July 2018

It is widely known that today’s Congress has the same approval rating as herpes. In truth, politicians have never ranked high in anyone’s estimation. Why?

To understand let’s consider how someone gets a position in politics. In most jobs you submit a resume and go to an interview where you extol your experience, education, and credentials. You offer no opinion on the other candidates. In politics, it’s the opposite.

You may offer some platitudes about your suitability for the position, but the majority of the time you paint your opponent as the devil’s spawn, with the character of a boll weevil, and the empathy of Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, your opponent is doing the same to you.

And once in office, there is not much you can do to improve your reputation.

Representatives have little opportunity to make a mark. Each is only one of 435. Around half their constituents may appreciate them, but most are just a statistic to the rest of America. Senators (one in a 100) are in a similar boat. So it is the rare member that even has an opportunity to rise above the herd.

And of the ones who do get name recognition, half of the people who hear of them are predisposed to think they are second-rate human beings. Consider Mitch McConnell’s approval among liberals and Nancy Pelosi’s among conservatives. Then add in that the extremists on both sides, who can’t stand their own party’s ‘establishment’, are second to none in tearing down their own party’s leaders. It is no wonder congressional ratings are dismal.

Then along came Reagan. He ran on a platform claiming that government was the enemy of the people. That politicians weren’t the solution to the problem, they were the problem. Which was striking chutzpah as the man himself was a creature of government. Regardless he did more than anyone to promote disgust in the institution.

Even politicians as ingrained in the political establishment as Newt Gingrich made political hay by trashing government into every microphone.

It gets worse. Politicians lie. Mainly because they don’t suffer any consequences for it. When things don’t work out they blame the other party and accuse it of ‘obstruction’ — or bad faith negotiations. Nobody is happy.

And here’s my final point. In every other business experience, education, credentials, and ability are keys to success. But in politics, while representatives have a wide range of backgrounds, particularly the law, there are very few economists. And yet they all think they are experts on taxes, employment, and inflation. There are very few scientists — but they’re all ‘experts’ on global warming. They invariably sound dumb.

And if one of these politicos should hang around long enough to acquire some expertise he will be smeared as an ‘insider’ who has ‘lost touch’ with the people back home. Experience is considered an asset in most lines of work. In politics, it’s used as a whipping stick.

Challengers take pride in their ‘traditional values’ and ‘common sense’. But most are guilty of the Dunning-Kruger effect, in which people who know very little are obstinately convinced they know a lot. It’s not what people look for in their doctor, but this braggadocio is appealing to many voters.

And when you think it can’t get any worse, along comes Trump.


How to Lie with Statistics. Why Journalists and Pundits Can’t Be Trusted with Numbers.

July 30, 2018

While Donald Trump’s approval rating hovers around the low 40% for ‘all voters’ — the lowest ever for a president at this point in his first term – his approval rating among ‘self-declared Republicans’, at 88%, is the highest for any Republican President except for Bush Jr. right after 9/11. Does this mean that Trump is supported […]

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Voters Prefer Democrats to Republicans by 12%. And Seniors Are No Longer the Most Conservative Americans.

July 25, 2018

A new Quinnipiac poll reveals that Americans are currently 12 percentage points more likely to vote for a Democrat (51%) in their congressional district than a Republican (39%) —  which is good news for the Democrats. Republicans will take solace by pointing out that the polls had Hillary winning the presidency — which obviously she didn’t. However, the 2016 […]

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Is Trump Sane? Lindsey Graham Hints at the Answer.

July 23, 2018

In an interview with Margaret Brennan on ‘Face the Nation’ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that Trump’s mental faculties may be diminished. “I think the president gets this confused,” Graham said. “If you suggest that Russians meddled in 2016, he goes to the idea that, well, I didn’t collude with them.” Graham was good enough to keep the language gentle — […]

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Beto O’Rourke Embraces Trump’s Impeachment.

July 18, 2018

Democratic Party leadership is terrified that impeachment talk will galvanize the Republican base in the November elections. A wave of young liberals — epitomized by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — have ignored this concern. However, a solidly Democratic seat in New York City is hardly a bellwether for the country. But the US Senate election in Texas is. Texas used to be reliably conservative. Ted […]

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Conservative Commentary on Trump’s Terrible Day in Helsinki.

July 16, 2018

Predictably Liberals were not impressed with Trump’s obsequious attitude to Putin in Helsinki. But many conservatives were equally, if not more scathing, in their assessment of Trump’s war on our friends. His fawning over our enemy. And most telling his choice to believe Putin over his own — America’s — intelligence services Here’s a sampling of Fox News […]

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Indian River County Schools Ban Pajamas, Parents Horrified.

July 15, 2018

The Indian River County school district in Florida changed its dress code. Here are the new guidelines: “Almost all words and graphics on clothing and accessories, aside from ‘school-approved clubs and activities,’ now are prohibited. However, the code allows print or a logo no larger than 2-by-2 inches. Leggings, jeggings — jean leggings — and pajamas also […]

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Huckabee’s ‘Real Americans’ Don’t Live Where he Thinks They Do.

July 1, 2018

Mike Huckabee and other missionaries peddle that ‘real Americans’ only live in ‘flyover country’. In their imagining, these denizens of middle America are honest, thrifty, independent, moral, religious, industrious, patriotic and white. By extension, coastal dwellers are none of the above. Those degenerates are flag-denigrating, out-of-touch, sneering, socialist, atheist, immoral hedonists who wouldn’t know God, guns, grits, and […]

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