Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Why Ds Oppose Marriage

Steven Hayward wrangles charts and data for Power Line. Here is his latest cross-tabbing marital status and gender with political preference, sourced from the Washington Examiner.

The political differences between married and unmarried men are relatively small, like 6-7%. Those between married and unmarried women are huge, on the order of 25-26%

Comments made here about the mental health of unmarried women - though relevant - would probably be in bad taste.

The Great Sort ... Continues

The Associated Press (AP) has a story about people migrating internally in the US. It focuses on red Idaho vs. blue Colorado as examples of states attracting people moving in both directions and the longer term results of such moves.

One party controls the entire legislature in all but two states. In 28 states, the party in control has a supermajority in at least one legislative chamber — which means the majority party has so many lawmakers that they can override a governor’s veto. Not that that would be necessary in most cases, as only 10 states have governors of different parties than the one that controls the legislature.

One state - Nebraska - has only one house and therefore cannot have divided control. Divided control is possible in the other 49 states, but existed in only two as this was published some 7 months ago. 

There are a handful of battleground states where either party might win depending on how the independents vote. In most states one party dominates the state' politics. 

When your home state moves from "battleground" to "dominated" there are two possible outcomes. When it's your party which dominates, you'll tend to be happy with governing policy, and stay.

When it is the other party which dominates, your newly minted political impotence can become a nagging source of low-grade aggravation. If an opportunity to move arises, the aggravation becomes an influence to leave and, while you're at it, to move where the policies are to your liking. 

The quoted paragraph suggests a substantial number of such moves have already occurred.

Wednesday Snark

Headline in the satirical publication, The Babylon Bee, as posted to Instapundit.

California Becomes First State To Ban Heterosexual Marriage

Coming soon - No State for Straights - a remake of No Country for Old Men with an all-LGBTQ+ cast.

A Think Tank for 'Deplorables'

Writing in The American Conservative, Jeremy Carl describes what the Claremont Institute exists to accomplish. He lays out their generally shared organizational goals, of which I've taken the liberty of posting a sample below.

  • Claremont does not believe that diversity is our greatest strength.
  • Claremont does not think that every racial disparity in outcomes is a result of racism.
  • Claremont would like conservative and traditional ideas of the good, consistent with our Constitutional system, to replace the current far left ideology that runs America’s public schools.
  • We believe that public policy is best when it serves the needs of *all* American citizens, not just minorities.
  • We as an institute are very concerned that Americans do not seem to understand the difference between the generally laudable notion of equality and the entirely pernicious notion of equity—and that we intend to inform them of the difference and fight against the current equity regime.

And there is more, but that's the gist of their position statement. It seems entirely in agreement with our own views. Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Year-Round Spring

Today, in very late January, was the perfect desert winter day that snow birds like us spend the big bucks to achieve. We spent a couple of afternoon hours sitting on the back patio, in the shade, in short sleeves, perfectly comfortable, and didn't see a single bug the whole time. 

Not every day is this nice, of course, some have wind or are a bit colder so you'd want a coat to spend time outside. But there are enough days like today, and a bunch more almost as nice, to make the 5-6 months we spend here very pleasant.

Our goal, when we retired was to find places to live that had clement weather most of the time, and we've succeeded. Summer in the high country is almost never hot. Winter daytime temperatures in the desert are almost never cold, nights can go 4-5 degrees below freezing, but normally don't.

With the trend to work-from-home, I expect there will be non-retirees doing what we do in the near future. Emulating migratory waterfowl and changing locale twice a year.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Let's Be Creative

Politico runs an article with this title, 

Biden's team is blaming Iran for American deaths. How will the US respond?

People are pressing Biden to respond appropriately, sometimes referred to as "proportionately."  Here are my thoughts.

Iran strikes us using their regional proxy forces, typically of Arab rather than Persian membership. This way they preserve a fig leaf of deniability. We should do likewise.

Why don't we get some of our proxies in the region to strike Iran for us, Israel comes to mind but there may be others. Maybe sink some Iranian naval vessels with torpedoes of non-US manufacture. Or get Mossad to assassinate Iranian diplomats traveling in the region.

My favorite idea is to get Ukraine to cobble together a few Iranian drones from crashed drone parts so we can fly them into Tehran. What would be more delicious than hitting them with their own drones? Maybe quietly depositing some Chinese or Nork mines in Iranian harbors?

Administrative Bloat

 Power Line's Steven Hayward posts the following chart, without identifying its source. 

The gold bar represents growth in students. The blue bars represent growth in librarians, teachers, administrators, principals and asst. principals, support staff, instruction coordinators, guidance counselors, and instructional aides respectively.

Some growth in aides and counselors, and perhaps teachers can be attributed to mainstreaming. Handicapped students were formerly tracked to special ed. Some handicapped students have a full time aide assigned to tutor or assist them.

Administrative bloat is a problem throughout education, including higher ed. We don't reward efficiency in education and, unsurprisingly, we don't achieve it.

Optional vs. Existential

The battle being fought by Russia and Ukraine is - for Ukrainians - existential. If they lose, their country may be gone, they will have to learn Russian, and become Russia's stigmatized second (or third) class citizens for several decades or emigrate and be not-very-welcome expats in Western Europe.

For Russia the battle is optional. If Russians leave and go home without winning they face no such shortfalls. It may turn their dreams of renewed empire somewhat sour, but that's about all.

All the Ukrainians have to do to eventually win is simply "not lose," not quit. They don't have to conquer Russia, something Hitler and Napoleon failed to do. They merely have to keep being a thorn in the occupying Russian's side, keep killing the odd, wandering Russian soldier, sabotaging the unwatched Russian vehicle or supply depot.

If Afghanistan is any indication, eventually Russians get tired of being a target, a punching bag, and go home. 

Expat Memories

The New York Post runs an article about caucuses in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where locals will fight over GOP delegates for Trump vs. Haley. For me, this brings back memories of a year the DrsC spent living on Guam, another US island possession with its own local micro-politics.

A bit of our history is needed. Based in California and with faculty jobs there, on three occasions we spent a year or two elsewhere because (a) it was fun to do so, and (b) our occupation made it possible. 

The second of these was a year in the mid-1980s we spent on Guam as civilians visiting on the faculty of the small University of Guam. We were filling in for faculty on leave, off island. 

While there we made friends with other expat “haoles” from “the mainland,” aka “the big island.” From them we learned the two political factions on Guam at that time were called “Democrats” and “Republicans” but were in truth two powerful extended family groups and their adherents and followers. 

Think of them as the island version of the Montagues and Capulets, minus most of the bloodshed. The governorship and its associated patronage passed back and forth between them, as those not attached to either were persuaded to vote for one or the other depending on how happy or unhappy folks were the current “ins.”

What we knew of Democrats and Republicans back home in the States didn’t apply on Guam. Its politics at the time probably resembled more closely those of the Philippines. 

The hundreds of years both spent as Spanish colonies with Guam being where the Manila galleons stopped for fresh water en route to and from Acapulco means there was a lot of shared culture. Guam has only been a US possession since 1898.

I have no particular reason to believe politics in the US Virgins are like those on Guam, but they sure could be. Both have a long history of various colonial masters.

BTW, while on Guam we spent the year-end school holiday month in Australia and New Zealand, the spring break week in Japan, and visited China on our way home. Good times.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Global Warming Alarmism Is Political

John Hinderaker of Power Line posts this chart from the Heritage Foundation comparing the warming predicted by 36 climate models against what actually occurred during the period 1973-2022.

Hinderaker notes the model has attracted the following critique.
If it were simply a matter of mathematical errors or inconsistencies, one would expect some models to err on the “hot side” and others on the “cold side” of actual observations. But that isn’t the case: all of the models run hot. That suggest that global warming alarmism is a political, not a scientific, movement.

Truly ... Chicken Little take note. 

Saturday Snark

My dealer is named Ron.

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.

Quiet Quitting and Citizenship

James Piereson, author of Shattered Consensus (2015) writes in The New Criterion an interesting column containing this paragraph.

What happens when a majority of the population loses confidence in the legitimacy of the political order? Will they still send their sons and daughters into the military? Will they still make sacrifices to fight wars in foreign countries, or to support wars like those taking place in Ukraine and Israel? Will they still accept the judgments of courts of law? At some point they may stop paying their taxes. The United States is beginning to look like an “administered” polity that does not have the support of its population.

Reading this reminded me of a concept somewhat in the recent news: quiet quitting. The Harvard Business Review has a definition I like.

Quiet quitting refers to opting out of tasks beyond one’s assigned duties and/or becoming less psychologically invested in work. Quiet quitters continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities, but they’re less willing to engage in activities known as citizenship behaviors: no more staying late, showing up early, or attending non-mandatory meetings.

Maybe these are different facets of the same behavior? Losing one’s commitment to an organization without quitting is like losing one’s commitment to a nation, without emigrating. 

People stop voting, stop volunteering, stop caring what happens, focus on their own immediate lives. I’d argue a non-trivial percentage of our public is already there, maybe always has been. 

The Benedict Option is one version of this, taken to extremes you get the Amish, the Hutterites and locally the fundamentalist (polygamous) ‘Mormons.’ 

The scary part is that the “opted out” fraction is growing.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Ideological Gender Gap

Steven Hayward of Power Line posts this chart with the following introduction.

The ideological gender gap between young men and young women looks to be an international phenomena.
The ideological convictions of young men and women have recently diverged to a much greater extent than formerly was the case, shown by the widening gap between blue and red lines. We know it is real, but the "why" is unclear. Would somebody please post a sensible explanation for this phenomenon? 

Can it be something as simple as women are more tuned in to what people are "supposed to" believe? More likely to let themselves be influenced by social media?

Friday Snark

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.

Is Everything Racist?

Left wing site HuffPost is as usual claiming things are raaacist. Apparently Elon Musk posted that DEI concerns had airlines and aircraft manufacturers hiring less qualified people for inspection and QC jobs. This view they grandly proclaim is racist. Nonsense, of course, Musk is correct.

DEI only makes sense if you believe people not only have equal rights under the law but are, in fact, exactly equal in every way, including intellect and skills. If that were true half the players in the NBA would be white, because half the population is white. 

Hiring people for reasons other than ability means lowered ability among those hired. DEI does exactly that, prioritizing skin color over demonstrated ability to do whatever the job requires. 

It is done for the sake of appearances, and it lowers the overall skill level in whatever field to which it is applied. It emphasizes the wrong criterion - skin color - instead of demonstrated ability to perform.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Irony Alert does this big article about how poor Europe is not able to defeat Russia without the U.S. providing most of the muscle. The impetus for their sudden concern ... Trump's less-than-enthusiastic support of NATO. Oh, the dishonesty. 

The immense irony is that getting Europe to spend more on its own defense is exactly why Trump seems unwilling to help those unwilling to help themselves. To the extent to which they get busy, open their purses, and place substantially greater emphasis on ability to defend themselves, he has achieved his goal of getting these relatively wealthy countries to pull their own weight on defense.

European nations have believed they had the good old US over a barrel. We needed to defend them and they could spend their tax revenues on lavish social welfare schemes, instead of defense. 

This was maybe true when, after WW II, there was a real prospect of them going Communist. That hasn’t been true for decades. 

Trump sees European leaders as latter-day “welfare queens” ripping off Uncle Sam, and he aims to wean them off our support. Guess what? They don’t like it even a little, would you in their shoes? Nevertheless, he is justified in doing so.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

NATO vs. Turkey

Turkey's role in NATO has been a matter of concern for a number of years. Often Turkey has been more of a problem than an asset to the alliance.
NATO defines its purpose "to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means" and says it "promotes democratic values." Turkey today makes a mockery of such values: Freedom House ranks Turkey as NATO's most undemocratic member.

Today Michael Rubin writes for the Middle East Forum website an argument for the remaining members - minus Turkey - taking steps to signal to Turkey it is no longer welcome in the organization. Apparently the charter contains no way to expel a member, but Rubin suggests ways to, shall we say, "attenuate" its role. And he concludes:

Rather than embrace wishful thinking and recognizing the impossibility of giving Turkey the boot, it is time to quarantine NATO's Trojan horse.

I've been wondering when someone would raise this issue. The remaining nations could possibly reform as NATO 2.0 and abandon the old organization, it would be complicated and difficult to do.

Political Ponderings

Further thinking about the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Nikki Haley had her best shot at redeeming her campaign in New Hampshire. 

Running unopposed in the non-Trump lane she did better than in Iowa, but still was beaten by more than ten percentage points. Her staff has to be asking themselves, if she couldn't beat Trump in NH, where can she beat him?

The short answer is "nowhere." Absent a Trump felony conviction, she won't win anywhere. Even with one, she may still lose most places. 

We don't honestly know, or even have a good idea about, what will happen if he is convicted. Will a third of his support evaporate? Will it depend on the charge? It hasn't happened before so we are in terra incognita in terms of precedent. 

If I had to guess, I'd think the committed Trump voters want to give a big middle finger 'salute' to Washington, its swamp, and all the faceless bureaucrats and thus stay with him. The non-MAGA Republicans who remember his presidency as being much better than Biden's are the question. 

I hope they understand the degree to which Biden's DOJ has been politicized and will make allowances. I'm pretty sure the Democrats don't understand what a dangerous precedent they've set by prosecuting political enemies. 

What goes around comes around, and often bites the originator's backside.

Abbott Fights Back

Writing at Townhall, Spencer Brown reports Texas Governor Greg Abbott is "doubling down" on his effort to enforce the US border with Mexico. Abbot claims:

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and the other visionaries who wrote the U.S. Constitution foresaw that States should not be left to the mercy of a lawless president who does nothing to stop external threats like cartels smuggling millions of illegal immigrants across the border. [That is] why the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government 'shall protect each [State] against invasion,' and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges 'the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.

I regularly read two websites populated by attorneys - Power Line and Instapundit. I am hoping the guys who write there will comment on the extent to which Abbott has a good Constitutional argument. Hat tip to for the link.

More Like It

This is more like it, nearly 2 feet of snow at the snow pole, a couple of miles from our WY place. When it melts, it will keep the quaking aspens green through our mostly dry summer. We'll get there in early May before the trees leaf out.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Exit Poll: Trump Popular with GOP, Haley with Undeclared

First things first, RealClearPolitics declares Trump won the NH primary. He got 54.6% of the vote, to Haley's 43.2%. 

CNN did exit polling of New Hampshire primary voters and found several interesting things.

Voters who were registered as Republicans broke heavily for Trump, the exit poll finds, with roughly three-quarters favoring him.

Roughly 7 in 10 of the New Hampshire voters backing Trump said they were registered as Republicans.

Haley’s backers present a near mirror image: about 7 in 10 said they were registered as undeclared prior to Tuesday.

Talking heads on Brit Baier's news tonight made an interesting point. If Haley wants to retain her plausibility for 2028, she will drop out before the SC primary, and perhaps even endorse Trump. 

If she stays in the race and loses her home state to Trump, as appears would be likely, she probably loses the 2028 option unless Trump loses the general election this November. That would give her a "I could have won it" argument.

A Heads-Up

The other DrC is doing a series of whimsical posts on life in a 55+ active retirement community - the Geezerville series. So far she has posted bits on going to the doctor, which we do a lot, and on our hair, for those who still have enough to bother writing about (I don't). 

They are light-hearted and don't take our "waiting for God" existence too seriously. I expect future episodes to discuss golf cart culture and dog walking, but time may prove me wrong.

I won't be extremely surprised if she eventually turns these into an self-published book, once she has 20 or so of them. If Ammo Grrrll can do it, why not the other DrC? She has a felt need to keep busy that I only intermittently share.

College Student IQs Have Fallen

RealClearScience has an excellent article on the declining IQ scores of college undergraduates. People are acting like this is surprising ... it should not be surprising.

When relatively few went to college it tended to get many of the brighter students, with IQs averaging 115 to 130. Today the average is more like 102, but many more young people go to college. Notice I wrote "go to" and not "graduate from." The article concludes that between 1939 and 2022:

Undergraduates’ IQs have steadily fallen from roughly 119 to a mean of 102 today — just slightly above the population average of 100. In short, undergraduates are now no more intelligent on average than members of the general population.

There’s a potential problem with this open door to academia. According to statistics from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only 58% of students manage to attain their degrees within six years. What’s more, the rate of dropping out is negatively linked with IQ — the lower an undergraduate’s IQ, the more likely it is that they will leave college without a degree, potentially saddled with debt.

As a marker of mental quickness and ability, today's bachelors degree is worth no more than 1939's high school diploma. Confronting these numbers, can you imagine how happy I am to be long retired? The kids were still somewhat smart when last I taught, today not so much.

Getting a 'generic' B.S. or B.A. is no longer a hot ticket to a good job, and employers know it better than anybody. A specialist degree which teaches a specific skill still has value; a major in (victim group) studies or communications is probably worse than useless, better left off one's resume.

Note also that IQ is still one of the best predictors of student success in a degree program and in a career, if perhaps not in life more generally.

Klein: We’re Screwed

Joe Klein is a long-time fixture in the Democrat-leaning commentariat. Here he is at Substack sounding for all the world like Ruy Teixeira, bemoaning the Democrats’ reliance on identity politics. He makes too many good points to summarize his views here. 

The essence is that the Democrats have already won the identity wars, but can’t figure out where to go next, and are beating a dead horse. Check out these polling numbers; if accurate, Biden is toast. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The CSU Is On Strike

 I am embarrassed to report that the faculty of which I was a member for roughly 30 years is now on strike for high wages, etc. and reportedly will be out of the classroom all week. Pathetic.

I am philosophically opposed to unionization of government employees who are normally well-treated and protected from arbitrary management actions. Plus they almost never face layoffs. 

Apparently the strike will not cause the 23 campuses to close, and I suppose some faculty will cross the picket line. If I were still teaching I would do so. I never joined the CFA.

Later … It is 11 p.m. on the West Coast and the other DrC just sent me an email from the Chancellor’s office in Long Beach stating that the CSU strike is over.  A tentative settlement reached after one day on strike. 

Age by Candidate Choice

Steven Hayward, the numbers guy at Power Line, posts this chart showing the caucus preferences by age bracket. I'd call your attention to the differences in both candidate choice and propensity to caucus by age groups.

I find particularly interesting that 78% of those attending a caucus were 45 or older, and that an actual majority of these chose Trump. He also won a plurality of the 30-44 group, though not an absolute majority. It appears most young Iowans have things other than politics on their minds and stayed home.

A Political Oddity

The other DrC was shown the Nevada primary ballot by a neighbor and Trump isn't on it. We're registered in WY so it doesn't affect us directly, but I looked it up out of interest.

Several years go NV Democrats had a messy caucus season. As a consequence the state legislature, controlled at that time by Democrats, passed a bill mandating a primary election in lieu of caucuses.

The NV Republican Party chose not to participate and will continue with party-run caucuses choosing NV's delegates to the nominating convention. So while there are some names on the GOP primary ballot, the party will ignore those results and instead pay attention to the caucus results. 

The caucus process gives additional weight to the opinions of the politically interested and involved. I presume Trump will win the NV GOP delegates, handily. 

Our nearest caucus site is some 40 miles away, in Overton, NV. That is of academic interest only, as we will vote in the WY primary in August and our polling place is maybe 1.5 miles from our home there.

Revolutionary Cheap Drones

There is a revolution going on in military hardware that first caught the public eye in the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region: once (but no longer) inhabited by Armenians, claimed by Azerbaijan. Cheap Azeri drones dominated the battlefield, Armenia had no effective response.

An Australian source - The Strategist - has a good article about the various ways this new tech works cheaply, and can be countered, often at prohibitive cost. It is all about cheap new tech defeating older expensive high tech, particularly with swarms on offense defeating static defense.

Of particular interest is the use of this new, cheap tech to kill individual human targets. The Secret Service had better be taking it seriously. Other security units charged with protecting high-value individuals should likewise take note. I’m imagining future protection details including highly skilled skeet shooters carrying repeating shotguns.

The seesaw back and forth between offense and defense continues. Today offense is winning.

Stan the Man

We’ve been writing about Trump enthusiasts being more fans than plain garden variety voters. This does odd and interesting things to the political process. 

Vox, a source we sometimes cite when trying to comprehend pop culture, has a good article about fandom and the places where it takes on elements of stalker behavior, enhanced by the Internet, to become something new, called a “stan” which is a portmanteau of “stalker” and “fan.”

The author - Aja Romano - directly focuses on this as an explanation for the Trump phenomenon and I suspect “they” (preferred pronoun) are onto something. It is a worthwhile read.

Trump’s political rise coincides with a specific substrain of intense celebrity fandom that emerged in the new millennium. The “stan,” sometimes referred to collectively as “standom,” is an ironic term borrowed from Eminem’s 2000 song “Stan,” about a stalker fan whose obsession goes too far.
The concept of “stanning” was hugely shaped by Twitter’s ability to allow fans to follow their faves in real time, commune with other fans, and even talk directly to the creators they stanned. It hardly seems coincidental that during the era when celebrities and pop stars became more immediately interactive with their fanbases, Trump successfully styled himself not as a politician, but as a celebrity who deigned to do politics just to satisfy his long-suffering fans.

But the idea of Trump as a conduit works both ways. If you wanted to see political change, you couldn’t just vote for Trump; you had to transfer your emotional investment from politics at large onto him individually. You had to stan him.

Making the task confronting DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy, etc. insurmountable as long as Trump remains in the running. Thus Trump’s oft-repeated mantra, “They don’t hate me, they hate you. I’m just in their way.” It’s over-simplified to be sure, but probably correct in essence.

Sunday, January 21, 2024


Mulling the DeSantis exit reported below, I'm thinking about the dilemma facing anyone running against Trump except Chris Christie. His main motivation appears to have been "vendetta," at which he failed. 

I read something clever this morning that caught my attention and I'd like to share it, but now I can't find the source. I take no credit for the following insight: people interviewing Trump feel less like they are posing questions and more like they are feeding him straight lines.

Trump's candidacy is sort of 50-50, half politics and half show biz. Many of those who like him are fans in the show biz sense, making their transfer to another "performer" quite iffy.

I ask myself, if Taylor Swift were to suddenly disappear, would her legion of fans immediately turn and go to a Beyonce concert. I don't think so. 

There would be a period of mourning and then they would do the emotional equivalent of "milling about" until their fancy was caught by a new idol. Or they outgrew the need for fandom.

DeSantis, Haley, and Ramaswamy knew they couldn't win without the votes of Trump fans. Nobody has figured out how to pry those loose from The Donald. 

Bye-Ku for DeSantis

Politico is reporting FL Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination and endorsed Donald Trump. Ron's second place in Iowa wasn't strong enough. As is our COTTonLINE custom, we offer Gov. DeSantis a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell.

Toddle on home, Ron.
Your résumé is awesome,
You've zip charisma.

I had hoped for the Trump policies without the Trump histrionics. I'll settle for the Trump policies with those histrionics. 

On to November.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Urban "Elites" Bite

Pollster Scott Rasmussen surveyed what he called elites. Power Line's John Hinderaker has the story about the survey's findings. 

First, who did Rasmussen consider "elite?" People with a graduate degree and a household income of $150,000 or more, who live in a largish city. And there was a subcategory of those who'd graduated from the top 12 universities, 8 of them Ivies. 

Hinderaker failed to post a link to the Rasmussen findings, if this is corrected later I'll add it. Hinderaker summarizes the findings.

They are extraordinarily loyal to the regime; 84% of them approve of Joe Biden’s performance as president. (snip) And 70% of the “elites” trust the government to do the right thing most of the time; that rises to 89% among those who are “the most politically active members of the elite.” These elites even trust journalists: 79% have a favorable opinion of them.
So how do the elites want to limit our excessive freedom? A shocking 77% say they favor the “strict rationing of gas, meat and electricity.”
These “elites” are fascists. Large majorities want to ban gas stoves (69%), gasoline powered cars (72%), non-essential air travel (55%), SUVs (58%) and air conditioning (53%).

Full disclosure: The DrsC don't qualify as members of the population surveyed. (a) We choose to live in non-urban locales. (b) We don't share any of their political or policy views. 

Serious Snow Cover

Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge quotes Judah Cohen, Director of Seasonal Forecasting at Verisk's Atmospheric and Environmental Research who writes:

Talk about a turnaround or reversal of fortunes! North American #snow cover goes from record low to decadal highs in just a couple of weeks, thanks to the vagaries and whims of the #PolarVortex.

How's that 'global warming' treating all you snow-bound millions across the north and east? Have you dug out yet? I hope you don't have one of those stalled EVs.

This morning the other DrC and I were sitting on the back patio. I was quite comfortable in short sleeves, thank you. 

That's life in southeastern NV in midwinter. Summers, on the other hand, are barely survivable, many days over 110℉, a few over 115℉. We don't summer here.

Saturday Snark

For fans of the original Blade Runner.

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Kelly on the VP Pick

Blaze Media reports the opinion of independent journalist Megyn Kelly concerning Donald Trump's choice for Vice President. She thinks there is a good chance it will be Nikki Haley. Megyn Kelly's words as told to Dave Rubin.

Is it out of the realm of possibility that he chooses Haley? Absolutely not. It’s not. I realize that MAGA doesn’t want it. They’ve convinced themselves that Nikki Haley is against all the things that they stand for.

He personally really must win if he doesn’t want to go to jail. If that’s your situation, I think you might be thinking, "MAGA is gonna get over Nikki Haley if I tell them to get over Nikki Haley." I know for a fact that’s how Trump thinks.

The pseudonymous Bonchie at Red State adds:

Like it or not, Haley can appeal to suburban women and she will drag the donor class who might be looking to sit out back into the race kicking and screaming.

Would she turn it down? In spite of her protestations to the contrary, I doubt she would refuse. 

On the other hand, she has claimed she would not take it.

Friday Snark

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.

Ballistic Podiatry

Image courtesy of NewsAmmo.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

More Thursday Snark

Will readers younger than 60 get this one?
Image courtesy of Politico's Wuerker cartoons.

Playing the Hand Dealt

Do you get insights while showering? I do. I suppose because showering is something I do without thinking about it so my mind is free to explore new paths. Herewith this morning's insight. Life is somewhat like playing a hand of poker. 

At birth we are dealt a particular set of genes, a set of physical traits, abilities, disabilities, strengths, weaknesses, talents, and deficits. As in an honestly dealt hand of poker, that's something over which one has no control whatsoever.

Life is what we do with what we were dealt. A short person will not play professional basketball, but might be a jockey. A gnomish person will not be a movie star, but could become a world-renowned physicist. 

Along the way, many recognize they weren't dealt the combination of traits needed to live the life they'd choose for themselves but stay "in the game." Others fold, which is to say commit suicide either rapidly or slowly via substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviors.

Historically most have chosen to participate in the next "hand" by having children. Currently, many are choosing to make this their bloodline's "last hand" by not doing so. 

Bluffing happens in life too, claiming to have traits one does not in fact possess. As in poker, some make the bluff work, some are called and shown to be holding a busted flush.

I'm not much of a poker player. Those with more experience and skill can see other parallels.

Hold Their Coats Time

Various sources are reporting actual military strikes across the border shared by Iran and Pakistan, started I believe by Iran, and retaliated by Pakistan. What issues caused these acts? Here is what AP reports.

The unprecedented attacks by both Pakistan and Iran on either side of their border appeared to target Baluch militant groups with similar separatist goals. The countries accuse each other of providing a haven to the groups in their respective territories

What is clear is that Pakistan is a nuclear power and Iran very nearly so. From the remove of North America, my primary reaction to this is a wish that both sides could lose. I had the same reaction to the Iraq-Iran war. Both parties are bad actors, imagine the happiness a conflict between them would bring India or the Saudis.

Afterthought: This situation, rather than the routine hate-Israel-and-Great-Satan could be the impetus for Iran to build its own nuclear bombs. 

Thursday Snark

I can't think of a US political figure who has been given more reason to seek it.
Image courtesy of, Jan. 18, 2024.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Where We Stand Today

On several occasions I've written the only path to the GOP nomination for anybody not named Trump, is if some natural or legal force takes Trump out of contention. Meanwhile the months have been spooling past and, if you are Haley or DeSantis, the time left for some such force to act is vanishing at a perilous rate.

A realist would rate both of their campaigns nearing the point at which additional effort is irrelevant, if not actively counterproductive. Haley has a shot in NH; not a great shot, but a shot nevertheless. 

I'm not convinced DeSantis got much of a boost from IA, he isn't polling well in NH, and next after that is SC which is Haley's home state. His path forward is unclear, does he poll better than Trump anywhere

Trump a Winner ... Again

Like him or not, there's no denying Donald J. Trump did very well indeed in Iowa. And he did it against three Republicans all of whom are impressive people in their own right, even if Vivek is politically still a work in progress.

Is the race for the GOP nomination over? It would so seem, but politics is an odd business and we'll have to see a bit more primary to be sure.

Nevertheless, congratulation to former President Trump for a fine win in Iowa. He has all the momentum he could want going toward New Hampshire a week from today. If he wins the nomination, as it appears he will, I will happily vote for him in November.

Vivek Vanquished

NBC News reports tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is suspending his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and endorsing Donald Trump. He finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses while getting roughly 8500 votes out of about 110,000 cast. As is our wont, COTTonLINE offers Vivek a bye-ku - a haiku of farewell - as he departs the race.

Not your year, Vivek.
Your act needs extra polish
Try again later.

Friday Snark, Four Days Late

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.