September 30, 2015

Clinton foibles

A couple of  Thursday Hillary Bash sort of pieces on a Wednesday.  Why not?

Firstly it looks like her campaign workers are violating election law.
A Hillary Clinton campaign worker has been caught on film apparently committing a felony by advising Las Vegas Hispanics how to vote while he is helping them register.

Hidden camera footage shows Henry Engelstein, identified as a campaign 'fellow,' reeling in Spanish-speaking Nevadans on a Las Vegas street with a comical picture of Donald Trump on his smartphone.

'THIS IS MY RESTING B**CH FACE,' the photo's caption reads, meme-style.

'Un payaso muy grande, si!' Engelstein tells passers-by. ('Yes! A giant clown!') In the video, shown to exclusively by the conservative group Project Veritas Action, he boasts that Latinos' anger against the billionaire Republican front-runner is ample motivation for them to register as voters....

James O'Keefe...'At this very moment there are individuals working as paid staffers for the Clinton campaign that are in fact Project Veritas Action journalists. This is far from over, Hillary.'

Nevada law makes advocating for or against a candidate during the voter-registration process a Class E felony.
Go James. Meanwhile are we underestimating or overestimating Hillary's Democratic electoral strength? Possibly both.
It may be that Clinton is both stronger in some ways, and weaker in others, than is generally acknowledged. In the current scenario, her strengths are probably being underestimated. In a future scenario where a Democratic heavy decides to challenge her, her weaknesses are probably being underestimated.

The good news for Clinton is that the calendar is very much her ally. And in a few more weeks, the event horizons on those other scenarios will disappear and her window of vulnerability will begin to close.
 Interesting article, and probably quite accurate.

September 29, 2015

Crazy stuff liberals want to do

My wife was telling me she read that liberals in Canada are circulating a petition to outlaw speaking of religion and politics in public.  "No way" I said.  Even liberals aren't that dumb.  Maybe I'm wrong.

Apparently the left in America are trying to socialize pedophilia.  Paranoia?  Possibly, but look at the history of planned decay, as pointed out over on Diogenes' Middle Finger.
Its long been a chorus over the years that cultural conservatives have heard. No-fault divorce will not cause a breakdown in marriage and family, you heartless jerk! Relaxing sexual mores will not result in increased teen pregnancy and social decline, you cold-hearted monster! The responses are remarkably consistent from the same groups of people: any resistance to moving away from proven and trustworthy social morals is a terrible, restrictive, and even fascist thing.
 Each step worse than the next, accompanied by assurances that any worry is foolishly misplaced.

Clinton money goes missing

Since Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in 2001, they have earned more than $230 million. But in federal filings the Clintons claim they are worth somewhere between $11 million and $53 million. After layering years of disclosures on top of annual tax returns, Forbes estimates their combined net worth at $45 million. Where did all of the money go? No one seems to know, and the Clintons aren’t offering any answers.

From 2001 to 2014 the power couple spent $95 million on taxes. Hillary’s 2008 presidential run cost her $13 million. Their two homes cost a combined $5 million, and the Clintons have given away $22 million to charity. All of this is according to FEC filings, property records and years of tax returns. Add it up and you get $135 million. If the Clintons made $230 million, spent $135 million and have just $45 million left over, what happened to the other $50 million?
Scandal, upon scandal and they're finally starting to stick.

Teamsters dismissing Hillary?

Hillary Clinton came out against the Keystone XL pipeline recently, and now the Teamsters seem to be coming out against Hillary.
Teamsters officials met behind closed doors today. The union refused to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. The officials told FOX News they want to meet with Donald Trump.
Interesting turn of events, but I'd be surprised if they didn't end up supporting Bernie Sanders and should she win the nomination, ultimately her. 

ISIS armageddon

This is discomforting;
Nuclear annihilation across the globe. This is what a German reporter who successfully embedded with the Islamic State says the terror group is planning. Jurgen Todenhofer released his findings in a book titled “Inside IS - Ten Days in the Islamic State,” reports the UK’s Daily Express.

“The terrorists plan on killing several hundred million people. The west is drastically underestimating the power of ISIS. ISIS intends to get its hands on nuclear weapons,” says Todenhofer, calling the group a “nuclear tsunami preparing the largest religious cleansing in history.”
But it should come as no surprise.  Radical jihad calls for nothing less.  The only real difference is the scale and timing - one fell swoop as it were, is a faster approach than anything else we've heard of before.

September 28, 2015


Note to Biden - get in

Hey Joe, run.
Joe Biden hasn't yet announced his plans for a 2016 White House bid, but a new poll shows that he would enter the race as the most popular presidential candidate if he chose to toss his hat into the ring.

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 40 percent of Americans have a positive impression of Biden, while 28 percent have a negative impression (+12).

That's compared to fellow Democrats Bernie Sanders (+10) and Hillary Clinton (-8), and to top-tier GOP candidates Ben Carson (+8), Carly Fiorina (+7) and Donald Trump (-33).
 I'm starting to think though, it's not in Biden's line of sight.

At least the Russians notice when Obama contradicts himself

Via Vocative:
“…we continue to press for this crisis to be resolved in a way that allows a sovereign and democratic Ukraine to determine its future and control its territory. Not because we want to isolate Russia — we don’t — but because we want a strong Russia that’s invested in working with us to strengthen the international system as a whole,” Obama said.
But, uh;
Vocativ found in its analysis that Russians on Twitter and VKontakte, the country’s most popular social media network, immediately jumped on Obama for his statement. Some brought up the president’s State of the Union address in January, in which he stated Russia was indeed “isolated with its economy in tatters
.” It seems that it's only American liberals who don't notice these things.

Capitalism is a system, cheating is a moral choice

Win at all costs is not the impetus behind capitalism. Capitalism is an economic system that does the most good for the most people. Deciding to lie, cheat or turn on your teammates is a moral choice, and a poor one at that. Somewhere along the line, progressives have managed to equate capitalism with poor moral choices.

This, can happen in any system - even baseball.

September 27, 2015

Democracy Chinese Style

Is China a democracy?  Not really.

A compassionate Pope

I've spent a fair bit of time over his tenure disagreeing with Pope Francis' politics, which I view as having a highly socialistic slant.  But that does not mean that I do not respect the Pope's Christianity.  In fact, he appears to be a very compassionate and caring man. He's shown it.
Almost as soon as he arrived in Philadelphia, the pope stopped his convoy and got out of his modest Fiat to bless a boy in a wheelchair, pressed up against the security fence at the airport. The child's mother dissolved into grateful tears.

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has focused on society's most deprived and needy. He was once photographed embracing a horribly disfigured man.

"He has a special love for children with special needs," said Eberhard.
I think he deserves to be acknowledged for that compassion, even if I do disagree with him on global warming and illegal immigration issues. In fact, I'd argue that socialism is the opposite of compassion as it creates a cycle of dependency. It's downright feudal in nature.

But that's a debate for another time.  I applaud the Pope for his sentiments - his heart is definitely in the right place.

Sunday Verse

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
~Proverbs 3:7

September 26, 2015

Boehner may have been a dictator

According to Rep. Louie Gomert, Boehner was a dictator. Certainly many feel he just was too compromising on conservative principles.

Boehner's doom is Jeb Bush's? No.

CNN is reporting that Boehner's resignation spells trouble for Jeb Bush.
House Speaker John Boehner's abrupt resignation Friday -- after an insurrection by grassroots activists infuriated at the failure of Washington Republicans to thwart President Barack Obama -- was another bad omen for a campaign wilting amid anti-establishment fury.

In the 2016 presidential race, outsiders are in, insiders are out and the messy power struggle that is splintering the GOP is going to make winning the nomination -- and then capturing the White House -- very tough for a party standard bearer like Bush.
As much as I'm not cheering for Bush to be the nominee, I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest this is a problem for him. Bush has a lot of money. Bush has time before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. And more importantly while this might be a sign that there's dissension amongst the ranks, it doesn't mean what happened to Boehner will translate into the same sort of trouble for Jeb Bush.

Saturday Learning Series - Short Bio Ernest Hemmingway

A short bio on Ernest Hemingway.

September 25, 2015

Boehner drops

Yep, I titled it like that.

GOP House  speaker John Boehner has resigned.  A lot of Republican voters are not unhappy;
62% of Republicans feel betrayed by the party. And, two-thirds believe the GOP leadership has not done anything to stop the Obama agenda.

That’s what likely primary voters told FOX News in their latest poll. Dana Blanton, VP of FOX News public opinion research, shared the results tonight on The O’Reilly Factor.

Canadian Conservative fortunes

There are some conflicting polling results in Canada but a couple of bigger polls are pointing in this direction.  The liberal Toronto Star highlights one showing the Conservatives are polling near majority territory from a parliamentary point of view:
MONTREAL—Stephen Harper’s Conservative party has taken a commanding lead in the federal election race, a new poll suggests. With less than a month to go in the campaign, and heading into the first of three leaders debates, the Tories have moved ahead of their rivals with the support of 35.4 per cent of voters, according to the Ekos poll conducted for Montreal’s La Presse newspaper. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have 26.3 per cent support and the NDP has the backing of 24.5 per cent of respondents. The poll questioned 2,343 people between Sept. 17 and Sept. 22 and is considered accurate to within two percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
But it conflicts with another recent poll that still shows a statistical three way tie. It's hard to determine which direction things are heading right now.  But as the election draws near, as the election date draws nearer the conservatives need to pull out a stronger lead, as the other two parties are likely to forge a coalition government given anything short of a Conservative majority. 

Friday Musical Interlude - Van Morrison live 1979

The full concert at the Capitol Theater in 1979.

September 24, 2015

Thursday Hillary Bash - Plunging?

According to a CNN report, Hillary's poll numbers are continuing to tank. Even without Biden in the race, she now trails Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.
(CNN) Hillary Clinton trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination for president in New Hampshire, even if Vice President Joe Biden decides not to make a run for the White House, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

Sanders has the backing of nearly half of those who say they plan to vote in the first-in-the-nation Democratic primary next year -- 46% support him -- while just 30% say they back Clinton. Another 14% say they would support Biden, 2% former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, 1% former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and less than half of 1% back former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee or Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig.

Clinton trails Sanders across most demographic groups, with broad gender and ideology divides bolstering Sanders' run. He holds 56% of male Democratic voters compared with just 20% who back her, while the two are much closer among women, 39% back Sanders, 37% Clinton. Likewise, Sanders holds a 56% to 30% lead among liberals, versus a 37% to 31% race among moderates.
While that's good news for Republicans who are likely to have an easier victory path without Clinton in the race, it's bad news for the country when an avowed socialist could end up as the Democratic candidate. Has America really gone that far down the left fork in the road? Is it too late to turn back now?

Well, at least a stealth socialist like Clinton is working her way towards becoming a non-factor. But, just like Jeb Bush, she can rely on the fact that it's still very early.

People who live in glass Vaticans

Pope Francis is more than head of the Catholic Church — he’s also the head of state of the Vatican, which as a government has possibly the most restrictive immigration and citizenship policies of any nation in the world.
If you think the Pope has the final say on American politics, ask Nancy Pelosi about the previous Pope's (well, all of the previous Popes') position on abortion.
The pontiff didn’t mention illegal immigration during his speech Thursday, but did refer to the large numbers of people coming from Latin America. Advocacy groups cheered his words, saying his call for unity and acceptance should temper some of the harsh rhetoric that’s flared recently.
Not. Going. To. Happen.

September 23, 2015

Polling from Gallup suggests Republican strengths

Via Gallup, there's this nugget of hope for the GOP.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Less than half of Americans (43%) view the Democratic Party favorably, but the party's image is still better than that of the Republican Party (38%). Neither party has been able to gain favorable opinions from a majority of the public since June 2013, in the early months of President Barack Obama's second term...

Yet while Americans are more likely to view the Democratic Party favorably, they are split on which party is better at keeping the country prosperous. Americans are slightly more likely to say the Republican Party is better at handling whatever issue they personally define as the country's "most important problem," and much more likely to favor the GOP on "protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats."

Hey Pope!

I'm pretty sure the Bible doesn't mention global warming.

This about sums up his defensive stance.
The Argentine known as the "slum pope" for ministering to the downtrodden in his native Buenos Aires is expected to urge America to take better care of the environment and the poor and return to its founding ideals of religious liberty and open arms toward immigrants.

During the flight, Francis defended himself against conservative criticism that his condemnation of trickle-down economics makes him a communist.

"I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church," he said. He said some may have misinterpreted his writings in a way that makes him sound "a little bit more left-leaning," but he said that's wrong.

September 22, 2015

Pope: I'm not a socialist

I read this on Newsday, buried at the bottom of an article about how the media gets to ask questions of the Pope. It's got me wondering what exactly was said.
After the news conference ended, journalists huddled to help translate the pope's answers for those who didn't speak Spanish or Italian, the languages he used. Then debates ensued about what was the biggest news of the conference. Many thought it was his comment that he isn't left-leaning -- he's just following the social doctrine of the church.

Volkswagen Schadenfreude

Ehhhhh. I'm not a Volkswagen detractor. I'm not big on countries like Japan that make it difficult for American car manufacturers to compete in their market by tilting the playing field against them. Germany doesn't play like Japan. In fact I have a lot of respect for German engineering. But the German sense of engineering superiority, deserves to have a bit of a kick in the pants today. Why? Because cheating, isn't winning.

News that Volkswagen cheated on their diesel emissions tests sent shudders through the company and slagged the stock price, hard. Deservedly so. None of it detracts from the fact that they're still good cars. They just don't meet (possibly unnecessarily) stringent emissions standard.
The crisis enveloping Volkswagen AG, the world's top-selling carmaker, escalated Tuesday as the company issued a profit warning following a stunning admission that some 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with software at the center of a U.S. emissions scandal.

In a statement, the German company said it was setting aside around 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the fallout from the scandal that is tarnishing VW's reputation for probity and seriously undermining its share price. There was no mention of any fines or penalties.

In the wake of its statement, VW's share price was down another 17.6 percent at 110.20 euros and near a four-year low. The fall comes on top of Monday's hefty 17 percent decline and means the company has lost an eye-watering 25 billion euros or so in just two days of frenzied trading.

The trigger to the company's market woes was last Friday's revelation from the U.S.'s Environmental Protection Agency that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to defeat U.S. smog tests.
America's a paper tiger? If so, maybe Germany's a paper Cheetah, and by extension ISIS is a paper rattlesnake. Nothing is as big as it portrays itself. But make no mistake, this scandal is big. It's probably not enough to sink the company, but it could be a lot bigger once the fines kick in. And what does Volkswagen do about all of it's inventory that it can no longer sell? Can you imagine retro-fitting millions of vehicles? Yikes.

September 21, 2015

Stump for Trump: Democrats' Operation Chaos?

The Stump for Trump girls have switched parties to vote for Donald Trump - in the primaries. Watch how that gets emphasized in the latter part of the video Is this just the Democrats' attempt to conduct an Operation Chaos and ensure that an unelectable candidate is the GOP nominee?

Don't get me wrong, if this is for real, it's terrific and we should appreciate Donald Trump expanding the Republican tent to voters who would otherwise never vote Republican.

But color me skeptical.

Not convinced it's a ruse? Read the description on the Youtube page (emphasis added):
Diamond and Silk will vote for Donald Trump in the primaries, we want him as the nominee and the front runner for president. Since the GOP and the media is against Donald Trump then we the American people will stand with Donald Trump #stump4trump

In 2008 Somebody in the democratic party started the rumor that the current president was a Muslim so stop Blaming our man Donald Trump!
No mention of "next president". Why? Because he's beatable?

Walker Wasn't It

Sunday morning I was watching the talking heads predicting that Scott Walker would be dropping out of the presidential race very soon. It turns out they were right.
Short of support and cash, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, saying he had been “called to lead by helping to clear the field,” announced Monday that he was suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a brief news conference in Madison, Mr. Walker referred sharply to Donald J. Trump’s influence on the primary contest, saying he hoped his exit would make it possible for “a positive conservative message” to take hold in the crowded race.

“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” Mr. Walker said in the short appearance, at which he took no questions. “This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”
Scott Walker was a good candidate before the race got started. He had fight. He had principles. He had grit, and common sense. What happened? He didn't stand out and he turned out to be just too bland to transition (or translate) from a champion at a Wisconsin level to the same at a national level.

And that's all it takes. Bobby Jindal take heed, you might be next. Being a bright conservative, being a principled conservative isn't enough. Being successful isn't enough. You need pizzazz. You need the sizzle with the steak. And maybe, you need to be an outsider. I mean a real outsider. Being a governor isn't necessarily enough outside the beltway. You might need to be a not-politician. In turn we've seen surges from Trump, Carson and Fiorina. All are not professional politicians.

What's notable in Walker's talking points above, is he sounds more like a politician, and an establishment one to boot, than a Harley riding guy he portrays himself as being. The jab at Trump may be a hurt pride thing, but it comes across as plying ball. Note to Republican establishment,in 2008 the only thing that excited conservatives was a Palin VP slot. In 2012 they didn't even have that.

Learn or perish. the ultimate lesson may extend outside of the current election cycle - you need to be a person of the people, not a politician. Reagan even, was clearly a politician, but he was able to transcend that by connecting with voters on a visceral, gut level. He did it simply by having the right message for the time. That made him a man of the people. As I said, learn, or perish.

September 20, 2015

Sunday Linkaround

A few links to some interesting Sunday reads.  Firstly, a couple of links to a few reads related to papal political activism and the role of the church in American politics. Now that the left has a socialist president, suddenly it's all cool for there to be a tighter link between Church and State.

But really, how reasonable is that?

Pundit Press: If the pope really cared about the poor...

How does that relate to how America is governed? 

Political Pistachio: Is America founded on Christian principles? The Treaty of Tripoli analyzed.

On an unrelated and more light-hearted note or two:

Left Coast Rebel: The Notorious B.U.S.H. Also, Left Coast Resistance.

But back to the serious situations facing America.  Why Americans don't want yet another politician in the White House, courtesy of Fredd.

And how does Mean Ol' Meany see the current state of the nation?  Funny you should ask, he has an update for you.

And for those of you still unsure of who Donald Trump is as a political candidate.  Join the club with Teresamerica.

Sunday Verse

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
~Hebrews 13:16

September 17, 2015

Canadian Conservative Party's Pre-Election Rebound

Meanwhile in Canada, things seem to be looking up for the Conservative party.  They have a new campaign strategist running things.  They have turned in a surplus budget for the first time since the 2008 recession and a surprising dip in oil prices that has had a serious impact on the economy and the Canadian dollar.
After falling as low as third in the polls for weeks, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have regained the lead in voter support, a new survey by Forum Research finds.

Forum president Lorne Bozinoff says Monday’s announcement from the federal Finance Department that Ottawa posted a $1.9-billion budget surplus likely gave Harper a bump, given that Forum polled its respondents Monday and Tuesday nights –—after the announcement.

The Conservatives have 32 per cent support, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP, and 28 per cent for the Liberals, according to Forum.
There's still several weeks until the election but this is the first sign of positive conservative momentum in a long time.
The results, projected on a 338-seat House of Commons, would see the Conservatives capturing 138 seats, enough for a minority government. The NDP would win 113 seats, the Liberals 86, and the Greens one.
In the vote rich province of Ontario the news is even better;
In Ontario, where the parties have been locked in more or less a three-way tie, the Conservatives now lead with 37 per cent, ahead of the Liberals with 31 per cent and the NDP at 24 per cent.
Hopefully this is a positive sign of things to come.

The CNN Republican Debate

A lot has already been said and analyzed concerning last nights Republican candidates' debate on CNN.  All I can add is my impression of who did well and who didn't.

I think pretty much everyone did a good job of representing themselves - even CNN did a good job, probably because it was Jake Tapper running things. 

I was most impressed with Fiorina, Carson, Rubio and Kasich (at least his list of accomplishments impressed), but others all represented themselves fairly well.  Trump did better than I expected, as did Bush.  Rand Paul defined his positions well and he will certainly appeal to a segment of Republican voters. He was of course well spoken and reasoned, but I find myself less inclined to consider supporting him than before.  Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee both did well but while the former came across as almost too polished, Huckabee, who would not be in my top 5 choices, came across in a connected, approachable way.

This is still early on, and things will change, but it will be interesting to see how this changes the polling.

September 16, 2015

The Hillary Death Spiral?

Nate Silver, politics aside has an almost uniquely keen insight into polling numbers, and a good record of political prognostication.  So when he says that despite all of the advantages stacked in Hillary Clinton's favor, she's in a poll-deflating feedback loop, you have to take notice.

Silver observes:
It’s the candidates who play the long game, and play by the establishment’s rules, who usually win presidential nominations. Political parties have lots of ways to influence the race in favor of these candidates, from how they appoint superdelegates to how they schedule debates. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on advertising, meanwhile, and the bulk usually favors establishment candidates. And voters have a lot of time to make their decisions and can amend them as they go along — an insurgent candidate who wins Iowa or New Hampshire won’t necessarily have staying power if they’ve failed to build a broad coalition of support.
But there's what he calls short term, temporary feedback loops. Situations and/or headlines that feed upon themselves.
The short run can be crazy. Feedback loops can produce self-reinforcing (but usually temporary) booms and busts of support. For instance, a candidate who has some initial spark of success, such as by doing well in a debate, can receive more favorable media coverage. That, in turn, can beget more success as voters jump on the bandwagon and his poll numbers go up further.

Candidates can just as easily get caught — or entrap themselves — in self-reinforcing cycles of negative media attention and declining poll numbers. Hillary Clinton looks like she’s stuck in one of these ruts right now.
Nate Silver seems to be implying it's temporary and by extension perhaps, so is Donald Trump's success. In fact he outright says so and basically explains to Clinton how to have it happen:
So then: Clinton is toast? Probably not. In the assessment of betting markets, she’s still a reasonably heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination. That’s my assessment too. There are a number of ways the spiral of negative stories could end:

New news stories could disrupt the cycle.
  • Biden could opt out of the race and possibly also endorse Clinton.
  • The trickle of new revelations on the email story could stop — as it largely did from April through June.
  • Clinton could lift her poll numbers, perhaps temporarily, with an aggressive advertising spend.
  • Clinton could hit some bedrock of support — her most loyal voters — beyond which her poll numbers wouldn’t decline much further.
  • Clinton could fall far enough that the “Clinton comeback” story becomes more compelling to the media than the “Clinton in disarray” story, as happened late in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.
Thanks Nate.  Way to insert your politics into the otherwise insightful analysis.  I'm not saying the bullet points are wrong, but at least one just seems to scream "warning to Hillary".

September 15, 2015

Trump vs. Sanders

I'm trying to envision a presidential debate a year from now between two potential nominees - Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  Trump will have his built his reputation as the ultimate outsider, Sanders as the non-Democrat Democrat who also has new ideas.

Sanders:  I've built my career on being a non-establishment candidate.

Trump: Please Bernie, you are just as much of an insider as Hillary Clinton.

Sanders: No I'm not.

Trump: Listen Colonel, even if you were an outsider, which I highly doubt, your solution to the problems facing the country are to build more inside. You want more government, more infrastructure.  Decades of that has shown that it doesn't work.  Your solutions won't work. You want more of the same.

Sanders:  Let's talk about insiders Donald, you have provided paid support to Democrats, you have have provided paid support to Republicans, and both many, many times.  You are the ultimate insider and you are part of the problem we are trying to fix.



Moderator: It looks like we've reached a Mexican standoff here.

Trump:  Mexicans???

September 14, 2015

Pay Attention America, Corbyn's a Problem

Britain's Labour Party has selected his champion and he's a hard core leftist.
The Corbynistas want to renationalize the railways; increase public spending and tax the rich to pay for it; pull the U.K. out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and maybe the European Union as well; and command the Bank of England (which is independent, for now) to print money to pay for public investment. Anti-Americanism is a prominent part of the mix. Corbyn once called the killing of Osama bin Laden a "tragedy" and has called Hamas and Hezbollah "friends."

In short, it's prehistoric leftism. As you'd expect, the ruling Tories are struggling to contain their joy. They now face an opposition in the mold of Labour before Tony Blair -- an outfit so out of touch with the broader electorate, it kept the Conservatives in power for the better part of two decades.
Alright but in America, conservatives thought that about Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and are licking their chops similarly at the prospect of facing Bernie Sanders, another socialist.  But in the first two cases, conservatives lost - twice to each.

But maybe there's good news for conservatives in this. Bernie Sanders in the U.S., he is a straightforward man who tends to say what he means. People like that, and his seeming lack of guile will appeal to voters beyond his political base. The problem is, his policies won't.

Corbyn is a winning personality with a losing program. But if he softens his line to reach out to wavering Tories -- as he surely must, to win a general election -- he'll be committing the very offense his supporters most despise. Perhaps, like them, he'll prefer to lose honorably than win through compromise (or betrayal, as many activists would see it).
That's a great thing to wish for, but it's been proven that it's not something you can count on.  Socialism is on the wrong side of history, but that doesn't mean it can't win victories from time to time, and perhaps even often.

The Pope is getting on my nerves

So Pope Socialist Francis has decreed that the refugee crisis is because of money.
In an interview with Portugal-based Radio Renascença aired yesterday, Pope Francis declared that the current refugee crisis in Europe is being caused by a “bad, unjust” socio-economic system that worships “the god of money.”
Not war, not a despot, not Muslim radicals, money. This is an agenda driven papacy and the agenda doesn't seem to include reality.

September 13, 2015

Sunday Laugh

Sunday Verse

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
~1 Corinthians 15:58

September 12, 2015

And then there were 16.

Rick Perry, who never got any momentum for his presidential bid this time around, has ended his bid for the presidency.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday announced that he was suspending his presidential campaign, becoming the first Republican to drop out of the race and kicking off the winnowing stage of the crowded GOP contest.

"We have a tremendous field—the best in a generation—so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands," Perry said at a conservative conference in St. Louis.
Not a big surprise given his inability to gain traction and his loss of key staffers along the way for that very reason.  This was probably inevitable.  

Where it leaves Perry's political career is a matter for speculation.  A cabinet position in a Republican administration might revive his future opportunities to run again in the future.  But what the chances are of that happening is anybody's guess.

Saturday Learning Series - Short Bio Cleopatra

A short bio on Cleopatra.

September 11, 2015

Hillary cheaters.

Well, I cannot help but spread the word on this. Hillary Clinton staff caught on camera skirting and mocking election law.

Note to Muslims: Allah seems displeased.

A crane collapse resulting from a storm at Mecca has killed and injured hundreds.

While this does not prove Allah is displeased, it's important to note, the Vatican has never suffered this sort of unfortunate event.

9/11 Never Forget

Say a prayer for those who lost loved ones on a terrible day. Never forget how some truly evil people see America - not as a land of hope, but as a target. 

Friday Musical Interlude - Billy Idol

VH1's Behind the Music on Billy Idol.

September 10, 2015

Thursday Hillary Bash - End Run

As Hillary Clinton loses the left to Bernie Sanders, she runs to the middle, slamming Obama;

That's not going to help. Neither is hitting the Ellen DeGeneres show to remind women they are obligated to support her.  It's not going to help because Obama and Hillary clearly carry grudges against each other (par for the course for both). Obama still has a Joe Biden candidacy in reserve to dilute the voters in the supposed middle. Hillary it seems, has been cornered quite effectively by a shrewd attack from the left (should Biden hop into the race soon). That's a good thing. Bernie Sanders can't win a general election, of this I am sure. But more importantly, if Hillary couldn't see this triangulation coming, she's not qualified to be president, despite what all of her proclaimers say.

Trump Tiger Blood?

Well this has to sting a little.  But I suspect it's Jiindal's way of borrowing oxygen from the Trump campaign.  If he gets Trump insulting him, that's attention. That doesn't hurt a campaign mired in x-teenth place.

But wouldn't it be scary if this happened?

September 9, 2015

Jeb Bush's tax plan - less complex complexity

Jeb Bush has proposed a tax plan that reduces taxes.  For that he deserves our applause.  The problem is that he also claims to have simplified it, but that's followed by a bunch of tweaks and reductions of deductions. That's not simpler, it's just different.
We will cut individual rates from seven brackets to three: 28%, 25% and 10%. At 28%, the highest tax bracket would return to where it was when President Ronald Reagan signed into law his monumental and successful 1986 tax reform.
That's a good start. But then,
The plan nearly doubles the standard deduction now taken by roughly two-thirds of all filers. It eliminates the marriage penalty, expands the Earned Income Tax Credit, ends the death tax, retires the Alternative Minimum Tax and ends the employee’s share of the Social Security tax on earnings for workers older than 67.
...and so it goes;
We will retain the deductibility of charitable contributions but cap the deductions used by the wealthy and Washington special interests, enabling tax-rate cuts across the board for everyone. And while we’re doing that, we will treat all noninvestment income the same, so unless you stake capital in an investment, you won’t be able to claim the capital-gains tax rate on your market gains.
Even when he's making a good point,
To stop American companies from moving out of the country, I will cut the corporate tax rate from 35%—the highest in the industrial world—to 20%, which is five percentage points below China’s.
he seemingly can't help but make it complicated.
We will end the practice of world-wide taxation on U.S. businesses, ...we will assess a one-time tax of 8.75%, payable over 10 years, on the more than $2 trillion in corporate profits sitting overseas.

We will also allow businesses to fully and immediately deduct new capital investments—a critical step to increase worker productivity and wages. To pay for this, we will eliminate most corporate tax deductions—which is where favor-seeking and lobbying are most common—and remove the deduction for borrowing costs. That deduction encourages business models dependent on heavy debt.
That's not going to gain him a lead in the polls.

September 8, 2015

Why not get Proof?

Over the last several months I've been a lot busier than I'd like to be.  As a result my blogging has suffered a decline in frequency - here, but even more so over at Left Coast Rebel. I'm not the only one - there has been a dearth of posting over there. But the posts just keep on coming, thanks to the Herculean posting efforts of Mike, aka Proof Positive.

Thanks to him, the lights have been kept on at LCR.  He's opinionated, he's witty, and most often, he's right. So thanks for that Proof.  I'll try to step up my game as soon as I can.

Readers, check out Proof at LCR or at his own blog, Proof Positive.

What Media Bias?

A Gannett reporter who writes for both the Appleton Post-Crescent and USA Today covering local and Wisconsin politics, including Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential bid, signed a petition in 2011 to recall Walker from office.

Madeleine Behr is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison, and she wrote for a number of publications before joining Gannett earlier this year.

Her first story for the Post-Crescent appeared online on July 2, and since then she’s published 35 stories, including four that focus on Walker’s presidential bid, and others that cover the political aspirations and maneuvers of high profile Democratic candidates.
Oh. THAT media bias. What's the difference between this reporter and so many others? She got caught.

September 7, 2015

Hillary Down In The Polls

She's losing to Trump.  Sanders is gaining ground and Biden's about to jump in.  Is this the beginning of a long slow slide for Hillary?
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton head-to-head, according to a new poll released Friday.

The poll by SurveyUSA finds that matched up directly, Trump garners 45 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent.

In other head-to-head matchups, Trump beats out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 44 percent to 40 percent; Vice President Joe Biden by 44 percent to 42 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore by 44 percent to 41 percent.

Trump’s surge past Clinton marks a dramatic turnaround in the polls.

A CNN/ORC sampling of national voters in late June — just days after Trump entered the race — found that 59 percent supported Clinton to 34 percent picking Trump in a head-to-head race.
I'm not sure if this represents a drop in Clinton's favorability, an early surge for Trump or a combination of the two, but I suspect it's the last item. With Sanders gaining ground seemingly weekly, Clinton may have to position herself going into the actual primaries as the comeback kid. Except she ain't no kid. And if it gets to that point, she's not coming back.

September 6, 2015

Clericalism - point, counterpoint

An interesting set of views given the Pope's recent efforts to lower the bar for Catholics.  For every opinion there's an opposing view, particularly when it comes to religious meanings.  First, Pope Francis' view on clericalism.  

Next, a cogent counter-point. I like this view. While many more people will fall short, it is important to try to attain a higher standard and fall short than to set a low standard and easily succeed, though not at the level you could have reached even in failing to achieve it.

I'm not saying that forgiveness for abortion is out of the question.  I'm saying don't offer people a free pass. The same is true for divorce.  At least give people a spiritual incentive to try harder.

Sunday Verse

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
~Matthew 6:2-4

September 5, 2015

15 Things the World is NOT Running Out Of

Grammar issues of this video title aside, allow me to retort below.


Helium - If it's used in TV screens, it's not gone.  So there's no shortage being created. It's an inert gas.  It does not react with other chemicals, so that does not cause it's quantities to decrease.  If it escapes from our helium balloons where does it go?  The upper atmosphere.  Also - not gone.  Helium is not escaping into space. Conclusion - we're not running out. We're simply using it more now and faster than we can find it in our relatively closed world system.

Sardines - Wait, did he say cooling oceans?  Global cooling in progress?  And as far as over-fishing, well global populations are cyclical;
In 1948, this question was posed to ocean biologist Ed Rickett, who was investigating the most famous sardine crash in history, which began in 1946. He responded, “They’re in cans!” Today’s scientists don’t think the answer is so simple, as sardine populations are known for following a boom-and-bust cycle. However, they don’t deny that rampant fishing played a significant role in the mid-century crash, and have found that cool water temperatures triggered a natural decline in the 1940s, which was greatly exacerbated by overfishing. It would take four decades for the population to recover from that crash.

By the late 1980s, sardines had enjoyed a spectacular comeback. For two decades, populations remained stable, with normal cycles of decline and increase. Sardine biomass (a measurement of total adult sardine stock, used by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in calculating catch limits) peaked in 2006-2007. It then began dropping gradually, about 8 to 14 percent every year — until 2011. A mild La Niña weather system developed in late 2010 through early 2011, and returned from late 2011 into 2012, lowering ocean temperatures and creating ocean conditions reminiscent of those the 1940s. In a single year, sardine biomass decreased by 30 percent, from 680,004 metric tons at the beginning of 2011 to 473,374 metric tons at the beginning of 2012.
But fear not.
Is the pacific sardine sill in peril? Are regional and international agencies doing enough to stabilize populations? How big of an impact does fishing have on boom-and-bust cycles of forage fish? There is a general consensus that water temperature patterns drive the cycle, and fishing can exacerbate low points. However, the significance of industrial fishing and the best practices for sustainability remain subjects of great disagreement.
Wine - the video itself states the problem.  Demand is growing faster than supply.  The solution is clear; stop growing spinach (or grapefruit, or olives) and grow grapes instead.  Supply will follow demand as demand raised prices.  This will solve itself. Just because production has fallen doesn't mean it will stay lower.

Gold - This has always been a limited supply commodity.  You know what solves that? $1800 per ounce gold prices. Gold is not a necessary metal for much.  We want gold, we don't need it and if we run out of new supplies, we still have all those buried uncles with their wedding rings to dig up (just kidding, I'm simply talking about re-purposing existing gold necklaces or whatever, based on who is willing to pay for it).

Lethal Injection Drugs - Easy to solve.  Firing Squads. Next.

Goat Cheese - Sounds like a British problem.  As long as there are goats, we can make more goats, and therefore more goat cheese.  Meanwhile a higher price might drive the demand for other cheeses like Havarti or Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

Bourbon - Because of the 20 year development process, time will fix this one, in 20 years or so.

Medicine - Medicine is not in short supply, it's too expensive.  Why is it expensive? Because governments make it too difficult to compete unless you are a mega-corporation, with ties to lawmakers.  This one is also easy to fix, get rid of the oligopoly of companies by making entrance into the industry less daunting.  Cut the red tape.

Doctors & Surgeons - Okay doctors and surgeons are not disappearing.  They are not growing in numbers to keep pace with the needs of society.  Why not?  Because the cost of getting a medical degree is formidable.  When you combine that with the inevitable price-capping on medical fees that will accompany the Affordable Care Act, and the doctor-patient ratio will continue to worsen. Again, it's supply and demand.  You need to encourage medical degrees by not capping what a successful graduate can make.  More people will pursue those degrees and the growing supply will restrain the fees being charged.  So how do you encourage more doctors to exist? Saying goodbye to Obamacare might be a good first step. Them figuring out how to manage the education costs (a whole other essay is need for that), would be a good second step.

Bacon - This one concerns me because I love bacon. But this is a result of some historical diseases and a drought.  China still has a lot of pigs, and U.S. supplies will rebound.  Trust me. Pigs are not a finite resource because as you may have heard, they breed.

Coffee - This is also a big concern should it materialize but coffee prices have not reached the peaks of a few years ago, and again, coffee is a renewable resource, so quantities will inevitably recover.

Tequila - the stuff is nasty and pain-inducing.  We can't see the end of it soon enough as far as I'm concerned.

Chocolate - Prices will fix this just like many other items on this list.  Supplies will recover.

Phosphorous - Okay as phosphorous gets used a lot but the good news is all we are doing is moving it around.
Phosphorus, the 11th most common element on earth, is fundamental to all living things. It is essential for the creation of DNA, cell membranes, and for bone and teeth formation in humans. It is vital for food production since it is one of three nutrients (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus) used in commercial fertilizer. Phosphorus cannot be manufactured or destroyed, and there is no substitute or synthetic version of it available. There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not we are running out of phosphorus. Are we approaching peak phosphorus? In other words, are we using it up faster than we can economically extract it?

In fact, phosphorus is a renewable resource and there is plenty of it left on earth. Animals and humans excrete almost 100 percent of the phosphorus they consume in food.
Water - Again - a closed system.  Water is not moving out into space.  It's not all ending up in the ocean and not evaporating and coming back down in the form of freshwater rain or snow and replenishing our rivers.  This is just stupid scare-mongering.  And I say stupid because it's not even good as scare-mongering. 

Whoa. Trump leading Hillary

Before you go Trump crazy, this could be the start of a broader trend of Republican nominees rating ahead of Clinton or a result of headline volume. Media has been focused on the evils of Trump, partly as a tactic of avoiding the evils of Hillary.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton head-to-head, according to a new poll released Friday.

The poll by SurveyUSA finds that matched up directly, Trump garners 45 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent.

In other head-to-head matchups, Trump beats out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 44 percent to 40 percent; Vice President Joe Biden by 44 percent to 42 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore by 44 percent to 41 percent.
Still.  Whoa.

Saturday Learning Series - Short Bio Queen Isabella

A short bio on Queen Isabella of Spain.

September 4, 2015

Friday Musical Interlude - Led Zeppelin live at Knebworth, 1979

Led Zeppelin live in 1979.

Track List:
01.The Song Remains the Same (Page, Plant)
02.Celebration Day (Jones, Page, Plant)
03.Black Dog (Jones, Page, Plant).
04.Nobody's Fault but Mine (Page, Plant)
05.Over the Hills and Far Away (Page, Plant)
06.Misty Mountain Hop (Jones, Page, Plant)
07.Since I've Been Loving You (Jones, Page, Plant)
08.No Quarter (Jones, Page, Plant,)
09.Hot Dog (Page, Plant)
10.The Rain Song (Page, Plant)
11.White Summer/Black Mountain Side (Page)
12.Kashmir (Bonham, Page, Plant)
13.Trampled Under Foot (Jones Page, Plant)
14.Sick Again (Page, Plant)
15.Achilles Last Stand" (Page, Plant)
16.Guitar Solo (Page)
17.In the Evening (Jones, Page, Plant)
18.Stairway to Heaven (Page, Plant)
19.Rock and Roll (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant)
20.Whole Lotta Love (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant)
21.Communication Breakdown (Bonham, Jones, Page)

"Wrong side of history" nonsense

Jonah Goldberg, talking about being on the wrong side of history.  A must see for those who are ready to give in and let socialism waft over America.

September 3, 2015

When government official and staff plead the fifth

You know corruption abounds, and apologist will follow.   It's just more corruption. The Fox News video has one such apologist trying to explain away her corruption. But an aide may end up taking the fall after pleading the fifth.  No one gets into any trouble for the wrongdoing.  Conveniently.

Remember this?

Trump's Cards

I'm a little surprised that Trump would do this at this point in the campaign, he's probably thinking he's got a legitimate shot and wants to trashcan any targeting opportunities against him prior to the next debate. It's not going to guarantee him what he might consider fair treatment going forward. But it's good news for Republican voters nonetheless;
WASHINGTON (AP) — Presidential candidate Donald Trump ruled out the prospect of a third-party White House bid Thursday and vowed to support the Republican Party's nominee — whoever it may be.

The billionaire businessman announced his decision in a raucous news conference at Trump Tower, the gold-hued skyscraper in midtown Manhattan where he launched his surging and front-running campaign for president.

"I have signed the pledge," Trump said, adding that he intends to win the nomination himself and face whoever the Democrats nominate.

"So, I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands, and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win," he said.
It's been pointed out ad naseum on CNN that the pledge is non-binding. But there's a moral implication that will be a sticking point for many Trump voters should he go back on his word.

September 2, 2015

I wonder if the DNC is paying minimum wage.

Hat Tip to Drudge.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission requesting that it investigate the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for having “knowingly hired” an illegal alien, Cindy Nava, to help craft the committee’s 2016 political message and communications. Judicial Watch filed its complaint on August 25, 2015.

A June 8, 2015, story in The Washington Post reported that the DNC hired Nava with full knowledge of what DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) termed Nava’s “undocumented status.” The news report details that “Despite not yet attaining legal status, Nava is working for the Democratic National Committee as one of a crop of fellows from around the country helping the party organize ahead of a presidential election that President Obama predicted would feature immigration as a major issue.” The Spanish language newspaper El Nuevo Herald reports that Nava would help coordinate DNC outreach to “women, youth, and Hispanics.”

Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from participating “directly or indirectly in the decision-making process” of federal, state, or local election-related activities.
Dirty politics. 

Proof that Obama is a communist

Well not proof.  But it seems that if you're a communist, you're going to Alaska to flex your muscles.  Obama is on his way there to rename Mt. McKinley because God-forbid it be named after a former president.  But the Chinese are also going to Alaska;
President Obama isn't the only one making a visit to Alaska this week, according to a new report from Pentagon officials. The U.S. military has spotted five Chinese navy ships off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea, heading in the direction of the Aleutian Islands. The presence of the Chinese ships, including three combat ships, a replenishment vessel, and an amphibious ship, marks the first time that the U.S. military has reported seeing "any such activity in the area," The Wall Street Journal reports.

September 1, 2015

The Ben Carson Surge

This is interesting.  Ben Carson is surging in the polls.  Analysts discuss possible reasons for it.

Trump's loose antenna

In Toronto yesterday Donald Trump stopped traffic.  The antenna on the city's Trump tower came loose and needed to be inspected prior to allowing traffic back near the street intersections near the building.   The irony that Trump has a loose antenna is too good not to share.

No word on whether the building also has a loose cannon. 
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