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Nate Silver, Matthew Yglesias: 2020 Dem front-runner is Bernie Sanders

I wholeheartedly agree with Salon.com writer D. Watkins that the United States of America “is on pause.” 

He wrote recently:

Donald Trump supporters made their big cultural statement in 2016 by electing to the presidency a white-collar executive who’s never seen a day of hard work yet presents himself as the champion of blue-collar people. Now, as a result, America is on pause.

We have now been under the rule of Donald Trump for more than 170 days and nothing of substance has happened — other than multiple attempts to undo everything that had been accomplished by the previous administration, like Barack Obama’s special immigration program for foreign entrepreneurs, providing heating aid for some of our most vulnerable citizens, the defrosting of relations with Cuba and, of course, the GOP’s constant obsession — Obamacare.

Anything Obama touched in his eight years in office, from Planned Parenthood to climate change, has to go, apparently. What’s worse, many of these Obama undos are being under-reported overall, because Trump’s crass tweets and his campaign’s collection of Russia scandals makes for better TV. …

Agreed that while we’re all focused on Russia and “President” Pussygrabber’s latest outrageous tweet, the unelected Pussygrabber regime is dismantling everything good and, like a virus, is altering the main function of the federal government to that of making the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

But it’s not like Obama was a progressive champion; he was not. He was a moderate, a centrist who far preferred working with the status quo than trying anything even remotely approaching radically progressive. Even his “signature” “achievement,” Obamacare, kept health care a for-profit enterprise (indeed, if you didn’t buy health insurance, you were — well, are — penalized).

As I have noted many times, Obama had an opportunity, in 2009 and 2010, when he still had a shitload of political capital behind him and before the House of Representatives reverted to the Repugnicans in November 2010, to push through a boldly progressive agenda. But he spectacularly squandered that one and only opportunity during his eight years in the White House.

I am happy that toward the end of his time in office Obama moved to open relations between the United States and Cuba — with the caveat that I really, really hope that Cuba doesn’t become the capitalist playground that capitalist exploiters had made it before the Castro revolution — but all in all, the Obama years were eight years that were mostly squandered, and after the eight disastrous years under “President” George W. Bush (and the many disastrous years before his, going back at least to Ronald Reagan), we couldn’t afford to squander yet another eight years.

And we can’t afford to squander these years that we are squandering under Pussygrabber (and under Mike Pence, if he ends up completing Pussygrabber’s term) — and it’s much worse than squandering, actually. To squander something is to fail to take good advantage of it; again, what Pussygrabber & Co. are doing now is dismantling everything that doesn’t immediately profit themselves and their super-rich cronies and converting it into a profiteering machine for themselves.

Enter, methinks, Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic Party establishment has shown little leadership during the Pussygrabber regime thus far because the establishment Democrats are funded by many if not most of the very same corporations that fund the Repugnicans. And these corporate funders are paying for an extension of the sociopoliticoeconomic status quo (which is the most that they will allow).

The Democratic establishment will try to front an Obama-esque fresh face for 2020, will try to punk us again. It could be corporate whore Cory Booker or it could be newbie Kamala Harris, who has been in the U.S. Senate for such a short period of time that I have to wonder if she has had time to discover where the women’s restroom is yet.

I voted for Harris, both for California’s U.S. senator to replace the retiring Barbara Boxer and when she was California’s attorney general, but it’s way too soon to be talking about President Harris. Let’s let her accomplish something before we give her that huge promotion.

True, Obama was in the U.S. Senate for only four years — not even for one full (six-year) term — before he ran for president, but that’s my point; we don’t need, in Kamala Harris, a female Barack Obama (who hadn’t accomplished anything in the Senate before he became president).

We need a bold progressive.

Thus far, for 2020 I’m staunchly supporting Bernie Sanders. Vox.com’s Matthew Yglesias wrote earlier this month (emphasis in bold is mine):

Amid a swirl of speculation about Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and practically everyone else under the sun as potential Democratic presidential contenders, most of the political class is ignoring the elephant in the room.

Bernie Sanders is, by some measures the most popular politician in America, by far Democrats’ most in-demand public speaker, and the most prolific grassroots fundraiser in American history.

If he were 10 or 20 years younger, his absence from a 2020 cattle call held by the Center for American Progress back in May would have been glaring. As things stood, the whisper among everyone in the halls was simply that he’s too old and obviously won’t run.

But make no mistake: Sanders is the real 2020 Democratic front-runner.

He’s doing exactly what a candidate who fell short needs to do to run a second time. He’s established a national political organization, he’s improved his ties with colleagues on Capitol Hill, he’s maintained a heavy presence in national media, and he’s traveling the country talking about issues.

In subtle ways he’s shifted his policy commitments to the center, making himself a more broadly acceptable figure in the party. At the same time, he’s held on to a couple of signature issues — Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public college — that give him exactly the kind of clear-cut and broadly accessible agenda that mainstream Democrats lack.

Of course, if he were to run and win, he’d be 78 years old, the oldest president on record by some margin. And maybe he won’t run. But his recent moves suggest that he is both interested in the nomination and very much the candidate to beat for it. …

Yup. It’s fine if the Democratic establishment wishes to ignore Bernie (who, I surmise, hasn’t moved to the center nearly as much as he has moved the center point further to his side). We, the people, are the ones who will participate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary elections and caucuses. And it will be significantly harder for the Democratic National Committee to fuck over Bernie this time because we’re all well aware of how the Billarybots of the DNC fucked Bernie over last time.

Will the voters who were stoked over Bernie in 2016 — he won 46 percent of the pledged delegates (the delegates that actually had to be democratically won in the primary elections and the caucuses) to Billary’s paltry-for-her 54 percent — accept an Obama-esque empty shell like Cory Booker, all lame political platitudes but nothing to back them up?

I don’t think that they’ll be punk’d like that again.

Yes, it’s possible that Bernie won’t run in 2020, but he has been pretty active for someone who has ruled out a 2020 run. As I noted in April:

Bernie Sanders is, I think, going to run for the presidency again in 2020.

He hasn’t ruled it out, and he has remained in the public eye since the preventably disastrous November 2016 presidential election.

He put a book out in November (and his progressive comrade Elizabeth Warren has another book due out later this month), and while the establishment Democrats’ “plan” remains to just sit back and watch the Repugnican Tea Party, under the “leadership” of “President” Pussygrabber, implode (or explode, I suppose), Bernie is out there advocating for a progressive agenda that would improve millions of lives (as is Elizabeth).

Bernie will introduce legislation for single-payer health care, totally bypassing the bogus argument of corporate-friendly Obamacare vs. corporate-friendly Trumpcare (and necessarily so), and he and Warren have introduced legislation for free in-state community college and public four-year college tuition. …

Matthew Yglesias’ piece inspired Nate Silver and crew over at fivethirtyeight.com to weigh in on whether or not Bernie is actually the 2020 Democratic Party presidential front-runner.

In the rather meandering discussion, Silver (whose opinion at fivethirtyeight.com that I value the most) proclaims, “I say YES.”

Silver qualifies: “A ‘front-runner’ is the horse that jumps out to the front of the pack and dictates the action behind him.” He adds: “Bernie got 13 million votes in 2016. Isn’t he next in line for the Democratic nomination?”

Um, yes, he garnered 13.2 million popular votes to Billary’s 16.9 million, and he won 22 states, plus the Democrats abroad.

That would, if the Democratic Party establishment still weren’t anti-democratic, pro-corporate and anti-populist and corrupt, of course mean that he’s next in line.

As I’ve noted before, I can support Elizabeth Warren if Bernie doesn’t run again, but I prefer Bernie to her for 2020 for several reasons.

Not only are his favorability numbers among all American voters significantly higher than are hers, so it would be much less of an uphill battle for him than it would be for her, but he has run a presidential campaign already and thus has a lot of infrastructure and supporters already in place. Warren, of course, does not.

And on that note, while Warren declined to run in 2016 — I still surmise that she was too cowardly to step on Queen Billary’s royal cape — Bernie went ahead and ran against Billary instead of allowing her to coast to a coronation, as did all of the cowards who comprise the Democratic Party establishment.

I admire that Bernie fucking did that. It showed leadership and it showed gigantic balls. He knew what he was up against — the corrupt, anti-democratic and anti-Democratic Billary juggernaut — but he did it anyway.

And in the admittedly very early polls of 2020 Democratic Party presidential preference, Bernie is leading, inspiring Nate Silver to proclaim, “Sanders is really well liked among Democrats. He was second last time. He’s leading in the polls now. Isn’t it obvious that he’s the front-runner?”

To me it is. And I’m in good company with Silver and Yglesias.

Will his age (75) harm Bernie? I don’t think so. As long as he remains active and alert on the campaign trail, as he did in 2015 and 2016, he should be fine. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is 84 years old and is expected to run for re-election in 2018 — and is expected win handily (unfortunately; she really needs to go). And to me she has shown a lot more signs of advanced age than has Bernie, including mental fogginess.

Feinstein is the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, followed by six other current senators who are at least 80 years old, including the fossil John McCainosaurus.

So no, age isn’t necessarily a campaign killer.

Will the drummed-up “scandal” regarding Bernie’s wife and the funding of Burlington College — a “scandal” drummed up by “President” Pussygrabber’s campaign chairman for Vermont — be a problem for Bernie?

No.

Only those who never would have supported democratic socialist Bernie anyway will give the “scandal” any credence, and at any rate, the “scandal” doesn’t involve Bernie (he hasn’t been shown to have done anything illegal or even unethical), and anyone with two brain cells to rub together will consider the source: “President” Pussygrabber’s campaign chairman for Vermont.

Um, yeah. It’s an obvious smear campaign, and I might argue that the smear campaign is a good sign, because you don’t smear those who are weak, but those who pose a threat.

The 2020 cycle is better for Bernie than was 2016 in many ways. Queen Billary is out of the picture (finally), and in the wake of Billary’s loss in November 2016, the brand of “Democratic” Party that the center-right, sellout Clintons started and that Obama perpetuated is weakened.

As I’ve noted before, not only did Bernie win 46 percent of the pledged delegates to Billary’s 54 percent, but in February we saw that familiar 46-54 split in the election of the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, with Clinton-Obama establishmentarian Democrat (“Democrat”?) Tom Perez garnering 54 percent of the vote to Bernie-backed progressive Keith Ellison’s 46 percent.

We progressives — we true Democrats — are within striking distance of taking over the party. It’s clear that the “Democratic” Party establishment under Perez, et. al. still doesn’t have a clue or a plan (other than, as I noted in April, watching the “Pussygrabber” regime destroy itself).

Not being Pussygrabber won’t be enough for the Dems in 2018 or in 2020.

And had Bernie become president in November 2016, he probably would have faced a Repugnican-controlled Senate and a Repugnican-controlled House in January 2017. He would have been able to get nothing done, very most likely, and this Repugnican obstructionism unfairly and untruthfully would have been attributed to the inherent failure of his brand of politics.

Bernie’s chance of having at least one of the two houses of Congress controlled by the Democrats in January 2021 is pretty good, given that colossal failure “President” Pussygrabber in most polls can’t maintain an approval rating of even 40 percent, and if both houses were controlled by the Dems in 2021 under a President Sanders, you can be sure that President Sanders wouldn’t waste his political capital trying to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” with the treasonous Repugnicans in Congress, as President Obama incredibly stupidly did in 2009 and 2010, when both houses of Congress last were held by the Dems.

We indeed are a nation on pause — at best — and to make up for that lost precious time, we need someone who is boldly progressive, someone who very actively will make up for that lost time by pushing through a sane, unabashedly progressive agenda — someone who will do what Obama failed to do in 2009 and in 2010 — and that someone is Bernie Sanders.

P.S. Matthew Yglesias mentioned Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand as potential 2020 presidential candidates.

Yeah, um, no way in hell can I support has-been Joe Biden, who is too aligned with the Clinton-Obama brand of the party. Plus, if he were so fucking popular, why didn’t Biden become president by now? (Or at least the Democratic Party presidential candidate in a general presidential election by now?)

And Gillibrand — what is her appeal, other than her XX chromosomes? I have nothing particularly against her, as for the most part I know very little about her, but what’s so special about her, other than that she was elected to Billary’s U.S. Senate seat for New York after Billary became Obama’s secretary of state? Is she supposed to be Billary’s mini-me? (That was rhetorical, but the answer is yes.)

Biden, Gillibrand, Booker, Harris — all are candidates for those who have no vision and no imagination, but who think that the bullshit of the past is going to work in the future. They have learned nothing from Billary’s failure in November.

P.P.S. I just saw this on Slate.com:

A Bloomberg poll released [today] shows that eight months after November’s election and nearly half a year into the new administration, Hillary Clinton is a touch less popular than Donald Trump. From Bloomberg:

Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival is viewed favorably by just 39 percent of Americans in the latest Bloomberg National Poll, two points lower than the president. It’s the second-lowest score for Clinton since the poll started tracking her in September 2009.

The former secretary of state has always been a polarizing figure, but this survey shows she’s even lost popularity among those who voted for her in November.

According to Bloomberg, more than a fifth of Clinton voters now say they view her unfavorably compared with only 8 percent of likely Clinton voters saying the same in Bloomberg’s last poll before the election.

Bloomberg’s John McCormick writes that interviews with some of those polled suggest that the decline has less to do with Clinton losing than it does with the Democratic Party’s identity crisis.

“Many said they wished Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had won the Democratic nomination,” he writes, “or that they never liked Clinton and only voted for her because she was the lesser of two bad choices.” [Emphasis mine.]

This is (more) vindication, not only of the fact that even those who voted for Billary in November didn’t like her, but also of the fact that it was a colossal fuck-up for the Dems to have allowed Billary & Co. to steal the nomination from the much more popular and much more liked Bernie.

It is also more evidence of the fact that Clintonism is done and that we can stick a big ol’ fork in it.

(Lest you think that the Bloomberg poll is wrong, know that the Huffington Post’s Pollster [a poll aggregator] right now has Billary’s favorability rating at only 40.3 percent — which is very close to the 40.1 percent approval rating that HuffPo Pollster now gives Pussygrabber.

Pussygrabber and Billary both are despised now just like they were on Election Day in November, while HuffPo Pollster puts Bernie Sanders’ favorability rating at 57 percent.

Hindsight indeed is 2020.)

 

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Don’t blame me — I voted for Bernie!

While I’d thought that Bernie Sanders would be blamed for Billary Clinton’s loss to Der Fuhrer Donald Trump for having had the audacity to challenge her for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, instead Bernie apparently is indeed the face of the Democratic Party that is emerging from the still-smoldering ashes. His new book, Our Revolution, comes out next week and already is on amazon.com’s list of top-100 best-selling titles as I type this sentence.

If I were to make a bumper sticker, that’s what it would say: Don’t blame me — I voted for Bernie!*

No, I’m not retroactively changing my stance in the wake of Billary Clinton’s stunning loss to a fascist demagogue who, for the first time in my lifetime, became U.S. president without previously having held some other elected office to help prepare him for the job.

On July 24, I posted a piece titled “To Win Election and Save Party, Super-Delegates Should Pick Bernie Sanders*.” The asterisked continuation of that was “*But They Won’t, So They’re Going to Lose the November Election, and the Party as It Exists Today Is Doomed.”

The Democratic Party establishment did indeed lose the presidential election, and the party as it exists today indeed is doomed. It’s in tiny little pieces, and it’s wholly discredited. First, slimebag Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (and other sleazy higher-ups within the DNC) had to resign in disgrace due to leaked e-mails showing that they had it in the bag for Billary and were against Bernie, and now even interim DNC head Donna Brazile, yet another mindlessly obedient and self-serving Billarybot, is embattled for having sleazily leaked debate questions to Billary in advance.

Ding, dong! The Democratic Party as we have known it is dead!

And on May 28, I noted:

… But if we just don’t mention how weak Billary is, then everything will be OK! Magically, her weakness only exists if someone who is left of center dares to utter something about it! Loose lips sink ships!

And when Billary loses to Donald Trump in November, we won’t blame her, but we’ll blame Bernie Sanders. That’s The Way of the Democratic Party Hack/Billarybot. …

and:

… If we progressives don’t take the Democratic Party back with Bernie Sanders, we’ll take it back with someone else — with Elizabeth Warren and/or with whomever else emerges in a leadership position or positions.

We are patient. …

and:

… Finally, it strikes me that we — all of us, Democrat and Repugnican (and everything else) — don’t deserve a President Sanders but fully deserve a President Trump. …

I still believe that, by the way: That Bernie Sanders is too good for the United States of America. He’s too smart, too honest, too moral. And Americans amply have demonstrated their depravity by allowing Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and her “Democratic” henchweasels to steal the Democratic Party presidential nomination and by allowing President Pussygrabber to sit in the Oval Office come January.

That said, I did follow the presidential-election polling closely — I especially followed fivethirtyeight.com, which for weeks and weeks had put Der Fuhrer Trump’s White House win at a significant improbability — and so yes, I had come to expect Billary most likely to win, and so for a little while I was in a bit of a state of shock and awe (awe of the bad kind).

But it didn’t last long. Life goes on, shit must still get done, and the political pendulum always swings back your way, in time.

In retrospect Billary’s loss was quite foreseeable — I wrote about it here months ago — and it’s good that the Democratic Party establishment has been smashed to pieces. Because from those pieces, those ashes, needs to rise a new, actually progressive party.

And Bernie Sanders still is leading the way; fuck, next week he has a book out about his experiences on the presidential campaign trail and about the future of progressivism.

If Sanders runs against President Pussygrabber in 2020 (if President Pussygrabber is still in office, that is), I’m there.

After all, while Real Clear Politics stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls in June, Sanders always polled better against Donald J. Trump than Billary did. When RCP stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls, Sanders was 10.4 percent ahead of Trump — and that was the average of polling of all Americans nationwide, not just Democrats and Democratic leaners. (At the time that RCP stopped tracking Sanders vs. Trump polls in June, Billary was averaging only around 5 percentage points ahead of Trump — and going into Tuesday’s election, her lead was even lower than that.)

Happily, I apparently was wrong about my prediction that Bernie Sanders would be blamed for Billary’s loss by the Billarybots. Tellingly, it’s been largely radio silence from Billary and the Billarybots, and the early signs are that third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein might be blamed by the Democratic Party hacks for Billary’s loss, much how Ralph Nader was blamed by the Dem Party hacks for Al Gore’s lackluster presidential campaign in 2000.

I’d thought that Bernie would be blamed for Billary’s loss, but the No. 1 thing that thus far I’ve seen blamed, way too conveniently, for Billary’s loss is white racism/white supremacism.

While that was a significant factor in Billary’s loss, no doubt, that wasn’t at all all that there was to it, and the Democratic Party never will recover if its adherents refuse to look beyond that.

Billary was an incredibly weak candidate. Fuck, Bernie Sanders, a relative unknown and not even a Democrat (that’s a good thing!) but an independent, a democratic socialist, won 46 percent of the pledged (democratically earned) delegates in the Democratic Party presidential primary fight — that’s how unpopular Billary has been within her own fucking party.

Billary has a mountain of baggage and no one fucking likes her. The electorate did not want a blast from the past, a return to the Clinton era of the 1990s. The electorate did not want another Clinton or another Bush in the White House (which is why the Billarybots within and without the Democratic National Committee had to do their best to sink Bernie and to boost Billary; the product that they were pushing down our throats is fatally flawed, and so they had to cheat mightily).

And over the past few decades, first under Bill Clinton and then continued under Barack Obama, the Democratic Party stopped being a truly populist party. It stopped caring about the working class and the remnants of the middle class, to whom it only paid lip service at election time. It abandoned labor unions (except for asking labor union members for campaign cash and and to be campaign workers) and it welcomed the limousine liberal — the rich person who wants to avoid angry mobs coming after him or her and his or her money with torches and pitchforks by having gone on record with the right stances on certain sociopolitical issues. 

Yes, over the past many years the Democratic Party became much more about identity politics than about socioeconomic politics, and that’s a huge reason why we’re about to have President Pussygrabber in the White House.

Another huge reason for that potentially devastating development is the Democrats’ refusal to face up to the party’s weaknesses. The Democratic lemming-bots have refused to acknowledge not only Billary’s massive shortcomings, but they have refused to acknowledge that President Obama over these past eight years hasn’t delivered his ubiquitously promised “hope” and “change” but for the most part has given us only more of the same, that he hasn’t been anything remotely resembling a strong, progressive leader, but has been only a caretaker in chief (at best).

That’s another huge reason that Billary lost: Americans looked at the past eight years and recognized, correctly, that another four (or eight) years under Billary Clinton would be just like a third (or third and fourth) Obama term: a continuation of the anesthetizing, centrist slog that the past eight years have been.

Obama in 2008 didn’t campaign on just trying to keep one’s head above water — because that’s not exactly inspirational — but that’s exactly what it has been like for most Americans under his presidency.

Yes, racism, misogyny, patriarchy, homophobia, xenophobia, jingoism, etc. — the entire Big Basket of Deplorableness — must continue to be addressed and must be continued to be opposed by the Democratic Party and those of us who are left of center, but that can’t continue to be the party’s whole fucking show, or the show is fucking over.

Indeed, methinks that the toxic identity politics that has gripped the Democratic Party in large part is what helped to sink Bernie, who was widely view by the toxic identity politicians as just another old white man (and thus unacceptable as the party’s presidential candidate), even though he’s infinitely more progressive and much more liked than Billary Clinton ever has been or ever will be — indeed, even though he very probably would have beat Trump on Tuesday.

It was supposed to be enough that Billary is a woman, you see.

Obviously, it wasn’t enough, and if the Democratic Party doesn’t learn its lessons — the central lesson of which is to ease off of the toxic identity politics and get back to the bread-and-butter issues that it has abandoned — it could be a long, long time before it’s back in power again, if it ever comes to power again.

P.S. Further in terms of toxic identity politics, white, non-Latino Americans still make up more than 60 percent of all Americans, and 49.2 percent of Americans are male, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is important to remember if one thinks that white-bashing and/or man-bashing is going to win one a national election.

*I am quite proud of the fact that I never have cast a vote for the corrupt, center-right, Democratic-in-name-only/Repugnican-Lite Billary Clinton, not once, and that I never have given her even one fucking penny.

Not only did I vote for Bernie Sanders in the California Democratic Party presidential primary in June, but I gave his campaign more than $1,000 over time. I still consider it to have been a good investment in the future — not just mine, but everyone’s and future generations’.

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E-mails, schme-mails: Billary Clinton very probably still has it in the bag

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Associated Press photo

Presidential candidate Billary Clinton, shown above yesterday in Des Moines, Iowa, has claimed that FBI director James Comey’s late-October surprise of yet even more e-mails that the FBI intends to investigate will show nothing new. Comey, a lifelong Repugnican operative whom President Barack Obama never should have nominated to the post of FBI chief, very apparently is trying to influence the presidential election that is only 10 days away, since he violated U.S. Department of Justice policy prohibiting publicly discussing an ongoing investigation in order to deliver his late-October surprise. Still, I expect Billary to win on November 8, regardless of this latest example of a Repugnican operative trying to rig yet another election.

The presidential race is tightening a little bit — as probably could be expected as Election Day nears (it’s 10 days from today) and thus voters finally pay more attention and thus the “choice” between Der Fuhrer Donald Trump and Queen Billary Clinton of the Clinton Dynasty becomes more real to them — but I still expect Billary to win.

If the damned e-mails from her days as U.S. secretary of state haven’t brought Billary down by now, I don’t really see them bringing her down between today and Election Day, especially when we don’t even know what, if anything, this new batch of e-mails contains and probably won’t before Election Day.

(This late-October surprise, by the way, comes from FBI director James Comey, a Repugnican operative who never should have been appointed in the first fucking place by President Barack Obama, who very apparently has thought it cute and even Lincolnesque to put Repugnicans in position of power, which is yet another reason why I couldn’t vote for DINO Obama again in 2012 and why the Democratic Party, which excels only at selling us commoners out to the Repugnican Tea Party, disgusts me in general.)

I’m not saying that Billary isn’t scandalous — she’s a Clinton, so by definition she’s a scandal magnet, attracting both legitimate scandals and pseudo-scandals cooked up by the vast right-wing conspiracy — but as political scandals go in the United States of America, this e-mail stuff is pretty much nothing compared to Trump’s too-recent proclamation that he believes in grabbing women by the pussy.

Anyway, fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Trump’s chances of winning the election from 19.3 percent to 21.5 percent. One out of five is bad.

Both Billary and El Trumpo are disliked by more Americans than they are liked, but The Great Orange One is disliked significantly more than is Billary. His favorability rating is at a stunningly low 36 percent and his unfavorability rating is at a shockingly high 62 percent, while Billary’s favorability is at 44 percent and her unfavorability is at 54 percent. She’s in the hole by 10 percentage points, while Trump is in the hole by 26 percentage points.

I don’t see a presidential candidate who is disliked by almost two-thirds of the electorate making it to the White House, and I still don’t see the American people, as dumb as they have demonstrated that they can be, putting into the Oval Office, for the first time in my lifetime of almost five decades, the first president who had not first been at least the governor of a state, a U.S. senator or the vice president of the United States (but instead had been a bankrupt-happy billionaire and a “reality” TV show star).

Of course Trump could become president. His chances are around one in five, not zero, and we do have precedent in George W. Bush, who lost the presidential election but who was installed by a right-wing U.S. Supreme Court into the White House anyway. (And not just to blame the Supreme Court; the American people should have taken the blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 to the streets with torches and pitchforks, but they did not.)

Still, if I had to bet a large sum of money on Der Fuhrer Trump or Queen Billary, I’d put my money on Billary, and the prediction markets are with me on this. PredictIt.org, for example, right now has 72 cents to 75 cents on Billary and only 28 cents on Trump. (With PredictIt, each cent represents one percentage point of probability.)

As I’ve already noted, I’ve already voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein on my vote-by-mail ballot that I already mailed in, as Billary is going to win my state of California and all of its 55 electoral votes no matter fucking what.

I certainly don’t regret my vote, as we continue to learn more and more, from leaked e-mails, that numerous Billary operatives (from within and from without the Democratic National Committee) did their best to try to harm Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, even discussing the possibility of releasing a shirtless picture of him, for fuck’s sake. (The picture, by the way, is absolutely no big deal, but teeny-tiny minds have only teeny-tiny thoughts, and when your candidate is loathed by the American people second only to Donald Trump, you get awfully desperate, I suppose.)

The piece-of-shit Clintonistas only demonstrate even further how deplorable they are when they’d rather that we rabble focus on Russia (in a pathetic, right-wing Cold War 2.0 mindset) instead of on the content of the leaked e-mails that expose them for the anti-democratic, DINO weasels that they are.

I and millions of others are much more interested in the content of leaked e-mails — especially e-mails that show malfeasance — than we are in who exactly leaked them and whether the uber-secretive elites whose many secrets treasonously harm the masses deem these leaks to be legal or not. (And that the Billarybots actually believe that their lame-ass attempted Jedi mindfucks — Oh, look! Russia! actually will work on all of us demonstrates how condescending and out of touch they are.)

I’ll never get over how Team Clinton treated Bernie Sanders — I will not forgive nor will I forget — and given her character, I just can’t defend Repugnican Lite Billary when the vast right-wing conspiracy relentlessly goes after her during what probably will be just one, very ugly term in the White House.

Not only does pretty much everything bad that happens to Billary appear to be her karmic return, but she never actually has had my back (but has only pandered to certain groups for money and for votes), and so I am utterly unable to have hers.

I can eke out one kind-of nice comment about Billary, though: I am glad that we most likely will have our first female president in January. That historical development is long, long overdue.

That said, it’s too, too bad that it’s Billary Clinton — and not someone like Elizabeth Warren or Jill Stein — who is making that history.*

P.S. Fivethirtyeight.com’s Nate Silver notes of this latest development:

… The risk is that by continuing to litigate the [e-mail] case, Clinton could keep the story in the news, which could be a negative for her even if further details prove to be exculpatory. At this point in the election, it’s mostly so-called low-information voters who are still making up their minds — not necessarily those who will read the fine print. [Emphasis mine.] And in general this year, candidates have tended to lose ground in the polls whenever they’ve been in the headlines. A day that the media spends talking about Comey and e-mails is also a day that they don’t spend talking about Trump and his many vulnerabilities. …

How many low-info voters (that is, abject dumbfucks) — whose last-minute decision between Billary and Der Fuhrer Donald could defy the polls giving Billary the victory — remain? Well, just four days ago, Silver wrote:

… About 15 percent of the electorate isn’t yet committed to Clinton or Trump, as compared to just 5 percent who weren’t committed to President Obama or Mitt Romney at this point in 2012. That’s one of the reasons why our models still give Trump an outside chance at victory. In theory, with Clinton at “only” 46 percent of the vote, he could beat her by winning almost all of the undecided and third-party voters. (In practice, there’s no particular indication that these voters have Trump as their second choice.)

These undecideds, however, aren’t distributed evenly across the various states. Florida and North Carolina have relatively few of them, for example, while New Hampshire and Colorado have more. This could affect each campaign’s strategy over the final few weeks: In states with few undecideds, it’s mostly a matter of turning out your vote; in states with more of them, voters may still be open to persuasion. …

Again, my best educated guess is that Trump has only a one-in-five — maybe as much as a one-in-four — chance of winning, but leave it to the low-info voters to give us, at the last minute, President Trump (and a Nazi Germany 2.0), to at least make the election close enough for Team Trump to try to steal it, a la Team Bush in 2000.

*That said, the thought that Sarah Palin might actually become president in the case of John McCainosaurus’ death — yeah, yes, of course, a President Billary is another Abraham Fucking Lincoln compared to how a President Palin would have turned out.

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When you know you’re going to lose an election, just claim that it’s rigged

Vox.com reports that from 2000 to 2014, there were only 35 “credible allegations of in-person voting fraud” among almost 1 billion ballots cast. Um, yeah.

The next time that you hear a wingnut claim that there is rampant voter fraud within your state (or city or county or hell, even within the entire nation), ask him or her for a specific, verified example of it. Ask for a name, a place, a date, a manner.

There will be silence. (Well, maybe not silence, but you won’t get the information that you just asked for.)

Because the fact is that actual voter fraud within the United States is so very rare as to make its effect on our election results statistically irrelevant.

The only wolves who cry “rampant voter fraud!” are those who vote Repugnican — because they’re sore losers who refuse to deal with the fact that their right-wing, fascist, white supremacist, patriarchal, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic worldview (yes, they are deplorable) is rejected by the majority of Americans.

The vast majority of the handful of cases of illegal voting that are verified are found to have been unintentional — that is, these weren’t people with the criminal intent of knowingly trying to influence the outcome of an election by casting a ballot illegally. They’re people who had thought that they were eligible to vote but who weren’t, or such cases as widows and widowers filling out and submitting the absentee ballots of their spouses who recently died, apparently failing to see a huge problem with that.

(Yeah, you’ll hear Der Fuhrer Donald Trump claim that hordes of “illegals” are crossing the border to vote illegally — you know, when they’re not too busy raping, murdering, pillaging, plundering and drug running — but he won’t bash widows and widowers, who probably are the plurality if not the majority of those relative tiny few who actually commit voter fraud. [Most of those widows and widowers probably vote Repugnican, which I’m sure has something to do with that…])

Again, intent is what makes an act fraudulent, and the form of voter fraud that the sore-loser traitors on the right claim happens the most — in-person voter fraud — actually happens the least.

Repugnican Trump surrogate Rudy “A Noun, A Verb And 9/11” Goebbels Giuliani these days frantically is alleging that in-person voter fraud is rampant, especially within our inner cities (no dog whistle there!), but of course he just throws these bullshit allegations out there and offers no actual details of any verified instances of in-person voter fraud.

That would be because, as the Brennan Center for Justice remarks in its thoughtful report “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Yup.

Of course the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ true intent isn’t to stop criminality that virtually isn’t even happening at all. Their agenda, of course, is to try to steal elections by crying “fraud!”

They know that this fact- and reality-free propagandistic tactic works with their base of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards who deem themselves patriots but whose very deplorable existence only continues to drag the entire nation down to this day, which is hardly patriotic.

And, of course, the intent of false allegations of rampant voter fraud is to “justify” post-election violence by treasonous, sore-loser Repugnican Tea Party retrogrades. Recall how Repugnican traitors — George W. Bush campaign operatives masquerading as angry regular civilians — tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Florida in 2000 by thuggishly storming the Miami-Dade County ballot canvassing location.

A writer for Vox.com notes that

… Trump … is spending the weeks before the election telling his followers that the election is so illegitimate that they need to be physically present at polling places to monitor it. That raises the possibility of violence on Election Day. It certainly lays the groundwork for anger and denial afterward — even if Trump himself walks away and takes that nice long vacation he talks about. …

It’s more insidious than that.

Right-wing “poll monitors” aren’t there to ensure a clean election; they’re there to try to intimidate the “wrong” kind of people — that is, those who tend to vote for Democrats — from voting at all. They do their partisan profiling based upon the voter’s demographics, and whose ballots do you think they contest? How often, do you think, they challenge, say, old white people and people who appear to be rich versus people of color, younger people, people who appear to be poor, et. al.?

Yes, there could be violence on Election Day if Der Fuhrer Trump’s jackbooted thugs show up at the polling places in significant numbers with the full intent to intimidate voters whom they perceive (correctly or incorrectly) won’t vote for Trump.

But there could be violence after Election Day, too, even if Billary beats Trump by a large margin, which I surmise will be the case.

You know what, though? Fuck the neo-Nazis. If they want violence, let’s give violence right back to them. We Americans must not make the same mistake that the Germans did in the 1920s and 1930s. If the neo-Nazis here at home want another Civil War, let’s hand their sorry, treasonous asses to them again.

To be clear, I’m no shill for Democrat in name only Billary Clinton. I’m voting for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive in the presidential race, very most likely.* I most definitely don’t want fascist demagogue Donald Trump to be president, but I don’t want Billary Clinton in the Oval Office, either.

But I recognize that, even though the Democratic Party presidential primary process most definitely was stacked in Billary’s favor and against Bernie Sanders’ by her anti-democratic operatives within the Democratic National Committee and throughout the nation, in November Billary is going to win my state of California and thus all of its 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all(-except-for-Maine-and-Nebraska) Electoral College.

And I recognize that Billary Clinton is much more likely than not to be elected our next president.**

Only if it were close could the Repugnican Tea Party traitors perhaps successfully scream that the nationwide election is (going to be) rigged. But it’s not close.

Per Real Clear Politics’ average of recent nationwide polls, Billary right now leads El Trumpo by 5.5 percentage points nationwide, and the Huffington Post’s average of recent nationwide polls similarly puts Billary at 6 percentage points ahead of Der Fuhrer Trump.

There’s that and there’s the fact that while Billary Clinton’s unfavorable rating is 53 percent (she is liked by only 43 percent), Trump’s unfavorable rating is 10 points worse: a whopping 63 percent don’t like him, and only 34 percent do.

Um, yeah, you don’t win a presidential election if 63 percent of the American people don’t feel favorably toward you.

Finally, fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Trump no more than a 17.1 percent chance of winning the election — he’s at the lowest point in fivethirtyeight.com’s tracking of the race since June, and the election is only 23 days away.

Again: Trump is, in a word, toast.

He will win states where the majority of the voters are deplorable — I expect him to win anywhere from 19 to 23 states (I refer, of course, to the red states) but not even 24 states — but he won’t win the White House.

Again, as a douche bag who never was vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, Trump always was highly unlikely to become the first “reality”-television star and bankruptcy-happy billionaire to become president of the United States of America in the first place.

His loss in November, by a significant margin, will come as no surprise. I mean, I haven’t even mentioned here that he has committed serial sexual assault, and that no presidential candidate who was recorded as having bragged about “grab[bing]” women “by the pussy” (and otherwise sexually assaulting them because he is a “star” who can get away with it) ever went on to win the White House.

I suppose that if I were a Repugnican Tea Party traitor, right about now I’d be making bullshit claims about rampant voter fraud, too.

*Lately I’ve toyed around with writing Bernie Sanders’ name in, even though it very most likely wouldn’t count at all. I might do that, but I’ll probably vote for Stein, as I voted for her in 2012, since President Hopey-Changey, for whom I voted in 2008, didn’t change nearly enough during his first term, losing the Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term election, dooming any progressive agenda that he might wanted to have tried to enact after that, but in retrospect it’s pretty clear to me that he never had any real intent to even try significantly to enact a progressive agenda at all.

**This reminds me of this recent great editorial cartoon by Ted Rall:

Love Trumps Hate...What?Yes, it is going to be a stupid next four to eight years. (I don’t really expect it to be eight, though; as I’ve noted before, given her high level of unpopularity going into the job, I expect Billary to be a one-term president. She has benefited greatly from the fact that Trump has been a train wreck of literally historical proportions.)

I like this one of Rall’s too:

Donald Trump called for a lot of outrageous things throughout his presidential campaign. He wanted Muslims to be banned from entering the knighted states. He wanted to build a border wall and deport 11 million illegal aliens. He called for beating up protesters at his own rallies. Oddly, none of this made him less popular. To the contrary. What did him in, or at least looks like it might, is an open microphone moment in which he talked about grabbing women's pussies.

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Trump is toast

As an American politician or political candidate you can get away with saying all manner of vile, oppressive, even dangerous things in a “nice,” “polite” way, but a sex scandal always can bring you down like a ton of bricks in the hypocritically Victorian U.S. of A. Yesterday, The Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump in 2005 braggadociously reporting that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to “fuck” a married woman although at the time he already was married to his third wife, Melania. Trump, in Yoda-like fashion, also advised that with women whom you want to fuck, if “you’re a star,” you simply “Grab them by the pussy.”

We all already knew that Der Fuhrer Donald Trump is boorish, but the recording of him proclaiming in 2005 that “when you’re a star, they [(attractive) women] let you do … anything,” such as “Grab them by the pussy” just makes that knowledge so real. (The audio-video recording of Trump’s remarks about “do[ing] anything” to women whom you desire “when you’re a star” is here.)

This very most likely is the end of Trump’s campaign for president (although of course he has proclaimed that he won’t drop out; only someone who possesses a modicum of shame would do that).

I generally don’t believe in the public release of private remarks, but I don’t know that you really can call this case an invasion of privacy. I mean, Trump was openly talking to a TV show host and his remarks were picked up by a hot microphone. He wasn’t chatting at home or talking on the telephone.

And just as we needed to know about Clarence Thomas’ character before he incredibly stupidly was put on the U.S. Supreme Court, we need to know about Trump’s before he incredibly stupidly is put in the Oval Office.

Trump already was on a downward trajectory anyway after his shitty first presidential debate performance and the news that he apparently hasn’t paid federal income taxes in many years — fivethirtyeight.com right now puts his chances of winning the White House at only only 18.6 percent to Billary Clinton’s 81.4 percent, and I expect his chances to continue to dwindle — but it’s really over for him now.

“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Repugnican National Committee head Reince Preibus was forced to declare just a month and a day before the presidential election, and 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney similarly proclaimed, “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”

Pretty Boy Paul Ryan, Mittens’ running mate in 2012 and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, called the recording “sickening” and stated, “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

In his own “defense,” Trump proclaimed, “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Wow.

“Locker-room banter,” yes, indeed, but Trump wants to be president of the United States of America, and this banter didn’t stay inside of the locker room. And while 2005 was a bit over a decade ago, Trump is 70 years old now, so he was plenty old enough to know better in 2005. His claim that today he is a changed man is incredible; he didn’t make these remarks when he was in his teens or 20s.

I’m sure that we’ve had plenty of lechers in the White House, but, again, we haven’t heard recordings of their lecherous words; their lechery has remained, for the most part, an abstraction.

And when Trump tries to bring in Bill Clinton — who no doubt indeed was one of the former lechers in the White House, replete with semen-stained intern’s dress and all —  Trump reminds me of his opponent Billary Clinton, who frequently tries to throw someone else under the bus or tries to use someone else as a political human shield (Barack Obama, usually) when she is cornered.

It’s no wonder that both Trump and Billary are the most hated U.S. presidential candidates in modern history.

Speaking of Billary, I will note (to be, you know, fair and balanced) that some of the remarks that she reportedly made to Wall Street weasels in her highly paid speeches to them (you know, the transcripts of which she has refused to release) have been leaked by WikiLeaks, and while some of them are unflattering, in terms of political scandals, they’re nothing on the level of Pussygrabgate. (On that note, maybe it’s because I’m gay, but how, exactly, do you grab a woman by the pussy? You can grab a man by his junk, I suppose, especially if he’s gifted in that area, but there’s not much of a woman’s crotch to grab, is there?)

Anyway, let’s see: Billary allegedly stated that “politics is like sausage being made,” adding, that “if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

Like El Trumpo’s presidential proclamation about pussy-grabbing, this statement about sausage-making isn’t exactly shocking coming from Billary. For instance, I’ve always believed that she personally supported same-sex marriage long before she finally publicly came out for it in March 2013 (after Barack Obama finally had done so in May 2012), for fuck’s sake. And when NPR’s Terry Gross grilled Billary on it in June 2014, she reacted in such a hyper-defensive way as to reveal that she indeed has a public face and a private face, that she’s shamelessly two-faced.

Billary also allegedly stated, in the material in the latest WikiLeaks dump, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Slate.com notes that “This may thrill the [progressive] editors at Voxbut presumably not white working-class voters in Ohio. Point Trump.”

I would be fine with open trade and “a hemispheric common market” if they were run by us commoners instead of by corporate weasels; my problem with globalization and “free” trade thus far isn’t with the concepts of them, but with the execution of them thus far: by corporate weasels who care only about profiteering and not at all about people and not at all about the planet. The treasonous corporate weasels can and will pervert any good idea on which they can get their greedy little grubbies.

I’m also fine with a significantly more porous border between the United States and Mexico and the rest of Latin America. We Americans have more to gain than we have to lose from such a more open exchange of culture, ideas, goods and services.

But let’s face it: What’s preventing such a more open exchange between the United States and Latin America is that Americans are economically richer, as a whole, than are Latin Americans, and most Americans don’t want that socioeconomic inequity to change any decade soon. This is why even many (if not even most) who identify as Democrats don’t want a significantly more permeable southern border (and a wholly open border is an uber-non-starter for the vast majority of Americans, I’m confident).

Speaking of the southern border, Donald Trump this past week made a comment that I find more offensive and harmful than his frat-boy pussy-grabbing comment from 2005: This past week Trump alleged that the federal government is allowing “illegals” from Mexico to come into the United States to vote for Democrats.

Not only is this a fucking lie — The Washington Post notes that “There’s no evidence … that immigrants (a) come to the country illegally to vote, (b) register to vote illegally and (c) cast votes in federal elections on any substantive scale” and that “There’s essentially no in-person voter fraud in American politics” — but demagogue Der Fuhrer Trump really needs to get his anti-Mexican rhetoric straight:

Do Mexican “illegals” come to the United States to rape, murder, pillage and plunder, as he and his xenophobic, nationalist, fascist, white-supremacist supporters repeatedly have alleged — or do they come here to vote?

Because, you know, when I think of hard-core criminals, I just don’t think of them as being committed voters. (Seriously: For sure, right after a man has raped and murdered and done some drug-running, he wants nothing more than to go vote illegally!)

Trump’s fucking fascist lie that Mexican “illegals” are crossing the border in droves in order to vote illegally is meant to accomplish at least two evil things:

(1) To bolster the fascist wingnuts’ delusion that the majority of us Americans actually agree with their hateful, ignorant, bigoted, demented, basket-of-deplorables worldview, and therefore, when the wingnuts lose elections, it only can mean that the elections were rigged (and therefore, any election results that don’t favor the wingnuts should be disregarded). This mindset is a grave threat to our democracy.

and

(2) To continue, for political and personal gain, to demonize and dehumanize the brown-skinned denizens from south of the border, much how the Nazis demonized and dehumanized Jews (and many, many others) for political and personal gain. We know what happened to the Jews and to the other victims of the Nazis.

Donald Trump is a fascist piece of shit who must never become president, and who, should he actually make it that far (which at this point is highly unlikely but not absolutely impossible, I suppose), must be relieved of the office by whatever means necessary. The republic is more important than is any one individual, especially a fascistic, pussy-grabbing, Latin-American-bashing piece of shit like Donald John Trump.

Thankfully, while fivethirtyeight.com puts Trump’s chances of becoming president at not even a full one in five, I put it at about one in a hundred (one in fifty would be charitable).

Bloodshed over Der Fuhrer Trump most likely won’t be necessary, but if the fascist traitors who support Der Fuhrer Trump want a rematch of the Civil War, my standing response remains: Bring it, bitches!

P.S. Oh, yeah (duh): The second presidential debate is scheduled for tomorrow night. There is a pretty good chance that I’ll live-blog it. Especially now.

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Ready panic button, says Nate Silver

Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

Fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House at 40.0 percent to Billary’s 60.0 percent.

I’ll start panicking when Trump’s chances are in the 40s, I told myself when they were in the 30s.

Indeed, fivethirtyeight.com founder Nate Silver today posted a piece titled “Democrats Should Panic … If the Polls Still Look Like This in a Week.”

He begins his piece (links are Silver’s):

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the polls has been declining for several weeks, and now we’re at the point where it’s not much of a lead at all. National polls show Clinton only 1 or 2 percentage points ahead of Donald Trump, on average. And the state polling situation isn’t really any better for her. [Yesterday] alone, polls were released showing Clinton behind in Ohio, Iowa and Colorado — and with narrow, 3-point leads in Michigan and Virginia, two states once thought to be relatively safe for her.

It’s also become clearer that Clinton’s “bad weekend” — which included describing half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” [last] Friday, and a health scare (followed by news that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia) on Sunday — has affected the polls. Prior to the weekend, Clinton’s decline had appeared to be leveling off, with the race settling into a Clinton lead of 3 or 4 percentage points. But over the past seven days, Clinton’s win probability has declined from 70 percent to 60 percent in our polls-only forecast and by a similar amount, from 68 percent to 59 percent, in our polls-plus forecast.

That’s not to imply the events of the weekend were necessarily catastrophic for Clinton: In the grand scheme of things, they might not matter all that much (although polling from YouGov suggests that Clinton’s health is in fact a concern to voters). …

Silver concludes his piece:

… So it’s plausible that Clinton’s “bad weekend” could be one of those events that has a relatively short-lived impact on the campaign.

As if to put to the question to the test, Trump upended the news cycle [today] by relitigating the conspiracy theory that [President Barack] Obama wasn’t born in the United States. (Trump finally acknowledged that Obama was born here, but only after falsely accusing Clinton of having started the “birther” rumors.)

If voters were reacting to the halo of negative coverage surrounding Clinton rather than to the substance of reporting about Clinton’s health or her “deplorables” comments, she could regain ground as Trump endures a few tough news cycles of his own. Over the course of the general election so far, whichever candidate has been the dominant subject in the news has tended to lose ground in the polls, according to an analysis by Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley.

All of this is tricky, though, because we still don’t have a great sense for where the long-term equilibrium of the race is, or even whether there’s an equilibrium at all — and we probably never will because of the unusual nature of Trump’s candidacy. Perhaps Trump isn’t that different from a “generic Republican” after all. Or perhaps (more plausibly in my view) he is very poor candidate who costs the Republicans substantially, but that Clinton is nearly as bad a candidate and mostly offsets this effect.

Still, I’d advise waiting a week or so to see whether Clinton’s current dip in the polls sticks as the news moves on from her “bad weekend” to other subjects.

Indeed, it was a bad move by Team Trump to remind us today that yes, Barack Obama indeed is a U.S. citizen — and by so doing remind us that not long ago enough he infamously very publicly had questioned that fact, which no sane individual has doubted.

I don’t see Billary’s “basket of deplorables” remark hurting her in the long term. One, it’s just a fucking fact — indeed, far more than half of Der Fuhrer Trump’s goose-stepping supporters belong in that handbasket that’s headed for hell — and two, it’s not like anyone in that handbasket to hell ever was going to vote for Billary anyway.

No, it was the pneumonia diagnosis (last Friday) and the delayed announcement of it (on Sunday), methinks, that hurt Billary more. Indeed, apparently Billary’s surrogates (and they are Legion) tripped over each other to lie that she’d simply “overheated” in New York City on Sunday, when the high temperature there was only around 85 degrees that day — only then to have the truth of the matter (the pneumonia diagnosis of two days earlier) come out only hours later.

But luckily for Billary, this is the United States of Amnesia, and, again, The Donald just reminded us today that he once strongly had asserted over a long period of time that Barack Obama wasn’t born on U.S. soil.

So yeah, right now we’re seeing, I suspect — I hope — the delayed-in-the-polls reaction to Pneumoniagate, but this, too, shall pass, methinks, and then we’ll be back to where we were pre-Pneumoniagate, which is a highly polarized electorate that’s not going to be swayed very much by very much. (Indeed, El Trumpo very apparently feels quite confident that reminding the nation of his “birtherism” won’t cause him any political damage, and among his brain-damaged supporters, it won’t.)

But I’m still going to take Nate Silver’s advice; if Trump remains at or above a 40-percent chance of winning the White House between now and Election Day, I’m going to wear out the panic button.

Again: This “man” must never be president.

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Der Fuhrer Donald Trump is now too close to Queen Billary for my comfort

FiveThirtyEightFiveThirtyEight

Prognosticator god Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com right now puts Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House at almost one in three. Yikes. If Trump’s chances grow, I’ll be forced to decide whether or not to give Billary Clinton’s campaign money in order to try to prevent the fascist demagogue Trump from becoming president. (Yes, it would have to be that bad for me to give Democrat in name only Billary a fucking penny.)

The presidential election is two months from today, and as I type this sentence fivethirtyeight.com gives Donald Trump a 31.2 percent chance of becoming the next occupant of the White House to Billary Clinton’s 68.8 percent chance.

That’s about a one-in-three chance for El Trumpo, which is still too close for comfort for me.

In the nationwide polling, Billary leads Trump by only 2.1 percent when Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included in the polling, per Real Clear Politics’ average of nationwide polls right now. (When it’s only Trump and Billary, Billary doesn’t do much better, per RCP; she beats Trump by only 2.8 percent in a two-way race. The Huffington Post’s average of nationwide polls right now puts Billary at 5.1 percentage points ahead of Trump in a two-way race. HuffPo doesn’t do an explicit four-way race like RCP does, but when HuffPo includes Johnson and all other candidates, Billary is at 4.8 percentage points ahead of Trump.)

How can fivethirtyeight.com give Billary a bit more than a two-thirds chance of winning the White House when nationwide she’s polling no more than around two to five percentage points ahead of Trump? That would be due to the states where she’s leading and how many electoral votes they have. Right now fivethirtyeight.com projects that Billary is likely to win more than 300 electoral votes (she or Trump needs 270 electoral votes to win the White House).

Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Billary a 99.6 percent chance of winning my state of California — and thus all 55 of its electoral votes, which is more than any other state’s — so it will be quite safe for me to vote my conscience and thus to vote for Jill Stein.

I encourage you to mosey on over to fivethirtyeight.com and see where your state stands. (Just hover your cursor over your state on the graphic of the U.S. map.)

If the probability between Trump and Billary is too close for comfort in your state and you want to prevent a President Trump by voting for Billary, I can’t be mad at you for that, but if, like I do, you live in a solidly blue or solidly red state where it’s pretty fucking foreordained that Billary or Trump is going to win the state — say, by more than a 75 percent or 80 percent chance — and you don’t want to vote for Billary or for Trump, then I encourage you not to.

Take Texas, for instance. Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Trump a 91.6 percent chance of winning Texas. Sure, you could vote for Billary if you’re a Texan voter, but she’s not going to win Texas and thus she won’t win any of its electoral votes in the winner-takes-all Electoral College system, so you might as well vote for another candidate if you don’t want to vote for Billary or for Trump. You might as well cast a protest vote, as I am doing.

Like California, Billary is going to win New York; fivethirtyeight.com puts that at a 98.6 percent chance. If you’re a New York resident who doesn’t want to vote for Billary, then don’t. She’s going to win your state and all of its electoral votes anyway. Go ahead and make that protest vote; you’re quite safe in doing so.

Take a look at fivethirtyeight.com’s list of the 10 states that are most likely to be the tipping point in the Electoral College. They are, in this order of likelihood, from greater to lesser: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota and Nevada.

It all comes down to which candidate reaches 270 electoral votes (270 is the majority of the total of 538 electoral votes possible, from where Nate Silver’s website fivethirtyeight.com takes its name), so if you live and vote in a state that actually could make a difference in the outcome of the presidential election, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota or Nevada, then by all means hold your nose and vote for Billary.

I am not voting for Billary for several reasons. Among them, in no certain order, are that, again, she’s going to win California and its 55 electoral votes whether I vote for her not; I don’t like her or trust her (I don’t for a nanosecond believe that she cares about anyone other than herself and her cronies [I’ve always seen her pandering for what it is: pandering], and she changes her political positions like a human weather vane on crack); she is center-right and Repugnican Lite (indeed, the Dallas Morning News, which hadn’t endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate since before World War II, recently endorsed Billary); as a U.S. senator she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War and had no notable legislative accomplishments during her eight carpet-bagging years in the U.S. Senate; on that note, she used her surname and her status as former first lady to ascend first to the Senate, then to U.S. secretary of state, and then to the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination (feminism hardly is about cravenly simply riding your hubby’s coattails); and, last but certainly not least, WikiLeaks in the latter half of July released e-mails proving that top officials within the Democratic National Committee, including former DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were in the bag for Democrat in name only Billary and sought to sabotage and tank the presidential campaign of the ironically actually Democratic Bernie Sanders from Day One, as we already had figured. (As I’ve noted, that was the final fucking straw for me, and after California’s June 7 presidential primary election and the WikiLeaks revelation, I switched my registration from the Democratic Party back to the Green Party. Fuck the corrupt, anti-democratic Democratic Party!)

I am not alone in disliking Billary Clinton; per Huffington Post’s roundup of favorability polls, 55.5 percent of Americans don’t like Billary and only 41.3 percent do like her. Her numbers aren’t much better than Trump’s; per HuffPo’s roundup of favorability polls, 58.1 percent of Americans don’t like Trump and only 37.9 percent do.

It’s funny (pathetic funny, not ha-ha funny), because it doesn’t matter which candidate wins; he or she most likely will start off on Inauguration Day disliked by a majority of the American people.

Our “choice” in this presidential election is bullshit, and that fact contributes to why I’m voting for Jill Stein, even if it amounts to a protest vote.

I wrote “our ‘choice,'” in the preceding paragraph, but we, the American people, should have choices, not just the choice between only two candidates. Voting for a third-party or independent presidential candidate is a way to say Oh, hell no! to the partisan duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party (can’t tell the difference between the two? Yeah, most of the rest of us can’t, either), which has devolved to our “choice” of Billary Clinton or Donald Trump.*

That said, when push comes to shove, yes, of course, Donald Trump is the greater evil, and I’m closely watching fivethirtyeight.com’s probability of Trump winning the White House, which is updated at least daily.

As I noted, even a 31.2 percent chance of Trump becoming president (where it stands right now) is too close for my comfort, but I’m not sure at which point (if at any point) I’d give Billary any money to help her defeat Trump. I’ve yet to give her a penny, as I don’t want her to be president, but I want Trump to be president even less.

Trump strikes me as a dangerous demagogue whose fascist presidency could bring harm to millions of people here at home and abroad, and should he actually win the White House and I had done nothing at all to try to prevent that, I probably would regret it.

(The only thing that I really could do to help prevent a President Trump, given the restrictions on my free time and energy [and given the fact that no, I won’t make phone calls to voters in other states, as I hate receiving political phone calls myself], is to give Billary money; she doesn’t need my vote, since she essentially has won my state already.)

So I’m hoping that Trump doesn’t creep up in fivethirtyeight.com’s presidential probability report, such as to, say, more than 40 percent, because I’ve been happy that I haven’t given Billary a penny, and I don’t want that happiness to end.

*Indeed, the third-party candidates are polling better this presidential election cycle than they have in a long time. Per Real Clear Politics’ averages of recent nationwide polls in a four-way presidential race, the Libertarians’ Gary Johnson right now has 9 percent and the Green’s Jill Stein has 3.3 percent.

Independent presidential candidate Ross Perot won almost 19 percent of the popular vote in the 1992 election. I still maintain that Perot, being right of center, siphoned more votes from incumbent George H. W. Bush than from Bill Clinton, and that thus if it weren’t for Perot, Bill Clinton probably wouldn’t have won the presidency in 1992.

Bill Clinton first won the White House only on a plurality, by the way — he won only 43 percent of the popular vote in the 1992 three-way presidential race.

Billary Clinton isn’t doing even that well in RCP’s averages of recent nationwide polls in a four-way presidential race: She garners only 41.2 percent to Trump’s 39.1 percent (and again, in that four-way race Gary Johnson garners 9 percent and Jill Stein garners 3.3 percent).

Johnson, I surmise, is siphoning more votes from Trump than from Billary — the Libertarians (and Perot was Libertarian-ish) aren’t centrist but are right of center — but, I surmise, not to the point that Ross Perot siphoned votes from George H. W. Bush.

If Billary wins the White House, she most likely won’t do it with even 50.0 percent of the popular vote, and she’ll be weak from Day One.

P.S. In my lifetime of almost five decades, only two presidents won the White House on only a plurality: Richard Nixon in 1968 and Bill Clinton in 1992. Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996 also was only a plurality (although a stronger one than in 1992), by the way.

P.P.S. Politico lists the “battleground states” as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

That list of 11 states mostly coincides with fivethirtyeight.com’s list of “tipping-point” states above.

For the most part, I’d say that if your state appears on either list (most of the states cited appear on both lists), you probably strongly should consider voting for Billary (while holding your nose after having taken an anti-emetic, if necessary) in order to block Trump.

I’m not voting for Billary because my not voting for her won’t help Trump at all. (If you actually believe that the U.S. president is chosen by the popular vote, please educate yourself on the Electoral College.)

And I still maintain that Bernie Sanders was the stronger of the two Democratic candidates to go up against Trump, and that the Democratic Party made a big fucking mistake by making Billary its nominee.

Of course, I don’t blame the primary voters and caucus-goers entirely for that; there was, after all, a lot of corruption within the calcified, obsolete Democratic National Committee to ensure that Billary won the pageant.

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