Monday, April 04, 2016

No, the GOP will not lose the House. Not even if Trump loses in a landslide of biblical proportions.

2016 Trump GOP House of Cards
A recent Cook Political Report (among other articles) excited Democrats and terrified Republicans by invoking the specter of a wave election flipping the House of Representatives majority control - "House Republicans Staring Into the Abyss: 10 Ratings Changes Favor Democrats":
"So many assumptions have been wrong this cycle that it's difficult to be definitive about another: that the House majority won't be in play in 2016.  Republicans are sitting on their largest majority since 1928 - 247 seats to 188 - meaning Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats, a daunting challenge given the GOP's immense redistricting advantage and the vaporization of swing districts. But all cycle, Democrats have daydreamed about Republicans nominating an extremely polarizing presidential candidate, and suddenly it's almost certain they will get their wish...   if November does turn into a Democratic rout, it's impossible to know just how bad it could get for Republicans sharing a ballot with Trump or Cruz."
The primary evidence offered by columnist David Wasserman was a shift in the Cook Report Rating for 10 seats (5 D, 5 R) with each seat ratcheting one notch in the Democrats direction. But, there is far less here than meets the eye.

Friday, April 01, 2016

United Coalition of the Divided - 2016 Edition

UPDATED: 17-June-2016 
Divided Government
The Dividist initiated this exclusive club during the 2008 election cycle and recycled it in every federal election since. It was an ignominious start, with the Democrats seizing unified control of the federal government. The 2010 edition was barely posted in time for the midterms among much angst and gnashing of teeth. Can't complain about the result though, as divided government was emphatically restored. We managed an earlier start on the 2012 membership drive, and that worked out fine with the reelection of Barack Obama and divided government. In 2014, it was just a question of how divided we were going to get. The Democrats accommodated by digging themselves an even deeper hole in Congress, much to the delight of our 2014 Midterm United Coalition of the Divided

So now it's 2016. We know why we should vote for divided government. We know how to vote for divided government.  We just need enough of us to actually vote for divided government. 

This cycle we'll be voting for a new President with the Republicans in majority control of Congress. At the time of this writing, Republicans and Democrats are focused on eating their own in the primaries. We'll probably need to get past the conventions before Democrats realize that a divided government state is the best they can hope for in this cycle. As always, the Dividist will welcome with open arms all disingenuous, insincere, and hypocritical partisan Democratic and Republican Party pretenders to the 2016 United Coalition of the Divided!

Membership is open to anyone writing anything in any form in any media in a vaguely positive way on the subject of divided government. New recruits will be added to the ranks, updating this post and blogroll from now until the 2016 election.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The new normal since President Obama declared "We will not accept attacks like Paris as the new normal."

 Attacks targeting civilians linked to or inspired by ISIS - from NYT

Declaring War On The New Normal

Last fall, in the wake of the October ISIS bombing in Ankara (103 dead), ISIS destruction of an Russian plane over Egypt (224 dead), the November ISIS bombing in Beirut (43 dead) and ISIS massacre in Paris (130 dead), President Obama said"We will not accept attacks on civilians in places like Paris as the new normal."

After the December ISIS inspired massacre in San Bernardino (14 dead), we wrote a post analyzing  President Obama's speech outlining his strategy to degrade and destroy ISIS. After reading the Graeme Wood Atlantic article entitled  "What ISIS Really Wants" we concluded the Obama strategy would do absolutely nothing to change the "new normal" terror dynamic until and unless the ISIS "Caliphate" was dislodged from Syria and Iraq:
The simple fact is this -  only ground troops can remove an enemy from territory they hold. And if we don't remove them - despite the President's platitudes - Paris and San Bernardino and the downed Russian Airliner are the new normal, and nothing will change that. 
We have a choice. We can continue a low grade war of attrition against ISIS (think "body counts" and Vietnam), with no firm timetable or strategy to decisively destroy ISIS and wait for ISIS and the Caliphate to wear down and collapse.  Or we can adopt a more focused assertive military posture and decisively remove ISIS from the territory they claim as a Caliphate. It does not have to be our ground troops, but is has to be a significant, overwhelming force. In either case, for whatever length of time the Caliphate is permitted to exist, Americans, Europeans, moderate Muslims and "infidels" the world over will continue to be gunned down, bombed, stabbed and massacred in these random "soft-target" attacks launched by True Believers in the Caliphate. Welcome to the New Normal."
Current Status Of The New Normal - President Obama talks the talk.

Since the San Bernardino massacre in December, the Obama administration has been repeatedly questioned by the press and Congress about the status of the President's strategy to defeat ISIS. Administration flacks and the President himself cite bombing sortie statistics, body counts, and incremental territorial gains as evidence that the strategy is working. More recently the President continued to talk the talk, as exemplified by his comments during his historic visit to Cuba in the first minutes of an exhibition baseball game. Here he is interviewed by ESPN on the very day of the ISIS attack in Brussels ...

Sunday, March 06, 2016

In Praise of the Smoke Filled Room
- or -
How I Learned To Love The Idea Of A Brokered GOP Convention

Image ripped from WSJ
As an undeniably lazy blogger, there are few things I find more satisfying than quoting myself while repurposing an old blog post. Why not? I often find my previously published blog posts to be insightful and profoundly moving.  Mitt Romney provided the catalyst for this particular exercise in self-plagiarization with his call for a brokered convention to stop Donald Trump from securing the nomination:
"If the other candidates can find some common ground, I believe we can nominate a person who can win the general election and who will represent the values and policies of conservatism. Given the current delegate selection process, that means that I’d vote for Marco Rubio in Florida and for John Kasich in Ohio and for Ted Cruz or whichever one of the other two contenders has the best chance of beating Mr. Trump in a given state."
In other words, everyone stays in to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before the convention. Trump may arrive in Cleveland with a plurality, but not a majority. Denied a first round nomination, another candidate could be selected at the convention, presumably built out of a coalition of the majority of delegates that support Rubio, Kasich, and Cruz.  This seems like an eminently reasonable strategy to avoid nominating a megalomaniacal authoritarian with zero understanding of our constitutional protections who is afflicted by narcissistic personality disorder and delusions of grandeur.  But that's just me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Krugman and Klein on how the Scalia Supreme Court vacancy battle will destroy America.
Because "divided government."
Or something.

 
 Let's start with Paul Krugman and his usual understated dispassionate analysis...
Once upon a time, the death of a Supreme Court justice wouldn’t have brought America to the edge of constitutional crisis. But that was a different country, with a very different Republican Party. In today’s America, with today’s G.O.P., the passing of Antonin Scalia has opened the doors to chaos...
In his opening paragraph, in around 50 words,  Krugman manages to blame the GOP for "chaos", a "constitutional crisis", and losing America. All because the GOP controlled Senate may delay confirming a Supreme Court appointment for 9 or 10 months. Even by the standard of Krugman's usual vitriolic, polarizing, partisan hyperbole, that is an impressive pile of horseshit.


Of course this is nothing new for regular Krugman watchers. Who can forget his 2010 classic meltdown on the eve of the Republican takeover of majority control in the House of Representatives:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

State Of The Union - The Musical!
"Bye Bye Barry" Edition


Welcome to the Dividist's annual coverage of the Presidential Address to Congress - aka State of the Union - The Musical!

In 2007, as a blogging toddler, the Dividist despaired at finding a unique approach to the SOTU when so many other bloggers would be traversing the same ground. The answer came from Bob Woodward. In an on-line Washington Post forum the Dividist asked whether the SOTU had any real relevance. Woodward responded by saying it was "mostly theater." Genius. That was the answer. What better way to frame the SOTU, media and blog reactions than within the lyrics of a Broadway show tune?

The game is to start with a Broadway song then find blog posts, news stories, tweets, essays and commentary that can be vaguely referenced in the song and link them to the lyrics. It keeps the Dividist awake and blogging throughout the speech and mandatory drinking game.

The program so far...
2007 - "Comedy Tonight" 
2008 - "Georgy Girl Boy"
2009 - "Razzle Dazzle" from "Chicago" 
2010 - "The Wizard of Oz" 
2011 - Intermission 
2012 - "Do you hear the people sing?" from Les Miserables" 
2013 - "I don't know how to love him" from "President Obama Superstar" 
2014 - "How to Succeed as President Without Really Trying" 
2015"Let It Go" from "Frozen"
And now, for 2016, despite being pointless political theater, this SOTU holds out hope for a couple of interesting wrinkles. 1st -  It is President Obama's last State of the Union, and 2nd - The administration is hinting at something "different" for this edition. Based on the teaser, the President is going to be backed by a heavy handed organist...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Stupid Is As Climate Change Stupid Does
Bernie Sanders brings the stupid to Meet The Press

Bernie Sanders and Jim Inhofe on Climate Change

Presidential wannabee Bernie Sanders was on Meet the Press with guest host Andrea Mitchell. He said something stupid about climate change. It was a "Jim Inhofe" level of stupid. But, since he said it with the usual "#FeelTheBern" Sanders passion and sincerity, the content was apparently missed by Andrea Mitchell, the mainstream media, and others who don't pay attention to the actual meaning of the words he uses.  We'll get back to what he said shortly.  First, a digression:

Some of you may remember all the way back to last February. There was an unseasonable cold spell and snowstorm in Washington D.C. Noted global warming skeptic and United States Senator Jim Inhofe delighted in tossing a snowball in the Senate chambers to demonstrate a point about the D.C. temporary anomalous local climate change - AKA - "weather."

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Common Sense - ISIS, Caliphate, & the New Normal

 ISIS Terrorism Chart & Map ripped from the New York Times  
In the last year we've seen: the ISIS aligned Boko Haram massacre in Nigeria in December; an ISIS inspired Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre in January; the ISIS pledged Al Shabab Kenyan school massacre in April; another ISIS massacre of civilians in Kobani in July; the ISIS October bombing in Ankara.  Within the last 30 days we've seen: the ISIS credited downing of a Russian airliner killing all aboard; an  ISIS bombing in Beirut; the ISIS enabled Paris massacre; American True Believers pledged to ISIS precipitating a massacre in San Bernardino. All this in addition to the uncounted beheadings, crucifixions, slavery, rapes and other routine horrors that are a daily reality within the ISIS controlled Caliphate in Syria and Iraq.


In his comments at a press conference after the most recent Paris massacre President Obama - "vowed not to "relent" against ISIS, saying Sunday that the world will not accept attacks on civilians in places like Paris as the "new normal."

On Sunday, December 6th, in the wake of the San Bernardino killings, President Obama spoke from the Oval Office about the administration strategy to deal with ISIS related terror. In contrast to earlier, carefully crafted language about degrading and containing ISIS/ISIL, he upped the ante saying "We will destroy ISIL" Immediately after making that firm declaration, he qualified it by saying what we would not do:
"We should not be drawn once more into a long and costly ground war in Iraq or Syria.... The strategy that we are using now -- air strikes, special forces, and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their own country -- that is how we'll achieve a more sustainable victory, and it won't require us sending a new generation of Americans overseas to fight and die for another decade on foreign soil."
Let's just accept the President's rhetoric at face value and play this out. Let's even go along with his odd assertion that we should implement additional regulation on guns and ammo to thwart terror, despite the fact that the regulations he advocates would have done absolutely nothing to prevent nor limit in any way what we saw in San Bernardino (or any other terrorist attack in the United States).

Here is the problem - despite the President's platitudes, until and unless we destroy the ISIS "Caliphate" the terrorism we have seen in the last year will absolutely continue to be the "new normal" indefinitely into the future.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Investors Love Divided Government -
Fox Business News Republican Debate Edition

Maria Bartiromo to moderate FBN GOP debate
This debate is all about the moderators and financial news network talent.

The most popular search engine posts on this blog can be found within the "Investors Love Divided Government" label/tags. In fact, among the top posts in the 10 year history of the Dividist Papers are "Markets, Economy, Gridlock"  featuring Maria Bartiromo, "Investors Love Divided Government - 2010 Edition" featuring Amanda Drury. and "Investors Still Love Divided Government"  featuring Trish Regan and Michelle Caruso-Cabrerra.  The Dividist will let The Reader figure out for themselves the common thread. Hey, who are we to argue with success?

Friday, November 06, 2015

The time has come - the blogger said -
To talk of many things:
Of polls and pols and primaries
And candidates who cling.
And when the voters will get smart
And whether pigs have wings.

Through the Looking Glass with Hillary and Donald
The Donald and The Hillary - with apologies to Lewis Carroll
We've postponed this too long and can can no longer avoid the inevitable. The next presidential election is only one year away. The Dividist needs to stop procrastinating and post something about the frightening possibility that one among this herd of candidates will be elected President. Still, there are advantages to neglecting the blog and ignoring all the political permutations to date.

If the Dividist had gotten around to posting a prediction in the spring when the the campaigns were kicking off, he would have confidently stated that a Bush vs. Clinton dynastic rematch was a lock. He might have even suggested the matchup was a win-win for America. Yeah... that's not happening.
The Jeb was moping sulkily,
when Marco started to run.
He had no business to be there
After the debate was done -
"It's very rude of him," he said
"To spoil all my fun!"
By summer the Dividist would have dismissed Donald Trump as a "flash-in-the-pan" and without question would have confidently declared as obvious fact that the Trump bubble was bursting. Clearly Trump's inane McCain, Mexican, Megyn Kelly and Carly Fiorina comments would not be tolerated by the Republican rank and file. Surprise!
"I'll win for you," The Donald said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With snark and boasts he sorted out
Polls of the largest size,
And holding his bulging wallet,
Kept voters hypnotized.
In the early fall, it was obvious to the Dividist that Hillary Clinton's campaign was mortally wounded by her e-mail scandal, unfavorable ratings,  and other assorted Clintonesque baggage. A Joe Biden cavalry charge to rescue the Democratic Party was clearly in the works.  Silly me. Turns out that she is actually "inevitable." Again.
"Oh voters," said the Hillary,
"Shall the White House be our home again?"
But answer came there none -
And that was scarcely odd, because
She'd lied to every one.