Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Next Round of Oprah-Poker

I sat and noted that 60 Minutes came out today, and spoke on a new contract deal....with Oprah now as a special contributor.  The slant?  Well....she wants to focus on some special features to "heal" America. 60 Minutes has decided to give her a platform, and figures that a fair number of folks will come around to this.

In the period of 1988 to 1998....I think this would have been a brilliant move on both parties (CBS and Oprah).  In the period of 1998 to 2008...a somewhat positive move for both parties, and it would have reached to a couple of focus groups on the American landscape.

In 2017?  I think Oprah has long since missed the boat and will mostly drift out among various 'bridge-burner' and 'barn-burner' groups within the Democratic wing.  I don't see more than 30-percent of women having some must-hear enthusiasm with Oprah's 'heal' message.  Teens?  Much less so.

She might find a couple of communities and try hard with the first two or three episodes, but her 'heal' theme will have a problem with reality in America in 2017.  Charged-up politics now make some healing process practically impossible.  These lobby-groups of the Democratic Party are the chief mechanism of operation....simply skipping the working-class Democratic guy who used to be at the heart of the party.  Maybe she'll try to reintroduce this guy to the party, with her charm, emotions and mystic.  Her spirit carried her greatly in the mid-1980s and through the 1990s.  Things have changed though, and I think a fair number of people are mostly skeptical of journalist or TV gimmick.

Coupling 60 Minutes with Oprah?  Some genius at the national level probably thinks it's a 'can't lose' gimmick.  I would beg to differ.

Skeptical nature has grown a lot over the past decade.  It doesn't matter what skin color you have....what religion you profess...what beer you sip....what NFL or NCAA team you worship....what car you drive....or even what fake reality show you enjoy.  Folks are now on turbo when you view the landscape from a skeptical view.  Jim Bakker, as a religious figure in the 1980s....probably couldn't make it big in the 2017-era.  L. Ron Hubard today....if he were trying to invent a religion....would face a much more skeptical crowd.  Bill Clinton trying to explain his lust situation, would find a public today mostly laughing and asking if the oral was that good.

It is a bold new era.

My guess is that somewhere around the 4th Oprah episode....folks will openly discuss the fake nature of the episodes and that she's mostly missing reality of the 2017 landscape that exists. The hope in this whole gimmick?  Someone needs to reshuffle the cards for the 2018 mid-term election.  It has to have a totally different layout and appeal to the Democrats beyond the urban counties or these welfare-strong counties.

Oprah is the only 'dealer' left to play this type of poker and hope for better than average odds.  But I just see her hand for this poker round being worth that much in the end.  Skeptical nature will make Oprah-poker a lost cause.

More of the Barn-Burner Crowd?

For three days, I've sat and observed coverage of the anti-Trump ban order, which has resulted in large protest groups....oddly enough, at airports throughout the US.

Yes, they drive down....park in the time-parking deal....and then carry their placards to some central point where the 'bunch' of them protest to the cameras.

It is an odd thing that you notice after a while.  These significant airports with the protests?  They are all within the blue-county map of Hillary wins.  Highly urbanized areas, with major airports.

Protests at the airports on a red-county map?  No. So far, I've yet to see a single one.

Who are the protesters?  If you look at the slogans used, identifying speakers for each group....you start to notice they are the 'barn-burner-crowd'.....the various groups which make up the Democratic Party.  I noted the feminists, the environmentalist, the Muslim-Democrats, the revolutionary student players, religious groups with a Democratic cause, etc.

The plain regular working class Democratic guy, who pulls 40 hours a week and worries about jobs for his kids?  He's not there.  That's the core guy who wasn't there in the Hillary-Trump election to help the Democrats out, and he's not there now.  His missing says something about the effort, and why the news media has only a brief window to make something out of this.

These protests might make good scenery for the talkers at CNN, and give them something to talk about....but it's kind of an amusing story because more than half the nation has a problem with the current Green Card system, and the visa program.  Some of them might even say that Trump didn't go far enough.

The Democrats who get hyped up about this?  They would also be the ones who get bitter negative when some idiot Green-carded Jihad guy goes into an act in some American city and harms twenty Americans.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Acme, the Road Runner, and the Coyote

There are two cartoons that I typically stop what I'm doing when I channel-flip and I notice one of the two is on: Dexter's Lab, and the Coyote/Road Runner crew from Warner Brothers.

What I appreciate about the Road Runner cartoons is that no matter how crafty, or clever, or brilliant that the Coyote ever gets.....he seems to not calculate the consequence or end-result.

So, this brings me the news media (the Coyote) and President Trump (the Road Runner).

Back in Feb and Mar....it was a few lines here and there, and mostly this joke that you'd see on CNN, the BBC, or read through the Washington Post.

In July, it'd gone up to thirty minutes a day of Coyote-material.

By October and early November....it was some bridge-burning episode and maximum Coyote-material.  The Acme Company was shipping tens of thousands of pounds of gear to the Coyote daily, and it seemed to be totally wasted.

The Road Runner?  He didn't really break stride or slow down.  The people around him?  They were Road Runners as well.  They weren't willing to play low-ball with the Coyote-thugs.

After the election, I kept thinking....well....the Coyote routine can't go on forever....you'd just burn too many bridges and the entertainment level would start to soar after four weeks of the Presidency.  Well, the Coyote crowd continues on.  Every single bridge crossed, makes them less and less likely of having some comeback.

From the series, the Road Runner never failed.  Course, it was all scripted and could not go otherwise.  But I have this odd feeling that you might be looking at eight years of Road Runner cartoons on a daily basis, and that Coyote failing over 300,000 times.  Those Acme folks will make a ton of money off the Coyote idiots.

In Case You Weren't Versed on the Holocaust

There was an omission over the weekend by the Trump White House in failing to acknowledge Jews as the one and only group who suffered under the Holocaust, by the evil Nazis.

It's a good slant item....worthy though....of fake news.

Oh, it's true that Trump didn't mention them as the one and only.

But before you jump into the news media's pocket on this....let's list the rest of the crowd who died under the Nazi-created Holocaust:

- Soviet POWs (yeah, they are listed as such)
- Germans and non-German disabled people
- Freemasons (in the 80,000 to 200,000 range)
- Romanians (same as the Freemasons)
- Serbs
- Ethnic Poles
- Gays
- Slovs
- Jehovah Witness folks (maybe up to 5,000)
- Spanish Republicans

The curious fact?  If you line up the Jews...with the remainder....the Jews only make up 50-percent of those who died under the Holocaust.  Did the CNN guy mention that?  Oh, did he skip that fact like all the rest for the past month or two?

To Fix Immigration

Generally, if you go and research the numbers, the best guess for illegal residents in the US...without a visa or active Green Card....rests between 15 and 25 million people.  Most reliable sources put the number closer to 20 million.

Eventually, it will come up how to reshape or solve this problem....as the wall is worked up and completed.  So, I've put several hours of research and thought into this, and have come to this simple four-step plan (it's not rocket-science).

1.  Open up a window for six to eight months.  During this period, you go and register yourself at a local office for process which will eventually (figure four to five years to reach an end-point) get you full citizenship, and while waiting...get you a verifiable visa (an actual card that you need to carry with you), and the card will allow you to have a social security number and be fully employed.

2.  This form you will fill out to enter the window-period?  It'll ask you to bring/present an ID from our home country (license, passport, etc).  No, that California driver's license won't work, nor will utility bills from your local electrical company.  The form will ask you about former residence in your home country and ask five or six questions to ensure it's the 'right' story.  Because.....we will go back and visit your home-town and ask to prove you exist.  No trace, no ID, no desire to prove your ID?  We don't process you, and we resettle you into a compound in Arizona or New Mexico where you will sit and work on getting your ID straighten out. As you can see...lying won't help you.

3.  Prosecution or jail-time before?  If it's a capital offense or more than a year in prison....you won't be processed, and you will be removed from the US.

4.  Registered to vote in the US, and having voted at least one time?  That will disqualify you entirely, and you will be removed from the US.  No return, no waiver, and no second chance.  For those who say it's unfair....on each registration sheet for any state, it says.....you certify yourself as an American citizen and "swear" to that affect.  Obviously, you screwed up but that's your mess to clean up....not anyone else.

My best guess is that roughly 250,000 of these individuals who should go through and reach a residence visa....will not be able to do it because they have no ID or they have arrests in their background.  Even giving them six months to go and ask for a new ID from their homeland.....probably won't be possible for various reasons.  Those who've registered and voted?  I'd take a guess that well over one million individuals have done so, and will not be able to stay.  So we end up with roughly 18.75 million foreign folks registered and on a path.

You welcome them.....note that getting arrested and convicted of a capital crime over the next four years while they wait out this probation period....will suspend this process and probably end their chances.

End of the story.  I know......we ought to have better programs and simplified ways of doing this....but it's the best you can do with the mess that you have.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Why I Have a CNN Problem

I sat this morning and watched twenty minutes of CNN.  They were hyped up and chatting about all the vetting that Syrian and Iraqi refugees get as they enter the US.  Weeks and weeks of intense investigation and clearing by the appropriate US agencies at work.

The thing that bothered me about this report....as you get so often with CNN....is that it was already known in 2016 that Syrian refugees were arriving with polio, measles, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, and some other infectious issues.

Already in 2013, WHO was commenting about polio making a comeback in Syria.

Who was vetting or testing the incoming crowd for these problems?

It's odd because you see the same trends in Germany.  No one seems to be health-testing in Germany, and TB is making a fair comeback at present.

The thing about CNN is that it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to go through their comments and find holes in most of what they chat about.  You could find a 14-year-old kid and just assign them five CNN facts and give them a weekend to prove or disprove them.  CNN does a lousy job.  It's like they hired marginal guys with no real background.....tell them to just state X-story....skip facts....and collect a pay-check.

As screwed up as RT (Russia Today) can be at times....CNN is at the same level.  You have to go back and read through their story and determine just how much is true.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

CALEXIT

This week, California advanced to the next step of their own version of BREXIT....to exit the US.

They have 180 days to gather roughly 585,000 signatures on a petition and thus get a ballot measure up for two questions.  One would remove any reference to desiring to be a participant in the United States from the state constitution.  The second question would be the question over CALEXIT....quitting the US and becoming it's own country.

Virtually no one is collecting poll data to indicate how this might go....which I find kinda interesting.

The groups onto this?  The anti-Trump crowd.  The radical university crowd.  The far-right crowd.  And the revolution folks who just want chaos of any type.  Can they get 585,000 signatures?  My guess is yes.  The 2019 election situation?  I have my doubts that they can reach 50-percent of the general public and convince them this is a great idea.

The odd thing is that I can probably find twenty million non-California US residents....who'd like to see them cast out, and forced to become a foreign country.

If they did reach the 55-percent point....would they walk the UK trail of BREXIT?  Would the US of 2019 be totally different from 1860, and actually stamp their exit paperwork with no problem?

There are three essential problems with this CALEXIT idea.

1.  You open up this can of worms, where if California did exit....would Alaska take the same route?  How about Florida?  Would Oregon and Washington exit together within ten years and form Evergreen?

2.  If California did succeed successfully....what limits this new country starting up with it's entire state?  Would it be possible that north California might succeed from the rest of California and now try to re-enter the US, as it's own state...."Jefferson"?  Could you end up with six countries existing instead of just one single nation of California?

3.  What if the US limits trade with the country of California?  Will they be able to survive some disenchantment period?  Would California eventually end up like Puerto Rico....mostly on the verge of bankruptcy?

It's an interesting topic....but you just don't see how it'd ever occur.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Hillary Show

Some folks...mostly a very small group of journalists...have suggested a rumor they've heard in that Hillary Clinton will start up a TV-chat show shortly (maybe by the end of the year).

Why?  Generally, the comment comes around to keeping people focused on topics that Hillary thinks are important.

What network would sign up?  That's the funny thing.  No one can say. It won't be CNN or MSNBC, in my humble opinion.

Cost for a show?  You'd have to figure it's a five-day a week thing and at least 10-million dollars a year to stage the show and pay Hillary and the staff.

Problems?  Well, you can just imagine taping this each day....and Hillary goes into this coughing attack.  You'd stop the show for 30 minutes....start again the tape.  After you've done twenty of these shows and the coughing business is now described by the production team....it would not be a positive.

Honestly, I can't think of a real reason to do this except that you might want to run again in 2020 against Trump.  Some expert might be convincing Hillary that Trump will be impeached and that she'd easily win the next election.....so just hang around for four years and wait for 2020.  For a lot of Democrats....this idea of another Hillary-campaign might be that thrilling.

My alternate plan?  Hire her for the View.  Less stress and four others to help carry the show.

Mexico and the Spiral

If you compare Mexico of 1975 and Mexico of 2017, you see two entirely different countries.  Economically, the Mexico of 2017 has benefited greatly and there's actually a middle-class....compliments of the trade agreement with the US.

This whole argument with Trump?  I think if I were the President of Mexico....I'd think what will happen in Mexico over the next three years.

That wall will be built and it will be somewhat effective.  Maybe folks will drift over to boats and try to make their way to San Diego or Texas via rafts....like they do in Turkey and heading to Greece.

The 20-percent tariff?  It will occur and make Mexican products more expensive.  Less sales....less profits....less taxation....less employment.

It would be obviously smart to have some meeting and work out some simplified tax deal, where Mexico shifted $300 to $400 million a year to the US, and quietly paid for the wall.

Don't worry....the political folks in Mexico City aren't that smart.  So, in the end....they will destroy a 10-billion-dollar industrial base and revert Mexico back to the Mexico of 1975.  It's that simple.

If I were looking at this....I'd go and buy myself 10,000 rubber rafts from China and prepare to sell them to folks to cross over the sea into the US.....maybe at $50,000 a rubber raft (for 12 people).

Four Less at the State Department

The four top "Number 2's" within the State Department resigned yesterday.  Differing accounts on this episode, with most saying that four were not as cooperative as required, and were asked to resign by the Trump Administration.

Promptly, I noticed that a number of US media outlets went with the message that this massive loss would be felt for DECADES.  It was entertaining fiction.

Having worked in the military, commercial, and government service worker world....I can say that the reality is that no one is ever non-replaceable.  It may take a week, but you will find four folks...hire them....and quickly move on.

You can go to CNN and fire the head-boss and his next ten folks around him....CNN still continues on and broadcasts with no issues.  You can go back and watch how Dan Rather was fired from CBS, and it really didn't matter....things moved on.  FDR died in office, Truman stepped in, and America moved on.

Anyone using the claim of damage done for years or decades....simply isn't living in the real world.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Registered in Multiple States Story

A couple of journalists went out and did a weak job of investigation and gathered the facts that among the Trump circle, there are three individuals (Steve Bannon, Tiffney Trump, and Steve Mnuchin) are all registered to vote in two states each.

Why?  Well....they left that part out.  In fact, what they've opened up is a massive hole that the Democratic Party would REALLY prefer not to be discussed much.

So, here's the facts in a simplified world.  They lived in X-state, and they moved out of X-state to Y-state.  Their registration in X-state?  It's still on the books. This is part of the weakness of the system, in that states won't drop your name every year and force you to re-register.

Me?  Right now, I'm registered in my home state of Alabama, and 50-percent confident that I'm still registered in Virginia.  In fact, there is this remote possibility that I'm still registered from my long-term state of Colorado (dropping it in spring of 2010).  The odds that I'm still on the Colorado listing?  Probably a ten-percent chance.

Yeah, it's a harsh reality in that if your county says they have 150,000 people registered....that at least 1,000 of them aren't living in the county anymore, and should be removed.  Each state has different policies, and by opening up this little news story....it'll trigger the federal government into likely forcing removal of everyone, and doing this every two years.

Pumping up this Bannon-Trump-Mnuchin story is a big screw-up for the press because once you understand how the system works and is so fouled up....the obvious answer is to force a solution which won't be helpful for the Democratic Party.

Years ago, I worked with a guy who lived in Virginia region (Fairfax) for several years.  He was registered to vote in Virginia and had done so.  One day....he moved to Maryland and bought a house (a 30 mile distance from the old house).  He signed up in Maryland but he was still carried on the Virginia listing.  The Air Force sent him to Texas for six months of temporary duty (he still lived in Maryland).  Halfway through this Texas short duty episode....he got his PCS orders to go onto Ramstein.  He figured the no state tax gimmick of Texas and before he left....he established himself as a Texas resident....registering to vote as well.  Texas, Maryland and Virginia were all carrying this guy on their voting list.  Neither Maryland or Virginia had any urgency to drop the guy.

The news journalists?  Swung on this story and flipped another fake story.  In each case, they will discover that the individual voted in one single election.

What's the record for being registered?  That would be curious to know.  Some college students (on the PhD deal) might be signed up for four or five different states.

So, it's an interesting story.....just that it's fairly fake. Dragging this out to the public?  I think this was a serious bad mistake that the Democrats will end up regretting the attention that it brought.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Crowd Topic

One of those odd shots that you just notice....from CNN.  Notice the crowd across from the Capital building?  Taken as the President was swearing in.  Note any small crowd numbers?  From the President's stand to the Washington Monument....lots of people.

Thanks CNN.

Why the "1984" Trend Might Be Double-Edged

Some folks in the last day or two...have wanted to hype the sales noticed on the book "1984" by George Orwell.  Factually, it's true...some trend is occurring.

What should worry some folks?

Well....if you read "1984", you will eventually reach a stage where journalism and politics will become a challenged thing.  It won't matter if you are a Republican, or a Democrat....you will not view politics or journalism in the same manner after the completing the book.

I picked up "1984" around the summer of 1979....reading it and "Animal Farm" over a brief one-month period.  It was one of those moments where you sat for an hour or two, and contemplating a lot of landscape.

For any journalist hyping up this increased sales trend and saying it's public disenchantment against the Trump administration....I'd caution them that "1984" could cause people to question a lot of things....including the Democratic Party.

You could easily have people now want a very open discussion about welfare, social gimmicks, environmentalism, BLM, taxation, etc.  You could have a million people wanting absolute transparency now.  Distrust in government?  It could be a bigger mess than one could imagine.  So when some wannabe journalist hypes the reading of "1984"....they might not really grasp what it means.

Monday, 23 January 2017

The Issue of Going to an Inauguration

I've never been to an Inauguration.  Nor do I have any interest in going to one.

I talked to a fair extent with two individuals over the years that I worked with and they had been either part of the crowd and part of the support staff for the Presidential Inauguration in DC.  Both of them pointed dozens of issues and were rather blunt in the end....it's not something that is "fun".

1.  The weather.  DC weather in January is typically below freezing, and could have a slight breeze.  The idea of staying out in some open area for eight hours is a big problem.  As one guy noted to me.....there were various tents put up around DC for folks to warm up.  But these tents get clogged up with large crowds trying to warm themselves up.

2.  Getting into the heart of DC.  Basically, you need to drive to one of the Metro stations in Maryland or Virginia, and start this trip by 7AM. For some, it'd mean getting up by 2AM, and driving a fair distance to find parking lot at some Metro station, and then wage a battle to reach the intended area.  Returning home?  Well, that's also part of the problem with thousands of people wanting to immediately leave after the ceremony.

3.  Food and water.  Some trucks and stands operate, but it's of a limited nature.

4. Sitting down.  As one of the folks I talked to described it.....he had one single chance over eight hours to sit.  He would have liked to have brought a chair along but hadn't thought about this until it was too late.

Why run this in January?  You would think that someone would have brought up the issues and tried to reshuffle the Inauguration to April....but then you'd have to reshuffle the primary period, and the election itself, and no one wants to touch all three components.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

How to Handle Violent Protesters

Watching the thugs perform their 'art' in DC from the last two days....I can safely say there are two protest types.  The first one goes and just marches....with a few chants, and is there for the companionship mostly.  The second is there for car-burning, thug-assaults, and building damage.

Cops arrested some of group two.  News folks say minimum of two hundred.  Some were part of a group that harmed a couple of DC cops....their charges will bump up a notch.  What the news folks hint...is that you could get between one and ten years in prison for the damage business, and up to a $25,000 fine.

My suggestion for this thug-assault and building-burner group....the judge ought to walk in and make this a pretty simple deal.  You can admit guilt, take a two-year prison sentence with a $10,000 fine....or take the rehab deal.....pay $10,000 in cash and wear a GPS-ankle bracelet for three years with restrictions.

Restrictions?  You are limited to five locations for three years: (1) your job, (2) grocery stores, (3) medical facilities, (4) the home of your parents or relatives, and (5) church.  No booze locations, movie theaters, or protests.  

It's mostly time to treat the thugs as immature adults and acting out some pretender rage.  Ground them....send them home.

The Bridge-Burner-Bunch

I sat and viewed video from the last two days from DC....over the riots and protests.  Fires were set.  Some business operations were damaged.  Lot of interviews from "sour" participants over Trump.  After a while, I came to ID the whole gang....as the bridge-burner-bunch.

These are the various groups that currently make up the bulk of the Democratic Party.

The gay agenda club, the Trans crowd, the feminist gang, the environmental folks, the BLT outfit, the teacher's union faction, the anti-capitalist bulls, the young intellectual Bernie-sect, and university-revolutionary squad.

When interviews occurred, each had something to represent their theme.

The problem is....you don't see some middle-of-the-road regular Democratic guy who works his 40 to 50 hours a week and pays his taxes, and just wants his piece of the Democratic agenda.  Over the past two decades, this team logo of the Democrats has been mostly taken over by the groups I mentioned before.  When you look at the voting characteristics now in a typical election.....the Democrats can count on two types of counties for their wins.....one where it's mostly people on gov't programs of welfare, and the second in highly urbanized areas.  This 25-percent chunk of Democratic support isn't doing well against the remaining 75-percent of the nation.

The thing about all this coverage by the news media, and their thinking that this will light some match and get anti-Trump feeling going.....I would suggest otherwise.  If I were the mid-class regular Democrat guy who voted for Trump....I'd look upon these dimwits in DC, with their damage to businesses and continued bridge-burning talk....as a big negative.  It'd only convince me the party has damaged itself, and these thugs are part of the problem...NOT part of the solution.

Long-term, if this is the image presented and hyped up by the news media....the Democratic Party will sit and swallow some bitter pills in 2018, and 2020.  As long as they see the 3,100-odd counties do a 75-25 split....their window of opportunity is non-existent.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Trump's War on Terror

Trump's war on terror will mostly change from Bush's war on terror and Obama's war on terror.  I'm guessing he will ask the CIA to financially disclose who finances the radicals in Islam, and find dozens of folders sitting there with details leading back to Saudi individuals.

In a matter of weeks, I think each of those will find their US visas no longer valid.  The Saudi government will jump right in and haul up their usual Senator group to complain.....with Trump just grinning.  Trump might even go and ID each Senator on the payroll of Saudi backers.

Legal paperwork will likely be fixed to freeze individual accounts throughout the US and Europe, and a year from now....around two or three dozen Saudi backers of radical Islam will be roped off and identified in public news media.

The drone war?  It might continue in Syria and Iraq....but I think it'll basically end throughout the rest of the world.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

This New Weapon

Years ago, I worked in a vault-type job, which involved numerous hours each month with nothing much to do....so I'd sit and pick up some topic and spend an entire day reading on some topic that 99-percent of Americans never viewed or discussed much.

One day, I picked up the topic of EMP....Electro Magnetic Pulse.  It's an interesting topic.

Decades ago, scientist discovered that you could build some type of weapon and it'd generate enough electrical discharge to take out an electrical component.  For example, you make this discharge at X-number of feet and everything around that circle....from airplanes to TVs....would be destroyed in terms of operational ability.  The circuit in effect, destroyed.  A city like Seattle?  You could make everything from computers, to buses, and onto telephones....non-op.

Today, I picked up the Daily Mail out of London, and there's this nifty story.   Some scientists have convinced the US military that they can build some type of artillery shell....which you could fire from some distance (I'm guessing ten to twenty miles away)....and it'd cripple 'civilization' within that circle.  No one says how much but one might guess you could shut down a base, or some forward operating area, or some complex.  Guns would function, but your tanks would be sitting there and non-op....as would be helicopters, and radar.

In this case, you could take on a superior-type group, and just use a couple of artillery weapons to keep moving forward and knocking the opposing force 'back to the stone-age' one hour at at time.

Removing the necessity of using nuke weapons?  Yeah, more or less.  Some folks might want to argue it'll never replace any weapons, but if you just look at the way you could move a smaller force forward and easily take over a problem-country....it becomes a fairly easy task.  Without radios, communications gear, radar, and vehicle movement....your ability to fight any protracted war is virtually zero.

How long will this sit in some test phase?  Unknown.  It might be there for twenty years.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The Manning Pardon

There's various topics that you can bring up around Army folks and you can predict exactly what they will say.  In the case of Chelsea Manning....the 35-year sentenced former Army guy....99-percent of Army folks are pretty negative about the guy.  Rarely does any Army member defend the guy.

President Obama set aside most of the 35 years today....down to seven.  He'll be finished with the sentence by spring of 2017.

My opinion of Manning is kinda simple.  He's a psychological question-mark. He probably was this way all throughout high-school.  The stress of the Army life?  It probably made him even more of a 'basket-case'.

The Army, because of recruitment shortfalls during the war period....went out and accepted a lot of people like Manning....never grasping that he needed guidance and authority extended to him....twenty-four hours a day....seven days a week.  Giving him a clearance?  That was a big mistake of the Army.  If they'd done a psychological profile.....he would have been pushed into some Army chow-hall and given simple work to finish out his Army career.  But they were never smart enough to figure that out.

What happens after May?  If I were Manning....I'd go quietly into some urban area and try not to draw any attention or appear on any national TV show.  The problem is that there are other people from the Army.....past or present....psychologically unfit as well, and maybe more unhinged.  They might think of some weird need to attack or go after him.

Prison being the solution for Manning?  No....I think the Army would have been better off doing the examination and recommending some federal mental institute and a long-term stay.  Once he goes out of prison, I think he's just a magnet for problems, which will continue on.  

Monday, 16 January 2017

Years From the Smoke Settling

It's been weeks since the election ended, and virtually none of the  'circus' activity has ended....which kinda amazes me, but this is the burn-the-bridges-type of mentality and no one seems to worry about 2020 or 2024.

This morning, I read that Senator Feinstein (D, Cal) commented that "the future of America is at stake".  I'm just shaking my head.  To be honest.....the future of America has been at stake for almost 88,000 days or 240-odd years.  There's not a single day that passes when the question hangs over the Constitution and nation itself.

Things are bad enough now that Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church has said that they can't possibly pray for the health or future of Donald Trump, because it'd trigger mental stress and complaints among it's membership.  GOP membership in the church?  I'm guessing most have already left, and the handful that remain....will find another church operation within days.  They might as well make up some list of things or people that they won't pray for.....like Putin, the Dallas Cowboys, or anyone that seems to be unlikable under the eyes of the Lord.

Yesterday, I read that there's this plan of the new Trump administration to find a bigger press room for these press conferences.  The current room?  It'd hold a max of 50 folks.  It seems like that Trump's folks have suggested that they can find another area of the White House Compound or nearby....where you could throw 500 folks in the room.

This triggered some hot emotions with the corporate news folks (the networks, WaPo, and NY Times).  Apparently, there's this fear that the normal insider press folks....probably around twenty who occupy the two rows of the current 50-room....that international reporters, small-town newspaper journalists, and even bloggers will now occupy the room and potentially ask questions.

Yeah, by doing this.....you'd restack the deck of journalism reporting on the President, and undo the filtering process of the big networks.

The bridge-burning crowd?  At some point, you need to chill out....calm down, and think of a strategy that brings non-urbanized neutral or Democratic voters back to the old party.  You don't have decades to settle on this policy...at best, you have twelve months to form the policy and start to implement a shift on the voting public.  This Trump-warfare that everyone seems engaged upon....will not draw these neutral voters back.  Thinking that anger will shift those people back?  They were angry at your party's strategy for more than a decade, and you didn't seem to grasp that fact.

Settle back and prepare for a long, long period of Democratic Party recovery.  Some kids who are going to be part of that recovery....are just in the first-grade at present.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Other Side of the Dossier Story

This week, the BBC (generally reliable) did some research on the Trump dossier story and came to realize that former MI6 007-secret agent man Christopher Steele had his company hired (Orbis is the company name) to do a research project for Jeb Bush during his disastrous 2015/2016 campaign period.

What happened when this story came out noting Steele?  He disappeared.  His company only says that he's taking some time off and he'll comment later.

There are some questions here....since Jeb came out in the middle of the week and said he was not the one to sponsor this.

1.  When Steele reappears and chats on this topic.....who will be the one that contracted Steele?  Does it go straight back to Jeb and his inner circle, or some outsider-turned-Jeb sponsor?

2.  When they contracted Steele, where exactly did he get his info on Trump?  Did he actually get it from the Russians?  Did he get from internal MI6 files?  Did he get from some other 007-secret agents-turned independent contractor?  Did he get it from the Turks?  Did he get it from the CIA folks?

3. When the contract was fulfilled.....how did they pay Steele?  Did they pay on the table and was it Brit-taxed?  Or did they pay via an off-shore company, to a off-shore bank account?

My guess is that Steele is sitting there now with a ton of pressure by the folks who contracted him to avoid telling their participation in this episode.  Course, he'll take the fall for them....perhaps....if there's some more cash involved.   But the Brit tax folks might be very curious how he got paid and if this was all legit income.

The sad thing is that this might all come back to Jeb and his inner circle who crafted this idea and then realized how crazy it was....trying to just pretend it didn't exist.  Then McCain, always outside of the circle, heard about some report and got someone with some money to buy a copy of it.  Ask McCain what he or his associate had to do to acquire the dossier.....did they spend money?  My humble thinking is that some more money crossed over....again, perhaps lacking Brit taxation.

The dossier in the end....will brand a couple of GOP folks as 'problem-children' and cause the party to invent a method of kicking them out.

The Thing About Dossiers

This week, with all this chatter on Trump's dossier business, and the secret 007-agent in the middle of this business....I sat and pondered.

This Trump dossier is said to be 35 pages long.

Just so we are grasping this whole dossier business....if the Russians had this one dossier on Trump, how many other dossiers exist in their archive?  One-hundred thousand?   Three-hundred-thousand?  A million?  Twenty million?  One could sit there and speculate on this.

The Bill Clinton dossier?  It's probably well into the 100 page length....detailing his women, his choice of hotels, his bedroom antics, etc.

The Harry Reid dossier?  It probably details exactly what happened with the black eye business, his Vegas property dealings, and various women that he might have at least bumped into.

The Richard Nixon dossier?  Probably upwards to 400 pages long...discussing his booze, his conflicts, and movie selection.

The Romney dossier?  Probably 1.5 pages long....mostly talking about his investment selection, suggesting an addiction to Orange Crush, and a list of Disney movies that he's watched.

VW's former CEO Winterkorn?  He's probably in the group and got a forty page  dossier.  It mostly details private life details, explanations on the diesel engine conflict, and his preferred alcohol.

Hillary Clinton?  It might be 200 pages long, and contain mostly stuff about the Clinton Foundation, arguments with Bill, and her health information.

Oddly enough, there's probably even a dossier for CNN's Anderson Cooper (probably twenty-six pages), and NBC's Lester Holt (probably eight pages).

Chancellor Merkel?  She's probably got the old DDR dossier, and a newer German dossier....between the two of them....maybe a hundred pages of material.

Why suggest all this dossier business.  Years ago, I was reading a short news piece of a Air Force pilot who'd gotten out and turned into a commercial pilot.  He'd found this lucrative contract for a cargo transport company.....operating in Africa.  This was during the period of the Angola conflict....where Cubans and Russians were part of the landscape of this chaotic time.  The pilot one day....ended up being captured while over this region.  I forget the details of his crash or forced-to-land situation, but he ended up in Angolan hands. He was moved around and ended up in some jail-like situation. An interview-turned-interrogation started up.  He was set to only suggest he was a plain old commercial pilot with no real interest in the conflict and no military background.  Oddly, the Angola crew had all this information on him....detailing out his military period, assignments, etc.  The only way they could have gotten this?  He figured the Russians had a dossier on him.  It's crazy, but it could be millions of people have dossiers on them in some Russian archive.

So while the news people freak out over Trump's dossier, and the odds are that it's a fake dossier, created by some 007-secret agent guy.....if you accept the dossier story, then shouldn't there be a Hillary dossier and a John McCain dossier?

If I were the Russians and this whole dossier thing bothered me, then I might suggest....lets make things interesting.  Every seven days for the next year....release one of these dossiers.  I'd pick Republicans and Democrats.....maybe even some journalists....perhaps even some entertainment folks.  Let's make this whole worrisome business more interesting.

You have to admit....you might be interested in what Ted Kennedy's dossier contains....or Lady GaGa's dossier.  

Friday, 13 January 2017

A Tale of the Map

In general, you can go and write a thousand-page book on how Hillary Clinton screwed up and Donald Trump laid out his best chances.  But why make this so difficult?

I sat and started looking at county-by-county voting voting over the past couple of decades.  There's something that you start to notice since the mid-1990s (after Bill Clinton's second election)....the Democrats have lost a large chunk of non-urban counties to the Republicans.  Not just one election, but election after election.

This map to the right, 1996.  Blue - Clinton.

Bill Clinton took and crafted the theme or Democratic message to fit the general and ordinary Democratic guy, and those leaning that direction.

This 2000 election?  Gore still took a large segment of urbanized counties but look at how the blue is disapparing across non-urban areas.  Gore went to more of a special group or interest area, and began to lose the general interest of regular Democrats or those who leaned that direction.

Did Gore realize this?  I doubt it.  He hired people who probably had paper strategies laid out for a decade and had a chance to enhance to bring new people/voters into the circle.  They didn't necessary worry about the regular plain-old Democratic voter.

You could see Gore watching this slip and just say it was a one-time thing....no big worry.  Things will change and just slip to the next strategy in 2004.

Well...it didn't work that way.

As much as Kerry did come close to beating Bush, note that the blue counties actually got smaller.  It became a more urbanized vote.  Massive number of votes in Memphis, Atlanta, L.A, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, etc.  In the heartland, much less so.....a lot less so.

After 2004, the DNC should have awaken and asked how the county thing is going wrong and a new message should erupt out of analysis.  Well....it didn't come.

Obama did win in 2008, but take a look at the red across the board, in non-urban communities.  Obama was able to get minority voters who rarely show up on election day....to show up.  His enthusiasm was what made the difference.  If it'd been Hillary Clinton in 2008?  I suspect a few less blue counties and McCain might have come extremely close to beating her.

Democrats realizing the county problem in 2008?  No.  No grasp....no change.

In 2012, most of the blue counties were retained but he started to lose some of the counties from the 2008 episode.  Enthusiasm was less so. Did the Democrats realize the problem?  No.

The push stayed on special groups (minority, environmental, gay-marriage crowd).

So you come to the final graphic....2016.

Lots of blue?  No.  Lesser blue than 2008 or 2012.

Red dominates the counties.

There's a theme here which doesn't require rocket-scientists or Einstein-like strategists.  The Democrats are locked into a unique position.  They need a sharp-talking black guy with great speeches to come back for 2020 or 2024....to give them a chance of winning.  Or, they need to go and reexamine the regular Democratic guy in the heartland and develop a message that brings him back into the voting apparatus.

You would think that people would be talking about this and trying to rebuild the Democratic Party to be less an urban-machine and more of a typical American-machine.  But obviously, the crowd at the top today....does not share in that dream. They've lost the core of their future, and now have few, if any, options.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Spiral of McCain

After reading through all of the Trump dossier talk....which all leads back to Senator John McCain....I've come to a moment of reflection.

McCain reminds me of some 007-secret agent guy.....always on some plane and meeting exciting people (like those ISIS folks back in May of 2013 when he just happened to be in Syria).

Course, in the real story of James Bond, he was always up against some really bad characters at SMERSH.

SMERSH seemed to always be crafting some world domination theme.  One week hitting on the world economy, then shifting to gold manipulation, then flipping over to water control, and then ramping up operations to steal nuke material.

In the case of James Bond....he worked against SMERSH, day and night.

In the case of Senator John McCain....he seems to be an integral part of SMERSH....maybe a puppet....maybe just a pawn.

If I were looking for that event that occurs about every hundred years where the GOP meets and fires one of it's members, I'd say this is likely one of those approaching moments.  McCain would be better off at this point as a Democrat or Independent.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Parody: How America Was Brought to It's Knees by Russia

Note: Parody.

Yes, somewhere in the late 1950s....Russia, then the Soviet Union, made a wise decision to faciliate a change to the United States.  It would secretly bring 300,000 Soviet spies, educated to speak English and act American into the United States via Mexico.

These 300,000 Soviet spies would easily cross the border and move out to particular states.  In those states, the chief mission was to ensure quick and easy addition to voting lists, and be registered voters.  Because of the incompetent behavior of American voting officials....the Russians were able to register not just once or twice, but in numerous cases....were registered as many as four or five times.  So in effect, the 300,000 agents were 1.2 million in voting strength.

As time went by, fifty of these Soviet spies were able to infiltrate the voting lists agencies and begin phrase two....registering dead people.  In some states, the Soviet plan of keeping 100,000 dead voters on the lists proved very successful.

By the late 1960s, the Soviet spies could admit that they were able to manipulate at least 1.8 votes in US elections.

The real success of the program?  1968....helping Richard Nixon win the election by basing a significant number of the 300,000 spies in five southern states and ensuring southern Democrats voted for Wallace and helped to edge out Humphrey.

The 1976 election required the Soviet team to move almost 150,000 of the agents to several key southern states, double and triple-registering them as well....to ensure Jimmy Carter's win.

In 1988, came the first failure of the Soviet program....moving almost 250,000 of the Soviet agents over the mid-west and north-east....they were simply not able to get enough votes generated for Dukakis.  It was a massive failure for the Russians and the chief of the department was forced into retirement.

With the wall collapsing and changes coming....the Soviet Union was no more.  Russia would emerge and decide the program had value....it was retained.

In 1992, with a new strategy and a new boss for the program, the Russians were able to ensure nine states went to Bill Clinton.  Awards and personal recognition occurred within the program for that success.

With ease in 1996....even with the Monica affair brewing....the Russians ensured the success of Bill Clinton again.

In 2000, the Russians awoke to realize a massive pro-Bush element existed against their candidate (Gore).  All 300,000 agents were directed to spread out to all fifty states....something that had not been done before.  For Florida....less than 2,000 agents were placed, and they were only able to generate triplicate votes.  It was a massive failure for the program, and the chief was fired.

In 2004, the Russians attempted a anti-Bush campaign, by moving 200,000 of their agents into the Rust-Belt and trying to manipulate a total of 1.1 million votes.  This was again a failure.

In 2008, the Russians brilliantly played the game out by ensuring the incompetent McCain was the chief candidate against their chosen "winner" (Obama).  At least 150,000 Russian agents were in Florida and helped to ensure the win for Obama.

Minimal effort was exercised in 2012 with the Russian agents.

For the 2016 election?  The Russians fanned out across four states, and were controlling approximately 1.5 million pro-Hillary votes, which included triplicate-voters and dead voters.  In bitter shock, the Russians came to realize two days before the election that they simply couldn't swing enough votes in four key states.  Attempts were made to move 10,000 agents into place and get registered at the last minute, but this was a failure.

The Russians sat in shock....their entire effort to bring Hillary Clinton into the White House....a failure.  Very quickly, the boss of the program was fired and replaced.

For 2020?  The Russians intend to use the US news media, fake news, and the aging 300,000 agents for one big blitz against Trump.  One of the weak points of the program is that the 300,000 agents are growing older and complain about this continual directive to move every four to eight years to manipulate particular states.  The Russians now realize that they may have to go and recruit a whole new team, and this is causing tension in Russia that they'd have to give up 300,000 of their younger citizens for this key program.

Yes, it is a bitter failure to realize within hours....Trump will take a position that the Russians fought so hard to prevent.  It should be Hillary Clinton.....someone that they could easily manipulate.  But in the Russian mind, 2020 is only four years away and maybe Hillary can be brought back again.

Parody.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Mute and Fast-Forward

I sat through a three-minute report from German state-run/public-TV news last night....the lead-in big story....which was....Golden Globe bash by Meryl Streep on Trump. Yes, from the fifty-odd big stories of the day....that was news number one for the German public at 9:45PM.

I sat and pandered upon what lecture or advice I generally take or don't take from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take sports-betting advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take car recommendations from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take vacation advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take moral recommendations from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take airline advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take vacation suggestions from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take health advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take Doctor-Phil suggestions or mental health advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take soda, wine, coffee, beer, or whiskey recommendations from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take camping, surfing, or poker advice from Hollywood-types.

I generally don't take advice on septic tanks, darts, chainsaws, clogged arteries, Microsoft, new cars, used cars, Hitler-movies, dog food, facial cream, warts, hockey, dandruff, rashes, bingo, kiwi-fruit, pickles, monster movies, Vegas hotels, folk songs, breakfast menu options, NCAA bowl games, or witchcraft.....from Hollywood-types.

If some Hollywood-type wins some award and wants to make some short "I'm grateful" speech....then fine or splendid.  But if this "I'm grateful" speech turns into something less than cute, well....there's that mute-button and you just apply it.  After you've done that a while for one person....you get used to it, and you hit the mute-button everytime you see them on the air.  With the fast-forward button, you can shift through a 90-minute movie with some mute-candidate and wrap up that movie in 30-odd minutes.

Maybe that's the only way to make sense out of this crazy world.....mute and fast-forward, and just pretend they aren't there.


Monday, 9 January 2017

The Coming Weeks

For the last hundred years or so, whenever recessions or depressions came upon America....one particular region of the US was set to skate by and not be affected....Washington D.C.

In the coming weeks, there's going to be this uneasy feeling among government workers because there's a hint of layoffs coming. In some agencies....less so (Pentagon)....and in some, more so (EPA).
The way this will work is that some meeting with a agency or department will occur with the VIP-staff of the group.  They will be told that by mid-summer or late-summer, they need to trim X-number of employees off the staff.  In the past, it'd be a one-percent or two-percent game, and you'd just invent some gimmicks to facilitate the decrease.  You'd note people leaving and just not fill their slots for six months, or you'd look at retirees coming up and leave the slot empty.

In this case, because of the numbers involved....some will be facing some harsh realities.

If you live within the beltway, and in the GS-13 to GS-15 level....or some VIP-manager....then you likely owned a $500,000 or more house, in Virginia, Maryland, or DC.  Some folks are sitting there and making $120,000 a year from their job, and paying out $20,000 in mortgage payments, and own two relatively new cars which add another $1,000 a month onto their bills.  These folks are sitting there currently with an enormous amount of pressure on them.  If these job-cuts come....there won't be another job in sixty days that they can roll into.  They have to go to plan-A real quick....put the house up for sale.....and go find a job back in the rurals of America with some company, college, or foundation.

Home prices in the Virginia region suddenly dropping?  I'd take a guess by October....houses which were valued at $600,000 suddenly priced at $525,000 and folks trying to get ahead of the curve because by summer of 2018.....the same house might be at $450,000.

Kids who were in some $60,000 a year private university getting an urgent call from Mom that the 'cash-cow' is dead, and they better start planning on year three and four of college at some $20,000-a-year college.

Guys close to sixty?  They will go for early retirement and walk out the door.

Folks with anxiety and panic attacks?  Well....it's called a dose of reality.  They assumed their life-long job with the government would continue, and that probably won't happen.  So don't be shocked when you find some new guy delivering your mail, and you discover he was a big-wig with EPA six months ago, and he can't find a job today.....so the mail route is the only option left for him.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Seventy-Minute Question

Crimes with an element of mystery often interest me.  So it is with the Seth Rich murder in DC.....the Democratic operative who was shot dead in mid-July at 4:20 AM.

Cops say....no robbery took place (nothing taken).  Some people think that he was killed because he was the leaker for info going to WikiLeaks.

But there's this odd piece of the story that dangles out there for me.

At 2:30AM, Seth Rich leaves the bar in northwest DC to walk home.  It's roughly a mile to walk back to his place.  A normal guy can make the mile, without curves or hills, or any obstacle in about twenty minutes.  Some folks might have a fast pace....maybe sixteen minutes.  Some older guys....slower pace....twenty-four minutes.

For Seth, he's noted shot at 4AM (90 minutes).

What does a guy do or accomplish in that 70-odd minutes leftover?

You can build a process-chart and discuss this for hours.  If he was absolutely drunk, you might explain the 70 minutes by just saying he was walking in circles, or went two miles in the opposite direction before correcting himself.  But no one from the bar says he was drunk.

If this were daylight, some guys might stand there to observe the landscape or admire some water-fountain.  But it was evening hours.

So you just sit and wonder.   Was he talking to someone for 70-odd minutes and then got shot? Some woman perhaps?  Some guy?  Or was he just sitting at some park bench and thinking about some problem?

Distance from the White House or Capital building?  About 10,000 feet.  You could walk it in 50 minutes.

My guess is that he bumped into someone outside the bar and the two engaged in a 70-minute conversation.  It didn't end well for the 2nd party, and they felt Seth was a "problem".  But if that's not the case.....then what did the guy do for seventy minutes?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Megyn Kelly and Conventional Wisdom

What did NBC get for the twenty million dollars a year with Megyn Kelly?

Their idea was that some Fox News viewers would cross the line and leave Fox.....to watch Megyn with NBC.  How much analysis was accomplished to prove this?  I'm guessing little to none.

My humble opinion is that maybe out of all the viewers that watched Megyn nightly on Fox....maybe five-percent will cross and stay with Megyn.  The rest?  They will adapt to the next Fox News 'player' who appears.  The bulk won't go to NBC.

Let's be honest.  Tucker Carson, who is getting her spot....is basically being groomed for the replacement seat to O'Reilly in two or three years when he finally retires.  By that point, I think that Maria Bartiromo from Fox Business will get to one of these prime-time hours and be the long-term big-name for Fox News.

As for NBC?  In twelve months, they will admit that this whole thing was a bust but they can't find a way to get out of this contract, and Megyn becomes part of the whole NBC Today Show morning episode.

The Trail to Fake News?

Before you get all excited over Russia and fake news possibly affecting the US election....sit back a moment and consider what exactly the US created in 1949 and continues to operate today....Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

Both were tools or media-control devices used to broadcast out to Soviet-dominated Europe and across to Russia today.

Both bundle a US-version of news (possibly propaganda) which might be true, partially-true, partially fake, or entirely fake.

The Russians don't own fake news....they just juice up the stuff like RFE or RL would do, and pump it out as well.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Democratic Talk

President-elect Trump selected Rep Price (Rep-Georgia) to be the cabinet officer for the health department.  Yesterday....Senate Democrats pushed forward on a an ethics probe into Tom Price.  Their accusation?  That he traded in healthcare stocks while pushing legislation in Congress....which 'might' have affected the value of such stocks.

I don't have a problem with such an investigation....but I wouldn't limit it to one single guy.  I'd go and make this a complete 360-degree investigation into every single member of the House and Senate....their spouses....and their kids...over the past five years.

Yeah, I'd make this the witch-hunt of all witch-hunts.

How many folks would I snare?  Probably eighty to ninety percent of these cynical and incompetent individuals and their spouses would become a "problem".

If I were President Trump, I'd turn the FBI and SEC loose....let them pick up the bits and pieces and publicize it via Twitter on each single individual and what he or she bought, and profited.

I think everyone would quietly shut up and drop all their games at that point.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Overwork Story

I read through a business piece today....out of the Japanese news.

At some point last month....a 24-year-old gal who worked in a Japanese ad agency....ended up working not only the normal 160 hours of work for her full-time job....but put in an additional 105 hours as well.  It kinda equals out to working a ten-hour shift for Saturday and Sunday as well.

At the conclusion of this entire period, she couldn't take anymore, ended committing suicide.

It happens enough with Japanese workers that they've invented a word for this behavior....Karoshi....or death from overwork.

So far, the only result out of this episode has been the dismissal of the CEO.

My question would have been...what exactly did she do for the 105 hours that made any difference on the balance sheet of work accomplished?  The sad thing is that she might have been standing there and taking orders from incompetent manager...doing mostly busy work, and never achieving anything worth discussing.

In most cultures....people would just walk away or find a new company.  There's a limit to how much a person would do.

If this were a project with huge implications of protection or saving a company....with a 80-hour week to fix some mess, then I might be able to see some wisdom in one quick burst of work.  But in most cases, once you cross the 50 hours a week point.....you aren't doing your best work.  You start to do marginal work.  You make mistakes.  You start to question what you already did.  You do less quality with less results.

Oddly, no one around this Japanese gal noticed the less results or cared to intervene.  You would think that their objectives would be one and the same....yet they weren't.

Maybe there is some lesson learned from this tragic circumstance, but I doubt it.  It's one of those things that shouldn't have occurred in the first place.

What If the Supreme Court Remained at Eight?

There's been a couple of folks suggesting a political fight brewing (NY's Senator Schumer at the lead) who might try to force Trump into a corner over the Supreme Court nomination.

At four and four, what basically happens if it's a permanent device?  If the court can't come to a conclusion on cases, then the previous court verdict is the accepted end to the discussion.  That means whoever loaded that court with left-leaners or right-leaners....got the inside hand.  You can guess where this discussion goes next.....that various sub-courts of the federal level will be stacked up over the next four years with a lot of right-leaners.

If you kept this judgement up, then as each member of the Supreme Court leaves....you just don't replace anyone and eventually you just have two guys standing there.  Of course, this won't happen.

I'm of the mind that it's time to reshuffle the deck and bring the Supreme Court to fifteen members.  Then you throw a deck of cards on the table when cases come up and whichever of the fifteen pulls the higher-noted card....to reach nine members on a case....they get the nod.  It would be luck if you have seven right-leaners on one case, or five-left leaners....enough to settle a case.

Will Trump play along with a weak situation?  No.  My guess is that he will go straight to two or three Democratic Senators and ask what they want....some new state park, massive road spending for their state, etc.  Unlike the Obama administration which never wanted to deal with Republicans....I suspect that Trump will make it a weekly thing....getting people to the table and talking over what they'd like for their state.  That's the way that things ran for decades, and it would be helpful to return to the normal standard of negotiation.