Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Obama's Record on the Economy Ends Even Worse Than Expected

When talking about the economy, former President Obama (and his supporters) like to stress that he had a record 75 months of job growth during his presidency.  Too bad that "fluff" didn't equate to economic growth.

Prior to the beginning of 2016, the Congressional Budget Office expected that year to deliver 2.67% in real GDP growth.  The reality fell well short of that prediction with just 1.6% growth.  For all eight years of Obama's presidency, he averaged only 1.48% growth in real GDP.   As a result, he is the first President in the history of the U.S. not to have at least one year of economic growth of 3% or more. Further, that 1.48% average will leave him with the 4th worst economic growth of any President since 1790; as noted by these growth statistics:
      • Herbert Hoover -5.65%
      • Andrew Johnson -.70%
      • Theodore Roosevelt +1.41%
      • Barack Obama +1.48%
While there are two more revisions of last year's average real GDP growth to come, there is no way that these revisions will do anything more than slightly change Obama's average economic growth percentage, but not enough to change his "sad economic ranking" in the history of he presidency.


Obama era ends with steady job growth: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/obama-era-ends-steady-job-growth

Barack Obama's Sad Record on Economic Growth: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2016/02/01/barack_obamas_sad_record_on_economic_growth_101987.html

Barack Obama Is Now The Only President In History To Never Have A Year Of 3% GDP Growth: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2016/02/01/barack_obamas_sad_record_on_economic_growth_101987.html

Monday, January 30, 2017

World More Doomed...Thanks to Trump!

On Thursday, January 26, a group of supposed atomic scientists based out of the University of Chicago announced that their Doomsday Clock was moved 30 seconds forward to just 2-1/2 minutes to Midnight.

All because of Trump. They claimed:
"...even though he has just now taken office, the president's intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse."
Also, claiming:
"This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a U.S. presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change."
So, there you have it!  A bunch of self-appointed scientists, and obviously "not" politically motivated, have declared that the election of Trump has brought us closer to the end of the world.  Of course, this same group have been all over the place in predicting the world's end as noted by this chart:

Are we now supposed to go back to the 1950's and have our kids hiding under their desks as weekly air raid sirens blast?  Or, similarly, running to bomb shelters or practicing "duck and cover" every time we hear those sirens?  Don't forget the Conelrad radio and TV alerts.  Damn that Trump!

Let's not forget though, that this same group moved the "clock" forward from 6 to 3 minutes before midnight while our 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama, was in charge.


The Doomsday Clock Is Reset: Closest To Midnight Since The 1950s: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/26/511592700/the-doomsday-clock-is-now-30-seconds-closer-to-midnight

Source of Chart: Wikipedia: Doomsday Clock: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock

Duck and Cover: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_and_cover

CONELRAD: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD

2009 Nobel Peace Prize - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize

Friday, January 27, 2017

Contrasting Views: Obama and Trump on Voter Fraud

Update to original blog: Trump argument bolstered: Clinton could have received 800,000 votes from noncitizens, study finds: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/26/hillary-clinton-received-800000-votes-from-nonciti/

Original blog continues:

At his very last news conference, President Obama said this: "This whole notion of voting fraud — this is something that has constantly been disproved."  In addition he remarked this is the only advanced democracy that makes it harder, rather than easier, to vote.  Both those claims are false.  There are plenty of stories where the dead vote and vote multiple times.  Note this report from CBS2 in Los Angeles:

In addition, PEW Research Center found that 24 million voter registrations were significantly inaccurate or no longer valid.  That 1.8 million dead people were still on voter rolls, and that 2.75 million people are registered to vote in 2 or more states.

As far as it being harder to vote in the U.S.; many "advanced" countries require photo I.D.'s.  For example, photo I.D.'s are  required in Canada, in the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Germany.

Now there is an uproar over Trump's claim that 3 to 5 million votes in 2016 were cast fraudulently.  We don't know if he is right or wrong.  There has never been a study to determine the extent that voter fraud may exist nationwide.  Mostly because we, as a country, don't require voter I.D.'s along with a photo I.D.  Maybe, as Trump suggests, an investigation should be done, and perhaps we should institute photo voter I.D.'s .  Why are the Democrats so adamantly against photo I.D.'s for voting?  Could it be that they know voter fraud does exist, and that it benefits Democratic candidates.


Obama: Reports of voter fraud are 'fake news': http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/314887-obama-reports-of-voting-fraud-fake-news

How do I vote in the UK general election? What you need to know: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/06/how-do-i-vote-general-election-polling-what-need-to-know

Election Requirements in Canada: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=ids&document=index&lang=e

Sid Miller says voters in Mexico must have a tamper-proof photo ID with hologram, thumbprint: True: http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2015/aug/26/sid-miller/sid-miller-says-voters-mexico-must-have-tamper-pro/

Voting in Germany: https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/germany/moving/voting

Trump Vows 'Major Investigation' of His Claim of Voting Fraud: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/politics/trump-voting-fraud-false-claim-investigation.html?_r=0

Ballots cast by dead voters in Colorado: report | TheHill: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/297697-ballots-cast-by-dead-voters-in-colorado-report

Pew Center: Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade: http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pewupgradingvoterregistrationpdf.pdf

Democrats, stop fighting voter ID laws - The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/05/30/democrats-stop-fighting-voter-id-laws/?utm_term=.b42ad5f34caa

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Horror...Trump Could Lift Sanctions on Russia

When it was reported that Trump "might" lift sanctions on Russia, you would have thought that Lindsey Graham, John McCain, much of Congress, and most of the media had been told they only had weeks to live.  Actually, what Trump said is "If you get along and if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?".

Putting that aside, here's the truth about sanctions: They don't work!

In a book titled "Economic Sanctions Reconsidered", three researchers looked at 200 sanction sets from 1914 to 2009 between various countries.  Their research found that just 13 of those 200 sanction sets "really" worked.  Of the thirteen, 3 were threatened and were never imposed.  7 lasted one year or less.  Of the remaining three, one lasted for two years; and the remaining 2 only achieved results after four years.  Simply speaking, the longer that sanctions are in place, the odds of them working are greatly reduced.  Of course, that's assuming that they would work at all.

Something to think about as we now enter the third year of sanctions against Russia.  Maybe Trump can find a better "deal" to get Russia to budge on Crimea and Ukraine?


Trump open to removing Russia sanctions: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/314323-trump-open-to-removing-russia-sanctions

13 times that economic sanctions really worked: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/04/28/13-times-that-economic-sanctions-really-worked/?utm_term=.38b745a101cc

January 10, 2017: McCain, Graham to unveil bipartisan Russia sanctions bill - POLITICO: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/john-mccain-lindsey-graham-no-russia-sanctions-bill-233395

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Tale of Two Stories: Obama's Job Approval

Democrats were ecstatic that a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that Barack Obama left office with a 60% approval rating; placing him 4th behind Roosevelt, Clinton, and Reagan.

Similarly, the Gallup organization gave him a 59% approval rating at the end of his second term.  However, in the  "average" of polls over his two terms in office, the results were not as bright.  On average, his rating was 47.9%,  placing him 4th from the bottom with only Ford, Carter, and Truman having lower ratings.

 I don't know why Barack Obama was able to lift his rating from below 50% before 2016 and then, in the last year, gain 10 percentage points.  From a weak economy to violence on our streets and significant world disorder (especially in Syria), nothing saw a marked improvement to warrant that change.  Certainly, the results of this year's elections, nation-wide, didn't reflect a strong approval for either Obama or his Democratic policies.  If that were true, Hillary Clinton would be President.


President Obama is leaving office on a very high note: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/18/obama-climbs-to-60-percent-approval-in-final-presidential-approval-rating-post-abc-poll-finds/?utm_term=.bb54d801599e

Obama Averages 47.9% Job Approval as President: http://www.gallup.com/poll/202742/obama-averages-job-approval-president.aspx?g_source=Politics&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

No Surprise..."People's Choice" Lowest Ratings Ever

I, like a lot of people, are tired of Hollywood using award shows as soapboxes on which to spew political crap to the bunch of like-minded liberals attending these events.  It's no wonder then, that this year's "People's Choice Awards" saw it's lowest ratings ever.  This time, the host took shots at Donald Trump and all the Republicans inhabiting middle America.  All done under the guise of humor and "entertainment."  Of course all the attempted "humor" must be simpatico with the liberal crowd attending.  Doing so, surely cemented his future for hosting similar events.


TV Ratings Wednesday: All-time low for People’s Choice Awards, ‘Speechless’ takes top spot: http://hollywoodlife.com/2017/01/18/joel-mchale-disses-donald-trump-peoples-choice-awards-2017-election/

Joel McHale Mocks Trump & Middle America For Election Win During PCAs Opening: http://hollywoodlife.com/2017/01/18/joel-mchale-disses-donald-trump-peoples-choice-awards-2017-election/


Monday, January 23, 2017

2016: The Hottest Year Ever by 1/100th of a Degree!

On January 18th, NASA and NOAA declared 2016, the hottest year ever.  Hotter even, than the record reached in 2015.  A fact based on weather records being kept since the 1890's.  This is music to the ears of those who support the belief that global warming is man-made.  Music because it only reinforces the fact that action must be taken immediately to control climate change.

In this chicken-little scenario,  most people don't realize that this "hottest" declaration is based on a 1/100th of a degree increase over 2015's record-setting average. That is well within the margin of error. Therefore, for those who don't understand what a statistical "margin of error" means, it could just as well be that 2016 was actually 1/100th of a degree cooler than 2015.  Additionally, these claims fly in the face of satellite data showing an 18 year pause in global warming.  However, that data appears to come from a separate department at NASA. Apparently, these scientists are not to be heard as they work out of a closet in the basement of the space agency's building.

Global warming alarmists want us to trust science.  But, when science is in conflict, people need to step back and see both possibilities.  The fact is, that satellites are not confirming the "hottest" year ever claim.  Of course, leave it to the left-leaning media to toss red meat out to all the climate change alarmists without a balanced perspective of the satellite data.


How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/science/earth/2016-hottest-year-on-record.html

Why NYT Hid The Numbers For The ‘Hottest Year On Record’: http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/18/nyt-hid-numbers-hottest-year-record/

Load of bollocks: 2016 allegedly ‘hottest year’ by immeasurable 1/100 of a degree – While satellites show ‘pause’ continues: http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/01/18/load-of-bollocks-2016-allegedly-hottest-year-by-immeasurable-1100-of-a-degree-while-satellites-show-pause-continues/

2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2016/01/14/2015-was-not-even-close-to-hottest-year-on-record/#75a0c16723c6

Friday, January 20, 2017

Is Trump the True Purveyor of Hope?

Recently, Michelle Obama said this: 'We are feeling what not having hope feels like'.   I don't know who the "We" really is in that statement, but the suggestion is that Trump's presidency provides no hope for our nation.

Hope is a fleeting thing.  It's personal.  What you "hope for" may last for years, or may be fulfilled in just days. or never fulfilled.  Your particular "hope" may not be what someone else is hopeful for.  Democrats always sell hope like some type of "snake oil" that will cure all your ills.  In 1992, the soon-to-be President, Bill Clinton, ran the following ad. In it, he proclaimed the he would "bring hope back to the American Dream".

Whether, either individually or collectively, that "nondescript" promise of  "hope" ever came true is up to each individual that lived through that time.

When Obama ran for President, he, like Bill Clinton, also ran on a slogan of "hope".  Actually, "hope and change". Maybe, Michelle should look at the results of a recent poll about the last eight years:
"...only 30 percent feel they are better off financially now than before Obama became president.  One-in-five says they’re worse off (22 percent), and nearly half feel their family’s financial situation is about the same (47 percent)."
Understand, when 47% say their family financial situation is "about the same", they are saying that things are the same as 2009, when the country was in recession. Where's all the hope in those findings?

The fact is, Obama never fulfilled the most personal "hope" that most Americans have: jobs and better income for themselves and their family.   I think Trump may just be the best "hope" for those who haven't benefited financially during the 8 years of Obama.


Michelle Obama: 'We are feeling what not having hope feels like': http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/16/politics/michelle-obama-home-oprah-interview/

Fox News Poll: Positive ratings for President Obama as he exits: Despite that...only 30 percent feel they are better off financially now than before Obama became president.  One-in-five says they’re worse off (22 percent), and nearly half feel their family’s financial situation is about the same (47 percent): http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/15/fox-news-poll-positive-ratings-for-president-obama-as-exits.html?refresh=true

Michelle Obama's suggestion Trump is end of 'hope' for America gets pushback: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/17/michelle-obama-suggests-trump-is-white-house-is-end-hope-for-america.html


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What the Pre-Election Polls Aren't Saying About Russian Hack

Several Democrats have vowed not to attend the Trump inauguration on the basis that they believe Trump isn't a legitimate President.  Democrat Congressman John Lewis said exactly that, in a "Meet the Press" interview and followed up that comment with this:
"I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton."
The problem with that statement is that the pre-election polls don't support it.

According to the WikiLeaks website, the release of hacked DNC emails started on July 22, 2016.  If the release of those emails had an impact on the election we should have seen it in this polling chart  from RealClear Politics:

Clearly, there was a spike in the polls for Trump on July 25; just 3 days after the release of the first  batch of emails.  However,  that spike was short lived with Trump quickly falling behind again.  More importantly, Hillary saw no drop in the polls following the release of the first batch of emails.  She then continued to lead Trump throughout the release of additional emails.  Simply, there is no there, there, to support the claim that Hillary's campaign was "destroyed" by Russian hacking.

This is just more FakeNews being promoted by sore-loser John Lewis and all the other sore-loser Democrats.


Citing Russian meddling, Rep. John Lewis says Trump not a 'legitimate president' http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-john-lewis-trump-20170113-story.html

WikiLeaks: Starting on Friday 22 July 2016 at 10:30am EDT, WikiLeaks released over 2 publications 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee: https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/

Polls: General Election: Trump vs. Clinton: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html

Monday, January 16, 2017

DOJ "Ankle-Bracelets" The Chicago and Baltimore Police

With only days left at her job as Attorney General, Loretta Lynch announced that she has reached a "consent decree" with the cities of Baltimore and Chicago.  Under the "consent" of those two cities, the police departments will be forced to address the findings of abuse and violations of civil rights that were found to be "systemically" present in the year-long investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  As a result, police compliance under these "consent decrees" will be subject to a federal judge's review over the next 5 years and extending beyond 5 years, if compliance isn't achieved.

What is interesting is that there are now 20 police departments under "consent decrees" in this country, and in every case, the civil rights and abuse charges were always the same.  They are always defined by the DOJ as "systemic".  In other words, the violations are part of a "planned" and police-wide policy.  Even a reasonable person might find that claim to be quite unbelievable. Especially when it involves the arrest and treatment of minorities.  More importantly, the word "systemic" implies that there is rarely fair treatment of minorities by the police in these communities. 

The Washington Post/Frontline studied the DOJ's record of changing police departments as a result of these "consent decrees" and the results were mixed.  In many of those communities that were under federal supervision, crime spiked.  Also, in many cases, compliance can take more than a decade because of a revolving door of police chiefs during the process, coupled with a high rate of officers quitting.  In Detroit, for example, the compliance took 11 years and required the replacement of 8 police chiefs.  In Los Angeles, the taxpayers paid $300 million for reforms.  I think this quote from the Washington Post/Frontline report says it all:
"Officer morale in some of the departments plummeted during the interventions, according to interviews. Collectively, the departments have cycled through 52 police chiefs as the agencies tried to meet federal demands. Some departments have struggled to sustain reforms once oversight ended, and in some cities, police relations with residents remain strained."
With murders and crimes rising in major cities,  the intervention by the DOJ appears not to be having a positive effect.  Barack Obama's DOJ -- more than any previous administration -- has been particularly heavy-handed at adjudicating against the police; always occurring after the shooting of an  unarmed black person reaches national prominence in the media.  That, in my opinion, makes these investigations both reactionary and political.  More importantly, these kinds of "scathing" reports by the DOJ are putting targets on the backs of our police officers as each new report concludes that they are racist.  More police were killed in 2016 than in any of the previous 5 years, combined.


January 12, 2017: Baltimore, DOJ Reach Agreement On Consent Decree For Baltimore Police: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/12/509479934/baltimore-doj-reach-agreement-on-consent-decree-for-baltimore-police

January 13, 2017: Feds release scathing report on Chicago police abuse: https://www.yahoo.com/news/doj-release-report-chicago-police-abuses-062249940.html

The DOJ’s jaw-dropping report about the Cleveland Police Department: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/12/05/the-dojs-jaw-dropping-report-about-the-cleveland-police-department/?utm_term=.1d21c14fed22

The 12 key highlights from the DOJ’s scathing Ferguson report: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/03/04/the-12-key-highlights-from-the-dojs-scathing-ferguson-report/?utm_term=.223c48fde486

Ferguson’s Violent Crime Rate Skyrockets In Aftermath Of Brown Shooting: http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/28/fergusons-violent-crime-rate-skyrockets-in-aftermath-of-brown-shooting/

Washington Post/Frontline: Forced reforms, Mixed results Federal interventions at troubled police departments across the country drag on for years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/11/13/forced-reforms-mixed-results/

DOJ investigations: 20 departments under enforcement agreements: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-doj-investigations-police-departments-20170112-htmlstory.html

After Bloodiest Year, Baltimore Murder Rate Still Rising: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/06/bloodiest-year-baltimore-murder-rate-rising/

Last year, Cleveland suffered a 90 percent jump in homicides: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-ferguson-crime-cops-murders-laquan-mcdonald-perspec-0131-jm-20160129-column.html

More police officers shot and killed in 2016 than in past 5 years: http://www.nbc26.com/news/national/a-look-at-the-shootings-of-police-officers-in-2016


Saturday, January 14, 2017

No Shock that John Lewis Calls Trump Presidency Illegitimate

I get it.  Democrats are mentally "grief-stricken" over Hillary Clinton's loss.  Most are in a state of "denial" which is the first of the 5 stages of recovery from that "mental" condition.  No one better exemplifies this more than Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who said that Trump was not a  "legitimate President" in this recent "Meet the Press" interview:

But, this was not a shock or surprise for Lewis.  In October,  the Clinton campaign ran this ad in which he was solely featured and where he said “She’s smart, she’s gifted. She is a leader. She is a fighter for what is right, what is fair, and what is just":

Obviously, Lewis was an "impassioned" supporter of Hillary Clinton. By default, it is safe to assume that he is just as impassioned about the Trump presidency.  Sadly, he will have to live with the results of this election, and by not accepting this Presidency, his actions, as a U.S. Congressman may be clouded by what appears to be his total disregard of our 45th President.


The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss: http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/

John Lewis Praises Hillary in Campaign Video: http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2016/10/07/john-lewis-featured-in-hillary-clinton-video-new-america/

Friday, January 13, 2017

Obama's Economy in One Chart

At almost every opportunity, Barack Obama touts his record on the economy.  In fact, at his final press conference as President, he said this:
As I was preparing to take office, the unemployment rate was on its way to 10 percent. Today it is at 4.6 percent, the lowest in nearly a decade. We've seen the longest streak of job growth on record, and wages have grown faster over the past few years than at any time in the past 40.
Of course, the implication of that statement is that he, and he alone, saved the country.  That, without him, we would still be in recession.  But, guess what?  From the Federal Reserve's perspective, we pretty much still are.  The primary job of the Federal Reserve (our central bank) is to keep our economy stable and growing at a reasonable clip.  When the economy is overheating, the Federal Reserve increases its prime lending rate (the Fed Funds Rate) to make borrowing more expensive, and thus, retard economic (buying) activity.  On the other hand.  When the economy is in recession, the Fed Funds lending rate is lowered to stimulate economic activity by making borrowing cheaper and more attractive.  With that in mind, note this chart of Fed Funding rates (prime interest rates) over the last 65 years:

Click on Chart to Enlarge or Select Link Below
What this clearly shows, is that the Federal Reserve has kept its lending rates at the lowest levels in the last 65 years; and, for an unheard of period of time.  Still, almost 7-1/2 years past the end of the recession, rates are still below any other rates on the chart.  More importantly, this graph refutes Obama's claims of job and wage growth.  If those claims were really true, the economy would be firing on all cylinders and the Federal Reserve would be forced to raise interest rates to keep the economy from overheating due to too much buying activity.

However, just like most of Obama's claims, there are few facts to support them.


Transcript: Obama’s end-of-year news conference on Syria, Russian hacking and more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/16/transcript-obamas-end-of-year-news-conference-on-syria-russian-hacking-and-more/?utm_term=.3e6ad3f0b6fd

Source of Chart: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS

Video: Federal Funding Activity Explained:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK91Lq2Jz2Q


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Could an Endangered Bee "Sting" Thousands of Americans

For the first time in U.S. history, a bee has been placed on the endangered species list. Known as the Rusty Patched Bee, or officially as the Bombus Affinis, it has seen it's populations decline 87%.  Once seen in 28 states, the population is now confined to just 13.  Besides pesticides, disease, and loss of habitat, climate change is also blamed for the decline of this particular bee's population.  Really? Climate change?  The bee itself, naturally prefers to build it's nests in abandoned underground tunnels left by rodents.  But, the bee is also cultivated in captivity by certain beekeepers.

Saving this bee seems to be a noble effort.  The problem with it appearing on the endangered species list, is that the federal government can severely penalize any American that would kill it or damage the habitat of the Rusty Patched Bee.  A farmer who sprays his crops near a nest could be fined, and a court order could be issued to stop all spraying as long as a bee colony exists near his/her property.  A land owner may be prevented from developing that land if the nests are found on his property.

Mark my words.  In the coming months, many Americans will find out that this bee will change their lives in ways they never thought possible, as the federal government moves against them to protect a bee.


Bee placed on endangered list after US habitat loss: https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-lists-bee-endangered-first-time-014639622.html

Bombus Affinis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombus_affinis

Endangered Species Act of 1973: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_Species_Act_of_1973


New York's Tuition-Free College Madness

During their runs for the White House, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders promised tuition-free college.  Now, with Trump's victory, that seemed to become a distant dream.  That is, until Democratic Governor Cuomo of New York tepped up and proposed that the state legislature make it a reality for up to one million eligible families who have children in the State, who want to attend state colleges.  He promises that the program will only cost $163 million a year; when fully phased in over 3 years.

Now, one thing I've learned about Democrats like Cuomo, is that they are terrible at math.  They almost always underestimate the true cost of any new entitlement program.  Once more, this appears to be the case for this tuition-free entitlement program.  Here's why.  The in-state annual cost of tuition for a New York public college student is $6,470.  Divide that into Cuomo's proposed $163 million a year and you end up with 25,193 students who could benefit from the program.  Yet, a million families would be eligible?  That's just 2-1/2% of all eligible families.  Also, when you talk about eligible families, you are not taking into account that some families could have more than one eligible child.

However, here's the biggest problem with any talk about free tuition.  As a country, we waste billions of dollars on college education.   Most students enrolled in a 4 year colleges don't graduate in 4 years.  In addition, the 6-year graduation rate for state colleges is still only 57%.  In other words, those that don't graduate in either 4 or 6 years, will be -- a waste of money.  Of course, under Cuomo's plan, that will be a waste of taxpayer's money.  But, its not just about money.  ACT (American College Testing) found that 60% of high school students that took their test were not qualified or prepared for college.  Yet, somehow, 66% of high school graduates go on to college.

There is also a bigger problem with college education in this country.  All too many workers have degrees that are worthless.  Career Builder, in 2014, found that 51% of those college students who graduated that year and found emplooyment, were working in jobs that didn't require a degree, which that brings me to another point.  Too much emphasis is placed on a college education.  What we should be doing is getting people into trade schools for professions that are desperately in need of trained job seekers.  This is where tuition-free education would carry more bang for the buck. Further, if you want to provide 4 years of college tuition, make sure it is targeted to students that are enrolled in programs that will provide the type of expertise that is so often lacking in the country.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Free College Plan With Bernie Sanders: http://time.com/4621407/free-college-andrew-cuomo-bernie-sanders-new-york/

Bernie Sanders is wrong: College is not a right: http://theweek.com/articles/553857/bernie-sanders-wrong-college-not-right

National Center for educational Statistics: College Graduation Rates: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

ACT Shows 60% of High School Seniors Not College-ready: http://www.governing.com/news/state/mct-seniors-not-college-ready.html

Most High School Seniors Aren't College Or Career Ready, Says 'Nation's Report Card': http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/27/475628214/most-high-school-seniors-arent-college-or-career-ready-says-nations-report-card

Fewer U.S. Graduates Opt for College After High School: Last October, just 65.9 percent of people who had graduated from high school the previous spring had enrolled in college, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this week. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/business/fewer-us-high-school-graduates-opt-for-college.html

51 Percent of Employed 2014 College Grads Are in Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree, Finds CareerBuilder Survey: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=10%2F9%2F2014&id=pr846&ed=10%2F9%2F2099

America's Skilled Trades Dilemma: Shortages Loom As Most-In-Demand Group Of Workers Ages:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/emsi/2013/03/07/americas-skilled-trades-dilemma-shortages-loom-as-most-in-demand-group-of-workers-ages/#3939ec4c4545

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Democrats and the Politics of Victims and Villians

I used to be a Democrat.  I grew up knowing nothing else because the extended families of both of my parents were all Democrats.  I firmly believed in the Democratic politics of "inclusion" and that the party embodied the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me..."
 I left the party when I realized that the so-called party of "inclusion" was actually a party of "exclusion" by only identifying with the victims in society.  If there are victims, then there are villains.  Hillary Clinton was the embodiment of that type of politics.  She stated that half of Trump supporters -- more than 30 million people -- were deplorable and were misogynists, racists, white supremacists,  and any other "ist" she could conjure up.  The victims of all those deplorable villains were women, blacks, gays, immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, and many more.  She also villainized Wall Street and the banks by blaming them for the recession. She aligned herself with Black Lives Matter, and by doing so, effectively implied that all cops were racists.  Then, too, the poor were only poor because they were the victims of the rich. All this is merely an attempt to divide the country. 

Those who don't believe in same-sex marriage or abortion, are not automatically villains to those of us who are gay or women who support pro-choice.  But Democrats and Hillary think they are.  I believe this is one of the reasons that Democrats have lost so much legislative control.  They are purveyors of negativity. There is nothing at all positive about their message.  As a result, most American's -- those in the middle class -- can't see what's in it for them if they vote for a Democrat.  Of course, this is just my opinion but, something to consider.


The Democratic Party Is Not One of Inclusiveness: http://time.com/4423975/democratic-party-divided/

Dem blame game rages over Clinton loss: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/308600-dem-blame-game-rages-over-clinton-loss

Democrats must drop identity politics: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/15/democrats-must-drop-identity-politics/

Dems hit new low in state legislatures: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/306736-dems-hit-new-low-in-state-legislatures

Obama’s legacy is a devastated Democratic Party: http://nypost.com/2016/12/25/obamas-legacy-is-a-devastated-democratic-party/


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Dems Need to Blame Themselves for the Russian Hacking

Ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election, the Democrats have been on a constant campaign to blame Trump's win on Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC's) email server.  But, the timeline of the hacking doesn't fit that narrative. The proof is in a mid-year news story from CNN.

Here's the two pertinent quotes from CNN in a story they published in July of 2016 titled "Sources: US officials warned DNC of hack months before the party acted":
"Federal investigators tried to warn the Democratic National Committee about a potential intrusion in their computer network months before the party moved to try to fix the problem, U.S. officials briefed on the probe tell CNN.
"The DNC brought in consultants from the private security firm CrowdStrike in April. And by the time suspected Russian hackers were kicked out of the DNC network in June [2016], the hackers had been inside for about a year."
Therefore, we now know that the Russian hacking actually started almost 1-1/2 years before the election of Donald Trump.

This is why the narrative that the Russian government wanted Trump to win the presidency is nothing but fake news.  Unless they had some miracle crystal ball, they started the hacking of the DNC well before anyone ever thought that Trump would be the GOP nominee, let alone be elected.  But, that's the story being concocted in order to prove that Hillary didn't lose because she was simply a bad candidate; or, at least worse than the other bad candidate.


FBI took months to warn Democrats of suspected Russian role in hack: sources: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-democrats-reconstruct-idUSKCN10E09H

Sources: US officials warned DNC of hack months before the party acted: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/25/politics/democratic-convention-dnc-emails-russia/

Monday, January 9, 2017

Will California Kill Its Cash Cows?

In the "Golden State" of California, dairy products are truly gold.  It is the state's number one agricultural commodity.  So, why would anyone in their right mind want to jeopardize this proverbial cash cow. Leave it to Governor Brown and the State Legislature of California to do just that.

In an effort to control the State's methane gas production from dairy cows, and save the world from climate change, farmers in the state must now control the methane production caused by cows.  In fact, by 2030, they must reduce the methane from cow farts and manure to levels that are 40% less than the measured levels of 2013.

The insanity of this law is that it isn't achievable, and it places a high financial burden on dairy farmers in the state.

Now, according to NASA, atmospheric methane production breaks down as follows:

As you can see, animal waste (manure) accounts for just 5% of the methane in our atmosphere.  16% comes from enteric fermentation (farts from ruminants like cows).  Thus, 21% of the total methane comes from these farm animals.  And, if only 5% is from manure, then manure management will address only 24% of the required 40% methane reduction. Thus, most of the reduction in methane from "Elsie" and her sisters is going to have to come from controlling cow farts.   I hardly think that diet and exercise is the solution.  Essentially, the only way to control cow farts is to get rid of cows.

Now, methane reduction from manure is achievable.  But, at a high cost.  This can be done by building anaerobic digesters.  Manure must be collected and placed in a custom airtight chamber and through a process of fermentation, a flammable gas is produced and contained.  Then, that gas is used to produce electricity that is sold back to the local electric utility.  In doing so, they lose the composting of manure that produced a high quality fertilizer that was used to enhance the feed in their grazing fields.  But, more importantly, there's the cost for "digesters".  Costs range from $1000 to 2000 per cow; depending on the size of the dairy farm.  Since there are 1.8 million head of dairy cows in the state, at best case ($1000 per cow), farmers would have to spend $1.8 billion in compliance.  $3.6 billion, worst case.   Since there are roughly 1500 farmers in the state, the average farmer will have to spend at least $1.2 million dollars to have a digester built on their property.  California dairy farmers are already losing money due to the drought and this added expense could see the shutdown of this industry in a State where farmers are already going bankrupt or moving elsewhere.

This is a perfect example of climate zealots not thinking about their actions.  Blinded by ideology, they are going to bring a lot of pain to a lot of people.  Then there is the consumer who will suffer higher prices for milk and milk products.


Cow farts can now be regulated in California: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/09/20/cow-farts-can-now-be-regulated-in-california.html

California's New Cow Fart Regulations Totally Stink: http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/30/californias-new-cow-fart-regulations-tot

Source of Chart: Atmospheric Methane: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane

Anaerobic Digestion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digestion

Cost of Anaerobic Digesters: http://articles.extension.org/pages/19461/economics-of-anaerobic-digesters-for-processing-animal-manure

Economy of California: http://www.netstate.com/economy/ca_economy.htm

Udder Confusion: Dairy Digester Development in California: http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/12062/udder-confusion-dairy-digester-development-in-california

California losing dairies, cows, production as prices fall: http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20160517/california-losing-dairies-cows-production-as-prices-fall

California Livestock and Dairy: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/statistics/pdfs/2013/LivestockandDairy.pdf


Friday, January 6, 2017

Putin has been In A Nuclear Arms Race for Years

Before Christmas, Donald Trump tweeted this:
Of course, it set off a firestorm of backlash by implying that a President Trump would re-establish a nuclear arms race with, primarily, Putin and Russia.  A horrible possibility for those who interpreted it as some kind of nuclear war stance.  Especially, when they believed that President Obama "worked so hard" to reduce nuclear proliferation.

But, is that statement actually true?  No.

For example, the Iran nuke deal doesn't stop Iran from getting "the bomb." It just ensures that it will take them 10 years to create one.  Many think that Iran will violate that agreement, and will become "nuclear" in less than 10 years.  Note this line of "bull" we got when President Obama announced the "deal."

 Iran is already violating their nuke deal, in the same way that the original North Korean deal, struck by President Clinton, never stopped that country from going "nuclear."  Listen to Bill Clinton's announcement of the failed North Korea deal:

Also understand, that countries that fear a "nuclear" Iran, such as Saudi Arabia, may have already started their own nuclear programs. That, in itself, is nuclear proliferation.

Then, there's Russia's own arms race under Obama.

In 2010, President Obama, and then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, negotiated a "New START (Strategic Arm Reduction Treaty) Treaty" with Russia.  Listen to this press briefing by Barack Obama about that agreement:

Sounds a lot like the political B.S. we got from Clinton on the North Korean deal.

Here is the reality of that Russian deal.  The deal was supposed to limit the U.S. and Russia strategic nuclear weapons totals to just 1550 each.  When signed, Russia had 1,536 such weapons in it's arsenal.  Today, they have -- according to a Oct. 1, 2016 report from our State Department -- almost 1800.  Well above the 1550 limit set by the "Treaty", and a larger amount when it was signed.  At the same time, we reduced our arms from a level of 1800 down to 1367.  Well below the 1550 level of the "Treaty".

The fact is, that Democratic Presidents like Clinton and Obama love to call press conferences to tout their successes in striking non-proliferation deals, but they're always failures.  I think Trump, more than anyone, understands this.  Also, I think, the warning "tweet" will actually force countries to rethink their proliferation of weapons.  Of course, with the exception of crazy North Korea who has a brainless idiot in charge of a country that can't even feed themselves.

In my opinion, Trump's tweet may have the same effect of bringing Russia to its knees as did President Reagan's announcement of "Star Wars."


Trump on nuclear weapons tweet: 'Let it be an arms race': MSNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/23/trump-to-putin-lets-have-a-nuclear-arms-race.html

The Russian Nuclear Weapons Buildup and the Future of the New START Treaty: http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2016/11/02/the_russian_nuclear_weapons_buildup_110294.html

Dershowitz: The Case Against the Iran Deal: http://www.newsweek.com/dershowitz-case-against-iran-deal-360911

Iran violates limit established in nuclear deal, UN finds | Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/11/10/iran-violates-limit-established-in-nuclear-deal-un-finds.html

List of nuclear weapons tests of North Korea - Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests_of_North_Korea


Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Perfect Example of Why Pure Democracy is Flawed

In the Federalist Papers, James Madison warned of the "tyranny of the majority". He said that the Constitution, with its defined checks and balances, would prevent such a perversion of our form of democratic rule.   Thomas Jefferson said that "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."

Inconsistent with the beliefs of both of those Founding Fathers, there is now a trend to take issues to the public in the form of ballot initiatives. Initiatives that wind up on the ballot with just a few thousand signatures.  Initiatives that lack legislative debate and expert testimonies and questioning. And, initiatives that that can be passed into law with the slightest of margins by an ill-informed and/or uniformed electorate.

In my opinion, a ballot initiative in Nevada, called Proposition 1, is a perfect example of what Madison and Jefferson were concerned about.  Proposition 1 requires that, with little exceptions, all gun transfers between private parties be subject to a federal background check by the FBI.  Only 55,250 signatures got the initiative on the ballot in November, and it won by garnering just 50.45% of the popular vote.  In other words, only 9,899 votes passed it into law.  Therefore, gun owners in the state were being subjugated by the slightest of majorities.

Now, because of the lack of forethought and thorough investigation, the initiative is in trouble. The FBI has said it will not process background checks between private parties because that would be inconsistent with the Brady Bill; the very federal law that established background checks in the first place.  Quite frankly, the FBI would need increased funding and manpower to do so. This, then, leaves the State of Nevada with the only option of establishing its own background check system which, in itself, could be flawed because it may not be able to include crimes committed in other states.  I doubt very seriously that the FBI will allow states access to its own background check database for both cost and security concerns.  Further, there will be a cost to the state of Nevada to establish their own system.   Something never considered in the original ballot initiative.    In addition,  all the law enforcement agencies in the state will be required to enter data into another background check system; placing an additional burden in many of our already over burdened police.

Simply speaking, we should not be putting initiatives on ballots without due consideration of what its consequences will be.  Not even to mentioned, of course, is the fact that "only law abiding gun owners" will comply with the law.  Because of that, there is no reasonable expectation that increased background checks will even marginally reduce gun violence in the State.  Putting initiatives on ballots just because they "sound good" will  continue unless state legislatures take steps to reign them in.


Nevada's voter-OK'ed gun background checks blocked: http://www.rgj.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/28/nevadas-expansion-gun-checks-blocked/95924384/

Signature Requirements for Ballot Measures by State: https://ballotpedia.org/Ballot_measure_petition_deadlines_and_requirements,_2016

Thomas Jefferson on Mob Rule: https://www.google.com/search?q=thomas+jefferson+democracy+mob+rule&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Madison on Tyranny of the Majority: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/primary-source-documents/the-federalist-papers/federalist-papers-no-51/

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Washington Post and Their "Electrical Grid" Scare

On the Friday before New Year's Eve, the Washington Post published an article with this headline:
"Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say."  

Many on the political left, still reeling from the alleged Russian hack of the Hillary campaign, went into full OMG mode.

However, that story was just "fake news" from one of this country's most-read and left-leaning newspapers. In fact that original story has now had an intro added stating the following: 
"Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid."
Even so, there's more to the story than what was stated in the "Editor's Note".  The computer they are talking about is a laptop.  The malware that the Russians apparently infected this computer with was a "Trojan" program, called Neutrino, that can be used to either extract data from that computer, and that computer only,  or to hold that computer hostage for a ransom. Because it was a Trojan program it was not at all likely that it would be of any danger to that power facility; even if the laptop was connected to its computers.  Note this comment to that affect from the McAfee anti-virus website on the Neutrino malware:
"This is a Trojan detection. Unlike viruses, Trojans do not self-replicate. They are spread manually, often under the premise that they are beneficial or wanted. The most common installation methods involve system or security exploitation, and unsuspecting users manually executing unknown programs. Distribution channels include e-mail, malicious or hacked Web pages, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), peer-to-peer networks, etc.  
So, it is highly likely that whoever owned the laptop, took some action that downloaded Neutrino such as opening a spam email.  Even if the country of origin might be Russia, the target probably wasn't that electrical utility's computer system nor did it originate from the Russian government.  In fact, it is highly possible that you may have such malware on your own computer, and I doubt you're connected to some power plant in America.  The way it is activated is by manually running a Java script that was placed on your computer by opening an attachment to an email or downloaded video.

So, what's the real story behind this fake story?  I think it was simply another attempt to discredit Trump.  Another attempt to further the story that Putin is a villain.  He stole our election and he now wants create havoc on our electrical systems.   Isn't  he is the guy that Trump is best buddies with?  Therefore, by extension, Trump is someone we can't trust.

My hat is off to the Chicago Tribune for exposing this fraud.


Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility, showing risk to U.S. electrical grid security, officials say: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-hackers-penetrated-us-electricity-grid-through-a-utility-in-vermont/2016/12/30/8fc90cc4-ceec-11e6-b8a2-8c2a61b0436f_story.html?utm_term=.cf647293248f

Chicago Tribune: Vermont utility apparently not a target of Russian hacking:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-russian-hackers-vermont-utility-20170103-story.html

McCafee: Neurtrino.e Malware: Overview, Characteristics, Symptoms, Method of Infection, and Removal: http://www.mcafee.com/threat-intelligence/malware/default.aspx?id=9609542


Chicago Led a Murderous 2016 in America

In its December 20 report on crime in America, the Brennan Center for Justice said that murders were up by 14% across our 30 largest cities but, it was Chicago that contributed 43.7% of that total increase.  Nearly half.  In fact, Chicago had its bloodiest year in two decades; ending the year with 762 homicides.  Up 57% from the city's deadly 2015 numbers.

Chicago also saw a substantial increase in non-death violent crimes; up 17.7%.  The leader in this category was San Antonio with a 23.5% increase in violent crimes.  A close second was Oklahoma City up 23%.

However, one significant and disturbing thing about 2016, was the number of police killed.  Up 56% from 2015.  Many of these killings being anti-cop ambushes.

Simply, something has to have changed to cause these sudden increases.  Chicago's former top cop said that its the Black Lives Matter movement that has hamstrung America's cops.  In most of the cities that have seen increases in both violent crime and murders, arrests are down.  There's a fear among police that they are under siege by an untold number of camera-carrying people who are just waiting to catch a cop doing something wrong.  Essentially, we have told America's police that they can't be human and can never make mistakes.  So, understandably. they back off.  As a result of this reduced policing, it is members of the black community who are now dying at higher rates.  If you no longer make stops and arrests, the guns remain in the hands of those who kill.


Crime in 2016: Updated Analysis: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/crime-2016-updated-analysis

Chicago records 762 homicides in 2016, up 57 percent from previous year: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/01/1-chicagos-bloodiest-years-ends-with-762-homicides.html

Arrest the killings: Fatal shootings of police up 56 percent in 2016: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2016/12/31/Arrest-the-killings-Fatal-shootings-of-police-up-56-percent-in-2016/stories/201701310010

Chicago's former top cop claims Black Lives Matter is leading to more black deaths and preventing police from doing their jobs: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4081796/Chicago-s-former-cop-claims-Black-Lives-Matter-leading-black-deaths-preventing-police-doing-jobs.html


Monday, January 2, 2017

Kerry's Sad Rant About Israeli Settlements

When I began listening to John Kerry's speech made in defense of Obama's no-vote, no-veto, allowing the U. N. Security Council to denounce the Israeli settlements, I heard a spoiled child whining because "he" didn't get what he wanted for Christmas. 

But, I also heard some very disturbing words.

Almost anti-Semitic, he said "Israel can either be Jewish or democratic -- not both."  Would he have said the same about the Muslim Palestinians?  No.  The implication is that Israelis must put their religion aside to bring peace.  While, the Palestinians are able to continue their hard-line Muslim beliefs including the belief that Israel has "no right to exist".

Then there was this statement "most right-wing coalition in Israeli history".   Of course, the implication is that the political right -- even in this country -- are all war mongers not interested in peace, and if the country was politically left,  peace would have been achieved.  Israel has been left-leaning in the past, yet peace has not prevailed for decades.  Like it or not, the "people" of Israel chose that right-wing "coalition" to run their country through democratic elections.  The reality, is that rocket and rock attacks, knifings, and mowing down Israelis with automobiles, trucks, and buses has pushed the country further right in a desire to more forcibly defend themselves.  Evidently, Kerry can't see that.

Kerry (and also Obama) need to get over it.  Peace was not achieved.  The desired "legacy" was more about him and Obama and less about the protection or the defense of our only true ally in the region.  That speech proved it.  The whole focus was only on what Israel should surrender, and not what Palestine should also give up. That was what that cry-baby, speech was all about.


Kerry: Israel Can Either Be Jewish Or Democratic, It Cannot Be Both: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/12/28/kerry_israel_can_either_be_jewish_or_democratic_it_cannot_be_both.html

John Kerry in blistering attack on 'most rightwing coalition in Israeli history' http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/secretary-state-john-kerry-launches-9528455

Israel's right to exist - Wikipedia: https://www.google.com/search?q=israel+right+to+exist&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

How politics is redefining 'left' and 'right' in Israel: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/05/israel-right-left-camps-rule-of-law-minorities-rights-arabs.html