I don’t get Tennessee politics, even though I’ve lived here almost my entire life. I watched the transition from Democrats to Republicans staring in the 1960s, and I’ve seen the state legislature become one of the most right-leaning in the nation.
In fact, Tennessee’s battle against a state income tax is often credited as being a proto Tea Party effort. A GOP governor (Don Sundquist), who ran promising there would be no income tax, tried to conspire with Democrats and GOP squishes to pass one surreptitiously. Marsha Blackburn’s reputation was made as the whistleblower that started the pushback, and eventually the measure was defeated. Despite gloom and doom predictions from the political establishment about how Tennessee was going to sink into the swamp (or something like that – I don’t really remember the details of their dire predictions) Tennessee has done quite well since then economically and fiscally.
So we have a pretty good limited government base here. Yet statewide offices always seem to go to squishes. Our current governor, Bill Haslam, has to be dragged along by the legislature to get anything done to reduce government power. One senator, Bob Corker, was instrumental in Obama’s sellout to Iran, and to my knowledge has never come out foursquare for anything that seriously advanced the cause of limited government.
And then there’s Lamar! (The exclamation point is a remnant of his failed presidential campaign in the 1990s.)
While governor of Tennessee, Alexander did put a few reforms in place that were moving in the right direction. His educational initiatives, requiring teachers to actually have a degree in something besides basket weaving and papier-mâché, were good.
But as Senator, he fancies himself as the wise old man “balancing everyone’s needs, blah, blah”, and has never come close to any serious limited government measures. In fact, when an establishment GOP member is needed to squishify an effort at limited government and halt its progress, Lamar! is often the volunteer.
Today’s example is over repeal of Obamacare. Lamar wants to decide precisely what the replacement will be before the repeal.
Moreover, there is already some intraparty turmoil over the repeal timeline, starting with Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. He’s pressing to have a replacement plan ready before tackling repeal, which could significantly delay things, given that Republicans are far from a consensus on what kind of replacement they want.
The Tennessee Republican has notably began swapping the words “repeal and replace,” used by Republicans for years, to “replace and repeal.”
“There’s an eagerness to address it, so I think there’s no doubt we’ll start immediately to replace and repeal Obamacare, but the president-elect has said that the replacement and the repeal need to be done simultaneously, and that means to me that we need to figure out how to replace it before we repeal it,” he said.
As a Tennessean, I apologize that this squish is risking one of the most important steps the new GOP administration needs to take. Anyone who understand how things get done in DC, as Lamar most assuredly does, knows what this will do. The entire effort will be bogged down as Democrats and their media allies excoriate any Republican who intends to vote for repeal. Every special interest with any connection to healthcare will flood DC with every lobbyist they can hire.
If Lamar gets his way, the possibility of failure of repeal will be used as the lever to get everything the political class and their industry allies want in the replacement bill. It’s unlikely to be significantly better than Obamacare in the end
Now, as I said, Lamar has to know this! He’s not stupid, and he’s been in politics a lifetime. Therefore, he *wants* that feeding frenzy of special interests involved in the repeal. He wants to risk sabotaging repeal to get goodies in the replacement for his donors and buddies, and of course hopefully to get some praise from the New York Times and Washington Post as the “elder statesman bringing sanity to the process, etc. etc.”.
Lamar is hooked into all the big donors for the GOP in Tennessee, and a lot of those are in healthcare. Nashville and surrounding areas is one of the major healthcare business centers in the nation. Of course they want their place at the goodie table. And Lamar is all too happy to give it to them – it’s what he’s done the whole time he’s been in DC.
I hope Trump finds a way to get around this squish and his Senate allies. I have a feeling the Obamacare fight is going to set the tone for a lot of things to come. If the establishment GOP squishes find out they can sabotage any serious efforts at reining in government, that will be the pattern for the next two years at least.
While Not AmericaDestroyed
AndAlso Date.Now.Compare(#20170120#) < 0
It looks like the AmericaDestroyed flag isn’t going to quite make it to true before termination by the date condition.
Apologies to any of you Java or C# devs. I still use Visual Basic as my main language. Besides, it’s a bit easier for non-developers to follow.
Four days ago, I gave my unserious take on our presidential election, including the explanation that I couldn’t support the android candidate for the Democrats. I mentioned that her honesty and humor modules seemed to have problems.
After that, the candidate admitted to having a short circuit. A surprising admission for a robot, but perhaps it was a side effect of an attempt to fix her honesty module. She also admitted to an intention to raise taxes on the middle class, which seems odd when many middle class taxpayers currently send almost half of what they make to various levels of government. I find it hard to believe that middle class taxpayers want to send even more. Again, perhaps the attempted fixes to the honesty module are responsible.
The reptilian alien candidate lost little time seizing on these admissions:
In addition to the earlier faults I mentioned in the android’s programming, it appears that the stair-climbing module is quite buggy:
— Pat (@grammy620) August 7, 2016
It’s been a problem for a while, apparently:
I’m sure the DNC’s has a team of programmers and engineers feverishly attempting to fix or hide these flaws.
“Hey, Bxlnar, I see you’re back from surveying that group of hairless bipeds just beginning their civilization. What was the name of their planet again?”
“XP-492-Sol3, but we just call it Earth.”
“So how did it go?”
“They’re interesting animals. Standard amino acid mix, using DNA as the genetic template.”
“Mmm. So they’re biocompatible. Did you take some samples for, heheh, analysis?”
“That’s the interesting part. They are the best long distance runners I’ve ever seen. They actually hunt by just following a prey animal until it gives up and dies. Their muscle tissue has a variety of myoprotein unlike anything I’ve ever encountered.”
“So, it is good?”
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Have to baste it with some fat to get the perfect recipe, but it’s worth it. I’m salivating right now, just thinking about it.”
“Well, maybe we could farm them?”
“No, they look difficult or impossible to domesticate. Contrary as all get out. Their hunter-gatherer ancestry makes then intractable.”
“But if they are such a wonderful delicacy, surely there’s something we could do.”
“Well, I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe we should help them along a bit. Insert a few technological innovations to help them increase their population and start spreading out into new territory.”
“Won’t that just get them into wars against each other as population pressure builds up?”
“Yeah, but the standard culturogenetic analysis says they would learn how to get along in about 4000 years. By then they will have filled up the planet, assuming we seed additional innovations at critical points, including use of mechanical power and some manipulation of plant and animal biology to dramatically increase their food supply.”
“So when could we start harvesting?”
“Given the extra fat needed in the recipe to cook them, we need to wait until their technology and food supply have made them indolent. I think a good indicator for harvesting would be when there were more fat ones than skinny ones.”
“OK, I approve the project for it. Let me know when they’re ready.”
If you develop software and have any interest in what I do in real life, you can go to Microsoft’s Channel 9 and see a video interview of me that was released this week. I babble on about user experience and how developers should think about it, and show a few minutes of a Windows 10 app my team has been working on for, of all things, cattle management.
The page with the video is at Channel 9
It’s also embedded below for convenience. The Windows 10 app demo starts about 14:20, if you are particularly interested in that.
Also, if you wonder why I never seem to have a proper haircut, it’s a ploy. This picture I found on Cracked.com this week explains it.
I think my hair in the video is somewhere between Dr. Strangelove and Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein.
Sure, it’s past Halloween, but this short horror film is too good to pass up.
The base doesn’t like him, he’s in favor of Common Core and amnesty, no one outside the Donor Class wants a Bush v. Clinton race, there’s still bad feeling from his brother’s presidency – all of those are problems for Jeb Bush.
But I think another big problem is just how the guy looks. Trump keyed in on this with his “low energy” comments. His overall demeanor doesn’t communicate that he can get anything done.
Human beings are driven by first impressions. They are formed within seconds, or even a fraction of a second. Realize that most people are not like us. Many have never seen an image of Jeb Bush before this campaign. So they form a first impression of him when they see him on the news or in a debate.
I think that first impression is that he’s just old and tired. In fact, I think, for some of them, he reminds them of a movie character that is the epitome of old and tired: Norman Thayer, Jr, from On Golden Pond.
See what you think. See if, at first glance, the gallery below just looks like four pictures of the same guy:
I think anyone who looks this much like an 80 year old actor portraying an 80 year old curmudgeon is going to have some serious problems getting anyone excited about his candidacy.
Via Ace and Bill, here is a clickbait article by some metrosexual pantywaist who purports to tell us all what modern men are like. He intends it to be funny – I think. It’s hard to tell with pathetic beta males. But I think he means most of the advice to be taken seriously even though he’s trying for a humorous presentation.
It’s as pathetic and unfunny as you would expect. I wondered if every single item on his list needed to be eviscerated, and just about every one did. So herewith I recount his items, and for each my own item about what a real man is like compared to this dipwad’s “modern man”.
1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.
The real man knows better than to buy shoes for his spouse. He’ll never be able to ensure a good fit. Instead, he takes care of the household well enough that she knows she can buy shoes whenever she wants or needs to. He’s got better things to do than study the sizing proclivities of two dozen brands of women’s shoes.
2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.
The real man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk, because it never does. He believes in himself. Temporary setbacks don’t change that.
3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.
The real man is considerate, because gentlemen have had that characteristic for centuries. Which means he knows better than to put a whole mouthful of popcorn in his mouth at once like some heathen savage or six year old.
4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.
The real man knows enough about steak to know several things. First, it’s properly spelled “filet”, and the pathetic betas in the NYT editorial department should have known that. Second, a filet has almost no fat so it’s not necessary to trim around it. Third, a real man knows enough about cooking a filet not to char it.
5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.
The real man knows that where you park isn’t really important enough to think about very much, and that there are literally a thousand other things that say a lot more about whether he’s a real man.
6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.
Before the real man heads off to bed, he makes sure the home is secure, and that he’s clean and ready to make love to his wife. He doesn’t worry about his kids’ electronic devices, because they need to learn the responsibility of taking care of themselves. He knows he won’t always be around to do it.
7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.
The real man buys only whatever the f*ck kind of cola that he thinks tastes good, plus some Mountain Dew for his buddy who likes Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and a nice variety of other soft drinks for his guests. Plus some liquor to mix in.
8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.
The real man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “pathetic beta male,” not “modern man” like some pretentious douchebag.
9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.
Having a daughter makes the real man happy that he has children. Just like having a son does. Though he does hope and pray that his daughter doesn’t grow up to marry a
modern man pathetic beta male.
10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.
The real man makes sure the household can afford a dishwasher and lets it take care of drying and sterilizing the dishes.
11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.
The real man doesn’t do anything stupid on social media, including putting pointless sh!t about his life on Twitter all the time.
12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.
The real man washes his body with whatever is available, including shampoo if he has to. If he has room next to the bathtub, he makes sure fresh toiletries can be reached without getting out. He certainly doesn’t get anal about something as trivially stupid as whether the soap bar is too small.
13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.
The real man doesn’t give a f*ck about Wu-Tang or any other flavor-of-the-month piece of sh!t rap artist. He’s got a music collection that has decent stuff from Mozart to Pink Floyd to Taylor Swift. Plus some eighties stuff to play during parties for dancing.
14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.
The real man jots down his grocery list on paper or phone, whichever he’s more comfortable with. He knows enough to stop and step aside if he needs to look at his phone while shopping so he doesn’t run into anything. Which he will probably need to do because he’ll likely have to text his wife for details or clarifications while he’s shopping.
15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.
The real man sometimes has hardwood flooring because it’s nice looking and easy to keep clean. But he doesn’t stomp through the house on it, because he has better control over himself that that. His children can detect his mood because he tells them when he doesn’t feel well.
16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.
The real man make sure his house is secure enough that he’ll know about an intruder long before it gets to the bedroom door. That means he can sleep on either side of the bed his wife wants him to. If an intruder gets in, he will either shoot them or take them apart, so that his wife will be protected. Though, for some wives, he will make sure he’s clear of her field of fire so they can both shoot the intruder.
17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?
Does the real man have a melon baller? Who the f*ck cares? Hell, he probably doesn’t even know what one looks like.
18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.
The real man has thought seriously about buying a motorcycle.
19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.
The real man buys fresh flowers anytime he wants to tell his wife he loves her.
20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.
On occasion, the real man is the little spoon because the human body needs to shift around during sleep. If he is feeling down, he is either quiet about it until he feels better, or tells his wife what he is feeling down about so they can confront it together. If needed, she then holds him as a wife should when he needs her support – face to face with their arms around each other.
21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.
The real man doesn’t scold his daughter for anything accidental. Though he does teach her good manners.
22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.
The real man is smart enough to know that newspapers have become too biased and unreliable to waste time on. Unless he’s house training a dog or wrapping dishes to move, he has no use for one, crisp or otherwise.
23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).
The real man knows that everyone has their own movie favorites, and that Michael Mann is just one more mid-level filmmaker. But he owns a Blu-ray of Die Hard and at least one Cary Grant movie.
24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.
The real man doesn’t talk, text, or browse so damn much on the phone that it goes dead every other day.
25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
The real man knows that a gun is a tool for killing things that need killing, and that the world unfortunately holds a lot of those things. Depending on where he lives, he probably owns several of them.
26. The modern man cries. He cries often.
The real man cries sometimes. But he’s not proud of it.
27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.
People aren’t sure if the real man is a good dancer or not. Because he doesn’t really give a f*ck if he’s a good dancer – he just goes out on the dance floor with his wife and has a good time.
I realize this guy just put out his list to get his name in print and try to excuse his pathetic beta maleness. Still, the fact that he thinks any of this is laudable even in jest shows how far some men have sunk in being ashamed of their own masculinity.
I suggest that the real test would be to run the above past a few hundred women who had been out of college at least five years. Let them decide whether they want a “modern man” or a real man. I know which way I think the results would go.
The whole society felt that it was open-minded and objective. The mantra was “Diversity is good!”, and so they were diverse. They were tolerant. They were open-minded, even to concepts and philosophies that they felt were self-evidently false and dangerous. Marketplace of ideas, and all that.
So they accepted that the society had to admit barbarians – those whose ideas were contrary to the founding principles set down for the running of the society.
But then they encountered a problem. The barbarians agitated for more barbarians in the society. They pointed to how many barbarians there were in other parts of the world, and demanded more voice for barbarians.
No matter how many barbarians were let in, and no matter what accommodation was made for them, the barbarians always wanted more.
Eventually, inevitably, some parts of the society were controlled by barbarians. And, wherever that happened, the only new people admitted to that part of the society – were more barbarians. They excluded the original members. They didn’t care about tolerance or open-mindedness. All that mattered to them was promotion of their philosophy, their influence, their control.
The barbarians thought they were upstanding moral people, doing the right thing. It was obvious to them that their worldview was *right*, and those fuddy-duddies they replaced were wrong. So they had no doubts about their mission.
At times, they pretended to respect the older ways. They still didn’t control everything, and they didn’t want to arouse sufficient animosity to threaten their control. So they lied about their motives and their own tolerance. They carried out symbolic actions to reassure the gullible that they were just part of the vigorous back and forth of a free society.
But, whenever they had enough control, or whenever the stakes were high enough, they viciously enforced promotion of their own agenda. Accusations of partisanship, unfairness, or rule-breaking were brushed off, laughed off, or, if necessary, viciously counter-attacked to send a message to those who would threaten their dominance over the society.
Eventually, they wormed their way into the most important institutions of the society. Parts of it that had been founded on tolerance and openness were taken over, and transformed into citadels of rigid dogmatism. No one was admitted to thoses institutions unless they swore fealty to the fundamental rightness of the barbarians’ creed.
To ensure this end, one of the first parts of society taken over by the barbarians was the educational institutions that trained young people in becoming part of the society. They indoctrinated them all into accepting the tenets of barbarian thought with unquestioning faith.
It took a century, but at the end, only a few redoubts of the old open, tolerant society remained. The society was run by barbarians, for the promotion and benefit of barbarians in and outside the society. Anyone who didn’t accept the barbarian faith was ruthlessly attacked.
And that’s my recounting of how the society we call “the press” was taken over by the barbarian left.*
(*) This rambling was prompted by an article on the Wall Street Journal’s editoral page this morning. A barbarian, partisan leftist named William A. Galston blithely asserted that limited government types in the GOP “…want to get their own way without yielding an inch…”. This is a bald-faced lie. His entire column is a typical attempt to sound reasonable and moderate to gullible people while spewing unadulterated propaganda for the left. He is using the same techniques discussed in my post on “compromise” from a few years ago, so there’s no need for me to recount the details. He’s nothing more than a barbarian leftist pretending to be a tolerant, objective guy, carefully avoiding letting the readers know that he worked for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Walter Mondale, that he is a member of the academic left teaching “public policy” and is associated with the left-leaning Brookings Institute. He’s a dishonest shill, and it says a lot about the Journal that they even gave him a platform.
I’ve watched one media entity after another sucked into the barbaric left – US News and World Report, the Economist, and the WSJ have all moved left over the years I’ve been reading them. The only silver lining is that, when the barbarians take over, eventually the society is destroyed, and the legacy media is well into self-immolation.