Covid incompetence

By Christopher Harper

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is my nominee for the covid incompetence award.

Although other state leaders have gotten more publicity for their ill-conceived plans, Wolf has been playing nanny to millions of Pennsylvanians, including me.

He and his bureaucrats created an amazingly complicated plan for reopening the state based on red, yellow, and green designations. The unscientific basis is that a county can plan to open or go to yellow status if its covid cases remain at 50 per day for two weeks. If the county still has less than 50 cases, it can reopen. If a country has more than 50 cases, it is red and cannot open.

Wolf couldn’t even remember where the plan came from.

The governor also condemned local officials and businesses as “cowardly” if they move to reopen businesses without state authorization and threatened to withhold federal relief for counties that violate his stay-at-home order.

Moreover, Wolf has told Pennsylvania residents to remain in their shelters and not go to the open beaches in nearby New Jersey. “There are people there who aren’t wearing masks, and you’re putting yourself at risk. I wouldn’t do that, I haven’t done that, and I’m not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have,” he said.

But there’s more. Statewide, 3,234 coronavirus deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, according to the health department. Those deaths represent 66 percent of the state’s coronavirus fatalities.

That means that Wolf has locked down all of Pennsylvania when he needed to do a better job of keeping the older population of the state safe.

Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine, a transsexual pediatrician, decided to get to the bottom of the issue. They forced all such institutions to provide data on what happened. The state got the data all messed up, including naming one evildoer with more than 100 cases. The facility had only seven patients.

Moreover, Levine wasn’t taking any chances with her mother, moving her to a hotel rather than staying in a long-term care facility. Republicans have called for Levine’s resignation.

The GOP has made Wolf the center of its campaign strategy to battle Democrats in the upcoming national election. Even some Democrats—as President Trump did—have called for Wolf to open up the state more quickly. One Democratic lawmaker from suburban Philadelphia wrote a letter saying residents in her district “have not yet seen evidence that your administration recognizes and sympathizes with the added physical, emotional, and financial suffering they are facing as a result of our prolonged stay-at-home conditions.”

I realize that others may find their governor thoroughly lacking in the ability to run a state. But my guy, Tom Wolf, has got to be near the bottom of the class in the country.

Dynasty 100 Loss All Futility League Report: East Divisions 5-24

The latest of a weekly series on the teams in my Online (or in person) Dynasty baseball simulation leagues I run. All are leagues are currently full but if you have an interest in joining the expanded futility league next season or want to be in the waiting list for the great teams league leave a message in comments.

This week we visit the Dynasty All Pathetic 100 loss league consisting only of teams that lost 100 games in a season. As of today most teams have 10 or less games for their season. All starts are current as of 9:30 PM EST Saturday

American League

1973 Chicago White Sox 1st place

When we last left the 1970 White Sox Tampa Bay was nipping at their heels and how it would end was anyone’s guess. Today barring a historic last minute collapse the White Sox look poised to lock up the AL East. 9 1/2 games up with 11 to play.

HeroesBill Melton (.268 35 HR 124 RBI ) and Ed Herrmann (..291 37 HR 103 RBI) are contending for the RBI & HR lead respectively. Meanwhile  Tommy John Quest for 20 wins might come up short, but he’s continues to lead the league in innings and remains in the top five in ERA, wins, K’s and avg against.

Zeros When last time we looked Sid O’Brien was hitting a bit better than Bobby Knoop and still is .221 to .219 but also like last time his fielding numbers .927 at 3rd and .947 at 2nd aren’t up to grade. If you want to point to a reason why Chicago might clinch this week starter Barry Moore isn’t one of them at 5-9 with a team worst 6.28 ERA over 25 starts.

Wild Cards: The White Sox are the only team in the AL with an ERA under 4 (3.98) and the biggest part of that is the Solid Defense up the middle provided by Luis Aparicio at short, Bobby Knoop at second base and Ken Berry in Center Field.

Coming Attractions: Chicago only needs two wins to clinch but the schedule won’t help much as they play their final three game home series against the west leading 2008 Seattle Mariners and then finish the season on the road visiting the red hot 1973 Texas Rangers 3 three then head for Tampa Bay for a pair against the 2nd Place 2002 Devil Rays before finishing the regular season in Kansas City with three against the 2005 Royals.

Injury Report: The team is all present and accounted for although pitcher Bart Johnson is a tad overworked. However Manager Ingemi has noted that he will be pitching John on three days rest in order to give him the three starts needed for a chance at 20 wins (currently at 17) that might be a risky move with the playoffs coming up.


2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2nd 67-76 10 GB Tragic number 2

Despite some of the biggest producers in the league Tampa Bay finds itself on the cusp of elimination with 11 games to go. Can their big bats pull off a final miracle to give them that chance?

Heroes: The one two punch of Aubrey Huff who leads the majors in Batting, Slugging, OPS and Hits while leading the AL in OBP and HR & RBI’s is complemented by Randy Wynn who leads the majors in runs while settling for 2nd in the AL in batting, Triples, OPS 3rd in Doubles, 4th in hits and 5th in OPS.

Zeros: Unfortunately while Huff and Wynn taketh , pitchers like starters Joe Kennedy (6-12 5.00 ERA .299 Avg against, Tanyon Sturtze (9-9 5.15 ERA 3.03 avg against ) givith away with a lot of help from the bullpen members like Wilson Alverez (5-7 6.96 ERA 1 sv 4 bs ) givith away.

Wild Card: While I specified Alversz under zeros due to the worst ERA on the team the closing staff in general like Steve Kent (3 saves 5 blown) Victor Zambrano (4 saves 4 blown) and particularly Estiban Yan (23 saves 10 blown) contributed to the Rays having the most blown saves in the AL

Coming Attractions: Tampa is the only other AL east team with meaningful games reaming concluding their final road trip with three in Baltimore to face the 2018 Orioles and 3 more in Kansas City vs the 2005 Royals. Then it’s back home to finish the season with a pair against the 1970 White Sox and 3 vs the 1973 Texas Rangers.

Injuries: If Tampa is Eliminated this week it won’t be due to injuries as all are healthy and ready to play


2018 Baltimore Orioles 59-84 3rd 18 GB

In theory the O’s have a shot to catch Tampa Bay to finish 2nd but their main concerning is keeping that half game lead over Detroit to keep from finishing in the basement and trying to miss the 90 loss mark.

HeroesJohnathan Villar has been a bright spot on the O’s leading the league in SB with a chance to catch Huff for the Runs lead while 3rd in the league in walks and top ten in OBP, OPS & hits. When they managed to get a late lead closer Mychal Glvens has done the job leading the league with 28 saves while blowing only 4

Zeros: Starters David Hess (7.46 ERA .310 avg against) and Bundy Dillan (6-15) 6.34 ERA .311 avg against have a lot to do with where the Orioles are but according to manager Keith D the range or lack there of of outfielders Trey Mancini, Danny Valencia and occasional lapses by Adam Jones when he plays right have a lot to do with the team’s 5.83 ERA.

Wild Cards: Manny Machado came back to the O’s late in the season but he has made an impact hitting .344 and driving 20 in 22 games. Would a full season have done the trick?

Coming attractions: Baltimore will have a lot to do with how things end with 9 games at home first with a chance to eliminate the 2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3 then 3 vs 1982 Minnesota Twins also dodging elimination then finishing their home season with a pair vs the West leading 2008 Seattle Mariners fighting to keep their lead before traveling to Detroit to take on the 2003 Tigers in three games to decide who will take up the division’s rear.

Injuries: If Baltimore had made it to the playoffs there was a chance that infielder Tim Beckham might have played again this season but as it is Baltimore will have to play spoiler without him.


2003 Detroit Tigers 59-85 4th place 18 1/2 GB

The Tigers are playing for pride and thanks to a late Mets surge prevent themselves from finishing with the worst record in the majors. Can they pass the Orioles to finish 3rd or will they become a byword for futility?

HeroesDimitri Young remains one of the most dangerous hitters in the league currently top in in six different offensive categories and in striking distance in batting slugging and OPS. Alex Sanchez 13 Triples leads the league and his .322 avg is good enough for 8th with a chance to go higher.

Zeros: Mike Maroth leads the American league with 18 losses which is not a surprise given his .312 avg against and 6.41 ERA, but Nate Comejo’s 6.53 ERA & .347 avg is worse despite his 11-13 record but even though Gary Knotts 6.18 & .305 avg against his better than both his 3-11 record is a lowlight for the team.

Wild Card: Despite playing in home run friendly Detroit for half their games the Tigers are Dead last in the AL in homers with only 120 so far this season. Meanwhile their team ERA 5.15 is only outdone by the O’s in futility.

Coming Attractions: Detroit will have a lot to do with how the West is won welcoming the 1973 Texas Rangers and the 2008 Seattle Mariners for 3 each at home before their final brief two game road trip to Minnesota vs the 1982 Twins become coming home to face the 2018 Orioles to decide who is the worst team of them all.

Injuries: Everyone is healthy but given their record not sure if that’s good or bad.


National League East

2009 Washington Nationals 96-50 1st Clinched

The Washington Nationals have had the best record in the majors and the only question left is will they get to the 100 win mark. They are the prohibitive favorite for the World Series but in the playoffs anything can happen.

Heroes:Adam Dunn, josh Willingham, Nyler Morgan Christan Guzman & Willie Harris are all leading or in the top 3 of every offensive category except doubles n the mound closer Mike MacDougal has a 1.98 ERA & leads the league in saves (28) only blowing 5.

Zeros: Livan Hernandez has managed to go 5-8 win 30 starts on a 96 win team. I suspect his 6.52 ERA and .323 avg against has something to do with this. Another weak link is reliever Ron Villone who despite his 6-4 record has blown 4 of 6 games with a 5.30 ERA in 65 games.

Wild Cards: How good is this team? Catcher Will Nieves is about the only member of the team not producing big his .258 avg is the team low with only 1 homer and his 49 RBI is the lowest almond any player with more than 200 ab.

Coming attractions: the quest for 100 wins goes on at home with 3 vs the 1998 Florida Marlins and 2 vs the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates before finishing the regular season in NYC with 3 vs the 1967 Mets

Injury Report: Wil Nieves will miss game one vs the Marlins and Austin Kearns will not be available until the playoffs but the question is will the Nats sit key starters vs letting them compete for batting and slugging titles?


1998 Florida Marlins 80-66 2nd place 16 GB Eliminated

In any other division the Marlins would either be leading or in the thick of things but thanks to the domination of the Nationals they will have to wait for expansion next year for a chance at a playoff spot.

Heroes: Edger Renteria is tied for the league lead in runs (115) & 3rd in SB. CLIFF FLOYD is 3rd in the league in RBI’s (116) & hits (179) and top 10 in batting slugging and OPS and doubles.. One the Mound Livan Hernandez is third in ERA (3.02) and 4th in wins, (14) K’s (170) and inning pitched (217 2/3). In the Pen Matt Mantei is not only 15 of 17 in save chances but 9-4 with a 2.28 ERA out of the pen.

Zeros: If you want to point fingers at how Florida ended up eliminated. Simply look at Andy Larkin (0-8 in 30 games 17 starts ERA 7.13 avg .321) and Ryan Dempster (0-6 10 starts 12.16 ERA .420 avg against. If even five of those 14 losses had been wins. Florida would not be eliminated yet.

Wild Card: Florida as a team is only 1 game over .500 in nine inning games but once you get into extras they are 16-3 the best record by far in the majors and that’s after going 2-3 in their last five games in extra.

Coming Attractions: Florida is playing for pride and stats these days with 3 at Washington vs the 2009 Nationals followed by a quick 2 game final homestand vs the 1967 Mets before heading back on the road Pittsburgh to end their season vs the 2010 Pirates.

Injury Report: Veteran Catcher Gregg Zaun will miss the 1st two against the Nats but will be back to finish the season.


2010 Pittsburgh Pirates 73-73 3rd place 23 GB Eliminated

The Pirates can claim a moral victory. For a ling time they had the worst record in the league and fought back to .500 with 8 games to play. If they were in the west they would only be a game out. Can they finish with a record that would have won the west?

Heroes:Aramas Ramirez is leading the league in RBI’s s (179) and top 10 in batting slugging and OPS and doubles.. Brian Giles is hitt .324 (3rd) with an OBP .435 (2nd) OBS of 1.004 (2nd) slugging .569 (2nd) third in runs (113) triples (11) and walks (105) On the mound Dave Williams 2.80 is currently 2nd s (170) as is his WHIP of 1.01.

Zeros: Mike Fetters leads the NL in blown saves with 8 a 40% failure rate. but with an 8.49 ERA that’s to be expected. At the plate Jack Wilson’s triple crown numbers of .218 3HR 39 RBI’s isn’t scaring anybody.

Wild Cards: Pittsburgh offense is driven by the HR their 148 is third in the majors , their .250 team batting avg is however also 3rd worst in the majors.

Coming Attractions: Pittsburgh’s quest for an over .500 record continues in NY with three vs the 1967 Mets then heads for DC for a pair against the 2009 Nationals before they head home to finish vs the 1998 Florida Marlins.

Injury Report: Armando Rios and Mike Lincoln are both out for the year. Damaso Marte will miss the series vs the Mets but Keith Osik will be available by game 3.


1967 New York Mets 58-88 38 GB Eliminated.

For a good chunk of the season there was a real question if the Mets would loos 100 but now they have an outside chance of NOT finishing with the worst record in the majors? Can they pull one final rabbit out of the hat?

Heroes While :Tommy Davis at 179 hits (2nd) and a .320 avg (4th) and 8th in SB is worth a mention The fact that Tom Seaver has won 20 games for the team with the worst record is the majors (tied for 1st with Randy Johnson is astounding. Seaver is 7th in ERA 2nd in Strikeouts (213) 8th in innings, and 1st in fewest HR per 9 innings (0.49) the ONLY non relief category that anyone is beating Johnson in. If it wasn’t for Randy he would be a shoo in for the NL Cy Young.

Zeros: How poor have Jerry Grote and Jerry Bucheck hit? Tom Seaver has a better avg than both. But if you want to choose a zero Well there’s Don Cardwell (5-14) Jack Fisher (3-20) leading the league in losses and Dennis Bennett (5-11) and of course Ron Taylor with 4 saves in 11 chances.

Wild card: How critical is Seaver? The Mets 4.51 ERA is 7th in the 16 team major leagues. remove Seaver and it becomes 4.80 which would be 11th. But when you hit only 67 home runs last in the majors not to mention last in the majors in doubles hits and RBI’s and last in the NL in walks those 20 wins look even more miraclious.

Coming Attractions: The Mets have three at home vs the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates before jetting to Florida for their final away series vs the 1998 Marlins before ending the season vs the 2009 Washington Nationals. Can Seaver finish ahead of Johnson in wins?

Injury Report: The entire team is healthy for those final eight games?

My wife and daughter escaped the Illinois lockdown and traveled to Wisconsin

By John Ruberry

As I wrote a couple of posts back the unemployment rate is 67 percent in the Marathon Pundit home here in suburban Chicago. Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, they were furloughed from their jobs.

Obviously in possession of free time Mrs. Marathon Pundit and Little Marathon Pundit decided to travel on this holiday weekend–they headed to Wisconsin. I stayed here to work.

Illinois, run by a Democrat from Chicago, J.B. Pritzker, remains under lockdown. You cannot enter supermarkets or any store with out a mask. Up in Wisconsin, its state Supreme Court struck down its shelter-in-place order made by its Democratic governor, Tony Evers. And its mask requirements.

Wisconsin is a free state. Illinois is a lockdown state. It’s that simple. My wife and daughter’s money is being spent not her3 but north of the Cheese Curtain. In a way they remind me of Poles in the last years of the Cold War visiting West Germany.

Illinois, according to WalletHub, has the most restrictive COVID-19 restrictions in the nation.

I just got off the phone with Mrs. MP. She enthusiastically told me about her first dine-in restaurant experience in two months. The restaurants in Illinois that are open are open for take-out only. On Friday outdoor dining will be allowed in the Prairie State. What if it rains? What if these diners aren’t equipped for al fresco serving? What if they don’t have the necessary permits? What if the restaurant owners can’t apply for an outdoor dining permit because their village hall is closed because of the coronavirus lockdown? Thanks for next-to-nothing, Pritzker.

Then my wife told me about their arrival yesterday in the small town of Mineral Point in the southwestern part America’s Dairyland. There was–wait for it–a parade! One for recent high school graduates. While the graduation ceremony was cancelled, grads in Mineral Point received their moment of glory on the streets. As far as I can gather all parades scheduled in Illinois in spring or early summer were cancelled. “A few people wore masks,” she told me of the people participating or viewing the parade, “but most didn’t.” Some stores are open–mostly the locally-owned ones as opposed to the big chains. “When you go in those places, you don’t have to wear masks,” she enthused.

My wife and daughter went inside, yes inside, a coffee shop, and drank coffee, although a sign outside of that establishment said, “Masks are recommended.” But masks weren’t even recommended when they entered an ice cream parlor.

Many other Illinoisans have escaped to Wisconsin too. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spoke to one refugee from the Pritzker Lockdown who journeyed to Lake Geneva. “‘All for it,” said Dave Gragnani of McHenry, Illinois, who said he planned to visit a coffee shop and skatepark without any mask or hand sanitizer. “People should have a choice. I’m having a wonderful time.'”

Good for you, Dave!

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

Not as much as Wisconsin, but Indiana is opening up too. And of course the welcome mat is open there for Illinoisans fed up with the lockdown. I’m sure Iowa, where my family traveled last month, as well as Missouri and Kentucky, the other states that border Illinois, are enjoying an influx of cash-flush Illinoisans.

Yes, I’m aware that nearly 100,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States, although nearly every one of them already had serious health problems. Nursing homes, hospitals, and senior centers need extra protection. 

It’s time to open up the rest of America. And the world. 

Dennis Prager earlier this month wrote that the worldwide COVD-19 lockdown might be biggest mistake in history

John Ruberry regularly writes at Marathon Pundit.

Public Mass is Back, Satan Hardest Hit

Yesterday at 3:45 I went to confession at St. Bernard’s Parish at St. Camillus Church in Fitchburg as I have for the last 8 weeks. What was different was that instead of a few people waiting for confession, the church was ope proper with people in pews preparing for the 4:15 Saturday vigil mass which hasn’t been celebrated publicly since the 3rd week of Lent.

It was very different in some ways, there was police tape taping off every other pew and in the long pews there was tape on them marking off three spots, each end and the middle, so people knew to space out. There was also tape on the center aisle marking off 6 foot distances for communion. There was no collection, simply baskets at the entrances to put envelopes in, no missiles in the pews and the “sign of peace” was skipped (although some folks noting this turned and waved).

And of course there were the masks, everyone had masks. It was like a bank robbers convention.

But when it comes down to it, the liturgy the homily , the consecration and the Eucharist was that of the Holy Mass.

It wasn’t anything near a full church. There are many who generally attend the three Sunday masses (2 morning one afternoon) that returned today. I’m sure those who were ill stayed away, I didn’t see some of the older members of the parish, who would most risk, I’m sure a few more didn’t want to take any risks and of course given that the lifting of the obligation for Catholics in our diocese to attend weekly mass is still lifted, I’m sure a more than a few decided to take advantage of a lovely day.

I suspect every week the numbers will grow and as I heard the congregation led by our pastor finish with the Prayer of St. Michael and felt the power of that prayer declared publicly by dozens of Christian throats eager to glorify God it’s clear that no matter what the numbers the Mass IS back and Hell will tremble because of it.

Jackson’s Party Trumps His Faith

Old News

by baldilocks

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

— Hebrews 10:24-25

The Reverend [sic] Jesse Jackson has other ideas.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is calling on people, especially religious leaders, not to follow through on President Donald Trump’s demand [sic] for churches and houses of worship to start reopening over Memorial Day weekend.

“To go to church or Sunday mass is an act of defiance, not an act of worship,” Jackson told WTOP’s Ken Duffy.

Trump on Friday asked governors to allow the reopening of places of worship, calling them “essential” and to “open them right now.”

The president also threatened state leaders that if they don’t follow through on his demand, he will “override the governors.”

Jackson, founder of the civil rights nonprofit Rainbow/PUSH coalition, believes that attendees who want to go out and worship should stay home until the threat of COVID-19 is over.

Jackson called on religious leaders and worshippers to “lead the way” and continue to obey coronavirus restrictions and social distancing measures.

“The virus does not have religion,” Jackson said. “It has no regard for your situation.”

First of all, the president isn’t giving orders to houses of worship. He is demanding that governors cease from standing in the way of corporate worship and that they come into alignment with the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

And, as mentioned in the Book of Hebrews, part of the free exercise of Christianity involves the assembling together of the faithful. This is simple.

Some questions I would ask Jackson if I thought he had a brain cell in his head that wasn’t devoted to enriching himself.

Do you believe that the God of the Bible is all powerful?
Do you believe that He is a healer and a protector if we ask it of him?
Do you believe the God rewards obedience to His Word?
Do you believe that God is more powerful than viruses?
What makes defiance and worship mutually exclusive?
If your governor outlawed Christianity, would you stop being a Christian?

I could go on, but my point is that Jackson is not a man of the Christian cloth and hasn’t been for a very long time – if he ever was one.

He’s just following orders dispensed from his Organized Left Puppet Masters.

Me in 2015:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the prototype for the Black Leader concept, though not an epitome of it; other actual black leaders like Harriet Tubman or Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X were leaders organic to black populations/communities.

MLK certainly had rhetorical and financial support from outside of his community, but he didn’t start out that way.

(snip)

[T]he two nationally most well-known Black LeadersTM in this country are the Reverends [sic] Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and I contend that both are created personae, totally supported and publicized by the Organized Left.

A better label for the two? Community Organizers. You’ve heard of those before, have you not?

Also me a year earlier:

Sharpton has been a hilariously awful commentator for MSNBC for a bit. But even before that, MSNBC, CNN and even Fox News had been sticking microphones under him and other “civil rights leaders” as the go-to guys–and sometimes girls–as if they were the go-betweens for “the black community” and the rest of America.

“Civil rights leaders” almost never just spontaneously come to the fore anymore; they are created. The rise in the fortunes — literally and figuratively — of Sharpton should be proof of this. (And, as it turns out, Sharpton has always hidden backers.)

Even the concept of a civil rights leader is a created one. But, ‘agitator’ is better because it is more descriptive. The word makes me think of that part inside your washing machine — the constant spinning and the noise-making. And that’s where the comparison ends.

No one will be made clean by these men.

There have always been fake pastors, but Jackson is the modern American forerunner — and Sharpton is his “son” — selling fear instead of faith. But he’s old now and irrelevant.

Beware of the fear-pastors who are not so old.

Go to church/synagogue/mosque. Or don’t. But it is not your governor’s place to keep you from it. Don’t forget that.

Get some free exercise.

(Thanks to “Carlos Osweda.”)

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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Open Skies, Game Theory, and what’s next for treaties

The OC-135, the (very old) airplane the US uses for OPEN SKIES flights, from Wikipedia

Recently President Trump pulled the United States out of the Open Skies Treaties, continuing his push of leaving treaties he feels aren’t useful. Given that we’ve pulled out of the INF Treaty, redone NAFTA, and scrapped a few other treaties (like the JCPOA), are we closer to war, and what treaty is next on the chopping block?

Trump renegotiating deals, and in some cases leaving them altogether, isn’t a surprise. A quick read of his book The Art of the Deal, or a study of his real estate deals, or just watching a few episodes of The Apprentice, would tell you that Trump is all about big deals. He doesn’t nibble at the edges of a small deal. He goes in for the big deal, or nothing at all.

A big reason for that is waiting for the big deal typically maximizes the leverage he has. If you give something away first, and the other side doesn’t reciprocate, you lost a portion of your negotiating power. It’s like giving your kids dessert before dinner on the promise they’ll eat both. Sure, it could happen, but if the dinner isn’t finished, you can’t threaten to withhold dessert.

President Trump always looks to maximize leverage, which means pressing on points that do something while ignoring those that don’t mean anything. For example, very early on he called out a number of NATO countries and threatened to withhold US defense money. A critical media made it out to look like he was threatening to leave NATO. Ironically, this worked completely in his favor. The chances of Trump leaving NATO were pretty slim, because it wouldn’t gain much (by the way, the only country to have done so was France when it left the military portion of NATO). But with the media making it look like he would, and a re-surging Russia acting like it wants to re-establish the Soviet Union, many NATO nations upped their funding. Trump won pretty “bigly” in that case.

If you think the whole “negotiating” piece is a sham, you shouldn’t. In fact, Trump has said on many occasions exactly what he’s doing. Here’s a NYT piece from 2016, where Trump was being interviewed by David Sanger and discussing missile defense and Japan:

TRUMP: Or, if we cannot make the right deal, to take on the burden themselves. You said it wrong because you said or — or if we cannot make the right deal for proper reimbursement to take on the burden themselves. Yes. Now, Hillary Clinton said: “I will never leave Japan. I will never leave Japan. Will never leave any of our ——” Well now, once you say that, guess what happens? What happens?

HABERMAN: You’re stuck.

TRUMP: You can’t negotiate.

HABERMAN: Right.

TRUMP: In a deal, you always have to be prepared to walk. Hillary Clinton has said, “We will never, ever walk.” That’s a wonderful phrase, but unfortunately, if I were on Saudi Arabia’s side, Germany, Japan, South Korea and others, I would say, “Oh, they’re never leaving, so what do we have to pay them for?” Does that make sense to you, David?

It’s crystal clear: President Trump will threaten to leave, and then ACTUALLY leave a deal, if it’s not to his liking. That gives him the most leverage to get the other side to comply.

Open Skies is no different. The deal was first brought up in 1955, but was only recently ratified in 2002. It’s supposed to allow unfettered access to anywhere in the signatories countries. The US upholds that end, and as a military member, I’ve been notified before when the Russians plan to fly over an installation I’m working at. Russia began denying access to key areas, including exercise areas and parts of Georgia.

From President Trumps point of view, Russia gets a good deal and the US is slowly losing any advantage for the deal, so he pulled out. Both sides can pull other intelligence assets to make up the loss, but Russia will take a harder economic hit to do that than the US. This gives the US an advantage, and makes a subsequent deal easier. But the next Open Skies deal, if it was to happen, wouldn’t look like the old one. Trump will drive a hard bargain. I wouldn’t be surprised if he demands something completely absurd, like a drawdown of Russian forces from Kaliningrad and the Arctic, with verification flights to ensure compliance.

Now the Open Skies is going away, what’s next? My first thought was Nuclear Test Ban, since the US never ratified it, but the President already beat me to it. Expect the media to really blow this one up, which again plays right into the President’s hand. I would expect him to use this as leverage over China, because he could:

  • Threaten to arm Japan and/or Taiwan with nuclear weapons
  • Threaten nuclear weapons on hypersonic missiles
  • Change US policy and bring back tactical nuclear weapons
  • Negotiate a better nuclear deal with India, to include selling them nuclear submarine technology. Not only would that make China angry, but it would strip Russia of arms sales!

Another deal on the chopping block is the Outer Space Treaty. Trump already announced moon mining. I’d expect him to be looking for partner nations to mine the moon and asteroids. It’s a good chance to bring in non-traditional partners like Brazil, India and Japan that have this technology, but also places like Indonesia and parts of Africa where geography makes launching satellites easier.

The last one I’d expect to see go away is our treaties on drugs. This goes beyond legalizing marijuana. The drug enforcement cost in America is massive and yet is not particularly effective. Legalizing and taxing the drug trade could not only take money away from cartels, but also increase the safety for drug users. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t come up yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Trump proposed big changes to drug control.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

I’m Old Enough to Remember When Democrats Were Happy to Have New Manufacturing in the US

Of course that was back in the day when I was a Democrat in the 1990’s

Democrats today:

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) have sent a letter to officials from the Trump administration, demanding answers about TSMC’s recent announcement to build a fab in Ariz. As reported, TSMC has announced its intention to build and operate an advanced semiconductor fab in the U.S. The fab, to be built in Arizona, will move into production in 2024.

The senators believe that it’s important to have a strong U.S. semiconductor industry, but they want to know if TSMC was offered incentives. They also contend that TSMC’s proposed and one-time fab is “inadequate” in terms of rebuilding the technology base in the U.S.

This is via Don Suber’s Highlights of the News which you should read daily who completely nails it:

When I said AOC was the soul of the soulless Democrat Party that was not hyperbole. Her success in blocking Amazon in New York City was just one of many attempts by Democrats to sabotage capitalism in America.

Think not?

Look at who runs most of the cities and states that refuse to re-open.

That’s very true, American’s working helps Trump thus it’s EVIL in the eyes of Dems but the real crime here is that it’s a Taiwan company and as Instapundit has noted you can really tell who is on China’s payroll or at least on the same team:

Related:

Obama’s Man in China Now Beijing’s Man in Washington: Former ambassador Baucus appears regularly on Chinese propaganda outlets.

Cue my shocked face

Update: Instalanche: Thanks Ed, Hi folks take a peek around and check out our merry band of writers. Let me note that the quote from that piece is Don Surber’s whose site should be part of your daily reading and let me take the time to plug my livestream no frills podcast Monday’s at 12:35 AM EST and Fridays at 9:30 EST , you can watch the latest where I talk about

  1. Obamagate and what the CYA by Susan Rice means
  2. the Democrat Aristocracy of Losers namely Stacy Abrams
  3. Morning Mika’s failure to see the dangers of the Streisand Effect due to the media bubble (and inability to defend husband Joe Scarborough using the obvious argument because it’s an outside the bubble
  4. The special election in Staunton VA and what that means nationally here.

hope you enjoy it

DaTechGuy Off DaRadio Livestream, Obamagate, Mika’s Bubble Blunders, Aristocracy of Losers , and Staunton VA 9:30 AM EST

Today on DaTechguy Off DaRadio we’ve got a lot to talk about. Scheduled topics are.

  1. Obamagate: Nixon with allies
  2. Mika Bubble Blunders
  3. The Democrats Aristocracy of Losers
  4. Staunton Virginia

It all begins at 9:30 AM EST right here. You can Catch the livestream here

Hope you enjoy it.

Mika Brzezinski and Media Bubble Blunders

Gregory:  Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?

Sherlock Holmes:  To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

Gregory:  The dog did nothing in the night-time.

Sherlock Holmes:  That was the curious incident

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sliverblaze

I have a bit of a soft spot) for Mika Brzezinski I saw that she was willing to make arguments, hear the other side, be content to be a handsome woman putting on a pound or two rather than trying to outbombshell younger rivals, liked the way she and co-host (now husband) Joe Scarborough treated their fans at personal appearance and unlike many of her contemporaries was always unabashed about admitting her biases.

She has however since the rise of Trump, retreated into the bubble of Trump Deranged left, emerging only briefly for her Biden interview, and because of this TDS she has made an elementary mistake, one that she didn’t make when the show quietly passed over the Jeffrey Epstein business during the last campaign, loudly insisting that Twitter take action against Trump after he alluded to an event concerning a female intern who was found dead in her now husband’s office two decades ago.

Brzezinski went on to call on Twitter to censor Trump, and said the Silicon Valley company would be “hearing” from her.

“But the germs you’re spreading on Twitter — first of all, Twitter? You shouldn’t be allowing this. And you should be taking these tweets down. And you should be ashamed of yourself – you’ll be hearing from me on this, because this is BS.”

“But Donald, you’re a sick person,” said Brzezinski, continuing her rant. “You’re really a cruel, sick, disgusting person. And you can keep tweeting about Joe, but you’re just hurting other people. And of course, you’re hurting yourself.”

Brzezinski continued her pressure campaign on Twitter, calling on the CEO, Jack Dorsey, to take down President Trump’s tweets, saying it would make the world “safer.”

Now while it’s never good when the President tweets out a story that one prefers remains forgotten if such a thing is going to happen, the best time for it is during a national crisis where there are plenty of other things to distract people from it. Thus even though the story might be painful and damaging it was likely to fade away pretty quick.

Alas when you live in bubble world such considerations don’t enter into one’s reasoning and Mika decided to make a very public counter which is likely to have a bad effect as explained in this excellent twitter thread.

You see a lot of folks on your side of the fence likely was not aware of Joe Situation and likely may not have even seen the Trump tweet on the subject, but your decision to bring it up means that folks will ask questions and given the cynicism of the age such people are more, rather than less likely, to draw a conclusion you and Joe don’t want made.

Now frankly if you lived outside of the bubble you would have realized that silence was the 2nd best defense here and would have employed it, but because you’ve chosen that quarantine within the NeverTrump world that obvious choice is lost on you and because of this you risk the reputation of your husband not with Trump fans ( who don’t like him anyways) but with your own crowd.

Kinda sad really.

Closing thought: Readers might have noticed I called silence the 2nd best defense. There is an obvious better defense based on DaTechGuy’s 4th law of media outrage which states:

The degree of media exposure of the corruption or illegality committed by any individual or organization under investigation is directly proportional to its distance from the media’s ideology.

On July 20, 2001 the day intern Lori Klausutis was found dead in congressmen Joe Scarborough’s office the left was still reeling from George W. Bush’s victory and deep into the Bush Derangement Syndrome that would not dissipate until 53 days later when Al Qaeda would change the subject. This leads to the obvious question:

Does anyone think for one moment that the mainstream media, still angry over the Bush victory and the Clinton Impeachment (that Scarborough voted for) would not have jumped all over this story and made it national news (particularly given Scarborough’s Sept 5th resignation) and a talking point to hit Republicans over? After all here you have a GOP congressman representing one of the most republican districts in his state, A republican who voted for Slick Billy’s impeachment with a dead female intern in his office. It would be a Godsend for the left Would this have not lead on CNN or MSNBC? Would not the New York Times and Washington Post used this as a club asking every GOP member of congress or the cabinet with devastating effect? Would they not when that congressman resigned seven weeks later suggest it was proof that something was up? Would this not be made a campaign issue in the special congressional election with demands that GOP candidate call for a fuller and deeper investigation?

You bet your ass they would!

And remember this was BEFORE he transformed himself into the type of Republican that Democrats like the most, the type willing to attack the GOP.

That more than anything else tells me there is no “there” there.

This would be the obvious 1st defense to make however to make this defense one has to concede the media as Democrat operatives with bylines and while I’m sure Mika loves her husband even she doesn’t dare use this defense aloud.