Friday, September 12, 2014

Free Advice To Thom Tillis: Run Out The Clock

According To Rasmussen, challenger Thom Tillis trails incumbent Kay Hagan 45% to 39% in the North Carolina Senate race. Time to take a page from Romney's playbook and run out the clock. That worked so well for Mitt Milquetoast. He was ahead in the polls and he sidestepped an opportunity to expose the president as the coward that he is and to show that he lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi. We know how well that strategy worked.

Tillis is the establishment choice. No wacckadoodle Tea Party type here. That's supposed to be the winning formula. Fall, behind and run out the clock. If that doesn't work take a page from John McCain and reach across the aisle. Only 53 days to kill. You can do it, Thom. The Senate is overrated anyway.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's Not Too Late For A Senate Contract With America

1994 was a big year for the GOP due in large part to the Gingrich/Armey-generated "Contract With America." The GOP took a set of eight reforms and ten laws, all focus group tested I am sure, and offered them to the voters six weeks before the general election. Net result: 54 House seats and 9 Senate seats.

 If the GOP cannot produce a half dozen popular issues to rally behind, they deserve to lose. Hints: ACA, illegal immigration, border security, spending, counter-terrorism, VA reform, drill baby drill, dig baby dig, IRS reform...If Preibus is too timid to trust his gut, he can easily find a few off the shelf causes to rally around. The ACA has consistently been opposed by a three to two margin and that was before the website roll out.

The Republican Party is in need of branding. Democrat  Lite or Lesser of Two Evils just doesn't cut it. Did anyone get the 'no pastels' memo? You need to give the people a reason to vote.

Contract anyone?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The President's Odd Appearance Tonight

On the way home tonight I listened to Clyde Lewis and he remarked how unusual the president looked tonight. He mentioned a possible botched make-up job or quite possibly the face of a man who has just witnessed something frightening.

I have watched the speech four or five times and I too notice something unusual about the president's appearance but I can't put my finger on it. One thing missing is the ear to ear grin he displayed on vacation.

John Tierney

John Tierney lost his primary challenge to Seth Moulton in Massachusetts's 6th Congressional District. I am neither sad nor glad about this. These days all Democrats are pretty much the same. They all march in step with Obama/Reid/Pelosi. Lieberman was their last maverick.  Politically, Moulton and Tierney are identical twins.

Having said that, I do like John Tierney if for no other reason, that I have seen him three times in his district. I think I might have seen my congressman, Roger Zion when I was a teenager. He had a distinctive bald head and went through a bad fashion stage where he started wearing loud-colored bell bottoms in public. Not that he stood out in the 70's. I might have gotten a glimpse of a pseudo-Zion but if it was indeed the congressman, it would have been the only other rep I have ever seen.

I saw Tierney once in Peabody, MA in the late 90's. Then I saw him in 2012 walking down a street of Peabody around noon on a weekday all by himself. For those in the hinterlands, Tierney's wife was on house arrest so he was often seen alone.

The third spotting was in a grocery store in Salem, MA. I saw him from a distance and I am not 100% certain it was JT but it looked a lot like the rep and he was sometimes seen doing pedestrian tasks with his wife stuck at home.

In my life I have had about a dozen congressmen. I have only seen one or two in person and two of the spottings were when I lived outside the congressman's district (I lived in his district when I saw him the first time.)  I got the feeling I will see even less of JT now. He will probably settle into K Street and leave the North Shore forever. In some sense, his presence will be missed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1 Out Of 3 In Primaries

I voted for Bob Smith and he lost to King RINO, Scott Brown, for the Senate nomination.

 I voted for Dan Innis and he seems to be losing to Frank Guinta for the Congressional nomination. Guinta is OK. I will definitely vote for him against Obama puppet, Carol Shea-Porter,

I voted for Walt Havenstein for governor and he won his primary. I don't know a lot about Havenstein and I know even less about his opponents but he said pretty much what I wanted to hear a gubernatorial candidate say.

Down ticket, The State Senator and the Four State Reps were unopposed. There were a few other unopposeds. There were two Sheriff candidates but I did not know either of them so I sat that out.

The news reported a light turnout but there seemed to be a lot of people when I was there. Almost exclusively a senior crowd. Low turnout and an oldies crowd had me hoping for a Smith win but it was not to be.

Errata: "Forensic Files" Beating Anderson Cooper in 25-54 YO's But Not Overall

 Sorry for the slight, Mr. Cooper.
Net11PM                                            25-54

CNNAnderson Cooper 360               134

MSNBALL IN W/ CHRIS HAYES           71                               
CNBCAMERICAN GREED                    89                                
HLNFORENSIC FILES                       148


Monday, September 8, 2014

"Forensic Files" Reruns Top Chris Hayes and Anderson Cooper

I am a big fan of the TV show, "Forensic Files." I love the half hour format and  Peter Thomas's narration. However, the show has been out of production for three years and it was never thought of as anything other than a low-budget cable show. I don't know what it costs HLN to run an episode but I bet it costs less than whatever CNN shells out for "Anderson Cooper 360."

There are more fun numbers at the link below but I will spoil the ending for you. Fox continues to dominate every time slot. Incidentally, "The O'Reilly Factor" listed below is a rebroadcast of the 8 PM show.
Net11PMP2+ (000s)25-54 (000s)35-64 (000s)
FOXNTHE OREILLY FACTOR        1,073               190              471
CNNAnderson Cooper 360           391               134              182
MSNBALL IN W/ CHRIS HAYES           287                71              130
CNBCAMERICAN GREED           238                89              152
HLNFORENSIC FILES           315               148              165

Kentucky man arrested over innocent FaceBook post

I never thought the average intelligence quotient in Muhlenberg County would compare well to Cal Poly's but I did think most could get in out rain without help. Sadly I was wrong. There is something fishy about law enforcement's media shyness in this instance.
Family members say Evans posted the following on Facebook on August 24:
"Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate. Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate."
The family says it's lyrics from the song "Class Dismissed" by the band Exodus.
Mike Drake, the Muhlenberg County school resource officer, says multiple agencies received calls concerned about the post.
So Evans was arrested for terroristic threatening.
The warrant says Evans was arrested because, "he threatened to kill students and or staff at school."
Did Officer Drake actually read the post before rushing out to get a warrant? It could be that no one in the county ever heard of Exodus unless it referenced Moses and the pharaoh. Hell, I'm surprised they even heard of Face Book.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Impact Of Social Media, Especially Facebook

Some of us underestimated the power of social media, especially Facebook. Some of us thought that there was nothing revolutionary about Facebook. We were of the belief that the Internet was the Internet and there was nothing to be said about Facebook that could not be said about the Internet. Yes but...

Facebook accelerated the spread of simplism. That was not always the case with the Internet. Because of boundless storage space, should we decide to do so, we could peruse the source notes of a given book. A big fat non-fiction book might contain dozens of pages of footnotes. Reading the source notes would require hoofing it to a high quality university and a lot of legwork thereafter. A post-Internet sources derived from say, a medical journal, could probably be read in one's living room. That was the Information Superhighway.

Facebook might be The Misinformation Superhighway. The selected audience called followers or friends generally does not contest the veracity of anything. Whereas we were dealing with information overload, social media especially Facebook, solves the problem. Facebook is a goldmine of slogans, cliches, half-truths, selective truth, quotes out of context and outright silliness.

A quick illustration of how misinformation is spread via Facebook. Robert Reich, in conjunction with produced “The Truth About The Economy.” The video lasts two minutes and thirty seven seconds and at this writing it has 1,652,790 views.

It is considered impolite to call a public figure a “liar.” I get annoyed at the Occupy Amazon/Occupy YouTube crowd who reflexively call their rivals “liars” because they are either too lazy or too stupid to refute anything. That is the Alinsky influence and if you don't believe Saul Alinsky has damaged our country, think again. We should respect other people's views. They might be reading from a different cannon. They might be misinformed. Respect should be a given.

Having said that, Robert Reich has once more crossed a line. For some wacky reason we hold public figures to a lower standard of honesty. In a less than perfect world, we would expect truth from a Secretary of Labor or a college professor. Truth.

Robert Reich is at the very least, guilty of intellectual dishonesty. Of course he is also caught promoting “material discrepancies.” Falsehood seems to inflict those who believe strongest in their moral superiority.

The Reich video for all its flaws teaches a priceless lesson: Sadly, it takes more verbiage, more time and more energy to refute a falsehood than to promote a falsehood. At Post Obotomy Syndrome I posted two videos that dismantle the Reich video. One is Robert Murphy's which does a masterful job of not just refuting Reich but also exposing his falsity. It took Murphy ten minutes and two seconds to present his case. As of this writing this video has 72,097 views, less than 4% of Reich's audience.

Lee Doren also does an admirable job of crushing Reich's fairy tales. It took him five minutes and to date his video has been viewed by 60,320 people.

The Reich video was made popular by Facebook users. Two minutes. Just two minutes. Who cares about all that truthy stuff? Just two minutes. Mark Twain said “A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is putting its shoes on.” Twain was correct but in the Facebook era the lie can fly around the world two thousand times while truth is still lacing them up.

Another perspective on Facebook. To this day I do not understand Facebook's appeal. A former co-worker insisted I get on Facebook. I did. It was fun for a while. Kind of like everyone now has a blog. Got it. Of course, not everyone has much to say and the minutia of their daily lives soon grew tiring.

After the 2012 election I jumped ship. Most of my FB friends guzzled the Obama Kool-Aid. They did not care that we were a bankrupt nation. The presidency was just one more season of “American Idol” and they like Barack. Bye bye zombies.

Then a relative developed a serious illness and decided to post status updates on FB. I reactivated my membership and I was back in the pool in all of its myriad contents. Despite constantly reminding myself to keep a low profile, I would ultimately get baited by a ridiculous comment.

I think a man with a helmet defending his country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football.”

That is a pointless and inane statement but it attracted “Likes” and several supportive comments. “Don't flame. Don't flame. Don't flame,” the voice within roared. I posted a polite comment stating the obvious. We can pay football players $2 million/year because there are only about two thousand players in the NFL. If we paid all 1.3 million members of the Armed Forces in a likewise manner, it would cost us approximately $2.5 trillion, roughly our entire federal revenue. That figure does not include reserve forces or the National Guard.

It was a left-brained, dispassionate comment. I did take a gentle jab at the poster, K, a good guy who is not stupid but who is prone to saying stupid things. I called the comment politically correct (which it is) because K does not fancy himself even a little bit PC. I kicketh the hornet's nest.

Heartless. Tom Brady gets free medical care, our vets get zero. What does a football player contribute to society? Valid points one and all but let's get back to the numbers. More disapproval including a guy who pasted an oversized thumb pointing downward in reference to my commentary.

A microcosm emerged and I was reminded of why one of the worst presidents in US History was re-elected. The social medium is the social message and Facebook's message is rampant stupidity. Facebook was loaded with bumper sticker wisdom of the income as a function of respective helmets variety. There would be praise for Obama and even more scorn—and falsehood and smears and character assassination—for all who challenged him. David Axelrod Alinsky would have mounted a determined effort to spread lies about Mitt Romney's taxes, his felonious white collar crime, his misogyny, his murdering of an innocent woman using conventional methods. Facebook simply made his job easier.

You have to wonder if Jim Jones regrets that fatal glass of Kool-Aid. He was born in 1931 so he would been seventy seven when America officially became Jonestown. He would watch from the sidelines but I suspect he would watch with an approving eye. The man who wrote the book an the care and feeding of zombie followers would see his playbook put into action on a scale once thought impossible. If Jim Jones had Facebook, he might have been Barack Obama.

Parting Shot From Joan Rivers