Written by Yappy.

I learned long ago that if you handed a math problem to three PhD mathematicians, they will never be able to find a simple answer to it, even if one clearly exists.  From listening to members of Congress, I have also become convinced that High Intelligence is not a requirement for High Office.  Therefore, it would seem that Congress is perfectly suited to arrive quickly at a simple solution for some of our more pressing national problems.  The "KISS principle" (Keep It Simple, Stupid) seems perfectly applicable.

A prime example would be the endless caterwauling and agonizing over "how" to repeal Obamacare.  The one and only objection being raised by Democrats appears to be that "millions of people will lose their health insurance."  Therefore the solution is simple.  The GOP Congress simply repeals Obamacare clear down to the smell, but with one added provision: "if you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep your Obamacare plan."  The exchanges and even the illegal subsidies would remain as long as people paid the premiums and did not try to change plans, or until they find something better.  But finding better should not take long at all once Congress starts work on a replacement that really DOES greatly reduce the cost and thus make insurance more readily available for everybody. 

All of the supposed complications about "the good features of Obama care"-- children up to age 26 on their parent's plan and pre-existing condition coverage – are the kinds of complications that PhD politicians come up with.  The simple answer is that parents who want their children on their plans can buy a policy that allows it and pay a small additional premium.  Those with pre-existing conditions can buy a plan with a temporary waiver – that is, we cover everything but that for a year or two for the same price as everybody else – or they can buy from a state-sponsored "high risk pool" as many states had before Obamacare came along.  And of course transferring the tax benefit from employer to employee will make coverage portable and greatly reduce the number of pre-existing condition situations.

Really, it is so simple even a Congressman should be able to figure it out!


Written by Yappy.

There is a lot of disappointment across the land today.  Some of us are disappointed because we did not score that great bargain on Black Friday or on Cyber Monday.  Some of us are disappointed in ourselves for falling off our diet when faced with all the "fixins" that accompanied that beautiful Thanksgiving turkey.  Some of us are disappointed in our fellow citizens, who believe that mobs marching in the streets should overturn a presidential election result they do not like.  There is disappointment among some conservatives that Trump won, and of course there is the massive disappointment and widespread grief among the Hillary supporters and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) that Hillary did not.

But there is more to come.  Call it unrealistic expectations if you want, but there is probably no way that Trump can deliver the kind of swift and satisfying change for which most of us had begun to hope.  I suspect the biggest disappointment yet to come, though, will be when Trump fails to live up to the Satanic image the Left has created of him.  It is a dreadfully unrealistic expectation that anyone could be as evil and stupid, not to mention sexist, misogynistic, bigoted, racist and xenophobic, as they have claimed.  They are already rioting in the streets to object to his wicked, wicked ways and he has not taken office yet!  We need not worry, however, because these Leftists have mental tools that the Right does not.  They are capable at any time of simply rejecting reality and substituting their own.  Do not try to help them; you will just get disappointed. 

Goose Sauce

Written by Yappy.

There is an old saying, "What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."  Literally, it means that when cooking geese, gender does not matter.  In the broader sense, it is something like the Golden Rule, meaning we should apply the same standards to all people or all similar situations.  And therein lies the problem.

I received an MCCL "voters guide" about the Minnesota judicial elections, telling me that I should vote for the "conservative" Michelle McDonald for the Minnesota Supreme Court, over the incumbent "liberal appointed by Gov. Dayton."  Like most voters in most election contests, this one piece of information would normally be sufficient to drive my choice.  Unfortunately I have additional information, based on Ms. McDonald's speeches and writings, and from that formed an opinion (no offense to anyone, please) that she is something of a Looney Tune.  Harsh and quite possibly incorrect, but it nonetheless forces me to make one of three choices:

  1. I can make an "informed" vote and vote against the MCCL recommendation.  Given all of the other folks, whose opinion I respect and who differ with me on this, I do not see this as being a wise choice.  It helps the liberal (certainly the more liberal) candidate to win.
  2. Giving my own opinion the same respect, however, suggests that perhaps I should not vote in that particular contest.  Unfortunately this not only puts the election results in somebody else's hands, but also almost certainly allows the liberal (and in the case of judges, the incumbent) to win.
  3. Therefore, the only reasonable choice I have is to cast a vote FOR Michelle McDonald for the Supreme Court, ignoring any personal reservations I may have.  Beyond the Prime Directive of never giving power to liberals and Democrats, there is inherent wisdom in the consistency suggested by the old adage cited above.  Just as I am doing in this Supreme Court race, and considering the US Supreme Court as well, you and I need to vote FOR Donald Trump, REGARDLESS of what you may have heard or think about him, or our goose is cooked. 


Written by Yappy.

A fellow named Nassim Nicholas Taleb, brought to our attention by Newt Gingrich, has coined the term "Intellectual Yet Idiots (IYI)."  "The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities …" The thing they have in common is that they are liberals and, almost by definition, have limited contact with real people in the real world.  The article punctures their pomposity in grand form, but I would like to expand the definition.  Perhaps it is unfair to do so, because other than their customary Ivy League educations, liberal politicians are not known for being intellectuals and frequently prove that High Intelligence is not a requirement for High Office.  But neither is high intelligence the characteristic of an idiot, so I believe the definition fits, and yet there are still more. 

There is not a day that goes by that I do not receive at least one solicitation from either the NRCC or NRSC-- the National Republican Congressional or Senatorial Campaign – wanting money to help them "keep control of the House/Senate" or "counter Hillary's radical agenda."  Now I certainly agree with those sentiments, and I understand the initial effort to concentrate on the "down ticket" races when we were all [unduly, it turns out] worried that Mr. Trump might have a devastating effect on Republicans in those races.  We even advise our candidates to run their own races and not to comment on others.  So what kind of an idiot Republican candidate goes out of their way to loudly and publicly denounce Mr. Trump at the top of the ticket?  If they are worried about Mr. Trump's effect on the down ticket, should they not at minimum simply keep quiet about him?  Idiots!

Moreover, from the other side of the campaigns, by no means a well-defined group and certainly not containing many who would lay claim to the label of "intellectual" (while saying nothing about their intelligence or even common sense), are everyday voters who have allowed themselves to be treated as idiots.  That is, they have once again allowed the media and the Democrats (to the degree there is a distinction) to define our candidate in "deplorable" terms and trick us into voting against our own candidate!  Idiots!  By now we should know this trick backwards and forwards, and when a Democrat starts to tell us what the Republican will do in office or even the "meaning" of what they said, we should simply assume they are lying.  It must be so, because they cannot possibly know.  If you want to know what a Republican wants to do in office, ASK.  Then vote for them, regardless of the answer!  No point in asking the Democrat, they are inclined to lie but are usually too busy tearing down the Republican.  Most of us cannot get into the IYI "club" at all, so we should not be trying to prove our idiot credentials by letting them tell us for whom to vote.    

Mind the Gap

Written by Yappy.

"Disappointing numbers were released Thursday, showing the achievement gap between white students and students of color in Minnesota remains far apart" reads the headline.  One might think it embarrassing that such a progressive and tolerant state as Minnesota has one of the largest gaps in educational achievement between white students and students of color, but of course embarrassment and hypocrisy are alien concepts to progressives.  So is doing what works, or seeing reality for what it is.  Thus we have statements like, “What is the actual purpose of [these] test[s]?  What’s it measuring?”  You’re getting into the mode of always getting ready for another test rather than learning the skills necessary to achieve.” 

Criticisms like this imply that "teaching to the test" is not an adequate education, and that may be true.  But it stands to reason that if teachers WERE teaching to the test, the test scores would be better, would they not?  Apparently, teachers are no better at teaching to the test than they are teaching anything else and that isn't a condemnation of teachers, but rather the "system" in which they work.  The gap we should mind and be addressing is the gap between what our expensive public schools promise and what they deliver.  Then, the other gap will take care of itself.

Finally Understanding

Written by Yappy.

I have been trying for months to understand the reasons why people say they will never vote for Donald Trump.  I assumed that if I could find those reasons that perhaps, like all other reasoning Republicans, they could be persuaded otherwise, rather than this being a case of trying to reason someone out of a position that they had not reasoned themselves into in the first place.  I also note that many of these good people have more than one reason, either simultaneously or in a progression as events unfold.

The first and most obvious reason would have been that one preferred a different candidate.  That was a very good reason for quite a long time, but with Tuesday night's roll call of the states, that objection must surely, on reasonable grounds, be set aside.  Somewhat akin to that was the reasoning that said he couldn't win the nomination because he wasn't somehow "playing the game right."  That reason as well has been made inoperative, since he won the most Republican primary votes of any candidate in history.

There have also been two very good and very Republican reasons to oppose the Trump candidacy.  One was that he would have a huge negative impact on the down-ballot contests, perhaps giving Congress back to the Democrats.  Recent polls on these individual races, even as the Trump candidacy became more certain, seem to be largely disproving this "reverse coattails" effect.  The other concern was quite similar, that Trump was so unlikable and un-liked that Hillary would win in a landslide.  With the polls already showing a very close race and showing Trump ahead in some battleground states, that reason needs to be surrendered, as well.

Finally, there are only two reasons remaining.  The first is that Donald Trump is not a very good conservative.  While I am not certain that means as much as it should, especially considering that Hillary Clinton is a TERRIBLE conservative, I'm reminded that the same thing was said about Mister Romney, about Mister McCain, and about Mister Dole.  If that was the reason why Republican voters stayed home and caused these estimable gentlemen to lose, I hope to Heaven these folks see reason to come out to vote against Hillary. 

The last reason to be "NeverTrump" is that he is just not a very good man, and I am only now understanding why.  Purely and simply, too many Republicans and conservatives have once again been duped by the Democrats and their major media allies.  I am amazed at the apparent number of people who have not yet recognized the "playbook" being used.  In every presidential year, the drive-by media will talk up one of our Republican candidates, calling them the front-runner and so forth, and then tear them down to focus on another-- lather, rinse repeat.  Usually the last one they build up is the candidate they have essentially chosen for us but, immediately after the nomination, the destructive news cycle begins.  Mister Trump has refused to play by this playbook and actually turned the tables on them by using their coverage of him to win the nomination.  Unfortunately they started their assaults on his character long ago (it will no doubt get worse) and too many of us have believed it.  We've simply got to quit doing that, and use our reason.  There is no reason not to.

Speaking Advice

Written by Yappy.

Dear President Obama:

It has become painfully obvious that you have absolutely no idea "who we are," or what "the right thing to do" is.  Your actions do not "reflect our values" because, "let me be perfectly clear," your values and ours have nothing in common.  Therefore it would be much appreciated if you would stop using these meaningless and deceptive phrases in every one of your vacuous pronouncements, on every subject.  Thank you. 

Virtuous Voting

Written by Yappy.

Assuming for the moment that the general election comes down to choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and realistically those WILL be the only choices, is there a proper course of action for those who would like to cast a vote in favor of values and virtues?  I claim that there is a rational decision-making process to arriving at that choice.

First of all, I think almost everyone would see this choice as one more instance of choosing the lesser of two evils.  It is the conventional wisdom that virtue requires one to choose the lesser evil because otherwise the greater evil wins.  Those of strong virtue, however, argue that the lesser evil is still evil, and refuse to endorse either evil with their vote.  Unfortunately, "none of the above" has never been an option on the ballot.  Think of it this way: if you believe that those supporting the greater evil are themselves more evil than you, as they must be, then can you believe they have the same strong virtue as you and will likewise NOT vote?  Or would they vote for the greater evil willingly and knowingly?  Under those circumstances, the greater evil triumphs because the virtuous refuse to "get their hands dirty."  You don't have to be enthusiastic about your choices, but you have to make the most virtuous vote, by whatever slim margin, that you can.    

Climate Hustle

Written by Yappy.

I attended the one-night-only showing of the new movie "Climate Hustle" last evening.  I must confess it was disappointing.  I had hoped for a large crowd and that they would be exposed to the overwhelming scientific evidence that this "catastrophic anthropogenic (man-made) global warming" (CAGW) was a fraud, a great pseudoscientific hoax.  Instead I got sort of a Sesame-Street, short-attention-span flurry of images followed by several rounds of talking-head discussion.  The arguments in favor boil down to three rather questionably useful precepts:  1) a trend will continue until it changes, 2) correlation is proof of causation, and 3) that we can reliably predict the future AND we can change it (mostly by wishing it so).  All of these, quite reasonably, were shown by simple logic and observed data to be false.  There was enough real science to completely disprove the CAGW theory, but mostly the message was that this is a religious and political movement with ZERO scientific evidence in support of it.  I guess "hustle" was the correct title, but didn't we already know that?

Abide With Me

Written by Yappy.

No, I'm not talking about the old Hymn.  I'm talking about the current silly season of GOP endorsing conventions.  Everywhere you turn you see  Party activists asking, or even demanding, that candidates "abide by the endorsement" (rather than run in a primary), as if issue positions and electability were not important.  And you see candidates either promising it and criticizing those who promise not, waffling on the subject, or honestly saying they are going to the primary.  That last seems to really matter most to the delegates, and they often push to forcing such a pledge on every candidate.  Really, that is backwards.

What it amounts to is an attempt to make the endorsement have value, by fiat, when what we should be doing is making the endorsement have REAL value!  That is, the endorsement should carry with it financial support, volunteer hours, publicity and media exposure, and vigorous support.  This means that 100%-- every single one— of the delegates must go out and somehow convince, literally, 1000 general election voters that their endorsed candidate is the best one!  Endorsement, in short, should almost guarantee victory in November.  That is the only value endorsement can have.

But that is not what actually happens.  When the 60% of votes required to gain endorsement is reached, those 60% essentially say, "Well, I got him the endorsement, so I'm done."  And the 40% that wanted somebody else essentially say, "He's not my guy, so I'm done."  Therefore, almost 100% of the delegates, instead of doing everything they can and must do to win the election, go home and open a bag of Cheetos.  Such an endorsement has almost no value and it's our fault.  Maybe WE are the ones that need to take responsibility for and abide by the endorsement?

Trumping Truth

Written by Yappy.

So, Donald Trump is running all over complaining about how Colorado Republicans "cheated" him of victory, "denied people a vote," or that the system was "rigged" against him.  Balderdash.  As usual, the Powerline guys are right on, with a historic cartoon labeled, "Colorado 1912: Caucus system adopted to screw Trump out of delegates." 

I hope people catch on that Trump is simply a whining loser who won't even take the time to learn the rules of the game, let alone play fairly within them.  It should be most obvious to Minnesotans, who have the same system as Colorado.  We (and they) have always had a caucus and convention system to eventually choose delegates to the National Convention, where delegates vote their choice for the Presidential nominee of the Party.  Nobody is "denied a vote" because caucuses have always been open to everybody, it's just that most people do not make the "effort" of a few hours every two years, and the world belongs to those who show up. 

Both Minnesota and Colorado have, for the last several cycles, added a "Presidential straw poll" feature to their caucuses.  It increased turnout and garnered us some small bit of attention from the Presidential campaigns.  Last year, however, the Republican National Committee, in its role of controlling the Presidential primary calendar (Iowa first, New Hampshire second, etc) ruled that states had two choices:  Have their caucus at their assigned time in the calendar (both MN and CO were March 1) WITHOUT a straw poll, or have it at the same time and make the straw poll "binding" on National Delegates, essentially turning the straw poll into a primary.  Colorado wisely chose the former, continuing as they always have but without the straw poll.  Minnesota chose the latter and, indeed, more people—almost double—turned out to vote, overwhelming the caucus facilities and facilitators, but that is ALL they did.  They didn't stay and actually become involved in the Party or in choosing state and local candidates or discussing platform issues.  Not only that, but Marco Rubio won the State, his only state win, and Donald Trump still came in third!  Why isn't Trump complaining about US?  A little attention from his campaign might be nice, since surely we did something wrong if he didn't win.  :-/