Friday, September 23, 2016

The Coming Av-Hill-Lanche, Con't

If Hillary Clinton's team keeps hitting Donald Trump with his own words in powerful ads like this one out today, Trump may actually lose by double digits.

In the 30-second spot, which will air in several battleground states, young girls look self-consciously at their reflections in iPhone screens and mirrors. Trump’s offensive remarks, taken from radio and TV interviews, play in the background. 
“I’d look at her right in that fat ugly face of hers.”

“She’s a slob. She ate like a pig.” 
“A person who is flat-chested, it’s very hard to be a 10.” 
In the final quote, an interviewer asks if Trump treats women with respect and he responds, “I can’t say that either.” 
“Is this the president we want for our daughters?” the ad concludes.

Last Trumpista left, please scream at the lights until the bulb breaks.

The Keys To The Campaign

The NY Times interviews Prof. Allen Lictman, who has correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections successfully with his "13 keys" approach to political prognostication, and it's worth noting that he says that Donald Trump will be your next President.

Nobody knows for certain who will win on Nov. 8 — but one man is pretty sure: Professor Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984.
When we sat down in May, he explained how he comes to a decision. Lichtman's prediction isn't based on horse-race polls, shifting demographics or his own political opinions. Rather, he uses a system of true/false statements he calls the "Keys to the White House" to determine his predicted winner.
And this year, he says, Donald Trump is the favorite to win.
The keys, which are explained in depth in Lichtman’s book “Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016” are:
  1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.
  2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.
  3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.
  4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.
  5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.
  6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.
  7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.
  8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.
  9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.
  10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.
  11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.
  12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.
  13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

Lichtman's formula is that the party in power loses if they fail six or more of these conditions, and that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have already failed ad conditions 1, 3, 7, 11, and 12 for sure, and that Gary Johnson's poll numbers mean that they have failed number 4 as well.

The problem is I disagree with points 7 and 11.  Both Obamacare and normalization of relations with Cuba continue to be major successes for the Obama administration, plus I believe that Gary Johnson's support will collapse by November.  That leaves the Democrats only losing two for sure, with condition 12 subjective at best.

So no, I don't think Hillary Clinton is in trouble in the least by this criteria.  I just think it's being measured incorrectly.

She's still going to win.

Bevin Busted Big

The Kentucky Supreme Court has shoved GOP Gov. Matt Bevin's face in the dirt with a 5-2 ruling throwing out the governor's unilateral decision to cut University of Kentucky system funding.

"The governor's reduction of the allotments of the universities in this case exceeded his statutory authority," wrote Justice Mary C. Noble in a 50-page opinion. "Whatever authority he (the governor) might otherwise have to require a budget unit not to spend appropriated funds does not extend to universities, which the legislature has made independent bodies politic with control over their own expenditures." 
The ruling reverses an earlier one by Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate saying a governor does have the authority to withhold funds appropriated by the General Assembly to universities. 
Four justices concurred with Noble in the 5-2 opinion. Justices Daniel J. Venters and Samuel T. Wright III dissented. 
At issue in the case is Bevin's controversial directive to cut state funding to universities and community colleges by 4.5 percent during the 2015-16 fiscal year. Bevin later agreed to reduce the cuts to 2 percent and exempt Kentucky State University – the state's smallest university. 
The 2 percent cuts amount to about $18 million – money that has been held in a separate account pending the Supreme Court's final ruling.

So no,'re not king of Kentucky.  And several other suits are pending as Bevin took authority in his first six months to do everything from make cuts to colleges to firing entire advisory boards, and if this ruling from the state's highest court is any indication. he's in a lot of trouble.

But the impact of the ruling is huge as it relates to the Republican governor's aggressive exercise of executive power and his ongoing legal clashes with Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, who filed the lawsuit challenging the university cuts. 
"Today, the Supreme Court enforced Kentucky law, reminding us that not even the governor is above the law," Beshear said at a news conference late Thursday morning. "Based on today's ruling, I am calling on Gov. Bevin to immediately release the $18 million he wrongfully withheld from our public universities and colleges." 
Beshear also said, "I'm also calling on the governor's office to use today as a turning point. It's time for him to stop attacking and instead to join me in building a better Kentucky." 
But the response of the governor's office made clear Bevin is not ready to join Beshear in anything. That response briefly said Bevin disagreed with Thursday's ruling and emphasized that the cuts to universities were part Bevin's broader strategy to save money to address the crisis within state pension funds, which have unfunded liabilities of about $35 billion. 
"The Attorney General clearly does not understand the severity of the pension problem which became the nation's worst-funded plan under the watch of his father's (former Gov. Steve Beshear's) administration," Bevin Press Secretary Amanda Stamper said in a statement.

So the fight between Andy Beshear and Matt Bevin continues, Beshear's not sorry he's winning, and Bevin's refusing to apologize while losing.

Welcome to Bevinstan.


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