Category: Politics

I watched more of the democratic debate last night than any prior iteration.  The main reason was I was interested was to see how Mike Bloomberg, who has been rising in the polls despite just entering the race a couple months ago.  He has done so almost exclusively by TV ads and little else ( pun intended).  It is a testament to how malleable much of the electorate is, how easily they can be swayed by money alone.  Well despite his 50 billion plus, he got destroyed in the debate.

He came out of there looking like he was suffering from PTSD as he was repeatedly assaulted by the other candidates.  Elizabeth Warren struck the killing blow digging up all of the NDA agreements Bloomberg has with females to buy their silence over alleged incidents of sexual misconduct.  Bloomberg asked if he would waive the NDA’s verbally on the spot which he awkwardly and sheepishly declined.  He came out of the debate terribly in my opinion and I think he would be best served to take his mountain of cash and go home right now.

Amy Klobuchar, who consistently has received praise for her prior debate performances, finally cracked.  Mayor Pete obviously rattled her when he pointed out she did not know the president of Mexico’s name when asked the other day and making light of it.  He doubled down on the pressure pointing out she serves on a committee that deals with Mexican relations.  She instantly departed her normal happy countenance and instantly flipped into B mode, accusing Pete of calling her dumb, which he didn’t do.  Pete smacked her around on her voting record as well on immigration issues which again solicited a similar response from Amy.  It was the first time I had seen her lose it, and it wasn’t pretty.

Joe Biden has turned into a cartoon character, or more specifically, the grinch.  All he did all night was act outraged repeatedly as he stared into the camera with a very grinch resembling look.  The way he portrays himself you would think he was president during Obama’s run.  Hell it was almost like he thinks he was Dick Cheyney.  Joe is done, just like Bloomberg. No one cares what he has to say.

Elizabeth Warren as I mentioned earlier chopped off Bloomberg at the knees and I think overall she represented herself well.  However I just think her loud and generally angry persona hurts her as a female candidate, which is ironic because that is what many would see as a strength for Bernie.  I like Warren but I have a hard time seeing her being able to generate the sort of energy needed to get the voter turnout necessary to make change happen.

I think Buttigeig really is a gay, white Obama and that is meant as a compliment.  His measured, calm but intellectual responses to both questions and attacks is pretty amazing to watch.  I respect intelligence and the ability to communicate effectively immensely when it comes to political candidates and he gets an A+ in those areas.  I think the fact that he has some ultra-rich supporters isn’t quite as nefarious as Bernie and others have painted it to be although I do understand the concern.  I really do like his approach to issues like health care that may be characterized as less radical and more realistic.  I think seeing him debate Donald Trump would be a fascinating dichotomy of polar opposites in personality and beliefs.

So all that remains is Bernie.  I love Bernie, I have contributed to Bernie’s campaign.  I believe in Bernie’s core concepts that the system has been rigged for decades and needs to be retooled.  Bernie was his usual loud, gesticulating self, saying many of the same things we have heard since 2015, which still remain true, in some cases even more so.  I think his policies are so out of the box that they could mobilize a good portion of the 30-40% of normal election non-participants to get out there, which is a republican’s worst nightmare.

Bernie is not a young man, which concerns me, but he obviously has no shortage of energy or enthusiasm.  The bigger issue I have is although I love his ideals, I am also a realist and know that without ripping out a large part of the seated congress, none of his policies have a shot of coming to fruition.  You can’t implement Medicare for all without congressional support and it isn’t there, nor do I see it being there anytime soon.  Without term limits and outlawing the lobbyist system, I have no idea of how that would ever change.  So part of me is conflicted because the bottom line is I want to see some sort of appreciable change take place.

So anyway, it will be interesting to see the fallout from last night’s debate and it will be interesting to see which candidates rise and fall as a result.

 

 

 

Yesterday was pretty shitty at work due to someone pulling the plug on the building not once but three times.  The biggest casualty was one of our virtual servers that I had to restore from the previous back up.  There have been some scattered collateral damage as well but at this point things seem back to normal.  The bad news is the UPS tech is supposed to be back today to replace whatever component burned up.  I am hoping this procedure completes without incident.

The senate officially ended the impeachment trial without calling any additional witnesses or requesting any new documents, despite clear evidence that both of these things would have further solidified an already overbearing case against Trump abusing his power to gain potential political advantage.  There was never any doubt that it would be impossible to get a super majority to go against Donald yet the process was carried out.

I was touched by Mitt Romneys speech where he explained that his sincere commitment to God made it impossible for him to toe the line that he was asked to stand behind by Trump apologists.  He swore to be impartial and if anyone that heard all of the evidence was truly impartial going in, they would almost certainly reach the same conclusion.  He will certainly be the object of now standard bullying and mockery which is a staple of American politics, brought to the foreground by our glorious, extremely stable, perfect, super sized, big league genius president who has an IQ so huge that he blocked release of his school records to obscure it.

The realist in me wonders what was the point?  If the big picture goal was to get big dummy out of office, did this process help or hinder it? The idealist in me agrees that even if it’s obvious that ultimate removal from office is unreachable, ignoring abhorrent behavior only encourages more of it to occur. We see this every single day in all aspects of life.  Rewarding bad behavior is becoming the norm in our society and it leads nowhere but downward.

Trumpism is a term that has been invented since 2016 which defines a certain mindset and tactic.  It has no reliance on truth, facts, or science, it’s all about emotion, aggression, and hatred.   It is a trait that is a requirement if you want to be in the circle of influence in the White House.  I heard a funny conversation about Trumpism and how it’s foundation lies in a profound ignorance of the world that surrounds you or at least an unwillingness to acknowledge it.  It was described as being comprised mostly of “credulous rube boomers” who were looking for someone to feed them what they were craving, a disdain of others unlike themselves.  This description made me laugh out loud but it really does carry some weight.

It just blows me away that a good percentage of the American populace is fully aware that the President repeatedly and consistently lies to their face, yet they continue to slap their MAGA hats on with pride.  I mean really, it is no different than the part of human beings that allows them to be controlled by religion, even though religious beliefs are the driving force behind some of the largest atrocities in history.  I wish I could trust American voters to correct the aberration that happened in 2016 but common sense seems to be a dwindling natural resource in our country.

 

Last night after dinner I struggled in the hobby room with both of my Prusa printers.  They both had a similar issue, filament was stuck in the throat of the hot end.  One of the printers wasn’t too bad to correct, I was able to push the broken filament out the bottom with a small alan key.  The other printer I worked on for a half hour trying to push the filament out the bottom from the top using various methods and was unsuccessful.  The way I finally got the filament out was to remove printer nozzle and shove from the bottom up which popped the broken piece of filament out like a piece of popcorn.  I started prints on both printers just to make sure all was well.  Both prints were finished up this morning without issue.

I watched a little of the impeachment vote madness last night and came away from it disgusted.  The partisan politics that have now become a staple of our country on both sides is toxic, debilitating, and depressing.  I see Trump and his defenders spewing absolute nonsense that gets gobbled up by their supporters like a baby bird getting food from it’s mother.  I see democrats clumsily trying to navigate the impeachment process that at best will just be a footnote on Trump’s presidency due to the Senate already declaring their NOT GUILTY verdict, despite their trial not even starting.  What would you think if somebody went up on charges and before the trial began the jury said “we don’t need to hear any evidence we already made our mind up”  It’s insane, but that is what is happening.

Hanging the impeachment scarlet letter around Donald’s neck is nice, but if the end result is not a change in leadership in 2020 it is a very hollow and near meaningless victory.

When you step back and look at the absurdity of the current state of our country that allowed a egomaniacal, corrupt billionaire reality tv personality to become the leader of the free world, it really makes you wonder if we are not really getting what we deserve.  If the masses are unable to discern real from fake, good from bad, or short term gains from long term prosperity, perhaps this is the PERFECT president for us all.  See you at the bottom of the toilet bowl.

 

Yesterday I got a request from the solar company for a copy of my one million dollar umbrella liability policy that was required to connect to the LCEC solar grid.  I immediately forwarded the policy hoping this meant things would continue to progress with minimal delay.  When I asked what the estimate was for flipping the switch I was not happy with the answer, somewhere around 30 days.  I’m going to be calling LCEC this morning to see what I can do to get some acceleration on that timeline.  It would be unfortunate to have the array in the backyard for a month twiddling it’s thumbs.

This weekend has standard fare on the menu including trying to get more of the Xmas buying task completed so I can move on to just enjoying the season.

I was very surprised on Wednesday when I heard Hilary Clinton was on the Stern show.  I heard maybe an hour of the interview which I found to be very interesting.  Howard has always been a big Hilary fan and during the 2016 election he repeatedly said how he would have loved to have her on the show.  The lack of time restriction and free flowing style of the conversation gave insight into Hilary that probably would have been helpful in her presidential bid.

Speaking of presidential politics, my views on it have shifted somewhat in the last 6 months or so.  In 2016 I was all about Bernie and his progressive ideas that basically were the next step, building on some of the ideas that Obama tried to get rolling.  I thought the way Hilary won was definitely shady and I think the “super delegate” system is utterly ridiculous.  However, I also think that the bitter stance that Bernie took about Hilary being the nominee possibly was a deciding factor leading to King Clown being in the White house today.  Bernie’s half hearted endorsement pushed a lot of his supporters to more or less waste their vote on the independent candidates in 2016 to make a statement, which had an impact in close states.  I know my brother Patrick who is a HUGE Bernie supporter did exactly that.

So I still love Bernie but to be quite honest my biggest concern is getting a candidate that will beat Trump.  Despite the utter lunacy of the last three years up to and including the current impeachment process, there is a dangerous chance he could get reelected because some key economic numbers are good.  His short sighted corporate tax breaks and regulation roll backs have resulted in lots of profit reaping for those in the penthouse looking down.  The average Joe is not better off, especially if he is smart enough to figure out that he basically traded a few less tax dollars for paying more for goods and services courtesy of tariffs.  Employment numbers are also at some of the best levels ever however that doesn’t factor in that workforce participation is actually at a historical low, somewhere around 63%. People that aren’t looking for jobs don’t count as being unemployed. This is the same participation number under Obama, yet he was vilified for it while Donald sweeps it under the rug.

The most damning and telling truth about the propped up economic prosperity is that despite some big numbers elsewhere in the economy they have not had the affect on deficits that they had in the past.  Usually when the economy is booming the federal deficit shrinks.  Remember those years where Clinton actually was running at a budget surplus?  Well the stable genius instead has thrown long term viability in the dumpster for short term gains.  The deficit has exploded under Trump.  But you know what, most people just are too lazy or unfocused to care.

They see the stock market is high and unemployment is low and that is good enough for them.  If their own tiny circle of life is ok most are unlikely to be concerned with the big picture, it’s a shortcoming of human nature.  Until a pile of shit is in your own front yard you don’t care about it. So anyway what all this ranting means in a nutshell is if the main numbers in the economy remain at this level, it is going to be difficult to shake people out of their lack of common sense coma.  A popping stock market bubble that seems to be long overdue, would go a long way towards helping the election outcome.

So anyway, this situation has morphed my ideas about the most viable candidate for the democrats.  If I am being honest the extremely progressive ideas that candidates like Bernie and Elizabeth Warren present, while being idealistic and definitely greater good based, are also too polarizing and just unrealistic in today’s political environment.  To actually accomplish what they propose would basically require ripping out most of the current sitting Congress and implementing term limits.  They would never be able to get anywhere with these ideas without progressive support from both the House and Senate, which I just don’t think is there.  It’s great that they say they want to make all of these sweeping changes but if they have no shot of actually making them happen and their policies are like throwing gas on the Trump acolytes fire, does it serve the end goal of getting the insanity out of the White House?

So with my revised thought process the two candidates I really like are Buttigieg and Yang.  Both men are incredibly intelligent, young, and offer more middle viewpoints that still push towards the progressive side without creating the sort of noise and memes that phrases like “wealth tax” invoke.   Yang is pretty far back in the pack but Buttigieg at least has some momentum in Iowa so we will see if that translates into actual traction.  Unfortunately being a gay man will carry the same if not more discrimination from some people that also hated Obama.  It’s pretty pathetic that the religious right would never consider a gay candidate but will openly embrace Trump who never met a moral he wasn’t happy to walk on top of.

Ok enough ranting, let’s enjoy the weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

It looks like my solar install is full steam ahead.  Yesterday I called to have the underground utilities marked to make sure nothing is cut during excavation.  Most of the digging is going to occur in the backyard but there will be a long trench cut that leads to the house to tie into the grid.  I took the day off to be available if needed and to allow me to document the process on video.

So last night I spent more time fcking around with the MMU2S attachment on my one Prusa and once again I met with failure.  Obviously by this point I am very frustrated with the set up.  I need to take a deep breath, regroup and methodically step through troubleshooting steps one at a time.  Ironically, despite my annoyance with this particular Prusa product, I bought another MK3S yesterday once again using mostly 3D print store funds.  They were running a 10% off deal right now which incentivized me.  I will now have as many Prusa printers as Anycubic I3 Mega’s, my old workhorse printer.  The MK3S printers are going to be assuming more and more of that role.

Wow Sondland really tossed the stable genius right under the bus yesterday, negating all of Trump’s sharpie scribbled notes.  I’m not sure what was more entertaining, seeing Sondland basically said that Trump and all of the acolytes that ingest his bullshit like sweet nectar are all full of shit or seeing the pic of Trump’s child-like notes.  There is no doubt that this is fantastically, very, very, bad for the extremely stable, sharpie note reading, best of all time, genius.  Please sweep this bad joke out of office.

All it is going to take is a couple brave Republicans to put a crack in the dam of fake, self serving support of the President.  Once that happens and everyone realizes they are backing the losing horse they will abandon ship faster than they did on the Titanic with only Rudy Guilliani left playing violin on the upper deck.

 

So this morning a snap decision was made in my head that it was time to start trimming back my collection of PEVs.  The first potential target of that effort is the Ultron scooter.  The scooter is fast and fun but really just a rougher version of the Dualtron II Ex we already own.  I bought it originally because I thought I needed it to keep up with Cindy when she is riding the Dualtron.  It’s true that none of my EUCs can comfortably cruise 30mph for long periods of time like the scooter can but an easier/less expensive solution is for Cindy to just slow down a little bit, lol.

So I listed the scooter on OfferUp this morning, the same place the RV has resided for months on end.  I have no idea how easy/difficult it will be to sell but it will be sold, guaranteed.  It will be nice to get some of the money spent back in my wallet and to have one less PEV sitting in the dining room.

Today on my drive to work I had the GoPro running the entire time.  My goal was to have Auto Pilot engaged as much as possible to demonstrate how it handles different road types and situations.  It will be a bit challenging to edit the footage in a way that makes it decent but I will get it to work.  Non-Tesla owners find this sort of stuff very interesting to watch, I know I did.

For those of you out there that digest the waste product that comes out of President Trump’s mouth without any intellectual analysis like a human centipede, I wanted to make an effort to break one link of the chain of madness for you.  One of the things Don has been spewing regarding the trade negotiations with China is that tariffs are a good thing that benefit the US, bringing billions of dollars to the US government.  Here is a quote from the other day “Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do…”

Ok since Donald evidently doesn’t understand the logistics of tariffs here is the cliff notes version.  China does NOT pay the tariffs.  The businesses in the US that buy/import goods from China pay the tariffs. Those increased costs then almost always are passed down the chain to the consumer meaning every Tom, Dick, and Harry is paying the tariff, not China.  I have also heard Trump say these tariffs have made the US government billions of dollars, again ignorantly.  He seems to think a tariff is a check written by China that is deposited into a federal government account.  Nope, it basically is a tax on goods that we all pay.

So this explanation does not mean that I think that the China/US trade imbalance is not an issue, it is.  For decades the Chinese have stacked the deck by basically playing dirty pool.  However as is often the case with President Big League, whether it is intentional or just pure ignorance, he is misleading the populace on how this all really works.  The unfortunate thing is how many millions will accept his ignorant/false statements as facts and will quickly move on, looking for the next piece of poop to munch on.

 

 

Yesterday I heard a good portion of the Michael Cohen testimony.  There wasn’t a lot of new things revealed although I did think it was funny that Trump threatened the schools he attended to not release his grades or SAT scores.  Despite obviously being a flawed individual, I think Cohen came off as pretty sincere in his intent to “repent”.   Backing up some of his statements with documentation was just another log on the fire of Trump’s credibility.  If anyone has any doubt that Trump is a habitual liar, so much so that he believes his own fabrications, it is incredulous to me.

I ironically got some additional context and history on why Donald is the way he is last night.  A buddy of mine from work that shares my general political feelings said he watched the first episode of a documentary on Netflix on our president, called Trump, An American Dream, a very tongue in cheek title.  It starts back in the the mid-70’s and documents his history which is honestly very interesting.  I never saw Trump’s father before, wow he seemed like a cartoon character. He used similar repetitive use of words like tremendous, amazing, and spectacular, a speaking pattern his son obviously picked up on.  Roy Cohn, one of Trump’s early all star lawyers looked like he was straight out of the Godfather, what a creepy dude.

Even way back then you could see all of the same traits that were sort of funny and entertaining when he was just an ambitious real estate tycoon that worked NYC for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax abatements. Those traits unfortunately don’t make for a competent president.  If you have a Netflix account you should give it a watch.

Yesterday my additional parts for the new computer arrived,a NAND stick style SSD drive and an additional 16GM memory stick.  The SSD is  a Samsung which is Bthe ONLY brand of SSD I use.  I have had great reliability with them but the biggest reason is their migration software is fantastic and works perfectly everytime, making migration a piece of cake.  To make it all work I had to buy a cheap USB enclosure for the new stick and then transfer the data to it using one of the high speed USB ports.  The process took a little over an hour which wasn’t bad.  When I was finished I was up and running with 3X the space on my C drive than I started with.  Doubling up the RAM to 32GB was probably less necessary but can be useful for things like video editing/processing.

Later I got back into WoW to see if I could get it running smoothly.  The video card in this system is top tier so running an older game like WoW should be a piece of cake.  Well I fought on and off with it for about an hour trying various settings.  The only way I could keep the game running decently is by turning certain graphic features off or way down which is definitely not how it is supposed to be.  I should be able to max out everything without issue.  I need to load up another game to see how it responds graphically.  If it runs without issue at high settings then I at least know my issue is WOW specific and not a hardware problem.

I saw Bernie officially declared for the 2020 presidential race yesterday.  I love Bernie and I am pulling for him but I have to be honest, there is part of me that thinks he is just too old for the job.  He is currently 77 years old and would be scraping 80 by the time the election comes around.  Yes Bernie still has good energy and seems to have solid health but still, the demands of that job just do not seem appropriate for an octogenarian.  If Bernie was the only progressive candidate that has declared I may feel differently but there are several younger candidates with similar platforms that may be equally good options.

It is a bit disconcerting to see so many declaring so early. The end result must be strong support from the party behind a unifying candidate.  God knows Hilary better steer clear of 2020.  Her love/hate relationship with the country was responsible for letting Donald in the door, which will be looked back on as the most embarrassing presidency in the history of the United States. I know tons of staunch Bernie supporters were so pissed about how the DNC rigged the system in Hilary’s favor that they refused to vote for her, throwing their vote into the wind for the independent candidates or GASP, maybe even Trump as the ultimate FU.  Sanity must prevail this time around.

Last night I worked on crafting my official to do list for my upcoming six day staycation.  The list is substantial with six or seven items on it but there is no MASSIVE project on there.  Some of the jobs are straight out grunt work like putting down more mulch and dumping more top soil in the chicken playground area.  Then there is the grinder type items like repainting the roof of the chicken coop which is going to include being up there with a shop vac to try to scrape/vacuum all the loose paint before I redo it with very expensive white Flex Seal.  Then there are the two technical and tedious list items, ripping apart my Msuper to tighten the axle nuts and replacing the hot bed wire on my AnyCubic Chiron.  Both of those tasks should be lots of (un)fun.

It is winter so this is THE time to get unpleasant outdoor tasks completed.  The extended weather forecast looks amenable during my time off.  As always I will push myself hard during the front end of the time off to get as much done as possible with the hopes of enjoying some guilt free, less laborious hours towards the end.

Am I the only one that finds it incredulous that the government shutdown has lasted this long thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? You may recall that Trump was ready to sign legislation to keep the government fully open in December, without wall requirements.  However once Rush and Ann pronounced that Trump would be weak for doing so he quickly reversed directions and started trying to brain wash his acolytes that NOW there is a national emergency at the border, that somehow something has suddenly changed that mutated a situation that has existed for decades into a “crisis of the soul”.

The shutdown that Donald proudly and defiantly proclaimed he would take responsibility for in the meeting with Schumer and Pelosi now has been retcon’d to be the Democrats fault for “not caring about border security”. The same border security that Trump said has improved very, very greatly under his presidency.  The fact is that illegal border immigration is at a 12 YEAR LOW. Somehow that declining trend is being spun as a national emergency that is just a veiled attempt for Donald to please his hypocritical base of core Trumpettes.  It’s utter lunacy.

Of course nothing has changed, except that the Democrats now control the House of Representatives, which is the true crisis in Donald’s mind.  It will be interesting to see who blinks first.  As he has demonstrated countless times, Donald is essentially a man-child that is apt to tantrum easily when he is told no.   There has been no parent to discipline him for the last two years.  It’s time to bring out the paddle.