The Phony Campaign

2019-10-20 Update

[Amazon Link]

Betfair bettors are stubbornly holding on to their (≥ 2%) hopes/fears of a Hillary/Pence presidency come 2020, and these two very dark horses remain in our table this week.

Biggest gainer: Bernie! Who showed that he was alive, feisty, and still firmly in the thrall of socialist fantasies in the recent debate.

Biggest loser: Elizabeth Warren, who demonstrated in that same debate that she can ignore requests for a simple yes/no answer. I suppose ignoring questions, hitting your talking points instead for the Nth time, impresses some people.

I'm just saying that she might not pass a Turing Test that way.

President Bone Spurs holds on to his solid lead in phony hits, although Mayor Pete is showing signs of a phony surge:

Candidate WinProb Change
Donald Trump 41.5% +0.3% 1,240,000 -630,000
Pete Buttigieg 4.3% +1.3% 720,000 +95,000
Hillary Clinton 2.3% -0.8% 694,000 -14,000
Bernie Sanders 4.7% +1.9% 453,000 -38,000
Joe Biden 9.3% -0.5% 395,000 -2,000
Elizabeth Warren 24.7% -2.9% 211,000 -28,000
Mike Pence 2.0% -0.1% 143,000 +31,000
Andrew Yang 2.3% -0.3% 31,400 -134,600

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • Reason's Billy Binion found a silly exchange in the debate: Kamala Harris Demands That Warren Promise To Ban Trump From Twitter.

    When it comes to politics, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) is "For The People." When it comes to Twitter, though, she would like to put the fate of President Donald Trump's account in the hands of one powerful man: CEO Jack Dorsey.

    "He and his account should be taken down," said Harris during Tuesday night's debate, facing off against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) who declined to support the move.

    Damn, that Kamala is one nasty piece of work. Is there another candidate so obviously aching to get into a position of power so that she can bend people to her iron will?

    Fortunately, she seems to be toast, candidacy-wise.

  • Joe's kid Hunter was not only on the board of Chinese and Ukrainian companies; back in 2006 he was appointed to Amtrak's board. Why? As Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon reports: Hunter Biden's One Qualification for Amtrak Board Was Taking Trains.

    That's according to his father Joe Biden's Delaware colleague in the Senate, Tom Carper, who offered the sole nomination speech for the younger Biden when his name was presented in the Senate Commerce Committee. In his prepared remarks, Carper said Biden would be an "excellent addition" to the board, but was unable to list any reason beyond his frequent use of trains.

    "More significantly, Hunter has spent a lot of time on Amtrak trains," Carper said after listing schools Biden attended. "Like his father, Rep. Mike Castle and myself, Hunter Biden has lived in Delaware while using Amtrak to commute to his job in Washington, D.C."

    I can't easily find Hunter's Amtrak salary, but this site claims the average executive compensation is north of $230K/year. And all you need to to qualify, apparently, is to have train-riding experience! And it doesn't hurt to have a powerful politician daddy.

  • With the other candidates hatching their crazy, stupid, and unconstitutional "plans", Bernie apparently thought he needed to make his own contribution in that area. At Cato, Ryan Bourne looks at The Economic Consequences of Sen. Sanders' Stock Confiscation Plan.

    Bernie Sanders would confiscate 20 percent ownership stakes in 22,000 companies, distributing the stocks to workers through shared employee ownership funds. His “Corporate Accountability Plan,” announced yesterday, should lay to bed any lingering doubts that “democratic socialism” is just about social democracy, or a bigger welfare state. Rather, it amounts to a fundamental attempt to re-order the American economy through federal government edicts.

    Under Sanders’ “Democratic Employee Ownership Funds,” all publicly traded companies and those with at least $100 million in annual revenue would have to contribute 20 percent of their stock to “workers” over a decade, creating an “employee-controlled fund” that distributes any dividends to employees. Unlike ordinary stocks, workers couldn’t sell or transfer the stocks in their name. Instead, the fund would be managed by elected worker representatives, with ordinary voting rights. Worker representatives would also make up at least 45 percent of boards in firms with at least $100 million in annual revenue, $100 million balance sheets, and publicly traded companies.

    I like that bit about being unable to sell your stocks in a plan billed as giving ownership in their companies.

    Bernie, if you can't sell something, you don't own it.

  • There was also a recent CNN "Town Hall" featuring the Democrat candidates. In our "Of Course They Did" departnment: MSNBC Praises Warren's 'Authentic' Answer to Campaign Donor's Question.

    An MSNBC panel praised Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) for being "so authentic" after the 2020 candidate went viral for her answer to a campaign donor's question about same-sex marriage at a CNN town hall.

    MSNBC analyst Zerlina Maxwell said Warren's viral zinger demonstrated how authentic she can be, and questioned whether a male candidate could have mustered such a response. "I don't know how a guy would have answered that question, but I think one of the things that's so great about that moment is it's just her authentic personality," Maxwell said.

    "So authentic," fellow analyst Lauren Leader said.

    CNN did not disclose the questioner (from Texas) was a maxed-out contributor to Liz's (Massachusetts) Senatorial campaign in 2018. Leaving open the possibility that it was a phony softball question designed for Liz to hit out of the Little League park.

  • In our "Not Only On That" department, Peter Suderman at Reason: On Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren Is Fundamentally Dishonest.

    Elizabeth Warren is being fundamentally dishonest about Medicare for All. Not just vague. Not just evasive. Not just dodgy. Dishonest

    At last night's Democratic primary debate, Warren repeatedly refused to admit something that is obviously true: that Medicare for All, the single-payer health care plan envisioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) that Warren says she supports, would require higher taxes on most Americans, including the middle class. 

    We know that this is true because the plan would, according to multiple independent estimates as well as Sanders himself, cost somewhere in the range of $30 or $40 trillion over a decade. (A new estimate of the type of plan that Warren and Sanders support puts the cost at just a hair over $34 trillion.) That's $30 or $40 trillion in new government spending, on top of the federal spending that would have occurred otherwise. And as Sanders—who likes to remind people that he "wrote the damn bill"—has said on many occasions, that means higher taxes. Sanders has not proposed tax revenues that are sufficient to cover the cost of his plan. But he has, at least, been clear that higher taxes are part of the deal. 

    So there's every indication that Liz should be much higher in our phony polling. Maybe it's rigged! Google, are you up to somethin'?

  • And the Daily Caller reports another all-too-convenient, unverifiable, Warren Tale of Victimization, told in an inappropriate venue: Liz Warren Once Eulogized A Man By Accusing Him Of Sexual Harassment In Front Of His Children.

    Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren once eulogized a former colleague by accusing him of sexual harassment in front of his ex-wife and children, according to a profile of the presidential candidate in the Washington Post.

    Warren, who got her first full-time teaching job at the University of Houston, returned to campus 15 years later to deliver a eulogy for UH law professor Eugene Smith. Smith was a “champion” of Warren, according to WaPo, and specifically requested she speak at his funeral after he passed away from polio complications.

    May I just stop to gripe a bit here: I doubt that Prof Smith asked Liz to speak after he passed away. That would be the big story here.

    The WaPo story is clearer. But the key point: "Some wondered whether it was physically possible for Smith to have done what Warren described."

  • [Amazon Link]
    Pun Salad has been going too easy on Andrew Yang, because, darn it, I kind of like him. He seems to be slightly less obviously power-hungry than the other Democrats, and I have the feeling that you could at least talk to him without being accused of being deplorable. But Rich Lowry, at the NYPo disagrees with one of his key allegations: Andrew Yang’s (phantom) robot menace.

    To hear Yang tell it, robots are on the verge of ripping an irreparable hole in the American job market. He is particularly alarmed by the potential advent of autonomous vehicles. According to Yang, “all you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society.” He predicts that in a few years, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work,” and “all hell breaks loose.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Yang’s fear of automation in general and self-driving cars in particular is completely insane.

    It can’t be that the only thing holding our society together is the fact that cars and trucks must be operated by people. If innovations in transportation were really the enemy, we would have been done in long ago by the advent of ­canals, then railroads, then automobiles and highways.

    Yeah, Andy. Calm down. You don't want to be a case study in the next edition of Virginia Postrel's The Future and its Enemies. (Link at right.)

  • And Amy Klobuchar is long gone, baby, gone from our phony poll, and as the Daily Show demonstrates, she should Keep Her Day Job, because she does not have a future as a professional comedian.

Last Modified 2019-10-20 5:04 PM EDT