The Phony Campaign

2015-08-09 Update

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PredictWise gives us the same lineup as last week (using our 2% cutoff). And Jeb has got one of those inexplicable Google spikes, astronomically raising his phony hit count:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Jeb Bush" phony 4,350,000 +3,514,000
"Donald Trump" phony 509,000 +201,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 410,000 +15,000
"John Kasich" phony 226,000 +29,000
"Rand Paul" phony 181,000 +20,000
"Joe Biden" phony 160,000 +22,000
"Scott Walker" phony 159,000 +49,000
"Bernie Sanders" phony 144,000 +41,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 103,000 +7,100
"Mike Huckabee" phony 73,200 -3,900

The GOP candidates debated on Thursday!

  • Like all decent people, I subscribe to Jonah Goldberg's G-File. Some weeks it leaks out to the Intertubes, and … he's kind of tough on the Donald. After quoting one of Trump's debate answers:

    I know what you’re thinking: It’s like when Abraham Lincoln spoke at Cooper Union. Oh, I don’t mean Lincoln’s address. That was a marvel of erudition and coherence. I mean the crazy shirtless guy with a horseshoe sticking out of his open fly shouting, “Did you feed the cat!?” who was dragged out of the room five minutes before Lincoln spoke.

    RTWT, people.

  • Also available is Kevin D. Williamson's NR article on Trump. Opening:

    Oh, you’re goddamned right this is Vegas, baby! because the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino is the only truly appropriate venue for a show like the one we have right here. For your consideration: the carefully coiffed golden mane, the vast inherited fortune, the splendid real-estate portfolio, the family name on buildings from Manhattan to the Strip, the reality-television superstardom, the room-temperature-on-a-brisk-November-day IQ. The only thing distinguishing that great spackled misshapen lump of unredeemed American id known as Donald Trump from his spiritual soul mate, that slender lightning rod of unredeemed American id known as Paris Hilton, is — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — a sex tape. The gross thing is, you can kind of imagine a Trump sex tape: the gilt pineapples on the four-poster bed, the scarlet silk-jacquard sheets, the glowing “T” in the background, the self-assured promises that this will be the classiest sex tape the world has ever seen — that it’s yuuuuuuuge! — the cracked raving 69-year-old Babbitt analogue barking inchoate instructions off camera . . . no, no more, that way madness lies.

    Fearless prediction: neither Kevin nor Jonah will be offered the job of Press Secretary in the Trump Administration.

  • But enough about Trump. Steve Chapman at Reason offers a savvy phony-detection algorithm:

    How do you know when a presidential candidate is being deceptive? No, silly, not when his or her lips are moving. Candidates often tell the truth—like when they say they want your vote or your money. Moving lips are not a reliable clue.

    So what is? Any statement that envisions an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    [I've said this before but] Particularly phony are the calls for a balanced-budget amendment. If Congress really wanted to balance the budget, all they need is 50%+1 of the members to vote for one. A Constitutional amendment is much harder to enact.

  • Scott Walker continues to unimpress:

    Minutes before Charles Koch took the stage to rail against corporate welfare at the gathering of his donor network, Gov. Scott Walker sat down for an interview with reporter Mike Allen. Allen asked a tough question about Walker's proposed corporate welfare for Milwaukee's NBA team.

    Walker's defense is at the link, and a (pretty convincing) rebuttal is at the secondary link here.

  • Lindsay Graham has never scored well enough at PredictWise to make it into our poll, but in case you were tempted to consider him non-phony, Paul Mirengoff at Powerline has some sobering words for y'all:

    The [Washington] Post shows that as a military reservist, Graham was promoted despite doing almost nothing and that he misrepresented his military service. For his part, Graham tells the Post that while he doesn’t mean to “pat myself on the back, Colonel Graham will put my entire record up against anyone who has ever served.”

    Mirengoff knows better than to take a Washington Post hit piece at face value, but this appears to be on-target.

  • Ah, you say, but what about Hillary? Well, same old. Oren Cass has a cynical (i.e., accurate) look at her "climate plan":

    Hillary Clinton has a real climate change plan and a fake climate change plan. She released the fake plan earlier this week to predictably rapturous media applause for its “far-reaching” and “comprehensive” agenda. It features “ambitious” goals to increase renewable energy use in the United States and outlines other platform planks still to come on oil dependency, infrastructure, and conservation.

    The plan is most obviously fake because it is not really a climate plan at all. Clinton offers no estimated reductions in carbon dioxide emissions or future temperatures, probably because her plan cannot achieve any meaningful ones. Her ultimate goal to generate 33 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable sources by 2027 would reduce global emissions by less than 2 percent annually, even if every new kilowatt-hour of renewable power managed to replace coal-fired power. That is only a fraction of the increase expected from China during the same period.

    So if that's her fake plan, what's her real one? Well, it's worse, and she doesn't want to talk about it.

  • Finally, Remy's take on the debates is fun:

    At this point, I may write in Remy on my primary ballot. He's hugged lots of sad people.

Last Modified 2019-10-29 4:56 PM EDT