August 6, 2016

Trump’s Ryan Endorsement: A Theory (And Yes, It Is Possible That Ryan Will Lose)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:49 pm

Yesterday, Donald Trump endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan in the contested First Congressional District Primary in Wisconsin to get the GOP establishment off his back.

But “Ryan’s team, was unenthusiastic about it, telling Breitbart News that the Speaker ‘appreciates the gesture.’”

Today, outspoken Trump supporter Ann Coulter stumped for Ryan’s opponent, Paul Nehlen, just ahead of the Tuesday, August 9 Congressional primary.

The theory here is that Trump knows or is at least pretty certain that Nehlen has the upper hand or is pretty close to having it. The suspicion here is that the establishment also knows it (but won’t admit it), despite the polling discussed below.

If Ryan wins in a close race, Trump can say, “I saved him.”

If Ryan loses, he can say, “Well, I tried, and I couldn’t control my supporters’ preferences in races like these beyond endorsing Ryan and hoping they considered it. And I really had no idea he was in any real danger of losing.” (Because no one “in the know” will admit that Ryan is in any danger of losing, despite Eric Cantor’s 12-point loss to then-unknown challenger David Brat in 2014.)

So now it’s a win for Trump either way.

Ryan supposedly has a 66-point polling lead. Cantor had a polling lead of 34 points shortly before Election Day. There was a 46-point swing (+34 to -12) from polling to reality. A historical swing like that takes quite a bite out of that alleged 66-point lead — and the American electorate (but to be clear, not necessarily the WI-01 electorate) is far angrier now at Washington and the single party disguised as two environment there than it was two years ago.

Anyone who thinks that an aroused electorate in a low-turnout primary can’t make up that difference hasn’t been paying attention. I’m not saying that an upset will happen, but based on the math alone, it would be foolish to dismiss the once unthinkable possibility.

Four years ago, Paul Ryan won his uncontested primary race with almost 66,000 votes.

In the 2012 general election, he got 200,000 votes. His opponents got 164,000. 158K, or 43%, went to his Democratic opponent. (That’s right; Ryan got only 55 percent of the general election vote.)

It appears based on the rules as explained two years ago that anyone can vote in the Republican primary, as long as they vote in all races for candidates representing only that party.

So just short of 300,000 general election voters who did not vote for Ryan in the August 2012 primary (135K additional Republicans who voted for Ryan in the general and 164K  who didn’t) have an opportunity to vote for his opponent this coming Tuesday.

And for that matter, who can say how many of Ryan’s 66,000 primary supporters in 2012 are now disenchanted?

Positivity: Louisiana court upholds priest’s ‘seal of confession’ rights

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 pm

From Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

Aug 4, 2016 / 12:52 am

A state appeals court in Louisiana reaffirmed that Catholic priests cannot be forced by law to violate the seal of the confessional.

According to local news station WBRZ, the court ruled on Friday that Father Jeff Bayh does not have to disclose any discussion that took place during the Sacrament of Confession.

Catholic priests are bound to observe the seal of confession and cannot reveal to anyone the contents of a confession or whether a confession took place. Priests who violate the seal are automatically excommunicated.

At issue is a civil lawsuit involving a woman who said that in 2008, when she was a minor, she told Fr. Bayhi that she was being abused by a parishioner. The alleged conversation with the priest took place during the Sacrament of Confession. The woman is now in her mid-20s.

Louisiana law requires clergy to report sexual abuse. Parts of the law grant an exception when abuse allegations are revealed during confidential religious communication such as confession. However, other parts of the state code require mandatory reporting “notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication,” the New Orleans Advocate reports.

The young woman and her family sued the priest and the diocese for damages, saying they were negligent in allowing the abuse to continue, The Times-Picayune newspaper reports. The estate of the man who allegedly molested the woman is also named in the suit. The accused man died in 2009.

A trial court had denied the diocese’s motion to prevent any plaintiffs from testifying about any confessions that may have taken place between the then-minor and the priest. However, a state appeals court had ruled that the alleged confession was legally confidential and that the priest was not a mandatory reporter. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (080616)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.