Like Last Poll, Hillary Still Clobbers GOP Field
by Deacon Blues
CNN released its latest large sample, national head-to-head poll on the 2016 presidential race yesterday. And if the GOP was hoping that months of negative stories and attacks against Hillary Clinton would have knocked her down far enough to lose, they are disappointed this morning.
Like a similar ABC News/Washington Post poll late last month showed, the email “scandal”, Benghazi, and the alleged pay-to-play scandal between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department haven’t dented the public’s preferences for president. In fact, it could be argued that even with her negatives going up, so are Hillary’s poll numbers when matched against actual GOP competitors.
Liks she did two weeks ago, Hillary beats them all by double digits, but in some cases by larger amounts now:
Hillary beats Jeb 56%-39%
Hillary beats Christie 58%-39%
Hillary beats Rubio 55%-41%
Hillary beats Huckabee 58%-37%
Hillary beats Paul 58%-39%
Hillary beats Walker 58%-39%
Hillary beats Cruz 60%-36%
Now each of these GOP pretenders has their own billionaire oligarch to bankroll their smear campaigns against Hillary for the next 12 months, or in the case of Jeb, multiple oligarchs. All Hillary has to do is exactly what she did yesterday: do media events where she bemoans the negative attacks and questions why the GOP has nothing to offer.
The conventional wisdom inside the Beltway, which is not exactly Hillary country, is that these large head-to-head margins won't hold up and the national race will close dramatically after more months of day in and day out pounding by the GOP and their cash masters. But is that true? Her negatives and favorability ratings, as the media relentlessly reminds us, have all gone in the wrong direction since she left the State Department, and especially over the last several months of email and other "scandals". Yet the margins get bigger and bigger.
What does that tell you?
Watching The Gulf With Alarm
by Deacon Blues
Despite my initial optimism about the first-stage outline between Iran and the P-5 over Tehran's nuclear program, I’ve now reconciled myself to the reality that things are about to get bad, and perhaps really bad in the region. First, even though the Corker legislation from last week, and Obama’s acceptance of a congressional role in negotiation oversight was in fact a victory for the administration, it was a short-lived one.
Over the weekend, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard did whatever it could to signal defiance of any negotiated solution, something that wouldn’t have happened without the support of the Ayatollah. This came on the heels of stupidity from several of the GOP’s foreign policy “experts” and potential candidates, who said with a straight face that America could stop the Iranian nuclear program with air strikes, and be done with it, as if this would happen in isolation. And now today, the Pentagon has found it necessary to send naval resources to at least monitor Iranian efforts to supply their Houthi Shiite allies in Yemen, a move that could escalate things overseas and create the expected chest-beating from GOP chicken-hawks here at home.
We can argue about how American foreign policy got so muddled and lose-lose in the region, and argue in hindsight if the lead-from-behind approach taken by the White House in the region during the first term preordained the wrong decisions about Libya, Syria, and even Iraq. But what can’t be argued right now is that no GOP critic ever offered a comprehensive alternative during that time that would have made things any better now, not even John McCain. When a political party to this day swears total opposition to a president on foreign policy without even offering to engage and be part of the solution, then that political party has forfeited the right to be taken seriously or listened to. Yet that won’t stop the GOP from working with their extremist brethren in Iran and Israel to align their agendas and set a match to the region in the coming weeks.
Worse yet, this disaster is playing out now in the midst of a presidential cycle populated with a group of GOP misfit toys, uniformly bereft of any magic solution or realistic world view. When it takes the likes of Carly Fiorina to point out Tom Cotton's detachment from reality, several weeks after Lunatic Cotton got 46 other GOP senators to put their names to a moronic document while these same senators don't have the balls to pass a authorization for force against ISIS, then you know we're going down the rabbit hole.
Then again, nothing helps oil and defense stocks, and the GOP elites like a new firefight in the Middle East.
Where's the Real Drought Solution?
by Deacon Blues
I’ve been very busy of late without a chance to stay up on events. Nonetheless, let me throw out two short items for discussion over the weekend.
Hillary and the GOP Pack
It truly helps Hillary to have the likes of Chris Christie and Scott Walker attacking her for foreign policy and other failures. Both of these GOP governors have done so much damage to their states, in lackluster job growth, bad fiscal policies, terrible cronyism, attacks on education and the safety net, and their own whoring to the Koch’s and other GOP oligarchs that any attacks by them can be swiftly rebutted with the facts. As for Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, a simple “we need serious candidates for serious times” dismissal by Hillary is enough.
Lastly, can someone tell me what’s wrong medically and physically with Jeb? The man is practically shrinking inside his clothes ever since he went public.
California and the Drought
Governor Jerry Brown and other state leaders, as well as our California media are doing the worst possible public service in their attention to the California water shortage, because that’s what it truly is. This isn’t really a crisis of consumption, even though almond farmers shouldn’t be able to plunder their contracted rights to supply the Chinese while major reservoirs go dry this summer. No, the real problem that neither Brown nor anyone else confronts is that climate change has destroyed the State’s supply of water, something you cannot adequately address alone through conservation or new storage. There’s nothing to store, because there’s no longer enough snow and rain runoff to create the necessary water supplies for the existing population and businesses, let alone the relentless and stupid growth being allowed.
The state needs to create more water, plain and simple. And the only way to do that is a massive public works program to build water desalinization plants up and down the state in partnership with local water districts. Yes, it will take a decade, and yes, the best case scenario is that we’d only be able to perhaps create 12-15% of our water needs after such a program, but that amount may be the difference in overcoming the up and down cycles of water production we may be saddled with now in this state. The only entity that can do the bond indebtedness needed for such a program is the State; these needs should not be left to individual water districts tackling costly projects on their own in a disjointed and uncoordinated way.
And it would be a far better investment for the State right now than the billions being spent on the bullet train.
A Good Iran Deal The GOP Will Try and Kill
by Deacon Blues
I’ve expressed my previous misgivings about the impending nuclear deal with Iran, given the news earlier in the week that Iran was insisting at the 11th hour to hold onto their spent nuclear fuel rather than ship it out to Russia. Now that the broad outlines of the actual deal were revealed yesterday, let me say it is better than what was (mis)reported in the days and weeks leading up the announcement.
Yes, there will still be weeks of tough final negotiations ahead over the implementing details behind each major element of the agreement. And yes, either the Iranian hardliners or GOP “War First” crowd here at home can derail this, but any deal that sharply reduces Iran’s working centrifuges and stockpiles, opens up their facilities to 15 years’ of monitoring, and has consequences for noncompliance is a far better outcome than nixing the deal, losing the multinational sanctions, and going to war.
That’s why the GOP and their war cheerleaders in the media will do everything they can to scuttle this deal. Because the same people here at home and in Israel who insisted upon the Iraq war now want another one with Iran. In fact, the GOP wants to kill this deal now and stall the war until a GOP president can be installed in the Oval in 2017 and prosecute the war themselves. The military industrial complex wants it no other way. That’s the only way to ensure more profits and more conflict funded by the American taxpayer.
And on that sad note, please have a good Easter weekend.