Saturday Assorted Links

1. Exercise is good for your health, but isn’t all that good at calorie-burning.

2. Russia: another nation mostly uncucked

3. Krugman accepts monetary policy, not austerity, responsible for double-dip European recession. Progress.

4. Lawrence Murray on Trump’s foreign policy speech. Virtually everything he says is correct.

5. Israeli rape culture

6. How incompetent state-sponsored hackers get access to Telegram accounts

7. Republicans in competitive races more likely to not endorse a presidential candidate

8. My dog has a vagina- should she be President?

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Friday Assorted Links

1. Cartoon of the day

2. Bernie Sanders so likeable, he’s unable to beat Hillary Clinton (favorability ratings are BS)

3. Feinstein-Burr bill too clever by half

4. Who do we tax to get Bernie/Bulworth-type tax-funded stuff? Trump says “the consumers and foreign manufacturers”.

5. Cruz loses

6. Psychiatrist Scott on psychedelics turning people weird

7. FBI notorious for flawed testimony

8. The end of #NeverTrump

Why The Three-State Strategy is the Best Way for Republicans to Triumph in the Future

This is my second post on this matter. The first post is here.

In 2014, the Washington post extrapolated state Presidential voting trends from 2000 to 2012 (I regularly consult this link for reference).

It showed all states as either solidly Red or Blue, except for the following swing states (the combination of all three, plus the states Romney won, is sufficient for a Republican to win the general election):

North Carolina: .165 percentage points more Republican than the projected 2020 popular vote.
Pennsylvania: .387 percentage points more Democratic than the projected 2020 popular vote.
Ohio: .427 percentage points more Democratic than the projected 2020 popular vote.

Yes, the extrapolations show Ohio as more Democratic than Pennsylvania, due to PA being filled with more coal mines.

The closest Slippery Small Swing States that were previously necessary for a Republican to win the Presidency are

Iowa, which is 3.875 points more Democratic than the projected 2020 popular vote.
New Hampshire (due to its anti-Bush swing in 2004) is 4.686 points more Democratic than the projected 2020 popular vote.

Virginia will be squarely out of reach for any Republican in the future except in case of severe recession or unpopular war under a Democratic president. This will be due to urbanization around D.C., as well as the expansion of the franchise for felons.

Bush used New Hampshire (plus a bunch of other states that will never vote GOP again, such as Nevada and Colorado) to win the election of 2000. He used Iowa (plus New Mexico, which will definitely never vote GOP again) to win re-election in 2004.

So these are the possible Trump victory maps for 2016:

trumppa

trumpva

Trump could either win Virginia plus New Hampshire or Pennsylvania. He must win Ohio and Florida, in any case.

None of these are implausible. Trump won more votes than Clinton in the Ohio primary, where Republicans won more primary votes than Democrats. He also won more votes than Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, where Republicans won more primary votes than Democrats. Trump and Republicans narrowly won fewer votes than Clinton and the Democrats in Pennsylvania, but, perhaps, as in Louisiana, that was due to the closed primary there, and the Democrat party registration advantage.

I predict Trump will win New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, but lose Virginia. Trump is the Light of the East. His best primary performance so far to date was in Rhode Island, a state he’ll certainly lose in the general.

Trump said he’d win Pennsylvania (reasonable) and put Michigan and New York into play (impossible). Trump likes to exaggerate expectations in hopes that they will become reality.

In any case, the vast majority of Trump’s advertising and campaigning must be concentrated in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Maybe leave some for North Carolina, Indiana, and Florida. Virginia is a sixth priority.

I call the strategy focused on winning Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio the three-state strategy. As you can see from the Washington Post article, on its face, it’s clearly the best one.

Thursday Second Assorted Links

1. Trump is not sexist or racist. This should be obvious, but, to some people, isn’t.

2. Politico on Russia Today and the U.S. Presidential race. Lots of interesting factoids.

3. Hezbollah in Latin America. Underrated or overrated?

4. Gamal abd-al Nasser, stand up anti-Islamist comedian

5. Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro not fans of anti-Russian sanctions

6. Import Africans; Get Africa (Bernie Sanders is right)

7. And the biggest-spending political campaign of 2016 is… Bernie Sanders’s!

8. Way to piss off your supporters, Cruz (though I support the North Carolina law, too)

9. No “Keep your government hands off my Obamacare” signs in sight (Krugman remains totally wrong)

10. Trump surpasses his post-Nevada high in Betfair (betting markets are worthless this year)

Ross Douthat is a Fucking Idiot

So this could be what some Republican voters, especially moderate-ish Republican voters, are thinking when they imagine that Trump is more electable than his more ideologically conservative rivals. And if the pundits are all proven wrong one more time and Trump makes a real race of it, this will be the reason why.

But we won’t be, because this logic lacks the cultural imagination required to see that Trump’s positions won’t get a hearing with groups that might find them appealing otherwise, precisely because they’re associated with, well, Donald Trump himself.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/douthat/2016/04/28/the-idea-of-trumps-electability/

From the same dude who thought Cruz would win the GOP nomination and said

Once that happens, would you really bet on Trump to beat Cruz in many of the evangelical-heavy Southern states that vote in late February or early March? In Cruz’s own state of Texas? That seems unlikely.

But disruption doesn’t get you to the 1,236 delegates required for the nomination. Loki does not rule in Asgard. And Donald Trump isn’t going to be the Republican nominee.

But if we treat New Hampshire as a plausible template for outcomes in those states, then Trump needs Rubio and Chris Christie and Jeb Bush to all stay in the race and for all of them to keep winning exactly 15 percent of the vote; then and only then would his 30 percent be sufficient to prevail.

That seems less than unlikely, indeed nearly impossible.

-What Douthat’s ignoring, of course, is that it’s not going to be Trump v. Non-Trump. It’s going to be Make America Great Again v. I’m With Her. And it’s easy to make Americans not be with Her. Bernie Sanders started winning national polls without even attacking Clinton. Imagine how bad the situation will be for her once the much-criticized Donald goes after Hillary’s full record. Trump has nowhere to go but up.

Trump’s massive primary support itself makes it clear millions are receptive to his message.

Boneheaded pundits will be boneheaded.

Thursday Assorted Links

1. Melania Trump GQ Interview

2. The persecution of Dennis Hastert. Seriously, what’s being done to him is apalling.

3. AEI gets it right on Turkey and NATO

4. Trump’s foreign policy speech. Okay, but not fantastic. Too hawkish on Iran, but less so than Cruz. He definitely chose the right forum for it, as the National Interest is the only foreign policy outlet that’s more or less consistently readable. Trump’s a bit too neocon-leaning for my taste, though. Trump should say “Israel second” explicitly.

5. Want Cheaper Drugs?

6. Genetics of racial differences in intelligence

7. Picking a VP just before losing at the convention is the most Reaganesque thing Cruz has ever done

8. Trump hits the woman card

Pennsylvania: Trump’s Keystone to Victory in the General

This morning, Steve Sailer correctly pointed to Trump’s impressive performance in the Pennsylvania primary, which I predicted would be important in The Money Illusion comments (even though I did not expect the scale of TRiUMPh). And very important it was.
Pennsylvania had the highest GOP primary turnout of any closed primary in a blue state. Here’s 538’s table of the situation (with additions by me):

FireShot Screen Capture #008 - 'It’s Trump’s Nomination To Lose_ I FiveThirtyEight' - fivethirtyeight_com_features_its-trumps-nomination-to-lose

And here’s the graph of the performance of the presumptive nominee of each party this year and in previous years (the 2016 estimate is just an estimate; take it as a benchmark, not too seriously):
pagraphs
If you don’t remember, 2008 was noncompetitive for the Presidency and for all other offices for Republicans, but competitive for Democrats, and 2004 and 2012 were noncompetitive for the Presidency for both sides. The reason Bush got so many votes in 2004 was because there was a really competitive Republican Senate primary going on in the same ballot (which eventual traitor to the party (((Arlen Specter))) won by a few thousand votes). The Pennsylvania 2008 Primary was totally noncompetitive for all but the Presidency (Clinton v. Obama), so the Republican primary there was a pure affirmation election for a disgusting candidate guaranteed to lose in the general. The 2012 Primary had a competitive Democratic Attorney General race, as well as a more or less competitive Republican Senate primary. Yesterday’s primary was totally competitive for the Presidency for both sides. The only other offices on the ballots that were competitive were for three Republican House candidates, one Democratic Senate candidate, and two Democratic House candidates. Chakah Fattah, a Black Muslim incumbent of over two decades, lost his seat as a result of yesterday’s primary.

So the 2004 Republican primary really isn’t relevant here, as it was not a 2008-style pure candidate affirmation primary.

Donald J. Trump got 31,147 more votes than GWB in 2004 and 305,492 more votes than Juan Islamist Communist Sympathizer Amnesty-Loving Super-Spender McSame. Primary winner Hillary Clinton got fewer votes than primary loser Barack Obama did in 2008. The stage is set for a truly competitive Pennsylvania general election race, with its result being determined only by Donald J. Trump’s pure will. The only geographic and demographic strengths Clinton has are in the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (though these are enough to win the election on their own), while Trump is strongest (in terms of margins, not votes) in the solidly Democratic disproportionately White working-class town of Wilkes-Barre. Trump will certainly be the first Republican Presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988 to win the town, as he has much more attractive policies toward old economy labor than does Hillary (though I’m not at all a big fan of them), even though more Democrat votes were cast in its primary than Republican ones. Expect a surge of Trump Democrats in the fall. Whether that is enough for Trump to win Pennsylvania is uncertain; the margins are narrow enough. He’ll probably win, though, thus resulting in his great and mighty national TRiUMPh against Crooked Clinton.