Rule Five Three-Time Loser Friday

A long-time adviser to Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, said earlier this week that Her Imperial Highness will run for President again in 2020 – and that she’ll lose again.  Figures.  Excerpt:

Mark Penn, a top Democratic pollster and senior adviser to the Clintons and Andrew Stein, a Democrat who endorsed Trump in 2016, detailed why they think Lady Macbeth is ready for another go at the White House (via WSJ):  (Note:  The WSJ piece is paywalled.)

Expect Hillary 4.0 to come out swinging. She has decisively to win those Iowa caucus-goers who have never warmed up to her. They will see her now as strong, partisan, left-leaning and all-Democrat—the one with the guts, experience and steely-eyed determination to defeat Mr. Trump. She has had two years to go over what she did wrong and how to take him on again.

Richard Nixon came back from his loss to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and won the presidency in 1968. He will be the model for winning again. Mrs. Clinton won’t travel the country in a van with Huma Abedin this time, doing small events and retail politics. Instead she will enter through the front door, mobilizing the army of professional women behind her, leveraging her social networks, and raking in donations. She will hope to emerge as an unstoppable force to undo Mr. Trump, running on the #MeToo movement, universal health care and gun control. Proud and independent, this time she will sideline Bill and Mr. Obama, limiting their role to fundraising.

The generation of Democrats who have been waiting to take over the party from the Clintons will be fuming that she is back and stealing their show. But they revealed themselves to be bungling amateurs in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight, with their laughable Spartacus moments. She will trounce them. Just as Mr. Trump cleared the field, Mrs. Clinton will take down rising Democratic stars like bowling pins. Mike Bloomberg will support her rather than run, and Joe Biden will never be able to take her on.

Don’t pay much attention to the “I won’t run” declarations. Mrs. Clinton knows both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Obama declared they weren’t running, until they ran. She may even skip Iowa and enter the race later, but rest assured that, one way or another, Hillary 4.0 is on the way.

President Trump is no doubt salivating at the very idea.

The Democrats, if they have a single brain cell among them, must already be figuring out who in their party is going to bell the cat and tell Her Imperial Majesty to shut up and go home.  All they need in the 2020 election is Her Royal Highness cackling, shambling, stumbling, hectoring, being carried up stairs and fainting through another election.  Her 2016 campaign was a weird, surreal combination of Weekend at Bernie’s, Sally from Mystery Men and The Devil Wears Prada.

Her Imperial Majesty never had the campaign skills her husband wielded so effortlessly.  While it would be roundly amusing to see her bumble another Presidential run, the Democrats won’t allow it.  Their bench is pretty thin for 2020, but let’s be honest; of a list of bad candidates, she’s the worst.

It’s way past time the Dowager Empress retired.

Animal’s Daily Single-Payer News

Hello, Nurse!

National treasure John Stossel has weighed in on the single-payer health care issue, and as always, it’s worth the read.  Excerpt:

America needs single-payer health care, say progressives. That’s a system where government pays doctors and hospitals, and no sick person has to worry about having enough money to pay for care. After all, they say, “Health care is a “right!”

“Who pays for it?” asks Chris Pope, “And that’s really not a rights question.”

Pope studies health care systems for the Manhattan Institute. In my newest video, Pope explains that although many Americans think that Canada and most of Europe have single-payer systems, that’s not really true.

“In Germany, employers provide most of the health care … just as they do in the United States,” he says. France and Switzerland also offer multiple options, public and private, and most people buy private health insurance. Some of the Swiss government subsidies are similar to those of Obamacare.

But Canada, England, Norway, Cuba and a few other countries do have genuine single-payer. I’m constantly told that it works well — people get good care and never have to worry about a bill. They spend less on health care and live longer.

Pope says that claim is naive.

Yes, the claim is naive, yes, Pope and Stossel debunk it; but what isn’t mentioned here is the moral issue.  Namely – how is another person’s health care my responsibility?  Stossel discusses a few ways to improve the funding of health care, and let’s be clear about one thing, the issue with health care in the United States today isn’t how we deliver care, it’s how we pay for care.

But what he doesn’t discuss is why the government should pay for health care.  Something can’t be a “right” if your exercising of that “right” requires that the government, through the use of force, to confiscate a portion of your wealth/property to pay for it.  (And yes, the use of force; try not paying your taxes and see how long it takes them to send men with guns out looking for you.)

In other words, your exercising of a “right” that you can’t afford on your own requires me to labor on your behalf.  I have no choice in this equation; for that portion of the year I am simply required to labor on your behalf, with no recompense for me.

There’s a word for that.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Thanks to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the link!

In our ever-increasingly technological age, want to know what’s coming next?  Smart toilets.  Yes, really.  Excerpt:

AI that screens out spam and recognizes your mom’s face is so 2017. Get ready for smart toilets that’ll scan your poop using artificial intelligence to save you a trip to the doctor.

That’s what Sanjay Mehrotra, chief executive of memory chipmaker Micron Technology, expects as AI spreads to yet another corner of our lives.

“Medicine is going toward precision medicine and precision health,” Mehrotra said at the Techonomy 2018 conference in Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coastline south of San Francisco. “Imagine smart toilets in the future that will be analyzing human waste in real time every day. You don’t need to be going to visit a physician every six months. If any sign of disease starts showing up, you’ll be able to catch it much faster because of urine analysis and stool analysis.”

OK, I have a question:  How long do you suppose it will be before some statist fuckwit gets the bright idea to propose that all smart-toilets be networked into a monitoring system?  Say you don’t eat enough fiber one week, or the potty informs Nanny that you binged on an entire gallon of ice cream last Friday night.  What then?  Will the health police start monitoring your output, the better to control your intake?

Well, that’s probably pretty unlikely.  But this really seems like a solution in search of a problem.  Instead of messing with smart toilets, how about just lifting the damn one-gallon flush regulation so we can get a loo that will actually flush with some force?  Back in the day we had toilets that would flush a cinder block.  Those damn things flushed with some force.

Ah, those were the days.

Animal’s Daily Fallen Legends News

Sad news today, as we wish a fond farewell to comics maven Stan Lee.  It’s not often you can say of a man that he literally created a whole world, but Stan Lee and Marvel Comics certainly did that.  Excerpt:

In the late ’50s, DC started reimagining its heroes — kicking off what comics historians call the “Silver Age” of the business — but those figures were still, largely, otherworldly and two-dimensional, living in made-up places such as Metropolis and Gotham City.

In the early ’60s, Lee was asked to come up with a team of superheroes to compete against DC’s Justice League. With the notable help of artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he helped instigate a revolution, though Lee didn’t see it that way at the time.

“If my publisher hadn’t said ‘let’s do superhero stories,’ I’d probably still be doing ‘A Kid Called Outlaw,’ ‘The Two-Gun Kid’ or ‘Millie the Model’ or whatever I was doing at the time,” he told CNN in 2013.

Marvel revitalized the comics business with a series of flawed, more human superheroes. Its figures lived in the real world — a few were based in New York City, with all its dirt and clamor — and struggled with everyday challenges, whether it was paying the rent or wondering about their purposes in life.

First came the Fantastic Four, a superhero team probably most famous for the grumpy, rock-skinned Thing. Following that success Lee and Marvel introduced such characters as Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men and Daredevil.

So long, Stan.

As a kid I spent many a happy hour poring over the adventures of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, Captain America and the Avengers.  And every month there was a bonus, as Stan the Man always penned his regular column, Stan’s Soapbox, printed in the back of each comic.  There Stan passed on Marvel news, anecdotes and pithy bits of his own brand of wisdom.  In fact, the term I often use to refer to you readers, “True Believers,” is cribbed from Stan’s Soapbox.

Later, with the advent of Marvel movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he became famous for the “Staneo,” appearing in every Marvel movie, even if just for a moment.

He was a piece of our youth, and he’ll be missed.  Excelsior, Mr. Lee!  Excelsior!

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links, and a warm welcome back to the blogosphere to our good friend Wombat-socho, who compiles those links over at The Other McCain.  Glad to see you back in action!

Here are a few odds and ends for this Monday morning.

“Democratic Socialist” darling of the Left Ocasio-Cortez bemoans the high cost of living in the Imperial City.  It’s important to note that some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. are those right around the Imperial City, which makes one wonder how the hell there is so much money to be made in government?  Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whatever her bleatings about “income equality,” will almost certainly follow the pattern by which Imperial representatives (of both parties, let’s be honest) leave government service inexplicably wealthier than they came into it.

Grandpa Clark, 1917

Our good friend Jillian Becker has a great piece on the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, and how that event formed the roots of Europe’s ongoing suicide.  Go have a read.  I greeted the anniversary of that Armistice with some reflection, as my paternal grandfather was a WW1 veteran.  Grandpa would be 124 were he alive today.

Armistice Day is now of course Veteran’s Day here in the U.S., where we honor not just WW1 veterans but all who have worn Uncle Sam’s colors.  And that’s a good thing to take notice of.  Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt., veterans ourselves, observed Veteran’s Day with a quiet day in our temporary New Jersey (ugh) digs.

Meanwhile, Florida continues to lead the charge into a banana republic electoral system, with Georgia hot on their heels.  Comedy, tragedy or farce?  There are elements of all three in this fiasco.  Now the various Republicans are shouting about election fraud, probably not without reason, but you know what?  These people pull this kind of shit because they keep getting away with it.  A few prosecutions and prison terms would greatly cut down on the shenanigans.  Want a likely candidate, pour encourager les autres?  Look at Broward County.

And on that note, we return you to your Monday, already in progress.

Rule Five (No) Crime Wave Friday

So far, at least, the legalization of recreational marijuana in our own Colorado hasn’t led to a crime wave.  Excerpt:

The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice Office of Research and Statistics released “Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado,” a report that analyzes data on marijuana-related topics including crime, impaired driving, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits, usage rates, effects on youth and more.

State lawmakers ordered the study in 2013 after Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, which legalized the retail sale and possession of recreational marijuana for adults older than 21.

Jack K. Reed, a statistical analyst with the Office of Research and Statistics, authored the study. He called the findings a “baseline” because legal marijuana is relatively new and so is the data.

“It is difficult to draw conclusions about the potential effects of marijuana legalization and commercialization on public safety, public health or youth outcomes, and this may always be the case due to the lack of historical data,” Reed wrote in the report.

All kinds of things could affect future data, he said.

“The decreasing social stigma regarding marijuana use could lead individuals to be more likely to report use on surveys and also to health workers in emergency departments and poison control centers, making marijuana use appear to increase when perhaps it has not,” Reed wrote.

Here’s another thing that could affect future data:  The drying up of the profit margin for gangs and illegal dealers could result in a decrease of the crime rate.  So far, that remains to be seen, and the high rate of taxation for rec-weed keeps some incentive for a black market:

Data suggests that law enforcement and prosecutors are aggressively pursuing cases against black-market activity. The quantity of cases filed for serious marijuana-related crimes has remained consistent with pre-legalization levels; however, organized crime cases have generally increased since 2008.

Felony marijuana court case filings (conspiracy, manufacturing, distribution, and possession with intent to sell) declined from 2008 to 2014 but increased from 2015 through 2017.

Like most things, legalizing pot has been a mixed bag, practically speaking.  DUIs haven’t been affected much:

• Colorado State Patrol DUI cases overall were down 15 percent from 2014 to 2017.

• The percentage of Colorado State Patrol citations with marijuana-only impairment has stayed steady, at around 7 percent. The percentage of Colorado State Patrol citations with any marijuana nexus rose from 12 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2016 and then dropped to 15 percent in 2017.

Read the whole article, by all means.

This post-mortem of marijuana legalization is interesting, but my argument for legalization is based not on practical matters but on liberty.  It’s not the government’s responsibility to keep you form making bad decisions; it’s also not the government’s responsibility to shield you from the consequences of those bad decisions.  In most ways marijuana is no better or worse than alcohol.  When used responsibly and in moderation, it’s not a problem; when abused, it is.

But citizens, not politicians, should be making those decisions.  In Colorado, we’ve moved in that direction, and so far, most of the dire predictions of banners haven’t materialized.  But then, in almost any matter of public policy, very few of those dire predictions ever do.

Animal’s Daily Californication News

It’s official – our own Colorado has gone blue.  Excerpt:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis handily defeated Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton in Tuesday’s race to succeed centrist Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited and considering a 2020 presidential run.

It was a dramatic moment for Colorado, dubbed a “hate state” nationwide when voters in 1992 approved a ban on municipal antidiscrimination laws to protect gay people. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional four years later.

And:

In a state where unaffiliated voters outnumber Democrats and Republicans, Colorado residents clearly opted for Democrats largely as a check on a Republican Party led by President Donald Trump, whose anti-immigrant rhetoric never played well in the state.

Resentment against Trump helped Democratic first-term candidate Jason Crow defeat longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.

Coffman pushed his self-described moderate stance on immigration and his occasional bucking of the GOP to try to persuade voters to keep him.

Democrats also took away the offices of attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer from Republicans.

Under Republican Wayne Williams, the secretary of state’s office won nationwide accolades for establishing one of the most secure and voter-friendly elections systems in the U.S.

Democrats also were poised to seize control of the state Senate, which the GOP holds by a one-vote margin.

I know Mike Coffman.  He was our State Representative before he was State Treasurer.  When I was a precinct guy in our old neighborhood, Mike actually visited us, sat on my couch and talked issues with me.  But he was soft on immigration in a year when that was a major issue for GOP voters, and that may well have cost him party enthusiasm enough to see him retired.  So now, Mrs. Animal and I are represented by a Democrat.

Times change.  But I’ve been in Colorado for thirty years, and while a few things have improved, in general the state is heading in a direction I don’t care for.  The Alaska plans may have to be ratcheted up a little bit.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Well, it looks like we’ll have to deal with Dems running the House, but the GOP has managed to pick up seats in the Senate.  While we will have to likely deal with Speaker Pelosi again (ugh) judicial appointments will proceed.  That’s not nothing.

At least now the silly season is over, and we can all rest and recover for a little while until the 2020 election cycle begins, when…

… What’s that?  It already started?  At midnight last night?

Fuck.

Well, at least we’ll have horse’s asses like Ezra Klein to entertain us:


“House popular vote?”  What the hell is this idiot blathering on about?

There is, apparently, some RHEEEEing on the political left about some of our institutions, specifically the Senate and the Electoral College, being “undemocratic.”  Well, yes; that’s by design.  The United States is not a democracy, it’s a Constitutional Republic.  The Constitution was written to include safeguards against direct democracy, which the Founders (correctly) saw as little more than mob rule.

The Senate and the Electoral College are, of course, two of those safeguards.  Were it not for those, the nation would be run by New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the rest of the country would be hosed.

But the “House popular vote?”  That’s a new level of stupidity.  What does Klein propose?  Handing over control of the House to whatever party gains the most votes nationwide?  Why not?  To hell with Congressional districts.

Hell, we may as well just have a Parliament.  Why not just appoint a king while we’re at it?

What a jackass.

Animal’s Daily Hunters For The Hungry News

I reckon most of today’s news coverage, commentary and bloggery will concern the election.  Since all you True Believers will face an embarrassment of riches on election news, I figure I’ll bring you something different; namely, Georgia deer hunters feeding hungry folks.  Excerpt:

One in seven Georgians struggles with hunger, according to Feeding America. More than 500,000 of them are children.

Food banks supply Georgia’s 1.6 million hungry residents with canned goods, dried grains and other pantry staples, but they rarely offer high-protein options, like meat.

Georgia Hunters for the Hungry aims to bridge that gap.

Venison is an ideal option to nourish the food insecure, because it’s high in protein and low in fat, Stowe said.

“We have the food banks calling us wanting more, wanting more every year,” he said.

Stowe coordinates with about 20 meat processors throughout the state who accept donations on behalf of the organization. He’s spent years recruiting more hunters and meat processors to help to fill Georgia’s ever-growing need for protein.

Resources are limited, though.

The Georgia Wildlife Federation reimburses processors $1.50 for each pound of meat they butcher. Once the meat is ground up and packaged, it’s delivered to the Georgia Food Bank Association, which distributes the venison to communities across the state.

Incidentally, you can read about my 2018 deer hunt here (my family and I eating all of our venison, though.)

It’s important to note that hunters donating game meat to food banks and homeless shelters isn’t a new thing.  None other than Ted Nugent pioneered the practice and helped set up some of the first programs.

And, yes, this is precisely how charity should be done.  Voluntarily, locally, no Imperial interference, much more efficient, much closer to the people in need.  It would be manifestly A Good Thing if more charity programs were similarly designed and carried out.

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