The Phony Campaign — 2015-06-28 Update

[phony baloney]

Joe Biden is back, baby, with PredictWise judging him with a 2% shot of being our next president. And so:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 1,240,000 -12,460,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 431,000 +20,000
"Rand Paul" phony 181,000 -8,000
"Donald Truemp" phony 179,000 +6,000
"Joe Biden" phony 138,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 116,000 -4,000
"Scott Walker" phony 96,200 -1,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 85,800 -400

  • At the Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson wends his way through old Hillary biographies written by her admirers. (Why? Because of "the general principle that you can learn more about someone from his friends than from his enemies.") Andrew marvels at the mental acrobatics as Hillary fans gingerly describe her sleazy behavior.

    The Hillary Paradox consists of two perceptions that are irreconcilable. The first is that Hillary Clinton is a person of uncommon decency, compassionate and deeply committed to justice. The second is that many of her actions over many years are the work of a person who couldn’t possibly be uncommonly decent. How could someone with a wonderful reputation so often behave disreputably?

    I, and probably you, have no problem with jettisoning the first perception. But for Hillary devotees, it's unshakeably tied up with their self-perception.

    Anyway, if you've forgotten the days of bimbo eruptions, White House Travel Office firings, Whitewater, cattle futures, Rose Law billing records, and the rest, Andrew provides a refresher course. If PredictWise is to be believed, there's a very good chance we're headed for more of the same.

  • At the WSJ, Ben Zimmer springboards from this observation:

    When Donald Trump gave a speech announcing his candidacy for president last week, he seemed to utter whatever thoughts popped into his uniquely coiffed head.

    As Mark Plotkin, a contributor to the Hill newspaper, put it, “To say he has ‘no filter’ would be a gigantic understatement.”

    … to a lively entomological history of how the "no filter" terminology was coined and popularized over the years.

    I'm all for "no filter" in theory. In practice, however, would we really want a president who was in the habit of saying the first thing that popped into his head? I see downsides.

  • "America's Liberty" PAC submits a fake ad, good for a chuckle:

    There is also a "Bailout Bush" website (where, beware, the video above autoplays).

    America's Liberty PAC "is a Super PAC created for and dedicated to, electing Senator Rand Paul President of the United States in 2016. It is the only Super PAC endorsed by Senator Paul." There's no mention, as near as I can tell of the Paul connection on the "Bailout Bush" page. But due to the wackiness of campaign finance laws, there is the phony declaration: "Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee."

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Who's the Bully?

A local activist, Jerry DeLemus, recently announced his desire to run a "draw Muhammad" contest right here in New Hampshire.

This prompted my local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat, to run an editorial in opposition: "'Draw Muhammad' contest is just bullying". You can read the whole thing at the link, but in summary: the word "hate" appears 8 times (with "hateful" also making an appearance); "anti-Muslim" thrice.

Their final paragraph:

In our view, freedom of speech is not under attack. Freedom of speech is alive and well in New Hampshire and across America. What’s under attack is the right of our Muslim friends and neighbors to practice their religion in peace without fear that provocative acts by fools like [Pamela] Geller and DeLemus will incite violence in equally foolish extremists.

I wrote a brief letter to the editor in response:

A recent Foster's editorial opined that a local 'Draw Muhammad' contest is "just bullying".

Let's do a quick thought experiment:

Person A proposes to engage in activity that most people agree is fully protected by the First Amendment. He threatens nobody, and nobody is being forced to witness, attend, or publicize the event.

Person B, enraged, attempts to thwart person A's activity via the use of force, threats, coercion, and intimidation.

Who's the bully? If you're a Foster's editorial writer, apparently the answer is "Person A".

To quote a character from a favorite movie: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

I could have made this longer, but I wanted to make it short and pithy. I had had a longer letter on the same subject published last month.

But I'll add here: Contra Foster's, I'd say the vision of an America where people are free to say, within broad limits, pretty much anything seems to be strongly under attack.

Foster's worry that DeLemus's event might "incite violence" strongly implies that Muslims are uniquely prone to such reactions. (But it's not their fault! The poor dears were provoked!)

This strikes me as a weird condescending bigotry toward the Muslim community. Fragile flowers! But dangerous! We can't expect them to follow the same rules the rest of us do!

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The Phony Campaign — 2015-06-21 Update

[phony baloney]

A shakeup at PredictWise results in big changes in our phony poll. In this week: Bernie and The Donald (which would be a pretty good name for a rock band). Out: O'Malley, Biden, and Perry (which would be a pretty good name for a very boring law firm).

And Jeb sees a huge increase in phony hits. Probably one of those illusory Google glitches. Given that our methodology here (as we've said before) proves absolutely nothing, we're not too worried about that.

And I would be OK with a Paul/Sanders ticket. However unlikely that would be in the real world. I would definitely buy a bunch of bumperstickers just to splice out the "ers".

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 13,700,000 +12,739,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 411,000 -3,000
"Rand Paul" phony 189,000 +2,000
"Donald Truemp" phony 173,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 120,000 -6,000
"Scott Walker" phony 97,200 -5,800
"Bernie Sanders" phony 86,200 -

  • As always occurs after a bloodbath perpetrated by someone with a nest of spiders living in his brain, politicians could not wait a decent interval to pontificate that the horror perfectly demonstrated what they've been saying all along; and demand that actions be taken that would have had no preventative effect on the crime.

    Sometimes they weave in fundraising requests while waving the bloody shirt; demanding money, in addition to new "gun control" legislation. And fervently hoping that nobody will notice that their 12-point official "Vision" page contains zero references to gun control.

    Yes, this issue became serious when it could be used as campaign fodder. Before that, not so much.

    As I've noted before, here at Pun Salad, we try to adhere to the Elvis Costello rule: "I used to be disgusted, and now I try to be amused." But events sometimes drag me back to disgust.

  • One of our new entries, Donald Trump, is the subject of, not one, but two Kevin D. Williamson articles at NR. Sample:

    Donald Trump, being Donald Trump, announced his candidacy at Trump Plaza, making a weird grand entrance via escalator — going down, of course, the symbolism of which is lost on that witless ape. But who could witness that scene — the self-made man who started with nothing but a modest portfolio of 27,000 New York City properties acquired by his millionaire slumlord father, barely out of his latest bankruptcy and possibly headed for another one as the casino/jiggle-joint bearing his name sinks into the filthy mire of the one U.S. city that makes Las Vegas look respectable, a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth — and not see the peerless sign of our times?

    Kevin's not a fan. Both articles worth your while.

  • We were pretty tough on Mitt Romney in the past. He never shook off Jonah Goldberg's 2008 observation that if you pushed the mute button when he was speaking on TV, he seemed to be saying: What do I have to do to put you in this BMW today?.

    So (naturally) my attention was pricked by a CBS News story: "Mitt Romney: Hillary Clinton is a phony." It refers to Mitt's MSNBC appearance, reacting to Hillary's campaign kickoff, where he observed:

    "I thought the text touched the various places she needs to touch to try and keep her base intact," Romney said. "Somehow, though, when you see her on a stage or she comes into a room full of people, she's smiling with her mouth, but her eyes are saying, you know, 'Where's my latte?' It just doesn't' suggest that she believes everything she's saying."

    Some enterprising people should wave homemade signs at Hillary's rallies: "Hillary, I have your latte!"

  • The Daily Sheeple (motto: "Wake the Flock Up!") asks: Want to Know If a Presidential Candidate Is a Phony?" Well, sure we do. Their recommended method:

    Do you wish there was a fast and easy way to tell if one of the front running presidential candidates is a big fat phony? Well fret not, because such a method exists. All you have to do is run the name of their twitter account through, and find out how many of their followers are bots and shills. Obviously, if someone is willing to buy a bunch of fake followers, then they’re probably a pretty disingenuous person.

    The various candidates are ranked, and the phoniest will surprise you!

    Well, that's not actually true. The phoniest candidate won't surprise you.

  • Your tweet of the week:

    Apparently only 90 minutes apart! Impressive!

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The Phony Campaign — 2015-06-14 Update

[phony baloney]

PredictWise punters have dropped Elizabeth Warren below our (arbitrary) 2% probability threshold for becoming our next president. But Joe Biden's back at 2%. And we welcome Rick Perry to our poll for the first time; he's also at 2%.

So our adjusted lineup:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 961,000 -599,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 414,000 +13,000
"Martin O'Malley" phony 228,000 -61,000
"Rand Paul" phony 187,000 -3,000
"Joe Biden" phony 146,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 126,000 +16,000
"Rick Perry" phony 104,000 -
"Scott Walker" phony 103,000 -5,000

  • Rand Paul's campaign store will sell you a genuine fake Hillary's Hard Drive for a measly $99.95.

    CLEARANCE SALE! You've read about it on the news, now you can get one for yourself. Hillary's Hard Drive. 100% genuine erased clean email server. Buyer beware, this product has had heavy use and it currently is no longer working, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable to someone. Anyone?

    Limited edition. We have 80 of these and when they're gone, they're gone forever.

  • The best twitter-sized summary of Hillary's campaign "relaunch" event:

    As an additional echo of the 1930s, the event was held on Roosevelt Island, named after FDR.

  • Marco Rubio wasted no time in rebuttal:

    As a number of others pointed out: Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal are actually younger than the song "Yesterday", which was first recorded exactly 50 years ago today.

    Did any of the 1964 candidates try to make a point by referring to songs from 1914? Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral, anyone?

  • Did Martin O'Malley tax the rain when he was governor of Maryland? Nay, says Media Matters for America; that's a "bogus conservative media talking point."

    Conservative media responds:

    If you want to be technical about it, it taxed any impervious surfaces on which rain falls. Defenders prefer to call it a ‘stormwater fee’, but that’s another way of saying rain tax.

    I love semantic quibbles, don't you?

  • In phony news, Jeb Bush visited Europe, and seems to have made it back gaffe-free, dashing the hopes of mainstream media.

    Well, except for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who claimed to detect an "Awkward stumble for Jeb Bush in Poland". What was it? Well, Jeb met with Radoslaw "Radek" Sikorski, who recently resigned his post, roughly equivalent to the US's Speaker of the House.

    Why did Sikorski resign? Well, he was among the Polish pols secretly recorded at a "fancy Warsaw restaurant" making off the cuff remarks. Including:

    Sikorski called Poland’s alliance with the United States “bull—-” and “worthless” before comparing the relationship to oral sex.

    So Maddow (as near as I can tell, alone among commentators) found Jeb's meeting with Sikorski to be a "flub". [She ignores, of course, that Sikorski was criticizing recent American foreign policy, under the dreadful stewardship of Obama/Clinton. Maddow elides that context, claiming that Sikorski was trashing the US in general.]

    Or at least I think that was her point, because I had to wade through an amazing amount of Maddow's shtick and folderol before she even got around to making this point. And I bailed about halfway through. I don't understand how people have the patience to endure such a low signal-to-noise ratio.

    Not necessarily a partisan issue; I don't listen to Maddow's counterparts on "my" side either. Not even John Stossel, who I like.

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Microsoft Stops Shooting Self in Foot

Student e-mail at the University Near Here is run by Microsoft "in the cloud", They don't do an awful job (just don't get me started on their customer support). But they have their own "Code of Conduct". And (sensibly enough) we've felt obligated to at least let our students know where to find it.

Here is where we've directed the kiddos. Calling it broad is an understatement. But one bit kind of stuck in my craw, under "Prohibited Uses":

You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, distribute or facilitate distribution of any content (including text, images, sound, video, data, information or software) or otherwise use the service in a way that […] promotes or otherwise facilitates the purchase and sale of ammunition or firearms.

Yes, gun stuff is right out. It seems to be the only category of otherwise legal commerce that Microsoft saw fit to prohibit.

Other people have noticed and criticized this provision. (See here, here, here, here.) And the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a fuller criticism here. Also note that Microsoft has no problem in marketing the heck out of "shooter" games for the Xbox. (Is that irony? I can never tell.)

Anyway, Microsoft came out recently with "Updates to our terms of use and privacy statement" which points us here.

Blessedly absent: any reference to firearms or ammunition.

"Hate speech" is still banned, though. Which I hate.

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UNH: Retirement Looking Better Every Day

One of those little coincidences. First was a University-wide e-mail from the president of the University Near Here, Mark Huddleston. The subject line:

President Huddleston Addresses Title IX and Campus Culture

Anyone who's followed recent news can only read that with a sinking feeling of dread.

You can read the President Huddleston's letter right here yourself. But I'll excerpt here:

With commencement and other end of academic year celebrations behind us, it is a good time to look ahead to the upcoming year. At the end of March, I shared the findings of an independent investigation, which in part evaluated Title IX efforts across the University System of New Hampshire. The report, among other findings, specifically identified the need for stronger coordination and collaboration related to all our Title IX efforts.

You can see the report to which President Huddleston refers here, which details alleged institutional failings in dealing with employee misbehavior at UNH and Keene State. To a certain extent, it's a natural bureaucratic response: we'll solve this (perceived) problem by creating new bureaucracy.

But wait, there's more:

However, as I said in March, our work around Title IX must move beyond rules and simple compliance. While these things are important, we must address the broader and more complex factors in our culture that keep us from becoming the kind of community to which we aspire. A safe and healthy campus is one grounded in widely shared values and deeply rooted norms of behavior wherein people respect and take care of one another.

Bottom line: UNH is getting a "task force", starting out as a "working group" which will develop an "action plan" to… Oh, I'm sure it will involve above-average arrogance and self-righteousness in service to the latest buzzwords, all wrapped up in who-could-possibly-be-against-that language.

I, for one, welcome our new Title IX overlords who will be in charge of enforcing "widely shared values" and "deeply rooted norms". Nothing could go wrong there.

The second part of the coincidence mentioned above: Jessica Gavora (Jonah Goldberg's readers know her as "the Fair Jessica") writes in the WSJ today on "How Title IX Became a Political Weapon"

Since its passage 43 years ago, Title IX has proved to be a remarkably elastic law. It has been stretched and warped from its original intent to end discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding. As long as Title IX’s victims were wrestlers or swimmers from low-revenue men’s sports that were jettisoned to achieve participation-parity with women’s sports, nobody much cared. But now that the law is being turned into a tool to suppress free speech on college campuses, even liberals are starting to cry foul.

Ms. Gavora's article should be recommended reading for anyone on President Huddleston's task force. Fearless prediction: it will not be read by anyone on President Huddleston's task force.

Last Modified 2015-06-09 6:51 AM EDT
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The Phony Campaign — 2015-06-07 Update

[phony baloney]

Rules are rules, even arbitrary ones. And our rule is: PredictWise has to show a 2% or above probability for inclusion in our phony poll. So once again we bid adieu to VP Joe Biden:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 1,560,000 +662,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 401,000 -92,000
"Martin O'Malley" phony 289,000 -125,000
"Rand Paul" phony 190,000 -26,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 110,000 -19,000
"Scott Walker" phony 108,000 -49,000
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 82,700 -12,300

Announcing their candidacies this past week: Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Lincoln Chafee. So far, PredictWise judges their chances as between slim and none. (Ditto the previously-announced candidates Sanders, Fiorina, Cruz, Carson, Huckabee, Santorum, and Pataki.)

  • The Washington Free Beacon headline: "ThinkProgress Finds Linguist Who Doesn’t Want You To Mock Hillary’s Phony Southern Accent".

    And it's true! Robin Dodsworth, an Associate Professor in Linguistics at North Carolina State University pointed out to ThinkProgress that when Hillary slathers on the cornpone, she's simply "trying to get people to like her, and trying to fit in."

    To adapt one of James Taranto's shticks: what would we do without Associate Professors in Linguistics?

  • You'll note that Elizabeth Warren still appears in our phony poll. The betting market undergirding the Predictwise probabilities has decided to shrug off the sad news that "Run Warren Run", a group backing her imaginary candidacy, has decided to throw in the towel. In The Hill story announcing the end of the effort, the reporter observes:

    But while the calls never publicly moved the needle toward a Warren presidential campaign, the groups point to their efforts as a main reason Clinton burst out of the gate taking progressive stances on issues like income inequality and campaign finance reform.

    Corollary: nobody believes that Hillary came to these "stances" via any deep-held conviction.

  • I'm sympathetic to the libertarian argument that the NSA goes too far in accumulating vast amounts of data about the phone calls of Americans neither accused nor suspected of any criminal activity.

    (Sometimes this is fudged by calling it "metadata". I demur. I don't think that's correct usage of the meta- prefix. What's being collected is data, plain and simple.)

    Pretty much the only Republican candidate who comes close to my position on this issue is Rand Paul.

    So it's distressing when Paul goes out and steps on his own d—erm, his own tie while arguing for this worthy cause.

    While addressing the Senate Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul said that opponents of his efforts to end the NSA’s bulk data collection and force an expiration of the Patriot Act “secretly want” a terror attack on the U.S. so they can blame Paul for it.

    To his credit, Paul walked back this stupid accusation later, but he badly needs a real-time filter on the stuff he says "in the heat of battle" if he wants my primary vote.

  • The NYT found it newsworthy that Marco Rubio (and his wife) had combined for 17 traffic citations in Florida in the past 18 years. ("Mr. Rubio with four and his wife with 13.")

    Ye gods.

    The Twitterverse leapt into action with #RubioCrimeSpree. It's difficult to pick one, but:

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The Phony Campaign — 2015-05-31 Update

[phony baloney]

After a few weeks' absence, Joe Biden struggles back into the phony poll, with the PredictWise oddsmakers putting him at a 2% probability of being Our Next President.

This gives our poll an even split: 4 Dems, 4 Gops.

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 898,000 -152,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 493,000 +92,000
"Martin O'Malley" phony 414,000 +314,800
"Rand Paul" phony 216,000 -168,000
"Scott Walker" phony 157,000 +55,000
"Joe Biden" phony 144,000 -
"Marco Rubio" phony 129,000 +23,000
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 95,000 +9,200

  • One of my favorite fiction writers, Carl Hiaasen, is quite put out: "Jeb Bush raises tons of money, loses credibility"

    The following words were actually spoken last week by Jeb Bush’s non-campaign spokesperson: “Governor Bush is actively exploring a run. He has not made a final decision.”

    Every grownup in America knows this is a lie.

    Good point. It's a legal fiction designed to tap-dance around the arcane financing rules imposed on declared candidates. As long as he's not official, Jeb can raise money for his Super PAC.

    Trivia: You can see the Federal Election Commission's list of the—as I type—356 declared candidates here. Of the eight names above, four appear in the FEC list: (Clinton, Paul, Rubio, Walker); four are absent (Bush, O'Malley, Biden, Warren). Considering the latter group, my guess is that O'Malley's official FEC Form 2 Statement of Candidacy is in the mail. There's a pretty good chance that neither Biden nor Warren will run. So what's Jeb waiting for? (Some sober analysis here.)

    By the way: It's easy to dismiss 345 or so of those FEC-declared candidates as "delusional". And, I confess, I was about to do that. But if we're going to start picking apart candidates on their personality traits and psychological abnormality…

    Oh, wait a minute that's what we do here. So, yeah: delusional.

    Back to Hiaasen: he picked a mighty convenient time window in which to make his complaint about Jeb. Hillary announced on April 13, and before that she was in the same position Jeb is now. Where was Hiaasen then? And Jeb is expected to declare in a couple weeks, after which Hiaasen's point would be moot.

    And note that declared candidate Hillary continues to personally court donors for Super PAC "Priorities USA". Given Hiaasen's sputtering outrage at Jeb's Super PAC antics, you'd expect at least a mention of that. Instead, crickets. Or, for Hiaasen, swamp cicadas.

    This is why I pretty much stick to the fraction of Hiaasen's writing that's explicitly labeled "fiction".

  • In 2006, Elizabeth Warren co-wrote a book that (among other things) decried as "myth" the notion that “you can make big money buying houses and flipping them quickly.”

    And—I bet you can see this coming—at National Review, Jillian Kay Melchior and Eliana Johnson detail how Senator Warren previously made big money by buying houses and flipping them quickly.

    If she runs, one of her campaign slogans will need to be: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do."

  • As many people noted this week, Hillary's fake southern accent reappeared, after a four-year absence, while campaigning in South Carolina.

  • Byron York covers Martin O'Malley's campaign announcement in Baltimore, miraculously unmarred by gunfire. Enjoy the identity politics:

    The first speaker was black, gay, and an illegal immigrant. The young man, Jonathan Jayes-Green, told the crowd that his family came to the United States from Panama legally — "in search of the American Dream" — when he was 13 years old. "But our path to that American Dream became complicated when our visa expired and we became undocumented," Jayes-Green said.


    One might think that with Jayes-Green's appearance, O'Malley had covered the gay marriage issue. Actually, no. The next speaker, Johns Hopkins student Joseph Weinstein-Avery, stressed that he was just an everyday Baltimore guy — "I love my Orioles and my Ravens" — going to school and hoping to enter public service some day. "I'm a grandson, a son, a nephew and a friend," Weinstein-Avery said. "I'm your next door neighbor's kid — all thanks to the job that my two moms did raising me."

    Yes, I am talking about the hyphenated last names. Democrats are totally pandering to the hyphenated-last-name voters.

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Memorial Day 2015

[Memorial Day]

Story here.

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The Phony Campaign — 2015-05-24 Update

[phony baloney]

Our PredictWise lineup remains unchanged this week, and Jeb maintains his healthy phony lead on the field:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 1,050,000 -410,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 401,000 +19,000
"Rand Paul" phony 384,000 +222,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 106,000 -2,000
"Scott Walker" phony 102,000 +7,000
"Martin O'Malley" phony 99,200 -540,800
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 85,800 -4,200

But what are the phony stories behind those numbers?

  • The application to US Presidential politics is indirect, but I got a chuckle reading the incoherent leftist rant at Salon by one Andrew O'Hehir: "London as neoliberal theme park: The Platform 9 ¾ economy and the Tories’ shocking victory". In case you hadn't heard, you clueless Muggle, this is a reference to the London terminus of the Hogwarts Express at King's Cross station, from the Harry Potter books; it recently was granted a permanent home at the non-fictional station. O'Hehir is having none of it:

    Nothing quite so blatantly sums up the victory of neoliberalism in 21st-century London, and that city’s relentless commodification of every aspect of its literary and historical legacy, like Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross. If anything, the vulgarity and banality of Platform 9 ¾ are too blatant; it’s a crack in the façade that demonstrates how thoroughly London has become Londonland, a nearly convincing scavenger-hunt simulation of itself, chock-full of royal bones and references to Dan Brown novels. To enter Westminster Abbey – which is still nominally a house of worship for the Anglican Communion, rather than a historical theme park – now costs 44 pounds for a family of four, or about $68. (The Catholic Church has abundant problems, but it still has some pride; a few days later we visited Notre Dame in Paris, for free.)

    Andrew is pretty peeved not just about the Tory win, but also free-market capitalism in general, and just about everything he sees reminds him of the neoliberal menace. The American connection?

    Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush may yearn for smoochy photo-ops with Cameron in order to engage white America’s kneejerk Anglophilia, or because they swoon for his plummy Oxonian accent and long to meet his deep-pockets pals in the City of London. But if Cameron were American … well, it’s a useless thought experiment, because aristocratic, London-bred dudes like him – directly descended from the profoundly mediocre King William IV and distantly related to the current queen – are quintessentially not American. At any rate, Cameron is far too bland, far too internationalist and far too free of Jesus to be a viable Republican in any state south of New Hampshire, or in any era since about 1988.

    Nothing personal about Cameron, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be viable in New Hampshire either. (It's just a rumor that we keep electing Maggie Hassan because low-information voters confuse her with Maggie Thatcher.)

  • At MSNBC, Joe Scarborough mused on the hypothetical fate of a hypothetical Hillary campaign aide who might hypothetically suggest Hill take unscripted questions from the press:

    “That would be the aide’s last morning working for Hillary Clinton,” Scarborough said. “Have prepared text, have your phony town hall meetings with phony people and lobbyists. … They don’t have to talk to the press for a year.”

    For example…

  • Hillary visited our fair state and… immediately forgot where she was.

    Hillary Clinton misstated her location at a campaign event today in New Hampshire. Instead of saying New Hampshire, the presidential candidate said, "Here in Washington."

    Senile? Or, given that she was speaking at Smuttynose Brewery, surrounded by beer, perhaps just drunk?

    In any case, if she can't avoid making silly flubs in prepared remarks, it should be little surprise that she's desperately afraid of taking unscripted queries.

  • This week at least, Hillary's say-anything-to-win strategy translates into the tactic of sounding like a left-wing demagogue without actually taking any specific left-wing positions. Reporting from Smuttynose:

    On Friday in New Hampshire, Clinton spoke with a passionate, progressive voice, pounding away at Republicans for “jumping on the bandwagon” to kill the Export-Import Bank, whose authorization in Congress is set to expire June 30. It was a safe call, to say the least: House Democrats support the bank. Moderate Democrats such as Sen. Chuck Schumer support the bank. A liberal like Sen. Elizabeth Warren? She’s pro-bank, too.

    “It is wrong that Republicans in Congress are now trying to cut off this vital lifeline for American small businesses,” said Clinton, at the SmuttyNose Brewery in Hampton. Republicans, she said, would threaten the livelihoods of American workers rather than “stand up to the Tea Party and talk radio. It’s wrong, it’s embarrassing.”

    Hillary's claim that Ex-Im benefits small business is utter bullshit, unsupported by facts. (More, if you need it, here.) It speaks to the gullible dimwittedness of the reporter who detected a "passionate, progressive voice" raised in defense of that creaky New Deal-era monument to corrupt crony capitalism. (The reporter is slightly redeemed for noticing that this was an utterly "safe" position for Hillary to take.)

Last Modified 2015-05-24 9:33 PM EDT
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