#oprah

Does the data show Donald in the dumpster?

Midterm

This is a simple schematic of first term presidents and the results at the ballot box of their first mid term. Since 1910, the incumbent parties have invariably lost ground. More interestingly, Democrats had control of either/both House of Reps and Senate during Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush Sr – all Republicans. Republican Presidents Taft, Harding, Hoover, Eisenhower and Trump lost the House at the midterms. Truman, Clinton and Obama suffered the same fate for the Democrats.

Trump achieved the highest number of Senate seats taken by a first term Republican president for over 100 years. George W Bush achieved rising numbers for HoR/Senate  post 9/11 but only Democrats have achieved the feat – Woodrow Wilson, FDR and JFK. Perhaps the irrelevance of the outcomes in the mid-terms is that despite the floggings Wilson, Truman, Ike, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr and Obama all were comfortably reelected for a second term.

Given the headwinds Trump was facing from the mainstream media, his unorthodox outbursts, twitter tirades and so forth, the electorate didn’t grant the Democrats a huge gift  they were expecting. Even worse they gave Trump a bigger authority to appoint SC justices should an opportunity arise by bumping his numbers in the Senate. Not surprising given the shocking gutter level political theatre over Justice Kavanaugh, vindicated by  victims confessing they had lied.

The Democrats should still be concerned that the $70mn spent on Beto O’Rourke came to nothing.  Beyonce also endorsed Beto. Oprah endorsed Abrams in Georgia – who is likely to lose. Taylor Swift endorsed Bredesen – who also lost. All four candidates openly supported by Obama lost. So much for celebrity power swaying electorates. It probably had a counter effect.

Even worse, in Nevada a brothel owner and reality TV star won his race despite dying last month. It is hard to work out what is the bigger tragedy. Voting for someone dead or being the competing Democrat to lose to a dead person. A Republican is to be appointed to the seat by county officials.

We shouldn’t forget that the Republicans had the highest number of sitting member retirements at a first midterm in the House of Representatives for 88 years. 25 seats had a new face. Republicans won re-election as governors in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maryland – three of them deep blue states. Where was the mainstream media on that?

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Turnout was good (for a mid term). 48.1% voted in 2018. In the last 100 years the average has been 41%. Only in 1966, did the first midterm of LBJ exceed this level at 48.7%. So much for either party causing a red or blue wave. Less than half of eligible voters showed up on November 6th 2018. More cared, but not enough.

Felons make for an interesting outlier subset. While it is hard to know their exact voting intentions, for the Gubernatorial in Georgia, would 219,431 felons have made a difference for Abrams? She trails Kemp by just under 100,000 votes. So if 55% of felons (the Georgia midterm turnout ratio) voted, 120,687 votes were up for grabs. Were it legal for Georgian state felons to vote, she would have been wise to campaign there.

Felons

Now that the Democrats have the lower house, one wonders why they have put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House? This is possibly to be contested. Up to fifty Democrat congressmen might oppose her for Speaker. Trump couldn’t wish for a better adversary as her litany of gaffes will undoubtedly embarrass her party. Pelosi represents pretty much everything Americans have come to despise about the Democrats.

More worryingly, Maxine Waters is being put in charge of the Financial Services Committee. At a point in the cycle where financial acumen is probably most required, this is an embarrassment, made worse by her open calls for payback.

The Democrats need fresh faces. Ones that will look for bipartisan support. If the Democrats embark upon a cocktail of revenge politics and look to push for investigation after investigation in order to impeach Trump but end up with nothing they will be seen for what they are – a party completely self-absorbed with petty vendettas. The toxic Senate debacle should have given them warning enough that voters won’t tolerate more political roadkill like that going forward.  Yet Pelosi will likely use her subpoena powers to drag everything through the gutter instead of working to improve things for Americans. Failure here will only lead the electorate to conclude they wasted two years and gift wrap 2020 for Trump.

This mid-term election was anything but a slam dunk. Put aside personal hatred of Trump, look at the data and see that Americans did not write him off as many pundits predicted. It should be more scary to realise that he is probably more Teflon-Don than he was in 2016. Second biggest mid-term turnout in history, highest net gain of seats in the Senate in 100 years for a first term GOP president, record dollars thrown at Democrat candidates backed by Trump-hating billionaires. At the end of the day folks, this is just the data talking.

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Is yoga racist?

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A Michigan State University religious studies professor Shreena Gandhi has claimed that white people who do yoga contribute to a “system of power, privilege, and oppression… White Americans should learn yoga’s history, acknowledge the cultural appropriation they engage in and possibly reduce the cost of yoga classes for poor people, a group that often includes people of color and recent immigrants, such as Indian women to whom this practice rightfully belong.”

Wow. Who knew that those whites doing the downward facing dog were poking their posteriors to the poor and minority groups? How can whites overlook this? Why aren’t they donating to yoga scholarships or at the very least paying double their yoga lessons to subsidize them? Can we see the statistics or proof showing how the poor, people of colour and recently arrived immigrants value yoga as their highest priority injustice?

Every person who has done yoga in CM’s experience has done it for the health, meditative and stretching benefits. Anyway let’s see what minorities say about yoga.

According to an article in the Washington based  The Healthy African titled ‘Namaste : Black Girls journey to Yoga’ it noted the following,

In my journey to being a healthier individual I have come to realize that a healthy body cannot be attained without a healthy mind. Yoga is a practice that truly takes this holistic view of health . It is not about competition or singular priorities…I find that Yoga is a practice many more women of color should be looking to as a means of attaining a healthy lifestyle.

The author isn’t asking women of colour (presumably her audience) to even out the ethnicity imbalance in yoga classrooms but seek it for the health benefits. Perhaps Professor Gandhi should check that minorities follow the same guidelines on the history of yoga.

Afrogirl Fitness also wrote an article titled ‘Yoga for Christians’

As a Christian, I am always questioned about my yoga practice and its connection to my Christian faith. The question recently posed to me was “As a person of faith, are there aspects of yoga that you omit from your practice?” Currently, the answer is yes, simply because there are so many aspects of yoga that I am still learning and applying to my Christian faith. Yoga goes beyond the physical practice (asana) as stated in the yoga sutras, with the ultimate goal being self –realization.

No it doesn’t seem African American yogis that are Christians are crying out for equality in the classroom either.

Rina Jakubowicz was born in Venezuela to a mother from Cuba and father from Argentina. She moved to Miami at age 4 and now lives in Los Angeles. She noted that not many Hispanics were doing yoga due to language difficulties and has started to promote yoga classes held in Spanish. She said to Yoga Journal,

Well, a top priority for me was to get yoga out to people and use it to help inspire others and get them to incorporate it into their lives…Yoga hasn’t been presented to Latinos. They might feel like it is not accessible to them—there haven’t been a lot of Spanish yoga classes…If you make it available, people will start doing it.

Then there is the story of Rodney Yee who has been in the yoga game since 1980. He wrote on his homepage, “His appearance on Oprah in 1999 helped catapult Yoga into the mainstream. Other highlights in his long career as a premiere Yoga teacher include the co-owning of Piedmont Yoga Studio, his vast output of videos with Gaiam, and his eloquent workshops around the world.”

Surely Mr Yee is the root of the problem and the target of any attacks by the professor. Had he not catapulted yoga into the mainstream then we wouldn’t have as many whites doing yoga. Shame on Mr Yee for creating jobs and helping more people of all backgrounds access healthy lifestyles. Shame on Oprah for promoting him.

In summary it seems more and more  blacks, Hispanics and Asians merely embody yoga’s spirituality to help develop PERSONAL growth. It doesn’t appear to be anything else that’s driven it.

Perhaps Prof. Gandhi should be seeking her own personal growth by crawling out from beneath her own yoga mat before the Dean sees how completely lame her teaching methods are.

Liberalism: let’s find a cure.

Oprah – fantastic delivery to those lost in fantasy

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One can’t fault Oprah for delivery. Her Cecil B. De Mille award speech justifies her position as the highest paid performer in Hollywood. She’s eloquent! Despite her speech to an audience full of hypocrites who applauded every aspect of the victim culture that has not held 99% of them back. She is unsurprisingly lighting up liberal social media feeds. Hail the identity politics!

Oprah is the poster child of how America rewards talent no matter what background one comes from. She earns $140mn a year. While she can talk of the importance of the civil rights of the 1960s from a lino floor watching Sidney Poitier win the same award, the America today (and decades ago) hasn’t  held her back. She should be celebrating and acknowledging that change not rattling off how unjust the world still is. Sure it isn’t perfect but the injustices of the 1960s are virtually non existent by comparison. Show me a perfect society and we’d all move there.

After all a black president served two terms in America. Had he not won those elections would civil rights in America been immeasurably worse off since 2009?  Would parents of African-American descent have told their children to hold tight to their injustices had he lost? Or did they tell them to chuck them away when he won? Why wouldn’t Oprah cheer that? Afterall the virtue signallers in the audience would smile, cry and swoon on anything she said so out of touch with the world they are

While the washout from the Weinstein saga has yet to finally flood them out, here was Hollywood trying to sell themselves as paragons of virtue. Champagne socialism is alive and kicking.

It was so ironic that immediately after the Oprah speech Natalie Portman introduced the “all male nominees for best director” which only amplified how full of it Hollywood is. Could it be that most directors are male? The Golden Globes said that Barbara Streisand was the only female winner of a best director award in 1984. Could it be that Spielberg or Ron Howard pulls movie financing  more adeptly than others regardless of gender? Previous track record -> future sales expectations -> higher financing -> better cast -> more sales etc. it’s based on economics not gender.

Then Jennifer Chastain jumped in with the 23% gender pay gap quip in a room where they all get paid millions. Leading actors get paid more depending on movie, budget and a whole host of issues. I doubt Meryl Streep has suffered a 23% pay gap to her male actors in any of her movies since Sophie’s Choice or Kramer vs Kramer. Geena Davis added to the pay gap nonsense in her introduction. Yawn.

Yes, Oprah grew up in Jim Crow times. Indeed she witnessed first hand those injustices. Once again isn’t a night of virtue signaling better served by focusing on positives than nothing but negatives. Of course not. It’s terrible being a multi millionaire.

Frances McDormand talked of the time for a female president. Barbara Streisand banged on about gender inequality. By her own admission she won an award 33 years ago.

So the Golden Globes was all the same rubbish. 100s of Hollywood celebrities thinking their words carry any meaning or weight. Every social justice case was put to full effect. If they actually believed their own nonsense they’d do their utmost to repeal the very civil rights thy fight so vigorously to defend.