hay rickhay rick's Journal
Some were more upset than others.
The NYT headline on the Hur report was "Special Counsel's Report Puts Biden's Age and Memory in the Spotlight." The fact that Biden was exonerated of any and all charges seems to have escaped their notice.
Like so many misadventures, today's drama started with innocent good intentions- a trip to Home Depot to replace my bird feeder. I wandered up and down several aisles in a fruitless quest to find either 1) a bird feeder or 2) an employee who could tell me where to find the bird feeders. Finally, I spotted an employee- an older gentleman wearing the telltale orange apron of his clan. He was busy helping a short woman. I pulled up behind them and waited unobtrusively for them to finish their conversation.
It seems the woman was looking for a specific light bulb. She was reading off 14-digit part numbers to the employee who laboriously entered the same numbers into the inventory app on his phone, waited a few seconds, and then said "Nope." This process was repeated with the same outcome. After the third attempt, which evidently was not the charm, the woman was saying "well, I could order it online but that would probably take THREE days..." at which point the employee turned his head slightly to acknowledge my presence. Grabbing the moment like a life raft I blurted out: "Excuse me, do you know where I can find the bird feeders?" He said "if we have them they'd be against the wall (pointing)."
The short woman turned around 180 degrees and stunned me with some world-class stink eye for interrupting her light bulb consultation. My instinct was to bow and offer a plaintive "I am not worthy"...but in a rare (for me) moment of lucidity, I said nothing and scuttled away.
Coda: They didn't have any bird feeders against the wall. I fled the store.
Part of the self-defeating foolishness of the left is the comfortable belief that all Trump supporters are stupid and/or evil. Many are enmeshed in a warped information matrix. They are drugged by team loyalty but also increasingly uncomfortable with Trump's unhinged, hate-filled rants. He's their drunk uncle and syphilitic mob boss. They want to be loyal to him but it is increasingly difficult to ignore his mental flailing or pretend he is competent to provide leadership. Shunting him to the sidelines would not betray their loyalty if it's understood as an act of compassion and good judgment.
With New Hampshires Presidential Primary looming on the horizon, the medias preferred story line is that Nikki Haley is the last moderate Republican alternative to Donald Trump. The narrative is buttressed by diner interviews and TikTok videos of self-described Democratic-leaning voters rushing to our rescue. The current media definition of moderate seems to begin and end with the better-late-than-never admission that Donald Trump was not the victim of a stolen election.
Haleys two remaining male competitors, 2- or 3-inch lifts hidden in their shoes and boots, cower before her towering 5-inch heels. Haleys a grown-ass woman who wants voters to know what she stands for. Always helpful, I offer three of her policy positions which have, curiously, received little media attention.
1. If elected she promises to pardon Donald Trump only if hes found guilty because the last thing we want to see is an 80-year-old former president sitting in jail. Guilty of what? The concern is not what he did but who he is. She puts him above the law because he is a former president. Clearly, if elected she will also be above the law. She just told us that.
2. She wants to raise the Social Security retirement age for people in their 20s. She has also been known to support delayed retirement for people up to 40. For those keeping score at home, thats all of Gen Z and some or most millennials.
The primary reason that the Social Security Trust Fund is going broke is directly traceable to rising inequality. OASDI is only collected on income up to a cap ($168,600 in 2024). When Social Security was revised in 1983, OASDI was collected on 90% of all wage income. As the rich have gradually increased their share of income, the reduced amount left for others that is exposed to OASDI taxes under the cap has fallen to 81%. Stabilizing the program by raising the retirement age for most workers is an alternative to raising the cap so that it includes more income from the wealthy.
Republican platforms and Republican silence invariably support wealthy interests. One of many examples is the corporate capital gains rate which was slashed from 35% to 21% starting in 2018. Biden wants to bump the rate back up to 28%. Nikki is all about the crickets. Whats in your portfolio?
3. Nikki oversaw Trumps withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Her environmentally moderate position within the Republican field is the admission that climate change is real and caused by humans. After that embarrassing concession, she wants to be the fossil fuel lobbys best friend. She would eliminate the federal gas tax, slash green energy subsidies, and increase drilling. Her environmental wishful thinking agenda also calls for planting trees, praying for carbon capture breakthroughs, and blame-shifting to India and China. Its kind of breathtaking.
Does 14% stick in your mind when you think of Trump's victory in Iowa? You may have heard talking heads remarking dismissively that it was "only 14%" of voters in the caucus- sounding intentionally or unintentionally like sour grapes.
14% was the percentage of registered Republicans voting in the caucus. With late counted votes, that rose to 15%. Trump got half of that total- around 7.8%. But wait, there's more.
According to the Iowa Secretary of State's website (https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2024/01/15/what-you-need-to-know-to-participate-in-the-2024-iowa-caucuses/), all registered Iowa voters are eligible to vote in either caucus by providing proof of residency and valid ID at their precinct location on caucus day:
To register to vote, Iowans must bring a valid form of ID and proof of residence. Voters are also required to be 18 years old by Nov. 5, election day, in order to register. People already registered to vote must still bring an accepted form of identification in order to caucus. Valid IDs include drivers licenses, Iowa Voter Identification Cards, military IDs and U.S. passports.
So it turns out that Trump's real turnout number as a percentage of eligible voters was 2.7%. Sounds like a juggernaut to me...
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