Rule Five Election Odds Friday

I found this interesting; the Daily Reckoning’s James Rickard is wondering how secure Groper Joe Biden’s lead really is.  Excerpt:

There has never been any mystery about the Republican nominee for president — it’s Donald Trump, case closed. But the identity of the Democratic nominee was contested between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders during the primary season as other contenders dropped out one by one.

Finally Sanders stepped aside and Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee, although curiously, Biden never did win a simple majority of the delegates — the nominating process and primaries were brushed aside by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But no one cared because the competition dropped out and released their delegates to support Biden. Now, the world awaits Biden’s decision on who his Vice Presidential candidate will be.

An announcement is expected in a few days.

The candidate will definitely be a woman (Biden pre-announced this), but the identity is still unknown. Elizabeth Warren appears to be the frontrunner, and she would be acceptable to the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, which seems to be calling the shots.

But whoever it is, the VP pick will probably be president within a year if Biden wins. That’s because Biden’s cognitive impairment will render him unfit for office early in his administration. Biden is already surrounded by Sanders’s handlers. Some Obama retreads will make up the Biden cabinet.

Under the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution a majority of the cabinet and the VP can declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.” In that case, the Vice President becomes Acting President.

At that point, the takeover of the White House by the radical wing of the party will be complete. It’s already well underway…

That last sentence, that’s what makes me skeptical of the prospects of a Groper Joe victory.  It’s painfully obvious to anyone that’s paying any attention at all, that the Democratic Party has trended sharply to the loony left over the last few election cycles, and Groper Joe seems to be embracing that trend, possibly out of survival, but more likely because he never had any real convictions of his own to begin with.

But here’s the real takeaway from Mr. Rickard’s analysis:

Not so fast. For over 80 years, pollsters have asked two key questions in election polling. The first is, “Who are you voting for?”

That’s the intention question. The second question is, “Who do you expect to win?” That’s the expectation question.

The answer to the intention question gets all the headlines. Those are the polling results we describe above. The answer to the expectation question gets buried and is scarcely discussed.

But guess what? In cases where the intention and expectation questions have different answers, (in effect, “I’m voting for A, but I expect B to win”), the expectation answer had the correct result 78% of the time.

The intention question had the correct result only 22% of the time.

And, Trump is leading the expectation question right now 55% to 45% for Biden. So, Trump actually is ahead in the polls. You just have to be looking at the right polls. That’s key. So don’t write Trump off just yet.

So, in the more productive poll, President Trump is well ahead.  Keep that in mind as Mr. Rickard continues:

The Antifa crowd will use a Trump victory as evidence that “democracy doesn’t work,” which will validate their violent tactics at least in their own minds. They’ll find plenty of supporters.

Either way, there’s more violence on the way. It might not be as immediate if Biden wins, but it would still follow.

Are markets ready for this? Is your portfolio ready? Investors should get ready; the chaos is not ending anytime soon, regardless of the election’s outcome.

Physical gold bullion is a good way to preserve your wealth and profit as it all unfolds.

My predictions on this topic, assuming a Trump victory:

  • There will be more unrest; probably much more.  But it will be confined to the big, Democrat-controlled cities.  Why?
    • Look at the few instances where leftist rioters have attempted to push into the suburbs and small towns; it hasn’t gone well for them.
  • More violence will result, as sure as shooting (hah) in an electoral backlash.  That’s one of the reasons I’m reasonably confident of a Trump victory in November; most Americans don’t take kindly to intimidation tactics from idiots.  I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see a few liberal/progressive big-city mayors to be replaced by more moderate, law-and-order candidates in the next round of elections.
  • If things get really, really bad, I’d rather have a good supply of brass and lead than gold; but in the event of any such major collapse, what would be really valuable are skills; welding, carpentry, soap-making, tanning, and so on.

Of those scenarios, I think the second primary bullet is most likely.  If a moderate Democrat were to run for Mayor of, say, Seattle or Portland right now, promising a crackdown on violent protestors, I think their odds would be very good indeed.

And bear this in mind:  The violence will end, one way or another; people will only put up with so much bullshit.  It can end through the restoration of law and order, or through an overwhelming, violent response by the majority who are just sick of these people’s shit.

One choice or the other; and I think that within the next couple of election cycles, we’ll know the answer.

Animal’s Daily Personal Heroes News

Dr. Sowell.

Here’s a great piece on one of my personal heroes, Dr. Thomas Sowell.  What a remarkable man, and what an inspiring life!  Excerpt:

Measured by his contributions to economics, political theory, and intellectual history, Thomas Sowell ranks among the towering intellects of our time. Yet, rare among such thinkers, Sowell manages never to provoke, in the reader, the feeling of being towered over. As Kevin Williamson observed, Sowell is “that rarest of things among serious academics: plainspoken.” From 1991 until 2016, his nationally syndicated column set the bar for clear writing, though the topics he covered were often complex. “Too many academics write as if plain English is beneath their dignity,” Sowell once said, “and some seem to regard logic as an unconstitutional infringement of their freedom of speech.” If academics birth needlessly complex prose, editors too often midwife it. An editor, Sowell once quipped, would probably have changed Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be, that is the question” to something awful, like “The issue is one of existence versus non-existence.”

Consider Sowell’s clear, brief explanation of the economic idea of “scarcity.” “What does ‘scarce’ mean?” he asks in his layman’s textbook, Basic Economics. “It means that what everybody wants adds up to more than there is.” Not only is pointless complexity absent from Sowell’s prose; so is the first-person perspective. The words “I” or “me” scarcely show up in his 30-odd books, but for his memoir, A Personal Odyssey.

To his critics, Sowell’s writing style is severe. But to his fan base—which includes figures as different as Steven Pinker and Kanye West—it’s a refreshing break from the self-absorbed drivel that frequently passes for cultural commentary nowadays. Pinker, a Harvard psychologist and leading public intellectual, named Sowell the most underrated writer in history. West, for his part, tweeted out a handful of Sowell quotes to millions of followers in 2018.

I’ve been an admirer of Dr. Sowell for years.  While I was studying economics as part of my MBA work, at my instructor’s recommendation I read Dr. Sowell’s Basic Economics, and then began seeking out more of his work.  Since then I have read millions of words from the mind of this great man, and have been more and more impressed by his history, his intellect, his grasp of good and bad policy, and his uncanny ability to clearly and simply explain complicated subjects – like economics.

One of the things I admire the most about Thomas Sowell is his personal story; the son of sharecroppers, growing up in the Jim Crow South, he rose and educated himself driven by the power of his personal will.  And his own statement on those achievements is simple; if he can do it, others can as well.

Dr. Sowell once famously said:

Imagine a political system so radical as to promise to move more of the poorest 20% of the population into the richest 20% than remain in the poorest bracket within the decade? You don’t need to imagine it. It’s called the United States of America.

Bravo, sir.

Go, then, and read the whole thing.  Read Basic Economics. Read anything you can find my Dr. Sowell.  You’ll be richer for it.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Airline status can be a very useful thing.

Because of all the travel I’ve had to do for business over the last few years, Mrs. Animal and I have had at least Gold status on United for quite a while.  One of the benefit to Gold members is two 70-pound bags checked at no added cost.  So, this coming Friday, Mrs. Animal and I will be flying to Anchorage to spend the weekend looking at some properties in the Great Land, and since we’re going, we’re taking four cases of clothing and other odds and ends north with us.  This stuff will go in storage bins in an inside storage bay in Wasilla until we move for good.

Moving thousands of miles is an interesting logistical exercise.  When the move involves travel through another country (Canada) it gets more interesting.  Since we have four flights booked this year, we’ll max out the baggage allowance on all four – and, to boot, we can move some stuff (our AR-15s, for example) this way that would be problematic to take through Canada.

We want to drive the AlCan at least once.  But we’ll take advantage of the airlines to move what we can this way.  Seems to make good sense.  Four flights, with 280 pounds per flight, that’s half a ton of clothing and small items staged up there in advance.

But enough of my rambling…

On To the Links!

Chicago’s Gun Myth.  Mayor Lightfoot isn’t unique on this; Chicago pols have been dumb as dirt on this issue for decades.

How so much Kung Flu vaccine progress was made so fast.

Answers to questions nobody is asking.

Cities Americans are flocking to.  Whew – nowhere in Alaska is on the list.

Speaking of American cities, Chicago’s descent into chaos continues apace.

Oh, shit; Denver?  And New York, St. Louis and Portland.  Wow.  I’m pretty sure that these are upticks in areas that already suck, rather than crime spilling over into previously peaceful neighborhoods, but it’s still pretty bad.  And gee, I wonder who runs these cities?

The New York Times runs cover for Biden’s dementia.

This Week’s Idiots:

It’s been a banner week for morons.

The Seattle City Council are even bigger idiots than I thought.

Idiots turning on idiots.  Autophagia can be very entertaining.

Here:  The stupidest damn thing you’ll read all week.

Stupid is as stupid does, ma’am.

UFO cranks gonna crank.

Do these idiots actually want more Trump?  Because this is how you get more Trump:

And So:

We have stuff to pack and I’m all out of witticisms and deep thoughts, so here’s something from the archives to make up for it:

With that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Vaccine News

Hello, Nurse!

Before we start, check out my latest over at Glibertarians; this week’s topic, Annie Oakley!

Should we be giving mass doses of Kung Flu vaccines already in development?  I’m inclined to say not yet, but here, read for yourselves.  Excerpt:

Development of new Covid-19 vaccines is proceeding at a furious pace, which is good news for the world. We already have two vaccines in phase 3 trials in the US and Europe; each of these trials which will vaccinate many thousands of people, and then wait to see how many get infected. If the vaccines work, then in a few months’ time we’ll be able to start large-scale production.

But we don’t have to wait. Both of these vaccines (from Moderna and Oxford University/Astra Zeneca) have already been shown, in phase 1 trials, to be safe and probably effective. That’s why the companies are moving ahead and giving each vaccine to 30,000 more people: they are fairly confident that the vaccines are safe. The NY Times reports that 3 other Covid-19 vaccines are also in phase 3 trials: one from BioNTech and Pfizer, and two from Chinese companies, Sinopharm and Sinova Biotech.

So why not start administering millions of doses right now? We should.

(Update 3 August: I’m not suggesting we skip the phase 3 trials. Far from it! Scientists should monitor those closely, and if any negative side effects appear, they should immediately halt any pre-approval use of the candidate vaccines.)

In fact, an Indian vaccine manufacturer is already moving ahead with large-scale production. The Serum Insthute, run by Indian billionaire Adar Poonawalla, is manufacturing hundreds of millions of doses of the Oxford vaccine, before it gets final approval, investing its own money and taking a chance that the vaccine will work.

I’m as anxious as anyone to see a safe and effective vaccine candidate proved for use, and there are several promising candidates.  But honestly, a few more weeks in the Phase III trial process isn’t going to make much difference.

The thing is this:  The more people you administer a new drug/vaccine/whatever to, the more oddball reactions and issues  you’ll find, just by the laws of averages.  Every persons’ individual biology is just a little different, and there’s always the chance that one out of a hundred thousand people will experience a bad reaction that didn’t show up in a trial involving, say, a thousand people.  That’s a primary reason that drugs are continually relabeled, as these things are found.

The various institutes and companies involved have already done benchmark work.  There is now precedent set; if we can do this as fast as this once, we can do it again, and some of the regulatory obstacles that were set aside should be re-evaluated to see if we really need them at all.

But I have no issue with waiting until the Phase III trials are done.  I also have no issue with manufacturing doses of the candidate vaccines in advance, at risk, if it is the decision of those private companies to do so.  We’re within striking distance of an effective vaccine now.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Now then; it turns out the FBI knew about the Epstein issue for some time, knew of some Big Names involved, and they did nothing.  Excerpt:

Well, last night they were unsealed. The Jeffrey Epstein-Ghislaine Maxwell documents were unsealed. There (is) some new stuff, some old stuff, but frankly, most of the creepy allegations that you already knew were further corroborated. We have witness statements. We have emails allegedly sent between Epstein and Maxwell, where the former coaches her in how to deny the allegations lobbed against him. Maxwell, as noted in other reports, appears to be a key player in this alleged child trafficking scheme. She’s the one who allegedly orders these underage girls to give erotic massages. And yes, Bill Clinton is named in these documents as someone who was on Epstein’s island with Maxwell, and two young girls. Remember, these are merely allegations, but there’s a lot of smoke here. Enough to indict Epstein before his suicide, another event engulfed in controversy.

Alan Dershowitz, a renowned liberal attorney, is also named in these documents. I’ll let you read the allegations against him. What’s new is that it appears the Federal Bureau of Investigation were quite privy to the creepy allegations and activities that surrounded Mr. Epstein—and they did nothing about it. In 2014, they were in contact with an alleged victim and did nothing. One victim even contacted the FBI to see if they could turn over the items seized from Epstein’s property to assist in her civil case. One of the victims who came forward is featured in a picture with Prince Andrew and Maxwell. The FBI had their own file on this for years, even before the bureau interview the alleged victim in 2011. The plea deal is also included. It seems it went ahead before federal authorities had interviewed all of Epstein’s alleged victims.

One has to wonder how many other names will come out of this document dump before all is said and done.

But, even so:  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; none of the major players in this deal will face any serious consequences.  Equal treatment under the law is effectively a dead letter in this country and has been for some time.  Sure, these document dumps are embarrassing for some folks that thought this was going away after Epstein was suicided.

Embarrassing is as embarrassing does, though.  And if anyone thinks, say, Bill Clinton will face any legal repercussions from any of this, well, they’ve got another think coming.  He won’t – not when he’s 1) a former President and b) has the magical talisman of a “D” after his name.

Honestly, I’m skeptical even of the embarrassment factor where Clinton is concerned.  His history in public life seems to indicate an extremely limited capacity for embarrassment.

Rule Five Flaming Hypocrite Friday

Now we find out that loony Californey Governor Gavin Newsom was not only given a $3.7 million mansion, he also took out a tax-free $2.7 million mortgage payout on the property he was given.  And that’s not the end of the Governor’s disgusting hypocrisy.  Excerpt:

  • Gavin Newsom’s $3.7 million, 12,000 square foot mansion, on 8+ acres along the American River in Sacramento, was the area’s most expensive home sale in 2018
  • The gated estate consists of a 6 bedroom/10 bath home, a guest house, a pool, a tennis court, and a wine cave
  • An LLC registered to Newsom’s cousin, long-time business partner, and Co-President of PlumpJack, Jeremy Scherer, paid cash for the estate in December 2018
  • Newsom’s spox, though, claimed in Jan 2019 that it was Newsom who’d paid cash for the home – puzzling, since Newsom still carried a $3.2 million mortgage on his prior home
  • In Oct 2019 the LLC gifted the home to the Newsoms free and clear, claiming Newsom was a member of the LLC to avoid a $4,000 Transfer Tax
  • In January 2020 the Newsoms received $2.7 million tax-free when they obtained a cash-out refinance
  • Newsom’s financial disclosure forms don’t mention the LLC or the gifts, which far exceed the $500 limit
  • In 2003, Newsom was cited for failing to disclose $11 million in real estate and business loans

One thing that’s become extraordinarily clear to Californians in 2020 is that there’s one set of rules for Gov. Gavin Newsom, and there’s another set of rules for the rest of us. He preaches that we’re all in this together and that we have to sacrifice to “meet this moment,” yet he’s not missing a paycheck.

As California businesses struggle, he sends a $1 billion contract for masks to a Chinese company. When he shut down wineries throughout 80 percent of California, he kept his open.

While the dream of owning a home is increasingly out of reach for California’s families, it appears that Newsom received a $3.7 million estate from an LLC owned by his cousin then, a few months later took out a $2.695 million (tax-free) cash-out mortgage on it — and didn’t report the gift on any of his financial disclosure forms.

Yes, it’s clear that Gavin Newsom doesn’t live by the same rules the rest of us do. It’s good to be king.

What.

An.

Asshole.

In any sane universe, Newsom would be impeached, removed from office, and facing criminal charges.  But not now, not this Governor, not in California; he will certainly get away with this, and will probably be re-elected into the bargain, because in California, as we continually see confirmed, some animals are more equal than others, and “progressive” Democrat governors are obviously the most equal of them all.

The article linked here concludes:

If the $3.7 million used to purchase the home came from another source — donors, friends, or whomever — then Gavin and Jennifer Newsom were “gifted” the home, received $2,695,000 cash tax-free, and retain title to the home, that looks a lot like money laundering and/or concealing donations or improper gifts. Since it’s on record that he failed to report two “loans” Gordon Getty gave him, totaling $2.1 million, to purchase luxury real estate in the early 2000s, it’s not exactly against type for him to take money from benefactors then “mistakenly” omit that funding from financial disclosure records.

The more one examines all of the circumstances around Newsom’s Fair Oaks estate, the more questions arise. Gavin Newsom needs to provide real answers, not the kind he’s given in the past.

But we all know he won’t.  Nobody in the legacy media will ask any uncomfortable questions about this; nobody in the legacy media will write a single syllable about it.  Newsom has the one item of sure-fire armor against having any of these shenanigans investigated:

A “D” after his name.

Congratulations, California.  You’re getting the government you want, good and hard.

Animal’s Daily Urban Shithole News

From Colorado’s own Jon Caldera:  Denver seems determined to catch up to San Francisco in its urban shitholery.  Excerpt:

If you haven’t driven through downtown Denver lately, you’re fortunate. You haven’t seen the carnage, vandalism, litter, vomit and fecal waste next to human bodies passed-out on sidewalks.

Polis and Hancock have surrendered our capital city to a mob. Tent encampments housing a mixture of the homeless, the drug-addicted and antifa protestors seem to be spreading faster than COVID.

It is turning our once beautiful city to crap, literally. We are in a race to match San Francisco and Seattle in urban decay. It is beyond ugly. It is unhygienic, dangerous and horrifically sad.

And it is inexcusable. It’s as inexcusable as letting rioters deface and vandalize the State Capitol every night for a month and a half with complete immunity.

When asked by 630 KHOW talk show host Ross Kaminsky about the tent cities popping up around the Capitol and the governor’s mansion, Polis responded, “Denver needs to do a better job on the homeless…I’m not an urban issues expert. That’s what mayors are for and city councils are for. But I’ve seen other cities handle this more effectively. But of course, Denver needs to step up and do more.”

Here’s the onion:

But the piece of Civic Center Park which hosts the largest tent encampment isn’t actually Civic Center Park at all. It’s not city property. It’s state property, under the ultimate management and protection of the governor and his Democrat-controlled legislature.

Lincoln Park is a block long, rectangular strip of (formerly) green lush grass. It is bounded by Broadway and Lincoln streets on the east and west, and Colfax and 14th avenues on the north and south. It lays just west of the Capitol. And while it looks like part of Civic Center Park, it is part of the State Capitol complex. It’s the state government’s job to protect it.

Which of the two major political parties runs Colorado and the city of Denver now?

When it comes to this (and a bunch of other) issue, both Polis and Denver Mayor Hancock have been and remain pusillanimous putzheads.  Denver is becoming Frisco writ somewhat smaller.

I moved to Colorado in the late Eighties.  I’ve never been a fan of cities but in my first year or two here, I occasionally wandered downtown to see the sights.  In those days, Denver was a beautiful city.  The area around the Capitol was clean and well-maintained.   Business prospered in the downtown area.  Just to the north and east were some sketchy areas, but the area around the state Capitol and the 16th Street Mall were prosperous.

No longer.

In all candor, I think I’m pretty good and turning a phrase, but I’m at an utter loss to explain what’s happening in our nation’s cities.  A week from tomorrow, Mrs. Animal and I will be flying to Anchorage; I’ll return a report on that city, Alaska’s only major metro area, on our return, but from what I’ve read Anchorage has had no such issues.

Our major cities have been captured by lunatics.  I don’t see any easy way to reverse that trend.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

So, last weekend, this happened.  This is about five miles from where I sit right now.  At what point does this shit stop being “protest” and start being armed insurrection?

People have been killed.  Cops have been attacked.  Businesses have been burned, people have lost properties and homes.  That asshole Jerry Nadler is calling it a “myth,” talking as usual out of his ass, but most folks know better.

This coming weekend, I think I’ll get the shotgun back out of the workshop, stuff some 00 buck in it and keep it in the bedroom.  Just in case.  I’m afraid it’s time for live ammo.  I sure hope I don’t need that shotgun, but if I do, I’m sure as hell going to have it close at hand.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest:

On To the Links!

Newsweek?  Really?  Admitting that we had a good treatment for the Kung Flu all along?  They’re going against The Narrative!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

I suspect Colorado’s leftists underestimate Lauren Boebert at their peril.  This year’s Colorado CD3 race will be very interesting indeed.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, round 2.

File this under “Who gives a shit?”

No masks in Sweden.  Here’s why.

I’m not even religious, but boy howdy am I on this guy’s side.  I may not share his belief in God, but I sure as hell believe in the First Amendment.

More on that topic:  You’ve gotta love this guy.

Roger Simon on how the Left is setting themselves up to reap the whirlwind.

A good question, indeed.

Fuck.  You.

Kudos for the no-contact delivery!

This Week’s Idiots:

The Seattle City Council are (still) all idiots.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is an idiot.

The English Department at Rutgers is staffed with idiots.

Groper Joe’s energy policy advisors are all idiots.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is an idiot.

And So:

It’s not easy to watch your country being torn apart.

Remember all the rioting, looting and burning when Barack Obama was President?  All the right-wing militias that attacked cops, set fires, threw explosives and vandalized public property?

Me either.

And if you think it’s bad now, wait until President Trump is re-elected this fall.

Here’s some peaceful scenery from the Great Land to take all our minds off the bad news.

Deep thoughts, news of the day, totty and the Manly Arts.