email interview with Norm Ornstein last week he claimed that there has been too much 'elitist' criticism of Trump.

Anyway, Harry Reid was on fire in the Senate today. Besides the line about Trump losing his Daddy's money, he had a number of three baggers:

"Seeking to shake up a tight presidential race, Harry Reid declared Tuesday on the Senate floor that Donald Trump is a “swindler” who is “not as rich as he would have us believe" — as the Nevada Democrat moved to reprise the 2012 strategy that saw him hammer Mitt Romney repeatedly over his tax returns."

"The Senate minority leader called out Trump for declining to release his tax returns several times on Tuesday, suggesting that it’s because those documents would show that Trump has far less wealth than he’s claimed. Trump has said his net worth is $10 billion."

Read more:

Politico is so cute: 'Trump has said' as if he ever should receive the benefit of the doubt. They should include the numbers from the fact checkers which show 70% of what he says is a bald faced lie.

“He was born with an inheritance but lost his daddy’s wealth … that’s why Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns. That’s certainly one of the reasons, of course: He is not worth nearly as much as he claims to be. That’s a secret he doesn’t want anyone to know,” Reid said in a scathing speech. “He wants everyone to think he’s this big, rich, rich man.”

"With just a handful of congressional days in session before the election, Reid is unleashing increasingly heated attacks on Trump and Senate Republicans supporting him. Last week he called Trump a "human leach" and suggested the business mogul is overweight, dropping the kinds of political bombs that most pro-Hillary Clinton Democrats wouldn't touch."

"Quoting Trump, Reid said that the GOP presidential nominee’s personal wealth fluctuates with the financial markets — which Reid said is cover for a man he said will be “scammer-in-chief.”

“Simply put, Trump is faking his net worth because he doesn’t want us to know that he’s not a good businessman,” Reid said. “Since 2008, Trump has not donated a single penny to his own charity … does he have money to donate? He says he does, but he doesn’t.”

Read more:

Frank Thorp has a list of Harry dingers:

Reid: "If elected, Donald Trump would be the scammer-in-chief. Trump is a fraud..."

Reid on Trump University: "He's done some doozies, but that's one of the best, the best scams."

Reid calls Trump a 'flim-flammer,' saying he "cheats charities."

This may be my favorite line other than the one that made the title:

"Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid calls the Trump Foundation "Donald Trump's personal ATM machine."

Yet, Cillizza that both sides do it hack, is seriously claiming that Harry Reid and not Donald Trump is the one who has a serious problem telling the truth.

P.S. Great piece by Daily News' Richard Cohen on 'Trump's Hitlerian Disregard for the Truth.'

I give Steve Colbert credit for calling Trump a liar, again, and again, and again.

Cohen also deserves credit for using the H word: Hitler as Trump is the American Hitler. As Obama says democracy is on the ballot. Against Hitler 2.0.

Stephen Colbert Could Never be a Journalist

Why? Because he tells the truth: Donald Trump is a liar. He's' a pathological liar. He lies at superhuman levels. His lies are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I have to quote LL Cool J: 'You are the largest liar that was ever created. You and Pinocchio are probably related, you're a liar.'

Someone should ask LL if that song was inspired by Donald Trump

Journalists usually prefer 'He said She said' journalism. Democrats say 2+2=4, Republicans say 2+2=9, opinions differ on what 2+2 really =.

There has been some signs since Trump fleeced cable tv again with that absurd birther infomercial.

Although the jury is still out.

Last night, though, Stephen Colbert showed how its' done.

"Stephen Colbert may have offered the definitive takedown Monday night of Donald Trump's effort to rewrite history on the whole birther saga."

"Over the course of a 10-minute segment, Colbert repeatedly called Trump a liar without directly saying so, using clips of Trump himself saying "liar" and "world-class liar" and talking in exasperated tones about Trump's bogus birtherism claims in a Friday news conference."

"After playing video of Trump saying he "finished" the birther controversy, Colbert went off."

“No you didn’t. No, you didn’t," Colbert said. "And I know you didn't because I was alive and on TV."

He added: "But you know what? Maybe memory is a tricky thing. Maybe I remember it one way ... and Donald Trump is a liar.”

Colbert then played a montage of Trump raising questions about Obama's birth certificate — even after 2011. While it's airing, he carves a wooden statuette of Rodin's "The Thinker." Afterward, he talked to the statue.

“What are you thinking about?" Colbert asked. "I’m thinking he’s a liar," Colbert-as-the-statuette responded.

Colbert concluded: "You don’t get to flog this issue for five years and then act like you’re correcting everybody else. We’re not crazy. We were there. We all saw you do it. Even the people who support you saw you do it. It’s why they support you.”

Uh oh. Be careful with what you say about his racist supporters. It is bad manners to call them deplorable.

Racism may be an unfortunate thing. But what is unforgivable is criticizing racists. The correct term for mixed company is 'economic anxiety.'

Those Already Dancing on Hillary's Grave Might Just Want to Hold Off

As usual, the expectations for Hillary as the first woman to be a major party nominee are just absurd. She's never allowed to miss dotting a single 'i' or crossing a single 't' or the media starts talking in terms that would make you think it's Watergate or something.

Ignoring that with a Trump Presidency it would be Watergate on steroids every single day.

Hillary has led this race basically wire to wire. A few times it's been tied or close to it. But if you were to average the polls over the entire election so far, she has been up by about 5 points on average.

This is about twice the average lead of Obama in 2012 and it's even above his average lead in 2008. And even if the race tightened she is ahead of where Obama was even now in either year.

"This story gets written every four years."

" On 9/18/12, Romney was +1.5 in RCP avg."

" On 9/18/2008, McCain was +4.5."

But as Hillary always gets a much tougher standard she has to lead by 10 points in every single poll or the Hillary haters get to come out of the woodwork and declare: 'Aha! I warned you she is a bad candidate.'

A bad candidate. My answer to this is always-compared to what? Compared to who? Generic Democrat doesn't exist. The media says nice things about Biden now because he's: not running.

You're always more popular when you're not running than when you're running. Hillary was at 64% favorability when she was Obama's' Secretary of State.

As for Republicans throwing shade about how 'bad a candidate' Hillary is, they are the last ones with any room to talk. She has certainly done expotentially better than their allegedly good candidates: Jeb/Marco/Kasich.

So she's ahead of Obama's pace in both years that he went onto win handily, and is blowing out the GOP candidates vs. Trump in the primary. But she's the bad candidate. Not Jeb who got beat by Trump 41-3. Not Scott Walker who flamed out. Not Little Marco-sorry but that name really fits him going by character-who lost to Trump by almost 20 points in his own state.

Now I actually started arguing over the weekend that Trump-may have-peaked.

I agree with my Twitter friend, The Skeptic:

"I'm thinking he reached his high watermark during that post Labor Day period but we can't take anything for granted."

My thoughts exactly. Meanwhile the conventional wisdom-which is usually wrong-has been awash with stories of the Trump Momentum.

But I agree with Skeptic. Last week's numbers were very noisy.

Meanwhile many people couldn't contain their glee. Howard Fineman can't even wait to write her post election obituary so he did it yesterday.

I had a very sharp response to that one. The word 'shameful' came up a lot.

Then you have the Bernier or Busters like Billmon who love tightening polls so he can gloat, 'You should have voted for Bernie.'

Anyone who is doing this is objectively helping Donald Trump. If you do everything you can to get her elected now and she still loses, then maybe after we can debate the pros and cons of her candidacy. Not now.

Anyway, the Hillary haters might want to hold off the premature obits-as Fineman literally wrote.
"#National NBCNews/SurveyMonkey tracking poll: Clinton 45 (+5) Trump 40 Johnson 10 Stein 4 H2H: Clinton 50 Trump 45."

These are likely voters, by the way.

"Hillary Clinton Regains Momentum Against Donald Trump: Poll."

That's impossible, Dilbert writer, Scott Adams, says Trump is a Master Persuader and Scott Adams is never wrong.

"Back on the campaign trail after being diagnosed with pneumonia and a subsequent break from campaigning, Hillary Clinton plugged her leaking lead against Donald Trump, according to this week's NBC News|SurveyMonkeyWeekly Election Tracking Poll."

"She now enjoys 50 percent support among likely voters and Trump has 45 percent support."

Even in the notoriously pro Trump USC/LA poll we see a small move in HRC"s favor today.

In my argument that maybe the Trump momentum is over I also cited favorability polls. In the Survey Monkey tracking poll, we see a big move her way in a week of 6 points.

She went from 39% favorable and 59% unfavorable to 43-57 respectively.

Obviously this is preliminary and we don't want to get ahead of ourselves yet. But the Survey Monkey poll also backs up what a pollster on Twitter said yesterday.

In field with multiple polls. Prelim suggests not quite as bad for HRC as last week. Also, underlines volatility

Monday, September 19, 2016

This is Donald Trump's Republican Party

Pop quiz. Who is less popular than Hillary Clinton, less popular even than Donald Trump? You guessed it. The Republican party.

Let's be clear here. Donald Trump's nomination was no mistake. To paraphrase Little Marco: Don't say the Republican party didn't know what it was doing when it nominated Donald Trump. It knew exactly what it was doing. 

Birtherism, for its part, was not invented by Trump though he was its bullhorn. Yesterday the Republican truly shamed and sullied itself in institutionalizing birtherism. 

"Trump Surrogates Have No Good Answers for the Birther story."

"That's our conclusion after watching the Sunday shows. Here was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on CNN: "It's not true that he kept it up for five years [after President Obama released his birth certificate in 2011]." In fact, we've listed these post-2011 tweets and statements that Trump made questioning Obama's citizenship. Here was Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway when asked on"Meet the Press" what led Trump to conclude that Obama was indeed born in the USA: "You'll have to ask him that. That's a personal decision." (The problem: Trump hasn't held a news conference in weeks.)"

"And here was VP running mate Mike Pence on ABC on what proof he had that Hillary Clinton was responsible for promoting the Birther story: "I understand the desire of many in the national media to change the subject from Hillary Clinton's disastrous record and her dishonesty, we're just not going to play that game. Donald Trump and I are going to continue to focus right where the American people are focused, and that's not on the debates of the past, it's on their future." So you see why this Birther story isn't a good one for the Trump campaign: The campaign and surrogates have no good answers."

Christie, the man who also knew exactly what he was doing with Bridgegate.

Then there is the shameful birther, Alex Castellanos.

"Alex Castellanos, who infamously called Hillary Clinton a "bitch" during a CNN broadcast in 2008, was at it again on NBC's Meet The Press when he described President Obama as not being normal.

During a moronic debate being fermented by Trump surrogates who are claiming Hillary Clinton created the Birther movement, Castellanos said, "There is an otherness to this president."

Conservatives have been trying to delegitimatize Obama's presidency since he ran for the oval office, but that is pure racism.

If he's not a secret Muslim, or born in Kenya, then he's an alien or "otherworldly."

Castellanos said, "I think the big question about Obama is not where he was born or his faith. The big question about Obama has been-- has he considered himself more of a globalist than an American? There is an otherness to this president."

There is NOT an otherness to President Obama. He's a normal, air breathing human being, living on planet earth.

Trump surrogates have taken this presidential campaign and crapped all over it and the American people.

Alex continued, "And people have tried to exploit that politically in different ways. The Clinton campaign tried to exploit it this way, the way their strategists said, by saying his lack of American roots is an issue."

This is a big, fat fu**ing lie.

Castellanos' entire segment was one of deception and bold faced lies Claiming that the Clinton campaign exploited the birther movement is as ridiculous as it is untrue. That may be why reporters have been scratching their heads ever since Trump made thos specious claim.

Cornell Belcher did a decent job in trying to smash that notion, but he's not as experienced as Castellanos.

Castellanos continued with his charade and said, "Before you answer, I have it here, from his memo, which Mark called "lack of American roots," in which Mark Penn says, quote, "I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not, at his center, fundamentally American in his thinking and values." Now, if Donald Trump had said that in 2008, we would all be sitting here saying, "Well, that was the start of Birtherism."

Yes. I saw the segment and truly felt like throwing up it was so vile. Belcher's problem is that he just doesn't come in ready to take on someone this mendacious a liar.

These are truly shameless people. Shameless is my word of the day.

Voting for Trump, much less being his surrogate is shameful and sullies you. If you are not voting for Hillary you are shameful as you are not doing your part to avoid the American Hitler.

Gary Johnson is the opposite of a progressive. He wants to gut regulations and the government and take it back to a Gilded Age economic model.

A nonvote for Hillary is a half vote for Donald Trump.

As for the Trumpsters, if you don't' see they are the modern Nazis, you haven't been paying attention. And they have not eschewed birtherism which had deep roots in the Republican party prior to Trump; he opportunistically realized how much mileage it would give him in the GOP primary.

The GOP is now officially the party of birtherism.

"Now, the claims that Clinton started birtherism, and that Trump stopped pushing it after he forced Obama to show his papers in 2011, are both lies. And all the moderators of these shows did a good job in pinning down their interviewees on these points."

"But in a way, to chase after those assertions is to get lost in a rabbit warren."

Exactly. The very discussion is a rabbit hole-or rabbit warren as Sargent puts it. The way the media is set up where they hate to call anyone a liar even if they are pathological liars like Trump and his campaign-we haven't even talked about Kellylann Conway's level of mendacity; she even had the gall to lecture Chuck Todd about reporters tweeting Trump criticism-there is some real benefit about a willingness to like shamelessly.

After all, even in debunking a lie you give it a certain privilege of place in the conversation. It is in some way legitimized even then.

Take the Hillary health conspiracies. Most of the media righty repudiated them. But then when she stumbled on 9/11, the media reaction was much more alarmist-because of the previous conspiracies.

What we need is the end of both sides journalism. This is how Chuck Todd failed. He allowed Castellanos and Conway to continue to lie. Todd evidently knows they are lies as he pointed that out in the First Read piece.

But let's face it, did more people read the FR piece or what the Sunday morning tv program? To call them out as liars in real time would have sent a powerful signal. I guess they're afraid Castellanos, Christie, and Conway won't' return if they are called out.

In other words, it's a win-win. 

The press must give up both sides did it journalism and simply report the truth.

But let's not kid ourselves. The GOP and Trump are no longer in any way separate entities. Trump is now the heart and soul of the Republican party.