Noon: Live blogging of election day will begin around 1:00 p.m….back pain permitting!

1:00 P.M.: After softening last week, the Dow has picked up about 1,000 points yesterday and today. If this holds through the day, it probably means the big boys on Wall Street, who were sure Trump would lose last time, expect a Trump win, although I haven’t seen any bold statements this time around to match Paul Krugman’s 2016 election eve prediction that if Trump was elected the stock market would crash and “never recover.” Actually Krugman (Nobel prize winner for economics and NY Times columnist) has recently called into question his own previously unquestioned championing of Reaganomics–which, as an uber-liberal, he got away with supporting for twenty-five years the old-fashioned way…by calling it something else). Fun times!

1: 20 p.m.: FYI: I expect Trump to win both Florida and the election. Next hour, I’ll link to my Oct. 2019 prediction and review how my Ten Reasons Trump will win reelection post is holding up. Kind of interested in this myself as I’ve forgotten half the reasons.

2:00 p.m.: Interesting tweet rom Florida governor Ron DeSantis in the last hour predicting that state will be called for Trump by 9:00 p.m. Well THAT will be fun. Probably not a good sign for Biden that Ivanka Trump outdrew he and Obama combined at competing Florida/Georgia rallies last week….outdrew them by a lot. Again, I’m not predicting or endorsing, just trying to read the tea leaves.

2:45 p.m.: Here’s a link to my October, 2019 post, Ten Reasons Donald Trump will be re-elected. I’ll break down my accuracy a little later!

4:50 p.m.: Just returned from the bank…still trying to clear up a mortgage payment from October. Submitted an online payment 5 times…never went through. Finally went down today and got a money order. News from the radio that Republican turnout is well up from 2016 in Florida and Georgia. Market stayed up. All good signs for Trump. Best line of the day so far, a wag on talk radio who said store owners in big cities painting “We Support Black Lives Matter” on the plywood boarding their windows is like turkeys praying Thanksgiving will be cancelled. Mobs can’t read.

6:25 p.m.: Because of the Panhandle, Florida is the only east coast state where parts of the state vote an hour later than the rest. I did not drive by any polling place today so have no idea if there are lines around here. My county (heavily African-American) and the adjacent one (state capital and college town) are the only counties in the northern part of the state that went for Clinton in 2016. Two of only seven in the state–which tells you how important Dade and Broward are for Biden. Any softening there and he’ll lose the state by a much bigger margin than she did. Since actual voting results from here won’t be announced until 8:00 p.m., I’ll do the first half of my 2019 prediction analysis now and save the rest for next hour:

Here goes…

10) The Democrats have assembled a group of candidates who make the field of 17 Republicans Trump mowed through in 2016 look like the Founding Fathers.

Update: This wasn’t really a prediction, just an assessment. The Dems shut out Tulsi Gabbard, their only candidate possessing either charisma or competence on the stump, early on. I assumed they would but I didn’t put it here–give me half a point.

9) On a related note, we’ve now had a good look at all the 2020 Dem contenders–none will be as good a candidate as Hillary Clinton, who was, in fact, a very strong candidate. (it was only after Election Day that she fell apart–getting back in this time will prove she’s the hardcore masochist I’ve always said Bill Clinton’s wife had to be.) There was a reason Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren didn’t get in last time. It wasn’t because they were the brave souls they’d need to be to take down Trump.

Update: This one’s still hinging on a Biden victory. I’ll grade it later.

8) Trump was outspent at least 2 to 1 in the 2016 general. This time, he will probably outspend his opponent by that much.

Update: I was wrong on this one. Trump’s been outspent by even more than last time–by some counts much more. Unless the info changes, I get no points on this one!

7) It’s almost impossible to see even one state that went for Trump last time flipping against him, while several states he lost (Minnesota and New Hampshire chief among them) are in serious play, even according to anti-Trump pollsters. The Dem candidate probably won’t even contest traditional swing states like Ohio and Iowa, which will give Trump more time in states he thinks are winnable.

Update: Again hinging on results….but I’ll be surprised if I can’t claim a point on this one.

6) By this time, Trump has avoided at least seven attempts by the Swamp to draw him/us into, or further into, a foreign war (Syria and Hong Kong cooled off just this week, following attempted ramp-ups in/with Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea, and at least two serious attempts to engage Iran). It’s unlikely he will be drawn at this point and his voting base will see that as a promise delivered–it will make up for any lack of a border wall, which I thought he needed more progress on (progress he may well get by election day anyway).

Update: I give myself a full point for this one. There were a couple of more attempts to draw Trump into a war…instead he forged numerous historic peace deals in the Middle East and the Balkans. And he got four hundred miles of border wall built. And yes, his base counted those as promises delivered.

So-o-o-o-o: 1 and a half points out of a possible three with two hinging. I’ll end up with either 30 percent (bad) or 70 (pretty good)…will check back later!

7:40 p.m.: Latest news has 86% of Dade County votes counted with Biden leading by 9%. Clinton won the country by 33% in 2016. Hmmmm….

8:10 p.m.: With the Panhandle just now beginning to report, the tied presidential race has moved to Trump having about a 66,000 vote lead. He was in better shape in 2016 at this point….but Broward is reporting 99% in. It will take a miracle for Biden to win…but I’m not calling it quite yet.

8:23 p.m.: Calling Florida for Trump. Will be interested in how long it will take CNN. Don’t have a tv hookup so if anyone is following them let me know.

9:11 p.m.: As of now, no major news org. has called Florida. Trump’s lead has only grown since I called it 45 minutes ago. It is mathematically impossible for Biden to win. On the other hand, Biden is looking very good in NC, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I’m starting to think it could be very close in the Electoral College….which is the recipe for a drawn out fight stretching into December.

9:37 p.m.: Just heard an interesting stat from an organization whose name I didn’t catch…of the counties that have reported 100% of their votes, Trump has gained 11 percent among Hispanics, 4% among Blacks. This is offset somewhat by his losing 4% among….wealthy whites. Strange days indeed.

10:16 p.m.: British betting markets, in Biden’s favor all day, has just flipped to Trump. Biden’s sizeable leads in Ohio and North Carolina have vanished. If Trump takes those states the Electoral College is virtually out of reach, though not impossible.

10:53 p.m.: Using CNN’s calls (still no Florida), and state by state data, I have Trump with 204 Electoral votes and Biden with 192. This is a very close replay of 2016. Whoever gets the close states will win. Trending Trump right now but certainly not out of reach for Biden.

11:45 p.m.: I now have Trump at 215 safe Electoral votes, Biden at 207. Still trending Trump…he’s leading in more than enough states to win. But I don’t know other states like I know Florida so I’m not calling the race yet. CNN has still not called Florida, which means that they have waited longer this time than in 2016, when Trump led, and ultimately won by a much smaller margin.

Nov. 4

12:45 a.m.: CNN still has not called Florida, though Fox and a few others have. They’ve stopped counting votes in Philadelphia, the old Chicago trick of finding out how many votes you need, which in this cse would be several hundred thousand.

12:49 a.m.: CNN calls Florida. I only beat them by two-and-a-half hours last time. This time, I beat them by four hours and change. Good times. I think I’m gonna celebrate with a pizza tomorrow night…I mean, later tonight.

I predict Trump will be declared the winner sometime around 2:30 a.m. That’s without PA.

2:05 a.m.: Well, Georgia and North Carolina have joined Philadelphia in stopping or stalling their vote counts so that leaves neither candidate with a path to victory tonight. Worst of all worlds but I’m going to bed!

Thanks to everyone who viewed, visited or commented. This was a big hit for the blog and well worthwhile!



In 2016, I monitored CNN’s county by county election map from first poll closings till well after the race was called some time after midnight.,

One interesting note is that I called my home state, Florida, at 9:00 p.m. CNN, which was providing the math I was using, didn’t call the state for Trump until 11:30, which was about when every other network called it.

I plan to take off work Tuesday night and, assuming CNN or some other source provides the same information, I will be doing the same this time, except I plan to live blog the experience. I want to give all my followers a heads up in case they want to follow along. Florida is expected to once again be both close and key this time around so it’s possible you will hear the result here first.

NOTE: I don’t intend this coverage to imply endorsement of either candidate, another way it will be different than all other “news” coverage. Hope you’ll join me!


Because human nature is really not hard to predict. From NBC news tonight regarding the toppling of U.S. Grant’s statue in San Francisco:

Demonstrators Topple Statues in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

…as predicted by me, three years ago.

(In other news, they got Cervantes, too. He was a former slave, but to Muslims, so that doesn’t count in a country where the majority of the population believes the United States invented slavery.)

Hey, Eddie. Before I leave this alone for a while….Remind ’em where we are now and just which road we’re on:


Because it’s not about the Confederacy…and it’s not about statues:

Liverpool’s Penny Lane…

Philadelphia’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution…


Don’t worry. If you don’t care about these, they’ll be around for you soon. Then you can scream “But I’m a liberal!” and give them a chance to say “We know. Thank you!”


…as memes circulate on social media comparing Antifa and BLM to the Sons of Liberty and the Allied soldiers at Normandy, and a few more of Bobby Lee’s statues are pulled down, that none of this is about the Confederacy. And none of it is about statues…

(In case you can’t tell–and it would be easy to see why not–this is the statue of Abraham Lincoln in London, as of yesterday. Remember, if the governments of nominally free people cannot defend even the smallest public space, there will be tyranny. Else there will be chaos…and then tyranny.)

And now back to our regular programming!


…And won’t that be fun!

But, for now, I’ll just beat the old drum.

We walked away from 1812 and 1865 and 1929 and 1941.

We never walked away from 1968. No matter how far away it seems one day, it will always come back the next…It’s not that I’m any sort of prophet. It’s just that I always pay attention to the guy who has a deal with the Devil. Because he always knows.

Riot away suckers!



…May be going down the tubes sooner than I thought. I’m not predicting a crack-up yet, but we do seem to be talking ourselves into it. It’s not exactly a conspiracy, let alone a conspiracy to end all conspiracies. There really does seem to be some kind of virus going round. If it manages to amplify again and again and again (and again and again and again) over the coming year, it might end up being as bad as the flu.

But the panic is real–and fully approved.

Remember, if enough people with enough power want the same thing, it usually happens one way or another. They don’t need to gather in smoky back rooms or get a group Twitter page. They just have to wait, watch and seize any opportunity to hand.

If nothing else works they’ll take away your toilet paper, your antibiotics, your pension to remind you of the consequences of venturing down any path they didn’t designate.

That’s all that’s happening now. The Overlords finally found a can they can tie to Donald Trump’s tail. I have no idea if he can shake this off. It’s not looking good so far…so all my previous predictions are off. P.T. Barnum (Trump’s real role model) once said there was a sucker born every minute and two to take him. My fellow citizens are now once more firmly on course to prove he was off by 59 seconds.

For now I can’t turn to Gene or Eddie…They were right of course, but now they’re for  the days when the crack-up is still a generation or two down the road. I’ll hope for a return to those sunnier days. Meanwhile…

Tell ’em Van:


[NOTE: I’ve been promising this one for a while and, barring truly unforeseen developments, it will be my major statement on Election Year 2020. Nothing much has changed since 2016 and I commented plenty then. I’ll probably still drop a humorous aside now and again. (Though with the clownish Democratic nomination process now winnowed down to Bernie and Biden, the clown show having predictably ended with the top clowns emerging from the pack, even the comedic value of the race is likely to diminish. The general election will consist of a cat toying with a half-dead mouse, which isn’t really my kind of humor). Short of assassination, the Overlords have shot their collective wad, so there isn’t much left to say. Donald Trump isn’t up against J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles. He is opposed by morons…and only morons. Get ready for four more years. For those who have other hopes, be warned that you will find no comfort in the following. But I can’t promise you wont learn something!]

Patton is treated as if he were the spirit of war, yet the movie begs the fundamental question about its hero: Is this man the kind of man a country needs when it’s at war?

(Pauline Kael, review of Patton, in The New Yorker, Jan. 31, 1970)

There is a soul to an army as well as to the individual man, and no general can accomplish the full work of his army unless he commands the soul of his men, as well as their bodies and legs. (William Tecumseh Sherman)

The secret of victory lies not wholly in knowledge. It lurks invisible in the vitalizing spark, intangible, yet evident as lightning–the warrior soul. (George S. Patton)

(Introductory quotes to The Soul of Battle, Victor Davis Hanson, 1999)

Pauline Kael was often good at distilling things to their essence. Her quote above is a  version of the Good Liberal’s Eternal Question, nearly as succinct as the Question itself:

Are we there yet?

Do we still need the Rough Beasts?

Can’t we just talk this out?

Is this the kind of man a country needs when it’s at war?

Hanson’s book, coming nearly thirty years later, evincing a knowledge of the movie Kael was reviewing, perhaps of the review itself, and certainly of the mindset behind the review, which Kael strove to represent, plays as a kind of professional military historian’s answer record.

And the historian’s answer?

Only if you want to win.

And therein lies the rub.

These days, Hanson, whose opinion of the movie wasn’t much different than Kael’s is better known as a political columnist. In twenty years, he’s gone from being a Truman/Kennedy style liberal to a Bush Republican to a solid Trump supporter, all without changing his basic views, though he’s sometimes been a little slow to recognize the speed at which history can leave a man behind while Empires are busy collapsing…or at very least evolving.

His contention all along has been that men like William Sherman and George Patton are in a long line of heroes produced by Western Civilization’s history and mythology going back to the Greeks. Such figures rise to the surface only when there’s a dirty job to be done and are soon dismissed once they are no longer deemed necessary.

I find the theory compelling, with a lot to support it (even if I have to assert the not insignificant caveat that it focuses only on those who succeeded in accomplishing Civilization’s reluctantly appointed tasks–Hitler himself was a bit of a rough cob after all). Sticking to winners, I’ve even expanded it a bit.

To the three subjects of Hanson’s original thesis, the ancient Theban Farmer General Epaminondas, Crazy Billy Sherman and Patton the Primitive, we can, just for starters, add the Heretic Joan of Arc, Savage Andy Jackson, the Drunkard Sam Grant, Lincoln the Rube, the Mad Bomber Curtis LeMay, Churchill the Warmonger.

Lincoln may have had the best answer to Are we there yet?, when, assailed by reports of Grant the Drunkard, Grant the Butcher, Grant the Unfeeling Monster willing to throw away his men’s lives without a second thought, said simply “I cant afford to lose this man. He fights!”

So it has been, again and again, and not just in history.

Hanson, trained as a classicist, also periodically makes reference to the lonely heroes of Greek mythology, from Homer and Sophocles on down, and of American westerns.

Again the connection is apt. It’s why the western endures and outstrips every other Hollywood genre in historical and emotional resonance: It’s why Ethan Edwards turns from the open door at the end of The Searchers; why Will Kane throws his badge in the dust of High Noon‘s street; why Shane rides out of the valley slumped over his saddle having rid that valley of guns the way Churchill fulfilled his pledge to “rid the world of his (Hitler’s) shadow,” only to be turned out of office by high-minded voters at the first opportunity once he had done just that.

I was surprised in 2015 and 2016 when Hanson took many months to recognize Donald Trump as one of his crude, vain, unpolished men (Rough Beast is my own designation) who step forward in Democracy’s hard, existential moments. Once he took on the task of explaining why Trump fit the mold (just before the 2016 election) it was easy enough. Compared to Patton or Sherman (a stout supporter of slavery, it was disunion he had issues with), or even Harry Truman, Trump’s a beacon of Enlightenment, a softy even. But he’ll do for the moment.

I think one problem Hanson had with Trump in the beginning was what I’ll call Tom Brokaw Syndrome, summed up by Brokaw’s pained, puzzled expression early in the 2016 primary season, when he was a guest on somebody’s MSNBC show and insisted Things just aren’t that bad! and it wasn’t yet clear just how many million people thought For you maybe.

Like a lot of intellectuals, Hanson wasn’t out front, but, unlike Brokaw and many others, he at least caught on.

If millions are voting for Trump, things must be worse than I thought.

And so they were. Like most professional historians who venture into political commentary, Hanson is much stronger on history than current events, just as Pauline Kael was much stronger on film criticism than philosophy.

Having no professional credentials myself–I really am just a blogger–I’ll take a moment to outline my own world view.

Start with the obvious.

The absence of any intelligentsia or punditry able to gauge his purpose, policies or effectiveness, is the principal reason Trump’s in a position to impose any purpose or policy at all. There’s no question Trump saw in our contemporary cultural collapse–a condition, as I’ve pointed out before, of which he may have been the single biggest beneficiary–a chance to do something unprecedented. While others of his generation with presidential ambitions went about pursuing them the same old way, becoming what the Overlords demanded, learning to take orders, he went about becoming himself. And when he was ready to present himself as a political candidate it was himself we got: crude, vain, ambitious…and proud of it!

Also supremely focused and ready to take his voice and his case straight to the People, whom he trusted, even worshiped, in a way no traditional politician could. That they trusted and worshiped him in return should be no surprise and, unless you really are invested in the idea that Professionalism is the Path of Progress, no cause for alarm.

And yet alarm rings through the land. It rings in the face of more peace, prosperity and security in a three-year stretch than anyone had even imagined possible in fifty-plus years of misgovernance, the last thirty-five better described as malgovernance, irrespective of who was in charge at any given moment.

It rings in the face of Reaganomics (put on Steroids by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who, post-Presidency, gorged themselves on eight and nine-figure personal fortunes as a reward for their services) having finally been proven a fraud; of Free Trade (never really Free and never really Trade) being punched in the nose; of North Korea going silent; of China backing down in a “trade war”; of high-ranking terrorists being killed at such an alarming rate that the last couple barely made headlines. The alarm rings in the face of prison reform, the best wage hikes in decades, low inflation, employment numbers that have disproportionately benefited minorities and poor people, a jobs training effort that threatens to lift millions out of poverty and off food stamps, etc. etc. etc.

It rings through constant talk, backed by occasional action, of bringing the boys home.

Boy does it ring through that.

At some point one is tempted to conclude that the old orthodoxies were not merely insufficient at solving problems but were imposed to create them.

So concluded Donald Trump. If you quaked at his coming or are bothered by his presence on what, after all, is not a battlefield–not a place were a Saint Joan or a Billy Sherman or a George Patton could see clearly the best way forward while others remained trapped in the orthodoxies of Good Taste and, even more hilariously, Decency–that probably means you were as comfortable with the old Narratives as the plantation class of Ye Olde Confederacy was with theirs. If you were a Liberal, then Reagan and the Bushes suddenly didn’t seem all that bad. If you were a Conservative then Obama or the Clintons the same. At least they all played by the same rules.

Those were the rules of the Grand Bargain, where, circa 1980, Democrats took the Culture and Republicans took the Economy. If one or the other happened to ascend for a moment they made sure to rig the game in a manner their putative opponents could recognize and everybody got fat (and protected from prosecution, no matter how many “investigations” were launched) so long as they stayed within the carefully constructed guidelines which certainly had nothing to do with preserving either the culture or the economy.

And meanwhile back at the D.C. Ranch?

Well something that called itself the Intelligence Community, nascent in the First World War, powerful by the end of the Second, “necessary” by the Dawn of the Cold War, had grown up inside the newly imperial government. Such an apparatus may not be necessary to a nation, certainly not to a free nation, but it is always crucial to the maintenance of an Empire.  Whether or not the leap to Empire, begun in the Spanish American War, taken as a given by the end of WWII, was a good idea is debatable, but the unwillingness to shoulder the moral burden–the pretense that we could maintain our notional idea of a Nation of Settlers (rather than Conquerors, or, more disingenuously, “Immigrants”) sufficiently well to keep everyone in line on the home front when it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice has proven disastrous. One does not need to be a Trumpian to realize he is a necessary corrective to decades of preening hypocrisy, endless war and the normalization of a two-tiered society where some have all and most have just enough to keep them voting for Republicans and Democrats, cycle after endless cycle (and turning to loony options like Socialists and Greens and Libertarians when they stray).

I confess I did not see him, or anyone like him, coming until he was here. I assumed the Overlords had stifled all dissent. When you find yourself with a lifetime of being asked to choose between Ronald Reagan or Walter Mondale, Bill Clinton or Bob Dole, Al Gore or George W. Bush, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, it becomes very easy to think the cage is strong enough no one can ever rattle it.

Besides it had all proceeded so smoothly.

The Empire had presented itself in neat epochs:

First Turning the Leap: 1945–1963

Second Turning the Sorting: 1963-1980

Third Turning the Frozen Silence: 1980-2016

I thought that 2016 would be a much later number, occurring sometime in the next 50-100 years, with the fourth turning coming when we collapsed within and the world’s new powers (China, India, the EU, maybe even Russia or some Mid-East coalition) moved in to mop up the leftovers.

Then came Trump…and all bets were off.

They still are. I am more or less in agreement with John Michael Greer, the sci-fi novelist and professional Druid who has been the sanest and most insightful commentator I’ve found on our current predicament–this is more likely a temporary speed-bump along the road to Decline and Fall than any kind of reversal.

But Trump has at least made it possible to think about national renewal and drawing down the Empire in such a way that the world doesn’t collapse into a series of smoking craters or piles of ash and bone. Like the necessary men who have come before him, he will only be redeemed by history if his side wins and after he is safely dead. If not, he’ll join history’s villains, as all the figures I mentioned above would have if their side had lost.

Heck half of them are reviled still (Churchill the Warmonger is now Churchill the Racist, Sherman, the most humane of the major Civil War generals is counted the bloodthirstiest, the faith Jeanne D’Arc was willing to die for proves she was a bigot, and so on and so on).

Since the matter of his victory or defeat will be purely political (as opposed to military or intellectual)–and the chance of any final victory (like the Survival of the American Experiment) is slim–Donald Trump will likely be an even more problematic figure.  My own prediction, safely rendered since none of us will live to see it confirmed or denied, is that his long-term legacy will be the question that consumes, perhaps vexes, whoever replaces us.

How did they ever let it come to this?

We are too close to the problem to do anything but stay in our corners and rant and rave and, once we are out of breath, suck our collective thumbs.

How those who will own the future answer that question will determine whether they last any longer than we did.

All I know is that, whatever happens in November, the die is cast. The Old Guard has come at Donald Trump with everything it has and he is stronger than ever. He’ll stand for re-election against either a Socialist version of George McGovern or an enfeebled version of Fritz Mondale.

The Grand Bargain has unraveled.

The Fourth Turning is here. The Rough Beast has come, like him, want him, need him or not. The more Peace and Prosperity he threatens us with, the louder will be the Tumult and the Shouting and the more certain he won’t be invited to any state dinners once we return to our Destiny.

Ain’t that a kick in the head.


The Washington Post, about sixteen years late, is shocked, shocked I say, that corruption has been going on in Afghanistan:

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

If you want all the details, find H.R. McMaster’s book Dereliction of Duty. (Yes, the same guy who forgot everything he knew while serving as Donald Trump’s chief of staff and got fired for precisely that reason). Dry read about the Viet Nam debacle, but if you change the names and dates it will all be there.

Meanwhile, if Trump wants to become a truly transformational President, he should listen to Freda and do what his base has begged him to do from day one.

Tell ’em Freda. One more time:


(*aka Deep Throat)

“Follow the money.”

I confess the ferocity with which the Swamp State has responded to Donald Trump has (unlike their clown-car incompetence) continues to surprise me a bit. That is, until I remember something Winston Churchill or Mark Twain or some other of those wise old heads who is forever being quoted for things they didn’t say really should have said:

“The obvious answer is almost always the right answer.”

I have NO idea whether that bit of analysis at the link, from what appears to be a fringe-right website, is true. But it makes more sense than anything else I’ve heard.

In which case Donald Trump’s message to the Deep State has been clear all along, ringing through the hall at the close of every rally he’s ever held: