Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Get It

It’s identity and interests (not ideology and principles), stupid.

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The Atlantic recently published a piece about the so-called “80-55-40 Rule” in Presidential elections. It’s a rally-the-troops puff piece about the inevitability of Hillary Clinton’s victory in November, and it’s woefully reported. The basic assertion is that the Democratic candidate never has received less than 80% of the Black vote, 55% of the Hispanic vote and 40% of the White vote in a modern Presidential race, so we should assume the same pattern will obtain this November and view with skepticism any polls show Mrs. Clinton with lower support among those groups.

The author of the piece, Derek Thompson, then makes a few breathtakingly snarky remarks about Trump attempting to boost his support among undecided Hispanics by “posing next to a taco salad” and that “under certain quantum-theory conditions, all sorts of things are possible: Time can move backwards, tornados can build neighborhoods from pieces of homes floating in the sky, and a cracked egg can leap into its original unbroken shell.” Wow. Just wow.  That’s a whole lot of top-notch snark. One doesn’t usually get that from a once-respectable publication.

But you know, I wasn’t aware that almost 1-in-3 tornados was a member of the National Association of Homebuilders. After all, even Nate Silver puts Donald Trump’s chances of a November win at around 29% (as of July 14), which initially struck me as a tad higher than the rate at which tornados build new neighborhoods in the Midwest. Or higher than the odds chefs usually place on eggs spontaneously reassembling themselves in their shells. But what do I know? I don’t have a writing gig at a prestigious national publication, I don’t live in the Great Plains, and my wife does all the cooking.

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Bad Habits

Murder, Mayhem, Real Estate Speculation

Everyone has bad habits. This includes bad online habits. Whether it’s reading the headlines, checking stock quotes, following sports, betting on fantasy football, catching up on celebrity gossip, watching cat videos, or porn, everyone with an internet connection wastes time that could otherwise go to paying bills, reading great works of literature, doing one’s job, or porn.

So I’ll let you in on a little secret: My internet bad habits have a dark streak. They include a daily check on the murder and mayhem statistics of various American cities. It’s morbidly fascinating. The Baltimore Sun does an excellent job of mapping all homicides which have taken place in that once-great city since 2007 and, for more recent periods, all shootings across the state of Maryland. For Chicago, there is good data on homicides as well as nonfatal shootings in a more statistical and tabular format, but still very readable. This stuff is endlessly fascinating.

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On the Inherent Power of Objects; or, The Fetishism of the Left

I withdraw today, a bit, from the endless flow of current events. Diverting as they are, my interest is tempered by my knowledge of the iron law of newspaper journalism: There will always be 126 column inches on a page, and there will always be printed as many pages as are needed to run all the ads sold for that day, even as the quality and importance of the journalistic material available to fill said pages varies.  Corollary: Headlines vary in true importance from day to day, and not strictly in proportion to the size of their typeface; or, newspaper editors are fundamentally in the business of selling cars, furniture, TVs and clothes — only incidentally are they in the business of enlightenment, so don’t rely on them for it.

So I take the opportunity to reflect on some timeless, nearly religious topics that are close to my heart: the left’s endless faith in the inherent power of objects, and housing policy.  Trust me, there is a connection.

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Irish Attack Cafe in Bangladesh; Assault Weapons To Blame

I don’t habitually give much thought to the goings-on in distant and savage lands. To do so would be to fill my days needlessly with tales and anguish and woe, and I have better things to do. I generally pause to reflect on events closer to home — Europe and America — but I write today on the café attack in Bangladesh because it took place in what was meant as an outpost of home: a twee-sounding place called the Holey Artisan Bakery, with European diners as its target.

Let me open, then, with my usual prayer: May God have mercy on the souls of the dead, and bring healing to the injured and comfort to the bereaved.

When asking who is responsible for this latest atrocity we must, as good-thinking, law-abiding, upstanding citizens of liberal democracies, first and foremost lay blame at the feet of the Irish. For reasons discussed at length elsewhere, to entertain any other possibility would be evil and Racist and transphobic and Islamophobic and quite possibly an inadvertent vote for The Most Dangerous Man in the World (as identified by the Germans without a trace of irony): Donald Trump.

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Germany Wrecks Europe Again

It is fashionable in certain airheaded circles to blame the British for wrecking Europe with their recent pro-Brexit vote. But that’s just poorly-reasoned left-wing poopytalk. The people who wrecked Europe this time are the same fine folks who’ve been wrecking Europe consistently and repeatedly for the last 150 years: The united Germans.

This is a deadly serious point. When the bulk of the German people are largely united within (or allied with) a single dominant German state, they routinely set Europe on fire. We saw this at the time Bismark united most of the German-speaking peoples in or behind the Prussian state, leading them to an overwhelming victory against France in 1870-1. We saw this in the Austro-German alliance which lead to World War I. We saw this in the 1930s, when the decadent Weimar Republic was turned into a Reich which reoccupied the Ruhr, enacted Anschluss with Austria and annexed the Sudetenland — all as a prelude to invading Poland, Greece, France and Russia, bombing England, launching unrestrained submarine warfare in the Atlantic, and liquidating every Communist, Jew, Gypsy and political dissident on which they could lay their hands. Charming folks, especially when they get riled up.

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President Obama Hates the American People, Goes to Canada

President Obama went to Ottawa recently to meet with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. So far, so good; that’s part of his job description. Ordinarily I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.

But while there he took the opportunity to go on a self-described “rant” in front of the press, the substance of which was universally understood to be anti-Trump, and in the course of this rant said some pretty remarkable things.

What struck me the most was his assertion that “somebody who . . . engages in rhetoric about how we’re going to look after ourselves and take it to the other guy” must be a bad, bad man. Probably a Racist, or something.

What’s the message, Mr. President? That the American people should not care for their own interests? That we should let anyone and everyone walk all over us? That it is evil for an old White Republican male candidate to actually care about the American public, and talk to the nation about how “we’re going to look after ourselves?” Look after ourselves — the horror! So what’s the message, eh, Mr. President? ‘Shut up, Whitey scum; lie down and die painfully?” Is that it?

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