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A Photo for Friday: Color Tunnel

“Color Tunnel” 11/23/16 Birmingham, AL

Duterte’s Philippines


A chilling photo essay in the NYT: ‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’ I had come to document the bloody and chaotic campaign against drugs that President Rodrigo Duterte began when he took office on June 30: since then, about 2,000 people had been slain at the hands of the police alone. […] I HAVE WORKED […]

More EC Fantasties


Another day, another EC fantasy,

Ben Carson to Head HUD


Via CNN:  Trump taps Ben Carson for HUD secretary Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Trump transition team announced Monday. “I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” President-elect […]

Texas Elector Resigns Rather than Vote for Trump


His actions illustration how well the EC process is institutionalized.

Trump’s Tweet on “Illegal Voting” Encapsulates Serious Problems

Donald Trump Shrug

Those who voted for him thinking he would be guided or controlled by more sober individuals or that he would start acting presidential once elected: you were wrong.

Even More EC Fantasies



Electoral College Fantasies


No, the EC is not going to elect Clinton.

A Photo for Friday: Rail-yard Sunset

“Rail-yard Sunset” November 23, 2016 Birmingham, AL

This is the alt-Right


Calling it neo-fascist is not hyperbole.

Most Hilarious and Ill-Fated Boycott Attempt of all Time: #BoycottHamilton


Via WaPo:  ’I will fall on the sword & take your tickets’: Calls to #BoycottHamilton met with mockery As Trump supporters continued to call for boycotts of “Hamilton,” many questioned if it was even possible to “boycott” a show for which tickets are notoriously expensive and difficult to obtain. Indeed. Also amusing if one is familiar […]

Trump, Hamilton, and the Presidency


If one believes the electoral college is awesome, one cannot make an argument from the position of “the wisdom of the Founders” nor from a viewpoint based on original intent.

Oops: Dell Offers $33 Laptops in Mexico


Via the BBC:  Dell error hands Mexicans $33 laptop bargain Mexican officials have ordered Dell Computers to honour the sale of laptops that had been mistakenly advertised online for just 679 pesos (£27; $33). The computers normally sell for up to 50,000 pesos (£1,990; $2,500). But because of an apparent software malfunction, only the shipping […]

Politics and Polarization 24/7…


…even getting coffee.  Via CNN:  Trump supporters launch #TrumpCup as a protest against Starbucks. Also:  what is it about certain Trump supporters who like to yell “Trump” to agitate people? I don’t recall this phenomenon with previous presidents.

A Photo for Friday: A Crack in Everything

“A Crack in Everything” Anniston, AL 10/22/16

A Second First Impression: Greetings!

In which I use a lot of words to say hello.

A Disturbing Glimpse into the Trump Transition


Eliot Cohen writing in WaPo:  I told conservatives to work for Trump. One talk with his team changed my mind. In a normal transition to a normal administration, there’s always disorder. There are the presidential friends and second cousins, the flacks and the hangers-on who flame out in the first year or two. There are the […]

Trump Team not Ready for Prime Time


“Winning was easy, young man, govern’s harder.” — George Washington in Hamilton. Indeed, one of the easiest parts of winning is the transition portion before, you know, the governing starts. Via the NYT:  Trump Staff Shake-Up Slows Transition to Near Halt: President-elect Donald J. Trump‘s transition operation plunged into disarray on Tuesday with the abrupt departure of […]

Trump Team Starting to Take Shape, Includes alt-Right Link


Via NPR:  Trump Taps Reince Priebus As Chief Of Staff, Steve Bannon As Chief Strategist The president-elect announced Sunday that he has selected Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to serve as chief of staff in his incoming administration. In the same announcement, Priebus’ appointment shared top billing with the news that Trump campaign CEO […]

A Photo for Friday: How the Light Gets in

“How the Light Gets in” Mt. Cheaha State Park (Alabama) 10/22/16

Mitt Romney Expresses the Fears of Many


Via CNN:  Mitt Romney says Donald Trump will change America with ‘trickle-down racism’ “I don’t want to see trickle-down racism,” Romney said in an interview here in a suite overlooking the Wasatch Mountains, where he is hosting his yearly ideas conference. “I don’t want to see a president of the United States saying things which […]

Counter-Point: The ‘Popular Vote’ is Relevant


The President-elect lost the popular vote. Legally, that is the way that is it. This is a disgrace for “the Greatest Democracy in the World.”

Looming Unfaithful Elector in Washington?

A reminder that the people don’t directly elect the president in the US via the Seattle Times:  1 Washington state Democratic elector won’t support Clinton, another won’t commit One of Washington state’s Democratic presidential electors is vowing not to cast his Electoral College vote for Hillary Clinton — even if she wins the state handily on […]

My Final EC Prediction


I say: Clinton 323 and Trump 215.

A Trump Campaign Win: They Took Away his Twitter


So reports the NYT: Aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully — and often counterproductively — savage his rivals. Since I think part of his improvement in the polls of late is partly because he has been (for him) quiet, I would put getting him off Twitter […]

A Stunning Contrast


Obama v. Trump in handling protesters at rallies (and a helping of untruth from Trump).

Polls, Polls, Polls.


Looking beyond FiveThirtyEight

Silver on Clinton’s Firewall


To add to the previous post, Nate Silver: The point, as we’ve said before, is just that Clinton’s so-called firewall is not very robust. If you’re only ahead in exactly enough states to win the Electoral College, and you’d lose if any one of themgets away, that’s less of a firewall and more of a rusting, […]

A Minimal Win?


Given the substantial narrowing of the race (see the 538 model, for example) it increasingly looks like election night is going to be dramatic, and the final outcome close. Currently, it looks like a narrow Clinton win as the following possible map would outline.  Clinton could also lose New Hampshire or Nevada and still win […]

Some Poll Observations


Some musings on the RCP average and such.

Senator Kirk Raises Representative Duckworth’s Heritage in Debate


Via the Chicago Tribune:  More aggressive Kirk goes after Duckworth in second debate, questions her family’s heritage At one point, Duckworth talked about her family’s long history of involvement in the U.S. military, describing herself as a “daughter of the American Revolution” who has “bled for this nation.” When it was Kirk’s turn to offer a […]

The McMullin Factor


Via FiveThirtyEight:  Polls May Be Underestimating Evan McMullin’s Chances In Utah Utah is an unusual case. Polls are scarce there, the dynamic has changed quite quickly, and these factors can significantly affect polling results. Our model already excludes Utah polling that doesn’t poll McMullin at all, and that will remain our official approach. But unofficially, […]

Polling Illiteracy


While not quite the great unskewing of argument past, here is an example of why non-experts need to avoid critiquing polling.

Trump is who he is

The LA Times posted the following letter from Donald Trump to the newspaper back in 2007 wherein DJT complained about an LAT reporter: This is a letter Trump sent us in 2008. He was upset about an article on Trump University, later threatened to sue. https://t.co/VC2vbcFr4C pic.twitter.com/j8IyBbiYtO — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 22, 2016 What is […]

Trump Finally gets a Major Newspaper Endorsement


Via Salon:  Donald Trump’s KKK stamp of approval: The Klan gives a de facto endorsement to the Trump campaign on the front page of its newspaper . Says The Crusader: “Make American Great Again!” It is a slogan that has been repeatedly used by Donald Trump in his campaign for the presidency. You can see it on […]

I Have no Idea why we Think Trump is a Misogynist… (2)


In regards to allegations of sexual assualt: “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.  You don’t know. That would not be my first choice.” “When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so.’ ” –Donald J. Trump.

I Have no Idea why we Think Trump is a Misogynist…


“Psychologists will tell you that some women want to be treated with respect. I tell friends who treat their wives magnificently, get treated like crap in return, ‘Be rougher and you’ll see a different relationship.’” “I have days where I think it’s great. And then I have days where, if I come home — and I […]

Trump Ignores Intel Experts

Donald Trump Shrug

More evidence that Trump would be a terrible president.

The Republican Dilemma

Trump And GOP Elephant

Candidate trumps party in a presidential system.

Podesta, Wikileaks, and Catholics


Wherein an initial attempt to understand something seen on Facebook leads to ruminations on religious liberty.

Trump and our Constitutional Order


I would recommend the following essay by my good friend Michael Bailey, Associate Professor of Political Science at Berry College:  Enter Donald Trump. A basic taste: The Framers were war-hardened seasoned politicians who suffered no delusions about the real character of our human nature, and accordingly they built a Constitution designed to endure the rough and […]

George Will on Trump and the GOP


George Will, who has already left the Republican Party over the nomination of Trump has an eloquently scathing column on the current state of the election:  Donald Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy. On the recent revelations and the GOP response thereto: the tape sent various Republicans, who until then had discovered nothing to disqualify Trump from […]

A Photo for Friday


Since Colombia has been in the news this week, here is a photo I took of the opening ceremonies of the first round of the 2014 presidential elections, where I was acting as an electoral observer.  This process eventually led to Juan Manuel Santos’ second term in office.  This issue of the peace plan was central to that […]

Santos Wins Peace Prize


Via the BBC:  Nobel Peace Prize for Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with left-wing rebels. The Nobel committee in Norway praised him for his peace agreement with Farc rebels, signed last month after four years of […]

Pence’s odd Advice for Trump


Via Politico:  Pence debate advice to Trump: Be yourself “I’d encourage Donald Trump to do what he did in his first debate and that is be himself. Speak from his mind and speak from his heart and I know he’s going to do that,” Pence said Thursday morning on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.” “He […]

Obama Approval up to 55%


Via CNN:  Obama approval hits new high President Barack Obama’s approval rating stands at 55% in a new CNN/ORC poll, the highest mark of his second term, and matching his best at any time since his first year in office. The new rating outpaces his previous second-term high — reached just after a Democratic convention […]

On Referenda


The NYT has a really good piece on why referenda are problematic instruments:  Why Referendums Aren’t as Democratic as They Seem Though such votes are portrayed as popular governance in its purest form, studies have found that they often subvert democracy rather than serve it. They tend to be volatile, turning not just on the merits of […]

This Election May Not be as Weird as we Think

Trump Clinton

Political Science research suggests that the election is, in basic ways, about what we would expect.

Colombia’s Vote for Peace

001-114 (2)

Today Colombians got to the polls to vote in a plebiscite on the FARC peace accord.

Trump’s Deficient Ground-Game


An interesting piece from the PBS Newshour,  The Trump campaign has a ground-game problem: As the presidential election marathon breaks into a final sprint, the Trump campaign faces a jaw-dropping gap in the ground game: Hillary Clinton currently has more than three times the number of campaign offices in critical states than does Donald Trump. […]

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