Caudillo Trump?

Two out of every three Telemundo viewers thought Trump won the debate last night:

I don’t know enough about US Spanish-language programming to know whether Telemundo is slightly more “conservative” than Univision. (They’re both quite liberal in the grand scheme of things.) But this is revealing nonetheless. I bet many of those Hispanic viewers perceived Trump as dominant, Biden as weak. I bet they saw machismo and passion oozing from the president, little to none from the former vice president.

Although I think Trump was too aggressive at times and should channel his energy better in the next debate, he succeeded in firing up the base and getting almost the entire news media to deem the debate a “disaster” and a “shitshow.” If CNN, MSNBC, ABC, et al are saying “the American people lost” and would prefer to forget about what happened, that means they’re not proclaiming Joe Biden the clear victor. Allowing that to happen would’ve been a much worse outcome for Trump than participating in a complete food fight.

Cool story of the day

A PhD candidate in medicinal chemistry is writing his dissertation in Welsh:

In Cardiff, Wales, Bedwyr Ab Ion Thomas, 23, is conducting his doctoral research on medicinal chemistry entirely in the Welsh language at Cardiff University. While it may seem ordinary for a researcher to work entirely in their native language, Thomas’ decision to do so has been the subject of much curiosity within the academic community, as Welsh has remained a minority language in Wales for many years, with fewer than 1 million speakers worldwide.

Thomas, who grew up speaking Welsh with both parents and attended Welsh-language schools, saw it as a natural progression that he should then do research in his native language. “Being able to live, study and work through the medium of Welsh in Wales should be the norm,” he told the BBC.

This paragraph is particularly interesting to me:

For Thomas, who studies medicinal chemistry and neurodegenerative diseases in particular, the Welsh language sometimes falls short, mainly because so much research in his subject has, up to this point, been conducted in English. While many literal translations of the requisite English terms may exist in Welsh, these translations often don’t make sense when directly transposed from one language to the other. As a result, Thomas has had to invent entirely new words, building a Welsh-language dictionary of terms that pertain to his topic. He will continue this process while conducting his research and earning his degree, and he will eventually submit his dictionary to the Welsh language experts for review.

Read the entire story here.

Debate night!

I’ll be watching with a friend. No guarantees on a reaction post, but I will try my best.

As this Washington Post article shows, presidential debates can and often matter. Sometimes they widen the gap between the candidates, sometimes they narrow the gap, and sometimes they don’t move the needle much at all. (In one case a candidate managed to surpass the other between the first and second debate—can you guess which election that was?)

I’m still optimistic about Trump’s reelection chances, though he will need to turn in a solid performance if he wants to make up ground in the national polls. I don’t think Trump wiping the floor with Biden is as much of a foregone conclusion as many on the right think—especially if Biden gets a big fat shot in the ass.

Also for your pre-debate reading is this Politico article from 2016 on the eight biggest unforced errors in presidential debate history. Bring back memories for some of you?

Tweet of the day

Fits in well with The Z-Man’s article today. Excerpt:

Like Rome for close to three centuries, America staggers on, despite the problems and the decline of the ruling class. In the case of Rome, there was no organized force capable of toppling her. In the case of America, the global order assumes America will be the pivot point, the fulcrum on which order balances. As long as people are being fed and have shelter, they will not rise up to challenge the rulers. Like Rome, the great stagger will continue until the corpse of the empire collapses.

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that when Rome was finally sacked by the Visigoths, the rest of the known world was stunned. St. Jerome wrote in grief, “If Rome can perish, what can be safe?” In other words, for a very long time people knew the empire was a shell of its former glory and Rome itself was no longer what it was. People just got used to the permanent state of decline. It was their normal. Most likely, American decline will become the new normal too.

The left overplayed their hand

Support for BLM is tanking:

New polling from AP and the University of Chicago indicates that support has sharply declined for the Black Lives Matter protest movement, with 15% less Americans supporting the movement now than they did in June 2020.

At the time, a majority (54%) of Americans overall supported the movement. Now, it is decisively unpopular; only 39% of Americans support the Black Lives Matter protest movement. 44% express their specific disapproval, a figure that is also presumably growing.

Curiously, even less Latinos support the riot movement than White Americans; with 31% of the former demographic expressing support for it, whereas 35% of whites do.

It’s not a good time to be a Democrat. Their tacit endorsement of rioting has backfired, they’ve resigned themselves to the fate of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, enthusiasm for Joe Biden is about the same as enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, and enthusiasm for Trump is significantly higher than it was four years ago. Hirsty makes a solid point when he says that enthusiasm determines whether people will go to the polls. It’s easy to tell a pollster you support Joe Biden; it’s not as easy to leave the house and vote if you deep down don’t care all that much.

We’ve got a war breaking out!

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan have escalated into fighting:

Fighting broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, causing casualties on both sides and prompting the Armenian government to declare martial law and mobilize its military.

The conflict is the latest eruption of violence in a decades-long dispute over the region, which lies within the borders of Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenian forces. Both countries have reported military and civilian deaths as of Sunday afternoon.

Armenian officials said Azerbaijani forces launched a “missile and aerial attack” in the region on Sunday morning, targeting peaceful settlements and shelling civilian infrastructures, while Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its armed forces were responding to Armenian shelling.

Rumor has it that Turkey could assist or is already assisting Azerbaijan. Russia has called for a cease fire and negotiations, but what will they do if Turkey ramps up involvement? Will be interesting to see how this develops.

Amy Coney Barrett officially nominated to the Supreme Court

A transcript of her remarks at the White House are here.

I think she’s going to be solid. She clerked for Justice Scalia and isn’t even 50 years old, meaning she’s going to be on the bench for a loooooong time—and much to the chagrin of the Democrats.

They are losing sleep over the possibility that Roe v. Wade could now be repealed. I don’t know if it ever will, but I sure hope so!

We have a SCOTUS nominee

Although it hasn’t been formally announced, many news outlets are reporting that Trump will nominate Amy Coney Barrett to fill Justice Ginsburg’s vacant seat:

President Trump is expected to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, CBS News has confirmed, according to multiple sources involved in or familiar with the selection process.

It’s possible Mr. Trump could change his mind, but at this point, Barrett is expected to be announced as the president’s choice Saturday afternoon at the White House.

The White House has begun reaching out to Republican Senate offices to schedule meetings with the Supreme Court nominee to take place next week, starting Wednesday morning, according to two sources familiar with the planning. The Senate will be out Monday and Tuesday for Yom Kippur.

Good choice, Mr. President. Let’s get her confirmed by Halloween!

Where have I heard this one before?

The Hill:

Pop star John Legend says Americans might “have to start thinking about going somewhere else” if President Trump wins reelection.

“At some point, if that project [to destroy democracy] was to be in any way successful, you’d have to think about going somewhere that is a true democracy, that has respect for the rule of law and human rights,” the “All of Me” singer said in an interview published this week with Cosmopolitan UK.

“If America chooses to be that place then people will have to start thinking about going somewhere else. It is truly disturbing and concerning,” the musician, who’s part of the EGOT club, said.

Celebrities threatened to leave back in 2016 as well—and none of them did. Hopefully Legend and company are serious this time around.