Remember that big moment at the Democratic debate when Bernie Sanders said the American people are sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damn emails? Well, it turns out Sanders didn’t mean that to suggest he doesn’t think there’s anything worth investigating….(read more)
About damn time https://t.co/eCInjjgEFU
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 5, 2015
Simpson was just a wealthy abuser who got away with murder
Janell Ross reports: Black and white Americans seem to agree on very little these days, if it has anything at all to do with race and the criminal justice system. But new data from a Washington Post-ABC News poll has identified an issue once regarded as a key barometer of America’s racial divide where that divide has been closed.
We’re talking, of course, about O.J. Simpson.
The share of Americans who believe that Simpson was “definitely” or “probably” guilty of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman is moving in the same direction across racial lines. A majority of both sides agree that he was at least “probably” guilty,” and never before have black and white Americans been closer to agreement.
Now to be clear, 20 years after the jury announced its June 1995 not-guilty verdict in Simpson’s criminal trial, white and black opinion on this matter remains pretty divided. A full 83 percent of white Americans said that they are “definitely” or “probably” sure of Simpson’s guilt. By contrast, 57 percent of black Americans agreed.
But what’s noteworthy here is that both figures have reached an all-time high and are moving in the same direction, despite two successive summers in which questions of possible police misconduct and systemic racial disparities in the criminal justice system — issues very real in the Simpson case — have occupied the headlines.
The Washington Post‘s astute polling team points out that part of the change might well be driven by technical changes. The specific wording of the question about Simpson’s guilt changed just slightly over the course of the 21 years that The Post-ABC poll has queried Americans on this issue. Also, in 1997, a civil jury found Simpson liable for the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman. (Notice those 1997 uptick in the trend lines up above. Read the rest of this entry »
Poll: Clinton’s standing falls among Democrats
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s standing is falling among Democrats, and voters view her as less decisive and inspiring than when she launched her presidential campaign just three months ago, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
The survey offers a series of warning signs for the leading Democratic candidate. Most troubling,
perhaps, for her prospects are questions about her compassion for average Americans, a quality that fueled President Barack Obama’s two White House victories.
Just 39 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to nearly half who say they have a negative opinion of her. That’s an eight-point increase in her unfavorable rating from an AP-GfK poll conducted at the end of April.
The drop in Clinton’s numbers extends into the Democratic Party. Seven in 10 Democrats gave Clinton positive marks, an 11-point drop from the April survey. Nearly a quarter of Democrats now say they see Clinton in an unfavorable light.
“I used to like her, but I don’t trust her,” said Donald Walters of Louisville, Kentucky. “Ever since she’s announced her candidacy for the presidency I just haven’t liked the way she’s handled things. She doesn’t answer questions directly.”
While Clinton’s approval rating fell, Obama’s stayed constant at 46 percent since April. More than 8 in 10 Democrats have a positive view of the president.
At least part of Clinton’s decline may be due to questions about her character, a topic Republicans have been trying to make central to the 2016 campaign. In ads, stump speeches and online videos, they paint her as a creature of Washington who flouts the rules to get ahead.
While Clinton has spent decades in the public eye, she’s focused in recent months on creating a more relatable — and empathetic — image. In public events, she frequently talks about her new granddaughter, Charlotte, and references her early career as a legal advocate for impoverished children. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Not About Substance. It’s All About Signaling
Jonathan V. Last writes: In economic theory, “signaling” is an action one party takes that has, superficially, no plausible economic explanation. The reason the action is undertaken isn’t because the action itself is helpful, but because the action transmits important information to a second actor.
“Why do reporters ask politicians what they think about evolution? Practically speaking, no one really cares what a senator or a congressman-or even a president-thinks about evolution. But what a politician says about evolution is a handy signal to certain types of voters telling them what they’re supposed to think.”
So, for instance, the entire field of higher education is essentially a big production in signaling, with students paying lots of money to achieve-not because a college education is worth anything as a good, but because the students hope that the the credential will signal value to potential employers. You don’t pay $200K for a bachelor’s in history from Williams because the class on colonial oppression in West Africa is worth the price of a house. You pay it because you hope that Goldman Sachs sees a Williams diploma as proof of intelligence and will want to hire you.
“The president of the United States-who’s also a constitutional law scholar!-decided that in order to get his arms around reforming the criminal justice system he had to consult with the producer of a fictional TV show that went off the air seven years ago.”
Political life is full of signal theory, too. Why do reporters ask politicians what they think about evolution? Practically speaking, no one really cares what a senator or a congressman-or even a president-thinks about evolution. But what a politician says about evolution is a handy signal to certain types of voters telling them what they’re supposed to think.
“President Obama has always been skilled at sending out very precise, targeted signals, whether it’s to mainstream swing voters or to his liberal base. But the group Obama works hardest at signaling to is the young, Millennial hipsters who were so vital to his 2008 victory over Hillary Clinton.”
So if you’re a nice, well-educated cog in the Goldman Sachs machine who thinks that, generally speaking, public-sector unions are harmful, that the federal government is operating in a suboptimal manner, and that the mullahs of Iran probably shouldn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons, you might consider voting for someone like that tough, can-do governor from Wisconsin.
But then someone asks the governor whether or not he “believes in evolution” and he doesn’t answer by jumping up and down chanting and “Darwin! Darwin! Darwin!” And suddenly you understand: This guy isn’t really like you. Better to let Iran have nukes.
You got the signal loud and clear.
“As a substantive matter, Obama’s presidency has been terrible for these people. High unemployment numbers for recent graduates. No bending of the curve on college tuition prices….Yet Obama has made sure to signal that, despite everything, he’s really on their side.”
Good evening. I wish I had better news for you, but… All is not well in America. America is adrift. Something is clearly wrong.
“I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.”
America needs many things, but what America desperately needs is new leadership.
I’ve only been in office a short time, but one thing I’ve discovered is that there is no monopoly on knowledge in Washington.
“The war on poverty is 50 years old, and still black unemployment is twice that of white unemployment.”
The best thing that could happen is for us—to once and for all—limit the terms of all politicians. We already limit the President to two terms.
I think we should put limits on the terms of Congress and infuse our government with fresh ideas.
[Go to Breitbart to read the rest.]
Before I ran for office, I practiced medicine for nearly 20 years in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Liberal elites fly over my small town, but they don’t understand us. They simply seek to impose their will upon us—from what insurance we can buy, to what light bulbs we can use, to how we generate electricity.
Most of us in flyover country, and I suspect many who live in our big cities, think those in government take us for granted. Those of us who are actively pursuing the American Dream simply want government to get out of our way. Read the rest of this entry »
David Harsanyi writes: After news of the baffling decision by the New York grand jury not to indict a police officer in the killing of Eric Garner, I sent out a (slightly) hyperbolic tweet that wondered why Americans would want to entrust their free speech and health care to an institution that will kill you over failure to pay a cigarette tax.
If they can kill you over a cigarette tax, why would you trust them to run the internet, regulate your speech and choose your health care?
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) December 4, 2014
Since then, I’ve seen numerous tweets discounting this argument as preposterous. It’s something akin to blaming jaywalking for the death of Michael Brown, we’re told. Rand Paul touched on the issue in an interview on msnbc yesterday and was, predictably, ridiculed for it by liberals – because mentioning the circumstances of a violent act is preposterous, apparently.
Though it certainly isn’t close to being the most important lesson of this inexplicable case, it’s not something that should be dismissed so flippantly.
Garner wasn’t targeted for death because he was avoiding taxes, but nonetheless, prohibitive cigarette taxes unnecessarily create situations that make events like this possible.
We frame violent acts and unintended consequences in this way all the time. When we discuss how illegal immigrant women can be the helpless victims of domestic violence, we also blame unreasonable laws for creating the situation. Read the rest of this entry »