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  • The 2024 Presidential campaign is cranking up, and as an independent voter, I must say that I am not impressed.
  • I expect the Democrats to do one of two things:
    • Nominate some horry harridan or simpering sycophant from one of the coasts in the name of optics and message.
    • Line up behind Joe Biden to prop him up long enough to toss his mangled carcass across the finish line, then pick the bones for as long as they can.
      • I would not bet money on VP Harris’ chances of being on the ticket. Stranger things have happened, and she will bring in black voters to some extent, but I just don’t see her sticking around waiting for Biden to keel over on live, international news feeds so she can assume the office.
  • On the other hand, I expect the Republicans to do one of two things
    • Renominate Trump after a long and bitter primary fight, thereby pissing off half of the electorate enough to motivate them to go the polls and pull the lever for anyone but OrangeManBad.
    • Not nominate Trump, thereby pissing off a good chunk of their base, demotivating them enough that they sit home on Election Day.
  • For each, I see very few third ways.
    • The Democrats could search the bowels of their party to find a reasonable, populist candidate that can connect with someone to the right of Stalin and younger than Methuselah. I’m sure there’s at least one or two left, somewhere. Perhaps they’re walled in somewhere in the basement of DNC headquarters, just waiting to be released back into the sunlight so they can be lambasted by the ‘right’ people in their party.
    • The Republicans could thread the needle and find someone enough like Trump that the Trump voting block will show up and enough not like Trump that the anti-Trump voting block doesn’t start screeching and throwing poo.
    • I don’t exactly have much faith that either party will be able to accomplish anything that slows down the rotation as we approach oblivion, but never say never.
  • Speaking of presidential politics, a thought occurred to me the other day:
    • In 2016, any Democrat except Hillary Clinton could have beaten Trump.
    • In 2020, any Republican except Donald Trump could have beaten Biden.
    • I have no idea what’s going to happen in 2024, but it’s going to make for some really interesting history in about 50 years.
  • On the economic front, I may be investing in a kayak. If we’re going to circle the drain, might as well have fun while we’re doing it.
  • Those who say that Biden is getting us involved in Ukraine in order to either enrich himself and his cronies, or to distract us from other issues need to remember to never assign to malice that which can be assigned to incompetence.
  • I am in a bit of a disagreement with my wife at the moment. You see, Irish Woman intercepted a box from Lucky Gunner the other day, and apparently its size was ‘deceptive’.
    • The disagreement is whether or not a grown woman can put her back out trying to lift a small box containing 1000 9mm cartridges.
  • I’ll be heading down to Nashville for a small ‘con this weekend. It’s a good chance to hang out with members of the tribe, recharge my batteries, and hear Southern American English with less twang in it.

On Locked Garages and Classified Documents

The latest example of either perfidy or incompetence on the part of President Biden has to do with how he and his staff have dealt with classified information. It would seem that Mr. Biden, or someone representing him, took and kept classified documents from his time as Vice President when he left that office. So far, to my knowledge, they’ve been found at a think tank associated with the President, as well as at one of his residences.

I’ll leave the bloviating about the legality of what Mr. Biden did, or had done in his name, to those more knowledgable of the law. I will, based on my experience, comment on the stupidity of what was done.

Classified information, no matter what form it takes, needs to be kept in an approved, inspected, and monitored environment. Information is classified for one simple reason – If people who oppose us have it, people we like will die.

If war plans are known to the enemy in any detail, our servicemen will die in battle, or even before they get to the battlefield.

If the details of how we secure things like sensitive research facilities or nuclear power plants become public knowledge, then they can be infiltrated or defeated, causing the loss of that facility, the knowledge and technology it contains, and the death of the people around it.

And let’s face it, there’s nothing more embarrassing than having to explain why a bunch of your people died because your opponent stole a bunch of knowledge and technology and used that to catch up, if not pass you, in an arms race.

Worst of all, in my opinion, is when what we know about our opponents is made available to those opponents. There are two orders to the damage this can cause. First, the people who provided that information to us die, usually in a rather horrible manner. It’s quite possible that everyone they ever knew joins them. Second, the methods or technology we use to gather data on our opponents will become useless. In either case, the flow of data about our opponents will dry up.

That’s why when I hear reports from Ukraine about how much information is being reaped by listening in on and monitoring Russian cell phones in the conquered territories, my teeth start to itch. Best way to make something stop working is to let your enemy know about it.

And don’t get me started on what happens to people who are exposed as having helped us, even unwittingly. I still have nightmares about things like that.

The ‘why’ of classifying information and the need to protect it is a deep and intricate rabbit hole, but I think you get the point.

The items found at the think tank are concerning, but it could be worse. I’m going to give the people who run that organization the benefit of the doubt and say that they might have had some level of security around the former VP’s and current P’s papers. It may have even met the standard for storing classified material, but just wasn’t approved.

However, we don’t know that for a fact, because nobody went to the trouble of contacting the right people and having them show up with their clipboard and take a look. Honestly, it’s not that big a deal to get that to happen, especially if the person requesting it is the Vice President. Somebody takes a look at your facility and how you do business with whatever it is you have that’s classified, makes sure you’re following some pretty straightforward guidelines, and checks off. Then another somebody looks at your justification for having it, and they check off. Then, every so often, you repeat the process and stay legal.

The higher the sensitivity of the information, the more stringent the requirements are, but none of them are too onerous. Honestly, if you can properly secure a factory that manufactures pharmaceutical opiates, you can secure a facility that stores classified information.

At a very high level, the criteria are something like this:

  • Physical security – Approved locks, fences, guards, and buildings. For most things, this can be done in a facility that’s not very different than your average office building.
  • Information security – All computers in a secure facility have approved controls on access and monitoring in place. No electronic media or devices in or out unless approved and done in a way that follows the law. All data transmission in or out of the facility is done in a way and following routes that are approved for the highest classification the facility contains. All copies of classified information are secured in approved safes or other storage when not in use, and it doesn’t leave the facility except to go to another secure facility. Hard copies, equipment, and electronic data that are no longer needed are destroyed using approved methods.
  • Personnel security – Anyone, including the guards, who will have access to the space have been cleared to have such access by the proper authorities. This may be as simple as filling out some paperwork and waiting a few weeks to be granted access. It may mean filling out a mountain of paperwork and then waiting while government agents have a chat with everyone you ever met. All personnel are required to sign in or out, either physically or electronically through some sort of security badge, when entering and leaving the facility. All personnel and their belongings are searched upon entering and leaving in a manner reminiscent of TSA at the airport. Things like cell phones, cameras, and any electronic media are taken from them during this inspection. For some levels of classification, it takes at least two people to access it, and nobody is ever left alone with access to the information.

Again, rabbit hole, but this covers the high notes.

And please don’t think that meeting these standards requires the creation of a special bunker out on the prairie surrounded by mutant Marines and malinois. You can have a secure area inside of an non-secure facility. It just has to be done right and be blessed by the proper people.

And like I said, the higher the classification, the more stringent the requirements. The CONFIDENTIAL manual on the capabilities of the latest folding shovel issued to SOCOM could likely be kept in a small safe in someone’s office. The SUPER TOP SECRET SQUIRREL CODENAME ORANGUTAN document that details the plan to curb stomp the French the next time they get a little froggy would likely be kept in a safe, inside a vault, under the Pentagon, guarded by the mutant Marines I mentioned earlier.

So, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the organization President Biden left classified material with after he left the vice-presidency in 2017 was storing the material in a manner that kept it safe.

But we don’t know that for sure, because nobody checked.

However, even if you assume that the residence of a former vice-president is secure, the garage where he keeps his mid-life crisis Corvette is not a secure facility.

That is, unless said Corvette was kept in a windowless, patrolled, locked, guarded, monitored, and inspected facility that was approved by the nice men from the NSA who have had their sense of humor surgically removed.

Even if the garage was locked, who had the key? I will guarantee that whoever went in every few days to check on the car did, and so did the guy who mopped the floor. And unless somebody was checking credentials at the roll up door next to the tool box, we don’t know who actually accessed that space and what they did while they were there.

Remember, when classified information is leaked, people die. That’s why security officers are such bastards. Doing that job right is worth the hate.

And since we’re pointing out the relatively smooth surface of the President’s cerebrim, let’s point out the utter stupidly of crowing about documents President Trump had in his possession after leaving office while having improperly secured classified documents in your own possession WHILE THE FBI WAS RAIDING THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S HOME.

‘Rules for thee, but not for me’ wasn’t cute on the playground when you were in the 4th grade. They have no place in the highest levels of responsibility and authority.

I look forward to watching the rhetorical, legal, and political cat fights that will blossom like slime molds on pond water over this. I just wish I’d bought popcorn futures last year. I’d be able to retire comfortably after this nonsense alone.

Habemus Oratoram

So, after 15 votes over several days, Kevin McCarthy is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, replacing the Honorable Nancy Pelosi.

Setting aside my distrust of anything having to do with California, even if it is from the opposite end of the San Joaquin valley from the Bay Area, I’d like to congratulate Mr. McCarthy on attaining what one hopes is the pinnacle of his career.

This has been a long road for the good Speaker. I mean, he started out as a lowly staffer at the ripe age of 22, working his way up to being Speaker of the House through a long and arduous course of crawling over the mangled bodies of his opponents, serving all the right people, and shanking all the wrong people.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not impressed. McCarthy may be a consummate politician, but that’s all he is. According to his biography, he has never held a job outside of politics, at least not since college.

Maybe I’m a bit naive, but a member of Congress, especially leadership that is going to have enormous influence on not only how decisions are made, but which decisions are made, should have some real world experience.

I’m not saying every seat filler in the halls of Congress should start out as a hard-scrabble farmer, find success through hard work and grit, and eventually take on a role as a community leader before working their way to Washington. What I am saying is that I have a hard time believing that someone who has spent literally a lifetime learning about life by watching other people live has any business in a position of power.

There is a place for professional politicians, don’t get me wrong. McCarthy obviously has talent in his chosen field. It’s just that, in my honest opinion, such folks should assist leaders, not be anointed to lead.

Here are some things that I cannot find evidence of in Speaker McCarthy’s adult life:

  • Military Service
  • Manual Labor
  • Low-wage work
  • Charity work
  • Starting and running a business
  • Losing a job
  • Losing an election

I wish Mr. McCarthy luck in his new position. I hope his 35 years of experience as being nothing more than a politician and legislator serve him well as Speaker of the House.

But I will always question upon what his decisions and opinions are based, since his career is based upon nothing more than a long-term commitment to politics.

Tap Dancing Along the Third Rail

There’s a cliche in technical and engineering circles that has been running around in my head for the past few weeks:

Good, fast, or cheap – Pick two

In our system of government, there are three branches – Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

In a nutshell, the Legislative branch makes the laws, the Executive branch enforces the laws, and the Judicial ensures that the laws comply with the Constitution and are applied appropriately.

Of the three, changing the Executive branch’s approach to any one issue is probably the easiest. We change out presidents and their administrations every 4 to 8 years. Usually, we go from one party in office to another, at least in my lifetime, so the approach to enforcing the laws changes pretty regularly.

The Judiciary is a lot harder to change. First, federal judges are appointed for life, so there isn’t a lot of regular wholesale change in who is making judicial decisions. If a given President and Congress appoint a lot of judges, then the complexion of the courts will change, but changes take a long time to percolate up to the pinnacle of the Supreme Court.

Second, courts live and die by precedent and stare decisis. The time it takes to make a major change in how the Constitution is interpreted on any significant topic is almost always measured in decades.

The Legislative branch is an odd fish. We hold Congressional elections more often than we do Presidential, so, you’d expect a lot of changes in legislative approach over time. But incumbents tend to stay in power as long as they choose and do not mess up too badly. We hold elections more often, but very few faces, and stances on issues, change on Capitol Hill.

However, Congress is particularly sensitive to politically unpopular ideas. For an example of what happens when the mood of the country swings away from the party in control of Congress, see what happened to the Republicans in 2018 and the Democrats in 2010.

And that’s just for normal legislation. Changing the Constitution is, by design, not easy to do. Add in the popularity contests Congress continually participates in, and any amendment that is at all controversial is going to have a hard time just getting out of the gate.

So, changing the law either by amending the Constitution or by gradual changes via normal legislation can take as long as changing the judiciary.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court (Judicial branch) overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. Roe held that laws overly restricting the practice of abortion were unconstitutional, striking down most state and federal laws that dealt with abortion.

Abortion rights activists in the United States have used Roe as the bedrock upon which to construct their argument, to the exclusion of anything else.

There have been administrations that were either more supportive or more hostile to the pro-choice side of these arguments, but like I said, Presidents come and go with amazing regularity.

Congress has been walking a tight rope on the abortion issue. The Democrat party has been, to one degree or another, supportive of abortion rights. The Republicans have been more or less pro-life. Neither has benefited at the polls when they allow the extremes of the spectrum between “No restrictions” to “No abortions” become the public face of their position on the matter.

So, Congress has done little to nothing of substance on the abortion issue.

For the most part, the fight has fought in the courts. Anti-abortion Republican presidents and state leadership have been slapped down on multiple occasions by courts ruling on the basis of Roe.

This worked for the pro-abortion side of the argument for almost 50 years. It took a multi-decade Republican march through all three branches of government, as well as state and local politics, to create a majority of Supreme Court justices who would vote to overturn Roe.

In this case, the cliche is “Legislative, executive, or judicial, pick two”. The pro-choice side only picked one branch’s area of authority to support their side, so the anti-abortion side only needed to win in one arena.

In the time it took for Republicans to elect enough presidents and senators to put enough pro-life judges and justices on the bench, the Democrats could have at least gotten a Constitutional amendment through Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

The amendment could have even been generalized so that it encompassed more than abortion in order to draw in support:

Congress shall make no law restricting the free exercise of personal choice in health decisions. Congress shall have the power to pass legislation to enforce this amendment.

Simple language that can be sold to the electorate and ratified. Get a non-abortion case to go through the courts and have it incorporated under the 14th Amendment, and you have a powerhouse that will tell state legislations to get their paws off the abortion clinics.

Heck, you might have even gotten some of the people who didn’t want the Covid-19 inoculations to be forced upon them to support something like this.

Even federal legislation that tied state compliance with Roe to funding for things like Medicaid would have prevented the ‘snap back’ effect of several state laws restricting abortion the moment that Roe v. Wade was vacated. The states would have taken the federal government to court over it, and might have won, but at least it’s something to fight with.

Instead, Democrats spent five decades waving the bloody shirt at Republicans in the media every time abortion was mentioned while Congress sat on its collective butt. Abortion rhetoric was used as a campaign issue, but it was what was done instead of doing something truly useful.

In short, since 1973, abortion rights have been truly protected only by one branch of three. Every court case that has happened since has been grounded in one way or another in that one source of authority, which was removed by the actions of that single branch of government.

The protections for abortion rights were built on a foundation of sand, and had nothing else to prop them up when that foundation was eaten away.

Contrast this with another contentious issue – gun rights.

Yes, the progress made to liberalize the protection of rights to gun possession and personal defense at the federal level in the past few decades have been done through the courts, but the arguments were based on an actual amendment to the Constitution.

Yes, things can be rolled back, and anti-gun administrations and legislators can test the limits of the Court’s and electorate’s patience, but the actual bedrock protection of the right can’t be removed with the stroke of a pen or the votes of five justices.

In short, gun rights activists have to lose completely in two arenas, legislative and judicial, before gun rights are disrupted as thoroughly as abortion rights are now.

If abortion rights are truly important to the leadership of the Democrat Party, then they have been poor stewards of their responsibilities. As soon as an administration and Congress that were both friendly to their cause were sworn in, abortion advocates should have been pushing for either a Constitutional amendment or legislation that would have buttressed the judicial underpinnings of their argument.

Instead, they are back where they were in 1973, with a patchwork of laws across the several states. What common ground there was in the debate in the distant past has been all but eradicated by two generations of polarization. If something like Roe is to be brought about, then all of the work to get to Roe and preserve it will have to start again.

In short, if you want to make long-lasting changes to something in our political system, you have the legislative, executive, and judicial. Pick two, because one just isn’t enough.

Thought for the Day

Scene – Liboman, the Dishonest, stands upon his ivory tower. He looks down upon the destruction his own actions have wrought upon the land. Aghast, he beholds the approach of his enemy, TheVoteren, sovereign of the wide world.

Liboman, the Dishonest – Shall we not take council as we once did? Shall we not have peace? Can we not both admit that we all erred, and that our errors were made in haste, but in good faith?

TheVoteren – We shall have peace… We shall have peace when you answer for the burning of the livelihoods of good people! When you answer for the children who cannot read for want of schools! For the grandmothers who died alone on the altar of the foul god OrangeManBad while their families watched from afar! We shall have peace when you and your pious mumblings of forgiveness and kinship hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own thugs!

TheVoteren spits upon the ground to wash the taste of bile from his mouth.

TheVoteren – Then, wizard, shall we have peace.

End Scene

With all apologies to Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Notes from Call with Senator Rand Paul

These are my notes from a conference call that Senator Rand Paul just held. This is not a transcript, just what I jotted down as the Senator spoke and answered questions. If you want to know exactly what was said, you should look up the transcript on the Senator’s website.

Senator Paul’s Opening Comments

Inflation – Talk about impact to people. Government overspending caused inflation. Foreign ownership of 15 to 20% of debt. Federal reserve printing money to buy debt. Money going into economy without adding to economy causing prices to rise.

Suffering is hitting working class and those on fixed incomes hardest. Social Security COLA is not keeping up with inflation.

Anecdote about gas shortages because of government price ceilings in the 1970’s. Worried that we could see something like that again.

Worried that interest rates will spike and cause recession and high unemployment

Talk about the sense of borrowing money to send to Ukraine. Sympathizes with Ukraine, but not sure if it’s appropriate to send so much money overseas right now.

Mentioning that local and state governments tend to have balanced budgets, but not the federal budget.

Has introduced a balanced budget because no budget has been introduced by either party. Supports balanced budget amendment to constitution. Would need to cut 6% of budget every year for 5 years to accomplish. If the budget for 2019 was introduced in 2022, the budget would balance.

PUPPY bill – Related to drug testing using animals. Remove regulation that requires testing on animals. If safety testing can be done without using animals, then it will be allowed. Bi partisan support, should be passed in next few weeks.

Talked about his office budget. Has been able to provide good service to constituents, but has been able to turn in 5.7 million dollars while in office. Would like to see that happen with other members of Congress and government agencies.

Supports giving bonuses to agency heads who can cut their budgets.

Talk about how government is there to protect god-given liberties.

Call In Questions

Q – What will be done about gas prices?

A – Gas is up because of inflation due to government debt and money printing. Also due to less supply from Biden admin policies. Biden admin wants to get rid of gas automobiles. Biden policies about oil and gas drilling and pipelines lowering supply present and future. War in Ukraine has added to issue. We need to increase supply and cut spending to cut inflation.

Q – When or how we will be able to access medical care without wearing a mask?

A – Government threatened doctors to force masking. Some doctors are allowing no masks. Mask mandates don’t work. 90+ % of Americans have had Covid or have been vaccinated, or both. Supports dropping of mandates for masking and testing.

Q – Why can’t issues with Social Security be fixed?

A – Surplus Money from Social Security is used to buy US government debt. No surplus in last few years. Believes that Medicare and Social Security age will need to rise again. Government should keep promises. Wants a non-partisan congressional committee to look at reform.

Q – Any plans to reduce restrictions on farmers to sell from farm directly?

A – Massie Prime Act – Allows local butchers to sell to local customers using local regulations. Small operations should not have to satisfy same requirements as large operations.

Q – What can be done about voting confirmation (email and text after voting)?

A – Elections should use paper ballots. Have to worry about anonymous voting if there is confirmation to you. Wants paper ballots for integrity and recounts. Kentucky legislature passed election integrity bill for paper ballots and in person voting.

Q – Rising gas prices impacting businesses like real estate. Interest rates impacting real estate industry, especially first time home buyers.

A – Thinks that government-induced inflation is going to cause steep rise in interest rates. Fears that inflation will get worse if interest rates don’t rise, which will impact things like mortgages and prices. Should create less government debt and balance budgets. Not seeing any change in behavior from politicians. Predicts double digit interest rates and a recession. Talk about fixed rate versus variable loans.

Tom’s Thoughts

  • Senator Paul seems very concerned about the impact of inflation on the economy and lives of working and middle class. He mentioned higher interest rates and a recession on multiple occasions. In a former life, we called that an indicator. If someone who is privy to government statistics and plans repeatedly warns about a coming recession with high interest rates, we’re probably heading into bad economic weather.
  • There would have been no mention of Covid-19 if a caller had not asked about it. We can probably call that issue officially off the list of hot topics.
  • There was some discussion of supply chain issues and food security, but not much. Measures like being able to get meat from local producers will help with what seems to be coming, but
  • There was no mention of efforts in the Congress to further regulate guns and impinge on gun rights. This is probably going to be a big subject in the next election cycle.
  • There was no mention of abortion or abortion rights. This is probably going to be a big subject in the next election cycle.
  • It’s interesting that the only example of bipartisanship the Senator could point to was a bill that deals with puppies being used for medical research.


Well, we are at 18 months and counting of “2 weeks to flatten the curve”. According to the CDC, there have been 39,831,318 cases in the United States, with 644,848 of those cases resulting in death. That means that roughly 1.6% of the people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died from it.

There are 332,712,704 people living in the United States. That means that a little over 8.35% of our population has been diagnosed with Covid-19, and .19% of that population has died from the disease.

That is, of course, a broad average across the entire population. As we have seen, the elderly and infirm have been gravely impacted by this disease. The risk of death from this disease goes up dramatically if the infected person is older, immunocompromised, or has other comorbidities such as lung problems.

In order to stem that tide, first the Trump, and then the Biden, administrations, with the assistance of the various states, instituted broad economic and social measures. These included closing businesses and schools, restricting gatherings and travel, and the enforcement of social-distancing and mask usage.

Of course, nothing happens without consequences. If you shutter a huge chunk of the economy to prevent spread of a virus, the people who depend on the paychecks that economy produces need help. And so, we have seen an unprecedented level of emergency spending.

We have seen schools adapt, some better than others, to a reality in which students cannot congregate. My son’s school did a good job of at least getting the kids exposed to their coursework and enforcing homework, but it’s a small school that was already known for academic rigor. We are only now starting to see the impact of a year or more of remote learning has had on students from larger school districts that were already in trouble before this all started.

The impacts from all of these actions and reactions will ripple through our economy and society for years. In the short term, we are limping along. Things aren’t as bad now as they were a year ago, but they aren’t even close to how good they were two years ago.

We have also seen a litany of public shaming of those who don’t toe the line when it comes to social restrictions, accompanied with private hypocracy on the part of our social, economic, and political betters.

Governors who lock down their states have been caught enjoying a night out with their friends, family, and donors. Politicians who restrict travel within their own state have taken it upon themselves to travel to their vacation homes.

When protesters gather for one cause, they are berated. When protesters gather for another cause, their complaints are deemed worthy, and their lack of social distancing and masks are shrugged off.

When a group of people gather in a remote town to enjoy their hobby, they are labelled as super-spreaders in the national media. When a former president holds a birthday bash in a small community and invites a large number of people from around the world, nary a disapproving eyebrow is raised.

Meanwhile, American families are suffering because the economy is sluggish, at best, and the value of what money they can make is decreasing every day.

Covid-19, in all of its variants, is a serious disease. To some portions of our population, it is a deadly disease. Steps to prevent its spread, done in a prudent manner, are necessary. I am vaccinated against the disease, and even if it’s only as effective as the flu shot I get every year, it’s better than nothing. Masks are not a panacea, but if you feel that you should wear one, please do.

All Americans should take the steps they can to prevent the spread of this virus.

But the government telling us that we have to get our shots and we have to wear a mask and we can’t gather together and we have to follow instructions because they know better and you’ll have to get more shots and you have to do this because they said so is not going to fly with a large number of our fellow citizens.

We have spent the last three generations telling ourselves that the government has no business telling us how we should live or what we should do with our bodies. Is it any surprise that after 50 years of telling The Man he can’t tell us what to do, ex cathedra dictates from the CDC and Washington are being ignored, if not actively defied?

If those in power want us to do as they wish, they need to not only switch from coersion to persuasion, they also need to follow their own rules. Either their rules are law, or they are guidelines. Either they mean something, or they mean nothing. If you want the country to forgo large public gatherings, quit supporting them when they benefit your side. If you want people to stop holding large family gatherings, cancel your own first. If wearing a mask is important, you better be the most anally retentive mask wearer on earth before you waggle a finger at us during one of your daily news conferences.

In other words, the first people to follow these rules need to be the people promulgating and enforcing them. Either they mean something, or they mean nothing, and the first indicator that they mean nothing is when we see a governor, senator, or anyone else telling us what to do, who doesn’t follow their own rules.

Looking At It From a Different Angle

This morning, Joe Biden had a bit of an issue climbing the stairs on Air Force One.  He tripped three times, the last fall taking him to his knees.

This video shows the incident twice, once from behind Mr. Biden, and then again from the side.  

Notice what was missing?  

Here’s a hint – There was an Air Force officer at the bottom of those stairs.  There were guards next to that officer.  There were undoubtedly staff and security on the aircraft.

Nobody came to his aid, or even seemed to make the attempt.   Even if Mr. Biden was able to right himself and make it to the top under his own power, you would think that someone at either end would have rushed to assist him.  Nobody was even at the top waiting for him to make sure he was all right.

Biden is not a young man, nor even a middle-aged man.  He is 78 years old, the oldest man to ever occupy the Oval Office.  He is still recovering from broken bones in his foot.  

There is no shame in admitting that you’re not 25, or 55, or even 75.  Mr. Biden needs to take care of himself, even if it means that someone stays by his side when he is negotiating steps or doing anything else when he may fall and be hurt. We live in a society that has become a cult of youth, and no-one in a position of power wants to admit that they aren’t as spry as they used to be.  But there is no shame for a 78 year old man to have someone along to help him when he needs it.

When folks approach 80, they become more fragile, and it is not uncommon for them to have balance issues.  Mr. Biden, like him or not, deserves to be taken care of in the manner that any elder deserves.

One question we should be asking now is why was he allowed to walk up those stairs without at least having someone walk up with him?  

The more important question we need to ask is why we didn’t see a man in uniform sprinting up those steps at the first sign of trouble, or someone else stepping off the airplane to check on Mr. Biden?

Response from Senator Paul

February 14, 2021

Dear Mr. Bear,

           Thank you for contacting me regarding the 2020 election, Congress’s vote to certify the election, and the attack at the capitol. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue.  

          When I was sworn into office, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States that is why I voted in favor of certifying the election results. Under the Constitution, Congress is tasked with certifying the electors that the states send to them. A vote against certifying the election is a vote in favor of overturning the election. The founding fathers never intended for Congress to be able to overturn state certified elections. Voting to overturn state-certified elections would be the opposite of what states’ rights Republicans have always advocated for.  

          My oath to the Constitution doesn’t allow me to disobey the law. I cannot vote to overturn the verdict of the states. Such a vote would be to overturn everything held dear by those of us who support the rights of states in this great system of federalism bequeathed to us by our founders. The electoral college was created to devolve the power of selecting presidential electors to the states. The electoral college is, without question, an inseparable friend to those who believe that every American across our vast country deserves to be heard. 

          Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor and privilege to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the United States Senate, and I hope you will continue to share your views with me.  


Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator


  • Now that the latest round of political silliness is over in Washington, I’m looking forward to previews of next season. Here are some leaks that I’ve been able to make up from whole cloth get from insiders:  SPOILER ALERT!
    • That crafty Jill Biden (Secretly a doctor, not sure if witch or otherwise) is going to do an homage to Weekend at Bernie’s, except this time, Bernie Sanders is actually going to be helping her wheel her husband around the West Wing.  Hijinks will ensue as Kamala Harris continually tries to find, fix, and fornicate her way to the top.
    • Nancy Pelosi will start a major subplot as she desperately searches for a virgin, or at least someone of semi-questionable virtue, in Washington DC to sacrifice on the altar of eternal decrepitude.  Mitch McConnell will play the part of a greek chorus as he stands by and clucks his tongue at her.
    • Kamala Harris, safe from Pelosi’s machinations, will continually up her game as she tries to knock Joe Biden out of the White House.  This will be filmed in a series of shots where she talks directly to the camera and describes her latest scheme to bump the old man off.  Think Scooby Doo meets Spy versus Spy meets Pinky and the Brain meets Dirty Jobs.
    • The Christmas episode will be fantastic.  Dr. Jill and the entire White House press corps will decorate Grandpa Joe, with Jen Psaki circling back around to place a bright red star on top of his pointed little head.  Kamala Harris will feature heavily in this episode, as Willie Brown appears as the “Sugar Daddy of Christmas Past”.
    • The season finale will be off the hook.  Literally.  The episode will center around Joe losing the nuclear football and ripping the red phone to the Kremlin out of the wall during a tantrum started when he is denied a second pudding cup after his morning nap.  The entire cast will search the White House high and low as a clock counts down to when a badly-worded Groundhog’s Day presidential proclamation will unleash nuclear armageddon.
  • I’d like to thank the National Weather Service for announcing a winter weather advisory at 3:11 in the morning.  I’d like to thank the local emergency announcement program for alerting me, via text message and robocall, to the coming descent of white death onto the hellscape of the greater Louisville area at 3:12 in the morning.
    • For various reasons, my mind equates “phone ringing at 3:12 AM” as “somebody is hurt, someone has died, or work is on fire”.
    • After acknowledging both the telephone call and the adrenaline dump, I fell back into a stress-dream-filled sleep for a few hours.  There’s no sleep like “Hey, you remember that one time something happened and you can’t even tell a therapist about it?” dreams.
  • Irish Woman is trying to set me up.  “I don’t need anything for Valentine’s Day” indeed.
    • I know my darling wife is likely to be involved in my death somehow, but I’m not going to make her inevitable acquittal that easy.
    • For the record: pearl stud earrings, pearl and diamond pendant necklace, and lavender roses.
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