Saturday, 30 November 2019

Climate 'Something'

I was reading a lengthy piece this week over climate change (aka global warming, global cooling)....then they came to note that there is another wording change underway.

The new phrases?  Climate collapse, and global meltdown.

Why?  Well, this gets into branding and the folks in the middle of this type of business believe that they've over-used climate change.

I'm one of those people who were standing there in the 1970s....reading Newsweek's introduction to global cooling and remember the article. 

But I also read a piece over at Electroverse this week, which did a long article on Chinese research.  The Chinese have put a lot of research into sun cycles.  They point that there is a 500 year cycle, which involves the sun, and that we are nearing the tail end of the sun's warm spell, and that in a few'll all flip with extremely cold and bitter winters.

So all this brand name changing....mostly to just get you into the right frame of mind, for their agenda?  When you say the words meltdown or's generally not good news.  It's like dam collapse, or nuclear meltdown.  In your mind, you have these awful bad images. 

How long before these two phrases disappear, and new ones come to replace them?  I'd give it five to seven years. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The Cartels in 2020

Basically, without people grasping this....a 'war' is about to erupt.  At some point, probably around February of 2020....a 'front' will be established.  Cross-the-border raids?  Very likely, and to be condemned by Mexican political figures. 

Seizure of bank accounts?  Likely. 

Relocating cartel 'chiefs' to Gitmo?  Likely.

Reaction by the cartel in killing some regional political figures?  I would take a guess that bombings and murders will be an everyday occurrence by mid-2020 in the US.  There's law enforcement, mayors, and governors likely to face daily death threats.

Carrying of weapons by Americans?  It'll get hyped up and folks in Texas will make it an everyday act by the end of 2020. 

But here's the thing....drugs are going to be more difficult to deliver to distribution networks, and escalation of prices will start to occur (likely doubling and tripling cocaine prices).

US distribution networks?  If you are working with cartel members, you are helping a known terrorist, and there's likely to be serious jail-time for the distribution networks (no longer just three to five years....maybe you'd face a thirty-year sentence now....aiding a terrorist group).

All of this will be geared toward a public settling in for a war on US soil, and easily re-electing Trump to a second term.  For the Democrats to carry wins in the House and Senate....they will have to support the war, and it's entanglements, or face loss of seats.

If you got a serious coke-habit?  You might want to think about rehab because you won't be able to afford the habit by the end of 2020. 

Trump and the Likely Flip of Black Voters

I sat down over the past couple of days and analyzed the general black population of states, and the potential that 35-to-40 percent of those individuals might be voting for Trump in 2020.

So there's one significant factor can't reliabily predict of that black many are actually registered, and of many will routinely come out and vote.  You might assume roughly two-thirds will show up in a Presidential election and vote.  So out of that figure, you might assume that of the two-thirds....around 40-percent of them are potential Trump voters.

The states where this whole situation might be serious?

There are 13 'states' (discounting DC and Virgin Islands) that the population is 15-percent or

NY state
North Carolina
South Carolina

A couple of additional states where Hillary marginally won, and it might matter:

New Hampshire

The five key states that I'd say that blacks-for-Trump situation might really matter?  Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado. 

There's a limited number situation from 2016, which might lead one to think over the 2020 election and say with the lack of voters for the Green Party/Libertarian Party, and flip of black voters to Trump.....Trump would likely access those five states for additional Electoral College votes.  That would make it nearer to 35 states on the board, five more than 2016. 

If Impeachment Fails?

Around two months ago, most folks presumed that the hearings in the House would result in a packaged situation (3-plus charges) going to the House floor, and passing by 218-plus votes to move to the Senate. 

This week, there's hints that some House members (those running in difficult elections in 2020) are shaking their heads.  No one says the present number, but one might assume it's around five members in this shaky situation presently.  With 235 seats won in 2018, there's a slim 17-seat margin here.

So the likely scenario?

Most House members will return to their home-state today, and spend Thanksgiving in the district.  They will talk to various people, and return with a fresh prospective.  Most folks will tell them that there just isn't much coming out of this hearing business, and they are wondering what exactly has been accomplished so far in 2019 (little to nothing).

I will go and suggest that around fifteen members will appear by the end of next week, and suggest that a condemnation vote would be better, and just derail the whole impeachment hearing business.

Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker) will chat with various groups and count the votes.  I might suggest that she's only sure of about 210 votes, and that ten votes are real shaky, with the rest all saying they will abstain from the impeachment vote.  She might have the numbers, but it's real shaky and if they fail on the vote, it's massive fallout coming.

A week will pass, and the decision will be made to shut down the hearings, avoid the impeachment vote, and just condemn the President (getting all 235 votes). 

Then the news media is stuck with a 'dead' story.  How does CNN go for a full week straight....telling the dead story with twenty-five 'experts'?  The general public will be laughing over the situation, and the journalists. 

In terms of political value?  The Democrats will have wasted most of 2019 to reach this point, with nothing to show for the days of effort.  In simple terms, they got used by Trump yet again. 

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

What Else on Thanksgiving?

Someone did a survey and picked up on the fact that one in four Americans (a quarter of them)....would prefer to have something different on Thanksgiving Day.

I sat and pondered over this.

For about years of my life, I had Thanksgiving dinner at a Air Force chow-hall.  I wouldn't go and rate it five-star but there was little to really complain about.

My German wife has attempted on around five occasions to create the dinner, in a sort of German style.  I won't complain much about it (the pecan pie was always frozen, and you would be forbidden Cool Whip because it's loaded with wasted calories).

I even did one Thanksgiving dinner at a Marine NCO Club, with Philippine cooks, doing a sort of Asian-take on the dinner (don't ask, it was pretty bad).

For the past fifteen years, I've done the dinner mostly at the Ramstein or Sembach NCO Clubs....which were pretty decent but in the $25-per-person range. 

The trouble with this polling question asked....what the hell would do besides a typical Turkey dinner?

I worked with one guy in the 1990s who was going to do everything listed in a 1790s recipe book for authentic Mount Vernon-George Washington dinner.

Bar-b-q'ing your way to the dinner?  Maybe.....with a thick rib sauce.

I could even see doing a goose rather than a turkey (but it'd be loaded with fat).

All of this just makes me wonder.....what else could one do up, on a special occasion? 

A Whats App Story

This is a true story, and you might be amused by it.

So it's mostly about 'X', who is a 53-year old woman.....three times married, and currently with husband three.  I should note, she has a cellphone and uses What App a good bit.

So, X had health issues, and the doctors finally came up to say she had cancer....stage one, and in a resolvable state.  She's sent in the local area to meet Doctor So-V-So.  He's a young guy (early 30s), intelligent, and knows a good bit about uterus cancer (what she had).

Treatment starts up.

A lot of one-on-one conversations.  X was worried about her 'abilities' after treatment, and Doctor So-V-So got really into this topic and discussed it at length.

For whatever reason.....X felt that the doctor was going to the next level....'real friendly'.  We are talking about secret relations 'friendly'.

X handed Doctor So-V-So her cellphone number.

A week later, someone sends X some text via Whats App, and she thinks it's Doctor So-V-So.

Over the next five months, this hot-flash impluse thing starts up, and X is all fired up to have an affair with Doctor So-V-So.'s the thing.....that text? wasn't from Doctor So-V-So.  It was from some guy who'd mistakenly sent her number a text.

As each day passed in this five month period....she was fantasizing a minimum of five hours a day on dumping her husband, and running off with Doctor So-V-So.

Remember, not a single word or text came from the real Doctor So-V-So.  And to be honest, from this mistaken guy.....I doubt if there were more than five text messages exchanged, with limited dialog.  He just didn't realize the mistake that started this.

Then one day, all of this fantasizing reached some peak, and she sent some long extended chat to the phone, and the mistaken guy gets this whole blunt message about him 'toying' with her.  He comments back to her.....well, he ain't Doctor So-V-So.

So begins to unravel this whole secret fantasy situation via Whats App.  The fact that she was entertaining 'firing' her husband and easily running off with someone else who she'd never even had a drink with or lusty moment in bed? 

Five to six months of this, and it comes to some abrupt end, without a real ending.  Just all an illusion. 

Would make a great five-star script for a movie. 

Monday, 25 November 2019

The Problems with Bloomberg

With the notice now that Bloomberg will run on the Democratic Primary....I would offer ten observations on the issues:

1.  The guy will be 78 years old in February.  Most people will look at this, and even if they were hyped up....the VP choice matters greatly.

2.  In NY City, virtually everyone knows the guy.  In rural regions of Missouri or Arizona?  Much less so.

3.  Appeal to blacks?  Most NY City blacks have a split opinion of Bloomberg.  Beyond one says much.

4.  What's he done since 2013 and leaving the mayor job?  Mostly nothing.

5.  Go watch some of the speeches that he gave in the period of 2005 to 2013.  He comes across 'wooden' real Bill Clinton hyped up speeches.

6.  He has to take up topics that Warren, Sanders, and Biden have pumped up over the past twelve months.  Those are the type of topics that don't win independent voters.

7.  He's the question did he get rich?

8.  Politically, he's been a Democrat, a Republican, an independent, and back to being a Democrat.  Can he explain this to satisfy most voters?

9.  Great speeches to center on from the past twenty years?  No.

10. It's been reported that he's built ad's for use in March/April....which oddly target on Trump, but fail to say anything about himself or his record.  Changing the minds of Biden-voters or Warren-voters?  No.

He might be able to win a couple of states (NY is likely, and NJ).  Beyond that....this is likely to be a flat campaign with no true gains.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Famous Alabama House of Representatives Member

Rarely does the name of Felix Grundy McConnell get brought up.

Felix was elected by the folks in the 7th district back in November 1842, and arrived in 1843 to assume his highly valued position of a Alabama House member in DC.

Felix had come a long way.  Born in 1809 in the true sense of the word, he was marginally educated.  His profession?  He made saddles. 

At some point in the mid-1830s....he moved to Talladega, Alabama.  There, he decided that he had the talent to be a lawyer.  He briefly attended a legal school, and in two years, had himself approved through the state bar association to be a lawyer.

It's best not to bring up the fact that he was marginally educated, and that these 'school' paths really didn't amount to much.  As long as you paid up the state bar folks, and they gave you the slip of paper....that was it.

Within two years of that day.....Felix had him situated into the Alabama State Legislature.  A year later, he was a state senator (serving for four years).

In November of 1842, Felix ran for the House seat, and won.  So in 1843....he shows up in Washington DC.  At the age of 33, he had remarkably blazed a path to success, and even in today's world....he would have been on the cover of magazines and newspapers.

So here's the remarkable thing about the next 3.5 years in Washington with Felix.  If you were looking for the baddest of the bad boys....Felix was it. 

While little factual evidence's safe to say that Felix was drunk 365 days a year, around the clock....during this period.  We aren't talking about mildly drunk.....we mean absolutely drunk.

His behavior in this period?  It didn't take much for him to throw out insults at just about anyone....even while in the House chambers.  During this period, it's an open fact that while in a House or Senate member, you can do just about anything, and the police can't hold you or charge you with a crime.  So Felix went from bad to worse over this period.

At some point in the final year (1846)....Felix had gotten himself into what you'd call today Delirium Tremens (the DTs).  This is basically when your alcoholism has reached a level that you realize it's a serious problem, and you want to stop drinking....but then you start to imagine things (disillusions).

In today's world, you'd go off to rehab.  Felix had no such avenue.

On 10 September 1846......Felix reached a peak with the Delirium Tremens.  With a knife, he apparently stabbed himself and bled to death. 

Dead by age 37.

It's an amazing story....young guy who was apparently a decent saddle maker....making the move into Alabama.  Walking around marginally educated, but didn't let that stop him from attending law school, and getting all certified as a lawyer.  Quickly moving up the political five short years, making a path to Washington. 

Felix must have been a fairly likable Irish guy, with a talent to talk and say blunt things.  If he'd avoided the alcoholism route? just have to wonder.

There's no statues for this guy, just a burial site in Washington DC. 

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Demons, the Supernatural, and Impeachment

There was an interview this week between Rev Franklin Graham and journalist Eric Metaxes....discussing Trump, the impeachment, and perceptions.

So Graham laid out the topic and then bluntly suggested that all of this could only occur if the supernatural were at work.  In simple terms....demons.

Metaxes then readily agrees, and this discussion goes to various connecting topics.  Graham points out that with the booming economy.....people have more money to tithe, and thus the churches are raking in the cash to help the poor.  On this, he does have a key's to everyone's advantage to want a booming economy.

At this point, you have to ask the question....are demons and the supernatural running the Democratic Party?  It is a comical question, and in 90-percent of won't come up. 

In Alabama?  Well, this Sunday, I expect most Baptist Churches to bring up the topic that Graham mentions and offer up a prayer for Democrats, and hoping that they can recover from demonic control.  At that point, around a quarter of the congregations will stand up....stomp their feet, and leave out of the backdoor....never to return.

The same crowd will wander around for several weeks, trying to find other churches to accept them in the state, with the other ministers or deacons asking if they are still under demonic control. 

As the primary season approaches, the question of supernatural 'control' will come up and various democrats will be trying to remove the 'curse'.  Guys who used to make a big fuss of democratic agendas....will now have co-workers offering to pray for them, and setting off hostilities in the office place.

Somewhere along the way, it'll become common knowledge that the Chinese have been fighting the supernatural for thousands of years.  Some of their methods will be used: (1) peach-wood pits will be carried in your pocket, (2) shamans will be hired to 'touch' you, and (3) spooning will start up (where you rub a silver spoon on your body to rid you of demons.

The thing about all of this is that Trump didn't come up with the idea, and he's probably kicking himself for missing it in the first place.  He could have labeled Pelosi as 'Demon-Nancy'. 

As silly as it sounds....this is how far from reality that we've slipped.  Very briefly, we can be easily convinced that some idiot would get up at 1 AM in Chicago, in seriously low temperatures (minus situation) to wander over to a Subway shop and encounter KKK-type characters on the streets of Chicago.  Going from that point to demons and the supernatural is just not that far. 

Friday, 22 November 2019

The 'QPQ' Party Idea

I have this idea for a political party.  The name for it?  The Quid Pro Quo Party (QPQ).

So the idea is this, I want various political folks of both parties (maybe even the Greens and Libertarians) to come up and sign a pledge on ten to twenty things that they would do.....if we (the voters) supported them as a national party.  If there is money involved, I want them to spell out where the money will come from. 

Then our members (really voters) would go and give them our 'vote'. 

If they failed to accomplish their promises?  In the very next election, I'd fire them, by giving my vote automatically to the next party.  I'd repeat this a couple of times, and they'd eventually learn.....either don't promise much of anything, or actually go and accomplish the promise. 

The neat thing about the QPQ that we'd have no candidates...we'd just be freelance voters. 

Thursday, 21 November 2019

What Was the Pied-Piper Strategy?

Basically, you are running for office, and have this problem (weakness) in the general public.  So you go to your news media friends, and issue an appeal.  You ask them, in kind words, to elevate the weakest of the weak from the opposition party, and ensure that weaker candidate rises from the dozen-odd possibilities, and you are guaranteed to win. 

Well....that was the intention.

One of the odd Wiki-Leaks emails from Hillary Clinton (dated 7 Apr 2015) was a two-page document which listed the priority of news media 'services'. 

The three that Hillary hinted upon?  Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump.

Based on some type of review (you have to wonder who told Hillary this was brilliant, and I doubt it was Bill).....these three were guaranteed to make the GOP unhappy, and ensure she won.

You can go back to the week prior to the 2016 election, and find various Hillary strategists who were practically begging for Donald Trump to be the convention winner, and be staged to gracefully (or doomed) to lose to Hillary Clinton.

So the question ought to be on your mind.....did the people who envisioned this strategy really know the general public in 2016? 

For the past week, I've been on this topic and pondering it. 

I've come to the conclusion that this strategy might have worked well in 2008, and might even suspect that in things were drifting around for the primary season approaching....that Hillary's team were already at work, hyping up the Pied-Piper approach for 2008's election.  Yes, convincing folks that John McCain was the perfect marginal candidate for the Republican Party, and the best loser possible.

I don't think McCain realized it, or cared (even if you had laid out the trap).

Then you come to this reality on the evening of 8 November 2016.  Everything was set.  The polls had faked everyone out, even the journalists, and the Hillary team itself.  The journalists were prepared for this massive 'win-evening', and by 9 PM eastern time.....the party was dissolving.  By 10 PM, folks were doing double-shots, weeping away, and in a state of 'Pied-Piper' shock.  Every trap had been set, and yet failed.

But now we come to the 2019 situation....all of these new Pied-Piper strategies.  The Mueller Report was supposed to eradicate Trump.....the media was all peppy for almost twelve months....with that Pied-Piper trap failing.  The whole Russian-in-your-election fiasco?  That Pied-Piper trap failed.  This Ukrainian business enveloping into an impeachment, with the news media again all hyped up?  You'd need a well weakened Republican senate to make that happen, and losers in the House who just let the impeachment hearings clear a path. 

The problem with Pied-Piper thinking?  It's basically a decade too late.

It's the kind of thing that worked before social media came along, or people noticing 'fake news', or hostility brewing within the working class.  It was perfectly designed for 2000 to 2010.  In 2016 and present?  It won't work.

Before closing, what if some crazy guy picked up the Pied-Piper strategy, skipped the Republican National Committee, and the news media, and just went full-throttle with Twitter and public speeches?  What if that guy intentionally rigged up the 2020 primary period for the most marginal candidate to face him...skipping virtually every single political 'gear-box'?

Just something to think about. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Why Doesn't the Public Really Care About the House Hearings on Trump?

My ten observations:

1.  It's not titillating.  There's no NY City trampy gal coming over at 3 AM to service the President.  There's no intern providing 'relief'.  There's no banjo-playing Latino midget gal into bondage who secretly rides Air Force One for the President.  There's no Russian bikini-wearing palm-reading lady that Trump has trusted for 30 years to predict his future and visits weekly.

2.  There's no real understanding of Quid Pro Quo.  If you asked 3,000 Americans...only about 25-percent would have a fundamental grasp of it.  Some would answer that it's a Mexican dish at Taco Bell.  Some would suggest it's a hotel chain in New Mexico.  Some would suggest it's a bass boat company in Georgia.  A few would suggest it was a 1988 x-rated movie that they watched in college. Some might even say it was a TV show with fake Amish people who talked about 'tarty-women'.

3.  The statement that Quid Pro Quo is illegal?  Since when? Bush II and Obama?  You could count up a minimum of 300 Quid Pro Quo acts each.  Your wife?  She probably does Quid Pro Quo (QPQ) daily.  Your son, your neighbor, your minister, your cousin Fred who does all your electrical work in the house, your bartender, your 5th grade teacher, your liaison gal on Friday afternoons, the chiropractor?  They are all into QPQ.

4.  Lets be honest, back in the early 70s, there was literally nothing on TV, so the Watergate Hearings was a big drama?  Today?  You've got Netflix, Jerry Springer with pregnant girlfriends, fighting cousins on tabloid TV, reruns of the Waltons, Mexican soccer league reruns from last night, soap operas from Brazil, and wrestling shows.  There's tons of competition.

5.  This Shiffy guy isn't Sam Ervin of 1973 Watergate Hearings 'fame'.  The image of Shiffy compared against Inouye from Hawaii?  It doesn't match up.  Shiffy comes across as a comedian trying to pretend he's some true authority.

6.  The carrying ability of the networks or NPR, or NY Times, for the Democratic message?  It's just not at the level that existed in 1973, or in the 1990s with the Clinton episode.  Most people label them as 'fake' and you can't convince people to watch.

7.  In some ways, the public has adapted to Trump, and regard him in the same fashion as JFK.  Go imagine some impeachment process with JFK, and how impossible it would be with the voting public.

8.  If you want to chat over 'crimes'....go cite the federal code.  If you can't cite a code....the general public starts laughing.   This is almost like a Matlock show, without a murder or robbery....everyone sitting in the courtroom and awaiting some mystery guest to arrive and point out the crime, so that the show can start up. 

9.  Frankly, we are barely nine months past the Jussie Smollett episode, and people just don't take accusations and crime at the same level anymore.  Everyone is convinced of a fake crime or fake accusation.

10.  Finally, we've seen so much 'drama' in DC over the past ten years.....that this hype on the drama....really doesn't move much past two stars.  Having an episode where Cheney shot his hunting partner.....that was drama.  Having Senator Reid show up with a black that was a drama.  Watching one of Hillary's coughing attacks, now that was a real drama.

Monday, 18 November 2019

NFL Clubs and Their Business 'Model'

I sat yesterday and read through a number of economic pieces over NFL football, and came to several realizations.

There are only three way that the NFL ownership (of each team)....score on profitability.  They are: (1) gate receipts and junk/food bought for each home game, (2) the TV contract, and (3) fan gear.

With all the negative criticism on the NFL product today, one has to look at the profits.....or lack of profits, and wonder about the business model, and if it's doomed.

So put yourself into a NFL owner's shoes.

There are 17 regular season games in a season....with it generally split in 8 home games one year and 9 home games in the next.  Preseason games?  Some teams do four, and others do five.  You can generally anticipate that preseason games rarely fill up a stadium, and most clubs have to offer serious discounting for preseason games...just to get 25,000 fans into a 48,000 seat facility.

So you look at ticket prices currently at NFL regular games.  The lowest 'average' price is the Buffalo Bills entry for around $70.  The Washington Redskins will average around $100.  And at the very top, at $165, the LA Chargers.  The majority of the successful clubs are $100 or more. 

Parking?  Most stadiums now charge $40 to $50 for parking a vehicle. 

Food and beer?  In most stadiums, you are talking about an adult fan costing around $75 minimum.  If you were taking your son over to a game and eating decent ribs in the hour before the game, with a decent half-time burger, and four beers in the mix of the probably are getting closer to $200 for the two of you.

So that visit (for two)....will run you in the $400 range.  The owners will get a small cut of the parking, all of the entry ticket minus stadium costs, and a cut of the $200 on beer and food purchased.

Onto fan-gear.  Before all this criticism in recent years....most of the big-name clubs (Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers, etc) were making a fairly decent cut on fan-gear.  T-shirts, leather jackets, and hats topped the lists.

The great thing here was that sports gear shops were situated all around the US....even in non-sports towns.  Most owners would admit 50-percent of their income was NFL gear.  Hockey and baseball were much less, and the NBA gear somewhere in the middle. 

Since the NFL 'tumble'?  A lot of the sports gear shops are in trouble....they don't have the turnover in NFL gear to the extent they had ten years ago.  Most marginally get by at this point, and are dependent on the other sports to make up for losses.  I watched some video clip of a shop owner who pointed out at the end of 2018....they were surviving but they were also cutting their NFL gear orders by 50-percent. 

The TV contract business?  That's really the serious and continual contribution to owners....that they can depend upon.  The contract change coming in 2022?  No one talks much about it, or if the networks will cut the offer by some amount.   My guess is that they should be expecting a 10-percent cut as a minimum. 

The blunt side of this?  The NFL model for business, simply doesn't work at this point.  Supply and lack of demand will cut into the future, and players will eventually be handed the bill for the negativity....seeing a 10-to-20 percent cut coming after 2022 (in my humble opinion). 

The sad thing that a number of owners paid substantial prices for their clubs ten and twenty years ago, and the clubs at present....are marginally worth what they bought them for.  In another two years, with the new TV contract....I suspect most clubs will be dropping on their value.   

A new model coming out of this over the next decade?  Maybe, but it'll mean less profits and less guarantees.  The day of the $120 entry ticket?  It might be shifting downward to $80. 

Saturday, 16 November 2019

A Four Minute Lecture

When the 1916 election came up (Wilson going for re-election, and Charles Hughes for the Republicans) presented an unusual election dilemma.

First, lets be blunt....Wilson won in 1912 only because Roosevelt returned to political life and felt the need to challenge his former friend....Robert Taft (GOP).  Taft and Roosevelt divided the general vote across the nation, and Wilson with 6.2-million votes....essentially won 435 Electoral Votes....yet only got 41-percent of the national vote.

Four years go by and frankly, there's not a lot for Wilson to sell his campaign upon in 1916. 

Second, the key feature in the summer and fall of chat about across the nation....was the war in Europe.  We hadn't entered the war, and virtually everything that Wilson talked about....was to avoid entry.  If you measured the public response to that position....the majority were in favor of just watching and not participating.

Third, to sell the public on this Wilson anti-war position....the campaign decided early on in the summer to go and activate something that they would call the 'Four-Minute Men'.

At it's peak in 1917....there were around 80,000 'volunteers' across the US who were deemed Four-Minute Men. 

Their job?  They would be sent pamphlets and notes to give them material....bullet-statements, and from that they were given the task to engage in conversation in train stations, colleges, churches, and public settings.  They were to talk (in four minutes) over Wilson's theme, and the direction of the Democratic Party. 

So leading up to the election in 1916.....they convinced the public that ONLY Wilson could keep the nation out of the war.  Hughes would lead the nation into the war.  Roughly four weeks after the Wilson win....pamphlets flow out to the Four-Minute Men....that Wilson has the right plan to enter the war. 

Propagandists?  Yes.  In the true sense of the word.

Did they limit it to just English?  No....that's another amusing fact....they went into various ethnic neighborhoods, and spoke to the languages required.

You can figure that out of 103-million in 1916-1917.....virtually everyone got a dose of the Four-Minute Men a minimum of three occasions, and some might have gotten even a hundred doses.  The national head of the group even bragged at one point....figuring a minimum of 7.5 speeches given by his propagandists.

Most historians leave the group at that point, and just kinda suggest that by 1920 (as a weak Wilson leaves office)....that the group is disbanded.

There is evidence that in the California governor's election of 1930....a Four-Minute Men mechanism went back into action.  There's also a suggestion or two that in the 1932 national election period (1930 to 1932)....that FDR used the same type of resources. 

The Bonus Army that marched on DC in 1932?  Were they led by Four-Minute Men propaganda?'s best not to bring that topic up, but Hoover's loss is dependent on the Bonus Army and the massive news coverage around it. 

The Four-Minute Men at work today?  This is an interesting discussion point.

Once you lay out the former Fox News guy Bill O'Reilly's method of news's built into a bullet-like statement, and is the perfect vehicle to go and make you or your associates into Four-Minute Men. 

Others from NPR, CNN, and the NY Times?  Well....same story.

So do we have a modern-day Four-Minute Men problem....with propagandists on every corner?  Absolutely.  And are there counter-Four-Minute Men at work?  Absolutely. 

Just something to think about, and how we've been spoon fed for over a hundred years. 

Friday, 15 November 2019

Impeachment History Numbers

In the case of the supposed Nixon impeachment chatter, did the Senate have potentially 66 votes to impeach Nixon? 

Simple answer?  No.

In this period....1973 and 1974....the Democrats only controlled 56 of the Senate seats, with two independents, and the rest Republican (44).

Republicans possibly crossing over?  No one has ever sat down and figured the real positions, and frankly....if you guess on might have had five or six Republicans total....who would have gone with the Democrats. 

This means Nixon would have survived the impeachment process?  Yes.  They would never reach 66. 

But here's the thing....already in the first year of the administration, he was showing serious drinking issues, and he was probably not at the peak of his understanding or authority.  It really didn't take much chatter to convince him to resign and step down.

Same issue with Clinton?  Yes, they were never going to get to 66 Senators. 

Trump?  They might reach between 55 and 58 Senators total.  Just something to think about. 

Thursday, 14 November 2019

The 'Shiffy Show', Lost and Closure

My brother brought up this topic.....over the impeachment hearings (the Shiffy Show), and the TV series Lost (one of my favorite all-time shows).

What made Lost (the series) a great series...was the thrill of the unknown.  They could package six to eight curves in each 43-minute drama piece.  Throughout the first and second season, you probably had over 300-odd curves which lifted you into a state of suspense.  It literally begged you to come back the next week, and try to solve mystery #11.....while they were introducing you to mystery #12 and #13.

But here's the thing about Lost, even with all the great characters, acting, the early part of season four, you were discounting about half of their mystery elements, and shaking your head because nothing really could explain the whole thing without suggesting that this was just a fake reality, and landing you in either 'limbo' or purgatory (between heaven and hell).

At that point, you grumbled your way through season five and six.

Episode 121?  The ending....more or less to deliver you over to 'closure'.  Certain characters were absolutely dead....and a handful were going off to a permanent purgatory existence.

A lot of 'huff' and 'puff' over nothing?  In the end, you just were left with a marginalized closure, and wishing that the show had a real ending.

So you gaze over to the impeachment hearing....waiting for 'Jack' to arrive, and the storyline to pick up....wondering about 'little smokey', the four-toes Taweret statue, that Ben-character (if he is that evil), the re-set button, and thinking that James Sawyer-character from Jasper, Alabama might save everyone.  If none of those mystery things come up in the hearings?'s pretty much doomed.

In the end with Lost, you wanted closure, and you never got it.

In the end with the impeachment hearing business, you want closure (if you were a CNN-obsessed person or Hillary-voter), and you probably won't get it.

Adding to this mess, with Joe and Hunter Biden's also kinda wonder if this not more like the Sopranos of New Jersey TV fame....than Lost.  The Delaware and Ukrainian mafia?  In fine clothing?

First Day of Impeachment Hearing

To be honest, I only put in 45 minutes of viewing.  To me, it's really not that dramatic or filled with information.  But there is this one thing that stood out with the witnesses that came on day one....second-hand and third-hand information.

Throughout my life (in the military years and the contractor period).....I often found that you needed to find the obvious person who knew the situation or the facts.  You learned to value first-hand information, and to usually discount second or third-hand information. 

If this hearing business ends up being mostly a pony-show, with people talking about so-and-so saying this but they didn't really hear it themselves....then it's a worthless show. 

Maybe it got better after the 45-minute period I watched....but if it didn't, then it's pretty much a wasted effort. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The 'Hillary-Thud' Factor

Throughout 2016, with journalists hyping the negativity over Trump and the high poll numbers....all of that effort led to people in a state of shock over Hillary failing to win.

Basically, we are repeating the same formula.....with journalists hyping the impeachment, and preparing people for Trump being removed. 

The state of shock approaching in early 2020 as Trump's impeachment business fails?  Same shock level. 

Days of Our Lives Chatter

Years ago, in my Panama tour (mid-80s)....for some odd reason, I got into soap operas.....namely, 'Days of Our Lives'.  This is when video-tape rentals were big and you could show up on a Friday after work, and rent an entire week's worth of the show to watch over Saturday and Sunday. 

At the end of that tour....I quit the habit, and frankly didn't care what happened to 'Patch' and 'Kayla'. 

I noticed in today's news that Days of Our Lives had this little meeting with the contract folks, and they basically released ALL of the cast (probably up to around 30 people in the primary group, and another twenty who would occasionally show up for some storyline).

Yep....the contracts ended. 

So what the business side says is that they have canned episodes to actually carry the show up to mid-summer 2020.  Normally, they'd restart the shooting around Feb/Mar timeframe, but they aren't saying much.  The bosses say.....they'd really like to continue, but the idea is....the cast would have to come in and talk over their contracts. 

My humble guess is that the production folks would like to cut the contracts by some magic amount (maybe 20-percent).  My other humble guess is that at least one-third of the cast will walk away and refuse to work for less. 

Some folks (journalists who chat over the show).....suggest that maybe the entire cast would walk away, and they'd just go hire 30 new people off the street, and reset the whole storyline.  Could they even reset the city of 'Salem'?   Maybe.

I often wondered why you had to do the series in Hollywood.  You could have picked some southern town, and just set up a production warehouse, and hire forty-odd wannabe-actors for various roles.  You could have cut the costs by fifty-percent. 

So, bold new world coming to Days of Our Lives.....or maybe even the end of the series entirely. 

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Whistle-Blower Problem

For at least two months now, folks are consumed....24 hours a day.....with this topic of the whistler-blower, and the 'mystery' that it entails.

So folks are hyped up....especially journalists, on getting the identity a secret.  Twenty years ago?  The name would have been out in the public in less than 72 hours.  So this is rather this game is being played.

Would I be in trouble if I released the name?  Yeah, probably.  But this brings up the would I know? 

In fact, there's 99.999 percent of the public who have no idea who the whistle-blower is.  Unless you sat on the committee in the should have no idea. 

So when this journalist stands up on Fox News and says 'X' is the does she know?  Did someone in the House leak it?  More than likely. 

It's a funny history drama because in the 1990s....over forty different news organizations, and newspapers....would have detailed reporters, and found out the name in a short-period of time.  Today?  Virtually nothing.  It's like they fired all the investigative journalists and just stopped that whole process.  The original guys from 60 Minutes?  They have to be flipping over in their graves....nothing gets reported unless it's bless by political agenda experts. 

Where Has This Guy Been?

"A society, a democracy, can die of too many lies — and we’re getting close to that terminal moment unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country.”

-- Bill Moyers

Well, here's the problem....he should have made this statement back in the 1990s.....when the lying business started up and people were questioning all the hype by journalists and strategy groups.

Maybe Moyers just woke up in the past two years, but this whole 'game' has been on turbo for roughly 30 to 40 years. 

Today?  It's reached the stage where most newspapers and news magazines are worthless.  CNN?  Their audience has dwindled down to almost nothing.  NPR and AP?  People actually laugh at the current emphasis of their news production. 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

I'd Like to Save the World

Around a decade ago, the Japanese national airline....Nippon....started this short-lived effort to save on carbon emissions.

Their idea....while you were lining up to board the plane....they wanted you to go over to the bathroom, and try hard to discharge urine.

The idea was, with empty bladders....there would be lighter passengers onboard, and it'd save on fuel and carbon usage.

It was not exactly something that captivated the public.  If you did the math and figured 250-odd people on the plane....maybe you'd save around 40 to 50 pounds of urine. 

If you studied the concept, it would provoke other thoughts. Like for example....before you board a ferry....should you dump your load of pee?  Or if you were on the ground-floor of a building....shouldn't you pee before entering an elevator? 

What about city buses?  Shouldn't you go behind the waiting point (into the bushes) and pee there....before boarding the bus, thus saving carbon there?  What about the trip via your car to four grocery stops....shouldn't you pee before entering the car for each part of the trouble? 

I figure in a 365-day 'year', if I aggressively peed when might make a world of difference on fuel usage.  I'd just call it....'peeing to save the world'. 

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Bloomberg in the Mix

What's been said now....papers have been filed in Alabama (Super-Tuesday event) for Bloomberg to be on the ballot.  No one says anything about Iowa's caucuses, or the primaries in Nevada, South Carolina or New Hampshire (the first primary states).

So he's participating, but in a different sense.

Skipping the first four?  This sounds like the Jeb Bush strategy and how he was going to prevent a sure-fire winner before the convention, and the convention would end up making a decision on it's own.

Looking at Super-Tuesday....some things stand out.

Alabama:  Right now, from the present one is standing out, although Warren might get up around 25-to-30 percent.  Bloomberg?  I don't think he can do much in the state.

Arkansas: Pretty much the same story.

California: Bloomberg could win in this state.

Colorado:  Mayor Pete win likely.

Massachusetts: Likely win for Bloomberg.

Minnesota: Biden win.

North Carolina: Biden win.

Oklahoma: Biden win.

Tennessee: Biden win.

Texas: Biden win.

Utah: Biden win.

Vermont: Likely win for Bloomberg.

Virginia: Very likely a win for Bloomberg.

So with four potential wins on this day, it's not anything remarkable, and simply setting up the stage for a convention 'pick' situation.

The real question is.....if the convention picks Bloomberg, and he selects Warren as the VP.....what the odds now?

Bloomberg won't discuss the Medicare for all business.  There's no real theme to attract black voters.  And there's the age factor (he's 78 in Feb of next year).  The best odds that I'd give him is that he'd win the same twenty states that Hillary won in 2016, and maybe Florida.  So it might be slightly closer this time around.

I will say's too bad he didn't run in 2016.  That would have made the election more interesting, and he might have been able to beat Trump in that race.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Bring on Kanye

It came up late yesterday....that Kanye West is talking about running for President in 2024.

He's not saying as a Democrat or Republican....which is kinda interesting.

So lets dive into the odds here and the strategy.

If I were Kanye....I'd make it a public situation, and work like Trump to get donations via the general public.  He might be willing to throw 20-million of his money into this, and maybe get 100-million via the public in the first initial wave. 

Running in primaries?  No, don't declare for either party, and just stay away from debates.

Running a fifty-state election?  No....he really only needs to run a 10 to 12 state elections (Hawaii, Cal, Oregon, Washington, with four southern states, and maybe Michigan, Maryland, and Illinois). 

His intention should be getting black votes, and angry Republican/Democrat votes.  Just in California alone, I think he could win the state.  The rest are all fifty-fifty chance opportunities.  But by just taking three states (particularly California)....neither of the other two will have the 270 votes needed to win.

A crazy scenario?  Oh yes, but here's the thing....the news media and social media have made us this crazy.  A growing number of people are just fed up with the comical storylines that we are fed each day.  So Kanye will be this response to the frustration. 

In this scenario, the Electoral College will fail to deliver a President, and the House will be handed the find itself deeply divided and unable to reach any true conclusion.   At that point, you will realize that the system is truly broke.  President Kanye will never happen, but he'll demonstrate just how screwed up the whole political spectrum has become. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Tucson and Sanctuary City Status

Well, the election occurred yesterday, and this proposition was on the ballot.

Against - 79 percent.  For - 21 percent.

A strong signal?  Here's the big factor, this was a mayor and city council election.....without state officials or the Presidency on the ballot.  So a lot of people just said it was not worth showing up.  Who did show up?  I would go and suggest that more than half of the voters were mostly over the age of 50.  If this had been done in November 2020's election?  I think it would have been closer to 50-50.

But Tucson has a unique situation in that a large amount of the population is 55 or older.  Sanctuary status isn't exactly something that thrills that particular population. 

In most cities, I suspect if you allowed public voting to occur....Sanctuary status would be voted down.  The negative holding it back?  It means you are holding the local police to a standard, and saying that that state or federal laws don't matter.  It's a bad habit to start, and you can't be sure where it'd end. 

Monday, 4 November 2019

Was There Ever 27 Candidates in the Running Within the Democratic Primary?

Officially, on paper, yes.

Officially, ten have now withdrawn.  We might as well admit that from the 17 least twelve of them ought to go ahead pull out at this point. 

So, there's really only five with any odds?  More or less....true.  Warren, Sanders, Biden, Mayor Pete, and Yang.  I know....most folks aren't giving Yang much of a chance, but if you look at college students....he's generally mentioned by them.

If you pulled out the Obama-hyped-up-intensity measure any of these folks pull a '9' or '10'?  No.  That's a curious thing about the remaining group.  But we can admit that Hillary probably never pulled more than a '7' on the Obama-scale either.

Who might get blacks to come out and vote?  It's limited (I would suggest) to strictly Biden and Warren. 

Small-town and rural Democrats?  No one in this group really charms the rural Democratic voters, and that's a problem in the primary. 

I would suggest that when the 50 primary situations are wrapped least 10-percent of the 2016 primary vote count will be missing in this upcoming election. 

So in the end, you have Trump with a tough election to lose?  That's the amusing thing about this election, and why I think Hillary could still arrive at the convention....fresh and ready to go, and make this a little bit interesting. 

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Trump, Seabiscuit, and the Little Guy

One of my favorite movies of all time (there's probably twenty on that list, and it does include Harvey, Bridge Over River Kwai, and the Quiet Man) is this racing horse movie 'Seabiscuit' (2003).  It didn't make a lot of money, and the majority of people would quietly admit they've never watched it.

'Seabiscuit' is about this down and out horse-race enthusiast, this down-and-out trainer, this down-and-out jockey, and this stubborn, hardheaded, and temperamental horse (Seabiscuit).

In the darkest of times (1930s depression era), this story unfolds.

Here's the thing about this 99-percent of scenarios, this is a loser horse and carries way too much temper upon his shoulders.  He doesn't want folks standing in his way.  He doesn't care for calm nature.  He doubts humans as 'controllers'.  Everything about Seabiscuit would indicate that he's not destined for horse-racing.

Somehow, this trainer has found this kid who has similar issues.  Between this odd foursome, there is a destiny that has been constructed.  Seabiscuit basically can't lose, but only because he's got the rider, the trainer, and the owner who believe in the temperamental horse.

Trump's political life is more or less like Seabiscuit.  Trump is temperamental, hardheaded, and stubborn.  Without the public behind him (in the role of the owner, trainer and jockey)....he wouldn't have amounted to much of anything.  So these things came together.

Then you have this thing about racetracks.  If you've never been to a racetrack, there is this unusual charm about it.  When you arrive and there's some legend on the track for one of the races.....people are pumped up.  They want to see the horse run, and they want some charisma that most horses just can't give.  They want to see a horse come from behind, and nudge the other horses to the side.  They want something that you typically don't see much of.

This Trump era....whether you like or dislike him, is a sort of political tale revolving around the Seabiscuit twists and turns.  There's certainly people there who are betting on the 'horse' to lose, and they'd like to get impossible odds.  But the Seabiscuit-crowd are hyped-up and just thrilled to be at the track and to see one great horse gave a once-in-a-lifetime show.

It's the little guy, who wants to see this 'race' occur, and they've bought into the entire show.

Beto Never Got to Even 10-Percent

I will make three observations about Robert Francis O'Rourke (Beto):

1.  This guy went from the El Paso city council job in the House of Representatives job in 2013, and felt he was ready for the big time in 2018 as a US Senator (failed attempt), and in 2019....ready to be President (failed attempt).  Current age?  47.  I think he should have reserved his situation and ran for governor in Texas (2022) before he ever got the idea of running for Senator or President. 

2.  The anti-gun position?  Among southern was a no-win situation.  Even southern Democrats didn't like his position that much.  His base of voters....whether he ever realized it....were southerners. 

3.  You have to wonder....if he'd run in 2016's Presidential primary against Hillary and Bernie.....would he have have taken 30-percent of the primary vote, and made the Convention into a more interesting situation?

Why Millionaires Leaving NY City is a Big Deal

With President Trump's announcement (which I expect the city of NY to pounce on his tax movement scheme, and accuse him of still being attached to NY City) need to stand back, admire the landscape and wonder about the future in NY City. 

Because of various tax laws being pursued and the cost escalating....if you were fairly well off (say 10-plus million a year rolling in)....the taxation from NY state and the property tax in NY City....would eventually put you into Trump's mindset.

So let's say that in 2020....a hundred of these ultra-wealthy folks from NY City and maybe 1,000 of the semi-wealthy (those making $500k a year) realize the tax savings of Florida, or one of a dozen tax-friendly states, and leave.  Who replaces them, or moves into their expensive condos?  For a year or so, there might be some folks with desires to live in NY City, and they'd buy the Trump-houses or Trump-condos.  But you'd reach a stage where the super-wealthy are not longer interested.  They can easily fly in, and stay at some why establish a house or condo there?

Around three years down the pike, you'd have lesser wealthy people established in NY City, and the tax revenue 'boss' would come up and tell the governor that there is a problem now existing (they would be missing 300-million to 500-million dollars in revenue).

Naturally, they'd think it was temporary.  A year later....the amount would double.

Around by 2025, there would be some major meeting where the mayor and governor had a chat.  They would aggressively go after people who'd left, and accuse them of still having NY City connections.  The lawyers would smarten up and put the city on the defensive.  These cases would be harder to prove.

By 2030, you'd have NY City in a tough position....cutting firemen and police, to reach a smaller budget.  No one would want to admit defeat. 

By 2035, you'd have the state of NY, wanting to cut the city off, to make two separate states.  One would have a balanced budget, the other would be in serious debt. 

Whether they like it or not....NY has a serious problem brewing. 

The Problem with 'Quid Pro Quo' in an Impeachment

Once you've determined that 'quid pro quo' is a basically open the door for every future president to be second-guessed, and he be brought in for impeachment as well (you can probably find at least two dozen occasions that President Obama would be guilty of quid pro quo crimes, and maybe double-that for President Bush).

If you wanted an absolute mess on your hands.....go for it, and stand back to see the republic in a turbulent mess for the next twenty years.