The Phony Campaign

2016-10-30 Update

FBI Director James Covey announced that he's (let us not quibble) re-opening the criminal investigation into Hillary's shoddy e-mail practices, the Republicans cheer, the Democrats jeer, but what about the PredictWise bettors? Her win probability has plummeted to … 87%, four points down from last Monday. They seem to be taking things in stride.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, their polls-only forecast gives her a 78.6% shot, down about 5 points from last Monday. (But maybe when more polls come in over the next few days…)

This week's Getty illustration: Hillary, when the indictment comes in.

And the phony poll standings show a general decrease in phoniness hits for everyone. Which is inexplicable, unless those Google hit counts are meaningless! (Which, oh yeah, they are.)

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-10-24
"Donald Trump" phony 1,540,000 -370,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 1,040,000 -580,000
"Jill Stein" phony 428,000 -21,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 84,900 -4,800

  • Trump made hits this week by griping about "rigged" polls, who he claims are oversampling Democrats at the command of John Podesta:

    Here's how all of this affects you: When the people who control the political power in our society can rig investigations like her investigation was rigged, can rig polls -- you see these phoney [sic] polls, and rig the media, they can wield absolute power over your life, your economy and your country. And benefit big time by it.

    The argument: polls that show a decisive Hillary win demoralize Trump voters, who assume a position at their nearest dive bar instead of going to vote.

    Ah, but what about the scads of lazy Hillary voters who see her lead and say: "Ah, she's gonna win without me," and stay home?

    I have little love for left-leaning Politifact, but they rate Trump's claim "Pants on Fire", and their explanation seems credible even to this skeptic.

  • Gil "O" Tanenbaum wonders, at Jewish Business News: "Is Jill Stein A Political Hypocrite?". Spoiler: Gil thinks maybe yes.

    Is Jill Stein a phony when it comes to her attacks on big business? Well according to a report in The Daily Beast the Green Party candidate for President sure seems to be.

    I find it somewhat suprising that Jill's worth may be "as much as" $8.5 million. That's some cabbage right there. And apparently she hasn't made it by investing in exclusively socially conscious companies. Her mutual funds invest in nasty companies like Exxon, Chevron, Goldman Sachs, etc. Who do you think you are, Jill? Hillary?

  • My candidate, Gary Johnson, seems distinctly unmellow these days. He had an interview with a Guardian reporter, and …

    But then Johnson was asked about his tax policy. The reporter said he hasn’t found a single economist who agrees with him.

    Johnson lost it and shouted at him about marijuana legalization and how people told him it couldn’t be done. When asked about what this has to do with taxation, he said, “It’s leadership. It is leadership.”

    Video at the link, your own call on whether Gary should go back on his legal-in-some-states meds. I'm still voting for him.

  • Your quote du jour is Mencken wisdom, via Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution:

    I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself – that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know: I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can’t make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with them, and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of.

    Related is the well-known poker aphorism: "If you don’t see a sucker at the table, you’re it."

  • And more tweet-sized wisdom from Iowahawk:

    "Indeed."


Last Modified 2016-10-30 3:27 PM EST