Friday, March 22, 2019
What to Make of the "Comprehensive" Mueller Report? Nothing Yet!!!!! 22 months, tens of millions of tax payer dollars, and no further indictments. Could there have been sealed indictments? The Devil will be in the words of the Report. Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers will not regain their sanity. The longer the Report, the more likely some words will be interesting reading. The Democrats are demanding a total release of the Report, hoping to find something. No Russian Collusion? Unacceptable No conspiracy? Unacceptable No Obstruction of Justice? Unacceptable No treason? Unacceptable No indictment of Don, Jr.? Unacceptable No indictment of Jared? Unacceptable No indictment of Ivanka? Unacceptable They got Nixon; why couldn’t they get Trump? Representative Adam Schiff is too invested in the Trump-Collusion Farce Whether 10 pages or 100 pages, the Democrats will run an electron microscope over the Report. The Never Trumpers will flyspeck every word of the Report. Innuendo anyone? The media will have to find something. Six House Committees will intensify their investigations. Subpoenas are being prepared as a contingency by the Committee’s lawyers. They will want the Report and all the background document. They will haul Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr before their committees. Indict, investigate, impeach remain the coda of the Democrats. The Encomium Clause still exists. Banking irregularities? Deutsche Bank? Trump Foundation Tax Returns Southern District New York federal prosecutors House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement: “The American people have a right to the truth.” What about FusionGPS, the Steele Dossier, the FISA reports, the Brennen, Clapper, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Ohr, FBI-DOJ Cabal, “the insurance policy,” Clinton emails? Who committed perjury before Congress? Any apologies coming? What about the extent of the real Russian interference in the 2016 election?
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Rebuild the Obama Coalition Identity Politics Class Warfare Let Ex-cons Vote Green New Deal Democratic Socialism Universal Basic Income Reparations Minimum Wage Rent Control Affirmative Action The Youth Vote Lower the Voting Age to 16 Free College Tuition Troll the Campuses for Proxy Votes Free Pot Social Media Block Conservative Speech of Campuses Climate Change Media Let Undocumented Immigrants Vote (San Francisco) Open Borders Eliminate ICE Grant Statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico Structural Changes in the Constitution, the Fabric That Has Held the United States united for over Two Centuries Eliminate the Checks and Balances that Underline America’s Democracy Stack the Supreme Court with As Many Justices as Necessary, Thereby Turning the Supreme Court into the Third Political Branch Stack the Lower Courts Eliminate the Electoral College Let California, New York and the Large Cities Elect the President Troll the Homeless Camps for Proxy Votes Troll the Potheads for Proxy Votes End Freedom of Speech for Conservatives on Campuses End Senate Filibusters Free! Free! Free! Free Healthcare Third Trimester Abortions Public Employee Unions Voter Fraud Anti-Semitism
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Three ACC teams and Gonzaga are number one seeds in the four regions. At least three of them, maybe four will not be in the title game and probably not the Final Four. Two Big Ten teams, Michigan and Michigan State are two seeds. Michigan would have to defeat Gonzaga and Michigan State Duke to make the Final Four. Both teams have outstanding defenses, but the odds of both reaching the Final Four are slim. Indeed, it’s possible that neither make it to the Regional Finals However, out of loyalty to Michigan and as an “adopted” son of the Great State of Michigan, I want them both to succeed with one winning out.. Kentucky and Tennessee from the SEC are the two other 2 seeds. Thus the top eight teams before the tip off are from three power conferences. Duke and Kentucky are vying for the One And Done Championship. Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, The Ohio State University, Rutgers and Wisconsin also represent the Big (Ten) Conference. Michigan was the only Big team to make it out of the first round last year. Since my first teaching was in Ohio, albeit it at ONU and not OSU, I will like to see the Buckeyes win a few, but their last half of the season was not up to TOSY standards. Actually, I would live to see a final four comprised of 4 Big 10/14 teams. If not, why not 4 Jesuit Universities since I also graduated from the University of San Francisco when it was a basketball power and nobody ever heard of Gonzaga. Anything is possible. But not for last year’s Cinderellas, UMBC (University of Maryland at Baltimore County) and Loyola Chicago with 99 year old Sister Jean. they were not invited to the dance this year. The Hall of Famer, Rick Pitino is missing the year, taking his game to Greece. Last year’s national champion, Villanova, plays St Mary’s in the first game, a classic clash of East Coach Catholics versus West Coach Catholics. Who’s this year’s Cinderella, or at least early round bracket buster: Yale, which could conceivably play Duke for the East Regional Title and academic superiority, Montana which could defeat the other UM, Michigan, in the first game, Liberty, Belmont Temple, Bradley, Gardner Webb, Colgate, Old Dominion, Iona, once of Jim Valvano fame, Old Dominion, once a power in women’s basketball, Northeastern, Wofford, or Abilene Christian? Will a 16 beat a 1? Remember, Virginia, last year’s 1 seed fell to UMBC in the first game. The Retrievers defeated the Cavaliers. A few are predicting Virginia to win out, cut the nets, and extirpate last season’s sin. That stain the Cavaliers recorded will never go away. Michigan handily defeated Appalachian State 52-14 on August 30, 2014. The 2014 landslide will never erase the pain of Appalachian State’s 34-32 upset of the Wolverines on an otherwise beautiful day in the Big House on September 1, 2007, a day which will live in infamy in Ann Arbor. The pain lasts to this day. I know; I was at the game. Appalachian deserved to win. They out coached and outplayed the Wolverines. Rumors are that several Michigan players started celebrating their impending victory the night before the game. A 15 over a 2? That’s happened a few times. Who’s got the hot hand going in? Auburn? Oregon? Oregon won its last eight in a row, destroying UW in the Pac 12 championship game. Can a 6 game loser, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, Texas Tech win it all? Could LSU under a recently appointed interim coach emulate Michigan under Steve Fisher and win the title? The best team in Southern California is the University of California Irvine Anteaters. So much for two coaches in one season UCLA and scandal ridden USC. The best team in Northern California is St. Mary’s. So much for Berkeley and Stanford. Cal and Stanford are both in the Women’s Tournament. Women do not get the respect, publicity, or revenues of the men’s basketball. Let me emphasize that the women play a better game than the men. They are schooled in the fundamentals. They play as a team. No one and done’s in women’s basketball. The women play and learn all 4 and sometimes 5 years. They also go to class. A team to win it all has have talent, coaching, a hot hand, lucky, and injury free. Zion Williamson is back for Duke, so Duke is almost every prognosticator’s choice to win it all. Zion and most of his teammates have trouble with free throws. The geometry of three point shots also confuses the Duke team. Those are major weaknesses in a tight game. Duke should win its first game against UNCC, six miles and several leagues apart. Your tournament picks are as good, or poor, as mine. Nobody knows. Give the brackets to the office administrative assistant who knows nothing about basketball. She might be the big winner. My one certainty is if Buffalo plays Michigan in the West Regionals in Anaheim, our 38½ year marriage will be tested. She went to Buffalo and I to Michigan.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Memo to Dems: Beto’s the Man Democrats are flocking into the 2020 Presidential election, and dropping out, almost two years before the election. Senators, Representatives, Governors, Mayors, former politicos, financiers (?). The field is open. They’re trying to reunite the Obama Coalition: Minorities, students, labor, environmentalists, trial lawyers, and women. Sometimes it’s the messenger rather than the message. Most candidates are espousing the same message. Not much substantively separated Senators Clinton and Obama in 2008. Senator Obama could convey a positive image and message: “Hope and Change!” Think back three years. Most of the Republican candidates had the same platform, the standard Republican platform of low taxes, reduced regulation, judicial appointees. Many would have been excellent presidents. Only one stood out though. Only one could connect with the blue collar worker and mid-America. Donald Trump. He connected. Ronald Reagan connected. Barack Obama connected. Beto O’Rourke connects. So what if he had a sparse record in Congress. He wants to pack the Suprere Court with 15 justices. He is the King of Cool. So what if many of his positions are unformed. He’s a progressive. He has the forensics ability of President Obama. He sounds so profound, but if you look closely at the text, there’s not much there. He’s young. He’s telegenic. He looks like Robert Kennedy in one photo. He gets good publicity. Vanity Fair has him on its April cover with the cover photo by Annie Leobovitz. The American people are sickened by the politics of personal destruction in an increasingly divided America. They want the restoration of civility. Many of the candidates profess the ability and desire to walk across the aisle and bring the parties together in a bi-partisan Kumbaya. Several of the Senators showed in the Kavanaugh hearings that while they might talk the talk, they could not, would not walk the walk. Beto projects the aura, as did Francois Macron in France and Justin Trudeau in Canada, of a fresh face who can unite. Beto wandered after college, experimenting with a variety of activities, even poetry. He then returned to the family business: politics. Robert Francis O’Rourke is the epitome of White Privilege. Ironically, he may unite the modern Democratic Party, which is based on identity politics. Memo to the Dems: You’re auditioning for VEEP.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Rick Singer, the maestro of the scandal, talked about front door, back door, and side door admissions processes. The front door is the process most of us went through; admissions based on qualifications. Admission to the top colleges is mostly, but not totally, a meritocracy. Many of the nation’s universities, even public universities, accept less than half their applicants, sometimes below 10% at the most elite universities. Seats at these elite universities are highly coveted. [Side note to Americans. You can get a good education, often a better education, at less prestigious universities. You can be very successful in life without a degree from the elites.] They top universities pick and choose between tens of thousands of highly qualified students. The elite East Coast private universities focused their student bodies a century ago on white male Protestants, many of whom attended prep schools – the WASP Meritocracy. Women, Catholics, and Jews generally found the Ivy doors closed or slightly opened. Informal quotas limited Jewish admissions to the Ivies. James Conant, the young President of Harvard from 1933-1953, wanted to transform Harvard academically and change admissions profiles. He was especially impressed by the quality of public high school graduates attending the great public universities in the Midwest. President Conant pushed for the SAT as a means to open the doors of academe. The SAT was the key to the meritocracy. The move to a meritocracy based on ability began. Upper mobility based on a college education became possible. However, intellectual ability never remained the sole admissions criteria of the elites. Rick Singer acknowledged the back door. Exceptions are made for athletes, even at the most prestigious universities. Exceptions are made for legacy. Reports are that 40% of Notre Dame’s entering class are legacies, but that’s an extreme. The figure is usually 10-15% at the elite universities, but even at these schools the average SAT might be only 100 points below the median. Of course, a double standard exists. Exceptions are made for major donors. Tuition doesn’t cover all the costs of running these multiversities. Parents can buy admission. Rumors are that one highly prestigious non-Ivy reserves a number of seats in the freshman class for donors’ sons and daughters Exceptions are made for affirmative action. It’s not just what you know, but who you know. Prominent persons, such as powerful politicians, can make phonecalls. For example, University of Illinois legislators could get otherwise unqualified students into Illinois for years. These students often got free tuition. Personal contacts can make a difference. Parents use whatever contacts they can. University presidents and deans often have the power to make special admissions decisions. We understand these realities. These realities are well known, but they do not displace the meritocracy of higher education for 80-90% of the applicants. We don’t accept out and out cheating. We don’t accept corruption. People learn to game systems. Colleges and universities have been known to submit false data to U. S. News & World Reports. Applicants have falsely claimed to be diversity applicants. High school students are known to cheat and pad their resumes. So far though, no admissions officer, as yet has been implicated. No university has yet been institutionally involved in the scandal. Rick Singer used the side door. He had two ways of cheating the system. The first was exploiting the back door athletes loophole. Applicant files would be “dressed” to show them as star athletes combined with paying off, bribing, the coaches and an associate athletic director at USC. The second was to corrupt proctors at SAT test sites in Houston and West Hollywood. These proctors could aid the students, correct their mistakes, and even take the exams for them. These students should be kicked out of their universities because they knew. The FBI tapes tell us that the parents were willing and able participants in the cheating. The parents include Hollywood stars, a hedge fund manager, and the co-managing director of a large Wall Street law firm. Their residences are in Atherton, Beverly Hills, Del Mar, Mill Valley, Newport Beach, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Greenwich and New York City. They reek of money. They should reside for a time in a small cell. The lawyer should be disbarred. They are also going to pay a high financial price. Their payments to Singer were through a bogus non-profit for which they received deductions on their income taxes. Large penalties will be assessed. Here’s the crazy, stupid thought. These multi-millionaires could have bought their children into elite universities through the back door. They did not have to use the side door. Here’s the sad thought. Rick Singer is not the only one out there. More admissions scandals will emerge. Parents’ greed to get their children into an elite colleges starts early in life.
Friday, March 8, 2019
The world by now has heard of the Newport Harbor High School juniors playing beer pong, forming a swastika, then laughing and smiling as they Sieg Heil saluted the red solo cup swastika at a private party in neighboring Costa Mesa. They thought it was a funny joke. They then compounded their gross stupidity by promptly posting it on social media. Aren’t we cool? Aren’t we funny? Where are their inner morals and ethics? Parents, School officials, Jewish groups and politicians appropriately went ballistic. Sean Boulton, Newport Harbor principal said: “We condemn all actions of anti-Semitism and hate, period. This is not who we are or what we stand for. This will not define us.” The schoolboard and administrators would love to discipline the students. Police have interviewed at least two dozen students. The facts are slightly different, but even more offensive. The students were not just from Newport Harbor, but also Corona Del Mar (CDM), Estancia, Costa Mesa and Junipero Serra High Schools. The Newport Harbor students had studied the Holocaust last month in a history class. They saw pictures of the Holocaust. They are educated students acting like ignoramuses. Don’t blame it on being teenagers. Don’t blame it on alcohol Don’t call it a not-so-funny joke. Jewish students at Newport Harbor report instances of anti-Semitism, including swastikas carved on desks and in the restrooms. Newport Beach is one of the most affluent cities in the affluent Orange County. These students are privileged. Their acts reinforce the historic concept of Orange County as the Orange Curtain. As privileged high school students, they indulge in a culture of drugs and alcohol like many privileged, and not so-privileged, high school students nationally. They lack an inner compass or conscience. Who are the parents that let their house be used for a beer party by underaged high school kids? They should be prosecuted. Who has not instilled a culture of judgment, values, and tolerance in these students? Is it the parents? Is it the teachers? Is it social media? It may cost them admissions to the colleges of their choice. That’s not cool. Acts have consequences. People know the identity of the students. The student from Junipero Serra High School, a Catholic High School, either dropped out, or was expelled from Serra High School a few days later. Serra administrators aren’t saying which it was, but they issued a statement strongly deploring anti-Semitism. Some, not all, Newport Harbor students wore blue Monday to show solidarity with the Jews. 500 people showed up Monday at a community meeting at Newport Harbor High School to air out their outrage and condemn anti-Semitism. The students are probably safe from punishment from their public schools. It was a private off-campus party unrelated to any school activity. The swastika goes back at least 1500 years. It was an honored symbol. The Nazis turned the swastika into an infamous symbol. The swastika is just as offensive as blackface, the N word, or a noose to African Americans. Anti-Semitism, intolerance, and hate crimes are rising globally and in the United States, especially on our campuses. Both the British Labour party, led by the anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn, and the U.S. Democratic Party are wrestling with anti-Semitism. 89 year old Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor and step-sister of Anne Frank, was in California on an anti-Semitism tour, educating America about the Holocaust. She met with the students yesterday. They apologized profusely and said they thought it was a funny game while drunk. Alcohol can cause you to engage in stupid acts. It can also release inhibitions and bring out the “real you.” What have they learned? Not to be anti-Semitic? Be careful what you post on social media? Or Not to drink?