The first person I spoke to at CPAC 2018 Proper was Vicki who was attending with her family

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts my youtube channel is here.

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Thanks to the support of readers who were ready to shore me up when my job was gone in December and the sudden reversal of my fortunes that took place a week later, combined with a fortunate big at Priceline I find myself typing this from the Gaylord National Harbor Tuesday Night before the start of CPAC after a day long drive through 7 states,

As always CPAC on the day before things begin the area seems empty, no crowds of people, nothing but tables on radio row and only the odd sign or banner to suggest that for the next few days the language of conservatism will be spoken here.

Yet that is deceptive, even as folks like me trickle in early and the larger groups prepare to join us in the next few days the crews at CPAC remain hard at work getting things ready late into the night, without fanfare, without recognition and seemingly without end or sleep, preparing registrations, setting up displays, testing equipment and providing the security to stop those who come here with hopes of disrupting this conference in their tracks.

For myself the question is what’s my CPAC game plan, well funny you should ask as I recorded a video answering that Question:

So by the end of CPAC I hope to know

Does the CPAC crowd give Donald Trump YR 1 Thumbs up or thumbs down?
What does the CPAC crowd think is the #1 Trump achievement?
What does the CPAC crowd think is the #1 Trump failure?
What does the CPAC crowd think GOP needs to do to win in 2018?
What does the CPAC crowd think Donald Trump can do, if anything to help them along?
and finally
Would you accept a compromise that legalizes the Dreamers if it builds the wall?

With an energized and angry left how these GOP activist respond to these questions will be an important clue on if my contention that the GOP will retain the house in 2018 is solid or flawed and if I do my job well so will you.


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story so far

Wed Feb. 21st
DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking


If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



Consider subscribing. 7 more subscribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/server.


Choose a Subscription level


Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

John Quincy Adams

By John Ruberry

“But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”
John Quincy Adams on America.

The United States has survived a Civil War and two world wars, and the Cold War.

But can it survive Russian bots? And a search for “monsters.”

Thirteen Russians were indicted on Friday–none were arrested because they don’t live here–for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by acting as “trolls” from St. Petersburg. These “bots” utilized Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stir up controversy and discord. The group that the accused were associated with was appropriately known as “the Troll Farm.” The scheme was hatched in 2013, a year before Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president, which you’ll recall was initially viewed by nearly everyone as a sideshow and a stage for the real estate mogul to promote his businesses and his Celebrity Apprentice television franchise.

Last spring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced his appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as the special prosecutor on alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and…any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

The Troll Farm issued such click-baity stories like this one, which I recall seeing, “Hillary Clinton has already committed voter fraud during the Democrat Iowa Caucus.”

As with the indictments of former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort, who briefly was Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates, none of this has anything to do with so-called Russian collusion between Trump World and Russia. The same can be said of the plea deals between former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and low-lever staffer George Papadopolous. These four men clearly fall under “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” The last two pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials but not colluding with Russia. The first two have been charged for actions that predate Trump’s presidential run.

Which led the president to remark on Twitter a few hours ago, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

So far Rosenstein, remember he’s the man who appointed Mueller as special prosecutor, agrees.

“There is no allegation that any American is a knowing participant,” Rosenstein said when announcing the indictments of the 13 Russians. “There is no allegation that the charge altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

And the search for “monsters,” Trump calls it a witch hunt, goes on. While Mueller seems to be on to something with the bots, where was Barack Obama when the Troll Farm broke ground during his presidency? Obama famously and wrongly ridiculed Mitt Romney for calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” in a debate. Shortly before leaving office, Obama did tell Vladimir Putin, “cut it out.”

Grrr!

All the same, America will survive the bots.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. His wife, who was born in the Soviet Union, is not a Russian spy, she assures him.

We need to talk about school shootings.

Somehow in the past, we didn’t have this problem. Somehow, kids brought guns to school all the darn time without deciding that it was a good idea to gun down their fellow students. I was guilty of leaving a bunch of shotgun shells in my book bag in 4th grade, because I had gone hunting with my dad the previous weekend. While we had the occasional lunatic, school shootings were pretty rare. Most violent crime happened outside school, and thankfully our crime rate overall has continued to decline over the last twenty years, so we’ve actually gotten safer over time.

So what’s different?

Continue reading “Save our kids by giving teachers guns and banning Facebook”

As the city of Philadelphia celebrate their championship (and upcoming quarterback controversy)  and Patriots fans question the benching of Malcolm Butler and continue to whine about the Garoppolo trade in the wake of Superbowl 52 there is one aspect of the game that nobody is talking about, at least not yet.

While the Patriots have been identified with the President in the past it’s worth noting that after his speech in Alabama Tom Brady distanced himself from President Trump and 17 members of the New England Patriots took a knee to the boos of the fans in Foxborough.

contrariwise not only did no member of the Philadelphia Eagles take a knee that week Philly was one of only seven team that didn’t have a single player protest during the National Anthem all season.

If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl but you can’t stand the NFL take-a-knee protests, you may want to root for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not a single Eagles player sat or knelt during the national anthem, one of just seven teams with perfect non-kneeling records, in a season that saw 684 such incidents, according to a study released Thursday by Sports Pundit.

The other Super Bowl LII team, the New England Patriots, landed in the middle of the pack with 17 incidents of anthem sitting or kneeling, wedged between the Buffalo Bills with 16 and the Cleveland Browns with 20.

So while many in the Nevertrump® world are no doubt are celebrating they have not considered that the Eagles have put the President in the catbird seat.  Instead of inviting a team where a large number of players protested his remarks from a region that gave him but a single electoral vote and wondering who might show up, President Trump after releasing a pre-game statement about standing for the anthem, now gets to invite a team from a swing state that he won, where not a single member of the team took a knee the entire season..

And don’t think for one second that the president will fail to note that bit of Karma on twitter sooner rather than later and use it to his advantage.   Moreover he might just be snarky enough to congratulate all the leftists out there for choosing to celebrate a team that refused to disrespect the flag.

It will be a lot of fun to see if he is able to bait his foes on the left to attack the champions of Philadelphia as insufficiently woke and alienate the blue collar voters now celebrating in the streets.

Needles, California last week

By John Ruberry

While I’m watching snow fall outdoors at Marathon Pundit world headquarters in Morton Grove, Illinois, the rest of my family is vacationing in southern California.

When they drove into California at Needles, just as the Joads did in The Grapes of Wrath, they were also greeted by more desert, as well as this 76 sign, which informs motorists that regular gasoline is selling for $3.79-a-gallon, more than a dollar above the national average.

Taxes are of course the reason and late last year the Tarnished State increased its gas taxes by 12 cents-a-gallon, to pay for road improvements.

California’s problems are vast. When the cost-of-living is figured in California suffers from the nation’s highest poverty rate. Modern day Joads are better off staying in Oklahoma. California’s roads are in bad shape because of onerous financial obligations in other parts of the budget. CalPERs, California’s public worker pension plan, is a sinkhole, so much so that Governor Jerry Brown is suggesting that pension benefits might be lowered–even for state workers currently paying into the program.

Another budget-buster is California’s high-speed rail project. Eight years ago voters approved the $40 billion project because government would pay for construction, which would make it “free.” Cost estimates for it have already climbed to $64 billion. If completed, and right now that might be stretch at best, it will run between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The relatively inexpensive segment where construction has begun, between Madera and Bakersfield, is already beset by delays, so much so that Victor Davis Hanson is musing that what little has been built could end up as nothing more than a modern Stonehenge. While the project is receiving federal funds, an increase of cash from Washington DC is not going to happen during the Trump presidency. So don’t count on a bailout, Californians.

Liberalism is expensive. And liberals love trains because, unlike cars and buses, they only go where there are tracks.

Moving up the Pacific Coast Highway into Oregon we learn that legislators are considering implementing an expensive cap-and-trade scheme that will punish large energy users, who are of course also large employers, in order to fight global warming. California has a cap-and-tax racket going already.  But there is some good news out of Oregon. Earlier this year, a new law took effect that allows drivers to fill up their own gas tanks–without an attendant. Of course some Oregonians freaked out, No, this was not an episode of Portlandia. Now only another coastal blue state, New Jersey, bans self-serve gas stations.

Blogger in Aberdeen, Washington

Heading north over the Columbia River into Washington, legislators in that blue state are debating a $10-a-ton carbon tax, one that a Democratic legislator who opposes it calls a “pretty sizable gas-tax increase.” Washington’s governor, Democrat Jay Inslee, who prefers a $20-a-ton tax, laughingly calls his plan a jobs creator.

The United States has much cheaper energy costs than Japan and most nations in Europe, which is one of the reasons, along with President Trump’s slashing of regulations–many of them involving energy–why the American economy is booming.

Does the West Coast want to be left behind as the rest of our nation enjoys prosperity? California, as it has been for decades for good and for ill, is already ahead of the curve.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I’ve now lived through multiple government shutdowns. Each has had a different effect on me, but this last one, and the ongoing Continuing Resolution, has made the largest impact, because I currently manage almost 90 Sailors, a large inventory of equipment, and a large travel budget with Sailors deployed all over the world. I think there is a big misconception about a government shutdown. People imagine that everything just comes to a standstill, everyone just up and leaves their jobs and sits at home on their hands. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For the military, we continue to operate. We continue “operationally related” travel and functions, although that term is often left to local commanders to figure out. We don’t get paid, but that really comes in to play only if the shutdown happens over the 1st or 15th of a month. Otherwise, everyone is showing up to work and doing exactly what they did the day before.

So why exactly is a short shutdown a problem? Glad you asked!

Continue reading “Why Government Shutdowns Suck”

Nothing to see here

Sir Humphrey Appleby: How are things at the Campaign for the Freedom of Information, by the way?

Sir Arnold Robinson: Sorry, I can’t talk about that.

Yes Minister Party Games 1984

Frank Drebin:  Nothing to see here move along

The Naked Gun 1988

Well it looks like the long anticipated, heavily dreaded memo is about to be released today and there doesn’t seem to be any other topic in the world, not the Superbowl, not the train crash, not North Korea or the Olympics.

I find it a tad odd to have it released on a Friday, particularly a Friday before a Superbowl but I suspect that’s a preview of what is coming.

I have no idea what’s in the Memo, neither do most of you, the fact that none of it has leaked is a great illustration of the difference between when the GOP handles classified data and the left but I have one prediction concerning it that I’d like to make and it’s this:

As you’ve noticed the Democrats , FBI and the left have spent the last two weeks in an all out assault on this memo, claiming that if anyone in the public it will undermine institutions of great value (apparently of great value to Democrats).  I suspect this is because like Harvey Weinstein business everybody on the left knew this stuff was going on but doesn’t want you to know it was.  So I predict that they will fight the release of this memo to the very last second…

…and then the moment it is made public you will see the entire Washington/Media/Hollywood complex decide that it’s not newsworthy, that it’s a big nothing burger and it not worth your time, pundits who swore that the entire fabric of western civilization was about to collapse will turn on a dime faster than US communists went from being isolationists after the Nazi-Soviet Pact to becoming interventionists the day Hitler invaded Russia.

Cue Frank Drebin

At least that’s what I think.  Well see if I do better on this than I did yesterday.

Closing thought: You think Hollywood might be regretting spending months hyping a movie all about how heroic it is to release classified info to inform the public? I wait with breathless anticipation of the anouncement of the sequel to The Post where Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep decide they don’t want to let their readers see classified stuff after all.

Update: Ezra Klein on the memo after release: So What?

The spin on CNN: The president has defied the FBI and Justice department.

Update 2: from the Hill: Comey: That’s it?

I’m old enough to remember when Comey thought the release of this document was a serious security breech and a crisis.

It’s just this war and that Lying son of a bitch Johnson

Wesley: Things got a little out of hand. It’s just this war and that lying son of a bitch Johnson and…I would never hurt you. You know that.

Forest Gump 1994

Hours before the most optimistic state of the union speech I’ve ever heard, Ruth Marcus Mayer at the Charlotte Observer wrote about a revelation that struck her on the way to the Woman’s March in the form of a good Samaritan and a car issue in a piece titled: My hatred of Donald Trump has been bottomless. Then my car broke down outside the Women’s March in DC..

This is a story of Resistance meeting reality. It contains may gems worth an old fashioned fisking.  Let’s examine them in order:

I wanted to be with people who shared my anger. Because I have been so angry about Donald Trump this past year. I have been angry at my country for electing this man, angry at my neighbors who support him, angry at the wealthy who sacrificed our country and its goodness for tax breaks, angry at the coal miners who believed his promises…My fury has been bottomless. I drink my morning coffee from a cup that says, “I hate to wake up when Donald Trump is President.” My husband and I, while reading the latest Trump news, routinely turn to each other and mutter, “I just hate him so much.”

Look at this Anger and Hate, hate and anger, ever single day. You would think someone’s life was more than who is in the White House but apparently not.

After the march, Katherine and I hit the road in the late afternoon, feeling good; we had done our part to express our outrage. We were about 90 minutes south of D.C. when I heard a terrible popping sound. I assumed I had blown a tire and headed toward the nearest exit. The popping was followed by screeching – were we now driving on metal? Luckily, there was a gas station right off the exit and I pulled in.

All the righteous liberal anger doesn’t do a thing when you have a car problem

Before I could do anything but park my grey Prius, a man rushed over. He looked like a mechanic in his well-worn overalls. “I heard you coming down that road,” he said. Before I could say much he started surveying the situation. He didn’t so much offer to help us as get right to work.

I love this sentence, first we find out she is driving a Prius which is apparently standard equipment for an upper middle class liberal, but notice that a man rushes over to help. Apparently he never got the memo that masculinity is “toxic” and that by rushing over to help he is reinforcing old harmful outdated memes on the roles of men and women.

He did all of this so quickly that I didn’t have time to grab the prominent RESIST sticker on the side of my car, which suddenly felt needlessly alienating. As this man lay on the ground underneath my car with his miracle zip ties, I asked if he thought they would hold for four more hours of driving.

Notice the difference here, this man didn’t see that “resist” sticker on her car and decide “the hell with this liberal, let her wait for AAA” or have bottomless anger toward her. Oh and pro-tip, if you were actually part of a “resistance” then you wouldn’t have that sticker on your car for fear of your life, let alone attend a public rally with thousands or even tens of thousands to openly protest against the government.

“Just ask any redneck like me what you can do with zip ties – well, zip ties and duct tape. You can solve almost any car problem. You’ll get home safe,” he said, turning to his teenage son, who had been standing nearby. “You can say that again,” his son agreed.

The whole interaction lasted 10 minutes, tops. But that good Samaritan – I never learned his name – was a man of his word: Katherine and I made it home safely.

Contrast this self-proclaimed Redneck, teaching his son by example and sharing the joys and value of mercy, chivalry and love of neighbor just hours after the woman he helped shared and celebrated with her daughter the joy of anger and hatred.

As I drove home, I felt the full extent to which Trump has actually diminished my own desire to be kind. He is keeping me so outraged that I hold ill will toward others on a daily basis. Trump is not just ruining our nation, he is ruining me. By the end of the drive, I felt heartbroken.

Look at the buck passing here. Her lack of kindness that has in her word diminished and/or ruined isn’t HER fault it’s all because of Trump.

When my husband and I first moved to Charlotte eight years ago, I liked to tell people that our neighborhood represented the best impulses of America. In our little two-block craftsman-home development, we had gay and straight families and people of every political persuasion from liberal to moderate Republican to Tea Party, and we all got along. We held porch parties in the summer time and a progressive dinner during Christmas. It wasn’t perfect, but for the most part it worked. We put being a cohesive neighborhood above politics.

How about that, she admits her tea party and moderate republicans somehow didn’t use the presidency of Barack Obama, no matter how much they might have disliked it or even hated it, as an excuse to stop being neighborly toward other who thought differently…

But this year, I realize, I have retreated from my porch.

Note the contrast here, Obama is president, republican/teaparty neighbors remain neighborly, Trump gets elected she retreats.  That suggests if the tables were turned and it was them potentially stranded with a Make America Great Again sticker on a pickup she might have thought: “Serves them right!” and happily driven away.

I want to come away from the march with that very simple lesson, but it begs this question: How do we hold onto the fire and the outrage that fuels our resistance to all of the cruelty that Trump is unleashing, but also embrace the world with more love?

I wish I knew the answer.

The answer is very plan, Trump hasn’t released cruelty or hatred or anger, you have. You have chosen the fires of outrage over love, you have decided to define yourself by this anger.  You’ve turned your politics into your religion and the religion of liberalism can not handle heretics, particularly when out of power.

If you have embraced bottomless hatred the problem isn’t Trump, it’s you, on the plus side you gained an insight thanks to the gift of your car problem and the redneck helping you.  This means you just might still be capable of looking at yourself in the light of truth, and recognizing what you’ve become is the first step in getting out of the trap of anger and hatred.

Don’t be this guy.

Update: For some reason I saw Ruth Marcus rather than Ruth Meyer on this piece proving that while staying up all night with your sick wife is a good idea, publishing a post while doing so not so much.  My very bad and apologies to Ms. Marcus thanks to Don Surber for spotting that.

Update 2:  fixed type on 2nd to last paragraph, Anger not Answer.


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Finally might I suggest my book  Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

“Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.”

That was the underlying message of Pres. Trump’s State of the Union address last night.

After eight years of “you didn’t build that,” the country was ready for it.

The most powerful moment?

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

Seong-ho stood up holding his crutches, and brought the House down.

The message was clear: Pres. Trump was denouncing North Korea at the same time he was exalting an individual’s indomitable thirst for freedom, and mentioning Christians while at it.

The Democrats sulked through the speech, and I don’t know if they deigned to applaud Mr Ji. They had a prepackaged message from Conan O’Brian’s little brother Joe Kennedy III apparently drooling in front of a wrecked car, not a good visual. Equally as bad visually, Luis Gutierrez (D-CA) walked out while the crowd chanted “USA.”

When Seong-ho stood up I posted two words an Facebook,

Wow
#SOTU

Which, in turn, generated a comment from someone I had met years ago, a rabid Dem. The comment encapsulates the fallback reaction of a Liberal who has no argument left,

What does it feel like to not know you’re a racist? I’m so darned curious.

When you have nothing left, cry racism.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog