Lazy Sunday LXXXIV: SCOTUS

Perhaps one of President Trump’s most enduring achievements has been his Supreme Court nominations.  He’s managed to tip the Court, however slightly, towards the conservatives.  With the death of Justice Ginsburg, Trump has the opportunity to secure a solid conservative majority on the highest court in the land for at least a generation.

With that, it looks like a good opportunity to review some posts about the Supreme Court:

  • Breaking: Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court” – The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh was a major shift in American politics.  His confirmation hearings saw the entire fury of the Left unleashed, and it was during those hearings that I believe many of us realized that the old playbook of compromise among competing parties was no long valid or useful.
  • SCOTUS D&D” – This post was a fun one—looking at the Supreme Court justices (from 2018) in terms of the Dungeons and Dragons alignments.
  • Logic Breakdown and the Kavanaugh Hearings” – As noted above, the Kavanaugh hearings were a turning point.  I was blown away with the number of arguments people were making on social media that boiled down to “I was raped/sexually assaulted/abused, therefore Brett Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Blasey Ford.”  The complete embrace of emotionalism and illogical thinking braced me to this stark reality.
  • Screwed by SCOTUS” – One of my more recent posts on the Court, this piece explored the tendency of conservative justices to make surprisingly bad decisions in league with progressive cause du jours.

That’s it for now.  Here’s hoping President Trump and Senate Republicans can get it done and slam in a super conservative appointee ahead of the election.  We’ll see.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

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SubscribeStar Saturday: 9-11

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Yesterday I launched Five Dollar Friday, a series of 2020 election series posts for $5 a month and higher subscribers.  Just another perk for my subscribers.

Nineteen years ago yesterday, Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners, crashing them into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and—thanks to the bravery of Americans aboard Flight 93—a field in Pennsylvania.  2977 Americans lost their lives that day, with another 25,000 injured in the aftermath.

I was a junior in high school when the attacks occurred.  My classmates and I first heard about it during trigonometry class with our ancient math teacher, one of those public school double-dippers who was pulling a pension but still teaching (to her credit, she was a good math teacher).  The psychology teacher from across the hall—a large, red-faced woman—burst into the room, blubbering, “They’ve attacked the Pentagon!”

To my shame, the class erupted in laughter.  We weren’t laughing because we thought it was good news—like those Muslims partying on rooftops and those public school kids in New York cheering at the destruction.  We laughed because it was so absurd (it didn’t help that a very rotund, hysterical woman shouted it hysterically).  America, attacked?  Who would do something so foolish?  It was so beyond our comprehension, we couldn’t believe it.

As the day wore on, we realized pretty quickly that something terrible had happened.  I don’t remember if we watched news footage during the day, but we were not sent home early.  Indeed, we had marching band practice that afternoon.  But there were real fears:  would terrorists attempt an attack on the Savannah River Site, where we used to process tritium for nuclear weapons?

My dad was in Pennsylvania at the time at a work conference.  Of course, Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania, and all air travel was shut down (my German teacher commented on how it was probably the first time since the rise of commercial aviation that no aircraft were in the skies).  Fortunately, he was safe, and road the rails back to South Carolina.  My grandparents were out in the Southwest, and rented a Toyota Camry to drive cross-country (they went on to purchase the vehicle).

In the coming days, we came to find out it was the work of radical Islamic terrorists.  I recall a conversation with friends in which I suggested we ban any travel and immigration from any countries with a majority Muslim population until we got this terrorism threat worked out.  It wasn’t long after that President Bush started in with the “Islam is a religion of peace” nonsense, but there was a brief, albeit very mild, nativist flare-up (when the French refused to join us in the Iraq War, restaurants changed French fries to “freedom fries” on their menus).

It felt like our Pearl Harbor.

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Five Dollar Friday: Trump Florida Poll Watch

Today’s post is a new exclusive for $5 and higher subscribers to my SubscribeStar page.  Five Dollar Fridays will be a regular feature heading into the 2020 election, with unique analysis of and insights into the presidential and other national, State, and local elections.

Also, I am pleased to announce I have reached eight subscribers!  Half of subscribers are at the $5 level, and already enjoy weekly installments of Sunday Doodles.  Of course, I’ll continue posting exclusive content every Saturday for $1 subs and higher.

Since the 2000 election’s infamous “hanging chads” and Bush v. Gore, Florida has been the quintessential swing State, the make-or-break for presidential hopefuls, and a must-win for any Republican candidate.  It’s a tricky State, as it’s really three States in one.

North Florida is basically like the rest of the South:  pine barrens and good ol’ boys.  That’s Trump Country.  Southern Florida is a melange of New York Jews and Cubans, the former of which are firmly in the Democratic fold, the latter of which historically have voted Republican, but have begun to shift blue over the last decade.  Central Florida is a mix of both regions, it seems.

In the 2016 Florida GOP primary, Trump demolished the Sunshine State’s favorite son, Senator Marco Rubio by 18.68%.  The general election was much closer, with Trump winning 49.02% to Secretary Clinton’s 47.82% (Libertarian goofball Gary Johnson won 2.2%, which very nearly spoiled Trump’s narrow victory)—a margin of just over 100,000 votes.

Trump’s win in Florida early on election night surely fed into the electric momentum of that historic night.  While other States—think Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan—have gained in importance for President Trump, Florida still remains a critical State, central to the president’s path to reelection.

Fortunately, recent polling—and some interesting nautical events—suggest that President Trump is well-positioned to a repeat victory on the peninsula.  It may even be bigger this time.

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The RNC: Normality and Sanity

As an ostensible politics blogger I’ve been quite derelict in my duty to watch the Republican National Convention, at least with the kind of rapt attention I should.  I completely skipped out on the terrible Democratic National Convention, which was, by all appearances, a disaster in both form and substance.

That said, what I have seen is encouraging.  The theme of the RNC seems to be that a vote for Republicans is a vote for sanity, and that the Republicans are the party of normal people.  The implication, of course, is that the Democrats support insanity and the abnormal, which is objectively true.

The media has reported that the RNC is throwing out red meat for its base, but considering that Trump naturalized five immigrants and Tim Scott was calling for criminal justice and law enforcement reforms suggest otherwise.  If anything, the convention this year is a sales pitch to independents, who are no-doubt weary of seeing cities burn and cops reviled.

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RNC Night 1 Highlight: Tim Scott

The 2020 Republican National Convention kicked off last night, and I missed all of it.  However, while drifting off to sleep after a long day of mind-molding, my younger brother and dad were blowing up my phone about Senator Tim Scott’s speech.

Tim Scott is South Carolina’s junior Senator, and enjoys immense support here in the Palmetto State.  His story is inspiring:  the product of a single-parent household, he overcame bad grades and learned the value of hard work while working at Chick-Fil-A.  He came to understand that profits don’t hurt people, but create jobs and build communities.  He’s also the first black Republican Senator from the South since Reconstruction.

While I sometimes think Senator Scott is a bit hasty to take sides against law enforcement amid ginned up race controversies, his overall instincts are solidly conservative.  He’s affable and easy-going, as well as eloquent and measured.  It’s little wonder that he’s a rising star in the Republican Party.

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Conventions

Congratulations to Laura Loomer for her victory in the Florida US Congressional District 21 Republican primary last night.  She’ll now face off against incumbent Democrat Lois Frankel on 3 November 2020.  It’s a very blue district, but if anyone can win it, it’s LoomerConsider donating to her campaign to flip FL-21!

The Democratic Party kicked off its virtual convention Monday evening.  They’ve dubbed it “D20,” which makes me think of Dungeons & Dragons.  That (perhaps) unintentionally symbolizes the basement-dwelling, anxiety-ridden nerdiness of the modern Democratic Party.

Yesterday’s Rasmussen Number of the Day on Ballotpedia observed that it’s been forty years “since the last meaningful national convention.”  That was a reference to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, in which incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a convention floor challenge from Senator Teddy Kennedy.  Carter had enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but Kennedy challenged the convention rules in an attempt to force a floor vote.

Kennedy’s attempt failed, and Carter won the nomination with 64% of the delegates.  For the vice presidential nomination, bitter pro-Kennedy delegates skipped out on the vote; those that did show up scattered their votes between various nominees.  Nevertheless, the incumbent Vice President Walter Mondale still walked away with nearly 73% of the delegates.

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Trump’s Pages of Accomplishments

Looking at national polls and predictions, it’s easy to get discouraged about President Trump’s reelection prospects.  Even with Joe Biden losing his mind, and the pick of a radical, authoritarian Kamala Harris as his running mate, “Sleepy Joe” is managing to stay up by hunkering down.

On our side there’s grumbling that Trump hasn’t done enough—on immigration, on law and order—and those aren’t entirely warrantless grumbles.  Republicans squandered—perhaps intentionally—an opportunity to fund the construction of the border wall while they controlled both chambers of Congress.  John McCain pompously and vindictively voted to keep the odious Affordable Care Act in place, a clear parting shot at Trump.  Trump did not seem to offer a robust response to the CHAZ/CHOP fiasco, but is now belatedly defending federal property in Portland, Oregon.

Those critiques aside, it’s worth remembering what Trump has accomplished—and he wants you to be reminded.  That’s why he gave Breitbart a six-page document of his achievements.  They are substantial—and make him one of the greatest presidents of the last fifty years.

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Breaking: Biden Picks Harris as Running Mate

Sometimes being late with the day’s post pays off:  borderline vegetable and former Vice President Joe Biden has picked US Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.

I’m not surprised with Biden’s choice:  he promised he would pick a female for the VP slot, and with the intensity of Floydism and BLM these days, he was pretty much guaranteed to pick a “woman of color,” to use the Left’s trendy parlance.

But Harris is a poor choice for VP.  Political philosophy aside—her political views make her dangerous—she might not be the magic bullet to retain black voters that the Democrats hope she is.  For one, Harris is half-Indian and half-Jamaican—and the Jamaican side includes fairly recent ancestors who owned slaves.  The exotic mulatto schtick worked for Barack Obama among white liberals, and will likely do so again, but Harris will struggle with the black community in a way Obama never did for two reasons:  she was a harsh prosecutor in California, and she comes across as a phony to black people—as inauthentically “black.”  Obama was half-white and largely raised overseas and in Hawaii, but he could “pass” as a brother.

She’s also bizarre looking since her recent plastic surgery.  I’m in agreement with Milo on this one:  before she butchered herself, she was an attractive woman, at least on the outside.  Yes, yes, that shouldn’t matter, but imagine that alien face squinting out from the Resolute desk.  Shudder!

What is frightening, though, is the prospect that this woman could have access to the reins of the power.  She threatened to take “executive action” to enact gun control while running (quite poorly, it should be remembered) in the Democratic primaries.  Remember, too, that Harris rose the ranks of California politics by being Willie Brown’s concubine.  That suggests a willingness to engage in the seamiest of behaviors just to grab hold of power, fortune, and fame—immoral, excessive ambition.

Everyone assumes that Biden is going to die in office.  According a news bulletin I heard on the way home from work, Biden himself seems to think it’s a possibility, and a majority of Americans polled predict he won’t make it through his first term.

Even if he doesn’t keel over, his mental state is dubious, at best.  His Vice President, along with his (surely) ultra-radical staff of progressives will steer the ship of state.  Biden will be a mere puppet for that cabal.

That’s all the more reason to get out and vote for Trump.  If you thought Obama’s presidency was bad, a Harris presidency would be the long dark midnight of the soul.

Lazy Sunday LXXIII: Forgotten Posts, Volume II

It’s another Lazy Sunday dive into some of my deep cuts—the forgotten or neglected posts of yesteryear.  As a reminder, here’s my loose criteria for selecting these posts, as spelled out last Sunday:

That’s all a long way of saying that I’m doing some deep dives for an indeterminate number of Sundays into some forgotten posts.  These are posts that don’t immediately spring to my mind when I’m referencing my own work.  These posts may or may not have had high or low hit counts; they are just posts that don’t linger strongly in my memory.  They’re the red-headed stepchildren of my churning mind.

The following three posts all date from Summer 2018, an important summer for me:  it’s when I relaunched the blog on WordPress, and when my old apartment flooded for the second time, prompting my ultimate move to Lamar:

  • Breaking: Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize” – I used to do these “breaking” news posts periodically—dashing off a couple hundred words about some major development.  I was perhaps overly optimistic about Trump’s peace talks in Korea, but while they might not have ended the Korean War’s long cease-fire, they definitely calmed down tensions between the US and North Korea.
  • George Will’s Self-Destruct Sequence” – The Never Trump phenomenon was gasping for air in 2018, but it still had some loyal adherents (and still does, if you check out National ReviewThe Dispatch, and The Bulwark, the last of which is blatantly progressive, despite its claims to be a conservative site).  One of the first major figures to succumb publicly and wildly to the disease was George Will, the long-time WaPo columnist and tweedy neocon.  Will argued that Republicans in Congress should be voted out to avoid giving Trump dictatorial powers—a ludicrous obsession with the Left and the Never Trumpers, and completely deleterious to the future of the nation.  Sure, we Republicans might be the “Stupid Party” sometimes, stupidity in the highest halls of power is generally preferable to the “Evil Party” of intentional wickedness.  Now we have so-called conservatives plumping for Joe Biden on similarly faulty premises.  Yeesh!
  • HSAs are A-Okay” – I’m a big fan of health savings accounts, or HSAs, thanks in large part to my younger brother’s financial wizardry.  Health savings accounts allow account holders to deposit funds that can be used to cover future, out-of-pocket medical expenses.  Since my cut-rate insurance comes with a hefty $6750 annual deductible, squirreling away cash into my HSA helps in the event of a catastrophic injury or health crisis.  But the real beauty of an HSA is that the deposited funds can be invested in mutual funds and grow in value—tax-free.  They’re the ultimate investment vehicle, and you can save medical receipts for years before using them to withdraw HSA funds (if you use an emergency fund to cover medical expenses on the front-end, the HSA funds can grow unmolested until you decide to use them).

That’s it for another edition of Lazy Sunday—one of the last truly lazy ones for some time, as I report back to school tomorrow morning.  Classes resume 20 August 2020, so I still have about eleven days to prepare for the return of students.

Now I’m off to tickle the ivories for morning service.  Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments: