Friday, October 30, 2015

Opportunity Awaits

Well, RNC Chair Reince Priebus has reportedly told NBC to kiss off, no more debates on your network. It's about damn time! To start with why were we even dealing with people like this? Our candidates were just being used. Do you realize what a windfall the Republican debate was to CNBC? They don't draw dick in terms of viewership, and I mean virtually nothing, but when the Republicans come to town they get to crank up their rates to Super Bowl levels. And talk about riding a free horse to death! They would have them on for 24 hours if they thought they could get away with it. Then they turn around and dictate who will moderate, where it will be and the format. We give them all this so they can abuse the shit out of our candidates? It's insane! Plus those halfwits over at the RNC still have our people going on CNN, CBS, Tele-Goddamn-mundo and ABC where Stephie Stephanopoulos and Candy the Cow and Martha Radish will no doubt take their shots. JUST WHAT THE FUQ IS GOING ON!!? This is unfair to our candidates and unfair to Republican voters who want to see a legitimate debate, not a SNL segment. Why this happens I have no idea but it just goes to show, never underestimate the stupidity and/or desperation of an establishment Republican.

By the by, can you name any debate moderators off the top of your head? In 2012 the Republicans got Jim Lehrer (PBS), Bob Schieffer (CBS), Candy Crowley (CNN) and Martha Raddatz (ABC) in the Republican/Democrat debates. In the Republican debates, again in 2012 we had Fox thrown in a time or three but much the same. Incredibly MSNBC hosted two Republican only debates. A Republican debate hosted by MSNBC's wall-to-wall, 24/7  leftists with NO dissenting opinions ever, these people were allowed to host our stand alone Republican debates? Incidentally the Dem debates of '08 (of which there were about 30) were hosted by MTV, LOGO (the homo channel), CNN, MSNBC and all the networks. Each time only one network was the host. In other words on Aug 7th MSNBC, on Sept 9th Univision etc. But not so on December 13th, 2007. Four networks hosted on this date: Iowa Public TV, CNN, MSNBC and Fox. The questions were asked by the Des Moines Register editor, some woman named Carolyn Washburn. Gosh was Bill O'Reilly unavailable? How much input do you think Fox had?

The point is we've been stupid, it cost us dearly but now we've got an opportunity. No more cooperating (and enriching) people who hate us, want to embarrass us, or want to marginalize us. Enough! To get things off on the right foot I propose in place of the NBC debates which Chairman Priebus had the good sense to cancel (at long last) let's replace it with a debate or two with folks like Tammy Bruce, Sean Hannity, Mark Steyn, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Let's get a good cross section of conservatives to ask the questions we want answered. Plus when the two nominees get together next year we must DEMAND an equal number of conservative pundits and news people participate. Fair is fair and if you're not fair to yourself then you don't respect yourself and that's the kind of people who'll end up leading us, hence Boehner and McConnell. This has to change and now's the time.

The crony capitalist will sell another country to rope to hang him by

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." - V. I. Lenin.

The front page of this morning's Wall Street Journal brings us this precious bit of news:

Iranian security forces have arrested an Iranian-American businessman who had promoted improved ties between the two countries, adding to signs that hard-liners in Tehran are trying to block foreign investors from entering the Islamic Republic in the wake of the historic nuclear deal.

In the past few weeks, Iranian businessmen with links to foreign companies have been detained, interrogated and warned against wading into economic monopolies controlled by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to several businessmen interviewed inside and outside of Iran.

Today's news reminds us of this story from a couple of months ago ("While Congress argues over Iran, Europe rushes to do business there") in which the WaPo seems to argue that European businesses are leaving Americans eating their dust in the new Iranian gold rush. Pressure from Europeans to lift sanctions played some role, perhaps an important one, in the Obama administration's deal with the mullahs. Read the linked story to get a sense of that pressure.

Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Guard jealously guards its loot, to the point of tossing foreign business people in the clink. Who could have seen that coming? Well, not the American guy, who should have realized he was the rube and that Iran had no reason to make an example of Europeans, because there is no need for leverage over Europeans. Their own mercantilism is leverage enough.

Lenin's prediction was wrong, of course, as a matter of historical dialectic. It is easy to see his error, though, because the sort of capitalists he imagined as the norm -- more Orren Boyle than Hank Rearden -- subvert government to their purpose every day.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some Late Debate Thoughts

Sorry friends, had a long day that started early.  But I did want to get a few thoughts down tonight before I go to bed.

First, the debate last night was a three ring circus--the moderators were immoderate, and the candidates were swinging for the fences at the chance to knock the liberal media. Clearly, the clowns from CNBC deserved it (who watches this channel?)  But just as clearly, we need to understand that this is the playing field we (conservatives) have to negotiate.  The media is liberal, and they are going to pull crap like this.

BUT--we don't have to enable it. I put most of the blame for last night squarely on the Republican National Committee.  It strikes me as ludicrous to think that we couldn't hold our own, Party sponsored debates with moderators that we select.  The TV stations would crawl over broken glass to show them.  Instead, we allow clowns from NBC to pull the crap they pulled last night.

Second, I want debates to happen without audiences. Although my boy (Marco Rubio--donate today!)  seems to get a lot of audience love--I just find the cheering (and jeering) to be unseemly.  Additionally, I have a few new rules I'd like to see implemented:

1.  Moderators ask a question.  Then they must remain silent for the next 90 seconds while the respondent answers.

2.  Respondent has 90 seconds to answer. At the end of the 90 seconds, the microphone goes dead.

3.  If the respondent mentions anyone else on stage by name or strong inference, those candidates get 60 seconds of followup.  Again, microphones go dead at the end of time.

Lets face it friends, Marco won the debate. Again.

Ted Cruz did wonderfully also.  As did Chris Christie.  He who shall not be named was quiet, but body slammed Kasich when he went on the attack.

Ben Carson was his usual smooth self--but he was not telling the truth on the supplement company he represented. We'll see if this bites at him.

Carly did fine, but not great.

Rand was flat.

Jeb was a disaster.

Huckabee does not belong there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Where Are You Now Klaus Fuchs?

So, if I understand the message our ever so diligent media is trying to advance, Mr. Trump's numbers are falling faster than my GPA at TIT (Tickbite Institute of Technology) after the well known Acarina Dorm incident (I actually had nothing to do with it but my pickup WAS used to transport the livestock, so I got blamed). Anyway, no sense in rehashing the past, let's move on.

The most recent polls in Iowa show Dr. Ben moving in front, which could be true. But just as sure as when spring arrives CW will break out all the Barber Shop Quartet gear, the NATIONAL polls started showing Trump falling behind. Wow, didn't see that one coming...NOT!

Here's the deal, the last two guys to win Iowa were Huckabee in '08 and and Santorum in '12, both prominent social conservatives as is Carson (evidently farmers trend toward paleoconservatism). So again the Iowa numbers could be right, but this big a drop this fast on the national level? I'm sorry, I have to call bullshit. I suspect it's just good old network push-polling.

Here's what I think. I think BOTH establishments from BOTH political parties are beside themselves trying to deal with Trump. Just look at CW, he's acting like an entitled child (sorry CW, but it's true). The Republicrats have common cause and they've thrown everything humanly possible at The Donald and although they're slow to come around, they've finally realized the frontal attacks have not worked (not the sharpest knives in the drawer our Republican consultants). But up until a few days ago they hadn't gotten around to the fake polls (which I predicted would happen several months ago). Apparently now is the right time what with the desperation level close to the suicide range (see Jeb crying to mama and daddy and big brother). I surmise the establishment thinking is this; let's take Trump down with another outsider candidate, one that's a little more susceptible to our underhanded political machinations. In other words use Carson to kill Trump and then kill Carson.

Well let's see if it works, but I got news for our Republican inside the beltway boobs. The immigration issue ain't going nowhere. You and your money guys might end up getting your way, but only because Democrats pushed through "immigration reform" because your ass will be out of a job. Let's see how many tears the Chamber of Commerce shed at your demise for selling out the American worker. Furthermore chew on this, people may use traitors, but when they're done they're just as disgusted by them as the people they betrayed. Such is the lot of John Boehner.

Gentlemen it's a new day, adapt or die. You guys are all about compromise except when it come to your own conservatives (social and fiscal). I and millions upon millions of true conservative voters see no difference whatsoever between Boehner/Ryan and Nancy Pelosi. So why would we even bother voting?

On Going Galt

A friend of mine sent this along the other day and asked me to consider publishing it here on the blog. I do so with pleasure:

I had a eureka moment a week ago. Nothing to do with the displacement of water in the bathtub, but just as significant.

A month or so ago I received my estimate of benefits from Social Security that comes every year a couple of months prior to my birthday. While I realize Social Security is in trouble and can't be counted on, the estimates of what I may receive as a supplement to my income upon retirement were encouraging. But I have always taken them with a grain of salt because I figured they were based on earning until retirement, the same amount that I do now. Based on my age and my industry, that's a pretty slim chance.

Playing around on the Social Security website one night, I was able to plug in my particulars, including a scenario that I lose my job and end up working for $10 an hour until I retire. I was surprised to see that the projected monthly payouts in that case were not significantly different than what was originally supplied to me. I even entered a scenario in which I didn't work another day in my life until collecting and was surprised to see that the results were not far off the $10/hour scenario.

Going to the Mutual of Omaha page and using their financial calculator, I was able to enter the amount of savings we hold, a projected monthly payout from our savings, and an expected return on our investments, which I entered as a very conservative 2%.

I was surprised and quite pleased to see that if my wife and I both quit work today, we could live a very comfortable 20 to 30 years, depending on our monthly withdrawals. Adding in different retirement age scenarios and the monthly income we would expect from Social Security, well, we could enjoy the lifetime retirement security usually reserved for New Jersey schoolteachers or retired federal GS-15 employees.

But while the teachers and federal hacks can retire in their mid 50s and enjoy healthcare for life, us working stiffs don't get so lucky. It was going to be hard to convince the wife to keep working in order to get the healthcare benefits until we could sign up for Medicare.

That is when it occurred to me. What could I get from Obamacare? I went to that site and discovered that silver level premiums for me and the wifey would run about $1100/month. And by balancing our monthly withdrawals between our traditional retirement accounts (401ks and IRAs) and regular savings and mutual fund accounts, we could show an income level on our income tax returns that would enable us to have about $950 of the Obamacare premium paid by the government.

That moment was a cross between William Wallace shouting "FREEDOM" at the top of his lungs and Dr Martin Luther King's "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last" comment.

Financially, I am at peace. I no longer have to toil alongside the other 53% of the makers, when I can coast with my new brethren, the 47% of the takers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Hammer's College Football Review: Week 8

Thanks a lot asshole!
Has there ever been a team in the history of football that had such hard luck on last second field goal attempts? Well FSU added yet another to the annals of infamy when a good but underachieving Georgia Tech squad blocked one and ran it back for six. Jimbo's ticket to the playoff just got lost in the mail. Tough break, I guess the Clemson game ain't gonna be that big after all.

Speaking of Clemson, I'm not sure if they're that good or Miami is that bad. Clemson went down to whatever that friggin' stadium is that replaced the Orange Bowl and beat those guys like a dog. This ain't "The U" of old obviously. Remember Warren Sapp, Bennie Blades, Michael Irvin and the quarterbacks...all those great quarterbacks? I know I know, they were thugs and had they not been football players they would have been dealing and robbing and killing in Liberty City. We can all agree on that. But when they were good, man they were off the charts good. What I liked about those teams was they didn't give a shit. It was all in your face and if you didn't like it then do something about it, otherwise STFU. Now? Well, let's be kind and just say the culture has changed.
'87 Miami • '05 Miami

Out west #3 Utah went down to Southern Cal. I really had no idea if these guys were for real or not, apparently not. Tennessee played Bama tough but lost late. Look, Tennessee is not a bad football team. Look for them next year to return to glory. Stanford won again as did Baylor (but lost their quarterback). OSU, Michigan State and LSU all won. Really no other games of national significance.

Now, lets talk some more ACC. The Wolfpack finally got a win and I'm gonna enjoy it, we get Clemson next week. But the game I was really interested in was UVA at Carolina. The Wahoos showed a little life last week and I thought they had a good shot at the Heels in Kenan yesterday. But it was not to be. The thing is Fedora has himself a damn good football team. They can score and their defense, as opposed to last year's, is outstanding. They get Pitt next week on the road and the week after Duke at home. If they can get past those teams then they'll be knocking on the top ten door. Shame they don't play Clemson or FSU this year.

That's all I got. On a personal note I've been trying to lose a little tonnage. I won't bore you with weekly updates as does somebody we all know, but suffice to say I'm a little fatigued and mentally a little slow (well slower than usual). Plus my Yankee neighbor decided he doesn't like pine trees so he's taking them all down and BURNING them in his backyard. So if it isn't chainsaw screaming at 130 db at eight in the morning, it's so smokey I feel like I'm in 1944 Wilhelmshaven. He's bitching about pine straw everywhere. I told him to get some gutter helmets but just like a Goddamn Yankee bastard he won't listen. What a dick! I hope a tree falls on his house.  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The forbidden question: What is the number?

In the rich Western democracies, there is a question that only right-wing people with little regard for cocktail party invitations are willing to ask. Fortunately, in this regard, your blogger is just such a person!

Under what circumstances should rich countries admit poor foreigners, and how many poor foreigners should rich countries admit under those circumstances?
In Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is doing the dirty work the chattering classes will not do:
“We are in deep trouble”, Orban intoned. “This is an uncontrolled and unregulated process. We did not get authorisation from [our citizens] for millions to walk into our continent.” He accused left-leaning parties of “importing future leftist voters to Europe” while trying to “hide it behind humanism.” “The German, Hungarian or Austrian way of life is not a basic right of all people on earth,” he continued. “It is only a right for those people who have contributed to it.”
Critics will respond by attacking Orban, who is not the least unsavory dude in the world, on other grounds, but that does not make him wrong about Europe's migrant crisis, which is turning in to an existential moment for the European project. Compare his undeniably true statement with Angela Merkel's wishful thinking, in flagging defense of Germany's open borders policy: “For a rich European Union this is the right thing to do. We cannot simply leave these people to our neighbors.”

To which one might reply, how many millions of poor people should Europe let in as the Arab Muslim world once again makes Thomas Hobbes look like a romantic?

Europeans, whether nativist or nationalist or neither, are entitled to know from their leaders what the limits are. How many poor immigrants, whether or not refugees, can Europe admit without taking too much damage to its own culture, civic society, and economy? This is the question that European voters must demand their leaders to answer.

The same is true in the United States. What is the number of immigrants we should admit every year, whether by design or by default? Let us have that discussion in the open, and then build a policy to respond to it. Because without the number, all immigration policies, whether springing from right-wing nativism or transnational progressivism or something in between, are rooted in ideology instead of an objective, and are therefore doomed to fail.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Too Many Questions, Not Enough Politics

Opening statement by Chairman Trey Gowdy:
Madame Secretary, I understand some people - frankly in both parties -have suggested this investigation is about you.  Let me assure you it is not.  And let me assure you why it is not.  This work is about something much more important than any single person.  It is about four U.S. government workers, including our Ambassador, murdered by terrorists on foreign soil.  It is about what happened before, during, and after the attacks that killed these four men.  It is about what this country owes those who risk their lives to serve it.  It is about the fundamental obligation of our government to tell the truth - always - to the American people.  Not a single member of this Committee signed up for an investigation into you or your email system.  We signed up because we wanted to honor the service and sacrifice of 4 people sent to a foreign land to represent us - who were killed - and do everything we can to prevent it from happening to others. 

What he should have said:
Madame Secretary, I understand some people - frankly in both parties -have suggested this investigation is about you.  Let me assure you that is not entirely true. This investigation is partially about you and your fitness to lead our country as President of the United States. That reality cannot be ignored. It is also about a Secretary of State who stands over the bodies of four dead Americans, looks their families in the eye and knowingly lies about the circumstances of their death. It is about maintaining this lie in the service of a President facing reelection when the American people had a right to know the truth. It is about the fundamental obligation of our government and our government officials to tell the truth - always - to the American people. It is about YOUR obligation to tell them the truth. It is about what this country owes those who risk their lives to serve it. Not a single member of this Committee signed up for an investigation into you or your email system. We signed up because we wanted to honor the service and sacrifice of 4 people sent to a foreign land to represent us - who were killed - and do everything we can to prevent it from happening to others. It is about the role you played in their deaths and the lies and misdirections about their deaths. So admittedly, this investigation is in part political as were YOUR ACTIONS in this whole sordid affair. In order to honor the dead and give closure to their families, the American people need to know who you are and who you aren't. Your testimony today, we can all hope will go a long way in determining that. Regardless, you will not be judged by this committee but by the American people. I strongly encourage you to be truthful and forthcoming. 

On the Benghazi Hearing

I had one of those "JFK/Nixon Debate" moments yesterday, as I happened to be driving as the Benghazi hearing got off to a start.  I listened to Chairman Gowdy's remarks, then Ranking Member Cummings', and then finally Secretary Clinton.  As I sat there, I was very impressed by her calm, her measure, and her command of the (albeit skewed) facts.  During the course of the day, I had other opportunities to nip and and listen, and while the entire proceeding did not redound to the benefit of representative government, there were moments that seemed to redeem its conduct.

First--Mrs. Clinton did what she had to do, and more. She was presidential. She didn't lose her temper. If one is a Hillary supporter, one has much to be joyous about today.

But to be a Hillary supporter requires what she Herself referred to once as a "willing suspension of disbelief", or at least a very low regard for truth and honesty.  Let me sum up some rather general thoughts I have about all this.

1.  There was insufficient security provided to the diplomats and others we had on the ground in Benghazi. The requests to beef it up were not acted upon in a timely manner, due partially to bureaucratic inaction and partly to a matter of available resources.  This conclusion has been repeated reached by every group that has looked into this matter.

2.  On the 2012 anniversary of the September 11 attacks, our diplomatic mission in Benghazi came under attack.  This, on a day where there were other uprisings in the Islamic world.  On this very night at the highest levels of the Obama Administration, there was knowledge and near certainty that this attack was 1) planned and 2) carried out by an Al Qaeda affiliated organization.  Secretary Clinton confirmed this in an email that she sent that night to a non-State Department person (her daughter) on her non-State Department email account housed on a non-State Department Server located in the bathroom of her non-State Department residence in New York.  None of the previous "investigative" panels had access to this communication.

3. On September 12, Hillary Clinton told the Egyptian Prime Minister in a phone call "“We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack -- not a protest.”.  We know this now because it was contained in an email readout of the text of the call having been recorded for posterity on the non-State Department email account housed on a non-State Department server located in the bathroom of her non-State Department residence in New York.  None of the previous "investigative" panels had access to this communication. Oh--did I mention that Mrs. Clinton attempted to "wipe" the server on which all of this "private" communication was located?

4.  In Washington at this time (11-12 September), there was likely a very understandable level of chaos and a huge amount of information coming in that needed to be sifted through. The one explanation for the attack that the Obama team could not countenance was that it was a planned terror attack carried out by Al Qaeda.  This is because they were in the endgame of a political campaign in which "Osama Bin Laden was dead and GM was alive".  A central narrative was their contention that Mr. Obama's leadership had moved us beyond the war on terror by removing the Al Qaeda threat. And while the evidence pointed to this explanation, and while the Secretary of State was privately telling the Egyptian Prime Minister that it was Al Qaeda and while the Secretary of State was privately telling her daughter that it was "an Al Qaed-like" organization--they chose to publicly state that a video tape had inflamed a crowd and incited it to this attack. They maintained this public story for many days, including a Sunday trip by Susan Rice to five separate new programs in which she made this public claim--a claim which was in real -time disputed by members of the State Department's Near East Bureau.  This clear evidence of a cover-up came to light as a result of "private" email correspondence that the Secretary of State tried to destroy from her non-State Department email housed on a non-State Department server located in the bathroom of her non-State Department residence in New York.  None of the previous investigative panels had access to this communication.

Now for some thoughts on the people on the other side of this issue.

1.  I have a brilliant and articulate friend who thinks the Republicans are just plain crazy for the degree to which they have investigated this.  He thinks it is a sign of the degree to which we have become politically deranged.  What I cannot convince him of is the importance of the degree to which the Obama team turned a stunning tragedy into a political situation--that because of their fear of a "September Surprise", they perpetrated a public cover-up that blatantly lied to the American people.  This is worth investigating and worth raising.

2.  I have another friend, a partisan Democrat, who is father to a number of beautiful young children. He is a huge Hillary booster and isn't quiet about it. I realize that I am being a very small-minded man, but I find myself wishing upon a star that one of his children grows though adolescence with Hillary's talents for lying and truth shading, and that he suffers the Karmic retribution due his acceptance of such a low bar of honesty.

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, shipmate? Your hopes for a free ride to the Presidency end with a ghoul-show of a hearing yesterday?  Your 49ers not looking like the team of old?

Let is all hang out.  Right here!

Weighed in today at 156.4.  My last measurement before the New Orleans trip and the Green Bay trip was 154.6.  Less than 2 lbs gained after gluttony on an embarrassing scale.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Enemies List

Enemies lists seem to be making a comeback. Back in my youth the revelation that Richard Nixon had an enemies list was BIG news! My God how could he? Why it's outrageous that a President of the United States would have a list of political enemies. By golly criticism is at the heart of our democracy and the idea that Nixon would actually target journalists, academics etc. for IRS audits (and worse) is depraved and immoral. Yes well times change and when the shoe was on the other foot in recent years (Lois Lerner) our ever diligent press wasn't nearly so offended.

Why just the other day Hillary was asked who she considered her "enemies". She was surprisingly candid (feeling the rush of Bernie's tongue up her ass no doubt) citing the NRA, drug companies, health insurers and of course Republicans. That's ok, that's who she is and I appreciate her honestly (enjoy it while you can, it doesn't happen often). Besides, the idea that a big-time politician WOULDN'T have an enemies list is a little naive in my estimation.

So, in  the spirit of pissing off as many people as I can in the shortest time possible, I present The Hammer's enemies list for your perusal. If you don't like it or disagree, feel free to pencil in your name at the bottom.

1. The Democratic Party: This ain't your daddy's Democrats I can tell you. Not so very long ago the Dems claimed to be the party of the "working man". Their target was the union worker, the struggling family with a mortgage, two kids in community college and an AMC Hornet parked out front of their Bronx or Charlestown bungalow. Not so anymore. Their constituents these days are just about any and every special interest that can write a check, most especially Wall Street and the ultra-wealthy like George Soros, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. Now granted, most billionaires hedge their bets and give to both parties, but not this bunch. They give (with rare exceptions) almost exclusively to Democrats and Democrat causes. It's been proven that Soros has created a "shadow party" by bundling and funneling like minded billionaire's money into all sorts of nefarious political activities. The fact is Soros and his minions set the table and every Democrat politician eats off it, and as they say there are no free lunches. These guys expect (and get) quid pro quo.

2. "Establishment" Republicans: It breaks my heart to count any Republican as an enemy, but there it is. I well understand that any two individuals can and will disagree and I would hope the Republican Party is a big enough tent to accommodate a variety of views (unlike the Democrats who have purged their moderates/conservatives). But the trend lately with Boehner and McConnell's "top down" approach to governing, the ignoring and/or downright hostility towards the more conservative wing of the party and their candidates (I won't mention Cucinelli again...oh shit, I just did) leads me to believe we are not wanted and are not welcome. I may disagree strongly with the direction and leadership of today's Republican Party, but I still support them. All I ask is they reciprocate. I hope they soon come to their senses and stop this game of political chicken. Donald Trump, which the establishment hates with a passion, is just a manifestation of the frustration that is presently overwhelming the party. To be successful and get this country back on track we need each other, and if the Paul Ryans of the party don't comes to terms with that fact then we are dead as a political force. Ryan should keep that in mind the next time Reid or Pelosi talk about what a great guy he is.

3. Education Establishment: In George Orwell's great fable Animal Farm you will please recall Napoleon took over the upbringing of Jessie's puppies resulting in Snowball barely escaping with his life. Now I know this was a metaphor for Stalin's purges of the military, the exile of Trotsky etc. but I think also about education. It requires no explanation to know that if education is controlled then eventually the country will be controlled. For example the gay "marriage" issue. Hillary Clinton was adamantly opposed to it as a Senator. Her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act. But all of a sudden "marriage equality" is part of her platform. Now obviously she's a pandering bitch but even still, how did attitudes change so quickly? Could it be that big Hollywood gays like David Geffen tied their considerable donations (and entertainment propaganda) to liberal establishment attitudes towards gay marriage? Could it be that this newthink was made known to teachers and professors who consequently taught their charges "tolerance not bigotry"? Just paranoia on my part? Maybe, but there are no coincidences when it comes to leftists. Everything happens for a reason.

4. Big Media: I guess I should count my blessings as we do have a small (relatively speaking) but vibrant conservative media especially when compared to other countries where even mild criticism of say Islam will land you in court. Nevertheless the vast majority of our news, opinion, propaganda (for lack of a better word) are all left of center. I always found it interesting that the big media companies are just that, big companies. Why would they be advancing a leftist agenda? Simple, they get goodies (see #1).
For the life of me I never understood why conservatives don't treat the media as what they are, a wing of the Democratic Party. When George Bush gave Dan Rather the business in 1988 he solidified his support among MY wing of the party which resulted in Rather carrying around a huge boner for the Bushs which eventually clouded his judgement and got him fired. Now he's considered just a crazy old fart chasing windmills with the likes of Robert Redford who just pissed away millions on a film everybody is laughing at, even liberals. See how this works? Be smart and aggressive and good things happen.

5. Big Labor: Remember when unions looked out for union members? Now the only viable unions are GOVERNMENT unions which are no more than money laundering schemes for leftist politicians. Look, I am not opposed to unions. What I am opposed to is FORCED unionization. Freedom means being able to join a union or not, but it should never be a condition of employment. Plus just look at the unions these days. They are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party which is owned by the big money guys. Why do you think big labor stood idly by and allowed Democrats to institute all these trade deals that have decimated (at least) their membership? Hell I think the old Soviet unions had more autonomy, certainly no less. Tell you what, when Richard Trumka issues a full and complete financial statement like Romney was forced to do last election then maybe I'll reconsider, but I don't think so. It's all one big club these days. Besides, there are no jobs so what's the diff?

6. Government: By government I mean the bureaucracy and the thousands upon thousands of porn surfing, layabout, shiftless, corrupt, mindless busybodies and petty dictators who populate Washington, DC and every federal building in every hamlet, town and city in these United States. At least half are parasites on the ass of humanity deserving of not one more cent of our money nor one more second of our time. We need to do as Mao did when the bureaucracy got out of control. Of course our Cultural Revolution shouldn't involve killing millions. Well at least not at the moment but hey, I open to suggestions.

7. Race Hustlers: The "Reverends" Sharpton, Jackson, Barber et al. These guys bear as much resemblance to a man of God as I do to Brad Pitt. They are rabble rousing, attention seeking extortionists, no more no less. If the left weren't so interested in manipulating the hopelessly ignorant dependent class these guys wouldn't get the time of day.

8. Illegals: What can I say, they are our undoing. I cannot stress enough that uncontrolled immigration is the most dire threat we face as a country. It is a cancer, and right now we are in stage four. I talk to "normal" Republicans all the time and they just don't get it. If we don't get immigration under control we will go the way of California where there is not one state wide elected Republican...NOT ONE! So all these "conservative" issues you worry about won't mean a thing if we continue to be the toilet seat of the world where every country on earth can just flush their indigent, their criminals and their disturbed. In fact it may already be too late so just grab what you can, the boat is sinking, which seems to be the attitude of our establishment. Maybe they know something I don't. I just don't see the logic in bringing in millions of people who statistically speaking will most likely be on welfare (with their granny collecting social security despite having never put one penny into the system).
Good Lord I'm just wasting my breath. What's a little issue like this when compared to "party unity"? Must be a good Republican don't you know. Can't get everything we want. To get along you go along. Don't worry about it, what's good for the Chamber of Commerce is good for America. By the way, nice iPhone. Where was that made?

Well that's the short list. I'm so glad I got this one out there because in five years if things don't change I will very likely be arrested for writing things like this. Yeah I know, I'm full of shit on that too. Well I hope you're right, but we'll see.

On the creation of wealth

Facebook's "on this day" feature occasionally pops up something interesting, at least for power users such as your blogger. Five years ago yesterday we posted this video on the eponymous blog. It is well worth your time, especially to remind you in these crazy years that politicians who say that they create jobs or wealth are, well, idiots.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wisconsin Wrap-Up and Onto Newport

I am sitting in a Newport RI hotel (more on this later), and I realize that I have left my readers collectively hanging, sometime on Saturday afternoon in Green Bay, WI.  So now, back to the story.

Dan--in his game rig--and me.
We arrived late in the afternoon Saturday at a nice Hampton Inn in Green Bay and immediately decided to rest for a bit before heading out to dinner.  We met down in the lobby after I took a bit of a nap, and gathered just in time to see the end of the Michigan, Michigan State game.  I was pulling for
Michigan--and felt really bad for that punter after the game.

We headed a few blocks away to the Republic Chophouse, where I had an awesome 14oz. Ribeye and far too many dinner rolls. I have long labored under the perhaps misconception that midwestern women are somewhat larger than their sisters elsewhere.  Judging from the staff and the clientele at this place though, there is little evidence to backup my longstanding prejudice. Our waitress was a fetching lass of about 23 or so, who it turns out, has the same last name as me.

After dinner, we headed over to Kroll's, a famous spot across the street from Lambeau, where Dan and his dad Tim mad friends with the Ohio State folks across the bar.  We didn't stay too late and instead headed to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Sunday dawned bright and crisp, but the forecast was for a relatively balmy 54 degrees F at game time 3:30 local.  We rallied at 0800 and headed off to a local diner for a wonderful breakfast, and then to a gigantic storehouse of Packer paraphernalia.  Tim bought me a hat and gave it to me upon arrival at his house on Friday, and so I figured that was enough Packers gear for me.  I did wear my University of California sweatshirt, as it is Aaron Roger's alma mater.
The Packer Shrine at the house where we parked. Year round shrine.

A quick trip back to the hotel was followed then by our drive to the stadium at about 1100.  We
parked across the street from the stadium in the driveway of a friend of Tim's from the dental supply industry. Lambeau sits right next to extensive residential neighborhoods, and the people there charge people to park in their driveways and on their lawns, but in a twist that reinforces the elemental goodness of Wisconsinites, this generally entitles the parkers to use of the residence's bathroom.  Since we were parking at a friend's, we stayed and had a few pregame libations and passed some time, before heading back to Kroll's where there was a band playing and Packer fans were getting their pre-game on.

It was here that I experienced two foods--first was a Kroll's cheeseburger--recommended highly by my oldest brother--and while it was good, it was still just a cheeseburger. Then I tried a Wisconsin delicacy--Cheese Curds--which are sorta like mozzarella sticks/balls, except they don't taste as good.  I know Big Fred won't be happy to hear it, but Cheese Curds are dramatically over-rated.

Best seats I've had at any event. Ever 
We got to our seats about an hour before the game started and just sorta watched all the stuff that goes on the field before a game--mostly kickers and punters practicing, and then the teams come out for some warmups which look like these huge, choreographed stage shows starring freakishly large human beings  Our seats were the best seats I've ever had as a spectator at any sporting event. Ever. In addition to watching what turned out to be a phenomenal game that came down to a great defensive play on the goal-line with two seconds on the clock, I spent much of the game just watching what it was that Aaron Rogers did to pass the time between offensive plays. Who did he talk with? Did he shuck and jive?  Was he nervy?  I felt like an anthropologist. I found it very interesting that when he comes off the field from an offensive series, he is met by a middle aged coachlike fellow who patiently waits for Rogers to doff his helmet, before exchanging it with a ball-cap and a towel to go around his neck. Every single time. I was unaware of any other player receiving such service/treatment, but I guess that's what you rate when you are Aaron Rogers.
Dan, Me, and Tim at the game

After the game, we headed back to where our car was parked--where I downed a Brat and a Burger
and some potato salad while we relived the great Packer moments on the field that day.  After an appropriate amount of time for the traffic to die--we headed back to the hotel to await our 0230 Monday morning wakeups to get General Dan and I on our way.  We had to drive 2 hours or so to Milwaukee, fly to Baltimore, and then he had to fly onto Huntsville, AL and me to Newport RI.

Some closing thoughts?

  • There is a huge culture of people who follow their NFL teams around the country--I saw evidence of this both from the number of Charger fans in Green Bay and the number of Patriot fans I saw making their way back to New England this morning.
  • I may have watched my last pro game in person.  I far prefer to watch the pro game on TV, and I cannot see myself going to another pro game in person unless I had to be there for work or something of the sort.  Unless of course, General Dan suggests we go to another warm weather Packers game.  
  • There is something worth understanding going on in the State of Wisconsin.  Hear me out.  The Governor has made his bones as a reformer who went after public sector unions.  He also presided over a state with a growing economy.  He also is Governor of a state with a great deal of private sector unionization.  And he is also the Governor of a state with a TON of manufacturing, if the scores of businesses I saw along one stretch of highway  was to be believed.  My point is, capital and labor appear to be living in a relatively symbiotic arrangement there--and Illinois businesses are heading north every day.  Additionally, the state has a very good public school system, and its state universities are superb institutions.  Yes. There is something good happening in Wisconsin.
Enough for now. In Newport for a few days of Navy.  Be well.
"Hillary Clinton attracts a rarity on the campaign trail — an overwhelmingly female press corps" Politico


the state of being diverse; variety.
a range of different things
synonyms: variety, miscellany, assortment, mixture, mix, melange, range, array, multiplicity

liberal di·ver·si·ty
the absence of white, heterosexual males
synonyms: inflexible, rigid, unbending, unchanging, fossilized

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Hammer's College Football Review: Week 7, Ventricular Arrhythmias Edition

So, sitting in my three thousand dollar leather lounge chair (with the matching ottoman), sipping on a 15 year old Macallan single malt scotch, waiting for the Michigan/Mich St. game to conclude so they can put on the LSU/Flawda game (which was cooking!)...and, well the rest is history. What can I say, tough day in Ann Arbor. Big Blue played well enough to win, and should have won, but shit happens. These are kids and college kids screw up. Plus, it's just a game. This ain't your buddy stepping on a mine in a rice paddy or catching an IUD in Iraq. This is supposed to be fun even when your team screws the pooch. This was a GREAT game with a GREAT finish played by two GREAT teams. It was football porn! Just relax and enjoy it.

Ok, on to further action. Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way, CW's Wahoos played a helluva game yesterday finally putting away a stubborn Syracuse squad in 3 overtimes. I saw not one second of this game but reading the box score it looks like it was a barnburner. UVA scored 10 points in the 4th quarter and hung in during extra time. Looks like they showed a little toughness (for a change). Anyway, well done CW. Shame you weren't at the game being as THEY FINALLY WON ONE! 

While we're on the subject in other ACC action Clemson kicked BC ass in Death Valley remaining undefeated just like FSU which outmanned Lewisville in Doak Campbell. Can't wait for that matchup (11/7). The winner could, might, possibly be in the playoff (hey, it's POSSIBLE!). 
Ga. Tech has been a disappointment at 2-5 and no league wins, the Big East bastard child Pitt is looking good with one loss and Carolina is 5-1 with their only loss being South Carolina first game. I'll bet they wish they had that one back. 

Speaking of South Carolina the "Old Ball Coach" Steve Spurrier hung it up this week. I think he just had had enough. This year's team sucked and the prospect of rebuilding was just too much to contemplate. He got the Cocks competitive but he never could get 'em over the hump. The whole Spurrier South Carolina thing never did make a lot of sense anyway. Why? He had a good thing going in Gainesville. Good location, a top tier football school, he's a Florida guy through and through (Heisman 1966) so just WTF was he doing in Columbia, South Carolina? 

Ok let's move on. #18 UCLA is about to be #41 UCLA losing to #15 Stanford, which seems to be the cream of the West. Houston is undefeated and moving up, they killed Tulane which of course don't mean shit. Ohio State is still winning but that two quarterback thing rarely works. They've got Michigan State in the Shoe and Michigan in the Big House their last two games so we'll see. Utah is still rolling, LSU got past Flawda at home with a nice trick play and Ole Miss lost to Memphis (Good Grief!). Iowa is looking REAL good, they thumped Northwestern 40-10. Baylor and TCU are rolling along.  

In Ivy action (I know, I know, stop laughing) the undefeated Princeton Tigers ruined their perfect record losing to the mighty Brown Bears (Bears uh? Never knew that) in that hotbed of college football Providence, Rhode Island (Why is it an "island"? It's not a island! Goddamn Yankees, whatta ya gonna do? What it is is a shit-hole thank you very much.). Anyway a guy named Johnny Pena (sounds like a Cuban lounge singer) scored with 57 seconds on the clock to pull out the win at Brown (of course) Stadium. Tough break Princeton. Dartmouth and Haaaarvard both currently undefeated top the league standings and Princeton gets Haaaarvard next week in Cambridge and Dartmouth (somewhere in New Hampshire) last game, you know, before it's all over and the bowl bids go out. Ha Haaaaaaaa! Just kidding. Those Ivy League pussies couldn't beat Fayetteville 71st High School on their best day, and I ain't even kidding. There it is.

Well that's all I got now hit the bricks, I'm sick of looking at you. 

A Quick Sunday Morning Hit from the Hotel...

I had to hurry through the last post (sorry for the typos), as I had to get a shower and meet Dan and
his Dad to go to breakfast.  We've been off to that and to some souvenir shopping, and we've got a brief thirty minutes at the hotel before we leave for the day.  Dan and his father are hoping that whatever crawled in me and died is finally expelled during this time, but I fear they will suffer for a good bit more of this day.

I want to describe The Hartland Inn a bit more, where we had dinner on Friday night.  One of Dan's sisters (Liz, frequent reader of this blog and a solid Republican) asked me when we were finished dinner and on the way out what my observations were.  As I craned around to do a final omindirectional scan, I concluded one thing.  With the exception of a sole flat screen TV, there was no other physical evidence that the past 50 years had even happened.  Truth be told, it could be more like 75.  It was the place that time forgot.  I am told many of these supper clubs are just like it.

After the Hartland Inn experience, we met up with Dad (Tim) and Linda, who couldn't be with us at dinner because he was committed to his men's golf group banquet dinner, where he is apparently a big cheese(head) and an avid golfer.  Across the street from where they were meeting was a little dive bar that reminded me of the bar where a good bit of the action in the movie "The Deer Hunter" occurs, except again for the five or six flat screens.  We were there for a few hours, and members of Tim's men's club young and old would come forward to greet Dan, the conquering Hartland hero.  Hartland is a place where it seems to me, unless you have a damn good reason to leave, the wise move is to stay.  Dan obviously had good reasons to leave, but it is clear this place tugs at it should.

We headed back to Tim and Linda's place some time after 11, where Dan and I had a set of twin beds for the night. Having warned Dan that I would not be available for spooning, we headed off to sleep, or at least that was the plan. I put my earplugs deeply into my ears and my mask on, and headed off to slumberland, only to be awakened by both aural and seismic activity ushering forth from Dan's respiratory system, as he metronomically snored with a passion and volume that I had never heard before. Remember, I had ear plugs in.  There was no hope that I would be able to sleep there, so I grabbed my blankets and decamped to the couch in the den, where I was able to grab a few hours of shuteye.

We spent much of Saturday morning sitting in the kitchen meeting discussing the news of the world as various elements of Dan's family passed through. One vignette is worth sharing.  Have you ever seen the movie "Tin Men" with Danny Devito and Richard Dreyfuss?  It is one of the all time funny, great movies--about aluminum siding salesmen in Baltimore in the early 60's/late 50's--complete with some spot-on Baltimore accents.  Well, Dan's dad spent a career in dental supply sales, and Dan's brother in law Steve is in a similar business today. Listening to the two of them swap stories about trade shows and sales calls and great triumphs of marketing and the personalities in the business and ... well you get it...I found myself thinking that I had been dropped into the Tin Men movie--except these were "Tooth Men".  It was really interesting and fun to listen to--Tim Karbler has great stories full of mythical midwestern heroes of the dental business, including the man with the patent on the pneumatic lift for the chair, and the guy who filled a helium balloon full of fifty one-dollar bills and exploded it over his booth at a trade show.

After a bit, we packed up for Green Bay, about two hours north, but first we would lunch with an old shipmate of mine from the THOMAS S. GATES--Steve Hampton. Hambone was my boss on that ship and we have remained fast friends ever since. He lives here now, having spent his first fifteen years growing up essentially down the street from where Dan grew up.  They went to rival high schools, but their knowledge of the area maps closely.  We met at an Applebees (mistake, my steak was a weak effort), but the conversation was good and it was great to see Steve again.  He's with GE healthcare, and he and his bride have downsized apparently after his two girls have moved out onto their own into a place twice the size of what he left in Virginia.

Lunch ended, we began the trek to Green Bay, which included the stop discussed in the last post in Theresa (terr-essa) and the Widmer Cheese works.  Autumn is in full bloom here, and the colors are astounding.  Lots of rolling hills, lots of geese and ducks, a hunting and fishing paradise wherever you look.

I could really like living here....if it weren't for the winters.  More later.

Dispatch from the Road: Wisconsin Wonderland

Professional football is one of my least favorite sports to watch in person. The couch is always more comfortable than one's seat. the replays and angles guarantee you don't miss anything, and there are very rarely drunk people vomiting in the ManCave as I watch the game. Yet I have always wanted to come to the Sistine Chapel of football stadiums--Lambeau Field--to take in a Packers game.  Over the summer, General Dan and I both turned 50.  He wasn't able to make it to my 50th Birthday Party because of his travel schedule, so instead we dreamed up this little Boy's Weekend to his ancestral homeland--Mighty Wisconsin--to take in a game.  This explains the title of today's post.

We left Friday from BWI with opposing aisle seats on the way to Milwaukee. Of note, a blind passenger sat behind me, an elderly man accompanied by two older women. As he approached their row, one of the women asked him if he wanted to window seat. I almost chuckled out loud, and Dan texted me in seconds his own joy at the statement.

We arrived in Milwaukee to an airport that was clogged with people already wearing their Packers gear for the game two days later.  We grabbed our rental and were on our way, a thirty minute drive to the town of Hartland (I kid you not--you simply can't get more midwestern stereotyped), where Dan grew up and where his Dad and two of three sisters still live (the third sister lives a few towns over, Mom has passed away, and Dad has remarried the lovely Linda).  Dan claimed to have a "special lunch" planned for us, and while I am always happy for special things, my hunger was driving me to suggest pulling into the first fast food joint we saw.  Instead, we pulled up to what looked to be a small, independent coffee shop in Hartland. Having no clue why were were there, I got out of the car and walked to the door, assuming that Dan understood the requirement to feed the beast, and to do so with some alacrity.

As soon as I walked in the door and saw the proprietress, it all came to me. A high school classmate and Facebook pal Joan had come to live in Hartland and opened a coffee shop some nine years ago. The magic of Facebook brought she and Dan together and they conspired to bring us together for lunch. It was great to see Joan, as her last reunion (5) was the only one I've missed since we graduated high school 32 years ago.

Joan was a classic high school story. Tall--or at least taller than I (not saying much), she was painfully shy and quiet, ridiculously smart, and almost invisible--to me. That is until senior year, when all the cosmic tumblers clicked into place and she came back to school looking mighty fetching, though I had grown no more and so pursuing her was largely out of the question.  We were in a ton of classes together in school, but her shyness and my obliviousness kept there from being much interaction between us.

The years have been good to Joan--she's married with a few kids, and whatever shyness there was in high school has been replaced by a bright and warm sociability, the kind that one wants from one's coffee shop owner.  I had a superb turkey sandwich that she made herself, and we had a very nice visit.  Then it was off to Dan's Dad (Tim) and Linda's place.

Tim and Linda lived very near the coffee shop in a low-slung rancher on a large plot of land in a subdivision of similarly sized houses and plots, though there was an attractive diversity to the houses themselves.  I'd met Dan's dad a few years ago, and at least one of his sisters, but in the course of the next few hours, I would meet them again, along with in some cases, their spouses and children.

In addition to this being Dan and Bryan's Packers Weekend, this is Major General Dan Karbler's first visit back to his hometown in nearly a year and a half, and let me just tell you, General Dan is kind of a big deal in Hartland, Wisconsin.  He comes from a close-knit, supportive family and from all available evidence, he was "raised right".  He idolizes his father and his sisters, and the feeling is returned.  Everywhere we went on Friday night, he was hugged and lauded by old family friends and old high school friends. More on that in a second.

We've all heard that the kernel of many stereotypes contains some truth. Well, every stereotype you've ever conjured about the folks from Wisconsin is spot on.  They are known as "cheese-heads", as many of you know. But I have to tell you, I have spoken of and heard spoken more about cheese in the past two days than I have in the previous two decades.  Additionally, on the way up to Green Bay from Hartland yesterday, we stopped in Theresa  (pronounced "Ter-essa") Wisconsin at this small, craft cheese-making establishment (Widmers) so that Dan could have some of his favorites shipped back to him in Maryland.

The next stereotype is friendliness. My GOD--these people are the most pleasant and friendly I have ever met. I find myself downright shamed in my curmudgeonliness, and even my brother Tom would seem socially shy among these folks.  It's like being surrounded by hundreds of Bill Clintons, and I mean this in a good way.  Clinton was always a master at making the person he was talking with the center of the universe for that conversation. Everyone here does that to you, except here I don't find myself wondering if they are genuinely interested.  They really are.

The third stereotype worth discussing is the ability to drink and the centrality of bar-life. It gets awful cold up here, and winter last a long time. To get through it, Badgers have taken up the practice of including prodigious amounts of alcohol with all social gatherings. Add the alcohol to the natural friendliness of these folks, and you have a recipe for great conversations and new found friendships. For instance, last night, we were at a bar in Green Bay (Krolls). Across the way was a fellow wearing an Ohio State sweater--Dan's dad is an OSU grad, and so this then was the entree to across the bar chatter for an extended period. Dan would chirp in enthusiastically. I sat and marveled at the capacity of these people to instantly bring strangers into their orbits.

Friday night's big event was a Karbler sibling dinner at The Hartland Inn, an example of the phenomenon of the "Wisconsin Supper Club", something I had never heard of before this trip but about which I am now a big, big fan.  Generally family owned, and often with the family living on the premises, these are great "joints", with a plethora of good food and a lively bar scene (although calling the bar scene at the Hartland "lively" may be a bit of a stretch, as I think the youngest person at the bar was 80).  Dan's three sisters and two of their husbands joined us and it was a wonderful evening of chat and gluttony.  After a weekend in New Orleans and a weekend in Wisconsin, I am doing great violence to my diet.

I've gone on too long and need to get going for the day. When I get back tonight, I'll bring you up to date on what we did Saturday and Sunday. Cheers!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's eating you, Shipmate? Are you bummed your candidate didn't raise enough money last quarter? Were you hoping Bernie Sanders might do better in the debate? Share your pain!

Weighed in at 155.6 today, some of the New Orleans damage having been mitigated.

That said, new damage is on the horizon. I am headed off on six days of travel today, beginning with a trip to Wisconsin with longtime blog reader General Dan to take in the splendor of his home state and Sunday afternoon's Packers game. Then it's up to Newport on a little bidness.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

No Tell California

I wish OUR establishment were half as good as the opposition's establishment. They actually put some thought into their corruption and once again the Great State of California is leading the way! A case directly on point is the Golden State's new voter fraud scheme.

Here's how it works. As of this January any swinging Dick who shows up at a California DMV will be issued a driver's license. Presumably they must first pass a competency test given in their chosen language (Spanish speakers are up to around 40% last I heard) but I wouldn't bet on it. Then, just a few days ago Governor Jerry Brown signed a law which will AUTOMATICALLY register said licensees to vote. So, any and every holder of a California license does not have to lift a finger to be registered to vote. It will then be up to the bureaucracy to separate the wheat from the chaff and of course I have every confidence in their commitment and ability to weed out the illegals. I'm sure you do as well.

Do you see? This requires no effort on the part of an illegal. It exposes no illegal to some rogue prosecutor for illegally registering. It exposes no organization for registering illegals and saves them tons of money in their efforts to register illegals to vote. It's all done automatically, and if the inevitable widespread corruption is ever exposed then Brown can just say the poor California bureaucracy was just overwhelmed and by golly we need more money to hire more people to pay more union dues which are then kicked back to we politicians all funded by the taxpayers of the Great State of California. It's all good and it's absolutely brilliant. Corrupt as hell but brilliant.

Ok ok, I can hear you now. "Fine. Hammer, but so what? We've known California is lost since Prop 187. Give us some news why dontcha?" Well here's the news. Why don't we start thinking this way? Why was Obamacare passed with 51 votes but everything we do requires a two thirds majority? Why? Our Country club brethren tell us over and over and over again how weak and helpless we are and how the rules say this and the rules say that and we can't do a thing. Yeah, right. Jerry Brown is not bound by "rules". Jerry Brown finds a way to get the job done. Jerry Brown is laughing in your face.

Rules, what rules? There are only winners and losers and so far we are the Goddamn losers. Let the umpire call the game NOT the manager. When they look at the scoreboard they don't ask how, they ask how many. Look, I'm a believer in the law. I respect the Constitution. But you can bet your sweet ass the opposition does NOT! You want to win? Then you had better start bringing a howitzer to a gun fight because right now we're just waving our wedding tackle at people who couldn't give two craps for "process" or "the law". Jerry Brown is right because Jerry Brown wins.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What Happened to Carly?

Let's see if I've got this straight. Carly kicked butt and took names at the last Republican debate and immediately jumped up into the twenties right beside Trump. A star on the rise she was. Then the rains came. A week later she's around 12-15% then 7-8%. Now according to the RCP averages she's burning it up as a very Jeb like 5%. WTF happened she must be wondering?

Well as you may have guessed I'm gonna tell you what happened. But first let's lay a little groundwork ('bout the only thing I lay these days). Since about mid-summer the outsiders (Trump, Carson, Fiorina and Cruz) have been trading about 60% back and forth in the polls. It's a zero-sum game, if one went up somebody else went down. It's much the same with the establishment candidates who have been fighting over a much smaller piece of the pie at 20-25%. Since about July neither side has taken much of anything from the other side.

Now, it's my contention THE issue this election is immigration. Not so much to the jet-set, yachting class like CW (it's Wednesday, this must be Caan), but to the 60% po-ass, ditch digger ME. So, as an "outsider" candidate what's Fiorina policy? Now I know, everybody is for "securing the border". Who isn't? But that doesn't tell us a whole lot, let's get more specific. Take the issue of so-called birthright citizenship for example.

Trump: "This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration."
Carson: "Anchor babies ...It doesn't make sense to me that people can come here (illegally) and have a baby and that baby becomes an American citizen."
Cruz: "Well as a matter of policy it doesn't make sense that people who are here illegally, that their children would have automatic citizenship."
Fiorina: "It would take passing a Constitutional Amendment to get it changed. It's part of the 14th Amendment."

Ok let's review. 60% of Americans want immigration reform and 60% of Republicans want an "outsider" candidate. But Carly is taking the radical, batshit crazy William "pass the Bushmill's" Brennan's position on the 14th Amendment? A position that has never been litigated on an Amendment the meaning of which wasn't even questioned since it was ratified 120+ years previous. So now she's down to 5% and sinking fast. Golly Gee, I wonder why?

How could one not conclude that immigration is the key issue this election? It's not the only issue and being on the right side will not guarantee success, but being on the WRONG side is a sure disqualifier. Evidently Carly didn't get the memo and consequently her window of opportunity is closing fast. She had better get with the program or a year from now we'll be mentioning her in the same sentence as Marco, Jeb and Lindsey Graham.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Last Nail in the Coffin: Paul Ryan

I would like, no I demand access to your bank account. I will not take everything as I want you to survive so as to work and be productive (a sheep can be sheered many times but skinned only once). I also demand access to your credit. I would like to consume things you will eventually have to pay for. I'll fix it where the bill doesn't come due for a long while but eventually you (or your children) will be on the hook, not me. I do not ask you for these things, I demand them, and if you refuse I will use all means possible to force your compliance. You are not in control here, I am.
So, who am I?
1) I am organized crime
2) I am your government
3) I am an illegal alien
4) All of the above

I'll bet you thought we lived in a Democracy. You would be wrong. We (ostensibly) live in a Republic with representative government. Pure democracy is seen as unjust, too unforgiving and susceptible to a "tyranny of the majority", a view in which I don't necessarily disagree. Minority rights must be protected, however MAJORITY RULES!
As old whathisname said, you know, the redheaded dude with the house in the mountains with the weird inventions and stuff? Come on man, you know who I mean. Help me out here CW. Anyway, he said...
All . . . will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression. 

But what happens when special interest (minority power) is concentrated and used to corrupt government? Well we're seeing what happens. By the way, what famous historical figure wrote the book on leveraging minority power to subvert legitimate, democratically elected government? Quiz on Friday.

Let me give you a number or two on just the immigration question.
A consistent 60 plus percent disapprove of Obama's handling of immigration.
A recent Rasmussen poll said 62% believe Obama's executive amnesty is illegal and 60% are dissatisfied with current levels of immigration.
Poll after poll after poll of Americans show that we want less across the board immigration, not just illegal, and we believe Obama has acted illegally when it comes to immigration policy.

Paul Ryan has not been a friend to the majority of Americans who want common sense immigration reform. In fact NumbersUSA gives him a miserable 18% positive rating. But if that number isn't enough to disqualify him for Speaker of the House then maybe his Heritage Foundation conservative score of 55% will be. Jeez, that looks like my typical high school algebra test grade and you will note I am NOT a science guy.

My opinion is this. Paul Ryan is a budget geek, handy to have around but in no way is he leadership material. His positions stink, his voting record stinks and he's as weak as water on the most important issue this election IMMIGRATION. CW thinks he's a rising star and taking the Speaker's job will do his career harm. Maybe so, but that pales in comparison to the harm he'd do to we the American people and our democratic republic. Paul Ryan has been and will continue to be an Obama enabler. He helped make "All of the above" a reality. No WAY, he stays where he is.

Monday, October 12, 2015

On the Matter of the Speaker of the House

I don't want Paul Ryan to take the job. Not because I think he's unqualified, unable, or unworthy, but
because I don't want to watch a great man diminished by an office that will set him up to fail.  I want Paul Ryan at the Chair of Ways and Means, ready to work with a Republican President to pass pro-growth tax reform and to reform our programs for the truly needy in order to ensure that is who they serve.  No Republican in DC is as policy savvy as Ryan, and while he obviously has a lot of fans in the House, it is because of his ideas and his stewardship of them that he has this support.  It is not because of his ability to make deals, forge consensus, or broadly speaking, play the political game.

My dream Speaker is one of these folks from the Hammer-wing of the Party.  You know, the ones who brought John Boehner down.  I want one of these guys.  I want one of them to try and get the things done that they have been talking about for five years, you know, the kind of things that they believe everyone promised them, the kind of things they thought could be done with a Democratic President and a Senate where the Democrats can still filibuster.

And then I want them to do one of two things.  First, succeed wildly and prove me wrong.  And if not, fail miserably and prove me right.  Anything in the middle is not acceptable.

But I don't want Paul Ryan to be a casualty of this process.  I want him to team up with President Rubio in January of 2017 to get this country moving in a positive direction.

Stay firm, Paul.  Don't do it.

Post New Orleans Trip Report

In her early 20's, The Kitten had a job teaching teenagers to sail in the Caribbean. It was where she met her late husband, and where she met an incredible bunch of people who would grow up to be the core of her friend group today.  They've accepted me into their circle, and I have developed close friendships of my own among them.

One of these folks actually attended UVA with me, though our paths never crossed.  He met his wife there, and the two of them ran the UVA sailing club, which led to their teaching sailing in the Caribbean, which led to meeting The Kitten....

He had his 50th Birthday this weekend, and it was quite the bash.  Held in New Orleans, a group of about thirty total consisting of friends and family got together at a gorgeous old hotel for a continuous, three day bacchanal in a city known for such things.  A few take-aways?

First, New Orleans is a wonderful place to destroy one's dietary discipline.  I ate like a swine, and it is only due to my having eschewed alcohol a long time ago that I did not add 10 lbs this weekend.  Also, a prodigious amount of the food I ate consisted of raw oysters, which are pretty low calorie.  The birthday boy had raw oysters for lunch on Saturday, hours before his party.  Mistake.  He had the trots all day and evening, though he certainly rose to the occasion.

Second, New Orleans--especially at night--can be a smelly place.  A hint of the mixture of horse manure and human vomit was in the air as we roamed the streets.  Not pretty.

Third, I have less and less patience for drunken buffoonery as I age, but realize such a view is silly to hold when one visits Ground Zero for the practice.  The prevalence of pork-pie wearing fools with little chinny fuzz and skinny jeans has perhaps ruined the wearing of this hat for me for a lifetime.

Finally, and back to the diet, is there any food as perfect as the beignet?  Fried, sugary dough.  I could eat them all day, and so too for their cousin, the funnel cake.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Hammer's College Football Roundup: Week 6

OK, this is a good time in the season to access who is doing better than expected, worse than expected, who is back and who is in 'Elvis has left the building' territory.

My two big "they're back" teams are undoubtedly Michigan and Flawda. Just like a hound dog smelling a bitch in heat, we all know when a team has its shit together and when they just had a good game. Tennessee had a good game yesterday, but Florida kick the hell outta Missouri and Michigan wore Northwestern's ass out! The Wolverines and Gators are POWERS, and anybody who takes them lightly will pay the price.

My better than expected list would have to be topped by Clemson. The Tigers look for real, but the jury is still out as they have Miami in a couple of weeks, FSU in November and what will likely be a very dangerous South Carolina squad their last game. If the Tigers run the table they're a shoe-in for the playoff (obviously). Time will tell. My other overachiever is Iowa (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten). They've got a pretty light schedule in Big Ten terms not having to play OSU, Michigan or Michigan State but next week they've got an embarrassed (and talented) Northwestern on the road. Could be tough.

My underachievers would be pre-season top 10 Arkansas (2-4, 1-2 SEC), Georgia with a few so-so wins and two straight losses to Alabama and Tennessee, Auburn again with a so-so win or three against inferior teams but two straight losses to LSU and Miss State. Va Tech has been disappointing at 3-3, Georgia Tech at 2-4 and Texas (2-4) although they did get a nice win against Oklahoma yesterday during the Texas State Fair (I wonder is ZZ TOP played Austin last night?).

My "woe is me" teams are, well just one.... The QUACK ATTACK! That's right Oregon is Oregone. The (dead) Ducks are 3-3 having lost to everyone worth a crap. Their last loss was to a mediocre Washington State team in double overtime. They are currently 5 out of 6 in the Pac 10 NORTH. From pre-season #6 to next to last in the Pac 10 in one short season. In a word, the Ducks SUCK!

In local action my WolfPack sucks worse. Next week we've got Wake Forest on the road which we traditionally lose, after that Clemson at home which we traditionally lose, BC on the road which we traditionally lose, FSU on the road where (surprise surprise) we usually play well, Syracuse at home and finally Carolina at home. The only one I really care about is Carolina. We MUST beat the Heels! CW's Cavaliers look like shit (wanna piss off a UVA fan? Just call Virginia the Cavaliers. They HATE that!). Unfortunately for them they don't play the Pack this year. Currently they're 1-4 and it would not be impossible for them to not win another game. Regardless, when they're done they'll fire London and hire the Toledo coach (or somebody) and begin again. Such is the lot of we second tier schools.

That's it, now hit the road. Your presence here is no longer appropriate.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

History Can Be an Ugly Thing

I am so tired! No, I am sick and tired of this MYTH perpetuated by the likes of Tigerhawk that Boehner and McConnell's Congress has done all it could do considering the President we have. Yes friends, according to our country club colleagues everything that could be done has been done and that's all you need to know. Pardon me but I have to say, that is a crock of shit!

Now don't get me wrong, I like Tigerhawk well enough, even though, well he IS an attorney. Plus I take into consideration he lives Austin, Texas; a Prius driving, latte drinking university town where seven year olds are encouraged to explore their sexual identity, devoutly Catholic undocumented Mexican entrepreneurs (gangbangers) are welcomed with open arms to their "sanctuary city" and "micro-aggressive" words like "we are devoutly Catholic" are in no way tolerated (when uttered by Caucasians). I also am not offended that he went to Princeton, which as everyone knows has a dual mission. First to ensure the monied elite's idiot children receive a prestigious degree (and job placement) all the while limiting the damage to the institution's reputation and/or endowment due to the first (James Madison class of 1771, Brooks Shields '87 says it all).

No the fact is I admire and respect Tigerhawk, I just think his judgement needs a little work. Google Boehner/McConnell and "no government shutdown" and among the 457k results you'll see stuff like this.

Congress avoids government shutdown -

Sep 30, 2015 - Boehner: 2013 shutdown strategy 'never had a chance' ... McConnellsaid he had "no earthly idea" how much work would be completed before ...

Congress approves funding bill to avert government shutdown

USA Today
Sep 30, 2015 - 11 and avert a government shutdown at midnight. ... Boehner'sdecision made an immediate government shutdown less likely since the speaker nolonger feels ... McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he and Boehner have ...

Mitch McConnell amid Planned Parenthood uproar: No ...

Hot Air
Aug 5, 2015 - the shutdown is avoided, and all's well for Beltway Republicans apart ... leave McConnell and Boehner with no choice but to go to the mat this time: ... and they want Obama to shut the government down over the issue, and ...

It seems THE LAST THING our leadership wants is a standoff with the Democrats over, well ANYTHING! I wonder why that is? Of course in any dispute the drive-by media will blame the Republicans, that goes without saying. If a shutdown were to occur we can count on them to trot out bogus polls, rant and rave on their editorial pages and turn over their networks to all the "retirees and military veterans" who are being ruined by the reckless and irresponsible Republicans. Funny how welfare mamas are never showcased and the fact that 80% of the government is deemed "essential" and is still up and running (with the checks still going out) never seems to get mentioned.

So, we know who the media will blame, but who will the voters blame is the question. Surprisingly they aren't as stupid as some would suggest. Let's look at a little history.
  • January 3, 1995: Republicans gained control of both houses for the first time since 1954.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. In November 1996 Bill Clinton was reelected, the Republicans lost 8 House members and GAINED 2 Senate seats retaining control of Congress. A VERY productive Congress it was I might add, especially from the conservative perspective and all done with a very popular Democrat President.

The idea that Boehner and McConnell have done their jobs, the jobs they were elected to do, the jobs they PROMISED they would do is both asinine and insulting. They have done nothing but appease the President. They have had a hand in weakening us as a nation and making us less safe in our homes and the world less safe from tyrants and lunatics. They are the antithesis of leadership and deserve to be removed in shame and infamy. To suggest otherwise is to ignore history.

So Tigerhawk I urge you to look at the record. To conclude otherwise would be, well, just like a Princeton grad.
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