Nobody offered to pay me a lot of money to watch last week's debate, so I didn't. But I heard about Nikki Haley's zinger to Vivek Ramaswamy:
″Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say,” the former South Carolina governor snapped at her primary debate opponent on Wednesday night.
I can't help but think Ronnie would have grinned a bit, shook his head, and said "Well, I've talked about the Eleventh Commandment in the past, Nikki, but that's pretty good."
So let's take a look at the latest odds in the betting market:
|Robert Kennedy Jr
Reading those entrails, here's what the bettors seem to be saying to…
- Trump: "You're smart to not debate."
- Biden: "People are beginning to notice you're old and corrupt."
- Newsom: "Hey, maybe voters will want the US to be like California."
- Michelle: "Please save us from these losers."
- RFKJr: "Nobody cares that you're running as an independent."
- DeSantis: "Your flailing for a working message is getting pretty transparent."
- Nikki: "You're gonna have to get better zingers."
- Kamala: "It's a long shot, but Joe is old and corrupt."
- Vivek: "Every time we hear you, we feel a little bit dumber."
- "Other": "It's looking like you're not gonna show up."
Also of note:
And, as previously mentioned, old and corrupt. Charles C. W. Cooke points out that Joe Biden Is a Dud.
Unless my political antennae have been rendered permanently defective by the sweltering Florida sun, I seem finally to be detecting some grudging acceptance from America’s steadfastly obstinate press corps that, in spite of the herculean effort to prop him up in which its members have engaged, a supermajority of voters in these United States still thinks that President Joe Biden is a lemon. Perhaps this acknowledgment is the result of the sheer scale of the polling evidence that is now before everyone’s eyes. Maybe it is the product of the healing passage of time. Plausibly it has been driven by the fear that, if Biden continues unchecked, Donald Trump will return to the White House. Who knows? What matters more is that, at long last, the realization has arrived that Americans do not like their president and that there is little point in denying it.
Insofar as it goes, this development represents progress. But, until the media come to understand the obvious reasons that have caused Americans to dislike Joe Biden, it will remain lost at sea. Day in, day out, I read the coverage of this presidency, and day in, day out, I encounter a journalistic cadre that believes that voters are being monstrously unfair in their evaluations. Invariably, the question that underpins any critical discussion of this president is “why?” — a question that is usually asked with a disbelieving scoff. Why does he have persistently low approval ratings? Why don’t people like “Bidenomics”? Why is good ol’ Joe considered untrustworthy? Why does the electorate think he’s too old? Usually, these questions are answered with excuses: Actually, It’s the fault of the presidency itself, or of “both sides” journalism, or of the lies of Fox News and of the Republican Party! Actually, the economy is good! Actually, this White House has achieved a lot! Actually, there’s no evidence of wrongdoing — and have you seen how much Biden loves his son?
Well, I have a simpler explanation for President Biden’s predicament — and, if I may say so myself, it is one that dovetails nicely with his polling: Joe Biden is unpopular because Joe Biden is terrible at being president of the United States.
That's a NR-"gifted" link, so enjoy the whole thing.
Not a new song by Pink Floyd. Nick Catoggio looks at what Trump has been saying of late and says his supporters are Uncomfortably Numb. One of the Donald's posts on "Truth Social" quoted by Catoggio:
They are almost all dishonest and corrupt, but Comcast, with its one-side and vicious coverage by NBC NEWS, and in particular MSNBC, often and correctly referred to as MSDNC (Democrat National Committee!), should be investigated for its “Country Threatening Treason.” Their endless coverage of the now fully debunked SCAM known as Russia, Russia, Russia, and much else, is one big Campaign Contribution to the Radical Left Democrat Party. I say up front, openly, and proudly, that when I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized for their knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events. Why should NBC, or any other of the corrupt & dishonest media companies, be entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA, FREE? They are a true threat to Democracy and are, in fact, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! The Fake News Media should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!
I guess Trump's gonna be ignoring the First Amendment even more than Biden is. Swell. And this is just one of his incoherent semi-literate rants.
Unquoted by Catoggio is Trump's recent spiel in a Michigan factory, as described by Jim Geraghty:
One of the many reasons Trump is bad for conservatives, bad for the GOP, and bad for the county is that he will just grab onto the worst ideas of the opposition if he thinks it will help him win at that particular moment. There was a little-noticed promise in Trump’s speech in Detroit Wednesday:
“I’m here tonight to lay out a vision for a revival of economic nationalism,” Trump said. “The Wall Street predators, the Chinese cheaters and the corrupt politicians have hurt you. I will make you better. For years, foreign nations have looted and plundered your hopes, your dreams and your heritage, and now they’re going to pay for what they have stolen and what they have done to you, my friends.”
He added: “We’re going to take their money. We’re going to take their factories. We’re going to rebuild the industrial bedrock of this country.”
A campaign spokesman did not immediately clarify what Trump meant by taking “their” money and factories. [Emphasis added.]
Over in that other Washington publication I write for, I noted that apparently, “The only way Trump can really fight the threat of socialism in America is by having the federal government seize the factories of the private sector and take over the management of them. That’ll show those commies!”
Yeah. One of the more rabid posters at the (vastly more popular) blog Granite Grok is fond of calling Democrats Communists. The next time he does that, I'm gonna point out that Trump has been saying some pretty Classic Commie stuff himself.
Dumb idea, Nikki. She recently proposed repealing the Federal tax on gasoline (18.4 ¢/gallon) and diesel (24.4 ¢/gallon). AEI's Kyle Pomerleau says nay: The Gas Tax Should Not Be Eliminated.
Eliminating the gas and diesel tax would be unfair. Gas and diesel taxes are classic “user charges:” taxes or fees that individuals or businesses pay related to a benefit they receive from the government. The purchase of gasoline and diesel roughly corresponds to the use of roads and highways. Eliminating these taxes and replacing them with general funds would shift the cost of road and highway spending onto all taxpayers, regardless of road use.
It's regrettable that Nikki's pandering like this.
"Something must be done. This is something. Therefore…" Well, you know the rest of the Politician's Syllogism. An example that manages to be even less logical than usual comes from Vivek Ramaswamy: Ban Teens From Social Media, Because Fentanyl.
During Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy described a meeting with the parents of Sebastian Kidd, an Iowa teenager who died in July 2021 after consuming fentanyl disguised as Percocet that he "bought…on Snapchat." As is often the case with Ramaswamy's comments, his take on Sebastian's death was a mixture of sense and nonsense.
The sense was Ramaswamy's recognition that substance abuse cannot be explained in purely pharmacological terms. The nonsense was his reflexive endorsement of the war on drugs, which is responsible for the circumstances that led to Sebastian's death.
Yes: every time I hear him, I feel a little bit dumber.