Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fake News

Eli,

Harry Reid today:

Harry Reid: The Trump Campaign ‘Was In On’ Russia’s Election Hacking

Harry Reid four years ago:

Harry Reid says anonymous source told him Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years

 Sigh.

Bill

Another Exploding Head

Eli,

Another sober reaction to Trump

I view Trump’s election as the most grievous blow that the American idea has suffered in my lifetime. The Kennedy and King assassinations and the 9/11 attacks were crimes and tragedies. The wars in Vietnam and Iraq were disastrous mistakes. But the country recovered. For a democratic process to elevate a man expressing total disregard for democratic norms and institutions is worse.

Worse than assassinations, 9/11, Vietnam and Iraq.

Ok.

Bill

The Good News About Trump

Eli,

Since November 8th the one thing I have been greatly looking forward to is the head explosions of some of the best and brightest of the Left.

Like this guy:

But we ought to be able to look both forward and back, to criticize both the way Mr. Trump gained power and the way he uses it. Personally, I’m still figuring out how to keep my anger simmering — letting it boil over won’t do any good, but it shouldn’t be allowed to cool. This election was an outrage, and we should never forget it.

I have not been disappointed. 

I still think the simplest explanation for Clinton's loss is the best and it's summed up in this headline:

Your Candidate Was Crap. Deal With It.
Bill



Thursday, November 10, 2016

This ain't gerrymandering.

Eli,

This ain't gerrymandering. From The Center for Public Integrity
Despite an aggressive financial push from Democrats, Republicans cemented their dominance of the nation’s governors’ mansions in elections Tuesday, ending the night with their highest number of governorships since 1922.
Bill

“Hillary, you’re a lawyer. This country needs you to stand up and walk into the Supreme Court and say: ‘One vote equals one vote!’ What is wrong with that? What’s the debate?”

Eli,

I'm still laughing.

Watch This Anti-Trump Protestor Completely Lose His Mind On TV

Bill





Clinton v Trump v Romney v Obama

Eli,

I thought this was fascinating, from The Hill:

Even so, Clinton appears to have underperformed President Obama’s showing in 2012 by about 6 million votes. Those people did not go to Trump. He got roughly 1 million fewer votes than Romney, that year’s GOP nominee. For whatever reason, Democratic voters who backed Obama simply didn’t come out for Clinton — and it is cold comfort that she is set to defeat Trump by a small margin in the popular vote.
The Democrats, as a party, have been smoked since 2010. Lost the Senate, House, now the Presidency. GOP controls two-thirds of the governor-ships and state legislatures. That ain't gerrymandering.

I've expressed skepticism in the past about this demographic destiny argument for the Democrats, and I remain skeptical.

I'm dreading the buckets of ink being spilled on what went wrong for the Democrats. I would urge them to not ignore the obvious:
1) The People don't like the policies Democrats promote
2) The People don't like Hilary. She was a really untrustworthy, morally bankrupt candidate. So much so that she lost to Donald Trump an untrustworthy, morally bankrupt candidate.

Forget about white rage, or George Parker's WWC or racism or manufacturing employment or Citizen's United, or the Koch Bros. or Bernie's MILLIONAIRES and BILLIONAIRES or all the other Tourette's syndrome arguments the Left makes. Remember Occam's razor.

Bill 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Commute

Eli,

Election Day and the trains were much emptier than usual. Maybe everyone is hiding their heads in shame for being so reckless and irresponsible in nominating Trump and Clinton.

My daughter asked who I'm going to vote for. I told her I may not vote. I'm too embarrassed by the choices.

Bill

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Quote of The Day (and Maybe the Election)

Anger works like gasoline. If you use it intelligently and in a controlled manner, you can move the world. That’s called progress. Or you just spill it about and ignite it, creating spectacular explosions. That’s called arson.
   
                                                            What Do Trump and Marx Have in Common?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

De-legitimizing voting results.

Eli,

Trump is now being rightly criticized for calling the elections rigged against him. All of the left-wing fainting couches are occupied at the sheer irresponsibility of Trump trying to de-legitimize the pending win of Clinton. And I agree, it is irresponsible. But not that unusual.

Andrew Jackson won the popular vote in 1824 versus John Q. Adams but lost the electoral college vote and spent the next four years screaming about a "corrupt bargain." The Democrats in the South were so troubled by the legitimacy of Lincoln's election they decided to start a civil war. Hayes v Tilden in 1876 was decided by fraudulent results in Florida (of course). Chester Arthur was accused of being born in Canada. (Proving that  birther movements aren't necessarily driven by racism).

And recently we have Democrats asserting for eight years George W. Bush was not the real President because the election was stolen by the Supreme Court.

My favorite however, is the NY Times in particular, which has spent, since the shellacking suffered by the Democrats in 2010 much ink on claiming the Republican control of the House is not legitimate because of gerrymandering.

Yes, I agree, Trump is a buffoon and a sore loser. So are others.

Bill

PS
Trump reminds me of Jackson: Loud, ignorant, boorish, bigoted full of populist nonsense and economically illiterate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"This Piece of Human Garbage"

Eli,

This tweet storm from @mbglenn has made it's way around the tubes of the interweb. Nothing I disagree with. What strikes me however is this: We've known for decades Trump is a bloviating ignoramus (thanks George Will). We've known for decades Trump is a racist misogynist. (thanks Howard Stern). We've known for decades Trump is a corrupt crony capitalist. We've known for decades Trump is a Democrat mercantilist with foolish, ignorant views on trade and the economy. I guess there's always a last straw and I guess for many it was the Billy Bush tape. I'm glad they've finally recognized what this piece of human garbage has been saying for 30 years. But it's too bad this Saul on the road to Tarsus moment didn't come when this clown rode down the escalator June of last year and pronounced Mexicans were rapists and murderers.

The Republicans got what they wanted. They wanted a belligerent, anti-immigrant, non-politician. Congratulations GOP. You got him.

Here is the cut and paste of @mbglenn:

So let me get this straight: I, a conservative female, have spent years defending the Republican Party against claims of sexism. 1/

When I saw Republican men getting attacked I stood up for them. I came to their defense. I fought on their behalf. 2/

I fought on behalf of a movement I believed in. I fought on behalf of my principles while other women told me I hated my own sex. 3/

Not only charges of sexism, but I defended @marcorubio during Go8, I fought in my state to stop the @ScottWalker recall, etc…

Now some Trojan horse nationalist sexual predator invades the @GOP, eating it alive, and you cowards sit this one out? 5/ 
He treats women like dogs, and you go against everything I – and other female conservatives – said you were & back down like cowards. 6/

Get this straight: We don’t need you to stand up for us, YOU needed to stand up for us for YOU. For YOUR dignity. For YOUR reputation. 7/

Jeff Sessions says that he wouldn’t “characterize” Trump’s unauthorized groping of women as “assault.” Are you kidding me?! 8/

Others try to rebuke his comments, yet STILL choose to vote for a sexual predator - because let’s be honest, that’s what he is. 9/

"What he said is wrong, and the way he treats women is wrong, but it’s not wrong enough for me to not vote for him." Thanks, cowards. 10/

Various men in the movement are writing it off as normal, confirming every stereotype the left has thrown at them. So I'm done. 11/

I'm sooo done. If you can’t stand up for women & unendorse this piece of human garbage, you deserve every charge of sexism thrown at you. 12

I’m just one woman, you won’t even notice my lack of presence at rallies, fair booths, etc., You won’t really care that I’m offended 13/

by your silence, and your inability to take a stand. But one by one you’ll watch more women like me go, & you’ll watch men of 14/

ACTUAL character follow us out the door. And what you’ll be left with are the corrupt masses that foam at the mouth every time you step 15/

Outside the lines. Men who truly see women as lesser beings, & women without self-respect. & your “guiding faith” & "principles" will be 16/

Attached to them as well. And when it’s all said and done, all you’ll have left is the party The Left always accused you of being. Scum. 17/

CC: @SpeakerRyan @tedcruz @marcorubio @SpeakerRyan @Reince And every other tool refusing to unendorse this monster. 17/X

Bill

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Where Does the NY Times (and Trump) Come Up With This Garbarge?

Eli,

From your favorite propagandist:

But trade comes with no assurances that the spoils will be shared equitably. Across much of the industrialized world, an outsize share of the winnings have been harvested by the well-off, while ordinary laborers have borne the costs.

 Good lord we can look at HUNDREDS of years of history across geographies and cultures and find OVERWHELMING evidence FREE TRADE IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE-INCLUDING POOR PEOPLE, you boobs at the NY Times (and Donald Trump and Hillary and Bernie).

Jesus Mary and Joseph you don't need a PhD to understand  the ability of a poor person to buy abundant high quality goods from around the world is good for that poor person.

Will everyone stop being so damned stupid about this?

Bill

Who Needs to Watch the Debate When We Have Twitter

Eli,

Rather than watch two narcissistic, NY liberal Democrat, pathological liars shout at each other for 90 minutes I helped my daughter prepare for her American History test, then went to sleep.

But the even better news is Twitter gave me a summary of everything I missed; Which turns out, I missed nothing.

From The Federalist

Bil.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare

Eli,

This is rich. From The Hill,

Democrats are beginning to talk about changing ObamaCare to fix what they acknowledge are growing problems in the law’s insurance marketplaces.

Insurers have been dropping out of ObamaCare or hiking their premiums this year due to financial losses, fueling Republican criticism of the law ahead of the November elections.

While Democrats are pushing back at the GOP attacks, they are also expressing hope that Republicans will work with them to make fixes to the law when the new Congress convenes in 2017.
It brings more than a few things to mind. One is the constant criticism towards anyone every suggesting any change to Obamacare. This reaction is as good as any over the past few years

Asked about today’s events, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “Republicans are poised to host another vote in the United States Congress today for the 60th time to repeal Obamacare. It’s almost like it’s Groundhog Day, except today it is actually Groundhog Day and they’re doing it again.”
 Democrats have acted as if the ACA is the Torah, unalterable. Except of course, when they want to change it.

The other reaction I have is, "Told you so."

And the last reaction?  I'll let President Obama handle that one.

Bill

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Luke 16:10 Election

Eli,

I know the supporters of Trump want to point out how bad Clinton is. And they are right.

I know the supporters of Clinton want to point out how bad Trump is. And they are right also.

Both of these are fundamentally dishonest people and I'm not convinced either is competent at governing.

I heard this this morning, from Luke 16:10

"The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones."

In matters large and small both of these candidates are dishonest and untrustworthy.

Bill

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What Does The Donald Most Remind You Of?

In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals... In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks. The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.                                                                                                                                                                            -Jane Goodall


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Three Visions of Government

Bill,

From David Brooks interview with Charlie Rose on Tuesday (you know how much we moderate Democrats love Brooks).

We have one liberal movement that believes in using government to create more equality. Then we have a conservative movement to reduce government to enhance more freedom. But in American history there's been a third movement... Hamilton, the Whig Party the early Republican Party through Teddy Roosevelt... which was using limited but energetic government to enhance social mobility, to give poor boys and girls a change to rise and succeed..that tradition is out there, waiting to be embraced.

Maybe that movement will arise from the wreckage of the Republican party after the election. Then again, maybe not.

Eli 



Friday, August 5, 2016

A Little History

Bill,

A few summers ago I read Stacy's Schiff's excellent biography of Cleopatra. It's a life Hollywood couldn't have dreamed up. The ancient queen, singlehandedly withstood the relentless pressure of the greatest empire in history, mostly by enthralling the supreme warrior of that empire in a prison of eroticism and desire. With Caeser's murder, alas, her destiny reversed. Marc Antony  proved to be an effete champion, and an idiot tactician in choosing  to battle Augustus at sea.

For this reader, Schiff's account of the Battle of Actium is instructive not so much for the details of the battle itself but for the relentless and decisive effect of Augustus' pressure beforehand. Large parts of Antony's force were only in it for the money; as his chances grew dimmer,  the desertions increased in tandem. Cassius Dio writes:

Philadelphus, king of Paphlagonia, and meanwhile Gnaeus Domitius... transferred his allegiance also... he created the impression that it was because of his disapproval of the situation on the side on which he was that he had deserted to the other, for many others followed his example...

In the critical moment Antony fled the battle with Cleopatra, breaking through Agrippa's line for Alexandria. A year later, he paid for his choice with his life.

The anniversary of the battle of Actium is September 2. By then, how large will have grown the abandonment of the Antony of our day? How great will his cowardice prove to be?

Eli


Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Choice

Bill,

Republicans across the country , including several of our loved ones, continue to struggle mightily with the increasingly ominous implications of their party's nominee for President. I don't need to add to the Greek chorus of voices predicting the maelstrom to come should Trump ascend to the Presidency. And I have no desire to denigrate the conservative's sense of horror and disgust should Secretary Clinton be the chosen one. That is what many millions of my countrymen believe. It's a fool's errand to try and convince them otherwise. Even this Hilary supporter won't argue; her flaws are numerous, her character, at least her public character, remains hard to embrace.

But the events of the last few weeks have placed the Hobson's choice for Republicans front and center. The choice isn't about their beliefs; their candidate has none save his own insatiable need for self-aggrandizement.. It isn't about the end of their way of life, which won't change much. It isn't about the ongoing economic agonies of white working class America. They are unlikely  to improve if Mr Trump takes the oath next Jan 20th, and perhaps not if Mrs Clinton does.

It is simply, about this; will they take the unprecedented risk of placing the full power and promise (yes there is still plenty of promise in America) in a fellow so devoid of conscience or basic decency?

Eli
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Calling Bill Moyers

Eli,

From CNBC:

Donald Trump asked a foreign policy expert advising him why the U.S. can't use nuclear weapons, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said on the air Wednesday, citing an unnamed source who claimed he had spoken with the GOP presidential nominee.

"Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked at one point if we had them why can't we use them," Scarborough said on his "Morning Joe" program.
Scarborough then asked a hypothetical question to Hayden about how quickly nuclear weapons could be deployed if a president were to give approval.

"It's scenario dependent, but the system is designed for speed and decisiveness. It's not designed to debate the decision," Hayden said .

So many excellent ways to attack Trump. This one is ripe for Bill Moyers.

Bill

Monday, July 25, 2016

McArdle: Democratic Machine Chose Clinton Long Ago. But Why?

Eli,

Lots to agree with in Megan McArdle's piece today, including this:

The Democrats chose Clinton. Indeed, her party actively beat back alternatives, funneling all the money and the attention to Clinton, who brought all the well-known Clinton baggage with her, and sadly, did not bring any of her husband’s charm, charisma, or skill at working an audience.

The GOP has a lot to answer for, nominating a racist know-nothing to be President. Why would the Democrats nominate just about the only person in the world who could lose to a racist know-nothing? Well maybe Bernie would lose to him as well. But that makes the question even more befuddling. What in the world is going on with the Democrats that the two candidates they like most were a completely unlikable, ethically challenged harpy or a self-avowed socialist?

Bill

We are still doomed.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

War on America

Eli,

From the Washington Post: (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/23/cops-took-more-stuff-from-people-than-burglars-did-last-year/)

"Here's an interesting factoid about contemporary policing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than burglars did."

Civil asset forfeitures began as a tool for the War on Drugs. It morphed into this Frankenstein. Not our only Frankenstein, unfortunately. The War on Terror resulted in drone attacks on American citizens, legalized assassinations, bulk data collection of our phone records and continued infringement of multiple rights enumerated in the Constitution.

War on Poverty, War on Terror, War on Drugs, War on Crime. War on America. 

Now your congresswoman has declared War on Mosquitos. Not joking. 

Bill

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Clinton v Trump

Eli,

My 16 year old daughter on our horrible choice:

At least Clinton sounds like a reasonable person. Trump sounds like a 10-year old screaming into an X-Box.

Bill

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fanciful Thinking

Eli,

Parts of this were interesting, like this:

Whether you agree with the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 or not (there are plenty of arguments that these were not the best ways to expand coverage to the poor and the elderly), it is indisputable that both programs poured enormous sums of new money into the health-care system and dramatically raised demand for services.

Not surprisingly, increased demand without a corresponding growth of supply resulted in rising prices. This is axiomatic in any market, but it seems to have taken the experts by surprise.
And that, it seems to me, is the problem with almost any proposals made about health care including the recent proposal by President Obama to add a public option to the ACA and Bernie's idea of Medicare for all. There is plenty of evidence, going back thousands of years, in different cultures, geographies, and political systems that if prices are reduced, and supply doesn't increase, prices will increase. And that is exactly what most politicians are proposing, in one way or another, for medical care: mandating lower prices for consumers and thinking somehow that won't have an impact on demand and/or supply. It really is quite an extraordinary assumption and one contradicted by thousands of years of evidence.

It's the same type of fanciful thinking on the minimum wage, or mandated family leave, or renewable fuel standards. If the government says the minimum wage shall double, demand for labor will decline. Period. Even the proponents of the minimum wage, like you, know this because if you really thought the increase in the minimum wage had NO impact on labor demand you would raise the minimum wage to $20/hour or $50K per year. Heck, mandate wages have to be $300K per year. In the fanciful world of politicians where increased prices have no impact on demand, we would all be wealthy at the stroke of a pen. Mandated family leave will raise labor prices and lower labor demand. Period. Increasing renewable fuel standards raises fuel costs. Period.

If you say to me, I'm going to eliminate the price mechanism in health care and ration care via waiting times and/or eliminating payment for certain care, at least you would be honest. Or if you say, I think the minimum wage is one of equity and I'm willing to hurt some in order to help others, that would be honest.

But that isn't what is proposed, and instead we get fundamentally dis-honest arguments about health care, trade, immigration, energy and labor from Clinton, Trump and Obama.


Bill

Monday, June 13, 2016

Humourless Sanctimoniousness

Eli,

Saw this about your favorite columnist. His dishonesty is the reason I stopped reading him a few years ago.

Bill

Trickle Down Racism

Eli,

Mitt Romney has the line of the year. Speaking of #BabyTrump:

Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle down racism and trickle down bigotry and trickle down misogyny — all of these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America.
#BabyTrump hates Romney, probably because Romney is everything Trump isn't. Romney is decent, Trump is vile. Romney is a successful businessman, Trump is a fraud. Romney has principles, Trump doesn't. Romney is smart, Trump is dumb. Romney is serious, Trump is frivolous.

But the GOP wanted Romney, and now they want a lesser version of Romney. Way to go GOP. Way to go.

Bill

Friday, June 10, 2016

Why Do Bernie and Hilary Hate Poor People?

Eli,

This is from the EIA






Shale gas and tight oil requires hydraulic fracturing. Bernie wants to ban fracking because he heard it's bad. Didn't hear it from the EPA which has studied fracking and found it safe. 60 years of fracking in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota and elsewhere and somehow those states have survived. Yet still, the environmentalists don't like it because, SCIENCE!

Ban fracking and oil and gas prices will rise, gas more than oil. That will hurt the poor more than anyone else since they'll pay more for heating, and the plastics made from gas. Plus the middle class manufacturing jobs dependent on gas exploration, production and processing will decline as well.

Fortunately for us all Bernie won't be President. Unfortunately for us, Hilary is adopting just about every ill-advised economic idea Bernie has (meaning all of them) as her own.

Why do Bernie and Hilary hate poor people?

Bill


Why Does Krugman Hate Women?

Eli,

My life is much calmer, and I'm much smarter since I stopped reading your favorite NY Times columnist.

Maybe the election is about angry white men versus women. I don't think it is, but what do I know. I think Trump is a fool and is an obvious fool no one would ever seriously consider for the Presidency. I think Bernie's economic views are delusional and could only possibly appeal to the young and ignorant, but I repeat myself. I think Hilary is the most unlikable candidate since Richard Nixon, and excluding Trump, the most dishonest as well  and yet the majority of the Democratic Party finds her the best one to compete against the worst the Republicans can offer. Or, they are nominating the only candidate who can possibly lose to Trump.

So maybe he's right and this all comes down to angry white men vs. women. Well I'm white, and while not angry I'm usually cranky (think Bernie on level 6 instead of level 11) and I will not be voting Trump. My wife is female and finds Hilary (and Trump) repugnant and Bernie ridiculous. My eldest daughter and youngest daughter dislike Hilary. My son is for Bernie, a super-majority of my sisters despise Hilary more than I do.

Yea, I know, my limited sample is not relevant, except to me, of course. Maybe he's right and women voters are so shallow they will vote only for a woman. Kind of a nasty thing to say though. Why does Krugman hate women? Maybe angry white men are angry because of women. Not quite sure what the mechanism of action is.

I have the sinking feeling that's how this horror show of an election will be framed: angry white men versus women. Ugh. Great, we can focus on that silliness instead of the real problems we face. I think I'll ignore the next five months and concentrate on other things.

Bill.


Quote of the Day

Bill

From my left wing favorite New York Times columnist 

 "...this is going to be mostly an election about identity. The Republican nominee represents little more than the rage of white men over a changing nation. And he’ll be facing a woman — yes, gender is another important dimension in this story — who owes her nomination to the very groups his base hates and fears."

Eli


Monday, June 6, 2016

Larry Summers Mugged by Reality.

Eli,

Larry Summers asks why the Anderson Bridge in Boston is taking so long to rebuild.

How, we ask, could our society have regressed to the point where a bridge that could be built in less than a year one century ago takes five times as long to repair today? Here are some of the reasons that have contributed to the delay:

In order to adhere to strict historical requirements overseen by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation had to order special bricks, cast by a company in Maine, to meet special size and appearance specifications from the bridge’s inception in 1912.

At the same time, extensive permitting and redesigns haven’t helped. For instance, once construction had already started on the bridge, the contractor, Barletta Heavy Division, discovered that an existing water main would need to be relocated. With the subsequent change order and additional Massachusetts Water Resources Authority permitting processes, an additional 357 days were tacked on to the original contract completion date.

To cap it off, after resisting for years the inclusion of pedestrian underpasses in bridge rehabilitation, MassDOT changed course in 2014 and agreed to revise the design so as not to preclude the construction of an underpass in the future. The contractor then had to move a major utility pipe so that an underpass could fit underneath; meanwhile, another 256 days of delay were added to the project. The entire project is now 22 months behind schedule.
Made me think of Irving Kristol's comments about being mugged by reality.

Bill

Friday, June 3, 2016

Shocker: McConnell worries Trump could ruin GOP's relationship with Hispanics

Eli,

From The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) worries Donald Trump could ruin the Republican party's relationship with Hispanic voters....

"I think the attacks that he's routinely engaged in, for example, going after Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, the chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, I think, was a big mistake," McConnell added.
And let's not forget this from the Wall Street Journal

In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.
 How the GOP could have chose the worst person in the world to run against Grandma is beyond me.

Bill

Delusion of #BabyTrump Voters

Eli,

The Atlantic talks to a Libertarian who supports Trump,

For me personally, it's resistance against what San Francisco has been, and what I see the country becoming, in the form of ultra-PC culture. That’s where it's almost impossible to have polite or constructive political discussion.  Disagreement gets you labeled fascist, racist, bigoted, etc. It can provoke a reaction so intense that you’re suddenly an unperson to an acquaintance or friend. There is no saying “Hey, I disagree with you,” it's just instant shunning. Say things online, and they'll try to find out who you are and potentially even get you fired for it. Being anti-PC is not about saying “I want you to agree with me on these issues.” It's about saying, “Hey, I want to have a discussion and not get shouted down because I don't agree with what is considered to be politically correct.”
When asked why he thinks electing a vulgar, short-fingered, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, bloviating ignoramus would help, he responds:

Having Trump in the White House would both give me more confidence to speak my own opinion and more of a shield from instantly being dismissed as a racist/xenophobe/Nazi (all three things I have been called personally)....

...with President Trump, I think our national dialogue will likely move away from being blanketly PC.
I think he's delusional.

Bill

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scapegoating Mexicans and the Koch Brothers.

Eli,

Paul Ryan will vote for  #BabyTrump.

Donald Trump and I have talked at great length about things such as the proper role of the executive and fundamental principles such as the protection of life. The list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released after our first meeting was very encouraging.

Later in the evening The Wall Street Journal reported on the respect #BabyTrump has for an independent judiciary.

Donald Trump on Thursday escalated his attacks on the federal judge presiding over civil fraud lawsuits against Trump University, amid criticism from legal observers who say the presumptive GOP presidential  nominee’s comments are an unusual affront on an independent judiciary.

Ryan says he can't support Grandma.

A Clinton White House would mean four more years of liberal cronyism and a government more out for itself than the people it serves.
 Instead, he's going to support #BabyTrump's cronyism. #BabyTrump wants to investigate Amazon.com for antitrust violations because the Washington Post, owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon has been critical of#BabyTrump. He wants to engage in a trade war with China benefiting the few at the expense of the many. He wants to allow Keystone as long as the US gets a cut. And it goes on, and on, and on.

I get it. Grandma is awful. But that doesn't mean any other option is better.

I was hoping that maybe the only good thing to come out of this election is Congress would grow a pair. That seems unlikely. The GOP wants to bow to a vulgar, short-fingered bloviating ignoramus. The Dems are in thrall to someone equally venal, self-absorbed, self-centered and amoral.

It probably won't impact us that much. We are older, wealthier, less likely to feel the impact of all the awful policies of both of these numbskulls and their anencephalic supporters. But our kids, our poor kids. We are robbing them of the future we had and blaming who: Mexicans and the Koch Brothers.

How did we get here?

Bill

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bernie's Brown Shirts

Bill,

I've tried hard to like Bernie, and to be open minded about his ideas. Some of them, to put it plainly, are not only unrealistic but so fraught with unintended consequences as to qualify as dangerous if not outright stupid. Listening to Bernie's passionate polemics has even led me to change my position on single payer health insurance, although not in the way that Bernie would have hoped for. An incremental approach, beginning with a public option, would satisfy my goals.

Even as a Hillary supporter, I'd been willing to tolerate his eagerness to dig yet further into my pockets, his outrageous demonization of the nations' entire financial sector, and his dismissal of Democrats of color who just don't seem interested in his agenda.

But he is losing, and losing badly. He's been losing badly since Super Tuesday. Now, the man who so passionately laments the dearth of democracy in our political system employs every specious argument the can find support his continued presence in the race. The fact that Hillary has garnered 3 million more votes from those pesky Black Democrats, doesn't seem to matter. He and his supporters are not going to get their way. Their answer? Online harassment of those who disagree with them, viciousness toward their opponents, gleeful misogyny, and death threats. Sanders response? Lots of excuses but no willingness to accept responsibility. Sounds like the favorite tactics of another presidential candidate we have already heard from way too much.

No doubt most Sanders voters are genuine, passionate, well meaning supporters of the causes he espouses, who understand that democracy only works when the losers accept the will of the majority in exchange for basic protections of their rights. But there is a sinister faction among his supporters who have no interest in such niceties. They want their way. They don't care what anyone else wants, and they don't really care how they get it. Sanders in turn hasn't don't nearly enough to disavow their attitude and tactics. That's an ideology, that has way more too much in common with the wrong kind of  socialism.

Eli

  

If you’ve ever thought about terrorism in your life we can kill you in a drone strike.

Eli,

More from  Jeremy Scahill’s talk at the Commonwealth Club.

This from around minute 44:30 of the podcast

Obama has before compared the drone program to dealing with the sniper on a roof of the building who was pointing the rifle at children on a  playground. And he says, 'you know, I understand what the ACLU’s objections are, and human rights people and stuff. But do we need to go to a judge to get authorization to take that shooter down before he kills a bunch of kids on a playground. No, we don’t.' And I think, I would imagine that everyone in this room agrees with that. If you have someone who's going to kill a bunch of kids and they’re a sniper, and they are not responding to any kind of attempts to put the rifle down. People probably in this society overwhelmingly would say, Yes, if we need to kill that person, we’ll kill them.
The problem is that it’s a fake analogy. They have never provided a shred of evidence that a single person they have killed with a drone strike represented an imminent threat to US persons or the security of United States. They have never given a shred of evidence to suggest that they killed someone en route to putting a bomb on a plane. Now if, I guarantee you,  because this White House leaks like crazy, if they had that evidence they would put it out there.
And that’s fine. If their standard was just, We’re killing people that we think maybe in the future might in certain circumstances try to encourage others to commit acts of terrorism. If that was the policy, OK that’s what they’re doing. But that’s not what they say the policy is. They say the policy is we are targeting people who represent an imminent, imminent is their word, threat to US interests, US persons, and US facilities around the world.
If that’s the standard you have to ask what’s the definition of the word imminent. There was a white paper that the Justice Department leaked in advance of John Brennan’s nomination, or confirmation hearing to be CIA Director, that had a definition of the word imminent that not even the most barely literate English speaker would  recognize as the definition of imminent. It basically was like if you’ve ever thought about terrorism in your life we can kill you in a drone strike.

Earlier in the talk he discusses the Terror Watch List. It's an opaque process on how someone gets on, or off the Terror Watch List. Scahill says there are a million people on the list and 20,000 are US citizens.

The Dems in CT are up in arms about people on the Terror Watch List buying guns. I think they are focusing on the wrong issue. The real issue is how people get on the Terror Watch List. What judicial process is used to determine someone should be watched as if he were a terrorist?

So now we should worry about the Trump Kill List AND the Trump Terror Watch List. And electing Hilary doesn't change the fear I have about our Government's increasing infringement of our civil liberties.

Bill

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ain't No Such Thing as a Democratic Cruise Missile and a Republican Cruise Missile

Eli,

As you know I strongly oppose this and the previous administration's use of drones in targeted killings, or in plain language, assassinations.

Jeremy Scahill was at The Commonwealth Club talking about his book, “The Assassination Complex.” Scahill talks about the drone program, started under Bush, expanded under Obama. He mentions all of the candidates for President support the program. Including Bernie Sanders, who was asked directly if he supported President’s Obama’s Kill List. Bernie said yes.

The whole podcast is worth a listen, but especially this, starting around minute 38.

He has spent his credibility dollars to normalize assassination as a central component of American foreign-policy and has managed to codify as the law of the land policies that Dick Cheney would've never been able to enact, and anything even vaguely resembling a legal way.  And that’s, that's the raw deal here. That is the unvarnished truth about what happened under Obama. He made it possible for the phrase “President Trump's Kill List” to be uttered in this country. That is a possibility. And I wonder how many liberals who said, “Oh, I trust Obama with the kill list. I’m fine with drone strikes. Oh an American citizen being killed? Yea, you can drop me a percentage point on that support.” That was a real thing that was happening at the height of the drone wars.  Liberals, MSNBC viewers, loved the drone strikes. How many of those people, if polled, on just, “What do you think about the phrase, ‘President Trump's Kill List’” would say,  “Great. Love it.” I don't think a lot of them would. And I don’t think Bernie Sanders would either. But he wasn’t asked about a President Trump Kill List. He was asked about a President Obama Kill List.  As though there's a such thing as a Democratic cruise missile and a Republican cruise missile. There ain’t.
Bill.

Why Health Care in America Really Costs So Much

Bill,

It has nothing to do with the system; private, public, Medicare, Obamacare, Aetna, Athem, or cold hard cash, it all comes out the same. That's because of who gets paid and how much they make.

From that august medical journal. the New York Times:

If you look around the world, lots of countries have single-payer systems. And all of them pay substantially less for health care than we do in the United States.... So how could a single-payer system here still be so expensive?“

The big thing is that providers here make quite a bit more money than they do anywhere else, and in order to get in the ballpark of where these other countries are, you’d have to reduce payment rates to physicians to much, much lower levels...” “...That’s just hard to do.”

....the United States pays substantially higher prices for doctors, hospital stays and prescription drugs than the rest of the group. Medicare pays less than the United States average, but not enough less to make up that difference.

The average salary for my specialty? $350,000. The approximate number of cardiologists in the greater metropolitan area in which I live? More than 100. The approximate number for a similar population in the UK, where the average cardiologist makes 280,000? Twenty.

So before the Bernie bros get too excited about a single payer system, they had better reckon with the realities of a profession that;s had it very good for a very long time, and that isn't likely to give up that privilege without a ferocious fight.

Eli

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Post-Fact World.

Eli,

Great article on Venezuela in The Atlantic. This part struck me:
A case in point is the price controls, which have expanded to apply to more and more goods: food and vital medicines, yes, but also car batteries, essential medical services, deodorant, diapers, and, of course, toilet paper. The ostensible goal was to check inflation and keep goods affordable for the poor, but anyone with a basic grasp of economics could have foreseen the consequences: When prices are set below production costs, sellers can’t afford to keep the shelves stocked. Official prices are low, but it’s a mirage: The products have disappeared.

Of course, price controls don't work for others things as well, like the ACA and minimum wage, but whatever, we live in a post fact world.

Bill

Cheer Up It Could Worse Part 2

Bill

Or Illinois

Eli

Cheer Up, It Could Be Worse

Bill,

We could live in France

Eli


Why Not a $50 Minimum Wage!!???

Eli,

In the fantasy world of Grandma Clinton, the Socialist and economically illiterate, like #BabyTrump, wage increases have no impact on labor demand or product prices. Back in the real world.

Wendy’s (WEN) said that self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.

It will be up to franchisees whether to deploy the labor-saving technology, but Wendy’s President Todd Penegor did note that some franchise locations have been raising prices to offset wage hikes.

But what do I care? I don't eat much fast food. Food is a smaller portion of my budget than the average consumer and my children are more likely to be hired versus the less fortunate for the fewer minimum wage jobs available.

Bill

The Rolling Stones and the Irony of Trump Voters

Bill,

Unfortunately most Trump Voters don't seem to understand what irony is.

THE ROLLING STONES

"Salt Of The Earth"

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth
And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
In fact, they look so strange
Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leading but get gamblers instead
Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
Empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio
And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange
Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth

Eli




Our State Is Too Blue

Bill,

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of our august governor's performance. He appears to have little acumen or interest in helping to grow the state's economy. We are a highly educated, well placed workforce, yet our record compared to our equally blue neighbor to the north and its deeply popular Republican governor is miserable. Malloy's answer to to anemic growth and the resultant yawning gap between revenue and expenditure? Screw municipalities and squeeze hospitals. This is cynicism raised to an art form. The legislature and Malloy can claim they haven't raised taxes while the costs are passed down to cities and towns, many of which are ill equipped to replaced the lost revenue. Who will suffer the most? As usual, it's the poor whom the Governor claims to care so much about.

The state's revenue services commissioner admits that the top 5-7 tax payers an  generate an enormous share of Connecticut's revenue. As with any private citizen, they have the option to get up and move to Florida.

Get off your butt Governor. Get to work helping to build our economy. At least don't get in the way.

Eli

Ouch Dan Malloy. Very ouch.

Eli,

Weird. Every text and email I get from Malloy tells me how great things are.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, whose state has experienced job losses to neighboring Massachusetts, is the second-least popular governor in the country and the least popular Democrat. His approval is 29 percent, while 64 percent of voters in the Nutmeg State disapprove of his performance.

Bill

A Plague on Both the Parties.

Eli,

From Politico, on #BabyTrump's meeting with  GOP Senators,

“He was very, very congenial, very straightforward, very open to questions, criticisms and so forth,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said. “He was terrific. I’ll tell you, I was really quite impressed.”
Does Hatch really believe this? Has he been Invasion of the Body Snatched? Or is he really expecting me to believe this?

A plague on both the parties.

Bill

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On the Bright Side: Conservatives have a Future. The Trump GOP Does Not.

Ei,

The whole thing is worth a read, but I particularly like this part:

We have no interest in winning you over anymore. You don’t want serious policy solutions or explanations of why Paul Ryan allowed the Ominbus to pass. It’s much easier to tune out while Sean Hannity screams “Traitor!” into his microphone. You don’t want a physics lesson on how, barring the acquisition of a Kryptonian terraforming space machine, Trump’s big beautiful wall will remain a myth. You want to scream with outrage that lowbrow, quasi-thinkpieces like this one do nothing but “insult the base.”

Well guess what? You’re right. Because a base that chooses a Cheeto-dusted con-man hellbent on proving every lazy Salon.com cliché the Left has ever spouted about the “Tea Party” is a base that not only deserves to be insulted, but outright ignored and shunned going forward. No matter how loud and no matter how many in number.

Good riddance GOP.

Bill

What Are the Democrats Thinking?

Eli,
Lots of well-deserved gnashing of teeth on the Republican side of the aisle regarding that bloviating ignoramus they are about to nominate.

But I wonder what the Democrats are thinking. Aren't you worried about nominating the grandmother felon? She is such a horrible candidate she can lose to the bloviating ignoramus. Why, if the Republicans are going to run with the worst possible candidate they can find, would the Democrats nominate the worst possible candidate they can find?

Bill.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Is He Really This Stupid?

Bill,

Today's Times, and no doubt other media outlets, reports on Trump's interest in reneging on the country's sovereign debt. After all, it's the way, he's always run his business, welshing on his obligations whenever he can. By his logic:

 “I’ve borrowed knowing that you can pay back with discounts,” he said. He added, “Now we’re in a different situation with the country, but I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

To anyone with an 8th grade education, the implications of the United States forfeiting its two centuries old reputation for fully honoring it's obligations are obvious, or they should be. Not so, apparently, to the soon-to-be Republican nominee for president.

The Times analysis of such a mind boggling stupid statement, is kind, to put it mildly. Maybe we should keep a running scorecard if the number of statements this vermin-described-as-a-human-being makes that disqualify him for the presidency. My guess he'll average one every other day from now till November.

Eli

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

GOP About To Choose A Lunatic as Its Leader

Eli,

I think #babytrump will get worse, not more presidential, as the campaign unfolds. I hope the GOP goes down in flames. Just desserts for choosing this embarrassment.

Trump accuses Cruz's father of helping JFK's assassin

“His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday during a phone interview with Fox News. “What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.”

“I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?” Trump continued. “It’s horrible.”
 Bill

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ignorance is Bipartisan. We Are Doomed.

Eli,

The latest Trump idiocy, similar to the earlier Trump idiocy:

Trump: 'We can't continue to allow China to rape our country'

(CNN)Donald Trump on Sunday compared the U.S.'s trade deficit with China, which he regularly laments and vows to tackle as president, to rape.

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing," Trump said during his second rally Sunday in Fort Wayne, Indiana, referring to China's high number of exports relative to the U.S.
Trump has repeatedly accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive on the global market and has claimed that China is "killing" the U.S. on trade.
It's depressing the Republicans will nominate this bloviating ignoramus. It is even more depressing the Democrats are going to put up a candidate that essentially agrees with Trump that trade isn't good for the country. Which means ignorance is bipartisan.

We are most definitely doomed.

Bill

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The New GOP

Eli,

Many #neverTrump'ers have made statements similar to this:

Trump’s various rants, by contrast, do not amount to policies. They are ignorant tone poems, bad haikus, streams of words whose content has no real meaning. They’re not positions available either to the GOP or Democrats, because they do not contain a vision of the future over which those parties can fight.
I disagree. Trump has policies, and those policies are what has propelled him to the Republican nomination. He wants to build a wall (restrict immigration), he wants to punish China and Mexico and Japan (restrict trade) and he wants to protect us from the Islamic State (restrict civil liberties). These position have resonated with the GOP voter.

So much ink has been spilled trying to identify who is responsible for Trump. Isn't that an easy one to answer? The Republican voter, of course.

Bill

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

There Goes the Theory That Trump Only Appeals to White Trailer Park Trash in the South

Eli,

The NY Times wants us to believe #BabyTrump's support is mostly from trailer parks. Always seemed to be too easy and convenient a conclusion to me.

So how is it #BabyTrump's biggest victory to date, in terms of percentage vote won, is New York? It looks like Connecticut will also be a big percentage win for that whining, bloviating, mendacious ignoramus, #BabyTrump.

I'm just disgusted with the whole thing now. Republicans decided immigration and Islamic Terrorism were the be-all and end-all issues and they attracted, then embraced, a demagogue that repeated back to them what they wanted to hear.

They got what they demanded. I'll have no part of it. A pox on the Republicans.

Bill

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why I'm Not Feeling the Bern

Bill

From the comments section of David Brooks column today

A. Stanton

Dallas, TX 7 hours ago
I and millions of other Americans mailed off far too much money to the federal government this past week. Here is our
story.

To us it is completely understandable that people with little or no money who frequently pay little or no taxes -- like many of Bernie’s supporters -- would be in favor of higher taxes on rich and middle income people. Why wouldn’t they be? Somebody has to pay for the schools, roads, bridges, medical care and other government services they utilize, and it clearly cannot be them.

The thing about Bernie Sander’s democratic-socialist vision for America that for us is so dismaying is sheer dishonesty of it. When he talks about free college educations, free health care and forgiveness of college loans, he is talking about free for the kids on the stage who are yelling his name, but not free for the 55 percent of the American people who pay income taxes and with those taxes are buying America’s bread and putting It on the table for everyone.

Bernie’s slogan is “A Future To Believe In.” An honest one would be “This is a Stickup. Hand Over Your Money.”

Amen to that

Eli

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It's Dismaying to Me That All the Candidates Are Talking About Things I Don't Give a Crap About.

Eli,

I don't care about immigration. Free trade is good, not bad. Radical Jihadism is not an existential threat to our life. Raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Citizen's United has been proven irrelevant by Jeb Bush and Bernie. The Koch Brothers, Millionaires and Billionaires don't bother me. Wall Street does not control America.  Mexicans, Muslims, China, and corporate greed is not destroying my way of life.

It really doesn't matter to me who wins this damn election because all of the candidates are focusing on things I don't give a crap about or they are completely wrong.

On the positive side of life, my daughter and I are reading Macbeth together.

Bill

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Secret of American Politics: Rally the largest possible number of voters to oppose the smallest and vaguest of enemies.

Eli,

From Walter McDougall's "Throes of Democracy,"

Americans, Tocqueville remarked, are naturally suspicious of others’ success. To attribute their rise to superior virtue demeans the self. Hence those left behind in a freewheeling, free-market democracy tend to assume the rich and mighty became rich and mighty through subterfuge, corruption, or favoritism. And if this were so, then the fact that such men had the power to constrain liberty and limit opportunity for the common man was simply unbearable. The real or imagined contrast between the myth of equality and the very unequal outcome of free competition in an era of blistering change was a torment to many Americans.
McDougal was writing about Jacksonian America but much of the issues faced almost 200 years ago are the same we argue about today.

By instinct or accident Jackson discovered the secret of American politics, which is to rally the largest possible number of voters to oppose the smallest and vaguest of enemies. Leaders of the Democratic party caught the drift and rode it for thirty years, using rhetoric that damned corruption, corrupt bargains, conspiracies, “monster” banks, “satanic” mills, monopolies, aristocrats, usurpers, speculators, stockjobbers, abolitionists, and meddling self-righteous reformers who meant to “enslave,” “shackle,” “enchain,” or “fetter” the naturally free and equal American workers and farmers.
Can you hear Sanders and Trump in there? Sanders warns us of Citizen's United, Wall Street, the Koch Brothers and millionaires and billionaires. Trump sees Muslims, China, Japan, Mexico as threats. Both are deathly opposed to free trade. All of these are looking to enslave us.

Democrats invited any voter with a grievance to assume he had been cheated, thwarted, exploited by powerful men who rigged the game in their favor. They apotheosized all that was natural, simple, and intuitive, implying that complex institutions of all sorts were artificial, oppressive, and undemocratic. Jacksonians wanted to rise in the hectic, industrializing market economy, yet at the same time flee from the impersonal human relationships it required. Their world was a volatile mix of aspiration and fear.
The more things change.....State's rights, internal improvements (infrastructure), federal power, racism, immigration, monetary policy, free trade, tariffs, isolationism, imperialism are just as relevant today as they were in FDR's, Wilson's, Lincoln's, Jackson's and Washington's times.

I liked Lindsey Graham much better after listening to his interview on David Axelrod's podcast, The Axe Files. But at the end he and Axelrod lamented the changes in the Republican Party. The typical stuff: Reagan couldn't get nominated today. Not your father's Republican Party. The normal blather.

What they are missing, I think, is parties have always changed, and should change. Do we really want a party to not respond to changing times and preferences? When I hear the Republican and Democratic parties have changed, I think to myself, "I sure hope so."

I think of the parties testing, then embracing which side of state's rights, internal improvements (infrastructure), federal power, racism, immigration, monetary policy, free trade, tariffs, isolationism, imperialism they will be on so we have Democrats and Republicans on both sides of these issues over the course of history. It's not your father's Republican/Democratic party.

25 years ago the Democrats didn't just embrace NAFTA, they fought for it. They fought for deregulation and welfare reform and declared the era of big government is over. I doubt Bill Clinton could be nominated in today's Democratic party.

When the Republicans were mostly free trade I was mostly Republican. At some  point, and I don't exactly know when, immigration became the hill the Republicans decided to die on. And now it seems the Know Nothing wing of the Republican party has become ascendant with Trump, overwhelming the free-traders, evangelicals, limited government, interventionist wings.

Like I said, parties change, and they should. But that doesn't mean I personally have to like the changes, or accept them. Both parties seem to be rushing to embrace the worst policies they can as long as they rally the largest possible number of voters to oppose the smallest and vaguest of enemies. And I'm not going to support a party that wants to embrace an anti-immigrant, nationalist, protectionist, thinly-veiled racist platform.

Bill




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sanders and Clinton Plan to Tax the Middle Class

Eli,


Clinton and Sanders answered a question about hydraulic fracturing at the debate in Flint last week.


Clinton gave a long answer when asked if she supports fracking:

"I don't support it when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don't support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don't support it, number three, unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using.

"Right now, there are places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated. So first, we've got to regulate everything that is currently underway, and we have to have a system in place that prevents further fracking unless conditions like the ones that I just mentioned are met. By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place," she said.

Sanders had a quick, sharp response:

"My answer is a lot shorter. No, I do not support fracking," he said.

Sanders said he talks to scientists who tell him that "fracking is doing terrible things to water systems all over this country."
Sanders is the Democrat's Trump, just making shit up. One can't find terrible things in water systems in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Ohio due to fracturing.

The Energy Information Administration has an interesting article on fracturing today.

Even though hydraulic fracturing has been in use for more than six decades, it has only recently been used to produce a significant portion of crude oil in the United States. This technique, often used in combination with horizontal drilling, has allowed the United States to increase its oil production faster than at any time in its history. Based on the most recent available data from states, EIA estimates that oil production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about half of total U.S. crude oil production.





 The US consumes about 19 million barrels per day. Clinton and Sanders want to eliminate 5 million produced in the US. Oil prices would go up. Gas prices would go up. Our dependence on foreign oil would go up (which some people, not me, care about).

That's a tax on the middle class, but one that results in  decreased government revenue. Unfortunately, this isn't the worse idea they have suggested.

Bill

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Give me power so I can go after them

Eli,

Around 11:45 of this press conference Rubio talks of the message voters are hearing from Trump:

You are working as hard as you can and you can’t make ends meet and along comes a presidential candidate and says to you:, “You know why your life is hard? Because, fill in the blank, somebody, someone, some country, they’re the reasons for it. Give me power so I can go after them.”
 He's right, and he's right to be frustrated by the appeal of Trump. What worries me even more is that it is the exact same message from the Democrats, except they use different boogeymen. For Trump its China, Mexico, Japan and Muslims. For Clinton and Sanders, it's Wall Street, the Koch Brothers, Citizen's United and free trade.

All three are so fundamentally wrong. Sanders is Trump without the violence and racism. Clinton is Sanders without the morality.

We are doomed.

Bill

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Good News for Patriot Fans

Eli,

A 7th-grader named Goodell used a science project to solve Deflategate

The NFL spent millions trying to nab Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Deflategate saga. They should've just called Goodell.

Ben Goodell, that is.

The 7th-grader from Lynn, Boston (not related to the NFL Commissioner) decided the punishment given Brady (four games, still racking up dollars in the court system) wasn't fair, so he created a science project to figure out if weather affected the PSI of footballs.

“I put it in humidity, cold, snow, wind chill and the same temperature that occurred during Deflategate,” Goodell told WBZ-TV.

HOW NOVEL! The results from Ben's science project? Well it's kind of awkward for the NFL.

“Every single time I did this test the PSI dropped at least 2 PSI," Goodell said. "That means it was scientifically proven that Tom Brady didn't deflate the footballs, and it was just the weather conditions."

Deflategate always struck me as an Alice in Wonderland kind of process, "Sentence first — verdict afterwards."  Or as my daughter once said to me, "Ready, Fire, Aim." Still one of my favorite maxims.

Bill

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bloomberg Won't Run

Eli,

Bloomberg has decided to not run for President and the nation mourns the lost opportunity to choose from 3 New York Liberals and a socialist.

Bill

Monday, March 7, 2016

More on the Monumental Economic Ignorance of Hilary Sanders Trump

Eli,

The always interesting Mark Perry compares US GDP per capita by state vs. European countries and Japan, Korea, Mexico and China.

As the chart demonstrates, most European countries (including Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Denmark) if they joined the US, would rank among the poorest one-third of US states on a per-capita GDP basis, and the UK, France, Japan and New Zealand would all rank among America’s very poorest states, below No. 47 West Virginia, and not too far above No. 50 Mississippi. Countries like Italy, S. Korea, Spain, Portugal and Greece would each rank below Mississippi as the poorest states in the country.

and

When The Donald tells us that Mexico is “beating us economically” and “laughing at us,” maybe we should remind him that Mexico and China, as US states, would both be far below our poorest state — Mississippi — by 51% and 62% respectively for GDP per capita; and Japan would be barely above our poorest state — Mississippi. Using GDP per capita as a measure of both economic output per person and of a country’s standard of living, America is winning quite handsomely. And one of the factors that contributes significantly to our standard of living, which is among the highest in the world and the highest in history, is the availability of cheap imported goods from countries like Mexico, Japan and China.

Last night Hilary and Bernie made loud arguments to lower our standard of living by rejecting free trade, calling for mandated wages, greater government control of the economy and my favorite, banning hydraulic fracturing (because energy prices should be higher?!?).

The most ironic aspect of their policies is is hurts the poor the most, the very group they claim to be trying to help. 

Bill

Sunday, March 6, 2016

HIllary Sanders Trump

Eli,

I'm listening to Clinton and Sanders urinate all over free-trade and thinking there's very little daylight between them and Trump. So sad. Such monumental ignorance.

Bill

A Ray of Hope? Or Confirming my Anchor?

Eli,

 Ted Cruz won 64 delegates yesterday in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine. Trump won 49 delegates, Rubio 13 and Kasich 8.

In the states with open primaries/caucuses, (open to voters, despite party affiliation), 11 so far, Trump has won 275 delegates, Cruz 186. It confirms a piece in the NY Times that asserts a big part of Trump's appeal is to registered Democrats:

He is strongest among Republicans who are less affluent, less educated and less likely to turn out to vote. His very best voters are self-identified Republicans who nonetheless are registered as Democrats. It’s a coalition that’s concentrated in the South, Appalachia and the industrial North, according to data provided to The Upshot by Civis Analytics, a Democratic data firm.
 In the states with closed primaries/caucuses, 10 so far, Trump has won 93 delegates, Cruz 104.

For the remaining primaries/caucuses there are 953 delegates from closed states and 570 from open states, and only 328 if states with semi-open, open to registered Republicans or Independents, but not Democrats, are counted.

We are also getting into winner-take-all elections, which can have big impacts on the delegate count.

Clearly I was wrong about Trump's appeal. I still don't get it. He is such an obvious fraud. But I'm not willing to give up on beating him. I think Cruz can beat him. More closed primaries/caucuses helps Cruz and only 1/3 of the remaining delegates come from the South and Great Lakes states; that could help him also.

Bill






Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Most Corrupt President in American History

Eli,

Yahoo News quotes Newt Gingrich from a Fox News appearance,

“You are either going to elect Hillary Clinton who will, I think, be the most corrupt president in American history, or you’re going to help elect Donald Trump,”

I think a more complete expression would be:

 “You are either going to elect Hillary Clinton who will, I think, be the most corrupt president in American history, or you’re going to help elect Donald Trump who will, I think, be the most corrupt president in American history." 

Decisions, decisions.

Bill

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Choice Between 2 Fundamentally Dishonest New York Liberals

Eli,

Ben Sasse, Senator from Nebraska has it right: a choice between Clinton and Trump is a choice between 2 fundamentally dishonest New York liberals. And like Sasse, I'll vote for neither.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gex8IV_zjI


I'm deeply disturbed by all things Trump, but maybe mostly by his embrace of the KKK and white supremacists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9geYl9J_Mc


And then there's this:

Black students ejected from Trump rally in Ga.

In my mind, he's embracing racism full on.

Parties change. The Democrats for 150+  years embraced institutional racism. The also embraced free trade and state's rights. For 100 years the Republicans embraced protectionism, and a stronger federal government.  Trump and the Republicans may want to adopt institutional racism as a party platform, but they will lose some, many, I hope.

I hope many will choose, like Ben Sasse, to publicly reject Trump. I will never, ever, support anyone who supports Trump.

Scary times.

Bill

Friday, February 26, 2016

If the Government Can Force Me to Buy a Product, Why Can't it Force Apple to Make a Product

Eli,

I'm with Apple on its fight with the FBI. As far as I'm concerned, the FBI has no right to force Apple to create something for it. But...

The Affordable Care Act requires me to buy a product. It compels me to engage in commerce. It doesn't seem that far a step to suggest if the government has the authority to compel me to buy a product, it also has the right to compel Apple to create a product.

When it was suggested by opponents of the ACA that requiring consumers to enter into a commerce would result in a government of unlimited power, the proponents laughed off that concern.

What I find amusing, is hearing all those in favor of the ACA expressing outrage at the FBI's attempt to bully Apple.

Reap what you sow.

Bill

Thursday, February 25, 2016

NY Times Embraces Citizens United

Eli,

The NY Times in "Donald Trump Keeps Winning. Here’s What Could Make Him Lose." suggests some ways to stop Donald Trump (the bloviating ignoramus). First on their list is unlimited spending by the millionaires and billionaires running the Republican party.

Top Republican donors have shied away from confronting Mr. Trump, but at some point the party’s bankrollers may get serious about saving it from a man they view as a catastrophe. If they did, this could represent a serious threat to Mr. Trump. Imagine tens of millions of dollars in attack ads blanketing the landscape of primary states.
Marvelous, the Times seems to never stop writing about the evils of the Citizens United ruling that allows corporations other than media companies from engaging in free speech. Or as The Center for Public Integrity puts it

The Citizens United ruling, released in January 2010, tossed out the corporate and union ban on making independent expenditures and financing electioneering communications. It gave corporations and unions the green light to spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.

In a nutshell, the high court’s 5-4 decision said that it is OK for corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate.

The decision did not affect contributions. It is still illegal for companies and labor unions to give money directly to candidates for federal office. The court said that because these funds were not being spent in coordination with a campaign, they “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
But I guess embracing existential threats to democracy (Citizens United) is OK under special circumstances. Can't wait for Bernie (the socialist) and Mrs. Clinton (the felon) to embrace this strategy.

Bill


Trump has Small Hands and a Small Wallet

Eli,

Ben Domenech has a piece in the Transom this morning that suggests attacking Trump in the manner of Trump.

This may seem unpresidential in the scheme of things. But it is not the case in this cycle. Going after Trump on Trump’s term will require behaving in a way that any traditionally minded person will find appalling – but it would make for must see TV. Take the flamethrower to him. Interrupt him constantly. Belittle him. Insult him. Play on his very obvious insecurities. Give him a nickname – just start calling him “Marla”, without any explanation, and pretend you don’t even realize it. Don’t let him talk. Bash him for hiring foreign workers. http://vlt.tc/2aja  Bash him for loving Planned Parenthood. http://vlt.tc/2ahx  Bash him for his obsession with Megyn Kelly. Make note of his stubby fingers and small hands – we all know what that means. When he responds with ever-increasing insults and shushing, tell him to go get his shinebox.

Of all people, Mitt Romney is your guide at this moment, hinting that the “bombshell” in Donald Trump’s undisclosed tax returns is that Trump is not as rich as he claims to be. http://vlt.tc/2air  Do you want to know why we know this is Trump’s soft underbelly? A few years ago, insult comic Anthony Jeselnik told Joan Rivers that when he roasted Donald Trump on Comedy Central, he was told the only thing off-limits were jokes suggesting that Trump had less money than he claims. http://vlt.tc/2aj9  Not his family, not his kids or his parents – his net worth was what he chose to be off-limits.
I agree. Go full Trump on this rectal orifice. You can get under his skin. The reference to the size of his hands is from a Vanity Fair article. People magazine summarized:

For the last 25 years, Donald Trump has been sending pictures of his hands to Graydon Carter to prove his fingers are properly proportioned, the Vanity Fair editor has revealed.

The bizarre, decades-long feud between the journalist and the billionaire presidential candidate began when Carter wrote an essay for Spy magazine calling Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian," Carter wrote in this month's editor's letter. 
 
We'll see. It would be fun to watch Cruz or Rubio giving Trump the Trump treatment.

Bill

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bernie: Bringing People Together

Eli,

Take a look. Bernie has hired some pretty good marketing personnel.

Bill


Life is Awful in Iowa and New Hampshire and the Koch Brothers and/or Mexico is to Blame.

Eli,

The unemployment rate in Iowa is 3.4%. The unemployment rate in New Hampshire is 3.1%. These are the states that have glommed onto Mrs. Clinton's (the felon), Mr. Sander's (the socialist) and Trump's (the bloviating ignoramus) claims that life is horrible and the reason is the banks, Wall Street, Citizen's United, the Koch Brothers, the Mexicans, the Chinese, the Japanese and the Muslims. It's an odd mix of nationalism, socialism and racism.

David Harsanyi at the Federalist wrote this. His focus is on Sanders, but you could insert Trump or Clinton instead of Sanders and it still works.

Events can always alter the dynamics of American politics, but right now Sanders represents the natural trajectory of liberalism. Where else did people think eight years of relentless fearmongering about the inequities and corruption of capitalism would lead? You can’t keep blaming everything on the inherent racism in America and not expect your party to radicalize. You can’t accuse oil companies of bloodlust and not mainstream the idea of nationalizing the energy sector. You can’t blame every economic tribulation on Wall Street and bankers and the Koch Brothers and then be surprised a major candidate ends up railing against “speculators” and argues that the entire business model of modern banking is a “fraud.”
Reap what you sow.

Still, there is something about this dog, that don't hunt. Unemployment ratios far below the national average, and near what economists call full employment. Is the message of things are awful and the millionaires and billionaires or the Mexicans the reason why really resonating with the fully employed, or is there something else going on. I think it's something else, but what do I know.

Bill