by baldilocksbaldilocks

I voted. You should, too.

To up your literacy quotient and gain an insight into human nature, read this Kevin Williamson piece:

What I have found most interesting about the recent investigations into [T.S.] Eliot is not the high-minded work of the poet and critic at the height of his powers but the emphatically low-minded verse of his latter years, particularly the erotic poems that have produced so much eye-rolling and squeamishness among certain kinds of low-minded readers. The poems are not very good, but they are interesting companions to the important ones. Many of them detail Eliot’s encounters with the “Tall Girl,” his epithet for Valerie Fletcher, his second wife. She had been a secretary at his office and was, in the inescapable biographers’ cliché, nearly four decades his junior. What he found with her was simple domestic peace, something whose value is most apparent to those who have not known it or, as with Eliot, who had not known it for most of their lives.

Eliot’s life had been an unhappy one: the disastrous first marriage to a mentally ill woman, a job he hated in the subterranean offices of Lloyd’s bank that for all its demanding respectability failed to keep away financial difficulty, his own spiritual crisis and the convulsions of Europe. Like many great men, he also suffered from his own strange cultivation of personal unhappiness — he was, at times, positively creepy, sexually, socially, and otherwise.

(…)

But he somehow managed to find himself, in the latter part of his life, writing contented, sentimental, and oddly specific verse about his love life with his second wife.

(…)

It is not true that great artists must suffer or that genius is only truly unleashed by unhappiness, though this silly romantic notion is immortal, and Eliot himself may have believed something of the sort. Graham Greene gave us a point of comparison: “In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love — they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

But what if it’s really true that all creativity is merely a mental form of waste elimination–an outlet against harsh realities of life, like the suckitude of living with a crazy spouse? If so, observing that someone is full of poop could become a compliment.

As for the election, I look forward to the wailing and the gnashing of the teeth when the polls close. And that’s the last thing I want to say about it today for a few hours until something funny/horrid/unforeseen happens until I change my mind.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-39-15-pmAnyone who thinks Pennsylvania is a safe state for Hillary Clinton is dead wrong.

Even though the Keystone State hasn’t gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, Donald Trump knows that winning Pennsylvania is critical to his bid for the White House. That’s why he and his surrogates have spent a great deal of time here.

Although I think polls are almost totally useless because of their unreliability, Hillary’s composite rankings have dropped significantly in the past month, according to Real Clear Politics. Harper Polling [no relation] puts the race at dead even. See http://harperpolling.com/polls/pennsylvania-statewide-poll–11-2-3#PresidentTIE

This state, where I have lived since 2005, is a complicated one. The two main cities—Pittsburgh in the west and Philadelphia to the east—vote overwhelming Democrat. In fact, Mitt Romney failed to get a single vote in a number of Philly precincts in 2012, leading many to suspect voter fraud.

The rest of the state votes overwhelmingly GOP. The governorship tends to shift between the two parties; the current officer holder is a wacko lefty and, alas, not up for reelection. The legislature stands firmly in the hands of the GOP. It tends to be more liberal than most GOP strongholds, but the legislature usually stops most of the silly Democrat plans. Half of the state Senate’s 50 seats are on the ballot this year, and if Republicans can pick up three of them, they would control a veto-proof majority.

The congressional delegation tilts overwhelmingly Republican. The U.S. Senate is split, with one Democrat and one Republican.

Voters will replace a disgraced attorney general, a Democrat who was convicted of perjury; and a Philadelphia congressman, a Democrat convicted of corruption.

The prospects for the GOP, including Trump, look relatively good despite the predictions from the media and their polls. Since November 2015, the Pennsylvania GOP has registered 243,139 new Republican voters. That includes nearly 100,000 people who switched from the Democrat side.

Atlantic magazine published a detailed examination of lifelong Pennsylvania Democrats staunchly supporting Trump:

Paul Sracic, a Youngstown State University political scientist, said he believes there are two categories of voters rallying to support Trump. “First, there are people who don’t normally vote,” he said. “Nearly half the voting-age population was either not registered to vote, or was registered and decided not to vote in 2012. And if even 10 percent of that group was to show up and vote this year, it could easily change the outcome in the important swing states.”

Trump may be helped by these trends, but incumbent Republican Pat Toomey may not be. That’s mainly because he has failed to endorse Trump.

Toomey is running evenly with Katie McGinty, a Democrat who has never held political office but has worked as a political insider in Washington and Pennsylvania. McGinty came in fourth in the Democrat primary for governor in 2014. Her only credentials are heading environmental wacko posts under Barack Obama and working as a lobbyist for wacko environmentalists.

Toomey’s gamble staying away from Trump may, in fact, be a bad move if the less-than-colorful GOP senator loses.

It will be an interesting ride tonight, with the real possibility that Trump could pull off a victory in Pennsylvania even though the GOP may lose a Senate seat.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

Today is election day or if you are in a state with early voting the last day to make your decision. I’m wondering how many people in early voting states waited till the last-minute because they hadn’t made up their minds or if they like me, just didn’t bother going early.

One of the things that I was going to use to judge how the election was going to go was the body language of the MSM, if they were down yesterday I figured Trump had it, if they were up I figured Clinton had the edge. The 2nd Comey letter threw that off, it gave the MSM reason for optimism independent of the current trends so it totally messed up my calculations.

Speaking of Comey am I the only one seeing the irony that within 48 hours of the FBI claiming they reviewed a half million emails in the week the Justice Department said it would need 5 years to deliver Hillary emails to a judge who has called for them for months?

The Polls have been all over this year and it’s reached the point that I don’t know what to believe, the revelations that I saw from Wikileaks about polling didn’t help either but they did justify some of what I was saying four years about oversampling.

One of the big canards of this election has been that a different candidate, would have beaten Hillary easily. I disagree, with the exception of the Cruz or Rubio which would have been a problem for the left as the first latino candidate, I think that any standard republican would have been defined by the media the same way that Romney was. Furthermore they would not have had the audience that stretches beyond the political geeks like myself to bypass said MSM to get out their message.

I have a rule that I generally don’t bother with revelations that come with 72 hours or less to go, I figure such stuff, while thanks to social media can make a splash, doesn’t give sufficient time to evaluate what is said. So some of the latest stuff I’ve seen lately, just doesn’t go.

One of the most positive side effect of this election is distrust of the MSM has extended beyond the conservative base to the point where average people finally realize they are being played regularly. I think it’s fitting that at last the American people are learning to dislike and distrust the media in the same way that the media dislikes and distrusts them. The willingness of print, TV and electronic media (facebook, google, twitter) to unmask themselves and pay the long term price for doing so for the sake of Hillary is really quite amazing.

On Jake Tapper’s show yesterday one of the topics that was really interesting was the discussion on the Senate. The CW since 2014 was that the Democrats would take the body because the GOP did so well in the big red wave of 2016 but you could see that the folks there were not confident that this would be the case. If the GOP holds it will be almost as a big a story as a Trump win would be, particularly given the layout for the Senate races of 2018.

I find that regardless of the outcome this election will impose difficult responsibilities on me as a conservative Catholic. If Hillary wins I will have to endure with patience the persecution she heaps upon me and my fellow Catholics while at the same time resisting and speaking out against said persecution and standing for Christ during it. On the other hand if Mr. Trump wins my responsibility becomes to hold him and his administration’s feet to the fire to make sure, first of all, that he keeps the promises made in the name of life and freedom of religion to conservatives while at the same time opposing him if he attempts to drift into liberalism. I suspect the Trump responsibilities will be more difficult to do while the Clinton ones will be more difficult to bear.

Finally we are about to find out what kind of government we deserve, Do we deserve the pains of Obamacare? The failures of foreign policy, the victory of ISIS, Russia et/al the rejection of the rule of law and the disintegration of our trust in government? I’d like to think we deserve better but the people by their vote and by their acceptance of irregularities used to influence it will be the final factor that decides what we deserve.