Not throwing your political money away..

I’ve wondered w-ehat purpose political bomb throwers serve; by “bomb throwers” I mean MTG, Boebert, “Gym” Jordan, and on our side, “The Squad” (AOC, etc.), Bernie Sanders, etc.

They tend to come from “safe districts” (very unlikely to lose in the general), are very, very noisy, seek out cameras, but, ultimately, don’t do anything. Their legislative records are all but non-existent, at least in terms of bills signed into law (they may well “introduce” nonsense bills that never see the light of day).

Part of me thinks that all they are doing is taking up space that might otherwise be filled by a more competent politician.

BUT…there is this:

OMG, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

That would be throwing money way. Boebert represents a “solid Republican” district (per Cook Report and just about every reputable political ratings source)

Sorry to say but outside money supporting the Democrat is basically throwing away said money.

It would be FAR better to take that money and give it to a toss-up race.

I know it is far sexier to feel you are a part of “taking down” some camera hungry blowhard but ..not only is the likelihood low, there are far less sexy but important races where said money would make a real difference, like this one.

Overall the Republicans lead the Congressional generic ballot by about 2.5 points, which is bad news since the D’s typically underperform (Democratic districts tend to be super D, R’s not quite as much)

Game changers

Potentially massive shocks to the system here. One of course, is the pro-life ruling from the Supreme Court (I think the pro “can lead prayer in public schools” ruling might have lesser impact).

Then today’s Select Committee testimony was..OMG.

Bottom line: Trump knew the people marching to the Capitol were armed and he WANTED them to go anyway. I did not include the video where Hutchinson said that someone else told her that Trump lunged at the Secret Service driver and had to be restrained; she was reporting what was told to her. I’ll suspend judgement on that part.

Now about the claim it is just hearsay:

Well, these things are coming along BEFORE midterms and can the Democrats capitalize? Maybe..maybe not.

Shallow activism

If you are wondering: yes, there has quite a bit of social media traffic about the abortion ruling. But they TYPE of traffic depends on the type of person.

The “not usually political” type were mostly anger about men being trying to be too controlling:

There was the usual “STFU if you don’t have a uterus”,

“ban Viagra; your impotence was God’s Will too”, etc.

There was one anguished “I think Biden is a moron but I have to vote for him because R’s are so awful” video.

Side note: I LIKE Biden; anyone who thinks poorly of him should ask how he won a Senate seat at age 29 under his own steam. But this is the video:

Even a libertarian (gun loving), not even remotely liberal friend was steamed.

(Justice Jackson will replace Justice Breyer this summer)

The reactions were a bit different in my political circles.

Since the verdict, Democrats and liberals have mostly attacked each other and things have gotten tense. Common flash points: Hillary Clinton. Some feel we should have nominated someone better (or not as polarizing or someone better at campaigning) . Others are steamed that some didn’t make the distinction between her and Trump (“not my circus, not my monkeys”) and are now howling about the ruling.

People like me are angry about the purity tests that some on the left have, some are angry at moderates for not fighting harder (whatever that means).

What I honestly believe is that too much of our response is performative: go to a protest and say I AM MAD, I JUST HAAAAAATE YOU…..which does nothing at all.

Harsh reality: the conservatives have laid out a deep foundation starting at local levels and moving up..complete with a pipeline of judges.

This article is harsh medicine but I think accurate and well worth reading.

And performance it is…I had to scroll past and mute mentions of AOC who..of course, has the microphone but in reality hasn’t done squat.

She has sponsored 0 bills that have been signed into law, signed on to cosponsor 23, (with 100’s of others), and 17 of these were naming post offices, commemorative coins, medals, etc.

Check out her record.

I have little confidence that we’ll move forward as our side seems to need instant gratification ..the very idea of slowly advancing is just anathema to too many Democrats.

And, OF COURSE, the woke are going to woke. I talked about the ACLU’s stupid response. And you see this:

What about MEEEEEEE …just never ceases. And yes, many of my not-in-woke-circles have never heard of this, believe me, the Republicans will ensure that the voters in competitive races will hear of it.

From the right: I am seeing some spiking the ball.

Sure, this is the logically correct response but..in general people (myself included) are not that reasonable and if one wants to be good at politics, one has to take that into account.

The TL;DR summary: yes, people are angry and a united, competent political party could take advantage of it. But Democrats won’t; too many of the young ones want to cater to the tiny percentage of woke outliers and too many of the old ones don’t realize how right wing current Republicans have become.

The Long Game: revenge of the Turtle.

Yes, that is the name of his book, which I reviewed.

Yes, McConnell failed in his attempt to limit President Obama to one term. Utterly. But he is riding high now.

And why do I harp on this? Well, I think this observation is spot on:

And that is how The Turtle did it. He fought dirty. He had an alliance with someone he could not stand. And he got his judges.

And there is so much here..so much that seems unfair and is totally frustrating.

The reality is that the Electoral College and the Senate is wildly skewed to the low population states. We can’t change that without an amendment to the Constitution which requires clearing a very high hurdle:

So given that isn’t going to happen, we need to win more Congressional races, especially in the Senate. And given how the states are, that means electing more red state Democrats..more Ben Nelsons and Joe Manchins.

But what do you see: cries of “primary them!.”

We hear “the Democrats need to take off the gloves.” Well…in my opinion, we are “nice” because not being nice …”offends other Democrats.”

Hell, when we even attempt to speak on an issue, the woke language police is right there to attempt to police our statements.

And the ACLU’s messaging was a complete disaster.

Really???? We can’t even say “abortion is a women’s rights issue?”

Yes, some biological females who transition to male can and do get pregnant but good lord, not everything is about the sensibilities of a tiny percentage of the population.

And of course, there is the idea that conservatives are more regular voters than liberals; liberals are prone to sitting out if they don’t get what they want (e. g. student loan forgiveness, or whatever).

So, where to go from here?

Well, we’ll get the usual “I am leaving the country” (psst: other countries won’t take you unless you have something to offer them..and IMHO most who say this are total losers)

Pussy hat marches? Yeah, that’ll teach them.
Hash tags? Sure…they are trembling.

Pack the court? How? You need the votes. We don’t have them. And remember you are the one who won’t vote for a D unless they are a Bernie or AOC.

Eliminate the filibuster! How? We don’t have the votes. Senate is 50/50 and dependent on a D from a Trump +39 state.

Oh…”they have pissed off the wrong generation.” Sure.

Today’s liberals are mostly product of higher education. Screaming, writing manifestos, occupying the college chancellor’s office might get attention..on a college campus. Off campus is very, very different.

You are MAD? No one cares..people only care to the degree that you have something to either offer or withhold from them. And too many of the loudest voices have zilch that anyone else wants.

If there is any hope at all, take a look at this:

In 2021, it was women 52-43 pro choice, men 50-45 pro life.

2022: women are now 61-33 pro choice, men 48-47 pro choice.

It appears to matter more. Silver lining, or wishful thinking on my part?

And there is economic power. Some of us have money to spend, and maybe let corporations know that we’ll favor businesses in good states over those in regressive ones? I see no other card to play.

Jan 6 hearings

I’ve been watching some of the testimony of the hearings. You can find everything here.

Much of it is damming.

But this very person:

Bottom line: this might make Trump more unpopular with those in the mushy middle, and it might hurt Trump’s chances of winning the nomination again. But..it isn’t going to flip a hard core Republican.

Yes, I am worried about President Biden. I like him but he has clearly lost a couple of steps (though he had steps to lose to begin with). But..our political bench is so bare.

Oh..maybe you disagree, but I honestly think that we have a big problem:

Our candidates come from mostly elite universities where the social justice jargon is common (“Latinx”, “BIPOC”, “cis-gender”.. lots of different new pronouns ), all made up by academic “activists” or researchers.

It is one thing to use lingo in one’s academic work or at an academic; yes, I say things like “let X be a compact 3-manifold without boundary and let Y be a topological embedding of S^1” but I’d never speak that way in public.

People who want to be good at politics need to learn how to communicate with the public! They have to say stuff and have the public WANT to listen.

And our instincts are just terrible. For one: if we see a “community” that we consider marginalized, we’ll bend over backwards, often to the point of absurdity to placate them.

And too often, our candidates appear to run on issues that poll well, instead of running on, well, attitude.

Example: yes, raising the minimum wage polls well. And you ask: “Yeah, we should.”

But a candidate that runs on the message: “we will raise the minimum wage and be more generous to poor people” isn’t going to win on that.

After all, who wants to make minimum wage? Who wants to be poor? Sure, we might want to help out, but IMHO, “help the poor” isn’t a winning slogan.

People aspire to do things. They want success. YES, WE CAN: uplifitng. Hand UP, not hand out: yes. No surprise those were the slogans from our most successful Democratic Presidential candidates.

January 6 commission ..

I put a couple of highlights. And I have some thoughts:

  1. The riot: Yes, it was an attempt, albeit one doomed to fail, to overturn a legal election that they did not like.
  2. The violence was sickening.
  3. The desecration of our Capitol was outrageous. I cannot imagine old school Republicans behaving that way, but for some reason, decency is long gone.

Nevertheless, while *some* Republicans will be sickened by it, I doubt it will move the election needle that much, if at all. Ultimately, the Republicans who ARE sickened by this (and some are) will vote for their tax cuts, business deregulation and judges….and they will point out that some (not all) Democrats downplayed some of the riots with the BLM protests (though claims were sometimes exaggerated or conflated with other events) along with other points of hypocrisy.

Yes, i know this is different; here we had Trump and other elected officials trying to overturn a legal election; that is very dangerous and outrageous. And yes, that is the difference between this event and the (evil) attempt to assassinate a Supreme Court justice. (he had Secret Service protection).

So, yes, members of Congress are doing the right thing; and yes, Rep. Cheney will probably lose her seat over this.

And here we are. Basically, some Republicans tried to overturn an election, which incited violence (which they enabled, encouraged or at least condoned) but people yell so darned much all of the time that few are treating this with the seriousness that this deserves. Much of the country sees this as just more partisan politics.

As far as getting others to pay attention: this is where people who rarely say much need to speak up.

The yellers and those who talk too much (e. g. me) will be tuned out. Democrats will convince no one. Principled Republicans, who we will disagree on many issues, will have to be the ones speaking up

Opinion: we will do NOTHING about our gun violence problem.

Oh, I’ve heard it before: “gee, 90 percent of the public including 77 percent of Republicans support background checks.” And yes, polls say that people support background checks…but when it comes to closing the loophole that allows for gun sales if the background check hasn’t been done in 3 days..not so much.

And in 2016, background check measures were on the general election ballots in Nevada and Maine, two states that Hillary Clinton won. Result: about 50-50; narrow win in Nevada and narrow loss in Maine.

As for the assault rifles (a military rifle with the civilian version having the automatic feature disabled ) we see that Iowa has a bill on the governor’s desk…which allows for deer hunting with AR-15s.

Bottom line: there is no real public will to do anything. The conservatives will say stupid things like “arm the teachers” or “battle harden the schools” but, in reality, their attitude is more “hey, in a free country, stuff happens.” Example:

Satirical Accounts: why I like them

I admit that I enjoy certain types of satire accounts.

My favorite is an academic one; one that openly lampoons the absurd aspects of higher education:

She has 121.2 K followers. Her posts are often met with “you MUST be at our university”; her posts are just so on point.

I like Titania McGrath who makes fun of excessive wokeness: (this thread is hilarious)

“She” has 710.8 K followers.

Here is one that lampoons conservatives of a certain type:

Walter has 142 K followers.

And there is a way followers react to his post: we copy his diction and themes …and for the offended liberal that doesn’t get the joke but reacts with umbrage: we call that “being Waltered.”

Then there is 3yearletterman:

Hey plays the part of an ignorant person who peaked in high school and boasts about mundane things (“I have a 4 figure checking account” “so many youth football championship rings that I cannot turn door handles”)

But the best part: he spouts absolutely ridiculous gibberish…and sometimes even a genuine celebrity will play along! (e. g. Jim Palmer, former Oriole pitching great).

But the best part is when some clueless, sanctimonious scold will come in to tell us what a bunch of idiots we are…that is when we pounce with “bet you don’t have a reserved table at Beef O’Brady’s” etc. (these are things that “Coach” routinely brags about)

Sometimes, they eventually get the joke. But it is hilarious when they don’t; it is kind of fun to watch the sanctimonious know-it-alls work themselves into a froth over what should have been obvious to see.

He has 301K followers. And he has been quoted by Newsweek! (who eventually realized their error)

Social and political rants and quips

Yes, COVID is back; yes, that is hospitalizations too. The rates are still much lower than what they once were but they are creeping up again. This time: few care. Yes, I am masking up when indoors around others but I am one of the tiny percentage that still does so.

Curiously, people see me masked and tend to give me a wide berth …no ridicule as yet.

Social/Political: I find the discourse to be amusing.

And I think Republicans understand this better than Democrats do: Hence, our inability to communicate effectively with voters.

As bad as Republicans are on policy, they will annihilate us on things like this:

Republican ad: “Democrats think that men have babies. Can you trust them on important issues?” D’s will respond either by screaming “transphobia” or with a power point science lecture about gender dysphoria and how someone can have a vagina and a uterus but have “male” characteristics in other ways.

But..Republicans have Q-anon and other things, right? But there are two huge differences:

  1. The Republican party is more homogeneous; they have the wealthy and the white working class..quickly adding working classes of other ethnic groups.
  2. The Republican crazy is kind of out there (until abortion..ok..that deserves its own post). Democrat “crazy” appears to affect daily life more closely: “Defund the Police => less safety”. “Transwomen ARE the same as genetic women” => your daughter has to compete in sports against genetic males. “Wokeness” => dreary, insulting “Diversity and inclusion training” and 40 pronouns.

What Republicans can get away with is not what we can get away with.

I know people don’t like Bill Maher but:

Blocking and social media

In what is now an unusual move for me: I blocked someone on Facebook. Normally, I just unfollow and put on my restricted list (so they don’t see “friends only” post). Ok, I tend to do that with people that were once active in my life that I now find annoying.

The issue: I was trying to explain to people that, yes, loans carry interest and that if your payment doesn’t cover the interest accrued during the period, the amount owed goes up.

Someone tried to argue that banks get “virtually free” loans from the Fed (true..to cover the reserve requirement, though they get even lower rates from other banks). And of course, administrative costs and risk costs must be covered as well.

But, this was one of those “why can’t you get that” remarks coming from a rather “dull but unaware of it” type person; someone I had no prior relationship with. So, “boom”, went the block. (on Twitter: I mute; I don’t mind their ranting into the Ether; I just don’t want to engage)

Yes, I have a double standard If I have a relationship with the person, especially one that goes back several years, AND if I like said person, I give a lot more leeway.

If that person has special knowledge that I can gain from I might put up with more.

But having dull people think that I am an idiot…I get enough of that at my job from some of the worst students. I am paid for that; I am not paid for social media.

And yes, like the old song; sometimes the one you love doesn’t love you back (as friends). Yes, there are a few that I like better than like me..I can deal with that. And yes, I give them more leeway too.

And, much to no one’s surprise, most I have blocked tend to be left wing. It is easy to see why (that is who I tend to associate with)