November 11, 2018

…all those who have served in defense of our country, and most especially those who have died serving the cause of freedom.

Victor Davis Hanson has a wonderful column putting the 100-yeear anniversary of the end of hostilities in World War I in content. The lessons from that period should be obvious:

What can we learn from the failed armistice of 1918?

Keeping the peace is sometimes even more difficult than winning a war.

For an enemy to accept defeat, it must be forced to understand why it lost, suffer the consequences of its aggressions — and only then be shown magnanimity and given help to rebuild.

Losers of a war cannot pick and choose when to quit fighting in enemy territory.

Had the Allies continued their offensives in the fall of 1918 and invaded Germany, the peace that followed might have more closely resembled the unconditional surrender and agreements that ended WWII, leading to far more than just 20 years of subsequent European calm.

Deterrence prevents war.

The only way to truly honor all those who lost their lives and their precious futures is to do whatever it takes to make sure the same mistakes are not repeated. Somehow, however, I don’t see that happening anytime soon: there are too many politicians with too large egos and a thirst for power to make that possible. It’s been part of our human nature since the days of Cain and Abel.

A sincere and humble thanks for all those who fought and died in the service of this country. Your sacrifices will always be honored and remembered.

Picture courtesy of The Conservative Treehouse.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:23 | Comments (0)
November 10, 2018

Target Handicap: 20.0
MyScorecard.com Handicap: 26.9 / Change: (-0.6)
Location: Trilogy Golf at Power Ranch
Score: 48 + 50 = 98

So there we were, my Goodboys pal “Killer” Kowalski and I, toodling around at the Golf & Ski driving range in Hudson, New Hampshire on a late Saturday afternoon in September. It was cool and cloudy, the range was chewed up all to hell, and you really had the sense that the season was getting ready to close in on itself. Killer was doing some chipping (something he has always excelled at), and as I had been struggling with my short game all year, I asked him for some help. He told me to make sure there was no lean in my shaft at impact, and to play the ball in the middle of my stance (as opposed to back in my stance as I had been doing). Voila! all of a sudden I was getting some loft in my chips, which made me very happy.

I didn’t play very well the next day when we played a round at The Overlook in nearby Hollis, and I played OK enough a couple of weeks later at TPC Scottsdale (but much better around the greens thanks to Killer’s advice). Still, I was still struggling with my hybrids and 5-wood as I had been all year long. One night, while enjoying a soak in the tub, it suddenly hit me that the same advice Killer had given me for chipping around the green should also apply to all my clubs, no matter what kind of shot I was hitting. And so, last weekend I hit a large bucket of balls at the range with only one thought in mind: make sure the club was perpendicular to the ground at impact. What I found out seemed pretty cool: 1) in doing so I was allowing my arms to have a wider swing arc, 2) it made me stay on top of the ball longer instead of falling back as I was prone to do, and 3) it helped keep my shoulders quieter and thereby reduce my tendency to yank my irons. It seemed to work pretty well at the range, so I was eager to try it out under game conditions.

It was Chamber of Commerce weather at Trilogy Power Ranch – light winds, plenty of sun, temperatures in the mid-70s and I was bringing with me a plan of attack that I can’t remember ever bringing to a golf course before: I was going to hit all my clubs, and do so without fear. Playing from the blue tees at 6,350 yards and on a course with plenty of wide fairways and bail-out areas around the greens, it was a perfect venue to try out my approach.

The results speak for themselves: while I got credit for only four fairways hit I was pretty much on or just off them all day. I converted three of five greens-in-regulation opportunities. One par, twelve bogeys, three doubles, a triple, and a quad. But the quad was the only hole I let get away from me following one of only two real poor drives all day. I made bogey on all five par 3s, and played the four par 5s four-over. Most importantly, whenever I had the opportunity to hit my 3 & 4 hybrids (and there were a half-dozen) I hit them beautifully – the best I can ever remember. Same with the 5-wood.

Cases in point: # 7 is a dog-leg left with a pond at the elbow on the right. While the shot demands a 5-wood or hybrid as a second shot, I was always fearful of yanking either of those clubs into the pond, so I would always play it as a par 6, basically. Today I grabbed the 5 and smoked it as far as I could hit it. Got it on the green in three but three-putted from sixteen feet for bogey. Oh well. The 175-yard par 3 #8 has sand bunkers and that same pond from #7 pond on the right. Previously, I would never attempt a hybrid here out of fear of pulling it right. But I pulled the 4-hybrid and hit it purely straight, leaving me just off the left side of the green. Chip on, two putts, walked away happily with my bogey four. And then on #18: another pond on the right. Because even a good drive would leave you a fair distance out I would always lay it up and try and get within pitching wedge distance. Today, my drive left me in the fairway a good 185 yards out. Pulled my 3-hybrid and hit it dead straight just off the green left. Another chip, another two-putt, another satisfying bogey.

And there were no yanks with the short irons from 125 yards in, either – in fact, I think I got back those 5-10 yards I mysteriously had lost right around the time of Goodboys weekend in July. On #2, just off the fairway left with 135 yards to the hole I picked 8-iron since I didn’t want to leave myself above a left-front pin. Previously I’d be concerned about a yank right where a sand bunker protects that side of the kidney bean-shaped green. Not only did I hit it straight, it went all the 135, leaving me just off the green in back. On the #13 par 5, I had only 112 to an uphill pin in two after a solid drive and another big 5-wood, then flew my 9-iron 125 yards to another zip code at the far back of the green. But I still got my two putts for my only par of the day.

So it was a good day, with much progress made. I played from beginning to end with a confidence in all my clubs – something I don’t recall having too many times, if ever. While I wasn’t totally happy with the 34 putts, there was no sloppiness around the greens that had been my forte all year. But unlike even rounds where I shot a better score than today, I didn’t shy away from any shot I wanted to attempt. And it gives me quite the sense of accomplishment and the confidence to give the same approach a try on a course that offers a sterner challenge. We shall see what becomes available in two weeks’ time.

Thanks, Killer – you “da man”!

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 19:48 | Comments (0)

A few thoughts during “opening day” weekend of The Great White Shank’s 2018-2019 golf season. (I guarantee – good or bad – you’ll get the low-down right here on GoodboysNation blog.) In the meantime:

Silly me. I think this story ought to be getting much more play in the mainstream media, but what do I know? Seems to me it would benefit both sides politically if true: a) that the right decision was made on Judge Kavanaugh (good for Republicans), but that their star witness wasn’t bluffing in her belief that she was sexually attacked (good for Democrats and the #MeToo movement).

Looks like Holly Sonders is out on FOX’s golf coverage. I know she was a fave amongst my Goodboys pals for obvious reasons, but I always thought she was a no-talent ditz. Her interviews were excruciatingly bad, and she really didn’t bring a whole lot of gravitas to them. But maybe that’s not what she was hired for in the first place.

Another mass shooting. Another case of the mainstream media and liberals bleating about the need for gun confiscation. Clearly, the issue about guns and shootings is having an inroad into our electoral politics. If I’m the GOP and I’m looking to get a leg up on the issue, I’m going to start working on real proposals for solutions that combine the rampant homelessness folks are tired of out west and down in Florida, and mass shootings under the need for an honest discussion on mental illness. There are too many people out on the streets and not in institutions that need to be. Surely, in this 21st century we can find a humane, yet effective solution to this issue, can’t we?

…and speaking of the 21st century: certainly, this country can get it’s act together when it comes to the most fundamental act in a democratic republic, which is voting. I mean, c’mon: you look at Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Montana – isn’t it time the federal government issues formal guidelines for voting in elections to ensure everyone’s vote gets the same treatment and courtesy? This bullshit about late votes and absentee votes is crap. Either you care enough to make sure your vote arrives in time to be counted or it doesn’t. There is nothing in the Constitution saying that “every vote must be counted”. It’s bullshit. If we can’t get our voting practices under control we’re no better than Venezuela or other 3rd world banana republics.

More changes on golf coverage at the major networks. Johnny Miller has retired at NBC, to be replaced by Paul Azinger, who will retain his spot on FOX for the U.S. Opens through the end of their contract in 2026. Truth be told – much like Jerry Remy on the Red Sox coverage at NESN – I thought Johnny had kind of lost his fastball the last few years. All too often he was just telling us what our eyes had already seen for ourselves. But I always liked him and know he’ll enjoy his retirement.

In golf there’s cheating, and then there is cheating. This is pretty bad – I mean, how can you and/or your caddy not know the rules? On second thought, wish I had someone who’d be willing to toss my OBs back onto the course.

You look at stories like this and this, and you begin to see the problem the Democrats are going to have keeping their most loony and extreme elements under control ahead of the 2020 elections. Let me tell you, it’s easy being in the “resistance” minority: you can whine, bleat, and moan to your hearts content. Once you’re in power and accountable to the way to wield that power, that’s when the problems arise. The GOP found that out when it came to healthcare reform; the Democrats are going to find that out when they have to choose between truly governing and adhering to the demands of their most extreme (and immature) base.

Forty years later, Pink Floyd’s Animals still holds its own as far as edginess and quality of musical performance goes. Dark. Cynical. It would be the last time the band with Roger Waters on bass truly sounded united; not coincidentally, it would be the last time keyboardist Rick Wright would be given the chance to play the key role he had in the band’s unique sound. You listen to “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, “Dogs”, and (most especially) “Sheep”, and it’s just a mind-blowing performance. Not to the level of, say, Wish You Were Here or The Dark Side of the Moon, but still very solid (not to mention, at least in political terms, contemporary). If I’m on my deathbed I want those bone-crushing major chords from David Gilmour in “Sheep”‘s outro (with Nick Mason’s typically inventive and chaotic drum fills) to be the last thing my earthly brain hears. It would ensure I go out with a smile.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:53 | Comments (0)
November 8, 2018

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? Lots of surprised faces after Tuesday night’s elections results. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to see the kind of ticket-splitting we saw all over the place between GOP senate candidates (which, by and large, did well in their respective states) vs. what down-ballot congressional candidates did in their districts. I heard from my GOP party contact earlier today, and the “party line”, so to speak, is that those candidates that aligned themselves with President Trump did much better than those who chose not to. There’s a lot of anger at FOX News calling the House for Democrats with voters standing in line and the polls being open in California. Not sure to what – if any – extent that might depressed turnout (I doubt it made much of a difference) but what FOX did was truly unconscionable.

I’ve sifted through some notes I had been taking throughout the year in anticipation of this post, and frankly, I’m surprised I didn’t consider more the issue of healthcare costs and how it might impact suburban districts (where so many of the GOP’s congressional victims got whacked). But hey, I’m no professional at this kind of thing, so who cares? 🙂 At any rate, with that in mind, here are a few thoughts and comments about the mid-terms in general:

1. There was no blue wave. Sure, the Dems are going to have the House, but what they ended up taking was hardly historic. And, they’ll find out just like the GOP did that’s it’s a lot harder to actually govern than play the role of the resistance. Without a doubt, the Trump rallies prevented an even bigger bloodbath from taking place. And the loss of those three Senate seats is going to hurt the Dems far more than any advantage they might temporarily gain with “San Fran Nan” holding the Speaker’s gavel.

2. There’s little doubt that the blame for the GOP’s loss of the House falls on the shoulders of two RINOs: John McCain and Speaker Paul Ryan, who was useless and nowhere to be found this election cycle. I think Richard Baris is exactly spot on: the inability of the GOP to: a) repeal Obamacare completely (McCain casting the deciding vote), and b) replace it with a suite of innovative, market-based solutions (Ryan’s greatest failure as Speaker) really hurt the GOP.

3. If there’s a silver lining in all this for the GOP, it is that so many worthless RINO congressmen got whacked that the House GOP will now be (like their Senate counterparts) more conservative and more Trumpian. This improves the chances that the Freedom Caucus’s Jim Jordan (and not Ryan’s RINO rooter Kevin McCarthy) will become Minority Leader. Hopefully the GOP understands that they’re going to need someone like Jordan to paint the clear distinctions between his side of the chamber and Pelosi’s.

4. The purge of RINO congressmen also gives the GOP a better opportunity to recruit good, solid conservatives to regain the seats lost last night in 2020. Hey, sometimes you need to take a bit of a licking in order to come back stronger for the next fight.

5. Do not discount the importance of the GOP majority in the Senate being much more conservative as a result of the departures of Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Arizona’s Jeff Flake. First of all, it reduces whatever leverage the Lisa Murkowskis and Susan Collinses of the world have previously had to force PDJT to pick acceptable candidates for the Supreme Court if any new retirements were to be announced. Secondly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone like Clarence Thomas use this golden opportunity to announce his retirement and enable the President to pick a younger, just as conservative, replacement.

6. Big winners of the night? Alternate media. I, like tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of others, eschewed the crappy, oh-so-rigid and predictable cable news networks for live broadcasts on YouTube and other venues. Me? I switched between the Internet broadcast hosted by Steve Bannon over at Jim Hoft’s Gateway Pundit site and Styxhexenhammer666’s YouTube channel. For millennial progressives there was Cenk Uygur’s The Young Turks YouTube channel. I can guarantee you when the 2020 election comes around, the audiences for these alternative forms of political broadcasts will be exponentially greater. The cable news networks don’t know it yet (or if they do, they’re not telling), but they’re the walking dead, the equivalent of Ford Falcons whose audiences and influence will be drastically curtailed in just two short years. Things are changing that rapidly.

7. Big losers of the night: media darlings Andrew Gillum, the Venezuelan socialist who lost his race for Florida governor, and dopey “Beto” O’Rourke, he of the $70 mil poured into his campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas, money that could have been far-better spent elsewhere:

In the night’s early bellwether, Ted Cruz won Texas even though skateboarding-and-super-cool Beto spent $70 million trying to beat him. Thank you, thank you Beto. Take a bow, and take a knee. (Texans just love kneeling during the national anthem.) Seventy Million Democrat Dollars poured down the Rio Grande. Imagine the damage that money could have done if spent in other campaigns or secretly flown to Iran to ransom a rug. The Democrats now are the party of The Millionaires — George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer — and, except for the blessed Sheldon Adelson who seems determined, single-handedly if necessary, to counter-balance all of them, that’s where money now crowds politics. And Robert Francis Beto vacuumed in Seventy Million of those George Washingtons while Ted Cruz won.

Barack Obama and Oprah were also particularly stung:

And then, next-door, the Georgia governor race. We have been told that Oprah is God (now that Harvey Weinstein has been anthropomorphized). When Oprah endorses a book, everyone in the country immediately buys it, and four or five people even read it. So there was Oprah, the God who made Obama president. And Obama, her Prophet, campaigned properly alongside her, both for Stacey Abrams, another radical. If it was not the Trump campaign stop in Macon that sealed the deal for Brian Kemp, it was the Obama kiss of death. Out of office for two years, Barack still has not lost the touch, energizing Republicans with memories of the blight. It appears to everyone but Abrams that Kemp held Georgia for the GOP. The public awaits Oprah’s next book recommendation; perhaps Taylor Swift can sing it.

Heh. Indeed.

So what can we expect for the next two years? Well, it’s a virtual guarantee that Democrats will overplay their hand and attempt to ruin President Trump with investigations related to Russia, Judge Kavanaugh, and the President’s taxes and business associations. They’ll have to because that’s what their base of frothing, drooling Feminazis and Hollywood celebrities demands. But all that will end up doing is pissing off centrist Democrats (if there are any left) and independent voters. If the Democrats try to further motivate their base by passing legislation to restore Obamacare regulations and/or tax increases, the Republicans will motivate their base and independents by squashing those initiatives in the Senate. Most folks think there won’t be any major legislation passed in the next two years, but I’m not so sure. Me? I’m guessing Nancy Pelosi may be willing to trade something like DACA for some market-friendly healthcare initiatives and/or deficit reduction measures.

So, it could have been better, but it sure could have been worse. While lots of folks are already ruminating about the 2020 elections and what states Trump might or might not lose or win as a result, keep in mind two things: 1) 2020 is light years away politically, and it’s a virtual lock that the political landscape then will look completely different than it does now, and 2) the Democrats are going to have to pick a candidate. It’s easy to look at last night purely in terms of Donald Trump, but in 2020 there will be a second candidate and a competing political vision for voters to choose between. It’s hard not to the see the Democrats picking someone that represents the far left, because that’s where all the energy in the party is right now. But it’s just way too early to even speculate. It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events,Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:54 | Comments (0)
November 7, 2018

It feels different this year.

Maybe it’s because of the past year and all the crap I went through with “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless”. Or maybe it’s my dad’s move to retirement living and seeing what the next stage of life holds for those of us who have entered our ’60s. Or maybe it’s just the result of time spent kicking back on the back patio while nursing a Hemingway daiquiri or glass of Pinot Grigio and ruminating in my mind a picture of what retirement might look like for me if I’m able to hang with my present occupation for another four years. More likely, it’s a combination of each. At any rate, this is the first year that I’ve truly started to think about life after retirement and how I want to spend it.


Lone Tree Golf Club, Chandler AZ

Sure, there’s a lot to consider as far as our finances go, and I think we’re doing a very good job in that regard – or at least we have these past few years. But this post is about a more whimsical, though not unimportant, aspect of what my retirement might look like, and that’s my golf game. What is it, exactly, that I want to get out of it? In the past, subconsciously or not, I’ve always arranged my golf calendar around Goodboys Invitational weekend (the third weekend in July). I would set a goal for where I would like my handicap to be come that weekend, start working on my game in, say, March or April, then after Goodboys, take a break until perhaps November and then work on my game a bit in anticipation of a Vegas weekend in December. Then, after that, give the clubs a break until the next March or April and start the hamster wheeling turning all over again.


Raven Golf Club, Phoenix AZ

Of course, following such a lurching forward then stopping approach to my game has made it hard to develop any kind of consistency. On the other hand, I don’t see myself becoming like the father figure on “My Three Sons” and have a weekly Saturday morning golf game with the fellas down at the country club, either. I think what I’m looking for is a balance between wanting to improve and setting a general goal of a 20-handicap over time, not something to achieve by this date or that date.


Stonecreek Golf Club, Phoenix AZ

Now that my dad is in digs where I can’t just come and go as I please, the reality is that I’m probably not going to be able to make visits back to Massachusetts longer than a weekend here and there. Which means, more than anything else, it’s time to commit myself to being an Arizona golfer and embrace the game the way it is played here in the Valley of the Sun. But how? I’ve played enough courses around here to know which ones I like and which I don’t, and I don’t think I could ever see myself belonging to a club where I’m playing the same damned course over and over. And now, with the uncertainty of when and where Goodboys weekend is going to be played (not to mention my lack of enthusiasm for anything that doesn’t involve New England and the third weekend of July), I need to find a new way to challenge myself in a way that I can enjoy the game and mark my own progress.


Superstition Springs Golf Club, Mesa AZ

So here is what I’ve come up with as an idea: just like the PGA Tour, The Great White Shank is going to play his own version of a wrap-around season. The season will start this Saturday, November 10, with rounds of golf played every 2-3 Saturdays at venues I’ve come to enjoy playing. I’ve chosen six courses for their variety of play, esthetics, and level of difficulty:

Superstition Springs Golf Club, Mesa
Raven Golf Club, Phoenix
Papago Golf Club, Phoenix
Lone Tree Golf Club, Chandler
Trilogy at Power Ranch, Gilbert
Stonecreek Golf Club, Phoenix
Ocotillo Golf Club, Chandler


Papago Park Golf Club, Phoenix AZ

These courses will serve as normal stops on my Tour. Trips to Vegas or Massachusetts will be considered my “majors”. Regardless of what the Goodboys ultimately decide, the end of my season will be the third weekend of July (historically, the weekend of the Open Championship and Goodboys Invitational weekend). And that weekend, whether it involves Goodboys or not, will be set aside for a special weekend similar to the FedEx Cup playoffs, but condensed into a single, three-day weekend. If I’m not playing Goodboys, it might be a trip to New England or perhaps San Diego or Vegas or some other interesting locale. Either way, it will be the close of The Great White Shank’s golf year, with a break until Arizona winter sets in and the golf courses around here are readied for winter play.


Ocotillo Golf Club, Chandler AZ

Throughout the year, the only goal will be to enjoy my rounds and track my progress towards my 20-handicap goal. If I make it, fine, if I don’t, all well and good. And to keep it low-key, I’ll be playing my orange balls and ditching the golf shoes in favor of sneakers. (Out here in Arizona you don’t really need them, anyways.)


Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch, Gilbert, AZ

I think it will be kind of interesting to watch the season ebb and flow in the way I will have set it up to go. You see, just hitting balls and playing golf here and there, while enjoyable, isn’t interesting enough for someone as internally competitive as me. I need highlights along the way to anticipate, goals to shoot for, progress to track. And in this way, I can chart a golf season out with a goal to strive for that has a finite beginning and an end. I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Hopefully, if I can get myself a tee time, a new golf season starts this Saturday. And, whether y’all like it or not, Goodboys Nation weblog readers will be able to experience it all, the highs, the lows, the “where the %$#&^ did that one go?” right here.
I can’t wait!

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:03 | Comments (2)
November 6, 2018

Well, it’s here – finally. Election Day 2018. All the cable news network will be pushing out beautiful stages with phrases and logos to make it all sound so important and official. It’s too bad they’re all full of shit to the point where I want to barf. All these talking heads all spouting the same conventional wisdom which means they only know what the major news and cable news networks polls tell them: pollsters who haven’t changed their antiquated methodologies because if they did they know they’d lose all credibility with their friends and families who work at the same damned places. They all eat together and swill chardonnay together at same bars and cocktail parties, they all read the same newspapers and get their news from the same news sources. They live and whore themselves in their elitist, echo chamber bubble, and they still can’t for the life of them believe Hillary Clinton isn’t president.

They’re all so friggin’ smug in their beliefs that they know best, that if only those yahoos who live outside the Beltway or more than twenty miles inland from the coasts were as smart and sophisticated by then, well, they’d see that Donald Trump is Hitler and a racist, sexist totalitarian brute who doesn’t belong in the Oval Office. (Which, as far as I’m concerned, is OK – everyone can think what they want.) The problem is these folks push polls solely and purely in the interests of gaining headlines on the network and cable news shows they all ascribe to in order to further their political agenda. In that way, their just a bunch of lazy cowards. One would have thought that having their reputations shredded after their performance in 2016 they’d know better. But why change when your goal is to put the Republicans and Donald Trump out of business and you’ve got all these media avenues still willing to publish your shit even when they know it’s shit?

The Great White Shank doesn’t do polls. He doesn’t care about polls. He spits on polls (well, not literally!). What he does do is pay attention to trends, the kind of trends you can only discern by using news sources on both sides of the political aisle to detect trends in optimism and pessimism. He stays away from the cable news networks – PERIOD. He knows when he’s being gaslighted and lied to – after all, you can’t bullshit a bull-shitter. You don’t have to read pages and pages of stuff – just pick out your news sources and see what the trends appear to be – like Bob Dylan sang, “you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

The Great White Shank also follows those numbers guys on Twitter who themselves are either numbers guys or who themselves have numbers guys they rely on. Folks like Richard Baris, Florida Guy, and the incomparable Larry Schweikart. Sure, they bend to the conservative side of the aisle, but they don’t put out crap to push their own personal agendas like the pollsters do. If a Republican candidate’s campaign is sucking wind, they’ll not only tell you – more importantly, they’ll tell you why. These guys are not only good, they have a network behind them that eat, sleep, and drink numbers – as in real numbers.

And finally, I have my contact up in the GOP party hierarchy. I won’t ever reveal his/her name, but he/she knows shit like you wouldn’t believe. The info he/she gave me in 2016 helped support the anecdotal evidence I had personally accumulated over time and the trends I had interpreted on my own that Donald Trump was going to beat Hillary Clinton. Not only does he/she know what’s happening on the Republican side, he/she knows what’s going down on the Democrat side as well. For example, I knew that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to Wisconsin well before others did. And I kept my mouth shut like I was told because everyone was afraid she’d realize how big a mistake she was making. And I knew that Michigan was going to be a surprise. I trust my contact implicitly.

So here’s what I see:
1. The size of the rallies Donald Trump is getting ought to be the #1 political story of the year. And the fact they’re not being covered is a disgrace to the media and everything it is supposed to stand for. Why? Because the midterms are all about voter enthusiasm!! It’s not a presidential election, so folks have to be willing to go the polls. Look at the lines at Trump’s rallies. If folks are willing to stand outside for 8 hours in the hope of getting in, don’t you think they’ll be willing to travel 10-15 minutes and wait in line for an hour to go vote? And, bring their friends with them?

2. African-American support for Donald Trump – especially among black males – appears to be to some degree higher than in 2016. The AA vote is so critical to Democrats, even a small percentage choosing to vote in a midterm election and, worse, to pull the lever for Republicans, ought to frighten the crap out of liberals and Democrats everywhere.

3. The GOP has crushed the early voting all over the place. Typically, it’s the Democrats that push up the numbers in EV, while Republicans tend to get out on Election Day. The fact that the Democrats have lost that advantage this year bodes very well for GOP hopes.

4. The Democrats have no message beyond resisting Trump, hating Trump, and ridiculing Trump. That’s not a message that’s going to get your base out in a midterm election.

5. Most importantly, it’s the tangibles. The Kavanaugh hearings, ANTIFA, the caravan, the endless and countless barbs thrown the way of Republicans and conservatives, and the daily abuse President Trump gets from the media on a daily basis – well, all I can tell you is the natives are restless and are thirsting to send yet another message to the elites and the media just like they did in 2016. “Cold anger” it’s called, and it makes folks willing to crawl over broken glass to vote against the elites so their voice is heard. This is what has the Democrats scared most. And let me tell you, don’t believe what CNN and the Democrats and their political operatives in the mainstream media are saying. They are scared shitless. How else do you explain the likes of Vox’s Ezra Klein already looking for excuses for a Democratic fiasco?

Bottom line: I think I have as good an idea as anyone as to what’s going to happen tomorrow. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. So without further adieu here are my predictions:

The Republicans will safely retain the House of Representatives, sending Democrats and the loony left into fits and back to their therapists and parents’ basements. I don’t see the GOP gaining seats – that would be the ultimate of ultimate fiascos for the Democrats. A bunch of folks see the GOP retaining the house with only 5-10 seats to spare; my personal prediction is the GOP loses only four seats. Basically it’s a wash.

The Republicans will expand their lead in the Senate by anywhere from 5-7 seats. My prediction is they’ll have 57 by the end of the night, but it very well could go higher. My personal upset special is John James in Michigan, but it also wouldn’t surprise me to see that corrupt pervert Bob Menendez go down in New Jersey. I would love-love-love to make Geoff Diehl my upset choice over Elizabeth Warren, but we are, after all, talking about the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. So, unfortunately, no soup for you, Geoff.

My states to watch: New Hampshire (which, BTW, with their revised voting requirements will go for Trump in 2020) has a couple of interesting congressional districts that could flip blue to red. Minnesota (which I also believe will go for Trump in 2020) could be very interesting. And, of course, Michigan, which, if it sends John James to the Senate the Democrats could be facing a very long night.

I do believe the sheer size and breadth of the GOP vote is going to shock a lot of people.

We’ll find out if I’m right soon enough.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:06 | Comment (1)
November 4, 2018

…continuing on yesterday’s post. More assorted “odds and sods”:

I thought Boston fans were supposed to have class, but judging from what happened during the Red Sox victory parade I guess that’s not the case. What fu**ing idiot would throw cans of beer at a parade? I’d I’m the Red Sox, Pats, Bruins, or Celtics any future victory celebrations get held at Fenway, Foxboro, or the Garden. It’s so sad to see our society can’t get together for large-scale celebrations without having it ruined by a bunch of a**holes. But that’s today’s culture for you.

Today, for me, used to be the worst day of the year when I lived back In Massachusetts (or Kentucky, for the matter). The first day after turning the clocks back. All of a sudden, you’re having to drive home from work in the dark. Talk about feeling that fall is over, bring on the winter, snow, and cold, and a world of light has gone dark. I never had the SAD, but I could sure understand why people got it.

OK, lesson from The Great White Shank: did I, or did I not provide a guide to “what to watch for” leading up to the mid-term elections? If you recall, I posted to watch for three main things: 1) where the national party money was going, 2) the national pollsters and mainstream media tempering enthusiasm about the so-called “blue wave” and Democrats upcoming performance, and 3) where the “big guns” are going to as far as ginning up enthusiasm was concerned.

…so lookee here: on the Democratic side, you have the so-called “celebrity know-it-all and pollster Nate Silver (he of “538” fame basically saying he hasn’t a clue as to what’s going to happen on Tuesday – he’s got his built-in excuse “the pollsters were wrong” all ready to go.
Same with Cornell Belcher. And, all of a sudden you have the mainstream media trying to play it both ways, but headlines aside, they’re saying the same thing: no one really knows what’s going to happen. I know this: seeing Barack Obama pulled out of his retirement to shill for votes in Florida and Georgia ought to tell you a lot.

…what bugs me so much about the Silver and FOX News is their reliance on polls for their talking points. And FOX News is the worst, with the insufferable Chris Stirewalt spewing highlight from FOX’s polls, which were amongst the worst in 2016. Let me ask y’all this: if you care about this kind of thing and research it (as I do), is there anything you see at all out there that has changed in pollsters methodologies since 2016, when they were basically all wrong? They still use past performance and outdated party identification ratios to develop “horse race” headlines. They don’t bother to project changes in current voting patterns based on what happened in 2016.

…for example, they based their polling in 2016 based on what happened in 2014 and were blown out of the water. Now they’re doing the same thing, basing their 2018 voting projections based on what happened in 2014. Here’s what they are missing:

…there are three main flaws in polling these days, and no one basically knows how to fix it: 1) the oversaturation of high-visibility races to the point where people stop responding, thereby missing emerging trends; 2) they put too much reliance on people who have land lines or who answer their phones during the day, thereby missing folks who work for a living or refuse to answer phones displaying numbers they don’t recognize; 3) they miss Trump supporters or voters (two different kinds of folks) who will simply refuse to respond because they despise pollsters and the media, or (this is important), lie to pollsters because they fear retribution of some scale if their support for the President were to ever get out.

…we Trump supporters know what it’s like to be harangued and badgered by those who don’t understand or respect our support for PDJT, and the climate out there is so hostile to us that you have friends, family, or acquaintances who simply can’t handle or fathom your support for the president. In the best of cases it’s just an unhealthy conversation that results in everyone deciding to stay away from talking politics, but we’ve all heard of people losing friends, being cut off from their families, losing their jobs, or even being threatened or suffering physical harm if they dare to express their Trump support in public or on social media.

…so what I’m basically saying is this: don’t be surprised if come Tuesday you feel as if you’re watching a 2016 election night rerun on the cable news networks. They simply cannot – or refuse to – understand that Donald J. Trump is a transformative force in American politics, the most transformative since at least FDR. I’ll have more to say on this in my next post, where yours truly will make his predictions for Tuesday, so let’s just leave it at that.

…Bottom line: if you are basing your life or emotional well-being on what will happen Tuesday based on what the pollsters are telling you this weekend, be warned you just may be in for a rude shock. Because they don’t know. And they know they don’t know.

Enough about politics, a word about my golf game. Have had a couple really good sessions working into my short game and downswing a suggestion given to me by my Goodboys friend Killer while hitting balls back in New Hampshire several weeks ago. I was having trouble with my short game, so he suggested I make sure that when my club makes contact with the ball my shaft is straight down, not leaning one way or the other. And it has been a godsend! Which then got me thinking later on: if that’s the case, shouldn’t it be likewise when hitting all my clubs? So that’s what I have been trying to do: making sure at impact that my arms and shaft are straight. Not only has it resulted in better results with my 5-iron, hybrids, 5-wood and driver, but overall it has helped me to stay on top of the ball, given me a wider swing arc, and slowed down my tempo. Can’t wait for my own golf season to start next weekend (more on that in a upcoming post).

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:33 | Comments (0)
November 3, 2018

With all the traveling and catch-up work it has been a long, hard week. But it’s the weekend, we’re just days away from the mid-term elections, and I’ll be back on Monday with my predictions. Until then, a few thoughts and comments:

It’s thirteen pounds down on my Eades diet. The weeks 3 & 4 “meat weeks” are over come Tuesday, and I plan to monitor the election returns with fried veal cutlets, crinkle-cut French fries, and a few glasses of Greg Norman’s exquisite Cabernet Merlot. And then after that, I plan on implementing some diet changes and get back to the gym on a regular basis to make sure I never have to do this damned Eades diet ever again. But I have to admit, it works. I expect by Tuesday I’ll have lost the fifteen pounds I set out to lose at the start, and I’ll have lost almost an inch off my waist.

The whole high-blood pressure thing turned out to be much ado about nothing. I went to my doctor, who had a nurse administer my blood pressure test properly and without a machine, and I got 124/80. I went back the next day at around the same time and got a 122/82. I’ll still be getting my blood work done and have my physical in a couple of weeks just to make sure it’s all good (I’ll even bring my little wrist BP tester with me just to see the official comparison). But I think it’s gonna be just fine.

This year I’ll monitor the election voting by following three or four Twitter accounts who, I believe, have the best knowledge about how these elections are going to go. If I watch any cable network, it might be CNN or MSNBC, but only then if it’s official that the GOP has kept the House so I can watch the miserable loons on the left melt down and drown in their own misery. More likely, I won’t watch anything at all: I just find the talking heads on all the cable news shows so boring and so predictable.

Speaking of talking heads, what is it with all the sports events these days? You used to have a play-by-play guy and a color commentator. Now, more often than not, there’s a third analyst in the booth, and at least one other person down on the field. And then with the pre-game and post-game shows you have four or even five or six clowns behind the desk. For what? How many so-called “experts” do you need to tell me about something I just watched with my own eyes? And why stop at five or six? How about nine or ten? Or one hundred and fifty? Would that be enough?

It’s really gotten to the point where they only TV I will watch is Golf Channel and occasionally the MLB Network for baseball or their MLB Tonight show. If I’m going to get my news from somewhere it most definitely won’t be from any of the cable networks, and that includes FOX News. I have my reliable slew of web sites that I get whatever news or coverage I need to know about from, and the rest of it I could care less about.

But I don’t insulate myself with only website content I agree with. In order to see what the liberal left thinks and/or how they get their news, keep my home page at Yahoo!. To watch it every day and its onslaught of negative news having to do with President Trump is to realize just how much of a caricature the left has become. Look, you may not like President Trump – I get it – but to only show content that negatively reflects on him, his administration, and his family is to do a disservice to everyone. I mean, what are they afraid of? That the possibility of Trump doing something – anything – that might be good for the country will harm their brand? That’s hardly a way to present one’s self as an honest dissembler of information.

Speaking of which, I used to religiously follow Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report page, but it seems to me that, more likely than not these days, he’s interested in clicks than anything else.

Well, well – no surprise there. The Democrats are going to rue what they did to Justice Kavanaugh. Americans, by and large, believe in fairness. And what they saw the Democrats and the loony left attempt to do to a man’s reputation purely for the sake of petty, party politics went against everything the Democrats (supposedly) once stood for. I believe the Kavanaugh hearings will be looked at as a game changer – not just as far as the mid-terms are concerned, but as to how Americans view the Democratic Party and the liberal left.

Four weeks to my Vegas weekend and I’m back to monitoring the Vital Vegas blog. Even if I’m not getting ready to visit, the blog is such a hoot because there’s always something going on there: places closing, places opening up, etc. It’s just such a fascinating place and a fascinating place to write about.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:14 | Comments (0)
October 30, 2018

Jetting back to Arizona after wrapping up some final transitions work for my dad back in Massachusetts (everything went swimmingly) and he’s very happy in his new digs. Once we got his remaining financial arrangements out of the way it actually got to the point where I started feeling guilty about stopping by his apartment in fear of upsetting his routine. So it feels really good to know that he’s in a great place with a happy and comfortable vibe that that I helped him find and transition into. It just couldn’t have gone more smoothly.

In the meantime:

While late October is a special time in New England with everything decked out and looking like Halloween, you could really feel the window closing in on the golf season. And while there’s a part of me that wishes I could stay there and watch the leaves coming down and the nor’easters roll in to turn everything from fall to late fall, I most certainly won’t miss seeing the days shorten to nothing when the clocks get turned back in a week’s time. There is nothing fun about that.

Congratulations to the World Champion Boston Red Sox! They certainly proved themselves the class of the baseball world this year. Between their 108 regular season wins and the way they played during the post-season, it’s clear the best team won.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and their manager Dave Roberts were a puzzle to me throughout the Series. The problem with National League baseball and having pitchers hit is that you have to fill your roster with role players who might be very versatile during the regular season, but come October you find yourself with a roster of spare parts that have a problem making any sense when it comes time to play the Americans in the World Series. All of a sudden, moves that might seem to have made sense in August and the over-managing one has to do during the first 170+ games don’t quite pan out as you planned. In Roberts’ case, taking Rich Hill out in Game 4 made no sense at all – but that’s what all the dopey analytics and playing the match-ups he’d been successful doing since April will do to you. BoSox manager Alex Cora, on the other hand, managed aggressively throughout the playoff and stayed aggressive throughout. Once he got the Dodgers’ neck under his boot (or, in this case, cleat) he didn’t take it off. And the players bought into that strategy enthusiastically.

Had dinner tonight at the Logan Airport Legal Seafoods restaurant staring at CNN and its closed-captioning for about an hour. I guess you have to expect that in Massachusetts, but I can see what President Trump means about certain media outlets – especially CNN. Every – and I do mean every segment was about Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh to mourn the victims of Saturday’s shootings, and 100% of it was negative. I mean, the guy would never be able to catch a break: he comes to pay his respects, they’re bitching about it. If he didn’t come, you know they’d be hammering him for why he didn’t. And that’s what the President means about “fake news”: if all you’re going to do is relentlessly hammer the guy and his administration no matter what they do, you might be being honest about your political opinion of him, but you are not reporting the news honestly. Only liberals can’t understand the nuance in that.

Ok, that’s enough for now.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:05 | Comments (0)
October 29, 2018

If someone wants to stick to their “meat weeks 3 & 4” on the Eades diet you have to plan your meals carefully. It’s amazing how much junk and carbs are on restaurant menus. And breakfast can be tough (at least for me) because I’m not much of an eggs kind of guy. Heck, I’m not even much of a breakfast guy – I’ve always found that eating breakfast makes me feel sluggish for the rest of the day.

But when you’re on the “meat weeks” of the Eades diet you’re job is to eat meat and leafy vegetables throughout the day. So, knowing that the local Tony C’s sports bar where I’ve occasionally met my Goodboys friends in past visits offers a) bowls of chili, and b) sautĂ©ed spinach as a side dish, Sunday breakfast was a no-brainer:

It felt strange to have my morning coffee with chili and spinach – especially with all those happy little bottles of alcohol staring me straight in the face (Bloody Mary, anyone?) but I was a trooper and did it. Didn’t even touch the corn chips, which are a no-no. Meeting my Goodboys friends later in the day I had buffalo wings and green beans. Before heading back to Summer Place and calling it a night, I detoured into a Mexican restaurant down the street and ordered a beef nachos portion of ground beef in a bowl and poured a couple of salsas on top of it.

So while you might get a couple of raised eyebrows along the way, it is possible to stick to the Eades diet even while depending on restaurants for your meals. But it will be good to get home and back into a more controlled and regimented environment for the last week of this diet.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:45 | Comments (2)

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