3 Keys to Watching Tonight’s Election Returns

There are 5 states holding mid-term primaries including Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon. Here are 3 keys to watching tonight’s election returns. Watch for them as you see the election returns being reported.


1- Pay much more attention to the raw numbers of each party’s primaries than anything else.

The biggest question right now is not so much who will win, it is how much their party turns out. The conventional wisdom is that November is looking to be a potential landslide election for Republicans.

However, the recent Roe v. Wade leak has been red meat for the Democrat party base. Polling shows that the hoped-for outpouring of Dem passion is just not materializing. But, the required time to get a clear measurement of the political temperature has just not elapsed yet.

All that being said, one of the most important things tyou should watch tonight is just how many people are motivated to vote in this race. If you want to see how motivated the base is, compare the numbers from Trumps mid-term election and Obama’s mid-terms too. 2020 won’t be fair reading at all, so don’t use that one for comparison.

People will talk about a particular candidate winning or losing and the result will be heralded or mourned for it’s predictive ability. It all means far less than the pundits make it seem, at least as far as being an oracle on the big election in November. But, if Republican votes are way higher, it spells potential doom for Democrats in November.

On the other hand, similar numbers to past mid-term elections or even heightened Democrat numbers show things tilting the other way. I doubt that will happen. Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m not usually.


2- Pay attention to these two deep blue and deep red races the most.

North Carolina’s 4th District

Biden won this district in 2020, getting over 80% of the vote. The Democrat Representative who has held that seat is retiring. This leaves the seat open for a new representative. Here are the Democrat contenders.

State Senator Foushee She has a far left PAC supporting her.
Sam Bankman-Fried He’s a billionaire who looks like an un-serious mix of Fred Savage in the Wonder Years and Art Garfunkel.
Nida Allam She’s a Muslim woman, who is very far left and is excited for a chance to be part of “The Squad.” She’s also endorsed by a lot of lefties, like Bernie Sanders and environmental groups. On her website she touts “Medicare for all.”
Clay Aiken He is…well… Clay Aiken. In the first paragraph on his website he says he will “deliver on needed progressive policies – from stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality and gun violence, to securing voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose.” He also has a video, which I can’t bring myself to watch. He won’t win, because he looks and acts like he’s made out of plastic and hair gel.
b. Pennsylvania’s 12th District- This is another open Democrat seat in the Pittsburgh area. This is a Democrat stronghold. I’m not sure what a win for either side means for Republicans, but the Democrat primary here is one of the most contentious. Not only is the Democrat winner a potential bell-weather, but the total Republican primary votes are key. Republicans have no incentive to vote in the PA12 race. There is only 1 candidate on the R side, so there will be no sabotage vote from Leftists.
Steve Irwin (krikey!) has the endorsement of the Democrat establishment, as well as the lead in fundraising.
Summer Lee is a leftist with the endorsements of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and radical environmentalist groups. I don’t know how Bernie Sanders has endorsed two candidates in one race (both candidates website’s mention his endorsement), but he’s just that amazing, apparently. Maybe he wants them both to win at the same time. She has the most leftist cred and money by far. If she loses, it’s a big repudiation of those policies.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate

There are 3 main candidates in this close race.

Mehmet Oz TV’s Doctor Oz has the endorsement of Donald Trump. There are a lot of questions as of late, even from Trump supporters on whether or not he’s a conservative, or even a real Republican. A win for him seems to be more about people supporting Trump and his endorsement more than it is about Oz as a candidate.
Kathy Barnette She’s the out-of-nowhere, late-breaking conservative. She is currently in a statistical dead-heat for the lead in the polls. In a last-minute surprise, she is being smeared by appearing at the pro-Trump rally on January 6th that later led into the “January 6th Capitol riots.” Attackers are saying she was with The Proud Boys, which she wasn’t, and they are implicating her with the riots, which is also untrue. Interestingly, it was her attackers on the Left who coined the term “Ultra-MAGA” that you might have heard in the media.
David McCormick He has more of the local connection it seems. He seems to be more run-of-the-mill. CNN likes him more, it seems.


3- Endorsements don’t matter as much as you think, and the outcome often says more about the candidates themselves. But if all someone’s endorsed candidates win, now that means something.

I predicted at the start of the year that Trump would get involved in endorsing candidates this year (Prediction #7). I was right, although I’ve been proud of him not going too overboard with this. There are other endorsements besides Trump. There are candidates that are retiring who tried picking their successors, AOC and other loons have pushed their slate of candidates, and there are countless others.
Much will be made out of Trump’s candidates winning and losing, and the pundits will also mention The Squad’s as well. But it isn’t as easy as all of that. Trump endorsed JD Vance in a race where the endorsement mattered.

Dr. Oz might not have gotten any traction had he not gotten the Trump shout-out. But he is a nominal Republican candidate in his race. I don’t know which is the bigger nod to Trump, if the candidate he endorsed wins, or if Banette, the more MAGA-y of the candidates wins. If anything, it speaks more about Trumps willingness to say things than anything else.
The PA12 race is actually more of an interesting look into star power of endorsements. Will Democrats tack further Left and give the party win to Summer Lee, or will the centrists win out and go with the Crocodile Hunter?

Since the Bernie and The Squad (that is a great band name) spread their blessings around quite liberally in North Carolina, if Nida Allen and Summer Lee both lose their races it’ll be a big slap to their faces.

Tomorrow will bring lots of yipping and yapping from the various pundits. For those of us who enjoy this far more than any sport the time to get your popcorn ready is now. Pop a kernel and take a drink of beer every time you see one of these 3 things mentioned.

Crisis of Confidence

This entry is part of 2 in the seriesCrisis of Confidence
crisis of confidence header

I recently heard an interview with a top US politician (more on that later), although it wasn’t likely intentional, her words alluded to a crisis of confidence that we are dealing with as a nation.  In the coming days, you might hear more about her inartful and poorly chosen words.  Of course, knowing the media these days, there might not be much about it at all.  But there certainly should be.

That got me watching another speech from another American politician.  Below are some excerpts.  Read them, and ponder them as you read.  They affected me.  The words seemed to directly apply to America now, maybe even more than they did when they were spoken.  As I listened, I longed for them to be spoken to our country and our people.

My notes on how I’ve represented the text are here

The politician’s speech

…[Recent events] confirmed my belief in the decency and the strength and the wisdom of the American people, but it also bore out some of my longstanding concerns about our nation’s underlying problems…

… But after listening to the American people, I have been reminded again that all the legislation in the world can’t fix what’s wrong with America. So, I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than [policy]. I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.

I do not mean our political and civil liberties. They will endure. And I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might.

The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways.

It is a crisis of confidence.

It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation.

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea which founded our nation and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else — public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We’ve always believed in something called progress. We’ve always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.

Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy. As a people we know our past and we are proud of it. Our progress has been part of the living history of America, even the world. We always believed that we were part of a great movement of humanity itself called democracy, involved in the search for freedom; and that belief has always strengthened us in our purpose. But just as we are losing our confidence in the future, we are also beginning to close the door on our past.

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.

These changes did not happen overnight. They’ve come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy…

…Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our nation’s life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual.

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.

You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift. You don’t like it, and neither do I. What can we do?

First of all, we must face the truth, and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and faith in the future of this nation. Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.

One of the [people that I recently spoke to put it this way], “We’ve got to stop crying and start sweating, stop talking and start walking, stop cursing and start praying. The strength we need will not come from the White House, but from every house in America.”

We know the strength of America. We are strong. We can regain our unity. We can regain our confidence. We are the heirs of generations who survived threats much more powerful and awesome than those that challenge us now. Our [ancestors] were strong men and women who shaped a new society during the Great Depression, who fought world wars and who carved out a new charter of peace for the world.

We ourselves are the same Americans who…put a man on the moon. We are the generation that dedicated our society to the pursuit of human rights and equality. And we are the generation that will…rebuild the unity and confidence of America.

We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.

All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path — the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our nation and ourselves. We can take the first steps down that path as we begin to solve our energy problem…

…Little by little we can and we must rebuild our confidence. We can spend until we empty our treasuries, and we may summon all the wonders of science. But we can succeed only if we tap our greatest resources — America’s people, America’s values, and America’s confidence.

I have seen the strength of America in the inexhaustible resources of our people. In the days to come, let us renew that strength in the struggle for an energy-secure nation.

In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. Let your voice be heard. Whenever you have a chance, say something good about our country. With God’s help and for the sake of our nation, it is time for us to join hands in America. Let us commit ourselves together to a rebirth of the American spirit. Working together with our common faith we cannot fail.

Thank you and good night.

This forms the bulks of a very famous speech given by an American President, although not for the reasons you might think.  You’ve likely never really heard this speech in its entirety, just as I hadn’t.  I have seen small excerpts.  You likely have too, or at least possibly heard this speech referenced.

OK, OK…I’ll tell you who gave it and when.  Scroll down for the reveal.

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The speech was given by former President Jimmy Carter on July 15th, 1979.  He gave it live on American TV from the oval office.  It’s formal name is “A Crisis of Confidence,” but you might know it by its better-known nickname.  It’s commonly called “the malaise speech.”  You can watch the whole, 33 minute address here. Oddly enough, Carter did not use the word “malaise” anywhere in the speech at all.  Not one time.

But the reality was that Carter was just not a strong president, and he was dealing with bigger crises than many presidents could successfully face.  In the election of 1980 (a year and 9+ months later) he was destroyed by Reagan’s landslide victory.  He should have been.

In the biggest section that I cut out, Carter talks about some policy decisions for cutting our dependance on foreign oil quite decisively, growing our own energy production, and developing solar energy capabilities.  All of this seems to make a lot of sense for the times.  He also talks about turning the thermostat down at home and patriotically parking your car an extra day of the week.  That doesn’t sound like a strong leader at all.

But, the bulk of the speech was what Americans needed to hear, and I think it’s what we need to hear now.

At the climax, he says,

“Little by little we can and we must rebuild our confidence. We can spend until we empty our treasuries, and we may summon all the wonders of science. But we can succeed only if we tap our greatest resources — America’s people, America’s values, and America’s confidence.”

I wanted to stand up and applaud.  These days we won’t spend our way out of the Covid crisis, rampant inflation (that’s a big part of how we got here anyway), racial strife, huge percentages of Americans who just don’t want to go to work anymore, or any of our other giant problems.

Modern science has given us things like Covid vaccines, fleets of electric cars and trucks, and private space ships.  But our problem isn’t really energy, inflation, climate change, or a world-wide pandemic.  Yes, those are problems for sure, and they aren’t small ones at that.

But the real problems we face are 3-fold, as I see it. 

1- A Crisis of Confidence in Our Leaders

We have a country that many of our people no longer even really like, and leaders that are not representative of the best among us at all.  Most Americans see our main institutions as both dishonest and not respectable.  And we have a political system that seems to not be able to even recognize that it is severely out-of-step with most Americans.

2- A Crisis of Confidence in Our Faith

We have a crisis of faith, whereby we have turned our collective backs on the spiritual foundations that led to us being a great people. 

3- A Crisis of Confidence in Our History

We have forgotten and rewritten our history as a nation.  Turning our backs on the principles, people, and structures that created the societal glue that held us together, and teaching our children lessons that are not honest about our collective history has turned us into a collection of tribes.  These tribes don’t even see themselves as one nation, they see their tribes as a nation, and others outside of their group as hostile foreigners.

I’ve written recently about how I expect this year to be a challenging one for people all over the world, and Americans particularly. I believe strongly that solving these three challenges facing our country will be key to us overcoming a difficult time.

Over the next few posts, I’ll deal with these three points directly.  We’ll see how these areas need to be changed in order for us to return to a healthy country.  Unfortunately, if we do not set about fixing these 3 things, there are two directions that are possible for our nation, and I see these as a complete inevitability.  We will either break up into smaller nations or worse, we will redefine America into something that is very different and opposite in many ways from what made us a successful country.

But, there is also great hope.  If we, in the words of Carter, start walking, sweating, and praying, then we can tackle these problems.  We can emerge triumphant, and return to that place as a great, shining city on a hill that the nations of the world saw as a beacon of freedom.

For the quoted section

I have removed parts that applied specifically to the situation of that day, and some that alluded to current events of that time, as well as sections in the beginning that don’t flow as well to the reader.  I’ve also removed anything that indicates who is directly giving the speech.   I don’t want the reader to get any preconception of what to think based on a sense of who is speaking.  I’ve added or replaced words at times where it wouldn’t make sense otherwise. 

I have always put those inside brackets [].  I’ve put ellipses … in places where I’ve removed something. 

There is one main section I’ve deleted that talks specifically about proposed policy, and I’ve talked about that after the quoted section.  Other than that, I’ve tried to copy and paste with no other editing.

Here’s the full text of the address.

2022 Predictions

I don’t need credit for anything that isn’t official, but just so the reader knows, I wrote the majority of this in the two weeks before New Years.

I’m sorry to say, those that are waiting for 2021 to end in the hopes that next year couldn’t possibly be any worse are in for a rude awakening.  Remember 2020, when this whole COVID thing just got going?  It was a year of political turmoil, the sheer terror of the nightly news telling us we’re all going to die, everything was being locked-down, and there was no end in sight.  We all looked to 2021 in the hope that it would all get better when the calendar turned to January. 

But it didn’t.  2021 turned out to be worse.  There was the complete failure of the US in Afghanistan.  The news is not talking about it much, but a famine has now rushed through that country endangering much of the population.  In fact, the number of those starving to death might make this the largest world crisis in the world right now, but you haven’t heard about it on CNN. More than 20 million people are on the edge of starvation. The Taliban are fully in control and they are just as bad as they always were.

The border with Mexico turned into a horrible mess.  The numbers of people rushing into the country are without comparison.  This year is the highest on record for illegal alien apprehensions at the southern border.  Also, there are more people being caught from countries other than Mexico that people from Mexico, almost twice as many.  Yes, that means people from Ecuador, Honduras, and El Salvador, but it also means people from Yemen and Somalia, and other countries where some people really want to hurt America.

With vaccines and therapeutics for COVID out and accessible (or going in that direction).  It is easy to forget that there were actually more COVID-related deaths in the US in 2021 than in 2020.  On the final day of 2020, the US had reported over 350,000 deaths in total.  Right now, there are almost 900,000 reported deaths.  This means that in 2021 there were far more deaths than in the previous year. I’m trying to stay out of the politics of this, but I keep hearing Biden, during the Presidential Debates saying, “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths [220,000] should not remain as President of the United States of America.”

As much as people were clamoring for a better year in ’21 than ’20, there is almost no way that we can say it has been.  The economy is worse, the geopolitical situation is more tenuous, COVID has been more deadly.  Maybe US societal strife can be seen as the one outlier, but that is mostly due to the media (and related) establishment not having vitriol for the current president, and Joe Biden not using Twitter.

Before you read this, you might be interested to see last year’s predictions.

I’m sure that many people are hoping and praying for a better new year.  But, I just don’t see it in the proverbial cards.  Here are my guesses as to what 2022 might have in store for us.

# 1 – Russia invades Ukraine

This won’t be a surprise to anyone.  Russia has been massing large amounts of troops on the border.  Yes, if you get your news primarily from Facebook you likely missed this one entirely, but it’s no secret. 

Biden had a video-call summit with Putin about this.  He threatened that the US would “make it very difficult for Russia to do this.”  This obviously means that the US would try to levy economic sanctions.  This isn’t even conjecture.  The administration clarified this the week after Biden made the statement.

If this threat were a deterrence to Russia’s plans they would have responded in a way that gives the US government a way to diffuse this situation.  But that isn’t what they did at all.  Instead, they gave a list of demands which included that NATO interests leave the Eastern Block of former Soviet influence. 

This is not doable for a US administration, unless they publicly give in the Russia which makes the US look very weak.  Certainly, the administration is trying to back-channel their way out of this.  I can’t see this possibly working.  There are a whole host of reasons that Russia cannot back down.

There are two options here.  It is possible that Russia is doing this as a test of a weak US administration…a bluff.  The other option is that Russia sees the opportunity to act, and they have long viewed Ukraine as a prize for a host of reasons.  It doesn’t make any sense for this to be a bluff, and if it is a bluff then Russia has already won.  The US has already committed to act only in response to Russia invading.

So, why are they waiting?  Well, it’s all about oil…clearly.  The Nordstream II pipeline into Germany and the rest of continental Europe is still uncertified by the EU.  It cannot legally deliver the oil that it’s built for.  But, Europe is over a barrel (pun intended) on this one, and they are in a situation that they created.  EU environmental regulations don’t allow them to produce the quantity of oil that they desperately need, and so they have to rely on importing that fuel.

Incidentally, I can’t quite understand how countries (including ours now) won’t drill for oil because they are ostensibly trying to save the planet, and so we ask other countries to do it for us? It isn’t like those countries inhabit some other planet. But these contradictions are normative now, and this is a topic for a different post, I guess.

This all means that Europe will have a difficult time making it through the winter, and especially a very cold winter, without this needed oil.  Once the pipeline is certified and functioning, it will be very difficult indeed for them to shut it down.  The Trump administration was able to apply very strong economic pressure to prevent companies from building this pipeline, but the Biden administration didn’t follow suit.

The US Senate will debate possible advance sanctions related to Nordstream II companies in mid to late January, or at least some elements will push for that.  If that passes, it is likely too little, too late.  But a strong Congressional stance is the only thing that could prevent a conflict here.

I suppose that the US could give in to Russia’s demands and avert a war.  The problem is that those demands are really demands on NATO, not on the US directly.  Giving in would also be such a great sign of weakness for the US and NATO, that the implications are worse than a Russian invasion.

So, after all this exposition, I’m saying that Russia will invade Ukraine.  The trigger will be the certification of the Nordstream II pipeline.  The buildup will get very tense in maybe January or February, and will result in a false-flag type of event similar to the German invasion of Poland or the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  A full-scale invasion will follow.

#2 A domino effect in geopolitics might result from Russia’s actions

  I’m not sure what all will be involved, but look for China attacking Taiwan, Iran becoming aggressive, or North Korea doing something…well, North Korea-like.  Depending on the situation, this might result in surprisingly little reaction from Washington, or a major response.  I can’t be sure now.

#3 If China does act on Taiwan, it will also be under the guise of responding to a great perceived slight against China

  That’s how China does things. Also, China losing face (or at least thinking their losing face) from the Covid pandemic will motivate them to show strength internationally.

#4 Iran will announce to the world that they have nuclear weapons, barring preventative action from America or Israel stopping them

This will be a huge thing.  I don’t know if Israel or the US will do something to prevent this.  They probably should.  If they do, then this might avoid Iran getting nuclear weapons this year. 

#5 The American economy will be in bad shape, for sure

The stock market cannot continue it’s nearly eternal growth.  Interest rates will increase, likely several times.  I think that inflation will continue, and I’m not sure what unemployment will do.  Many things in the economy now just don’t make sense.  If there isn’t some collapse or near collapse, then economic theory makes no sense anymore.

#6 Joe Biden won’t be President

I’ve long said that Joe Biden will announce that he cannot continue as President before Q2 of 2022.  With the unpopularity of Kamala Harris, I no longer know how palatable that will be.  If it will happen next year, I would think that Q1 would be when it is best politically done.  Either way, for sure we won’t end 2022 with Joe Biden still as President.

By the way, lest you think this is wishful thinking, I prefer Joe Biden to those down-steam in presidential succession. In my view, this will be tragic.

#7 The GOP will take control of both Houses of Congress in the November elections

#8 Democrats will make a big deal of this January 6th

This isn’t a bold prediction.  It is only a day away as I write this, and they’ve already announced it. But look for some pretty crazy over-the-top stuff.

#9 Trump will be active in advocating for candidates in the run up to the election

He will might not just be out there in the general, but also in the run-up prior to the primaries.  Whether or not he will be trying to stay the political disruptor, or will be together with the main part of the party will be telling, for sure. It will be really telling if he is more active during the Primary season, or in the General afterwards.

If he actively challenges Republican candidates in the Primary it will be bad for his future in his plan to inevitably run in 2024. If he has seen by the party as supporting Republican efforts, then he’ll get large Republican support. If however, he goes after established Republicans in the primary it will both be seen as a vindictive effort against those who didn’t support him enough, and it will be seen as endangering the party’s chances of taking back power. Either way it breaks Reagan’s 11th Commandment of Politics.

#10 North Korea will be a big story in 2022

There is a good chance that North Korea won’t end the year with Kim Jung Un as their leader.  If that happens there are two directions that things could go in there.  Either, there will be consolidation around a new leader, and the current frontrunner is his sister.  The other option is for great internal strife.  If that happens, look for a Chinese-brokered solution.  The Chinese will not allow a re-unified Korea under a Democratic-style government on their border. 

In either event, look for North Korea to be pretty large in the news in 2022.  Possible belligerent acts are used within the North Korean power structure to cement leadership there.  An “us versus them” outlook is often used to build unity in many countries, and North Korea is a classic example of this repeatedly. 

#11 There will be a political revolution in at least one major country this year

The forced Covid lockdowns in both Western-type Democratic countries, as well as the extreme draconian Chinese lockdowns are creating powder-kegs that are ripe for explosions. 
I’ve heard former journalist Dan Carlin’s theory about societies needing pressure-release valves for the people to keep their internal pressures from building up too much.  When that is not allowed or available is when the people lose their self-control.  I think he’s completely right in this regard.

We’re seeing some big protests in some locked-down countries.  If the governments won’t listen and respond, it’ll boil over.  Some governments won’t.  Things could get messy.  We’ll have to see.

Bonus:

I’m not sure that Biden will do this, but I think if the former Vice-President officially  changed his first name legally to Brandon, it would be cool.

…and Suddenly the Election Calculations all Change

Supreme Court calculations header

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) is now gone at 87. She was an icon of the Left, and she should be respected as a Justice of the Supreme Court. She was also a child of God, whether she knew so or not, and her death should be appropriately honored.

…Queue the arguing in…3,2,1…now.

In the brief hours since this was announced, I’ve been gaming things out in my mind, and here’s the political terrain as I see it.

Before we discuss this, it might be good to watch Glenn Beck’s discussion of his view of Leftist’s plan concerning the election. I’ve linked the video below. It is long and alarmist, but if you don’t hear alarm bells now, then perhaps you need to check your hearing.

So, the thing about Glenn Beck is that he might sound crazy, but in my experience he’s often right. While his seeming craziness is openly mocked by folks, he keeps racking up the wins. In this case, I hope he’s wrong…but I don’t think he is.

What can disarm these predicted outcomes, and what he alludes to in the video, is the prayerful action of patriots and average Americans which can save us. God has miraculously intervened for this nation before, and we should pray for that now.

Having said that, I think that with the death of RBG the potential for the crazies to do their thing just increased 10-fold, and I have no doubt that are ratcheting-up their amps to 11 as we speak.

But what are Trump and the Republicans to do now? Well, the nice thing, and really the only nice thing in all of this, is that there really aren’t a whole lot of possible chess moves to calculate here. So, let’s look at them 1 by 1.

There are Options 1, 2, and 3 (the only winning option for the Republicans). You can click these to jump between them, if you want to scan through it quickly.

Option 1 – Republicans don’t fill the empty seat until the election is over

The news media and the Democrats, heck, maybe even some Republicans (we’re looking at you Murkowski) will be screaming for this. I’m not being hyperbolic. There will be screaming, and not just in the streets. No matter what happens, the media and Democrats (but I repeat myself) will be using these talking points.

They will also be saying that if Trump replaces RBG then the court will be “out of balance.” They will use these words. That will be the talking point here. They will also be threatening that if Trump fills the seat that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe V. Wade. But you won’t hear that verbatim as much as you’ll hear things about “Taking reproductive rights away from women,” “controlling women’s bodies,” and even crazier things if the Republicans seem to not be acquiescing to their demands.

This would be the path of least resistance for sure, but it would lead to doom. First, the Democrats and the media will be talking about Obama’s last year and Antonin Scalia. This is a ruse. Dan McLaughlin has a great examination of it on National Review, here. His take on it is that there is no parallel, and historical precedent is actually on his side. Just a quick fact that he points out: 22 presidents have been faced with similar situations (including Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, etc.) and all 22 times they’ve filled the seat.

If Trump waits until after the election to fill the seat there are two possibilities:

If Biden wins...
Then Trump could lame-duck force through a nomination which would end up in possibly revolution-level chaos in the streets. Many Republicans might even be pressured into waiting for Biden’s (I mean Harris’) presidency. If Biden wins, then the Leftists and Democrats will be completely aligned and emboldened, because they know that they only need to cause chaos for 2 months or so. Remember, there are enough Democrats and allies in the Senate to cause weeks of Senatorial gridlock anyway.

If Trump wins…
Then he is completely unfettered and willing to move on this, depending on how the Senate will look in January. If the Senate flips, then a Supreme Court seat will likely not get filled for 4 years. This means that if the Senate flips, it is exactly the same for Trump as it is if Biden wins, except that The Senate will be more empowered to act if the know that the Republicans won’t be in power. In short, this option is the most confusing, but is really just navel-gazing, I think.

Here’s why this is not likely: The media and Dems like this the most (at least they seem to), and that means it is the worst choice for Republicans, and Conservatives particularly. In almost every single outcome, the Democrats get their way. Trump has never bowed to pressure from people who hate him. He actually tends to run quickly into a fight, which is exactly why some people love him. He never bows out. For him to do so in this case is very anti-Trump.

Furthermore, this is a poor election tactic. If Republicans wait, then the knowledge that Democrats need to turn out in large numbers in the election in order to “keep abortion legal,” “protect women,” or whatever narrative works, will be a loud klaxon for anyone like-minded, and that will include many of the so-called independents. This issue will drive voters to vote for Biden. It will steal any narrative from Trump about Biden and allow the Democrats and the media to be in complete control.

Finally, unless Trump wins and the Republicans win in the Senate, then the Democrats win this fight completely.

Option 2 – Trump does nominate a replacement, but the Senate doesn’t vote to confirm

This is a second-level fight for the Dems. It doesn’t matter whom the President nominates, the media and Dems will push to have them hold this up. The Dems will use every tactic imaginable. In fact, they could even use the hide-away tactic to prevent quorum. I’m not sure that we’ll see this tactic, because there aren’t enough Democrats (plus Murkowski) for this to work at all. Senate rules take this option largely away. But if it could stop this, they would take it that far.

Here’s why this is not likely. The problem with the Republicans failing to confirm is that this would be seen as a massive failure by most like-minded Americans. It would be demoralizing, and it would decrease Republican voter turnout. This might actually create a Blue Wave scenario, and thus Republicans cannot have that happen. This might also be the only path for Trump winning the election and Republicans losing the Senate. In every other case, the Senate is tied to the presidential election.

Option 3 – Trump nominates a replacement, and the Senate does confirm, filling the seat.

Unfortunately, there is no way that this option doesn’t end in complete chaos. Let’s remember, although chaos is bad for sure, it is a distraction from the issue. It is surprising that the American people are being told to vote for Biden, or the Leftists will burn the country down.

Trump will likely not cave in to the Democrats and media, and the Senate Republicans cannot afford to not confirm.

At that point, the media and Democrats will respond with the only card that they have left in their hand, the Joker…the chaos card.

There will be people in the streets. There will be rioting way worse than we’ve seen recently. The big agents funding this chaos will go into overdrive and the money will flow. This plays right into the hands of those who want to create the vision that Glenn Beck describes.

Here’s why this IS likely.

1 – If Trump and the Senate Republicans go this route, it might lead to revolution-level strife. But, this is the only option that might create a good outcome. First, this is unexpected, and falls far prior to the planned chaos after the election. If Trump nominates a justice very quickly, it will kind of catch the agitators flat-footed. Unfortunately, because they already have plans in place, it might be easier to mobilize now than if they had nothing. However, it messes up their plans quite a bit. They won’t have the control that they planned at all. Also, they only have so much that they can be outraged about before either outrage-fatigue sets in, or the American people simply stop them.

2 – This is why Trump should move quickly. He should name a successor to RBG, and the Senate should start confirmation this week. The talking points on the other side will be complaints that they aren’t honoring the memory of RBG, and that there isn’t sufficient time to vet the nominee. If the Democrats and media (we really need a portmanteau term for them) use these words, then we know that Trump/Senate is using good strategy.

3 –The Democrat plan for the rioting is to stop it ASAP. That is why there has been less news of street-level craziness in the past few days. Unfortunately for them, the powers that be do not have control of the BLM and Antifa types. They never did. But they do have some goals in common, and they do have channels of communication.

Also, increasingly (not totally yet) these people are wresting control of the Democrat party. That is why they are more scary than ever, actually. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and even Chuck Schumer are becoming pawns to the real power brokers. They know that it is a very tenuous power balance. They still do hold some sway, and the agitators have gotten the message: “Calm the strife down, or the Republicans will win in November.” That is why suddenly the Dems are calling for calm and order.

This will all flip-flop if Trump nominates. They both will not be able to stop the chaos, and they won’t really want to. But, the same reason that they are calling for order now will be the case in the future. Americans have grown tired of people in the streets. More chaos will drive out more Trump voters, and at the same time, suppress and even change some Biden voters.

4 – A Trump landslide increasingly looks realistic. On one side are anti-Trump voters which will never support anything he says or does. On the other side are pro-Trumpers who are more nuanced, but mostly the opposite. However, there is a vast middle ground. For instance, everyone talks about suburban women, who are in no way as monolithic as they say. But this middle ground has been really mostly weary of the political fighting. Studies have been showing this. They are just tired. But, they do care about their safety and they care about their country. For Dems, it is these voters that they have to get in order to wins the election. So, they are hoping that the narrative of rioting and looting disappears before the election…and it just did, but if Trump follows this strategy, the narrative will be replaced by more of the same.

5 – While a looming Supreme Court seat drives voters to the polls, a just filled seat will do the opposite. If the seat is empty, some people will be swayed by “Republicans are trying to take away women’s rights.” Anyone with sense knows that the legalization of abortion will never be overturned wholesale, but the Dem-media (maybe we just portmanteaud it) have never been good at nuance, and see no problem with demagoguery.

But, if there is no seat vacant on election day, the momentum goes the other way. This would be a Democrat disaster, and this is why they will stop at nothing. A filled seat removes the drive for voter turn-out.

6 – While the Republicans are often easy to scare off of their strategy, Trump is the opposite. When faced with 3 options, he looks willing to often choose the riskier one with the bigger payout.

7 – It is easy to forget in all of this sausage-making, but this is the Supreme Court. The court is slightly left of center. If Trump replaces one of the bastions of Leftism with a Constitutional originalist (and therefore, a likely Conservative) jurist, that will reorient the court completely. Filling that seat right now means that Biden might not get a Supreme Court pick at all, even if he’s elected

So, not only will Trump choose this option, but he and the Republicans must choose this option, nominate and confirm a Supreme Court seat. The Democrats/agitators will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening. They have no choice.

2019 Predictions

As each year turns to the next I try to right out what events and trends I think will take place in the year to come.  As I say each time, this is neither astrology nor an attempt at prophecy.  I am simply making an educated guess at what I think will happen.  The purpose is actually for my own amusement.  Part of it is hubris, as I am addicted to saying “I told you so.”  But it is harmless fun, unless you are one of those people that gets mad at the weatherman if it rains on your wedding day.

    1. I wish that this year upcoming will be filled with a mix of pretty good, and some not as good—but I highly doubt that. I believe (and don’t at all wish) that this year will be one of the worst years that anyone in this country truly remembers. I tend to be a political pessimist, but this goes deeper than that.

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Insensitivity

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I worked in management for Sears throughout college.  It was a good job that treated me well and gave me a great opportunity to build a business management resume that has benefited me throughout my whole adult life.  But that was a very different Sears that I have seen over the last 10 years.

Last week, I was on lunch and decided to pull up a YouTube video of Chris Tomlin (a Christian worship music artist) singing a song I’d hurt at church the weekend prior.  As most of us know, YouTube regularly plays videos of sponsored content (a.k.a ads) before your chosen video.  It is part of the monetization that Google brings to all of its products.  When a company pays for an ad to run, they specify all of the criteria that will determine who sees the video.  This includes thing like the geographic location of the watcher, the viewer’s history, and the specific thing searched for, as well as everything in between.  I’m simplifying the process, but it is nearly infinitely customizable, ensuring that the only people who see your video are the exact people you want to see it.

So, I search for Chris Tomlin and the title of the worship song (I don’t remember right now exactly which song it was) and I click on the video.  Before my video starts to play, this is the ad I see (feel free not to watch the whole thing):

I skipped the ad when it gave me a chance and watched my worship video, but the more I thought about it the more upset I became.  I can’t think of a YouTube history on my account that would have been pertinent or anything else that makes sense…unless either they were putting that out to everyone, or they were specifically targeting people watching worship videos.

So, I took to Twitter, incredulous that Sears would be so insensitive.  The screenshot from my Tweet, and Sears’ response not long after, are below.

Sears Tweet

It is 2014,  know.  I am not surprised by a company supporting homosexual marriage.  I don’t like it, but I know it happens.  I don’t support the homosexual mafia attacking companies like Chik-fil-a simply because their CEO said that he believes a marriage is between a man and a woman.  But most of all, I can’t support the incredible rudeness of a company deliberately attacking the morality of Christians in this way.  Whether their Tweet to me was an automatic response to mine or not, it doesn’t matter.

I’m not one to start a boycott and get worked up over anything secular.  I think that secular complies not guided by Christians will not act Christian.  However, companies that deliberately attack Christians is another story altogether.

You know why they do it?  They do it because they know that they will insult us and treat us disrespectfully in whatever ways they choose, and we will buy their products just the same.  We might post a Facebook complaint and feel like we accomplished something, but as soon as the next sale comes along, we will open up our wallets again.

For me, it stops here.  I have drawn a line in the sand.  I have a lot of Craftsman tools and a Sears credit card.  I’m canceling the card and have bought my last tool from them.

—-

Incidentally, if you want the story behind the video (which I actually haven’t seen in its entirety), Sears sponsored a float in the recent Chicago homosexual parade.  On that float they had 4 homosexual couples getting “married” and this video was celebrating that.

Next time you buy a Sears product, know that is where some of your money is going.  If you support that, then great.  If you don’t, you are supporting it anyway with your money.

 

Fractured -part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesFractured

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This week I read about how Rick Perry had created controversy in California by equating homosexuality with alcoholism.  People were irate.  The problem is, he didn’t do that at all.  You can see and hear the comments here.  He was pointing out that people have a choice in their behavior whether or not their genetics predetermine their outcome.  His statement was obvious, and people getting irate about it just want to be irate because they don’t like anything Rick Perry says, and particularly anything that a Christian would say about homosexuality.

But that isn’t what the headline says, is it?  …Another outright lie.

But this gets me to the heart of the matter.  The division is not within the Republican Party.  Recent polling shows that Americans are farther to the Right and Left than they have ever been and with increasing unity.

However, there is something that has become very fractured.  Americans are turning on President Obama in record numbers.  Recent data shows that we believe Obama is a worse leader, more dishonest, and more incapable than ever before.  The media are turning on him, as many recent encounters (1, 2, 3, 4) with the administration’s Press Secretary have shown.

Cracks have appeared through the savior’s armor, and it is apparent to all.  People feel like the country is crumbling and they’re desperate.  The Left is realizing that the solution that they believed in is actually our downfall.  They wanted government healthcare.  It is a disaster.  Even polling of Democrats shows this.  The huge VA scandal is an in-your-face example of what happens when our government legislates healthcare.  The people aren’t dumb enough to miss that.

The crisis from Benghazi is showing how little the administration cares about its own people and has tried to cover up their own failures.  The media may have tried to cover it all up as well, but a few of them still have some of their consciences un-seared.  I don’t think they’ve forgotten.  Even the IRS persecuting Conservative groups has gotten so ridiculous that the media can’t even ignore it anymore (they “lost” 2 years of emails?—-Come on!)

Years ago, Joe Biden (speaking for the President) said that success in Iraq would be the administration’s key achievement.  This has been a narrative that they have repeated many times, even into last week.  Now, as the situation in Iraq deteriorates without American forces there, perhaps creating one of the most dangerous situations the world has seen in generations, the press is attacking the administration.  Even more Liberal reporters are attacking the President over this.

It is not a difficult time to be a Republican.  It is a difficult time to be an American, for sure.  Our republic has been destroyed by within from years of political forces that foment ideas counter to those of liberty, and through 6 years of Obama “fundamentally changing this country.”  The cracks in the fabric of America that these forces have created are starting to show very visibly.  Those who supported and gave voice to these movements are now realizing this and are starting to rebel.  They are fractured.  The Republicans are not. -Ryan

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Fractured

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesFractured

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I’ve been watching and reading the news with a different eye recently. It really started a couple weeks ago during the Texas State Republican Convention, at which I was again a delegate this year. During the convention, I sat through caucuses and meetings as well as the proceedings on the convention floor.

A convention is an exciting and busy event, and there is always positioning and debating. That is the point of the whole thing. When delegates from a whole state get together to pick one document that will guide all of what their collective will is going to be concentrated on over the next 2 years, there should be considerable debate.

After the convention each night, I would go home and absorb the day’s news. I consistently heard throughout the weekend about how the split Republican Party was arguing over issues of homosexuality, marijuana, and immigration. There were Republicans protesting, and the organization was undoing itself.

I consistently wondered if perhaps the news media were accidentally at a different convention, or if possibly I was the one attending a different convention entirely. I checked. I was definitely at the right place.   None of what the news was reporting was happening at all.

While platform positions regarding homosexuality-related issues were debated in the committee meetings I’m sure, the body of delegates didn’t discuss it even one time. Let me rephrase that in case you missed it: we didn’t talk about homosexuality even once…not one time…not even in passing…it wasn’t an issue. Yes, the platform does address “reparative therapy.” Anyone who has paid attention to the news knows this is only addressing the push for making it illegal to offer counseling available to those who do not wish to live as practicing homosexuals. This has happened in California already. The platform position only addresses this situation. This part of the platform was not discussed at all, or even voted on separately (lest you think I’m cheating in my prior statements).

Outside of the building on the first night were somewhere between 8 and 12 people with pro-homosexual marriage signs. They were not members of the convention. They were exceedingly kind, and it seemed everyone was kind to them. I firmly support anyone’s right to protest in this way. They were on the evening news and on radio. They must have had great pre-protest press releases for a dozen people to get so much media coverage.

Marijuana was discussed, and any pro-legalization efforts were soundly defeated by the body. There was no mass demonstration. There were however, a lot of pro-pot people who only showed up as delegates prior to that vote and then left shortly afterward. Four of them were in my row. I had never seen them before. One of them leaned over to his friend during the vote and said, “That just shows how dumb these Republicans are.” They were clearly not Republicans, and they were only there to try and create chaos. They failed. But they did have their NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) car out front, made to look like a cop car, but with big pot leaves on it. I have always found it amusing that the organization to legalize pot uses an acronym that proposes an alternate spelling of “normal.”

I took this picture right outside the Convention Center

I took this picture right outside the Convention Center

Immigration was slightly contentious, for about 45 minutes or so. But in reality, there was little difference in the ideas of the two vying groups. In fact, the only real discrepancy was that the more Conservative of the groups thought that if securing the border was allowed to be in the same legislative package as other immigration matters it would end up never being enacted. Other than that, almost everyone was in agreement. In the end, a compromise was made, smashing the two plans into one. Everyone left unified. There were no mean words, and no fighting.

But this is the opposite of everything we’ve read, isn’t it? Not in the “Liberal spin on reality” way, but just complete lies. -Ryan

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A Cool Excerpt

I am not saying that I agree with this completely.  I am saying that it is inspiring of deep thought.

  So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun…

Do you wish to know whether that day is comping?  Watch money.  Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.  When you see that trading is done, not by consent but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.  Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality.   It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half loot.

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence.  Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper.  This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values.  Gold was an objective value, and equivalent of wealth produced.  Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it.  Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims.  Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.’

When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.  Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral.  Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded.  Do not ask, “Who is destroying the world?”  You are.  

-Francisco d’Anconia