It’s Going to be Tricky

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Who knew? PT Barnum was right.

Apparently it is possible to win the House of Representatives in America even in an extraordinarily prosperous time (though I’d argue most of us haven’t recovered from the debacle that started with the Dem legislative take over in 06, so it doesn’t FEEL prosperous yet.) by promising to raise people’s taxes and to throttle energy production.

Or… of course, we have a fraud and an MSM problem.

I’ve talked about fraud here before.  In CO in 2012, when I both poll-watched and was in touch with poll watchers throughout the state on a party line, we were counting 1/3 people being told they had voted before.  On the party line, I learned that in Denver it was 2/3.  You can’t beat shit like that.

Yes, the people turned away were allowed to vote a provisional ballot, but you see… the thing is that that only gets counted if they come up short — ie. if the difference between the winner and loser is less than the number of provisionals — but the other ballot just gets counted.  It’s already in. It’s already in the system.  Do. The. Math.

Even so, 12 was tight, and they had to find boxes of votes up in Boulder county.  Which is why the first thing the dems did when they captured Colorado legislature was to go all vote-by-mail.  To save money.  You know how fiscally conscious dems are, right?

I’m told something similar happened when Oregon went all voteby mail.  We’ll never win another election here, unless this is reversed. Period. Dot.

And now the architect of this change, which most people who aren’t really involved think was some super duper way of campaigning, is our governor.

Pray for my beloved Colorado.  I don’t want to HAVE to move.  It’s in the cards, in ten years or so, mind, since likely the boys will settle out of state for various reasons and we love our friends here, but have only two sons and would like to be near them (with our luck that will mean I need to make a lot of money indie, and we need two pieds a terre one near each boy.)  But then one boy or the other might stay here, and we WANT to stay here for ten years at least.  In this house.  I love my eagle’s next house, where the eagles fly at my office-window level.  And we’re doing stuff to it, like put down wood floors, to make it my dream house.  I don’t want to be forced out by Colorado going California fast and hard.

I have ideas on how to get around it, and an article for PJ about vote by mail and early voting (And btw, US born and raised people are all ADHD or short term memory loss.  Every time I come out against those, everyone piles on that I want our military not to vote.  Not a problem. They always had vote by mail.  Or they tell me I don’t want them to vote because they’ll be busy/not in country on election day.  Oh, please.  There was always SOME early voting, but you had to show you needed it.  One year I voted two weeks early, because we were going to be in Portugal on the week of the vote.  I had to show my plane tickets, is all.  And a friend who could not vote because she worked all day every day, and wouldn’t be let out, took a letter from her boss.  What I oppose is vote early or by mail for “convenience”.  Will you sell your franchise for convenience?)

And we have an MSM problem.  A BIG MSM problem.  Not a single democrat would have got the vote, if the MSM had, you know, reported on them and their actual agenda.

As in, if the MSM had shown them chanting “No America at all”, if Louis Farrakhan were shown shouting “Death to America,” (Since that’s all right with the MSM, let’s all shout “Death to Louis Farrakahn.”  No? Why not? What’s the difference?)

If the MSM had reported on how well the economy is doing without trying to credit it to Commie Barrie. Etc.

Mind you, millenials might still vote commie, because they are profoundly misseducated, particularly on history.

As is, with those two advantages: the unchecked fraud and the MSM wholly on their side, they managed to get the house by a razor thin margin.  Yeah, it’s not impressive.  It’s certainly not a blue wave.

But it’s enough.  Look, somehow, people think health care is the most important thing right now (it is, but not for the reasons they think. Obamacare forced a lot of good doctors into early retirement rather than deal with the crazy. I know. Friends and I lost doctors that way. (And a lot of the ones who stayed are wholly invested in the Obamacare “force you to lie to us” questions.  Which, yeah, is what it is.  If one drink a night with dinner is alcoholism, then I’m going to tell you I don’t drink that.  (Note that this makes whole countries alcoholics. Also, now that I’m on a million and a half meds, I don’t drink much, really.  But I lied to them for YEARS.)  Let alone other things.  Half of my mental answers to the stupid questions are “none of your business with bells on.” Which frankly means a lot of the ones left are social workers and busybodies at heart, and not the best doctors.)  With Nancy Grey Goose Pelosy (seriously, her alcohol bill a taxpayers expense when she was speaker was gargantuan.  Speaking of alcoholics, she seems to have one tied on AT ALL TIMES) in charge, the solution to this worry, as she already hinted, is Single Payer.

Now you’ll say we have the Senate and Trump.  The Senate has squishes and healthcare is Trump’s least conservative stand.  He simply fails to get that Single Payer is bad.  So we’ll likely get that foisted on us.  As I get older, and yes, my body being tricky, this worries the living crap out of me.  I’d like to live another 30 years, as is customary for my family. I have books to write, damn it.  This will not happen under single payer.  Not unless I make a lot of money and go private as soon as it’s available.  (Okay, so I see a lot of writing in my future.)

That I’d say is our biggest danger.  That and our inability to clean out the inky stuff in the FBI, CIA and federal bureaucracy with the House in enemy hands.  And of course, the ever-present possibility they’ll find ways to institutionalize fraud as they did with CO.  But for that they usually need two chambers and a complicit executive.

Oh, and the possibility they’ll screw us financially. And that their constant drip drip drip of investigations on crazy sh*t — they are already demanding Trump’s tax returns — in conjunction with their MSM amplification will create such an image problem that they can elect whoever they want in 2020.  If you thought Obama was bed, wait for the Kamala Harris administration.  You’ll die laughing.

Of course Americans are slow to fight, which is why we got here, but if that goes on… there will be blood on the streets.

So, is all lost? No. Despite the fact that I woke up with a splitting headache and a sense of doom.  (No, not hangover.  I actually ended up not drinking, because… mostly because not indicated with meds.)

Here are our strengths:

The MSM is less believed every year.  The full court press, the crazy sh*t they’ve been spinning should have seen them win 60 seats in the house and flip the senate.  It would have, even ten years ago.  But they were so openly corrupt during the Obama years that people lost faith.  Most of the people still listening to them are my parents and inlaws ages, and I’ll be blunt, most of them won’t be around much longer.  (And a lot of them are only voting because of democrat “helpers”in nursing homes.)  And their audience is skewed more to those who are sitting and listening to their propaganda all day, which is not the healthiest segment, at that. Remember working out makes you conservative? (My parents seem to bear that out)

In another 2 years, their influence will be smaller. In four, even more so.

And we are finding new ways to reach people, in news and in entertainment.  This blog took a step into more serious reporting with Bill’s posts.  There will be more like that (though not necessarily from Bill.)  We need more of that.  Our penetration is small, but there are ripples, and ideas spread.

There isn’t a hell of a lot we can do about vote fraud — except report on it, ceaselessly — but we can do something about information.  And about entertainment.  In fact, my friends, that’s my particular trench in the culture wars, and I MUST — for various reasons some personal — amplify my efforts.  Those of you who can, should too.

The other sign of hope, and not so much statistical but among the kids we knew while the kids were growing up, is that millenials started moving away from all the crap they learned in school, as the rest of us did, when facing the real world.  The fact that there are JOBS under Trump has exploded all their preconceptions.

Yeah, they’re squishy and occasionally they still fall for “Orange man bad”or for “commie so cool.”  If you have contact with them, educate them.  Don’t bludgeon them.  The young are prickly.  TALK to them.  Explode their preconceptions and the crazy economics and history they were taught in school.  Do what you can.

And while at it, if you have kids, homeschool.  No, I don’t mind homeschool fully, though of course if you can, do it.  I never could.  But I homeschooled AFTER school.  Read their books.  You’ll find most of them are based on Howard Zinn’s bullshit.  So, buy other books. Teach them world history.  Explain why the establishment lies to them.

Teens are naturally rebellious.  For generations, the left has sold the idea they’re anti-establishment.  Make sure people understand the left is the establishment.  They have such easy-to-mock types, and a lot of them will be on display in the House of Representatives.  Encourage the kids’ right and just rebellion against the sclerotic establishment.

This is not the end.  It’s not even the beginning of the end.  It might not be the end of the beginning.

We’re starting the long work of turning around a leftist narrative and governance that is now almost 100 years old.  No one promised us a rose garden, and in a long war, the other side will win some battles.

Yes, I know, the other side is SO unhinged it’s scary when they get any power at all.

On the other hand, it will happen.  We must harden, we must survive.

The next two years will be tricky.  We need every single one of you to fight for the cause of liberty and continue the work of freeing us, mind and body, from Marxist shackles.

Go on.  Go work.  Be not afraid.

 

 

 

355 responses to “It’s Going to be Tricky

  1. I had a minor incident this morning…

    A page failed to load. There was note by a red indicator at the bottom of the browser window:

    “Content from unauthenticated source had been blocked. Click to load anyway.”

    The site? CBS.

    I really like this browser, I do.

    • Authenticated by whom?

      BTW, the entire browser “certificate authority” was both broken by design and thoroughly pwned since, just do give you a warm fuzzy. Most browsers come preloaded with certificates “for your convenience.”

      • That is what else I was wondering about. It was more a source of amusement rather than anything more significant. And I certainly do have “trust issues’ with much of the net… I’m still leery this HTML email stuff and what all can be hiding in it. But then I was around, after a fashion, pre-gopher…

        • Yep. My first email address had bang paths. And spammers hadn’t crippled Usenet yet. [sigh]

          Not necessarily better old days, but certainly different.

  2. Prepare to move because they will boost your property taxes until it is like Chicago. Some people there pay the equal of their homes value in ten years. Of course buyers take the taxes into account and home values go down – but in a few years they are in the same trap.
    The reason it doesn’t feel like the economy has improved is because it hasn’t. Nothing was fixed in 2008 and all the ‘value’ of stocks and properties is ephemeral. They are all pretending to be rich with big numbers that can evaporate in days if they have to actually sell those assets when the values are headed down and nobody wants them.
    Even stretching reality to show a 3% growth in the economy the reality is they are running a 6% deficit and it is growing by the miracle of compound interest. Your assets are really declining in value 3% a year because of their money printing.
    Neither party has any interest in enforcing the laws against medical monopoly and fraud or making bankers follow standard accounting. I have no idea how far they can carry it – but numbers don’t care how you feel or what you want. When they can no longer pay the pensions and the working people can’t pay enough to do that and survive it will get ugly.

    • Sometimes they don’t raise your tax rate. They just revalue your property. Between 2011 and 2012, the value of my house went up 5x. FIVE. And so did my real estate tax payment, of course.

      I jumped on that with both feet, and the cretinous county clerk claimed not to be able to understand why I wasn’t thrilled that the value of my property had gone up… I finally got them to back down and restore the original “value.”

      Presumably, the rest of the property owners in the neighborhood were thrilled that their “investment” “appreciated in value.” I guess from the point of view of a real estate portfolio or a “flipper” it would be a fine thing. If you’re not intending to sell, not nearly so fine.

      And for that matter, who knew property taxes were negotiable? The county backed down *fast* from their re-evaluation…

      • They’ve already started doing that in CO.

      • Probably familiar with the nightmare that happened in Washington State when they did that…they had to pay to re-access a ton of stuff, and took it in the pants.

        I know here in Texas when they re-assess your value, you can contest it.

      • Sheesh. Just because the assessor claims the house is worth that much doesn’t mean 1) it would sell for that much or 2) you could get an equity line of credit based on that much. And if it won’t do either of those, the “appreciated in value” is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Not even that because both smoke and mirrors have substance.

      • “They just revalue your property. Between 2011 and 2012, the value of my house went up 5x. FIVE. And so did my real estate tax payment, of course.”

        That has happened in our neck of the woods. Our property tax assessment came in saying that our townhouse, with a postage size back yard is worth just over 250K.

        • https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/forms/FormsPubs/real-property-assessment_303-670.pdf

          True since ’97/’98, measure 50 (initiative 47). Full response of legislature repealing state limits or working around prior initiatives.

          Summary. Limited to 3% increase/year on valuation from 90% of ’95/’96 valuation. They can (and do) report Real Market Value Assessment, but Maximum Assessment Value they can use is the 3% limit. FYI. They use the lower of the two amounts (never ever have seen MAV higher than the RMV, even during the down turn of the housing market). Selling a house does not change the MAV regardless of what it sells for*. New builds start with the RMV. *Don’t know how they handled the ’08 foreclosures & short sales that dropped below the MAV, guessing new owners have a case for RMV < MAV.

          We bought our home in '88, for $78,000. Don't remember what our '95/'96 real market value assessment was (more than $78K), but '18/'19 valuations were RMV $235k, & MAV $165k. Property Taxes $1835 (everything except city, as we are not in the city).

          Yes. There is a certain amount of teeth grinding on the part of local government every year.

          Don't remember what WA state does. Do know, relatively, at least in '80 – '89, when we owned our home up north, our property tax valuation did not change much, & the taxes were much lower than Lane County, Oregon per valuation (comparable properties/homes, property values $68k vs $78k). But then WA counties also get home sales taxes from the property seller on the sold price.

      • That was a problem in Florida as well a little while ago. In addition to increasing taxes, it also affects your insurance rates.

      • In CO you can challenge the assessment typically based on comps from your neighborhood. A friend’s dad sold his company building to a friend of his for a LOT less than market. Apparently the county was mad because a lot of the companies around him used that sale for a comp and wanted their values lowered.

      • There’s a reason that Proposition 13 passed in the 70s, and why they still haven’t managed to kill it despite the complaints about it. Having your property taxes only able to rise on a known and dependable schedule is very helpful, especially when dealing with folk on fixed incomes.

      • This right here is why my FiL learned how to fight property taxes in court. That, and owning a couple of dozen of low-value rental properties that were amazingly… *charitably* assessed.

        So, we’ve been through it a bunch of times. Some places, once you’ve turned in your protest and been rejected (you *always* get rejected) and you go and actually talk to the assessors… well, they’ll actually go look with you and agree something needs to be changed. Some make you sue–at which point, after some court process, the town brings in their appraisal and you bring in your appraisal, and they’re both about the same number (more or less) so your assessment gets lowered about to the amount you asked for anyway.

        Then there was the one time that a town we’d danced with three or four times got sick of that process, and decided they just wouldn’t submit an appraisal at all.

        Now, per NY law, if you don’t have an appraisal, you’re barred from submitting evidence as to the value of a property. But there was a NYC decision (not anywhere near our district, but “persuasive” authority nonethless I suppose) saying that, because it wouldn’t be reasonable for small towns to have to pay for an appraiser every time some jerk says he’s paying too much, a town without an appraisal could at least explain how they got to the number they did.

        This kind of neglects how twitchy the judge gets about having his time wasted by a town obviously trying to wiggle out of doing something reasonable.

        Two hearings before the court date, the opposing attorney is going out of his way to express to the judge just how reasonable and pleasant my FiL has been during everything–something I read as “please please please don’t take it out on me that my clients are being jerks.” The court date itself–well. Court starts at about 9:00 IIRC. The judge has a conference call scheduled for 9:30. I’m reading this as “I’m expecting you two to come in and resolve this like adults. Last chance.”

        He has to postpone it. In fact, court lasts all day.

        I could go on all day about this, because it was hilarious. But my favorite part is how they bring up the Town Assessor–having failed to cross-examine our appraiser, or undermine his testimony or anything and in fact saying sure, you can go home now if you want to–and… bar her from talking about comparables, or the program she uses to assess value. In fact, the sole testimony she was able to submit was “I am [name], the town’s sole appointed assessor.”

        …actually, I lie. My favorite part is when she was starting to talk about how she puts the numbers into the program and they spit out the assessment, and my father-in-law said “Objection, incompetence.” The shrill “WHAT!?” the assessor split the air of the courtroom with… oh, it’ll last to my deathbed. *dabs eyes*

        Anyway.

        The long story short is, they totally do this, and they do it on purpose. But if you’ve got the time and energy to learn how to file a tax certiorari and chase it through court, you find that you can make yourself a pretty big pain in the butt.. and (presuming you figured it out pro se, which is admittedly hard) cost them a fair penny more than you spent, which appeals to my pettier nature.

        • That’s why so many jurisdictions now hammer both plaintiffs and defendants with “court costs.” “Sure, you can represent yourself in court. But we’re going to get our money out of you anyway…”

          • That’s a funny part, too–per the law, if you get your assessment reduced by more than… oh, 10%? The town is supposed to cover your court costs. “Shall,” mind you, not “may.” Now, that doesn’t mean that we were ever actually given court costs…

            Except this one. Ohhhh yes, this one they granted costs.

            (There are fees at most every step, and the money to hire the appraiser, but at the amount we were getting our taxes lowered–and, frankly, at how much more attractive the rentals were on account of us not having to include such a high tax bill in the rent–it didn’t take too long to make it back.)

            (One of the things that irked me about volunteering at Legal Aid, actually. They didn’t have to pay court fees for anything. Yes, yes, charitable organization… but overall it had the impression of Holy Favor because you’re Annointed Good Guys. Blech.)

      • This kind of thing is pretty much the reason why Prop 13 passed in California. Now admittedly, there were good reasons for the reassessments. Properties actually were selling for a *lot* more money at the time. But the increase in property values meant that people were dealing with rapidly skyrocketing property taxes. And when you’re a retiree on a fixed income…

        So Prop 13 passed. And the Democrats have been trying to chip away at it ever since. The starting goal is to change it so that it no longer applies to commercial properties. And of course, once the commercial people are no longer covered by it, those individuals will be more inclined to make other folks pay their “fair share” of property taxes when the Dems move on to the next part of it that they want to chip away at.

      • When you hear the phrases “taxpayer revolt” and “Proposition 13” in relation to California politics, this was what it was about: Prop 13, passed in 1978, rolled back the property tax tax assessment to 1976 levels, and then limits increases to a very small inflation adjustment amount (2% per year). If the house is sold it bumps up the property tax assessment to the current market value, i.e. the sales price.

        For residents in other states considering trying to do this at home, there was a downside: Proposition 13 also centralized property tax revenue collections to the State level, with the State redistributing revenues to Counties according to arcane and obscure rules that amount to whim, which ended up just concentrating more power at the State level. So don’t copy the Proposition 13 text word for word.

    • Just don’t be like the rest of em that move, find that the streets and services are less than you’re used to and start jacking costs up. Getting them here now.

  3. promising to raise people’s taxes and to throttle energy production.

    They don’t hear “higher taxes and throttled energy production” they hear “goodies that other people pay for” for things they like and “there ought to be a law” for things they don’t. These two things entirely too many of the electorate (all across the spectrum) are wedded to. That, more even than fraud, remains our problem.

    “The way you change things is not by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that’s not the way you change things. No, the way you change things is by creating a climate of opinion so that it’s politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.” Milton Friedman.

    We don’t have a politician problem. We have a political climate of opinion problem.

    • Forgot to click the little clicky thing.

    • The two sides are divergent enough that their desires if they don’t necessitate kicking the other side, it doesn’t harm them. Want more money for your trolley? Increase property tax because your voters all rent. Gun control? None of your voters shoot. It’s sin taxes writ large and will end in burning pits of bodies

      • The differences among locations in the spectrum are mostly what goodies and which laws and a strong tendency to forget “Anything government can do for you, it can do to you”.

        • At some level. But at this point it is purely pragmatic. Will they use the power of the state against me all of the time or merely most. Because Orwell’s boot smashing a face was accurate

          • My point was not “they’re all the same.” My point was that the problem lies not with the politicians but with the electorate. It’s the electorate whose opinions we have to change. It’s the people in the street, that “political climate of opinion” we need to change so that it will be “politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”

            That’s the big mistake made by the “big-L” Libertarians. They’re focused on the candidate and not on the “outreach” to convince people that Liberty is better not just for “society” but for them personally than “goodies that other people pay for” and “there ought to be a law.” Without that outreach even if by some miracle they get their “right person” in, that person will soon be out because they’re doing what’s not politically profitable and those who are doing what’s politically profitable will be right back in place.

            That kind of ground up outreach is a hard row to hoe, as the expression goes, but it’s the only one that has a chance of actually working.

            • That’s the big mistake made by the “big-L” Libertarians. They’re focused on the candidate and not on the “outreach” to convince people that Liberty is better not just for “society” but for them personally than “goodies that other people pay for” and “there ought to be a law.

              Frankly, a lot of the “big-L” types spend an awful lot of time supporting why there “ought to be a law” by being complete users and asses.
              “Gosh, do like I say and get rid of laws! Look at how I behave when there ARE laws restraining me!”
              *target promptly decides even poorly considered laws are better*

              • It is very difficult to overcome decades of indoctrination, even when the impacts of big government and socialism are demonstrably harmful to the people one is trying to convince that small, limited government is going to be an improvement for them. You have a better chance of convincing Nigel Tufnel to make 10 louder and have the amps go up to 10, rather than have the amps go to 11.

                • It is very difficult to overcome decades of indoctrination, even when the impacts of big government and socialism are demonstrably harmful to the people one is trying to convince that small, limited government is going to be an improvement for them.

                  It’s even harder when your idea of demonstrating “harmful to the people” is to break the existing rules in obnoxious and/or harmful ways.

                  Example: guy pissed off about really harsh anti-“chew’n’screw” laws starts to make a habit of publicly, and obnoxiously, going into eateries and taking a table, getting water, getting the free chips with salsa…and then leaving after a half hour to an hour, without paying.

                  What he says he’s doing is protesting stupid laws.

                  What he’s functionally doing is making people go “dang, those laws need to be stricter. Look at what that a-hole does with the laws he’s screeching about– what would he do with looser ones?”

                  • Chew and screw laws?

                    • AKA “Eat and Beat,” the thing where you go and eat at a restaurant– then run off without paying.

                      Hit the news, again, recently with that a-hole who was making dates with women, inviting them to expensive places, ordering expensive meals– and then ditching before the tab got there.

                      Because it’s so hard to catch people, but so easy to commit the crime, it’s usually punished rather harshly in relation to the damages done.

                    • Why do you need a separate law for what is a form of theft.

                    • Do you really want to give a ton of authority over to judges to decide how to judge someone more or less harshly?

                      I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the personal judgement of judges.

                    • That is why you crimilaize fewer things so you need fewer judges and can pick the cream.

                      And while I het your point rigid penalties set in the abstract by legislatures have no better odds of being right and, imho, might higher odds of truly fabulous misses.

                    • That is why you crimilaize fewer things so you need fewer judges and can pick the cream.

                      Please, explain how this makes it so that theft by deception in the instance of contracting food delivery and then vacating before the charge can be delivered is less easy.

                      I’ll wait.

                    • You said you didnt trust judges to make the punishment more sever. You said nothing about a separate law making it easier to stop the crime.

                      The separate law can’t. It can make the punishment more sever. Prevention can only be improved at the enforcement end. Harsher penalties can be done by judge or legislature.

                      If your point is the sever penalties discourage crime pretty much all the research shows odds of being caught have a much stronger affect than harshness of penalties.

                      In store dining security footage and a no exceptions prosecution policy a la shop lifting is better than a new law but requires people to act instead of wait for government. Delivery is harder as I know from my Dominos manager days, but caller id bans is a good first step.

                    • Actually, I pointed to the fact that there ARE different levels of criminalization for actions depending on ease of committing the crime, and you asked why there was a need for separate laws for different forms of theft.

                      Which, now that I write it, would demandthat armed theft be treated the same as fraud…

                      So why do YOU demand that different forms of theft be treated the same, when they’re not?

                    • I don’t demand all forms of theft be treated the same, but I do not see the point in Jesuit level hair splitting.

                      Eating at a restaurant and leaving without paying or ordering take out you refuse are decidedly different than armed robbery. However, they do not seem to be that different than shoplifting or ordinary theft of services to need a separate law.

                      It is similar to my dislike of the special laws we got in the early 90s when the news focused on car jacking. A car jacking is a mix of grand theft auto, kidnapping, and armed robbery. All the aspects of the crime are covered by existing law.

                      My reaction to “eat and beat” laws is the same. All the aspects are covered by existing laws concerning theft: theft of services, shop lifting, and petite larceny should be sufficient.

                      I think instead of new laws state AGs and state courts could provide guidence on how to charge and where on the penalty scale they should be sentenced. If the legislature wants instead of new laws they could just update sentencing portions of existing laws.

                      The problem with new, highly specific laws is the growth of law which provides a broader scope for abuse of power. You’ll see crimes where there are numerous charges where most of them are, by any sane standards, charging twice for the same crime. I’m not talking about a car jacking where you keep the driver and thus get charged for armed robbery and kidnapping but a car jacking where you get charged with car jacking and kidnapping and grand theft and armed robbery.

                      Such completely overlapping charging strikes me as unfair in ways our legal system philosophically rejects or at least has historically.

                    • Except that those over-lapping charges allow a jury or a judge to decide which fits the best.

                  • Theft of another person’s crime is theft. Period. Dine and dash is a crime because it is theft. That is not nearly in the same class of things as reselling packs of cigarettes as “loosies” because the state doesn’t get their cut or has decided that it doesn’t like that some people smoke. It is not the same thing as all of the regulations that mandate things such as size of drinks that can be served, and of course now the left’s new favorite, plastic straw control.

                • Oh yes. I’ve actually read a woman who had to live her home because the property taxes and offered that she had voted for every bond as proof of her goodness.

              • That was in fact the original goal of the Libertarian Party: Not to win office but to provide a channel through which people could be educated as to libertarian beliefs, on the theory that many people paid more attention to political ideas during elections than at any other time. Of course, that was two generations ago.

                • ….the education they give is that the Dems are probably a bit wishy-washy in this whole social control situation.

                  Prolly not what they want.

                  Probably.

                  • I don’t think I understand that.

                    • First, remember we’re talking about the Big L twits.

                      You know, the ones that half the time take on freaking socialist stances.

                      Then look at the stuff they do– like when they’re protesting a “morality” law, they are flaming piss-in-the-punch-bowl idiots about it, TECHNICALLY following the law while violating the spirit. Or when protesting laws against spoilers, bend themselves in pretzels to violate the spirit of the law– or scream about oppression when they lose and are caught by an anti-sore-loser law because they tried to wiggle around it and were an hour late.

                      Or the folks who show up here to rant at us about, basically, how libertarianism will give us everything that we’re allowed to want.

                      Then they can’t figure out why folks don’t jump at the chance…..

                    • I don’t think I know those guys. I haven’t kept in touch with the party for quite a while, but when I did, it seemed to be turning into a home for disaffected Republicans. And I admit I don’t follow all the discussions here, but I don’t recognize any of the assertions you describe as having been made here by people who used the L label. Not that I see many such people here in the first place. I don’t count Sarah Hoyt, who uses the small l label. . . .

                  • Or earnestly hold forth that vendetta justice is better than the current farce of a justice system.

                    Watch the poor person you’ve buttonholed look desperately for an escape from the raving madman.

                    (I’ve been the earnest member of that lecture. Don’t do it. And I was comparatively sane compared to most. )

                    • Or earnestly hold forth that vendetta justice is better than the current farce of a justice system.

                      Usually to folks who have been on the blunted end of modern vendetta.

                      Yeah, no.

              • Exactly this.

                Utopian schemes attract two types: zealots and sociopaths. And it’s often hard to say which are worse (although the sociopaths will always wind up having the power).

      • “Want more money for your trolley? Increase property tax because your voters all rent.”

        And they’re probably stupid enough to buy the idea that the landlord won’t pass those increases on.

    • “They” don’t understand the concept that the government is an organization that reserves the use of force to itself in order to accomplish the goals of those who control it. Said goals are implemented by laws, regulations, and rules. The other concept, or perhaps corollary “they” don’t get is that every law, regulation, or rule, from those against capital murder, down to those against littering, ultimately carries the potential punishment of death; if not for the offense itself, then for those refusing to acknowledge the authority of the government to enforce those laws.

      Of course “they” say I’m crazy and that no such thing exists in this country. But that’s their ignorance speaking. Either they never learned it in school (and most do not), or they failed to learn from hearing about it in the news. One of my favorite cases-in-point is when the New York City police strangled a middle aged poor black man to death for selling unlicensed cigarettes. Or when the government stole an old woman’s house in Connecticut (they did NOT give her fair market value for it) to give to a developer (admittedly, they didn’t kill her, but she basically lost everything.)

      • I have always remarked about the Eric Garner case (the Staten Islander killed during arrest attempt) that the reason he died was not because the cops were racists (they weren’t, and Garner did resist being detained) but because Democrats who run New York City and State turned street cops into tax collectors and enforcers of the over growing regulatory regime. If New York wasn’t aggressively pushing and its enforcing its “lets tax into non-existence behavior we don’t like) agenda, the cops never seek to detain Garner in the first place.

        Needless to say the Democrats still don’t get that no matter how often they scream “my body, my choice” that they are the ones who are pushing widespread restrictions on what people eat, what they can do, what they can say, etc., and are not “pro-choice” as they proclaim, but “pro-abortion” because they absolutely reject people having choices about anything other than abortion. Recall Bernie Sander’s absurd comment about people having “too many choices” (he was referencing deodorant, but his attitude is pretty much the standard attitude for the socialist totalitarian set).. They refuse to accept that if they reduce the size and scope of government, the chances for interactions with law enforcement that necessarily can go bad gets reduced.and LEO can focus on preventing and dealing with real crime, such as carjackings, robberies, etc.

        • I greatly dislike that case’s popularity, because it begs the question….

          What, exactly, are cops SUPPOSED to do when someone is openly, notoriously, and obnoxiously violating tax laws?

          Go “oh, my gosh, I should wait for him to file taxes and let the IRS go after him”?

          In moral terms, that’s “causing scandal”– violating morality in such a way that it harms those who do follow the rules.

          Great, you think the tax laws he was violating are bullshit. Cool. So fix them, don’t spit in the face of those who follow them. That corrupts respect for law.

          • William O. B'Livion

            > That corrupts respect for law.

            We’re talking about NYC. It’s a little late for that.

            • While nodding in the direction of your point, kinda supports the point I was making….

              ‘s a reason the broken windows thing was big tehre, y’know.

              • William O. B'Livion

                I didn’t say you were wrong, just that places like NYC, Chicago, St. Louis etc. there is contempt for “the law” at almost every level.

          • The cops are supposed to fairly and un-arbitrarily enforce the laws against all violations. That’s their job. They have some leeway in deciding which cases have priority; and I know for a fact that there were plenty of worse crimes being committed in New York when they took down Garner; but their bosses had control to tell them to get the cig dealers over all other crimes. So basically, those police supervisors/managers/etc. were the ones in control of the government who ordered Garner’s death. Of course they were never held responsible for it. They were also “just doing their jobs.” Which gets back to David’s point that nobody ever asks if a new law is worth killing someone over. NONE of the liberals ever consider secondary or tertiary effects of regulation. And those of the Left love the power trips they get from it.

            As for the people caught up in it; our choices are to comply (and maybe try to get the regulation overturned), or fight to the death against a bunch of otherwise mostly good people just doing their jobs.

            3 felonies a day. I hated the message that came from that book, but only because I hate being treated as a subject, instead of as a law abiding citizen.

            • So basically, those police supervisors/managers/etc. were the ones in control of the government who ordered Garner’s death.

              Quit being ridiculous, seriously.

              The guy is dead because he decided, with knowledge of his health conditions, to physically assault the police in order to resist arrest.

              • /shrug
                Not so ridiculous.
                There are 4 ways to phrase an order.
                ‘Do whatever it takes to get these loosies dealers out of business’ is one of them.
                Yeah, Garner choose not to comply, and they killed him for it. Their intent is irrelevant. Their outcome is what matters.

                • Having a heart attack because you decide to assault the guys who are lawfully arresting you is not being killed. It doesn’t even rise to suicide, although it is foolish, and it definitely isn’t the moral responsibility of the people who were lawfully arresting him.

        • Eh. People are hypocrites.
          A woman who dyes her hair an unnatural color and squawks “it’s my body!” if you say anything, might also not hesitate to scream “how could you do this to me?” if you begin growing facial hair.

          • William O. B'Livion

            If you choose to be with that sort of women, well, you should have known what she was like before you begat children with her.

            And if you haven’t done that yet, why are you still with her? The sex isn’t worth THAT.

        • Then, his entire business REQUIRED those regulations. He could only sell loosies illegally because the shops weren’t allowed to sell them legally.

    • I both agree and disagree. In the long term, yes, we need to change the climate of opinion. How we do that is up to people smarter than me to come up with. I just don’t get how “Look, you took in $(very specific, HUGE, number) last year. How is it even POSSBLE that that isn’t enough?” fails as a argment. But it does.

      But in the short term, I think the fraud problem is a matter of triage. It’s a big wound, and it’s costing us a lot.

      Hope Trump decdes to hammer them on it.

  4. Gah…

    If the opening paragraph is referring to the quote regarding the birthrate of suckers, Barnum never said it. That was one of his competitors, commenting on Barnum’s “Cardiff Giant” fake bringing in ticket sales (unlike the competitor’s own fake).

  5. > TALK to them

    Talk TO them.

    They’ve had a lifetime of being talked AT, having their responses graded for correctness, and otherwise ignored.

    There’s a reason so many of them say “we want to have a conversation” when they mean “listen to us lecture.” They’ve never *had* a conversation.

    • I’m not sure once public school gets through conditioning them it is possible to have a reasonable discussion with them. It’s nothing they have observed or experienced and it may be too late to actually teach them how to think. They have been taught they show they are smarter by doing as they are told. It’s very hard to get anyone to give up things that make them feel superior. I’m better because I’m not you is a very high mental wall to climb over.

      • I’ve discovered, “Ok, show me. I’m willing to listen. Prove it.” Followed by “Welll, that’s interesting but have you considered X?” It’s not instant, but it can be effective. It’s not good with fly-bys but people you talk with regularly. Also “Oh hey! Did you see this cool thing?” and slip in facts and answer questions.

        • You are the kind of person their indoctrinators should have warned them about…

        • Socratic method?

        • I always found “Why?” worked. Since we couldn’t get away with “because I/we said so” neither could our kid. Neither could scouts we worked with.

          Don’t know about scouts, but school locally, thoroughly failed to indoctrinate our son (after school continuing education). One sister’s daughters learned early that a $1 earned is not a $1 saved (because government sticky fingers), so they are on board. Unfortunately the other sister was corrupted by Stanford & big high tech company (remain nameless), & hasn’t recovered (some issues she is okay on), so her kids need “help”.

        • Socratic method is stronger than most people realize. Just takes a while to sink in.

          • Honestly, I hadn’t been thinking of it as Socratic method. It just seemed to be effective, and a good way to go about it without getting in people’s faces (which tended to be counter productive when there wasn’t an eminent, typically physical, threat.)

            • I will have to remember that phrase. Sometimes it seems hopeless, so I’ll just hold my tongue and vent to my husband later. And wish I could make everybody read Thomas Sowell before they could vote on anything. There’s some funny disconnects I’ve found. “You’re libertarian, but you think we owe people universal healthcare. Do you want your doctor to be paid the same way a public school teacher is?”

        • It probably helps that you really DO want to know why they think what they think, and you really do want to share the extra information– it’s not tactics.

          I’ve shocked a lot of folks because of those two aspects. Most of them relatives.

      • It’s tricky to have a discussion that changes minds. I realized I’ve never seen firsthand a person change an opinion due to a rational discussion. The alternative is to also reach out with non-rational persuasion, and I am not very good at that.

        I don’t like to give up hope though. I want a free country for me and my kids. And being a millennial, we’ll be around for a while. What can I do that can actually make a difference? I vote, and not for more of California. But California seems to be corrupting it’s neighbors. Yes, we lived there for a bit, but we left! If you like Cali, stay there. Hrumph.

        Looking at a map, it seems like the cities breed socialism. How can that be countered? It seems to me like the only way to counter it is to either be the person teaching history, economics etc since the first teaching makes the framework and base opinion. Or alternatively to reach people through entertainment.

        • It just doesn’t happen in a single conversation. You *can’t* sit down with someone and change their mind by keeping on with it until they change their mind.

          Touch and go… let them think about it later and on their own time. Likely something will happen soon enough which will remind them of something you said.

          • Pretty much. Attitudes slowly shift until, like David Mamet, the person suddenly realizes that they no longer believe what they once did.

          • Old saying: Convinced against their will? Is of the same opinion still. Quite right that it’s vanishingly rare to argue somebody into a change of mind. However… thinking about a subject WITH them, so they change their own mind … that can work, esp. over time.

        • I’ve never seen a discussion change minds, but I’ve seen minds change after a discussion.

          I have theories about WHY, from charitable and sensible to frankly obnoxious (especially for those who call me names when I’m talking to them, then I hear them saying exactly what I said), but I have seen it happen.

          • I have been known to say “You make a good point. I stand corrected.” Not often, mind you, but it has happened. And a good part of the “not often” is because most people really don’t bring a solid argument to the table. They confuse their “feels” with actual argument. And many of them seem to think “Argument Clinic” is a how-to rather than a comedy sketch.

            • I can’t think of a time I’ve said that, but that’s because I don’t say anything unless I am really, really sure.

              I have been known to ask questions a lot, though. Half the time they argue me OUT of their view…..

        • Cities breed socialism because cities require some level of central control of services to continue to function. Those services are often government owned, and even when they are not, they are under government control via regulations. So that requires taxation for the services, or at least to oversee them. And everyone has to pay the taxman.

          We’re running into a similar situation of people crying to get the town to have a curbside garbage pickup service rather than having people bring their own trash and recyclables to the transfer station. Woman on the town blog was exhorting people to join her. I asked why I should have to pay taxes to pick up her trash. She replied that she can pay taxes for her trash to be picked up. I suppose I should have asked why I have to pay more taxes to pick up other people’s trash when I can drop mine off for less than I’d pay in taxes.

          • Sounds like an opportunity to me, for anyone with a pick-up truck and a bit of time.

          • Everyone overthinks this. No. Towns in the US go overwhelmingly let because it’s easier to hide fraud there.
            Without fraud the dems would have MAYBE 25%.

            • Which is why I think the fraud should be a priority. Catch a few of them at it. Hammer home that it is common, and evenwhen it apprears to benefit the party the voters might choose anyway, it encourages thempolitical class to think they can do whatever they like.

              • The part you’re overlooking is *they don’t see what they’re doing is wrong.* Malfeasance, payola, graft, petty theft… those are the accepted privileges of their positions. That there are separate rules for them and for you is normal like air. They don’t even think about it; it just is. Which is why when one of them gets caught and charged for something, they’re so outraged. They’re the ones who have been wronged; they haven’t done anything bad.

                And we have allowed *millions* of people with the same mindset to invade the country.

              • Here in TX the Gov and AG have been all over voter fraud for the past year. And the latest Project Veritas videos gave them a whole new set of targets showing that election officials aren’t really checking voter ID.

              • They seem to be planning to recount florida until they find enough votes. Broward still isn’t finished apparently

          • William O. B'Livion

            We’re running into a similar situation of people crying to get the town to have a curbside garbage pickup service rather than having people bring their own trash and recyclables to the transfer station.

            There are *FIVE* different garbage companies that serve my block.

            FIVE. Different rates for different amounts of stuff they will pick up, different schedules etc.

            And if I don’t *want* garbage service I can take my own stuff to the dump.

            • My town charges you for trash pickup whether you want it or not…

              At one time it wasn’t a bad deal. And they’d haul away anything you could drag to the curb, twice a week. Then they doubled the price, outsourced it to a contractor, and we have tiny wheelie bins they empty once a week.

              Since there’s no pickup for larger items, old car tires, television sets, furniture, and other trash are visible all over town. They put in a “recycling center” across town. which has a huge set of buildings and a dozen employees (for a town of less than 30,000!) which, even if you have a truck and haul stuff down there yourself, won’t accept anything you’re trying to get rid of… so, after having tried to do the right thing, people push trash off the back of the truck on the way home.

              Just heresay, you understand.

            • That’s why the marketplace, being voluntary, is freer than the government, being compulsory.

      • Timothy E. Harris

        Oh, it’s possible. It just takes time and gentle persistence.
        When a leftist politician makes a claim (“the ACA will reduce insurance rates $2500/yr” was a good one for this) and the kids are buying it, explain why it can’t be so. Don’t harp on it, just make sure they heard you. They won’t necessarily believe you – but when it turns as you predicted (especially when it costs them $ as with ACA) it sinks in.
        Polite discussion and pointing out where reality and ideology aren’t coinciding can work. My once pro-Obama stepdaughters helped Florida defeat Gillum & Nelson this year. 8^)

    • As I started reading I immediately started composing a comment about persuading rather than, you know, what the left has been up to. It’s not about winning arguments, it’s about changing minds. So I was really glad when the next thing I read was Sarah saying this:

      “Don’t bludgeon them. The young are prickly. TALK to them.”

      This probably goes for everyone. You know and I know who we’re likely to listen to and who has a chance of swaying our opinion. We know how they approach a conversation. And we also know the opposite. Don’t do the opposite.

      Oh, and “millennials” are thoroughly sick and tired of being the butt of the joke. Socialism is attractive to them because most of them arrived at adulthood during the “Obama recovery”. Being told that the economy was great and looking at your own life, prospects, and student debt and seeing hopelessness, wouldn’t you be for “free” healthcare and $15 minimum wages? I would. People generally judge their own lives quite accurately.

      • They are like a number of academic and artistic types. The younger cohort have never seen a really good economy so they assume that you can’t “make it” without government (or parental) aid and don’t know better yet. The academics and artistic Left are in fields that pay poorly because “you are doing this for looooooove” and they assume that no one can make a living without government aid.

        • Right. And they really HAVE NOT experienced in their adult lives, anything that wasn’t a really awful economy. Even now with increasing options and companies who are hiring, that sort of imprinting at that age doesn’t go away over night.

          • My household went from graduating into 9/11 to military stress (with Dems being idjits the whole time– nobody I know was EVER in a shop that was at full “required” manning, even before you figure in hte flatly incompetent) into various bubbles bursting, then the Obama endless summers of gosh-you’re-45-and-in-fast-food…

            All my facebook friends (the IRL ones) are still in shock over thing starting to go right, the ones who have been adulting the last decade or so and suddenly it’s paying off.

    • Can we please beat this through the heads of the various combox experts in “kids these days,” which now is pretty much everyone under 40?

      I am seriously sick of being told what I think.

  6. > vote by mail

    Or worse, “use our convenient app to vote over the internet!”

    I still vehemently object to my county’s use of electronic voting machines instead of paper ballots, but that’s one of the decisions nobody admits to making, and nobody admits to having the power to change. But it was critically important that we abandon the ballots and open counts to “modernize…”

    • Next up…Just have Alexa ask them how they want to vote during a commercial on TV. Straight ticket or pause there show to do it line by line?

      • A while back, in one of my rpg campaigns that was set in 2100, one of the characters was sent video of his 11-year-old daughter smoking a cigarette on a street corner, and clearly not her first one. (The child welfare agency in question said that it was his decision whether to allow this, but their function to inform him.) So he queried his daughter’s computer implant as to why it hadn’t informed him, and it responded, in effect, “You chose the standard ‘respect privacy’ setting. Do you want a different standard setting, or do you want to customize?” He chose to customize, and I asked the player some sample questions ranging from “Do you want to be informed if she attends a non-Catholic religious service?” to “. . . if she masturbates?” He did a great job of roleplaying the reactions. . . .

    • William O. B'Livion

      Run for office on changing it.

      Bonus points if you hack the machines to win.

  7. Hey, I did my part.

    The line for people to register, who were too lazy to do it beforehand, stretched halfway across the fairgrounds. I kind of hope that the polls closed before most of them got inside the doors.

    • Registration here closes before the election. I think it’s two weeks. There has to be time for them to process the paperwork and for your voter registration card with your assigned polling station back to you by US Mail.

      • Hometown is small enough that there’s only one polling station in midterm years, so that’s not a problem here.

        … naturally, that didn’t prevent the uni’s student body president from complaining about voter suppression because they didn’t open a polling station on campus. Despite the university putting out registration forms and promising a shuttle service across town.

    • From my days as a poll worker (although we did not have same day registration) if you were in line when the polls closed you got to vote. Kind of like a lot of (smart) businesses do.

      It might vary from state to state, but I suspect they did.

      • Yeah, probably.

        I’m not sure it would be a great loss if they didn’t though. How important can it really be to them if they couldn’t be bothered to register until 5 pm the day of the election?

  8. A politician thinks of the next election (and the money going in to his pocket), a statesman thinks of the next generation. Alas I see no statesmen today.

    Mail voting isn’t the only scary thing.

    Last night I got to thinking and I wonder if my state, Alaska, inadvertently but automatically put illegal aliens on our voter rolls:
    ——
    On November 8, 2016, Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 1 (15PFVR) which will automatically register eligible individuals to vote when they apply for a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), unless they opt-out. The Division of Elections webpage has more information.
    ——-
    Permanent fund Eligibility Requirements

    To qualify for a 2018 Permanent Fund Dividend you must be able to answer yes to all of the following statements.

    I was a resident of Alaska during all of calendar year 2017;
    On the date I apply for the 2018 Permanent Fund Dividend, I have the intent to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely;
    I have not claimed residency in any other state or country or obtained a benefit as a result of a claim of residency in another state or country at any time since December 31, 2016;
    I was not:
    Sentenced as a result of a felony conviction during 2017;
    Incarcerated at any time during 2017 as the result of a felony conviction; or
    Incarcerated at any time during 2017 as the result of a misdemeanor conviction in Alaska if convicted of a prior felony or two or more prior misdemeanors since January 1, 1997
    If absent from Alaska for more than 180 days, I was absent on an allowable absence; and
    I was physically present in Alaska for at least 72 consecutive hours at some time during 2016 or 2017.
    —–

    Not a word about US Citizenship.

    • Or even legal aliens

    • ALL the states do that. Jerry Pournelle and I talked about this years ago. Motor voter HAS to die.

      • I agree. Actually implementing any sort of election reform (as in one party doesn’t openly defy the requirements) will require “blood in the streets.”

      • Motor voter, hell.

        If I had my way, the process to register to vote would be the same as for a concealed carry permit. Photographs, fingerprints, bring a copy of proof of citizenship. Then we run a full criminal background check.

        (I’d add bringing in the last two years’ tax returns to prove you’ve paid your Share, but I’m an outlier.)

  9. Not too many bright spots in the Oregon elections, but most of what was attempted was a rollback of state misuse-of-power. The one that could be worrying is a measure that will allow local governments to raise bond money for private developments. Gee, what could possibly go wrong? It passed. Damn.

    The local city election overturned a ban on rec-pot shops in their limits. Still, county-wide controls are in place.

    • As far as I can tell, Ohio elections could more-or-less by summarized with one word: homeostasis. Every Congressional incumbent was re-elected, and no Congressional seat or state executive office changed parties.

      (There was a little chance senate seat might have flipped if the R candidate had actually run a flippin’ campaign. With a yard signs and zillion internet, radio, and TV ads being run, I should NEVER have to go online to find out who was running for senator. He still only lost by about six points.)

    • The People’s Republic of New Jersey was a disaster. A Republican whose company is one of the larger employers in the state in the largest industry in the state lost to crooked, corrupt Bob Menendez, who was so repugnant that NJ Pravda (a/k/a The Star Ledger) endorsed him not because he had any merit but for the sole purpose of keeping the seat away from Republicans in an op-ed titled “Choke it Down”. Even worse, two long time Republican seats (7th and 11th Districts) held by Republicans were flipped to Democrats, and flipped because parts of the districts that had long been “red” now are blue because of the influx of NYC refugees to the suburbs. Meanwhile Comrade Phil Murphy and his Soviet Politburo have unchecked total control of the State, and we have an activist Supreme Court that considers 4 to be a number between 5 and 18 (yes, they did that in one of the school funding cases, mandating preschool for 4 year olds, even though the Constitutional mandate for education explciitly references 5-18 years old).

      • New Jersey is a lost cause. I go back to visit and have fun on occasion, but I’ll never move that far east again. Maybe central PA if I want to move closer to family, but not as far as eastern PA or NJ. Wave after wave of people fleeing NYC’s problems then trying to turn it into NYC show no sign of slowing, decades on.

        • New Jersey more or less constantly wonders why its young people move away. I live within broadcast range of the New Jersey local talk radio, and they’re pretty good, so I hear it come up again and again.

          And from the sound of things they KNOW why, they just aren’t ready to DO anything about it.

    • > private developments

      So they’re just giving the nod of approval to what they’ve been doing all along.

      It’s amazing how many sporting arenas and other huge projects start private, become city property and funds raised, and then the city sells it back to the original speculator for pennies on the dollar. “Nothing to see here, move along…”

  10. And a lot of the ones who stayed are wholly invested in the Obamacare “force you to lie to us” questions. Which, yeah, is what it is. If one drink a night with dinner is alcoholism, then I’m going to tell you I don’t drink that.

    I can’t remember what it was, but a while back I was seriously shocked by a study on “binge drinking” (I think, it may have been ‘heavy drinking’) that defined its terms as…. more than two drinks in an hour for a woman, and more than three for a man.

    It’s been years since I saw some place actually use that definition. It’s a good definition, since it attempts to mimic what you have to do to get drunk.

    It’s slowly edged out so that if you have a drink every day, or if you do the classic “get home from church by ten, start cooking, nurse about a glass of wine every two hours until dinner at six” big family dinner prep you were a “binge drinker.” Dude, that’s not even buzzed, and they want to equate it with chugging?

  11. No, I don’t mind homeschool fully, though of course if you can, do it. I never could.

    Much easier now.

    Heck, it’s gotten easier since I started, five years ago; I highly suggest Education and starfall dot com with Khan Academy, be in HSLDA, and when your kid is advanced enough put them in college classes. If you like the Education website, get a basic sub and then buy the lifetime pro when it goes on sale. (I think I got it for $95 after they refunded the partial sub for that year, back before they had anything past 2nd grade for the learning games; they now go up to 5th grade, put in typing lessons, and they are always adding new worksheets/activities and have an app for each kid’s individually tracked learning on the go, it’s on sale for a lifetime at $160 right now.)

    It’s easier to counter bias if you’re sitting nearby doing stuff. For example, icivics looks pretty good, but there is some…ah….stuff I commented on to the kids.

    • As long as the instructor is aware of it and corrects it, bias in teaching instruments is normal and potentially positive. Problem is most teachers don’t go past the book.

      • Exactly!

        They even have two versions of Jack and the Bean Stalk, one with the traditional and one with the fairy being a vindictive bleep who “helps” folks who don’t want it, asks nothing, and then sets them up for a fall if they’re not expressing their gratitude enough.

        And their retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff let me explain grazing rotations…..

        • Once upon a time there were three little architects. The first little architect moved to the Southwest and built straw bale and adobe houses. The second little architect moved to the West Coast and got into earthquake-resilient stick construction. And the third little architect moved to New England and built classic Colonial houses out of brick.

          (Seriously, there’s good reasons for certain types of house construction…)

      • SheSellsSeashells

        I adore my kid’s current history teacher; one of their first assignments was printouts on the same subject from Fox News and The Hill, with instructions that boiled down to “signs of bias are this, this, and this, now FIND ME SOME.”

    • We have been really happy with the Notgrass Exploring America combined History/Literature curriculum this year. Lots of primary source documents and the Literature all ties to whatever period eldest boychild is studying on the History side. It is broken down into small enough chunks that he finds it much more manageable than some of the other stuff we’ve tried. Definitely (and explicitly) form a Protestant Christian perspective, but doesn’t fall off the wagon into the nuttier bits of the Evangelical fringe (I’m an orthodox Anglican, so YMMV) and gives a good jumping off point for deeper study. Not super cheap but both kids will use it eventually so it works out.

      I agree on Khan, it’s great for math and free. Eldest is far beyond anything spousal unit and I studied even through college or grad school as it is structured well enough that he doesn’t need our help (which is good because neither of us could provide it at this point).

      • I prefer not to have formal curriculum, and the homeschool laws here allow that option, so I don’t.

        Which is good, the kids zip through stuff I thought would be a month’s work, and hang up on the ODDEST things….

        • I wish that worked for us, but because of how my brain works I fall into the category of folks that *have* to plan everything (i.e. have some sort of artificial structure, even though it is usually self-imposed) or I can’t accomplish anything, it’s a hard-learned survival trait for me as I am not naturally inclined to organization or good follow-through on projects. We draw from all sorts of different sources vs any particular curriculum, and the amount of structure varies, but I have to set out specific goals each week and follow up on them weekly to keep us on some sort of track.

          Within that limitation we are pretty flexible about what gets done when, and I frequently drop back ten and punt when the unexpected comes up, but it works for us and gives us plenty of flexibility for travel (what I think of as “real” learning vs the book stuff). Fortunately, my state doesn’t care much how we do it as long as they prove once a year that they can A) read and B) cypher and even that wouldn’t require testing except I am too lazy for the other methods and the kids don’t mind because testing is easy compared to “school”.

          I really admire the folks who can pull it off without that structure.

    • My problem homeschooling wasn’t the educational content, it was my own ability to organize a schedule and stick to it. I also concluded that “unschoolers” were actually more organized and on-spot than others. Why? Because it’s simply harder to do stuff on the fly than it is to have a schedule, so if you’re unable to impose a schedule, which makes things easier, then not having one is going to be a bust.

      I think it was still better for my kids, long term, than if they’d been in school from kindergarten on, but I could have done a better job, too.

      Also an issue… moving a lot and not having networks and resources to figure out some learning disability issues.

    • William O. B'Livion

      We put our daughter in a Charter School for the first time this year–she’s been home-schooled from the beginning. We put her in Charter School because my wife wasn’t good at pushing her further than she wanted to go, and she inherited my stubborn.

      We realized after she started there that while we hadn’t left any serious gaps in the core knowledge area, we HAD failed to teach her to work independently and focus.

      So if you’re home schooling, at the end of the give your kid an age appropriate work set that is within their ability and then leave them alone to do it–teach them to answer their own questions and work it out. Gurl Child would be a lot better off if we had figured that out.

      • That has been a struggle for us too. We finally moved from scheduling things daily to giving the kids a checksheet at the beginning of each week of what needs to be done and leaving it to them how they want to organize it. This is the second year doing it this way and they still haven’t managed to grasp that if they finish everything by Thursday they could have a long weekend, but it has started helping them take a little more of their own responsibility and initiative (although it also requires more in the way of follow up from us as parents because the youngest will sense any weakness or slipping of resolve and start trying to get out of work by simply not doing it and hoping he doesn’t get caught).

        In the end we are all muddling through this just fine and if they get out of school able to read, write a coherent sentence, and command basic math skills, that will still put them ahead of 90% of their public school cohort. If we can sneak in some historical literacy and critical thinking along the way, we may even permanently ruin them for polite society (Thank G_d!).

        • In the end we are all muddling through this just fine and if they get out of school able to read, write a coherent sentence, and command basic math skills, that will still put them ahead of 90% of their public school cohort. If we can sneak in some historical literacy and critical thinking along the way, we may even permanently ruin them for polite society (Thank G_d!).

          I keep trying to remind myself that I don’t have that high of a bar to pass to make it better than public school. About the biggest thing I do worry about is them not having enough friends. Given how often we move, I’d be worried about that with public school, too, plus worrying about poorly socialized kids ripping up their enjoyment of people.

  12. Yep. Once again my rep is a dem so writing and calling are worthless. Just get told thank you for your support even if in opposition. State reps still red with senate red by one vote. So expect a teacher walkout in may 2020 as well.

    The blue dogs will probably be put down sooner rather than later since they’ll show true colors voting for hard left but had more than enough true believers elected. And too many close calls to make me think that the US hasn’t already overdosed on tylenol and just has a long painful death coming.

  13. I may be a hopeless Pollyanna, but I don’t think single payer is coming before 2020. We have the Senate, first of all, and government health care seems to be one of the few issues where Republicans can unite. And as far as Trump goes, while I don’t trust the orange ape any more than I did in 2016, we have a secret weapon there in that the Dems are 100% out of their gourds where he’s concerned. If Pelosi were to flatter Trump about how wise he is, how surely he can see what needs to be done, and how he’s the sort of brilliant businessman who can close the deal and make the country see what needs to be done, then yeah, we’d be in trouble there. But she won’t. If she did, she’d face a revolt in her own caucus, because the Dems have convinced themselves that Trump is literally Hitler (or possibly they’ve moved on to literally Satan at this point), and any compromise with him is just the same as being the devil yourself.

    Things are bad, but they could have been worse. The Republicans kept the Senate and may even gain seats (though I have this sneaking suspicion that close races always go to the Dems). Jared the Moron is governor, but 112 didn’t pass. We’ve been in worse places. We’ll get through this.

    • The problem is, the one thing that is the least economically viable (requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions without charging more to cover the cost of those conditions) is also the most popular. All the various schemes put forward are attempts to get around that dilemma, and when they all fail, because the dilemma is not resolvable, the economically illiterate (i.e. most of the population) clamor for a “fix”. And there we are.

      • Well, there IS a fix, but there’s no elected official in the country with the political will or capital to even suggest it, let alone write a bill. Oh, and it’s super complicated, so the voters won’t bother either.

        • William O. B'Livion

          No, it’s simple. It’s arguably unconstitutional, but a lot LESS unconstitutional than what we have now. This will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

          Everyone–starting at 18–is required to (1) purchase a health insurance plan that is the old-school catastrophic health insurance plan. and (2) to put 10 percent of their annual income (can opt for payroll withdrawls) into a Deductible Account. Money from the health savings account is used to pay the insurance, and the excess is accumulated to cover *only* the deductible in the case the policy is used. Once this account reaches a set multiple of the deductible + premium (2 to 4 years) every additional dollar flows over into a 401k style retirement plan OF THEIR CHOOSING.

          All monies going into this come off the top of your taxes, and you can choose to add additional “PPO” or “HMO” insurance on TOP of that, and can pay for it out of your deductible account.

          Employers can either provide the additional insurance, or can provide a (tax deductible) payment for you to buy it.

      • How’s this: basic catastrophic health insurance that includes one physical (including labwork) per year. This would provide a good baseline for assessing risk and enable doctors to catch problems as they develop.

        Maybe the catastrophic coverage needs to be limited to accidents, and to illnesses provided that the client has not engaged in any behavior known to cause said illness.

        If you want or need more insurance/ cost sharing than that, you add riders, each of which adds to the cost of the basic plan. Prescriptions? Rider. Maternity? Rider. Cancer? Rider. Pre-Existing condition? Rider.

        And you get discounts for failing to engage in risky behavior.

        I’m fairly certain that would distribute both risk and cost appropriately.

        • > enable doctors to catch problems as they develop

          If the labs code the results properly, and the doctor’s practice management software gets those results electronically and generates letters or email to the patients without human interaction.

          Otherwise, the doctor *might* skim the lab report a year or two later, next time you’re in the office for something. Or, quite likely, not. Particularly if he’s just another hospital, clinic, or practice employee, and his time is their money.

          In the last twenty years or so I’ve lost most of the unthinking faith I had in the medical profession.

      • To cover the increased costs of pre-existing conditions coverage you have to increase the pool. The only way to do that, especially given the tax penalty is gone, is to break the per-state insurance limits and let insurers sell across state lines.

        WIth this House that ain’t gonna happen, so expect trench warfare with no movement on any front for the next two years. I expect the Dems to try to break the deadlock through chemical warfare via impeachment, and I expect it to work as well as it did 100 years ago – i.e. not at all.

        in the meantime, the rates will keep increasing every year and by the 2020 Congress, the pressure to kill the beast we have now and try something new will be immense.

        • The problem isn’t just the size of the pool. It’s adverse selection combined with feedback: People who already have ailments that are expensive to treat (i.e. pre-existing conditions) are more likely to get insurance while people in good health are more likely to do without and pay for their routine, less expensive stuff, out of pocket (and they can always get insurance late if they develop an expensive condition in confidence that it will be covered). The result is that the cost of insurance has to go up to cover the greater fraction of people with expensive issues. But with the cost going up, more people find it better to do without until they develop a need for expensive care, which drives the cost up further. And round and round until the only people who buy insurance are people with expensive to treat pre-existing conditions. Larger pools slow down the progression, but don’t stop it.

          That’s why things like the individual mandate were implemented, as a way to avoid that adverse selection issue.

          People want pre-existing conditions to be covered. But they don’t want mandated coverage nor do they want to pay more to cover those pre-existing conditions (how Indiana used to do it: state law required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions but allowed them to charge more to cover the expense of those conditions).

          So long as the voting public is unwilling to budge on both sides of that, the dilemma remains unresolvable and the result are likely to be disastrous.

          • Tort reform and limiting some of the absurd class action suits needs to be part of it, or else the costs will never be controlled, because a huge chunk of money goes to liability insurance coverage and cash reserve to protect against lawsuit awards.

          • “Pre-existing conditions” used to be a fairly stable percentage.

            The problem is, now it’s growing rapidly. Polio is back. The HIV rate is still climbing. Heroin is back. The percentage of methamphetamne and “synthetic THC” users is still going up, and almost always results in major health issues.

            • What helped a lot to avoid the adverse selection effect was employer provided health insurance. When you have a group plan where the group is something like “everyone working at company X” then the percentage of people with pre-existing conditions can be absorbed. An individual cannot decide to wait until they have a condition before getting insurance to over it.

              Thus, in the days before Obamacare, it was individual plans (where adverse selection is the strongest) that were the ones that either didn’t cover pre-existing conditions or required higher premiums to cover the cost of same. My own insurance back in the day charged more not only for my ex’s pre-existing issue, but also because I weigh a bit more than insurance companies think I should. This was because of Indiana law which said they had to cover the pre-existing condition but they were allowed to charge more because of it. The most common alternative was that insurance would be allowed to not cover the pre-existing condition–if you wait until you have cancer before getting cancer coverage you’d have no more claim than if you waited until after you had an accident to get collision insurance on your car.

              I’d personally like to see competition and the market being allowed to handle the matter. Some companies would offer coverage at extra cost. Some would exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, but the insurance would be cheaper. Let the market, and the individuals within it, decide what’s best for them. The role of the State should simply be in ensuring that the contracts are adhered to. If the contract says the insurance covers it, then the insurance had better, by Hel’s misty halls, cover it.

    • I DO trust Trump more than in 2016, but only in respect of now I have a better idea which issues he cares about and will perform on, and which he’s less … engaged with. He seems to be fairly consistent on the things he cares about, which is about as much as you can expect of any CEO.

  14. And now I can’t get this song out of my head.

  15. We need to (on a national level) totally PURGE all voter registrations after EVERY election! Then folks would have to re-register to vote (in person) for every new election. Military deployed overseas could re-register at the local base of operations. Anyone who would oppose the above proposition is obviously dedicated to perpetrating voter fraud.

    Rusty

    • The Fed doesn’t have the power to arbitrarily interfere in state election systems.

      That’s a state thing. Those annoying states, always being a pain when the Fed wants to rule directly from DC…

      • But, can the Fed set minimums (e.g. citizenship) for election of officers of the United States?

        • The Constitution includes provisions that require citizenship to be elected to the House and Senate (7 years a citizen for the House, nine years a citizen for the Senate, and natural born for President and Vice President. The Constitution also states “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”

          • Also, all those efforts by states to conduct their own foreign policy, such as joining the Paris Climate Accord through passage of state laws, are patently unconstitutional under the following provision from Section 10 of Article 1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.” The Federal government is also obligated to defend states from invasion:” The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence”

            • I don’t think a state merely enacting laws that would bring the state into compliance with the limits set by the Paris Climate Accord counts as entering into a Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation, so long as they weren’t involved in, say, negotiating with foreign powers or signing the accord or such. On the other hand, it is proof of economic stupidity. There’s all sorts of international codes and standards that states and municipalities adopt without it being considered a violation of Article 1 Section 10, like the International Building Code.

              • Just passing laws no. Going overseas to conferences with leaders of other countries and discussing what provisions will be enacted, however is an entirely different matter, and is exactly what Jerry Brown and other Democrats have done.

                • I wasn’t aware they’d done that. I’d agree that sounds very much like a violation of Article I Section 10.

                • That’s because much of California’s “elite” think Sacramento is a more important part of the US than is D.C. (and if it isn’t, it should be and they’ll act as if it is until magic happens.)

      • The Fed is REQUIRED to force every state to be republican.

      • Actually, the same Federal law that established “motor-voter” mandated the states purge their voter rolls periodically. Democrats have ignored it, and the GOPe hasn’t called them on it.

  16. The most important thing to address is access to the internet. People need the ability to publish their thoughts, which means that servers need to be treated as public utilities so that access to them cannot be denied because the provider — or someone the provider fears — doesn’t like the content. I think content aggregators, like the well known but here unnamed sites, should be treated like utilities because, honestly, that’s how they’re being used.

    This really is the most crucial thing to address to preserve free speech.

    • Yep. They are putting the stranglehold back on information between converging Fox, banning ads, and straight up electronically disappearing people.

      And these giants are given more leeway than any business. In part because the left has managed to enthrone their superiority into law so you’ll get crucified for not kowtowing to one of their pets (see starbux) while they can eject you for being of their party.

  17. “And a lot of the ones who stayed are wholly invested in the Obamacare “force you to lie to us” questions. Which, yeah, is what it is.”

    Well, that, and if you catch anything even vaguely alcohol related, the next words will be “You LIED to der Fuehrer! No Health Care for you!”

  18. The thing is, the House totals are looking very shaky for Nancy & Co.: Right now I’m seeing the margin for the Dems above the minimum of 218 as very small – 270towin lists the current House totals as 220 D vs. 194 R. With the races they have as leaning they get to a forecast of 222 D vs. 202 R, with 11 House races still tossups.

    Looking over at other sites I’ll guess that the Dems will only pick up 3 of those 11 tossups, which would give them 225. That narrow a margin means if four of those new dog-painted-blue Democrats that they had to run in order to win in those districts don’t vote in lockstep with the new Nancy majority, the Dems don’t win that vote.

    And that means the wobblers (either way, soft D or soft R, who would be willing to change their votes in return for favors, or candy bars) gain the majority of the power in the House, and have top be specifically courted and rewarded for every vote.

    • I’m hoping the Old Guard’s egos will tick off a lot of the new (D)s. Even if I agreed with her politics, I would not want Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

      Which might be why Trump says she should be. *evil kitty grin* If he’s for it, they must be against it, and…

      • I almost felt pity for the Congressman who draws the short straw and has to “mentor” Occasional-Cortex.

        Almost…

        The GOP didn’t even *try* to put a plausible candidate up against her. Over the last six months, watching her antics, I’ve begun to wonder if someone figured she’d do more for the GOP’s aims than any possible Republican candidate who might have won that seat.

        Bernie was backing away from her on stage, and Maxine Waters was trying to smooth over some of Cortez’ gaffes. And now she’s officially one of them… and I believe she’s too stupid to STFU even if they tell her to her face.

        Inevitably, someone is going to design an Ocasio-Cortex Drinking Game, and livers will be damaged…

    • The thing to remember is that the Dems tend to be better at forcing lockstep than the Republicans. And the Dem primaries tend to be more “crazy” than most of the Republican primaries. If a moderate Dem goes wobbly, particularly on an important vote, then he or she *will* get a well-financed rabid challenger in the next primary.

      • Yeah, but rabid Dems cannot win in those districts that elected painted-blue-dogs. The only way for the Dems to win is to put up blue-painted dogs.

        If the Dems crazies primary the painted-blue-dogs and win, the Dems lose the seat.

        • Dunno, we had one came way way to close to winning here. The rest of the state? Solid red. Here? An actual socialist was 3% close to winning.

          • Heck, we had it. State had no counties voting for Obama either time. One of the rate my senator sites had ours as the two furthest right. Don’t remember with Hillary. Between “for the chillun”, influx of locusts, and poor campaigning and they eked out a win so Oklahoma is sending a tax and spemd dem to dc.

            • I hadn’t really spent much time here over the past few years and after moving back. . .I really wish I hadn’t. Worse roads, higher taxes, and now downtown seems to have an abundance of ‘Did you check your privilege today’ signs. (Or similar). Fortunately I have few reasons to go downtown, but it makes those few occasions that much more annoying. Sure, I enjoyed the ‘privilege’ of busting my ass and working 90+ hour weeks so I could build a career and have some (modest) success.

              The way things are looking I’ll be out of here next year anyway. Would have been much easier and cheaper to stay where I was for another year.

              • Think mostly the city and Edmund driving but ya. As an example, And I used to use boa. One flew (only) a rainbow flag, one I needed to speak spanish to use. Had to use the midtown one. I no longer use BoA.

                • Hell, two decades plus back my folks were talking about how they’d been Bank of America members since it was the Bank of Italy (only literally true for my dad, but close enough) and now that’s basically a no-go sign.

                  • Guess which bank handles ALL of the state-required (since the state pays the money into a personal account that exists *solely* to receive money from the state) accounts for Unemployment (and I presume Disability, as well) here in California?

                    • Yeah, in CA whether you go on unemployment, get state disability, or get any of the bundle of welfare or AFDC payments from the state, you get the same debit card managed by BofA with the photo of Half Dome on it.

                      That was supposed to keep welfare recipients from being embarrassed, but everyone knows that card is filled with taxpayer dollars, so it’s not much of a shield.

                    • *mildly furious* Over here in Texas, EVERYWHERE keeps assuming we’re on public assistance.

                      We are not, and never have been.

                      I am…highly irate about it.

                    • Oh. That was why we used to get funny looks. We had BoA Credit Card because another entity sold their experimental Visa customers to them; made a lot of money off of it. Switched 100% to the new Costco Visa when it came out; then BoA got mad & dropped us (gee, wonder why, not like they got any interest or fees out of us /grin; the vendors we did business with OTOH …).

                    • Same in NJ. I had to spend some time on short term disability and for that they do the same thing-they send you a B of A debit card and put the money on it (funny enough, I got my first disability payment the same day I got my first paycheck after being back to work after close to two months). You can, if you have a bank account, have the funds transferred from the state issued debit card to your bank account (which is what I did).

                    • Yes. Our bank will do the same. Any Government Visa, Prepaid Visa (gift or rebate), the bank will determine the balance & transfer the amount into your account. You have to be a customer. Beats having to track the balance on it. Yes, I am lazy. Why?

  19. Christopher M Chupik

    At least the Dems have a fresh new face in the form of Nancy Pelosi.

  20. For my money, I’ll take the Senate. So far we’re up two seats officially (three counting Florida), with Montana and Arizona still in play and leaning red, and Mississippi going to a run-off that’s practically guaranteed GOP – it was a special election and the two GOP candidates total around 60% IIRC.

    This means that my wonderfully squishy (HA!) Senator, Susan Collins, and her hearty Alaskan compatriot, Lisa Murkowski, can no longer hold close votes hostage. I would also not be terribly surprised to see a Zell Miller moment out of Manchin in the next two years and him officially becoming a Republican.

    Most importantly of all, this now means it’s MUCH easier, if still not exactly easy, to get court picks approved. Given the chances of both Justice Breyer and the Notorious RBG surviving the rest of the term and/or a second term, that gives me warm fuzzies.

    • That’s important. There’s a backlog for judges in the lower courts.

      • Trump and McConnell have basically been pushing out new judges as quickly as possible to clear this backlog. And the Dems started to notice it a few months ago (much to their alarm and dismay). Ironically, a lot of the reason for the backlog was Obama not doing his job when it came to nominations and appointments (though there’s been a backlog for a ridiculously long amount of time; Obama let it get worse than it already was).

    • What worries me a bit is that Thomas has heen making retirement sounds for a while. Even with the federalist list still a chance of slipping thru. With Murphy ruthie probably embalmed til 2021

      • I think the Democrats treatment of Kavanaugh has motivated Thomas to stay around a while more.

      • If he is going to retire, better now with a good chance of finding a principled originalist as successor than a couple of years from now with a (possible) liberal.

      • She’s just been hospitalized from a fall, with at least three broken ribs.

        • Easier to hang on for the good of the team when you’re not broken & hurting. Wouldn’t have wished it on her, but maybe a good time to go.

          • William O. B'Livion

            After what she and her fellow travelers have done to the constitution it’s…not what I would wish on her because I’m more of a shoot them in the face and dump’em in a ditch kinda guy, but I’m willing to go with “karma”.

    • Speaking of party switching in West Virginia, wasn’t it the West Virginia governor that went from Republican to Democrat right before the 2016 election when everyone thought that the Dems would crush, and then from Democrat to Republican immediately after the election when the Republicans actually turned out on top?

    • Unfortunately it looks like Montana’s blue senator is still with us. (However, so is our red congressman, so all is not lost.)

      And there I shall rail against the Libertarian vote, absent which the red candidate might have won, or come close enough to trigger an audit and recount. I did find it interesting that two of the bigger and bluer counties reported in last, as if contemplating the number of votes required to ensure a win, given that there’s question about the L candidate (he sorta withdrew, but was still on the ballot). At the halfway point our red guy was ahead, by a reasonable margin.

      Maybe by next round Zinke will be home again, and will give us a known name and face instead of a who-are-you? that wasn’t a local boy, and took a lot of flak for it.

      Still… 13,000 votes short (and 13,000 that went L) when the spending balance was $3M vs $15M (mostly out of state funds)…. it was a lot closer than it looks on paper.

      I do wonder why the Dems think Tester is so valuable, and how he garners the largest lobbying contributions of any congresscritter (yes, really, by a significant amount).

      • He has a pulse, a D, and a seat in the Senate – that’s enough to make him valuable to Democratic leadership.

      • They always find the votes they need in Colorado.

        • William O. B'Livion

          I really wish I could find some real evidence of this.

          I know in SF you find ballot boxes from the (really small) R districts floating in the bay after every election.

      • I won’t rail against the Libertarian candidate who may have allowed Tester to win Montana, if only because it looks like the Green candidate may have allowed McSally to win in Arizona. 🙂

        • Here’s hoping. There’s this strange tendency for recounts to find extra dem votes only and may be going to for two governors and two senators

      • William O. B'Livion

        > And there I shall rail against the Libertarian vote,

        You don’t own their vote, it’s theirs to do as they wish. They have no obligation to vote the way you think they should.

        There are far more republican and republican leaning voters who stay home, but you’re going to whine about people who bothered to vote their conscience rather than accept the fact that the republican party has a utterly horrible ground game? You’re either talking about sub-4 percent OR you’ve got such a horrible GOP candidate that a lot of Rs voted L in protest.

        If one truly is a ideological Libertarian, then voting for most GOP candidates is as odious as voting for most Democrat candidates. Well, almost as odious. Except for the really confused “Left Libertoonians”.

        If you can get voters to the polls, don’t complain about the people who DO vote but don’t vote your way. You don’t own their vote, it’s theirs to do as they wish.

  21. I’m just glad to find out I’m more optimistic than our hostess, for once. I could be wrong, and usually am, but it’s nice to be on this side this time.

    Any anti-Trump investigations that get launched are only going to hurt the Donks in 2020. It’s been a slow drip drip drip on him for two years and his approval rating is fine. He just survived his first midterm with a historically low (by far) loss of seats in the house and (possibly unprecedented since I can’t recall off the top of my head) pickup of senate seats. I can’t stress enough how big a damn deal that is. That pickup in the senate provides what appears to be more insurance against the Senate squishes.

    If Mueller hasn’t found anything in his wildly excessive “investigation” in two years, nothing’s there. The press can demand his tax returns all they want, and even if he doesn’t tell them to keep getting bent and he releases them, it’s not going to change anyone’s minds about him. Guaranteed if there were any irregularities in them, Mueller would have leaked it. The public’s mind is set on him. In fact, public opinion has actually improved on him, despite the media shitshow.

    As far as the economy, I’m not sure what a razor thin Donk majority in the House is going to do to actively wreck it against a strong Senate Repub majority and President, and a reasonably solid conservative court. Though I don’t pretend to know everything which might preclude economy killing moves by the House. They might introduce some spending bills, but to be fair, it’s not like the Repubs have had a great history on spending before and during Trump’s time anyway.

    These politicians, particularly in the Senate, base many of their positions and actions on public opinion polling, and the polling shows that things have improved for Trump and that the public is tired of the media and the Democrat’s antics in congress. As I keep hearing from somewhere, I forget, that the times are a-changing. 😉

    • The two things the dems outright could do to harm economy would be to start hauling in companies on investigations. Think above the fold headlines of exxon on the hot seat while grandstanded on global warming. Of course reps will be nice and compliant. Second would take both sides but a shutdown over something that can be sold as minor. I could see ICE enforcement budget zeroed out or carbon enforcement hung for example. And by not acquiescing its the reps fault.

      They’ve shown that 25/7 rancor and vitriol doesn’t harm.

      • “They’ve shown that 25/7 rancor and vitriol doesn’t harm.”

        I think that’s arguable. If the outparty had been reasonably restrained in their criticism and had a tangible alternative other than “He’s an OrangeRacistHitlerSexApe”, the Democrats might have gotten their blue wave. As such, they got a weak House flip and lost even more control of the Senate. This was amid 1) some outspoken toxicity and violence from high profile Democrats, 2) constant Hollywood shilling, 3) some prominent “conservative” pundits pleading for everyone to vote Democrat, 4) nonstop media character assassination, and 5) tech companies throttling dissenting voices on the internet.

        Factor in the election fraud, and this was their best.

        I’m not convinced hauling companies before congress is going to do much. They’ve been doing that for years and the press has been demonizing all their Emmanuel Goldsteins for years. I think this last election nearly proves the press’s loss of influence in that regard. Something has changed, despite my skepticism of one of our hostess’s frequent signoffs.

        Given the polling on immigration enforcement, the Donks would be headwound-stupid to zero out ICE’s budget. Like I’ve said, shenanigans like that will wipe out their paltry electoral gains from this cycle. The last time we had a shutdown fight, Reps picked up seats in the next cycle, and that was painted as their fault. Will Reps be compliant? Probably, but I think some of them are finally starting to see that. If Lindsay Graham, of all people, can change his tune…

        Something has changed.

        • If you had shown the average voter 10 years ago that politicians would be actively calling for the dissolution of borders, of gender fluidity, and for riots they would figure it was a few kooks of the level of Kucinich or Ron Paul. If you had an admin that decreased taxes, increasing take home for much of the country, significantly curtailed a major terror army, got some worthwhile trade concessions, and had this economy back then you would have had no worries.

          This is why I say the Vitriol didn’t hurt. It’s one of the two reasons the whole suburb cf is happening in addition to “he talks mean on news”.

        • I did prick up my ears at Trump’s very direct threat that if they drag us through the courts, we’ll do the same to them and then some. Methinks he’s got a very nice portfolio of Dem shenanigans.

      • “The two things the dems outright could do to harm economy would be to start hauling in companies on investigations.”

        And the CEOs turn to them and say “Sod off, swampy!” The House can find them in contempt. They can’t actually DO anything about it; as Obama showed, if the DOJ refuses to help it doesn’t matter what the House does. That’s where firing Sessions comes in. For the first time, Trump will have an AG that works for him.

    • That and I think the Democrats conduct during the Kavanaugh hearings destroyed any chance they had of Senate Republicans doing the usual “go along to get along” thing. They might have acquiesed to some noxious “compromises” before Kavanaugh, but now, highly unlikely, especially as it was standing by Trumps nominee that increased their margin in the Senate.

      • Yeah, their conduct during those hearings did incalculable damage to their own cause. It’s nice to see the Donks be the Own Goal party for once.

        Of course, Obama has a relatively long history of being an electoral disaster for Democrats, so seeing them trot him out again was probably another own-goal.

      • Last I checked, Dems in states which Trump won who voted against Kavanaugh are about to no longer be Senators (having checked MT lately though).

        And I agree the “Senate is squishes” meme may need to change. My primary evidence is two words “Lindsey Graham”.

        I mean, I’m not looking for the pod or anything but who knew body snatchers would be so damned good. He is out talking about his former friends across the aisle and the need to own the Democrats.

        This is not your father’s RINO Senate majority.

        I think the Democrats 30 years from now are going to regret the Kavanaugh hearings even more than filibustering Gorsuch (which, had they not nuked it then, they probably could have used without it being nuked on Kavanaugh). It cost them their chance at flipping the Senate. I suspect it cost them 10 or so House seats.

        And it may just cost them the support of RINOs under the rubric of “bipartisanship” and “get along, go along”.

        To coin an Instaphrase, all they had to do was not be crazy.

        • Senator Tester, the Demonrat, appears to managed a win in Montana. *sigh* But McSally is still in the lead in Arizona.

          • Yeah, and I think Mississippi special will head into a run off (or do they not have a 50% requirement)? If it does, the two Republicans got roughly the same vote as the GOP candidate in the regular election and the two Dems did the same.

            After all of this I doubt the Dems have the energy to try and change that in a runoff or the money.

            I think we need to give Robert O’Rouke a big thank you for all the money he hoovered out of tight races that were probably winnable for the Dems with a little more resources.

            • It is a run-off, on the 27th, or so I read this morning.

              Poor Mississippi – two more weeks of campaign ads.

            • judging from the reportedly 5.5 million the Dems spent on attack ads to get the house district i live in, no, they didnt.

              • Bloomberg and Steyer will spend millions more in the next two weeks. Count on it. I expect them to pour at least 10 million if not more into the next two weeks in Mississippi, to try to steal the seat.

  22. “This blog took a step into more serious reporting with Bill’s posts. ”

    Hey, congrats, your influence IS spreading! — Neo referenced you: https://www.thenewneo.com/2018/11/05/whos-organizing-and-funding-the-caravan/

  23. *continues benchmarking AWS machines*

  24. In MN, looks like the statewide offices went to the Demonrats by a margin of 70 – 80 %. WTH is wrong with my fellow fitizens*. Starting to think seriously about relocating. I hear New Hampshire is nice . . .

    [Edit]

    OK, just refreshed the Sec. of State’s election results website; ‘outstate’ returns appear to be dropping the margins significantly but the Demonrats are still in at least the plurality across the board.

    At least in my precinct, one of the three new school funding bond measures was rejected, though it passed district-wide.

    * That was an uncaught typo for ‘citizens’, but considering the circumstances I thought I’d let it stand. 🙂

  25. And on a happy note: Occasional-Cortex is now the new official House Jester, and will very likely be the Gaff Gift that Keeps On Giving of the House Idiot Cacaus (in the fine tradition of Maxine Waters, Corrine Brown, and Cynthia McKinney).

  26. Well said. Having travelled the world both in the Navy and for business, I’ve SEEN the effects of communism/marxism. Also, they tried that crap in Texas with Beto, and he/they got soundly rejected. Much of Beto’s money came from outside Texas, and interestingly, his ads ran on ‘national’ TV, whereas Cruz ran his on local TV channels. Already this morning, they are positioning Beto for a 2020 run for president… Sigh…

  27. Now you’ll say we have the Senate and Trump. The Senate has squishes and healthcare is Trump’s least conservative stand. He simply fails to get that Single Payer is bad.

    I know you, and lots of other people, are worried that Trump will take his deal maker dancing shoes and cut a single payer deal.

    Maybe two years ago that was a risk.

    Maybe if the Dems rub Occasional Cortex’s head enough to generate sparks and don’t try to impeach Trump it will be a risk.

    However, if they move against Trump they will have sealed off the possibility of a deal unless they put all those investigations on the table as bargaining chips.

    I don’t think their base or their back bench will allow that. Hell, their base wants Trump. Pence, and Kavanaugh impeached and some have floated impeaching Gorsuch for the theft of Merrick Garland’s seat.

    Those hearing will start January 3. If they don’t there will be riots.

    If they end to get Trump to make a deal on healthcare or the budget (I have seen worries about Trump not liking the blame for government shutdowns, but that is presuming the Dems and the MSM sell it successfully as Trump’s fault which I’m not sure they can).

    I am not saying it can’t happen and I’m not saying we shouldn’t be prepared to fight it.

    But I will say the best tools we have to fight it are Trump’s ego and the Left’s insanity.

  28. Very clear that Democrats are going the fully insane route. Jeff Sessions resigned as AG today. The Democrats, who bitterly fought his confirmation and slandered him as a racist are calling ita “break the glass moment” and “crossing a red-line” that indicate that they have not learned their lesson, are going to go full Kacvanaugh again on whoever Trump nominates and basically seek full out civil war.

    • They are also claiming they want to impeach Trump and Kavanaugh. I was hoping for halfway sane.

      • Nope, they are going full steam ahead on all out insanity. They are willingly going allowing with the radical left that vandalizes murals of the American Flag as a “symbol of oppression” and chant “no borders, no walls, no USA at all”. and believes that “real reform” requires a “revolution” to bring about their dreams of a Marxist paradise. They do this knowing that history has shown time and time again knowing that it doesn’t work. Of course it does result in totalitarian power for those who get the opportunity to impose Marxism, whether slowly through ever increasing “soft” socialism or through the Bolshevik style violent revolution, but the Democrats don’t care as their interest is simply achieving that totalitarian power.

        The fact that some of them actually believe “it is for our own good” simply makes them more frightening, as they are the type that will continue to pursue their goals regardless of how many people voice disagreement.

        They are already seeking to delegitimize the Senate because the “national popular vote” was for Democrats, never mind that not only is a national vote total not relevant for Senate or House elections, but it is contrary to the intent and design of the Constitution, which has states as sovereign in their own right and Senators elected to represent each state in the National government. Simply put, they want to deligitimize any part of society, they don’t control, not just government, and are hell bend on altering the rules to prevent them from being unable to gain control or to lose any control they obtain. They seek 1984’s Oceania as a goal to be achieved, not as a warning, and it is clear that they have no intention of stopping until they get there. They are so committed to this, they will keep using Antifa and similar groups as their unofficial foot soldiers in their pursuit of power, and see chaos and violence as an opportunity “for change you could never otherwise achieve” to paraphrase the Obama administration credo. It is impossible to be optimistic when one party, the Democrats, is activley embracing those who want to see everyone who disagrees with them and entire categories of people based on the identity group they belong to ostracized and driven from society at best (excommunicated is probably the apt word here) and buried in mass graves and burned in ovens at worst.

        • Don’t they know any history? The outcome for them if they kill the US will be horrible for them.

          • They know history. They just know it wrong, as in they think the Soviets were the good guys during the Cold War and that the USA is the greatest oppressor in world history. They really think the world would be better if the Soviet Bloc had won the Cold War.

            • Why didn’t they move to the USSR if they thought it was so great?

              • Because to bring about their goal of worldwide communism they needed to stay in the USA to work towards turning the USA communist.

              • Because living on the 10th floor of an apartment block with no elevators, having another family sharing your two-room apartment, and sharing a single bathroom with the entire 10th floor overcame their socialist idealism…

                Sharing and socialism are wonderful, as long as they don’t actually have to do it themselves.

            • Yes. They know so many things that just ain’t so.

              • Yeah. Like the “fact” that Republicans (and conservatives and libertarian-minded folks) want to imprison gays, minorities, and immigrants. That we want to eradicate Americans for the color of their skin, sexual preferences, or national origin.

                Direct quote from someone on my flist, mind you. “Systematic erosion of rights for the benefit of the party’s base”, even.

                It’s so nice of them to tell me what I believe, and why I support the policies I do.

                • Direct quote from someone on my flist, mind you. “Systematic erosion of rights for the benefit of the party’s base”, even.

                  That one is probably true, when you consider how they use the word “right” to mean stuff like them having a right to your stuff.

        • Here is a great piece from The Federalist about the House Dems going all-in on insane:
          http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/07/incoming-democrat-chairman-dems-will-go-all-in-on-russia-impeach-kavanaugh-for-perjury/

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Might be disinformation. The reporter literally overheard the Democrat say so on a train. Have to consider the possibility of a plant.

            • Mollie Hemingway is usually reliable. I suspect Nadler wanted to be overheard as it is clear the Democrats want to ensure their base that they are committed to going all-in to get Trump, etc., even after winning the election. The Democrats know that the House gives them only the ability to obstruct and harass, and they want to scare anyone who might consider taking a job in the Trump administration that Democrats will make their life a living hell, just like they did with Kavanaugh. That is the entire point of the Democratic Party promotion of “:let them know they are not welcome anymore, anywhere harassment”.

            • And Democratic Party media arm MSNBC is calling on people to “take to the streets” over Session’s resignation, after spending over two years demonizing him as literally Himmler to Trump’s literally Hitler. They really do flip on a dime in Oceania style Eastasia/Eurasia fashion:

          • Yeah, because they held so much “evidence” back from their assault on Kavanaugh, in case they needed it later.

            They’re just moving phantom divisions around in the Fuhrerbunker now.

      • As I said above, the silver lining is impeaching Trump means no let’s make a deal with him.

  29. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Could Pelosi’s alcohol bill as speaker have covered other people drinking with her?

    Much makes sense once I realize that Pelosi probably knows Hillary personally.

  30. Christopher M Chupik

    What’s really depressing is seeing all the people on the Left who don’t seem to understand anything about the United States government, despite wanting absolute power over the United States. Basic concepts that have guided your country since it’s founding elude them completely.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      its happening

      sessions has resigned

      must be because the space aliens fixed kratmans heart

      attorney general and poet laureate kratman to open by trolling his way through the nomination process, then reform civil rights division, and arrest hillary for white supremacist terrorism

      • At this point I’m starting to suspect all sorts of timed planning no matter what I hear. Not sure how having an appointment fight for Sessions’ post right of the bat will be turned into a win, but I won’t be surprised if it is. What could possibly be going on that would require the left and the media (but I repeat myself) having a cow at the beginning of the year?

  31. OT: Nemo has been diagnosed with Stage 3 lymphoma. Nemo is our dog. We’ve had him for 6 years. We talked to the oncologist and he said that more likely with the treatment option we’ve picked, Nemo will only have Nemo for another 12 to 15 months.

  32. I might need to disengage from politics for a while. I don’t think I’m up for anything other than prayer.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      That’s sometime the right choice.

    • I would but… the government class that I teach starts next week. (Yes, right before Thanksgiving. No, not on the quarter system. Yes, I’m nuts.) I’ve sort of have to ought to pay more attention. Yes, I’m am still going to mute the TV when certain politicians appear.

  33. How disappointing… the Medicaid expansion passed.

    If I’ve done the numbers right, an additional 28% of the state’s population is now eligible for Medicaid. Funnily enough, that’s about the same proportion that voted against the proposition.

    I hope that they have to gut education funding when it comes time to pay for this.

  34. I don’t think I know those guys. I haven’t kept in touch with the party for quite a while, but when I did, it seemed to be turning into a home for disaffected Republicans. And I admit I don’t follow all the discussions here, but I don’t recognize any of the assertions you describe as having been made here by people who used the L label. Not that I see many such people here in the first place. I don’t count Sarah Hoyt, who uses the small l label. . . .

    Didn’t come through as a reply, attempted haxors to make it work…..

    These are the guys I’ve been meeting as the face of the “Libertarian party” since I was about 14 or so, Washington state.

    Second only to the “I am here to help” in teh grab your wallet sweepstakes.

    Husband ran into the same stuff, and he’s from DC area.

    • I consider myself a libertarian, small “l”. I note that there are many, usually on the left, who mischaracterize people who believe in limited government as “anarchists” because they think wanting small government and fewer regulations and laws means not wanting any at all….which is a lot of chutzpah from leftists who want massive numbers of laws and regulations, but also want those laws and regulations to be able to be freely ignored by people who belong to “historically oppressed groups”, meaning anyone the leftists like.

      • As opposed to the many on the left who mischaracterize people who believe in limited government as “fascists.” WTF?!?!?! While ten or fifteen years ago I heard a lot more like Cardshark did, in recent years the “fascist” label has been thrown around more than “anarchist.”

        • That to. I have heard that as well. And from the same people, and yes, still trying to figure out how one can be both an anarchist and a Fascist, but logic has never been the left’s strong point. But of course for the left, Fascist means anyone who does not agree with that day’s leftist orthodoxy, and is to right of V.I. Lenin. Antifa even says publicly that they consider anyone who is not a communist to be a Fascist, and expressly proclaim libertarians to be Fascists accordingly. It’s insane, but we already know the left is insane. And it is the type of insanity that is being nurtured by the leftists who control establishment education, entertainment, etc., because inculcating that kind of widespread cognitive dissonance is essential to achieving their goal of making Oceania realty. After all, making “the truth” “my truth” and “realty” “my realty” is the only way to get people to believe that 2+2-5 and that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

      • “Historically oppressed groups” Amazing how short they think history is.

      • Who does the left NOT mischaracterize, usually in mildly insane ways?

        It seems like a lot of the issues in the big-L libertarian groups stem from crazy lefties hearing one of the mischaracterizations and deciding it sounds GOOD!

      • What? You expect them to have an argument in defense of particular regulations when they can just accuse you of wanting none?

  35. Here’s my reply-

    You thought it was going to be that easy?

    We’re dealing with Grammercian Marxists here. Their goal has been the Long March Through The Institutions and changing the world around us so that they win because we can’t think any other way than they want us to. For the rest of us “normal” people (no matter how Odd we are in general, to them, we are as much muggles as everyone else), we have better things to do other than deal with politics and such. We vote, keep things from going bad, and have better things to do.

    For our opponents? They have to win, because they have nothing better to do and nowhere else to go. Their entire world view has been built around the eventual glorious victory of their cause, complete with soaring music and waving the red flag over the rubble of their foes.

    We lost the House, so be it. But, we held and expanded our hold on the Senate and that means something. Our battles have just begun.

    Build the alternate platforms and alternate ways of getting our stories out. Let the “legacy” media die unlamented in the dark. Find solutions that take power away from them.

    And, don’t give up. This monster took most of the 20th century to build, it’s going to take time to kill.

  36. And…. the Antifa crowd showed up at Tucker Carlson’s home tonight, shouting “racist scumbag, leave town!” and “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”, “no borders, no walls, no USA at all” and “Tonight, we remind you that you are not safe”. These Democratic Party footsolders are terrorists engaged in sedition with the intent of violently overthrowing the United States, and it is time they be treated as such. It was the same group that chased Ted Cruz and his wife out of a DC restaurant.

    These terrorists (and that is what they are) must be stopped now, and an investigation started into the level of support they are receiving from the Democratic Party and its financial backers, such as George Soros and Tom Steyer.

  37. On the bright side, at least for now, the over-delegation by Congress to the executive drastically reduces the power the House actually has. Changing that requires the acquiescence of the Senate and President Trump. They can try to play hardball and threaten a government shutdown, but the power of the purse is largely the only check left.

    Oh, they can hold hearings and waste the administration’s time with subpoenas and create soundbites for their rabid media to exploit. They can venue shop for federal judges to try to overturn regulations and executive orders. They might even impeach.

    All of that can potentially be used to try to tarnish the president and the Republican Party. But they’ve been trying to do that since Donald Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016, with only marginal success. It might hurt a little, but perhaps not too much.

    What they can’t do is pass legislation without the Senate and the president agreeing. They can’t use the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulations put into place by the administration. They especially can’t force the Senate to convict and remove anybody from office. They can’t even prevent President Trump and the Senate Republicans from filling a massive number of judicial vacancies – including any future Supreme Court openings.

    Would I, in the long run, like to see Congress reclaim some of those powers from the executive, and/or redistribute back to the states, where many of those powers properly belong? Yes. But for now, it works against the House Democrats.

  38. somehow, people think health care is the most important thing right now

    IIRC, the results I saw last night said Health Care was cited as “most important” by 28% of the voters, while “Immigration” came a close second at 26%.

    What the reporting obscures is the possibility of that “28%” figure being split into “3% think we need to go single-payer” and “25% are damned if they will go single-payer.”

    Given that NY Democrats have gained complete control of the legislature and executive branches in that state, and that Andy Cuomo imagines himself the 2020 challenger to President Trump, it is a near certainty that NY will enact a single-payer “Medicaid-for-all” scheme as fast as they can get the ink to dry on the bill.

    Which will doubtless make the Wall Street crowd all kinds of thrilled, knowing that at last they will receive the same quality of medical care as the most destitute homeless person.

    Hopefully the NY Republicans, squishes though they may be, will have the sense to egg on the Progs to be sure they include bans on private insurance (as Bernie, Pocahantas and Occasional-Cortex have proposed) and make explicit the generous “sweeteners” provided to such concerned parties as Andy “Albany Billions” Cuomo’s friends at the politically potent health-workers’ union, SEIU 1199 see: “Cuomo quietly raises hospital Medicaid rates as election nears“.)

    • Tbh I’d expect most was the ‘muh preexisting conditions’ crowd that got suckered within that 28%.

      • From the mutterings I’ve overheard while out and about, pre-existing conditions and rising costs are the two big concerns.

        • Ya. Reason the reps need to get a hard platform and leaning on not letting the world free ride is only a part of it.

          Plus since most people don’t see any of the actual costs and reimbursement there isn’t recognition of just how govt care drives some of the cost increases

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