CNN poll means trouble for HRC

Disclosure: I can’t stand either candidate. This ain’t an endorsement.

Prediction: Unless Trump has a major screw up of historic proportions, he will be the next president of the United States. He’s got a lousy campaign apparatus – which is another thing that could do him in – but it also seems he has unshakable support among his, well, supporters. Hillary could still win via the Electoral College and by making red states purple via the Latino vote, but that’s still a challenge.

As this article points from CNN points out, Trump had a difficult month. Campaign staff changes, high profile defection from experienced and seasoned Republicans, etc. But he still narrowed the gap. That says a lot.

From where I sit, the media talking heads still don’t get it. Trump’s support is based less on substance and more on emotion. And working class whites (mostly males) – an actual constituency and one that neither party has focused on or shown much concern for for decades – are pissed because they’ve seen their standards of living decrease over that same time.

Yes. I know. Non-whites, as a whole, have it worse off. I know. And I agree that overall, they have it worse off. That doesn’t mean blue collar whites without college degrees are doing well. Especially in swing states. Not at all.

I don’t blame Obama for that. Those trends started in the 1970’s.

But consider:

Trump has 90% support from Republicans (Clinton has 92% support of Democrats) which puts to rest that there’s a ton of GOP defections. He’s got, in this poll, essentially a 5 to 3 advantage in independents (Trump 49% to Clinton 29%).

While Clinton does have the support of women overall (53% to 38%), she only has the support of 36% of married women – with 73% of unmarried woman going for her. She only has the support of 36% of married women. Trump has 53% of them. And I’m guessing that much of that 73% support will be concentrated in states that are already blue while the married women are more spread around. The fact that Clinton has less than 40% of married women is a huge negative for her.

To say the least, many people aren’t thrilled about these two. Count me in on that. But for Clinton, it’s worse. Of her likely voters, 5 out of 9 Hillary (55%) aren’t enthusiastic. Great work, Democrats. Great work, DNC. You got your candidate. For Trump, it’s a bit of the opposite. Fifty-six percent of his supporters are enthusiastic about the carnival barker.

Amazingly, Trump, who lies all the time, leads Clinton, who lies all the time, in rating as to whom is more honest (50% to 35%). How anyone thinks either one of these two candidates is honest is beyond me.

Oh, and whites that don’t have college degrees…the types of people so many of us college educated folks end up looking down upon (while being unable to relate to)…support Trump by a HUGE 68% to 24% margin.

I write that because I still think most pundits – left and right – still don’t grasp the angst and anger of America’s white working class.

All this, plus a potential end of October surprise where Wikileaks shows us that Putin in Russia or Kim Jong-un in North Korea or the Mullahs in Iran, now have a batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails from the State Department has me thinking that we’re going to elect a guy that – in my mind – is crude, rude, and who has no clue on any issues or as to how to maneuver within the political arena.

What a disaster of a campaign season

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American Sniper. And what it was about.

OK. So I saw American Sniper. Not that anyone cares, but here’s my take.

Given it’s context and for what it is supposed to be, it was an excellent film.

And here’s the context: it was a biopic of top notch American sniper who did his job bravely and efficiently. It shows the challenges he went through, the horrors of urban warfare, the toll the war took on him and his family, the brutal effects of how our and the insurgents’ actions took on the innocent local population, and a cultural mentality that I may not fully share but accept.

That’s it. That’s what it’s about. It glorifies the warrior – perhaps a bit too much at times – but nevertheless ends up being antiwar. It’s not a political movie, although because it is based upon an actual individual, it allows for his political thoughts to be presented. It’s not anti-Muslim, nor is it anti-Arab. It’s not about WMDs, votes in Congress, “Mission Accomplished”, Abu Graib, or neoconservatives. It is about what Bradley Cooper says it’s about: “For me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier.”

Again…that’s it. That’s what it’s about.

The film effectively portrays Kyle’s devotion to his fellow soldiers. It shows the struggles they endure in a hostile environment. Yeah, I know. We helped create the environment and tore that country up.  We can’t fully blame the resistance. I know. I get that. But again, that’s not what the film is about. It shows the struggles his wife had seeing him go off to war again and again. It shows Kyle’s political mentality. Whether one agrees with him or not is less important than the fact that he, as an individual, is going to have a political mentality…and the movie is about him.

If you start understanding this, and understand that the movie is not about what you may want it to be, then maybe you will appreciate the film a bit more.

The objections I see are largely political…people on the left objecting to what they feel should have been in the film…some sort of political statement that shows what we were doing was somehow wrong. To me, I think the film DOES do that to an extent. But the point is, once again, THAT’S NOT THE FOCUS OF THE FILM. It shows at least three scenes in which – if one keeps an open mind – how the whole war affected families. And, yes, it can partially reduce our “enemies” to being “savages”. But take note: many were. And two points to that. One is that the use of that word isn’t really a big deal to me. That’s because I’m smart enough to know that people on any side in any war characterize their opponents that way. It doesn’t make it right. But it lessens the importance of warriors labeling their opponents in certain ways. The second point is that, yes, our warriors are savages as well. They are trained to kill. They end up doing horrible things. Intentionally and unintentionally. That’s war.

I look at the political criticism of the film as I did with the political criticism of the 1987 film “Hanoi Hilton”. Bitter commentary spewing out from some leftist self-appointed and self-important critics who hated the film because, as one said, “it’s on the wrong side of history”.

I understand that the film went “easy” on it’s portrayal of Chris Kyle’s harsher side. Fair enough. He’s probably someone who I’d often disagree with politically. Often strongly so.

But I came away from the film believing that Chris Kyle, while being a flawed individual (who isn’t?), performed heroically in what he was supposed to do…in a fucked up environment that was not of his doing for a cause and a war that I disagreed with.

I’d see it again.

Heroes we shouldn’t forget…

Every once and a while I have to take a look at this video. Someone took the time to put together thousands of photos of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each face holds a story that we’ll never know. But they are stories nevertheless. We often forget that in news headlines and subsequent debates.

I’ll be eternally grateful to their valor and sacrifice.

Race and morons

I didn’t intend this new blog to be an angry platform, but we’re in the last week of the election and I have to get this off my chest.

This post may have been more appropriate a few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago. Now it appears that we may be on the verge of electing the first African American a president of the United States. That hasn’t happened yet, and anything can happen. Including some dangerous things as we found out today. But a week from today Barack Obama will likely become president-elect.

A few disclosures first. I like John McCain. I’m politically equidistant between John McCain and Barack Obama. This is the first presidential election where I was sort of enthusiastic about BOTH candidates. For different reasons of course. So this post is not an anti-McCain diatribe. For that matter, I wouldn’t have any major problem with John McCain being the next president of the United States. Like Colin Powell, I believe both candidates are qualified, excellent candidates.

What got me concerned was that I heard for the umpteenth time that someone (a white person) wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama because 1) “he’ll be only for the blacks” or 2) “if he’s elected, blacks will think they own the place”. I’ve heard this all A LOT…much too often. It wasn’t about issues – health care, Iraq, education, the economy, global warming. It had nothing to do with John McCain – he wasn’t even mentioned in these person’s points. No, it wasn’t anything related about substance.

It was strictly about race. Continue reading Race and morons

Vinton Ave.

Actually, more precisely, 155 Vinton Ave.

That’s it.  That’s the one.  That’s where I got my values from.  My outlook.  My foundation.  It’s where I learned about life.  From the two most wonderful people I’ve ever known.  My parents.  This blog is dedicated them.