Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Jimmy Carter on Steroids drinking a Red Bull

Has everyone else noticed how real people out here in flyover land are trying their best to pretend that the recent election really wasn’t that big of a deal and the world is continuing to spin just fine?  Or said another way, they want their world to return to “normal” – whatever that may be.  My guess is you won’t have to worry about what is being discussed around the Thanksgiving table, because they’re more than tired of the election and aftermath.

Oh, by the way, before I forget it, here’s an interesting read on Political Correctness in Scientific American.  I haven’t quite digested it yet, but I find some of it compelling and some of it … not so much.

With the Alt-Right convention in DC where, what, 200 yardbirds showed up to pretend to be “Trump’s People”, the media is in a frenzy.  I wonder what ever happened to this?

I’m very interested in a Mattis led Department of Defense.  Talk about a sea change from the last 8 years.  For one, I can’t wait to see the Navy Secretary shown the exit door.  I’m also pretty sure that most of the social engineering that has taken priority during those 8 years would likely cease pretty quickly.  The man does not suffer fools, stupidity or things that detract from the military’s primary mission lightly.

Is anyone particularly surprised that our worst president ever is pretty sure he’ll break tradition and speak out after he leaves office.  I’m not.  He is a narcissist, and they don’t need, they crave attention.  And trust me, an ex-president sees an attention deficit – a huge one – immediately.  Nope, he’s going to be Jimmy Carter on steroids drinking Red Bull.

Speaking of surprises, or rather the lack thereof, how about this?

No participant in the 2016 presidential election fares well in the Pew Research Center’s post-election voter survey: the candidates, the parties, and the electorate itself all receive historically poor marks from respondents. But the most despised institution of them all is the news media, which scored lower than ever before.

You know the “First Law of Holes”, right?  When you’re in one, quit digging.  The media either doesn’t know it or chooses to ignore it, given their post-election behavior.

Finally, a qualified “well it’s a start” hat tip to Texas:

A bill filed for the 2017 legislative session would modestly reform Texas asset forfeiture laws and close a federal loophole that allows law enforcement to avoid state restrictions on the practice.

Sen. Juan Hinojosa (D-Dist. 20) filed Senate Bill 156 (SB156) on Nov. 14. The legislation would make it more difficult for the state to win asset forfeiture cases by raising the burden of proof the state has to meet from “a preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence” that the asset was linked to criminal activity. The new law would still allow police to seize assets without a criminal conviction.

While the reform is somewhat modest, it would represent a step forward and set the stage for more substantive reforms in the future.

More please.  Faster, please.  Asset forfeiture is one of those tools that law enforcement use that is rightfully described as “unAmerican”.

~McQ

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 19 Nov 16

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Both Dale and Michael are mentally exhausted, resulting in a long, rambling, disjointed podcast, beginning with a long, dull story about buying a new motorcycle. They then move to Trump’s nominees for various positions, all of whom are, of course, racists as bad as Hitler, or just superannuated GOP hacks. College is increasingly useless, so that bubble should die already. Google safe search is your friend.

This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.

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There are now 2 sides in the culture war

A little history for you.  A professor has pinned down the origins of political correctness and my guess is it won’t come as much of a surprise to most of you:

“The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself,” Dr. Codevilla writes in the Fall 2016 issue of the Claremont Review of Books.

Dr. Codevilla indicates that the politically correct directive began word-of-mouth as a running joke that communists told each other that went like this:

“Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”

“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”

Dr. Codevilla goes on to point out the purpose of PC:

“Why does the American Left demand ever-new P.C. obeisances?,” Dr. Codevilla asks. “In 2012 no one would have thought that defining marriage between one man and one woman, as enshrined in U.S. law, would brand those who do so as motivated by a culpable psychopathology called ‘homophobia,’ subject to fines and near outlaw status.”

“Not until 2015-16 did it occur to anyone that requiring persons with male personal plumbing to use public bathrooms reserved for men was a sign of the same pathology. Why had not these become part of the P.C. demands previously? Why is there no canon of P.C. that, once filled, would require no further additions? Because the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself.

This is an ideological perversion that is rampant on the left.  You have no problem seeing it as the foundation of identity politics and all through academia which introduced it to a new generation and has been responsible for nurturing it to the extreme.  There is no question in the mind of any observer of PC that the intent is control.  The problem, of course, is as it gains more and more control  over the islands of its influence, it loses more and more touch with reality and the consequences of believing your echo chamber.  This election and it’s impact in those islands of delusion completely validate the point.

Secondly, the insistence on ideological conformity alienates huge swaths of the population that the left should be trying to woo and persuade.  Those people get tired of and eventually resent their concerns being trivialized, categorized as “xenophobic”, “homophobic” or “racist” and dismissed with an arrogant hand wave.

[T]he response to Trump radicalizes certain distressing and counter-productive intellectual tendencies and argumentative habits that were already all too common among liberals long before the election — tendencies and habits that contributed in important ways to Trump’s shocking triumph at the polls on Nov. 8.

I’m talking about the propensity of liberals to deem certain political opinions automatically illegitimate, out of bounds, and unacceptable.

Or said another way, the refusal of liberals – especially those stranded on their echo chamber islands (like academia) – to listen to the other side is killing them, politically.  But they refuse to listen and continue to believe that anything that doesn’t conform to the bubble’s PC code is trash.  Trash of the worst kind.  Vile trash.  Evil trash.  So sayeth the keepers of PC.

Here’s the chaser:

The urge toward exclusion is a perennial possibility of politics. That’s because politics takes place on two levels. On one level is the back and forth of partisan conflict, involving persuasion, argument, electoral battles, triumphs, and defeats. On this level, pretty much anything goes as long as it abides by the rules of the political game. But there’s also a second, more fundamental level of politics that involves a competition over who gets to set the rules, the boundaries of what is publicly acceptable, in the first place — and precisely where those boundaries will be positioned.

The most obvious example of second-order politics in the American system is the judiciary, and especially the Supreme Court. Until the Obergefell decision in 2015, for example, the American people were engaging in a free-flowing debate about same-sex marriage, with some people in favor of allowing it and others opposed, and public opinion shifting rapidly in the “pro” direction. That was politics conducted on the first level. But then the Supreme Court stepped in to declare gay marriage a constitutional right. That was second-order politics in action: Suddenly the rules were changed, with the “pro” side summarily declared the winner throughout the nation and the “anti” side driven — and permanently excluded — from the political battlefield going forward.

But second-order politics isn’t only found in the formal strictures of a Supreme Court ruling. It comes into play when prominent institutions in civil society (such as mainstream media outlets, universities, corporations, movie studios, and other arms of the entertainment industry) informally unite in deciding that an issue, or a specific position on an issue, is simply unacceptable because it crosses a moral line that leading members of these institutions consider inviolable. Over the past several decades, a range of positions on immigration, crime, gender, and the costs and benefits of some forms of diversity have been relegated to the categories of “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” “white supremacy,” or “white nationalism,” and therefore excluded from first-order political debate.

If liberals want to understand why their power in the nation’s first-order political institutions has gone into such steep decline, they might want to consider the possibility that it is partially a reaction to the enormous power they’ve wielded in recent years at the second-order level.

While they may not understand that completely, they do seem to sense that their “second-order” politics is about to take a beating as well.  Americans traditionally resist those who attempt to impose their way on them.  They certainly resist being dismissed as some sort of monster because they disagree.

The election was more than a warning shot in the culture war.  It was a declaration that one-side doesn’t intend to meekly stand by and accept the PC shaming attempts of the other side.

And that, my friend, is a good thing for all.

~McQ

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We know the Dems haven’t figured this out yet, but has the GOP?

A short history lesson from Dr. Marylin Singleton (email).  This is why it’s a dumb idea to propose doing away with the electoral college:

Message to protesters: the candidates were campaigning for each state’s electoral votes (the number of congresspersons and both senators), the system set forth in our Constitution. The Electoral College treats the states as equal sovereignties and keeps large states from swallowing up the small states.

It is the fight for electoral votes rather than popular votes that results in no one ever having to campaign, for example, in deep dark blue California where the ballot offered the choice between two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. The skewed voting patterns of California’s 18 million registered voters could account for Clinton’s extra votes.

Majority rule sounds moral but majority rule is not automatically democratic. As Ben Franklin said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner.”

Our country’s founders knew that the “divine right of the majority” was just as bad as rule by “the divine right of kings.” In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that direct democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” In a direct democracy, the individual, and any group of individuals who are in the minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. If the majority votes to take away your land, you lose your land. If the majority votes to outlaw your business, you lose your business.

This isn’t “new”, or “scary” and certainly not “outdated”.  It is “minority protection”, which, given their supposed focus on minority rights, would be a priority for the left.  But instead we get “wah, wah, wah, change the game, wah!”

Meanwhile, the “dumber than a box of rocks” party, aka the GOP, apparently missed the significance of last week’s vote. It apparently didn’t register as a “anti-business as usual” vote. Not that anyone should be surprised.  They still don’t get it:

 Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday persuaded Republicans to postpone votes on bringing back legislative earmarks until 2017 after reminding members of President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington.

House Republicans were set to hold a secret ballot on changes to their internal conference rules that would have allowed lawmakers to direct spending to projects in their districts under certain circumstances.

You simply cannot fix “stupid”.  Tone deaf, out-of-touch, and clueless are also all good descriptors.  I certainly won’t be surprised if they manage to lose a majority in two years.

Autopsy?  What autopsy?  We know why you awful, sucky deplorables voted for Trump.  It wasn’t out fault!

You could try to figure out where you went wrong losing so many voters who you used to have sewn up. The idea is to figure out how you might be able to prevent similar results in the future. Some call it a “post-event analysis.” In the Army – for the goatee n’ scarf gang, that’s the one that fights on the ground – we call it an “after action review.” Coroners call it an “autopsy.”

And you’ll never, ever do it. Why? Because you are liberals and you already have your answers.

Everyone is racist.

Everyone is sexist.

Everyone is stupid.

Everyone but you, that is. You, the ones the racist, sexist, stupid people beat like a NFL player’s wife.

And speaking of the NFL, have you noticed how its own autopsy of its own dying ratings also seems to have a predetermined outcome, one that studiously avoids any unwelcome conclusions?

Yup.  The NFL and the Dems doing exactly the same thing – ignoring the obvious and inconvenient facts for the simple and convenient lie.  Democrats.  Wilderness.  Some assembly required. Works for me.

Interesting.  I think, in reality, the majority are just glad this election is over and are willing to at least give Trump a chance.

According to GallupFifty-one percent of U.S. adults say they are “more confident” in President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to serve as president based on his statements and actions over the past few days. The percentage “more confident” in Trump a few days after his election is similar to ratings when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush won their respective elections in 1992 and 2000.

It also points out that the majority of Americans have both accepted and are settling in to give the Trump presidency a go.  Of course that’s the honeymoon period all presidents enjoy and unlike recent presidents, more people have voiced a lack of confidence in Trump that with previously newly elected presidents.  What’s going might extend the honeymoon for Trump depends on how long the tantrums continue on the left.  Most Americans like to give a person the benefit of the doubt and unless Trump really does some awful and stupid things (which isn’t necessarily unlikely), they’ll give him a chance.  If the left continues with its whining, crying and hate, they’re more likely to continue to give that chance.  We’ll see.

Is it me?  Or did the pictures of Hillary Clinton look like those of someone who’d been on a week long bender?

Meanwhile in Turkey, Erdogan attempts the old democratic authoritarian stamp of approval (ala Chavez, Hitler, etc.):

Erdogan and his supporters argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid the fragile coalition governments that hampered its development in the past.

Opponents see the proposed change as a vehicle for Erdogan’s ambition, and fear it will bring increasing authoritarianism to a country already under fire from Western allies over its deteriorating record on rights and freedoms, especially after widespread purges in the wake of a failed military coup in July.

The AKP, founded by Erdogan a decade and a half ago, is aiming to hold a referendum on the issue next spring and is seeking support from the nationalist MHP opposition order to win parliamentary approval for such a vote.

My guess is if they don’t get the support or the approval, they’ll find another way to make it happen.  Always trust your basest instinct when it comes to politics in any country.  While the public stamp of approval would be wonderful, its really not necessary … to an authoritarian.  Ah, history …

Slate- Labor news you can love: Unemployment claims fall to lowest level since 1973“.  Sigh.  Yes, but what’s the labor participation rate?

In other news, for some alone time is great time.  And especially for the highly intelligent:

There’s no fighting it – humans are innately social creatures. But while it’s widely accepted that socialising makes us happier, this might not be strictly true if you’re highly intelligent.

Evolutionary psychologists from Singapore Management University and the London School of Economics and Political Science found exactly this when they studied more than 15,000 young adults.

They concluded that, while people generally feel happier when they spend time with others, very smart people are an exception to this rule.

So all my “excess” alone time seems to be a good indicator.  Or it could just mean I am a loner in reality.  Lol.

~McQ

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Dear members of the left – please, keep it up

I mentioned Keith Ellison the other day.  Given his background I can only speculate that the attack on Steve Bannon is a diversion to pull attention away from what would otherwise be a major story.  It’s an old post from Scott Johnson over at Powerline, but the facts haven’t changed, nor, apparently, the ability to ignore them:

Moreover, Ellison’s long commitment to and advocacy of the Nation of Islam is reflected in the various aliases he used over a period of ten years: Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad. The Star Tribune has not only failed to connect these aliases to Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam, it has erroneously reported that Ellison used these aliases during his student days at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Ellison’s involvement with the Nation of Islam includes his support of “the truth” of Joanne Jackson’s condemnation of Jews in 1997 as “the most racist white people.” In his May 28 letter to the JCRC, Ellison went out of his way to state that, unlike others, he did not come to the defense of the statement that created the controversy that engulfed Joanne Jackson. Rather, according to Ellison, he only called for dialogue. This too is demonstrably false.

Johnson has what he calls “ocular proof” at the link in the form of newspaper articles where Ellison makes it clear he is associated with the anti-semitic Nation of Islam.  I know – you’re shocked.  Will you hear anything about it?  No, the press is busy chasing down one obscure story from his ex-wife, or, as a legal type would say, heresay.  But hey, the NYT has promised to be mend its ways so I’m sure you’ll here about Ellison’s sordid anti-semitic past and the paper of record will ensure it has hard evidence before it publishes anything on Bannon.

Uh huh.

Babs Boxer is again demonstrating why the left has been rejected pretty resoundingly in this past election.  Boxer is introducing legislation to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with the popular vote.  I call it the “Anti-Flyover Country” bill.  Apparently one of the things not required to be a United States Senator is knowledge of why the founders put that in and the fact that we are not, in fact, a democracy, but instead a Constitutional Republic.  Not to worry though … at least for now:

Senator Boxer’s legislation would amend the Constitution of the United States and abolish the Electoral College. The amendment would take effect when ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years after its passage in the U.S. Congress.

Call it “highly unlikely”, Babs.  Sore losers always want to change the game.

Speaking of changing the game, classy lefties can be counted on to try every approach possible to have their way.  Idaho:

four presidential electors say they have been getting harassing phone calls, emails and Facebook messages urging them to become “faithless electors” and not cast their votes for Donald Trump in the electoral college.

“A lot of ’em use bad, rough language,” said Layne Bangerter, one of the four electors. “Nothing I feel intimidated over. But we’re watching it very closely. They’ve got our home phone numbers, our cell numbers, our emails, our Facebook. We’re just getting an orchestrated barrage from the left.”

Well of course it’s orchestrated.  You didn’t think George Soros would go down peacefully did you?  By the way, progressives, this is precisely NOT the way to get your way in this case.  You’d think you’d be smart enough to know that.

We’ve had two CEOs get in trouble for their comments (one canned for outright calling for Trump’s assassination) and there is a mountain of this sort of crap rolling around out there.  Film director and writer Paul Schrader:

I have spent the last five days meditating on Trump’s election. Upon consideration, I believe this is a call to violence. I felt the call to violence in the 60’s and I feel it now again. This attack on liberty and tolerance will not be solved by appeasement. Obama tried that for eight years. We should finance those who support violence resistance. We should be willing to take arms. Like Old John Brown, I am willing to battle with my children. Alt right nut jobs swagger violence. It’s time to actualize that violence, Like by Civil War Michigan predecessors I choose to stand with the black, the brown and the oppressed.

All of this anger coming out on the left is hardly surprising.  It only reinforces the theory that most of their talk about violence on the right is projection.  As do their actions.

They seem clueless about the consequences of their actions.  Smart people would reflect, infants throw tantrums.  And those tantrums have a way of reinforcing beliefs, not changing minds. And certainly not shaming anyone into regretting their vote:

That’s why Americans lined up for Trump. Because he was speaking for so many Americans who were tired of hearing the elites — including elites in the Republican and Democrat parties — tell them they’re stupid for believing what they believe. Or worse, bigots and racists.

Nothing about that has changed. And trust me, the Keith Ellisons of the world will never buy them a clue.  These people will never reach out beyond their political bubble and so will continue to be “useful idiots” fueled by leftist propaganda and refusal to seek facts and use critical thinking to think things through.  Instead, the narrative will rule and the results will be pretty much the same.

There is also a little karma that played out elsewhere on down ballot races and state amendments.

For instance, the idiot who used the power of the state to destroy a business:

Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State went down to defeat, marking the first GOP victory in a statewide election in 14 years.  More significantly, the loser of this race was known to many as the infamous bully who led the charge to fine a Christian-owned bakery $144,000 for declining to provide services to a same-sex wedding.

Nice.  The market is quite good at handing out penalties to those who refuse service to various groups.  The state shouldn’t be involved and that’s precisely what the voters told this bully.

Oh, and here’s a surprise:

Thanks to Washington voters, folks making minimum wage will soon be getting more money, but will some see that money evaporate as child care costs skyrocket?

At least one local daycare says it will pass those pay increases on to the families with kids.

We heard from one mother today who will be paying $300 more a month for childcare.

Well duh!  When you increase the cost of labor arbitrarily, someone has to pay for it.  Guess who?  As usual those who are likely the least able to afford it.  Well done, Washington voters.

UPDATE: Sorry – I’ve had a horrible time getting a post up on WordPress for 2 days. Finally wrote this is “visual” and uploaded it in “text” as a last resort. For some reason it worked, but I had to do it bit by bit. We’ll see if it works again tomorrow … lol.

~McQ

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The shape of things to come …

Lots of interesting things happening as we head toward January 20, 2017.

You’ve likely been reading about the down-ballot success of the GOP in gaining control over state legislatures and governorships.  In fact, only 4 states now have both blue legislatures and governorships – CA, OR, HI and RI.  By last count, 2/3rds of the legislative branches of state government belong to the GOP.  That, much more than the election of Donald Trump, should be giving props the vapors.  This has all happened under Obama’s watch.  Anyone who doesn’t realize that this signals a repudiation of the blue model generally and Obama’s agenda specifically, is simply in denial.

All of this apparently slipped under the DNC and progressive radar screen.  Or if it didn’t, they simply chose to ignore it. Afterall it just wasn’t consistent with the narrative.  Any sane person would have interpreted this steady decline as real trouble for the national campaign as well.  But, then, bubbles are bubbles, especially when the media helps construct and maintain the bubble.  Result?  Shock and disbelief last Tuesday night.  All earned.

So what is the DNC’s comeback plan?  Well it appears they’ll double down on stupid and move further left if they can. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Bernie backing, Harry Reid endorsed, back bencher is pushing for the job and seems to be the leading contender:

Ellison is a favorite for the position among liberal advocacy groups and lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the runner-up in this year’s Democratic presidential primaries. Reid’s backing is the latest sign that support for Ellison is broad. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Reid’s likely successor, endorsed Ellison for the job on Friday.

In a word: wonderful.  And I mean that in the most positive of ways.  This sort of far left leadership will allow the Dems to become extremely familiar with the “wilderness” since they’re likely to be wandering it for years. Gotta love it.

I’m sure you’ve seen the Van Jones nonsense asking what he was going to tell his children.  Pitiful, but right in line with the cult of the victim he and his ilk have helped develop and nurture.  Well, Nicki has helpfully provided an answer:

You know why your children are scared, you whining ignorami? Because YOU are scaring them. Yes. You.

It’s YOUR refusal to be a grownup and a parent and provide rational guidance rather than foolish histrionics that is scaring them, and will eventually facilitate their development into swooning members of participation trophy-hoarding Generation Cupcake!

It’s YOUR failure as a parent and as a role model that’s frightening them, and YOUR refusal to provide objective direction that’s giving them angst, because apparently you’d rather impose your irrational hatred of your fellow Americans on them than guide them through challenging times.

It’s YOUR inability to provide impartial, balanced narrative, because you’re so busy projecting your utter hatred, that is scaring your gay kids, who thanks to your histrionics about Trump’s alleged “homophobia and transphobia,” don’t even know that despite Trump’s significant faults, he was vocal in his support of transgender individuals using whatever bathrooms they felt appropriate during a time when the issue was at its contentious height, and put his money where his mouth was.

It’s YOUR inability to discuss real issues, rather than focus on vagina politics, it’s YOUR ineptitude at objectivity and failure to admit that it wasn’t sexism or misogyny that tanked Hillary Clinton, but rather the fact that she was a venal, corrupt, entitled, dishonest cheater who looked down her nose for years at the same people who handed Trump his victory.

If you want to know why your children are scared, upset, and angry, you have only to look in the mirror and your failure to adult as the reason.

But, but, “whitelash!”

When the press gets over its shock and dedicates itself to bringing the Trump presidency to a halt, any bets on how they’ll attempt it? This guy has a few:

(T)he press will suddenly awaken topics like to:
The elderly and the paltry return on CD’s and other fixed income;
The homeless;
The huge numbers on food stamps and other forms of welfare;
The shrinking real income of working stiffs;
Every job relocated over seas; and
The real unemployment rate.

My guess is they’ll also rediscover the Constitution, limiting executive power and the filibuster.  Oh, and the antiwar movement?  Gearing up as we speak! Bets?

On the other side of things, it seems Trump is already having a positive effect.  His election has already created jobs:

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Always nice to see the unemployed neer-do-wells given a chance to shine!  But yeah, these are the usual suspects doing their usual thing.  ANSWER, Soros and the Occupy crew.  And I guess that they still don’t understand that everyday they keep doing this destructive nonsense is another day of validation for those who voted for Trump.
And they are nothing but thugs.  A recent flyer handed out in Portland OR makes that point.  It was a warning to the media covering the riots (and they are, indeed, riots).  All they needed to end it with was “Have a nice day!” and a smiley face.
Finally, on a hopeful note:

Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that he expects a flurry of repeals of Present Obama’s regulations by the next Congress and President-elect Donald Trump.

“You’re gong to find that we are going to repeal a half dozen or more regulations in the first week of Congress, and I’m excited about it because I think the regulations have been killing our jobs and making us less competitive with the world,” the Kentucky Republican said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.

Nothing like a little deregulation to spur economic growth.  And, a good early signal to business that the government is going to be looking for ways to back off their oppressive and intrusive regulatory march under Barack Obama and the Democrats.

~McQ

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 11 Nov 16

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Our long, national nightmare is truly over, and the Clinton Dynasty no longer hangs over our neck like a millstone. No one saw the Trump victory coming, even though they should’ve. The Left is having the biggest temper tantrum ever, while Democrats have the worst electoral result since Reconstruction. Prediction: Donald Trump will not put gays and Jews into camps. Obama’s response to the Trump win has been gracious and the nation should appreciate the peaceful transition of power. Who’s going to pay for the big infrastructure program? Will The Wall be built (We already know who’ll pay for that if it is)? In 1980, Ronald Reagan was an “amiable dunce” who’d get us into a nuclear war. In 1988, we thought of him differently. Will we think differently of Donald Trump when his presidency ends? The podcast ends on a note of, unbelievably, cautious optimism.

This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.

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May you live in interesting times …

I think we’ve got “interesting times” covered right now, don’t you?

I’ve been reading a lot the last few days because I find this election to be endlessly fascinating.  Oh, it’s like any other election cycle in the sense it has now devolved, on one side, to finger pointing, mea culpas and “I told you so, but you wouldn’t listen” articles where the author attempts to avoid blame for his or her side losing. Oh, and the “it wasn’t the message.  It was the messenger” crap you always see. And, on the other side a series of “this is why he won” pieces where the author is sure he has hit upon primary reason we now await a Trump presidency.

The childish temper tantrums by the special snowflake brigade are new, but not particularly surprising given who is throwing them.

I still feel that, with a very few exceptions, neither side has figured it out completely. Nor will they.  They are, and remain, to out of touch to do so.   The party hacks dearly want to figure it out because they think it will assure victory the next time (assuming they properly “message”). And they honestly believe that in the long run, if they have the right data, manipulate it properly and positively focus group the resultant message they are sure to win.  Each side wants to discover and repeat whatever the magic formula for victory was this time and the other side wants to discover why their current magic formula didn’t work so they can avoid it next time.

As usual, neither will be successful.  Why?  Because they still won’t have a clue about what the people want (and really don’t do much to find out).  And if they do, they’re likely ignore it because it really isn’t what they want.  Hey, the GOP did it for three election cycles until they finally had Trump forced on them.  And, while they have a vague idea why, they still haven’t quite put their finger on it. Thus all the “why he won” articles.

Like this:

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.

Yeah, no.  While PC is odious and totally un-American, it isn’t the reason Donald Trump won.  Oh, sure, his supporters would love to see it destroyed and appreciated him confronting it, but it is hard to believe this was the single-most important reason people voted for DT.  In fact, I’m sure it was barely on anyone’s radar screen.

Then there is the article headlined “Trump won because college educated Americans are out of touch“.  Well, again, no.  They were just as out of touch when Barack Obama won, but he still won.  The fact that the author is finally noticing that is a plus (btw, read the article, he really makes some good points about academia’s cluelessness and its inability to assess it’s own obvious shortcomings.)

No, it’s a combination of frustration and anger at being ignored and, frankly, being left behind while government catered to all of these whiny special interest groups and called those who were frustrated and angry names – you know, like “racist” or “homophobe” or “xenophobe” if they had the temerity to think differently than the in-power political culture thought they should think.  And if they said anything, if they spoke up,  they were given the added label of “fascist”, the irony completely lost on the bomb throwers.

You could see the anger and frustration building for years.  For years.  It wasn’t hidden. About immigration.  About the economy.  About jobs. About government intrusion.  About unemployment.  Taxes.  Regulation. Corruption. The healthcare fiasco.  About all sorts of issues.

Our betters simply ignored or refused to do anything  meaningful about any of that.  Or they tried to paint a rainbows and unicorns picture of what anyone could see was a crap sandwich.  Or they simply lied to us. All of it aided and abetted by a corporate media with an agenda.

So now they get to deal with a Trump presidency.

And they have richly earned every single day of it.

~McQ

 

 

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Peace, love, tolerance and the left

“I refuse to be lectured on “peace”, “tolerance” and “embracing differences” by people who are wrecking cities and beating people in the street”. -Declan Finn

Finn has it right and I agree.

Watching the children that comprise the left in this country throwing a tantrum because the election didn’t go their way is simply to watch what comes naturally to them. When they win an election its all “we won”, “get over it” and “elections have consequences”.

Well, karma’s a bitch isn’t it? And here, given the perfect opportunity to demonstrate their principles, they do – riot, protest, cry, whine, demand safe spaces, refuse to cooperate and refuse to acknowledge the validity of the election process. Disgusting, infantile display … but not surprising.

Oh, and Leftyfornia wants to secede.  Please, take Oregon and Washington with you.  Once the three of you go bankrupt because no federal money is keeping you afloat, we might think about taking you back – if you renounce the blue model of governing.

Meanwhile reality called and it is giving the left a post-mortem that will likely make them very uncomfortable:

The truth is, most of Trump’s voters voted for him despite the fact that he said/believes awful things, not because of it. That in no way excuses it, but I have to admit I’ve spent eight years quietly tuning out news stories about drone strikes blowing up weddings in Afghanistan. I still couldn’t point to Yemen on a map. We form blind spots for our side, because there’s something larger at stake. In their case, it’s a belief that the system is fundamentally broken and that Hillary Clinton would have been more of the same. Trump rode a wave of support from people who’ve spent the last eight years watching terrifying nightly news reports about ISIS and mass shootings and riots. They look out their front door and see painkiller addicts and closed factories. They believe that nobody in Washington gives a shit about them, mainly because that’s 100-percent correct.

Pretty good points made.  The final line is the clincher.  That’s why.  The “political establishment” on both sides has let the majority of Americans down for decades.  To quote the incompetent occupying the White House’s favorite preacher, those “chickens have come home to roost”.  This was as big an anti-establishment vote as was Brexit.

For those who claim there is nothing good that can come out of the election of Donald Trump, I beg to differ.  Something already has.  The Clinton’s have been pretty much permanently retired from politics.   Thank you, Lord.

And of course, the joker who would be King only has a few months left to further wreck this country.  Like most would be kings, he “govern(ed) as though his opinion was the only one worth considering.”  You can see the result for yourself. More of that sort of thinking is likely to be put into action with a “pen and a phone” in his (thankfully) closing months..

“Look out for the executive orders, the ‘midnight’ regulations and, perhaps most controversially, the pardons,” The Washington Times warns. “As President Obama runs out the clock on his eight-year tenure, analysts say, he still has plenty of business left undone, and they expect him to follow the lead of other presidents and issue a series of rules, to add to his list of executive orders, to continue his record-setting pace of commutations and perhaps add a controversial pardon or two into the mix.”

Frankly, I think you can count on all of this. His legacy, such that it was, is in the crapper anyway, so, why not?  Hillary is counting on him. And, of course, the left will support everything he does.

But what will they do when the shoe is on the other foot?  Ann Althouse’s son says:

“Democrats have been arguing for years that President Obama should have the power to get a lot done on his own, without going through Congress: executive orders, going to war, etc. If President Trump exercises similarly broad powers, remember: Trump didn’t build that!”

~McQ

 

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Danger – exploding heads!

I’m still laughing over the stunned looks on the MSNBC hosts faces last night.  The elite were steamrolled and they’re still trying to figure out why?  Let me give you two quick reasons:

  1. Hillary Clinton was a deplorable candidate (thought I’d toss the word “deplorable” at her since it was one she used to characterize the half of the US voting population she despises).  I cannot think of a worse candidate for any major party.  She almost lost to a back bench socialist, and would have, had the primary not been rigged.  She’s never, in her political life, had an approval rating above 48%.  Drop on the email scandal, the appearance of Justice Department manipulation and collusion in the investigation, not to mention Wikileaks and she was destined for the mat and a 10 count.
  2. Donald Trump, like Obama 8 years ago, was the beneficiary of the perfect political storm. How so?  This revolution on the right has been brewing for over 10 years.  The GOP was absolutely deaf to it.  The Tea Party really kicked it off and it worked hard to put GOP politicians in office that would take on the size of government and the out of control spending at a minimum.  Well it did that and what did these politicians do?  Nothing. They gave it lip service for a while, but in the end, they didn’t even try. Obama and the Dems, on the other hand, were expanding both the size and intrusion of government by every means available and continued to spend us into the poor house. The Republicans essentially colluded in this travesty.  Enter the primaries.  The constituency that makes up the right made it clear that establishment GOP members need not apply.  Donald Trump had figured that out and understood their frustration (Paul Ryan finally figured it out and said in remarks today, “Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard.” – Duh!). He appealed to that frustration.  The establishment GOP was clueless.

Result?  President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The Republicans – and the Democrats – got exactly what they had earned by ignoring the “deplorables”.

Certainly there are lots of other reasons that can be tossed on the pile.  But the obvious “demand for change” that was blithely ignored by the GOP is one of the majors.  Horrible Hillary was just the cherry on the top of the cake.

Then there’s this:

To suggest that Trump voters are worried about anything real is to invite scorn from certain corners of the mainstream media. The “economic anxiety” tweet, a special brand of sarcasm that mocks the suggestion that Trump supporters are buttressed by economic forces, has entered the online lexicon. Many cannot stomach the fact that people are driven to Trump by anything besides racism.

Yet the decline felt in certain corners of the country isn’t just about economics; it’s about every element of life — from family to life expectancy to the drugs that have infected communities. The feeling that so many of America’s opinion leaders see your concerns as the product of stupidity at best, or racism at worst, confirms the worst fears of many. They already worry that the coastal elites don’t care about them, and many among those elites seem happy to comply.

This was a total and complete repudiation of what are commonly known as the “ruling elites”.  They have been rebranded as the “out-of-touch elites” with this election.  They are as stunned as anyone.  Why?  Well the title to the article cited is “Life Outside the Liberal Bubble”.  It details why this victory by Trump has caught the left completely off guard.

And you ought to scroll through the rest of the NYT opinion pieces you’ll find on that linked page.  All full of gloom, doom, hate and angst.  Trump hasn’t even taken office and the world is ending.  If you think “Chimpy McBush Hitler” was bad, wait until the leftist hate machine gets over their shock and focuses on their newest target.

Oh, and Paul Krugman?

So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.

Because, you know, things didn’t turn out as another elite expected.  Whatta maroon.

Why were the elites so wrong?  Because people see the results of their meddling and are finally angry enough to do something about it.  And not just here.  Trump is just a beneficiary of that anger.  The anger has been boiling for quite some time:

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

People are simply tired of the prescriptions of the self-described “intelligencia” with no skin in the game and no accountability for the usually dismal outcome of their prescriptions.  And they are deathly tired of the 1-5 listed above.  But they’re stuck, for the moment, with this group. They also know that government, because of its size and intrusiveness, is a problem not a benefit.  They hold these nabobs responsible and want out from under their “guidance” backed by government.  It’s not a far fetched wish and certainly not one I’m at all unsympathetic with.

However, the IYI still hold sway today.  We have one that shows up here every now and then to lend us his “expertise”:

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

Sound like anyone we know?  Time for a purge.  Will a Trump presidency be the beginning of such a purge (and I mean purge in the most benign sense)?  Who the hell knows?

Finally, stay tuned for an avalanche of hypocrisy on the left as they start to gin up their opposition to all things Trump.  Executive orders, an Obama staple?  Taboo.  They’ll begin yammering about the sanctity of Congress … and the Constitution.  And they’ll be as obstructive as they can … that’s already the declared stance of one “progressive” group.  And you have to love those out there on the left claiming Trump has “no experience”!  Yeah, and the last guy just had a mountain of it, didn’t he?  At least Trump has “run something and done something”.  All Obama has “done” is head this country down hill in a free fall.

But enough.  Disclaimer – I did not vote for Donald Trump, nor Clinton, but I did vote.  My candidate of choice wasn’t especially attractive politically either.  But I could not find it in myself to enable either of the two top contenders.

Water under the bridge.  Georgia went exactly as expected – to Trump.  Now, given the fact that the country has spoken pretty emphatically, I wish him the best and hope like hell he can rise to the job.  Just as importantly I hope he can begin to unite and heal the divide this country now suffers – if the left will let him.

~McQ

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