If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Subject: Pay now or risk losing coverage!

That's the email subject line I got from my new insurance company a few weeks ago. (The due date, I know, is 1/1/17 but the email does not mention that. But that is not the story.) I finally go to the website to pay. It asks for my member #. I have not been sent a member #. So I call them.

After navigating the unhelpful prompts (Para Espanol, marque nueve!) I finally reach a pleasant person who tells me I won't receive my member number until I pay my premium. (!) Fortunately, she can give it to me. I then try to log in and that fails. She tries and fails. Seems I can't log in to the account until 1/1. She gives me two suggestions: 1) try the automated phone payment or 2) send in a payment (write down this address, put your member # and last four of your SSN and your name and address on the check and send it to the attn: of such and such {the FL part of this conglomerate}). As I'm writing all this I think, "I'll sooner switch to a different insurance than actually write a check and put it in the mail. What is this? 1995?" She kindly offers to transfer me to the automated pay line.

I hear a few beeps and boops and then an automaton says "to complete this as a cold transfer, press 'conference' then 3." And then there is a long silence. I figure, "what the heck" and press 3 myself. A few moments later I am connected to another pleasant person asking what she can do for me. I explain I was supposed to be transferred to the automated payment line but I'll just call back. She says, "no, no, I'll transfer you." After 30 seconds of silence, I hang up and call back.

As I dial I wonder if Spanish speakers get better service. Is my Espanol good enough to "marque nueve?" I stick with English. Then "payments" and then "medical". There is a long recording about how if you use a credit card the billing address for your card must match the billing address for your insurance. If they don't you must pick another payment method. And then another voice says, "this number is not in service." and it hangs up on me!

Does this shit happen to other people?

Monday, November 14, 2016

I came back from vacation for this?

Ah, the demos (Latin for 'morons'). There must be some corollary to the Dunning-Kruger effect which states that some people are too stupid to realize how stupid most people actually are. I certainly suffer from this malady.


I see all kinds of reasons why Trump won but in the nine elections I've been involved in, the more charismatic person has won every time. You might immediately think GHWB had no charisma! But compare him to Dukakis and I think you'll give elder Bush the edge. But past performance does not predict future results.

  • Reagan v. Mondale
  • Bush v. Dukakis
  • Bush v. Clinton (v. Perot)
  • Clinton v. Dole
  • Bush v. Gore
  • Bush v. Kerry
  • Obama v. McCain
  • Obama v. Romney
  • Trump v. Clinton

Let the idiocracy begin!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coming Headline: CLINTON BEATS TRUMP JOHNSTON

There seems to be only two possible explanations for Trump's campaign. Either:

  1. He is too stupid/naive/ignorant/incapable to do what he needs to do to win.
  2. He doesn't want/care to win.

The argument for 2 is that he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in places he doesn't need to go to promote his hotels and golf courses and whatnot. On the other hand, reports are that his properties are hurting and his company is readying the switch away from using the Trump brand to Scion (which worked so well for Toyota).

The argument for 1 is just about everything he does outside of what a normal politician would do at this point (actually a much further back point).

Maybe it's both. (You can substitute Johnson's name for Trump's and make much of the same argument sans golf courses and hotels.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everything except Trump's support

In my view, Texas Republicans are loyalists. When Cruz refused to endorse Trump, they revolted at his lack of loyalty to the party. But above party comes loyalty to the country and I think Trump just abandoned any pretense of nationalism with his refusal to say he would accept the results of the election.

Stick a fork in him; he is done. Clinton will approach 400 Electoral votes.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trumpelstiltskin

Is he crazy like a fox or just crazy? Is he the blind squirrel who just happened across an acorn? People wonder about Trump. But what about the pundits?

This morning Ari Fleischer on Morning Joe was going on and on about why Trump is cooked. (Full disclosure: I think Trump is cooked.) He cited stats from 2012 like Romney won x% of this group and Trump has less. So where, oh where, is he getting the extra voters to possibly win?

The thing is, Ari, that current polls show Johnson and Stein with 8-12% of the vote. If it stays that way then Trump needn't match any of Romney's 2012 numbers. (See 1992.) So, is Ari stupid? Or stupid like a fox? (And what the hell does that even mean?)

Please, media, stop citing meaningless numbers and stats.

Also, Ben Carson, stop saying you are using "common sense" as it is demeaning to those of us with any sense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mercedes won't kill rich people

I have previously posted that self-driving cars should not prioritize the lives of others over the lives of the occupants, Mercedes says they agree with me.

On a side note, I'll be started the "no car" experiment around the end of the year. I currently only drive around 7000 miles a year and soon that will likely be down below 5000. I'll see if I can live using Lyft and Uber and the kindness of others. My dad gives it 3 weeks.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I, for one, welcome our new self-driving overlords

Let's take a diversion away from the Presidential campaign to discuss self driving cars.

They are coming. Eventually people will not be allowed to drive on roads. Get over it. There is no ethical dilemma. It starts with something like this (a lane of a highway to test things). The lower rates of accidents and deaths will do two things: 1) it will push insurance rates for self-driving vehicles lower and 2) it will pressure politicians to "do something".

Rich people and fleets will be the first owners of these vehicles. That'll cost some jobs in the taxi/Uber worlds (eventually that's a lot of jobs, starting in big cities). Long distance truckers are also likely among the first job victims.

As the fleets grow and private ownership shrink, the jobs in the auto insurance world will also shrink. Eventually, humans will be banned from driving on public roads. That'll mean the end for most body shop workers, parking attendants, parking police, traffic police. It'll also mean the end for most of that parking ad traffic fine revenue. Courts need less judges and other people dealing with traffic violations. Of course there will be less need for lawyers. A lot fewer people working at the DMV.

As more people make the switch from owning a car to hiring a ride, there will be less cars needed. Fleets will prefer more uniform designs to simplify maintenance. Don't be surprised if body style equates to a certain fleet. With less cars and less customization, far fewer auto workers are needed.

Since robots drive better, they can drive closer together. For some roads, that'll mean an extra lane or two in the same width. Robots can drive closer together and/or faster, further increasing road capacity. There will be a lull in road construction (likely at least partially replaced by road reconstruction.)

There will be less need for parking. The fleets will need to park but they don't need to be in the best parts of town. Street parking will disappear. Partly used for pick-up and drop-off but maybe adding some wider sidewalks.

Subways will still hang around for a while but eventually, if ridership drops so much, they could be repurposed as underground expressways for the cars.

Motorcycles likely would be banned (on streets) too. They just cause too many problems. Cyclists might get dedicated roads and/or times of allowed use.

With fleet ownership, EVs with swappable batteries make more sense.

You should eventually see some "sleeper" vehicles for longer distance and overnight trips. There could be small ones for individuals or families. There could be large ones for large unaffiliated groups. The large ones could caravan to hub-spoke centers to create a virtual passenger rail line. This could lead to less air travel.

And what will replace all these lost jobs? Well, as the cost of transportation goes down, the people that do have jobs have more spending money. That boosts jobs in general. We might put more people to work fixing and restructuring our current infrastructure. I expect the transition to banned humans to be slowly phased in and telegraphed years in advance. It will not be painless for everyone. If things are too painful expect delayed transition plans. But, by then, the whole world will be moving on this path and to remain competitive, it will happen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Your anti-test vote

If you live in an noncompetitive state then you should feel free to fully express yourself and vote for whomever you want. You can do this knowing full well that your vote is meaningless to the race so it might as well be meaningful to you.

If you live in a competitive state and are not planning to vote for one of the people who is competitive then you are saying that you don’t care which of those people wins. You’ll be just as happy/sad with either one. The country will do just as well/poorly with either. You won’t even bother to check the news Wednesday morning to see who won. If all that applies, vote for whomever you please. Otherwise, hold your nose and vote for the one you think would be better (or less worse) for the next four years.

The above applies unless someone other than Clinton or Trump becomes competitive in the race (by which I mean it becomes more than a two-way race), a dubious prospect.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

A cross between a leopard and a hippo?

Thanks to Gary Johnson's beacon-of-knowledge brilliance that will be his Howard Dean Primal Scream moment - What is Aleppo? - I think we can safely write off my Tuesday post about anyone other than Trump and Clinton getting Electoral votes. Probably wasn't the best day to wake and bake.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Trump's unfavorables don't matter as much as Clinton's

Both Trump and Clinton rate incredibly unfavorable. Clinton's unfavorable rating is the lowest ever for a major party candidate. Except for Trump. Theoretically, that should be worse news for Trump than Clinton but it's the other way around.

If a third party can win somewhere (say, Johnson in New Mexico) then there is at least the possibility of the House deciding the next President. Unless Trump falls far short (>15%) in the popular vote, he'll be the only "legitimate" choice that the Republican House could pick.

Clinton beating Trump down only helps if she get 270+. Otherwise she might as well pound sand. Trump, should be propping up Johnson and Stein in any state where either of them can move votes away from Clinton. It doesn't matter if they go for Trump. He only needs Clinton to get <270 p="" to="" win.="">
You will not see Trump's taxes. He will not black box his business. He will not put out any real positions. None of these hurts Clinton and that is the only thing he should be focused on.

Clinton needs to either quickly reform her image (a dubious possibility) or be very careful where she is hitting Trump. In Utah she has very little chance of winning. Trump or Johnson (or that Evan whoever) could win there. Trying to split that vote so she can win Utah with <40 a="" act.="" dangerous="" high-wire="" is="" of="" p="" the="" vote="">

Friday, September 02, 2016

Political lies of the century

1800's: two acres and a mule

1900's: a chicken in every pot

2000's: a taco truck on every corner

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I don't think this got covered outside South Florida.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Foiler Alert!

DJT has been talking about the rigged elections that he has presumably already lost (what did I miss?) He claims that without voter ID laws, people will just go in and out and in and out (like they're playing all night) and just vote over and over. I wondered if he had ever voted.
I put in a FOIL request for DJT (scroll down to How to Request Voter Registration Data). I did not expect anything but after a couple of days I got the information.

I would post the pdf's but I'm not sure if that would be non-election use. Here's some tidbits.

DJT registered in 1987. His voting history starts in 2004 (whether this indicates he didn't vote or that earlier records are not electronic, I don't know.) Biggest surprise to me was that he has voted mostly at the polls and not by absentee. He's also voted quite a bit more than I expected.

So he knows how voting works. You go in, sign your name and the poll worker compares it to the one on file. How do you repeat this process? Only by signing other peoples' names. (To be fair, DJT might think that black people more likely to be illiterate and sign with an X, which is not hard to forge.) I don't know if this makes him a typical politician, an idiot or a troll. I'm not sure what the the difference is between those three options, either.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I have a dream...

Last night I had a dream that my penis had become attached to my underwear.

This is known as the Johnson-Weld nightmare.

Friday, August 12, 2016

I don't want to drink this punch

How do you decide who to vote for in this election? For me, I pick the least worse option. Up until a month or so ago that could still conceivably had been Trump. The scenario might have gone like this: Clinton indicted (and not just some BS indictment but a you are [or should be] going to jail for that one) and Trump pivots to something approaching a normal candidate.
The first did not happen. Every time Clinton talks about the server she erodes by some percentage (<100 any="" back.="" bsc="" can="" continues="" do="" ever.="" far="" from="" get="" gone="" hand="" has="" he="" his="" is="" it="" just="" little="" me.="" not="" nothing="" of="" on="" or="" other="" out="" p="" palin-esque="" say="" she="" sliver="" so="" support="" the="" there="" to="" train.="" trump="" what="" wiped="">Clinton could still lose me. Which would leave Johnson (LOL), Stein (ROFLMAO), a write-in or not voting. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

You can't defy the laws of physics!

My girlfriend just explained the only way Trump can still win.
"Kobayashi Maru."

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Worst (except for the other one)

Compared to every previous Presidential campaign I can remember, this Clinton campaign is the worst I've ever seen. Her handling of the email server situation is appallingly bad and incomprehensible.
Fortunately for her, the Trump campaign is even worse. I wouldn't be surprised if he basically stops running (perhaps claiming a rigged system).
I predict turnout lower than in 2012. Clinton may win by 20 points and the Libertarian and Green parties splitting 10-15% of the vote. (This assumes Trump stays in and somewhat gets his shit together, a dubious assumption).

Friday, July 29, 2016

Never Forget

After two weeks of watching both conventions, here's my main takeaway: I should never do that again.
I live a life based on reason and accountability. The hyperbole and outright lies of the last two weeks rub me the wrong way. The issue is not the parties or even the members. The issue is, in fact, me.
If well over half the electorate can be persuaded to vote for someone using a slogan, an obvious lie, promises that can't possibly be kept, who am I to say that politicians shouldn't do those things to win?
In the past, I've kept myself out politics by voting (mostly) for a sure loser. A sure loser that I could convince myself was really not (so no Libertarians or Green Party candidates). "I didn't vote for this asshole," was my mantra. I was pretending to care when clearly, I did not.
Do I care this time? Is it worth it to care? My vote is essentially meaningless (maybe not as meaningless as someone from North Dakota, but meaningless nonetheless). I will vote for the person I think will do the best job for the next four years. I will not purposely pick the loser. But I refuse to care whether they win or lose. I just can't care about something I have so little control over.
The last two weeks has been about the people who care who wins and who loses. I don't get these people. The politicians I get. Driven by power or money or even a drive to make a better world; that I get. The followers are like sports fans. "We won!" they cry and I wonder "Who the fuck do you mean by 'we'?" The answer is the susceptible hoi polloi who will chose the next President.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Here we go again

Before last week, don't think I've ever purposely watch a political convention. Last week was exhausting and I expect so will this week. These things are a scary mix of hyperbole and delusion. If you wonder how you get such a shitty choice every four years, you only need to watch for a few minutes to figure it out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trump campaign denies plagiarism in Melania's speech

Campaign manager Paul Manafort not only denied the accusations (he called them “crazy” on CNN Tuesday morning) but he suggested that a time travelling Michelle Obama actually went back to the future to plagiarize Mrs. Trump's speech.

"This is typical of the Clinton-Obama team," Manafort stated. "And to prove it, you can watch Donald Jr tonight and see that Barack pre-plagiarized parts of his speech, too!"
Reached by Twitter, Donald Trump responded, "Pre-cog plagiarism! Sad!!!!" 

Monday, July 11, 2016

You are left with no rights

Your 1st Amendment right to free speech ends with "fighting words".
Your 2nd Amendment right to bear arms ends when you point those arms at someone.
Your 5th/14th Amendment right to due process ends when you have shot people, barricaded yourself and threatened to kill others.

When you do these things, you give up your rights. You should expect nothing except death. If you are spared it is only through the good graces (or incompetence) of others. Count your blessings.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Please state your destination (other than hell)

Slam on the brakes and run them over.

People are asking what a self driving car should do in all kinds of hypothetical situations. People appear out of nowhere, the driver has to decide, crash their car or hit the people. What if it's a lot of people? What if they are all babies?

Slam on the brakes and run them over.

Given a fraction of a second, that's what people do. They slam on their brakes and run people over. The idea that a person ever thinks "I have a choice, either smash into that 100 year old oak or run over those kids, I'll pick the tree," is ludicrous. If you have time to think that you should already be on your brakes (your self driving car will be).

This is not about ethics. You are not programming the car to kill the pedestrians. You are programming the car to drive. Just like you have been programmed to drive. You can't be ready for every situation. You can't be ready for most situations. Why do you think the average car is about half the width of a highway lane? So we have so much extra space that people can stop paying attention (maybe too much).

People won't want to get in a car that is, in any case, programmed to get into any crash. Do your best to stop the car and minimize problems. That's it. There is no "ethics" problem.


Friday, June 24, 2016

This is why we have a republic

Winston S. Churchill — 'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.'

Birth rate in the UK is about 1.8. Without immigration, they are pretty screwed.

Please mind the gap.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quick, before they delay the train!

I take a short break from my election rants for this PSA. Make sure to watch until the very end.


"Oooh, that looked rough. You're all dismembered and stuff. Well, see ya!"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Dear John letter

Dear John McCain,
Let me try to explain to you what the phrase "directly responsible" means. Take this hypothetical situation. Donald Trump is trying to punch Wayne LaPierre in the face. You, John, are holding Donald's arm. Then you let go and Donald's punches Wayne. Who is directly responsible? By your definition, you are. You know if you let go, Wayne's getting face punched. You let go. Ergo, you are directly responsible.
Except, no. At best, you are indirectly responsible. The person directly responsible is Donald. His fists his Wayne in the puss.
Also, Wayne is partly responsible just because he's such a dick.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's a choice, not a census

I have overheard snippets of conversations in the last few weeks that can only mean one thing: there are people (not an insignificant amount) that do not know they can vote for anyone even if they are registered for a different part.
Although this was shocking at first, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense that people might think that.
If you are registered in some party and have voted that ticket election after election, especially somewhere that has that convenient All My Party button/lever, you might start thinking that it is not a choice but an instruction.
Democracy!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Why does an omnipotent god need you to kill people?

  • He doesn't. (You are going to hell.)
  • He doesn't care. (Your religion is wrong.)
  • He doesn't exist. (Your religion is a scam.)

Coprophiles Unite!

There's been another mass murder. It's been impossible not to hear about it. If there is anything else going on in the world, we would not know. I don't want to minimize this tragedy. About 50 people killed and another 50 or so injured. A tragedy for their families, say about 1000 people. A tragedy for their friends, say another 5000. One degree of separation, say another 300,000. In a country of over 300,000,000. That's 0.1%. Non-stop national news for 2 days for 0.1%. Some jackass's picture plastered on TV for a large part of that. A nice little incentive for the next jackass.

Clearly the media is to blame; except it is not. The media is a bunch of for-profit enterprises. They make money by showing ads to as many people as possible. If people stopped watching, the media would stop covering. But the people don't. As a group, they apparently can't. They are spoon fed their own shit and they gulp it down greedily. When dogs eat shit, we pull them away. We yell, "No!" We assume that eating shit is bad for them. Maybe it isn't. Maybe I'm the one making a mistake.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

What could trump this?

A person with $10B should be earning at least $1-2M a day. A day! Please excuse me when I don't give a shit about $6M you "raised" for some group but seemingly forgot to give them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WWSVD

What will Sanders voters do? Ask a Democrat and the answer is that they will support Clinton because she is closer to him on the issues like support for the poor. Ask a Republican and you will get a different answer because Trump is the other non-establishment candidate.

Neither of these things matters much for a president. Foreign policy, Commander in chief and appointing judges. I'd say for foreign policy, Sanders and Trump look more similar (isolationist). For CiC, Sanders and Clinton look more similar (sane). The tie breaker should be judges but Sanders does not discuss the importance of the SCOTUS judges and recent rulings in the area of civil rights. If Clinton doesn't get him to speak about them, she may be screwed (unless that independent Republican runs).

Who could have seen this coming?

Apparently, a Republican running as an independent should be joining the race soon. If someone does, expect Trump to try to destroy then. He could even threaten (closer to the Election) to withdraw (using a Clinton presidency as leverage). That won't work.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

If only we knew someone with a lot of money

A man who claims to be worth $10,000,000,000 ages to debate the Democratic runner-up if someone else donates $10-$15 million. Huh?

Dance, Monkey, Dance

Trump vs. Sanders in a debate? OMG, I'd love to see that. And by "see it" I don't mean I'd watch it because I certainly would not. Nobody who has paid the least bit of attention to politics over the last few months has any need to see it. You (like I) already know what both of these guys' views are about important topics (or, you don't and you won't find out during this debate). So why do I want to see it?

It will prove that we no longer have any news organizations in the US. Everything is tabloid, TMZ, Gawker. The worst of the worst. And every *NN will give themselves a facial trying to cover this non-event. Perhaps the shame of this self-bukkake will wake them up.

Nah.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Raise your hand if you want to replace Mullah Monsour

The other day, Trump gave one of those typical "I love guns, the Democrats want to take your guns" speeches and Clinton missed an opportunity.

She could have given a nice little sound-bite about how Trump doesn't think background checks are necessary. He wants felons to be able to buy guns. Spouse abusers can buy guns. The mentally disturbed can buy guns. Trump would then be stuck between a rock (the NRA) and a hard place (90% of Americans).

Between his idiotic statements and her incompetent campaign, I'm not sure if either of them want to win.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Simple: Just Don't Join Any

Every political group is composed of two types of people:

  • Those who would benefit from the policies the group expounds
  • Those who are too stupid too realize they won't

Idiocracy on the way

Does our future look something like this:

Francois Hollande: President Trump is risking the security of Western Democracy with his threats to pull out of NATO.

Trump: Horrible Hollande, or should I say, or-EE-blay, Horrible Hollande and the pacifist French, remember how they just laid down for the the Nazis? Remember that? Just laid right down like women. Not that I don't like women, especially when they're laying down. And the women love me. They love me. The flaccid French just laid down and if it wasn't for us they'd all be speaking German. All German. They wouldn't be saying Heil Hollande either, I guarantee you. If it wasn't for America, the greatest country in the world, they'd be German! You could say Auf Wiedersehen to or-EE-blay Hollande!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A-P-A-T-H-and-Y Find Out Why I Don't Give a Fly

I watch the Trump and Sanders rallies with a mixture of amazement and fear. I am amazed that so many people think this is so important. These people seem to think we are choosing the next Lincoln (Lincoln being the only President ever to do anything remotely resembling the level of change asked for by the Trump/Sanders zealots). They can't all be stupid or ignorant or naive, can they?

My fear stems from history. When I look back and I see the crowds cheering, the mania at fever pitch, I see the rise of the dictators. What's the difference between Sanders and Chavez? Between Trump and Putin or a whole host of self-interested, megalomaniacs?

How can anyone be so excited about anyone in this Presidential race? About any Presidential race or any elected office. Support whoever you want but please stop the idolatry. Some people desperately need a little apathy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Perhaps AA Would be the Best Choice

Of the two people, which seems like the kind of person people would want to go have a drink with? Or, put another way, who seems like a more "regular" person?

Carter vs. Reagan
Reagan vs. Mondale
Bush vs. Dukakis
Bush vs. Clinton
Clinton vs. Dole
Gore vs. Bush
Bush vs. Kerry
McCain vs. Obama
Obama vs. Romney

In every case the clear answer won the Presidency.

Who currently seems like a drinking buddy in this election? Clinton or Trump? I'd say Trump but he doesn't drink. This, I think, is Clinton's biggest problem. A photo op of her out with some of her staff having a drink and laughing it up would probably go a long way toward her being the "regular" person candidate.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Penis Pump of Thrones

Two "news" stories making the rounds today: 

A woman heads to the hospital with a shark attached to her arm.
Someone in Boston got a penis transplant.

Do you see the common thread? It's Trump.

Trump is the candidate of twerking, penis-transplanted sharks going to the bathroom with your 14 year old daughter. He is the National Enquirer, The Weekly World News, The Globe and People magazine all rolled into one.Trump appeals to these people. They will likely vote overwhelmingly for him. Like they did for GWB.

If this were Game of Thrones, GWB would be Lord Robin Arryn, an simple-minded puupet. Trump would be Roose Bolton, an overconfident, unpredictable ass who is likely to be killed by his own child.

And who is Clinton? Perhaps Margaery Tyrell who seemed likable but ultimately was just using her spouse to gain power and looks to soon lost in the shuffle.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

If Only Shinola Was a Choice

For my entire voting life, I have always had to choose between Presidential candidates I would rate as shitty and shittier. Mostly, I've chosen shitty but sometimes shittier based on whether I thought Congress would be R or D controlled. This election appears to be no different.

When I ask people who have professed support for Trump why they support him, I get answers like:

  • He's not beholden to anyone.
  • He's not part of the system.
  • He tells it straight.

Nobody tells me it's because he'll build a wall, block Muslims from coming to the country or make America great again! I assume those people exist but apparently I don't know any. The wall and the Muslim blockade are actually things he could get done with a Republican Congress. I don't even know what Make America Great Again means but if he starts with a wall and a blockade then I don't like the sound of it.

Trump has claimed he's worth something like $10B. And yet he is not funding his own campaign. He is lending his campaign money. Why? Is this his latest bankruptcy plan or is there some tax angle? Regardless, he's either fucking someone over or lying about not being beholden to anyone. Even if he pays off the loans he'll be beholden to someone worth $10B. How is that any different than taking money from Shel Adelson or some other rich donor? Do you think he'll make decisions that screw himself or his kids? Get real.

Trump is part of the system; he's just always been the other part. The part that gives money for access and influence. One of the few reasonable things Trump has said (which he walked back) was that if abortion was illegal then women who have abortions should be punished. The idea that women are the victims of the doctor (or whoever is) performing the abortion would be ludicrous and bullshit. Only the delusional could promulgate such a fantasy. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you are the donor or recipient, you are part of the same shitty, corrupt system.

Trump does not tell it straight on many things. He cherry picks. He repeats false stories that could easily be checked on snopes. If you think he tells it straight, you must have your head in the sand.

If you think Trump is anything other than a shitty candidate, you are either delusional or an idiot.

When I ask people who have professed support for Clinton why they support him, I get answers like:
  • A female President would be good for the country.
  • She has experience as First Lady, Senator and Secretary  of State.
The first is a reasonable opinion and the second is factually correct. Clinton is still a shitty candidate.

She is a true politician. She speaks out of both sides of her mouth. She switches her public stance on issues as befits the moment. She trades access and influence for money. She is everything that is wrong with politics.

If you think Clinton is anything other than a shitty candidate, you are either delusional or an idiot.

When November rolls around, these are likely to be your shitty choices. For me, I will as I usually do, hold my nose and vote against the shittier of the two.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Is This a Time for Optimism?

The potential for a President to benefit society is extremely limited. The potential for them to fuck it up is nearly limitless.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fit Reality

I'm pretty terrible at predicting the future. And with that in mind I'll predict these two things:

-We have already reached "peak fitness bands". I saw a lot of people wearing these last year. Now, not so much. Until they have some real, provable, life extending medical use, they are a fad that will fade into niche product. FitBit, we hardly knew ya.

-Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality. Destined to become the 3D TV of the late 2010's, both VR and AR have their uses but they are not the next mobile phone. They are more like the next...fitness band. Again, there will be niche uses but the idea that they gain any widespread usage is pretty slim.

You can laugh and point when I'm wrong.

A Month Late and a Dollar Short

The Atlantic's David Frum touches on (and mostly dismisses) the idea I discussed previously of having another Republican run as Independent. His reason for dismissing it is that the President would be "illegitimate". Let me be clear, if, in 2000, Ralph Nader would have won Florida and the House picked GWB as President, he would have had more legitimacy than he did by having the Supreme Court decide the election.

Don't get me wrong, there will be an outcry. We might even finally get rid of the ridiculous Electoral College. But if you are looking for a prediction, I'll vote for a short term burst in interest in elections and then we'll get back to our usual trickle-away apathy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Irony

Sanders lays of 225 of his non-union campaign staffers.

You Can't Pan for Gold in a Swimming Pool

The choices are now set: Clinton as Democratic nominee, Trump as Republican nominee. If you don't things things are set then, quite frankly, you are delusional. Yet to be determined is if some other Republican will be put up with the goal of deciding the election in the House, as I mentioned in a previous post.

Now that they are out, here's my opinion on the new losers (alphabetically):

  • Cruz - He's either a true hard-right, no abortion, open-carry, "states rights" guy or he's an idiot. The former is the the type that appeals most to the most die-hard, vote under any circumstance Republican. If he's that type then at least he's sticking by his ideas. If he's not then he's an idiot for thinking that doing so could win him the nomination.
  • Kasich - He tries to appear to be a normal middle-of-the-road guy but aside from a couple policies, he's not. He's stayed above the fray but only because he saw what happened to those that went into the fray. The last couple weeks he seems to only be interested in eating.
  • Sanders - Sanders has been a politician for a long time. He is from a very small state. He is totally disingenuous when he claims to be an outsider. He rails against politicians being beholden to special interests who give them money and yet is beholden to his donors who do not represent the majority of the country (and apparently not the majority of the Democratic Party). He thinks that the poor should be helped and that trade agreements are bad. Trade agreements are almost universally accepted by economists as a net positive for the parties involved. However, that can mean that labor in our country that is paid far more than the prevailing world wage will suffer while people in some other part of the world will benefit. Also, everyone else in our country benefits by somewhat lower prices. Sanders position is that if you don't live in this country too bad for you. If you do live in this country, it is perfectly reasonable to ask every American to pay extra to support some small segment of the population. Sanders is right that there is a problem but he offers no actual solution.
Don't take any of the above as an endorsement in any way of either Clinton or Trump. But you can take all of them, as a group, as an indictment of our current political system and how it is set up to keep both parties in power.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Do You Feel Like You're Going To Ralph?

Sanders anagrams to SS Nader and he is sinking the Democrats chances of winning anything in November.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

How the Republicans Could Steal the Whole Election

Background: I am an independent voter. I don't particularly like any of the Presidential candidates and I have felt that way for every election I've been eligible to vote in.


I had months ago predicted (very tongue-in-cheek) in a text I sent someone that Trump would get screwed out of the nomination and run as an independent. With the Republican vote split, Bloomberg would also run as an independent and would then win in a 4-way race. With Trump on path to win the Republican nomination and Bloomberg announcing he would not run, that prediction now looks unlikely to say the least. But Bloomberg's reason, stuck with me. He said that even if he could manage to win here or there, the best case was nobody getting 270 delegates and the House would then likely pick a Republican. Fast forward to last week.

Marco Rubio seems to be being set up by the Republican "establishment" for a convention win. If he can win Florida, that is the likely scenario. He shifts gears to attack Trump but the polls (in Florida) show little to no benefit. Politically, he should get out before Florida but doesn't. To block a Trump nomination he should either get out before Florida (to "focus" the anti-Trump vote on Cruz or Kasich) or stay in until the end running a Gilmore-type campaign to just siphon off delegates from Trump. He did neither making it much more likely Trump will win the nomination without a convention fight.

Meanwhile, there is pundit after pundit on TV describing the rules of the nomination process. "It's not about the voters;" they say, "it's the delegates that choose." "Everyone got into the race knowing the rules and the rules are the same for everyone." The idea being, if you didn't know the rules, well, sucks to be you. This resonates with the anti-Trump crowd because the rules can save them from Trump! The idea that is being drilled into their heads is "we have to follow the rules!"

The other backburner story brewing is the possibility of the Republicans running someone as an Independent (or Libertarian). The pundits' reason for doing this is that Trump would hurt Republicans down-ballot, possibly losing them the Senate and even the House. It would be better to lose the Presidency (the pundits' reason against this idea) to keep control of the House and Senate. Oh, woe unto the Republicans, right? Nothing they do can get them control!

But what if this other candidate actually won a state or two.

Now read the 12th Amendment. (Here's part of it.)
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.
 If this third candidate could pull off a state win somewhere (let's say it's Kasich in Ohio or Perry in Texas) then you could have nobody with an Electoral majority. The House then votes (1 vote per state) for the President. The Republicans currently control 32 states, the Democrats 16. With Trump and another Republican on the ballot, the Republicans likely keep their House majority and choose this "other" Republican as President.

The people will accept it because they have already been conditioned to "those are the rules." Additionally Clinton (or Sanders) will concede the election (just like Gore did) to preserve our fine democracy. What Trump supporters do likely depends on Trump. Without the possibility to be President I think he Ross Perot's it back to his old life. Maybe he gets a new show on TV or starts the Trump Channel (the best channel, believe me, it'll be HUGE).