Monthly Archives: October 2015

#CNBCGOPDebate jots…

I am in agreement with the broader mindset, shared apparently by clear seeing Democrats, that the moderators were awful.   That Harwood…  Guy is a dick.  But the big thing is the demonstration of media bias.

Cruz and Rubio, maybe Fiorina, they have quick, big league minds.

This was new to me.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensheviks  Loved it.

Jeb is a guy with a pedestrian 120 IQ, ie, normal smart.  Get off the stage Jeb, withdraw.

If we got down to the people who have some relevancy for the Republican nomination, I guess that would be Trump, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Fiorina.  Everyone else could bow out.

The moderators were saying ‘Mrs. Fiorina’.  I know that’s her title but I had some sense they were saying it with some douche obnoxious affectation.

Trump… ya know I don’t like him but he’s established some sense of ‘belonging in the conversation’ by now.  I thought he destroyed Kasich at one point.  He has to defend his use of corporate bankruptcy regularly, and he says “I used the chapter laws to my advantage.”  That’s not what you say.  Say “I used the chapter laws to protect the company and its employees, because we thought it was a viable business worth saving…” yada yada.

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Coen Head

I’m not a Coen Bros. super fan but was extraordinarily touched in a strange way when they redid True Grit because they musta thought it great in its genre and understood it had been cheapened in the John Wayne version.  It’s one of my favorite books, and I thought the same, and… they’re from here, I’m from here, they aren’t too much older than me, they must have encountered the book originally in a similar way…  And they are smart accomplished people, so I was touched and their selection of it ratified my tastes.

I went to see Bridge of Spies with the boys last Saturday.  Coen script, Spielberg production.  Not all that superficially similar to True Grit but I think it does speak to their eye for identifying great narrative.

Good / Great movie.  I won’t go extraordinary lengths to be a film critic here.  Some things:

*Point I haven’t seen made before, in some ways it’s an effort in dramatizing another Schindler like hero, one who makes extra efforts to save people. This Donavan as main character, I had never heard of him.  He’s compelling.

*There’s some talk about how patriotic this movie is.  It’s not like Spielberg has been all that subversive… or at all…  in his films.  But he’s a liberal, and this film is really patriotic.  The Ruskies are portrayed somewhat sympathetically as people, but the moral equivalence between the US / USSR is not murky.  He hammers you with the contrast.

*Movie like this, the romantic tension is kinda superfluous.  It’s there as convention… because people expect a female lead in a movie, even if she’s not really needed.  So I’m saying, this story didn’t have much use for spousal / familial tension, but it’s there, right, cuz it’s mandatory.  This woman who played Mary Donavan… Amy Ryan….  Put her on the best looking women ever list eh.  Wowzers.  47yo, 68er.

So me and the kids, particularly the 11 year old, we end up talking a little cold war history over the weekend.  I told them what it was like for me…  I was 12 at the start of the Reagan years, and up to Gorbachev it was tense.  We had a bit of a duck and cover mindset though the air raid films never got trotted out, that was passe.  And I think the big harbinger of the Russians malevolence was the KAL passenger jet getting shot down.

So over the weekend, you see this trickling out:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-1983-war-scare-soviet-leadership-feared-nuclear-surprise-attack-by-us/2015/10/24/15a289b4-7904-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html

It’s just that the tone of this text I think suggests Reagan was overly provocative with the war games. Like I said, KAL007, remember?  That was a big deal.  Ya think central European war games was an overreaction to that in the absence of anything else?  Just sayin, maybe some typical anti-Reagan media bias here.

Jots w/ dots 10/27

The making of President Rubio:   http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/opinion/sunday/rubio-the-unusual-front-runner.html  and http://www.vox.com/2015/10/27/9618896/jeb-rubio-trump  I think this is right.  Far as I can tell, I started saying ‘President Rubio’ within these pages on 7/9/15.

This will be an attack ad…. http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/26/hillary-vows-ill-go-further-than-obama-in-granting-amnesty-to-illegals/  What’s this mean?  Will she direct the Border Patrol and ICE to not do anything at all?  Seems extreme, and I’m not actually sure the ‘moderate Democrat’ is even comfortable with that.  Which is why I’m surprised she said it, given she’s got the nomination wrapped up.

Actually….  http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/26/hillary-clinton-gets-called-out-for-gay-marriage-revisionism/…. I have some contemporaneous memory of the Clintons pushing DOMA for exactly that reason, to thwart a constitutional movement to define marriage… cuz, people with serious insight knew the Clintons were lying when they claimed a religious objection to same sex- marriage.  It was a pander, and liberals are allowed that cuz noble lie…. Lemme ask something then.  We know they had to pander / noble lie for a while on gay marriage.  How am I to be assured liberals don’t lie on gun prohibition being the ultimate goal of that movement?  Answer is… it’s a similar pander.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-progressive-gun-control-charade-1445806103

Jots w/ dots 10/27

The irony that exurban enclaves don’t have cable  http://www.startribune.com/a-disconnect-money-can-t-buy-you-broadband-in-wealthy-exurbs/336666211/  Is low density life in the exurbs really “enclave-ish”?  There’s a few little river communities over here…. Lakeland, Lakeland Shores, St. Croix Beach, St. Mary’s Point…  Lakeland, across from Hudson, is the one that most resembles a ‘village’, I live there…  but none of the little river villages have this no broadband problem.  We have actual ‘neighborhoods’ through which it was cost viable to string cable.  Anywho, I don’t get the plight there in the greater township.  Seems to me these horse farm owners in Afton could subscribe to DSL over the still in service copper phone lines.  Or use a hotspot service from say Verizon.  The cost isn’t extraordinary as compared to cable.

I’m going to cut this kid a break for not understanding the amortization curve  http://www.startribune.com/student-loans-interest-rates-keep-borrowers-in-the-hole/336437521/  I may not have understood it when I was in my early twenties.  Other parts about this are a bit terrifying.  You can roll up an $85K student loan debt getting a liberal arts degree at a state university?  Yikes…I had already told my kids, don’t go to a private college to become a teacher.  I’ll extend that to the state schools I guess.  I have also told them as java programmers they can be earning $100K somewhat before they are 30.

Voxsplained:  more tax brackets = less wealth inequality  http://www.vox.com/2015/10/26/9469793/tax-brackets  and ya know, its Reagan’s fault.  I don’t agree, I think Vox is oblivious here to geometric multiplication qualities modern investment banking practices have had on wealth since the 80s.  That and inflation, which has enhanced equity values.  And are also oblivious to the amount of taxes the equity sector has thrown off to the govt since.

I disagree with this intuitive junk science  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/24/us/politics/fbi-chief-links-scrutiny-of-police-with-rise-in-violent-crime.html?_r=0  You could say its junk science, but I don’t think the FBI director is even quoting a study, he’s just spit balling.  And I bet he’s wrong.

This guy is a clown  http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/426066/weve-seen-just-asking-questions-about-opponents-religion-jim-geraghty  and  http://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2015/10/donald-trump-s-comments-ben-carson-s-religion-obnoxious-or-truly-despicable.  “I just don’t know about that”.  In particular, one of my objections is this conversational style of speaking he has, that of some Queens goomba.  It offends me for various reasons, some of which are I grant provincial in nature.  But whatevs.  BTW, such that I rail Democrats shouldn’t be satisfied with Hillary, I have vowed (to my family) that I won’t vote for Trump if that’s the candidate that presented to me.

Jots w/ dots 10/24

Total whine

http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2015/10/edina-tax-increase-is-total-wines-fault/

I have no great insight here, but will underscore that, yeah, the ‘muni’ as the place where you have to get your booze seems absurdly retrograde.  I’m working in Edina, next to this Total Wine on 494 and France.  I’ll go there today to check it out if the rains stops.  Maybe they got Vat 69 in the glass bottle. I have drank a lot of beer this summer, and settled on New Castle Brown Ale as a favorite. Nice as it is, it’s just that…. pleasant… and maybe kinda bland, admittedly.  Having zeroed in on ales I will put it on my list to spot some others maybe.

Eye on Cabelas:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-22/cabela-s-massive-superstores-are-cannibalizing-each-other  Not sure I buy the notion of cannibalization entirely.  They don’t have that many stores and they are far apart.  Such that my oddball business was very robust for several years, it was buoyed along with all the gun buying that was going on re the post Sandy Hook gun control panics.  I think Cabela’s probably felt the same effect.  It’s a little slack now.  PS:  It didn’t occur to me Cabela’s was publicly traded, and ya figure it’s not really a growth opportunity.  PPS:  Cabela’s is still way better than Gander Mountain in every way.

I agree with this intuitive or counterintuitive notion.  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425932/gop-primary-fundraising-jeb-bush-ted-cruz-donald-trump  And I’m glad.

Annals of pointless overreach and reacharound…. Benghazi….  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/10/the_benghazi_hearing_was_a_self_destructive_partisan_embarrassment_for_the.html  Ya know, in our hearts I think everyone, Democrats included, understand she lied and that she’s a feckless self- serving liar in great excess of the hyperbole privileges granted most politicians.  Things is, what Republicans want is public acknowledgement of that in a meaningful way, and Democrats won’t allow it.   Cuz, the noble lie…. Noble lies are OK in furtherance of egalitarianism / collectivism and beating your Republican opponets.  IT IS POINTLESS for the GOP to think they can penetrate the double standard and be persuasive about Hillary in some way to people who are not ever going to vote Republican, and I’m being less wry here than really actually questioning the value of the exercise.  You’re only impressing yourselves GOP.  About as pointless BTW, as liberals having tried to get some acknowledgement about WMD in Iraq for the sake of it.  Similar and about as pointless.

The arsenalists

I think that’s a word they are using over at Salon / the Atlantic these days.

Anyway…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/21/the-average-gun-owner-now-owns-8-guns-double-what-it-used-to-be/

What this means is, there’s a lot of firearms ownership inequality out there, amirite.  Let’s do something about that eh.

What happens is, you accumulate….  You get a simple shotgun as a boy for bird hunting.  Same for .22 for small game.  Then a deer rifle.  And maybe then you even need a slug gun for deer, because you find a spot in a slug zone to hunt….  And such that these are simple guns or hand me downs, you upgrade when you’re an adult and have the money and necessity to do so.  But you keep the old stuff.  Ya know, and maybe you buy a defense pistol at one point because you think you need one…. And then you like shooting and you get something else that’s trendy or in a different caliber…  Then you’re middle age and credible, and a gun guy …. and you get called to take the guns when one of the old folks have passed on.  And if these guns are good you probably keep them because they’re good.  And if they’re kind of cheesy you maybe keep them because they are a PITA to try and sell.

You can end up with a few dozen without really trying.  I suppose Wapo and Salon and whoever would have everyone fear the ‘arsenalists’, but it’s probably a vaguely safer environment if these little collections get tied up and maintained by people who care about it and know what they are doing.

Rush Card Glitch

First I’ve heard of it http://theweek.com/articles/584441/what-russell-simmons-rushcard-fiasco-reveals-about-unequal-economy  Some of these music impresarios do well with tangential merchandising.  Russell Simmons, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, P Diddy.  And then the trope / narrative is, wow, these guys are great businessmen too.  And I’m sure they are in some cases but you got the press cheering them on where they wouldn’t otherwise celebrate business so much.  Cuz of the diversity angle, probably… and then I think there’s probably a s subsequent impulse there to overstate the success of some of these businesses.  This one, Rush Card….  http://nypost.com/2015/10/21/angry-rushcard-customers-turn-up-the-heat-on-russell-simmons/  What I’ll stand on is, you don’t have ten day “glitches” where money on deposit can’t be accessed.  This smells like a liquidity problem in a case where there ought not be a valid reason for one, which probably ends up being misappropriation…  The press will have to confront that shortly I imagine.  Other observation is…. And I think you’d be able to document this in numerous walks of life…. The word ‘glitch’ is being changed to mean ‘bad luck’ by the PR people of the world.  It ain’t always bad luck, is what I’m saying.  Sometimes it ‘glitches’ come from malfeasance.

Jots w/ dots 10/22

I’d rephrase it as, there are “97% truthers” because “97% consensus” is BS  http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123135/meet-97-percent-climate-truthers  The article is basically a dog whistle as she doesn’t actually discredit the argument.

“If Bernie Sanders didn’t have to fight in Vietnam because of his beliefs, why do business owners have to participate in gay weddings in spite of theirs?”  http://thefederalist.com/2015/10/20/bernie-sanders-debt-to-religious-freedom/ Great question and I think the answer has to be in some fasion, ya know, “not morally equivalent” amirite.

Yeah, that wasn’t a clock http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2015/10/he-didnt-build-a-clock/411829/ says the Atlantic.  It was some provocative gamesmanship.  Not that the school and the cops handled it right.  Still.

I’m not sure I have a case to disagree with this counterintuitive notion.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/21/1436384/-Bill-Kristol-argues-for-the-virtues-of-the-Galactic-Empire  Kristol was playing it for laughs, K?  Understand that.  But I go back to the most recent trilogy where the trade federation is made out to be malevolent for…. wanting to engage in free trade, I guess…  and I’m not sure the Jedi are on the moral high ground opposing them.  Anyway, to be sure the Empire is right wing, but how do I know the Jedi are not kinda Castro-ite?

Typical white, B+ Minnesotans

I wouldn’t have expected to hear something like this out of Dayton’s mouth.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/10/minnesotas-governor-delivers-race-rant-on-immigration.php

Figure maybe he’s got some young, urbane, bourgeois hating / self loathing / commie poseur wiseasses on staff who from he appropriated this quip.  See what I did there.  In any event, the quip I guess does accurately describe a population, and it’s also completely offensive in its sneering way

I’ll go to my one quibble with Powerline’s take first:  I don’t think Dayton is “unfathomably” rich at this point.  In recent years when he was disclosing his tax returns, I think it was typical for him to report between $400k – $900K in income, maybe a hair over $1M prolly if he had a lot of cap gains from his SD trust to report.  You extrapolate that, figure he might have $5M in assets, maybe $10M.  That’s nice, but not ‘unfathomable’ wealth.  Course the family wealth is much more, and he had a bigger piece of it, but he consumed much of his over the years running for office.  Which I wouldn’t have done, but, whatevs.  He did insert himself into the process in a thoughtful way, and the money made it possible where his personal B+ attributes probably wouldn’t have been sufficient.  So that money did buy something, it was not wasted.

I digress….as to the rest of it….  Though they are conservatives I don’t link to Powerline a lot because they are kinda dick lawyers with a very institutional, law and order and punishment perspective.  They aren’t racists though, and neither am I, and I think we are all proper in wondering what the necessity is to bring in 3rd world refugees.  We’re not gaining economically from it and whatever else it’s for it’s also an exercise in trying to buy a stairway to heaven.  And I don’t think we’re obligated to do that so that we can assure ourselves we’re good people.  That’s where I’m kinda a dick conservative, but like I said, it isn’t racist.  It’s a respect for limitations and an understanding of folly and pointlessness.  Which is different from xenophobia.

So Dayton’s wrong economically, but what’s offensive is the white, B+ Minnesotan thing.  Ya know, it’s true as far as it goes, this is the Garrison Keillor insight, where everyone here in New Scandinavia is above average.  It’s true that Minnesota exceptionalism exists, that our metrics have been outstanding, and it’s true that a bit of homogeneity allowed for that to happen.  Which is not to value homogeneity, and I don’t particularly or even at all.  But I don’t really get, as I allude, the bourgeois hating disdain that would make one sneer like that.  The racial self-loathing that it represents is a thing that liberals do, and it’s an obnoxious whether they understand that or not.

Jots w/ dots 10/21/15

Breaking:  Biden not running.  Not what I expected.  Doesn’t matter much, I don’t think HRC beats Rubio, policy be damned, primarily because she’s going to lack for a perception for ‘vigor’ against a good looking 45 yr old man.  Wouldn’t be any different if she was a 70 yr old man.

This is good, and by that I think I mean Ryan having ultimatum’d the caucus.  http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/20/breaking-paul-ryan-will-try-to-be-unity-candidate-for-speaker/  I think I do accept the Chait observation that House Republicans have been oblivious to normative and constitutional limits to power

I said something like that  http://hotair.com/archives/2015/10/20/the-latest-prediction-that-the-nra-is-going-to-collapse-any-day-now/