Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Proof Trump Thinks His Supporters Are Suckers

Trump supporters hate liberals because they think liberals think they're stupid. 

Actually, liberals think Trump is making suckers out of his supporters. They think Trump's lies and manipulations are so completely blatant that . . . well, the conclusion is obvious.

At the end of Trump's presidency he issued a bunch of pardons. One was to Steven Bannon, who had cheated Trump supporters out of a million bucks with the We Build the Wall scam.

The fates of Bannon's co-conspirators?

They were accused of taking money for personal expenses like hotel and credit card bills and to buy jewelry, a golf cart and a luxury S.U.V. The fund-raising effort collected more than $25 million, and prosecutors said Mr. Bannon used nearly $1 million of it for personal expenses.

Mr. Kolfage and Mr. Badolato pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud conspiracy in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Mr. Kolfage also pleaded guilty to tax-related charges.

A federal judge declared a mistrial in the case against Mr. Shea in June after jurors reported an impasse, saying one juror had spoken in deliberations of a “government witch hunt” and refused to consider the evidence. Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said he planned to retry the case.

Now New York authorities have issued an indictment against Bannon for his crimes.

To receive a pardon Bannon admitted he had committed a crime. His fellow criminals admitted guilt or escaped conviction (so far) due to mistrial.

In other words, Trump let Bannon off the hook for ripping off Trump supporters.

Oh, and the wall? Not built.

Why aren't Trump supporters angry at the guy for helping his cronies rip them off? They should prove liberals wrong and show them how smart they really are, and pick a guy who's not guilty of inciting sedition, not getting his own supporters killed, and not just using them to make a buck.

Friday, September 02, 2022

Sarah Palin: Loser, Quitter and Whiner

In the 2008 presidential election Alaska governor Sarah Palin was Donald Trump before Donald Trump. She paved the way for idiots to run for the highest offices in the land. 

After John McCain and Palin lost, many in the Republican Party blamed Palin for the loss. The selection of Palin was a clear indication of McCain's lack of judgment. The loss was particularly irksome to Republicans and racists like Donald Trump because Palin made McCain lose to a Black guy.

After her loss, Palin quit the governorship in a huff. She and her family (her daughter got knocked up by a boyfriend after Palin had pushed for abstinence-only sex education) had a number of embarrassing appearances in the public eye and on reality TV.

Palin showed herself to the people of Alaska and America to be a loser, a quitter and a whiner.

But eight years later Donald Trump was essentially a rerun of Sarah Palin, and he won the election in the electoral college -- but not the popular vote. It was a clear indication of the dumbing down of the Republican electorate.

Now Palin has lost again. In a special election for a congressional seat that was vacated by the death of Alaska's lone representative in the House, she lost to Mary Peltola, a Democrat who will be Alaska's first indigenous American member of Congress.

The election was the first to be held with ranked choice voting, and of course Palin and the Republicans insist that the whole thing was rigged.

But was it? This was a three-way race, with Peltola, Palin and Nick Begich (also a Republican) running. In ranked choice voting you basically assign a number to each candidate: your first pick, your second pick, etc. 

When the votes are tallied, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is tossed out, and their second-choice votes are added to the totals of the remaining candidates. You keep doing this, with third-choice votes, etc., until someone gets 50% of the vote.

The rationale for this system is that it's supposed to "guarantee" that the winner has a majority of the vote. I personally think this argument is bogus. It's not really a majority unless the majority of the voters picked you first. More on this later.

This was how the numbers worked out in Alaska:

CandidateMary PeltolaSarah PalinNick Begich III
First round74,807
Maximum round91,206

In the first round Peltola got more than 16,000 more votes than Palin. In this three-way race Peltola beat Palin, plain and simple. It doesn't matter than more voters voted for Republicans than for Democrats. This was a three-way race, and Palin lost. 

Peltola got 16,399 second place votes from Begich voters, and Palin got 27,659. That adds up to 44,058, which means that more than 8,000 voters did not make a second choice. They were Republicans who could not bring themselves to vote for Palin or a Democrat.

Why? Palin is a loser, a quitter, and a whiner, who was endorsed by a wife beater, money launderer for the Russian mob and seditionist who is trying to overthrow democracy in the United States. She also brought a great deal of embarrassment to Alaska with her family drama and various crime-adjacent antics when she was mayor of Wasilla that made Alaskans look like hockey hillbillies.

Now, there were probably voters who were confused about the ranked-choice system. But it seems pretty straightforward with just three candidates. And this brings me to why I don't like ranked-choice voting. 

It pretends to be a system that selects more moderate and less polarizing candidates without needing a primary, but because you can withhold your second-place vote and play other games, it doesn't really.

Many cities are now using ranked choice, and frequently this results in ballots with a ridiculous number of candidates. In the 2021 election for mayor in Minneapolis there were 19 candidates. And because you can only rank three candidates, ranked choice voting does not guarantee the victor will have more than 50% of the votes, contrary to what its proponents say.

Nineteen candidates is ridiculous. Voters can't be expected to know enough about that many candidates to make a rational choice. This allows organizations to flood a ballot with bogus candidates to intentionally confuse voters.

But that's not what happened in Alaska. There were just three candidates, like there were three national candidates when Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and John Anderson ran in 1980, or George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot ran in 1992.

Peltola won a plurality of the votes, just like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did. She beat Palin fair and square, straight-up.

Would Palin have won if Alaskan voters hadn't approved ranked-choice voting and used the old two-election primary/general system? Maybe. But a majority of Alaska voters decided to use ranked choice voting, so quitcher whinin', Sarah.

Palin is clearly an embarrassment to Alaska and America, and even the people who held their noses and voted for the lipsticked pig in this election are hoping that this loser, whiner and quitter will go away and stay away for good this time.