Category Archives: Totty

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Rule Five 1980-2024 Friday

In what ways might the 2024 Presidential election resemble Ronald Reagan’s 1980 landslide defeat of the hapless Jimmy Carter?  The Messenger’s Douglas Schoen has some thoughts.  And, as usual, so do I.

In many ways, the upcoming presidential election may mirror the 1980 election, when Jimmy Carter suffered a landslide defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan.

What should alarm Democrats is that Carter, like President Biden now, was extremely unpopular, while Reagan, like Donald Trump, was considered almost unelectable. Similarly, inflation was a thorn in Carter’s side, much as it has dogged Biden since the first year of his term. Not for nothing, 2022’s inflationary surge hit the highest levels since … Jimmy Carter was in office.

On foreign policy, we were facing a number of challenges then, as we are now. In 1980, the U.S. was still dealing with the Iranian hostage crisis, not entirely dissimilar from the hostage crisis in Gaza and our issues in the Middle East.

There are some key differences in the GOP candidates.  While both are known political quantities – Reagan from eight years as Governor of California, Trump from his first term as President – they also have some key differences.  Reagan was rightly known and is rightly remembered for his sunny optimism; Trump is rightly known for his prickly temper, his capability of holding a grudge like a terrier with a death grip on a rat, and he never, ever forgets or fails to pay back a slight.

In the 1980 election, incumbent Jimmy Carter had proven unable to either get the hostages out or overcome the perception of overarching weakness on foreign policy. And indeed, it is that same perceived weakness on foreign policy that could ultimately make the difference in 2024 for Joe Biden.

Biden’s approval ratings began to decline after the precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, a move that Biden and most Democrats thought would be popular, but in fact became enormously unpopular as scenes of the Taliban’s romp through the country as the Afghani military, which the U.S. had supposedly built into a true force, melted away, causing Biden’s numbers to sink, a trend which continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter.

In that same vein, it is becoming nearly impossible to argue that the world has been safer, or less chaotic, under Biden than under Trump.

That’s the key.  In both domestic and foreign affairs, the administration of the ever-more-befuddled Joe Biden has been an utter failure, and that may well be what decides the 2024 election.  In both domestic and foreign affairs, the affable but easily-railroaded James Earl Carter was also an utter failure; his fate was sealed from the moment that Reagan laid into him with the “There you go again” remark in debate.

But the country is far more partisan, and far more deeply divided than it was in 1980.  I should know – I was there – and I worked in the summer and fall of 1980 as a (very low-level) campaign volunteer for the Reagan apparatus in eastern Iowa.  Crossover voters were common in 1980; the Old Man, who always described himself as a Truman Democrat, voted for Reagan in 1980 and again in 1984.  Why?  Because in 1980, things weren’t going well, and in 1984, because they were.

Things today are bad.  But the wild card, of course, will be the national Democrats.  Will they let Joe Biden run again?  It’s tempting to say “No way.”  He just can’t.  Granted they won 2020 on a “basement campaign,” but there is no COVID panic to provide cover for Joe Biden now, and he has deteriorated rather dramatically since 2020.

If Joe Biden is their candidate, they’re fucked.  If not… We’ll have to see.

Rule Five Eight Predictions Friday

Earlier this week, over at The Messenger, Joe Concha made a few predictions about 2024.  As should surprise none of you, I have some thoughts.  So, without further ado:

Prediction: Donald Trump comfortably wins an ugly presidential election to become the nation’s 47th president 

Yes, he’s facing 91 felony counts. Yes, Democrats in blue states are attempting to keep him off the ballot. And, yes, this is Trump we’re talking about, who is as undisciplined as any candidate in history. But the country is in such bad shape under President Joe Biden and Biden’s numbers are so low that it’s almost impossible to see voters in the states that matter — including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — helping to reelect him. 

This is a tad premature; not one primary vote has yet been cast.  Still, look at the RealClearPolitics polling averages, and it looks like the odds at present are heavily favoring Trump; and boy howdy, will there ever be an epic meltdown if this happens.

Prediction: Trump chooses Nikki Haley as his running mate

Hard-core Trumpers won’t like it, but they aren’t going anywhere in terms of support regardless of their distaste for Haley, whom they see as a warmonger and corporate-owned.

No.  Just no.  I doubt Haley would accept the job in any case.  But, bear in mind, all the usual expectations are out the window; we are literally in uncharted waters for the 2024 election.

Prediction: Republicans take back the Senate

Even Republicans can’t screw this up, but they certainly will try their best. 

The odds are in their favor, yes, especially with “progressive” Democrats slamming that Overton Window for their party to the far left as fast as they can go.  But there is no organization better at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than the Republican Party – see 2022.

Prediction: Mike Johnson ousted as House Speaker 

Republicans such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) are under some kind of delusion that the GOP has complete leverage in Congress and do not have to negotiate with Democrats on matters like spending bills. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did just that because the numbers were not there, thanks to his fractured party, and got ousted for his efforts. 

I really have no idea on this one.  Mr. Concha makes a good argument.  All I can say is “we’ll see.”

Prediction: The Russia-Ukraine war drags on into 2025 

It’s a lather-rinse-repeat cycle at this point. Russia can’t advance outside of the Eastern front, while Ukraine can’t push out the Kremlin’s forces. The United States keeps throwing billions into the war, while Putin keeps throwing bodies to the front lines with not a care about casualties that are reportedly close to 300,000 on the Russian side. Neither side will negotiate. 

Yeah.  Hell yeah.  On all counts.  Probably will drag on into 2026, 2027, and maybe longer.  And it won’t end well for either party.

Prediction: Warner Brothers and Paramount Global will merge. 

This combo will not only bring together streaming behemoths like Max and Paramount+ but will also put third-place CBS News and third-place CNN under the same umbrella.

I’m not sure where this prediction is coming from, but for me, it’s all I can do to muster a “meh.”

Prediction: The Dallas Cowboys will not win the Super Bowl 

C’mon, folks, I needed an easy one to add here. “America’s Team” hasn’t won a championship in nearly 30 years…

I’m going to stop you right there.  I know nothing about sportsball so am utterly unqualified to essay an opinion here, and honestly, it rates really low on my Give-A-Shit-O-Meter.

Prediction: Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce get engaged 

Yes, Taylor has been in multiple high-profile relationships that went bust.

The correct answer here is, “Who gives a shit?”

I’m generally not sanguine about this sort of thing. Predictions are notoriously hard to make, especially about the future.  But as for the ones I care anything about – really only the top 3 – I can only say, “We’ll see.”  As for predictions of my own, I’ll offer one: The 2024 POTUS election will be an utter shit-show, and no matter the results, it will be argued over for the next four years.

Rule Five Goodbye 2023 Friday

Folks, it’s been a hell of a year.

2023 came in with a bang and is leaving us with several. I started the year as a guy with a consulting business, an independent self-employed guy who had been in the industry for over thirty years and working as a consultant for over half that time.  But for reasons unknown, the bottom dropped out of that, not only for me but for everyone I know in the industry; and after thirty years, I know a hell of a lot of people in the industry.  Mind you I haven’t surrendered the idea of digging into my consulting career again, but… well, it’s been a while, and things are still looking really slow in that line.

Sometimes, though, when one door closes, another opens.  After twenty years of blogging for free, writing about whatever amused me at any given moment, last summer I had an offer to go pro.  So I did, and it’s been fun.  And on that, stay tuned, because there may be more news along those lines soon.

As for all of us here at Animal Magnetism:

First, let me just say thanks to all of you for sticking with me, for my ranting and roaring, my occasional flashes of insight, and for my oddball way of looking at the world – although I suspect a lot of you drop by mostly for the pretty girls, and that’s good, too.

(A few years back a reader asked me what my wife thought of my totty posts.  I honestly replied, “Hell, she helps me pick ’em out.”)

For 2024, given all that’s going on, there will be some changes here.  I’m not changing the layout of the site; I’ve been using this WordPress theme and this layout for about ten years now (boy, do I ever get stuck in my ways) and I like it.  The Rule Five Friday and Saturday Gingermageddon/totty posts will continue as before, as will the Blue Monday pieces.

Later in the week, though, I’m changing up a few things.  While I’m keeping the Wednesday links posts, when I’ve looked at them the last few weeks, they’ve been… well, huge.  So instead of combining my RedState links with the Hump Day links compendiums, I’ll be breaking them up.  We will keep the Wednesday/Hump Day as the usual links posts it has been for a long time now, but instead of a random news post on Thursday, I’ll move my RedState links to that day, every week.  So things most weeks will look like this:

Monday: “Goodbye, Blue Monday,” news and totty.

Tuesday:  News post, whatever hits me as worth discussion, with usually a link to my Monday Glibertarians fiction piece that’s in play that week.

Wednesday:  Hump Day posts as before:  The usual totty and my big weekly links compendium, opening with comments, weekly idiots, and cultural edification.

Thursday:  RedState links, and maybe a few other comments, and so on.

Friday:  Rule Five Friday, exactly as we’ve had it; usually a little more involved discussion about news/thoughts/things that piss me off.

Saturday:  The Gingermageddon, of course, with the occasional celebration of diversity with blondes, brunettes, or whatever.

But wait!  There’s more!

Starting in January, you’ll occasionally not only be reading my stuff but also occasionally have the chance to see my battered old mug and hear me talk, as I’m going to be starting a Rumble channel, Animal Magnetism Live.  To begin with, I’ll have some short (5-10 minute) blurbs with some commentary, but if things go well, I’ll be posting videos of some Alaska outdoor adventures, maybe some interviews, and fun stuff like that.

So stick around!  My second, late-life career as a journalist is taking off, but trust me, Animal Magnetism isn’t going anywhere.  I intend to keep this going until I just can’t anymore.  And I reckon I have a good thirty years left in me to continue doing what I’ve been doing, that being precisely what pleases me.

As Robert Frost wrote:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Boy howdy, hasn’t it just.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I can’t believe this is already the last Hump Day post of 2023!  Watch, though, for Friday’s Rule Five post, as we will be announcing some changes and some fun new stuff for the sight.  Rest assured our Blue Monday, Hump Day, Rule Five Friday and Saturday Gingermageddon displays of toothsome totty will continue, as well as me bringing you my take on the events of the day.

And so…

Continue reading Animal’s Hump Day News