Categories
Thoughts

Michael Madigan made a difference alright

Former Illinois Speaker of the House and current head of the Illinois Democrat Party announced his resignation. After nearly 5 decades of controlling the state he’s finally riding off into the sunset. Well… not quite. He’s only stepping down from his position as a representative of his district. He will remain the head of the party and the head of Chicago’s 13th Ward Democratic Organization.

The truest statement Mr. Madigan has made in recent memory is in his resignation statement.

Fifty years ago, I decided to dedicate my life to public service. Simply put, I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

Chicago Tribune

Under Madigan’s leadership the State of Illinois is bankrupt. He has refused to face up to the out of control spending and the crushing weight of public employee pension obligations. Madigan made sure public employee unions received gift after gift that allowed them to completely run roughshod over the people.

Just about a year ago Illinois’ debt was analyzed and found that the people owe more in pension obligations than they make in a year. Thanks for making such a big difference Mr. Madigan. Hopefully for the people that remain in Illinois your resignation is a good thing.

Our analysis at OpenTheBooks.com shows that an Illinois family of four now owes more in unfunded pension liabilities ($76,000) than they earn in household income ($63,585). In a state of 13 million residents, every man, woman, and child owes $19,000 — on an estimated $251 billion pension liability.

Forbes
Categories
Thoughts

R.I.P. Rush Limbaugh

https://rushlimbaugh.com

Love him or hate him no one can deny the influence Rush Limbaugh had on conservatism and broadcasting. Rush single handedly saved AM radio when it was all but abandoned for FM and its stereo quality sound. I began listening to him around 1990 and did so almost daily for about 10 years. There wasn’t another person out there with the ability to deliver entertaining and thought provoking content for 3 hours every day.

Rush at his core was a conservative, yes, but not a hard right conservative. He was a live and let live kind of personality. I enjoyed his program. I believe, however, that his take on the news of the day is partly responsible for the terrible media landscape we have today. Through jealousy or hatred competitors tried to clone or counter his program. Every host and program tried to lean harder to the left or to the right. They thought it was the controversy that made Limbaugh popular rather than his conservative values. This gave rise to the political talk that dominates today’s cable TV news.

People who never listened to Limbaugh don’t understand him. I didn’t find him bigoted, racist, or offensive. I found him thought provoking and ready to take on arguments. Those angry from things he said were looking for excuses to be angry. They didn’t want to actually think about the topic and present their side.

The “Doctor of Democracy” will be missed.

Categories
Thoughts

Washington Post incites violence on pending impeachment vote

How is this not a threat on the public, the government, and civil society? Is this an attempt to threaten or coerce Senators into voting to convict? If anything happens in this country upon a Trump acquittal Jeff Bezos should be sued for damages and the Washington Post editorial board brought up on charges.

The above is a screenshot for posterity incase they remove the link to their actual tweet below.

Categories
Thoughts

Biden Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo should be fired

I didn’t know who TJ Ducklo was before today. The only reason I heard about him is because he threatened to “destroy” a writer for Politico. Why did he issue such a threat? Because Ducklo has a relationship with a reporter for Axios and that reporter covered the Biden campaign. And we wonder why the coverage of Biden was so fawning. This crap never ends.

But Ducklo shouldn’t be fired just because of the the threat he made. He should be fired because he appears to be an asshole. From the Vanity Fair article:

During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was “jealous” that an unidentified man in the past had “wanted to fuck” McCammond “and not you.” Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being “jealous” of his relationship with McCammond. (Palmeri had no prior relationship or communication with McCammond before calling her to report on the Playbook item, which was a story that she was assigned and had not independently pursued.)

Vanity Fair

Actually… now that I think about it… he should be fired just for having the name TJ Ducklo.

Categories
Thoughts

If the elderly die in nursing homes but no one counts them… did it happen?

Cuomo hid nursing home COVID-19 death info then covered it up. What consequences are there for this? Shouldn’t he be impeached as Governor of New York?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned.

The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

New York Post

In what should be an illegal CYA moment Cuomo purposely lied to the legislature and refused to provide them with information. He was afraid the Department of Justice would find out. Was there something illegal in Cuomo’s policies? If not, what was he afraid of? Was he afraid it would be used politically? Perhaps it would be. Does that justify lying to legislative oversight and hiding information from the Justice Department?

What would happen to you or I if we withheld information from state government or the Department of Justice? Surely we’d be prosecuted, and if found guilty, fined or imprisoned. What is the remedy against Cuomo?

A group of Democratic state senators demanded Friday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo be stripped of his emergency authority to deal with the coronavirus crisis in the wake of The Post’s revelation that his administration covered up nursing-home death data because of a pending federal probe.

New York Post

A slap on the wrist.

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay
Categories
Thoughts

Gina Carano gets cancelled by people defending Nazis and fascists

I had a tough time finding the actual post. It’s getting Google bombed. People can tell you about it but they’re not showing it.

I don’t normally pay much attention to celebrity news. But, once in a while these stories get so wide spread that even I hear about them. The latest is the bruhaha over Gina Carano and her firing by Disney over a post she made on Instagram. The post was about people with conservative political opinions being treated like Jews in Nazi Germany. Mind you, the Jews were rounded up and killed by the millions by Nazis. People with conservative viewpoints are not being rounded up and killed by the state… yet.

Actress Gina Carano has been booted off “The Mandalorian” after she penned a social media post that compared being a Republican to being Jewish in Nazi Germany.

The former MMA fighter — who played Cara Dune in the hit Disney+ show — was also dumped by United Talent Agency (UTA), Variety reported.

“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.

“Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable,” the statement continued.

Page Six

I think those calling for her cancellation and Disney’s subsequent firing proved the point she was making. Before the Nazis started murdering Jews they first propagandized the people against the Jews. That in turn allowed the state to start rounding them up. She didn’t denigrate the Jews. She was criticizing the Nazis and illustrating how they accomplished what they did. The people calling her out for cancellation are useful idiots of the progressive left.

Categories
Technology Thoughts

Clubhouse, the social network you didn’t know you didn’t need

Wave goodbye to Clubhouse

Clubhouse is the new hot commodity in the “tech” world. It’s basically an audio online chat room but with controls. From what I’m reading in tech press and hearing on podcasts Clubhouse is trying to be the next “platform” for speech. Not free speech mind you but for speech. This is just another platform to gain users for advertisers to scrape data.

There is no unique tech to Clubhouse. Yes, it’s audio only but this is something you can already do with Zoom or other group online meeting platforms. Just turn off the cameras. In Zoom, the person creating the meeting can control everything about the meeting. You can even open the meeting up to the public. What is stopping anyone from using Zoom as a broadcasting platform where advertisers can sponsor an event? Nothing. In fact it’s already happening with online webinars and conferences set up using Zoom or other online platforms.

Newer social networks, while dealing with the threat of having their features copied, must also figure out their business models in an industry where most digital-ad spending goes to Facebook and Alphabet Inc. Snapchat parent Snap Inc. remains unprofitable despite notching its highest quarterly growth in nearly five years in its latest quarter.

Clubhouse is exploring options for performers to receive tips, and offering paid events and memberships that would give users access to extra content, the founders said during a recent conversation on the app.

Wall Street Journal

So why is Clubhouse getting all this free press? Exclusivity. It’s invite only right now. It has that elitist vibe because celebrities and “luminaries” are the highlighted users. If you’re lucky enough to get into their “clubhouse” then you’ve made it. You’re in. You’re part of the elites!

Clubhouse could be successful in building paid features because of its air of exclusivity—an invitation is required to join, but easy to procure—and the high-profile names coming to converse on the platform, including Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, actor Lindsay Lohan and Brad Parscale, one-time campaign manager for former President Donald Trump.

Wall Street Journal

If you’re at all independent minded why would you want to join another social “platform” only to get de-platformed once you start to express views and opinions that are outside the club.

Starting a podcast is better than doing anything on Clubhouse. There is a near zero barrier to entry for podcasting. It’s virtually infinitely scalable because you can start using your own storage and if it gets popular you can transfer to a dedicated podcast service. You can have live interaction by streaming your podcast and having a chatroom or live call in like radio. Joining a service like Clubhouse only serves to enrich those providing that platform. If you have a good product or are already famous why put another middle man in between you and your ad dollars?

Categories
Thoughts

Illinois Senators unhappy with President Biden? Say it ain’t so Joe!

President Biden decided to fire the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois without consulting the two Democrat U.S. Senators. Why?

Is it possible that the Democrat party wants the trials that have implicated aldermen, executives of the state’s major electric utility, and the Speaker of the House of the Illinois General Assembly, to either disappear or to get watered down? Nah. Can’t be.

Joe Biden is swiftly pushing out almost all U.S. attorneys who served under his predecessor, which is increasingly the norm for new Presidents. But even Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, staunch allies of Mr. Biden, objected to his firing of Mr. Lausch, who has been a scourge of corruption in Democratic-dominated Springfield.

“While we agree with the Biden Administration’s criminal justice agenda, we are disappointed with the decision to terminate U.S. Attorney Lausch without consulting us,” the Senators said in a statement Tuesday. They cited the need to “conclude sensitive investigations” and added that “Mr. Lausch should be permitted to continue in his position until his successor is confirmed by the Senate.”

Wall Street Journal

Things were so bad in Illinois that even Durbin and Duckworth called for the Speaker to step down last year. He didn’t but was voted out as Speaker while he installed one of his top lieutenants to take his place. I’m sure the two Senators didn’t want it to look so obvious that the party needed some protection.

Categories
Thoughts

AFLCIO President Richard Trumka on the jobs President Biden destroyed

You can see the pain on his face when searching for the words to answer the interviewer’s questions on job losses and Joe Biden. Even though Biden destroyed tens of thousands of union jobs with his executive orders Trumka still can’t bring himself to say anything truly negative. When asked how he feels about the ban on fracking on federal lands Trumka has to do some mental gymnastics by saying the job losses will be recovered by some as yet unnamed policy Biden will create that is supposed to end up with a net of job gains. You can almost see smoke coming out of his ears from the strain.

Categories
Thoughts

NIH purposely misled Trump Administration on COVID-19 testing

Meet NIH Director Francis Collins. He likes to keep information from the White House when he feels like it.

What is it with Time Magazine, of all publications, uncovering and outing how the “deep state”, that we were told didn’t exist by major media, repeatedly sabotaged the Trump Administration? They are totally unafraid of any backlash for their collaboration with career bureaucrats to undermine the authority of a duly elected President of the United States.

In May 2020, Dr. Francis Collins, the longtime head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was called to the White House to meet with Jared Kushner, the then President’s son-in-law and adviser, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. A few weeks earlier, Congress had given the NIH $1.5 billion to try to speed up the process of developing new diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and the White House, which was dubious about increasing the rate of testing, wanted to know more about what the NIH was doing.

Collins is technically the boss of Dr. Anthony Fauci, but during the pandemic he has mostly taken a back seat to America’s most prominent epidemiologist when it comes to media. It’s not that Collins is not a great communicator; he’s known for his ability to talk about science at any level. But he did not wish to become an object of White House attention. So when he met with Kushner, “I did my best to try to describe what we were doing in a way that it wouldn’t attract a lot of desire on their part to interfere,” says Collins. “It was really technical and really geeky.”

In June, Kushner visited the NIH to hear about the new plan, known as RADx (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics), from other points of view. This time Collins’ engineering staff went into nerd-overdrive detail. “And that was the last we heard of White House interest in what we were doing for diagnostics,” says Collins. “To this day I have never done a briefing about RADx in the White House task force. And that was just fine.”

Time Magazine

I don’t pretend that this doesn’t happen to every President, Governor, or other executive that wins election. We should all be concerned that people being paid by our tax dollars take it upon themselves to undermine the people we elect to represent us and spend that money. What is the point of electing anyone if the regulatory agencies run roughshod without oversight?

This fawning article about Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, paints him as a hero. But, if you read comprehensively it’s not hard to see he is more a politician than a scientist. Like Fauci you don’t stay in a job like this without being a politico.

Keeping exactly the right height of profile is one Collins’ less-appreciated talents, the kind that has kept him at the head of a government agency through three presidential administrations, including the current one, to which he was reappointed in January. Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma calls him “the best politician in D.C.”

Time Magazine

In the paragraph below I highlight Mr. Collins’ true ability at the NIH. He is adept at taking your money and doing with it what he deems appropriate while keeping vital information from those we elect to oversee these agencies.

Collins has had to use every one of those abilities as he has tried to manipulate the levers of scientific mastery and money to confront the pandemic in the U.S. at a time of political instability. If Fauci and his team have been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, Collins has been their staunchest supporter, championing Fauci as he kept hammering the scientific facts home, and creating battle plans that may become the blueprints for the way the U.S. addresses its most besetting diseases in the future.

Time Magazine

Are all our presidents geniuses? No. Most of them are not even “stable geniuses”. But, it’s not the job of unelected employees of the people to just do what ever they want because they don’t like or don’t trust our elected representatives.