Fallout from the Mueller report

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Chris Matthews - excerpted from this transcript of his broadcast - Breitbart:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why was there never an interrogation of this president? We were told for weeks by experts you cannot deal with an obstruction of justice charge or investigation without getting to motive. You don’t get to motive until you hear from the person himself who’s being targeted, a subject of the investigation. How can they let Trump off the hook? So far tonight, so far tonight, we have no reason to believe Trump is going to be charged by rhetoric in the document itself, in the Mueller report, he will not be charged with obstruction or of collusion, without ever having to sit down with the special counsel and answer his damn questions. How can that happen?

Good Lord...  What a whiny little bitch.

Look. I get it. Orange Man is bad. My problem is that you are clueless and out of touch so go back to your family and STFU for a while. Take a Chill Pill or something. Pandering to your elite buddies will only get you so far.

Loaded up and out the door

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In to Bellingham, Costco (human, cat and dog food) and back to the farm.

Out the door

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Coffee and the store for a little bit then finishing packing the van for the condo. Got a load of laundry started here.

Look up tonight

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Chance of aurora borealis - from Cliff Mass:

Potential Aurora Tonight!
One of the most extraordinary natural sights to behold is the aurora borealis and tonight and early Sunday morning, you might have a chance to see one in our region.

On Wednesday, there was a massive solar flare, followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME), on the sun. It takes a few days for electrons and protons associated with the CME to reach the earth's atmosphere, and in fact, it has JUST ARRIVED. This is evident from the latest planetary K index (a measure of the disturbance of Earth's magnetic field) form the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

Forecast is for partly cloudy so we will see...

Learning from history - not

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George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
And then, there is this attributed to Mark Twain: "History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes"
Anyway, here is something from Ed Driscoll writing at Instapundit that caught my eye:


Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard.

Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.

* * * * * * * *

The diseases sometimes get the “medieval” moniker because people in that era lived in squalid conditions without clean water or sewage treatment, said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA.

— “’Medieval’ Diseases Flare as Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate,” Scientific American, March 15th.


In 1968, in San Francisco, I came across a curious footnote to the hippie movement. At the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic there were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroll, the rot. And how was it that they had now returned? It had to do with the fact that thousands of young men and women had migrated to San Francisco to live communally in what I think history will record as one of the most extraordinary religious fevers of all time.

The hippies sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start out from zero. At one point the novelist Ken Kesey, leader of a commune called the Merry Pranksters, organized a pilgrimage to Stonehenge with the idea of returning to Anglo-Saxon civilization’s point zero, which he figured was Stonehenge, and heading out all over again to do it better. Among the codes and restraints that people in the communes swept aside—quite purposely—were those that said you shouldn’t use other people’s toothbrushes or sleep on other people’s mattresses without changing the sheets or, as was more likely, without using any sheets at all, or that you and five other people shouldn’t drink from the same bottle of Shasta or take tokes from the same cigarette. And now, in 1968, they were relearning . . . the laws of hygiene . . . by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot. This process, namely the relearning—following a Promethean and unprecedented start from zero—seems to me to be the leitmotif of the twenty-first century in America.

—Tom Wolfe, from his 1987 essay “The Great Relearning,” included in his 2000 anthology, Hooking Up. 

Ed also links to this article; the thesis of which, I think, is a very good idea: We Shut Down State Mental Hospitals. Some People Want to Bring Them Back

Makes my morning a much happier one to hear this. A couple of clickable headlines:

This could not be happening to a more deserving group of people.

And back for the evening

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Nothing much on the net. YouTube and a full day of packing and moving tomorrow.

And it is already up on SCRIBD

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Report from the Special Counsel Investigation into Russian Interference During and Before the 2016 Presidential Election

69 pages of powerful and clear writing. It is more than I expected from Mueller.

Heading out for a bite

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Bite to eat - don't know where yet.

Got some people from the Humane Society coming to take my critters - I was going to post them on Craigslist but realized that the Humane Society will do a lot better job of screening the new owners. It was wonderful sharing the farm with them (and the chickens and ducks and goats and Sam the Mule) but since I am moving, it is best to get them relocated in early spring so they have time to adapt to their new quarters before next winter hits.

Back after dinner and a couple pints. Been working in the DaveCave - camera and music stuff. To the condo tomorrow.

There's gold in them thar hills

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Interesting story about America's other gold rush - from Appalachian Magazine:

200+ Years Ago: The Carolina Gold Rush
When one thinks of an American goldrush, the thoughts of dusty prospectors racing west to the deserts of California or the icy mountains of Alaska typically aren’t far behind.

Though it is true that California’s 49ers took part in America’s most well known gold rush, the truth is a half-century earlier, the newly birthed nation was captivated by the prospect of gold being buried in the foothills of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

The story begins in 1799 when a 12-year-old boy, was shooting fish with a bow and arrow in a stream near what would become Charlotte, North Carolina.

Wonderful story - I had no idea this happened. We had quite the gold rush here in the Cascade mountains - the Appalachian's were just as mineral rich, just a lot older and more eroded. I live about 50 miles from an active gold mine.

Great article on citogenesis at the Theory, Evolution, and Games Group (great website for math nerds):

Danger of motivatiogenesis in interdisciplinary work
Randall Munroe has a nice old xkcd on citogenesis: the way factoids get created from bad checking of sources. But let me summarize the process without direct reference to Wikipedia:

1. Somebody makes up a factoid and writes it somewhere without citation.
2. Another person then uses the factoid in passing in a more authoritative work, maybe sighting the point in 1 or not.
3. Further work inherits the citation from 2, without verifying its source, further enhancing the legitimacy of the factoid.
4. The cycle repeats.

Soon, everybody knows this factoid and yet there is no ground truth to back it up. I’m sure we can all think of some popular examples. Social media certainly seems to make this sort of loop easier.

Randall's cartoon can be found here and it is so true. This is how Global Warming got a foothold even though the actual measured data do not add up. All the "scare quotes" come from tweaked computer models.

Object of Desire

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I want one of these machines:


Gorgeous CGI - I love the kinematics on that spring in the middle of the linkage. The ever-so-slight camera shake and jerkiness is just icing on a wonderful cake.

From NBC News:

Mueller submits report on Trump investigation to AG Barr
Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday wrapped up his nearly two-year investigation into Donald Trump and Russia and sent his report to Attorney General William Barr.

No details of Mueller's findings have been released, but Barr said he may be able to brief congressional leaders on the report as soon as this weekend.

"I am reviewing this report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend," Barr wrote in a letter on Friday to a group of lawmakers on the House and Senate judiciary committees.

I wonder just how much money was spent on this nothingburger. If you want to look at collusion with the Russians, you need look no further than the Clinton Foundation.

At the farm

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Went directly up without stopping in Belliongham. Things are fine here - stopped in at the store for a little bit. Ready to start loading crap for the condo (and the dumpster).

Points north

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Load up the truck and out of here.

All that snow - river levels rising

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A very graphic look at two local rivers - nothing as bad as what is happening now in Nebraska but still:



Larger than normal amounts of snow followed by warmer than normal weather.
No worries, just something to keep an eye on.

Killed by Google

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Google is famous notorious for buying technology, running with it for a little while and then killing it off. Here is a website devoted to this app-icide: Killed by Google

Back home for a little bit

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Got some paperwork to do here and then heading up to the Bellingham condo and then the farm.

Next project here will be ripping all my DVDs - not as many as music CDs but still quite a few. I am using the wonderful (and free and open source) Handbrake with the sooper seekret libdvdcss.dll add-on. A nice how-to here.

Paperwork, surf for a little bit and then on the road again. Swing by the auction house on my way out.

Out the door

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The usual - got nine more disks to return to the library.

Heading up to the farm today - got a bunch of stuff there to do. No meetings next week so spending a bit of time up there packing.

Back here for a few hours first - auction preview later today.

Heading out for a bit

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Library, storage locker (getting and putting) and another check at the post office - expecting something.
Bite to eat and then a 7:00PM meeting.

Been digitizing my music CDs. A week ago I discovered that Exact Audio Copy will run multiple instances without any problem so ordered three more CD readers. I am now ripping four disks at once. Speeds things up a lot - I am now at 15,421 individual tunes. Fortunately, the end is in sight - I only have a couple boxes of disks left to process.

A two-fer - first from US News and World Report:

Health Officials Warn of Measles Exposure
HEALTH OFFICIALS IN Los Angeles County are warning about possible exposure to measles amid a spike in cases elsewhere in the country in recent months.

In late December, one person who was sick with the highly contagious viral infection visited several stores and restaurants in Malibu, Pasadena and Santa Monica while contagious, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said there is no remaining risk in those areas, but people who may have been near the infected person should watch for any symptoms of the illness, which is spread through cough or sneeze and causes fever, red eyes and a rash. Most people who haven't been immunized will get measles if they are exposed to the virus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

And this blast of truth from Scientific American:

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society
The ongoing measles outbreaks across the United States and Europe prove definitively that our personal choices affect everybody around us. Although you have a right to your own body, your choice to willfully be sick ends where another’s right to be healthy begins. For that reason, people who “opt out” of vaccines should be opted out of American society.

This is America, the Land of the Free. That freedom, however, doesn’t mean “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.” When we choose to live in a society, there are certain obligations—both moral and legal—to which we are bound. You cannot inflict harm or infringe on the rights and liberties of those around you.

So true - some little snowflakes out there need to be hit with the cluebat. And this great comparison:

Finally, your moral and legal obligations to the safety of others can even curtail combinations of your rights. Even though consuming alcohol and driving are both legal activities, they are not legal when performed together. Nearly 11,000 people die every year because people choose to exercise their “rights” inappropriately.

The exact same reasoning applies to vaccination. There is no moral difference between a drunk driver and a willfully unvaccinated person. Both are selfishly, recklessly and knowingly putting the lives of everyone they encounter at risk. Their behavior endangers the health, safety and livelihood of the innocent bystanders who happen to have the misfortune of being in their path.

And your argument is?

I'll be Bach

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Happy 334th Birthday. Love his music. Studied piano as a kid and switched to organ when my feet could reach the pedals. Bach was always one of my favorites to play. A favorite piece is BWV 564 - his Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major especially the middle Adagio section - simply sublime. One of my absolute favorite pieces of music. The Adagio begins at 5:05 if you do not want to listen to the whole piece, at least do yourself a favor and scroll to it.

The Toccata is nice and thunderous especially with the doubled bass notes and the Fugue is a wild romp of a thing -  a lot of fun to play.

And I am out for the usual

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Coffee, post office and a couple of errands. Ham Radio group meeting tonight and then up to the farm for a few days.

Craft beer - Super Eight

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Now this is interesting - from Dogfish Brewery:

We have a saying here at Dogfish Head, ‘Analog beer for the digital age.’ Whether it’s a blissfully inefficient brewing process, high-quality (and often obscure) ingredients, or simply the handcrafted care that goes into the making of an off-centered ale, you’ll find it’s at the heart of everything we do.

That same spirit can be found in our latest collaboration with the analog creators at Kodak. They’re bold. They’re storytellers. And well, they’re our kind of people. Which is why we’ve teamed up with them to ‘develop’ a one-of-a-kind partnership that’s full of creative chemistry.

It all started when Dogfish founder & CEO Sam Calagione learned during a Kodak podcast that if the pH of a beer is low enough, it just might be able to develop their Super 8 film. Challenge accepted.

Insert SuperEIGHT (the beer). This sessionable super gose is brewed with eight heroic ingredients: prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juices, toasted quinoa and an ample addition of red Hawaiian sea salt! Okay, so technically that's nine, but it 'gose' without say that there's going to be salt. These unique ingredients give this beer a vibrant red color, with delicious flavors of berries and watermelon, along with a tart - yet refreshing - finish.

But that’s not all … it also effectively develops Kodak’s Super 8 film. From the can to the stop bath, there’s a whole lot of science and alternative processing that takes place to bring the imagery to life. And it’s so totally worth it.

There are a lot of unusual developers for film. Coffee for one - you need Vitamin C to lower the pH but it works.

The electoral college - keep it

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Democrats claim that it is outmoded. They want to elect a president based on the popular vote. The problem is that our Constitution defines America as a Federation of States. The States are independent and not subservient to the Federal Government. The role of the Federal Government is actually quite minimal.

The Electoral College makes each state have equal say in the election of the President. The problem with using a popular vote is that the large population centers tend to be run by Democrats. Here is a graphic that makes this very clear:


Take that - Kale Lovers

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Much prefer chard to Kale - even Collards is better. From CNBC News:

Kale is now one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables
Often touted for being highly nutritious, kale has joined the list of 11 other fruits and vegetables known to be “dirty,” according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

The watchdog group publishes its “Dirty Dozen” list annually, in which it ranks the 12 produce items that contain the highest amount of pesticide residues. The group analyzes data from the Department of Agriculture’s regular produce testing to determine the list.

And what did they find?

More than 92 percent of kale had residue from at least two pesticides after washing and peeling the appropriate vegetables, according to the report. Some had up to 18. Almost 60 percent of the kale samples showed residual Dacthal, a pesticide that is known as a possible human carcinogen.

What to eat?

The group releases its “Clean Fifteen” list as well, highlighting the 15 produce items with the least amount of pesticide residue detected. It includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melons.

I love all of these except for eggplant. Never liked eggplant.

Dumb and Dumber - Joe Biden

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This is downright silly - from Axios:

Scoop: Biden advisers debate Stacey Abrams as out-of-the-gate VP choice
Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.

Yeah - she is popular with the low-information voter but not exactly VP caliber. And then there is the taint of voter fraud: here, here, here, here - I could go on but you get the idea...

The last day of really great weather

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Got cooler weather forecast for the foreseeable future - cloudy with some showers. I applied moss killer to the lawn here so that will get it watered in and working. Loads of pollen out. Costco makes a really nice allergy medicine.

Another day in paradise

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Working on stuff here - meeting tomorrow so spending the two days on the island and then to the farm for a few days.

The dogs are still enjoying their new bones - constant gnawing sounds...

Planning to make some Brazilian Feijoada  (but with just the bacon for protein) for dinner tonight (and tomorrow). Picked up some thick cut smoked bacon when I got their bones.

Surf for a bit and then back to work.

Internet whack-a-doodles - Orroville

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Yesterday morning, I posted an article critical of the repairs at the Oroville dam. American Thinker is generally a decent media source so their posting lent it some credence. The two issues pointed to in that article are water flowing through the closed spillway valves and the fact that FEMA is denying a significant tranche of the money for the repair and the new construction.

Reader GJ pointed me to this great new video from Juan Browne:

I have been following Juan's channel for a while - great videos. Anyway, Juan comments that the spillway valves never had any seals in them, they leaked originally and will always leak. This is by design and is not a sign of damage. Juan commented that there were a whole lot of Internet Whack-a-doodles claiming that this was a sign that the dam was failing. Point taken (grin).

Juan also commented that FEMA will credit 75% of construction monies if the failure was a true natural disaster. In the case of this dam, it was highly deferred maintenance and lack of attention to developing problems (forensic report here). Typical California management - in this case FEMA does not pay.

Bryant, WA sustained a Magnitude 2.9 earthquake earlier this afternoon. Rattle the plates in the cupboard but no structural damage.

And back again

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Did some yard work, ran up to Mt. Vernon to Costco, the food coop, Lowes and had dinner at the buffet. Two pints at a local. Started talking with someone I have seen several times. There is a house in town with a great collection of military vehicles and this woman was talking about how she and her husband (both ex-military) own a number of things. Yep - same house. Connections.

Radio network went really well - not perfect attendance but conditions were good and we did a couple of drills. Good training for when the excrement actually does hit the rotary air mover.

Got up to 76°F this afternoon and down to 48°F last night - woo hoo!!!

Up early so calling it a short night - quick surf and YouTube and then to bed.

Some interesting research - from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Do Minimum Wage Increases Reduce Crime?
An April 2016 Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report advocated raising the minimum wage to deter crime. This recommendation rests on the assumption that minimum wage hikes increase the returns to legitimate labor market work while generating minimal adverse employment effects. This study comprehensively assesses the impact of minimum wages on crime using data from the 1998-2016 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). Our results provide no evidence that minimum wage increases reduce crime. Instead, we find that raising the minimum wage increases property crime arrests among those ages 16-to-24, with an estimated elasticity of 0.2. This result is strongest in counties with over 100,000 residents and persists when we use longitudinal data to isolate workers for whom minimum wages bind. Our estimates suggest that a $15 Federal minimum wage could generate criminal externality costs of nearly $2.4 billion.

Emphases mine - the whole paper is paywalled but I'm going to get it through our local library. Very interesting and shows that every action has unintended consequences - some good and some not so good.

Nice people - anti-vaxxers

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I guess that seals the deal - anti-vaccination equals mental illness. From CNN:

Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her
Not long ago, a 4-year-old boy died of the flu. His mother, under doctor's orders, watched his two little brothers like a hawk, terrified they might get sick and die, too.

Grieving and frightened, just days after her son's death she checked her Facebook page hoping to read messages of comfort from family and friends.

Instead, she found dozens of hateful comments: You're a terrible mother. You killed your child. You deserved what happened to your son. This is all fake - your child doesn't exist.

And the people behind this outpouring of goodwill:

Interviews with mothers who've lost children and with those who spy on anti-vaccination groups, reveal a tactic employed by anti-vaxers: When a child dies, members of the group sometimes encourage each other to go on that parent's Facebook page. The anti-vaxers then post messages telling the parents they're lying and their child never existed, or that the parent murdered them, or that vaccines killed the child, or some combination of all of those.

Nothing is considered too cruel. Just days after their children died, mothers say anti-vaxers on social media called them whores, the c-word and baby killers.

The mother in the Midwest, who wants to remain anonymous, isn't alone.

Jill Promoli, who lives outside Toronto, lost her son to flu. She believes the anti-vaxers are trying to silence the very people who can make the strongest argument for vaccinations: those whose children died of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Mentally ill. Nothing else explains the pathology of character.

Back home again

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Stopped off at Del-Fox Meats and got a bag of bones. The pups are downstairs gnawing away.

Digging out the pruning shears and get to work.

Out for a little bit

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Check on a few things and drop a bunch of music CDs off at the library.

Culling the herd - the media

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Use 'em or lose them. A great idea - from the Washington Examiner:

White House diktat could revoke hundreds of reporters' press passes
Hundreds of journalists risk losing their White House press pass under a newly announced White House policy, though most would still be able to cover the West Wing.

The policy, included in a weekend email to reporters by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, would limit the number of people who can easily breeze past Secret Service to cover the White House in person on a moment's notice.

Sanders wrote that annual renewal processes for the badge, known as a "hard pass," would include reviewing of electronic records to ensure reporters visited the White House on 50 percent of days — something few do.

"A hard pass will not be renewed for any journalist whose badge-in records show that he or she was not present in the complex for at least 90 days in the 180-day window prior to expiration of the pass," Sanders said, claiming discretion to exempt "senior journalists serving as bureau chiefs or in a similar capacity" and "to review special circumstances, such as maternity leave."

Makes absolute sense to me - there is a work-around and they will allow for special cases. This is not shutting the media out, this is streamlining the security process and keeping things open for active media and dropping the inactive media.

Edward Abbey - a quote

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Great quote - found over on Terrierman's Daily Dose (a daily read for me):

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

True words of wisdom.

Obamacare - the aftermath

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Why do progressives always screw things up? From National Public Radio:

Why The Promise Of Electronic Health Records Has Gone Unfulfilled
A decade ago, the U.S. government claimed that ditching paper medical charts for electronic records would make health care better, safer and cheaper.

Ten years and $36 billion later, the digital revolution has gone awry, an investigation by Kaiser Health News and Fortune magazine has found.

Veteran reporters Fred Schulte of KHN and Erika Fry of Fortune spent months digging into what has happened as a result. (You can read the cover story here.)

Here are five takeaways from the investigation.

Progressives always go for the narrative and they never back up their stories with facts or accountability. When someone calls them on this, they deflect. Low-information voters don't bother fact checking and they get their "free" government stuff so they continue to vote for these policies.

There used to be a stiff bar to entry to be able to vote in this nation. Part of me wants to bring this back.

Excellent story from the Washington Examiner:

‘Damn socialism, why are you chasing me?’ Chinese-Americans see ghost of communism in Democrats’ leftward turn
When Saga Zhou first moved to the United States from China in 2009, she steered clear of politics. The Communist Party rules supreme in China, so most Chinese immigrants bring a built-in aversion to political involvement.

But Zhou’s interest in politics was piqued as she began to see the American Left embracing policies that reminded her of those she’d fled in China.

And a bit more:

As Democrats embrace policies such as so-called "Medicare for all," “free” college, 70 percent tax rates, the "Green New Deal," and late-term abortion, Republicans see an opportunity to frame the 2020 election as a referendum on socialism.

President Trump now includes a riff on the “dangers of socialism” in most of his speeches, including in last month’s State of the Union. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he told Congress and the nation.

And this - people who have lived under socialism have zero desire to return to it:

The Republican Party’s anti-communism has long attracted many Cubans, Vietnamese, Eastern Europeans, and other immigrants who fled communist countries during the Cold War.

The pendulum will swing back but it is rough going for now and we will have a mountain of debt to deal with if the Democrats get their way. They are buying votes with our tax dollars.

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