Wednesday, 31 July 2019

'Dark Psychic Forces'

It was a great phrase expressed by Marianne Williamson at the debate last night.

It's an image in my mind from the X-Files series....'dark psychic forces'.  Something with demons, monsters, vampires, etc. 

She's trying to label Trump as a 'demon'.  I'm guessing Trump is sitting there and contemplating this.....because it's a curve that he can't come easily back on Twitter.  He might even admit that he is absolutely a demon. 

Putin standing there and grinning?  Oh yes.  He'll even go and tell Williamson in a personal way....that he's darkest psychic force on planet Earth. 

Do we need a President like this?  Well, it's just something to think about. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Foreign Change in the US

So here's something to think about.

Back in 2017, Guatemala was thought to have around 16.9 million residents total. 

Back in 2010, the US Census detected around 1.04-million Guatemalans living either legally or illegally in the US. 

The odds that we've reached two-million Guatemalans in the US, and that Guatemala's own population has bumped downward (say losing a million over the past three years)?   Well, it's very possible.

But here's the other thing which you ought to think about.  If nothing changes in Guatemala over the next five years....we will probably have 3.5-million Guatemalans in the US. 

Where do they live?  Mostly in urbanized zones (NY City, Philly, San Francisco, central Texas, northern Virginia).  The odds that they could get onto voting lists, and be part of some 'change'?  Well, here'e the thing....it wouldn't take much for some GOP guy to find some hyped-up talker....a Guatemalan person....to lead focus groups in all of these areas, and shift votes from the Democrats to the Republicans. 

Just to suggest that you could find 150,000 votes in Houston alone....that you could convert over....would send a clear message on political change occurring. 

Monday, 29 July 2019

Rats, Rats, Rats

As a kid growing up in rural Alabama in the 1960s and 1970s....I have to admit....I just never saw a rat.  Never.  Mice?  Sure, but not rats. 

In fact, it wasn't until the mid 1980s....that I got to Panama, and really started to see rats (big ones). 

So this Baltimore thing on rats that President Trump hyped on....kinda interests me. 

Generally, when you get to an area where there's rats....there five key elements at work.  First, you have open trash or food to feed a growing rat population.  Second, you need homeless folks in significant numbers, which are tied into the open off/trash situation.  Third, you need heroin addicts or drugged-up idiots who simply don't care about sanitation.  Fourth....you need a city council and sanitation department which has zero interest in controlling the rats. Fifth and final, you need decent weather (unlike harsh Montana winters). 

The best way to handle an entire neighborhood of rats?  You put out a massive amount of rat-poison, and you dispose of the dead rats as quickly as possible.  On top of that, you dispose of the buildings that are unused or taken over by addicts.   

Why Baltimore can't take actions?  That's a question that only a local guy there can answer. 

Sunday, 28 July 2019

The Trump Impeachment Scenario

I've spent a fair amount reading this week over the Johnson Impeachment of 1868, and it may lay out of some the problems, and the path that might occur if Impeachment for Trump were attempted.

For those who weren't aware....Johnson was left an enormous task as Lincoln was buried.  The Lincoln 'path' meant that forgiving was in order.  The behavior of the Republican House and Senate?  Less so....they wanted the President to punish the southern states as much as possible.

At some point, Johnson went on a national tour (using the rail network) to make speeches and ask the public to blast their representative/senators. That probably put Johnson on an enormous 'enemies' list.

Upon firing Secretary of War Stanton.....that was the last straw.  So Johnson was brought up on 11 charges for the Impeachment.

The charges:

1.  The Senate was not given a chance to concur with the firing of Stanton (a new act came prior to this which suggested that they had to approve of not only hiring Secretaries for the cabinet, but firing them as well).

2.  By firing Stanton, the President turned around and appointed a new Secretary of War when the vacancy simply didn't exist.  I know, it's a stupid charge but simply added to the burden.

3.  Act of conspiring.  Mostly with members of the House, and harming the jobs of the Senators.

4.  Another act of conspiracy.  Mostly by failing to carry out the law on the Tenure of Office Act.

5.  Another act of conspiracy.  Mostly to take or posses the property of the Department of War.

6.  Another act of conspiracy  Mostly the same thing as number 5 above except it was meant to violate the Tenure of Office act.

7.  Giving the new Secretary of War the ability to control disbursement of government funding for the war.

8.  Giving illegal orders to Major General Emory with the illegal intent to violate federal law.

9.  Giving three speeches 'insulting' the Congress (mostly the Senate and mostly Republicans).

10.  Acting in a disgraceful way to the Presidency.

11.  Hiring the new Secretary of War without consulting the Senate.

So when you look over the list, it looks like a lot.

So on day one with the Impeachment accepted....the Johnson team asked for 40 days to present their case....the Senate (by vote) said 'no', and gave him a total of 10 days to present the case.  They didn't really want to spend a heck of a lot of time talking about this or how the firing came about with Stanton.

Impeachment at that point required a two-thirds majority to vote on this and the magic number was 36 votes.  The Impeachment acts were divided into three votes.  As long as they reached 36 on any of the three, then Johnson was thrown out.

Well, this is the curious thing.  From the nine Democratic Senators in the Senate...they all voted NO, to all three acts.  For the Republicans, they were only able to muster 35 of the Senators to vote in favor of the Impeachment.  Nine Republicans voted with the Democrats (on all three acts).  Without that one single extra GOP vote....the measures were defeated.

The nine Republican Senators and their future?  All left office after their term ended.

As much as the 35 Republicans felt they'd have the votes to toss Johnson out.....they guessed wrong.

So you gaze at the way this might fit into the Trump scenario.  You'd have to write up charges.  There would have to be some details involved, with accusations and evidence.

The Senate might say 'fine' with the charges, and then Trump's legal team would ask for not just 40 days (like Johnson's team), but Trump's team might say that well over four months are required.  You can imagine the Senate in a lock-down situation....nothing to be accomplished for four entire months.  No trips to golf resorts....no trips overseas....no campaign trips.

Trump's team bringing out subpoenas in massive quantity?  I would imagine well over 150 subpoenas will be issued and some folks will be shocked at being dragged into this.  The potential that former President Obama being dragged in and forced to swear on what he said or did?  That threat exists.   The potential threat that one or two US Senators might be accused of being part of some counter-conspiracy effort.....forcing them to remove themselves from the Impeachment vote?  That might occur as well.

The threat of individuals have charges drawn up because of a false testimony?  That issue exists as well.

And at the end?  If the two-thirds vote doesn't occur?  It's more than likely.

Destruction of trust for the Democratic Party?  If this pee dossier is proven to be totally fictional, and paid by Democratic operatives, it opens up a big mess which Mitch McConnell would just stand there in glee....like a 8-year old kid in Disneyland.

Anyone saying or suggesting that this would only take ten days...hasn't read the Johnson history piece or tried to connect the dots on this whole entire anti-Trump effort.

Could the news media even survive four entire months of this process?

So, it's a curious thing to imagine.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

How 2016 'Russian Meddling' May Work in the 2020 Election

You have two separate concepts.  One group suggests that the Russians heavily meddled in the 2016 election....causing Trump to win (or Hillary to lose, depending on your state of mind).  The other group suggests that whatever did occur, was really outflanked by meddling by the GOP and Democrats themselves.

Trump (and the Democratic House) may decide by spring of 2020 (eight months prior to the election) that SOMETHING has to be resolved or fixed, and this might turn into a cluster-F**K (a term we often used in the Air Force when marginal problems got resolutions that made bigger problems instead of fixing the original situation).

Trump could go and push for a national database to ensure voter conflicts are resolved, which would be bitterly fought by twenty-odd states. 

The Congress folks (led by Pelosi) could go and suggest a national commission to monitor the situation (meaning nothing would basically occur).

Some big push might occur to ensure an ID is required to vote, while the Democratic-held House would fight against it. 

Some folks from both groups might go and suggest a massive grip by the government on social media, which would harm both political parties. 

I would suggest to sit back and be entertained by the 'fakeness' of the meddling and how people laugh over the Russian story. 

Heat Wave Chatter

I noticed this today....some guy (probably a PhD'er)....came out and suggested that we needed to name 'heat waves' like we name hurricanes or storm fronts.  Course, he wanted to start the naming process at 28 degrees C (82 degrees F). 

I kinda like the idea although I'd start it at 35 degrees C (95 degrees F).  And I'd go one step further.....I'd only use Greek names (Aesop, Andrei, etc). 

Here's the thing....talking about the weather used to be normal and one of the ten ways that you could connect with the gas station 'chief' or the coffee shop waitress.  Ever since climate change entered into the discussion.....if you bring up weather, then it's some science discussion or catastrophic worry. If these events had names, then you'd talk about the big Apollo-2022 heat wave compared against the Arsen-2020 heat wave.  It'd be more personable in discussion then. 

Thursday, 25 July 2019

My Observations Over the Mueller Episode

Altogether, I probably watched about two hours of clips over the Mueller meeting yesterday.  No, I didn't watch his opening statement segment....but I caught enough of Republicans and Democrats asking questions to reach four observations:

1.  Maybe a decade ago, Mueller was a witty and clever guy, but the guy I saw yesterday was drained of energy, lacking any ability to drill down into the topic, and was a guy at the end of his career.

In some ways, I felt sorry for him.  But as you look around....there are a number of folks who have stayed beyond their value in Washington and can't deliver any longer (Pelosi, former Senator from Mississippi.....Thad Cochran, Senator Feinstein from California, Senator Grassley from Kansas, etc).

2.  The value of this 'show' yesterday for the Democrats?  Maybe they had some view that they had 'gold' still left to mine, but I'd say if anything....this impeachment chatter is basically finished and any hope of using Mueller's work is a joke.

3.  If they did go to impeachment....the President's lawyers have the right to bring various witnesses in, and they might drag Mueller back for a second round, or perhaps drag in dementia experts to talk over Mueller's health aspects.  If you thought this round yesterday went marginally well, that impeachment project would be a total failure.

4.  This brings me back to the beginning....did Sessions know that Mueller was losing it?  Did one guy marginally capable of delivering anything....just select another guy marginally capable of delivering anything?

I'm kinda hoping this is the end now for this whole impeachment talk.  If it continues on....people would start to treat it as a comedy, and it's value goes away.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Reading

All total in my life, I would estimate that I've picked up 2,200-plus books and read them.  At some point as a kid, I was probably reading one book week.  Split between fiction and non-fiction?  It's probably 10-percent fiction, and the rest of historic value.  Somewhere in the middle might be five or six science fiction pieces (Planet of the Apes for example), a book or two by Stephen King, and maybe twenty-odd books over climate change, science topics, and economics.

I made an attempt to read Mein Kampf by Hitler....failing on the first attempt, and then picking it up around twenty years later.  It's not a book that I'd recommend, but mostly because it's basically a manifesto-type document.

Some recommended reading list?  It's marginally possible because I've touched so many books and I might have a list just based on Steinbeck alone, or just one World War I alone.  But I'll list out ten books that I'd tell folks that it's worth a read:

1.  In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Norton.  A fact-filled book which covers the pre-events, the background, the chief characters, and the landscape on the crisis itself.  For those who never understood this......in the midst of an Indian War....for some odd reason, religion got turned upside down, and over the course of a few months....an entire region was 'entertained' by accusations of witchcraft.

At the heart of this matter were a couple of teen girls, with great imagination.  By the end, around fifty-odd folks had confessed to satanic stuff, and nineteen of them hanged.  The authorities?  They eventually reached some level where the excitement just couldn't be pumped up anymore, and the circle of accusations might have been close enough to include some of the authorities themselves.

2.  My Man Jeeves, Wodehouse.  Great fictional piece which came out at the conclusion of WW I.  Great wit, and probably good enough for an entire comedy series today.

3.  True Believer, Hoffer.  First of about ten books by Hoffer, coming out in the mid-1950s, and discusses how large groups of people are herded by propaganda into mass movements.  Hoffer was the last intellectual existing in America who never attended college.

It's a book that you can wrap up over a weekend, and it conveys a great deal of historical examples of how people fall for some fake political business.

4.  Animal Farm, Orwell.  You could probably assign this fictional book to some nine-year-old kids, but they would be asking some serious political questions by the end, and it'd be hard to lay out the reality of this world.  It's another book that you can wrap up in a single weekend.  After you read it, you will never be able to avoid skeptical nature with politics.

5.  The Great Fire of London: 1666, Hanson.  It is a fine history piece which lays out London, and how the fire developed.

6.  The Forgotten Man, Schlaes.  Roughly 500 pages of historical coverage over the end of WW I and the path up to the early 1930s.  For those who felt that high school history never introduced them to the period, or explained the causes for Great Depression.....this book weaves a great story.

7. The Prairie Traveler: A Guidebook for Overland Expeditions, Marcy.  It's a weekend book which lays out the hardships and general practices of a wagon-train.  Written in 1859, and I'd highly recommend it.

8.  Pastures of Heaven, Steinbeck.  A book of fictional pieces (maybe ten stories) and entertaining.  To be honest, there's over a dozen Steinbeck books that I'd recommend.

9. Democracy in America, Tocqueville.  Roughly 400 pages and written after his tour of America in the 1830s.  The big adventure of seeing early America by a French guy, who seemed to be thrilled over each week that passed.

10. The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins (2015), Angelos.  Around eight years ago, Greece kinda collapsed (financially).  This writer went over and did a tour of the country....to explain how you get to this level of screwed-up nature.  It's mostly a book about how people reach a point of distrust for the government and all of it's 'promises'.

The problem with this list, is that I'd probably like to make it around 400 books, and mandate kids between the ages of twelve and eighteen read all of these.

Trump and Kashmir?

Ok, this could be a 300-line story, but I'll try to limit it to a simple forty lines.

Around 1947, India was given the 'pass' by the UK to assume it's own control.  To be honest, while the UK did bring a lot of commerce and innovation into India for years and years....Indians preferred their own destiny. But added to this parting.....some Muslim folks wanted their own path of destiny.  So instead of just one single nation....Pakistan and India came to exist (along with Bangladesh). 

So when you gaze up at the extreme north of India, there's this area of about 200 by 200 miles.  If you see Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) on the map....just look 30 miles east of it, and there's the border with this area of Kashmir. 

Most folks will say that being that close to Islamabad was simply a magnet for trouble, and the original crowd in 1947 should have taken a pen, and drawn a different border.  Ever since that point, India and Pakistan have argued over the area (you should note that China argues about the far eastern tip....an area of about 40 by 40 miles).

When this comes up about the disagreement, the chief question is.....is there anything really of value there?  For decades, it was mostly a mountainous area that served as a agricultural area.  In the past 20 years.....talk of minerals and gold have been openly discussed.  So far, no one is suggesting that it's a big deal....just that if time and effort occurred....maybe there would be gold exploration.

My description of the area?  If you took the Rocky Mountains and removed all of the interstate access, you'd have the Kashmir region.  Tons of potential for tourism, but the potential threat of war has always made this tourism discussion a joke.

So, there's this rumor that India has talked over to Trump and asked for some moderation.  Course, they also denied this in the news media. 

What could Trump do?  Trump could bring both groups to the table, and a dozen-odd community groups from Kashmir itself, and then discuss the idea of open trade and commerce.  Yes, a tax-free zone. You'd want to emphasize Kashmir as getting a win-win situation in the end.  Then you'd draw this dividing line (probably the top forty-percent of Kashmir going to the Pakistan folks, the far east small area to China, and then the rest to India).  But then you'd openly talk about trade, and how locals would improve their society.  You'd discuss national parks, access to trade and border-crossing opportunities. 

Yes, the 'art of a deal'. Everyone wins something in the end. 

If Trump got the Kashmir situation figured out, and conflict ended?  It'd shock a lot of people, but let's admit it.....this whole discussion over the gold potential probably would hinder the talks, and be the basis of walking out of the talks. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Is Anyone Really That 'Privileged'?

Over the past three or four years, I see this comment of being 'privileged' come up a great deal.  It's hyped upon by college kids, journalists, and intellectuals.  After a fair amount of pondering.....I've come back to the question....is the normal average guy that privileged?

Maybe if you grew up in a wealthy household (income of $500,000 a year or more), went off to a private university ($200k for your degree), and got a inside step to your first ten years of work compliments of dad's friends.....then you might have earned the chip on your shoulder of being privileged.

The rest of us?  No.

We might have actually lucky and done the first two years of college rather cheaply at some local college and our student loan debt is less than $20,000.

We might have been lucky enough and just drove used cars for the first decade of our 'real' life.

We might have been cheapass camping in some state park, instead of spending $8,000 on a four-star trip to Aruba.

We might have kept that living chair and couch around for sixteen years instead of buying new stuff every four years.

We might still be mowing the lawn with the mower we bought back in 2002, and the only thing we've done recently is buy a new blade for it.

We might still be drinking cheap beer, instead of the good stuff.

You see, most of us just aren't that privileged. Nor do we buy that stupid story.

How This Plague Scenario Would Play Out in California

Well, this is my scenario and just explains the landscape of how the plague would arrive, and how things would work.

At some point, a guy will show up with various symptoms, and the free-clinic doctor will spend three weeks working with the guy, and he is continuing to advance....no matter what the doctor prescribes.  So he finally does the plague test, and is shocked....full-up plague, and advancing to the black skin stage.

So the doctor starts to look at the tent-camp that this is from.  Over forty people are showing some symptoms....masked mostly by alcoholism and heavy drug use (meth, cocaine, and heroin). 

The county health department is concerned and talking to the mayor, but no one wants to overreact.

The first guy is put into a light-quarantine facility, while the doctor is trying to convince the other forty to come in for tests.  No of this is working well, with no saying anything to the news media.

Then you get some local kid (resident, not a tent dweller) who comes down with the plague.  Parents ask questions and some nurse admits the plague discussion.

Within four nights, a group of concerned citizens burn down the tent community. 

The doctor and the health department now have a problem because the forty infected folks have now run off.  The mayor has a problem because the cops aren't reacting to the burn-down episode. 

The Governor now steps into this and suggests a quarantine program but doesn't seem capable of mastering the requirement or having judges issue orders.

Trump steps in.....orders federal law enforcement and federal rules into the mess.  A judge stands there with the cops and the health department....every single plague person is ordered to a 30-day quarantine program.

Problems now?  Well.....these tent folks are all alcoholics and drug consumers.  They can't cooperate with any of these rules or orders.

A 300-man National Guard team arrives and sets up a camp.

But now folks are worried about the plague over the whole state.  More camps are burned.   Suddenly, you have 10,000 folks heading north, toward San Francisco.  Fear pops up, and more tent communities are burned to the ground. 

Leadership shown by the state?  Marginal and lousy.  A year into this, more than 2,000 individuals have been identified as having the plague. 

The Debate Over the Minimum Wage

The idea of one single national minimum wage, and failing to account for fifty different state variations, and probably over 300 urbanized area variations?  That's what makes the minimum wage discussion a wasted effort.

There's no doubt that a Burger King in Queens, NY and a Burger King in Demopolis, Alabama....simply aren't of the same variety.  One probably should have a set minimum wage of $8 to $8.50 an hour (starting pay).  The other probably should have a set minimum wage of $15 to $18 an hour (starting pay).

So this whole discussion is a wasted effort?  More or less.

It's like talking over minimum wage for Miami, and then talking about a small rural community sixty miles north of Miami....the wages simply can't be the same.  Yet no one will stand there and admit this in public. 

Friday, 19 July 2019

Things I Hate About America

I sat and thought over the Squad and their level of hatred, and tried to think of ten things that I disliked about America, so this is my list:

1.  Potholes.  It's silly to travel around various states, and note the frequency and severe nature of potholes.  Can't we have some national policy to fix them?  Can't we get a cabinet-level agency up and running to resolve this pothole crisis?

2.  TSA agents.  Ever since 9-11, I've had to deal with TSA folks.  Maybe two-thirds of them are capable and intelligent folks....but roughly one-third of them are marginally intelligent and behave like mall-cops.  Every occasion that I transit through an airport, I just sit there....frustrated with this problem, and I hate the experience of traveling in the US.

3.  Hollywood-style Representatives/Senators.  You now see this fake Hollywood-group from DC....almost daily on TV.  Is it really necessary?

4.  Rat-infestation.  The number one problem of LA now?  Rats?  Really?  How the heck did that come to pass?  The talk of the plague returning?  Really?

5.  Cable-TV offering up 200 channels....of which you watch maybe ten of them on a regular basis.  And I'm paying in some way for the 190 other channels....that I never watch?

6.  The NCAA bowl process.  It's obviously corrupted, and run by very evil men with the intent to hold back true champions (like the University of Alabama).

7.  Racists everywhere.  After watching a full hour of MSNBC news, I have the impression that at least 150-million racists exist in America.  In fact, there are Puerto Rican racists, Indian racists, Taiwanese racists, black racists, Mexican racists, Guatemalan racists, Canadian racists, and even racists racists.

8.  The idea that a McDonalds burger bag (basically a regular hamburger, fries, and Coke) will cost around $9.99 eventually, after the $15-an-hour minimum wage deal goes into effect.  It just isn't worth $9.99.  In fact, it's probably not worth $4.99.

9.  There's probably over 400,000 folks in America who are crazy-crazy-enough....that ought to be in a managed facility, and is instead housed under various bridges in the nation.  And we seem to pat ourselves on the back in letting the crazy-crazy squad enjoy the bridge 'house' for a lifestyle.

10.  Finally, I hate the idea that some news guy refers to some ten-man group as a debate...when they get a marginal two-minute period to say something that doesn't make much sense. 

Video Story

Over the past ten-odd days, NBC News went to a great length to find a video, which had footage of Trump with this Epstein guy (noted in the news, and currently sitting in jail because the judge won't issue a release). 

What's odd about this...is that the video comes from almost thirty years ago. 

It's amazing....to consider all the vast investigative journalism that exists with NBC News, and you haven't really seen much of any of this.....for almost twenty years.  Suddenly now?  It shows up?

People sit there in disbelief, and laugh over NBC's great effort, and why they couldn't see anything like this over the Obama period.  So many resources, and they simply sit there....with no instruction or desire to demonstrate their capability, unless it fits the agenda. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

What If CNN Switched Its Format Suddenly?

What if you woke up tomorrow morning, accidentally hit the button for CNN (noting you haven't watched the network more than 30 minutes in the year)....finding the crew in Iceland, and interviewing locals over the installation of a new traffic light, and the overnight report of three gentlemen reporting they saw some Demonic creature over by the harbor?  Would you sit there and watch it for 30 minutes?

What if CNN came up and was doing live interviews with Iowa farmers for six hours, discussing cattle, pumpkins, and the influence of full-moons on their personal lives?

What if CNN came up and had four journalists in an RV crossing Canada and featuring live-over-the air coverage, for three days straight? 

Instead of being the Trump-network.....why not try to be something totally new and different....to get viewers back?

If Everyone Just Went Back 'Home'

It brought up my interest when the chatter came up, and President Trump finally said something to the effect....if you aren't happy here, maybe you ought to go back home.

Some folks are hinged on the term racism, but I'm trying to figure out where this angle fits.

If he did mean it in a racist-way, where exactly would I go?

You see, I have roots that kinda lead back to Kirby Bedon, UK (maybe from 400 years ago).  Prior to that 'adventure'....then my folks were living for around 400 years in the Chester area of England (way over on the western side of the country).

Prior to Chester, we were Norman-folks and got all involved in some invasion angle by our Norman king, and we were connected to the northern coast of France.

But to be honest, we'd only been in Normandy for about two generations, and before that we were Danish folks.   And if you go six to eight generations prior to that, we seem to have some time in the Latvia and Lithuania area.

So if I did get hyped up like the CNN guy suggests I should be.....where exactly was Trump referring me back to?  Kirby Bedon?  Chester?  Normandy?  Denmark?  Latvia?

And with that .7-percent Congo DNA....could I establish some connection to head on back to the homeland of Congo?

But onto the bigger question....if I was referred to this suggestion of Trump....why am I unhappy?  Shouldn't that be the bigger question with the CNN folks?  If Trump isn't racist, and these people are actually unhappy....where does that lead them, or me?

Maybe the bigger question of this whole discussion....why are folks so unhappy?

Trump and Washington State

How hard would it be for Trump to win the state in 2020?

From 2016 results, Hillary was able to take 1.75-million votes....Trump was limited to 1.22-million votes.  The Libertarian guy?  He took 160,000 (roughly 5-percent of the votes).  Normally, you'd go and say it's be awful hard.

So you shift and look at 2020.

Trump would have to and convince half of the Libertarian voters of 2016, to shift over to him (giving him 80,000 of those votes).  It's quiet possible.

Then you gaze at the map.  Hillary won only urbanized counties....the rest of the state (roughly two-thirds of the counties) went to Trump. In the case of five of the Hillary counties.....it was not a blow-out....it was marginally for her. 

Toss in some key advertising....the slant on capitalism versus socialism.....Democrats who left their party in the past two years, I think you could suggest 250,000 votes flipping from 2016 to 2020....over to Trump.  That would bump Trump slightly over the threshold, and show the state as a red-win state.

The last time that happened?  1984, with Reagan. 

But there is one key element since 2004....massive registration and voter turn-out.  There's like an entire era that closed out in 2000, and voter-surge occurred in 2004, and has repeated in 2008, 2012, and 2016. 

So either you go and convince these older Democratic voters to flip their votes, or to stay home (to send a message).

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

No Desire to Win in 2020

Over the past year, I've seen various statements by the news media, the Democratic platform, AOC, Pelosi, and so on.  I've reached the point where I now believe that they really don't want to win in 2020....not the Presidency, the Senate seats, or the House. 

To even suggest a chance at anything.....the party needed to select something that they'd own, and show passage via the system.  At the rate 2019 is going, and the what appears on the early landscape of 2020....there's just nothing much worth talking about.

So I'm suggesting the radical situation....they really don't want to win, and this is about a massive loss which probably leads to a fair number of the 'old' establishment in the party....just retiring after the 2020 election, and leaving politics. 

A rebuilding stage?  Yes...that's what I'm suggesting. 

Alcohol-Free Beer Story

So I tried to make sense out of this two-line story in today's news:

Malaysia (mostly a Muslim country in the Pacific) gave out this warning to Malaysian breweries....NOT to sell/produce alcohol-free beer.  Reason?  The very hint of this....confuses Muslims about whether they can drink it.

I sat there pondering.

Alcohol-free beer, which I've consumed probably two in my life....has ZERO alcohol content.  Yes, it kinda tastes like regular beer, but it's more like a wheat-like taste (maybe like taking wheat bread and throwing it into a blender with a cup of water). 

Calorie-wise?  Most will fall between 40 and 60 calories per bottle (12 ounce). 

Is it totally alcohol-free?  People tend to argue about this point.  Rather than the standard 3-percent alcohol....a fair number of the alcohol-free beers will have .1 to .3 percent alcohol in them.  But lets be honest....a overly ripe banana will have about the same percentage of alcohol (.1 to .3 percent).

So why this warning?  I think it's mostly because some government folks like to worry about you and your morals.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Trump, in Black and White

There are a hundred things that occurred in 2015 and 2016, which basically set up this landscape in which Hillary went onto lose, and Trump went onto win.

But since that day, the black and white landscape has simply continued on. 

The news media (cable news, newspapers, Time, Newsweek), along with social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), and the internet players....replaced Hillary, and become the opponent of Trump.  And the public simply agrees with the Trump passion to continue the 2016 campaign, into 2017, 2018, and 2019.  In some ways, the campaign cycle never ended.

Then you toss in the small-time players....retirees, farmers, working-class people....who seem to have no problem in writing out a check for $100 to the Trump campaign.  That wouldn't have happened in 1984 or even 2000.  In fact, some guys probably have no problem in throwing $50 a month toward the Trump campaign.

Maybe it's a theatrical type performance that we simply enjoy watching.  Watching some CNN situation develop and AOC goes live to make a 90-second idiot statement about about some topic, and suddenly our smart-phone vibrates and we realize that we just got a Twitter statement by Trump himself....over something that AOC said five minutes ago.....saying how stupid this AOC comment was, and not even giving the news media an hour to talk over her words.  So now the CNN guy is having to react to this live situation....MORE to the Trump comeback....than AOC's words of ten minutes ago.

All of this leads back to New York City....where Trump sat and watched the news element at work for over fifty years, and developed a New York style of comeback....which few can master.

The Pee dossier?  For most politicians....it would have taken them down (even President Obama).  For Trump, he just flipped the whole thing over and asked....is there anything really true here?  No.  Oh....well....why are we bothering to discuss it then? 

This 2020 election?  It's actually a 'show' that most of us would really like to watch, and be entertained by.  Democracy at work?  Hell no.....but we've already moved on and generally disbelieve this whole fake discussion of democracy.   We want the Trump Show....in plain black and white.

The MAGA Story

"We export American exceptionalism, the great America, the land of liberty and justice. If you ask anybody walking on the side of the street somewhere in the middle of the world they will tell you, ‘America the great,' but we don't live those values here. That hypocrisy is one that I am bothered by. I want America the great to be America the great.

-- Ihan Omar

Over the weekend Omar tried to explain her patriotism angle, and centered on the thought that America was previously 'great', and she'd like to return it to the status of 'great'.

Amusingly enough, she's basically uttering the Trump phrase.....Make America Great Again.

How would she achieve this status?  Unknown.  She left that part out of the discussion. 

In professional wrestling, at the key point of really 'BAD' status, the tough evil wrestler will undergo some conversion situation, and suddenly appear in public as the 'GOOD' wrestler.  Perhaps in this case, Omar has been given the script, and will suddenly appear as a Trump-supporter, and shock everyone. 

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Just an Oddity About This Epstein Guy

So you stand there and try to read over his life, and write a resume for him.

No high school diploma....he never finished high school.

No college degree.  He did attend some classes, but appears to have gotten bored and never stayed.

No wife, ever.  No kids.

He was an options-trader for roughly five years, but no one ever suggests that he did anything remarkable in this period.

His chief accomplishment for the past twenty years?  Mostly running parties, mingling, flying from region to region. 

If you were looking for some outsider trying to pretend he was an insider to Mossad (the Israel secret guys)....he'd be the choice. 

His real wealth?  Unknown.  He says he's a billionaire.  What proof?  None.

Hidden overseas money?  Maybe, but it seems that no one cares....even various state tax people.

Connected to various Hollywood and news media types, but no one can say how any of the invitations were issued. 

The resume here?  Maybe seven lines, with the last line....'Friend of Bill Clinton'. 

Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Mitch Exit in 2021

Later this year, the Kentucky general election will be held, and Matt Bevin (current GOP governor of the state) will likely be re-elected.  His term will start in December. 

Right now....Bevin is given a six to eight point lead over the Democratic contender. 

I anticipate that Mitch will go and run a strong race in the summer of 2020, and likely win his race by a minimum of ten points. 

He'll (Mitch) will swear in and quietly go about his work in the spring of 2021, and around October/November...he'll give notice of retirement in January of 2022.  The governor of Kentucky will then select himself (being GOP)....and the state law says that only when the next general election comes up, will the position be voted upon.  So Bevin would have 3 years before that event occurs....giving himself enough time to build up accomplishments and 'charm'.

The question then comes up.....who replaces Mitch as GOP head in the Senate?

So I'm suggesting three names:

1.  Tim Scott (the GOP might think that bringing a soft-spoken black to the job would gain them points).  Scott would lack years in the Senate, but bring a different charm to the job.

2.  Mike Lee from Utah.  He has character to fill the shoes.

3.  Rob Portman from Ohio.  Generally liked by most all Republican Senators. 

The end of Mitch?  No.....I suspect that he's got a ton of campaign and PAC money sitting there and intends to be a major part of the 2022 election.  There's probably three or four Democratic Senators are anticipating him influencing their race, and putting them in a world of hurt before he empties out his pot of money. 

The Five Likely Election Topics That Will Harm A Democratic Candidate

I've pondered upon this for several weeks and come to this conclusion....the Trump campaign will likely attach itself to five central themes, and really put any of the Democrats coming out of the convention in a rough spot:

1.  The Census and the citizenship question

2.  Immigration reform and the wall

3.  Socialism versus capitalism

4.  Fake news and social media manipulation

5. The massive cost of all the 'promises' made so far

All five would harm the election campaign for candidates like Biden or Warren.  I read yesterday that roughly 60-percent of all Latinos in America, and blacks....each group measured....support the Census citizenship question being asked.  That's bad news for the Democrats if true.

Could Trump hold back the Census until after the election?  Yes.  In effect, he could agree to only start it in December....forcing a public discussion of the matter. 

It's a curious thing how this developed, and how the Democrats are limited in addressing each of these problems. 

This Epstein Business

After several days of watching this hyped-up Epstein business go on, and the list growing of VIPs and businessmen who came to the 'isle'....I've come to one central question being avoided by the journalists....who sponsors or runs Epstein? 

I don't think he's the top dog to this whole isle-visitation, lusty-gal, and secret information business.  He runs the isle....no doubt.  But I suspect this goes one step above him....with either some government or some syndicate using the inside influence or information for other purposes.  Chinese?  KGB?  Saudis?  Israel?  French billionaires? 

A lot of things seem to be intentionally left out of this story, and virtually no investigative journalism going on.  There's some boss or group above Epstein, and more to this story.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

'Blue Dog' Democrats

They've come up in the news in the past week....mostly because AOC says she will target them (in the 2020 primary deal) and help to get true-Democrats into their seats.  So, some history deserves to be reviewed.

The term 'Blue Dog' Democrats really didn't get uttered until you get to the mid-90s.  You may think it was the Reagan-era, but you'd be incorrect. 

Kin to the 'Boll Weevils' (southern Democrats of the mid-1940s to the late 1960s)?  No.  The Blue Dog's come from across the entire US.

You might want to note that they aren't relative to the Dixicrats or the Bourbon Democrats (1800s). 

They tend to be from districts which are mostly middle-class, and fairly divided on values/problems.  Some folks would suggest they are 50-percent Republican and 50-percent Democrat.  I would suggest otherwise....that they found issues that aren't really owned by one party or the other, and got voted into office because of some argument they presented on two or three important subjects. 

AOC's desire to wipe them out?  There are a total of 27 currently in the House, and there might be five to ten more throughout the US who are either leaning that way or avoiding the label while they act that way. 

I suspect that three problems would come out of this AOC threat.

First, there is the total lack of understanding on the 'balanced' nature of voters in the US, and how some folks are marginally voting Democrat and could be persuaded with some effort to flip their votes to some Republican.

Second, out there and waiting for opportunities...are the Green Party guys.  You might upset the system enough that five to ten of these seats could go to a 3rd party mechanism.

Finally, if there was a major House loss in 2020....blame might go around in such a major degree....that the Democratic Party might split into two groups.  AOC would probably prefer not to create that big of a mess. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The End of the Perot Legacy

When Reagan was preparing for the VP selection in 1980, George Bush wasn't really a solid selection, with some suggesting at least three people ahead of him.  But the assembled 'experts' wanted Bush to handle the VP job.  So sat in motion, the entry of Period in 1992, and his affect on decades since.

What Bush discovered in 1991....was that the public really wasn't that fired up over his actions or results after four years.  With Perot in the race?  There's at least 15 states that Bush should have won, but lost because of the Perot influence upon the race.

The influence in 1996?  There's ten states that Dole should have won....without Perot in the race.

In some ways, Perot set the deck for Clinton to win in 1992 and 1996.  Because of those wins....Hillary Clinton went onto become a Senator in NY state, and potentially a national candidate for President.

Perot never cared about winning....he just wanted to slide the Republicans off the track and defeat them for the Presidential race. 

It took me around a decade after the 1992 race to grasp what he'd done and how much he'd screwed up California voting patterns.  So pardon me if I don't harp much over the passing of Perot. 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

What Joe Biden Could Do to Increase His Odds

1.  Slip into some lady-type garments, light makeup and just hint of a trans-gender situation developing (maybe never getting to the operation or hormone business).

2.  Write a book on his family history, and hint of .9-percent Congolese DNA, and his family tree having a black slave element to it.

3.  Declare a policy of zero increases on taxation for the first thirty days of his administration.

4.  Open the vault in his house to show off the sixty different rifles, shotguns and pistols that he owns....professing true admiration for guns.

5.  Admit that he's had a twenty-year affair with some Mexican housekeeper that he's had on the staff.

6.  Admit that he's certified 'nuts' and been on various treatments for thirty years.

7.  Announce that he and AOC are actually family-related, and she's like a 4th cousin to him.

8.  Announce he'll go on Dancing With the Stars, and possibly do the voice for some kid's cartoon series.

9.  Admit that he was the one who gave Harry Reid the black eye, and this was over an argument involving a NCAA football discussion

10.   Talk up the idea of a revolving Vice-President situation, with Bernie, Hillary and Mayor Pete as his three VP's, and every month....you'd get a new individual for the slot. 

Friday, 5 July 2019

Tree Story

A Swiss foundation went out and did a fairly in-depth survey of climate change and C02....then came to a non-shocking conclusion.  Reforestation across the globe, would fix and resolve all these C02 and climate change issues.

Yes,  something that people have been suggesting for two decades....was basically laid out in a science fashion and easily established. 

Massive effort?  Well....yeah.  But here's the thing about this reforestation idea.....no one is against the concept, and the cost factor isn't as bad as one might think.  Across the US....you'd probably find at least a million people who are willing to put in six hours per month in some seedling effort. 

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Bill Weld

I was reading a piece over the GOP primary period, and Bill Weld came up in the news (he's the only one running against Trump in the primary).  Bill has at this point....if the news folks are right....about $700,000 for campaign purposes.  I'm guessing there might be another million somewhere in the mix.

What does that really buy Weld?

Basically, he can go and rent a reasonably new campaign bus, and tour Iowa....with a staff of maybe five to ten folks....for six weeks prior to the Caucus.  He can probably run two or three campaign radio pieces....just to let folks know he stands alone. Yes, that's it. 

He might be on the primary voting lists in five or six states, but beyond that....zero chance to get any notice. 

The Real Question over the Census Question

President Trump and his staff are mostly on an agenda that will require the Census team (2020) to ask a citizenship question, and give two different numbers to the public at the conclusion.  One number will be the total residents of a state, and one number will be only the citizens of the state.  Politically, it's charged up.

Some folks believe that the Supreme Court will effectively halt this and prevent it.  To be honest, I suspect that Judge Roberts will do his best to ensure that the question is not authorized, and that only by having one of the four liberal justices retire, and be replaced by a conservative judge....will the matter be put to rest. 

But there is this other question lingering out there.  If you can't ask this citizenship question....is there any real reason to conclude or even conduct the Census? 

I would suggest that the whole basis of the Census is some accurate count that would justify deleting districts in some states, and adding districts in other state....based strictly upon American citizens.  If the question can't be asked, there's no need to waste the money and we should just drop the whole necessity of having a House of Representatives, going to strictly to the Senate existing. 

It's a silly argument and likely to continue through the summer of 2020.  Curiously, the law basically says that the Census has to start in 2020....but it could be started in January....or in December, after the election.  Trump could make the whole basis of the Census one of his three main topics, and put the Justices into the spectrum of public attention. 

The five states most likely to be hurt by the question?  California, NY, New Jersey, Florida and Texas.  Some people suggest that California alone might lose three districts upon this review and the Census question.  Even Texas might lose two districts.  Course, both Florida and Texas might gain via people leaving NY and California as the great mass exodus is taking place. 

So how big a deal will this become?  I suspect as January of 2020 arrives....we will find that the bulk of Americans are concerned (one way or another) over the Census, and it might flip over into being a major problem. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Just Something to Think About

Back shortly after the Reagan era, when the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986 was signed in and fixed all the shortcomings of migrants just entering the US....within two or three years....Jose # 1 entered into the US via Mexico, from El Salvador, and became an illegal and undocumented worker in the US.  He had a job, under the table, and worked for warehouse clean-up team....making $2 under the minimum wage. 

A year or two passed, and Jose #2 arrived in the US....illegal and undocumented.  He convinced the clean-up crew for the warehouse to hire him for $2.20 less than minimum wage, and Jose #1 was let go.  Jose #1 went on and found another job....making less than minimum wage. 

A year or two passed, and Jose #3 arrived in the US....illegal and undocumented.  He convinced the clean-up crew for the warehouse to hire him for $2.25 less than minimum wage, and Jose #2 was let go.  He went on to compete against Jose #1, and took his job.  Jose #1, sought better work in Michigan.

A year or two passed, and Jose #4 arrived in the US....illegal and undocumented.  He convinced the clean-up crew for the warehouse to hire him for $2.30 less than minimum wage, and Jose #3 was let go.  He went to compete against Jose #2, who gave up and moved to NY City.

Year after year, a new Jose arrived.  Year after year, that Jose displaced the old Jose.   Altogether, these 10 to 15 million illegal and undocumented workers....make less than the minimum wage and save literally billions in the pockets of well-to-do Americans.  Guys hire Jose to do work, that minority Americans won't do....for less than the minimum wage.  Everytime that a threat comes up to lessen the Jose affect, you can depend on Congressmen and Senators to save the Jose, and his fellow-Joses.

But decade after decade, the Joses are now in such abundance, that they compete against the original Jose folks, and the second wave, and the third wave.  So we now have plenty of Joses....to do minimum wage work, for half the price. 

Are we really doing them a favor? 

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Trump and Homelessness

It's a fairly decent page one story this morning.....Trump says he's ready to take on LA, Seattle, and San Francisco. If the cities can't do the job, and the state governments just stand by with nothing accomplished....well, the feds will do it. Correct attitude? I doubt it.

But he could bring three curious measures to the table and really put the city governments of the three cities (all run by Democrats) in serious jeopardy.

First, he could send in a task force and just say accepted drug-use on the streets....won't be accepted by the federal government. You could go and detain 500 heroin users (requiring some judge in the middle) to hold and force rehab upon a guy. 500 out of thousands? Well, the week or two after this....you'd go and suggest more task force members are coming and unless they (the drug group) evacuate the three cities....they will be hauled off. That 'scare' would be enough to do serious talk of leaving the three cities.

Second, he could put 'hurt' and 'pain' into the drug market, and start upping the charges on dealers. It wouldn't take much take down a hundred dealers in San Francisco. They'd be replaced in a matter of hours....but you could have a second group of federal cops ready to go, and haul them off as well. You could even go and create a special wing for dope dealers at some federal prison and make it a pretty tough sentence to suffer through.

Third, you could go and start a long discussion in public about mental health, and the crappy attitude of just letting these folks suffer. Eventually, it'd trigger the public to accept facilities and life-time stays. I know.....it's something people dislike, but the idea of letting thousands of nutcases wander around and possibly be a threat to the public is not that great of an idea.

 And here is the curious thing....the 2024 likely contender for the Democrats is the current California governor (Newsom). If Trump resolves the problem ahead of him? Newsom is toast....he won't be able to get any real support in 2024.

The First Five Primary States

2020 is a bit different than previous years on primary dates.

First, Iowa does remain the 'starter'....but it won't happen until 3 February.  Joe Biden currently leads, with Mayor Pete and Sanders around 10 points behind Biden. 

Second, New York is presently slated for 4 February....while some folks think it'll be tinkered with and pushed back.  The impact here?  Some people think this would be advantageous for Harris (giving her a chance to gain ground after placing back in the pack in Iowa). 

Third, a week after New York will be New Hampshire.  Most folks are thinking that Bernie Sanders will likely win that primary.

Fourth, eleven days after New Hampshire will be Nevada.  Right now....Biden easily leads, with Sanders and Warren around 12 points behind him. 

Finally, you come to South Carolina.  Joe Biden ought win this....but there is the influence of New York's outcome and the possibility that Harris might arrive and pick up more enthusiasm.  Drifting 20 points behind Joe Biden right now are Warren and Sanders. 

I would suggest this....if Joe Biden were to pick up four of the five state primaries, then he's got the lock on the convention (even if he loses fifteen of the remaining states). 

Monday, 1 July 2019

What I Expect on 26 October 2020

I expect the Trump camp to come out with one last political advertisement.....a 60 second piece, with dramatic music in the background, and the word 'socialism' appearing on the screen.  Then roughly 55 images will appear on the screen dramatizing the negativity of socialism. 

Scenes of San Francisco's homelessness situation will flow into this. 

Then at the very tail end of this ad....mostly seen via Twitter and Facebook (yep, he'll save millions avoiding the networks)....it'll ask the question, 'is this what you want?'

At that point, the last ten million undecided voters will decide and step back from Joe Biden's camp.  There won't be any time left to pop up some ad....condemning capitalism or defending socialism.

Around a year later, some folks will talk about this, and suggest that embracing socialism might not be smart.....but those folks will be pushed to leave the party.  And by the summer of 2022....I see some Democrats discussing moving over to the Green Party, or starting an entirely different Democratic Party.