The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
December 19, 2018 • 7 Comments

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

The Unhappiness Explosion
by Steve Sailer

December 19, 2018

The prestige of the intersectional is pushing respectable opinion in anti-science directions, as seen in the resurgent prestige of astrology and witchcraft. Granted, perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much what lowbrows who like horoscopes and spells are into, but it probably does matter that actual sciences such as genetics, which had been the glamour field of the new century, are starting to be castigated by the prestige press as deplorable “race science.”

Read the whole thing there.

December 19, 2018 • 35 Comments

Nate Silver tweets:

My conspiracy theory is that The Russian Bot Conspiracy Theory is a conspiracy by Old Media (NYT, CNN, WP, etc.) to castrate Social Media with censorship and approbation. (Note: conspiracies don’t require meeting in parking garages at midnight, they can use, say, headlines and TV to coordinate.)

iSteve commenter Playing Mantis adds:

The responses to Silver’s tweet are rather amusing. For example, here’s Timothy Burke, Professor of History at Swarthmore College:

As far as effectiveness goes, don’t send a statistical thinker to do a humanities and psychology job. This was about meaning and cognition and about how messages pass around in paratexts and affect people. You can’t measure it using your usual instruments, so don’t try.

I guess we’ll just have to take the Professor’s word that it cannot be measured, but that he (somehow) knows just how effective it was. On second thought, I think I’m with Lord Kelvin: “when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind”.

Uh-oh, the Russians are using paratexts! I don’t know what paratexts are, but they sound scary. I imagine paratexts are like this, but high tech:

Or maybe paratexts have paranormal powers:

Paratexts: it’s a very 1984 word.

December 19, 2018 • 31 Comments

Via Drudge, from the Associated Press:

US pledges $10.6B aid for Central America, southern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.

From the New York Times:

White House Signals Retreat on Shutdown Threat

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Katie Rogers
Dec. 18, 2018

WASHINGTON — The White House signaled on Tuesday that President Trump might be ready to capitulate on his demand for $5 billion for a wall on the southwestern border, but negotiations on a spending deal remained murky as lawmakers awaited a White House strategy to avert a Christmastime government shutdown.

December 19, 2018 • 11 Comments

From iSteve commenter Couch Scientist:

12 Days of Intersectionality

12 ethnicities inciting
11 genders bending
10 victims accusing
9 borders crossing
8 muslims peacing
7 lefties writing
6 classes clashing
5 grey hairs
4 so-called races
3 sexes
2 languages
And a microaggression in a wheelchair

December 18, 2018 • 45 Comments

From the New York Times:

Advertisers Flee Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Show After He Derides Immigrants

Tucker Carlson said last week on the air that allowing undocumented immigrants into the United States “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

By Sapna Maheshwari
Dec. 18, 2018

The Fox News host Tucker Carlson has lost advertisers after saying on the air last week that allowing certain immigrants into the United States “makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided.”

By Tuesday, 11 companies — including IHOP and TD Ameritrade — said they would stop advertising on his prime-time show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Mr. Carlson made the comments at the start of his Thursday program, during which he discussed the arrival of Central American immigrants in Tijuana, Mexico. In those opening remarks, he mocked those who believe “we have a moral obligation to accept the world’s poor.”

What Carlson actually said was:

“It’s obvious that we need more scientists and skilled engineers, but that’s not what we’re getting. Instead, we’re getting waves of people with high school educations or less. Nice people. No one doubts that. But as an economic matter, this is insane. It’s indefensible, so nobody even tries to defend it. Instead, our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, dirtier and more divided.”

Back to Sapna Maheshwari reporting for the New York Times about how pressure groups are trying to get Fox “to shut up and accept this.”

His rhetoric prompted Pacific Life Insurance to say on Friday that it would not advertise on the show in the coming weeks, adding, “As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements.”

On Monday’s program, Mr. Carlson reiterated his remarks and accused liberal opponents of trying to silence him by calling for an advertiser boyc...

December 18, 2018 • 23 Comments

I’ve been writing forever about the fate of the Cabrini-Green housing project a mile inland from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. For example, I noted in 2011:

I tried the Clybourn shortcut to the Loop one Sunday afternoon in 1983 but found my progress blocked in the middle of the Cabrini-Green housing project by hundreds of black people excitedly milling about and watching a car burn.

In 1989, my wife and I were warily condo-shopping on North Avenue near Clybourn when a white man approached and told us to Buy Now: The Near North Side land that Cabrini-Green sat upon was too convenient for black welfare mothers to hold for long, he explained. We demurred, asking, “Which alderman will agree to take 13,000 Cabrini-Greeners?”

Steppenwolf, however, was braver. As white-yuppie Chicago’s cultural flagship (I had season tickets from 1987 onward), Steppenwolf’s new theater in 1991, built just north of Cabrini between Halsted and Clybourn, signaled that white gentrifiers would win.

The last Cabrini high-rise was finally demolished this March, the denizens dispatched to the hinterlands clutching Section 8 vouchers. The spot on Clybourn where the car burned is now home to Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters, serving locals who own second homes in Aspen.

But now we can quantify the change in demographics from Rahm Emanuel’s population transfers. From Bloomberg

Americans Earning Over $200,000 Are Flocking to These Neighborhoods
Everyone knows wealth is concentrating. This is where the rich are going.

December 18, 2018, 1:00 AM PST

… Cook County, which includes the county seat of Chicago, is home to the No. 1 and No. 7 fastest-growing concentrations of $200,000-plus households. No. 1 is, ironically, the area around where the Cabrini-Green public housing projects once stood. Cabrini-Green was notorious for violent crime, poverty and de facto racial segregation until its demolition beginning in the 1990s at the behest of the Chicago Housing Authority.


December 18, 2018 • 32 Comments

iSteve commenter Kibernetika writes:

We have proposed (and are actively developing) a broadly integrated system that quantifies one’s RacialValue. Think FICO score. We daily sample a wide range of cultural, and a drunken baker’s dozen other indicators (think Rabelais, and Oracle of the Bottle), and after much sausage making, quantify it as the WhoWeAre index. This value is a vital

in our algorithms, and captures what the current BeautifulPeople, our betters and cultural elites, think is correct.

Any person within the polygon defining US border boundaries will have this value keyed to SSN. (Well, we’d better get a more legit identifier, as SSNs are traded like candy these days at any street corner where day laborers loiter, in the shadows.)

Currently in negotiation with Pantone regarding licensing. In the near future, the equivalent of the “What’s your sign?” pickup line will be “What’s your racial value?” Racval, in the vernacular.

Angel investors most welcome!

We can and will, in the brilliant future, quantify our MulCultVal.

Also, some trolls with chops could put together a website that quantifies the Progressive Stack by asking visitors questions about who possesses more Intersectionality.

Questions could be asked in the abstract. E.g., Who has more intersectionality?

A. A transgender person

B. A black person

And in the particular by using celebrities, such as asking respondents to opine upon whether, say, Elizabeth Warren or Lin-Manuel Miranda has more Intersectionality.

Also, fictional characters should compete: e.g., Hermione Granger vs. Chewbacca.

The value of each respondent’s opinions could in turn be weighted by how much intersectionality they possess as of the moment.

Also, users would be encouraged to weigh in on philosophical questions like: Is intersectionality different from diversity?

The interface should be nontrolling and sincere to attract lots of participation...

December 18, 2018 • 50 Comments

From Politico:

Ryan pushes for thousands of Irish visas before leaving office

By TED HESSON 12/14/2018 04:48 PM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan is leaving Congress with a grateful nod to his Irish ancestors.

A bill pushed by Ryan, whose family fled famine-ravaged Ireland in 1851, could provide Irish nationals with thousands of additional U.S. work visas each year.

December 16, 2018 • 299 Comments

How can you identify a cargo cult culture? (Or, as Thorfinnsson elegantly calls them, “fake and gay countries”?).

Well, here’s one thing I notice about many of them.

They’re obsessedobsessed! – over naming conventions for their countries and cities in foreign languages.

For instance, precisely nobody in The Netherlands – to the best of my knowledge – cares in the least about having an article appended to their name in English, presumably because they are quite successful and don’t have a raging inferiority complex.

But write “The Ukraine” (vs. the “correct” Ukraine) or “Kiev” (vs. the correct “Kyiv”), and you’re sure to have hordes of outraged svidomy knocking down your door and flooding your mentions.

Fortunately, most people from non-cargo cult countries aren’t submitting:

Even Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the ur-nemesis of Putin, who joined them Ukrainians on Euromaidan, sent the svidomy packing when they demanded he write the grammatically incorrect “в Украине” [in Ukraine] as opposed to the grammatically correct “на Украине” (at the Ukraine).

Khodorkovsky: “Please don’t tell us the rules of our own language. Make Russian your second state language – then we’ll talk.

Consequently, Ukrainian media outlets WROTE OUTRAGED HEADLINES about Khodorkovsky’s Twitter rebuke, reaching levels of fakeness and homosexuality that should not even be possible.

Another gay though admittedly not fake country is Georgia, which has demanded its “friends” stop calling it Gruzia – as is standard throughout the Slavonic world, but – as it recently discovered – is in fact a relic of its “oppression” under Russia.

So far, it seems the only country that cares is Lithuania, another gay and mostly fake country:

The speaker of the Lithuanian parliament,...

December 16, 2018 • 4 Comments

Infant mortality in Russia/USSR (thick dark green line), 1900-2016 (via genby). Thin brown line at the bottom represents the US rate.

(Bottom most graph represents the US).

Six distinct periods:

  1. Slow improvement during late Tsarism and 1920s.
  2. Stagnation during 1930s.
  3. Rapid improvements from 1940-1965 as antibiotics, modern obstetrics, etc. introduced. Near convergence to US by mid-1960s.
  4. Stagnation during 1965-2000, including periods of extended increases during the 1970s (uniquely for an industrialized country outside wartime) and during the early 1990s (due to the economic collapse then).
  5. Rapid improvements under Putin, culminating in renewed convergence to developed country levels.

December 13, 2018 • 322 Comments

Come to think of it, the Huawei Affair – an entirely transparent power play against China, as Jeffrey Sachs convincingly shows – is returning the world to the medieval era of hostage taking.

It’s been a long way building up to it.

Still, Meng Wenzhou is a much bigger fish than the victims of previous such incidents, such as Maria Butina, who has been coerced into confessing to acting as a Russian foreign agent after six months in solitary. It is also synced with America’s trend to regard the entire world as its jurisdictional demesne, as demonstrated by the repeated detentions of alleged Russian hackers in American colonial territories and by the persecution of Assange.

But unlike Russia, it seems that China isn’t afraid to respond to American provocations, having now detained a second Canadian.

Eventually businessmen will only travel abroad if other side sends potential hostages as guarantee, and/or meetings will be held in Switzerland.

December 10, 2018 • 159 Comments

Russia harvested 133 million tons of grain in 2017, beating the all-time RSFSR record set in 1978. It has also been consistently harvesting more grain than in the Soviet years since the mid-2010s.

Here it is in a wider historical perspective.

Grain production in Russia from 1900-2012:

Graph via @burckina-faso, a pro-Soviet blogger, so can hardly be accused of bias.
Code: Red/blue lines = Total production (left scale; millions of tons); purple/green line = crop yields (right scale; centners per hectare)
Sources: Росстат, Симчера В.М. “Развитие экономики России за 100 лет: 1900-2000. Исторические ряды, вековые тренды, институциональные циклы”. – М.: Наука, 2006. и Растянников В.Г., Дерюгина И.В. “Урожайность хлебов в России. 1795-2007″. – М.: ИВ РАН, 2009

So we have approximately the following periods:

  • Pre-Emancipation Tsarism: No improvement (see below).
  • Late Tsarism: Slow improvement.
  • Early USSR: Zero gains in output or yields between the early 191os and the early 1950s. Massive collapse during the Civil War, contributing to the 1921-22 famine with 5-10 million deaths. Stagnation during collectivization, accompanied by the 1931-32 famine with 7 million deaths; testifying, in effect, to its engineered nature. Small uptick in the late 1930s, enabled by electrification and tractorification, ending in another collapse during WW2, during which there were 2-3 million deaths from dearth on the home front; another famine in 1947 with 1.5 million deaths, which was not accompanied by a food production collapse either.
  • Late USSR: Doubling in output and yield.
  • Russian Federation (1990s): Collapse in output, though not so much in yield, during the 1990s; considering the depth of the economic crisis, and the fact that people continued to leave agriculture, this was not as catastrophic...

December 4, 2018 • 211 Comments

The data is based on Goertzel, Ted & al. (2012), Homicide Booms and Busts A Small-N Comparative Historical Study.

The lead author kindly emailed me the data used to build their graphs (their version is on the right), which I used to construct the above graph of Russian historical homicide rates from 1875 to 2018.


Russian homicide rates were stable at around 5/100,000 in Tsarist Russia from 1875, according to a couple of studies that they cite. This was above the 1-2/100,000 rate in contemporary “Core Europe” (Britain, France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia); Russia lagged Germany by about a century, and Britain, one of the world’s first states to undergo cultural and (perhaps) genetic pacification, last saw such figures in the 17th century. However, Russia’s homicide rates were nonetheless similar to countries such as Italy, Finland, and even Japan. Contrary to the scenes of barbarity that authors such as Orlando Figes have painted of the Russian village, in reality it does not appear to have been especially violent relative to much of the rest of the world outside Core Europe at that time.

Records are sparse from the Russian Civil War to the end of Stalinism. It is clear that the aftermath of the Bolshevik coup and Russia’s collapse saw a huge spike in criminality. Russian criminologist Viktor Luneev in Crime in the 20th Century writes that Moscow saw 11 times as many murders in 1918 as it did in 1914, and “crime intensity” in the new capital increased by a further 50% by 1921. I have been unable to find any sources or estimates of homicides during the 1920s, but the general crime situation could be approximated by the rate of convictions per capita, which are available for the RSFSR since 1922 (statistics for the USSR are also available, but they are less reliable). The RSFSR convictions rate falls from 2,500-3,000/100,000 in 1922-1924 to 1,000/100,000 in 1927-28, before going up to nearly 1,500/100,000...

November 26, 2018 • 215 Comments

Technology Review: Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies

It was the invention of a powerful gene editing tool, CRISPR, which is cheap and easy to deploy, that made the birth of humans genetically modified in an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) center a theoretical possibility.

Now, it appears it may already be happening.

According to Chinese medical documents posted online this month (here and here), a team at the Southern University of Science and Technology, in Shenzhen, has been recruiting couples in an effort to create the first gene-edited babies. They planned to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in order to render the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. …

It is unclear if any children have been born. The scientist behind the effort, Jiankui He, did not reply to a list of questions about whether the undertaking had produced a live birth. Reached by telephone he declined to comment.

However, data submitted as part of the trial listing shows genetic tests have been carried out on fetuses as late as 24 weeks, or six months. It’s not known if those pregnancies were terminated, carried to term, or are ongoing.

It’s a popular meme that a China unencumbered by Judeo-Christian morality/superstitions (cross out as appropriate) will be more open to transhumanist technology.

For instance, here is a typical statement of this argument from my friend Hank Pellissier: East Asia is More “Transhumanist” than the USA & Europe

See also Darryl Macer (2012): Ethical Consequences of the Positive Views of Enhancement in Asia

But not so fast.

Just one day later comes this news – The Chinese scientist who claims he made CRISPR babies is under investigation:

On Sunday, the Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board said it would begin an investigation of He’s research and released a statement saying that HorMoniCare “according to our findings … never conducted the appropriate reporting according to requirements.” The former medical...

November 25, 2018 • 452 Comments

Latest reports that Kiev is planning to impose martial law.


Poroshenko’s only real hope of getting reelected is by having a short victorious war (as I suggested back in May).

Though the “victorious” part will be really hard.

December 17, 2018 • 28 Comments

The graphs in this post are derived from a Reuters-Ipsos poll asking respondents if “to achieve my idea of a better society, violent acts are acceptable”.

To preface, The Current Year is not Weimerica. We’re nowhere near the levels of political violence the country experienced in the late 1960s and 1970s, when domestic terrorist bombings were a near daily occurrence. On the other hand, the Fourth Turning theory predicts our heading into a period of crisis with an impending uptick in violence.

Whatever the actual manifestation of violence in the future, let’s take a look at who most likes the idea of violence. By age and sex:

Violence is a young man’s game. With increasing discord and disunity in every aspect of life–religious, linguistic, economic, racial, cultural, political, ethnic–in concert with collapsing levels of trust in all of society’s major institutions, they’ll grow out of it, right? It’s just a phase. Boys will be boys!

By race and selected religious affiliations:

On account of their doing this with such frequency, the result isn’t particularly surprising.

By political orientation:

Exhibit A: Antifa and Proud Boys dancing in the streets.

December 15, 2018 • 121 Comments

Jig Bohnson on why Kamala Harris won’t be president:

Prole and even middle class black women do not like halfies with the good hair. “Do not like” does not come close to capturing the level of resentment there. In fact, it is probably even worse to be, like Harris, an exotic-ish halfie with the good hair than if she were just a corn fed Halle Barry type. Now at least Harris is married to a nerdy white guy instead of “taking” a high status black male, but on the other hand he is an investment banking nerdy white guy, so I’m sure there are photos of Harris living it up on jet skis or whatever, in a bikini with her golden brown skin and straight hair.

Because of gerrymandering and the stubborn refusal of non-blacks to live around blacks if they can help it, the Democrat bench has few authentically black blacks on deck for the national batter’s box. This contrasts sharply to the congressional level, where many heavily black urban districts send authentically black blacks to DC. Emmanuel Cleaver can’t win a statewide election in Missouri just as assuredly as he can’t lose a reelection bid in Missouri’s 5th.

When the prep-school halfrican Obama tried to challenge the authentically black Bobby Rush for a congressional seat in 2000, he got crushed because southside blacks wouldn’t vote for a mulatto from Harvard over a former Black Panther. But when Obama ran against Hillary Clinton in 2008, he utterly dominated the black vote, 85%-15%, because he was the blackest thing on offer.

Barring a Stacy Abrams’ surprise candidacy, so it will be with Kamala. Despite her nonexistent nappiness, black women know there’s enough negress there to do the job:

As for the nerdy Jewish husband, that’s an aesthetic sop for the SWPLs. The rest of her social circle is red meat for the POC ascendancy:

The woman knows where her vulnerabilities are. And while I won’t pretend to have anything like an insider’s...

December 15, 2018 • 52 Comments

In last week’s Power Hour, the Z-Man noted that one major reason Trump gets so little Establishment push back for tangling with China–despite the real dangers involved–is because our elites are legitimately worried about the Middle Kingdom. Crowding out top American colleges, stealing the intellectual property elites live off of, pricing them out of major cities–these are problems the Chinese pose to the cloud people a country like Mexico does not.

As luck would have it, Reuters-Ipsos commissioned a poll on perceptions of selected countries with a respondent pool of 10,466 Americans. It’s the same respondent pool for each country so even though the differences aren’t large, they’re directionally interesting. The question is binary–respondents are either “favorable” or “unfavorable”. The following graph shows the percentages by race and among elites (college-educated earning at least $100,000 annually) and dirt people (no college education, earning less than $100,000 annually) of all races:

Favorability is higher for Mexico than for China across all groups except for–shockingly!–Asians. The favorability gap between Mexico and China is nearly three times as large among elites as it is among dirt people, though. Z-Man, per usual, is on to something.

Parenthetically, American blacks are not some untapped source of immigration restrictionist sentiment–that’s a civic nationalist fantasy bearing no resemblance to reality. Surveys consistently reveal blacks to be as supportive of immigration as Hispanics are, if not more so.

December 13, 2018 • 99 Comments

Vox Day on an alleged attempt at retconning:

The failure of the long-predicted global warming to show up now has the AGW/CC scammers scrambling to claim that there never was an expectation of global cooling in the 1970s. Fortunately, climate skeptics are exploding the scammers’ latest falsehoods.

This historical revisionism is deeply insulting to the intelligence of at least two generations. Look, I was there at the time! They were absolutely going on about global cooling in much the same way they were banging on about global warming 20 years later.

Given my lack of familiarity, let alone expertise, with the relevant data on potential catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, I have little to say about the issue. Warmer temperatures offer humans a lot of obvious benefits–at least in the short term–that colder temperatures do not, so I’m more skeptical of the “catastrophic” part than the “warming” part.

What we do know is that some people were writing about global cooling in the seventies while no one was writing anything about global warming:

Extending the data through 2007, the last full year Ngrams has on record:

That “they were absolutely going on about global cooling in much the same way they” are focusing on global warming today appears to be, while directionally correct, wildly hyperbolic. By the mid-eighties, global warming received far more literary attention than global cooling ever had, and today global warming receives more than 100x what it did in the mid-eighties.

December 13, 2018 • 53 Comments

A shutdown, complete with worker furloughs, will reveal to most people how unessential everything it does is for their lives.

Normalizing life without DC doing whatever DC does is an essential step to selling political dissolution to the general public. We are headed for a breakup one way or the other. A soft landing, with dissolution done in an orderly and peaceable fashion, is preferable to the crash landing that will happen after a deep economic recession and subsequent debt crisis.

How will life be different if your state peacefully separates from the union? To a first approximation, a quarter of your paycheck will no longer be taken out in taxes each week and the deposit into your account will be that much larger. You will no longer get whatever it is you received in return for that deduction. Other than that, pretty much same old, same old.

December 12, 2018 • 71 Comments

Foundational for public trust in the American legal system to stand is the acceptance of occasional Type II errors as a necessary concession to avoid Type I errors. A Type I error occurs when an innocent party is found guilty on account of a misreading–or blatant rejection–of the evidence. A Type II error is when a guilty party is found not guilty due to the lack of evidence indicating guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Type II errors are bad. Over time, their accumulation erodes trust in the efficacy of the entire system (see Hillary Clinton’s career). But better one hundred guilty men walk free than one innocent man die! And plea deals offer a workaround compromise that allow for violent gangbangers to be pulled off the streets on easily proven charges of things like drug or weapons possession.

While Type II errors are a necessary evil, Type I errors are fatal for that trust. Forget the disclaimers about not rendering legal opinions, James Fields obviously did not premeditate Heather Heyer’s death. The message sent by a man being put away for the rest of his life–one that very probably will be snuffed out long before its natural end–on a charge he is clearly innocent of should not be lost on anyone reading this. First it was social standing, then it was livelihood, now it is life itself one must be prepared to forfeit as the price of dissidence.

In revealing this putatively fundamental precept to be disposable when the answers to Who? Whom? are right, the system is giving the game away. It is assuming–almost certainly correctly–there will be no popular objection to this legal farce. You’re not sympathetic to that mouth-breathing loser, are you? You don’t want to be the next Fields, do you?

Events open and accessible to the general public are fraught with peril. Any sort of resistance, no matter the level of provocation, puts those who offer it in extreme legal jeopardy. To avoid the Fields’ treatment,...

December 11, 2018 • 218 Comments

From Reuters-Ipsos polling, the percentages of non-Hispanic whites, by state, who identify politically as Republicans in a two-party distribution follow. The poll ran from January of 2016 through November of 2018 so it serves as a good measure of partisan affiliation among whites in the Trump era. The total sample for the extended survey runs to over 450,000 respondents, more than twenty times larger than the typical presidential exit poll conducted on the day of an election. Even the smallest states have four-digit sample sizes:


What the Derb refers to as the cold civil war between goodwhites and badwhites is to a significant degree the continuation of the hot war that putatively ended 140 years ago.

Trump’s chances of reelection are slim. R-I currently shows Republicans with an 8-point advantage over Democrats among whites. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump beat Clinton by by 20 points among whites. Any backsliding on the Sailer strategy is something the president cannot afford. Many older whites who gave Trump his slim margin of victory in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will have died by the 2020 election. This actuarial assault puts his already precarious prospects for reelection in real trouble. Additionally, the US may be in a steep economic recession by the end of 2020 with interest rates at just 2.X% instead of the 5.X% as was the case in 2008. With a decade of near-zero rates in the rear view mirror quantitative easing will lead to stagflation this time around.

Parenthetically, in anticipation of objections about biased polling, R-I had pegged Clinton winning the popular vote by 5 points instead of the 2 points she actually won it by. R-I tends to oversample Democrats and undersample the politically unaffiliated, but that’s something easily accounted for. The institution’s polling substantially informed NPI’s mid-term projections, projections that fared quite well.

December 5, 2018 • 16 Comments

Broadly speaking, there are three wings of the contemporary Democrat party–the POC ascendancy, corporate globalists, and socialist progressives. Securing the Democrat presidential nomination will be contingent upon garnering each wing’s support, in respective order of importance. Obama won the 2008 nomination by dominating the POC ascendancy vote. Hillary similarly won it in 2016 by doing the same. That she had no purchase among socialist progressives didn’t matter.

In 2020, the POC ascendancy will belong to Kamala Harris. She will, as the only non-white female running, have unquestioned moral authority in any dispute with any other candidate. She is aware of the power this affords her and trades on it constantly.

Deval Patrick, the only potential POC candidate who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth and who had the potential to see Obama retconned from the first black president to the first mixed race president to make room for Patrick to claim the first black spot, appears to be definitively out. That leaves Questionable Cory as Kinky Kamala’s only real competition.

The corporate globalists like Kamala because she’s ambitious and unprincipled so can be corralled and controlled but also disciplined enough to stay on message without significant risk of deviation.

Her toughest sell will be to the socialist progressive wing. She’s keenly aware of this and has been working it relentlessly:

Expect more of that in the coming months and years. Cowardly Bernie Sanders needs enough cover to save face with the base he will betray again when he throws his support behind Kamala. She’s going to be sure to provide him with plenty of that cover.

But, but she’s polling substantially behind the putative frontrunner, Joe Biden!

What did polling look like at this point in the 2008 campaign? Taken December 5, 2006, exactly as far out from the 2008 election as we currently are from 2020:

Precedence, folks.