Saturday, June 25, 2016

Week 29: "Brexit" (June 26, 2016)

Dear Readers,


Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 142


Weekly List of Things Republican Elected Officials Are Saying About Their Nominee:

-Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) sees no reason to attend the convention next month.

-Columnist George Will switched parties because of Trump

-Former Bush cabinet members Henry Paulson and Brent Scowcroft are voting for Hillary Clinton


So, the Brexit did indeed happen (I’ll go into this more later). Trump, naturally, was going to Scotland the next day, so one would imagine he’d be congratulating UKIP and the Brexiteers, right? In his press conference, he only talked about his golf course, not even mentioning Brexit. On his Twitter, he decided to thank Scotland for their leave votes, when, of course, remain swept all the counties in Scotland. Adding this to Trump’s only learning about Brexit in the past few days and still not knowing who Boris Johnson is, it’s clear Trump’s foreign policy is flawless.

Trump Fires Lewandowski

This week, Donald Trump fired his longtime campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski was accused of assaulting a Breitbart reporter earlier this year, and his style of campaign managing may not have been very productive, but it’s a shocking move by the Trump team. Lewandowski was immediately hired by CNN, of course, so that shows how much Trump saying “you’re fired” is worth.


House Democrats Hold Sit-In on Gun Control

To add to Senate democrats’ filibuster last week, the house democrats stayed in the building for 24 hours, demanding a bill on gun control. They failed in their efforts, of course, but the publicity can only help their cause. Hillary, of course, has been in support of congressional democrats through their tricky efforts, especially recently. The sit-in didn’t affect any votes, as congress was meant to be closed for most of the time anyway.

Sanders Will Vote for Clinton
Bernie Sanders has made another step toward party unity, telling a reporter he will vote for Clinton. The only steps left are to drop out and endorse Clinton (because in the 2016 election season, pledging your vote isn’t the same as an endorsement!) He maintains he’ll push his platform to the convention, but in the meantime Sanders voters are returning to Clinton, as recent polls indicate.

This Week In World Elections

United Kingdom: The results of Brexit are in, and Leave earned a solid victory. Prime Minister David Cameron has already announced his intent to step down, meaning that Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and Donald Trump look-alike, has a great chance of becoming the next Prime Minister. Some voters are already regretting their decisions, with interviews with Leave voters who “didn’t think it’d seriously happen” floating around. This referendum is non-binding, and it’s up to the next Prime Minister as to what to do.

Iceland: The Icelandic presidential election is today. The main candidates are:

-author Andri Snær Magnason
-editor/former Prime minister Davíð Oddsson
-historian Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson
-entrepreneur Halla Tómasdóttir
-truck driver Sturla Jónsson

Polls show Jóhannesson with a large lead (at least since incumbent Olafur Ragnar Grímsson decided not to run), and results seem to back this up. Jóhanneson has never held public office, but the presidency is a largely ceremonial post (with more power in the prime minister). This election was muddled when president Grímsson (a five-term incumbent!) was implicated in the Panama Papers.

Spain: The election for congress and senate is tomorrow, and the People’s Party retains their lead. Unidos Podemos has safely moved into second place as well.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Week 28: "Emergency Money" (June 19, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all.

Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 142


First off, let’s show a beautiful display of gratitude from Mr. Trump:

That’s right, Trump, tweeted “Thank you, America” with a picture of a Gravis/OAN national poll that showed him losing. Anyway, into the news...

Donald Trump’s Response to Orlando

Following the tragic terror attack/hate crime at a gay nightclub in Orlando, one could imagine the politicians stepping in and showing remorse. Here are some quotes from Mr. Trump’s twitter.

  • In response to an article saying the gunman had “cheered 9/11”: “I thought people weren’t celebrating? They were cheering all over, even this savage from Orlando. I was right.

  • “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough”

  • “American must now get very tough, very smart and very vigilant. We cannot admit people into our country without extraordinary screening.”

  • “Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

  • ”...More attacks will follow Orlando

A little scary and unsympathetic, right? Now, you can accuse me of cherry-picking quotes to advance my point, but that doesn’t change the fact that a presidential nominee actually said all of these things.

George Bush Is Doing His Best

Fearing for the worst for his party, former president George W. Bush (R-TX) has begun to fundraise for congressional Republicans. Trump, surprisingly enough, supported Bush in doing this, but not before throwing a quick insult at Jeb, of course.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL): "I think he (Donald Trump) is too bigoted and racist for the Land of Lincoln."

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), when asked about a potential convention challenge: “I see my role, now that he’s got the plurality [of delegates], he actually won, is pretty much a ceremonial position. But the last thing I am going to do is weigh in and tell delegates what to do.”

Governor Scott Walker (R-WI): “He’s not yet the nominee. Officially that won’t happen until the middle of July, and so for me that’s kind of the time frame. In particular I want to make sure that he renounces what he says, at least in regards to this judge.” Adding on to that, Trump “at least of late has been saying things that run directly at odds with our core beliefs and principles in this country.”

Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “...because it's pretty obvious he doesn't know a lot about the issues. You see that in the debates in which he's participated.”

Senator and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) will cease talking about Trump for this election - “wish me luck,” he said.

Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD): Doesn’t plan to vote for Trump.

Trump Needed an “Emergency” $100,000

The Trump campaign put out a statement yesterday declaring that they needed an “emergency” 100,000 dollars to continue attacking Hillary Clinton. This is in order to “get their ads on air”. According to them, "Crooked Hillary is about to invade your TV with ads attacking Mr. Trump. But we're preparing to fight back,” which of course is why the “self-funded” billionaire is begging for emergency money.


A True 50 State Strategy

Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that she will be putting field staff in all fifty states. A Clinton campaign worker, Marlon Marshall, said: “This is something that needs to happen every presidential cycle. It needs to be sustained. And I think if we continue to do that, we will help build the party long-term.” It’s unclear if this staff is to help congressional candidates or if Hillary is indeed preparing for a landslide, which is, of course, always possible. Bernie Sanders supported a 50-state strategy when campaigning, so this could also be an olive branch towards him.

Clinton Super-PAC Releases Attack Ad Titled “Presidential”

It’s quite good, if you ask me. Watch it here:

The ad attacks Trump’s incompetence, warmongering policies, and “danger.” It’s one of the better ones I’ve seen, and I thought I should point it out.


This Week In World Elections

United Kingdom: The Brexit referendum turned bitter this week, as Labour MP Jo Cox was tragically stabbed by a Britain First activist at a surgery (meeting with constituents). While Leave has taken a recent lead in the polls, this will probably reverse that, if it has any impact at all. If anything, it shows how bitter campaigns can be. Truly tragic.

Spain: The Spanish congressional and Senatorial elections are next Sunday. The ruling People’s Party should retain a plurality fairly easily, with the Spanish Socialist Workers and Unidos Podemos fighting for second place.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Week 27: "Officially Official" (June 12, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all.

Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at
Days until General Election: 149


Final Primary Recap
The final primaries were this Tuesday, and Trump, of course, ran unopposed. Here’s the rundown:

California: Trump received 75% on the way to an easy victory. He reached 70% in all but 2 counties.

Montana: Trump got 73%

New Jersey: Trump’s only 80% state this primary season, though he only barely reached that. Trump’s results included an eye-popping 88% in Ocean County.

New Mexico: Trump got 71% but had his worst county of the night, reaching 54% in McKinley county. Jeb Bush got 3.4% of the vote

South Dakota: Easily his weakest state, as he received only 67%

Paul Ryan Has Ceased to Make Sense

This Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan responded to Trump’s comments about judge Gonzalo Curiel by “disavowing” and “regretting” them. He called the remarks racist, in fact “the textbook definition of a racist comment,” but he maintained his support for Trump. “Do I think Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”

Other Republican Congresspeople were more bold
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL): “I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for president.” Kirk is caught in a very tough re-election race, and he has been trying to distance himself from Trump because of that.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): “If Donald remains Donald, I will not vote for him.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): Trump could pass a certain line and lose his support. “This is a crucial two- or three-week period. If at the end of June, moving into a convention and still not having pivoted toward being more of a general election candidate would prove to be very problematic.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “I stand by everything I said during the campaign”


Final Primary Recap
Hillary cruised to victory in New Jersey, taking 63% of the vote. She also took California by 12 points, a bigger margin than most predicted (except yours truly). She won New Mexico and South Dakota by 3 points each. People expected Sanders to win South Dakota (again, I didn’t), so that was a bit of a shock. Montana was also closer than expected, with Sanders only getting a hair above 50%. North Dakota, as a caucus, was an easy Sanders win.

With those wins, Clinton clinched a majority of both pledged and overall delegates, meaning that she, like Trump, is now the presumptive nominee. Her delegate lead over Sanders is ~900. Sanders would need to win all the delegates from next week’s D. C. primary, win the 89 uncommitted superdelegates, and he’d still have to win over 421 of hillary’s superdelegates (approximately 73%).

Obama Endorses Clinton
President Obama issued his endorsement of the presumptive nominee this week. This isn’t a surprise, but his endorsement was very moving and he called on Democrats to unite.

Sanders Doesn’t Concede
Despite his loss, Senator Sanders remains in the race. He will contest the District of Columbia’s Tuesday primary and try to push his issues until the convention. While he may drop out after the DC primary, even that is not a given. However, he says he will work as hard as he can with Clinton to help defeat Trump. "I look forward to meeting with (Clinton) in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%," he said.

One reason Sanders should lose hope is that progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has endorsed Clinton and came out with a blazing speech destroying Trump.



District of Columbia: Hillary Clinton 72%, Bernie Sanders 28%

This Week In World Elections

United Kingdom: As the UK’s referendum to leave the EU approaches, polls have tightened, and “Leave” has taken the lead in the average. The referendum is on June 23, and at this point, the result is a complete tossup. One thing is for sure, however. Gibraltar will decide to remain in the EU.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week 26: "Who the Heck is David French?" (June 5, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all.

Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at

Days until June 7 (Final Primaries): 2
Days until General Election: 156


The Running Mate Files

-Fmr. Spkr. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on Trump’s comments about the judge (see below): “It was one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. Inexcusable.” Gingrich hasn’t ever gone this far, and it’s very odd to see him say this - maybe he doesn’t want the job?

-Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) linked Trump-type rhetoric to the Charleston shooting: "I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen," Haley said.

-Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) says that if offered the position, he’ll say no.

Trump on Judge: “Conflict of Interest”

Trump’s “Trump University” case has cast a dark shadow over his campaign, and it’s still to be determined how legitimate the accusations are. The judge of the case, one Gonzalo Curiel, has attracted insults from Trump. According to Trump, he is “a hater”, “unfair” and being “of Mexican heritage” having a “conflict of interest.” Because the best way to win a court case is to insult the judge.
This quote, from that same interview, is perfectly coherent and logical as well:
"But I say he's got bias. I want to build a wall. I'm going to build a wall. I'm doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans - I'm doing very well with them, in my opinion."
Trump also later said that a Muslim judge could be biased against him.

Bill Kristol Announces “Renegade Party” Candidate!
Everyone who tuned into Bill Kristol’s announcement of a mystery candidate was wondering - who’s it gonna be? Mitt Romney? Ben Sasse? Tom Coburn? It was... Drum roll, please....


Now, who is David French? Why, that’s a very logical question to ask. French is a 47-year-old Iraq War veteran and journalist who didn’t have a Wikipedia page until this week. He’s a generic anti-Trump conservative, and his wife ghost-wrote Sarah (and Bristol) Palin’s book. Does this matter? Of course not!


Clinton Easily Wins in the Virgin Islands
Yesterday, Clinton won 6 (or all 7) of the 7 delegates from the Virgin Islands caucus. She reached 84%, with Senator Sanders getting 12%, failing to reach the threshold. Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico today, results have been slow to report, but Clinton has a comfortable lead. She will likely earn ~40 delegates keeping here about 15 delegates short of the nomination, which she’ll easily clinch this Tuesday.

Clinton Pivots to General
Capitalizing on these results, the Hillary campaign today sent an email to her supporters saying that “Any minute now, Hillary Clinton should become the first woman in the history of our country to win the nomination of any major party.” Either they are looking ahead to Tuesday, or a few superdelegates will endorse her very, very soon.

Hillary also made a speech this Thursday, billed as a foreign policy speech. She used the speech, however, to mock Trump’s foreign policy ideas - with quotes! Hillary repeated some of Trump’s policies word-for-word, letting his “bizarre rants” speak for themselves. Of course, Trump took to Twitter to claim the quotes were doctored - except they weren’t doctored or even taken out of context. This was seen as a major victory for Hillary and reportedly worried the Trump campaign.



California: Hillary Clinton 56%, Bernie Sanders 43%
Montana: Bernie Sanders 54%, Hillary Clinton 43%
New Jersey: Hillary Clinton 63%, Bernie Sanders 34%
New Mexico: Hillary Clinton 52%, Bernie Sanders 46%
North Dakota: Bernie Sanders 63%, Hillary Clinton 37%
South Dakota: Hillary Clinton 51%, Bernie Sanders 47%

Note: Hillary will likely be declared the nominee after New Jersey: this may affect turnout or results one way or another, so take later states’ predictions with a small pinch of salt.

This Week In World Elections

Peru: Results are reportedly coming soon. Polls have shown the race between right-wing Keiko Fujimori and centrist Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as very close, and anything could happen.

St. Lucia: The St. Lucian assembly elections for the 17 assembly seats are tomorrow. The leading Labour Party will only run 15 candidates, while the opposing United Workers Party will field a full slate of 17. The Labour Party won last election 11 seats to 6, securing 51% of the vote to the UWP’s 47%.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!