All posts by Animal

Animal’s Daily Persistent Little Bastard News

Despite last Tuesday’s second-in-a-row “shellacking,” as a certain former President might put it, the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont insists he isn’t giving up, even in the face of long odds.  Excerpt:

Sanders fell short of his primary performances against Hillary Clinton in 2016, when he pulled off an upset in Michigan and lost by a whisker in Missouri. On Tuesday he lost handily in both those states, places where he hoped to demonstrate his strength among Midwestern voters. Sanders only pulled off a win in North Dakota, a small state with few delegates. In Washington state, Biden and Sanders were in a virtual tie with more than two-thirds of the votes counted.

“Last night obviously was not a good night for our campaign,” Sanders told reporters in his hometown of Burlington on Wednesday. He insisted he was staying in the race and would draw a sharp distinction with Biden in a televised debate scheduled for Sunday in Arizona.

Sanders said he was winning “the ideological debate” on issues such as universal healthcare that are popular with many Americans, as well as the “generational debate” with his appeal to younger voters. Yet he acknowledged many Democrats were still choosing Biden because they believe the former vice president is the best candidate to defeat Trump.

“Needless to say, I strongly disagree with that assertion,” Sanders said. “But that is what millions of Democrats and independents today believe.”

Bernie, Bernie – you aren’t winning any ideological debates.  If you were, you wouldn’t be getting your ass handed to you by the increasingly daffy, confused and befuddled Groper Joe.

The loony old Bolshevik is stubbornly staying in this thing, and you’ve got to give it to him for finally showing what my Dad would have called a “little bit of stick to it.”  It’s certainly something new; he’s never held a real job aside from a short stint as an apprentice carpenter, a trade he failed to learn.  He’s never introduced a major bill that became law.  His role in the Senate seems to waver somewhere between curiosity, gadfly and comic relief.

In fact, it’s pretty amazing that he’s come this far.

Honestly, though, he can’t go much farther.  I expect he’ll bow to the inevitable before the convention, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising if he buys another lakefront mansion dacha; that seems to be how this oddball old Socialist deals with electoral losses.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is probably already planning how to get Groper Joe to lose control during the first debate and lapse into a foaming-at-the-mouth, profane rant, as he just did at a citizen the other day.  I’d recommend stocking up on popcorn now, because it’s going to be really fun to watch.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Another week east of the Mississippi, which isn’t my preferred area of operations; but needs must when you have a mortgage to pay.  We were thinking of going to a massive gun show down towards Philadelphia this Saturday, but at the moment spending a day wandering a crowded venue with 3-4,000 random strangers just doesn’t seem like the greatest idea.  At least we can lose ourselves drinking from that fire hose of information that is The Intarwebz.  And so:

On To the Links!

Colorado’s own John Caldera:  The initiative process in Colorado could be a dual-edged sword.

Brain-eating songbirds.  Yes, really.

What happened to Lieawatha Warren?  Well, she was a terrible candidate:  Shrill, hectoring, and pushing horrible policies.

The more I read about Dan Crenshaw, the more I like him.

Welcome to Armageddon.  No, it has nothing to do with the Coronavirus.

This is why idiots think that billionaires can pay for everything.

I’m not saying it’s aliens…

What a stupid idea.

This Week’s Idiots:

MSNBC host Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay are both idiots.

Chuck Schumer is an arrogant prick, and an idiot.

Rachel Maddow is an idiot.

Jim Bakker:  Still an idiot after all these years.

Paul Krugman is an unprincipled hack, and an idiot.

The New York Times editorial board is populated by idiots.

And so…

We’re still adjusting to the dark mornings and increased light in the evenings.  I’m not a fan of the first part, although I rather like the last.  I like it well enough, in fact, to think it a good idea year-round; which begs the question, why the hell are we still doing the Daylight Savings bullshit?  Pick a time and stick with it, already!

But at least it’s a sign that summer is coming.

I love Japan.

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

Animal’s Daily COVID-19 News

Be sure to check out the latest in my Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

The markets have been messing themselves over the coronavirus.  Here’s an interesting take on the implications.  Excerpt:

My first session was with Michael Milken, the noted financier and philanthropist. Milken was cautious for the short term, but generally optimistic. Computer power for gene sequencing and AI models to predict infection spread, he said, are vastly more capable than during the SARS scare of 2002-2003 and the H1N1 epidemic of 2009-2010, when 700 million to 1.4 billion people became infected worldwide and upwards of 500,000 died. Technology can identify and solve problems much faster today.

Milken cited the U.S. polio epidemic of 1952 and the HIV/AIDS panic of the late 1980s as times when fear gripped the population. “People were afraid to be in the same room with someone infected with HIV.”

Fear, of course, is hard to break. The polio fear persisted a few years after the Salk vaccine. Milken said it was popular figures like Elvis Presley, photographed during his Army vaccine, that broke the spell. What lifted the clouds for AIDS were new drug cocktails that eliminated the death sentence, along with thriving patients such as basketball star Magic Johnson.

Capitalism, reasonably regulated, Milken reminded us, has remarkable recuperative powers. The COVID-19 crisis has created the lowest mortgage rates in U.S. history. Oil and gas are priced almost at the lows of early 2009 [update: and now significantly lower.]  “The cost of living is going down. Purchasing power is going up.” Milken said, which will lead to a faster recovery of any recession caused by COVID-19.

There’s an old saying:  “Today’s problems are solved with tomorrow’s technology.”  While it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future, it’s likely that the coronavirus outbreak will be over sooner and with less loss of life than earlier, similar outbreaks.  Why?

Because of technology.  Technology developed in free-market conditions, technology that made a profit for its developers and oh, by the way, improved quality of life for millions into the process.

Yesterday the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont was trumpeting that, should he be President, any coronavirus vaccine would be “free.”  Let’s set aside the ridiculous notion that anything can be “free” – TANSTAAFL applies – and imagine how swiftly private companies would develop a revolutionary new vaccine with only the promise that a socialist government would demand that said vaccine be handed over at cost to Imperial practitioners, to be administered with no direct cost save the massive tax increases The Bern has promised.

Left to themselves, markets usually get things right on their own – that includes meeting needs through innovation.  A vaccine for the COVID-19 would be no exception.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

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

Meanwhile, daffy old Groper Joe Biden continues to be increasingly befuddled.  Honestly, it’s getting embarrassing.  Excerpt:

Many people have questioned Joe Biden’s mental fitness as he campaigns for the highest political office in the country. In the past few weeks alone, the candidate declared repeatedly that he was running for the U.S. Senate, confused which state he was in, said there were 150 million gun deaths in America since 2007, called Super Tuesday “Super Thursday,” and announced that he would have the ability as president to appoint the first African American woman to the United States Senate. 

Of course, as president, Biden will not have the ability to appoint senators. And even if Biden did have that ability, he would not be able to appoint the first African American woman to the U.S. Senate since Carol Moseley Braun was elected in 1993.

Biden’s team should prevent the candidate from going anywhere near a microphone, or a small child for that matter.

But this is the sad part:

“… We cannot get re-elect, we cannot win this re-election, excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” Biden said to his bewildered supporters. The candidate himself seemed caught off guard by his inability to keep his train of thought.

At the same event, Biden referred to himself as an “Obiden Bama Democrat.”

At what point does the DNC pull the plug?  At what point does old Joe’s family take him aside and tell him what is becoming increasingly obvious to anyone not co-hosting The View, namely that Joe Biden is no longer mentally fit for the campaign, much less elected office?

My siblings and I were extremely fortunate as our parents aged, as neither Mom nor Dad ever lost any mental acuity beyond the normal slight impairment of short-term memory common among the extreme (over 90) elderly.  But I had two aunts who slid into Alzheimer’s and eventually died of the complications of that horrible malady.  Both of them were dear people who the family loved, and I remember very well the beginning stages of that descent into dementia.

And this is what it looked like.

Honestly, this shouldn’t be a political calculation.  This is an issue of simple decency.  Joe Biden isn’t fit for this campaign and he sure as hell isn’t fit to sit in the Imperial Mansion.  It’s well past time for someone with some sense (and, yes, some compassion) to intervene.

Rule Five Reboot Friday

Could we reboot Illinois?  RealClearPolitics’ Richard Porter thinks so.  Excerpt:

We need to reboot Illinois so that families and businesses that love this area and want to stay aren’t punished for doing so. Illinois can be restructured using a variation on the legal technique the federal government employed in its reorganization of GM — call it the “old state, new state” Illinois reorganization plan.

Recall some founding principles: 

1. The U.S. Constitution, our supreme law, provides that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government.” 

2. A republican form of government is, as Abraham Lincoln stated at Gettysburg, “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” When paying creditors becomes the government’s primary function, that’s government for creditors, not the people.  

3. In a republic, people, not their government, are sovereign; all people are created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence states, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” 

4. Illinois was granted statehood in 1818 by residents living here with the concurrence of Congress.  The Constitution empowers Congress to admit new states to the union, and provides that new states may be formed out of existing states with the concurrence of the state’s legislature and Congress. 

5. The “state” of Illinois was created by residents and Congress, not God or science. Before 1818, it didn’t exist — and if it no longer works for the people living here today, we can replace it with the concurrence of Congress. 

6. Congress has the power to annul or impair contracts to which state governments are party. Bankruptcy courts impair contracts, and, just a few years ago, Congress passed legislation setting up a process for impairing Puerto Rico’s contracts to resolve its financial failure. Congress has the power to wind down the existing government of Illinois and to establish a process for adjusting or impairing the state’s contracts. 

What does this mean?  We can reboot Illinois.

It’s an interesting idea, and a possibility that shouldn’t be limited to Illinois, but should be considered in other states that are suffering from overwhelming debts and irresponsible state governments (California, anyone?)

Now, this is (like many good ideas) a long shot.  Either this would take an unprecedented action by Congress to essentially declare Illinois a state in rebellion against the republic’s founding principles – or the pols in the Illinois state government would have to vote themselves out of power.  Neither is likely, frankly, and to be fair, if that first happened, where would it stop?  One can easily see an eventual leftist-controlled Congress taking the same action against, say, Wyoming, for refusing to enact an Imperial gun-confiscation law.

But if one could reform a state like Illinois, I can think of a couple of things that might help steer the rogue state onto a more stable fiscal path:

  1. Abolish and outlaw public sector unions.
  2. No defined-benefit pensions for state employees; they get 401k plans like their private-sector counterparts.
  3. Place a balanced-budget requirement in the new state constitution.
  4. Strict term limits for state politicians, with no pension or benefits after leaving office.

There’s a lot more that could be done, but this would be a start.

Nothing of the like, of course, will happen.  At least, not until Illinois suffers its inevitable Stein’s Law collapse, after which, hopefully, the Illinois voters will finally, hopefully, take the keys away from the lunatics that are running that asylum.

Still, this is an interesting proposition.  It’s become painfully obvious that states like Illinois and California won’t fix their fiscal problems themselves.  Maybe a declaration of insolvency by the Imperial government should be the cudgel wielded to fix things?

Animal’s Daily Daffy Joe News

Daffy old Groper Joe Biden came out of Super Tuesday in pretty good shape; the Dem’s field is now down to him, the loony old Bolshevik from Vermont, Fauxcohantas Warren and Tulsi Gabbard, who is looking remarkably like the only grownup in the room despite being the youngest candidate in the race by a wide margin.

But a Biden nomination could be setting the stage for another 2016.  Excerpt:

Will Trump voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and elsewhere feel that the President has delivered what the candidate promised in 2016? The country is prosperous, and that might be enough. But Trump’s appeal four years ago was rooted in the idea that America was no longer as great as she should be, and Trump was the man to return us to greatness.

Trump was an insurgent on the offensive; playing defense this year may be a very different game, especially if he can’t draw the sharp distinctions between the political insiders and outsiders that he drew when he ran against the Republican establishment and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Complicating Trump’s effort will be his own campaign, which promises to be more professional and less imaginative than the ramshackle yet successful campaign he ran four years ago. Republican campaign pros who gave Trump a wide berth even after he won the nomination in 2016 are eager to work for him now — these are specialists in how to lose elections, and even a losing campaign for an incumbent president looks great on a résumé. You can charge top-dollar for that. The fleas and ticks that found Trump’s populist blood poisonous in 2016 have developed a taste for him since he turned out to be a winner.

There are, of course, a few things that this article don’t mention:

  1. Joe Biden’s Ukraine shenanigans will certainly come to light now that he’s the presumptive Dem nominee.  There’s just no way what Hunter Biden did was legitimate, and there’s just no way Joe didn’t know about it.  He laundered Ukrainian bribe money through his son, and those chickens will be coming home to roost.  Bawk bawk.
  2. The Non compos mentis factor will play in.  Joe Biden is increasingly bemused, confused and befuddled.  It’s becoming embarrassing; Joe is mixing up places, dates and people with alarming regularity.  His time for political office was twenty years ago.  Now?  His ducks are clearly not all in a row.  Quack quack.
  3. In 2016, Her Imperial Majesty faced a Donald Trump who had no record to run on, a skimpy campaign fund, and hesitant support from large numbers of Republicans.  Now he has a huge campaign war chest, four years of impressive economic success, and pretty much universal support from the GOP.  He’s no longer the black sheep of the 2016 primary season; he’s the President.  Baa baa.
  4. Bernie may well stay in the race as an independent, which is after all what he actually is, and be a huge spoiler.  Even if he doesn’t, plenty of his supporters may hesitate to vote for the supposedly-moderate Biden; although Bernie as a third-party dark horse will appeal to the loony Left who want to say “neigh” to the establishment.

No matter what happens in the remaining primaries, the Dem nominee will have a big damn hill to climb.  It’s not impossible; November is still a long way off.  But I’d say it’s pretty damned unlikely, given the likely candidate.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Sunday saw us flying on the Friendly Skies back to our temporary lodgings in New Jersey, where we still will maintain this second household until the end of May.  And yes, it still sucks here, despite some really great Italian restaurants in the area.  But, I still have a mortgage to pay, so we soldier on.

With that said, it’s…

On To the Links!

The “gun show loophole” is bullshit.  Tell us something we didn’t already know.

The U.S. has signed a preliminary peace deal with the Taliban.  I’m wondering how well this will work, but upside, we get a lot of our folks out of a third world shithole that we’ll never, ever be able to reform.  And, to be fair, you don’t make peace deals with your friends, you make them with your enemies.

Turns out that on Castro, as on so many other topics, the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont is full of shit.  Health care, too.

On the Coronavirus:  Don’t panic.  Don’t buy into wacko conspiracy theories.  Seriously, folks, exercise a little common sense and everything will be fine.  Wash your hands.  Avoid traveling to Wuhan.  That sort of thing.

Protein found in a meteorite!  This is a first.  What does it mean?  Who knows?  That’s part of what makes it interesting.

No.  It’s just lousy beer.  Seriously, this is what we call “sex in a canoe.”

Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is getting deposed on her email shenanigans.

This Week’s Idiots:

Pete Davidson is an idiot.

Joe Biden is an idiot, and possibly senile.

Lieawatha Warren is an idiot.

And now…

I’m drawing a bit of a blank on witty commentary this morning, so here’s a bit of totty from the archives instead:

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

Animal’s Daily Fauxcohantas News

Princess Lieawatha is doubling down on her dumpster fire of a campaign, leading our good friend Robert Stacy McCain to weigh in on the whole thing.  Excerpt:

My only question is, what can I do to encourage Warren and her advisers to double-down on this far-fetched scenario? This is every Trump supporter’s wet dream, and please forgive me for using the phrase “wet dream” in a post about Elizabeth Warren. Anything that prevents the Democratic primary campaign from becoming a head-to-head contest between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders is good, in terms of helping re-elect Trump. Mike Bloomberg wasting millions of dollars to run a three-minute nationwide commercial on Sunday night? Perfect.

If Bloomberg’s campaign has any positive impact, it will be to help convince us that billionaire oligarchs like him should not exist. It’s bad enough that an oligarch can buy up airtime; to do so in order to exploit a pandemic for your presidential campaign is disgraceful.

What percentage of the Super Tuesday vote will Bloomberg get? Hopefully, enough to prevent Biden from winning several states, and thus moving Democrats closer to the brokered-convention scenario that the Warren campaign is fantasizing about. Of course, a comeback victory for Biden can’t be ruled out, but nobody on the Republican side should worry about that, either, as it has become apparent that Biden is completely senile. The best-case scenario, in terms of Trump’s re-election, is for Sanders to get this close (holding thumb and forefinger half-an-inch apart) to the nomination, only to be cheated out of it by a backroom deal at the convention. Whatever happens to the Democrats, however, the most likely scenario in November is that Trump wins:

About half an hour into his speech Saturday afternoon at the 48th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), President Trump spotted a familiar face in the crowd. “My friend over there — you are the greatest,” the president said, and urged the man to stand. “Look at him … Does everybody know Jeffrey? Jeffrey Lord” (38:10).

The Dems that drop out of the race, as they inevitably fall one by one, are endorsing daffy old Groper Joe Biden as they do so, inasmuch as they’ve endorsed anyone; that helps Fauxcohantas excuse staying in the race, as she’s competing not with Groper Joe and his ever-increasing senile dementia, nor for Little Mike Bloomberg or any of the other supposed “moderates,” but instead with the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont.  They are two of a kind, and one wonders if Lieawatha is just staying in the race to try to clinch the Veep spot.

Today’s Super Tuesday, True Believers.  By evening we’ll have a pretty good idea how this whole thing is going to shape up.  And it’s going to be popcorn-worthy, no matter what happens. Hold on to your butts!

Goodbye, Blue Monday

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

I’ve talked about exoplanets here before.  It’s a topic I find fascinating for a variety of reasons, and now there’s some news on a large exoplanet about 124 light-years away that may have conditions conducive to life.  Excerpt:

The exoplanet K2-18b, 124 light-years away, is 2.6 times the radius and 8.6 times the mass of Earth, and orbits its star within the habitable zone, where temperatures could allow liquid water to exist. The planet was the subject of significant media coverage in the autumn of 2019, as two different teams reported detection of water vapour in its hydrogen-rich atmosphere. However, the extent of the atmosphere and the conditions of the interior underneath remained unknown.

“Water vapour has been detected in the atmospheres of a number of exoplanets but, even if the planet is in the habitable zone, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are habitable conditions on the surface,” said Dr Nikku Madhusudhan from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, who led the new research. “To establish the prospects for habitability, it is important to obtain a unified understanding of the interior and atmospheric conditions on the planet – in particular, whether liquid water can exist beneath the atmosphere.”

It’s certainly not going to happen in my lifetime – probably not in my grandchildren’s lifetimes – but damn, I’d love to go see for myself.

I expect, though, that I may well live to see life discovered somewhere other than Earth.  It may be microbial life in the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan, or some kind of complex life in the subsurface oceans of Europa.  There is still some possibility of remnants of microbial life on Mars.  Or, we may detect the spectral lines of chlorophyll or other life-specific chemistry in the light passing through an exoplanet’s atmosphere.

Probably no Marian princesses, though.

And there’s always the possibility that we may detect some alien radio signal or other sign of an alien intelligence, although that’s the longest of long shots.

Still.  NASA estimates that there are between 100 and 400 million stars in our galaxy alone.  While a significant number of those are likely places in areas, like the center of the galaxy, where star-density and radiation make life as we know it impossible, millions more are not – and some of those are certainly “Goldilocks” planets like Earth, where the conditions for life as we know it are good.

And our discovery of such life, whether it be microbes or space-faring aliens, will change the way we think about life and the universe.

We certainly do live in interesting times.