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You know, it's a funny thing. Every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists.

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Weeks 1-30

  1. Week 31
  2. Week 32

November 23rd, 2015

PPP poll:

Donald Trump leads PPP's newest poll by a wide margin...on which candidate Americans think would be the most likely to say something inappropriate at the table and ruin Thanksgiving Dinner. 46% say they think Trump would be the candidate most likely to ruin Thanksgiving, as much as all the rest of the candidates combined. Hillary Clinton at 22%, Bernie Sanders at 7%, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson at 6%, Ted Cruz at 4%, and Marco Rubio at 1% round out the standings on who people think would be most likely to wreck the holiday.

Donald Trump on waterboarding: ‘If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway’:

"Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat," Trump said to loud cheers during a rally at a convention center here Monday night that attracted thousands. "And I would approve more than that. Don't kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn't work."

"It works," Trump said over and over again. "Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn't work, they deserve it anyway, for what they're doing. It works."

Trump 'wrong' in claiming US Arabs cheered 9/11 attacks:

Mr Trump, who is running for president, said he saw "thousands and thousands" of people in New Jersey celebrating.

But the mayor of Jersey City said no such thing happened and accused the Republican of "shameful politicising".

"I do not remember that, and so it's not something that was part of my recollection," Mr Christie told local media.

"I think if it had happened, I would remember it, but, you know, there could be things I forget, too.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's questionable 'USA Crime Statistics' tweet broken down by race:

The statistics that Trump seemed to support had a huge margin of error: by about 66%, for both claims. From the FBI's 2014 report on U.S. homicides, of the 3,021 Caucasian murder victims, 2,488 of their assailants were white, or 82%.

Trump's statistics ring just as wrong for whites killed by blacks. While the fear-mongering graphic claims it's at 81%, it's really 15%, according to the FBI's statistics — much less than the mogul's tweet would suggest.

The other "data" suggested blacks killed by whites were at 2% while blacks killed by blacks were at 97%. Again, wrong.

The real numbers behind blacks killed by whites in 2014 are at least three times more than Trump's tweet suggested, at 7%. Blacks killed by blacks are 7% less than the bogus numbers in the presidential candidate's tweet, at 89%.

Republican donors, operative fueling new anti-Trump ad blitz:

However, after news broke about the concerted effort to undermine him, Trump hinted he might consider breaking away.

“We'll see what happens,” he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I have to be treated fairly. … If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine.

Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls:

So, could Trump win? We confront two stubborn facts: first, that nobody remotely like Trump has won a major-party nomination in the modern era. And second, as is always a problem in analysis of presidential campaigns, we don’t have all that many data points, so unprecedented events can occur with some regularity. For my money, that adds up to Trump’s chances being higher than 0 but (considerably) less than 20%. Your mileage may vary. But you probably shouldn’t rely solely on the polls to make your case; it’s still too soon for that.

TV networks hold conference call to discuss Trump treatment:

The issues being discussed, the executive said, involve access to attendees at Trump events. Often reporters are able to speak with attendees before an event is set to begin, but lately reporters have found themselves confined to media-only areas by Trump staffers.

But the executive cautioned that the talks were being handled by the networks' political units and were not rising to high executive levels. Though media has complained about access with other campaigns, the executive said this was the first coordinated effort of its kind thus far this cycle.

"There’s no crisis with the Trump campaign and there’s no senior-level summit that’s going on; these are issues we run into all the time," the executive said.

The media has no idea how to deal with Donald Trump's constant lying:

But this dynamic is generally why liars and conspiracy theorists aren't allowed on respectable news programs. Producers know that when you put someone who's likely to spew falsehoods and who's impervious to all attempts to correct them on the air, that person is going to get a lot of opportunities to repeat his falsehoods, and it'll be very hard if not impossible to debunk him. Viewers will get a healthy sampling of lies, and undoing that damage in the space allowed will be nigh impossible. As Jay Z once said, "A wise man told me don't argue with fools, 'cause people from a distance can't tell who is who."

How Donald Trump’s ground game looks in early states:

Take Iowa and South Carolina. In Iowa, which holds the first caucuses of the 2016 White House race on Feb. 1, the billionaire has 12 paid staff members on the ground. That’s reportedly more than anyone except for Jeb Bush, and includes Chuck Laudner, the man behind Rick Santorum’s victory in Iowa’s GOP caucuses in 2012.

Then there’s South Carolina, which is the third contest on the calendar. Trump has two team members there — public-relations executive Ed McMullen and former state House Majority Leader Jim Merrill — that one GOP strategist calls serious organizers who know how to win elections.

In New Hampshire, which holds its primaries on Feb. 9, Trump has 10 paid staffers, the campaign says. The campaign says its operation is the biggest of any Republican candidate in New Hampshire this cycle.

Ben Carson Supporters Cite ‘Vulgar’ Attacks in Seeking Donations:

“Ben Carson has been completely under siege from the dishonest national mainstream media these last few weeks,” John Philip Sousa IV, chairman ofthe 2016 Committee, a “super PAC” that backs the Republican presidential candidate, wrote in an email to supporters. “The vulgar, personal attacks are some of the most vicious I’ve ever seen in politics."

Ben Carson Claims He ‘Saw The Film’ of American Muslims Celebrating on 9/11.

Ben Carson 'Doesn't Stand Behind' His Own Remarks About American Muslims Cheering on 9/11:

"He doesn't stand behind his references and apologizes for the mistaken references. It was a mistake on his part and he clearly wasn't really thinking about New Jersey, he was thinking about the Middle East."

On climate science, most GOP candidates fail:

Two used similar reasoning to skip grading New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and one did the same for businesswoman Carly Fiorina. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas had the lowest score, an average of 6. All eight put Cruz at the bottom of the class.

"This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner," Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, wrote of Cruz's statements. "That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president."

Rubio: "Bartender"

Trump: Hillary, there is nothing to laugh about.

Trump Rally in Columbus, OH

November 24th, 2015

Quinnipiac IA GOP poll:

Donald Trump gets 25% of Iowa likely Republican Caucus participants in a too-close-to- call race with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas who is at 23%, double his support from four weeks ago, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Dr. Ben Carson has 18%, with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 13%.

One thing that hasn't changed is the poor showing for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who goes from 5% October 22 to 4% today.

Today, Sen. Rand Paul is at 5%, with Carly Fiorina at 3%. No other candidate tops 2%, with 2% undecided. 

Boston Globe MA poll:

32% of likely Republican primary voters in the state called Trump their first choice in the race for the GOP nomination for president, according to the survey by Suffolk University.

18% picked Senator Marco Rubio in the poll. Senator Ted Cruz earned 10%, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 7%, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 5%, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina both at 4%.

Among respondents who had a first choice, 46% in Massachusetts said they would switch their top pick to former governor Mitt Romney if he were added to the list. Similarly, a poll of New Hampshire voters found they favored Romney by a 2-to-1 margin over Trump. Romney has said he is not planning another run, however.

Inside the Southern California factory that makes the Donald Trump hats:

“A lot of what he says about Latinos is not correct,” Melendrez says with a shrug just as a buzzer signals the end of her Saturday overtime shift and workers line up to clock out. Spanish punctuates the air as the machines sputter to a stop.

But Melendrez doesn’t pay the media reports much mind. She knows she has a job to do.

“You know,” she says, “he’s giving us a lot of work. Keeping us busy.… It’s a job, I get paid to do it and it pays my bills.”

In Renovation of Golf Club, Donald Trump Also Dressed Up History:

Between the 14th hole and the 15th tee of one of the club’s two courses, Mr. Trump installed a flagpole on a stone pedestal overlooking the Potomac, to which he affixed a plaque purportedly designating “The River of Blood.”

“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot,” the inscription reads. “The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’ ”

“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” said Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, a historical preservation and education group devoted to an 1,800-square-mile section of the Northern Virginia Piedmont, including the Lowes Island site.

Donald Trump's alarming skid toward outright fascism:

It's clear now that the Paris attacks enormously energized the Trumpist movement. He's now speculating openly about invading Syria. Trump's proposals have gone from overt prejudice to things literally taken out of late Weimar history — closure of mosques and a national Muslim database. The rank-and-file have both fed off and stoked this behavior. When a lone protester started chanting "black lives matter" at a Trump rally, Trumpists jumped him (he was luckily not badly injured). Trumplater said, "Maybe he should have been roughed up." Hours later he lied about witnessing Muslim crowds celebrating 9/11, and retweeted nonsense racist garbage from a literal neo-Nazi.

Early-State Polls Aren't Predictive -- Yet:

The story is relatively clear here. Polling averages become slightly more predictive throughout the fall, but until Thanksgiving they typically had a value of around 0.6 or less on a scale of zero to one (where zero means the polls predict absolutely nothing and one means the polls can be used to perfectly predict the final outcome). A value of 0.6 isn’t very good, but neither is it meaningless. For instance, around Thanksgiving of 2011 the RCP average for the Iowa Republican caucuses had Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman at the back of the pack and Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Ron Paul at the front. Cain and Gingrich would crater and Santorum would surge before the January voting, but the rest of the candidates stayed pretty close to their previous rankings. So the polls at this point in 2011 weren’t perfect predictors, but they were far from useless.

That being said, the polls are the most useful data we have heading into an election. And RCP’s poll averages provide a much better read on the state of the race than any single survey. But even if the polls end up being less than perfect heading into Iowa and New Hampshire, start paying attention to them now because they will likely become powerful predictors soon.

Rubio backer is behind new anti-Ted Cruz ad.

Kasich: Trump's Dangerous Rhetoric

Trump rally in Myrtle Beach, SC

November 25th, 2015

Quinnipiac IA Dem poll:

Despite a low grade for handling the economy, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has the support of 51% of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 42% for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and 4% for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, with 3% undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.This is virtually unchanged from the results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University showing Clinton at 51%, with Sanders at 40%.

YouGov/Economist national poll:

Clinton 64%
Sanders 26%
O’Malley 3%

Trump 37
Rubio 15
Cruz 11
Friend Ben 10
Jeb! 7
Fiorina 4
Christie/Huckabee/Paul 3
Kasich 2
Graham 1

Rubio: 'God's Rules' Win Over Supreme Court Decisions:

“In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin — violate God’s law and sin — if we’re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that," Rubio said. "We cannot to abide by that because government is compelling us to sin."

“So when those two come into conflict, God’s rules always win,” he added.

Donald Trump mocks reporter's disability.

Black Pastors Expected to Endorse Donald Trump.

Plan A for GOP donors: Wait for Trump to fall. (There is no Plan B.):

The resistance to committing to all-out warfare has far-reaching consequences, leaving Trump poised to face only scattered challenges in the final weeks before the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Several senior Republicans said this week that they expect Trump’s staying power to persist through the spring — possibly forcing the primary fight to spill into next summer’s convention.

In a Desperate Bid to Take Down Donald Trump, Republicans Are Unleashing the F-Word:

Toward that end, a number of Republicans have decided to ramp up the attacks dramatically: They're characterizing him as an out-and-out fascist.

Why one political scientist thinks Donald Trump might actually win.

It's Increasingly Clear Facts Don't Matter in the Republican Presidential Primary:

Ben Domenech, a Republican commentator and columnist, says that the desire for an outsider candidate, manifested by an all-time low trust in government, has allowed for candidates like Trump and Carson to get away with saying whatever they want "as long as they're viewed as somebody who is also calling BS on the current system."

"It's not quite clear that reality matters to the electorate right now," said David Brooks, a conservative political commentator for the New York Times, on Meet the Press in September, discussing Republican candidate Carly Fiorina's sudden surge in popularity. "There are some people who are great campaigners and some people that are good in reality, and so far the good in reality people aren't doing so good in the polls."

Here's What To Watch:

As I noted last night, Trump isn't some sideshow or joke in the GOP nomination race. You may think he's a joke personally. But he's bringing to the fore the central issues and drives currently motivating Republican base voters. That doesn't mean I think he's going to be the Republican nominee, though. I'd say for the first time, in the last two or three weeks, he has opened up a real path to the nomination. But I would say it is still quite unlikely. That's why the real race to watch right now is between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

A lot of people seem to think there's such a thing as the "GOP establishment" which is or can come in and shut Trump down to avoid a catastrophe in the general election. What exactly about the fall or Eric Cantor, John Boehner or the last 4 or 5 government shutdown dramas makes people think such a thing exists or exists with anything remotely like the size and power to do something like that escapes me. As I said, I think Trump now has a path to the nomination. He probably won't win Iowa. But he could well win New Hampshire. And if he does, he has in place a large enough and persistent enough national lead that he could do it.

Geeky Art of The Day: The 2016 Election is So Much Better as 'Magic: The Gathering' Cards.