Jeb Bush: Trump Supporters Aren’t ‘A Bunch Of Idiots’ (he is right)

Jeb Bush said the following:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said Saturday that supporters for GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump aren’t “a bunch of idiots” and should be respected, CNN reported.

“What I fear is that people, kind of looking down their nose, will say the people that are supporting Donald Trump are a bunch of idiots. They’re not. They’re legitimately scared. They’re fearful,” Bush reportedly said at an event in Amsterdam. “They’re not as optimistic for legitimate reasons and there should be respect for that. And on the other side, a similar respect needs to be shown.”

Now of course, this statement (which I think should be obvious) has met with ridicule. Yes, I know, I know, we’ve all seen the cherry picked photos of Trump supporters and of Trump rallies:



So, yes, there are some dumb people supporting Donald Trump. And yes, there are some evil ones too.

But when are talking about a national candidate with millions of supporters, a tiny selection of supporters tells you very little about the whole.

Here is an example of what I mean: think of 2008, when i was a proud Obama supporter. Well, some of then Senator Obama’s support came from the..well, less than informed people

and some came from morally questionable people too.

Again, this is just statistics in action; the larger the population, the more the population resembles the larger population.

So, what can say about Trump supporters, “in general”?

For one thing, on the average, they tend to have a higher household income than either Sanders supporters or Clinton supporters.: (the data I report measures median household income; “median” means “that income that is in the middle range of supporters; half of incomes are above, half are below”; this is done to mitigate the effects of a few very large incomes)

72K per year as compared to 61k per year for both Clinton and Sanders supporters. Now this isn’t true in every state: in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Virginia the median household income of a Clinton supporter exceeds that of a Trump supporter. Trump supporters earn more than Sanders supporters in all of the surveyed states.

Secondly, there is a positive correlation between income and IQ; on the average those with higher IQs tend to earn more money than those with lower ones. NOTE: the New Scientist article I linked to also deals with wealth too and there isn’t much of a correlation with IQ and household wealth (example: those with higher incomes might well spend more):

The work reveals that while exceptionally smart individuals typically earn more, they are also more likely to spend to their credit card limit, compared with people of average intelligence.

Jay Zagorsky at Ohio State University in Columbus, US, analysed personal financial information collected from 7500 people between the ages of 33 to 41. Subjects provided details about their cash flow – including wages, welfare payments, alimony, and stock dividends – and their overall net worth. They also answered questions about whether they had “maxed out” any of their credit cards, missed bill payments or filed for bankruptcy.


On the surface, Zagorsky’s analysis confirms the findings of previous studies linking higher intelligence with higher income. “Each point increase in IQ test scores is associated with $202 to $616 more income per year,” he says. For example, a person with a score of 130 (in the top 2%, in terms of IQ) might earn about $12,000 more per year than someone with an average IQ score of about 100.

On the surface, people with higher intelligence scores also had greater wealth. The median net worth for people with an IQ of 120 was almost $128,000 compared with $58,000 for those with an IQ of 100.

But when Zagorsky controlled for other factors – such as divorce, years spent in school, type of work and inheritance – he found no link between IQ and net worth. In fact, people with a slightly above-average IQ of 105 , had an average net worth higher than those who were just a bit smarter, with a score of 110.

Again, there is the correlation between INCOME (not net worth) and IQ.

So, if anything, the data might suggest that Trump supporters might be somewhat brighter than the Sanders and Clinton supporters, on the average. I say “might” because I don’t know the “n” for these income samples. It might be that the Clinton and Sanders groups are larger groups, and therefore subject to “regression to the mean” effects whereas the early Trump supporters might be a more selective sample of people (fewer people).

But I think that there is no evidence that Trump supporters are dumber than either Sanders or Clinton supporters.

May 22, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2016, politics, politics/social, social/political, statistics | , , | Leave a comment

The end game of a losing candidate is often not pretty

Workout note: 8.1 mile run (hilly) in 1:26:46 (43:43, 43:03). I was stiff going out. The improvement on the second half was basically the difference on my last mile. It was a pretty day and long sleeves was too much.

Jumble though this is 5 seconds slower than my PB, this was my first “perfect score”.


Main Focus

Yes, tempers are flaring among the Democrats. One might wonder why Sanders is still in the race. This article gives a conjecture: yes, Sanders is more pragmatic than one realizes (e. g. he has been good about getting amendments added to bills he initially didn’t support) but his life has been a case of succeeding as a long shot. So, though the odds against him getting the nomination are slight (18-1 underdog in the sports books as of today), he still has a mathematical chance (say, winning 80 percent of the pledged delegates in California and flipping a ton of the super delegates). So he’ll keep fighting.

However, while many Sanders supporters ARE bright people (and I enjoy the company of several of these people), others have been mislead by articles like this one. Yes, *even* when you factor in the caucus state votes, Hillary Clinton still has about a 3 million vote lead.

Sadly, a significant minority of Sanders supporters either don’t know that or haven’t accepted that. A minority of these supporters have behaved very badly.

Yes, I know; some of the violent reaction has probably been exaggerated by the press; one Sanders supporter pointed out that there was no video showing chairs thrown in the Nevada Convention (though this had been reported in some articles.).

And yes, Hillary Clinton made some cringe worthy statements toward the end of the 2008 campaign, when she was being asked to drop out (and yes, she was much closer to Obama in delegates than Sanders is to her).

So, hopefully, we can come together after this, though I am sure that a few of the “Bernie or Bust” people will sit this one out.

May 19, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2016, politics, politics/social, running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Democratic endgame and resentments…

Correspondents Dinner This is President Obama’s speech. It is hilarious.

Yes, President Obama said that, with regards to who will be doing the President’s speech at the dinner, we have no idea who she will be, and yes, Hillary Clinton has a 2 standard deviation lead on Donald Trump in the polls, and that translates into about a 93 percent chance of victory. and I will say that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both well known, so perhaps there won’t be too many surprises.

However those backing the Sanders campaign have yet to concede. Oh, the signs are there; for example the Sanders campaign has reduced staff. Still, you see stuff like this from Sanders supporters like Robert Reich:

I’m getting lots of emails and notes on this page from those of you who say you’re feeling discouraged, given the diminishing likelihood of Bernie’s nomination. And from others of you who ask me what you should do in the event he doesn’t get the nomination. To both, I have these three suggestions:

1. First, continue to work hard to increase Bernie’s chance of success. (Despite what you hear in the media, he still does have a chance.) California’s June 7 primary will be critical.

2. If Bernie doesn’t win the nomination, you have to decide for yourself how active you’ll be in supporting Hillary Clinton. If Trump is the Republican nominee, my personal view is Hillary’s election to the presidency is absolutely essential to the future of this nation and the world.

Though I welcome point 2, point 1 is just plain irresponsible. Sanders is at “winning the lottery” degree of probability. He has to win something on the order of 60 percent of the remaining delegates, and he is trailing in California. Remember, just winning impressively is no longer good enough to catch up.

Hence, his “Bernie or bust” supporters are talking about “burning it all down”. Seriously? Ok, we’ve been through the PUMAS of 2008 and guess who won the general election? And yes, I was sore at Hillary Clinton..but then again, she didn’t trail as bad as Sanders trails. And now, look who I am backing!

Now some have become very bitter toward Senator Sanders. I can recommend this very long, but fact filled essay. All too often, Sanders supporters accuse you of being a “sell out” or “closet Republican” if you reject their plans which make…some rather rosy assumptions. In fact, the 2016 Democratic debate is really between the pragmatists and the idealists. Or views of the problems facing the United States and where we want to eventually end up are remarkably similar.

But as far as Sanders goes, this meme sums it up for me.


He is no revolutionary nor is he a saint (neither is Hillary Clinton). He is a politician and he is fighting to win..and politics can be bare knuckles at times.

May 1, 2016 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, political/social, politics | , , | Leave a comment

Confederate Flag Rallies vs. 2008 voting shift

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a map of past and future Confederate flag rallies. Seeing this reminded me of the 2008 New York Times presidential election map; the map (under “shift”) tracks the shift to or from the Democratic candidate in 2004. That is, if a county is colored blue, Obama got a greater share than Kerry did in that county; if the county is colored red, McCain got a greater share in 2008 than Bush got in 2004.

So I took the liberty of comparing the two maps:


Interesting, no?

July 23, 2015 Posted by | 2008 Election, political/social, social/political | | Leave a comment

A very silly video from me…

February 2, 2014 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama | | Leave a comment

Photo/Cartoon Saturday


Ironically, from this angle, this could be Barbara and me, though both of us are slightly wider than Secretary Clinton and President Obama respectively.

Yes, I am hearing “Hillary 2016” and I have mixed feelings. Yes, if I were appointing the next President, I’d probably pick her. But she ran a horrible 2008 primary campaign; she managed to squander a huge lead in the polls and in money and her husband did her no favors. My worry is that she’d get out-campaigned in the general election.


I find this interesting. There is a group of people that Paul Krugman calls “The Very Serious People”. To be one of these you need to:
1. go along with the conventional wisdom and
2. be completely wrong most of the time and
3. claim that the “smart people” would have also been wrong.

Think: Iraq (WMD?), the economy, the election (“razor tight”, they kept saying even though the nerds and hippies were right….AGAIN).


Yep…keep it up Republicans.:-)


I made 9 on this list. Talk about misusing the apostrophe! I admit that I still don’t understand what “fullutent” is….”falutin”, or someone who is…gassy?:-)


Even stone guys are…guys.:-)

February 2, 2013 Posted by | 2008 Election, Barack Obama, big butts, bikinis, hillary clinton, human sexuality, political humor, politics, politics/social, religion, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Barack Obama’s America: in the mold of fundamentalist “doomsday/second coming” type films

Since Mr. D’Souza spends much of his time interviewing talking heads who either provide little data or misleading data…I’ll go ahead and give my summary opinion on his movie. Then I’ll follow with detailed comments, with references.

Do you remember movies aimed at Evangelical Christians; remember the doomsday/second coming time films such as The Late, Great Planet Earth? The formula: take a smattering of facts out of context, build a “hey, it could be this way, you know” framework that is designed to appeal to an anti-intellectual evangelical Christian audience (“see, just like the Bible says!…It fits! Oh, I NOW UNDERSTAND things so much better!”).

Well, that is the formula for Dinesh D’Souza’s film 2016: Obama’s America. It has very little fact in it; it is mostly a stream of baseless conjectures and mangled factoids which seek to, well, not so much to critique what President Obama has actually done (the way that Fahrenheit 9-11 did with President Bush) nor to report what Obama aides said (the way that Game Change did for Sarah Palin). The idea is to “prove” that Obama is, well, unAmerican…..well, let me correct that: to reinforce the prejudices that the Fox News watchers already have of Obama. Note: right win delusions of Obama’s policies are taken as “facts” throughout; the rest is a collection of people giving their opinions followed by D’Souza proudly waving his prize overhead.

Ultimately, it reminds me a bit of this:

Playing chess with a pigeon

When you try to play chess with a pigeon, it gets on the board, knocks over the pieces, poops all over the board and then struts around with its chest out.

That is pretty much what D’Souza does here.

Details about the movie:

First 10 minutes: Mr. D’Souza spends time talking about himself; he describes why he found life in India (at that time) constraining and the opportunities he found in the United States; he also describes his own ascent into the Republican ranks.

He is setting up a contrast, I am sure.

Next, he talks about President Obama’s “strange” actions: returning a country’s property to them (routinely done; the bust of Churchill was scheduled for return prior to Obama taking office), helping rid the world of Gaddafi, not going to war (?), negotiating the rough waters of the Arab Spring, trying to get better relations with the Muslim world (oh noes, not that!) and not blindly siding with Israel on every issue at every time (something many Jews don’t do). This is the “straw man” part.

Now he says: “hey Obama wrote a book”, called Dreams From my Father. He did, and I read it. It is mostly about his journey to Harvard Law School; he does describe a visit to Kenya and he talks about the pain of growing up without his biological father. So, you see…the logical conclusion for Mr. D’Souza is, well….Obama got his world view from his dad…someone who was almost totally absent in his upbringing (save a visit and some correspondence). He didn’t grow up around him, and yet he is supposed to be his major influence? Seriously.

Oh, he talks to a psychologist and he hears: “oh he could have been a positive presence”. But nothing ties his father’s political ideas and world views with President Obama’s views.

Then D’Souza starts to “trace out” where Obama lived….to prove what I don’t know. He does talk about anti-colonialism that he felt while growing up in India and tried to make the connection with Obama growing up (partially) in Indonesia…as a US Citizen with a white American mother….ok…
He then claims that young Barack was sent from Indonesia to Hawaii by his mother to “escape (his stepfather’s) pro-western influence”. Huh??? Going to live with white Americans in America is “escaping a pro-western influence”? (Barack Obama was actually discussing his step-dad’s CORRUPTION and going along with it…not being “western”) He talks about his dad’s influence in that his dad was held up as an example of…wait for it…someone who was honest???? Oh noes, not that!

Then it mentions that young Barack was introduced to Frank Davis and spent time with him. How dangerous was Mr. Davis? He was put on a watch list by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI (like, say, M. L. King or any number of others?) (eyeroll)

He then quotes a snippet in which Barack talks about his undergraduate days at Occidental college; this wasn’t meant to be “look at how great I was” but rather a description of a growth phase (he also talks about smoking cigarettes and grinding them into the carpet, and a lot of stuff that wasn’t intended to paint him as being praiseworthy at that time).

But now Mr. D’Souza is going to try to “learn more about Obama Sr.”; it turs out that…..wait for it…young Barack had an idealized view of his dad? Wow..very unusual indeed.

(fortunately I am about half way through this dreary film…)

Now we have some Kenyan footage. D’Souza finds someone who lives there (and probably have far less access to daily US News) to say that Barack Obama’s views are similar to his father’s, and of course he talks to the obligatory ….ooooohhh….”leftist radical”. What this has to do with President Obama, I am unsure of.

He talks about President Obama’s tax policy and tells how his dad made a statement “theoretically….” (the government could tax 100 percent of income) and then goes on to say “is this what President Obama means when he talks about “fair share”?

Oh dear. Clinton tax rates for those making 250K and up is 100 percent? This is the classic “lying while not making a false statement” tactic.

1. We are two thirds of the way through this dreadfully bad film and
2. We now “know”, from….uh…I am not sure what…listening to what other people said?…that President Obama is an anti-American communist!!!!

Now we get to the “how did then candidate Obama win election” and we get well, first the data-free, fact-free opinion of a talking head who purports to know what Obama voters thought…based on…..well, nothing.

There is the scene in which Hillary Clinton (as a candidate) knock’s Obama’s naiveness ….but it was a naiveness based on…..Obama believing that Republicans would work with him!:-)

Then there is the focus on “white people voting for Obama” when in fact, he lost the white vote both times and was voted in largely on the strength of racial minorities. (43 percent of the white vote in 2008, and MUCH less in the deep south (surprise!)).

Now we get the “Obama’s terrorist pals”; you’ve heard these before. And yes, Reverend Wright. His “God damn America” was really part of a sermon in which he reminded people that, in the Bible, God’s blessings were conditional and based on whether Israel lived up to God’s standards. When it didn’t, God allowed for Israel to be defeated and occupied (that is much of what Jeremiah is about).

I think that President Obama addressed this rather well; he mentioned that Rev. Wright didn’t see America’s ability to change from what it once was. He said so in public. Oh well. He describes Wright saying that he was “offered 150K to shut up” (D’Souza did NOT say that Obama or the Obama campaign made the offer).

Now to policy: not go ahead with the pipeline? Well, maybe it is a bad idea? Not opening our coastline to new drilling? It would be years before any potential gas price benefit would be realized…and frankly I’d rather not have another BP fiasco here.

Health care bill? You mean the one that the Heritage Foundation came up with? (that is what Obamacare was modeled after; it was presented to President Clinton by Senator Dole as a compromise in 1993.).

And then he talks about Obama sympathizing with Muslim terrorists (Bin Laden? Drone strikes? Killing TOO MANY terrorists, according to some Republicans?)

And oh yes, Obama is taking down our capitalist society:

S&P500 Since December_0

(note: click on the link; it talks about how, while we are no longer shedding jobs the way we were under President Bush, are are barely above break even in terms of new jobs keeping up with new job seekers:


Jobs Since 2007 vs Population vs Labor Force_0

So my link does NOT see things through rose colored glasses; far from it. Back to the movie:

He shows some criticism of his “work”; he says “I’m a college president”.:-) Technically, true AT THAT TIME….of some outfit called “The King’s College”.


And his prediction about spending money “as if the deficit didn’t matter”….well, someone who knows something about economics says that is a bunch of BS. But hey, Paul Krugman only has a Nobel Prize in economics, so what does he know?:-)

Then he slams Obama for dreaming of a nuclear free world! Guess who else had such a dream and wanted it badly?

Nuclear weapons-free world: a vision of Kennedy, Reagan, Obama

Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and now, Obama all envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons. The US-Russian START accord, announced Friday, is a next step in that direction, experts say.

Oh yes, the “reach out to the Islamic world”. He quotes Obama’s Cairo speech and shows the part where “all too often, Mulsim nations were treated by proxies…”. True enough, but they were mostly treated by the Russians that way; Obama was NOT specifically talking about the United States at that moment.

A weakened America now permits the rise of “The United States of Islam” (complete with map!) composed of countries who, well…often hate each other (Sunni and Shitte countries in the same “United States of Islam? Must be news to them…)

Then comes the oh-so-scary US debt graph…in absolute dollars instead of “percentage of GDP” (yes, our GDP is growing and therefore our capacity to handle debt…and yes, maintaining an unnecessarily large military and nuclear arsenal is expensive, no?)

Cure to a talking head complaining about the national debt (not putting it in percentage of GDP terms), children’s choir rehearsing for an Obama event and Obama’s Denver speech….and the usual “the future is in your hands”.

And thankfully, the film is over.

Update: here is a review that is spot on.

January 27, 2013 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2012 election, Barack Obama, movies, political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | 1 Comment

Engineering, Fake Math and Republican attempts to steal political power.

President Obama: fights for a couple of nominees:

Hey engineers: President Obama says “stay with it!”! (about 1 minute)

Fake math papers Yep, another gets published. I should compile a list of these journals.:-)

Robert Reich: warns us of bad arguments to come with respect to entitlement reform (5 minutes)

And no, the spending growth rate, if anything, is flat, not increasing. Sure, it is growing, AS IS OUR POPULATION.

They are going to try to rewrite election rules in order to try to win the 2016 Presidential election despite getting fewer votes. No, their plan wouldn’t have worked in 2008; even by Congressional District, President Obama won handily.

But that wouldn’t have been true in 2012.

What a crock. It is bad enough that Republicans are overrepresented in the Senate because the large, but sparsely populated rural states get the same number of senators as larger states. In the House, the Republicans got fewer votes than the Democrats but still control; part of it is gerrymandering and part of it is the “large rural areas” getting overrepresented (if one goes per capita) as opposed to the urban areas with higher population density.

This is ridiculous.

January 26, 2013 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2012 election, Barack Obama, economy, mathematics, politics, politics/social, republicans, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Intrade and Iowa Market Histories: 2004, 2008


Here you can watch the Intrade map change day by day up until election day.

Iowa Electronic Markets

This year’s election looks more like 2004 than 2008.

October 13, 2012 Posted by | 2008 Election, 2012 election | Leave a comment

Two Books: Carter’s “Peace is Possible in the Holy Land” and McGinniss’ “The Rogue”

President Carter’s book
Here is an excerpt and here is a good review.

My take: the story was interesting; it gives a good synopsis of the problem and provides some of the details of the Camp David accord which lead to some Nobel Peace Prizes and peace between Egypt and Israel (who had fought several wars).

Also, Carter points out that the sides are not that far apart on the issues and gives a straight forward way forward…though this proposal is nothing new.

Alas, the irony here is that President Carter has “Holy Land” in his title and that is a big part of the problem. You have two populations of roughly the same size in one region…but unfortunately these people are hung up over the claim to the same set of ruins and rock piles…deemed to be “holy” by their texts of superstitions and myths.

I’ve never seen a better display of the toxicity of religion.

Joe McGinniss’s book on Sarah Palin
Ok, I picked this up at the used book store in the Lakeview Museum as I waited for the Venus transit.

Here is a good review.

What it is: basically, McGinniss interviewed a bunch of people about Sarah Palin and complied what they said. Sure, it was “fun” in a gossipy sort of way, but that is what it struck me as: gossip. Sure, there were some solid details on her service on the Alaska energy commission (it was a farce, but we already knew that), that she overreached in her trooper scandal (old news) and that she used her family as a prop (duh) and that she sunk her political career when she made the Gabriel Giffords assassination attempt about her.

But we knew all that. What is new: some say that she was a bad mother and uninterested in her kids, and he gave a long account about Trig’s birth…and wondered why the media didn’t examine that “story” more carefully.

I’ll let David Corn say what was on my mind:

McGinniss also does a fine job dissecting Palin’s associations with extreme Christian fundamentalism—territory other authors have previously excavated. Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla with one public issue: more bike paths. But McGinniss shows how her real agenda was to transform her town into an enclave of evangelism. When she campaigned for governor, McGinnis writes, “the hardest job her staff had was to keep her quiet about her religious beliefs.” He reports that after being elected governor she fired a group of minority state employees who had worked on her campaign. An aide (named) says, “Sarah just isn’t comfortable in the presence of dark-skinned people.” But what about Glen Rice?

Virtually anything negative one can say about a person who is not a murderer or genocidal war criminal is said about Palin in this book. Of course, that doesn’t make it untrue. Yet as I trekked along on McGinniss’ unrelenting death march to the bowels of Palin’s supposedly dark soul, at times I almost felt sorry for her. How many backstabbing “friends” can one person have? (One “friend” told McGinniss of a snowmobile trip that included both Todd and Sarah and allegedly involved a cocaine binge.) And how much wrath does any biographic subject deserve? At times, I wanted to reach for the hand sanitizer.

McGinniss is a journalist with a long, storied, and controversial career. Dialing back on the Palin-slamming might have yielded a better book—especially considering his run-in (or feud) with the Palin clan. The Rogue is must-cringe reading. It’s a book that puzzles as much as it enlightens. There’s a fine line between “wow!” and “really?”—and McGinniss is working both sides of that divide.

Too many times, McGinniss wrote out the conclusion for the reader instead of letting the reader make his/her own. The book sure read like a hatchet job and I am no more enlightened after reading the book than prior to reading it.

June 11, 2012 Posted by | 2008 Election, books, politics, sarah palin, world events | Leave a comment


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