Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
1. Campaign. The 2024 campaign kicked off nicely for President Trump last week as he swept the Iowa Caucuses, getting over half the votes and winning every county in the state. This triggered a number of actions.
- Trump won the caucuses with 51% of the total votes. Ron DeSantis got 21% while Nikki Haley ended up with 19%. Trump only lost a single county, Johnson, located midway between Des Moines and the river by a single vote to Nikki Haley. Delegates were apportioned 20 for Trump, 8 for DeSantis and 7 for Haley. Democrats did their best to resurrect Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos in 2008 by encouraging democrats to register as Republicans and vote for Haley rather than Trump. Limbaugh came up with Project Chaos in 2008 as a way to extend the democrat primary after it became clear O’Bama was going to defeat Hilly for the nomination by encouraging Republicans to register as democrats and vote for Hilly.
- Vivek Ramaswamy immediately suspended his campaign following his third-place finish (8% pf the vote and 3 delegates), endorsing Trump. DeSantis did the same thing over the weekend, also endorsing Trump, leaving it a two-person race between Trump and Haley. Ramaswamy immediately started campaigning with Trump. He is going to have to learn to be a bit more deferential to Trump while in public or this partnership won’t work. His saving grace is that Trump really likes smart people, and Ramaswamy is one of the smartest ones out there.
- While Iowa democrats did hold party caucuses, those caucuses focused only on party business. Voting for candidates is being done exclusively by mail between 15 Jan – 5 Mar. Four years ago, democrats so botched the voting and counting that results were not known for weeks after the caucuses. Perhaps they will improve their performance a bit. Perhaps not. Democrats deemphasized both Iowa and New Hampshire following 2020 ostensibly due to diversity. In reality, they elevated South Carolina, which selected Biden as the democrat nominee in 2020 at the suggestion of James Clyburn, the kingmaker for that campaign. If nothing else, Clyburn knows how to turn out his party in South Carolina.
- The campaign moved to New Hampshire, with Haley as the only substantive candidate opposing Trump. Democrats moved Operation Chaos along with it, hoping to elevate Haley in the final vote. Polling is running a 60 – 40% split in Trump’s favor as of this writing. Haley is also the designated Deep State Republican. Someone leaked adultery allegations aimed at Haley midweek, which was laughable, as adultery was forever rendered irrelevant by Bill Clinton in 1996, and it’s not coming back as an issue anytime soon. As of this writing, there is no viable path for Haley to get the Republican nomination.
- With this outcome, Republicans selected their candidate, and democrats chose the form of their Destructor. The Traveler has arrived (Ghostbusters reference):
- As with any war, the enemy gets a vote. Now that democrats have their chosen candidate on the campaign trail, what do they plan to do about him? One would be a revival of the Dick Morris Clinton Campaign 1996 ad strategy, where they bombarded medium sized media markets with early campaign ads, blowing putative Republican candidate Bob Dole out of the water before he even began campaigning. Given their massive fundraising advantage and current Biden reelection war chest, they most certainly have the resources to reprise this. There is some dispute on the left that the 1996 carpet bombing worked, as the economy was improving in the year before the election. Given the early selection of Trump as the Republican candidate, I would expect the campaign ads to already be started.
- In the event of his election, we will see governance by lawfare, aided and abetted by Clinton, O’Bama and Biden judges. Expect every single Executive Order, legislative request, or rule making (and repeal) by the new administration to be bitterly fought in federal court. The Ninth Circus and the DC Circus are going to be busiest due to venue shopping by the left.
- Final story was coming out by both CNN and MSNBC who censored Trump’s victory speech after the Iowa results were announced. Now that the left is in the censorship business, they will happily use their new tool early and often.
2. Boeing. We are well into the finger-pointing and lawsuit phase following the latest 737 Max mishap. The Atlantic published What’s Gone Wrong at Boeing, a piece that was reprinted in several other locations. As the original is now paywalled, I am linking to a reprint in The Guardian. While I hesitate to use anything from The Atlantic, as it is a Deep State propaganda outlet, it is useful to consider what they are trying to sell from time to time. What changed at Boeing? It went from an engineering company that built airplanes to one focused on profit. The change happened in 1997 when Boring acquired McDonnell Douglas. It is now dominated by McDonnell Douglas executives, sort of a reverse acquisition. The combined CEO / President team announced in 2001 that it was time to distance the company from the people actually making the planes as they moved their new corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. The entire management staff of 500 was moved to Chicago. Before the merger, engineers led the corporation. Today, accountants do. Engineers generally make better jets than accountants. Boeing is an object lesson that there are only so many brane cells out there, and when you use some appreciable percentage of them on the wrong stuff, there are not so many left to use on what they should have been used for, something United Airlines, its trans / cross dressing CEO, and the DEI fans at the FAA are about to find out good and hard.
3. Insurrection. The most recent insurrection in DC took place at the White House a week ago when a pro-Hamas mob stormed the fence around the WH. The riot was part of a coordinated series of international riots aimed at stopping Israel’s destruction of Hamas. The fence was partly broken down. Non-essential personnel were evacuated and uniformed Secret Service officers fended off the mob. No word on Dementia Hitler’s actual location or that of the nuclear codes during the festivities. At least the pro-Hamas protesters didn’t wander around the halls of the WH taking selfies.
4. Illegals. When you import over 10 million people into the United States, you have to do something with them other than putting them all on welfare and registering them to vote for democrats. One thing is to hire them as police and give them guns. There are some very real fears that this movement will also end up swearing illegals into the military and giving them guns. What could possibly go wrong with either one of these? Another thing is to find places to house them. When the available hotel rooms in NYC ran out, they shut down a public school, sending the kids home for remote learning, turning the building into a hotel. Public schools make poor hotels. In MA, homeowners are being urged to turn over spare rooms to illegals, prompting very real fears that these rooms and the homes they are connected to will be appropriated for involuntary use by illegals, in other words, an assault on property rights of homeowners. Once again, what could possibly go wrong?
5. Taiwan. Voters in Taiwan elected its current VP as the next President. Both the CCP and the Biden regime have vocally warned against electing this candidate, as he is strongly in favor of continued Taiwanese independence. He has been called a separatist and troublemaker. Expect the CCP to conduct another series of exercises to express their displeasure and amp up the war rhetoric. The victory extends the 8-year rule by the Democratic Progressive Party, considered to be least friendly to the CCP. Relations between Taiwan and China have deteriorated over the last 8 years. The linked piece from NBC News, a noted CIA / Deep State propaganda outlet, blames the ongoing festivities entirely on Taiwan, excusing everything the CCP has been running its mouth about over that time. As with most elections, this one was a mixed bag. It was the first time a political party won three consecutive terms. But that party lost control of the legislature. From here, it looks like Good News for Taiwan, though it does give the jerks in the CCP yet another excuse to be jerks (not that they needed one).
6. Osage. Every now and then, the Good Guys win one. This one is from Tulsa Federal Court where a judge ordered Enel Energy to remove a 150 MW, 84 turbine wind farm built on tribal lands. The ruling came after a 12-year long legal fight by the tribe against the company. Unsaid in the piece is the role that the feds had in orchestrating this travesty. No international company (Enel is headquartered in Rome) is able to build a massive wind farm unless someone at several government agencies is greasing the skids. The linked piece is written like Enel was out of control and the court righteously reined it in. Once the opposition began, Enel sped up the installation in hopes that it would be much more difficult to remove them once construction was complete. Bad choice, that, to the tune of a cool $300 million to remove the 8,400-acre (34 km2) installation. Big Wind and its backers have been very adept at avoiding legal losses like this. Removal of a tower or two takes place from time to time. Removing an entire wind farm of 84 turbines is a really big deal. The basis of the lawsuit was Enel’s violation of Osage mineral rights. Osage also took exception with impact of wind on local bird populations.
7. Humor. One of the truisms of modern political life is that the left has absolutely no sense of humor. One favorite was 2015’s meme mocking then feminist icon Sandra Fluke with “That’s Not Funny.”
Not to be outclassed on this, Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete’s Federal Highway Administration issued new guidance in December about traffic safety messages on signs along the highway. Bottom line is less humor and more standardization. Humor and pop culture references are now verboten as they are “distracting” to drivers. Of course, the very same messages tend to make the driver actually look at the sign rather than ignore it.
8. Anemia. This week’s reminder that space is hard comes via Science Alert that describes how extended periods of time in space tends to destroy red blood cells in astronauts. The longer off planet you spend, the worse the physiological damage is, leading to full blown anemia in some cases. We didn’t know about or understand the impact of long term space flight until people started spending multiple months to a year in weightlessness. The body is evolved to operate in a gravity field under a really good radiation shield. Get out of that gravity field in weightlessness, into the higher radiation levels of space, and you can do some real long-term damage to the body. This damage is among the largest stumbling blocks to months long trips to Mars or farther out. Essentially, you need to have a gravity field, the level which is not yet known, and radiation shielding. A gravity field can be generated by rotating the spacecraft, which is why most of the old SciFi depicted the Von Braun wheel. Radiation shielding is more difficult, as you need at least 10 feet (3 m) of water / ice for shielding against cosmic rays. Happily, water ice is abundant in the outer solar system. The destruction of red blood cells in astronaut blood may very well be a radiation effect, as it is a known problem with radiation therapy for cancer.
More later –