Days of Change

Attack of the Zombie Candidates

May 22, 2015
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The current expectation is that we will see a match up between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. The irony is that almost no one is excited about either one. There’s is still hope, however. The expected nominee is frequently not the actual nominee. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was supposed to battle Rudy Giuliani for the White House. McCain was going up against Al Gore in the early days of the 2000 race. Sometimes, this is a good thing, like when Reagan beat Ford for the nomination. Other times, we get a Barack Obama beating Hillary and probably costing Republicans the presidency.

People complain about money in politics, but I am more concerned with the stupid in the electorate. Money is lining up behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Money can only buy advertising. It can’t change hearts and minds. The problem is that so many people have no opinions and no information. They don’t even seek information out. I know who I think is most qualified overall and has the lowest chance of doing a lot of things I don’t want. He hasn’t announced yet. Still, I will reluctantly vote for Bush (as I did for Romney) if he wins the nomination. 100% of the Democrats voted for Obama’s agenda when it counted. That’s enough to kill any chance I would give one.

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Why Do Anything?

May 21, 2015
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Last week, I considered titling a post “The Clinton Foundation doesn’t feed starving people, why should we?” My point was that trucking in bags or rice to starving Africans is a long-term temporary solution. More and more, it seems the solutions lie in economic opportunity. Give people a chance to use their talents to make money and start businesses and see how life improves. This is one of the things I’m willing to accept libertarians having a valid point on.

On the other hand, Barack Obama is using his office to restrict the economic and social freedom of Americans and giving freedom to murderous Muslims to take over the Arab (and Persian) world. It doesn’t really matter if it’s called ISIS or Al-Qaeda. When these groups have created a region-wide caliphate, they’ll go after the West next. We should have stopped Hitler before he invaded Poland.

This is ultimately why I have a hard time listening to Rand Paul and his non-intervention stuff. War is messy. There is no solution that is perfect from the outset. Doing nothing is not an answer. It is a way to limit your choices in the future. Imagine if The Bush Administration called 9/11 a setback for America.

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The Late Shaft

May 20, 2015

There’s  a saying that a liberal is a conservative who hasn’t been mugged. In some ways, a conservative may be a liberal who has never been fired. I know I’ve never hated business as much as when I’ve been laid off or replaced. I kind of wonder if the same thing happened to David Letterman the second time NBC took a show away from him.

Ace of Spades has a pretty good analysis of why Letterman isn’t funny. I take issue with others who say Letterman was never funny. Ace is pretty on point by saying that Letterman hasn’t been innovative for over 20 years and he certainly hasn’t been cool or interesting in over a decade. My teenage self, however, still smirks at Letterman throwing a tray of lasagna from the window of a building and watching it hit the ground.

David Letterman was a Midwestern boy who was a comedian, actor and a weather guy and had various other on-air gigs until he got the chance to host. NBC gave him a run on a daytime talk show which bombed after a couple of months. Since the late 70’s, Letterman was the permanent guest host for Johnny Carson at the Tonight Show after Johnny decided on more vacation time and less of a grind on his show.

NBC eventually gave Letterman the time slot vacated by Tom Snyder, both to increase revenue and keep Letterman from being poached by another network attempting late night talk. Letterman couldn’t keep his guest hosting duties, but Carson kept his seat warm by hiring Joan Rivers as his new permanent guest host. She was older than Dave and was unlikely to become the new host.

I can go on and on about Letterman v. Leno, but the essence is that when Leno was made permanent guest host in the late 80’s, NBC saw Carson as a falling star and wanted a replacement who wasn’t Dave. I think it’s not out of line to say that Baby Boomers warmed to the hard-working, show focused Leno and Gen-Xers liked the iconoclastic Letterman. Carson wasn’t direct about it, but he always preferred Letterman, especially in the face of Leno’s disloyalty to Carson, mirroring that of Joan Rivers.

When Letterman lost the Tonight Show, he seemed to lose the will to host a talk show at all. He made a point to bring over as many gags from his old show as possible and continue to reuse them. The scandal of the war made him number one for a while, then the scandal of Hugh Grant started shifting the audience to Leno. Finally, Dave couldn’t beat Leno, so he chose to outlast him.

Jay Leno may not be a conservative, but he is the model of the enterprising capitalist. He worked hard, he refined his skills and he negotiated his way to the Tonight Show. When NBC wanted to switch things up to keep Conan O’Brien, (who replaced Letterman at NBC) Leno was able to work his way back to the Tonight Show. He was finally told he was no longer wanted after 20 years. After his retirement was announced, Letterman finally announced his. David Letterman was on at 11:30 longer than Jay Leno.

If the Late Night talk show era didn’t end with Johnny Carson, is certainly has with the end of David Letterman. Leno worked on his show constantly. Dave was able to phone it in and he basically did. The networks still made plenty of money on each property. Jimmy Fallon and Seth Myers (NBC talk shows are basically owned by Lorne Michaels) are more popular on YouTube and DVR than live.

Letterman is a liberal tool. I’m not sure how much was always there or how much came from his own bitterness. Ironically, many of his fan boys eventually found true rebellion in conservative values. Dave’s fans left him as much as he left his fans.

As I write this, I’m watching the last Letterman show. It started with 4 presidents (two Republicans, two Democrats) saying “Our long national nightmare is over.” If the Bushes can get over it for a night, so can I.

Goodbye, Dave. It’s time for you to go.

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Bed Time

May 19, 2015
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I have some blog ideas for more Clinton stuff and Obama’s incompetent War on Man Caused Disasters. However, I will be enjoying tonight’s “sleeping weather” instead after a humid week so far.

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How About Fighting in Iraq Now?

May 18, 2015
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Despite the hype, Megyn Kelly isn’t the greatest anchor in history. I don’t think I’ve ever watched her show all the way through. I can honestly say that I don’t consider her question to Jeb Bush about looking at Iraq from 12 years later to be all that valuable. It was designed to put him on the spot. Putting someone on the spot is fine and not a gotcha question or anything. Still, we don’t learn much about Jeb except that he has to thread the needle both because Republicans have mixed feelings on the war and George W. Bush is his brother.

Even if the cost of the Iraq War is too high in hindsight, one has to ask what would happen had Al-Qaeda or ISIS (the same brand) were allowed to come into Iraq, even with Saddam’s forces at full strength. Hussein wasn’t a very religious leader, only showing token adherence to Islam. Would religious fervor have turned his own people to the side of terror? Either way, the result is becoming the same. Iraqi towns are falling to ISIS. We already know that Obama and libertarians (almost the same thing) don’t give a crap about lessening human suffering. I just wonder if Obama cares about American safety either.

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The Rocks Cried Out No Hiding Place

May 17, 2015

Karl Rove referred to people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” Unfortunately, he was saying it to disparage journalists. That journalist, Ron Suskind, chose to focus on the term Rove used to define him and other reporters, “the reality-based community,” to paint the Bush administration as believers in fantasy and, gasp, religion.

If you try to invent solutions based on known factors, you are disregarding the unknown. The unknown is so important that human beings invented science to experiment with solutions to extrapolate the unknown. There are also people who have certainty that everything they know is everything they need to know to change the word for the better. Those are progressives and they often try to create their own reality.

Those watching ABC Sunday saw George Stephanopoulos back in the moderator chair after 1.) Using that position to attack an author who found a lot of money flowing through an organization that 2.) Stephanopoulos donated a considerable amount to, even though 3.) he didn’t reveal that fact until it was discovered by two other news organizations. ABC created its own reality where a moderator in their news division can donate to a former political employer after being a partisan operative, claim to have forgotten about it, and expect that the public will accept that story.

While the revelations of bias and sloppy journalism have accelerated over the years, the actual level of bias hasn’t gone up much. The good news is that alternative and social media have made it impossible to hoard reality anymore. They may still have their perches in big media, but they are in glass towers with no hiding place. It kind of reminds me of an old song.

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The Lost Post

May 16, 2015
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I have to admit that I kind of do the same thing every day when I blog. I think I vary the content, but I use the same posting stuff every time. I haven’t put in a lot of bells and whistles. I’ve been expressly told not to change my front page style. It should come as no surprise then, that my “lost” post from January 17, 2015 was only misplaced.

Sadly, it is still relevant. The subject was the stream of myths produced by Obama and his supporters to counter the horrible abuses of citizens by government. I was also mistaken in the post, suspecting they would find a hard time inventing racist incidents with police. They simply lowered their standards.

Take a look: When Popular Protest Isn’t Popular

P.S. The post is so old comments are disabled. Yet another thing I don’t know how to change.

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About 8 Years Too Late and a Candidate Short

May 15, 2015
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You never really know when a scandal is going to be noticed by the public. So much Obama administration malfeasance has gone unnoticed. At one point, Obamacare’s failings made the news, ironically because Republicans gave up on a “shutdown” and taking themselves out of the news.The Clinton campaign is not getting the same honeymoon.

Peter Schweizer has written books and stories about the corrupting influence of money in government. While he works for conservative organizations, he often takes a libertarian approach to his investigations, His writings about business deals that made members of Congress rich at the same time they were writing the regulations controlling business, went after both Democrats and Republicans.

Recently, he went after the Clinton Foundation. This NGO has taken in large amounts of money from the wealthy and politically connected. His book “Clinton Cash” was used by media like the Washington Post, to actually perform journalism. Schweizer went on some Sunday shows, including the ill-fated George Stephanopoulos incident. George said in no uncertain terms that the whole of ABC News found nothing of value in the book, while journalists with the network are currently reporting on it.

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication, as well as the Washington Post, discovered that Stephanopoulos had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and failed to disclose that at any time, let alone the interview with Schweizer. Eric Wemple of the Post wrote today that Stephanopoulos’ PR rep was asked about these donations and if Stephanopoulos had ever disclosed this information. She held them off until the next day. At the same time, Dylan Byers of Politico, a writer extremely friendly to Democrats, got the “scoop” of Stephanopoulos disclosing his donations.

The timeline is that two news organizations knew about the money before it was “disclosed” but somehow one writer got the disclosure just hours before news of the non-disclosure was to go to press. The logical conclusion is that Stephanopoulos lied about the disclosure and made sure to get it online before it could be disproven. In the end, he still gave money to his former boss and probably current puppet master, then did free advertising for Clinton by trying to discredit Schweizer.

If you are Obama, you can get away with this because the media is too afraid or in league with the president. If that’s not the case, this kind of bad blood will destroy a political campaign.

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I Hate Writing About This Guy

May 14, 2015

George Stephanopoulos, whose name I have to cut and paste, interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash” recently on ABC’s This Week. It’s not surprising that a former Clinton operative was critical of the book’s conclusions, but he also made the claim that ABC investigated claims in the book and found nothing to back up the assertions in the book. That remark made its way into a Hillary campaign ad almost immediately.

First of all, other ABC investigative reporters have found the claims in the book to have some merit. The even more damning part, however, is that Stephanopoulos is part of the Clinton Foundation. He doesn’t make day-to-day decisions, but he contributed $50,000 (or more). That’s more than he would be legally allowed to contribute to a Hillary Clinton presidential run. He did not disclose this fact and is now trying to back track by simply saying he should not have donated.

There are two possibilities. Stephanopoulos donated the money as a sort of quid pro quo where he gets access to Hillary Clinton for interviews or a future cabinet post or some other perk worth more than that money. The other possibility is that Stephanopoulos just believes in what the foundation does. Either one is bad because it reveals a huge bias. One was for financial gain, the other for the furtherance of political beliefs.

Let’s not forget. Hillary complains about rich people and CEOs and others while she makes more money than most CEOs for one paid speech. The donation Stephanopoulos made is a drop in the bucket in terms of rich political backers, but $50,000 is more money than most people will see in a year and he seemed to just forget he even spent it. These are the people telling you what is true and what’s not. Take it with a grain of salt.

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Riding the Rails

May 13, 2015
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An Amtrak crash on what is known as the Northeast Corridor has sparked a new debate on its funding. These arguments go back to the Matrix analogy I gave, where liberals think that more money makes everyone safer and more protected in a safe goo-filled pod. Money makes trains safer. It puts devices on trains so that the conductors can’t make the train go over 100 mph, which was a major factor in the accident. Of course, high-speed rail will be moving that fast, so turns will not be available on those routes.

I consider Amtrak funding to be a false premise. In the real world, we have things called budgets. If your business needs 10,000 sheets of paper a year, you budget for it. However, if you need a copier, you don’t just get the ones the salesman tells you to get. If you can only spare $20,000 to be profitable, you don’t buy the $100,000 because it’s “better.” Funding is a different matter. The government essentially gives money to Amtrak to sustain commuter rail and a number of preexisting jobs. Some progressives have already argued that the Northeast Corridor is very busy, useful and necessary. My guess is that it is also profitable if separated from the entirely of Amtrak. If it’s not, the well-compensated work commuters can probably handle higher fares.

Many government programs are forced to be cost-effective when they are created. The White House did some creative accounting to make Obamacare “deficit neutral” when it passed. At one time, Amtrak was covered for some losses. The problem is that funding is often used to expand or modernize and operation. This sets it up to lose more money and require more funding. The Republicans trying to reduce funding to Amtrak are trying to force it to right size itself. They should spend the money on the parts of the train system that break even or make money and disband the parts that lose massive amounts of money.

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