How Fox & Friends used an Amber Alert to manipulate their viewers… twice!

This morning on the treadmill I flipped the TV over to Fox news.  I like to vary where I get information from and hadn’t been on Fox in awhile.  Fox & Friends was running their Saturday edition.  What unfolded in the half hour span was nothing short of an authoritarian’s delight.

Last week Michael Flynn stepped down as National Security Adviser when CNN broke the news of improper contact with Russia during and after the election and prior to taking office.  This past Thursday the news broke that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to get the FBI to dispute media reports about the Russian interference.  As President Trump is so able to do, Friday was a diversion from all of this when certain news groups were banned from a White House presser.  Cue the Outrage Machine about a free press vs. an authoritarian state. Continue reading

White guys aren’t determining this election…

How many of your friends have said something akin to choosing the lesser of two evils with this election? Chances are that friend was a white guy. Back from the summer, when things were much, much rosier for both candidates, here’s what it looked like with ABC News:

White folks back in the good old days of the summer were at 50% unfavorable for both candidates.  But by the end of the summer… it goes worse for both:

unfavor

But while white guys are wringing their hands over these supposedly bad candidates… dig inside the numbers and you will find that there are demographics who very much like one of the candidates.

minority

Dig into those Net Positives in the columns for Black, Hispanic and Asian for Clinton. This the Hispanic numbers don’t blow you away, they are on the positive side for Hillary, a full 68 points above Trump’s. Over a month ago, SurveyMonkey had even higher numbers:

So it’s quite clear that all this chatter about two bad candidates… is a lot of… white noise.

Two weeks ago, fivethirtyeight.com posted that Trump could win if the “missing white” votes from 2012 were engaged and voting.  But they are not.

Although Trump may be converting plenty of existing voters to his side, there’s really very little evidence that previous nonvotersare coming out of the woodwork in large numbers for him. – 538.com

But this “converting” voters is misleading, because the same site shows that Trump is faring worse than Romney with the non-college white voter.

Even as he piles up support among white men without a college degree, he’s on track for a record poor performance for a Republican among white voterswith a degree. And right now, that tradeoff is a net negative for Trump, compared with Romney. If a ton of new white voters without a degree flooded into the electorate, that could change the math for Trump. – 538.com

The Pew Research Center showed back in February that there projects to be 226 million eligible voters in 2016, of which 31% will be minority voters.  In a typical election, the white vote is split between the two candidates.  For argument’s sake, give 60% of the 165 million white voters to Trump, which comes out at 99 million votes.  Clinton takes home 66 million.  Now factor the minority vote, and give 80% of the remaining 64 million minority votes to Clinton, and you get 118 million for her and 111 for him.  Keep in mind, giving Trump 60% of the white vote is very generous for September, let alone where he is now.

But now unpack the female white vote.  It’s trending fast and furious away from one candidate. Before there was a Trump “sex tape”, women were far and away anti-Trump:

Clinton has consistently led by double digits among female voters, while men have fluctuated from a 42 percent tie between the candidates in June to a current 16-point edge for Trump. Among likely voters, Clinton has a 19-point lead among women, and Trump has an identical lead among men. – Washington Post, Sept. 25

In 2012, 53% of the voters were women. If you re-visit those 165 million white voters and take out 53%, 87 million are women.  Conservatively, giving 60% to Clinton (that 19 point lead two weeks ago) yields 52 million.  Add in her 51 minority votes, and she is at 103. Add in a mere 40% of the male white vote, and she’s at 133 million votes. Trump would come in at 96 million.  This Washington Post poll is illuminating:

Polls are just that, a prediction that sometimes can be wrong.  But when you look at trends as you dig inside the demographics of the 2016 election one thing is really clear.  White guys are not the ones who will decide the Presidency this year.

  • J.

THE TRUMP EFFECT

It’s certain that The Donald will have an impact on the 2016 Presidency, whether he is nominated or not.  Consider what Monday brought.  The New York Times posted a long-form piece insightful of Trump’s rise at the expense of GOP Elite. It’s not a liberal hit piece.

… the story is also one of a party elite that abandoned its most faithful voters, blue-collar white Americans, who faced economic pain and uncertainty over  the past decade as the party’s donors, lawmakers and lobbyists prospered. From mobile home parks in Florida and factory towns in Michigan, to Virginia’s coal country, where as many as one in five adults live on Social Security disability payments, disenchanted Republican voters lost faith in the agenda of their party’s leaders.

Right and Far right Republicans in Ari Fleischer and Laura Ingraham both state in the piece that the Elites that directed the party leadership have to reckon with how they left behind a sizable piece of the GOP electorate.

Perhaps the mantra the Bill Clinton rode to his 1992 victory, “It’s the Economy, Stupid” evaded the elites. The lower-middle and middle-middle classes have not recovered from the free trade deals and the Great Recession of the past 20 years.  Politicians – left and right – get so far immersed in their analytics and think tanks, that sometimes they just miss the forest for the trees:

Between 2008 and 2012, according to the Pew Research Center, more lower ­income and less ­educated white voters shifted their allegiance to Republicans.
These voters had fled the Democratic Party and were angry at Mr. Obama, whom they believed did not have their interests at heart. But not all of them were deeply conservative; many did not think about politics in ideological terms at all.

The mistake the GOP made was thinking that Americans by nature were leaning more Conservative and therefore “Elites” felt their loss in 2012 was that they didn’t choose a “Conservative-enough” candidate.  The bigger mistake was made by the Democrats, who have embraced a bigger tent for diverse folks but left no room for the working class whites.  They appear no better prepared to open the tent flap.

Latch on to these two phrases from the article about these non-ideological Republican-come-lately working class folks, for it may be the un-doing of Senate control for the GOP:

They opposed free trade more than any other group in the country.

They saw illegal immigration not only as a cultural and security threat, but also as an economic one, intertwined with trade deals that had stripped away good manufacturing jobs while immigrants competed for whatever work remained.

The evidence that this concept is a strong one with voters continued today in Ohio as well, where incumbent Senator Rob Portman will have to fend off former Congressman and Governor Ted Strickland to retain his seat.  The craftily monikered Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad against Portman late last week that sounds Trump-like in its roots.

 

Make no doubt that Ohio, despite voting for its own Governor in the GOP Primary, has a significant rust-belt, blue-collar pro-Trump demographic.  The Columbus Dispatch noted the voting record of Portman and Strickland:

…the voting records of Strickland and Portman are polar opposites. As a member of the U.S. House from 1993 through 2005, Portman voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. When he was U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush in 2005, Portman helped guide the Central American Free Trade Agreement through Congress. By contrast, as a member of the House, Strickland opposed NAFTA, permanent trade relations with China and the Central American pact.

This underscores how Trump’s appeal is not GOP as much as it is demographic.  Regardless of whether or not he is the nominee, the Trump Effect with immigration and jobs is going to put a lot of GOP legislators up against the ropes. In Ohio, Senator Portman may swing for it this Fall.

  • J.

 

 

WAGING A MINIMUM WAR FOR MAXIMUM PROFITS

McDonald’s just learned a lesson that Costco learned long ago and Walmart has yet to learn.  Look at your business from a wholistic standpoint.  Costco pays its workers at wages that far exceed industry standards.  Their workers are generally happy, productive and loyal while the company makes a nice profit.  Costco looks at the entire picture of their business entreprise, not just pure profit.  Walmart, by contrast, tends to look at pure profit and their workers are among the lowest paid, such that many are on government assistance — which aids Walmart’s bottom line at taxpayer expense.  In a sense, we are subsidizing Walmart workers.

This brings about the concept of a minimum wage, one where some states are raising rates and others, like Alabama, are passing laws that do NOT allow local government from raising their pay at the community level.  Truthfully, no minimum wage law would be necessary if companies would do what McDonald’s just did.  They looked at their business wholistically and saw rapid employee turnover.  By raising their wages $1 an hour, soon to be $2, their retention rated increased and empolee satisfaction is higher — and that results in better customer interaction.  This does appear as if it will hurt their bottom line, and in reality, may increase their profits.

A minimum wage should exist at a point where a worker is not in need of government assistance for working a full work week. Walmarts of the world that strategically set wages and employee hours so they must utilize government assistance in order to live are abusing the taxpayers while lining their own pockets with tremendous profits.

  • J.