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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Runaway Predicted By the Mainstream Media

Have you been reading the mainstream media's coverage of the election?  If so, you know by now that Hillary Clinton is running away with the race.  It's going to be a landslide.  At least that is what the mainstream media wants you to believe.  But it's not true.  It's not even close to being true.

Here are the leads for the last week in the average of recent polls put together by Real Clear Politics.  They are in order starting with the oldest.

7.1 (one week ago)
5.0 (today)

If you add in the fact that there is a clearly bogus poll included in the mix (the ABC tracking poll that shows Hillary up by 12%) then the figures are even closer.  Without the phony ABC poll, the average of all the other recent polls shows Hillary up by 3.9%.

It's worth keeping in mind these figures.  It's also worth remembering that there are four national polls issued today that show the race either tied or with a 1% lead for one candidate or the other. 

I had to write this post because I just read the third article from a liberal media reporter today in which I saw a discussion about the "collapse" of the Trump campaign and how that will possibly bring in a Democrat majority into the House.  It still amazes me that these people write such silly articles.  I can't decide how many of these mainstream media reporters are just morons who don't understand what they are writing and how many are propagandists who are intentionally writing lies.  Either way, it doesn't say much for American media.

Obamacare -- Hillary's View

With the White House confirming the impending failure of Obamacare due to soaring premiums for insurance and millions of people left unable to afford healthcare, Hillary Clinton issued a statement today about the so called Affordable Care Act.  (Properly, it ought to be called the Unaffordable Lack of Care Act.)  Here's the essence of what Hillary had to say about Obamacare and the 20% rise in average premiums for Americans:

Donald Trump wants to "reverse the progress we have made and start this fight all over."  Hillary wants to keep Obamacare but expand it to make it better.

It's an amazing example of just how bad Hillary Clinton really is when it comes to leadership.  If something is not working, Hillary's solution is to do more of it.  If you are eating to much and gaining weight, don't worry.  Hillary would tell you to just eat more.  If you have been threatened with the loss of your job for coming to work late, don't worry.  Hillary would tell you to come in late more often.  If your car's brakes keep making noises because your brake pads have worn down too far, don't worry.  Hillary would tell you not to change the brake pads; just try to step on the brakes more often.

There's a lot of times when a candidate gets called names as part of a campaign.  It's unfortunate and unnecessary.  For Hillary Clinton, however, there is no choice.  She truly has no idea of the consequences of what she wants to do.  This is a woman who would destroy what is left of America were she to become president.

Obamacare Premiums Go Through The Roof........Silence Results

The White House confirmed yesterday that the average premium for health insurance sold on the exchanges for the middle level Obamacare policy will go up by more than 20% in 2017.  This increase comes on top of the annual big increases we have already seen under Obamacare.  President Obama promised Americans that each family would save $2500 per year once his plan was adopted.  The reality is that most American families are paying many thousands MORE for coverage that is nowhere near as good as it was prior to Obamacare.  And remember, that additional cost and reduced coverage doesn't count the hundreds of billions of dollars that Obamacare costs the federal government.  When you add that in, the cost is at least another $2000 per family per year, and it is rising.

Let's look at an example.  Prior to Obamacare going into effect, I used to pay about $450 per month for health insurance.  I was part of a group plan run by the bar association.  Obamacare, however, outlawed participation in that group and forced me to buy coverage on the exchange.  In the first year, my new plan had essentially the same coverage, but it cost $800 per month.  The next year, the coverage was reduced in dramatic fashion; I used to only need to pay a copay to see a specialist, but under the new plan all such visits were not covered until I hit the $6500 annual deductible.  For this big reduction in coverage, I had to pay $960 per month.  Then came the next year.  The same policy went up to about $1100 per month.  Now the carrier who sold that policy has stopped selling insurance on the exchange in Connecticut.  The comparable plan is going to be substantially higher; I do not yet know the exact amount it would be, but at a 20% increase the monthly cost would be $1320.  That comes to just under $16 thousand per year for one person.

There are not many Americans who can afford to pay premiums like these.  Some people get subsidies, but there are millions who do not.  On top of this, as the costs rise on the exchanges, they also rise in business plans.  Employees who pay a percentage of their health insurance are getting hit with big increases as well.

The best way to describe Obamacare is that is has been a total disaster.

The worst of all this is that Obamacare is a disaster that everyone knew or should have known was coming.  None of the price increases we are now seeing were unexpected.  This disaster was predicted when the passage of Obamacare was being debated.  It was a planned part of the law.  The goal of Obama and his administration was to damage the health insurance industry to the point that the companies withdrew and left no other option than a single payer government system.  That is still where they want to go.

The problem with single payer systems like the one in Canada or the UK is that people are often left to wait to get treatment.  If you need a knee replacement in the USA, you can schedule the surgery in a week or so.  If you need a knee replacement in Canada, it could take nine months to a year before the surgery takes place.  If an elderly person in the USA needs some sort of expensive treatment, they get it.  In Canada, many of the elderly are told to just take a pill for the pain and then left to fend for themselves.  In the UK, the government system is so poor that most people who require advanced treatment go outside that system to totally private clinics that are not covered by insurance.  That may work well for the wealthy, but for the middle class it is an impossibility.

America has to decide if we want to continue down the road to a healthcare system that provides equal but POOR healthcare to everyone or if we want to continue to support advances in healthcare and improvements for most while dealing with the flaws that arise from a market system.

Obamacare supporters tell us over and over about how many more people now have health insurance.  But think about that claim.  The overwhelming bulk of the new people with insurance are the very poor who were added to Medicaid.  Those people did not need any of the rest of the Obamacare system to be put in place to get their care.  If we had just upped the Medicaid coverage levels, we could have saved hundreds of billions and perhaps trillions of dollars.  There are essentially no increases in those with health insurance outside of Medicaid.  Even worse, a great many people who have insurance have gotten hit with huge deductibles.  These people have insurance but they don't have health care because they cannot afford to pay for the deductibles.

So why is the so little coverage of the disaster that Obamacare has become?  Surely, everyone can see this.  Why does the media treat this as some sort of accident which will pass?  The reality is that the media does not want to see Obamacare repealed because it would hurt their political party of choice, the Democrats.  The health of America is too important, however, to be stuck in a political battle.  It's time that everyone recognized this reality.  Obamacare has to go.  NOW!

An Update On Polling

I wrote yesterday about the distortions in polls that come from the pollster deciding what the turnout will be on election day and how it will be split between GOP, Democrat and independent voters.  The main outlier on this basis is the ABC News tracking poll which shows Clinton up by 12% among likely voters.  ABC assumes that we will see an electorate that will be more slanted towards Democrats than in any recent election ... and by a lot.  One has to wonder if ABC and its pollster decided that they would put out a poll that overstates support for Hillary in order to discourage the Trump supporters from voting for a "lost cause". 

Let me put this into proper context.  The Real Clear Politics average of all recent polls is made up of ten national polls take in the last week.  Hillary is leading in that average by 5 percent.  If you remove the ABC tracking poll from the average, however, the other nine polls taken together show Hillary with a lead of 3.9%.  About a week ago, Hillary's lead was just under 8%, so even with the ABC tracking poll there is a clear trend towards Trump. 

There is a big difference in a lead of 5% and one of only 3.9%.  It is a particularly important difference if the pollster is trying to depress the turnout among GOP voters.  The truth is that as of today, the race is still quite close and getting closer.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Polls And Reality

In the last two days, we have seen polls that say that Donald Trump is winning by 2% and polls that say that Hillary Clinton is winning by 12% as well as all sorts of numbers in between.  The media has focused on the ABC poll that put Hillary up by 12% and basically ignored the IBD poll that put Trump up by 2%.  That is not surprising since nearly all of the media supports the Democrat.  But none of this really tells us where the race stands at the moment.

To try to make some sense of this, I looked at the internals of three polls:  the ABC tracking poll, the IBD poll and the CNN poll that was released this afternoon which shows Hillary up by 5%.   The most surprising finding of that review is that the results of the polls are nearly totally explained by the mix of the people polled.  ABC polled 36% Democrats and only 27% Republicans.  CNN polled 31% Democrats and 26% Republicans.  (The remainder were independents.)  If you adjust the ABC poll so that the percentages of Republicans, Democrats and independents are the same as that used by CNN, the outcome puts the results within 1% of the CNN poll results.  If you adjust the IBD poll percentages of those polled to the ones used by CNN, the results again come within 1% of the actual CNN results.  In other words, these three pollsters are all getting relatively the same answers from Democrats, Republicans and Independents regarding the election.  The variation in the results -- which are quite substantial -- stem from the mix of voters used.

It is important to remember that pollsters usually adjust their results to fit the profile of the expected electorate.  That being said, it is also worth pointing out that we have not seen an electorate with components like the one ABC used at any time in the last 20 years.  The ABC poll is clearly out of synch with reality.  The real question is which of CNN and IBD have the correct mix being used.  There's no way ahead of time to tell; we may see a surge of Republican Trump voters like in the primaries and a fall off among Democrats who really don't like Hillary all that much.  Such turnout figures would bode quite well for the GOP.  Alternatively, we could see GOP turnout sag as some Republicans just don't want to vote for Trump.  Only time will tell.  The best thing that one can say is this:  according to Nate Silver of 538 blog who is supposed to be a polling expert, the IBD poll has been the most accurate in predicting the results for the last three presidential elections.  That is a great track record.  If IBD is right again this year with its turnout model, then the election is now essentially tied.  If the actual percentage turnout is more like the CNN model, then Hillary is ahead by 4 or 5 percent.  It is not the landslide that the mainstream media keeps discussing unless the turnout changes to something completely different than anything we've seen in recent American elections.

Is This Just A Coincidence? No Way!

Money is very important in politics; no one would deny that.  Still, the amounts that get spent for high federal offices are vastly larger than for other races.  The presidential election costs billions.  Senate races sometimes cost tens of millions of dollars.  Races for the House of Representatives usually cost less than a million dollars, but rarely go above that number.  In state campaigns, the dollars spent are often much less.  Money does get spent in governors' races.  Once you get down to state legislatures, however, it is almost unheard of to see big bucks spent.  This is why the following story is extraordinary.

In 2015, Virginia governor Terry MacAuliffe and his campaign gave one Democrat candidate for the state senate just under half a million dollars.  MacAuliffe then had the Virginia state Democrat party give that same candidate for state senate another quarter of a million bucks.  All together, the Democrat candidate Jill McCabe got roughly $700,000 from MacAuliffe and his allies in the party.  This, of course, is over and above whatever amounts McCabe was able to raise on her own through direct contrbutions.

What makes this contribution extraordinary are two facts:  1) Terry MacAuliffe is a long time and close confidant of the Clintons; and 2) Jill McCabe is the wife of the assistant director of the FBI who was in charge of the investigation by the FBI of Hillary Clinton and her emails.  Throw in the additional information that the story of the Hillary Clinton private, unsecured email system broke in early March of 2015 and it was one week later when MacAuliffe met with the McCabe campaign to discuss helping her with cash and you get the full picture.

We are supposed to believe that Jill McCabe got extraordinary amounts of campaign cash from a member of the Clinton inner circle just one week after the Hillary email story broke and this was all just a coincidence.  You know, a coincidence like when Bill Clinton secretly went on the jet holding the Attorney General just before a final decision was made on the investigation into Hillary's emails.  There is no way this is a coincidence. 

The corruption demonstrated here is extraordinary.

What Next?

James O'Keefe of Project Veritas says that there will be another video coming out that will show direct involvement by Hillary Clinton in creating violence at Trump rallies.  It's a hard claim to believe.  I don't doubt the earlier videos that showed Democrat operatives claiming that the violence at Trump rallies was their creation.  The Democrat response has been to call O'Keefe a criminal.  They have no answer to what they did, so they now attack the messenger.  Nevertheless, it would be bizarre if Hillary herself was involved.  She, like her husband, has always been able to keep distance between the dirty tricks and corruption and herself.  Most likely, the video will be of some Democrat operative stating that Hillary was involved or was briefed on the criminal activities of her campaign.