Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:51 pm

Click it.

Your tears are delicious


Donald Trump: LOSER

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:11 pm

Oh, how I have waited to write that headline.

Ted Cruz, who took a principled stand against ethanol mandates, has won Iowa. Now, the same idiots who said it was GENIUS for Trump to skip the debate are eating a little crow tonight. I won’t reproduce it all, but I made sure to prepare a nice meal of crow for John Nolte of Breitbart (with whom I have been friendly in the past but have never personally met), and I served it up tonight on Twitter. (If you’re not following me on Twitter, then what the hell is wrong with you? — and you can correct your error by clicking here.)

Just as losing Iowa would not have assured defeat, winning it does not assure victory. Cruz has almost no chance of winning the stupid state of New Hampshire. F**k them anyway.

But for now? Winning beats losing. Oh — and did I mention?


Buh-BYE, chump.


Last night: “I have said I think Cruz will take it. It goes against the conventional wisdom, but I’m sticking with it.”

Me, January 27:

Pundits are so used to Trump doing crazy things and not having it hurt him, that they are blind to how badly all this will hurt him. It won’t change anyone’s mind who already decided with all their heart and soul to support Trump. But those undecided between Trump and Cruz are going to flock to Cruz now.

I still think he gets back in. It’s such a stupid move to skip the debate, and Trump, while a moron on policy, is not generally stupid on matters like this. But maybe his personal pique is so great that it overshadows his usual judgment on such issues.

And here’s Nate Silver from tonight:

With 19 percent of Iowa precincts reporting, Donald Trump has 27.1 percent of the Iowa vote. That’s not a bad result by any means: Trump trails Ted Cruz by just 3 points and could very easily win the state. Still, a case can be made that (contra the pundit conventional wisdom at the time) Trump was mistaken to have skipped last week’s debate.

Finally, me, January 26, 2016:

Donald Trump: I’m Skipping Thursday Night’s Debate

Alternate title: “Trump loses Iowa.”

Did I mention?


P.P.S. Loo-hoo-suh-HER.


P.P.P.P.S. You get it.

Dr. Ben Carson Going Home Tonight, Will Not Head to New Hampshire Or South Carolina (UPDATED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:47 pm

[guest post by Dana]

UPDATE: Ben Carson’s campaign explains Carson’s oddly timed trip to Florida: “After spending 18 consecutive days on the campaign trail, Dr. Carson needs to go home and get a fresh set of clothes,” Ross said. “He will be departing Des Moines later tonight to avoid the snow storm and will be back on the trail Wednesday. We look forward to tonight’s caucus results and to meaningful debates in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Wow. CNN has breaking news that Dr. Ben Carson will be leaving Iowa to return home to Florida tonight after he gives a speech to his supporters. The report says he will be taking a break at home, no matter how he does tonight. Further, the candidate will not be heading on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, but nonetheless intends to remain in the race. Carson will attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Carson has been polling at ten per cent which puts him in fourth place behind Rubio. Given that his supporters are strong evangelical conservatives, if Carson exits the race at some point (now likely sooner rather than later), this could bode well for the evangelical conservative Cruz: the Des Moines Register poll found that “a plurality of voters named Cruz as their second choice” to support.


Iowa Caucuses: Open Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:29 pm

Anything can happen.

P.S. Predictions are welcome. I have said I think Cruz will take it. It goes against the conventional wisdom, but I’m sticking with it.

UPDATE: Favorite retweet of all time.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 7.59.31 PM

UPDATE x2: Victory.

The Remarkable Persuasive Ability of Ted Cruz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

We’ve seen this before: Ted Cruz takes on a hostile questioner in one-to-one conversation, and communicates with remarkable effectiveness. But in previous cases the questioners have been leftist shills, like a Code Pink activist or Ellen Page — people whom Cruz has simply bested in a debate. This clip allows us to see a different scenario: an angry voter who isn’t a lefty hack but just somebody honestly concerned about his livelihood.

In this case, the voter is farmer in Iowa who is incensed by the fact that Cruz does not support ethanol subsidies. Cruz sets a tone of mutual respect, explains how his free-market policies could actually benefit the farmer — and ends up turning an angry guy into somebody who tells Cruz he hopes the votes come in for him.


By the way: are there any snippets of Donald Trump having one on one conversations with hostile voters, having a civil and respectful discussion, and turning them around like this?

Yes, that is a rhetorical question.

Ted Cruz Fights Absurd Attacks from Chris Wallace

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:35 am

Ted Cruz does an impressive job fighting hackish attacks from Chris Wallace. Watch:

I don’t watch Fox News any more and haven’t for years. This kind of nonsense is a good example of why I don’t.

Let’s take a moment to examine the various nonsensical claims made by Wallace. Here is the first set, summed up in Fox News’s graphic:

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 12.49.54 AM

First of all, we have Wallace’s claim that the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.9% to 5%, and 13 million jobs have been created. Here is the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from Friday, January 8, 2016. Indeed, “the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent.” Score one for Chris Wallace! Except, wait! The same report also says:

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.6 percent, was little changed in December and has
shown little movement in recent months.

As recently told us in October, when the labor force participation was at 62.4 percent:

The last time the labor force participation was as low as 62.4 percent was in October 1977.

So we are, even now, barely off historic lows in the labor force participation rate, which is almost unchanged from a 38-year low. The labor force participation rate is a far more honest figure than the “unemployment rate,” as it captures people who have taken themselves completely off the job market, because they are discouraged or what have you.

As for “13 million jobs created” — the point Cruz makes is: we could have done much better. Here are Wallace and Cruz’s respective arguments:

Chris Wallace says that, when Cruz claims ObamaCare has been a job killer and people have lost insurance due to ObamaCare, the “fact-checkers” say Cruz is wrong. According to Wallace: “more people have jobs and health insurance than before ObamaCare.” When Cruz tries to point out how media fact-checkers are “not fair and impartial” (duh), Wallace interrupts and says: “There’s certainly no question that more people have jobs and more people have health insurance coverage.” Cruz disputes that by pointing out the statistic I just mentioned: that we have the lowest percentage of Americans working today since 1977. At which point Wallace interrupts again and says: “But there have been 13 million jobs created, sir. That’s a fact!” Cruz points out that we have had anemic 1.2 percent economic growth since 2008, and Wallace sputters that Cruz is changing the subject.

Bullshit. Cruz is establishing a baseline. Yes, after a huge recession, there is always recovery. This is how dishonest historians try to tell us that FDR was successful during the Great Depression, because there was some economic expansion. The fact that unemployment was still historically high in 1937 and 1938 is of no moment! There was expansion! Left totally unexamined is the likelihood that expansion would have been far greater in the absence of insane government programs that frightened businessmen from expanding their businesses in the slightest, for fear of running afoul of the latest crazy FDR brainstorm dreamed up as he sat in his pajamas in bed.

Cruz notes that small businessmen constantly cite ObamaCare as hindering their efforts to grow their businesses. This is overwhelmingly corroborated by the evidence. The employer mandate hasn’t fully kicked in, because Obama is scared to death of what will happen when it does. But employers have already responded to the disincentives on the horizon. For example, see Gallup from 2013:

When asked if they had taken any of five specific actions in response to the ACA, 41% of small-business owners say they have held off on hiring new employees and 38% have pulled back on plans to grow their business. One in five (19%) have reduced their number of employees and essentially the same number (18%) have cut employee hours in response to the healthcare law.

Reuters also reported in 2013:

Executives at several staffing firms told Reuters that the law, which requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide healthcare coverage or incur penalties, was a frequently cited factor in requests for part-time workers. A decision to delay the mandate until 2015 has not made much of a difference in hiring decisions, they added.

“Us and other people are hiring part-time because we don’t know what the costs are going to be to hire full-time,” said Steven Raz, founder of Cornerstone Search Group, a staffing firm in Parsippany, New Jersey. “We are being cautious.”

Raz said his company started seeing a rise in part-time positions in late 2012 and the trend gathered steam early this year. He estimates his firm has seen an increase of between 10 percent and 15 percent compared with last year.

They further reported:

Obamacare appears to be having the most impact on hiring decisions by small- and medium-sized businesses. Although small businesses account for a smaller share of the jobs in the economy, they are an important source of new employment.

Some businesses are holding their headcount below 50 and others are cutting back the work week to under 30 hours to avoid providing health insurance for employees, according to the staffing and payroll executives.

Under Obamacare, any employee working 30 hours or more is considered full-time. An effort to trim hours might have helped push the average work week down to a six-month low in July.

I didn’t hear any of that from Chris Wallace!

But there is also the disincentive that massive subsidies cause for employees not to even want to work. Remember what CBO told us in 2014:

CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor.

That was about 2.5 million jobs, per Mediaite. By the way, Mediaite cited a link to the CBO report that somehow is no longer operative.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 12.09.37 AM

Truth has an expiration date, you know.

Recall that, at the time, this was spun as AWESOME news by the Obama administration. People don’t have to work for their health insurance any more! Yay! Well, Casey Mulligan made short work of this view:

A job, Mr. Mulligan explains, “is a transaction between buyers and sellers. When a transaction doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. We know that it doesn’t matter on which side of the market you put the disincentives, the results are the same. . . . In this case you’re putting an implicit tax on work for households, and employers aren’t willing to compensate the households enough so they’ll still work.” Jobs can be destroyed by sellers (workers) as much as buyers (businesses).

He adds: “I can understand something like cigarettes and people believe that there’s too much smoking, so we put a tax on cigarettes, so people smoke less, and we say that’s a good thing. OK. But are we saying we were working too much before? Is that the new argument? I mean make up your mind. We’ve been complaining for six years now that there’s not enough work being done. . . . Even before the recession there was too little work in the economy. Now all of a sudden we wake up and say we’re glad that people are working less? We’re pursuing our dreams?”

And as for Wallace citing the massive increase in people covered by health insurance, there’s this:

Health insurance enrollment data for 2014 shows that the number of Americans with health insurance increased by 9.25 million during the year. However, the vast majority of the increase was the result of 8.99 million individuals being added to the Medicaid rolls. While enrollment in private individual-market plans increased by almost 4.79 million, most of that gain was offset by a reduction of 4.53 million in the number of people with employment-based group coverage. Thus, the net increase in private health insurance in 2014 was just 260,000 people.

Medicaid has been described as a humanitarian catastrophe.

Patients on Medicare were 45% more likely to die than those with private insurance; the uninsured were 74% more likely; and Medicaid patients 93% more likely. That is to say, despite the fact that we will soon spend more than $500 billion a year on Medicaid, Medicaid beneficiaries, on average, fared worse than those with no insurance at all.

This is, simply put, the greatest scandal in America. Bigger than Madoff, bigger than the Wall Street bailout, bigger even than the plight of the uninsured.

Even the hacks at can’t make a case for Medicaid improving people’s treatment of physical diseases; the best they can do is argue that it doesn’t make them worse.

I’ll stop here. Wallace goes on to argue that Cruz’s free market reforms wouldn’t change anything, but if you can’t tell that Chris Wallace is a total hack by now, more facts and evidence aren’t going to help you.

It is amazing how much this network is in the tank for Donald Trump or Marco Rubio. They absolutely despise Cruz.

Luckily, Cruz knows this. Remember this?

After a young staffer told Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz how “nice” a member of the media is, Cruz said he actually stopped the young man with a harsh reminder about the intentions of most reporters.

“I actually stopped him and I said, ‘You know what? No, she’s not [nice]. She wants to destroy you. Nothing would make her happier than to take your life and filet you on the front pages. And don’t think for a minute that because she smiles and is friendly to you, that it’s anything else,’” Cruz said, sharing the story on The Glenn Beck Program.

I love this man. He stands up for what’s right, and he has no illusions about the jackals who would try to tear him apart.

Good luck tonight, Senator. If our electorate has any sense at all, they will choose you over that poseur scumbag Donald Trump. Even if they don’t tonight, I can only hope that the people will figure this out in the long run, as they did with Reagan.

If they don’t, then may God have mercy on our souls.

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