Four Theories of Donald Trump

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May 4, 2016
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  1. The Reagan Theory
  2. Trump will Make America Great Again.

  3. The Schwarzenegger Theory
  4. Much like Arnold Schwarzenegger in California and Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, Trump is an unusual candidate whose sheer charisma will cut across ideological lines and win him a landslide victory. But he will prove to have no principles other than self-aggrandizement.

  5. The Goldwater Theory
  6. Hillary Clinton will run an LBJ-Goldwater-style “Daisy” commercial, and crush Trump by 20 points, because Trump has alienated too many voters.

  7. The Buffoon Theory
  8. During the campaign, Trump will make some outrageous statements about vaccines, or Putin, or women, be exposed as a fraud in one or more of his “businesses,” and be annihilated in the general election. Everyone will wonder how he ever won the Republican nomination. There will be calls to make the presidential primaries less democratic.

I hope for 1, but suspect 4 is the most likely outcome. Trump supporters expect 1 or 2.

Video of the Day

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May 4, 2016
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Comedian Larry Wilmore caught a lot of flak for taking no prisoners at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. But anyone who’s seen Wilmore’s nightly show on Comedy Central would not have been surprised. Wilmore hosts the show against the backdrop of a world with the South Pole at the top (why not?) Despite having been abandoned by Stephen Colbert’s RACIST audience, Wilmore is usually brilliant, wickedly funny, and very open-minded, which results in setups like the clip below.

It’s a strange state of affairs indeed when people yell “Black Live Matter,” even as Wilmore, Trevor Noah, and Beyonce – have you seen Lemonade? It’s crazy and brilliant – are perhaps the most talented entertainers today.

What to Do About Trump

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May 4, 2016
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I helped stopped the Bush amnesties in 2006 and 2007, and the Obama amnesty in 2013. I believe that illegal immigration is the most important issue affecting the United States; If 100 million poor, low-skilled, under-educated, non-English-speaking, socialist Third-Worlders were to become US citizens, America as we know it would be over.

For that reason, I would support a mangy yellow dog for the presidency if the dog would end the flood of illegal aliens, and I would oppose any candidate who would amnesty those aliens. In 2008, I voted third-party because both major-party candidates supported amnesty.

My bottom line on Trump is this: If he can convince me that he won’t “let the good ones back in” after deporting them, I will vote for him, donate to him, and enthusiastically support him. If not, I will vote for someone other than Trump and Clinton.

Currently, I believe Trump will promptly invite back virtually everyone he “deports.” So I cannot vote for him.

The Tech Bubble is Over

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May 3, 2016
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According to the ping-pong-table indicator:

Until late 2014, Twitter was regularly ordering tables from Billiard Wholesale, a store in San Jose, Calif. Then, suddenly, it wasn’t.

The store’s owner, Simon Ng, figured it either ran out of space “or they’re having company problems.”

[…]

“Last year, the first quarter was hot” for tables, says Mr. Ng, who thinks sales track the tech economy. Now “there’s a general slowdown.”

In the first quarter of 2016, his table sales to companies fell 50% from the prior quarter. In that period, U.S. startup funding dropped 25%, says Dow Jones VentureSource, which tracks venture financing.

We Predict, They Comply

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May 3, 2016
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Polipundit, February 25th:

I’ve shorted Twitter on principle. I might take any profits I make from that and hang them on the wall as a trophy. Good riddance.

CNN, today

Shares of Twitter fell 2% Tuesday and hit a new all-time low of $13.90.

Twitter is down 40% this year. It is nearly 50% below its IPO price of $26 and more than 80% lower than the peak of $74.73 it hit way back in December 2013 — one month after it went public. (Those were the days!)

In contrast to Twitter, Facebook, whose founder is much more leftist, isn’t censoring conservatives. Yet.

There’s Still One Establishment Candidate in the Republican Primary

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April 30, 2016
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And it’s not Ted Cruz:

While Boehner was surrendering, Donald Trump was backing him to the hilt: a staggering $100,000 contribution to the Congressional Leadership Fund — Boehner’s super PAC, formed largely to fend off conservative primary challenges against GOP establishment loyalists. It should be easy to remember that number, $100,000. It is the same amount Trump gave to the Clinton Foundation. That’s even more than the $60,000 Trump gave to Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, the super PAC of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (along with a $5,200 contribution to McConnell’s reelection campaign).

[…]

Trump is actually laying the groundwork for Washington’s panacea, amnesty [for illegal aliens]. Understandably furious at GOP leaders, Trump fans swoon to the charlatan promise of a fortress wall that will never be built, much less paid for by Mexico. Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem to register with these voters that Trump is promising to give legal status to millions of illegal aliens after temporarily deporting them. If we had a responsible media, this would surprise no one. In just the last three years, Trump has tweeted in apparent support of the Gang of Eight immigration bill (the same one that advocacy for which killed Rubio’s campaign) and has urged giving illegal aliens a “path” to legal status — and Trump was willing to grant this “path” under the express but exaggerated assumption that the illegal-alien population was 30 million (it is more likely 11 million, nearly three times less).

Moreover, in 2012, Trump described as “maniacal” and “crazy” a proposal to enforce the immigration laws in a manner that incentivizes illegal aliens to “self-deport.” Yes, only four years ago, the guy who now says he’d round them all up and deport them was complaining that merely pressuring illegal aliens to leave on their own was too “mean-spirited.”

Give The Donald credit: He’s bamboozled millions of voters into believing he’s the opposite of who he really is.

And the Latest Example of RACISM is…

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April 30, 2016
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Amazon’s same day shipping!

Amazon’s same-day shipping service often excludes predominantly black neighborhoods in six major cities.

In New York, for example, the service excludes the Bronx which is mostly inhabited by black and Hispanic residents. In Atlanta, same-day deliver covers half of the northern area, which is predominantly white, and leaves out the southern part of the city that has a predominant black population.

[…]

Unlike some organizations which have made delivery decisions based on the composition of neighborhoods, Amazon’s delivery decision aren’t inherently biased, note Bloomberg reporters David Ingold and Spencer Soper. Amazon officials say that its delivery decisions aren’t based on the ethnic composition of a neighborhood, but several factors including the the concentration of Prime members, as well as the proximity of the area to Amazon’s warehouses.

But as Tech Insider writes, the data-and-algorithm-driven system that Amazon uses to determine the numbers for Prime memberships may be reinforcing the bias.

Maybe we should just declare that the universe itself is RACIST, and terminate it immediately.

An Affirmative Action Policy Even I Can Support

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April 28, 2016
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Apparently, just having more than one atypical applicant in the job applicant pool can dramatically increase the acceptance of atypical applications:

“The odds of hiring a woman were 79.14 times greater if there were at least two women in the finalist pool,” they write. “The odds of hiring a minority were 193.72 times greater if there were at least two minority candidates in the finalist pool.”

Quote of the Day

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April 28, 2016
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Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), commenting on a House committee vote to make women register for the military draft:

“If we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, then we should support a universal conscription.”

I agree.

Meanwhile, in Europe…

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April 24, 2016
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Austrian borders-first party shuts out “mainstream” parties in presidential race for the first time since WWII ended.

Indiana and Pennsylvania

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April 20, 2016
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Those are the next two important states. In Indiana:

Cruz allies are supremely confident they will win statewide, and hope to carry at least seven of the nine congressional districts. Two of the southern districts bordering Kentucky — the eighth and ninth — are thought to be Trump territory, and the sixth should be highly competitive as well. (Notably, none of those three districts are home to any of the state’s six most populous counties.) All told, with 30 delegates going to the statewide winner, and three to the winner of each congressional district, Cruz advisers are confident that Indiana’s split will look very similar to Wisconsin’s: Cruz 51, Trump six, or potentially Cruz 48, Trump nine.

And in Pennsylvania:

Even if they come in a distant third, a top campaign aide tells me, they will still, they believe, pick up more than half the delegates there.”

“They’re looking at more than 30,” Jackson said.

The Problem with Trump

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April 19, 2016
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Slate’s Reihan Salam makes the same argument I made:

Leaving aside Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, his approach to immigration policy is confused, contradictory, and often quite stupid. His campaign has issued policy papers outlining one position on, say, skilled immigrant workers only to have Trump take an entirely different stance in his public utterances. Trump has called for establishing a new “deportation force” that captures and removes all unauthorized immigrants from the country, a process that would prove quite expensive and contentious. But he has also said he’d like to allow “the good ones” back into the country. Why go through all that trouble if you intend to put in place what immigration hawks have dubbed a “touchback amnesty”? What separates the good ones from the bad ones?

Trump has failed to clarify these matters, most likely because he’s just making things up as he goes along. Critics of touchback amnesty tend to favor Cruz’s position, which is that governments at all levels should more rigorously enforce immigration laws, which in turn will encourage unauthorized immigrants to return to their native countries. In recent years, slightly more Mexican nationals have been returning to Mexico from the U.S. than moving in the other direction, a return migration that Cruz’s “attrition through enforcement” policy could accelerate. Though I don’t agree with every aspect of Cruz’s position on immigration, it has the virtue of being coherent and defensible, something that can’t be said of Trump’s.