January 31, 2020

Friday Musical Interlude - Peanut Butter Jelly

Sick of impeachment talk?  Try this:

January 30, 2020

Impeachment failing so bad that...

...odds of Trump finishing his term have improved at a betting website. In fact they have steadily increased during the process and the trial.

Bolton and Schiff credibility videos surface

And the president tweets 'game over'.

Lawyer calls out his own interpretation of impeachment

Viva Frei calls out another YouTube lawyer today, and it's himself. Then he instructively walks through Alan Dershowitz's argument before the senate that impeachment does, in fact, require a criminal act.


January 29, 2020

The polar bears are fine, thank you.

A documentary on the misinformation of David Attenborough's BBC and Netflix climate change documentaries.  The real tragedy, is the lies shared as fact.

January 28, 2020

Project Veritas -- more Sanders campaign exposed

Project Veritas has posted yet another Bernie Sanders campaign expose.  Part 4 was just released (see lower down in the post).  I'm posting these here mainly for my own benefit, so that all of the videos are accessible in sequence.  But these are all worth the watch if you have not seen them yet.

If you have not seen these yet, over the week or so Project Veritas has released a series chilling of undercover videos about Sanders campaign staffers.  Despite it being a bad month for Bernie as far as scandals (this, and the Warren accusations, for example) he seems to be surging in polls in the early primary states.  Maybe he's got some of president Trump's Teflon coating among his supporter base.

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3



Part 4

Confirmation Bias

Part of the polarization of America, either as a symptom or a cause, confirmation bias is an existential condition in all things politic today.  Simply put, people tend to fit evidence into one of two boxes: real news or data that supports their beliefs OR fake/untrustworthy news, that can be discarded or ignored.  I've been guilty of it at times, it's hard to avoid doing it, but we need to try.  Below are  two recent examples of both Democrat and Republican confirmation bias.

Firstly a Democrat excitedly celebrating the fact that the Republicans are going to lose the senate (note this is not the consensus among the well known analysts like Politico, Sabato, Cook or Inside Elections) based primarily on a flimsy approve/disapprove for incumbents:


This is confirmation bias used as an extrapolation.  Not only is the Morning Consult polling questionable in my view (I know, that could be confirmation bias) but it is a single view.  More importantly approval/disapproval is not a 1-1 mapping with electability. Anyone who puts some of those red states as Democrat pickups is clearly guilty of wishful thinking.  That's not to say some of the races might not be close, but remember Beto O'Rourke beating Ted Cruz? Me neither.

Next NewsMax interviewing Roger Stone contains the suggestion that Nancy Pelosi's House leader position is in trouble:



I'd like to believe Roger Stone is right, but looking at the congressional map, while I think the Republicans are going to pick up seats, regaining control is not a done deal.  In fact it is going to be difficult (though possible).  While Roger Stone might end up being correct, and I hope he is, it's a bit of wishful thinking at this point to suggest that this is an obvious outcome.

The ONLY thing that is certain at this point is that confirmation bias is definitely an existential part of the political polarization in the country.

Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment

Democrats continue to fantasize about a presidential impeachment with yet another 11th hour "stunning revelation", this time from John Bolton.  But just like all of the previous faux discoveries, it's going to turn out to be meaningless.  Just as Laura Ingraham points out:



The Bolton stuff is the latest Lev Parnas Stormy Daniels Michael Avenatti  non-bombshell.  Even Democrat voters, outside the most rabid, appear to be blase about impeachment:

January 27, 2020

Shifty Schiff's closing arguments analyzed

A lawyer breaks down Adam Schiff's impeachment argument.

An insider's view of China's 2019

An American who married a Chinese woman and has spent many years in China, this month posted a review of why China had it's darkest year yet in 2019.  Clearly 2020 has not been any better.

Keep in mind as you watch that this man was clearly a pro-Chinese in previous years.  While that's waned it does appear in some of his commentary, which is generally, relatively fair.


With 2020 starting out with the coronavirus issue from Wuhan, 2020 may end up worse for China than 2019.

January 26, 2020

Impeachment polling oddities

I was looking at the impeachment polling on Real Clear Politics today and I noticed a couple of things.  I'm normally not a poll junkie.  I watch them, but I don't inherently trust them.  They are easily manipulated.   Without reading the details to each you cannot say for certain that the poll was conducted properly.  I'm not saying any particular poll is deliberately off, but so much can be wrong.  

Overall, president Trump is indeed seeing more people against impeachment than for it. A couple of things struck me, just at a high level.  There's a lot more beneath the surface but I'll keep this simple. 


But there's some odd things in the polls.  Fox is consistently a remove poll. CNN you expect a anti-Trump bias but Fox you'd expect either fair or the reverse.  I find that odd.  

One other thing on the overall polling - The above water average for the president includes Gallup, which polls all adults not just registered voters.  That's concerning since it is a poll that helps his impeachment average.  Conversely none of the polling is among likely voters.  That works in his favor.

Then there's the polling among independent voters.


Independents have Fox once again as a highly pro-impeachment polling outlier.  It makes me think Fox has some polling issues. If you look at ABC/WaPo polling independents are +9 against but their overall polling is only +6.  It has Democrats at +69 for remove and Republicans at +79 against.  

That means that if Independents are +9 to keep Trump, and Republicans are +79 yet overall it's only +6 to not impeach then there are enough Democrats in the poll to pull the average towards impeachment by 3 points from the independents.  That means there are a lot of Democrats in the poll.  A lot.  That's a common way the polls can be skewed.

But none of this accounts for Democrat voters who voted for Trump in 2016.  And even that does not account for how much of that 2016 effect was just anti-Hillary, or the effects of the current economy.

Impeachment is not going to happen.  It's a partisan effort and not poll driven.  But that does not mean it will not have an effect on the election in November.  It may shift voters.  It may cement other voters and and increase the intensity of support for either side.  It's too early to tell that.  But there's a lot of yardage between now and the election and the impeachment will be long in the rear view mirror by then.  Democrats will try to make it otherwise, probably to their detriment.  We shall see.


Sunday verse


January 23, 2020

Leftists Continue To Ignore Reality

Setting aside their Bizzaro World views on impeachment, leftists are ignoring how president Trump is not racist and is actually doing something for the planet, just not something woefully stupid that tehy want.

First on African Americans:



Then on climate change:

January 20, 2020

Darrell Issa back?

Why'd you leave Darrell?  Why'd you leave?



Darrell Issa, whom I think was a good representative in Congress, was part of the mass retirement that helped Democrats win the house. His district, California's 49th district, was won by a Democrat. Interestingly now, he's not trying to win that district back but rather running in the 50th district in 2020. The incumbent was Republican (Duncan Hunter), was under indictment. In December he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, and he resigned from Congress effective last week. So Issa, a likely winner in the district is unfortunately not going to provide a regain to Republicans, but probably a hold of the 49th.

Here's the thing - Issa is a good congressman. I liked him. But he did not run for reelection in 2018 when it was clear it would be a tough fight. And he's coming back not to recapture what he abandon, but to win in an easier district race. That's not emblematic of a fighter. It's concerning that Issa may not be a fighter any longer, and he may lack the same fight he exhibited in congress in the past. I hope I'm wrong. I hope there's a good Republican candidate in the 49th.

Wishing you a thoughtful MLK Day


Think about that when you are arguing for affirmative action:
Affirmative action is a policy in which an individual's color, race, sex, religion or national origin are taken into account to increase opportunities provided to an underrepresented part of society. Businesses and government entities implement affirmative action programs to increase the number of people from certain groups within companies, institutions, and other areas of society. The policy focuses on demographics who have historically had low representation in positions of leadership, professional roles, and academics. It is often considered a means of countering historical discrimination against particular groups.
Affirmative action promotes one group at the expense of another group (or groups). The very definition of affirmative action includes deliberate discrimination, which is an attempt to right an injustice by committing that same injustice.   Martin Luther King's word argue for a different approach. 

January 16, 2020

Chuck Schumer votes NO on USMCA

Democrats in Congress and the Senate cannot even get on the same page on this one.

Pelosi's heavy-hearted impeachment smile

This is utterly disgusting and clearly, Nancy Pelosi is a fraud:



January 15, 2020

Did you know USMCA is not yet law?

Mitch McConnell announced the USMCA deal, which was passed by congress very late in 2019 after they sat on it for a very long time, will be passed in the Senate within a week.  It's not yet the law of the land. Good news though, it will be very soon.

January 14, 2020

Pelosi, evil genius?

Is Nancy Pelosi and evil genius? Many people have been speculating that the reason Nancy Pelosi has held up handing the impeachment articles to the Senate, so that the likes of Bernie Sanders cannot engage in campaigning for the Democrat primary, thereby ensuring that an Establishment favorite like Joe Biden wins the nomination. Sanders will be stuck in the Senate for weeks, waiting for the trial to end.

If not that then that they are speculating that she realizes the case for impeachment is as full of holes as Swiss cheese.

But what if....

She's just trying to keep Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts (who must preside over the trial as not a judge but rather more as a process referee) out of deliberations of Supreme Court cases, leaning early year Supreme Court decisions slightly back in favor of the liberal agenda?

Just asking - I'm not sure what's on the court's docket for February/March.

Australian fires were arson, not climate change

In case you missed the news, or have been watching the mainstream media, the wildfires in Australia, were deliberately started.

Warning - language.



Now radical environmentalists are inevitably going to shift gears and say that this would not have been so severe except for climate change. Don't accept that.  Paul Joseph Watson in the above video provides proof otherwise. Weather is not a factor.  But preventing firebreaks from being made is clearly a factor.  That preventative measure was stopped by climate change activists.  They may as well have been the arsonists themselves.

January 13, 2020

Nuclear alarm in Canada - clearly Trump's fault

Yesterday in Pickering, Ontario, Canada a nuclear power station alarm went off.  I got an automated text notification about it as did most everyone in the province:



It turned out to be a false alarm, and a correction notification was sent later (I believe the above was actually the correction notification, I did not save both).  The mayor of Pickering explained the situation:



Back in 2018, the media were quick to dump all sorts of accusations on president Trump for the false alarm and his lack of a perfect response to the event they were sure his dealing with North Korea had precipitated. By extension, clearly this false alarm was also the president's fault.

Border Wall Update

Via Fox News, a summary of the border wall status:


January 10, 2020

January 9, 2020

Economy so good that...

You can now be middle class working at Taco Bell. No...really.

Watch as mainstream media gush over terrorist

Qassem Soleimani was a brutal repressive leader in Iran and supporter of terrorism, but you would not know it by watching mainstream media in the West. Oh, and Democrats piled on. Warning, this is stomach-turning dreck.



The truth is, he was evil.

Pelosi's inconsistency in two sentences.

Nancy Pelosi is waiting to see the Senate's proposed agenda and 'arena' for the impeachment hearing before sending over the articles of impeachment from Congress.  Isn't this the same woman with Obamacare who said we have to pass it to see what's in it?

January 8, 2020

CNN caves in Covington student lawsuit

Good news.  CNN is the first media outlet to settle the lawsuit brought against them by the Covington student they slandered.

Iranian missile "crisis" manufactured by Trump and Iran?

It's a little too perfect.  The president takes out an Iranian terror sponsor general, Iran is outraged (not to the level that the media is claiming, but the leadership there clearly needed to save face).  In response the Iranian government launches 15 missiles at American bases in Iraq.  Not one American appears to have been killed or injured.  Not one.  How incredibly unlikely is that? And now everybody has an out.

President Trump has no reason to escalate the conflict because no Americans were killed or injured - so no further response required - crisis averted. Sure, expect more threats from both sides for a while, but President Trump wants out of Iraq as much as he wants out of Afghanistan and Syria and probably also Korea.  The Iraqi parliament voted to kick out the Americans.  For president Trump and his America first agenda this is a win win. He got a terrorist and the end result is that he gets to bring home American troops without political fallout because it will appear to be Iraq's decision.

Iran looks to it's populace that it followed through on their revenge.  If indeed America leaves Iraq, leaving a vacuum, Iran gets another win - a weakened former enemy in Iran that they can pretty much turn into a vassal state that they control.

President Trump conversely gets the pressure on regional partners like Europe and Saudi Arabia to step up their presence in the region to counter Iran.  In the best case scenario, the Saudis would form an anti-Iran alliance with Israel, thus creating or at least fomenting a de facto acceptance of Israel in the region.

In the absence of American presence Iran gets a period of vacuum in which to operate and further their sinister goals.

In the absence of further response by either side, everyone gets to look diplomatic and restrained.  Iran gets some peace credence and president Trump gets to stuff it in the face of his Leftist detractors claiming this was to be how World War III gets started.  

How is this not a win win for both sides? In fact it has so much upside, you almost have to wonder if president Trump and the Iranians got together and planned the whole response scenario. Or perhaps both sides did the calculus and determined independently that there was a path forward that suited everyone's respective goals.  Or alternatively, Iran is just that bad at war and we got lucky.  Ultimately whether the crisis was manufactured or an accident does not matter, both sides are going to get what they want. 

January 3, 2020

Fallout from the U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq

Background: Following a recent air strike in Syria which targeted in response to deadly Hezbollah attacks;
The Pentagon said it was responding after the group fired more than 30 rockets at a US base in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday, killing an American civilian contractor.
In response, Iranian backed protesters attacked the US embassy in Baghdad in Iraq. President Trump then vowed that this would not be another Benghazi.

The next event in the sequence was that the United States conducted an airstrike in Iraq, killing an Iranian general forbidden from leaving Iraq, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. The U.S. embassy issued a warning to Americans in the region. President Trump tweeted the following moments ago:
****************

Media fallout:  The media responded with craziness once again.  They are willing to overlook that the president did not inform Russia prior to the airstrikes as any good Putin puppet should.  Putin is clearly not happy about it by the way.  

The left who were freaking out over president Trump removing troops from Syria and Afghanistan are now, predictably calling him a rogue, war monger. I even saw a never-Trumper post implying that the president wants a war to ensure his re-election.

Many articles are saying that the president has fallen into Iran's trap and is being strategically outmaneuvered by the regime.

Geopolitical fallout:  This one is going to be harder to predict.  Iran is clearly suffering from the ratcheted up sanctions imposed by president Trump. Those seem to be the most logical next step for the president but with players like Russia and China (America's true geo-political foes) not on board 
with punishing Iran because it only helps the USA, there may not be much opportunity to increase sanctions more effectively.  The long game for president Trump would be to choke Iran economically into nuclear compliance. 

Don't expect Iran to sit complacently over the economic squeeze.  The problem for them is that they do not have much leverage themselves.  They can work through terrorist organizations they support to sting the USA.  Successful attacks could alter public support for the president.  Failure would only gird support for president Trump.  But if successful, president Trump would have few choices left other than to continue with more airstrikes. 

Many are claiming there will be a rapid escalation but I see this as a more drawn out slow burn just because any escalations take time to plot - Iran doesn't have many cards to play and the USA does not need to escalate anything at this point.

January 1, 2020

Us and Them, redux

Earlier today I posted about the idea of Us and Them.  Turns out Jordan Peterson, not surprisingly, beat me to it.  This is from 2017:

Joe Biden, climate alarmist (?)

Joe Biden talks climate change and what he says is cause for concern.  True, if what he says is what he truly believes he will destroy the economy (um, while he cures cancer at the same time). Except look at how humdrum he is about it.  He doesn't believe this stuff. He's an inveterate liar.  That's just as much a cause for concern.





It's likely that Joe Biden if elected, would do a lot of damage to the American energy sector, but just enough to placate the green portion of the Democrat voter base.  He's lying about it because he's a liar.  He probably sees that as part of the job description for being a politician.  He probably sees president Trump as a liar and doesn't blink about it because it's part of the job.  President Trump is boastful and bombastic and prone to exaggeration, Joe Biden on the other hand is truly a liar.  He's an old guard Democrat who thinks he's better than you and therefore lying to you is no big deal.

On the other hand, maybe it's just his motivation that he's lying about.  I can't help but wonder if Joe Biden's zeal to eliminate the fossil fuel industry in America is just an attempt to get his son back on the board at Burisma Holdings in the Ukraine so he can continue to line his family's pockets.

Us and Them

Pink Floyd had a song back in 1973 called Us and Them. It's become pretty much everything in politics these days, or more likely, it's always been everything in politics.  More generally, it was a song about war and human nature.  Individually we like to think we would be fair to people who are different from us, and would treat them nicely.  But as a group we end up going to war because it's us or them.  That's a fairly superficial take on the song but the essence of it is there to make my point.

It's inevitable that humanity groups itself into like tribes.  There are too many people in the world and in early human history we were too scattered to do otherwise. It's what led to the existence of nations.  On a smaller level, it's what led to guilds based on skills, it's what led to political philosophies.  It also led to ethnic identification. 

There are positives and negatives to the concept of Us.  It allows for collaboration and collective interests being worked on with a synergistic effect (two heads are better than one).  On the other hand, if there's an Us, there has to be a Them.  Those two don't have to be in conflict but so often they end up that way. One of the big reasons for that is that some people can take advantage of the Us by demonizing the Them.

It has had unfathomable consequences in human history, with some prime examples being Nazi Germany and later the Cold War.  But it has also bled into politics.  Democrats have fostered group identity over individual identity in order to harvest voter groups that they can exert sole 'ownership'. It's become dangerous in that conservatives and Trump supporters especially, have been vilified to such an extent that left leaning voters think of them as evil and are therefore in some minds granted permission to demean them, harm them or worse. 

As conservatives we are not immune to making this mistake.  Granted we are less likely to exhibit hatred of individuals and more of ideas. But we are not immune.  When we want immigration enforcement it can be perceived as an Us and Them worldview. It isn't racial (at least for most conservatives, though some are susceptible to that notion).  It does get perceived as racial, thereby fueling the Us and Them view of Us by the Them.  Wanting the rule of law has somehow become racist. That's an insane outcome of the Us and Them views fostered by the left.

Heck, this post is itself calling out us and them. We are not immune.  What you have in common with the Them in America (I say "you" because I am a Canadian, even though I am an American in spirit) is that you are all American.  That's still and Us and Them, but it's a bigger, more inclusive Us. That has to be a division that cannot be allowed to be broken - even though it seems as though the Left (and anyone who claims to be a globalist as well) is certainly trying to do exactly that.

How you prevent a breakup of America in this hyper-partisan Us and Them climate is not obvious.  But I suggest it must be part of every effort, every debate, every decision going forward.  The only way America remains a cohesive nation is if everyone takes on that personal responsibility in their own lives.  Don't worry if the Them are not doing it, or the Us are not doing it, You do it. Make it your own goal.

To that end, I thought this video might be helpful to keep in mind.

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