politics Archive

It's Mueller Time

I’m not usually one to say I told you so, but it’s been two long years of being called a fool, a Pollyanna, a Q-tard, or even a Boomer in online forums for predicting what just happened. So just once: I TOLD YOU SO. Not you personally, just people.

Ah, that’s better. So now that we’ve finally reached this turning point, let’s review how we got here before talking about what comes next.

The Clinton campaign had a problem with Russia, namely too many corrupt connections to Russia/Ukraine. Their own polling told them that was a major weak spot with their own voters when it was pointed out to them. At the same time, Trump was boasting about his good relationship with Putin, as a way to argue that his lack of political experience didn’t mean he didn’t have foreign policy experience, since he had dealt with foreign leaders for business reasons. So they decided to accuse Trump of being too close to Putin.

It was a pretty smart tactic. If you think someone might accuse you of something, accuse him of it first. That way if he does accuse you in turn, it looks like tit-for-tat, and you could end up with a stalemate. So they started the “Putin puppet” narrative.

But once that narrative was in the air, people started using Mah Russia as a boogeyman for everything. When the DNC’s emails showed up at Wikileaks, the DNC’s IT consultant (a Russian-founded company, by the way) blamed it on Russian hackers. Online trolls invented the “pee tape” dossier and passed it to a desperate NeverTrumper who passed it to media and eventually it found its way through several hands (including John McCain’s) to end up printed by Buzzfeed. And when a pair of traitors at the FBI decided to make up an “insurance policy” just in case Trump won, they and their friend in British intelligence and some other friends at another Russian company called Fusion GPS came up with the Russian collusion theory and a fake dossier to support it.

But then Trump won. The establishment didn’t think that was even possible, because they gaslit themselves too well with their own push-polling and their refusal to believe the raw results they were getting in the battleground states. They assumed they would have at least four years of a Clinton presidency in which to cover their tracks. Suddenly they were desperate, so the insurance policy had to be used, and a campaign meme had to be turned into a criminal investigation.

Here’s the thing: they all knew. All the congressmen and media talking heads who pushed so hard on this knew it was bullshit. The Hollywood celebrities probably knew too, though I shouldn’t underestimate their stupidity. I know they knew because I knew, and they certainly have better sources than I do. They knew all along everything I wrote above, and they pushed ahead with it anyway because OrangeManBad. They just counted on Mueller to find something, because they projected on Trump and figured he probably did the kind of things they would do, so there would be a smoking gun about something. And if there wasn’t on him, there would be on one of his kids, and they could use that as leverage to get rid of him.

Unfortunately for them, businessmen have to play by the rules more carefully than politicians do, because they don’t have the same power to cover up their crimes. So he actually was clean, and Mueller really couldn’t find anything after two years of trying. They’ve invested two years of political capital into a fraud. They haven’t even gotten serious about finding good candidates or assembling a decent platform for 2020 yet, because they invested all their hope in Mueller doing the job for them. Now here we are.

So what comes next? Well, first of all, the media will claim it’s not over. They’ll say some flowery legalese in the report means there are still avenues for investigation, or claim some other investigation is the really important one. THEY WILL BE LYING, just as they’ve been lying about Mah Russia for nearly three years. You’ll be able to tell because their lips will be moving. They shouldn’t double-down, but they will, because they never had a Plan B. All they can do is keep pushing Plan A until it goes off a cliff.

Another thing they’ll do is try to rewrite history, claiming they didn’t just spend two years praying for Mueller to save them, holding #ProtectMueller protests every time the media said he might get fired, and saying we all must trust Mueller and the FBI. Fortunately, all their embarrassing “Mueller Time” memes are saved and ready to roll back out to remind them.

Aside from that, now we get to see if there’s a second act to all this. When Mueller interviewed people like Manafort and Podesta, did he carefully avoid any lines of inquiry that would bring up their Clinton dealings? Or did he pass that along to the DoJ, which has been pursuing it separately? I don’t have a solid read on that yet, but it would explain some nagging questions if that’s what’s been going on.

Learn To Code

It looks like I might need to ramp up production of my programming videos, to handle an influx of new student viewers. Fun times on the interwebs this week.

The backstory: when blue-collar workers have lost jobs and seen their communities waste away in recent years, the response from the white-collar establishment has been some version of, “Learn to code.” In other words, just go learn a completely new trade and find a job somewhere in the tech industry, probably moving your family to do it. The coal mine closed due to new environmental regulations? Learn to code. Your factory moved to Mexico? Learn to code. Your job at the slaughterhouse was given to a Somali because he’ll work for minimum wage and zero benefits? Move to Silicon Valley, let your hometown die, and learn to code.

Kevin Williamson, then of the supposedly conservative National Review, summed up the attitude: “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” That was the message from white-collar elitists: People and their communities are economic assets to be moved around by smarter people like houses on a Monopoly board. If they aren’t profitable, break them up, move them around, or trade them in for better models. And they don’t come any more white-collar elitist than journalists.

So when some journalists – by which I mean clickbait writers – were laid off this week, some of those “negative assets” remembered, and took to Twitter to share their own advice with them. Because the media can dish it out but can’t take it, they reacted as if telling them to #LearnToCode was a hate crime, and blamed it all on 4chan trolls. Good stuff. Watching people hoist on their own petard is fun, but seeing them double-down and make it worse is priceless.

One out of Two Ain't Bad

Well, I almost nailed the Senate, but I wasn’t close on the House. Guess I should have made a prediction on governors to use as the tiebreaker.

It looks like my main mistake was underestimating the importance of Republicans losing 40+ House incumbents who retired early for various reasons. I assumed that since Republicans held those seats before, they were likely Republican-leaning districts, but that wasn’t the case. That’s one disadvantage of trying to maintain a 10,000-foot view instead of digging into individual races.

I think some of the difference between the Senate and House results has to be credited to Trump’s rallies. They were focused mainly on Senate races, probably because there were fewer of those up for grabs. And frankly the Senate is more important to his goals. But that left a lot of new Republican challengers fighting against better-funded Democrats in a lot of out-of-the-way places. If it turns out several of those were close, it might be that some rallies in different places could have saved them, but that’s Monday-morning quarterbacking.

All in all, while it’s disappointing, it could have been a lot worse. Obama lost 63 House seats and 6 in the Senate in his first midterm. Clinton lost 52 House and 8 Senate in his. Dubya gained a few seats because we were gearing up for war and patriotism was high. But on average, presidents have lost 30 seats between the two houses in midterms, and in only a few cases have they gained seats in either one. So while the media will move the goalposts from “blue wave” to “losing the House is a disaster for Trump,” the reality is otherwise.

One reason it’s hard to prognosticate is that we’re so divided between rural and urban. Case in point: All 34 purely urban districts are now held by Democrats. I go to the polls knowing 70% or more in my county will vote Republican. But in another part of the state, in a place where they never see the horizon for all the buildings, they vote overwhelmingly Democrat. We mix less than ever. That makes it hard to get an objective look at the overall picture. You can’t see it from street-level, but it also gets fuzzy from too high up.

One silver lining: the 40+ Republicans exiting tend to be unreliable NeverTrump/GOPe types. Replacing one of them with a Democrat doesn’t change much except committee leaderships, and the fact that the Democrat will stab you in the front instead of the back. So the smaller GOP membership should also be more loyal and reliable. Also, some of the new Democrats ran on Trump-friendly platforms. They may have been lying (McCaskill in Missouri ran desperate ads like that which were shameless lies), but it’s possible that some will be amenable to bipartisan measures if the division is small.

Another: Democrats led by Pelosi, Waters, and some of their new radicals are likely to double-down on stupid and self-destruct. Liberals are already demanding that they subpoena Trump’s tax returns and fill up the next two years with endless investigations. Because they always project, they can’t accept that Donald Trump isn’t as corrupt as they are, so they’re convinced that if they just investigate Bad Orange Man enough they can find the magic spell that will make him disappear. Anyone old enough to remember when Americans got tired of Republicans investigating Clinton knows how that goes.

Can I Beat the Experts?

Senate 56, House 225. I figured I’d do a prediction for the midterms. What’s the point of having elections if we don’t all go out on a limb guessing what will happen? The following are some thoughts I jotted down over the last few days to explain why I think Republicans will hold the House and gain seats in the Senate, interspersed with some interesting screencaps.

The first thing is that early voting looks very good. The normal trend is that Republicans win the absentee ballots (lots of military), Democrats win early voting, and then Republicans win on Election Day. It’s not hard to see why. Democrats haul a lot of people to the polls to get them to vote. They go to churches and colleges and arrange to walk everyone to the polls in a group, and hand them sample ballots showing whom to vote for (just talking about the legal methods here). That takes time, so they’re doing it all through the early voting period, giving them an edge there. Republicans are more independent and likely to get themselves to the polls. They’re also more traditional and inclined to do it the old-fashioned way, voting on Election Day with everyone else.

All that means that, in a close election, Republicans often start out with a lead based on absentee ballots, then lose the lead as early voting goes on, and then the election hinges on whether enough Republicans vote on Election Day to overcome the Democrat lead from early voting.

I should point out that when we’re talking about absentee votes and early votes, we don’t know for sure how they voted. We only know which party they’re registered as. So when you read that Republicans have 50,000 early votes in a race, that means 50,000 votes have come in from registered Republicans. It’s possible that some of them will be for the Democrat or a third party. It’s possible some will be empty or mis-marked and not count at all. But generally you can assume those will balance each other out; there will be mistakes from both sides, and roughly equal crossover from each side.

So we currently know (in states that report it) that Republicans are leading early voting compared to 2016. In Florida, for instance, they’ve maintained a 50,000 vote edge over 2016. In 2016, early voting ended with Democrats 100,000 votes ahead. This year, Democrats will be ahead, but by less than 50,000 votes.

So democrats are now counting on one or more of:

  • Lots of Republicans who normally vote on election day voted early this time
  • Lots of Democrats who normally vote early will show up on election day this time
  • Lots of Republican early voters crossed over to vote Democrat
  • Independents voted Democrat at record rates

There’s no evidence for the first three, and frankly they’re kind of silly. On the first two, people are creatures of habit, and there’s no reason to think hundreds of thousands of people would change their voting habit in one direction in two years. In fact, the one thing that could be affecting it works in favor of Republicans: closed polls in the R-heavy Panhandle due to the hurricane. Those people could show up heavy on Election Day. On #3, Trump’s approval rating with Republicans is over 90%, far higher than in 2016. There’s no reason for Republicans to hand the House to the Democrats and make things harder for him.

So they’re really left with #4, and the only evidence they have for that is their polls. So that’s what many races will come down to. Are the polls wrong (again) or are voters doing something tricksy and weird that’s throwing off the usual pattern of early voting? It might help to know that we’ve been here before. In 2016, their polls also showed higher Democrat output than the early vote reflected, so pollsters convinced themselves of #3 up there. It wasn’t true then, and there’s no reason except “but muh polls!” to assume it is this time.

Another factor is that there’s just no reason for voter upheaval. The economy is good. Jobs are up. Gas prices are down. The president is doing the things he said he would do, to the extent Congress, the bureaucracy, and Hawaiian judges are letting him. His approval rating is higher than Obama’s was at the same point in his presidency. His approval rating with Republicans is sky-high, driving their enthusiasm, added to anger over the Kavanaugh hoax. All those environmental factors lean R.

I see parallels with 1998, when Clinton gained five House seats and held steady in the Senate. That was another time when the economy was pretty good, we hadn’t gotten into any wars for a while, and Americans were tired of the other party’s endless investigations of the president, correct or not.

Another important and under-reported factor could be the 1982 Consent Decree. In that year, Republicans in New Jersey were charged with voting shenanigans. As part of the settlement, the DNC and RNC both agreed to give up their right to seek remedies for voter fraud in many cases. That’s why you’ll hear about obvious cases of voter fraud, as when a district ends up with more votes than its population, and nothing is ever done about it. They legally weren’t allowed to. Well, that decree finally expired last December after the judge who kept extending it died. This is the first election in over 30 years where the parties will be in trouble if they’re caught breaking the rules.

That has to be giving would-be ballot-box-stuffers and defrauders pause, especially with the president proclaiming that voter fraud will be prosecuted according to the law. This attempt by North Dakota Democrats to fool hunters into thinking they could lose their hunting licenses if they vote might be a good place to start.

Finally, this is worth a chuckle. A 2016 poll of “Hard” Trump and Clinton voters found that 55% of Hard Clinton voters admitted they could be prevented from voting by a serious storm, reports of a disease epidemic, threats of violence, or other fairly mundane threats. Only 10% of Hard Trump voters said the same. There was one thing that could keep 38% of Hard Trump voters from the polls, though: attack by extraterrestrials. Some things just can’t be kept waiting.

Helvetii Turnaround

Here’s a history lesson that isn’t taught in schools anymore. At least it wasn’t in mine, and judging by the way people talk about how very impossible it is to stop invaders, it isn’t now either. Short highlight version:

The Helvetii were a Celtic tribe that lived in part of where Switzerland is now. They were getting pressured by Germanic tribes moving down from the north, so they decided, along with a few neighboring tribes, to migrate to live with some cousins on the west side of Gaul (France). The best route there went through a Roman province. Historians estimate there were between 100,000 and 300,000 of them, including perhaps 40,000 warriors. They may have burned their homes so they wouldn’t be tempted to turn back, though the evidence is sketchy on that.

Julius Caesar got there ahead of them and destroyed the bridge at Geneva to stop their passage. They tried to negotiate, claiming they were just passing through (“Gosh no, we won’t rape and pillage, we’re just taking a walk here.") Of course, a crowd that size can’t travel without eating and destroying everything in its path. Caesar played along with the negotiations long enough to fortify his position, then told them to piss off.

The Helvetii took a longer path around through some mountains and started pillaging Roman territory, as expected. Caesar showed up with 30,000 men and caught them in the middle of crossing a river. He wiped out one side, built a bridge to get his army across, treated the wounded, and then pursued the rest. If tribes didn’t immediately surrender and provide hostages, they were wiped out and the survivors taken as slaves.

It’s generally thought that Caesar defeated them more completely than necessary to improve his standing back at Rome. If so, it worked. The Romans wanted nothing to do with barbarian tribes coming any further south, and weren’t too particular about how they were treated. Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul kicked off his popularity, which grew until he was elected dictator for life. He became so popular that the elites of Rome began conspiring against him, eventually leading to his assassination.

Julius Caesar had no A-10 Warthogs. If a nation of 300 million people wants to keep out 5000, or 50,000, or 1,000,000 invaders, the question isn’t, “Is it possible?” The question is, “How best to do it?” What methods will best:

  • stop the invasion
  • prevent future invasions
  • limit the risk to the nation’s troops and citizens
  • limit unnecessary harm to the invaders
  • expose any internal traitors who encouraged or funded the invasion
  • reflect well on the leaders fighting the invasion

Those are all factors, more-or-less in order of importance, that have to be considered while choosing from a whole range of lethal and non-lethal options for stopping the invasion. But regardless of the answers, if the invasion isn’t stopped, it isn’t because it couldn’t be. It is because the people in charge chose not to.

Bombs Away

I’m going to start posting my political stuff separately from my personal stuff. I don’t actually know who is reading this blog, if anyone, but I figure people who are interested in my garden/programming/etc. might not be interested in politics and vice versa, and if you are they’ll still both be here. But now if you see the “politics” tag at the top (like this one), you’ll know it’s political all the way down, and otherwise it’s not. Figured I’d change that since I’m writing more political articles than I expected to.

No need for a Triggering today, since the media had bombs to talk about, or “bombs,” as the case may be. But let’s run down the narrative being pushed hard out there, plus some facts, shall we? Supposedly:

  • right-wingers driven to violence by Trump’s rhetoric
  • sent a bunch of non-exploding bombs to Democrats
  • some of whom aren’t in power anymore
  • none of whom probably open their own mail, especially at the offices most of the bombs went to
  • two weeks before an election Republicans have been pulling ahead in
  • through the US Postal Service
    • which x-rays packages for stuff like this
    • and is known for being great at tracking down senders
  • CNN got one and set off alarms and evacuated the building on live TV it was so dangerous
    • but they took it out of the envelope to take pictures of it
    • and were allowed to publish said pictures by whatever agents and bomb experts were involved
  • Alex Soros, son of George, had an op-ed written and published about all this before the morning was out
  • they’re made of PVC….. WTF?

Ooookay then. Personally, I’ll wait until we have some actual information from the authorities before placing blame, unlike the media. They can’t get straight yet whether the bombs are real or fake, or which ones were intercepted at the post office, but they’re already sure whose fault it is. Usually these things end up being some crazy with unclear political beliefs, and if they aren’t convenient beliefs, they’re quickly forgotten. Notice the media’s lack of interest in the motives of the guy who sent the ricin to Trump and Mattis, or the Bernie supporter who shot up the Republican softball game last year.

It’s not ridiculous to think it could be a radical leftist group reacting to recent news of their Blue Wave fizzling, trying to make Republicans look bad before the midterms. Or some drunk college students pulling a very stupid stunt with fake bombs. We’ll have a better idea when we know whether the bombs were real (PVC, really?), and I wouldn’t be surprised if the USPS and Secret Service produce a suspect soon.

I have a feeling Acosta will regret taking that picture.

I, Nationalist

Like President Trump, I am a nationalist. Not a white nationalist (“white” is not a nationality and can’t be), or a national socialist, but a nationalist. This should be obvious and uncontroversial. A nationalist is someone who loves his nation, takes pride in her, and puts her interests above those of other nations, though he respects that the people of those nations will do the same. A nationalist wants his nation to be open to temporary alliances and trade deals with other nations when they are clearly in the national interest, but to avoid foreign entanglements in general, as George Washington recommended in his Farewell Address.

This should be a no-brainer. It used to be. We said the Pledge in school and stood when the flag went by at parades, so we were nationalists whether we knew the word or not. Why wouldn’t we be? But the globalists have been on the rise for decades now, and they’ve twisted simple national devotion into something scary, as if putting America first means you want to subjugate all others.

The president is currently putting the insanity and violence of the globalist left on display. It’s not pretty, but it has to be done. The media can’t continue to whitewash their actions, turning violent mobs into “peaceful protesters” and aggressive invaders into “poor refugees.” The six globalist companies that own all US media (yes, including Fox News) won’t get away with it anymore.

So every day is a new Triggering. Today “I am a nationalist,” yesterday saying a person’s sex at birth is the one that counts for interactions with the government like Title IX (you know, the way it was for all of human history until Obama’s executive order a few years ago). Wonder what it’ll be tomorrow. Each time the left is triggered, they show off another uglier side, and in the meantime they’re doing nothing to prepare for the midterms that they thought were in the bag a month ago. The Kavanaugh hoax turned the Blue Wave into a Red Wave, and now it’s becoming a Red Tsunami, as districts around the nation report higher Republican early-voting turnout, despite the fact that Democrats normally lead that.

Now the media are starting to complain about it, as if we’re all in danger if their filters can’t keep up. They like to use their megaphone to create false narratives, but that takes time, because you have to build them on partial truths and then create buzz around them so they seem organic. They can’t do that at this pace. All the facts are still out there, but you have to find them for yourself in raw form and decide for yourself what to think about them. They can give you a pre-thought-out package anymore, not on every topic.

And we still have two more weeks of Triggering to go. It’s exhausting, but necessary. Then the greatest salt harvest ever.