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Oct 04 2017
13 December 2017 - 20:46

Interesting election in Alabama.

All it really shows is that obscene amounts of money pouring into politics is dangerous to democracy.

One of these articles talks about how Rs are saying that the "quality" of candidates is actually important. Important how?

Better than Judge Moore? That is an extremely high bar. Particularly if you are talking about height in terms of mouse Olympic pole vaulters.

Maybe a better class of big money donors would be in order. There are very few big money donors. Less than 200 supplied most of the funding for the last 3 Presidential campaigns. In total those campaigns spent MORE money than the estimated cost of a manned mission to Mars, which, of course we can't afford because we need to give those donors, to all Parties and candidates, more tax cuts.

This special election does seem to show some, small, improvement in the ability of people that actually get motivated to vote to actually think, if given the choice between rancid meat and cheap but fresh cold cuts, to vote by a slight amount more in their own interests.

Another article has a quote from a R 'leader' that Sen-elect Jones (D)Alabama should do the right thing and vote with the R Caucus.

No mention what so ever that ALL Sens are elected to represent their States and ALL Reps are elected to represent their Districts. None of them are elected to represent the leadership of their Parties in Congress.

I am encouraged that the election came out as it did. But not a whole lot. If you look at the "incredible" turn out of voters, as some have called it, you see that about 1 and 1/3 of a million voters voted in that election. There are about 3 and 1/3 registered voters in Alabama. This is not a great demonstration of support for democracy.

It is much better than the turn out for the R and D primaries. The R primary had about 2/3 the number of voters, based on gen election voters that voted for Moore, vote in the primary. Which is a lot better than the about 25% of general election voters voting for Jones that voted for all candidates in the D primary.

I really don't care what a persons political views are in this Country. That is up to each of us to decide. But I do think that we, as Citizens, should be concerned with support for democracy. And show it by, at least, showing up to vote a couple times in a damned election cycle.

How many of the huge number of people that spend well more time being Twits, FB, Redit and so forth bother to actually get off the damned box, go (shudder) out side, travel to their polling place and vote? I could be wrong but I am convinced that they have a lower voter turnout than the rest of the population (however small that is) that have better things to do in their lives than just listen to people in artificial echo chambers carefully crafted to make the world seem to agree with them.

But big donors want every one to be loyal to one Party and to mindlessly vote for that Party. The people that they support have to be willing to put a national agenda ahead of any issue that is a priority within the District or State that they are elected from.

I have lived, extensively, in 4 different States. Each of which has very legitimate and unique issues that are vastly effected by Fed policy and funding. All those issues are damned important to National needs also but may well not be important for people who can only see benefits of issues, one way or the other, in terms of profit and loss on a short term basis.

As for running "horrible candidates" this special election is years past when both major Parties should have learned that "lesson". And certainly not after the last Presidential election when both Parties ran people that only a very small portion of their actual Party members, or people that identify as being Party supporters, liked at all and those that did like them were more motivated by the fact that they had a D or a R tacked to their name.
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/alabama-senate-trump-moore-jones-293755

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/alabama-special-senate-election-mitch-mcconnell-222569

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/alabama-special-senate-election-trump-reacts-295103?lo=ap_a1

https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-think-bannon-made-an-ass-of-himself-republicans-rejoice-in-breitbart-chiefs-alabama-humiliation

https://www.thedailybeast.com/rep-king-bannon-looks-like-disheveled-drunk

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/alabama-senate-jones-moore-takeaways-294163

But the important stuff goes on
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/tax-reform-deal-compromise-plan-294972

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/tax-rules-republicans-january-surprise-293346?lo=ap_f1

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/spending-bill-2017-defense-house-republicans-294242

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-shady-bank-where-this-russian-nba-owner-stashed-money

For those who know nothing of Sec Lew
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Lew

16 December 2017 - 18:39

This is just stuff I have come across in the last day or so.

I think I am beginning to see what MAGA is all about. Make America Grubby Again.

Need more for profit prisons
http://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/12/team-trump-is-slashing-programs-that-help-prisoners-adapt-to-life-on-the-outside/

Need for more multi national ownership of the food supply
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/most-american-farmers-will-be-hurt-by-the-gop-tax-bill/

Chinese are still pushing that US damaging climate crap conspirousy
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/12/arctic-temperatures-are-rising-so-fast-computers-dont-believe-theyre-real/

And they are recruiting more conspiritors
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zmyzwe/investors-are-pushing-big-business-to-get-in-line-with-the-paris-agreement-one-planet-summit

Really need to shut up the people that cause panic by using scare words
https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?tid=ss_tw-amp&__twitter_impression=true

But there is hope. Perhaps we can get this guy to come and tour the country and give rallies to boost peoples ability to live right
https://outabouter.com/2017/12/15/area-man-lovingly-restores-entire-1957-values-system/

Pretty bad when you have to rely on a fictional Canadian to show Americans the right way!!!!!!

23 December 2017 - 20:40

This guy was elected to Congress after I left MI for good. But I do follow MI politics to some extent. Was a lousy Rep. Lost his seat, in a very R district, to a D who lost it the next election cycle when an actually credible R ran against him.

Never seemed to get the point that there are other points of view even within his own party in his own home district. Really all his experience as a Ford Auto Dealership owner should have taught him that much. So I can't say this is a big shocker.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42460055

But definitely hilarious.

I don't think this guy likes the new Tax Law at all.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-just-pulled-off-the-greatest-long-con-in-history?ref=home?ref=home

Obviously doesn't take a lot of pride in our (US voters) ability to fall for this type of approach either.

I know one guy locally, one I actually like and respect a good bit that is definitely a Trump voter and leans a bit more than I am comfortable with to the right, that is shocked by the attack on non corporate agriculture. This is actually a pleasant shock to me. But the damage is done and I am not certain at all that we can actually fix this anywhere near in time.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-just-pulled-off-the-greatest-long-con-in-history?ref=home?ref=home

I figure that we will see a decline of about 25 - 30% (very small numbers currently as it is) in the number of really independent family sized and operated Dairy farms as one example.

Add that Pres Trump has put a complete halt to the "new" rule for the Packers and Stockyard Act put kind of in place by Pres. Obama (bill was passed in 1921 to protect producers from downstream compulsion of expensive and repressive practices to boost profits for those downstream businesses and then NO rules were ever really written until the Obama Administration and they were, while a great improvement, not very good) and a lot of people in the small but captive pork poultry and veal production are going to go bankrupt.

Will effect beef producers that have succumbed to working on a contract basis for calf sales too. Not sure how many that is and how "hard" the contracts are. If yearly they have a chance but a poor negotiating position because they don't personally know the buyers representatives or have a history with different feed lots (covered under the Packers and Stockyards Act) as to quality and health of their calves, speed of weight gain and so forth.

You sell on a per pound basis and as it is about $1.70ish currently (was in the $.75 range in the late 60s so the price, taking inflation into account is actually down) a penny or two makes a big difference when you are selling calves that weigh 550lb to 700lb in numbers like 1 to 4 hundred for the average small family operations. This pretty much represents your entire income for a farm/ranch and all the people on it from which you first have to deduct the operational expenses. Keep in mind that basic equipment like a tractor will set you back, new from big name companies like JD, up to about 250,000 bucks.

JD is making it ILLEGAL for people to do even common maintenance like tuneups because of proprietary software usage. A lot, if not most, family owned outfits that buy those tractors are now voiding their warranty on that equipment by purchasing pirated software from Poland so they can hack there damned tractors and doing so.

This was getting a growing number of Republican Reps and Senators, and definitely those on the State level, to back "right to repair" laws. I figure this will now revert to a partisan fight because, let's be honest, people in AG don't really make up a meaningful voting block. And obviously multi national "agricultural" companies are major donors to ALL Parties (worldwide).

04 January 2018 - 19:01

The show just goes on and on;
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42561075

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42570555

https://www.thedailybeast.com/report-hannity-was-willing-to-feed-questions-to-trump?ref=home

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/04/jeff-sessions-resign-freedom-caucus-mark-meadows-jim-jordan-324022?lo=ap_a1

But we get great news coverage of our domestic law enforcement from foreign press;
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42570312

And the AG is fighting back against the REAL THREATS to American Greatness
https://apnews.com/19f6bfec15a74733b40eaf0ff9162bfa?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

And commentators are getting a lot of fun out of all this;
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/04/steve-bannon-is-not-done-yet-216241?lo=ap_c1

I don't watch much TV but all this makes me wonder what effect this has on soap operas. Does this increase or decrease the viewing of them? Seems pretty competitive. Brainless plot and poor acting. But this show gets the advantage of being on News broadcasts and can even get injected into your screen as important updates at anytime - this has to help ratings.

Can the President succeed in closing the barn door after the horse is out?!?!!! The thrills! The suspense!!!!!!!!

Don't miss tomorrows exciting episode!!!

29 January 2018 - 03:42

Sec Interior Zinke and Pres Trump want to protect public land and certainly don't want to sell it off.
https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000161-1ee5-da76-abed-7eef69230000

Apparently just want to privatize the management of them completely.

Interesting story on the FCC
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/26/fcc_chair_committees/

Don't think the author likes the Chairman. Most interesting link in that article for me was this one
http://www.routefifty.com/tech-data/2018/01/state-local-governments-fcc-chair-ajit-pais/145436/

Several others are quite interesting.

Good idea
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/28/special-counsel-senate-protect-graham-collins-373854

Tech news
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/29/microsoft_out_of_band_patch_to_remove_spectre_patches/

Gee I think I want one of these
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/29/strava_military_base_locations/

Linux 4.15
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/28/linux_4_15_debuts/

29 January 2018 - 04:13

Shows total ignorance, or worse ignoring, why these things were built in the first place.
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/28/trump-infrastructure-cities-states-373775

Basically this is a "plan" to provide seed money to privatize transportation.

The US Hwy system was built primarily between WW1 and WW2 and a good bit of the reason was crappy transportation of anything to do with the needed supply and manpower for WW1 was shown to be really badly lacking.

The National Road which became US RT50 was built by the US Army engineers fresh from rough road building projects at the end of WW1.

All, every one of them, Jimmy 6x6s used in N Africa and S Europe were driven by civilians, like my grandmother, from MI where they were built to Florida on US 27 to the ships that took them to the Mediterranean area.

This is how stuff was moved. The US Gov spent $50 million in WV alone to raise the height of RR tunnels so that tanks could be stacked 3 high on flat cars. Then the Reagan Admin allowed the RR companies to abandon and sell for profit all that infrastructure.

General Eisenhower was a bit pinched for a decent supply chain. We could produce plenty but couldn't get it to shipping very fast. He was a big admirer of and on the receiving end of German supply over the Autobahn which was designed for rapid deployment of troops and military supply. This is why he started the Interstate Hwy project. Pure and simple was meant to be a fast way of moving people and goods across the country primarily planned as a national security project.

Both national Hwy project did provide a lot of employment and had many other benefits besides better mobility of our military.

These bozos don't get that though. They want to look at this as a temporary jobs creation tool.

Indiana has a good bit of the Interstate in Indiana as a toll road. Basically a "private sector partner" repaired the thing and now runs it. So what is wrong with that. Well it would be nice if it was an American company. I really don't like the idea of a Chinese company keeping track of traffic through auto toll collections on part of our military supply routes.

If you divide $200 billion by 50 states you get all of $4 billion. Sounds somewhat huge to most of us but will not be much of a drop in the bucket for simply repairing bridges across the Mississippi that we have ignored pretty much completely since the Reagan Admin. Add to that the cost of upgrading our shipping ports, also a key to supporting any damned war that may happen and which we have trouble with in every deployment of troops now and have had since the Clinton Admin, and the money isn't jack shit. But the States are supposed to pony this up or, I suppose we could get the Chinese to do it for a share in the harbor rates. Or maybe Russia would like a piece of the cake.

And Rail is pretty much off the table apparently in this country which, next to water transport is the cheapest way to move a ton of people or things anywhere and easier on fuel usage (by far) and the environment than moving stuff on roads. 3rd world countries have rail as good as ours in many cases.

All these types of transport reach well across State lines. This type of building has to be coordinated and well regulated at the federal level to be effective and well planned. Well better planned than left to 50 different governments scattered along the different routes.

14 February 2018 - 01:15

Canada is picking on us. Nasty buggers.

Taking advantage, apparently, of their superior position in relation to the USA. With about 10% of our population and about 10% of our GDP you can see how easily they can take advantage of us.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trump-canada-global-trade-tax-1.4532053

But, at least according to The Onion, we have Russia on our side.
https://politics.theonion.com/report-russia-managed-to-penetrate-voter-databases-in-1822840810