Democrats Standing behind Bill Clinton Dec 19th 1998
There are some takes on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh that are pretty funny but of all the takes I’ve read the single most tone deaf belongs to Susan Hennessey of CNN

The theory of course being that Ken Starr was hated therefore Kavanaugh will be tarred by the association.

If Ms. Hennessey wants to speak about associations, let me show her one association that I posted about in the past:

If you watch those people filing out I’m sure you’ll find more than one Democrat who is now going nuts over Kavanaugh in that crowd.

Just a few years ago that would have been no big deal, but since the #Pervnado stuck bringing down Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Matt Lauer, Keven Spacey et/al suddenly defending Bill Clinton has a high price.

So while Susan Hennessey is sure Senate Democrats are DYING to use Kavanaugh’s association with Ken Starr against him, I think my tweet reply puts it pretty well:

Or as Andrew Breitbart once said in Lexington: Bring it on!


It’s been a bad tipjar year, we are in July and despite the booming economy we’ve raised barely 20% of last years total (which is why our expansion plans have been abandoned).

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by baldilocks

It’s tough to write much today especially since I don’t feel like talking about Brett Kavanaugh — President Trump’s SCOTUS pick — or the Left’s nationwide and 20-month long temper tantrum over losing the 2016 presidential election.

What I feel like talking about is escaping — yes, from California, if only temporarily.

In September and October, I have a couple of invitations to Middle America in a pair of states I’ve never been. Both invites are reunions; one is a USAF meeting and the other is a blogger meetup. I haven’t done either in years and had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed both types of gatherings. Meetings of the minds and booze.

Also, I’ve longed to visit a memorial dedicated to a departed friend — more than a friend — and asked God for that chance. As it happens, the memorial is in the same state as one of the reunions.

But I can’t ignore the fact that I sense being drawn away from my home state. It feels temporary, like I’m simply planning a vacation from my beloved People’s Republic of the Formerly Golden State. At least that’s what it feels like right now. 

I’ve never planned a vacation before. Because I always had the resources at hand in the past, there was little need for much planning. This one will be different in that the resources, meaning money, have to be marshaled.

I mentioned the plan on my Facebook page and now I have about 12 places to visit before I get to the intended destination. Most of those places are in Texas.

Additionally, I plan on documenting this trip online — as I did with my Kenya trip — but now with a little bit of experience under my belt. Plus I’ll be the captain of this voyage. Did I mention that I’m driving?

I will keep everyone posted about my plans and about any campaigns I wage for this endeavor.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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The embattled reporter at The New York Times who had an intimate relationship with a top Senate staffer was one of my students.

After a quick rise through the ranks of journalism, Ali Watkins was demoted last week for having the affair.

I didn’t know her well, but she struck me as energetic and intelligent, with perhaps a bit too much snarkiness. She appeared to be a reporter with a promising career ahead of her.

What she did was wrong. You don’t have sex with a potential source. Ever. [Note: She denies that the Senate staffer was a source.]

But hypocrisy oozed from the coverage of the affair, particularly when you take a look at other prominent journalists who may have slept their way to the top.

Judith Miller, a prominent member of DaTimes until she got fired for making stuff up, often quoted her live-in lover, the late Les Aspin, who served as Bill Clinton’s secretary of defense. Miller’s affaris were so widely known that one colleague referred to her bedsheets as her notebook.

But there’s a lot more.

Matt Cooper, who worked in high-level positions at several news organizations, married Mandy Grunwald, a longtime media adviser to the Clintons.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international reporter, began dating James Rubin, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, in 1997. They got married the next year.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ foreign affairs reporter, dated Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for 12 years before they got married.

Here in Philadelphia, news anchor Renee Chenault is married to Chaka Fattah, a longtime congressman who was convicted of corruption in 2016.

Each reporter should have been at least reprimanded or perhaps faced more serious consequences for these relationships. Also, the audience should have been told repeatedly about these conflicts of interest. Neither happened.

I doubt that any of these people have a note in their personnel files about these inappropriate relationships.

What’s also disturbing about the Watkins’ case is that several employers knew about her ethical breech, but no one told her to stop it.

That doesn’t in any way mitigate what she did. In my view, she should have been fired long before she got to DaTimes.

Nevertheless, after numerous problems from Brian Williams to Rolling Stone, this recent ethical breech underlines how morally challenged journalism is.

There is one aspect of the “Trump Baby” balloon business that the British government in general and Mayor Kahn in particular is missing and/or ignoring.

One of the things about a foreign leaders ANY foreign leaders, is there is invariably a group of people who are angry with them.

Maybe they are oppressive at home, maybe they are blocking British businesses maybe an individual citizen was mistreated, maybe they have the wrong position on X Y or Z, whatever the reason in a population of nearly 70 million people it likely isn’t hard to find 1,000 to 10,000 people who strongly object to any given leader at any given time.

And now those thousand to ten thousand people will see the Trump Baby balloon flying during his state visit and then demand something similar when the leader they dislike comes, moreover just as Trump’s enemies in England and the US are happy to fund this insult there will always be enemies of any given leader at home or abroad who will be more than happy to provide the funding to do the same and when they are denied the lawsuits will be interesting.

Now I’m sure that the government that is holding Tommy Robinson for daring to report on a story is not likely to be moved by demands that they be consistent on freedom of speech but it will be an embarrassment and will prove once again that Donald Trump has the uncanny knack of causing bad people pretending to be honest and honorable to show their true colors for all the world to see.

The irony of course is with an economy the envy of the world, a military that is piling up successes and his enemies at home making fools of themselves, while Trump might tweet about the balloon baby (to his advantage of course) he doesn’t really give a damn about it.  But it will be interesting to see what happens when a foreign leader who might actually give a damn about this kind of insult comes to Britain and faces it.

There is still time for Britain to avoid this nonsense but I doubt anyone in Her Majesty’s  government left with the fortitude, insight or the inclination to do so.

Update:  Piers Morgan to Mayor Kahn:

Morgan asked the mayor if he would have endorsed a giant black baby blimp of Barack Obama in protest during his presidency, or an image depicting Mr Khan as a pig despite that being offensive to Muslims.

Mr Khan said: ‘If it’s peaceful and if it’s safe. Look, I can’t be the censor. It’s not for me to decide what’s in good taste or bad taste.’  

If you believe that, then millions of Nigerian email spammers are dying to make your acquaintance.

The Blue Whale, Catoosa, OK

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I am guilty of sitting around in my insulated world and not tapping into the wanderlust that is deep in my soul.  I am perfectly content to sit at home under the branches of my magnolia tree and read books.  Thankfully, my husband is more proactive and so every so often we get in the car and actually go someplace.

It is seldom anywhere romantic or exotic like Europe; usually it is to the Midwest to see his family in Iowa.  We have just returned from a two thousand mile trip through six states and while it wasn’t Paris, it was just what I needed.

I love getting out and meeting people on the road, hearing their stories, and tapping back into the heart of America.  I spend far too much time on the wrong side of the computer screen.

We drove Route 66 through Oklahoma and, armed with my maps and research, we explored The Mother Road and its roadside attractions.  We located original alignments and near Sapulpa, Oklahoma even found a patch where the asphalt had worn away right down to the original Portland concrete.

Sometimes it’s the little things!

We met a couple there who were doing the same thing; they had done half of Route 66 last year and were back this year to finish it up.  “We thought we could do it in two weeks,” he explained, “but each time we stop and talk to people or look at something, well, two hours have gone by!”

Near Catoosa, Oklahoma where The Blue Whale is, we met a man on a motorcycle who was taking the Mother Road east to west on his bike with his daughter; she learned how to ride just to do the trip with him.

In Baxter Springs, Kansas, where the Rainbow Bridge is, we found the friendliest people of the entire trip.  We talked to a man over breakfast who was originally from Louisiana so we had a lot in common.

This is what is so restorative about our little summer trips to the Midwest: we meet the nicest people, hear the coolest stories, and see the neatest things.  It’s not Paris, it’s not London, it’s America.  Real America, real people, and the roots of who we all are.  The trip restored my faith in us as a country and as a people.  To read the news, we are all angry about something or injured in some way by a monument or a bias.

This isn’t really true.  We are a land of proud people who love their communities and who have the capacity to reach out and be human.  We show kindness and can welcome strangers into our cities and towns.  We take time to talk to each other and find common bonds.  We share stories and meals and we always can appreciate the simple joys and the beauty around us.

Get outside this summer, y’all!

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport. She is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.

Chick fil-a in New England

A new USA today survey names Chick-Fil-A as the #1 fast food restaurant in the US. As you might guess as soon as the article went up there were commentators urging people not to go there because they supposedly “hate gays”. I submit and suggest that these very loud obnoxious people like the fedoraphobic ones I covered years ago protesting Chick-fil-a at the mall in Burlington MA have a lot to do with their continued success. At the time of those protests (2012) that was the only Chick-Fil-A in Massachusetts and one of only two or three in all of New England. Today I went to the Chick-Fil-A site and asked them to show me stores within 100 miles of my home the map above is the result.

Take a bow you fedoraphobic fools.


My oldest son’s birthday is next week and as a gift he and I are going to go see John Cleese. As he occasionally takes audience questions I was thinking of asking about the assumption that a person like me who has loved Python all his life can’t be a fan of Sarah Palin and of course Donald Trump’s Presidency, but I suspect he just might be more sympathetic to someone like me after this story:

Someone asked [BBC comedy controller] Allen if that would rule out shows like Monty Python in the future. He replied, “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.” That didn’t sit well with director and Monty Python cast member Terry Gilliam. Gilliam was asked what he thought of the comments and said he wanted to henceforth be known as a black lesbian:

Speaking at a press conference at the Karlovy Vary film festival, where he was presenting his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Gilliam said: “It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented… this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian… My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”

He added: “[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.”

It will be interesting to see if he addresses this during his talk now that the shoe is metaphorically on the other foot.


Yesterday my next door neighbor’s daughter celebrated her 21st birthday, I gave her this advice: she should look at a they any guy she dates not as a potential hookup but as the a person auditioning for the role of father and role model of her children and if they don’t pass the audition, move on at once. I once said that to a girl dating my son and she said: “If it had been anyone other than you saying this I would have left at once.” I would give that same advice for a guy, as my father said: “If she’s good enough to sleep with she’s good enough to marry.”


There have been stories lately about a huge rise in STD’s among the elderly. The explanation is very simple, the same 60’s generation that tossed my dad’s advice is now retiring. It’s funny how people tend to think of old people as a group as opposed to the same individual they were when young only grown older. That’s why I’ve never understood why people find stories of old thieves or murders as weird news. If a violent person or a thief manages to grow old I see no reason why he or she would change his or her ways.


Yesterday I saw news of a flash mob in DC, maybe it because of my age when someone says “Flash Mob” all I can think of is a bunch of old guys in trenchcoats exposing themselves in unison. It’s not a pleasant thought. Of course a real “flash mob” should all be in red suits or metal helmets.


Mediate reported that Steve Bannon was berated by a person while he was at a book store this weekend. What I found interesting about the story wasn’t that this happened or that people are attacking the owner of the story for calling the cops because someone was harassing a customer, but the fact that Steve Bannon still goes to book stores instead of ordering online. There is a pleasure in actually holding a book in your hands that an online or a kindle book just doesn’t convey, plus as long as you have either sunlight or a pair of glasses, your book will not run out of power.


There was a story in the Washington Free beacon about a pair of anti-capitalist-socialist rallies in NY . Instapundit highlighted the very true statement from one of the older marchers that: “None of this is new. This is just the same old stuff they told us to chant in the sixties—and nothing changed then either.. Other than curiosity about who “they” are (I suspect it’s the foreign governments who pay for this stuff as a cheap and easy way to give grief and play the media) I think it’s worth pointing out that in a city of over 8,500,000 people getting a crowd of 8000 is not a very big deal, it’s kind of like getting a crowd of 38 in my home town of Fitchburg MA population 40,000, but the media fall for it every time, mainly because they want to .


A group of Democrat Socialists went after Mitch McConnell while he was at lunch. You might wonder why he doesn’t bother to have security get rid of these fools. I suspect the reason is the same that Trump doesn’t fire Mueller. Each time these fools do this kind of thing to him, or Sarah Sanders or Steve Bannon they help keep the GOP in general and Trump in particular in power. I still think with more Sicilians in government these threats would practically disappear.


I completed my fourth “interviews with immigrants” interview last week, it’s not gotten the reception I’d hoped but then again there is nothing to sensationalize in them. Their answers are their answers and the data is the data and the market for information for the sake of it isn’t what it used to be.


Finally by the time you’re reading this President Trump will have named his Supreme Court pick to replace Anthony Kennedy.  If he takes Barrett as I believe he will, it will be interesting to see how Collins and Murkowski vote, if he picks Ray Kethledge then I suspect it likely means he won’t need their votes this time around, of course he might pick someone else altogether but no matter who he picks I guarantee you that the media/left will declare his pick the greatest threat to American Democracy that the country has ever seen

….until the next vacancy on the Supreme Court comes up, then the person Trump picks for that one will inherit the title.

Maria and Christian
The latest pair in my “interviews with immigrants” series is now up.

First I spoke to Alvin, he is in his mid 20’s and comes from El Salvador

Of the immigrants who I’ve interviewed story was slightly different. The rest of his family was already here but he choose to remain home until the violence became so bad it was a question of life and death.

Two weeks later I interviewed Maria from the Dominican Republic. She was iffy about her english so christian from Puerto Rico agreed to translate (and took that nice picture). Since he has only been here a year and the culture of Puerto Rico is different I included him in the interview as well even though technically he is not an immigrant because Puerto Rico is an American territory.

It worth noting that both Maria and Alvin had college educations where they lived but have been willing to work lesser jobs as they go back to school and learn english, it’s also worth noting that as I alluded to in my July 4th post while Maria wasn’t in the same immediate danger, it was the safety of America that brought her here.

A pair of notes, the delay in posting these interivews were mainly due to Pintastic 2018 coverage , I hope to conduct an interview with a young lady from the Cape Verde Islands this week and am in negociations to speak to another from Australia. My goal is to get 30 different countries before I start repeating countries but it’s likely that I won’t reach that number before that happens.

You’ll note that other than Phillipe from Haiti, who is very interested in politics, I don’t ask much along those lines. That’s because I’m more interested in getting the where’s and why’s about coming here and their impression of America as a country and Americans as a people. Those are the data points I’m trying to fill and educate myself on.


It’s been a bad tipjar year, we are in July and despite the booming economy we’ve raised barely 20% of last years total (which is why our expansion plans have been abandoned).

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by baldilocks

I’m going to tell you a secret about this.

Black female leaders and allies expressed their “deep disappointment“ with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for their “recent failure to protect“ Rep. Maxine Waters “from unwarranted attacks from the Trump administration and others in the GOP.”

Maxine Waters

We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the women wrote in a letter sent Tuesday. “That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being ‘uncivil‘ and ‘un-American.‘”

“In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families,” the letter continued.

Waters (D-Calif.) last month urged opponents of President Donald Trump to protest members of his Cabinet wherever they encounter them. Pelosi and Schumer have distanced themselves from the comments, with the House Minority Leader asking to conduct elections in a way that “achieves unity.”

Here’s the letter.

And here’s the secret: Pelosi and Hoyer will do nothing about this.

Though they may give lip service to doing something, they will ignore the letter. The House Democrat leadership knows that Waters is hurting the Democrat Party, and the party is life to them.

The House Democrat leadership could not care less about what the party’s black vassals have to say. Pelosi and Hoyer care about winning elections. And besides, where else  these black female “leaders” and allies going to go?

Just as was so when members of the Congressional Black Caucus complained in public about then President Obama, so shall it be now. “Sit down and shut up. We know what’s best for the party. You are the foot soldiers, not the generals.”

By the way, this is emblematic of why many Democrats – black and white – are so antagonistic towards black conservatives and Republicans; they think we serf for the opposing patron.

Don’t forget what I said about this phenomenon.

[S]ince the CRA, most black Americans have given their allegiance to the Democrat Party and, because of the mindset [that whoever provides the most things—whoever is the most generous patron to black people–is a friend to black people], they have certain expectations of white Americans—those expected of a patron.

From that notion comes this one: many black liberals believe that black conservatives give their allegiance to the Republican Party for the exact same reason, and that they are, therefore, sell-outs.

The black “leadership” can write all the letters it wants, but we all know that they will shut up and march when told. They have no other choice.

And the Democrat Party will abandon Maxine Waters when she becomes more of a liability than an asset. I suspect that point in time is approaching quickly.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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USS VIRGINIA (CGN-38), By Camera Operator: PH2 D. KNEISLER (ID:DN-SC-88-06640 / Service Depicted: Navy) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
You can’t stop hearing about the Chinese Navy and their advances in technology. Did you know they have an aircraft carrier?

There is a “considerable chance” the number of aircraft-carrying ships available in the Chinese navy will be seven instead of four by 2025 because of a “lower profile defense program” that has already taken shape, a new report indicates.

Or what about a super cool railgun, apparently better than the U.S. Navy’s?

While the United States spent years dithering over the future of its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun project, China ate its lunch. The Chinese navy plans to field its own secretive version of the electromagnetic railgun on naval vessels as early as 2025, according to a U.S. intelligence assessment first reported by CNBC.

Or the latest Chinese anti-ship missiles?

China unveiled its Type 055 naval destroyer on June 28, the latest step in its decade and a half of military buildup. The new Chinese destroyer outcompetes U.S. destroyers and cruisers, highlighting a major failure in U.S. Navy planning that stretches back to the 1990s. Given the 055’s long-range supersonic YJ-18 and YJ-12 over the horizon (OTH) anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), the Chinese destroyer currently outcompetes U.S. Arleigh Burke class destroyers and bigger Ticonderoga class cruisers.

Man, it’s like so…1971.

Continue reading “China’s Navy is a flashback to the 70’s”

As always we closed Pintastic NE with a final interview with the founder, head man and provider of 20 count them 20 Pinball machines for people to play for free Gabriel D’Annunzio

Gabriel’s efforts bring the first of my ten thoughts about Pintastic into focus. The amount of work he puts in to bring this show together is incredible, he and the volunteers give up a lot of time to make a ton of people happy and they are succeeding.

Even if you ignore the effort of running the show proper the amount of effort to physically bring 20 pinball machines to and from this location is a herculean task. Pinball machines are not light, even the least expensive of his machines could sell for several thousand dollars and most amazingly he does this in the expectation that said machines will get more wear and tear in those 3 to four days than they might the entire year. I try to treat the machines I’m playing there with kid gloves because they aren’t mine.

The Southern New Hampshire Pinball Club, facebook page here was there in force with over a dozen games. For a $30 monthly membership you get a key to go in and play as much as you like 24/7. For $10 you can get a day pass. They run regular tournaments and have some creative ideas (including Pinball Ninja warrior which we played at Pintastic) Their space was in the old VIP room from last year and it was constantly full.

One of the things I mentioned in my interview with Gabe was the family friendliness of the event, the number of parents and kids, particularly on Sunday was huge. Sights like this were very common.

You can’t grow a hobby without youth and this is a great sign.

Speaking of youth Jersey Jack mentioned something during his seminar worth repeating here. He was giving a tour of the factor and the games and showing how they worked etc and noticed one thing in particular. None of the kids were looking at their cell phones with their head bent down. In 2018 that’s really something!.

While we had downpours the first day of Pintastic the heat that replaced it was MUCH worse, particularly for those hauling multiple games home as Gabriel does. We gave a hand to some folks form Rhode Island who had seven games to put on a UHaul and the Heat was unbearable. I can’t imagine how they got all that stuff on and off the truck without the good folks at Pintastic there to help back home.

The Sturbridge Host Hotel is a perfect place for Pintastic, they have a small private beach on a lake/pond two indoor pools and a small pub and a fancier restaurant right there and best of all the price is right. My only fear is that in a few years Pintastic will grow too big for the venue which would be a real shame as they’ve been excellent hosts. There is also a McDonalds, Burgerking and CVS in practically the same parking lot along with a seafood restaurant so there are plenty of lunch options

One of the newest fads nationwide have been barcades, bars with acrades built in including Pinball. Combined with Pizza joints that include pinball arcades like the one in Bethesda I vised at CPAC and the one in Kansas I hit while out west they are a growing trend and a great one to boot.

For a guy who has lost most of his Doctor Who Mojo I confess I spent a lot of time on the Doctor Who pinball machine which was one of the most popular games in the place

I’m still surprised that we haven’t seen a new one since the series revival but it would be hard to improve on the old one which, with the exception of the backglass art) is an excellent design with some fun voice work from Sylvester McCoy

Finally one of the best parts of Pintastic NE was to get away from the political back and forth. There were plenty of Bernie bumper stickers in the parking lots but I also met someone in a “Deplorable” t-shirt and one head of the college republicans there too. At Pintastic it’s all about the pinball which unites us, there’s plenty of time to argue about the other stuff the other 51 weeks of the year.