Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cruising the Web

By opening with a question on the Supreme Court, Chris Wallace hit the one issue that might make some conservatives vote for Trump.

Hillary's answer on D.C. v. Heller was quite deceptive. The case was not about protecting toddlers. It concerned whether D.C.'s laws were so restrictive that they violated the individual's right to keep and bear arms. Sean Davis explains how wrong she was in her characterization of the decision.
It’s a lie so absurd that I honestly don’t know where to begin, but I’ll give it a shot: No, the Heller decision was not about toddlers. It had nothing to do with toddlers. Nothing. It’s no coincidence that the word “toddler” doesn’t appear in either the majority or dissenting opinions in the case. Because it had nothing to do with toddlers.

So what was the Heller case really about? It was about whether Dick Anthony Heller, a 66-year-old police officer, should be legally allowed to own and bear a personal firearm to defend himself and his family at home. That’s it....

o mention of toddlers. Because the case wasn’t about toddlers. It was about whether the District of Columbia’s “total ban on handguns” — the Supreme Court’s characterization of the law at issue in the case — was constitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that D.C.’s ban on handguns was unconstitutional and that Heller, a police officer, had a constitutional right to own and bear a firearm in his home. It had nothing whatsoever to do with toddlers.

We saw the difference in having a moderator who isn't an obvious liberal for there to be a question on partial-birth abortion right in the beginning. Hillary can talk about the difficult decisions that women face at the end of a pregnancy but that doesn't mean that the baby has to be killed as it is in a late-term abortion. Babies at that stage of pregnancy, if the situation were as Hillary described of there being a problem with the woman's health, a baby could still be delivered and live. Of course, for all Trump's pretend outrage on partial-birth abortion, he once supported it.

Of course, then Trump had to go and claim that ICE has endorsed him. Government agencies don't make endorsements. The union representing ICE agents is what endorsed him. Then he went and praised Obama for deporting people. Apparently, Trump doesn't know that the numbers of deportations under Obama are opened because the definition of deportation has changed.

Will someone explain to Donald Trump, that Wharton graduate, that "bigly" is not a word?

I'd like to ask Trump if he plans to ignore the evaluation of intelligence agencies in a Trump administration when they tell him that the Russians are responsible for the Wikileaks or does his admiration of Vladimir Putin trump American intelligence agencies? And he's already been informed in his intelligence briefings that Russia is behind the hacking.
A senior U.S. intelligence official assured NBC News that cybersecurity and the Russian government's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election have been briefed to, and discussed extensively with, both parties' candidates, surrogates and leadership, since mid-August. "To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation," said the official. "The intelligence community has walked a very thin line in not taking sides, but both candidates have all the information they need to be crystal clear."
Of course, the woman who giggled her way through the mistranslated "Reset" button is not a woman who can brag about how tough she'd be with Putin.

Hillary was quite dishonest in saying that she hadn't been talking about "open borders" in her leaked speech in Brazil.

Bragging about how her husband was responsible for the 1990s economic boom is ludicrous. And crediting Obama with saving the economy is also a laugh. Given that the Obama administration has doubled the national debt, she shouldn't be bragging about how she's worried about the debt. She seems to think that giving the government a bigger role in the economy is the way to grow the economy.

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Trump's attacks on our allies by saying they're terrible is not the approach a president should be using. We've had enough from Obama in dissing allies like Israel and the UK. We don't need more of that.

She claimed that everything she did as Secretary of State was for our nation's interest. Oh, was it in our nation's interest for her to use an unsecured server?

Trump's best argument is pointing out how long Hillary and her pals have been in the government and haven't done what she's now promising to do. It is reminiscent of Ross Perot's line in 1992 that he doesn't have any experience in running up a huge debt.

Does anyone believe that all these women's claims of sexual harassment by Donald Trump were all lying when we've heard his own voice bragging about doing the same thing? And Hillary was right that Trump defended himself from these claims by deriding their looks.

He was smart to pivot from the no-win questions on his abuse of women to attacking her on lying to the people and FBI. Then she attacked him for switching subjects and proceeds to switch subjects from her lies to attacking Trump for all the appalling things he's said. And then he just denied that he's said things that he said on video. It's the postmodern campaign.

They attacked each other on their foundations. In an ordinary year, those stories about their foundations alone would have disqualified both of them. How lovely that we need to choose which candidate is less corrupt.

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It is truly despicable for Trump to refuse to say that he would accept the outcome of the election. Forget anything else said in the debate, that is the line that the media will be discussing tomorrow. I still think that Nixon's finest moment was his decision not to contest the vote in 1960 even though there were definitely reasons to be suspicious of some of the states' results. The country is so much more divided now and the last thing we need is for a large percentage of the country to think that the election was illegitimate. The Democrats did that in 2000 and it was poisonous. One of the hallmarks of our country is the peaceful transfer of power. Well, except for secession and Civil War. Accepting the vote of the American people is not something that any candidate should brag about "keeping us in suspense."

Trump might have had a better performance in the debate (though the bar is plenty low), but his somewhat more disciplined and sober performance will be lost in discussion of his refusal to accept the results of the election. Of course, such petulance is just typical of his sore loseriness.

Of course, it would have been interesting if someone had asked Al Gore in 2000 if he'd accept the results of the election. He eventually did, but the country was put through a hellish month. Is that what Trump is wishing for?

Kevin Williamson has a great article explaining that Trump is losing because of his own behavior, not because the election is rigged. He's losing because voters don't like him. Voter fraud does happen, but it's not going to swing the entire election, especially when she seems to be winning by a large Electoral College margin. Williamson rightly ridicules the position of Democrats' on voter fraud.
For Democrats, this is a game of moving the goalposts. Their first objection was: Illegal voting doesn’t happen. When it was decisively shown that it does happen, the criterion changed: Well, it doesn’t happen very much. When it was decisively shown that voting infractions are fairly common, the criterion changed again: There’s no dispositive evidence that illegal voting has thrown a major election.

The goalpost-moving game is a funny one. At the same time they deny or attempt to minimize fraudulent voting, Democrats have made a great fuss about “voter suppression,” which usually consists of such sneaky Republican dirty tricks as requiring that voters show up at the polls with a photo-ID card made available to them free of charge at the local DMV. (The libertarian in me suspects that making regular DMV visits a mandatory part of the voting experience would do more to reform American politics than all the think-tank wonkery combined.) Democrats also strongly resist efforts to enforce ordinary laws against fraudulent voting by dead people (Lyndon Johnson’s second-most-important constituency, behind household pets), prisoners, disenfranchised felons, and the like. Even if we buy the argument that there’s no real evidence that illegal voting has thrown an election, there’s no evidence that voter-ID laws or enforcing other voting laws has thrown an election, either. The focal distance of these stories is forever changing: If the question is purported “disenfranchisement,” then anecdote rules and statistical questions are set aside; if the question is illegal voting, then statistical claims are central and anecdotes are dismissed as uninformative.

That’s cheap high-school debaters’ stuff, but it works more often than you’d think.

The fact is that we should be opposed to illegal voting even if it is only desultory and rare, even if it amounts to something less than a decisive factor in electoral outcomes. For one thing, it is wrong, malum in se, and for another, it actually does what the Democrats accuse Trump of doing: It undermines confidence in the legitimacy of U.S. elections. Shootings by police officers in questionable confrontations are not the leading killer of black men in the United States, or among the top-ten causes of death for black men, or the top 100 or the top 1,000. (For teenaged black men, it’s homicide, suicide, and heart disease; for black men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, HIV and strokes emerge as top causes of early death.) But if it were the case that black men are being wrongly killed by police officers, we would want to act on that irrespective of whether it was a statistically significant cause of death, because it is wrong and because it undermines confidence in law enforcement.

The hypocrisy is difficult to bear. For the entirety of the 21st century, Democrats have complained that George W. Bush and an illegitimate, corrupt Supreme Court intervened to rob Al Gore of the presidency. But there is more to it than that. For years, Democrats from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren have complained that the economic system is rigged by shadowy international elites against the interests of ordinary people. We have not seen very much in the way of political rioting, but we have seen significant violence in response to that kind of rhetoric, from riots in Seattle to attempted acts of terrorism in Ohio.

Should Democrats cease speaking about the “rigged” economic system because of that violence? No, they should cease making the claim that our economic system is rigged because that claim is false.

We should continue talking about illegal voting because the claim is true, and because it is necessary that we do something about it.

My conclusion on the debate. Chris Wallace should be the moderator for every debate. He was equally tough and fair with both of them. He was the real winner of the debate.

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Well, isn't this just typical? This is Nancy Pelosi's contempt for the constitutional structure of our government. Apparently, simply talking about "checks and balances" is a sort of "code."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested Wednesday that a GOP-led Congress could move to impeach Hillary Clinton if she is elected president, as they did to Bill Clinton in 1998.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said Republicans have hinted as much this election cycle by advocating for "checks and balances" in a divided government, which she said is a "code word for obstruction or something worse."

Pelosi pointed to the GOP making a similar argument in 1996 when GOP presidential nominee Robert Dole appeared headed for defeat.

"When it became apparent he was not going to win, the Republicans started talking about checks and balances," Pelosi said, recalling the Dole-Clinton race. "And you know what that translated into? Impeachment of the president of the United States."
Of course, that's ignoring that the impeachment of Bill Clinton wasn't something that the Republicans had decided on in 1996. It came about because of his perjury under oath and efforts to obstruct justice. But that's typical obfuscation for Democrats. What is rather appalling is that simply talking about the checks and balances that the Founders thought were so necessary. She certainly was in favor of checks and balances when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and George W. Bush was in the White House.