Category Archives: Politics

Short Hits

Rather than write a long blog post on the long list of issues that face us these days, I thought I’d write short takes on them.

Voter Fraud.

You are not allowed to say that there was voter fraud in the last election although there clearly were several states where it happened. Many states, especially swing states used the excuse of COVID-19 to change voter laws that paved the way for fraud. If there was no fraud, as Democrats insist, why are they pushing HR-1 in the House and SR 1 in the Senate? If these were to pass it would enshrine the “emergency” rules of the last election in all future elections. It would also be a federal takeover of the constitutionally mandated responsibility for overseeing elections from the states. It is a blatant power grab by the Democrats.

Boys in Girls Sports.

IOC backs transgender weightlifter's selection for Tokyo, says to review  rules later | Reuters

Just because a boy “identifies” as a girl does not make him a girl. If he has a pecker he’s a boy and if she has a vagina she’s a girl. Keep it simple. Of course, there is much more to it than that. I guy could, under that scheme, cut his cock off, although I doubt many young men would be much interested in that idea. They only recently figured out how much fun that toy could be. Even if they did, that’s not the only biological difference. Muscle-mass, bone density and other characteristics make men stronger and leaner. It’s cheating to allow them to compete against the girls. Moreover, it is unfair to the girls who compete in athletics and may deny them scholarships to college.

Cancelling Trump.

Can the president cancel the 2020 election over coronavirus? - The Boston  Globe

The social media has used the January 6th riot to forbid Trump from commenting on Twitter or Facebook.
The liberals that own these platforms want him silenced. They fear him. The singular policy of the Biden administration that I can discern is to cancel and reverse everything that Trump did. No matter if it was wise policy or good for the country, it has to go. It is not just the border mess that reversing Trump’s policies has caused. Energy independence, lifting sanctions on Iran, soft treatment of Russia, middle east policies, spending money in absurd amounts that will guarantee inflation and favoring Palestinians are all disasters waiting to happen. It’s as if the people in the White House who are leading Joe around by his necktie are so obsessed with stamping out any memory of Trump that they are oblivious to the cliff in front of them.

It’s not just his policies that were cancelled. If he said something was green, the media and the Democrats (I repeat myself) would gang up and insist it was blue. For example:
Trump said early on that COVID likely came from a lab in Wuhan, China. That was poo-poo’d and Fauci and the media insisted that was BS. Now it turns out that is almost certainly did originate there either as an accident of intentional by the CCP. Same with hydroxycloroquine. Trump said it helped and speeded recovery from the virus and the media went nuts. Now however, new studies have come out showing it IS effective.

Training us to obey.

▷ Obey Fist Large Format by Shepard Fairey (Obey), 2019 | Print | Artsper  (617568)

(Artist for this “Obey” poster is Shepard Fairey alias Obey, who was born in 1970 in Charleston, US)

The arrival of COVID has given the green light to authoritarian government officials to flex their need to control people under the guise of an “emergency”. Businesses were shut down, people were restricted in many various ways; wear a mask, stay 6 ft apart, restaurants were either closed or seating limited, border crossings were restricted, etc. The government was training people to obey and punishments for transgressors swift and extreme. One of the most egregious examples happened late last month in Michigan, probably the state with the most insane rules. A restaurant owner did not comply with a closure order and was arrested and thrown in jail. This was on top of a $15,000 fine! Governor Whitner of MI violated her own rules but AG Nessel is not throwing her in the slammer. In fact, she only arrested the restaurant owner after she appeared on the Tucker Carlson show.

So, we will be well trained when the next “emergency” comes along and that, my friends, will be climate change.

The Border.

Rush's Analysis of the Border Crisis Applies Right Now - The Rush Limbaugh  Show

This is turning into a real crisis and the Biden team, particularly Kamala Harris, seem disinterested it reversing the policies that have cause it. They do actually want another two million migrants to enter the country via the southern border this year, send them to various states, get them hooked on government handouts and vote Democrat. IOWs it’s intentional.

After the Democrats found out that Trump was going to visit the border, they hustled Kamala Harris down there for a quick photo op. She’s supposed to be in charge of the border but had been AWOL until then.

The last several months there have been an average of 200,000 migrants per month creating a huge crisis in handling all of them. To add to the problem, many of them are testing positive for COVID. To make matters worse, they are secretly flying and bussing these folks all across the country. Talk about a mass spreader event!

This was a big issue in the 2016 election and will be again in 2022.

Biden.

At G-7, Biden is slow, confused and seemingly dazed - Washington Times

It is increasingly embarrassing to watch good ol’ Uncle Joe fumble and stumble his way through his limited public appearances. His staff attempts to protect him by restricting his schedule, tightly controlling the number of questions he handles and which friendly journalists he calls on. I had my doubts that he would hang on this long. I thought they would invoke the 25th Amendment and send him out to pasture. That would make Kamala the Cackler in Chief. This will be a problem. We are learning more about her background and character. Many doubt that she could even pass a security background check because of her ties to Marxist ideals and Chinese associations. The media and the Democrats worked tirelessly to get rid of Trump so as a replacement we get a guy with dementia and a Marxist for a replacement.

The Economy.

Report: 1.2 million part time jobs available

Between Trump and the Federal Reserve they dumped $5 trillion dollars into the economy to combat the effects of the COVID shutdowns and help the unemployed. The Democrats are going to top that number with the recently passed “infrastructure” package of $1.9 trillion and now are threatening to pass, without a single GOP vote, a $3.5 trillion dollar package. Not much of the infrastructure bill actually goes to what we think of by that name and the 3.5T is a socialism and climate change pork fest

The result of dumping all this money is predictable and inflation is surging. Inflation is the cruelest tax of all and hits the middle and lower classes hardest. Gasoline prices are climbing. More on that later. Food prices are rising rapidly, as are autos, car rental and lumber. I remember the inflation of the 70s and it wasn’t pretty.

Opening things up after the draconian shutdown policies would have resulted in growth without throwing all that money at the economy. Doubling unemployment payments plus direct bonus payments from government created the odd circumstances that in many cases it paid better to stay home that get a job. The result of that wrongheaded policy was that employers could not find willing workers! There are over 10 million jobs in the US going begging.

Taxes.

Tax Burden Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 15421430.

The massive spending package also has some provisions buried in it that would substantially raise taxes. In general they want to increase taxes on high earners and have proposed to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% as well as tightening up the taxation of foreign earning of US corporations.

The big hit is to individuals owning stock and that’s is almost everyone when you consider retirement plans. They want to bump the capital gains rate from 23.8% to 43.4%! The Biden plan would also change the estate tax to reduce the exemption from $11.5 million to $1 million and bump the rate to 40%.

In an article in the WSJ today Art Laffer (the architect of Reagan’s highly successful economic plan) and Steven Moore, they remind us of the “Misery Index”, the economic disaster of the Carter presidency in the 70s. The MI was calculated by adding the unemployment rate to the rate of inflation. When Reagan took office it stood at 22%! We lived it and it WAS miserable. The interest rate to buy a house or car stood at 18%.  Biden and his merry band of progressives is leading the US down the same fateful road. Trump followed the same formula as Reagan and the country prospered. Biden is going to destroy that and more.

Oil Shortage.

Energy Crisis (1970s) - HISTORY

The first thing Biden did in office was to issue an executive order shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline with all the materials laying on the ground. Put 10,000 highly paid workers out of a job. Of course, he did the same thing with the border wall. He then banned fracking on Federal land and stopped drilling in Alaska. You get the feeling he doesn’t like oil and gas. So the US that had been energy independent under Trump, was now buying oil from OPEC and gasoline prices rose an average of a buck a gallon from last year.

Voters notice that shit. Recognizing the unpopularity of high gas prices, anti-oil Joe this week was begging OPEC countries to pump more oil! Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.

Critical Race Theory.

The Truth About Critical Race Theory - WSJ

Parents are beginning to revolt over this teaching of racism in the public schools. Racial tolerance and equality has made tremendous strides since I was in school in the 50s. Why erase all that by teaching children that the most important aspect of their lives is the color of their skin? Why teach children that they are either victims or oppressors based on simply their skin color?

It’s no wonder parents are pissed. Perhaps this will be the lever to break the power of the teachers unions and let the money follow the students to private schools? It’s well past time.

The Polls.

The six-month holiday is over. Biden and Harris are both plunging in the polls, and why not? The above litany of failed policies are beginning to get through to the American voters. Even the mainstream media cannot protect them from the failures. If this mess continues until 2022 the midterms elections will be a bloodbath.

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Such A Deal

It is unsettling that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman from New York, would come up with the “Green New Deal”. Although, considering some of the other idiotic pronouncements coming out of her mouth, it is not surprising. What is surprising is that all the declared Presidential candidates for the Democrat nomination so far (Gillibrand, Harris, Booker and Pete Bittingieg….. who?) plus Dear Bernie, who has not yet announced, have embraced this idiotic and destructive plan. (I had to look up who Mr. Bittingieg is and discovered he is the mayor of South Bend, IN, a position that makes him more than qualified to run the US.

Rex Murphy, a commentator for the National Post in his brilliant 2/12/19 piece has dubbed AOC (I’m not going to write out that name again) “the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile progressive left.” She has taken over this lofty role despite being in Congress only 38 days. Quite an achievement but certifies the Democrats wholesale stampede to the far left.

As I pointed out in my 12/20/16 post “Doubling Down on a Losing Hand”, when the Democrats lose a presidential election their reflex is to lurch hard left. A 12/19/16 WSJ piece by Dan Henninger pointed out that after Humphries lost to Nixon they went hard left and ran McGovern who got a whopping 17 electoral votes in the next election. In Reagan’s second election in ’84 the Dems reverted to form and nominated Mondale who managed 13 electoral votes. So here we go again. Every one of the Democrats who have entered the race so far are borderline socialists. Maybe it’s because of the success of Bernie Sanders in the contest with Hillary. It’s hard to believe all these supposedly educated politicians don’t understand the ramifications of this absurd Green New Deal.

On the other hand perhaps it’s because they anticipate that the kids coming out of high school and college these days have been so indoctrinated in the blather of global warming and have no understanding of how the economy actually works. Yeah, I know, it’s called Climate Change now because it polls better but it is still based on the same idea…the planet is getting warmer. Global warming is a harder sell when we are in the middle of a historic cold wave, especially this late in the season.

The charismatic Ms. AOC has laid out the specifics of her Green Wet Dream, er, New Deal because she in her vast wisdom knows exactly how much time we have before the planet burns up. Twelve years. Her prescription to save the planet is for the US that produces 20% of the world’s C02 to go to zero C02 by 2030. This would require elimination of all internal combustion engines….. cars, trucks, tractors, bulldozers, etc. Airplane travel has to be eliminated as much as possible. (Congressional junkets, and attendance at climate change conferences excepted, of course.) Eliminating all fossil fuel would require the closure of all coal and natural gas electrical generating plants. Heating all buildings and homes and powering all vehicles with electricity would require a lot of wind- and solar power-generated electricity. Good luck with that fantasy.

Of course, this massive transformation of society would put countless millions of Americans out of work. Not to worry, AOC’s Green New Deal guarantees everyone a living wage, plus free medical care and free education, plus a guaranteed retirement. This total destruction of the American economy will be gleefully cheered by China until they realize that their biggest market just disappeared.

The Climate Change/ Global Warming movement has never been about the planet getting warmer because there is nothing we can do about it even if it is happening. The movement is an excuse to slide the country into socialism, to give the bureaucrats more control over the everyday lives of the citizens.

My real concern is not about the ignorant ranting of AOC but the fact that so many of her Democrat colleagues are endorsing this suicidal plan. I have come to the conclusion that a test should be required before a person can run for office comprised of four sections: Economics, science, history and government. My first question on the science section would be, “describe photosynthesis and why it is important”. If they can’t answer that one they would be disqualified immediately because that would mean they have no clue of the carbon cycle and how important C02 is to the survival of all living organisms.

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Filed under Democrats, Economy, Environmentalism, Politics

Revenge of the Swamp

Well, the Democrats regained the House and will effectively put an end to Trump’s program to drain the swamp.  I expect nothing of consequence will get done in the next two years.  I think vengeful Democrats will keep Trump busy with one investigation after another and may even seek impeachment.  The Mueller report is sure to include enough bullshit and spin as to encourage Democrats to go after impeachment, even though they are sure they will never  get a conviction in the Senate.  It will, however, generate much breathless news coverage by their allies in the media.

The Democrats are experts at the combat of politics, you have to give them credit for that.  The last two years has been an exercise in resistance and attack.  The Professional Left has been more than willing participants in this campaign.  The media, Hollywood, pro- abortion groups and environmentalists have joined in attacking Trump.  Of course, Trump plays right into their hands with his outrageous tweets and bombastic statements. His instincts are that of a Brooklyn street brawler and it doesn’t play well with many Republicans who, while enjoying some of his achievements, find his behavior distasteful.

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In the mid-terms the Democrats were smart in selecting people to run who had a military background and professed more conservative views.  Among many moderate or conservative positions, most notable was that, if elected, they would not vote for Pelosi for Speaker.  The first test of their truthfulness will be the Pelosi vote for Speaker.

The other factor was the energy on the Democrat side.  The motivation to get out the vote and take back the House was strong, and women in particular are turned off by Trump, and they voted for the Democrats in strong numbers.  Hatred is a strong motivator.  Witness the Woman’s March held the weekend after Trump’s inauguration.  The hatred was palpable.  More recently, angry groups harassed cabinet members and Senators while they were out dining with their wives.  The left thinks it perfectly fine to shout down conservative speakers at speeches at universities.

The GOP candidates and Trump failed to communicate their achievements in their messaging, particularly by the national party.  Yes, they got the tax cuts through and cutting regulations and taxes spurred the economy to record highs.  But that was only the beginning.  Trump put the brakes on the out-of-control EPA.  Trump’s EPA ended the war on coal, axed the Obama Administration over-the-top car emissions rules, and reversed the Waters of the US rule that essentially gave the EPA control of every damp spot in the US.  The Interior Department proposed major changes to the Endangered Species Act that gave relief to tens of thousands of landowners. The western states should have been especially happy with both of those, but the GOP did little to tout them.

With tax cuts and a booming economy, two new Supremes and dozens of judges, plus the regulatory relief above, you would think that the message would have been clear.  But the GOP did not have a unified message and it was insufficient against the tide of anger and hate from the left.

Just think about how effective the Democrat strategy was on the eve of Trump’s election victory.  High-ranking Justice Department and FBI officials in the Obama administration, who were big supporters of Hillary, decided to promote the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election.  Democrats were quick to pile on to this excuse.   They managed to get a Special Prosecutor appointed who was a dedicated swamp dweller and he appointed almost all highly aggressive Democrat prosecutors to his staff.

This would have two purposes:  First, it would slow down Trump and keep up the narrative that he had somehow succeeded in stealing the election.  Also, and more importantly, it would insure that nothing would be done on the real culprit in election skullduggery committed by the Democrats and Hillary campaign.  It would also delay looking into the obvious issues with Hillary’s illegal server and the massive pay-for-play scheme of the Clinton Foundation.  Exposing all that shit would dog the Democrats for a generation.

The Democrats hoped to stall that exposure until the mid-terms when they hoped to regain Congress and then they could bury it.   It worked.

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Hatred and Rage

When Trump was running against a dozen other Republicans for the nomination the press and the left were silent and hoping that he’d win. The press gave him a massive amount of exposure with nary a hint of criticism. They clearly thought he was the easiest for Hillary to beat and hoped he would win the GOP nomination. Then they’d get eight more years of far left/progressive politics and a two or three Supreme Court picks. That would lock in the progressive/socialist agenda for generations to come.

Once Trump got the nomination they turned on the attacks. Hillary figured she had it in the bag and the whole campaign was to tell everyone Trump was unqualified and attack him personally. As insurance the DNC and her campaign paid for concocted a phony dossier put together by a Russian who often worked for the FBI. That would finish Trump for sure.

But it didn’t. Trump won and the disbelief and disappointment were evident on the faces of the journalists covering election night. Some were even tearful as were the kids in colleges. The anguish and the horror of it all! The first woman president following the first black president was how it was ordained. Clearly, the election was stolen!

Right after the inauguration a 500,000 strong Woman’s March was held in Washington, DC. Also termed the Pussy Hat Project, the women wore pink knitted caps with small ears. The march supposedly represented every grievance group known to man and liberal film stars Ashley Judd, Scarlet Johansson and Madonna gave hateful and outrageous speeches. They were OK with men like Van Jones and Michael Moore but women with pro-life leanings were unwelcome.

This was the beginning of the Resistance Movement modeled after the resistance that took place in Wisconsin. The Democrats were going to vote against everything Trump was trying to do. They slow walked all the Presidential appointments. Protests organized and funded by rich liberals and socialists kept their hatred for Trump front and center while the Hollywood liberals pontificated and ridiculed. The mainstream news media dropped all pretense of fairness and openly displayed their distain for Trump.

The Swamp was fighting back. They wanted to perpetuate the leftist professional government and if they could do little with a Republican president, House and Senate the only way to slow things down was to use liberal federal judges.

The Left could not accept that Trump had beaten Hillary fair and square so he must have cheated. They concluded that the emails hacked from Hillary’s illegal server and those from the DNC were taken by the Russians and given to Wiki-leaks. Therefore, they reasoned, Trump must have colluded with the Russians. A special counsel was appointed and the “witch hunt” was on to get rid of Trump. That probe has gone on for 14 months with no signs of slowing down. The side benefit of this clown show was that the press and media could ignore the obvious illegal activity of the Clinton campaign.

Jack Minzey, Head of the Department of Education at Eastern Michigan writes that what the US is now experiencing is a civil war. When one side does not accept the results of an election and in the evenly divided US that is clearly what is going on. The Democrats did not accept the election of G.W. Bush either. Can anyone forget the absurd vote counting in Florida where teams of lawyers were searching for “hanging chads”?

The more successful the Trump administration, the more hysterical the Left becomes. I worry that this thing could erupt into mass violence. Of course, we already had the shootings at the GOP charity baseball practice where Rep. Steve Scalise was seriously injured. The shooter was a left wing activist as was the recent threats on the life of Rep. Lee Zelton and Trump. After anti-Trumpers harassed press sec-retary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family out of a restaurant and did the same to Sec. of Homeland Security Maxine Waters in a stupid rant encouraged people to do the same to any administration official. That sounds like inciting violence to me.
All this could end badly. If the Dems regain control of the House you can guarantee that not only will the Trump reform agenda stall out, they will move to impeach him. That’s a scary thought.

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Filed under Election, Hilary Clinton, Politics, Soviets, Trump

The Wall

All during the Trump campaign every speech included his promise to build a wall on the southern border. As President, he continues to vow to build it. Of course, the Democrats hate the idea and argue that it would not be effective and would cost too much.

The history of walls is long and rich. Perhaps the oldest are the walls of Jericho, but certainly the most famous is the Great Wall of China. Built beginning during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Haung in 259 BC and continuing for centuries the wall spanned 5,500 miles. Originally conceived to keep out the marauding tribes from the north it also served to collect taxes and fees from the Silk Road trade.

Hadrian’s Wall was ordered by Roman emperor Hadrian in AD 122 and represented the furthest extreme of the Roman expansion in Europe.  It spanned the island from sea to sea some 60 miles south of the now
England/Scotland border. The purpose was to keep the crazy Picts from terrorizing the more civilized folks to the south.

Numerous examples of successful walls exist but a couple more include the wall around the Kremlin and the wall completely spanning Manhattan Island built by the Dutch to keep out the Native tribes. Guess where the name “Wall Street” came from?

Most walls are intended to keep the enemy out, but the Berlin Wall was intended to keep its citizens inside. The lure of the modern and prosperous West Germany served as a great motivator for the captives to escape the misery of East Germany. People risked their lives and often lost them in trying to escape.

North Korea also built a wall to keep its hapless citizens inside at the DMZ separating North and South Korea.

Two recent examples are the West Bank Barrier between Israel and the Palestinians on the West Bank. It has been very effective in nearly eliminating the terrorist attacks. More recently, the Hungarian Border Wall has been constructed to stop the flood of migrants from Syria and Africa that are inundating Europe and threatening the culture of European countries.

The argument that the wall would cost too much does not make much sense either when compared to the cost to society for all the costs of supporting the illegals like educating illegal youth, health care and welfare, not to mention crime. The Trump/GOP tax plan that was just enacted has prompted Apple to repatriate some $250 billion dollars. They are paying an additional $48 billion in taxes on that money. Part of that windfall would make a nice down payment on a wall.

We can never know how effective these ancient walls were in achieving their purpose but the modern examples; Berlin, West Bank and Hungarian were very effective. The Democrat argument that the wall will do nothing to retard the flow of illegals and drugs across our southern border is self-serving at best. The truth is Democrats cynically want illegals because they are counting on them to become loyal Democrat voters.

When your boat has a leak far from shore it makes sense to try to stop the leak before bailing. Otherwise, you fight a losing battle. The fact that some of these yahoos have been deported five, six or more times suggests that the leak is pretty serious. Build a wall to stop the leakage and then start bailing some of the undesirables out.

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Filed under Politics, Trump

Social Justice

The protest during the playing of the national anthem violates a tradition at sporting events for as long as anyone can remember. It started, as everyone knows, with Colin Kaepernick. That did not sit well with many fans, and when he failed to get hired by any NFL football team, other players started to sit in solidarity with poor Colin. Once President Trump weighed in on the issue, it really caught on and whole teams were kneeling.

Image result for colin kaepernick

Fans, believing that players were disrespecting the flag and the many military men and women who had died defending our freedoms, really got pissed. People started boycotting the games and burning their team gear. Viewership of televised games started falling off dramatically. The Sporting News reported that their surveys showed that fully 1/3 of adults said they were less likely to watch a game because of the protests. A JD Power poll showed that 26% stopped watching because of protests and 24% because of the players off-field behavior. (Note: The USA Today and their “NFL player arrests database” shows there have been 870 arrests of NFL players for everything from DUI and drug possession to assault, domestic violence and murder in the last 17 years.) The ratings for games that had been slipping in recent years are now deteriorating at even more alarming pace.

Image result for burn nfl jersey boycott

The NFL is a huge business. TV broadcasters pay $4.6 billion annually to televise the games and they wouldn’t pay that unless they were making a fat profit from advertisers. The value of the average NFL team has grown to $2.4 billion and the average salary for players is $2.1 million with some of the star players getting $20 million or more.

I’ve always believed that it is not a good business strategy to piss off your customers. The fellows that own these teams did not get rich by being stupid so some of teams said “enough” and insisted players stand.  The TV networks started not televising the national anthem at the start of the games. That, I think, is a spineless approach but is nonetheless consistent with the way the major networks handle many news items. (If we don’t show it or talk about it, it didn’t happen.)

The players contend that their protests are not about disrespecting the flag and anthem but they are demanding “social justice”. I did not know what social justice is or how we would know when it had been achieved so that players could once again stand for the anthem. I found a number of definitions on the internet, most pretty vague. Two of them sounded intelligible. “Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunity and privileges within society.” OK, that sounds like socialism to me. The government and its bureaucrats decide what is fair and hands out equal slices of the pie to everyone. I wonder how the best players in the NFL would feel if everyone on their team got the same salary?

This second explanation from the Business Dictionary was: “The fair and proper administration of laws conforming to natural law that all persons irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions or race are treated equally without prejudice.” That definition defies an effort to either understand what is wanted or how to measure improvement.

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I believe that this whole thing is just an offshoot of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, a largely political anti-police organization. All the hysteria over the shooting of blacks by the police has had some negative impact of the lives of the innocents who live in the inner cities. Called “The Ferguson Effect” it intimated police into less aggressive policing and the result of that is an increase in black on black murders. Chicago saw a 32% increase in homicides in 2016 and is on track to top 700 murders again in 2017. The reality according to the NY Post is that police are 18.5 times more likely to be killed by black males than the other way around.

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The reality is that the inner cities where a lot of these players grew up are disaster zones of crime, dependency and drugs. 64% of the residents are on Federal assistance and 72% of all black births are to unmarried women. The inner city schools are a mess where according to a 2009 NYT piece the 50 largest cities have graduation rates of 53%.  Cleveland won the worst prize at 38%. Further studies in 2015 showed little to no improvement. Most of these fatherless young men grow up in hopelessness.

Except for those that win the genetics lottery and have exceptional athletic gifts. Those lucky few can parley those gifts into a free ride at a university where they are pampered, and if extremely fortunate, get drafted into the NFL. Even those that do not make it to the NFL have the opportunity to get a university education and escape the ghetto.

Some others may win the actual lottery and find places in charter schools like Harlem Success Academy. Those children have an improved chance of moving on to college or junior college and making their escape. For the rest…a short life is expected.

So how did the US cities become such a mess? I believe it all started with Lynden Johnson’s “Great Society” which is defined as “a set of programs designed to eliminate poverty and racial injustice”. So how did that work out after 53 years? Not great it seems. It did, however, work out just fine for Democrats. By turning many blacks into a dependent class they insured their loyalty at the ballot box. Blacks vote for the Democrat candidate about 90% of the time.

All major US cities have been controlled by Democrats for decades. Detroit last had a Republican mayor in 1957. For the arithmetic impaired that’s 60 years! Democrats have controlled in Chicago since 1927; St. Louis since 1949; and Philadelphia since 1952. Coupled with graft, cronyism and expensive deals with the public sector unions most of these cities accumulated massive debt. White flight from the cities and the migration of industry to non-union and low tax southern states caused jobs became scarce. Johnson’s dream exploded like an overfilled balloon.

If you ever get lost and accidentally drive through one of these inner city ghettos, you will see what an enormous task it would be to fix it. I have very little optimism it can be done. First, a lot of people like it just the way it is; the public sector unions, especially the teachers’ unions and the politicians. That means they will continue to elect the very same kind of people who created the mess. So waiting for the arrival of Social Justice will be like waiting for Godot.

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The Swamp

“When you’re up to your ass in alligators it’s difficult to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp.”
Author unknown

Donald Trump came to Washington to “drain the swamp”. He’s finding it extraordinarily difficult to get it done. It turns out that the denizens of the swamp are fighting desperately to prevent it. And why not? It is one sweet deal for the swamp dwellers.

The four counties surrounding the White House are the wealthiest in the nation, surpassing LA and NYC. According to the NYT (5/12/17) there are 34 billionaires within a 25 mile radius of downtown and 2,049 residents worth more than 30 million, 45% of the workers earn more than $100,000 per year.

So who are these people and what do they do? According to Atlantic Monthly (12/18/13) they are lawyers, defense contractors, doctors and computer geeks. Mostly, they are lobbyists. In 2017 there are 34,700 registered lobbyists in Washington and among them 4,000 tax lobbyists.  They represent everything from large multi-national corporations to non-profits, unions and every manner of special interest groups.

Money is the lubricant that keeps the Washington machine running and there is lots of it devoted to lobbying. In the last decade corporations spent $14.4 billion and $2.4 billion on tax lobbying. The revolving door of government…. Retiring from government office and turning to lobbying your former colleagues can prove to be a very cushy retirement program indeed. Former Senators Breaux and Trent Lott put together a little lobbying team and netted $39.6 million in fees since 2008. The Podesta Group pulled in $32.3 million and former White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein a piddling $29.2 million.

Congress is the other major group that does not want their comfortable swamp existence disturbed. There are 53 members who have held office for more than 40 years. Democrats have the distinction of having the top 17 with the longest time in Congress and despite having an approval rating with the public that is consistently around 10%, most get re-elected at an unbelievable rate. In the Senate it’s generally 90% and the House in the high 90s with 98% not uncommon.

So why would these guys fight to stay in office for what seems like relatively modest pay ($174,000 per year)? Simple. It’s the other stuff.

First, they get 239 days off. (Yeah, I know. They are back in their districts serving their constituents or maybe servicing their interns.) They have a generous allowance to manage their office and pay their staff. House members all receive $944,671 per year for this while Senators have an average of about $3 million. It’s slightly less or more depending on the population of the state.

Of course, there are other perks such as free gym, free deluxe parking at Reagan International (annual cost to taxpayers $740,000), many free flights and subsidies of 72% for health care under ObamaCare. Ever wonder why they are not too enthusiastic about repeal?

Retirement program is pretty nice too. Members need at least five years of service and must be at least 62 years old to receive a pension or 50 years old with 20 years of service. Depending on the number of years it can be up to 80% of their base salary.

The biggie though in my opinion is the weakened insider trading rules for members of congress and their staffs. For years members could trade in stocks with inside knowledge. How do you think all these guys become millionaires? For example, a CEO is having lunch with a member of congress ostensibly discussing a certain tax break that would benefit his company. He “accidentally” lets it slip that he is going to announce the takeover of a rival company meaning the stock price of that company is going to go up. The Congressman quietly buys shares of the target company and bingo, quick profit. Same deal and even more lucrative in the case of initial public offerings.

In 2012, an election year, Peter Schweizer, who had authored a book called “Throw Them All Out” went on 60 Minutes and exposed this scam. An embarrassed Congress publicly passed the STOCK Act to prohibit this practice. After the election they secretly and very quietly pulled the teeth of the restrictions and it was back to business as usual.

I guess if you’re a member of congress that’s been around for 40 years and some bombastic businessman comes in a says he’s gonna drain the swamp you would probably just say “why?” If they had wanted it drained they’d have done it already. Of course the Democrats are not going to vote for anything proposed by Trump. They have been on an unbelievable losing streak for a long time now and with the same leadership cannot imagine doing anything differently. Also, they still cannot believe Hillary lost but bitterness is not a policy prescription.

Many Republicans are no different. They like things just fine the way they are and resent Trump’s boorish, arrogant style. He said some nasty things to several of the Senators during the presidential primary so there’s a bit of payback going on. In addition, if Trump’s agenda gets passed and is successful he might be re-elected and a few of these fellows still lust after the Presidency and they don’t want to wait seven more years for a go.

Trump has had no legislative successes. The GOP attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare failed and the tax cut proposals will likely suffer the same fate. GOP defections are the problem. The only accomplishment was the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The Democrats did not fight hard on that one because he was replacing a conservative. The next one will be a battle royal. All other successes for the new Trump administration have been by Executive Orders. He approved the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines; permitted fracking; allowed energy development on public lands and ended the war on coal by repealing the Obama Clean Power Plan.

In addition, Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the Global Climate Change Green Fund and the Climate Investment Funds, all expensive sops for the global warming crowd. Trump’s EPA also voided the Waters of the US rule, an Obama-era power grab that essentially put every ditch and wet spot in the US under federal jurisdiction. Good riddance.

Government jobs outnumber manufacturing jobs. 9,890,000 people work for the government. So far in 2017 13,000 federal jobs have been eliminated but 7,000 state and local jobs added. Trump’s businessmen oriented cabinet has also been chopping away at the deadwood in the big government bureaucracies. Trump wants to cut $54 billion out of the government agencies. According to a Scientific American article (3/16/17) the Trump budget proposes cutting funding to the EPA by 31%, the Energy Department by 5.6%, Interior by 12% and the State Department by 28%. Former Exon CEO Tillerson and now Secretary of State is finishing up a reorganization plan for State that will seriously downsize this bloated agency.

As everyone can understand, anyone facing the ax from their cushy job is unhappy about what Trump is trying to do. It is no wonder that the Administration leaks like a rotten wooden boat.

It will be fascinating to see whether Trump or the alligators win this one. I’m betting on the alligators.

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Occupiers

In my recent blog, I was a little cautious in predicting Obama inspired riots this summer. Looks like things are off to an earlier start than I anticipated. The “Occupy Wall Street” fad seems to be spreading across the continent like a YouTube talking cat video. College radicals, anarchists, Marxists and union thugs have formed a scruffy unwashed mob demanding….. well, that’s a little muddled. They are unhappy with capitalism and the current state of affairs but seem convinced that Obama had no part in the mess. It’s the fault of banks and “Wall Street” apparently.
Unsurprisingly, Obama and his dim witted VP seem to be encouraging this rag tag, spoiled collection of losers. They seem to believe that the OWS crowd is the answer to the Tea Party. Doubtful.
Certainly the arrival of winter and nasty weather will discourage the protesters but rest assured, they will be back when the weather warms up. If the inner city minorities get into it as I expect, we could be in for a long and contentious summer. As I have suggested in the past, this might be a good time to stock up on food and ammo.
Happy Thanksgiving (Canadian). Moose hunting begins Monday. Fill the freezer and hope for the best.

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Civility

In May of 2010 President Obama spoke at the graduation of the University of Michigan and echoed a theme often proclaimed in his campaign and speeches since his election. He spoke of the ”…basic need to improve the level of civility in our public debate.’ He warned against “demonizing our political opponents or questioning their motives or patriotism.” He continued, “This kind of vilification and over the top rhetoric discourages compromise, undermines democratic deliberation and robs us of a rational and serious debate. It can even send signals that violence is a justifiable response.”

He’s said these kinds of things repeatedly until the word “civility” has become trite. Surprisingly, he does not even make a token effort to rein in his supporters and administration officials who have become increasingly aggressive and uncivil, as his poll numbers have declined.

A classic example comes from Obama’s Labor Day address at a rally in Detroit. Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa introduced him with a fiery speech calling GOP congressional leaders “sons of bitches” and calling for Democrats to “take them out.” Obama took the podium and did not bother to caution Hoffa about the need for civility. Later AFL-CIO President Trumka defended Hoffa and added his own inflammatory comments on his website.

VP, Joe Biden, in his labor day remarks in Cincinnati opined that, “Unions are the only ones keeping the barbarians from the gate.” That’s not the dumbest thing Joe ever said but…

Andre Carlson, one of only two Muslim members of Congress and a leader in the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a vitriolic speech in late August that the Tea Party was intent on “lynching Black Americans”. He advised Black voters to “prepare for war.” Really? Lynching? War?

Maxine Waters, long known for her less than civil remarks weighed in with “The Tea Party can go straight to Hell!” Thanks for sharing, Ms. Waters. (article from the WA Post here.)

OK. We get it. Obama cannot run on his record so he needs someone to blame. His focus group testing has told him that blaming Bush for high unemployment and a dismal economy no longer sells. So he’s decided to attack the Tea Party and conservative Republicans in Congress. His “jobs speech” on Thursday was Exhibit A in this strategy. He said “pass this bill now” dozens of times. Only problem, Mr. President…. There is no bill!! Not a word has been written. There is nothing to vote on. I believe his plan is to play “rope a dope” on this like he did with the debt ceiling debate. IOW, keep changing the terms and backing out of deals until in frustration, little gets accomplished. Then on the campaign trail next summer he can say, “If the damn Republicans had done what I asked them to do, we wouldn’t be in this fix now. It’s not my fault.”

His other strategy is to allow and encourage his hard-core supporters to demonize the Tea Party in hopes of intimidating them into silence and to reduce their influence on less informed voters. This can be a dangerous path. Despite his wise and cautionary words about staying civil in our political debate, his failure to rein in the rhetoric of his supporters can easily get out of hand. Some worrisome examples:


· Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin attempted to make some modest adjustments in public employee benefits in an effort to get control of the state’s budget woes. Unions and leftist stormed the capitol and occupied the building for weeks, vandalizing the place. Democrat lawmakers fled the state to avoid voting and later millions of union dollars from outside the state flowed into recall campaigns against GOP office holders. Money wasted. It did not work.

· This summer roving bands of Black youths attacked whites leaving the Wisconsin State Fair, pulling people from their cars and beating them. The same thing happened at the Iowa State Fair.


· “Flash Mobs” in Philadelphia, Kansas City, Los Angles, Chicago, Cleveland and DC featured Black youths rioting, beating innocent by standers and looting stores. Read about any of this?

· In Longview, WA this past week 500 union members from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union broke into a grain terminal and took the security guards hostage while they rampaged through the facility cutting train brake lines and dumping grain from the boxcars. This despite a restraining order requested by the NLRB because of previous violence and harassment on the part of the union. This is not collective bargaining, its collective mayhem.


Hear about any of this in the mainstream media? Not too bloody likely. Did Obama or his AG, Holder speak out and condemn any of this? No. The preacher of “civility” remained totally silent. Worse, Holder in his refusal to prosecute the Black Panthers in the voter intimidation case in Phillie (Hey, they already pled guilty) has sent a signal to the Black community that lawlessness is OK.


Black unemployment has reached a 27- year high under Obama at 16.7% with Black youth at 41%. That’s a lot of people with plenty of time on their hands and there are many purveyors of hate out there to incite their anger and disappointment.

Consider this: Note: I am NOT predicting this, only saying that the following scenario MAY be possible.


As the 2012 campaign for President proceeds into the late summer and the US economy continues its slide into deep recession with high unemployment, especially in the inner cities, the rhetoric becomes more heated. The “rich” (code for “White”) and the Tea Party (“Racist and White”) are blamed. It becomes increasingly likely that Obama is going to go down to defeat in a landslide election. In the inner cities throughout the US, Blacks riot in rage and frustration. The cities burn and the violence spills out into the predominately white suburbs where frightened citizens break out their hunting rifles in self-defense. Meanwhile, unions fearing their loss of an ally in the White House stage illegal job disruptions and violent confrontations with police.

Obama declares Marshall Law and calls in the troops of the Army’s Northern Command to restore order. He orders the confiscation of all firearms. (Can’t do it? Posse Comitatus is full of loop-holes and they did confiscate all firearms in New Orleans during Katrina.) He postpones the 2012 elections indefinitely. Civil war erupts…. Again.

OK, that’s the doomsday scenario and I’m not saying it will happen. However, Obama could do much to calm things down by reiterating his calls for “civility” and kicking the asses of his own supporters in the media and fellow Democrats when they cross the line.

That he has not shown leadership and done so already worries me.

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A Big Melt

Midwesterners may “cling to their guns and religion” as candidate Obama alleged during the 2008 campaign. But it must also be acknowledged that liberals and the Obama Administration desperately cling to the theory of global warming despite a barrage of evidence suggesting the whole theory is a massive hoax.


As public opinion and concern has swung against them, AGW enthusiasts have become more and more shrill. Exhibit One in this phenomenon is Al Gore’s recent meltdown at the Aspen Institute where he addressed the Networks and Citizenship Panel. Bloated, red faced and with neck veins bulging, Gore delivered the following crude rant.


There’s no longer a shared reality. It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company – bi-partisan company- to use the goddamn word “climate.” Some of the exact same people
– I can go down a list of their names – are involved in this. And what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message, “This climate thing is nonsense.” “Man-made C02 doesn’t trap heat.“ “It may be volcanoes.” Bullshit! “It may be sunspots.” Bullshit! “It’s not getting warmer.” Bullshit!

First of all, other than the obvious irony of having Gore overuse the word “bullshit”, something that has exemplified his whole career, one has to be stunned at his refusal to accept obvious
facts. Dr. Phil Jones who presided over the Climate Research Unit of the U. of E. Anglia, the outfit that got this whole hysterical movement going, admitted in Feb or 2010 that “… there has been no statistically significant warming in the last fifteen years.”


Say what?


He also admitted that he has “lost” all the raw data that produced Michael Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph that got the socialists drooling over the prospect of taking over…. well, everything. Perhaps the dog ate his homework? (See “The New Deniers”, Dec 22, 2009 for specifics on the 3000 emails hacked from the CRU that exposed the fraud.)


In addition, there’s plenty of peer-reviewed science out there that shows C02 does not trap heat much, that volcanoes and the sun do have a great effect on climate. (See “Gaia is Pissed”, April 25,2010 for volcanoes). Also, you can check out the “Climate Audit” site for specifics
on the various studies.


Gore may be melting down because he’s going to have to split with his wife the considerable fortune he’s made being the guru of global warming. Tipper filed for divorce when she returned to their 20,000 sqft home in Nashville to find Al nude on the living room floor fornicating with a polar bear skin rug. OK, I just made that up. Maybe she just got tired of the boring clown or, being a Democrat, maybe he had an intern on the side?


Gore has made a pile of loot since leaving the White House with a net worth of some $2 million. 2008 estimates put the new number at over $100 million. His speaking fees variously estimated at $200,000 per and his many “green” investments have paid off handsomely. He got some $34 million of taxpayer money to start the Chicago Climate Exchange, a carbon trading operation, that promised to make billions if the Democrats came through with Cap and Trade legislation. When that didn’t happen and global warming fears cooled, the company folded. Poor Al is likely sweating his cash flow.


Meanwhile, the radicals at the EPA continue to pile on job killing regulations in their mad war on carbon. Lisa Jackson, EPA head, recently announced a new interpretation of old rules for clean air that would shut down 20% of the US coal generated electrical capacity. Estimated cost? 60,000 jobs and $129 billion. She was supposed to make these kinds of rule changes based on reports from the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee. She decided to go ahead a full two years before the report was due. Her justification? Saving lives.


The National Ambient Air Quality Study came out with a bogus report saying the rule changes would result in X number of “lives saved”. Really? That speculative crap sounds suspiciously like the “jobs saved” nonsense put out to justify the stimulus boondoggle. Donna Nelson, head
of the Public Utilities Commission in Texas, says the new rules will cause rolling blackouts in her state. Most likely many states will suffer the same fate.


This, however, should come as no surprise to anyone who is paying attention. Obama and Biden both promised in the campaign to shut down the coal industry. He happily said that he would bankrupt anyone who tried to build a coal fired electrical generating plant. Well, here ya go.


Unfortunately, it’s not just coal. The anti-carbon true believers in the current administration are now taking on the “fracking” technique that has unlocked vast sources of natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing, the pumping of liquids and chemicals miles deep into rock deposits, releases natural gas previously unavailable. Despite studies certifying it as environmentally harmless, the anti-carbonistas want to shut it down. Ironically, natural gas is the alternative to coal. Then too, let’s not forget the poor dune sagebrush lizard of West Texas. Environmentalists want to shut down oil drilling there by listing this useless critter as endangered.


Obama’s team wants to use regulations to achieve goals not wanted by the people of even the politicians. Jackson’s EPA has already promulgated 75 new job killing regulations through mid- 2011 at a cost of $38 billion. Total cost of federal regulation on an annual basis? $1.75 trillion.

When the lights go out in New York City and Washington, DC maybe the voters will demand the abolition of the EPA?

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