Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks again, as always, to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

It’s time!  Tonight is debate night.  I probably won’t aggressively live-blog the whole thing, but I’ll probably make some comments as things develop.

Here’s something The Donald should hang around Her Imperial Majesty’s neck like the political anvil it is:  President Obama, it turns out, knew about her private, unsecured email server all along – and used a pseudonym to send emails to that server, deliberately obfuscating his identity to evade security.  Excerpt:

That Barack Obama communicated in 2012under a redacted pseudonym—with Hillary Clinton on the then secretary of State’s permeable home-brew email server and then claimed he did not know of that server’s existence until it was reported in the press in 2014 is far more than the usual politician’s prevarication.

Since the fish rots from the top—and in this case it stinks to high heaven—the surfacing of this particular presidential lie calls to question the entire FBI inquiry into the Clinton server, an investigation whose credibility was paper thin in the first place and has now completely vanished.

It’s time to ask that age-old question: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

That we do know (as of this Friday’s dump) that one of Clinton’s own IT workers referred to her then just-announced 60-day email retention policy (who does that?) as “Hillary’s coverup operation” almost (but not completely) tells the story in those three quoted words. Even though they say it’s not the crime, but the coverup, in this case, it’s both.

Facepalm-bearThis should be a huge revelation – and would be, if the legacy media wasn’t a de facto arm of Her Imperial Majesty’s campaign.

So, how can this help The Donald in tonight’s debate?  Well, it’s another arrow in his quiver – one of many – and like a whole bunch of other arrows, it’s marked “Corruption.”  Her Imperial Majesty has repeatedly demonstrated callous disregard for security procedures, and that’s one of the main reasons that The Donald is pulling ahead of Her Highness in some key polls.

In a few hours, we’ll see.

Animal’s Rule Five Preference Cascade Friday

2016_09_23_rule-five-friday-1The Donald continues to pull away from Her Imperial Majesty in the polls in several key states.  He’s made an impressive run, aided by Her Majesty’s serial scandals and gobsmacking, unrepentant dishonesty; what’s more, he’s managed it in spite of being outspent by orders of magnitude (so much for the corrupting influence of money in politics, eh?)  Bear in mind that polls are lagging indicators.  The Trumpmeister may actually be farther ahead than the polls would indicate.  He still has a pretty good hill to climb in the Electoral College, but it’s becoming a serious race.

Could we be seeing the beginnings of a preference cascade?

2016_09_23_rule-five-friday-2A preference cascade, as stated in the link above, is defined thusly:

In short, average people behave the way they think they ought to, even though that behavior might not reflect their own personal feelings.   Given a sufficient “A-HA!” moment when they discover that their personal  feelings are shared by a large portion of the population their behavior  may change dramatically.  An example of this is the British colonists before and after publication of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.  A year before the Declaration of Independence, America was full of patriotic British convinced that things could be worked out with King George, but on July 4, 1776 the colonies were full of Americans determined that they needed independence.  Another is the relatively recent “Arab Spring.”  The catalyst there has been credited to the self-immolation of  Tunisian merchant Mohamed Bouazizi in protest of his treatment by government authorities.

2016_09_23_rule-five-friday-3Veteran blogger Robert Stacy McCain proposed the possibility four years ago.  At that time, the polls between Romney and Obama were closer – at least in the Electoral College – than they are now, but the momentum wasn’t in Romney’s favor.

 As of this writing, it’s pretty clear that this year’s race is turning in The Donald’s favor.  In Ohio, there seems to be an exodus of Democrats to the Trump camp.  The Donald has pulled ahead in at least one poll in key states Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio, and he’s narrowing the gap in Virginia, Wisconsin and our own 2016_09_23_rule-five-friday-4Colorado.  Florida is definitely in play, and The Donald seems to be making plays for Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Remember the Electoral College, though, True Believers; The Donald has to flip pretty much all of these states in play if he’s going to walk into the Imperial Mansion in January.

 Still; this late in the game, momentum is the key, and the momentum – at least now, in late September, seems to be moving Trump-wise.  Which brings us to the preference cascade.

Her Imperial Majesty has based her whole campaign on one thing – “Trump is awful.”  That’s not enough.  But with a complicit legacy 2016_09_23_rule-five-friday-5media in her corner, it does carry some weight, for a while.  But as the tide turns towards The Donald, it may turn dramatically – the aforementioned preference cascade may well be taking effect.  If it does, we’ll see a Trump landslide in November.

As I keep saying, the first debate on Monday will be key.  Trump needs to come out swinging, he needs to keep Her Royal Highness back on her heels, he needs to come out clearly and unequivocally the winner.  Her Majesty is rumored to be preparing for whichever Trump shows up to the party, but what she can’t prepare for is the fundamental flaws in her own personality; namely, that next to Trump she appears exactly what she is:  Old, tired, sick, dull, and boring.

If there is to be a preference cascade, that’s what will kick it into high gear.

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Animal’s Daily News

Space ChicksMonday, NASA will be holding a press conference to announce a “major breakthrough” regarding Jupiter’s moon Europa.  Could there be extraterrestrial life involved?  Excerpt:

The US group sent out a cryptic message, stating that there is “surprising activity” on Europa – the most well known of Jupiter’s 67 moons.

NASA has been analysing data from its Hubble Space Telescope which is currently prowling the universe.

The space experts said in a statement announcing the event on Monday, to be broadcast live at 7PM UK time: “Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa.”

Most scientists agree that where there is water, it massively increases the chances of finding life.

Europa has long been touted as a possible host of life elsewhere in the Solar System, and even boffins working on the Juno Probe, which is currently in orbit around Jupiter, believe that it could be a likely habitable zone for some lifeforms.

Of course, NASA hasn’t said anything about life – yet.  And, smart money says they won’t.

But…

It’s generally accepted that there is a water ocean under Europa’s ice pack, kept warm (or, at least, liquid) by the moon’s constant tidal flexing as it orbits its Jovian primary.  And the appearance of the funny orange discolorations on its surface are consistent with organic materials.

blue-alienIf there is life in the solar system other than on Earth, Europa’s probably the best candidate, maybe even better than Mars.  It has liquid water, it has organic material; on Earth, where you find those things, you find life.

Monday may be a very interesting day.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Do you have an old Winchester Model 12?  I have two, a 1940 12 gauge and a 1941 16 gauge – a nicely matched set, both with field stocks and solid ribs, both restored and fitted with Briley choke tubes.  The Model 12 is the gold standard of pump shotguns; the hand-fitted guns would cost thousands today, if made by the same techniques used by Winchester from 1912 to 1964.

And, if she’s serious about saying that Australia’s gun bans and confiscations are a good idea, Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I doesn’t think you should have them.  Excerpt:

Think the gun control agenda of Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with you and your guns? Think again. If you own a Ruger 10/22 or a Remington Model 870, your guns are on the list “worth looking at” for national confiscation and destruction. Pump-action shotguns, semi-auto .22s, all gone in the land Down Under.

It should send chills down the spine of every freedom-loving Americans to know the leading democratic presidential candidate says Australian-style gun control is on the table. As Hillary Clinton told a town hall in New Hampshire. “I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australia example is worth looking at,” Let me tell you what the “Australian example” really means. And I’ll do it through one gun.

Assault Shotgun?
Assault Shotgun?

Again, we see the same old problem:  The very people who think gun control is a good idea don’t know jack shit about guns.  The only thing the Australian bans accomplished was to take guns away from people who weren’t causing any problems; hunting guns, personal protection pieces, it didn’t matter what; they were banned, confiscated (with a token payment) and scrapped.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne alone, crimes committed with firearms have doubled since the ban was passed.

In Australia, your grandfather’s heirloom Model 12, one of the finest sporting firearms ever made, is illegal.  Her Imperial Majesty thinks this is “worth looking at.”  ‘Nuff said.

Demo-Cat.

I saw a bumper sticker today here in the deep-deep-blue state of Massachusetts:  “My Cat is a Democrat.”

ceiling-cat-is-watching-you-masturbateBefore you cry “oh, how pathetic,” give this a moment’s thought.  Cats are lazy, they live in our homes at our expense, sleeping through the day and eating on our tab; they have a Brobdingnagian sense of entitlement, and view normal humans as servants.  Finally, they seem to have a major problem with humans doing anything that may be enjoyable.

Sounds like a Democrat to me.

Animal’s Daily News

Old BearThanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

Ever wondered who the smartest people in human history were?  Wonder no more.  Granted there’s a lot of speculation here, but it seems like reasonable speculation.  Excerpt:

Making a list of the smartest people who ever lived may not be a smart thing to do. After all, intelligence can be measured in a variety of different ways. Some believe in IQ tests, others place more stock in emotional intelligence. There’s also something to be said about having accomplishments. Being intelligent is not the same as using that intelligence to create something that no one else can, to somehow advance humanity, to be smarter than everyone.

Many smart people do not live up to their potential. It is also true that prejudices and lack of opportunities have surely prevented some brilliant people from reaching their full potential and being recognized. Still, for the sake of argument, we will use all criteria at our disposal to come up with a list of the brightest humans.

Note: while IQ testing was developed in the early 1900s, there have been subsequent studies that estimated IQs of geniuses of the past. Anything above 140 is generally considered near genius-level.

#1 on the list isn’t a surprise:  Leonardo DaVinci.  DaVinci was multi-talented, a man of many facets; artist, inventor, engineer, and more.  But one surprise on the list is Cleopatra, with an (estimated) IQ of 180.

Cleopatra?

Relaxed BearShe was widely known as a canny ruler, a great survivor, and a seductress, among whose conquests was Julius Caesar and his cousin Mark Antony – both of whom were not only lovers but key to keeping her on the throne of Egypt for almost thirty years.  She spoke five languages, but in those days, that wasn’t all that uncommon – especially among the nobility.

I’d like to see more figuring behind Cleopatra’s inclusion on this list and her estimated IQ of 180.  No doubt she was a smart cookie, but 180?

Color me skeptical.

One thing is certain; you won’t find any of our present-day political leaders on this list.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

The game is afoot!

The Donald continues to pull ahead of Her Imperial Majesty in a variety of polls; it’s important to note that the real estate mogul’s Electoral College path is still tougher than that of the Dowager Empress, but it’s doable.  Polling analyst Nate Silver has cautioned Democrats that if the polls still look like this a week from now, it’s brown-trousers time.  Excerpt:

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the polls has been declining for several weeks, and now we’re at the point where it’s not much of a lead at all. National polls show Clinton only 1 or 2 percentage points ahead of Donald Trump, on average. And the state polling situation isn’t really any better for her. On Thursday alone, polls were released showing Clinton behind in Ohio, Iowa and Colorado — and with narrow, 3-point leads in Michigan and Virginia, two states once thought to be relatively safe for her.

It’s also become clearer that Clinton’s “bad weekend” — which included describing half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” on Friday, and a health scare (followed by news that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia) on Sunday — has affected the polls. Prior to the weekend, Clinton’s decline had appeared to be leveling off, with the race settling into a Clinton lead of 3 or 4 percentage points. But over the past seven days, Clinton’s win probability has declined from 70 percent to 60 percent in our polls-only forecast and by a similar amount, from 68 percent to 59 percent, in our polls-plus forecast.

Readers of these virtual pages know that I was for either Scott Walker or Rand Paul in the GOP primaries, and remain today a skeptical supporter of The Donald as the lesser (by far) of two evils.  But I’m beginning to appreciate the savvy with which the Trumpmeister manipulates the legacy media, and the smarts he showed last week when Her Imperial Majesty was self-destructing; he did the best thing possible, he shut up and let her campaign continue its self-immolation.

BearLaughing1I’m looking forward to the first debate – next week – more than ever.  It may well be the swan song of Her Royal Highness’s campaign – or it might not.  But it will be entertaining and that, True Believers, makes it worth watching in itself.  As my Millennial offspring (none of whom are voting for the Dowager Empress) are fond of saying, just for the lulz.

Rule Five Trump Victorious Friday

2016_09_16_rule-five-friday-1I’ve commented a few times on how the Presidential race seems to be turning; here’s one of the best deconstructions of that trend that I’ve seen.  Excerpt:

The Democratic convention’s orgy of self-praise and joyous continuity generated enough jollity for the Trumpophobic media to open up a five- to seven-point lead for Mrs. Clinton. But Donald Trump already has the 40 percent of Americans who share Archie Bunker’s dislike of political correctness, vote-buying with welfare, fiscal incontinence, and a feeble foreign policy, and there has been no further need to serve them up more raw meat. So he has just disappointed, week after week, the frenzied media lynch mob that had implied he was a racist, a misogynist, an inciter of violence, a vulgar buffoon, a member of the Flat Earth Society, an advocate of an automatic firearm for every white seven-year-old American, and probably an enemy of fluoridated drinking water.

2016_09_16_rule-five-friday-2Of course, it was almost all nonsense, and as Trump has been uncontroversial, it has been Mrs. Clinton who has made the gaffes (Trump’s followers — now half the voters –are “deplorables”) and has incited concerns about her health as well. Peggy Noonan, who doesn’t much care for either candidate but whose innate fairness and seasoned expertise as a judge of political talent prevent her from joining the chorus of the hysterics, detected (on September 5 in the Wall Street Journal), as the Clinton lead eroded,  that anxiety (over Trump) was less negative than depression (at the thought of the return of the Clintons). I think that is only half the story.

She is probably correct that anxiety about a candidate’s performance in office is less destructive to a candidate’s chances than the depression induced by, in this case, thought of another binge of the Clintons at the public trough, pandering to the aggrieved with the money of those who work for a living, flat-lining the economy with new taxes, and entrenching the dictatorship of political correctness. But an acceleration in the tilt of the scales in Trump’s favor is already under way because Trump the nominee, unlike Trump in quest of the nomination, is not saying anything worrisome or even in questionable taste.

2016_09_16_rule-five-friday-3I’d question that last statement, but I’d be willing to bet that a plurality of American voters find The Donald’s un repentant, sometimes abrasive candor refreshing, especially when set against Her Imperial Majesty’s serial dissembling and her deep and abiding corruption.

What’s amusing about the Dowager Empress’s campaign is the attempt to cast The Donald as some kind of right-wing extremist, when in fact he is anything but.  He is a moderate, a slightly right-of-center populist and pragmatist.

His message of such is resonating with plenty of people, people who are tired of eight years of Obama’s apology tours, his fecklessness, his weakness in the eyes of other world leaders.  Trump may be many things but weak is not among them; weak people don’t build billion-dollar business empires.  And that’s the other side of his appeal; until last year, he never set foot in the world of politics.

2016_09_16_rule-five-friday-4That’s appealing to people in a country where a large majority thinks the nation is headed down the wrong path.

But The Donald’s strengths alone aren’t enough to win him the seat behind the Big Desk in the Imperial Mansion.  There are Democrats who could have easily beaten him, but Her Imperial Majesty’s nomination coronation, rigged by a complicit DNC, put in place the weakest candidate the Dems have ever offered.  It wasn’t their year; Her Majesty’s bifurcated clarion cry of “I have a vagina!” and “It’s my turn, peasants!” won the day.

And may well have won Trump the election.

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