Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Here Come the Germans: #Lidl is Coming to the US in a Big Way

Hopefully they would get out here eventually.
The German supermarket chain Lidl is gearing up to open 100 stores along the East Coast by mid-2018, with the first 20 stores opening this summer in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The chain plans to eventually open as many as 600 stores in the US, according to a copy of a company presentation obtained by Business Insider. Lidl currently has 10,000 stores in 27 European countries. 
Hopefully, they bring some German chocolate to go up against that terribly over-sweet Hershey crap that they sell in the stores today.

Can we Promote General Mattis to President? He Gives the Bottom Line to Reporters about Flynn Resigning

I like his no-nonsense style.
"Here's the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen. I'm brought in to be the secretary of defense. I give the president advice on the use of military force," he said, according to Yahoo News Washington correspondent Olivier Knox.
"I maintain good relations, strong relations ... and so military-to-military relations with other ministries of defense around the world," he added.
"And frankly, this has no impact. Obviously, I haven't changed what I'm heading there for. It doesn't change my message at all. And who's on the president's staff is who I will work with."
At it really doesn't. I'm sure the General can work with some other woman or man as National Security adviser just as well as he could have worked with Flynn. I would love to see this guy swatting down CNN and MSNBC blow-hards all day long but we are stuck with Trump for 4 years at least.

Dems Notch First Cabinet Win: Andy Puzder Out for Labor Secretary

It seems like they finally got one with Puzder backing out.
Andy Puzder, President Trump’s nominee for secretary of labor, is expected to withdraw his name from consideration, NBC News, Fox News and CNN reported Wednesday afternoon.
Puzder’s reported withdrawal comes a day after his Senate confirmation hearing was set to begin.
Earlier Wednesday, multiple reports surfaced that GOP officials had advised the White House that Puzder — chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains — lacked the votes needed for confirmation.
I didn't think he was a great fit for Labor anyway. He was a CEO of fast food restaurants and not one of the top ones by sales. He had that "not paying taxes for an undocumented worker" problem that seems to dog to very rich when they try to get into public service. I would think one of those anti-NAFTA union guys would be an interesting pick and more align with what Trump is trying to do.    

Buffett Cashes out of @Wal-Mart Stock: I Guess Traditional Retail is Nearly Dead

It seems that Buffett has sold nearly all his Wal-Mart stock.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold off $900 million of Walmart stock, choosing instead to invest billions in airlines.
The sale, which leaves Buffett with nearly no shares in Walmart, comes as the US's largest traditional retailer has been rushing to catch up to Amazon and other online competitors.
The weird thing is Amazon is moving into the brick-and-mortar retail space. So both freight trains seem to be passing each other going separate ways. I would love to have an Amazon store where I can pick up things I ordered instead of having it delivered all the time.

#MorningJoe is on the Banned List: I'm Not a Fan of Kellyanne Conway but It's Terrible For Them to Shun Her

Their ratings are in the toilet anyway But this is beyond the pale.
MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski said on Wednesday that she won't allow President Donald Trump's top counselor, Kellyanne Conway, to appear on "Morning Joe."
The show's host slammed Conway for spinning on behalf of the administration without being accurate.
"She books herself on these shows. We know for a fact that she tries to book herself on this show," Brzezinski said. "I won't do it because I don't believe in fake news or information that is not true, and every time I see her on television something is askew, off, or incorrect."
I think it's time for the Trump Administration to "do an Obama" and simply ignore these losers like Morning Joe. Obama barely acknowledged Fox News for years and only went on sporadically if at all. I think Trump needs to do this to MSNBC and CNN. They will be criticized by the MSM but apparently it doesn't matter either way. They are openly hostile to the White House so why put themselves in the firing line like this?

What is sad though is instead of challenging her so-called "lies" they just want to plug their ears. I actually watched Morning Joe from time to time when Squawk Box was boring or had boring guests on. Instead I think I'll just switch over to a sitcom on Netflix or something because these people are not worth it anymore. They just want to invalidate Trump's communication people and that is just wrong. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wait a #NewYorkTimes Reporter Called the First Lady a "Hooker" and He Still Keeps his Job?

If any reporter called Michele Obama a "hooker" they would be fired so fast it would make your head spin. It seems that the double standard still stands.
"I want to take ownership of a mistake I made," New York Times features writer Jacob Bernstein said on Twitter. "Speaking at a party in what I thought was a personal conversation, I nevertheless made a stupid remark about the first lady."
He continued, "My editors have made it clear my behavior was not in keeping with the standards of the Times, and I agree. My mistake, referring to unfounded rumors, shouldn’t reflect on anyone else and I apologize profusely."
You wonder why Trump hates the Times so much when this kind of scumbag works there.

Good Idea @Microsoft: A “digital Geneva Convention” Is Just what we Need

I'm not sure how many countries would sign it but it is a great idea to pose for the UN.
The speech was echoed in a blog post on Microsoft's site that went up Tuesday morning.
The world’s governments need to pledge that “they will not engage in cyberattacks that target civilian infrastructure, whether it’s the electric grid or the political system,” Smith said.
This digital Geneva Convention would establish protocols, norms and international processes for how tech companies would deal with cyber aggression and attacks of nations aimed at civilian targets, which appears to effectively mean anything but military servers.
So no more Russia trying to hack the DNC email, or the Red Chinese hacking our companies, or even the USA going after our emails. It would hopefully prevent countries going after private businesses and regular people. Here is an extra idea as well. Make "Neutral Server Host countries" where data can be stored and hosted and if they are hacked it will be just like if Switzerland is invaded.  

Robert S. "Bob" Harward Jr. Frontrunner for National Security Adviser is an Impressive Dude

It seems a few names have been floated after Mattis was out.
Vice Adm. Bob Harward is one name that has come up to replace Flynn as national security adviser, and the leading candidate to get the job, a senior official told Fox News.
Harward is a U.S. Navy SEAL, but also has a previous relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Harward was the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command under Mattis and was also the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.
He also served on the National Security Council for President George W. Bush and commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center.
This guy seems to have been nearly everywhere in Iraq and Afghanistan. He looks like the kind of guy that could fight the War on Terror and put the fear of God into the Jihadis. Hopefully he has good standing with the Intelligence Community and doesn't lie to the Veep.

Office of Government Ethics has Nothing Better to Do Than go After Kellyanne Conway yukking it up on Fox and Friends?

I watched the clip in question in and Conway just seemed to be having fun.
In a letter dated Monday, and released by the Democrats on the House Oversight committee's Twitter account Tuesday, the office found that Conway committed a “clear violation” when she urged viewers to buy from Ivanka’s clothing line after it had been dropped by Nordstrom.
 “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff … It’s a wonderful line, I own some of it … I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online,” Conway said on "Fox & Friends" Thursday, standing in front of the podium in the White House briefing room.
Hopefully Trump would just give her a slap-on-the-wrist so we can move on. 

Who is #SamRonan and Why I Think He should be Chair of the DNC?

I am not a Dem but their party has certainly been run into the ground by their so-called leadership. I think this fellow might be someone to bring the party into the next century.
“So many of those people who are disenfranchised thought the primaries were rigged against them and their candidates. The fact of the matter is, it’s true. The Democratic Party has not been open to outsiders and new members in our entire history, and if we want to bring those people back, we need to prove to them that we are willing to open the doors,” said Ronan during a DNC chair candidate forum on February 5. “The hard part, the truth, the reality is that we messed up as a party. We need to own that and hold our fellow Democrats accountable.”
I'm sure some of the ancien regime (and I do mean ancien) that are in charge do not want to hear this but it needs to be said. The party leadership rigged the election against Bernie and then simply held a coronation for a terrible candidate. Then the terrible candidate loses to a neophyte that has never run for office before. I think it is time that they listen to guys like Ronan who will try to lead the next generation of Dems forward. Whatever apparatus that forced Hillary on them should be dismantled and maybe we would get a half-way decent choice in 2020.

Wait what? It would Cost $100 Trillion to Reduce Global Warming Three Tenths of One Degree in 100 Years!

I think the ship has sailed on this whole thing.
The calculation comes from Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg, the head of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, reports Climate Depot.
Lomborg states: “We will spend at least one hundred trillion dollars in order to reduce the temperature by the end of the century by a grand total of three tenths of one degree – the equivalent of postponing warming by less than four years.”
He explained the calculation is based on the U.N.’s own climate prediction model.
The total is bigger than the world’s gross domestic product.
Those are mind-boggling numbers. Imagine how many people could be helped or fed with that amount? We could probably wipe out global poverty with a tenth of that huge figure.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fashion Joins Endless Anti-Trump Movement #TrumpDerangementDisorder

I figured that they would get in on the act eventually.
If you’ve longed for relief from what feels like a never-ending deluge of political commentary, do not look to New York Fashion Week for comfort in escapism. Unsurprisingly, this year’s event has been the most politically charged fashion week in recent history.
Everyone from emerging designers to industry stalwarts has participated in their own versions of political activism, featuring slogan T-shirts on runways and providing Planned Parenthood support pins to showgoers. And much of the commentary has come in the form of strong rebukes against President Trump, both directly and indirectly.
I guess there is currently no place to hide from the Trump Derangement Disorder.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

#TrumplessThursday: It's time to Make this a Thing

Well I'm going to try something new after reading a CNN article about Trump in the news and seeing the "Suggested Article" section have 5 other Anti-Trump Articles. Then you see the same thing in one news source after another. Conway is lying, Spicer is lying, liberals are making up fake news, his bathrobe is now a meme, and on and on. Even GQ which I thought was a mens fashion and lifestyle magazine is virulently anti-Trump. I don't agree with lots of his agenda but this hate is bordering on insanity.

So what I am suggesting is that on Thursdays you put your news feed on a Trump-free diet. If you see his orange mug and weird hair move on. If you see click-bait about Conway being Goebbels (just wait CNN is just getting started) or Bannon being the fourth horseman of the apocalypse then pass it by. Turn off Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. If you see John Harwood on CNBC mute him. He will probably say something anti-Trump and smarmy.

This has to go for social media too. You might need to ignore your Facebook for the day (or better yet delete it) because it has become a cesspool of anti-Trump hatred. I mean it is now just full of people making things up. I mean putting his Dad in Photo-shopped KKK robes is just grotesque. What is worse is the amount of people who believe it and share it again.

Also while you are at it ignore Trumps tweets. They are just him popping off about one thing or another. It makes him feel better so ignore them and move on. And if he tweets about your company don't do anything because its just his unfiltered opinion and it will pass. He doesn't have to power to lean on Nordstrom because they dropped his daughters clothing line. Congress has that power and they are too busy talking trash about one another to actually do anything.

In any case, if you see a picture of Trump, Conway, Bannon, or Spicer and its Thursday then simply do not click the article. If you see them on TV then change the channel. If you find yourself on CNN for any reason then change the channel. The problem is Trump-hate follows you into sports with some Patriots skipping a White House visit and, of course entertainment news, with aged pop stars wanting to blow up that selfsame White House. So I guess you just have to go radio-silent on Thursdays and just read a good book. I suggest this one about Prussia. I think this might be only way to keep things sane for 4 more years.   

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Fake News Tacks Leftward Again from a Rightist Slant Before the Election

Well it looks like it is liberal fake news that dominates again.
There was the fake photo of Mr. Trump, purportedly showing him standing with his parents, both dressed in the white robes and symbols of the Ku Klux Klan. There was the misleading story of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was said to have founded a group in high school called the “Fascism Forever Club.” There was the viral photo of a boy handcuffed at Dulles airport near Washington after the president’s immigration ban last week – it was a fake, taken in 2015.
What is interesting is the reason they site for fake news dominating during this election cycle.
The confusion and misinformation creates and environment where it is increasingly normal to accept facts only if they conform to one's own worldview. But something else is at work, as well, many observers say. The penchant to believe fake news is often rooted in a deep-seated feeling of alarm and powerlessness. 
When things are crazy and your party does all kinds of stunts to stay relevant I can see liberals finding some insane things like a Supreme Court nominee forming a fascist high school club very believable. It fits their narrative so there is much less scrutiny than normal. It does seem good that the regular news media is starting to get some kind of uptick in readership.
The recent spike in fake news stories on the left can be attributed to the enormous increase in the number of liberals now seeking information from all sources, says Professor Donath, also the former director of the Sociable Media Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. That trend has also bolstered mainstream newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, which have each seen their circulations surge after the election.
Hopefully they are reading more Wall Street Journal and less New York Times though. That way liberals can get a little more information from the other side and get a fuller picture of things.

If This is True then Steve Bannon Needs to be Shown the Door because he is an Apocalyptic Madman

The worst part is this guy talks to the President all day long every day of the week.
In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.
What the what? I guess the Grey Champion is actually the Orange Champion but this type of talk is disturbing.  He sounds a lot like a Twelver. I guess he thinks war with Islam and China seem inevitable.
The “Judeo-Christian West is collapsing,” he went on. “It’s imploding. And it’s imploding on our watch. And the blowback of that is going to be tremendous.”
War is coming, Bannon has warned. In fact, it’s already here.
“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China,” he said during a 2016 radio appearance. “They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian West is on the retreat.”
“Against radical Islam, we’re in a 100-year war,” he told Political Vindication Radio in 2011.
“We’re going to war in the South China Seas in the next five to 10 years, aren’t we?” Bannon asked during a 2016 interview with Reagan biographer Lee Edwards.
The problem is the West is quite a bit more powerful than radical Islam. You can say what you want about Iran moving into power in the Middle East but they are still checked by the Saudis. Syria is a mess because of non-action by the US. It seems that Raqqa will fall eventually and ISIS will be blown to the winds. We will be fighting radical Islam for years but the Israelis have done so for 40 years and they seem to be doing pretty well. They know terrorism is a threat, and they fight it everyday, but it doesn't seem like Israel is on the verge of some implosion. Western ideals are just too strong and I don't think younger Muslims want to live under some ISIS-like control especially when they see their abuses coming to light.

Do we really want to have a massive war over the South China Sea? That doesn't make sense at all. Are we going to fight over some uninhabited islands and China moving their sphere of influence outward? If they threaten Japan or Taiwan or something I can see us doing something drastic but our economies are too intertwined. They hold trillions of dollars of our debt and could ruin our economy. Maybe reducing our debt would be a good idea but fighting over some islands which we have no actual vested interest in is crazy-talk. In any case, I think Bannon needs to go back to Breitbart News and leave the geo-politicing to the calmer folks.  

GOP Slows Repeal and Replace of Obamacare Pivots to Fixing it Instead

I guess once you are in the governing seat you have to actually think about things before you vote on them.
"I think it is more accurate to say repair Obamacare because, for example, in the reconciliation procedure that we have in the Senate, we can't repeal all of Obamacare," Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chair of the Senate Health Committee, said last week.
Also last week, Sen. Orrin Hatch, the head of the Senate Finance Committee, told CNN that the GOP wanted to "try and repair the law."
There may also be a source for the change. Bloomberg reported that conservative pollster Frank Luntz told Republicans at a summit in Philadelphia that the "repair" language was more amenable to Americans and to use it instead of "repeal and replace."
They should have used repair from the beginning so they didn't have a weird 2 stage process to have to contend with. Repeal and then Replace needs to be almost at the same time or people will be left without coverage because of Congressional shortsightedness. Fixing means just tackling the bad stuff while leaving what Americans like behind.  

I Think Trump Should Just Stop Interacting with CNN

It is obvious that CNN is the enemy camp judging from this kind of thing.
CNN’s relationship with the president’s counselor was first called into question by a New York Times report that claimed the network declined to have her as a guest on Sunday, in part due to “serious questions about her credibility.” Conway disputed that account in a Monday tweet in which she said family commitments kept her out of the studios for the Sunday shows. CNN’s communications team fired back with a tweet of its own that said the network’s premier Sunday show, “State of the Union,” “passed” after the White House “offered” Conway as a guest.
I am told that Trump is supposed to be loyal to his people. If CNN doesn't want Conway on their network then they should be ignored. Just cease all communications and avoid all interviews. Don't call on them in press briefings and ignore their tweets and such. They obviously want to do harm to his Presidency so simply ignore them for the time being. Kind of like Obama and Fox News back in the day.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Well At Least Trump is Learning from the so-called "Muslim Ban" Debacle

I decided to read this NY Times article that Trump hit back against and look for grains of truth. I am seriously hoping that this is one of them.
Mr. Priebus has told Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon that the administration needs to rethink its policy and communications operation in the wake of embarrassing revelations that key details of the orders were withheld from agencies, White House staff and Republican congressional leaders like Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
Mr. Priebus has also created a 10-point checklist for the release of any new initiatives that includes signoff from the communications department and the White House staff secretary, Robert Porter, according to several aides familiar with the process.
This checklist will slow things down a bit and have other eyes look at these things before they leave the White House. It would have been nice to have nearly anyone from Homeland Security, the Congress, or nearly anyone else look at the "Muslim ban" before they rolled it out.

It went from protecting people from terrorists to stopping Interpreters that fought alongside our soldiers in Iraq, people with green-cards, and old women and sick children from traveling with valid visas that took them years to obtain. It was such a stupid own goal that I really hope Trump wakes up, slows things down, and listens to more people than just Bannon. This was the big early screw-up and it is now time to do things better.

Red Chinese Make Ties to Ivanka and Kushner: Smart Plan Indeed

I guess this is the back-channel for Sino-American diplomacy.
Ivanka’s public meeting -- lauded in China’s press -- came after behind-the-scenes meetings between Cui and Jared Kushner, her husband and a presidential adviser. Kushner and Cui have had an extensive ongoing dialogue that has been positive, according to a White House official who asked not to be identified because the meetings were private.
As countries around the world figure out how to influence the new U.S. administration, China is going straight to the top: Trump’s immediate family. In bypassing more traditional diplomatic channels such as the State Department, China is looking to open a more direct link to help avoid a trade war or military confrontation after Trump signaled a willingness to challenge Beijing’s red lines on Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Very canny Great Game move by both America and Red China. You bypass the leakers at State and the idiots in the press and make a back-channel right from the start. I guess it will be up to Ivanka to stop a war over the South China Sea or prevent some kind of trade problem between us. Maybe she will be able to do a bi-lateral deal that helps us get more American products sold in China and get our trade deficit back under control. In return we will probably see a few more Huawei phones and such at the local Sprint store.

DeVos in at Department of Education Maybe we can get out of 36th Place in Math; 18th Place in Science, and 14th Place in reading

I'm not sure how it can be done but obviously it hasn't worked so far.
Average scores in math have been on the decline since 2009, and scores in reading and science have been flat during that same time period.
Across the globe, American students were outperformed by their counterparts in 36 countries in math; 18 countries in science and 14 countries in reading.
I blame stupid Common Core but whatever the Obama people were doing it was not good enough. America should be at least in the top 10 in all of these scores and hopefully DeVos can get us there. If she can somehow scoop the top 10% out of these failing schools and give them the same choice that the Obama's gave their kids then it would be mission accomplished.

The Press Has Officially Lost Their Minds: Dug Up 1970s Pic of Trump to Say that He Wore a Bathrobe

I think it might be time to avoid all political news and read only entertainment stuff because this is just ridiculous.
The telltale sign, according to Spicer, was just three paragraphs into the article, in this line about how Trump spends his evenings in the White House: “When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.”
“I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe,” Spicer informed reporters during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One on Monday. “He definitely doesn’t wear one.”
Although it’s still unclear whether the president currently owns or wears a bathrobe, a photo obtained by reveals that he once lounged in a white robe in the 1970s.
I hope that last sentence was humorous because if some staffer had to search through old pictures of Trump in order to "disprove" Spicer then we have a huge problem here. The Press is too caught up with minutiae and day-to-day crap in some feud to look at the bigger picture. We have actual dangers here and they are quibbling about a bathrobe? The was supposed to speak truth to power and they failed for 8 years under Obama but this is just getting pathetic.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Is the So-Called "Muslim Ban" Unconstitutional? Might Be

Hmm maybe the SCOTUS will toss the ban on constitutional grounds.
Following initial victories won in court by tireless lawyers working at our nation’s airports, in the coming days a new phase of litigation will begin. Lawsuits will turn to the constitutionality of the entire order, and not just how it affects the scores of individuals unconstitutionally detained in the U.S., but all of those affected abroad. Many wonder whether early victories will last. After all, the president has substantial power to oversee immigration. But this order violates not just one but a gamut of mutually reinforcing constitutional rights—and that is why it should not last in the courts.
The one that I think it violates is the 14th Amendment.

1. Equal Protection. This order raises discrimination concerns surrounding the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, singling out individuals for their religion and nationality by focusing on seven predominantly Muslim countries. Additionally, our immigration laws already forbid such discrimination in issuing visas.

It just doesn't seem like America to be singling out people by nationality or religion when we have not declared war on anyone. The whole 14th Amendment concern is about the idea of who a person is.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

If a person is a visa holder even though they are a citizens of the so-called "Dirty Seven Countries" they should have equal protection under the laws. Could such a hasty ban be withdrawing "due process of law" from these persons? Can we say we are in an emergency situation right now? Trump may think so but I certainly do not. In any case I think this should be reviewed by the SCOTUS and maybe put some checks and balances back into the system.