Who not to vote for

The choices are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green Party.

I will not vote for someone who in their nomination speech, lasting 45 minutes made 20 misleading or false statements.  I would not vote for someone who has lied over 20,000 times while in office.  I would not vote for someone who has installed political anti-environmentalists with experience in lobbyist activities for fossil fuel companies  in the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and Department of Agriculture.  I would not vote for someone who would abolish many important programs and regulations established by President Obama, because they were done during his administration.   The Paris Climate Accords was one program that was working and put the US in a leadership on Climate Change.

I also believe in a Justice Department which does not chose sides.  I want a president that does not attack his own FBI and other agencies.  For these reasons, and many more, I will not vote for Donald Trump, the candidate for the Republican Party.

I will not vote for either third party candidates, Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party)  or  Howie Hawkins (Green Party).  Neither candidate has any chance of winning any state.  It is a wasted vote.     Jorgensen would like to eliminate many programs helping seniors (social security/ Medicare) and young adults and new families  (student loans and health care).    The Green Party understands we have an environmental crisis, but they will take votes away from Democrats.  The  Republican Party has tried to get them on the ballot, exactly for this purpose.

So,  I will vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who have the experience and pro-actively solving problems in the next 4 years.   They will help us “Build back better”  after the wreckage left by Donald Trump.  We will rebuild our alliances with  Europe and Asia,  end unnecessary trade wars,  find cooperative solutions to climate change  and work together to solve global problems.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Visit my other site: www.sim538.com The only site with all 2020 Election Predictions

Upcoming Election

An incumbent president, usually runs on his achievements during the prior  three plus years.  But, much of what Donald Trump has claimed to have accomplished is not true.  From environmental issues, energy,  the economy and immigration, Trump has claimed credit for accomplishments during the Obama administration.  Trump also falsely portrayed much of his own administration’s efforts as successes, when in fact they were not.

The 20,000 lies that Trump has told over the last 3 1/2 years are quite incredible.  His version of a stupendous economic recovery in 2018-2019 is total nonsense.   The economy was not in collapse at the end of Obama’s term.  It definitely had crashed during George Bush’s last year, losing 800,000 jobs a month and it was President Obama had turned it around, adding about 200,000 jobs a month.  In fact, when Trump cites statistics on how well his administration has done, he typically goes back in time, to the date of his election (November 8, 2016) and not his inauguration date in 2017  just to steal some credit from President Obama.

In the upcoming blogs,  I intend to examine more closely the “three E’s”  – the environment, energy and the economy, plus I intend to  address immigration policy and the “build the wall” craze (it should be called enhance the “see-through fence” initiative).   Trump could brag all he wanted as a real estate developer.  Now he is getting caught every single day, in multiple lies.

Immigration policy is a real pile of crazy sh*t,  Sorry, I just didn’t know how to express this any better.  For months Trump kept bragging how great his policies were,  because apprehensions at the southern border were going down, 40%,  then 61% and finally 78%.   So, immigrants were not trying to sneak into our country, because they were afraid of being caught.  Of course, apprehensions started to rise,  and Trump again bragged that his policies were a tremendous success because they were going up.   Down is great, up is great, who cares, it’s all in the presentation?    In January 2020, the President celebrates great numbers on immigration again, this time apprehensions again were going down.   So, down, up and down again, all with dubious statistics, and all causes to celebrate the tremendous success.

I believe it is necessary to dispel the barrage of  false claims in order to establish the truth.   There is an enormous distribution system of false information.  Energy, environment and the economy issues are all intertwined.    The  “fake news” is often slick presentations, with selected facts helped along by industry lobbyist  groups.  Just one small example –  I saw on a cable news program, a clip showing barges filled with coal going down the Mississippi river,  and the newscaster was talking about how US coal exports had doubled since 2016, which is true.  Yet, in about 2 minutes, I could verify that US coal production had continued it’s steady decline during the Trump administration.  This rise in exports was simply that more coal was being sent overseas,  because the demand was dropping in the US.    Major coal companies filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and 2020, including Cloud Peak Energy and  Murray Coal.

So, I am preparing my first blog on the environment and more will follow.  I am always receptive to comments from my visitors, contrary to my opinions.  As usual, I will support my statements with links from the internet.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Your mail-in vote will be counted

“Mail-In Ballots will lead to massive electoral fraud and a rigged 2020 Election. Look at all of the cases and examples that are out there right now, with the Patterson, N.J., being the most recent example. Republicans, in particular, cannot let this happen!”

Donald Trump July 2, 2020 (repeated  26 times)

Washington Post labels this as False.  See links below.

All properly submitted mail-in votes will be counted.  Studies have shown that intentional fraud in voting is very rare, whether it is done by mail-in votes or in-person votes.   Russia did everything they could to influence our 2016 election.  Printing fraudulent ballots is not one of them.  At least, Attorney General Barr agreed that this has not happened in the past.   The problem is that voters have to register to vote.  When bar coded mail-in  ballots are received, they  are scanned to see if they are from approved registered voters.

In 2007, a voter in King County, Texas registered her dog to show how easily it was to fool the system.  In 2016, a voter in King County tried to do the same, but this time was caught when the information was run through state and federal databases.  Providing false information on registration is a crime.  Similarly,  it is a crime for anyone except the owner of a mail box to remove mail.  See link below.

Mail-in and in-person  ballots have been rejected in the past.  More mail-in ballots are rejected.   Three reasons for this are:  (1) Ballots arrive after the election day and  (2) Voters must sign the return envelope and will not be accepted if the signature does not match the registration form.   To avoid any problems, send in the ballot in the proper return  envelope provided at least 5 days before the election.

In a very close election,  it is likely the mail-in ballots will receive extra scrutiny, because they could make a difference in the outcome of the state’s electoral votes.

Although rare, fraud has occurred in both mail-in and in-person voting.   People who have multiple homes, have been able to vote twice, but have been caught.

In some states, there is “accidental voter fraud”   where felons who have completed their sentences and thought they were able to vote.  But, the states find after election day, that they had not completely made restitution (repaid their victims, done community service, etc) and so they accidentally broke the law.  The number of people who fall into this category are very small, and it can be for very minor crimes like writing a forged check.   Laws are not the same in all states.  The  “felony disenfranchisement”  has been challenged in the courts.  See below.

The felony disenfranchisement is a serious problem is only one aspect – it makes people who have done their time, and hopefully rejoined society,  fearful to vote. State laws vary and some are unrestricted while others require probation to be completed and   a formal petition to be approved prior to restoration of voting rights.

All mail-in ballots have to be counted.  It is the law.  They may not all be counted on election night,  but the count on election night is not the final tally of votes.   Your mail-in ballot could be the one, that CNN announces “the race in this state is too close to call.”    VOTE 2020.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

NYT The facts about mail-in voting and voting fraud

Wikipedia:  Felony disenfranchisement in the US

Washington Post: Tracking all of President Trumps Lies

(This is a free and incredibly detailed tracking system,  and is rated four Pinocchio’s their highest false rating,  All repetitions occurred from April to July 2020 and were done over Twitter.)

Also see:

Amazon:  Donald Trump and his assault on truth,  G. Kessler  and Washington Post fact checker.

 

Why the electoral college?

OK, not a barn burning question for sure.   I’ll admit this topic came up at a dinner party, and as I responded, everyone seemed to move away from me.  It is a good topic to bring up at any dinner party where you would like guests to leave.

First,  the electoral college was part of our constitution and you can’t pass a law in Congress and change this to the popular vote.

Second, the idea was a compromise solution in the creation of our constitution.  The delegates who met at the Philadelphia Convention from May 25, 1787 to September 17, 1787 had a single purpose, to replace the original  framework  of federal government, the Articles of Confederation, with  a more lasting structure.   Prior to this time, there was only the unicameral Continental Congress and no judiciary or executive branch.   The president of the Continental Congress was largely ceremonial and there was no salary for this position.

A debate raged at the Convention in 1787 on how to elect a president.   Many suggested Congress throw in a hat, the names of three people who could be president, and they would be drawn at chance, thus allowing the hand of Providence to govern our selection  (ok, I’m joking).    One option was to have the Congress elect the president.  Obviously, this could lead to a less democratic system.   The idea of direct elections was an alternative, yet the problem at the time was the difficulty in the circulation of information.  Radio  transmission had not yet been invented.   So, the compromise idea was the electoral college where the people of each state would vote for electors and en bloc they would cast their vote for the president.

There was a super wrong assumption made by some at the Convention in forming the electoral college.  They added that if one candidate did not get the majority vote of electors,  then the House of Representatives would decide by a majority the next president.  Those who favored the House electing the president, thought this would happen frequently, because we would have multiple candidates.   In fact, in our history this has only happened three times.   There was nothing in our constitution to have a runoff election, as in many other countries.  One candidate can become president if he wins the majority of the Electoral College by just one vote.   At present, a tie is possible (269 to 269) and the House would have to decide.

The number of electoral votes are based on the state’s population.  There have been improvements made in this system, such as the 12th amendment and the recent Supreme Court decision to allow States to bind electors to the candidate they have pledged to support.  States have laws that fine electors who fail to vote for their pledged candidate.    More information can be found in Wikipedia – see links.

Now, what precisely did I say that made guests at a dinner party move away from me?  I said the Electoral College was a good thing as opposed to the popular vote.  Here’s my logic.   We are a closely divided country, Republicans and Democrats.  Small splinter parties may emerge in the future to try to prevent a candidate from gaining 270 or more votes.  Candidates tailor their election campaigns to the swing state voters, particularly if they see one candidate is on the rise.  In this way, our elections in the 7 to 10 swing states will continue to be tight.    If we have a near tie, under the Electoral College system,   which could happen in this November,  the losing party may ask for the courts intervention  in a closely decided states.    Immediately, potential recounts in states like North Carolina,  Wisconsin or Florida come to mind, with the clock ticking to inauguration day. The Supreme Court decision on December 12, 2000 in  Bush v. Gore created this precedent.  However,  It would be a hundred times worse under the popular vote to do a recount, with thousands of voting districts whose tally is called into question.

So, the 1787 compromise lives on.  You’ll never get a 2/3 majority of both houses to amend the constitution.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Wikipedia:  Philadelphia Convention

Wikipedia:  Electoral College

Amending the US Constitution

 

 

 

Voting Fraud

RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!   Donald Trump’s Tweet, June 22.

The above tweet from Trump is total  nonsense.  It should be shoveled into a pooper scooper.   Twitter has flagged some of Trump’s more outrageous claims.

I and my wife are mailing in our ballots in the 2020 presidential election.  Many citizens will do the same in Florida.   We do not have to be absent from Miami to get one. It is expected that many people will use the mail in option with the Covid-19 risks.  Unfortunately, many others may not vote at all.  In 2016, 43% of eligible voters did not vote.

Voting fraud is extremely rare.  Investigations have uncovered cases, but never a systematic abuse.   The principal safeguard in election is voter registration, which gives officials opportunity to weed out any invalid voters.  See links below.  A study by the Washington Post found 0.0025% of votes were fraudulent.   So, given a million voters, we might have 25 votes that were not acceptable.  Sometimes valid votes are not accepted because people over time change their signature.

There are research groups who will, for a fee, find cases of voter fraud.  People who are guilty of committing a felony may not know that they are ineligible to vote.  This depends on the state they live in.  So, they are a handful of people committing “accidental” voter fraud, because if they had known, they would have never voted.  This is a minuscule number of voters.

Some people may still like to show up at the polling stations, because they are concerned their vote will not be counted.  There is some truth to this.  If their ballot does not show up before the deadline, the wrong return envelope is used or the signature does not match the one on record, then the ballot will be rejected.  About 1% of all mail-in ballots are rejected.    But, all properly sent in ballots have to be counted.

So, please ignore everything Donald Trump says.   Two reasons he is saying this:  (1) Higher turnout favors a Democratic win and (2) He can claim the election was rigged if he loses.

Please Vote 2020.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Analytical modeling from Moody’s showed Trump’s chances of winning were significantly higher when voter turnout is low, based on historical trends.

Click to access president-election-model.pdf

Washington Post: Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks

Washington Post:  Here’s the problem with mail-in ballots: They might not be counted.

New York Times Arrested, Jailed and Charged With a Felony. For Voting.

New York Times: The Facts About Mail-In Voting and Voter Fraud

Fact Check:  Trump’s Latest Voter Fraud Misinformation

 

 

The DNC v-Convention

The Democratic Convention will be from August  17 to 20, in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin.   Officials have announced that the actual event will be scaled back due to the Covid-19 epidemic.   The delegates do not have to fly to Milwaukee, stay at hotel rooms, go to packed arenas, meet with others in photo ops  and sit together in numerous meetings, etc.  A convention is an epidemiologist worse nightmare.    Delegates can stay home and vote remotely.   For the health of the delegates, and their entourage, volunteers,  the press, the residents of Milwaukee and really for the state of Wisconsin, I think it’s a terrific move.

I believe the convention should be renamed the v-Convention as in the virtual convention.   Officials should play up this internet event, as not scaling down the convention but scaling up it by placing it on the internet.  The primary purpose of both the Republican and Democratic conventions is marketing of their candidate and bashing the opposition.   Recently, it seems more time is spent on the latter.  The Democrats can claim a health conscious convention and connect with voters in this manner.

I’ve also suggested to the DNC, that this should be called the v-Convention or Convention in the Clouds.   It can be amazingly successful, with live streams of supporters in all the key states.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Who is telling the truth in the impeachment hearings

Politicians lie.  They all do it.  But they also get caught doing it.  That’s the purpose of fact checking organizations.  Trump supporters have a lot to explain, and their defense of Trump includes a lot that is just not true.  I encourage my followers to fact check what they read here, and it really isn’t hard. Also, “main stream media” such as CNN and the print media, including  the New York Times and Washington Post are very reliable sources of information.  The House Intelligence Committee puts an incredible amount of raw information,  i.e. transcripts of testimony and documents on their website.  It is hard to keep up with all of this, but it is out there.

It is very consistent for Trump to launch a counter offensive attack on impeachment, by supporting and often retweeting  statements by Republican senators, which are without foundation, when his actions are indefensible.

Here is a short list of statements  which are absolute rubbish:

Question 1: Did President Barack Obama immediately fire all Bush-appointed ambassadors “the day he was elected office”?

FALSE

As is the custom, Obama immediately replaced most — not all — of Bush’s politically appointed ambassadors. Obama did not remove any of the career appointees to ambassadorships.

Sources:  Factcheck.org and politifact.com

Question arises because Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled after a smear campaign was launch against her by people close to Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani and Representative Pete Sessions.  There is a lot more to this story, but Trump got caught before he could put a political appointee into the Ambassador position.

Question 2:   Is it true that several news organizations reported that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. Senator Kennedy states, “It’s been well documented in the Financial Times, in Politico, in The Economist, in the Washington Examiner, even on CBS, that the prime minister of Ukraine, the interior minister, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption League, all meddled in the election on social media and otherwise,”

A:   From Politifact.com:

FALSE

We found that these articles paint a picture of Ukrainian leaders fearful of Russia and of Trump’s comments that took a more conciliatory stance on Russian aggression. The news coverage shows Ukrainians preferred Hillary Clinton because she was tough on Russia. However, the articles don’t show a vast, top-down approach ordered to boost Clinton.

Kennedy mentioned The Economist multiple times. The Economist’s U.S. editor John Prideaux told us: “We are a bit puzzled by Sen. Kennedy citing us to the effect that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections.”

Republicans frequently mention a 2017 Politico article, which focused on the work of a Democratic political contractor who tried to dig up dirt on Trump and his advisers. We vetted it and found that the GOP has used its findings selectively.

Question 3:  Is Sen. John Kennedy similar accusation true?  The Senator says former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko “actively worked for Secretary Clinton.

FALSE

Answer by Politifact.com – see link.

His sources are  completely lacking.   It didn’t get the “Pants on Fire” designation, but it should.

Question 4:  What about the 2017 Politico story that shows the Sen. Kennedy statements are true?

FALSE

A:  “The article did not state that the Ukrainian government conspired with the Clinton campaign or the DNC,” said Melissa Cooke, a booking manager for Politico, in an email. “It also emphasized that the acts of Ukrainian officials to raise questions about Trump were not comparable to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and reported that the then-Ukrainian government was trying to make amends with then-President-elect Trump.”

Senator John Kennedy is a Republican from Louisiana.

Question 5: Is Trump’s statement true: “They never thought, Dan, that I was going to release that call, and I really had no choice because Adam Schiff made up a call,” Trump said Nov. 15. “He said the president said this, and then he made up a call.”

FALSE 

Trump has repeated this statement numerous times.  Schiff already had the released memo, and was just giving a “dramatized synopsis” of key points.  See link.

—-

I’m stopping at 5 false statements for now.  For more false statements,  please follow this link to politifact.org   (Fact-checking Impeachment Claims) .    One of the few true claims came surprisingly from Fox News, and their legal analyst who stated it is perfectly legal to have witnesses testify in private.  I’ve included this link at the end.

There will be an enormous number of false statements, coming from Rep. Jim Jordan,  Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Attorney diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing (see link below), Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana, and of course, Donald Trump.  I encourage everyone to check out these links and dig in more to get the truth.  It doesn’t come from Facebook or Twitter, that’s for sure.

In the coming few weeks, the false statements will increase.   Republicans know when the impeachment goes to the Senate, they have the votes to acquit Trump.   It is highly likely they will not only acquit him, but cast the Democrats as the true villains,  is concocting false evidence against Trump, because they can’t  deal with their loss in 2016 or because they can’t  win the election

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Sen.  Kennedy claims that Ukrainian President Poroshenko actively worked for Clinton is False

What we know about the Politico story at the heart of a Ukraine conspiracy theory

Did Obama Fire All Bush-Appointed Ambassadors?

Donald Trump gets Ukraine phone memo timeline backwards

Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine

Fox News analyst correct: Impeachment inquiry is following rules by questioning witnesses in private

Other Fact checking resources:

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and the people he forgets he knew

Politifact.com

Republicans Cherry-Pick Facts on Impeachment

Factcheck.org

2020 Election forecasting

I saw a headline that Moody had an election forecast model which shows Trump wins by a landslide.  I thought immediately that this can’t be.  Landslides happen when a very popular president runs for re-election, and wins big in certain key states.

Moody has a forecast model, which uses economic variables to predict election winners.   They produced 3 elections scenarios:  (1) Democrats win by a narrow margin (2) Republicans win by a narrow margin and (3) Republicans win by a wide margin.   The difference in these three models is the % turnout of the opposition party (Democrats) in the election.   Republicans win if this % Democratic turnout is average or below average.  Democrats win with a high Democratic turnout.  Of course, this turnout will not be known until after the election.   It is really what every election strategist will tell their candidate, that it isn’t enough to get people to agree with you,  you have to get them to vote for you.

Rule 1:  You need to fire up your base at election time or at least more than your opponent.

Moody’s work predicts every outcome but a Democratic landslide.   Moody’s considered 3 models, all using economic data, state-by-state.  I’ve included their model description in the links.   The approach passes my quick “six state reasonable check.   Regardless of the model and turnout,  Republicans win in TX 38,  GA 16, and TN 11 while Democrats win CA 55, NY 29 and IL20.  Postal  codes are followed by the electoral votes (EV)).   Moody predicts that all toss up states go to Trump when Democrat turnout is low or average.  I’m skeptical of this result.   They include all elections from 1980 to 2016.  I believe the earlier elections with Reagan victories may have skewed their results.  No candidate can win in New York, California and Texas anymore.

I’m particularly skeptical of Moody’s  wide margin win case,  with Trump beating Democrats  380 to 158 electoral votes.  That’s a solid win but not a landslide by historical standards.   Crushing victories haven’t happened for 3 decades.   The more recent landslides  were: 1972 Nixon vs.  McGovern with 520 EV,  1980 Reagan vs. Carter 489 EV and 1984 Reagan vs Mondale 525 EV.   Yet Reagan crushed Carter in 1980, he won just 50.7% of the popular vote. Nixon won by a landslide and a solid popular vote of 60.7%, yet resigned two years with the Watergate scandal.   I won’t go there- this blog already getting long!

Rule 2: You don’t have to be popular in every state, just the ones that count.

I tried to compare Moody’s work to everyone else making forecasts, but it just got too complicated.  I’m sticking with my  list of 5 solid toss up states of MI 16,  WI 10, PA  20. FL 29 and AZ 11, made on my Aug 19 blog. I also included the extra 2 contenders for the “who knows” list:  NC 15 and  NH 4,  plus 2 Republican leaners,  GA 16 and OH 18,  both with sizable EVs.    All total  these nine states have 145 electoral votes and will decide the election.

As far as the solid Republican vs Democrat vote,  I think the Democratic candidate begins more solid support.  In the link given below, the safe EV for Democrats varies from 183 to 209.  The Republicans can count on a safe 125 EV although there is certainly an upside to this.  If we look at states which went Republican since year 2000, the EV count is 179.  See link below.

Following Rules 1 and 2 are important.  I’d like to add this final rule.

Rule 3:  Election forecasts do not necessarily get better with time.    Forecasts showing one candidate to win,  can actually help the opposing candidate.

My case in point is all the polls in 2016 showed Hillary Clinton would win Florida.  But they all showed the race to be very close.   The candidate may be popular but that’s not enough – see Rule 1.   Hillary Clinton was widely predicted to win the 2016 election and this gave Trump supporters more incentive to vote.

Every time a candidate appears to be ahead in a swing state, the opposing candidate will double their efforts.  The “close the gap” strategy precludes any landslide elections.    Each candidate will target the swing states with every trick in the book.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Moody’s Model

270toWin.com

Wikipedia: Presidential elections

 

 

Trump’s impeachment

Do I dare go there?  There is some excellent coverage already, and I just can’t see adding much.  I believe this scenario:  House will vote in favor of impeachment.  Trump and his supporters will immediately claim they did because they knew that they’ll never win at the polls in 2020, and will stop at nothing to throw him out.   The Senate will fail to get the 2/3 needed and the rest is history.

I’ll let others figure out how this affects Trump’s popularity.   So far Gallup polls don’t show much change up or down.  I would like the time spent discussing other important issues.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

 

Who will win the 2020 Presidential Election?

States where democrats or republicans won big in 2016 are likely to do the same in 2020.  It is all about who can win  the big swing states.

These states, and their electoral votes  are:  Michigan (MI, 16 votes),  Wisconsin (WI,10), Pennsylvania (PA, 20), Florida (FL, 29), Arizona (AZ, 11).   All total, these 5 states have 86 electoral votes.

There’s not universal agreement on the swing states.  Some forecasters include North Carolina (NC, 15),  New Hampshire (NH, 4) and Iowa (IA, 6) adding another 25 electoral votes to the “who really knows” category.

There’s also a lean republican category, which includes Georgia (GA, 16) and Ohio (OH, 18) for another 34 votes.  Some feel Florida should also be in this category.

So, the lazy man’s approach is to take the solid states’ vote (Rep 125, Dem 188), and all the possible swing states (86 + 25 + 34 = 145) and divide by 2, giving each party 72 votes.  Nobody gets 270 votes, but the Democrats with 260 votes are a lot closer than Republicans with 197 electoral votes.

This approach didn’t work in 2016 and it’s not likely to work in 2020.  It isn’t enough for the candidates to convince voters that they should be president for the next four years, they must be able to get their supporters to show up at the polls.

Another perverse aspect of forecasting – any positive results are likely to make supporters of a particular candidate less likely to show up at the polls, because they figure their vote is unnecessary.  This is the complacency factor, that dogged Hillary Clinton.

However,  the 9 states  (WI, PA, FL, AZ, NC, NH, IA, GA, OH)  is where all the action will be centered.  Well maybe just 8 hot spots because NH has only 4 electoral votes.   Pennsylvania and Florida are super hot spots.

Still very early but let the games begin!

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Trump should not be impeached

No one would travel down a blocked road.  They would turn back once they knew the road was blocked.

If the House  passes articles of impeachment, it would then go to the Senate, and the Republican majority would vote against impeachment.   So, Trump would win and declare victory.  After all, he has said that the Russian investigation was a big hoax.  The Mueller report did not exonerate the President on obstruction of justice.   Democrats are right that there is a lot of evidence to support impeachment proceedings.

Trump will have some excellent lawyers come to his defense the moment the House Judiciary Committee begins hearings.   One of them is renown legal expert Alan Dershowitz who wrote a book, “The Case Against Impeaching Trump” which I have not read, but got the essence of his arguments from numerous appearances on cable television, mainly Fox network.   The legal defense will begin with there is no evidence that the President directly interfered with the Mueller probe.  Trump really went through others in an effort to impede the investigation.  Secondly, any obstruction attempt  was unsuccessful.   Finally, his lawyers will charges against him do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

It should be difficult to impeach a President, because the President is chosen by the electorate.   A trial of impeachment is never a fair trial.  The argument for maintaining a high threshold for impeachment, is that the legislature, in a political trial, is overturning the decision of the electorate.   I can see why civil libertarians  like Alan Dershowitz  will side with the president.  The  right to vote becomes much less important if the legislature can easily remove a sitting president.  Impeachment has none of the safeguards of protecting the rights of the accused, to be innocent until proven guilty.

We have only two precedents on the Senate impeachment trials, Bill Clinton (1999) and Andrew Johnson (1868).  Both trials failed to get the two-thirds vote necessary to remove the president.  Voting in both trials coincided with  party lines, clearly demonstrating the partisan nature of the trial.  In Clinton’s case.  the Senators deliberations were conducted in a closed door session.

Thus, in these  critical months before the election,  the real issues take not center stage, as they should.  The only proper and successful way to remove Donald Trump from office is through the ballot box based on the fact that there are better candidates to lead our country.  Anything else is a distraction.   My cable news station has 3 channels which are strongly Republican (2 on Fox and OAN) and they will be lambasting the impeachment hearings every minute they can.   All Democrats will be doing is creating political theater, likely to turn off voters.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

The Democratic Candidates for President

My God, there are a lot of them.  I’ve broken them down into 4 groups:  Top dogs (4),  Possible, but not likely  (4),  No chance (15), and don’t vote for these people because they have never held elected office in their lives (2).

Top dogs:  Biden, Harris, Sanders, Warren

Possible, but not likely:  Klobuchar, Booker, Buttigieg and O’Rourke

No chance:  Bennet, Bullock, Castro, Blasio, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Messen, Moulton. O’Rourke, Ryan, Swalwell,

Don’t vote for these people:  Williamson, Yang

I check Williamson’s website, and it shows she really knows her issues.   I just think she should start by being a Senator or Governor, to show us she’s cut out for the job.

I know exactly what you are thinking – where is Oprah?  She publicly said she would not run.  Mark Zuckerberg is also not running.  Some primaries in February will help separate out the true candidates from the rest.  Then,  8 months from now, on March 3, comes a whole slew of primaries.  I think the field will drop to about 8 candidates.

 

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Wikipedia:  Democratic Presidential Primaries

Predicting the US Presidential Election 2020

Wow this may seem way too early, as we don’t know which one of the 23 announced Democrats will make it to the be their party’s candidate.   However,  there are states which consistently vote for Republicans or Democrats, and this is the basis of political forecasting.   And there is this incredible paradox in forecasting as the forecast itself can alter the actual results.  If the consensus  says that party ‘X’ will win, then supporters of Party “X’ are less motivated to vote, and the supporters of Party ‘Y’ are more motivated, meaning more will vote.   Also the candidates will change their strategy based on which states are leading or lagging in their run.

I sum it up like this: – it is difficult to identify how a population feels about a candidate when the candidates are doing everything in their power to change people’s opinion.

Polls can be so wrong, for a long list of reasons.  Of the eligible voters, 42% did not vote.  Any poll which included the general public, may be representative of the popularity of a candidate, but this isn’t what counts in an election.   In an evenly divided state such as Florida,  obtaining a representative sample in a timely manner is difficult.  The polling  margins in Florida (% difference between candidates) were very small in 2016, so results were significantly affected by sampling errors.   If this stuff interest you, then you have to know the state symbols and the websites.

There are many sites  of which  270towin.com  and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball are the best right now in providing non-partisan forecasts of the US Presidential elections.     In my opinion,  forget any website which says “It looks like a landslide for Candidate ‘X’  or Party ‘X,’      I can’t predict much, but a landslide is out of the question.  We have been a very evenly divided country politically for at least 19 years.

To make a educated guess of who will win the election,  the prognosticators generally subdivide the electoral states into 7 categories (Solid Dem, Likely  Dems, Lean Dems, Toss up,  Lean Rep, Likely Rep and Solid Rep).   There’s a 5 category model with Likely and Lean combined into one category.

There are 5 big toss ups, as follows with the state symbol and electoral votes:   AZ(11), FL(29), WI(10), MI(16), PA(20).   This is the “Consensus view” per the 270toWin website.   The total is 86 votes.   We have in these 5 states something I will call “Hardcore uncertainty.”    The tossup total is 87 (one extra comes from NE),

The biggest prize is Florida, carrying 29 EV, or about a third of the total tossups.  The candidate which wins Florida,  Michigan and Pennsylvania takes 75% of the tossups.

Now, not everyone is agreeing on this tossup category.  Larry Sabato’s Crystal ball from the University of Virginia, considers PA, AZ, WI and NH as tossups, for a total of 46%.    Sabato adds NH but the state only has 4 EV’s.  So, the big prize is Pennsylvania.   In Sabato’s forecast, Florida leans Republican and Michigan leans Democrat,  Net it is a gain of 13 EV’s in favor of Republicans.

As I take a more broad view of the  “solids” in the map,  it seems that evident that Republicans are the majority in  the US heartland with a solid red, from North Dakota and Montana to Oklahoma and Louisiana.   Democrats are solid on the very populous east and west coasts.   Texas was usually considered a solid Republican state, but is now considered in the “likely” group for Republicans.   Our country is not as divided as the maps might seem to present.  It is far mixed up politically with local elections in red states going to Democratic candidates and vice versa.    The third link from Wikipedia has an excellent discussion on “Map Interpretation.:

This forecasting is interesting because everyone sees the same information at the same time.   In fact each political party is very focused on the polling numbers.  and generates their own forecasts to boot.    Again, I come back to the point that whatever the consensus forecast is at any one time, the subsequent actions of the parties acts to drive the statistics in the opposite direction,  reducing the forecast’s accuracy.  For example,  if Democrats believe they can turn Texas or Republicans can turn Michigan, they will race to the state, with a barge of arguments why only their candidate can run the country.  A final point is the hypocrisy in all this is not lost, as each candidate will tell their supporters that they are more interested in issues rather than polling statistics, when their staffs and paid consultants are looking daily at the numbers.

Stay tuned,

Dave

https://www.270towin.com/

http://crystalball.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/2020-president/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states

Inspector General’s Report

The link below is the full 500+ report, which as I predicted, is being reported very differently by Republicans and Democrats.    Fox News headline is:  “Disaster for Comey”  with the implication that whatever is bad for Comey,  makes the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton look bad.   They further go on to say “Trump breaks silence with damning IG report, say it vindicates move to fire FBI boss.”

The New York Times headline avoided the same adjectives, such as bombshell (seen on Fox News)  but reported “FBI Faulted in Clinton Case.”   They mention the  part of the report that Democrats like –  the conclusion that political opinions of some at  FBI involved in the Clinton email investigation  did not influence the outcome.

So, both Republicans and Democrats can reach different conclusions.   And, finally the reason most Americans will not bother to read it (beyond laziness), is best summed up by one blogger:, “The IG is just as crooked as the rest of the FBI and DOJ.”   So,  paranoid conspiracy bloggers don’t need to read and can just troll the internet for big conspiracy advocates.

The IG’s conclusions are based on the information as given in the 500 pages of documentation.   I think that’s pretty good.

2016_election_final_report_06-14-18_0

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

Trump and Sessions

Most of this has already been said in the press and on news commentary shows.  The Attorney General is nominated by the president, serves at the pleasure of the president and may be fired by president at any time.  The Department of Justice must at the same time conduct investigations independently of the president.   AG Jeff Sessions, whether you like him or hate him, has focused on areas which  are of high concern to President Trump- illegal immigrants in the US and drug trafficking.   He is likely will prosecute anyone who  illegally  discloses  information, when investigations yield compelling evidence.

Sessions has been attacked in tweets by Trump, who said he is very disappointed at the AG.   Commentators believe he is trying to have Sessions resign rather than fire him.

The attorney general  must be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law.  What Sessions won’t do, is make unwarranted accusations and use the Department for partisan purposes.    He was involved in the election campaign of Donald Trump, so it is likely he had close contact with Paul Manafort and others under investigation.   To his credit, he recused himself from the Russian  investigation, so his activities could be investigated without any suggestion of impropriety.   This strengthens the public perception of the integrity of the investigation.

Trump seems obsessed about leaks and the reporting of these leaks in the media.  He wasn’t at all concerned about this when leaks were coming out on a daily basis on Hillary Clinton.  Eric Holder had an active investigation on Julian Assange, who runs Wikileaks.  If he ever steps in the US, hopefully he will be arrested.   Charges against  Edward Snowden have already been filed under the Obama administration.   Should Snowden or Julian Assange ever step foot in the US,  you can be sure that they will be prosecuted under the  full force of the Justice Department..  It makes no difference if this occurs under a Democratic or Republican administration.

But, what Trump has in mind, is the chatter that goes on between White House insiders and the media.  Also, as his popularity is sinking, he has revived the campaign promise to go after violations of the law of Hillary Clinton for disclosure of classified information.   Similar attacks have been launch against FBI Director Comey.  The Department of Justice has access to all the information gathered by the FBI,  and if they feel there is a compelling case, with a reasonable chance of prevailing in their charges,  I am sure Jeff Sessions will not hesitate for one minute to bring charges against Clinton or Comey.   However,  he will not use his office to make frivolous accusations against them.   He will not turn the Department of Justice into a bully pulpit.

I can only surmise that the only reason the Department of Justice had not pressed charges, is because there is insufficient evidence of violation of the law.    I have provided a link below on some myths about what is considered  confidential information.   One  popular myth is  that confidential information should be easily recognized by its subject matter alone and need not be so designated .

Trump was at the Boy Scout Jamboree, and treated it like some kind of campaign rally.   The first two qualities in the Boy Scout oath are Trustworthy and Loyal.   I believe both Jeff Sessions and  FBI Director Comey  through their decades of government service are exemplary  of these qualities.   They are loyal to the people’s representatives who through the ages, created and expanded the Justice Department and the FBI.  No one made the government exempt in administrating their duties as this would undermine our democratic process.  They were not going to allow the integrity be diminished by the political desires of the president of the United States.

Link:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-classified-information/2015/09/18/a164c1a4-5d72-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html?utm_term=.e610934bea2e

Link on Jeff Sessions:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sessions

Stay tuned,

Dave

PS:  Trump’s approval rating is 37% according to the latest Gallup poll.