October 20, 2020

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” – George Orwell, Animal Farm

So I’m starting to get my level of tolerance up knowing I’ll be heading back to Massachusetts on Thursday and having to wear a mask from the moment I grab my Uber ride to the airport until the moment a taxi drops me off at the Fairfield Inn in Woburn nearly 12 hours later. It sucks. I really despise the whole mask-wearing bullshit – in my view it’s nothing more than an effort by Democrats, liberals, a fear-mongering media (national and local) and the globalists who are using masks to dehumanize humanity.

Here’s my problem with masks: when does it all end? And what measure will be used to end the mask-wearing? The fact is, no one has an answer. We’re all just friggin’ sheep to politicians (and that includes the media’s favorite gasbag Dr. Fauci) who know absolutely nothing about anything. Just listen to us. We know what’s good for you because you obviously don’t. Heaven forbid if you don’t wear a mask! You’re a granny killer (though not at the level that Democratic governors condemned elderly folks to death by allowing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes and long-term care facilities). It’s a visceral thing for me, and it’s only out of love for my dad and my friends that I’m even doing this.

The fact is, COVID-19 is not the end of the world. It never was. The truth remains that, while not a flu, it is not anymore deadly than a bad flu season. Of course, saying something like this might get my blog silenced by the assholes in Big Tech who are accountable to no one. Heck, anyone who goes against the endless selling of “fear porn” by the media and Big Tech will get you shamed or silenced. I’ll tell you folks in Big Tech this: get down on your knees and pray that Donald Trump doesn’t win re-election because I can guarantee you he will be coming after you just like ol’ TR came after the trusts.

You want to wear a mask? By all means do so to your heart’s content. But until I see cords of bodies stacked at every intersection I won’t buy into the fear porn. COVID-19 is not a death sentence like they make it sound, and there is nothing you can tell me that will convince me otherwise. It’s all bullshit, and I hate being a member of the sheep.

…which reminds me of a certain Pink Floyd tune.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:48 | Comments (0)
October 18, 2020

We’re a little more than two weeks out from the presidential election and there is some weird you-know-what going on. Anyone who knows exactly what’s going to happen on November 3 is kidding themselves. For one thing, sixteen days in an election cycle is a lifetime in politics, even more so this year because voting has already started both in person and by mail in many states. So what you’ve basically got are the “official” polls on one side and on the other side folks attempting to project the final vote tallies by the number of mail-in ballots already received based upon party registration.

The problem with the polling is, as Richard Baris and others will tell you, is that nothing appears to have changed since 2016. The mainstream media’s pollster darling is Nate Silver. He didn’t get anything near right in either 2016 or the 2018 midterms, but still the media flocks to him like pigeons to a statue not yet hauled down by the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Now, Baris and others will give you all kinds of reasons why Silver’s methodology sucks, but they’re not in the mainstream media, so their voices are like the psalmist crying out in the wilderness.

As for those attempting to interpret the results of the voting already going on, The Great White Shank has been following the Twitter accounts of Larry Schweikart, Cotto/Gottfried, and M. Joseph Sheppard, among others. I like these guys because, while most certainly supporters of President Trump and the conservative cause, they’re not afraid to link to similar election watchers on the Democratic / liberal side of the aisle. I’ve also got my GOP insider guy who has been kind enough to drop me a text every once in a while when he thinks there’s information worth sharing.

So what do the tea leaves tell me at this point? First, let’s discuss two possible outcomes available to us at this point:

1. A “blue wave” fueled by a combination of Trump hatred and semi-enthusiastic support for “Slo’ Joe Biden. Certainly, the same pollsters who projected a Hillary win in 2016 are saying something similar for 2020. The Biden campaign is flush with cash from Wall Street, the unions, Hollywood, and Big Tech, and the early vote-by-mail numbers appear to heavily skewed in favor Democrats. These are all fairly persuasive, but I look at the Biden campaign and I see far more evidence to the contrary: it has started telling voters not to trust the pollsters, that the race is far closer than it appears. Just two weeks ago, the Biden campaign, which up to that point had been emphasizing social media out of COVID-19 concerns, started opening GOTV offices in several “battleground” states. And then there was Friday’s announcement that Barack Obama was going to hit the campaign trail on his behalf in places like Philadelphia and Detroit; that tells me that there are concerns about black voter enthusiasm, crucial to a Biden win.

And then there’s the issue about the Biden rallies. Even given COVID-19 concerns, his rallies generate little in the way of interest and enthusiasm, both online and in-person. The evidence is out there there for everyone to see, and it’s non-existent. Especially interesting to me is the lack of down-ballot candidate presence at Biden’s rallies. Politicians know the importance of aligning themselves with winners: were Biden so popular you’d think he’d have candidates running in close races beside him to gin-up interest. Larry Schweikart wonders if the Democrats’ campaign of COVID-19 fear-mongering will have a dampening effect on voter enthusiasm, most especially on the youth vote with so many colleges being remote this year. Sure, the rabid Trump haters will come out in droves – and perhaps that’s what the Biden campaign is counting on – but in an election that will come down once again to the Electoral College and not the popular vote, I’m not sure that’s a winning strategy.

2. A “red wave” fueled by Trump enthusiasm and a hidden Trump vote amongst Democrats and independents not being picked up by the pollsters. Anecdotally, judging by the Trump campaign’s “peaceful protest” rallies and the crazy number of Trump “flash mob” car and boat rallies taking place every weekend across the country, one has to wonder if once again the pollsters are missing something akin (or even greater) to what happened in 2016. Certainly, the enthusiasm of Trump voters is off the charts, and his rallies are heavily attended both in-person and online (for example, the Carson City, NV rally tonight already has nearly 900K online viewers). And if you watch any of the Trump rallies you know there are any number of down-ballot candidates more than willing to share the locale with him. Another difference between 2020 and 2016 is that the Trump campaign appears to have chosen to emphasize its GOTV effort over traditional media buys. How this will play out on November 3 is anyone’s guess, but I can tell y’all this: if the Trump ground game in other “battleground” states is anywhere near like it appears to be here in Arizona, his campaign is going to get people to the polls.

Conventional wisdom, of course, is that this is going to be another close election, one determined by whose campaign is able to get their base out the most. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen this year. Between the COVID-19 lockdowns and the increased vote by mail, any models and projections based upon returned ballots and voter registration will be purely speculative.

My tried-and-true approach is to infer where the race stands by watching what the campaigns are doing. And it is here I have to admit I have no clue what the Biden campaign is doing. I don’t understand Biden’s decision to stay off the campaign trail for the next four days so he can do “debate preparation”. I don’t buy it – why would a Washington swamp creature with nearly a half-century of political experience require any more debate preparation time than he’s already had? And I don’t think he’s doing it duck the New York Post‘s Hunter Biden corruption allegations; surely he knows Trump is going to make them an issue at Thursday night’s debate. Unless Biden has no plans to debate Trump on Thursday night, but I honestly can’t see him ducking that. So I don’t know what the hell is going on – maybe thebradfordfile is right: he’s giving up. But if he feels he doesn’t need to campaign because he’s confident of a win, well that doesn’t jive with his campaign’s other recent actions mentioned above. You know Trump will be everywhere doing multiple rallies between now and Election Day, so his strategy is obviously to keep the enthusiasm meter running on the red, nail down his base, and attempt to extend that enthusiasm (and therefore expand the electoral battlefield) with independents and whatever undecideds there might still be.

Of course, given that this is 2020 I still think there’s something going on out there that I’m missing. There are just too many variables. What impact will any additional Biden family corruption allegations have on independents and undecideds? It’s a given that Biden will announce his intention to pack the Supreme Court if elected as soon as Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination is approved. What impact will that have with independents who haven’t yet voted? Are there other “October surprises” out there? And if so, will they make any difference at this point? If the Thursday night debate actually occurs, what – if any – impact will it have? What will be the impact of the Democrats front-loading their vote with vote-by-mail? Does it only serve to cannibalize their typical Election Day voting numbers? So the Biden campaign’s body language and general strategy seems strange to me.

I just think at this point we haven’t seen the end of 2020’s surprises. Which is why I’m having a hard time getting answers from the tea leaves. Plenty of questions, tho…

———-

[UPDATE} ….and here you have two different sources for the same thing – early indications that what the Schweikart link about is talking about. From Democratic mouthpieces like Politico and theThe New York Times, no less. Possible indications that the Dems know they are in trouble? Perhaps thebradfordfile is right?

Biden/Harris rally in Minnesota.
Harris rally in Orlando.
Yep, the enthusiasm is palpable! Hence today’s headlines above.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 20:01 | Comments (0)
October 16, 2020

Quick takes on Thursday night’s battling town halls – NBC’s Savannah Guthrie vs. Donald Trump and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos vs. “Slo’ Joe” Biden:

1. There is little doubt between the two who had the toughest interrogator; it was the President. Lots of folks are unhappy about Guthrie’s performance, but not me. I expect anyone at this point in an election cycle who chooses to do one of these so-called “town halls” to go into the lion’s den. Personally, I don’t want Trump being interrogated by the likes of Shawn Hannity. Sure, I thought Guthrie came perilously close to being a nagging shrew at times, but I also wanted to see how the President handled himself under fire, and to that extent I thought he did just fine.

2. On the other hand, Stephanopoulos showed himself to be nothing put the partisan pussy that the Biden campaign needs at this point. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican – I cannot for the life of me understand how a so-called “journalist” from the ABC News division didn’t ask the Democrat candidate running for President of the United States about the biggest story in America today: crack addict Hunter Biden peddling influence with Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs and the Chinese Communist Party while his father was Vice-President. Regardless of your political views, the questions should have been asked; to not do so is nothing but political malfeasance and, in the end, it did Biden (or ABC and Stephanopoulos) no good.

3. Anyone who watched both town halls couldn’t deny the difference in vibes that existed between both programs. Trump’s townhall had a truly live and positive atmosphere; whether the questioner was leaning for or against the President (whether or not you believe he answered their questions sufficiently, something I think he could have done better), one cannot deny President Trump looked healthy, engaged, at ease, and forthright. I especially liked his answer regarding Roe vs. Wade – he basically put himself firmly as a supporter of the courts and the law of the land. He was disarming, in good spirits, and seemed to genuinely enjoy the give and take involved.

4. Biden’s town hall, in stark contrast, seemed to be absent of any real energy of any kind. Given the softball questions offered by Stephanopoulos, Biden was allowed to virtually sleepwalk though the entire event. Believe me, this did not help Biden in any way: voters want to see their candidates have their feet put to the fire. Compared to Trump’s assertiveness and confidence, Biden came across as just another boring Washington pol with that innate swamp creature ability to speak volumes without saying virtually anything. When I heard this my bullshit meter went past red:

Joe Biden just related another swimming pool story. This time, when he was 8 years old and he saw two men kissing each other, his dad told him, “It’s simple, they love each other.”

Doubtful in 1950 in Scranton. You may hate that, but c’mon maaaan, 1950?

Corn Pop was unavailable for a comment.

Joe Biden is full of shit. Hat tip: PJ Media.

5. I think Richard Baris has the line of the night (if you watched NBC’s town hall you’ll know what he’s talking about):

Truly folks, it was something. Did you see it? Are they aware of how it looks when they act like this?

Black women shaking their heads at the ridiculous line of questioning from a privileged white shill woman like @SavannahGuthrie.

Incredible optics.

Bottom line: tonight’s “town halls” did nothing to advance Biden’s candidacy, and those who will have turned in (and it will be seen far more watched the President than watched Biden), whether they personally like Trump or not, will grudgingly have to give him his due by going into the lion’s den.

Tonight was a win/win for the President.

Where’s Hunter?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:22 | Comments (0)
October 15, 2020

So I have successfully navigated my way through my 65th birthday and, already approved for Medicare parts A & B ($144 a month – are you kidding me!), I’m ready to face whatever comes my way. The only thing that becoming 65 signifies to me is that, were I to formally declare myself as retired, I can feel comfortable with it. I’d still like to find some kind of gainful employment for a couple of years until I start taking my Social Security at 67, but if there isn’t an opportunity that I really enjoy while still being able to work from home I’m OK with it.

So where are we in this election cycle? Here.

This is an older tweet from President Trump, but I think that’s exactly where his thinking has to be tonight. To think of all the shit he and his family has put up with for the last four years, knowing that “Slo’ Joe” Biden’s irresponsible and pathetically corrupt son got rich off of his father’s position is beyond contempt, but that’s where we are tonight.

What is it with these big tech companies? The suppression of news is something right out of North Korea. But, as The Last Refuge writes, methinks this is a rubicon that Twitter, Facebook, and Google will seriously regret ever crossing. Because after today, they had better get on their collective, Godless knees that Donald J. Trump never wins re-election. Because if he does you can take it to the bank he will be coming after them, and hard. As he should. I mean, can you imagine suspending the account of the President’s own press secretary?

I read this and only imagine how much of an asshole Dorsey must be, not just as a boss but as a human being. Just shows you can be rich and intelligent, but that doesn’t mean you’re smart.

You know who ought to be most pissed about the Biden revelations? Not Donald Trump. And not even “Slo’ Joe”. It should be every supporter of every Democratic Party candidate whose candidacy got torpedoed by the Washington establishment because Biden’s connections with overseas $s were far more important than putting forward a viable candidate for President. As you know, I’m a fervent supporter of Donald J. Trump, but I’m not stupid: I truly believe Bernie, Warren, Buttigieg, and (most especially) Tulsi Gabbard would have given the Prez a much more formidable candidate than (in Don Jr.’s words) the “Loch Ness Monster of the Washington swamp”. If I’m a Bernie Bro I’d be especially pissed tonight. Because this was all known during the primaries, and no one, no one had the courage to push it before he could get the nomination.

Good to see the vile, racist author of the 1619 Project being forced to come clean from under the rock she came from:

Speaking to the Post, the 1619 Project founder finally admitted she had made a key mistake. She had notoriously claimed that American patriots had rebelled against Britain in order to preserve slavery — a claim for which there is no evidence, and a good deal of evidence to the contrary. Historians repeatedly called her out on this, and The Times eventually issued a correction.

Belatedly, Hannah-Jones admitted she should have consulted with scholars who had a particular focus on colonial history, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War.

“I should have been more careful, because I don’t think that any other fact would have given people the fodder that this has, and I am tortured by it,” she said. “I’m absolutely tortured by it.”

The Post did not report whether or not Hannah-Jones said she was “tortured by” lying about something else, however. Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Project had claimed that America’s true founding came in 1619, with the arrival of the first slaves (who actually arrived far earlier), rather than in 1776, with the Declaration of Independence. Last month, however, both Hannah-Jones and the Project apparently deep-sixed this claim, deleting the language from the website. Hannah-Jones even went on television and lied, claiming she had never made such a claim.

In fact, scholars have demanded the Pulitzer Prize board revoke Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer Prize over these lies.

If she had a shred of integrity (which she doesn’t), she would return her Pulitzer Prize. But she won’t. Racists have no integrity (or a soul, for that matter).

This is the America I love. Screw you, Black Lives Matter and Antifa. There are far more of us than there are of you.

If this is true, I’m with the Prez on this. The primary role of the Attorney General is to ensure justice is handed out equally across the land. If in his honest opinion those involved in what was a de facto coup attempt against a sitting president committed no crimes, come out and say so and provide your reasoning as to why. 3+ years ought to be plenty. If you can’t do that, get the hell out.

In Joe Biden’s America no one will be safe. Choose wise, America.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:51 | Comments (0)
October 11, 2020

Sigh. Another very warm weekend in the Valley of the Sun. Thought we were done with the triple-digit temperatures but the NWS now says we’ve got another week of them coming up. Not much of a problem for me: the golf courses are all closed so I’ll just sleep in, enjoy my morning coffee, check out a few blogs, then go for a lengthy bike ride before the heat gets too much.

I guess that is what you call “retirement”. Sigh.

As I mentioned in this forum previously: you’ll know what the campaigns are thinking by where they are devoting time and money. The fact that “Slo’ Joe” Biden is now having to focus on Nevada ought to tell you a lot. And the fact this is coming out on such a left-leaning publication as Politico ought to tell you even more. Perhaps this is what they were seeing.

As I mentioned in Friday’s post, this is going to be more of a “Sunbelt” election than a “Rust Belt” election. And if Biden has to allocate resources to – as the article mentions – “stave off a loss in Nevada”, what does that tell you about Arizona? I’ll tell you what it says.

…if this is all you can gin up in terms of enthusiasm for a trip to Yuma, your campaign is in trouble. Especially when you have to bring outsiders in. I especially liked this comment:

The Chick-Fil-A near me has longer lines than this every day.

Mark my words: Biden’s campaign is in trouble, and you’re going to start seeing increased signs of desperation in the mainstream media next week.

And speaking of Nevada: hey Joe, pander much? Never mind the obvious lack of support, the whole setting is nothing but a cartoon fit for a buffoon.

I’ll give you my honest opinion: as soon as I saw this I felt Biden just gave away the election. There’s nothing more unsetting to the average American voter than someone refusing to state their position on something so vital to our nation’s Constitution. The fact he’s doubling down on this is beyond puzzling; certainly his campaign has to know this is not a good look. Americans deserve to know what a presidential candidate intent is in regards to the highest court in the land.

…look, Biden knows damned well he’s not going to pack the Supreme Court; the guy may have early stage dementia, but, in Don Jr.’s tweet, “he’s the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp.” Biden is a traditionalist of the highest nature, and there is no friggin’ way he would ever be supportive of such a radical proposition. Problem is, his campaign is so irrevocably tied to the radical, socialist left-wing of the Democratic Party that he’s in a no-win situation of his own accord. Dude wanted the nomination (or, perhaps more likely, the powers-that-be dictated he would have the nomination whether he wanted it or not), so what’s he going to say? No, and piss off all the people that got him the nomination to begin with? Yes, and piss away his chances at ever being elected President? So he comes up with this totally stupid answer that makes him look both evasive and untrustworthy in the minds of key voters. Totally stupid. As we’d call it in golf, an “unforced error”. And one that will likely cost him any shot at being President.

While I couldn’t be more opposed to anything she believes politically, I have always respected “San Fran Nan” Pelosi for her political chops. Back in her heyday she was a smart and ruthless politician who knew how to get what she wanted. Unfortunately, like Biden, she has lost more than a few miles off her fastball, to the point where I think – to be truthfully honest – she’s lost her marbles. Think about it: you have a nation trying to recover itself from the economic and emotional harm of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what do she and Biden do over a 24-hour period? Refuse to answer questions about packing the Supreme Court and unveil a plan to charge a commission with implementing the 25th amendment to the Constitution? This is friggin’ madness. I can only wonder what members of her own party – not to mention Republicans – are thinking about her state of mind. All of this serves to make the Democrats look like a bunch of loons. At this point in the campaign this is not the look you want to present to the American people.

A great live performance of a great tune by one of rock’s most understated and underappreciated guitarists.

So I got a heads up by one of my Goodboys pals Killer that I needed to take a look at the YouTube channel of Clay Ballard of Top Speed Golf. I’ve still been struggling with my driver so I had a look at his video on that, and all I can tell you is, it works! And not just as far as the “stable fluid spine” set-up for the driver, I am using it for my irons as well. I had a great range session on Friday – one of my best ever, I think – and all I can say is it’s “all systems go” for ten days from now when I take it to the course ahead of my trip to Massachusetts.

To think there are notable people on the left who actually think like this tells you how mortally and socially sick they are. Olbermann in particular needs to check his soul in at the nearest car wash. He’s a sick, demented individual, and the fact he gets a forum for spewing this kind of filth tells you there are an awful lot of people who actually agree with him.

When the President used it on his two-hour interview on Rush Limbaugh’s show on Friday, at first I couldn’t believe it; not that he wouldn’t use such a word in private, but that it got through the seven-second delay. Listening to it now I’m laughing out loud: it’s such an alpha-male statement that the likes of “Slo’ Joe” could never do. What it tells people is how passionate the President is about making sure Iran knows that it is never going to get nuclear weapons.

…unlike Biden and the Washington swamp and its thirst for endless wars, Trump confronts America’s enemies as an outsider, not a politician. To that end he’s bringing about a historical realignment in the region (not that you would hear it from the mainstream media and cable news networks). Trump won’t capitulate to any Iranian threat: he knows they know we’ve got enough tools in our toolbox and will use them if we need to. My view is that Iran is waiting to see who gets elected President; if Trump is re-elected you’re gonna see some very interesting geopolitical things happening that no one could ever have imagined.

If you ever find yourself in an argument with an atheist as to whether God exists, just play them this Enya tune. I especially like the organ that appears at 1:49. I just think it brings something even more elegant to an already pristine song.

As usual, Ace is base. With numbers like this (if, of course, the numbers pan out) Biden is toast.

…but remember, this is 2020 and anything is likely to happen between now and November 3. Me? I’m up for an alien invasion and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. From a YouTube commenter:

Magnificent, unique piece of mindscape art rock that doesn’t parade its cleverness, but weaves its stately way unhurriedly, understated, and with grace, poise and composure. The closest parallels I can think of, outside of the Floyd canon, are The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up, and Chris Rainbow’s Home Of The Brave – albeit that they are more in the realm of standard song format, but the allusion holds well. Only the Floyd – ONLY the Floyd could have dreamed this up, and only they could have performed it and committed it to vinyl so brilliantly. This is basically a piano trilogy, separated by collages of sound effects. The final section is a triumphant piece of early Floyd ensemble playing that could have stood alone very well on Meddle, Dark Side Of The Moon or Obscured By Clouds. I’d like to think that one day, there will be established a large venue devoted to a museum of the rock era, and that the Pink Floyd section will include a kitchen in which all the elements of this piece will be on show… and that the sink will have an eternally dripping tap! (I have one in my kitchen, which I sorta hope the landlord will never get around to fixing!) And who amongst us can resist, any time the word ‘marmalade’ is mentioned, feigning talking to oneself in quietly measured, almost whispered tones as if trying not to wake anybody else in the flat, the phrase ‘Marmalade – I like marmalade’ ad infinitum?!! It’s hardwired into my DNA (apposite for the fact that the late, great Douglas Adams – Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – was a huge Pink Floyd fan, and was once invited to play guitar on stage with the band, on his 42nd birthday – and his initials were, crucially… DNA – Douglas Noel Adams).
Golden moments only ever happen once in all eternity!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:25 | Comments (0)
October 9, 2020

OK, so we’re less than four weeks away from Election Day, and I’ve gotta admit that things are a heck of a lot more volatile this year than they were back in 2016. Given that this is 2020, I hasten to say anything definitive because four weeks is a lifetime in politics; not just with the COVID-19 thing, but there’s a truly impressive full-court anti-Trump press underway involving pretty much everything and everyone associated with Washington, New York, Silicon Valley, every media market in between, and our nation’s education system, so it’s much harder to read the tea leaves this year than it was four years ago.

That being said, there are some variables in this political cycle that remain unchanged from four years ago. For one thing, you can take it to the bank that the polls are going to be even more unreliable than they were four years ago. There are a number of reasons for this: (1) the pressure on the pollsters from the media and social media markets this go-round to try and lift the Biden-Harris ticket (to therefore deflate the enthusiasm of the Trump voter) is quite intense; (2) the inability to accurately gauge the so-called “likely voter” is far more prevalent than it was back in 2016. It’s truly sad that people have to go out of their way to hide their support for the President, but one only need peruse the bowels of Twitter – and it is a cesspool – Twitter has the most vile, petulant, sub-human (and I have to admit, best organized) followers when it comes to anything involving President Trump; anyone who dares to express any kind of support for the President risks not just their financial and emotional well-being, but even their physical one as well; (3) the whole COVID-19 thing and voting by mail (VBM) – most especially in Democrat-governed “battleground” states – is going to make the whole prospect of knowing who has won on November 3 highly unlikely.

There are some pollsters (Richard Baris, for example) who believe we won’t actually know who was won until near Thanksgiving; while I think that’s plausible, I do believe (just as I did back in 2016) that there is a wellspring of Trump voters out there who simply defy being identified and defined by traditional polling; this has been made even more so by the increasingly brazen jackboot tactics of the “professional left” who out, shame, and if need be, destroy anyone who refuses to adhere to their belief system. If you believe (as I do) that Black Lives Matter is a vile, racist, and Marxist organization you run the risk of personal and professional destruction. If you believe that “all lives matter” and/or “blue lives matter” and you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and can’t or don’t keep your mouth shut, you risk public shaming, loss of livelihood, personal harm, or even death.

As I’ve often said in this space, you know what the tea leaves are saying by what the political campaigns are doing and where and how they are focusing their time. So, given the above and the fact that there is still a lifetime of time left in this election cycle, allow me to make a few points and prognostications:

1. I don’t believe there are nearly as many undecideds out there as the pollsters are saying. At this point you are either voting or you’re not voting. In my view (and the view of some pretty savvy political watchers I trust) the vast majority of undecideds are either voting for Trump and are refusing to say so, or are not voting at all.

2. Forget about what the pollsters are saying that this is going to be a “high turnout” election. It is not and will not. Between the COVID-19 and the mess over VBM (the number of ballots tossed is going to be astronomical) my prediction is that you’re going to find less turnout this year.

3. There are several factors associated with this, and not just because of the VBM issues I mentioned above. The great Larry Schweikart has been pushing for a while that the forced movement of college students at major universities across the country to remote learning is going to have a huge impact on the number of votes. There’s just no way – even with VBM – that you’ll have the same numbers of 18-24 voters in 2020. And when you consider the locations of these universities in key “battleground” states (think Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona) this is going to have an impact not just on the Electoral College but on the popular vote as well.

4. Because of the above, what this all boils down to is that 2020 is going to be a turnout election. Whichever candidate can convince their base to come out and vote the best is going to win. It’s really that simple. How do you know the two campaigns are aware of this? Because both campaigns are now focusing their efforts on a very small handful of states: Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Sure, there are other states that are important to the campaigns: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, but here’s what it comes down to: if Trump loses Florida, it’s all over. If Biden loses Pennsylvania, it’s all over.

5. The reason for this is obvious, and it all boils down to demographics: if Trump wins Florida he’s gonna win Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and (likely) Arizona. If Trump loses Florida, the election is over – period. Which is why, as Red Eagle Politics has been saying all along, this will not be a “Rust Belt” election, but a “Sunbelt” election.

6. In Biden’s case, I suppose he can afford to lose Florida, but that means he absolutely has to win Pennsylvania and pretty much run the table in the Rust Belt (sans Ohio, where he has no chance). Which is why, if I’m Biden’s campaign, I’m basically in PA and Michigan for the rest of the campaign.

7. I have always subscribed to belief that, when it comes to Election Day in-person voting, there is a not an insignificant block of voters who will vote for the person they believe is going to win regardless of their political beliefs. This is why the pollsters are increasingly employing the question of “who do you believe is going to win” in their surveys. And Trump is winning this question across the board, in some cases, significantly.

8. Forget about the presidential debates. To what extent they will occur or not, they will have insignificant impact on the election. The mainstream media loves to use the debates as a way to focus on “undecided voters”, but as I mentioned above I don’t believe there are many – if any – undecided voters at this time. The differences between the two campaigns in 2020 are that stark.

9. Given the above, voter enthusiasm is going to be the biggest factor in this year’s election. And there is zero doubt that the enthusiasm is with Trump voters than Biden voters. Two reasons: (1) you only need to look at the number of voters who came out during the Republican primaries with Trump running virtually unopposed to know he has them and is not going to lose them, and (2) the enthusiasm on the Democratic side is not for Biden, it’s against Trump. And I will tell you that human nature (and political history) dictates that the “for” candidate always wins. Simply put, Trump voters will crawl two miles over broken glass to vote for him; I don’t care how passionately you are against Trump, there aren’t enough of you who feel the same way.

It’s still too early to make a definitive prognostication, but all I’ll say at this point is that I would much rather be in the President’s shoes than in “Slo’ Joe” Biden’s.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 11:30 | Comments (0)
October 3, 2020

Put me down as one of the greatest fans of “The Pre-Fab Four”. Sure, the Wikipedia version tries to do it justice, but if you want to hear The Rutles’ real story you need to watch Eric Idle’s (Monty Python) “mockumentary” “All You Need Is Cash” and its follow-up “Can’t Buy Me Lunch”.

The late, great Neil Innes was a master recreator of Beatles-like songs. He composed the greatest Beatles’ song Lennon and McCartney never wrote. “I Think I’m In Love” and “Hold My Hand” perfectly captured the Fab Four’s “A Hard Day’s Night” era. His take-off on the Fab Four’s “Help!” was a particular favorite of both George and Ringo (they played it for Innes on one of his visits to George’s Friar Park), and “Love Life” riffed the Fab Four’s classic “”All You Need Is Love”. “Cheese And Onions” is an especially uncanny representation of their psychedelic era. The lyrics alone are a wonderful piece of whimsy:

I have always thought
In the back of my mind
Cheese and onions

I have always thought
That the world was unkind
Cheese and onions

Do I have to spell it out?

C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S

Oh, no

Man and machine (man and machine)
Keep yourself clean (keep yourself clean)
Or be a has-been (ah ah)
Like a dinosaur… oh oh oh

Man or device (man or device)
For everything nice (everything nice)
You’d better think twice (ah ah)
At least once more… oh oh oh

Innes played the Rutles’ Lennon character, Idle in the McCartney role. The Rut’s Stig O’Hara (George’s character) was Ricky Fataar, originally of The Flames who played drums for The Beach Boys between 1971 and 1974.

The Rutles weren’t even a real band, but it’s amazing to see tribute bands imitating a band that existed to imitate another band. Here’s a band called “Ouch!” one called Them Rutles, and this Japanese tribute band; I think Innes would be pleased to see the lasting impact of his talent and genius.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:28 | Comments (0)
October 1, 2020

Target Handicap: 20.0
Score: 50 + 47 = 97
MyScorecard.com Handicap: 25.7 / Change: (-0.3)
Location: Lone Tree Golf Club

It was time to get out.

So much has happened this year. The last time I actually played a round of golf (back in late October of last year) I was gainfully employed and a Goodboy. Golf was just a form of recreation g to try and clear my head amidst all my other innumerable obligations, professional and otherwise. So it felt weird to be driving out to Lone Tree Golf Club on a hot Thursday morning when there were no e-mail to check ahead of time, and no e-mails to worry about responding to after I got off the course.

I’ll admit: it was a very weird feeling.

The only reason I went out today was because I needed to get in at least one round of golf before I headed back to Massachusetts later in the month in order to hopefully play some fall golf with my Goodboys pals. You see, here in the Valley of the Sun we’re already entering that bizarre 2-3 week period known as “The Great Arizona Golf Course Shutdown”, where all the golf courses shut down in order to make the transition from Bermuda to winter rye grass. My original plan was to sneak a round in at nearby Kokopelli G.C., but 10/1 was their closing date. Since Lone Tree wasn’t closing until 10/5 and I have fond memories of playing there (I shot a career-best 87 four years ago), it was the course I chose for my re-entry into Great White Shank golf.

Going into today’s round my expectations were low. You see, last Saturday, on a whim, I headed to the Kokopelli driving range to hit balls for the first time since early February, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As to be expected, I was all over the place, but it was especially distressing to see the dreaded “two-way miss” from 2019 carry over: if it wasn’t a ballooning banana ball off to the right it was a big pull to the left, and nothing I did seemed to have any effect. Then yesterday I headed over to the Papago Park driving range and things started out just as poorly. I was trying everything to remediate what was nothing short of a disaster to no effect.

So I took a time out, had a nice walk around the premises, and took stock about what I was trying to do. I knew my weight shift was off, but where was it coming from? I returned back to my clubs and the scattering of yellow balls waiting to be hit, and went back to as basic a swing as I could possibly come up with: stay on top of the ball, focus only on compressing the ball and taking a divot (irons) and sweeping up at the ball (5-wood and driver), focusing on my weight shift. Nothing good was happening. And then there was a click.

Keep in mind The Great White Shank is not a technical golfer. For better or for worse, I am what they call a “feel” golfer”: meaning, I need to recognize and remember a particular “feel” when I’m hitting the ball correctly. So when, all of a sudden, my driver lost its two-way miss and started going straight and long, I was skeptical. But after a dozen balls and then replicating same with my 5- and 6-irons, I knew I had found a “feel” worth trying out.

I picked up the phone and scheduled a round at Lone Tree.

I deliberately chose not to hit a bucket of balls before before today’s round. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it wasn’t. But on the first few holes I felt like a blind man feeling his way around a crowded city sidewalk. I double-bogeyed the first hole without a single good shot, but then, on the par 3 #2 just missed a 5-iron that went straight enough that allowed for an ugly chip and two-putt for bogey. But starting with my tee shot on the next hole I could feel the “feel” coming back. All that was missing was my short game, but I wasn’t going to worry about that too much – after all, you don’t go almost a year without playing and expect your short game to be anywhere.

By the time I got to #6 I was starting to feel my oats. My putting sucked, but I had plenty of opportunities to make good scores. I actually made par on that #1 rated hole (a long par 5) where I made the fairway with my driver, hit a wonderful 4-hybrid to 110 yards, then chipped to a distance where even I couldn’t miss.

On the back nine I could really feel my game coming together: I made par on three of the first five holes (including the 140-yard, island green #12 – 7-iron so pure I vogued until it stopped twelve feet from the hole), before my only true ugly hole where I got a little out of sorts and made snowman on the par 4 #13. But I recovered to make par on the next par 3 (featuring my first solid chip of the day). Then, after an unnecessary double-bogey on the #15 par 4 where I over-cooked a 6-iron approach (hit it too good!), I made another par with a pro-worthy 9-iron approach from 112 yards that split two bunkers protecting the green. Then, following my best drive of the day on the par 4 #17 (out-driving both of my playing partners for the first time!), I butchered a 6-iron from 152 yards – my only real bad iron shot of the day – leading to a double bogey.

We arrived at the long, long par 5 #18. I check my card and see I’m lying 40. So, in my Great White Shank mind I’ve got nine strokes to kill in order to still break 100. Perhaps that’s not the correct mindset here, but ya gotta understand I hadn’t played a round of actual golf in a long, long time, so I’m feeling like I’m playing with the house’s money, OK? After both my playing partners found the water running along the right side, I blistered yet another drive that found me 220 yards from the pin. To go for it would have been stupid (the hole takes a sharp dog-leg to the left and is well protected by a pond in the front), but I hadn’t hit my 5-wood all day – it was the only club in my bag I hadn’t hit – so I thought it might be fun to try. All I wanted to do was take a little off and keep it just right of the narrow fairway between the pond and the subdivision on the right.

I thought I took a little off, but the last I saw of my ball it was taking a high arc beyond the end of the fairway making a bee-line to John and Sally’s 4 BR/ 2 bath. “Shit!, I yell to one of my playing partners, “I hit it too good!” Riiiight. Anyways, I take a drop, butcher a chip beyond the green, then mangle a couple of putts for a double-bogey seven.

Not a bad piece of work for the day.

I have to say today’s round exceeded my expectations. If you had told me I’d shoot a 97 after being away from real golf for nearly a year I would have told you I’d be very satisfied with that. Which I am. As for the numbers, I hit eight fairways (not bad), made 35 putts (not as many as it seemed), converted two of five green-in regulation opportunities (need to improve my opps!) and had seven holes with scores of no more than bogey. I’m pretty pleased with that.

I doubt there will be much golf to play before I head back to Massachusetts later this month, but now that I’m sort of retired (at least for now), I plan on making plenty of time to work on my “feel” a little more to turn that into a true “move”. I also want to work on my short game. For that, my old digs at Superstition Springs is just the ticket. Between that and the bike rides it will do me good to get me out of the house and into the fresh air, which is something I know I will need.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 21:04 | Comments (0)

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