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    • A Great Idea About Capitalism That Was Wrong
      So, back in the 80s, when I was young, green and wet behind the years, one of the great thinkers about how to help poor people was a guy named Hernando DeSoto. (Great name, aces on parents!) DeSoto, who was mostly concerned with Latin and South America had one big idea: the reason that poor people were fucked is they didn’t have clear ownership of what they […]
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Matinee at the Ballet: Prodigal Son

NYCB is having another digital season. You can see one of George Balanchine’s masterpieces, Prodigal Son, until March 4 on YouTube.

The ballet is free but make a donation if you can. Ballet dancers are some of the most highly impacted artists during the lockdowns. They need to condition their bodies everyday and if they can’t perform, there’s a good chance they’re not getting paid in some companies. That’s the way we roll here in the US. This art is almost totally dependent on charitable contributions and performances, unlike European ballets that are benefiting from governmental stipends.

So, enjoy this ballet. The role of the siren is especially good here.

Bad Beats and Arduous Wins

I thought that I would briefly divert from political discussions, to tell a few stories from the world of gambling, specifically, betting on sports. I know that this is not a subject which would interest too many people here, but the psychology of it, the ups and downs, is intriguing, even if one does not care a bit whether Duke beats North Carolina, or Penn State triumphs over Pittsburgh. And I have few stories which you might enjoy.

The term “bad beats” is used a good deal now, not only in sports betting, but poker or any gambling game. The term essentially means, a really upsetting loss, that you think should never have happened. Some use it about any loss in a bet, but it should be limited to those where there was no way you should have lost (you think), but unaccountable things happened. And sometimes that really is the case.

There is a sports anchor on ESPN, Scott Van Pelt, who during the football season, will devote a segment on Monday night to “bad beats.” It is quite entertaining. He shows moments from a particular game where it is almost certain that the bettors on one side will win, but then somehow they do not. Now, always note that one can bet either side of a game, so that one person’s bad beat is another person’s remarkable win.

Sports betting, in football or basketball, involves the oddsmakers coming up with a pointspread intended to equalize bets on either side, since they take an additional 10% on losing bets, which is known as the “vigorish.” So let’s say Penn State is playing Temple in football, and everyone knows Penn State is better, so they make them a 14.5 point favorite. That means that if you bet Penn State, they have to win by more than 14 points to win the bet. If you bet Temple, you can win the bet if they lose by 14 or less, or even somehow win the game. Winning a bet is known as “covering the pointspread,” by the team which does.

So there are all sorts of situations where the game winner itself is not in doubt, but every bettor is on edge as to whether the pointspread will be covered. And sometimes the two conflict. For example if you are taking an underdog in football, and getting 10.5 points, and your team is behind by six with a minute to play, you do not want the ball, you want the team which is ahead to simply run out the clock. If you have the ball, your team is going to throw passes to try to get the winning touchdown, and sometimes they throw an interception, and the other team runs it back for a touchdown, and wins by 13 or so points, depending how they play the extra point. In any case, you lose a bet which you should have won, your team was in the game all the way, but the score does not reflect it.

That has happened to me on a few occasions, and it is not fun. I well remember a Monday Night football game between Pittsburgh, the favorite, and Jacksonville. I was in Las Vegas, where I would go every weekend during the football season for about four years, until I was just worn out from the travel and the tension, and then having to go back to work and handle my legal cases. But it was a lot of fun an escape from the daily grind, and I did pretty well, though the $400 a week for plane trips and hotels and such things, obviously reduced my winnings. Anyway, I bet Jacksonville getting 5 points or so. They led most of the game. I then had to take a taxicab to the airport, but I got there in time to watch the game on TV while waiting for the plane. Pittsburgh had scored late to go ahead by two points. That was all right, unless Jacksonville threw an interception run back for a touchdown. What they did, was move the ball, trying to get close enough for a field goal to win the game by one point. They got to 4th and 1 at midfield, and I did not want them to make the first down with about 50 seconds to play, because if they did not, Pittsburgh would get the ball, take a knee, win by two, and I would win a nice amount.

Well, they made the first down, and drove down to around the Steelers’ 28 yard line, where they set up to kick a possible game winning field goal. There was only one possible way to lose the bet, which was if Pittsburgh somehow blocked the field goal attempt, and ran it back for an unnecessary but spread-covering touchdown. And that is what they did. As most of the people at the airport watching the game cheered loudly, I watched the Steelers block the kick, and then some guy run it back for 75 yards, rather than just running out of bounds, and Steelers coach Bill Cowher, apparently incensed that he did not, ran down the sidelines screaming at him all the way. Well, that was very disappointing, but fortunately I had won money for the week, so it just reduced it by a substantial amount. I have never forgotten it, though, nor so many stories, though not usually as dramatic as that.

Well, I could tell hundreds of these, but I promise I will not! I will just tell one rather amazing story, which I cannot remember having ever seen before or since. This was a basketball game between my alma mater, UCLA, and Texas A&M, in the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2008, I think. UCLA was a very good team, Texas A&M was dangerous, and both coaches slowed the game down, so I thought the pointspread of about UCLA -8 was too high. But I did not bet it; maybe the game had started earlier, as tourney games may do when they are the second of two, or I just hesitated.

So A&M played very well and led at half. by three, I think. So now I decided to bet, on the halftime line (you can bet just on the second half score) which meant I was getting worse odds than had I bet the game from the start. They made UCLA a -6.5 favorite, then it went to 7, then 7.5, but it kept jumping before I could make the bet. So I bet A&M at +6.5, not as good. It meant that A&M needed to win the game, or lose by less than four points. Now, for those who might ask, why would I actually bet against my school; well, UCLA could win by 1-3 points and then would win the game, and I would win my bet as well. And if they lost the game, I would feel bad enough, and I might as well try to win the bet, as I still thought it was a good bet.

Here comes the really interesting part. Texas A&M continued to play well, and widened the lead, then UCLA started to catch up. With about a minute to go, they tied it up at 47-47. Then A&M missed a shot, and Russell Westbrook, who has since become a big NBA star (though I have no interest in the NBA) scored with about 12 seconds to go, to put UCLA up 49-47. So now what I wanted was for A&M to play for the last shot, as they would likely do, miss it, and the game would end. The big risks were that they would miss, and foul UCLA with one second to go, and UCLA would hit two free throws, and win by four points, and I would lose my bet by a half point. Or A&M would make the shot, tie the game, and it would go overtime, and UCLA might win by four points or more, and I would lose the bet.

So here is A&M, running the clock down for the last shot….6 seconds…5…4…. then suddenly Westbrook steals the ball from the A&M player, and starts dribbling towards their basket. He is ahead of them, all he needs to do is dribble out the last two seconds, but he is trying to score, and if he does, I lose the bet. I see the clock on the screen, there is a light over the basket which when it goes red, means the game is over, no matter what the clock says. He is at the basket with less than one second, the red light goes on, and he puts up the shot just it does, and he makes it. But the game is over, the referee waves off the basket, the final score is 49-47, UCLA wins, I win $450!

The online sportsbook (this is fully legal) credits my account $450. But as I am watching another game a few hours later, the station puts the earlier scores up, and they show it as UCLA 51 Texas A&M 47. ???? Apparently someone decided to count the basket. I call up the service which puts odds and scores up, and the man I talk to is also upset, says that he saw the light go on, but they simply ignored it, this is not right, but there we are; maybe they will fix this later. I do not think so, but maybe.

The next day, I look, and the score is still listed as 51-47. I lost the bet, because I did not grab the right halftime line, and because the basket which was originally waved off, got counted The account takes away the $450, also subtracts another $495 (the bet plus the 10% risked). I am not at all happy about this, but there is obviously nothing I can do. I keep checking all day, but it stays at 51-47.

The next day, I come home, and I look at the score again, just in case, and it is listed as 49-47! What?! Apparently when the score and statistics were to be officially recorded, the referee went to someone and noted that he had waved off the basket, so the right score should be 49-47, and they changed it for the official score. Now, they really did not have to do that, they could have left it, but they didn’t. And then, there was the real worry that the sportsbook, having presumably paid out the bets to the UCLA side, would simply refuse to pay out again. But I called them, said, “the score changed officially!” and they did credit me, and I won the $450.

If someone wonders if maybe bettors or oddsmakers got this changed to the right score, this did not influence the game bet, only the second half bets, which would almost certainly not be of major importance to very many people. So that referee, just wanting to be scrupulous, managed to fix the score, two days after the game was played!

Now, I found out that what had happened was that the scorer and timekeeper at that game, had made a mistake. He gave UCLA credit for the extra two points. He did not notice the referee waving off the basket. I knew him! He was an attorney in my field, on the other side. I often sparred with him, he was smart and would never give an inch in cases, but was honorable about it. He had been the scorer and timekeeper at UCLA home games for years. I guess he got this assignment because the game was played in Los Angeles, where that round just happened to be set. I ran into him in court a few week later, and said, “That was quite something at the end of the game.” He said, “Yeah,” tried to explain how he made the error. I said lightly, “You almost cost me $495!” He didn’t say much, and was probably embarrassed about his error, which did not mean much to him, but did to many others, as Brent Musburger would sometimes say when announcing a game

So that is a little foray away from the important news of the day, and the worries and concerns we have about the political landscape, and a little window into a multi-billion dollar industry. and the ups and downs which are part of it. Bad beats and arduous wins. As a host of a sports talk show used to say, “Those hotels in Vegas keep getting higher each year,” meaning that you don’t really want to seriously try to beat the house with money that you need. In my former career as a sports handicapper, I did meet someone who did, and who was a legend there, but he was very rare.

Food tastes better in Italy.

There, I’ve said it. It just tastes better. The tomatoes are more tomatoey, the beans are more tender, the lettuces and vegetables are fresher and more flavorful, the dried mushrooms are more pungent. California cuisine comes close but for all the praise we heap on ourselves about the food in America, it’s just not as tasty. It’s like that joke from the Jewish resorts area of the Catskills. “The food here is terrible.” “Yes, and the portions are so large”.

This video showed up in my YouTube recommendations. It’s from an American Ex-Pat who is back in the states for the pandemic. Let’s just acknowledge now that this is not the best time to be evaluating the food here. But the rest of this video is soooo worth watching. Those of us who have traveled outside the US for business or pleasure know what she’s talking about. Or if we have worked with foreigners and have listened to stories about how they live back home, we have some insight.

But the people who really need to watch this video are the people who have never traveled outside of the US or have limited their excursions to all inclusive Caribbean resorts or cruises where the idea is to isolate you behind the viewing window that the tourism industry has constructed between you and the other, unAmerican world.

This video is so so good. The speaker is not criticizing the US for being the powerhouse that it is. She is trying to say that Americans tend to go through life with blinders on and there is more to life than getting your amazon order in a 24 hour turnaround period or the petty, easily offended, gossipy social sphere we surround ourselves with.

Enjoy!

Snark du Jour

Who knew former prosecutors had a sense of humor?

To be fair, not all billionaires are corrupt and stingy. But I’m betting that the vast majority want the ultimate control over where their money goes if they’re going to give it away.

The beneficence required to foster good government is rare among them.

Let’s get real part deux: Age Discrimination

I saw a tweet from a friend the other day to the effect that she has been having trouble finding a job due to what she suspects is age discrimination.

Now, your corporate HR department will swear on a stack of bibles that they do not discriminate on the basis of age, it’s not in the corporate ethics Bible or creed by which they live and on the whole, I believe them.

The problem starts at the recruiter level.

How do I know that? I don’t have direct evidence. I have circumstantial evidence.

For example, last December, I got a frantic call from a recruiter about a position I had applied to. “Oh”, she said, “I’m so sorry, I completely forgot to set you up with interviews with blahdeeblah group. They liked your resume.” Then she set up the interviews.

Here’s what I suspect REALLY happened. Ms. Smith the recruiter took one look at my job history and education dates and shuffled me to the absolute bottom of her candidate list. Oh, sure, I have more experience in some areas and less in others and more of a strong investigative/analytical background than most of her other resumes but on paper, she can tell that I’m not 35.

Then, blahdeeblah group sent her an email and said, “we want to interview her. Why didn’t you set up the interview?” So she scrambled to set one up, en banc. Actually, I prefer all in one interviews. The sequential style just takes too long and the interviewers of different areas of expertise don’t have the advantage of follow up questions that their colleagues might not have asked.

Note that the interviews always seem to go well. In fact, they extend past the time allotted. I like conversations and picking their brains as much as they pick mine. But if nothing comes of an interview, I can at least say that I had my chance and if I get feedback, I can improve the next time.

The problem is getting that chance and never getting any feedback. There are still some positions that are just hanging out there. To be honest, I’ve been so frantic to get out of my current position because I’m looking at a continuation of underemployment at entry level wages for the rest of my career that I apply to everything that comes in on my job alerts. It’s disturbing.

Do I think age discrimination is going on? Yes. Can I prove that it’s not something about my resume? Kind of. I asked my HR department to review my resume and give me an honest assessment.

They said there’s nothing wrong with it.

It’s the recruiters who are screening me out.

I don’t think my chances are going to improve if I apply to other companies. At the risk of indulging in my own bit of stereotyping, recruiters are recruiters are recruiters. I’ve talked to about 2 who will actually engage with me personally. The rest act like acknowledging my existence is a great bother to them.

I’m sure the HR department will tell me with great sincerity that they don’t approve of that and I should call the recruiter directly. But if the recruiter doesn’t answer your call or accept the Skype ping or read the email… Nice sentiment but if they’re not held accountable, it’s meaningless.

This has been going on for a very long time, 10 years in fact. My career counselors in Pittsburgh said my resume makes me look over qualified for some positions. But in general, I have many skills and experience in research that should carry over. Could it be that the recruiters have zero idea what a computational chemist is? Possibly. But none of them have EVER asked me to explain it. They are all remarkably incurious about the subject.

(One thing I found strange is that the industry I’m in is about 20 years behind R&D when it comes to data analytics. Some groups I have interviewed with still use Excel to do it. When I analyzed results of high throughput screening sets or tried to find a pharmacophore using calculated and physical properties, I NEVER used excel. I used data pipelines and Spotfire and PLS applications and proprietary applications. Excel was for the end user, not the analyst. I think this industry wants excel jockeys. It’s like learning to build stone monuments with red deer antler axes instead of the gas powered chisels I’m used to. I mean, sure, but why? I don’t get it.)

Now, the stereotype that I hear about olds is that they’re inflexible and unwilling to learn new things.

Well, I’ve got news for recruiters. That attitude is pervasive across the industry I’m in and it’s not limited to olds. From what I’ve observed, this can happen at any age and education level. I used to work with PhDs who were remarkably pedantic and uninterested in learning new things. But this attitude is even worse when you get away from R&D. I don’t know whether that’s because R&D requires a very flexible mind with endless curiosity or what. In general, we love to learn new things.

There are plenty of workers in my new industry who wear blinders at work. They are fixated on only the work before them. Some of that is personality. IT is a very if-then-else kind of endeavor. Or it could be that some workers are there for the money only. They do their job, don’t want to learn anything new and are glad to just take home a paycheck. They come in all ages and managerial levels.

But I suspect that a lot of applicants are left banging on the door to new jobs because of implicit bias or age discrimination outright when plenty of us would be willing to do just about anything to get our foot in the door and dive right in.

If the interview doesn’t work out, ok, no bad feelings. (BTW, I even insist on a webcam interview because I want my interviewers to see I’m not ready to sit in my chair and shake my geritol bottle. I’m way more energetic and younger than my resume would suggest.)

I’m not even that much of a health insurance drag. Yep, all that stuff is behind me. I’m pre-disastered. My cardiovascular system is in excellent shape and I’m physically active. It’s unlikely that a quadruple bypass is going to keep me sidelined for months at a time. I worked all the way through my former ailments. I’ve even got the thumbs up from my healthcare peeps to start walking and running again.

In short, I’m a pretty fine specimen now.

I seize on every learning opportunity as much to keep myself from boredom as to pad my resume.

But I’m still stuck in this going nowhere job. And since most of these recruiters know nothing much about me but my resume and what they find at LinkedIn, if they even bother, I can’t help but think age has something to do with it.

Battle Lines Are Already Being Drawn

So Trump is going to speak at CPAC, actually give the headline speech. Apparently he has already decided that he going to run for president in 2024, and wreak revenge on his enemies. The media gave Biden a full month to try to fix the country and do everything perfectly, and now it is time for them to highlight Republicans again.

Republicans care only about these things; 1) winning elections by any means possible, including suppressing the votes of Democrats, specifically minorities. 2) blocking everything that Democrats try to do, unless it somehow fits into their only policy goal, which is to further reduce taxes on the rich. 3) attacking Democrats every moment of every single day. In fact, they love to call it “the Democrat Party,” because it sounds like “rat.’ 4) using whatever power they have to get elected again if they are in charge, or to kick out the Democrats if they are not.

Remember, these are not just their paramount goals, they are their only goals. Every single thing they say is just a means to get them. Do you think that they really care that much about Neera Tanden’s actual policy views? The Chamber of Commerce actually supports her! She is middle-road in terms of economics. They just revel in using this to embarrass Biden, like they wanted to embarrass Obama and Clinton before him. Start a drip, drip, which makes Biden look incompetent or which stymies him in some way. And also maybe get the added benefit of intimidating liberals to not criticize Republicans on social media, or see what will happen? Past the Tanden matter, note that we still do not have an Attorney General, because they wanted to drag the confirmations out as long as possible. Capitol insurrection, and we still do not have an AG in charge of investigating and prosecuting it, think of that.

The media, which loves above all partisan battles, will always give Republicans coverage in these matters. The fact that all the Republican appointees under Trump were approved by every single Republican, no one concerned about such things as mean tweets, or lack of experience, or conflicts of interest, is notable. Suddenly, tweets are very important to them! They think that some of the nominees, like Xavier Becerra, do not have enough experience in the field! They actually attack Deb Haaland for having positions that they do not favor!

The idea of a Cabinet is for the President to be able to pick people who will help carry out his agenda. That is what Reagan did, and both Bushes did, and Trump did to extreme. That is how it should be, Republicans said. Elections have consequences! But when a Democrat somehow wins, Republicans think and act as if the Cabinet nominees should be people whose policies the Republicans approve of.

We had an election, and Biden won by seven million votes. That was a very strong mandate. But the Republicans either deny the election results, or grudgingly say that, well, there are still questions about it. Then they try to block everything that Biden does, to run out the clock until the next election. All they need to do is to flip three House seats and one Senate seat, and they are in charge of both legislative chambers, and they can block everything. That is a guarantee. Then they render Biden impotent in getting legislation through, and then they complain that he has accomplished nothing, and then they win in 2024. Rest assured, that is all that they are thinking about. They are not even supporting the Covid Relief Bill, which is favored by at least 70% of Americans. They are a party which is programmed to win, and to obstruct; and everything they say is merely a smokescreen to confuse people as to their intentions.

When Democrats lost presidential elections by large amounts, as in 1972 and 1984, they were sad, and self-searching, asking themselves, what did they need to do to be more popular with the electorate? When Republicans lose big, they contest the results, renew efforts at massive vote suppression, promise that they will win everything back in upcoming elections, collect billions of dollars from donors. That is what they do. No one should ever expect otherwise.

We had breathed a collective sign of relief after the immensely arduous election cycle. We thought that we could rest a bit, and enjoy leisure activities, as much as we are able to right now, and look forward to even more soon. We still can, but we cannot think that the Republicans are going to retreat, or that we will have the media at our backs as Biden tries to enact his agenda. All we can do, is to hope that the story of the Republicans’ unanimous non-support for the Relief Bill, is understood by the voters, most of whom do not care one bit about who is head of the OMB. And that the Republicans are not allowed to control the spin and narrative of every single issue once again.

A couple more quick questions; Why does the cable news not cover Jen Psaki’s briefings, when they obsessively covered those of all of Trump’s press secretaries? How willing are Sanders and the so-called Progressive wing to undermine the Biden presidency? How difficult will it be to keep Manchin and Sinema in support of major legislation? Why do Republicans never have this problem? That last one we can all answer; see above.

Oscar season movies I saw in 2020: Emma.

To be honest, I didn’t see too many movies in 2020. Most movies were put tantalizingly out of reach by the pandemic. So, I was forced to rent the ones I had been looking forward to when my boredom reached a peak and I plunked down a ransom to Amazon Prime.

This movie was worth every penny.

It is Emma., the 2020 adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. I can see some of you rolling your eyes and sticking your fingers down your throats. But hear me out.

The movie was a visual feast for the eyes. It is gobsmackingly beautiful. If you like art, rent this movie. I think this was the director Autumn de Wilde’s first movie. What a way to make an entrance.

It’s not just the visuals. It’s the music as well. There’s a combination of invented opera, melodramatic romantic songs, hard working country songs and silly ballads of going a-roving.

Then there is the cast. Every character in the novel is perfectly cast from Emma’s eccentric father to her poor ridiculous neighbors to her love interest, Mr. Knightley played by musician/actor Johnny Flynn. He’s almost got too much sex appeal for an Austen character.

But it is Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma who carries this film. As an actress, she’s a once on a generation phenomenon. In every film or series I’ve seen her in she reminds me of young Meryl Streep. It’s hard to imagine that the terrified Puritan teenager in The Witch, the privileged meddling Regency Era matchmaker in Emma and the chess grand master in The Queen’s Gambit are the same person. It’s uncanny. Go watch those three pieces of acting and tell me if you don’t agree. I only wish she would slow down and space her roles out so she doesn’t become too familiar.

Anyway, the story is simple. Regency era rich girl tries to organize her friends’ romances and gets everything wrong. In this adaptation, Emma is a snob with a bit of a mean girl streak. This version is also much funnier as well as being a delight to the senses. Every time I watch it, I notice something new. I could concentrate on only the servants in the background and see a completely different and hilarious movie.

If you’re looking for a break from being stuck inside for months, you could do much worse than Emma. as a daydream trip to the lovely English countryside, all sunshine, strawberries and sopranos.

It’s playing now on HBO Max without the steep rental fee.

What was the last best movie you saw in 2020?

I’m sorry, what part of “the country isn’t ready for socialism” did you not understand, Bernie?

Jake Tapper tweeted:

I get it that Bernie is now chair of the budget committee and that’s all cool and groovy. He should have gotten a phone call from Biden about who the OMB nominee was going to be. On the other hand, if Bernie is the chair and is doing his homework, wouldn’t he already know who Biden was going to pick? It’s not a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

If Bernie was in fantasy mode and thought for one minute that he was going to navigate this country to some Socialism lite utopia with his vision and supreme oratorial skills, he was sadly mistaken. Tanden is an HRC loyalist. Does that mean she’s a straight down the line center right leaner ala Obama? I don’t think so. If I recall correctly, Hillary Clinton bent over backwards to kiss Bernie’s ass during the 2016 campaign season. She was no centrist but she was more palatable for people who are not ready to nationalize every means of production.

I exaggerate, of course. But it seems to be the season of exaggeration, doesn’t it? It’s very much the “Lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine!” routine. And, you know, I’m sure there will be plenty of room for pushing whatever envelope Berniecrats want. It’s just that this isn’t the time for holding one’s breath. I don’t mean to say that in a way that implies that we’re never going to entertain wild and crazy ideas. Anybody who knows me knows I love a wild and crazy idea once in awhile. Where budgets are concerned, I especially love them when they have good models and thought experiments and safety words, er, ramps.

But when you are only a month and a half away from an insurrection and 54,000,000 Trump voters are still convinced that he wuz robbed, this really isn’t the time to be choosing the mountain to die on.

Bernie and Neera are probably never going to be friends. Too bad. That’s politics. You learn to work with the one you got stuck with. If she’s on your team to begin with, that’s a plus.

Quit whining, Bernie.

Did the media lose its mind yesterday or did the Men take it over?

What the actual f{#* happened to news yesterday?

The most important hearing on Capitol Hill that has ever happened since 9/11 was almost completely obliterated by the news of Tiger Woods 345th car accident.

Look, I like a good sports hero as much as anyone. Colin Kaepernick comes to mind. Tiger is no Colin Kaepernick. He’s a spoiled, reckless, incredibly rich guy who plays golf. Lots of people in Pittsburgh also play golf. I’m guessing some of them had some interest in the fact that this very talented golf nerd had such a self destructive streak in him. Let’s be honest, was anyone surprised he wrecked his car?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anyone to get hurt in an accident. But we spent three solid hours yesterday afternoon pre-eulogizing Tiger Woods like he was Kobe Bryant. The media spent 180 breathless minutes obsessively fixated on Our Precious Memories of Tiger.

His injuries are horrific but not life threatening. In fact, the media knew that before they hopped on the air to talk about it at 4pm. The accident happened at 7:20 AM PST. That’s roughly 10:20 AM EST. By 4:00PM EST, he hadn’t died. He was still in surgery.

Meanwhile, some of us had to work yesterday and missed the senate hearings on the Insurrection. There were Capitol Hill police officers testifying that still had chemical burns on their faces, there was a 60 minute discrepancy between what the Capitol Hill police chief said about contacting the sergeants of arms to get the national guard and what those sergeants say actually happened. There was a severely addled senator from Wisconsin who was either gaslighted or attempted to gaslight the rest of us into believing that Antifa was responsible. There was Hawley acting like he didn’t do nothin’. The whole hearing was both riveting and bizarre from the tiny snippets I heard as I was falling asleep.

But mostly, we working people missed the details from 4pm to 7pm as the mens reminisced about cute little Tiger who grew up to be a almost billionaire man baby golf player with severe back issues.

He doesn’t even play the big ones anymore and he’s only 45.

Really? REALLY??

Who ordered Nicolle Wallace to take the day off and talk about golf?

They’re hopeless.

Yeah, but what if you’re wrong?

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court sent down two rulings that went against Donald Trump.

The Republican reader may be having a Chris Crocker meltdown moment sobbing, “Leave. Donald. ALOOOOONNE!”

The guy’s not in office anymore. Can’t we just move on? The answer is no. I can’t fully explain how the Republican voter’s mind has been high jacked but this man should have never been president in the first place due to his utter lack of principles and criminal behavior. Just because his own party has gone on record -twice- as deliberately not holding him accountable because they’re Republicans, does not mean he did nothing wrong.

Republican reader, you might say he’s been proven innocent but what if you’re wrong? Isn’t that possible?

So, now we’re about to see Donald’s tax returns, something that he has fought tooth and nail to keep secret since 2016. Well, we aren’t going to see them but the Manhattan DA is going to see them. And she’s hired the best tax specialists that money can buy to sift through them, looking for evidence of something they’ve been investigating and suspected for a long time. They’re able to do this because the US Supreme Court has said that no one is above the law and Donald can’t prevent the tax return case from going forward forever.

He might be perfectly innocent of tax fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud. But what if you’re wrong?

The second case that the US Supreme Court decided on yesterday had to do with throwing out the election results in PA because some of the mail in ballots were received 3 days after the election and our state courts said that the pandemic and Donald’s monkey wrenching of the postal service would unfairly penalize mail in voters who couldn’t get their ballots back to the board of elections in time, effectively disenfranchising them.

It’s all just hard ball politics until it’s your elderly aunt’s mail in paper ballot that is affected. Those mail in ballots weren’t hypothetical. They were from real people we know.

But the USSC refused to take Donald’s case again because, and this the crucial point, even if the state supreme court’s actions were unconstitutional, which they weren’t, the number of votes affected would have been insufficient to overturn the election. This has been the case since Election Day. Pennsylvania collected ALL of the ballots that came in after Election Day and sequestered them away from all of the other ballots. The votes that put Biden over the top in PA all came from timely mail in ballots. All of them. None of the late ballots were even counted until after the state ascertained that Biden decisively beat Donald with the votes on hand.

The ruling was made without an individual vote count. We will never know exactly how many of the Conservative justices joined the majority. This was the equivalent of the conservative judges wearing bags over their heads.

That’s pretty bad.

This case should put the Big Lie to rest. There were extremely few instances of voter fraud, all of them by Republican voters in PA. Go figure.

Donald can scream and cry and shake his tiny fists that he won in a landslide and Republican voters have every right to believe this lie until the day they die. But what if they’re wrong?

Does that matter or is the Big Lie just a way for Republican voters to continue to consist of a body of teenagers with oppositional defiance disorder and conduct disorder? Do the Democrats stink of parentalism that much?

Yeah, but Democrats never accepted Donald as president. They formed the Resistance and opposed all of the wonderful stuff he did! (See paragraph 3 above). Well, I’ll never be convinced that Donald was a duly elected president in the first place. For all I know, he was working the refs in PA back in 2016. We’ve got him on tape pressuring officials in Georgia. Maybe election officials in PA were more accommodating in 2016. Isn’t that possible?

The difference between us and Republicans in 2020-2021 is that without paper trails on all e-voting machines in PA in 2016, there’s no way of knowing, unlike the 2020 election where EVERY vote has a paper trail. Also, we held peaceful marches around the world after Inauguration Day 2017. No one we know stormed the Capitol to stop the electoral college vote or killed any Capitol Hill police officers. We just decided to pursue legal means to get rid of him when he did something impeachable. Or vote him out. After all, how many people could die in 4 years? Turns out, a lot. But I digress.

Those Democrats are commies, right? But what if you’re wrong? Does it matter? Or is it just a convenient excuse to act out?

If that’s the case, then the only way to break this impasse is to hold some people accountable including Donald. He’s no longer above the law. The record will show that he was a malicious and greedy criminal before he took office. Since the rest of us don’t want to devolve into a broken and hopelessly corrupt state where the only way something gets done is through bribery, then Donald will need to be held accountable.

The Republican voter seems to think that 74 million voters are an insurmountable number of people whose shrieking and acting out can make the rest of us give up. They’re not going to stop the bad behavior until people are tried, convicted and sentenced for their crimes. There was a time in this country when Republican voters did not think it was ok to treat their fellow citizens as either non-persons whose votes are disposable, or potential mugging victims. And they’ve heard Donald growling about his 74 million voters for months now that they seem to think that 74 is greater than 81.

But what if they’re wrong?