#draintheswamp

Mid-terms will be a vote on what to do with the scab of division

0CA64E91-A9DA-4FB6-9B61-637B9EAE1A48.jpeg

Every time we turn on the news we’re told America has never been so divided. If we listen to the narrative it would seemingly be all President Trump’s fault. The reality would point more towards his brash, vulgar and politically incorrect style catalyzing the removal of a scab covering a festering wound that has not healed for over a decade.

The upcoming midterms will be an interesting read on the underlying mood of the country. It is likely both sides will get out in force like few midterms before it. Normally midterms garner a 40% turnout. It should be much higher in Nov 2018. .

Never has been predicting a result in the midterms been so difficult. CM thinks it swings to the Republicans. Despite that being a total stab in the dark, the recent Kavanaugh confirmation debacle raised some interesting stats according to Rasmussen Reports.

In response to SCJ Brett Kavanaugh’s statement that “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace. The Constitution gives the Senate an important role in the confirmation process, but you have replaced advise and consent with search and destroy.” 

56% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with his statement. Unsurprisingly 77% of Republicans thought that way. 51% affiliated with neither party and even 40% of Democrats agree with Kavanaugh.

In what was probably the most ghastly political stunt since Attorney General Loretta Lynch met Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac to discuss grandkids and golf days ahead of a testimony surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails, America saw two victims eviscerated for political capital.

What could have happened behind closed doors, became a spectator sport. Evidence was withheld until it became expedient to use it  Now that Ford doesn’t wish to push forward with any charges only makes the whole episode stink more. She has been left as road kill and Kavanaugh will bear the scars for many years to come.

CM copped a lot of criticism from late 2015 when he suggested Trump would beat Clinton. How people scoffed and laughed, throwing White House stats in the face on how great things were. CM’s argument when going through broader stats found that the disappearing middle class was only worsening post GFC. The simple argument was that those not living the dream portrayed by rosy econometrics know best. Calling them uneducated, stupid or deplorable was never going to change their minds. They saw the current system not working for them. Nothing to do with identity. All to do with prosperity (rather lack thereof) .

Those very people, if they feel their lot has improved on balance they’ll vote for who will keep that fortune going. It is no longer a question of GOP vs Democrat.

More than any bragging by Trump about his achievements, the mid terms will weigh and measure the reality. Truth be told his constant boasting about new highs on the stock market being down to his stewardship will only backfire if markets correct.

Whatever the media’s constant attacks on the “division” of a nation should be taken in context of the shock of Trump’s election win. Good Americans on both sides of the aisle do not agree with extremists kicking others out of restaurants, calling his daughter a “feckless c*nt” and they probably don’t think too highly of extra marital affairs.

Yet looking across the street in one’s own backyard middle Americans probably know a neighbour having an extra marital affair or embarking on a third marriage. It’s nothing remotely shocking in today’s society.

The question for America is not merely about enforcing the moral high ground (what’s left of it) but sustaining prosperity. Putting food on the table without having to work 3 jobs is more important to many than whether Trump paid a porn star. Apart from it being a matter for Melania, people will be exercising a mid-term vote on whether the Trump frag grenade was worth lobbing.

It is irrelevant whether you love or hate him, his rallies are as packed at the mid-terms as they were during his election campaign. Taking away the bias, listening to how he works up a crowd is worth paying attention to. Whether taking pot shots at Dr Ford, slamming the media at the back of the room for being ‘fake news’ and getting the crowd to chant “CNN sucks” shows he may not be as stupid as made out.

The Kavanaugh confirmation brought up the ugliness of the swamp. The calculated horrorshow of partisan politics was put on full display. There were no winners in that kangaroo court. The GOP May have achieved a Phyrric victory of sorts by getting their man on the Supreme Court but there was little grace.

So in November Americans can choose to leave the scab over the gangrenous wound and go back to the status quo or vote to yank it off and keep the experiment going. Only sunlight has a chance to cauterize this mess. Yet the Democrats are fighting hard to avoid seeing the doctor.

If Americans want to send a message to show that civil unrest and public demonstrations which seek to disrupt daily lives will likely see Republicans do better. People are aware of the issues. Having it force fed through one sided media didn’t work in 2016 and is less likely to work in 2018.

Food insecurity & poverty levels by US state & the 2016 election result

Food Insecurity.png

The US Department of Agriculture listed the level of food insecurity by US state as at the end of FY2016. Looking at the data, Deplorables (states that voted Republican (red) in the 2016 election) made up 20 of the 25 states that suffered the most from it. Coincidence? Looking at the % below the poverty line and 19 out of 25 states voted for Trump. Coincidence? There is a touch of irony that the Democrats, which push for citizens to be married to the state, were by and large rejected by those suffering the most and want to be free of the shackles of poverty. So is it any wonder they’d reject the establishment. Should also be a signal for the Democrats to think more widely about what makes the Deplorable tick – not free hand outs. Opportunity!

Below poverty line.png

Playing down a mass suicide note

DBF08B43-5A75-4B8D-879B-AF4EFD3B0204.jpeg

With the release of the Nunes memo, do top Democrats honestly believe that such collusion by the DNC with the nation’s judiciary and intelligence services doesn’t expose the hypocrisy of a party which proclaims its platform is all about equality and liberal ideals? Does it not expose that these politicians are only in it for themselves? Is it any wonder the Democrats are proclaiming this memo is ‘misleading’ or worse that Americans are too stupid to understand the memo? On reflection they probably had wished they’d stood and applauded during the SOTU address instead of childish frowns of bitterness and playing Candy Crush on their smartphones.

While many Americans probably suspected corruption (so brilliantly conveyed in ‘House of Cards’) for decades, they have had it transparently confirmed.  The DNC hope was that the illegal and doctored FISA application would sink Trump as a candidate and lock in a Clinton White House. By then the scam could be lost as easily as 33,000 emails. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Who could forget Bill Clinton’s chance meeting on a Phoenix tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch the day before her testimony on Hillary’s email scandal? Did anyone honestly believe they just talked about grand children? Lynch downplayed the severity of the private server as ‘careless’. Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch has found 30 pages related to the encounter at the FBI, after being caught for hiding them in another lawsuit.

Obama was front and centre of the Clinton campaign. Hillary caught the jump seat on Air Force One numerous times. Are we to believe that this dossier was never discussed on board? That Obama, so obsessed with protecting his legacy,was in no way complicit in making sure Trump wouldn’t get in the Oval Office?

If we go back to mid 2006, news broke that the NSA was tracking the calls and emails of tens of millions of Americans to create  the “largest and most comprehensive database ever assembled in the world.” In the summer of 2007, the Bush administration pushed FISA amendments known as the “Protect America Act” through Congress which authorized the surveillance of any phone call or email by any American suspected of ‘suspicious dealings’ with ‘foreigners’.

As a presidential candidate in the 2008 election, Senator Barack Obama pledged that there would be “no more illegal wiretapping of Americans”. Post the election win, Obama reversed his position and continued the Bush-era surveillance via FISA. Obama’s Department of Justice aggressively defended court challenges from anyone who suspected their phone calls or emails had been illegally traced.

In his last days as president, Obama authorized the NSA to share its volumous databank on Americans with other federal agencies, opening a can of worms for politicians to dig up dirt. Talk about muddying waters in an already dirty swamp. This seems like a move that could badly backfire if a cleaning house of the FBI and DOJ is undertaken. What option has the president but to do it? What better way to talk of transparency to the American people than lop heads of such duplicitous people.

Therein lies the problem. When the state’s own intelligence services are working so closely hand-in-hand with political parties to keep dynasties alive one has to question democracy. Despite Wasserman-Schulz stabbing Sanders in the back, a mainstream media overwhelmingly behind Clinton, a p*ssy grabbing opponent, we now learn that not even a dossier paid for by the DNC in cahoots with the FBI and DOJ to cheat FISA got Democrats across the line – what a hatchet job.

Even Turkish President Erdogan would blush at the level of ‘duplicity’ of this scandal. This is abuse of power on an industrial scale.  One wonders whether the often made claim that the ‘Obama administration was one without scandal’ maybe tarnished with one of the worst. We haven’t heard the last of this.

Tokyo’s Iron Lady preparing a wrecking ball

3E914434-B41C-4D3C-BC9D-04F29A0A1F90

PM Abe may have more than met his match. It seems Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike could win the support of defections from the flailing Democratic Party of Japan. They are considering running no candidates under their own banner but under hers – The Party of Hope (Kibo no To). Koike isn’t playing by the rules and PM Abe’s wish to hold a snap election knowingly ceding seats so he could keep a majority may end up backfiring. She has next to nothing to lose and she represents a  “fresh” scandal-less face to the electorate. She is on a wave. Abe’s majority under threat.

Think of it this way. The LDP is embarking on a strategy that seeks to take some losses. In a sense they are openly conceding it is all about clinging to power. Hardly a promising election strategy. The slew of scandals (two with the PM himself) works to Koike’s favour in appealing to those that see her as a reboot to the decades of LDP cronyism.  Still early days but the momentum is almost tsunami like. Drain the swamp?

Is there any dignity at CNN?

IMG_0278.JPG

Is CNN channeling the Gestapo? Threatening to release the name of an individual who made fun of the network’s own self inflicted stupidity. While it seems ratings haven’t suffered so badly post the Russiagate saga, surely the “we reserve the right to publish his identity” is an unbridled threat. How does taking down a video that has gone viral and been shared eliminate the problem? All that trying to ban soemthing does is exacerbate the problem.

One has to wonder whether the person that posted the video lampooning the network is “truly remorseful” or whether he was intimidated under a spotlight, pumped full of sodium Pentothal while staring at CNN’s legal goons in tight leather gloves. Talk about drawing bad attention to itself.

Perhaps if CNN really wanted to avoid such ridicule, it might decide to focus on quality journalism not stir up a hornet’s nest of lies for ratings. Doesn’t the satisfaction of winning from hard work and dedication trump free riding? Like drug cheats in sport perhaps if one lies to oneself enough they are every bit the winner as those legitimate athletes.

There can be no sympathy for a network that gets pilloried for engaging in what amounts to doxxing individuals. The Trump video in its initial form has been around for ages yet no complaints were had because everyone knows WWF is stage cast. The majority of those that saw the CNN spoof version would see it for what it is – ridicule.

For CNN to turn it into a “inciting violence against journalists” is plain nonsense. Should Trump have sent it on Twitter? No. Was it presidential? No. Was CNN in the wrong for inventing stories to try to remove him? Yes. Are journalists’ lives in danger from the President when they line up at a White House press conference? No.

As the ancient Chinese proverb states, “before setting out on revenge, first dig two graves.”

South Australia proves its own mistake with renewables

IMG_0380

You have to love the climbdown here from SA Premier Jay Weatherill after fumbling around in the dark over the blackouts and the epic fail caused by renewables. The public demolition of a coal-fired plant In Port Augusta symbolized the gloating about the switch to clean power. Was the decision by the South Australian government to chase such a fanciful renewable target done with proper due diligence (i.e.  not falling for the green scares) there would be no need to splurge $360mn on a new gas-fired power plant to act as a back up for energy it might lose because of the unpredictability of green power. Truly a case of closing the gate after the horse has bolted.  Another $150mn will be splurged on a battery storage facility which would never have been needed had common sense prevailed. Now the weakest state in Australia with the highest unemployment and most expensive electricity prices will slug tax payers with half a billion bucks. It is irrelevant whether their electricity bills will go up, they will pay indirectly. Utter madness.

What people tend to forget is that battery manufacture is an incredibly dirty business. The horrible stuff that goes into a Li-ion battery gets mined half a world away to be refined, mixed (lithium, nickel, cobalt , and aluminum) and converted into the finished product. Like those that claim an EV is emissions free. It isn’t when you calculate the production process and the power supply. In any event, all this episode today proves is that the South Australian government has stuffed up massively and now asking already tapped out taxpayers to suck up their woeful stewardship and lack of critical analysis on embarking on being en vogue rather than prudent.

Amusing that Weatherill is now gloating about SA having the biggest battery farm in Australia. I doubt taxpayers will want to hear “biggest” as that equates to “bigger” cost to them.

Once again our dearly departed Bill Leak summed up the mood of South Australia’s stupidity.

IMG_0416.JPG

Read it and weep

img_0364

This is not what unfettered sustainable growth looks like. Maybe it explains this.

“Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.”