Monday, December 02, 2019

Football Highlights

This was the best football weekend of the season. I will admit that Ohio State vs. Michigan was not everything that one might have wished for, but the Iron Bowl (Alabama/Auburn) not only lived up to expectations, it exceeded them. The game was even better than the final score (48-45) might lead one to believe. It was not busted plays or flukes, it was an entire game of outstanding football by both teams on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Edge of the seat stuff.

On Sunday the Ravens and 49ers game, despite being played in a downpour, or maybe because of it, was everything we all hoped it might be. It looked like the defense of both teams were not playing up to par because both offenses looked so proficient, until one looked at the scoreboard and realized the final score was only 20-17. That's the way football should be played; no spectacular plays, just solid, every play perfection.

The best couple moments came during the game between LSU and Texas A&M. One of them was not during the game and the other was not even on the football field. The first was when quarterback Joe Burrow came out before the game wearing a jersey with his name spelled "Burreaux." The home crowd went nuts. He changed it for one with his name spelled properly before the game.

The other came in the fourth quarter when, with LSU having a massive lead, they ceremoniously took Joe Burrow out of the game. It brought the house down, of course, as it was intended to do, and the camera panned to his parents in the stands. The look of love and pride on their faces was the best moment of the entire football weekend.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Politics

from spaceFor those of you whose paper doesn't carry this strip.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Where Do You Put The Horse?

Have you noticed that, while united on the desire to impeach, Democrats have changed the grounds for that impeachment several times? Shouldn't that ring an alarm bell that they don't really care about "high crimes and misdemeanors" and are putting the cart before the horse?

First it was about "colluding" with the Russians to meddle in the election. Problem was that nobody knew precisely what constituted “collusion,” which didn’t stop them from spending 2+ years and $320 million trying to prove that he did it, whatever it was, and even with an such an undefined crime they failed to get an indictment.

Then it was about "obstruction of justice," except that no one could be convinced that what he was doing amounted to “obstruction.” Further, with no underlying crime it turned out that what he wasn’t obstructing wasn’t actually justice, so that amounted to another failure.

Next they moved from Russia to Ukraine and changed the charge to a "quid pro quo" until it turned out that voters couldn't speak Latin. In any case the Ukrainian president said there wasn’t a “quid pro quo,” whatever that is, so Democrats were foiled again.

Now they have switched the charge to "bribery," not because Trump did it, or because they have any evidence of such a deed, but because (unlike “collusion, obstruction of justice” or “quid pro quo”) that crime is specifically stated in the constitution as grounds for impeachment. Clever.

In the normal course of events this process would go something like, "Hey the president bribed somebody so we need to impeach him." Instead the drivers of the process are saying that, "We want to impeach the president, so we need to find a crime to use." Awesome.

Democrats are really enamored of their impeachment cart, they just don’t know where to put the horse, assuming that they would recognize a horse if it walked up and bit them on the collective ass.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Rising Tide Doesn't Float All Boats

It seems the rest of the voters are catching up to me, as I knew Elizabeth Warren was full of crap a long time ago. If nothing else, she’s an economist, an ilk which tells us that if you pour water from one bucket into another then all buckets will be full.

(Dean Baker; “There is no such thing as a labor shortage. All you have to do is pay higher wages and hire them away from your competitor.”)

Lizzie had risen to one of the top two in the Democratic candidate field, but is now down in the middle ranks, with her rating falling from 27% down to 14% in the polls. It’s not surprising given her astonishing performance on “healthcare for all.” (Among other things. “I sent my kids to public schools.” Oops.)

For months Warren competed with Bernie Sanders on this point, with Sanders admitting that he would tax the middle class to pay for it but that the tax would be less than they are now paying in insurance premiums, while Warren said the middle class would pay nothing at all. She said that “I have a plan” to pay for it, one which did not include “working men and women,” but steadfastly refused to reveal the plan.

She finally succumbed to pressure and revealed the plan but would have been better off, as is usually the case with this nitwit, to have kept it to herself.

The first part of the plan was, of course, the “wealth tax” and, amazingly, no one interrupted her to point out that she had already committed the “wealth tax” to paying for a free college education for everybody including, apparently, those who didn’t graduate from high school.

Long story short, the payment plan floated like a brick in a millpond, so Warren changed to a long term transition wherein people would “buy in” to Medicare and private insurance would not be cancelled but would sort of wither away to a natural death as the popularity of Medicare…

Right, that boat is not floating either. Thus the drop in the polls.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Ready, Fire, Aim

Elizabeth Warren opines that, “Traffic violence kills thousands and injures even more American every year. On World Day Remembrance for Traffic Crash Victims, I’m sending my love to the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones. It’s time to #EndTrafficViolence.”

How precious is that? It probably would be more to the point to send love directly to people who have actually lost loved ones, rather than to their families and friends, but Elizabeth Warren is probably a little too erudite to realize that. It seems this lady is one of those people who has been educated beyond her intelligence.

Keeping the Faith

The Secretary of the Navy resigned yesterday because, “I no longer share the same understanding (of military law) with the Commander in Chief who appointed me. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath that I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Yes indeed, because the constitution specifically states that a Chief Petty Officer who poses with corpse of a dead enemy shall be ejected from the Navy Seals. I cannot find the article and paragraph at the moment, but there is no doubt that allowing Chief Gallagher to remain in the Navy Seals would be a direct and devastating violation of our constitution, and that such a violation would greatly endanger the national security of our nation.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Purpose of Tariffs

A few days ago Dean Baker wrote a piece declaiming the evils of tariffs. He is an economist, and should have been taught the value of tariffs as an economic protectionist tactic, and that our government has used them many times in the past 200 years, but apparently he skipped that part of class. I left the following comment on his piece.

Yes, tariffs raise prices on imported goods. That is their purpose. They do not raise prices on goods made in this country. That means that tariffs make domestic manufacturers competitive with cheap imports produced by low cost foreign labor, thereby benefiting workers who make those products in this country.

I am one of those workers. Back in the 1960s the American steel industry was being hurt by low quality steel imported from Europe, mostly from Poland, and sold at low prices. The government finally imposed tariffs on that imported steel, making high quality American steel competitive, and my job was saved.

Yes, the American consumer pays higher prices. They are doing so to support well paid, meaningful manufacturing jobs for their fellow citizens. You get what you pay for.


Dean Baker removed the comment from his blog.

(Yes, President Trump's comment was ignorant, in that it wrongly states the benefit of tariffs. That does not make Baker's response logical or reasonable.)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Why Colleges are Failing Us

I was directed to a Facebook post by Heather Cox Richardson, who is an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College, on the subject of Gordon Sondland’s session before the Senate committee. Her dissertation on Sondland's testimony sort of illustrates why today’s institutes of higher education are going so horribly wrong.

She does say that, “Sondland has changed his testimony three times now, and is clearly motivated by a keen desire to stay out of jail,” and that “…he was also clearly being very careful with his wording over some issues, and there is no reason to take his testimony as gospel truth.”

After that quite rational observation she adds another reason to discard entirely anything the Sondland might have to say. “Certainly his claim that Ukraine fell within his portfolio is wrong and self-serving. Ukraine is not part of the European Union, and at the time he began his shenanigans, Ukraine had an ambassador,” who wasn’t him.

Having made a couple of statements that reflect a reasonable degree of sanity, she then departs entirely from the sphere of reality. “Still,” she says, “my long-standing prediction that this administration ends in a resignation is looking stronger than it did a day ago.”

Seriously? You completely discredit this clown, and then assert that his dishonest uninformed bullshit is going to take the president down? And you are a college professor?

She then goes on to assert that, “the Ukraine scandal was about undermining Trump’s leading Democratic challenger by starting rumors that he was under investigation for a crime.” Well, that might be true if you believed Sondland’s lies that the scandal was about what Trump supposedly did, but reality is that the scandal was about Democratic lies attempting to undermine a constitutionally elected president.

She adds that, “Trump’s plot weakened Ukraine and strengthened Russia,” when it wasn’t Trump’s plot, it was a Democratic plot which didn’t significantly affect Ukraine at all, in part because Russia was laughing their asses off at American idiocy.

She finishes with, “It is an attack on American democracy itself, taking away our right to choose our own leaders.” Well, yes, because the losing side is trying to impeach the one we elected, merely because he won.

Lighter News

A post on The Duffell Blog, a military version of The Onion, was headlined “Marine crayon eating contest goes horribly wrong.”

The problem leading to the contest's disaster was, the article tells us, that “no one told Pfc. Smith he needed to chew the crayons.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Marine Corps, have a very high respect for them and have enjoyed a sterling relationship with them through the years.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

FFL/NFL Thoughts

Last week I was in sole possession of 11th place in a 12-team league. I won this past weekend and am now in a four-way tie for 8th place, which is not as much of an improvement as it might seem, since there is still only one team with a worse record than mine. I am keeping company with the Chargers.

Did I really watch that last night? Four interceptions, and two more interceptions dropped? Five trips into the red zone in the first half, netting nothing more than three field goals? That was just weird.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Impeachment Follies

Please don't mistake me for a supporter of Donald Trump, but...

The “whistleblower” came forward because he was concerned that President Trump was “going against established US foreign policy.”   Since the constitution clearly and unequivocally establishes that is the President who sets US foreign policy, how is it even possible that the President could “go against established US foreign policy.”

The current “talking point” for impeachment is no longer “quid pro quo,” but is now the same actions relabeled as “bribery." This is because “quid pro quo” is not named in the constitution as grounds for impeachment, while “bribery” is.

Bribery is rather clearly defined in the dictionary, and there a few problems with the application of the term to this set of actions and statements. Trump did not give Ukraine this money, Congress did. Trump did not personally benefit from the putative “quid pro quo,” his presidential campaign supposedly did.

Even if legal maneuvering could manage to define Trump as the donor of the money to Ukraine because he held it back and then released it, which would be legal magic to an extraordinary degree, this instance would have severe consequences. If paying money to enhance one’s political campaign amounts to bribery, then every member of Congress is in very big trouble.

From Homeschoolmomof11, a commenter on Powerline, regarding Ambassador Yovanovitch, “I keep trying to hold to the ideal that women can be just as strong as men and just as deserving of leadership positions, but the Democrats keep pushing women like this into the spotlight and ruining it for me.” Yes, this woman and the ditz who tried to bring down Justice Kavanaugh.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Levity In My Life

My wife is makes many positive contributions to my life, among them an ongoing sense of levity. She is currently having an anxiety attack because I am changing a light switch in the bathroom. She is utterly convinced that this is an activity which will almost certainly lead to my instant and horribly painful death. There is a secondary concern that it might set the house on fire. I like her priorities, but...

She is well aware that I was an Electrician's Mate in the Navy. Everything else that I do is self taught, but electrical work is the one thing for which I have any formal training. It matters not. Electricity is a substance only slightly less dangerous than Republicans.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Interest On The Debt

Dean Baker published a piece a couple weeks ago in which he opined that government payments of interest on the national debt are too trivial to deserve any attention, and are in any case smaller now than they were in 1991. You have to make allowances for Dean, he’s an economist, and his brain was destroyed in college.

What he said, specifically, was that “interest payments were around 1.7 percent of GDP last year,” which “compares to a peak of 3.2 percent of GDP in 1991.”

Interest payments are not subtracted from GDP, of course, they are subtracted from federal revenue, and I’ll get to that in a bit, but like most economists, Dean Baker is really lousy at math. In fiscal 2019 the government paid $574.6 Billion in interest and the GDP was $21.3 Trillion, so the percentage was 2.7%, not the 1.7% he claims. In 1991 the numbers were $286 Billion and $6.16 Trillion, so that year it was 4.6% rather than the 3.2% that his slide rule came up with.

He doesn’t say where he gets his numbers, possibly from a portion of his body that the sun never shines on. I get mine from the US Treasury Department website. 2.7% is a bit more than half of 4.6%, so the “less than half” part of his headline is bogus, but even so his theory would paint a pretty nice picture if it was the whole story. But, of course, it is not the whole story by a long shot.

For one thing, he takes the position of a man falling from a ten story building, who says as he passes the fifth floor, “Well, I’m okay so far,” because he disregards the factor of interest rates. And that is by no means a trivial issue.

In 1991 the debt was $3.66 Trillion, so that $286 Billion represented a 7.8% interest rate. Today the debt is $22.8 Trillion and the $574 Billion amounts to a 2.5% interest rate. What that means is that if the interest rate rises we have a problem. At the 7.8% rate of 1991, interest today would be $1.78 Trillion.

How big a problem is that? Well, at 8.5% of GDP, even Dean Baker might consider that a bit of a problem. I would not, because its relation to GDP is utterly irrelevant. Interest payments are not paid out of the GDP, they are paid out of federal revenue, and payments of $1.78 Trillion out of federal revenue is a disaster. That interest payment would consume 51.4% of federal revenue.

Even at the current 2.5% rate, interest payments of $575 Billion consume 16.5% of federal revenue, which currently is $3.46 Trillion. No spending item other than “defense” spends more. And since we continue to spend $1 Trillion more than we take in every year, the cost of the debt grows larger and more dangerous every year.

And yet not only is this issue entirely absent from the political discourse, every Democratic candidate continues to promise more and more “free stuff” as the foundation of their campaign, assuring the “middle class” that they will have to pay for none of it.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's Funny Money

As much as it was beginning to annoy the media, Elizabeth Warren would have been better served to continue refusing to answer questions about how she was going to pay for her “Medicare For All” plan.

One has only to examine the first item in her plan to see that what she is proposing makes “smoke and mirrors” look more substantial than a fleet of nuclear bombers.

Bear in mind that the plan will cost $3.2 trillion per year, and total government spending in 2019 was $4.45 trillion. Given that we are currently spending $1.3 trillion on health care, the $3.2 trillion cost of her “Medicare For All” plan will be more than the $3.15 trillion of non-health care spending by the government, so funding is not a trivial issue.

“First,” she says, “we’re going to use the $1.6 trillion of current spending on Medicare and Medicaid.” She actually says $16 trillion, because she adopts the popular fantasy of using numbers for a decade, but since the government only budgets for one year at a time I’m going to call her on using bogus numbers and stick to using real ones.

The first problem with her claim here, is that in 2019 we are spending only $1.3 trillion, so there is already a $300 billion hole in her funding plan, and we are still on the first line item of her plan.

The next problem is that she is evaluating apples by counting oranges with that claim, in that she is discussing funding and citing spending, which are two different things. The government is spending more than it takes in, and one item that is definitely operating at a deficit is Medicare. Medicare taxes, in fact, only cover about half of what is spent on Medicare payouts, and other health care spending is operating on the same 35% deficit that the government does.

So, and you can do your own math on this, the actual funding that she will get for her plan by claiming existing funding, rather than existing spending, is $800 billion. That is barely half of the $1.6 trillion she claims will contribute toward funding of her plan, so just by examining the first line item of her laundry list we see that she is already $800 billion short on her claim.

The rest of the items are no better, and most of them are worse, so this funding plan is really no better than her claims of Native American heritage.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

California style

Santa Ana weather is not limited to wind. Winds north of us are still high, but the past couple of days we have actually had very little wind. What we have had is very low humidity which causes a large day/night heat difference, and that effect is magnified by being at the sea coast. Our differences are running almost 50 degrees between daytime high and night time low. We actually run the air conditioner in the afternoon and the furnace at night. Weird, but...

What's funny is watching the early morning dog walkers on the street in front of our house. Parkas are quite common, along with mittens. Oddly, the parkas and mittens are often combined with shorts and flip flops. Well, this is California.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Things are not always what they seem.

There was an article in Sky News about large numbers of young people seeking to reverse their decision to "transgender" themselves. Turns out changing their gender didn't make them as happy as they were promised it would do. Maybe their gender wasn't the problem.

My father was an alcoholic, as am I. Neither of us never lost our family or career, but we drank and lost our sense of self. When my father got sober and, nine years later I did likewise, I found out that feelings are often not what they seem.

My Dad and I both suffered from a great deal of anger. We did not beat our wives or anything like that. I got in bar fights for a while, but that phase didn't last long. But anger was always there for both of us. Anger management courses did nothing. You know that thing about expressing or "ventilating" your anger? Not only didn't work, it made things worse.

Then one time after I'd been sober a while I was talking with a psychologist about depression. This was not treatment, we were just chatting socially. He commented that I would never describe myself as depressed even if I was. I said that would be dangerous, to be depressed and not know it. I remember his response word for word. "Oh, no, you would manifest it as anger."

That social conversation started me on a journey. Was my anger actually something else manifested as anger? The answer, of course, turned out to be not just "yes," but "oh hell yes."

It wasn't depression as it turns out. What it was is not really pertinent to my point. I no longer have to deal with anger, though and I never actually dealt with anger. I worked until I found out what my problem was, I dealt with that problem, and the anger melted away.

How many of these poor lost souls who "transgender" would be saved a lot of pain if they had the good fortune to run across someone who helped them find out that the nature of their sexual organs was not what was causing them to feel weird?

Monday, October 21, 2019

What Kind of Star?, Take 2

Melvin Gordon wanted to be paid $13 million per year to be a running back for the Los Angeles Chargers. He carried the ball 16 times this past weekend, for 32 yards. At his desired pay rate he would be getting paid $25,390.63 per yard.

He ran twice from the one-yard line, gained zero yards and fumbled the ball once. I have no idea how to calculate the pay rate for that.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

What Kind of Star?

In reporting her endorsement of Bernie Sanders, NBC News anchor Lester Holt referred to Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as a "Democratic rising star." Abandon hope all ye who are members of the Democratic Party.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Voodoo Economics Again

Dean Baker is back at it again with his insane theories about the reason and need for taxes. He tells us again yesterday that, “the federal government doesn’t need revenue to spend, it prints money.”

You don’t need income when you can print money. The deficit and federal debt are meaningless, which would lead a person with an IQ higher than room temperature to wonder why we keep track of that debt, and why Congress imposes spending limits.

Adding to the spending limit mystery, of course, is that every time we reach that limit Congress raises it, which would lead a thinking person to wonder why it exists. Not to worry, though, as there aren’t any thinking persons in this nation.

So why do we have taxes? We have them, according to Dean Baker, “to reduce consumption, so as to create the economic space for spending.”

Okay, think about that for a moment. No one does, because thinking is extinct in this nation. Taxes exist purely to prevent you from spending your own money on what you want to buy, which is what “consumption” is, so as to “create economic space for spending.”

Spending by whom? They are taking money from us to prevent us from spending it in order to “create space for spending.” How is that anything more than mere gibberish?

And, if Baker’s argument is valid, why are all of the Democratic candidates talking about the new forms of taxes they are going to create, given that today’s problem is an inability to keep inflation up to the target of 2% as desired by the Federal Reserve, and that the purpose of taxes is to hold down inflation?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hyperbole Returns to San Diego

The San Diego Union Tribune sports writers are so ecstatic over the Chargers (who, it should be pointed out, are no longer even a San Diego team) winning a football game Sunday, that one of them writes that quarterback Philip Rivers, "has a decent shot of reaching the Super Bowl tournament."

First let's be clear that the Super Bowl is a football game, not a tournament.

Next, let's come back down to Earth and point out that the Chargers have played only four games of a sixteen game season and have won only two of those games while the Chiefs have won all four of the games they have played, making the Chargers tied for second in their division. Not to mention that they have yet to play the Chiefs and the Raiders each twice, leaving the playoffs rather much questionable.

Not to mention that the game they just won, and which made the local sports writers so ecstatic, was against Miami, which now has a record of 0-4 and cannot really be called a bad football team because it is pretty much not really a football team at all.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Endlessly Feckless

The party that brought us Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy has deteriorated to a band of harpies and dodderers whose sole motivation is the acquisition and preservation of power, and whose methods consist of a frantic contest to see who can offer the most lavish free lunch using other people’s, and mostly fictional, money.

Their current Plan A has been “RussiaGate,” a ship which they continued to steer long after it ran aground on the rocks of reality, fecklessly cranking on the helm and wondering why it was going in the wrong direction without realizing that it was hard aground and going nowhere.

They then moved to Plan B, which was called “Project 1619,” and was a plan that revised history to show that this nation was not founded in 1776 based on the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence, but was founded when the first shipload of African slaves landed on this continent in 1619, and that the new nation was intended as a market for African slaves. The purpose of Project 1619 was to demonstrate that the current president is a racist, but no logical explanation of how it does that has ever been offered.

The plan never ran aground for the simple reason that it never really left port. The public realized that, while this tomfoolery was great for destroying the “Make America Great” campaign, they didn’t really want a “Make America Awful” campaign to replace it, and even Democrats figured out that they weren’t going to be able to impeach a sitting president for aiding and abetting slavery in the 21st century.

So some Democrats noticed Joe Biden boasting about using $1 billion of US foreign aid money to extort Ukraine to fire their General Prosecutor and came up with Plan C, which boils down to, “Let’s impeach the current president for doing what Joe Biden did,” which actually has several flaws.

Flaw number one is, of course, that it shoots down in flames the leading Democratic presidential candidate, but that’s okay because he was the wrong gender anyway. Whoever the next president is, it must be a female. Sorry, Bernie, you’re next, but you should be used to it by now.

The second flaw is, of course, that the sitting president did not do what they claim he did, but that’s only a drawback if you’re not a Democrat. Liberals never let facts stand in the way of a good narrative, even though it was a Republican who famously claimed that, “we create our own reality, which you are at liberty to admire.”  Democrats do not really expect that their creation of reality, in which this nation's founding principle was the enslavement of African people, will be admired by anyone.

In order to enhance the culpability of the sitting presidency of doing what Joe Biden did, Democrats cook up various fictions to maintain that Joe Biden didn’t do it, as if his innocence somehow proves the sitting president’s guilt. The logic involved in that argument is somewhat less than impeccable, but…

One might think that lurking in the back of the Democratic mind is Plan D, which might involve an outline of constructive action, but it is becoming increasingly likely that such is not the case. ("Free lunch" cannot really be considered constructive.) They had nothing in 2016 other than preaching the evils of their opponents, and so far this cycle they seem to have nothing other than, “shampoo, rinse, repeat.”

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Whitewash

NBC News ran a segment last night which included an "exclusive interview" with the Ukrainian prosecutor who was fired at Joe Biden's behest. The interviewer went to great length to get the prosecutor to say that he had not seen any evidence that either Biden, father or son, had violated any Ukrainian law. Apparently extortion is legal in Ukraine.

It matters not. NBC's effort to keep Joe Biden out of this story is bullshit. Any prosecutor will tell you that motive is not an element of the crime.

Joe Biden is convicted of extortion out of his own mouth. "If the prosecutor's not fired you don't get the money." It doesn't matter why he did it. If you rob a bank and give the money to charity, you are still guilty of bank robbery, and you will serve the same jail sentence as if you had used the money to buy diamonds for your wife or a Rolex for yourself.

"If the prosecutor's not fired you don't get the money." Guilty, case closed.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Willful Blindness

Democrats are outraged that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, but the sad fact is that there is no need to investigate him. Joe Biden has convicted himself out of his own mouth, repeatedly.

He tells us, “They’re walking out of the press conference and I said, ‘Nah, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’” The Ukrainian officials challenged him, reminding him that the president had authorized the money, and he says that he replied to them, “Call him. I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.” He tells them that he’s leaving in six hours and, “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.”  He then finishes the story by saying, gleefully, “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

You do not need to know anything about the Ukrainian prosecutor or what he was investigating. You do not need to know anything about Joe Biden’s son, the son’s business dealings, or Joe Biden’s knowledge of the son’s business.

The facts needed to convict Joe Biden of a felony are contained in the words that come out of his own mouth. Joe Biden, acting in his official capacity as Vice President of the United States, interfered in the internal governance of Ukraine, using $1 billion of US foreign aid money as an instrument of extortion to do so.

Democrats are saying the Trump “pressured Zelensky by implication” because the actual threat of not delivering $350 million in aid was not made verbally in the conversation. Perhaps. Some would say the so-called threat was not made at all. Joe Biden’s threat was not implied. “If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money.”

What Trump did say in the telephone conversation was that, “What Joe Biden did was really shameful,” a statement with which I find it hard to disagree.

The media’s response to that, in their commentary following Trump’s news conference was, stunningly, unbelievably, “There’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong.”

The media is accusing Trump, on evidence that at best is thinner than a single strand of a spider’s web and in actuality is entirely fictional, of holding foreign aid money as a quid pro quo for favors from a foreign leader, but in the face of Joe Biden actually boasting of doing precisely that they say that, “There’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong.”

There can be no stronger evidence that the media has become an instrument of political manipulation and propaganda, and that it is is devoted to deposing an elected president by any means.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Redoubling on Double Standard

Hillary Clinton pays an ex-Russian agent to get dirt on her political rival while corrupting the Democratic Primary election, and when news of all that comes out the Democrats create “Russiagate” to brand Trump as a Russian agent.

After two full years of hysteria, that whole thing lies on the floor like a dead walrus while Democrats idly flog and poke the carcass hoping for signs of life.

Then Joe Biden brags about using $1 billion in US foreign aid to blackmail Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who is investigating the Ukrainian company that is enriching his son Hunter, and the Democrats create “Ukrainegate” before they even know what the telephone conversation in question actually contained, accusing Trump of maybe (there's no evidence) doing what they know for sure that Biden actually did do.

They really think this one is going to work, even though Hillary’s crimes were not identical to those attributed to Trump and that she did not admit them, while Biden’s crime is identical to that attributed to Trump, and not only has he admitted it, he actually brags about it repeatedly.

And, as an interesting little sidelight, they condemn Trump for not delivering the whistleblower to them, notwithstanding that no president in history and been as viciously prosecutorial of whistleblowers as Barack Obama, a policy of which Democrats were fully supportive.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Antonio Brown Saga

New England fans were ecstatic. Bill Belichick is the one man in the NFL that will be able to control Tonio. This will make the Patriots 16-0 this season and turn the Super Bowl into a cakewalk. Oh, hahahaha. Not so much.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Hysteria Nation

Perhaps California could come up with this, but the following is from the today's issue of the Seattle Times.

"Two young people who used vaping products have been diagnosed with severe pulmonary lung diseases, bringing the total number of Washington state cases to three in what health officials say is a statewide outbreak of severe illnesses."

Three cases. 3. The number one larger than two. A "statewide outbreak."

Vaping has been around for several decades and has been practiced by millions of people. No problems have been reported until this month. Now we have 380 people sick and 6 people dead in a nation of 320 million people. Six people. Not six million, six thousand, or even six hundred. Six.

These people vaped, so it's time to panic. It's time to screech about the "vaping epidemic" (six dead, for God's sake), and ban vaping. "They were vaping and now they're dead."

We don't know what else they were doing. They may have been huffing paint. They may have been smoking magic mushrooms. But we have a fucking "vaping epidemic." God help us all.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

They Are Who We Thought They Were

And who they have been for several years. Favored by 7.5 points, the Chargers were tied with the Colts at the end of regulation, after the Colts had missed two short field goals and an extra point kick. The Chargers did manage to win in overtime, but... They had a team total of 166 yards rushing without Melvin Gordon, which makes his $13 million demand look sillier by the week.

The Kansas City Chiefs won 40-26, so they met expectations. Eli Manning went down in flames 35-17, so he lives up to his recent reputation. The Patriots massacred the Steelers 33-3 as Big Ben continues on his sad road to ignominy.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Thursday Night Football

Today's headline read, "Defenses Put Offenses To Sleep."

How about "Offenses Put Viewers To Sleep." That may have been the most over-hyped, worst football game I have ever watched. 100 years have brought us to this? A game in which the coaches do not know how to call plays; calling for a pass to be thrown behind the line of scrimmage when trailing by seven points, with three minutes left in the game, and 70 yards away from scoring?

As bad as the play calling was, offensive player execution was even worse. Dropped passes were matched by receivers running the wrong routes, quarterbacks missing open receivers, throwing passes that took the receivers out of bounds, and offensive linemen that were not even looking at the players they were supposed to block.

Fortunately, there will be some games Saturday being played by colleges, which have players and coaches who actually know what they're doing.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

CA legalizes discrimination

SB 826, passed last year, added a section to the California Corporations Code to mandate that all corporations must include at least one female on their boards of directors. Larger corporations must include more than one. The benefit to corporations is unclear. The benefit to the state of California is even less clear.

Note that they do not need to include any males. A board of directors which is 100% female would be perfectly okay with the California Legislature, just not one which is 100% male. This is, somehow, not discriminatory.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Low Expectations

Much excitement is being made about Auburn's freshman quarterback and his "awesome" performance against Oregon last night. I'm like, "What?"

The guy completed 13 passes out of 31 attempts, for 42%, which might be okay in Pop Warner leagues but stinks in the NCAA and utterly reeks in the SEC. It goes downhill from there. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, and the winning touchdown with nine seconds left in the game was badly underthrown. It was a completion only because the Oregon defender badly botched the defense.

For the entire game the announcers were raving about the wonderfulness of Gus Malzahn's play calling, and I was wondering what planet they were on. He continually ran straight into the teeth of Oregon's strength, leading to Auburn generating a total of 206 yards rushing, which normally would be a decent halftime figure for an Auburn team. Overall, he made Oregon look better than it actually is.

Auburn has LSU, Georgia and Alabama on their schedule, and if they don't get their shit all in one sock those three games are not going to be the only ones that embarrass the hell out of them.

Friday, August 30, 2019

My Father Was Wrong

The headlines read, "Consumers Power US Economy" and "Consumer Spending Props Up GDP." So it turns out that my father did not get it right when he commented many years age that, "Hell, we can't all make a living selling each other hamburgers."

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Logic Does Not Prevail

The name of the show is "America's Got Talent," but it has contestants from South Africa, Germany, Austria... Apparently America does not have enough talent to sustain a talent show.

My wife harasses me about my expectations that people will behave logically. "Dear," she says, patiently, "that person has no idea why they changed lanes, and I won't guarantee you that they even know that they did change lanes."