The Rise of the Biden Economy

Biden win lifts world stocks to record peak; dollar fades.

What follows is a political post, so I will tuck it under the fold so you can skip it and continue to think fondly of me, gentle reader, unlike many “friends” on Facebook who are virtually dancing triumphantly over the LOVE defeating HATE and the FASCISTS who got what is coming to them by the administrators of LOVE who approve of violence in the streets and who promise extra-Constitutional and unilateral measures to rectify governance in a republic through unilateral, pen-and-phone measures and perhaps a Truth Commission of some stripe to Punish members of the previous administration. In order to unify the country, somehow.

Never mind; I can see that I have let my ungoodthink out above the fold. Still, as I am abusing the <more> tag a bunch, let me abuse it some more. Continue reading “The Rise of the Biden Economy”

How Quickly They Forget

Does anyone else here remember gas over $4 a gallon and high unemployment during the last administration? Remember how the former president said we could not drill our way out of high gas prices?

I mean, I saw a Biden ad during a football game that said he was going to “punish” corporations and bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. Kind of like what has been happening over the last couple of years minus the “punish” part.

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills over here. By remembering.

Flashcard Engagement

So someone on Facebook shared a series of images called HELPFUL REBUTTALS FOR RACIST TALKING POINTS.

Yeah. you can tell how HELPFUL they are by the fact that they are flashcard right answers you can give to RACISTS who are just people who apparently don’t agree with the sentiments and CORRECT POLITICAL BELIEFS of the people who made the graphics. Not differences of opinion based on different experiences, interpretations, or statistics. THE WRONG OPINION BECAUSE THEY’RE EVIL!

This sort of thing is not designed to foster communication or to try to reach a shared understanding or even to convince. These flashcards are designed for the mis-educated who are used to getting the proper result (good grades, up twinkies on the Internet) for OWNING the bad thinkers.

Not to inform, but to rebutt. Which means to be an ass again, I suppose.

In the world in which we live, you can find models, studies, and statistics to pretty much provide whatever you already think is true. It would be best to filter what you’re told or what you read through your own life experiences to try to get closer to reality. And, maybe. listen to other people. Unfortunately, we’ve raised up a generation or two whose only life experiences are indoctrination and slap-fighting on the Internet. So we get flashcard answers that are probably wrong, but are awful damn pat.

My Kind Of Congressional Candidate

Kendall Qualls is running for Congress in Minnesota, but he’s got a bio I can understand:

I am also going to tell you that in spite of spending part of my childhood in a crime and drug-infested housing project in Harlem, in spite of spending the other part in a trailer park in rural Oklahoma, and in spite of having to work nights and weekends to put myself through school, I made it.

The projects and the trailer park? I know where he’s coming from.

The rest of the piece argues against his opponent’s Statement on Racism/White Privilege/Etc.

(Link via Powerline.)

You Put A Capital On That Word Inappropriately, Methinks

Saw this meme on Facebook last week with undoubtedly adulation in all the wrong places:

Neil Ty, Science Guy, says:

I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people’s politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true.

Okay, they’re all in caps, but you know some people hear The Truth capitalized. Which leads to some interesting speculation here: What is the truth? After all, science is not the answer to science; it is a process for testing hypotheses against reality via experiment to see what proves repeatable. Science has no answer to the ultimate truth; it only produces our best current approximation. I mean, real science does that. Social science does whatever it wants, however it wants.

Some classes of people, not scientists, often have an idea of Truth which comes through revelation or introspection or some other means of receiving that Truth, and yet I don’t think people who dig Neil Ty or post memes about f-n loving science really want people shaping their polity based on those beliefs, ainna?

And politics are not about truth; they’re about how to live together amongst people of differing opinions and worldviews without slaughtering them. It’s supposed to be about compromise and reaching consensus (someone said, and I forget who said it recently). It works best with a limited, localized government with more space to live and let live.

Because, to be honest, those whose politics dictate what they think is true have had their sway recently, and with decidedly poor results, ainna?

Operation Chowse

So yesterday was the primary in Missouri, and I took the Democrat ballot.

Which I’ve been known to do when a Republican incumbent is relatively safe. In 2004, I probably voted for Joe Lieberman.

It’s not so much an Operation Chaos sort of thing, but rather I like to vote for the person whom I would think would make the least bad Democratic president.

So I voted for Tulsi Gabbard yesterday.

I mean, amongst the people remaining in the Democratic primary race, she’s the least crazy. Also, she could probably beat me in a push-up contest.

This headline makes it sound like I was somehow cheating: Missourians will need to declare party affiliation for Tuesday’s presidential primary, but that’s not the case. You just ask for the ballot. You don’t declare yourself affiliated with the party or anything.

It must have been the first time I’ve voted for a woman for president since Michele Bachmann wasn’t on the ballot here in 2012.

Regardless of who wins in November, I’ve inoculated myself against all criticism as I can say, “Don’t blame me; I voted for Tulsi.”

(Explanation of “chowse” here.)

I Voted Straight Ticket “Oh, Hell, No”

All the cool kids are doing it, so I thought I would mention how I voted this year:

  • I voted “No” on all ballot initiatives.
    I can understand the pithy and simple power-to-the-people reasoning behind the ballot initiative principle. You want a way to get around legislators who are in the pocket of Big Business or Big Whackadoodle, so you get a number of people to sign onto your petition, and it gets put on the ballot, and if the majority of Missourians vote for it, it becomes law.

    Except that’s not how it really works. Instead, you get a powerful interest group that can’t get their laws passed in the legislature to pay a lot of people to go a lot of places to try to squeeze out enough signatures on a petition after all the fakes are knocked off it to get the petition on the ballot. Then, if you have a friendly Secretary of State, it doesn’t get rewritten and gets put onto a ballot with a low turnout that your passionate partisans will turn out for to ensure it gets passed and then it gets written into the state constitution and is therefore almost untouchable, or you get an unfriendly Secretary of State that obfuscates it and puts it onto a ballot where your partisans will be overwhelmed by the other side.

    The point is that the ballot initiative process is as open to as much gimcrackery as the normal legislative process, but it carries with it a fake veneer of democracy, but really it’s more of “One Man, One Vote, Once.”

    Thanks, but I’d rather leave it to the actual legislators who can monkey with the laws and then unmonkey with the laws.

  • I voted “No” on all judge and justice retention.
    Here in Missouri, we get to vote whether judges and justices should continue to serve in office. Unless one does something particularly egregious, voters will retain them on the whole, but I don’t ever want it to be unanimous, so I vote against it on principle.

  • I voted straight ticket Republican except for the auditors.
    I voted for the Democrats in the state and county auditor positions because, if elected, they’ll hound the Republicans as a matter of course and act as a check to make sure the elected Republicans do things properly, without impropriety or else face embarrassment or a primary loss the next election. I’m not generally afraid of Democrats in state and local positions, as they’re accountable to the local or state voters, but when they go national, they’re beholden to the national party. For example, not all auditors make good senators.

And now that I’ve voted, I’m not going to spend the evening watching the election results.

And when the morning comes, no matter the results, life will go on much as it has before.

Reading the Signs….Or the Lack Thereof

I don’ know what it means, but we’re, what, four weeks out from the election, and we’ve got a contested Senate race (I can tell it’s contested, because I cannot listen to the radio because the incumbent and her allies are spending an awful lot of money to oversimplify things and impress upon me that the other candidate wants to cut health care costs by smothering senior citizens with pillows and reselling their medications) along with local and state races, and I have not seen many Republican yard signs.

As one drives through the city of Springfield, one sees the occasional signs for local candidates identified by only a single name and, frankly, no indicator of what the singularly monikered person is running for, signs for that one guy who’s always running for office and losing (no, not that other guy who’s always running and losing–he got himself on the Republican primary ballot this year because he knows the only way to win down here is to be on the Republican line), and a couple others, including one or two for the former educator and more recently former legislator running for presiding commissioner probably in the “let’s put a tax increase on every ballot” mold of the outgoing Republican office holder who lost in a primary because at the local level, at least, Republican voters don’t want raising taxes as a platform plank. I don’t see many, if any, for the incumbent senator, either.

The dearth of Republican signs, though. How to read those entrails? It’s probably not apathy. The people who casually follow politics and might have picked up a sign from the election office or gotten one from a friend who was passing them out watch the news. They’ve seen that elephant regalia can invite vandalism or worse. How engaged are they? I would bet very. Because there are no signs.

Point/Counter-Point Starring Claire McCaskill

Joplin megadonor is workers’ ‘No. 1 enemy,’ McCaskill says at Springfield Labor Day event:

A Joplin businessman and megadonor is the “No. 1 enemy of working labor” in Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill said Monday while urging pro-union supporters to give her a third term in Congress.

Group gives $3 million to Missouri minimum wage campaign:

A Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit donated $3 million during the weekend to a political action committee supporting an effort to increase Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 an hour.

. . . .

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, are hoping the issue will increase her chances in a tight race for re-election.

Sweet Christmas, she is a plucky heroine, ainna?

I was out working in my garage over the holiday weekend, and another group was running “educational” spots every commercial break about how Josh Hawley wants to suffocate type 1 diabetes sufferers with a sofa cushion or something.

It’s certainly a good time for me to have discovered streaming music from my phone instead of listening to the radio.

The Rorschach Graffiti

On Facebook, a fellow I’ve known for over a decade posted a link to an article about graffiti with the swastika as the T in Trump and asked someone to justify it.

The papers covering it handily as though this is pro-Trump graffiti, quoting all sorts of anti-Trump people hoping Trump will disavow this:

Philadelphia’s Anti-Defamation League chapter quickly condemned the vandalism, referencing its eerie coinciding with Kristallnacht, a coordinated Nazi attack in 1938 during which hundreds of Jews had their storefronts smashed throughout Germany.

“Swastikas and the Nazi salute send a message of intolerance and hate to the entire community,” Regional Director Nancy Baron said in a statement. “While we view this as an isolated incident, we cannot allow this behavior to become routine. Everyone has a role to play in combating bigotry — we must advocate, educate and investigate until hate is no longer welcome in our society.”

One damn minute, Admiral.

What we have here is a piece of unattributed graffiti comparing Trump to Hitler. The articles present no evidence that the vandals were Trump supporters. NONE.

But of course the vandals must be Trump supporters, because people in the media and on the social media have said so.

Pay no mind to those on the left have equated Trump to Hitler.

Come on, that’s three examples from relatively high profile Internet locations or celebrities. You know it’s been all over your Twitter feed and Facebook feed and everywhere else for six months. “Trump is Hitler!”

Ergo, graffiti comparing Trump to Hitler must be in support of Trump as Hitler. Ergo, somehow.

It’s not just Trump that the left has called Hitler over and over.


Scott Walker is Hitler


George W. Bush is Hitler

Clearly, these protestors and their supporting iconography were not the work of Walker and Bush supporters, but the Trump graffiti is because, what? That was then and this is now?

So we’ve got an incident of graffiti, but clearly it is a symbol that fits into and reinforces a specific narrative. The apex of mid-century American Existentialist thought that sixties thinkers could only dream would become mainstream.

Regardless of the actual realities of the incident, including the vandal and his or her motive. Concrete details are not the point. The narrative and the meme are the point.

As I Was Saying….

WikiLeaks Bombshell: Clinton Relied on Trump Primary Win, GOP Obliged.

Back in December, I said:

And I can’t help wonder if we’re not seeing a McCaskill Manipulation strategy at work here.

As you might remember, gentle reader, back in 2012 I highlighted a pre-primary strategy by Claire McCaskill to run ads claiming that Todd Akin was too conservative for Missouri. Her organization did this because they felt that Akin would be the weakest candidate to face Claire McCaskill in the actual election.

It worked, of course; Akin was nominated and then said something that everyone could pile on, and Akin lost and we have Senator McCaskill for a couple more years.

. . . .

Now, I don’t want to go all JournoList / Conspiracy Theory here (although the mere inclusion of the word JournoList and the aforementioned boasted McCaskill Manipulation should indicate that conspiracy theories might often involve actual conspiracies), but could we be seeing something like it in the Trump candidacy?

So, yeah.

Josh Hawley Favors Unsold Farms

I saw this ad on the television accidentally for some reason, probably when I couldn’t hit the fast forward button fast enough:

And I thought a couple things, being someone in rural Missouri:

  • Thousands of acres? That’s hardly a lot, especially to incite fears of an invasion. This ad must be written by someone in the city.
  • So someone is buying a farm. Which means someone is selling a farm. There are many reasons to sell acreage or your farm, but if you want to or need to sell it, you need someone to buy it. Apparently, the producer of the advertisement would prefer that the acreage remain unsold and that the seller continue to drown in mortgage payments, that the seller not capitalize for another opportunity, and that the land go underworked and/or unused.

It’s wrong to put this on Josh Hawley. Apparently, the ad was produced by Tea Party Patriots, which is not even a Missouri organization. But it does have “Tea Party” in the name, so I guess that means it’s Tea Party. Or it’s an organization named that way to capitalize on the sentiment in the country six years ago.

You know, I read a lot of stuff where people who disagree with the Tea Party call it racist or xenophobe, but that doesn’t track with my beliefs or the beliefs of the Tea Partyish people I’ve known. However, it does seem to track with what the consultants are selling.

Right on cue:

A coalition of Asian-American businesses and organizations in Missouri on Sunday criticized what they called racist and xenophobic political ads in the state attorney general race.

Good on ya, consultants! You’ve sold tar and feathers to people who would rather talk about this sort of thing instead of core issues.

Now That’s A Dog Whistle I’ll Bark To

Apparently, Marco Rubio (and by Marco Rubio, I mean the twenty-somethings on his media team) “accidentally” included stock footage of Vancouver in a recent ad:

It’s morning again in America, eh?

At least Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio managed to find stock footage of North America while paying tribute to Ronald Reagan’s sanguine “Morning in America” television spot.

The Florida senator’s campaign used three seconds of video taken of British Columbia’s unmistakable waterfront in Vancouver for its depressing twist on Reagan’s iconic 1984 advertisement.

Or did they?

I think Marco is promising that, if he’s elected, we’ll invade Canada.

Of course, he can’t come right out and say that, but those of us who have advocated invading Canada for years know what he’s talking about.

And we vote!

Allahpundit Gets It Two Weeks Later

On December 14, I wondered Donald Trump: The McCaskill Manipulation Goes National?

On December 28, Allahpundit wonders the same thing:

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Democrats used the same strategy to brilliant effect in the 2012 Senate race in Missouri. The GOP primary was jammed up with three candidates; Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent, wanted to do something to help Todd Akin win, believing (correctly) that Akin would be the easiest of the three to beat in a general election. The solution: Start attacking Akin before the Republican primary, knowing that a big-name Democrat’s official seal of disapproval would be a strong lure to Republican voters to consider Akin. Some of that is pure tribalism at work — Democrats are bad, therefore things they dislike must be good — and some of it is “they’ll tell you who they fear” reasoning at work. The problem is, sometimes they’re not telling you who they fear when they attack. Sometimes they’re telling you who they don’t fear and hoping you’ll fall for it.

You know, this blog was a lot more political when I started out, but I’ve drifted away from it because, honestly, I’m not sure my insights add anything and I don’t think I’m convincing anybody of anything.

I’m not even getting my insights and moments of synthetic thought out into the wild before someone else comes up with them.

Donald Trump: The McCaskill Manipulation Goes National?

Ed Driscoll says “ANNOY THE MEDIA, VOTE TRUMP” and includes a round-up of media reactions to the Donald Trump candidacy show:

And I can’t help wonder if we’re not seeing a McCaskill Manipulation strategy at work here.

As you might remember, gentle reader, back in 2012 I highlighted a pre-primary strategy by Claire McCaskill to run ads claiming that Todd Akin was too conservative for Missouri. Her organization did this because they felt that Akin would be the weakest candidate to face Claire McCaskill in the actual election.

It worked, of course; Akin was nominated and then said something that everyone could pile on, and Akin lost and we have Senator McCaskill for a couple more years.

I said it in 2012; McCaskill admitted it in 2015 in Politico Magazine:

It was August 7, 2012, and I was standing in my hotel room in Kansas City about to shotgun a beer for the first time in my life. I had just made the biggest gamble of my political career—a $1.7 million gamble—and it had paid off. Running for reelection to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Missouri, I had successfully manipulated the Republican primary so that in the general election I would face the candidate I was most likely to beat. And this is how I had promised my daughters we would celebrate.

Now, I don’t want to go all JournoList / Conspiracy Theory here (although the mere inclusion of the word JournoList and the aforementioned boasted McCaskill Manipulation should indicate that conspiracy theories might often involve actual conspiracies), but could we be seeing something like it in the Trump candidacy?

We’ve got a lightweight candidate that the Gatekeepers of Knowledge can fulminate against, and perhaps they hope those mere fulminations will be enough to get less engaged conservative and Republican primary voters and caucus attendees to nominate Trump–so Hillary Clinton can turn him into the national equivalent of Rick Lazio or Todd Akin.

Could it be so? Given the triumphal nature of McCaskill’s article this very year, it’s not unthinkable that it was offered as a template for a national victory.

UPDATE: See also NBC/WSJ poll: Clinton beats Trump by 10 points in head-to-head matchup