Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oregonian Daily Circulation Declines 20% in 2016

The Oregonian saw a decline in daily circulation from September 2015, to September 2016, of more than 20%. Annual Statement of Ownership reports show a paid circulation in September 2015, of 121,573. That dropped to 93,232 in September 2016.

Even worse the drop from four years ago, September 2012, has been 57%--down from 219,997.

Sunday paid circulation is also down, but only 6.8% from 2015 (167,458) to 2016 (156,071), but down 23% from 2014 (203,031).

Not good news for the owner Newhouse family which has made controversial decisions to keep their publishing empire afloat. Even worse news for Oregonian employees.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ben Carson's Sprint to Appalling

Ben Carson has become the spokesman for situational ethics at best and amorality during political campaigns at worst. He's for Judeo-Christian ethics except during political campaigns in times of crisis ("when the train is going off the cliff"). (video below)
5:25 Carson: “Here’s what we need to be thinking about. I love the fact that all of a sudden you want to talk about morality in our country. I would love us to bring back our Judeo-Christian values and begin to teach those things and emphasize them at a time other than a political election. Let’s do that, but right now the train is going off the cliff.” . . .
8:00 Joe: Do you think Judeo-Christian values apply during campaigns or only after campaigns?” Carson: Now let me tell you what I actually said, and I’m glad it is on the tape. I said I would love for us to engage in a conversation on Judeo-Christian values, and I would love for us to bring morality back and we need to do it at times other than a political campaign, but we’re not doing that. Right now what we need to do is concentrate on the reason that two out of three Americans feel that our country is on the wrong track.”
He also doesn't think truth is important during times of crisis.
4:40 Carson: “It doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or not. What matters . . . Listen, it doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or not, what matters is that the train is going off the cliff.”
Carson doesn't understand the First Amendment.
8:40 Carson: “In the media, the reason that you are protected by our Constitution is because you’re supposed to be objective and on the side of the people and helping them. When you take sides it is absolutely distorting (garbled: the original?) intention."
The First Amendment gives everyone freedom from establishment of religion, free exercise of religion, free speech, right of assembly and petition of government along with guaranteeing freedom of the press. 

None of those is based on being "objective" or "unbiased". One actually assumes bias in individual free speech and free exercise of religion. If you didn't believe in one religion over another, you probably wouldn't be practicing it. The "reason" we are protected from government interference in these areas is that the government has no right to control our political or religious beliefs or harmless actions related to those beliefs. Part of liberty is the unalienable right to only answer to God for our beliefs. Acts that are harmful to the public, yes. Beliefs, no.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Obama Makes More Moral Sense than Franklin Graham

President Barack Obama:
"When finally the guy that they nominated and they endorsed and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on."
. . .
"You claim the mantle of the party of family values, and this is the guy you nominate?"

Compare with Franklin Graham:
"The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court. That impacts everything. There’s no question, Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren, for generations to come."
No. What makes the fabric of society is the moral values and principles of our citizens. They are what impact "our children and grandchildren, for generations to come."

Supreme Court decisions, like Supreme Court justices, come and go. Sure, they have impact, but they can be changed. But, if we believe the end (Supreme Court justices) justifies the means (immoral and indecent leaders), we are already lost.

John Witherspoon (Thanksgiving Day, 1782):
"It is a truth of no little importance to us in our present situation, not only that the manners of a people are of consequence to the stability of every civil society, but that they are of much more consequence to free states, than to those of a different kind. In many of these last, a principle of honour, and the subordination of ranks, with the vigour of despotic authority, supply the place of virtue, by restraining irregularities and producing public order. But in free states, where the body of the people have the supreme power properly in their own hands, and must be ultimately resorted to on all great matters, if there is a general corruption of manners, there can be nothing but confusion. So true is that, that civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue. A monarchy may subsist for ages, and be better or worse under a good or bad prince, but a republic once equally poised, must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty." (emphasis added)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Only Gridlock Can Save America Now

David Harsanyi:
This time around, both of our big-government candidates deserve to grapple with gridlock for the next four years. There’s simply no better antidote to the authoritarianism and corruption that’s infected our political causes. In fact, if Republicans somehow hold the Senate, they should also have the spine to preserve the even 4-4 split in the Supreme Court to stop a potentially progressive judicial branch from further empowering the state.
For those who believe stopping runaway government is a political liability, remember that despite the incessant warnings from Democrats, the GOP was not punished for its obstinacy. It won two wave elections and more than 900 local seats during the Obama years. Imagine what it could have done with competent leadership.
. . .
From a conservative perspective, surely even a timid Congress is more useful than one which “fixes” Obamacare and overturns the Hyde Amendment and passes anti-gun legislation and revisits cap and trade — and proposes dozens of other bills Republicans allegedly haven’t prevented. This is all going to happen if they lose. In the end, Trump won’t only lose the presidency; he’s going to help Democrats create one-party rule.
Heh. Great minds!

First meeting of U.S. Supreme Court (1790 and 1791)
This is my basic position too. I'd love to see the Supreme Court remain at eight justices. First, for practical considerations given the impossibility of confirmation of another Scalia. Second, for philosophical reasons in that I would like to see the court return to its original structure of needing closer to 4 out of 6 (67%) votes to "make policy" than 5 out of 9 (56%).

1869 Supreme Court (photo by Matthew Brady)

Sarah Palin In Decline

Poor Sarah Palin. Her decline has settled in.

One cannot help but feel compassion because of the family difficulties she has had this year. Her husband was badly hurt in a snowmobile accident. Her son threatened suicide and assaulted his girl friend.

Politically, her chosen candidate could care less about her. Trump isn't using her as a surrogate, and didn't want her at the Republican Convention (because Alaska is so far away).

She bends like a pretzel on issues she's felt strongly about before. Now talk of sexual assault (grabbing women by the crotch) and adultery is just locker room talk between boys (though one of them, the one she wants to become President, was 59 years old at the time). "The old Bush and Trump braggart comments were beyond abhorrent and offensive, though both boys apologized for them."

Rightly, neither she, Bristolnor I felt the same when Mike Tyson, a mere 45 year old, indulged in some "boy talk" about wanting to see Palin herself sexually assaulted.

When Trump proposed a new taxpayer funded entitlement giving women paid maternity leave, there was only silence from Palin. This despite years of rightly warning of the danger and "slavery" of rising national debt and the need to free people from dependence on government programs.

Then there's her PAC, SarahPAC. It's latest report shows receipts of $450,000 in 2016 through September. Receipts last year totaled $950,000. So, 3/4ths the way through 2016, she is a little behind what she was at midyear in 2015. It's a 36% drop in donations. Bad news, but not as bad as SarahPAC's expenditures vs receipts. It has spent 50% more in 2016 than it received, though it narrowed the gap to 10% overspending in the third quarter.

The woman is drowning. So sad because she has so much talent, insight and was one of the truly gifted political speakers of the last decade.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

More Popcorn (and Prayer) Needed

Update: Thought I was kidding about Trump supporters saying all men do this?

Here's video of Scott Baio saying all men talk about grabbing women's crotches and trying to get married women to commit adultery with them. And that women need to "grow up" and accept that kind of treatment from men. (full interview)

The candidate is better than his supporters. At least Trump apologized because he knows it's shameful. And, of course, Melania also said it was unacceptable and offensive and needed to be forgiven. Apparently, Melania needs to "grow up".

Hillary supporters are saying how awful Trump is for doing things Bill did (which at the time they claimed were just things guys did and had nothing to do with being unpresidential).

Trump supporters are saying how Trump is just doing things all guys do, even though when Bill did it the stuff was horrible and disqualified Bill from being president. And disqualifies Hillary from being president because she's married to him.

Then "evangelical" leader Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council holds an annual "Value Voters Summit" says having the same values is not important in his support of Trump, but having the same concerns is.

And Ben "let's be more civil and caring" Carson is now, according to his spokesman, as okay with grabbing people's crotches and being a serial adulterer as he is with political candidates lying about their opponents, saying they have the character of child molesters, are serial adulterers, and their fathers have been a party to presidential assassination. It happens. The flesh is weak. It doesn't mean you're a bad person.

Which does go along with Trump's (and Dr. Robert Jeffress') assessment that Planned Parenthood, even though it kills hundreds of thousands of babies each year, does many wonderful things. Undoubtedly there are many good things ISIS does too, besides blow themselves up from time to time.

All boiling down to "anything is okay for my candidate to do as long as their side loses".

We're going to need a lot more popcorn (and prayer) to make it through the next four weeks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Trump GOP Makes California Win Impossible?

There are 108 electors pledged to Donald Trump in California. Fifty-five of them for the Republican Party and fifty-five for the American Independent Party with two who are on both lists.

The problem is that only 55 electors can be voted for on behalf of any candidate. If Trump's name had been listed twice, once for the Republican Party and once for the American Independent Party, voters voting for him on either line would have cast valid votes.

But, he is listed once. So, voters voting for Trump are voting for both sets of electors. Thereby, they nullify their vote just as if they voted for both Trump and another presidential candidate.
"Section 6902 of the California election code says, 'At the general election in each leap year, there shall be chosen by the voters of the state as many electors of President and Vice President as the state is then entitled to.' California is entitled to 55 electoral votes."
. . .
"Section 14285 says, 'The voter shall, by using the provided marking device, place a mark in the voting square, rectangle, or other specific voting space following the names of the candidates for that office for whom the voter intends to vote, not exceeding, however, the number of candidates to be elected.'
"The California Secretary of State could have solved the problem of separate presidential elector lists for each of the two parties by placing Donald Trump’s name on the ballot twice, once for each party. Because this was not done, the only two Trump electors whose vote total can be ascertained are Ron Gold and Thomas Hudson. And even votes cast for them will be invalid, because all Trump popular votes will be overvotes."
Either the California Republican Party has become #NeverTrump or lost all understanding of how elections work.
"The California Republican Party was free to have nominated the same presidential elector candidates as the American Independent Party. The AIP turned in its list first, so the Republican Party was aware of the AIP names. But the Republican Party, which filed its slate at the last hour before the deadline for electors, chose to ignore the AIP list and submit different candidates. The AIP had been suggesting a joint list to the Republican Party ever since August, and had even offered to let the Republicans choose 50 members, but the Republicans ignored the AIP request."
And the Democrat California Secretary of State was happy to oblige them.
"Donald Trump’s name is on the November California ballot as 'Donald J. Trump, Republican, American Independent.' There is only one space on the ballot to vote for Trump. Therefore, all votes cast in that one space for Trump are overvotes, because they are casting a vote for 108 elector candidates. No California voter is permitted to vote for more than 55 candidates for presidential elector. When a voter casts a vote for more candidates than are to be elected, that is an “overvote” and the vote is invalid."
Kind of goes with the strategic genius of the guy at the head of the ticket. But, some Republican somewhere may think of a fix--maybe someone who pays attention to election rules.

H/T John Fund