December 31, 2016

2016 was not the worst year ever.

Paul Joseph Watson sums this up pretty well - 2016 was not the worst year ever.  WWII might have been a little worse.  WWI might have been a little worse.  The Great Depression might have been a worse year.  9/11 was a worse year maybe. Years with plagues perhaps.

Yes, I'm bummed out by many of these losses of celebrity.  Some talented people have passed away.  I feel bad for their families. But even if my very favorite celebrity had passed this year it would not be worse than millions of deaths.

Trump won.  Worst year ever?  Maybe if you are cheering for the downfall of America and the continued rise of globalism.  Maybe if you favored a two tier justice system - one for the elite and one for the rest of us.  Then maybe it was a bad year.  But even so, as someone who loathes the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency, I'd take  a Clinton over a plague or a global war any day. I would not be happy but I would not resort to they hyperbole evident on the left or evident in so many millennials, because it's untruthful. It's at a minimum misguided.

For example, president Obama has done a host of stupid things in his waning weeks in office - abandoning Israel, blaming Russia for clearly political reasons, annexing land in Nevada and Utah for federal purposes at odds with state desires, and that's not a full list.  But I don't consider it the worst year ever.  It's not even the worst year of the Obama presidency, as bad as all that is. 

Let me not end on a bad note - I expect great things in 2017; a buoyant and growing economy, continued consumer confidence, a reversal of American fortunes, smarter government, governmental reforms and a recovery of American exceptionalism and prestige. Best wishes and good luck to everyone, even liberals.  Maybe you'll do better under Trump. 

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2017.

I'm not a huge ABBA fan but this song does fit.

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all.

December 19, 2016

Zero votes count

Faithless electors in the electoral college is something the Democrats are looking to find - not to punish because every vote should count, but rather to encourage. Democrats have long pushed the mantra, since the Al Gore loss in 2000, that every vote should count and every vote should be counted. But now, along with arguing that the electoral college should be abolished in favor of a popular vote style election (apparently majority tyranny doesn't matter if they are the majority) but also that the electoral college is a vital part of democracy necessary for blocking a madman from becoming president.  They want electors to go against the mandate they were given and not vote for Donald Trump.

Ultimately they are seeking to disenfranchise 62 million people who voted for Donald Trump.  That's a lot worse than 500 votes in Florida in 2000 in terms of disenfranchisement.  The duplicitous hypocrisy of the Democrats, and the astounding lack of coverage of the attempt to disenfranchise 62 million voters is no longer a surprise.  It's business as usual from a corrupt cabal of insiders who don't give a damn about American voters.

December 18, 2016

December 16, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Sweet Brown

I'm not sure why other than it's kinda funny.

December 15, 2016

Thursday Hillary Bash - Ending soon

Turns out, nope.
For a few years I ran almost every week a Thursday Hillary Bash in the hopes that compiling an ongoing list of her misdeeds would be useful when it came to her second shot at the presidency in 2016.  It turns out people had long enough memories and didn't really need my help to ensure she didn't win the election. I have not posted any Thursday Hillary Bash items since the election.  She lost, she should fade into the sunset as an ignominious two-time loser (three if you count the effort to try to pile on Jill Stein's bogus recount efforts, and four the effort to subvert the electoral college electors to her side).

It's time to retire the Thursday Hillary Bash, just like it's time to retire the Clintons - Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and any other carpet bagging, blow hard, substance free gold digging families that want to run the country for personal gains.

After the electors certify Donald Trump later this month, I'll officially retire the recurring piece.

December 14, 2016

Trump Won, Get Over It, redux

You got skunked.
Recently I posted a few thoughts on the fact that Democrats, progressives and other sundry Trump haters are still not over the election and they are trying to derail Trump in the electoral college, or failing that, over the next four years (+) of his presidency. My message, was 'get over it'.  But the anger and the effort to derail him will persist regardless of what I or anyone else will say.

I also mentioned that blame is not a policy position.  Yet the blame persists and it is everyone but themselves of course.  In that regard, here's an asterisk to my comments on who to blame, via Michael Barone via RCP:
The first thing Democrats need to do is to end the alibi game. Yes, it's a shattering experience to lose a presidential election that, until the 9 o'clock hour on election night, you seemed sure to win.

But alibis don't help you win next time. Don't blame "fake news" when your candidate had lots more money to spend delivering her message. Don't blame the FBI director when your candidate violated criminal laws and the attorney general had to disqualify herself after revelation of her secret meeting with the candidate's husband.

Don't blame the "racism" of an electorate that twice elected the first black president. Don't blame the Electoral College when everyone knew beforehand that you need 270 electoral votes, not a popular vote plurality, to win.

Blame instead the Clinton campaign's "ascendant America" strategy -- to reassemble the 2012 Obama coalition of nonwhites and millennials, on the assumption that the attitudes of other voters, notably white non-college graduates who cast critical Obama votes in the Midwest, would remain static.
That about sums up the blame issue. What about the "Well but, electoral college and popular vote, blah, blah, blah..." arguments? The Washington Post provides a great rebuttal actually in three distinct parts.
1) Clinton got more votes than any presidential candidate except President Obama in 2008:

...Clinton will apparently have won the second-most votes of any presidential candidate ever. But that's because there were millions more eligible voters in 2016 than there were in 2012, when there were millions more eligible voters than there were in 2008, when there were millions more eligible voters than in 2004, etc., etc.

...If you compare Clinton's vote total to the voting-eligible population, in fact, she won about 29 percent of people who could have voted for her. Relative to other candidates who won the popular vote over the last century, that actually puts her in the bottom half...
But Stein's voters might have made a difference for Clinton in the swing states;
2) Green Party nominee Jill Stein exceeded Trump's margin in the states that mattered

The argument here is basically that if Stein hadn't run, her left-leaning voters might have put Clinton over the top...

Exit polls showed 60 percent of Stein backers said they would have stayed home if she weren't on the ballot. Among the rest, Clinton led by about a 2-to-1 margin — 27-13, to be specific — but Trump took a fair amount of voters.

Applying those numbers to the totals above means Clinton would have gained about 4,300 votes in Wisconsin and about 6,400 in Pennsylvania — not nearly enough to change the results...
And the newest misdirection? 3) Democrats won the Senate
popular vote...

Basically, the problem is that 16 to 17 states don't vote in any one cycle, which means the popular vote is very reliant on the 33-34 states who do. The biggest blue states (California and New York) both voted in 2016, but the biggest red one (Texas) didn't. And in this election cycle, there was a fluke-y situation in California that made the popular vote look like a landslide for Democrats in a highly deceptive way.

California's top-two primary system advances the top two candidates to the general election regardless of party. This year, that just happened to be two Democrats: Now-Sen.-elect Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez. That means the 12.2 million ballots counted so far in that race have all been for Democrats. In a regular election, Republicans might have won about 5 million or 4.5 million of those votes, reducing Democrats' margin to 2.2 million or 3.2 million voters, respectively — 9 million or 10 million less.

And that basically, by itself, explains why they won the Senate popular vote.
What it still comes down to is "You Lost." You are still losing. If as Michael Barone notes, you don't realize it, you won't recover and correct the course. I'd be perfectly okay with that though.

December 13, 2016

Tillerson, Russians and Democrats

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for Secretary of State and Democrats, as they have been for every single nominee, tweet, etc. since election night, are fit to be tied.

Via Bloomberg;
Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson will be nominated as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, setting up a potential confirmation battle with U.S. lawmakers who have questioned the oilman’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin...

The prospect of a Tillerson nomination has already drawn some objections from lawmakers in both parties, who expressed concern about his two decades of dealings with Putin at a time when possible Russian interference in the U.S. election is under scrutiny. That suggests that the Exxon executive could face a messy Senate confirmation fight. Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida were among those who said they had questions about Tillerson’s dealings with Putin.
Much of this is politics.  Democrats have reflexively resisted everything from Trump going back to the time of his nomination by the GOP.  And to claim the questions are bi-partisan, you need only look at the Republicans who are named Rubio and McCain - not exactly Trump enthusiasts, to realize that Tillerson's Russian dealings aren't really a bi-partisan issue.

More importantly there's the Russia hypocrisy emanating from the Democrats.  A party that once seemingly embraced Soviet style government, a party that prided itself on Hillary Clinton's Russian reset (failure) has suddenly become the alarmists about Russian aggression in the cyber realm. Clearly that's a matter of convenience for them; Russia rigged the American election, Trump and his cadre are too close to Putin and Russia.  Yeah.  Given the source of the hand-wringing I'm not that worried.  Trump and Tillerson are capable of dealing with Russia and both seem to get the idea of America first.  

The idea that they will be played by Putin is a possibility - it happened to Obama and Hillary Clinton time and again, so there's a bit of projection in Democrats' concerns.  But who is to say that Tillerson who has been closer to Russia than most hasn't been effectively playing Putin and the Russians?  Or, perhaps in dealing with Russia just as with every other country, deals are not a zero sum game.  Just maybe both sides can benefit from dealings and as long as America gets the lion's share of that total benefit, then positive dealings with Russia might not be a bad thing.  That America can end up on the wrong side of the equation is possible but less likely given Trump's America first mandate and guiding principle. 

I expect Tillerson will get the green light along with most every Trump appointee, if not all of them. 

Kellyanne Conway kills it on the state of the nation

...and on other things like why Trump won. Worth the 9.5 minute watch.

December 12, 2016

Remember when I said "What If"?

On election day, I had a short little post asking what if Trump won.  Looks like that post was a bit prescient.

Susan Olsen and freedom of opinion

The lesson here: everyone is entitled to their opinion, they are just not entitled to voice it if it isn't politically correct. Or perhaps the true lesson - you should not live your life on Facebook.

Susan Olsen a.k.a. Cindy Brady of The Brady Bunch put a rant on her Facebook page, and it looks like it cost her the radio talk show job she was in.
The 55-year-old Donald Trump supporter, who served as a co-host on LA Talk Radio's show Two Chicks Talkin' Politics, reportedly wrote a now-deleted homophobic Facebook rant directed towards openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting.
The rant contained vulgarities directed at gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. To be clear, it was not professional. But to also be clear it was:

(1) her opinion (the first amendment still exists, doesn't it?)
(2) outside of work in a Facebook setting (although arguably, related to her work)
(3) not directed at an entire community but rather an individual, using slurs based on his personal community identification.

But to be clear also, the actor acted not in kind but with slurs that cut across an entire half of the country, who supported Donald Trump - in other words his actions were bigoted across a group, hers were directed at an individual, using bigoted language.
The fued [sic] seems to have stemmed from Leon's own Facebook status, where he slams Susan for heated language about Hillary Clinton and the Koran, calling her a "Trump fanatic" and equating her statements to "idiotic lies."

Leon goes on to say that he will no longer appear on L.A. Radio until Susan is off the air, adding her opinions are "dangerous" and "unprofessional."
Because her opinions differed from his her opinions are dangerous and unprofessional. He ranted about it on Facebook instead of discussing it. She responded on Facebook. This is not conducive to a civil society. That's where Facebook fails utterly in helping society. It has become a platform for people to hurl insults from a distance. In addition it invites consequences for people unable to police themselves: your opinion is your own, if you share it in your personal space, you invite consequences in your professional life. That's not a failing of Facebook, it's a failing of people to understand the consequences of their actions.

I'm not suggesting Olsen be allowed to keep her job - the radio station (or network?) is of course allowed to exercise their judgement in determining whether an individual is beneficial or detrimental to their brand. And Olsen should have chosen her words more carefully. But that doesn't allow political correctness off the hook. If her opinion is discounted simply because it does not conform to societal norms then there is no freedom in society.

Furthermore, Leon Acord-Whiting has faced no such consequences concerning his vitriol about Trump supporters and opinions. Such a double standard will only serve to further alienate half the country who felt that their opinions were disregarded and elected Trump in the first place.

That fact seems to escape liberals who remain smugly steadfast in their belief that they are right about everything. As people find themselves on the 'wrong' side of any issue they will be forced to conform or be relegated to being racist/homophobic/anti-fill-in-the-blank/bitter clingers. More and more people will end up on the other side of the divide as their opinions become outcast. What is correct and allowable will grow ever smaller and more insular, and the trend towards Republican victories across America, will continue. Alternately, but far less likely given the American spirit, the country will conform to each new norm and there will be no real freedom of opinion, let alone expression.

Pennsylvania recount "borders on the irrational"

And the recount gets tossed out. Via the AP (emphasis added):
In his 31-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond said there were at least six grounds that required him to reject the Green Party's lawsuit, which had been opposed by Trump, the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.

Suspicion of a hacked Pennsylvania election "borders on the irrational" while granting the Green Party's recount bid could "ensure that that no Pennsylvania vote counts" given Tuesday's federal deadline to certify the vote for the Electoral College, Diamond wrote.

"Most importantly, there is no credible evidence that any 'hack' occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania's voting system was not in any way compromised," Diamond wrote. He also said the lawsuit suffered from a lack of standing, potentially the lack of federal jurisdiction and an "unexplained, highly prejudicial" wait before filing last week's lawsuit.
That's finally finished, along with the Michigan recount dried up, Trump's going to be president unless the Democrats keep trying to find more faithless electors for the official Electoral College vote.

Trump won, get over it.

Trump won, move on MoveOn.  Move on Jill Stein. Move on all you weepy college students who clearly are so woefully underprepared to deal with adversity that you don't even realize that Donald Trump winning the presidency will create ZERO personal adversity in your own life, besides whatever your imagination might conjure up.  Move on president Obama, your policies have been rejected, despite your personal popularity.

So move on.  Stop trying to re-litigate the election.  It was not the Russians who handed him the win with their hacking.  It was not fake news.  It was not FBI Director Comey's dithering on indicting Hillary Clinton. It was not 'stupid' Middle America.

Or don't, I don't care.
For a villain in this melodrama, look at the Democratic party, and their allies across the mainstream media.  Look at the flawed candidate chosen to run against a candidate  that you viewed as more flawed. Look at the machinations used to ensure Hillary Clinton would not be bested by socialist Bernie Sanders.  It was cheating, pure and simple.  Look at the party that had moved so far left from the mainstream that Sanders became almost palatable enough to beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries.  Look at the disdain for national security in Clinton having a private email server, and in accepting donations from around the world.  Look at the president and his bloated bureaucracy that repeatedly claimed everything was great as they drove people out of the work force and companies out of the country, all the while being more concerned about who goes into which bathroom than the lives of Americans who recognized their own situations were worsening year after year.  Look at a party that with a near supermajority shoved a super-partisan Healthcare bill of 2700 hodge-podge pages down the throats of America. Look at a president who felt that his pen was mightier than the Constitution.

There are your reasons for losing liberals and progressives.  Besides, blame is not a policy position. You are free to choose to deny the reality, but it won't win you any more votes, and it will ensure your electoral defeats in the future elections of 2018, 2020 and onward.  

Further if your goal is to delegitimize Trump's presidency, that will also fail. The more you try to do that the more you will look like sore losers with an ax to grind, and dishonest players in the political saga of the next 4 or 8 years.  How did trying to delegitimize Trump prior to his election work out for you on election day? Arguing the electoral college is at fault because more people voted for Hillary than for Trump is as flawed as arguing that it was the Russians. Or racists. Or Global Warming.  The voters you so smugly disdain see through you.  Perhaps the true reality that you are not yet prepared to face.

December 11, 2016

December 10, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (France)

Geography Now's look at France.

And the flag video:

December 9, 2016

Friday Musical Interlude - Gotan Project - Vuelvo al Sur

An electronic tango from Argentinia band Gotan Project; 200's Vuelvo al Sur:

Ugh - Global Warming Hysteria Continues at the Weather Channel

Climate change and global warming used interchangeably among more serious issues with this 'report'.  If you can stomach it, watch this.  Then following below, the co-founder of the Weather Channel says climate change is a myth. They are supposedly repudiating Breitbart's faulty claims in the segment but somehow manage to throw their own faulty logic in there frequently. Suddenly they've added the claim that sea temperatures matter in global warming considerations. Where were they with that claim back when the surface temperatures were rising and they didn't need to factor it in?

A more robust debunking of this drivel may unfortunately be merited at a later date.  Then again, who actually watches the weather channel for news anyway?  Maybe I'll just add them to my fake news list.

John Coleman a few years back said Global Warming is a farce.

Nevertheless they continue to push the hype and try to stoke the hysteria that world is on the brink of climatological collapse, all thanks to mankind - specifically America.  Now that Trump is president-elect, expect this, along with every other liberal progressive agenda item to be ramped up to 11 on the Spinal Tap dial.

December 6, 2016

Trump's Taiwan call - smart geo-politics

There's a great quote in the Washington Post today by Marc A. Thiessen that sums up perfectly Donald Trump's call with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen:
...Trump knew precisely what he was doing in taking the call. He was serving notice on Beijing that it is dealing with a different kind of president — an outsider who will not be encumbered by the same Lilliputian diplomatic threads that tied down previous administrations. The message, as John Bolton correctly put it, was that “the president of the United States [will] talk to whomever he wants if he thinks it’s in the interest of the United States, and nobody in Beijing gets to dictate who we talk to.”
The reaction in the media to the call that Trump was either unaware or foolish is ridiculous. What was naive or foolish was president Obama's apology tour. His embrace of Hugo Chavez. His deal with Iran. His embargo relaxation of Cuba. His snub of Queen Elizabeth II. Or Hillary Clinton's Russian reset or Benghazi mess.

It must be painful for the media when their political adversaries get it right where their heroes got it wrong.

December 4, 2016

December 3, 2016

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Macedonia)

F.Y.R.O.M.?  Starting with some name drama, here's Macedonia from Geography Now.

And the flag:

December 2, 2016

Whittle on Recount

I've previously commented on the recount issue, here's Bill whittle's incisive take on it.

An addendum via BillWhittleChannel: **The reference to "Leon Ponetta" near the end of this video refers to JON PODESTA. The person responsible for sacking the former quality control position has been sacked. Updating ASAP and I regret the error.

Friday Musical Interlude - Blue Monday remix

Not to be confused with the Fats Domino classic Blue Monday, this remix of the New Order dance hit Blue Monday is still pretty catchy.

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