The Phony Campaign

2020-09-06 Update

Our Eye Candy du Jour is from puppeteer/ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham, bringing his talents to stage a phony debate, probably much better than the ones we'll actually get:

The betting markets continued to look more favorably on Trump over the week; he managed to shrink his win-probability disadvantage by another 1.8 percentage points. If you're interested, the RealClearPolitics folks have a Betting Odds page where they track a number of different markets, compute their own average, and have a nice time series plot that shows the dramatic seesaw battle.

In phony news, President Bone Spurs lost about half his phony hits. No, they were never there in the first place. Google hit counts are bogus.

He's still comfortably in the lead, though.

Candidate WinProb Change
Since
8/30
Phony
Results
Change
Since
8/30
Donald Trump 45.2% +0.6% 3,420,000 -3,360,000
Joe Biden 51.8% -1.2% 1,140,000 -620,000
Jo Jorgensen 0.0% unch 102,000 +78,800
Howie Hawkins 0.0% unch 80,000 +61,400

Warning: Google result counts are bogus.

  • Advice from Carrie Severino in the NYPost: Never forget Kamala Harris’ cruel lies in the Kavanaugh confirmation fight. Doesn't hurt to be reminded:

    Harris was a ringleader in the circus surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination two years ago. Remember that? She may prefer you forget.

    Two years ago today, during his initial hearing, Harris tried to steal the show with a bizarre series of “gotcha” questions asking if he’d ever had a discussion about Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign with any employees of the law firm Kasowitz, Benson & Torres.

    Kavanaugh appeared to have no idea what she was talking about, but he was astute to the Democrats’ tactic of setting perjury traps that would lead him into making inconsistent statements that could later be spun as lies.

    Harris’ tactics would not have been permitted in a courtroom. As it turned out, both Kavanaugh and the law firm denied any such conversations, and Harris said nothing more on the subject. A San Francisco Chronicle headline reported: “Kamala Harris’ viral grilling of Kavanaugh ends with a thud.” But she had gotten what she was looking for — a “viral moment” for social media — even though she later would be mocked for pursuing such viral moments indiscriminately.

    Much like Kamala's attempt to paint Wheezy Joe as a racist during the campaign for the nomination, her attacks on Kavanaugh were all phony show biz, boob bait for the bubbas.


  • Not that her running mate lacks phoniness himself. Steven Hayward at Power Line: Riots and Joe Biden’s Joe Isuzu Problem.

    Anybody remember the 1980s Isuzu auto TV pitchman “Joe Isuzu”? Wikipedia recalls him as “a pathological liar who made outrageous and overinflated claims about Isuzu’s cars,” which describes a lot of Joe Biden’s boasts about himself. Beyond just Biden, I think the whole Democratic Party has a “Joe Isuzu problem” when it comes to talking sensibly about the urban disorder exploding (literally) all over the country.

    Does it seem like Democrats are deaf-mutes when it comes to speaking clearly against the rioting going on right now? It went unmentioned during the Democratic National Convention two weeks ago. But in fact Joe Biden has made statements against the riots, such as this one back in July:

    “Anyone who burns or pillages… should be arrested. They are a problem for society and they make a mockery of what the march is all about. They should be tried, arrested and put in jail.”

    Today Biden is spinning furiously to catch up with the curve, saying “Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting.” He added, “You know me. You know my heart. You know my story, my family story. Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?”

    "Trust me, I have no fixed beliefs whatsoever!"


  • But remember when Joe said … oh, wait, never mind: Biden Denies He Will Ban Fracking. Ronald Bailey at Reason:

    "I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again. I am not banning fracking," declared Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in a speech in Pittsburgh yesterday. "No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me."

    He sounded a somewhat different note during a debate back in March. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) declared that he was "talking about stopping fracking as soon as we possibly can. I'm talking about telling the fossil fuel industry that they are going to stop destroying this planet—no ifs, buts, and maybes about it." Biden responded, "So am I." He also said "no new fracking" and "No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore."

    After the debate that night, Biden's campaign declared that the candidate had misspoken and had actually meant to just reiterate his policy of "banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters." This would obviously stop any new fracking on those lands, as well as conventional drilling on federal lands and waters. This proposal somewhat mirrors President Barack Obama's December 2016 order banning oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Arctic coasts as well as selected federal onshore areas.

    A President Biden (and a complaisant/activist Congress) might not "ban" fracking, but they could well regulate and tax it out of existence.


  • Ann Althouse watches (so we don't have to) A Socially Distanced Conversation between Joe and Kamala. Well, actually…

    I watched that up for a minute and 20 seconds, clicked it off, and said, "Oh! He's interviewing her!" I'm switching to the transcript, because I don't have patience for the video version.

    Joe Biden: (03:04) I’ve heard you talk about the way you were raised and your sister and how you guys were together.
    Kamala Harris: (03:15) My mother would come home, and she’d make dinner, and she’d spend some time with us, and then we’d go to bed, and she’d sit at that kitchen table figuring out how to make it all work....

    Kitchen table figuring out how to make it all work.... Her mother was a medical researcher at prestigious institutions, and her father was an economics professor at Stanford. They didn't have any financial struggles, did they? But Harris proceeds to talk about "that thing that wakes us up in the middle of the night and wakes up so many people in the middle of the night... the things that cause people to lose sleep, because they’re worried about how they’re going to get through the end of the month, and feed their kids, and pay their rent." The implication is that she understands financial struggle because of her own family situation. That just puzzles me. She says "I was in high school when my mother was able to afford to buy our first home" and "We rented up until that point." They lived in Oakland. You can rent a nice apartment there. Is Harris saying their rented place was bad? She shouldn't be posing as lower class. But it's such a minor qualification for presiding over the economy anyway — that your family had economic hardship.

    Ann claims to be puzzled, but I'm not. It's a phony appeal to people who do struggle economically. Kamala cares, she's just like you, she's been there, or at least her mother had been there. Not like that child of slumlord privilege, Trump.


  • Back to John Hinderaker at Power Line, who listens when The Democrats Explain Their Voter Fraud Plans.

    I expect that President Trump will be re-elected in November. The Democrats apparently expect that as well. At least, the Democratic Party web site Axios does. Thus, Axios is warning the party’s faithful that President Trump is likely to win–apparently–on November 3. But never fear: weeks remain in which the Democrats can harvest fake ballots!

    A top Democratic data and analytics firm told “Axios on HBO” it’s highly likely that President Trump will appear to have won — potentially in a landslide — on election night, even if he ultimately loses when all the votes are counted.

    Why this matters: Way more Democrats will vote by mail than Republicans, due to fears of the coronavirus, and it will take days if not weeks to tally these. This means Trump, thanks to Republicans doing almost all of their voting in person, could hold big electoral college and popular vote leads on election night.

    An alternative explanation: Democrats are not that much more afraid of the mild COVID virus than Republicans. Rather, fake Democratic ballots are far more likely to come in by mail, mysteriously mailed in by persons to whom they may or may not have been addressed–millions of those people being dead, moved away, or ineligible to vote. The “vote by junk mail” regime established in a number of states by the Democrats opens the door to voter fraud to an unprecedented degree. Which was, of course, the idea.

    Massachusetts warmed up for November last week: Thousands Of Mail-In Ballots In Franklin Not Counted On Election Day. They "found" 3000 uncounted ballots that were allegedly languishing somewhere (it's not clear where) instead of being sent to counters.


  • But Patterico notes that fraud is bipartisan: President Donald J. Trump Encourages Supporters to Commit Felony Voter Fraud.

    When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. When you’re a criminal, every problem looks like something that could be solved by committing a crime:

    President Donald Trump suggested that people in North Carolina should vote twice in the November election, once by mail and once in person, escalating his attempts to cast confusion and doubt on the validity of the results.

    “So let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote,” Trump said when asked whether he has confidence in the mail-in system in North Carolina, a battleground state.

    “If it’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. So that’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do,” he said.

    It is illegal to vote more than once in an election.

    But Ann Althouse says, wait a minute: Trump was not really saying to vote twice..

    There's an assumption that the state has adequate safeguards, and it will prevent anyone who has mailed in a vote from voting in person and will refuse to count a mailed-in vote if it is received after an in-person vote has been cast. If that is so or if the voter believes it is so, then the person who votes twice isn't intending to vote twice, only intending to make sure one or the other vote is counted.

    Fine. Trump is in the habit of saying things that can be, and are, interpreted uncharitably (Patterico, the MSM) or charitably (Althouse, etc.). If you're interested, you can read Patterico's followup post: Cheater in Chief: No, I Totally Did Mean You Should Vote Twice.

    I, for one, am seriously considering disconnecting the TV and Internet on November 3. Cancelling the newspapers. Throwing away the radios. Moving to Montana just to raise me up a crop of dental floss.

The Barbarian Invasions

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Mrs. Salad has one pretty solid rule: no movies about terminal cancer. So she declined to watch this. It's French-Canadian, mostly set around Montreal. And it won the 2004 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film despite that. The IMDB genres: 'Comedy, Crime, Drama', although the comedy is people sitting around being "witty" in French, so take that with a grain of salt. It's actually a sequel to the 1986 movie The Decline of the American Empire, which sounds even less funny. (But was nominated for the Foreign movie Oscar.)

Anyway: The dying guy is Rémy, and over the years he's managed to wreck his family. His estranged son Sébastien is summoned from abroad by his estranged ex-wife to be by his side. He appears reluctantly, but eventually gets into the spirit of things. He summons the old gang back together (I assume from that previous movie) to visit Rémy in his hospital room. He arranges for a local junkie to supply Rémy with heroin. He figures out how to move Rémy to a better room in a less crowded area of the hospital. And…

Well, I should say something about that. This movie seems to be (in part) an effective argument against socialized medicine, at least as it was practiced in Quebec in 2003. Rémy's hospital care is a nightmarish hellscape, with groaning patients in the hallways, no privacy, and ineffective pain management. Theft from patients is common and the cops do nothing. Sébastien is rich enough to buy Rémy out of this. It helps that everyone involved (hospital administrators, union laborers) are easily corruptible with enough cash.

And when Sébastien thinks Rémy needs more sophisticated diagnosis, they head over the border to Burlington, Vermont—I'm pretty sure Bernie Sanders doesn't know about this—for better treatment from American capitalist health care.

It's OK. Plus an extra half-star for the libertarian message.