The Phony Campaign

2015-07-12 Update

[phony baloney]

For the first time since May, there are no changes to our phony presidential pol population. According to PredictWise, the following have a 2% or better chance of being the next White House inhabitant:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 1,130,000 +70,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 413,000 +11,000
"Donald Trump" phony 227,000 -41,000
"Rand Paul" phony 172,000 -10,000
"Chris Christie" phony 149,000 -13,000
"Joe Biden" phony 135,000 -4,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 123,000 +9,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 116,000 -31,000
"Scott Walker" phony 109,000 +4,000

  • A. Barton Hinkle notes (at Reason) that "Phonies Dominate Presidential Race". (A theme Pun Salad has been singing since, oh, 2007.)

    Hillary comes in for scorn, obviously. Also Jindal, Christie, Walker, Paul, and Cruz. A. Bart concludes:

    Granted, it's a trifle naive to ask for authenticity from most presidential candidates. You might as well ask a school of hungry piranha to show a little self-restraint. Still, if recent history offers any clue of what is to come for the next 18 months, it's a safe bet Holden Caulfield won't be the only one who wants to throw up.

    I always thought Holden's standards were a little too high.

  • Jonathan S. Tobin writes in Commentary about "Scott Walker’s Flip-Flop Problem" and he's not talking about ancient computer circuitry. Note: Tobin relies heavily on a heavily disputed report that claimed that Walker was saying one thing to pro-immigration think-tankers, something else out on the populist hustings. But still:

    With the first GOP debate only a month away, it is no longer possible to excuse Walker’s missteps as the inevitable mistakes of a rookie on the national stage. Walker needs to make up his mind about immigration and stick to it. Walker’s flip flop problem is real. If he continues to need his staff to pressure people to walk back accounts of his flip-flopping, he’s going to find himself outflanked by conviction conservatives on the right who need no such help as well as other Republicans who are prepared to stick to their guns in the same manner that Walker demonstrated back in 2011 when he was besieged by the unions.

    Walker's official entry into the race is, as they say, imminent.

  • I should have blogged this before, but: at Legal Insurrection, Jay Caruso analyzes "Hillary Clinton And Her Phony Spotify Playlist".

    Key takeaway (quoted from the linked CNN article): "None of the 14 songs on the 67-year-old candidate’s playlist was released before 1999."

    Hil's list includes a song ("Break Free") featuring the nefarious donut-licking Ariana Grande; I can't help but wonder if that track will be quietly dropped.

  • Professor Althouse articulates something that has been percolating incoherently in my own brain for a while, springing off Hillary's recent CNN interview where her dismal "trustworthiness" numbers were discussed.

    Yes, she lies constantly. You know that. I know that. She knows that.

    And I suspect that when she talks this over with her advisers, a central idea is: Politicians are dishonest. Everyone knows that and everyone thinks that. It's trifling that it shows up in a poll that people think Hillary is dishonest. It's like a poll showing people think the sky is blue. The important thing is, people are familiar and at home with Hillary's dishonesty. It's a comfortable old friend. We know all about it. It's acquired a transparency of its own. But what is the dishonesty of all those other candidates? That is the mystery. That is what people should worry about — all the strange ways in which Jeb/Marco/Scott/Rand/Ted/etc. are dishonesty. So confusing and disturbing. Who knows how to begin to delve into that swamp? Best to stay with good old dishonest Hillary!

    I don't know if that's accurate. It could be.

American Sniper

[4.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Wait a minute. You're telling me that this movie didn't win the Best Picture Oscar? And it lost to Birdman?!

I mean, I love Michael Keaton and everything. But how does a movie about an unlikeable semi-insane self-centered actor win over this movie?

Oh well. Hollywood. At least it was nominated for Best Picture. (Also: Best Director, Clint Eastwood; Best Actor, Bradley Cooper; Best Adapted Screenplay, Jason Hall. It won for Sound Editing.)

Everyone kind of knows the plot, but: the movie follows Chris Kyle, mostly centered on his exploits in Iraq, trying to save his fellow soldiers from the savage attacks of the insurgents that popped up post-Saddam. There's plenty of ass-clenching suspense and action, but the movie also shows the dreadful toll of war on Kyle, his fellow troops, and his family. It does that without following the easy anti-American tropes of other recent Iraq movies.

It's very powerful, even when you wait to see it on DVD. Recommended.