Thursday, August 25, 2016

Random Topics

Here are a few quick topics to get us going today.

1. More Emails...yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about:

Okay, we can talk about the latest cache of 14,900 new Clinton emails that dropped this week. None of them should be too surprising including all of the ones that clearly spell out exactly how much one had to donate to the Clinton Foundation to garner favors and access to Sec't of State Clinton. It may look like they were comingling donations, staff, private email servers, and advisors, but that is just not true.

And anyways, the Clintons pinky-swear that if/when Hillary becomes President, they will put a halt to all that kind of stuff that wasn't happening. Bill has promised that he will step away from his Foundation and put an end to all foreign donations. Oh, Chelsea will remain on the Board of Directors, but other than that, all of it will stop...just like they promised in 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 when Hillary was Sec't of State. I really do believe them this time.

In other Clinton coincidences that just keep piling up, the FBI reports related to Hillary's interview in connection to the death of Vince Foster have disappeared from the National Archives. The Daily Mail requested access to 8 boxes of records in an earlier FOIA request, but in a second requested review, the reports were not in the boxes. After a thorough investigation of the 8 boxes of records, it was determined that may they were just misfiled in on of the other 3000 boxes. Interesting that it just so happens that coincidentally the only records misfiled were the FBI reports of Hillary's interview. LINK They probably will show up in a box in the WH residence just like Hillary's "missing" Rose Law Firm Whitewater-related billing records...

2. Shakespeare In The Park in Brooklyn:

A summer tradition in NYC as in other parts of the country, is doing productions of Shakespeare in the park. This year is no different, well, except for the newest production of "The Tempest" in Brooklyn's Prospect Park will be All-Female Cast Does Shakespeare In The Nude Sorry, guys no production photos available

“It’s being courageously vulnerable and generous with yourself as an artist, first and foremost, and saying, I’m doing this for this purpose,” said Suzannah Gratz.

Here's my take as someone who has done many productions of Shakespeare's play and in a park setting. No, it's called getting naked so no one notices how bad the acting is. No one is going to paying attention to the well-structured metered verse. They are attending to be oggling nekkid girlzzzzzzzz. FYI Nudity is quite legal in NYC as long as it is for the sake of art.

3. Why does this not surprise me...

This one doesn't need any explanation. It speaks for itself...Black Slime Creeps Washington DC's Famous Monuments
Discuss this or any other topics...
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Nothing specific today. This is more of a summary of some recent Obamacare issues without too much in the way of specifics, except one overriding thought: it strikes me that Obamacare has failed and we're just seeing the corpse slowly falling down at this point. It has reached the point of being unworkable and where the people it needs to make it work have abandoned ship.

In the past month, we have heard each of the following:

1. The large insurers who lobbied for Obamacare have lost their shirts. The "risk management pools" meant to keep them from losing money failed and they've been losing more than a billion dollars a year between them. As a result the largest insurers are backing out of the markets either entirely or in all but a couple states.

2. The cooperatives that were supposed to shame the insurers into offering lower prices have all but failed. Only a couple still run and they are apparently doomed.

3. We have our first county in Arizona which now has no insurers who will issue policies.

4. The cost of policies in daffy places like California are going up around 13% to 15% this year.

5. Obamacare supporters are outraged that they need to pay huge premiums to get insurance which then has a deductible they will never meet and can't afford. Ha ha! F*ck you.

6. Only about half the people they expected to sign up by this point did. And those who signed up were pretty much the uninsurables. Surprise! Healthy young people stayed away and continue to stay away.

7. Hospitals are taking it in the shorts because the higher deductibles mean that they are getting less money than before the change. What they learned is that before, they got 80% from insurers and ate the rest. Now they are getting 60% from insurers and are eating the rest.

8. The cost of drugs is skyrocketing. Every day something new is announced as going up.

9. There has been tremendous consolidation in the medical field, leading to "too big to fail" in many areas.

10. The hope that businesses would dump insurance so it became a personal thing rather than being tied to a job kind of went the other way. It's more ties to jobs now than before.

Good times. This is what comes of liberal ideas.

UPDATE: Saw some interesting figures just now. 36% of the Obamacare market rating regions have only one plan being offered. 56% have two or fewer. "Some sub-regions" have no plan at all. These are dramatic rises too from last year when these figures were 4% and 39% compared to 36% ad 56%. So it's really bad and it's getting worse. Seven states have only one insurer: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming. Failure in progress.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

More Trump v. Clinton

If you are obsessed with Trump or like to mess with those who are, then don't read this. Go strangle a puppy to get your anger out. For the rest of you, here are some interesting things that have come up of late.

Hypocrisy: So we've been hearing all this screaming about Trump's campaign manager being a Russian spy... until it turned out he took money from the Ukrainians. When this was discovered, Trump dumped him. Before he did, all the antiTrumps and liberals were whining about Trump bringing someone with Russian sympathies into the White House. Of course, they also attacked him for getting rid of the guy, but that's not the point here.

The point here is that Clinton's lover closest associate, Huma Abedin, apparently edited a radical Islamic journal (run by her mother) which blamed 9/11 on the US. Yet, I hear little gnashing of teeth about this woman being in the White House and possibly sharing the bed ear of the President. Frankly, I'm more worried about a President being brainwashed about radical Islam by a friend/lover/advisor, than a President whose advisor may be a Putin dupe. Russia is a nuisance, Islam is a danger.

One Foot In The Gravy Train: So the antiTrumps have been goading Trump to release his taxes so they can find something to destroy him with. He hasn't taken the bait. Clinton piggybacked on their attack without ever releasing her own taxes. That didn't interest the antiTrumps. Well, she finally did release her taxes and she made $10.7 million. These were apparently from speaking fees to nonprofits. Why does that matter? Nonprofits aren't suppose to pay for political speeches, they're supposed to use the money to help noble causes. The millions she took mean homes unbuilt for the poor, food undelivered for the hungry, and polar bear ball un-shrunk by environmentalists. In fact, when Condolezza Rice spoke to a nonprofit in 2009, she was ultimately forced to give all the money back by public anger. Sadly, I'm not seeing much anger aimed at Clinton except on the far left.

She also took in $5 million from banking, tech and corporate interest. Those aren't contributions to a campaign, those are amounts paid directly by lobby-ers to a presidential candidate who will regulate them. Had that been Trump, I think that would have been called a bribe. Had it been the mob, they would have called it a racket.

One Foot In The Grave: There is a lot of talk about Clinton having medical issues. Normally, I would dismiss this except that I recall much of the evidence when it hit the news. I recall her needing special glasses and apparently having headaches. I recall several falls. I've seen the photos of her staff helping her up stairs. I am left to wonder if Clinton might not have something wrong with her brain at this point? More specifically, I am left to wonder if Clinton will last a full four years. I'm not honestly sure, but I think I would bet against it. It's like Paul Tsongas all over again.

Neck and Neck: After a brutal couple weeks of intense smears from the antiTrumps, Clinton pulled to a significant lead over the most dangerous man alive. But then the Olympics happened and everyone stopped paying attention again. In the meantime, Trump has made changes to his campaign - changes which have Hillary trying very hard to assure voters that "he hasn't really changed," which likely means she's worried that people will accept that he has changed.

The effect of all of this seems to be Trump rising again in the poll. Rasmussen had him one point ahead the other day. Now the LA Times has him 2% ahead. He's leading all age groups, high school grads but not college grads, and middle and upper income types in their poll. He's suddenly surging among blacks too, which is interesting. Perhaps his outreach and his statement to blacks this weekend: "What the hell do you have to lose?" are working? Again, I don't put much faith in polls, but it is interesting. It seems that whichever candidate is in he news loses. So right now, the best plan for both seems to hide away.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Be Happy

More of a comment than an article today. I am super proud of my kids. They are amazing little human beings. :) My youngest is the best people person I've ever met in my life, and that's not the dad talking. She is just amazing with people. The oldest is more of an introvert. What amazes me with her though is something I've only ever found with maybe a handful of people in my life: she's always truly looking to better herself.

I know that everyone likes to talk about self-improvement, but let's be honest. For 99% of humanity that's just talk. Few will actually try to improve themselves. Heck, most are so not-self-aware that they don't even realize they have flaws. A few are such assholes that they are proud of their flaws. And of those who do recognize their flaws, many will tell themselves they can't be fixed and others will pretend they can't fix them. They will buy self-help books (huge industry) and pay people to tell them what they already know, but they won't change. Oh they'll try any number of long-shot fixes, but they aren't willing to take the hard steps it takes to make real change. They just keep failing and looking for the next quick fix.

And then there are the few who do change. My daughter has made changes most people would say are impossible. My dad quit smoking when we were young. He also went to college at night to improve himself. I'm so proud of that.

Change is one of the hardest things you can do. You need to start by being honest with yourself. You really need to look at who and what you are without excuse and without sugar coating. You're fat because you eat too much, not because of some conspiracy or rare medical condition. People don't like you because you're an asshole. You don't have a good job because you're lazy. You're dumb because you refuse to take the time to think and to learn. You're not interesting because your only interests are staring at Pinterest. That's hard to accept.

Then you need to decide to make a real change. There are no short cuts either. And more importantly, it takes a lot of mental work. You can do that, you just need to be willing to. Leo Tolstoy said, "If you wish to be happy, be." That's amazing advice. It's probably the most important thing anyone can ever tell you in your life. Why? For the same reason it's also impossible for most people to understand. If you want to be happy, then stop making yourself unhappy. That's all it takes... and there's no other way.

Stop bitching about everything and accept that the world isn't perfect. So what if the grocery clerk is slow, it happens? So what if your boss is an ass, do you want to let that ruin your life? Stop reveling in schadenfreude, sarcasm and cynicism. You can't be happy reveling in bad things. Spite is not success. Spite is poison. Stop coveting crap you haven't earned too. If you want something, earn it. That's the only way you'll ever get it. It's the only way you deserve it... all the rest is whining. And most importantly, start finding the joy in things you ignore today. Sunsets are beautiful. Silence is serene. To be or not to be is brilliant. Dogs are a miracle. People all around you are amazing, talk to them... listen to them. Find the joy in the things the find joyful. Seeing people in love is beautiful. Life is amazing!!!

Be happy.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

WooHoo!!! We're No. 1!

Yey! Cato Institute just published a study "that ranks the American states according to how their public policies affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres" aptly named Freedom In The 50 States. Guess where the State of New York came out on the list. Betcha' can't get it right. {{{{Drumroll, please}}}... Yeah, we came in #1 in least free state in the union.

Okay, well, if you are going to get all "truthy" and spin it in "the worst case scenario", I guess you could say that the State of New York actually came in last at #50. Okay, yeah, it has been the same since 2000. Stop being so negative, ya'll! [That should be "youse guys" actually]

Anyway, I took a quick look a the analysis and the first paragraph made me do a "Home Alone" kind of facial gesture.

New York is again the least free state in the country. Its huge, glaring weakness is fiscal policy. If New York were to adopt a fiscal regime closer to that of California, New Jersey, or Connecticut, its overall economic freedom score would be close to theirs. As it is, New York looks set to remain the least free state for many years to come.

Well, my opinion is that California (#46), New Jersey (#40), and Connecticut (#44) are not the prime example of "fiscal" freedom that New York should emulate. But I guess you can't jump to mid-lowests without first climbing over the other lowests first. And hey, NY is first in "Same-Sex Marriage" freedom and....there is nothing else actually. As a side note: NJ's fiscal responsibilty rating has gone up since Gov. Christie took over in 2010. In 10 years (2000-2010), it went from #15 to #43. So give Gov. Christie credit for moving the state up a few notches to #40.

Well, Cuomo's office went on the attack according to this NY Post article published in today's paper...

Gov. Cuomo’s office defended New York’s record.

“We’re proud of our efforts to protect renters and combat smoking,” said Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi.

‎”New York is the progressive capital of the world and, despite what any right wing think tank says,” Azzopardi said.

“Any objective review of the facts would have also found this administration’s reforms led to the lowest middle class tax rates in 70 years, the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917, the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968, a property tax cap, six budgets in a row with spending capped to 2 percent and the lowest debt to personal income ratio since the 1960s.”

None of this is true in any practical way. Oh, yeah, the taxes may have gone down from extraordinarily high to just extremely high. After all NY leads the way with the highest taxes in the country. In that we can clearly claim that #1 spot! And all of the progessive job creation schemes Cuomo has instituted have amounted to about less than 1200 jobs. At last count, the Governor's office has spent about $2billion+ on these schemes, but most of that has been spent in advertising by the Governor's office.

And I nearly fell out of my chair when I read Cato's "Policy Recommendation". These "recommendations" are sadly laughable mainly because none of these cuts will ever happen.

Policy Recommendations

Fiscal: Cut spending on hospitals, housing, libraries, public welfare, sanitation and sewerage, public transit, employee retirement, and “miscellaneous”; cut all taxes, and pay down debt.

Regulatory: Abolish rent control. This move could have raised New York to 47th, just behind Connecticut, on regulatory policy.

Personal: Slash tobacco taxes, which are so high as to be almost tantamount to prohibition.

In all fairness to the last one, the whole point of the high tobacco taxes was specifically designed to eventually prohibit smoking. It is worse (or better) in NYC with smoking bans in buildings, restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and some residential dwellings, it is almost complete. Hey, it could have been 16oz sodas, so I guess we're luckier than most.

Anyway, for more details on where your state stands on the Freedom scale, click on your state to get the ranking; click on "How It's Calculated" to find out the details used to rank and if you want a free .pdf copy of the 266 page report click on "Print Edition" and download. If you are from the "Live Free Or Die" state of New Hampshire, you are the lucky ones. But, hopefully you are more free than we are in New York. Good Luck!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

About Face!!

Ever notice that the homeless vanish from the worries of liberals and the front pages of newspapers and telecasts the moment a Democrat takes office? Then they return the minute a Republican looks like they might take over? Ditto on AIDS, poverty and the lack of civility... can't we all just get along? Well, I saw my first one of these periodic flops today. You'll never guess what it was.

Apparently, we have a new reason to hate the NFL. They want to do business in China. The bastards! Did you people know about this? Seriously! China's an evil country run by a repressive regime (possibly libertarians) who enslave their people and do all sorts of things to them, up to and including capital punishment! (This statement does not include forced abortions, which are totally cool as long as the religious right remains on the right.) How dare the NFL think of doing business with them!

Can anyone spot the bait and switch here?

Yep. China was graded as evil when rich fat cat Americans were sending jobs there under Bush. Although... Bush was paranoid to hate them and see them as a military threat. Bush did NOTHING to stop them messing with the exchange rate or dumping crappy goods on our economy through WalMart because he's evil. What's more, these yellow bastards were going to overtake us economically! No, they already had. They were going to overtake us militarily! They were taking over the wooooooooorld! Why won't anyone listen to me? Republicans are so evil!!!

Obama was going to sort their little yellow butts out! Vote Obama. Then Obama took office and found he could do nothing about China... because his donors didn't like it. So, the herd changed directions: "China's cool. Only a right-wing racist would say otherwise. Except their military is evil and Obama is right to threaten them with extreme prejudice."

Well, now we face an uncertain election. A Republican who shall not be named to keep debate civil may possibly win (magic 8 ball says "toss up"). So the left trots out the "THE NFL WANTS TO DEAL WITH CHINA!" garbage. First, notice the double reversal now on hypocrisy. Talk about policy whiplash. Liberals must go through neck braces like Bill Clinton goes through prostitutes. Notice also the combination of the new liberal boogeyman, the NFL, with the anti-China meme even though the NFL doesn't actually do any business in China... but Warren Buffett and every other liberal industrialist does, but hey Buffett farts fairy dust so leave him out of this.

Pay attention in the next few weeks as the homeless start to reappear this winter, as AIDS and Zika or lack of funding for breast cancer (f* the rest of you cancer types!) become national outrages, as will poverty. Landmines and Gitmo will become evil again. Body counts will return to the nightly newscast. Look for black Congress critters to encounter racism at their rallies, and little rich college girls to find they cannot afford condoms without government money. Ah, dark times are coming, my friends... unless Hillary wins.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Something Interesting Not Related to Politics

While I was wiling away the weekend trying not, I sometimes scroll through the obituaries in the New York Times. Along with all the notable high society, well-known, and celebrity deaths, every once in while there are the most interesting entries.

This weekend I came across this obituary that might interest you old movie buffs. You may not have even known that she was a real person, but she was. Her name was Chris Costner Sizemore and she is the woman with multiple personalities, or as it is known today dissociative personality disorder, who was the basis for Joanne Woodward's Academy Award winning character in "Three Faces of Eve".

Chris Costner Sizemore - Real Patient Behind "Three Faces of Eve" Dies at 89

Here's another one for history buffs (nd movie buffs too!) that I read a few years ago. This one is about Tom Christian, the great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian who lived his entire life on Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific where his famous (or infamous) decendant and crew settled after leading Mutiny on the HMS Bounty in the last 18th Century.

Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77

If you read to the bottom, there is a really fun fact. In 1971, an Englishman just happened to disembark from freighter at Pitcairn Island, population 52, and was introduced to Mr. Christian. That Englishman was Maurice Bligh, the great-great-great grandsom of Captain William Bligh.

Enjoy these little bits of history as we take a break from the oppressive summer heat.
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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Katie Ledecky facts

By Kit

Well, the swimming events in the Olympics are now over and, you know what? When Donald Trump we would win so much we would get bored of winning I had no idea he was actually referring to the US Olympic Swimming Team!

While Hope Solo was picking spats with Brazil and Sweden our swimmers Phelps, Lochte, Murphy, Dirado, Franklin, King, and, of course, Katie Ledecky were bringing home medals.

As Good Morning America put it, "There's fact... and then there's Katie Ledecky." And in that spirit, here are some facts about Katie Ledecky, who blew away competitors at the Olympics.:

Aquaman wears Katie Ledecky pajamas.

Katie Ledecky is a devout Catholic. Therefore, even though she is still alive, Pope Francis will declare Katie Ledecky the patron saint of swimmers and everything that is awesome

Many little girls like to pretend they are Ariel from Little Mermaid. Ariel liked to pretend she was Katie Ledecky.

Odysseus swam for 48 hours to reach home.
Katie Ledecky: "Bitch, please."

Anything to add? Open thread. Discuss the Olympics!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Oh, who cares anyway...

This hit the news today. I would explain, but what's the point. It will be explained away with a "vast right wing conspiracy, so what difference at this point does it make?" excuse and everyone will drop it so they can exploit the next stupid thing that Donald Trump says. Just read the article because this will probably be the last time you will hear about it in the media.

Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation and State Dept Overlap

It is a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton will win by a landslide just because no one cares enough to challenge her criminal activities from past and present or that her husband is a serial sexual predator. It doesn't matter enough to anyone, so they will be rewarded with keys to the White House. And a special congratulations to the "Never Trump" conservative pundits at National Review, Weekly Standard, and others for paving the way with their constant onslaught directed exlusively at Donald Trump and not one word about Hillary or any other issues. Though the Republicans may hold at least Congress, I predict that they will lose by a wide margin in the 2018 midterm elections in a clean sweep.

But on a lighter note:

Oh, and then there was this just in case you missed it. [Okay, we at CommentaramaPolitics rarely miss anything.] But since we have not discussed it, feel free to explain: When something looks like a bribe, acts like a bribe, and at least one side acknowledges it is a bribe, that it is not a bribe because Obama says emphatically it was not? I am sure this is the end of that story too.

8/3/2016 WSJ - US Sent Cash To Iran AS Americans Were Freed

Yeah, an interesting coincidence that at the very same time four American hostages were in a plane on the tarmac waiting to be released, an unmarked plane with pallets of non-US currency just happened to land. Whatever...they can lie, cheat, steal, and kill [Hat tip to Margaret Mitchell for that one.] and nobody cares, so why should I. If we are lucky, maybe Iran will just nuke us and put us out of our misery. At least I live in a primary target.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Black Lives Manifesto

With Bev down for the count, I offer this. Last week, Black Lies Matter came out with a platform. It reads like a manifesto written by criminals demanding the right to rape and plunder as they see fit without consequence while every leftist pet peeve gets tossed in for no apparent reasons... with the word black in them so they become relevant. Wow.

As an aside, I’m not going to address the whole thing. It’s broken into six areas with a total of 38 points, each of which covers multiple areas and a lot of which is repetitive. That’s too much to bother with. I will hit the highlights though.

1. “An end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black [sic] youth.” They want the education system, social services, the media and pop culture to stop dehumanizing black youths. Hmm. Aren’t those all organizations run by liberals? Anyways, they want an end to school discipline and the removal of the cops. How about we counter with banning the word “nigga” from rap songs?

2. An end to capital punishment. No. You can avoid this one yourselves by not brutally killing anyone.

3. An end to the use of past criminal records for any purpose. Damn straight! Why should a day care center be allowed to know that someone used to rape kids? Agreed!

4. “An end to the war on Black [sic] immigrants.” No more deportations. Yeah, I’m cool with this. I think we should flood the country with Mexicans to take black jobs.

5. “An end to the war on Black [sic] trans, queer and gender nonconforming people.” I’m not sure what war this is, but I agree not to napalm any gay black clubs.

6. An end to “mass surveillance of Black [sic] communities.” They want to ban drones and body cameras. Told you they don’t like those... they prove the cops are in the right.

7. “Until we achieve a world where cages are no longer used against our people we demand an immediate change in conditions and an end to public jails, detention centers, youth facilities and prisons as we know them.” Fine, we’ll dump you on Devil’s Island and you can run free.

8. “Reparations for the systemic denial of access to high quality educational opportunities in the form of full and free access for all Black [sic] people... to lifetime education.” This is an odd one since most inner city and rural schools in black areas are staffed entirely by blacks and since so many blacks go to historically black colleges. Maybe they should pay this?

9. “Guaranteed minimum livable income for Black people.” Yeah, we should make black people more expensive to hire than other people. Good thinking.

10. Reparations for “environmental racism, slavery, food apartheid, housing discrimination and racialized capitalism.” They want those reparations to “focus[] on healing ongoing physical and mental trauma, and ensuring our access and control of food sources.” Black-only grocery stores? Odd. Anyways, you can have reparations and we’ll tax them at 100% to do the other stuff we’re agreeing to.

11. “Reparations for the cultural and educational exploitation, erasure and extraction of our communities.” Basically, they want everyone to have to watch Roots.

12. An affirmative action plan to address the “lasting impacts of slavery.” Fine, every former slave can get a “plus” when they apply at WalMart.

13. Reallocation of funds from the police to employment services. Yeah, who needs cops.

14. Decriminalization of drug and prostitution crimes... which devastate minority communities.

15. Universal health care with specific “culturally competent” services for gay blacks. Good luck figuring that one out.

16. Free daycare, abortion, health care, freedom from search, seizure and arrest. Kind of a catchall, I guess.

17. An end to fossil fuel use. Science is clearly not their strong suit.

18. Reallocation of military spending to community well-being. Good luck with that.

19. A progressive tax code “to ensure a radical and sustainable redistribution of wealth.” Progressive and sustainable are contradictory ideas.

20. A jobs program for black people. This is called affirmative action and already exists.

21. The right to have a union. Should probably remove this as it already exists.

22. A right to environmental regulation. Anything in particular?

23. Break up the banks!

24. End the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiate all trade agreements. Hey, I read about that in the news.

25. Tax incentives to “facilitate trade across and in Black[sic] communities globally.” Yes, there should be a black market. Oh my.

26. Cheap loans for blacks. Like subprime lending?

27. Regulate industries that aren’t regulated to protect Black women and incarcerated people. Screw the rest of you.

28. An end to private schools. Like Historically Black Colleges?

29. Release of all black “political prisoners and an end to the repression of political parties.” Name one.

30. Ban PACs and corporate giving.

31. Universal, automatic registration of voters starting at 16 years old. What, no mention of the age of consent?

32. Net neutrality.

33. Free money for “Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Black media and cultural, political and social formations.” Social formations? Like the Black Octagon or the Black Flying Wedge?

Wow. Such crap. Such hateful, paranoid, racist crap. Thoughts?
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Monday, August 8, 2016

An Article

There really isn't much going on right now that isn't Olympics related unless you're obsessed with Trump, or like tweaking the people who are. So let me provide some random thoughts.

o Radio Silence: Is it just me or has the global warming/cooling/changing crowd gone silent?

o Spoilers: It never fails to amazed me how inconsiderate the media can be. We've been watching the Olympics because we're interested in seeing how the events turn out. Yet, every single time I go to almost any news site, I am told how the events turned out before I even get to see them. Don't go to news? Don't worry, Facebook is spreading the word. Don't have Facebook? The results have been appearing in the sidebar of my online email account. Give me a break. Has our media become so filled with ADHD jerk offs that they can't let me see the events without trying to spoil them? Are they so fricken inconsiderate that they can't be bothered to put the results behind a link? Why is that so hard?

o Disaster: Every Olympics begins with people claiming it will be a disaster. Then things generally go well, putting the lie to the detractors -- except that every host city loses their shirt in building these stadiums. This is the one time where it seems that the detractors were right. Zika. Muggings. Empty stands. The water is awash in sewage. Injured athletes from unsafe facilities. That's all bad. Even worse, this is the kind of stuff that will kill Brazil's tourism industry. They used the Olympics to try to announce themselves to the world as a first world country and they come out looking like the worst banana republic... awash in crime, sewage, poverty, disease and incompetence. Not smart.

o A Bad Look: For those who don't know, the Russians have basically been banned for cheating. It was so bad that the whole team got banned. Then they appealed. Now, some of them are being let in but others aren't. One of the ones they let in was a female swimmer. If she had a reputation for integrity and people thought she was wrongly caught up the scandal, that's fine. But it turns out, she's been caught cheating with PEDs twice. Really? So the whole anti-drug regime is a joke, is it? Why bother punishing the rest of the Russians?

o Hall of Failure: The NFL had to cancel the Hall of Fame game because someone mistakenly used the wrong paint on the field and it turned into concrete. I can't blame them for cancelling the game to avoid injury. I think that was the right decision. I do think they should have been a bit more careful about field conditions in the first place, which likely would have avoided the issue, but merde happens. I mention this because once again, the haters are using this to pour out intense hate at the NFL and to wrap their issues into this. They are like Pavlov's dogs: "if the NFL truly cared about concussions, then they would have done exactly what they did only they would have done it because it was the right thing to do rather than because they wanted to kill players!! Wah." I think I'm ready to diagnose the internet as clinically insane.

o Don't Buy An iPhone: I recently upgraded from a Galaxy 4S to a 7whatever. I love it. It's been a fantastic improvement in so many ways. Seriously. Unlike Microsoft, Samsung actually seems to want to make your life better with each upgrade rather than worse. Anyways, my wife "upgraded" from the Samsung 4 to the iPhone 6something about a year ago. She's pissed. It turns out there is no way to clear out the clogged memory caches on the Apple, which means she is constantly being told she's out of memory. And that's not all. It does everything a little more poorly than my new one. It struggles to find a signal. The charger wire has broken twice in a year too. Just thought I would pass that on. Again, I'm not paid by anyone. I get nothing for saying this. I ain't no mommy blogger.

o Your Thought Here: Anything to add?
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Mr. Trump Meets the General Electorate Part III: The Post RNC Edition

By Kit

With the conclusion of the back-to-back Republican and Democratic national conventions the most harrowing two weeks this country has suffered since the Cuban Missile Crisis is over. We had to sit and listen as both parties did their best to put lipstick on not two pigs but two sick and dying hogs that are only fit to be served as the mystery meat in a military mess hall or some failing public school.

And in the week since we have seen what the entirety of the spring-summer of 2014 was for the Obama administration crammed into one week for the Trump campaign and the Republican Party. First he gave interviews to Maureen Dowd and George Stephanopolous where he got into a spat with a Gold Star family, made some bone-headed comments about the events in Ukraine, said “Gretchen Carlson should’ve just found another job,” refused to endorse Ryan or McCain in their primary fights and praised Ryan’s opponent, lashed out at Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and all while leaks are coming out indicating a campaign deep in crisis and a Republican Party in panic mode. And it began with an obvious trap.

In fact, it was such an obvious trap one has to wonder if even the Democrats thought it would work. No politician with a lick of sense would fall for it. Heck, Hillary Clinton practically gave it away 24 hours later in her convention speech when she said, in her usual grating and uninspiring style, “A man who can be baited with a tweet is a man who cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons.”

A day earlier the DNC put on their stage the Khans, a a Gold Star Muslim-American couple whose son was killed while serving in Iraq back in 2004. The husband blasted Trump. Most of it was typical, accusing him of not following the constitution, Mr. Khan even waved a pocket constitution, but the biggest line, and probably the one that baited Mr. Trump, was “You have sacrificed nothing and no one!”

Now, if you are the Republican nominee for President you’ve got to be prepared for a media that will throw hard questions at you, especially when the interviewer is a former Clinton press secretary. You should also remember that certain statements will get blown up to the exclusion of anything reasonable you might have said. Even a “reasonable Republican” like John McCain had to deal with this. And on Saturday morning, Trump was questioned about this rather aggressively by George Stephanopolous for This Week, with the relevant clips being broadcast that afternoon.

And, to be a bit fair, Trump’s original statement was innocuous enough. That is, aside from two lines which I’ve put in bold. Here are the excerpts:

TRUMP: …I saw him. He was, you know, very emotional. And probably looked like -- a nice guy to me. His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that. And personally, I watched him. I wish him the best of luck, George.

And the part about sacrifices:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?
TRUMP: I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I've work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I've done -- I've had tremendous success.

95% of what he said was, at least, passable aside from those two statements. Trump never even really attacked Mr. Khan. Elsewhere he even pointed to San Bernadino and Nice. It was the two statements in bold, “maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say” and “I think I have made a lot of sacrifices” that the media, predictably, focused the bulk of their coverage on. The former, fairly or unfairly, was played up as anti-Muslim, with people arguing that Trump was claiming she couldn’t talk under Sharia.

The second was declaration that “I think I have made a lot of sacrifices,” referring to the sacrifices he made working as a mogul where he “created thousands and thousands of jobs.” Now, let’s be honest, he did not make those sacrifices to give people jobs, he made them to enrich himself in the long-run. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t engage in immoral or illegal practices, you pay workers to do jobs that you think will provide a net profit for you. It is what makes our economy, and the free market, work.

But, again, he said this as a rebuttal to a man who had lost a son in the Iraq War. If you are a man who was born into wealth and has lived a life of relative ease and comfort it does you no good to, in response to such an accusation by a man who has, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom” as losing their son, try to say “I’ve made sacrifices, too!” You look petty, vain, and childish. And kind of stupid, too.

Which is exactly what happened.

Now, the ideal response to such a fumble would be to apologize, backtrack, emphasize your that “wished him the best of luck,” and do your best to move on. rump did none of those things. First, as the media was running the “Trump attacks Gold Star family” narrative Trump, instead of doing the above, doubled-down and actually gave credence to that narrative by tweeting, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!”

His surrogates followed up with the same message as well and this more or less continued for the next 72+ hours. Roger Stone sent out a tweet claiming they had Muslim Brotherhood connections, perhaps an typical campaign bs-move but one that is only tolerable when you can keep the nominee’s hands clean, which is impossible when he’s yammering about them nonstop like Trump. The highpoint (or low point) occurred when Scottie Nell Hughes appeared on CNN and said that “Trump sacrificed two marriages.” It was not until sometime on Wednesday that there was (allegedly) an “URGENT PIVOT” email informing his surrogates to stop going after the Khans and to emphasize that he wished them well.

And that wasn’t the only fight he got into, he also got into spats with a baby and a couple of fellow Republicans, all of whom are facing re-election battles (not the baby, of course). He praised Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s looney primary challenger and, when asked if he would endorse him, he said “I’m not quite there yet,” which was clearly a small way of getting back at Ryan for saying something similar in May. He made a similar statement about John McCain and lashed out at New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, saying “she hasn’t really supported me” and bragged that he is “beating her in every poll” (he is not running against her and she’s ahead of him) Ayotte is in a key swing state that the GOP must win if they hope to hold the Senate, a prospect Trump is making unlikely.

Very unlikely, if this week’s polls are any indication. Just about every poll, including the ones that showed Trump with a slight lead coming out of the RNC, are now showing Hillary with massive leads, some, like FNC and Marist, in the double digits. And those swings states, while they are typically polling better than him, he’s dragging them down with him. A WBUR poll showed Trump 15 points behind in New Hampshire and Ayotte behind her opponent by 10 (again, see Trump’s claim above). Mark Kirk’s race in Illinois looks troubling, too. The good news is that Rubio looks safe. Thank God for the Cubans.

Then came the stories out of the campaign. First it was CNBC’s John Harwood saying a source inside the campaign told him, “Manafort mailing it in… Staff suicide” This was confirmed by one fellow NBC News reporter as well as National Review’s Eliana Johnson, who tweeted out that a Trump aide told her “Everything you’ve heard is true… and it’s been true longer than people recognize.” I don’t know whether that is comforting or discomforting. Anyway, to round it off it was also rumored that Preibus, Gingrich, and Giuliani were supposedly meeting with Trump to stage an “intervention.” Even Sean Hannity seemed concerned. And that was just Wednesday.

Thursday, fortunately, seems to have gone a bit more calmly, though still hectic with Trump surrogates, and Manafort himself, having to fend off questions about the “campaign in chaos” rumors in order to try and calm everyone down, including Lou Hobbs chuckling with Trump Senior Policy Advisor Sam Clovis about the whole matter. Meanwhile, Pence had an interested 48 hours where he endorsed Ryan then refused to endorse McCain and Ayotte, saying we “need new leadership,” and then, after getting a lot of flack for not endorsing two sitting US senators, one of whom is in a tight race, endorsed both of them.

And this isn’t going into the whole matter about his statements about the ongoing war in Ukraine, where he said he was open to recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and claimed the Russians were not in Ukraine (they are), ignoring both Putin’s occupation of and seizure of Crimea and the many soldiers and Spetznaz operatives who have been fighting a proxy in Eastern Ukraine. This prompted former NSA analyst, historian of European history, and staunch Hillary critic John R. Schindler to write in an article for the Observer, “Either (Trump) is clueless about Crimea and Ukraine…Or he is consciously parroting Kremlin propaganda. There is no third choice here.”

All of this indicates a campaign in chaos, even if the stories coming out of the campaign are untrue. This election is setting to be something like the race between the Tortoise and the Hare, a match made considerably easier for the Tortoise when the Hare runs around in circles, fights with the spectators cheering for the tortoise, and starts another fight with his own fans who are urging him to get back into the race because the Tortoise is getting ahead. So, yes, in short this race is shaping up to be like something out of Looney Tunes.

Only 95 days to go…

Note: This is part three of a series.
"Mr. Trump Meets the General Electorate (and some opera thoughts)" LINK
"Mr. Trump meets the General Electorate Part 2: The Limits of Free Media" LINK
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Question No One Will Answer

I have many problems with both candidates, but here is one question that no one will answer. Why do women who are voting for Hillary Clinton refuse to address Bill Clinton's war on women as a known serial sexual predator? I have asked this question over and over to my female friends who are Hillary Clinton supporters, but all side-step the issue like it shouldn't matter because they won't be electing Bill. But shouldn't this be more of issue for women?

Here is an example. A friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook addressing the recently released naked photos of Melania Trump with something about "family values" and "The woman on the right is our potential First Lady". [I won't post the photos here, but you can find them with a simple internet search.] I posted this response: "And yet Hillary's husband is a serial sexual predator. Be careful about flinging accusations about lack of "Family values". I won't bore with the responses. Let's just say that not one woman who responded could adequately explain why they had "family values" problems with Trump's wife posing naked in her 20's, yet no "family values" qualms whatsoever with Hillary's husband sexual harassing and/or assaulting women.

I am at a loss as to why the Clintons get a pass on this. I know there are many, many areas in which the Clintons get a pass and even much more pressing issues, but this particular issue should be a big one for women.

Anyone want to weigh in?
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An Army of Smug Delicates

Interesting "delicate" issue came up today. A delicate mother in Ohio is upset because she was given a list of requirements that her spawn was supposed to be able to do before attending Kindergarten. Now she's whining about being made to feel like a failure because her kid can't do them. Well, you are a failure honey. Anyways...

I find the entire exercise rather ridiculous. First, a moron posts a whiny post about someone demanding that she or her children have usable skills: How dare them people force me to teach my own kid!! They must be Republikansans. Please, of great internet of assholes and whiners, assure me that I is right to be useless!

The internet responds: Oh how unfair. How horrible! There is NO way a five year old can know most of the alphabet, know their own name, know how to draw a picture and explain what it is. Forcing this on kids is like building a Nazi deathcamp for kids!!

Then one of the delicates sees the key to victory. The flier lists among the requirements: "Can he or she -- Identify 30+ letters"? Gotcha! There ain't no thirty letters! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I is supereor to a teecher! They dont's no that there ain't no 30 letters! There's only 23 25 26. Ha ha ha.

Along comes one person with a brain (a teacher) to shatter the illusion. It turns out that there are more than 30 letters if you count capital letters and lower-case letters separately... as you do when you are teaching kids how to read. Simple. In fact, it was kind of obvious even before the teacher spoke up, but the delicates aren't that smart, especially when they're in the middle of a mega smuggie.

Now it gets even more stupid.

See, a great many of the delicates kept pouring through the edoor and adding their generic 2 cents... identical to all the prior 2 cents. Indeed, like the herd animals they are, they all kept smugging it up about the 30 letter thing and feeling so proud that they had outsmarted someone smarter. The fact that others kept pointing out that they weren't right didn't stop them at all. By God, they felt they were right!

Then a couple were told directly that they were wrong. What did they do?

They did what delicates always do... they got angry. They were shocked and angered that a teacher would defend this flier. How dare a teacher go against the herd to defend something that is WRONG! This flier has been declared unclean and THOU SHALT NOT DEFEND THE UNCLEAN!

Finally, a comparative brainiac among the delicates reasoned that even if the 30 letter thing wasn't wrong, it was still wrong because it had confused people and someone claiming to be a genius (as no doubt the flier writer claims because they clearly think they are better than the rest of us because they made a delicate feel bad) must not write a flier in a way that can be confusing!! The fact that the worst that will happen is people will assume it is a typo or they will call to ask what it means means nothing to these people. It confused me. It is wrong. And therEFORE YOU AIN'T AS SMART AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, SO MY LIFE IS NOT A TOTAL F**KING FAILURE!!!

This happens every time with the delicates. They act just like witch burners, Nazis or any other number of nasty herd creatures only lazier. They are seething with anger, smugness and arrogance, all basted in a nasty sauce of insecurity and ignorance. Everyone involved in this was a failure. The mother failed for not realizing that kids with a future can do all of this and more by the time they turn five because good parents teach their kids skills. The commenters failed for not knowing this, and for supporting her whining and thereby dooming the children of idiot parents who are looking for support among these people. Then they failed by trying to tear down a school based on their own ignorance, and attacking the teacher who tried to explain to them that the flier was not a witch after all.

Welcome to the ass end of the human race.
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This explains so much...

Japanese scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University have recently discovered that a slimy deep-sea marine worm known commonly as the acorn worm shares about 70% of its DNA with humans. This explains so much about our political class...

Speaking of slimy sea worms masquerading as human politicians, here is a quote from Hillary Clinton in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News yesterday:
“Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.”

—Hillary Clinton, interview on “Fox News Sunday,” July 31, 2016
This is just not true. FBI Director Comey said just the opposite. Though, there is some parsed-out legalistic truthiness to her statement. In his statement at his Congressional hearing on July 7, 2016, Director Comey would not speculate on whether she lied to the public. When asked by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), he said:
“I really don’t want to get in the business of trying to parse and judge her public statements. And so I think I’ve tried to avoid doing that sitting here. … What matters to me is what did she say to the FBI. That’s obviously first and foremost for us.”
And surprisingly at least two liberal media sources back up that her statement was just not true. Politifact gave her Fox News statement a big "Pants On Fire" rating and WashPo gave her 4 Pinocchios. Others have just ignored her statement to concentrate on the "Trump-Khan" word slimes of 2016.

Let's discuss this, or something else. I am sure that Trump will give us a new topic if we run out.

Oh, and as a side note, when I was looking for photos of the acorn worm in a Google search, for some reason this photo was right smack-dab in the middle. I have no idea why it was there in the middle of all of the phallic-looking worms. But from the look on its dignified, little puss, it's probably annoyed to be in the same company as all of these worms. I think you can appreciate the sentiment.
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Monday, August 1, 2016

Random Thoughts

Yo. Long weekend. Not much to report. Actually, there is.

o The Police: There was a really nice story locally. I mentioned the other day that my mother baked a cake for the police. Well, it turns out that she was not alone. The police reported this weekend that so many people have brought them food that they can't even eat it all, so they've been giving massive amounts to charity. It's great to hear that so many people in my community wanted to show their support for the police in this way. I love Americans. :)

o End Times: Tennis ball sized hail can rip the siding off of homes, shatter windows, and make cars look like they were riddled with 50 caliber rounds. If I were an idiot, I suppose I might conclude that this bitch-slap from mother nature means we've sinned and Jesus is coming. If I were an idioter, I would suppose that it's global warming. Since I'm neither of those things, I realize that this is par for the course on Earth and is much more sedate than what is happening on other planets. It also shows that American society is very good at cleaning up and moving right along. Good for us!

o Sharknado 4: The end times have come. That is all.

o Wah Wah: No surprise here, the "Trump's so dangerous" campaign has racheted up tonight with an "insider" claiming Trump is a "sociopath" who will destroy the world if he gets his hands on the nuclear codes. Yawn. Heard that about Reagan too. And of course, it started with Goldwater and the daisy commercial. I'm surprised they never tried it with McCain, but I guess they didn't need to. He came across as bat ship crazy enough on his own. The fact they would trot this out shows desperation.

As an aside, this is a mistake. When you go nuclear, there isn't any higher you can go (unless you want to claim Trump will suck out our eternal souls, which I suspect some want to believe). It's like making the president the villain in your movie. There's just nowhere to go from there. You just can't go back to having normal villains after that because it feels like a letdown. This is a mistake. They should have started smaller: "Trump will get a major city destroyed by rogue white male activists who want to lower the capital gain!" Then you gradually go nuclear in the sequels. Right now, when they whine about whatever he's done, people can just say, "Well, at least he didn't blow up the planet." //remove tongue from cheek

o Put Yo Money Where Your Mouth Is: As predicted, Hillary's pantsuit did not sell out. Not even close. What did start selling was the pocket constitution that Muslim dude whipped out to whine about his son... no, I don't care or respect that line of attack. If that's the best Hillary can manage, a $1 pamphlet moving into the Top 100 at Amazon, then that's pretty pathetic. In fact, I read that the venders at the Democratic convention were furious that no one was buying. Apparently, Democrats weren't too excited. What did excite them was Tinder. Tinder is basically for gays and people looking for quickie affairs, and it did gangbusters at the DNC. Maybe the venders should have sold condoms with Hillary's picture on them, and the slogan, "Hard to Believe."

Oooooooh, that was funny! :D Enjoy!!
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday's Thoughts: Election, Gary Johnson, and Wolf Children

By Kit

I barely watched the two conventions, though I did follow them. This election already has me worn out and there are about 90 days left until it finally ends. Unless, of course, it is a tie —a real possibility— proving once and for all that God has turned His back on America.

But here are some thoughts, anyway.

Parties United?

Despite the rancor online and on TV the parties are rather united, though not as much as they were in 2012. The cause of the ruckus in Philadelphia this week was largely due to the fact that, because so few local, grassroots Democrats were willing to go against the Clintons, Bernie had to dip outside the usual Democratic Party reservoirs to find delegates to represent him in Philadelphia. He had to find men and women on the left who did not care about making enemies of the Clinton family, which meant nutjobs, amateurs, and nutjob amateurs.

Folks who probably would not have voted Clinton, or even voted, anyway.

But… there are problems. Namely that you have two candidates that nearly everyone, except for their core supporters, loathes. They are damaged goods and we therefore have plenty of undecideds for either to pick up between now and November.

The Russian Connection

A few days ago Trump caused a stir (when does he not?) by saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

He was referring, of course, to the 30,000 emails wiped from Hillary’s private server. The media pounced on his statement, one Democrat panelist on Fox called it “treason.” Which begs to mind what she considers it to be when a Secretary of State uses a private server to exchange thousands of classified emails, opening them up to every foreign intelligence agency (including the Russians).

Of course, as over-the-top as the reaction on the Left is, it’s not like Trump hasn’t given them ammo. Evidence of coziness between Trump and Moscow are plenty. Let’s just look at recent events, shall we? Around Christmas he was praising Putin as a “strong leader,” a phrase which in his mind seems to be the highest compliment above all others to pay to a leader (one wonders what he thinks of other “strong leaders” like Stalin or Mao). When he dumped Lewandowski he hired Paul Manafort, a man who spent the past few years helping pro-Putin Ukrainian dictator Then in the week-and-a-half before the most recent statement he said he was not sure if the US should protect the Baltics if they don’t pull their weight in NATO (unaware that they do), talked about lifting sanctions and handing over Crimea to Moscow, and his folks pushed the RNC to soften its language on Russia in the platform. Any one of these would be eyebrow-raising, but taken together they craft a very disturbing image.

If he had spent the campaign season talking tough on Moscow then perhaps the Left’s accusation would have no weight, but since Mr. Trump seems to have a massive man-crush on the tyrant, it carries a bit of weight.

Why I’m voting Gary Johnson —or writing in somebody

I loathe the two candidates. James Woods recently posted a cartoon depicting a Hillary speech as fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. Well, I feel the same way about Trump. I feel that way about both of them. As Charles C.W. Cooke posted on Twitter, "Whichever candidate wins, I think I’m going to destroy my hearing with a screwdriver. Four years of listening to Trump or Clinton? No."

And, as I wrote above, it’s not just the aural aesthetics of their voices that annoy me. You could probably craft a Venn Diagram (they’re in, right now). They have both spent their entire lives using the government to advance their own ends be it the Clintons handing out treats to businesses in exchange for donations to their foundation or Trump buying treats from the government, such as getting the local government to try and force an old widow out of her home to make way for a limousine parking lot. They are symbols of everything that is wrong with modern America.

About the only really good thing you can say of these two crony parasites is that they seemed to have raised good families, but so did Joe Kennedy.

Charles Spurgeon said, “When given the choice between the lesser of two evils choose neither.” There is no reason I should have to choose between voting for Kang and Kodos, and I won’t. I will choose a third option. Since I am in Alabama, my vote won’t count much unless Trump has found ways to blow this election in ways So, that leaves my options rather open. I can actually register a protest vote, and I intend to.

I haven’t decided who, but by November 8 (my birthday, coincidentally) I will have made my choice. Which means I’m probably going to vote for Gary Johnson, or perhaps I will write somebody else in if my state permits it. Maybe F.A. Hayek, granted, he’s ineligible due to being dead and Austrian by birth but his Road to Serfdom is a perfect summary of our current state of affairs.

If I was living in a swing state like Florida or Iowa I would probably be racking myself a good deal more over the noxious choice between a crony politician and crony billionaire* but I don’t so I won’t. Instead, I will add my vote to someone else. It won’t matter much, but I figure every vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or some write-in is further evidence that both our major parties blew it. Big time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go read Lovecraft. I could use the pick-me-up.

*Still not entirely convinced he’s a billionaire.

Wolf Children

If you want something cheerier, I recommend reading my review of Wolf Children a week ago, if you haven’t.


It’s worth a watch. It’s a wonderful film. The kind of movie that stays with you and it makes for pleasant repeat-viewings. Not in the “oh, wow, I never noticed this before” way but in the way of the warm feeling you get when you meet up with old friends. All of the emotions; the joys, the sorrows, you never want to leave and I always feel kind of sad when I do because I wanted to spend more time with Ame, Yuki, Hana, and Wolfman. But I'm happy that I got to enjoy the company.

I feel the same way whenever I re-read Harry Potter, by the way.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hillary's Made History

Hillary Clinton is about to make history. Tonight she will officially make her acceptance speech and become the first woman to be nominated as a candidate for President by a major party. "Yey", I guess.

However, she is not the first woman to run for President. That honor goes to Victoria Claflin Woodhull who ran as the Equal Rights Party candidate in 1872. Her running mate was Frederick Douglass. However, since women did not have the right to vote, the Supreme Court ruled against her in her argument to be able run, so she did not actually ever make it to the ballot.

In 1884, Belva Ann Lockwood of the Equal Rights Party did become wthe first woman to make it on an official election ballot. Spoiler alert: She didn't win.

Other women have put their pillbox hats in the ring in the two major parties too, but never made it to the ballot - Gracie Allen (1940 as a joke), Margaret Chase Smith (Republican 1964), Shirley Chishom (Democrat 1972), Patsy Mink (Democrat 1972), Pat Schroeder (Democrat 1988), Elizabeth Dole (Republican 2000), Carol Moseley Braun (Democrat 2004), and, of course, Carly Fiorina (Republican 2016).

And even as we speak, Jill Stein is on the ballot as the Green Party candidate this year.

There have been many women to run over the years from various parties who didn't make this list, but let's give Hillary Clinton her due. She is the first woman to be legitimately nominated by a major party to run for President. Of course, according to some recently released emails, that all depends on what "legitimately" means.

Anyone want to wager on what she will say in her acceptance speech tonight?
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hillary-Con 2016

The Democratic convention has begun. And is it ever a mess. This thing is part whiner's convention... part deceptive ad... and part idiocy. Watch at your own risk. Here are some related thoughts.

● Dress As Success: I've always told you that I look for signs other than polls to figure out what the public is thinking. Polls suck for a number of reasons and ultimately are pretty worthless until right before the election. One of the signs that tells me Trump will win is how both the shop that sold Melina Trump her dress and Ivanka Trump her dress sold out within minutes of them starting to speak. That's a sign that women like them very much. (The Obamas had the same thing happen.) Hillary's tailor isn't going to experience that. Nor will Chelsea.

● Social MEdia: Another sign of what the public is thinking comes from social MEdia. When you look across the vast wasteland of Twitter and Facebook, you really don't see a lot of political memes being passed around this time... not like in 2004, 2008 and 2012. And what there are, are generally evenly split between anti-Hillary and anti-Trump. The image above is going around Pinterest right now. Note that this means that middle aged to youngish white women are passing around anti-Hillary posts. That's super bad for her. Look at the mix too of Bernie supporters -- middle aged white women. Again, this is meant to be Hillary's base and it's not backing her.

In fact, Anthony posted a link in the comments the other day about a poll showing Hillary's support among white women falling month on month to an amazing low. I think critical mass has been reached and she's finished.

● Vouchers: Another way to judge someone is to look at how they try to sell themselves. Hillary actually brought her sixth grade friend to the convention to vouch for her. Oy. In some instances, something like that would be cool. It could show that the candidate is loyal, with a long-term focus, and loved/respected by those around them. But when the public thinks you're a sh*t, doing this is like asking your mom to submit a note telling everyone how nice you are -- worthless. "Please excuse Hillary, she's just an awful person." It also tells us that Hillary understand that people aren't connecting to her, i.e. they don't think she's a good person.

● Personality Matters: I wonder what is destroying Hillary. She is corrupt, yes. But so are many more who have survived their corruption becoming public. She is incompetent. Indeed, her career reeks of failure and playing an ignored second fiddle. No rational person can doubt that without Bill Clinton's name to help her, she would be an angry caseworker at a woman's shelter. But again, W Bush weren't none too smart neither. In fact, he was brutally incompetent and yet he overcame that. She's a failure. That's unforgivable in America. Yet, sometimes losers can make a comeback if they show they've learned their lessons. Awful public speaker? So was Bush. So was Nixon. A me too ideologic-er? So was her better half... good God, how can Bill Clinton be anyone's better half?

So why can't she overcome these things? Is it all just too much? I don't think so. I think her problem is her personality. Her personality is awful. She's adopted the personae of the hateful school marm... the minor villain in films, the nasty teacher everyone remembers and no one liked. She just makes people dislike her.

● Ain't Got No Friends: Have you noticed that Hillary lacks celebrity support? Maybe you haven't, but she does. Most Democrats can count on massive numbers of Hollywood heavyweights being seen with them arm in arm throughout the process. They hold parties on their yachts for them, give speeches and smile benignly from the luxury boxes at their new bestie. Hillary seems to lack the heavyweights. What she's getting instead are mainly B-level women who are part of the Hollywood feminist movement. Because of this, she's not getting an army of pro-Hillary jokes in sitcoms, stages full of celebs fawning over her, or an army of famous people doing pro-Hillary interviews. That's another bad sign, especially as Hollywood thought they had made her husband famous. They seem to have forsaken her.

● In and Out: Finally, has anyone noticed that some of the DNC heavyweights (like Michelle Obama and Bernie and Elisabeth Warren) are all going early at the Democratic Convention? All the people with star power seem to be trying to sneak through before anyone starts paying attention. Interesting. What does that say when your friends don't want to be seen with you?

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Monday, July 25, 2016


The DNC opened their convention with a WikiLeaks email dump that confirmed how the DNC stacked the deck in Hillary's favor, the DNC Chair resigning because she was revealed to be ethically challenged and was then hired for Hillary's campaign, and the Sanders supporters boo-ing everytime someone said "Hillary Clinton" even during the opening prayer. Oh, and the Russians are everywhere trying to interfere with the elections. Fun times, fun times.

The good news is that the Dems don't seem to be any more together or cohesive than the Republicans. They have their own "Never Hillary" faction who boo-ed when Bernie pleaded with his followers to "Vote For Hillary". The irony didn't escape anyone who has been paying attention. Cruz gets boo-ed for "Vote Your Conscience" and not specifically endorsing Trump and Bernie gets boo-ed for endorsing Hillary. Politics truly does have strange bedfellows.

But it's early. We still have to go through the endless parade of celebrities, "undocumented workers", and BLM supporters who will have their say. Oddly, Hillary complained about that is was "so sad" that the Republicans spent so much time talking about her during their convention. She promises to be civil because, as presumptive VP nominee Tim Kaine explained, the Dems gave up name-calling when they were in the 5th Grade. Yeah...

Let's discuss.
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