Open Thread: One More Klown Down, But JEB! Clings On…

George Pataki (I know: who he?) is withdrawing from the 2016 primary for lack of interest… and not just on prospective voters’ parts.

Jeb ‘Third Time’s No Charm’ Bush, on the other hand, gets some WASP-style revenge on his mother by trying to revive her most famous political tactic — the tasteful hand-written note to supporters. Per the NYTimes:

The group Right to Rise is asking Bush supporters to revive the lost art of writing letters, in the form of hand-written appeals to undecided voters in New Hampshire.

In a preholiday mailer, the group thanked its supporters for their financial support, and asked them to make “a different kind of gift to Jeb by giving a few minutes of your time.” The mailer included stationery and pre-addressed envelopes for five undecided voters in New Hampshire. It urged donors to dash off a quick missive explaining why Mr. Bush deserved their vote.

“We are asking you to personally reach out and let these voters know why you support Jeb,” said the mailer, which also includes a sample note to send voters.

New Hampshire is a critical state for Mr. Bush, who has to finish in the top tier — as well as ahead of his rivals for the Republican Party’s establishment vote — if he hopes to reassure skittish donors and revive his foundering presidential bid…

Which I meanly translate as ‘No way in Kennebunkport hell is Momma Bar letting Jeb off the stage before #FITN, no matter how much abuse he takes from Trump/Cruz/Rubio, or how badly he does among the hayshakers in Iowa.’ As long as it keeps Ripe to Rot, or whatever its latest nym, hand-crampingly busy and off our internets.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: If Ya Can’t Beat ‘Em…

This sounds to me like the old horror-movie trope “No, now I’ve got you trapped, right where I want you” — but I’m not sure which side is speaking. From the Politico article:

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which has faced doubts about its ability to translate enthusiasm into votes, in the past few weeks quietly signed an agreement allowing it to use the Republican National Committee’s massive voter file, POLITICO has learned.

The list-sharing agreement, which reveals a new level of cooperation between the GOP and its surprise front-runner, could be highly beneficial to both sides.

For the Trump campaign, it means access to a database containing a trove of information on more than 200 million Americans, which can be used to power a get-out-the-vote effort. And for the RNC, it means that any information Trump collects from his supporters, many of whom are not traditional Republicans, will be fed back into the database for future use by the party and its candidates…

All the grubby details at the link, but for those of us not enthralled by #moneyball-style dissections of number crunching, it does seem as though both parties are liable to end up with a lot less than they’re hoping to gain… and, Murphy the Trickster God willing, there would seem to be potential for data-leakage monkey-mischief…
Apart from wishing (further) confusion to our enemies, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Open Thread: Another Pundit-Beloved Theory Blown to Hell?

Or is it just an “unskewed polls” issue? From the CNN article:

Overall, Clinton tops Sanders among registered voters who are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents 50% to 34%. That’s a slightly tighter margin than in late-November, when Clinton led 58% to 30% over Sanders.

But those overall results mask a shift back toward Clinton following the Democratic debate on Saturday night. In interviews conducted before the debate, Sanders ran closer to Clinton, with 37% support to Clinton’s 45%. Among those interviewed after the debate, Clinton’s lead grew to 60% vs. Sanders’ 27%.

The Sanders campaign focuses heavily on economic issues, and the new poll suggests he has boosted his standing on that issue. Yet Sanders continues to trail Clinton as the candidate better able to handle economic issues, 47% say they think Clinton is best able to handle it, 39% Sanders.

The former secretary of state has even larger leads on foreign policy matters and ISIS, however, topping Sanders 72% to 15% on foreign policy, 63% to 18% on ISIS. Clinton also holds a 21-point advantage over Sanders on handling gun policy, 51% prefer Clinton vs. 30% Sanders…

The gender gap that has persisted throughout the race for the Democratic nomination continues as the year comes to a close, with women favoring Clinton 56% to 23% and men about evenly divided, 46% Sanders to 44% Clinton. The gap is actually even larger when it comes to favorable views of the candidates: 82% of Democratic women hold a favorable view of Clinton, but that drops to 71% among men. And on Sanders, 84% of men hold a positive impression vs. just 64% of Democratic women.

Despite those gaps, Democratic men are actually more likely than Democratic women to say the party has a better chance to win in 2016 with Clinton than without her (64% of men say the best chance is with Clinton, 55% of women say the same). Overall, about 6 in 10 Democratic voters say the Democratic Party has a better chance of winning the presidency with Clinton as their nominee than with someone else (59% say the party has its best chance with Clinton, 38% someone else).

Democrats are more apt to see Clinton as holding several key attributes than they are Sanders. Nearly nine in 10 see Clinton as having the right experience to be president (89%), three-quarters call her someone they would be proud to have as president (76%), and 7 in 10 as someone who shares their values (72%). Smaller majorities say the same about Sanders, with the smallest gap coming on shared values (62% experience, 63% proud, 67% values)…

Your thoughts?

GOP Elite delegitamization; Obamacare Edition

This is a good example of the process of how the Republican base has come to like Trump so much. Their elites either don’t know what they are talking about or are lying to them, repeatedly.

Scott Gottlieb is supposed to be a medium size deal in the conservative health wonk community. He was one of the ten “wonks” who came up with the most recent Republican repeal and maybe replace plan.   He has the sinecures and the titles to be a valued source of trusted information to conservatives.  However, either he does not understand what he is talking about or he is actively misleading his audience. He started this string with the following tweet:

That is a very strong claim that is diametrically opposed to reality. The risk pool is getting younger. We can’t say for sure that a younger risk pool is a healthier/cheaper risk pool, but it is extraordinarily likely that this is the case.

Local conservative opinion leaders will get a false signal from Gottlieb that the Exchanges are death spiraling.  They have been getting those signals from conservative “wonks” and “policy” opinion leaders for five years now.  Sooner or later dreaded Obamacare will collapse under its own weight and 10 million people (as you know those Chicago crooks are cooking the books, so it can’t be 17 million people) will have the freedom to choose health savings accounts or freedom.

And next year, when Obamacare does not collapse in on itself like a neutron star of fail, the same opinion leaders and expert validaters will trot out the same story.

The Republican base has been promised a lot and their party can’t deliver on those goals.  The elites don’t have legitimacy because their bullshit has been marked to market so new entries with new, creatively destructive forms of bullshit have a niches that they can fill and a willing mass audience that wants to believe that this time the new guy can deliver on their promises while ignoring the elites who have no credibility.

Open Thread: Big Hairy Audacious FAIL

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag, this morning: “Straw Poll of Wall Street Political Mavens Could Be Jeb Bush’s Last Victory”

In what is likely one of the final national presidential polls of 2015, from CNN/ORC, Jeb Bush comes in at 3 percent, a fairly typical result for him in recent weeks. A year ago, a survey from the same pollster put Jeb at 23 percent…

So in that context, it’s interesting to see Bush actually win a who’s-going-to-win straw poll among readers of Politico‘s Morning Money “tip sheet” (Political intelligence on the intersection of Washington and Wall Street). These presumably shrewd observers either know something the rest of us don’t and can’t perceive, or they are projecting their threatened faith in Establishment Republicanism onto the GOP electorate despite all the available evidence…

Russ Choma, at Mother Jones, adds insult to injury:

Last winter, months before Jeb Bush announced he was running for president, a Miami intellectual property attorney filed a trademark request for the word “Jeb!” on behalf of a mysterious Delaware corporation called BHAG LLC. As we discovered this summer, BHAG was an acronym for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. This phrase came from one of Bush’s favorite business management books, and when he was governor he used this term to motivate his underlings. It wasn’t until Bush, as a declared candidate, filed his financial disclosure form in July that the world learned he directly owned BHAG.

One of BHAG’s few activities was to trademark “Jeb!” As is par for the course, the US Patent and Trademark Office accepted the submission and requested additional information before it would grant the trademark. But according to that office, on November 9 Bush’s application was officially abandoned. Technically, Bush has until January 9 to restart the process, but for now the name is not trademarked and open for anyone else to try to grab….

Bush’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment…

As Peggy Noonan might say, let us savor.
Apart from well-earned schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the evening?