Stop saying “Don’t grade Trump on a curve”

September 29, 2016

My objection is technical, not political,

=========

The phrase “don’t grade him on a curve” has now eclipsed “It’s not who we are” as my absolute least favorite.

Folks who are saying it (think, Clinton supporters) are inadvertently flaunting their ignorance (which makes for great irony).

Speaking as a card-carrying academic, my objection is strictly technical.

 

image

===========

Let’s get basic.  What does it mean to grade on a curve?

Read the rest of this entry »

“I ain’t going down no more”

September 28, 2016

Now, will Trump draw inspiration from Rocky?

=======

The debate reminded me of the classic clip from the first Rocky movie.

In the flick, Apollo Creed –- fighting within the Marquess of Queensberry Rules — was pummeling Rocky … round after round after round.

With little time left in the fight, Rocky uttered those memorable words:

“I ain’t going down no more”

Then, he came out of his corner like a bull and changed the trajectory of the fight.

 

image
click to view the memorable clip   <= worth watching

========

My view:

Clinton pummeled Trump, but she didn’t knock him out.

Trump landed a few strong punches.

Trump lives to fight another a day.

He’s a fighter.

Let’s see if Trump pulls a Rocky.

=======

P.S.  I recollect that Rocky won the re-match and took Creed’s title … hmmm.

click to view the memorable clip

======

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

======

Update: Visceral vs. cerebral … who won the debate?

September 27, 2016

More overnite numbers ….

=======

Great recap in the Daily Mail … worth browsing – lots of polls.

debate-daily-mail

========

Left-leaning pundits — especially Hillary’s surrogates — are apoplectic on TV today.

“Is the American electorate that stupid?”

Which is worse, stupid or irredeemably deplorable?

========

Great tweet from Michael Moore to his left-leaning pals:

 

debate-mike-moore

This is way more fun than I expected I to be

========

Here’s the original post from this morning … just in case you missed it.

========

First, my overall take:

Hillary was very well prepped, got all of her talking points in and stayed on offense.

Trump wasted too much time defending himself, didn’t hammer the email scandal and didn’t even raise pay-to-play, Benghazi or “deplorables”.

Holt nibbled at Trump all night, but gave Trump the most important gift: making the first 15 minutes about the economy.

Takeaway from that segment – which pundits pre-argued would be determining – was that Trump will be aggressive on saving jobs and Clinton will create tax payer funded green energy jobs.

Advantage: Trump.

Clinton’s biggest score (with a boost from Holt):  birther issue “proves” that Trump is a racist.

Trump’s biggest scores: “why haven’t you done any of this in the past 30 years?” and firmly headlined  “law & order”.

Both demonstrated why they’re the most disliked candidates ever.

OK, now for the numbers which, frankly, surprised me ….

========

From left to right:

Time scored it a 50-50 draw.

image

==========

CBS scores it Trump 76%, Clinton 24%

image

========

CNBC scores it 61 to 39 Trump.

image

=========

And, far right-leaning Drudge has it Trump 80, Clinton 20

image

========

Team Clinton must be pulling their hair out this morning.

There isn’t much else that Hillary could have done – she was locked & loaded.

Maybe there’s something in her message … or her character … or that smirky “I’m smarter than you” smile that she kept flashing.

Bottom line: Pundits will dismiss the internet polls and score it heavily for Hillary …  but Donald gets to crow about the overnite results and lives to fight another day.

My question: what ammo does Hillary have left for the next debate?

==========

P.S. Yesterday’s post is worth re-reading:
Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

======

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

======

Visceral vs. cerebral … who won the debate?

September 27, 2016

Here are the overnite numbers ….

========

First, my overall take:

Hillary was very well prepped, got all of her talking points in and stayed on offense.

Trump wasted too much time defending himself, didn’t hammer the email scandal and didn’t even raise pay-to-play, Benghazi or “deplorables”.

Holt nibbled at Trump all night, but gave Trump the most important gift: making the first 15 minutes about the economy.

Takeaway from that segment – which pundits pre-argued would be determining – was that Trump will be aggressive on saving jobs and Clinton will create tax payer funded green energy jobs.

Advantage: Trump.

Clinton’s biggest score (with a boost from Holt):  birther issue “proves” that Trump is a racist.

Trump’s biggest scores: “why haven’t you done any of this in the past 30 years?” and firmly headlined  “law & order”.

Both demonstrated why they’re the most disliked candidates ever.

OK, now for the numbers which, frankly, surprised me ….

========

From left to right:

Time scored it a 50-50 draw.

image

==========

CBS scores it Trump 76%, Clinton 24%

image

========

CNBC scores it 61 to 39 Trump.

image

=========

And, far right-leaning Drudge has it Trump 80, Clinton 20

image

========

Team Clinton must be pulling their hair out this morning.

There isn’t much else that Hillary could have done – she was locked & loaded.

Maybe there’s something in her message … or her character … or that smirky “I’m smarter than you” smile that she kept flashing.

Bottom line: Pundits will dismiss the internet polls and score it heavily for Hillary …  but Donald gets to crow about the overnite results and lives to fight another day.

My question: what ammo does Hillary have left for the next debate?

==========

P.S. Yesterday’s post is worth re-reading:
Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

======

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

======

Trump: Inspired by the 1972 Cuban Olympic boxing team?

September 26, 2016

Since the 1st presidential debate is tonite, I thought it would be timely to reprise a post from a couple of months ago.

Read it … and keep it in mind when the contenders spar tonite.

=====

Many of you may be too young to have witnessed and remember, but…

In the 1972 Olympics, the polished U.S. boxing team was predicted to sweep the competition.

But, something happened on the way to the medals’ platform that shocked the sporting world.

image

======

Here’s the story and why Trump jogged my memory of the 1972 Olympics …

Read the rest of this entry »

Trumpspeak: It’s all about the way he talks …

September 23, 2016

Since the debate is coming up, it’s time to pull from the archives ….

=======

Great piece in the Washington Post by Barton Swaim author of “The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics.”

His basic conclusion: “The most distinctive about Trump … is the structure of his language.”

clip_image002

======

Swain says that Trump — nnlike most politicians –doesn’t speak in political rhetoric; he speaks in punchlines – short jabs, not convoluted passages.

Read the rest of this entry »

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

September 22, 2016

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

Read the rest of this entry »

Are more folks employed in manufacturing jobs or government jobs?

September 21, 2016

Of course, the answer is government jobs.

======

Interesting analysis by Terence Jeffrey of CNS News

According to the BLS, government employees in the United States now outnumber manufacturing employees by almost 10 million.

Federal, state and local government now employs 22,213,000 people: 2,790,000 federal employees, 5,120,000 state government employees, and 14,303,000 local government employees.

The manufacturing sector now employs 12,281,000.

A difference of almost 10 million.

 

image

=========

Note on the above chart that manufacturing employment peaked in the late 1970s at just under 20 million.

Government employment has been on a tear since the mid-1940s.

The lines crossed in the late 1980s.

While government employment has leveled off, manufacturing jobs continue to disappear.

So, the gap keeps widening and soon government employment will be twice manufacturing employment.

Think about that for a moment.

=======

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

=======

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

September 20, 2016

Since Alicia Keys debuted as a coach on The Voice last night, I have a semi-legitimate excuse for reprising one of my all-time favorite posts … topic is a cognitive bias called the “halo effect”.

=======

I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

=====

Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hillary Clinton: fashion icon … say, what?

September 19, 2016

An article in this weekend’s Washington Post made me belly-laugh …. and gives me a chance to dig a tidbit out of the archives.

Here’s the headline:

hillary-fashion-icon
======

According to WaPo:

The Democratic presidential nominee is, by no means, the typical fashion icon, not in the manner of an actress, a musician or even First Lady Michelle Obama.

But it is hard to deny her influence, whether direct or indirect — on so many designers.

Really?

Reminded me of  a post by Scott Adams — Dilbert’s author — on his Dilbert blog

Read the rest of this entry »

Wedding gifts: What’s the right amount to give?

September 16, 2016

Let’s start with a non-judgmental question:

How much do people give?

SurveyMonkey conducted a survey to answer that question.

The answer – reported by FiveThrytEight — depended on 3 factors:

(1) Whether you’re a high-roller or just skating by …

(2) Your relationship to the couple

(3) Whether you drag along a plus-one guest or not.

For example: On average, high-rollers who don’t bring a guest give immediate family members $500, extended family and close friends $200, and “just” friends $100.

The median gift for folks who don’t bring a guest is $100 for immediately family and $50 for everybody else.

clip_image002

========

How much do those antes go up if folks bring a guest?

Read the rest of this entry »

Why not undercard debates featuring Johnson and Stein?

September 15, 2016

Last weekend, I caught an interview with Jill Stein – the Green Party’s candidate for President.

While she stands zero chance of winning and I disagree with most of her positions, the interview was interesting.

She was articulate and cut to the chase on the issues in a simple understandable way.

Example: “We should go with renewable energy because pollution from fossil fuels is responsible for more than 200,000 deaths each year.”

That resonated with me.

No reliance on weather predictions from dudes who predicted that Hermine would devastate the East Coast this past weekend.

Just a simple: Stop pollution, it causes deaths every year.

I can buy in to that argument faster than worrying about forecasts of the seas rising in a couple of hundred years.

=========

According to several polls – the MorningConsult being among the latest – a majority of likely voters would like to see Libertarian Gary Johnson and Greenie Jill Stein on the presidential debate stage even though they are below the 15% popularity threshold.

Based on the Stein interview, I’d like to see more of Johnson and Stein. I wouldn’t waste my vote on either of them, but I’d like to here more.

clip_image002

========

The prime argument against their participation is that it would shorten the time allotted to Clinton and Trump …

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow-up: In Google we trust?

September 14, 2016

In a prior post — In Google we trust? – we recapped some experiments that seemed to suggest that Google was rigging its search engine to favor Hillary Clinton.

Now, there’s more evidence …

Robert Epstein – “a distinguished research psychologist” – and his associates at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology (AIBRT) — a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in the San Diego area — have been investigating claims that Google systematically alters search results to favor Hillary Clinton.

clip_image002

========

Here’s what they did and what they found …

Read the rest of this entry »

How to rake in $1 million per year during retirement …

September 13, 2016

Answer: Get elected President … and, you only need to serve one term (maybe less)

=========

Politico ran a story last week, alleging that Bill Clinton used taxpayer money to stake Hillary’s homebrew server.

Frankly, I found that revelation to be very uninteresting.

What caught my eye is the retirement package that Presidents get … more than $1 million per year for life in comp & benefits.

clip_image002

Here’s the scoop …

Read the rest of this entry »

Full circle: Hillary has herself to blame …

September 12, 2016

Hillary’s FBI interview teed-up her health as a reason for concern.

=======

The disclaimers: I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV (<= line is from a 1960s TV commercial) … and I don’t wish ill health on anybody, ever, for any reasons.

That said, let’s connect a couple of dots re: Hillary’s health …

======

Back in 2012, she fainted and suffered a concussion

That happens, no big deal, right?

clip_image002

Probably just a coincidence, but note the timing:

It happened after the Benghazi terrorist attack and before her Benghazi testimony to Congress … a period of high personal stress, I imagine.

The implication – according to CNN:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sustained a concussion after becoming dehydrated and fainting, and will no longer testify Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Hmmm.

========

Retrospectively, husband Bill filled in a couple of pieces …

Read the rest of this entry »

But he told Howard Stern …

September 9, 2016

One of the sillier aspects of the campaign is Clinton trying to neutralize her yes vote for the Iraq War by using the schoolyard tactic: “Well, he did it first.”

Her evidence: “Trump told Howard Stern …”

Say, what?

And, the MSM is running with the gotcha as a headline story:

clip_image002

=======

Just for the entertainment value, let’s unpack this story …

Read the rest of this entry »

Commander-in-Chief: Clinton or Trump?

September 8, 2016

NBC: “Trump comfortably earns the support of military-affiliated voters overall 55% to 36%”.

=======

What a week.

CNN reports a poll with Trump leading Clinton.

Then yesterday, NBC released a poll of military personnel & veterans.

My hunch: NBC was expecting Clinton to win that poll … and probably planned to headline the results in last night’s commander-in-chief forum.

Oops.

======

Here’s the rub:

While Hillary holds a slim lead across the broad base of registered voters, Trump wins big — by 19 points — among current military & veterans.image

==========

Drilling down, a majority of military folks are confident of Trump’s “ability to be commander–in-chief”.

Not so for Hillary.

Only about 30% of military folks are confident of Clinton’s ability to be commander–in-chief.

image

=======

P.S. I watched the entire NBC commander-in-chief forum last night.

Here’s my take …

Read the rest of this entry »

Is ‘Hermine’ a male or a female name? So what?

September 7, 2016

Last weekend’s Florida hurricane, prompts the question …

Answer: Based on popular usage, it is 30.812 times more common for Hermine to be a girl’s name than a boy’s name. Source

What’s the ‘so what’?

Well, some names are deadlier than others.

Female-named hurricanes cause “significantly more deaths”

=======

Researchers analyzed over six decades of death rates from U.S. hurricanes and concluded that a severe hurricane with a female name is likely to have a death toll triple that of an equally severe hurricane with a male name.

Say, what?

clip_image002

No, it’s not gender bias … it’s a cognitive bias induced by “Incidental stimuli”.

Read the rest of this entry »

CNN: Dissing it’s own poll results … why?

September 6, 2016

Answer: This morning, CNN released poll results – Trump 45, Clinton 43%

I’ve had CNN on background this morning … kudos to CNN for releasing the numbers … but, it has been hysterical listening to the CNN anchors and poli-shills try to minimize the turnaround reported in their own poll.

=======

Let’s run through the numbers ….

Among likely voters,  Trump leads 45 to 43 … Trump upped his numbers by 4 points, Hilary dropped by 1 point.

Technical note: CNN shifted its polling from registered to likely voters … the latter is commonly regarded as most relevant

 

image

========

Digging a bit deeper ….

Read the rest of this entry »

FBI: Hillary evaded indictment using the ‘Steve Martin Defense’…

September 6, 2016

By now, you should have heard that – during her FBI interview – Hillary had trouble recalling many details.

Details such as whether she gave or got state department guidance on email policy.

More of the “I can’t recall” items are listed at the end of this post

For the record, she signed a statement stating that she understood the rules & consequences … and emailed her minions about the importance of following the policy to the letter.

Easily forgotten, right?

And, she told the FBI that she could not recall any briefing after her December 2012 fall that left her with a concussion.

Say, what?

That’s presidential timber for you …

=========

Frankly, I expected Hillary to plead the ‘George Castanza Defense’ … just asking “was that wrong?”

Nope she went the Steve Martin route.

In a famous skit, Martin tips people how to get a million dollars tax-free.

His advice:

First, get a million dollars and don’t pay taxes.

Then, when the IRS calls, tell them “I forgot … I forgot to pay taxes.”

Martin  offers the same advice for bank robbery and other transgressions.

Click to view the 3-minute clip … it’s really funny.

clip_image002

=========

Also, for the record,  here’s a list of other things that Clinton could not recall in the FBI interview:

Read the rest of this entry »

Noonan: “Can Anxiety Beat Depression in November?”

September 2, 2016

Another interesting Noonan piece in today’s WSJ

Peggy Noonan observes that there may be a deep psychological dynamic underlying the 2016 presidential race … it centers on depression and anxiety:

Mrs. Clinton is depression:

You know exactly who she is, what trouble she brings — she always brings that sack full of scandal — and you know deep down that she won’t make anything better.

=======

Mr. Trump is anxiety:

If you back him you know you’re throwing the long ball, a real Hail Mary pass to the casino developer and reality TV star who may or may not know how to catch the ball when catching the ball means everything.

But he’s entertaining—he scrambles all categories, makes things chaotic.

He has fun with his audience.

Noonan’s conclusion: “in America anxiety beats depression because it’s the more awake state”.  I guess that favors Hillary.

But, as Trump would say “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Hmmm.

========

Happy Labor Day !

========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

“Strip mall” teacher rakes in $4 million … now you’re talking.

September 2, 2016

Don’t I wish.

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher.

image

Here’s how he does  it …

Read the rest of this entry »

There are 3 Americas (not 2) … thanks to Obamacare.

September 1, 2016

Article in yesterdays WSJ quoted David Cutler, a Harvard health-care economist:

Obamacare may be “a story of three Americas.”

One group, the rich, can afford health care easily.

The poor can access public assistance.

But for lower middle- to middle-income Americans, “the income struggles and the health-care struggles together are a really potent issue.”

No kidding, Dr. Cutler …

HomaFiles was all over this one back in June:

Remember how healthcare costs were going to drop by $2,500 for every family?

We concluded that in 2016, employees will pay $11,000 out-of-pocket … up $2,500 since 2012.

“Employees” … you know the working class … the middle class.

Here’s our original post …. worth re-reading …. glad others are catching up to it.

========

Milliman – a well-regarded actuarial consulting” firm – has published an annual recap of healthcare spending since 2001.

The Milliman Medical Index tracks the total costs of providing health care to an average family of four covered by an employer-sponsored “preferred provider plan” … that’s about 155 million employees and their dependents.

The total includes the health insurance premiums paid by both the employer and the employee, as well as the actual expenditures for health care paid by the insurance plan and out of pocket by the insured family.

The big news: In 2016, the average healthcare costs for a family of 4 surpassed $25,000 for the first time … the $25,826 is triple the cost to provide health care for the same family in 2001 … and up about $5,000 since 2012.

clip_image002

======

The bad(est) news is the increased proportion of the healthcare costs being shouldered by individual employees …

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump needs a debate coach …

August 31, 2016

My nomination: Dennis Miller.

=======

NY Times ran a piece contrasting Donald’s and Hillary’s debate prep:

Hillary Clinton Piles Up Research in Bid to Needle Donald Trump at First Debate

clip_image002

=======

Predictably, the Times slams Trump for a refusal to wade through policy books or practice mock debates.

Hillary, though, is disciplined, studious and advice-seeking.

She’s consulting with psychologists “preparing ways for her to unnerve Mr. Trump and provoke him to rant and rave.”

They conclude that Trump’s hot buttons are: his intellect, his net worth and his image as a successful businessman.

Easy picking, right?

========

So, how can Trump possibly win a debate against her?

Read the rest of this entry »

Polls: A “none of the above” election?

August 30, 2016

Spotted an interesting analysis of a recent Monmouth poll …

Cutting to the chase, the likely voter poll is split roughly in thirds with respect to candidate favorability:

Only about 1/3 view Hillary favorably, less than that view Trump favorably and slightly more than a third view neither candidate favorably.

image

Note that the “neither” is multiples higher than in past elections.

Previously, there was partisan divide, but partisans at least liked their candidates.

=======

These numbers are consistent with the most recent WSJ poll:

Dissatisfaction with the two main candidates is at historic levels:  37% of Democrats said they would have preferred that somebody other than Mrs. Clinton become the Democratic nominee, and a resounding 52% of Republicans said they would have preferred somebody other than Mr. Trump.

My take: I think the “neither” numbers are grossly understated.

I don’t think that I’ve run into a single person – on either end of the political spectrum – who is enthralled by their side’s candidate.  Not a one.

Most people seem more motivated to vote against a candidate … than vote for one.

Wonder if that will be enough motivation to get people to the polls?

Political pundit Charlie Cook opines that “fear and hatred are the strongest emotions in politics” and motivate voter turnout.

Apathy tends to suppress turnout.

He doesn’t say what “disgust” does.

We’ll see

=======

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

=======

In Google we trust?

August 29, 2016

Report insinuates that Google gives biased search results.

Here are some surprising results and a bit of tech advice for you.

=======

Let’s start with a very retro piece of tech advice.

Long ago, a techie friend of mine advised: “Always over-specify your searches”.

English translation: When searching, use more words rather than fewer to make your search more specific and, thus, make the likely answers be most relevant.

If you get no or too few hits, re-search by making the search less specific, i.e. take out some of your qualifying words.

Works for me

=======

Case in point

Over the weekend, non-MSM went viral on Google:

clip_image002

Here’s the case that was being reported …

Read the rest of this entry »

BleachBit: Hillary’s gift to criminals …

August 26, 2016

How many times have you seen clips of the police confiscating a suspect’s computer for forensic analysis?

Pretty common on Forensic FIles, CSI and the 11 o’clock news, right?

And, the punch line is always the same …

The perps try to delete files & browsing histories, but unknowingly leave behind evidence.

Oops.

==========

Well, thanks to Team Hillary, FBI documents and a shout-out by Congressman Trey Gowdy, criminals now have no excuse for not covering their tracks.

Introducing to the American consciousness: BleachBit:

image
==========

Here’s the story ….

Read the rest of this entry »

What the most common job in the majority of states?

August 25, 2016

Hint #1: 40 years ago, it was “secretary”.

Hint#2: It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

=======

Census data was crunched by NPR analysts.

Don’t squint for the labels … just glance at the states’ color coding and make your guess.

 

image

=======

And, the answer is ….

Read the rest of this entry »

Polls: From whom do Johnson & Stein take votes?

August 24, 2016

Short answer: Disproportionately from Hillary.

=========

According to the latest NBC / Survey Monkey poll (<= gotta love the ‘Survey Monkey””’ part, right?):

No bounceback for Trump … he still trails Hillary by 8 in a head-to-head match-up …. 50 to 42.

image

=========

Here’s what I find most interesting …. the 4-way race.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sailor tries “Hillary defense” … then is carted off to jail.

August 23, 2016

Bottom line: Neither ignorance nor innocent intent are stay-out-of-jail cards for ordinary folks.

========

Let’s connect two articles from last week.

The first is a legal opinion from The Hill:

clip_image002

It’s relatively short and direct – well worth reading.

The essence of the legally supported conclusion:

In letting Hillary off-the-hook, Comey revived two old, tenuous legal defenses: “ignorance of the law” and “no direct evidence of criminal intent”.

Every kid is taught that ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse, right?

And, courts have regularly dismissed the need for prosecutors to prove “willfulness”.

If you did it, you did it

Old adage: Do the crime, do the time (or pay the fine).

But, since Comey’s leniency rested on ignorance and willfulness (“no direct evidence of criminal intent”), those defenses are making a comeback.

Here’s a specific case …..

Read the rest of this entry »

Is anybody happy these days?

August 22, 2016

Most recent Gallup poll reports a 44% decline in “satisfaction with the way things are going” … and that’s from an already rock-bottom level.

Note that the satisfaction levels were running in the mid to high 20s since the start of 2016 … that number plummets to 17% in the most recent poll … with a 17 point drop among Dems.

Hmmm.

 

image

========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

=======

Hillary’s shrinking lead …

August 22, 2016

Weekend MSM headlines focused on Trump’s campaign staff shake-up, not on his favorably reviewed speeches or his trip to Louisiana.

So, I wasn’t expecting any movement in the polls.

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

On Sunday, the USC-LA Times poll reported Trump in the lead.

No less than Dem-favorite pollster Nate Silver sped over to CNN to disparage the poll’s methodology.

Of course, that raised my curiosity.

Bottom line: yep, Donald over Hillary by 2 points.

image

========

Here’s what I find more interesting than the single day’s numbers ….

Read the rest of this entry »

Isn’t an “exit tax” kinda like a wall?

August 19, 2016

Watching the Olympics last night, I was sneak-exposed to a Hillary jobs ad.

The 3 point plan: (1) make everybody pay a fair share – where, of course,  ‘everybody’ is shorthand for ‘somebody who is not you, so cheer’ (2) ‘invest’ in infrastructure – where ‘invest’ means overspend on poorly managed government projects using Cadillac-planned union workers and (3) institute an “exit tax” to keep companies from leaving the U.S.

clip_image002

It was the exit tax that caught my eye … partially due to the ads placement in the Olympics and because Trump gave his economic speech a few hours earlier.

Here’s why …

Read the rest of this entry »

Gut check: Which Presidential candidate REALLY shares your views?

August 18, 2016

Dare to take the “ I Side With …”  Presidential  Quiz.

========

This is a very interesting online quiz from a group called “I Side With …”.

In a nutshell, you just sign on to the site and answer a battery of multiple choice questions in a variety of categories, e.g. foreign policy, social issues, science.  It takes 10 or 15 minutes to make it through the questions.

image

I thought the array of questions was appropriately comprehensive … and the answer choices were fair (i.e. nothing tricky or embarrassing ).

Some of the questions made me pause to check my gut on where I stood on some issues.

That alone made the quiz worthwhile.

After answering all the questions, answers are matched against the candidates’ positions.

========

And, which candidate did I match most closely?

Read the rest of this entry »

Bubba turns on Comey … Congress gives Comey a chance to strike back.

August 17, 2016

Over the weekend, former President Bill (Bubba) Clinton lashed out at FBI Director James Comey.

You may remember that Comey laid out the evidence against Hillary … and then let her walk.

Righties were displeased because of Comey’s illogic: The conclusion didn’t follow from the premises.

Lefties simply dispute premises … since they reveal Hillary to be a boldface liar.

Hubby summed it up: “Comey is full of bull …)

Hmmm.

Former President calling out the current FBI Director … who gave his wife a stay-out-of-jail free card.

My question: will Comey take that lying down?

clip_image002
NY Post

He doesn’t have to … Congress just provided Comey with an opportunity to rehabilitate his cred as a straight arrow.

Read the rest of this entry »

WSJ: “Donald, step aside for Mike”

August 16, 2016

The WSJ jumped on the pile yesterday — outlining Trump’s flaws as a candidate — and opining:

“Mr. Trump, needs to stop blaming everyone else and decide if he wants to behave like someone who wants to be President—or turn the nomination over to Mike Pence.”

Hmmm.

Where have I heard that before.

Oh yeah, in the HomaFiles a couple of weeks ago when we posted:

Wish Pence & Kaine were at  top-of-tickets …

Here’s the flashback:

Both seem rational & hard-working  with some degree of moderation …  history of working across the aisle.

image

Sure, they’re boring … and my favorite (Pence) would probably lose …  but I’d sure feel better about the election.

Agree?

Just imagine: Trump back in the Towers, Hillary finally  in jail …. and Pence & Kaine duking it out on the issues.

Two good choices instead of two bad ones.

=========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

========

Noonan: “A historic decoupling between the top and the bottom …”

August 15, 2016

Frequent readers know that I’m big fan of the WSJ’s Peggy Noonan.

I love the way the lady writes and she always cutting to the chase with keen insights.

Her most recent column is no exception:

clip_image002

========

Here are a couple of snippets from Noonan …

Read the rest of this entry »

Smoking Gun: CNN anchor:“We’re helping her (Hillary) as much as we can”

August 13, 2016

This isn’t exactly new news , but for those who cling to belief that CNN is an unbiased source of news …

=========

Speaking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign –- specifically her fund-raising from fat cats – CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (son of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo) blurted out the usually veiled truth:

We couldn’t help her any more than we have.

She’s got just a free ride so far from the media.

We’re the biggest ones promoting her campaign.

So, it had better happen.

As Gomer Pyle would say:

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

The media bias may not be new news, but the explicit admission by one of the players sure is.

=========

Watch it for yourself.

The clip is less than a minute … Cuomo starts about 25 seconds in.

Click to view video
image

========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

========

Is Trump dumb as skunk … sly as a fox?

August 12, 2016

Checking today’s polls …

======

This week, Trump gave a pretty good speech on his economic plan (<= my opinion) … and a mellow, favorably-reviewed speech to a homebuilders trade association.

But, he got blasted in the mainstream media for rallying 2nd amendment supporters (“obviously inciting violence against Hillary”) … and for referring to Obama & Clinton as founders of ISIS (since BHO pulled ALL troops from Iraq – leaving a hole that ISIS filled).

Here’s the ironic twist:

Trump started the week down 7.7 points on the RCP poll-of-polls.

Today, he’s down 6.3 … still a big number, but 1.4 better than the week started.

 

image

========

Of course, there were other forces at work: the typical dissipation of Hillary’s post-convention bounce … and, oh yeah, the email – Clinton Foundation thing …  she got caught with her hand in the cooking jar again.

Still, I wonder: was it the mainstream media that took the bait this time?

Blasting Trump, they spotlighted terror and gun rights … two of Trump’s strong suits.

Hmmm.

========

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

========

Marijuana makes the news … twice this week!

August 12, 2016

Slot this one in the ‘you can’t make this stuff up” file.

=======

I don’t really give a hoot about the legalization of marijuana one way or another.

But, I love ironic twists, so …

Story #1

image

According to NPR:

“The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.”

“So, under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it’s considered to have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”

OK, so far so good.

Now, let’s advance the story …

Read the rest of this entry »

How many people watched the convention speeches?

August 11, 2016

It’s no secret that only about half of the U.S.  Voting Age Population (VAP) turns out to vote … and that the vast the majority of Americans are poorly (or narrowly) informed on political issues.

These days, pollsters are saying that a high percentage of Americans have a high level of interest in the 2016 Presidential race.

I got into a friendly debate re: whether “interest”  is a valid proxy measure for “informed”.

My POV: nope.

For example, how many people were interested enough to watch the Trump & Clinton acceptance speeches at their conventions?

elction cartoon - who not voting for
Here’s the answer …

Read the rest of this entry »

The Presidential race has gone from amusing to scary …

August 10, 2016

Yesterday, we channeled a WSJ opinion piece by Peggy Noonan.

Her takeaway point:

I end with a word that speaks of the moment we’re in.

It is “kakistocracy.”

From the Greek, it means government by the worst persons, by the least qualified or most unprincipled.

We’re on our way there, aren’t we?

Yes, Peggy, we are.

Let’s do a quick recap of yesterday’s news.

========

clip_image002

clip_image004

The guy didn’t just “attend” the rally.

He was ushered to a VIP seat right behind the podium.

Team Clinton – which bills itself as a disciplined political machine and is known to script everything — says that they didn’t know who the guy was and that he just slipped behind the podium unnoticed.

Yeah, right.

BTW: Survivors of the massacre were invited guests at the rally.

In classic understatement, the media reported that they were “disappointed”.

clip_image006

=========

That would have been the story of the day if Trump had just stayed in bed.

But, he didn’t … and seriously gaffed again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is America becoming an “kakistocracy”?

August 9, 2016

Brutal op piece by Peggy Nooman in the WSJ last Friday.

The title tells most of the story: “The Week They Decided Donald Trump Was Crazy”.

The evidence: his taking the Khan bait and dissing Ryan and McCain.

“People started to become convinced he was nuts, a total flake.”

image

That’s all that most folks will take from the article.

But, there was an important twist that most folks will miss or dismiss.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

August 8, 2016

Headline in Drudge: “Grandma helped up stairs.”

In this 2016 picture, a frail –looking Hillary Clinton – who has a history of injuries from falls (including at least one concussion) – hobbles up a flight of stairs with the assistance of Secret Service agents and aids.

image

Poignant imagery, right?

The mainstream media will likely bury the picture.

But, I fully expect Trump to ask:

“Is she even physically able to handle the Presidency?”

======

Before you claim “foul”, there’s a Presidential precedent …

Read the rest of this entry »

WashPost deals Trump a turnaround card …

August 8, 2016

I can’t believe my eyes.

I’ve oft opined that the Washington Post is most biased of the Clinton-supportive print media.

Stories of the Post’s 30-person Trump attack team are widespread and not denied by the paper.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw the headline:

clip_image002

The article is a thorough investigative story — not an opinion piece.

Here’s the short version of the story …

Read the rest of this entry »

Reuters: Trump still has a pulse …

August 7, 2016

OK, let’s start with the obvious: Trump had a very, very bad week … and, if I were Trump, I’d rather have Clinton’s poll results than Trump’s.

But, Trump’s campaign obit may be a bit premature.

At least one poll’s results suggest that Donald may still have a pulse.

The Reuters / IPSO poll shows a typical dissipation of Hillary’s post-convention bounce … and a statistically significant bounceback for the Donald … narrowing Clinton’s advantage to only 2.4 percentage points … within the margin of error.

clip_image002

========

Clintonites surely consider the results to be simply an outlier.

For Trumpsters, it’s a ray of hope.

Which is it?

Here are some factors to consider …

Read the rest of this entry »

The economy in 3 charts …

August 5, 2016

Here’s why many Americans feel bad about the economy.

=======

First, GDP – a measure of the overall economy – has been growing at a declining rate for the past 35 years.

The blue line below is the year-over-year percentage change of GDP … the red line is my eyeball trend line – attempting to factor out recessionary dips.

The boxes are roughly the Clinton years (green box), the Bush years (orange) and Obama years (red).

GDP growth for the past 10 years has been less than 5% year-over-year.

 

image

=========

Let’s dig a little deeper …

Read the rest of this entry »

Gotcha: How long does it take to hack a 16-character password?

August 4, 2016

First, how many of us have a 16-character password?

If the over-under is 1, I’m betting the under.

 

image

Still, let’s pretend that that your passwords are 16-characters long – a mix of capital and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Here’s how long it takes to crack it …

Read the rest of this entry »

Road rage is so yesterday … today, it’s password rage.

August 3, 2016

Here’s a shocker for you.

According to a survey taken by Centrify, a leader in identity management, 1/3 of online users admit to suffering from ‘password rage’ … with many of them driven to crying, screaming and swearing.

clip_image001

=======

Here are some of the survey’s more interesting findings:

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump : “Data analytics is overrated” … could he be right?

August 2, 2016

Last week, the WSJ ran an opinion piece: Trump’s Big Data Gamble.

The punch line: “While Donald tweets to the masses, Hillary will be precisely targeting persuadable voters.”

Advantage Hillary, right?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

In an AP interview, Trump said that he “always thought that it (meaning data analytics) was overrated” and, accordingly, he’ll spend limited money on data operations to identify and track potential voters and to model various turnout scenarios that could give him the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency.

He’s moving away from the model Obama used successfully in his 2008 and 2012 wins, and the one that likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is trying to replicate, including hiring many of the staff that worked for Obama in his “Victory Lab”.

clip_image002
=====

A data-light strategy may sound very old-school in the era of big data … especially coming from Trump …. but it reminded me of an opinion piece that Peggy Noonan wrote in the WSJ soon after Obama’s 2012 election win.

Noonan had a riff about predictive analytics that caught my eye.

It pointed out one of the downsides of predictive analytics … the craft of crunching big data bases to ID people, their behaviors and their hot buttons.

Here’s what Noonan had to say …

Read the rest of this entry »