Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Last Call Fof a Yooge Headscratcher

Greg Sargent is a bit baffled at the latest WaPo poll showing Republicans thinking The Donald is a great guy.

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Donald Trump way ahead of his rivals with 33 percent support among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. But perhaps the most remarkable finding in the poll is how highly Republicans and GOP-leaners rate Trump on a range of personal attributes: 
1) Republicans say by 64-35 that Trump is “qualified to serve as president.” By contrast, Americans overall say by 60-37 that he is not qualified. 
2) Republicans say by 60-35 that Trump is “honest and trustworthy.” By contrast, Americans overall say he is not honest and trustworthy by 59-35. 
3) Republicans say by 53-45 that Trump understands the problems of people like them. By contrast, Americans overall say he does not by 67-29. 
4) Republicans say by 54-42 that Trump “has the kind of personality and temperament it takes to serve effectively as president.” By contrast, Americans overall say he doesn’t have those things by 63-33. 
That’s remarkable. And by the way, a recent Quinnipiac survey also found majorities of Iowa Republicans give Trump similarly positive personal ratings.

He goes on to argue that Hillary's 20-plus years in the spotlight in politics makes the fact Democrats like her and Republicans don't somewhat more explainable.  But Trump?  Guy's a reality show host.

But Trump is largely known to Republicans not as a longtime high profile public official who has long been thought about for the presidency, but as a “brash” (as everyone’s favorite euphemism has it) billionaire who suddenly burst on to the political scene, names big buildings after himself, fires people on television, and regularly insults groups that include millions of Americans. Yet majorities of Republicans think he’s honest and trustworthy, understands their needs and problems, and is temperamentally suited to the presidency. 
This may mainly reflect the fact that Trump gets a lot of media attention, so he’s getting far more exposure among Republican voters than his rivals are. That media attention regularly broadcasts images of Trump spewing vaguely Republican-sounding talking points (most of the time, anyway) about things like immigration and China (in addition to all of the insults), which could be helping to create generally positive attitudes towards him. Or perhaps Republican voters just like the show Trump is putting on as he publicly torments the GOP establishment and “tells it like it is” (a quality Republican voters keep telling reporters they admire in him). 
Or here’s one other, rather more ominous possibility: maybe Republican voters are beginning to regard Trump as a possible nominee. 
Okay, that can’t be right. 
Or can it?

Why not?  Trump is the perfect candidate for the GOP in 2016, as far as representing the people who belong to the party: a merging of the racist, xenophobic white FOX News base with the obnoxious Wall Street country club ethos.

It's not confusing at all.

Clerks 3: The Firing

The whole mess over Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses has at least one lawmaker here in the Commonwealth asking questions about whether or not the state's 120 County Clerk offices need as much funding if they're not going to do their jobs.

“While there are very many accommodations available, the very simple accommodation I have proposed is to remove my name and my title as the clerk of Rowan County completely off the marriage license,” Davis said. “These licenses can be issued under another authority, including perhaps the Commonwealth of Kentucky or Gov. (Steve) Beshear himself.” 
There doesn’t appear to be much objection to granting her accommodations, but one lawmaker said the authorities that take over issuance of marriage licenses would likely claim the $35 filing fee for themselves. 
“That’s the first thing that will come up, is the money issue,” said state Rep. Dennis Keene (D-Wilder). “Be careful what you wish for.” 
Keene said most of the state’s 120 county clerk offices are “always strapped for cash,” so cutting that revenue stream could lead to salary reductions, layoffs or other budget adjustments
If they choose not to perform those duties, they should not be paid,” he said. 
Keene said the Kentucky County Clerks Association, which has endorsed the removal of clerks’ names from marriage licenses, is a powerful lobbying organization that would no doubt fight any attempts to cut funding to their offices. 
“I can guarantee a lot of clerks would be jumping up and down over that,” Keene said.

Somehow I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of support for using state taxpayer money to pay state workers to not work around here,  We'll see what happens when lawmakers come back to work in Frankfort, but budget cuts for County Clerk's offices seems like they might be in the cards.

You can start with Rowan County.

I Guess America Missed That E-Mail

So last week the Justice Department cleared Hillary Clinton with "Emailghazi" or whatever stupid fantasy the right-wing goofballs are peddling this month, as they found she indeed had not broken any laws by deleting emails on her server.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had the right to delete personal emails from her private server, the Justice Department told a federal court. 
Lawyers for the government made the assertion in a filing this week with the U.S. District Court in Washington, part of a public records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that seeks access to Clinton’s emails. 
Clinton, the former secretary of state and front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, has been dogged by questions about her use of a private email account for government business.

She has said that she sent and received about 60,000 emails during her four years in the Obama administration, about half of which were personal and deleted. The others were turned over to the State Department. 
The FBI has been investigating the security of Clinton’s email setup, which she said she used as a matter of convenience. She has since acknowledged that her use of a private email server to conduct government business was a mistake and apologized this week.

But of course the Village has a narrative to push that Clinton is a criminal and as always Democrats must be attacked and it's working.

While Clinton maintains the lead, her support has dropped 21 points among Democrats since July. She has lost ground with most demographic groups, but the sharpest drop has come among women and particularly white women. In July, 64 percent of white women said they supported Clinton; today, it is 31 percent, the same level of backing as Sanders, whose support has doubled among this group. 
A majority of Americans (55 percent) say they disapprove of the way Clinton has handled questions about her use of a private e-mail account while serving as secretary of state. An almost identical percentage (54 percent) say that she has tried to cover up facts. Asked whether Clinton stayed within government guidelines or broke the rules by using a private server, 51 percent say she broke the rules, while 32 percent say she did not, with the remainder offering no opinion. 
The public is divided on the question of whether the e-mail issue is a legitimate one in the coming election, although today, unlike four months ago, slightly more say it is not legitimate. 
On all those questions, there is a big difference in the responses of Democrats vs. Republicans and independents. A majority of Democrats (55 percent) approve of how she has handled the controversy, while a third do not. More than 7 in 10 say the e-mails are not a legitimate issue in the coming campaign.

Well gosh, the Justice Department just said she didn't break any rules, but of course that will never get reported to the American people.

Guess they missed the e-mail.  They have a narrative to sell, remember?

Exoneration!, shout her defenders. Much ado about nothing! A media-created story is debunked! 
Except, not really. That she had the ability and right to delete e-mails was never, really, in question. At issue is the process by which she did it -- and who got to make the final calls on what got sent to the State Department and what didn't. Yes, the way Clinton went about it was within her rights. But, Clinton is not just any government official or even any Secretary of State. She is someone who is, still, the heavy favorite to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. As such, she is held to a different standard than someone who, well, isn't the heavy favorite to be the Democratic nominee for president.

Held to a different standard and has been for more than twenty years now.

As I keep saying, America's current group of Village newspaper editors and cable/network news directors were all looking to be the person who busted the Clintons twenty years ago.

That hasn't changed a bit today.


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