Nearly 60 per cent of US voters would back independent candidate over Biden or Trump

Ross Perot made the mistake of being born too early and having to run against two fairly popular candidates. If he were alive now, he could probably beat these two! Come to think of it, I don’t think there is anything in the Constitution that requires the candidate to be alive.

Speaking of not being alive … I don’t remember how to do actuarial calculations, but I wonder about the odds that both Biden and Trump will be alive in November, 2024. They are both elderly. Biden looks more feeble every day, and Trump is obese. That would be an interesting prop bet for those online gambling sites.

“We can say that it was marginally better than 2020. Granted, this is not high praise. It’s like saying that somebody is marginally nicer than Hitler. But it’s something.”

“The Capitol is invaded by thousands of people who are fiercely loyal to Trump and determined to ensure that his enduring legacy, as president, will be that he inspired a tragic, futile and utterly stupid riot at the U.S. Capitol.”

“President Biden proposes a fiscal 2022 federal budget of $6 trillion, to be raised by what the White House describes as ‘an exciting new partnership with Herbalife.'”

“The big story in August is the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, a country that, thanks to 20 years of our involvement, has been transformed — at a cost of many lives and more than $2 trillion — from a brutal, primitive undemocratic society into a brutal, primitive undemocratic society with a whole lot of abandoned American military hardware lying around.”

The Man of La Manchin averred: “I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there. This is a no.”

The Democrats were ecstatic after they won those two Senate seats in Georgia, thinking they were in the catbird’s seat, but that was all an illusion. The situation is better for them than if they had lost those seats, but the 50-50 stalemate in the Senate has made Manchin the most powerful person in America. Manchin was sent to Washington by a mere 290,000 voters, yet he now wields more power than Biden, who got 81 million votes. Nobody would be saying a word about Manchin if the Democrats had lost those two Georgia seats. If that had happened, only serious political junkies would even be able to name a senator from West Virginia. (I have no idea who the other one is.) Now everyone who watches TV news or reads a paper will stand a tip-toe when he is named, and rouse him at the name of Manchin. Talk about a guy in the right place at the right time! (Or the opposite, depending on your politics.)

It seems that House Democrats are undeterred by this finding. It “is unlikely to stop House Democrats from approving the bill as soon as Thursday evening.”



This may not sound so dramatic, but if they pass it as is, the situation could be disastrous for the Democrats in two ways:

1. The Republicans have yet another reason to accuse Biden of being weak and ineffectual because he promised that this bill would be fully funded. Chop a few more points off that sinking approval rating.

2. The bill can’t pass the Senate in that form because Manchin specifically said he won’t add to the deficit. This means that the negotiations and squabbling will begin all over again, with the Democrats continuing to show the nation’s undecided and independent voters that they are just going to keep jabbering about this bill, and can’t get their act together.

As this independent looks at it, I’m looking at a choice between the party that wants to bring a copy of Balzac to a gunfight, and the party that wants to bring an AK-47 to a book discussion club.

He’s still running ahead of Trump, but it’s getting close.

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The really telling stat in the new WaPo poll is the percentage of voters who “strongly” approve and disapprove. In late April, 34% “strongly approved” of his performance, while 35% strongly disapproved, simply reflecting the divided nature of our nation. As of now, only 19% strongly approve and a whopping 44% strongly disapprove. His support is disintegrating because those who had given him the benefit of the doubt are disenchanted and deserting.

If you study the numbers, you’ll see that there is still widespread support for his policies. The infrastructure bill has overwhelming approval, and even the framework of the expensive Build Back Better bill is widely popular in theory (58 yea, 37 nay). In short, people seem to like his ideas, but don’t think he’s the guy to pull them off.

The combination of supply chain bottlenecks, inflation and strikes is drowning out any good news he might claim in other arenas. Yes, he has problems at the border and with government gridlock and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the economy is the big enchilada. Only 29% of adults say they have a positive view of the economy. Biden could single-handedly cure COVID, re-build all of America’s bridges with his bare hands, stop global warming, and get a full-throated endorsement from Jesus in his second coming, but if 70% of Americans view the economy negatively, he’s still in one-term Carter Country.

“Unless these unprecedented scarcities are reversed soon, hundreds of thousands of Americans could be forced to learn that there is more to life than material objects,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, cautioning that delays in shipping of clothing, toys, and other common gifts had the potential to make this Christmas the most communal and brotherly of any on record.”

“I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing with the Uighurs in the western mountains of China. Culturally there are different norms in each country, and their leaders are expected to follow.”

That also explains Hitler, Pol Pot and Andrew Jackson. We have just been unfairly imposing our own norms on them. For some people, genocide is just the expected norm of social interaction, like drinking tea instead of coffee. You invite a few million people over for Thanksgiving dinner, and then if they are very different from you, or if you disagree with their ideas, you send them to special camps.

Just like my family did with Uncle Max.

Hey, who doesn’t love camp?